Sunday, June 29, 2008

House Rules...

So, last night I tried two house rules in the game.

In short these are:

1) Fate could be re-gen once per encounter vice per session
2) What is affectionately known as the Mooks rule

In the session we had two encounters. In retrospect, it should have been a single encounter given the nature of the crisis, but since I wanted to test out the fate mechanic, I let slide. Things I learned and will modify.

- When last bad guy drops, the encounter is over, no spending any unused Fate to gain HP back. I may allow one more 'round' to allow players to spend 1 Fate to get back the 1D5. I did allow folks to use two at the end, and then regen. I think that was a bit excessive in the acolytes favor.

- I already stated. Make sure your encounters are truly separate. In this one the acolytes went from one battle to another with no down time since they ran over to the bridge to save the day. I might make it a '30 min game time rule'...

Mooks. By and large I was happy with this set up. I explain how it went here: I like the cinematic approach with hordes of bad guys and the Mook rule actually help achieve that. I ran it straight 40K style, I would have been limited to 1 'Ard Boy and maybe 4-6 'Boyz with a six person, well kitted, team.



Thursday, June 26, 2008

Illumination Part II

So our second session had two less players. The Scum had a baptism he had to attend too and the Nobel Arbiter was moving back to the big O! I picked them up in a NPC status for the time being... The gang returned to Stern Hope to report on the beast that attacked. Artimus looked as tired as always and a bit distracted. The NPC players stayed and conducted watch while the players went about the community to try and find something useful. Questions were asked, Cathedrals were visited. They tried desperately to find a hidden chamber or secret door, but alas none existed. After a bit they retired for the night. In the morning the players see Artimus and he still hasn't slept well, but tells them to join the service for the morning that will start the consecration and he will join them this afternoon for the high ceremony. Player head out and get their first glimpse at the Dark Singer/Widower Raine and the Warlord chieftain Ko'osk. Inquiries are made and they know that Raine is a big time imperial supporter, thinking it will help her backward folks, but she isn't pleased with the location of Skae's cathedral due to some ugly pasts... (bing) eyes start to pay attention and pieces start to be seen as a whole. The characters go to the service which starts and Artimous, despite being tired shows up anyway. After the opening a loud explosion is heard and the camp is under attack. The players head out to see what the matter is and they see the chaos of the gate being destroyed and invaders with yellow headbands attacking all over. The characters each see different things and charge into the frey. The Arbiters, Klightus and Thadius, attempt to come to the aid of a young lady protecting a pack of children. The murderous villains are advancing and shooting. Several shotgun shots do no good and soon the bad guys are in the midst of the young ones. Thadius charges in with his club while Klightus uses the shotgun at short range. Dar and Talon spot a band of vermin heading to the generator farm. They fire and follow in pursuit, engaging in a bloody battle while generators explode. Rapid thinking by Dar allows them to 'toss' the bombs before it gets worse. Raltus and Frak see a group of yellow bands heading to the cathedral with a big ass bomb strapped to their backs. Going full auto, Raltus and Frak take care of the bad guys and the bomb goes off well short of the chapel. As the chaos subsides, the gang heads back to the front of the cathedral to find Skae and Artimus in deep conversation with Raine. Raine's pissed and feels that these crazies are just the tip of deceit that is going on (bing!). Artimus, obviously tired and in a foul mood that his Grand^5 Dad's cathedral is being dumped takes out his las pistol and shoots the only living yellow banded guy who is blinded and jibbering about the 'Crow Father' and the "end coming" (Bing!). Shocked Raine picks up and leaves saying that this place is cursed and she will not return. Her and Warlord Ko'osk pack up and head out. Skae says he needs to meditate and should be left along, Artimus appoligizes for loosing his cool, but hey, he is with the =][= so it is OK. Everyone else starts cleaning up the mess. The players fan out to help out and get some more info. Dar finds out that the scary Brother Severus who was 'suppose' to help repair the gate is missing and was 'summoned' by Abbott Skae... (bing!) Odd . Klightus finds Brother Larmark drowning his sorrows and crying about not being able to protect their flock. If only Abbott Skae would have allowed him in the 'secret' discussions between Severus and Artimus he could have helped (bing!). About then they hear screams and find Abbot Skare in the middle of the street surrounded by Severus and Artimus with cuts and blood over his face/body (bing!). He claims that a woman attacked him, a witch... Artimus orders the party to go find Raine at her place up in the hills a few hours. (bing!)It is obvious to the team that something is not right, but being good little baby =][= they head out to find the witch Raine as ordered. They hit her little camp just before dusk after driving through a horrid sand storm. She steps out from her hovel to great them, flanked by her posse. Raltus steps up and explains that people are hurt and need her help back at the camp. Raine, looks at them with her eye and says she will not return, but there are things a loyal imperial servant should know. She invites them into her house when they hear a maniacal laugh on the wind and the Shale Crows that have been hanging around all over swarm and attack. Dar fails his fear test badly and develops an OC about cleaning his axe... :) The team dispatches the swarms and finds that Raine has an old book that details how the old Saint Darrus (Artimus' Great ^5 Dad) battled a demon that was possessing the final warlords body on the exact location of the cathedral (BING!). And that this demon was a master deceiver (Bing!). Raine finishes by stating that per legend the demon only fears which it likes to inflict most upon its victims... (BING!)

The gang piles back into the truck and heads to Stern Hope to see what the heck is going on. On arrival they find the camp dark and the gate unrepaired. The only people they seen have either dead with their eyes gouged out, or are wandering around lost and insane. The local inn has been ransacked and destroyed, but they find in Artimus’ room a data slate that they Raltus repairs and finds out that Artimus new of a ‘Miracle’ that was going to happen and that he would be the Saint’s new vassal (Bing!). Marching up to the cathedral they stumble upon Brother Lamark, pulling himself towards the cathedral with his arms, his legs shattered. “Save my flock” he begs and expires a martyr to imperial faith. Entering the cathedral the team sees the members of the community chanting and rocking in the pews. They see Artimus standing on the alter with his ever present Tarot cards swirling around him. The ceiling of the cathedral appears to be loosing its planer integrity as the warp seems to be entering. And standing at the top of the processional is this Skae-Thing… It is bloated and vile and most defiantly demonic. (BING!), (BING!), (BING!), (BING!).

Players take action and begin to fire and engage. The Skae-Thing seems to have some massive regeneration and shrugs off the hits. The Skae-Thing states he will blind them as he has blinded Skae and Artimus in their faith. The players take some damage, until Dar puts it together. Blind? Blind! Shoot the eyes. After a bunch of missing and some fancy dancing around, the players manage to take the eyes out which sends the beast hurtling back to the void. Artimus, awakes, perhaps for the first time in the adventure and says… “what have I done” and falls into the swirling Tarot cards that tear him to shreds. The players recover a single tarot card that Raltus determines is Xenos in origin.

The night ends with the party heading towards Port Suffering…

Shadows over Camelot

Picked up this game becuase I liked it when I tried it. The gang wasn't overly happy at first after seeing a bad demo, but they took to it pretty quick.

It is a fun coop game, except for the traitor. Enjoyed the mechanics for evil and the side quests. Looking forward to the expansion... Which I pre-paid for!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Chapter One – I’m part of what?

We had all six players present for our first go. The characters are listed below in the previous post.

The party started by gaining introductions while traveling in ‘The Brazen Sky’ following Inquisitor Varrak's hasty introductions. The briefing reveled the players new they were to meet Artimous (Arty) at Port Suffering on the planet of Iocanthos. Arrival on the planet was meet by imperial officials then followed up by a cherub that escorted them through town to meet Artimous. While trying to keep up with the flying dead mechanical baby angle (yes it is a disturbed game), the party encountered a crazy man in an alley (where else) that kept chanting about the ‘crow father’ is coming. When the party tried to grab the old geezer to calm him down, his clan members came out of the wood work to support the old guy. A knife fight followed a gun fight followed by the local constables coming to finish things up.

The team, not wanting to reveal who they were, opted to go to jail. Artimous quickly came to bail them out and scolded them for disrespecting the high inquisition by engaging in common thug like activity. Artimous briefed the party on the upcoming consecration of the cathedral out in the boonies… And how it is being haunted… The abbot in charge Abbot Skae sent word to the inquisition for help, hence the parties involvement. Artimous is visibly a Imperial Psyker and is playing with a deck of Tarot cards that he said were recently gifted to him. Oh, and another kicker, his great, great, great, great, great, great, grand dad is the saint that the cathedral is being commissioned too. Key ominous music!

The party moves out to Stern Hope via ground transport… What’s that, nobody took ground transport… The sole IG took swimming despite the desert environment? Hmmm… Go slow boys, go slow!

Two minor happenings in route to the cathedral. A ‘walking dead’ crumbles by the fire scaring Feral IG guy and the witness a disappearing act with a strange symbol that could be either interpreted as an eagle holding a skull (Artimus) or a crow picking at a skull (everybody else). The party arrives and meets the gang at Stern Hope, well almost. They meet Brother Severous, mean guy with axe, and Brother Lemark, nice guy with lasgun and uplifting primer. The party does some digging around before calling a night and hears a few wild tales. Next morning they meet the abbot and don’t gleam much out except he is very excited about the ceremony on the next day. Party decides to take a trek up the mountain facing with Brother Lemark to see if they can find the mystery lights everyone has been talking about, but instead find a large mutated chaos frog. At least that is what we think it was. It was called a Hexalid, but it didn’t have a description except for a ‘barbed tongue’ so the ‘Mutant Chaos Frog’ stuck. Well, said frog has Fear 1. So, being the good new DH GM yell out, “Fear checks please” followed by groans across the table. Every member sans the Tech Priest fails the test… And not by a point or two, but by 4 or 5 degrees… So I have ½ party heading towards the cliff running away, one guy throwing up all over himself for five turns and one that faints out dead away. Tech priest did his best to hold it together until the runners got their senses back.

So that is about it for the first session. I’ll follow up with the second half soon.

Inquisitor Varrak's representative in Omaha

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again...

So after much time off, the gang has come together in a much darker universe. I picked up the Dark Heresy Role Playing Game and the gang has allowed me to 'try again' the whole role play experience.

We have actually had our second session. I'll catch you up on those later...

But for know lets introduce you to our characters...

Dramatis personæ

Raltus - A Skeletal thin Void Born Tech Priest with an infinity for Autoguns (Kyle)
Talon - A Scrawny Gunslinger Assassin with multiple piercings from Gun Metal City (Paul)
Dar - A Guardsman conscripted from a Feral world who loves his Axe very much (Eric)
Klightus - An older Arbiter from the Paradise Planet who has shotgun envy (Rob)
Frak - Rangy young punk of a Scum doing his best to fit in (Mark)
Thadius - A Noble Born Arbiter learning the robes in the family security teams (Steve)

The first adventure I ran the team through was the one provided in the back of the main rule book. Illumination was an interesting start. It didn't have enough pre-programed action I think for a miniature junky to enjoy the game more, but it did have some action to test the combat mechanics.

The group is large and that necessitated increasing some actions a bit. My early feedback on the system is that it can be enjoyable, but does have a lot of dice roll actions. Players could be doing all the right things, but the dice just don't cooperate. For example... The players encountered a Hexilid (Which has no description... Bad adventure, bad!) which causes fear. 5 of the 6 players plus the NPC fail the fear test, not by a little but by 4 degrees. Characters were puking over each other or passing out as this chaos toad thing (my best guess) charged into the party... It was a sticky problem. In short, the game is deadly and unforgiving. The GM must take caution to make it an enjoyable experience.

More to follow...

Inquisitor Globus Vaarak's Representative in Omaha