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Transition from an Only War to a Dark Heresy style game.

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#1 enentol



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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:55 AM

I've posted this in the Only War section as well, but figured that there might be more experience here…

I'm running an Only War campaign and my PCs got wrapped up in this huge cult/conspiracy involving the high command for their regiment's home system. They "solved" the crisis but have now been captured by the Inquisition. They all really like the idea of moving to a Dark Heresy style game with more investigation and freedom.

I'd like for an Inquisitor to take them on as acolytes (as their actions have shown that they can handle themselves), but would it be too much of a **** move to take away all their fancy armour and weapons and have them start from the bottom up?

The best I can think of is to tell them is that all of their Imperial-issued gear would attract too much attention and/or its all evidence in the Inquisition's investigation.

The problem is that some of them are quite attached to their gear: ie. Commissar with his power sword and bolt pistol, Weapon Specialist with his meltagun, Heavy has a heavy bolter….. they're all wearing carapace armour….

They're all excited for a more investigative-horror-survival type game, but how do I strip their gear without pissing them off?

I'm just worried that every combat situation will be a joke.

#2 Alekzanter



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Posted 15 February 2013 - 04:23 AM

One thing to remember about Dark Heresy is the high visibility of the setting. As Acolytes in service to the Emperor's Holy Inquisition, there will be many opportunities to be "in public." Dress uniforms or comabat fatigues and armour being worn by four, five, or six individuals in close proximity will be highly visible, attention grabbing, and Acolytes typically desire more anonymity. And not every setting or situation leaves a lot of room for walking about with a bulky melta weapon or a cumbersome Heavy Bolter.

I have Auditors (Acolytes) who spend a majority of their time in a civilized setting (a hive) and they are quite vulnerable when it comes to personal armour. Carrying guns can be tricky; some PCs have made attempts to conceal or disguise their weapons, such as tailoring their clothing to accommodate shoulder-rigged hand guns, though average NPCs receive a passive attempt to notice them, and attentive NPCs (the "bad guys") will have a better chance of noting their presence. As a result, on more than one occasion, autoguns have been inconveniently stored in their transport when the shiteth hath unexpectedly hiteth the faneth.

On the other side of that coin…the bad guys suffer from the same inconveniences. Well, unless they intend to draw undue attention to themselves.  People wearing Mesh Weave armour (AP 3, 4 vs Impact), normal clothing, Armoured Body Gloves (AP 3) underneath clothing, and getting shot with guns, any guns, or getting into a protracted melee leads to deadly confrontations, deadly outcomes. My Players are a thinking group, careful and cautious, and have recently talked themselves out of a potentially devastating crossfire including autoguns. The bad guys, for their part, also are not interested in dying, so the PCs' opposition usually covers the retreat of impotant personages and then surrenders.

Guns are loud. Enforcers, Magistratum, Arbites, all might hear the exchange of gunfire, and indiscriminate shooting in a public setting essentially makes everyone a guilty participant. Incarceration publicizes the Acolytes, and is an entanglement that causes discord among the Adepta and uses up valuable resources and favors when sweeping things under the rug.

You don't have to take their toys away, the setting should do it for you. A friendly reminder about the easily noticed, obviously deadly and non-concealable Heavy Bolter might be in order; that's the kind of kit brought in when their quary have been cornered and have nowhere else to run, and it usually takes quite a while to get to that point in an investigation.

#3 Lynata



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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:26 PM


Honestly? Your campaign is already ongoing, and your players have established - and experienced - characters. This alone should, in my opinion, illustrate the necessity to deviate from the rulebook's standard rules, which are (a) meant for a "fresh" group of Acolytes and (b) more of a suggestion, anyways. Ultimately, it is your game and your story, and I think in this case the various characters' backgrounds, which now includes their history in the Only War campaign, should not simply be discarded.
At the same time, you as well as Alekzanter have already mentioned the issue of visibility/secrecy within a "cloak and daggers"-style DH campaign, so I would simply suggest considering what can be carried around without evoking too much attraction (both in terms of hiding it, or because it can be an "everyday sight" for whatever false identity they assume), and what should be set aside until the time it is truly needed. Note: set aside, not removed indefinitely - essentially having them own (at least) two sets of gear, all tailored to specific situations.
I believe the "combat situation" you are concerned about is, ultimately, a non-issue. Whatever the player characters may bring to a fight can easily be countered simply by making their opposition more numerous and/or more dangerous. Even your average game of Dark Heresy with completely new characters tends to involve a certain progression where people end up with power armour and boltguns some day. Does this mean that their missions become a cakewalk? Hell no!
Ultimately, the characters become part of the Inquisition, and whilst I'm aware that despite this association, Dark Heresy is at times ridiculed as "the hobo game", I think it'd be weird if the Acolytes would end up scrounging bullets for stub pistols, remorsefully thinking back to the glory days they had within the well-equipped Imperial Guard. Perhaps it is just my "GW-indoctrinated" interpretation of the setting, but I would find a forced "disarmament" to be fairly anti-climatic and the opposite of what I would expect when having a character get recruited by the most powerful organisation in the entire Imperium - the guys that can order entire Titan Legions and Marine Chapters around.
And that's not even touching upon the possibility of DH campaigns which rely less on stealth and false identities but rather overt investigation and detective work.

#4 Alox



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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:34 AM

You don't have to strip them of their gear, just make some situations where they need to strip down in order to succede (like infiltrating the depths of a hive city etc), and then they can pick up their gear from the safe house when they are preparing for the final raid on the cult house.


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