|Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay | Published 08 January 2010|
– Preview Notes from Senior RPG Developer Jay Little
As The Gathering Storm campaign for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay draws ever closer, I wanted to share more information about a key part of the adventure’s campaign setting, the town of Stromdorf. The Gathering Storm includes more than a dozen pages of details about this town, from its humble roots to its rules and regulations, from its interesting environs to many of its quirky, unusual inhabitants.
The rain-drenched town of Stromdorf can serve as a convenient “story hub” for the events that transpire throughout The Gathering Storm, but the details and information can easily be used by a GM to help bring any town, village, or community in the Empire to life. Writers Dave Allen, Steve Darlington, Dylan Owen, Clive Oldfield, and Gary McBride helped create a fascinating story set in an interesting place that is unique and yet at the same time thoroughly Warhammer.
Here’s just a brief look at Stromdorf. Stay tuned for more previews and more information about The Gathering Storm as its release draws near.
Stromdorf is a small market town in the southern part of the Reikland, about one hundred and fifty miles from Altdorf as the raven flies. It is located near the confluence of three rivers, the Ober, Tranig, and Teufel, each flowing from the distant Grey Mountains into the shadows of the nearby Reikwald Forest. The area of marshy lowland and stony hills south of this confluence is known as the Fleuchtschussel, a wet land infamous and avoided as the stormiest place in Reikland; even in midsummer, grey clouds smother the sun in a sky angry with rain and lightning.
The town’s population numbers fewer than seven hundred people. Neighbouring folk are puzzled that the entire population has not moved on to less damp climes before now, but there has been a settlement here before even Sigmar’s time, and the people of Stromdorf have a profound sense of history and are proud of their town. They regard it as a mark of their tenacity that they survive in such an intemperate climate; however, other Reiklanders mock this outlook as proof of the townsfolks’ inbred imbecility.
Stromdorf’s inclement weather ensures few travellers tarry in the town, and hardly anyone settles there from elsewhere unless they have to. Thus, Stromdorf remains a backwater; it is an impoverished place when compared to the thriving settlements in the rest of the Reikland. It is no surprise that, like the sky that thunders above their heads, Stromdorfers are a stormy lot, quick to anger and difficult to placate. They complain bitterly about the smallest grievance, finding fault in everything except, oddly, the weather, which they habitually shrug off with heroic stoicism: “Come now, it’s only a bit of rain!”
The River Teufel is Stromdorf’s lifeline to the Ubersreik in the west and the Reik to the north, yet the town fails to capitalise on the river traffic that bypasses it. Travellers prefer to hurry past, eager to escape the drenching rain. It doesn’t help that Stromdorf does not produce many goods to trade. Its low-lying farms eke out subsistent crops from the sodden fields, and the wool and meat from the hardy sheep pastured in the hills is of poor quality. Just enough produce is generated each month to keep the town from starving. Stromdorf used to rely heavily on its upland flocks for revenue, but a hundred years ago, goblin tribes drove most farmers from the hills.
However, the marshy climate and muddy waters of the rivers are an ideal breeding ground for the Reik eel, a large, voracious snakelike fish with razor sharp teeth. Its sleek body is muscular, and the flesh is flavourful. Many Stromdorfers fish for the eels, dredging the river with large nets. The eels are skinned, smoked, and barrelled, comprising one of the few regular exports of the town.
Burgomeister Phillip Adler has been the administrative head of Stromdorf for nearly a decade. Adler was appointed to the position by the von Jungfreuds, the prominent aristocrats in the region, hoping new blood would invigorate Stromdorf’s negligible economy.
Phillip Adler is a self-made man, who made a fortune in the textile business in his native Ubersreik, and married a distant relative of the von Jungfreud noble family. From the start, the town council, a collection of older, gruff white beards, disapproved of an outsider managing their affairs – by tradition the burgomeister had always been one of their own.
Initially Adler proved popular, encouraging trade between Stromdorf and other parts of the Reikland. At the beginning of his tenure, revenue increased, but so did the taxes, now that the von Jungfreuds had their own man in charge.
However, Adler has become reclusive in recent months. He has shut himself away, barred visitors to the town hall, and has even dismissed his servants, living there alone. He conducts his affairs from behind closed doors, using the watch captain, Arno Kessler, as his intermediary. Kessler is a man of war, lacking the verbal finesse needed for politics, and his brusque manner has angered some of the locals he has to deal with. Recent events have made Adler unpopular – a few folk openly call for his replacement, arguing that his behavior is hurting business.
According to local gossip, Adler is in mourning for his wife, Else, who died shortly after he became burgomiester. Further enquiry reveals that this happened two years ago, long before he decided to shut himself away.
A Brief Resurgence
Stromdorf experienced a brief renaissance during the first few years of Burgomeister Adler’s tenure, as he used his influence with Ubersreik’s Mercer’s Guild to encourage more trade between the two towns. However, since Adler’s “retirement” from public view, most outside merchants have lost interest in these ventures. It seems the only remaining profitable enterprise for distant traders and merchants is the import of dry timber and coal for fuel to Stromdorf, commodities which the sodden climate ensures are scarce in this locality.
Despite the challenges faced, the local tannery is an example of one business that continues to thrive. The tannery is operated by Marcel Gerber, Stromdorf’s wealthiest burgher after Adler. Tanning is a filthy industry, and in many towns, tanneries are relegated to the outskirts. Not so in Stromdorf, whose people are eager for any employment, however noisome. The constant rain helps mitigate some of the stink produced by tanning procedures, but a foul aroma subtly pervades the town.
The town’s one true luxury export, and the one thing it is known for apart from its wet weather, is its Thunderwater Ale, brewed by the Brenner family for generations, and sold to connoisseurs Empire-wide. Even dwarfs from nearby Karak Azgaraz have been known to make the pilgrimage to Stromdorf to tap a keg of the stuff, a potent brew with a distinctive peaty aftertaste.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a roleplaying game that sets unlikely heroes on the road to perilous adventure, in the grim setting of Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy world. Players will venture into the dark corners of the Empire, guided by luck and Fate, and challenge the threats that others cannot or will not face.
Who is I ?
As in the first sentence " I wanted to share more information about a key part of the adventure’s campaign setting"..
I still haven't bought the new version of Warhammer, but I'm very, very pleased to see that the "old" formula of describing specific cities in the adventure books is still a directive! It makes the official adventures a must buy, for the riches of scenery description.
Also, it must be a very character driven narration, for the names of the NPCs. I'm in for psychological play, guys! :]
Very nice graphics and the atmosphere provided for Stromdorf is quite impressive. I hope the final product has the same quality as the small excerpt presented here. If that's the case, we'll have more Warhammer products for long to come.
It looks like a really good not only as a campain but also as a expansion. Nice graphics, the discription of Stromdorf also looks interesting. Will see if the adventures included will be as good as the the rest, can't wait to find out!
Good flavor, great art, a hint of social intrigue and some punny names. Okay, I'm very intrigued!
I hope it has detail maps. If this set has basic drawings like the sample adventure in core set and no detail maps then this will be the end of my 3rd ed playing. Yes i know you dont need it but a good amount of player who want it. Yes i can draw them myself but then why buy the box sets if i am doing all the work myself.
That pic really sets the mood for the place. Not that I don't mind some of the recycled art in the Core box, but new art to grace new products rocks.
Looking forward to this one, and my what amazing art. Really captures the essence of the town.
I'm pleased to see some Warhammer news! Especially the Gathering Storm! It seemed like every product was getting news before us!
Nice catch on Adler. I spotted Jungfreud a mile off, but Ader nearly slipped right past me.
"Jungfreuds": bad WFRP puns, check! Most pleasing ... :)
Nice to see things move away from the big cities for a change.
Looking good guys.
"von Jungfreuds, really?"
Hehwell, don't forget Burgomeister ADLER...I guess I'll be looking for a hound name Pavlov to make an appearance!
In any event, I am "psyched" to play this campaign...