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Lightbringer2009

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Everything posted by Lightbringer2009

  1. The impression I get about the population density arguments is that the hives are pretty much the only populated areas on the entire planet of Scintilla. The rest is incredibly polluted wasteland. Let's assume that there are about a dozen hives on the planet in addition to the major ones mentioned in DH: say 1 billion each. This leaves about 13 billion to be divided up between the three big hives. To me that doesn't seem like TOO low a population, subject to the scale of the hives themselves. I agree though that the scale of the hives sounds a bit confused in the material produced so far. I also agree with an earlier poster that the spire image of Hive Sibellus in Purge the Unlean seemed a bit out of proportion with the scale of the hive as described in the DH rulebook. There does seem to be a little bit of confusion about the architectural style of Hive Sibellus too. I read Hive Sibellus in the DH book as being a very different type of Imperial city to the "classic" hive city shown in Necromunda: all this stuff about its very broad scale, how it tumbles over cliffs etc etc. Compelling stuff, and very different to the needle spire shown in Purge the Unclean. The Impression I got of Sibellus is that it was meant to be a bit like Mexico City: a huge sprawling mess covering thousands of square kilometres. But the GW art style crept in, and suddenly it has a spire. It's a shame, because logically all cities are going to be different and have a different look. Stalinvast in the Inquisitor novels is meant to look a bit like a vast coral reef, Malfi is supposed to be "gloomy" and "subtropical" - I imagined it being a bit like Mumbai... Anyway, I'm wandering off topic here, sorry!
  2. Particularly good codices include the Necron Codex, the current Space Marine codex, the current Tyranid Codex (I believe the last written by Andy Chambers, the second truly great evil 40k mastermind after Rick Priestly) the first true Chaos Codex (again, by Andy Chambers) and the first Tau Codex. There are a few poor ones too - the Dark Eldar Codex is very very light on background, I don't rate the current Tau codex as much as the last one, and the current Chaos Demon codex for 40k feels weak also. If you genuinely want really good background on 40k and are on an ebay spree, I'd suggest:- 1. The original rogue trader book from waaaaay back in 1987 2. Realm of Chaos Lost and the Damned or Realm of Chaos Slaves to Darkness, from circa 1987-90 3. The current 40k rulebook (not to everyone's tastes, but still good stuff) 4. The 2nd edition 40k background booklet (came as part of a boxed set, so could be cheaper on ebay than many of the others listed here, and is full of stuff not seen often since in 40k) 5. Sisters of Battle Codex 6. Xenology 7. Any of the Imperial Armour books produced by Forge World: The Taros campaign is good, the Siege of Vraks is excellent, and Aeronautica Imperialis book II is a really nice overview of an Imperial military campaign. 8. Early 40k White Dwarf articles, circa issues 99-120, many of which contain detailed background on the setting written by Rick Priestly, which are all excellent. 9. The Imperial Infantryman's uplifting primer - not essential, but fun, and the only book here to be namechecked as the basic kit of a player character in the DH system! 10. The old Epic scale 40k system background books (the adeptus titanicus rulebook, the space marine boxed set rulebook, the army lists for 40k imperial guard, squats, tyranids etc) 11. Necromunda, the collected book 12. Battlefleet Gothic and Battlefleet gothic:armada Anyway, that'll probably cost you a couple of hundred dollars at least...to start with! Good luck!
  3. You know, I feel like showing this entire thread to the bigwigs at GW. The whole reason they closed down Black Industries was because they wanted to concentrate on their core industry - minis - during the recession. They felt that a 40k RPG would distract potential buyers from the minis. And yet here we've got a relative newcomer to DH who's bought the game, and its inspired him to go out and buy minis and books because GW has a poor presence in the US! So, in effect, DH has become a gateway product doing exactly the opposite of what GW thought it would!
  4. voidstate said: I especially like the fact that you have to learn the Arbites one in order. Perhaps you could expand that to the others? Or at least have bands that have to be filled out in order: novice, pro, master, that kind of thing. I was going to do it with all of them - the (limited number) of martial arts I've studied are all very hierarchical, with certain techniques taught at certain levels. However, that approach didn't seem right for shockboxing, which I imagined as being taught in a looser, less formal style. Nexia will be hierarchical when I complete the rules for it. voidstate said: I also think that it would be cool to give them each a unique talent or two that makes the XP costs worthwhile for those who stick to the package all the way to the end. I agree - for the more esoteric martial arts. But with the "simpler" arts, like shockboxing, bear in mind that some of the "generic" skills and talents already have tremendous combat implications. A character possessing most of the skills and talents in DH will be a true martial arts master without me creating loads of new skills. But you're right, this was what I wanted to do with a few of the more complex arts. BI already showed how this approach can work with the Moritat Reaper advanced package, which has a unique Moritat martial arts technique as a new talent. I'll do this with Nexia, which will have a complex hierarchical advance system, some new skills and talents, and sanity penalties and corruption points for learning the nastier, higher level skills. My plan was to start with a simple, easy to learn martial art (shockboxing), a medium level art (arbites suppression) and a high level, esoteric and difficult martial art with a unique background and some unique skills. (Nexia.) voidstate said: Suggestions for more:An acrobatic, evasive technique, perhaps using a grav-belt or something similar to allow unnatural leaps and to get behind opponents. A technique designed to combat armoured opponents, finding weak points and using their bulk against them, perhaps damaging the armour so it becomes more encumbering. A death cultist art where you allow opponents to hit you then trap their weapons in your body, drawing strength from your pain and terrifying them with your death lust. Includes drug use (perhaps a new drug similar to slaught) and psychological fear (and ignoring fear) effects. A beast-fighting gladiatorial style used in the carniforae (is that what the blood arenas are called in Eisenhorn?). Great against xeno beasts and large aliens such as orcs. Trips, dodges, and counterattacks. Turns uncontrolled aggression against attackers Includes knowledge of xeno races and beasts. Some nice ideas there! I like 'em. When I write a martial art, I think a lot about the setting, who'd have developed such an art, and you've clearly done the same. Why not have a crack at writing some up and posting them here? I'm going to finish off Nexia when I get around to it, and maybe do Landrian knife fighting next, but I'd like to see other people's Calixian martial arts concepts...
  5. Mister Starx said: My only complaint is that a lot of the skills aren't martial arts skills at all, such as bulging biceps. I guess I can see it being through the training and so on, but, then, couldn't anyone have that talent just by allotting some time to working out every day or so? I'd expect all of the packages listed to include it. I take your point. My justification for including this talent was pretty muddled, but it does make a sort of sense, now I think about it. If you spend months/years learning these combat forms in full arbites armour, no doubt combining them with a paramilitary style callisthetics workout, you will end up with bulging biceps! I didn't really get any deeper in it that that, but thinkig about it now, I guess you're right, the Talent could apply to other arts equally well. It just seems to suit this one particulalry well Mister Starx said: Also, if the arbite package is supposed to facilitate unarmed combat against (sometimes) armed opponents, why do the instructors insist on teaching the pupil how to wield chain weapons, power weapons, or two weapons, when the pupil will probably know how already. It doesn't seem to fit with the fluff of the entry. However, shock weapons I do see, as those are iconic to the arbites. The chain/power/dual wield skills you mention are all part of the arbites character package. I agree with you, I don' t necessarily see them as iconic arbites skills, but took the view that DH was providing new bnackground here on Arbites training. Mister Starx said: I might just add in some home brewed skills that parallel the skills that don't quite fit... tweaks and things. Instead of Bulging, for example, you could include a similar skill, adding +1 to the arbite's strength bonus on the round he makes a charge action, representing his crushing strength, and use of momentum. Perhaps add a caveat stating that the bonus only applies if he is wearing a certain weight or protection value set of armor. Yeah, I was going to start adding unique skills (in the manner of the Moritat reaper package from IH) for some of the more exotic martial arts. I have a few particularly nasty skills in mind for Nexia! But yes, again, your suggestions make sense, I like the armour idea!
  6. Nexia Nexia is an ancient martial art with a sinister reputation and history. Rumoured to have been taught to certain depraved humans thousands of years ago by the Dark Eldar, it places an emphasis upon inflicting pain upon an opponent. Knifework is an inherent part of the system, as are horrifically crippling injuries inflicted rapidly on opponents with a view then subduing them and extracting information through the application of torture. Unarmed Nexia techniques at low levels include gripping an opponents upper lip and ripping upwards so as to partially peel the face from the skull. Others include swiftly breaking fingers and then placing the opponent in a lock which enables the practitioner to grind the broken bones together. Mid-level techniques become progressively more sinister, including ultra-fast castrations and scalpings. High level techniques are almost mythically horrific, including the infamous Bhienn Sardhe technique, which involves stunning an opponent with a powerful punch, straddling the prostrate torso, seizing the victim’s throat and quickly making an incision just below the sternum with a knife or sharpened fingernail, taking care not to pierce the peritoneum beneath. The practitioner them forces his entire arm into the victim’s body, drives his hand upwards between the living lungs and gently grips the heart, taking care not to damage the major arteries. The victim will stay alive a surprisingly long time, if the organ is handled gently, and pressure can be placed on the heart to facilitate interrogation during the last few minutes of the victim’s life. The heart is then torn out, and often (depending upon the practitioner’s inclinations) eaten. It is rumoured that higher-level masters of the art are capable of even more awful feats, such as skinning a man alive while he stands, and doing it so quickly that the man will not feel the pain for a few seconds. Such aberrant techniques can only be learned with practice, and naturally learning these techniques preys upon the sanity of the student. True Nexia masters are rare, because they rapidly find themselves unable to restrain themselves from inflicting their skills on those around them. Some theorise that the art was a dark “gift” from the twisted Eldar reavers, designed to deprave those who study it. Others say that the highest level Nexia masters uncover truths in the art which enable them to open webway tunnels leading to Comorrah where they can sport with their mentors for eternity. At lower levels the art is straightforward and vicious, but not actually psychologically destabilising to the user. It is expected that the practitioner will be armed with a small, very sharp knife, and training emphasises use of this weapon to pin, impale and incapacitate an opponent rapidly. As the student progresses in the art, tantalising glimpses of hugely effective techniques are dangled before him by the master, subject to the student compromising some aspect of his moral code. Eventually, in order to learn advanced techniques, the student will be expected to practice them upon live subjects, further degrading him and driving him into madness. True Nexia Masters change their bodies as well, using mystical herbs and ointments to reshape their fingernails into black, iron hard, razor sharp talons capable of slicing through flesh. The art is rare in the Calixis sector, but not unknown. Debased variations are practiced by the pirate clans of Fydae, and for this reason many void born travellers who see Fydae vessels bearing down upon them will kill themselves rather than be taken alive. Strangely though, the art finds a surprising home in an unexpected quarter: few martial arts are more perfectly fitted to the needs of the Inquisition. What other techniques enable an Inquisitor to rapidly subdue an unarmed and hardened terrorist and obtain information from him in seconds? For this reason, a few true Nexia Masters are succoured by the Ordos Calixis and offered safe havens where they can train their Inquisitorial disciples away from major population centres…
  7. Kage2020 said: To be honest, as a martial artists, I always like to see martial arts developed in a given system. So you had me at "The elite advance..." Something like this extended to "Imperial duelling culture" is something that I would also like to see, with the idea that there are aspects of "culture" that are common throughout the Imperium, even if they are moderated by the elite. How would you stat up that, out of interest? Kage, old bean, your wish is my command! I had a few duellist styles in mind, specifically a Scintillan rapier style ( a generic "fencing") style and Landrian knife fighting. I also had a sawn off version of the moritat form (ripped off by historians in the same way as ninjitsu has been in the modern world) and a couple of more esoteric forms, one of which is really quite nasty... The really nasty one is called "Nexia." Haven't statted it up yet, but have a look...
  8. Approved Arbites tactical suppression and restraint technique form XXVI The Adeptus Arbites are not the “beat police” of the Calixis sector. They are a higher authority, responsible for the most serious crimes, those that affect the wellbeing of the Imperium as a whole. However, they do, on occasion bust heads in the same way as any other police force, and over time they have evolved methods of doing this. For centuries, Arbites legislators have been codifying the various approved hand to hand techniques that are approved for use by the organisation. This has been done partly out of the traditional Imperial instinct to conform everything to a fixed standard, but also because there is a general acceptance that the forms previously utilised were in many ways ineffective. Recently (in Imperial terms) this process was completed, and the Imperium’s enforcers are now able to peruse at their leisure the latest in a long line of head-busting rulebooks. For the past 87 years, Calixis Sector Arbites have enjoyed the benefit of the Imperium’s latest tactical suppression manual, volume XXVI. This compendious tome weighs in at 3,000 pages, and it obsessively sets out the forms of close combat which Arbites are allowed to use in the execution of their duties. The form set out is a streamlining of the hundreds of close combat styles in use throughout the entire Adeptus Arbites. It provides pictorial guidance for Arbites officers on the correct and officially approved methods of restraining, subduing and subsequently beating suspects once they are safely in custody. Of course, no Arbites officer will ever learn much from just a book (even one with over 12,000 lovingly hand-scribed images of suspects being beaten to a pulp), so the rollout of the manual was accompanied by a massive re-training drive for the Arbites’ combat instructors across the entire Imperium. This program has really borne fruit over the past few decades, and now enforcers across the sector are able to swing into action knowing full well that any hive-scum who steps up with a shiv is going to get the righteous pummelling they deserve. The tactical suppression and restraint forms utilised by the Arbites in the sector are brutal, straightforward and aggressive. They place an emphasis upon grappling (when unarmed) or shock-maul use, and focus upon rapidly taking a suspect to the ground, locking his arms and cuffing him whilst simultaneously inflicting as little lasting damage on him as possible. The technique is strong on stunning techniques, locks, throws, defending against knife-wielding opponents and improvised weaponry, but weaker on killing techniques and non-arbites weapon use. The form favours physical strength and the momentum provided by riot armour, and arbites who find themselves unarmoured complain that it lacks finesse compared to some other martial arts styles. Getting permission to learn this art is not simple, even for Arbites officers. While close combat skills are highly regarded within the organisation, the byzantine bureaucracy, excessive red tape and tremendously high caseload of the Arbites mitigates against the long practise sessions in the precinct gymnasia required to master this art. Additionally, the culture of the Arbites derides those who spend time off the street, or off their casework, even if it is with the laudable aim of learning to bust heads. Players from outside the arbites who wish to learn this art must go through an arduous and almost comically Kafkaesque bureaucratic process of proving their right to learn it. Even acolytes who throw their Inquisitorial weight around often find themselves completely stymied, spending weeks filling out forms in triplicate, applying to poker faced precinct house sergeants, passionately arguing their loyalty to the Emperor in front of dismal tribunals… This grim process must be roleplayed, and the player must always feel that at any time some new rearrangement of precinct priorities could send their teacher off to some forsaken dustbowl in a different segmentum, leaving them high and dry. It is for the GM to set out precisely what skill sets will be tested to gain the right to learn the art, but Common Law (Adeptus Arbites), Peer (Adeptus Arbites), common lore (administratum) and scholastic lore (administratum) will all play a part. NB: These skills are taught in the order set out below. They cannot be learned in any other order: the tactical suppression manual, volume XXVI is very clear on this point, and no instructor will breach its dictates, as the arbites believe that the law (even its successive statutory instruments, bylaws, codes of practice and manuals) are the word of the holy emperor. Note that players are not taught to street fight: they learn that on the street! Arbites officers will find that in the course of their normal career, they will pick up most of these skills in due course anyway, so may find learning the art “in their own time” a counter productive exercise. However, for less combat orientated careers, the art offers valuable combat skills they would not otherwise have had access to. Approved Arbites tactical suppression and restraint technique form XXVI elite advance skills package Skill/Talent xp Special/prerequisite Melee Weapon Training (primitive) 200 Sound Constitution 200 Disarm 200 AG30+ Double Team 200 Leap Up 200 AG30+ Takedown 200 Melee Weapon Training (shock) 250 Dodge 200 Two weapon wielding (melee) 300 WS 35+, AG 35+ Crushing Blow 400 S40 Hardy 200 T40 Sure Strike 300 WS30 Step Aside 300 AG40+ Dodge Combat Master 400 WS40+ Swift Attack 400 WS35+ Melee Weapon Training (chain) 300 Melee Weapon Training (power) 400 Counter attack 500 WS40+ Crippling Strike 500 WS50+ Precise Blow 300 WS40+, sure strike Furious assault 300 WS35+ Dual Strike 400 AG 40+, Two weapon wielder Wall of steel 400 AG35+ Lightning attack 400 swift attack Bulging biceps 200 S45
  9. Shockboxing Shockboxing is an activity practised across the Imperium. It sits on the boundary between martial art and sport, and is practised in millions of different forms. However the basics are all very similar: two boxers of a similar weight face each other in a defined arena, and strike each other about the face and upper body with their fists alone until one is shocked into unconsciousness or until a specific time period elapses. The specifics of how this takes place varies from sector to sector: in some padded gloves are used, in others the boxers use steel gauntlets. Sometimes the fight takes place in a ring made of ropes, sometimes in spiked pits. Some sectors or planets have elaborate points scoring rules and ring bells to mark out intervals, others fight until one boxer dies. However, despite these variations, shockboxers from different sectors have a surprisingly similar skill set. Their art emphasis physical fitness and aggression, together with a strong will. Shockboxers avoid anything other than the most basic grapples, and discard kicks entirely. Their art is effective against most unarmed human opponents of similar size or smaller, and a skilled shockboxer can disable even the most frenzied opponent. Shockboxing is taught on virtually every civilised world in the Calixis sector, but it is not currently a particularly fashionable martial art. Its heyday was under Lord Sector Caracalla over 500 years ago, who was an afficianado of the sweet science of shockboxing. Today its popularity has waned against bloodier entertainments like Gladiatorial contests between augmented servitors and xenos beasts, but on many fringe worlds it is still highly regarded. The art is typically taught in sweaty back-hive gymnasia populated by the poorer members of society, and instruction can be had for as little as 100 thrones per skill. However, training is intense, and the player must work out for 2-3 hours every day and eat a special diet to remain able to use this advanced skills package. It is for the GM to put obstacles in the way of this process! Shockboxing elite advance skills package Skill/Talent xp Special/prerequisite Dodge 150 Sound Constitution 150 Hardy 200 Must have at least T40 Dodge +10 200 Must have dodge skill Sure Strike 200 WS30 Furious Assault 200 Must have WS35 Takedown 200 Counter attack (unarmed only) 200 Must have WS40 Dodge +20 200 Must have dodge +10 skill Crushing blow 200 Must have ST40 Die Hard 200 Must have WP40
  10. The elite advance skill package system set out here: http://new.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=70&efcid=3&efidt=40920 is a neat way of giving players access to a small and discrete set of skills that complement one particular activity…flying aircraft, academia, safecracking etc. It also occurred to me that this is a neat way to get players to have access to martial arts skills. With this in mind I’ve developed background and some rules for a few Calixian martial arts styles. Any character from any career can learn one of these forms, without leaving their chosen career, provided they have the xp and are willing to meet the criteria set by the teacher for their students. This may vary depending upon the martial arts master – some teachers want money, some want favours, some want blood – literally. Here’s the first two Calixian martial arts, more exotic forms to follow in due course - Hope you enjoy them!
  11. JRaup said: Off hand, with out checking my stuff, I think it has a "live crew" of 30, plus servitors (40-50). I can ask around on the NEtEpic list if you want a more definitive answer. Hmmm... those figures seem awfully high to me. The little cabin you can see on the miniature is smaller than a rhino APC, which only carries around 10 men... And if it's got a total crew of 70-80 (if you count servitors as crew) and they're all sitting inside the tunneller, that means there's not going to be a lot of room for assault troops... Do you have a canon source for those figures? I'm not aware of any... I'd guess that we'd be looking at a crew of at most 5 or 6 in the transporter and another 3-5 in the tunneller. That is of course, pure speculation on my part!
  12. jareddm said: I was kinda thinking a bit farther back in time. Something that wouldn't be remembered as having Space Marine involvement in it. Or an event that had less than pristine records kept for it. The adept in my group adores his lore skills and does everything he can to route out every last background detail from any environment I put them in. I wouldn't want him to be able to come to the conclusion that there are space marines involved before even stepping foot on the planet. Hmmm.... OK, what about the Angevin crusade itself? This was the crusade which led to the conquest of the entire sector, 2,750 or so years ago. 4 entire chapters took part, they travelled and fought across the entire legth of the sector...who knows where Marine bodies might end up? I suppose the drawback from your point of view is that your adept might predict marine involvement, as it was the largest deployment of marines in the entire history of the sector, and would be well documented. If you want to throw a real curveball, you could create some NEW background for the sector. Looking at Alan Bligh's timeline, the Haarlock Rogue Trader family were the original explorers of the sector. It is not unknown for Space Marine chapters to send small units to fight alongside large rogue trader fleets. You could have your own unique chapter, with a small unit attached to Soloman Haarlock's "Great Voyage" waaaay back in 36, 723, over 4,000 years before the current timeline.
  13. Personally, I'm looking forward to Rogue Trader the most, because it will genuinely expand the 40k background. DH has been fantastic, but it's very much a "local" setting, with the new background information largely restricted to the Calixis sector. I love that, but I think Rogue Trader has the potential to fill in a lot more "blanks" in the 41st millenia than DH. DH (it seems to me) is actually quite hesitant to pin the Inquisition down on methodology, structure, history etc. If FFG have a freer hand on creating, in effect, the whole new focus for rogue traders across the imperium, it will create an exciting new class of fully developed antagonist for 40k. OK, arguably there's been a lot of information already on rogue traders in 40k, but I get the feeling that they have, up to now, not lived up to their full potential. Don't forget, when Rick Priestley first wrote 40k, it seemed that he wanted the focus of the entire system to be on them right from the start. Up to now, they've always been bit players in the setting. It'll be nice to see them cut loose a bit. I'm not really so excited about Deathwatch, it must be said. While there is something to be said about games with very high powered players (White Wolf did that successfully a while back with Aberrant) I tend to think that Space Marines are not really right for a roleplaying game. Character wise, marines can't really be anything else than ciphers, the background insists that they spend their time fighting in major wars, they're 7-8 feet tall, so interaction with normal humans will be a little strained...Many of them are celibate and spend their loves in monastaries, training...they have totally different psychology to normal humans... For a lot of reasons, I never got into the big debates early on about marines in the setting, because I really wasn't going to be convinced that it would ever work. I'll certainly buy the book, but I'm a little sceptical about it being workable as an RPG setting...
  14. I believe Dugfromtheearth (cool name) may be referring to the old Epic scale super-heavy tunneller, am I right Dug? If that IS what you're talking about, I'm not entirely sure, forge world haven't got around to producing a technical readout for one yet. For those not familiar with the vehicle, it was the largest of three classes of tunnelling transporters used to carry Imperial Guard troops underground. The smallest was the Termite, which has a crew capacity (from memory) of 10 men, the medium was the Mole, which (I think) carried 20 men, and the largest was the Hellbore, which carried an entire company. The vehicles were used for sieges largely, digging under bastion walls and storming enemy fortresses or bunkers from the inside. They resemble ICBM carriers with huge rocket shaped tunnelling transporters (a bit like the robot ones from the Matrix) on top. Gears of War 2 had a similar concept, tunnelling transporters, but likie so many other things, GW got there first. However, if you want to make up stats for one, I'd suggest starting with one of those massive Russian mobile ICBM carriers they had during the cold war and taking the crew sats from there - the tunneler's transporter is not so very different from an ICBM transporter. As for the tunneller itself, your guess is as good as mine - 3 crew? That sounds about right to me. An aiplane carrying 150m passengers would have about 3 crew, so that sounds about right. Anyway, just a few thoughts. Hope that helps. Are you planning to use a Hellbore in one of your games, Dug?
  15. Here's the timeline, which sets out which chapters were involved in the conquest of the Calixis sector:- http://new.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/dark-heresy/pdf/timeline.pdf If they were involved, that suggests that they they're relatively local, but no more than that. I should also point out that the Calixis sector isn't a million miles away (er...actually it probably is, thinking about it, I mean "not that far away relatively") from the Eye of Terror, so the chapters guarding that may also crop up in the Calixis sector. I get the impression that the Calixis sector was designed to be a relatively peaceful sector with very few massive wars going on - there's only a handful of proper wars going on (Gelmiro, Tranc etc), so there's little in the sector of immediate interest to a Space Marine chapter. If your chronicle is dealing with the dead bodies of a space marine chapter, it might be an idea to skim through the timeline and look for major conflicts in the last few centuries that might have tempted the Space Marines to get involved: how about the Malagrisian Tech Heresy 45 years ago, the second siege of Vaxanide 312 years ago, the first siege of Vaxanide 803 years ago, or the war of brass 1076 years ago?
  16. In answer to the original question, four chapters helped conquer the region of space which later became the Calixis sector: the Black Templars, Tigers Argent, Sons of Medusa and the Charnel Guard. The Black Templars are well described in the canon, and retain a tiny presence in the sector (two dreadnoughts guarding a shrine.) The Tigers Argent and the Charnel Guard are, as far as I am aware, only mentioned in the Dark Heresy Timeline document, which I think is now in the FFG Calixis Sector resource page. Don't know anything about them, but they DO have cool names, particularly the Charnel Guard! I seem to recall that the Sons of Medusa may also have taken part in the Badab War, but I could be wrong. Lexicanum would be able to tell you.
  17. I seem to recall Charax getting cross on one of these forums a while back about Dan Abnett having a talking servitor piloting a submersible in the final book in the Ravenor trilogy. The "Classic" 40k servitor was always a slave or criminal, lobotomised and cyberized. More recent fluff posits a wider range of servitor types, perhaps caused by some BL author's misunderstanding of what a servitor was actually meant to be! Personally, in answer to the "can they tralk" question, I'm in the "er... it varies" school. Most servitors are indeed lobotomised and heavily cybernetically modified humans, but some may in fact be just heavily cybernetically modified humans. I seem to recall a reference to "cybernetically modified worker-helots" working in a mine in a Forge World book. It would seem that there is a range of servitor capabilities and types. By the way, a good source on servitors in the new space marine codex, which has some nice fluff on how servitors can "lock" when their suppressed personalities and minds attempt to overcome their cybernetic programming.
  18. Honestly, Luddite, you're such a "glass is half empty" person! Or maybe even a "glass is half empty, its gone flat and there's a wasp in it, too" person!
  19. Anyway, back on topic, I am absolutely on side with you chaps here. The Night City courcebook, the Seattle sourcebook and the Marienburg sourcebook (and the earlier WD Marienburg articles) are some of the finest examples of well written RPG background you can possibly get. I'd say that the one book I'd be willing to eat my own ears for is a huge, lavishly illustrated and beautifully written Calixis Sector sourcebook, preferably written with input from all the old BI staffers and freelancers as well as the FFG new blood. Preferably coming off the back of a renewed fan-made planet contribution project. Maybe get Dan Abnett to guest write up a couple of worlds. Oh and if it could have that "new book" smell and come packaged with a Brazilian supermodel (a wish I have expressed on previous forums...) then I could die happy...
  20. Sorry to interrupt, but I just noticed that this thread is running at 666 views and 88 posts... Very spooky indeed. I had to step in and post in case some horrific ritual was about to come to fruition....
  21. 'armful! A very well armed beastie. I've got to hand it to you FFG boys, you've gone out on a limb here, but that's a handy concept. (I'll get me coat...) I love this thing. Really good. And unless I'm mistaken that's the first bit of FFG art for DH I've seen placed in the context of an accompanying rules article by FFG...and not only is it a great piece of art, it works nicely in the context of the setting. A lot of the reviews of DotDG have moaned about the use of art from the ancient GW back catalogue: it's fantastic to see brand new art created solely for the new FFG book. I'm now starting to get really excited about not only this book but the whole future of the line - DH looks to be in safe hands, wooohooo!
  22. Ikkaan said: If this book is really GM only (which it still is...) why doesn´t it give answers? Instead it throws up a lot of questions in every chapter. I honestly think that all 40k writers are told "Every time you answer a question, set up 5 more questions." Ambiguity is the way fans are drawn into debate, thus keeping interest levels up.
  23. Malfian shadowguild trained safecracker elite advance skills package The planet Malfi is a world not only of Byzantine courtly intrigue, but of grinding poverty . Many seek to rise above the seething hive underbellies, but scope for social advancement is limited. Thus, the poor often turn to crime. Over the centuries, many criminal fraternities have come and gone, but one in particular has proven to have the staying power to talk on equal terms with the great noble houses: the Malfian shadow guild. This loose collective is unusual for it consists of resolutely non-violent criminals who use their skills only to steal. In the twisted morality of the Malfian underhives, this commitment to non-violence is regarded as the work of holy fools, and the guild is both respected and pitied at once. However, its members are undeniably skilled, and it is said that no security system is beyond their power to crack open. Indeed, such is the strength of their reputation for contravening tech-security, that an Adeptus Mechanicus kill-team was sent in to find the guild and break it up. This was a complete failure, as the guild simply melted away and waited for the techpriests to lose interest. For those who want to learn how to burn through a five foot thick steel vault without damaging the priceless ancient parchments held within, the shadow guild is the only logical choice. The guild has a deep and abiding respect for the ecclesiarchy and the teachings of the God-Emperor, and has been known to assist His agents in time of darkest need by teaching them the skills required…. Malfian shadowguild trained safecracker elite advance skills package Skill/Talent xp special Demolition 200 Demolition +10 250 Must have demolition skill Demolition +20 200 Must have demolition +10 Security 200 Security +10 250 Must have security skill Security +20 200 Must have security +10 Finding a shadowguild member willing to tutor a student is a small adventure in itself. The Shadowguild are hard to find, and GMs must be prepared to put the work into creating a short chronicle for giving players a chance to find a tutor. The players will have to put some real police-style legwork into it, using Inquiry skills, Talents like Peer(Underworld) etc. The guild’s love for supporting ecclesiarchical charity work is well known, however, and smart players will work on this angle by approaching the guild through local clerical contacts. The guild will not necessarily expect payment for this training, but it will expect the players to provide the equipment. They will also expect some sort of favour from the players, thought the precise details should be left to the GM.
  24. Xeno Baccalaureus Hetaireia: Academic qualifications in forbidden topics The Hetaireia Lexis is one of the most respected and prestigious teaching institutions in the entire Calixis Sector. Formed by Lord Sector Caracella over 600 years ago, it offers training courses in highly morally questionable topics such as Xeno studies, Theology and Comparative Historical Heresies. The Inquisition monitors the various institutions which operate under the ambit of the Hetaireia Lexis very carefully indeed, and many Inquisitors are actively looking for excuses to shut the entire institution down and burn its staff at the stake. However, other Inquisitors, particularly those inclined to take the longer view, regard it as a useful sounding board for alternative views on the nature of humanity’s enemies. Many acolytes are encouraged to study there in order to increase the store of knowledge available to the Inquisitor, and indeed some Inquisitors themselves have been known to take courses. There are three levels of degree offered at the Hetaireia Lexis: an undergraduate’s degree, a master’s degree and a doctorate. The most widely known and respected is the Xeno Baccalaureus Hetaireia, (which in game terms provides the character with the Forbidden Lore (Xenos) skill,) but the facility also offers training in Comparative Historical Heresies (Forbidden Lore: Heresy) Imperial Theology (Forbidden Lore: Cults), Archaology under the infamous Professor Zandiana Hijonezz (Forbidden Lore: Archaotech) and Human supraevolutionary studies (Forbidden Lore: Mutants). The facility does NOT offer courses on subjects like the Black Library, Daemonology, the Inquisition, the Imperial Ordos, the Adeptus Mechanicus, Psykers or the Warp. Undergraduate Degree in forbidden studies elite advance skills package Skill/Talent xp special Forbidden Lore: (any from the above list) 200 See below for entry requirements. Scholastic Lore: (choose any which complements the forbidden Lore selected) 150 Ciphers (secret society – Hetaireia) 100 Inquisitorial sanction must be sought to commence one of these courses, and each prospective student is interviewed by an Inquisitor or one of his acolytes: note that this will not be the player’s Master. This difficult interview must be roleplayed: the Inquisitor will want to know precisely why the player wants to study this forbidden topic, and whether they have the moral strength to be allowed to live with the knowledge they will learn. Courses are expensive and time consuming. An undergraduate degree costs a standard 15,000 thrones and takes three years of solid, full time study to complete. Thus acolytes will be out of action studying for a while! Master’s Degree in forbidden studies elite advance skills package Skill/Talent xp special Forbidden Lore: (same as the undergraduate degree) +10 200 See below for entry requirements. Must have also completed undergraduate degree package in full.) Scholastic Lore: (same as the undergraduate degree) +10 150 In order to enroll on this course, the player must pass another gruelling interview, with a different Inquisitor who will feign ignorance of the findings of the first Inquisitor. The player must pay 5,000 thrones to his tutors. A Master’s degree is also time consuming, but the player has more control over when he studies for it. He is required to spend roughly 6 months attending various courses, and during this time he must write a thesis. The player must, at the end of this period, take a single unmodified intelligence test for each skill he wishes to gain from the chart above. If he passes, he can pay the xp and gain the skill. If he fails, he must pay another 500 thrones and resubmit the thesis in 1 month’s time. However, the xp is not lost. The player can try again as many times as he likes. Doctorate Degree in forbidden studies elite advance skills package Skill/Talent xp special Forbidden Lore: (same as the undergraduate degree) +20 200 See below for entry requirements. Must have also completed the masters degree package in full.) Scholastic Lore: (same as the undergraduate degree) +20 150 Trade: lecturer in forbidden studies 100 In order to obtain the skills set out above, the player must pay the facility 5,000 thrones and then spend three years writing a highly detailed thesis. For each year, the player must make an intelligence test, again unmodified. If he fails any test, he must start again, and the time spent on the thesis so far is wasted. He can take as long as he likes. Once the thesis is complete, he must present it to a panel of three Inquisitors by reading the entire thesis aloud. If the majority of the Inquisitors present regard the thesis as heretical, it will be nailed to the student’s face, and both it and he will be burned at the stake. This encounter must be roleplayed.
  25. This is my attempt to offer players interesting ways to expand their character’s skillbase in a way which is true to the setting of Dark Heresy, without breaking the careers advancement system. Hope it's useful! Elite Advance skill packages Elite Advance skill packages are an alternative method of advancing your character’s development. They are an expansion of the Elite Advances rules on page 229 of the DH rulebook. Unlike alternate career ranks, as featured from page 52-85 of the Inquisitor’s handbook, they do not require a player to “swap” ranks for any alternate progression in a different career. Instead they offer a system for enabling players to purchase skills from a specific, discrete skills set they would not otherwise have had access to under their career. However, there is a trade off for this: the skills are more expensive in terms of XP to learn than they would otherwise have been, and there may be restrictions on the order in which they can be learned. Additionally, being able to learn these skills is dependent upon finding a suitable teacher, roleplaying out interaction with the teacher and meeting whatever demands the teacher has for instructing players in these skills. Each elite advance skill package will contain a varying number of skills. Each skill which can be taught will set out an xp cost. A player can only spend up to one third of all xp awarded at any one point on an elite advance skill package: the remaining two thirds awarded at any point must be spent on normal advancement along the career path. Xp spent on elite advance skill packages do not count towards the total number of xp required to advance a character along a rank for the purposes of their career. Example: Javid the Imperial Guardsman decides to train under the wing of an expert Glavian sky-pilot in the hope of advancing his Inquisitorial career. Javid finds a tutor, pays his fees and is able to begin learning advanced flying skills from the Glavian. Javid then completes an adventure, and gains 600xp. He is now able to spend up to one third of this (200xp) on the Glavian-trained flyer advanced skills chart, and chooses to do so. He spends the remaining 400xp awarded on advancing his normal Imperial Guardsman career. He is counted as only having spent 400xp in total for the purposes of his advancement along the Guardsman career. Learning some skills can be a complex process. Certain skills and talents are damaging to the mind, the body, or even the soul. Occasionally there will be additional costs for learning these skills, which are set out on the individual elite advance skill table Set out below are a number of sample elite advance skill packages. Glavian Trained Flyer There are certain planets in the Imperium where the use of airborne vehicles, flyers and skimmers offers more than just tactical advantage or convenience. For the inhabitants of these Imperial worlds, being a skilled aviator is more than just a luxury: it is an absolute necessity and a way of life. Many classic examples exist: the surface of the planet Phantine is so extremely polluted that travel between the mountaintop cities demands the use of flyers: unusually the world actually inducts PDF flyer units directly into the Imperial Guard rather than the Imperial Navy. The planet Achaean, which falls within the domain of the realm of Ultramar, is famous for its strong martial culture and the tendency for its children to compete fiercely for the right to enter the Imperial Navy’s fighter wings. On the gas giant Turana, in the Segmentum Pacificus, the absence of any ground at all forces human colonists to utilise flyers to herd sky-manatees simply to survive: the list goes on . These planets, by virtue of their unusual topography or culture, tend to produce unusually skilled pilots. These aviators are in constant demand throughout settled space both as pilots and instructors. A prime example of such a race of skilled flyers relatively local to the Calixis Sector are the Glavians. These dashing sky-pirates hail from a world where children are taught to fly an aircraft before they can even walk. Indeed, it is common for a newborn to have his hands placed on the stick of the family skycutter before he has even had his first feed. The skills of a Glavian are legendary, and many have learned to trade on this reputation. Some are inducted directly into the Inquisition as guncutter pilots, others join the Imperial Navy and become famous aces and squadron leaders. The cannier and greedier Glavians set up flying schools. They locate a civilised, pleasant Imperial world, travel there and set out their skills to the locals, offering flight training at an exorbitant cost. For those wealthy and dedicated enough, they find the finest teaching in the arts of dogfighting, navigation and air acrobatics available anywhere outside of the Imperial Naval flight schools. Glavian-trained flyer elite advance skills package Skill/talent Xp cost special Pilot (Civilian aircraft) 150 Navigate (Surface) 150 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Tech use 150 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Trade (civilian pilot) 150 The player receives a pilot’s licence good for the world the school is on Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Pilot (Civilian aircraft) +10 150 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Pilot (military craft) 200 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Navigation (stellar) 200 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Pilot (spacecraft) 200 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Pilot (military craft) +10 200 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Pilot (civilian aircraft) +20 200 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Pilot (spacecraft) +10 200 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Pilot (military craft) +20 200 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Pilot (spacecraft) +20 200 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Talent: Good reputation (pilots) 200 Must have all the skills set out above this one before this can be taken Talent: Good reputation (Glavians) 200 Must have all the skills and talents set out above before taking this Tech use +10 200 Must have all skills and talents set out above before taking this Getting a Glavian teacher: Glavians are a cheerful, open and freewheeling people, and they are relatively common throughout the Calixis Sector. There are Glavian flight schools on Scintilla, Malfi, Hredrin, Alactra, Merov and Grove’s Fall. They are happy to provide students with training aircraft, airstrips, the necessary paperwork and indeed everything except bed and board for the duration of their training. They are happy to teach students at their own pace, and are used to students “dropping out” for years at a time, only to reappear and expect further training. However, whilst finding a Glavian flight school isn’t hard, affording them is another matter. Glavians know that they are the best, and expect to be paid as if they’re the best. Glavians charge 1000 thrones to teach each skill and talent on the chart above, and expect to be paid in advance.
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