Grimvember 2019 is here! "Burn After Printing" is a fine work indeed!
What better way to end this year's Grimvember, than to review one of the best, one-shot scenarios for 2nd edition WFRP?
"Burn After Printing" by Alexander J Bateman is a textbook example of a intrigue done right. Taking place in Altdorf, it throws the PC's against the machinations of a necromancer, a chaos coven, and even some stevedores! Employed by wealthy and beautiful Michaela von Jänke, our heroes need to destroy a cache of, supposedely, pronographic pamphlets, which besmirch the good name of their employer. It soon turns out that there's more to to this task, than meets the eye, and our intrepid adventurers will have to travel the winding and ever-shifting streets of Altdorf, and even the sewers below, to find out the ultimate truth. This being a WFRP scenario, the truth in question is more than horrifying...
|This fair city hides many a dark secret...|
Separated into four parts, "Burn After Printing" takes place during a relatively short period of time, and really feels like this tense, almost manic trip through the streets of the Empire's capital. The PC's will quickly travel from one location to another, and the sense of urgency and tension is palpatable. Bateman writes this kind of scenario extremely well, and I can't stop appreciating his level of skill in this matter.
What I really like about this one, as well, is a plethora of plot hooks and ideas, including ancient Old World gods (pre-Sigmarite), necromancy, and even matters of state. "Burn After Printing" can work as a beginning for an epic campaign, in which the PC's will be able to get into all sorts of trouble!
Oh, and there are drugs as well. In case this adventure wasn't action-packed enough. Nagash is also mentioned, because you know, why not? Seriously, "Burn After Printing" posseses insane levels of awesomely written, side content. For this fact alone, it's worth checking out.
Combat encounters are few and far between, but they can be challenging, especially at the beginning, and at the very end of the scenario. That said, a mid-level party should prevail, and ultimately come out victorious. When I was running this one shot, almost a decade ago, I remember my players struggling with a couple of encounters, but good strategic thinking and a well balanced party, proved to be enough to overcame these odds in the end.
I gotta say, we need more adventures like "Burn After Printing". Alexander J Bateman created a fantastic piece, and actually managed won a scenario writing competition, a few years back (sad to say, I don't remember which one exactly). I can't recommend it enough, and I sincerely hope that in the coming years we'll be treated to more work of this caliber. Not to mention, I also hope that Bateman will continue to produce more, fantastic WFRP content.
"Burn After Printing", as well as dozens of other fan-made adventures, campaigns, and sourcebooks for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (from all editions), can be found in my fan-made collection. You can find it here.
Just as before, the Grimvember event will return next year. I hope to see you all there, and...
Until next time!