Sunday, August 12, 2018

Quillhammer 40,000 rev 1 and play

I was inspired a bit by dice-pools from Wrath and Glory, the new 40k tabletop RPG, and am as always inspired by Quill when playing a solo game because it's my favorite for pacing and adventure design.

Also inspired by Quill and Dragon by Tarsicio Lucas, which combines traditional DnD with Quill and gave me the idea to try this with other systems.  

The system:

You have 4 stats. Faith, Kill, Warp, Politick. You pick a good word / bad word pair and roll your d6: your stat dice and a difficulty die. For your stat dice, a 4 or 5 is a success, a 6 is two successes.

Difficulty die result
Successes needed

This was actually a little too easy - or I was lucky the first time around. Next time the difficulty die roll is just the number of successes needed. Roll a 6, need 6, roll a 4, need 4, etc. That is simpler to remember.

I had let a shit-tier PC start with a 6, 5, 4, 4 in stats. This was also probably too high, was basing this from looking at W&G PCs at Tier 3 (ie space marines or mortal equivalent, where their highest aptitude was around 9-11 or so).

So in the future: you need a number of successes equal to a d6 you roll, the difficulty die. You don't know the difficulty in advance. You have some stats: FAITH, KILL, and WARP. (After rev 1 of the playthrough, it felt like Politick was out of place. Perhaps due to the subject matter.) Maybe you sneak around by praying to the Emperor, maybe you're mildly psychic in a way that doesn't attract warp demons, maybe you sneak thanks to your assassin training (ie use KILL). Tech priests definitely keep technology running with Faith. Maybe WARP is just your knowledge of and ability to track / detect / Inquisitor after Warp-tainted heretics, rather than a measure of your own heretical taint.

You roll your stat dice and the difficulty die. If you succeed you write a paragraph using the Good Phrase. If you fail, use the Bad Phrase, and lose 1 HP. If you lose all your HP, you die. You start with 4. You can recover 2 HP between letters. You can die mid-letter, just have a colophon of the crushing despair of eternal war.

You cannot use the same stat until you've rolled for the other ones. Or you can but you can't repeat a stat more than twice per letter.

Battle Barge Serf
Summary: You are a serf aboard a battle barge, rendering hereditary service to the Angel Legion of Omega Angels. They blur through combat katas in practice on a totally foreign end of the 5 km long ship. You have lived all of your life on or around The Gun, making sure it is anointed and in working order, chanting prayers in its aiming room to aid it should it be required to fire.

Good phrase / Bad phrase
  1. daily work / ceaseless toil
  2. loader servitor / rotting mecha-zombie
  3. heretical cult / xeno artifact worshipers
  4. burning wreckage / Chaos lamprey boarderships
  5. Librarian's faithful servant / harshly-speaking mechanoskull
  6. heretical space hulk / holy redoubt of the old Empire
  7. corridor delta-omega 4 / 4km hallway
  8. intact purity seals / mouldering wax fragments
  9. happily humming machinery / spiteful machine spirit
  10. noble Angel / suspicious space marine

Playthrough 1:
Tiber Flackson
Ultramarine serf
Aboard the battle barge, His Golden Will

Tier 1
Faith 6
Kill 5
Warp 4
Politick 4
1/1 Fate (as per WFRP, or my warped understanding of it. A reroll metacurrency, I gave Flackson one because I figured he would be mincemeat.)

Daily work / ceaseless toil
FAITH. Diff 3, Successes: 3
My daily work done in joy, I pray for our sibling vessel in our chapel at the base of The Gun. I light a candle, rendered from old candle-stubs and fat, and pray to the Emperor to watch over all of us as we journey through the Wyrd, as we near 94 days in this languid hellscape. The candle burns brightly in the small chapel, its glow reflected in the low plasteel ceiling. The machine spirits around us growl softly as though in prayers of their own to the Emperor.

heretical cult / xeno artifact worshipers.
KILL. Diff 5, success 4. Spend 1 Fate to reroll and get 6 successes
Heresy hides even in Holy Terra, and as there, so here. Aftwards of The Gun, near the Power Inversion Anterior Hemisphere 3, a Gun-sister on her morning Physics-cal Trainings overheard deranged chanting. Gun-brothers and sisters drew arms while runners left to tell the Holy Angels. But our blood was up, we were determined to show them our Faith lest they purge the lot of us and let the Emperor guide the worthy in the next life.

By the time the runners got to our Angels, my mother's mother's mother's chainsword had already tasted the blood and flesh of heretics. A bolter-round trap nearly kilt me, but the tiny tocket detonated prematurely when it struck my Icon of the Emperor, who surely saved me this day. I am expected to return to full efficiency soon, and will likely be able to speak once our barber-surgeon pulls the last few metal fragments from my throat and jaw.

heretical space hulk / holy redoubt
WARP. Diff 3, Success 4 (2 6's!)
We were prostrated in our sacred velocity harnesses today as the ship's machine spirit roared challenges across the warp at a heretical space hulk and bent our route around it. Ancient Imperial ships twisted in a mockery of their old forms. I noticed my bunkmate, Garrell, genuflecting towards them as we lay in the Targetting Room, watching in case we needed to rain down vengeance from The Gun. When maneuvers ended I arose and slew Garrell, who did not struggle. He knew he had faltered and accepted his death. May the God-Emperor forgive him.

Noble Angel / suspicious space marine
POLITICK Diff 3, Success 3
A noble Angel soldier came to confirm the elimination of the recent heretics and destruction of their works. We of The Gun provided a full accounting. The giant lumbered through, filling our wide ammunition-delivery portals and corridors with his armored bulk. His wise eyes judged us and found us worthy. May the Emperor watch over him. Blessed are we who dwell among His Angels.

Intact purity seals / mouldering wax fragments
FAITH diff 3, success 4
Despite, or because of the trust of that lumbering Angel, I was struck by doubt and journeyed deep into the dark within The Gun. I have crawled now for 7 hours through its humming guts. Every power access and every jam-clearing station have displayed intact purity seals, and I have left candles burning and prayers in my wake, lighting the journey. The Emperor lights all our journeys through this dark universe. May he live forever.