Date Posted: 12-01-2022

WFRP: The Enemy Within – Death on the Reik

The Enemy Within is a huge, five-volume, 10-book campaign that has been an integral part of our WFRP schedule for the last few years. The release of Volume 5 – Empire in Ruins and its companion in PDF late last year was cause for celebration as we could finally reveal how things would end! The feedback has been amazing so far and we are delighted to see so many of you enjoying it.

Since the final companion was released, we’ve been looking back at each volume of the Campaign and sharing some insights from the WFRP team. Each volume offers a 160-page campaign book (208 for the final volume, Empire in Ruins!) as well as a separate Companion book packed with extra content, new rules, NPCs, alternate challenges, and more. 

Here we focused on where it all began with the Enemy in Shadows and below, Dave Allen looks back at Volume 2, Death on the Reik.

Death on the Reik

Death on the Reik is an adventure with a curiously telescopic potential. After the events of Enemy in Shadows the party could be at something of a loss for what to do, or they could be eager to pursue evidence pointing to a servant of Tzeentch at large in the Reikland.

This means that the approach the players take to tackling the adventure does a great deal to set its tone. Death on the Reik could become a pell-mell race against time if the players are highly motivated to follow the trail of clues left before them. However it is most often experienced as a rather more gentle and leisurely tour of the massive environment it covers, at least until the knowledge that the players uncover reaches a critical mass and leads them to the finale.

This is not to say that the early stages of Death on the Reik lack drama. Provided that a certain Character remains an active part of the adventuring party, the uncanny resemblance they bear to the late Herr Lieberung will start to become increasingly troublesome as his old acquaintances make their presence, and demands, known.

The Enemy Within, and WFRP in general, is known for combining horror and humour, but Death on the Reik plays with more dark and downbeat notes than the opening chapters. An encounter with immiserated Dwarfs reveals the consequences of leaving one’s evil minions with too much time on their idle hands. Undead cannibals stalk forgotten corridors, the spirits of the dead warn of loss and betrayal, and a sadistic hidden menace makes its presence felt.

But such encounters merely foreshadow the grand gothic horror of the adventure’s finale, a noble estate twisted and poisoned through a corrupting legacy. In their own way each of the inhabitants are grotesque, though many of them may also be surprising sources of pathos.

A wise GM approaches Death on the Reik expecting their players to wander and explore. Having a few suitable one-shot scenarios to throw into the mix can be handy, as can familiarising yourself with the river travel and trading rules in the Death on the Reik Companion. If your players chart a straightforward course, the adventure can proceed at a brisk clip, but like the wide Reik itself, there may well be some mudbanks and meanders to navigate.

-Dave Allen

Buy Death on the Reik here. The Companion is currently out of stock but can be bought in PDF here.

Browse all Enemy Within titles here.

Death on the Reik Companion

Death on the Reik Companion includes:

  • Exclusive Guest Commentaries from James Wallis and Martin McKenna on their memories of the original Death on the Reik.
  • A GM’s Guide including: a complete breakdown of the Red Crown, one of the Empire’s most dangerous Tzeentch cults.
  • Additional adventure content, including: The Emperor Luitpold, a luxury barge with a bevy of secrets in its holds and staterooms, and ‘The Vengeance of The Gravelord’, part 1 of an adventure thread that can be woven throughout The Enemy Within.
  • A selection of new herbs from ‘Hortensia Puddlefoot’s General Concordance of Herbs’.
  • An examination of life on the Reik with details on settlements and trade.
  • A Bestiary of monsters that haunt the river, and a list of waterborne diseases.
  • A wide range of riverfolk NPCs with hints and tips for how to incorporate them.

Death on the Reik Collector’s Edition

The Enemy Within Collector’s Edition contains the revised and updated Director’s Cut of one of the most highly regarded roleplaying campaigns ever written. The beautifully finished, exclusive Collector’s Edition set includes Death on the Reik and the Companion presented in a slipcase featuring the artwork from the standard editions.

The white elements of the design are imprinted in silver foil – items such as the borders, skulls, the grasping arms of the dead, and so on will have a really vibrant finish.

The printed elements have been kept to a minimum tonal palette in keeping with WFRP’s distinct style, and will have a Spot UV finish layered over them, so they’ll have something of a special finish as well.

As with Volume 1, the books are case bound, with a few extra little surprises tucked in that we won’t spoil here. We really enjoy creating these Collector’s Editions, and know that they’ll take pride of place on our own bookshelves for years to come as well.

Buy the Collector’s Edition here.

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