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Godzilla452

Need some GM advice.

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So in my campaign i plan on the party heading towards a feudal world that would be akin to the Pax Romana( Romes golden age) but how can i get my players to not just blast everything they see with the technological superioty they have over the native. I want them to immerse themselves in the culture of this planet so its not a cake walk. Any advice?

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They're tailing a heretic/heretek/traitor with some kind of special knowledge, who has blended in to this planet's culture to avoid detection.  Among the things he stole/is known to be carrying is some form of poison or suicide drug, so if they make their presence obvious by coming in with lighters and lasguns he'll destroy his research/list of names/whatever and off himself before the knowledge can be tortured/truth serum'd out of him.  The Explorers are either after him for a contract or to get the knowledge themselves, but either way blending in is by far the better move.  They can use advanced tech, they just have to be discreet with it…

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So they blast the planet.  That means they just lost valuable resources, trade goods, crew, material, food, water, etc etc.  Not to mention once they do land on the planet and the local populace finds out they were the ones that caused their worlds damage, no lance strike can stop 100 villages surrounding you in a city square, and tearing you limb from limb. 

 

Question though, have you had them blast planets in the past?  If so, maybe have other ships in orbit that are conducting trade relationships on the planet, and if the PC's attack the other ship will attack them for fear of them killing their crew of the planet.

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I echo Nameless's sentiment that if the players are going to blow up the planet, then they're going to blow up the planet. It sounds more like you're worried that they're going to try and just establish superiority over the people with their technological prowess. 

 

And if they do that, take it to the logical extreme. Have the people not surrender, have them start to collapse their buildings on the PCs and their crew to kill them wholesale. They throw themselves at lines of lasgun-wielding armsmen losing thousands of their own people just to kill a few of these invaders. Have the planet sacrifice everything that made it unique to oppose these invaders, and then when the slaughter is done describe to the players exactly how much destruction and death they've caused. That might be what they want out of Rogue Trader, or they might also be surprised at how far they went, and then ALSO have to deal with the problems described above.

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What's going to stop the 100 peasants from damaging the players is not their ship's lances, but the fact that pitchforks and thrown bricks (improvised primitive weapons) in the hands of untrained humans with 30 strength are going to have 20-something points of armour and 5-6 toughness bonus to get through, while a simple frag grenade from the explorers is going to take out half the crowd.

 

Erathia, clearly if the planet is populated by unstable psychopathic berserkers who'd rather destroy their own civilization than flee or surrender, that population wasn't going to be very useful as anything but target practise anyway.

 

Godzilla, I recommend you make the NPCs friendly and likeable unless they have reason not to be, and make the planet such that your players don't want to simply destroy it all. Depending on what your players are like, you could for instance give the primitive population a problem that the explorers can solve - perhaps they are beset by werewolves that are only vulnerable to silver... or molecular discombobulation. If the population lauds the explorers as heroes and gods, the players probably won't want to destroy it all, and while there's probably not many interesting items to loot for mechanical benefits, the tithes from local admirers could bump the dynasty up a profit point or two.

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What's going to stop the 100 peasants from damaging the players is not their ship's lances, but the fact that pitchforks and thrown bricks (improvised primitive weapons) in the hands of untrained humans with 30 strength are going to have 20-something points of armour and 5-6 toughness bonus to get through, while a simple frag grenade from the explorers is going to take out half the crowd.

 

 

You obviously have failed to utilize the grapple technique effectively my dear friend.  ;)  Page 240 and 246 RT.  Anyhoot, the argument is mute because any variable can be utilized to credit or discredit this theory.  It is only limited by the imagination of the GM.  Of course, there is a fine line between being mean-spirited to the PC's and showing them a valid flaw in their reasoning, though that is neither here nor there pertaining to this post.  :D

 

You are undoubtedly correct in that the PC's need to have an incentive to not destroy the planet. In addition to what you suggested, maybe the werewolves are in caves, caverns, and/or mines that are directly below the city (cities). And also within the caves/mines are rare crystals, minerals, xenotech, archeological items, etc etc that are worth a fortune, and if the PC's use ship weaponry on the cities, they will more than likely destroy the fortune. So finesse is recommended. :ph34r:

Edited by Nameless2all

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You obviously have failed to utilize the grapple technique effectively my dear friend.  ;)  Page 240 and 246 RT.  Anyhoot, the argument is mute because any variable can be utilized to credit or discredit this theory.  It is only limited by the imagination of the GM.  Of course, there is a fine line between being mean-spirited to the PC's and showing them a valid flaw in their reasoning, though that is neither here nor there pertaining to this post.  :D

 

I disagree. The peasants won't damage anyone with grappling, won't be very likely to hit with the grapple attempt in the first place, won't be very likely to out-strength the PCs, and the bonus to hit they get from grappling means essentially nothing since their damage is so low. You can only gain assistance to grappling once, so massively outnumbering your opponents means very little. Meanwhile, the PCs only need auto-weapons and frag grenades to kill peasants by the dozen, or a simple jump pack to invalidate the peasants' close combat weapons utterly.

 

You are, of course, right about the fact that the GM can change the rules however he wants - but in that case you're not pitting the players against a hundred peasants, you're pitting them against GM fiat. That doesn't teach players to respect life (or whatever you want to promote), it teaches them that the GM is really protective of his NPCs and that they would have been better off metagaming by taking this into consideration.

 

Good point about putting resources between the ship and the enemies, though.

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  Anyhoot, the argument is mute because any variable can be utilized to credit or discredit this theory.  It is only limited by the imagination of the GM.

 

 

 

I disagree. The peasants won't damage anyone with grappling, won't be very likely to hit with the grapple attempt in the first place, won't be very likely to out-strength the PCs, and the bonus to hit they get from grappling means essentially nothing since their damage is so low. You can only gain assistance to grappling once, so massively outnumbering your opponents means very little. Meanwhile, the PCs only need auto-weapons and frag grenades to kill peasants by the dozen, or a simple jump pack to invalidate the peasants' close combat weapons utterly.

 

 

:unsure:   Please refer to my above quotation because you validated my point.  Though this "may" not always be the case.  Not everyone will have auto weapons, be wearing power armour, have jumppacks, go down to the planet with 1,000 armsmen, etc etc.  As mentioned, any variable can lend credence to this theory or not.  The peasants get the jump on the PCs or the PC's spot the ambush.  The peasants separate the PC's, or the PC's stay in a group.  You kill half and the rest flee or more show up etc etc etc.  Anyhoot, we are going off this person's topic so I will just summarize some of the rules of grapple for you.

 

  Two other people in addition to the target and opponent can lend assistance in various actions during "Controller Grapple Actions".  Please refer to pg 240 RT for reference.  Further more the one fatigue damage caused by grappling is automatic even if the 1d5-3+Str damage is negated.  So in essence, even a person wearing power armour, armed with an hellgun, "can" be grappled by 100< peasants after awhile (even if the peasants can't hurt him/her with bricks, pitchforks, fists, teeth, etc with the +20 bonus to hit because a person is grappled, a +20 bonus becuase he is out numbered, and maybe even the target being prone so another +10 to hit) and knocked unconscious due to fatigue damage.  What happens after your unconscious?  Only the Emperor and the GM knows.  :ph34r:

 

Have you really not used grapple that much?  It's really useful action against enemy psykers.  And, of course, with adversaries against PC psykers.

 

P.S.  Where did you get that I'm "changing" any rules to fit some preposterous theory (though I do love some of my NPC's :wub: )? Please quote it because I hate sounding egotistical.

Edited by Nameless2all

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You do have a point about the fatigue. The horde might be able to bring the PCs down in ten-or-so rounds, counting missed attacks, dodges, parries, and grapples broken or slipped out of. In the interest of keeping it short, let me explain the point of my original post. The sentence "no lance strike can stop 100 villages surrounding you in a city square, and tearing you limb from limb." makes it sound like you think 100 villages are a legitimate threat - against the average not-fresh-from-character-creation party, since you know nothing about the composition of Godzilla's party - and that makes me think you'd use GM fiat. Since you're considering the possibility of 100 peasants (with poor agility and no concealment skill, unless it's a village of ninjas) beating the collective awareness check of an entire party (or more likely, the party's 75 Awareness servo-skulls), I am even more suspicious of you expecting to simply GM fiat that situation into being.

 

Without that fiat, I don't consider 100 peasants to be a serious threat to any party that's not completely unprepared to take on hordes of weak enemies. They certainly are not something you should talk up as a guaranteed way to deal with unknown PCs, since the most effective countermeasures against a threat like that are some of the cheapest and most ubiquitous pieces of gear in the game. So, to sum things up, all I'm saying is that I think you presented the peasants as a sure-fire solution, and I think they are far from that.

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Arguably this would be a perfect application of the Horde rules from Black Crusade or Deathwatch. 

 

Honestly you're in a catch-22 of GM fiat either way if you go into a situation wanting the players to achieve a certain goal. The test is a matter of finding a reason for them not to want to use the powers available to them to just glass the planet, be it the carrot or the stick.

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 So, to sum things up, all I'm saying is that I think you presented the peasants as a sure-fire solution, and I think they are far from that.

 My apololgies Magellan, that was not my intent.  I was simply stating that making the local   :ph34r:  populance hostile to you will more than likely lead to more trouble than it is worth.  As for me being "fait," your perfectly entilted to your opinion.  Though I think I will start utilizing that philosophy too.  ;)

 

*starts to sing*  I'm fiat, I'm fiat, and I like it.  :wub:  

 

<_<   :huh:    :mellow:   :blink:

 

No, not so funny?  Dang.

 

 

P.S.  I love Horde rules.  Though not with RT for some odd reason.

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What's going to stop the 100 peasants from damaging the players is not their ship's lances, but the fact that pitchforks and thrown bricks (improvised primitive weapons) in the hands of untrained humans with 30 strength are going to have 20-something points of armour and 5-6 toughness bonus to get through, while a simple frag grenade from the explorers is going to take out half the crowd.

 

Don't forget that ancient Roman had a very highly organized military with the discipline to take huge losses but still win battles.  A bunch of peasants can be used as the initial wave to soak up ammunition from the explores and then the local army will advance on them with strong shields, soldier stat lines, weapons and armor (primitive but still there), and a will to kill them with sharp weapons.

 

Don't forget that a preindustrial society had a lot of human muscle,  literally, their strength should be higher than that of the explorers will constant manual labor.

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I was going to point out something similar to what magosSteel just said. also don't forget that at the height or roman power they had some pretty decent ranged weapons, chariots and Calvary.  not saying a single air strike wouldn't wipe out the local garrison, but eventually the explorers should be facing a pretty nasty ground force. as for the culture maybe lead off with a lavish celebration where unique wines and incense and stuff are present. and the only way to get the secrets of them is to become accepted by the people.   

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There are numerous examples through history of forces with inferior technology making progress against those with superior weapons.  Zulus killed lots of British for example.  One Rogue Trader ship simply does not have the manpower to occupy an entire planet so if the locals resisted at all the only thing the RT can really do is glass bits of the planet, which wastes resources and when he leaves that threat goes away.

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How to get them to immerse themselves in the planet's culture?

Make them work with said culture.

 

If you don't want them to invade, or bomb the planet from orbit, but don't want to make the populace able to beat up companies of lasgun-wielding household guard and power-armoured explorers, don't use violence, use politics.

 

Are they the first to discover this world? If not, the dominant empire has several trading treaties with three or four other rogue trader dynasties. None of them have exclusive rights to the world but all of them make enough money that they'd be very unhappy if someone were to flatten major urban areas.

 

Make sure at least one of the dynasties in question is one the explorers would hesitate to cross.

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