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Magnus Grendel

Black Crusade Campaign Thread

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Posted (edited)

Okay. This is a thread I plan to use as a 'dumping ground' for idea-expounding, gaming reports, background debates and general musing to support a black crusade campaign my players have asked me to create and run.

As usual, the normal 40k RPG sages are invited to peruse and provide advice, critique, useful nuggets of fluff and/or sarcastic pot-shots from the side lines, as they see fit.

( @Lynata, @Cobramax76, @Angel of Death, @Jargal, @venkelos @Gregorius21778)

 

So....

  • Whilst we've played Black Crusade before (quite a lot), we've never used the formal 'running a black crusade' campaign rules from the Tome of Decay - previous campaigns all being within the Screaming Vortex or as an individual warband in the Jericho Reach.
  • Rather than use an existing region (since it's not likely to survive the campaign!) I decided to create a region of my own.
    • Using the advice in the Tome of Decay, that suggests about 12 significant locations. That's enough either for a fairly reasonable subsector, or a full sector with 'just the highlights' - assuming each point on the map is a warzone rather than necessarily a single system - so about 3-5 times that many minor systems are getting bombed/invaded/purged/whatever 'off camera' in the region of each location.
    • Since it's my first time using the system, I'm leaning to the former. Making it a subsector allows there to be the rest of the sector immediately 'off the map' to one or two sides, which explains why the warp routes off the map in those directions rather rapidly start filling up with reinforcement fleets and soldiers.
      • With 12 systems, you get 2 + 12/4 = 5 'off-map' links; 1 for the heretics' forces to enter by and 4 for imperial reinforcements. If all the Imperial ones are to a given side of the map (let's say coreward for the sake of argument), that helps underscore "rest of sector this way" - and also means a specific policy of attacking one flank and cutting the subsector off from the rest of the Imperium, as well as making narrative strategic sense, will actually achieve something in game.
      • That still allows for minor systems to pop up 'off the charted routes' where I decide to throw in a diversion, it should just be less common. And besides, an Imperial system can still include several moons, orbital facilities and other settlements as well as the mainworld.
    • I want to give them plenty of time but still make sure there is time pressure. The rules recommend a minimum of 1 campaign turn per system, ideally two, and not more than four.
      • Split the difference and go for three.
      • There needs to be a reason for a time limit, rather than just "oh dear, the clock's run out, I guess we have to stop playing and go home now".
        • Since there needs to be a specific chaos 'entry point' to the map, and a 'time limit', a warp storm feels like a good narrative excuse tool; you know (roughly) how long the storm will last, and once it's gone:
          • Imperial Navy reinforcements will have a far easier job reaching the region
          • Daemons and sorcery will become massively less effective 
        • Meaning that if you haven't secured the region by that time and started building up defensive choke points of your own, you won't hold it.
  • The XP level is something I need to figure out.
    • The recommended level of XP to run a black crusade is 140 infamy.
    • Starting at higher infamy levels recommends +3 infamy and +5 corruption per 1000XP.
    • This means it doesn't really work for starting characters. Making corruption come faster makes sense because it drives the 'pressure' on the characters but I don't want them to be turning into spawn every time they look around - and they will need to burn a lot of infamy to acquire crusade assets (buying a 'host' of troops costs 2 infamy if you're over 100 infamy or 7 if you're below, assuming you don't want to roll dice and have a chance of failing).
    • Therefore I was going to split the difference; they won't get 140 infamy each - rather they'll get a decent extra whack of XP, infamy and corruption (maybe 60-70 infamy?)  meaning that as a group they're infamous enough, but they're doing it in the name of someone else.
      • The obvious name to swear their allegiance to is Abbadon himself (it doesn't mean they actually get to interact with him....or even meet him), who is listed as Infamy "150+".
      • I.e. each player generates their own character, infamy et al, but then they will get 150 points worth of infamy to acquire fleets, hosts, cults, cabals and lieutenants. If they don't spend it, they don't get to keep it - it's not "theirs" and if they can't do the job with what they've been provided from the outset, the Warmaster of Chaos isn't going to turn up to help.
Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)
  • Since we've got 4 players who are interested, and three of them are broadly looking at different alignments (and the fourth is happy to take whatever), I thought it might be worth just smiling, nodding and going with one of each alignment.
    • There's a thing - dating back to the first edition of Warhammer 40k Apocalypse - called the Chosen of Abbadon. They were mentioned in the second 3rd Edition Chaos Space Marine codex, but just as an art panel with no explanation. They were later fleshed out to be the Chaos equivalent of the Masters Of The Chapter formation, and rather than necessarily being "there are just these four", made more like a set of titles whose occupants change rapidly due to....uh...vacancies opening up.
    • If they're being sent as commanders of a black crusade which Abbadon isn't leading in person, it kind of works.
      • Having Lord Topknot himself lurking in the narrative background ought to keep the infighting to tolerable levels because whilst plotting against one another is actively encouraged, no-one wants to be caught trying to murder one of the Warmaster's (other) lieutenants, and no-one wants to rock the boat to the point that the crusade fails and he decides they've screwed up.
    • 'Abbadon's Approval' is an infamous acquisition in Tome of Excess - I might insist everyone start with it as one of their initial acquisitions. It certainly explains them being placed in command of a massive warhost.
    • The four chosen are traditionally:
      • Lord Ravager (Khorne)
        • "The Lord Ravager leads the invasion fleets of the Black Crusade. It is he who first makes landfall on the surface of an Imperial world about to be ravaged by the Black Legion. The Lord Ravager leads Abaddon's ground forces and is always found in the vanguard of the assault."
        • The main 'ground forces commander' and personal-scale-murder-machine
        • In this case, 'he' is 'she'. The player planning to play the Khornate is our dedicated follower of all things egregiously violent, and previously played a Xurunth Frost-Bezerker.
        • She's decided that a fallen sororitas would be an interesting character to use. There's no reason they shouldn't fall, after all - it should just be very rare (arguably more so than marines, given both demeanour and opportunity) but they're not categorically immune to the possibility the way custodies, null-maidens or grey knights are.
        • Both she and I aren't much of a fan of most of the narrative cases of a fallen sororitas because...how can I put it? the writers inevitably decide it should be slaanesh (arguably the least appropriate) corrupting them, and almost every piece of artwork with almost tiresome inevitability decides that since falling to chaos they've decided not to bother with any armour on their midriff and cleavage any more. Say what you like about GW, Sabbat-pattern armour does avoid a lot of the classic 'sci-fi female armour' tropes in that the better artwork representations actually look like it would stop incoming fire.
        • By comparison, someone stuck in an endless war, being kept going by righteous fury, and watching everything they fought for die and be defiled, gradually losing touch with the 'righteous' bit, sounds rather more believable.
        • We found a rather nice looking bit of artwork for the character concept:

bd89fb2128e77d056d0591a36129a89e--warham

  • Lord Deceiver (Tzeench)
    • "The Lord Deceiver is a powerful Chaos Sorcerer whose esoteric visions of the Warp guide the Black Crusade from star system to star system, so that they might always find their prey, no matter where they hide"
    • The fleet's primary navigator. I found in Rogue Trader's Navis Primer a rule set for a ritual for using forbidden lore (warp) - and rather a lot of murdering people - in place of Navigate (Warp) for Rogue Trader's more detailed warp travel rules.
    • He's going with a variation on his fairly standard chaos character of a Thousand Sons Sorceror
    • I haven't had a chance to talk to him about the exact details yet.
    • Sounds like he wants to go more 'ritual heavy' and subtle rather than previous "have overcharged bolt of change level IX".
    • Looking at some classic 40k Thousand Sons art:

Thousand_Son_Sorcerer_Colored_by_Ja.jpg

  • Lord Corruptor (Nurgle)
    • "The Lord Corruptor is tasked with instilling fear and hatred amongst the Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion. It is he who spreads fear and corruption before the Black Fleet, and also keeps the lesser warlords of the Legion in line through brutality and terror. His trophy rack is adorned with the skulls of failed servants."
    • So essentially a sort of chaos commissar.
    • Whilst it's nominally a nurgle role, terror and skulls made this player consider a night lord. Nothing stops him spending the extra XP to align him to nurgle.

437E108B92AAE2EB928D1763186761CBCA85AC3F

  • Lord Purgator (Slaanesh)
    • "It falls to the Lord Purgator to ensure that every man, woman and child left alive on a world conquered by the Black Legion is dragged in chains into the hold of the Legion's starships, and that no edifice remains undedicated to the Dark Gods."
    • In addition to 'guy in charge of looting and exploiting worlds taken', the current (in contemporary 40k background) Lord Purgator is the Black Legion's fleetmaster. Since the slaaneshi player plans to play a pirate prince, he's probably going to end up as something similar.
    • Whilst most players will probably end up with a fleet asset, I might well use Rogue Trader and build a detailed version of his ship, such that it can be used in Rogue Trader-mechanics detailed naval engagement. He has already demanded it have sensorium, euphoric life sustainer, and melodium components.
    • Found some suitably ostentatious Rogue Trader artwork.

49785e80a0b558d097a1947aaa506287.jpg

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Hi Magnus Grendel,

an ambitioned project. I am not to familiar with the campaign rules you mention, but your appraoch sounds solid. In regard to the "Lord Purgator", I would like to suggest that your player character does not "end up as something similar". Instead, make it a campaign sub-plot for him to TAKE that position. Then you have the (seemingly) chaos-typical infighting inside the own ranks of the crusade... it is just not "player vs player" but "us PC vs. them NPC". ;) Make sure that, sooner or later, every other PC has some minor beef with the current "Lord Purgator". They will all have some incentive to see him replaced then.

For designing systems/plantes/moons for your campaign map, I would like to suggest a FreeBee of a different system: Stars without Number. 

Chapter 7 / "World Generation" has a few very nice tables with a lot of ideas and concepts that are easy to transfer to 40K. At other points, modifying the tables to suit your needs should be easy.

If you would like some specific input a particular part of scenery/npc/world/colony (or help in fleshing them out), feel free to drop a line (here or over PM). I will be not be respoding till Wednesday (a friend stay over for a couple of days, so I won´´t spend much time in front of a PC), but afterwards I will try my best to make it into that list of 40K sages (youhavehurtmyegoDAMMIT!)

;)

========================
Kind regards: Gregorius21778
My blog

P.S: hey, ASMODEE! We want our signatures back!

 

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1 hour ago, Gregorius21778 said:

In regard to the "Lord Purgator", I would like to suggest that your player character does not "end up as something similar". Instead, make it a campaign sub-plot for him to TAKE that position. Then you have the (seemingly) chaos-typical infighting inside the own ranks of the crusade... it is just not "player vs player" but "us PC vs. them NPC". ;) Make sure that, sooner or later, every other PC has some minor beef with the current "Lord Purgator". They will all have some incentive to see him replaced then.

I'm not planning to have everyone else take their respective positions, though, so it would be a bit unfair on the one PC who didn't start 'in post'. There are more than enough scheming NPCs for various players to have to deal with - including various minions with their eye on a Chosen title.

I only mentioed the current incumbent not because they'd appear (because the timing is as yet nebulous but emphatically not 999.M41 so that I don't have to fit any specific timeline restrictions) but to point out that whilst it's not specifically in the job description, Lord Purgator commanding the Black Fleet (or whatever subset thereof is assigned to a given war) is not unusual.

1 hour ago, Gregorius21778 said:

For designing systems/plantes/moons for your campaign map, I would like to suggest a FreeBee of a different system: Stars without Number. 

Chapter 7 / "World Generation" has a few very nice tables with a lot of ideas and concepts that are easy to transfer to 40K. At other points, modifying the tables to suit your needs should be easy.

At least to start with, I'm happy using the Stars of Inequity system from Rogue Trader - that way it generates features which translate directly to existing statted 'terrain' features for Rogue Trader space combat (like Gravity Riptides or Solar Flares).

I will have a look, though, and see what I think.

1 hour ago, Gregorius21778 said:

but afterwards I will try my best to make it into that list of 40K sages (youhavehurtmyegoDAMMIT!)

Via the miracle of warp distortion, retroactively added in advance.

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Disclaimer: I've never used crusade rules from ToD and today was the second time when I've read them.

Do I understand correctly that you aim to 36 Strategic Turns, which means at least 36 possible Key Events, each of them a separate game session?

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Posted (edited)

Ive been looking over running a Black Crusade for a member of my current DH/RT group....he wants to run it separate from the rest and actually pits him against the actual DH/RT group...giving a countless score of game sessions.

Ive looked over the rules for Infamy ( used the same way as RT aquisition tests only with a better numbers trade basically ) As for the XP / Infamy idea...

I use the standard of 150XP per hour of gameplay ( plus additional XP for any really good roleplaying or above and beyond ideas/actions the PC's actually manage to pull off )( average for that is around 10-50xp for good ideas/actions and/or roleplaying ) For epic events that the PC's either derail or instigate directly with their actions etc...i award up to 100XP per. As always though depending on the event in question they also have the potential of gaining a contact, peer, or enemy of ---whatever XP value you deem fitting ) that the PC can call on later for assistance.

As for the Infamy deal....that can fluctuate wildly. I use the table given for infamy gained/lost BUT..in the event of one of those noteworthy events the PC's manage to pull off...in lieu of peers, contacts, etc....you could instead award them an extra 1-2 points of Infamy ( that would be contact(s) spreading the word so to speak...which in essence is the reputation the PC's earned anyway )  Any of the Chaos groups the PC's humiliate or otherwise slight can become enemies...the more they are humiliated...the more they will seek retribution and the farther they will go to get it ( daemon pacts etc..etc.. ) making them potentially dangerous enemies that might play nice to make the kill. 

As for the Lord Corruptor role....if taken by a Nightlord...he would hold NO sway over the Black Legion because the Black Legion see themselves as THE best chaos marine legion of them all because of their heritage ....added the ONLY Chaos God the Nightlords would be prone to taking would be Khorne as they are all verified psychopaths who enjoy wanton slaughter....thats before they are turned into chaos marines....but it is your game so as always do as you wish and your group finds fun...i know none of my games are ever "according to scripture" afterall..lol  I would say that it should go to a fellow Black Legion member and could see it as a possibility. Death Incarnate....yeah that would appeal to them.

But remember too Grandfather Nurgle's usual method of things is to spread fear and chaos through contagion via several routes then letting it foment disasters within before sending actual troops to take over...it takes longer than a regular direct invasion but is far more subtlely insidious and effective ( because it wont draw nearly as many enemy troops to oppose you...and...its difficult to fight a warp spawned virally mutagenic plague with artillery...far more difficult than say an invasion by soldiers....easiest way for them to do that would be to subtly infect the agro planet(s) that support the actual target planet(s) a few months ahead of any real invasion...hit a agro planet or two with different mutagenic plagues and some hidden cultists to start more actively on the same agro worlds and let them infect the food supply to the fortress world you want to take...send a raiding force to the opposite end of that subsector to get some attention over there and gain whatever can be safely taken and used for later then have them run back to the mainfleet via a convoluted warp route...the time-frame there should be sufficient to start a measure of panic in the fortress world from the tainted food and the deaths and mutations occurring without any seeming rhyme or reason to fight...weakening them from within while the second stage of cultists are secreted into the fortress world to foment rebellion by blaming the imperials and ad mech of experimentation on the population...and giving a "cure" for the plagues ( in reality just a cessation of all symptoms until the right time where the "host" becomes a nurgling or such ) but during that "cure" time-frame..they would become fervent believers of whatever the cultists told them...gaining ALOT of notoriety quickly ( and any infected would be far more trusting of them thanks to the plagues...) just a fe key targets would need to be taken then to pave the way for an open direct invasion...by the time anyone realized things...it would be too late....AND...you might even be able to corrupt a few high ranking officials ( much to Nurgles delight and an extra Infamy or two along the way )...this method can be used to infect multiple planets simultaneously further delaying and weakening the imperials responses to every invasion in the subsector...afterall..if you hit all the agro worlds...people gotta eat sometime and ships only have so much food to go around... ( yes i know...im devious and evil ) IF a "crusade" was done this way...then the longer it took to get to the planet to attack it...the weaker its defense would be along with the imperials space defense for it....keep them spread thin and chasing their tails while they are starving to death...add to that the mara strain to a few targeted shipments of food to the fleets in the area...and BAM...steamroller crusade...plenty of infamy to go around quickly and any true resistance would be lessened in its ability to fight ( lack of backup ) making even fights against space marine chapters far easier ( because now you have a main fleet force against a handful of chapter ships....10 to 1 odds anyone?..hehe  Gaining the cultists and a few plagues would be a minimal cost in infamy....just send them to the planets and set up shop...as for the ships...hahaha....dump a plague zombie ( victim ) into the ships water supply after they are in warp transit and watch the fireworks start...LOL...contaminated food AND water supplies will end resistance VERY quickly..and in the case of Nurgle plagues...gain you a shipload of walking dead to chew on your enemies when they come to see whats going on...

With the Black Crusade...the more diabolical and out of the box meticulous...the more infamy gained..hahaha

As always hope this helps and great gaming..

PS....I LOVE the idea of a fallen Sister of Battle...If she managed to corrupt an entire Convent worth of the sisters..she would get some serious Infamy for THAT stunt....Infect them with a contagion that made them rapidly weak and turned the unworthy of them into the nurglings....and the rest too weak to live but not actually dying either and giving them many horrid fever dreams/nightmares and making them see things that werent there....wonder how long their "faith" would last before they took any means to make it stop.....hmmm.....Oh soo very many ways to win with Grandfather Nurgle.

 

Edited by Cobramax76

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Posted (edited)

Well, I've never had the pleasure of playing an actual black crusade, so I simultaneously don't have much to add on that front, and am kinda jealous of your players. Still, I think your plans sound good, and the storm should make for a great thematic backdrop (cue DoW1 narrator voice: "Did the Warp storm bring them, or did they bring the Warp storm??").

17 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

made more like a set of titles whose occupants change rapidly due to....uh...vacancies opening up.

"Apology accepted, Captain Needa."

 

17 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Lord Ravager (Khorne)

In my admittedly quite conservative view, I feel like the concept of Fallen Sisters in general and the character of Miriael Sabathiel in particular kind of loses some of its impact if there's multiples running around, but since player characters are a bit special by default, I guess it works if you don't let another one (i.e. Miriael) show up.

Further exposition: I actually think nobody who has a "soul" (read: presence in the Warp) should be beyond corruption, different people just have different levels of resilience, or know of less natural ways to protect themselves, like those Grey Knights who used a blood ritual to ward themselves. To me, the primary reason Fallen Sisters would be rare is their penitent and altruistic lifestyle, and the fact that they still tend to die fairly easily -- either by the hand of the enemy, or their own.

On a side note, I actually think Slaanesh makes for a good fit, specifically because Sisters try to avoid the concept of pleasure so much. In dull convent life, obsessing about one's singing voice, or finding that the blood produced by accidentally cutting your finger tastes interesting, can be a slippery slope -- under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. The real problem, methinks, is that too many people, some writers included, only associate Slaanesh with sex, when this is just one possible angle. Imo the only Chaos god that doesn't really fit would be Nurgle, and even here corruption may still happen via magical sickness rather than mental contamination (example: Rosetta Anastasia).

On a side-side note, I was under the impression that "Sabbat" is the pattern name for the helmet, whereas the armour's is "Angel", but this is really old and esoteric (~2E) fluff, so consider this more of a curiosity than a "full" recommendation. :P

 

17 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Lord Deceiver (Tzeench)

Not much to say here. I definitely approve of the ritual angle, as this is where psyker characters feel most interesting, and I've had good roleplaying experience with my own Warp-witch. Someone who wanted to just focus on the combat side could just as well play someone with a gun -- though that does not and should not have to mean the Sorcerer ought to be entirely impotent when it comes to battle, of course.

 

17 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Lord Corruptor (Nurgle)

This one feels a bit bland, at least so far. What's so nurgle about him, in particular? I feel like the concept is missing something ... "infectious", if you get my drift. You did mention how he spreads corruption, but I'd recommend going over possible special mechanics with the player to do just that. Plague Zombies might be an obvious hook here, and perhaps rather than collecting skulls (which does sound rather khornate), the Lord Corruptor could instead turn failed servants into daemonspawn? Or - owing to the commissar-ish role and lack of personal psychic potential - rather oversee this process, which is conducted by a coven of NPC cultists in the bowels of the ship, just below his personal chambers?

I feel like the whole angle of "you fu**ed up .. but you can still be of use to the gods" might make for a cool and suitably creepy angle to this character. Just a thought, of course!

 

17 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Lord Purgator (Slaanesh)

Similar to the Lord Deceiver, I can't say much here. I just hope he also does the thing where people get ground into drugs.

Edited by Lynata

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I will start by saying our groups never played Black Crusade but I will be here to off my $0.02, seeing how you included me in this of sages

I'm not sure if it just the artwork you have Lord Ravager, but I can see the fall of her based on the layout of her Player.  Sadly, it is the step I fear for my Moritat.

Lord Deceiver, like others I'm interested in his whole Ritual Work, Warp Wizard methods

Lord Corruptor, I'm not seeing this PC or getting a feel for it, maybe I need more info

Lord Purgator, this is a Rogue Trader taken to the level, I take everything not nailed and locked down.  Then I come back with the tools for those too... 

 

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8 hours ago, Lynata said:

Well, I've never had the pleasure of playing an actual black crusade, so I simultaneously don't have much to add on that front, and am kinda jealous of your players. Still, I think your plans sound good, and the storm should make for a great thematic backdrop (cue DoW1 narrator voice: "Did the Warp storm bring them, or did they bring the Warp storm??").

Kind of both. The storm was always there (it's one of those 'boundary of a region of space' storms) but it's occsionally kicked off an upsurge in activity. The most recent of which is kind of responsible for the Lord Ravager's existance in the first place; both she and the Lord Purgator (the two humans) are 'local', whilst the Astartes are minions from the Black Legion the Warmaster has sent along with them to help prosecute the Black Crusade.

As you can tell, I've now got more of a sector map and a more fleshed-out background for the Lord Ravager; the player and I having bounced some ideas off each other.

8 hours ago, Lynata said:

"Apology accepted, Captain Needa."

To be fair, if you've never played the board game Battlefleet Gothic, I should probably point out Abbadon's special rule as a fleet commander (he's not as patient or forgiving as Vader):

Quote

“You have failed me for the last time...”
Abaddon the Despoiler does not tolerate failure, as many of his followers have discovered to their cost. If Abaddon’s re-roll is used for a Command check  or  Leadership  test  on  another  ship  or squadron and the test is failed a second time, he will  become  angry  –  very,  very  angry!  In  the Chaos  Shooting  phase  Abaddon  will  direct  at least  half  the  available  firepower  and  lance strength  of  the  ship  he  is  commanding  against  the  weaklings  who  have  failed  him  (assuming the  worthless  scum  are  within  range  and  fire arc).  Resolve  the  attack  as  normal,  just  as  if Abaddon’s vessel were an enemy. The victims of his wrath (assuming they survive) will   be   suitably   chastised   and   gain   a   +1 Leadership  increase  for  the  remainder  of  the game.  The  Leadership  bonus  will  only  take effect once (after that the crews are working as hard  as  they  can!)

 

8 hours ago, Lynata said:

In my admittedly quite conservative view, I feel like the concept of Fallen Sisters in general and the character of Miriael Sabathiel in particular kind of loses some of its impact if there's multiples running around, but since player characters are a bit special by default, I guess it works if you don't let another one (i.e. Miriael) show up.

Pretty much. I don't intend to have them in multiples, but they do exist in various canonical points (the order in Daemonifuge a well as Sabathiel) - if it can happen once it can happen multiple times, it should just be very rare and have a good backstory.

8 hours ago, Lynata said:

Further exposition: I actually think nobody who has a "soul" (read: presence in the Warp) should be beyond corruption, different people just have different levels of resilience, or know of less natural ways to protect themselves, like those Grey Knights who used a blood ritual to ward themselves. To me, the primary reason Fallen Sisters would be rare is their penitent and altruistic lifestyle, and the fact that they still tend to die fairly easily -- either by the hand of the enemy, or their own.

Agreed. Fallen Grey Knights aren't impossible because it physically can't happen (like you can argue with Pariah Sisters of Silence) but because it's one of the relatively-rare-in-the-"there is no canon"-world -of-40k absolute statements made by GW in both in-character novels and out of character codices and sourcebooks; No Grey Knight Has Ever Fallen. They could, in theory, but in ten thousand years it has never ever happened.

And, yes. Strike forces aside, Sororitas tend to be a defensive body, stationed on a holy shrine world or pilgrim route, and driven by a faith no less sound than any space marine. Their opportunities to fall are somewhat limited.

8 hours ago, Lynata said:

On a side note, I actually think Slaanesh makes for a good fit, specifically because Sisters try to avoid the concept of pleasure so much. In dull convent life, obsessing about one's singing voice, or finding that the blood produced by accidentally cutting your finger tastes interesting, can be a slippery slope -- under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. The real problem, methinks, is that too many people, some writers included, only associate Slaanesh with sex, when this is just one possible angle. Imo the only Chaos god that doesn't really fit would be Nurgle, and even here corruption may still happen via magical sickness rather than mental contamination (example: Rosetta Anastasia).

True. And definitely true on a lot of people's perception of Slaanesh. But....yeah. The player has her heart set on a khornate character, and both the storyline we have in mind and the advanced archetype we plan to use both support it. It's rather more massive sustained PTSD and battle psychosis than an initially gentle 'slippery slope'.

8 hours ago, Lynata said:

On a side-side note, I was under the impression that "Sabbat" is the pattern name for the helmet, whereas the armour's is "Angel", but this is really old and esoteric (~2E) fluff, so consider this more of a curiosity than a "full" recommendation. :P

My apologies - yes, Sabbat is the helm pattern (which interestingly probably isn't the original Reign of Blood-era one since it's been standard since M38 and Vandire was two millenia before that), not the armour.

9 hours ago, Lynata said:

Not much to say here. I definitely approve of the ritual angle, as this is where psyker characters feel most interesting, and I've had good roleplaying experience with my own Warp-witch. Someone who wanted to just focus on the combat side could just as well play someone with a gun -- though that does not and should not have to mean the Sorcerer ought to be entirely impotent when it comes to battle, of course.

He went with the 'unlimited powwweerrrrrrrrr!!!!!' version of a sorceror the last time we did black crusade, so he's more or less got that out of his system. As an aside, maxed-out, screw the consequences, bolt of change is scary as Feth.

9 hours ago, Lynata said:

This one feels a bit bland, at least so far. What's so nurgle about him, in particular? I feel like the concept is missing something ... "infectious", if you get my drift. You did mention how he spreads corruption, but I'd recommend going over possible special mechanics with the player to do just that. Plague Zombies might be an obvious hook here, and perhaps rather than collecting skulls (which does sound rather khornate), the Lord Corruptor could instead turn failed servants into daemonspawn? Or - owing to the commissar-ish role and lack of personal psychic potential - rather oversee this process, which is conducted by a coven of NPC cultists in the bowels of the ship, just below his personal chambers?

I feel like the whole angle of "you fu**ed up .. but you can still be of use to the gods" might make for a cool and suitably creepy angle to this character. Just a thought, of course!

The role was defined by GW; that's the lord corruptor's job. The fact that he's traditionally nurglesque is because the apocalypse formation was 'one chaos lord with each mark'. But yes, Fear, torture and mutilation sounds very night lord, and, by comparison, despair is a very nurglesque emotion. Turning failed servants into spawn/dybbuk/some chaotic variation of arcoflagellants sounds perfect, though, and I'll have to suggest it.

Plus, you know, we have a chaos sorceror in the Lord Deceiver. They go through sacrificial victims and component elements thereof like consultant surgeons go through sterile swabs, and people (formerly) of significance make rituals go with far more of a zing! than generic slave #2,765,893...

9 hours ago, Lynata said:

Similar to the Lord Deceiver, I can't say much here. I just hope he also does the thing where people get ground into drugs.

Almost certainly, given the Lord Purgator's job description. I can't garuantee he's not going to end up as a stereotypical slaaneshi player (you should see the less tasteful entries on the list of possible titles he's trying to decide between- though, noting the ego of the character he's playing, he reckons he'll probably end up going for all of them), but he's determined to have a ship laden with options for producing and employing drugs (which exist in Rogue Trader already). Which sort of ties in to the Lord Ravager, who's....if not exactly "shake well and point at enemy"...going to be less of a functioning individual outside battle than most of the chosen due to a dependence on certain poisons and combat stimms (as a result of being caught on the edge of a Phosphex and Trimethyline-Phthaloxyic-Tertius bombardment which seriously damaged her lungs and internal organs).

9 hours ago, Angel of Death said:

I'm not sure if it just the artwork you have Lord Ravager, but I can see the fall of her based on the layout of her Player.  Sadly, it is the step I fear for my Moritat.

Indeed. Not every angry person falls to Khorne, just like not every libertine falls to Slaanesh, but fighting chaos in a tainted place with rage in your heart, however controlled and pious to begin with, is as @Lynata put it, a slippery slope.

23 hours ago, Jargal said:

Disclaimer: I've never used crusade rules from ToD and today was the second time when I've read them.

Do I understand correctly that you aim to 36 Strategic Turns, which means at least 36 possible Key Events, each of them a separate game session?

Give or take. 6-8 months is about as long as we've normally spent on those campaigns which go well.

I'm happy to potentially run more than one strategic turn a session, depending on how 'big' any key event or turning point is, and I am equally happy to cut the time back if things seem to be going too fast. Whilst I'll have a 'clock' ticking, it's not going to be directly visible to the players and I reserve the right to wind the hands forward or back from behind the curtain if required.... something like Forbidden Lore (Warp) would let the players get an estimate of how long the storm-surge will endure, though.

21 hours ago, Cobramax76 said:

Ive been looking over running a Black Crusade for a member of my current DH/RT group....he wants to run it separate from the rest and actually pits him against the actual DH/RT group...giving a countless score of game sessions.

It's a good system. Very open-ended and most of it works well.

21 hours ago, Cobramax76 said:

Ive looked over the rules for Infamy ( used the same way as RT aquisition tests only with a better numbers trade basically )

The GM's kit has better fleshed out rules for burning infamy for higher-level acquisitions, too. But the two systems are more-or-less intercompatible with the odd 'tweak' to make the scales of purchases match. Crusade assets don't match up to personal purchases (2 infamy - normally a +10 acquisition - and a -10 infamy test gets you a 'host') but in this campaign they're essentially other people's troops and won't be bought mid-game, so they're not competing with the Rogue Trader 'hiring mercenaries' rules or the rules for buying in services in black crusade.

21 hours ago, Cobramax76 said:

As for the Infamy deal....that can fluctuate wildly. I use the table given for infamy gained/lost BUT..in the event of one of those noteworthy events the PC's manage to pull off...in lieu of peers, contacts, etc....you could instead award them an extra 1-2 points of Infamy ( that would be contact(s) spreading the word so to speak...which in essence is the reputation the PC's earned anyway )  Any of the Chaos groups the PC's humiliate or otherwise slight can become enemies...the more they are humiliated...the more they will seek retribution and the farther they will go to get it ( daemon pacts etc..etc.. ) making them potentially dangerous enemies that might play nice to make the kill.

Very much so. That's pretty much what I do - people get XP for basically turning up, but infamy is awarded for achieving stuff; the more awesome and the more allegiance-appropriate the better. Tome of Excess has some more good examples under the badge of 'Glorifying Acts'.

21 hours ago, Cobramax76 said:

As for the Lord Corruptor role....if taken by a Nightlord...he would hold NO sway over the Black Legion because the Black Legion see themselves as THE best chaos marine legion of them all because of their heritage ....added the ONLY Chaos God the Nightlords would be prone to taking would be Khorne as they are all verified psychopaths who enjoy wanton slaughter....thats before they are turned into chaos marines....but it is your game so as always do as you wish and your group finds fun...i know none of my games are ever "according to scripture" afterall..lol  I would say that it should go to a fellow Black Legion member and could see it as a possibility. Death Incarnate....yeah that would appeal to them.

Not strictly true. The Black Legion don't have much respect for anyone outside their ranks, agreed. But I should be clear we're talking about someone who's origin, and (rules) archetype is the Night Lords - whether Terran or Nostraman I'd need to talk to the player and agree. He won't be a current, serving member of the Eighth, either way. The Thousand Son will likely be a Son of the Cyclops (the biggest Tzeenchian faction of the Black Legion) than a thousand son per se, as well.

The Black Legion is emphatically not just the Sons Of Horus in a new Goth colour scheme, though compare the Talon Of Horus/Black Legion novels and the Black Legion Codex Chaos Space Marines supplement; they're a new legion, containing a lot of the former Sons but also countless other warbands and fragments of other legions and recent renegades sworn to Abbadon.

Whilst they have a lot of Sons at their core, they're essentially almost a 'franchise', much like the Red Corsairs - which is why, incidentally, the Red Corsairs and the Black Legion are numerically the two strongest astartes forces in the Eye; they accept other people's cast-offs and renegades. Others may have more veterans and relic wargear than Blackheart's lot, but few can touch either for sheer numbers, and the Black Legion has not only an even larger force but the ancient heritage as well thanks to Abbadon's imprimatur.

Equally, Night Lords shopping themselves out as mercenaries to other legions isn't unheard of. Huron's Corsairs used Eighth Legion sellswords as their point men during their attack on the Marines Errant's gene-repository on Vilamus.

And equally, not all Night Lords are into wanton slaughter. The 'best' or 'true' night lords - the ones who are described as exemplifying the Eighth, like Sevatar (Horus Heresy era) or Talos (40k era) are not just bloodthirsty lunatics. They're something far worse. I'm not saying they're not psychotic (most chaos champions are by one definition or another!), but they're sociopathic as well.

What I mean is, they don't necessarily go "oh goodie, murdering!" - rather they've calmly and rationally (by their standards) decided that the best way to achieve their objective is if the enemy is scared of them, and the best way to ensure people are scared of them is to calmly kidnap, flay then eviscerate their commanding general live on a pict-cast to the entire battlefield. Think a mindset somewhere between The Joker and Frank Castle.

22 hours ago, Cobramax76 said:

With the Black Crusade...the more diabolical and out of the box meticulous...the more infamy gained..hahaha

Very much so. And to a degree each Chosen is in competition with the others to bring in the grandest and most impressive victories.

 

22 hours ago, Cobramax76 said:

PS....I LOVE the idea of a fallen Sister of Battle...If she managed to corrupt an entire Convent worth of the sisters..she would get some serious Infamy for THAT stunt...

The convent she's from isn't there anymore. There will probably be another in the sector, because of the storyline and map, but she's not going to be in a mood to 'corrupt' them on the grounds that if she gets within chainaxe reach of any of her former sisters I really don't anticipate her leaving any survivors.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Sector Background:

The Ilium Sector

Sector%20Map.jpg

Location:

The Ilium sector lies in the Segmentum Obscurus, near its boundary with the Segmentum Solar. It contains the worlds which lie to rimward of the expansive Truva sector and to coreward and trailing of the persistant warp storm known as the Tyrant's Pyre.

Political Structure:

The Ilium sector is nominally a single sector consists of four subsectors (Priam, Antenor, Dolon and Agenor), although in keeping with the nature of the factions involved in its founding, the sector is both religiously conservative and politically fractious, with many wealthy noble dynasties owning holdings on its various worlds.

There is little true central control beyond subsector level. Nominally Lord Priam (Currently Lord-Governor Memnon Caletor) is the Lord Sector, but he is very much the first amongst equals with Lord Dolon, the Archmagos Veneratus of Antenor, and (as a temporary appointment as Governor-Militant in lieu of the Cardinal-Astral of Briseis) the Commander-in-Chief Pandarus, and the unified policies of the four basically amount to maintaining the security of the Ilium expanse against external threats without becoming a political and economic appendage of the bigger, wealthier Truva sector to coreward. The twin hive worlds of Priam and Nestor are the political centre of gravity of the sector, and with the sector Admiralty nominally housed at Hector and so much of the Ecclesiarchy relocated from Briseis settling within the subsector at Lutetia, most of the key branches of the Adeptus Terra, and most of the more powerful noble houses, have their seats of influence here.

The Mechanicum of Antenor have by far the widest outlook beyond the immediate region; supplying the more exotic archeotechnology refurbished on Hephaestus far beyond Ilium or even Truva, whilst lances of the Knights of Chevaliance are to be found sworn to the service of Imperial armies as far afield as garrison worlds of the Astartes Praeses, and the Knight Houses of this world number countless veterans of victorious crusades. The Adeptus Mechanicus are insular and hold the Imperial authorities of Ilium in little esteem, considering the incorporation of their holdfast into a sector eight thousand years their junior as an administrative fiction with little legal weight.

Dolon is dominated by great trading guilds, growing rich on the trade routes of forge-wrought goods between the vast manufactoria of Antenor and the core subsectors of Truva. So long as the trade flows out, and the foodstuffs grown in the rich soils of Xanthus and hunted from the mega-predators of Thersites flow back to feed the Archmagos' workforces, they are one of the most powerful factions of the sector and will use their wealth aggressively to eliminate any threat to their future prosperity.

The Pandarus naval station was, until recently, less prestigious than Battlefleet Ilium's home port in the Hector system. With the destruction of Briseis, however, the system's senior admiral has been recognised as the de facto Lord Subsector, and just as there has been a migration of senior ecclesiarchs to the formerly reclusive shrine world of Lutetia, so have numerous politically ambitious admirals found excuses to transfer their flag to the rapidly-expanding orbital fortresses and dockyards of Pandarus or the warship squadrons stationed there.

 

History:

Pre-Founding

The earliest history of the region relates to the Mechanicum territories of the Antenor Demesne; before it was incorporated as a subsector of Illium at the sector's founding it was an independent Mechanicum holding in the Ilium Expanse. The twin forges of Antenor and Hephaestus and their dependencies have been important assets to the Imperium since records began.

It is believed that these worlds were settled even before the chaos of The Scouring and the greenskin incursions in and around Truva during The War Of The Beast, but there is little conclusive evidence; primarily a repeated stanza in the epic Titanomacht, by the Remembrancer Tacitus (one of the few accounts of the fall of the Cradle Drift Sector around 010.M31) that makes references to enemies who "...fell beneath the blades...and tread of the Knights of Ilium", which House Warwick and their peers on Chevaliance claim implies that their ancestors fought amongst the Quaestoris forces attached to the 215th Expeditionary Fleet during that bloody and ill-fated campaign.

The other worlds of the Ilium expanse between Antenor and Truva were sparsely settled at this time, mostly by ancestors of the reaver clans since driven back into the hidden enclaves inside the fringes of the storm at the time called the Agenor Deeps.

Founding

The Ilium Sector as it is today was born in the aftermath of a War Of Faith launched in M.38 by the Truvian Synod. Frustrated by the raiding of the Ilium clans, and motivated by the great noble and merchant dynasties of the sector to open the trade routes to Antenor through the Dolon Marches, a vast, if ill-organised force was assembled to raise the Aquila over the worlds between Truva and Antenor.

Cardinal-Astral Contarini, the infamous 'Tyrant Cardinal', was the figurehead of the crusade to crush the reaver clans, and effectively (if not legally) its commander. Charismatic, surrounded by wealthy allies, and appealing to those worlds of his diocese which had suffered so much from reaver attacks, he swiftly assembled a huge force. The forces comprising the War of Faith, however, were far from the regimented legions of a 'true' Imperial Crusade; comprised instead an anarchic mix of vast hordes of frateris militia aboard chartist transports, Nobles and Trader-Militants and companies of their household guard, small 'throne-packet' detachments of Truvian Militarum and Battlefleet units pledged to the cause, and the private forces of the small cadre of Inquisitors keeping watch on the Ecclesiarchy's military venture. The most powerful asset at the Tyrant Cardinal's disposal was a full Preceptory of Adepta Sororitas, assigned from the Order of Our Martyred Lady as bodyguards and shock troops to the Truvians' War Of Faith.

Despite a relatively bloody campaign against the savage Ilium reaver clans, the Expanse was eventually pacified, and three subsectors were established centred on the compliant worlds of Priam, Dolon and Agenor.  With the raiders suppressed and trade flowing freely, most of Contarini's noble-born allies deserted the crusade to sieze prime territory in the newly-established sector, leaving only his more fanatical but less reliable troops to hunt down their last remnants of their opponents. The Tyrant Cardinal, however, was still obsessed with pursuing the defeated reaver clans and burning them out of their enclaves in the Deeps, and mustered those forces who would still heed him at Briseis, where a vast complex of shrines and cathedrals celebrating the achievements of the crusade forces and the glory of the God-Emperor were being erected.

The much reduced forces of the War of Faith was clearly insufficient to the task of purging the Deeps. More importantly, with the agreed goal of the War of Faith completed, the Adepta Sororitas stood down from their posts at Contarini's side, despite his demands that they continue to fight with him. The Sororitas instead chose to take the role of an exceptionally powerful garrison to guard the newly-establised shrine world of Briseis, and with the backing of the onlooking Inquisitors, the Tyrant Cardinal could do little to protest.

The Ordo Hereticus had assumed that stripping Cantorini of his elite shock troops would discourage him from what they saw as further unanctioned adventurism without incurring the political fallout of censuring a politically and militarily successful Cardinal-Astral. They were wrong.

The Tyrant Cardinal's hopelessly inadequate forces launched their assault, encouraged - and accompanied by - Cantorini himself, lost to his own obsessive fanaticism and his hatred of the Ilium reavers. Whilst a few garbled reports of ill-planned assaults by armed freighters and frateris militia hordes filtered back to Briseis on half-derelict wrecks, no clear picture of the final fate of the War of Faith was ever established. It was said that the Deeps consumed them utterly, and - over the following centuries - the phrase 'The Tyrant's Pyre' gained common currency to describe the storm.

Recent History

The Tyrant's Pyre has always suffered periodical flares and surges, like any persistant warp storm. In recent decades, however, the turbulence of the storm has begun to increase dramatically. In addition to throwing off lesser storm-fronts which have made shipping throughout the sector increasingly arduous, the increasing ferocity of the storm has also begun to destroy the pockets of stable space deeper in the Tyrant's Pyre - driving the surviving decendants of the Illium reavers out towards the fringes of the storm and instilling a unity in the fractious pirate clans not seen since the days of Cantorini's War of Faith.

Ten years ago, by the reckoning of the histories of the Ilium sector, a outreaching spur of the Tyrant's Pyre reached the Shrine World of Briseis, and with the storm came an invasion fleet; reaver warships and invasion craft in their dozens, delivering host after host of mutants and heretics landing in what seemed like an unending wave onto the planet's surface.

The world's PDF and Sororitas garrisons fought ferociously, cutting down the attackers in their thousands from the defensive strongpoints that formed the outer shrines of the planetary capital, Sacristy, supported by substantial if ill-trained cadres of Frateris Militia. Their enemies, though, seemed endless, and were driven to desperation by the storm at their backs, and it was clear that reinforcements from the Ilium Astra Militarum would be needed to stem the tide. Many of the Battlefleet Ilium ships stationed at Pandarus were detached to escort convoys of troop transports through the storm and the pirate ambushes, and to interdict further reaver invasion fleets. For a little over two years, the battle lines in the system stabilized.

It was the sector's Navis Nobilite that ultimately delivered the world's death sentance. The Novators of the Navigator Houses Da Gama and Zheng delivered the devastating news that the navigators steering the reinforcement convoys had analysed the new configuration of the warp storm, and that the spur which was enveloping Briseis was intensifying exponentially, not dissipating. Soon - certainly within another year - it would completely blot out the Astronomican, and the holiest world of the Ilium sector would be functionally inaccessible.

The planet's defenders could fight enemy armies, but not the inexorable tide of the warp storm. The Ilium Ecclesiarchy accepted - with a great public show of reluctance - that their prized shrine world could not be saved, and instead sought to salvage what they could. Troops and warships were withdrawn, and the various deacons and priests abandoned their cathedral-palaces to safety on the lesser shrine world of Lutetia, on the far side of the sector, taking with them as many of Briseis' sacred texts and relics as could be evacuated.

Most of the Adepta Sororitas were withdrawn along with the reliquaries and the officials of the Ecclesiarchy, but an ad-hoc Commandery remained behind to stiffen the resolve of the Frateris Militia rear-guard. This force was comprised of those whose binding oaths of duty were to guard the shrines and temples of Sacristy themselves, rather the relics or priests within them, and as such could not easily stomach the notion of retreating from Briseis' sacred soil. Still holding the walls of Sacristy against the tide of renegades at the final moments of vox-contact with the last of the evacuation fleets, their fate remains unknown to the rest of the Ilium sector.

The storm continued to intensify, as predicted, and Brieis was completely swallowed, and presumed destroyed utterly by the expansion of the Tyrant's Pyre. Knowing that the Ilium reavers had survived and in far greater strength than previously suspected, the Ilium Admiralty began a substantial programme of overhauling battlefleet ships and upgrading the orbital defences of the Pandarus Dockyards - which now formed the new border with the unknown threats of the Tyrant's Pyre.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

To be fair, if you've never played the board game Battlefleet Gothic, I should probably point out Abbadon's special rule as a fleet commander (he's not as patient or forgiving as Vader):

I see! That looks like a fun rule. :P

I have read quite a bit about BFG's background when I was still soaking up every piece of studio fluff I could come across, but sadly never played it. I do have the Warp Storm book, however, and your description of the sector reminded me of its rules for generating a campaign map.

Quote

Fallen Grey Knights aren't impossible because it physically can't happen (like you can argue with Pariah Sisters of Silence) but because it's one of the relatively-rare-in-the-"there is no canon"-world -of-40k absolute statements made by GW in both in-character novels and out of character codices and sourcebooks; No Grey Knight Has Ever Fallen. They could, in theory, but in ten thousand years it has never ever happened.

Or we've just never been told! ;)

But yes -- I took the blood ritual that people were up in arms about, as well as the description of hexagrammic runes in their armour, as more or less evidence that there has to be a risk -- the GKs are just schooled in forbidden knowledge to better protect themselves.

As a funny detail: 2nd Edition background for the Battle Sisters actually calls them "incorruptible", and the only instances of corrupted Sisters have been various author interpretations in BL novels. But in my opinion, Miriael is just way too cool to pass up on, and as you put it: one should never say never. Especially when the Warp is involved. :D Even with Pariahs, if the d100 Inquisitor rules are anything to go by, they are still linked to the Warp, just to such a miniscule degree that it has almost no effect on them... Almost.

Quote

And, yes. Strike forces aside, Sororitas tend to be a defensive body, stationed on a holy shrine world or pilgrim route, and driven by a faith no less sound than any space marine. Their opportunities to fall are somewhat limited.

I was actually referring more to a high casualty rate, as is briefly mentioned in the 2E codex. The defensive role is largely limited to the various smaller Minor Orders that are sometimes left behind as task-focused detachments of a Major Order, establishing their own convent in the process. Meanwhile, the six Major Orders remain based on Terra and Ophelia VII, but are almost permanently on deployment throughout the Imperium, flying from one warzone to another. This makes them far more mobile than the Space Marine Chapters, most of whom spend 2/3 of the year sitting around in their Fortress-Monastery, assigned to a specific region of space and recuperating from previous losses, as well as training a new generation of Scouts. Of course there are exceptions in the fleet-based Chapters, but all in all, Space Marines are more resilient in combat (even if they require more time to actually replace any losses they do take from time to time).

It might also explain why you almost never get to see or hear from a Minor Order as opposed to the Major Orders hogging the spotlight, though I'm sure this is more of a lucky coincidence rather than designer intent.

Quote

My apologies - yes, Sabbat is the helm pattern (which interestingly probably isn't the original Reign of Blood-era one since it's been standard since M38 and Vandire was two millenia before that), not the armour.

Yeah, I had thought about that, too. It would explain why Celestine's armour looks a bit different, considering it is the one originally worn by Katherine, going back to the founding times. It might even explain why it has an inbuilt Invul save, though this could just as well be an exclusive upgrade restricted to Dominica's inner circle.

On a side note, will you be using RAW wargear for the Ravager? I don't have any personal experience with mixed Human/CSM combatants in BC, but if you're looking to give her more of a leg up in her focus area, I could forward you some stuff I had considered for a SoB-in-Deathwatch fan-supplement.

 

Also, that sector map looks awesome.

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3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Give or take. 6-8 months is about as long as we've normally spent on those campaigns which go well.

I'm happy to potentially run more than one strategic turn a session, depending on how 'big' any key event or turning point is, and I am equally happy to cut the time back if things seem to be going too fast.

So, it will end in something like 15-20K of XP. Since there is no way to predict what targets will be first and what will be the last you better to be ready to scale the challenge level on the run.

 

3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Sector Background:

Nice map. Capture and hold (or destroy!) Antenor Demense - and you can be sure that the Sector will eventually collapse without forge and mining worlds.

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2 hours ago, Lynata said:

I see! That looks like a fun rule. :P

It's less fun if you realise he's probably on the planet killer; and one turn of fire at half firepower is enough to turn most light cruisers and smaller to floating scrap metal. The worst case I've ever seen was Abbadon....expressing his displeasure....at an initially intact Black Legion Styx-class at a BFG tournament (in fairness; a ship with both a Chaos Lord and Chaos Marine Crew was Ld10 so failing the reroll was unlikely, and not getting the launch decks reloaded would have been rather an issue at the time); due to a rather unfortunate series of critical and catastrophic damage rolls, this resulted in a heavy cruiser's warp drive going up in close proximity to three other cruisers and a raider squadron, all of which were either crippled or not there anymore by the end of the turn....

2 hours ago, Lynata said:

But yes -- I took the blood ritual that people were up in arms about, as well as the description of hexagrammic runes in their armour, as more or less evidence that there has to be a risk -- the GKs are just schooled in forbidden knowledge to better protect themselves.

Exactly so. The changeling's assorted schemes are similar; if there was no chance, ever, under any circumstances, he wouldn't bother, but if it's a 0.0000000000000000000001% chance.....it's just a matter of time. Millenia, maybe, but, what's that to a daemon?

2 hours ago, Lynata said:

On a side note, will you be using RAW wargear for the Ravager? I don't have any personal experience with mixed Human/CSM combatants in BC, but if you're looking to give her more of a leg up in her focus area, I could forward you some stuff I had considered for a SoB-in-Deathwatch fan-supplement.

Yes, we'll be using the basic rules. Since it's the most combat-focused human archetype (other than the Frost-Father, which lacks any 'modern-tech' skills and is rather focused around the armoured war dinosaur they come with) is the chem-hunter. Which prompted the question of why the specialisation in combat drugs and the specific unique-to-character drug that's poisonous to everyone else (it's not unimaginable for a human swordswoman holding her ground against astartes, but it deservers a narrative explanation), which led to the toxic-warzone bit of her background.

I'm not totally averse to letting her take equivalent items from Blood Of Martyrs rather than the equivalent Black Crusade items, but I doubt her recognisably sororitas wargear is still going to be in a functional state.

  • Sororitas Power Armour gets autostabilized, a vox link, a rebreather, +5BS, an AP8 heavy chestplate whilst being the same rarity as Black Crusade Light Power Armour, which gets only the first three
  • Godywn-Deaz bolt weapons get reliable - admittedly trading a point of rate of fire for it, but ignoring jamming is a big deal.

Yes, legion weapons have advantages, but the difference between a 'human' and 'legion' chainsword is miniscule compared to the difference between either and a legacy weapon chainsword, which is what she's elected to start with, and given the effects of the stuff she's carrying and her archetype traits, out-statting the space marines is not an issue: A chem-hunter spiking herself with Barrage and two doses of Taste Of Home simultaneously, for example, picks up Frenzy, Unnatural Strength [8] and Unnatural Toughness [8] whilst all three hits last. Granted, after that she's going to collapse and cry/vomit blood for a while, but during that window, with a legacy chainsword in hand she can quite realistically bring a space marine opponent to zero wounds or less in a single strike.

 

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Godywn-Deaz bolt weapons get reliable - admittedly trading a point of rate of fire for it, but ignoring jamming is a big deal.

It's a bit meh if you consider you can just get the same effect from a Quality upgrade, though, at which point that gun is just objectively worse than the no-name standard bolter.

But I wasn't really thinking of BoM -- my main worry was that the 25% power gap between "civilian" and Legion bolters could hamper the character in range combat, so I might've advocated just giving her a Marine gun. That said, she does appear very melee-focused, where Marines being notably stronger would be thematically logical. Plus, your description of the combat drugs sounds frightening. Let me/us know how this actually works out in combat, meaning whether the effect of the drugs lasts long enough, or if the downsides will be too crippling!

23 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

but I doubt her recognisably sororitas wargear is still going to be in a functional state.

Wouldn't that in some way be part of the character's concept, especially given the image you provided?

Not that I couldn't picture an alternate look at all, mind you, but it'd be a bit like playing a CSM without CSM armour. :D

Well, in the end I suppose it should be up to the player, either way.

Edited by Lynata

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16 hours ago, Lynata said:

Wouldn't that in some way be part of the character's concept, especially given the image you provided?

I wasn't suggesting her not having armour, but that she'd get 'standard rules' light power armour (which has a choice of legacies and functioning subsytems) instead of the BoM sororitas stuff where everything works automatically and you get options not normally available to powered armour in the first place.

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Not that I couldn't picture an alternate look at all, mind you, but it'd be a bit like playing a CSM without CSM armour. :D

Agreed. However, that that's a key difference between marines in Deathwatch and Black Crusade. Deathwatch Battle-Brothers get Aquila-pattern Armour with a list of subsystems as long as your bloody arm (9 seperate systems aside from the strength boost and the basic armour value itself) whilst Chaos Marine Heretics get Legion Power Armour and have to pick which handful of those systems still work, and it seems appropriate that she might well have the same issue.

18 hours ago, Jargal said:

And somewhere in The Tyrant's Pyre still can lie some Cantorini relics... If I was one of the PC - I would study this issue very thoroughly

Our second 'local' character, who's using the archetype of Pirate Prince Of The Ragged Helix, might well have the lowdown on such things. The Reaver Enclaves are much more a 'cat's cradle' nest of worlds and stations within the storm which are far harder to map meaningfully (hence why I haven't)  but provide the players with a limited narrative local resource base behind their 'starting point' at what's left of the Briseis system. It might be a useful asset to support more nefarious cult-based plans and/or be suitably satisfying daemon weapon material...

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On 7/28/2018 at 5:12 PM, Magnus Grendel said:

Ten years ago, by the reckoning of the histories of the Ilium sector

For a little over two years, the battle lines in the system stabilized

And what about reavers activity in the past 8 years?

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32 minutes ago, Jargal said:

And what about reavers activity in the past 8 years?

Nothing, really. From the sector's perspective, the odd pirate raider endemic to a sector which might or might not have been connected to the reaver clans, but certainly no large-scale assault along the Briseis warp routes.

There is no 'official position' but the unofficial position of the Pandaran Admiralty is that the clans are busy 'digesting' their new conquest; even a decade isn't long to secure and exploit an entire system (or at least whatever survived of it), and that they'll be seeing them soon - hence the urgency in fortifying the Pandarus System.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Jargal said:

How about Chaos side perspective?

Coming shortly. "What happened after the Imperium betrayed us and ran away" is a big part of our fallen sister's backstory (if you hadn't guessed she was part of a squad of the 'lost commandery'), and "how we finally started to take our homeworlds back after two thousand years" the a big part of Pirate Prince's, and will come with their characters, written jointly with them. We have a facebook group and stuff for them to see will get posted there as it becomes relevant but this thread is a place for me to write stuff so it's there and available to just copy/paste when I want it.

They have been politely warned of the consequences of snooping in this thread for details they wouldn't know in character...

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Coming shortly.

It's just a very obvious step in the beginning of the crusade - to send reavers somewhere to soften enemies defense or to distract them from the real target. Or they are already a part of black crusade forces?

Edited by Jargal

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11 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I wasn't suggesting her not having armour, but that she'd get 'standard rules' light power armour (which has a choice of legacies and functioning subsytems) instead of the BoM sororitas stuff where everything works automatically and you get options not normally available to powered armour in the first place.

Agreed. However, that that's a key difference between marines in Deathwatch and Black Crusade. Deathwatch Battle-Brothers get Aquila-pattern Armour with a list of subsystems as long as your bloody arm (9 seperate systems aside from the strength boost and the basic armour value itself) whilst Chaos Marine Heretics get Legion Power Armour and have to pick which handful of those systems still work, and it seems appropriate that she might well have the same issue.

Oh, I really wasn't really thinking of any mechanical stuff there, just her look. It first sounded as if her appearance would end up completely different from the picture, but from how you describe it now, it's more of a "counts as" kinda deal?

And I certainly agree with the subsystem overkill (especially since you then have to add all the rules for implants, traits, talents, backgrounds and whatnot to it); it's one of the most obvious examples for the overall clunkiness of the product line -- not to mention the arbitrary exclusivity you mentioned. I'm happy to see Wrath & Glory dial this back again.

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Posted (edited)

First character complete...

...Black Crusade is very noticable that whatever character you might have in mind, you can probably create it by adapting an archetype, and by using the 'selected' rather than randomly rolled stats. However, you still have to cope with the Gifts Of The Gods table, which can give a character an unintended life of their own - something which has definitely happened here!

 

Basically

bd89fb2128e77d056d0591a36129a89e--warham

Plus

Gifts.jpg

Equals

latest?cb=20150612112445

 

 

 

[Typing Up, More To Come]

 

 

Catarina

The Skullbearer, Dragon Of The Wastes, The Nightmare Fury, Lord Ravager Of The Black Crusade

Sister

Once a Sister Superior of the Order of Our Martyred Lady, Catarina was selected to enter the Adepta Sororitas on the strength of her sheer tenacity, and the righteous rage which drove her in combat. A competent soldier, she was efficient and pious, if something an indifferent marksman by the elite standards of the Militant Orders, and received elevation to the rank of Elohim, ultimately being placed in command of one of the Battle Squads of the Briseis Commandery.

Far from the Convent Sanctorum of Ophelia VII where she had lived most of her adult life, Sister Superior Catarina found a new home amongst her sisters in the Shrine World's garrison. More than anywhere else in the great cathedral-city of Sacristy, she found peace in the shrine of Saint Jerome, a spartan bastion-reliquary in the walls of Sacristy, whose secluded garden was dedicated to the canonized remains of one of the Tyrant Cardinal's most loyal confessors, and the particular care of whose supposedly healing reliquary was entrusted to her and her squad.

Then the warp storm - and the Reaver Clanfleet - fell upon Briseis.

Soldier

The Defence Of Sacristy was a brutal war, and tested the resolve of every member of Briseis' garrison, Sororitas or PDF. Hundreds of soldiers and thousands of Frateris Militia gave their lives to stem the tides, but the bastion-shrines of Sacristy's walls reaped a terrible toll of the attackers, tens of thousands being slaughtered by bolt rounds in the cross-fires, or else perishing on the chainblades and sarissae of the Sororitas in the few breaches they managed to force. Catarina and her squad had little time to rest and pray, and for the next year they barely left the walls of the Shrine of St Jerome save to meet Frateris helot cadres running the gauntlet of mortar and rocket bombardments to distribute ammunition, food and medical supplies from the great storehouses of Sacristy Primus.

As the dwindling manpower of the Briseis PDF grew thin, Astra Militarum regiments arrived, and many were funnelled to the walls from Sacristy Primus Spaceport. The platoon assigned to Saint Jerome's were a welcome reinforcement; lesser warriors than the Adepta Sororitas, perhaps, uncouth and impious by their standards, certainly, but still disciplined soldiers a cut above the battered Briseis PDF, and copiously equipped with heavy weapons that outranged the Battle Sisters' Godwyn-Deaz boltguns and let the bastion-shrine hammer increasingly feral and blood-maddened Reaver assault waves to pieces before most attackers could even reach the outer walls.

During the two and a half years in which the war was fought in earnest, Catarina faced some of the thickest fighting and earned her rank, and the respect of her peers, many times over. Catena, the Ophelia-Pattern Chainsword she was gifted on her elevation to the Elohim, became almost an icon in its own right as time and again she led charges to repel hordes of twisted mutants and spawn from the breached walls and shattered gates of the bastion-shrine. Refusing to back down, more than once she held gateways and stairwells alone for several minutes before reinforcements could be rushed to flank the attackers, or flickering void-shield barricades could recover and re-ignite.

Throughout the war, whilst the outer walls of the bastion-shrine were lost and retaken several times, not once did the attackers reach the reliquary gardens and the bones of Saint Jerome; Catarina coping with the endless trauma of the war by fixating on protecting the sanctity of the obscure shrine gardens from the unclean forces seeking to defile it with the same uncompromising, single-minded ferocity she would have used had it been Sacristy Primus or the Great Reliquary of the Convent Sanctorum itself. Over time, even the PDF and Militarum would use the bastion-shrine's sally passages and companionways to avoid passing through the inner gardens rather than draw Catarina's anger.

Survivor

Whilst the content of House Zheng's warning to the Briseian Synod had been delivered some three months before, such dire news had been kept a closely guarded secret less the morale of the soldiers guarding Sacristy collapse before the Synod could agree on a course of action. As such, when the decision to withdraw from the sacred soil of the shrine world was announced, it was to be enacted immediately; little explanation, no possibility of objection, and barely any time to process what was happening. Catarina was overwhelmed - first by shock, and swiftly after by anger at what she could not stop herself seeing as the Cardinal-Astral's cowardice in fleeing from the world. In her eyes the Hierarchs of Sacristy were abandoning it to the chaos-twisted subhumans who threw themselves daily into the Sororitas' guns, and to the corrupt heretics of the Reavers who continuously unleashed host after host of mutant beasts upon what she had come to think of not merely as her duty but as her home. To make matters worse, the exposed position of the bastion-shrine meant that the Cardinal's Reliquarists declared Saint Jerome's remains beyond practicable recovery; as a rain of mortars and heavier guns hammered continuously against the position's walls, void shields, and surrounding roads, rendering any hope of reaching it via a cargo transport through kilometres of shattered masonry unrealistic.

Watching the Imperial Guard platoon march away from the bastion was the first great heart-breaking experience of Catarina's life. Guns and supplies stowed, at a stroke three quarters of the bastion-shrine's defenders simply left, taking with them the bulk of her remaining support weapons and most of the surviving Briseis PDF fit to fill in for the casualties they had suffered. The Sororitas, however, remained. Instruction had come that whilst the bulk of the Preceptory would travel with the Ecclesiarchy and the relics of Sacristy Primus, a single Commandery's worth of Sisters would remain, in accordance with their vows, to guard the sacred buildings of Sacristy, to protect those relics which could not be evacuated safely, and to avenge the world's death upon its invaders. The fall of Briseis might be inevitable, but the Enemy's final victory would be a bitter one that came only across the broken bodies of the Adepta Sororitas defenders and vast fields of mutant dead.

The forces protecting Saint Jerome's, paradoxically, briefly seemed to strengthen in the wake of the departure of the last of the Imperial ships. The Adepta Sororitas who remained were driven not just by the duty they had always served but by an edge of bitterness and a rage they could not express without blaspheming, and so channelled into the destruction of their enemies. Equally, understanding dawned amongst the common folk of Briseis that their would be no evacuation of the lesser citizens of the world, and nor would more off-world troops be sent to aid them, and they joined the Frateris Militia not simply in their thousands but in their millions, and hundreds of desperate souls presented themselves at the bastion-shrine, seeking purpose, food, and what illusion of safety could be found.

The Canoness Commander did her best to organise such a fractious, fanatical multitude, but was all but overwhelmed by the task. In addition to inheriting from her Preceptor with little warning overall command of the war, she was simultaneously receiving a flood of ill-disciplined militia determined to fight but with no real idea how to do so, and at the same time seeing that same manpower bleeding from those Administratum and Curia departments the defenders of Briseis had hitherto relied on to keep supplies, water and power moving throughout the city to those who could fight effectively. Starvation resulted at first, and looting, before she was forced to detach two Dominion squads, not as a reserve against invaders, but to provide brutal suppression of Sacristy's own people. The merciless arithmetic of war corrected matters over the next year. Cut off from the rest of the Imperium and alone, the Frateris Militia were thrown into the front line of the war again and again, and nowhere into bloodier engagements than the walls around the bastion-shrine of Saint Jerome. The rag-tag Frateris Milita driven into the firing lines and defence posts by Catarina and her squad learned discipline and battle-craft or they died - most, quickly and very badly, and whilst supplies remained scarce, mouths to feed became just as scarce.

Lacking the protection of the Imperial Navy, Sacristy was now left to rely on its own handful of defence laser silos to fend off the Reaver warships and troop transports that crowded eagerly overhead, and more and more the walls and even  the heart of Sacristy came under orbital gunfire, straining the void shields protecting the fortresses and cathedrals to their limit and leaving little to interdict the mundane shelling raining against the walls from the armies attacking across the increasingly squalid, corpse-choked plains.

The eventual fall of Briseis came perhaps nine months after the departure of the Imperium. By now, writhing tendrils of warpfire coiled through the smoke-shrouded sky every night - not merely in the traditional direction of the Tyrant's Pyre but in every direction that could be seen from the spires of Sacristy. Day and night blurred into one, and the tell-tale signs of the warp bleeding into reality began to emerge - nightmares, mirages, whispered voices in the emptiness, seemingly untainted wounds that would not stop bleeding whatever treatment was applied. Intermittent volleys of macro-shells from raider ships still fell on the city, but now the abused void shields atop the city flickered and distorted with each impact, and the city's own batteries were all but silent in reply; burnt out through over-use and beyond the skill of the few adepts remaining on the world to repair. Many of the bastion-shrines along the walls had fallen, and a tenuous chain of fortified hab-blocks, warehouses and temples within the city held open lines of communication between Sacristy Primus and those, such as Saint Jerome's that still fought. Feral mutants and bestial spawn prowled the streets and the dead lands outside, some directed and corralled by Reaver warbands as cannon fodder, others simply predatory beasts hunting for as-yet-unspoiled meat. Catarina led the five survivors of her squad, and the battle-weary militia, against these monstrosities as they forever tested the bastion-shrine's defences, always seeking to hold, and protect the saint's remains, for one more day.

Time itself was becoming fluid, and no exact date of the collapse of the defences can be determined. Indeed, such was the nature of the warp taint by this time that even within the relatively localised area of Sacristy and its environs, the passage of time was inconsistent between different observers. But in the end, a vast tidal wave of mutants stormed two of the sally gates of Saint Jerome's bastion-shrine, and without grenades, or flamer fuel, the Sororitas had little but sharp steel and fury with which to bar their way. The battle lasted for hours, Catarina and her sisters being steadily pushed back to the heart of the shrine, when a runner carrying an urgent message arrived from Sacristy Primus; the assault on Saint Jerome's, as with other assaults around the cathedral-city's perimeter, was a diversion, as picked Reaver kill-teams had pushed forward under cover of the confusion and were threatening the generatorum below the great cathedral itself.  If it fell, the void shields all across the city would fall with it. The Canoness Commander was ordering every last battle sister under her command to fall back to Sacristy Primus and hold an inner line around the great chapel itself. It was at the moment she heard this that the first of the mutant packs breached the inner cloister, and stormed, for the first time in the war, into the inner reliquary gardens.

Slaughterer

Watching the subhuman brutes making up the mutant spearhead tear at the reliquary itself broke something within Catarina that would never truly heal. The agony of the order to abandon Saint Jerome's was even worse than seeing the Imperium depart Briseis. Then, whatever anyone else might have done, she had remained true. She had held her ground and not fled. Her sisters had left but she had stayed and fought and protected the Saint's bones and done her duty and kept her vows and now this filth defiled the reliquary gardens and the Canoness Commander was ordering her to run away and abandon it and forswear the vows that had been the core of her being for nearly three years of constant war and whatever else happened she would kill every last twisted mutant within the reliquary gardens before she died....

Catena's chainblade screamed even louder than the Elohim herself as she charged into the mutant throng, hacking with the blade and tearing enemies out of her path with the enhanced strength of her armour. Throats and ribcages were crushed underfoot as the ripped her way through them, the momentum of her charge carrying her deep into the heart of the mob and out of sight of her remaining sisters. Two of them tried to follow their Superior, sarissas gutting a dozen mutants before they fell, whilst the remaining three heeded the Commander's desperate plea and made a fighting retreat through the companionways of the fort and struck out swiftly for Sacristy Primus through the shattered streets.

Within the gardens themselves, Catarina was lost to a killing fury, every blow tearing mutant flesh and all but insensible to the blood seeping from dozens of minor wounds to her face and the joints of her armour. She almost died upon finally reaching the steps of the reliquary itself - the sight of the brass-and-silver reliquary torn open and the shattered bones of the saint lying scattered across the mud stopping her in her tracks, with tears of self-loathing at her own failure joining a wordless roar of anger. A crudely made cleaver-blade almost took her head before her reflexes reasserted themselves. She snatched up the skull of the Saint - the only bone intact enough to be recognisable - and, war-blind,  threw herself anew on her attackers, carving a path of devastation through the gardens, the cloisters, and out into the killing fields beyond.

It was as she did so that the battle below Sacristy Primus was finally resolved, and the void shields right across the city failed. The Ilium Reavers had no interest in seizing the city, and instead sought to scour the stain of the Imperium from their ancient world. The bombardment fleet held reserves of ancient and forbidden chem-weapons and rad-munitions; Phosphex and Trimethyline-Phthaloxyic-Tertius, hoarded since before the days of the War of Faith or else bought at vast expense from hereteks and smugglers from far afield, and every last weapon was employed. A storm of radioactive acids and poisoned flame enveloped the heart of Sacristy. Cover meant little and armour meant nothing in the face of that toxic inferno, and as Sacristy burned, the entire Adepta Sororitas Commandery and the handful of militia still fighting with them burned too. Catarina was caught in the edges of the bombardment, and in the shadow of the bastion-shrine, a tidal wave of sickly green fire scorched her armour and shredded and cooked her robes and exposed flesh.

As burning the sanctified ground of Sacristy had removed a barrier holding back the corruption of the warp, witch-fires and warpflame rushed over the surface of Briseis. The soil and rock cracked, and vast chasms in the ground spewed forth flows of lava, blood and molten brass. Dust thrown into the air by the bombardment swept across the surface in howling sandstorms, snarling predatory faces emerging and disappearing at random in the storm-front. Most of the Reaver forces on the surface were killed, whilst the mutant hordes tough enough to survive the blistering, toxic environment fled to hid in whatever shelter they could find.

Catarina should have died that day; burnt, poisoned, and covered in blade-wounds and broken bones. Perhaps the blast shadow of the bastion-shrine sheltered just enough her one last time, or perhaps the skull of Saint Jerome performed one final miracle for its guardian. Given what she became, it seems as likely a darker power intervened, pleased by the slaughter she had wrought within the ruins of Sacristy, or forseeing what greater slaughter she might bring about if she survived. Either way, after a time, a bloodstained figure unfurled from the plain of scorched corpses, shaking its head in incomprehension and pain, and staggered to its feet. It carefully picked up a polished skull around which it had been curled, and protectively clutched it to its chest as a mother might a child. Hunching over to shelter from the raging sandstorm, shivering, it simply began to walk.  

Superstition

Briseis steadily sank into the Tyrant's Pyre, the taint sinking deeper into the world's bones. Today it is all but a true daemon world, where the laws of physics apply only at the sufferance of the Dark Gods, and are subject to change and exemption without notice. It is a ruined world of vast deserts of dust and ash, separating forbidding mountains of shattered stone from whose flanks pour volcanic streams of magma and tainted warp-stuff and whose caves are infested with bestial mutants and predatory spawn. The sandstorms are ever-present, inhabited by vicious, predatory spirits who delight in flensing alive those caught in their rage, and each storm carries the legacies of the fall of Sacristy; fine grains of sand tainted with toxins and radiation, and - in rare cases - grains of unburnt phosphex which can ignite in blooms of acidic flame at the heart of the densest storms.

The Ilium Reaver Clans do maintain holdfasts on the surface - carving their fortresses into the very peaks of the mountain ranges. Work-gangs of slaves harvest rare minerals and other resources from the unforgiving landscape, ever-watchful for attack from packs of mutants. Tribute to the captains of the Clanfleet is sent back into orbit directly from the spires of each fortress, and the same lighters bringing fresh slaves, food and weapons to the surface in return.Travel between the fortresses is almost unheard of; beyond the defences of the fortresses, the mutant packs slaughter anything found in their territories and nothing remotely human survives the storms of the deep desert.

Almost nothing.

Time passes strangely in the Tyrant's Pyre, and decades - perhaps centuries - have passed in the eyes of the Fortress-Masters of the Ruined World since the poisoned sands covered the scorched ruins of Sacristy for the last time. For all those ages, there has been a persistent myth amongst the slave-gangs of Briseis of a being called the Nightmare Fury; a monster in human form that stalks the mountains. Monstrously huge spawn are found by patrols, torn to shreds by a strength and fury that could shame the Astartes, but no bodies are left to give a hint of their attacker. Work-teams set upon by packs of mutants in the night find their assailants routed by an unexpected attack on their flank, and glimpses are seen for a few moments of a blood-stained figure carrying a sword and a polished skull butchering terrified mutants before vanishing once more into the storms where none dare follow.

In some of the stories, the figure shows the discipline and tactics of an accomplished warrior; wielding crudely made guns scavenged from the dead, but worked and cleaned until they function as well as any forge-wrought armament, and using suppressive fire to corral enemies within reach of its sword, or to disperse and confuse packs so their numbers count for nothing. In other tales, the figure is a draconic monstrosity scarcely more human than those on which it preys, and witnesses half-insane with terror report a beast of leathery wings and cracked scales, breathing sheets of flame on its victims and carving through the mutants with frightening ease.

Many Fortress-Masters have, through the years, sent hunting parties from their various fortresses to seek out the Nightmare Fury, but each one has either returned empty-handed or not returned at all. Few even find the spoor of the monster, and it was a common belief that it was nothing but a myth. When the Reaver Clanfleet, with their new-found allies in the legions, began preparing to launch a Black Crusade to retake the rest of Ilium from the Imperium and complete their revenge on the Ecclesiarchy that had driven them from their homes millennia before, that was to change.

 

Alignment: Khorne

Archetype: Chem-Hunter

Pride: Devotion

Disgrace: Wrath

Motivation: Vengeance

Characteristics

WS_____BS_____S_____T_____Ag_____Int_____Per_____WP_____Fel_____Inf_____Wounds_____Corruption

50______40___(6)40___45_____40_____40______40______43______40_____62_________14____________66

_______________+10_________________________________________________________________________________________Power Armour

+10____-20___+10___+10___________-20______________+10_____-20_________________________________________Frenzy

_______________(+6)____(+6)__________________________________________________________________________________Barrage

Skills

  • Parry +20
  • Acrobatics +10, Athletics +10, Awareness +10, Command +10, Operate (Surface) +10, Survival +10
  • Common Lore (Ecclesiarchy, Ilium Sector, Imperial Creed, War), Dodge, Forbidden Lore (Mutants, Archeotech), Intimidate, Linguistics (High Gothic, Low Gothic), Navigation (Surface), Scrutiny, Stealth, Tech-Use, Trade (Armourer)

Talents

  • Ambidextrous
    • Use Both Hands Freely
  • Armour-Monger
    • AP+2 If Armour Maintained For 1 Hour Per Day
  • Battle Rage
    • May Parry When Frenzied
  • Bezerk Charge
    • Extra +10 Bonus When Charging
  • Blademaster
    • Reroll One WS Test Per Turn Without Spending Infamy
  • Cold Hearted
    • Immune To Seduction, +20 To Resist Interaction Checks
  • Crushing Blow
    • Add 1/2 WS Bonus To Melee Damage
  • Flesh Render
    • Roll A Second Extra D10 With Tearing Melee Weapons
  • Frenzy
    • Enter Frenzy As A Full Action
  • Hardy
    • Always Count As Lightly Wounded
  • Hatred (Mutants, Ecclesiarchy)
    • WS+10 Against Hated Foes
  • Jaded
    • Immune To Mundane Fear
  • Killing Strike
    • Spend An Infamy Point To Prevent Evasion Of An All-Out Attack
  • Light Sleeper
    • Test Awareness As If Awake
  • Lightning Attack, Swift Attack
    • May Perform Multiple Attacks
  • Lightning Reflexes
    • Roll An Extra D10 And Pick The Best For Initiative
  • Orthoproxy
    • +20 bonus to resist mind control or interrogation.
  • Peer (Pirates)
    • +10 bonus to all Fellowship Tests when interacting with the Briseis Pirates
  • Pity The Weak
    • (+10 To Command, Intimidate And Deceive, -10 to Charm, Against Lower S or WP)
  • Quick Draw
    • Free Action To Equip Weapon(s)
  • Rapid Reload
    • 1/2 Actions To Reload
  • Resistance (Poisons, Psychic Powers)
  • Street Fighting
    • Adds WS Bonus To Criticals When Unarmed Or Using Knives
  • Sure Strike
    • Reduced Penalty For Called Shots In Melee
  • Takedown
    • Reduced Penalty For Stun Actions In Melee
  • Technical Knock
    • Un-Jam A Gun As A Half Action
  • Unarmed Master, Unarmed Warrior
    • Deadly Natural Weapons
  • Weapon Training (Chain, Las, Primary, SP, Bolt)
    • Use Weapon Types Without Penalty
  • Whirlwind Of Death
    • Deal Additional Magnitude Damage To Hordes Equal to Half WS Bonus

Traits

  • Brutal Charge (4)
    • Add +4 Damage When Charging
  • Daemonic Instability
    • WP Test Or Suffer Additional Wounds If Wounded Without Causing Wounds Or Insanity
  • Fear (4)
    • Cause Fear Tests At WP-30
  • Flyer (8)
    • May Fly, Treating Ag Bonus For Movement As 8
  • Habitual User
    • Increase The Effects Of Drugs
  • Taste Of Home
    • May Create Unique Drug
  • The Quick And The Dead
    • Initiative +2
  • Unnatural Strength (2)
    • Increased Strength Bonus, Gain 1 Bonus Degree Of Success On Strength Tests

Gifts & Rewards

  • Projectile Attack
    • Breath Fire
    • Natural Weapon, Range 10m, S/-/-, 1D10+5E, Pen 3, Spray, Smoke, Flame)
  • Pseudo-Daemonhood
    • Gain Fear (4) And Daemonic Instability
  • The Mark Of Khorne
    • Gain Unnatural Strength (2) And Brutal Charge (4)
  • Winged
    • Gain Flyer (8)
  • Wreathed In Chaos
    • Interaction Tests With Servants Of Chaos +10, Intimidate Tests With Others +10
    • Enemy WS-10 In Melee

 Weapons & Equipment

  • Catena

    • Good Craftmanship, Legacy Weapon, Chainsword

      • Legacy Of Pain, Versatile (Unholy Union , Adaptable, Instinctive)
      • Gain Rapid Reaction, +10 WS & Reroll Evasion In Surprise Rounds
      • Damage +1 If Outnumbered 2:1 or more, WS +10 If Outnumbered 3:1 or more, Enemy WS -10 If Outnumbered 4:1 or more
      • 10% Chance Of Damage Vs Power Field
      • WS+15
      • 1d10+6, Pen 5, Tearing, Balanced, Crippling (1)
  • Sororitas Angel-Pattern Powered Armour
    • Light Power Armour (Chain Loinguard, Sustainable Power Supply, Magnetic Boot Soles, Osmotic Gill Life Sustainer)
      • 7 AP
      • Leg Criticals Reduced By 2
      • No Recharge Required
      • Environmentally Sealed (With Helm)
      • Able To Move At 1/2 Ag Bonus With Mag-Boots
  • The Bloodstained Skull/The Reliquary Of St. Jerome
    • Skull Totem
      • Benefits all followers of Khorne who can see it
      • Charge Move +WP Bonus
      • WS+10 when charging
  • 4 Chem-Injector Bionics
    • 4 Doses Of Barrage
  • Good Craftsmanship Autogun
    • Basic SP Weapon, 100m, S/3/10, 1D10+3I, Pen 0, Clip 30, Reliable
    • 2 Magazines
  • Good Craftsmanship Stub Automatic
    • Pistol SP Weapon, 30m, S/3/-, 1D10+3I, Pen 0, Clip 9, Reliable
    • 2 Magazines
  • Good Craftsmanship Knife
    • Melee Or Thrown, 1D5R, Pen 0, WS+5
  • Medikit
    • Medicae +20
  • Magnoculars
  • Injector
  • Good Craftsmanship Respirator
    • Tests To Resist Airborne Gas & Toxin +20

 

 

Sample attacks:

~ All wargear, Charging, Frenzied, Barrage, vs Horde

WS 50 + 20 (Charging) +10 (Bezerk Charge), +10 (Skull Totem), +15 (Catena) +10 (Frenzy) -10 (Lightning Attack) +30 (Horde)  = 110% chance to hit (Max of +60), additional hits per degree of success (lightning attack), additional hits per 2 degrees of success (horde rules), +3 Magnitude Damage if any hits scored.

~ All wargear, Charging, Frenzied, Barrage, vs non-horde

WS 50 + 20 (Charging) +10 (Bezerk Charge), +10 (Skull Totem), +15 (Catena) +10 (Frenzy) -10 (Lightning Attack) = 105% chance to hit, additional hits per degree of success (lightning attack)

Damage Best 1 of 3D10 (Flesh Render) + 6 (Catena), +4 (Strength), +2 (Unnatural), +1 (Power Armour), +1 (Frenzy), +6 (Barrage), +4 (Brutal Charge), +3 (Crushing Blow) = 1D10+27R, Pen 5

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)
On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 11:27 PM, Lynata said:

Oh, I really wasn't really thinking of any mechanical stuff there, just her look. It first sounded as if her appearance would end up completely different from the picture, but from how you describe it now, it's more of a "counts as" kinda deal?

Exactly so. I still consider it sororitas power armour, the question is merely what rules are being used for it.

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 6:02 PM, Jargal said:

It's just a very obvious step in the beginning of the crusade - to send reavers somewhere to soften enemies defense or to distract them from the real target. Or they are already a part of black crusade forces?

That'll be up to the players. They're in command, after all!

There are pirates in Ilium, because there are always pirates in a region, especially one with a profitable trade route (Truva/Dolon/Antenor) flowing through it, and some of them might well have ties to the Reavers because they're the obvious source for light warships and trained officers in the region that's outside Imperial control. At the moment, there's not substantially more pirate activity than you might anticipate in any frontier sector, though.

Whether they want to make a specific tactical move of dispatching ships to launch commerce-raiding attacks in Dolon and beyond in the hopes of drawing off ships from the Ilium Battlefleet is up to them - and also dependent on how many fleets and cults (which could easily represent a behind-the-lines pirate group) they manage to acquire during the 'crusade assets' stage and how ready they are to risk them. If they ask about pirates, the option will be suggested, and even if they don't, a successful common lore (war) check during the planning stages might result in the option being pointed out.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Well, had a character creation session last night. Still need to finish off the other characters (so it may be a while before they get equivalent entries), but....once again, the Gifts Of The Gods had their inevitable way.

 

  • The Night Lord ended up with Wreathed In Chaos (a cloud of insects, being Nurglesque), raptor, two-weapon wielder and bolter drill. He has sufficient intimidate to do his job as lord corruptor, and has avoided the 'immobile pile of invulnerable faeces' character that a lot Nurgle characters end up with. I mean - he's pretty close to invulnerable, but he's still able to move about reasonably effectively, and plans to get a legion jump pack (to exploit Raptor). However, he primarily intends to be a shooty character, and dual-wield legion combi-bolters with recoil suppression and bolter drill to act as 'crowd control', with second-tier skills in demolitions.
    • Give that he rolled animal hybrid (vermin), is planning on taking a jetpack and dual-wielding ludicrously oversized automatic weapons, I haven't had the heart to tell him what he's basically created is Chaos Space Marine Rocket Racoon. With Daemon-Fleas.
  • The Pirate Prince.....is extremely Slaaneshi. He has a small cadre of minions - two ladies from the Acedian Cloister as his personal henchwomen and a horde of sycophantic minstrels to announce his presence, with good Operate (Voidship), Forbidden Lore (Pirates) and Trade (Voidfarer) meaning he can manage the Black Fleet outside combat effectively as well as just pull stunt manoeuvres when broadside-to-broadside. His mental self-image of Tim Curry's Long John Silver was kind of spoiled by his developing Hermaphroditic characteristics and a Tail, though (admittedly it's better than his unmodified roll of an extra right foot).  He also got probably the two best quotes of the evening:
    • On being told the only Tier 2 Slaaneshi talent left was 'Unremarkable'
      • "Unremarkable? I want to be remarked on by everyone...." (specifically acquires a horde minion of minstrels to prove the point)
    • On being told "your character is weird" when he was outlining his requirements for his ship, the Insatiable
      • "I'm SLAANESHI."
      • "Yes, but you're disturbing even by their standards..."
  • The Thousand Son has somewhat ended up as a kaboomey-mindbullet-thrower again. We may need to tweak that a touch, because whilst I don't plan to dictate how he does combat, I've realised on review he's missing a few skills he needs for doing his job as lord deceiver - Navigate (Warp) being a key one, a better Inquiry/Interrogation/Scrutiny than he has, and a few more Forbidden Lores, since that's the one category of Lore Infused Knowledge doesn't cover. In his case, Face of Tzeench has resulted in him developing a sort of Thoth ibis-beak face. Which fits the thousand sons' pseudo Egyptian theme, I guess, and definitely fits with his plan to dual-wield a heavy and light khopesh as melee weapons, but does kind of limit his options to pass unnoticed and unremarked.

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