I'm reading through the published adventures available for Cubicle 7's Wrath and Glory Warhammer RPG. The third adventure I read was Rain of Mercy, an introductory adventure about a water supply investigation.
In Rain of Mercy, players take on the role of a special task force hired by Rogue Trader Jakel Varonius to investigate a water shortage on the planet Enoch. Or rather, a sudden water surplus. It's complicated. Enoch is mostly a water world, but the water is not only polluted from industrial waste but also it's sea water. Due to the opening of the Great Rift, there was sudden over-population as millions of pilgrims got stranded in the Gilead System. Because Enoch is the primary destination for pilgrims in the system, it bears the brunt of the problem, and that means food and water shortages. The players, using pre-generated characters in the back of the book, are tasked with investigating a local cult claiming to be led by a living saint, and they've been handing out free and pure water.
As with the other adventures I've read so far, the story is simple and direct, with few distractions and no side quests. And like the other adventures, this is a really good Tier 2 introduction into Wrath and Glory.
The rest of this review contains spoilers.
The first 7 pages of the 16-page booklet is background information about the Warhammer setting and the Gilead System. The last 2 pages are the pre-generated character stats. That leaves 7 pages for the actual adventure, starting on page 8.
The adventure begins with planetfall. The player characters arrive and meet Rashida Kandlan, the Enforcer of the city of Mourncleft. She debriefs them on the situation. The "Water Bringers" are lead by the living saint Martika, and they seem to predominantly give fresh water away for free.
After some investigation, the players might discover that a second group, known as The Deluge, is also providing fresh water, although they charge for it.
There's lots of room for variation with this situation. It's stated that some people within the Water Bringers are opportunists and have been secretly charging fees (usually in the form of trades or services) for the water they distribute, and the Deluge is definitely a gang. As the Game Master, you can emphasise the confusion, or you can play the cults as polar opposites. The Deluge may also get intel about the player characters and ambush them, which leads to a minor subplot and some combat.
Once the player characters have established a working relationship with the Water Bringers, they meet Martika who preforms a miracle before their very eyes. Whether it's an actual miracle or some power of the Warp is a judgement call the layers must make. The Ecclesiarchy accepts whatever the player characters decide, either allowing Martika's work to continue or ordering her execution.
The layout of the Graveyard Shift adventure continues to be the best of all the adventure's I've read so far, but the four sections of the Rain of Mercy booklet are at least labelled clearly.
This adventure uses simplified rules, and even tells you exactly what dice pool each character has for each roll required. It stops short of explaining why you're using that dice pool, and I think that's a missed educational opportunity, but it's a nice feature that takes advantage of having pre-generated characters. In that sense, it's one of the best introductory adventures I think I've ever read.
This adventure is great Warhammer content, and great scifi content. I think anyone could get started with this adventure, with or without knowledge of Warhammer 40,000, and possibly with or without any knowledge of how tabletop RPGs work. This is kind of an amazing, understated adventure that demonstrates a surprisingly progressive way to introduce tabletop roleplaying. And if you're not new to tabletop roleplaying, it's still a great setup for a fun adventure.
All images in this post copyright Games Workshop.