Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Fiddler27

Why would anyone order such a thing?

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

 

So this is my first time GMing an Only War game, having been converted over from WoD. I'm moderately familiar with 40k Lore, but I keep struggling with actually making certain characteristics more realistic in the NPCs the players are interacting with. Their regimental Commissar is a shrieking neat freak who's too trigger happy over infractions, but that was a given.

 

The one thing I desperately need help with is portraying their senior officer's slow slide to insanity, to the point that he'll eventually order their Regiment to march into the webway because he's delusional enough to believe they can conquer Commorragh. The whole idea behind this being since all their characters are straight-laced, by the book guardsmen personality-wise they have to choose between following orders like everyone else and trying to fight their way out of a massacre or making that crucial break from the Guard's chain of command to save their own skins.

 

1.) Is it even possible for such a thing as an entire regiment to enter the Webway at once, even if the whole thing is a trap arranged by the DE to grab a whole bunch of free slaves? If not, I have an alternate scenario I've been coming up with but I've never encountered this scenario in any of the lore I've read.

 

2.) How would the Dark Eldar go about twisting the mind of a senior officer into such a trap? I'm more familiar with the insidious powers of Chaos and their ability to infect minds, but I'm not sure if the DE operate the same way.

 

And 3.) What is the best way to portray a slow descent into insanity for someone who never sees front line combat? Perhaps a helpful fact is their general was investigated and publicly cleared by the Ordo Hereticus before the campaign. I've not played Dark Heresy so I'm not sure what exactly such an investigation would entail, but knowing the universe it had to be mentally trying. So few people survive the Inquisition that I have no clue how it would affect someone.

 

Thanks for any insight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 3 is where I'm most use. I would say that alone would be enough to snap the poor guy, especially if at first he really was wrongly accused. Picture being locked in a unlit room, no bed or toilet or anything, just a metal chair. The only break from this is being tortured whilst someone accuses you of something so insistently, you start to doubt yourself when you deny it. He senses the doubt and pounces on it until each day is worse. Sometimes you're alone for what seems like weeks, though it may only be days, how could you tell, worrying you've been left to die, only to be fed and given water, then tortured again, for weeks on end. Then you get released. No congratulations, no apologies. Just 'You passed', or in some more extreme cases. 'Good job. I'll see you in a year, and we'll get you that time. Or the year after that.' This is how I picture it anyway. Not fun and a very brutal suffering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 3 is where I'm most use. I would say that alone would be enough to snap the poor guy, especially if at first he really was wrongly accused. Picture being locked in a unlit room, no bed or toilet or anything, just a metal chair. The only break from this is being tortured whilst someone accuses you of something so insistently, you start to doubt yourself when you deny it. He senses the doubt and pounces on it until each day is worse. Sometimes you're alone for what seems like weeks, though it may only be days, how could you tell, worrying you've been left to die, only to be fed and given water, then tortured again, for weeks on end. Then you get released. No congratulations, no apologies. Just 'You passed', or in some more extreme cases. 'Good job. I'll see you in a year, and we'll get you that time. Or the year after that.' This is how I picture it anyway. Not fun and a very brutal suffering.

Thank you sir. Gives me some perspective on the process at least. It would go beyond passively accepting his innocence directly into "What can I achieve to prove beyond any doubt that I'm loyal?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DE don't have "mindfuckery" powers, per say, but they certainly are excellent in the department of mind games, so I could see them repeat-raiding your regiment, for whatever reason you want, laughing and taunting the Imperial soldiers, and their pitiful leader.If he's already unhinged, these acts could slide him down the slippery slope. If you ever get a chance, find an actual copy of the Uplifting Primer; it's a terrible riot of propaganda hyping up the Imperium's flashlights and cardboard suits, while decrying all enemy equipment as inferior, and every enemy soldier as useless, inept, and on. If this Officer has read that book, and he's a bit mad, and been hit by the Dark Eldar enough, he might actually start to think that he can hit them back, and take it to their home, like they are to him. It's silly, I grant, but not wholly impossible.

 

As for the group saving their bacon, they MIGHT be able to persuade a Commissar that the Officer is unfit to lead, and while you might say "he'd just slap them for questioning the chain of command", it is his job to check the ruling structure for infirmity; if they are wrong, THEN they were just blowing smoke, and they can be punished, but if they are right, it becomes the Commissariat's job to stop him from wasting his regiment on a fool's game. In my eyes, anyway, a Commissar CAN be reasonable, if you make a decent case, and are prepared for whatever consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While in DoW made mention that the IG were using the Webway to be-bop from planet to planet in the Kaurava system, DoW is known to be a raging black hole you toss lore into to see how it explodes. Granted, 40k IS a black hole that occasionally explodes with ret-conns. SO, my advice is to go full-throttle into Commoraugh, but ensure your players have at least one chance to be able to stop it, because once you walk through that webway gate, those maddened space elves will lay waste to that regiment, whatever its specialty is. That's like shoving your head into a wasp nest. 2 and 3 can be answered with the Dark Eldar playing mind games with the officer and then when he's raging, goad him into followign them home to fight back, preferably with insults to his heritage and claims of weakness (that'll get the madman to go in) and then his Regiment, either too terrified to disobey or too angry to care, follows him into what amounts to a layer of Hell. Of course, you could always give your players a chance to really break something important in the dark city before they die! Or let the players perhaps rally the scattered and frightened survivors and get them out, and be heroes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have the DE send a stealthy assassin to kill the CO's assistants, poison his morning coffee or leave afternoon cookies crawling with maggots and a note that makes no sense. Example:

I was once running a dark heresy ascension campaign where a dark eldar assassin was taunting one of the players by hacking his personal data pad with the message "happy birthday" then it would be written in the street in the blood of an NPC who helped file paperwork for the inquisitor, then at the bottom of his coffee mug and the party had to medicae him out of a coma after he drank the poison. The "happy birthday" was a reference to the anniversary when the same dark eldar killed the character's father. That player would have done ANYTHING to kill that eldar, even take him on alone.

Edited by FoeHammer618

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have the DE send a stealthy assassin to kill the CO's assistants, poison his morning coffee or leave afternoon cookies crawling with maggots and a note that makes no sense. Example:

I was once running a dark heresy ascension campaign where a dark eldar assassin was taunting one of the players by hacking his personal data pad with the message "happy birthday" then it would be written in the street in the blood of an NPC who helped file paperwork for the inquisitor, then at the bottom of his coffee mug and the party had to medicae him out of a coma after he drank the poison. The "happy birthday" was a reference to the anniversary when the same dark eldar killed the character's father. That player would have done ANYTHING to kill that eldar, even take him on alone.

Interesting. Do DE get this personal very often, or was this story specific for you- this particular DE had something against the PC and the PC's father?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have the DE send a stealthy assassin to kill the CO's assistants, poison his morning coffee or leave afternoon cookies crawling with maggots and a note that makes no sense. Example:

I was once running a dark heresy ascension campaign where a dark eldar assassin was taunting one of the players by hacking his personal data pad with the message "happy birthday" then it would be written in the street in the blood of an NPC who helped file paperwork for the inquisitor, then at the bottom of his coffee mug and the party had to medicae him out of a coma after he drank the poison. The "happy birthday" was a reference to the anniversary when the same dark eldar killed the character's father. That player would have done ANYTHING to kill that eldar, even take him on alone.

Interesting. Do DE get this personal very often, or was this story specific for you- this particular DE had something against the PC and the PC's father?
This was specific to a high ranking member of the inquisition and his specific relationship with this particular de assassin, but that doesn't mean they can't get personal with your CO on a different level, for example they can keep bringing up his favorite assistant's name that they killed or write the casualty count or "Private (general's name)" in blood on his office window, thus insulting his rank and standing in front of the whole army. Things that they would know about while on the battlefield or through listening posts and spying Edited by FoeHammer618

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, just to add a couple of extra layers of amusing and/or horrible... The Dark Eldar are known to try to break and destory any that humiliate them. What if, just to maybe add a couple extra layers here, the original commanding officer was actually able to, by sheer luck or something similar, defeat a Dark Eldar raiding party. The Dark Eldar want to break him totally, so they start gaslighting him to eventually cause him to destroy his entire command structure, let him see what he did, and then break him with that before torturing him to death (After all, revenge AND wrecking an enemy is even better than normal revenge) then couple that with the fact that such a victory may have gotten him an inquisitorial visit since they might question how he did it, fearing that he might have been using chaos powers or something similar so he will already be a bit jumpy and desiring to prove his actual loyalties, which plays in nicely to the dark eldar gaslighting him further, maybe even periodically making him think that those that are trying to help are in fact enemy agents? Just another way to do the slow descent and also a bit of backstory work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the players are unable to stop it, I say run with it.  Let them assault the Dark City, show those dark eldar what a few earthshaker cannon rounds due to their delicate crystalline spires, and likely the regiment die, but what a blaze of glory.  Commoragh has been besieged at least once in its history, when a Salamander battle cruiser and a dozen or so other ships assaulted the city to rescue another ship the Dark Eldar has pulled there.  They hard about 500 Space Marines and they did so much damage to the city it caused a complete collapse of their political structure.  Which of course, was all according to plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus I always like to end my campaigns on a bitter grimdark ending such as you loose the war and lay dying as the de kill everyone or the space marines get the glory. That type of thing.

Once I had the necrons retake a tomb world and made a deathwatch kill team try to extract them for a new campaign!

Edited by FoeHammer618

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...