View Full Version : Help direct my WHQ campaign!

30-11-2011, 04:00
So this is my first time GM'ing "for real" and though I've been having a lot of fun with it I would love to get more input from people since the only folks I usually get to talk about this with are the players in my campaign, and obviously I can't get constructive criticism from them until AFTER I've revealed certain plot elements.

I've gone from not having enough material to feed my warriors, to having so many ideas that I need some help figuring out the best way to pull it off!

Here's a basic outline of what's going on in my current campaign, and then some ideas on where the story should go next. I'd really appreciate any feedback and suggestions on how to make things work out! I apologize if this is really long, it actually just really helps me to write things out and work through the ideas.

We're playing through the Karak Azgal adventure in the RPG Book, but there have been some differences because I'm running a much more in depth campaign. First of all, the warriors all met each other at an Inn in the Border Princes where they were captured by an evil witch and had to escape, forming the basis of their first little adventure. Without that intro and some of the items they picked up from it (plus the visit to a settlement in between) I don't think they would have made it this far into Death Below Karak Azgal (they're almost through the second Deep).

The Witch Hunter and the Warrior Priest had originally been traveling together investigating disappearances in the area when the very witch they were looking for took them prisoner. The Wizard had travelled all the way from Altdorf investigating the attempted theft of the Grimoire Necris by one Alberto Laranscheld, but Laranscheld's father's minion, the hunchback Luthor, had enlisted the help of the witch - who had already been performing sacrifices for the family, leading to the disappearances - to try and kill the Wizard. So the players have already met Luthor briefly, and by overhearing conversations are somewhat aware of the existence of Gunther Laranscheld.

The Barbarian was originally traveling with a Dwarf named Rorek Grunnson, whom he had spent many months at sea with. Whilst in Barak Varr they learned that Rorek's cousin Ironbeard was now head of the Grunnson clan, and Rorek set off towards Karaz-a-Karak to find out what happened to his cousin's father and grandfather (Grimcrag and Ungrun, respectively). Rorek was killed dramatically in the witch's inn, and with his dying words asked the Barbarian character to carry on and find out what was happening, which gave the all-human party an "in" with the Grunnson clan and led to their accepting the quest to go into Karak Azgal. I've also been using the Karak Azgal sourcebook from WHFRP, and given everything a lot more depth than just "OK, roll three event hazards and you're there".

If the warriors succeed, they will be joined back at Karaz-a-Karak by the captain of a Dwarf patrol that they had met on their way into the stronghold earlier. This should be fun, since we'll have a party of five warriors which means I can throw even MORE nasty stuff at them!

I'm also setting up Lair of the Orc Lord: the warriors heard of a growing Orc power in Fredrickburg, the first settlement they went to. By the time they get to the next settlement (which should also be nearby to Karaz-a-Karak) they will meet refugees from Fredrickburg, which was completely wiped out by Gorgut's forces. They've also fought and wounded Skabnoze, and the new Dwarf player will enter the game a little early as he encounters the wounded Shaman while on patrol in the mountains, being helped to safety by a host of Gorgut's minions.

When the warriors get to this next town I think I'll run "For Love or Money" from WHFRP Plundered Vaults and then have them attacked by a full WHFB-sized Orc army and have to defend the town with just a few members of the garrison and militia to help out. Once they survive this they should be prepared to track the retreating Orcs back to Mt. Gunbad and play through Lair of the Orc Lord (unless they decide to do something else, of course).
Themes that need to be addressed:

1. There is a growing presence of greenskins in this area of the mountains, and it appears to be centered around a new warlord who has taken up residence in the Goblin stronghold of Mt. Gunbad.

2. Skabnoze the Orc Shaman is now working with the new warlord, Gorgut, and has stolen the Doom of Grishnak, Ungrun Grunnson's famous pendant. How anyone discovers this fact is sorta unresolved.

3. The first settlement that the warriors visited, the town of Fredrickburg, has now been wiped out by Gorgut's raiders. The only real NPC they met there was a captain of the watch named Felix, who may be one of the few survivors, and will re-encounter the warriors at the next town they visit, Mittleresdorf.

4. One of the other NPCs the players met previously was Buliwyf Stonecrusher, a Dwarf who led one the patrol around Karaz-a-Karak that intercepted, interrogated, and escorted the PCs as they approached the Dwarf capital. Since the 5th player to join our group wants to play a Dwarf character, he'll just be picking up this NPC and I'll be writing him into the storyline.

5. Gorgut's rise to power is much as described in Lair of the Orc Lord, but the old warlord of the Black Fang Orcs was slain specifically by Ironbeard Grunnson, a few months before his father disappeared in Karak Azgal. Gorgut has now changed the name of the tribe to the Severed Eyes (a concept I'm lifting from a D&D module) and adopted the symbol of a severed eye. Several of his Big 'Uns have dug out one of their own eyes as a sign of loyalty to him, and many goblin and human captives have a brand put over one of their eyes. Felix may bear such a wound.

6. In my timeline, the Storm of Chaos has not happened yet, though it is very much about to.

Things that need to happen:

1. The warriors will rescue Grimcrag Grunnson from Karak Azgal upon the successful completion of Death Below Karak Azgal.

2. He will travel with them back to Karaz-a-Karak and resume lordship of the Grunnson clan, rewarding them richly for their endeavors. Along the way, he may ask to see his father's corpse and may notice that the Doom of Grishnak is missing.

3. The warriors, accompanied by Grimcrag, may have an easy path back to Karaz-a-Karak but I still want there to be some especially "mountainy" events to create issues for them. Right now I'm thinking of a rockslide, maybe an earthquake, and perhaps and Orc encounter that will introduce them to Gorgut's boyz and show them the power of a Level 10 warrior (Grimcrag).

4. At some point during all this, probably while the warriors are on their way back to Everpeak, Buliwyf will be leading a patrol of 1D6 + 3 Dwarf warriors through the mountains when he sees the wounded Skabnoze being borne along on a litter by (probably) a whole bunch of Night Goblins. I need to devise a way for him to notice that the shaman is carrying a piece of Dwarf treasure (the Doom of Grishnak) even if he doesn't recognize it. Perhaps his patrol is slaughtered to a man and only he survives, but either way he won't recover the necklace at this time.

5. The warriors arrive at Everpeak and Grimcrag takes over the Grunnson clan. Buliwyf, who was actually originally born in Ostland, decides to join the party. I think I need a good reason for this, though. Perhaps he is on his way back to Ostland to help against the rumored Chaos invasion? Or he's taken on a personal oath to retrieve the Doom of Grishnak? Part of this is up to the player, of course.

6. The warriors (minus Buliwyf) will each roll 1D3 and the added total will be the number of Grunnson clan warriors whom Grimcrag sends them away with. I think this might be a fun opportunity to create another NPC, perhaps the leader of the Dwarf detachment who is racist against the human warriors and resents his assignment. However, there is a problem because:

7. The warriors will travel West to the town of Mittleresdorf where they will play out the short adventure "For Love or Money" from WHFRP 2nd Edition's Plundered Vaults. I really want to run this to break up the dungeon crawls and introduce some Skaven, but it might end up being really unbalanced if the warriors are allowed to have their Dwarf allies with them. Of course I can always (and was already planning on) just making there be a lot more Skaven than there would have been in WHFRP, but maybe there's also a good way to just not have the Dwarfs show up in town until the adventure is resolved?

8. Mittleresdorf is exactly like it appears in WHFRP Plundered Vaults (except geographically relocated to suit my campaign), but the Southern Gate is still under construction, making it a weak point in the town's defenses.

9. After "For Love or Money", Mittleresdorf is attacked by the Severed Eyes Orcs and Goblins, led by Gorgut. The warriors will encounter him and see that Skabnoze is with him, but will not have a chance to actually fight him as he retreats as soon as the battle seems to go badly.

10. I need to do a lot of work to prepare this siege encounter. I have tons of Orcs and Gobbos to use and I'd like to acquire a Rock Lobber model from somewhere, but if I include it in the scenario it might be too much of a distraction, since the heroes will effectively have no way to disable it from inside the city walls they defend, so it'd have to misfire or something? As far as the human defenders, the warriors will have their Dwarf allies, a few members of the town watch, and a good handful of less effective local militia (including Felix, who may or may not survive). The battle will go on just long enough for the heroes to feel like they are just baaaaaaarely going to make it. I will probably bring in another player just to control the Severed Eyes Orcs for this battle, since that will lend a layer of tactics I can't replicate as a GM.

11. Eventually the players will chase the retreating greenskins back to Mount Gunbad, where they will play through the Doom of Grishnak campaign from Lair of the Orc Lord and finally kill both Gorgut and Skabnoze.

12. The warriors make their way back into the Empire proper, participate in the defense of the Empire from the Storm of Chaos somehow, and then end up playing through the entire Paths of the Damned campaign from WHFRP, starting in Middenheim after the war.

Odds & Ends:

1. The ruins of Fredrickburg seem like a great location to use, somehow. Perhaps the Goblins who razed it are now occupying the site, and the warriors have to sneak in (a la D&D's "The Slaying Stone")? If so, maybe they have to go back there because that's where Gorgut first fled to, and they are chasing down the Doom of Grishnak?

2. I have an absolutely amazing battle-map of the terrain outside a ruined Dwarf citadel from the D&D module "The Orcs of Stonefang Pass", and really want to use it! There are basically two opportunities - first, there could be a holdout of Orcs stationed there after the attack on Mittleresdorf, and the warriors have to go mop them up. Secondly, I could save it until after they've killed Gorgut and say that a scattered branch of the Severed Eyes has assaulted Blackfire Pass and is now making it impassable, so the warriors have to go put an end to that on their way back into the Empire. Could be a good chance to throw in one last Orc NPC (a Severed Eyes big boss, or something).

Using the Dwarf citadel right after Mittleresdorf makes it impractical to also use the ruins of Fredrickburg location, (though there will be plenty of future opportunity for ruins if the party heads to Ostland during the Storm of Chaos) while saving the encounter for Blackfire Pass means I might go mad with anticipation, or more importantly may not have a chance to use other ideas for the setting such as the contents of the 3rd Edition WHFRP sourcebook on BFP (which I have not acquired yet).

So.... thoughts?

30-11-2011, 07:49
Nice to see an indepth Warhammer Quest campaign. I've run one with about 8 players and it worked really well as an intro into roleplaying although its only real advantage over WFRP is that you can run big combats without dying or having your legs broken every 3 fights.

Are you using the WFRP adventure plots with the WHQ rules or switching between the two systems?

30-11-2011, 12:49
Hey, thanks for commenting. Playing with 8 people would be a dream come true, though it would mean I'd have to have twice as many miniatures!

We're using WHQ rules almost exclusively, although there is a heavier element of RP than if it were a straight dungeon crawl, and I do keep percentile dice around just in case I want to use a table from WFRP without converting anything. 2nd edition NPC stats and so forth are also very easy to convert to WHQ.

I don't have all the WFRP supplements yet, but as I acquire them I've been repurposing whatever I can into WHQ since it is my preferred system (as much for nostalgia reasons as because of the use of tiles/miniatures and the big combats you mention).

So for example, when the warriors go up battle levels in WHQ they have the opportunity to learn "specialist actions" apart from any skills they would normally gain. As a GM I'm going to really push this, and then use the skills and abilities lists from WFRP as a palette from which the players can pick and choose some of these specialist actions. I've also got Realms of Sorcery and Tome of Salvation, so after I'm done with Sigmar's Heirs (also reading the novel Warrior Priest for inspiration...) I'll be using those to try and add a little more depth to the Wizard and Warrior Priest characters, respectively.

If you or anyone else who is more familiar with WFRP than I am has any suggestions on particular elements that would be good to incorporate from that system, I'd love any advice! Critical hits/injuries are probably at the top of the list.

30-11-2011, 18:37
If you or anyone else who is more familiar with WFRP than I am has any suggestions on particular elements that would be good to incorporate from that system, I'd love any advice! Critical hits/injuries are probably at the top of the list.

Nooooo! Criticals in WFRP are lethal :eek:

There were critical tables in the citadel journal and I think they made thier way into one of the deathblow magazines. There is certainly alot you can take from WFRP (I type this as I gaze at my hardcopy collection, only missing the Career Compendium, look at Drive Thru RPG for the PDFs at a decent price, most of the books are stupid expensive on ebay)

Critical hits become essential for monsters after a few levels if the party start using equipment to help them out. Once you've got 8-10 armour points kicking round from magic and mundane gear then most monsters will start to bounce off, we used a version of the mordhiem criticals, so a chance to do extra damage and/or ignore an amount of armour.

My re-write of the Wizard, Brettonian Knight and Warrior Priest all drew heavily from WFRP sources as well as the armybooks, there is loading in there.

Can I recommend The Doomstones Campaign for you, its a very high level campaign and it would work well in Quest given the combat to plot ratio. Lure of the Liche Lord is also a good dungeonbash (but a pretty poor WFRP adventure).

01-12-2011, 04:12
There were critical tables in the citadel journal and I think they made thier way into one of the deathblow magazines.

Oops, totally forgot about that!

we used a version of the mordhiem criticals, so a chance to do extra damage and/or ignore an amount of armour.

I keep meaning to revisit those rules and see if there's anything useful in there for me. Will do so now :)

My re-write of the Wizard, Brettonian Knight and Warrior Priest all drew heavily from WFRP sources as well as the armybooks, there is loading in there.

Are those available anywhere?

Can I recommend The Doomstones Campaign for you, its a very high level campaign and it would work well in Quest given the combat to plot ratio. Lure of the Liche Lord is also a good dungeonbash (but a pretty poor WFRP adventure).

I'd love to check that out - what book(s) is the Doomstones Campaign in? Or is from first edition? Lure of the Liche Lord is low on my list of WFRP books to acquire, but if you say it's good maybe I'll bump it up a couple spots. I'm obsessed with owning physical copies of everything I need, so of course it has been an expensive and drawn-out process. Just tonight I ordered the Renegade Crowns sourcebook for the Border Princes and that has got me pretty excited...

Thanks for all the advice!

01-12-2011, 07:25
Doomstones is a 5 book campaign from the first edition, based heavily on a D&D campaign its a very high fantasy, high powered, high mortality rate adventure.

Ah now I wouldn't say Liche Lord is good....but then again neither were Paths of the Damned. Karak Azgal is pretty good for a WHQ setting and its one of the cheaper ones to buy on places like eBay, gives you a massive dungeon setting with lots of factions and monsters, two settlements and plenty to keep the campaign busy.

Renegade Crowns is kind of an odd sourcebook, its basically a massive collection of tabled and ideas for creating your own kingdoms which is very cool.

Mordhiem is an excellent source to rip things out of to add to Quest.

My write ups were further down the forum somewhere, they are always being refined and tinkered with, I'll update the threads later (its decorating day!).

I am with you on the hardcopy owning of everything, just that career compendium to go....stupid books over $100 everytime and I just dont have that cash at the moment (christmas with two kids gets almost as expensive as collecting a warhammer army).

01-12-2011, 13:34
Paths of the Damned not good in your opinion? So far I only have Ashes of Middenheim and my biggest problem with it is that it is a complete railroad, but I'll see what I can do about that. The setting is awesome and really I'm just happy to have a prepared adventure since I usually don't have the time to get them ready myself.

Karak Azgal was the first WFRP book I got, since of course that's where my party was going first. I have not been disappointed with it at all! And then when I read about Renegade Crowns I was sold. I used to really overlook the Border Princes but when I did some more research and found out they were basically just a shifting sea of tiny city states constantly at war with each other and greenskin raiders I was like, "this is the coolest thing ever". The sourcebook with all those generation tables sounds like a GM's dream.

The biggest thing I am never going to get around to owning is the Tome of Corruption, I think the last price I saw for it was $130-something... Plenty of other stuff to buy in the meantime, though. What's amazing is that Wizards of the Coast started producing their own dungeon tiles and they actually fit perfectly into the WHQ doorways. There's already several sets out of production, so I've also been chasing them down.

I'll keep an eye out for Doomstones. And also of course I've always been interested in The Enemy Within or Empire in Flames, although I know those are set in a different time than my campaign. Maybe they could be tweaked, though. I want to experiment with doing roleplay-heavy games of WHQ. We've already had sessions that had as much character interaction as they did encounters where minis were on the table, and I at least had a lot of fun.

01-12-2011, 13:54
Right, WFRP 1st edition had the Enemy Within (Shadows over Bogenhafen, Death on the Riek, Power Behind the Throne, Something Rotten in Kislev and Empire in Flames) which was an awesome campaign even if the last two books were a bit pants. There is a re-write for the final book available online, pop it into google as I dont remember exactly where, however EiF had a couple of excellent and huge dungeons and gives you the true fate of Sigmar ;). Doomstones as I said doesn't fit into WFRP properly being too combat heavy. Drachenfels is very good for a Quest game and so would be Lichemaster.

Paths of the Damned is a poor mans Enemy Within. Heavy railroading that doesn't really take account of what crazy and unpredictable players can and will do. Spires of Altdorf copies Power behind the Thrones NPC befriending plot but makes it mighty simplified (not always a bad thing for novice gamers) and Forges of Nuln annoyed me because no matter what the players do they cannot change the ending :(

Tome of Corruption is fantastic, everyone loves a D1000 table for mutations, god specific mutations, beastmen, chaos dwarves, creating your own deamons.... :D Nights Dark Masters is equally as good.