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My notes/changes for running Broken Chains

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#1 Ralzar



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Posted 11 November 2011 - 12:49 AM

So, yesterday I got to try try running Broken Chains with my group. I figured other people who intend to run through this might benefit from my experiences, so here it is.

Reading throug the adventure, the start struck me as a bit off. The game starts with the characters practically naked, trapped on a drifting ship filled with crazed cannibals. This is the stuff survival horror games are made of. The adventure even mentions scrounging for improvised weapons, implying a sense of desperation.
Then they basically just wander down a corridor, have short and easy fight and get all their awsome equipment back. They might have a low amount of ammo, but come on; the group will have at least one Chaos Space Marine in full Power Armour to hide behind. It's hard to worry about enemies who are starved half to death when you've got  a couple of poster-boys for warhammer badassery on your side.
In addition, the adventure is really based around the characters building up their strength before facing off against Crane. Just finding all their equipment misses the chance to have the characters first progress in personal power and then building a small army to defeat Crane.

So, I decided that when the players reached the lab where their equipment was stored, someone had allready been there. What I did was to have two stasis crypts overridden by the deamon. The other stasis crypt was nearer the the lab, so the inmates from that crypt got there first and got first pick of the loot. Who was in the other crypt? Why, the characters that the players did not choose to play, plus the ex militiaman Kras Vorg. This is an easy way to do it, since you allready have stats and backgrounds for these people, except for Vorg. Vorg is handy to include, since he can easily be used as the deamons host later in the game if the players play their cards right.
In addition, if any characters are killed, or I get another player who joins later, I can easily write in one of these NPCs as a new player character.

The charactersheets doesn't quite work for this, being completely filled out allready, so I loaded them into photoshop and changed them a bit. I gave them the normal set of head, left arm, right arm, chest, left leg and right leg hitboxes, so I would be able to give them partial armours, and I edited away all weapon info and gave them empty weapon-entries to fill out themselves. I also made sure to remove the SB and TB on the sheet so this could be edited along the way. In addition, I knew I would only have male players and none of them are really keen on playing women, so I edited Ninas character sheet to say "Nico Black" instead and edited the text to talk about a man instead of a woman. The picture of Nina is so covered in armour anyway, that you might easily mistake her for a skinny male.

I also took the cogitator text and made it into pictures of terminal text on a computer screen, to simluate the characters reading it on the cogitator. I included a list:

"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt I Active"
"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt II Overridden"
"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt III Active"
"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt IV Active"
"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt V Active"
"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt VI Active"
"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt VII Active"
"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt VIII Active"
"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt IX Active"
"Termination protokoll in Stasiscrypt X Overridden"

Stasiscrypt X is where the characters start while Stasiscrypt II is where the NPCs start.

Finally, I made a map, by taking a picture of a 40K Imperial ship and simply making a some boxes saying "Bilges", "Prison", "Barracks", "Gun Deck", "Armoury" and "Bridge" in roughly appropriate places.


#2 Ralzar



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Posted 11 November 2011 - 12:56 AM

So, this is how the first session went.


I had three players, who I simply gave the characters Asrodel, Bore and Nico as these were the three characters who seemed to complement eachother the best and I knew whould fit my players preferences. Two of the players have played some Rogue Trader and Deathwatch while the player who played Nico has only played one sessions of WFRP.

After they'd read their characters backstories I started them off as waking inside the caskets to give them the feeling that things aren't working as they should. With a Strength Test, Asrodel managed to open the casket and then free the other two. Nico introduced himself, while Asrodel ignored them and tried to make sense of the cogitator. After a failed Tech-use roll, he commands Bore to take a look.

I hand Bore two pictures I'd made of a computer screen with the relevant info filled inn as terminal text. The Heretics activate the servo skull and try to find out what the situation on the ship is. The servo skull responds with "Insufficient Data" to most questions. They never ask why they were woken (because it's pretty obvious from the information the cogitator gave them) but eventually ask why the termination protokoll was overridden. They get the "Insufficient Data" but the servo skull adds that Interregator Crane and his Apha Acolytes are also awoken. The heretics ask where Crane is, but not anything more about him. I give them the map and say the servo skulls projects a map of the ship, showing a glowing path from their current position, through a skull-icon (the sanctum gate) and up to the bridge.

OOC I also supply some additional information about how they were arrested. They all remember Crane being Inquisitor Renthors second in command. In addition I mention that all they all found Renthor surprisingly effective/lucky. The Chains Of Judgement just happened to show up while Asrodels pirate ship was boarding another imperial ship. The Chains also just happened to be nearby when Nicos brother tried to call for help while outside Imperial space. Renthor also just showed up on Bores craftworld and conducted a surprisingly efficient investigation leading directly to Bore.
This tidbit was inserted to set up the revelation that Renthor was using a deamon as a tool to find heretics.

The heretics start working their way through the other stasiscrypts by forcing open the doors. I play this up as taking a bit of time and work to make it plausible that others have been to the lab and gone before the Heretics get there.

They get to Stasiscrypt II, where the termination protocolls were also overridden. Here they see four ampty caskets, an open door onwards and an active cogitator. From the cogitator they learn the names and crimes of the ones who were interred here.

They press onwards and after a while reach the Lab. Outside, Asrodel spot two Carrion Hunters dragging the lower part of his power armour along the corridor. He attacks and the carrion are joined by three more who were inside the lab. Asrodel quickly bludgeons two of them to death with a pipe and the rest flee. The party takes some wounds, but Bores Medicae heals them right up.

In the lab, they find broken stasisboxes where the maximum security prisoners gear was stored. They search the room and I let them find a Legion Bolt Pistol with 1 clip, 1 Legion Frag Grenade, Nicos Chainsword, a worn imperial guard armour (ap 4) and Bores robes (0 AP).

The Heretics are then unsure wether to go downwards in the ship to search for their gear or head directly upwards. Nico is in favour of looking ofr more equipment, but Asrodel simply strides off in the direction of the Sanctum Gate.

At the gate, they see a trail of blood running from the entrance of the corridor and in a straight line to the door. Here, the perforated body of Babaroth lies. He tried chargin the door and cutting his way through with his chain axes. The Heretics ask the skull for information about the gate, find out about the turrets and that a key card can be found in the Watch Tower. They head back down.

The Heretics traverse the bridges crisscrossing the prisonhold and fight off a failed ambush by a some carrion. At the tower they find no way in, but they see something sticking out of the tower quite far up. Asrodel decides to climb it.
When he gets to the protrusion, Asrodel sees that it's the barrel of a combi bolter mounted on a swiveling part of the tower. There's no way in here, so he keeps climibing to the top, where he finds the hatch. And discovers he's too big to fit. He climbs back down, gets Bore and climbs back up with him.

Inside, Bore manages to open the doors. He tries to access a cogitator, but fails. So all he discovers is that there was a watch captain who was not inside the tower when it was locked down.

The Heretics search the tower, finding some more Legion bolts in the combi bolter (the weapon itself is impossible to remove), a safe with a Bolt pistol and a clip, a lasrifle and some more bolts and chargepacks (which are useless since Bore can power the lasrifle). They also find some old notes that indicate that the someone in the ships crew released some kind of monster which started the uprising and that key cards had a locator beacon installed.

Bore goes back to the cogitator and gets to make a new tech-use test to activate the locator, which he succeeds at.

The heretics follow the signal into the sewer. After some time, they reach the deamon who demands food. They decide to go hunting for some carrion.

After a successfull awareness test, Asrodel hears chanting in the distance. Following the sound, they find a room where about a dozen carrion are gathered before an idol built of excrement. A leader of some kind is adorning the idol with asrodels chest armour and shoulderpads.

Asrodel throws his Legion Frag Grenade into the group and pretty much clears the room. He retrieves his chest armour (AP 7) and Shoulderpads (AP3 since they only cover part of his arms).

The Heretics return to the deamon with a body, which the deamon consumes and then demands more. Asrodel is having none of it and intimidates the deamon to slink off. A bit of searching lets them find the key card within the piles of refuse heaped up in the deamons lair.

 Next session in two weeks.

#3 Gregorius21778



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Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:12 AM

Hi Ralzar,

especially the part of only giving the SM his armour back "one bit at a time" is a nice addition. Using a dead space marine to emphasize the danger of the door (along with the skull icon) was a clever move on your behalf.

I am eager to hear a little more

#4 Ixionyx



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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:22 AM

Having finally got hold of the book and the screen I am looking to run my first session of Black Crusade soon.  Reading how someone else has planned it out and ran the adventure is very useful, gives me a chance to see what I might change myself.

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