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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
 
$19.99
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Gervasio L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2020 15:06:17

I didn't play previous iterations of this campaign, so this is a fresh review. This first part of The Enemy Within is really good, forcing the characters to get involved in things that will reveal the nature of the threat that is Chaos to the Old World. Things can go really bad if the party doesn't complete the puzzle in time, but that doesn't involve an endgame scenario at all.

It fleshes out the city of Bogenhafen in ways only seen previously in this edition on the Starter Set (for the city of Ubersreik), and bundled with the Companion, it offers months of gameplay without even starting to get involved in the main plot.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Patrick M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/08/2020 02:27:26

The Enemy in Shadows indeed is a faithful and improved remake of the original first modules of the Enemy Within campaign. The thing is that the source material just didn't age that well.

At the time of the original release, this campaign was groundbreaking. It was first to move away from "kill 'em and take their stuff" adventures, focussing instead on memorable NPCs, involved plots and putting investigation ahead of fighting to solve problems. So at the time of it's original release this would have gotten a 5-start review from me.

BUT: Looking at the adventure (new and old versions alike) from today's perspective, one can only note that this is a tight railroad. This doesn't have to be bad, as railroading sometimes is needed to tell a comprehensive story. But this railroad has some very bad "derailment points", of which I just mention a few below:

SPOILERS AHEAD

a) The whole plot hinges on on PC being a look-alike of a deceased (evil) NPC. But what happens if this PC dies? This is a real risk in a game as prone to random death as Warhammer. So you either give this one PC strong Plot-Armor or you can scrap significant parts of this adventure (and the next modules as well) if the PC passes away

b) Some logic PC action is completely ruled out and disregarded: The secret temple in the sewers will be cleaned out, no matter what the players do (i.e. put one PC on permanent guard there); the secret door can't be found no matter what; the cult traitor can't be protected no matter what; the players will be framed for murder no matter what ...

c) The investigation in Bögenhaven doesn't advance by smart thinking of the players. It is a thin trail of breadcrumps of NPC accidently dropping secret letters and notes out of their pockets. Nicely signed with a heptagram and a the skull of some beast

d) The final reveal comes with one big cultist getting cold feed and spilling the beans to the PC. But this only works if the PCs have contacted/questioned him before. But there is very little reason for the PCs to do that. So the whole plot breaks down if the PCs don't contact this one person out of the blue.

e) The opening adventure of the the next module Death on the Reik assumes that the PCs "befriended" a healer/herbalist in Enemy in Shadows. But there is no hook why they should befriend her. She is one of many tradespeople selling their products at the Schattenfest fair ground. PCs MIGHT talk to her, if they need healing herbs, but they for sure will not befriend her.

For above reasons I would give the source material a 1/5 stars from today's point of view. The good production quality of the new version raises it to 2/5 stars. Shame that they didn't decide to fix the weak points of the original though.

(Note: I GMed both the original verision some 30 years ago as well as the current version just last month. We decided to not continue the campaign for above mentioned reasons)



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Andrew D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2019 07:31:11

Excellent remake.

Having played the original many years ago and planning to run TEW with a set of friends next year (and maybe for a few to come), I was really looking forward to what had been promised with this. It didn't let me down.

The scenario(s) are largely unchanged from the original in terms of plot, characters and themes. However, the Mistaken Identity and Shadows over Bogenhafen are now much better connected to create what is effectively a seamless link between the two. In addition to this, the Grognard boxes offer all kinds of alternative ways for handling plot points for veteran players, although there is no reason to try these with any group if you prefer over the vanilla content. Doing this will place a little more work on the GM as they're only slightly fleshed out hooks, but the book would be about 300 pages if they were all complete threads.

The background section on Bogenhafen is useful and large parts can be ported to any other medium to large town in the Empire. The new rules are useful but nothing particularly ground-breaking or not easily house-ruled by a GM, but still nice to have officially.

One or two very minor gripes. The pregen characters will be in the Companion, so I'm not sure yet how the default playthrough will work - I'm currently assuming they'll be at least similar to those in the original though. Also, I think the synopsis could do with a better overview of the plot for the whole of the TEW campaign. We know the latter stages are being reworked (SRiK is dropped in favour of a new instalment) and Empire in Flames is getting some amount of rework. Obviously, anyone completely new to TEW will have no grounding at all. Yet we have a number of sections which refer to the wider plot but will be explained later.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Corey F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/17/2019 14:42:37

An absolutely stellar remake of the original adventure. The absolutely massive number of adventure hooks (and options for changing it up for those that have played the adventure before) easily puts this as one of the best RPG supplements released this year.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by David R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/17/2019 12:45:37

I played the original 1E The Enemy Within campaign many years ago, and I have a full set of the 1E campaign. This update for WFRP 4e by Graeme Davis, one of the original authors of the TEW campaign, is a superb update to the original. But beyond the adventure itself, this product has great replayability value with its supplemental guide to the market town of Bogenhafen, with the Cubicle 7 WFRP trademark multiple plot hooks for every single location, enough to keep coming back to the well again and again. Also, the artwork is fantastic. I expected a lot from this and it delivered.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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