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Help with NPC's

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#1 Brother Siouxahn

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 01:53 AM

 Hello all. I'm reading through the core book now, and I'm probably going to have to start training to be a GM since my role playing group is pretty new to DW. While toying with campaign ideas I thought it would be good to throw in an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor NPC to act as a quest giver, and investigator that the Kill Team will have to work with occasionally throughout the campaign. So what I'd like to ask of you, my more experienced colleagues, is: Have you ever tried anything like this before? If so, how did you use it, and how did the players deal with it? How do Ordo Xenos Inquisitors usually interact with the Deathwatch? I tend to imagine them being investigators primarily, who send in the DW once they've identified a threat, but I'd like to know if anybody has ever used them as fighters.

To that end I would also like to hear suggestions for the kind of stats/abilities that an OX Inquisitor should have. I haven't had a chance to look through Dark Heresy yet, so I don't really know how to generate a powerful NPC Inquisitor, other than just using the Imperial Agent stats in the DW book, and jazzing it up with some psychic powers. While he'd be no space marine, I would like to think most Inquisitors would be pretty capable individuals. So if anyone would like to offer any advice on how to use an OX Inquisitor, both in role play, and in combat, I'd love to hear some ideas. Thanks guys.

#2 BrotherChev



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Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:10 PM

You can totally have an inquisitor run around with the battle brothers, heck, it's a minor plot point for the adventure 'A Stony Sleep.' Kill-teams are always escorting and assisting and acting as bodyguards for inquisitors, so if you want to have rolling around with the squad just make it part of the mission. I'd say about half of the mission I run involve the kill-team either protecting, assisting, or extracting an inquisitor, and only one of my players ever really had an issue with it, and it was more of an in-character thing/misunderstanding the universe. A few examples would be Quist, from emperor protects, who works with the brothers on a mission, and Hakk out of Mark of Xenos, both of which are pretty tough in their own right.

Keep in mind though, Inquisitors powers lies more in their investigatory skills and connections, as opposed to their martial prowess. That's not to say they can't get out there and kick some ass, they just tend to be a bit squishier than the marines. They do have access to power armor, they have the rosette, along with other shields, but they tend to lack in the wounds department and don't have unnatural toughness, meaning it takes a lot less to hurt them than a space marine. Also, they don't get all the space marine's nifty implants. However, Inquisitors do have a retinue that travels with them, in this case it happens to be the kill-team, but don't be afraid to give them a few extra allies to roll with to give them some 'oopmh'. Something like a few guards, a sanctioned pskyer, a horde of guardsmen, ect. ect. This means that even with out the kill-team they are capable on their own. Also, even though the book is pretty busted, Ascension a great for make a high-powered inquisitor, and you can make some beasts if you go the psyker path.

The only thing you want to be careful about is that you don't step on the players toes, that is, the inquisitor might be calling the shots, but they're still the stars. They are working with the inquisitor, not for him/her, and more the capable of making dealing with stuff their own way if they don't like the current plan, or if they suspect the inquisitor of heresy. Unless you get another player to be the inquisitor. I have had a couple games like that, it's always great to have the inquisitor issue some radical order then get into a standoff with the black templar assault marine.

#3 venkelos



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Posted 19 May 2012 - 03:15 AM

An Inquisitor can be a real boon. Whether PC or NPC, they can fill in any gaps the Kill Team might have; this is often social, but they can be jacks of all trades, so if the team needs something, an Inquisitor CAN probably cover it. They also have unlimited access to most of the coolest things, so they can often kick it with the big boys, and not be a drag. If they want, psychic powers, Terminator Armor, rare weapons or toys, and more can be their ante at the game table.

As said, of course, they can be fragile, and while they have access to gear that CAN save them, if it fails once, they might, too. It is often best to remind them to stay back, and observe; maybe offer covering fire, rather than front line gunning. Also, this iteration of 40K breaks with the "Inquisitors command all under the Imperium", so while he/she can make strong suggestions to the team, they can say no, and get away with it, so long as the Watch Commander didn't order them to obey. In this way, he/she can be another player character, and not the arbitrary leader.

If said inquisitor does not travel with the party, they can still certainly be a valuable source of info and direction, both in the giving of missions, and the advising on  them.

It can often be cool to include one, just for a dynamic change. Much like an Adepta Sororitas, they can play along, but be different enough to stand out, and be enjoyable. The only risks to always watch for; if they try, they can be runaway skill monkeys, both socially and otherwise, so be careful there. Also, if they are going to be psykers, they will likely either be mighty cheese (use Ascension rules, rather than convert DW), or kind of crap (using DW rules), as Ascension psykers are ungoldly powerful, potentially, while in DW, their lack of available powers, not being able to grab Chapter powers, can leave them sucky. Still, they can be awesome characters, either as PCs or GM tools, and can fill in so many spots, both for plot and function. I strongly suggest you work at least one in, just to have around. They might have access to an object no Kill Team can requisition, and you have to see that they survive to use/deploy it, or any of a number of other options.

#4 Kshatriya



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Posted 19 May 2012 - 04:45 AM

Technically, the Deathwatch would be working for the Inquisitor. The Deathwatch are the Chamber Militant of Ordo Xenos. The Watch-Commander is a subordinate to the Inquisitor of the Chamber and possibly other Ordo Xenos Inquisitors as well.

That doesn't mean there can't be conflict, nor does it mean that the Inquisitor wouldn't expect their orders to be followed to the letter (a potential source of conflict).

My big issue with allowing a PC Inquisitor is (1) how bad Ascension is (your psyker Inquisitor will constantly make the Librarian feel inadequate - because he is inadequate compared to an Ascended Inquisitorial psyker); (2) the Inquisitor can trivially accomplish tasks that would challenge Astartes, given how the DH system is built up to that level (e.g. social situations, investigation, certain other skills); and (3) in a very real way, the Inquisitor has the power and authority to call the shots

#5 Brother Siouxahn

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 05:40 PM

 Thank you to all, 

This is some great info. At this point I'm considering a campaign where a bookish, but still pretty badass OX Inquisitor has to investigate rumoured xenos on a fringe imperial world, while a rival Ordo Hereticus is trying to stir up witch burnings, and generally ruin the much more civilized investigation of the OX. I think that'd be a great opportunity for the players to see how different various inquisitors can be, which should help as some of the players are completely new to the 40k universe. The actual hierarchy of the Imperium is often still confusing to me, and I've been into Warhammer for about 15 years :P

Another thing that are still a bit odd to me is the interactions between Inquisitors, Space Marines, and higher ranking Imperial Guard Officers, and Commissars. I recall reading Gaunt's Ghosts and noting that Colonel Commissar Gaunt actually didn't take much crap from the Inquisitor that was sent to spy on him. I guess Scholar Prognium graduates are a bit of a grey area. As for the Guard Officers, I can imagine a Space Marine being generally regarded as a superior, but for a Lord Commander Militant, it probably would be unlikely to see one taking orders from a Space Marine Sergeant. From there we could probably go nuts with the hierarchy debate, like who can give orders to a Judge of the Adeptus Arbites, or vice versa. I get the impression that this system was made complicated on purpose to represent the vast, and incomprehensible administrative body of the Imperium. If anyone has any insights on inter-faction hierarchy, or the kind of disputes that could prove fun for role playing, I'd love to hear those too.


Thanks again.

#6 Brother Siouxahn

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 05:48 PM

 And, don't forget about the Echlesiarchy! Plus any other faction :)

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