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Gregorius21778

[Discussion] Scenes in "Damned Cities" [!SPOILERS!]

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Greetings, brethern

first of all, I want to point out that unlike it´s forbearer "Tattered Fates" (which I despise) it seems that "Damned Cities" [DC??] is much better written and might be much more enjoyable (and thanks to the creatores, you play it without having playerd TF since the only link is that "at the End, the returning Haarlock is responisble".)

Anyway, back to topic! There is one scene that makes me scratch my head alot: the attack at the "clockwork court". The scene assume that "the Risen" get in because they are supposed to be the Acolythes and thereby not upon entering the building complex.

What do I miss that gives sense to this assumption? After all, it is not that "the Risen" look all to human anymore. They even reek heavenly. Putting that concern aside, is it to be assumed that the "guards at the gates" will let any stranger in strange clothing in if they are expecting "agents of the Inquisitions"? Wouldn´t they check for at least a rosetta? (which the modul claims was given to the cell by their master for this mission).

Starting to talk about the rosetta: the module assumes that they are not getting much help since the forces of the arbitors are bound and the nobles aren´t very helpful. With a rosetta, shouldn´t they be able to simply command the nobles to hand over a squad of their enforcers (or what else they want) simply because they wield to unquestionable authority of an Inquisitor? I thereby decided that they only get a "Letter of Investigation" which states that the Arbites are "to give any help possible" to the Acolythes.

Haarlocks Folly: My players will not be send through "Tattered Fates" first, so they will not jump on the name "Haarlock" by design. But reading it I feared that =if= players had been through TF they would jump at the Tower. Especially if the Marshal plays the "distant figure" as suggested by the scenario. Once thought to keep the name "Haarlocks Folly" out and unveiling the info only later, but this would have the same  effect "times 10". Any on already played the module and would like to share his experience at a GM?

 

How did/will you handle this points?

Thanks!

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SPOILERS:

 

about the Risen getting into the Court: IIRC it is said somewhere that they are masked by psychic powers. What, I hear you say, a lazy and breezy piece of scenario writing? lengua.gif

about the tower: is it really a problem if they know the tower belonged to Haarlock once? They are sent to investigate the murders. Maybe they will conduct a search of the tower but odds are they will not find the secret levels. Or make sure they don't. Just reinforce the notion that now the Arbites have based themselves in that tower.

And I agree: the whole Damned Cities storyline has NOTHING to do with Haarlock, other than that he once was there and left someone/something in that darn mirror.

 

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The Laughing God said:

SPOILERS:

 

about the Risen getting into the Court: IIRC it is said somewhere that they are masked by psychic powers. What, I hear you say, a lazy and breezy piece of scenario writing? lengua.gif

Nope, you hear me say "Thank you!" for pointing at the fact I have missed (like posted) :) I am a sloppy reader sad.gif

 

Talking "The Tower": Yes, they will not be able to search it. Or should not (there is still this rosetta they wield), but I simply wonder if players who went through TF will not start to have the Arbitors as number one subject.  Nothing I have to take into consideration myself, but I am really curious to her what happend to other GM.

 

Any thoughts on the Rosetta-Thinig?

 

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Gregorius21778 said:

The Laughing God said:

 

SPOILERS:

 

about the Risen getting into the Court: IIRC it is said somewhere that they are masked by psychic powers. What, I hear you say, a lazy and breezy piece of scenario writing? lengua.gif

 

Nope, you hear me say "Thank you!" for pointing at the fact I have missed (like posted) :) I am a sloppy reader sad.gif

 

Talking "The Tower": Yes, they will not be able to search it. Or should not (there is still this rosetta they wield), but I simply wonder if players who went through TF will not start to have the Arbitors as number one subject.  Nothing I have to take into consideration myself, but I am really curious to her what happend to other GM.

 

Any thoughts on the Rosetta-Thinig?

 

The Rosette is not a "go anywhere I want" pass.  Not all the time anyway.  Try to focus them on the murders they are there for, and the Clockwork Court as well.  After all, clocks are a big thing within the context of the Haarlock line.  Don't keep the Marshal completely seperated; distant does not mean completely unavailable and/or absent.  He has an entire planet, not just the city, to try to police with a significant shortage of manpower.

-=Brother Praetus=-

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Brother Praetus said:

 

The Rosette is not a "go anywhere I want" pass. 

Hi Praetus.

As far as I got it from the books, the Rosetta gives it (rigthous) wielder the power to command space vessels, press soldiers into service and (as far as I understand) the right to deal out swift punishment. Having access to a room and have a search is a comparitivly minor thing to me.

Of course, their are those who will not obey. Of course, if the pc wield the power without care the Inquisitors wrath will come upon them soon.

But if I would be a player and I demand something from official authority under the power of the rosetta and it is denied to me, I would really start to have "second thoughts" about the motivations of this indiviuall/group. Especially if the thing that was denied to me was "let me have search".

 

 

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Gregorius21778 said:

Brother Praetus said:

 

 

The Rosette is not a "go anywhere I want" pass. 

 

Hi Praetus.

As far as I got it from the books, the Rosetta gives it (rigthous) wielder the power to command space vessels, press soldiers into service and (as far as I understand) the right to deal out swift punishment. Having access to a room and have a search is a comparitivly minor thing to me.

Of course, their are those who will not obey. Of course, if the pc wield the power without care the Inquisitors wrath will come upon them soon.

But if I would be a player and I demand something from official authority under the power of the rosetta and it is denied to me, I would really start to have "second thoughts" about the motivations of this indiviuall/group. Especially if the thing that was denied to me was "let me have search".

 

Note: I don't have and have not read the adventure, so I don't know the specifics but...

An Inquisitors Rosette gives the Acolytes their Inquisitors authority by proxy. Flashing the Rosette and saying "by the authority of the Holy Inquisition, I require a vehicle, a ten man kill-team from your personal guard and access to all parts of your manse" is a valid tactic which will get you a car, a kill team and an open door. It is also a politically fraught one. Even a loyal Imperial noble will ensure that his kill-team is commanded by a loyal officer who will report back to said noble anything and everything that could be used to his advantage. Even an honest Imperial noble (and how many nobles really have nothing to hide) might have reservations about allowing his entire residence to be searched... and at the very least might just stand back and let you look for yourself without giving you any aid (and any aid they do give should be considered suspect).

In short, just because you have the authority of the God-Emperor himself on your side, doesn't mean people will fall over themselves to help you. More likely, it means they will go out of their way to hide their own little wrong-doings (which they all have or think they have) and/or find some way to turn your investigations to their personal advantage.

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Gregorius21778 said:

 

Brother Praetus said:

 

 

The Rosette is not a "go anywhere I want" pass. 

 

Hi Praetus.

As far as I got it from the books, the Rosetta gives it (rigthous) wielder the power to command space vessels, press soldiers into service and (as far as I understand) the right to deal out swift punishment. Having access to a room and have a search is a comparitivly minor thing to me.

Of course, their are those who will not obey. Of course, if the pc wield the power without care the Inquisitors wrath will come upon them soon.

But if I would be a player and I demand something from official authority under the power of the rosetta and it is denied to me, I would really start to have "second thoughts" about the motivations of this indiviuall/group. Especially if the thing that was denied to me was "let me have search".

 

 

 

 

An Inquisitor has only as much authority as others are willing to allow him/her.  The Adeptus Mechanicus and the Chapters Astartes being fine examples of those who may respect the rosette but do not bend knee or do back flips to appease those who bear it.  The Arbites have been known to come to sometimes violent disagreements with the Inquisition; one enforces Imperial Law while the other "enforces the Emperor's will."  Only an Inquisitor with an over developed sense of self-importance would even think to push the issue in this case.  Using the Rosette the way you think it will be is a clear sign of a lack of true resourcefulness.  Bludgeoning through an investigation like that would see the villain simply make arrangements for his troops to eliminate the acolytes, make it look like one of the rival factions hit them, and then use their corpses to expand his own forces.  Your players will have now, through their own actions, brought about their own demise and likely that of the entire planet.  That's just my take.

Feel free to disagree with me all you want.  Neither of us are entirely right or wrong.

@Lucius T

More than politically fraught.  There is also simple cold reality to consider as well.  "Feel free to look around, sirs and madams; my doors are open to you and your master.  I'm sorry; though, but I simply do not have that many men to spare.  I can provide you a car, a driver and a guide.  Any more would be tantamount to handing my enemies the blade to slip in my own back."

-=Brother Praetus=-

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    The question about an Inquisitors authority ( and by proxy his Acolytes if given the Rosette/letter of inquiry ) and how people will react to it is difficult. There is no single "right" answer. There are too many variables ( the Inquisitors personality among them ).

    Generally my take is that the more powerfull the person/organization in question the more "creative" they can get with their compliance. But make no mistake, they WILL comply. They might delay, offer nothing voluntarily and generally make a nuisance of themselves but they can not say "no" outright. Its all politics...

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Brother Praetus said:

An Inquisitor has only as much authority as others are willing to allow him/her. 

I doubt this. This would mean that the high and might Inquisition would be merely a political tool depend on the whims of others. 

To me, this isn´t matching the picture of on-site-executing, fleet commanding, governeur removing, planet destroying Inquisitors delivered by diverse publications. 

In addition, it contradicts the IH where it is written that the Rosetta gives the power to command fleets, press soldiers etc. Full stop. No "if the others are fine with that" attached.

@Lucius T.
I agree with you here, but said nobles (forming the planetary ruling body) in DC are described at not giving any help at all. It would be finde with me if anything and everything granted would be reporting back to the nobles and/or of worse-then-usual qualitiy (under dubious reasons) if the noble does not like to give out "best material" for reasons of his own.

But the modul says that they do not grant any help it all. I thereby toy with the idea to either change the "authority" given to the players to something minor (letter of investigation, perhaps) or change the attitude of the ruling body. 

 

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 Using the Rosetta is the tactical Nuke in the arsonal of the acolyte. It says 'I have the authority to have you, have your wife tortured to death, your children taken and raised in a system where they will grow up to consider your name a curse more vile than the kiss of a demon, all your vassals killed, your holdings given to your enemies, and then have your very name stripped from the pages of history.'  Pulling the rosetta out to compel compliance, is like pulling a gun on the individual and telling them to comply.  

People will obey you, when you use such tactics, but you forever damage any chance of alliance with them. An acolyte who uses the rosetta often will make enemies, and do so quickly. It is entirely possible that is Damned cities, characters who habitually use such tactics will find themselves fighting of the mandato, undertow, private citizens, cannibels from the stone lands, the private armies of the nobles, enforcers, the spectre cell, and the Risen, all without the limited support of the remaining loyal arbites.

The use of the Rosetta is also unsubtle.  Secrecy is one of the most important tools a PC can have in Dark heresy. At the start of Damned cities, the commoners and undertow are unaware of the inquisitorial interest in the murders, some DMs might even play events in such a manner that even most nobles are for the most part unaware. The scenario is set up so that the antagonist is aware, but the PCs don't know this, if they go around waving the rosetta, like it is a backstage pass, many sources of infomation should dry up. Criminals are not known for their trust of authority, death cults with near heretical practices shy away form inquisitorial attention, divinnors and sorcerers who might have the missing peice of the puzzle will talk to Lord Kanis, renowned scholar of the occult, but not to Acolyte Kanis of the ordo hereticus, bearer of Inquisitor Taln's rosetta. 

Should they survive all every gun in sinophia being turned on them, and every possible lead drying up, there is a good chance it is only the beginning of the PCs  problems. By using the Rosetta, they can easily risk breaking one of the most hotly contested of the Scintillan Dictates; 'Thou shall not make improper use of thy master's purse, nor his seal, nor his name either.' (See pg. 282, DH)  The Scintillan Dictates are the closest thing there is to a standard set of behavioural codes for acolytes in the calixis sector. Simply put, even if they succeed, it is possible that over use of the rosetta may lead to them being punished by members of the inquisition. The creation of so many enemies makes the task of the inquisition more difficult, when this is coupled with the fact that a single cell of Acolytes rarely has all the infomation with regards to their master's plans, it is possible that over enthusiatic acolytes might order an orbital bombardment, and cripple a wider opperation that has been decades in the making.

The take home message is this. The Rosetta is powerful and dangerous, PCs should not be using it to search rooms, especially without evidence of some heresy. If they wish to use it in such a manner, allow them however. The immediate reprocussions for a forced search of the entire folly, should be that their only ally on siniophia, Arbitrator Adjutant  Fihad Constantine will turn against them, and the rest of the arbitrator will treate them in a manner remincant of tired new york city cops dealing with troublesome FBI agents interfering in a case the cops feel is their jurisdiction. Calling rank on the noblity, should result in armed escortm, with weapons trained on them when entering that nobles demain, and attempted assassinations  beyond the walls of the estates. Upsetting Xiabius Khan is covered in detail, but could easily lead to the PCs being pulled at a road block by enforcerers, only to have their vehicle hit by melta gun and rocket fire from the abandoned buildings either side, as a covert mandato kill team clean up a troublesome thorn in the paw of the generals rise to power.

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zombieneighbours said:

 Using the Rosetta is the tactical Nuke in the arsonal of the acolyte. (...)

People will obey you, when you use such tactics, but you forever damage any chance of alliance with them. (...)

The use of the Rosetta is also unsubtle.  Secrecy is one of the most important tools a PC can have in Dark heresy. (...)

(...)

 'Thou shall not make improper use of thy master's purse, nor his seal, nor his name either.' (See pg. 282, DH)  

(...)

The take home message is this. The Rosetta is powerful and dangerous, PCs should not be using it to search rooms....

Hi "Neighbour" happy.gif

the point that buggles me in regard of the modul is that even so the Rosetta is a "tactial nuke" but the modul states that the nobles do not "obey" (give help) but manage to get around.... no matter what the pc will want (thereby even those requests that are not "improper" under the dictate as written on pg. 282), it will not be given by the nobles. Only the Arbites will (according to the module) give some help.

If we would be talking about "the pc will not be handed direct command of any PDF troops over the size of a squad" I would be fine
But the modul says "the pc are not going to get any help from the nobles besides a ride from x to y"


The mentioned secrey is no valid point here since the module assumes that the noble will know right on that the Inquisition has send acolythes and who they are (the pc are later even invited before the ruling body, a crucial part of the scenario), there is no damage the pc would risk by "exposing" themselves in case of the nobles. They ARE KNOWN.

Taken all the said circumstances into account (Rosetta is powerfull // nobles and arbites alike do know that the pc are infact acyolthes and no secrecy is broken by using the authority in front o fthem) I do not see why the pc should not be able to demand a search around for "an evil hidden in the tower, once that might had been missed by Arbites". 

"Being unpolite and/or crass" is something most pc I know tend to risk and thereby will not hinder them from "playint their cards"



 

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Gregorius21778 said:

I doubt this. This would mean that the high and might Inquisition would be merely a political tool depend on the whims of others. 

To me, this isn´t matching the picture of on-site-executing, fleet commanding, governeur removing, planet destroying Inquisitors delivered by diverse publications. 

In addition, it contradicts the IH where it is written that the Rosetta gives the power to command fleets, press soldiers etc. Full stop. No "if the others are fine with that" attached.

The imperium is inherently fuedal.  Authority stretchs only as far as you can make it. It is easy to draught a squadron of sword class frigates, when your accompanied by a squad of death watch, 40 or so acolytes and staff member, your own personal a lunar class cruaser, and a full threat briefing and plan, and are going to meet your close and loved cousin, Admiral Joan Hath, above the world of Scintilla. Especially when sector lord Hax has signed off on the plan. It is another thing to stand alone on sinophia, a world which hates the political elite of the imperium, and demand the aid of Olessa Rine, a woman who's love you scorned in your youth, and who has declared vendetta against you after you killed both her brother. It is another thing entirely to demand she provide all her resources to you, to be turned against her closest allies in a suicide assult.

Authority without the threat of reprocusions is worthless. An inquisitor will usually get help when he demands it, but it will not always be all that he asks, and it will always have a cost.

Inquisitors who make enemies amongst the nobility and military, will find themselves more open to the attacks of their enemies within the holy ordos. If the sector lord hates you, because you wasted his personal honour guard on the teeth of a meat grinder, it is that much more likely that a cabal of puritians will be able to prosicute their claim of excommunicate traitoris against you.

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Gregorius21778 said:

 

 

Hi "Neighbour" happy.gif

the point that buggles me in regard of the modul is that even so the Rosetta is a "tactial nuke" but the modul states that the nobles do not "obey" (give help) but manage to get around.... no matter what the pc will want (thereby even those requests that are not "improper" under the dictate as written on pg. 282), it will not be given by the nobles. Only the Arbites will (according to the module) give some help.

If we would be talking about "the pc will not be handed direct command of any PDF troops over the size of a squad" I would be fine
But the modul says "the pc are not going to get any help from the nobles besides a ride from x to y"

 

Sinophia's nobility hates the Imperium, they have limited resources and are surrounded by far more immeditate percieved threats, then the distant inquisitor who's rosetta is being precented.

What good is it to dodge the wrath of an inquisitor, who may not even respond to the refusal, by aiding the acolytes, when doing so means that your very likely to die in your sleep tonight, ripped to peices by the undertow or political rivals. Add to this that your giving the finger to the hated courts of Calixis sector's nobility and you get nobles who are happy to snub lowly acolytes, who with any luck will never report their snub, thanks to their death at the hands of the Undertow. The statement that the nobles do no obey should be considered a guideline for the starting point. 

The nobles are effectively calling the PCs bluff. They are saying, we don't believe you can back up the authority of that rosetta. Your alone, away form your master, the adepta here are weak enough that you can't call on them for help. What are you going to do about my refusal?

Interaction skills should change this, threats of personal violance, bribes or honeyed words can change the dynamic, more dramatically, actions can be used to change the way the nobles respond. If the noble refuses, kill his messenger and demand again, he refuses again, storm in and kill the noble, take command and live with what comes next. The scenario cannot cover every one of these eventualities. It is a skeleton, which expects you to build on it, not a fully fleshed out adventure.  (In many ways a strength of the adventure)


Gregorius21778 said:



The mentioned secrey is no valid point here since the module assumes that the noble will know right on that the Inquisition has send acolythes and who they are (the pc are later even invited before the ruling body, a crucial part of the scenario), there is no damage the pc would risk by "exposing" themselves in case of the nobles. They ARE KNOWN.
 

 

 

 

 

The power of secrecy is a broader point ments to cover the more general use of the Rosetta, but it is not entirely without use here.

 

Certainly, the Judiciary, the members of the quorum, Xiabius Khan(and the mandato) and the arbitrators are aware of the arrival acolytes on the planet. That still leaves nearly all of the planet unaware of the arrival, atleast initially. Secracy has its place still. While the arrival is known, the identity of the PCs may not be known by many of the Quorum and their families, so dealing with them through cover identies may be a viable tactic that would be impeded by the use of the rosetta. However, walking up to the gate of a noble estate, brandishing the Rosetta and demanding entrance in the name of the god emporer will give away the identity of the individual undertaking the action, and almost certainly cause the presence of acolytes on sinophia to become known amongst the Undertow and rumoured amongst the general population. even when used within an estate, it is likely to become a thing of rumour, when the staff start to gossip and spys reports to the undertow (arrival of acolytes, wielding an inquisitorial Rosetta is big news ). There is a valid case for secracy, even if it is not as strong as it might be in other adventures. 


Gregorius21778 said:



Taken all the said circumstances into account (Rosetta is powerfull // nobles and arbites alike do know that the pc are infact acyolthes and no secrecy is broken by using the authority in front o fthem) I do not see why the pc should not be able to demand a search around for "an evil hidden in the tower, once that might had been missed by Arbites". 

"Being unpolite and/or crass" is something most pc I know tend to risk and thereby will not hinder them from "playint their cards"

 

 

 

As i said, there is nothing to stop the PCs demanding a search, but the odds are against them finding anything. The demand is however an insult to the integrity of the adeptus arbities. Let them look, if they find it, reward their luck and dilligence, run with a new set of events where they must track down Skarmen and the Risen, but allow events to continue to worsen around them. However, should they fail, which is likely, have the arbites take the search as a great insult, and the PCs loose an ally. 

Or, if you think that is an unrealistic responce, alter the scenario to fit your vision.

Personally, when PCs consider it safe to be rude to powerful people, i think your probably letting them get away with something they would not be able to get away with in the setting.  Sure doing it occationally, to force the nobles hand into a duel, or to win the favour of another noble, it can be a useful tool, but even then, it has consiquences.

 

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zombieneighbours said:

Or, if you think that is an unrealistic responce, alter the scenario to fit your vision.

Personally, when PCs consider it safe to be rude to powerful people, i think your probably letting them get away with something they would not be able to get away with in the setting.   

Trust me, in both cases "I don´t" happy.gif


But as I said, the players I know tend to be rather risk taking as soon as they think they are up to something.  Thereby, I have to take the option into account.

 

In addition, if my player get handed a "deveice" for a mission, they will try to use it sooner or later. In this case, the device is a rosetta (if I do not change it into something else, like the "Letter of Investigation").

 

Cannot blame them for this later one, so. If they are not intended to use "the shiny new toy", why is the adventure giving it to them in the first place?

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Depending on precisely who's doing the 'wielding', what they're using it for and who they're using it against, it's Intimidation pure and simple. Precisely how the Emperor gained his authority? By intimidation: It's either me or nothing. I am the Emperor. You are my humanity. Without me you will not only die, but you will be damned.

That's the authority the Inquisitors are running about with. And it's a gamble. How many fake rosettes out there? How many charlatans hunted by the Inquisition because they've got the Blather and gall to actually get away with it?

In that sense, I'm very much on the 'it's a political tool to ensure cooperation'. It augments a threat, it augments an 'I can totally shaft you' statement. People can refuse and they are heretics therefore you have the right to kick their ass.

But that's beside the point. Intimidation, Charm, reasoning, outlining the boundaries. Most of the time acolytes can avoid the necessity for such tests by skillfully RPing the use of the Rosette. It's not 'reveal and therefore win' (though I'd say it's a fair bonus on some Initimidation tests...). This way players realise there's a sensible way to wield even a fragment of the ultimate authority and that blugeoning it into a populace requires you to actually and constantly be Night Haunter.

Furthermore: Judicious Remit of an Acolyte Inquisitor. Bearing a Rosette isn't the same as being an Inquisitor by Proxy. Issuing it as if you're an Inquisitor is a surefire way for someone to say "No, you're not and I think you're boss'd be more pissed with your stupid use than my healthy scepticism of a possible heretic".

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Xisor said:

 

That's the authority the Inquisitors are running about with. And it's a gamble. How many fake rosettes out there? How many charlatans hunted by the Inquisition because they've got the Blather and gall to actually get away with it?

In fairness, not many.

The Rosetta is a powerful peice of tech, it contrains hololithic micro-cognitor(aka optical computer) that contains very scary inquisitorial cyphers. Simply put, the rosetta is not something that just anyone can forge. Fakes that will stand up to any authority figure, almost certainly exist but they are the province of Major antagonists such as the  unknown heretic and Myrchella Sinderfell, as such most will accept a working rosetta as genuine.

 

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Xisor said:

But that's beside the point. Intimidation, Charm, reasoning, outlining the boundaries. Most of the time acolytes can avoid the necessity for such tests by skillfully RPing the use of the Rosette. It's not 'reveal and therefore win' (though I'd say it's a fair bonus on some Initimidation tests...).

Yes, of course they can. But if I put an Rosetta in their hands, I better be prepared for them using it.

As pointed out, the one thing that gives me headaches in this adventure is that the module simply ignores the chance of the pc to use the Rosetta to gain (whatever) by stating that the nobles will not provide any help. FULL STOP. No "if" or "but when" or "in the case of" but a plain "NO". As things are written, I do not see why the adventure hands the rosetta to the pc in the first place. The IH established other, less might methods of identification.

Talking intimidation bonus:
Thats a good idea. What do you thing would be fair bonus if you intimidate someone with "you will no longer be part of society, not even part of humanity as you might know it till now. All of your power, comfort, wealth, your friends and familiy and loved ones that are part of the rightfull imperium of Men will be no longer be with you. You will be hunted till your death bye the Imperium and will have to leave in constant fear and hiding till your last day has come"?

It will not be "auto success" since pretty of people risked it (to many heretics out there) but as my main concern for wielding the Rosetta is that of an "ulitma ratio" of the pc to demand a search of the Folly form the Arbites or to receive any help from the nobles, we are talking about people who either still think they have something to lose (nobles) or who are rather "imperial abbiding" (Arbites).

 

 

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Personally I'd make the bonus equivalent to plot. I don't think things like this are really at the level low enough to grant a bonus - they're the sort of things which really make or break an adventure, not some mundane piece of tech to stack on top of the red-dot sight and the stummers. As such I'd leave it up to GM-fiat as to whether or not an NPC complies, and just how willingly.

 

If you really really really had to give it a mechanical bonus, I'd say +30-50, depending on just what the NPC has to lose by refusing. A bonus of +30 is the highest any single situational modifier goes in the core rules, designated easy. I'd say it's generally 'easy' to get people to comply with a rosette, more than a +20 routine.

If you wanted to be a real bastard to your PCs, I'd make the rosette grant a lesser bonus (like +10/20), however treat a failed Intimidate/Command/Inquiry test with it as less of a roadblock and more of a success-with-consequences. For example, that errant noble you fluffed your intimidate roll on? He's still going to follow suit to avoid being shot on the spot, but you didn't scare him anywhere near enough to overcome him vengefully setting his hounds on you later in a dark alley.

This is my usual approach in situations where an NPC in a relatively powerful position has no choice to follow the acolytes but doesn't like them enough to be generally amiable towards them or their goal. Such as the governor whose ball you gatecrashed, or the arbites whose crime scenes you keep bumbling your way through.

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Yes, but who has the power/time/effort/energy to decrypt and verify these Inquisitorial Sigils? Not many people. Flashing a Rosette is often sufficient (how many times are IDs, when presented, fully checked? How many are the little 'jumps' which actually need to be gone through. A skilled impersonator with some serious thug backing can probably delude not only their henchmen, but likely their foes too that they are 'the Inquisition'.

I don't see how verifying the Rosette can always effectively work, especially in the timeframe many Inquisitors and Acolytes have to face their foes. "You don't have time, the daemon is coming now" etc.

It's intimidation and 'oiling' the machine. Some other folks will slip past on that, and I'd be inclined to agree 'not many'. But it's possible, and depending on who is trying to be fooled, it might almost never/always work. Folks who've only heard stories might buy it. Folks who've heard all the stories and never once considered it likely might hold up the show with the most rigorous, time-consuming activities, you'd be as well just not bothering showing them the rosette.

With that 'expanse of possibility' in mind, I'm inclined to say treating it (the Rosette) as an aide to Intimidate/Security/Charm/Ciphers(go on then!)/Decieve tests makes more sense than an "You have to do what I say" card. (Or as I did say before: an encourager to PCs to avoid the test by not using it as a 'You have to do what I say' card without good roleplaying.)

If they do do good RP and still YHTDWIS, I'd be happy with that. Name of the game, etc.

(And now I want to play a Scum who's been masquerading as the Inquisition...)

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zombieneighbours said:

 

Xisor said:

 

 

That's the authority the Inquisitors are running about with. And it's a gamble. How many fake rosettes out there? How many charlatans hunted by the Inquisition because they've got the Blather and gall to actually get away with it?

 

 

In fairness, not many.

The Rosetta is a powerful peice of tech, it contrains hololithic micro-cognitor(aka optical computer) that contains very scary inquisitorial cyphers. Simply put, the rosetta is not something that just anyone can forge. Fakes that will stand up to any authority figure, almost certainly exist but they are the province of Major antagonists such as the  unknown heretic and Myrchella Sinderfell, as such most will accept a working rosetta as genuine.

 

 

 

Zombie described it very well in my opinion. "Sinophia's nobility hates the Imperium, they have limited resources and are surrounded by far more immeditate percieved threats, then the distant inquisitor who's rosetta is being precented." This as well as the notion that the Imperium is a feudal society and any authority (even that of the Inquisition at times) is only worth as much as it is backed up by force. Even in our todays democratic society the power of an individual (e.g. a high up politician) goes only so far as other people respect this power and act accordingly. Power (or better authority) is not some metaphysical force that let people automatically obey, but the ability to back up ones claim through some kind of (non-metaphysical) force (by arms or arguement). Even an Inquisitor Lord is only insofar beyond the authority of a 'normal' Inquisitor, as the Inqusitors as such acknowledge this fact.

Besides, an Adeptus Arbites Precinct Marshal normally is a high ranking figure in the Imperial society; about en par with a Planetary Governors and Navy Admirals. A bunch of Acolytes waving an Inquisitorial Rosette won't impress him that much and it is most probably not the first time happening to him. As long as the Acolytes have no evidences of suspected heresy, he won't comply even if polite. Still, even his authority might be in vain, if his AA personel think his point is not valid. This could be a great RP opportunity with the Acolytes and the Precinct Marshal suspecting each other of treachery, heresy or whatever and both sides do their best to somehow back up their authority by force of argument (and maybe even arms).

 

zombieneighbours said:

 

Xisor said:

 

 

That's the authority the Inquisitors are running about with. And it's a gamble. How many fake rosettes out there? How many charlatans hunted by the Inquisition because they've got the Blather and gall to actually get away with it?

 

 

In fairness, not many.

The Rosetta is a powerful peice of tech, it contrains hololithic micro-cognitor(aka optical computer) that contains very scary inquisitorial cyphers. Simply put, the rosetta is not something that just anyone can forge. Fakes that will stand up to any authority figure, almost certainly exist but they are the province of Major antagonists such as the  unknown heretic and Myrchella Sinderfell, as such most will accept a working rosetta as genuine.

 

 

The Inquisitorial Rosette is usually nothing but a sign as such. But one backed up by a lot of force and one that strikes fear into common men simply by its reputation. It is usually not a piece of technology.

The Inquisitorial Seal on the other hand is all that and can be all what zombie mentioned in regard to the Rosette (falsely though) as well as more...

 

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Looks like i need to re-read the details on the rosetta. I would be supriced if it does not contain some fairly serious coding that proves its origin and authority. The authority that it grants is subtantial, and i doubt that the paraniod nature of the imperium would allow such a document to function on trust of authentisty alone. Even if not explicitely detailed as containing any authentication data, i would certainly rule that rosetta's contained such details.

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Xisor said:

 

Yes, but who has the power/time/effort/energy to decrypt and verify these Inquisitorial Sigils? Not many people. Flashing a Rosette is often sufficient (how many times are IDs, when presented, fully checked? How many are the little 'jumps' which actually need to be gone through. A skilled impersonator with some serious thug backing can probably delude not only their henchmen, but likely their foes too that they are 'the Inquisition'.

I don't see how verifying the Rosette can always effectively work, especially in the timeframe many Inquisitors and Acolytes have to face their foes. "You don't have time, the daemon is coming now" etc.

It's intimidation and 'oiling' the machine. Some other folks will slip past on that, and I'd be inclined to agree 'not many'. But it's possible, and depending on who is trying to be fooled, it might almost never/always work. Folks who've only heard stories might buy it. Folks who've heard all the stories and never once considered it likely might hold up the show with the most rigorous, time-consuming activities, you'd be as well just not bothering showing them the rosette.

With that 'expanse of possibility' in mind, I'm inclined to say treating it (the Rosette) as an aide to Intimidate/Security/Charm/Ciphers(go on then!)/Decieve tests makes more sense than an "You have to do what I say" card. (Or as I did say before: an encourager to PCs to avoid the test by not using it as a 'You have to do what I say' card without good roleplaying.)

If they do do good RP and still YHTDWIS, I'd be happy with that. Name of the game, etc.

(And now I want to play a Scum who's been masquerading as the Inquisition...)

 

 

When dealing with street enforcers, petty adepts, the emporer fearing members of the criminal underworld, hoards of citizens, then sure, flashing a fake rosetta probably is going to be highly effective. Such people wouldn't even know exactly what such items look like, let alone that they(in my view) contain authentification codes. 

You don't check the police badge when shown to you because fakes are rare, and you have much more to loose by kicking up a fuss than just accepting their authority most of the time. The same is not of someone attempting to enter a Bio-warfare lab. In the 40k universe, you going to have your ID checked if you demand the compliance of troops, or that a  orbiting star ship turn its lances on a spire tower, because there are genuinely people out there who would attempt to subvert the authority of the inquisition, as a weapon against the imperium. A pilgrim of hayte Cultists might genuinely be willing to try demanding a captain fire his vessals weapons on a hive city, using a faked rosetta.

 The higher up the chain, the more that is demanded, the more the authenticity of a rosetta is going to be checked.

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zombieneighbours said:

Looks like i need to re-read the details on the rosetta. I would be supriced if it does not contain some fairly serious coding that proves its origin and authority. The authority that it grants is subtantial, and i doubt that the paraniod nature of the imperium would allow such a document to function on trust of authentisty alone. Even if not explicitely detailed as containing any authentication data, i would certainly rule that rosetta's contained such details.

 

I don't know. Apparently a Rogue Traders Warrant of Trade, which gives a tremendous amount of power and freedom, can be faked and bluffed quite easily, so i imagine a rossetta could as well. Hell, in the real world, it's noting to dress as a cop or make a fake badge yet criminals rarely do such. FBI badges would open a lot of doors (if only briefly) but still, those aren't forged often either. Why? Fear. The repercussions for doing such are rather high and most criminals don't want to draw that kind of attention to themselves never mind the fact that there's the fear that the forgery would be spotted (even if, chances are, it won't). And that's just the real world with nice shinny (compared to 40k) repercussions for such actions.

Having supper checks within a rossetta is fairly worthless as well. After all, there are two kinds of folks in the 40k universe, those who can question an Inquisitor and expect to live and those who can't. If you're in the former category, chances are, you'd be able to spot a forgery unless it was next to genuine in which case, you are also dealing with someone in the same league as your self in which case a fake rossetta is the least of your problems. If your in the latter category, then doubting an Inquisitor will get you shot and just as dead as being shot by a heretic who is trying to preserve their cover. Either way you slice it, if you question it's validity, you're dead. So, if you're going to question (doubt... it's what heretics do!) a rosetta, you better have the balls and power to stave off an offended Inquisitor.

In the end, you need balls and a healthy disregard for your continued existence to forge one because of what would happen if you ever get caught (and you never know who will call your bluff) and you gotta have balls to question one presented to you because you just never know how bad of a day the wielder might have had. So the system works. Only the insane would forge them or question them but then again, they'd do just about anything.

In the end, it depends on the situation and who you are dealing with.

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Same adventure, different matter:

Later in the adventure, there is a meeting between the pc and an "undertow council" consisting of the three reigning crime lords of Sinophia...attending personally. 


I look forward to this scene, but I am sure that one of my two groups might quiety well try to "turn tables" and capture said crime lords. 

While I am not that "heavy handed" as a GM that I wouldn´t give them a try, I want to ensure that the chances are quiet good that they do not make it...without turning it into "Theos flight in Hustle" happy.gif

In addition, I want to make the encounter impressive and thereby pound possible meeting places

 

My ideas so far

 

  • a backyard deep within a maze of alleys in the sink
    with a high number of undertow muscle & killers in the alley and on the roof tops. The pc are "invited" to street x..but from there a little boy leads them through the maze to the REAL meeting point. If the pc get cookie, two of the three rag kings (you know who!) will try to escape through the alleys while the fighting starts. The location emphasizes that a huge part of the might of undertow comes from the fact that they have become so ingrained into the unpleasent half of Sinophias Society
  • an run down Imperial church
    The rag kings will be waiting in the nearly rotting church. No one else will be there but a view undertow killers around the main and side entrance and in the bell tower. If things go wrong, the church priest (who is hiding in the cellar) will let the rag lords out through an espapce exit  into sewage tunnels. 
    The church will (and the priest) should emphasize the moral bankcrupt of Sinophia as well as the loss of all hope for Salvation. Perhaps I´ll make
    one of the undertow kings lighten some prayer candles on a shrine to St. Drusus..to undermine the direness to the situation and the willingness for Conquest and war
  • A forma brookerage room of the "Hand", now devoid of use and "leased" for this "occasion" by the Undertow.
    A meeting in a bad light room ("shady deals", "twilight"), using neutral ground. This should emphasize that this is about "business". And it shall
    hopefully set an non-ambush undertone that will keep gun-happy pc thinking twice before starting a gunfight

Any input welcome!
 

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Gregorius21778 said:

  • a backyard deep within a maze of alleys in the sink
    with a high number of undertow muscle & killers in the alley and on the roof tops. The pc are "invited" to street x..but from there a little boy leads them through the maze to the REAL meeting point. If the pc get cookie, two of the three rag kings (you know who!) will try to escape through the alleys while the fighting starts. The location emphasizes that a huge part of the might of undertow comes from the fact that they have become so ingrained into the unpleasent half of Sinophias Society
  • an run down Imperial church
    The rag kings will be waiting in the nearly rotting church. No one else will be there but a view undertow killers around the main and side entrance and in the bell tower. If things go wrong, the church priest (who is hiding in the cellar) will let the rag lords out through an espapce exit  into sewage tunnels. 
    The church will (and the priest) should emphasize the moral bankcrupt of Sinophia as well as the loss of all hope for Salvation. Perhaps I´ll make
    one of the undertow kings lighten some prayer candles on a shrine to St. Drusus..to undermine the direness to the situation and the willingness for Conquest and war
  • A forma brookerage room of the "Hand", now devoid of use and "leased" for this "occasion" by the Undertow.
    A meeting in a bad light room ("shady deals", "twilight"), using neutral ground. This should emphasize that this is about "business". And it shall
    hopefully set an non-ambush undertone that will keep gun-happy pc thinking twice before starting a gunfight 

      I actually like the idea of using a church. It gives a nice touch, especially if the PC;s are pious. Properly presented it fits both the need for a "neutral" meeting place and emphasizing the "business aspect" of the meeting. Suppose the kingpins send their offer of parlay via the priest ( "the local community leaders asked me to relay the following message" ). Since the meeting is held on "holy ground" under the auspices of the church, violence should not be brought inside. The PC;s and the kingpins should work out some reasonable precautions that satisfy the security needs of both groups ( no weapons inside the church, number of bodyguards etc etc. ). 

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