Having given thoughtful rereleases to the first, second, and third chapters of the Enemy Within campaign, updating them all to WFRP‘s 4th Edition and providing them with new companion volumes along the way, Cubicle 7’s version of the saga has now reached a crucial juncture. Originally, the Power Behind The Throne was followed by Something Rotten In Kislev, but this has more or less always been controversial. Some people simply dislike that adventure, and even those who find it more to their taste admit that it doesn’t actually belong in the Enemy Within sequence at all: Ken Rolston wrote it as a standalone thing, and then plans changed at Games Workshop’s end and it was hastily re-edited to be crowbarred in as a fourth episode. The transition from the victorious end of Power Behind the Throne to the start of Something Rotten In Kislev, in which the PCs are pointlessly arrested and then forced to go to Kislev as agents of Middenheim, is regarded as especially clumsy, not least because it gives the PCs a massive motivation to abscond as soon as they have a chance, rather than co-operating with the Middenheim authorities.
Another problem with Something Rotten In Kislev is that it ends with the PCs rattling around in Kislev – which of course then created the headache of getting them back to the Empire for the final episode of the campaign, Empire In Flames. Or maybe you wouldn’t bother: Empire In Flames is a reviled product, a rushed product knocked out in a hurry to bring the saga to an end as Games Workshop were in the process of shutting down their in-house RPG publications entirely, farming the later development of WFRP out first to Flame Publications and then Hogshead.
Indeed, when Hogshead were producing their reprints of The Enemy Within, James Wallis declared that they weren’t going to do Empire In Flames – the feedback on it was so universally negative that there was no choice but to scrap the damn thing and write something new to replace it. Wallis, however, has always been a better editor of other people’s work than he is a creator of his own material, and this new conclusion was one of several Hogshead projects which sat in development hell and then died when he sold off the company.
The basic idea that The Enemy Within needed a do-over on the ending, however, has been picked up by Cubicle 7 – who have taken it even further by saying “Well, if we’re changing the ending, we may as well do something about Something Rotten In Kislev too”. What they have done, specifically, is “leave it the fuck alone” – at least as far as incorporating it into The Enemy Within goes – and instead finally release The Horned Rat, the original intended followup to The Power Behind the Throne.Continue reading “The Enemy Within Gets a Squeaky-Clean New Chapter”