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Dangerbutton

Mid-Level Enemies

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I'll be starting a game soon in which the players are beginning at Rank 4.

I'm having a hard time figuring out just how powerful the enemies should be. Any examples from the books of appropriate enemies?

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My group, currently working through Lure of the Expanse, are at Rank 4 now, having worked up from Rank 1. I am also finding it difficult to generate balanced encounters that are challenging but survivable. A lot will come down to the level of equipment the PCs are toting. Lightly armoured mooks packing lasguns, shotguns or autoguns will have minimal impact on power-armoured or Carapace-armoured explorers, unless you consider using the horde rules from Deathwatch.

A challenging opponent needs a high toughness (PCs always have good penetration attacks to negate alot of armour), at least 1 of it's attacks should have a decent penetration and its'  attack roll should be at least 40-45, allowing for dodges and parries from the PCs this will probably mean 1 attack out of 4 or 5 will connect. If the enemy doesn't hit particularly hard, you might even want a higher hit chance.

As an example, my group have light power armour, stormbolters or equivalent weapons. Their ship experienced a minor warp incursion recently... a Lady of the Void plus a guardian Daemon Beast (used the Hound of Khorne template). One of my four PCs fled due to the fear effect immediately, but the other 3 were able to kill both Daemons in 2 turns, without suffering any injuries at all.

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Hi,

Knight already got it right. At least, as far I can base things on my DH-experience.

What I normally do to keep myself flexible is to design combat encounters where it would be reasonable that "Reinforcments" show up in the mids of the battle. 

With this "fail safe" I am able to make some more bad guys appear if the pc will clearly wipe the floor with (are unbothered by) my "first line". This "second wave" will have nearly the same stats as the first wave... but some of them have better equipment.

If Laserweapons and SP did not work; I send guys with HE or at least Manstopper ammonition.
If this was not helpful, it is time to come with some bolters or have some of the guys have other special weapons with enough PEN to deal with the
Armour of the pc.

If it would be unbelieveable for the second wave to have much better equipment, I only add one "leader/boss" with better equipment. "one always goes".

Otherwise, a lot can be changed with talents. Reasonable fighters always have access to "Crushing Blow / Might Shot" (adding +2 to damage). 

Adding some special enemies always helps. Large Mutants / Armed Ogryns work wonders to save the day, the same is true to snipers with this PEN:4 / Tearing energy cells in their LongLas.

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I have been thinking about the same "problem". 

Light powerarmour + stormbolter + heavy bolter... They do show how dangerous and scary the bolt-shell is. 

So, to counter the armour: Hellgun. Its relatively unproblematic to get hold of, it can even be of poor condition, the thing is that the penetration is high and damage is enough to make it sting. Some of the goons will probably get to semi-burst in their faces.

I was also thinking that in most roleplaying games the most dangerous enemy is something similar to yourself. In Rogue Trader that means other rich groups/cartels/dynasties/nobles/captains etc. People that are rich enough to have their own starship and have much tech, can call upon favours and field a little army. These guys have plausible cause to buy hellguns and carapace armour for a few units of personal soldiers. They might also have Gun-Cutters or other nasty vehicles to defend themselves! 

Rak'Gol and Orks have high tougness, which makes them relatively hard opponents. Especially in large numbers :P 

Sorcery, snipers and crazy beasts can also be fun. I made a beast that is Untouchable, it freaked out the Astropath :D

Since I also have a few Codices for the 40k strategy game, I was inspired by the Codex: Eye of Terror. Its listing typical equipment for normal troops and more elite troops, ideas for big mutants, ideas for Eldar etc. Much fun.

Of course, the worst opponent is someone they can't kill. High-ranking individuals within the Imperium, Inquisitors etc. The Inquisition doesn't show up to TPK, but to check upon the RT and the crew, maybe interrogate and torture a few, then move on. Maybe execute a few, depending on their corruption. I had the Inquisition take everything remotely xenos-looking from the RT and confiscated it.

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Thank you very much for the input.

At least in the first session, my PC's will be facing some of Karrad Vall's goons. I think I'll keep most of them relatively easy, but throw in some good gear on a few of them. In addition, I might be pitting them against a Blade-Thing or two.

I generally try to have the challenges the PC's must overcome be more than just a hard fight. I like more roleplaying and less dice-rolling. However, there are a few in my group that seem a little annoyed when their very combat-oriented character doesn't get his chance to shine, so I'm trying to establish a good fight.

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 Some people have mentioned snipers already, but I have to add a few remarks on them. Remember that in order to engage a target, our heroes must actually know where it is. If our NPC snipers are using camo and have silencers, they will probably get the drop on the PCs. For that surprise round, the PCs won't even get to dodge! Such is surprise. Not only that, but the snipers can make concealment tests as a half action to keep shooting without ever giving away their position (though the PCs get a +20 awareness to counter this).

A good sniper weapon will also out-range those bolt weapons, making combat more of a challenge. Facing such a group of foes, whether they are supporting a larger enemy force or alone, is a bit more of a puzzle. Trying to figure out how to flank them and advance through cover is a far better idea than just getting in a shoot out, and will force some tactical thinking.

And hey, if you want to pump them up a bit make some of them psykers with Divine Shot demonio.gif.

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Dangerbutton said:

Thank you very much for the input.

At least in the first session, my PC's will be facing some of Karrad Vall's goons. I think I'll keep most of them relatively easy, but throw in some good gear on a few of them. In addition, I might be pitting them against a Blade-Thing or two.

I generally try to have the challenges the PC's must overcome be more than just a hard fight. I like more roleplaying and less dice-rolling. However, there are a few in my group that seem a little annoyed when their very combat-oriented character doesn't get his chance to shine, so I'm trying to establish a good fight.



Ah! One of the..........upcoming adventures? I did not notice that it was already on sale. Thsi Karrad Vall IS the one from "Citadel of Skull", isn´t it?
Anways, good question! Can you tell a little more about what make up his retinue?

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Svarte Hanske said:

Of course, the worst opponent is someone they can't kill. High-ranking individuals within the Imperium, Inquisitors etc. The Inquisition doesn't show up to TPK, but to check upon the RT and the crew, maybe interrogate and torture a few, then move on. Maybe execute a few, depending on their corruption. I had the Inquisition take everything remotely xenos-looking from the RT and confiscated it.

This type of worst opponent is really a double edged sword.

Letting him show up, alot of players will be simply frustrated, because quite honestly, everybody including the actual character would. The phrase "cant touch" is really important here.

Couple that with the "stealing" of all things xenos, it can quickly turn into a GM-fiat scene, where no one is happy. At least have a trigger that preluded the attention of the Inquisitor. Warptech is enough to be a trigger, but if the Explorers carry Eldar powerswords and Tau pulse rifles for style, you will only take away their fun for little benefit. Or the PCs do something really dumb to attract the attention of said Inquisitor, that also counts.

Just pointing it out, because i had it happen once to me. Was so steamed at this, that i couldnt enjoy the rest of the adventure.

Never let it look like you (as a GM) let someone appear out of thin air, to take away their stuff, while they cant do anything about it. IF unprovoked, if it was a gamble, (do we get away with it?) then its all fair and game.

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Svarte Hanske said:

Of course, the worst opponent is someone they can't kill. High-ranking individuals within the Imperium, Inquisitors etc. The Inquisition doesn't show up to TPK, but to check upon the RT and the crew, maybe interrogate and torture a few, then move on. Maybe execute a few, depending on their corruption. I had the Inquisition take everything remotely xenos-looking from the RT and confiscated it.

 

I'm reminded of Diary of a Space Marine .

 

Day 27

The Inquisition turned up today for a supposedly random check. We had 4 of these last year. Think they may be trying to declare us excommunicate traitor for not following the Codex Astrates.

Inquisitor is a pillock. Arrogant, pompous, foolish and a total knobhead. Henchmen think they are untouchable.

They have demanded to see the surgery and the gene-seed storage vats. It was a struggle to get the Apocrathy's to open the door. It takes nearly 50 years to grow a new Gene-seed. Reluctant to let anyone near then as I am sure you can understand.

Day 28

Now they are searching through the hall of records and the great library. The public one and the private one.

He has declared Brother Sinost Baal of the fourth company sniper's of being a heretic just for his infamous Golden Toilet joke. Trial begins at sundown tomorrow.

Poor Brother Sinost was carted away to the lodgings of the Big-I. Chapter Master Sternist was livid.

All are being questioned by the henchmen. Fights have broken out at their bitchy attitude.

Day 30

Brother Simonium Fisk the first company Tech-marine suffered the same fate as brother Sinost Baal for the 'crime' of techno-heresy. Have bad feeling about today's trial.

For dinner was beef. Real beef, not the protein synthesised crud. And some sort of poisonous seaweed. The Big-I demanded to sit at the Head Table. Very hard as we don't have a head table. We all threw beef bones at him and his cronies.

After dinner the squad went to the sparing room to practice fighting with power claws. Got beaten repeatedly by my fellow scouts. Don't care that we don't age, I still sometimes feel old.

Trial declared the two Marines guilty and sentenced to execution. Immediately. Just as the standard issue execution rifle was brought forth to the Inquisitor the Chapter Master spoke up. Can't remember exactly what he said but it went something like this:

"Don't you dare touch my lads Inquisitor."

"You wouldn't dare commit the ultimate heresy by trying to stop me."

"There's something you should know 'Inquisitor', we here look after our own. And I know these two. They may be unorthodox and prone to excessive bouts of inappropriate humour, but they are good men of the Imperium and if you so much as look at them threateningly again you will die."

"You would not dare and strike a servant of His highest order."

It was about this time that the Chapter Master broke the Inquisitors right arm.

"You are a long way from sympathetic ears 'Inquisitor', and if you do not leave now things will go very bad for you."

"Men Attack!" possibly the last thing you should shout in a room full of Adepts of the Astrates.

We buried the inquisitor and his henchmen in the orchard. We will say that he never arrived. The warp can be very treacherous at times.

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 Cute! :)

There is a very good reason the Inquisitor showed up. In case my players pop in here, I will not write it down in detail. Lets just say that someone that are annoyed on the players also are very rich and also have a vast influential network (gee, who could that be? Ever-growing list of snubbed people!). The Witch-Hunter came to check for chaos activity, and since the players and their ship was at the location, he wanted to inspect them. Coincidence? ;)

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