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Samuel Richard

Rakghouls and the one hit KO problem

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So after promising for my players to do a horror adventure for the past year I've finally gotten around to actually to writing and prepping for it. I'm combining both of my local groups to play this while intertwining plot threads from both campaigns. Both groups share a BBEG and often run into each other.

The plot of this thriller starts with one of the PC's receiving a tip from an old friend where a one night stand turned ISB agent foe is currently infiltrating. This ISB agent is currently within a group (multiple ships)of pirates as they meet to decide whos in charge after the previous guy died (BBEG fault). While the agent isn't BBEG this could give them a lead on the BBEG. The party will be tasked with infiltrating/Assaulting the meeting to interrogate this agent where they will be lured aboard the main pirate capital ship (homebrew design). 

It will take off while they will undoubtedly tear through pirates. when in, hyperspace when it is wrenched out of hyperspace because the hyperdrive has been destroyed, the lights go out, and the sounds of screaming and blaster shots will echo throughout the ship. The ISB agent has been instructed to plant bombs in engineering and engine section and been told that after their detonation, reinforcements will capture the disabled craft. However the diabolical BBEG was really using this opportunity to test a variant of a deadly poison gas that who ever inhales it will turn into ravenous mindless Rakghoul.

Basically the plot consist of the team (maybe) teaming up with pirates to repair the communications suit and hyperdrive of the vessel and the back of the ship. They will have to carve through a ship full of Rakghouls (with all sorts of unique variants) to get to it though, in the dark.

My question is that while I want to have some threat of going down from one of the guys mean infection, I dont want a one hit KO sorry role another character moment. I want some parts of the ship more difficult to progress in due to lingering gas and a limited hand held air supply for gas masks, but I dont want a bunch of threat to knock off that mask and kill another character due to the gas. Any advice on how to ramp up the threat but keep the unfairness (gameplay wise) of a Rakghoul outbreak out of the game.

Im homebrewing a lot of the element of a rakghoul btw. And yes I know that I'm ripping off dead in the water.

Edited by Samuel Richard

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Tone it down and think of how radiation actually kills instead of how movies make you think it does. Adapt that concept to your rakghoul plague.

Radiation isn't a exposed or not kinda thing (spoiler: you're being exposed to radiation right now, it's a naturally occurring thing) with radiation it matters what kind, how much, and how long. This makes sense as a biological weapon, while effective, also needs an element of control so you don't accidentally kill yourself too.

So let's make the rakghoul plague of yours more like that. Simple exposure isn't going to do much, but the longer you wait, the worse it gets.

 

So for gas exposure: each encounter you are exposed you make a resilience check. Starts with Simple (-), and increases by 1 each additional encounter you are exposed.

Each time you fail it upgrades the next time. Every time you take a Crit from a Rakghoul, it upgrades the next time. 

Now.. here's where the magic happens.

Every time you roll a Despair, you get an infection token. After someone has a certain number of tokens (let's say 5) you flip a d-point instead (once per encounter, whole party, not per customer). When the players run out of D-points, Only then does the guy with 5 tokens "die"

 

This way as the GM you can manage things pretty easily, it's highly unlikely a player will roll lots of failures, and 5 despairs, AND be 100% out of D-points over the course of the adventure.

 

Don't tell the players how it works though, and each time they roll they'll be puckered up, afraid this is the roll that turns them into a shrieking monster.

Edited by Ghostofman

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On 11/16/2018 at 6:15 PM, Ghostofman said:

So for gas exposure: each encounter you are exposed you make a resilience check. Starts with Simple (-), and increases by 1 each additional encounter you are exposed.

Each time you fail it upgrades the next time. Every time you take a Crit from a Rakghoul, it upgrades the next time. 

Now.. here's where the magic happens.

Every time you roll a Despair, you get an infection token. After someone has a certain number of tokens (let's say 5) you flip a d-point instead (once per encounter, whole party, not per customer). When the players run out of D-points, Only then does the guy with 5 tokens "die"

Ok, going to steal this idea.😈 Should give my group a challenge in an upcoming session.

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13 minutes ago, Ehrran said:

Ok, going to steal this idea.😈 Should give my group a challenge in an upcoming session.

Just remember, even a simple check can be failed. That's why I suggested the whole chain of options. The idea isn't to infect the players and kill them, the idea is to always have the players THINK the next failure, or despair, or whatever is going to infect and kill them.

Remember, a GM is like a movie director. He's not out to kill the hero, he's out to make everyone think the hero is going to die.

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