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ZillaPrime

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  1. Aramithius said: I've been having a similar issue, but it's not so much about the power level, but more the amount of choice you get. Almost everything comes pre-packaged, and a starting Feral World Guardsman is going to be very much similar to any other starting Feral World Guardsman. Even equipment is handed out on a plate in a "take it or leave it" fashion. There's no real way to customise starting characters. Why should all clerics have either been valets, cooks or copyists? I appreciate that there's some fairly broad skills at use in those descriptions, but the typecasting bugs me somewhat. And yes, I know the "galactic feudal order" is a get-out clause, but the starting characters as they are offer no "crunch" room to show why the acolyte was noticed by the Inquisitor in the first place. It is a bit hidden in all the character creation mess and the eratta, but the primary reason that all the "starting" skills and talents for DH careers are listed in the rank 1 lists is so the player and GM can customize character origins and starting packages and then still go back and buy the stuff they "traded away" with some XP. There is really no hard and fast rule, but I work with any player that presents a well reasoned character background, or when I am a player I do the same with the GM. One of the characters floating around in my campaign is a Battlefleet-born Imperial Psyker. She was the daughter of a Lunar Class Cruiser's XO and grew up in "officer country" prior to her powers manifesting and subsequent transfer to a different ship with black paint and no running lights... For this character the normal Psyker options for Trade(Soothsayer) or Trade(Merchant) simply didn't fit her background, so Trade(Valet) was substituted due to her service as a ship's paige as a child. If someone wanted to play an Atillan Guardsman then I would have the player remove Drive(Ground) from the Guardsman package and replace it with Wrangling, since an Atillan that doesn't know horses is an Atillan that died during their birth. If a player tells me that their new character comes from the ocean world of Spectoris then I am going to make sure that they end up starting with the Swim skill unless their concept speciffically revolves around their inability to swim. Same thing with starting gear. As long as it is reasonable and fits, I am willing to change it around some. One of our original characters was from Ganf Magna (a frontier world with an ork problem) and the player requested a combat shotgun in place of the standard issue lasgun. Since 40K fiction has solidly established that orks show more respect to projectile weapons than las weapons (because they make loud exciting banging noises instead of wimpy crack-zap sounds) this seemed like an entirely reasonable changeout, plus the idea of a bunch of redneck PDF with combat shotguns going out with the family dog and a cooler of beer to go greenskin huntin' was just too much fun to pass up!
  2. I am assuming this is the Canadian Amazon based on the post title? I can't really say much about the Canadian version, but Amazon.com (USA) is absolutely CRAP for FFG products! They don't ship until weeks or in some cases months after the book is on the shelves at my local game stores. They are pretty good at handling just about EVERYTHING else: novels, bluRays, CDs, game books from other publishers, etc... No real issue with the condition of books as they arrive, although UPS did manage to mangle a CD jewel case in one shipment. They of course offer substantial discounts on the game books sometimes, but if my players get the thing 2 months before I have my own copy then what good is it? All my DH/RT/DW books are therefore bought at my local stores to encourage them to remain open. Pretty sure one of my local stores is getting tired of my weekly calls regarding Daemonhunters, so hopefully FFG will take sympathy on our nice shopkeepers and ship the darn thing!
  3. Common Lore (Imperial Guard, War) cover everything that you are looking for and much, much more.
  4. I would rejoice to have character art half this good!
  5. Low damage autofire weapon: Autopistol from the core book. Flattens bullets on heretic armour quick as you please! Sword-like weapon that has poison inside of it: Tox Dispenser weapon upgrade from RT Into the Storm p.127 Adds Toxic quality to a modified melee weapon for one round by pushing a button, holds 10 doses. Rare availability, +0.75kg You really want a copy of this book if you don't have it. Recommend against holding this one in your teeth unless you are the Dread Pirate Roberts...
  6. Edit: Forum keeps glitching and cutting off this post. PRAISE THE OMNISSIAH! REJOICE IN THE PURITY OF THE MACHINE! +++++ <error>
  7. Since each of your players characters have their own distinctive motivations and it is a desperate, trapped oracle-daemon we are talking about here, take the time to think over what might tempt each individual character. Make it really tempting, even if it is something that is realisticlly unobtainable. Once you have a rough idea of what they might bite on, then when they find the mirrors take each player aside in private (the daemon is whispering to them telepathically, reading their thoughts, offering to say, do, promise whatever it must to obtain it's own release!). Play through the psychic discussion with each player separately like this and you just might get a bite! Most groups when offered a deal as a group will quickly reject it, either out of deep personal convictions and roots in the Imperial Creed or the desperate desire to appear pious and upstanding in front of a room full of Inquisitorial agents! I know of a group that had a character obtain (and USE!) a daemon-blade and a HALO device without most of their team knowing about it for a while, so such things are certainly possible.
  8. cobrausn said: Having said that, there is a kind of 'general philosophy' to the previous material - no specific philosophies mentioned, no groups maligned. The 'Joyous Choir' seems to do precisely that. I could easily see some room for getting offended if I were a Scientologist. I'm not, but I could see it. Fortunately for all our sensibilities, Scientologists are encouraged to cut ties with all non-cult members, so you are unlikely to have a problem like this crop up at your table. Likewise, there is a long standing tradition amongst sci-fi writers to more or less openly mock Scientology in their works, in no small part due to the cult's origin of a BET between L. Ron Hubbard and Isaac Asimov that Hubbard could not invent a religion... Please note that I am NOT mocking religion! Quite the opposite, actually. Money-grabbers and pedophiles should be mocked and ridiculed openly when they hide behind faith and make everyone else look bad. Baruch atah Adonai!
  9. I happen to really like the RT career flowchart system for building characters, and I don't really see any issue adapting it to work for DH characters other than the GM will have to do a little work in advance to fit the final DH careers into chart slots. You should probably stick to the "20-base" stats from DH though if you are planning to use the DH careers, as RT characters are considered 4,500XP characters before they spend a single XP on their careers due to all of their stats being 5 higher. Alternately, be very flexible and creative with new character's starting packages. I see no issue having people build on more than 400XP if that suits your game. Likewise, the new homeworld/origins from RT can be very easily adapted for DH without using the entire flowchart. Catachan IG use Death World origin and Guardsman career, Cadian IG use Fortress World origin and Guardsman career and so on. Heck, it might be fun to make a Rogue Trader scion Adept character for DH under the assumption that the Warrant of Trade is still in someone else's hands.... If the GM is particularly evil such a character might even belong to a branch-family that is connected to the Haarlock bloodline! As Macharias pointed out, the actual career titles are in most cases fairly flexible. The previously mentioned Guardsman career includes a choice of different weapons and equipment that would point to different origins. Your choice of a mercenary's license, a copy of the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer or an explosive collar makes it pretty clear that your character could be Imperial Guard, but could just as easily be a mercenary, AWOL naval armsman, penal legionare, an underhive ganger "heavy" or just about any semi-professional warrior-type that makes a living by brawn and skill at arms. The titles within the career ranks are even more "just there for flavour" and intended more to give the player a general idea of what the relative power level a character of that rank is at. So don't look at it as a literal title for the character (since you are all mooks, maggots, lackeys, minions, pawns, agents or whatever the Inquisitor reffers to them as now!) so much as "ok, so I am roughly as bad-ass as an Imperial Guard Sergeant now. Cool!" Before that goes to your head, realize that the skinny guy with the books is your social superior in every way, not to mention way less expendable! Perfect example: Very few characters that belong to the Scum career would actually reffer to themselves as "scum", but the Arbites character most likely does call you that, likely to your face.
  10. Some of the more notable SM rivalries and grudges that I can think of off the top of my head: Dark Angels vs. Space Wolves. Leman Russ demanded that Lion El'Johnson delay combat operations so that he could personally fight a foe that had insulted Russ. The Lion refused to call back his troops that were already fighting and an enraged Russ demanded a duel. The Lion punches Russ and knocks him unconscious. Russ declares himself "wronged by a cheap shot" and fights begin breaking out between Wolves and Angels. This is later downgraded to ritualized honour duels fought between chapter champions whenever Space Wolves and Dark Angels are in the same warzone. Dark Angels vs. Inquisition. Some Inquisitors are suspicious of the secretive and sometimes odd behaviour of the Dark Angels and their successor chapters, although they have a frustrating lack of proof that anything is amiss. Likewise, the Dark Angels are commonly considered some of the most fanatically loyal Space Marines to the Imperial cause, so their detractors often have political problems within the Imperial system at large. Space Wolves vs. Inquisition (Ordo Malleus). After participating in a major campaign alongside Imperial Guard and Grey Knights fighting a daemonic infestation the Wolves refuse to go along with Inquisitorial mandates and battlefield protocols that are standard procedure for actions taken beside Grey Knights: Mindcleansing for Astartes and termination for Guard. The Space Wolf refusal was not only on behalf of their own Marines, but also on behalf of the surviving Imperial Guard troops, going so far as to threaten violent actions. This blatant denial of Inquisitorial authority adds on to the issue of the "13th Great Company" and genetic-deviancy in general to make the Space Wolves very much on the Inquisition's "**** list" Black Templars vs. almost everyone. The Black Templars REALLY hate wytches! They refuse to make use of Librarians and detest and mistrust anyone who would make use of wytchcraft in any form. This includes almost every other Astartes chapter as well as the Scholastica Psycanna. The Templars grudgingly tolerate the Adeptus Astra Telepathica and the Navis Nobilitae out of necessity, but make a point of participating in highly ritualized scourging and purification rituals after even incidental contact with members of either organization. Ultramarines & most successor chapters vs. Minotaurs, Space Wolves, Black Templars etc. The Ultramarines' Primarch personally wrote the Codex Astartes that reorganized the Space Marine Legions into the current Chapter system after the Horus heresy, laying down battle formations, wargear allocations, squad and company formations and designations, insignia, tactics and so on. Chapters that openly and obviously reject the Codex template for chapter organization are considered to be morally suspect in the eyes of the strictly orthodox Ultramarines and take the open rejection of Guilliman's Codex to be a deep insult to the Primarch and his Chapter. Inquisition vs. Relictors. The Relictors Chapter takes a deeply radical approach of "using the tools of the enemy to fight the enemy". For obvious reasons, the Inquisition takes a dim view of an Astartes Chapter embracing the use of sorcery, daemonhosts, forbidden weapons and other ill-advised methodologies and has declared the entire chapter to be Heretics. Space Wolves vs. Thousand Sons (Chaos). Leman Russ and Magnus the Red always hated each-other, and when Magnus and his Legion refused to give up the use of sorcery Russ and the Space Wolves were sent to "deal with the problem" by order of Warmaster Horus. Due to the well-known discord between the two Primarchs it was not expected that Magnus would ever make the trip to Terra for trial, at least while still alive! Both Legions tore into each-other with such ferocity that there is a special level of hatred still simmering 10,000 years later. Death Guard (Chaos) vs. Emperor's Children (Chaos). A rivalry dating back to when both were loyal Legions, the severly plain and austere Death Guard and the lavishly decorated and "artistic" Emperor's Children have always clashed over just about anything. Decorations, ornamentation, insignia, battle tactics, demeanor... All are cause for discord. Since the Horus Heresy the discord has only grown since the Death Guard serve only Nurgle and the Emperor's Children embrace only Slaneesh. Iron Hands vs. Emperor's Children (Chaos). Once their Primarchs were the closest of friends, but in the early days of the Horus Heresy the Emperor's Children betrayed the Iron Hands while participating in combined combat operations, destroying a large percentage of the Iron Hands fleet and leaving them stranded. Later on Istvaan V the Iron Hands were almost completely destroyed. The flesh may be weak, but hatred is eternal! Blood Angels vs. Black Legion (Chaos). Warmaster Horus betrayed and ultimately murdered his former friend Sanguinius, the Primarch of the Blood Angels. No elaboration needed. Imperial Fists vs. Iron Warriors (Chaos). The loyalist and traitorous masters of fortification and siege warfare were rivals during the Great Crusade and the rivalry has grown into a soul-deep hatred after 10,000 years of heresy and betrayal. Howling Griffons, Crimson Fists and all Imperial forces vs. Soul Drinkers (Renegades/Chaos). The Soul Drinkers attacked the Adeptus Mechanicus over a matter of pride and then turned away from the Imperium. They are declared Excummunicatus Traitorus by the Inquisition. Due to painful encounters in battle with the Soul Drinkers, the Howling Griffons and Crimson Fists Chapters are especially hateful of the renegades. Blood Angels vs. Adeptus Mechanicus. Not so much battlefield rivals so much as a case of broken trust. The Blood Angels recovered a variant STC template for the Predator tank (dubbed the "Baal Predator" after the Blood Angel's homeworld) but refused to share the template with the Adeptus Mechanicus, opting to keep the design for themselves exclusively. Extreme pressure on behalf of the Mechanicus by the Adeptus Terra has been pointedly and stubbornly ignored by the Blood Angels for a few thousand years now. A guarded "cold war" status has existed between the Blood Angels and the machine cult ever since, although fleet maintenance and training of Techmarines continues. All loyalist Chapters vs. Alpha Legion (Chaos). Alpha Legion makes prolific and deliberate use of Imperial battle cries to goad and mock their opponents. Cries of "FOR THE EMPEROR!" from such obviously twisted and debased traitors causes even the most placid of the Emperor's servants to fits of bottomless rage! Ultramarines vs. Mortificators. The orthodox poster-boys of the Ultramarines are shocked and disgusted by the practices of the Mortificators (an Ultramarines successor chapter). The Mortificators make extensive use of the skulls of the fallen to decorate their ships and fortresses, participate in blood drinking rituals as well as many other dark and grisly Chapter Rites. That sons of Guilliman could descend to such barbarity is horrifying and repugnant to the Ultramarines, and relations are strained and tense at best. Only ancient oath-bonds keep the lid on this simmering issue... barely! Blood Angels vs. Space Wolves. The Blood Angels generally maintain that the Space Wolves are a feral pack of mongrel berserker rabble, barely even human. The Space Wolves in turn maintain that the Blood Angels are a bunch of effite pretty-boys who are more concerned with looking good than fighting. (I am struggling to not make a Twilight joke here...) Lots, lots more where this came from in this big, bad galaxy of ours.
  11. Kael said: I was always a fan of the VP/WP system seen in Spycraft and d20 Star Wars. HERESY! As I recall the D20 Star Wars system (EPIC fail, by the way!) had "Vitality Points" (AKA hit points) and then if you suffered a critical hit or ran out of VP then you suffered damage from your "Wound Points" (AKA the "other" hit points). Run out of WP and die.... Then they had Jedi spending VP to fuel their Force abilities! So your champion of the Light Side channels the Force (a sort of spiritual/life energy aura produced by all life) and slowly KILLS HIMSELF in so doing! Yes, that is right, you burn your VP (hit points) to do anything, a severely demented game mechanic that reeks strongly of the Dark Side. Then there is the whole level-based class system, BAB, Saving Throws.... BORING space combat... "Roll to hit the Tie Fighter, it has AC17, bang! It takes 12 damage" (Yawn!). The Saga edition replaced the spend VP mechanic with an adventure and scene destroying D&D 4th Ed version: You can use your Force abilities X times per day and then you are done! "Sorry, you have felt a disturbance three times and lifted a droid, you are done for the rest of the game!" There is a REASON Lucas pulled the SW licence from Wizards despite the fact that he owns controlling stock interest in the company! If FFG ever adopts such game mechanics that will be the last book they ever sell me. If you are really desperate for such tedious bookkeeping though you could browse eBay for a copy of Phoenix Command. After you spend an hour figuring out exactly which veins, arteries and muscles are hit by that one bullet (out of 7!) that just hit you I promise that the idea of hit points followed by critical damage will seem very sexy to you. The idea is to have a fast-moving game of dark investigators punctuated by burts of dramatic, over-the-top violence, so having characters take a few "glancing" hits followed by a catastrophic loss of half their intestines seems to be a reasonably adequate compromise. One of the perks of the current DH/RT/DW wounds/criticals system is that it can definately convey a sense of magnitude to encounters (something that the Warhammer 40K universe definately requires!). My group consists of a bunch of tough and skilled Throne Agents (Ascension-level game) that can laugh off mobs of cultists and other rabble. Recently they tangled with a bunch of traitor Chaos Marines and the bastards took a SERIOUS beating to put down! Furthermore, one or two hits on an Inquisition agent usually had them coughing up a Fate Point or rolling around in a pool of their own blood. Ditching the Wounds stat in this case would have made the enemy just another batch of mooks with nice gear, something that would have been detrimental to the feel and setting of the game. Just putting ONE Terminator down felt like a real accomplishment! Likewise, if a Hive Tyrant goes into criticals on the first wounding hit then does it really deserve it's name?
  12. A mature Psyker or daemons would be a nasty thing to inflict on level 1 acolytes, but they should be able to handle a fairly weak Psyker (say Psy Rating 2 or so) and you could further tame them by making the little pest a budding Sorcerer (+2 power thresholds and manifesting powers is a full action as they "cast the spell"). Toss in some cultists and perhaps a few semi-innocent dupes (like the would-be Sorcerer's unknowing family who try to protect Junior from those scary strangers!). One fun trick I have found works well is if you have a big glaring hole in your group and want a few staple skills covered, build an Elite Package that is tied in to service to their particular Inquisitor that reflects a few skills and talents that he considers to be "vital to service to me and the Throne" and grant your players access to the package as soon as they are recruited. Inquiry, Scrutiny, a few lore skills that cover their duties to the Inquisition as well as their "mercenary Rogue Trader troops" cover-role plus whatever else you deem important for the team to know. If there are talents or skills you want them to eventually pick up but not "right away" you can always slap on an extra prerequisite to the item in question (as pertains to the Elite Package) such as WP40, Level 4 or whatever you think is appropriate. This way the scholarly ways of your Inquisitor and the more agressive ways of his Interrogator can be reflected in the acolytes that serve them. For example, I would expect the acolytes serving Inquisitor Kaede would have a very different skill set than a cell of acolytes serving Inquisitor Reikhus. I would probably make an alternate starting package for the chaos-world survivor assassin with an eye towards adding Jaded, Dark Soul, a suitable Forbidden Lore skill based on what happened on the planet and probably a handful of insanity and corruption points. Seems like a pretty cool setup overall, but I am not sure anyone is going to fall for the 2.8m implant and ward-riddled "supermen" masquerading as common (or even very uncommon) mercenaries though. Consider putting a pair of barracks and lighter bay in the RT ship and then either mounting drop-pods or an ancient archeotech teleportarium on board the ship. The first barracks are for Honest-to-Throne troopers kitted out like mercenary or RT House troops. The second (possibly hidden) barracks is where the Grey Knights lurk and train. I would probably include an Appothecarion in the ship too, for when the inevitable "random annoying bad stuff" happens. Mortally wounded Astartes definately require "special" medical care that a closet full of bandages and morphine just won't cover. Grey Knights would likewise be upset to serve on a ship without a chappel devoted to the Emperor onboard.
  13. If you own Deathwatch then you can do some pretty exciting large-scale fights with the horde rules. Keep in mind though, the horde rules were written to make large mobs of trash dangerous to Space Marines (seriously hard customers!) so when the horde DOES hit someone it will be HARD! It makes a GM's life much easier to manage though and fights go much faster than stopping and rolling for each of 900 gretchin to roll attacks. The flamer and heavy stubber troopers will each feel more important to the team, and a single good lasgun shot will still likely produce some results "I got one, Sarge!" Rather than swamping them under with one or two huge hordes (with corresponding huge damage from hits!) try fielding several smaller magnitude hordes. If you give the players a few hordes of mook PDF or IG troops to command then they can soak up alot of the incoming greenskin punishment, which lets you throw more nasty orks and gretchin at them. If you also own Rites of Battle or Into the Storm then you can include a few Killa Kans, Truks, Bikes, Deff Dreds or some other wacky contraption. If you inflict this on them then maybe have a conveniently placed dead heavy weapons team (missile launcher with 2 Krak and 1 Frag missiles remaining or whatever makes you happy.) or a few spare Krak grenades/Melta Bombs so someone can do some stupidly brave deed and save their mates. If you end up making it way too overkill then tack on a scene where they get a shot at a Boss and his Nob retinue, then give them a Fate Point if they manage to take the Boss down, since it is going to be a dramatic turning point in any fight with orks. This way they can earn back a fate point in a heroic way after you bleed them of too many without just flat out saying "yeah, I goofed that up, sorry."
  14. My own game is more current to the overall 40K timeline (very, very early M42) since the official Calixis Sector timeline puts the date about the time of Eisenhorn's adventures and WAY before the Gaunt's Ghosts, Ciaphus Caine and 13th Black Crusade storylines. As popular as this material is it was just NOT going to be "pretend that never happened, because that has not happened yet" with my group. Since I tend to re-write the player handouts in the published adventures anyways it is very simple to just change the dates.
  15. The Joyous Choir are TOTALLY Scientologists, right down to the blatant smiling lies and the DERPy e-meters! My group had so much fun unearthing their BS and eventually (after a sequel adventure) having the entire cult declared heretics and excommunicated.
  16. Very much case by case and situation appropriate. Supression Shield for an Arbitrator? Cool. Hellpistol for an IG officer/sergeant serving the Inquisition? If it suits the mission. Kineblades for a Telekine? They are just gimicky-monoblades, so why not? Exitus Weapons System? **** no! Daemonhammer? Do you want to NEED a Daemonhammer?! Same idea with stuff in Rogue Trader. I just sorta approximated the prices where absolutely needed, or made it where there is really no chance to stop and loot bodies, but the Interrogator distributed a shiny new bolt pistol and chainsword to the team to use as they see fit for the mission (for example). Perhaps that fancy new twin-barreled lasgun is perfectly maintained and functional, but there is a huge gouge hacked deeply along the well polished wooden stock.... Or the previous owner clearly was fond of the weapon and has apparently named it "Betty" as the crude but loving etchings indicate. WAY cooler than "Uh, so yeah, the dude gives you all a laspistol, a microbead and 100 Thrones". Take the stats for an Archeotech Laspistol from RT, remove the Reliable quality from the item and describe it as an experimental laspistol produced by the Solex sect of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Now hand this weapon over to a trusted acolyte and watch their reaction when they realize what they have been entrusted with! Wargear can drive plot and pathos if handled right. Character background, mission history, Inquisitor's style and the chance of success requiring a piece of gear or hinging on a piece of wargear not being seen by someone should all factor in of course! No Power Armour for that undercover mission where you infiltrate a Schola Progenium Prom, for example! Wearing a Shuriken Pistol on your belt to attract the attention of a suspected Cold Guilder: Well, maybe if your Inquisitor is a bit "flexible"...
  17. You could always start them off on Grotz an' Gobboz for the 'orible greenskinz! Da big 'uns is bus..bus... occupied with krumpin' ova tha fat lootz! At first, anyways! If someone took Heavy Weapon (Primitive) then you can reward them with a completely gratuitous Roman-style Scorpion, WFB Boltthrower or other siege engine of dubious merit for their abuse and amusement! Basic (primitive) sucks alot less when you can pick up a crossbow and not be out of bullets, or for the bold, a looted Grotblasta! "Wow, did you just roll a 91-100 to hit? Oooh...." If a player willingly does the heroic sacrifice thing, perhaps slip the player a free reroll on their Divination/Sanctioning if they so desire and an extra fate point? If you do not abuse Army of Darkness puns with this one I will be a little sad. Also, some guy with a lasgun, monoaxe and flak coat is going to be pretty darn heroic when faced by packs of hillbillies in leather and chain, so you can be a little more aggressive with this one for a starting group. Besides, "there are only 350 of them, I can take them!" SHOULD end badly (and full of comedy value!) if the players are that dumb!
  18. I would actually start your group off with Edge of Darkness (free download from FFG). It is a great intro adventure and honestly one of the best RP products I have ever not had to pay for! From there either run something of your own design or dive into TF or PTU. If you have a few missions logged then you might want to run a "bridge" adventure where the team gets captured and then immediately move into TF... Something to explain the "hey wait, how did we end up like this?" if it helps your story continuity. Alternately you could start with a HEAVILY rewritten Shatterd Hope (another freebie) and replace the goofy chaos crystal at the end with some sort of horrible but non-lethal xenos-tech trap! (The Beast House wanted to capture some really BIG muties for the cages, but hey, lookie wha we found here!) and again move into TF. PtU has alot of potential, and the first two adventures are pretty fun! If you are wading in here it is best to do Rejoyce! once a few of the characters have had a chance to develop a few social skills and talents. Shades is pretty much a "Get on the shuttle, duty calls NOW!" kind of thing, so it fits into just about any time slot where the team is in the Scintilla system. Baron is one with alot of potential but it really needs some loving GM reworking. In particular the waves of "bad things" (avoiding spoilers) would be much improved by the horde rules in Deathwatch if the team has much gear. When I ran TF most of the team was rank 5-6 so I ran an entire mission as "setup" for it, the endgame being that the team gets captured investigating a pleasure cult (the point being to get them out of armour so I could go non-lethal!). They put up enough of a fight that they didn't feel like chumps AND they went in already with a big grudge to settle against the baddies. About half of the survivors took elite advances in Hatred (Beast House) after I was done, which makes my evil GM heart proud! House of Dust and Ash is also a good one to run prior to TF if you want to lay some background down ahead of time. The general idea is to let them get to around rank 3 or so before you start stomping on their groins with the more brutal missions so they have a chance if they play things smart and use teamwork. Worst case, they all die horribly and the NEW group of acolytes gets to look into the mysterious case of their missing predicessors!
  19. I ran Damned Cities as my group's first Ascension mission, so I padded the story with some of my own material and obviously buffed up the challenges a bit. I included Spectre Cell 17, adding a second soldier type (An ex-hive ganger scum kitted out the same as Dray) and a militant cleric type (Eviscerator, light power armour, exterminator, gauntlet-mount bolt pistol) to the mix and buffed them all up to the equivalent of Rank 7 acolytes. Their leader had a boltpistol cyberskull, a MIU-linked plasma pistol, voxcaster and teleport homer. The sniper's initial ammo loadout consisted of Tempest bolt shell, Psycannon bolt shell, standard bolt shell, plus a few reloads of normal bolts. Those with bolters had AGLs and the trooper types had plenty of grenade options. The team had the Mandato agents tailing them dead to rights and had cracked their coms, but there was the ongoing mystery of who or what else was operating on Sinophia. When they were pursuing a fleeing Mandato agent they round the corner on a rain soaked alley only to find the agent lying on the cobbles with a very fresh powersword wound through the chest: fast, clean kill! The pursuit threatened to reveal Spectre Cell 17's presence, so the Mandato agent was swiftly slain while out of visual contact... Subsequent inquiries as to possible powersword users kept leading to vague references to nobles or shrugs and gestures in the direction of their own Inquisitor (with a best quality Kantrael Power Sword on her hip!). Later, when the Throne Agents were looking into another Risen incident (the local Enforcers are out in force by this point due to open fighting in the streets, Spectre Cell 17 reveal themselves to some of the Enforcer teams, flash the badges and claim that they need assistance to take down a gang of heavily armed heretics. All they have to do is target an Arbites Rhino with speciffic hull markings with their heavy weapons and then clear out... So the team's borrowed Rhino takes a few Krak missiles (as well as a few missed shots, a bonus clue for the observant!) Now that they are forced to work on foot, Cell 17 springs an ambush along one of the river tributaries. The sniper's target priority was Magos (the HUGE scary flying bastard that swims through bullets), Psyker (Biokene healer/Templar Calixis), then Inquisitor (Stubborn Cadian ex-IG officer). Considering the skills and wargear of Cell 17's sniper plus the constant rain on Sinophia her concealment was something like 8 degrees of success! Some of the big brutes were spotted just as the ambush was getting triggered, but the opening act was a bolt shell from out of "nowhere" dropping the team's Techpriest to the ground! This was a NASTY fight and to be honest it was probably the best part of the entire mission! In the end we had the Magos fighting with head crits from the start, the Adept playing dead with some bolter shrapnel in her intestines, the Psyker with a burnt fate point (Psycannon bolt to the head.... OUCH!), the Inquisitor with a cracked helmet and a nasty head wound, the Cleric (light power armour and rosarius!) with "minor" bolt wounds all over her body (she was deliberately taking fire from two bolters to shield others on the team) and the Guardsman/Cyborg's armour covered in steaming divots and craters from an amazing string of bad damage rolls hitting his carapace. Spectre Cell 17 Lost their Cleric when the Magos grappled him with his servo arm and proceded to literally tear him in half!! Likewise, their big Guardsman was incinerated by a massive blast of plasma and his own detonating ammo! Their Psyker was unconscious and bleeding with a severed arm and several of the remainder were starting to get pinned down when their Prime called for teleport evac. Much drama and heightened pulses! They managed to stabilize the Psyker and eventually break him (harder than it should have been, even for a trained Wytch!) which allowed me to drop some extra hints and clues that pointed towards Haarlock 3! The key here is to know your team's capabilities and push them hard when the story calls for it! Then make sure it is FUN! And yes, the team's Magos made **** sure to hijack the cyberskull from it's surprised owner! Survivors of course get to thicken the plot for Haarlock 3!
  20. Eisenhorn was Ordo Hereticus. As mentioned above, an Ordo Xenos group is perfectly viable in the setting, even though not quite in the Calixis Sector limelight. Many of the usual "high presence" xenos breeds make themselves scarce in this sector, and the xenos that are active mostly fall into two categories: The Ork/Beasthouse vulgarly obvious category and the annoyingly subtle and concealed variety of the Cold Trade, <EXPUNGED> and <EXPUNGED>. There is a lovely alternate rank in Inquisitor's Handbook that any self respecting Ordo Xenos Adept would be hard pressed to justify avoiding as well as a more widely available xenos-themed one from Rogue Trader (Into the Storm). Start off with low level human (or mostly human! ) mooks, minions and agents, then move up towards the teams first pants-soiling encounter with a big bad filthy authentic xenos critter... or 5! Perhaps work in a few little missions and then move them into an expanded and updated version of Maggots in the Meat (from the GM screen)? Malleus has the big obvious Tyrant Star to chase, along with all the horrible doomsday cults surrounding it. Hereticus in the Calixis Sector is simply swamped with things to do, cults to investigate, heresies to reveal, miscreants to crush and a million other miriad tasks to handle before you finish drinking your recaff. Xenos? Yeah, you are the poor misbegotten redheadded stepchildren of the Conclave, and you have a nasty, thankless job to do. No glory for the workhorse, but then maybe your many enemies might not notice your activities for long enough to get some work done! Hey, it is a big, nasty galaxy out there boys and girls! I would tell you a tiny fraction of it, but I figure you might want to sleep sometime next month. The Emperor Protects! Now lock that **** door and do NOT look out no matter what you hear, do you understand me?! For a Xenos focused campaign you would do well to make liberal use of Rogue Trader material. Heck, if your team makes it up past 5000xp then perhaps allow players to replace dead acolytes with RT characters that fit well with the existing team structure if they desire? If the Inquisitor and Rogue Trader have a working arrangement you could turn this into an awesome crossover possibility. Also of note: If you are agents of the Ordo Xenos and your investigations uncover a nasty heretical cult, sure you could hand the case over to a Hereticus team that is in the area... Assuming they are in the area! The Inquisition follows a fairly strict "you found it, you tell us what you found and then fix that **** right now!" protocol. If that Hereticus team can even be reached and convinced to drop what they are doing ("We have been on the trail of a rogue coven of Wytches for 3 years now, what could possibly be so important?!") they might still be a minimum of 26 days travel away... And the cult has a horrible ritual scheduled for exactly 73.4 hours from now when the two moons of this world eclipse each-other! Guess what?! It just became a Xenos mission! Avoid most xenos threats from the Deathwatch books until about rank 6 or you WILL be replacing a missing acolyte team!
  21. bobh said: version 1-41 is underway To see ChangesAdditions so far go to Rogue Trader Ship Utilities Yay! Is this the BFK update? I eagerly await the update!
  22. Normal DH allows you to spend a FP to improve a roll by 1 degree of success if it is successful or attempt a re-roll if it is a failure. Ascention ups this to adding 2 degrees of success with a spent FP. I simply added a house rule that allows my players (and NPCs with FP!) to spend a FP to convert a basic failure into a basic success. I feel that it is comfortably within the spirit of the rules, especially since it still rewards a successful roll more.
  23. My solution has been pretty straightforward, and has roots in both the earlier edition game rules as well as the 40k universe fiction. In particular, almost all lasguns (exception being Longlas and other specialist/civilian kit) have full auto, guardsmen switching over to this fire mode with shocking regularity in more novels than I care to recount here. Second, earlier editions of 40K (and Necromunda) all have Lasguns sporting a respectable armour penetration rating. Both Lasguns and Boltguns of that time had a -1 AP, enough to completely IGNORE Flak and reduced the effectiveness of everything else slightly. Lasguns have since lost their AP ability somehow with the change in tabletop armour rules, Flak was improved to 5+ save and the Boltgun was set to AP5 to continue ignoring it. Therefore: All non-specialist Lasguns gain 1 extra penetration to their profile (should have probably set it to 2, but it has been going ok so far) and gain a Full-Auto fire mode equal to twice their burst-fire rate (in most cases 6). Thus: Mark III Lasgun 100m 1D10+3 E S/3/6 AP1 Clip:60 R:full Reliable The most common Lasgun in the galaxy! Kantrael Pattern Lasgun 100m 1D10+3 E S/3/6 AP1 Clip:60 R:full Reliable, Bayonet-mount Cadian model Lasgun. And so on.... Not overpowering, but it at least makes the poor Lasgun a viable weapon choice. Hotshots and Overcharge packs can further modify these, naturally. While I am at it, the Hellgun stats in Ascention are just plain WRONG in regards to range. TT Lasgun 24" = DH 100m, so therefore a TT Hellgun 18" =/= 50m, it should be 75m! Pattern is likewise WRONG! Note that Cadia is not a Forgeworld. Kantrael Pattern Hellgun 75m S/3/- 1D10+4 E AP7 Clip:40(beltpack)/150(backpack) R:2full Targeter (may mount aditional sight) The Lucius Pattern Hellgun in RT has a range of 110m and lacks the integral targeter. Pretty much the same otherwise.
  24. Into the Storm: Aquila Lander, Arvus Lighter, Calixis-Pattern Fury Interceptor, Chiropteran Scout, Drop Pod, Gun-cutter, Halo Barge, Hephaestus Ore Seeker, Land Speeder, Rhino APC, Scout Bike, Sentinel Walker, Venator Pattern Air Yacht, Warbike (Ork) Rites of Battle: Astartes Drop Pod, Land Raider, Land Raider Crusader, Land Raider Helios, Land Raider, Prometheus, Land Raider Redeemer, Land Raider Terminus Ultra, Astartes Land Speeder, Land Speeder Tempest, Land Speeder Storm, Space Marine Bike, Predator Tank, Rhino APC, Damocles Command Rhino, Razorback APC, Space Marine Dreadnought, Ironclad Dreadnought, Thunderhawk Gunship, Stormraven Gunship, Vindicator, Whirlwind, Warhound Titan, Chaos Harbinger Heavy Bomber, Dreadclaw Drop Pod, Chaos Hell Blade Fighter, Chaos Hell Talon Fighter-Bomber, Chaos Space Marine Dreadnought, Defiler, Hammerhead Gunship, Orca Dropship, Piranha Scout Skimmer, Remora Stealth Drone Fighter, Sky Ray Missile Defense Gunship, Tetra Scout Speeder, Tiger Shark Fighter-Bomber Notice the trend of more goodies in the newer book? Yeah, me too! I expect much Imperial Guard and Navy love to hit the shelves later this year (probably suspiciously close to Gencon). If you get desperate for stats in the meantime, pick something close above and start tweaking the armour values and weapon mounts as appropriate. Most of the guns you need have stats now. Oh yeah, and Rites of Battle has Tau Marker Light rules too. I should note that in my game we now use a house rule that all plasma and melta weapons have an extra 1D10 added to their base weapon profile, because even with the maximal-fire rule for plasma they STILL sucked @ss! Likewise, meltas at short range have double the listed penetration. Yes, they are finally able to annoy a vehicle!
  25. Nice! My only question on seeing your write-up is that they use Ciphers and Secret Tongue (War Cant): Their secret means of communication is Imperial Guard battle language? I would have thought they would develop their own, somewhat more exclusive code language. Sooner or later they WILL be found out when any Sergeant can freely translate their codes. Very nice work! (And yes, I made sure to download a copy! Thanks for posting.)
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