Monday, 27 October 2014

Dark Heresy 2nd Edition: Do you got what it takes - Chapter 0 - Kade the IG Scout - part 2

My regiment had apparently been picked for some sort of inquisitorial training, we were supposed to do some trials to test our capabilities alongside several civilians. We stood at attention most of the time, it was not as easy around the infectious sway of the others in the crowd. Sarge said that we should just do what we are told and stay on the lookout for anything important, so thats what we did.

We got some basic information about our tasks, but I have a feeling that it was left vague on purpose, kinda like every day in the guard, but still a little different. We were forced to store our ranged weapons in some transport crates and mark them with what I later learned to be bloodlock trackers.

Then we found ourselves inside a small transport with about 30 people, it was kinda claustrophobic, but being from a hiveworld and living in the guard, pretty much made us immune to this. "Kade!, you are good with people, have a look around and see what you can pick up" Sarge said, "Yes Sir" I responded and started walking around the transport.

I saw an arbite and a noble playing regicide, it was a close match, but it reminded me too much about a recent fight againt seccessionists and how we were victorious at a devastating cost, Our regiment barely survived thanks to fresh recruits being sent our way. I noticed a IG medic by the food tables, trying to avoid a obese priest, I did not want to talk to the medic yet, she was not from my regiment and feral worlders tend to be a little aggressive, I would rather wait and see how she reacts to other people first. A guy in a black bodyglove tried to get into a conversation with me but I could not understand his accent at all, so he gave up and went elsewhere, something told me that this guy was dangerous, so better leave him alone. After getting a good look at the other people around the transport, I started having a chat with a few of them and picked up that the sisters sororitas was trying to make sense of our situation. While I did not get personally involved It looked to me that one of the Militants and the famulous was right on top of things.

After a few hours of interacting with people, the tension in the transport started to shift, me and Lilla, a Sin-Eater that I sorta gotten to know, had picked up some rumors that the majority of the people in the container, or the ones that could fight at least, was wondering if it was an all out battle between all of us to figure out which one was best suited to join the inquisition. The rumor originated from one of the sister militants and it was getting serious, Lilla had no sway over the criminals so she kept to herself, I on the other hand had to report to the sergeant.

"Alright men, stick togeather, if there is a fight, we will take down the biggest threats and work from there, do not pick targets you cannot fight, let them destroy themselves first" Sarge said, he was expecting this and had to make the best of the situation, I felt that it was the right approach but would prefere to not be involved in a fight, any sort of battle here would be devastating, which was the point i guess, but what if a fight was not the goal of this task?

Tension was extremely high but the sister famulous was desperatly trying to keep things under control, when the medic by the food tables made some comments that kicked the tension back into overdrive. We were only a split second away from a fight, when the Sister Militant, Xania by name, shouted an order so loud that even Sarge jumped to attention. We were still unsure but in order to get control over the situation we were told to stay in our little groups and make reports to the scribes we had with us, we were going to tell them everything we had picked up so far so that they could make sense of it. It was better to act on information than out of desperation.

The timer on the wall was counting down but we kept our heads low and reported what we knew to the scribes, there was still tension in the air but Sarge gave us strict orders to not interact with anyone outside out group. Thankfully he overlooked my quiet whispers to Lilla, seeing that she was not part of any group.

When the timer hit zero, we all looked at it with anticipation for seconds that felt like hours, and it changed from blinking "00:00:00:00" to "Get to the Middle Hive", and then it was replaced with "Survive".

The door opened and we saw where we were, in the depts of a underhive.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Dark Heresy 2nd Edition: Do you got what it takes - Chapter 0 - Lilla the Sin-Eater - part 1

"Finally" I almost said out loud, as I watched the man in the grey jumpsuit climb on top of a metal box to be seen easier by the crowd. One of the other agents raised their shotgun in the air and fired of a shot that caused a deafening echo in the storage hold, and caused everyone to go quiet, barely daring to whisper.

Agent that looks like a Pilot:
"You have all been handpicked as potentional recruits for the inquisition",
a few people started to whisper at this notion.
"Over the next few days, you will be put through a couple of trials that will test very spesific capabilities",
he shifts towards 3 large containers behind him, point out a priest and some storage boxes.
"The first test require all of you to hand in your ranged weaponry, the priest will bless you before you enter the transports".
At this point, two other agents walk through the crowd and evenly divide them into 3 groups,
"Inside these transports is a timer, when this timer runs out, a new objective will appear in place of the timer.".
"There will be plenty of food and supplies to substain you for the duration of your stay inside the transports".
"if anyone have questions, they will be answered at a later time"
At this point all the agents indicate for the first group to move up to hand in their weapons, get blessed by the priest and enter the transport.

"so they are testing to see if we got what it takes to become acolytes" I think to myself as I evaluate the various options. I could run away but the inquisition would likely prevent a favourable outcome, I could fail the test, but same would happen then, never heard about a failed, live, member of the inquisition, then again, what do I know. So overall the only option is to succeed if I want to survive.

While I was pondering the various options, I slowly noticed other people in the group and how they handled the situation, instead of focusing on my own doubts, I started picking up details about everyone around me, slowly building a metal image of every single person in the group take it into consideration of how it would affect the outcome of any trials we would be put through.

It was our turn to get into the container, as people was reluctant to hand in their ranged weaponry, I took the initiative to hand in my autopistol, while I was not the first to get into the line, I had added to the que early enough to convince the rest to follow suit.

Inside was several bunks, enough for the lot of us, about 30 people, there as some small form of entertainmen, some cards here, a few dice there, and one regicide set. Looks like there was plenty of food too.

I sat myself down on a bunk and watched the crowd, picking up information. There was afew people like me, well, not like me, but people from my hive, most whom is also linked to a life of crime. There were a few arbites, it was clear that conflict might arise between the two group but it was suppressed for now. There was some guardsmen, they were quite diciplined as they just walked up to their bunks and started resting, guess that is how they handle most situations that is not direct combat. Then there was the clergy, a few priests and some sororitas, no powerarmour however, so while at least 2 looked like they can handle combat, they were no proper bolterbitch as they say. Lastly, there was several civilians, it was a mix of seemingly random people, some lowborn that could very well be outcast or whatnot and some highborns, or anything in between.

When the door to the transport closed, the timer lit up: 48 hours remaining. "what the hell? 2 day-cycles coped up in this shit?... feth it", People had started talking but I did not really care, I lied down on the bunk and fell into more of a meditative trance than sleep as the talking around me sometimes woke me up. I was normally used to this thing back on Hulee V, but these people were offworlders, and their distinct accents and way of speaking was quite interupting.

I only lied in bed for what seemed to be two or three hours, before I gave up and went back to studying the people. "lets see" my eyes glazed over most of the people before settling on one guy, a preacher. I watched how he interacted with people and picked up snippets of information.

The guy was called Cromwell, he was a preacher from Thaur, a shrineworld, looked like he was getting along with a frateris millitia by the name of Mazion. Cromwell also looked quite confused and maybe out of his dept, still, people seemed to like him as he was soft-spoken, if a bit high-pinched.

The frateris millitia, Mazion, was also from Thaur, "maybe Thaur was a major recruiting ground?" I thought. He did have quite a few comments about various people around the transport, indirectly accusing them of heresy for not being as dedicated to the emperor as him, Cromwell was slightly put of by these notions and they managed to stay as meaningless accusations rather than stirir actions.

I tore my eyes away from them and tried to find another 'target', when some snoring to my right got my attention. In the bunk beside me was a guy who were dressed as a penal legionnaire, complete with ID-tattoo and explosive collar. From the first time I saw him, he looked tired, so seeing him sleeping was nor surprising, he had made some quotes during the speach but they were mostly complaints about being forced into more service and general discontent for his warden. Still, he looked quite relaxed now that he was sleeping.

"where could the warden be?" I looked around and spotted him moving back towards his bunk from where the food was stored, he carried some basic nutritions with him, only enough for himself however. the Warden, Boras, according to his nametag, sant down on his bunk and started eating, still keeping an eye on the legionnaire with great discontent. There was tention between those two but it was quite logical that a legionnaire and a warden would not like eachother, they were pretty much natural enemies. I tried to get a better feel for how he acted but it was hard, over the time spent in the transport, I would notice that he was more drawn towards the tech-priests than the priests, there might be something there but it was way too little to go on.

A laughter could be heard nearby and I saw two guardmen talking, one was a trooper and the other was a sergeant, I tried to get a look at their nametags and saw Voross, that would be the trooper, and Lagain? no, Lahain, which was the sergeant, They looked quite content with their situation, the trooper was talking about their recent victory but put a negative spin on the commissar that he called Gone. I looked around and saw no commissar, he might have been in a different group. The sergeant looked content with dwelling on the victory, but for some reason it felt like a mask, like someone who have experienced someting that they are trying too hard to hide.

I got distracted by a smell and turned my attention towards one of the feral worlders, this guy was wearing beasthide leathers and had several trophies like severed claws and beast skulls. Almost everything on him had some kind of smell that added to the bad impression that everyone around him got, still, it did not looked like he cared. I had picked up his name somewhere, Apollyon or something, but other than that I could not manage to learn.

"hungry" I thought and got up from my bunk, pressed my way past several people, who was clearly staring at my tattoos, then made my way over to where the food was stored. Two people was blocking the way, a fat priest who grabbed all the food he could carry and made his way over to a table, and a small guy with hive leathers. The small guy was called Luigi, he had taken off his jacket and was collecting all the food that would fit in it, carrying it like a slingbag. "don't take my stuff" he says as he spots me, to which I respond by pointing at his 'bag' and says "you wont fit any more, and beside, it's not yours". It looked like he was just aware of it and got slightly frustrated "fine, but dont take too much" before taking the big bag of food and starts trodding over to his bunk. "moron" I thought to myself as I found something that looked tasty.

"You gonna eat that?", I turned to the one who spoke, it was the obese priest, "Yes" I answered and put whatever I had in my mouth. The priest looked disappointed, "oh well, I did manage to convince another guy to give me his food so I should not complain", the priest must have had read the confusion on my face as he continued "some guy called Alric gave me his food". I was not feeling quite talkative with the priest, so I kept my mouth shut to not provoke a conversation. He must have understood as he tried to turn his attention to another person sitting at the same table as him.

"Hey, the name's Nickas" he said to a nearby feral worlder, guardswoman from the looks of it, her tag said Melankolia. She moved away from the priest, but he followed slightly trying to make friends as he saw that the guardswoman also was scuffling down food like its the best thing they have eaten since the great heresy. I tried to get a feel for the guardswoman but the personality was kinda off-putting as she seemed to radiate a "leave me alone" kind of vibe, that or she was just in a bad mood. However, I did notice that a lot of her gear was different than the other guardsmen in the group, her gear was more feral and there were several pouches and small bags that seemed to contain salves and bandages, maybe she was some kind of medic? but not one that I've ever seen.

"Where is this Alric you mentioned" I asked the priest, his face was stuffed so he could not speak but he did point out a man in nice robes speaking to another one of his kind. The two nobles were having a chat about some planet called Terminus Prime. The guy called Alric was quite open and friendly, but the other guy, who introduced himself as Krenning, apologised for not being open about his family and name but was willing to have a friendly chat and talk about their homeworld, the noble courts and the heraldry of their hive. Alric looked quite knowledgeable, as if he had spent great parts of his life to study and remember things, while Krenning was more the social and, lets say eccentric type.

An arbite was nearby, looks like she was taking notes and scratching his head quite often, looked confused. Her nametag said Loiacona and her short build marked her as a forge worlder.

The general talk about the high quality of life for highborns annoyed me to no ends, so I left them to themselves and went back to my bunk to vent the frustration on the rest of my food. "Relax, there is no danger here, so no point in being so tense", a nearby guardsman had apparently seen my frustration and felt like commenting on it. "Danger has nothing to do with it" I responded maybe a little to hastily. I had just gotten a proper look at the guardsman, well, scout is more the proper word for it, he was cleaning his boots next to his bunk and looked quite relaxed, almost the annoying infectious type. "some people just have it better than others, so of course people get frustrated by that" I said as a followup. "Ha, tell me about it, in the guard you could be lucky if you got a decent meal in a lifetime, and let me tell you, our lifetime is quite short in comparison" the guardsman jokes, "name's Kade by the way, yours?" he held out his hand. "Lilla" I responded and shook just for the sake of it. He put had put away his boots and took a look around the room "So you have been picking up a bit of info about the others?", he is good I thought, or me have been watching me. "you could say that".

"See that storm-trooper over there, next to the two sisters?", I look over to where Kade was indicating. "The guy's name's Deroin, but he looks a bit too hessitant to be a storm-trooper, and as you see, it looks like he has a thing for the sisters, not that I blame him", Kade grins childishly at the notion before continuing. "the big sister there is Debroah, a sister militant, and it looks like she is constantly expecting trouble, you should have seen her when the door closed, she almost freaked out". "the little sister, Thorn, is one of the sororitas scribes or something, im told they are called dialogus, while she looks calmer, I can promise you that she shares her big sis' worries".

"What about the other sisters?" I asked, noticing 3 more that looked like they wore similar style. "Well..." said Kade, "that lady over there, the one who looks like a noble, she is apparently one of the socially trained ones, she have been talking to a few people and seems to know how to build connections, cant say I remember which order she was from however, but her name, Katherin I think it was.", Kade looked like he took some pride in knowing things, guess that was what made him a good scout, or maybe he just noticed my appriciation for gathering information.

"And the sister hospitaller over there is called Suellen", I noticed that she was kneeling on the floor, rummaging around in her medkit for something, while chatting with the other sisters. "and the last one", Kade looked around to see if he could spot her, "ah there" he pointed out another sister militant with a gasmask, which was a bit strange in my opinion but maybe she was used to it in her line of work. "I overheard the other sisters calling her Xania, and like Katherin, she is getting more involved with the group than the other sisters, who prefere to keep to their own closed little group."

"Anyone else you would point out" I asked, to which Kade pointed without looking, towards one of the sellsword. "That guy is called Lombardino, he is a convicted murderer from my hive, he does got some connections so avoid that guy at all cost, he is generally bad news". "Hive?" I asked, "yea, back on Hulee V", Kade seem to notice where the question was going, "section 857B". I was kinda disappointed, that was the opposite side of the hive, rarely been there, "close, but not close enough, I never heard of the guy".

"Just try to ignore him" then he pointed towards the next person, "that is Harran, don't know much about the tech-priest but he grabs anyone who asks him any 'intelligent' questions and force them to stay and listen to his explanations, so be warned". "what about that other tech-priest?" I pointed towards a similar built tech-priest. "thats an enginseer, focuses more on ships from what i remember, thing's name Khairy and its quite a nut". "it?" I was kinda confused, "Just look at the augmentations, I would be surprised if there is even a shred of flesh left on it" Kade said accusingly in the direction of the oblivious enginseer.

I yawned, "you know what, I'll grab a shuteye, we might talk later", and I made a quick hive-signal with my hand that indicated "see you later". Kade responded in kind and went off to get some food or something.

I was tired enough to actually sleep through the noise that people made, and when I woke up i saw that there was about 25 hours left and most of the others have already gone to sleep, guess it must be their natural night cycle. I took a look around to see who was still awake, there was the arbite trooper by the regicide set, had he been sitting there ever since he arrives? He was currently playing with Galan, a twitchy gunslinger that caused a few minor episodes when the inquisition took away his guns, he was shaking like a leaf but still trying to focus on the game at hand. The arbite himself was quite at ease and acted like a pompus noble that I was used to back on Hulee V, guess he must be one of them huh? A quick look at his badge told me he was called Arcite.

Looking around for other people, I noticed a feral guy in grimy robes by the food tables, he was apparently feeding a small rat in the sleeves of his robe, guess he must be a bit more feral than he seems, would fit right in, in the underhives. dunno what his name was, but his mumbling kept mentioning Captain and Alrod.

I should have gotten a good look at most of them by now, I went over the people in my head and had gotten to 26 people, "should be 4 left, me included, so 3 other people". I looked around for 'new' faces and my eyes fell on a female scribe, she noticed my stare almost immediatly and hurried over to her own bunk and hid under the covers. "That is Frederica, and don't worry, she is skittish like that", Kade had apparently noticed that I was up and felt like engaging in conversation again.

"Hi Kade" I greeted, "I think I got a good overview now, but what about those two?". "who?" Kade asked, he did not see who I was pointing at, "those two in the black bodygloves", I had indicated two people in the room, one that looked like he was watching the group and the other who kept to herself.
"shit, I dont know, but they look dangerous", Kade seemed eager to avoid the topic, which was understandable, because there was something that gave the impression of lethality from them, which did not really make them approachable. "you might be right Kade, some things are best left alone."

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Campaign idea 2: Only War - Last Chancers

This campaign is not really detailed but have a basic concept of it.

This was meant for my Rogue Trader group but the game stopped so it was put on ice.

The group owed a favour to colonel schaeffer, an unspecified favour but it gave him total authority over their ship and its crew, including the players.

When this favour was called in, there were to travel to undred undred teef to stop a warboss, rather, there was several warbosses.

Colonel Schaeffer have gotten rumors about a fighting pit on one of the planets where warbosses fight to pick a leader for the next waaagh!, this rumor was gotten through a former ork freebooter called Grimstuff, and his pet warphead. If the waaagh! was started at this time, Grimstuff could not carry out his cunning plans (not gone into details but there is a history here that is not quite written)

so the group was to travel to the pit and assassinate the winning warboss and reignite the fighting amongst themselves so the status quo could be maintained.

the group had colonel schaeffer, Kage, a few last chancers and the players. I had planned for this to be a only war campaign with premade characters, so lots of characters was already made (one of each career in the OW core book)

Then they travel to the section of space, get into 3 flyers and fly down to the planet from afar, without fuel to return (it must be scavaged downt here or brought (danger of blowing up the landers if they are shot down)). Then they must avoid a planet full of orks, make their way into various installation and scavage explosives and whatever they need to take out the warbosses. and actually carry out the mission.

Further than this i have not gotten, but after Shadows of More Doors was released,
the concept of warbosses could be worked out like that, with Grimstuff and the warphead being 2 of the orks that could be promoted to Waaagh! and take it in a different direction or keep the orks busy for the moment.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Campaign idea 1: Only War - Arkan 1st. Heavy Recon

I can't say I'm back but I am recovering, at least enough to attempt to pitch some campaign ideas that I've never ran or been unsuccessful.

So here is my first campaign, which was never ran due to players not being interessted in playing this sort of regiment and its been on the shelf for so long that I forget about it every time i have the chance of starting up a new game of Only War.

So lets get to it;

Arkan is a feudal world which have recently been conquered by the imperium, the population is a rebellious lot and there was quite a fight for the imperium to capture the planet and conquering its people.

It would have taken longer if it had not been for the Blood Angles chapter that decimated the majority of the military forces of Arkan, leaving the population with a built-in hatered for the space marine chapter.

The population is also a inventive bunch, which puts them at odds with the adeptus mechanicus for their almost heretical technology. (outwardly it looks very steampunk-ish but it not too far from "modern" tech, function over aestetics).

The Imperial Guard have recruited about 8 regiments of foot soldiers from this world before they finally were allowed to add the arkan walkers to its millitary assets, the Arkan walkers are a form for power armour that is too big and clunky to be a typical power armour, and it handles like a Sentinel Walker. It was mainly constructed to oppose the Blood Angles.

The population is split in two, its the common people, and the champions and nobility. In the regiments, the common people are outfitted with scouting gear and make exellent trail-blazers. While the nobility often make for the command roles, however, when the Arkan 1st. heavy recon was put togeather, it was only the nobility and the champions who were granted a Arkan Walker, while the rest supported these scouting vehicles.

It should be mentioned that champions are proven individuals, worthy of respect, these can be from the most primitive of the badlands raiders and still be viewed in awe by the noble court of the planetary govenor. This has a bit more to do with tradition than actual skills, but skill is still very important.

With the background out of the way, the regiment is sent to a ice world to fight the severus dominion, taking out a few outposts and flank in on supply-depots and installations while the majority of the enemy force is focused on the main IG advance (a few other regiments).

However, during one assault on an installation, they find a captures blood angle, or they assume so due to his lack of weapons, chains attached to him, no helmet and generally bad shape... but still beating up anyone in the installation.

This scene cause the majority of the NPCs in the regiment to feel the built in hatered of the blood angles and they open fire, unless the PCs can stopp them (they also have to do the test so that they are not completely free from their ancestral links, except certain support classes like commissars).

Depending on how this goes down, they can join the Severus dominion and fight back the imperial guard, then be stationed elsewhere in the Dominion, or disgruntedly continue to fight for the imperium while the regiments morale is becomming an ever increasing problem and shifts the focus of the game to internal struggles rather than external ones.

And that is what I had for this campaign, some loose notes is lying around somewhere and I can find it and refine the campaign if I were to ever run it.

Shadows of Esteren: Warlords - Session 3

In this session, a new player joined us, by new, i do mean Catalina , who made a character during the character creation session. In addit...