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sponge

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Everything posted by sponge

  1. I keep seeing something along the lines of "Code: Indigo" or some other color splashed along the top of correspondence between characters in the excerpts. It strikes me as a kind of threat or secrecy rating system, but I don't have the chart, so it's complete nonsense to me. Can anyone explain the color coding or point me towards a chart?
  2. sponge

    Fluff reading - Code Vermillion?

    Excellent work. Sounds better than my crayola method.
  3. Trying to come up with a good metaplot, but am definitely having some trouble due to the broadness of it; could do anything. As a result, I've done nothing. Basically, because my players are WH40K newbies, I decided it would be best to give them as close to a blank slate as I could. They start out in a stasis chamber surrounded by a DW kill team, sent to them by the machinations of the Omega Vault. Hypno-indoctrination, cultural knowledge, and most of the other mental conditioning and memories that would make them stereotypical death dealers are out of the picture, allowing them to explore and become introduced to the setting in a more paced out fashion. GM fiat and the vagaries of of dark age devices make such things palatable. --- So, they're on the team, both the players and the characters know nothing and remember nothing. It's enough to be able to get them to go on missions, but without having a greater scheme behind why they were in stasis chamber, there's not enough there to carry them through a year of play. What do you think? Where should I take this and how should I implement it?
  4. Well, it's on permanent hiatus at this point I think. So, after some downtime/side quest type stuff, it kinda... fell apart. On the side-quest, I threw a bone to my ultramarine, a set of pre-heresy power armor, with the helmet missing. It's been awhile, so I can't remember exactly how I had them figure it out, but they figure out that the helmet is on Castobel, which is conveniently where their next mission is. So, they get their marching orders from the captain: go planet side and seize control of the Hive's reactors, hold until relieved or initiate catastrophic meltdown, depending on how the battle goes. The UM player, a tactical marine, is the team leader for the op. He modifies their flight plan to set down a few miles away, near the cathedral that they believe houses the helmet. The party makes their way to the Cathedral and, in a kinda Indiana Jones moment, just after he takes the helmet, I drop a Flying Hive Tyrant through the roof. They fight the good fight, and lose. Fission Mailed, bro. So, they wake up in varying states of dismemberment. The UM character took about 8 points of critical to the head. I let him burn a fate point to avoid death, but he woke up missing both his eyes. The Dark Angel heavy lost an arm, a leg, well... if I had the rules for it handy, I would have put him in a sarcophagus. Party morale plummeted shortly thereafter. Too harsh?
  5. I agree that coherence is important, but I would argue that rationality is more so. Everything in the setting, plot, motivations, etc. needs to make sense. If the story or game session is incoherent because my PC's are incoherent, that could still be an acceptable session oozing with grim dark or whatever the mood theme was that night. The important part is that each character's unwritten algorithm that governs their behavior is, for the most part, observed. Granted, being a GM and knowing beforehand what kind of characters I've allowed into the party, I'm going to tailor the story to make it work. If the group could be loosely defined as a collection of irrational murderous psychopaths, the Deathwatch is never going to send them to guard a sensitive diplomatic mission. But they would send them on a blind, desperate quest to slay a brood lord in the middle of a gene-cult uprising. The city's burning anyway, the hive ship will be here in a few hours if we do nothing, why the hell not, amirite? That said, idea #2 and #3 are great. Something I need to be reminded of myself from time to time. I think I would have to urge caution for idea #1 however. I've found that my players excel at slaying hordes. Even elites, they've got a pretty good chance at. The one time I gave them what-for, they were in a food court in a multi-level commercial structure, hordes of troops arrayed on 5 floors of balcony railings and cover, focused on a platoon of PDF troopers who were pinned in the center of this plaza. The kill team walked into this scenario and the four marines split up to cover the various angles. The assault marine jumped to the top floor to work his way down, while the apothecary and the tactical took the stairs. One combat round goes by and they're feeling pretty good about things. The horde doesn't manage to damage anyone, they've put some terri-good damage to the horde magnitude, and they're feeling a bit bored. Suddenly, the assault marine dies. He got ganked by two gene stealers, who fled the scene immediately after. The remaining team members rush to the assault marine's last location and find his mangled body on top of what used to be a glass table. His leg was hit with the mortal blow in the last round. They find his boot standing upright, the weight and rigidity of the armor keeping it upright with his foot and calf still inside. Of his killers, there was no sign. My players, bless their little hearts, are the Emperor's finest. They will square off against a hive tyrant any day of the week and go down in a blaze of glory. Their shield is disgust, their armor is contempt, their sword is hatred. And they do not know fear. But of all the enemies they have faced, the only ones that gave them pause were the two gene stealers they could not see, who lurked in the shadows and hunted them through the dying city, waiting for an opportunity to catch them by surprise. The scariest enemy is the one you can't see but know about. The one you would fight but are unable to match. The shadow of an enemy is more terrifying than the caster of the shadow. Because you can't fight a shadow, you don't know what the capabilities of the shadow caster are. All you can do is anxiously wait with a sense of rising paranoia and dread for the next move.
  6. I have a player who strapped himself down with 2x 60 round Heavy Bolter box magazines and about 30+ frag and krak grenades. This is in addition to his backpack fed heavy bolter (Godfeckindamn autocorrect) and other standard issue gear. How do ya'll deal with this type of scenario? I'm not sure how the grenades and bolt rounds actually work. But if they're very similar to modern day munitions, and they do seem rather primitive by comparison to force fields and lasguns, I imagine there's a danger of a cook-off if subjected to extreme force or heat. Certainly, taking critical damage might impede the function of a backpack ammo supply, the belt doesn't spool out anymore, that sort of thing. What else? What rules would be appropriate to create or apply in this scenario?
  7. sponge

    Pack Rat Syndrome

    To riff off your joke, I'd say there's a 100% chance that any damage to the torso will hit his ammo supply. In this case, I would likely jam his heavy bolter the next time he tries to fire it.^^
  8. sponge

    Pack Rat Syndrome

    lol I was picturing the ammo backpack mounted on the front just like the back, giving that bulbous rounded look to our intrepid PC characters. "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!"
  9. Not sure if this has been said already, but the Ork who thinks he's a space marine story is called "Deffwotch", Deathwatch in Ork cockney. Generally, the entire concept is known as Orkhammer 40k. My favorite is Orkquisitor.
  10. sponge

    Pack Rat Syndrome

    Well, my guys are pretty good about that. Fairly certain that once I roll a system out to deal with it, they'll react appropriately. Right now, there's nothing in the book that covers the topic, that's why they did it. Their calculus will change once a risk is implemented. It'll be fair, they'll share the same risk of equipment vulnerability as the enemies. They don't care that it's brutal, they'll care that the effects are applied to the enemies too.
  11. Ooh, now that is pretty awesome. I like the... containment. Much as I enjoy dealing with prophecy and apocalypse (I am an American after all), I'd prefer to reserve that level of scale as we near the end of the line. Busy now, need more time to ruminate. Will revisit this soon.
  12. sponge

    Pack Rat Syndrome

    I think what I'll do is impose something similar to Lynata's system if they exceed their tactical load out. If they're carrying roughly what they should be carrying, no issue. For ease of mathing and brutality's sake, for each individual item they carry, a damage die roll from 10 on down will also strike the munition. Depending on the kind of damage, it will affect the equipment appropriately. Example: X has an extra magazine above his standard issue. On a damage die roll of 10, that magazine was struck in addition to himself. The effect of the magazine being struck depends on the damage type he is struck by. If it is rending or impact, the magazine is basically unusable. Half the rounds are shredded or bent, the magazine itself is sheared and will not feed into the bolter's well. If it is explosive or energy based attack that strikes the magazine, the rounds detonate. Due to proximity, he takes 50% of the rounds in the magazine to that location. In other words, shoots himself 12 times in the chest due to bad luck and lack of foresight. For each additional item, the chance of equipment being struck increases similarly. Two items = a damage die roll of 9 or 10. Ten items = 100% chance of a piece of equipment being struck when successfully attacked. Of course, depends on location, etc. So if he strapped all of his grenades and ammo to his chest, it'd only be an issue if he's struck on the chest when checking for random hit location. I don't want to deal with facing, random tables, and the like. I need a quick, clean, and clearly understandable system that matches the potential gains of carrying quintuple munitions with an appropriate level of risk.
  13. Will do. I think we'll run the next session this weekend.
  14. sponge

    Pack Rat Syndrome

    Got it, thanks.
  15. Yep, thanks man. I think I'm good to go to actually start working on the real campaign now.
  16. I seriously don't know. Is the Unforgiven just a moniker the loyalist DA's call themselves? I like option B the most. Far more delicious than a stark black-and-white answer. I would only put Cypher as a central member of the cast if and only if I could work him in as a time-loop paradox. Which would be the point of the story, thus tightly quarantined. You know, you chase cypher, you learn all of cypher's secrets, you catch cypher... you are Cypher. The campaign ends as you pull down your hood and check your pistols. The Mad One, don't quote me on this, is Gaia, the only Old One to have killed and devoured a C'Tan during the War of the Heavens. While her power greatly increased, the process of metabolizing the entity corrupted her. She became as dangerous to her fellows as she was to the enemy. Ultimately, they used her, luring her into destroying most of the C'tan. When finally they had no further use of her abilities, and being unable to heal her broken mind or destroy her, she was imprisoned. In my overarching meta-meta-plotline, she exists to kill The Dragon. You know, if a large number of Fallen were tossed through the warp willy-nilly, it seems that there's a good chance most of them were tainted by the Warp. Perhaps some were able to travel safely, if the warp offers any possibility, perhaps the possibility of safe harbor also exists. Regardless, the more I learn about them, the less I think they're like the other CSM's. Like if there are any who are tainted, stereotypical CSM's, their mutations and devotion occurred post-schism. Like a side-effect of the warp storm. Otherwise, their grievances and objectives may be entirely understandable. But with so many corrupted ones running around, you can never really tell. Some are tainted, some are not. Some remember why they're doing what they're doing, most are too crazy to remember. Very fertile ground for a GM.
  17. sponge

    Breaching Augur - wut da zog?

    Make a house rule to better reflect its awkwardness in combat. Your conversation got me curious, so I looked it up. It's basically as you say, a giant drill. Thing about drills is, they're only really powerful/dangerous on the point, provided you have leverage and backing. Under ideal conditions, say a tank hull or a guy pinned between the tip and a wall, it would deal full damage. But in actual melee combat, I think glancing blows are incredibly more likely. I'd make it punishing. Like, only deals full damage on a natural 1% or only on doubles. Otherwise, the tip doesn't plant and the speed of the augur catches the opponent and throws them X meters to the left or something. Say that if you fail the attack roll on a double, the tip catches and the speed goes to you, lifting you off your feet and throwing the hapless character X number of meters. Basically, make it so that sure, they can get that damage and penetration they're drooling over, but in order to do so, they need to wrestle the opponent down and hold them still so they can use it to full effect. Drills are hard enough to use on metal screws, can't imagine how much harder it would be to core a hole if the object was actively trying not to get ventilated.
  18. God Emperor, I would love to play a game with you gents. I'm not really up to snuff on my dark angel lore, which makes it hard for me to really use their backstory to weave the metaplot. I'd hate to just freeform it only to find out later that there was some cool piece that I can't use anymore because it contradicts what's been happening in game. Having to go back through and rationalize it out is more work than I'd like to engage in; much better to cut it right the first time. What is an Unforgiven, anyway? That said, I could see it working to some extent, I'd just need to fill in gaps of knowledge. Luther, The Lion's better half, gets corrupted. Caliban gets destroyed via orbital bombardment or time-distortion, not really sure which at this point. Cypher is some kind of time-traveling space marine version of lara croft, useful for all kinds of GM tricks. But the rest of the fallen, I'm guessing there were very few survivors from the schism. How did they get out and what are they doing? If they survive and are chaos tainted, why wouldn't they make themselves known throughout the fluff, getting the entirety of the 1st legion and its successors declared traitoris excommunicatus would be a terrible blow to the Imperium. Unless all of the fallen are like Cypher, on their own agenda, whatever that might be. Therefore chaos isn't the driving force of their actions, it must be something else. What is the something else? Cypher is busy working on murdering the Emperor or something, is that the goal? Once I've got the end point, it's a simple matter of working out the path and deciding where I want the players' campaign to sit in relation to it. But it would work out perfectly with the prophecy I posted earlier, as the Dark Angels' legacy has a heavy role to play in it too. Now that idea, of them being guinea pigs in an attempt to do the Emperor's bidding right, that is brilliant. +++ So here's what I'm thinking. The Warp Gate, while impressive, distracts from the purpose of this region. Why does this region of space need instantaneous travel to the far side of the galaxy? The Reach, while a large and impressive enough place to carve out a respectable pocket empire, is not important enough in and of itself to warrant such an investment. The Gate doesn't just lead to the Calixis Sector. For those who know how to wield its ancient technology, there are others, waiting in the deep void between the light of distant stars and places. But why? The Pattern. Even with the full battery of auguries and analysis, the Imperium's best and brightest are unable to discern its purpose, reason, or method of creation. The Pattern can only be a gateway, the dead planets rotating into specific alignment but once in a million years. The technocratic rites that stripped the planets of life have turned them into runes. But you would never know it, until the stars align just right, and the gateway opens. It's a doorway fit for the divine. But where could it lead and who would ever use such a thing? On the other side of the gate lies the deep warp, a place where even Chaos Gods fear to tread. The one place that could hold her until the end times, when she would finally fulfill her purpose. The Mad One waits, rages, and hungers. --- What can one man do? Very little. What can one man do with ten thousand years? A little more. For the Mad One to meet her end and fulfill destiny's mandate, she will go to Terra, consuming all in her path. To stop her is impossible. But she can be tempted. Humanity's best chance at surviving lies in the orderly realms of Ultramar, fated to be consumed as she travels to the one place she cannot resist. Engineering a warp storm of the size and scale necessary to achieve his goal was difficult. Provoking a crusade merely required manipulating the Imperium into discovering the warp gate. One last step remained. A never ending stream of morsels would be enough to lead her to the gate. But such control is difficult to ensure through proxy. He would need to don the face of the loyalists. Believe it so utterly and totally that not even he knew the difference. Earn their trust, gain rank and favor through bravery and honor. Until finally, he could name himself interim Warmaster. A true successor will be appointed far too late to matter. For the plan to work, for the Mad One to take the gate and leave Ultima Segmentum unscathed, an iron hand would have to ram every man, woman, and ship in the Achilus crusade down her throat, one at a time. Who would have the resolve necessary to see it done better than an Astartes? Especially one who understands that the alternative is extinction. His plans in motion, he dons his disguise and remembers himself for the last time in a long time as the stasis field powers up. Five thousand years later, just as the builders of the Omega Vault had known, the appointed time has arrived. The cogitator spits out the coordinates and a team is dispatched. +++ Unbeknownst to the kill team, the true son of the lion accepts his appointment to the Deathwatch under orders from the Inner Circle. Luther's latest bout of interrogation gives them reason to believe that one of the Fallen is directly responsible for the Age of Darkness that befell the Jericho Reach. Furthermore, this architect is believed to still be there, his grand design not yet complete. With just enough clues to get started, he sets about his task. Little does he know, his quarry stands beside him, both of them unaware and unsuspecting of their shared ties. Whaddya think? Granted, I fully expect the players to all die long before any of this becomes relevant. But this would give a greater story to the "save this planet, kill that xeno" thing I've had them doing. All I have to do is figure out the best breadcrumbs that lead them to figuring this out.
  19. sponge

    Breaching Augur - wut da zog?

    I... actually am very curious about this too. I have no idea what a Breaching Augur is. But just from the sound of it, I'm thinking of a lance. Like, horse and knights type of a thing. But I have no idea what it is.
  20. But I think now ya'll are starting to see my dilemma. Each and every one of these is a great idea and could, conceivably, be expanded upon to fill a campaign. The question is, which one is best? I can do anything. I can do anything except for nothing, or else the game ends due to flagging interest. Combat and inventive missions can only take my group so far, they're going to want some greater context to sink their teeth into. I want to give them something good, something both unforgettable and yet uniquely grim dark enough that they'll never forget what it means to hear the laughter of thirsting gods.
  21. True. Poor Lamenters man, I want to like them, but they're like tragedy magnets. You're right, a mind-wiped loyalist finding out he was a loyalist has no conflict, no pull whatsoever. I really like the idea of making at least one of them Fallen. Especially because my players really like a Dark Angel NPC they've ran into a few times. To have them help their battle brother trace themselves gives it a giddy Oedipus Rex overtone. The more they help their friend complete his goal, the closer they come to discovering their own identities, and in so doing, destroying everything they've come to cherish in this new life they've built around themselves. I already dropped the "knowledge begets heresy" meme, I could easily turn that into a campaign long theme and be all, "just as planned" when they get to the end of the road. I'd also been toying with the idea of having them be a sort of fifth column Ultramarine plant. That their original reason for being was to subvert the Jericho sector in preparation for Roboute's coup de'tat, stillborn when Horus beat him to the punch. Lots of artistic license there, there's only two guys who could've confirmed that story at this point in the game and neither of them are talking. Maybe the treatment reverts the mutations in a way or they were removed surgically and thanks to treatment they're no longer growing. If there's an apothecary in your team, he might be brainwashed to ignore those little traces of mutation he sees. Or it can be a subplot of the campaign - he might notice during using medicae that there's something in his brother's physiology that makes them curious cases (but nothing too obvious). Will he do anything about it? Will he tell his brothers about his observations, will he experiment on them in secret to know the truth? It's a nice plot starter I think. Indeed. Perhaps the Apothecary himself is an Alpha Legion infiltrator and he's covering for them per his instructions. Maybe he overlooks those details because he had been captured, psycho-conditioned, and released, specifically so that he would eventually become the apothecary assigned to review their medical data, which activates the mental block that prevents him from noticing the signs of their corruption. It would take a level of GM fiat only justifiable through near prescient levels of witch sight, but I think it's doable.
  22. Well, could do a heresy background, if they never made it to the eye. If memory serves, the shattering of the rebellion was an incredibly messy affair. You had the vast bulk of Horus's forces fleeing en masse via every transit method they could get their hands on. Blind warp jumps and desperate pacts with dark forces were made as the Imperials chased them all the way back to the Cadian Gate. At the same time, Lorgar and Angron were busy putting 30+ worlds of Ultramar to the sword. They got the same message everyone else did. I imagine that not everyone made it back to the eye. Some ships were stragglers, some got lost. Not every legionnaire of the traitor primarchs' legions embraced the warp either, making those few Astartes into the rare double-traitors. If my Luna-wolf ass, who liked the idea of invading Terra slightly more than the idea of being purged, found himself ground side when Horus died and bereft of transport as the last ship flees the system at full speed, I think I would have no problem scavenging someone else's armor and tossing myself into a stasis chamber. Even a traitor space marine only ever sells his life dearly.
  23. Well, the present mission sequence is a sort of improv based on the pre-made Tantalus mission from the core rule book. Right now they're in the thick of the planetary invasion of Castobel, teetering between saving the place or scorching it. Kinda want to slowly increase the scope and complexity of the setting as the game goes on. We start with a planet and a faction, add another planet, then another faction, then this and that. Just doling out the lore, setting, and scenery piecemeal by keeping them in a sandbox I can more easily control. Oooh, I really like those ideas though. I was thinking of blaming the Eldar (Eldrad is such a ****), throwing in the prophecy “The Harvester of Souls shall be hewn by the Harvester of Souls. The Storm of Silence struck down by the Storm of Silence. The Cry of the Wind swept away by the Cry of the Wind. The Hunter of Shadows caught by the Hunter of Shadows. The Hand of Asur crushed by the Hand of Asur. The burning Lance shall be the last to fall: Obliterated by the Burning Lance." and tangentially tying it in. Then, as more characters and campaigns are rolled up, working pieces of this cryptic theme into the game. In other words, a metaplot that spans multiple campaigns and a few millennia. But I am a bastard of a GM and really like the idea of telling my players their special snowflake characters have a fatal disease or one of them isn't who he thinks he is. Oooh, also cool. CSM, boneitis, enslavers. I think the CSM angle has the best longevity.
  24. I didn't, but I'm planning to. My players, we've been gaming together for about 15 years now, but they pretty much know nothing about warhammer 40k besides what I've introduced them to thus far. We rarely touched sci-fi in the past decade and a half, so I've never had the opportunity to use the trope. I'm thinking there are probably two ways I'll do it though. The first is when we run a OW or DH campaign. I'll have them start as your sort of lower middle class imperial citizens and just throw it in as a "flavor" to a scene. Having breakfast back home. There's salt, pepper, a bottle of grox sauce (new formula with actual water substitute and 33% fewer carcinogens!) and soylent viridians on the table. The gelatinous, opaque cube throws back the dim light with an almost pleasing hint of rainbow sheen from the fatty oils. It's thick and viscous, slightly bitter, but not bad. It's got a grim dark aftertaste, but the stale water washes replaces it with a hint of rust. Later on, they're on a mission that takes them past the rendering plant. Mwuahahaha The second way is a bit more roundabout. Perhaps, in their deathwatch campaign, they take a mission of opportunity and interdict a hostile operation being conducted by a cell of revolutionaries on an Imperial world. These misguided souls are attempting to sabotage a hive's major food production facility, which would cause starvation, unrest, and needless misery on a, to our minds, unimaginable scale. The team gets there and, upon interrogating a survivor, discover that these rebels love the God Emperor but believe that the hive "lottery" that takes away the old, sick, and infirm is a blatant crime against humanity and His vision. Then I get to watch them squirm as they try to square doing their duty to secure the Emperor's peace and their own out of game bias of the value of human life. Do they complete the mission and keep the factory operating or do they break rank and try to restore some dignity to the most powerless members of society? Maybe do the second one then spring the first one on them. Can't wait to see the look on their faces. Definitely not the kind of thing your typical elven druid and dwarven fighter ever run into. Near as I can tell, the characters are basically immune to the typical shock effect; I doubt a space marine would blanche at anything less than seeing a loyalist primarch getting butchered. The most effective way to give them mind wrap is to run them into something down-to-earth yet twisted with a bit of the WH40K flair. The humor came about the same way, mostly through encounters with the disciples of the Machine God. One of my players tried to engage in small talk with a tech priest, was talking about flavor and tea. The tech priest's response was along the lines of, "flavor is an analog sensory perception that determines suitability for consumption and desirability of the fuel source; useful but primitive." They got a laugh out of that. I tried that one, guess my crew is a bit more jaded. In the pre-made Final Sanction adventure, they got to the scene with the gene stealers dropping in on the dinner party. They didn't miss a beat, wasted the ones that were a threat and saved the governor, per their objectives. They watched with mild bemusement as I described how the other four gene stealers tore off after the fleeing non-combatants, limbs and blood spray raining down in their wake. Didn't even try to do anything, just wrote them off and were thankful for the distraction. Not even a flinch when the NPC apothecary performed Triage and killed a third of the wounded from the last PDF unit they encountered. WTF, eh?
  25. hands down best is Soylen Viridians. The concept is old, but the necessity of it makes it a perfect metaphor for how hard things are in the 41st millennium, all wrapped up in a neat package with all your essential nutrients. Guess you could follow that food chain around and stop at the most disturbing part. Humor eludes me. I want to find a way to work warhammer high and daria 40k into this conversation without looking like a channer, but I can't, so there it is.
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