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  1. Thx for your ideas, Zipangu. In general, I like allegories, and as mentioned, I will have him slip into such a halluzination, but only at the end and I don't want to overdo it. The "killing your friends and loved ones" part will come into play later, at the Third Trial, so I don't want to shoot my bolt at the beginning. But I like the crystal in the heart thing and the fire allegory, as I still plan to have Malcolm find the antidote physically at the end of his trial, as opposed to Gregorius21778 suggestions (sorry, Gregorius ). Hokay, I'll smooth out this thing and report how it went in game, though it will probably be some time from now, if it takes place at all (as my group somehow seems to be falling apart at present, **** human relationships all to hell, sob). Thanks again to everyone, I really do appreciate your efforts and hope that they weren't in vain...
  2. Guys, you are amazing! This is getting almost too sophisticated for an introductory scene, the other players will be jealous. I love it. I will take Zilla's poison rule one to one (very zen indeed), and else I will handicraft a synthesis out of all your suggestions. I'll go back to my orignal rundown lower hive district, but instead of abandoned and forgotten it is a slum like Gregorius pictured, dominated by said ganglord and his thugs. There naturally will be countless large buidings in the area, so the gang hideout is not the obvious place to go. After the poison ceremony, Malcolm has to pick his way through the slum in search for, say, three hidden signs pointing toward the location of the antidote (kind of a high-risk scavenger hunt, which gives me opportunity to think up some mystic prophecy-like lyrics, hehe), using the mechanics Gregorius suggested. As he's been hiding in the lower hives for quite a time now, this should be fairly easy for him, though maybe his beloved black mono-sword will raise suspicions. Once he puzzles out his destination he has to enter the "bastion" one way or the other and make it to the top level where the ganglord holds court. He has to deal with the bodyguards on the way, then enter the ganglord's rooms. Somehow, I imagine a decadent party going on in the antechambers, heavy obscura smoke, purple velvet curtains, lightly dressed girls, a general dreamlike atmosphere. The antidote should probably be hidden somewhere about the crimelord's own person, preventing Malcolm from simply searching the rooms. Some numbers questions here: When failing a single test while rolling an extended test, does the extended test start all over again? Is there a rule for "one-hit-kills"? Of course, the assassin gets a surprise attack if he manages to sneak up on his target, but he still has to test against WS, doesn't he? I imagine it fairly impossible to miss an unmoving, surprised target when slicing a knife across its throat in the dark. And even if he does, he needs to roll heavy damage for an instant kill crit. There should be a rule for sneak-kills of "extras", but I can't find one. Should I allow the assassin to take tools with him, like his grappling hook, combat drugs or maybe poisoned needles if he thinks about getting some in advance?
  3. Hi shaman, I'd suggest to write a few lines for your players as a primer - you as the GM know best what you want them to know, and frankly, the WH40K Universe is not hard to describe, especially considering that most of the Imperial citizens do not know that much about history. It's more about conveying a feeling than about actual information. And it might also be fun for your players to explore the setting while playing instead of reading a pile of paper in advance. I wrote two pages for those of my players who were not familiar with DH, and it worked out pretty well. Sadly I wrote in german, but if you like I can exctract the main points of the excerpt for your own reference. About Gamemastering in general: I myself am not THAT used to GMing, I only started some two years ago, but based on my player's feedback I fancy myself to be fairly good, and I've extracted a few lessons from my first scenarios, first pre-written, then homecooked. GMing can be really fun, even a lot more than playing, and A LOT more rewarding. I was the hell of afraid the first time, and out of fear I put an insane amount of prep into my first story (Call of Cthulhu, btw), and wow, what a revelation. I've been addicted to it ever since. People always fret about the GMs position, and of course it's challenging, but there is also a great opportunity to be had as a GM: to experience a story of your own making together with your players, to include all the themes you feel appropriate, in the way you feel is coolest, most dramatic and interesting. I know that sounds egomaniac, but one of the lessons I think I've learned so far is, if you, the GM don't have fun, noone else will. And if you enjoy the game, most probably the players will too, even if its about themes they normaly would not touch (or maybe even because of them), and you can sweep along indifferent players if you yourself feel passion for the story, the people therein, and the characters your're dealing with. So, to boil it down, my two cents: 1. Don't let anybody talk you out of trying it. Maybe it’s a desaster, maybe its heaven, most probably it will be simply okay, which is a perfect place to start for improvement. Don't expect too much of yourself and of your first scenario. It comes with practice. 2. Be prepared. Especially for your first time. Pick a short story for your first scenario (Edge of Darkness is cool that way), and be sure to know and understand all of the background, all of the NPCs. And, of course, that you can relate to the scenario, the NPCs, find something you can invest some feeling into. Don't be afraid to take a short timeout to refer to your notes in game. I personally write down literally everything, even those things that I judge laughably easy to memorize - once in the GM role I tend to forget the plot over creating the atmosphere. I've had good experiences with picking background music in advance, taylored to the scenes I want to play, but that’s optional (though I would strongly advise to use selected music or none at all). 3. Know what your players want. Probably the most important rule ever, yet often overlooked. There are as many approaches to roleplay as there are players. My players and I mainly go for character- and dialogue-heavy roleplay and loads of drama, but if you and your group have fun gunning down mutants listening to Bolterthrower, that’s perfectly okay. Only important thing to know is, what does everyone want, and then to throw your players a goodie from time to time. Funny thing is, most players do not know what they actually want until you really spell it out for them… Inspite of me preaching philosophy here, I strongly advertise RP is a hobby, its about fun and not about a right or wrong way, it might be handled as an art, but it does not have to, as long as everone involved is happy. Whatever the case, I wish you the best of luck and would like to read how you fared.
  4. Thanks a bunch for all your ideas, Gregorius! I'll name an NPC after your nick ^^ As for Malcolm's intro-scene, I think I'll go for the Solomonic "open the door, kill the mutie, take the treasure (=antidote)" scenario, as it strikes me as short and straight forward (so I can include all those nasty little hallucinations about his past), and I don't want the other players to be sitting around and listen for too long. I'll steal those other two, however, if you don't mind, I think they make great groundwork for the Second Trial or a nice Assassin solo scene In this case I'll simply weaken the poison, thus removing the need for an antidote in advance. To wear him down a bit, I'll have him gain fatigue for failed toughness tests (implying cumulative houserule penalties) - it's not supposed to be easy, not even in numbers, not to mention having to kill "himself" in the end. Praise the Emperor! Now I only need a few occasions for skilltests and a handful of opponents for a cute little Moritat trial. Though I think I am at least able to come up with those myself, if anyone has ideas, I'd gladly hear them. Thanks again, this is really one of the most sensible forums ever, methinks!
  5. Gregorius21778 said: first and foremost, I love the idea of your little Dusk bird. Consider it "stolen", as I will use it as "give-away" that one some npc is involved into a Dusk-Beastmuggling opperation. Danke für die Blumen! I've stolen several of your ideas so far, so I'm happy to give a bit back. As for the garden dome: I have thought about something similar, my first idea was to have the whole trial take part on Dusk (hence the toxic bird). I dumped this idea because the character turned out to be more the streetcat-type (hiding in the lower hive, associating with gangs and crimelords), and he doesn't have any connection to or experience with greenery… BUT on the other hand, this could be absolutely intended, couldn't it - to throw him into completely unfamiliar territory, thus enhancing the difficulty of the test? Plus, I'll probably have my arbitrator hunt a drugdealer through street canyons for his intro, so maybe that would be a bit too much urbanity anyway. Soooo, unless you spontaneously come up with a more "dark 'n gritty" idea or think me horribly ungrateful (which is how I feel ^^), I'd gladly hear your thoughts about the plant-dome, and thanks a lot in advance! The Laughing God said: [...] the climactic, final trial could be something like killing his own father, signifying the Moritat literally killing his former self and allegiances and now serving only the Emperor. Hehe, me likes! I've been thinking about something like that too, that's why the Third Trial is called Ordeal of the Heart. Father (or in his case, beloved uncle) might be a good choice. Do you think the Moritat would try to put one of their own in charge of a Noble House (and its resources)? Mwahaha, I'd love to see the assassin's player brood over this decision!
  6. Greetings, fellow GMs! First of all I apologize in advance for all grammar and spelling errors, as English is not my native language. I started a DH Campaign about half a year ago (though due to life's general lack of weekends we only have finished the introductory chapter), and so far my players assure me I'd be a great GM concerning NPCs, drama, immersion and general atmosphere (and hell, I have loads of fun doing it, too). HOWEVER I simply know that my ability to find story-ideas and my affinity towards the more mechanical part of a scenario (i.e. the numbers) is definitly below average and I'm struggling to find my plot every time I start a new chapter or new round. Also after reading many a post here, I know there a lot of GMs scurrying about in this forum that are literally busting with ideas (ah, how I envy you!), aaaaand so I imagined, maybe one or another of you might care to help me out of my misery now and then… What's the situation Currently I'm trying to work out a short introduction to the next chapter of the campaign for each of the PCs, to get them into the mood after our long pause, and as an opportunity to have each player do something that I know they like to play and that's taylor-made for their characters. Our Moritates In case of my Scintillian-Noble-On-The-Run Moritat-Assassin Malcolm that would be the first one of three sacred trials that are called "The Ordeal of Head, Hand and Heart". Malcom's player and I pictured the moritat (or at least Malcolm's cell, wich is everything he knows) to be a bit Zen-like, all about self-control, renunciation and sacrificing one's ego and all of its feelings to the Emperor by means of meditation, ritual pain and one hell of a combat training. So our Moritats are an emotionally cold lot, carrying all this hatred, bitterness and whatnot the Inquisitor's Handbook describes as inherent to the Moritat's members safely hidden under the surface, distilled, refined and focused, as a source of power to tap. We imagined this cell of nascent assassins and their master to live in greatest possible simplicity in the middle hives of Sibellus, at the lower end of the social scale, as this would give them a good training ground and sufficient privacy. After the First Trial Malcolm will be allowed to leave his master and operate independently from the cult at his Inquisitor's behest, while I plan to use the other two throughout the campaign as either plothooks or again chapter-introductions for Malcolm. The First Trial (outline) The First Trial is supposed to get one message across: Know your limits. Know yourself. To this end, after days fasting, praying and the usual stuff to clean one's body and mind, Master Kenan will have Malcolm sacrifice a small, colorful bird and drink a portion of its blood. The bird is a Perreya from Dusk, and it's picked for its allegoric qualities: it looks harmless and beautiful and it sings a beguiling song, yet it is deadly poisonous – like many a foe of the Imperium it is at the same time alluring and devastating. The Perreya's toxin is a strong hallucinogen, but it takes its time to affect and in the end kill the intoxicated person. My idea of the Trial is to let Malcolm advance from point A to point B where the antidote awaits, therby testing all of his primary assassin skills like climbing, sneaking, effective killing with only one silent blow etc. He has only a limited amount of time (the magical "one hour" maybe) before he succumbs to the poison, and he will have to pick the smartest way, as every unnecessary effort will quicken his circulation and thus accelerate the lethal effect. The idea here is the "know your limits" part - to teach the assassin the necessity of focusing all energies on the target, of not letting oneself be distracted, and of knowing how to plan out one's strength. Gradually, he will be weakend and start to hallucinate, although naturally both Malcolm and his player don't know these things aren't real. I imagine having him stumble through his own haunted past under the toxin's influence and at the end, hanging to life by a thread, battle an image of himself for the antidote. The idea here is "know yourself" – that the greatest enemy might be oneself, on the inside. The player has made an effort writing a cool prelude for Malcolm, and I know he would love me to seize the doubts and conflicts he built into the character. What do I need? Now I'm having trouble fleshing some bits out and humbly ask for your ideas. 1. Where could this "parcours" be located, and what could it look like? I'd like to avoid to have it overly artificial, but I'd like it to have an urban feel to it, as this is on of the focus points of the character. I had this idea of an abandoned hive district that the order recovered and now uses as a trial ground, kind of a gigantic cave filled with rabble and the ruins of a once thriving community. In the center there could be the torn down walls of the once dominating company (bit like the Tantalus Combine in EoD), wich then could turn to the Dunkeld Family Estate to Malcolm's drugged mind. But somehow I am not entirely happy with this, mainly because it also feels pretty dead (which in itself is a bit inappropriate for a hive), and the assassins skill should also include moving unseen between living people. 2. What obstacles could there be between the starting point and the end point of the trial? There I really hit a wall… Okay, if I use the abandoned hive district maybe he would be required to climb down to the ruins first, then pick his way between them, but I also want him to avoid some fights and to quickly carry out others as a logical decision, and I the hell cannot figure out how to do this, nor what enemies could possibly be met along the way. 3. How do I press the "quickening your pulse brings death swiftly" into rules? I find crunching numbers particularly difficult. Of course, I could simply fake it and have Malcolm reach the end of the trial in a condition suiting the narrative, no matter what he did along the way, but I know that my players sometimes cherish their dicerolls and their outcome in game terms, and seriously, if I'd only tell them what happens, what point is there in roleplaying? I want him to succed, naturally, but maybe at the expense of a fatepoint. Or such. At least I don't want the player to take survival for granted (though maybe it is ;-)). I'd greatly appreciate any hints, ideas and comments on this, and I thank all who have read through this rather long post!
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