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Night10194

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  1. I've always been curious to what extent most warbands just stay in the Ragged Helix or other sections of the Screaming Vortex and spend most of their time plundering other Chaos forces. The first campaign I ran never left the Vortex and we never ran out of interesting adversaries or story hooks. How often do other groups' head out to actually do battle with the Imperium, or other threats? Similar, I've seen three general ways to run Black Crusade over time. Saturday Morning Cartoon Heretics, where everything's so over the top that it's really more of dark humor than anything else. Antiheroes, where the Heretics have decent reasons to hate the Imperium or have hooked up with Chaos and chronicle their slow degradation and the loss of the ideals they began with in the face of Chaos (Or perhaps, their triumph and ability to balance their goals and the demands of the Gods). Finally, there's just running it as is, as a bunch of crazy people worshipping dark gods for power. I've tended to prefer the former two, having run one of each, but I'm curious what kind of tone most people try for. Comedy? Drama? Crazy murder?
  2. Evasion tests solve everything. We had a Renegade, a normal human, who was rolling something like a 98% Parry test with +1 DoS from Adroit who took on a Bloodthirster alone and killed the heck out of it. Admittedly, I wasn't activating its 'Spend 1 Charge, attack can't be blocked' ability, but that was a relatively minor handicap to the fact that no PC, no matter how tough or how much Sound Con, can possibly survive 3d10+25 Pen Lots. As you get up there, even armor will stop helping you at all and it really comes down to how good you are at dodging and blocking.
  3. Hell, I'd imagine Grey Knights and the like can Fall just like anyone else. They've just been lucky (or writer's darlings) so far. Making someone's organization 'immune' to the kind of pride and human failing that leads to falling to Chaos seems, to me, to break with the most interesting element of Chaos. Everyone, Marine or Human, is tempted at some point. So if you want a Fallen Sororita or to write a story where the unthinkable happens and a Knight finally succumbs, go for it!
  4. I liked the changes to the firing rules well enough to make them retroactive to all the other 40k RPGs. I find they tend to work quite well, with particularly excellent characters still able to land plenty of shots with full auto but having the make a decision between speed of fire and accuracy, now. I'm not all that concerned about their realism so much as the fact that they work well for gameplay, which they do.
  5. Oddly enough, players keep falling for the Adepts. Adepts get all the ladies, it seems. I have yet to run a normal Dark Heresy game that includes an Adept and not have one of the SoBs or other female players swoon over the guy at some point. I have no idea why this keeps happening. I guess Adepts are just adorable. It's gotten to the point of being a meme among my players.
  6. I always assumed that it was mostly left blank to allow you to make it whatever sort of final boss or central problem you wanted it to be. Thanks to a discussion with a player while planning Black Crusade, we made it the birthing chamber of a fifth Chaos God, created by the lies and contradictions of Calixis (We liked the theory that Drusus' rebirth was a lie and that he was a daemonhost, a case where Radicals actually, really succeeded in using Chaos on Chaos on a sector-saving scale and then built a massive conspiracy to hide it and promote a false saint). Unfortunately for the sector, as this discussion was done before a Black Crusade game...well, I've posted elsewhere about what ended up happening, but suffice to say Calixis is very much on fire right now in my 40k RPGs and paying deeply for all its lies. Has anyone else actually had the Scarystar come up in their games? And if so, what did you end up making it, exactly, as the original poster asked?
  7. It's always meant all melee combat. Hand-to-hand is just a way of referring to melee.
  8. -Your priest tries to distract an ancient AI with prattle about the Emperor and ends up baptizing and converting it. -Your party starts the game with more lifelong and world-shattering enemies than all your other 40k RPGs combined. -You can actually tell an Inquisitor to go screw himself and survive. -Space Marines owe you favors. -Your hat is *fantastic*.
  9. Well, having just fought a Chaos Marine and squad of renegades using these stats as a 2500 EXP Heavy Gunner, I can say I can see why they made them tougher. I kinda wiped the floor with the Marine via autocannon while my squad set the renegades on fire and grenaded them. I don't think we even took a single wound and we weren't especially high level or powerful. Admittedly, that took a fair amount of good luck (Marine failing Dodge, good burst with an autocannon, a bolter jam for the Marine) and if you take a single hit from one of those buggers you're pretty much done, but the prevalence of heavy and special weapons in a Guard squad really does make them a ton more manageable than you'd fear, even with those crazy stats. Was still a hell of an exciting fight, though, which means mission accomplished. After all, had we not gotten so lucky with our shooting that thing could've hit melee and we'd have all been screwed. The Order of St. Meleum is a nice bonus, too.
  10. Also, since you're working for the Inquisition (sorta) I'd imagine you probably have access to one of the more efficient drop vehicles: Valkyries. We used a Valkyrie in my Kill-Team and did shenanigans ranging from mid-air boarding of Tau vehicles to calling it in for close air support once. But yes, Drop Pods are pretty much a way to get down fast when you're not too worried about getting back up any time soon. They're hard to track, hard to shoot down, and they get down really fast. More for long-term beachheads than the kind of special operations work the Deathwatch does.
  11. Our party was a little odd, as it was focused around the rebirth of Malal, who we wrote as the 5th Chaos God and a God of Truth, and that the Tyrant Star was his birthing place (It drives people mad because he shows them their true place in 40k, strips their comforting illusions and delusions of grandeur, and in a setting like this you absolutely need those to stay sane). Our PCs were: Kalia, the Chosen of Malal: Kalia was a young psyker woman, taken from the surface of Kurse to be a Gladiator at a young age and managing to mostly conceal her psychic abilities. She was also really good at killing people in hand to hand combat, and we ported over an eviscerator taken from a captured ministorum priest forced into the ring for a sort of signature weapon for her. She was a strongly anti-authoritarian woman, slim, short-haired, and wiry, with a fierce love of tearing the powerful off their self-deluding thrones. This may be why, when the Tyrant Star passed by Kurse, she didn't go insane. Instead, she started laughing, and used a warp variance from the chaos to simply walk to another world (we all thought that bit of fluff for the Vortex was awesome). She could hear the voice of the Star, telling her to help it to be born and to show Chaos, the Imperium, and everyone else the truth of how little so much of their self delusion mattered. Her psychic power was mostly used to boost her considerable abilities in melee, and her reckless, brash demeanor led to her getting more messed up than any of the others during the course of the story. She was a true believer in her new God, eagerly seeking to spread the word of the Tyrant Star and bring her Lord back into the world. For her efforts, she was granted Daemonhood as one of his great Heralds at his rebirth, and is currently wandering the Vortex, proclaiming His existence and rabble-rousing cults of the disaffected or oppressed to rise up and bring some new upheaval to Chaos, to avoid letting it get too set in its ways or letting the Chaos Lords become too comfortable on their thrones, lest they bring too much order. Rozea, the Radical: Rozea was a Radical Xanthanite Inquisitor, who had given up on the Imperium actually winning the Long War without something happening to change things. She found her answer in researching the Tyrant Star, even over her growing hatred for the Calixian Conclave. She discovered prophecies that spoke of Kalia, of a woman from nothing who would bring Truth to the galaxy and who might turn Chaos against Chaos, and was preparing to enter the Vortex to find her when a rival Radical attacked her ship. Inquisitor Thorn destroyed her Acolytes, captured her Interrogators, and only let Rozea escape into the Vortex so he'd have an excuse to hunt her there with an army as a 'fleeing arch-heretic'. Rozea was an Apostate, a political operator and spy who nonetheless happened to also have an inferno pistol and power knife for when things needed to go wrong. She posed as a seeress and advisor to the Chosen, trying to protect Kalia from her own brash nature and advise her on building an army and a power base in the Vortex. As she did so, she began to hear the voice of the unborn Malal, and slowly converted to his faith, rather than following it as a ruse like she intended. Over the course of the story, the party confronted and killed Inquisitor Thorn and his insane plans to awaken an ancient race of warp parasites that might be capable of devouring immortal daemons (or, he hoped, Gods) and revenged Rozea's defeat against him. She was quite surprised when she was raised to Daemonhood as well, at the Throne of Malal, during his rebirth. Now a true believer in the power of Truth, she wanders the Calixis sector as it burns from the birth of Malal, destroying the Inquisitors she hated and raising up the people against the cult of Drusus, who was revealed to have been a Daemonhost as was suggested in the Radical's Handbook. She's eager to bring a great cleansing and change to the Imperium, just as much as Kalia is for the forces of Chaos. Vincent: Vincent was a fallen Imperial Hero who had joined Khorne after the death of his lover at the hands of a Commissar during one of the many pointless, meatgrinder battles he fought as a Guardsman. He fell to Khorne in despair, having nothing left but slaughter, and accompanied the party mostly to kill and to feed on the strife they spread, with his mighty chainsword Requiem and later his Chainaxe Nocturne. Vincent was, without a doubt, the strongest combat PC I've ever had in a 40k RPG. His deeds of valor and slaughter would make a Space Marine blush, despite being a human Renegade, and included taking down an entire combat squad of Marines in melee, single handed. He eventually broke with Khorne, after several encounters with an ancient champion of his God, a heresy veteran space marine who urged him to escape service to the nihilistic Blood God while it was still possible before falling in a duel against the mighty Renegade, and unfortunately for Khorne's vengeance, Vincent spoke his language really, really well. By which I mean he killed a fair number of Khorne Berserkers and eventually helped slay a Bloodthirster in melee. He came to the service of Malal, and at the God's rebirth, because the God's greatest champion, a mighty daemon-prince who seeks out those who lie to and send soldiers to pointless deaths and takes their heads. He's considered one of the greatest threats the Commissariate or Departmento Munitorium Adepts could ever face. It was a pretty epic campaign, and it's now set the Calixis sector on fire and caused massive upheavals all over for later campaign plot seeds. I know it violates a lot of the standard lore, but we had a hell of a time running it and it was probably the most fun I've ever had running a 40k game, and I've had a lot of fun running them. Considering how terrifyingly powerful they were even as humans during the late part of the campaign, I imagine the Deathwatch party we're planning for after the DH2E Playtest isn't going to be too sanguine about fighting one of those former-PC Daemon Princes as a major foe. It'll be great!
  12. The other thing is, to some extent, basic anatomy and medical science absolutely have to have survived or almost everything they do with cybernetics or surgery is impossible. I know the setting likes to go on and on about humors and bile and the like, but considering they can do amputations better than a civil war era doctor and can generally prevent their patients dying of infection, etc. It's similar to how they like to claim the Admech don't use anesthetic when they cyberize someone. I'm sure to an author that knew nothing about medicine that sounded appropriately grimdark and cool, but in reality that would make the surgery pretty much impossible and probably kill the patient from shock. What I'm saying is, the best way to do it is to have a 40k doctor from an advanced culture know a fair amount about anatomy and other basic medical science by our standards, but as others suggested, be using tools he mostly knows how to use by rote learning. He knows what it means when someone has been poisoned with digitalis or curare and what to do to treat them, but doesn't know how the toxin wand tells him what the patient's suffering or exact mechanisms for the detox drugs. He knows the signs that show you whether it's a fracture or a torn ligament, and probably knows how to use an X-Ray to confirm his diagnosis, and knows that certain stim-paks and other medical supplies will help, but doesn't really know how the crazy future tech in his medkit regenerated tissue and repairs the shattered bone in instants. That kind of thing. Knows his trade, not his tools.
  13. It's very hard to do less than Calixis did. Admittedly, I got some use out of the Tyrant Star in my Black Crusade game when we decided it was the womb of Malal, Lord of Chaos against Chaos and God of Truth (We altered his fluff a fair bit) and their campaign revolved around returning him to existence to become his first Daemon Princes (and Princess) and favored Chosen (Ground floor!). But otherwise, I always found Calixis really boring. It's pretty much just Space Victoriana and noble corruption all the way down, with almost nothing for the Ordo Xenos to do except the Slaugh, who had a lot of potential but I felt were quite underused. I mean, what on Calixis was actually all that unique? A Hive World full of NOBLE POLITICS, a Feral World full of WAR, a Feudal World of CRUSHING OPPRESSION, are these really anything special in 40K? I hope the new Sector is more interesting, and I suspect it will be mostly because the subsequent 40kRP settings were all better than Calixis. What I've seen from the beta document's descriptions of the main local Hive, though, does not fill me with confidence. But that's fine. 40k is a huge, huge setting and it's really easy to ignore, add, or make up your own planets, settings, and subsectors/sectors. Part of the fun of 40k is that it's so big that a lot of the 'X must be Y way' stuff really doesn't apply and it's easy to alter the fluff, especially as its' been stagnant for so long. Also, feels good to finally vent a bit about Calixis. We mostly kept the place around to make fun of the locals and their toy soldiers, or for the Scintillan 17th to annoy the hell out of guardsmen in Only War.
  14. I was about to post about this myself. I think a better concept for the Assassin would be increasing the damage they do from Surprise, as suggested, or perhaps increasing their RF chance on Surprise. I really like how the new Assassin is middling in open combat but amazingly athletic and good at stealth/scouting and a good special to reflect that would be nice.
  15. The new system is really just Aptitudes But Easier to Calculate Quickly and with standardized talents. I'm quite happy with it.
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