Author Topic: Trying to start a campaign  (Read 5345 times)

Offline Dvil

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Trying to start a campaign
« on: November 11, 2009, 07:22:28 AM »
Okay, so I'm trying to drum up interest for an ][ campaign in my local group, but the problem here is that I have (almost literally) no experience GMing. I have a couple of ideas for a campaign, but I figure I'd better ask for help.


Basically, I'm thinking the BBEG will be some sort of underworld faction that's preying on local firgures of imperial authority. The players are sent to meet with an inquisitor in the area, to help with his investigation. About an hour or so after they're meant to meet him (but he doesn't show up), I expect them to give up and go home. At this point one or two assassins will go after them (I'm thinking a sniper in an opposite building and a guy bursting into the room they're in, simultaneously). So, three Qs.

1) Does this start sound like it's railroading? I haven't had a chance to hone my judgement of such matters, so I don't know.
2) Where can I go from here? I want a few ideas, more just to stoke my imagination than anything else.
3) For accuracy's sake, who's right about who judges in law courts? Is the 40k rulebook right in stating that the arbites are "judge, jury and executioner" or is Abnett right saying that it's a local commissariat? Or does it just depend on the location?

Thanks, guys
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Offline Myriad

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 02:19:40 PM »
An assassination attempt is a good scenario to start off with - it gives you relatively clear objectives, and hopefully should introduce some of the combat dynamics. 
Where do you go from there?    Depending on whether they capture any assassins, they'll be looking to gather intelligence.  Capture / talk to informants, maybe access records.  Retrieval of a data chip or simple item is another standard scenario.
on 3) there's plenty of leeway.
The imperium being what it is, this will vary considerably between worlds, and probably according to the rank of the accused.  It is likely within the brief of both the commisariat and the arbites to make summary judgements - should you be lucky enough to get a trial, the commisariat will probably only be involved in high profile cases.
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Offline Dvil

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 04:14:12 PM »
Okay, thanks for the reply. I've been doing some thinking about an overall plot, and I figured I'd share and get some help, as there is still a glaring hole in it.

Okay, so the main bad guy is a rogue inquisitor, as yet nameless. He's used his authority to corrupt a couple of high-level judges, so condemned criminals have been 'disappearing' from cells, with minimal effort to track them down. These are being recruited into the inquisitor's private army (that underworld faction I mentioned in the OP), and subsequently used to assassinate some less corruptible judges, aloowing the recruitment to accelerate. The end result is the inquisitor has a private army and control over the hive's legal system, both of which are increasing exponentially.

But here's the hole in the plan: Why's he doing it? I was thinking he wants to take power, but he had the authority to do that anyway, and he's smart enough to know he can't risk drawing the attention of the Imperium's armies. So, what are his plans? Maybe he's a Thorian and believes there's a Divine Avatar somewhere in the hive, but then surely there are easier ways? Basically, what I'm saying is: have you guys got any ideas?
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Offline Dvil

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2009, 05:49:43 PM »
Okay, Gav suggested over msn that maybe the Inquisitor is of Istvaanian policy. I'm posting this here partly to see the reaction of the rest of you, but partly because I like it and I think I'm liable to forget it if it's not written down.
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Offline TheNephew

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2009, 11:46:21 PM »
All looks pretty sound, and the Istvaanian Inquisitor as the BBEG is a good plan.
For added brownie points, have one faction meet and interrogate a minion of the BBEG and discover that he is destabilising the system to prevent the current ruling class do something horrific - nothing really springs to mind just now, but if you can introduce a moral ambiguity for one or two players, then the thrilling showdown will be that little bit more fun.

Offline Dvil

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 07:14:59 AM »
Oh, good idea. I've been thinking of ways to mess with my players' heads, but that stuff tends to be more out-of-character, so an in-character suggestion is always welcome!
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Offline Dvil

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2009, 07:30:15 AM »
Okay, so I'm now thinking that there is also a noble family or merchant guild or something who are dabbling in chaos worship, and starting to lean towards nurgle, and maybe should be stopped before releasing some pox into the hive. I'm thinking that the Inquisitor's private army-type thing are led by one person, and the guild/noble house are led by one person, and the Inquisitor is just behind the scenes with both, fuelling them and guiding them before pitting them against each other (being Istvaanian). So maybe it's up to the players which they investigate, or whether they do both.

So, the first mission will still be that assassination, but on the assassin's corpse (or upon interrogation) they discover the symbol of this private army tattood on his shoulders, and tickets to a show in the local Arena in his pockets.
The second mission will involve them going to the Arena, before getting challenged and taken to the head of this private army. His mooks attack them, but in the time it takes them to kill those, another one is covering them with a flamer, and tells them to step outside (into the pit of the arena). From there it'll largely depend upon their actions what happens, so I can't really plan for that now.

I'm doing some houseruling with this, so I thought I'd see what you guys think:
1) Sg tests. If the PCs find something and take a Sg test for it, I won't tell them whether they've passed or failed, but instead give them information based on the results. A good pass is they know it; a slight fail/pass is they don't know/don't know much, and a severe fail will be that their character gets completely the wrong end of the stick and I give them bogus information.
2) Injuries. The injury system still confuses me, so I thought to speed up the games I'd streamline it by making it simpler, but also more dangerous (so I'm also limiting the availability of bolt weapons in this). Any ideas for how I can do this fairly, without just making it all up on the spot?
3) Character advancement. I want some sort of char advancement to be available, even if it's just me rewarding them with boost in stats at reasonable times. Has anyone done anything like this before, and if so how did it work out?
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Offline TheNephew

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2009, 02:21:53 PM »
Sounds fine.
1) That's a good standard RPG way of doing it, which fits well with how you're running your campaign.

2) Spend a little more time familiarising yourself with the rules, or ask one of the more venerable board members to explain it.
I'd give you a hand, but I've not played a game in years, and didn't play all that much in the first place.

3) Advance people as and when it seems appropriate - after an unfeasibly good round of shooting bump their Bs a few points, or if they face down a daemon successfully give them a courage-related skill/ability.

Offline Dvil

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2009, 04:07:20 PM »
It's not that I don't understand injuries (I worded the post badly there), it's just that I can't remember it, so every time someone's injured I have to find the location chart before rolling on it, whether it's light/serious/whatnot, and what the limits are for system shock, unconsciousness, etc. It may be largely because my rulebook is the pdf version on GW's website that it's so slow, so writing the stuff out might help as well. Do you guys reckon that's easier?
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Offline greenstuff_gav

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2009, 04:19:06 PM »
3) Advance people as and when it seems appropriate - after an unfeasibly good round of shooting bump their Bs a few points, or if they face down a daemon successfully give them a courage-related skill/ability.

i agree here; we found that doing things based on an Experience system only supported grind (we had an Inquisitor spend several turns just shooting a regenerating mutant from his retinue!), while playing characterfully and pulling off those "Movie Moments" were much more deserving of the odd stat increase here and there.
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Offline Kaled

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2009, 05:22:08 PM »
so every time someone's injured I have to find the location chart before rolling on it
Why not simply make sure each player has a copy of the quick reference sheet?  That contains all of that sort of information so you shouldn't need to go looking it up in the book.

Quote
what the limits are for system shock, unconsciousness, etc.
Such things are usually written on the character sheets, so again, you shouldn't need to look them up in the rulebook.

Quote
It may be largely because my rulebook is the pdf version on GW's website that it's so slow, so writing the stuff out might help as well.
I bought a cheap copy of the rulebook from eBay and then cut-and-pasted (the old fashioned way using scissors and glue) the ammended rules into the book.  It takes a couple of hours, but is extremely useful when playing a game and saves printing out the entire LRB.
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Offline Dvil

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2009, 05:27:32 PM »
Oh, thanks for that Kaled. The reference sheet was sort of hidden away among all the other files in my Inquisitor folder, so I didn't notice. I was considering the possibility of writing out my own quick reference sheet (and may well do so with other mechanics I'm liable to forget), but that's very useful. Thanks again for the reminder.
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Offline Dvil

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2009, 05:38:09 PM »
Okay, so here's a list of the characters so far, with yet another request for help. Ignore the odd names, I'm copy-pasting from our forum, so they're usernames form slightly deranged folks.

So, without further ado:
Quote from: Dvil
Okay, the characters are finished. All are assumed to be right-handed.

Disco's character:
Code: [Select]
WS BS S  T  I  Wp Sg Nv Ld Speed
65 75 60 60 65 70 90 80 70 4

Equipment and weaponry:
Long-las with laser sight and 3 reloads.

Abilities:
Deadeye Shot, leader

Armour:
Carapace on chest and abdomen, leather on arms, groin and legs.



Geezer's Character (Demorus):
Code: [Select]
WS BS S  T  I  Wp Sg Nv Ld Speed
60 70 50 55 60 60 70 75 65 4

Equipment and weaponry:
Triplex Pattern Lasgun with auspex and 2 reloads, 5 throwing stars, short sword

Abilities:
Lightning Reflexes
Feint

Armour:
Flak on chest, abdomen, groin and legs.


Shrump's Character:
Code: [Select]
WS BS S  T  I  Wp Sg Nv Ld Speed
75 65 65 50 75 55 70 80 60 5

Equipment and Weaponry:
Hand Flamer with 4 reloads, sword, Libris Malum (grants Wyrd-firestorm)

Abilities:
Furious Assault, Wyrd-firestorm (granted by Libris Malum)

Armour:
Carapace on chest, flak on abdomen, groin and arms, leather on legs


Mas' Character:
Code: [Select]
WS BS S  T  I  Wp Sg Nv Ld Speed
60 75 55 55 50 60 70 75 75 4

Equipment and Weaponry:
Necromunda-pattern lasgun with bio-scanner, bayonet and 3 reloads

Abilities:
Hipshooting, Rock steady aim

Armour:
Weak carapace on chest and abdomen, flak on arms, groin and legs.


So, I want to modify them a little bit. Shrump's character has a book called the Libris Malum (which he stole from the Inquisition, along with his sword) which allows him to emulate psychic ability, and also acts like the Malus Codicium from Eisenhorn, a bit (in that it's slowly corrupting him). I'm going to allow it to temporarily transform his sword into a daemon sword, but that one's hidden from the other players. The main inquisitor (Disco's character) will probably have modified ammunition, in that his magazines have solar panels added.

However, I'm not too sure about the other two. They're both mid-range blasters, but the point of these modifications is to make them a bit more unique. Unfortunately they're backgrounds aren't all that unique either (they're both generic 'veteran guardsman' stories), so any ideas?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 05:42:39 PM by Dvil »
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Offline Kaled

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2009, 05:58:01 PM »
First off, I might as well say it before someone else does - why are all their stats multiples of 5?  Inquisitor is a D100 game, so you might as well make use of the full range it offers.

You've no doubt already read this thread on stats, so I'll not waste time going through each character's stats in turn;
http://www.the-conclave.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=162.0

Disco's character:
...
Long-las with laser sight and 3 reloads.
How will the solar panels affect his ammo?  Are you saying his power packs will recharge when not in use?  Adding solar panels, which are generally shiny and reflective to a 'sniper' character seems like a bad idea as they'd give away his position.

Quote
Geezer's Character (Demorus):
...
Abilities:
Lightning Reflexes
Feint
Which version of Lightning Reflexes are you using?  The one in the rulebook has been superceded.

Quote
Shrump's Character:
...
Hand Flamer with 4 reloads, sword, Libris Malum (grants Wyrd-firestorm)
If he can cast Firestorm, wouldn't it make more sense if his pistol wasn't also flame based?  I can't see why he'd lug it around if he can conjure up fire without it.

Quote
Mas' Character:
...
Abilities:
Hipshooting, Rock steady aim
Personally I shy away from giving a character both of those skills - the former tends to suggest (to me anyway) a character who moves quickly, firing as he goes; while the latter suggests someone who's more methodical - aiming and stalking his foes.

I wouldn't worry about the characters not seeming unique enough at this stage.  Better to get them on the tabletop and see how they play - they might turn out to be very different once they're used in a few games.
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Offline Dvil

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Re: Trying to start a campaign
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2009, 06:28:54 PM »
Well, his firestorm ability is granted by the Libris Malum, which obviously the others don't know about, so if they come across him interrogating a horribly-burned bad guy, it helps him to have some sort of mundane fire source to pretend to have used. I have deliberately limited his fire abilities though, by forcing him to hide his firestorm and only supplying a few reloads of his pistol.

The solar panels do indeed recharge his ammunition, yes. I may try to think of something better as an excuse, but I might just hand-wave that a character who's able to (successfully) modify las-ammo with solar panels is also able to manufacture (or modify) more light-absorbant (and thus less shiny) panels. Or something like that.

And re:lightning reflexes, this version grants a free pause for breath action per turn. Is this up-to-date or not?

Finally, stats: They're multiples of 5 because... I had no reason not to? I don't really know why, except that I'm still fairly new to all this and multiples of 5 are easier to remember.
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