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Help with: Shadows of Heresy Campaign


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#1 Gerner

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:43 PM

Greetings!

I need some help and inspiration.

My Dark Heresy campaign focus most on intrigues and less on combat, and the campaign is evolving into something big.
The PC's are on their way to Scintilla Hive, where Asaid Virenus is last sighted (with a stolen daemonhammer from the stormwarden chapter).
They are also trying to find Lord Apophis and finding out what his evil plans are.

Lord Apophis is a Tzeentch worshipper, an ex-Malleus Inquisitor Lord and a mastermind.
Something like Zygmunt Molotch from Ravenor, but with a daemon weapon.

The cult he controls is Egyptian and Tzeentch theme, that focus on bringing life to the dead. (We all know how Tzeentch love change, and death is a boring permanent.)
This have so far been with limited success (only body parts), but with the help from Heretek Magos Vathek, Angelique De Falk, Asaid Virenus, tzeentch cults, a genestealer cult, a necron cult, thousand sons warband and tzeentch daemons he will soon succeed.

That is as far as I have gotten.

I would like create a complex plot, a work of a mastermind.
Now this doesn't have to be too hard as (my) players aren't the smartest.

Some ideas I have:

  • Apophis uses the PC's to his own goal by giving them wrong information through sources. For example; a pict capture he have created with the lord general doing something heretical, because he need to install another leader of the military on scintilla.
  • The PC's will continue to see small clips of the real plot (that will confuse them), while they run around doing what Apophis plans them to do. When they finally finds out the truth, it should be an eyeopener that the true plot have been right under their noses.
  • Again Apophis makes them eliminate all the enemies he has, and those he can't (or won't) persuade to his cause. Maybe a nurgle cult, a puritan inquisitor group or some arbites coming too close to his work.
  • An increase in Tzeentch cults and mutants all praising the name of Lord Apophis will be a difficult thing to hide, and the players will encounter them sooner or later.


The players consist of:

  • An Xeno interested Adept.
  • A former Commissar leading them.
  • A public relation techpriest, with a minimum of visible implants.
  • A throne-wedded, telekinetic psyker.
  • A missionary cleric.

 

Information on Scintilla

Information on Hive Sibellus

Information on Hive Tarsus

PDF map over Scintilla

Also  I got two reports I have made, written by a Sister of Battle to the Arch-Cardinal of the Calixis Sector, explaining who two heretics are.

Report on Asaid Virenus

Report on Magos Vathek

Hopefully I will end up on making around thirty of these reports.
If there is any one of you who would like to use the same "sketch" then shout and I will put it up here and explain the settings. :)

So as you can see I have some general idea, but I lack a true plot and plan. Something I hope you maybe can help me with.

Cheers Gerner



#2 Gerner

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:05 PM

This forum really needs a preview button.



#3 Bassemandrh

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:25 AM

I am assuming you want help with developing his goals in this part of your campaign.

Since, from what i understand, Your main villain wants to raise the dead he is going to need bodies. These can of course be aquired in many different ways. Cemetaries, morgues etc.

I also assume you want help with keeping him in hiding or atleast out of dodge so he isn't directly threatened by your group.

Both of these can be achieved sort of, and here is how. If your villain can make sure to get a sort of movement going (riots that turn violent, a small daemon incursion) it may create enough of a threat to draw resources away from fighting him directly (if they know he's there) or keep everyone focused on a large visible problem so he can work in peace.

If he succeeds in this (making i highly violent) deaths can quite easily occur and provide bodies for his upcoming revival of dead bodies. This could happen in many different ways, from science and machines or Sorcery to name some.

I hope this helps.



#4 Gerner

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 11:17 AM

Bassemandrh said:

I am assuming you want help with developing his goals in this part of your campaign.

Since, from what i understand, Your main villain wants to raise the dead he is going to need bodies. These can of course be aquired in many different ways. Cemetaries, morgues etc.

I also assume you want help with keeping him in hiding or atleast out of dodge so he isn't directly threatened by your group.

Both of these can be achieved sort of, and here is how. If your villain can make sure to get a sort of movement going (riots that turn violent, a small daemon incursion) it may create enough of a threat to draw resources away from fighting him directly (if they know he's there) or keep everyone focused on a large visible problem so he can work in peace.

If he succeeds in this (making i highly violent) deaths can quite easily occur and provide bodies for his upcoming revival of dead bodies. This could happen in many different ways, from science and machines or Sorcery to name some.

I hope this helps.

I would like some inspiration to figure out exactly what he wants beside change, power and creating zombies, and why he wants it. I lack a greater goal with him.

The riot idea was really good. I can clearly see riots in the middle hive, where they are all shouting for change, but when they get interrogated by the arbites they don't know really what they want, beside change.

The daemons he will save for rescuing himself from the PC's, a diversion that will let him get away. Or as advisors on the reanimating the flesh part.

What I’m not sure of it was the cults are doing and why they are doing it? I’m not sure the cultist and mutants are clever enough to try the reanimation part, so what will they do? Satisfy his other minions and make sure he doesn’t lack corpses (in good state)?

Other ideas?

I saw the "Running an Investigation/Conspiracy Adventure" by theFlatLine and think the backwards planning is what I need to do for making this plot more complicated and scheming.

Definitely helps Bassemandrh, thanks for the reply.



#5 Saldre

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 11:33 AM

Hey!

So, necromancer villain looking for greater motivations- let's try to avoid the regular stories of wanting to bring back loved ones...

Backwards planning is a bit complicated, but lets see what we can come up with: doing everything for the sake of change is good, but you're right in that his goal needs to be a bit more complex then that. 

Nurgle and Tzeentch and already opposing gods, and Nurgle is luckily death's representative. Your plot could be an out-right war between the two Daemons and could end with the Sorcerer trying to destroy a Great Daemon of Nurgle (A massive Great Unclean One).

I had an idea for a campaign like that at one point, where a Lord of Change was manipulating the players- and an entire forgotten village- into awakening a slumbering greater unclean one on Dusk. With one stroke, it causes massive destruction to the planet's population and the Imperium who, in retaliation, bring about the Grey Knights and Exterminatus to destroy the thing and screw over Nurgle. 

Overall, if you want a greater motivation for the villain, it should be something on this level: his real enemy isn't any mortal organisation, but the actual god of death. 

Edit- Cemetery worlds are custom made for a campaign like this: mass graves, mass bodies- whose going to miss just one of those, except for the Inquisition? :P 

As for the involvement of all of the other factions- it was Gregorius that told me not to squeeze everything into a single campaign. On the other hand, you can tie in all of these together in a way: 

Genestealer Cult [Tyranids]- Shadow in the Warp 

Necrons [Natural Enemies]- Purging Chaos. 

Tech-heresies [Lacking human element, Emotions]- Attempt to Control the Warp. 

All of these things could be linked together in a plot to destroy some massive Chaos Entity. 

There's a drug in the Inquisitor's hand book that can be used to fake someone's death and resurrection. Whereas it might not work on your local Inquisition agent, its very likely to fool most imperial citizens. For all they know, this "new prophet" could have easily succeeded at bringing back people from the dead. 

Further more, St Drusus is supposed to be resurrected, or to  have already brought himself back from the Dead. Perhaps the Sorcerer attempts to breach into the main shrine and steal his body, to reanimate him- or have someone pose as the St reborn.... After all, his appearance could be faked with ease to a minion of Tzentch. 



#6 Bassemandrh

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:11 PM

Ok i see clearly now.

Your sorcerer may want something on the given planet, an artifact or maybe a reward from his master (not related to necromancy)

He may have a deep fear of death and want to study ways to cheat death, could be through reanimation or maybe daemonhood should he please Tzeentch.

My favorite: He want to shake the imperium in its beliefs. Nothing is permanent. Not even death is permanent and he can prove through necromancy. He can use his creations as a sort of proof that everything can change all the time. The Adepta can fall, the Imperium can change all it needs is a catalyst, all it needs is his power. He can change more things than just the dead (perhaps peoples opinions) or even planetary structure with the right rituals.

In short he wants to prove he can change everything.

To make it complex (i guess) He can try to force the Imperium to change because it cant defeat him by conventional means. Use new daemons or tactics they are not used to to, which requires them to make up new ones and thereby make a change in traditions.

Perhaps bomb the Administratum command so they cant give orders and force them to adapt to this new situation.

Grant the people more power and see how they handle this newfound strength.



#7 Gerner

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:04 AM

Thanks to both of for the awesome answers.

@Saldre:
Bringing love lost back? Hmn, that is actual a pretty damn good idea, maybe it's THE idea.. Instead of summoning a daemon, maybe he wish to bring back his dead master first, then maybe Magnus the Red and finally Horus himself, so the false Emperor could fall? Maybe Apophis flies through the galaxies hunting for parts of Magnus the Red and Horus so the reawakening is possible? Maybe it should be Apophis whose body is in a dead state and Angelique De Falk is on the quest to resurrect him (that succeeds)?

I had already given the Nurgle vs. Tzeentch a lot of thought, also in the death perceptive. But I would like to keep the plot Tzeentch focused and the PC’s battling Imperials more than actual heretics. Also the last long scenario I ran was with Nurgle, so I’m not that hooked on the whole big Nurgle vs. Tzeentch thing. Apophis would of course make sure that possible Nurgle cults wouldn’t exist, which might point the PC’s in the direction that they are fighting against Tzeentch.

That is an awesome campaign idea. I could maybe twist it into making the players summon a lord of change for Apophis that he needs to consul to gain lore into necromancy (and change). Make Apophis pop up at the right time, teleport the **** out of there and let a squad of grey knight or malleus inquisitors attack the PC’s for being daemon worshippers.

Hmn, my plan for his main enemy (beside the Emperor (who is in a permanent state)) is the PC’s Inquisitor Lord. A Xeno Hybris (1) Radical, whose mother Angelique De Falk, works for Apophis helping him to achieve his goal. Beside this Sisters of Ordo of the Bloody Rose is investigating into both Apophis and the Xeno Hybris Inquisitor Lord, declaring both parts heretics.
I don’t really understand what you mean with the genestealer cult, necron cult and tech-heresies? What I link them together with is creating life to the dead.

The drug was really a cool idea. It could work great to scare the PC’s and for the minor cults to use.
Hmn, the St Drusus idea is cool. That could be done very good, and give the players a very clear goal to stop him. Where is the St Drusus body stored?
1: Xeno Hybris is a radical faction of the inquisition who works together with xenos and utilize their knowledge and equipment.

@Bassemandrh:
To create the life to the dead Apophis is clearly on a quest for knowledge, artefacts and bodies (of good state) for his experiments. This is often something he doesn’t do himself, but minor cults of him will accomplish.

I’m not so keen on that he is afraid of death, since with daemon-worshipping and tech-heresies you can keep a live for thousands of years.

Hmn, I’m not an entirely sure that would be his main interest, but it would of course shake the Imperium’s foundation if he managed to raise the dead and shake the core belief of the Emperor. I think it’s too “typical” that he just wants to change the Emperor to the ruinous powers. He would want more and some specific plan.

Some more information:

He have already tried to ruin the homeworld of the Storm Wardens Space Marine chapter by bringing corrupting artefacts on the planet, giving to the four greatest warlords, making them insane and corrupt, all of the four greatest warlords on the mission to destroy the others and taking over the world, making the geneseed come in danger. He used the Slaught to give the artefacts to the warlords, and try to stop the PC’s from removing the items and stopping his plans. The players succeeded with removing of the artefacts and getting off-world with them.

As I already said they are on their way to Scintilla Hive following the lead of Asaid Virenus.

Besides needing one big goal, I had an idea of making ten small plots in ten different places.

• Upper Hive Sibbelus
• Middle Hive Sibellus
• Lower Hive Sibellus
• Upper Hive Tarsus
• Middle Hive Tarsus
• Lower Hive Tarsus
• Ambulon Hive
• Gun Metal City
• The Wilderness
• Ruins of Tenebra Hive

Middle part of Hive Sibellus might have sudden riots with people shouting for change. Later they discover in Upper Hive Tarsus an infamous rogue trader get killed and robbed in his home. Weather reports show a huge increase in storms over the ruins of Tenebra Hive. Etc. All of them when investigated will show up cults or people trying to reanimate the dead flesh by different tactics.

The reanimation part will be tested from many angles, but by different people. I was thinking something like:

• Magos Vathek is trying with different tech-heresies, maybe recreating the Sarcosan Wave Generator to bring back life to humans.
• A cult might focus on finding a specific chaos artefact that with the right alterations can bring souls back into “empty” bodies.
• Another cult could with worship or “help” from a necron artefact or some necrons try to re-awaken dead humans.
• A small genestealer cult would try to manipulate the geneseed of genestealers into dead bodies in an attempt to bring life to the husk. (Maybe creating mindless husks.)
• A fourth cult could converse with daemons (which need human sacrifices) to gain the intelligent to gain knowledge on how to bind a soul to an item or body.
• A fifth cult could dwell into a chaos book searching for how to work necromancy.
• Angelique De Falk would maybe study a daemonweapon on how the daemon (soul) is bound to the weapon and if there was any chance she could bind another soul to an item.
• A sixth cult would converse with a Thousand Sons warband on how to resurrect dead persons, the Thousand Sons would ofcourse want something in trade.
• A final cult may perhaps study on how daemonhost works and if you could “bind” a soul to the host instead of a daemon.
• A group of slaught will maybe work as assassins, gather intelligence or acquire an artefact that one of the above needs.
• Apophis will use his psychic powers to influence and control all of the above cults and persons to do his bidding. He might know have a physical form, but his soul could be very strong.

But all of this is very far from what he actual wishes to use the reanimation or resurrection power for.

It is also very far from the idea that the players should do some work for him (without them knowing) and that they should be on a wild goosehunt chasing the wrong bird, and in the beginning only helping him with his mission.

Hope this helps or confuse, or start something. I need to take a break now.
 



#8 Saldre

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:39 AM

Hey hey! 

Its me again- I am leaving though (to run my own game :P) So I wont be able to expand as much as I would like.

So turns out my original idea was something you'd done before- we must be on the same brain wave, because I am also doing a thing with two noble brothers, obsession with snakes, and a Slaaneshi cult :P [A modified version of "The Plantation", a CoC scenario]

I like the fact that he may be dead and that people are on a quest to have him brought back to life, on the other hand that's a lot easier to do than what's going on here (Spoiler alert for Einsenhorn- a psyker was going to bring back someone back to life trough the sacrificial mass murder of several thousand people. In retrospect, is it really that different from what's going on here?) 

I like that, as a way for the players contributing. You've mentioned all of these cults working for Apophis- but what if.. They aren't: by stopping them and confiscating their research, then giving it back to Apophis, it could be pretty much how the players end up helping him.

A few of those cults could be working for him- the ones with major npcs... The others could just be that. On one mission, the acolytes could be sent to recover a tyranid bio-sample known for its regenerative properties, only to have the thing vanish in the night after they deliver it to "the proper authorities" and it can come back later when the acolytes are investigating one of Apophis' own cults. 

That should keep them on their toes: they never know if these cults are connected on any deeper level then being "necromancy related" if some of them are working for a master, while others aren't- but still serve his cause. 

As for the connection between those three enemies- they all have ways to combat the warp. From the Shadow in the Warp, to the Necrons natural hate for it- Apophis can be killing two bird with one stone by having the acolytes a) Dismantle these cults and destroy them and b) Recovering their research and technology for him [As neither Necrons nor Genestealer would never willingly work with a Human, Cultist or otherwise.]

The drug is Somna in the Inquisitor's handbook I believe.

As for the rest of the post, I am out of time- I think there's a shrine word in the Inquisitors Handbook with the guy's corpse (McQubeus Quintus or something?) In any case, its not too important where he's buried because if his body was ever kidnapped, it is likely to be kept an extreme sercret. Perhaps the guardians of the Tomb would be another ally to help your players, having chased down the body all the way to Scintilla. 

 



#9 Gerner

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:05 PM

Hey Saldre, and thanks for staying with me. ;)

Wow, that is kind of close!

Yea, I’m agreeing with you that the resurrection of Apophis would be a good start for the main goal. It may start off with his body being stolen from the Calixian Conclave (secret vaults or something). The players have already encountered some of his work. In the end Apophis could maybe try to re-awaken other powerful heretics. Maybe he will try to resurrect a company of Thousand Sons? In the end he could try to collect the body of Horus and attempt to revive him.

That would be a neat idea, but I would prefer if they mostly fought imperial servants. The arbites/inquisition will be busy with fighting the players, so the cults have more room for mistakes and being able to do their evil rituals. Apophis could have cultist working as arbiters and then attacking the players (when they are searching a crimescene) or maybe a few cultist have over rumpled an arbites car and officers, stealing their gear and then posing as them.
Apophis could also use them places where his own men/cultist would either be to weak, stupid or limited resources. I was thinking of an ex-rogue trader, now gone collector would have an exotic xeno or heretical items that Apophis would need to be revived. The problem is that the collector lives in a very well-guarded mansion filled with soldiers and gun-turrets. Apophis’s men would have a very hard time getting their hands on the item, but for the players it would be a lot easier. Maybe the players should retrieve the item to another place, or they could just cripple the collector’s defense where the cultist can sneak in a ****** the item.

It could start off by the players finding several dead bodies with chaos marks on them. On further investigation the bodies turn out to be servants or guards for the collector. The players will then turn their eye towards the collector and begin to investigate them. One of Apophis’s cultists could have cut a chaos symbol into one of his servants, the servant of course hiding this in fear for what will happen if any one finds out.

A tyranid bio-sample for its regenerative properties is also a damn good idea. It could kick start Apophis’s need for a genestealer cult (the cult wouldn’t know they get controlled by him). Apophis could manipulate the players to retrieve that as well, maybe from a secret laboratory.

Saldre said:

As for the connection between those three enemies- they all have ways to combat the warp. From the Shadow in the Warp, to the Necrons natural hate for it- Apophis can be killing two bird with one stone by having the acolytes a) Dismantle these cults and destroy them and b) Recovering their research and technology for him [As neither Necrons nor Genestealer would never willingly work with a Human, Cultist or otherwise.]


I had forgotten the “hate” that both Necrons and Tyranids have for the warp and chaos. But I was thinking that Apophis would have a necron artifact (maybe Orb of Resurrection?) that would let him revive and control necrons (but limited, simple actions). I don’t know if it is too much, but I wish to create an arch-enemy.

Lexicarnum said:

Purestrains and Hybrids can recognise human psykers when they find them. Genestealers are attracted to psykers, and share none of the normal human's prejudices against them, simply regarding them as exceptionally advanced specimens of the race… Psychic Hybrids tap raw psychic energy emanating from the primitive Genestealer Power that exists in the warp - the shadow image of the Genestealer species' will to survive. Psychic Hybrids who worship a Chaos Power may of course draw psychic energy from their patron, thus tainting their simple Genestealer souls.

I meant genestealer hybrids, not purestrain genestealer. Since both Apophis and Angelique De Falk are powerful psykers and schemers I was figuring the genestealer cults would willingly work for him and her (as long as the cult would profit as well). Else Apophis could make sure that the leader of the genestealer cult would worship Tzeentch and their plans did fit into his own.

Just read up on the Somna, and I will certainly use it! Thanks.

A little google research answered where his body was/is kept on Sentinel.  As it stands the players has enough allies, so think they just will receive the intelligence from a throne agent.

Undtill next time I will see if I can write anything up, because know I have a lot more inspiration and ideas.

Keep them coming!
 



#10 Saldre

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:38 AM

Hey!

Bringing back other heretics is a great idea- in one the books, there's mention of a particular person that would fit perfectly- but, I can't quite remember where it is! Once I find it, I will point it out- but until then, here's the Wiki's take on it:

"The Treachery of Nephthys (777.M41) - Inquisitor Erya Nephthys, once the most promising of her generation, goes Renegade and massacres a number of her peers in the very heart of the Tricorn Palace on Scintilla. The vilest of Traitors, she attacks numerous other Imperial holdings and carves a bloody path cross the sector, prompting a blood hunt by the entire Ordos Calixis of the Inquisition. She dies a third and final time at the hands of Witch Hunter Rykehuss and her ashes are interred in a sealed vault to insure her disposal is a permanent one."

It the book, it further mentions that the vault is beneath the Tricorn. 

As for hidden cultists and sleeper agents, that's always a good idea- ramps up that paranoia. Sending them on missions lesser cultists wouldn't be able to pull off also makes sense. Finding a chaos mark on the body should be more subtle, I think- in that they won't know what the strange symbol/occult sign is until a while passes, then they can start freaking out when they see it and make a connection with other crimes/locations, chaining together the campaign. 

If your looking for an artifact that allows for bringing back the dead (on a personal level) and ensuring immortality, the Halo Device detailed in disciples fits perfect- if you don't have the book, I could give you more information about them: but its pretty much an artifact that fuses with you and turns you into an alien monstrosity, some sort space-vampire. 

As for Genestealers and Cults- I myself have already ran a forum game where the former get corrupted by Chaos and end up worshiping a monstrously warped Patriarch :P It was really fun, and the players didn't see it coming. So I am pro-Genestealer/Chaos connections there, seeing as they don't quite have the same pull as regular tyranids when it comes to blocking out the warp. 

A Necron's orb is also cool- but might I suggest the awakening of the Necrons as the Climax of such an adventure. In other worlds, cultists are using this thing without really knowing what it does (once apophis gets he, he can be very much aware of what it does and use it to its full extent)- but Necrons should be a horrendous threat for any band of acolytes- for some reason, I can picture in my head the Climax of any such adventure a la "The Monkey's Paw" by Jacobs, where the acolytes frantically attempt to stop the Orb from activating before "the door" is opened and the zombies step trough- except this time, they could be rising from the ground. 

 



#11 Adeptus-B

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:08 AM

Gerner said:

I would like some inspiration to figure out exactly what he wants beside change, power and creating zombies, and why he wants it. I lack a greater goal with him.

It may be a bit stereotypical, but the traditional reason for supervillians raising the dead is to create an Unstoppable Army with which to Conquer The World. Keep in mind that the Calixis Sector is on the very edge of the Imperium; trying to take over a large swath of Imperial territory within, say, Segmentum Solar will draw endless waves of Imperial forces to defend their territory, but out on the edge of the Astromonicon? An evil genius just might be able to hold a fallen 'frontier sector' against Imperial reprisal- especially if he has inside information (via Chaos Space Marine allies) of the impending 13th Black Crusade, which will be a massive drain on the Imperium's rescources...



#12 Gerner

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:40 PM

@Saldre:

The Treachery of Nephthys sounds great; I found it in the Inquisitors Handbook on page 190. But it gives no further insight into her knowledge or otherwise. During my search for this I also found “The Night Cult” in Disciples of the Dark Gods that maybe could bring some inspiration.

Hmn, you are right on subtle part with the chaos symbol, maybe an arrow on each body, making an eight-pointed star when they are gathered?

I pretty sure I will divide the campaign into smaller scenarios. In the beginning they will accidentally help out Apophis (as he plans), then later they will begin to find Apophis work, try to stop his plans and encounter his minions, maybe they end doing some hideous thing for him again (without them knowing), and then end up fighting against him again. Did that make any sense?

I sat down and read on the Halo Device. It definitely has potential, but there are some things stopping it. First, you can’t be a psyker or a daemon-pact; I had planned Apophis to be/have both. The second is how it turns humans into flesh-eating ghouls. It could of course just be a challenge for Apophis on how to be able to control and bind the device to his will, he would surely be mad (and intelligent) enough.

That sound as fun. Maybe an existing genestealer cult could be turned to Tzeentch by Apophis. In the beginning he could use some human psykers as bait to lure them into the chaos worshipping, and when the cult is deep enough into worshipping of Tzeentch, Apophis would reveal himself.

The plan with the orb was to run a scenario where the players would acquire the orb to Apophis from someone, and they will actual have it in their hands, being able to study it, when it suddenly disappears. A later scenario will feature Apophis searching for a place where he can awaken Necrons with the Orb, and the players desperately trying to stop him. Maybe the players could lead Apophis to the place where the Necrons lie.


@ Adeptus-B:

Well isn’t that most evil villain plans? To take over the world (galaxy).
But the real question is always how to do it? And that is what I’m trying to figure out.
I had in mind when he had gained enough power and forces that he would start taking over the Koronus Expanse and then work his way into the Calixis Sector.

 

I have begun to create an overview of Apophis’s main and minor goals, that I need to form into plans. These plans will create plots and scenarios that the player will have to solve. I had in mind that in the start he will use the players to complete some of his goals, later the player’s intelligence and the risk have increased so Apophis will stop using them and the players will see more of the truth.
The major goal is for Apophis to be resurrect, then create an army (revival of heretics and chaos marines) and finally to achieve daemonhood.
The minor goals consist of acquiring chaos and xeno artifacts, replacing powerful persons with persons he can control, infiltrate/corrupt/create cults and imperial powers, find allies and create relations with them & and lastly obtain knowledge about resurrection, revival and re-animation.
 



#13 Saldre

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:00 PM

Cool cool

As for the Halo Device, I always figured those rules where to keep players from abusing the system, you should feel free to hand-wave them for the NPCs. Not to mention, it could be, much like you said, a failed attempt: an experiment with a Halo Device has escaped, tracking it down leads the players to one of Apophis' Laboratories. 

Stuff suddenly disappearing around them [Necron Orb, Tyranid Sample, Ancient Heretical Tomes...] SHOULD hint to the players that not all is at it seems, even potentially that there's a traitor nearby, opening it up to the bigger plot. 

Looking forward to hearing about your actual missions, if you need help with those! 

 



#14 Gerner

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:19 AM

Sorry for the rather slow answer, but my focus have been on my Sons of Sek figures.

That was actual quite a good idea about the Halo Device!

So the first mission will take place in Tarsus Middle Hive.

• The players will land in Hive Tarsus and have to find a place to live and make it their home.

• After they have settled in they can begin to search arbites reports, achieve files, planet history, magistratum reports, pict films, recorded vox conversations and planetary files.

• The players will find three-four different magistratum reports on victims with a burned arrow and removal of identification.

• A four or fifth body will appear and the players will be the first on the crime scene. An arbites car will drive by and shoot at them.

• The arrows on the bodies form an eight pointed star with center on the collector's estate.

• The players will find a live pict feed with three cultist dropping the sixth body.

• The players will rush to the crime scene. Searching the body they will find ID on him. He is a servant for an ex-Rogue Trader and now collector. The collector lives in the middle hive Tarsus.

• The players probably hurries back and do some researching on the collector.

• If they don't visit the collector one of the following days another body will appear.

• The collectors mansion is big and well-guarded, and for good reason. He is not a cultist , but he have a large collection of Xeno Artefacts.

• To disarm the turrets in the mansion there are several ways. Hack the system from outside of the building (very hard). Shut them down inside of the building from the control room (hard). They can turn off the power plant that runs that part of the city he lives in (very hard). Lastly they can cut the power lines that feed the mansion energy (hard). In all circumstances they have five minutes before the emergency reactor starts.

• If confronted the collector will tell them to leave and if they won't, he will make sure they die, luring them into the best room to attack them.

• The collector has around twenty guards in his mansion with another thirty in a barrack. The house has around ten turrets.

• The players can get assistance from Raakata squads and require inquisitorial items.

• If they search his mansion after they have dealt with him, they will discover a hidden treasure room with xeno artefacts. There will be no clues or signs of chaos. The artefacts will be transported away from the mansion.

• The players will hold the items for a short period before sending them on to their inquisitor lord. The players have a chance to investigate the different artefacts.

• There will be a break-in in there building and only one of the Xeno Artefacts will be stolen, a black shadowy orb.

• After that they will have a couple of days with silence and relaxation, after those days they will find new clues on another mission.

 

My plan was next to do something with replacing an important person in Upper Hive Tarsus, I was thinking a military commander or some sort of important priest. The next in line for the title is someone influenced by Apophis, and therefor he needs the players to remove the person who bears the title now.

After that they should encounter a nurgle cult in Lower Hive Tarsus, I don't know what more at this time. Any ideas?

 



#15 Gerner

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:15 AM

So we played the rogue trader part, and everything went very well.

The players of course had their de-tours and made their own plans, but everything went down as I expected.

The timing was perfect when they stood with guns blazing in front of the rogue trader and realized that they had been played. It was hysterical and the players were laughing to dead over how stupid they had been.

I don’t know if anyone would be interested in knowing what went down and what the players did?

The scenario ended in taking part in the lower (and richer) part of hive Tarsus.

I know need some more assistance in the next part. It will take part in the middle part of hive Tarsus and should have the Ecclesiarchy and the trade ports as focus.

Ideas I had so far with it was that Apophis should frame the Acolytes to be Heretics in the Ecclesiarchies searchlight and have a squad of Adeptus Soritas searching for them. Apophis would do this to limit the Acolytes power and put them in an awkward position.

I also had an idea about that the players should be searching the cargo for something that they need to acquire before it falls into “wrong” hands.
This time my players will be a lot more susceptive and not fall so easily into a trap or lured off.

The players are focusing a lot on that they need to find Angelique De Falk (former Xanthie Malleus Inquisitor) and anything that can lead them too her. So I think if I throw out some clues/tracks on her, I will “force” my players to follow them and get into whatever I end up planning. But I am afraid that they will figure out the lure before my “trap” springs.

Any ideas as was they could do now and how to “press” them forward?
 



#16 Saldre

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:20 AM

At work right now!

When's your game though?

Mine is this Friday, then going out on Saturday... likely won't be able to post until Sunday. If you can wait until then, I will likely have a few ideas! Also, I'd love to hear about what happened- stories are always great. 



#17 Gerner

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:48 PM

Sorry for the slow (and rather long) reply, apparently they did more stuff that I figured.

Relax; my game is first in May. I have an expensive five hours train ride to where we play, so it is only in long weekends and vacations we play.

You just post when you have the time. You have been a great help so far.

Let us see if I can remember this;

The players started out getting some more information on the villains, Scintilla Hive and a few other things will they still were on the spaceship. They also received a powerful item each (Power Sword, Bolt Pistol, Hell Gun) before leaving space. Then they flew in an Arvus Lighter down to Hive Tarsus and I gave them a quick description of the city. When they landed I let them choose a place to stay, and kind as the group was they let the noble-born adept choose. His choose? The worst defendable penthouse (Happy GM). Then two of the players took to the library to search for clues while the third player and a NPC set up the cogitators and begins searching on them. Their search on the library doesn’t bear any real fruit even though they get some new information. Meanwhile on the cogitator the third player begins to find those magistratum reports on dead bodies with a branded arrow. They quickly draw up the star and decide to take out to one of the places where a body hasn’t been found yet, to see how they could make an ambush.

When they get out there they find a fifth (fresh) body. They are able to ID the victim since he is wearing an ankle-chain with his personal information (none of the other bodies have been identified). The players search around a little and when they are about to leave a magistratum hover-car drives up and fires a shotgun after them. The players hurry into the alley again and move into the sewer system. The magistratum officers exit the car and try to find them, but the players escape them in the sewer and emerge into the alley again before the magistratum, snap the id-tag and fly away in their hover-car. The players then take out to search the victim’s house. They find it battered in and signs of a fight, but nothing else to go on.

They figure out that there are eight days between each dead, and the dead person is a servant for David Von Seltsam, who is an ex-rogue trader now a collector of fine and rare items. They then set up pict-recorders all the places where there need a body to be dropped to fulfill the eight-pointed star. They also choose one of the places to set up an ambush. After that they wait around eight days and set up in one of the alleys, but with no luck. The next day they drive around and collect the pict-recorders to see what they have gathered. They of course also find a body with a branded arrow. They take the pict-tapes and the body with them back to the penthouse and begin to investigate it. The players guess that the body is one of Von Seltsam’s servants. The pict-video shows five hooded figures placing the body in the right angle, one of the hooded figures stands out because she/he is very tall and thin, with elegant movement. The players then decide to set up the pict-recorders again. They also decide to set up a pict-recorder at Von Seltsam’s Mansion, while they are there one of the players decide to apply to be his servant. The player talks with the guard in over an hour and fills out a blanket. Later in the week the same player gets called into a job-interview – this is their first time they see David Von Seltsam, a high thin noble person. It is the over-servant doing the interview while Von Seltsam just sits in the background watching. The player gets the job as his servant. He learns that there have been several servants (five) gone missing over the last months. The other players prepares for an ambush on one of the three remaining places. This time they are lucky.

The cultist lays down the corpse in a back valley. In the moment the body hits the ground the players open fire on the hooded figures. The bloodbath begins as the players slaughter the surprised cultists. The cultists aren’t well armed, but the tall hooded “leader” escapes while the rest are slaughtered. This time the players get a good look on the hooded figure that escapes. The player acting as a servant, also recognize the victim as one of Von Seltsam servants. They gather all the corpses, drag them into the sewer and burn them. After that they fly home and review what they know.

The one player who got the servant job keeps coming in Von Seltsam’s mansion and gets a bit more information about the mansion and Von Seltsam, but nothing valuable. Meanwhile the other players prepare to launch a third ambush, planning in extensive details with explosives to cut of his escape routes. This time they want to catch him. Seeing as the players use a lot of time on preparing the ambush (and for once making a good plan) I have to throw them a bone, without changing the plan. Instead of letting the “leader” show up with the corpse, a hulking mutant and four cultists emerges from the sewers without a corpse. The players wait until the cultists and the brute is in the final position and springs the trap. They have placed two stun grenades that they have wired in the alley and they blow up stunning all except the brute. Then a fun fight begins as the brute tries to claw its way into the adept who is standing in a stairway. The brute is way too big and destroys the entire stair. Meanwhile a player kills on of the cultists. The adept flees into a small flat and hides. In the meantime the other players emerge and start firing at the brute drawing his attention away from the staircase. He quickly gets killed off when the players open fire with a bolt and plasma pistol. As the brute dies the other cultists gets out of their stun. One of them charges (suicidal) the players and blows himself up with a “weak” demolition charge showering and damaging the players (and another cultist). The players are somewhat numb and shocked and a second cultist blows himself up the round after, making the players even more wounded. Finally one of the players shoots his webpistol at the last living cultist and snares him. They then run over to secure the prisoner and make sure he doesn’t blow himself up. Then the players haste to “clean” things up, remove the set explosives and burn the bodies. They get the bodies alight just before a magistratum car arrives. The players rush into their car with their prisoner and drives off with the magistratum flying just behind. The same player takes out his webpistol again and aims at their window slit. It’s a direct hit and they escape the magistratum.

When they get back they find a place to hold the prisoner and start licking their wounds. After getting some rest two of the players go down to the cellar where the prisoner is. First they begin to try speaking with him, but since they get nothing out of that, they move on to torture. The torture doesn’t bear fruit either as the cultist acts as a mad, rabid dog. The only word they get from him is “change”. In the meantime the adept player does an extended research on what cult he could be from and tries to gain as much inside knowledge as possible on the Purple Hand Cult that he presumes he is from. Afterwards he walks down to the cellar when their prisoner has gained some strength back. He then uses his new found knowledge to trick and persuade the “rabid” cultist. Again I have to throw them a proper bone for good thinking and roleplaying, and he gain a few more hints even though the cultist can’t tell much because of his lack of intelligence.

The players then begin to plan on how to attack the mansion. They want to attack at the moment Von Seltsam begins the ritual in the mansion and bust him “in the act”. So the player who has a servant job exchanges one of his shifts so he can be inside the Mansion on the night of the attack. They also require help from two stormtrooper squads to encounter the guards and whatever other protection hidden in the mansion. The two squads arrive from orbit and they plan what role they will have.

On the final night the player disguised as a servant lures the over-servant up to the control room. When he have him where he wants he draws out his plasma pistol and intimidates him to open the door to the control room. The over-servant isn’t easily scared and tells him to shove it. The disguised acolyte takes the access-card from the over-servant and then hack the security system – gaining quick access to the control room. Inside he quickly shuts the door again and begins to monitor Von Seltsams behavior. When Von Seltsam enters his private studies (where there are no cameras) the player in the control room starts hacking the automatic turrets so the players won’t get slaughtered, when that is done he calls them in and guides them throw the house. The two stormtrooper squads are split up. One of them is guarding the mansion making sure no one enters, and no one leaves. The other squad opens the entry to the house and secures the rest of the building while the players storm to the location of Von Seltsam. The players hurry to Von Seltsams private office. They kick in the door and see Von Seltsam standing behind his desk with an elegant powersword and a Fusion Pistol (elder version of Inferno Pistol) pointing at them. The players have decided to stay incognito and not to reveal anything about the inquisition. One of the players who play an ex-commissar is way too stubborn for this and declares him a heretic and that he is to drop his weapons. Von Seltsams answer is yelling at them to get the out of his mansion NOW. And on that exact moment it dawns on them that they have been played and is standing in crap to their knees. All of it was too obvious and they have been hunting a Callidus Assassin who has all the abilities to mimic the appearance and behavior of whoever she likes. While the acolytes are half stunned (and the players laughing as hell) Von Seltsam sees his option and shoots at the commissar. The result is devastating, he receives 34 in damage and just loses the whole arm, and nothing but a scorched lump of shoulder and a power sword on the floor is back. This springs the players into action. Another of the players drags the commissar out of the doorway and into cover, while he commands a stormtrooper to put suppressive fire on Von Seltsam. The stormtrooper runs in and throws him behind the couch blasting away at Von Seltsam. When Von Seltsam is pinned the player who helped the commissar know runs in and fires his webpistol at Von Seltsam, it’s a direct hit resolving in Von Seltsam being snared in the web. The player then pulls out a gun and put it too Von Seltsams head and tells the stormtrooper to get over and contain their new prisoner. The stormtrooper runs over and take over guarding the new prisoner. The acolyte in the control room leaves the room and get down to the other players. After securing the building and their prisoner, they search the private office and find a hidden passageway leading down to a secret cellar. The secret cellar is full of Xeno “artifacts” most of the items are common objects as forks, curtains, clothing and furniture but it is of great value. The players start a huge argument whether they should burn it; return it to the Inquisition or the Adeptus Mechanicus. I choose to send down the Throne Agent to calm them down and secure the plot line. The tech-priest ends up pulling his plasma gun on the throne agent and telling him that the stuff needs to be brought to the Adeptus Mechanicus. After some discussing the tech priest lets the items be handed over to their Inquisitor (Ordo Xeno) if the Adeptus Mechanicus will be there as well. The players then pack all of the items into crates and put them into an Arvus Lighter. The tech-priest goes up to the control room and transfers all the data from the control room into several data-slates, learning that Angelique De Falk have been here and then wipes the control room and shuts it down so no monitoring of them will exist. Then the players leaves the mansion with the stormtroopers in the Arvus Lighter’s. And the session ends.

 

I hope whoever read all of that liked it.



#18 ranoncles

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:09 AM

Sorry to jump in so late but after reading your post I wanted to ask if you considered a nurgle vs. Tzeentch plot?

So often it is indeed a villain trying to take over a city/planet/sector/galaxy and being stopped by inquisitors. Or actually it more often seem to be acolytes who prevent a cataclysmic fate from happening to a sector... ;-)

 

So how about a plot in which the villain is actually trying to get one over another chaos god?

The power of Nurgle is death and disease but how about turning that around? What if Tzeentch wants to stick it to Nurgle by making Nurgle's strongest powers actually make Tzeentch stronger? Thus the more people Nurgle kills with his pestilences, the stronger Tzeentch becomes....? Hence a Tzeentch necromancer trying to raise the dead as followers (zombies or fully functional humans?) of Tzeentch. That would explain why he is interested in raising the dead beyond the common trope of raising a loved one.

And while Nurgle cultists and this Tzeentch follower and his gang are battling it out, the Inquisition discovers the fallout and thinks is just business as usual and takes on yet another chaos cult...You could do a lot with misdirection and have your cultists basically ignoring the acolytes or perhaps just having the cultist of both chaos gods acting atypical in their response to the acolytes...This would also provide some room for hard choices as the acolytes must choose which cult needs to be destroyed first once they figure out the existence of two cults (thus allowing the other to kill off many people in the meantime).

 

And as for bodies, a smart mastermind would not do anything so obvious as creating riots to create them. Riots bring in Imperial authorities and eventually someone is going to stumble on the scheme. Much better to get bodies from a source which garners little attention...If you need a lot of bodies for the experiments, the mastermind will set up a company which processes the dead for a hive city or gets a contract to dispose of dead recruits for the PDF training depots.

And my favourite creepy way would be to pretend to be a good guy and offer placements for orphans from orphanages. These young boys and girls leave the orphanage at 16 (or whatever age works for you) and then are 'offered a job'....and nothing is ever heard from them again...This could even be the start of the adventure as a player who once was an orphan too is approached by a former teacher or somesuch and asked to look into the disappearance of several orphans...



#19 Gerner

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:39 AM

Thanks for the reply Ranoncles, I applaud your bravery for reading through this thread.

I have considered, and it has been suggested before. It isn’t going to be the main plot for several reasons, but I am going to make a quest with the elimination of a Nurgle cult to give the players some clues.

Some very good ideas you have for the Tzeentch vs. Nurgle subject, but I would like my players to fight against one major chaos worshipping arch-enemy, one iconic figure. I will slowly introduce (I think) some ecclesiarchy powers that will hunt both parties, and put the PC’s in an awkward position. I want to give them the whole “the Imperium and ecclesiarchy sucks and hate you” thing, while in the same time giving them a great arch-enemy to fight.

Before this I ran a warhammer 2nd scenario with Nurgle as the great main adversary for several years, so we have “tried” that.

Hmn, you do that have some points about the riot. It shouldn’t be made obvious who is behind, but it could be a good decoy and distraction for the government while the conspirator does his business.

Disposal of dead PDF, Processing of the dead from the Hive City and “Jobs” from the orphans are all good ideas, but wouldn’t give the same amount of bodies and in the same “quality” as the riot would.

 

Still some good points and ideas you have!
 



#20 TheFlatline

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:57 PM

 My only thought with your original idea seed is that there are a LOT of power players, most of whom aren't exactly known to be fond of one another, all cooperating towards a point that doesn't seem beneficial to all parties involved. Sooner or later the players are going to find that hard to swallow. 

Every ego, every group, every cult has a unique, individual agenda. When two groups overlap and contribute efforts, it's because there is something to benefit from them interacting. The more exotic the alliance, the bigger the incentive needs to be to help. I'd put a lot of thought into motivations and strip out conspirators who you can't work that angle with. 






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