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Adeptus-B

Primitive threats for powerful PCs?

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My players will soon be visiting the ill-regarded planet Dusk- something I've been wanting to do for quite a while, but which is only now becoming an option (due to the structure of the campaign and the player's choices up 'til now). Ah, but therein lies my problem: my PCs just hit Rank 8, and between their Advances and high-end equipment load-outs, I'm having a hard time coming up with Dusk-based threats that can menace them at all, much less impress upon them that 'taking a walk on Dusk' is supposed to be a harrowing experience that would traumatize most people for the rest of their days. The two Dusk-native creatures listed in the DHRB, for instance, have no chance of damaging my most heavily-armoured PCs (due to the Primitive quality RAW).

 

Yes, I could just whip up a bunch of beasts that don't have the Primitive quality to their Bite/Claw attacks and hand-wave away any explanation for this, but I'm too OCD to crassly ignore in-game logic and established rules that I have been using consistently up 'til now...

 

So, I'm asking for suggestions for hazards that could logically be faced on Dusk that can potentially threaten high-Rank (and in some cases MinMaxed) PCs.

 

The most obvious one is drowning; I plan on having a number of aquatic beasts that follow the crocodilian tactic of dragging prey underwater to devour at leisure.

 

Also, I'm considering home-brewing rules for heat exhaustion (exacerbated by heavy armour, naturally, but knowing my players I don't expect this fact will get them to shed their armour). Just dealing Fatigue will not be sufficient, since the party's Psyker has the power that eliminates Fatigue, so I'm thinking about combining Fatigue with a cumulative penalty to TB.

 

Any suggestions are welcome.

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Hi Adeptus-B,

 

you are still running with the 1st Edition or just with the 1st Edition background? The "primitive" rules under the 2nd aren´t that bad as the do not double armor but put a "cap" onto the damage dice.

 

Yep, this is a 1st-Ed. campaign. Still going after all these years...

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My own GM uses horde house rules to overcome the primitive quality problems. Basically allowing a damage bonus dependent on how many enemies are attacking the player (eg. If three enemies in a horde are attacking the PC, each one of them gets +3 damage on top of their regular modifiers).

 

Alternatively, if the players are out in super heavy armor, make the armor cause them penalties if they are in areas that it wouldn't be suitable to be wearing a full suit of heavy armor. Force them to put the armor aside for purposes and THEN hit them with the enemies.

 

Environmental hazaards are also probably a good idea as well. Or you could just houserule the Primitive quality off the enemy.

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well in rouge trader they introduced deadly natural weapons that no longer count as primitive or you could make them razor sharp so they get  more penetration? Don't have any of my 1st ed books available, but isn't dusk home to a-lot of warp activity?  If so, having creatures tainted by the warp to give them some more omp is not out of the question.  This could also play havoc with the party psyker as well. ( seriously, once had to fight off a swarm of nats with the warp weapon quality, did hardly any damage, but was distracting as all) 

 

And if they are going to be in a swampy area, there is always quicksand. Might not kill them, but have the people in heavy armor sink up to their waist, then have all the critters pile out could work. As well as various swamp gases ( toxic and/or explosive due to methane) 

 

Toxic creature attacks are also not out of the question

And remember, just because it is a beast, does not mean it will not make called shots to areas that are not armored after the fist attack fails to get thru. 

 

If all else fails, surprise feral ork/deamon/eldar attack! 

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My players will soon be visiting the ill-regarded planet Dusk-(...)

 

(...)'taking a walk on Dusk' is supposed to be a harrowing experience that would traumatize most people for the rest of their days. The two Dusk-native creatures listed in the DHRB, for instance, have no chance of damaging my most heavily-armoured PCs (due to the Primitive quality RAW).

 

(...)

So, I'm asking for suggestions for hazards that could logically be faced on Dusk that can potentially threaten high-Rank (and in some cases MinMaxed) PCs.

 

The most obvious one is drowning; I plan on having a number of aquatic beasts that follow the crocodilian tactic of dragging prey underwater to devour at leisure.

 

Also, I'm considering home-brewing rules for heat exhaustion (exacerbated by heavy armour, naturally, but knowing my players I don't expect this fact will get them to shed their armour). Just dealing Fatigue will not be sufficient, since the party's Psyker has the power that eliminates Fatigue, so I'm thinking about combining Fatigue with a cumulative penalty to TB.

 

Any suggestions are welcome.

 

Hi there,

 

first and foremost, if you want to be OCD about it, do not rob the Psyker of his "no-fatigue" power. Instead, remember that every use comes with the chance of a psychic phenomena and that Dusk was officially mentioned in the Radicals Handbook (I hope it was that !) to have a rather thin veil... not all over the world, but you can capitalize on that for sure ;)

 

Talking crocodile and water, keep in mind that their „death roll“ is not only dangerouse because it is about drowning but although about stunning! The quick rotations makes sure that the prey loses orientation, and that is twice as bad in water when you are a member of land-born species (our sense of position is screwed much more easily in there). So, do not only talk about drowning but at the stun qualitiy, too :)

Natural Dangerouse Monsters WITH the primitive quality

 

[Things with a crushing jaw or beak]

Nature has developed armor, too and thereby the predators have developed methods of getting through armor as well. If you have a large creature with a beak that is used to crack open the plates of a turtle-like herbivore, you have something that deserves some AP to its attack.. perhaps after grabling. Large running birds can make fierce predators, as their kicks (or jump kicks) might very well bring a character down (SLAM Attack, perhaps without the need for a run-up due to the strength of the leg.

If you are talking crocodiles, those could develop a crushing jaw, too. The dragon tortoise (or “snapping turtle”) is the size of your hand with your fingers stretched... and can shatter the bones in those fingers with one bite or, if the finger is not too large, just bite it off with its beak. Imagine what it would be capable off if it would be the size of a large dog.. or a human on all four

 

[Things that run you over and trample you]

A startled or enraged herbivore can become a danger through sheer mass. If you have something like a GNU lowering its head and coming charging at you, opening up fire will wound it, but unless you stop it dead in your tracks it runs you over and then you have 200 to 300 kg focused on four hoofs going over you. Creatures with hooves are not suited for swamps, but turning it into duck feet only makes this slightly less dangerous.

[Things that grab and throw]

A creature like full grown male gorilla (the leaders of family groups known as silverbacks) should not have to much of a problem to throw somebody around like a rag doll once they get a hold of it. This “throw around” in a battle might end against a large trunk..with your back or your head. Armor is good for “scattering force of impact”, but if the impact itself is hard enough all kind of serious damage (“trauma”) can be done.

[Things that choke / apply a strangle hold]

We all should thank H.P. Lovercraft for spreading the concpet of a tentacled, alien monster in the year of  1914 and thereafter. If something can wrap dozens of tentacles around your (after ambushing you from a tree top... that it might not even need to leave for this) the question is not about how thick your armor is but if it is flexible around the neck or not.

[Things that are tiny]

If there is something like an “insect piranha” it might not be able to eat you a life if your are unprotected. It will just try to, the whole swarm. It will not get through your armor if it is sealed. But it might be so stupid and stubborn to keep trying, the whole swarm... clotting your filters unless your breath from an air flask (which is unlikely). Did you tried to remove it with your fingers? Those in the armored gloves? Great, just turn the insect clotting your filter openings into insect mash clotting the filter opening..and you pushed that mass IN.... how to get rid of those beasties so that I can open up the armor and clean it...? ****..breathing gets hard ...stay calm... perhaps jumping into the pond there?

[Things that SPIT nets at you]

We aren´t really talking horror if we do not have some atomic-sized spider around, do we? How about them spitting their nets, like a webber pistol? Breaking the armor might puzzle them..but they just as well can wrap you up and safe you for later.

 

...is that the direction you are looking for, “B”?

 

But...there is one big problem with attacking end-game-characters “regular alien critters”:

The characters have the guns. You need a pack or horde. Gargantuan beasts usually won´t do the trick as their wounds are chipped away rather quickly. Even a paired team of “regular alpha predators” will die quickly when confronted with bolters and plasma weapons.

 

A thing you should consider is to allow an ambush predator having a benefit similar to the “sniper rules” that where intorduced to DH1st. Perhaps not giving them up to two d10 but just one additional d10 to show that they were able to go for the necks, the joints, the head, the throat... basically, the weak spots real predators try to get first when they ambush their prey.

Edited by Gregorius21778

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My own GM uses horde house rules to overcome the primitive quality problems. Basically allowing a damage bonus dependent on how many enemies are attacking the player (eg. If three enemies in a horde are attacking the PC, each one of them gets +3 damage on top of their regular modifiers).

 

Since the PCs will be searching for a marooned warp dabbler who has subsequently become the leader of a native tribe, I definitely need a way to make his mobs of primitive 'grunts' a threat; a slightly scaled down variation of DW's Horde rules will probably be my best bet.

 

...is that the direction you are looking for, “B”?

 

Pretty much. I'm not worried about the climactic 'boss monster' fight- there are plenty of gimmicks that I can use in that limited arena; what I need are ways to make the search for the 'moss monster' harrowing, so that my players come away from the mission saying "****, Dusk really lives up to it's reputation!"

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My own GM uses horde house rules to overcome the primitive quality problems. Basically allowing a damage bonus dependent on how many enemies are attacking the player (eg. If three enemies in a horde are attacking the PC, each one of them gets +3 damage on top of their regular modifiers).

 

Since the PCs will be searching for a marooned warp dabbler who has subsequently become the leader of a native tribe, I definitely need a way to make his mobs of primitive 'grunts' a threat; a slightly scaled down variation of DW's Horde rules will probably be my best bet.

 

 

 

I can only speak from personal experience here, but the fix my GM threw in definitely worked to threaten the party. You still get to feel the "cool factor" of cutting down swathes of enemies, but stick around too long and you quickly begin to get overwhelmed as the damage bonus from having additional numbers start piling up. The moment your PC's start taking 1d10+9 damage hits from five enemies at once, they might start having a new respect for Primitive Weapon wielding opponents.

Edited by ColArana

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Well remember all the high tech gismo they have, well they are there own suppliers of..  won't be much to support them on Dusk.

And the climate of Dusk is going to require much more maintence time then normal for all their equipment.

Movement, unless they are familar with movement method in the swamp, that can be hard.

 

Illness, look at how the panama canal and all the illnesses, now image a bunch of PC with no immunation against any.. the party could be sick as dogs from bug bites.  Leaches can get in just about anywhere.

 

Survial skills will be important

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There's also the option of fiat, I have in the past used the inquisitor to inform the players that their current gear is far too conspicuous for the mission and will simply get them killed or the enemy they're hunting will just hunker down, good luck finding them then. If none of those seem appealing, you can always take the diabolodon profile from the deathwatch book... hehe.....hehehehe...

 

There's also the possibility that this rogue psyker has attracted a bit of an enslaver problem as well, not too unbelievable due to the nature of that thinned veil. There's the omni-present threat of some major A-hole out in the swamps deciding to augment and heresy-fy  the local creatures to see how they'd make for bodyguards/deadly pets/etc.

 

Last but not least, the spider idea is a great one. Just sling Web at them until something sticks, at which point they get swamped (hehe) by hordes of enemies, ow my head, ow my leg hey where'd my bolter go? And now you've got a planet of the apes type scenario where one of the creatures has "somehow rolled a 1 and discovered how you use a bolter"!

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