20Feb/19Off

Rough Nights & Hard Days Update

This week we hear from author Graeme Davis and producer Andy Law about the forthcoming book.

Today, WFRP fans count A Rough Night at the Three Feathers among the game’s best adventures. It was reprinted in two WFRP 1st edition compilations: The Restless Deadpublished by Games Workshop in 1989; and Apocrypha Now, published by Hogshead Publishing in 1995. In 2005, eighteen years after it first appeared, it was adapted for WFRP 2nd edition in the Black Industries collection, Plundered Vaults.

GD: A Rough Night at the Three Feathers was an adventure for WFRP 1st edition, published in Games Workshop’s White Dwarf magazine in November 1987I wrote it largely as an experiment, to see whether multi–plot adventures could even work as it had never been done in roleplaying games before. In the years that followed, I wrote two more adventures in the same style. The first, Nastassia’s Wedding, appeared in Steve Jackson Games’ Pyramid #19 (May/June 1996)I couldn’t resist continuing the plot of Gravin Maria-Ulrike von Liebwitz of Ambosstein and her feud with the von Dammenblatz family of Wissenburg from the first adventure. When I wrote The Edge of Night for WFRP 3rd edition, I included a chapter set in a swanky Ubersreik mansion, where more nobles got into all kinds of trouble.

For Rough Nights & Hard Days, I have updated and expanded these three adventures for the new edition of WFRP and added two new chapters: one set in the law-courts of a large town, and the other in a glittering opera house in one of the Empire’s great cities. The story of Gravin Maria-Ulrike and House Dammenblatz forms the main thread of the mini-campaign, but as in the original scenario, the adventurers’ lives are complicated by the fact that there is much more going on in each of these bustling locations than they initially realise.

'Of course, the Skaven don’t exist, so this never happens…’

But there are more than just five linked adventures in Rough Nights & Hard Days. When WFRP Producer, Andy Law, worked with Graeme to bring the book together, he found something he felt needed a little more attention.

AL: In 1987, A Rough Night at the Three Feathers originally contained a Gnome character. When I received the text for the updated version of the adventure, Graeme called this out, and suggested, given there hadn’t been Gnomes in WFRP for a very long time, that the Character in question could be replaced with a Halfling, much as had been done in Plundered Vaults for WFRP 2nd edition.

'The Three Feathers, Gnome free since 1995 IC’

I considered this. It was true, there hadn’t been Gnomes in WFRP since 1st edition. But there also hadn’t been any Fimir for a very long time, and that didn’t stop them from being included in the WFRP 4th edition rulebook. Similarly, Demigryphs had never been in WFRP before, but there are rules for them, too. If we had already presented old races and new for the first time in WFRP4, was they any reason not to take a look at those old Gnomes again and make them feel new?

Beyond the fact that Gnomes are potentially a bit silly, or could be seen as a lift from other fantasy roleplaying games (even though Gnomes were in the 1st edition of WFRP), there was no strong reason not to include them — assuming they could be written to fit the existing Warhammer world, and time was taken to explain why the species is so rarely mentioned, they seemed a good fit. After some consideration, I tapped some words onto the screen, and slowly, but surely, a new version of Gnomes took shape.

And, after a lovely chat with Games Workshop, it was confirmed: Rough Nights & Hard Days would present a new species: Gnomes. And not just as a new Bestiary entry, but as a playable Species with full Character creation rules. But once I had these rules in place, I had another issue: what should they look like?

To answer that, I turned to one of the greatest names in Warhammer art, Mark Gibbons, and asked if he’d be interested in recreating the classic race for the modern game. Thankfully, Mark jumped at the chance, and immediately set to sketching out how he imagined Warhammer Gnomes should be.

'Here to stay!’

I have to say, I adore the results.

So, thanks to Mark and Graeme, a classic species returns to WFRP. I hope you enjoy the Gnomes as much as we enjoyed rebuilding them for a new era.

'Gnomes are back from the dead!’

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