Author Topic: New Messiccan Conclave  (Read 4442 times)

Offline Chipperz

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New Messiccan Conclave
« on: April 29, 2010, 06:55:51 PM »
OK, I'm just about to start up a new Inquisitor campaign, but I haven't GM'd in years, and I'd love some help with my planned set up, both to make sure it reads properly, and to make sure it "feels" 40k enough.  I'd love any feedback, and I'll try to keep this up to date with how the game goes.  I'm not sure how many players we're going to get at the moment, but I'm looking at between three and ten.

Quote from: the handout each player is going to get
Ref : INQ/9613/123/sub:a
Author : Inquisitor Lord Aluthor Sirys
Subject : Amarii IV

Note : The language of Amarii IV is markedly different from Imperial Gothic.  While many inhabitants speak Low Gothic fluently, I have provided the pronunciations of many of the names of people and places, as well as translations where applicable.

Planet : Amarii IV.  While this is the name given to it by the Imperium, being the fourth planet of the Amarii system, the locals call it New Messicca (pro; mess-ee-ka).  It will be referred to as such for the rest of this document.  Get used to referring to it as New Messicca, as locals will not aid Imperial agents who refuse to accept local cutoms.
Sattelites : 2.  The locals call the larger Ash’alia (The Greater Land, pro; ash arl-ee-ah) and the smaller Ash’alua (The Lesser Land, pro; ash arl-oo-ah).
Population : 13,000,000 (approx)
Major Settlements : As’aim (City of Light, pro; as ee-am), As’oel (City of Caves, pro; as oh-ill) and As’iar (City of Fire, pro; as ay-ar)

Founding
Records of the settling of the entire system were either lost in the Dark Age of Technology, or never created in the first place.  While records for the other planets in the area were eventually filed with the Adeptus Terra, Amarii IV has never officially been claimed as part of the Imperium, and what few records there are claim it is uninhabited.

Notable Historic Events
Despite not technically existing, two units of New Messiccan troops were dispatched on a trade ship to aid the nearby Penumbra III when a Chaos Cult was uncovered in the PDF.  Although considered a token gesture at first, the New Messiccan’s proficiency in guerrilla combat and demolitions, combined with their extreme loyalty allowed the entire matter to be concluded with the annihilation of the cult in a quarter of the projected time, and with a tenth of the projected loyalist losses.  The eight surviving soldiers elected to return to New Messicca, rather than accepting the offer of being treated like kings on Penumbra for the rest of their lives, claiming that civilised life was “too soft to be comfortable”.

Features
New Messicca was used as a dumping ground by the neighbouring systems for untold thousands of years before a warp storm cut it off for several centuries, allowing a modicum of civilisation to grow on the planet’s surface with the descendants of the criminals, mutants and workers that were left there.  The entire planet’s surface is covered in a fine dust made by ancient rusted machinery being weathered away.  It has no indigenous flora or fauna, with all sustenance being grown in nutrient vats, or traded for with other planets.

New Messicca has a planet-spanning network of tunnels and caverns, created by crashed space ships and discarded pipes.  This is called Ash’oram (The Under Land, pro; ash oh-rahm), and is home to a stabilised mutant strain known to offworlders as the Undersiders, who share many physical traits with the abhuman species known as Ratlings.  It is accessible through many locations on the planet’s surface, but most easily through the city of As’oel.

Mutants are treated as equals on New Messicca, and a large percentage of the population has some degree of “cosmetic” mutation.  Degree of psychic activity is still no higher than other worlds, however, due to most of the mutations being caused by radiation and chemicals from when the planet was used as a dumping ground.

Past Investigations
Roughly forty Terran years ago, Inquisitor Halbeck investigated the planet for signs of corruption, no doubt incensed by the large numbers of mutants, and the freedom they enjoy.  While he registered a wish for more Inquisitors to test them, he was forced to concede that there were no links to chaos in the populace.  No Inquisitors ever tested the population, feeling the rise of the Tau Empire nearby to be a more immediate threat.

Rumours
An ancient device known as the “Silent Child” is rumoured to still be active under the surface of New Messicca.  While the story changes depending on who’s telling it, who they’re telling it to, and how drunk they are, the name and the main point remains the same – it’s big, it’s powerful, and if it activates, it will destroy worlds.

A small force of Orks have crash-landed in the Northern hemisphere, and have started building new weapons from the scrap in the planet’s surface.  While this isn’t rumour (it’s most certainly fact), there IS a rumour that they’re a splinter of a much larger invasion force.  If THIS is true, then an Ork Waagh is getting ready to hit somewhere in the Ultima Segmentum.

The force sent from Penumbra III to aid in the fight with the Orks is acting strangely.  While they have a large number of confirmed Ork kills, settlements and caravans they have been assigned to guard occasionally go missing, as if the people had never existed.

Every so often, an STC comes on the market in a nearby system.  Although the dealers are understandably cagy about their sources, Inquisitorial and Adeptus Mechanicus investigations have both led to New Messicca, but never any further.

Eldar of the Iyanden craftworld have been spotted scouting out locations on New Messicca.  While there is no discernable pattern to the reports, they are frequently reported in the wake of Ork attacks.

Campaign Opening
The Inquisitors have been called to a Conclave in As’aim by Inquisitor Lord Sirys, who has drawn the Emperor’s Tarot, and always gets the same result – a catastrophe is brewing on New Messicca.  As he is giving his opening speech, he is killed by a single las blast to the head from outside.

I’m going to give each player a slightly different briefing, pointing out that it could be the New Messiccans, the Eldar, or one of the other Inquisitors (chosen for maximum rivalry potential in later missions).  They will have the objective of either trying to find the one responsible, or exiting the board as quickly as possible.

After the game is over, I’m going to give them the choice of investigating one of the rumours, or Sirys’ death.  No matter what happens, I’ll occasionally throw in some Ork NPCs, both to spice up gameplay, and to give myself some dice to roll if I get bored of looking at charts.  Also, I’m going to set up an online “virtual conclave” – while no Inquisitor would be stupid enough to meet all the others in person until Sirys’ killer is found, they can still communicate and talk to each other while they’re not fighting.  I’m hoping this will keep rivalries strong until the next fight.

EDIT - fixed some formatting.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 07:59:05 PM by Chipperz »
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Offline Alyster Wick

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Re: Planned Campaign, need help!
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010, 02:00:22 PM »
I've been meaning to give this a thorough read through for some time now.  It looks really, really good.  You were able to keep it short enough to be interesting but rich with information and plot potential.  The set up for the planet makes it sound like the town from a horror movie (bunch of incredibly xenophobic [in the contemporary sense] mutants with a chip on their shoulder) and I love the background with STC and random tech.

Will you be playing this in 28mm or 54mm?  I most ask because of the presence of Orks and Eldar (would love to see these at the 54mm scale).  I am curious about the power levels you're projecting for your participating warbands though since it sounds like you may be throwing these species into scenarios in numbers.  Not that there's anything wrong with that (others may say it goes against the spirit of Inquisitor by treating it more as beefed up 40K) but I'd be interested to know.  The local populace would make for interesting NPCs regardless if you're saving the stronger races for rare occasions. 

Really like the setup here, there's a logical reason for everything happening and a ton of things to explore.  Great job, excited to see what else you come up with!

Offline Chipperz

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Re: Planned Campaign, need help!
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2010, 09:51:27 PM »
I've made the game 28mm, but this is more because I want a decent turn out and it's cheaper (and quicker) to get a band of four 28mm fighters than go out and buy a load of 54mm models (no matter how much nicer 54mm may look).  After the 40k scale was established, I realised that this was an excuse to buy and paint some of the models I've always loved (some Eldar, some Guard, at one point this campaign had Tau and Kroot Mercenaries, too...), as well as work on the background of my Ork army.

On the subject of NPC group sizes, I'm working on the assumption that most Inquisitors will be avoiding the main battles between the Penumbrans, Messiccans and the Orks, so there'll only be small numbers of NPC troops (I'm thinking 5-6 a side, all with less health than the average player character) in some battles if I feel the objectives don't encourage enough peril for the players.  I'm also going to make up a persistant 4-man Kommando, Messiccan and Guardian (I can't afford Rangers) team for people who want to try out the game.

Thanks for the kind words :) Good to know someone on here cares enough to read this and leave some feedback :D

OK, a few minor alterations I'm thinking of making;

Leaving the fact there are Eldar on world off the fact sheet, I feel it suits them more if they're a surprise later on in the campaign.

Replacing the last line of the Silent Child hook to; "It's big, it's powerful, it's hungray and, when it wakes, it will devour the world" - this is to make it sound more Daemonic, so there's a seperate plot hook for the Malleus, Xenos and Hereticus Inquisitors (not that they can't investigate one of the others anyway)

Having the STC hook as the only one non-Inquisitorial players get, to give Rogue Traders and Adeptus Mechanicus a more specific goal for being there (not that I'll tell the Inquisitorial players this).
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Planned Campaign, need help!
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010, 10:39:21 PM »
so there'll only be small numbers of NPC troops (I'm thinking 5-6 a side, all with less health than the average player character)
Might I suggest using the NPC rules from the Architecture of Hate articles? (Pages 7 to 9 of this file: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?2wromelyttf)

Much less bookkeeping and time spent on the NPCs - also naturally somewhat less tough than the average PC.

S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Chipperz

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Re: Planned Campaign, need help!
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 12:23:53 AM »
Oooh that's excellent!  I downloaded all the other stuff from your link, too - cheers man, excellent stuff :)

Out of interest, what's the rules for Unbound Daemonhosts and Pure Daemons under?  I can't seem to find it :s (I used to own all this stuff before I moved...)
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Planned Campaign, need help!
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2010, 02:20:21 AM »
Out of interest, what's the rules for Unbound Daemonhosts and Pure Daemons under?
Regrettably, never released as a PDF. I do have the Exterminatus Issue somewhere, and I may eventually scan in the article for people to read, but I can't guarantee it.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Chipperz

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Re: Planned Campaign, need help!
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2010, 12:02:32 AM »
Ah shame, I have a player who wants some proper demons.  I've told him no because they're waaaaaay too powerful, but it would have been nice to include some as NPCs :P

A quick update - we had a quick training game today, with me sharpening up my GM skills and grasp on the rules.  After four underequipped and underskilled New Messiccans wiped the floor with an Inquisitor and his power-armoured retinue of Adeptus Sororitas (seriously, it's the ONE thing I thought wouldn't happen...), I'm confident that I can GM at least competently.  I'm also taking this as part of the background for the campaign, seeing as the Inquisitor was Sirys' Acolyte, and now has no love for the New Messiccans...
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Planned Campaign, need help!
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2010, 01:22:34 AM »
Daemon PCs? I suggest defenestrating anyone who thinks that a good idea.

They're just not suitable to be PCs not only because of their power level, but also the background that would have to be written to allow that.

Quote
After four underequipped and underskilled New Messiccans wiped the floor with an Inquisitor and his power-armoured retinue of Adeptus Sororitas (seriously, it's the ONE thing I thought wouldn't happen...)
Ah, it's always good to hear of the underdog winning.

Actually, that reminds me - I've got that 54mm Sororitas concept that I should really get back to at some point.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

GW's =I= articles

Offline Alyster Wick

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Re: Planned Campaign, need help!
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 02:34:30 PM »
It sounds like the warbands and NPCs your working with are going to be conducive to "power-gaming." Personally I don't take issue with this as it sounds as though there are reasonable explanations for smaller, more powerful warbands to be present on the planet.  Cheers and I look forward to seeing what it produced out of it! (so get busy so we can see some models and rules in the other forum sections!)

Also, with the Silent Child, I rather liked the old explanation as it could be almost anything from an alien artifact to an old STC to a daemonic surprise.  That said feel free to do what fits!

As far as the daemons are concerned, I've been working on a group of daemons for the sector in which the games (I hope to eventually) play are based known as "The Seduced" comprised of greater/lesser warp entities who attempted to realign themselves with Slannesh after the fall (the first of which can be read about here: http://www.the-conclave.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=587.0.  This is just to give you some ideas using daemons in Inquisitor as I think they can be rather fun!

Offline Chipperz

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Re: Planned Campaign, need help!
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2010, 05:09:02 PM »
It sounds like the warbands and NPCs your working with are going to be conducive to "power-gaming." Personally I don't take issue with this as it sounds as though there are reasonable explanations for smaller, more powerful warbands to be present on the planet.  Cheers and I look forward to seeing what it produced out of it! (so get busy so we can see some models and rules in the other forum sections!)

I dunno if I'd say these guys are "power gaming" - the Inquisitor with the Battle Sisters was one of my NPCs, designed as a "boss" of sorts, the 4 Guardsmen (actually an Inquisitor and 3 Guardsmen, but they're all very similar in terms of abilities and utter lack of equipment or abilities) are one of my player's Warbands, and I had to make a huge point for him to give his leader more than one skill (he ended up turning him into a Biomancer.  Goddamn Choke won him the game, too...).

Actually, now I think about it, I'd describe the kind of power level I'm going for as "Cinematic", rather than just "Powerful" - Inquisitors can wipe the floor with the average minions, have a decent chance against enemy warband members/Lieutenants, and are about on even footing with each other and the campaign's "bosses".
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Offline Chipperz

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Re: New Messiccan Conclave
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2010, 09:16:03 PM »
OK, I've renamed this, as it's no longer a planned campaign, it's an actual campaign ;D

That said, I thought I'd regale you with a report (in the form of pictureless prose.  We took a few [EXCOMMUNICATE]ty pictures to start with, and then got so caught up in the actual game that we...  Forgot to take pictures...) of our first battle.  Before I start, I want to note that I suck at writing battle reports, both in story form and as raw statistical data, but it was still sufficiently awesome and cinematic that I want to try!

The Conclave had not gone well.

Kailaib Jaxx had been one of the minority who had wanted to stay the Exterminatus on New Messicca – if they destroyed the planet only to discover that the Silent Child had been something imprisoned under the surface, then that would have been worse than simply letting it be.  Also, it could be argued that while getting rid of the Orks on the planet’s surface would be a good idea, luring more there to keep them out of Imperial space would be a better idea.  When the Vostroyan man who had refused to give his name, only showing his seal at the door, stormed in and declared that he was going to wipe all life from the planet’s surface, Jaxx knew in his gut that he’d have to be stopped.  He was a Catachan, and knew to trust his gut in situations like this.

It had been several hours since he’d managed to sneak away, and the shuttle to the planet’s surface had managed to come down seemingly undetected.  He’d brought his two most capable and trusted fighters – “Bonecrusher” McKenzie, a ganger from some backwater planet that was built like a Grox and wielding a Heavy Stubber he’d called Valerie, and Khylia, an Exodite Knight that had pledged her life to him after he had saved her from a Manusaur stampede almost a decade ago.  The man had almost a full platoon of Firstborn with him, but the three of them had managed to sneak past to within eyeshot of the Vostroyan Inquisitor.

Jaxx’s heart skipped a beat when he realised what he was standing in – the wreckage of an ancient Imperial cruiser’s cargo hold – full of stripped tanks and broken weapons and, at the far end, across a valley of dust and pools of filthy water, there was the Vostroyan in the remains of a command Rhino with what looked like a Vostroyan technician, fixing the interface and getting ready to signal to some form of Imperial forces.  If they arrived, the Vostroyan could take command and destroy the planet without the other Inquisitor’s approval.

Keeping out of sight of the two Vostroyan guardsmen keeping watch over the valley, Jaxx and Khylia ran to the back of what looked like a massive control centre while McKenzie lugged Valerie round the other side of a pile of nearly decomposed girders.  The two faster members of the team stopped for breath behind the vehicle as they heard the unmistakable sound of a las bolt issuing from the direction of the Vostroyan camp.  Khylia turned fast enough to see the blast hit McKenzie square in the face – the Vostroyans knew they weren’t alone, and the two standing fighters knew they didn’t have fire support.

With that in mind, they split up, with Khylia sprinting around the left hand side of the building, and Jaxx taking the right – a move that left Jaxx unopposed, and Khylia in the face of a sniper and a guardsman armed with a Flamer.  Breaking cover, she sprinted at the Flamer-armed guardsman, leaping over a pool of foetid water and screaming her ululating war cry, bringing her spear down in a heavy arc that proved slow enough for the human to dodge it.  After several quick dodges, the Guardsman managed to throw himself out of combat and hit the dirt – the better to give the sniper a clear shot to the Eldar woman’s chest, knocking her to the floor.

McKenzie, spitting blood and blinking away the temporary blindness that had resulted from the laser blast to the face, got to his feet to see the Eldar being shot.  Grimly, he started walking towards the battle, unleashing a hail of fire which, predictably, hit nothing but air at the extreme range he was shooting at, as Jaxx got up to the makeshift barricades the guardsmen had been using.

Eventually incensed enough to come out, the Vostroyan Inquisitor nonchalantly attempted to Choke Jaxx, only to have his warp-spawned power revoked and his mind ravaged.  As the Inquisitor reeled from his own failure, Jaxx jumped over the barricade, shooting the technician in the chest and charging the Inquisitor, the power fist he’d “modified” from a Tau Commander’s battlesuit pounding into the mysterious man’s chest and, to make sure, head, keeping him down for a good long while.

While this was going on behind them, McKenzie and the sniper kept exchanging shots – an exchange that wasn’t shared with the flamer-armed guardsman, who took it upon himself to burn the Eldar into blissful unconsciousness.

Without a second thought, Jaxx put his bionic fist through the transmitter, putting it past repair and jumping out to put his shotgun in the back of the sniper.

“It’s over.  Take your wounded and go.”  The sniper yelled at the guardsman with the flamer to comply and ran for his life. The guardsman with the flamer looked up at the victorious Catachan Inquisitor and saluted.  As he walked off, he kicked down, breaking the Eldar’s neck.

Jaxx was angered beyond normal rage, and especially beyond the detachment he knew any Inquisitor had to keep up at all times, but the guardsman’s action had lit a fire inside him.  If she had been killed in action, he could have handled it, he would have been fine if she had died of her injuries, but to see one of his soldiers so ruthlessly killed in cold blood made something snap.

He didn’t talk, he didn’t think, he never moved faster than a gentle stroll as he levelled his shotgun and fired a single solid round to the back of the man’s knee, bringing him to the floor.  He walked over casually and looked down for a moment before he knelt at his side, ignoring the man’s cries of pain.  He put his fist behind the man’s head and slowly pushed into the ground, making sure the man felt every second as his skull was slowly crushed against the rusted metal floor.

Jaxx rose again to see the technician carrying the unconscious Inquisitor off.  As he walked over to join McKenzie at Khylia’s broken, burnt body, he could hear the Vostroyan’s accusations of conspiring with Xenos, of impeding another Inquisitor’s work, and of heresy of various kinds.

The next Conclave would not go well.
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