(for the TL:DR see bottom of review)
I have been a WFRP player since 1995 and a gamemaster (GM) for WFRP since 1996. I've been a demonstration GM since 1998 and I visit local conventions and gaming groups when people want me to explain WFRP to them. To do so, I play short sessions up to 4 hours and use these sessions to let people have a peek in the grim and perilous world of Warhammer. I have played 2nd edition and still play 1st edition and 4th edition.
I feel I must write this because when I play a demo game I usually do one of two things: I use the short scenario made by Anthony Ragan called "To love or die in Marienburg" or I create a small scenario myself.
Hell rides to Hallt is a short scenario that actually has it all. The Grim, old Folkore style atmosphere sucks the players right in. And it does not matter if they are hardcore WFRP players or people who take their first steps into roleplaying alltogether. The main plot is carefully laid out, but there are very interesting sub-plots that keep the players busy too. As a GM, you can easily switch between the plots, feeding the players information and setting a tense, chilling setting in the town of Hallt. The antagonist is very well written, with lots of mysteries and secrets that the players need to find out. The main characters of the story all have deep histories and are tied together by a dark secret that is just waiting for the player characters to find out. All this info is ready for the GM at a glance and the layout of the story is written in such a way that it is very easy to play the scenario without much planning or having to write things down.
The images are suited for the story and add that extra detail to the horror that is being placed upon the player characters.
And here, to my opinion, lies the only drawback of the scenario. I find this is not for the faint of heart or very young players. My belief is that this should be played on Halloween and this scenario just begs to be "Sleepy Hollow"-esque in setting. You can water it down and make it less scary, but to truly appreciate this scenario, one must have the stomach to see a few "heads roll". This is, ultimately, up to the GM and I have heard people playing this scenario with 8 year old players.
I have played this scenario 7 times, 2 times with my hardcore gaming group of 18 years. And people just love it. The immersion is instant and stays there untill the scenario finishes. My own group demanded we play Hell rides to Hallt again with different characters, as they wanted to make sure they got all the extra secrets and plot twists right.
- short scenario, making it easy to play in one evening.
- highly adaptable, plots are all linked and can be given more prio at will. this scenario can be instered into your campaign at any time.
- dark, gritty setting with a whiff of old folklore
- handy layout in the book with cool images
- not really suited for young players or the faint of heart. (can be watered down in level of scaryness though)
Hell rides to Hallt is a must have in the digital library of every GM. If this scenario would be double the price, I would STILL reccomend it.
[5 of 5 Stars!]