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What if my player want to take the Light of Terra? (Lure of the Expanse)


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#1 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:21 AM

Let's say that during the next gaming session, they kill lord captain Roth and board the ship.

Kill or convert everyone onboard and manage to reset the systems +/- as they would've been redirected by Roth to do it.

 

Well, in theory the ship now works by its minimum functionalities. And after some months or a year of dry dock it should be 100% again.
 

But holleh shitteh, that's a Battleship, one of the largest in the imperial fleet.

 

What would you do as GM in this case? Give them their prize? Or act really Deus Ex Machina on this one and disallow them to have such a ship?

Can the Imperial Navy actually demmand they return such a potent vessel back to them?


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#2 Erathia

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:25 AM

Firstly, I have yet to meet or hear about a Rogue Trader group that MIGHT want to salvage the Light of the Terra. They will. As soon as they see it that will be all they think about.

 

So you have a few options here. Firstly the ship is incredibly old and damaged, and it's not unreasonable that the only thing keeping the ship together is the unyielding (and incredibly crazy) will of Captain Roth. If the players execute him, then the last thing keeping the ship together fails and ,the ship self-destructs. Alternatively, the entire crew of the ship is outraged at the loss of their oracle, which causes them to unite against the players and for the Iron Kin to initiate the last rites - which just happens to be the ship's self-destruct feature. Radiation starts to flood the engine chambers, the Void Walkers have used their knowledge of the ship to destroy what few safe passages there are, the Pale Sons use their bizarre mutations to try and take over the PC's minds and force them to take them off the vessel and the Wargars just start murdering everyone in sight.

 

I view the Light of the Terra as really a hubristic lesson for the Explorers that they can't always get what they want. Their reward for doing what Captain Roth says is a few (admittedly priceless) treasures while the Battleship is lost forever, and their reward for acting without understanding is less than that. Always leave room for your players to surprise you and find a course of action on their own that you think should result in them being granted the ship, but after years (not months) of drydock, they will still run into the problem of having to find someone who will sell them Battleship-compatible components to repair the vessel. The Imperial Navy can demand the ship's return, though they might not have any grounds to. They can however refuse to sell you their highly valuable Battleship capable components to allow you to fix it.


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#3 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 03:40 AM

My response would be this:

 

If your players really, really want to take the battleship, you as GM shouldn't stop them trying. Randomly pulling 'and then it explodes' is a bit cheap, to my mind.

 

But

 

If you want to take the ship, you have to take the ship. The explorers and their troops will have to sweep the Light of Terra pretty much stem to stern, wiping out all the various factions currently inhabiting it.

Having done so, you have a derelict battleship hull sitting in deep space in the far reaches of the expanse. No crew, no power, no fuel and most of the components do not work.

 

That's the biggest problem, really. Getting Light of Terra to a drydock anywhere is a mammoth task anyway, and there is no drydock in the expanse which could handle a battleship.

 

In fact, even Port Wander might not be up to the task; the passage watch squadron has nothing above heavy cruiser size stationed there, after all. The closest that definitely could is the Battlefleet Calixis naval base at 88 Tanstar in the Calixis Sector.

 

There is probably at least one other heavy 'yard somewhere in the expanse; the Winterscale Dynasty flagship is a Grand Cruiser, and it must dock for maintenance somewhere.

 

In both cases, getting access to the facilities is going to be almost as difficult as getting the Light to them.

 

 

 

Capturing, securing, Repairing, recrewing and manning up a battleship, plus convincing the navy to let you keep it, and protecting it by stopping any other dynasty (or someone like the undred-undred teef orks) taking the chance to sabotage or attack and claim the derelict for itself, is worthy of a small campaign by itself....

 

Essentially, it's the key to Rogue Trader, in my eyes. You can do whatever you want if you're prepared to throw the time, effort and resources at it, but don't expect the universe to give you anything for free.


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#4 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:45 PM

"I view the Light of the Terra as really a hubristic lesson for the Explorers that they can't always get what they want."

"Essentially, it's the key to Rogue Trader, in my eyes. You can do whatever you want if you're prepared to throw the time, effort and resources at it, but don't expect the universe to give you anything for free."

 

damn guys, thanks for the awesome feedbacks, but I am even more divided now hahahaha


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#5 Erathia

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:19 PM

Sure when you quote exactly what we say word for word then it sounds like we're arguing, but I don't think our points of view are too dissimilar.

 

Mine is that if the Explorers act as if everything in the Expanse already belongs to them and just try to seize control of the situation without investigation or forethought (e.g. summarily executing Captain Roth) then the whole situation goes pear-shaped for them and they don't get what they want.

 

Magnus' point (as I understood it) is that if the Explorers manage to lay claim to the Light of Terra, which is a possibility I have not ruled out, then they discover that it's not as simple a task of waiting around while automatic worker drones slowly tick the battleship up to 100% health. They got the Battleship, but this is a vessel that is mind-bogglingly massive in scale, and a serious undertaking to make theirs. Not to mention the problem when word of its rediscovery gets out and without sufficient protection pirates will swarm in to try and steal it.

 

I believe the two of us agree that if your players try to undertake this salvage operation it should require a lot of planning and  serious consideration as to what they're going to do, and if they just expect to be able to swagger onboard and declare it their property, things should get very complicated for them. 

 

My point about hubris is you shouldn't shy away from having the Explorers lose the Battleship as a result of their actions. If you wanted an approximate representation of what a Battleship's stats should look like someone did a pretty fair conversion of Imperial ships from Battlefleet Gothic that I uploaded here, for an idea of just how impressively powerful this ship can be if they get it up to full strength.


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Citizens of Grace! We have defeated both the Dark Eldar and Ork menaces that threatened your system! We need no thanks nor payments, so long as you do not leave the atmosphere during our salvage operations under pain of death! - Jequin Hos of The Hos Dynasty


#6 venkelos

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:39 PM

Somewhere on these pages, a whole Grand Endeavor is written out to do this, and it is EXPENSIVE. -10 Profit Factor and 30 years of time are just two sacrifices you will need to make. Please don't forget the silly scale of some ships in 40k; their "regular" fighters have at least half a dozen crew EACH, and the Light is a monstrously huge battleship. Also, she is seriously damaged, and many parts will simply need to be pulled and replaced.

 

In addition, you would need thousands of Tech-Priests (50,000 of several varieties), six times that many Servitors, and whatever it will take to bring all of that to the hulk. Moving those resources is not a secretive action. Once the ship is fixed SOME, you might be able to move it to a safer place, but that will hurt the ship, too. Finding battleship components is no cakewalk, either. The ship uses large mounts of numerous other substances, some of which are hard to find.

 

This all assumes that Roth and the Tribes have been dealt with. Roth is insane, and only wants to fly his ruined vessel, which he feels can never be repaired, into oblivion. Getting through the cobwebs in his head to convince him you might actually be able to return the Light to greatness would be VERY hard, and the idea of his ship just being destroyed, to keep it out of bad hands, or chopped up for its various parts is nightmarish to him. He could sick the Tribes on you, and there are many thousands of them on the ship, all over the place. His own implants might make him rather hard to kill, too.

 

If you COULD get them all to help, you might have some good aide, with the Iron Kin able to serve as some low-end Tech-Priests, the others workers or guards, and maybe provide a few of the others with escape. Then, it's still all of the above work.

 

Lastly, there is still the Dread Pearl. If they are playing that campaign, they don't really have time to stay and play with the Light, and the rewards of the over-campaign are supposed to be amazing. They could leave some folks there, but their safety would be hard to ensure, and after you leave, any of your competitors might find the wreck, and send it off, or claim it, themselves. Sometimes, it seems wiser to get the quick loot, and send the ship off, so no one else gets their pick at things. They could also show up while you are doing that, as the books says you might toss any of the opposing RT's in at any point, to spice things up. Better you send the ship off than let them have a chance at it, after you leave.

 

If you search the forums for Recovering the Light of Terra, you might find the very cool write-up I am referring to.


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#7 spector

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 03:15 PM

The Lure of the expanse has some great allies and adversary’s and I’d like to emphasizes the adversaries part.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler alert ??? MAybe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. (Lady Sun Lee) the way it reads this particular RT has serious Ego and believes herself the will of the emprah made manifest thru her warrant maybe he is? (of course this could be said about all the other RT that are after the prize), so even if the pc’s make friends with her she will not see them as friends, she will see them as tools and use them as such no matter how good they roll, there is the tidbit about her having honor and so bargains struck will be honored but this is a race to a prize and all the prizes along the way.  I believe this RT will definitely contest the Pc’s if they found the light of terra and challenge them in a way where they will not be able to defeat her so easily like political pull and stuff of that nature even having pull with the Inq if the players have it to.
  2. Baron Djanko Scrouge, simply I would play this dude out as a beast, if he makes a deal (big if) with the players just like the book plays it out, if the baron thinks the pc’s weak and or smaller ship than his lower PF whatever he would wait till the pc’s have played out there usefulness and then jump them when they least expect it, take their ship and sell there a$$es to the slaver, if and when this happens it could before they get to the planet that their looking for.
  3. Krawkin Feckwar, (to make this character effective you should switch him with one of the other NPS like Hadrakk Fel) according to the way it’s written he’s the dirtiest and scummiest RT that will make deals break them, sell out all the other RT’s as long as he can get away with it and blame it on the other “rogue”.  He would join with any alliance the PC’s may star in the begging of the adventure just so he can backstab everyone else when the correct opportunity arises so he can grab as much booty and slaves and the clothes off everyone’s backs the gilding off the side of your ship and whatever else has value no matter how trivial.  When it would come to the light of terra he would sneak on board get the wargars to kill everyone or enslave them, this would be a war that would stretch out for months or years and he would funnel men and equipment to steal or take control of the ship, he would do this in secret and keep the PC’s guessing as to which RT is doing it also trying to implicate the allies of the PC’s just to keep things interesting.  In the end if no one stops him and he can’t get the light of terra he would cut a deal with the orks, pirates or chaos reavers or anyone else.  This guy is evil and devious id play him like James bond not as slick more like slimy.
  4. Lord-Admiral Bastille the seventh, to me this would be the main adversary to the PC’s he’s got the most money most ships and biggest and badest, I believe this RT would be the one to be the greatest challenge to the PC’s trying to obtain the light of terra, why I even think that the Admiral would even give up the lost planet because he would see this as a greater endeavor because he’s all about being a imperial Navy Admiral his ego is so huge that he models his house like the Imperial navy and goes about everything as such is the case, with him might makes right and he knows that out of all the party’s involved he’s the strongest and holds the moral high ground on everyone else.  Id play this RT like a Professor Moriarty plans with in plans and such and in actuality Krawkin or Hadrakk is the one that does all the illegal stuff (a RT with a very weak warrant or Krawkin warrant is actually fake something that the Admiral cooked up and Karkin does even no it he thinks his warrant is real) while the admiral is the brains behind the whole thing, not that the players would ever figure that out that’s just for the GM.  The admiral would see the light of terra as a great way to get lots of leverage from the imperial navy and that’s worth more than the lost planet.

Also one thing were forgetting is that the Captain of the light of terra is a man who has lots of codes and secret navy military intelligence, he has more value than any lost planet.  He has secreted away or at least the previous navigator, routes and ways thru Imperial space and the most well defended areas in this particular sector “Bastille knows this if anyone would” (one of my very astute and munchkiny players glaringly pointed this out to me).  When the Inquisition finds out they will definitely make a priority to go to this ship and ascertain what and if it is irredeemably chaos tainted and if it’s recoverable, and once they find out that the captain is alive they will take it over (simply because the Captain’s will really is holding the ship together). 

 

I know it sounds like a cool idea but salvaging the light of terra is a major campaign, and like the book and Erathia and Magnus Grendal has said and would divert from the main adventure. 

 

I agree with Erathia even thou others might think it cheese to blow it up, it’s all how you play it out and the style of the game, I also think it unbalancing for players to run around with a battleship, but this can also still be RPGed it’s just the game style would change and considerably. 

 

I would also rule that if you don’t have a certain amount of PF then you simply could not afford to run a battleship it would bankrupt your house.  Also if it ever gets damaged it may take years to fix.  I would say that your PF has to be 100+ or match the Hull points.  Even the very rich today don’t buy the Gulfstream G550 they rent it because it’s so expensive to maintain (although there are a few that do, like very selfish dictators). 

 

Also I can’t rule out the possibility that the players may genuinely want to save the mad Captain from suicide.  I would give those brownie points for that.


Edited by spector, 18 September 2013 - 03:16 PM.

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#8 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:22 PM

Sorry Erathia, it wasn't my intention to put you guys against each other or something like that.
I quoted those sentences because I really liked your lines of thoughts, I will keep them for my future games.

 

Spector and Venkelos also have some pretty interesting points btw. I think I will use of a mix of everything together.


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#9 spector

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 07:24 PM

Here’s a starter for you hope it inspires lots of ideas

 

So ok if the players really want this, then I could see it this way.

 

Players start the mini-adventure as stated in the book there in arriving in a rush and they find a ghost ship and not any ghost ship an imperial “navy” battleship!!! (Very dramatic). “GM put a surprised look on your face”

 

Ok they make their scans of the ship (players start talking up a storm about how they going to be rolling around the emprahs galaxy in a battleship, “OH Yeah this is the Shyt!!!”) and surrounding areas.

 

No one else has arrived yet (Optional: that they can detect, yes even if they roll a fuging 01 on the dice and even if they send out waves of fighters or other crap, and yes someone already is their insert whatever douchey bad guy, he or she is well hidden and knows what he’s or she’s up against).

 

First off PC's must avoid massive debris field and the bigger the ship the harder it is to the point where they cant avoid getting hit and taking damage if they are in anything that’s a light cruiser or bigger (no roll for half dmg or any crap like that  no spending a fate point to avoid dmg or other wild stupid shyt like that, and no cutesy “I take a captured ork brute ram ship and get to the battleship”).  They can only get to it in a really maneuverable cutter or equivalent also make it a really hard a$$ roll to fly thru that way they less inclined to try it with more than one gun cutter (and if they do decide to roll with more than one gun cutter make the roll yourself, base stats whatever for the npc driver (-30) and then use your gm screen for this, you should always use a gm screen (this is not gambling for the GM he does not let the dice decide the flow of the story) if no gm screen then roll and cover you dice with your hands and just take a peek and then pick up the dice never letting them see the results (work on your poker face).  You should do this every now and then so they don’t get used to you rolling for things and keeps em guessing.  

 

You want to portray that getting to the ship is very very difficult no easy feat. There other cutter that came with them should get destroyed or if you’re merciful or there’s awesome npcs on it then it should get damaged enough that another gunship has to do a rescue it and go back to the PCs ship. 

 

All this to get them on the light with only the dudes they got with them.

 

Then once there on board I would totally run it like the movie (Pandorum 2009), great fun with mutated super-cannibals leaping 10 meters on a pounce and really strong and super nuts to go with it (Wargars Maybe?) oh yeah give them genestealer stats for lots of fun (but they're not real genestealers).  Then most others are survivors that will use you to totally get out that mad house, or eat you, or feed your party to the super-cannibles.

 

Ok that’s it I don’t want to over spoil it for you.

 

P.S. or if they already found it and are on board then you still should play out those stellar phenomena, and that's just the dangerous realties of space like micro meteors and radiation and solar storms and all kinds of dangerous shyt.Wargar.jpg

 

 

P.S.S. I totally overlooked this but the battleship may be lost and a wreck, but it does have an owner and not just any one its a great hero and a legend of this sector of space and hes still alive (completely nuts but almost) this ship still has a master and its a Navel ship, so by all rights he can request aid from any imperial authorities that show up, so if the players salvage it and try to take it for themselves they'll totally be seen as villains in the eyes of pretty much everyone (well this could be a good thing) and they would be hounded like the murderous pirates they are by committing such a crime.  I would have a bridge camera or security something or other, like when you kill the captain it records everything done and then send it out in a little codex cylinder for someone to find.  (well my thought anyway)


Edited by spector, 18 September 2013 - 08:39 PM.

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#10 Nameless2all

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 09:34 PM

 I would have a bridge camera or security something or other, like when you kill the captain it records everything done and then send it out in a little codex cylinder for someone to find.  (well my thought anyway)

So simple yet so elegant.  I like your style Spector. :D

 

Though I would think it woud probably be an encoded radio transmission, that would take years, decades, or even centuries to reach someone.  Unless by happenstance someone was in the same sector and picked up said transmission, like one of the rival dynasties.  The message could be like "Code Alpha 1E279.  To anyone who receives this transmission, under Imperial Navy Authority, deliver this message to the local Imperial Authority.  *squelch garble garble squeeeeellll beep" etc etc (encoded message that could possibly be deciphered, especially if you have Imperial Navy background skills)..... messsage repeats itself.

 

Idea fairy:  Unless you were implying that the codex cylinder(s) can also do very small warp jumps to the nearest recorded Imperial Authority/Organization, all the while broadcasting said message.  I mean, it is a Battleship after all.  What secrets and counter measures for capture couldn't it produce?


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#11 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 12:41 AM

It might start transmitting a warning signal; "I have been boarded and captured by pirates" whenever it detects another imperial ship....

 

....which could be embarrasing.

 

And yes, there's a question, as I said, as to whether you can persuade the navy to let you keep it. You won't be able to keep the fact you have it secret indefinitely.



#12 Plasmafest

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 05:41 AM

No need for after the fact effects either;

 

RT "Die defenceless-cripple-with-stuff-we-want!"

Roth "Oh noes!"

Ship "MUTINOUS ACTIONS DETECTED! COUNTER PROTOCOLS IN EFFECT!"

Roth "Whuh?!"

*Bridge vents to space, Auto-Defence lasers turrets pop out of ceiling, concealed doors open to reveal dozens of Murder-Servitors emerging from Stasis-chambers...*

Roth "Oh, right. Forgot about that..."

 

If/when my players reach the Light, I would at most allow them to retain it as a mobile space station, more than that would start to seriously sidetrack the campaign.


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#13 Tantavalist

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 06:14 PM

If your players encounter the Light of Terra and don't immediately start planning to salvage it- even to the extent of abandoning the quest for the Dread Pearl in favour of this alternate prize- then you should actually take it as a sign that they aren't playing the right game. Go find something other than Rogue Trader to run for them, because they clearly don't have the right mindset to succeed here.

 

My own players did manage to salvage the LoT- that is, stop the captain suiciding it and move it to a location less likely to be found by other Rogue Traders. After the Dread Pearl (where they also realised they wouldn't be able to hold it with so many rival RTs, and instead cut a deal with the Eldar to sabotage their rivals), they returned to the LoT. Then, rather than plan to refit it as a flagship, they were sensible enough to realise just how difficult that would be and decide the potential returns weren't worth it. So they looted it of everything they could, and then towed the hulk back to Port Wander, dropping it there and asking the Imperial Navy if they wanted their ship back.

 

Recovering the Flagship of St. Drusus and then just giving it back to the Imperial Navy was, I ruled, worth granting the Peer and Good Reputation (Imperial Navy) talents as cheap Elite Advances. The Rogue Trader considers this far more valuable in the long run than mere wealth.

 

The only long-term campaign issue was the Rogue Trader's player arguing that the Light of Terra was the flagship of an Imperial Crusade- and so would definitely have Exterminatus munitions aboard...


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#14 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:53 PM

If my players decide to take it, I will give it to them in the form of a Grand Cruiser: (if they can disable the warp drive or override the Cpt in time)

   
Components        
Saturine-Pattern Class 5 Drive    -    Damaged
Good* Miloslav H-616.b Warp Engine    -    
Warpsbane Hull    -    
Triple Void Shield Array    -    Heavily damaged (operating as 1)
Invasion Bridge    -    
Vitae Pattern Life Sustainer    -    
Voidsman Quarters    -    Heavily damaged
"Storm" Drop Pod Launch Bays    -    Damaged
Good* Extended Supply Vaults*    -    Empty
Medicae Deck    -    Damaged
Pilot's Chamber*    -    Damaged
Small Craft Repair Dock*    -    Damaged
Good* Barracks    -    Unpressurized, unpowered - Devourer intact
Good* Barracks    -    Damaged - Devourer damaged
Good* Barracks    -    Devourer intact, being used as home by Wargars
BG-15 Assault Scanners    -    Damaged
Cargo Hold and Lighter Bay    -    Locked, Loot, 10 Halo Barges, 50 Chimeras (multi laser & dozer blade), 50 Armed Sentinels (25 multilaser, 25 lascannon), 3 Basilisks.
        
Guns        
Stygies-Pattern Bombardment Cannons    -    DORSAL
Stygies-Pattern Macrocannons    -    Destroyed
Stygies-Pattern Macrocannons    -    Destroyed
Voidsunder Lance Battery    -    Prow - Damaged, unpressurized, unpowered, unstable
Jovian-Pattern Landing Bay    -    Damaged (no craft left intact)
Jovian-Pattern Landing Bay    -    Locked, unpressurized, unpowered. 32 Shark Assault Boats, 10 Marauders, 20
 


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#15 venkelos

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:43 AM

Personally, I don't like the idea of toning it down to a Grand Cruiser. On the other hand, I can completely see not wanting players to have Battleships, when Calligos Winterscale doesn't (that we know of). One little thing to note is, though, that the party really isn't on any kind of a time table, based around Lord-Captain Roth. The lunatic can't launch his ship without your help, and only doing those little things will bring the warp drive online. Just NOT doing them will keep the ship stationary, and the Lord-Captain stymied. What IS a worry is that Roth might get pissed if you dawdle, or refuse to help, and he might be able to sick the crew on you. More likely, though, is that you can't tarry there, with the Dread Pearl DEFINITELY being on a time table, and possible other Rogue Traders showing up, to get the same data that brought you there. These are also built into why you might actually do what Roth says; you don't have time to get the ship, AND the Pearl, and most forces you would leave to watch it can't fend off Bastille, or some of the other high-end Traders. If you leave it, you lose it, so you might as well make sure no one else can get it. That's how you circumvent the "any Rogue Trader seeing this ship is not listening to Roth" somewhere above.

 

If they really do want it, I still say hunt down the in-depth writeup that breaks it down into numerous bits of Endeavors. It's so expensive, laborious, and time-consuming that it is unlikely to reach the point where the ship, even as a Battleship, will be used as such, and offsetting the game. 30 years is a long time, and that assumes no sabotage, assassins, Orks, or what have you.



#16 Asajev

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:01 PM

Well guys were can I start trying to salvage the details on how to salvage endeavor for the Light of Terra? I do not recall ever seeing this and I have been in this forums for a long time. I know this topic has come up many times in the past but I would be interested in looking at the work of another person in trying to make it into a Legendary Endeavor type thing.



#17 venkelos

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:23 AM

Well, i went digging and found this. Professor-Kylan did it up, and it was damn cool. Otherwise, searching the forums for the Light's name might lead to a few other threads; this is a topic that has been broached before ;)  Best of luck.



#18 htsmithium

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 03:12 PM

I was talking to some friends of mine about this and the best answer we came up with ( other than treating it like a space hulk and having it jump back into the warp regardless of what the players do) was to change it into a conquest-class star galleon that had been there when they conquered the Calyx expanse, change ross into an old rough trader and bingo. This would explain the ancient relics on board and give the players a decent ship if they decide to keep it.... once they fix it of course.


 ding dong mala mortuus est,

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impii strigam

ding dong impiorum strigam mortuus est.


#19 venkelos

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:18 PM

I was talking to some friends of mine about this and the best answer we came up with ( other than treating it like a space hulk and having it jump back into the warp regardless of what the players do) was to change it into a conquest-class star galleon that had been there when they conquered the Calyx expanse, change ross into an old rough trader and bingo. This would explain the ancient relics on board and give the players a decent ship if they decide to keep it.... once they fix it of course.

Hmm...and yet, I still like it. That is a very cool bit, overall. I am rather a fan of the Star Galleon, and can see few other, and even less better options for a crew in the current time setting to get one. It's not like they are still built (for the most part). A smidge underpowered, but still one of my favorite non-carrier vessels.



#20 Cavgunner

Cavgunner

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:01 AM

.

Edited by Cavgunner, 20 December 2013 - 01:09 AM.





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