Hey everyone. I'm a newbie both to the game and to game mastering, and 'm going to try to run a one-shot game t get more people on campus interested in the game. Since I've only played a few games before, I'm having trouble establishing difficulty bounds for the encounters they're going to encounter.
Here's a basic overview of what I have planned: 4-5 characters with 1000 experience. The setting is a feudal world where things have been running amok. Psykkers on the planet have been having strange nightmares for months, and the previous team of acolytes disapeared without a trace. They will be met by their Inquisitor's contact in the capitol of Nemo. My plan is for them to take a trek to the capitol city in a commandeered Chimera. During the trek they are waylaid to help some travellers who appear to be pilgrims, who are actually cultists. These cultists subtly focus their attacks on Claudius, but they are defeated fairly easily. Then at the capitol city they will investigate the happenings and attempt to deduce what is going on.
If they havn't figured out where they need to go by the third in-game day, then Claudius goes missing-Good news and bad news-He's easy to follow because he took the chimera with the tracking chip (+20 tech use). The bad news is that he took the chimera, leaving the acolytes to find their own transportation. Depending on how they roleplay this, and what they attempt to do, they'll end up doing anything from taking donkeys to calling in a new chimera from the port.
On the way, they'll have one encounter with some more cultists. This battle shouldn't be any more difficult than the previous one. The arrive at the destination, deep in a forest, to find a crumbling ruin with a triangle-shaped door. Obviously this is an evil place. Just as obviously, Claudius has descended below, although for what purpose, they cannot say. They descend through a small maze and find several small rooms that have been abandoned for years. At the end is a triangle-shaped chamber supported by three circular pillars with a pentagram on the floor. As they enter, they hear Claudius scream. Then enough plaguebearers (Yay nurgle!) to be a serious, but not quite lethal, threat. When they either triumph or decide to retreat, the ruin begins to crumble. They need to run away, taking a few agility tests to avoid taking damage.
Then they drive like hell back to the capitol. Behind and occasionally in front of them, vegitation wilts and dies. When they come in sight of the capitol, it is on fire. If one of them looks through the magnifier, they will be able to see the core law enforcers ad guards of the city leading a fighting retreat towards the port. A successful perception check will allow them to identify that in the center of the retreat is none other than the Baroness herself. They can either join in the battle, attempt to rescue the baroness without joining battle, or leave her to perish. This will obviously affect what happens in the climactic finale at the spaceport.
Convinced that everything is going to hell and the handbasket is just around the corner, and recieving calls from the port saying that they are under heavy attack, they retreat to the port. If they helped in the battle, the Baroness and a handful of her top guards (including a veteran sergeant that the Donian commander detailed to be her bodyguard) pile into the chimera before they leave. If they just rescue the Baroness without winning the battle, then the only person to come with her is that same sergeant. If they leave her to perish, no one comes with them (obviously), and half of the Donians guarding the spaceport are dispatched to attempt to save her, meaning that the acolytes will be more pressed for time at their destination.
They arrive at the port to find it under earnest attack from another feudal lords’s forces, this one obviously in league with foul warp entities. His forces are accompanied by more plague bearers, and his followers seem to take more punishment than they should. They radio in frantically to let the chimera through, and they pull into the ground vehicle bay. What they do next is up to them, but they will most likely make for the shuttle that is still on the ground. Then they find out that they have to complete several actions before the shuttle will be ready. The squad of guardsmen detailed off to guard the shuttle will do so, and they rescued the Baroness, she will get aboard. The sergeant and soldiers, if present, will accompany the party (The sergeant is of equal level to the party.)
The tasks they must complete are: -Open up air traffic control and contact the Misericord in orbit around Caligula. (Fight some feudal warriors to gain entrance, then hold them off for a few rounds while the tech-priest completes the necessary rituals) -Rescue the technicians who can refuel the shuttle (Kill several plaguebearers standing guard outside the dormitory, escort them to the main hallway) -Shut down the auto-air defense grid which is in emergency mode (Have the tech-priest deactivate these in the security station, right next to the commissary)
Then, as the players successfully shut down the air defense grid, the food on the trays rots and corrupts. The acolytes feel a scuttling on their skin, but when they look, nothing is there. If any soldiers were rescued with the Baroness, one of them drops his mouth agape, tries to say something, and then has blood flow out his ears and eyes as bloodboil kills him. Around the corner comes none other than Claudius-A new Claudius. A Claudius who is sickly, with a scaled, bloated form and two small horns projecting from the top of his head. The acolytes will need to make a fighting retreat back to the shuttle, hopefully killing Claudius the Daemonhost before he kills them.
QUESTIONS: I’m working on a table to have extra enemies (only feudal warriors) appear as the turns go on, so I would appreciate any advice here.
If anyone has any suggestions for how many and what sort of statline these fellows should have, that would also be appreciated. I’m thinking cult initiates (p. 337 Dark Heresy) for the cultists (very original, I know), but I’m not sure what to use for the feudal warriors. This is a world that is, technologically, figuring out the ways in which mass blocks of musketeers change warfare, but I’m not sure what to do for these.
Finally, I need to know about our erstwhile friend Claudius. He is meant to challenge, and possibly kill, a party of 5 tier three characters accompanied by 4 feudal soldiers. How bound should he be?
Here is the information my players have: Caligula Population: 3 billion (estimated) Tithe Grade: Exactus Minimus Geography: Two small continents with plentiful island chains. Most of the larger island chains are populated, as are the continents (Tropical forests with mild rolling hills, several arid regions in between larger hills). Government Type: Feudal Planetary Governor: Her Baroness Quintilla Odessa Adept Presence: Moderately low. Choir Telepathica in Odessa’s capitol city of Nero. One Adepta Sororitas Abbey in Clementia. Administratum (Port Catellus). Military: Large armies in the control of the feudal lords and ladies. Odessa is the Governess by right of might of arms, for her forces control the lands surrounding Port Catellus. Three platoons of Donian IV Guard troops (The 7’s ad-hoc rifles) ensure that no lord or lady gains delusions of grandeur and attempts to seize the port by force of arms. Trade: Caligula has deposits of promethium, as well as vast mineral resources that may be exploited when the asteroid mines of Sinxsta are depleted in M43. Its current largest export is fighting men of the Caligulan 1st and 2nd.
Message from Toth: Greetings. I trust that you are prepared and ready for an undertaking in the Emperor’s name. Soon, a shuttle will arrive in port with the word “Gray” somewhere in its name. You are to proceed to this shuttle which will transfer you aboard the freighter “Misericord,” bound for Caligula. There you will meet the rest of the cell to be dispatched to Caligula. Normally I would entrust this to a more cohesive unit, but unfortunately, none of my more cohesive groups are in the area. This being so, I must rely on whomever is along the route of the “Misericord.” You will meet your fellow travelers onboard, and arrive on Caligula in approximately 5 days time. A friend by the name of Claudius will meet you when you touch down in Port Catellus. He’s a large bore who will talk your ear off if you give him half a chance, but he’s the best ear to the ground we have on Catellus. Please find enclosed a collection of items you might need. -Fide est tua scutum, ira, tua ensis. Modo en morte officium finis.