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Shattered Hope refactored (was: Suddenly A Plaguebearer Appeared)

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#1 Serps



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Posted 14 December 2008 - 07:30 PM

ToastedHeretic posted this adjustment of Shattered Hope on the old boards in March 2008. I ran it last week and while my PCs haplessly burned themselves to death, it was a much better-put-together story than the original would have been.




ToastedHeretic wrote:

    Hey folks

Thought I'd re-post my modified Shattered Hope as I finally got to run it!

For those that didn't get a chance to read it the first time around enjoy!


In order to quell unrest in the Gorgonid Mines of Sephris Secundus the 234th Company of the Scintillian Imperial Guard under Captain Octus Kaltos has been despatched to deal with the rebels. (ed: The original adventure has this as the 97th Battalion. No regiment is specified)

The purge was short and successful and within a week the fighting was all but finished.

Captain Kaltos himself with Lieutenant Trantor lead the attack to the rebels underground base deep within the Shatters.

As they entered, the guardsmen started to become more nervous and claimed to hear whispered voices. Suddenly gunfire broke out amongst the soldiers as members of the platoon began attacking their fellows.

The insanity continued as the guardsmen began to lose their faculties and turned into berserk killers, some of them even mutating wildly into monsters.

Captain Kaltos choose to flee and seal the remains of the platoon in the Shatters and order the Gorgonid Mines sealed.

For this crime of cowardice, Commissar Nihilius arrested Captain Kaltos and sent a request for help to Scintilla. He has been ordered to maintain his position as help from the Emperor's own Inquisition has taken an interest in the Company's plight and is sending help.

The rebels on Sepheris Secundus were mine workers looking for a way out of their horrible lives in the Gorgonid Mines.

At the heart of the rebellion however were worshippers of the dark gods trying to bring madness and ruin to the planet.

When the rebellion failed, the chaos cabal committed ritual suicide, opening a tiny doorway into the warp as they did so. This doorway is spewing uncontrolled madness and mutation which effects anyone who gets too close to it.

This doorway is what drove Captain Kaltos men to kill each other.

It still waits in the Shatters.

Waiting for the players...

* The PC's arrive on the Omnissiahs Sacred Forge (a Tech-Priest vessel) - during the journey they will have time to engage in a trial combat against Servitors (basically an excuse to run a trial combat for new players).
* The PC's shuttle lands in Icenholm and are met by Guardsman Edwin Jurtz and Sergeant Raynard along with a Chimera transport. The escort takes them through Icenhome and to a large industrial lift which will take them down to the mine.
* They will witness trouble between the Imperial Guard and local Nobles who are complaining that the mines closure is costing them profits.
* The Chimera will take the PC's to the Imperial Guard Base outside the Gorgonid.
* There they can interact with Guardsmen and rebel prisoners as per the original adventure (responses from the NPCs obviously modified by the change in the scenario.) They will also have the chance to speak with the imprisoned Captain Kaltos.
* The Commissar will give them a bodyguard of 10 Guardsmen (Sergeant Raynards unit)

After the PCs finish their investigations then the Seal is lifted and the real adventure starts.


Location 1 - The Front Door - as per the adventure
If the party contains a Psyker have them make a challenging Psyniscience check. If successful the PC will be aware something is very wrong beyond the door. Realspace has become disrupted...

Location 2 - Slaughterhouse
Beyond the blast door you see a devastating scene. A two metre wide corridor extends for some distance ahead of you. Flickering lights generated by green lamps set inside support pillars cast everything in a sickly glow. The inside of the door is charred and blackened - as if by an explosion. A figure lies in front of the door face down - the back of his head caved in, his fists covered in dried blood from beating on the door. A makeshift barricade of oil drums and empty industrial mining crates blocks half the corridor. Several guardsmen lie behind it their bodies have been rent and torn, rictuses of horror on their dead faces.

Give the PC's a challenging Int test to work out the damage has been caused by frag grenades as someone has tried to blast their way out.

Location 3 Horror in the Shadows
The encounter is the same except the mutant is crying and wailing in distress and pain as it eats. If attacked it becomes a mindless animal and charges the group.

Location 4 The Charnel Pit
In a large mine working a dozen guardsmen lie dead in a semi-circle around the body of another guardsmen who is armed with a Heavy Stubber. The bodies are all torn apart by the heavy machine gun shells. The guardsman with the Heavy Stubber seems to have run out of ammo and has turned a laspistol on himself as he has a cauterised wound on the side of his temple.

Location 5 The Lost Officer
As you wrench the heavy door open a Laspistol round whizzes past your head. Lieutenant Trantor, horrified by his men slaughtering each other locked himself in here once he realised that Captain Kaltos was sealing the Shatters.

He is mad with fear and unless the PC's make a Hard (-20) Charm test Trantor considers them to be tainted and will try to run from them or fight. If they succeed he will go with them (if forced) and be a complete hindrance to them and eventually turn on them. If they leave him then he will try to escape and shut them in the Shatters.

Location 6 More Bodies
Challenging Awareness Test to hear a small blipping noise in Location 7.

Location 7 Mutants
Another last stand has occurred in this cave and another failed defence can be seen between two support pillars. The beeping is coming from a timer set on three Demolitions charges (p150 of DH) that have been tapped together. The timer has yet to be set. As you look on there is a scream from behind you as four of the guardsmen accompany you are overcome by the whispering madness of the Antithesis Stone and attack.

NOTE: One of the other (non-crazy) guardsmen will flee into Location 8 and vanish into the mines.

Location 8 Into the Depths - as per the adventure
Note: In order to keep the PC's on track stress how dangerous the tunnels are - maybe throw in a rock fall or a deep ravine with a guardsman's corpse at the bottom.

Location 9 - Bloodbath
Here the crazed guardsmen have fallen upon themselves in an orgy of cannibalistic violence - see the adventure for Will Power Tests.

Location 10
- as per the adventure

Location 11 The Antithesis Stone
You enter a large mining cavern strewn with at least three dozen civilian bodies. On inspection the bodies have each had their throats slashed by a knife (closer inspection will reveal one of civilians is wearing dirty robes and has thrust a combat knife into his chest).

The bodies are scattered in a rough circle around a rock outcrop in the centre of the chamber. Slowly rotating a foot above the centre of the outcrop is a rough black gem the size of the melon. The air around it shimmers and ghastly faces can be seen in the air.

At the sight of the screaming ethereal faces the PCs must make a Disturbing Fear test. In addition they must make another test to see if they are affected by the stone. The guardsmen with the PC's cry out. Two of them flee but the remaining three scream and attack the Acolytes, mutating as they do so.

After the first round of combat have the PCs make Hard WP tests (check the Antithesis Stone table for results) and then have them check every other combat round after that.

The PCs should be in trouble now. If things go too badly have the mutant guardsmen freak out even further and attack each other or maybe mutate wildly out of control and become utterly mindless.

Allow the PCs to attack the stone but have the attacking PC make a Very Hard Will Power test or they lose their attack action as they cannot bring themselves to fire. The Demolition charges are the best option for the PC's as once the stone is destroyed then the doorway will close and any madness and mutation will vanish.

The Aura of the Antithesis Stone

Make the PC's roll a Willpower test at:

Location | Test Difficulty
2        | Easy
5        | Routine
7        | Ordinary
9        | Challenging
11      | Difficult

Effect of the Stone

Degree of Failure | Effect
10  |  The character starts to hear whispered voices telling them to kill people. Daemonic laughter and eerie voices haunt the character.
20  |  The shadows start to move and the character become more jumpy seeing danger everywhere +10 Perception Tests -10 Willpower Tests)
30  |  The character starts feeling sick and gets a pain in their head (-10 Int). Their paranoia increases -10 (Fel)
40  |  Frenzy! The character spends d5 rounds muttering and snarling under their breath and then goes into a Frenzy as per p116 in DH except the character attacks anyone around them - not just enemies. NOTE This may be bought off for d5 rounds with a Fate Point giving the PC time to snarl a warning to the rest of the group. If the Fate point is Burned then this result can be ignored (GMs choice)
50  |  Mutation! The character starts to mutate (slowly or instantly GMs choice) Roll on Minor Mutations table for the result.

The effects of the stone are cumulative. So a character that fails their WP test by 40 will hear voices, see shadows moving (+10 Perception -10 Willpower), feel sick with a pain in their head (-10 Fellowship) and (unless they Burn a Fate point) Frenzy!

#2 Jack of Tears

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 09:49 PM

Looks good, thanks for reposting this.

Were their a lot of adventure writeups on the last site?  I may have to go back there and look around.  Any help navigating would be appreciated.


#3 Serps



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Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:09 AM

Jack of Tears said:

Looks good, thanks for reposting this.

Were their a lot of adventure writeups on the last site?

Not really. I guess Shattered Hope got a rework because it was patently sub-par in comparison to Edge of Darkness.

I suspect that Maggots in the Meat would benefit from a refactoring too.

#4 Gregorius21778



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Posted 18 December 2008 - 05:58 AM

That´s  a much better one then "Shattered Hope", but I would have one suggestion to improve it further.

It is about the "mind bending"/"Possession"/"Going Mad".

As this is for rather "fresh" acolythes, it isn´t making to much "sense" that only the guard units are under the evil influence of the warp powers......unless, if the guardsmen have a much lower willpower then the pc!

I would advise to change the company turned against the rebellion in the mine to be a freshly raised company of the planetary defense forces (pdf) and make every mere soldier of them a "green horn"/"rooky" with no combat experience. Perhaps about 16 years old and pressed into service a couple of month ago.

Add to the scences where the guards are "taken over" a description for the pc that they feel that "something tries to get inside the very soul of you". Order the GM to "fake" roles behind the screens, so it seems that the pc are under the real threat of getting consumped.

Or use "unclean spirits" with a profil much to weak to make it likely that they take over a pc... and trust the faith points spend will keep any pc from turning into a possessed!

So, you can scare the sh**t out of the players even a little more...making it understandable why the (seasoned) officers are fine but decided to retreat, faced with their forces being turned against them.



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