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Finished Lure of the Expanse... general thoughts, and what next?


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#1 Cavgunner

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 08:03 AM

So my players finished Lure of the Expanse last weekend without dying.  Overall they said they enjoyed the adventure, particularly the weirdness of the some of the people and aliens they encountered and especially the flat-out creepiness of some of the locations (the Processional particulary freaked them out).  However, they did also comment that to an extent, the adventure was rather linear, and I would agree with this.  For example, the adventure wanted them to let Captain Roth take the Light of Terra out into the void one last time.  My players immediately recognized this as a horrible idea, so once they got control of the ship's systems, they marched back up to the bridge and the Rogue Trader himself shot Roth dead.  They then called up their Dynasty to send over a yard-ship and some other vessels to provide security.  As soon as basic field repairs can be completed the Light of Terra will be limping home as a gift to Battlefleet Calixis.

Anyway, having escaped the Dread Pearl, the players found that all their successful adventuring resulted in a massive increase to their profit factor.  They are off to a good start, however they will need to consolidate their holdings, particularly the macrocannon trade with Zayth.  They also have a new colony of Sanctarchs on Quppa-Psi-12 to worry about.

However, their ship is a mess.  During the course of the adventure they engaged in several battles.  Since they knew that the NPC rogue traders were also on the trail of the Dread Pearl they did not put in to a port for repairs and fixed only what they could on the fly.  As a result their poor, abused Dauntless light cruiser only has 29/56 hull integrity remaining.  About 1/3 of the crew and about half of the Zaythians they recruited as an ad-hoc mercenary regiment are dead.  (As a side note, they found the Zaythians to be fierce fighters, but the players feel they are too lightly equipped.)  Out of an original 15 small craft they only have 2 gun-cutters and 8 lighters remaining.  Their ground transportation has been reduced to exactly 2 working Rhinos. 

So again, although they have been successful they have a lot of work to do.  Any thoughts on how to proceed?  Given that Lure was so linear I'd like to try and wing things for a while.

 

 



#2 Tantavalist

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 02:16 PM

The PCs have a large number of potential profit-making locations that they've discovered in the course of Lure of the Expanse. The problem is, the NPC Rogue Traders from that adventure visited the same places, and likely had the same ideas.

For each location, pick one of the NPC Rogue Traders and have them move in on it. One tries to make his own deals on Zayth. Another gets wind of the Light of Terra and tries to grab that while it's being slowly towed back- because given how many ships they'll need there's no way it could be kept quiet.

This is why the big players- Chorda and Winterscale- need such big fleets. As so many examples in history will show, carving out an Empire is a lot easier than holding onto it. Force the PCs to go on the defensive, and consolidate their gains- maybe burn the Profit Factor they earned to get the ships they need to hold onto it all. Bargain with some Rogue Traders- "We'll let you have X, if you help us keep Y from the other guys!"

And so forth.

 

For when the players are ready to go on the offensive again and seek out a new planet, well- here's an idea I'm planning to try myself. Their characters will find the details of the planet in the Dynast archives, and the Players will invent it!

 

www.youtube.com/watch

 

What works for a Dungeon could so easily work for a Star System, I think.



#3 vastrix

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 05:46 PM

 The first thing to do would be inbetween sessions to ask the players what they would like to do and where they would like to go. This can give you the framework in which to plot something. If you have something in mind at least have what they want to do lead into what you have going on.

Sounds like they've proven to be excellent in starting a trade route and helping set up a colony (I myself had not actually read Lure of the Expanse through for the mission, just a few details here and there as I don't GM published adventures.)

They will also have made some friends in the Imperial Navy with handing over the Light of Terra to them to be refitted.

So yes, there is defending current holdings and influence. They will also want to repair and restock that vessel and gain a few transports and escorts to handle the trade route and keep the new colony defended/supplied.

Otherwise...there's bounties to be collected, always more colonies to be founded, ancient human civilizations that can be traded with or conquered, treasure hunting to be done, and so on. Rival NPC rogue traders could have been made during the adventure and they may have to be dealt with in a permanent fashion. For even more brownie points, they could bail out the Imperial Navy in any numbers of engagements...or if they are with low morals? Create a situation to bail the Imperial Navy out of by hiring a few raider vessels through secretive channels to ambush a patrol and then slaughter them to the last to ensure there are no survivors with wagging tounges.

Or...they could gather a mighty army and help the Zaythans in their constant war with each other by crippling one of their mobile hives, slaughter the inhabitants, and secure the area while allowing some radical mechanicum folks prowl about it to see it they can find a way to reproduce such a monstrous weapon (without letting the Powers That Be know or have Mechanicum and Inquisition interest upon them)

Lots of stuff to do, see, and kill if one can simply imagine it.



#4 Iku Rex

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 11:21 PM

Cavgunner said:

For example, the adventure wanted them to let Captain Roth take the Light of Terra out into the void one last time.  My players immediately recognized this as a horrible idea, so once they got control of the ship's systems, they marched back up to the bridge and the Rogue Trader himself shot Roth dead.  They then called up their Dynasty to send over a yard-ship and some other vessels to provide security.  As soon as basic field repairs can be completed the Light of Terra will be limping home as a gift to Battlefleet Calixis.
I'm curious as to what you gave the PCs for looting the Light of Terra, and what you plan to give them once they deliver it to the Navy.

The battleship (in the adventure) has vast holds filled with treasure and the equipment of several Imperial Guard regiments, from lasguns to battle tanks. And its cogitator is filled with plot hooks. 

 

Just delivering the logbooks to the Navy is worth +2 Profit and the Navy's willing assistance in a future venture. If the logbooks come with a battleship attached...

 



#5 Tantavalist

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 02:28 AM

My own group also managed to keep hold of the Light of Terra- it seems that an awful lot of players manage to pull this off unless the GM really, really works at keeping them on the rails.

I upped the PF reward to +5 and gave the PC Rogue Trader the Peer (Imperial Navy) and Good Reputation (Imperial Navy) talents for free. The 'Help in any one endeavor' bonus I upped to helping in a number of endeavors equal to the Rogue Trader's Fel bonus.

As for contents- forget the equipment for several regiments of Imperial Guard. My players pointed out that as the flagship of an Imperial Crusade, the Light of Terra would certainly have carried Exterminatus Munitions aboard.

The Rogue Trader now worries the rest of the party by sitting in a sealed cargo bay with the looted Cyclonic Torpedoes while murmuring "Tell me when, God-Emperor! Tell me when!"



#6 Cavgunner

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 02:20 PM

Since the Light of Terra is still currently sitting where it was when the players found it, they haven't actually received their reward yet.  So TBH I hadn't decided.  I will probably do something like what Tantavalist suggested though.

As for the contents of the ship itself, I did let them each roll for a reward from the hidden holds, but I figured that after so many years of neglect most personal-scale equipment on the ship had been trashed.  The real prize imo is the ship itself, as long as field repairs can get it working well enough to get it to somewhere safe. 



#7 venkelos

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:36 PM

A problem I often have with people saying their team retained the Light involves killing Roth. According to the write-up fluff, he might not be able to die so long as the ship exists, and he is probably a higher-end character with several points of Machine. If you killed him, it might not be easy (might not manage in one shot), AND he might shout over the loud speakers that the outsiders have assaulted the Oracle, breaking any alliances they might have formed with the natives. 10,000 raging crazies could make for a difficult holing job.

Since I don't remember the LotE book giving a suggested level, if you were talented, higher level, or lucky, you might have other ships at your disposal, and could send one to the Light, to watch over it, while you run off for the rest of the Dread Pearl stuff. So long as your GM wasn't feeling dickish, they may be able to keep it, then.

One little thing to remeber is that the other Rogue Traders, overall, DIDN'T go to the same places you did; they found other ways to locate the Dread Pearl, whether it meant sneaking a double-agent on your ship, following the Eldar ship, using better warp tech to figure it out, or what have you. I think only two other Rogue Traders follow a path remotely like yours. Due to this, you don't necessarily have to beat them back at Zayth, the desert planet, or most of your other lucrative stops, along the way.

Considering how Lure ends (won't spoil it), I'd almost hope more parties DO keep the Light; it's more a feel of physical gain to it than the money you get, overall. Granted, you could end up spending most of that fixing up the battleship, but it's a beast. Or, you could just grant it back to the Navy, assumedly for a nice reward (don't let them off cheap, it's still most of a battleship).



#8 Larkin

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:15 PM

 Nice nearly a year long necro there Venk.



#9 venkelos

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:59 AM

Larkin said:

 Nice nearly a year long necro there Venk.

I've posted a bit, but much of my attention, and bad ideas/advice has been focused at Only War, with other time spent at SW: The Old Republic MMO.Time-consuming game, that.



#10 Arnstinium

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 01:14 PM

 I'll try not to spoil anything, but in Lure of the Expanse, you have to fight Eldar from Craftworld Kaelor.  My idea for a side mission for people who want to have a good relationship with the Eldar is that you gather up the Soulstones of the dead and return them to Kaelor as a sign of peace.  What do you guys think?


Sanity is for the Weak!

Blessed not is the mind too small for doubt. Blessed is the mind capable of doubt and to have his faith reaffirmed.

#11 venkelos

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:42 PM

Arnstinium said:

 I'll try not to spoil anything, but in Lure of the Expanse, you have to fight Eldar from Craftworld Kaelor.  My idea for a side mission for people who want to have a good relationship with the Eldar is that you gather up the Soulstones of the dead and return them to Kaelor as a sign of peace.  What do you guys think?

Always a good idea, if your characters can figure out the true value, if maybe not the true reason for it, that the Eldar place on these stones, and they want to make nice with the Eldar. Just try to make sure that they also get something nice from the Eldar, in return.



#12 Arnstinium

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:51 AM

venkelos said:

Arnstinium said:

 

 I'll try not to spoil anything, but in Lure of the Expanse, you have to fight Eldar from Craftworld Kaelor.  My idea for a side mission for people who want to have a good relationship with the Eldar is that you gather up the Soulstones of the dead and return them to Kaelor as a sign of peace.  What do you guys think?

 

 

Always a good idea, if your characters can figure out the true value, if maybe not the true reason for it, that the Eldar place on these stones, and they want to make nice with the Eldar. Just try to make sure that they also get something nice from the Eldar, in return.

Thanks for suggesting the rewards part.  To be honest, Venkelos, I've never actually GM'ed or even played a game of Rogue Trader.  I just created a lot of ideas that I could share and modify with any friends that I might play a campaign with.  One of my ideas is that the Rogue Trader PC's Dynasty has had extensive dealings with most of the Eldar Craftworlds that dwell within in the Segmentum Obscurus, so they know that these Soulstones are important to the Eldar, they just don't fully understand why.  Do you think that sounds realistic?  

 


Sanity is for the Weak!

Blessed not is the mind too small for doubt. Blessed is the mind capable of doubt and to have his faith reaffirmed.

#13 venkelos

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:00 AM

I'm in much the same boat. I've got a pretty good handle on 40k, and have played enough TT to know I enjoy it, and I SUCK at it , and own many of the rpg books FFG has printed for the franchise, but I have never gotten to play or GM in one; I just fabricate cool "what if's", and have devised several characters I might enjoy, or several fanfiction stories I have done some writing in. Two that have involved Eldar, my favorite 40k race, are a crew member of the race, who is a Seneschal->CTBroker + Xenographer build, serving on a RT's ship, who helps the crew by using his prodigious knowledge and some connections to help, in exchange for one little reward; if they find Eldar stuff, he gets it. Most weapons, and such, he doesn't care about, and is as likely to allow the party to keep them, as not, possibly even helping them acquire ammo for such things, but soulstones, those must be surrendered to him, no questions asked, and he later "arranges" to have them returned home, to his people. While they are valuable in the right scenarios, it can be a small price to pay when compared to his ability to assist. In the best scenarios, this can net the players access to Eldar weapons and supplies; they are doing a direct favor to the Eldar people, and while the Bonesingers still craft, to keep their art sharp, it can't be said that the Eldar race grows fast enough to use all such munitions. They COULD be willing to share their weapons, for those who so actively aide them, first. No promises it leads to access to the Webway, but that could be an awesome achievement for said group, and one few to none of their competitors could claim.

The other is a Guardsman shown Psyker, who attracts the attention of an Eldar who has seen that his life is critically important, though how is unknown. She saves him from his unit, who plan to shoot him for "hiding his gift", and the two go on the run, more or less, from both their people. She eventually begins to train him in the use of his power, begrudgingly, the better to not do something stupid with it, and they begin to form a relationship, since their minds spend so much time so close. This one is the basis for a story I am working on, though it's floating pieces, loosely connected at present. Several interesting characters have been developed, though the overall story angle it is on smacks of ridiculousness that would make the average 40k fan slap themselves.

Under the right circumstances, the Eldar could be a source of several possible boons, were they persuaded to be of such help. Their weapons, technology, and the Webway are the most obvious, but they could share knowledge of some things in the area no Human knows, insights that could save the party from certain doom. Compared to many of the possible xenos relationships a crew could make, they have seemingly the best rewards, if not hard to get ones, IMO, compared to stupid Orks, and their bizarre "junk", evil Dark Eldar, or some of the more bizarre aliens, who are incapable of peaceful rapport. i wouldn't say they're "good guys", by any stretch, but they are intelligent, capable, and negotiable.



#14 Arnstinium

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:23 AM

In terms of Ork "tech" (and I'm being polite when I say "tech"), there is only one thing that peaks my interest enough to risk reverse-engineering, the Shokk Attack Gun.  In theory, they could be modified in to "warp gates" in order to make space travel easier.


Sanity is for the Weak!

Blessed not is the mind too small for doubt. Blessed is the mind capable of doubt and to have his faith reaffirmed.

#15 susanbrindle

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:41 AM

I think Shokk Attack Guns are just weaponized Tellportas



#16 Arnstinium

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:29 AM

I know that.  But in theory, they could be reversed-engineered into a stabilized warp gate that functions like a Webway gate.


Sanity is for the Weak!

Blessed not is the mind too small for doubt. Blessed is the mind capable of doubt and to have his faith reaffirmed.

#17 Fresnel

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:24 AM

Arnstinium said:

I know that.  But in theory, they could be reversed-engineered into a stabilized warp gate that functions like a Webway gate.

Stable-wot? That ain't a very Orky word. 






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