Friday, June 27, 2008

Dark Heresy, Lifeblood Preserves-Session 2


The party were woken up early to be met with Terronius, who informed them that not only had another murder occurred, but the police were claiming they had caught the perpetrator of the crimes.

Setting off to investigate the culprit, the party decided they did not want to reveal that they came from the inquisition. Instead the psyker played with the mind of the guard at the desk, and they pushed past, into the corridors. However, upon reaching the cells they discovered another guard, who pushed the alarm before the party could stop him. At this point Trantor decided that it was time to declare some authority.

The guards were almost instantly cowed by the legendary authority of the Inquisition, and became extremely helpful. The party were led through to the culprit.

Raelis was slumped in the corner, his body showing clear signs of a recent beating. Rousing him he revealed fangs sharpened to a fine point. Raelis was clearly far gone into heresy, and while he stuck to his initial story to begin with, a dose of psykic power quickly dissuaded him from continuing. He told them that on the appropriate night someone would mark the pub that the cult were to get their newest victim from. They would drug said victim, then lead him back to be fed on, and dump him in the chosen location. Raelis had never been back to the base, so had no idea where it was, but told them that the attack would be occurring that night. Dmitri, believing that Raelis had told them all the party needed to know, executed him.

The party then headed off, to look at the body and the place where it was left, which confirmed what they had seen already. They then went about finding the next location. This didn't take too long, St Drusus' Hammer was marked. The party then decided to split up, with most waiting in the pub, and the other two going across the street to watch from above in a sniper post. Quintus, the assassin and Mordecai the tech priest were chosen for this. Qunitus managed to convince the owner of the shop across the street (Carmail's gun shop), to allow them to rent a room, managing to imply along the way that he was intending to have a rather intimate encounter there... which made Carmail somewhat surprised when he saw the other gentleman was a tech priest....

The party set up for the evening. Eventually the cultists turned up, and sizing Trantor up as a target, made their move. After a while, believing Trantor had been thoroughly drugged, the cultists led him out of the pub. Enoch and Dmitri followed, and after a short while Trantor made his move. Both Enoch and Qunitus opened fire, and the cultists went down very quickly, with two managing to be took alive. Deciding to take them to the alms house, the party headed off.

However, before they could reach it, they were confronted with the extremely intimidating sight of a space marine chaplin, a man in black power armour with a skull painted on the helmet, a power field covering him. He demanded the players put down their weapons and hand over the prisoner. At this point a women dressed in black stepped out of the shadows.

"Thank you Mariella, you have been most helpful."
"My pleasure Tomias"

The players handed Tomias their id, but while he accepted that they were from the inquisition, he claimed that "this was a matter purely for the blood angel's chapter to deal with,". However, Tomias said that they could meet with him tomorrow at his room in the Venerate.

Needing only one cultist, Tomias executed the other, and left with the mysterious Mariella, commenting that they could interrogate the prisoner on her ship.


It's an interesting experience, giving players more choice, as they can do things you don't expect. For example, the players suggested that they might move the red handkerchief from the Hammer, which would have been an interesting development. I suspect in that instance I might have used Mariella to stop them doing so, as she had been tailing them for the entire day. Indeed, Mariella, who originally was going to play a less active role in the adventure, proved to be very worth involving, as she enabled me to adapt to the players attacking the cultists outside the pub, rather than following them to their destination, as I had expected.

I really enjoyed this session, it was good to see the players basically getting to choose what they do, and how they planned to deal with any particular situation. I managed to adapt to it reasonably well, even when Dmitri randomly killed the prisoner, for which he got a corruption point.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The game Baldur's Gate 2 (and probably it's prequel, but I never got that far into it for some reason), loves trapping things. Every time you step into a dungeon, there are millions upon millions of traps, often placed almost directly under the feet of the hordes of minions that inhabit the tomb. I do wonder how exactly all these many minions get any food, as the moment they attempt to leave their lovely dungeon they would get attacked by arrays of spells arrows and quality explosives. I can only assume there is some secret sign that I am unaware of.

This addiction to traps means that sometimes quite lame amounts of treasure will be protected. A chest with a few coins on it will have a disintegrate spell attached to it (which does what it says on the tin), which seems somewhat overkill, and you really would not want to forget that you had left that one set on. There are also the occasional traps which don't even hurt the person who sets them off, but causes them mild inconvinience. For example, in some dungeons there will be spells of hold person, which again do exactly what they say on the tin, but the issue is is that they don't set any kind of alarm off and only last for a limited time. So the sum effect is really negligible. I suppose if one was chasing the intrepid hero it would be useful, but the point of traps is surely that you don't need to be there at the time for them to be effective.

Labels: ,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dark Heresy-Lifeblood preserves session 1

So it's a new campaign, and all new fun. As always, I'm going to summarize the events of the session and then reflect.


The party were recruited by the rather hideous Globus Vaarak, who sent them to the lovely planet of Iocanthos. There they got to experience imperial bureaucracy at first hand, as they attempted to investigate two bodies who had been found drained of blood. Making contact with the owner of the hotel they were staying at (Venerate the Immortal Emperor, for without him we are lost), they managed to (easily) elicit the knowledge that apparently a space marine was staying in the penthouse, something that the party considered somewhat unlikely.

Going to the administration counting house they encountered even more bureaucracy, which led them to a search for their contact taking several hours. Finally finding him, he pointed them in the direction of where the bodies were found, and also where they were now.

The party split in two, half heading to investigate where the bodies were found, and the others headed to the alms house. Observing the bodies discovered they had been bitten and drained of blood, and also a mysterious symbol.....

The other half of the party spent an extremely long time in the Blind Pig, considering that was NOT where the disappearance was, as they attempted to get comms equipment, first from the bartender, and second from a shady gentleman in the corner.

Finally Trantor went to see if the gentleman in the penthouse suite truly was a space marine. Indeed it seemed that he was, and a blood angel at that. What exactly he was doing half a galaxy away from his home world is not clear, of course....


An enjoyable enough session, with the players being amusingly diverted by an npc in the blind pig who did not have a massive amount to do with the plot, although Andy's suggestion of killing him for a bionic arm was a little bit disturbing....

The only real mistake I made was a rumour that the players should have heard while gathering them, and I kind of forgot it. It wasn't exactly vital, so meh. Otherwise it is proceeding well, and the pcs have yet to make some of the mistakes I thought they might... indeed they have, other than planning murder against several people, proved to be rather sensible thus far. We shall see if this continues.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

dog whistle politics

There was some talk during the last election about dog whistle politics. The idea was that the conservatives were saying certain things about immigration that your average voter would just ignore, but those who really cared would definitely vote for you. This is something that can be seen in any system like ours, where swaying the minority vote without losing any core vote can win you elections.

The most obvious example of this is Bush, with his pandering to the religious extremes in the US. The figuring was no republican with somewhat liberal values was going to vote against moves against gay marriage, and certainly not against abortion (mainly because most American's assume that no president is really capable of banning abortion, which is certainly true while the supreme court remains in the delecate balance it maintains).

The issue with this is brand awareness. Everyone knows about branding these days- the wonders of Nike excetera trying to provoke one particular image for themselves. This is actually vital for politics to do. Basically, every party is trying, or should be trying to maintain some kind of image. This broadly should be their ideology- so in case of labour equality, and the conservatives freedom (to simplify things to a complete extreme). When you do dog whistle politics, your brand will usually take a knock.

For example, the ten pence tax rate thing has given a big knock to the idea that Labour is the party of helping the unfortunate, even though it is probably still true. While I expect Gordon Brown believed that this might be the best thing to do, I really don't believe it for the upgrading of cannabis and the 42 day detention. There is mixed evidence that it is necessary to have a longer detention, and there are a lot of good reasons not to do it in terms of liberty. I'm fairly certain that Labour would not be doing this if they did not want to appear tough on terror. So it does not come across as a principled stand, it comes across as Labour trying to appeal to a demographic that normally doesn't care. But along the way it damages this idea that Labour is interesting in social liberties. The same with cannabis, only it is much, much worse. There really is no sensible reason to upgrade cannabis other than the absurd idea of wanting to look tough. The fact is a large proportion of the population have smoked or know someone who smokes cannabis, and I suspect the large majority of them wouldn't want to see someone who smokes it get a jail sentence.

I hate this form of politics, and I think ultimately it is damaging to the parties election prospects. An on message policy of an inspiring nature is required to save Labour, and right now I'm not seeing it.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dark Heresy Write Up

So, I'm finally back online, and finally writing up this campaign. This is going to be the story, as in the plot as seen by me when designing it, and a brief round up of my thoughts.


Centuries before the Imperium returned to the Calixis sector, a selection of humans decided they wished to live in a paradise of nature. Determined to experience the beauty of nature, but in an utterly controlled environment, a consortium of humans using technology undreamed of in the current imperium constructed a massive hive on the mostly desert planet of Baraspine- a world previously unused. It was designed so that plant life and foliage would grow within the hive itself- an utterly controlled natural paradise, utterly self sufficient. While there was a space port installed, it was not intended to see much use.

This dream was doomed to fail. The first generation were happy to live in their paradise, but many of the next wished for change, for something different than a life of working the earth they lived in. Their minds were ripe for a daemon full of ambition. Skraelig, a daemon of Tzeentch, worked on the minds of the younger generation, convincing them that it could bring change, the social upheaval they desired. All they needed to do was help it in turn....

Skraelig believed it could become nearly fully manifest in the world with enough sacrifice, and be powerful enough to dominate the planet and then the sector. However, some of it's cultists became wary of it's interests, and forged a plan to defeat it. When Skraelig became manifest, it discovered it had been summoned a kilometre under the earth. It's death scream obliterated all life on the planet.

Later, the imperium came to Baraspine. Lord Cafren's ancestor found an empty world which he claimed in the imperium's name.

With the return of life to Baraspine, also came the Imperium's greed, and they began to mine out the rich minerals from the planet, as well as convert a large proportion of the natural wonderland into industrial hives. With mining, they began to encover black stone which throbbed of the warp. For the first time in centuries, Skraelig began to be aware. It saw even more people it could corrupt, if it could only become flesh. A young Marr visited the planet, and it was then that Skraelig discovered someone amiable to his plans.

Marr became convinced that he would be able to summon a daemonhost, a truly unholy creation, a daemon bound to a human body. The ritual went wrong, as it was fated to do, and the daemonhost escaped. Skraelig was free to begin it's corruption of Baraspine.

With the stone already embedded in the earth, it just needed it to be mined out and collected together. Finally, Skraelig needed to be released from it's form, and Marr would be more than willing to do that....

Marr was willing, indeed it became an utter obsession for him. Sadly for Skraelig, he took it so far that he researched ways he might utterly abolish the daemon's presence- a holy relic might just do it. So as well as the ingredients for the ritual, he looked out and found a holy relic- a bone of St Drusus. Skraelig was not prepared for this; indeed, did not believe that such a thing could hurt it. This was to prove to be Skraelig's undoing.


I enjoyed running this campaign. In many ways I was possibly a little too generous with my players, giving them more money and experience than they maybe should have, but this allowed me to have fun with the new system, and throw new and interesting threats at them. The very led structure with each section taking about a session meant I was able to experiment with lot's of different adventure types along the way. For my next mini-campaign I'm going for a much looser structure, but I did enjoy this as it allowed my imagination to create fun little challenges along the way.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 16, 2008

Internet is back

I am so very happy. However, I managed to accidentally delete the settings on my modem that made it work with my router, which depresses me a tiny little bit, but never mind, I am sure I shall fix that soon. I did it once, I can do it again....

More anon


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's just not fair

I dunno, I turn over a new leaf, and begin to blog frequently again, once again wowing the internet with my amazing talent as a wordsmith, when I decide to move, and am banished from regular access to the internet once again. Still, I should have regular internet back this sunday, fortituously in time for my summer dissertation to begin.

Labels: ,