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(1) My Son; (2) BC Retroing

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1. My son (11) LOVES Dark Heresy and Deathwatch, and probably knows more about the 40K universe than most people, and is disturbingly comfortable with the rules. He is INCREDIBLY interested in Black Crusade, mostly because he likes to play monstrous characters (not evil), just monstrous. So the issue I have is that Black Crusade is designed for a bunch of characters doing horrific things (I would assume all of our felonies and more), sacrificing children, eating babies, etc. That's fine, except I'm not comfortable running that for him. However, there must be a 'bent' to it that could work. I'm hoping those of you out there could think of something (e.g., a 'rebel' heretic game - you've been to the mysterious zone of niceness in the Abyss, and are now Anti-Chaos, though you have no problem using the tools of the enemy, and you still think the Imperium blows; maybe you're just a weird Inquisitorial agent - the whole thing (at least in the fiction) is that many of the best radical Inquisitors will hire all sorts of unlikely people (and things) as agents.

2. I've skimmed the BC book and am 100% convinced that they've really perfected nearly every aspect of the game (character creation, psionics, etc.). How can we get them to "go back" and retrofit this to their other games?

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1) BC & being child-friendly
Well, if you managed DH to be child friendly (you know...wielding Chain-Weapons, killing mutants just for being born, free-thinking as a sin against the God-Emperor) I think you should be able to tailor BC the same way.

My advice: just stay in the Vortex! This gives alot of opportunity for Manga-like adventures with extrem NPC clashing over extrem things on extrem worlds

2) Rules of BC
They are but in regard of two things: the way resources are handled are a little clouded, at least to me. As long as you do not actually think of it bust just role some dice in order to acquire X and Y, everything is fine. As it comes to "how do the pc actually life between the missions?" you are pretty much out of luck.

The second thing is the Minion creation rules. The only way to use them properbly is to create Minions with 01 stats in many attributes. If keep in mind that an abbysmall value is 15, this really is a kick into the groin.

It is much better in regard to character creation and a lot of other things, but it is by no means the final word.

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Too be honest, there's not that much difference between running dark heresy and black crusade. Acolytes in DH already usually do pretty nasty stuff, slaughtering enemies left and right, and you're probably encountering even worse things during a adventure. A BC game is kinda the same, but on the other side of things with another perspectice on it all. Both the imperium and chaos are more or less evil already. There's no ignorance as to the fact on the chaos side of things, though.

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 2. I've skimmed the BC book and am 100% convinced that they've really perfected nearly every aspect of the game (character creation, psionics, etc.). How can we get them to "go back" and retrofit this to their other games?

Just look at the conversion rules given. It should be relatively easy to translate the archetypes (Heretek to Techpriest, Apostate to cleric, Psyker to Sanctioned Psyker, Renegade to pretty much everything else).

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BrotharTearer said:

 

Too be honest, there's not that much difference between running dark heresy and black crusade. Acolytes in DH already usually do pretty nasty stuff, slaughtering enemies left and right, and you're probably encountering even worse things during a adventure

 

I'd have to agree with this.

Sure, agents of the Inquisition might face tyranids, daemons, Orks and other "monsters" in their travels. But the elimination of human beings for "crimes" such as free thought or even trying to save their sick children by resorting to magic or something similar is well within the "job-description" of any and all agents of the throne.

And considering that the Imperium of man is made up of millions of worlds with trillions of citizens, it would even be fair to assume that Acolytes and Throne agents are overall more likely to have to punish and execute human "criminals", hetetics, traitors and blasphemers than actually going toe-to-toe against aliens and daemons.

Im sure your (the OP's kid) is already well aware of this if he's such a big 40K-fan as it is. I doubt BC campaigns is going to "harm" him anymore than a DH campaign would. :P

Of course, it might be more of a case where the OP feels uncomfortable with playing such a game with his son, more than a suspicion that the kid is going to get harmed by playing?

If so then I'd advice to try and remember that it's all just make-believe. You (the OP) knows it and im sure that your kid knows it too. So don't worry too much. :)

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For #1...

Are you familiar with the Soul Drinkers chapter? If you are familiar with them, that might provide you some opportunities to incorporate the "monstrous" bits without delving into more mature topics. Otherwise, I might play up Tzeentch and possibly Nurgle themes over Khorne and Slaanesh.

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 I'm confident you can make the game your own.  Take the focus away from having your son performing evil and put him (and his daemonic powers) up against foes we all know to be evil.  Dark Eldar feature a lot and they always come across as being more twisted and messed up than almost anyone else.  To be fair, he'll be fighting the other powers of chaos and traitor legions plenty as well.


Not all Chaos Space Marines are baby-eaters, not all Khornite followers are blood-thirsty slaughtering fiends, etc.  Chaos does have degrees that allow him to stay at least in the morally grey rather than descending into the black.  Just brush over anything you're not keen with.

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The Alpha Legion seems to be quite a good choice for such a game. On the positive side, they are not devoted, they initially turned to Chaos for the good of mankind (that's how they percieved it, at least), and they do not dwell in the warp. Additionally, they are generally not posessed or horribly mutated, so atrocities are held in check, but have a high number of cultist within their legion (which gives a chaotic flavour). On the negative side, very little is known regarding their whereabouts or current agenda, so don't expect too much inspiration from current 40k fluff. This could, however, also be an opportunity to improvise. You could go with their heresy theme, when they were in league with the cabal, an ancient alliance of xenos which strives to destroy chaos, even if this means the end of mankind. Or something completely different. Your call.

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 Should be mentioned that FFG has done a great job of showing the diversity of the gods. Khorne isn't just about bloodlust, he's the god of war. A noble warrior, following a strick moral codex, may worship him in the same way a lobotomized berserker would. Khorne only cares if blood is spilled. Nurgle is the god of decay, pestilence and death. But also life. A man could easily worship him in an attempt to attain immortality or save himself or loved ones from some horrible disease.

Tzeech is the great schemer and master of fate, knowing secrets mortals could only dream about. An inquisitve person might easily loose himself in the temptation to dwelve into things best left forgotten and seeking Tzeech's favour in order to obtain that knowledge.

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Well, the BC book itself says that it needn't be about absolute monsters. You could be idealistic rebels looking to bring down a corrupt Imperium that gives nothing and takes everything, who just happen to attract the attention of the dark gods and accept their help because you have no choice or don't know any better.

After all, Khorne can represent the Noble Warrior, Nurgle can be about compassion for all living things (after all, bacteria is life teeming inside people), Slaanesh is about pleasure in all things, and Tzeentch can represent the hope for the future in the plans he hands out to mortal folk.

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You could simply play on the point of view angle of these things. Perhaps the easiest way to do this would be in an all mortal game. For example come up with an original world to be the setting for your game where the gods are given due respect and people get on with their lives... there are many examples of functioning non hellish worlds where the religion is that of the Chaos Gods but not to the extremes seen in places like the Screaming Vortex. Let the PCs be Champions of a Kingdom of some kind perhaps wielding ancient weapons of power no long able to be created in the current age except by the greatest of techno arcanists, such as the lightning sword that can cut through any mortal weapon or the sword of a thousand teeth etc. Let them be heroes slaying great beasts and the warriors of rival kingdoms and being blessed with the gifts of the gods. In the end this would be quite similar to many fantasy RPGs but with a nod and a wink to the players regarding the greater galaxy.

Once the great warriors of the Gods, chosen and blessed by their gifts have ascended to a certain level of power something happens. It begins with an omen, a new star appears in the sky and the oracles speak of the two headed eagle who's wings spread across the sky and between the stars themselves. The great eagle serves an Undead King who sits on a throne of gold demanding the sacrifices of thousands to satisfy his never ending hunger and now the eagle set's it's sight on their world, to bring an end to their way of life. But this world is not without it's protectors, it has champions blessed by the gods who can ride forth to combat the warriors of the eagle that seem to fall from the sky.

In short if you are creative with it it's not too hard to have noble heretics, or at least ones that are far more understandable. Freedom fighters against a large uncaring aggressor. I find it easier to come up with ideas like this for games with just the mortal characters as Chaos Space Marines just like regular space marines come with a lot of baggage though a cunning player and GM could create ways to have noble chaos space marines fight in such a scene. A Fallen Dark Angel or other Legionnaire, many with creativity could suit, came to the world decades ago to escape the eternal war after thousands of years or perhaps to escape someone they had wronged. Even a Word Bearer could just be seeking to guide one of the Kingdoms to strengthen their faith in the Old Gods.

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