Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dark Heresy Campaign #1: The Edge of Darkness, pt. 3: Playthrough and Endgame

This adventure was my players' first real encounter with Dark Heresy. Many of them had not played in the Warhammer 40K universe, and neither had I.  It was really cool, and I really liked the investigative elements of gameplay. I've always liked detective novels.

For this particular adventure, I didn't take many gameplay notes, sadly. A lot of the details are sort of hazy, but the resolution of the "boss fight" was pretty freaking epic.

The Churgeon--a member of a banned tech-heretic group, was using the local alms house to do experiments, augmenting kidnapped locals with forbidden technology. It took some time, but eventually the acolytes connected the dots. They infiltrated the alms house during the feeding of the poor. One group distracted the overseer while the others took the top floor, where the laboratory was.

Here's the color text from the adventure:

The centre of the chamber is dominated by a large operating table, surrounded by all manner of strange instruments, flashing cogitator displays and armatures ending in clusters of blades, manipulators and drills.

On the table, strapped down and laid open as if an anatomical exhibit, his heart still pumping in his splayed ribcage, is a young man, clearly conscious and terrified out of his mind.
Looming above him is a narrow and impossibly tall figure, shrouded in black robes edged with a bloodred cogtooth pattern, who can only be the architect and master of this chamber of horrors. Perched on the figure’s back is a heavy mass of burnished metal, surrounded by dozens of twitching mechanical limbs, like some obscene clockwork spider.

The cowled head turns toward you and as the light catches the face within, you can see what remains of a living woman’s face stitched to an iron skull. Glowing lenses set in the woman’s dead face focus on you and a grating artificial voice issues forth: “Foolish meat! In coming here you have only hastened the harvesting of your unworthy flesh!”
Long story short, the PCs attacked the Churgeon, who sent a bunch of her experiments against them as she attempted to escape down a shaft, using an anti-grav harness. Stephen's character, Hand of the Inquisition, the feral/barbarian world assassin, closed on her and jumped down the shaft after her, making a successful grappling check. He was able to make another couple of good rolls, killing her, and not taking a bit of damage in the process. It was the sort of ending to a session that becomes the stuff of legend.

In the aftermath, the crisis averted, the acolytes locked down the sector, and brought in backup forces to mop up.