RPGing- How I became the Governor of my own planet, got imprisoned and grew a set of gills
Nothing is better than a good paper and pen RPG, and by paper and pen I mean Roll 20 on your PC (seriously check it out!)
Anyways, we have been playing Rogue Trader, the WH40k RPG system created by FFG, on and off for a while now, where in our long suffering DM, Ben Fee, has tried his best to create a deep, challenging and hard experience for us to fight through. He succeeded of course, Ben is at the top of his field when it comes to DM’ing, providing in depth story arks, handouts, character bios and NPCs that just mess with you…..Unfortunately for him though, our group is not the sort of group that sticks to the plan and what should have really been a straight forward narrative quickly changes and Ben is having to work out the economic and political structure of an imperial planet.
This is a picture of Ben, (in the Middle) just after drinking 2 bottles of red wine during an impromptu gaming session…
If you have ever watched that episode of American Dad where Roger (Legman) drinks too much wine in the hotel room… that was Ben soon after… all over my kitchen floor
But I digress…
In our story so far I am a Rogue trader, Captain M T Girk of the Never-Ending Sorrow, a stoic Captain but one with an appetite for booze, women and recreational substances. I Literally have to roll every time there is booze and or drugs around (and half the time end up intoxicated in one way shape or form). Now being Captain in a Sci-fi based RPG I am therefore in charge of a ship, its crew and the small fleet of other ships we have managed to capture, or were given, during past seasons.
Obviously Captain Girk can’t do this on his own and no RPG would be complete without a band of loyal and intrepid companions by your side..
Mürk – a tech / loot obsessed, surly and insubordinate Tech Priest who losses an arm, catches fire .. twice and ends our story in a supply closet surrounded by Gene Stealers in a Spacehulk he decided to raid with half the party.
Cuddles – an animal loving, Insubordinate, loot obsessed, Arch Militant who is the epitome of shoot first, ask questions later. Cuddles acquires a dog called fluffy, picks a fight with a bunch of gangers in a bar, is obliterated by Heavy stubber fire, is resurrected as a nanite god, after the nanite wrist band he found in season 1 remakes him, becomes a crime lord, helps torture some rebels and then tries to blow up the Neverending Sorrow… because Tau.
Gill – a sarcastic and insubordinate psyker (there is a theme here) with homicidal tendencies.. potentially a serial killer. Seems to go crazy, is sold out by the rest of us to the Inquisition (well he could be a serial killer!), Escapes, ends up the pimp to a bunch of local prostitutes, who he uses as human shields when fighting through a subterranean, Nurgle infested, crypt (totally a serial killer) then, while on the space hulk with Mürk and Lucius, comes out as a Tzeentch sorcerer who had been setting Mirk on fire, on purpose.. proceeds to cause mischief and then leaves them surrounded by genestealers before vanishing into a warp gate.
Lucius – straight down the line, I roll play my character, no matter what, First Officer …who was sometimes insubordinate. He gets himself a wife, the wife is kidnapped by Eldar, goes AWOL to find Wife (is unaware that wife and Captain Girk bumped uglies while Girk was drunk) rolls a new character in the meantime, goes on mercenary mission wherein he jumps from a moving transport and splatters against a wall, comes back as Lucius… ends up on the Space Hulk, trapped in a cupboard, surrounded by gene stealers… Gill Laughs all the way to the warp.
And interesting bunch, as you can see and just the dysfunctional crew needed to make Ben take to downing 2 bottles of red wine. Also dysfunctional enough that their Captain had to make perorations for potential, nay, inevitable mutiny / gross insubordination.
When Gill was unconscious, after going crazy and setting himself on fire.. Girk had his adepts implant a neurological dampener in his head just in case he needed controlling later. Likewise when he realised his Arch Militant was now a Nanite God creature, had magnetic pulse gauntlets made to disrupt the nanites and prevent, well, him blowing up the ship… because Tau. These could also double as a way to make sure certain Tech priests weren’t being naughty and running off to spacehulks to find treasure… damn it!
Girk’s First Officer wasn’t insubordinate enough to warrant counter measures but Girk was sure he could have found some compromising pictures of Lucius’s wife to use against him if he had to.
Now all the while Girk’s insubordinate crew are getting maimed, going crazy or becoming nanite gods, he is trying to make sure they are on track for their main quest; all the while trying to evade the inquisition who are interested in their last seasons run in with a pink testicle monster. A wee side jaunt won’t hurt them though surely? For Ben I think it was just a way to draw out some time to give him space to finish the story… oh what a mistaka to makea.
The mission was a simple one. Bring some medical supplies to a planet, get some money and leave. Time for Ben to finish the story and gave us a place to get some supplies and gain some XP.
So we take the mission and went on our way.
While travelling we find out The Never Ending Sorrow is piloted by a Dark Eldar Witch who has a thing for Girk, mistaking him for his father Cavenaugh. We also find out that the NES has a labyrinth within it… damn Xenos ships, and a bunch of Dark Eldar Wracks hibernating within… it would be a shame if they woke up wouldn’t it…. Ben “while exploring the labyrinth you wake up the sleeping wracks” THANKS A LOT BEN! Girk therefore has to “schmooze” the Dark Eldar Witch into closing the labyrinth off and putting them back into hibernation.
Dark Eldar invasion aborted the crew approach the planet of Damaris and are hailed by a rather attractive doctor. She informs us that there is a plague on the planet and that the meds we have for the Governor are not for the people but for the ruling classes. The Imperium has, allegedly, decided to let the populous die… Dilemma, what do we do? Well, Girk as a character and me as a person don’t like being “that guy” so there was only really one choice and that was to help the doctor. The rest insisted we sell the rest of the meds to the Governor; lying about the missing crates… and making bit of profit.
We therefore land in the capital city, meet with the doctor, provide her with some of the antidote, which she synthesises into more for the rest of the population, sell the rest to the Governor, for a mark-up price (none the wiser to our double dealings) and, because we need more crew for are recently acquired ships, hold a sort of X-factor audition for crew…
Unfortunately, nearly the entire city turns up and, after some cultists in the crowd try to kill us all, the local commander and the PDF turn up to arrest us (including armour, las cannons and numerous soldiers ) It looks like we have been found out…. THANKS A LOT BEN!
Obviously we have 1 option….fight.. or so Ben thought. It didn’t go down like that.
Using a newly acquired, and more subordinate techpriest, Kellogg, we had him rig a local buildings vox caster to a microphone on Girks person, Girk then proceeded to taunt the Commander into admitting he and the Governor were going to keep the meds for themselves and let the planet die. Girk, who’s stats in combat were middling, used this and his high charm rate to persuade the PDF and the local populous to revolt…. 10 minutes later, the commander is dead and the planet is in open rebellion. The Next session the planet is renamed Initium Novum and Girk is Governor, with his own army and palace……
It was then that Ben realised he was going to have to figure out how to deal with Governor mechanics and the economy of the planet. .. all the while, his carefully crafted main quest was being ignored.. something had to be done.
He humoured us for a while, The crew ended up in a subterranean crypt filled with nurgle; the plague had a source then and explained the cultists. Girk tried his best to make sure the planet didn’t fall apart, but it was becoming more apparent that Ben and the planet did not want us there. As time went on, things on Novum started to get harder. Palace guards were murdered , including Trevor 2, a replacement for Trevor 1, lost in season 1; statues were defaced and Cuddles started to have a split personality disorder. Gill, Mirk and Lucius decided to go treasure hunting and so left Girk and cuddles to sort it all (you got this) oh look, that space hulk looks interesting.
After a run in with an assassin who, it turns out, Girk slept with his wife in a bid to get information (what? His charm rating is super high but unfortunately he was super high too), Girk and Cuddles are informed of a secret meeting. They go and Girk puts on his stealth cloak… which we find out later, every time he uses it, Ben has been secretly rolling to see if it mutates him or not. By this time Girk has gills and had to amputate an eye! THANKS A LOT BEN!
Cuddles and Girk enter the meeting place and it turns out there is a room of priests, all plotting to overthrow Girk and screams from a side room, where someone was torturing the good doctor. What do we do? Well, bearing in mind I like to play the game good, I had to make a decision.. let the planet slip back into rebellion again or kill the conspirators nipping it in the bud.
Cuddles shape shifts into a wall blocking off the escape route and Girk uncloaks himself, plasma pistols at the ready. He tries to use his charm to have them give up, but fails, he then uses his command to try and do the same but fails again… Girk shoots one of the priests and the rest run towards the tunnel, only to find they are blocked in by cuddles. A frag grenade happens to roll near them (who threw that?) and all are mortally wounded. Cuddles, having had to absorb the blast of the grenade uses the remaining life force of the priests to recharge himself; they then break into the torture chamber to rescue the doctor. Again the priest refuses to give up and is killed…Rebellion quashed, job done back to the palace to hire a Trevor 3 and get a drink….
Girk is feeling somewhat guilty but has persuaded himself that it is for the greater good. Cuddles was just happy he could recharge using peoples life force, all the while being able to absorb their memories.. unbeknown to him though Ben was tired of him flaunting his powers around and decided to cause him to short out if he used too much power; which he did, in the most inopportune moments…THANKS A LOT BEN!
After stopping off at the palace again, executing the old Governor, promoting a friend of Gills to treasurer, because Gill is a trust worthy chap (and not a secret Chaos cultist), and having heard nothing from the other 3 in days they decide its time to put an end to the rebellious Priests in the area and make a trip to the local monastery… Main quest, what main quest?
Ben’s patience with us obviously frays and soon after getting to the monastery they are captured by some uncharmable Sisters of Battle ( its a sad day when a one eyed, gilled, Space Pirate can’t charm the chastity belt off a lady, even if they are a Sister of Battle) and taken to prison. Cuddles escapes with Fluffy but Girk is trapped and taken to see the high priest who knows of Girks mutations. Girk has murdered priests (from one point of view) is a mutant and is wanted by the inquisition for questioning…. oh and he flys a Dark eldar War ship, has a Dark Eldar Witch as a navigator (and potentially lover) annnnnd his hull is full of Tau.. there is also an Ork, an Eldar and a space worm on board (Cuddles needs a retinue after all)
To Ben’s credit he could have executed Girk right there but I think he wanted to get them off the plant and on to the main quest in hand… plus i like to think that our out of the box thinking / problem solving, if somewhat dark at times had impressed him.
After weeks of game play on Damaris (AKA Initium Novum). It was finally over. Girk is told to leave the planet, never to return and leave it in control of a newly elected Governor. In recompense for services rendered he is allowed to bring the Doctor with him and a retinue of PDF and Scions who have pledged themselves to him… Tevor 3 and Steve, a young security guard acquired in season 1 come too.
It is a sad moment, many weeks of play and many things have gone on. Girk had tried his best to stabilise the planet but all for naught. As Girk and Cuddles leave the planet they realise that it will soon fall to Chaos and they could do nothing to stop it. Ah well, Girk has an army now and Cuddles is a nanite God; what else could go wrong?
A session later the crew is looking to mutiny over the presence the Freebooters and Tau on board and Cuddles decides he doesn’t like the new Tau player on the ship and heads to the engine room to blow it up…. because that makes perfect sense!
WILL CUDDLES BLOW UP THE NEVER ENDING SORROW? WILL MIRK AND LUCIUS ESCAPE THEIR IMPENDING DOOM? WILL TREVOR 3 MAKE IT LONGER THAN 2 SESSIONS?! STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EPISODE !