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Noctivagent

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  1. Very nice, hope you use some of the ideas here. And I too am wondering how it turned out for Funkwit. As for myself, I haven't been able to run any of the Apostasy Gambit yet. My group had a TPK during my preliminary missions(modified Illumination), and now I am running intro missions for their new characters to be brought into the AG story-line seamlessly. Haven't had the chance to work on the remaining books since my group won't be getting to them any time soon. However, if there is interest in it, I can try to dedicate some time to it. I'm just second-guessing my plans for the Church of the Damned, and my usage of the Menagerie instead of Maledictor's Hand.
  2. It'd be possible. You might even be able to find use of the Soul Reaver supplement for Rogue Trader, it details the Dark Eldar in the 40kRPG meta, and could work well for you. The logicians could even be human trafficking to pay the Dark Eldar with human slaves. Just a thought.
  3. you could always use my solution, which was a warp-induced vision showing essentially the same thing, but less "it has to happen this way with the stars aligned blah blah" Correcting the Apostasy Gambit
  4. Yes, it is fair. It is the classic "working for the bad guy all along" plot. I did one of these recently.. In my changes to the Illumination adventure, I had the players work for the Crow Father under the belief that he was an 'ancient god of prophecy' while he had them unknowingly eliminate his competition. (Ended with a TPK - but was still enjoyed) If you're going to do this type of plot, the one way to make it fair is to take some time preparing clues that hint at the Inquisitor's(and his cell's) true nature. Some clues that are most likely going to be overlooked by your players is key if you absolutely don't want your plot thrown off its hinges. Otherwise, just let the clues fall in naturally where they would, and let the players do as they will. It should yield a pleasant result as the players get that "OHHHHHH" moment when all of the clues they didn't pay attention to before all add up to what they should have already figured out. I think it takes a bit of knowledge of how to measure the difficulty of clues for puzzles and investigations, while also knowing your players and their play-styles. Ultimately, it's a strong story, and you should definitely keep the plot. Just throw in some clues that won't de-rail the plot but will make it all fair in the end.
  5. Oh man… I know this feeling. Honestly, I have to agree with Lynata, this group is not for you. Sounds like the players are not giving you any respect, and that is the sure sign of a mismatch of GM/players. Don't let anyone ruin your game. Next time someone breaks the rules or ruins your fun, kick them out of the game. If you made things too difficult, but have justification for it. GOOD! Let the players screw themselves, but don't let them say it's your fault. If they claim you're to blame for making the game "too hard" or whatever, then seriously tell them that they ****** up. It's their fault that they did things wrong. Examples: I've had DnD players NOT bring light-sources into a dungeon, and blame me for not reminding them. I've had DH players blame me for having combat be too difficult, when they used absolutely no strategy. Don't put up with it. You spent your time preparing this game. How long did the players spend on the game? The drive and the time spent at the table? Exactly. **** that. And if they're not even putting in the effort to succeed on a mission? Lack of effort = BAD PLAYER. As much as I advise against it, if you have to make it work with this group, try to identify who the biggest contributor to the problem is, take that player aside and address the issue. If the problem persists, give them the boot. Otherwise, the type of players you've described are going to turn from disrespectful to gamer bullies. And those types of players destroy GM self-esteem. They need to be kicked out of the RPG hobby altogether, in my opinion. Maybe I have an elitist attitude, but it is not fair for you to spend your time preparing a game just to be disrespected by the players. Your best option: Find a different group.
  6. I actually played through a game like this before. The GM had these wires/tubing from a giant library database writhing towards us like tentacles, we tried to combat them but we all slowly failed. Even fleeing, the wires still caught us. We were brought into worlds of our backgrounds. It was mostly narrative however, and didn't have much for us to interact with, but it was a cool "cinematic" where we each experienced our pasts being destroyed. I think it's a great idea. One of the best things about it, you could run virtually … virtually ANY type of scenario in the "cyberworld." My personal vote would be a corrupted machine spirit rather than an AI, simply because I think an AI might be a bit limited compared to a machine spirit(daemonic, xenos, logicians, etc.) You could also look to other game systems' published adventures for inspiration with the scenario inside the machine. Another option is to completely use a different game system in the cyber adventure. Maybe you have a book sitting on the shelf that you never had the opportunity to play. See if its possible to pre-generate the PCs in that system, and have them play through the adventure with those characters to simulate the 'different world' feeling of it. Just try to use a rules-lite system if you go this route, or a system that the players are familiar with. Maybe ask the tech-priest's player to describe the other players to you, and make their characters based off of those descriptions. One last thing, you will essentially have an unlimited special effects budget, there's not really any Lore that you should have to adhere to inside the cyber-dimension. Even if the entire group is there, I'd specifically tailor the scenario to let the tech-priest be the center of attention since it is his path to Ascension, making it fit his play-style preference: action, investigation, intrigue, etc.
  7. ***SPOILERS*** If I may shamelessly promote my work on the Apostasy Gambit(found here), it might be of use to either directly take from it, or use some of the ideas to form something for your particular group's tastes. But to answer your question, dava100 already mentioned that the book only briefly mentions it. And you're right. there is no reason to suspect the Cardinal, though at that point the book suggests that Abbot Jurutus is in on it as well(since he is guarding the Black Sepulchre). The handout is supposed to be a puzzle that the players decipher to figure out their lead. In your case, since they're already on Chapter 2 you could possibly just tell them that one of their Inquisitor's interrogators reviewed it and determined the investigation continues on Barsapine, or anyone within their Inquisitor's retinue for that matter, including any Cleric or Adepta Sororitas acolytes that may be in the player group. The goal here is to find where the Dei-Phage's hand came from, and the Gilded Cathedral is their only lead.
  8. I tend to have a similar problem in making my plots too detailed and convoluted (I blame Tzeentch!) As far as investigation goes, if the players are playing well, they deserve a clue. Even if it's just a tiny piece of a giant puzzle, at least it is progress. Sometimes, even red herrings fall into this. Ultimately, it comes down to player reward. Depending on what player type you have in your group, most Dark Heresy players are going to want to further the plot, or at least feel like they are… and need to feel that they are being rewarded for their efforts. In an abstracted form, think about treasure in DnD. Adventurers go into a dungeon, experience its story and overcome its obstacles, to get treasure! Now in Dark Heresy, think about an investigation like a dungeon, except the treasure is in clues, not gold pieces or items. Example in use: In DnD the players in the dungeon performed really well this session, they need some sort of reward for trying so hard and overcoming some really difficult obstacles. Realistically, there wouldn't be a treasure that just appears, that would kind of ruin the suspension of disbelief… but what if they notice something out of the ordinary, one of the stone bricks on the wall seems loose with a perception check to notice the glint of something metal behind it. In Dark Heresy, the players have planned what they're going to do tonight really well, I'm rather impressed that they are all rolling stealth checks to individually observe their best leads and set up surveillance systems. I wasn't exactly prepared for this, and I don't think it would actually accomplish anything in terms of the plot, the cult is far too intelligent to make any moves since they've been alerted the Inquisition is around. But their efforts should not be in vain. Well, what could justify one of the cultists leaving, and what clue could he provide… Instead of saying nothing happens during your surveillance, a figure that appears normal, but has something unsettling about his appearance, walks out of Red Herring building, he places something into his pocket, (Perception check) and accidentally drops something else. There are people everywhere though, whatever it is that fell, it looks like it is about to get stepped on. Let them retrieve it, but make it seem difficult, and then they get the puzzle piece that will point them in the right direction of what they should be investigating. This is all assuming that you already have investigative plot points set up, and the players are playing well but just aren't hitting the right notes in the right places. Furthermore, Page 8 in Damned Cities has a sidebar "For the GM: A Few Words of Advice on Running Mysteries" that gives brief, sound advice.
  9. I've never played in a pbp game, but I am definitely interested. I'd like to play as an Arbitrator in an Ordo Hereticus campaign, personally. Setting doesn't matter too much to me. Investigation definitely preferred. Radical/Puritan doesn't matter to me. What website will we be playing on?
  10. Thanks for the feedback Guards! I want to expand on what Saldre said about explanations of the mundane and player theories. Keeping the players guessing and letting them scare themselves through implication. Implication is one of the GM's best tools in horror gaming. By letting the players formulate ideas about what's really going on, they might think of something worse than what actually happened. Nothing the GM says will be as scary as the ideas the players have themselves. Implication is a way to make the players scare themselves, all the GM needs to do is place seemingly mundane clues and let the players find a horrific pattern between them. An example of implication: During an investigation, the acolytes have finally tracked down their target, Lucan Ornite, but come across a recently deceased armored corpse, bearing symbols of the inquisition, and an Inquisitorial rosette. On his body is a partially damaged data-slate with an Inquisitorial report stating(in summary) that one Inquisitor Vikas had already killed the heretic, Lucan Ornite, 7 years ago. Now, the players are most likely going to start formulating ideas, listen to them and play on them. One of the players says "Maybe the Inquisitor covered it up, and Lucan Ornite is still alive." Another player feeds on that, saying "That means he's powerful enough to kill an Inquisitor." They are starting to scare themselves, and all you had to do was place clues that don't actually state what's really going on. Mind you, for any of this to work--For Horror in general to work, the players need to be immersed. If the players are not immersed, there's a strong chance that they won't care about the clues, and will just expect you to spell out the story for them. This expectation can largely be attributed to video games, but it can be remedied by then overloading the players with clues, but still leaving that gap between the heart of the story. This is, of course, assuming that you have done everything in your power as a GM to make the game entertaining. Regardless, implication does not have to be exclusive to investigation missions, even though horror games are usually centered on that type. It can be applied to survival horror, action horror, or even non-horror. In any use of implication, simply avoid linear plots, and have multiple clues related to one single event, but with enough of a void between the clues for the players to create their own fear. Another example of player paranoia: One of my players(an assassin) was sent on a mission in a hive city to eliminate a bureaucrat of useless title in a noble's banquet. His mission was to take the target's head, and then leave the banquet impersonating him. The assassination was successful.. he left looking just like the target, carrying the target's head in a satchel. But when an enforcer stopped him in the middle hive, he became nervous. The guard told him that the area ahead is quarantined, to which the assassin used his guise of authority to garner information about why - finding out that some infection has caused people to become ravenous and hostile. On edge now, the assassin travels down a dark detour, encountering the occasional enforcer patrol. He makes a wrong turn and finds himself at a dead-end, turns around and sees a human figure shambling towards him slowly. The figure moans, and gets close enough to lay a hand on the assassin. As the figure does so, the assassin stabs him. The man falls, clutching himself, revealing that it was just an unfortunate drunkard. On another note, I was looking at Daemonhosts and the Daemonic Phenomena surrounding them… there are some really useful creepy effects there in table 12-8 on page 357 of the core rulebook.
  11. I'd suggest trying out one of the pre-made adventures first. Best free one(in my opinion) is Edge of Darkness Then if you want to try your hand at creating your own adventure, I wrote up a small guide a short while back on how to go about that here My best advice for creating an adventure is to have a story(from a movie, book, or your imagination), provide a hook for the players to become involved with it, and then think about how the game will react to the players' actions. My best advice for being a new GM on the other hand… realize that you will probably make mistakes(I still do), but always try to learn from them and improve. And remember that you and your players are all there to have fun, but it falls largely on the GM to make it fun.
  12. This topic might be long overdue for these forums, as Horror roleplaying lends itself well to Dark Heresy, and constantly comes up in discussion. In my opinion, horror roleplaying is one of the most difficult types of games to run successfully. I've learned quite a few things about horror gaming, and I've managed to pull it off occasionally, but I feel like there's always more for me to learn about Horror gaming, and game mastering in general. Personally, I have a difficult situation: I run a game at a FLGS, I bring my laptop to provide background music, and I have no way to lower the lights, or set the mood appropriately. But somehow, I've still managed to scare my players on occasion. One example was in Xicarph, after the Widower's keystone was destroyed. They left Gabriel Chase to find that the entire populace had clawed out their eyes and ripped themselves to pieces. Shredded flesh lied all around the empty and silent streets, I took a few minutes simply describing everything they were seeing, smelling, and hearing. Then, one of the players heard gaseous moans coming from all directions… they decided to start moving, when raindrops began falling. From where the droplets hit the ground, small white spherical objects started popping up. When closely observed, it turned out to be an eyeball staring back at them. The rain started to fall harder, and more eyeballs started spawning from the rain. They ran into the nearest building, freaking out asking each other if there were any eyeballs on them. Spending a few moments in the building, they saw that there was a leak in the roof, and that water was trickling in. Outside the building, something massive just moved - it sounded fleshy. Looking through the window, nothing could be seen at first, but just as they were about to look away, something passed in front of the window quickly. At this point, the players are begging for death, looking for any way out, including suicide. One of the players decided to go outside and make a run for it. But as he stepped outside, a shower of gore erupted from his location, covering the other players in his blood and guts. They never saw what actually killed him, but they didn't want to find out. Instead, they decided to wait inside until the rain ended. As the rain continued to get stronger and stronger, the ground outside started breaking and collapsing, until they eventually fell, along with the building, back into the Red Cages… where beasts were loose without masters. As for why any of this happened, they were really just cruel tricks by myself to scare the players. It could be explained, but never will be. As practiced in the above example, here are some horror tips that a fellow DM briefly worded better than I could.. "Start with something very familiar and ordinary, then build up the horror elements slowly. Make the players question themselves, introduce doubt, so that they're not sure if the horror is real or a trick of the mind. You'll want things to be combat-light; combat is something that takes the fear away, because it's familiar. When you do introduce combat with the horror element, you want to include a feeling of helplessness, like in nightmares, but you also want to give the players an outlet to use their combat abilities effectively." There are plenty of more tricks and techniques that could be added, so I ask you all.. What experiences have you had with horror roleplaying, and what advice do you give for horror game mastering?
  13. Saldre, I'm so using the Scratches soundtrack for the Haemetite Cathedral in the Apostasy Gambit. Thanks for sharing that, it's so creepy! I usually let the soundtrack from Dawn of War 2 play as background music, and I love throwing in different soundtracks for different themes.
  14. The Logicians would be in a desperate situation indeed, though I am supposing that they are well-equipped enough to travel here. Not sure what you have planned exactly for the story involving the Logicians, but…. Maybe only the one Logician survives, planning to use his colleagues as test subjects in experiments with Necron technology(possibly trying to infuse machines with their souls). However, things go horribly wrong for him and he ends up becoming a victim in the scenario. The infusion works, per se, and the ruins become possessed by the vengeful spirits of his colleagues. Inanimate objects become "living," the walls attempt to capture anyone close enough by using wiring and tubing as tentacles, mundane machinery acts with vile sentience. He has activated the long-dormant ruins, a tomb that is now rapidly repairing the Necrons that have been in storage for all these millions of years. When they finally encounter him, they must decide if they kill him and escape, letting the Necrons loose, or use him to find the solution and deactivate the tomb before its too late. In any case, sticking with the original topic, there should be ominous signs and portents about what actually happened, and what is about to happen. If he killed his colleagues, and is using them as experiments, there should be signs of struggle - destroyed servitors, blood splatter, smeared trails of blood. Creepy effect: The machinery seems to chuckle softly at/around the murder scene. The logician could even play into the mounting fear by scratching cryptic messages into the walls to communicate with the acolytes. As they progress, the scratches turn to riddles scrawled in blood. Until they are eventually left with a gruesome scene that is artistically painted in gore, demonstrating the logician's descent to madness.
  15. 30 people is a good amount, if you are going for a horror/creepy atmosphere the most important thing is the mundane details… such as those 30 workers' living quarters, each with a small amount of personal belongings, possibly pictures of family, names, etc. The factory itself should have most of the fine details worked out also, maybe written in "boxed" text. The players need to be able to see that everything is finely detailed, the description of the environment needs to cover all senses - sight, smell/taste, hearing, feel, everything in those descriptions should start off normal…. Normal enough that the players are feeling comfortable with the setting, and can truly visualize what is there. I personally think the outside environment should be cold, dusty, dark, and windy, while the interior should be near freezing and dry, with machinery still droning, and the strong smell of chemicals everywhere. Try to emphasize the feeling of isolation. Then, you can start creeping them out. Leave much of the creepy effects up to the players' imagination to figure out, don't tell them what it is. They will end up scaring themselves from implications more than from the actual truth behind it. Some creepy effects to insert when you feel the mood is right(I wouldn't recommend using all of these, just the ones you think would fit): -Extremely loud Com static sounds like whispers and moans. -The sound of insects buzzing over rotting corpses can be heard all around. -Machinery occasionally starts to make grinding noises, crunching and dripping can be heard each time. -A groaning sound of stressed metal gets closer and closer…. A warm draft of air blasts you, carrying the stench of sewage and rot with it. -Children's laughter echoes from the creaking and squeaking machinery, and seems to follow one of the players anywhere they go. -In a place they have already explored, a single drop of blood can be seen on the floor. Don't stray from using cliche's they work perfectly once the mood is set. -A series of mechanical slams echo throughout the facility, as doors begin to shut and lock all around them. -Hissing vents and jets start issuing forth a low-lying extremely cold fog. -Static electricity hangs in the air, as cybernetic beeps and buzzes surround the players. -The facility's power is cut off, machinery stops, lights go out, etc. An unnatural pale green light slowly illuminates the facility. As for the Necron ruins: Low-lying cold fog. Pale green illumination. Metal skeletons standing uniformly up against the walls of hallways. That's all I got for now, hit a wall in the brain. Hope some of that is useful or helps to inspire ideas.
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