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  1. Thanks for the suggestion. It's a bit over the top for me, though.
  2. Adeptus-B said: Off the top of my head, the Pilgrims of Hayte (from Disciples of the Dark Gods) come to mind: nihilistic doomsday fanatics who see entropy as the desirable end to the falsehhod of existance, and who are skilled in sorcery, particulary daemon summoning. They are led by charismatic False Prophets who sway disolute members of Imperial society to their fatalistic cause- and there would be no shortage of potential recruits in a penal colony! If you want to give the scenario extra depth, you could say that the riots being orchestrated by the Pilgrims have a ritual component: the hundreds of deaths being caused by the riots are serving as human sacrifices, intended to free a daemon who is (unknown to the Imperials) imprisoned beneath the penal colony (maybe by Haarlock himself, long before the colony was established?) That could add an interesting 'race against time' element: the PCs have to either get the riot under control, or find the False Prophet conducting the ritual, before the deaths reach the 'magic number' needed to free the daemon. A potential twist would be to make the False Prophet not one of the prisoners, as the PCs will initially suspect, but one of the wardens, who sought out this post specifically because he knew the secret of the imprisoned daemon… Thanks for the idea. However, the Pilgrims already play a big part in the Haarlock Legacy, and I want something completely different. Thoughts?
  3. *possible Hand of Corruption Spoilers below* I am gearing up to run The Campaign (still unnamed), loosely based on the Haarlock Legacy for Dark Heresy. I have rewritten Hand of Corruption to fit into that. The basic premise of the whole campaign is that the Acolytes are piecing together Haarlock's Navis Prima, with pieces off it scattered across setting for several WH40K RPGs. One piece will be on St Annard's Penance. My Acolytes will arrive in the middle of the riot incited by a group of heretics, and have to find one man in the confusion and bloodshed. As a GM I always like a challenge and I have found that allowing outsiders to influence my campaigns is a nice challenge. I've run games where other groups of players have controlled the powers behind the scene, for example. So now I am looking for outside help. I want you guys to help me create a few possible groups of heretics behind the mayhem in the prison. I don't want Chaos Marines, and I don't want any established heretics from Dark Heresy (the Pilgrims of Hayte, for example). Other than that, anything goes. I'm not interested in stats (unless you really want to) but a solid description of a group of heretics (background, previous deeds, etc). Keep in mind that it's for Dark Heresy. There's five Acolytes and they will be at 4000 - 5000 xp at this point. Go!
  4. Hello all. I will be running an extended version of the Haarlock Legacy campaign and among many other things the PCs will travel to St Annard's Pennance, the prison world outlined in Hand of Corruption, for Black Crusade. Note that there are SPOILERS below for that scenario. The PCs will arrive as the prison is rocked by a riot, the very same riot Black Crusade PCs start in Hand of Corruption. The Acolyte's mission on the planet is to locate one specific prisoner that has a part of Haarlock's Navis Prima tattooed on his body. They will have to do this while helping the prison authorites suppress the riots as well as navigate the intricate political structure of the prison. My question to you: can you help me create a group of heretics responsible for the riot? I like a challenge when I GM, and having outsiders influence the campaign certainly is a challenge. The group can be a Chaos coven (intent on transporting the planet into the Screaming Vortex by enacting a complicated ritual), hereteks (hunting for archeotech in the depths of the ancient prison complex) or anything else. I am open to any and all suggestions, and the more the better. I'm not looking for specific stats (though If you want to supply that, all the better) but more ideas for characters. The Acolytes start at 3000 xp, and at this point in the campaign they are likely to be above 4000. The heretic NPCs should be appropriately powerful.
  5. Over the years (20+ playing, almost only GM:ing over the past 10) I've tried many ways of playing. For my upcoming run through the Haarlock campaign, with lots of added extras, this is what I will do and expect of my players. The characters will be pre-created at 3000 xp (I feel the game is more interesting with experienced characters), with some minor tweaks allowed by the players. This is to make sure they fit perfectly into the campaign. Earlier, when using the whole "fate has chosen you" approach, I have allowed the players to create their own characters, similarly to deathhammer's example above. As a GM I like a challenge, and making such characters fit into the backstory and The Bigger Picture is always interesting work. Each player gets: - detailed character background outlining their time before becoming an Acolyte as well as the time spent in the Inquisition's service. This includes case info on major investigations they have been involved in. - information on the other characters as well as opinions on them. Do they trust them? Which abilities do they know of? Etc. - information about their Inquisitor. What is his relation to his Acolytes? What is his modus operandi? What is his focus? Who are his enemies and allies? Etc. - list of contacts, both group and personal. These are all given a level, representing how easy it is to get info/help/gear from that particular contact. - details on the characters living quarters, while between missions. I think the description of a character's home says a lot about the character. - list of gear the character is likely to have on his person. They have access to most things, as long as it's not too unusual an item or something that would tip the balance in the game. During a mission, they get an "expense account" from their Inquisitor. My game mastering style is very much story oriented. I try to limit the number of dice rolls as much as possible, to get a faster pace in the game. The Skills and Talents the characters have are guidelines for what the characters can do, not absolutes. It is only in the most critical partsof the story that dice will roll. Before each mission, they get an in-character briefing written up by their Inquisitor or one of his servants. Fate points are used in two ways. Either burned, to escape death, or used to change a situation. The rules state they can be used to automatically succeed on a dice roll. I take it one step further and allow the players to use a Fate point to change a given situation or scene. The change must be in line with the game, and is open to rejection by the GM. For example: the PCs are running after a thief through an old factory complex. There are rusted machines and gantries and cranes and containers all around. The thief leads them into a small warehouse and then doubles back to close the doors from the outside, sealing the PCs inside. Some options as to what a player could to with a Fate point: - throw himself off a gantry and swing by a chain to land in front of, or indeed on, the thief before he runs out the doors. - find a lever that dumps a cargo container in front of the thief, walling him in on all sides as he doubles back. - jump off a crane and shoot the thief while mid-air, hitting him in the leg, immobilizing him, then land on a pile of old soft tires. As long as it fits in with the situation and the fact that the characters are fate-bound heroes, anything is possible. I assume that everything the players say is what their characters say, in-character. If they want to discuss something off-character, they need to state their intention to do so first. In combat situations, I give them no time for discussions and allow little time for decisions. They must act, not sit around thinking. Failing to do so means losing Actions. New Skills and Talents can only be purchased between sessions. Each purchase must be motivated. After a mission is complete, I will run a debrief, sometimes in-game, sometimes not. I encourage players to write mission reports. I write some short stories between gaming sessions, each based on a situation the PCs were in during he last sessions. I post these to a Facebook group created for this purpose (this group also allows the players to discuss what ther characters do between sessions) so that both the players and myself can keep the session top of mind.
  6. Luthor Harkon said: beardonaut said: So. That's it. Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Sounds very well though-out, but maybe it is a little too big for my liking. Even though I can understand the fascination for huge epic story lines, sometimes less is more. At least that is my experience after 20 years of GMing. I also tried to press too much into the Haarlock Legacy (without using the Jericho Reach and the Koronous Expanse) and sort of overwhelmed my players a little (the campaign is running since spring 2008, while meeting regularly (i.e. about three times a month)). Let’s face it, players do not tend to be good at following age long plot lines and intertwined story arcs. Especially if they have a time consuming real life (after college that is…) and the gaming sessions take place only every few weeks. So, if you really plan to make “The Campaign” happen, take care to brief your players regularly throughout the campaign of what they (should…) know and help them to get along with the more complex plot lines (maybe in the in-game personae of their Inquisitor). Especially the politics going on in the background can be difficult to sort out by players, as they normally like a black and white view of things (even those who never played D&D). In regard to the Haarlock Legacy I can only give you the advice – especially as you plan to pimp it a lot – to make a plan of all factions, their respective agendas and goals. Maybe include where and when they make their appearance and how they react to other factions (unknown – opposed – neutral – allied – etc.). This may help a lot during the campaign and of course for its end and climax. Thank you. Many an hour has been spent on it so far. I see your point, and like I said above I do tend to go a bit too far. With that in mind we always have a recap at the beginning of each session, regardless of whether it's a complicated campaign or not, and for the current Haarlock campaign I write up short fiction for a few scenes from the latest session to keep everybody in the right mood. I will definitely add walk-throughs of The Bigger Picture, to make sure they all see what their PCs should know, thanks for that suggestion. From somewhere else on this forum I picked up the idea of an in-game debrief after each completed mission, which is an excellent idea. In the current group we have also discussed the players writing short mission reports in character for the inquisitor to read. When GMing Vampire: the Masquerade it was very important to keep track of the relations between all the different factions and within the factions as well. I've never really thought to apply that in the same way to DH. Thanks.
  7. BrotherKane said: I like it, though I would agree a bit with Gurkhal. One of the themes I like to promote in DH is that regardless of how End of the World the events get it is only a tiny fraction of the Imperium that sees/feels the initial effects. Haarlock is epicly well travelled and knows many secrets, however he knows but a tiny fraction of the whole. If you keep it to one sector then but make it clear that it could bring down EVERYTHING I think it has more impact. Think of all the billions of sectors where something like this could be happening and everything could be ended on the far side of the galaxy and you might never even know it till it kills you. Good thoughts, just like Gurkhal's. The scale of the Imperium is often overlooked, and I know I am sometimes guilty of that. I will keep it in mind,
  8. Gurkhal said: To start I think that this looks really, really cool. The only thing that I would question would be to bring in the Jericho Reach into the game. I personally would probably keep the game in the Calixis Sector and Koronus, with maybe some off-shot into the unchartered Halo Stars. The reason is that I kind of dislike the idea of having the Warp Gate working so long before it was found by the Imperials to start the Jericho Reach Crusade, but I know that it could of course just be me. Thanks! I got excited when the Haarlock family was mentioned in The Outer Reach and off I went. My problem is always that I want to cram so much stuff into my campaigns that I steer away from the core plot and drag things out to the point where neither I nor my players have the stamina to go on. I have been considering ways to restrain myself now, and cutting the Jericho Reach from it all is definitely a way to go. Good suggestion.
  9. Luthor Harkon said: beardonaut said: So what I have so far: - Lucian Matellus. Noble. Adept. Alternate Career: Malefic Scholar. Sworn Radical (Ocularians). Daemonologist. - Xerxes Kurta. Forge World. Tech-priest. Alternate Careers: Factor of the Lathes, Agent of the Lords Dragon. Diplomat and intelligence agent. - Alexander Barrachine. Forge World. Guard. Alternate Career: Crimson Guard. Assigned as bodyguard to Kurta. - Mikail Laester. Darkholder. Scum. Alternate Career: Reclaimator. Former Cold Trader, caught and sworn to service with the Adeptus Mechanicus. The fifth character should be someone serving the Inquisitor and not the Mechanicus. Initially I was thinking about a psyker, a diviner, but Matellus sort of serves that purpose. Still, it might be a good choice. I don't need another combat monster, but an Arbitrator focused on investigation might also work. In any case, I want the character to have a twist or two, like those above. Suggestions? Well, Lucian Matellus sounds more like an Acolyte for a Xanthite instead of an Occularian. But that was not the question… How about an Imperial Diviner? A Psyker with Divination as his chosen discipline and with the option of taking the Imperial Diviner Alternate Career Rank from RH. The IH has a Background Package for Psykers IIRC that have a sort of dark twist. Maybe that would fit as well. A Scum or Cleric with Demagogue, Infil-Traitor or Saboteur as Alternate Caree Rank (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/dark-heresy/pdf/Salvation%20Demands%20Sacrifice%20%28Web%20Quality%29.pdf) could also fit in my view. Yes, Lucian does appear that way. However, the Pact from Thy Name I Keep is one I wrote myself called Pact of Past, Present and Future, which gives him divination abilities, among other things. I like the Diviner and that was my first obvious choice before Lucian came alive, considering the Ocularians' focus on prophecy and divination. A Cleric Demagogue is an excellent suggestion. Would also fit well with the group.
  10. Adeptus-B said: I think a Psyker would 'round out' the group best. Maybe give him/her the Mindwiped background (from Inquisitor's Handbook), and have him/her be the only survivor of your Inquisitor's previous attempt to unlock the Haarlock mystery…? Very good suggestion, sir. I may even reuse some aspects of a character from the current group. Thanks. A Psyker is probably out of the question, though.
  11. Louisp said: Maybe a diviso moralis arbite, a loner detective. or a cleric from the heretical schola progenium world in RHB. I am leaning towards an Arbitrator, possibly combined with the Adeptus-B's suggestion.
  12. I am preparing my second run through The Haarlock Legacy as GM. I have rewritten and expanded it extensively (see post in Game Master section in case you're curious) and will use pre-written characters. I have four done and I am conflicted about the fifth. Hence, this post. I would like suggestions for a fifth character based on what I already have. The characters serve an Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus, who is a member of the Ocularians, and a group of Magi of the Adeptus Mechanicus. They are at 3000 xp from the start and in some cases I use multiple alternate careers and/or background passages for the characters, to make them fit into the campaign. My GM style is very storytelling oriented, and I avoid rolling the dice as often as I can. Still, Skills and Talents are important, since they still define what the characters know. So what I have so far: - Lucian Matellus. Noble. Adept. Alternate Career: Malefic Scholar. Sworn Radical (Ocularians). Daemonologist. - Xerxes Kurta. Forge World. Tech-priest. Alternate Careers: Factor of the Lathes, Agent of the Lords Dragon. Diplomat and intelligence agent. - Alexander Barrachine. Forge World. Guard. Alternate Career: Crimson Guard. Assigned as bodyguard to Kurta. - Mikail Laester. Darkholder. Scum. Alternate Career: Reclaimator. Former Cold Trader, caught and sworn to service with the Adeptus Mechanicus. The fifth character should be someone serving the Inquisitor and not the Mechanicus. Initially I was thinking about a psyker, a diviner, but Matellus sort of serves that purpose. Still, it might be a good choice. I don't need another combat monster, but an Arbitrator focused on investigation might also work. In any case, I want the character to have a twist or two, like those above. Suggestions?
  13. Lots of spoilers for the Haarlock Legacy below, as well as some for Rogue Trader, Black Crusade and Deathwatch. I am currently game mastering the Haarlock Legacy campaign. I have reworked it a bit to give it better pace, and have written shorter scenarios that tie the books together. However, as I have been doing so, some of the themes and ideas I have introduced there have grown, so parallel to game mastering the campaign I have rewritten it extensively. I want a massive, potentially world-changing campaign on a grand scale. Not only do I want the "usual" investigations and missions of Dark Heresy, I want surrounding politics and power games and conspiracies. I want End Of The World stuff. This is The Campaign for me, capital T, capital C. I've been in the WH40K universe for 20 years, I've been game mastering seriously for fifteen and I've run extensive campaigns for Vampire: the Masquerade, Call of Cthulhu, a few GURPS settings and a couple of Swedish games (if you're interested in a dark horror RPG, check out Kult, which is by far the best game in the genre, now sadly out of print), so I hope I know what I'm doing… Below I present my ideas. Any comments on them would be much appreciated, as would any additions/changes. At first, two paragraphs describing the main idea behind it all, then expanding on it. Once there were six. Three brothers below, Seven, Eight and Nine. Three sisters above, Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen. Then Six, the one that is neither sister nor brother and brother and sister both, was born below. Six turned brothers against sisters, and the sisters were cast down. Seven consumed Eleven and Eight consumed Twelve, and were thus raised in power above the others. But Thirteen escaped. Thirteen fled beyond time and space, to a place even those who rule the Immaterium cannot reach. Thirteen hid behind the Gates of Sleep. Thirteen was forgotten by all, except her brother, Nine. He bided his time, waiting for a time when the Gates could open. Waiting to consume his sister. Now events have been set in motion by the last scion of an ancient House, and the Gates of Sleep are slowly crumbling. Beyond them, the Third Sister stirs. Her power leaks once more into the mortal realms, and those over whom she once claimed dominion rise from slumber. Many are those who seek her power, many are those who believe they and they alone know the truth of what is coming. And waiting for her is her brother, the Architect of Fate, who now prepares for his end-game. Over the millennia, the Haarlock line amassed a wealth of knowledge, much of it stolen from or tied to the Yu'vath, the once and future servants of Komus, the Chaos Goddess of time, numbers and dreams. The Yu'vath were the only ones to remember Komus after she hid herself from the eyes of her brothers, and created a vast empire in her name, stretching through the Calyx Expanse and out into the Halo Stars. With technology stolen from ancient races and the power of the Warp they reshaped entire star systems and seeded their empire with planet-sized artefacts and constructs. Some of them still sing Komus' praises to this day, projecting their dirges through the cosmos. Erasmus Haarlock was a man possessed, with only one goal: to be reunited with his wife and daughter. In what way he accomplished this was completely irrelevant, and he cared nothing for the consequences. During his mad quest he stole and tortured knowledge from anyone. Cultists, tech-priests, haemonculi, farseers, daemons, inquisitors, anyone. All of it for naught. It was in the chronicles and treasure troves of his own kin that he found the answer he sought. There was a pattern to everything the Haarlocks had found, but none of them had seen the connections before Erasmus. And so he slaughtered his House, stealing all their secrets, and set about to open the Gates of Sleep to harness Komus' powers and once again have his family. Had Haarlock been the only one on this quest, he may well have succeeded. But as always, many forces are at play, and what he once thought might be secret has become very complicated and open to many. I will run this campaign using pre-created characters at 3000 xp, with tweaks allowed by the players. The group serve an alliance between an Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus, who is a member of the Ocularians, and a small group of Adeptus Mechanicus magi. Both the Ocularians and these tech-priests have seen signs of a coming cataclysm and decided they must shape events to make sure the Calixis Sector does not dissolve into complete chaos. They have no idea of the bigger picture, of Komus etc. They have sent several teams of their servants to investigate whatever may be linked to the coming events. The campaign will open with Damned Cities, with the mission as described in the book, to investigate a series of murders with possible malefic ties. I have expanded the description of Sinophia Magna considerably, to make it a combination of the two different descriptions of it that can be found in the DH books (what seems like a regular city in Damned Cities and a proper hive as described elsewhere, in Creatures Anathema among others). The culprit is not a tainted Arbitrator, but the heretek Amicus Tole (again from Creatures Anathema), who has been duped by the Mirror Daemon into believing he can fuse his own twisted heretekical machines with the power of the Warp, when in fact all he is doing is allowing the daemon to escape its mirror prison. I wanted the heretek element for the Mechanicus characters. The point of Damned Cities is for the PCs to uncover that Erasmus Haarlock dabbled with forces of the Warp. Further augurs by the Ocularian seers and Mechanicus oracles identify Haarlock as one of the key components of the coming cataclysm, after Damned Cities, and so the PCs are assigned to investigate him further. Part two is After the Auction. This is based on The House of Dust and Ash from Disciples of the Dark Gods, but instead it takes place on Footfall, in the Koronus Expanse. The PCs arrive there in the aftermath of the auction of Erasmus Haarlock's estate and must track down the buyers and identify and retrieve as many items as possible. At the same time, the station is haunted by a Haemonculus and his servants, who have arrived to search for clues of Haarlock's location, since this Eldar was one of many he stole from. The campaign then becomes focused on compiling Haarlock's Navis Prima, a vast repository of Warp routes and mapped worlds, the first piece of which the PCs recover on Footfall. Haarlock has left the fragments of this invaluable tome as a trail of breadcrumbs to draw out anyone that stumbles upon his mad quest, and to hopefully lead them to find the pieces of the key to awaken Komus that he failed to collect. Further fragments of the Navis Prima will be found on: - The prison planet St Annard's Pennance, where it is tattooed on the body of a former servant of Haarlock. This will be a variation on the Black Crusade adventure Hand of Corruption, with the PCs arriving after the heretics there have already set their plan in motion. - Landunder. The head of a noble family there has recovered machines that Haarlock constructed at an early stage, when he thought opening the Gates was easy. He has been corrupted by them and is causing warp phenomena all over one of the Eightfold Vities. I ran a scenarion on Landunder previously, which is appealing since firearms are prohibited there. - Scintilla. In the Cathedral of Illumination's vaults. - Redemption, in ruins uncovered by an Ecclesiarchy archeological expidition. - The Processional of the Damned, onboard a lost ship from Haarlock's fleet. - Samech. At the center of this fallen Mechanicus world lives the Clockwork Prince, a gigantic machine oracle constructed by the ancestors of the Yu'vath. It will provide information and answers concerning Komus, giving the PCs confirmation of how big the things that are happening are. - a few others. During all this, they will become more and more aware of Haarlock's quest, the existence of Komus and the massive power games going on behind the scenes. They will also learn the fate of the Margin Crusade, the secrets of the Jericho Reach and visit pretty much every corner of the WH40K RPG universe. Haarlock's Navis Prima will become complete on Quaddis, during the Festival of Tattered Fates. From then on there are a few short scenarios before Dead Stars awaits, where all the factions seeking Haarlock and his secrets will come together and the decision whether or not to let Haarlock reach his goal has to be taken. I have some major background plots and politics going on as well, but nothing cohesive written as of yet. Might add it to this thread later. So. That's it. Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
  14. Alekzanter said: To lend credence, without resort to quoted text, there are several references of the Margin Crusade being a complete cock-up within Dark Heresy, Deathwatch, and Rogue Trader supplements. The Powers That Be within the Calixis Sector have kept the Margin Crusade alive, on paper at least, and all troops and resources earmarked for it are instead diverted into the Jericho Reach. The Calixis Sector stands to gain considerable access and assets from both the Koronus Expanse and the Jericho Sector (once the Crusade there succeeds) as remuneration for their commitment of regiment levies and support due to their close proximity. By my reckoning, Scarus is Spinward (or north) of Calixis (the reference point connecting them being Sleef), and could very well be FFG's link to Scarus (without actually treading upon Dan Abnett's literary toes). I'm patiently awaiting the release of Only War. I'm interested in using it to connect the Calixis and Scarus Sectors. I know the timeline will be a little whacked, but I see this as an opportunity to engage my Players in the events leading up to the Helican Schism and the Ophidian Crusade. Supposedly, the Scarus Sector (a sub, anyway) is filthy with Orks, and the Severan Dominate smells like a good starting point for the involvement of anti-Imperial humans involved in the "true matter". To answer the OP's question… The Spinward Front may represent tattered remnants of the Margin Crusade. The Crusade itself is a wash, but after kicking the hornet's nest the Ecclesiarchy are not likely to pull everything away from the conflict for fear of it spilling into the (somewhat) stable Calixis Sector. Yes, my understanding of Scarus relative to Calixis is the same. And I can see that being true, the Front being the remains of the Crusade. But really, it doesn't matter. As always, I am God-Emperor and Chaos Gods and Fate and Khaela Mensha Khaine and Isha, so it is what I say it is. Thanks for your input. I will probably buy Only War for the fluff, just as I did with Deathwatch and Black Crusade.
  15. Adeptus-B said: Where exactly does it say the Margin Crusade was destroyed? I must have missed that reference. In any event, is it possible that the Spinward Front is one theater in the Margin Crusade, like the Western Front was one theater in the battle for Fortress Europe during WWII? It is stated clearly in Blood of Martyrs. Not a reference, not a hint, but as fact. Like Alekzanter points out, the forces meant for the Crusade are being shipped to the Jericho Reach.
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