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Mellon

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  1. Oh I see! thanks for that info. Then they are indeed in trouble, as they can't really just get rid of their house troops that easily. I believe the story would benefit from the RTers getting a few powerful contacts that wants to cooperate with them, or simply use them. That way they can actually have a possibility to spy on an Inquisitor and maybe gather something that can turn out to be useful as a manipulating tool or information to trade with if someone takes too much interest in their psykers.
  2. Oh I see! thanks for that info. Then they are indeed in trouble, as they can't really just get rid of their house troops that easily. I believe the story would benefit from the RTers getting a few powerful contacts that wants to cooperate with them, or simply use them. That way they can actually have a possibility to spy on an Inquisitor and maybe gather something that can turn out to be useful as a manipulating tool or information to trade with if someone takes too much interest in their psykers.
  3. I love this setup! It's a glorious mess full of different interests and ideals that are conflicting into a situation where there really is no good solution. I think your players are in for making some really hard decisions, and I would love to GM this, especially since the players have pretty much made their own rather uncomfortable bed. Let's see if I can sort out the setting of the stage: - There is a colony system (formerly Prospero) that are the main source of income for the RTs. - There is a heavy tzeentchian influence in this system, and that cult supports the RTers. (I'm curious about how widespread and accepted the cult is in the system. Are people openly members? Is it generally known that this is a Tzeenchian cult, or does it present as an Imperial cult or something else? Are nobles, capitalists and other powerful individuals members? Is it the official state religion? What is the Imperial Ecclesiastic presence like?) - The population of this system has a higher than normal rate of psykers. (and maybe a higher social acceptance of psykers as well?) So the system has a formalised force of battle psykers as part of their PDF. These are not qualified by the Collegiana Psykana, and would probably never be because of the tzeenchian influence. - These battle psykers is OKed by a now dead Ordo Xenos Lord Inquisitor. (Does she still have powerful successors or former allies in the area? Does her name still hold power? If so, this might not be such a horrible problem.) - The RTers killed a fresh Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor that was on their trail. They are planning blame it on the pirates of the sector, and it would very likely work. - The RTers believe that the Battlefleet Calixis is spying on them. (a very reasonable and likely idea after all) - The RTers are afraid of the Ordo Malleus (a very reasonable feeling) - The players want to hunt Inquisitors. A population with such a high level of psykers is potentially a very valuable resource. It is also potentially very dangerous. I would look at the different factions and powerful NPCs in the sector and try to find three of them that would want to use this resource in different ways that require the RTers cooperation to get. Then let these factions court the RTers so the players gain some agency. Here are some ideas: * Any influential person in the region that is already pledged to Tzeench and that wants to support this uniqe enclave. If the RTers can nurture trust there, they will of course have the option of selling _them_ out to the Inquisition. This allegiance could be applied as a modifier to many of the people in the following list. * A radical Inquisitor. Someone from Ordo Malleus would like to study the development of a Tzeenchian Cult in its natural habitat, and this is a rather remote and worthless system so the risks are limited. She offers a truce and 400 years of leniency in exchange for the right to place spies and take part of census data. * A former interrogator of the Inq Lord that OKed the formation of battle psykers is now a Xenos Inquisitor in her own right. She knows about the system from her master and has a clever plan where she needs a large source of psykers to experiment with cerating a network that will mimic a hive mind. She believes they be able to detect the psycic beacon from Genestealer Cults so she can more easily hunt them down before the Tyranids arrive. For this she needs a steady supply of psykers... * A rogue trader who catches and sells psykers to the dark eldar fighting arenas. * A planetary governor who has done a very bad job of tracking and catching psykers in their own system (or maybe there are unusually few psykers in that population? Is it because of a Khorne influence or maybe a null/blank-mutation?). So they need to buy your psykers to fill their quota to the Black Ships who are arriving soon. If they don't they will be under uncomfortable Inquisitorial scrutiny. * A conquering Imperial general who is looking for an honourable target for their invasion forces. So far they had a somewhat successful campaign and claimed a few planets, but met no real combat opposition. Garrisoning planets and two decades without actual combat has left the army weak, so the general fears she will not be able to claim a glorious victory to her familys name... unless they get help from insiders of course! They can offer the RTers a not-chaos infected planet with a better location in exchange for their help to do the actual invasion of former Prospero. * A powerful pirate/free trader captain that is looking for a safe harbour to have as home base in the sector. An alliance with the RTs would be excellent, because the RTs can buy shady stuff from them and then sell them on legally in official harbours. And so on...
  4. Please forgive a slight case of thread necromancy. Reading the above posts inspired me to share the moment when I used a Callidus against the character group to create one of the strongest scenes I’ve ever GMed and convey plot-central information. Background: The group have gone rogue together with their closest Interrogator and is acting in direct opposition to Inquisitor Tivendar because they believe she is mind controlled by the tyranids or just crazy. That is certainly not the case, but rather she has a Grand Plan that uses carefully placed and nurtured Genestealer Cults to lure a huge Tyranid fleet into a trap. During the previous chapter the team have received hints that suggests they are missing vital information, and that maybe they are not exactly acting in the best interests of the Imperium. They are getting nervous over this, but keep pushing. In this chapter I wanted to make it absolutely clear that they messed up and are in deep trouble. So I sent a Callidus. Because I wanted to leave some hints for the group, I decided she has a team to help with recon and support. That team arrive on planet and spend a month mapping out the character group and their activities. During this time I let the players roll random Awareness-checks now and then, and on exceptional results they actually notice alarming things: An advanced, unmarked and very well hidden camera overlooking their home (no one ever retrieves it after it is found), a street kid hired to spy on them that they threaten, beat up and force to disclose the contact point (no one shows up into the ambush they prepared), and so on. All this adds up to "competent opposition" and plenty of nerves. While the group goes along with the obvious part of the chapter the Callidus arrives. She studies, kills, and takes the identity of the most trusted contact to the character group: a local enforcer officer. She even meets once with the team in this disguise to study her targets. As the group finally kills an Interrogator that is loyal to Inquisitor Tivendar, they believe they are pretty much done with this chapter. As part of the loot they receive a half written letter from the Interrogator to the Inquisitor, where she claims that that she has things perfectly under control and that the rogue agents (aka the character group) will be taken care of Soon . - As the players read this part they laughed and jeered over their victory. The letter continues with the Interrogator claiming that the Inquisitors request of assistance from the Assassin Temples to solve the same problem will surely prove to be a waste of the Imperium’s resources. - As the players read this part they alternately turned pale and shouted rude things at me. At this moment, I was very glad over the reputation of the Temples. One of the characters managed a good lore-check so he could inform the other characters. And the more lore-savvy players explained the seriousness of the situation to the other players. This lead to the actual players panicking. Still high on adrenalin after the boss-fight and the bad news, they wanted to arrange transport off-world, asap. And where better to do that, than with the help of their most trusted contact, the local enforcer officer! So they commandeer a Valkyrie and fly there. After they have told a not too detailed version of their bad situation to the Callidus-in-disguise-as-enforcer, she agrees to help and lays out a plan where she will disguise them as prisoners and transport them into the space-port. They gladly accept, stash their weapons and armor into the storage container she provides them with and let out a collective sigh of relief. Then she instructs them to “play along” and escorts them one by one into the cells where she C’than phaseblade stabs them. The look on my players face as I describe this and roll the absurd attack and damage dice was priceless. After the first character goes down, the Callidus retracts the blade and returns to pick up the next character. And the players know exactly what is waiting, and the characters know nothing. That was a glorious moment. My expectation for this scene was that it was going to cost them a permanent fatepoint each, acted out by the competent medicae team of the enforcer station finding them just as the Callidus leaves the building, believing her job well done. Then I would use the potential threat of a Callidus to keep the characters moving and nervous for the rest of the campaign. Indeed, the two first targets go down like wet paperbags. I did give them the option to spend a permanent fatepoint to keep standing at 1D5 HP and fight back, no one accepted. But it turns out the third character (our blessed mechanic that once one-shotted a Genestealer using only a plastic table leg), she rolls a heroic string of dice rolls! First an opposed awareness to even see the stab coming, followed by an excellent series of dodges so in the end she only requires the use of a temporary fatepoint to keep standing. In addition, she has a concealed bolt pistol that she promptly crits with after the Callidus fails a dodge! The likelihood for this string of results is so very slim, and I’m actually feeling a little betrayed by the dice, fearing the story will suffer. The badly wounded Callidus escapes through the window. I figured, that way I could at least keep the threat alive. The characters gather themselves and takes pursuit in the Valkyrie. They are absolutely terrified to let the Callidus hide, regroup and strike again. I realize then, that this is a golden opportunity to shift the tone of the campaign a big step further away from the heroic and into the grimdark, so I let the Callidus run into the crowded market bazaar district. As the players rolls their Awareness checks with increasing desperation and negative modifiers I let them have a glimpse of her at a far distance as she shifts her body shape and dons a neutral hat to blend in. The sniper asks for the modifiers of a shot at her right now, and looks absolutely crestfallen at the answer. That’s when I suggest that maybe they can use the Valkyries heavy weapons, as they have better range, hardly require any precision aiming and unarmored human bodies will not provide any significant cover bonuses against the shots. I take a short break to find the classic Ride of the Valkyries music and to give the players time to worry about this. With very bothered expressions, they decide that they will indeed fire heavy weapons towards the general direction of the assassin. So I play the music, and the players shoot heavy bolters and lascannons at a tightly packed crowd of citizens. They do indeed hit the Callidus as well. As her polymorphine drugs wreak havoc trying to replace chunks of flesh and lost limbs, she crawls into cover. The characters blast the entire building with lascannons, storm the burning ruin with guns blazing, slash her apart with power weapons, and flame the remains. I let them trace her communications equipment because I want them to catch her rapidly withdrawing support-team, just as they are nearly done destroying all traces of the operation. Enough documentation is left to confirm that they were indeed the intended target and that the hit was approved by the Lords of Terra. There ended that chapter with my players scared and a very different outlook for the rest of the campaign.
  5. Excellent tool! This was very inspiring. I'm working on a mechanic to use these instead of dice in a rules system that will focus much more on storytelling and less on math and combat. Preliminary plan looks something like this: Each character has a minimalistic character profile. First one card that represents the character. Maybe another card to describe the facade they show outwards, and another for their true nature that is hidden even for themselves? And for each of the four suits there is a number that indicates the characters affinity with that suit. I imagine a scale from 1 to 5 or maybe slightly higher. These numbers will be a description of their personality. So an aggressive feral worlder would have high Excuteria, while an Arbitor would have high Mandatio and very low Discordia. When an interesting challenge is encountered, the player names the suit that best represent the characters approach to the problem. So for example a application of violence could be Excuteria while pulling rank and threatening with the inquisition could be Mandatio. Then the player draws as many cards as the characters affinity for that suit. Any cards that match the chosen suit, or any cards from the major arcana will mean a form of success. Cards from the "opposing" suit (Madatio opposed to Discordia and Excuteria opposed to Adeptio, of course) means loss, or other costs associated with the resolution, and even failure if they are in majority. Then the Major arcana inspires the player(s) to explain how the scene plays out. Maybe important NPCs or organisations can have indivudal cards that represent them so their involvement can be hinted at during play sessions. I believe this could make for very interesting playsessions with a lot of interesting stories told.
  6. Very good summary Jeans_Stealer! I'd like to add: Don't be afraid to cheat. If the fight is too easy, make up things like reinforcements, hidden explosives or better equipment (preferrably non-reusable by the heroes, such as mutations, psychic powers or grenades). Try to create new challenges by changing the effectiveness/availability of game mechanics such as line of sight, movement speed, useability of certain gear, and so on. Make the characters hesistant to use excessive violence available to them, by for example including social situations, friends and relatives and innocents in the field of fire, valuable (religious ?) buildings, undercover situations, vitnesses to protect, the requirement of apparently unhurt prisoners etc.
  7. You are welcome! I would very much like to have all the books and info in searchable digital formats, but it's simply not worth the effort to scan my books in OCR-worthy quality and nowhere on the net can I find any digitalized versions that are properly searchable :-/ Some 40k-wikis are rather useful for info about the world. http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Main_Page is my favourite.
  8. I've used plenty of miniatures for my games. I'll try to share some thoughts. Scale is very important. I use different scales for different encounters in order to create different challenges. Due to practical reasons, the table I play on is hardly ever more than two meters across. So if I want a scenario where the groups CC specialists will shine I say "these two meters represent 20 meters in the game." If I want a scenario where the ranged specialists will shine I say "these two meters represent 1 km in the game". And of course any steps between those two extremes will create different challenges. Make sure to be very clear on how many meters equals one inch on the table. I use a clear plastic tablecloth that I bought cheap. On one side I've drawn a square grid of dots 1" apart with permanent marker. Onthe other side I use whiteboard markers to draw maps and wipe them off when we are done. Since the grid is on the "down side" of the plastics, I can even use cleaning gents to remove residue on the top side. Sometimes I print maps i find on the internet or photocopy from books and place them on the table under the plastic cloth. That way I can easily mark things on the playing table and still keep the map fresh for another occasion. Somtimes I can even be bothered to use some gaming terrain for extra 3D-fun. Old Necromunda parts, the boards from Space Hulk and any general WH40k-terrain has been used. I like to build my own minis for the acolytes. That takes a lot of time and is very appreciated by the players. Especially since none of us can draw at all, it is nice to have visualisations. Once a conversion of an imperial beastman stormtrooper turned out so nice that I had to incorporate them in the story only to get to use the model… Thes standard 40k models will of course match very differently with the scale of the map. This has so far not been a problem. So my answers would in short be: 1) I make a point of changing scales in order to present different challenges. 2) That depends on the scale I set and how much terrain I bring or how many walls I draw on the map. Variation is your friend. 3) On dakkadakka.com you can find a lot of resources concerning miniatures and how they are modded. It's not DH-specific thouh. Best of luck!
  9. Ha. Found it! Dark Heresy page 283 (at least in the first pre-errata printrun of the book). Fittingly, it is the very last paragraph of chapter X, the Inquisition :-)
  10. There are books where the names of dead acolytes are written down. Some of these books are kept at bastion serpentis. Some inquisitors keep their own books. Once such a book is written full of names from cover to cover, it is folded in gold and sent to Holy Terra to be placed in the throneroom of the Emperor, so that thos who died in his service can always be in his precense as a reward. At least that is the story that is told to the acolytes who go for suicidaly dangerous missions. As usual with anything concerning the Inquisition it probably somewhat true, but I doubt all inquisitors want to leave that sort of paper trail for the other inquisitors to see.
  11. KommissarK said: I've always played up this scenario in my head where the Ordo Chronos actually have a sleeper agent on every ship in the Imperium, who's solemn task is to reveal themselves the moment a ship is determined to have exited the warp before it entered, and to inform the senior staff of the protocols that they must now operate under. Ensure that whatever circumstances that caused them to leave in the first place still come about. Prevent any disruption of the space-time continuum If need be, destroy the ship itself to prevent any continuity errors. Something along those lines. Pretty much the "continuity police" of 40k. Excellent idea! I GMed a time travel adventure last year, it was basically the acolytes being pushed back in time, and their challenge was to make sure the things they had already experienced before the timetravel actaully came to pass. It is rather tricky to GM timetravel, but in a science-fantasy setting as the 40k universe you have access to more tools and a better suspension o disbelief to help you. This is the "natural laws" or mechanics that I created to make time travel have at least an internal logic: If you go back in time, then there will exist two versions of you. This is not liked by the universe and eventually things will arrange themselves so that one version gains prevalence and gets to keep existing, the other one will fade away or die more or less natural causes. By default this is the earlier non-traveled version of you, because the timetravelled version of you knows that it has travelled backwards in time and that is in itself a paradoxcreator. You may experience A paradox, that means you realise that "oh this isn't how it happened last time." Or "oops i killed my mum before I was concieved, how will I now come to exist?" These may of course be of diffreent severity. The version of you with the least acucmulated paradox will gain prevalence and eventually be allowed to keep existing. If the versions of you are kept far far apart, as in either different parts of the galaxy or several milennia apart. It is extremely unlikely that anyone of them will experience paradox and they will essentially keep existing as separate entities. Any communication or interaction between the two copies of you (such as the earlier you setting up a bio-coded vault of saings with a nice interest rate…) will build paradox and lead to the dissapearence/demise of one of them. This worked very well for a chapter inserted between book two and three in the harlock legacy , including creating a lot of confusion, panic and eventually very clever planning among both players and acolytes :-)
  12. One way that I often use is to have some sort of enemy to the cult that are not neccessary an ally to the acolytes. This might be a rivaling cult, the local gang of gangsters who dislikes what the cult is up to (maybe because it cuts into their monopoly on violence) or something as simple as the local enforcers if the acolytes are working so deep underover that they cannot even identify themselves as inquisitorials. With this trick I can have this other group give friendly hints to the acolytes, without coming forward and exposing themselves too much, they might after all be an illegal group on their own, or enforcers that are bribed/scared into silence but wants to help out secretly. Also a conflict between two illegitimate groups might cmpromise the security of both groups, thus leaving clues around. "why are there clawmarks on the wall here? This might be something else than a regular gang-shootout… we better call the inquisition!" Properly executed this will give you a legitimate deu-ex-machina as well as illustrating that this is a moving living world with lot of groups with their own agendas. Be prepared to have the adventure veer off your prepared path. Fortunately this sort of setup is rather dynamic and versatile if you simply prepare one or two NPCs that are heads of each organisation and try to roleplay them in your head. "So what would the Khorne cult do now that they know that their deamons have been spotted by members of the genestealer cult?" My players say I make adventures by the Onion-Model. Partly that they have secrets in layers that they peel off to get to the truth, but mostly because everyone stinks and makes people cry ;-) Best of Luck!
  13. I'll share some of my basic tricks for setting up a challenging combat: Location is the first thing I consider. Here are a few challenging things I've set up and enjoyed greatly. Ambush them while they are in a huge square. 400m to the closest cover. A handful of mooks with longlas/huntingrifles can hurt them badly while the heroes run for six rounds to get in range with their pistols. If they can even spot their attackers… For highlevel heroes: use vindicare assassin. In a basement. Turn off the lights, fill the room with smoke and send in the sonar-mutants with swords. Divide and conquer: Explosives under a bridge. Enemies on the other side with longrange weapons and a few with shields on their end of the bridge. As soon as the frontlne fighters are on the bridge, detonate explosives and see how they roll their swim-checks in all that armor. Also works with closing bulkheads in a spaceship. Disguise: Have a group of assassins hunt them. A lightning attack mono-knife in the back while you are at the market will hurt like hell and can give some epic hunt-scenes. For higher level characters, use a Callidus assassin dressed as a cop requesting to talk to them one at a time inside the precinct office. Once she has offed a few of them and they see through her disguise and attack her, every cop in there will join the fight agains the acolytes… awesome fun ^^ While they sleep/shower: Just kick in the door. No armor on. Very light weapons available (soap-on-a-rope: 1d5-1 Impact damage, primitive). Zero-G environment. Acrobatics test or float away if you move faster than slow move or fire any SP-weapon. Vacuum: Wear that AP:1 voidsuit instead of armor. Any hit you take will cause a rip. While you leak air, roll WP in order to do anything other than try to fix the leak. Numbers: Just make sure the weapons applied can damage the heroes with a reasonable chance, then take lots and lots of them. Remember to focus fire so you take down the heroes one at a time. If you want to be nasty, save the heavier weapons until later in the initiative step, when all the reactions have been spent. This also lets the players feel heroic. Set timers for them. Lava filling the room. Or set fire to things. Like the house they are in. Board up the door. Shoot them as they jump out from the upper floor windows. Make sure th timers are fairly short, so they can feel the pressure. Sleep deprivation/forced marsch: Take fatigue levels. Be less effective. Assymetric warfare: against hugely unfair odds like inside an airbase. Grab the **** you need and run like hell before enough reinforcements show up. (one squad of PDF/gangers every second turn should be enough…) At a fancy ball: Rapiers only, no other sidearms allowed. Will they risk the nobles dislike by smuggling in handguns under their skirts? Some challenging loadouts/combos that I have used: First line fighters with shields and defensive stance in a corridor. Second line fighters with whips and grenades. Hallucinogen grenades (or similiar crowd control, like shock, stun etc) A psyker with mind control effects that hides (maybe behind people with shields, maybe around the corner, maybe in one of the four hundred windows you can see along the street) and controls the characters into hurting eachother. Civilian bystanders that the group require the goodwill of. Combat drugs. Very destructive so not useful for heroes, but great fun for mooks. Pinning fire. Shotguns at point blank. Maneuver-action lets you move someone 1m, in order to shoot them with your shotgun rather than be stuck in melee with them. Some other general tricks: Have backup to be used if neccessary. Have five mooks in the ambush. If they don't hurt badly enough, have their backup of five or ten more come around the corner two rounds later. If the fight is already even, there was no backup. Set a pressing time. Let them regain fatepoints as the take an extended rest, rather than between each evening of play. Errata the rules for regaining wounds. They are plain silly and makes people live for ever with simple medicae-checks. Read up on the rules for initiative, reactions, actions etc. They are really not balanced and can be (ab)used in effective ways. Best of luck!
  14. Mellon

    Minis

    I'll give you a link to www.dakkadakka.com It is a very good wargaming community, with main focus on the 40k table top game. In the "News and rumors" forum you will find that people post links whenever any figure-making company releases new sets. Follow those links to find producers that have models you like.
  15. I stumbled over this video on the nets today and thought about this discussion of (forced) celibacy. *giggle* lgbtlaughs.tumblr.com/post/12227830418/video-description-three-nuns-with-halos-see-a
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