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Black Sepulchre balancing and muddled background (and any my players who read this will suffer, oh yes you will, so don't)


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#1 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

I'm running this adventure at present (and rather like it). I have a couple of questions/issues that I would like to raise.

1. The power level of the Hekates. They seem rather… weak and easy to "kill," especially Koronath. He should go dwn in a round. Am I missing something? And, the undead gribblies. Is 1 Wound a misprint?

2. As a partial caveat to 1. Every psyker in this scenario seems to have Psychic Shriek and a WPB of at least 3. All my players' characters have TBs of 3 o less. Do you recommend that I shift the power to something else? Otherwise I will have a lot of snoozing PCs.

3. Finally, when were the Hekates supposed to have come to the cathedral? The adventure makes it sound like the Rogue Trader was there at the time during the big battle with the nasty (in fact, he says so). But if they moved in and actually lived in the place, it must have been afterward. Also, when was this? Centuries ago? If so, how are there still bodies lying around?

3a. In Church of the Damned, was there supposed to be a subadventure in the cathedral involving one of the doctors? It's mentioned, and clues regarding it can be found, but nothing about it is actually discussed. Was this removed from the adventure, and somebody forgot to take out all of the references?

Thanks mightily.

 

 



#2 docdoom77

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

No replies?  I have the same issue with the background: it makes absolutely no sense.  First it says that Barbarus created the Hekate dynasty centuries ago and died at some point during or before the big titan battle.  Dei Phage sends the Titan into the ocean, centuries pass, the Hekate dynasty comes back to the cathedral (re: titan) to uncover Barbarus' mystery or restore the dynastye, etc.  Yet, the Hekate dynasty members (Gustavus and crew), who lived in the cathedral and have no idea it is a Titan are frequently referred to as members of Barbarus' crew.  

So are the centuries old?  That's possible in DH, but if they're part of the original crew and hence part of the origin of the Hekate dynasty, then why don't they remember that the cathedral is a Titan infested by a Daemon Prince?  If they're not part of the original crew then, why does it say that one of them was Barbarus' seneschal and one was Barbarus' Astropath.

The idea that they are centuries old and came back to rebuild the dynasty without knowing any of the background about how it was founded is absurd.  But if they're descendants of the original crew, who came back to rebuild the dynasty or uncover a mystery, that makes good sense, except the text specifically says that some of them were members of the crew.  Agggghhhh!

Has anyone unraveled this, or should I just ignore references to them being part of the crew and change those parts to say they are descended from the original crew?

Thanks for any responses.



#3 alemander

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:04 AM

I just assumed that the Hekates were simply descendants of Zanatov's original crew.  One is a direct descendant of the Astropath, while another is the direct descendant of the Seneschal, etc.



#4 alemander

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:11 AM

Also, I think the undead with the "1 Wound" were just minor 'effects' to add to the horror and not supposed to a real threat to the Acolytes, unlike the undead found with Gustavus in his lab.



#5 docdoom77

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

I think that's what I'm going to do: pretend they are descendents.  The text clearly states that Hadria "was an Astropath on a vessel of the Rogue Trader Barabus Zanatov" (pg 34), but that's clearly ridiculous.  I'll say she had psychic visions facilitated by one of her ancestors who was on the Rogue Trader.s

And on page 20 it says about Nikaea: "She served as the Rogue Trader's senschal, but was driven from her sanity."

But on pg 5, it says: "Centuries later, the waning Hekate dynasty, believing the exposed torso of the Imperator Titan to be a once-lavish abandoned cathedral […] last heirs to the Hekate fortune" etc. 

I mean, its like two people wrote the adventure and didnt' talk to each other about what they were writing.   I the in the end, I guess it's not a big deal, I'll just ignore (or rewrite) references to them being part of the original crew.

Other than that, I think the whole thing is pretty good.  The idea that they need the Black Sepulchre to decode a video is a bit silly, but I'm just gonna say that it was a psychic recording that used forbidden tech and the soul of a psyker to encode.  The Maledictor's Hand created the recording as part of a pact with some warp entity or another and DeVayne took it.  Less silly to need the Black Sepulchre in that case.

 



#6 alemander

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:58 AM

Yeah, it does seem like two different people wrote it and worked off of different notes and that there apparently was no editor at all.

I also think the map leaves something to be desired.  I still don't know where exactly Nikaea's Tower is supposed to be, half of the rooms are supposed to have doors in walls that don't make sense, etc.

But overall, I think the module is good and the trilogy really good.

~alemander



#7 docdoom77

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

Agreed on the maps.  I remember thinking the same thing.  Where is Nikea's tower?  And the doors and walls in that wing are very wonky.  despite all that, I think it's a good module.  Seems like my players will really enjoy the Haematite tower once they get in there.  Cheers.



#8 vogue69

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:48 PM

I too have a really hard time understanding the events in this adventure. For one: How friggin old is Ignato? Why would noone remember a titan walking around couple centuries ago? Sure that would be written down somewhere.

I would really appreciate it, if someone could write some kind of time line, pretty please.



#9 Alekzanter

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

Regarding Psychic Shriek…

Remember that this game uses dice, and dice often are cruel little bastards. One, two or three poor dice rolls and BAM! half or more of the Acolytes can be unconscious due to Fatigue…and easy, easy pickin's for the Hekates. Even if they don't pass out, -10 on all Tests is severe enough to make the encounter a challenge.

Everything is situational, and you get to envision the situation then put it into play.

Nikaea (is that the female Hekate?), all Hekates in fact, are possessed of the Warp Apparition special Trait. Not pleased with the possibilities? Give the Hekates a Fear Rating of 1. Or you could do what I did, and arm her with a "ghost" Hand Flamer. It sprayed forth psy-flames (unlimited Clip), and due to their ghost-like nature it was harder to avoid catching fire (an additional -10 to Ag Tests), but if she "phased out" to pound on someone with her scepter it would snuff the psy-flames. No BS Test to use a Hand Flamer; put it in her "off" hand. Even if the Acolytes don't (SPOILER!) fall for the tainted food ploy and sit to the feast (remember Half Action to stand, and not all PCs have Quick Draw or Leap Up, so the 1 Round it takes them to prepare…unless they're somehow surprised, bringing their response time to 2 Rounds…, she has the gimpy servitors to aid her in this confrontation (though I raised their Movement to 3/6/-/-). A number of servitors equal to the number of Acolytes plus 1-2 should make this encounter a challenge for up to 3rd or 4th Rank Acolytes.  Have the door to the chamber slam closed and lock after half the PCs have entered the room and remain unaffected by what the PCs attempt (Security, breaking it down/open) for d5-2 Rounds (to a minimum of 1)…paranormal events are good in this adventure, they heighten tension and a sense of urgency/danger. She can always just stay "phased out" and Compel/Dominate. Nothing says you have to play things as they are written in the adventure, just make sure you think of your Players' PCs' capabilities, make the decision to change things a day or two before your next session, and stick to it. Don't up the ante half-way through an encounter. Change weapons from Natural to Improved Natural and remove their Primitive Quality. Gustavus's Victims have Double Team, so swamp one PC with three or four of them and they'll get up to +40 WS. Gustavus's fists are Warp Weapons…

I was looking forward to this particular encounter with my group…but a Tech-Priest was very quick on the go, and opened up with Righteous Fury from his Sollex Deathlight Laspistol…thingy…and insta-gibbed her.  And rather than drag things into unnecessaries, I had the servitors collapse upon her demise (seemed appropriate).

Pesky Tech-Priest. 






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