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Commediante

Leaning towards chaos

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My GM is very lazy and he never provides our Deathwatch team with sufficient intelligence to reach it's goals. Instead he uses unbelievable coincidences to repair the sessions he broke.

 

For example once we were supposed to go into hive city to find hidden xeno lab and kidnap ethereal kept there. We weren't given information where it's located or even how it looks like. After hours of pointless wandering we stumbled upon tau pathfinder team that actually blackmailed our characters: they demanded oath from the marines made in the name of the Emperor and Chapter that they wouldn't hurt any of them or the ethereal in exchange for location of the xeno lab and joint destruction of it.

Well, we killed them right away in, like, one turn. Xeno forcing a marine to promise in the name of the Emperor and his Chapter? No brainer: kill'em all.

Then we ran into a "random guy" walking down the corridor. I guessed that he was supposed to give us location of the lab, but my friend's character didn't - he shot the poor NPC into shreds with Astartes Rocket Launcher out of boredom. For a second we felt all alive.

Finally we found the lab and the mission started (4 hours after the start of the session), by PURE ACCIDENT in 6 BILLION PEOPLE HIVE CITY.

 

And that's just one of his missions. Here's the thing: I'd like my character to respond to such laziness of Inquisition (not providing vital intelligence, forcing elite strike force to do "ground work" instead of assigning it to the acolytes, relying on a pure accident in billion Throne Gelt missions) with resistance. I'd like him to slowly question the power of Inquisition and the Imperium and finally, after many internal changes, lean totally towards chaos. How would you do it, so that it would look good and credible? My character is an Ultramarine Tactical, veteran of the tyrannic wars, full of faith in the Imperium. How can he interprete incompetence of his superiors to ultimately question the whole of Imperium?

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I do it quite often. We've played entire campaign of Only War and we've started a new one in DH2 with the same team and me as GM. Besides he plays RPG for a long time and he's convinced about his greatness. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, at least not this one.

 

But this is not a problem. I know that he's probably gonna play like this no matter what. Problem is how would a space marine respond to such laziness and cowardice of his superiors? Our team did one session in which we were running around the base, trying to find a squad of renegade SM and neutralize them. Of course we didn't find them and they got killed anyway. My Ultramarine would probably think that his skills would be better used in Ultramar, fighting beside his brothers, not chasing ghosts on an empty planet.

 

Should the marine rebel?

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Honestly a marine would be annoyed, and talk to his Chaplin about his lack of faith in the god-emperors representatives. He will then be told to either ask more questions in his pre-deployment brief ( what are we expected to fight, what data is available about said enemy ect) , or will be told that if it was duty to know, he would be told.    Or just plain ask the GM why he is doing this repeatedly. 

 

I do feel ya thou, had a GM in an age of rebellion game who thought giving the location and basic conditions of a plant we were flying towards required a test. Never mind our intel was always wrong about what was there when he bothered to give it.  brief-"Small outpost with minimal space support and skeleton garrison, should be a quick in and out" reality-" 2 star destroyer squadrons with support, entrenched garrison numbering into the triple digits, and the objective is behind a heavily fortified vault door...and they already detected you and shot down your ride" 

 

Once or twice can be a plot twist and a change of pace, every time is a bit much.

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Exactly.

 

And for everyone who vaguely knows how special forces operate this is simply incredible. Today every operation is carefully planned and every piece of intelligence fought over with lives of agents. With this mg it's like Inqusition doesn't really care whether Deathwatch succeeds on it's mission.

 

So as to conversation with a superior - my character has already passed it. I'm thinking of a next step, some kind of nihilism that would eventually lead to embracing chaos. I should use some kind of dramatic moment for this.

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Shoot him in the face

No really, next time he is giving out a mission just unload your bolter into him and claim he was a heretic, why else would he squander The Emperor's Angels of death? obviously he is trying to buy time for his dark masters.  

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I figure a steadfast Ultramarine would sooner suspect the lazy Inquisitor with heresy than think about switching sides. Erioch is teeming with the Ordo Xenos - he could contact a rival of the Inquisitor (if the guy's a radical, contact a puritan or the other way around) to start investigating the suspected heresy. You could also contact all the Ultramarine successor guys in the DW, regardless of their rank, to build a faction against the Inquisitor, as they must be willing to listen to you.

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Yes! That's brilliant! I hope that my gm understands what possibilities lie in storyline like this. And it really fits. Our delay in hive city resulted in our target escaping and chasing renegates was really a waste of time. It's like we were sabotaged in every mission. My gm has a chance to make awful story turn into good one. I'll give him that chance.

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I think the best way for a loyal, dedicated marine to turn to Chaos is to start doing the wrong things for all the right reasons.  The Inquisitor giving you bad information?  He must be incompetent, corrupt, or a heretic!  As a loyal servant of the emperor you cannot simply step aside and do nothing.  You find allies among other inquisitors, but they ask you to help them by doing things you wouldn't normally do, but some small sacrifices are required to protect the Imperium.  

 

Perhaps you discover the rot is wide-spread in the Inquisition, so more drastic measures are required.  Secret ones, because only you recognize the depth of the problem and you would not want your battle-brothers possibly dragged down in disgrace.  Secrecy is required.  This means making distasteful, but expendable, allies.  After all, once the work is done you can kill them all.  It's just that the work never seems to get done.  Perhaps you will kill them tomorrow...

 

Then when people start to get wind of how far you have gone, the fools don't appreciate the sacrifices you have made, the extent of your vision to save the Imperium.  Regretfully, you have to silence these self-righteous, short-sighted fools.  

 

The next thing you know, you're performing blood sacrifices to Chaos for hidden knowledge and have been branded as a traitor by all those you were trying to protect, and you realize the Imperium kind of sucks...

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It is likely hard to have a deathwatch team report an inquisitor they're working for for incompetence. in such matters the inquisitor will likely automatically win. I read a story in a collection called "Hammer and bolter" there was a kill team sotry called "Exhumed" that had a diligent, hard working kill team sent on a mission and they were given strict orders by the inquisitor to do something, and were issued gear that would supposedly make it possible for them to achieve their goal, but the gear did not work and it was utterly impossible for the KT to accomplish the inquisitor's orders thru no fault of their own, so they did not succeed in the mission.

The story ended with the idea that the KT would be blamed and dishonored and in the end everyone paid for the inquisitor's failure but the inquisitor.

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I'd try 'shaming' the GM into designing his missions better by having your character call everyone's attention to the gaps in the mission briefing:

 

GM [in Inquisitor voice]: "I suspect there is a hidden xeno lab in this hive! Go find it!"

 

Player [in character voice]: "Where should we look?"

 

GM [in Inquisitor voice]: "In the hive!"

 

Player [in (very sarcastic) character voice]: "Searching a hive of 6 billion people, on foot, with no intel to narrow our focus, will likely take months, barring astronomical coincidence. Are you comfortable with that time-frame?"

 

GM [in Inquisitor voice]: "Erm, uh, well, I suspect it's in the Lowport District. I'll, um, arrange a meeting for you with the, um, local Enforcer Precinct to see if they have any reports of unusual activity that can, um, narrow your search..."

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It is likely hard to have a deathwatch team report an inquisitor they're working for for incompetence. in such matters the inquisitor will likely automatically win. I read a story in a collection called "Hammer and bolter" there was a kill team sotry called "Exhumed" that had a diligent, hard working kill team sent on a mission and they were given strict orders by the inquisitor to do something, and were issued gear that would supposedly make it possible for them to achieve their goal, but the gear did not work and it was utterly impossible for the KT to accomplish the inquisitor's orders thru no fault of their own, so they did not succeed in the mission.

The story ended with the idea that the KT would be blamed and dishonored and in the end everyone paid for the inquisitor's failure but the inquisitor.

 

That particular short story (an excellent one, btw) operates under the logic of the original GW lore, where the DW, as the OX's Chamber Militant, is completely subservient to the Inquisitor they're assigned to. FFG's DW lore puts some freedom back into the hands of the DW Astartes - but I don't want to go at it at length, it has been discussed on this forum many times already.

 

That said, opposing the Inquisitor head-on would probably still bring the very same consequences. Contacting other Inquisitors though? I think it's doable, either directly in the Watch Fortress, where many of them reside or work, or via an Ultramarine or successor in a different kill-team. That has the potential of being an excellent cat-and-mouse game of politics and spycraft.

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really, a marine kill team is something best used when you have a target in mind. Any competent inquisitor is going to not even consider sending a KT into a hive to do recon work, he'd send his henchmen in first to rather Intel, mix with the locals, etc. That's what his more regular henchmen are for, as a space marine, while being a consummate warrior, isn't likely going to stroll into an underhive tavern, buy some drinks, carouse a bit and overhear interesting gossip. (Admittedly a space wolf might give it a try but even he'd attract too much attention no matter what a party animal he was..)

The only times a KT would be used for recon and Intel is in places where normal men couldn't survive or where there were no normal folk to mingle with, infiltrate, listen in on, etc. A dead world showing signs of xenos activity, yes you might send a KT rather than normal henchmen to investigate. Something going on in a hiveworld? You send in your 'mission ipossible' group to gather data then decide if it warrants a KT.

Edited by Professor Tanhauser

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BTW, in re to the above, thisnis a nice thing about the ffg setup. You can vary your roleplaying pleasure by first going into a huve all undercover posing as traders, wanderers, criminals, etc abd roleplay the gathering if intel onnwhat is going on abd what sudden new developments have occurred in a hive, then once you gather enough Intel to have an idea where the trouble is located switch over to your kill team and go in heavy combat mode, possible even rescuing some of your other PCs if things went wrong.

Edited by Professor Tanhauser

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If incompetence of bureaucracy could lead an Astartes to fall for chaos - there would be no loyal Astartes left.

But as Tanhauser said, a KT is only deployed with a specific target in mind unless there are rather special circumstances. The Deathwatch is not a Tool every retarded Inquisition can requisition forces from. The Deathwatch has the privilege to decline such missions and distribute its forces as it sees fit. If you get send down to waddle through a Hive City in the search for something completely irrelevant that should be taken care of by inquisitorial Acolytes that just tip of the Arbites to do the dirty work the Watch Captain or whoever will from now on just ignore most "order" by this Inquisitor for they got "lost in transit" or openly deny it.

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Refuse to leave the briefing - and refuse to let the Inquisitor/briefing agent leave - until they give you all the information that they have, and if they don't give out enough information to properly target and plan the mission, inform them that the information provided indicates the current mission is for normal human agents to obtain a great deal more information and intelligence about the target and surrounding areas, not a Deathwatch Killteam, unless the Inquisitor/briefing agent is saying that (in your example) the entire hive is a xenos laboratory, in which case, it should probably be nuked from orbit (the only way to be sure), or assigned to the Imperial Guard to purge it.

 

The primary job of an Astartes is to break things and kill stuff for the glory of the Imperium of Mankind. It is not to run around in the underhive looking for things to break and stuff to kill - that's what the Inquisition is supposed to be for - finding the things that need to be broken and stuff that needs to be killed so that the Astartes know what their specific target is.

 

Astartes are a chainsaw. You use a scalpel for exploratory surgery, not a chainsaw. I mean, you can sculpt wood and ice with a chainsaw, but if you're doing that you know exactly what you're doing and where you're making your cut before you apply the chainsaw.

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Well I would not say that Astartes are just there to kill stuff. Identifying a target and gathering some intell can be fun and to be frank one of the best RP option for it breaks your Astartes out of their comfort zone where they just follow the kill order and it shows and puts an emphasis on the different doctrines of these chapters as a Raven Guard might be more subtle yet a Space Wolve breaks things.

These sessions tho have to be interesting and planed so - not just a dark heresy scenario of throw-away-acolytes slugging around. A deathworld etc. makes a nice place where not just your cunning but also wour brawn is tested and you cant just send an acolyte on without issues.

Catching a live Catachan Devil for tyranid related studies and working with the local population etc. might give quite some Idea what I am talking about. You cant just send your ordinary DH party for that.

 

Yet as it stand your GM has chosen the beginner DH scenario for your deathwatch and that is just boring. If that happens again just decline and tell him to speak about this with you captain - makit it also clear outside of the RP that this does not suit the deployment of a KT.

Finding some Xenos laboratory on a Hive world is as much Dark Heresy starter campaign as they come.

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Oh, true, Astartes aren't just around to kill people.

 

Astartes are, however, highly specialized masters of concentrated mayhem as their primary purpose. Their secondary and tertiary purposes tend towards supporting being able to perform their primary purpose better.

 

And while I'd certainly agree that a Deathworld, a Space Hulk, some dangerous xenos ruins/derelicts/facility, or a planet deep behind enemy lines, or a base that went out of contact, or some combination thereof, would indeed be appropriate places for a Killteam to be sent to perform reconnaissance missions, probably with other objectives/targets of opportunity in addition to the recon mission, I'd also point out that that would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and there's a compelling reason for using a Killteam - they're a lot more likely to survive such hostile places ... plus, there's some sort specific and known objective, they're not going to wander around over the entire planet, they're going to be scanning and surveying it from orbit to locate whatever it is they're supposed to be investigating, and only then will they head down.

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I can sympathise with your characters position even though I don't agree with all of your points. I have been both a player and GM for Deathwatch. I do understand given the way your GM is presenting things how it can be frustrating but I don't believe ground work is beneath Deathwatch but their has to be a good reason. Most often this is because the mission is a crisis still unfolding and the Kill Team are being sent in as rapid response. Or because the mission area is so far behind enemy lines information is limited. Or because communication is difficult (shadow in the warp, electronic countermeasures etc). But I do think if your GM was presenting the Inquisitor and his staff better he'd be an actual ally and potentially a peer.

 

Going over to Chaos is a bit much possibly. Becoming disillusioned with the Inquisition is clearly setting in and with the Deathwatch if they are standing their like it's completely ok. Raise the issue with your superiors as others have said. Asking for more information in missions during briefings and raising the point that the mission may be considerably easier if more groundwork and information gathering is done prior to your arrival by local or Inquisitorial forces depending on the mission.

 

At worst you can put your requisition points on the line. Rites of Battle has a bunch of things you can spend your points on to gather more information. If you GM blocks you on this if it's rational (if there is an Imperial Navy ship in Orbit why can't you get Orbital Surveilance?) then he's got even less of a leg to stand on.

 

I did have a Black Consul character who ended turning his back on the Deathwatch because the GM has a conspiracy among the Deathwatch expedition he was part of. So the GM got a man with no chapter to return to leave the Deathwatch and refuse to wear that nice silver shoulder pad.

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