Warhammer Campaign (1988)

Warhammer Campaign (1988) collects two books under its cover – The Enemy Within and Shadows over Bogenhafen. The first is essentially an in-depth sourcebook of the Empire – sort of a fantasy version of the Hapsburg Holy Roman Empire – primarily detailing its history and political and military factions. This is the foundation material for the multi-volume Enemy Within campaign, which starts with the brief scenario “Mistaken Identity,” in which a PC is unwittingly mistaken for an agent of a Chaos cult.

“Mistaken Identity” leads the players to Bogenhafen, where a diabolical plot is nearing completion (you can see the lovely cover art in yesterday’s post). A powerful local politician and merchant sold his soul to a demon and time is nearly up. He has bamboozled other powerful local merchants into performing a ritual. He thinks it will save his soul, they think it will make Bogenhafen the economic seat of the Empire. They’re both wrong and, hopefully, the players can figure things out and stop the plot before catastrophe strikes. It is an excellent yarn, full of Call of Cthulhu-style investigation and growing dread as Chaos exerts itself into the town.

I usually think of Warhammer as bombastic in its dourness, but Enemy Within is all about restraint. Death comes easy in WFRP, so there is not a ton of combat. Real world consequences for violence discourage derring-do. There’s also a surprising amount of humor. For instance, the big bad, through the influence of Chaos, has grown pointy canines and an aversion for daylight. He also loathes garlic, not because he’s a vampire, but because his demon companion is addicted to garlic bread and eats it constantly. What?

Lots of great art sells the whole thing, particularly the amazing Ian Miller. I also particularly like Will Rees’ terrifying grotesques in Bogenhafen (dig that manifestation of Tzeentch!). Other GW mainstays like John Blanche, Tony Ackland, Dace Andrews and Martin McKenna also have work inside.

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