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#1 antony131073

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 08:05 AM

Spoiler - Rejoice for you are true

I am running the above and concluded the second session yesterday with the chase of Theodosia. This is the 6th adventure I have run but the first encounter I decided to use a scale map and miniatures as I thought it would useful to keep track of the chase. However as I was just finishing drawing up the map I started thinking, if Theodosia escapes as quickly as i think he will then the players are gonna think what was the point in mapping this out for the encounter to be over in moments without them standing a chance.

However I did not consider three divine shots in three rounds all causing max damage. As the hired thugs came into play I had Theo blasted into a stall so he had a moment to hide and strap the melta bomb to the case before fleeing. The players luck was on a roll though. Even though Theo's demo skill was much higher than the players his 17 against my 82 roll meant that they had made their one shot to disarm the bomb and then left them with the case intact.

Really not where I thought the session would end. I imagine the visit to the Alabaster court is going to turn very bloody as soon as Theo arrives and may lead to the Ambulon mission not occuring at all (or maybe as planned strike against the drug lab rather than an investigation)

Anybody else end up with the PC's getting hold of the case intact?



#2 Alasseo

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:59 AM

 Yup, it happened- the party psyker tried to Spectral Hands the case away from Theo in the opening rounds. He gained a phenomenon: Tech-scorn. Theo was a couple of meters within range of the psychic breakiness effect (it's a technical term), and I ruled that dropped him prone, Stunned and, indeed, Helpless for d3 rounds as his bionics rebooted. The hivers in the party ran up and kept on making called shots to the head in melee until they broke him. The back-up gangers couldn't get close enough or drive the PCs away in time, and ended up getting slaughtered or running away from the psyker's Fearful Aura.


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#3 Graver

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 11:03 AM

What do they say about the best laid plans, again?

 

Someone obviously didn't let Theo in on that little nugget of wisdom...

 



#4 VarniusEisen

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 01:36 AM

 Funnily enough I had exactly the same situation occur the other night.

The only players were the tech preist and the guardsman . the Techy was making the exchange while he was covered by the guardsman.

Theo wastes the bounty hunter grabs the case and legs it. In a display of emperor like awesomeness the techy whips out his bolt pistol and fires off 2 rounds rolling  "03"  then rolls 2 tens on the damage and thro the roll ups, manages to do 45 points of damage to Theo.

My ruling: The bolts blast straight thro his lower arm, severing the hand at the wrist causing him to drop the case.

As GM it's up to you to make sure that Theo stays alive for the final scenes. Now, however my player know that he's hard but they still don't know HOW hard.



#5 Darkshroud

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 10:52 AM

Back when I ran this adventure it Theo capped Orday and legged it. I go to the players "what do you do?". What I didn't take into acount was one of the characters had the sprint talent so legged it to cut him off. Meanwhile the rest of the party makes chase up and round (except the scum who's looting poor old Orday for his bolt pistol).

A few rounds of nice shooting including a called shot from the sprinting adept and divine shooting psyker I decide it's bomb time. So he lobs the bomb and the psyker panics floating right up in the air meanwhile the Tech Priest has caught up and asks if she can disarm it, I'm feeling generous since they're quite low levels still and figure it'd be good character storyline development to let her try and get demolitions with the xp from the mission. She rolled a 01.

"Piece of cake that!"

I did however make sure Theo run off up some wall and escape to haunt them later though.



#6 Bitterman

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 12:42 AM

To digress somewhat, this is a major reason I almost always avoid running pre-written campaigns or scenarios... there is almost always a point at which what the scenario says, and what the players do, completely disagree with one another and from that point on, you have to make it all up yourself anyway. So cut out the middle man is what I say.

The worst example for this was actually in Inquisitor, one of the expansion booklets - there's a fight in a library - "at some point one of the players will suggest setting fire to the books. Someone always does! When this happens..." - wait - the entire plot of the whole campaign relies on one of the players doing something that they might choose not to do???

I'd much rather see a location / character / plot-hook collection than a scenario / campaign, for this kind of reason.

Of course that doesn't help the OP... my best suggestion would be to wing it!



#7 Dartneis-Is-Back

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:50 AM

VarniusEisen said:

Theo wastes the bounty hunter grabs the case and legs it. In a display of emperor like awesomeness the techy whips out his bolt pistol and fires off 2 rounds rolling  "03"  then rolls 2 tens on the damage and thro the roll ups, manages to do 45 points of damage to Theo.

Thats almost exactly what happened when I ran through it, only our Tech Priest was using Ordays bolt pistol completely unskilled, and managed to land two hits to his brainpan, it was hideously lucky... I ruled he managed to escape in the crowd whilst heavily injured, and resurfaced later on at the Court, heavily covered in bandages...

 

Humm, anyway getting back to the OPs question;  considering the thrashing Theo took earlier, perhaps you could have him be escorted by a large (something like players*3-4) number of bodyguards to Alabaster in an attempt to discourage them from a direct attack straight away. If things should take a turn for the worst then Theo will have pleanty to time to down Shole and get out of there before the players can make it past his guards.... mby?



#8 drseuss620

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:38 PM

This is why I give key villain NPC's some fate points.

 

Sure he could still die but he is going to burn them fate points to try to survive.



#9 Darth Smeg

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:31 PM

I also found this chase scene playing out differently than obviously intended by the author, and found the players "easily" keeping up with and shooting at Theodosia. As is often the case when such things happen, it's because you (the GM) have forgotten some rule or other :)

So, hindsight being 20/20, here are some pointers that should have made a difference.

1) Theo goes first.
No matter how fast the ninja-players are, nobody can react to something before it happens. The players may have been waiting for something to happen, clasping their weapons under their trench coats ready to lay down some Judgment, but the plan for the exchange was a discreet meeting, using the crowds as cover. This means no weapons drawn, as this would cause commotion, even panic, amongst the crowds. Only one player was to come forwards, the others staying back. When Orday gets smoked, only those succeeding in a sight based Hard (-20) Awareness test will be prepared for Theos surprise drop from above.

Theo goes first, and the best the players can hope for is to not be surprised, so they at least can get to act too. On subsequent rounds, Theo's initiative is D10+5, which should be higher than most players, at least at the ranks this adventure is intended.

The first round, Theo drops down, grabs the case, and then makes a Full Move and may choose to make a Hip Shot while doing so. When (if) the players get to draw their guns and shoot (or run), Theo will be 20 meters away, putting him out of charge distance of even the fastest acolytes (remember, he starts 10m away from the closest Acolytes, and moves 10m each round)

2) Dense Crowds.
Anybody not Hive Born must test Agility -20 if using Charge or Run (including Sprint). Anybody trying to shoot Theodosia take their BS at -20, as he uses the hivers as cover. Any misses (including bullets from Full Auto Bursts that do not connect) will most likely kill innocent bystanders. Be generous with Insanity points in this case, and play up the nightmares later. And don't forget the corruption points as stated in the book.

3) Walls & Stalls.
Theodosia may run up walls as if nothing, but the Acolytes can't. On the end of the first round, Theodosia has actually made it over the first wall, dropping out of sight. (see the map) Any players giving chase will have to run around, or Climb over (Full Action, Difficult Agility test)

4) Actions.
Theodosia has more (2 Full Actions each round). While the players will have to choose between FullMove/Run to keep up or attacking, Theodosia can do both. If a character actually manages to catch up to him with a Run(Sprint), all they've done is place themselves in Theo's Point Blank range, allowing him a nice +50 Full Auto at effective BS 91 before he makes his full 10m move away.
Should a PC catch up to him with a Charge, remember Theo dodges at +10 (62), then makes an Acrobatics test at 52 to Disengage as a Half Action, followed by a Full Move, letting him end up 15m away, and still allowing a Half Action for attacks. Also, remember that his Hip Shooting allows him to make a single shot while moving if you'd like to use his other actions for other things.

So what does it take to catch him, then?
Even if an agile sprinter with a move of 4 succeeded in his running test, he would have to stop at the stall-wall, or run around. A fast and cold gunman could whip out his autopistol, and fire a full auto burst at Theo at close range on the first round (if he was not surprised). The crowds cancel the FAB bonus, leaving it at BS +10 to hit. Theo is aware of the attacks, as he faces the players, and may dodge as normal, as well as getting of a hip-shot on round 1.

See the map. Unless the players move, Theo will be (and remain) out of Line of Sight after round 1. If they move, their shooting options are limited. If they wish to climb a stall, that makes their first firing opportunity on round 3 (1 round to run to the stall, 1 Full Action to scale it (requiring guns to be holstered), then draw/aim/shoot on round 3 (most likely after Theo's move on that round, which should allow him to move around a corner)

It's easy to forget all this in the heat of battle, and some pointers along these lines would have been helpful BEFORE running the encounter :)
 


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#10 ebony14

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 05:01 AM

Darth Smeg said:

2) Dense Crowds.
Anybody not Hive Born must test Agility -20 if using Charge or Run (including Sprint). Anybody trying to shoot Theodosia take their BS at -20, as he uses the hivers as cover. Any misses (including bullets from Full Auto Bursts that do not connect) will most likely kill innocent bystanders. Be generous with Insanity points in this case, and play up the nightmares later. And don't forget the corruption points as stated in the book.

Add, also, that any hiver between the PCs and Theo when the shooting starts are going to do their damnedest to get out of the way. Riots have been started that way, and if the PCs aren't careful, they may find themselves in the middle of a frightened, angry mob. Theo does have the wall-walking legs, if I recall correctly, so we can assume that he might be able to get out of the way, plus he's moving away from the source of the mob, and should be able to get clear. More dangerous aspects of a panicked crowd, such as armed citizens or local law enforcement can be used to delay PCs even further.



#11 Cifer

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:03 AM

The assassin hasn't got it quite as simple. It's certainly likely that he gets away, but there are a few factors of luck engaged.

 

1) Theo goes first.
No matter how fast the ninja-players are, nobody can react to something before it happens. The players may have been waiting for something to happen, clasping their weapons under their trench coats ready to lay down some Judgment, but the plan for the exchange was a discreet meeting, using the crowds as cover. This means no weapons drawn, as this would cause commotion, even panic, amongst the crowds. Only one player was to come forwards, the others staying back. When Orday gets smoked, only those succeeding in a sight based Hard (-20) Awareness test will be prepared for Theos surprise drop from above.

Theo goes first, and the best the players can hope for is to not be surprised, so they at least can get to act too. On subsequent rounds, Theo's initiative is D10+5, which should be higher than most players, at least at the ranks this adventure is intended.

The first round, Theo drops down, grabs the case, and then makes a Full Move and may choose to make a Hip Shot while doing so. When (if) the players get to draw their guns and shoot (or run), Theo will be 20 meters away, putting him out of charge distance of even the fastest acolytes (remember, he starts 10m away from the closest Acolytes, and moves 10m each round)

To borrow from a certain Sith: You underestimate my talents!

Quickdraw eliminates the half action for drawing a weapon (I'll not engage in my favorite subject of why the frikkin' gunslinger doesn't get it...). Paranoia gives a +2 to initiative and automatically lets you test perception to spot hidden threats ("I always expect an ambush!"). Rapid Reaction lets you make an agility test to act despite surprise - yes, this means you can even act before the enemy has finished his own action ruleswise. Ever seen the end of a movie when the hero graciously offers the BBEG to surrender, the BBEG accepts, then tries to stab the good guy in the back, only to be killed because the hero's reflexes are that good? That was Rapid Reaction.

Further, 1D10+5 can easily be 6.

 

Anybody not Hive Born must test Agility -20 if using Charge or Run (including Sprint). Anybody trying to shoot Theodosia take their BS at -20, as he uses the hivers as cover. Any misses (including bullets from Full Auto Bursts that do not connect) will most likely kill innocent bystanders. Be generous with Insanity points in this case, and play up the nightmares later. And don't forget the corruption points as stated in the book.

Corruption for shooting innocents merely shows that the author didn't understand the Corruption system, as it is only used when actual warp entities come into play. "The Emperor will know his own" is a tried and true imperial doctrine and as soon as a PC has Jaded, he won't have problems with it.

 

While the players will have to choose between FullMove/Run to keep up or attacking, Theodosia can do both. If a character actually manages to catch up to him with a Run(Sprint), all they've done is place themselves in Theo's Point Blank range, allowing him a nice +50 Full Auto at effective BS 91 before he makes his full 10m move away.

Note that they also have the -20 due to them running.



#12 Darth Smeg

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 06:25 AM

Cifer said:

Ever seen the end of a movie when the hero graciously offers the BBEG to surrender, the BBEG accepts, then tries to stab the good guy in the back, only to be killed because the hero's reflexes are that good? That was Rapid Reaction.

No, that was a Delay Action.

You make good and valid points, but as you seem to share my joy of nitpicking, here we go:

Rapid Reaction lets you test Agility to negate surprise, and to act normally in round 1. That does NOT mean you get to act before whoever initiated combat, nor that you may interrupt his turn. Delay Actions lets you do this, but unless the Paranoid assassin spends his entire day walking around at 1/2 Move, running Delay Actions and driving everyone nuts by his constant stopping and looking around, he may not claim to have a "spare" Delay Action from "the round before Combat started".

The scenario in the book is a bit special in that it lets everyone test Awareness to see that the shots came from above, and so lets everyone try to avoid surprise regardless of whether or not they have Rapid Reaction, but in other settings, unless you have Rapid Reactions, you may do nothing on the first Round. Not even Dodge/Parry, and the attackers gain a +30 to hit them,

As for the Quick-Drawing, Paranoid, Rapid Reactioning Assassin, remember that Purge The Unclean is for characters of relatively low rank. It is unlikely (but not impossible) that there will be a ninja-assassin that can act before Theo on round 1. But granted, it MIGHT happen. And if so, he will be starting 10m away from Theo, with Dense Crowds in between.

At this point, the Assassin may Quick-Draw an autopistol and unleash a Full Auto Burst at BS +10 (+10 for Range, +20 for FAB, -20 for Crowds). Theo will Dodge at 62, before moving away and dissappearing beyond the wall at the end of his turn.

Or the Assassin may charge.

The Core Book actually says that in Difficult Terrain your Movement rate is halved, but this does not jive with the writing in the Scenario where it states that Theo moves 10m a round as the result of his Full Move. If the book is correct, you would need a Move score of 7 to make it. If the Assassin is a Hiver with Accustomed to Crowds, he still needs a Move of 4. And again, Theo would Dodge, Disengage (as a half action, most likely), Move and Fire, and still disappear behind the wall.

 


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My House Rules for using Only War (and more) for Dark Heresy games


#13 Cifer

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:53 PM

Rapid Reaction lets you test Agility to negate surprise, and to act normally in round 1. That does NOT mean you get to act before whoever initiated combat, nor that you may interrupt his turn. Delay Actions lets you do this, but unless the Paranoid assassin spends his entire day walking around at 1/2 Move, running Delay Actions and driving everyone nuts by his constant stopping and looking around, he may not claim to have a "spare" Delay Action from "the round before Combat started".

If the character can act in round 1, would by initiative act before the agressor and has nothing better to do with his turn, I'd consider delaying quite acceptable. Also, Paranoid has that "constantly drive everyone nuts" explicitly built into it.

 

As for the Quick-Drawing, Paranoid, Rapid Reactioning Assassin, remember that Purge The Unclean is for characters of relatively low rank

Quick Draw and Rapid Reaction would be a rank 2 gunslinger scum, though Paranoia is slightly harder to get (if you omit Rapid Reaction, you could get it by coming from Sinophia).



#14 Darth Smeg

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 02:01 AM

Not so, Delaying means reserving your action to see what your opponents do before you act.

This means that at the start of your turn, there must in fact be an opponent to observe. If there isn't, then you spend that turn doing "nothing", moving, or whatever else you were doing for the past few minutes.

You can't react to something you are unaware of, and even the most tightly wound gunman can be jumped or surprised.

Imagine Bob the Paranoid walking down the street. He's eying everyone as he moves along, expecting trouble. Bruce the Coward is hiding on the rooftops with a rifle. He's hidden behind an alcove, and only once Bob passes him below will he be in view.... from behind.

Bruce, waiting for the right moment, shoots Bob in the back.

Now, even if Bob is Paranoid, and Munchkined up with Rapid Reaction, Quick Draw, and with Initiative 2 times that of Bruce, he will NOT be able to magically detect that Bruce is about to shoot, and take action before the shot. Particularly nice GMs might decide to give Bob an Awareness test to notice dangers, but depending on how well Bruce is hidden (perhaps completely out of view, with a pict-recorder telling him when to pop out of cover) I wouldn't allow it.

His Rapid Reaction will allow him to Act (if he survives Bruce's shot, which he may not Dodge, being unaware of the attack), let him move into cover, or spin around and return fire (if he sees Bruce, that is). Without RR, he may not do anything until round 2, where he may go before Bruce if his Initiative is higher.

The scenario with Theo is a bit "strange", in that the shooting of Orday happens in "round 0", and as such players could argue they should be able to use a Delay from this round. It really seems a bit fudged, with Theo able to fire a full or semi auto burst at Orday (Full Action), leap down (Half Action), grab the bag (Half Action), and still be able to make a full move + take shots at the players in Round 1.

So in this particular scenario I would agree: A character who was not surprised, and actually has a higher initiative than Theo, might Ready a weapon and Delay on Round 1. When Theo then jumps down and grabs the case, he would be allowed to take his reserved Half Action, interrupting Theo (This calls for an Opposed Agility Test according to the RAW, to see who gets to act first)

But in other cases I would not allow it. In the case of Bob and Bruce, if Bob had said "I expect an ambush. I move slowly, scanning all alleys, windowns and rooftops, ready to dive to the side and return fire", this would mean Bob was already in "combat mode", running Half Moves + Delay as he moves down the street. Thats fine, but nobody can go through the entire day like that, and he would drive everybody around him crazy. (Walking around at a snails pace, constantly stopping and staring at windows would also make people look at you funny). This level of Paranoia is not covered by the Talent, as a Paranoid character may still move at full speed and take his Full Actions as everybody else.

I like to counter the "You underestimate my talents" with a "I think you are overestimating yours" :)


Tarald - The Dark Lord of Smeg

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on

 

My House Rules for using Only War (and more) for Dark Heresy games


#15 antony131073

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:00 AM

I suppose part of the problem was that I played the Hustle as more market stalls (that could be shot over) rather than buildings. This meant that shots would be possible albeit difficult for several rounds. I think if I had hid him behind a wall in the first round the players would have felt a bit jipped. Hardly point running the scenario if they had such a little chance. What I did not take into account was several divine shots doing max damage. That said, it could have turned into a disaster for the players. About half of the group are already looking for an excuse to kill the psyker. I think the psyker made three divine shots rolling three dice each time. The odds on a 9 were quite high and if phenomenon had led to several deaths in the crowds I think it could have been the end of the psyker.



#16 Alasseo

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 06:05 AM

 For the most part, you were right- the open square the party has to cross from the statue to the wall the others mention is full of market stalls (albeit rather haphazard ones), and barrows, and hawkers with trays round their necks, etc. The walls around aren't massively high (say, 5-7 feet tall) and are likely to be somewhat tumbledown in places. Odds are many of the 'buildings' in the Hustle are little more than ramshackle huts, quite possibly with holes that can be fired through (although that's a risky option- the shooter would most likely have a fraction of a second to make the shot as Theo runs past the holes. If the shot isn't timed right, it'd either hit the building walls (if Theo was the shooter, or the PC was tracking Theo) or just plain miss, passing through the building and out the other side without hitting what the shooter wanted to).

All that said, Psykers seem to be the way to drop Theo- Divine Shot would pretty much guarantee a hit as he dodges past that hole in the building, and as I found, a lucky Tech-Scorn, or something like a well-timed Spasm can drop him where he stands, and let the PCs catch up to him. Add some Hivers into the mix and it isn't that tricky to keep up with him.


There is no right, and no wrong, but having the bigger stick makes it so...


#17 Graspar

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 01:53 AM

When I ran the adventure, Theo barely dodged a takedown, they dispersed the crowd, did enough damage to drop a space marine and disarmed the bomb like nothing. At the final ancounter, they used the bomb on Theodosia.

 

The session after they tried to fight five gangers and fate points were burned all around. You just cant plan the outcome of combat.






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