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TK Ghost

Average Joes

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For those who don't know, I've set myself the challenge to create 5 characters who are just plain ordinary. Once I've created them, I'll then set about gaming with them to see how well they survive a 40K conspiracy. Being a bit of fun, I won't be using the names from Dark Heresy. Instead, much like the game itself, I'll just make them up as I go along. So here goes:


All characters begin as just plain "citizens" from Page 338 of the Dark Heresy Rulebook. Due to their differing lifestyles, their profiles will be slightly altered but I'm sure you won't cry "cheat" when you see them. Please bear in mind that any Skills and Talents I list are the ones that make them different; they all have the Skills common to all "Citizens". They don't have a homeworld, as I want to keep them as "normal" as possible.



"No-Mates" Billy:

A loner despised by all, including his family, Billy has had to make a life for himself using any means at his disposal. From picking pockets to gambling, he spends his life in the streets and walking from one place to the next.

WS 20 BS 20 S 30 T 30 AG 30 INT 20 PER 35 WP 35 FEL 15


Skills: Gamble, Sleight of Hand (I'm tempted to add Survival-Urban)

Talents: Unremarkable



"Cabby" Carl:

One of a long line of cab drivers, Carl continues to drive the same taxi that his father and grandfather drove. From the lower streets to the upper highway, cabby Carl knows how to get you from A to B.

WS 20 BS 20 S 30 T 30 AG 30 INT 30  PER 30 WP 30 FEL 30


Skills: Drive Ground Vehicle, Navigation Surface (Ghost City only), Tech-Use (Cab Only), Trade (unsurprisingly) Cabby

Talents: ...em...none



"Hairdresser" Molly:

With an uncanny ability to make even the grumpiest people talk, Molly is as skilled with her tongue as she is with her scissors.

WS 20 BS 20 S 30 T 30 AG 30 INT 30 PER 30 WP 30 FEL 40


Skills: Charm, Inquiry, Trade Hairdresser

Talents: Though skilled with scissors, it's not enough for Bladesmaster

Weapons: Scissors do make useful knives



"Stripper" Sarah:

Working at Droolers Tavern, Sarah is one of the most popular stripper, pole dancer and all round babe. Droolers prides itself of being able to make any man happy after a long monotonous day doing the Emperor's work. This reputation is largely thanks to Sarah.

WS 20 BS 20 S 30 T 30 AG 40 INT 30 PER 30 WP 30 FEL 40


Skills: Blather, Charm, Performer, Scrutiny, Trade - :D

Talents: Catfall, Talented - Perfomer



"Citizen" Clare:

This one is really more of a plain, ordinary, unimpressive, nothing special Citizen. She's exactly what the rulebook profile says. It was only fair to include an unmodified character.

WS 20 BS 20 S 30 T 30 AG 30 INT 20 PER 30 WP 30 FEL 30



So those are the characters who unwittingly become involved in an investigation carried out by the Inquisition. Set in Ghost City the game has as the main adversaries Cult Initiates and Fanatics, though other adversaries will be included into the mix.


When opportunity allows, I'll tell the story armed with dice and a good imagination. Posting each game as I play it. So stay tuned and see if the Average Joes can uncover the evil schemes of Cultists, or see them cataclysmically fail. Either way this should be interesting.......

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Rather than just throw the characters into random events, I've tried to come up with a plausible plot line. It is more of a guideline but this is the campaign overview:


Hairdresser Molly: Three men and two women enter her shop and sit themselves down. She can see that they are clearly together, but they're very quiet and exchanging serious glances while looking at magazines. One-by-one they sit in the chair and are given Molly's expert treatment, subjected to constant friendly questions. While cutting the hair of one, somebody enters the shop and the five recognize the man. Those four who are not getting their hairs cut stand and greet the stranger, who hands them five ID's before leaving. When the five start to leave, she pretends to keep busy sweeping the floor while trying to listen to their conversation. 


Cabby Carl: Continuing the game, the same group of three men and two women will get into a taxi and declare they want to go to Droolers Tavern. Being many miles out of the heart of the city, and with plenty of such places nearby, Carl is puzzled but won't turn down a fist-full of Thrones. Upon arriving at Droolers Tavern, Carl will either enter to spend some of his money or drive off.


Billy No-Mates: Working his way through the crowds, Billy sees a group of people getting out of a smart looking taxi. Believing them to be loaded with Thrones, he goes in to pick a pocket. Assuming he is successful, Billy will manage to take a wallet with plenty of Thrones and a special ID for use in Droolers Tavern. Knowing that he can get in some good gambling, he confidently walks in shows the ID. "Right this way sir". He is led to a table, with a good view of the local attractions, where the group of five are sitting with three other men. As they all gamble, Billy notices the eight people are having an odd conversation and only he is checking out the barely dressed women. What is this odd conversation? Why are six men ignore gorgeous beauties? Something strange is going on.....and suddenly the others stand up and then demand to know why he isn't following them.


Stripper Sarah: She's up on her podium, doing things with a pole that would make a fireman blush. Does she notice the six people sit down with three others? Either way, during her performence she notices that only one of the seven men is actually checking her out. Being the star of Droolers Tavern, she is naturally curious to know how these men can possibly resist even a shy look in her direction. She's decides to make it her mission to get some Thrones out of them by the end of her shift. Seeing them get up to leave, and having impressed the crowds sufficiently, she decides to give them a private audience.


Citizen Clare: Her sister has been acting strangely lately and, being nosey, she decides to follow her to see what is going on. Following her sister through the city streets, making sure to remain out of sight, the pursuit takes her to Droolers Tavern. Clare sees her sister sit down with three others and decides to sit as close as possible. When her sister gets up and leaves, she follows her into a quieter area of the tavern which leads to private apartments. Even as she spies on her sister, the three men her sister first met turn up with six others.........



At this point there will be a pause for breath. So far everything has been quite dull as far as gaming is concerned but now comes the times for action. There are eight cult initiates who are meeting with a fanatic and some woman he's dating. With them is someone who, hopefully, they mistake as another initiate. As they turn up at the apartment, they notice a woman who shouldn't be there and capture her to take to their fanatic boss. At the same time, Sarah is heading in their direction.


Has Molly followed the five fanatics? Has she taken her concerns to authorities?


Will Billy and Sarah rescue Clare and escape the cultists? Will they find a taxi to jump into upon leaving Droolers Tavern?


Stay tuned for the results as I attempt to play out this game.....

Edited by TK Ghost

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It's been a while and I forgot how much work goes into planning even a small game like this. So this is my last pre game post detailing the Adversaries. Just for those who need to know what the Average Joes can expect:


Our first five are Cultist Initiates: For simplicity sake, they are called: Bill, Will, Phil, Lill and Jill :P These are unarmed at the time and are dressed in the simple clothing of your average civilians. Weapons and robes are located at the booked apartment in the Drooler's Tavern. Provided by their Fanatic mentor.


The man with the ID's is the same one who is the Fanatic: He is wearing normal civilian clothing at the time, but has the Sacrificial Blade and Hand Cannon concealed beneath a jacket. Continuing my lazy system for naming, he shall be called Steve. Once he is in the apartment, he will change into his robes.


The last three are more Cultist Initiates: Called Tim, Tom and Ted :rolleyes:, these cultists are dressed in their robes and have concealed Sacrificial Blades and Stub Automatics. These have already changed and are waiting to lead the other five to the apartment.


The "sister" is just a Citizen: Dressed in civilian clothes and unarmed, Tara is about to be initiated herself into the cult. Part of her initiation will take place away from the booked apartment, so she has neither weapons nor robes waiting. If they story reaches the underground temple, Tara will receive her gear after the final stage of initiation.


Who led Billy no-mates to the table of the five cultists? Just a citizen... :ph34r: ...or perhaps a cultist who works at the Droolers Tavern.


As you can see, the adversaries are not the most powerful, but they can present a challenge should things turn violent. I must admit, I'm starting to think I may have just sent five characters to their doom. But I can't make it too easy. If things seem to be, I promise to increase the danger.

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Oh dear :(


You came here, perhaps expecting to be wowed by gaming. Instead, you would get bored very quickly. To sum up:


Hairdresser Molly: Even cleverly played it amounted to a good conversation that led absolutely nowhere. She carried on her day without suspecting a thing.


Cabby Carl: He was at least suspicious. But again he dropped off the cultists, entered the tavern and drove back into the city with a taxi full of people eager to leave.....


Both characters really were boring and I feel that was my fault for making them too "normal". Yes that was the point of the Average Joes topic, but I was hoping for something more exciting.


Billy no-mates: em....he didn't get far. After bumbling the roll to pick a cultist pocket he just had to walk into the tavern and sit down at their table. Not a bright idea as they instantly suspected him of being an enemy. After taking some of their money, they invited him to their private apartment.......


Stripper Sarah: She followed the cultists, and Billy, as they went to the apartment. Fortunately she went unnoticed as they were distracted......


Citizen Clare: Managed to follow her sister, Tara, through the busy streets. If it were a serious game, with more skilled characters, it would have been more interesting. Both characters had bad rolls which resulted in Tara knowing she was being followed. When Clare followed Tara to the apartment, it wasn't long until the cultists arrived. Tim, Tom and Ted drew their weapons as the others grabbed Billy and Clare. Billy managed to get free and, out of bordom, the three armed cultists shot him dead while Clare was dragged into the apartment and shoved to the floor.


Stripper Sarah: Conventional wisdom prevailed and she ran into the main bar area and shouted about the attack. Most of the people panicked and ran for the exit, some paying Cabby Carl to get them home as fast as possible. Unfortunately, one person remained calm and Sarah managed to charm him so that he would allow her to perform for him rather than be taken to the cultists.....


Clare found herself being interrogated by Steve while the three Fanatics, five Initiates and Tara stood around her in an intimidating manner. By the time they were done, Clare was a sobbing wreck and being taken to the cultists secret temple to have a close encounter of the Genestealer kind.


Stripper Sarah: Credit where credit is due, she kept the cultist's bouncer distracted and entertained until she found a bottle to pick up and smash over his head. Wasn't the most damaging attack but she managed to get away. Managing to charm some local guys into helping her, she continued running as a street brawl ended the game.



I'll leave it up to YOU as to whether this proves Average Joes are not cut out for playing 40K RPG's; or whether my lack of preparation contributed most to their failure. Either way, my attempts to prove their worthiness seems to have backfired.



Edited by TK Ghost

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I`m kind of suprised you think civilians in 40k are unarmed. On many worlds not carrying a firearm openly on your belt is a surefire way to get yourself mugged or worse.


The problem you ran into is one that has plagued GMs since the dawn of gaming namely that of " if it`s dangerous why don`t we just leave?"


Your average joes had no overriding motivation to make them disregard their own safety and run toward the danger. That is why most RPGs are about highly motivated criminals, professional warrior/investigators or desperate soldiers. These people are obliged to get into trouble and generally reap rewards for doing dangerous things in the long term.

Kshatriya likes this

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I do have to ask though... Why did the cultists shot Billy dead?


I mean, even forgetting for a second that if Billy doesn't have a weapon, then neither should the cultists, why did they just nonchalantly drew their guns and shot him?


Shooting people is not normal. Even if you're a cultist, you've probably never pointed a gun at another person in your life. For them, just shooting random people shouldn't be that easy.


The problem is not that avarage joes are not meant to play roles in Dark Hersy (or any other RPG for that matter), the problem is that you've put avarage joes in the room full of people who very much AREN'T avarage joes. Don't expect them to hold ground in that situation.


Avarage joes can fair incredibly well in a situation where they have to interact with other joes. It also doesn't take much for a joe to lose her joe status- ususally a single big event is enough to change their perspective dramatically. For example Tara clearly no longer counts as a joe after the events. That doesn't mean she suddenly feels no remorse for shooting people and so should her fellow cultists.


What you should not do is throw joes against non-joes, insist that they should keep acting like joes and then expect them to be effective (then again it soudns vaguely christian). They're gonna die. Horribly. That is the nature of reality- if you can't adapt and force through, you DIE.

Edited by Arrakiz

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Whether civilians are armed are not depends entirely on what world and social position in that world we are talking about.


In fluff they are not usually armed; otherwise Gunmetal City would be a rule rather than an exception, but that everybody is armed there is specifically indicated.

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