Sunday, February 27, 2011

Seventeenth Session Part Two - Interactive Cutscene

Now, if you remember, when last we left, the Rogue Trader was trapped aboard the Nihontu as 50 percent of its crew went insane. Luckily, the Explorers were able to find the allied vessel and rescue their leader.

Thereafter, the Astropath was able to share with the rest of his mates what he had seen in the psychic storm that hit the entire fleet.

It was a vision - a psychic broadcast from the Undred-Undred Teef.

Since the Astropath elected to share what he saw, I proceeded with my cutscene. The vision panned down to just one planet orbiting just one star in the Undred-Undred Teef. And there, they saw a vision of war. Total war. Orks fighting orks. Orks in stompas. Tanks. Fightas. All killing each other until a transmission is received by one gretchin who rips off a piece of paper from a read out in a teetering iron base, and thrusts it into the face of his kommanda.

On that paper was one orkish symbol, but the kommanda knew it well. "Tau", he breathed.

Then, the ork kommanda contacted the three other opposing bosses, informing them of the news. "I call a krusade!" he barked, but as one of the other bosses said, "For a krusade...there can only be one warboss!"

Then, all four of the bosses activated in their respective bases an ancient teleportarium which transported the bosses to a hollowed out moon which orbited the battleworld.

I explained in the cutscene the great irony of the whole affair - the ork kommandas could have stopped the fighting and the slaughter at any time. At. Any. Time. They could have called a duel to determine a warboss eons ago, but now only did so because there was a "reason" to.

I then described each of the potential warbosses as they made their way across the hollowed out moon toward each other - and here's where the interactive part came in - the players got to vote on which boss won! So, they got to pick which ork was going to become the final warboss. What I did was to provide a picture and a short, two-sentence description of each.

Da Monsta: a hulking, 40 foot tall super-ork

See-Not: A stealthy, cyber-ork. I told them to basically think, "The Predator".

Jawless: A horribly mangled and mutilated ork with no jaw, and limited capacity to speak.

Auld One: Very much the "standard" ork warboss, who happens to be quite old and somewhat cunning.

I had the players vote for two orks a piece. I figured if they just voted for one, it would just be one ork who won overwhelmingly. In the end, Da Monsta and Auld One got the highest votes, with the Auld One winning. See-Not got no votes at all, because he scared everyone too much. Apparently, stealthy 40k orks are scary. Note to anyone who wants to steal this idea from me, the scarier you make something, it may be that the players are less likely to vote for it.

With that, I then finished the cutscene, describing the ork battle with the Auld One winning in the end. In this manner, the players themselves got to pick the villain of the last quarter of the campaign. Kind of neat, I thought.


  1. last quater of your campaign? :(

  2. Sounds pretty unique and different. Glad your players liked it!

  3. What a great way to involve the players in the story-- I'm sure this was a hit! Plus, pictures are truly worth 1,000 words, aren't they? I've been trying to use more visuals in my campaign (I still love that Warp Translation from the Dawn of War game video).
    So, as an aside, what do you all think of the new FFG announcement for the "Black Crusade" 40K Chaos RPG. I'm actually kind of surprised-- but it makes sense in light of the fact that I see FFG as sort of the new White Wolf. They're creating a real menagerie of 40K settings, I think. Oddly enough, a "Black Crusade" was going to be my next overarching plot, and I had noted those words down not two weeks before the FFG announcement appeared... so their mind control devices must be working.

    Oh and, for other starting GMs out there, you might find this article an interesting read. Sure there are lots of tipsters out there, and definitely some of the best on this blog, but I'm always looking for ways to improve my storytelling, and this guy references Aristotle, for goodness' sake!

  4. I've played only the smallest amount of Rogue Trader, but we just started a Death Watch campaign (involving rogue traders). I'll be reading your site from now on, thanks!

    Also, I added your site to our "RPG Sites / Blogs / Dedicated to Warhammer 40k" page.