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About Archebius

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  1. So, you know how sometimes, you get those guys who use, "That's just what my character would do!" as an excuse for whatever they feel like doing? And you know how sometimes you have to add new players into the game at an awkward moment, and you just have to hope that your existing players will gloss over it and be cool? Sometimes those two things collide in unpleasant ways. There we were, on a planet of my own creation, one in which a binary-planet system has created such frequent darkness across the planet that the plant life has developed a variety of methods - such as carnivorous tendencies, and bioluminescence to attract things - to deal with it. My brother and sister are both out of college, and wanting to join up for a few sessions, but the other players are already down on the planet. Easy, right? Stumble across them in a clearing, do some introductions, bam. Everything's cool. Except that it was Mr. Angry who stumbles across them. So he radios to the other two, telling them to hurry over to this clearing, while he takes out his big rifle and watches them. He waits until the other two get there, and then he - without saying anything - fires off a warning shot. Then he tells my siblings to lay down arms. Well, neither of them are particularly accommodating. They look at each other, and then they start running towards him, guns blazing. Mr. Angry isn't too worried, though - he's got a big gun, and there are three of them. They roll for initiative. Mr. Angry, and my other current players, all roll terribly. My brother and sister roll really, really well. And that was a pretty good omen for how the rest of this encounter would go. My sister is playing a tiny character, and my brother is playing a huge one. My sister decides that she's going to ride on my brother's back. They charge across the clearing like some sort of weird chicken fight. Both decide to fire at Mr. Angry, since he started it. So I ask my brother, stun, right? And my brother asks, is Mr. Angry using stun? Mr. Angry was not using stun, because he's a jerk. So my brother said he wouldn't, either. Rolls a great hit. I ask my sister if she's going to use stun. She just looks at me and says "Heck no." Rolls. Misses. All my current players roll. The other two, thankfully, use stun settings. Mr. Angry does not. He rolls them up. Whiffs. My brother misses, my sister hits. Mr. Angry is at half health. The other two miss. Mr. Angry flips a destiny point to upgrade his dice pool. It doesn't help him - he still whiffs. He's starting to get kind of mad. My brother hits. Mr. Angry is at one health. The other two finally peg my brother pretty good, so he's almost at his strain threshold. Mr. Angry fires, misses again. He's really starting to get mad. My brother and sister both miss. The other two finally bring my brother down. Mr. Angry finally gets a hit on my sister. My sister rolls a hard agility check to try to dismount gracefully - and nails it. She leaps off of him, hits the ground, rolls, comes up, cuts Mr. Angry down. He rolls for his critical - rolls a 96. He's ticked off. He keeps yelling about how unfair I'm being, though mostly in good fun. The other two, sensibly, decide to tie my brother and sister up until they get a chance to talk to them. They cart Mr. Angry back off to the base, where an NPC gives him a stimpack and wakes him back up. The other two, who understand that I'm just trying to get my new players to meet the group and join up so that we can get on to more important things, try to talk the other two down. He's not a bad guy, we're looking for this stuff here in the jungle, you guys want to help, it'll be fun, etc. My brother and sister agree, sign up, exchange names, shake hands. Meanwhile, Mr. Angry has woken up, and decided to march back to the clearing. He arrives just after everyone's made nice (I was hoping that he wouldn't do anything rash if they were all working together). He immediately pulls out his gun, again, points it at my brother, and tells him to drop his weapon. My brother says, "I put a hand on his shoulder, all comforting like... and then I slap him." Mr. Angry punches him. He manages to do some stun damage, and with my brother recently knocked out, he's still almost at his stun threshold. The punch is enough to knock him out. My sister is about ready to shoot Mr. Angry again, but my brother says, "As my last conscious act - I fall forward, and try to crush him." Mr. Angry rolls a normal agility check, and fails. My brother falls on top of him and crushes him. I've had meetings go better.
  2. "True fluff" in 40k sounds like an oxymoron anyways. Yeah. I think that 40K can be fine without knowing a ton. It's mostly the spirit of the thing that might be hard for people - I know that my group gets pretty ridiculous with Star Wars sometimes, in a way that just wouldn't fit with 40K. Personally, I hope that we see at least one more supplement for Only War. There are a few things I'd like to have official rules for...
  3. The midichlorians refuse to be used for such purposes.
  4. Or how Jango is unceremoniously beheaded by Mace Windu in AotC? Which surprises even Master Windu? This is another reason why the prequels don't exist to me.
  5. This would be the least cinematic ending. I haven't played enough to be sure, but I think I'd tweak the destiny point before I took away strain. Strain makes sense - you're drawing on powers you're unfamiliar with and making a mental compromise that goes against your nature. It's distracting and difficult to do that and still focus on the task at hand. Granted, it's more of a failing on the GM's part if there isn't a destiny point to flip, but it would be frustrating to have my choice to draw on the dark side hinge on something like that.
  6. Just let your players know that demons can smell power gaming... and hunger for it.
  7. I feel like the prequels and extended universe have made things weird. If you look at the OT for inspiration, Kenobi cut a guy down for attacking Luke. Luke assaulted Jabba's base and essentially killed his entire entourage, and had no qualms about helping his friends blow up a space station that was, at the time, just sitting in orbit. Yoda isn't even above telling Luke to let his friends die so that he can save the rest of the galaxy, because that's what they're all struggling for in the first place. You might be able to save everyone in a Bioware game, but Yoda knew that sacrifices might have to be made for the greater good. The strict moral code of seeking all manner of non-violent solutions before just whipping out your lightsaber was built up later. In the OT, the difference between how the "good" force users and the "bad" force users act is in their purpose. Luke and Kenobi use their powers to defend, rescue, and help others. By contrast, nearly every instance of Vader's use of the force is to choke people. He isn't just killing them, he's making them suffer, often for arbitrary reasons. The Emperor only uses the force once, and that's to torture Luke with exquisite lightning-based pain. If someone points a blaster at a kid with the intention of shooting him, Kenobi would be right there beside you when you cut him down. If a bunch of Stormtroopers tried to massacre a defenseless village, Luke would gladly lend a hand - but he might be confused as to why you're using lightning instead of an actual weapon that kills people. The dark side isn't just a different power set and color scheme. It's an entirely different way of thinking, based on fear, anger, pain, and power. When those Stormtroopers are about to kill innocents, are you more interested in making them suffer or in saving the town? Because if you just want to make a bunch of Stormtroopers writhe in agony, then you're probably evil. Force Lightning isn't just something that dark side users get because they wear eyeliner. It's designed to make people suffer as much as possible before killing them. So, what are your primary motivations? If you're fighting for truth, justice, and the American Way, then you are by definition (at least the OT's definitions) a light side user. That doesn't, or didn't, mean celibacy and council meetings and a lot of existential crises. It means that you genuinely want to help people. If you don't care one way or the other, then you're probably somewhere in the middle (I imagine Han with the force). But if you actually want to use dark side powers, then your ultimate goal isn't just to save people (though that might be part of it, at first), but to make other people hurt and suffer as much as you can. And that leads to darker and darker things.
  8. The trade winds aren't constant, and cargo ships don't tack very well. Nah, I'm assuming it has more to do with which printer they use, waiting for the boat to arrive, waiting for the boat to be loaded, etc. A lot of variables with shipping in general. And I would be thrilled if any other lines had three titles in the works right now. Only one book in development for 40K. So count your blessings, guys. I want the BH book as much as everyone else, but I'm just glad that they're so invested in Star Wars... even if I wish Only War would get another book or two...
  9. One of my players, and the most experienced RPGer at the table, comes from a long and storied history of Hunter: The Vigil and other World of Darkness games. Part of the trouble in getting him to consider Only War was the idea that there isn't anything you solve or investigate; he was worried the game would turn into nothing but a series of explosions and fight scenes. In designing their campaign, I made sure that there were a few things in there that weren't straight up fights. Some of it is strategy, or survival, or making the right choices in the heat of the battle. But I also wanted to bring in some of that Hunter feel - thrust against forces that are almost beyond imagining, that simply must be survived. As Jump Troopers, the players land ahead of the main assault force (on a rebel planet of reasonable wealth/technology) and are responsible for removing AA and securing landing sites. Once complete, they advance with the main force to the nearest city, which is supposed to be a stronghold of enemy resistance. They find all the defenders slain - the Dark Eldar came, and they stole something. There are no survivors, but a shipping manifest reveals that the stolen item came from a nearby fortress. The players are given the task of taking and garrisoning that fortress, and figuring out what the Eldar wanted from there so badly. Ultimately, after firing everything back up, finding the shattered remnants of a research base beneath the fortress, and having a few regimental casualties down in the depths, the players find a creature in the ruins beneath the base - a creature that sheds energy to infiltrate rooms, then absorbs light and sound to coalesce into a solid form. This makes lasguns fairly ineffective; they can wound the creature, but every blast also buffs it. The players have to decide whether they want to try to race it to the power generator, find a dark sealed room to hole up in (they found a survivor who did this - the creature tried to come for him, but couldn't coalesce in the dark space), or try to kill it with overwhelming firepower (killing it would be absurdly difficult). Assuming they survive, they discover that the research facility held a Baffle, a device capable of canceling out light and sound in a small area - a perfect tool for restraining shadow creatures, and for Dark Eldar raiding. I looked back through the forum posts, but I couldn't find a thread on this, so I figured I'd start one. What are some of the non-combat things that you've had your players stumble across and try to survive? Soldiers aren't generally meant for investigative work, but sometimes you stumble across horrors on the battlefield that you have to deal with yourself. What are some ideas you have for conflicts that can't just be lasgunned through?
  10. I'm a little surprised they're still playing with you.
  11. Depends how many situations the antagonist is going to find himself in. I think character creation makes sense if you want an antagonist that's going to have to perform tasks aside from combat. If he's just going to be the big bad waiting in a throne room somewhere, don't go through the trouble. If he's going to have to tightrope across a ravine to negotiate with a Toydarian merchant who is only impressed with slicing skills, then might as well roll him up as a full-on character. My biggest advice for running custom games is to be okay with wherever the story leads. Roll with what your players want to do, and don't get too set on what you assumed they'd do. Some of the best adventures we've had have come from my players going in an unexpected (but usually logical) direction. Sometimes you have to pause the action while you figure out what to do with what they give you, but it's worth it. Makes the galaxy feel a lot bigger.
  12. I try to keep my players insulated from the established continuity. They're off doing their own thing. In the F&D campaign I'm rolling out right now, the Emperor is indirectly involved - the PCs were force-sensitives captured and brought to a facility for some basic stress testing and sorting, some to be discarded, some to be further evaluated as potential Hands - but they won't meet anyone important unless they really want to get involved in galactic events. And honestly, I hope they don't. I enjoy EotE, where the players are forging their own destiny. I want to translate that feel of openness to my F&D campaign; if they want to go help blow up the Death Star in a few years, I'll let them contribute, but if they want to just try to make their way in the galaxy, trying to stay a step ahead of the Imperials, I'm more than happy with that. I also introduce characters and organizations that aren't canonical. For example, in this campaign, a Hutt hoping for a force sensitive in his menagerie takes out a contract with The Lost - a slave-trading group that takes special orders, and is renowned for their ability to make people simply disappear.
  13. Mmmm. Nothing turns me on quite like spore cloud ducts.
  14. I wonder how much I've been lied to, reading the wiki...
  15. And this is basically how it's been with actual religion. Aside from general rules that (almost) every sect of Christianity agrees with ("Don't fool around with your neighbor's wife"), different places have taken different stances. Some sects say that you should only do it when you're actively trying to have kids, and then no one involved should actually derive any pleasure from it. Some are more, "Whatever, man." Some think it's a very serious failing on the man's part if he isn't pleasuring adequately. Others tend to be more... patriarchal. Which, again, is part of the reason why I think it's a good thing that it's not officially treated. Given how weird everything else can be in this universe, I'm okay with sex being left to the imagination - something more timeless than the Imperium, something that is just left alone by the Ministorum. But dude - Rogue Trader. Sex in the 40k universe is whatever proclivities your character has and can get away with. You want a harem so large that you have to drag a cruiser behind yours just to hold them all? If your trader is that into it, then by all means, break out a tow cable and hire some eunuchs.
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