Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dark Heresy- Session 2

(Note- I only have four more sessions to go through before I'm caught up, so don't worry too much about this turning into a purely DH blog!)


Returning from space, the much injured and tired party were confronted by Inquistor Marr upon making landfall. Hearing them tell him what had happened, he rushed off to Scintilla, the capital planet of the sector, to attempt to investigate who had sent the assasin against them. He gave the players some money and told them that one of his interrogators (under bosses) would have need of them in a few days.

After some much needed recovery, and some unneeded but greedy shopping, the party reported for duty before the interrogator. Markus Karl had been investigating the incursion into the hive of alien creatures native to the planet called storm wolves- vicious hounds with massive claws and teeth, to enable them to escape the terrible storms of the planet and also to tear apart their prey, the starfren. Somehow they'd been introduced into the hive, a strictly illegal act in an imperium which regulates carefully it's citizen's contact with xenoc life form.

He had finally found a lead- a research facility on the surface of the planet had been conducting experiments on the native life, and several unregistered flights had been recorded to and from it. In addition, it was known that there was a strong drugs problem at the base, and Karl had put two and two together.

The party's duty would be to infiltrate the base, posing as rich relatives of Lord Cafren (the governer of the planet), and try and find out who was running the ring, and, more importantly, who they were selling it to.

They headed out, with Jericus, the party's cleric, flying them out with reasonable skill. They were met with a pleasent welcome by the bases administrator, scholar Plundit. He gave them a brief tour, introducing them to the small team, and showing them the progress on the research. The aim was to control the creatures of the planet, with mixed success. While the starfren, a large bovine creature with a spiked tail, had not taken at all, the stormwolves seemed to be far more responsive to the control circuits being used.

The party had a chance to talk to some of the researchers, and soon discovered that some were clearly suffering from withdrawal- the implication was the base was dry of the drug. One of the addicts let slip that they would only have to wait "one more day".

More conversation revealed a potential ally, Inditor Cormak, the head of the storm wolf project, who told them who he believed to be behind the scheme, Baltek, and also that he must have some support from either the other project head, or Plundit himself, to be able to open the dome to allow planes to land. Nicodemus managed to strike up a conversation with Baltek himself. Baltek, always eager for more money, easily fell for Nicodemus' spiel, and told him that he would be able to provide more drugs that very night, by the time midnight had passed.

With a clear time of arrival, the party set in wait, taking positions in the hanger. Baltek walked in, flanked by two stormwolves, not noticing the carefully concealed party, and called in the ship. It landed, and two men came out. At this point, however, one of them spotted Barak, who had failed to be sufficiently careful while attempting to conceal himself. They opened fire.

A vicious combat ensued, but wrongfooted there was no chance of victory for the drug smugglers. A moment of panic ensued when Baltek tried to set loose all the wolves in the building... then Jericus accidentally did it for him! Luckily they were able to stop the wolves before much harm was done, but not without rousing the entire base, who were somewhat surprised to discover the tableau presented with them.


I was quite pleased with this session. I enjoy roleplayingie sessions, which is primarily what this involved, although it did have a short combat at the end (which seemed to go on forever, thanks to a failure on all parts to hit a barn door). It required a fair amount of preperation, and this adventure actually began as a murder mystery, but mutated into this when I decided I wanted the base linked to the surface, and also to the wider plot arc I have planned for the campaign.

Of course this adventure arc is one of those times where the actual plot goes over the players heads, and happens in the background, but thats all for the good.

I had expected the players to go for the easier root of trying to acquire drugs initially, and the adventure was somewhat biased in favour of that approach. However, their inital goal was instead to find someone sympathetic to their aims, and convert him to their cause. Luckily I had written such a character into the adventure, so such an approach did bear fruit, and they did end up managing to chat to Baltek in the end anyway.

There was one point where I was rather nice to the party, where Barak almost blurted out their knowledge in front of Baltek, which would almost certainly have resulted in all the storm wolves released on the base, and a much harder conclusion. I wanred Andy that Baltek was sitting at the same table, which was enough notice, and he rephrased his remarks.

I have a tendency in writing adventures to not clearly write the conclusion. In the previous session, my notes had given me no preperation for the adventurers getting down to the planet again. While there was an orbital craft, no-one in the party would be able to use it, so a rescue ship was required. Again in this session, I had not really considered what would happen after they triumphed... obviously the rest of the members of the base might find a vicious firefight under their roof somewhat amiss. An appeal to authority never goes wrong, of course, and I was able to decide what would happen on the fly, but preparing more for this in future would make sense.

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