My home made DW advanture: Falling from the Sky

By Alank2, in Deathwatch Gamemasters

I extensively used Ark of Lost Souls encounter generator, and I recommend it to anyone. Adventure itself is nice, but the generator is priceless for generating thing, I used it on Deathwatch, Rogue Trader, Black Crusade. Also used it in Dark Heresy and Only War (scaling a little down, so Major Perils/Hazard/Encounters became Standard, and Standard became Minor). You can even combine it with Stars of Inequity to generate area, enhance it with bonus area rules from Stars of Inequity (scaled up for DW, BC and RT session because encounters in Stars of Inequity are way too easy), and add Stars of Inequity loot. Voila. I recommend it to anyone still running 40k sessions... which probably means me and like 3 other people on the planet these days.

Note: This Adventure is made for lower-level characters, but it is advisable for players to have, either from Deed or just buying for xp, Pilot (Space Craft). It is not necessary, but will make adventure easier for players, although mine can beat it without Pilot skill. Tech-Use is a very useful Skill here.

It is also a nice start for a longer Campaign.

Note: By Crit Success, I mean 01-05 or 5+ DoS, same with Critical Failure on 96-00 or 5 DoF.

Players are a fresh wave of Deathwatch reinforcements. They met just before leaving for Jericho, on the supply convoy with reinforcements and supplies, so they can roleplay these few days or weeks of travel to Wrath, the seat of power of Lord Sebascor Ebongrave, commander of Canis Sailent.

They arrive in the system, and are immediately hailed by the System Defense Fleet under command of Lord Captain Hilga Brashnir. Lord Capitain is very skeptical,says they did not receive any Astropathic message that would prove they are a legitimate convoy, and demands to search their fleet.
However, if any Astartes appear on the screen, she changes her tone of voice, obviously.

Lord Capitain informs them that Lord Sebascor Ebongrave wants to see them immediately after arriving on the orbit. He sends his personal, military shuttle for them. When they arrive, they are scanned by Head Astropath with some psychic powers, make the test WP. On 3 DoS, they feel something, but do not know what, although anyone with Lore Warp, or Librarian, will quickly realize their aura and minds were checked for taint of Corruption because of Ebongraves' paranoia. Although, maybe this time it is justified.
Lord Ebongrave tells them that all his Astropaths, and even some Navigators, have horrible premonition for the last day. A great catastrophe is to befall Wrath. He orders them to stay on Wrath for at leat as long, as news won't reach Inquisitor that can change these orders. It's slightly tricky situation, since they were ordered to immediately after arriving on Wrath fly resources to Watch Station Arkhas, but on the other hand Wrath is crucial.

No matter what they decide, though, they return to orbit in Ebongrave's Aquilla Lander (their decision will impact their future relationship with Ebongrave; do not dismiss it as unimportant). However, when they are nearing orbit but still in atmosphere, disaster strikes. (Take note; players went to Ebongrave and then back to prepare and re-arm, so they have only their standard equipment still; they can re-arm after this mission, if then).

A dark sun appears above them, a ball of pure black. They can feel a sense of dread, and see how the giant monstrosity spreads long, metallic tentacles, and a swarm of smaller abominations flows out of it. When they regain their senses, they see it's a swarm of ship wrecks slowly scattering on the orbit.
It's been just few seconds, but above them, chaos ensues. Space Hulk appeared in the middle of orbital fleet, scattering ships with powerful blast wave as it was leaving Warp, and causing multiple earthquakes on the planet's surface. Their pilot has to test Pilot (-20) or the shock wave makes him lose control of his shuttle for a moment, hitting some debris and damaging the shuttle (all Battle-Brothers inside suddenly see fuel rushing through damaged wall and igniting; all Brothers receive 1d10+6 Pen 0 Damage if they have any unarmored body part, and all Brothers must test Agility or catch fire).

After few minutes of turbulent flight, they are contacted by Lord Capitain Brashnir. She tells them that one wreckage from Space Hulk, a mighty Grand Cruiser by the name of Indestructible Arrogance, former Imperial ship lost to Warp a thousand years ago, is falling on the Planet among other debree. Worse, the falling debree, earthquakes and thunderstorms on the planet, it is impossible to move anyone on the planet for at least few hours, probably few days. And the Argent Crown is now
falling directly unto Fortress Prime with engines powered; if it hits, it's gonna pierce through the shields like they aren't even there, and will probably even crush underground fortifications, endangering Ebongrave. And if it's engines explode, the entire Fortress Prime and small fortresses around it are going to be destroyed, totally annihilated.

They are the only unit in the area that can stop it.

Indestructible Arrogance is too large to be destroyed by surprised and damaged ground fortifications, and orbital forces are scattered, damaged and in chaos. Right next to it, there is a falling Space Fort. If you managed to redirect it's weapons to hit Indestructible Arrogance point-blank, it will push it from it's trajectory. However, the fort is falling fast, and gravitational forces, damage it sustained, and the fact that it's currently too high in atmosphere to breath, means that Astartes are the only unit that can deploy there and manually target and fire the weapons.

The pilot tries to land with Pilot (-20). On Critical Success, manages to land on a landing platform next to weapon platform and asks them to hurry, so he can take them back. On Success, he informs them that he is unable to land directly, but can fly close enough for unassisted drop, or try again. On failure, same as above but falling debree damages shuttle, giving -10 to all future Pilot Tests. On 5+ DoF or Crit Fail, he crashes into it, dealing every Brother 4d10+10 Pen 0 Damage, dying and destroying the shuttle.

If they landed far away, they need to move through the falling apart station.

Encounter 1. Standard Hazard. Do not tell them how many rolls they need to pass, only penalties.

The only way they see if through Munitions Vault. However, it is critically damaged, small fire scattered around it and ammunition exploding left and right. They need
to somehow break through before it's too late.
- With 5 passed Agility (-20) Tests, they break through. However, burning and exploding ammunition deals every Battle-Brother 1d10+7 Pen 7 Damage for every Test
whenever passed or failed. Crit Success deals no Damage, but Crit Fail hits the entire Kill-Team, not just this Brother, with 1d10+9 Pen 9. On 5 passed Tests total,
they break through the area.
- With 7 passed Strength (-10) Tests, they can throw the ammunition our of their way to explode harmlessly in the atmosphere. However, at first glance it seems it
will take longer, risking that area becomes even more unstable and damaged (alotough nothing says they won't do it quickly).
- With 5 passed Tech-Use Tests (-20), they can activate fire suppression systems, which will stop the fire.
- With 7 passed Navigation (Surface) (-10) Tests, they can find alternative route. However, on Crit Fail, they instead wander into Medical Facility, see below.

If they take more then 5/7 Turns to complete, the area destabilises and crashes under their feet. They have to pass Dodge or Pilot (+0), or fall to the deck below, falling hard. They hit the floor, which deals them 36 Primitive Damage (note, I use home rules for falling damage, so here fall from 6 meters is 36 Primitive Damage, but you an adjust it).

Medical Deck:
They find themselves in nearly intact Medical Facility. Serivtors are still functioning, but without Medicae it won't help them much. However, the only doors leading to their destination are locked, requiring five passed Strength Tests (-20). If they take 5 Turns before they finish, an electric surge causes all equipment in the Medical Bay to explode violently, showering them with sparks and breaking and igniting oxygen bottles. If they have any Armor Breach, they have to test for Fire, otherwise it has no effect.

Encounter 2.
The only war forward is through tight ventilation shafts. What's worse is that emergency shutters have been closed, requiring opening. The first Battle-Brother has to pass three tests of Strength, Tech-Use or Security, all with -10 penalty. For every Test failed, he does not open shutters in time, and distant explosions catch with them, dealing the Battle-Brother on the back 2d10+5 Pen 5 Damage. On Crit Fail, all Battle-Brothers are hit.

Encounter 3. Radiation Leak.
There is a leak from reactor, that endangers the weapon platform from above. They must plug the holes and enter emergenc sealing procedures, or weapon will be irradated which will make using it extremely hard.
It requires five Tech-Use (-20) Tests to pass, and every Turn, all Battle-Brothers with damaged Armor must test for light radiation (Toughness (-20), on failure (1d10 minus their lowest Armor Value) temporary Toughness Damage). On Crit Fail, all
Battle-Brothers must Test for medium Radiation (Toughness (-40), 2d10 instead of 1d10 Damage).


Weapon platform is still usable, macrobatteries are very lightly damages, even some Servitors seem to work. It requires a Tech-Use or BS Test to prepare them to fire, with only one person allowed to Test per Turn.
However, there are some complications.

First, a call for help. Crew of one macrobattery managed to survive, and beg for extraction before Battle-Brothers leave. If Brothers agree or lie that they want to save them (if they intended to leave them anyway, Battle-Brother speaking has to pass Deceive versus their Scrutiny of 30), they will help them with operating weapons (automatically passing Test above), which frees Battle-Brothers from having to do it themselves. There is a Tech-Prist there, Deltus-65, who took command but they have no way out through the debree. If players don't not agree to help, they will sabotage weapons, giving -10 to Tests to prepare weapon to fire.

If players do not manage to open fire in three turns, macrobatteries jam. Mission failed; they may try to go to maneuvering engines to try to salvage something.

Second, once they manage to prepare weapons, they are contacted by Brashnir. Signal is weak, but she warns them of incoming, unfortunately no idea what since radio signal disappears when they burn through atmosphere.

Third, launch some good music that fits this, maybe with some wind in the background. I used Departure from Mega Man, although not the original, one of the remixes that fitted 40k a little more.

As they fall through the sky, they feel peace for a second. But, in this galaxy of unending war, peace don't last. Standing among burning, exploding station, in the sunlight, they see large figures diving towards you. Ork Stormboyz appear just a hundred meters above you, and fly in their direction at highest speeds.
A huge Horde of Stormboyz with one Nob appears. 60 Magnitude, and Storm Nob with Big Choppa. Turn 5 they Charge (although Nob is much faster, and Charges in Turn 4). Their engines are prone to failure; roll 1d5 every Turn, on 5 they lose 3 Magnitude as one of Stormboyz overcharges his backpack too much, and either hits the debree or just explodes.

I also added some nice descriptions here, when players are firing and then firing. Sun reflects from Astartes metallic weapons and armor. Fire reflects in furious eyes pf the Orks, eyes full of bloodlust.

Once players defeat Orks, they are again contacted by Brashnir. Macrobattery fire is not enough. They need to fire maneuvering engines and ram the Indestructible Arrogance, fast. They can go for the lost crew first, or directly to maneuvering engines, but remind them that there is a Tech-Priest among survivors.

If they go for Survivors, see below:

Encounter to save lives:
Brothers just need to shuffle some debree to allow crew to escape. However, life support system failed spectacularly, making it very easy to slip on.
All Players need to pass three Strength (-10) Tests to remove debree. However, on failing Strength Test, they need to test Agiliy (-30) or they slip and fall.
This deals no damage, but definitely makes them not look dignified in the eyes of their brothers.
There are total of 6 survivors, and a Tech-Priest, there.

Survivors ask them to secure some emergency Grav-Chutes, so they can escape. If players agree, look below.

Grav-Chutes recovery. Standard Peril.
Grav-Chutes are kept nearby, but the only usable way is through the hangar. When they arrive, they see that there war a fresh delivery of ammunition being unloaded to the hangar, with Aquilla Landers full of volatile ammunition still in exploding hangar.
Players need to pass either five Strength Tests (-20), or seven Demolition Tests (-10) to shove the shuttle out of their way or stop ammunition from exploding too fast. If they fail any Test by 3 DoF, the Battle-Brother is hit with 3d10+7 Pen 5 damage from exploding munitions. On critical fail, the hangar goes ablaze, hitting all Battle-Brothers for 4d10+10 Pen 7 Damage. If humans were standing too close, they vanish. Even if not, explosion destroys Grav-Chute compartment, leaving humans
stranded with no way off station as it falls unless players have a functioning shuttle of their own.

The road to maneuvering engines:

The way forward is through crashed, critically damaged corridors. They are small, and moving through them is hazardous. As station falls closer to the planet, it's more and more damaged, and large pieces of jagged steel pierce through the corridor. Securing it and cleaning a way requires passing seven (-10) Strength Tests. On every Test, failed or passed, Battle-Brother gets hit with 1d10+7 Pen 7 Damage. However, if they manage to clean the way it's safe for them and the Tech-Priest to pass.

If they do, a simple Tech-Use, Void Combat or Navigation (Stellar) Test is enough to fire engines. Now players need to escape, either with Grav-Chutes, their shuttle, or trying to find any working shuttle on the station. If they lack Pilot skill to fly it, they also need to find a Servitor capable of piloting it, and fast, before they fall with the station (or burn Fate Point to manage to just escape the falling station).



- Managed to fire macrobatteries: 400xp, 1 Renown.
- Managed to fire maneuvering engines: 200xp, 1 Renown.
- Saved the stranded crew: 100 xp, 1 Renown.
- Managed to secure the way off station, so they did not have to burn Fate Point: 100xp. The Codex Astartes does not support suicidal actions for no reason.

You can do a lot of mission later. If you have access to it, Salvaging Solace deals with aftermath of a ship falling just next to the Hive instead of on top of it (I intend to use it), players may find a Tyranid ship (boarding it can be done with freely available Oblivions's Egde, it's second part deals with boarding Tyranids), players may be sent to Spcae Hulk as scouts, rescue party, or to find long lost Deathwatch relics. Or maybe their Chapter relics? It can be tempting for Squad Leader to disregard mission for a few hours and go deeper into Space Hulk, if he catches any trace of a Relic his Chapter was searching for a long time.

Edited by Alank2