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Johkmil

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  1. I would recommend using the Mind Lock rules for (+20 Int) instead of Willpower on any servitor caught on fire, thus staying within the rule of rules. Servitors really should not be stunned by flames in the same way as humans, there is no in-universe reason a lobotomized automaton would care about being on fire unless it is equipped with some sort of automated fire-extinguishing drill, though the inputs could confuse the systems. Or just put them up against enemies with Frenzy, as they would not care too much. Flamers are powerful at close range, but any prepared enemy with guns can keep them away almost indefinitely - just have a few of them putting down suppressive fire, while others shoot straight. Flamers are intended to be weapons of terror and carnage against the fearful and unprepared, but their pitiful range really limits their use against the worst of the worst. A bare 20 meters absolute maximum range versus the potential 400 meters of the common Autogun? I put my money on the bullets there.
  2. It is not so easy to state that anyone knows how things work, but there are a myriad of simple rites that are commonly known, as they are vital to operate machinery in the proper way. The Cult has not enough members to operate all machines themselves, so simple rotes are given to the lay operators. The populace of the Imperium has no reason to doubt the truth of the Cult Mechanicus, as the rites provided work. These can even be used as a connection to the real world: You may not know the history and original meaning of the symbol (I) on the front of your home cogitator, but you know it is the first step in the Rite of Booting. The next step is the pressing of the symbols CTRL, ALT and DELETE, another ritual that has little deeper meaning to the common citizen, yet still performs its intended duty. I will actually go far enough to theorize that even it the real world, the majority of users of various technologies has no deeper understanding of the mechanics and science involved than pragmatically how it operates and a limited arsenal of explaining words such as electricity, microwaves and processors. Let us not forget that we live in a highly educated time and place, and that our biases and worldviews are not necessarily valid everywhere, especially in fictional universes. EDIT: For an excellent treatise on the nature of the Machine Cult, see https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/127196-modifying-weapons/?p=1338222
  3. For a lot of players, revenge will not give any recognisable pleasure, but this will vary for every group. My torture-fond GM banked on the hope that revenge would be sought - it wasn't. We were just bitter that our hopes of heroicism were shattered. Yet, again, the session might work as long as you give the players choice and opportunities within the slim chances they've got. Or use a probing telepath, it lends a degree of distance to the situation.
  4. Having some recurring characters is also a good way of making the contact network feel alive. Johnny the Shoe-shine who'll know anything for a small bribe is more interesting than the abstract knowledge that Quint the Assassin has contacts among the middle-hive workers. The main trouble in making such characters, though, is that they have to grow organically out of the campaign rather than being forced in by the GM in order for them to really shine. The easiest way is probably simply throwing people at the story and seeing who establishes a rapport with the players. Give the NPCs a simple idea and a description point and send them into the world. If they spark interest, make them more interesting and develop them through interaction and improvisation. If the players ignore them as Generic NPC #73, no need to develop them past the stage of Generic NPC #73. My best example is acolyte Boris: he was a simple ganger heavy, a caricature of a mob bouncer, a mere doorstop for the party on their way to the gang leader; who ended up surviving everything the group threw at him through the sheer power of bad dice rolls as his comrades-in-crime were mowed down around him. When he finally went down, the group immediately press-ganged him into the Inquisition for his tenacity. Acolyte Boris has now, through player popularity and heavy Russian accent, become the preferred groundwork guy - no proper off-world investigation can ever be done without Boris arriving beforehand, getting the lay of the land and the seriousness of the situation. Creating individuals in the contact network can also help scaling the power of the players' networks as they progress through the campaign: the Arbites Seeker might have contacts in the Adeptus Arbites all along, but where it originally only was Sergeant Atmore, and perhaps her squadmates in an emergency, it might later be the more powerful Judge Noirgrim; the leader of the strike team he sends to assist the group is of course their old friend Sergeant Atmore.
  5. It seems you have some high-flying plans, Gaius, but I say go for it. There is a risk of crashing and burning, but you seem to have accepted that risk. If this works it will certainly be more memorable than the standard "five pre-generated characters meet in a tavern." As you are eschewing the ordinary character generation for this introductory sequence, I would recommend taking a cue from the introductory montages of various ensemble films, and use this as a point of reference for your players. The important part is showcasing the main characteristics of the characters as well as some defining traits of the universe they inhabit. Use slightly more free-form systems such as Apocalypse World/Dungeon World, or even Fiasco, as inspiration and play the action fast and loose when you need to, present challenges for your players and try and get out of them not just what their solution is, but how they perform that action. The entire point is discovering the character, after all. As for advice for the players, I would use my Fiasco mantra - when in doubt, exaggerate your personality! And be very, very careful about torture sessions, they can easily become a situation where the players, not the characters, feel powerless and betrayed. The GM is responsible for creating and maintaining the players' sense of agency, and that is crucial to the enjoyment of any role-playing game. I have had a GM for a couple of campaigns who is very fond of capturing and torturing us without us being able to do much about it until after the fact, and I can tell you, those sessions ended up with me wondering what the point of playing even was, as the GM had supreme power anyway. What is the point of playing when the characters life can be whisked away at any second by the almighty ruler of the game universe? So I would give the players a way out before the real bad things happen - start with the classical "strong light on face, stern interrogator whose face is in shadows" scene. The characters are isolated, do they trust each other not to break? Does the Arbitrator budge when told that the Noble sold him out? Let there be some hints as what can happen if the character does not comply - some suspicious stains on the walls and floor, a terrifying technological device visible through the window in a door, and so on. Perhaps they can try and talk their way out? Escape the magnacles and overpower the interrogator? Simply refuse to tell anything? The scene can certainly work, but you need to keep the player's sense of agency intact, even though the character has few options left.
  6. So, 6 of the Chaos Gods use psychic powers? [/mathjokes] I agree on the use of Black Crusade powers in DH2, just find some way to shoehorn it into the power tree.
  7. The feast went brilliantly in my game, although it ended up being more of a blast than a chill. My Acolytes are rather high-ranking and have seen some things at this point, so I played the angle that these nobles were mere dabblers in vice, but that a greater evil lay behind. Then players happened. High points included: - Veinrich Gyldeenstrik with the horse mask being pressured into a eel-picking duel with the Storm Trooper. He ended up extremely dead. - The Bishop lecturing Alphreid on how to do proper daemonic rituals. - The Slaanesh worshipper left bound, gagged, blindfolded and naked on a bed after the two Sororitas seduced her. (They believed she might be a daemonhost, so they felt they had to quietly eliminate her.) - The assassin seeking out the box with the Dark Eldar, knocking it out, swapping the body of Gyldeenstrik and the unconscious Eldar, swiping the crystal skull and then all making off with the skycarriage as they contacted the authorities.
  8. Warhammer 30,000 would be the point were I finally would leave the franchise for Infinity, Malifaux, Deadzone or whatever other miniature systems there are; anything but Space Marines Ahoy: the Game.
  9. This encounter now lies among my notes as "Mortagon's Feast Macabre" - I will use it in my DH1 campaign to make my PCs realize just how far Hive Subrique has fallen. It is an extremely compelling scene.
  10. If it is only eight or so guys, I don't see much reason to use squad or horde rules - although they certainly help when up against forty or so trained killers. (The group broke into a black-site-style prison where heretics were interrogated, long story. Moral: do not trust Dowsing to lead directly to the enemies' headquarters every time.) All joking aside, I would recommend using the squad rules from Enemies of the Imperium to calculate attacks and shooting, thus making the fight faster, but do not make the squad members one-shot-killed minions unless you want a pushover for the group. If the assailants are to appear as dangerous enemies, they need those wounds.
  11. In my games, even within 20 meters the flamer is still outshone by the rest of the group's bolt pistols. It is the best weapon for crowd control, setting foes alight and spreading the joys of the Emperor around, but has only an average damage output at best. No encounter-fixing is necessary to make flamers redundant - firefights will often start outside flamer range, forcing the flamer guy to traverse enemy fire to launch his own. In narrow trenches and enclosed hallways the flamer is king, and so it should be. Let the pyromaniac be the best at clearing bunkers and small rooms, it is his role after all. As long as you vary your encounters, there should be enough room for all weapons.
  12. As one who thinks Space Marines, Primarchs and the 30k stuff to be the most dreadfully boring parts of the 40k setting, I do not look forward to such a move. In the best case scenario, they bring out new, huge models for Tyranids, Orks, Daemons, Necrons and others who can make for interesting modelling and conversions; in any realistic scenario they will release more Space Marines, vehicles for Space Marines and some sort of exo-skeleton for the Centurions. Though, if the End Times are, in fact, not showing up, they'll still probably release more Space Marines.
  13. Pushing that to over 250 metres - at that point, why even bother rolling to see if the enemies can Dodge? I mean oh by gods, that's just.. full-on incineration of an entire hallway, or engulfing a full street. It's engulfing half a city because the end of the cone would be something like 400+ meters wide. Am I doing my trigonometry wrong if I get something like a 140 meter diameter at the end of the 250 meter cone? Still enough to murder everything in the area, though.
  14. I have made use of both Encumbrance and the Weight/Lifting rules quite extensively in my campaign. If they really want to bring the cogitator along, despite it being the size of a vending machine and far heavier, the tables are extremely handy.
  15. Be very careful about targetting the followers - it will often come across as punishing the one that has made himself something more than a loner orphan for having friends. If you've already stated several times that wheels have been put in motion, let the wheels turn. If they dance merrily on the highway while things are spinning out of control, describe how things are piling up, and leave to the players whether or not to wisely heed those warnings. If you want them to dig deeper rather than just nipping off buds, throw them hooks and see if they bite. Heck, let some of those hooks hold hack-and-slash bait if they enjoy it so much. If not, let the third act commence in its full glory of carnage and corruption. The cause-and-effect chain does not always need to be clear to all players before the fact, that is an undeniable fact of a universe that does not revolve around three acolytes. It should, however, be somewhat clear after the fact, if they survive.
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