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Sebastian Yorke

Acquiring STCs

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My current group has a manufactorum (on which I allow mass production of items, given a good amount of time and refitting of machinery for a new purpose), a lot of raw materials and a lot of ideas. In addition to that, their Dynasty's  homeworld is a proto-forgeworld that specializes on building military equipments for IG regiments.

 

For instance, how hard would it be to acquire the STC blueprints for building Chimeras? Or a Leman Russ? Or Power Armors?

 

I understand there are other requirements (such as specific machinery, specific materials, etc...), but let's focus on the STCs needed for now.

 

 

How hard would it be the acquisition of an STC for building Starhawk Bombers? Or Lasguns? Would a Forge World sell it to an RT with good reputation?

 

 

Maybe give it the acquisition modifiers for massive quantities (-20, eg) + the original item's availability modifier + -10 if it's military-related?

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It depends. STCs are the thing that the Explorators are on Rogue Trader vessels looking for, and the AdMech are super secretive about them; Forge Worlds don't even share STCs with each other: They keep them and boast that they're the Forge that produces a particular, more efficient model of Lasgun and the other Forges can suck it!

 

On the other hand, if a Rogue Trader allies specifically with a specific Forge World and is willing to deliver STCs for them, the Forge might be willing to lend a Magos and some production capabilities for their STCs in exchange for a regular flow of sacred technology. They're notoriously touchy though, and being robots they should be very hard to charm or deceive, even for your average Rogue Trader social successes.

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My first thought would be that you would have to work that out with Mars directly.  Since Mars is the "central" library of such knowledge in the Galaxy.  If there are a million worlds in the Imperium, I can't imagine that there would be all that many Forge Worlds out there.  The issue I can see with this is that if you start asking mars for blueprints, it isn't unreasonable for the Adeptus Mechanicum to agree to this in exchange for production quota's of war materiel to be exported.  In much the same way that if the Adeptus Terra sanctions a colony, they want a tithe in manpower.  So if your Rogue Trader has a difficult time keeping his supply chains running smoothly he could find himself in charge of an Underperforming Proto Forge World.  And I wouldn't think it would be too long before Auditors make your life a living hell, or perhaps they Insist upon a new Governor for the world.

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The AdMech does lease and license production of technology to non-Rogue Traders. Shipwrights, component and vehicle manufacturers. They don't have the manbotpower to oversee all of the production themselves on some of their own forge worlds.

 

Recover some archeotech and trade it for a license to produce some lasguns. Set up a trade route to supply the ever-hungry forge worlds with raw or processed goods and you should have access to some standard patterns. 

 

So, I don't think you'll get the actual STCs or copies of those blueprints. But they'd send a few Tech-Priests and the equipment necessary to make them. You supply the muscle and the raw materials. The AdMech may get new STCs, even fragments, or secure even more resources and all they're doing is helping you do it. Win-win for them, and a better deal for you. I mean, what are you going to do with STCs of a Chimera, build it yourself? 

 

Of course, if you traffic in xenotech, I hear there are a few Explorators who would gladly exchange some less-than-common STC patterns for some artifacts.

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My campaign is heavily involved in worldbuilding with an Explorator/Magos who is building up his own forgeworld.  STCs are the sacred templates used to build everything in the Imperium.  However, you will note that numerous Hive Worlds build everything up to tanks, including items of up to Very Rare availability regularly.  The important distinction is that the Ad Mech freaks out about NEW STCs.  If you find another Lasgun STC of a pattern they allready have, they are not going to be particularly grateful.  By the same token, wanting to obtain a copy of said STC isn't going to be particularly hard.  It is all about rarity of the STC and complexity of the final produce.  The way I have run it is they need to find a world that has the STC, then they need to Aquire it at a rarity 2-4 steps higher than the item.  Note that Lasgun STCs are extremely common, so I have placed a Scarce Availability on them.  Plasma Torpedoes are Rare (effectively Very Rare away from a Forge World), that places their STC at Near Unique in my game.  This assumes that your players have a decent relationship with the Ad Mech.  Note that I never modify the Aquisition roll by quantity.  This makes Near Unique and Unique STCs the center of careful roleplaying and trading of secrets and rare items.

 

Our Explorator is a Magos who returned two new ancient variant STCs to the Ad Mech.  He has also regularly built up contacts and allies in the Mechanicum.  He has spent 5 decades hording and trading STCs to build up his budding forge world.  Trading STCs is usually an under the table role playing thing, but my group is very socially oriented.  The Explorator is particularly so.

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Recently the Magos realized his goal of obtaining the facilities and STCs to start producing Knights for his forge world.  He has had a unique Knight Baron for quite some time he rescued off a space hulk.  It has taken him a decade and five Unique or higher (-100 on check) Acquisitions, over 100xp lost permanently for contacts, 2 PF burned, and no small amount of roleplaying to meet his goal and obtain the STC for the Knight Paladin and Knight Castellion.  His main forge moon (thier forge world is a gas giant with several habitable/useful moons colonized) now has the ability to pump out a Knight every 1d5 years as a Unique purchase. 

 

While on a trip towards Terra, he stopped on a Knight World with the intention of trying to trade STCs with the local Knight House for the Knight Errant STC.  The character managed to impress the Knight House and they agreed to such a trade as part of an alliance.  He now has a wife, a new STC, and allies in Segmentum Solar...as well as the enmity of two Knight Houses and a Forge World.  The wife part really surprised the player.  The Knight Houses power and standing is built primarily on their Knights, so the trading of STCs is the same as an alliance.  In feudal societies, alliances are sealed with marriages.  It was a very amusing play session for him to try and choose a wife acceptable to both parties.  He ended up choosing the one I least expected, and trying to explain to her that he has a few 'quirks' has been amusing everyone.  The other players have been running backroom deals and working to 'rescue' a dying Knight House marked for absorbtion by the Ad Mech...by transplanting the House to one of their Agro Worlds...the next session will be interesting indeed.  Such are the games of Rank 7 Rogue Traders.

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The Explorator is a Knight Pilot.  His new wife is a Knight Pilot in training (based loosely on a combination of french noble meets Starbuck), so the Explorator plans on gifting her with the next Knight produced.  The Rogue Trader is an Ex-Imperial Guard General Arch Heretek.  He specializes in weapons and vehicles.  His latest project is fitting a Macharius tank with a Turbo-Laser Destructor Turret and creating a bio-generator based on potentia coils.  While he has no interest in piloting Knights, it looks like he might succeed in luring the dying Knight House out to the Expanse to protect one of his agro-worlds. 

 

The wife has been an interesting role playing experience already, as the Explorator is not normally interested in women... 

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I think it  kind of depends on what it is, like if it was a second rate STC with noticable transcription errors for a lasgun or a rhino they'd probably be like "oh yeah whatever give us some money and you can have it" but if it was a top end STC for something like a baneblade or an Astartes bolter they'd tell you to go to hell for anything less than the value of a subsector.

 

Recently my players were at the lathes and one of them wanted synthetic muscle grafts, they ultimately negotiated to get the genetor in the group the chance to sit in and take notes so I've rules it's now in her reporte and she can give one person synthetic muscle grafts every month with a successful Int roll for growing the tissue followed by a successful medicae roll for implantation.

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Two points:

1)  Acquisition is a lot more than money.  This isn't Dark Heresy.  An Acquisition check represents using status, trade agreements, reputation, favors, and even huge sums of money.  When your characters send out their factors looking for rare goods, money only changes hands on the most common of goods.  Often your factors are arranging shipments of goods, transport of goods and personnel, trading favors or interests in various endeavor, or even access to rare creatures and goods harvested from the Rogue Traders travels.  Sometimes they are simply calling in favors or calling upon ancient oaths to obtain the assistance and goods you seek.

 

2)  There are lots of worlds that produce STC goods up to lascannons with only minor oversight by the Ad Mech.  To do so they have to have the STCs or manufacturing schematics of some sort.  Therefore, those STCs aren't that rare.  If Hive Worlds pump an item out then it isn't likely to be too hard for someone with more wealth, status, and power than a Hive World governor to arrange the right to produce such items (obviously including access to the STC).  A good portion of the less exotic goods in the Imperium are made on Forge Worlds, usually by corporations outside the Ad Mech.  Much of the time those factories have a rather small Ad Mech presence.  For the more exotic goods you will have to arrange the contacts and convince the Ad Mech that you can be trusted with such a holy STC, as well as possessing hallowed factories and skills to produce such goods.  Explorators have a much easier time obtaining STCs for exotic goods, as the Explorator fleets are notroiously well equiped and are directly involved with the Quest of Knowledge.  Synthetic Muscle Grafts are so commonly used in the Ad Mech that I would find it likely that any major Mechanicum holding has them.  The only difficulty is seeing if the local Tech Priests can be traded with, convinced, or coerced into releasing said STC to a holy priest seeking out Knowledge for the glory of the Omnisiaah.  I generally assume that RT characters have access to any reasonable STC that is Rare or lower.  At their level of personal power and experience, a Explorator would almost have to know many of them to do his job.

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http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Standard_Template_Construct_(STC) Reading about STCs makes it clear that they are not needed for the production of all technology, they merely make it incredibly easy as the ancient cogitator systems can compute all input variables and inform the user the most efficient way to make the technology they contain. For example you could tell it what materials you have available, atmospheric anomalies etc and it would alter designs accordingly.

Plenty of manufactorums produce technology without access to STCs - they will have copies of ancient plans or loaned schematics from a forge world or the Administratum. Imagine if even a lasgun or set of carapace armour required an STC - the Imperium wouldn't be able to support it's endless war machine!

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http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Standard_Template_Construct_(STC) Reading about STCs makes it clear that they are not needed for the production of all technology, they merely make it incredibly easy as the ancient cogitator systems can compute all input variables and inform the user the most efficient way to make the technology they contain. For example you could tell it what materials you have available, atmospheric anomalies etc and it would alter designs accordingly.

Plenty of manufactorums produce technology without access to STCs - they will have copies of ancient plans or loaned schematics from a forge world or the Administratum. Imagine if even a lasgun or set of carapace armour required an STC - the Imperium wouldn't be able to support it's endless war machine!

This is true!  There is a big difference between an STC system and an engineering plan.  The whole deal with the Ad Mech is looking for fragments of old STC systems.  This way they can see what sort of holy plans and relics were made by it.  The other way it can be done is to find an unusual piece of Archeotech for something that has not been seen before.  But it takes the Ad Mech centuries to analyze a new piece of technology before they can decide if it is actually did have it's beginnings in the cogitators of an old STC design.

 

I digress, the the Ad Mech can easily (Read: painstakingly) make a copy of engineering plans for constructing things.  It's just that those engineering plans are Based 100% on technology/data salvaged from STC systems.

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Now i got a question... how does an AdMech Magos go about creating something for which there is a need, without violating the tenets of the mechanikum?

In our group, our explorator wants to build servitor mounted rocket artillery. If there is no design known to him, would this be "inventing something new" or would a typical AdMech just tak some rocketlaunchers on a servitor and call it a day (this kind of mix-and-matching, does it fall under heretek?), or would he need a whole new SCT plan for such a thing?

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Now i got a question... how does an AdMech Magos go about creating something for which there is a need, without violating the tenets of the mechanikum?

In our group, our explorator wants to build servitor mounted rocket artillery. If there is no design known to him, would this be "inventing something new" or would a typical AdMech just tak some rocketlaunchers on a servitor and call it a day (this kind of mix-and-matching, does it fall under heretek?), or would he need a whole new SCT plan for such a thing?

Given what I know about the Admech and the state of technology in general in 40k, I think you can get away with the tacking on the rocket launchers on the servitor but that's it. It's my understanding that anything that might advance technology is a big no no as it might improve things and make things less grimdark. And building a whole new STC plan for something would be innovative and foster free thinking. Can't have that you heretek.

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Well... If you take an approved design for Targeting Servitor + approved design for locomotion (e.g.: chimera chasis) + approved design for rocket launchers... Then your work may get the blessing of the Omnissiah.

 

Take mobile Basilisks for example.

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You should not have difficulty adapting a gun servitor to use a rocket launcher.  They can already be mounted with Heavy Bolters, Plasma Cannons, and Multi-Meltas.  It stands to reason that a rocket launcher would not be overly complex.  The difficult part of this would be the Auto-Loading system that would have to be rigged onto the back of the servitor to grab new rockets and put them in place.  The alternative would be just getting a second servitor to act as a loader and stand near the first one all the time.  The Space Marines use auto loading systems for their rocket armed troops.   But space marine systems are tough to come by usually...

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Well if you mean just rockets than it should be no problem strapping a rocket pod to a servitor.

If you mean missiles, than the auto loader could probably be placed in the chest leading directly to the arm

If you mean an actually rocket tank that I believe   Sebastian York has the right of it ( I believe this is how whirlwinds are made)

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Since this is a STC thread I will point out that supposedly a RT by the name of Fenton Kail found a whole one. And soon wound up dead shortly thereafter. But this at least plants the seed of the idea that one exists out there in the Expanse waiting for someone to reclaim it. And to usher in a new golden era for Man. Which is why it can never happen as it be a considerably less grimdark place.

 

Still, going in search of this STC could be a fun adventure in itself. Anyone ever go searching for that STC? I think it would make a great adventure full of peril as there are many groups that would be against the Imperium ever recovering from its current state.

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Now i got a question... how does an AdMech Magos go about creating something for which there is a need, without violating the tenets of the mechanikum?

In our group, our explorator wants to build servitor mounted rocket artillery. If there is no design known to him, would this be "inventing something new" or would a typical AdMech just tak some rocketlaunchers on a servitor and call it a day (this kind of mix-and-matching, does it fall under heretek?), or would he need a whole new SCT plan for such a thing?

So long as it does not violate the precepts of the Sixteen Laws, you should be fine.

The Warnings

  • 09. The alien mechanism is a perversion of the True Path.
  • 10. The soul is the conscience of sentience.
  • 11. A soul can be bestowed only by the Omnissiah.
  • 12. The Soulless sentience is the enemy of all life.
  • 13. The knowledge of the ancients stands beyond question.
  • 14. The Machine Spirit guards the knowledge of the Ancients.
  • 15. Flesh is fallible, but ritual honours the Machine Spirit.
  • 16. To break with ritual is to break with faith.

Don't use xeno bits. Don't try and futz about with the soul. Necrons and AI will steal your babies. STC patterns are always better. You will break things if you don't follow the proper rituals.

 

Beyond that, there's no reason you can't make changes to things.

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  • 13. The knowledge of the ancients stands beyond question.

 

This one is the stickler. I believe EVERYTHING in the Imperium is built from an STC, so any improvement to anything is looking at an STC design and changing it. There are people in the AdMech who would scream so loud that your brains would liquefy at the thought of this.

 

Now you could very easily make the claim that inventing something new is like Errant said and not infringing on Archeotech. But ultimately it's up to your GM, and just because one person says yes doesn't mean a conclave won't say no.

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There are actually a lot of things in the books that don't have an STC.  They have basis in STC technology, but there has never been an STC found for them.  Pretty much everything marked Archeotech doesn't have an STC (or they could build them).  I tend to see STCs as the basic tech that all of humanity used during the Age of Technology.  Remeber that STCs were used to start colonies.  There were colonies that developed to the point of making items significantly better than any STC item that we know of (Archeotech).  I am certain that there are worlds out there where humanity actually moved forward technologically and considered STC stuff to be 'basic, no frills' items.  In addition, Titans are not STC items.  Nor are Land Speeders, they are just based on STC grav plates.  In order to be accepted by the Mechanicum, your tech much be made up of STC tech, with no Xeno or Heretical tech added to it.  You can make a modification to an item, as long as it follows STC technology.  That is where all the different patterns come from.

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There are actually a lot of things in the books that don't have an STC.  They have basis in STC technology, but there has never been an STC found for them.  Pretty much everything marked Archeotech doesn't have an STC (or they could build them).  I tend to see STCs as the basic tech that all of humanity used during the Age of Technology.  Remeber that STCs were used to start colonies.  There were colonies that developed to the point of making items significantly better than any STC item that we know of (Archeotech).  I am certain that there are worlds out there where humanity actually moved forward technologically and considered STC stuff to be 'basic, no frills' items.  In addition, Titans are not STC items.  Nor are Land Speeders, they are just based on STC grav plates.  In order to be accepted by the Mechanicum, your tech much be made up of STC tech, with no Xeno or Heretical tech added to it.  You can make a modification to an item, as long as it follows STC technology.  That is where all the different patterns come from.

 

You are mixing up STC construction machines with an engineering plan known to have a basis in confirmed Technology that originated in an STC database.  When they refer to STC fragments they are almost invariably referring to database information.  Titan of all variants are Absolutely STC technology, everything is.  But the Ad Mech does not have a bunch of Ancient STC stamping machines kicking out complete Tanks and Titans, they build that stuff the old fashioned way, just using blueprints that are confirmed to have come from an STC technology.

 

If your party found an Intact STC factory they would be the Toast of Mars for all time

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This whole 'an STC is the library blueprint/lol no it's the constructor/no it's the literal library thing' is the most frustrating thing about them. Personally, for the sake of future arguments, I'm recommending the following nomenclature changes:

 

Standard Template Artifactory: Relics of the Dark Age of Technology, these temples of industry are capable of producing a pre-configured device, provided sufficient raw material is provided.

 

Standard Template Blueprint: In theory, these are printouts from a Standard Template Construct. More commonly they are the long-faded shadows of a printout burned into a long-dead terminal, or scrap of paper held in stasis after recovery from the ruins of the DAoT. These are what you're most likely to come across, and be greatly enriched for doing so.

 

Standard Template Construct: The whole damned library of humanity. Everything your budding colony needed to Go Forth And Multiply in the DAoT was contained in the knowledge-banks of these devices. If you find one, your GM is doing things wrong and the entire Mechanicus will collapse to the floor in throes of ecstasy.

 

 

Now, my original point was this: Consider the Predator Annihilator. Originally conceived as a field modification to a Predator, it underwent 200 years of study, investigation and pogroms before someone came across a Standard Template Blueprint that contained that exact variant. The humble lasgun, on the other hand, has thousands of variants, almost one for every world that tithes to the Departmento Munitorium and Imperial Guard. If it were an STC, there'd be public floggings everytime a guardsman picked up his non-Mars-issue rifle.

 

However, at the end of the day, you are an Explorator. You are supposed to be a high priest of a religion that worships the technology that has come before with a zealous fervour. Patterns of design aren't just blueprints, they're holy scripture. You may have come to the Expanse for darker leanings in your knowledge, but that doesn't change the fact that puritans may consider your advances to be anathema. If you cannot prove that you have shown proper dedication to the 13th Law, you'll get your shit kicked in by Skitarii Myrmidons. 

 

...

 

Shit, I think I lost my train of thought. Uh. Existing knowledge good, be careful trying to improve things?

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