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#1 Calgor Grim

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:43 PM

Morning/Afternoon/Evening folks of the board.

 

I'm working on a new campaign, putting the ideas together for something new to throw at a group of unlucky chaps I know of and wanted to put some of the concepts past you lot for brainstorming. I'll outline the intended plan, if any of you have ideas for refinement then I am happy to take them. The premise in my head stands thus:

Act 1 - Greetings

An Imperium world (back of beyond type place) is under constant raids from Tau (or probably Eldar, I havent decided). Unfortunately the terrain favours their faster lighter vehicles and the Imperial Guard are finding themselves bogged down in marshy unstable terrain to be picked off by Hammerheads (Or Fire Prisms) and are losing ground by the week. The resource value of the world means that it is not deemed suitable to withdraw. I wont explain why the other faction are there yet though. The Deathwatch get called in, two squads. One is the player, the other is an NPC group of senior rank to act as leadership.

 

A few sessions then will see the team either countering enemy raids and incursions or performing recon and counter attacks to try and push the war into Imperium favour. As the superior tactics and resources of the Ordo Xenos give the opportunity. At present the Imperium can barely hold its ground let alone counter attack. Throughout the act though, hints are going to be placed regarding warp disturbances, messages not getting through from Astropaths etc. At the end of the act they all find out why.

 

Cue Tyranid tendril a-la Dawn of War 2.

 

Act 2 - Questionable Judgement

The Tyranids will drop to the planet in full consume mode as they always do. With this third enemy on side, the conflict starts to strain both sides. Contact to the rest of the Imperium then becomes severed. With too many to cope with, both the Tau/Eldar and the Imperium start to suffer even worse losses. The two sides get rapidly exhausted and losses increase, but there will be two distinct surviving groups. The Deathwatch group and the main group of the Tau/Eldar become the last two main surviving camps.

 

This will eventually face a massive upheaval when their allied group of Deathwatch marines will end up losing their commander by a particularly potent Lictor, leaving the group leaderless.

 

At this point I want to basically leave them with a difficult choice. Both the players and the Tau/Eldar are both struggling to stay alive and rapidly taking casualties. An offer of a ceasefire will be encouraged but not forced by me. I want it to feel natural. Here I anticipate some difficulties, as they could opt to say no and go it alone. I don't want to force them to accept the alliance though either. If they accept it, both teams get to benefit from each others shared resources to try and survive the continued Tyranid infestation and pool resources to develop a counter attack. If they don't then it still needs to be possible for them to survive alone and get help.

 

Act 3 - Conclusion

If they sided with Xenos: They find out the reason for them being there. The Tau want a gigantic reserve of Iridium and precious metals enough to fund an entire sphere of expansion. The Eldar meanwhile, probably some sort of relic/artifact of value. They then need to work together to either find a way off world or to force the devourer away. 

 

If they opted to go alone: They obviously don't find out the above and have to find the rest out themselves. How to get off world and probably save any Imperium assets which are still trapped on world.

 

 

I open the floor for feedback. Note that much of the above is bare bones, not a lot there yet. Suggestions?


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#2 Ansalagon

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:57 PM

Well, its pretty interesting... Though i would take the Tau over the eldar, just because Eldar would not likely be taken by surpise by the 'nids... and would rather lurk in the shadow and get their stuff and get out (from my point of view), since they value are not keep on losses, and prefere to fight cloak and dagger... also they have farseeing, and their idea of the cooperation would likely be to let the humans take the casualties and bail at the worst possible moment...  UNLESS the stakes are high enough. They are quite ready to fight meter by bloody meter... and do whatever it takes.

 

The Tau are more likely to to want a real ceasefire... but consider if you could make the reason they are there very different from just "resources" Make the players wonder "why are they here?" maybe their commander will know and be there for the same reason but will not tell them... maybe only the enemy will know.

ancient relics, an sealed tomb... Heck even an Imperiel Titan that the Tau wish to study.. Or a crashed ultramarine strike cruiser who's  last corrupted mission logs, Date back to shortly after the Emepror's death. Why is it here? how have it gone undiscovered for so long and what long lost secret are it hiding...?

The oppertunity are endless..

 

 

Also a thing to consider, if whatever the enemy they worked with are worth it, what happens in case the battle is won? Do they turn their weapons on the imperial forces at once?

 

Also, instead of killing there commander outright, just let him go missing and his command squad be dead... will they decide to go look for him and risk every thing to crumble around them? if he survives without their help, what will HE think of their actions? Will he hate them for working with the xenoes?



#3 Calgor Grim

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:29 PM

I was more inclined to go with Tau as well. The reason I'm toying with Eldar is it's something new. Most 40K FFG books seem lacking on them so I have clear slate to go nuts and make some funky rules. Plus I can spend ages screwing with players fragile little minds and perceptions of reality but your point is valid. They would not be caught off guard that easily unless they wanted to. It's one I have as a secondary option and Tau remain the focus, just wondering whether I can make it work. I don't think I can yet.
 
The thing I had in mind for the Tau purpose is either Iridium reserves and/or weapons tech. As I was reading the rules for the Riptides it mentioned that the project very nearly got scrapped and it was only a single Ethereal that worked on it in secret against the wishes of the rest that saved them from a massive pain in the proverbials when nids showed up. This then throws open the idea of it being less about a struggle for resources and more about them protecting some form of military outpost or secret research facility. Also gives me another juicy excuse to make up some weapons...always fun. I could also go for the cruiser as well, that would give another reason to keep them there as it would involve data retrieval mission and the team would be encouraged to hang around to recover something of significance to the Imperium, although I may avoid using the Ultra-cheese-marines. The little group I'm with tend to have an ingrained dislike of the boys in blue. :)
 
The finale is indeed something to consider and I half expect them to be planting bombs on anything of significance they find that is of their temporary allies so that when it's all done and dusted they press one little red button and the whole thing goes up. Only reason I think that though is because I would have been planning the same in their shoes. Unlikely they will both avoid firing and let both sides back away...but stranger things have happened. That though would depend on the characters.
 
Commander killing, reason I want him dead is more of a shock aspect. I was envisioning a slightly better done version of Dawn of War 2's handling with Davien Thule. The bit where after the encounter with the Orks he gets critically injured and almost killed in plain sight by a Tyranid warrior. Something like that allows me to do a very overt and blatant kill, showing the hives confidence if it can dare to go at a commander openly. Any humans left would likely see the event and be terrified. You're a guardsman and you've just watched an allied Space Marine veteran being stabbed in the chest repeatedly by a Lictor and cast aside like a rag doll. If you weren't fleeing already you would be after seeing that. At this point the aim is to totally break their morale. I'm also hoping that in the display of devious behaviour from the Tyranids, it tricks a few players into breaking formation and making rash decisions out of emotion. It's testing their focus but you again have another point. I could go for the slow steady removal of allies one by one to bring an air of paranoia.

Edited by Calgor Grim, 23 January 2014 - 05:31 PM.

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#4 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:44 PM

You want Eldar?

Check out The Koronus Bestiary. Also see the 'Children Of Isha' thread by No_1. Eldar for days.


Edited by Brother Orpheo, 23 January 2014 - 06:46 PM.

=][=


#5 Ansalagon

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 06:25 AM

 

I was more inclined to go with Tau as well. The reason I'm toying with Eldar is it's something new. Most 40K FFG books seem lacking on them so I have clear slate to go nuts and make some funky rules. Plus I can spend ages screwing with players fragile little minds and perceptions of reality but your point is valid. They would not be caught off guard that easily unless they wanted to. It's one I have as a secondary option and Tau remain the focus, just wondering whether I can make it work. I don't think I can yet.
 
The thing I had in mind for the Tau purpose is either Iridium reserves and/or weapons tech. As I was reading the rules for the Riptides it mentioned that the project very nearly got scrapped and it was only a single Ethereal that worked on it in secret against the wishes of the rest that saved them from a massive pain in the proverbials when nids showed up. This then throws open the idea of it being less about a struggle for resources and more about them protecting some form of military outpost or secret research facility. Also gives me another juicy excuse to make up some weapons...always fun. I could also go for the cruiser as well, that would give another reason to keep them there as it would involve data retrieval mission and the team would be encouraged to hang around to recover something of significance to the Imperium, although I may avoid using the Ultra-cheese-marines. The little group I'm with tend to have an ingrained dislike of the boys in blue. :)
 
The finale is indeed something to consider and I half expect them to be planting bombs on anything of significance they find that is of their temporary allies so that when it's all done and dusted they press one little red button and the whole thing goes up. Only reason I think that though is because I would have been planning the same in their shoes. Unlikely they will both avoid firing and let both sides back away...but stranger things have happened. That though would depend on the characters.
 
Commander killing, reason I want him dead is more of a shock aspect. I was envisioning a slightly better done version of Dawn of War 2's handling with Davien Thule. The bit where after the encounter with the Orks he gets critically injured and almost killed in plain sight by a Tyranid warrior. Something like that allows me to do a very overt and blatant kill, showing the hives confidence if it can dare to go at a commander openly. Any humans left would likely see the event and be terrified. You're a guardsman and you've just watched an allied Space Marine veteran being stabbed in the chest repeatedly by a Lictor and cast aside like a rag doll. If you weren't fleeing already you would be after seeing that. At this point the aim is to totally break their morale. I'm also hoping that in the display of devious behaviour from the Tyranids, it tricks a few players into breaking formation and making rash decisions out of emotion. It's testing their focus but you again have another point. I could go for the slow steady removal of allies one by one to bring an air of paranoia.

 

 

Wow.. you got a lot of nice ideas :D

 

And in relation to the Ultramarines and the ship.. Who have got a bad reputation, what is fully justified if you ask me... but the reason they were chosen was that it fitted with the story... A story i never got to use unfortunately... But you can use it or parts of it if you want :)

It goes like this:
After the Emperor is struck down and place on the golden thone, The Ultramarines Primarch sends a company worth of ultramarines on a secret mission in Jerico Reach (i never found out the goal should be). They bring two strike cruisers and the Battlebarge "Last Duty".

And this is where things starts to go to hell... The Ultramarine Primarch get stabbed and placed in stasis... which is bad since he is the only one outside who knows about the mission outside those who go to the reach. Then they have a traitor informing the forces of chaos... resulting in their ranking Techmarine getting captured on a rutine examination of some ruins and his apprentise getting killed. Though dispite the best effort of the Ruinous forces fail to break him.. buring his Codex astartes before his eyes as a last insult. This causes his to break free kill all the traitors he can get his hands on, and flees back to warn his company...

But he is too late. One strike crusier crashes on a unknown planet,a pulsebomb goes off on thee battlebarge, leaving the majority of the marines dead but with bodies and geneseed intact (as the traitors plan to use them to make more chaos space marines), however the survivors who lives briefly mannage to defeat the chaos fleet. But the battlebarge is left crippled without hope of repair. The tech marine find himself the single survivor of the spacemarines. he canibalise all the things he can from the Battlebarge at sets for an an abadonded forgeworld.

he then mannages to "Clone" space marines... They are not anywher near a real spacemarine.. 30-35 in all stats but still have the x2 strength and thoughness... and since the forceworld is largely self sufficent (due to the large resources in the asteroids nearby).... So he can equip them with power armor and bolt weapons. and explosive devices in their brains that tirgger for various reasons, such as corruption or psychic control. So he starts to breed an army of those sending teams out on various planets. These silent cannon-fodder marines are not one to ask questions, (since the Techmarines has lived for a long time but barely had ANY idea what has happened, after he left Ultramar)... and his troops seening marines in deathwatch armor will assume that they are traitors..

 

So first the players encounter the crashed ship, then they eventually find a small temple where a terminator armor has been taken apart! (TECH HERESY! On top of what he has already done).. and when they are attacked by the proto-marines.. eventually then find the abandonded Battlebarge (where a thousand year old possed traitor still lurk) and find the way to the forgeworld... What will they do with the Techmarine (who is has thousands of years of experience and various enhancements... i imagine him inall his mechanical arms jumping around with supernatural speed in the celling and spraying at the with a heavy bolder, melta shots and and a plasma pistol)

 

But if they DO mannage to subdue him... will they kill him for treason, eventhough he is still technically loyal to Ultramar? or will they hand him over to the inqusition? what about his research?  maybe his studies could aid in the twindeling number of geneseeds? or make better processes for creating spacemarines? or maybe his proto-maries could help turn the tide in the reach? or are his work to tainted?

hope my idea is useful... or at least interesting to read :D


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#6 knasserII

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:15 AM

Hhhh

 

If you want Eldar but Eldar wouldn't be caught by surprise by the Tyranids (which is true), the have the original Eldar plan to be to get in and out before the invasion and in fact the invasion can be what promoted them to laych this mission in the first place, retrieving their artifacts, rescuing their rangers, whatever, before the planet is consumed. The reason they're still there after the invasion begins is because the PCs' interference has held them up. This is nice because it gives the players a feeling of agency and creates further tension with the xenos when they ally.

 

As to the alliance, you can make it more interesting by really playing up their commander's hatred of the xenos to the point that they know their commander would almost certainly forbid an alliance if asked but create the initial situation as one where an alliance is obvious. E.g. set up a battle with the Eldar with terrain such that when the Tyrannids join the fray, the Dire Avengers are holding a small pass against the flood at one end of the field whilst at the other end the PCs are stemming their own tide. The natural thing to do is both fall back to each end of the valley and focus on the Tyrannids. Then after a bit of not fighting each other, you could have a two new avenues of attack open up and they could see the Eldar commander gesturing at one of the new avenues in an obvious "You take that one way". If the PCs are willing then together they can beat back the tyranid wave and hold the valley. If not, then the Eldar will fall back, perhaps being extracted via Falcon tank. Or a mawlock could erupt from the ground in the muddle of the valley and the PCs find the Eldar helping destroy it.

 

If you do use Eldar, make sure to play up their alienness. It's always a shame when they are played just as snooty humans. Humans can't even read their body language at all, they can stand still for hours. I'm pretty sure they're not even mammals but closer to reptiles in origin.


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#7 Ansalagon

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 01:08 PM

If you do use Eldar, make sure to play up their alienness. It's always a shame when they are played just as snooty humans. Humans can't even read their body language at all, they can stand still for hours. I'm pretty sure they're not even mammals but closer to reptiles in origin.

 

Indeed, Eldar can run a conversation with just glances and few subtle movements. And their saliva are mildly corrosive even...



#8 Kshatriya

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:10 PM

Think I read somewhere that Eldar are, in fact, crystalline-based life forms. 



#9 Calgor Grim

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:17 PM

That makes sense. If they are crystalline based life forms and sugar is also crystalised, additionally since most people call Eldar witches, ergo Eldar can be killed by being dissolved by water!

Almost Stanley Parable type logic...might stick with Tau, safer and less of a mind mess!


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#10 pearldrum1

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 10:29 PM

Tau are much more fun in my opinion. I always pick smurf samurai over space elves. Always.



#11 Visitor Q

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:48 AM

When you consider the stakes invovled and what each side wants can I suggest making the Xenos that are attacking the world far nastier and unpleasant than Tau or Eldar. 

 

The way I see it the Imperium wants the resources of the world while the Xenos aggressors want either a specific atrificat or a particular type of resource.  The Tyranids will destroy everything and strip the resources of the planet making retaking it at a later date untenable.

 

Added to this is the fact that both the Tau and Eldar have negotiated, and even fought alongside the Imperium in the past against a common foe.  In light of this I don't think it would be much of a dilemma for the PCs to say 'hell yes I'll ally with the Xenos'  This is compounded by the fact that the Marines are fighting as part of the Death Watch rather than in 'pure Chapter colours'.  In short there would not be as much dishonour in such an alliance. 

 

In contrast if you make the xenos agressors something really horrible like Dark Eldar or even the Slaugh (negotiating with them should be fun,,,,) ramp up that the Ordo Xenos have said that the resources of this world are to be preserved AT ALL COSTS and you have a genuine bit of RPing on your hands.

 

BTW Eldar could be (and have been) surprised by the Tyranids.  When Hive Fleet Kraken struck, Craftworld Iyanden had less than three weeks notice.



#12 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:39 PM

Make up a new race so your players won't know what's hitting them.

 

That's a lot of work though.



#13 Kshatriya

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:24 PM

Tyranids get boring fast, in my experience. 

 

I've used the Rak'Gol from RT to great effect.


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#14 Calgor Grim

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:33 AM

Well I can always use other races, trying to find one that can restrict comms and pose a significant enough threat to an entire planet and simply destroys or consumes with no concept of mercy or reason. Tyranids are the better known ones.

 

Other suggestions are welcome.


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#15 Avdnm

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:54 AM

How about the Saruthi?

 

For more ideas, have a look here.


Edited by Avdnm, 30 January 2014 - 04:57 AM.


#16 Kshatriya

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:04 AM

Well I can always use other races, trying to find one that can restrict comms and pose a significant enough threat to an entire planet and simply destroys or consumes with no concept of mercy or reason. Tyranids are the better known ones.

 

Other suggestions are welcome.

That's why I suggested Rak'Gol. They don't devour everything in a giant swarm but are weird and completely unknown to act in this part of space, use unshielded fission drives that can affect communications, and are utterly merciless.



#17 Calgor Grim

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 05:29 AM

I am unfamiliar on them. What are their weapons and capability like? Equal to imperium in places? Would the Deathwatch know much about them?

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#18 Avdnm

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 05:59 AM

Information on the Ral'gol, their Physiology, Society and Technology can, besides several RT book, also be found here or here. See the sources on the pages for the books with further information.


Edited by Avdnm, 31 January 2014 - 06:02 AM.


#19 Ansalagon

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:16 AM

As sudden doom comes, Necrons are probably a good possiblity. Overwhelming force, no warnings, have been know to jam communication, untterly merciless and meticulous... However i would suggest that you use some new race or at least one of the lesser know ones, just to give the players something new that they aren't surprised for...



#20 Calgor Grim

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 07:59 AM

Necrons I could probably do as well, since we havent had much player experience against 'Crons to see exactly what they are like as enemies. I'm liking the idea of the crashed Imperium vessel which is to be recovered. I am thinking that said chunks of ship containing vital information could have slipped deep into the depths of a planet. Necron Tomb world with vital Imperium information stuck in the heart of it...

 

That at the moment (or Tyranids) would make for a sound fallback if I cannot get these new aliens written up.


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