Dark Heresy Game 1: Plans never survive first contact with the Players
Well, this thread is going to be different.
I've just started a Dark Heresy 2nd Ed. game and it's been... interesting.
I haven't gamed in forever, but I did have a few mates who were interested in starting a campaign and I was quickly given the GM hat.
So, I put them up as henchmen of an Inquisitor Agatha Brimstone of the Ordo Xenos.
(Die-hard fans of BigToof Batreps may recognize this name...)
I had three players who made... interesting characters.
I've played with two of the players before, both who make basically the same characters.
The responsible mate (usually plays paladins, priests, etc) decided to go with an Imperial Guard Warrior named Rupert Tillsworthy.
His backstory (in short) is that he was the last of the Cadian 666th that died horribly in a mission gone wrong, and was given the choice of serving the Inquisition or well you know... BLAM.
He was described as an older sort with white hair and a father figure to his men.
He was quickly nicknamed "Sgt Till" or "Daddy T" by the players.
(Soldier 76 quotes may or may not have been used at this time)
Nothing amazing stat or weapon-wise, but he did concentrate on leadership mechanics.
The second player who I have politely named a "min-max" style of player decided to go with an Outcast Assassin named Reaper Doomsbringer (I kid you not).
Large amounts of detail were put into his guns (oversized pistols) and not a small amount of wheedling was done to get me to let him "hot-shot" the pistols.
I didn't get a lot of history, but I was told that he was a really good killer. So good that the Inquisition sought him out for his skills.
(I highly doubted that last part, but I let it go for the first session)
Concentrated on high weapon stats/skills and tanked on everything else.
The third player was the sister of the Sgt Till player, and had never really played tabletop before.
(So, like many first-timers, she pretty much made a slightly different version of herself)
She made a Tech Priest Sage named ABB13 (nicknamed "Abbie"), because she said she wanted to "know all the stuff and how to fix it."
She then told me a pretty detailed description of her look and also about her mechadendrite.
(Many, many inadvertent and not to inadvertent phallus jokes were made over the session)
It was emphasized that she was pretty, but not too stand-outish with really organized and clean accoutrements.
I'm not sure if was intentional or not that she had very few combat skills.
A point of side hilarity was that she hadn't much of an idea as to what 40k was, so I gave her the short primer version. After listening intently, she said "So it's basically Torchwood in Space?"
So, our game started with Agatha giving the PCs their mission of investigating Mining Facility XM-232, a far-off and out of the way small mining colony on an asteroid belt that had triggered some kind warning that there might be Xenos activity in the area.
My GM plan was that there was a Genestealer Cult that had been active at XM-232 and was nearing the uprising stage. XM-232 was a small colony, but with access to vital shipping lanes that went all over the Imperium. If the Stealers could take over the colony, it would be a dire strait for the Imperium.
Of course, I didn't tell any of that to the players, who were given the cover of part of the crew of a standard Imperial refueling/supply run vessel.
We started play with the PCs getting off their cramped ship and into the narrow corridors of the mining asteroid. I had described it as being kind of claustrophobic with red and orange sandy walls ala Total Recall.
The PCs then have the somewhat ludicrous plan to split up. Well, it's not so much a plan as that each player wanted to look at something different and just wandered off.
The Sarge went to the Governor's palace and was able to talk his way into speaking to the guy in charge. I described Governor Boris Drumf as a bombastic little man with crazy hair and completely out of touch with his people. The Sarge rolled well and was able to get on the Governor's good side, who let the player in on that he had been trying to crack down on the religious nuts in the lower classes, but hadn't had much success.
Somehow (I blame PC paranoia), the Sarge got it into his head that Boris was a heretic, trying to get him to admit that he didn't believe in the divinity of the Emperor.
Abbie went to the Techpriests of the area, who were being met by a NPC that was from the Cult. I tried to make it seem shady, and then have the NPC dart away, but Abbie rolled well and was able to catch the NPC before he got too far.
Sadly, I hadn't written anything up on the guy, so I covered as best I could and called him "Ryan." The player asked what he looked like, and I kind of hand-waved and she kind of filled in details for me. What I didn't know at the time is that I had inadvertently turned him into a bald Ryan Gosling, who apparently is a major heartthrob for the player.
So, Ryan the Cultist dropped a metric ton of hints that he was into shady cult stuff, but Abbie was more interested in awkward mechadendrite flirting and all of the hints sailed over her head. She did get his contact info, so I suppose that was that.
Reaper went to the shady black-market area and spent a lot of time bullying people, stealing their stuff and buying drugs and somewhat illegal gear. I did drop hints from the merchant that shady stuff was going on and that the upper class and the mining lower class were at odds and things were getting heated.
So, the PCs met up, compared notes and concluded that Boris the Governor was a heretic and probably a daemon-worshipper and what-not. I pointed out that their clues were that a XENOS Inquisitor sent them, but I got that look of "trying to shake us off the trail Mr. GM? For Shame."
Realizing that my plot was thrown in the thresher, I let it all play out.
Abbie lead the PCs back to Ryan and the Cult of the Four-Armed Emperor (it was my last ditch attempt to clue them in), and well... they rolled really well.
At the end of it all, they convinced Ryan to come with them and organized a mass uprising against Governor Boris.
We then went to the assault on the Governor's manor, who tried to hold them off, but there were far too many miners and the PCs had dispatched most of the guards and sabotaged their armory. Boris tried to escape, but the PCs caught up with him and tortured him until he admitted that yes, he was a hertic and that the PCs had uncovered his dastardly plot. The PCs then blam-shotted him in the head and burnt the manor to the ground to prevent any heresy from getting out.
They then signaled back to their handlers for pick-up and everyone had a grand party before the game ended. All the players really liked the game and are looking forward to the next one.
Despite my plans falling apart in the first hour or two, I guess I did as well...
Hope you all enjoyed my write up, and let me know if you would like more!