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George Labour

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  1. As with anything involving Rogue Traders the best answer is "It depends on the personality of the Captain in question". Some would go the kill 'em all and loot the ruins route. Another might blow up an island or two, and then offer to open up trade relations with the most industrialized nations. Still another might begin a campaign of slow subversion and infilitration of target societies. Finally one may just park his ship in orbit over the planet, tell the natives he claims the rest of the solar system in the name of himself, and anyone who disagrees can get glassed, but that he'll leave them alone if they don't leave their orbit.
  2. As far as fluff goes it's worth remembering that the core book for the tabletop is set after the fluff for Fantasy Flight's RPGs. So the Badab war is still an upcoming event, as are the third war for armageddon, and Abaddon's 13th black crusade. Unless they decided to set Only War further along in the 'official' timeline. This means we're a few generations away from where the tabletop is. So it's easy enough to finaggle the abhuman situation that way. Also mutants might still be used as throw away fodder on some planets, though I doubt they'd be official members of the imperial guard. And of course we also have the Skitarii and all the freaky stuff the adeptus mechanicus does to them. Again, probably not actual guardsfolk but they'd be workable as auxilaries in the same way that psykers, and techpriests are. So adding in near human or even inhuman elements to the game is entirely possible, and could likely be seen in whatever add on book they'll do after the traditional book of adventures and GM screen. I personally wouldn't mind seeing the abhuman situation touched upon, even if we only get stats for using them as NPCs to ally with, and or kill horribly. Of course the killing horribly option is the one we'll most likely see as many of the opponents the IG face are not warp spawned horros, and xenos monsters but other 'human' foes. Good example of this is the war on Tranch mentioned in Dark Heresy where a mutant uprising is still drawing in guard assets many years after its onset. And of course in one or two years we may see splat books for organizations similar but seperate to the guard, similar to the Arbites, Ecclesiarch, and Malleus books for Dark Heresy. I imagine that a adeptus mechanisu themed one would be incredibly popular and would include things like Gene altered experiements, the cyborg killers of the Skitarii, and maybe even epic things like Knight suits and titans. But that's a seperate topic.
  3. Is it possible the land raiders are pre heresy relics gifted to the house by decree of the Emperor and the warrant he himself issued? If so, then the Rogue Trader's piece of paper is older than some administratum drone's piece of paper and thus has a higher precedent. Especially if said gift came with a clause of "And shall not be taken away for so long as "so and so" uses them to spread the imperial truth no matter what else I might say". In such a case most organizations would simply let it lie. Even Astartes chapters might let it go so long as the tanks in question had never belonged to a legion or chapter. If the Trader in question also has a few Astartes as retainers then it's even less of an issue. Unless there's some preexisting conflict already in place I can't see to many marines doing more than glowering and refusing to work directly with the "mere mortal". They have better things to do than rolling in the muck with a perfumed dandy. OTOH I think having more than five to ten is a wee bit to much..unless this guy also has a few squads of Space Marines on his ship that he's transporting to a war zone at the time.
  4. WARNING: Kind of rambling due to having to rewrite this twice. One of the major problems with adding Xenos PCs is that in 40k, aliens are often more like Lovecraftian horrors instead of the guys in funny outfits many people are familiar with from modern sci-fi. The Eldar aren't Legolas in space, they're the dark and vile fae of some old world fairy tales who just happen to have chainsaw swords and guns that fire ninja stars. Necrons aren't dead dudes in robot bodies, they're mecha cthulhu and his old one pals come to enslave the universe once more. To make them playable in a group you'd have to strip away a lot of the horror and mystery of their existence and make them more human. Basically you'd start with Bram Stoker's Dracula or Lovecraft's In the Mountains of Madness, and turn it into the Twilight novels. Or making a game about the Marines from Aliens who now happen to have a xenomorph hanging out with them. Or at least that's my quickly thought out opinion on it AS for the theycurrent crop of PC capabler Xenos Ork are actually the easiest and most likely of the aliens you can use as their motivations, and psychology are so simple and straightforward. They're also noted as being one of the few species that can compete wit h humanity but at the same time produce individuals who will work with/under humans when it suits them. Kroot aren't quite as simple to use as an ork but are noted as being a relatively unhostile species that is quite happy working with just about everyone without later betraying them when the winds shift. IMO I think that if people want more alien species peacefully working alongside humans in a (mostly) equal partnership then they should perhaps try Traveller, Star Wars, or one of the other sci-fi games first. the 40k universe is simply not a happy one where people get along, and to change that might rob the setting of some of its appeal. However, if they were to introduce more playable species then I think that they'd need to be smaller thinner books along the lines of the Dark Heresy books for Adeptus Arbites, and Deamon hunters. A supplement book that'd use the core rules of the parent game, but not directly mixing things like careers, and race options. For example if they made an Eldar book, they'd make one that used the rules from Only War. From there they'd include careers for aspect warriors, warlocks, rangers, and guardians. THen they'd include a section on equipment , followed by a chapter dedicated to adventure/mission ideas. Basically replaceing the human imperial guard with eldar. Finally I'd much rather see them make a Titan Legions themed RPG or supplment.
  5. While not the greatest movie ever made Battle: Los Angeles would make a pretty good source of inspiration for a game where the PCs squad is having to face down an invading force of relatively unknown xenos. Just don't get it confused with Battle FOR Los Angeles which is incredibly horrible. Especially when you realize that one of their "Weapons" is just a nerf gun they spraypainted chrome.
  6. in my game I let the explorator acquire the template and the materials for its construction as two very rare acquisitions and then let him build it as part of a bit of fluff to give some color to a long warp voyage. This also let him create a best quality version and incorporate some other gadgets into it, and himself, as he assembled it. Of course the ship was originally a mechanicus vessel and had facilities for making servitors, murder servitors, and vehicles on board so YMMV.
  7. Well if all you wanted was a xenos that has bit of human DNA and appearance mixed in with them then there are a few ways that such a being comes about. However it's worth noting that there's nothing really like the half breed species of D&D. Most such gene mixes are the results of horrible experiments, or inhuman monsters working their unknowable whims on humanity. IN effect, they're more like the Deep Ones of Cthulhu mythos. In other words, not someone you usually want to meet. For example we have the following known means of splicing humans with other things. 1) Daemons doing weird warp stuff to your unborn babies. Which never ends well. 2) Dark Eldar getting bored and doing horrible things to your unborn babies. Which ends well for the dark eldar but not for anyone else involved 3) Genestealers infecting a person and then using them to make genestealer hybrids that eventually breed until they're producing more purestrain genestealers. 4) Heretek tech priests and or Fabius Bile stapling together body parts and DNA sequences to create some monsterous frankenstein like super human. Again..this doesn't end well.
  8. Just picked it up when I was out and about tonight, though I haven't had much time to really read it. Little mini review without any real information. So far I'd say it's an interesting read, with a bit of information on various questions some may have about where Rogue Traders fall in regards to the various levels of law in the Imperium. Appropriately enough the Calixis sector gets a good share of the space in this book since it's the closest fully imperial province in the core RT setting. Though of course various areas of the Koronus Expanse get a few things, and again I haven't had time to do more than browse it. Mostly I just looked through the weapons and gear to see if certain xenos weapons had been added so I could have official stats. So far it's had everything I've been waiting on, except for necron weapons. However since most of those toys are not available at the time that these games are set I wasn't to dissapointed and imagine I'll see them in a DW or BC book sometime next year. Oh and some of the new alternate careers can be used by Kroot and Orks. Ork Swashbucklers anyone?
  9. Couple of things I figured I'd throw in here. 1) Intelligent Necron, and ones that spend time with other species as well as the escalating abilities and responsiveness/intellect of necron forces have actually been with the fluff for a while. Anyone who says Xenology is a horribly mangled trasheap of dumbing down fanwank needs to be shot with a porcupine gun. Then there was the teaser about the Necron hierarchy shown in the Apocalypse book. 2) There are still metal zombies running on auto pilot as part of the necron lore. Some tomb worlds have been so damaged that the main computer has gone skynet on the place or simply can't restore the minds of those who managed to keep their awareness and personalities. Others simply haven't reached the point where the really independent personalities have emerged. So now we also have what is effectively stage 4 (or 40,000 for all we know) where the ones who were in charge are now awakening and finding that all the toys they buried themselves with are now working. For someone who has only a high schoolers understanding of the egyptian afterlife this worked for me as the vaguely tomb kings / egyptian feel of the necrons was already there. A pharoah gets buried with his boats and servants, wakes up in the afterlife to find them already waiting for him. 3) Some necrons want to be skin and bones again and so that's one reason for their harvesting of people. They use them to experiment on to see if they can perfect the old entechment process, find out a way to restore some of their fellow necronty, and then maybe reverse it. 4)Orks are still the best race in the galaxy for when you have to annoy people that are to smart for their own good. 5)The relationship between necrons and tyrannids actually gets a bit more of an explanation. Which provides all kinds of fodder for Deathwatch games.
  10. @ the commisar comment : Gaunt had relations with the daughter of a hive governor in the novel Necropolis. Beginining of my rambling: There have also been references in novels and a few other fluff pieces where its stated that marine's have had most of the hormonal urges required for reproduction expunged through both severe indoctrination and the process of having all new fiddly bits put inside their new post human bodies. Specifically Ragnar's in the novel Grey Hunter, and the Herey Era Dark Angel in ...I think it was called Eye of Terror but I may be wrong. Basically dark angel runs into a daemonette, quirks an eyebrow when he finds her attractive, and then proceeds to rip her head off. Needless to say Grey Knights most certainly do not have an interest in carnal pleasures, or pretty much anything else but slaying daemons and remaining faithful to the emperor. Black Templars, Iron hands, and various other chapters are also similar in temperament. Space wolves seem to only resort to 'wenching' when engaging in another movie viking past time known as getting drunk, and even then it's not seen to escalate beyond playful pawing. In other words, disregarding supernatural influences any seeming interests in reproductive acts could easily be considered play acting in order to fit their part and or other means of humanizing them in front of a potential population. The Space wolves at least seem to have no problems in hamming up other images people have of them. As for slaneeshi influence. Well, most marines that succumb to it seem to seek out ever increasing sensation, and challenges even as the latest thing that they're indulging in becomes just another pointless endeavour that brings them no satisfaction. So I guess you could have some freaky hentai marine complete with zippers and a crop. However it's more likely they'll be (or at least end up as) some overly handsome pretty boy obsessed with finding interesting ways to slowly hack people apart with his elegant blades or a creature half insane with his inability to feel anything except for the faint whispers of people that he's killed with a chainspork. And in the end it's, 'there is only war' not "there is only 2/3 of the internets and some chainsaw swords" EDIT: Forgot to mention that orkoid lifeforms also retain a set of working plumbing even though they reproduce through spores. Though it seems to mostly be used for comedic effect and 'marking' territory.
  11. In the weird dark faery tale setting that is the 40kverse the rule of kewl or just plain exotic often takes precedence over what would appear logical or even incredibly useful. All it takes is one noble house suddenly deciding that drill swords are a good way to display their superiority to make the weapon become a new subsector (or even sector) wide badge of honor. After a century or eighty then it'll become so entrenched in the typical imperial mindset that anyone saying drillswords aren't all that great will be declared a heretic and be converted into an assembly servitor that makes new drill swords. Or some minor arm of the ecclesiarchy decides that beleives an ancient text reads as 'piercing the heavens like the drilling sword of the righteous' and thus they need to combine the two tools into one emperor inspired weapon. Not that I really think such a thing should be a remarkably effective weapon compared to a power sword and other iconics bits of mutilating power, but I see no reason to say it simply cannot be. If anything it'd be a useful means of adding some character to the latest pack of foppush inbred nobles the explorers will be robbing that week.
  12. Pretty much every astartes weapon technically requires the user to undergo a series of hefty augmentations (the actual process of becoming an astartes) before they can even hope to use the weapon. But it's a rare astartes who has a bolter built into his face rather than carrying it in his hands. Which would be a very good place to have a gun once you get past the issue of muzzle flare as it then becomes a literal look and shoot weapon. Honestly I kind of like the idea of a hyper fast drill weapon being used as a hyper tech analog to a piercing weapon, and not just because of the obvious Gurren Lagan references you can make. Were I to do this I'd most likely take a previous poster's idea of giving it Fast from The Inquisitor's Handbook, and the ability to ignore armor up to one's agility bonus, and maybe tearing. I'd also be tempted to give it unwieldy or at least unbalanced as it doesn't strike me as an incredibly useful means of blocking a melee attack. It'd also be an exotic weapon with an availability of very rare at the minimum.
  13. Kroot seem to have not set sizes for what constitues a shipless mercenary group with some apparently operating as individuals, others with less than a dozen, and seemingly several that travel in the hundreds or thousands. Of those, only the latter two sizes are likely to have a large baggage train. In fact since all kroot appear to be trained hunters and carnivores it's entirely likely that the 'administrative body' most other combat units require simply does not exist or is at least of minimal size. Any major logistical needs seem to either be taken care of by whomever is paying them, or is handled by the various warspheres. Most kroot also seem content to work for a chance to eat whatever they can kill and for whatever equipment might make them more efficient predators. Since the culture emphasizes self reliance and improvement they usually only get payed in what they can carry or immediately use. It's a rare kroot that'll accept a contract that pays in 'mere' money or expensive baubles. They also don't seem to have much trouble with discarding posessions that break or stop being useful when hunting. So with that being said it's entirely possible for the smaller groups to operate with only the gear they can carry, and thus the cost of their transportation is likely covered by a simple promise to help defend the ship and NOT eat the crew. As a group gets steadily larger this simply means they'd require a larger transport which is likely to come to the same arrangement requiring aid in defense , but is also likely to require that the kroot band is segregated to a dark recess of the ship so that their 'barbaric' nature doesn't upset the normal folk on board. So long story short, you can hire a kroot band and not have to worry about finding places for camp followers because the race doesn't have the same 'logitistical footprint' that humans do. Also, promising them ammo and all the orks they can eat is a good way of keeping them happy.
  14. Some bionics and other augmetics actually can provide certain traits or talents without the player needing to spend XP to gain them. Though it does require an appropriate acquisitions check, and the obvious okay from the game master who says that both the item, and the surgeon are available. OTOH most of the traits and talents granted by implants usually come with some drawbacks , especially if you don't get them at best quality.
  15. As someone who both plays a stalker Kroot and has had to GM with a player as one I've found that the ability tends to be far less abused than oh say...the rogue trader's ability to buy almost anything he needs. The biggest restriction I've enforced is that such kroot cannot wear much armor. Anything over the 3 points allowed by their field craft should negate their special abilities to hide themselves. Add on the fact that equipment needs to be modified to have chameoline abilities (inquisitor's handbook under the skills section) and or kept minimal and you end up with a light armored ninja who's going to suffer that one time someone manages to draw a bead on him...especially considering how common full auto weapons can be. Sure there are force fields, but it's easy enough to say those aren't available and even when acquired they have a decent enough chance to end up shorting out after a half dozen or so hits. As for solutions most of the one's I'd suggest are already being used...though I'd avoid the idea of saying IR goggles overcome the stalker ability as it seems like an arbitrary decision made to purposely screw over the player and that CAN come back around on you later. Instead stick to reasonable items like use of flame weapons, xenos hunting animals that use sonar and of course the psychic who sees souls instead of visual things. Also spend some time thinking about what your other players are doing to make themselves useful or to just survive. Maybe the kroot player is just more inventive and or competent than the others who just stand in front of a heavy bolter and wonder why their flak armour didn't save them. Since I'm not actually at your table I can't make that kind of judgement but it's a problem I have run into now and then. OTOH if he just picked a kroot so he could be invisible 24/7 and otherwise plays it as a human who likes eating children...nothing says dead like being sent into the warp.
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