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Keeping the plot relatively on the rails


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#1 ThenDoctor

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 03:34 PM

So I'm running Damned Cities, some of you may have seen some threads from me talking about such, and the players did some things I didn't really expect nor planned for.

 

I had them meet up with the Rag Kings for an info dumb, and they learned that two of the mirror pieces were at the Judiciary Court, and so they decided to try and seek audience with them. However when the door guard told them they needed to make a meeting the psyker flashed his badge and the guard still said no. As I was playing the noble court as understanding that they're acolytes and have no real power when it comes down to it to tell them what to do in this situation.

 

I had the guard tell them that the court was in session and Skarmen was willing to get them an appointment later in the day. They weren't happy.

 

A player suggested storming the court. We had a small discussion explaining it was likely they would die as I wouldn't really pull punches, they'd likely not even have the backing of their inquisitor at that point and would really be little more than terrorists all considered. They understood and still did.

 

Firefight ensued a character even lost a leg. I didn't pull punches. They got through the first wave, and explained to them again that even at this point they might still be able to run...unlikely, but possible, and that they were down a player because of his lost frakking leg. They decided to continue and thankfully it was about time to wind the session down anyways so I have a chance to see how I can keep this relatively on the rails.

 

I was thinking that along with putting the two in another couple of fights that this would be as good a time as any to spring Skarmen's trap with a small modification. Have the Risen disguised as Undertow members instead of Inquisitorial agents, the Risen got in by the security hole the acolytes left entering the building.

 

They left the player who lost the leg in a small antechamber to hide essentially, but I think I might have the female record keeper find him and try and help him out before her place gets attacked to keep him in the game as well.

 

Do you think this would work? What would you do in this situation? What do you think I should have the repurcussions be for the attack in the first place?


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#2 Cail

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 12:29 AM

Well as far as reprecussions go they should certainly now be wanted criminals, which should sever their ties with the arbites, for them to lay low and massively over complicate the final encounter at the tower since they can't just use their authority to stroll past the blockade. Its also very likely that after the deamon in the mirror comes out they could find themselves being labelled as the perpetrators of the whole event given the real bad guys position of authority (he would easily have time to falsify a few reports against them).

I would be tempted to keep the Risen as posing as Inquisitorial agents, but you can complicate the plot now by having an actual group of Inquisitorial agents arrive in order to track down this supposed group of terrorists masquerading as Inquisitorial acolytes (your players). Keep the players in the dark about who is who, preferably until after they have murdered the other acolyte cell in self defence. People who read my GM advice will know that I am a big fan of inter-inquisitorial conflict in my games, but your mileage may vary.

I think the idea of having the record keeper find the wounded acolyte is great. Perhaps consider upping what she actually knows (finding ancient texts in the library, over hearing private conversations etc). She can feed this info to the wounded player while the party is seperated (and hopefully running for their lives following this "incident"). The game then changes to the lost acolyte and his NPC trying desperately to find or contact his friends before the Arbites, the other agents (if you use that idea) or one of the other powers that be find them and dispose of them, or before the ritual is completed. At which point the party can then have a clear objective to take them to the conclusion of the adventure.


Edited by Cail, 28 June 2014 - 12:41 AM.

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#3 Cail

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 12:35 AM

*Double post, apologies*


Edited by Cail, 28 June 2014 - 12:38 AM.

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#4 Gregorius21778

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 11:03 AM

Oh dear...what a bunch of headstrong suiciders. I pitty you. And due to the "fate points" those characters aren´t even WIPED. *sighs*

 

Well....keep those Risen idea ("undertow thugs") and roll with it. Make the scribe TRY to help...but make guards come in that caputre the wounded acolythe. Put him into JAIL and take the character out of the scene thereby.

The characters are hunted criminals now. And the undertow might be very interested in them soon. "so...you have lead an attack on the court with false rag men with you...tell me what that ruse is about.." If they are lucky theywill at least now try to cooperate with the Rag Kings.

Which means that they might provide a hideout, a contact ....and plant a "watch dog" to their side (give the player with his other pc in jail a criminal npc). 

Things grow complicated, so. No authority to back them. Prepare for the whole thing to become a problem and to rid this world from your game..or at least a major part of the inner city as the Imperium will respond heavy handed.

Please DON´#T try to rescue the game session at all cost. The players must understand that this was a bad move, or they will do it again. Role with it, play it....but prepare to wrap that thing up at some point, telling the players that their characters failed. Cut back the xp ...and see how they act next session. If they act up on you and how you run the game....think twice before your prepare next session. "Okay, lets finish this!" is not an option you should bring the same evening..but an option you should keep in hand.



#5 Askil

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 02:10 PM

Without failure, sucess is empty. Doubly so in RPGs.

 

Let them fail, let them get chased offworld and hounded out into the vile darkness, hae their allies turn on them, force them to become corrupt to survive as outlaws, let their failure come back to bite them on the arse, let them be hated by all right thinking folk, have the foes they should have defeated earlier become unassailable powerhouses that beat the crap out of them.

 

Then give them a slim suicidal chance to turn their fortunes around. A tiny weakness in midst of the foe`s might.

 

A whispered suggestion of a pardon, in return for one last effort.

 

An epic showdown, a battle fit for story and song.

 

Then have the Arbites/Inquisitorail stormtroopers burst in and kill them all.

 

In the grim darkness there is no victory, no triumph, no respite. There s only war.

 

Or you know just ride it out see where it goes this is why I never run pre-written stories.


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#6 ThenDoctor

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 02:11 PM

Already passed. Here's what I did.

They went through another heavily guarded security checkpoint actually hurt the psyker pretty well with falling damage from manifestations. They got to the court, and Skarmen didn't know who they were as he hadn't met them, but thought that the Risen were another inquisitorial team operation on the planet at the time the Spectre cell. Terrorist attack ensued at the enterance where the group entered. No Leg Guard stayed in his chamer unfortunately.

 

Had the Risen attack the scribe girl to try and goad him into action, but he didn't bite. He'd had to burn a fate point when the psyker healed him too much and he didn't pass the toughness test.

 

After the Risen fight was through the guard went to the room that was burnt out, I let him have the box with the mirror shard and a scrap of paper that had the Folly's real title on it which I hadn't told the acolytes. When he left Skarmen found him and arrested him, and I had Sanctum enforcers arrest the other two in the court.

 

Next session I'll give the guardsman a poor quality prosthetic, and have them get interrogated a little. Then have the Risen attack to try and take Khan's, I think that was his name, shard and the retrieved shard now that the protective seals were burned off.


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#7 Gregorius21778

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:40 PM

So, you are basically in Part III now: the Quorum believes that this means WAR , after all.

The way you use it, you can jump “back to rail” with the Optional Encounter “the Enforcer General”. The hard option of it is pretty much what you want to do, anyway. Do not look them away, so, After all is questioned and all threats are made  (by Khan himself, perhaps), give them tickets for the next void ship leaving the world… make it clear that if they don´t leave the planet they will be treated as traitors for instigating an attack against an acclaimed Imperial Official (“the Governor”/The Quorum).

Of course, as the Pc are send away (without any weapon that were previously stripped of them!) have the mentioned “ plain cloth kill squad” coming for them. Have fun with the characters RUNNING because of them not having any weapons at hand! As soon as they somehow managed to ditch their murderous “shadows” (run with what ever possible idea they come up with)…what do they do now? Contacting the undertow? Whome else?



#8 ThenDoctor

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:09 AM

An acolyte in the squad completely distrusts the arbites since I told the group about the looting of the Folly. He'll have a fit if they want to contact them.

 

However for the rest of the part you're right. I'll have them stripped of weapons and put in a holding cell with the vagrant Yantra to help them possibly understand the nature of the Risen as they were at a loss when they just refused to die in the fight. Khan will interrogate them and send them back to the holding cell.

 

Then I'll have some Risen attack the Sanctum to get Khan's and Euphame's shard. Meantime they'll have gotten the noble lady's. The Psyker is the only one that has a chance against them even without weapons. So the guardsman and arbite will likely be running and peeing themselves until they either A) Find guns off the slaughtered Sanctum enforcers, or B) find the evidence room if they don't seem to be going anywhere with it.

 

I might have an Undertow hit squad hit the Sanctum as well if they really start hurting, the guardsman somehow hit it off with Hesul, so she might not want to see him dead by anyone but herself. May be useful as backup for storming the arbite's tower if they can convince them as well.

 

I'll have Constantine contact them right before the storm hits to get into Part III if I'm lucky.


Edited by ThenDoctor, 05 July 2014 - 07:10 AM.

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#9 Gregorius21778

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 11:24 AM

Hi ThenDoctor,

 

I would not send an Undertow hit squad into the Sanctum as well. Not of it is Hesul that want to settle the score. Tiber? The guy is crass enough to try to pull that kind of s##t off, but the other two seemed a tat more tactical.

Do you already have plans for how to run the “attack of the risen?”. I would suggest to let at least 36 hours pass. Let the characters root a while in a cell, tell them that nobody talks to them, nobody comes for them. Make it a cell that is basically one large room with about 4/5 of it turned into a cell a sturdy iron grating (floor to ceiling) separating it. No windows, the lights sources are mounted outside if the cell and the final 1/5 is a space of 2 meters depth were guards can come in to point guns at people an order some of them to come out after they have unlocked the cell door.

If the Risen storm the building, the characters will  tumult from upstairs. Shortly after, a tense looking guard rushes in…looking the door to this “room” from the inside (remaining of the other side of the grating, so) and pointing an automatic weapon at them. Then, the tumult grows..and comes closer.

The character can then try to talk the guard into opening up, along the lines of “we are the INQUISITION. You know that. We can help you. YOU cannot hold your ground against THAT things up there) or something like it. If they cannot, one Risen will finally get in, kill the guard…. and will not even turn a blind eye to them while leaving. Of course, the dead guardsman has the means to open the cell on his body…

Talking about the psyker…the Mandato will have taken measures to ensure he isn’t using powers to free himself. A “Witch Cage” (see p.121; Blood of Martyrs) sounds just fine. We don´t want the PSYKER to safe the day, do we? *grins*



#10 ThenDoctor

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 01:24 PM

Hesul wouldn't show up, she just wouldn't be cold to the idea of having sent a hit squad against the organization that has offically started attacking their organization.

 

As for the attack there will be word that Skarmen has come to try and sort out the issue with Khan himself, guards talking about it, I may have a few days pass to allow them to heal back up however so they can sit and stew. He'll arrive with, supposedly, the other inquisitorial team on the planet as a bit of leverage for the situation, however it is essentially a repeat of the tactics at the Clockwork Court. Assassinate Khan, have the Risen go and cause general havok and escape in the ensuing chaos. Undertow squad shows up, happens to find the agents, releases them. Mabye a fight between guards running from Risen and the Risen themselves.

 

If they want to go back to with the Undertow and regroup they can, and they'll hear Constantine calling for back up at the tower before the storm hits. Enter Part III.

 

As for the psyker while I appreciate the idea, there's no reason the Sanctum Enforcers would have something like that. He'll just be in a seperate cell being dosed with anti psy power drugs like he'll experience in Tattered Fates. The effects will flush from his system by the time they either make it back to the Undertow holdings or the Tower itself depends. I'll allow him likely Psy Rating 1 when the break out begins to make sure that he isn't useless in the fight.


Currently working on adapting the Stars Without Number faction system to Dark Heresy 2nd Edition.

I've made an expanded Divinations table for Dark Heresy Second Edition.Find it here: 

 

http://community.fan...general-thread/





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