This is the first game session of my Horus Heresy Era campaign. Some fluff has been altered to work with the Deathwatch game a little better. So while this isn't exactly going to be a space marine game – may players wanted to do the Horus Heresy and I wanted to explore the origins of the Deathwatch. So here is a bit of what I am doing before I get into the actual scenarios.
As a game designer, graphic designer and professional artist I usually try and lock down my ideas to a theme. I usually describe each mission with a theme keyword or two to help me stay on track when designing the general game. I don't spend hours designing the mission, I just create a general event line and then try and think of some cause vs. effects that could result from player choices.
Our campaign begins at the end of the Ullanor Crusade. For one, multiple chapters were involved with the attack and I can add the ones that the players want to be a part of so they still get to choose from one of the First Founding Chapters when creating the character. Note: I have not changed the Deathwatch Character Creation in any way because the characters represent the beginning of the Deathwatch. There are some minor changes on a character by character basis. After the Ullanor Crusade is over the characters will be assembled into a specialized group that will aid Horus after he becomes Warmaster. They will basically have the skills that place them above NPC's when it comes to hunting Xenos. I will be having them take part in major parts of the story. The major adventures in the Campaign will be:
Mekghul's Hammertoof – During the final assault on Ullanor there are specialized space marines that are launched in single man drop pods to secure specific locations, act as scouts and deliver disruption attacks against the orcs. This will support Horus in his attack directly against the Ork leader. Some of the PC pods are hit by Anit-Air weapons and land off course. The PC's get an order they are to infiltrate a nearby fortified position where they believe a major energy surge is building… one that seems to be a powerful weapon of some sort.
Birth of the Deathwatch – While the true birth of the Deathwatch would not happen for some time. After saving Ullanor, two primarchs and tens of thousands of space marines from a trap that would have destroyed the world – the PC's are formed into their own group that will form a Xenos advisory and hunter-killer group that would serve Horus aboard his flagship. Their armor is painted black except their home chapter on one shoulder. They are not the deathwatch, just an advisory kill-team that knows a great deal about Xenos (based on skills from Deathwatch).
Battle of the Whisperheads with the 10th Company Luna Wolves.
Interax. The PC's witness theft from the Hall of Weapons.
PC's go to Davin with the 63rd. They come across a chaos cult while Horus is wounded inside by Temba.
At this point I have left choices open for the characters. Their choices could take them to Chaos or to become space marines that join up with Garro and escape Isstvan aboard the the Eisentein. Or will they side with Horus and become Chaos Marines.
Mekghul's Hammertoof (Mindforge's HH Game Session 1)
During the Battle of Ullanor a resourceful Mekboy Ork called Mekghul had spent his life creating the most destructive weapons imaginable. In M31, he was the leading Mekboy serving Overlord Urrlak Uruk. As the space marines destroyed the Ork empire Urrlak ordered the creation of a device that could break the world. Mekghul's answer was the Hammertoof, a device that would secretly create a chain reaction and destroy the planet and the Space Marines should they attack Ullanor.
The characters are thrown off course in their single drop pods but are near enough to each other to meet even though they are from different chapters they work together after receiving a transmission. The transmission describes a fortified location where they can sense a power build up from space. They must go they are the closest marines and there is no time.
They come across all sorts of orkish inventions but also some Mekboys. Through the fights they find that there is indeed a weapon capable of causing a super volcanic eruption that would destroy many orks but specifically destroy many more space marines whist allowing many orcs to escape the planet.
The players stop the very modified Mekboy and save the day. Although Horus is the hero and becomes warmaster, the players have also captured glory for themselves and are formed into a special unit by the emperor himself. One that will be a wealth of information and a specialized hunter-killer kill-team for Horus against the Xenos should he need it in his new appointment as Warmaster.