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#1 dwraley

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:44 AM

Saturday, I will run my first game of Dark Heresy.  It will probably be a brief 1 or 2 session run knowing the group I game with, but I've waited since the day Dark Heresy first appeared on the shelves at my local Game Store for a chance to run this game.  On their first mission, the acolytes will search for signs of heresy on a fuedal world called Bastion Prime.  Members of The Brotherhood of the Horned Darkness have hid amongst the ruling elite of Bastion Prime since the time of Saint Drusus, and only the steady disappearance of peasants gives away their presence before someone found a way to tip off Inquisitor Globus Vaarak.

Vaarak sends the PCs in to investigate allegations against one of the most prominent noble houses on Bastion Prime.   Is there any thing I should insert into this scenario to make our maiden voyage into the 41st millenia a memorable yet enjoyable experience?  The first adventure should remain somewhat low threat, and I don't want to bring in anything hyper lethal like blood letter or a daemon host during the first session.



#2 dwraley

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:18 AM

Well three of my characters have expressed a desire to begin on a Hive World.  Do you suppose Scintilla or Malfi would make a better place to start a campaign off?   All the intrigue instrinic to Malfian culture seems like fun.



#3 Nojo509

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:14 PM

Lies, and those who tell them. Who can they trust? It's always good to keep them guessing.

I like to have 1+ NPCs be actually useful and 1+ appear useful only to betray the PCs.

Unlikely allies are fun. Like they meet a wounded servent of the enemy who knows she is damned, and wants her last act to be in service to the Emperor rather than her dark masters who have left her to die. Can the PCs trust her information?

 



#4 whisperer in the vault

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 03:48 PM

Nojo509 said:

Lies, and those who tell them. Who can they trust? It's always good to keep them guessing.

I like to have 1+ NPCs be actually useful and 1+ appear useful only to betray the PCs.

Unlikely allies are fun. Like they meet a wounded servent of the enemy who knows she is damned, and wants her last act to be in service to the Emperor rather than her dark masters who have left her to die. Can the PCs trust her information?

 

Nojo509 great minds think a like (or perhaps my simple mind is easy to read?)!  In a vein of similar thought, I normally gift my beginning cell of acolytes with a senior acolyte who represents the interest of the cell's Inqusitor.  The serves as a deux machina of sorts, allowing new players an example of how the game (social interaction mainly) works.  The sublte etiquette of Imperial Society, the intimidation of the hive streets, and the paranoid nature of the Inqusition are sublime elements that, at first at least, are hard to convey.  As an in game mechanical advantage, this senior member serves as a buffer for all manner of unexpected situations..."Medical treatment?  Insufficient Funds?  Information?  We are but a cell in the vital organ that is the Inqusition.  Any resource that is required is at our disposal, provided of course that we are worthy and just in our cause."  In my campaign, the senior acolyte serves as a proxy Commissar for the PCs, setting a shining example of what the Inqusition and the Imperium expect.  Whether they follow or not, that is a different story...



#5 dwraley

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 04:58 AM

Thank you for your suggestions.  Once more, I've made a minor change to the venue of the game.  Inquisitor Globus Vaarak will brief the PCs on their mission inside the Tricorn itself, and he will tell he views this simple mission as an oppurtunity for fresh recruits to prove themselves.  Prater Dominus, a friend of Vaarak's, had one of his subordinates come to him raving about corruption he witnessed upon a visit to House Ulthar, a noble family with interests on several worlds within the Calixis Sector.  Prater Dominus cautioned his charge against making wild accusations against a prominent noble house, but after sending the minor priest off to his bed, Prater Dominus quietly passed the matter along to Globus Vaarak.

Unable to bear knowledge of a black heresy so near the heart of power, Novice Dietrich flees his room in the middle of the night.  He seeks out a friend deeply involved with the Red Redemption, and Deitrich seeks to turn the flames of the Redemption against House Ulthar.  To find Novice Dietrich and get him to bear witness against House Ulthar, the acolytes must pursue him into the Under Hive.

Should the acolytes choose to interview representatives of House Ulthar, they will speak with Maximilian Ulthar.  Maximilian dismisses the claims made by Novice Dietrich, and he sends agents to pursue Dietrich into the Under Hive.    The means used by Maximilian remain subtle and indirect unless the acolytes manage to stumble upon the hidden shrine to Balphomael hidden within Maximilian's estate.  Shold the acolytes manage that, Maximilian makes every attempt to eliminate the PCs, and if his underlings fail that, he flees from Scintilla heading toward holdings on a world called Bastion Prime.



#6 dwraley

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:01 AM

Does anyone suggest I have an Interrogator or senior acolyte accompany the players around for their first mission?  The presence of someone with higher rank could provide the players with a lot of benefits, but the game will go south real fast if the players start to feel like their being lead around by the nose.  Players in my group tend to do the opposite of what they feel the game master wants when they feel like their being rail roaded.



#7 whisperer in the vault

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:03 PM

There is no actual need to have a senior acolyte "baby sit" your group, just set the scenario to state that the group is part of a web of cells that are currently involved in the investigation.  Should trouble arise, you can have another cell aid your group, or have your group aid another cell only to have it/ or find it decimated with the survivors temporarily merging with your group.  The extra NPCs can be used in any manner you wish, including expendable cannon fodder.  By using this ruse of a destroyed cell, some of the tension can be allieviated from your PCs with the simple explanation that the Heretics believed they destroyed their threat, leaving your group to investigate covertly under the radar.  Excellent sounding mission, seems to be well-thought out and planned.  Good luck to you and your group, I hope you all enjoy yourselves!



#8 dwraley

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 02:57 PM

Whisper, you're a genius!  Inquisitor Vaarak could send one cell to investigate House Ulthar at the same time he asks the PCs to track down what became of the missing priest for Prater Dominus.  Clan Ulthar kill teams could liquidate the first squad leaving behind one or two survivors, but the first kill teams don't wear insignias identifying themselves as working for Clan Ulthar.  The encounter between the kill teams and the unforntunate cell could occur about the same time the players meet with Prater Dominus to get the story on the missing novice priest, and just before the second cell gets steam rolled, one member transmits a brief message to Inquisitor Vaarak.  Busy coordinating his network of Acolytes, Inquisitor Vaarak passes the information along the the player characters in the hopes they can verify the presence of heretics with in House Ulthar.



#9 whisperer in the vault

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 03:13 PM

Thanks!  Admittedly, I am no genius, just a GM that has learned from a lot of mistakes...  Glad to be of service.  Good luck and happy GMing!



#10 dwraley

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 03:01 AM

Does anyone actually include Tyrant Star in their campaigns?  Right now I have no idea how to bring the Komus into my campaign except to make it sentient and connect it to Balphomel in some way.   That would feel like I'm moving from Warhammer 40K territory into the Marvel Universe or taking my acolytes around the Calixis Sector in the Tardis (que Dr. Who theme music).  For now I'm going to leave the Tyrant Star out of the lives of the acolytes because I already have terrible things planned for them.



#11 Jack of Tears

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:50 AM

Just remember, your characters should be the stars of the show.  To use a phrase I picked up indirectly from some self important rpg message board - don't deprotagonize your characters.  That is, don't make them followers or inconsequential; don't let npcs outshine them; and don't make them feel like they're tagging along for the ride.  One could call this the "Elminster effect" where the pcs are always running errands for the real heroes ... not a good choice.

Otherwise, sounds like the makings for a fun adventure - let us know how it goes.

 



#12 dwraley

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:11 PM

We spent the first session just creating characters, sitting in a table in the back corner of Golden Corral of all places.   Everyone got into the character creation process, and they look foward to playing their characters.  We should be able to get together this Thursday.  Since I did all the prep work last week, I only have a few tweaks to make to the material for the first session before we play this week.  The main action will center around them, especially as their sucesses allow them to gain the trust of Inquisitor Globus Vaarak. 






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