Warhammer City - A Complete Guide to Middenheim, City of the White Wolf is a citybook supplement for the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) by Carl Sargent (who later did another citybook, The City of Greyhawk, for AD&D 2nd Edition) and published by Games Workshop. This book covers the city of Middenheim, which is the location for the fourth adventure in The Enemy Within campaign, The Power Behind the Throne. The background material developed on Middenheim for that adventure was expanded into a full citybook. The Power Behind the Throne and Warhammer City were later released as a combined edition called City of Chaos.
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Credit: Ian Miller/Games Workshop/eGDC LtdWarhammer City is a 96 page hardback book. The covers of the book are in colour, and there are various black and white illustrations, images of non-player characters (NPCs) and maps throughout the book. In the back of it is a colour map of the city of Middenheim, approximately A2 in size, which can be cut out and removed. The illustrations are in a distinctive style that was common in WFRP supplements of the time.
The Introduction suggests how to use the book and how to run city adventures and an urban campaign, something that is quite different from a dungeon crawl. The City of Middenheim gives an overview of the city, its history and its surroundings. Religion and Worship covers religion in the city, in particular the Cult or Ulric, a fundamental part of Middenheim as it is the headquarters of the Cult.
Credit: Ian Miller/Games Workshop/eGDC LtdThe Politics of the City State covers the relationship of the city state with the Empire and its neighbours, and covers the Graf, who rules Middenheim, and some of the more important guilds. The Military & Middenheim's Defence covers the armed forces, including the knightly orders and the City Watch. The Long Arm of the Law covers crime and punishment and how it can be applied to players who break the rules. Hostelries & Accommodations gives an overview of what can be expected from different qualities of them, as well as some brief details on various different locations.
A Gazetteer of Middenheim covers the city on a district by district basis, with details of major and important buildings and locations in the districts, some of which also have maps. Encounters in Middenheim is a list of various NPC types along with details as to what these may be doing and who they are as well as WFRP stats.
Chaos Cults in Middenheim covers two of the major Chaos cults operating in Middenheim. Chaos cults are an important part of the WFRP world, and are involved in The Power Behind the Throne adventure and, indeed, the entire The Enemy Within campaign. The Undercity covers what's underneath the city itself, from the sewers downwards. The only map is a brief one of the sewers, but advice is given on how to run a campaign under Middenheim, with some adventures and adventure ideas.
Credit: Games Workshop/eGDC LtdGoods and Services shows what's available to buy in Middenheim, what businesses there are, and how to handle pricing. Typical Building Plans contains black and white maps and descriptions of a number of different businesses, including NPCs. The specific locations of the businesses are not marked on the map, but suggestions are made as to where they could be located. The businesses are of types that players are likely to frequent.
City of Adventures provides more details on running adventures in Middenheim, along with another set of adventures and encounters for above ground. The Powers That Be gives information on some of the major NPCs in the city, many of whom are involved in The Power Behind the Throne. Snotball and Other Pastimes details the sport of snotball and a number of different narcotics and their effects.
Common Knowledge in Middenheim gives a brief overview of the city that players are likely to know, and that can be given to them. The City Watch gives details on the Watch, which is mentioned a number of times throughout the book, as well as WFRP stats for the various types of watchmen. The Area Map shows the area in the region of Middenheim, and the Gazetteer gives a brief overview of the settlements on the area map.
Warhammer City in Review
Credit: Games Workshop/eGDC LtdEven though Warhammer City was written for a specific adventure for a specific role playing game system, it is surprisingly system-neutral, although there are references to The Enemy Within campaign and adventures, including items of background detail that can only be found in those, as well as the Warhammer Fantasy Role Play (first edition) rulebook. Most of the stats for the primary NPCs, and some additional details on them, were in The Power Behind the Throne adventure and, as a consequence, the significant NPCs are mostly reduced to descriptions, which can be easily adapted.
Middenheim is a city-state and, even though it is part of a larger empire, the influence of that empire on this sourcebook is not that significant. It can therefore be quite easily dropped into any other campaign world, and other game systems, with not too much effort, assuming that the feel of Middenheim - Germanic for both the city and The Empire, as they are based on the Holy Roman Empire - can be fitted in. Religious references can be replaced with other, appropriate, religions for the world it is situated in and most of the references to The Empire can be simply removed, as Middenheim can stand on its own as a fully independent city-state, rather than as one that is part of an empire. Replacing the various Chaos Cults will require a bit more effort, but evil religious organisations that work in the shadows are a common theme. The races described are fairly standard fantasy races: Humans, Halflings, Elves and Dwarves.
Warhammer City is a good book and a useful addition to any suitable campaign, but the biggest problem is getting hold of a copy. The supplement can only be purchased second hand, or as an expensive, new collector's item. The City of Chaos combined edition was re-published by Hogshead Publishing for the first edition game. Fantasy Flight Games currently has the license for Warhammer Fantasy Role Play and has released the entire The Enemy Within campaign in a single supplement, as well as some second and third edition material, but there does not appear to be any first edition material re-released. Buying Warhammer City is therefore quite difficult, but it's worth it if it can be found cheaply.
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