These are a few rough Endeavors connected to…
The first endeavor is designed as something of an introduction to RT. Or, if your players are already somewhat experienced and ready to upgrade, consider changing The Promise of Dawn to a Lunar-class cruiser or other appropriate hull.
Levin and his magi are putting the finishing touches on a Sword-class frigate that has been outfitted with experimental technology. The ship requires testing, and Levin sees the opportunity to do so and acquire a valuable resource/ally in the process.
As Levin desires those things which only a rogue trader could discreetly acquire, he begins searching for a suitable ally. Besides trustworthiness, his only real criteria are that his partner is someone neither too amoral to stomach, nor too dogmatic to deal with xeno and other proscribed artefacts. Approaching the most candidate, Levin begins negotiations to loan them his vessel, The Promise of Dawn, in exchange for future concessions.
The ship itself is a marvel, but it is cluttered with tech-adepts who are constantly getting underfoot as they race back and forth to monitor and tweak the ship’s temperamental systems. Furthermore, while the ship is of exceptional workmanship (assume that every component is effectively of Good or Best quality) it is prone to erratic and bizarre malfunctions. The majority of these will be merely annoying, but at the wrong moment they could be deadly.
After the shakedown cruise, the Promise returns to drydock where Levin’s adepts perform final adjustments, removing some troublesome components and adding others. During this time, hereteks belonging to the logicians or another appropriate group infiltrate the shipyard with the intent to make off with the ship and its potent technology.
If Levin has come to trust his choice of rogue trader, he may offer a more permanent arrangement. The Promise of Dawn is considered to have the Reliquary of Mars and Finances in arrears traits to represent its design and the missions Levin will send the PCs upon. The ship is not equipped with actual archaeotech, however, but experimental technologies of Levin’s own devising. While the final designs are sound, this could be a serious problem if the ship draws the attention of any ultra-dogmatic tech-priests who might take issue with Levin's activities.
To represent its experimental nature, the Rebellious complication may be appropriate. Alternatively, the GM could select a complication in line with the way the explorers handled the ship’s maiden voyage.
Endeavour: Shakedown cruise
To test the Promise, Levin has set out a relatively simple mission. Sending the explorers into the Expanse or another suitable area, they must locate a world mentioned in an ancient and mouldering data-cant, and if the records are true, bring back a sample of the mysterious substances said to rest there.
Locate the world
The explorers must search a remote stellar cluster for an unusual world mentioned in mechanicus records.
Locate the world quickly
Endure a serious malfunction at a critical moment
Perform an extensive survey of the cluster
Get into a brawl
While combat was not planned for, a battle would provide important data regarding the ship’s performance. Chancing across a pirate vessel or ork freebooter would make an excellent field test of the combat systems.
Engage in ship-to-ship combat
Make extensive and creative use of ship systems (silent running, com jamming)
Endure a serious malfunction during combat
Dredge the ferro-fluid oceans
After locating the lost world, the explorers are confronted with oceans of magnetic fluid possessing inexplicable properties that leave the mechanicus personnel salivating. However, these oceans are inhabited by equally bizarre life-forms resembling terran oceanic predators that react to the presence of any technology brought to the surface and attack. Flying through some kind of natural magnetic levitation, these beasts must be driven off before landers can scoop up the mysterious compounds. While post-battle samples would suffice for now, Levin will be greatly impressed and rewarding if the explorers are able to capture any mag-beasts alive for later study.
Defeat a swarm of mag-beasts
Capture a mag-beast alive and intact
Prevent excessive damage to equipment
Protect the docks and purge the invaders
As the Promise returns to port, Levin’s workers begin frantic examination of the gathered data and begin tuning the ship to perfection. Some components refuse to work properly or are simply impractical, and are replaced with ‘merely’ high-quality versions of well-known, more conventional components.
As the work nears completion, a Heretek reveals his true allegiance and unleashes a swarm of reprogrammed servitors in an attempt to hijack The Promise of Dawn. The explorers, resting and toasting their success, must fight their way through the rioting servitors, slay the traitor and either retake control of the vessel or the world’s defence platforms and destroy a Logician vessel before it can assault the orbital docks.
Retake control of the defence platforms
Access security systems and allow skitarii reinforcements access to the docks
Destroy or block the transmission controlling the servitor workforce
Slay the arch-heretek onboard the Promise of Dawn
Prevent serious destruction and loss of life among mechanicus personnel
Destroy or drive off the heretek vessel
If the explorers are successful and have earned Levin’s trust, they now have access to a potent ship and the resources of a forgeworld opened to them. More importantly, they have a discreet client guaranteed to pay a premium for almost any oddity, archaeotech, xeno, or otherwise, that the explorers can lay their hands on.
The Promise of Dawn is a powerful ship. To represent the fruits of Levin’s experimentation, it should have at least one component that is on the level of archaeotech. A second archaeotech component or even a human-made system that duplicates the function of a xeno component may be included if the explorers performed exceptionally well.
It’s up to the GM just how many goodies are crammed in, but the ship is built primarily for exploration and its components should reflect that. Extended Supply Vaults and enhanced auspexs are a given, along with anything mechanicus-themed. Components to ensure smooth travel in the warp and realspace alike would also be appropriate. Whatever is installed, it will be Good Quality at minimum.
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As Levin’s interests expand, so does his reach. Recently, Dark Eldar pirates have moved into the area and begun raiding his holdings. Initially taken off-guard by the fierce resistance offered by a clutch of nameless, isolated Imperial holdings, a patron of the pirates has since taken a perverse interest in this mysterious group of humans.
As hilarious as it was to watch the prototype cyber-titans stomp the invaders flat after a careless strike at the heart of his domain, Levin does not care to draw attention to himself and has no interest in a bit of ‘friendly rivalry with a fellow flesh-crafter’ as was cheerfully transmitted to him after the battle. Adding insult to injury, many of the mechanicus casualties were discovered to have been slain with weapons that Levin personally designed.
Levin sends word to his allies. Exterminate the pirates with extreme prejudice.
Endeavour: Slaughter the Pirates
Moving through the webway and striking without warning, the Dark Eldar appears to move at random across the sector. To locate their base of operations, if they even have one, will be extremely difficult.
Locate the pirate base
The Explorers have a choice of how to proceed. They might sift through mechanicus, navy or even inquisitorial records, seeking past references to eldar activity and possible webway gate locations. They may silently trail a convoy, hoping to launch a counter-ambush if the pirates attack. And there’s always the hard way, scouring the nearby systems until they find a xeno databank or pirate’s brain to tear the information from.
Research possible webway points
Prevent a convoy’s destruction
Destroy a pirate vessel
Interrogate a xeno prisoner
Besiege the fortress
With a location in hand, it’s time to descend upon the xenos like the Emperor’s wrath and annihilate them. The cabal is currently host to a Haemonculus that has made his lair within an ancient ramilles-class star fort orbiting a webway gate.
The station is wrecked and has no active defences, but its sheer mass is capable of weathering a sustained bombardment. Sufficient effort may be capable of cracking it, though. There are as many ships on guard, in reserve, or away raiding as the GM feels appropriate and based on the explorers’ past actions. Somewhere within the ruined fortress dock structure is a small vessel waiting to evacuate the Eldar on board if need be. They will attempt to flee into the webway if things turn against them.
Drive off/destroy pirate vessels
Capture raider vessel intact
Kill them all
Levin might be satisfied knowing the xenos were driven off, but he would truly appreciate the leader’s head on a power-pike. Nothing prevents the explorers from grabbing everything that isn’t nailed down, and a bonus for recovering Levin’s weaponry from the hands of the pirates would be icing on the cake.
Slay cabal leader
Capture Dark Eldar specimens alive for examination
Recover Plasma Needles
Infiltrate and secure the fortress
The explorers have won Levin’s gratitude, and a great deal of loot, if their victory is total. While destroying the ancient station might be acceptable to finish off the pirates, capturing it intact leaves Levin and the Explorers with a wealth of ancient technology and a strongpoint against further invasions…or even a place from which to launch expeditions into the webway. There is also the question of the star-fort’s origin, history and reason for placement here. Regardless, Levin makes the refurbishment of the star-fort a priority, and while he is loathe to draw attention to himself, he may choose this as the time to make careful contact with the Imperial Navy or inquisition.
An explorator vessel reports the discovery of a sizable debris field in a distant system, consisting of a wide variety of Imperial and xeno vessels. This would not be a noteworthy find, except that the system was last traveled through a mere fifty years ago, and there is no evidence of anything that would account for the wrecks present.
It will be a simple mission to escort a transport equipped for salvage operations. Bringing back hull fragments and the information they contain should swiftly solve this little mystery.
Endeavour: Investigate the debris field
The explorers arrive in an asteroid-choked system, one that is thankfully without punishing gravity tides or exotic radiation to make travel even more hazardous. There are a few actual worlds, each of them long ago pummelled into uniformly airless rockballs covered in shrouds of dust.
Perform a detailed scan of the system
Avoid asteroid impacts and damage
Locate suitable wrecks for salvage
Board a derelict and recover the core cogitator
Discover mineral wealth in the asteroid fields
Deal with unexploded ordinance
Unravel the mystery
It seems the wrecks were not brought low by any known form of stellar phenomenon or weapons system. With no immediate answers forthcoming, Levin rules that the system’s potential mineral wealth and technological salvage more then warrants further operations.
The explorers are again tasked to provide an escort for the transport of adepts that will set up an outpost within the system. Returning, the explorers run afoul of orks performing their own salvage operations, and find several of their ships already bearing damage similar to that of the existing wrecks.
Destroy all ork ships
Suffer minimal damage
Blood and thunder
As the outpost is being constructed, the source of the wrecks returns with its latest kill. Hidden by the asteroid field, a void kraken is not noticed until it is almost upon the half-built outpost and the ships hovering over it.
The beast threatens tens of thousands of lives, and the explorers must slay the beast, or at least buy time for the adepts and laborers to evacuate before making their own escape. Of course, most men would consider capturing the beast alive to be unthinkable. But then rogue traders are not most men, but in possession of a powerful voidship and a small fleet equipped with salvage clamps and a nearby heavy manufactorum…
Slay the void kraken
Prevent death and destruction of mechanicus personal and ships
Somehow subdue the void kraken and restrain it
Identify a kraken nest and find an egg
Victory means a trophy the envy of rogue traders everywhere. Few can claim to have seen a void kraken, let alone slain one, and the stories will be told for centuries to come. Even when dead, the kraken is an incredible find for the mechanicus.
If the explorers manage the impossible and subdue the beast or locate a kraken egg, then the slightest mention of the accomplishment to outsiders will soon bring adepts from as far as Mars itself. Any hope of anonymity will be lost as legions of greedy tech-priests begin beating down Levin’s doors, filling every frequency with their hails, and generally giving him an apoplexy at the obscene amount of attention sent his way.
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