Have We Seen Him Somewhere Before?
A familiar face returns in The Edge of Night adventure (Spoiler)
– A WFRP Designer Diary by Senior RPG Designer Jay Little
One of the central themes to The Edge of Night Adventure for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay are the political machinations of several powerful and influential noble families. Recently, the townsfolk of Ubersreik have grown concerned over their beloved town losing its status as a friedstadt, as detailed in my previous designer diary. This designer diary delves into the political climate more, including a returning character the players may already be familiar with. Warning: this diary may contain some spoilers!
Tying Things Together
By the time a party of characters tackles The Edge of Night, they may have several adventures under their belts. The scenario provides a lot of great information for GMs to integrate these previous adventures into the storyline, and provide the party with a variety of motivations for their involvement. Several of these motivations are tied to the party’s potential participation in previous adventures – including background based on their involvement in Eye for an Eye or The Gathering Storm.
In particular, characters who succeeded in Eye for an Eye may encounter a familiar face while visiting Ubersreik – Rickard Aschaffenberg is one of the nobles throwing his lot in for control of Ubersreik.
But… He’s Dead! Isn’t He?
If the PCs have played through An Eye for An Eye from the Tome of Adventure, it is possible (depending on the characters’ actions) that Lord Rickard Aschaffenberg may not have survived. Perhaps he was sacrificed to the dark desires of a daemon of Chaos (who might be due in Ubersreik any day now, incidentally, to start some sort of murder spree), perhaps he was killed in one of the beastmen attacks, or perhaps he ate more venison than his formidable waistline could manage.
If this is the case, the GM can easily replace Rickard with another member of the Aschaffenberg family. A distant cousin, Reiner Aschaffenberg, will do nicely. The GM can even have Reiner know of the PCs’ work on behalf of his cousin, with whom he corresponded regularly once Rickard acquired the Grunewald Lodge.
The Aschaffenberg Family
The Aschaffenbergs are native to Ubersreik, and were elevated to the nobility by Magnus the Pious after the Great War against Chaos for acts of valour on the battlefield. Since that time they have languished in relative obscurity, still considered by some little more than up-jumped commoners. Recently, a Chaos cult was uncovered on lands that Lord Rickard acquired as part of his dowry from the von Bruner family. Although the bulk of the work concerning this matter was done by a small group of adventurous hired hands, Lord Rickard nonetheless has received the bulk of the praise. The Aschaffenberg family fortunes have improved dramatically in the meantime, while the von Bruners have fallen out of favour.
Head of House: Lord Rickard Aschaffenberg, a genial, somewhat portly man.
Other Kinsfolk and Important Servants: Ludmilla von Bruner, Lord Rickard’s equally portly and genial wife. Maximilian, Lord Rickard’s brat of a nephew. Edward, Lord Rickard’s foppish and ineffectual younger brother. Vern Hendrick, Lord Rickard’s prim and proper manservant.
Goals and Strategies: Lord Rickard is capitalising on his victory over the Chaos cult by reinventing himself as a faithful, pious, pillar of the community. This isn’t actually much of a stretch, as Lord Rickard has always been a devout Sigmarite, and he is (or at least tries to be) a generally good person. However, now he is using these facts for political gain, and that troubles him. Lord Rickard is at his best when he is being true to his modestly noble self, and is inexpert at discrediting other nobles. He responds well to characters who appeal to his sense of justice, fair play, and honesty.
Due to his family’s influence and reputation in Ubersreik, Rickard Aschaffenberg has strong ties to the community. He maintains good relationships with a variety of businesses, important people, and institution in town, such as the Temple of Sigmar.
The Temple of Sigmar in Ubersreik was rebuilt in the reign of Magnus the Pious. It is the largest temple in the town, with a pillared façade and enough space inside for more than three hundred worshippers. The temple’s high priest is Gunther Emming, a stern-looking patriarch. The town’s prominent citizens worship here weekly, and attendance has gone up noticeably in the wake of the scandal involving a Chaos cult. The von Bruner family is particularly well represented as they try to live down the disgrace of having one of their own corrupted.
Lord Aschaffenberg himself, as well as his wife Ludmilla (a von Bruner by birth) try to make frequent appearances at the Temple of Sigmar. It’s possible that characters who seem especially pious or at least clean-cut may catch their eye – and possibly earn some esteem or favour from the Aschaffenberg’s for their piety…
But this talk of noble favour, prestige, and the intrigues involved in securing the rule of Ubersreik is best served as the content for a future designer diary.