For the Salvation of the Askellon Sector . . . and Other Reasons! (Dark Heresy 2nd Edition Session 1)
The Heresy began last night!
We had our first session of Dark Heresy 2nd Edition last night. It was a bit abbreviated because we still had a few players finishing up their characters, since we currently only have one Dark Heresy 2nd rulebook between the lot of us. I suspect we’ll be rectifying that situation, but for now, we had to do some sharing.
Also, everyone seemed rather keen on using the optional character generation rules found in this particular document:
Once we had everyone put together, our warband looked something like this–
Davrus–An Untouchable outcast heirophant from Thaur, Davrus is a creepy old man that isn’t well liked by anyone. He’s got ritual scars all over him, and likes wearing his ceremonial robes.
Trip–A young psyker mystic outcast from an undisclosed hive world in the Askellon Sector, Trip is a disheveled young woman who smells of chemicals.
Genevieve–An Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum) chirurgeon who was void born, the unlikely named Genevieve is a tall, gaunt, greyish man who carries a bloody rock as a memento of his days of Imperial Guard service.
Yasta–A young void-born seeker who was of late working for the Adeptus Arbities, Yasta is enthusiastic about doing her job.
Getting There is Half the Fun
The entire group was going to meet for the first time at Port Aquila on the edge of the Askellon Sector. They had all been recruited in the last year by mysterious Imperial officials, who gave each of them a cured flesh documents with various symbols enscribed upon them.
I asked each of them how they got from where they were recruited to Port Aquila, and what kind of difficulties they might have run into.
Davrus–Davrus requested a ride from a pilgrim ship administered by the Ministorum, where he was put into a closet like berth due to a request by the Astropath on the ship. There was a Gellar Field incident, and Davrus was able to stride to the auxiliary system to engage it due to his ability to resist the entities that were bedeviling the crew.
Trip–Trip stowed away on a ship heading to Port Aquila and spent the entire journey hiding from the crew members, lest she be punished for her unlawful passenger status.
Genevieve and Yasta–Genevieve and Yasta both signed up on a Rogue Trader ship that was newly arrived in the Askellon Sector. Neither of them knew one another, and an outbreak of a strange affliction caused Genevieve to attempt to cure afflicted crew members, but Yasta diligently pacified the crew when it turned unruly, including Genevieve, who was unfortunate enough to get in the way.
(The Rogue Trader ship in question is the ship that our group previously called home during our Rogue Trader campaign. We like our internal continuity, what can I say?)
Tourists at Port Aquila
Because there was the potential for ruffians to accost individuals if they wandered into the wrong parts of town, I decided to see how the group was going to navigate a large, densely packed station like Port Aquila in order to find their meeting place.
Trip’s hive world ability came in handy, and she just navigated to the right spot. Genevieve used his inquiry skill to ask the Ork serving abort the Rogue Trader ship he arrived on, and the Ork just decided to walk him there, clearing the crowd in front of him. Yasta asked the Rogue Trader on the ship directly, and she managed to catch the wake of the Ork’s passage.
Davrus found a likely low ranking Ministorum acolyte and issued a command to him, and he called up a servo skull to guide him to the docks that he was looking for.
The Method to My Madness
Because it had been a while since we had played a 40K RPG, and the last one was Only War, which was definitely a game where we were relying more on combat oriented skills, I wanted to have a simple situation where I presented the PCs a situation, then asked them how to resolve it, which also gave them a chance to look over their skills and the abilities that modified them.
Nobody got lost, so nobody got accosted by the common thugs waiting in the more shadowy portals of the station.
Trip arrived first, and got turned away by the Imperial Guards at the military docks because she looked like a disheveled hive worlder that just wandered into the wrong part of the station. Genevieve, knowing Astra Militarum procedures better, managed to talk his way onto the ship, and noticed Trip trying (and failing) to hide. They realized they had the same flesh parchment adorned with cyphers, and Genevieve vouched for Trip.
Yasta arrived next, and Genevieve was concerned when he recognized Yasta as the eager pacifier from his previous trip. Yasta apologized, and Davrus arrived. No one liked the cranky old man, but Trip was especially on edge around him.
The group was taken to a secure area inside the ship by the ship’s captain and the Astropath, where they watched a message from their Inquisitor, Theodosia Atilarius. Theodosia gave them a series of signs and code phrases by which they would know her other agents, and she sent them to join the crew of the Aspirant on the way to Calforil Prime, there to find a missing noble heir in an attempt to quell rioting and uprisings there.
However, their ongoing mission, the one that was to be of tantamount importance to them from this point on, was to find a woman named Jaqueline Adanra. All other concerns were secondary.
The ship’s captain, warned by Davrus that the message may be classified, decided to sit in (since it was being played on his ship). As the team set out to find the Aspirant, the ship’s captain . . . was relieved of his command . . . permanently.
A Word on Subtlety
Genevieve and Yasta weren’t overly cautious about showing their parchment, and Trip was somewhat vocal about dropping hints about being on official business, so the group moved down the Subtlety track right out of the gate.
A Trip on the Aspirant
Upon arriving at the Aspirant, the ship’s Void Master, Paltomar Inwrath, and the ship’s first mate, Kaya Sanderil, were very cold to the group. Despite being warned that the Captain was too good for them, Captain Blain Valor was quite personable to the group, but tried to convince them that rumors of a bad augury for the transition to the Warp were exaggerations. Then he showed them placards with various prayers on them, and advised them that saying those prayers would likely be a good idea until they were on their way.
The group argued over who would bunk with who. No one especially wished to be in the room with Davrus, but Davrus wanted to keep an eye on the psyker. The captain didn’t help when he suggested, just as a precaution, that someone may want to have a gun to Trip’s head “for safety’s sake.”
Eventually Davrus took a room with Trip, and had his weapon ready to go, also reciting the Prayer for Accuracy . . . just in case.
The Gellar Fields fluctuated slightly upon transitioning to the Warp, and everyone had to steel themselves against the fear that they would feel upon seeing ghostly images intruding into the ship. Everyone managed to do so, except for Genevieve, who failed by two degrees.
Being Very Cautious
Genevieve had a ship based superstition that was generated by using the above expanded character creation options. Because Genevieve’s player role played enacting this superstition, I actually gave him a +10 on his fear check, which was good, because that saved him from the three degrees of fear that might have resulted in Corruption.
To Be Continued
We called it a night after the ship got underway, because it seemed like a good place to cut the action for the night, and because everyone had a chance to introduce themselves to one another, establish some personality traits, and make some rolls.
Things I Need To Remember
I don’t have the Untouchable rules memorized as well as I wish I did. I made a judgement call on how they worked at one point, which wasn’t a huge problem, but was probably too broad of an application of the resistance to Warp Phenomenon. Thankfully, we discussed it soon afterwards, and I’ll be hewing to how I think it should work from here on out.
Looking forward to the next session, and I think we are off to a good start.