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Campaign/Adventure ideas for Deathwatch


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#1 Kael of Tyr

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 10:31 PM

I have been following some of the other treads were the idea has been expressed that there are only a limited number of adventure/campaign ideas available involving a party made up entirely of space marines. I think it would be good to explore how a space marine centered game could be run; so please post any ideas you have for adventures or even full campaigns.

 

The first idea for an adventure I had was based on Saving Private Ryan. The son of the planetary governor was leading a group of guardsmen in action against orcs/tyranids/what have you, when his unit was cut off. The characters are assigned to go in and bring him out alive, only to find the guardsmen are holding a vital strategic point and the governor’s son refuses to leave until the area is secured. The characters must decide between staying and helping to fight against overwhelming odds, or dragging the governor’s son from the battle, forcing him to abandon his men, and thus creating a diplomatic incident that will sour relations with the PDF.

Another idea I had may be more suited for a long term campaign. The characters uncover evidence that one or more powerful inquisitors have fallen to Chaos. The only problem is, they don’t know which ones. To make matters worse, there is some indication that the corruption may even extend into Deathwatch and some of their brother space marines may have fallen as well. The characters will have to rely less on their bolters and more on their wits to investigate the Inquisition itself.

I realize that these are only rough ideas and have plot holes a mile wide, but I think a good spitballing session will bring up better ideas.



#2 BrotherAtrox

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 10:50 PM

Well I can't really see Deathwatch marines being sent to recover a Governor's son.... but I like that idea. Just not with Astartes.

There's the standard Hive Mind ninja mission.

You could have a morally ambiguous situation where the Eldar show up and you can either fight with them towards a common goal or shoot them on sight. Or shoot them after the fight. :D 



#3 davidasnoddy

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 01:30 AM

1.  The "Saving Private Ryan" campaign could work, but substitute, like, a Chapter Master or something in place of the Governor's son.  A question - where do Chapter Masters fit into the command hierarchy for other chapters?  e.g., if the Blood Angels meet Marneus Calgar, does he have the authority to issue them direct orders?  If not, that gets around the fact that one chapter (your players) have a mission, it's important enough to send the Marines, and they still come into conflict with the rescuee.

 

2.  Get ahold of the books of Chaos, and play Chaos Marines.

Either everyone gets an instruction from a superior, speaking on behalf of their god (allegedly), to work together towards a common goal (that would work with the "big four" Chaos chapters), or you can play the less well known ones like Alpha Marines, and go up against the Imperium.

 

I do think that there could be a limited number of options (so this thread could be very informative, and will hopefully prove me wrong), not just because of the abilities of the Marines, but also because of the mindset.  I had been thinking, for example, that you could have your Marines land on Gorkamorka and have to make it to a specific place on the planet to leave, leading to a Warriors style plot where they have to get around all the various Mobz without taking a beating, but the fact is, they wouldn't leave, they would go on an Ork killing spree until they died...



#4 BrotherAtrox

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 11:20 AM

davidasnoddy said:

 I had been thinking, for example, that you could have your Marines land on Gorkamorka and have to make it to a specific place on the planet to leave, leading to a Warriors style plot where they have to get around all the various Mobz without taking a beating, but the fact is, they wouldn't leave, they would go on an Ork killing spree until they died...

That idea sounds like it would work - why do you propose that they would go on a suicidal killing spree?



#5 Atheosis

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 03:02 PM

BrotherAtrox said:

davidasnoddy said:

 

 I had been thinking, for example, that you could have your Marines land on Gorkamorka and have to make it to a specific place on the planet to leave, leading to a Warriors style plot where they have to get around all the various Mobz without taking a beating, but the fact is, they wouldn't leave, they would go on an Ork killing spree until they died...

 

 

That idea sounds like it would work - why do you propose that they would go on a suicidal killing spree?

They wouldn't.  At least most Chapters wouldn't.  Most would recognize the meaningless of such a death, and would rather seek some way to actually defeat the enemy.  Only a handful of the more crazy Chapters would simply stay and die if there was another way.



#6 davidasnoddy

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 06:31 AM

Atheosis said:

BrotherAtrox said:davidasnoddy said:

I had been thinking, for example, that you could have your Marines land on Gorkamorka and have to make it to a specific place on the planet to leave, leading to a Warriors style plot where they have to get around all the various Mobz without taking a beating, but the fact is, they wouldn't leave, they would go on an Ork killing spree until they died...

 

That idea sounds like it would work - why do you propose that they would go on a suicidal killing spree?

They wouldn't.  At least most Chapters wouldn't.  Most would recognize the meaningless of such a death, and would rather seek some way to actually defeat the enemy.  Only a handful of the more crazy Chapters would simply stay and die if there was another way.

That's good to know - they're a bit calmer than I thought.  I guess that the difficulty lies in the fact that the Marines would fight (even cleverly), and take out the bad guys, rather than fleeing back to base surrounded by enemies.

3. The players' commanding officer falls to Chaos, without their knowledge, and he starts sending them on dodgy missions that further his own agenda.  How long will it take before they work it out?  What do they do when they find out?



#7 peterstepon

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 10:36 AM

 

  Here is an idea for some adventures

 Planet infested with Ork spores, Planet infested with Tyrannid biomass which is multiplying like crazy, Planet is a Maiden planet which is inhabited by Eldar Colonies and protected by a distant craftworld which keeps an eye on it.

 The long term campaign could be to eliminate all xenos traces.  This might be a monotonous kind of campaign since every adventure would be just roaming around the planet and destroying another nest.  I just mentioned it because it seemed, in the Chaos Marines Codex, that a space marine squad spend about a decade doing just that.  Mind you, they probably got bored which probably explains why they succumbed to Chaos.  Then they singlehandedly took over the planet and were commanding an army of about 3,000,000 people.

 I imagine that Death Watch wil be similar to the RPG Exalted.  Everything is suppost to be epic and over the top.  In Dark Heresy you take over and investigation, in Death Watch you take over a planet/ eliminate a Chaos conspiracy spanning a sector/ wipe all xenos out on a planet/ stop a Waaaaagh/ help the imperial guard make a planet tyrannid proof/ board an eldar ship and steal xenos technology at gunpoint/ Help build a bigger, better Titan/ join a Rogue Trader to create a new Sector/  crush a planet wide rebellion.  Think big and then run with it. 



#8 illathid

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 03:42 PM

After I get a campaign going in good swing, I think i'd like my killteam to try and infiltrate an ork world/rok/space hulk and ala the WH40k comic "Blood and Thunder." The warboss there would have pulled an alpharius (Saddam) and have many nob lookalikes. The Killteams job would be to discover the real warboss without being found out themselves.

 

My initial thought was that this would be cool because of all the posssible investigative work, but now I realize i just like the roleplay potential (several sessions of almost all ork dialect )



#9 TCBC Freak

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 06:42 AM

I posted this is on of the other treads but I think it fits here.


I ran a Marine campaign a while back, it was house rules but my guys had fun and they felt really awesome at the end. This was the basic story, I’ll let you have it gratis, feel free to use it if you want. My guys DH characters had died fighting some uber-bad daemons, well most of them had died, Rick’s Cleric was like freakin immortal, no matter what I tossed at him he always lived, it made me mad after everyone else was on their third character (and no he didn’t cheat I make them roll in my line of sight). The other three guys wanted to play Marines so we made some rules and they were a Deathwatch kill team. One was Ultramarine and another was a Courier of Wrath a chapter I made up. Zach the Courier hated the Ultramarines and carried that into RP-ing calling Josh, the Ultra, Little Blue Boy. So it had the basic PC RP elements (the other one was a Raven Guard and I was an Imperial Fist). The Inquisitor was sending them (and Rick’s cleric) to gather xeno-artifacts the second (the first is special and not for free) one they went after was on an Ork world, mostly battle, no big deal, but it was too big for them to take and there were too many Orks for them to kill and call in a pick up so (as par their orders) they elected, after much debating, to destroy it. They had to sneak in and take it out. The third was on a forge world. But when they got there two of the factories where fighting over the artifact, they had to RP to find out which side to back (which involved rallying that factory) and which side to take out (strategic planning and execution of the battle) because they didn’t know which, if either, side had the thing they were after (because they investigated but didn’t do well with their rolling). Well (after much debating) they backed the wrong side and had to fight the whole other city too (so they ended up destroying both factories with proper application of gas and fire, lol, it was funny). One of them decided to ask the big question, why the Inquisitor wanted these things (if he was a heretic they’d kill him they decided) and they had to RP to get him to spill the beans, he was collecting them to build a case of heresy against another Inquisitor. So, after much debating, they kept working for him. The next artifact lead them to a tomb (a Necron tomb in point-of-fact) on a dead world. They ran across a team working for the other Inquisitor (they decided to talk to them instead of kill them outright, after much debating…a bit of a theme you may notice) who told them their Inquisitor was the traitor and they were gaining evidence against him. Well, since two guys didn’t trust our Inquisitor anyway they decided to work with the NPC’s but they woke up the Necrons in the tomb and had to fight their way out (along the way they almost died to save one of the other team, normal guys after all, which was RP-ing on their part). After a house rules space battle with a Necron fighter and fleeing from the rest of the Necron fleet (on the Rouge Trader ship they had commandeered which took much RP-ing, including treats and bribes; and much debating) they got back to the Inquisitor. They confronted him again and it was decided there would be a trial. They had to take part in it (lots of RP-ing in that) and the story built even farther past that but if you want more you’ll have to start paying me, lol.

I like the Saving Private Ryan Idea too, but I agree it'd have to be someone of more import than an Governor's son. Like an Inquisitor or Canoness... or the Governor him/herself


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#10 BrotherAtrox

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:44 PM

I just read Heroes of the Space Marines. There's a Deathwatch short story in there titled Headhunted that I think everyone should check out. It's a pretty good example of how you could run a game. 



#11 Dodskrigaren

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:06 PM

 

Assuming characters start out as newly seconded members of the deathwatch, my guess is early on adventures are going to be along the lines of root out leftover aliens, help stop alien raids, learn how best to combat the xenos ect, and slowly graduate up from there.

I think the saving private ryan kind of thing might work, but it would have to be someone of serious importance to the Ordos Xenos.  I could see something like that for a Magos Biologis (specialized in ways to kill xenos to boot, with limited combat skills) or maybe a find the wounded inquisitor during an invasion, but less than that, eh, not sure.

 

Another one that kind of appeals to me, if the rules will support it, is running something similar to the first Grey Knights novel that Ben Couter wrote, but with Deathwatch instead of Grey Knights.  Running all over a sector hunting down ancient alien secrets to stop something bad supposed to happens sounds approriately epic enough to justify sending the Deathwatch out.

 

Oh, and no, chapter masters don't have any direct command over another chapters members unless the chapter masters worked something out before hand.  Much like the Ordos, the Astartes are pretty free to do as they wish, within reason (don't get caught right?) up to and including refusing to subject themselves to other imperial authority (there are reasons even the Inquisition 'asks' the Astartes for help).  



#12 Lost In Frost

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 01:32 PM

 First post!

It's important to remember that the Deathwatch are the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos. In the same way that the Grey Knights are the Chamber militant of the Ordo Malleus and the Sisters of Battle are to the Ordo Hereticus.

The Ordo Xenos is focused on the treat of aliens. Most of your missions will be based around the threat of the alien races, so there won't be much fighting of chaos or hunting heretics which would be left to the Sisters and Grey Knights. So, even if Ordo xeno had a rogue inquisitor it would fall to Hereticus to find him.

 

What you could do, however, is have a deathwatch kill team out hunting some xenos tech from whomever and where ever, they run into an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus who says the Inquisitor they are currently working for is evil. Leading to a bit of a moral situtation some of you are looking for. So you could trust the new inquisitor and go with them back to your old boss, or you can think the Heretic hunter is a heretic himself, only out for the Xeno tech the Kill team is hunting for.



#13 forward unto dawn

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 12:25 PM

Lost In Frost said:

 First post!

It's important to remember that the Deathwatch are the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos. In the same way that the Grey Knights are the Chamber militant of the Ordo Malleus and the Sisters of Battle are to the Ordo Hereticus.

The Ordo Xenos is focused on the treat of aliens. Most of your missions will be based around the threat of the alien races, so there won't be much fighting of chaos or hunting heretics which would be left to the Sisters and Grey Knights. So, even if Ordo xeno had a rogue inquisitor it would fall to Hereticus to find him.

 

What you could do, however, is have a deathwatch kill team out hunting some xenos tech from whomever and where ever, they run into an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus who says the Inquisitor they are currently working for is evil. Leading to a bit of a moral situtation some of you are looking for. So you could trust the new inquisitor and go with them back to your old boss, or you can think the Heretic hunter is a heretic himself, only out for the Xeno tech the Kill team is hunting for.

it is also important to note that Inquisitors can use any of the imperial resources, so it is not out of the question that an Inquisitor in need might use a Deathwatch team to complete any number of missions



#14 Atheosis

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 05:49 PM

forward unto dawn said:

Lost In Frost said:

 

 First post!

It's important to remember that the Deathwatch are the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos. In the same way that the Grey Knights are the Chamber militant of the Ordo Malleus and the Sisters of Battle are to the Ordo Hereticus.

The Ordo Xenos is focused on the treat of aliens. Most of your missions will be based around the threat of the alien races, so there won't be much fighting of chaos or hunting heretics which would be left to the Sisters and Grey Knights. So, even if Ordo xeno had a rogue inquisitor it would fall to Hereticus to find him.

 

What you could do, however, is have a deathwatch kill team out hunting some xenos tech from whomever and where ever, they run into an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus who says the Inquisitor they are currently working for is evil. Leading to a bit of a moral situtation some of you are looking for. So you could trust the new inquisitor and go with them back to your old boss, or you can think the Heretic hunter is a heretic himself, only out for the Xeno tech the Kill team is hunting for.

 

 

it is also important to note that Inquisitors can use any of the imperial resources, so it is not out of the question that an Inquisitor in need might use a Deathwatch team to complete any number of missions

Not really.  An Inquisitor actually has to petition Deathwatch for aid.  He can't just waltz into a Deathwatch base demanding a kill team to root out a Slaaneshi cult.  Well he might be able to, but he wouldn't receive a very warm response.  In fact, he'd likely be expelled from the premises.  Deathwatch is essentially autonomous.  They aren't the Inquisitorial toadies you think they are.

Beyond that Inquisitorial power is not total over all Imperial institutions as you seem to think.  Both the Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Mechanicus are free to refuse an Inquisitor if they wish.



#15 TCBC Freak

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 06:35 PM

Atheosis said:

Not really.  An Inquisitor actually has to petition Deathwatch for aid.  He can't just waltz into a Deathwatch base demanding a kill team to root out a Slaaneshi cult.  Well he might be able to, but he wouldn't receive a very warm response.  In fact, he'd likely be expelled from the premises.  Deathwatch is essentially autonomous.  They aren't the Inquisitorial toadies you think they are.

Beyond that Inquisitorial power is not total over all Imperial institutions as you seem to think.  Both the Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Mechanicus are free to refuse an Inquisitor if they wish.

The highest ranking Inquisitor is, as far as say over the Deathwatch, almost  like the Deathwatch Chapter Master, but yeah any other Inquisitor would need to petition for their aid if they weren't working directly for the High Lord Inquisitor. And the Machanicus and Astartes can refuse to work with the Inquisition but it could be very bad for them if an Inquisitor Lord gets into the mix as they have the power to excumnicate members of both Adeptus. But yeah the Inquisition isn't all powerful, for a Chapter to be put out for not helping an Inquisitor he/she'd have to be really powerful and they would still have to have a trial.


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#16 Atheosis

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:52 PM

TCBC Freak said:

Atheosis said:

 

Not really.  An Inquisitor actually has to petition Deathwatch for aid.  He can't just waltz into a Deathwatch base demanding a kill team to root out a Slaaneshi cult.  Well he might be able to, but he wouldn't receive a very warm response.  In fact, he'd likely be expelled from the premises.  Deathwatch is essentially autonomous.  They aren't the Inquisitorial toadies you think they are.

Beyond that Inquisitorial power is not total over all Imperial institutions as you seem to think.  Both the Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Mechanicus are free to refuse an Inquisitor if they wish.

 

 

The highest ranking Inquisitor is, as far as say over the Deathwatch, almost  like the Deathwatch Chapter Master, but yeah any other Inquisitor would need to petition for their aid if they weren't working directly for the High Lord Inquisitor. And the Machanicus and Astartes can refuse to work with the Inquisition but it could be very bad for them if an Inquisitor Lord gets into the mix as they have the power to excumnicate members of both Adeptus. But yeah the Inquisition isn't all powerful, for a Chapter to be put out for not helping an Inquisitor he/she'd have to be really powerful and they would still have to have a trial.

Err...Inquisitor Lord isn't an actual title.  It's an informal recognition by other Inquisitors.  In the end however he's still just an Inquisitor.  No one Inquisitor has any actual authority over Deathwatch.  That isn't to say Deathwatch says no very often.  They have the power to however.

As far as the Astartes and Mechanicus go, it takes a lot for the Inquisition to go after them.  When I say a lot I mean clear irrefutable proof of corruption, heresy, or treason.  If the Inquisition went after a Space Marine Chapter without such proof they'd quickly find themelves embroiled in a war with many Space Marine Chapters at once, so sacred do the Astartes hold their sovereignty.  In the case of the Mechanicus the Inquisition is much better off leaving any heresy within their ranks for the Techpriests themselves to deal with.  A war with the Mechanicus would more or less be the end of the Imperium.



#17 TCBC Freak

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 02:17 AM

Atheosis said:

TCBC Freak said:

 

Atheosis said:

 

Not really.  An Inquisitor actually has to petition Deathwatch for aid.  He can't just waltz into a Deathwatch base demanding a kill team to root out a Slaaneshi cult.  Well he might be able to, but he wouldn't receive a very warm response.  In fact, he'd likely be expelled from the premises.  Deathwatch is essentially autonomous.  They aren't the Inquisitorial toadies you think they are.

Beyond that Inquisitorial power is not total over all Imperial institutions as you seem to think.  Both the Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Mechanicus are free to refuse an Inquisitor if they wish.

 

 

The highest ranking Inquisitor is, as far as say over the Deathwatch, almost  like the Deathwatch Chapter Master, but yeah any other Inquisitor would need to petition for their aid if they weren't working directly for the High Lord Inquisitor. And the Machanicus and Astartes can refuse to work with the Inquisition but it could be very bad for them if an Inquisitor Lord gets into the mix as they have the power to excumnicate members of both Adeptus. But yeah the Inquisition isn't all powerful, for a Chapter to be put out for not helping an Inquisitor he/she'd have to be really powerful and they would still have to have a trial.

 

 

Err...Inquisitor Lord isn't an actual title.  It's an informal recognition by other Inquisitors.  In the end however he's still just an Inquisitor.  No one Inquisitor has any actual authority over Deathwatch.  That isn't to say Deathwatch says no very often.  They have the power to however.

As far as the Astartes and Mechanicus go, it takes a lot for the Inquisition to go after them.  When I say a lot I mean clear irrefutable proof of corruption, heresy, or treason.  If the Inquisition went after a Space Marine Chapter without such proof they'd quickly find themelves embroiled in a war with many Space Marine Chapters at once, so sacred do the Astartes hold their sovereignty.  In the case of the Mechanicus the Inquisition is much better off leaving any heresy within their ranks for the Techpriests themselves to deal with.  A war with the Mechanicus would more or less be the end of the Imperium.

The Inquisition has ranks, just like everything else and if you've read the Eisenhorn trilogy then you know Inquisitor Lord is a 'rank'. It‘s the person within an Ordo who tells the other Inquisitors what to do and if there is a dispute between two Inquisitors he/she decides it. This is also the person who has command of the Inquisitors when two Ordo‘s are forced to work together; the highest ranking Inquisitor in the field no matter the Ordo is in charge. And if two or more share the same rank then it’s the one with the seniority.

 

Who do you think excommunicates the Reneged chapters or fallen Inquisitors? A Inquisitor challenges the chapter and then there is a trial, if found guilty by a tribunal of high ranking Inquisitor then the order comes down from the Inquisitor Lord of the Ordo Hereticus, who would be the highest ranking member of the Ordo Herecticus in the sector in which the trial is taking place. Read the Soul Drinkers stories and you see this same thing, a sufficiently high ranking Inquisitor takes on the chapter and he has the pull and power to bring them to question before a shot is fired; true they attack and that's what sets the events off but it was because they knew he was bring his rank to bear. (And your assertion that Chapters would unite to keep a possible renegade chapter from being brought down is not only wrong but absurd. The whole of the Badab War was one group being accused by the Inquisition and others rallying against them, only a hand full joined them to “maintain their autonomy.” Most Chapters are more prone to attack a possible Heretic chapter on the word of an Inquisitor than side with it. What’s that old Marine moto, “Kill them all, let God sort them out?”)

And starting your post with, “Err…” as if I’m just another forum posting idiot is kind of rude, I may be taking it wrong and if that’s the case I’m sorry (Also if I sound rude in this my apologies, that is not my intent). But I know my stuff, I’ve read nearly all of the Imperial Guard novels by Black Library, the full Ciaphas Cain series and Gaunt’s Ghost works, The Soul Drinkers Omnibus, the Inquisition War trilogy the Ultramarine stories, and the Eisenhorn trilogy; with many other tails besides... Oh and my table top army is a Which Hunter force. I know my stuff. I’m not an expert and certainly not infallible but I‘m also not some guy whose only brush with 40K is what he learned from DH and RT, which is not the end all be all of 40K.
 


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#18 craigpearson81

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 02:49 AM

I've never understood why so many people feel the need to argue over the semantics of a fictional universe. Especially since the background of 40k is contradictory in different books by different authors and has even altered between various editions of the game.

I have no idea exactly what material will be included in this book, but as a player and GM I would be very tempted to scrap the idea of Deathwatch for a campaign altogether. I think it would be far more varied and fun to base the SM characters around Alpha Legion SMs and wage covert and open war (depending on the occasion) against the Imperium. You could have missions of implanting sedition on planets, tracking down unholy artefacts, assasination missions of high ranking Imperial officials, other SMs, the list is endless. And who wouldn't enjoy giving the Imperium a bloody nose!? :D



#19 TCBC Freak

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 04:16 AM

craigpearson81 said:

I've never understood why so many people feel the need to argue over the semantics of a fictional universe. Especially since the background of 40k is contradictory in different books by different authors and has even altered between various editions of the game.

I have no idea exactly what material will be included in this book, but as a player and GM I would be very tempted to scrap the idea of Deathwatch for a campaign altogether. I think it would be far more varied and fun to base the SM characters around Alpha Legion SMs and wage covert and open war (depending on the occasion) against the Imperium. You could have missions of implanting sedition on planets, tracking down unholy artefacts, assasination missions of high ranking Imperial officials, other SMs, the list is endless. And who wouldn't enjoy giving the Imperium a bloody nose!? :D

Heretic!! lol, just messing around, but I as GM was thinking about that myself, just running a game that had my players all from the same chapter could be really cool.


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#20 craigpearson81

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 04:38 AM

Yeah I think you're right, that idea in general could be very good, and maybe even open up more possibilities to the game. Just because the Deathwatch are an elite anti-xenos task force, who is to say that other SM chapters don't act in the same way within a more localised setting!?






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