Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mikmaxs

Avoiding a Total Party Kill

Recommended Posts

I need some help keeping my party alive.

 

Long story short, they snuck into a high security facility to steal a data-cogitator with information they need stored on it. It involved a two-day boat ride through a water pipe, though the group was able to rest and they are ready for a fight.

 

So, they arrived in an empty room, and a couple of our stealthier characters tried to sneak out.

Failed a silent move roll. The guard rolled very well and our assassin rolled poorly. Spent a fate point, failed again. The guard triggered the alarm.

 

I've already told the group that there are a little less than 150 people in this facility, though some of them are women and children, so there are about 70 fighting men. The group was given the option to surrender and stand down. So, of course, they fired at the guards. 

 

So, to re-cap, the group is in unfamiliar territory, just decided not to surrender, is surrounded by a huge horde of well-armed and well-trained enemies, and I have no clue how to get them out of this alive. Potentially if they kill the first wave of guards, they could slip away and hide from the remaining 60 or so dudes, but we've got a huge tech-priest in our group who has an agility of 21 and no stealth skills. 

 

 

On the plus side, we've got four mercenaries with us (Well, not mercenaries, but allies.) I could presumably have them help out in a non-combat way (Rather than rolling for a bunch of allies, I'll just have them 'Hold this area' or slip off and kill a number of bad guys.) That still leaves our heroes heavily outnumbered and outgunned.

 

Any tips?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gut reaction before reading the post, that's what fate points are for go ahead and kill them.

 

After same reaction. They knew the odds and chose not to surrender, just have them die burn the fate and have the bodies thrown in the sewer. The guards should've gone for the head because they're all alive. However it's very obvious they'll have to approach this differently now and get to go through the sewers for a session.

 

Don't look for a way to pull them out, if one of them comes up with a sane idea then try and get that to work, but don't break your back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is Dark Heresy. This is not D&D. 

 

As a GM you should not treat it like D&D. If the party screws up so badly that you can't think of a way for them to get out, then they will die. That's why they have Fate Points. Of course, you should always have a life line dangling for them to grab onto-- this isn't Call of Cthulhu. But if they ignore that life line then they will die. 

 

Dark Heresy may not be a "GM should be trying to kill the party at every turn" but if the party screws up badly enough they die. That's why we have Fate Points. If the party's being stupid and rushing impossible odds, then they will likely need to burn some fate points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Piggybacking on the above posts, they made an arguably poor decision and should receive the proper consequences. Bailing them out now may just make things more difficult in the future, especially if they don't learn their lesson here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should add: I had PLANNED on them coming in through the sewers. I thought it was a clever idea, so I left it open to them as 'the smart option.' I don't want them to die for doing what I had hoped they would do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should add: I had PLANNED on them coming in through the sewers. I thought it was a clever idea, so I left it open to them as 'the smart option.' I don't want them to die for doing what I had hoped they would do.

 

The issue I have, not speaking for the others, is that surrendering would have been the "smart option". How strong are these characters that they think they can win against 70 elites?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im not against saving a party when they screw up, my party is pretty new to these games, so I feel bad for killing them all off when they make a mistake they might not have even realized was a mistake. I like to have ways out, but dont make them pretty at all. In some ways they should be even worse then death. 

 

For example: Your party gets pinned down by huge numbers. Near them is a data terminal. From there, if they have some good tech use, they can hack into it. Doing so will allow them to over ride some vent, spewing tones of toxins into the air of the residential areas. The other 80 people who are not fighters? Turns out they are the wives and sons and daughters of the soldiers, all now trapped and being poisoned to death. In the commotion, your party could slip away. Of course the area with the cogitator got sealed, and there is no way to get it now. You get out, but now you have a whole faction who is super pissed at you for murdering close to a hundred innocent people just to save your skin. They will do what ever they can to mess your day up, maybe even send assassins after you. Your allies are disgusted by your actions and want nothing to do with you, and if your inquisitor finds out you not only failed, but pissed off a whole faction and murdered 80 innocents for nothing, he will be SUPER pissed. thats a nice 50% cut in your pay, or maybe he makes you spend a year in the guard as payment. 

Other examples would be something like, you betraying your allies, which makes who ever they were working for hate you, and come after you. Maybe you get black marks in mercenary guilds, and you simply cant get mercenaries anymore.

A prisoner helps you escape, but turns out to be someone REALLY bad, maybe a cult leader, and you will later have to fight his cult, or a crime lord, who ends up slaving huge amounts of people and turning a whole city into a terrible place to live.

 

What ever you choose, make it so that it is has lasting consequences, that in the long run will be far worse then simply losing a fate point.

At least that is what I would do. Just my 2 cents (CAD)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Combat isnt just rolling to hit, you can have the npc's capture members of your team (you hit a kill effect - they are disabled after burning a fate, easy to capture)

 

None lethal weaponry, webbers perhaps, flash grenades etc etc.

 

Basically if these guards want them alive (convienient) then you can work the combat/encounter like that.

 

if your pc's are clever just don't penalise them, they made a choice, they don't want to let themselves get caught? then thats their job, your job is to give them consequences, one of them consequences may be getting caught.

 

You have a tech priest, doe she have security? this seems pretty important

 

Anybody got demolitions?

 

They walked into this situation without a back-up  plan?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't be afraid to force them to burn Fate Points (aka kill them). That is, after all, why Fate Points exist. But remember, burning Fate Points don't bring you back to full health (unless you've got the Faith Power that does that) - or recover from critical effects, so the next time they get hit, they're probably back on the critical hit tables.

 

The guards (or perhaps the guards' bosses) will want to take at least some of them alive if possible to interrogate.

 

 

And, it's probably still technically possible that they could fight their way out - if they move fast enough, because the entire security staff isn't going to be ready for combat 24/7, and even the ones that are are going to be distributed throughout the facility, and some of them aren't going to be leaving their posts in response to an alarm, because otherwise someone could get past their position to whatever they were guarding, or they're the guys in the security control room monitoring things. Figure 25-30% are spread throughout the facility on patrols/fixed points, call it another 5-10% or so as the reaction team on duty, of the remainder of the guard staff, say about half are awake, but not on duty - and not rigged up for combat - and the rest are on their sleep cycle, which will push back their response time further.

My point is, not all the guards are going to be coming down on them at once - it's likely only to be a small group initially, which means that if the PCs act and move quickly enough, they can probably just punch through/blow past the initial responders, and then they're racing for the exit (whatever it happens to be, could be the same way in or a convenient exterior window/wall to blow a hole in), while the guards who are combat ready and don't have to stay where they are (which is going to be a meaningful segment of the ones who are on duty at the time) are trying to link up with one another and intercept the party.

Or, of course, depending on how capable the PCs are at combat, and how ruthless they're prepared to be, they could go for the noncombatants and use them as hostages to force the guards to surrender. If these noncombatants include the guards' families, they're not going to want to endanger them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need some help keeping my party alive.

 

Long story short, they snuck into a high security facility to steal a data-cogitator with information they need stored on it. It involved a two-day boat ride through a water pipe, though the group was able to rest and they are ready for a fight.

 

So, they arrived in an empty room, and a couple of our stealthier characters tried to sneak out.

Failed a silent move roll. The guard rolled very well and our assassin rolled poorly. Spent a fate point, failed again. The guard triggered the alarm.

 

I've already told the group that there are a little less than 150 people in this facility, though some of them are women and children, so there are about 70 fighting men. The group was given the option to surrender and stand down. So, of course, they fired at the guards. 

 

So, to re-cap, the group is in unfamiliar territory, just decided not to surrender, is surrounded by a huge horde of well-armed and well-trained enemies, and I have no clue how to get them out of this alive. Potentially if they kill the first wave of guards, they could slip away and hide from the remaining 60 or so dudes, but we've got a huge tech-priest in our group who has an agility of 21 and no stealth skills. 

 

 

On the plus side, we've got four mercenaries with us (Well, not mercenaries, but allies.) I could presumably have them help out in a non-combat way (Rather than rolling for a bunch of allies, I'll just have them 'Hold this area' or slip off and kill a number of bad guys.) That still leaves our heroes heavily outnumbered and outgunned.

 

Any tips?

 

Apart from killing the characters off, you might consider one of the following scenario's:

 

*Run, Forrest, Run: Make it clear that they have still the option to retreat. The surrounding troops have left a gap in their defences and the pc's make the best of it by taking off to the sewers.

 

*A diversion: Give the pc's the opportunity to come up with a diversion. The techpriest could mess with life support systems at the plant, or he could try to cause an explosion/fire somewhere in the complex, thus diverting part of the troops and giving the pc's the chance to continue their mission.

 

*How dare you think such cheap tactics would work with me: If they decide to fight, try to give them some kind of tactical advantage to survive the first wave. A bottle neck, higher ground, difficult terrain for the attackers to wade through. Anything that ups the odds for your pc's. If they survive the first wave, have them move off to another part of the facility and continue their mission.

 

*God is in the radio: Make your tech priest mess up the radio signals of the attackers. Convince them that their boss is telling them to back off, or better still, inform one group that the "intruders" are at point X of the facility, causing a solid case of friendly fire among the attackers.

 

Hope one of these can be applied in your game and give the party a chance to fulfill their mission :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Respectifully, I think as a GM you are approaching this from the wrong point of view.  You shouldn't see this as a problem but as a golden opportunity.  Think about some of the most awesome gun fights in movies and they have very similar set ups.

 

Heat Bank Heist gun battle (Michael Mann 1995 classic)

 

The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah 1969) Mainly thinking about the first gun fight but the last one also applies.

 

The entire premise of 'The Raid'

 

Basically make sure the PCs have a few viable exits and keep the group moving, and you'll be fine and the PCs will think you are a god amongst GMs.  Trust me I've run a few of these kind of missions and the PCs love it.  You do not want to fudge this kind of mission with an easy win for the PCs.

Edited by Visitor Q

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×