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LanceND

Plot notes/hooks - Whispers on the Storm

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Here are a couple of my plot lines from the mission and hope they are of use to others.

 

 

 

1) If the groups ship is weak or small then consider giving them a leg up in the final battles. The system has a lot of asteroids so i assumed it had a minining industry and from this nukes for mining! This isn’t too daft, feel free to wiki Operation Plowshare in the 1960s. Handy in the final battle against the Crystalline Entity/Christmas tree baddy. Deploy via shuttle pod piloted by servitor. Or an unlucky crew member (for better skill stats) who has been promised a big cash bonus to their family. Bonus points if they send the pilot on the mission with an "Arch Militant" bobble head on the dash board to keep them sufficiently motivated/intimated to do a good job.

 

2) As above. I dropped the seed which the group picked up on that Magos Tevla had the "Administrator account" access codes for Installation 23's computers as it was part of his remit for maintaining the system. Get him to the bridge and he can bring on the security system to help purge the facility just like on Cog and bring its guns to bare on the enemy ships. This would involve Tech Use challenge tests during a gun battle on the bridge for him to gain control of the systems.

However, my lot decided to do a boarding action onto the external hull of the command level of the installation. Placed demo charges on the windows, blew them, vented the command centre to space and sauntered inside to hack the system with Tevla and vent the rest of the station. You get the idea of how they like to play. Suffice to say they did not gain bonus XP for saving people.

 

3) As above again. The group wanted to bring some system ships with them to the final battle. Initially I said no as any system ships they had were needed to defend Svard/Cog/Patrol. But they were insistent and put the plan across of surveying the refugees on Svard for crew. Surely in a small system based on mining large parts of the population would have done time as crew on the ships? Ok then but you have no ships. With this new found crew, they converted them into armsmen and set about chasing down pirates, boarding their ships, attacking the bridges and venting the entire ship to space for a "quick clean". With this they got 4 system ships (1D5).

 

 

4) On first getting to Svard they cannot raise comms with any of the hive cities. So the group shuttle down to the largest city and are promptly attacked by a gun cutter. Cue opposed pilot skills tests to either, get a weapons lock on the enemy/keep them at bay/they get a weapons lock on you depending on success/both fail/you fail. No matter what they crash either by being shot down or debris from the enemy craft hitting their shuttle. This then starts a survival mission with them trekking through the snow tundra, fighting off hazards like falling in frozen lakes or fending off hungry wild life. This is also a good test how much food & water they are carrying and their gear in general as my group all bought survival suits but lacked other must haves. They eventually met up with a PDF patrol that was diverted to the crash site, they turn out to be Whispered controlled. Have fun springing that one on them while they sleep! The lack of communication was put down to a jamming signal being put out by the whisperers from another Hive city which was over run. On rescue this was promptly bombarded from orbit until the jamming signal stopped. I used this to show just how close to losing the system they are. The campaign book makes it out that they are half way through the civil war so to speak. I decided to accelerate things to a knife edge from drama.

You could also have a "mini Whispered crystal" attack them at some point. I did not use this here, but don’t forget there is artwork in the book of PDF trooper being attacked by one!

 

5) This can be used with (4) or on its own if the players simply land unopposed in the Hive city. But while on their way to meet the Crystal Council the group pass through a refugee camp of people through throughout the system. Emphasise the poverty, lack of food, medical supplies, general horrors of a civil war. Kyle Reese’s flashback scene in Terminator was my inspiration here. Have the group do some awareness tests to notice being pickpocketed and choose a random item from their kit list. Keep it small and to watches, food or medical supplies, but if they really fail then make it bigger items and maybe multiple items as the thieves found an easy mark.

 

At this point the crowd parts as two adults calmly walk towards you dragging two screaming children. The children are crying "mummy, daddy, what is wrong with you? You are hurting me!". Awareness/Scrutiny tests to notice they are all soaking wet. The parents, with blacked eyes talk to the players in a synchronise monotone voice. It is The Whisperer! General blurb of the chat is the system will fall, you cannot stop it, the Yu'Vath are awesome, your empire will fall and all humanity will burn. At which point they light flares and ignite the promethium they had soaked themselves and they kids in. What to the players do? Mine ran forward and dowsed the kids with their cloaks. One player aced their initiative roll and used acrobatics to leap to the kids quicker and put the flames out. They then medevaced the kids to Keels ship and used them as a PR symbol to rally the population to their and the Navy’s side against The Whisperer. They got bonus XP for that. But if they done a Han Solo and shot first, then they would have ignited the promethium and burning the kids thus giving them negatives to any their efforts to rally the population to their side. You could also have snipers try to pin them while running to help the kids. Yeah, I am a little evil.

 

6) While searching for Installation 23 the players uncovered a mining operation. On investigating it they find large doors into the asteroids interior and to cargo bays filled with shuttles. Obviously refugees had fled here but where are they. They also notice that some of the shuttles have been scavenged for parts, including one for its plasma engines. On pushing into the asteroid they find the refugees but they are brain dead and acting in a zombie like fashion and attack the players en mass both at range and melee but with reduced WS/BS stats. You can also add in a mini-whispered crystal which can control up to 1D5 enemy per round to have them run at "full power" and attack you using full WS/BS and tactics.

After a few running battles they eventually come to a cavern where the whisperers have set up plasma engines on a mining cart in front of a blast door and are in the process of powering them up. There are a number of mini crystals here controlling a large group of enemy. On clearing the room they can either try to open up the doors themselves (there is a comm panel to the other side they can use to talk to people) or power up the engines and melt through the doors. Suffice to say they should use the inter-comm and persuade the survivors on the other side to open up. Here they will find the mine foreman who can give them access to the nukes if the GM things them needed, or they could find Intel on where installation 23 is or they could even find surviving sculptors from Silence. If they powered up the engines then the survivors can either be killed outright, or take major casualties meaning medicae rolls for major heat burns and suffocation to see who they can save. They also discover that the ores and minerals in the asteroid create an affect similar to a gellar field meaning that The Whisperer could not easily control the refugees hence the mini-crystals acting like amplifiers.


7) The players could also come across another asteroid but with a small drug operation being run by one of Magos Tevlas Acolytes. He is using that to fund his experiments on plants being mutated by Yu'Vatch energy and seeing the affects. These experiments have results in some very interesting warp-narcotics which the players can sell on the Cold Trade but receive corruption points for sampling his wares. Or they could destroy all work on the warp plants, and either set up a normal drug operation for profit or turn it round to produce medicine. Morphine is only a couple of chemical steps away from heroin after all.


8) The Additional Locations list in the book mention a Citadel of Psykers. I ran this as a space battle to save the space station but the inhabitants would only talk to the players via hololith. A brief negotiation process begins but they quickly agree to help screen the population for those tainted by The Whisperer to help ease the fears of the wider population, more so post war. They also agree to allow their station to be towed to a higher orbit above the dust cloud so that the solar station can be brought to full power levels. If the players set up a laser/microwave power transfer system they could transfer the power to anywhere in the system to help with the rebuild process. They could send it to Cog for extra Profit or to Svard hive cities for other rewards? Or even to the drug asteroid to expand its facilities?

 

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