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#1 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 06:40 AM

 

Right... The big problem with saying "you can do whatever you want" is that suddenly, people can't think of anything to do!

Equally, most people aren't really megalomaniacs - and those that are, don't play well with others. As a result, getting a campaign started comes with complications. Particularly because the rest of my players are all staunch Imperial types.

So, I decided to take a step on from Deathwatch, and do Deathwatch in reverse. To explain; the campaign will be set in the Jericho reach, but from the other side. Specifically, to give the players a 'being the good guys' goal (sort of), I'm putting them amongst inhabitents of the reach (specifically of what was once Calitar sub) and letting them see an Imperial crusade from the other side (queue vast, faceless tide of genocidal, pyromaniac fanatics intent on enslaving or destroying every free world in the name of a dead god).

Timeline-wise, I'm setting it just after the battle of Khazant - so Tiber Achillus has just taken down the reaver-world which controls the bulk of the free forces in the Jericho Reach, and his commander, Ovidius, is pressing closer and closer to Hadex and the Charon Stars.

It's something of a "you will unite or you will fall", moment, which is an interesting one for the forces of chaos (who really don't play well with others). The one man who might be able to unite the scattered, shattered, warbands into an alliance that might - just might - be able to stop the Imperium is a cult leader called Elak Sarda. 

The players have either signed on, or been drafted into, the nascent Stigmartus and are trying to ensure that he manages just that - fighting delaying actions against the Imperium, bribing, begging, bullying or butchering other factions until they sign on with the Covenant, and so on. Essentially, an alliance of rebels (sorry, renegades) fighting the evil galactic empire (sorry, imperium). I don't intend to put the as Sarda's right hands, but by the simple fact that they're either marines or of a similar level of power and influence, they're going to be fairly important.

 

Trying to think through compact ideas - the early Stigmartus definitely need to get the Cyclopean Congregation and one or more of the Forges of Samech on-side, along with creating the Stigmartus forces, and getting as many warbands of astartes to aid them as possible (the word bearers and the pyre, plus any assorted people who'll listen - like my players).

May also translocate several of the cooler locations in the screaming vortex into the fringes of Hadex. The Ragged Helix always struck me as an awesome concept.

 

Any thoughts for missions or important character? Campaign Suggestions?



#2 Gurkhal

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 08:23 AM

Magnus Grendel said:

It's something of a "you will unite or you will fall", moment, which is an interesting one for the forces of chaos (who really don't play well with others). The one man who might be able to unite the scattered, shattered, warbands into an alliance that might - just might - be able to stop the Imperium is a cult leader called Elak Sarda. 

First I think you should change the name of the Big Boss a little. For the start it should be a she and her name shouldn't be Elak Sarda but change it to Elaka Sara and you're good to go.

 

[Magnus Grendel said:

Any thoughts for missions or important character? Campaign Suggestions?

Well I could imagine all manner of diplomatic or warlike missions. But one could be to kill off some troublesome people that don't play well with Sarda or they could be sent to establish contact with the Traitor Legions. Because while the Traitor Legions are no doubt more than itching to fight the Imperium they may need to be actually contacted to get their asses over to the Reach to start with, and I could easily see them as being, uncomfortable, with bowing down to the authority of a mere human. That's where the characters comes in to make sure that this part goes smoothly. 



#3 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 08:40 AM

Certainly the players are going to be key for getting warbands of their own legions involved (well, sort of).

The key thing with the reach is that there aren't really any legion forces - the legion astartes are mostly their either on their own, or as leaders or members of a legion warband. Getting a full legion chapter/grand company/host/whatever to commit is unlikely for precisely the reason you mention; getting lone astartes to work for Sarda is a lot easier.

But yes, they might end up in the worlds of the eye at some point. Good call.

 



#4 Thanak Drahz

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:03 AM

How about some missions or plans to destabilize the crusade or keep some of its forces occupied elsewhere? There are all kinds of forces at large in the galaxy that your renegades could never get to join their alliance but could be somehow manoeuvred into hitting either the crusade or nearby Imperial worlds that would then draw forces away from the bombastic lunatics looking to burn your homes down with you in them.

Just as an idea; find a planet/region with a large ork population then picking off some of the leaders or sneakily supplying weapons to one. Basically get it so there's one big leader at the head of what's just begging to become a Waaagh! and then somehow get the idea to him that it would be really fun to go crashing into all those worlds the crusade has already rolled through. This could be as standoffish as raiding either some of the ork or Imperial worlds and then leading whoever comes after you straight to the other guys to start a fight.

Another option (to do instead of or as well as the ork thing) could be to try to board a space hulk in the hopes of capturing some (hopefully dormant) genestealers and then seeding them straight onto Imperial worlds. Genestealer cults popping up on multiple worlds will probably draw away quite a bit of military resources from nearby fights. A more direct, though still not really direct at all, way would be to have any 'diplomats' in your group (I'm looking firmly at apostates and Alpha Legion/Word Bearer marines) to sneak into important hive or forge worlds and start setting up cults or stirring up rebelions among the populations. Best case scenario you strike a major blow against the Imperium's manufacturing capacity in the sub-sector, but any forces you drawn back to put down the cultists are no longer on the front lines of the crusade murdering your people.

None of these plans would stop the crusade (unless your players accidentally start a really big Waaagh! or attract the attentions of a splinter fleet), but would hopefully lessen the forces the renegades need to fight and therfore the number of allies they would need to bring in to try to stop the crusade.

And if you've read the Gaunt's Ghosts series you could have your players try setting up a Blood Pact/Sons of Sek kind of force. Rather than having to rely on whatever existing forces they can convince to join them they could try to establish a new force. They wouldn't be generals, just need to facilitate they set-up of a training regime, recruitment drives and logistical support to keep the force equipped. Once they'd made the deals with forges, veterans etc they could move on to other things and let the new army run itself (They're renegades, not bureaucrats), though a marine trying to train regular humans in the arts of war could be funny ("OK, you're going to jump out of this aircraft, kick your way through that brick wall and spit acid on the first enemy you see...Well? I'm waiting.")



#5 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:03 PM

Thanak Drahz said:

How about some missions or plans to destabilize the crusade or keep some of its forces occupied elsewhere?

Quite possibly - the forces of Chaos aren't big on charity, so many factions won't sign on unless you can show some sort of victory without them.

Thanak Drahz said:

Just as an idea; find a planet/region with a large ork population then picking off some of the leaders or sneakily supplying weapons to one. Basically get it so there's one big leader at the head of what's just begging to become a Waaagh! and then somehow get the idea to him that it would be really fun to go crashing into all those worlds the crusade has already rolled through. This could be as standoffish as raiding either some of the ork or Imperial worlds and then leading whoever comes after you straight to the other guys to start a fight.

Possible on a smaller scale, but whilst there might be odd pirate groups there isn't any major Ork presence convenient for the reach.

 

Thanak Drahz said:

Another option (to do instead of or as well as the ork thing) could be to try to board a space hulk in the hopes of capturing some (hopefully dormant) genestealers and then seeding them straight onto Imperial worlds. Genestealer cults popping up on multiple worlds will probably draw away quite a bit of military resources from nearby fights.

Now that definitely has potential - Hive Fleet Dagon hasn't arrived at this point but I'd suspect that there must be a healthy genestealer infestation along its route (there usually is).

 

 

Thanak Drahz said:


A more direct, though still not really direct at all, way would be to have any 'diplomats' in your group (I'm looking firmly at apostates and Alpha Legion/Word Bearer marines) to sneak into important hive or forge worlds and start setting up cults or stirring up rebelions among the populations. Best case scenario you strike a major blow against the Imperium's manufacturing capacity in the sub-sector, but any forces you drawn back to put down the cultists are no longer on the front lines of the crusade murdering your people.

Especially since the Iron Collar is only newly established.

None of these plans would stop the crusade (unless your players accidentally start a really big Waaagh! or attract the attentions of a splinter fleet), but would hopefully lessen the forces the renegades need to fight and therfore the number of allies they would need to bring in to try to stop the crusade.

 

Thanak Drahz said:


And if you've read the Gaunt's Ghosts series you could have your players try setting up a Blood Pact/Sons of Sek kind of force. Rather than having to rely on whatever existing forces they can convince to join them they could try to establish a new force. They wouldn't be generals, just need to facilitate they set-up of a training regime, recruitment drives and logistical support to keep the force equipped. Once they'd made the deals with forges, veterans etc they could move on to other things and let the new army run itself (They're renegades, not bureaucrats), though a marine trying to train regular humans in the arts of war could be funny ("OK, you're going to jump out of this aircraft, kick your way through that brick wall and spit acid on the first enemy you see...Well? I'm waiting.")

Well, that's basically what the Stigmartus is, isn't it? Cult-General Sarda's boys are essentially Blood Pact MkII with some religious overtones. However, whilst they might not get an force of that scale, they may well be involved in training up a given block of troops (using the standard Chaos approach of throw them into a meat-grinder and promote the ones who survive!), plus it's not impossible that they may be responsible for founding some of the Stigmartus' elite cadres, like the Defaced.

 



#6 Thanak Drahz

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:07 PM

Sorry Magnus, haven't played Deathwatch and am only recently getting into Black Crusade (Mostly been playing Rogue Trader), so I'm not across all the specifics of this region and its back story. Glad to have given you some ideas though. 






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