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Not quite the problem you'd expect with the Slaught….


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#1 Saldre

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:08 AM

Hello All!!

So, I am currently running Damned Cities- and its going great. I've made tons of additions which the players seem to be enjoying quite a bit- and out of all of them, only one of them has me really disappointed- in that "I could have done better!" way.

I am talking about the Slaught- I love these guys: very Cthulhuesque xenos who mix horror and paranoia both IN and OUT of Combat! I've no idea how I've managed to fumble them up so badly, what with their type being one of my personal's style's strong point… usually…

The problem is- the players don't fear the Slaught! In any way, shape or form. They are now Rank Six, with a collection of powerful [Bolt Pistols, Angelus Carabine, Omnissian Axe] weapons- and they've made a mockery of the Slaughts I've thrown at them in combat, what with Great rolls on their parts and horrible rolls on my part.  

Last night, the players manage to "take out a team" in the "Hunt for the Mirror Shards" by wiping out the part of the Weeper's Guild that the Slaught had infiltrated [allying with that Rogue Trader, and her Arch-militant after all :P] and even though Everyone burned a fate point (Except for the Tech-priest…. whose the only character that's survived from game one!!!!!) they managed to beat a Principal, 4 Constructs [that stayed Jammed most of the fight though], two "Giant Worms" and One… Worm-God! [A Trygon, Though somewhat nerfed…. in terms of of a heavy bonus to hitting it, as it was so big, and it had two attacks- One "Hits everyone on one side of the map" and a "Single Target Strike", with the built it directives that it wouldn't use the super attack when the Slaught came down from his pedestal to absorb the memory of one of the dying players so as to find out where they were keeping the Mirror Shards]. 

Suffice to say- they fought the damned Worm-God to the last, with Melta Bombs, Flamers, "Dual Shots"- Lots of dodges and lots of good rolls- they won. They killed it [the Worm God] and the "Principal" escaped- with the Players forfeiting their chance to kill him in favor of grabbing the mirror shard he kept hidden in the swarming mass of maggots that form up his body. 

In terms of story, I'd set up a sort of an atmosphere in the Tenth District but I feel as if I could have done a better job with them. The rogue trader gave ominous warnings about an Organisation, a "Syndicate" she called it, after the Tech-priest puzzled out the fact that she was working with the Slaught because she didn't have much of a choice [Offering her an Inquisition pardon if she would lead the group to the Cult's hiding place.]

Now, the Slaught are more or less finished on Sinophia- they've lost the two Mirror Shards they had, lost their human agents [The Legate, who the Risen murdered, and the Rogue Trader] and the "Worm God", who was their Ultimate weapon, has been defeated…. 

But they'll be back- on Solomon for example, and Mara- and maybe, before that, I can squeeze them into tattered Fates as well. 

But I fear that their…. poor performance on Sinophia will lessen them as a threat in the eyes of the players. 

Does anybody have any suggestions or ideas on how to make them interesting and scary again?

I was thinking that, maybe, seeing as The Principal survived, he can still attempt one final ambush on the players perhaps. But as his combat resources have been stymied, this would have to be a real "Horror" [Psychological and Supernatural], justified as some field generated by a Slaught "Nightmare Science" artifact- which I've used before. But my record with the Slaught and horror has been really poor- so any ideas for this encounter would be very appreciated. 

Or, if its too late to salvage them on Sinophia, how can I start building them back up as a threat before its time to head back to the rest of the campaign??

I am hoping the damage I've done to their reputations here can still be repaired with the help of you fine folk :P

Thanks! 



#2 Zakalwe

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:22 PM

Saldre said:

Hello All!!

So, I am currently running Damned Cities- and its going great. I've made tons of additions which the players seem to be enjoying quite a bit- and out of all of them, only one of them has me really disappointed- in that "I could have done better!" way.

I am talking about the Slaught- I love these guys: very Cthulhuesque xenos who mix horror and paranoia both IN and OUT of Combat! I've no idea how I've managed to fumble them up so badly, what with their type being one of my personal's style's strong point… usually…

The problem is- the players don't fear the Slaught! In any way, shape or form. They are now Rank Six, with a collection of powerful [Bolt Pistols, Angelus Carabine, Omnissian Axe] weapons- and they've made a mockery of the Slaughts I've thrown at them in combat, what with Great rolls on their parts and horrible rolls on my part.  

Last night, the players manage to "take out a team" in the "Hunt for the Mirror Shards" by wiping out the part of the Weeper's Guild that the Slaught had infiltrated [allying with that Rogue Trader, and her Arch-militant after all :P] and even though Everyone burned a fate point (Except for the Tech-priest…. whose the only character that's survived from game one!!!!!) they managed to beat a Principal, 4 Constructs [that stayed Jammed most of the fight though], two "Giant Worms" and One… Worm-God! [A Trygon, Though somewhat nerfed…. in terms of of a heavy bonus to hitting it, as it was so big, and it had two attacks- One "Hits everyone on one side of the map" and a "Single Target Strike", with the built it directives that it wouldn't use the super attack when the Slaught came down from his pedestal to absorb the memory of one of the dying players so as to find out where they were keeping the Mirror Shards]. 

Suffice to say- they fought the damned Worm-God to the last, with Melta Bombs, Flamers, "Dual Shots"- Lots of dodges and lots of good rolls- they won. They killed it [the Worm God] and the "Principal" escaped- with the Players forfeiting their chance to kill him in favor of grabbing the mirror shard he kept hidden in the swarming mass of maggots that form up his body. 

In terms of story, I'd set up a sort of an atmosphere in the Tenth District but I feel as if I could have done a better job with them. The rogue trader gave ominous warnings about an Organisation, a "Syndicate" she called it, after the Tech-priest puzzled out the fact that she was working with the Slaught because she didn't have much of a choice [Offering her an Inquisition pardon if she would lead the group to the Cult's hiding place.]

Now, the Slaught are more or less finished on Sinophia- they've lost the two Mirror Shards they had, lost their human agents [The Legate, who the Risen murdered, and the Rogue Trader] and the "Worm God", who was their Ultimate weapon, has been defeated…. 

But they'll be back- on Solomon for example, and Mara- and maybe, before that, I can squeeze them into tattered Fates as well. 

But I fear that their…. poor performance on Sinophia will lessen them as a threat in the eyes of the players. 

Does anybody have any suggestions or ideas on how to make them interesting and scary again?

I was thinking that, maybe, seeing as The Principal survived, he can still attempt one final ambush on the players perhaps. But as his combat resources have been stymied, this would have to be a real "Horror" [Psychological and Supernatural], justified as some field generated by a Slaught "Nightmare Science" artifact- which I've used before. But my record with the Slaught and horror has been really poor- so any ideas for this encounter would be very appreciated. 

Or, if its too late to salvage them on Sinophia, how can I start building them back up as a threat before its time to head back to the rest of the campaign??

I am hoping the damage I've done to their reputations here can still be repaired with the help of you fine folk :P

Thanks! 

HAARLOCK SPOILERS

 

 

You're just going to have to get more bad-ass on it.  Our rank 7 group had a hard time with them in House of Dust and Ash and Dead Stars.  I dual-shotted Ms Book with an inferno pistol and a flametongue and she was only mildly offended. Nonesuch managed to get away both times we fought him, making them very frustrating as well as tough!

Those disintegration sceptres they carry are very nasty mind you.  Maybe a demonstration is in order.

Interrogator Z



#3 Gregorius21778

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:06 PM

SPOILERS!


Perhaps playing up the "body snatcher thing" that was introduced in "House of Dust and Ash". If every approaching human could simply be a Husk to some thing of the slaught, the PC might get a little more itchy. 

The Scepters are good as well: use a lot of disintergration weapon whom will be harmful to use by anybody but the slaught. Make up your own, heavier versions as well

 EDIT: For example, every time you are hit with one, you lose one point of AP. If no AP is left, add another dice of damage :)



#4 Darth Smeg

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:43 AM

Ah, on that subject: Any suggestions as to suitable consequences for curious hereteks who might wish to … try… a Nectritic Sceptre they … found? 


Tarald - The Dark Lord of Smeg

 

My House Rules for using Only War (and more) for Dark Heresy games


#5 Saldre

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:00 AM

Hey Hey!

So I've had a LONG talk with one  of my players with the problem with that particular scene- and its funny, he suggested an alternative that would have been considerably more epic! 

The Principal drops waves of Sinophian bore worms onto the players, and would then hold them hostage until they gave up the mirrors or forfeited their lives. The choice could even be completely in the Tech-priest's hands (the one holding the mirror shards.) 

Now I am wondering whether or not I want to abuse this thing or not- and I think I will. A final ambush down in the tunnels- the walls coming alive with Worms, the Slaught's true, final face-off and if THAT fails, a chance to kill the Sinophian Principal once and for all. 

Horrific scenes include - A massive crawling, heaving thing in the distance [Is it a reactivated arteria-subway?! Its big enough to be….]. Stumbling into a group of mutants, in reality worm-infested cultists. They are held up together by the maggots and only move because the Principal Wills it. 

Think worm generation- the principal has three attacks per turn [Grapples at distances, slipping worms in beneath people's armors.) and his necrotic scepter. The walls are alive with worms and maggots, and they come crawling at the players. Mounds of maggots on the ground- chance to fall into pits of them.

Soon, the players find that they've been devoured by the Worm God (A Slaught Illusion) - a chance to bargain presents itself after he separates the players. Maybe he'll explain the real threat when the Haarlock returns. He'd need to pick a player to control. The Vermin Speaker maybe? :P 

Need more horrific worm scenes…

As for the scepter and the Heretic, I would recommend strange growths that pour out from the scepter and bind up with his arm, his hand- heck, they come to him in a dream, and not in reality. Every night, he feels them crawling around his arms, towards his neck, chewing his flesh, slowly but surely….  Soon he starts to hear voices, and hear things. Obviously result of insanity- until one day, worms burst out of his flesh, covering him- controlling him. 

The scepter's (slaught) regenerative properties has turned him into a hive…



#6 Gregorius21778

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:48 AM

Hi Saldre,

I hope it is considered "on topic" if I answer (since it relates to Slaught)..if not, please drop a quick note and will stop immediately!

Darth Smeg said:

Ah, on that subject: Any suggestions as to suitable consequences for curious hereteks who might wish to … try… a Nectritic Sceptre they … found? 

Hi Darth,

to keep it short: I would go for a "drain of life force" with no visible effect (nor anything a Psyker could detect). If a non-Slaught uses the device, s/he will need to pass a Toughness test with a penalty equal to the the maximum damage of said weapon (2d10+5 = -25). If you pass the test, you merely feel weak (-1d5 temporal attribute damage to Toughness and Strength), but if you loose the test it will be worse (-1d10 instead plus a flat 5 extra points of a-damage for every level of failure). The Slaught simply "power" (or give an "ignition" to ) the device with their own life force. Since they regenerate and have INSANE amounts Toughness it is not a problem to THEM. 

Anyone else picking up such a device or weapon might be in for a bad suprise, so…and fine weapon to tempt them



#7 Gregorius21778

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:56 AM

Saldre said:

Need more horrific worm scenes…


 

Underground chambers or hidden lairs of cults, right?

"Heerwurm"
The PC need to cross a room. The room is dark…but with an ordinary(+10) hearing based Awareness test they hear a strange sound… if they have a close look to the floor (or point to it with a light source) they will find the large patches of the floor to be completely covered with thick, slimly worms..mostly clustered around what seems to be the carcass of…something larger…perhaps humans, perhaps Grox. The PC still need to cross the room… and it seems that the worms somehow react to their presence…the patches them to…widen…towards them!

Of course, burning up five or more shots of flamer fuel will do the trick but in case the PC do not have such weapon (or need to preserve ammo) they migh simply want to run quickly and avoid any patch of worms while doing so (Dexterity tests +20 should do the trick). If they fail, the worms get 1+failure level chances of attack…what the worms are and what they are able to is up to you (perhaps the same necrotic fluid as the Slaught as the worms get them).  "Heerwurm" is a term found in the medial german. It describes a patch of maggots so thick ("Heer" = "army") that you can actually HEAR them wiggling and twitching as all of these worm budies move against each other, leading to a pereceivable sound…yum-yum!

 



#8 Gregorius21778

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:05 AM

"This is not a tunnel…."
"The brick walls end, a wall was broken up. The tunnels go on behind the break in the wall, directly digged into the moist clay behind the wall".  Do not ask for any test unless the PC state that they want to test..and make these hard. Do not use phrases like "what looks like"…do not make to long a pause. simply go on…describe something they see like some slaught construct..something they could battle or at least turn their attention to….

Later, you describe the tunnel to to be leading to junctions where water pools in the slightly curved floor…the round tunnels are now dominated by "a sharp, unfamiliar smell"…as the PC walk through the water…they will later notice how it softs up their boots…if they touch it with bare hands they will feel that it burns them …and they will quickly learn that this stenches comes from the water….and the walls start "sweating" water now…. they might turn and run! Ask for agility tests to get out in a hurry since the biological construct they are in now pumps diggestive juices into the segments the PC are in…

this is the Slaughts lair and their living alarm system…a tunnel thing that KNOWS who steps in and the Slaught need to "pacifiy" it with biological agents while they are present inside those "trap segments"…other place are of course are "safe" but still inside the living structure…the PC may want to search it…may NEED to search it…but the should better pass the "corridors" quick in order to go about from room to room…and add a "feeding chamber"…a chestpit with corpses filled up with the diggestive fluid…a living habitat needs nutrition!



#9 Saldre

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:22 PM

Ahh, yeah- that's perfect. I will add those up- and hope that the Slaught can strike up a bargain (or at least make an interesting appearance) before they are completely wiped out of Sinophia… 

For the rest, I am sure I can improvise  (Granted, my track record has been less than perfect when were talking about Slaught and Impro!) :P 

 






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