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K0balt

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  1. Use correct access code, walk in, help self to recaff, pick up research, scribble insulting note on piece of flensed minion skin, leave. The way to beat an impenetrable fortress is not to penetrate it, it's to get someone to let you in. Ultimately, however convoluted the security protocols, there must be a way to disable them and get in or out, or he wouldn't have bothered building the place in the first place. Thought #1 - extract appropriate access procedures from enemy minion Thought #2 - make him think you've got hold of the access procedures, convince him you can and will make a play for the vault contents, then when he either goes to reinforce the defences or move the research, you have a window to get in where the self-destruct must be disabled. Thought #3 - find something to offer that he wants more than the research. "Continued Existance" is usually a good starting point. Haywire charges are a good idea. Problem is procuring them, but it'd work. As to why I dismiss sorcery, it's just because it's too obvious a solution, and I wanted to see what people would come up with without having recourse to it. And since it's conceivable to create a sensor for it (considering all the techno-arcane stuff that goes on in the Vortex), the lab might be secure against it too, you never know... Of course, having the correct access codes is the easiest solution... but what if it is a complex, encrypted code, broadcast by an implant of the heretek when he activates it? You could hijack it (but that would leave a very dead heretek, but if that's no problem...) or try to record and break it (but that would require baiting him into going to the facility and access to a pretty powerful cogitator, which is another idea for a plot hook I guess...). And if the guy is paranoid/secretive enough to prefer losing his research to having it stolen from him, I doubt he'd confide in any minion... Anyway thanks a bunch for the ideas!
  2. Ok I don't know exactly what "1/7th of Nurgle" is, since Nurgle isn't quantifiable, and you can't encounter him out of the Warp, but this is how it should have gone: Roll for Toughness at -150 (just to be sure)! You rot on your feet. All that is left is little puddles. Roll new characters.
  3. Which one? The lexicanum and wiki both are severely lacking, and I don't imagine the csm codex mentioning much about navigation. [citation needed] The Astronomican is centered on Terra, shining to the edges of the galaxy. The Astronomican definitely shines throughout the Eye of Terror. The Eye of Terror is just a rift between realspace and The Immaterium, and as far as I know, there's absolutely no reason the Eye of Terror would somehow block the Light of the Astronomican. If you know of the way the forces of Chaos navigates in general, you've got me bested. By all means, explain how they do it, or cite a source. And why wouldn't they? Pride? The Astronomican is hardly a "nightstand lamp" - it's an enormous psychic beacon that is at a fixed location in both the Materium and the Immaterium - something that, as far as I know, doesn't otherwise exist.While I do not contend that there are other ways to navigate the warp, because there certainly are several ways, all which are incredibly taxing or otherwise inefficient, to say that the forces of chaos have "since long developped methods" to navigate the Warp is unfounded hogwash. The more powerful servants of Chaos (CSM, Daemon Princes, etc) surely stick to techno-arcane sorcery and the favours of their dark masters, of this I am sure and fully agree with you on. But not only is only a comparative minuscule amount of humanity truly dedicated to the dark gods, but even the vast majority of those, the Lost and the Damned, would not be directly favoured by their black patrons, nor have access to means of travel aside from what they had when they left the Imperium, but more importantly; they have no cause to abandon this form of transportation for as long as the Astronomican remains, nor direct access to the resources needed to make the transition(s) needed once it's not. In order: -I have no citation for that, true. What I do have is a number of examples of my thesis, and none of Heretics using the Astronomican. Not to say that doesn't happen (I went a bit overboard on that one, granted), but given the sparse nature of evidence when it comes to 40k fluff, I call that (circumstantial if you wish) evidence. -It does, as seen in the novel Angel Exterminatus. The fleets of Perturabo and Fulgrim have to be guided in by Dark Eldar. -What I have are examples. Octavia and Ruven in the Night Lords trilogy (one cannot see the beacon and relies on sorcerous powers, the other is a Navigator but learns to do without it); the Word Bearers fleet in the Word Bearers trilogy (navigators are mentionned, but again, the light of the Astronomican is conspicuously absent from any description); Honsou attacks Ultramar and appears suddenly in system within range of the orbital defenses (which no navigator can do, at least not that purposefully); in Execution Hour, a daemonhost guides a ship more easily and accurately than a navigator would; Typhus guiding the Death Guard to Nurgle's loving bosom; etc.. I have other examples of this, but this is already plenty. -Pride? No. Hatred? **** yes. Hatred is the most powerful motivator known to man, and I'm not even considering Heretics here, just regular human beings. 10000 years is plenty enough to be considered "since long". Unfounded hogwash? See above. And they seem more precise to me, since Chaos fleets seem to have way more accuracy in where they strike compared to the numerous accounts of lost Imperial fleets... And those Lost and Damned you mention own their own ships? And move on their own, unbidden by other masters? Then they are pretty powerful already, and the Captain of such a ship could certainly curry favour with the Dark Gods. The heretics that stay in realspace and don't hide where the Astronomican don't shine (namely the Eye, Vortex, Maelstrom or some such) generally don't last long; conversely, going into a previously mentioned warpstorm with just a navigator is considered suicide (by the navigators themselves, see p. 327 of the Black Crusade Core Rulebook, in the first paragraphs). So either the Heretics have another, reliable way of navigating the Vortex or... or nothing. They just die or get lost. Most of the Lost and Damned that you describe are either the troops of those powerful Champions, and generally have little say in their fate, or live on chaotic planets and rarely take ships to go anywhere. The only heretics that I would see (grudgingly) use the Astronomican are those that try to pass for Imperials. Edited for clarity, grammar, spelling, and citations.
  4. First question: I think a Heretic would find the very idea disgusting. And rarely do I see a mention in fluff of Chaos navigation and Astronomican. I mean, cultists creating psychic beacons through sacrifices to invite chaos invasions? mentionned. Fallen navigators learning to feel the Warp rather than simply interpret its currents? mentionned. Sorcerers, bound daemonhosts, weird abaci, rituals? mentionned. Good-old navigators relying on the Astronomican to guide a chaotic ship? I'm sorry, but no example comes to mind. I don't say they don't exist. I'm saying that other heretical methods of navigating the warp exist, and they tend to have the favour of, well, Heretics. Second question: as directly quoted from my previous post: "Imperials, deprived of the Astronomican, would be lost, yes." As lost as someone in a storm, on an ocean, without compass, map or any kind of navigation tool. They're doomed to remain stuck in their own sector/sub-sector. At least until they resort to more heretical methods.
  5. Chaotic ships in no way use the Astronomican, and yet they still manage impressive jumps, even going in and out of the Eye of Terror, which is probably the most dangerous zone of "realspace" (if such a term can be applied to it), and in which the light of the Astronomican certainly doesn't shine. It's perfectly doable. Example: a Word Bearers armada jumping from the Eye directly to Ultramar, unnoticed before they arrive. Honsou does the same. The Eye and Ultramar are at opposite points of the galaxy. I remember a short story about an Imperial ship being followed in the Warp by a chaotic ship, to which the ship's captain remarks it's theoretically impossible. Imperials, deprived of the Astronomican, would be lost, yes. Heretics have since long developped methods that simply do not require it at all. You can have your interpretation of the fluff, sure, but most of the written material makes me pretty sure that what I say is "canon". And remember: we're not talking about rational people here. I don't picture most Heretics willingly guiding themselves with the Corpse-Emperor's nightstand lamp.
  6. First of all, I dare say that chaotic ships travel in a safer way through the Warp. Some ships are lost, true, but most chaos fleets happen (mostly) exactly where they want when they want, or most Crusades wouldn't pose even a threat to the Imperium. Sorcerers, rituals, bound daemonhosts, the favour of the Gods, pick your choice... see the example of Octavia in the Night Lords trilogy (recommend the read). She (a navigator) learns pretty quickly how to manage without the light of the Astronomican. It's not fleshed out, but it's precisely the lack of occurences of chaotic ships getting lost in the fluff that makes me say they have reliable methods (if sometimes a bit more fickle...) As for the survival of humankind: space is vast. Finding an inhabited system, or even a sub-sector, or even a sector, at random is very unlikely. So no, humanity wouldn't be wiped out, it would only be stranded, and while many worlds would be destroyed, thousands more would still exist peacefully in space, ignored by xenos species that have either no interest in or no way of happening upon the world. Humanity survived the Age of Strife, it can endure some more I think. The Astronomican is one of the first major institutions founded by the Emperor after the Unification of Terra. My guess is that as long as he was alive and in full control of his abilities, channeling the energies of psykers bound to him to create a psychic beacon only took a fraction of his attention, no matter how far he was. Plus the Warp was extremely calm during the Great Crusade, up until the Heresy.
  7. You mean Imperials rather than humankind. There are other ways to guide a ship in the Warp (and Chaos ships are more seldom lost than Imperial ones...). The most immediate consequence would be that travel beyond a sector or even a sub sector would be impossible (as in most ships would get lost) if you previously relied on a navigator.
  8. Void shields prevent teleportation.
  9. An army needs far more than commanders. A military campaign can only be as good as its logistics, intelligence, and quality of equipment. The psyker and Heretek should find plenty to do here. As for the Berserker, beyond being an ideal shock trooper, I can't really say without knowing how far he is descended into bloody lust and madness... If he has no talent or interest beyond combat, well... If he has, he should find himself a purpose. As for the general feel of the game, let the characters be powerful. And put powerful enemies in their paths. Enemies powerful enough that they can't just count on brute force and rerolls to take them down. This can be achieved several ways: daemon princes, secret cults, the inquisition, spess mahreens, etc... Basically, let them have all the power they want. Then give them problems which their power alone cannot solve.
  10. Well, yeah, blind grenades would create an impenetrable cloud that would certainly distract the Auspex to the exact position of the Heretics, but it would still set it off... About the macguffin stuff, that sounds like a good idea, but I'm loathe to use them. I'll have to think about it. What I would do in that case is to set Gun-Cutter with its back hatch open and position it so that when the research is vented the Gun-cutter catches it all. Then I would intentionally trigger the system. If it choose lock down instead then get a las-cutter and breach the door. Toss a blind granade and take out the defenses before the smoke clears. Quick, clean, efficient. Voided as in entirely deleted, blown up, dissolved in acid or otherwise irredeemably destroyed. Simply launching it into space would be the worst idea possible for data "protection" by orders of magnitude. Sorry about the confusion.
  11. The blind grenade wouldn't do much... it's not a camera, their are no optics to blind or damage. The native lifeform thing would work (as long as native lifeforms are even a thing...). IR & Darksight are nice, but if it were me setting up an Auspex I think I would set it to register something a bit more exotic (heartbeats? or other kinds of body radiations?). And what if a tech-priest sets a servitor with an auspex for the sole purpose of regularly switching between channels? Distractions are nice, sure. But what if there are no people to distract, just automated sensors? Imagine this set-up: A Heretek has set up a secret lab. It is currently empty, save for the automated defenses (he's a heretek, AI limitations don't apply to him). Any alert of any kind would either A. initiate a lockdown or B. void the research the PCs have come to get. How do you handle that, even assuming you have full details of the security measures (blueprints, traps, cameras, wavelengths recorded, etc...)? Thanks for the answers!
  12. So, I have a bit of a conundrum. An Auspex can detect life signs, it can detect radiation, EM, it also apparently functions as a spectrometer (since they are able to detect gasses and analyse the composition of materials). Yes, we are able to detect/register those in actual modern-day life, but not with the ease of use/range that these seem to have. Especially if you assume that this is all done by the same handheld device (which, given the level of technology in the Imperium, is not hard to believe). So my question is this: how do you sneak by an Auspex wielded by a competent user? A regular Auspex has an Availability of Scarce (so best quality would only be very rare), which would make it relatively ubiquitous in settings where their use would be highly beneficial (armed forces, security, labs, etc...). Ubiquitous enough that I can't imagine how one would avoid detection, especially if they are fine-tuned by a tech-priest to detect intruders (which isn't far-fetched). So... apart from psychic powers and sorcery, are there any technological/biological countermeasures to Auspex detection? How do you handle this particular problem, which is two-fold: how is it conceivable for PCs to sneak by any well-equipped force, and conversely, how could anything sneak by them?
  13. As a GM, I tend to heavily favour humans, because I enjoy making "whole" characters with flaws, hopes and ambitions, and Xenos just don't allow you to do that in the same way, as they all have some trait that trump their personality (orkish love of fighting, eldar selflessness and will to survive as a species, necron logic and lack of emotion, etc...). Which is not to say they don't play their part, but one that's usually more contrite and to the point. I like that they remain alien to the players. However, daemons, being mainly embodiments of emotions, ideals and flaws, make good pseudo-humans with more aetheric goals, that don't HAVE to make sense. All daemons of Khorne need not be all like "KILL! MAIM! BURN!" all the time, and so goes for all the other kinds.
  14. K0balt

    New Campaign

    Since these are Deathwatch Marines, if they go over to Chaos, they must have accrued quite an amount of corruption points. Thus madness/quirks from geneseed degeneration. I'd use what's already in place in Deathwatch to simulate that, but a bit more customized and tailored to each character. Other than that, the new Black Crusade characters should start at 0 Corruption (since they just went over), lower Infamy (they are, after all, faceless Deathwatch operatives) like 9+1d5, lose all the Cohesion stuff, but have quite a bit more starting xp to spend (with Deathwatch rules). Then when they go over, check for alignment (I doubt any would align so quickly, but you never know), and you could include hallucinations, visions and dreams linked to the God towards which each character leans the most in the adventure (I can't be more specific since I don't have that book). They should lose any fate points they had, their armour bonuses can stay, and you should replace their demeanours with prides and failings (failings especially could be linked to that specific adventure). I don't remember if there is any other stuff that doesn't cross over naturally. I hope, btw, that your players agreed on the narrative (ie, they know that their Deathwatch characters will cross over to Black Crusade in that adventure and want to play their fall) or you might be in for a nasty surprise. If not, I hope you have a backup plan for when one of your characters stays pure and gets murdered by his erstwhile brothers (or the reverse). Narratively, the simplest way to achieve your goal is to goad (not force) them into committing atrocious acts in the name of their own survival until all pretense of nobility is gone. Then, have a third party (daemons? chaos marines? dreams promising power if they forsake the Emperor? xenos? heretical cult?) make them an offer they can't refuse. One that will tempt those more interested in their own survival than their vows, and that will get rebuked by the fanatics that truly believe their actions are guided by the Emperor. Cue either fratricide or you get what you want.
  15. 1) They need to understand that without each other, they will die, as they'll never get out/ahold of the ship on time if they are at each other's throats. Cohesion should build up over time, and binding them should be unnecessary. Even a Khorne Berzerker will die to even something as mundane as a well-entrenched horde of lasgun-wielding fanatics if he has no back-up. They have been on that ship for hundreds of years. They have no one they can trust except each other. 2) I pretty much do the same thing (as in strong enemies, encouraged to personnalize their weapons), but in the end the power they'll wield will have little to do with the guns they carry. If you find something too powerful, nerf it, but don't artificially restrict access to it (you can and should however rule that no, they can not find a mastercrafted plasma gun on the most backwater planet of the Vortex). 3) Not at all, unless you're very good with voices. People will make up the voices in their head listening to you, what you can't overlook is the NPCs' manner of speech and personnalities, which you should really work on. A character is a remembered by the way he interacts with the players, not by how you make him sound. 4) Music in RPGs is not my thing, I frankly think it's not suited for long playing sessions, and I really don't have the same taste in music as my players. I find it too disruptive, but if you can find music that fits well as a background, fits the situation and you are always ready to change it at a moment's notice, go for it. Good luck!
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