Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dark Heresy - Introductory Adventure - Part 2

 We ran through the second part of my current Dark Heresy adventure on Wednesday. It was a blast, and I felt like it went a lot smoother than the first session. It was a fairly short session, but fun all the same.

Now Entering Stern Hope

Upon entrance to Stern Hope, the PCs were met by Brother Lamark. They immediately took a liking to him, and he to them. They also met a new PC, the arbitrator. Their first stop was the inn, the Crying Clota. Now, I didn't have a chance to look up what a Clota was before the session (apparently it's some herd animal native to Iocanthos). So, the arbitrator's player decided to define it for us, as a limb that was cut off by a chain sword. I love it when the players take on some of the creativity of the game!

After dropping Aristarchus off at the Crying Clota, the PCs decide to wonder around town and see what they can learn. Since they hadn't done much of this back at Port Suffering, I was glad they were starting to do some investigation. They stopped first at the Priory and talked with Brother Lamark. I had a lot of fun RPing him, though I may have made him a bit too silly. After that some of them wandered up into the hills, but without a guide or good directions, they got a bit lost and finally ended up back where they started. The psyker decided to try psyniscience to sense any disturbances in the warp - but all he sensed was an eerie silence, like the calm before a storm. Finally they headed to bed.

On the Heights

The next morning they met Abbot Skae and Brother Severus. They didn't ask too many questions or interact with him too much, but headed right out to talk to the people of the settlement. Specifically they targeted the camp of Ashleen warriors. This was good, since the Ashleen seemed to have the most interesting information about the situation. The arbitrator's high inquiry skill got them a few answers, and they managed to bribe one of the townsfolk to accompany them up into the hills, where strange lights had been rumored to be seen. Lamark also accompanied them.

In the hills, they were ambushed by a strange creature called a hexalid. Again, the arbitrator proved to be a valuable addition to the party. His high awareness allowed the party to notice the hexalid before it attacked, keeping it from surprising them. Additionally, his quick reactions, trusty shotgun, and high ballistic skill (and good roll!) allowed him to nearly take out the creature in one shot. Upon it's death, the hexalid was revealed to be mostly rotten, with it's eyes pecked out. Creepy!

Session End

I ended the session rather early this time since I needed to pack and people had places to be the next morning. We stopped as the acolytes were returning to Stern Hope, at dusk. The next morning would herald the arrival of Esha Raine, the wisewoman, and later in the afternoon, the consecration of the cathedral. Will the ceremony go smoothly? Or will dire and unnatural forces keep it from succeeding? We'll see next time!

Lessons Learned

The hexalid fight would have been more challenging (and more interesting, and possibly more fun) if I had done a few things differently. First, I completely forgot fear rolls again. The hexalid is a frightening creature and should have required a fear roll of 1. Secondly, the creature had a few special qualities that I neglected to look up ahead of time which may have effected the fight. Finally, I handled the hexalid the same way I handled the thugs, which was a mistake. The thugs were somewhat weak, individual enemies which I allowed to die upon taking any critical damage. The hexalid, however, should have kept on fighting until killed by excess critical damage, just like a PC would. This would have made the fight significantly more interesting, and is something I'll definitely do for any tough NPCs or monsters in the future.

The next session in the adventure will be run sometime in the next two weeks. Hopefully it will go well, as I apply everything I've learned so far!

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