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Novice GM needs advice


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#1 Secutor 00K

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:41 PM

We're playing Shades of Twilight, and one of my players has decided to make an "Untouchable". The problem is, in the Finale of this adventure (which will be our next session) one of the warp ghosts launches the Acolytes to safety using an escape pod, but if the untouchable is on that escape pod, the psyker wouldn't be able to launch it, thus dooming the entire cell to a fiery death.

I spoke to a coworker who used to GM, and he told me to just leave him behind, to die. Which I'm fairly certain would piss off my players.

I need advice as to how you would handle it.

#2 Askil

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 12:21 AM

The clue is in the name, untouchables are themselves almost entirely untouchable by direct effects of psykers, their surroundings are not.

 

That's the difference between an untouchable and a pariah (it's semantics I know) but the radius of a negative psyker's ability is both highly variable and almost always entirely beyond their control.


Edited by Askil, 29 July 2014 - 12:22 AM.

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#3 Gregorius21778

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:02 AM

The clue is in the name, untouchables are themselves almost entirely untouchable by direct effects of psykers, their surroundings are not.

 

:huh:  Radical Handbook, p. 38. << Psyker "hamper" (Threshold +10 ; Psyker Willpower test = -20) manifested (not casted but manifested) every power within WPB meters around them.

@Secutor 00K
That being said, neither your group nor your adventure are in danger. It is a hampering effect that gives a mali to a dice role (n that case: of an mayjor NPC that isn´t having any stats!). Hand-wave it through.  If your players get poky about it, remind them about the sheer might these ghosts just used...and if they really think they would not have overcome THAT mali.

A thing on the side: I would have the ghosts being "blind" to the presence of the character. And they might be really puzzled if the characters talk to them...but forget about it the next moment, not even adressing it. They are just "shades of something that died".
 



#4 Secutor 00K

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:25 PM

Thanks

I really like the idea of the ghosts being blind to him. I'm preparing some dialogue for it.

#5 Askil

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 04:55 PM

Those rules are a flawed intepretation of the poorly understood concept of psychic negativity, (that has barely been expanded on if a decade) as such they don`t really answer anything but the question "what is in the book?"


Edited by Askil, 29 July 2014 - 04:59 PM.


#6 cps

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 02:16 PM

I spoke to a coworker who used to GM, and he told me to just leave him behind, to die. Which I'm fairly certain would piss off my players.

 

Your coworker is a jerk and you're right to ignore him.  If you followed this advice you'd be telling the players, "Sorry, you made an incorrect decision at character creation and I, the GM, am unable to contrive of a way to circumvent this minor plot wrinkle. Please destroy your character sheet and create a new, correct character (good luck guessing what that is)."



#7 Secutor 00K

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 10:55 AM

CPS

I wouldn't say that he is a jerk, he just likes to remind the Acolytes of how expendable they are. Personally I think that I take it too easy on my acolytes, and I am working on gaining that balance between keeping the session exciting and dangerous, but also keeping their goals achievable.  
 

I'm still waiting to get my group together for another session, unfortunately our last two sessions had to be cancelled at the last minute. 

 



#8 Askil

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 10:21 AM

Your coworker is a jerk and you're right to ignore him.  If you followed this advice you'd be telling the players, "Sorry, you made an incorrect decision at character creation and I, the GM, am unable to contrive of a way to circumvent this minor plot wrinkle. Please destroy your character sheet and create a new, correct character (good luck guessing what that is)."

 

 

Disregard this CPS appears to be talking rubbish, a character dying due to a character-defining choice the player made is not the GM's fault.

 

That said it'd be simple enough to give the Players a chance to save their untouchable friend by grabbing him as they are pushed out of danger or have the ghosts telekinetically hurl an object or collapse a ceiling to knock the group out of harm's way.


Edited by Askil, 09 August 2014 - 10:21 AM.

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#9 Secutor 00K

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 11:04 AM

Perhaps, I will carry on with the mission as planned, and when it's time for the 'ghost' to launch them, I will explain that being an 'untouchable', his psychic dampening is hindering the psyker's ability to launch the group to safety. Then I will give my players 5 minutes (real time) to come up with their own solutions to the situation.
I've already created 3 solutions of my own, 4 (if you include leaving him behind to die) where the Acolytes escape from the Twilight, who knows maybe my players will surprise me with a solution of their own. This also leaves open an opportunity for some very good roleplaying to take place, as the untouchable character isn't very well liked by his peers, he may have to convince them that he is worth saving.  



#10 Fgdsfg

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 12:58 PM

 

Your coworker is a jerk and you're right to ignore him.  If you followed this advice you'd be telling the players, "Sorry, you made an incorrect decision at character creation and I, the GM, am unable to contrive of a way to circumvent this minor plot wrinkle. Please destroy your character sheet and create a new, correct character (good luck guessing what that is)."

 

 

Disregard this CPS appears to be talking rubbish, a character dying due to a character-defining choice the player made is not the GM's fault.

 

That said it'd be simple enough to give the Players a chance to save their untouchable friend by grabbing him as they are pushed out of danger or have the ghosts telekinetically hurl an object or collapse a ceiling to knock the group out of harm's way.

 

 

One opportunity here would be to have the other characters save themselves, but the ghosts are unable to see or affect the untouchable. At this point, the others can either choose to stick around and help their untouchable comrade that they likely hate (soulessness tends to have that effect), or bolt.

If they help, it's as easy as getting back to where they were (perhaps with the help of the ghosts) and do exactly what you describe.

If nothing else, it will underline that the Untouchable is not like the others, and emphasise the meaning of choice, seeing as how OP seems unwilling to just let the Untouchable die.


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#11 Secutor 00K

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 08:48 AM

 

 

Your coworker is a jerk and you're right to ignore him.  If you followed this advice you'd be telling the players, "Sorry, you made an incorrect decision at character creation and I, the GM, am unable to contrive of a way to circumvent this minor plot wrinkle. Please destroy your character sheet and create a new, correct character (good luck guessing what that is)."

 

 

Disregard this CPS appears to be talking rubbish, a character dying due to a character-defining choice the player made is not the GM's fault.

 

That said it'd be simple enough to give the Players a chance to save their untouchable friend by grabbing him as they are pushed out of danger or have the ghosts telekinetically hurl an object or collapse a ceiling to knock the group out of harm's way.

 

 

One opportunity here would be to have the other characters save themselves, but the ghosts are unable to see or affect the untouchable. At this point, the others can either choose to stick around and help their untouchable comrade that they likely hate (soulessness tends to have that effect), or bolt.

If they help, it's as easy as getting back to where they were (perhaps with the help of the ghosts) and do exactly what you describe.

If nothing else, it will underline that the Untouchable is not like the others, and emphasise the meaning of choice, seeing as how OP seems unwilling to just let the Untouchable die.

 

After this weekends session, I feel that he has made it quite clear that he is looking out solely for himself. During a combat with some warp beast 4 of the 5 players failed their fear tests and quite comically, they all fainted. Which left the untouchable to defend them while they recovered, he instead chose to leave them helpless lying on the floor. I had the Space marine call him out as a coward, so he stayed 25 meters behind in a defensive stance, and left the Brother Sergeant do all the work.

Then during combat with the dark Eldar, the party had another couple of bad rolls, when they were hit with a terrorfex grenade, he decided to 'sneak' his way around the far side of the room, again leaving all of the combat to the 1 character who didn't fail the fear test.

So I don't think any of the group will be going to any lengths to help him escape the disintegrating space hulk, when the time comes.  


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#12 Visitor Q

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 03:25 AM

Out of interest what career is the Untouchable?  Sounds like a difficult character to have a round and I'm wondering what the Inquisitor sees him brining to the table.  I'm not critising the player btw, this type of character appears in lots of stories and can be very entertaining this is an 'in character' question.  In many ways this makes him dying on a disintergrating space hulk less of a harsh decision and more a case of 'laser guided Karma'.



#13 ThenDoctor

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 05:41 AM

Untouchables are rare and difficult to find as it is. They also know from a young age that they're different and people actively treat them like freaks, so it makes sense that he'd not be willing to go out of the way to save people that don't like him anyways. Him running from a bunch of Warp Beasts is more common sense than anything, if everyone else was down I'd do it to it's just not a smart fight.

 

If you really want to instil the idea that he needs to survive (which in my opinion he really doesn't, ask the player if they're ok with losing the character if it comes down to it) then explain that the Inquisition, or their inquisitor would be a little upset at the group not actively saving a valuable and annoyingly difficult to replace resource.


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#14 Secutor 00K

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 08:23 AM

Out of interest what career is the Untouchable?


He's a moritat assassin

I'm not sure if him leaving the other players behind was good character roleplaying on his part, or if he was being a jerk and leaving his teammates to die.

Edited by Secutor 00K, 28 August 2014 - 09:01 AM.


#15 DeathByGrotz

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 12:44 PM

 

Out of interest what career is the Untouchable?


He's a moritat assassin

I'm not sure if him leaving the other players behind was good character roleplaying on his part, or if he was being a jerk and leaving his teammates to die.

 

Either way, the response from his team should be pretty straightforward there. Here's to hoping he takes it with grace :)



#16 ThenDoctor

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 12:59 PM

Someone has messed up here, Untouchable and Morait are both background packages. You can't have two. So you have a slightly larger issue here.


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#17 Visitor Q

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 01:25 PM

Someone has messed up here, Untouchable and Morait are both background packages. You can't have two. So you have a slightly larger issue here.

That's more an issue of game balance than a background issue.  Most people wouldn't know what a untouchable really is and it is not like the Moritats are the most social bunch.  In other words isn't an issue if the GM sanctioned it. 



#18 Secutor 00K

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:46 AM

I allowed him to take both background packages, only because he really wants to use the Reaper alternate rank, so for some background/fluff I let him take the Moritat package, I will be challenging him with duels and a couple of solo assassination missions, in order to earn his access to the Reaper Rank. 



#19 ThenDoctor

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:21 AM

I see, well that out of the way I reassert my point. Untouchables are expensive, and they have reasons for not wanting to be around people, however he is a close combat Morait, so depending on how he plays that he may have not had a reason to run from battle. Even then if he understands he's an untouchable he should've known he had the best shot of killing warp creatures.


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

 

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#20 Secutor 00K

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:40 AM

The more I look at it the more I feel that he is avoiding combat out of self preservation, and less out of roleplaying.

When we ended our last session his character is "sneaking" his way across the 7th Hold during the final conflict with the Dark Eldar, leaving his character roughly 130 meters away from the rest of the group with 14 DE raiders between himself and the group's point of escape. I'm very excited to see how this conflict plays out, Will he make it past the raiders safely? Will he try to rejoin the group after leaving them? Will the group wait for him to catch up before launching the escape pod? 






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