Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Weapon Characteristics, Ammo, and Bleeding Out for Heresies Without Number

In the spirit of posting things as they come up, rather than waiting until something is "done" and taking forever, here's a few  rules that came up at the table last night, plus a few more, for Heresies Without Number.

Weapon Characteristics

Flame: Flame weapons have the chance to set targets on fire. Damage is rolled as usual, but if the result is in the upper half of the damage die (e.g. 5-8 on a d8), then the target is set on fire and continues to burn. On the attacking character's next initiative turn, roll one die size smaller damage. Again, if damage is in the upper half of the die, the target continues to burn. If not, the flames go out. After rolling d4 damage, the flame goes out regardless. A burning character can forego all action for a round to stop, drop and roll, but may require a Willpower check to avoid running around in a panic.

Blast: Blast weapons do not roll to hit as usual. Instead, any potentially affected targets must make a dexterity save (roll equal to or under dexterity, assume Dexterity 10 for characters or creatures without a listed score) or else be hit. The number of potentially affected targets will vary with the type of weapon, but generally 3-4 human sized characters in relatively close proximity may be affected - fewer for smaller weapons, more for larger. (This and autofire owe their existence to Gus L at Dungeon of Signs here)

Shock: Shock weapons are designed to stun and subdue more than kill. As such, they do their listed damage (typically d10) against Guts only. A target reduced to 0 guts by a shock weapon is knocked unconscious, but is otherwise uninjured. Shock weapons do the damage in parentheses (usually d6) when used as standard weapons, in which case they are able to affect Blood and cause injuries as usual. To keep things simple, only one "mode" can be used at a time - users of shock weapons strike differently to stun versus wound, and using them as crude clubs doesn't allow the shocking machinery to work properly.

Power: Power weapons are exceedingly good at piercing armor. Ignore AC from armor when attacking with Power weapons (only count AC bonuses from Dexterity). For monsters where it is unclear where their AC comes from, the referee will just have to make a judgement call. Some creatures (like demons) will be immune to this effect.

Force: Force weapons channel psychic energy into blades of various descriptions. Psychic characters using a force weapon add their Willpower modifier (rather than Strength) to To Hit rolls and damage. Force weapons also ignore the various immunities of demons.

Plasma: Plasma weapons have a chance to overheat and injure their users. Any time a Plasma user rolls an 18 or higher to hit, he takes half normal damage for the weapon.

Autofire: Autofire weapons have the option to exhaust all ammo in order to function as a blast weapon for a round. Follow the general guidelines for targeting, but larger magazine weapons will be able to target more characters (an autopistol might be able to hit one or two potential targets, while an assault cannon can probably hit 6 or 7  if they're close enough together). (Again, see here)

Chain: In the grim darkness of the far future, just about everything has been turned into a chainsaw. Chain weapons grant no special rules in combat, but they are extremely loud and they can be used to cut through most inanimate objects with some effort. Doors, crates, support beams - encourage chain weapon users to think about how their environment could be less put together than it is now. And make sure they attract a lot of attention.


Until I decide otherwise, I'm using the Cascading Dice thing from James at Ten Foot Polemic here . Each weapon has an ammo die. You roll that die whenever you fire it. If it comes up a "1" step down a die size. Once a d4 comes up a "1", you're out of ammo. Topping off ammo restores it to its default die type. Maybe carrying around loads and loads of ammo gives you a pass on your first "1".

Bleeding Out and Dying

Characters that are bleeding out (a result on the injury table) are helpless to act. Each round, they must make a Toughness save (a "Death Save"). After three successful saves, the character is stabilized and in the clear. After three failed saves, the character dies. Any attacks that hit cause an automatic failed save. First aid grants an automatic passed save. Attacks that would obviously finish the character off do so (so no, that Ork doesn't have to shoot you in the head three times when he's standing over your unconscious body).

First Aid

First Aid in combat takes an entire round and is treated as an easy skill check (target 6). Anyone can attempt it, but specific skills improve the roll as usual, and using emergency medical supplies provides an automatic success. Successful first aid grants a bleeding out character a successful Death Save.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Equipment Tables for Stars Without Number, Dark Heresy, and Warband

One of the things I want to develop for Heresies Without Number is a set of equipment packages by career. So, in other words, if you choose "Arbitrator" for a career, you get a stack of equipment to go with it that makes sense. These will hopefully be coming soon, but as a step in my process of figuring out what gear to include, I realized I wanted to be able to compare and manipulate my source equipment lists - Stars Without Number, Dark Heresy, and Warband!

Having gone through the process of cleaning this text up into a useful table form (all except warband, which copied over as a true table with no work from me, God bless you, Mike Davison) I figured I'd share the fruits of my labor in case anybody wants to use it as inputs to something like Logan's Generator Generator (I may come up with a random equipment table for NPCs later).

So here's the table, go nuts:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Emperor Forgive Us


To kick off my Heresies Without Number game with my home group, I was casting about for an adventure I could run with fairly minimal adaptation. I ended up settling on a D&D adventure that I've been wanting to run since I got it last year: Forgive Us from Lamentations of the Flame Princess

As I went through, I discovered it took surprisingly little modification to get it ready for 40k, but since I didn't want to mess up my book for future use as-is, I decided to type up my 40k specific notes. While I was at it, I decided to give Courtney Campbell's set design method a go. So, what we have in this post is my notes for a remix of the adventure for a sci-fi investigative adventure set in the 40k universe, intended for Dark Heresy style play.

To use these notes, you'll need a copy of Forgive Us, especially the wonderfully detailed maps. Just pretend they have sci-fi details - metal and plasteel instead of wood and stone. You'll probably want to read the adventure as-is first, as Kelvin's wonderfully conversational style imparts a lot of the flavor of the adventure that the super-terse set design notes do not. Also, the original adventure purposely leaves a few things open for ease of slotting into your own campaign, and I've gone ahead and made those decisions here for my own game. So the original adventure might give you some ideas on where to depart. If you do want to use these notes as-is, you could print them out and tape/sticky note them to pages opposite the relevant maps in the original book- that's what I plan to do, assuming they fit (which it looks like they should).

Oh, and to make sense of the treasures, which are at the end of the post, you'll want to take a look at the rules on Factions, Reputation, and Acquisitions I posted a few days ago. The word after the treasure indicates what faction is interested in the item, and the number represents how much reputation can be gained with that faction by giving it to them.

The first few sets of notes are for the overall setting of the adventure, and some of the factions involved, and roughly correspond to the introductory material on Norwich in the original adventure. Everything after "The Complex" should map to the adventure directly - some of the names have just been changed to fit my particular milieu.

Planet Arimatheon
|  Hive Epimetheus
| Grand Cathedral → Massive Crowds → Saint Reliquaries → Archives
| Great Hospital
| Dragon Hall → Hive-wide Merchant Guild
| Middle Hive
| Blue Quadrant Parish → Tenebrous Hand Complex
| Uptown → Uriah Frastus House → Brotherhood of the Fecund Belly Temple

The Tenebrous Hand
Criminal Gang → Powerful & Wealthy
| Threaten, Bribe, Blackmail → Hive Officials, Arbitrators
| Friendly & Generous → Local Parish & Community
| Raided → Merchant Uriah Frastus’s home → Brotherhood of the Fecund Belly
| Opened → Cannister → Horrible Mutations & Death
| BasedTenebrous Hand Complex
Brotherhood of the Fecund Belly
Rich Merchants → Secret Society → Cult → Demon of Nurgle
| Leader → Uriah Frastus
| Lost → Exotic & Expensive Curio → Stolen by Tenebrous Hand → Cannister → Hyper Genestealer DNA
| BasedFrastus’ House → Chaos Temple
Inquisitor Zek
Ordo Xenos → Radical
| Leader → Inquisitor Zek
| Sent → Investigation/kill team
| Aggarwal →  Analytical & Tactical, taste for victory →  Instructions → Allies → +2 bonus to all rolls
(AC 8, MV 120’, 4 HD (22hp), Las Pistol 1d6/Dagger 1d4, LD 10)
Flak Vest, daggers (2), Las Pistol, crowbar, rope (50’)
| MordecaiTired → Drinks Alcohol →  Swig of alcoholic drink →  Cure Light Wounds → restore 1d6+4 HP → Fight one round past death
(AC 8, MV 120’, 4 HD (21hp), Shotgun 3d4, LD 8)
Flak Vest, Carapace Chest plate, dagger, fine Shotgun, bottled rum (3), glowlamp, charges (3)
| OrlAmiable → Artist & Actor known for female roles →  Psyker →  2 Power Dice → Telekinesis (2), Torch
AC 12, MV 120’, 4 HD (11hp), Las Pistol 1d6, LD 9.
Colourful coat w/ hood, dagger, Las Pistol, paint tubes
| KrakCombat Servitor → Noxious fumes → toughness check  Engage
(AC 8, MV 120’, 2 HD (12hp), Buzzsaw Arm 1d8, LD 12) Rags, cybernetics

The Complex
Tenebrous Hand Complex
| City Block
|→ Signal Beacon → Not Safe to Enter
|→ Windows → Awareness(9) or Security(9) or Profession/Criminal(Auto) → Bars
|→ Doors → Locked or barred → Security(7)
|→ Shops → Legitimate → Workers Paid to keep quiet
|→Keycards → Individual Shop keycodes
| Day → Quiet → Last Few Days
| Night → Dark & Quiet → Last Few Days
| Surrounding Businesses → Normal Activity

A: The Dog and Bastard
B: The Hab on Rat Hill
C: The Warehouse
D: The Scribe
E: The Potter
F: The Butcher
G: The Distiller
H: The Hab on Ventilator Avenue
I: The Courtyard
The Secret Cellar
The Vaults

A: The Dog & Bastard
Common Room
Front Door → Metal → Locked → Master Keycode → Barred
Back Door → Metal → Locked → Master Keycode → Barred
Bar → Back Room → Trap Door → Steep Ladder → Cellar
|→ Search →  2 Keycards per Room
Eli Shanks
(AC 7, MV 120’, 2HD (8hp), Baseball bat 1d6, LD 12, Sneak Attack 2, Stealth 2.)
|→ Parley → Crazy → Cellar Bad Place → Stop anyone going in
|→ Fight → Crazed frontal assault
| → Flak Jacket, Baseball bat
| → Pocket → Master Keycard
Nasty smell → Pool of thick, acrid black goo
|→ Search Barrels & Crates → Food & Drink → Spoiled
|→ False Panel → Secret Door → Locked → Master Keycode
Doors → Wooden → Locked → Individual Room Keycards or Master Keycode
| S Room → Wardrobe → False Back → Locked → Master Keycode
| SW Room Trashed
| NW Room Trashed → Locked Chest → Copper Rat Sculpture (Merchants 1/Criminals 1)
| N Room Trashed
| NE Room → Behind bedSecret Door → Locked → Master Keycode

B: The Hab on Rat Hill
Ground Floor
| Front Door → locked → Master Keycode
| Back Door  → locked → Master Keycode
| Rotten Stink → Abandoned meal being prepared → Worse Smell from Upstairs
| Stairs → Upstairs
| Table → Book → Small, leather bound → Fifty Shades of Ultramarine → Poor erotic space marine fiction (Simpletons 1)
Strong smell of decay → From front (N) of building
| N  Room → Door → Locked → Gang Leader Keycode,
| Body → Bashed in own head on console → Gang Leader Snake Barbarossa
| Wall Above Desk → Map → city → various marked locations
| Desk → Letter → Rough map → meeting place of the Brotherhood of the Fecund Belly
| Bed → Keycard → Room Keycode, Treasurer Office Keycode, Safe Keycode, Master Keycode, Vaults Keycode

C: The Warehouse
Ground Floor
| Double doors → heavy chain & padlock → Foreman Keycode or Master Keycode
| Back doors --> thick wooden bar
| Crates and Containers → Legal Goods (Merchants 3/Criminals 2)
| Walkway → wooden → 10’ up
| Body → Hanging from noose → Gang member → Zuriel Varn
| Search → Belt
| Master Keycard
| Scabbard → Dagger
| Ladder → roof → signal beacon

D: The Scribe
| Front Door → Locked → Scribe Keycode or Master Keycode
| Back Door → Locked → Scribe Keycode or Master Keycode
| Tables → Ink, Paper, Quills →
| Door → Locked → Gang Leader Keycode or Treasurer Keycode
| Office → Safe → Locked → Gang Leader Keycode or Treasurer Keycode → Trapped → Poison Save → Unconscious 2d4 hours
| Bag → Credits (merchants 1/criminals 1)
|→ Local Business Floor Plans → Legitimate & Criminal Ledgers → Vaults Keycode
| Icon of Saint → False Panel → S Secret Door → Locked → Master Keycode
| False Panel → Secret Door → Locked → Master Keycode

E: The Welder
| Front Door → locked → Master Keycode
| Back door → locked → Master Keycode
| Signs of a struggle → Smashed Welding → Intact Welding (Merchants 1)
| Stairs → Cupboard → Locked → Master Keycode → Tunnel → Secret Cellar
| Window → Butcher roof
| Search → hidden footholds → Window → Distiller Upstairs
| False Panel → Secret door → Locked →  Master Keycode
| Main roomAbandoned in a hurry
| Search → 2 Flak Jackets (AC 8), a sword
| Beds → Blanket → Fine Sword (Merchants 1/Criminals 1)→ Gold Thread, gems in hilt

F: The Butcher
| Front Door → Locked → Butcher Key or Master Keycode
| Back Door → Locked → Butcher Key or Master Keycode
| Rotting Stench & Flies Buzzing → cheese and meat → Poison Save → puke
| Mutant Dog
(AC 8, MV 180’, 2HD, Blood-Red Tentacle 1d4 plus infection, LD 12)
Tentacle → Poison Save → Infected
| TargetsMindless Attack
| No targets → A Few Hours → Hibernation

G: The Distiller
| Front Doors → Chained & padlocked → Distiller Key or Master Keycode
| Back Doors → Barred
| Bottles and Kegs of Booze → Some smashed, some intact
| Complete Bottles and Kegs (Merchants 2/Criminals 2)
| Woodworking Tools → Improvised Weapons
| Side door → Locked → Master Keycode
| Whiff of decayBody → Gang Member → “Emperor Forgive Us” → Blood → Half Mutated → Rotting→ Slit Throat → Bones Havelock
| Chests → Locked → Empty → Training
| Weapons rack → swords, clubs, daggers --> blunted
| Table → Card Game → 38 creds→ fourth player winning
| Ladder → Near Window → Reaches H: Hab on Ventilator Avenue
| E Window → Butcher Roof
| Search →  hidden footholds →  E: Welder Upstairs

H: The Hab on Ventilator Avenue
Ground Floor
| Front Door → Locked → Master Keycode
| Back Door → Locked → Master Keycode
| Faint, Bitter Smell → Burned Hair Dark Stain on Ceiling
| Drips Thick, Black Substance →  Taste → Poison Save → 1d6 Damage
| Stronger Smell →  Eyes Watering
| Signs of Struggle
| S DoorSmashed off Hinges
| Front roomMess
| BunksSmashed → Bed Clothes Strewn
|→ Cannister (Ordo Xenos 2/Mechanicus Biologis 3)
| Metal, Hollow, Glyphs, Display Screens
| Tech-Priests → Level or Under on D20 →  Recognize as Ordo Biologis
| Opens → Tech-Use (7) or Security (9) → Empty
| Puddle Noxious Black Stuff →  Half-Dissolved Human Bones
| Back roomDisturbed
| False Panel →  Secret DoorLockedMaster Keycode
| Corner → Ladder → Cross Alley → G: Distiller

J: The Courtyard
| Ventilator Avenue → Alley → Double Doors → Corrugated Steel → Chain & Padlock → Foreman Keycode, Distiller Key, or Master Keycode
| Guard Dogs → Large → Five
(AC 8, MV 180’, 2HD, Bite 1d4, LD 9)
| Feeds → Friendly, will not attack
| Flees → Try to catch the slowest
| Fights → Will try to eat any fallen enemies, stop attacking
| Gnawed Dog Remains

The Secret Cellar
Secret Cellar
| Stench → Weeping → Poison Save → Hilarious Vomit Montage
| Mess → Signs of Frantic, Bitter CombatSevered body parts, blood stains, & broken Weaponry
| W TunnelDog & Bastard
| SE Tunnel Ladder →  E: Welder
| NW, NE, & SW Tunnels →  Portcullis → Underhive → Other Parts of the City → Thievery
| Winches → Open Portcullis
| Pit Trap → S Door → Steel Plates→ Sturdy → Locked
| Pit Trap → 10’ Deep → Polished Walls
| Door → Two Key Slots → Simultaneous Unlock → Voice Recognition
| Simultaneous Unlock
| Unlocks → Gang Leader Keycode and Treasurer Keycode
| Unlocks → Security (7) or Tech-Use (9) Rolls
| Unlocks → Psychic Powers
| Voice Recognition
| Speaks → “Mercia”
| Hacks → Security(10)
The Vaults
| Tables →  Treasure
| CratesTreasure
| BarrelsTreasure
| Stacked Items Treasure
| SearchesTreasure Table
| Searches AgainTreasure Table and Mutant Free Attack
| Search for Specific Item → Treat as two searches
| Mutant Things → Hibernating
(AC 8, MV 120’, 4HD, Grab or Blood-Red Tentacles 1d4/1d4/1d4 plus infection, LD 12)
| Searches 2 Rounds → Wake Up and Attack

The Brotherhood of the Fecund Belly - Uriah Frastus House
Ground Floor
| Crooke → Thug and Cultist
(AC 8, MV 120’, 2HD (8hp), Club 1d4, LD 9)
Flak Jacket, Club
| Bundles Herbs & Burning Incense → Strong, Pungent Smell
| Faint SmellAwareness(9) or Heightened Smell → Organic, Foetid Smell →  Ground Floor
| Tapestry → Secret Door → Locked → Cult Key → Cult temple
| Cult Temple
| Altar → Stone → Fire Blackened → Unknown Liquid Stained
| Pits → Barred → 10’ Deep → Victims of Diseases
Victims → Some alive, some not; some volunteers, some not → Pustulent yellow blisters, weeping sores, blood dribbling from places it shouldn’t, horrible wet coughing and so on
| Glass Jars → Blood, bodily fluids, body parts and parasites floating in a greenish liquid, and air captured at plague sites
| Blasphemous Idols →  Lining Walls
| Library → Good Quality → Focus on Medicine → “Modern” and Folkloric
| BedroomChest → 100 creds (Merchants 1)
| Rest of HabArt, Furs, Textiles (Merchants 1)

Treasure (from the Vaults)

1A green porcelain mask depicting the face of a terrifying and malevolent devilInquisition(1)/Chaos Cult(3)
2An ancient medallion from a lost planet, carved with strange piscine imagesInquisition(2)/Rogue Trader(3)
3An archeotech ring. When worn, the wearer is rendered Invisibile. The wearer is also placed in a comaInquisition(2)/Mechanicus(4)
4A disk full of documents detailing the various secret shames of prominent members of the Hive Nobility.Hive Nobles(3)/Criminals(3)
5A small leather satchel containing four doses of Spook, a drug that enhances psychic abilityInquisition(1)/Telepaths(3)
6A carved wooden box containing ten small ampoules of exotic incenseEcclesiarchy(2)/Merchants(1)
7A polished skull with a hinged top. Rattling around inside is a black data-pearl Inquisition(3)/Criminals(2)
8A large viewscreen, preloaded with images of beautiful landscapesYesMerchants(2)/Mechanicus(1)
9A blue velvet bag containing the fingerbones of a saintInquisition(1)/Ecclesiarchy(3)
10An amethyst data crystal containing a hidden route through warp storms to an isolated planetRogue Trader(3)/Imperial Navy(2)
11A silver victor's laurel crownImperial Guard(3)/Merchants(2)
12A fine Alien jade statue of a lithe, masked figureOrdo Xenos(2)/Merchants(2)
13Two small, intricate xenos devicesOrdo Xenos(3)/Mechanicus(3)
14A steel lockbox containing stacks of creditsYesMerchants(2)/Criminals(2)
15A brass statue of the imperial eagle; It is an effective psychic focusTelepaths(3)/Ecclesiarchy(2)
16A syringe full of Space Marine Apothecary cure-all (one use, will cure any disease non-warp in nature)Space Marines(3)/Healers(2)
17A map file showing the location of an STC DatabaseInquistion(3)/Mechanicus(4)
18A plasteel crate containing ingots of oreYesMerchants(2)/Mechanicus(1)
19Two ornate Space Marine InsigniaInquisition(1)/Space Marines(2)
20A bronze keycard with “#99” on the displayInquistion(1)/Criminals(2)