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Mystrunner

My Players Are Attempting a Suicide Mission -or- How To Commit Exterminatus With Only Six Men

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 So. Yes. Well, I'm running Rogue Trader, and as an ex-GM of the swashbucklingly awesome 7th Sea game, I tend to go with a far less lethal, more "you're the goddamn heroes, so act like it" over-the-top style of game. If my players want to do something that makes sense, I roll with it, even if I never saw it coming or it derails the plot. My players are aware of that, and generally things work out great. However, I've hit a snag.


The players have managed to find the wreck of a battlecruiser, with a Rome-sized city-state built on top of it. There's another city-state on the other end of the continent, and managed to end a nearly millennium-long war via some rational arguments, and by leveling a range of mountains as a sort of "just making a point" thing. The next problem in their way is an "infestation" of mutants that live in the deep catacombs within the world, who are likely led by a Greater Daemon. My players are thinking that they should personally go into the tunnels and try and seal them. The problem is... these tunnels cross the whole **** planet, and while the mutants aren't that tough, there are a lot of them. Enough to pose a significant risk to not just the players, but eventually the folks living on the world, when they eventually surge forth a-la LoTR.


So... I'm trying to figure out alternatives to the players' current plan. Any suggestions?

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mass vaccination for the human populace, and use servoskulls and servitors to spread a tailored virus through the caves. Or continue to pound the limestone country flat, the cave-ins will do most of your job for you.

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Find penal colony, hire penal legion tell penal legion that if they are able to cross and clean the maze you will let them free... When they are done activate the bomb collars.

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 I like the penal colony idea, but that raises a question; how much known human settlement is there in the Expanse? I always got the impression it's relatively lawless and unexplored, and for the most part, the players are out solo until they get close to the Maw.

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Active Imperial rulling facility, the last frontier is indeed Port Wander, beyong that the lawlessness is still somewhat of a overstatement a bit.

While The Imperium as no "right" to police the actions of Rogue trader beyond establish sectors, it's the Rogue Trader's job to turn an Expense into a sector. So in the Koronuss Expense, there are plenty of colonized worlds:

Old colonies

1 - Dark Age technologies era colonies (humans used to own the galaxy with super high tech stuff)

2 - Fall Era exodus and exiled. (the fall created many holes and a few slipped past the Imperium defences.

3 - Penal Colonies, a RT passes by and drops is unwanted crew...

 

Now

4 - the lower section of the Expense is know to be stripped bare of resources bu other RT, those wolrd shoudl be heavily colonized and witrh pretty good infrastrutures (you shoudl have a few cadavers colonie thorwn in there tho)...

5 - Ship lost to the warp crashes on a  planet in the Expense, century after they are rejoicing at seeing a return of the Imperium... an hold local legend...

From the books Naduesh, the scrap yard and many more world have local human populations...

In one of the premade they hint at a battle group that is gathering near Foot Fall or Port Wander that with a secret mandate (they are gettign ready to stop a Waaghhhh!) this means they probably started to look for a few "barrack worlds' and a few "Fortress Worlds". With those come penal legion and penal colonies as any good Imperial Army will generate tons of penal "legion" fromt he failed regiment or those annoying soldier or those that juste happened to have been at the worng place at the wrong time...

Penal Legion doesn't mean they actualy did any crime... an Eclesiarch could declare an entire native human population "criminal by creed" and turn them all to a penal legion and then have is fanatical followers take over the pre-built colony.

This could even be a nice adventure as your player realise they have not a penal legion but a slave legion with kill swtich, they may want to avene them or even free their world and bring the Eclisiarch to justice...

The Strixxy are also a potential source of cloned forces, with various degree of manipulation. The Strixxy are a pretty cool race to use too, I makke them totaly alien. Those aborted dog foetus allways begin a sentence with Strixxy/Trade/kill/Yessss/want//take/give/shiny/beautifully/mine and/or

like:"Strixxy trade, killed human stuff to trade. Trade? Strixxy!... Trade Xeno?? Striixy? Want shiny, give!!! Trade?"

Then I let my player answer, they are usually pretty unsure of what they are buying and what they are offering....

 

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Other RT, for a price anything can be bought.

There is also the RT fleets based like the Legacy novel from Black Library. This fleet based Rogue Trader familly descending from nothign else then a big "I" signed warrant, they are so old they have 10-20 ships forming a moving world.  They probably have enough resources to trade with a RT (even very skilled ship crew) in exchange for secrety and a fewe trip to Port Wander for them (since they can;t go back to Imperium without having a crusade of sororitas trying to claim their big I signe d Warrant...)

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It sounds, my friend, like what you need is a good dramatic monologue. Say we're dealing with a Nurgle tainted set of mutants. Have the PCs charge into the caverns and have a horde of muties approach. One of them seems to be larger than the rest and has seven big mutants surrounding him, carrying various censers, banners nade from tattered cloth, and trophies from the various internecine wars that tear through the mutants. This guy doesn't just roar and charge, he announces himself in a boastful style, along the lines of:

 

 "Who comes to defile the holy kin-cave of Heculari? Do these strangers know what they have found? I am Heculari, and these [he says gesturing to the large mutants surrounding him] are my seventh. They have brought their sevenths. Forty-nine sacred warriors of the Grandfather! You defile our kin-cave with your presence. Step one foot forwards and I shall call upon Gerrak, who counts me amongst his seventh, and he shall bring forth his holy bethren. Step another foot, and Gerrak shall call upon Felka, who counts Gerrak amongst his seventh. Who can call upon Terrath, who can call upon J'Thoth, who can call upon Arah Heth, the harvester of spines. Should you take place your foot seven time more upon out sacred filth, Arah Heth shall call upon his master, the Swarm of Arroja, He Whose Name Is Decay, The Prince of Maggots, The Great Unclean One, who supped at the weeping cup of Grandfathers breast, who shall grant unto you the gift of rot and blackened bones! Begone, foul ones!"

 

 Then let the explorator crunch the exponential numbers of mutants discused and let those with high perception start hearing the feet of many, many more mutants begining to advance upon them... How fast CAN your group run?

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professor_kylan said:

 "Who comes to defile the holy kin-cave of Heculari? Do these strangers know what they have found? I am Heculari, and these [he says gesturing to the large mutants surrounding him] are my seventh. They have brought their sevenths. Forty-nine sacred warriors of the Grandfather! You defile our kin-cave with your presence. Step one foot forwards and I shall call upon Gerrak, who counts me amongst his seventh, and he shall bring forth his holy bethren. Step another foot, and Gerrak shall call upon Felka, who counts Gerrak amongst his seventh. Who can call upon Terrath, who can call upon J'Thoth, who can call upon Arah Heth, the harvester of spines. Should you take place your foot seven time more upon out sacred filth, Arah Heth shall call upon his master, the Swarm of Arroja, He Whose Name Is Decay, The Prince of Maggots, The Great Unclean One, who supped at the weeping cup of Grandfathers breast, who shall grant unto you the gift of rot and blackened bones! Begone, foul ones!"

 

 

This sounds great, except for the end. Foul ones? I think you mean "Begone, clean ones!"

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Yeah, that was teh second mistake of that piece. The first, and greatest mistake, was not using the phrase, "Unholy stench of cleanliness!" and for that I apologise without reservation.

 

Although, you know, change it up to suit whatever power. Nurgle is usually just the most fun though. Don'tforget - players fear nothing as much as they fear disease.

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Mystrunner said:

 As an update, my players have decided to see if they can assassinate the leader of said "Rome" and take over his armies... so, this pleases me. Thanks for all the suggestions, guys!

If the players get themselves in charge of the city and the armies and the mutants decide to surge....I suggest you review the 'Gears of War' game series for inspiration about what comes next :D

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