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Campaign design help needed; metaplot anyone?

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Trying to come up with a good metaplot, but am definitely having some trouble due to the broadness of it; could do anything.  As a result, I've done nothing.

 

Basically, because my players are WH40K newbies, I decided it would be best to give them as close to a blank slate as I could.

 

They start out in a stasis chamber surrounded by a DW kill team, sent to them by the machinations of the Omega Vault.  Hypno-indoctrination, cultural knowledge, and most of the other mental conditioning and memories that would make them stereotypical death dealers are out of the picture, allowing them to explore and become introduced to the setting in a more paced out fashion.  GM fiat and the vagaries of of dark age devices make such things palatable.

 

---

 

So, they're on the team, both the players and the characters know nothing and remember nothing.  It's enough to be able to get them to go on missions, but without having a greater scheme behind why they were in stasis chamber, there's not enough there to carry them through a year of play.

 

What do you think?  Where should I take this and how should I implement it?

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Kinda busy now, but I can offer a few quick thoughts:

 

1) If the Omega Vault is involved, the metaplot needs to be connected at minimum to the fate of the Jericho Reach. There's no shortage of splatbooks offering local history-related myths and prophecies as plot hooks, so when the plot itself is settled, we can probably get this part covered quickly.

 

2) If they stepped out of the stasis pods relatively intact (i.e. they were not put inside to prevent immediate death from horrific injuries), that must mean they either entered them voluntarily or were ordered to do so by an ally or commander. Now why would such a thing happen to a perfectly functional Kill-Team? The answer must be that there was a threat they were completely and utterly ill-equipped to handle. Two things come to my mind:

 

a) An infection or disease, where the body had to be switched off to protect it from spreading and further damage until help/solution is found (remember Boneitis, anyone? :P ). This is not grandiose at all, but it can work like a very simplistic video game plot - you know, "collect the five components to get the antidote."

 

b) There was some serious mind-f**kery going on, on such a scale, that the mind needed to be frozen in time to avoid its effects. Its nature needs to be tailored to the team, but for starters, check The Nemesis Incident supplement as an example (available as a pdf download here), where [obligatory SPOILER ALERT] the complete first company of a chapter goes into stasis because of a heavy Enslaver infection.

 

That's it for now - I need to think about it a bit more.

Edited by musungu

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They were part of an experiment performed by radical faction of the Inquisition. It's goal was to test a cure for Chaos Space Marines. They were captured as members of Chaos Space Marines Legion of some kind. All their memories of butchery, heresy and praising the Dark Gods were wiped out to let them serve the mankind once again.

 

Weren't they? ;)

 

Then PC's might have flashbacks from their past revealing to them portions of what they might have done.

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Kinda busy now, but I can offer a few quick thoughts:

 

1) If the Omega Vault is involved, the metaplot needs to be connected at minimum to the fate of the Jericho Reach. There's no shortage of splatbooks offering local history-related myths and prophecies as plot hooks, so when the plot itself is settled, we can probably get this part covered quickly.

 

2) If they stepped out of the stasis pods relatively intact (i.e. they were not put inside to prevent immediate death from horrific injuries), that must mean they either entered them voluntarily or were ordered to do so by an ally or commander. Now why would such a thing happen to a perfectly functional Kill-Team? The answer must be that there was a threat they were completely and utterly ill-equipped to handle. Two things come to my mind:

 

a) An infection or disease, where the body had to be switched off to protect it from spreading and further damage until help/solution is found (remember Boneitis, anyone? :P ). This is not grandiose at all, but it can work like a very simplistic video game plot - you know, "collect the five components to get the antidote."

 

b) There was some serious mind-f**kery going on, on such a scale, that the mind needed to be frozen in time to avoid its effects. Its nature needs to be tailored to the team, but for starters, check The Nemesis Incident supplement as an example (available as a pdf download here), where [obligatory SPOILER ALERT] the complete first company of a chapter goes into stasis because of a heavy Enslaver infection.

 

That's it for now - I need to think about it a bit more.

 

Well, the present mission sequence is a sort of improv based on the pre-made Tantalus mission from the core rule book.  Right now they're in the thick of the planetary invasion of Castobel, teetering between saving the place or scorching it.  Kinda want to slowly increase the scope and complexity of the setting as the game goes on.  We start with a planet and a faction, add another planet, then another faction, then this and that.  Just doling out the lore, setting, and scenery piecemeal by keeping them in a sandbox I can more easily control.

 

Oooh, I really like those ideas though.  I was thinking of blaming the Eldar (Eldrad is such a ****), throwing in the prophecy 

 

“The Harvester of Souls shall be hewn by the Harvester of Souls.  The Storm of Silence struck down by the Storm of Silence.  The Cry of the Wind swept away by the Cry of the Wind.  The Hunter of Shadows caught by the Hunter of Shadows.  The Hand of Asur crushed by the Hand of Asur.  The burning Lance shall be the last to fall: Obliterated by the Burning Lance."

 

and tangentially tying it in.  Then, as more characters and campaigns are rolled up, working pieces of this cryptic theme into the game.  In other words, a metaplot that spans multiple campaigns and a few millennia.

 

But I am a bastard of a GM and really like the idea of telling my players their special snowflake characters have a fatal disease or one of them isn't who he thinks he is.  

 

They were part of an experiment performed by radical faction of the Inquisition. It's goal was to test a cure for Chaos Space Marines. They were captured as members of Chaos Space Marines Legion of some kind. All their memories of butchery, heresy and praising the Dark Gods were wiped out to let them serve the mankind once again.

 

Weren't they? ;)

 

Then PC's might have flashbacks from their past revealing to them portions of what they might have done.

 

Oooh, also cool.  CSM, boneitis, enslavers.  I think the CSM angle has the best longevity.

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I'm sort of jealous of the CSM idea (it's cool, man! why didn't I think of it? ;)), but it's not the envy talking when I say that they can't be too heavily corrupted, even if they got a thorough mind-scrubbing afterwards, because that has bodily effects - serious gene-seed defects (or having a tentacle) will raise all the red flags (and possibly a few orange ones, too), and any Apothecary worth his salt will spot the physical effects of ten millennia in the Eye. So, sadly, no Horus Heresy background or flashbacks of having a tea party with Lorgar :)

 

These elements can be mixed easily, though. A... khm... experimental substance tried out during the conversion of CSMs might have had an unwanted side effect in the form of boneitis, or the very thorough psychic dissection of their minds opened the door for something beyond the veil, so the players had to be iced.

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Well, could do a heresy background, if they never made it to the eye.  If memory serves, the shattering of the rebellion was an incredibly messy affair.  You had the vast bulk of Horus's forces fleeing en masse via every transit method they could get their hands on.  Blind warp jumps and desperate pacts with dark forces were made as the Imperials chased them all the way back to the Cadian Gate.

 

At the same time, Lorgar and Angron were busy putting 30+ worlds of Ultramar to the sword.  They got the same message everyone else did.

 

I imagine that not everyone made it back to the eye.  Some ships were stragglers, some got lost.  Not every legionnaire of the traitor primarchs' legions embraced the warp either, making those few Astartes into the rare double-traitors.

 

If my Luna-wolf ass, who liked the idea of invading Terra slightly more than the idea of being purged, found himself ground side when Horus died and bereft of transport as the last ship flees the system at full speed, I think I would have no problem scavenging someone else's armor and tossing myself into a stasis chamber.  Even a traitor space marine only ever sells his life dearly.

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That's all true, but the point of a Radical Inquisitor's CSM-turning experiment (the original proposition) should be trying to turn CSMs who embraced chaos, and see what happens. Otherwise it's just a regular Astartes brainwashing experiment, and it's probably easier to trap a loyalist for that. Perhaps a Celestial Lion delegation, en route to Holy Terra, or a Lamenter. Nobody looks for a missing Lamenter, things just happen to those guys all the time. But yeah, if there's no such thing involved, your player may very well be a Luna Wolf who lost his memories after ten millennia floating around. The Heresy-era equipment would be a dead giveaway, but he might have had a few breaks to go to the loo and grab a few bites :)

 

Running with your idea for a moment, another evil thing to do to the player would be to decide he's actually a member of the Fallen. Imagine the paranoia you could induce if you pick one of them to be hunted :D

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I'm sort of jealous of the CSM idea (it's cool, man! why didn't I think of it? ;)), but it's not the envy talking when I say that they can't be too heavily corrupted, even if they got a thorough mind-scrubbing afterwards, because that has bodily effects - serious gene-seed defects (or having a tentacle) will raise all the red flags (and possibly a few orange ones, too), and any Apothecary worth his salt will spot the physical effects of ten millennia in the Eye.

 

 

Maybe the treatment reverts the mutations in a way or they were removed surgically and thanks to treatment they're no longer growing. If there's an apothecary in your team, he might be brainwashed to ignore those little traces of mutation he sees. Or it can be a subplot of the campaign - he might notice during using medicae that there's something in his brother's physiology that makes them curious cases (but nothing too obvious). Will he do anything about it? Will he tell his brothers about his observations, will he experiment on them in secret to know the truth?

 

It's a nice plot starter I think.

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That's all true, but the point of a Radical Inquisitor's CSM-turning experiment (the original proposition) should be trying to turn CSMs who embraced chaos, and see what happens. Otherwise it's just a regular Astartes brainwashing experiment, and it's probably easier to trap a loyalist for that. Perhaps a Celestial Lion delegation, en route to Holy Terra, or a Lamenter. Nobody looks for a missing Lamenter, things just happen to those guys all the time. But yeah, if there's no such thing involved, your player may very well be a Luna Wolf who lost his memories after ten millennia floating around. The Heresy-era equipment would be a dead giveaway, but he might have had a few breaks to go to the loo and grab a few bites :)

 

Running with your idea for a moment, another evil thing to do to the player would be to decide he's actually a member of the Fallen. Imagine the paranoia you could induce if you pick one of them to be hunted :D

 

True.  Poor Lamenters man, I want to like them, but they're like tragedy magnets.  You're right, a mind-wiped loyalist finding out he was a loyalist has no conflict, no pull whatsoever.  

 

I really like the idea of making at least one of them Fallen.  Especially because my players really like a Dark Angel NPC they've ran into a few times.  To have them help their battle brother trace themselves gives it a giddy Oedipus Rex overtone.  The more they help their friend complete his goal, the closer they come to discovering their own identities, and in so doing, destroying everything they've come to cherish in this new life they've built around themselves.  I already dropped the "knowledge begets heresy" meme, I could easily turn that into a campaign long theme and be all, "just as planned" when they get to the end of the road.

 

I'd also been toying with the idea of having them be a sort of fifth column Ultramarine plant.  That their original reason for being was to subvert the Jericho sector in preparation for Roboute's coup de'tat, stillborn when Horus beat him to the punch.  Lots of artistic license there, there's only two guys who could've confirmed that story at this point in the game and neither of them are talking.

 

 

I'm sort of jealous of the CSM idea (it's cool, man! why didn't I think of it? ;)), but it's not the envy talking when I say that they can't be too heavily corrupted, even if they got a thorough mind-scrubbing afterwards, because that has bodily effects - serious gene-seed defects (or having a tentacle) will raise all the red flags (and possibly a few orange ones, too), and any Apothecary worth his salt will spot the physical effects of ten millennia in the Eye.

 

 

Maybe the treatment reverts the mutations in a way or they were removed surgically and thanks to treatment they're no longer growing. If there's an apothecary in your team, he might be brainwashed to ignore those little traces of mutation he sees. Or it can be a subplot of the campaign - he might notice during using medicae that there's something in his brother's physiology that makes them curious cases (but nothing too obvious). Will he do anything about it? Will he tell his brothers about his observations, will he experiment on them in secret to know the truth?

 

It's a nice plot starter I think.

 

 

Indeed.  Perhaps the Apothecary himself is an Alpha Legion infiltrator and he's covering for them per his instructions. Maybe he overlooks those details because he had been captured, psycho-conditioned, and released, specifically so that he would eventually become the apothecary assigned to review their medical data, which activates the mental block that prevents him from noticing the signs of their corruption.

 

It would take a level of GM fiat only justifiable through near prescient levels of witch sight, but I think it's doable.

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But I think now ya'll are starting to see my dilemma.  Each and every one of these is a great idea and could, conceivably, be expanded upon to fill a campaign.  The question is, which one is best?

 

I can do anything.  I can do anything except for nothing, or else the game ends due to flagging interest.  Combat and inventive missions can only take my group so far, they're going to want some greater context to sink their teeth into.  I want to give them something good, something both unforgettable and yet uniquely grim dark enough that they'll never forget what it means to hear the laughter of thirsting gods.

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Mate, I say go with the Fallen stuff. It's as grimdark as it gets, it has tragedy and betrayal on par with Ancient Greek theatre, the seeds are already sown in your group anyway, and the characters, background, tropes and turning points are well-established, which makes both planning and improvisation easier. Work the other good details around it.

 

What if the Fallen guy was doing the experimenting with other Astartes? Why not, it fits the picture easily, and they're almost as crazy as Radicals.

 

Why would he do that? Maybe on Guilliman's orders, after turning bitter for being stranded on Caliban for too long, and siding with Papa Smurf, before he was cut by old Rowboat because, duh, Horus happened. Maybe he was acting alone, trying to make his own Chapter with blackjack and hookers, and do the Emperor's true bidding right, so he decided to do questionable things to his mates who embraced the Ruinous Powers, or maybe he just kidnapped a few confused guys from other Legions as guinea pigs to see whether turning back the traitors en masse is possible. Maybe it was Cypher behind the scenes all along (like it usually is) - if yes, pick the Eldrad ideas, and change the manipulator figure to Cypher. He's a great enough puppet master to pull it off.

 

Why the stasis? Maybe the Fallen's consciousness finally got the better of him. Maybe the Unforgiven were getting close, and before the final blow was struck, he tore open a por... khm, went to stasis. Maybe his secret base was a Necron planet, and it got too hot for him. Maybe it's the Hadex Anomaly. Any word on where the chambers were? If he was bunking up in an old Watch station or something similar Great Crusade-related place or ship, the Omega Vault could have known the location, and if it was also near to our very own mini-Eye, he could have went to stasis to weather another fluctuation in the Anomaly. Either way, his mind was also accidentally wiped... or was it? :ph34r:

 

...and so on, and so forth. What do you think?

 

Edit: I'm a great fan of Apothecaries, and I just love when they get a bit of a spotlight, so include them as often as you can, but that plot you two set up is freakishly convoluted, so I wouldn't suggest that as the overarching plot. And yeah, the Lamenters are cool.

Edited by musungu

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God Emperor, I would love to play a game with you gents.

 

I'm not really up to snuff on my dark angel lore, which makes it hard for me to really use their backstory to weave the metaplot.  I'd hate to just freeform it only to find out later that there was some cool piece that I can't use anymore because it contradicts what's been happening in game.  Having to go back through and rationalize it out is more work than I'd like to engage in; much better to cut it right the first time.

 

What is an Unforgiven, anyway?

 

That said, I could see it working to some extent, I'd just need to fill in gaps of knowledge.  Luther, The Lion's better half, gets corrupted.  Caliban gets destroyed via orbital bombardment or time-distortion, not really sure which at this point.  Cypher is some kind of time-traveling space marine version of lara croft, useful for all kinds of GM tricks.  But the rest of the fallen, I'm guessing there were very few survivors from the schism.  How did they get out and what are they doing?  If they survive and are chaos tainted, why wouldn't they make themselves known throughout the fluff, getting the entirety of the 1st legion and its successors declared traitoris excommunicatus would be a terrible blow to the Imperium.

 

Unless all of the fallen are like Cypher, on their own agenda, whatever that might be.  Therefore chaos isn't the driving force of their actions, it must be something else.  What is the something else?  Cypher is busy working on murdering the Emperor or something, is that the goal?

 

Once I've got the end point, it's a simple matter of working out the path and deciding where I want the players' campaign to sit in relation to it.

 

But it would work out perfectly with the prophecy I posted earlier, as the Dark Angels' legacy has a heavy role to play in it too.

 

Now that idea, of them being guinea pigs in an attempt to do the Emperor's bidding right, that is brilliant.  

 

+++

 

So here's what I'm thinking.  The Warp Gate, while impressive, distracts from the purpose of this region.  Why does this region of space need instantaneous travel to the far side of the galaxy?  The Reach, while a large and impressive enough place to carve out a respectable pocket empire, is not important enough in and of itself to warrant such an investment.

 

The Gate doesn't just lead to the Calixis Sector.  For those who know how to wield its ancient technology, there are others, waiting in the deep void between the light of distant stars and places.  But why?

 

The Pattern.  Even with the full battery of auguries and analysis, the Imperium's best and brightest are unable to discern its purpose, reason, or method of creation.  The Pattern can only be a gateway, the dead planets rotating into specific alignment but once in a million years.  The technocratic rites that stripped the planets of life have turned them into runes.  But you would never know it, until the stars align just right, and the gateway opens.

 

It's a doorway fit for the divine.  But where could it lead and who would ever use such a thing?  On the other side of the gate lies the deep warp, a place where even Chaos Gods fear to tread.  The one place that could hold her until the end times, when she would finally fulfill her purpose.  The Mad One waits, rages, and hungers.

 

---

 

What can one man do?  Very little.  What can one man do with ten thousand years?  A little more.

 

For the Mad One to meet her end and fulfill destiny's mandate, she will go to Terra, consuming all in her path.  To stop her is impossible.  But she can be tempted.  Humanity's best chance at surviving lies in the orderly realms of Ultramar, fated to be consumed as she travels to the one place she cannot resist.  

 

Engineering a warp storm of the size and scale necessary to achieve his goal was difficult.  Provoking a crusade merely required manipulating the Imperium into discovering the warp gate.  One last step remained.  A never ending stream of morsels would be enough to lead her to the gate.  But such control is difficult to ensure through proxy.  He would need to don the face of the loyalists.  Believe it so utterly and totally that not even he knew the difference.  Earn their trust, gain rank and favor through bravery and honor.  Until finally, he could name himself interim Warmaster.  A true successor will be appointed far too late to matter.

 

For the plan to work, for the Mad One to take the gate and leave Ultima Segmentum unscathed, an iron hand would have to ram every man, woman, and ship in the Achilus crusade down her throat, one at a time.  Who would have the resolve necessary to see it done better than an Astartes?  Especially one who understands that the alternative is extinction.

 

His plans in motion, he dons his disguise and remembers himself for the last time in a long time as the stasis field powers up.  Five thousand years later, just as the builders of the Omega Vault had known, the appointed time has arrived.  The cogitator spits out the coordinates and a team is dispatched.

 

+++

 

Unbeknownst to the kill team, the true son of the lion accepts his appointment to the Deathwatch under orders from the Inner Circle.  Luther's latest bout of interrogation gives them reason to believe that one of the Fallen is directly responsible for the Age of Darkness that befell the Jericho Reach.  Furthermore, this architect is believed to still be there, his grand design not yet complete.

 

With just enough clues to get started, he sets about his task.  Little does he know, his quarry stands beside him, both of them unaware and unsuspecting of their shared ties.

 

Whaddya think?

 

Granted, I fully expect the players to all die long before any of this becomes relevant.  But this would give a greater story to the "save this planet, kill that xeno" thing I've had them doing.

 

All I have to do is figure out the best breadcrumbs that lead them to figuring this out.

Edited by sponge

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All right, let's address your points here.

 

What is an Unforgiven, anyway?

 

C'mon, surely you know that :)

 

 

That said, I could see it working to some extent, I'd just need to fill in gaps of knowledge.  Luther, The Lion's better half, gets corrupted.  Caliban gets destroyed via orbital bombardment or time-distortion, not really sure which at this point.  Cypher is some kind of time-traveling space marine version of lara croft, useful for all kinds of GM tricks.  But the rest of the fallen, I'm guessing there were very few survivors from the schism.  How did they get out and what are they doing?  If they survive and are chaos tainted, why wouldn't they make themselves known throughout the fluff, getting the entirety of the 1st legion and its successors declared traitoris excommunicatus would be a terrible blow to the Imperium.

 

Luther gets into a conflict with the Lion. At this point, the narrative of the Dark Angels and the narrative of the Fallen differ considerably, which is the key point of DA lore, and I hope it never gets clarified.

 

Anyway, according to the DA story, Luther was corrupted and attacked the Lions' returning fleet to get him and the loyalists killed, and join the other camp with the rest. According to the Fallen, Luther and the (Terran-born) rest on Caliban remained loyal to the Emperor's idea of a secular, humane galaxy, while the Lion was either a) outright corrupted, b) amoral and pragmatic enough to wait and see who wins the Siege of Terra, or c) driven insane with suspicion, caused by his childhood amond monsters in the dark forests of Caliban.

 

This never can be verified, because the interrogated Fallen are just as likely to tell the truth as to honestly rationalise and justify their behaviour in hindsight or to lie to confuse the interrogators. That is what, in my opinion, makes this such a good mystery.

 

Anyway, here comes the destruction of Caliban and a freak warp storm, which envelops the place, scattering the dissenters all over the galaxy. So actually a lot of the survived or is unaccounted for, which is why the DA keep great big ledgers of old acquittance rolls around to cross off names from.

 

Cypher is an even stronger mystery - he's always likely to put the DA in a tight spot, but that also quite often leads to the DA discovering some dangerous threat to their very existence. The only thing he is unlikely to do is blowing the cover of the Unforgiven to broadcast their shame. Since his goals are undefined but certainly major, you can freely decide what his doubtlessly long game is.

 

The Fallen are a weird bunch with wildly differing goals and methods. They often embrace Chaos, sure, but just as often work towards their own goals. There was one in one of the novels, who strived to emulate the Emperor's Great Crusade dream, free from post-HH Imperial superstitions, so kidnapping CSMs to brainwash them could be fitting. A sort-of-Alpha-Legion, kill-Humanity-to-save-Humanity approach also wouldn't be unrealistic here.

 

I like the use of the Dark Pattern, that ties it nicely together. Lots of prophecies, a faction in Deathwatch (the Dead Cabal) to use as allies, then later antagonists, the Necron threat to reckon with... Good. I'm not sure what the Mad One supposed to be, but I like how ominous it all sounds. I wouldn't be able to run a game with her like that, I'm too much of a fanboy to let my players break the universe (especially on their first try), but in your presentation it sounds oddly compelling :D

 

And don't forget, there's an Apothecary called Septimus in RoB who could be a very fitting NPC to use, along with Epistolary Zadkiel from tJR.

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I seriously don't know.  Is the Unforgiven just a moniker the loyalist DA's call themselves?

 

I like option B the most.  Far more delicious than a stark black-and-white answer.

 

I would only put Cypher as a central member of the cast if and only if I could work him in as a time-loop paradox.  Which would be the point of the story, thus tightly quarantined.  You know, you chase cypher, you learn all of cypher's secrets, you catch cypher... you are Cypher.  The campaign ends as you pull down your hood and check your pistols.

 

The Mad One, don't quote me on this, is Gaia, the only Old One to have killed and devoured a C'Tan during the War of the Heavens.  While her power greatly increased, the process of metabolizing the entity corrupted her.  She became as dangerous to her fellows as she was to the enemy.  Ultimately, they used her, luring her into destroying most of the C'tan.  When finally they had no further use of her abilities, and being unable to heal her broken mind or destroy her, she was imprisoned.

 

In my overarching meta-meta-plotline, she exists to kill The Dragon.  

 

You know, if a large number of Fallen were tossed through the warp willy-nilly, it seems that there's a good chance most of them were tainted by the Warp.  Perhaps some were able to travel safely, if the warp offers any possibility, perhaps the possibility of safe harbor also exists.

 

Regardless, the more I learn about them, the less I think they're like the other CSM's.  Like if there are any who are tainted, stereotypical CSM's, their mutations and devotion occurred post-schism.  Like a side-effect of the warp storm.  Otherwise, their grievances and objectives may be entirely understandable.  But with so many corrupted ones running around, you can never really tell.  Some are tainted, some are not.  Some remember why they're doing what they're doing, most are too crazy to remember.  Very fertile ground for a GM.

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I seriously don't know.  Is the Unforgiven just a moniker the loyalist DA's call themselves?

 

More than that, it's an insider name for all the Chapters with the Lion's geneseed. You see, the DA consider themselves to be shamed by these events, sort of like the Original Sin - you know, Legion I, the First, and the best of the best, couldn't stand on the walls of the Emperors Palace during the Siege of Terra, because they harboured traitors. The only way to remove this shame is to capture all the survivors, offer them redemption in the form of repentance, and put them to the sword. Until then they're forced to live in the grimdark shadows, unable to stand tall in the Emperor's sight.

 

Now during the Second (and later) Foundings, the DA not only handed down the organisational irregularities to the Successors (the majority of which is created to persecute The Hunt anyway), but their mindset, too. The Unforgiven almost function as a Legion, because their actions are coordinated to reach a common goal, and they appear to answer to the DA's Grand Master to some degree at least.

 

Actually, Septimus is a good example - a DA captain in DW suspects that a fellow Astartes in Erioch is a Fallen, so he requests an Apothecary to do the geneseed testing in secret. Since the DA are far away, a Successor Chapter steps in and sends one.

 

I like option B the most.  Far more delicious than a stark black-and-white answer.

 

Me too, but the ambiguity is key here. No one actually knows for sure, not even the Fallen, apart from maybe Luther, but he's insane.

 

I would only put Cypher as a central member of the cast if and only if I could work him in as a time-loop paradox.  Which would be the point of the story, thus tightly quarantined.  You know, you chase cypher, you learn all of cypher's secrets, you catch cypher... you are Cypher.  The campaign ends as you pull down your hood and check your pistols.

 

Cypher's always very keen to point out that he's actually called the Lord Cypher (which is the title of the loremaster in one of the Calibanite knightly orders, which later became the DA). So there you go :D

 

You know, if a large number of Fallen were tossed through the warp willy-nilly, it seems that there's a good chance most of them were tainted by the Warp.  Perhaps some were able to travel safely, if the warp offers any possibility, perhaps the possibility of safe harbor also exists.

 

Regardless, the more I learn about them, the less I think they're like the other CSM's.  Like if there are any who are tainted, stereotypical CSM's, their mutations and devotion occurred post-schism.  Like a side-effect of the warp storm.  Otherwise, their grievances and objectives may be entirely understandable.  But with so many corrupted ones running around, you can never really tell.  Some are tainted, some are not.  Some remember why they're doing what they're doing, most are too crazy to remember.  Very fertile ground for a GM.

 

Yeah, they're consistently depicted that way - not a homogeneous bunch, by far. What can I say? Enjoy your new toy :D

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Is it to late for further idea transmissions?

 

How about a bit more down to terra scenario, where a radical ordo xenos inquisitor used the KT for some missions that might have cost him his head if word got out. Seeing them as invaluable assets, he won't kill them, but trap them to clean their minds (by tech or psy) and put them to stasis for further use (might even have happend more than once...).

 

Now, that someone else found the KT, his dark secrets are at danger of beiing unveiled, so he works on a plot to hunt down every single marine of the KT, before they regain their memories.

Edited by Avdnm

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Is it to late for further idea transmissions?

 

How about a bit more down to terra scenario, where a radical ordo xenos inquisitor used the KT for some missions that might have cost him his head if word got out. Seeing them as invaluable assets, he won't kill them, but trap them to clean their minds (by tech or psy) and put them to stasis for further use (might even have happend more than once...).

 

Now, that someone else found the KT, his dark secrets are at danger of beiing unveiled, so he works on a plot to hunt down every single marine of the KT, before they regain their memories.

 

 

Ooh, now that is pretty awesome.

 

I like the... containment.  Much as I enjoy dealing with prophecy and apocalypse (I am an American after all), I'd prefer to reserve that level of scale as we near the end of the line.

 

Busy now, need more time to ruminate.  Will revisit this soon.

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No big deal. But please do the favour of occasionally telling us how it worked - this plot piqued my curiosity.

 

Well, it's on permanent hiatus at this point I think.

 

So, after some downtime/side quest type stuff, it kinda... fell apart.

 

On the side-quest, I threw a bone to my ultramarine, a set of pre-heresy power armor, with the helmet missing.  It's been awhile, so I can't remember exactly how I had them figure it out, but they figure out that the helmet is on Castobel, which is conveniently where their next mission is.

 

So, they get their marching orders from the captain: go planet side and seize control of the Hive's reactors, hold until relieved or initiate catastrophic meltdown, depending on how the battle goes.

 

The UM player, a tactical marine, is the team leader for the op.  He modifies their flight plan to set down a few miles away, near the cathedral that they believe houses the helmet.

 

The party makes their way to the Cathedral and, in a kinda Indiana Jones moment, just after he takes the helmet, I drop a Flying Hive Tyrant through the roof.  They fight the good fight, and lose.  Fission Mailed, bro.

 

So, they wake up in varying states of dismemberment.  The UM character took about 8 points of critical to the head.  I let him burn a fate point to avoid death, but he woke up missing both his eyes.  The Dark Angel heavy lost an arm, a leg, well... if I had the rules for it handy, I would have put him in a sarcophagus.  Party morale plummeted shortly thereafter.  :(

 

Too harsh?

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if I had the rules for it handy, I would have put him in a sarcophagus

 

I suppose you're talking about a cybot?! Rules are in Rites of Battle, requires rank 4 or 5 and a fuckload of XP.

 

Party morale plummeted shortly thereafter.   :(

 

Too harsh?

 

A Hive Tyrant without companions? I guess they had a reasonable chance, so... no. If you want to up moral, you might think about giving them better craftsmanship implants for their lost parts, which might give them a slight boost. Like a sight bonus for the UM, or the sprint talent for the DA.

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