Friday, 29 August 2014

Dark Heresy: RT Victris' new employees - episode 2 - last episode

In this episode, the group was set down  on a planet for some shoreleave while the highranks were visiting a noble on the planet.

It started out with them being given shoreleave directly from the seneschal (lord captain usualy retreats to his workshop way to often), the frateris militia managed to insult the seneschal, so what happened was that the seneschal raised his hand to his ear, tapping his microbead and said "Vyn... he is all yours".

What happened next, the frateris militia had no idea but the others saw it clearly. Mc.. something, the muscle's eyes shot up with fear, he picked up the milita and started to run like hell towards the shuttle bay while shouting "hurry, better get out of here quickly", so everyone ran like hell, not really understanding what was going on but clearly understood that the militia's life was in severe danger.

They managed to get to the shuttlebay before they saw Vyn, the muscle handed the Milita to the others and seemed like he would try to slow Vyn down. Not wanting to stick around, the group left planetside.

Most of the time spent here was done shopping, with whatever money they had  gotten their hands on, which was not a lot, so it required selling some gear and buying new ones. But hints of things of interesst drew them in a direction and they ended up in a plaza. The area was surrounded by guardsmen and something was up, the most paranoid ones was about to leave when a tall but thin commissar shouted "You are all pick for serving the militia to fight against the feral orks, follow the guardsmen to your designated posts".  And the guardsmen started steering the crows in the direction of a makeshift camp. Some tried to make a run for it but was shot, so the rest followed the guardsmen to their fate, even shop owners who operated in the area.

Everyone was directed to an open area with lots of tents and firing ranges, there was several lines for being handed out gear and everyone got in a line. The group  tried to explain, but it was clear that everyone was in the same position, even nobles had been pressganged and many were objecting. 2 commissars were walking around striking everyone with whips if they did not obey.

A picture tells a 1000 words, so this were who the commissars were based on:
except that they were clearly "evil"... or normal in 40k sense, regular commissars who demanded discipline from people who had none of the expected kind.

The PCs reluctantly picked up their lasgun and flak armour, untill the assassin got to his turn, the player said "no, I'm not doing this, I'm  having none of this", as a GM I had to take  things into consideration, the player had caused a lot of trouble, so letting him go through whatever the others also had  to go through would be fair, there was no special  treatment, I considered going easy on him but that would not be fair to the others, so it was the choice of being fair towards 1 or more than 1 (dont remember how many we were), so in the end, I  figured that I would let the ingame events settle this rather than bringing this out of game.

Overall, I think I did the right thing with what I was going to do, the players said it was a bit unfair to him, but we were playing 40k so it made sense, but there was just empty complaints, it should not be done but there was no other way that any of us saw.

The assassin refused, so one of the commissars walked up and asked "Trouble" in a threatening way, the assassin was completely ignorant, caught up in anger that he was forced to pick up a lasgun instead of his sniper (he could have both but he was not listening). So the commissar used his whip and said "pick it up".
The assassin had enough, he brought his sniperrifle up, aimed at the commissar... "click"... out of ammo.

The player was shouting in anger now, saying that the tech-priest had checked over the sniper to make sure it was ok (he had failed the test and the assassin was not paying attention when this  was done and assumed it was ok when the tech-priest said he did not find anything). The commissar was about to strike again when the assassin drew his other weapon and shot the commissar, not dealing enough damage to go through the armour, and the guardsmen around converged on the assassin, taking him out as he continued to resist. In the end he said;
Angry player: "i burn a fatepoint to take the commissar down with me"
GM:  "ok, how many fatepoints do you have left"
Angry player: "5"
I was close enough to see his character sheet and I saw 0, asked him to hand it to me, and confirmed it, he had 0 fatepoints, all was spent. I  told him this and he had no choice, he went down, died, without being able to injure the commissar... he had however managed to take down 3 guardsman and shot the cleric with a stray bullet.

With the situation defused, the angry player said he was making a psyker so he could break my game... there was clear tension around the table now, so I choose to ignore  him to let him vent his anger on character creation, I was trying to be friendly so I loaned him my book. The psyker was in amongst the pressganged people and he was fine with that, but still  angry.

The PCs was forced through some basic training, everyone gaining the talent "basic weapon training: Las", during which, the scum tried to be a funny guy around the commissar who really did take any shit. I had assigned a sergeant to look after them, so when the scum was asked to shoot at a target for the 3rd time, if he did not hit,  he would be summary executed for being incompetent. So with that threat, the scum shot bullseye.... on the wrong target, on purpose.

the commissar walked up to the target he was supposed to fire at, while his eyes was looking towards the target, the sergeat grabbed the scum and pulled him to the next range so the target he hit would be the correct one.

The table bursted out laughing, the situation was now defused and we could continue like normal. Well  the angry player was still angry, but in a quiet way, so I ignored him when he did not want to do something, no prodding or asking what he wanted to do, he would speak up when he wanted something.

the commissar looked back at the scum and saw that the scum was in the next range
Commmissar: "oh, my bad"
and walked over to the next... more laughter from around the table... good good...  keep it like that, this is how a bad situation could be salvaged.

With everyone content, they were questioned on their previous jobs and  what they were good at, then sent to special training.  These consisted of stealth work, with about 5 people (1 player and 4 NPCs) asked to do something and based on test, various things would be done, none of the players rolled the worst result but they got tasked with various things like sent into a part of a forest to hide, if they were discovered by elite scouts, they had failed, there was some training for use of flamers and various other types of equipment.

The scum had EVERYTHING  he needed for being a good scout, with the exception of contortionist, so the scum was asked to avoid a master scout (which was designed to be better), the scum ran away and the scout spent some time looking for him, and found him in the end.

Now the scum player got angry, he had not put everything he had into his stats just to be found, I  tried to defuse the situasion with retracing the steps the scum had taken and having the scout point out the various locations and skills he could have used, and giving the character contortionist skill for free as a result... but it was not enough, the player was still angry that his character did not manage to sneak way from the base and away from the campaign. (if i did let him he would be forced to make a new character, and i dont remember if i told him this or not).

anyway,  everyone earned something from their training and was prepared to be put on the frontlines against the orks, but they had barely managed to send a message for help to the Rogue Trader dynasty, so there was hope for them to leave.

But we had to stop the session here, and they politely asked me to stop GMing the game for them. They lost their interesst in the game and was left with a bad aftertaste due to the situation, which is quite understandable, what happened, happened. This group was quite new compared to my other one so it.. I can't say that it was to be expected, but I was not surprised. The players was a close group  of friends and I was an outsider, they would  rather play a different game than a setting which was like 40k.

As mentioned, I talked to the players afterwards and it was understandable, but noone had any ideas how to avoid it, if  it could have been avoided, oppertunities should have been created earlier or maybe more hints of what was going to happen, if an experienced player was in the game he would see what would  happen, at least we would assume so. Overall, we ended on friendly terms but the game ended and I  quit running games for the group (which also stopped playing RPs because noone would GM)

I  had a discussion about the grimdarkness of 40k and figured that I had an oppertunity to portray this during this game,  but before I even started I knew it was just too bad to run for a new group, not even an established group should have to encounter this. But I feel that I should at least mention the idea even if it was bad.

When the PCs got their special training, people ran out into  the forest to hide, one of the guys were a thin really creepy guy, and another was a young boy, barely 16, who had gotten a cameleoline cloak from his family. I do not think I need to mention anything more than this right? yes, it would be way too bad to portray something like this which already was going to play a lot on the player's nerves and worldview. So the idea was scrapped and will  never be a part of any games I run for the same of people's sanity... its 40k im running,  not a H.P. Lovecraft story, sanity should be somewhat robust.

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