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Firebeard

Something special for the Captain

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Currently running a custom campaign and every session the player who is running the Rogue Trader Captain constantly comments that he desires a squad of Rubric Marines upon his ship to use at his will. He has also commented on getting some Black Shields, to which i immediately said a flat "NO", however i did say that if he does the right things, he MIGHT be able to acquire the Rubric Marines. obviously this means he will have to pledge allegiance to Chaos, specifically Tzeentch.

 

So i am wondering, what would you suggest him to do in order to align himself towards Tzeentch in order to acquire said Rubric Marines? I know it might be a far stretch but he says he is willing to wait and work towards his goal.

 

Please help as it would be interesting to see how this turns out.

 

PS, It is even more interesting as one of the players is actually an Inquisitor, meaning he will have to work from the shadows and not arouse suspicion.

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Aligning with Tzeentch wouldn't be enough...

He would need to have the Thousand Sons seriously indebted to him for them to even consider lending a squad under the control of a sorcerer.

As for having them under his direct control, good luck in persuading them to teach you their secret rituals ( assuming that he's a competent enough sorcerer to learn and cast such!)

Of course, he'd only have them on sufferance, until they were required again, or if it was part of some greater plan...

Edit: Basically it's on a par with any legitimate business asking for a favor from an organised crime group; it'll be fine at first, but once they've got a toehold, it's only a matter of time until you are working for them.

Edited by AxeSpanna

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How does his character know about Rubric Marines? This is a good first question to ask because their knowledge is very, very far from being widespread. The fact that most of the Thousand Sons are dust bound into armour under the control of the sorcerers isn't something the Imperium prints on the back of Corpse Cracker packs.

 

It's actually pretty reasonable to get the Thousand Sons interested in someone since they're weavers of fate and destiny. They're not ACTUALLY under the Rogue Trader's control though. They're under the control of that sorcerer who's onboard and who taught him a fake ritual in order to command them - or the sorcerer is even masquerading as one of the Rubric Marines since he seems to know so much.

 

I have some general thoughts on the situation stemming from concerns about your player's attitude, but my usual approach is to give them what they asked for and have it go horribly wrong.

 

CHAOS!

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Some thoughts:

 

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Um, well, if I was going to go along with this, I might start with "and the party found a unit of Rubric Marines." Thousand Sons are my favorite Chaos chapter, but their Rubric Marines are basically almost mind-locked Servitors, without the Sorcerer to lead them. Thing is, he's also a lot more squishy than they are. If they were doing a mission, and the Sorcerer got aced, he's the one that they can't just bring back; I think only Magnus can do that, and even he's not all-knowing, so he might not be aware that there's a group of Thousand Sons, without their leader, sitting there; maybe they even work for Ahriman, instead, and he lost track of them. If you found them, they might attack, or they might not. If Tzeentch, who is also not all-knowing, all-seeing, but who does have a tendency to be watching when it matters, decides there's something about you, or just wants those Marines back, but doesn't tell Magnus, Ahriman, or pick your 1KSons leader where to find them, he might have them stay their super-bolters, and let you investigate this 40k version of the Emperor's terracotta guardians. Dreams you might have, or results from tests you conduct, might eventually lead you back to the 1KSons, and possibly servitude to the Weaver of Fate. They'll be mostly useless, for you, but it COULD lead to finding the Thousand Sons, and getting a boon, for returning them. If they think having what amounts to an accredited Imperial ship, able to legitimately travel the space ways, but willing to carry their own agents, is useful, they COULD assign a Sorcerer to the Rubrics, reawakening their spirits, and assign the unit to your ship; you're now working for Tzeentch, mind, but you MIGHT get some use out of them, when they aren't doing his bidding, with you as a taxi service. Exactly what all you could REALLY get out of this, is iffy, but possible. It would be similar, in my mind, to if you said "I want a unit of Wraithguard", or something similar, though Tzeentch is probably more willing than the Eldar. Either way, you'd probably need to find some lost ones, without their normal leader, figure out who they belong to, bring them back, and hope that is worth something to their people, who are probably the only way that you can actually USE them, as no man can command a Rubric Marine, or a Wraithguard.

 

Of course, depending on what is actually wanted, you might get just as far, and mostly legally, by just having a squad of heavy Servitors, kitted with high-end armor, and weapons of your choice, and linked to your Explorator, or the Captain could get a (possibly modified, for the numbers) Colchite Implant, and master the machines, himself.

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Of course, depending on what is actually wanted, you might get just as far, and mostly legally, by just having a squad of heavy Servitors, kitted with high-end armor, and weapons of your choice, and linked to your Explorator, or the Captain could get a (possibly modified, for the numbers) Colchite Implant, and master the machines, himself.

 

This is so much better. Sell him the Inquisitorial equivalent of a Honey Trap. A bunch of servitors heavily disguised to look like Thousand Sons marines, sold by a shady unscrupulous dealer. After using them a few times, the Inquisitorial agent arrives to try to press him into service because we've got the vox recordings and the holo-picts. You work for us or face eventual death by flame!

 

Then Tzeentch can make your character the offer.

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Yeah, it's often a slippery slope between what the players know, but their character doesn't, what the character knows, but maybe the player doesn't, and what the group really can know, to NOT fall into traps, out there, but not get aced by the Inquisition, if they find out you know. For instance, I once thought of statting up a cheesy Nurgle cruiser, sporting virus torpedoes, some slightly cheesy hull armor, and maybe even some Plague Marines/Death Guard (I'm not always sure they are the same thing, as one is happy/cheerful, while the other is always grumpy, and I suppose other Marines have fallen to Nurgle, since), and then it hit me, more so than a party might have some trouble, that they might not even know what they were looking at, and the pestilent vessel might even get in closer, and really do some damage. I assume Nurgle's forces have their own banners, like the Astartes do, and this iconography would adorn a ship in their service, if being open about it, but then I'm not sure characters in there would know them. It's okay to know an Ork ship, a Rak'Gol craft, or what have you, but how much can you know about the forces of Chaos, even if you don't know about daemons, and get away with it? Hell, one Gellar field hiccup might loose actual daemons onto your ship. Do you just bluff everyone that it was some sort of xenos thing, apparently a smaller secret than "warp monsters", or write off the whole crew. Should Warpstorm Trilogy end in TPK, even if you DO defeat the BBEG, and save the Expanse, yet again?

 

For me, I don't believe the knowledge of Traitor Astartes would warrant death; their own stories tell of how the Arch-Traitor betrayed the God-Emperor, his Father, and how half of the Astartes fell in with this; that is the Horus Heresy. Nothing says you NEED to know what that awesome blue, and gold, killer really is, but I doubt you should be killed just for knowing about the Thousand Sons; hell, if you lived through such an encounter, no small feat for a mortal, the Emperor might've chosen you for greatness (or you are tainted, and the =][= will come and check, if they ever learn of it).

 

It's often been a weird aspect of the Imperium, for me. I get that the Emperor thought He could do to the Chaos Gods what Merlin did to Morgan LeFey, in the one TV series, from way back when, and lessen their power by decreasing the number of people who knew of them, even if that wouldn't always work, but their servants, such as the Chaos Space Marines, are a real, corporeal threat, and no amount of "disbelief" will shake their hold on the material world, as it MIGHT a Daemon, so one must know their enemies, and their weaknesses, to combat them, which is, reall, the only thing the Imperium does, most of the week; fighting. Certain amounts of their mandated secrecy just bowl me over, and make me wonder what a new Rogue trader actually does know, when being sent where no Guard, Navy, or Astartes forces have been, officially, and we hope that they are successful, considering all the assets we seconded to them. Maybe Chaos is a smaller threat, than say Xenos, out in the void, but they are both certainly there, and at least the xenos will probably just try to kill you; the heretics will try to tempt you, and kill you later, or if that doesn't work.

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That one you could at least identify as a Traitor ship, because most Death Guard ships would be Horus Heresy era void ships, which are all disused and out-of-date patterns. Since Forge Worlds tend to hoard the patterns of starships to themselves, if one falls to Chaos then the entire method of producing that type of ship is lost to the traitors, meaning you can tell one type of ship apart from the other.

 

What your players might not know is that looking at a Nurgle ship they might think it's already been heavily damaged and makes for some easy plunder...

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That one you could at least identify as a Traitor ship, because most Death Guard ships would be Horus Heresy era void ships, which are all disused and out-of-date patterns. Since Forge Worlds tend to hoard the patterns of starships to themselves, if one falls to Chaos then the entire method of producing that type of ship is lost to the traitors, meaning you can tell one type of ship apart from the other.

 

What your players might not know is that looking at a Nurgle ship they might think it's already been heavily damaged and makes for some easy plunder...

Yeah, I was never sure of the wording, but I had this weird idea for Nurgle-themed, bigger ships. If you ever look at a Mon Cal capital ship, from Star Wars, they are covered in these sort of "bumps". Many of these protrusions are flak-filled containers. The way they work is that they are self-contained, and so when something hits them, they are destroyed, but the hull beneath is reinforced, so the ship, as a whole, takes less damage, and as they explode, they scatter their shrapnel payload, which will shred assaulting fighter craft (TIEs are vulnerable even to the force of a powerful fart, after all). Thought it could be cool to give a big volley to a Nurgle ship, only to find that the ship takes little damage, as these "nodules" absorb the impacts, like kevlar, and the armor rating slowly decreases, instead, but extending the fighting lifespan of the ship, as a cruiser is a bruiser. Like I said, never found a good way to word it, though. (Also thought of giving it a cancerous hull, with limited regenerative powers; seems weird how well, at least to me, Nurgle might benefit voidcraft, where I don't see as much for the other three.)

 

Seeing what proves to be a Nurgle vessel, with pitted, pock-marked hull plates, and maybe seemingly fitful power signals, one might think to try and seize it, only to get a very nasty surprise. Still, I'm not sure I'd want to send my spendy assets into the void with NO information on who is out there. Inquisitors are often, themselves, proof that at least a few people, those with the greatest mental and spiritual fortitude (even though many Inquisitors fail at these!) NEED to know the truth of what's out there, to protect the ignorant masses they master. Rogue Traders are already looking to make deals with everyone; if they don't have some idea that those symbols mean "HERETIC!", and a bit of how those heretics will try to hurt them, they'll fall all the more easily. Granted, recent revelations regarding the Primarchs make it so they MIGHT have actually been Demon Princes, of a sort, and take it as you will, but even many such beings as they fell to corruption, mostly due to ignorance. Oh well, it's what the Inquisition is for, right, and why we each can run our Imperium as needed?

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the CHARACTER doesnt know anything about Rubric Marines. he only knows the smallest amounts of Chaos. hell he though Khorne was an actual person he could meet lol

 

So his plan should go from "I want these semi-sentient suits of armour inhabited by the bound ghosts of Sorcerous Chaos Space Marines" to "I want a crew of Space Marines and I don't care where they come from, I bet I could cut a deal with Chaos - the greatest enemy of the Imperium".

 

That second plan has so much more potential for amusement.

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I had an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor of the Xanthite persuasion try this with warded suits of power armor and daemon heralds summoned into prepped daemonhost vessels. That character knew what they were doing at F.Lore Daemonology +20 and F.Lore Occult mastery, and was smart enough to strap on a void grenade whose detonator was kept separated by the static energy resistance between the daemon and the wards, which severely curtailed any vindictive rampaging the daemon would try when freed from the wards. They worked pretty well, as long as the armor didn't suffer major damage, which would free the daemon as an unbound daemonhost if it weren't for the grenade sending it straight back to the warp.

 

Perhaps your RT stumbles upon a similar individual in his search, or an ancient Dark Mechanicus sect selling possessed combat servitors, or a powerful Chaos cult binding lesser daemons in a similar, but less hedged, method as the radical inquisitor? Personally, I don't like giving my players EXACTLY what they want. You want Rubric Marines? Just for the bragging rights? They are virtually impossible to find, and already led around by various sorcerers. How would the character even know what they are/how to identify them/what is good about them that he knows he wants them?

 

Assuming the groundwork for the characters desire can be justified, it isn't too hard to get the attention of Chaos, or Tzeench. This is 40K after all, just send a few probes into the nearest underhive and they will come back with something chaotic. Do that enough times and you will come back with something that gibbers sideways of Tzeench. Sacrifice a few d5 insanity and corruption immersing in the ways of change, pull off just-as-planned shenanigans until you come across a 1K sorcerer (apparently relatively easy to find among the occult, there are a few on Fenris at any given time) and whip him until you get him to follow you (for now) or kill him and take his Rubrics, assuming the character has started dabbling in sorcery. Maintaining the guise of faithful citizen during this would be fun, and probably mandatory to please tricky Tzeench, but hiding it from the Inquisitor in the party would be a little more difficult as corruption and insanity pile up from constantly trying to earn Tzeench's favor. Also, I would not allow the character to purify themselves through any of the normal R&R, prayer&contemplation kind of thing. I think Tzeench would be most pleased if the RT corrupted the Inquisitor as part of his quest for favor... that rosette is a bureaucratic nuke, after all, allowing the RT to wave off basically anyone who isn't a higher rank Inquisitor, so it would make sense for the character to desire the ability to move his schemes forward more effectively.

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