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 Ghosts of the Black Run

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Dribble Joy
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PostSubject: Ghosts of the Black Run   Fri 30 Sep 2011 - 11:08

We're currently running a 40K campaign at the moment, but were meant to be doing Mordheim, so hopefully the latter idea should happen afterwards.
If the original planner doesn't lead off with it (quite possible), I'm preparing to do so myself, or at least write it and hand it over too him.

Anyway, I currently have a few ideas bouncing around my head but I may need some pointers.

The general theme is a recently ruined city (either partially or completely) but NOT Mordheim. Some calamity has befallen it and before/if the armies of the Empire (if it's set in the Empire) arrive to clean up/rebuild, the looters descend.

Of course... things aren't as they seem...

I recently stumbled across the Merchants of Death campaign by Opheliate, which runs very close to what I want to do, though I hope to take things a little more in depth.

It will primarily be EiF, but as it progresses it will become more and more 'Mordheimy'. In the beginning the Encounters will be the EiF ones, later on people can choose those or the regular ones, depending where in the region they want to search in (making a map). I'm also very tempted to create a new set of Exploration results to keep things in-theme, help create the right atmosphere and flesh out the story.

Setting:

First question is where do I set this. It doesn't have to be a huge city, or even a city, a big town (though on the larger size of big) would do.
Preferably somewhere not too important, out of the way somewhere where it could might go unnoticed/ignored or not placed on high priority by the authorities, but would create enough mutterings on the grapevine to attract adventurers.

Are there actually any detailed maps/lists of towns and cities in the Empire and other places? I have most of the WFRP books but finding stuff in them can be a nightmare, so any pointers would be awesome.

Further thinking lends me towards perhaps somewhere near Sylvania, in the east of Stirland. This would make it a reluctant area for the Empire's forces to intervene quickly, suitably distant from regular civilisation and with enough prospect of strange goings on.

Storyline/Theme:

The cause I have yet to exactly figure out. I still need to trawl through the background of the Warhammer World to find the right one. Though perhaps some artistic license could come into play; one intent of the wider setting is the possibility for just about anything so long as it doesn't go against established fluff.

As to what is actually going on - Ghosts, essentially.

('Ghosts of XXXX' is the WIP title.)

At first I want the campaign to follow 'normal' lines, in the second game (roughly) and onwards, ghosts, paranormal activity (buildings spontaneously moving in the middle of games for example) will start cropping up. At first in small numbers, without cause, no impact on the games, but progressively they would start to interfere, reveal the nature of things in the city and eventually bring things to a head at some point. I want some real 'what the f**k' moments at the beginning.

I'd rather avoid the usual machinations of a Vampire or Necromancer, it's been done enough times. Choas again would be an easy scapegoat.
Main idea so far is an accident by either a Amethyst/Jade Mage or Priest of Morr, most of the population (either the ones already dead or the previously living ones) cursed to remain as spirits. The main 'big bad' (though wouldn't necessarily be evil, either genuinely trying to correct a mistake, fallen to chaos or unwittingly has become corrupted and doesn't know it yet, etc.) would be a seemingly harmless if not useful character in the campaign before being revealed (I'm thinking one of the doctors warbands can visit for injuries).
This unfortunately does wander into those putrid waters of 'A wizard did it'.

Gameplay:

Where I'm unsure about is to what extent a GM is required; I want as much to be unknown to the players/warbands as possible without making it difficult to actually carry out the campaign.

As mentioned the ghosts have little interaction/effect on the gameplay to begin with. In the first few games where they appear they ignore the other models unless attacked, and even then they either disappear, scream or flee. Later on they might attack when attacked and then be actively hostile to most.

Being ethereal, they are immune to damage, unless attacked by various weapon types. Obviously having all the warbands requiring magical weapons is daft, so I'm thinking any non-normal weapon type would be effective - Ilithmar, Gromril, Warpstone based weapons and the like (though not as effective as an actual magic weapon/attack). Little hints as to what could deal with them would come up in exploration results plus the discovery of items like 'strange arrows' and the like.

Obviously, aside from the interest in the setting/story, I don't want them to impede on the actual battles between players, that's what they are there for to begin with. It's only if people start messing with them and in the closing stages that they would (possibly) take a bigger role.

'Prologue' campaign stage:
Mostly EiF based. Surrounding farmland, villages and finally suburbs and the wall/gatehouse as the warbands make their way to and arrive at the city. No established trading scene as yet, harder to find recruits and rare items.

Early campaign:
Warbands begin to explore the outer areas of the ruins. Spirits are encountered but nothing much made of them yet.

Middle campign:
Spirits are becoming more commonly encountered, restless at the invasion of their home by looters and imploring the 'holy' warbands to assist them. Warbands should by now know how to deal with them.

Late campaign:
Spirits become actively hostile towards certain activities. More is revealed about what decimated the city. Ilithmar, Gromril, Warpstone and similar weapons become less rare but more expensive as merchants seek to exploit the market.

Closing stage:
Deep in the ruins where the culprit is cornered (or brought depending on their nature) and either assisted or confronted by the warbands.

That's about what I have so far. Thoughts?


Last edited by Dribble Joy on Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 13:02; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of the Black Run   Fri 30 Sep 2011 - 20:06

a thought that occurs about the ghosts is to steal a concept from Team Fortress 2... have them as randomly-wandering models that cause other models within a certain distance to have to make All Alone tests, even if they have friends nearby. I think the ghost that occurs as a random encounter in the original random happenings table in mordheim uses something like that.

As for fighting ghosts, I seem to remember the aforementioned random happening ghost could be "dispelled" if a prayer-user moved into base contact with it and passed a leadership test. You could also maybe let necromancers do similar, although that would be less laying the dead to rest, and more forcefully telling the dead to sod off.

You could also allow Sigmarite Warhammers to hurt ghosts. If that's the case, maybe they could also be acquired by non-Sisters of Sigmar warbands, albeit at a higher price, and requiring a rarity roll.

If the campaign "big bad" is, as you suggested, a trader or somebody that the warbands will be interacting with between games, perhaps you should track how many times each warband has used his services, and this number has some effect on the final battle? For example: say the Big Bad is a doctor that the warbands can visit. If they visit him more than 4 times over the campaign, they get to know him, resulting in a +1 to hit him during the final game, but causing models from their warband to have to pass a Leadership test to attack him in the first place - they know his weaknesses, but they're reluctant to attack their friend.
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of the Black Run   Sat 1 Oct 2011 - 7:17


Interesting project. I think you will need a GM if you want to have the type of subtle interaction between the players and the haunting. Otherwise you need to build the encounter into the standard rules of your campaign. If you do not have a GM you will also need a special set of scenarios to trigger the confrontation between the players and the big baddie.

Setting: For maps and whatnot I recommend starting with in the Library of the Warhammer Empire site. For Stirland:
http://warhammer-empire.com/library/aisforaltdorf/the-grand-county-of-stirland/

Ghosts spirits and ethereal things.
I used the Mordheim random encounter mentioned above as a basis for my restless spirits of the desert in our Toth Amon campaign.
Quote :
Restless Spirits
D3+1 Restless Spirits haunt this area. Any warband member within 8 of a Spirit at the start of his movement phase must pass a Ld test or flee directly away from the Spirit. In addition all warriors on the battlefield must pass a Ld test to move on their first player turn. If they fail they may not move until they pass a Ld test on a subsequent turn. (Warriors that are immune to fear need not test in either case.)
The spirits may not attack or be attacked by any means. They each move 2D6 in a randomly determined direction. They may pass through any obstacle or warrior. The exception to this rule is that if a spirit touches a Sigmarite Warrior Priest, a Holy Man or a Sigmarite Matriarch during its move or if any of the 3 warriors end their move in base to base with a spirit, then the spirit is removed from play and the warrior gains +1 experience.
There is also the Banshee from The Cry of the Banshee scenario and the Wraith from A Night in the Graveyard. StyrofoamKing has his own ethereal rules from his Ghost Pirates warband.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of the Black Run   Sat 1 Oct 2011 - 11:24

Quick question, are the locations on the maps from that link cities/towns, or are they everything from cities to hamlets?

As a title, I'm thinking 'Ghosts of the Black Run' and basing it primarily in Swartzhafen (SE Stirland) but I don't know if it's big enough.
Of course with not much in the way of background for many places in remote areas, there is of course some room for artistic license.
Going by the maps, Swartzhafen seems to be the first town on the road before the Haunted Hills and the Hilltop Road and could easily be a reloading point for those travelling to and from Sylvania. A place for caravan guards to find work, road wardens to based at and a good trade in hotels, taverns and inns for those who have just come off and about to set onto the Black Run.
Bordering Sylvania and being placed on the edge of the wonderfully named Ghoul Wood means it could easily have a reasonable garrison and those devoted to the study of the (un)dead like the previously mentioned Amethyst/Jade magic Orders and the followers of Morr.
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of the Black Run   Sat 1 Oct 2011 - 13:30

Dribble Joy wrote:
Quick question, are the locations on the maps from that link cities/towns, or are they everything from cities to hamlets?

I have no way of knowing.
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of the Black Run   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 13:01

OK. Done some writing and have the following so far:

Linky.

GM's section next.
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of the Black Run   Today at 19:26

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