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Ratling Rascal

My PCs are psychos!

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I am a novice French MG but I positively love the Rogue Trader RPG.

I could consequently not resist organising a campaign in it.

I decided to serve my PCs a nice little low-tech planet to begin with. A medieval planet quite densely populated. The planet has a big potential with a lot of rich metals to mine but suffers a high risk of rebellion against the planetary local royal family. A version of the pre-revolution France during the 18th century.

The initial mission I had prepared for the PCs was to make a deal with the local royal family: we save your fat rich asses from the crowd, help you to keep control of the planet and you allow us to mine in return. I had planned the population was too large for them to fight against, even with a futuristic armoury, their personal troops were too few.

The PCs arrived at the main royal palace. The situation was tense with a large crowd surrounding the palace. They met with the local planetery king but decided he might soon be too hungry. They left him at the palace, with various promises of help and future business together. After that, they met the main leaders of the rebellion and made the same promises.

They came back to their ship to organize the distribution of food and blankets to the main cities of the planet. The food and blankets were contaminated with all sorts of diseases. The diseases had been carefully selected by the Mechanicus PC: a nice cocktail of smallpox and measles adnd others, relatively easy to cure for our own people who would sooner or later be in contact with it but lethal for a medieval population without basic medical knowledge. And the viruses were chosen/modified as not too fast to have the time to spread across to the population easily.

They spent several weeks following the distribution to repertoriate the best locations to mine. Also time to let the diseases spread and see the results. After two months, I had decided the population was reduced by 5% in the main cities of the planet.

They were very happy with the result and came back to the local king. They said they had called some deleveries of weapons for him to help him fight the rebellion, only to gain his trust and exterminate his own family with a kill-team some days after that.

After some more months, the population had decreased by 10%. The local population was too desperate with the diseases. The death of the king had left the leaders of the rebellion without a common enemy to rise against. The PCs encouraged them to fight against each other. They provided with some basic and scarce military equipment to play with against each other.

The PCs started to build mining facilities as far as possible from the plain cities to keep a low profile, begin to cash in and assess the progress of the diseases and civil war.

What advices would you give me to continue the campaign?

Let me specify I love the gothic feeling the Rogue Trader but I am not found of Chaos. I like to keep xeno-contacts as a minimum. I prefer intrigues and dark schemes Game of Thrones style. As my sadistic PCs do.

Edited by Ratling Rascal

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Well...that's Rogue Trader for you. Players go a bit nutty because the characters are inherently allowed a bit more leeway in terms of personal freedom from the Imperium.

Given this series of events it sounds like the populace has a nice Nurgle cult brewing for salvation from the diseases, which will be after raw materials or whatever else is in the mines for rituals and whatnot.

So I'd give them a nurgle cult to deal with.

After reading your last line though...honestly they killed the royal family, there's no intrigue to have, plan a few planets they might go to when they're done setting up their mining operation and try again, but don't hope for too much.

Talk with your pcs though, tell them about what you'd like, and hear what they'd like and find a compromise in the middle.

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That's okay - 40k already has more than enough of people able and willing to play very rough, sneaky or both. Creating large-scale troubles without a good reason merely attracts excess of unfriendly attention. :D

Nothing all that outstanding - Hostile Acquisitions, Chapter I is named Crimes Against Humanity, after all. But there always are locals unwilling to put up with outsiders' crap, interstellar criminal organisations, heretical cults, Holy Inquisition... nobody likes a loose cannon.

“You sir are a liar, and while you may command a flotilla of warships, the fact is that right here and right now there is just you and me and this hammer.“ ©

5 hours ago, Ratling Rascal said:

They came back to their ship to organize the distribution of food and blankets to the main cities of the planet. The food and blankets were contaminated with all sorts of diseases. The diseases had been carefully selected by the Mechanicus PC: a nice cocktail of smallpox and measles adnd others, relatively easy to cure for our own people who would sooner or later be in contact with it but lethal for a medieval population without basic medical knowledge. And the viruses were chosen/modified as not too fast to have the time to spread across to the population easily.

What advices would you give me to continue the campaign?

Ah, then you won't want to turn it into Black Crusade.

But they may be under suspicion of being Nurglites anyway. Not only from Inquisition, but also "rival" heretics, which can lead to false positives for ≡I≡ way too easily. The rest is mostly down to just how gung-ho the Inquisitor deciding the approach happens to be.

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On 7/21/2017 at 10:15 PM, Ratling Rascal said:

What advices would you give me to continue the campaign?

  • If you want any interesting events, maybe have them 'at home' - wherever they're selling the minerals - or 'en route' with pirates (Vall's wolfpack?) attacking the freighters.

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Thanks all for your good ideas.

I was particularly interested by the suggestion of Thendoctor. Only I decided to bring along dark eldars (The clan of the Dark Claws) instead of a Nurgle Cult.

The dark eldars' domain was not too far from Calendis, the planet whose population my PCs had decimated. The nasty xenos sensed the warp disturbance caused by the enormous mass of pain and deaths the pandemy had caused. They decided to come and investigate.

My PCs were quietly admiring the vaults of their ship almost full of recently mined precious ores when the dark eldars attacked. They stroke by surprise, approaching concealed until the very last moment behind an asteroid field nearby Calendis. They quickly caused severe damages to the PCs ship, targeting their weapons components in priority. I wanted my PCs to flee, go somewhere to lick their wounds and elaborate a nice plan for revenge.

My PCs understood this was a fight they could not win as the structure points of their ship were dropping fast. They warp-jumped in hast. When they came back to real-space, they found an « independant » space station. This was a place the PC Scenechal had heard of. The perfect location for traffics, a convenient meeting point for the most wanted and dangerous VIPs in the area.

The PCs negociated for urgent repairs in exchange of a good portion of their precious ores from Calendis. While the local tech-clans were working hard for them, the PC psycher had decided to visit some dodgy space taverns on board of the station. He was of course caught in a massive brawl initiated by a Kroot horde. The other PCs had to come to the rescue. Once the situation calmed down, they met another dark eldar clan, the Bahrkeis, impressed by the PCs combat skills. This clan was rival to the Dark Claws, attackers of Calendis. The leader of the Bahrkeis was the very own brother of the Dark Claws leader.

The Bahrkeis were very interested in getting their hands on the Dark Claws. They agreed to escort the Pcs back to Calendis. The PCs appeared first. The Dark Claws attacked them, sure of their victory over these weak humans who were coming back so soon to have their *** kicked a second time. The Bahrkeis appeared on their back in the middle of the battle and operated a boarding.

The PCs spent the rest of the battle observing both Dark Eldars clans slaughtering each other at close quarters. The Barhkeis had specified they much preferred to kill their siblings themselves.

Of course, my PCs were tempted to obliterate the two dark eldar ships altogether. They were now so close to each other and perfectly static. A massive volley at short-range would have done the job perfectly. Unfortunately, the Rogue Trader had to conclude at the space station a weird mystic blood pact with the leader of the Bahrkeis to prevent any attempt of treason. The RT and the Bahrkeis leader had a strange red tatoo engraved on their arm. The eldar had said any treason would result in a terrible curse without further explanation. The Rogue Trader preferred not to give it a try. He dismissed the generous offer of the tech-priest to sever his tattoed arm and to backstab the Bahrkeis.

The Dark Claws were annihilated. The Bahrkeis left after a final handshake and the removal of the strange red tatoo. Tension aroused just before the Dark Eldars departure as they asked if they could take with them some of the Calendis population as torture slaves. The PCs did not allow it. "Decimating their subjects themself relatively quickly with deseases to prevent rebellion was one thing. Allowing xenos to torture humans was another."

End of the adventures so far.

Always interested in suggestions for next sessions.

Edited by Ratling Rascal

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A freighter - expecting to do a deal with the previous authorities - turns up in orbit. No doubt they can shoo it off fairly effectively, but they trick will be whoever they represent. 

If you really want to put the wind up them; make it House Winterscale or House Orleans.

Alternatively, the Bahrkeis decided they did want to play slaver anyway - but are using corsair gunships on silent running to slip in and out of the system and grab prisoners - a few thousand at a time - from outlying settlements. How are you going to stop them?

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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