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Darkmittens

How do I stop players from killing my NPC's??

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so, in my campaings, my party started out as a group of regular for the emporer kinds, with one of them having some minor heresies to his name, then that character left the campaign (he wanted to play a different class) and suddenly the power gamer decided to go radical so he could specifically ride a beast, then he launched a revolution that awed the other players so that they want to create thier own plot moments, which many of them already have, and just want another one..ah and he made a deamon pact so he is really hard to kill

Now on their space ship they have had numerous NPC characters, like the ships navigator, and other characters to help out the players.

and after the rebellion the powergamer has begun to kill of the characters he feels are dissenting (ie. anyone that doesn't give him all thier good equipment and money) and the party supports him. he has fired ship guns onto the planet of malfi, and has generally caused havok among all.

Now the issue is that i don't want him killing off NPC's and i don't want them to just crumble to his demands for power (every action he has done was in the name of his own out of game goals, and he expects me to give them to him)

I am in a rather tight spot here, as the other players are beggining to become just as corrupt with one character telling me that he wants to kill the navigator because he wants his own plot moment, no  other rationale, unfortuantly the party wants to become radical, and although i have let them, all decisions have crumbeled into power gaming, and i fear for the game...

 

can someone offer me a way out?? and i don't want to kill my players. which means that the NPC's don't pose much of a threat to my players...

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Darkmittens said:

so, in my campaings, my party started out as a group of regular for the emporer kinds, with one of them having some minor heresies to his name, then that character left the campaign (he wanted to play a different class) and suddenly the power gamer decided to go radical so he could specifically ride a beast, then he launched a revolution that awed the other players so that they want to create thier own plot moments, which many of them already have, and just want another one..ah and he made a deamon pact so he is really hard to kill

Now on their space ship they have had numerous NPC characters, like the ships navigator, and other characters to help out the players.

and after the rebellion the powergamer has begun to kill of the characters he feels are dissenting (ie. anyone that doesn't give him all thier good equipment and money) and the party supports him. he has fired ship guns onto the planet of malfi, and has generally caused havok among all.

Now the issue is that i don't want him killing off NPC's and i don't want them to just crumble to his demands for power (every action he has done was in the name of his own out of game goals, and he expects me to give them to him)

I am in a rather tight spot here, as the other players are beggining to become just as corrupt with one character telling me that he wants to kill the navigator because he wants his own plot moment, no  other rationale, unfortuantly the party wants to become radical, and although i have let them, all decisions have crumbeled into power gaming, and i fear for the game...

 

can someone offer me a way out?? and i don't want to kill my players. which means that the NPC's don't pose much of a threat to my players...

If they bombarded Malfi they should all be dead.

Other than that, look the player straight in eye and say "Was spoiling all my preparation and being a selfish brat fun for you?  Because you need to understand that it wasn't for me, and if I'm not having fun too, then why should I bother?"

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 You said you didn't want to kill them. But that's exactly what you should do. Just let them know that you are portraying the setting and that in such a dark and brutal world, lowly acolytes simply cannot get away with that crap. Send a powerful cell of Hereticus Acolytes after them, and literally kill every single one. That'll show them the pure brutality of the setting.

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It sound to me that they are on the Imperial hitlist, and I would kill every single one of them. They have started a rebellion, and are as a matter of act either leading or closely associated with the leader and to that bombarded an important Imperial world. I would say that they are dead men walking. Seriously I don't think that they should be able to survive the Imperial's retribution. I would give them some free time while the Imperium gathers its forces and then let the Imperial battle group that arrives crush all they have. They simply shouldn't be able to hold their own at all. They can fight of course, and probably should, but from now on I can only see their stories becoming those of their fall.

 

So let the story roll and and let what would be reasonable to happen, happen to them. Imperial retribution seems like the only logical thing that could possible happen. And unless they are acting very much on the orders of their own Inquisitor I wouldn't hesitate to let him or her lead the attack.

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You might not want to kill the players, but are you willing to cripple them in other ways?

I have a scum character in my campaign who thinks that selling wine to heretics and picking up the valuable collections of xenophiles is all kosher in the Inquisition. After repeated warnings, I had the Inquisitor strap said scum down to an operating table while the other party members got some good practice.

The hospitaller got to practice her interrogator's art, painstakingly torturing the scum into recanting the dishonour he brought to the entire cell. The resident tech-priest got to practice his fleshsmithing, as he removed the scum's eyes and ears and replaced them with cybernetics constantly looping Imperial Hymns and scrolling with dedicational text and images of the saints.

He still gets to play, he only takes a penalty of -20 to his awareness tests, and he got a right humbling. The other party members got to all enjoy torturing and taking their pent out frustration on him, he got keep playing with only minor penalties (game-wise), but his character got a righteous arse-kicking, and had his pride well and thoroughly dragged through the mud.

There is no way that an acolyte could get away with the nonsense that your group seems to want, and if this is the style of stuff they really enjoy, I would say go play Rogue Trader. Another really fun system, where they can actually exercise this kind of stuff and not only be allowed to do so, but sometimes even be praised for it!!!

Otherwise, have them all kidnapped, tortured, mind-cleansed, and fitted with volitor implants that electrocute them everytime they try and do something that radical. =)

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Or better yet would perhaps to be sit down with the players and ask if they would perhaps want to play Rogue Trader or Black Crusade instead? They seem to prefer that kind of playing style anyhow.

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Darkmittens said:

 

can someone offer me a way out?? and i don't want to kill my players. which means that the NPC's don't pose much of a threat to my players...

Uh, maybe you should talk to your players and especially to the power gamer about their expectations of the game. Talk to him alone out of the session and then maybe with alltogether once more. Roleplaying doesn't work if you play against each other (neither GM vs. Player nor Player vs. Player), though PC vs. PC within a certain setting might work with mature players.

Being a radical is okay (at times at least) for an omnipotent Inquisitor as no one can really reprimand him (except by others of his kind at times), but for Acolytes or any other citizen up to the high and mighty this is not a viable option and the person would become a persona non grata within the Inquistion and the wider Imperium instantly, thereby getting the attention of at least their own Inquisitor at once (together with a detachment of Sororitas maybe...).

Firing ship guns on Malfi from orbit is like firing a rocket launcher into Los Angeles from a motor yacht in its harbour. Well, actually its worse... Malfi is about the second most powerful planet within the whole sector, having loads of defense monitors and system ships in orbit (besides many orbital defense platforms) to shoot the crap out of every vessel that does not conform with certain docking protocols, let alone using its guns on the planets surface. Even if you somehow get away without this retaliation vaporizing the ship instantly (i.e. via an emergency warp jump that near to a gravity well), half of the sub-sectors Batllefleet will hunt after you.

All these transgressions would make him one of these persons mentioned at the end of Disciples of the Dark Gods (i.e. sectors Most Wanted).

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 They fired their ship´s guns on Malfi? One of the most powerful planets in the sector...

I would say that they are dead, no way around it. If the Imperium´s retribution doesn´t get them the nobles will. I would say they have about 5 minutes left to live after firing those guns.

Kill your players (or rather their characters!) and tell them that if they continue to behave like this you will not GM any more. Let them, both players and characters, take responsibility for their actions.

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 I would like to know WHY they shot ship guns at Malphi and how they expect to get away with that.  "I AM THE INQUISITION!" will just get the Inquisitor Lords to brand them Traitoris Extremis, and send the Sororitas after them.  

In fact, they probably would do this whatever the PCs excuse, just so they can test their rational in a conclave.  If the PCs don't come quietly, they have confirmed the charges against them and get inquisitors after them with their entire retinues.  REALLY powerful Inquisitors with VAST resources.  People who can call in Astartes favors.  

I might explain it this way to them:

"So the next episode is going to be called "the Culling."  In which your actions over the past few games will reap some unintended consequences.  Be warned, your characters have pissed off powerful interests in the Sector and they are gunning for you.  Its going to be tough to get through this next game, more so than usual.  How you proceed from this point is very important."

Death is somewhat expected in DH, but these characters are obviously important to the players.  Just killing them for being brash is going to seem overly punitive, IMHO.  What you want to do here is make an opposition that can't be killed in combat, and only can be stopped by guile and negotiation.  The characters have acted in a way that looks badly for the inquisition over all, and now they need damage control.  If they decide to do ANYTHING that does not help their standing (such as killing important NPCs, or threatening the wrong people) be brutal in response.  

The role of combats in this kind of game is as a crucible, something to survive so that they can forestall being branded as traitors by a conclave.  They should have assassins sent from malphi attempting to exact revenge for the nobles.  Whoever they have pissed off in the past, sees this as the moment they are weak and goes after them, hoping to get some favors from other inquisitors.  Perhaps someone tries to frame them for something they did, because they are currently on the **** list, and the PCs have to prove they were not at fault so that the conclave does not finally rule them heretics.

While trying to survive, be brutal with their equipment and the allies.  They should have to choose between survival and having nice toys.  Make them spend their accumulated wealth to find hiding spots, safe houses, etc.  Blow up their spaceship in a dramatic naval battle.  Make them feel that being out in the open is a death sentence, and that they need to rely on the skills they had as younger acolytes.

Lastly, make sure there is a glimmer of hope.  If they feel that there are too many cards stacked against them, they will stop trying to survive and just get pissed off that GM is being "vengeful".  This whole game is meant to build to a catharsis where they eventually survive due to their wits (assuming that they don't do anything stupid).  In the end they still need to be able to punish those who wronged them in this game and get some satisfaction, even if they end up worse off than they were.  Allow there to be some new NPC allies and opportunities, to replace the ones they might have lost or burned.  In the end, the rise and fall of this group is its own dramatic arch, and hopefully they can enjoy the fall as much as the rise.

 

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If you can find a believable, legit way to keep this party from dying, and especially if they learn their lesson, all power to you, but I'd say, like the 41st Millennium, itself, their future looks grim. They need to learn that the Imperium can be a power-gamer, too. Any of several of their infractions would result in very gruesome deaths for the lot of them, with no hope of reprieve, both the heretics and the negligent accomplices who did nothing to stop them. If they fired on Malfi, the Calixis Battlefleet, or at least a good-sized chunk of that agency in the Malfian sub-sector will be doing all that they can to find this group, as if it were a Chaos Raider (sort of sounds like it), or a Xenos Pirate force. Astropathic pings will be going off all over the place, and planetary oversight groups, like area dock masters, and such, will report them on sight. In the same amount of time it would take for them to land, resupply, and terrorize a community, several bigger ships will be waiting in orbit, ready to make their rising star quite literally fall back to the earth below. The Imperium is shockingly thorough, sometimes, and a government that will put a whole world to the torch because of the actions of one man will not hesitate to crush any group like this, who better hope to have Ruinous backup/support, at this point.

Killing their Navigator is also insane. While this isn't Frank Herbert's Dune, I feel much of these Navigators was borrowed from his (if there was a cinnamon-tasting gas that gave +10 or +20 to Navigation (Warp) and/or Awareness tests, they could be the same group), and until Paul became Emperor, no body would have dared even think of raising a weapon against a Navigator there (they didn't even got to see Navigators). Here, it's a safe bet that killing one would persuade your other NPC Navigators to refuse to serve (their right), and attempts to force them might result in seeing a certain Warp Eye the characters would rather not see (navigators can easily have amazing WP, and, depending on their level/rank, could do enough damage to kill them outright, or leave them with a handful of Wounds, ripe for slaughter by the rest of the NPC crew, who are terrified of where they are being led), while the act, itself, might also force the Navigator Houses to play Noble, and send assassins after the party, who, probably having no Navigators left, won't be going anywhere fast, a fact that, itself, might persuade a party to not want to harm its "guidance system".

I don't want to seem like I'm saying "your party can't have fun!", and it sounds like, from their perspective, they have been, but they should be shown that, in 40K, there's having fun, and then there's doing the stuff that gets the nasty gov't to kill you. This setting is very detailed on what it does and doesn't tolerate, and it doesn't often use the "stun setting" when it metes out punishment (it can't afford to). These players should be working for an Inquisitor of some sort, and I assume he isn't there, heresying it up with them, but he should have ways of keeping tabs on them, and if he finds out any of these worse things (daemon pact, opening fire on Malfi), he has no choice but to act against them; Ascension is all about Influence, and even as Acolytes they are a part of HIS Influence, which he can't afford to let slip, if someone accuses him of supporting their heretical acts. Their benefactor MUST move against them, either by leading other forces to bear on them, or commanding them to come home, and then demolishing them. In a game of bad guys vs. bad guys, the party is still supposed to try to be the good guys, or at least be lawful evil about it.

 

As an aside, where did Acolytes procure a fully-stocked ship? It's sort of difficult for your average Inquisitor to acquire one, and his forces often need to rely on Charist Captains, or other such NPCs. At -50 to Influence (for your average ship), even some Lord Inquisitors find it difficult to obtain one, and that assumes no extra -20 for permanent ownership. Short of calling in a favor from the Lord Sector, or being gifted one from the Conclave, it seems unlikely.

 

Anyway, good luck, and I hope you can find a way to keep your group alive, but suitably educated on how they oopsed.

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Kill the player in question, leave the rest alive. Work it into the plot - have the remaining players undergo a period of cleansing after it is revealed that they had been duped by someone in league with the Ruinous Powers. And then, out of character, tell the power gamer to get serious and stop f***ing up your campaign just 'cause he can.

BYE

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from the crying choruses of off with thier heads i have decided this option... and although the idea of brutally punsihing the players responsible sounds like fun Greyhunter i only have 2 players who are in any semblance 'loyal' to the emporer, by the by, we play a mixed up RT and DH game setting.. so they kinda do have  a space ship, and they are hereteks (they declared themselves against the mechanicus and attacked a few places) but as for the decision here it is,

Firstly, i will see if the 2 loyalists want to raise hell against the evil heritecs, i really like this idea so thanks so much Greyhunter

After the attacks on Malfi the Inquisiton has called together thier best and brightest and formed the Heretics Court, a group of 12 of the most able bodied individuals in the inquisition in the sector, they have now after 1 month of quick and brutal crackdowns on Malfi, have located the players whereabouts and are barreling down twards them with the hole of the navy with them,

due to the percieved chaotic/xeno nature of the attack all 3 ordos are represented, and each have brought some interesting forces to the table, the ordo malleus have even gone to the measures of having a Deamonhost formed out of one of the captured players (one of my players changed characters, and left his old one on another planet, will be a rather sad reuinion). The mechanicus as well has contributed to the force as the party is now horrifyingly close to numerous forge worlds,

with this massive coalition on thier hands we will see what my players do (not only do i expect thier ship to be crippled, gutted, and then boarded I then expect the 12 inquisitors to easily make mincemeat out of the ship's crew, then facing off against the players separatley, leaving whoever flees the battle or hides to die alone inside a dead hull, among the bodies of so many heretics)

thoughts??

anybody got any fun inquisitor characters i should use (whatever you give me will be fun i am sure), or good equipment loadouts for each of the ordos servants (i have 1 lord inquisitor and 2 lower inquisitors for each ordo, then 4 magos')

also, should i warn the players?? or have this come as a complete surprise as they move along??

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and after much thought and deliberation i have wondered something... could instead of killing my players, now this sounds a little wierd but it came to me, can i change them into mind cleansed and/or servitors??

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 Don´t warn your players unless their characters have some way of knowing. Make it a nice suprise just as they prepare for their next activity. For example: Make the navy jump into the system just as they prepare a mission. And remember that a small frigate that moves slowly and sneaky will easily be able to sneak up on your player and fire a barrage of torpedoes before they know what happened, use submarines for reference.

As your players´ ship is burning they are boarded by murder-servitors and inquisitorial stormtroopers. Even one of these servitors and stormtroopers should be a match in a one-on-one fight for your player. And the inquisitor´s themselves will probably not even break a sweat as they gut the heretics.

Show no mercy.

I suppose you could make them into servitors or mind-cleansed, but why would you?

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Things like these made me finish a group.

If they want to play like this (and you are willing to run games like this), opt for "Black Crusade".

Otherwise, look for either another hobby or another group of players.

By the way: what is the age of the players involved? I am just curious.

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we are all high school seniors, 50% have been playing the 40k board games for a preety long time given our age,

really i wanted to turn them into servitors/mindcleansed becasue the players really like the game and don't want it to end, and frankly, i don't think i want it to end either, but that may be pending, we may just start over using just one set of rules or the other..

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Angel of Death said:

 

Storhamster said:

inquisitorial stormtroopers.

 

I read that as Imperial Stormtroopers.. and just started to gran_risa.gif and wondered if the inquisitor with them is all in black powered armor
 

 

well, unfortunatly they are using Rouge trader rules, so i have 1/2 the players be Rt characters, who voted on Captians and other positions of great influence, then the DH characters are then simple workers

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Darkmittens said:

we are all high school seniors, 50% have been playing the 40k board games for a preety long time given our age,

really i wanted to turn them into servitors/mindcleansed becasue the players really like the game and don't want it to end, and frankly, i don't think i want it to end either, but that may be pending, we may just start over using just one set of rules or the other..

Ah, there it is.  Don't worry yourself too much then because adolescants will be adolescents.  Some of the crap we pulled on our GMs when we were that age seems just plain embarrassing now.    Still, back then, long before the concept of fate points entered rpgs our GMs didn't seem to mind setting the score straight either.

If you don't mind some advice from an rpg greybeard then please read on;

This actually sounds to me like an OUT OF GAME PROBLEM.  If you want a serious game you have to tell them.  If drop in-game hints and expect them to get it when the evidence so far is that they don't get it, you need to make it very clear that although they may be having fun themselves, by doing so they are spoiling yours.  Say it explicitly so there is no confusion, stay calm, and don't get emotive.  Then all have a wee chat about what you all actually want out of the game.  You might find you are trying to pull them in a direction the do not want to go, or just that everyone has different expectations.  Agree as a group on the style of game you want (this is actually serves the dual purpose of 'boundaries-in-disguise'), and reward playing to that style with XP role playing awards.  

Put this advice into practice and you will probably find that they actually respond well to having some boundaries.

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One of my players was an Imperial Guard Scout (homebrew rules) and he used his skills to sneak into a private military compound and steal a Salamander. This was the first and last time any of my players messed around with my best laid plans, none of them wished for the same to happen to them after I sent 6 guncutters after him (sent by the PMC) and blew a nice baneblade sized hole in the planet where the scout used to be.

 

NOTE: this does NOT stop them messing around OOC -_-

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You have an entire universe of truly horrible things to throw at them if you wanted to handle it in game.

If the main problem child is making Demon pacts, surely at this point they have at least one Demon Weapon or relic lying around right?

You know who likes things like that and may (or may not depending on current fluff) not like Imperial worlds being threatened?

Relictors

Thats right an entire chapter of Astartes who make a habit of collecting chaos bits and using them on their enemeis, if they dont have a problem raiding one of the Inquisitions "Warehouse 13's" then an Acolyte with a swollen head isnt going to bother them much at all. Then theres the Inquisitorial Kill teams that will surely come out of the woodwork as soon as the Relictors make an appearance, not to mention the ones that are likely targeting the group already.

Or at this point since they are for all intents and purposes a chaos warband, turns out those guys dont all get along. Drop a couple of boarding parties of Khornate Marines on their ship and let them deal with that.

 

 

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