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The Enemy Within, Again


In 1986 I was hired by Games Workshop to help develop a tabletop roleplaying game based on their Warhammer fantasy miniatures game. I had done some freelancing before then, but this was my first job in the games industry. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay was released in time for Christmas that year, and one of the first priorities was to produce an adventure campaign for the new game that would allow players to explore the Empire and other parts of the Warhammer world. The campaign was called The Enemy Within, and it dealt with the less obvious face of Chaos: secret cults and corruption in high places that threatened the Empire’s very existence.

The campaign was largely planned by Jim Bambra and Phil Gallagher, two recent recruits from TSR UK’s roleplaying games design team. Together with Graeme Morris, for whom I am sometimes mistaken, they had been responsible for a number of successful adventures, my personal favorite being B/X1 (reprinted as B10), Night’s Dark Terror. Jim and Phil wrote The Enemy Within to set the scene and kick off the campaign, and I wrote Shadows Over Bogenhafen. We divided Death on the Reik, with Jim and Phil writing the main adventure while I wrote the River Life supplement and adventure seeds.

These first three episodes came out pretty much as planned, but then certain commercial realities set in. The first edition of Warhammer 40,000 came out at the same time as WFRP, and because it introduced a whole new range of miniatures it was far more profitable. Gaps between new Enemy Within adventures became longer, and GW started to look for ways to defray the expense of in-house development.

Power Behind the Throne was adapted from an AD&D adventure written by prolific freelancer Carl Sargent, and span off the Middenheim city sourcebook. Something Rotten in Kislev was commissioned when renowned American RPG designer Ken Rolston became available, and was loosely tied into the Enemy Within campaign to maintain some kind of continuity. A Skaven-based adventure provisionally titled The Horned Rat was cancelled before inception.

When GW spun off Flame Publications in 1989, the first directive was to wrap up The Enemy Within quickly, using a manuscript for the previously-announced Empire in Flames that Carl Sargent had written with his usual speed. Flame went on to publish several more WFRP titles: many, like the four-volume Doomstones campaign, were adapted from existing materials that had been written for AD&D or the Warhammer miniatures game.

After Flame was shut down in 1992, it seemed as though WFRP – and the Enemy Within campaign – were dead. But the game’s fans just wouldn’t let go. Through fanzines like Warpstone and on early internet mailing lists, they kept the game alive for three years until Hogshead Publishing picked up the license in 1995. Hogshead reprinted all the Enemy Within adventures except Empire in Flames, which had never been a fan favorite and which Hogshead owner James Wallis wanted to replace with a new campaign finale. Alas, that never happened and Hogshead returned the license to Games Workshop in 2002.

When Black Industries and Green Ronin Publishing collaborated to produce a second edition of WFRP in 2005, it was decided to concentrate on all-new products rather than revisiting the Enemy Within campaign. I wrote Ashes of Middenheim, the first episode in the three-part Paths of the Damned campaign, but despite much tighter game mechanics, the adventures for second edition WFRP failed to achieve the success of The Enemy Within. Black Industries pulled the plug in 2008, and the license passed to Fantasy Flight Games.

And thanks to Fantasy Flight, The Enemy Within is back – in a way. Their new campaign set shares a title with the classic first edition campaign and explores the same themes through all-new adventures. There are still grave threats lurking in the heart of the Empire, but don’t expect to encounter Johannes Teugen in Bogenhafen or discuss philosophy with the half-cockroach mutant Ludwig von Wittgenstein. There are new enemies and new plots to uncover and thwart as the adventurers save the Empire from the forces of Chaos.

As the only one of the original Enemy Within authors who is still active in the tabletop RPG arena, I was very pleased to be asked to help develop this new Enemy Within. I did my best to be true to the tone and themes of the original, mixing humor with horror and confronting the players with moral dilemmas as well as physical challenges. My co-author Dave Allen and I wrote alternating chapters in the campaign, and the whole project was very ably and sensitively coordinated by Chris Gerber at Fantasy Flight.

As WFRP grognards know, Fantasy Flight’s third edition is a very different game from the two editions that preceded it, at least in terms of game mechanics and components. While writing for this new Enemy Within campaign, I took particular care to ensure that the adventures would be easy for an experienced GM to adapt to the first or second edition rules. My intention was that it should work well as a WFRP adventure, period, whichever edition of the rules a particular gaming group prefers.

It’s been a few months since I finished work on the campaign, and I’ve been bursting to tell the world about it. Now that Fantasy Flight has formally announced the release, I can. I’m very proud of it, and I hope that WFRP fans will find it worthy to bear the distinguished name of The Enemy Within.

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  1. March 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Ah..! I thought your name was familiar!

  2. Pedro Reis
    March 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Being a long time inactive roleplayer, reading the FFG announcement and then this one, kickstarted a whole new drive to play tabletop all over again. I guess that the memories and emotions of long nights, and sometimes all nighters, playing the Enemy Within are tattoed deep in my soul.

    Being a long time inactive roleplayer spurned last by a bad demo of WFRP 3rd edition, that left bile and pus on my throat and made me take my money into the flowering board game business, reading the FFG Annoucement and then this one, made me go on “what the heck, gonna buy the 3rd edition! Its Warhammer you ‘ot!! That and one wont be able to follow the re imagined Enemy Within Campaign without it.

    Thanks! for your previous work on great and memorable product, and evn more thanks! on staying active on the scene, thus enabling our (my) hunger for quality rpg experiences.

    P.S.
    Sorry for the long text and all the typos: at ipad and english is not my main language

    • March 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Tu Ingles es meijor que la mia Espanol, Pedro! Thanks for your kind words.

  3. Jay
    March 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Great to see you on board again!

    Jay H

    • March 2, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Wow – Lakewood, Colorado. I lived in Arvada for more than 10 years! Hope the mountains are still there and the snow is not too deep!

  4. Rob
    March 1, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing all of this and it is great to see both continuity and new blood as both bring value.

    The “enemy within” theme is as core to Warhammer as Sigmar’s Comet or a Witch Hunter and I love to see a new campaign explore it! It’s a key part of “this is not a combat fest, it’s a roleplaying game!” tone for Warhammer in my view.

  5. Dae
    March 2, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Thank you for taking up the pen/keyboard/dictaphone? on this one. Looking forward to this product!

  6. March 2, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I hope this is well received by fans. Also I hope it’s as good as the original series. A greek fan.

  7. March 2, 2012 at 4:00 am

    Hi Grame! This was a surprise, a pleasant surprise. Nice of you to add a little background on what went on behind the scenes, your post will be most appreciated with the old guard.

    Myself, I’ll probably run the new Enemy Within using a mash up of WFRPv1 and WFRPv2.

    A mad idea: since the new Enemy Within uses the same themes, and not necessarily the same adventures, do you think it would be insane to try to mix them up? Add parts of the original into the new?

    Cheers and thanks for this post!

    /Magnus

    • March 2, 2012 at 8:35 am

      It should be quite possible to run a mash-up of the two Enemy Within campaigns. The new one has quite a tight plot so I would probably make that the main thread, and use episodes from the original as side-adventures. Alternatively one could follow the original up to the end of Power Behind the Throne, and have the defeat of the Purple Hand in Middenheim lead into the new campaign – although this might well require some adjustments to the power level of its early stages.

  8. March 2, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Dammit I got you name wrong! Sorry about that … I blame Cthulhu.

    /M

  9. RogerBW
    March 2, 2012 at 4:22 am

    I never got into WFRP, since I found the system clunky in the extreme, but people who did spoke well of the campaign. It’s an unusual example of doom and despair outside the usual Cthulhu-context. Good fortune with the new version!

    • March 2, 2012 at 8:32 am

      Yes, WFRP 1st edition was quite idiosyncratic as far as game mechanics were involved. The setting and adventures were the main reason for its popularity.

  10. March 2, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Interesting – what was The Horned Rat going to involve plotwise?

    There was reference to “the throne of the Horned Rat” in Power Behind the Throne. I always took this to mean the Skaven were somehow responsible for the mutation of the Crown Prince in Castle Reikguard that we see the results of in Empire in Flames.

    • March 2, 2012 at 8:31 am

      To be honest, I don’t recall. Jim and Phil were working on an initial outline when it was cancelled, and I’m not sure I ever got to see it.

  11. KingYnnen
    March 2, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Congrats and thanks for all your hard work on the adventure, Graeme — it’s some simply amazing stuff. Folks are in for a real treat.

  12. March 2, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Here’s something more that I found on the FFG web site: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_npm_sec.asp?eidm=131&esem=1&epmi=s

  13. Jan Strandh
    March 2, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Having GM:ed the Enemy Within from Mistaken Identity to Power Behind the Throne, I’d say that one of my absolute best roleplaying memories of my life was GM:ing Shadows over Bögenhafen. This was some 20+ years ago, and very few of my RPG memories can be compared to what we experienced back then.
    Reading the adventure, I remember getting more thrilled by every page as the nasty, horrible and intriguing story revealed itself.
    I also got more and more nervous that the stupidity of my fellow gamers might spoil it.
    It turned out that my fears were unjust, and everything went absolutely fantastic. Those game sessions are still very dear memories to us all, and still, every time I mention the moon Morrslieb, it spreads fear and apprehension among those that played SoB over two decades ago.

    Therefore I think this might be the best news ever, but also a huge responsibility and task.
    The new campaign has a lot to live up to.
    WFRP fans that have fond TEW memories will certainly compare the two in every detail, obviously favouring the first version, at least to begin with.

    For me, this new version is a must have. If it only would be half as good as the original, it would still be great, and I have the feeling it will be better than that.

    Cheers!

  14. March 3, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Whatever about humor? Its a core trademark of GWs installments of the Campaign and Old World back in the days.
    Real-world references and cameos and such fun…

    Cheers!

  15. March 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Reblogged this on youtherewhatdayisthis and commented:
    This whole blog post does a lot to quell my fears of the upcoming “The Enemy Within” campaign. Glad to see that someone who’s had such a decisive influence in the game I love so much is back writing material for it. I will have to wait for the product to come out, but for the moment, OPTIMISM!

  16. March 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    How exciting. Thanks so much for sharing your insights on the creation process. I am very excited to explore the new Enemy Within as i never had a chance to experience the first one. Though i have heard nothing but praise.

  17. April 3, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I get interviewed about my history writing for games, the original Enemy Within, and Fantasy Flight’s new Enemy Within campaign.
    http://www.d20radio.com/sbv/

  18. April 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I guess the final question is, do we get a barge? Do you burn our f*cking boat?

    • April 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      You’ll have to play it and see (evil grin).

      • April 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

        *steeples fingers in eager expectation*

  19. Philipp
    May 5, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Dear Graeme,

    Thanks for telling us more about the backround of these fantastic news.
    I first played TEW about 15 years ago and as many other wrote here, too: It was one of the greatest rpg-experiences ever. We weren’t sure about who ist the bad guy in the ritual scene in SOB and delayed our crossbow attacks … Bögenhafen became a Chaos gate, we all died.
    We played again and finally finished the campaign.
    The group from back than became close friends over the years and played dozens of different systems but we stopped playing tabletop rpgs on a regular basis after highschool. We never lost interest in gaming though and the shared memories of playing warhammer became a part of our collective memory.

    We decided to re-start playing rpgs a couple of years ago.
    We never really discussed why, but while deciding on system and setting it became very clear very soon that we wanted to fight TEW again and I was chosen to GM. I think this decision tells! It might be exagerated but if it wasn’t for this wonderful campaign we probably wouldn’t have started being complete nerds again.
    We are playing TEW/Warhammer 2nd ed. for two years now, included friends that never roleplayed before and have a lot of fun. What at first felt like a thing done out of nostalgia became my favourite weekly activity. It helps us to relax and enjoy a very cynical version of fantasy that is not a regressive hippie-utopia world ruled by good-hearted kings and supplied by farmers that are happy to plow the fields 12 hours a day and that you can save by killing the bad guy that is evil because… well because he’s evil.
    Therefore I have to thank you (amongst others) for creating a setting and a campaign that I had fun to experience as a teenager but also as an adult.

    I am looking forward to the new campaign and highly appreciate it that you can use it with every edition.

    Vielen Dank für “Der innere Feind” (Thanks for TEW) and Greetings from Berlin-Kreuzberg/Germany!

    Philipp

    • May 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Hi Philipp,

      Many thanks for the kind words, and I’m glad to hear that people are still enjoying the original Enemy Within campaign all these years later! The new one will require a little work to adapt to 1st or 2nd edition WFRP, but like the original it focuses on the story rather than the game mechanics, so you should have everything you need in the core rulebook for whichever edition you decide to use.

  20. Shiz
    May 10, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Anything associated with 3rd Ed. shouldn’t bear the name The Enemy Within. TEW is holy, and if 2nd ed. buried what was truly Warhammer (“prospective submissions should be PG-13, lol), then 3rd ed spit on its grave.

    • May 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

      The only differences I see between the editions is the rules themselves. Beyond that, the GM has the right (as always) to create and run whatever kind of adventures the group enjoys.

      • Jan Strandh
        August 16, 2012 at 7:59 am

        Agree, I don’t understand why people complain about new rules / content. Just ignore it if you don’t like it. More is always better.
        I have friends that have and haven’t played the old TEW. My hope is that TEW 3ed will give us the chance to revisit TEW with both entirely new players, and also those that have played the old one in the same group without spoiling the experience for anyone.
        But what is happening with TEW 3ed? It’s been too quiet too long now. I just hope FFG want to make it so good, they won’t settle for less than perfect, hence the long silence.

      • August 16, 2012 at 8:33 am

        I’m not sure what the cause for the long delay is, but I’m hoping as you are that FFG is adding more polish. After looking over the galleys I suggested that it needed another round of proofreading, so that may be what is happening right now.

      • August 16, 2012 at 9:47 am

        I’d love to hear about your progress in revisiting the Empire, Jan!

  21. josh71
    August 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    @ graemeda If you were to choose between 1st, 2nd, 3rd WFRP, which would you prefer? I haven’t played since first edition, and have no idea of how they compare. 1st certainly had a lot of flavour , and was innovative with the careers system. Should i dust off 1st edition to play this new version of Enemy Within, or do you think there are advatages in using second or third?

    • September 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Each edition has its strengths and weaknesses. Original WFRP had a strong atmosphere and a good campaign, but the game mechanics were not as smooth as they could have been. Second Edition had much smoother mechanics and higher production values, but The Paths of the Damned campaign never gained as much traction as The Enemy Within had done; while there were plenty of sourcebooks, somehow 2E seemed to lack a core. Once I got over my surprise at all the components and actually read all the rules, I found Third Edition has a lot that I like. The components really streamline record-keeping, the dice pool mechanic is interesting, and FFG’s production values are very high indeed. The reliance on components may be a little restrictive, especially for GMs who like to create their own adventures, and they push up the price of most of the products.
      It really depends on what you’re looking for.

  22. Azrune
    December 19, 2012 at 8:26 am

    When I found out FFG were bringing out a book called The Enemy Within I thought it wasn’t very original. Knowing it has the original writters of that old campgain now makes sense. Have all 1st and 2nd ed of warhammer but stopped at 3rd. Guess no point in spending a ton of money just for diffrent rules and same world;) Shame in a way because what was once a untied community seems more scatterd over editions. Although I see you say that you designed it so all editions can use it, which does make me more inclined to give it a go. Question is it a whole campgain in that volume for forty plus pounds? Also of personal interest does it cover much of Averheim town and if so by what degree?
    P.S. What ever became of Carl Sargent? The Power Behind the Throne was one of my favs.

    • December 19, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Is it worth the price? Well, that’s a question only you can answer. I can tell you that the campaign is broken into four chapters and is estimated to be around 30 hours of play.

      Carl Sargent hasn’t been heard from since the mid-90s. He cut off all contact with everyone from his gaming past. I heard that he had been seriously ill or injured, possibly in a car accident, and he became a different person, but I don’t know for sure what happened.

      • December 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

        Yeah, whatever happened to Carl? Numerous rumors surrounds the persona of mr Sargent, some very odd and some more believable.

      • December 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

        Averheim is not covered in as much detail as Bogenhafen or Middenheim were in 1st edition products, or as Ubersreik was in The Edge of Night. However the docks are covered in some detail.

  23. Azrune
    December 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Shame, such a great writter. I’ll sure to check it out at some point when money appears in my pocket again:P That gives me some hope as regards to Averheim as I am heading a project for it over at Liber Fanatica. So hopefully there is still some room for source book for the fair town of Averheim.

  24. January 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Hey there,

    I despise the third edition, and hope that it goes belly-up soon, so that focus on WFRP will return to the fans.

    Is there anything that could be of use to 1e players? The juxtaposition of the words ENEMY WITHIN and a picture of a non-syphilitic KF bearing dismounting from a gryphon (/groan, Deathclaw? Doombeak? Hatefeather?) produces incredible lulz, but is there anything interesting inside for people who like their fantasy a little less silly?

    • January 21, 2013 at 11:45 am

      SPOILERS!
      It should be easy enough to change the references to Karl Franz to reflect his condition in 1e. He doesn’t go to the front with the army, and is wounded by an assassin rather than in battle. Those are pretty minor fixes.

  25. August 8, 2013 at 11:13 am
  1. March 18, 2012 at 5:58 am
  2. April 4, 2012 at 10:49 am
  3. December 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm
  4. January 31, 2015 at 12:51 pm
  5. February 28, 2015 at 1:28 pm

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