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So my crew started with a Grand Cruiser


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#1 The Glen

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 05:16 PM

My players got together and made their characters, each contributing to the flow of the storyline.  We have a rogue trader, void master, arch militant, seneschal, navigator and a freeboota.  They decided to be a very militant crew and gave a desire to have a war themed campaign.  The RT is from a long line of Admirals, the seneschal is effectively a commissar, the arch militant leads the ground forces, the Ork is for the lack of a better description the Rancor, the void master is the XO, and the navigator is a wild card, the only one that isn't military trained.  So they do the ship flow chart and just go straight down what gives them the most ship points.  This gives them 70 SP, enough to buy an unequipped Avenger grand cruiser.  The RT, seneschal, navigator, and arch militant all take paths that give extra ship points, letting them kit out the ship a decent amount.  All four of them justify this that the RT dynasty has long held the fealty of the families that the other characters came from.  So what headaches am I expecting here?  The ship is pretty much just a few broadsides with two units of mercs on board, in the opening game I had to toss extra raiders at them to keep the module interesting.  Their profit factor is rather pathetic, but they have barely been challenged by any ship event.  Any ideas on how to keep it interesting without hosing them or punishing them for specializing? 



#2 Errant

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 06:34 PM

Standard ship-combat suggestion: Reduce armour by 12, but have it apply to all non-lance weaponry hits. Broadsides get storm. They'll find that their ship is an impressive behemoth of the void, able to shrug off most blows without them being able to tear vessels apart with no effort using macrocannons. Also, give NPCs +20 to one action and +10 to another.

In all honesty, a grand cruiser at creation is far less scary than a fully kitted-out frigate, it'll take them a long while to build it up to its full potential.



#3 MKX

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:34 PM

Upkeep and repair tests can be rather scary things...



#4 Snidesworth

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 09:41 PM

Well, they desire a war themed campaign. Give them one. Maybe the Imperium's worked itself up to launching a crusade and there's profit to be made in serving as the vanguard of the fleet, assisting with the taking of worlds or serving as an ambassador to worlds which are generously being given the chance to surrender. They can duke it out with enemy flagships in the midst of pitched orbital battles,  lead their mercs on the ground, grapple with the politicking of Imperial officers, branch off to investigate rumours of treasure worlds uncovered during the last city sacking and so on. Dropping them into the Jericho Reach might work well, though the Imperium deciding to clobber some part of the Expanse also works. As does using a region of your own creation, of course.

Remember though, they've got some incredible assets but they're still rank 1 characters and, quite crucially, dirt poor (for a rogue trader house). They won't find it easy to acquire cool new toys until they've had a good deal of success, so they'll be stuck with what they have. Their mercenaries and crew will suffer losses, the ship will take damage, misfortune might see choice bits of gear lost or destroyed and so on. With a grand cruiser and a (small?) private army they're also going to be going up against some powerful people, likely NPCs who greatly exceed the abilities of the explorers. It might be worth making this a thematic element too; they've inherited a warrant and a fine ship, sure, but they've still got to prove themselves. For now they're relatively green and, even if they're in command of some powerful assets, they might not be given the respect they feel that they deserve. As the campaign goes on they'll probably prove themselves to be worthy of the dynasty they represent, giving them a sense of progression within the setting.



#5 Maese Mateo

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 01:48 AM

What do you mean by "unequiped"? Do they even have weapons?

 

A Grand Cruiser can be very powerful once is fully equiped, but a Hull with Essential Components and nothing else is less scary than an Orion-class transport fully equiped (or, like some of the above posters said, a full equiped Frigate).

 

IMHO, starting  PF/SP doesn't work well if you want to begin with anything bigger than a Cruise, since you only get the Hull, your basic Components and have very little room for customizing the ship (Additional Components are really useful and sometimes can save the whole group's life during a combat).

 

Also, the fact they have very low PF can be problematic if they need to repair the ship, hire new Crew or buy new Components.

 

 

EDIT:

If your group wants a Millitary focuses game, they should check the rules for Trader Militant (a special kind of Warrant) in BFK.



#6 The Glen

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 05:44 AM

The ship cost 70, which was their starting SP.  Four of the characters took backgrounds that generated another 12sp. they spent 6 on weapons, the rest on components.  The ship has vast amounts of space and power left over, but I allowed the arch militant to start with a mercenary unit as his starting acquisition, it was in character.  Going to give them a crusade to strive for, and possible throw the Rak'gul at them for a real test.  Avoiding the trap of just sending nothing but cruisers after them, they spent their points to be good in combat so I'll give them that.  They've got no cargo capacity, and aren't that good past blowing stuff up.  So maybe some diplomacy will spice things up for them.



#7 Badlapje

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:21 AM

 

toss some very well equipped frigates or moderately equipped light cruisers at them.  It'll challenge them.  



#8 Objulen

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:32 AM

 Spending all 70 SP on a ship can have advantages in the long run, but the thing to keep in mind is that their power starting out isn't going to be fraction of what it'll be once their PF gets high (which is probably pretty low now, so that works in your favor) enough to actually equip the thing with guard barracks, drop pods, murder servitors, Lances, etc. I personally would have gone for a Light Cruiser with more stuff, but if they're careful early on, they'll have a beast of a ship later in the game. 

Basically, they have a ship that can level up with them, which isn't a bad place to start. 

It's hard to say exactly what to expect without knowing what weapons they have, but they'll probably be pretty good at basic combat that can get even better. On the other hand, they may be weaker at indirect combat, such as torpedo or bombing runs. 



#9 Zarkov N

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:57 AM

 One massive ship?  So not so fast, then?  Poor at dividing attention effectively between multiple targets or priorities?  If we're talking about threatening them, hit where they're weak - their profits.

Example: poor profit factor doesn't just mean a lack of ready cash, it means poor credit history.  Maybe the Navy want you to pay for escorting one of their convoys.  Maybe you can't afford that, but you happen to have a grand cruiser on hand.  And maybe during the inevitable ambush you have to chose between protecting one of the haulers, or the other two.  

Don't forget though, they bought a 80+ SP ship because they wanted to be awesome in space.  It would be cruel to deny them that opportunity.  Don't worry so much about the regular level stuff, but do think ahead for how you can give them something they can really be proud of - their Battle of Endor.



#10 Norticus Noctum

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 09:33 AM

In my opinion you got yourself a great crew that knows what it wants and how to get it. I assume the game itself is also better when most of the players know what they are doing and where to go. In RT Core you where rolling for SP/PF so just give them all those minuses of the "poor" familiy that is on the verge of destruction RT home world was destroyed or his family killed loosing all the precious PF (in form of conections and family treasury) by the enemy RT family, when they were obtaing the ship. Givving them Enemy Talents - RT and by that also loosing all the Peer talents of the "nobility" crewmebers. Remeber your the GM and they should feel it is the Warhammer 40.000, the 41st milenium, that there is only war in the Grimm Future.



#11 HeavensThunderHammer

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:26 AM

The Glen said:

The ship cost 70, which was their starting SP.  Four of the characters took backgrounds that generated another 12sp. they spent 6 on weapons, the rest on components.  The ship has vast amounts of space and power left over, but I allowed the arch militant to start with a mercenary unit as his starting acquisition, it was in character.  Going to give them a crusade to strive for, and possible throw the Rak'gul at them for a real test.  Avoiding the trap of just sending nothing but cruisers after them, they spent their points to be good in combat so I'll give them that.  They've got no cargo capacity, and aren't that good past blowing stuff up.  So maybe some diplomacy will spice things up for them.

I've been curious how this turned out, any info?



#12 Sister Callidia

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:48 AM

With a ship that big and slow you can't fight anyone who is determined not to. So the only combat they will face is when an enemy think that they can win. Meaning Cruisers, or lots of determined escort class ships.

If I was you, I would stress the importance of paying a lot of money to keep the ship running, pay the crew and such. There is a reason that people use traders, not grand cruisers to do their trading and exploring.



#13 Alasseo

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:16 PM

 Ordnance makes it harder for [enemies] to run, though. Not impossible, but harder, certainly. Torpedoes and bombers have a habit of ruining one's escape, and Grand Cruisers have sufficient Space to dedicate to some pretty impressive ordnance dispensing systems and still have enough remaining that they aren't just one-trick ponies (and so, they remain profitable).

I have a group currently salvaging a derelict Repulsive class fitted out as a very heavy carrier at the minute, and their biggest problems have been "How are we going to re-pressurise a ship this big that's almost wholly filled with hard vacuum?" and "How are we going to crew it/get it to a non-Imperial, but human port?"
Both problems were/are compounded by the fact their starting ship was a Viper-class sloop, and hence didn't have the life support capacity or the crew to spare. They did manage to solve problem 1, although it did cause some rather severe damage to the GCV (they hermetically sealed the bridge, maneuver control and the primary enginarium decks, opened all other internal hatches and a couple of external ones they could (hopefully) control by remote, or by someone going out in a voidsuit, and dived it into the atmosphere of the gas giant they found it orbiting. Took a while scrubbing the atmosphere, and getting it clean and cool enough to breathe at roughly the right pressure, but they pulled it off. Just.), and are currently having problems with problem 2 (they left all the crew and supplies they could as an anchor watch and left to get more. Wasn't enough to run the Warp engines, Geller field and the like, but they can keep it from drifting into something unfortunate, and just about man the dorsal guns or the void shields if trouble calls). Of course, they've since gotten sidetracked, so that prize crew/anchor watch should be running low/out of supplies soon, but assuming they get back in time with sufficient extra voidsmen and consumables (and isn't that going to be expensive- especially since they won't be able to fit on any ship they currently legally own), the next questions are going to be "Can we afford to keep it, repairs, crew, maintenance and all?" and "can we afford to return to Imperial space with this thing, given that she's still technically a Navy vessel, we don't have a Warrant to hide behind if needs be, and we may well have a price on our heads for piracy in any case?"


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


#14 Thebigjul

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:20 PM

Grand Cruiser are powerfull spaceship but when alone they are easy prey for smaller ships.

Any group of raiders could stay behind and hit with lance without getting hit because of their speed and manoeuver capacity.

Evade fire and torpedo become really hard, yes the ship is hard to destroy and could bear a lot of fire power but need escort ship to stay alive.

My player was only in a cruiser with lots of SP and the first battle against the raider was long and if they win at last it was not that easy.

Trying to evade ship three times faster and agile is pretty hard to do.

 



#15 Nameless2all

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 09:58 PM

Yea, that would be mean to do to them "Thebigjul."  Having a Cobra Destroyer (or 2) with it's standard Torpedo outfit keep attacking the Cruiser and running away out of range, leading them into a trap.  Hehe.  Very very evil.    Not that I've done this before, mind you, I'm just saying that it is an evil plan. 

 

Of course, if you did do this to your crew, have it lead to a pretty nice reward after the battle.  Like a fully intake Frigate that was awaiting supplies at a Space station the players just bombarded, is free for anyone (the players) to claim.  A third of the crew died on the station, another third died trying to get on the ship when the docking bays became depressurized and vented into the void with the crew on it or partial in the ship, while the remaining third part of the crew was mostly slaves / indentured workers who are now mutinying against their slave masters, causing the ship to be easy pickings. 

 

Just an idea.  Have fun "The Glen," and wishing upon your players Endeavors many fruitful rewards. 


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#16 Timmy

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 03:17 PM

In crafting challenging scenarios for your group, be very careful about "upping the ante." Your player's are going to learn the hard way that the Nimitz would only be cool to own if they throw in the US Navy's portion of the federal budget for provisioning, repairs, and refitting. There should be a lot of headaches in store over the logistics of their new war-heifer . So you can imagine how lame its going to feel when they are flat broke keeping this thing afloat, and when they do go out into the void every pirate outfit is floating these huge ships no sweat. "What about their logistical nightmares!?" Take the time to make enemies that challenge with intellegent strategy. Grand cruisers don't have "random encounters."

Better to take the above advice and use small, manuverable, and experienced opponents, while saving the big fleet actions for the grand finale, once you've laid out enough story line to make the enemy fleet believable.

Other than that, a martial RT campaign sounds like fun. Good hunting.



#17 Trader Austin

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 04:24 PM

 the cost of operation is going to be a nightmare. suggest they take the jump to jerico's reach and let the navy pay the bills. they just have to fight for them and gain some really good contacts in the crusade, along with some profit factor. 



#18 The Glen

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:36 PM

It was a blast of a campaign.  A strange cross between 7 Samurai and Das Boot.  They liked to show up to worlds on the edge of the Imperium and either save them from the nasties or force them to join.  Ended up bristling with weapons and every morale boosting upgrade they could find.  Best quality disciplinariums and resolution arenas made for a happy crew.  They didn't do a lot of trading, but with something like +500 for military objectives, they spent their time looking for fights.  Helped pump up their profit margin quickly.  Ran the printed adventures, the ork invasion was a bit of a cake walk for 10k worth of best quality mercenaries, they had some trouble when it came to diplomacy.  Would run it again if I could find the time.



#19 HeavensThunderHammer

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:46 AM

The Glen said:

It was a blast of a campaign.  A strange cross between 7 Samurai and Das Boot.  They liked to show up to worlds on the edge of the Imperium and either save them from the nasties or force them to join.  Ended up bristling with weapons and every morale boosting upgrade they could find.  Best quality disciplinariums and resolution arenas made for a happy crew.  They didn't do a lot of trading, but with something like +500 for military objectives, they spent their time looking for fights.  Helped pump up their profit margin quickly.  Ran the printed adventures, the ork invasion was a bit of a cake walk for 10k worth of best quality mercenaries, they had some trouble when it came to diplomacy.  Would run it again if I could find the time.

 

Cool, glad to hear it was a good campaign.



#20 The Glen

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:15 PM

The Freeboota made several of the games just outright classic.  He was the guy the captain threw unwanted nuisances to and the ork thought he was being rewarded for being good by the captain always letting him fight.  After a lictor attack where the ork didn't realize he was bait, he was promoted to Bosun.  Lictor attacked the RT, Ork challenged the lictor with:

"OI!  DAT'S ME PAYDAY YA MUCKING WITH YA GIT!"

Other scene was ork trying to sneak by some chaos marauder brutes.  An ork.  Trying to sneak.  He needed a 15, rolled something like a 90 and just walks right through the marauder base.  The fact he was chanted the ork litany of stealth at the top of his lungs "SNEAK SNEAK SNEAK" didn't help.  The marauders notice him of course, upon which he turns to the marauders and loudly bellows:

"DO YA MIND?  I'M SNEAKIN' 'ERE!"

Turns the sneak test into an intimidate test and wins handedly.

 

Third one I had to write down was them fighting a Rakgol ship and had boarding pods inbound.  Bosun turns to his ratings behind him and gives quote possibly the best speech ever given to people about to fight a very nasty xenos.

 

"ALL RIGHT, WE'S GONNA FIGHT THE RAKGOL.  I CALL DIBS ON THE BIG UNS.  I CATCH ANY ONE OF YOUS FIGHTING THE BIG UNS AND YOU'S GONNA GET IT.  IF YOU SEES A BIG 'UN YOU TELL ME AND I GOT HIM.  YOU GUYS STAND BACK SO I GOTS ROOM TO SMASH DA BIG 'UNS.  IF YOU SEE DA LIL 'UNS YA JUST SHOOTS 'EM.  GOTS IT?"

 

Bosun Axegrinder seemed to only speak in all caps.  Considering everybody else specialized in other things than combat, Axegrinder was the go to guy.  With the RT, Seneschal(Commissar), Archmilitant (merc commander) and Void Master (EO) it was pretty cut and dry.  The navigator was a hard partying girl that kept getting the crew into trouble and the ork thought the reason why the captain put the trapdoor over the ork's quarters was to reward him.  But jobs got in the way.






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