Graveyard Shift

Wrath and Glory

gaming gm settings rpg scifi

I recently read through the Warhammer: Wrath and Glory tabletop RPG rulebook, and now I'm reading through the published adventures available for it from Cubicle 7. The first adventure I read was Graveyard Shift, a Tier 1 or 2 investigative adventure about the recovery of dangerous xeno tech.

In Graveyard Shift, players are hired by Prodita Mendax, an Inquisitorial Interrogator, to recover a xeno device known as the Revelator. What the Revelator does or why Mendax wants it doesn't matter, and the player characters may be any archetype with the Imperium keyword. The device is apparently on the graveyard moon Daedalon, a planet in the Gilead System with the sole purpose of storing or processing the Imperial dead. The players must find the location of the device, and retrieve it for the Interrogator.

It's a booklet of about 20 pages, and was written by Robert Buckey and Zak Dale-Clutterbuck. I can imagine it being played in one long session, or over the course of two or three sessions. The story is simple, with a healthy mix of social interaction and the opportunity to fight (or not).

I enjoyed reading it, and look forward to running it.

The rest of this review contains spoilers.

Adventure progress

The adventure is dividid into five distinct sections, and each section is prefaced with a single sentence clarifying what the section covers. This is brilliant adventure design, and I wish more adventures of all systems would use this. It's a simple technique to help keep the GM on track and to reinforce the important story beats.

I can imagine taking this one step further, with each section prefaced with both the ingress and egress conditions. I'd like to know what the player characters must have accomplished to get to each section, why they're there, and what they must accomplish to consider the section complete. As it is, though, the progression through the adventure in Graveyard Shift is one of the clearest I've seen in an RPG adventure.


The plot of the adventure is almost as simple as it possibly could be. A mission is given, the player characters ("Agents" in Wrath and Glory terminology) go to the biggest city on Daedalon, interact with a few NPCs to get the location of the tomb where the MacGuffin is kept, and then retrieve the MacGuffin. It almost feels like it's not enough, but if you've ever run a tabletop RPG game, you know that that's exactly the right amount. As clear and obvious as the path is for the Game Master, the players have no idea where the MacGuffin is, which lead to follow, who's telling the truth and who's lying, and so on. Even when an NPC provides a definitive answer, the players don't know it's the definitive answer.

The story is flexible, too. There are a few obvious non-combatants, but there are a few situations where players are able to choose between social interaction, subterfuge, or combat. Lots of play styles are clearly supported.

I also really like how well the adventure knows its own system. That may seem like an odd complement, but I've read a lot of adventures for lots of systems, and they don't all always take advantage of the game they were written for. This adventure lists potential complications for failed rolls on the Wrath die, it provides Difficulty Numbers for significant Tests, and understands and teaches the game and the Warhammer setting as it goes.

There's some specialized Warhammer 40,000 terminology here and there during the adventure, but between the outright explanations of the way the Administratum and Eccliasiarchy work, I think context clues make up for any off-hand mentions of deep lore or obscure war gear.

Good scifi adventure

This adventure is great Warhammer content, and really good scifi content. I think any player could drop into this adventure and get along just fine, even without prior Warhammer knowledge. The adventure is simple and flexible, it's written well, and the layout makes it easy to run.

All images in this post copyright Games Workshop.

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