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Pre-Adventure Timeline: Sophrosyne Research Station 12

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Hi, folks. I'm working on my first adventure for a two-player Deathwatch campaign set to start early next year (Obsidian Portal site here), and I'm hoping you can help me work some stuff out. I want to make sure all my ducks are in a row so that my players can do some investigating / interaction as they choose.


The adventure is centred around two set pieces: A straight up fight against some Termagants and Hormagaunts in a laboratory, followed by an objective-based fight (rescue) between the Marines and a squad of Fire Warriors in a lunar cave with a Tyranid Warrior making life fun for everyone.


The mission is the usual "find out why base X has gone dark" SF actionfest. The objectives are:

  • Primary: Retrieve a scientist.
  • Secondary: Find out what happened to the undercover agent in the lab base.
  • Tertiary / ToO:
    • Capture or kill anyone involved in the kidnap of the scientist.
    • Eliminate any Xenos threats.

The broader ideas:


This is set on the planet Sophrosyne, a world that weathered the Age of Shadow with its population, sanity, biosphere and tech level mostly intact. It's bypassed the scrutiny (if not the notice) of the Imperium, who have installed a planetary governor above the elected prime minister twenty years ago and use the world as a rotation / R&R point for nearby Imperial Guard forces in the Canis Salient.


Possibly its greatest asset is the Federal Collegium, an institution dedicated to the advancement of science and knowledge. It's the sort of place that the Inquisition and the Ministorum would be all over like a firestorm, if their attention weren't otherwise occupied elsewhere.


Sophrosyne has, however, drawn the attention of the Tau, for two reasons:

  • The Collegium's best and brightest, not to mention Sophrosyne's broader population of free thinkers and innovators, would be an asset to the greater good.
  • The planet is smack in the vector of the encroaching Tyranids, who have begun hitting Tau worlds in the vicinity.

The local Tau leaders have conceived of a plan called Operation Firebreak. The main part of the plan is to set a network of charges on the surface of Sophrosyne, set to detonate remotely once the Tyranid swarm reaches sufficient biomass on the planet. With a limb cut off, the Tau hope that the swarm will be diverted away from Tau-held worlds at best, slowed at worst.


The second part of the plan is to evacuate, by hook or by crook, as much of the cream of Sophrosyne's intellectual crop as possible. Some have already noticed the increasing trend of disappearances from Sophrosyne. As it tends to be families as much as individuals (a good portion of the evacuees are going voluntarily, seeing the Tau as a better alternative than an eventual Imperial purge), most consider it some sort of retreat for the rich and daring. Nonetheless, an Inquisitor has decided that there's enough to the trend to investigate, although she's not got much support from her peers.


The chief scientist at the research outpost is the objective. She doesn't know about the Tau evacuation, but there's a gue'la agent amongst the staff whose task is to isolate her and signal the extraction team. There's also a member of the inquisitor's retinue there undercover, although I'm thinking that the blowing of said throne agent's cover could be the trigger for the base shutdown; the gue'la agent catches the throne agent mid-transmission to the Inquisitor and sets off the base's EM dampener (intended to eliminate external interference for tests), cutting all comms.

The Tyranids are from a (whatsitsname) spore that a rogue trader managed to capture and bring back to the Collegium for study. The spore itself is in the secret facility in Sophrosyne's moon (part of an abandoned lunar mining complex); the Termagants and Hormagaunts in the base are extracted from it in cryo and brought back to the planetary base for further study. The gue'la agent, knowing that Inquisitorial reinforcements are inbound (but nnnNNOOOObody expects the Deathwatch! - sorry*), turns the cryo off, hoping to buy the Tau some time.

So basically, I want to make sure that the chief scientist is on the moon, with the Tyranid Warrior on the loose and the Tau inbound; the gue'la agent is in Research Station 12 (I'm thinking it has a secret underground secure biological research facility with shuttle hangar, which is where the Tyranids are) with the Tyranids on the loose and maybe a couple of surviving staff (with everyone else locked out on the ground floor with no idea what's going on except for the worrying thumps against the heavy hatches sealing the air con vents off).


Between comms being cut off, the Inquisitor asking her friends in the Deathwatch for assistance (the local astropath has started having the symptomatic nightmares caused by Tyranid presence), the Kill-team being dispatched and arrival on site, I'm assuming something like twelve hours. In that time, no one on base has been able to get word out; the base is a good distance from civilisation by design and the gue'la agent managed to sabotage the base's only flyer (I figure the team on site have just got it fixed and fuelled when the Kill-team's drop-pod lands on it).

Have I got everything sensible covered?

* not sorry

Edited by SlamDance

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I guess you are talking about a Mycetic Spore. All in all, sounds really nice. Did the gue'la "take care" of the throne agent, or is he still around trying to save his ass/purge the unclean/wait for reinforcement? Maybe he's having some recon for the KT? I guess another question my players would definitly come up with is: "What about the progress/outcome of the research/What's the research aimed at? Can we use it to shoot/punch xenos even harder in the face?" They're always looking for ways to shoot/punch xenos harder in the face...

Edited by Avdnm

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Yes! Mycetic. Had an absolute blank and didn't have the book handy. Thanks, Avdnm!

I'm thinking that the gue'la at the least knocked the throne agent out and possibly left him from the Tyranids. Whatever happened, it was likely done out of panic rather than cold bloodedness.


My chief scientist is researching the Tyranids. She's definitely after some means of helping humanity stop them. I want her to be onto something, but I'm not sure what. A nerve agent? A virus? Some way of cutting a cluster of Tyranids off from the hive mind? ( I like the idea of the latter.)

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