Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Spehktre

New to GM'ing Dark Heresy

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

I've only recently started GM'ing a Dark Heresy game and am looking for general advice and hints. I'm running a Hive based game where the characters are mostly free range and not really of any interest to an Inquisitor yet, if ever. I'm not very familiar with DH, but have played a lot of Rogue Trader and GMing many other non-FFG systems.

What are some pit falls I should avoid?

What are things I should aim to include?

What is a good level of strength for NPC's to combat new PC's?

Any other advice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how many players do you have in your group?? if you have 3-4 then probably 2 or 3 lower level enemies behind cover can be a simple (but slightly challenging) fight, also what carrers are present? (if they are all adepts, then probalby 2 scum are enough to keep them busy, but all guardsmen would murder the scum and want more).  I would advise testing the game settings with your party, have small fights break out and test them with little battles, even ask your players to run mock battles to see how they do, afterall a battle is 1/2 character and 1/2 what you do, in may games i have a close combat beast assasin who during combat does little to nothing because he wants to be stealthed at all times, so he hides behind crates and boxes and only kills one enemy, even though if he just charged and took some bullets he could kill 10 with ease..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>>What are some pit falls I should avoid?

In contrast to RT you should be prepared for a lot of irrlevant seeming details, especially in a hive city. While RT concentrates on a grander scale, DH leaves you skulking through unlit alleys in the lower hive. It is less abstract and more down-to-earth and in-your-face.

So prepare a lot of possible (minor and irrelevant seeming) encounters and be prepared to improvise a lot on the run (a list of names for minor NPCs could come in handy). Try to emphasize that an "average" hive city is huge, with billions of people living in an urban agglomeration the size of a smaller continent reaching in all three dimensions. Try to think about which part of a hive the PCs will concentrate on and try to describe the stark contrast between upper spire (and hive spire), mid-hive and lower hive (and down-hive). The size and avenues of a hive are simply mind-boggling most of the time and you shoul illustrate that...

 

>>>What are things I should aim to include?

Depends on which area of a hive you want to concentrate.

 

>>>What is a good level of strength for NPC's to combat new PC's?

A few hive-gangers (slightly outnumbering the PCs) might be appropriate. Mostly armed with stub weapons (mostly pistols) and primitive melee weapons. Check the Scum charateristics in the core book for an example.

 

>>>Any other advice?

Expect the unexpected...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get to know the bonuses for rolling that exist in the system.  A lot of people see the system and think "my god, starting characters are only 30% likely to do anything!".  That is true if you don't include bonuses that may or may not exist.  For example, if you shoot a stubber at an enemy, and don't move during your action, you can get a +10% for "aiming".  If you are at short range, that's another +10%.  Put them both together and you average starting character with a BS of 30ish gets about a 50/50 chance to hit.  

In this way, running a DH game can be made smoother by thinking ahead, what kind of bonuses might exist for both sides, and making note of them.  Encourage players to come up with novel ways to get a +10% bonus somewhere.  Like taking an action to shoot out an oil drum, creating a slick surface that could cause opponent's to loose their footing.  Things like that should also help make your encounters feel more dynamic as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good idea is perhaps to throw in some Inquisitorial agent who can function as a kind of extension of the GM in the game. Someone who can help the player a little if they get stuck, have some info to get them started on stuff like that. It don't need to be a very powerful or all-knowing person, but some friendly face the characters can relate to and who will help and aid them in some manner. It certainly beats having to give OOC hints to get the players moving.

 

Also even if you play free form I would perhaps advice to give them some lead or something to get them started. After all a Hive is HUGE thing and it will probably be very unlikely to just strumble over some cult or conspiracy just like that. Better to give them a lead or two that they can work from. That's my thought anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having an NPC that represents your presence in the game is a good idea. Sometimes players like to get off track and do some incredibly stupid things. Having a powerful superior hanging around every now and then is a good way to keep them focused on the mission. Also, from personal experience I don't recommend a completely free form style. My players have a much better time if they have a clear goal laid out for them, but with the means to that goal left relatively open. I'm not sure how your players are, but every time I don't give my PC's a specific goal they usually end up killing/maiming random people, attacking each other, getting arrested, being exiled from their home town, getting killed by wild animals, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make a GM-NPC character a few ranks higher than the PCs and fully inducted into the Inquisitor's service.  They need not be an overpowering combat presence (in fact, that is usually bad...  usually) but they SHOULD have some clue of what is really going on and is serving as the group's "handler".  The group can be given their tasks in the guise of service to some other Imperial authority (For example a group of Guardsmen PC's might be getting orders from a false "Commissar", or perhaps an Adept bearing a "Writ of Authority" from the Departmento Munitorium to persue "A matter of certain delicacy and discression").  The role of the GM character is not so much to strut their stuff as it is to keep them on task and perhaps fill a glaring weakness of the group.  If none of the PCs are "brainy" in some way then their first few missions will likely require liberal beatings with a "clue-by-four" until one or more of them can rise to the occasion.   Adept, Psyker, Cleric, Arbites (detective type), Scum (social), Sister Famulous, Techpriest...  These are your most likely candidates for being able to carry a low-tier investigation until the group gets up to speed and the thug characters start investing in more diverse skill-sets.

If the team fails miserably, they can be safely "burned" and leave no trails back to the Inquisitor.  Should they instead prove useful they can be given increasingly important tasks and eventually let in on some of the secret.   "Oh ****!  We work for WHO?!?!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...