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Survival Horror Space Hulk Campaign

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I run a Dark Heresy game that will soon be going into Ascension: and with the fortuitous release of Deathwatch I plan on running the same campaign, switching between the two sets of characters every week.

The set up is as the Inquisitor and Throne Agents are chasing their nemesis and trying to keep him from acquiring some new unnamed Uber-powerful thing. They race to the place where the vessel is to rendezvous: and before heading out the Inquisitor calls on an old acquaintance (Brother Sergeant Agamorr from the Shades of Twilight) and is granted a Kill-team of Deathwatch for his mission. Their ship, the Verdant Glory catches up to their nemesis and a ship-to-ship firefight ensues. The two ships are ripping each other apart as a massive Space Hulk the Ark of Nightmares blinks in and out of the Warp. In the Space Hulk’s wake the two ships are sucked in and fused with its cyclopean bulk.

So they will be stranded their until they either figure out the mystery behind the Ark of Nightmares, escape or call for help, or destroy the bulk of the Hulk. This is to be an open-ended sand box style game where one week we will see the Ascension character trying to piece together what the deal is with the Space Hulk and find a way off, the next week having the Deathwatch holding off the manifold other denizens of the Hulk.

It’ll have a map and almost be like Risk or Settlers of Cataan, each mission in each ship granting control equal to the 10’s place of the group’s renown or influence. The players will have to manage their desire to move forward with their mission with the ever-worsening logistics of sporadic life support, waning food and air supplies, and dwindling ammunition.

Does anyone have any ideas for missions or objectives the Deathwatch can be working toward? I am just brainstorming right now and trying to get at least twenty on paper I can have back-pocket over the course of the story. 


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I suppose the first thing is to determine the denizens of the ship, but I will chuck a few things in as possibilities.


Genestealers. True to the 3-d Boardgame the ship is jam crammed with genestealers. Missions will be to secure locations, and ever advancing to the brood lord. Remember though that genestealers rip terminators a new one, so it will be very very tough.
The inquisition may come across "prisoners" that appear ok, though ofc chucking in a a few 4th gen genestealers posing as the captured.

Orks. On for a great Waaaaagh. They captured the hulk when it entered their system, and wiped everything out. They now are trying to actually pilot the space hulk to a populated system so they can smash stuff up.

Mission parameters can include disabling engines, disabling craft/transport ships, finding th Nob and killing him.

Traitors. A chaos infestation lead by none less the Erebus himself. Seeking the same artefact the Inquistor's Enemey is seeking.  With a force of chaos marines at his disposal and other ghastly ness the Kill team has to systematically hunt down the traitors. Upon learning Erebus is here, a once in a marines lifetime to vanquish the greatest betrayer of the space marines.

Eldar. A troop of Eldar also have been sucked in to the hulk, and are fighting tooth an nail against the main ship enemy.  The KT can of course join up with them, or kill them as Xenos filth that they are.

Also as the enemy ship has crashed in as well, it may be that the 2 forces join up to fight to escape or they can be a further opponent in the mix.

It is possible to mix the Traitors with the orks and maybe even genestealers, to give varying missions.  It is also possible that these forces are currently fighting each other, particularly the Orks and Genestealers.  Imagine the disgrace of the marines to be rescued by Orks from some genestealers.

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Maybe could it be interresting to choose if some place of the Hulk are still protect by gellar fields, where are they in contact and where your players need to walk in an unprotected aera of the hulk. That can be interresting if you make the hulk appears and disappeasr into the warp from times to times.

It could give you lot ideas for adventure plots when they get stuck in a part of the hulk enable to get back to their ship, and needing to survive until the next time the Space Hulk decide to move back in real space.

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I've actually had the same idea since they announced Deathwatch and I've been working on a Space Hulk based campaign for a while now.

My idea begins with an Eldar siege on a Mechanicum forge station. The players are tasked with boarding the Eldar cruiser and taking out the commander....Farseer, warlock...what have you.  It quickly degenerates into a total loss as the whole mess it tossed through a warp gate, which leaves the players in a broken and dying vessel, with little choice but to board the space hulk which floats adrift.

I thought about having the Killteam bring along their own chapter serfs to the Deathwatch with them, not just any old serf, one who has spent much of the Marines time with him as his personal serf. These are some of the best of the best the chapter has to offer. I find it only fitting.  With their serfs along, fragile and easily broken, it gives the players someone to connect to from their chapter, but also something they want to hold on to because after so much time, their serf is more than just a guy who polishes their armor. It will probably take a little time to build up the relationship at the start of the game, so I wanted to make sure to keep the serfs out of direct harm for abit.

Also, take away from of the Space Marines survivability.  Damage their armor, take away that extended period of time where the marine is safe and sustained inside his suit.  This also gives them an objective, finding a place on the space hulk where they can safely repair their armor.

As simple as it sounds, darkness is a great way to build suspense. My players and I did a dungeon once where the DM put us in a castle that was completely cut off from the light. Inside we found torches that burned for only so long, and we had to keep moving and finding new torches as we made our way through the castle.  The darkness was certain death, and can easily be a dangerous foe on a space hulk. The nice part being is that you can attribute the failure of the marines auspex and preysight to the radical nature of the warp and what its done to the hulk.

as The Bigjul said, give them safe zones,  but also...take those safe zones away, slowly at first but violently if they linger. First off, it keeps them moving, and secondly, it takes away the feeling of saftey.

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Here are a couple of thoughts for objectives:

  1. Eldar webway portal:  Finding a webway portal would be a piece xenotech that any inquisitor worth is salt would pursue.  A ultra-Puritan inquisitor would want to find a way to use it to destabalize the Webway and then destroy it, while more moderate and radical inquisitors may want to study and learn to use it to find the Black Library. 
  2. STC:  Somewhere onboard the space hulk are located vast archeotech cogitators and an undamaged STC.  Securing these would be a coup for the Imperium and the Techpriest of Mars. 
  3. Wraithgate holding a dying Farseer.  Chaos has been denied by the Il-Kaithe craftworld for too long and have set the seeds of a future Ork WAAAAGH in motion that has the potential to eclipse even Gazhgkull Mag Uruk Thraka's perpetual war on Armageddon.  The Space Hulk's final destination is the Warp Gate that would jump it into Segmentum Obscurus and on toward Il-Kaithe and the heart of the Imperium.  The farseer's prediction is vague, and the inquisitor and marines must attempt to eliminate the orks on the Space Hulk to prevent one of them from becoming the leader of the WAAAAAGH.
  4. In the depths of the Space Hulk exists a Tyranid geneowomb for Hive Fleet Dagon.  Finding it, and securing biospoor samples would go a long way to creating genoweapons that will save planets along the Orpheus Salient of the Jericho reach.  Between the Inquisitor's ship and the genowomb are innumerable hordes and the remnants of a bio-hive to overcome. 
  5. The Inquisitor's ship detects a faint signal from the other side of the Space Hulk that are similar to the sine-wave vox coms of the Tau Fire Caste.  Lingua-savants have decoded enough to reveal that there is a Tau Ethereal and a Fire Warrior detatchment trapped on the Hulk.  Eliminating the Fire Warriors and capturing the Ethereal is paramount to learning their methods of control over the Caste structure of the Tau.
  6. Sensors show a null-space near the center of the Hulk.  Searching the area reveals a miniature version of the Jericho Reach Warp Gate.  Teams that are bold enough to send servo-skull probes through and investigate discover an inhabitable planet.  The only question is where is it and who is there already?  The answer:  On the southern edges of Segmentum Ultima and Necrons.

On second thought, never mind.  All of these ideas are mine and you can't use 'em.

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