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Dealing with spoils of war and a few other questions.

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#1 mortagon



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Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:16 PM

My players have decided to take with them everything they possibly scavenge in any given mission. I'm ok with this, but what I'm wondering is should I let my players keep their spoils or should I force them to deliver any spoils to the departo munitorum?


Also regarding personal acquisitions, do the players get to keep these forever or are they treated as any other requisitioned gear and has to be returned after a mission?


Currently I'm playing up the insanity of the Imperial guard bueracracy, but a couple of my players have been complaining about the difficulty of getting the items they want. One of my players (the medic), even decided to become a sentry (advanced specialisation), just so he could get a heavy weapon.


I have been really strict about how much resources my players have available so that they have to relay more on their skill, luck and creativity instead of just blasting through everything with an autocannon. I have allowed my players to customise their regimental weapons and since the group contains a tech-priest this has not been a problem.


Speaking of the tech-priest, he is always wanting to craft stuff and invent stuff. I have discouraged him to do so due to the strict rules regarding the creation of new items in the 40k universe, espescially since he is just an enginseer living in an Imp guard base and not a magos working on a forge world, but he still keeps pushing the issue.



"I am disillusioned enough to see that no man's opinion on any subject is worth a damn unless backed up with enough genuine information to make him really know what he is talking about." H.P *Lovecraft

#2 Ghaundan



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Posted 30 July 2013 - 05:19 AM

Depends on what they loot really. Enemies of the Imperium makes it clear that dominate forces, and thus their gear is damned and having such..cursed items is something the commissariat is very harsh about.

I'd let them keep it mostly, but if they requisition a new weapon I'd have them turn in their old one.

#3 LuciusT



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Posted 30 July 2013 - 05:49 AM

Collecting trophies and weapons from the enemy is a time honored military practice. However, remember that there is a reason the Guard uses lasguns.. lasguns are durable, reliable and easily replaced. If you want to discourage looting, you might want to play up the positive side if the Imperial Guard bureaucracy as well... they PCs can always have ammunition and replacements for their standard kit - including specialist kit. Not so for anything they loot. Also, the enemies of the Imperium don't always have the best gear.


All that said, looting xenos kit is trouble. The commissars will likely confiscate such items and discipline anyone found taking or trading them. Also, it's questionable a Guardsman could even make an eldar splinter rifle work. Looting Chaos kit is a good source for Corruption and a Bad Idea in general.


I understand the desire to restrict their gear, but remember they are members of the Imperial Guard. They should get the gear they need for the missions they are given, bad Logisitics rolls notwithstanding.


As for the tech-priest, let the poor guy craft stuff. It's what he wants his character to do and may be why he choose that type of character. It's unfair not to allow him. At the same time, be reasonable. He's not Macgyver. He can't make a lascannon out of two rubber bands and a glow-lamp in under 20 minutes. I would, however, discourage inventing things. Point out to him that invention is out of character for a Tech Priest. In fact, it's heresy.

#4 Nightcloak



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Posted 30 July 2013 - 05:52 AM

as Ghaundan said its quite heretical to keep xenos or chaos tainted weapons
if the loot severan gear its quite possible noone will even notice since its basically human gear

personal requisitioned gear (with logistics tests) is permanent but of course it can break or get lost or run out of ammo which has to be requisitioned seperatly (the rules are specified in the errata)


also i agree with Ghaundan that it is quite rare for the adeptus mechanicus to actually invent stuff, they mostly rediscover it
it really depends, crafting say breaching charges or shaped charged from demo charges is okay as it is just a repurposing of the explosives

inventing a new tank chassis or weapon is almost unthinkable in fluff terms

#5 TormDK



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Posted 30 July 2013 - 02:04 PM

Encourage your players to spend some XP on the Department munitorium influence talent. +5 per player adds up to 5-6 gaming sessions succeed with the best possible outcome. Plus the rating isn't lost if a PC dies and is replaced.


My squad is planning on doing that with the next 900-1100xp we get (Price goes up per purchase, and only two of us have Fellowship as an aptitude), because we find ourselves much in the same situation with only 19 in logictics rating currently . It royally sucks to have your mission gear replaced by Ogryn sized dress uniforms :). While they are nice, they just don't make things go boom like demolition charges....

#6 ranoncles



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Posted 05 August 2013 - 06:04 AM

Let them keep looted stuff. But with consequences.....Xenos stuff is strictly forbidden and commissars will impound any xenos equipment they notice. A smart trooper will always claim "he just found it and was waiting to go off-duty before taking it to the commissar". And a smart commissar will accept that at face value.


Tell your players they can only carry 1 basic or heavy weapon and one pistol or melee weapon (its somewhere in the rules IIRC). If they do carry more weapons (e.g. looted gun & standard lasgun) they suffer from 1 fatigue automatically. That gives them a choice of a -10 modifier and tactical flexability/fooling the commissar/officer during inspections.


Let their sergeant allow it. He doesn't care as long as they get the job done. 


Make sure there are both regular inspections and imprompto inspections (armies love this as it keeps officers busy and the men out of trouble). The troopers better have their issue lasgun (or whatever) clean and functional or there will be trouble.


Maybe there is a black market at their base and selling looted weapons can earn them cash or favours. 


Have looted equipment lose quality after each session. From average to poor, or good to average to poor. This simulates the lack of proper maintenance as the player likely lacks either the proper knowledge or the necessary parts to maintain the weapon. After poor, the weapon is no longer servicable. This way, they can use anything they loot but there is a time limit and they don't become horders who need intervention.... 



As to the tech-priest, inventing is simply not on the cards in this setting. But modifying is. Or repurposing. But give the player a nemesis. A senior tech-priest out to get the player for tech-heresy. Have him pop up regularly as a recurring NPC, always investigating. Perhaps offering bribes to the other players for incriminating information about the tech player. Have the player write after-action reports on how he used standard equipment to achieve the mission....so he has to disguise what he really used.....

#7 MagosSteel



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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:55 PM

All soldiers keep looted weapons (especially in 40K canon for guardsmen that is based off of WW2) and they get involved in black market activities to keep them supplied.  Typically this shows up as rare and often valuable pistols, knives, and other side arms but very rarely will a guardsmen be caught without his lasgun.  In fact this is grounds for summary execution by a Commissar should he/she wish.  

If you find a player is hording to much xenos or heretical gear go ahead and have him get cught and punished or even executed and replaced as an example.


As for the Tech-Priest wanting to invent things that can work.  Often times Tech-Priests assigned to Imperial Guard regiments are done so to get them away from the forge world so they can stop causing problems and pick up real world experience.  Your Tech-Priest may be on his way to being an Explorator, however being in a front line base limits your resources.  Allow him to craft weapons with damaged weapons gained from the Munitorium with favors or bribes and maintain the looted weapons by the other players.

Having a superior Tech-Priest hunting down a junior member could be a quick ticket to servitor hood for your Tech-Priest so think twice about that.

#8 TemplarofSteel



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Posted 15 December 2013 - 03:40 AM

In terms of the Severan Dominate stuff, I actually liked the comment from the guy playing the tech priest in the group I run for that he was going to study the weapons for sign of heretek tampering and if none was found then he would reunite the weapons with the Imperium as he could not allow the machine spirits of these noble weapons to be enslaved. Well...that and the fact that he also found a secondary use, swapping a small stack of them to a Virbian trade convoy for bikes that might have been Archeotech.

#9 venkelos



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Posted 15 December 2013 - 08:06 AM

Yeah, i can see if it is, for the most part, Imperial tech, and not "corrupted", your players could get a few kudos from the Dept. Mun. for bringing back extras; the more weapons, the better.


There aren't too many Imperial weapons I'd want to get, unless the Severan soldiers had some of the rarer heavies, or the Officer/Legate happened to be carrying, of all things a power sword or a plasma pistol (inferno pistols are far too much to hope for ;)), and bringing such rare stuff back, if you chose to return it, should be at least slightly rewarded. (I often envision being the cool Sergeant with a plasma pistol and power sword, cutting the striking image of awesome, even if these might not be the best weapons options, so that's why I picked them. Power weapon/Force weapon + plasma pistol + carapace armor = most of my happiest hopes for an OW character, maybe + refractor field, if we're grabbing at dreams.)

#10 TemplarofSteel



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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:03 PM

So far their personal best was stealing a Leman Russ Vanquisher from a Severan Dominate supply post while abducting a general, blowing the munitions, stealing two suits of carapace armor and hotshot lasguns, and finally killing a dark eldar leader that attacked on the way out.

#11 segara82



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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:40 PM

Well, according to my old IG Codizes from the TT guard members frequently loot their enemies and keep the useable/reliable stuff. It is even recommended.

Xenos stuff and Herecital gear are a no-go unless you want to trade them on the black market. If you get caught you can get shot on the spot for that.

So let them trade found 'normal' weapons at their base. A (powerful) pistol and a nice knife to your Lasgun make a fine addition, and give you more options. Just watch how much space and weight these extra weapons take up.

Edited by segara82, 20 December 2013 - 12:41 PM.

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#12 venkelos



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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:38 AM

Realistic stuff (not the Xenos or spiky things) might even be the better way to get some stuff. While I accept that an important part of the mechanic is Logistics tests, sometimes you just CAN'T make it, while other times, your GM might have some rules determining when and how often you can, and getting some cool "extras" could thus help. Out on the field, you might come to want a missile launcher, upon encountering a tank, and find one with two krak missiles left. When you get back, I'd say you can PROBABLY keep it, and then, for the GM's piece of mind, you would still Logistics roll for ammo, thous you haven't circumvented the mechanic. Some heavy weapons could be very conveniently acquired, this way, or at least round out your ammo stores, if the enemy carries similar armaments, to last out this endeavor.


Usually, for me, it would just come down to what are you battling? Orks and Eldar are both prevalent, but how much of their stuff might fit you? Their guns are weird, and hard to use, and would get you looks from your Commissar. Dominate forces, though, would have similar kit, and so could tide you over, and patch up your stuff.

Edited by venkelos, 21 December 2013 - 09:38 AM.

#13 Askold



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Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:25 AM

In WH40k world looting gear is actually pretty hard. Xenos gear even if better than Guard issue weapons (Well, not the Ork weapons for example, but Eldar gear definitely) are easily recognised and the troops will get trouble from Comissariat, the techpriests, the regular priests or even from Inquisition if they get caught.


What about the traitors and heretics then? Don't they mostly use formerly Imperial equipment? They also use warp infused weapons and might even (accidentally or on purpose) have weapons possessed by daemons. And even if the weapons aren't that corrupted they have propably destroyed the imperial symbols on them so that will make them stand out as well.


I have reasoned that the safest things to "loot" and hoard are Imperial gear you have either gotten from your own regiment and "forgotten" to return or simply looting weapons from friendly dead troops. Your own regiment might not be that angry over you "saving" some plasma rifle that otherwise might have been lost and if it was taken from another regiment the officers might even be secretly pleased to have the regiments firepower increase.


Certainly there are limits and the GM might have some officer declare that some extra weapons are taken from the squad to be given to other squads if the players have gathered "too much" weapons.

#14 Lynata



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Posted 25 December 2013 - 02:09 PM

I'm 100% with segara82 - it's the exact same stuff I've read and "grown up" with as far as 40k is concerned.


As for the Techpriest ... here I would aim for a compromise. The player apparently doesn't know or doesn't care a lot for the Mechanicus background, its practices, and regulations. Which is always a bit of a problem with such classes, if the other players and/or the GM know better. However, it is not impossible that this Techpriest might simply be an "extremist", a radical, or even pursuing heretical ideas. Invention of entirely new gear is frowned upon in favour of modifications and reverse-engineering of schematics gained from Holy STC prints (which mean restricted access, and no random Enginseer in the field would gain the necessary data "just like that"), but that doesn't mean it never happens. Sometimes the results are a power play that make the bold Techpriest rise in influence over his peers, other times there will be investigations by the Inquisition and the AdMech itself, and dire consequences for any perpetrator who doesn't manage to flee and disappear in time.


Ultimately, the character him- or herself has a free will and can attempt to break the doctrine of the Mechanicus. The only thing that matters is that the player, in addition to having access to all the required resources and knowledge, is aware of the possible consequences of their actions.


If your players are currently fighting the war against the Dominate, you could even turn this into a plot and force a decision by your group that rests entirely in their own hands, rather than being railroaded by your efforts to keep everyone in line:

The Severan Dominate is clearly in a desperate situation and has begun to undermine many Imperial core tenets in an effort to maintain an edge over its many attackers, and when high treason and consorting with xenos are amongst the dark deeds of its ruler, why not add tech-heresy to it?


Perhaps there is a group of rogue Techpriests who started out just like your player, but had no chance to pursue their ideas until the worlds of the Dominate broke free and the Duke began to remove various Imperial Adepts from their positions. This shift in power could have enabled these young, ambitious Techpriests to approach the government with offers of constructing advanced weaponry for his forces, in exchange for any resources deemed necessary by the group - ranging from simple raw material and restricted data caches to slave labour and human test subjects. Think of the many superweapons of WW2 - from ballistic missiles and landcruisers all the way to experimental heliobeam and sonic cannons or the atomic bomb - and the often ruthless efforts with which they were constructed and tested, and you'll get the idea.


Then, have your players come into contact with this group, perhaps being assigned to raid one of its facilities (laboratory and/or labour camp manufactorum), just to give the Techpriest an opportunity to see the possibilities, and then have his renegade brethren attempt to coax them into switching sides.

Ideally, this will lead to an in-character argument between the characters, and an ooc discussion between the players. If they do run over, the squad would become traitors to the Imperium, but fighting for the Dominate should grant them much the same gameplay experience as fighting for the IoM, with the added benefit of the Techpriest now being finally free to pursue their heretical ideas. If, on the other hand, the squad resorts to categorically deny this opportunity, feel free to have Imperial authorities continue breathing down the TP's neck whenever he gets ideas. After all, now you have given them a choice.

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