Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
LuciusT

Edge of Darkness in Only Way

10 posts in this topic

We're starting a new campaign in Only War and, since my players prefer investigation and intrigue to straight up combat, I'm adapting the Dark Heresy intro adventure Edge of Darkness to Only War.

 

So far, since we spent a lot of time in character creation and some scene setting, they have only just arrived in Coscarla but I thought I'd share our experience. 

 

Spoilers for Edge of Darkness follow...

 

The characters are from a light infantry regiment assigned to the Tranch Occupation (I've relocated the Edge of Darkness scenario to Tranch, which doesn't require much modification since a hive world is a hive world). To bring them in from the start, the squad was on guard duty and witnessed the death of Saul Arbest, The squad medic actually participated in his autopsy. 

 

The company command determined that the xeno control organism found need to be investigated and kept quiet. Therefore, the squad that found him has been assigned a covert mission to investigate. Nominally, they were to have been assigned to patrol the Coscarla district. In an interesting idea, the squad suggested they be assigned to conduct a "health inspection" of the district residents (as a way to look for surgical scars which could indicate other individuals implanted with the control organism) which command went along with as a good cover for their operation.

 

Unfortunately, their logistics roll was a horrible failure so they not only didn't get the additional medical gear they requisitioned, they lost their gas masks which were deemed unnecessary for a routine patrol.

 

They have arrived in Coscarla and checked in at the local enforcer station. The drug hazed enforcer Locan suggested they could find bunks at the Coscarla hostel. That's where we ended the first session.

 

This should be fun...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it may be interesting to play, I have a hard time seeing how you justify a squad of Imperial Guardsmen doing this investigation. That's like watching CSI or something and then a squad of heavily armed or armored Marines come to investigate stuff among the civilians. 

 

 

I could see a squad being assigned to an Inquisitor to storm a certain residence/area. Or maybe even be recruited full-time (after all there were Guardsmen as acolytes). In either case they would be better off getting careers/specializations that gave them Affinities better suited for undercover/espionage work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it may be interesting to play, I have a hard time seeing how you justify a squad of Imperial Guardsmen doing this investigation. That's like watching CSI or something and then a squad of heavily armed or armored Marines come to investigate stuff among the civilians. 

 

If this is CSI, it's CSI Fallujah. 

 

Tranch is a Guard occupied planet, both local and Imperial government have been devastated by the Pale Throng uprising. The local Guard garrison is in charge of keeping order in their theater of operations. There is quite literally is no one else on hand who the Company commander trusts to investigate. There is no local Arbites precinct and the local enforcers are corrupt, beneath contempt or both. Mind you, she doesn't actually trust the squad to investigate either, but it's between having them investigate or telling *more* people that somewhere out there some unknown enemy is implanting alien parasites in the local citizenry and causing a panic. Better to sacrifice one squad for the chance of getting some worthwhile intel before sending in the kill teams.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I suppose that would make for quite an exception. Although the point stands for the campaign as a whole: Why not just play acolytes, arbites, assassins or whatever else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I suppose that would make for quite an exception. Although the point stands for the campaign as a whole: Why not just play acolytes, arbites, assassins or whatever else?

 

Mostly because I don't like the Dark Heresy character creation rules, can't stand the 2nd edition and haven't had time to house rule my own Only War conversion of Dark Heresy. :) Also it seemed to me that the Imperial Guard is both broadly familiar and an iconic Imperial institution is would be a good way to introduce my current batch of players, only one of whom is familiar with 40K, to the universe. They all know what an army squad looks like but they don't have a clue about acolytes, arbites or whatever else. Since you asked. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sound like fun, would you post how your players proceed/try to survive? :)

 

I think it is perfectly legitimate to play OW as investigation game, stuff like NCIS, JAG ( :P ), Foyle´s War or some of the Caiphas Cain adventures are good inspiration for military based mystery story.

 

On other hand I wonder which other non-OW 40kRPG adventures could be salvaged more or less intact. From DH ones I think EoD is perfect start, Maggots in the Meat could make even more sense than in DH and Apostasy Gambit could be fun too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My players have asked for more social interaction as their initial stage in the campaign has been a planetary invasion with mostly fighting. There are no arbites or acolytes here, it's a warzone. Investigations, at least initially, will have to be done by guardsmen and it's very likely my players will be doing som investigative work hunting for insurrectionists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sound like fun, would you post how your players proceed/try to survive? :)

 

Just as soon as I can get a majority of them in one place at one time again. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that ended badly... 

 

After a restful night in the Coscarla Hostel, the squad checked in with the enforcers, to find Moran there and willing to help them with their parasite checks (in fact, he wanted to keep a close eye on their activities). They spent a completely unproductive day doing lice inspections on laborers who came into the alms house. During the course of the day they learned about the Workers Union and decided to check it out.

 

So, just before night-cycle, three of the squad disguised themselves in local clothes (obtained from Drayelock at the hostel) and, backed up by two squad mates in full gear, went to the Workers Union. The disguised trio went inside while the armed pair waited outside. 

 

While the trio inside asked unproductive questions, the pair outside spotted the red eyes of the Snatchers in the dark. Then the snatcher's attacked. A quick fight in the dark saw the pair outside down, but the rest of the squad arrived quickly enough to save them from being carried off by the snatchers. They succeeded in dropping on the attackers and, despite the efforts of the second to carry off it's fallen partner, the squad managed to capture a dead snatcher.

 

That's where everything went wrong. Moran and his agents locked down the district. The squad attempted to send their medic and his comrade back to base with the dead snatcher, while the rest of the squad tried to continue their cover of medical checks at the Alms house. As it became apparent that the train wasn't coming, the squad starting to try to contact their base... resulting in them splitting themselves up between the Alms House, the Enforcer station and the Rail-head. At which point, Moran's agents made their move. Five separate firefights ensued.

 

After much craziness, the mission ended with the squad's Operator driving the battered and wounded squad out of Coscarla in a vehicle stolen from the Enforcer's station, while Moran initiated his "kill everyone" contingency, unleashing the snatchers with plague vials throughout the Coscarla.

 

Mission results:

Failure of primary objective (determine responsible parties and origin of control parasite) 

Success of secondary objective (retrieve sample for study)

 

Squad losses: 1 comrade

Collateral damage: infection and quarenteen of entire population of Coscarla, destruction of the railhead by errant missile fire.

 

In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have attacked them with the snatchers so early. I underestimated their ability to take down even the enhanced versions of the creatures I'd thrown at them. On the whole an entertaining game if not entirely satisfying game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah.... that's one thing to bear in mind: Imperial Guardsmen, especially with a comrade at their back, are quite nails in a fight compared to Dark Heresy Acolytes. Even the tech/medicae specialists still have a soldier-like statline, flak armour and an assault rifle....

 

I like the idea of the Tranch Occupation (or similar setting on the Spinward Front) - it's a good way to throw in non-exploding challenges (you actually need the social aptitude? The horror!), and I firmly believe that old as it is, Edge of Darkness is one of the best bits of material written for any 40k RPG, whilst Only War is the basic Dark Heresy rules set polished until it gleams.

 

Still, this now allows for ongoing shenannigans to actually catch Moran and his buddies... Obviously this is going to throw the area into chaos, requiring a fair amount of 'proper' combat patrols and possibly some exchanges of fire with Pale Throng types, but it opens up the possibility of actual inquisitorial acolytes turning up to ask "What the Hell did you Do!!!?!?!", at which point the squad can find out that there are actually scarier things in the Imperium than the regimental commissar....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0