Knowledge stays forever

Posted by  | Sunday, January 19, 2014  at 10:12 PM  

Almost two years ago, with the knowledge that witch hunters could be tracing my movements, I shared some insight into some favourite forbidden texts. It was my intention to lend additional detail to literary sources of inspiration for the Marienburg setting for Mordheim campaigns.

Mysterious reasons seemingly sidetracked me from continuing my recommendations for bedtime reading! Real life random happenings interrupted my research last year meaning all relating tabletop exploits are on hiatus. After seven years in the same ground floor hideout, cascading relationship circumstances led to inevitable upheaval. My warbands have migrated a few times duting the past six months! Series 4 of the Mutiny campaign fun I was running is now on hold until the dust settles. My miniatures are cased up, my modular terrain boards garaged at the family ranch, my books... (oh my precious library!!) was boxed, then unboxed, then (hastily) bagged up! When the Sigmarite Orders do finally catch up with me I will be well practised in fleeing from combat.

Whatever happens next in the Marienburg odyssey is currently unmapped. I was reminded by a fellow conspirator to revisit my collection of tomes this afternoon. In turn prompting me to return here. The hedge wizard in question was lamenting the rising prices of books now out of print, in particular the only official Mordheim campaign book, Empire In Flames. Whilst it is available online as a PDF there are many who prefer an original hard copy for inspiration whether standing over a tabletop street skirmish or while sitting at the modelling station with a wet brush in hand.

Excuses aside my 'go to' source material, as a Mordheim campaign facilitator, is split between Black Library novels and Warhammer Roleplay publications. The latter has thinned in the advent of Fantasy Flight Games hijacking the system from Green Ronin. Green Ronin through Black Industries picked up the mantle from Hogshead Publishing. Black Library fantasy fiction is still going great guns in contrast to the lack of credible roleplay supplements seeing print. Allow me to share the best references for Marienburg adventure.

6 story arcs bearing importance to Marienburg acting as best references for MiM:

A Murder in Marienburg & A Massacre in Marienburg by David Bishop
Titular inspiration for the campaign came courtesy of a Black Library author who dedicated two full novels to the City of Islands and Bridges. The sequenced stories are awe inspiring at times despite some reviewers critical opinion that their telling suffers from being lacklustre. Big racketeers from the Marienburg roleplay books by Hogshead feature in the tale. Reading these novels was of as much pleasure to me as it was a research exercise. The author details some marvellous new personalities from the Marienburg Watch constabularies of his own devising. Most importantly to me, there are sea elves in it! Both novels are now out of print. Herr Bishop has since taken up a better offer in scriptwriting television shows by accounts.

Marks Of Chaos by James Wallis
Available since 2010 on 'Print On Demand' service from Black Library, it took me a while to catch up on reading this twin-novel package. Not to be confused with another title called Mark of Chaos. This reissue combines Mark of Heresy & Mark of Damnation. Although the majority of the telling is not set in Marienburg the storytelling is excellent. There is a ton of intrigue. Sheer quality of this release is not a surprise considering the legacy James Wallis left at Hogshead Publishing.

Knight of the Blazing Sun, Dead Calm from Hammer & Bolter issue #13, Stromfel’s Teeth from Hammer & Bolter issue #17, Lords of the Marsh from Hammer & Bolter issue #20 Dead Man’s Party from Hammer & Bolter issue #21 by Joshua Reynolds
Remarkable new Warhammer storyteller Josh Reynolds made his first mark with a novel set around a mysterious island off the coast of Marienburg. Good man I say! The novel was followed up with a series of 4 short stories based in the city-port. These were scarily familiar to me upon reading them because the protagonists all sit in line with factions from the Marienburg campaign system that I've been developing. Cultists of Stromfels and the constabularies are most significant. The author introduces the Marsh-Watch and not afraid to use the 'F word' he devotes more than a few pages to those clawing monsters of mythic nostalgia. I urge anyone who is spending time in Marienburg to download these editions of Hammer & Bolter from the Black Library web site simply to read these glorious adventures.

More about the adventures of Erkhardt Dubnitz, Templar of Manann here!

The Tilean Rat (from Wolf Riders or The Laughter of the Dark Gods) & The Man Who Stabbed Luther van Groot (from Tales of the Old World) by Sandy Mitchell
Legendary Black Library author Sandy invented the diminutive detective Sam Warble. I remember reading the first tale of the halfling sleuth aeons ago when Games Workshop first began publishing fantasy fiction. Amongst my collection of short story anthologies is the bumper release containing his second yarn following Sam's casework. Both set in Marienburg, both are brilliant told tales.

Death on the Reik Trilogy by Sandy Mitchell
Sandy was tasked with writing a series of novels to tie in with the 2nd edition release of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. This series was never released in omnibus format. It is an unusual read as Warhammer novels go. The main characters eventually make their way to Marienburg. They arrive in the second book. When they do it's well worth the wait. Sam Warble makes a cameo. The witch hunters are never far behind.

Elfslayer & Slayer of the Storm God (Audio-book/short story) by Nathan Long
Gotrek & Felix have travelled the length and breadth of the Warhammer World. Bill King took them to Albion, Kislev, even the Chaos Wastes! It was during Nathan Long's tenure that the infamous duo arrived in Marienburg. The short story released as an audio CD is a regal way to enjoy their escapades from a different perspective. It's since been reissued in a compilation of short stories, Hammer & Bolter I think. I haven't picked up the Fourth Omnibus yet, having bought the books separately upon release, but hopefully they've included Gotrek's fight against a horrific manifestation of the Shark God, Stromfels!

6 best Warhammer source books used for referencing epic campaigns:

Marienburg: Sold Down The River
This is the god book! A first edition release for Warhammer Roleplay through Hogshead Publishing, devised by Anthony Ragan As far as this campaign is concerned, without this roleplay source book, I would have found it difficult to get things off the ground. It contains the Great Map, drawn by Ralph Horsely and so much more.

The Dying of the Light
A series of scenarios set in and around the city. Mostly set in the surrounding Wasteland region, this is the ideal resource for understanding everything that happens directly outside of the city walls. A boon is that it contains a scenario written by Sandy Mitchell. He signed my copy at Black Library Live a few years ago! A superb resource for amphibian fans. It includes the earliest published example of a Fimir warband.

The Thousand Thrones
At the beginning of this voluminous tome of adventure, the scenarios explore Dead Canal slum district followed by the Cursed Marsh outside of Marienburg. A scarily sumptuous bonus for worshipers of Stromfels and his mutated seafaring followers of Chaos.

Career Compendium
Combines all of the career paths and adventure hooks from a multitude of other 2nd edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay publications. A grandiose tome for sourcing yourself hired swords capable of skulduggery! Also contains a moving story about Strigany river pirates.

Tome of Salvation
Arguably the jewel in the crown among all source books for Warhammer. This tome was the inspiration form my article Miracle Workers. I was reading this in an airport once and got so many funny looks from commuters!

Tome of Corruption
The companion release for Tome of Salvation. The inspiration for Corrupted Characters.

Sandy Mitchell left Marks of Chaos on my copy of 'Dying of the Light' at Black Library Live


Benjamin Neale said...

It is great to have an update. Lots to read and digest!

I hope that when the dust settles all will be well for you whatever the random happenings are which have come your way.

Anonymous said...

Bummer dude i hope you get back on track soon. I guess this means the new campaign won't be finished in time to fire up this new year?

Carnival of Onogal said...

Totally unrelated question for a BTB Campaign could an ogre hired sword ever ride a temple dog? In our campaign we have a sisters of sigmar warband using an orgre body guard just wanted to see if this is leagal as it seems totally outlandish and we assumed ogres could only ride a rhinox.

Alexander said...

Hope things are getting better for you soon Werekin. Thanks for a great article! I already have some ideas on how to create some cool gangs, keep an eye on the forum...

Anonymous said...

Great work! I can't wait until the complete Setting will be released! Your previews and artikles promise a real fascinating and exciting setting. :)

Regarding the mobsmen i have one question:
Arent the rules for Backstabbing a bit powerfull? I thought that the rules for "See in the shadows" (amongst others) made the Shadow Warriors so unbalanced and backstabbing is even stronger (no Initiative test and a bonus to hit and on the serious injuries table).

Werekin said...

Thanks for following the feed Anonymous(ly!)

Not all content in the setting is new or original. One of my personal objectives in campaign writing is to collate existing material. There are many neglected guidelines. Either undeveloped or ill-fitting that deserve a place in a wider setting.

In Marienburg, the mobsmen fulfill various roles. Smuggling, thieving, assassinating and more gangster activities! All of the special skills for this warband list are drawn from existing sources.

Backstabber is one of the Assassin skills that could be learned by the Imperial Assassin Hired Sword. In a sense it's uses are narrow. If used with the correct tactics it can be devastating. It's one of a number of options to select from when tailoring a gang of criminal proportions.

At some point I'll be adding campaign objectives for these Low Kings and other warbands. A devious string of plots for your gang to follow, scoring achievements along the way towards scoring The Secret Deal.

Saranor said...

For one specialized Assassin this is a fitting skill, but a warbands of mobsmen within a crowded City with many heroes with this skill (perhaps poison covert weapons) seems very strong to me. I like the image of backstabbing mobsmen, but i would stick with the elf-Version with no extra bonus on the hit and injury chart.

I just startet to read the Marienburg novels in preparation of the setting. :)
Can you give some information about the undead powers (Warbands) in Marienburg? I like to prepare a warband for this setting :)

Werekin said...

This is one time where humans exceed the expectations of elves. Cartel affiliates become experts at stabbing rival gangsters in the back.

An Undead themed campaign package? There is a new set of campaign objectives and warband achievements based on the shadowy traditions of the Strigany and their dark allies.

Carnival of Onogal said...

Hi Werekin

Is it possible to get a peak at the skaven warband designed for this campaign and also the plot for secret deal and the body trade? If they are ready a link would be greatly appreciated.

Werekin said...

Originally the Skaven warband list was envisioned to be one of the six MiM warbands. As things have turned out another threat rose up from the swamp to take a very prominent role in our campaign story. We will revisit the verminous engineers of Riskin Tatter-Ear and their allies if they proves popular enough... Until then the Rear-Admiral of the Skaven fleet's draft document remains on my hard-drive unless I receive some visual evidence of pirate-rat skulduggery happening on the Reik!

I've uploaded plot 2 for the campaign to the blog. The Secret Deal and The Ten Great Families will be the next two to surface no doubt.

Werekin said...

Two more plot drafts completed. The Secret Deal and The Body Trade have been added to my public Dropbox.

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