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#1 ZombieLenin

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:20 PM


Greetings,


 


As a way of a short introduction, I recently decided to run a series of campaigns set in the 40k universe. I know next to nothing about said universe (my Warhahmmer knowledge is largely confined to the Fantasy setting,) but on a suggestion I bought the Only War Core book and loved it. 


 


I followed this up by buying the Dark Heresy core book, the Rogue Trader Core Book, as well as a few supplements for both. In any case, I'm going about the intial design stages for a game utilizing the Only War books. Essentially, since none of group (besides myself and one other) is at all familiar with the Warhammer ethos, lore, etc I want to run a game where the players are working directly for the inquisition.


 


So my intial thoughts are I'm going to make the player characters part of a newly raised regiment which the Schola Progenium has raised to specifically serve the inquisition and the inquisition only. Pretty quickly, probably at the end of the first game session, the characters are going to find that their squad has been appropriated by an inquisitor to act as very specialized acolytes.


 


1. Does this make some sense cannon wise? I am going to run it this way in any case probably, but it would be nice if this scenario wasn't totally impossible.


2. Because the game is going to quickly shift from its military structure (they will still officially be members of their regiment) to the structure of an acolyte cell in DH, how should I handle "squade mates." Basically, I've got 5 players and I am not really sure the idea that there are 5 other guys running around with them everywhere works. At best, I'd include them, but only have them "accompany" the characters places when it made sense for 10 guys to be "investigating" together at once. It seems easier to just say they don't exist, but what should I do about the balance changes for characters with squadies that not having them would effect (obviously my Commisar and Stormtrooper won't feel this at all).


3. How should I handle logistics? For most of the campaign the players are going to have to rely on their patron inquisitor and themselves for things. How would you guys go about modifiying the "income" mechanics from DH in this situation? I.e. what should their starting pay be? How much should their "pay' as elite special forces guardsmen be?


4. I can work this out myself, but I thought I'd ask: any advice on which bestiary is easiest to convert for this game? The Only War bestiary is already very very thin as is, so I know this is going to be necessary.


5. My biggest problem: The regiment I've created for them is a Droptroop comando unit raised specifically to serve the inquistion. The problem is the stats for things like the Imperial Navy Valkyrie (as well as other vehciles like bikes and jump packs) are not listed in the Only War core rules, the Dark Heresy Core Rules, The Rogue Trader Core Rules, etc. I even purchased the Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Kronos book (as well as other DH and RT "bestiaries") in hopes that I could find them, but no luck.


So the question is is there any resource available that might tell me which books I might find these things in?. Having already spend nearly $300 on books, I don't actually have the budget to buy EVERY book at this point, so it would be nice to know exactly which books I need so I can buy those.


 



#2 Robomummy

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:00 PM

just a bit of backround information to help you out.

The schola progenum is a sysem of schools for the orphans and children of the rich nobles or parents who died in service to the guard. they are mainly trained to be the following (Stormtoopers, Priests, Adeptus Sororitas, Inquisitors, and Commissars) typically a regiment would be raised from a homeworld where the schola would train specialist units that are assigned to regiments based on need.

A regiment recruited from the schola progenum (if such a thing were to happen) would mainly consist of Stormtroopers. Since stormtroopers are a specialist unit they would rarely fight as a single regiment, rather platoons or squads would be assigned to assist certain regiments in high importance campaigns or be seconded for particulerly dangerous assignments.

Now there is a second alternative that Stormtroopers from the schola would be seconded to serve an Inquisitor if the inquisitor requests their assistance. they typically form honor guards or assist in military action that the Inquisitor undertakes. An inquisitorial retinue will also consist of many other specailists, remembrancers, psykers, tech-adepts, and more.

For more information check out the 40k wiki or Lexicanum, they will give you all the info you need.


Check out my podcast Buckets Of Dice where myself and a friend review how to start various different kinds of tabletop, roleplaying, and CCG games. http://bucketsofdice.podomatic.com/ Each episode focuses on a new game, we discuss a little about the game's backround, rules, how to start/ what to buy, and a little about the company.  


#3 ZombieLenin

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:08 PM

Thanks for the info. They do talk about Commisar and Stormtrooper origins, but they aren't super specific. I only chose that origin because it seemed to loosely fit, and it is of course one of the main "home world" origins in the regiment creation mechanic--it's a 3 point buy. 

 



#4 RagingKiwi

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 02:24 AM

1. I can easily see an Inquisitor turning up and taking a regiment for thier own means, its part of what they do. There are Inquisitors with thier own armies so this isn't a problem. Inqusitor Lord Coteaz show this in spades.

2. I don't think the comrade system works well in general, however having 5 other NPCs that follow the players around during an investigation can help you tremendously well, if any of you players miss something absolutely critical, a Comrade can spot it. You can also just be saying they set up perimeter to stop curious civilians, and then you have a good set up for a chase sence with the comrades guaranteed spotting the person of interset and the players begining to chase.

3. Now this is very interesting. A regiment commander gets money that he gives to his troops when they are on break (yea such a thing exists) this is normally an obsence amount. That would break DH. How I would go about it is use the logistics from OW without misson assignment gear, and give them the lowest income from DH.

4. There is a nice section on pg. 310 of OW to help you there :).

5. I think there is a Valk profile in the Citidel of Skulls, but don't quote me. I play normall 40k on top of this, and the Valk is armoured the same as the Chimera with a multi laser and 2 hellstrike missles, with a option of having 2 heavy bolters attached to the doors. More here, http://wh40k.lexican...ie#.UW1QH7Utovk.

And for the last part, http://40krpgtools.com/ has everything listed in it, just search in bestiary or weapons for the thing you want and it'll tell you what book its from.

Hope this helped.



#5 ranoncles

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 05:41 AM

Hi there and welcome,

 

I have a rather different view. It is your game and you can do what you want to but I have some serious doubts about your proposed setup.

 

Straight off the bat, I foresee problems with skills. Only War is focused on (squad) combat while Dark Heresy is focused on investigations. If you start your players are guardsman, they will lack the necessary social and investigative skills later on, much akin to having an entire cell consist of Dark Heresy guardsmen. If they can only swing a hammer, every investigation is going to seem like a nail which means your adventures will become rather repetitive. Then there is the fact of your proposed origin; the inquisition already has its own human ‘army’; stormtroopers in addition to Grey Knights, Deathwatch and Sisters of Battle. What possible niche are your troops supposed to fill which isn't already covered? Besides, if you start your men out as elite soldiers what is left for them to strive for? Getting better loot is an important part of rpg-ing for many players.

 

  1. Canon wise anything is possible. But it makes little sense as the inquisition already has droptroop commando’s, namely its own stormtroopers. There would be little reason to raise a new regiment to do the same. Any inquisitor can already requisition stormtroopers. And if he can't get those, he also won't be able to get a full regiment as higher commanders would check his credentials first before submitting. You could off course flesh out the stormtroopers and then have your players pick this as their regiment. But it seems to me as if you are trying to play a Dark Heresy game with Only war characters. This way, you are deliberately eliminating a lot of diversity. Dark Heresy offers a lot of background packages which can all be used to shape characters in unique packages with diverse skills.

 

  1. Inquisitors use regular troops for main assaults (for example on a cultist stronghold). These troops can either be requisitioned for a specific mission (e.g. borrowed from the nearest Inquisition stronghold or from the closest PDF or IG force) or the Inquisitor could permanently attach a squad or platoon of troops to his retinue. A cell of acolytes however is an entirely different kettle of fish. Their task is to do the donkey work or solve minor problems, leaving their boss to focus on the big stuff. They don’t normally accompany their inquisitor but are sent out on their own. The fluff makes clear that inquisitors pick individual candidates who can act independently and get the job done and whom have caught his eye. In short, it is very unlikely that an inquisitor would pick an entire squad and make them acolytes. Far more likely that each individual comes from a particular regiment and did something to catch the attention of the inquisitor. If you really want them all to be guardsmen from 1 particular regiment, you could have them perform some suicidal, heroic act which kills off most of the squad (such as fighting and banishing a deamon or a major heretic). The survivors might be picked up by an inquisitor…In any case, having squaddies would make everything more complicated. Get rid of them and allow the players extra skills or talents to compensate. I don’t want to belabour the point but I really don’t think your basic campaign idea of elite guardsmen using valkyries and jump packs (e.g. elite assault force) can work as an acolyte cell.

 

  1. The salary scheme in DH is seriously broken IMO. Either give your players an equal flat fee paid by their inquisitor for all work expenses and living costs or provide them with basic equipment (gun, ammo, necessary equipment) and an expense account and include what they reasonably would need for a particular mission. If they abuse the expense account, slap them down hard. Smart players soon learn to ‘acquire’ stuff on their own, petition their inquisitor after a successful mission or simply go without.

 

  1. The simplest answer is the DH Creatures Anathema. Each product line has its own monster manual which is specifically aimed at its own power level. You can adjust things yourself and sometimes the background is useful but the easiest solution is to pick the monster manual belonging to the product line itself. This one will also give examples of typical opponents for an cell of acolytes. Together with the DH corebook you are pretty much set and its easy to make your own opponents.

 

  1. Rogue Trader has the jump pack listed while Citadel of skulls has stats for the valkyrie talon. There's a post about this on the forum. You might also consider searching online for the Apocryphy Vehicles.

 

 



#6 ZombieLenin

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 02:32 PM

ranoncles said:

Hi there and welcome,

 

I have a rather different view. It is your game and you can do what you want to but I have some serious doubts about your proposed setup.

 

Straight off the bat, I foresee problems with skills. Only War is focused on (squad) combat while Dark Heresy is focused on investigations. If you start your players are guardsman, they will lack the necessary social and investigative skills later on, much akin to having an entire cell consist of Dark Heresy guardsmen. If they can only swing a hammer, every investigation is going to seem like a nail which means your adventures will become rather repetitive. Then there is the fact of your proposed origin; the inquisition already has its own human ‘army’; stormtroopers in addition to Grey Knights, Deathwatch and Sisters of Battle. What possible niche are your troops supposed to fill which isn't already covered? Besides, if you start your men out as elite soldiers what is left for them to strive for? Getting better loot is an important part of rpg-ing for many players.

 

  1. Canon wise anything is possible. But it makes little sense as the inquisition already has droptroop commando’s, namely its own stormtroopers. There would be little reason to raise a new regiment to do the same. Any inquisitor can already requisition stormtroopers. And if he can't get those, he also won't be able to get a full regiment as higher commanders would check his credentials first before submitting. You could off course flesh out the stormtroopers and then have your players pick this as their regiment. But it seems to me as if you are trying to play a Dark Heresy game with Only war characters. This way, you are deliberately eliminating a lot of diversity. Dark Heresy offers a lot of background packages which can all be used to shape characters in unique packages with diverse skills.

 

  1. Inquisitors use regular troops for main assaults (for example on a cultist stronghold). These troops can either be requisitioned for a specific mission (e.g. borrowed from the nearest Inquisition stronghold or from the closest PDF or IG force) or the Inquisitor could permanently attach a squad or platoon of troops to his retinue. A cell of acolytes however is an entirely different kettle of fish. Their task is to do the donkey work or solve minor problems, leaving their boss to focus on the big stuff. They don’t normally accompany their inquisitor but are sent out on their own. The fluff makes clear that inquisitors pick individual candidates who can act independently and get the job done and whom have caught his eye. In short, it is very unlikely that an inquisitor would pick an entire squad and make them acolytes. Far more likely that each individual comes from a particular regiment and did something to catch the attention of the inquisitor. If you really want them all to be guardsmen from 1 particular regiment, you could have them perform some suicidal, heroic act which kills off most of the squad (such as fighting and banishing a deamon or a major heretic). The survivors might be picked up by an inquisitor…In any case, having squaddies would make everything more complicated. Get rid of them and allow the players extra skills or talents to compensate. I don’t want to belabour the point but I really don’t think your basic campaign idea of elite guardsmen using valkyries and jump packs (e.g. elite assault force) can work as an acolyte cell.

 

  1. The salary scheme in DH is seriously broken IMO. Either give your players an equal flat fee paid by their inquisitor for all work expenses and living costs or provide them with basic equipment (gun, ammo, necessary equipment) and an expense account and include what they reasonably would need for a particular mission. If they abuse the expense account, slap them down hard. Smart players soon learn to ‘acquire’ stuff on their own, petition their inquisitor after a successful mission or simply go without.

 

  1. The simplest answer is the DH Creatures Anathema. Each product line has its own monster manual which is specifically aimed at its own power level. You can adjust things yourself and sometimes the background is useful but the easiest solution is to pick the monster manual belonging to the product line itself. This one will also give examples of typical opponents for an cell of acolytes. Together with the DH corebook you are pretty much set and its easy to make your own opponents.

 

  1. Rogue Trader has the jump pack listed while Citadel of skulls has stats for the valkyrie talon. There's a post about this on the forum. You might also consider searching online for the Apocryphy Vehicles.

 

 

 

I see what you are saying, but this is the kind of right in line with what I want to achieve with the campaign. You will have a set of characters that have trained and studied their entire life with the thought that their existence will be fighting the wars of the god emperor, the imperium and mankind only to find out that they will be asked to do those things in a way they were not prepared to do.

 

My idea, essitially is that they will do something particularly important or distinguish themselves in some way during a mission, which will basically be a short "prologue" adventure. This will catch the eye of the inquistor who deployed them, and the player squad will find that they have been appropriated by said inquisitor exactly as you describe. The squad will be the inquisitors personal asset that he uses to accomplish things that require less than subtle methods. Maybe the squad will be asked to assault the headquarters of an underhive crime boss--for reasons unclear to the characters--because the inquisitor wants a prisoner freed, the crime lord captured, or some data recovered. Perhaps there will be a mission where the inquisitor wants a certain quarded shippment of weapons or drugs captured, or maybe the inquisitor needs some protection for a high ranking agent that is going to negotiate with a warlord on a feral world.

 

Basically, in the first act of the campaign, I will be running it more or less as an actual game of Only War as I understand it, as I see no clear distinction between the kind of missions and themes that are present in the Only War book itself, other than, of course, the role which characters are playing. In other words, the first act will be an Only War campaign except instead of being a squad in an IG regimate at war, they will be acting at the behest of, and on the whims of, an inquisitor.

 

Act two is where you think the problem might be, but I think this might work. So you have this squad of "elite" IG droptroops working for an inquisitor--incidentally they will be "elite" only in the sense that they will think of themselves this way--who as time goes on has certain things happen to them. For one (I can't be specific because I haven't got that far) in the course of just "doing their job" they will learn hear, see, and learn things. They will also gain the "trust" of their patron and become relied on more and more to do things that are both out of their comfort zone and beyond the scope of their training.

 

This I think will be great RP wise as a number of questions can be raised and addressed. For example… how do the characters react to their growning understanding of reality? Does their devotion to the Imperium, "Duty," their inqusitor or themselves waiver? How do they go about seeking the training, knowledge and resources when they are asked to do things more in line with Dark Heresy investigations? Seeking out training, access to knowledge, tools, and building contacts is I think a nearly endless source of story hooks and adventure ideas.

 

I'm also thinking that, by in large, that they will be asked to do things that cause them to spend long amounts of time away from the regiment itself, so they won't be able tor rely on their logistics skills, or typical chains of command for gear. Often they will be given the freedom to assertain threats, then deal with them in ways that seem appropriate. This might mean months half a sector away from their "base" of operations, so they will have to be resourceful as far as getting the "tools" they need for the job once they figure out what that "job" is.

 

Does this seem to make sense and do you think it is workable?

 

Also:

 

For your first numbered point, I actually think this works great in my favor. I say this because the imperium and the inquisition is huge, right? So it might make sense that new regiments for the inquisition will periodically need to be raised. I mean, the way the book sort of makes it out, regiments that are depleted are replaced rather than reinforced, and even if that's not the case, as new conflicts emerge and new space is uncovered the imperium is always in need of new IG regiments. Why wouldn't the same be true for the inquisition?

 

Second point: I see what you're saying completely. Basically, as I said above, this is precisely the storyarc I want to work. Inquisitor permanently appropriates player squad and uses them for things that require a heavy hand. Eventually as time progresses, circumstance and performance change the way the inquisitor "sees" and uses the squad until the players are on unfamiliar ground.

 

Third point: This is what I think as well. My question I guess is--since I have not really played or GMed any of these games yet--what do you think is fair as far as monthly salary goes? I guess maybe I'll just figure out what the median base income is in the DH books and go with that. The expense acounts are a bigger problem, as I'm really I worried about giving them too much money, and thus making things too easy, or too little money and making them too hard. What do you think would be in the realm of fair?

 

Thanks for the other info. I was able to track down the homebrew Valkyrie stats on the forum post you mentioned. That was very helpful.

 

Cheers.



#7 ranoncles

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 12:42 AM

 

 

As you are aware of possible pitfalls and the all-guard issue is a central theme in your campaign, I’d say run with it.

Will it work?

I guess that is yet to be decided but it sounds like an interesting campaign. You will have your players picking a lot of so-called elite advances so you might want to forego the additional XP so each player can branch out and pick his own niche eventually. Or rework the Only War skill & talent system to fit their development from ‘simple’ guardsman to acolyte.

 

As to pay & logistics, this is a difficult issue. A lot has been said about it on the DH forum but as the search function is broken I wouldn’t recommend strolling through years of comments.

 

There are many options to manage this. Requisition rules (DH Ascension, RT hybrid, DW hybrid, OW rules), fixed expense account, pay or whatever you can think of. I favour providing my players with basic arms and equipment and allow them to pick extra equipment tailored for each mission as needed. In addition, they have an expense account. So if they have to travel to another world for example, they can pay for the fare. My DH sessions focus on investigations so I make it clear that flak armour and bolt pistols are simply too ostentatious to maintain a low profile. On the other hand, if they need to storm a cult stronghold, I do allow them to pick decent armour (up to flak) and weapons.

 

In your case, actual pay depends on your setup. Are your players part of a regiment and housed and fed in barracks with their arms, ammo and equipment coming from the quartermaster? Or are they living individually in hab-blocks and responsible for their own care & equipment? That difference would have a huge impact on pay scale.

 

I personally favour low income to prevent monty hauls. Managing equipment levels is one of the most important challenges, especially in WH40K over WHF. There are so many different weapons, armour and equipment (in differing quality levels) that players like to go crazy. While players can never outgun the GM, they still like to try…

 

So I’d suggest you go with the 50 thrones (or 20-30 if they live in barracks) suggested in the DH core book, together with a starting package of arms & equipment. Most likely players will pool resources and the crazy stuff like bolt weapons remain unique. 

 

Players will soon start to loot dead opponents down to their underwear anyway and thus will pick up goodies which you can control. For example, if you don’t want them to use the plasma pistol your foozle dropped, simply have it gene-coded.  

 

As an twist, you can still run everything through a quarrelsome quartermaster, even if their inquisitor approves their requests. Just because the inquisitor says yes doesn’t mean it is instantly available…So they can either wait a mission or two before the requested item shows up or try to liberate it sooner.

Think dirty dozen in which the players may have to steal, lend or borrow stuff from their own side (which can be rival drop troop companies, fellow IG regiments or organizations like the arbites). Raiding a ‘friendly’ storehouse can provide a nice change of pace and allows players to use their charm/deceive and unarmed combat skills in a not so lethal environment.

 

If they are indeed far away from logistic support for long periods of time, you might want to allow them a local contact who can provide material assistance if necessary or otherwise just acquiring gear might overshadow the actual missions.

 

 

As to the Inquisitorial stormtroopers, they don’t seem to be part of individual regiments but rather a corps of stormtroopers. But the canon is vague on this IIRC so you can do this anyway you like.

 

As I said regarding an expense account, it should be used to fit the mission. In my group, the players get an expense account but they need to get approval from their handler, a throne agent in service to their inquisitor (whom they haven't even met yet). This prevents too much abuse and means you don’t to need to provide a definitive sum. For example, if your team needs to infiltrate into a noble house, they can either pretend to be servants for hire (pay for background forgeries and other servants who ‘know’ them) or they can pretend to be nobles themselves in which case they need the right props such as a suitable house, clothes, jewellery, servants etc.

Both are legitimate requests and thus would be approved. But a player arguing that he needs a boltgun when an autogun would do as well would be denied…!






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