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Rosvo1

Doing the Flying Dutchman in Rogue Trader

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So, I was reading the TV Tropes article on the Flying Dutchman trope, and I had this idea of doing it in Rogue Trader.

But how would I actually do it?

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I'd use it as a narrative hook rather than something to fight, but:

There are rumours spreading throughout the voidsmen bars and shanties of Footfall of an ancient vessel stalking the ways. Fully ten mile long and bristling with cannon the likes of which haven't been seen in millennia, the so-called Flaying Dutchman is visible only to the naked eye; it glides through augur waves as though it were never there. 

The one thing the rumours can agree on is that a captain must never respond to its sudden hails for parley in ancient maritime codes, for any crewmember sent aboard that vessel will not return, dragooned into the crew of the ship belonging to the dead...

 

Pre-DAoT colonist ship, piloted by an AI. Tasked with delivering colonists to a new world. Something goes wrong with the ship's cryo-sleep containers, thawing them out just enough to kill them, but then refreezing them instantly for that delightful rictus of terror from the barely-alive colonists within the chambers.

 

Millennia pass, and the ship's AI is driven insane by its inability to complete its mission. Warp happens, and it's flung into the future. The AI decides that the best way for it to complete its mission is to replenish its stocks from the crews of other ships. After all, they're in space and going somewhere, that basically makes them colonists, right?

 

So then you get to ramp up the horror. The ship is kept perfectly in tune, but its entire length is filled with cryotubes containing dead people. Whatever's wrong with the cryotubes is still broken, so even if the ship's androids capture someone and place them in the tube, he's not long for this world...

 

 

Or something, idk.

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Yeah, I was gonna use it as a narrative hook.

But I don't know if I should go with the ship and it's crew being cursed to wander through space or if I should make it more scientific.

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How do you want your players to interact with the 'Dutchman'? If you are going to use it strictly for ship-to-ship combat, then the standard 'Chaos did it' explanation works (a captain sold his soul to Chaos, and now his ship is cursed to never be able to return home...).

 

If you want your players to get inside and poke around (and hence become trapped by the 'curse' themselves), I'd go with something more elaborate. Errant's suggestion of the 'captain' being an ancient AI is interesting. Another possibility is to make it an alien ship (Yu'Vath? Or maybe something built by the mysterious creators of the Halo devices?) with a psychically 'bound' human captain- maybe a Rogue Trader who found the vessel adrift and saw it as his ticket to unlimited wealth, only to discover that the ship has its own agenda and needs a slave-captain to carry them out. Now, the 'captain' (who has gone hopelessly insane over the centuries) is desperately trying to trap someone into taking his place...

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just make it unkillable they shoot it shots are just eaten or are not effective or some such thing, the warp takes the shells or something along those lines should work 

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depends on which one you ask. they are like the rest of humanity some will not touch it others will run very controlled experiments on it, others might pretend to hate it but secretly want to add it to human tech. SO any way you wan't to use them will be a valid. 

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So, if I make it a Yu'Vath ship, there's a chance that he will consider other options than blowing it up and letting the Omnissiah sort it out?

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If I've learned anything form reading around on here is you never know what your players are going to think of your probably going to have to think of something completely different on the fly so my advice would to be just a have a general idea of what could happen have a few encounter read but don't plan every thing out in exacting detail, general outlines are your best friends in this system unlike DND which in general is more linear and structured. 

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true but you could say its an unusual example or a re purposed ship so to speak I also point back to the silver ship in hostile Acquisitions it fits the bill quite well for this type of thing

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I actually took a look at it and it does sound good.

Hostile Acquisitions also doesn't give a lot of details, so I'd be free to modify it.

But the thing that worries me the most is the time window the players have to explore it.

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Sounds something that my GM once did. He made a ship that was rumoured to be invincible. Every time it attacked a vessel it always came on top. So the ship began raiding ages ago, so at first it was another pirate ship but the longer it stayed the more 'ghostly' it became. Soon enough it was the talk of every respectable scum, every one cries when one captain plans to capture it. Rumours abounded so the GM decided while easy to find rumours, they were usually false and broad. The harder you investigate the more realistic the information got. We learnt that the hard way.

 

The best information is that it is Chaos aligned (it isn't), the captain is physically dead and welded into his throne, the ship has a lot of Xeno tech on it and it has revelutionary warp engines. There is only one way to track the ship. The psychic residue the ship leaves makes Astropaths invaluable to hunt it. The story is long but interesting, but I am in a hurry.

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Well regarding the time window if the players don't know about that you don't have to play it as written or maybe you could have it go into the warp and they have to race to get the geller field up and then drop it out of the warp back to there ship. or just not use the time limit. 

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Hey, remember this?

 

Like a lot of RP stuff I do, I put this idea on the back burner.

 

But I'm digging it up and starting it up again.

 

I've decided to use the Silver Ship with the time limit.

 

Right now I'm trying to figure out what kind of enemies I'll have on the ship.

 

Any ideas?

Edited by Rosvo1

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group dependent but i would avoid demons since the silver ship seems to have a working gelar field, but enslaves would be scary along with there enslaved human ans xeno thralls 

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Two things.

 

1. Are there stats for Enslavers?

 

2. How deadly are they? I'm assuming that they're extremely deadly and I'd be wrecking the players' **** if I pit them against an Enslaver. Which isn't really my jam.

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Depends on what kind of background you want to give the ship.  Options include:

 

Mostly empty:  This is really to hold the suspense feel, but will require some hard storytelling.  You're going for creepy abandoned, like in the movie Alien.  The controlling entity (likely an AI) should interact rarely, if at all.  Potential enemies include:

 

1) Automated Defense Turrets.  These are fun because they are dangerous, surprising, and you can't interrigate them afterwards.

2) Traps: particularly insidious if being done by the controlling entity and designed to look like legitimate 'accidents' at least at first.

3) Infecting Xeno:  Go ahead and rip of Alien and and a Broodlord with a few dozen genestealers.  Have them start by elimianting any armsmen who have wandered away from the group.  Lone or small group NPCs dieing without a trace (or with mysterious messages) while nothing attacks the PCs is a good way to raise the terror level.

4) Yu'voth animation:  Like traps or automated turrets, if the ship was captured and 'assimilated' by the Yu'voth, it might use it's psychic powers to cause small freestanding structures, like staircases, to animate and attack the players (see Silence from Svard adventure)

5) Direct Psychic Attacks: If You'voth or a Genus Loci or other similar psychic entity has taken control, it may attempt to directly influence or scare off the PCs.  Use the Psychic Phenomena table for inspiration.

 

Well Occupied Ship: This involves a lot more encounters, and happen a lot more quickly.

1) True ghost ship: Perhaps the experimental gheller field malfunctioned and won't let souls depart the ship, leaving them with nothing to do but crew it for eternity.  Maybe they've even forgotten they're dead.  Fighting ghosts, of course, is difficult at best and impossible at worst, consider letting powerfields 'disrupt' them.

2) The collector's Ship:  The ship is filled with every imaginable xeno species, each segregated to it's own section and kept as pets or a zoo of sorts by the ship's keeper - perhaps it wants to add the Rogue Trader as it's new exhibit.  Mind Control's useful here.

3) Copy-Necron: Old humans or some unknown xeno attempted to retroengineer the Necron downloading process, leading to corrupted human minds in mechanical bodies.

3) Necron: It isn't a human ship at all!  Skeletal robots stalk the halls.  Note, these are really, really deadly.

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Two things.

 

1. Are there stats for Enslavers?

 

2. How deadly are they? I'm assuming that they're extremely deadly and I'd be wrecking the players' **** if I pit them against an Enslaver. Which isn't really my jam.

 

Stats in Dark Heresy's Creatures Anathema and Deathwatch's Ark of Lost Souls. Enslavers are not combat powerhouses- you need to hide them behind layers and layers of mind-controlled slaves.

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