Sunday, 31 December 2006

As the years pass us by

A question that continues to haunt me is that of the future of Altdorf. There have been times when the Imperial capital has been located elsewhere, and such a possibility still exist should the Emperor fall. Or be toppled. Is there such a risk? Our rulers say no, but is almost impossible to know how the machinations of Chaos have wrought changes upon our Empire. The Storm of Chaos has changed all and enemies can be found where once there were allies. And maybe the other way around, though Schrechlich's Witch Finders frown upon such talk. I fear I must keep such heretic thoughts to myself until such a time they can be made public. Probably after my death, if I'm any judge.

Adolphus Altdorfer
Backertag, Vorhexen 33, 2521 IC

As the last day of our present year grows darker and snow is yet to fall, it is with great interest I await 2007. A lot has happened with and around WFRP in 2006 and the next year looks to be a year of further consolidation for the product line. The rate of new releases has slowed down, and many new writers have been brought aboard. The next will hopefully give Black Industries (BI) the time needed to leverage their newly won expericence and establish continuity with the writers, and also getting procedures in place for research into game world continuity, something which is high on the wish list for many players of the game. I also hope that they will tap the creativity and knowledge of the fan base to a larger extent than before. I believe there has been clear signs in that direction, and I hope BI will follow through on that.

I also feel that the quality of the books in the WFRP line has picked up during the year. I believe that to be one of the positive results of the management change that occurred late 2005 and the reorganisation that followed. A management change that had some fans predicting the imminent cancellation of WFRP and the closing down of BI. During 2006 these fears have been proven unfounded and BI has turned out some stellar books, albeit marred by editing problems. But things have been improving and I eagerly await the releases of next year.

If there is anything I see as a risk, it is the Warhammer 40k Roleplaying Game. I have waited for it for nigh on 20 years, and since much of my previous writing was heavily influenced by WH40k (i.e. the Mutant Chronicles RPG) I feel very excited to finally see such a game being released. But I have some fears that it will prove to be to the detriment of WFRP as publishing resources are probably allocated to next year's biggest release. So I'm happy and a bit vary at the same time. Still, I count 21 releases for the second edition of WFRP since the relaunch. There have been a mix of highs and lows, but the result for me is clear; a rekindled interest in WFRP. The releases for 2007 are an interesting mix and I hope that my fears for a neglected WFRP will be proven wrong, as was the reported demise of BI and WFRP in late 2005.

Good luck to BI during 2007! Keep up the good work, and throw the bag of spare misprunts out with the christmas tree.


Saturday, 30 December 2006

Drawing from the well

I had read extensively of Altdorf before I arrived. But I have yet to see a tome covering the capital and all its institutions in great and painstaking detail. I have perused pamphlets, scrolls, newspapers and what have you, but few of the authors have managed to capture the highs and the lows, the people and the places, the filth and the shining marble in such a way as to make justice to the Emperor's seat of power. I intend to remedy that situation ...

Adolphus Altdorfer
Backertag, Vorhexen 33, 2521 IC

There are many sources to draw from when trying to paint a vibrant and vivid picture of Altdorf. It's important to me that I can answer my players' questions or at least get back to them after some research. This makes the city come alive and helps the players feel for the world around them. And since it is a city, most of the background colour comes from consistency; a shop that was there yesterday should be there today unless something has happened which changes that.

The primary sources for my own writings on Altdorf are two documents; the Altdorf map found in Warhammer Campaign (the map was drawn by Chris Elliot) and the unofficial fan netbook The Imperial Capital of Altdorf (by Arne Dam, Roderic d’Arcon and Alfred Nuñez Jr. with additional Background by Timothy Eccles and Anthony Ragan. The article can be found at Alfred Nünez's site, under WFRP articles).

In addition to these two corner stones I have put together an index of various locations found in Empire in Flames (by Carl Sargent, published by Games Workshop), Spires of Altdorf (by David Chart, published by Black Industries) and from my own WFRP campaign. I also recently read The Vampire Genevieve (by Jack Yeovil, published by Black Library) which has numerous references to specific locations in Altdorf, as well as Darkness Rising (by Phil Kelly and Anthony Reynolds, published by Black Library).

Together these sources give a varied and colourful picture of the Imperial capital. This is problematic since they contradict each other at places and sometimes vary wildly in tone and flavour. Also the geographical declarations for most locations found in official sources are hazy, especially in the Black Library books.

So it falls to me to use the sources avaliable, cut out the stuff I don't want, place or replace locations where I feel they fit better, create new locations and inhabitants and that way build my own version of Altdorf. You might not recognise every single detail, but I hope that many of the places I will talk about will become familiar to you and useful in your own campaign someday.


The correspondent has arrived

It was with great expectations that I arrived in Altdorf. The Imperial capital, the centre of the civilies world ... or so the locals say. Others have named it the filthiest city in the Old World, a cesspool of crime and vice. So, needless to say, I was looking forward to my new home with great enthusiasm.

Adolphus Altdorfer
Backertag,Vorhexen 33, 2521 IC

These are the words of a little known Old World scholar as he arrived in the great capital of Altdorf for the first time. This blog will follow Altdorfer's exploration of the city, based on my bi-weekly Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying (WFRP) campaign set entirely in this intriguing city.

I will also post my thoughts related to the game and its development at the hands of Black Industries as well as the best of the fan created material I can find.