Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dark Heresy

Thought for the day: Excuses are the refuge of the weak.

So, I’m leading a game in the distant future of Warhammer 40K, where the only constant is war, and the knowledge that demons will gladly eat your soul if you’re weak or unwary. If you’re unfamiliar with the setting, then go here. I’ll wait.

I like this setting because you get to play the role of the Inquisition. The players are sort of the bad guys. Hero is subjective. Lots of grays. And I truly enjoy putting my players into moral dilemmas, which I don’t really care how they react as long as they’re consistent. The ends justify the means is totally the theme, and I often have a powerpoint of 40K quotes cycling in the background to get everyone in the mood. Like such.

"Blessed is the mind too small for doubt." - Inquisitor Glessman

So my group of investigators work for a heartless moderate Inquisitor who gives them a long leash, as long as they continue to produce results. He’s been known to react to failures by turning the unproductive into servitors where they can be more useful. You get the idea. Serve or die, and you better serve well.

Oh, also he’s a demon-hunter, so this team is pretty much used as investigators to flush out cults, blasphemers, nere-do-wells, forbidden lore keepers, and of course...demons.

They’ve been given a 5 paragraph order to travel to a distant planet, because some local Battle Priest has requested their assistance. Demons or something.

The three central characters are a Psycher, a Techpriet, and an Abbot. The Psycher is a tall, bald, weird dude with pale skin, who dispatches cultists with lightning fingers. The Techpriest is a neutered, rebreather-wearing, gadget fixer, who likes to blast bad guys with his trusty hellpistol.

And the Abbot is a female 17year old zealot, who doesn’t have time for heretics. She has a 44 magnum. Itty bitty girl in big stompy boots. Think of a blond River Tam, I suppose.

The story starts with our three adventurers, being placed into cryosleep, aboard a small warship named the “Garfish”.

Cryosleep isn’t in nice sanitized, Aliens pods; but in oversized, rusty, cylindrical iron tanks. Springing from the tanks are all manner of pipes, wires, hydraulics, gears, and dials that are no longer readable. Probably steam coming out of some tube, and many couplings are leaking. The three must enter the tanks, which fill up with not-quite-clean water/gel and freeze solid. (I make a few checks for fatigue/damage based on random malfunctions and toughness.)
I think the process pretty much harms everyone as they wake up. They collect themselves, board their Aquilla Lander...

... and descend to the planet’s surface to do the Emperor’s work.
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