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The Chronicles of Saint Katherine's Aegis serves two purposes. The Rules Development forum contains rules that support campaign play. The Saint Katherine's Aegis Campaign forum is the home of a Kill Team 21/ Warhammer 40k Crusade campaign based on the rules found in the Rules Development Forum. If this sounds like an interesting journey, please join in- Everyone is welcome.
  1. What's new in this club
  2. There are two large continents on Orison's Wake, in addition to a handful of islands that are too small to support agriculture. The larger continent, Farrow, supports the planet's capital city as well as four smaller STC settlements. The smaller continent, Lodi, supports four STC settlements, but lacks a larger city. Each settlement consists of 25 territories arranged in a 5 x 5 array. The center row and column are reserved for territories under Imperial control. each settlement has an Imperial Guard Garrison at the center of it's territory, and the settlement's reservoir and power facility will also always be located in Imperial Territory. Remain territories in the Imperial Zone are generated randomly from the Imperial Territory Table. This arrangement leaves four corner areas consisting of four territories each. These are each controlled by a random Thresher House; the outside corner of the map will contain the corresponding Thresher House territory. This is a special Hab Block where every resident is a member of one of the noble Thresher Houses. The remaining three territories in each corner area of the map are randomly generated from the territory table of their controlling house. The Settlements of Lodi: The Settlements of Farrow
  3. Order Datafile: The Sisters of Saint Katherine’s Aegis Order Identification: Order of the Fiery Heart Organisational Structure: Mission Location: Segmentum Pacificus, Desdaemona System, Orison’s Wake Mission Commander: Cannoness Ailia Lavalle Primary Fortifications: The Chapel of Saint Katherine’s Aegis, Aegis City The Chapel of the Grain Maiden’s Prayer, Xerastor Order History: Discovery of the Desdaemona System The Desdaemona system lies on the Western fringe of Segmentum Pacificus. In the years following the Heresy, an Explorator Fleet of the Adeptus Mechanicus discovered a stable warp corridor at the edge of known space- a corridor which had an exit point beyond the boundaries of the Imperium into a star system of three habitable planets, rich with untapped resources. The Mechanicus established a relay station to mark the warp route, and over two Millennia, the Imperium began colonisation of the system. This began with the largest of the system’s three habitable planets- Desdaemona Prime. During the first wave of colonisation, the resources of this planet alone were sufficient to maintain the population, but over time, it was determined that the political centre of the system should be located off-world on the smaller and more defensible planet Miranda Regent. Desdaemona Prime grew to a great Hive world, exporting citizens across the system to extract resources from less habitable planetoids, to build orbital infrastructure and defences and finally to tithe and trade with the monolithic Imperium. Orison’s Wake, the final habitable world in-system, was colonised and designated as an agriworld to feed both the constant growth of Desdaemona Prime and the political elites of Miranda Regent. The Age of Apostasy At the peak of the Reign of Blood, the tyrant Goge Vandire sent vast fleets of Frateris Templar on unholy crusades of conquest and slaughter. One such fleet, destined for the naval base at Hydraphur, was sent lightyears rimward in the Empyrean turmoil common to the era. When the fleet emerged from the phenomenon, they were close enough to detect the Mechanicus beacon that marked the Desdaemona warp corridor. Reconnaissance vessels emerged and quickly cut off the isolated outpost of Echo Station, extracting intel from the captured traders to assist Vandire’s Frateris Templar fleet with the conquest and subjugation of the Desdaemona system. Once the full battery of the Heretic fleet arrived, the battle was quick and decisive. Vandire’s forces destroyed Military assets that were too distant or isolated to be centrally controlled and captured the rest. Over the decades of Vandire’s rule, the Desdaemona system was twisted to a shadow of its former self- at Desdaemona Prime, those who refused to submit to the depravity of their captors were burned by the thousands; Miranda Regent’s palaces and mansions were occupied by the senior officers of the fleet and the most brutal of the warlords who commanded the ground forces. The agricultural rites of sparsely populated Orison’s Wake were twisted into perverse fertility rituals, contaminating the food supply for the entire system with the taint of chaos. When Alicia Dominica finally took Vandire’s head, the reformation efforts spread outward from Terra along the most stable warp routes. But even along those corridors, systems were claimed based on the value of their assets, leaving the far edge of Pacificus to the continued depredations of chaos for solar decades after Vandire's defeat. The Desdaemona System continued to suffer until fate brought the Crusade fleet of Saint Katherine’s Fiery Heart to Hydraphur. As Katherine’s flagship approached the naval base, she was afflicted with visions of the suffering of Desdaemona’s faithful. Katherine attempted to follow through with her responsibilities to reinforce the fleet at Hydrafur, but the visions persisted, and in the end she put her trust in the wisdom of the Emperor, taking her flagship and a handful of escort ships west to the Mechincus relay station and ultimately, the Desdaemona system beyond. Vandire’s forces had become complacent after breaking the system, and they did not anticipate Katherine’s holy wrath. The system was reclaimed in less than a solar year. As Katherine’s fleet launched surprise raids against docking facilities, orbital defences and vital ground fortifications, loyal Imperial citizens of Desdaemona Prime found the courage to unpack hidden weapon caches, maintained from the early days of the Chaos invasion in support of their liberators. On Orison’s Wake, a Thresher woman known only as the Grain Maiden united the Thresher Houses to overthrow the shadowy advisors who had encouraged the corruption of ancient rituals. The Reconstruction Following the liberation, Saint Katherine continued her involvement with the Desdaemona System to ensure an effective reconstruction. First, she restored any of the elites who had escaped the purge of Miranda Regent to oversee the appointment of a new governor and the restoration of the Imperial tithe. Katherine assembled the rebel militias of Desdaemona Prime into the First regiment of Desdaemonian Primals with additional resources from the Imperium. At Orison’s Wake, she oversaw the construction and consecration of the Chapel of Saint Katherine’s Aegis; she established a Commandery of the Fiery Heart to defend it, and she had the Grain Maiden sanctified as an Imperial Saint for her role in the purification of the system’s food supply. She oversaw the repair and augmentation of orbital facilities around Miranda Regent into a dynamic ring of docks, hangars and weapon platforms known as Sycorax Delta. Finally, she oversaw the assembly of the Consecration Crusade fleet, which included ships from her own fleet. Katherine’s involvement in the restoration, however, was on borrowed time. The Reign of Blood was over, but the Plague of Unbelief was about to begin, and Katherine was needed at Hydrafur on a more permanent basis. Cardinal Bucharis had begun to push out from Gathalamor, and the fleet was on high alert. When Katherine finally emerged at the relay station, a large Heretic Fleet was detected at the outer limit of long range sensors. Knowing that she was out-gunned, and that the Desdaemona system would be vulnerable, Katherine made a critical decision. After a hasty evacuation, she detonated the relay station to conceal the passage to the Desdaemona System, and baited the Heretic Fleet back to Hydraphur where Imperial Reinforcements were able to outflank and cut off the enemy’s line of retreat, crushing them in a brutal pincer attack. Katherine had always intended to return and re-establish contact with the Desdaemona system, but the Plague of Unbelief turned out to be a larger threat than anyone had anticipated. The fleet that Katherine defeated at Hydrafur was only the first of many, and the Fiery Heart was deployed in ground invasions across the sector and beyond. Katherine herself was martyred at the hands of the Witch Cult of Mnestteus before she could complete the pilgrimage, leaving the Desdaemona system isolated for five Solar Millennia. The Stillness Desdaemonians refer to the era following Katherine’s departure as the Stillness. For a century or more, the citizens maintained hope that Katherine would return to reestablish a connection with the larger Imperium. In time, however, that hope faded. While Katherine continued to be regarded as a liberator, living memory of her faded, and the Chapel of Saint Katherine’s Aegis attracted fewer and fewer pilgrims from the other inhabited planets in the system. Without new recruits from the Convents at Terra and Ophelia VII, it was determined that many of the resources deployed at Orison’s Wake would be better used on Desdaemona Prime, where they could recruit and train new Sisters from the larger population. As the Sisters of Saint Katherine’s Aegis saw their forces redeployed, they were promised that in time, recruits from Desdaemona Prime would be sent back to replace the losses. Instead, many of the recruiting Missions on the larger planet consolidated to form a Commandery of their own, while the Sisters of Saint Katherine’s Aegis saw their once proud Commandery reduced to a mere Mission- a shadow of the force once celebrated and blessed by Katherine herself. In time, Sisters of the Aegis began to distrust the Commandery at Desdaemona Prime. What was sent from Desdaemona Prime instead of the requested sisters were the 17th, 25th and 33rd Companies of Desdaemonian Primals, as well as Precinct 13 of the Adeptus Arbites, placing local authority in the hands of other Imperial forces and further diminishing the role the Sisters of Saint Katherine’s Aegis had once played in maintaining order. Over time, the Sisters were left with no choice but to work with their Thresher allies in House Kronar to establish Schola Progenium territories in the settlements to plant the seeds for local recruitment. In addition to recruiting from the children of the Imperial forces stationed at Orison’s Wake, these facilities now recruit the most promising children of the Thresher Houses. The Sisters of Saint Katherine’s Aegis Due to their long separation from the Imperium, the Sisters of Saint Katherine’s Aegis retain their ancient connection to the Order of the Fiery Heart- they never experienced the Martyrdom of their Matron Saint, avoiding the grief that transformed their coreward sisters into the Order of Our Martyred Lady. In the Desdaemona system, there is no cult of martyrdom within the sisterhood; Katherine is remembered as an impetuous, living warrior saint. On the battlefield, their strategy and technique is closer to the Daughters of the Emperor than the Adepta Sororitas- they strive to incorporate the holy trinity of bolter, meltagun and flamer into as many of their units as possible. While the Commandery at Desdaemona Prime and the Mission at Orison’s Wake belong to the same Order, the Orisonborn see themselves as separate from their Desdaemonian Sisters. They work closely with the Thresher militia of House Kronar and the Death Cult known as the Grain Maiden’s Rage. These allies are particularly powerful during the equinox festivals associated with the planting and harvesting seasons, when the Death Cultists are occasionally accompanied by a living embodiment of the Grain Maiden herself. The Orisonborn always treat their Sisters of the Fiery Heart with respect, but they are accustomed to conducting themselves without input or interference from the Commandery. In recent years, however, this has led to tension within the Mission after Palatine Ailia Lavalle was sent to Orison’s Wake with a bodyguard of Sacressants and a unit of Seraphim to reinforce the Mission. The Sister of Saint Katherine's Aegis welcomed the reinforcements, but they fear that the Commandery will see this as an opportunity to exert their authority over the Mission at Orison's Wake. Mission Assets and the Distribution of Forces The landmass of Orison’s Wake consists of two large continents and a few scattered islands too small to support agriculture. The larger continent, Farrow, is home to the planetary capital, Aegis City, named for the Chapel of Saint Katherine’s Aegis, which lies at the heart of the city. In addition to the capital, Farrow boasts four settlements. The Mission has a secondary shrine in the settlement of Thraxa, which is maintained with the support of the Threshers of House Kronar. Finally, a tertiary shrine in the settlement of Talla supports an Imperial Medicae facility. The Mission has no assets in the remaining settlements, Krannick and Varga. Palatine Ailia Lavalle was recently sent to the Chapel of Saint Katherine’s Aegis by the Fiery Heart Commandery, along with a Sacressant Bodyguard and a unit of Seraphim. Lavalle would serve under Canoness Jalissa Kronar, a weathered and wizened Orisonborn, known to her Sisters and congregants as the Reverend Mother. Lavalle would earn the respect of her new sisters in a vicious campaign against Drukhari raiders in the continental northwest on the far side of Thraxa. The victory, however, was bittersweet; during the final battle, the Reverend Mother was infected with a virulent poison, and while she was able to walk unassisted from the battle, she succumbed to the infection three days later. It was assumed that Orisonborn Palatine Lauriel Syrinx would be promoted to Canoness and that Sister Lavalle would assume her position as the senior Sister stationed on the smaller continent of Lodi. Instead, the Commandery at Desdaemona Prime promoted Lavalle and installed her as the Canoness of Saint Katherine’s Aegis. While Ailia had proven her worth in battle and none would ever question her loyalty to the Emperor or the Sisterhood, there were many who felt that the position of Canoness was better suited to an Orisonborn daughter of the Grain Maiden’s blessing. The Sisters stationed on Lodi are all native daughters of Orison’s Wake. The Chapel of the Grain Maiden’s Prayer, located in the settlement of Xerastor, rivals the size of its sister chapel in Aegis City, but much of it sits upon land owned by the Threshers of House Kronar. It supports and is in turn supported by a Progenium Facility as well as a Penitentiary. The settlement of Miro is home to a secondary shrine, maintained by a Preacher and a unit of Arcoflagellants. The Sisterhood has no assets in the remaining territories, Theryll and Ranx. Optional Rules The following optional rules can be used to represent the Sisters of Saint Katherine’s Aegis, who differ significantly from the Order of Our Martyred Lady, and are not well suited to detachment rules that privilege martyrdom. The Harvester of Sorrow detachment uses some 9th Edition rules to better approximate the Fiery Heart battle tactics employed by both the Sisters of Saint Katherine's Aegis and the Commandery at Desdaemona Prime. When the storyline of this Crusade brings the Desdaemona System back int contact with the larger Imperium, both the Sisters of Saint Katherine's Aegis and the Fiery Heart Commandery will be reeducated and join the Order of Our Martyred Lady. In addition to the Harvester of Sorrow Detachment, these rules include four new datasheets: the Grain Maiden, the Assassins of the Grain Maiden's Rage, Thresher Militia and Thresher Command. These units represent forces drawn from the Threshers of House Kronar, strong allies to the Sisters of Saint Katherine's Aegis since the day Katherine elevated the Grain Maiden to Sainthood. They will only serve under Sisters who are native to Orison's Wake. This is represented by the Orisonborn Keyword. Not all Sisters of Saint Katherine's Aegis are Orisonborn- Canoness Ailia Lavalle, her Sacressants and her Seraphim have all been sent by the Fiery Heart Commandery at Desdaemona Prime, with a high probablitlity of additional reinforcements. Additional Orisonborn, however, can only join the Sisters of Katherine's Aegis in the four units presented here, or as Novitiates- graduates from Progenium facilities which are often located on Kronar controlled territories. Detachment Rule: Harvester of Sorrow Saint Katherine instilled in her Order of the Fiery Heart a reverence for the Holy Trinity of Bolter, Flamer and Melta. The Sisters of Saint Katherines Aegis see the heat beams of the melta as the scythes which reap the harvest. Each time a unit with this ability makes an attack with a melta weapon, the target of that attack is considered to be in half range for the purposes of that weapon’s abilities if: The weapon has the pistol or assault trait The weapon has the Heavy trait and the target is with 18” of the firing model Strategems: Cleansed by Fire (2 CP) Harvester of Sorrow- Battle Tactic Strategem When: Your shooting phase. Target: One Adepta Sororitas unit that has been selected to make a shooting attack. Effect: When that unit makes an attack, do not roll to determine the number of attacks; instead, that weapon automatically make the maximum number of attacks. A Moment of Grace (1 CP) Harvester of Sorrow- Epic Deed Strategem When: Any phase. Target: One Adepta Sororitas unit that has just made a hit, wound or save roll. Effect: The unit may discard one or two Miracle Dice: add +1 to that roll for each Miracle Dice discarded. Faith and Fury (1 CP) Harvester of Sorrow- Strategic Ploy Strategem When: Shooting phase or fight phase. Target: One Adepta Sororitas unit that has just used an Act of Faith for a shooting or melee attack. Effect: That unit may immediately use that Miracle Dice for the wound roll. This does not count as an additional Act of Faith. Judgement of the Faithful (1 CP) Harvester of Sorrow- Strategic Ploy Strategem When: Movement Phase. Target: One Adepta Sororitas unit that has made a fallback move. Effect: That unit may make a shooting attack even though it made a fallback move. Holy Trinity (1 CP) Harvester of Sorrow- Wargear Strategem When: Your shooting phase. Target: One Adeptus Sororitas unit that has been selected to make a shooting attack. Effect: The attacking unit can only target one enemy unit that is visible to and within range of at least one of the attacking unit’s bolt weapons, melta weapons and flame weapons; each hit with these weapons receives +1 to wound. Daughters of the Aegis (1 CP) Harvester of Sorrow- Strategic Ploy Strategem When: Enemy shooting or fight phase. Target: One Adepta Sororitas unit that has been chosen as the target of a shooting or melee attack. Effect: Until the end of the phase, each time this unit is hit by an attack with AP 1, that attack is considered to be AP 0. Enhancements: The Grainmaiden’s Resolve During the uprising against Vandire’s forces, a Thresher woman known only as the Grain Maiden rose up to lead the Threshers against the forces that had corrupted their agricultural rituals. It was said that with her intimate knowledge of the land, the Grain Maiden could appear anywhere. Orisonborn Adepta Sororitas character model only. This model and any Assassins of the Grain Maiden’s Rage or Thresher unit that she is attached to gain the infiltrate ability. If this model’s retinue is destroyed, the model gains the lone operative ability. Note: this enhancement can not be used in games which include a Host of the Grain Maiden model. The Warscythe of Orison’s Wake This sacred weapon was used by the Grain Maiden in the final battle with the sorcerous cabal responsible for the subversion of the agricultural rituals of the Thresher Houses. Orisonborn Adepta Sororitas character model only. The bearer of this weapon may make 5 AP-3 D-2 attacks; if this unit attacks during a turn in which it charged, this weapon inflicts an additional mortal wound. This weapon may not be used during a turn in which the bearer attacked with another weapon. Saint Katherine’s Aegis While the Praesidium Protectiva carried to battle in the Triumph of Saint Katherine is a true Praesidium, it is not the shield that Katherine carried into battle on behalf of Alicia Dominica. Prior to her departure from the Desdaemona system, Katherine hid the true Aegis beneath the Chapel that bears its name, where it has remained for five thousand years. Upon her return to Hydrafur to face the fleet of Cardinal Bucharis, Katherine adopted the Praesidium that currently travels with the Triumph. Adepta Sororitas model only. This shield confers a 4+ Invulnerable save to the bearer’s unit. If every model in the bearer’s unit has the Orisonborn keyword, that unit is additionally assumed to automatically pass any battleshock test it is required to make. Condemnor of the Hereticus This mastercrafted condemnor boltgun is granted to the Sister who serves in the capacity of Inquisitorial Liaison. In addition to its martial functions, this weapon serves as a badge of honour, and it is a reminder that the Eye of the Emperor is always watching. Adepta Sororitas model equipped with a Condemnor Boltgun. That weapons type is changed to assault, and the weapon receives +1 Attack, +1 Strength, + 2 AP, and +1 Damage.
  4. I don't know how much the idea of Imperial citizens as models appeals to the broad playerbase- the conversation comes up now and again on forums: people need citizen models for dioramas, or objective markers, etc. For me, this kind of world building has always been a part of GW's appeal. I remember looking at Dark Future models in White Dwarf and thinking about using them to expand what I could represent on a table. I remember some of the Forgeworld non-combat support units and feeling the same way. As a final source of inspiration, I cite the Citadel Journal's Covert X campaign and their Urban Infiltration rules, where you could buy stands of Imperial Citizens to place on the board, which would move randomly (via control rolls every turn to determine which player could move them). The schtick was that the Infiltrator Units of Covert X, if left in reserve, could subsequently choose to emerge from any stand of citizens on the board. So if someone wanted to take it further, what would Imperial citizens look like, what might their functions be, and how would you shape and define them into distinctive groups? Necromunda does some of the heavy lifting for me- distinctions between underhivers, gangs, and spyrers, plus the dramatis personae like guilders, bounty hunters, agitators and guides provide a template. In Necromunda, each gang has a theme, and the gangs are there to be the meat and potatoes of the game. Outlanders and Spyrers serve as exotics that still function like gangs. And then dramatis personae serve to both round out the world and spice up the groups they attach to in order to add uniqueness. Now if we're going to think about Imperial citizens in 40k, I think we have to figure out what purpose they serve, because they certainly are not meant to be viable opponents for actual trained military forces. For me, I see a few possibilities: first, they are the occupants of territory that has not yet been claimed by a military force in map-based play. Second, they are a source of recruits for various factions- I think of units like Penal troops, or Conscripts... But also Cultists (both loyal and Heretical), Brood Brothers, etc. And of course, they are a part of world building as well. The system I've used in the Chronicle is just one way of fleshing out imperial citizens. I knew that the Genestealer Cults were going to be playing a big role, so I figured I'd design the citizens according to the GSC spheres of influence. So this is what I ended up with: Bannerjee = Industry Tavinder = Community Kronar = Religion Jendaro = Military Syrinx = Resources Mercer = Politics Each of these subfactions can own and control territory in the campaign, and these associations provide a basis for determinig which territories each house would likely control. I came up with this: It's important to be able to represent these citizens with models so that the GSC or Chaos Cultists can infect or subvert them. I haven't gone that far yet, but I did think about how some forces might be expressed on the battlefield. So for example, House Kronar's ties to religion make them an ideal ally to Sisters of Battle, while the Jendaro would be suitable to the Guard.
  5. When I began work on the Chronicles of Saint Katherine's Aegis, I planned for the action to take place on a single planet. As I started trying to write background, however, I discovered how hard it is to write about a planet in isolation. I started thinking about other planets in the system as sources for additional story ideas and bases of operations for factions who would have periodic intersections with the main action of the campaign. What follows is the Desdaemona System, which was developed using the rules found in Size, Scope and Building a Star System. I have arranged the elements of the system from the closest to the sun to the most distant, rather than the order in which they were randomly generated, ensuring that heavily populated worlds found themselves at an appropriate distance from the sun to support human life, whereas research stations and mines can afford to rely on small populations relying on life support systems further into the void. Maryllion's Hammer- Mining World Diplomacy: 3 Military: 4 Resources, Resources, Community, Industry Biomass 6 (3D3), Resistance: 2 This planet is too hot and the atmosphere too thin to support human life, but it is a haven for rare minerals; there are exposed lakes of molten magma all over the rocky surface of the planet and and sealed STC habitation, processing and extraction units are required to maintain mining operations. The planet has small numbers of Guard Equivalent military forces, possibly a Votann enclave. Orison's Wake- Agriworld Diplomacy: 2 Military: 3 Resources, Resources, Religion, Religion Biomass 7 (3D3), Resistance: 3 This is the primary setting for the action of the campaign, so I played with it a bit, modifying some of it's characteristics to account for the high concentration of Adeptus Sororitas forces on the planet. In addition to being the world that provides critical support to the rest of the system, this planet is home to the Chapel of Saint Katherine's Aegis- a Holy site consecrated by Katherine herself in the Age of Apostasy. The Consecration Crusade: Fleet Installation Diplomacy: 5 Military: 5 Industry, Industry, Military, Religion Biomass: 2, Resistance: 6 (3D3) This fleet is divided, with half orbiting Orison's Wake and half orbiting the Military Base at Sycorax Delta. Both halves of the fleet consist of both Warships and Commercial vessels, as well as defense array platforms, communication relays and dock and repair facilities. Sycorax Delta: Military Base Diplomacy: 4 Military: 6 Military, Military, Politics, Resources Biomass: 2 (D3), Resistance: 5 (D6) Sycorax delta is the Moon of Miranda Regent, the political center of the Desdaemona system. This small moon is a heavily fortified hard target. The military facilities include Imperial Guard, Adepta Sororitas, Adeptus Mechanicus, Deathwatch and Inquisition forces. When defending itself, or Miranda Regent, the base at Sycorax Delta is augmented by forces from The Consecration Crusade. Miranda Regent: Political Center Diplomacy: 6 Military: 3 Community, Community, Industry, Politics Biomass: 6 (3D3), Resistance: 4 (D6) Miranda Regent is the beating heart of the Desdaemona system- every decision affecting the system as a whole is made here, as are many of the decisions impacting other Imperial assets throught the system. While Miranda Regent boast its own planetary defense force (Guard Equivalent), it also benefits from forces stationed at Sycorax Delta and The Consecration Crusade. Desdaemona Prime: Civilian World Diplomacy: 3 Military: 2 Community, Community, Industry, Politics Biomass: 8 (3D3), Resistance: 4 (D6) This is the largest planet in the system, both physically and in terms of its population. Desdaemona Prime does not export products- rather it exports people. Many of the citizens living and working elsewhere in the system were born on Desdaemona Prime. Echo Station: Trader's Hub Diplomacy: 4 Military: 4 Community, Military, Politics, Resources Biomass: 4 (3D3), Resistance: 2 This planet lies on the fringe of the system, but it is close to an exit point for a stable warp corridor that leads back to the Western fringe of Sector Pacificus. Prior to the collapse of the Pacificus relay station that identified the warp corridor, this base served as an Intersystem Trade Hub. Without the beacon, the Desdaemona system has been cut off from the rest of the Imperium since Cardinal Bucharis launched the Plague of Unbelief during the Age of Apostasy. Fortunately, for the citizens of the Desdaemona system, a seventh Blackstone Fortress far beyond the limits of Imperial space has begun to broadcast a distress signal back to the Imperium, and it is drawing attention back toward this warp corridor, and the eventual rediscovery of the Desdaemona system itself. And there you have it, my first star system! Much of this material will sit in the background of the campaign, waiting for a trigger from the story before it becomes relevant. From here, we'll be zooming into a single planet- Orison's Wake.
  6. There are so many different ways to build a campaign that it can be hard to know where to start. Ultimately, you'll want to build something that suits the needs of your players- you want a big enough sandbox for them that there is always room to bring in whatever the story may need as it progresses, but you don't want to put the effort into building something so massive that your players will feel overwhelmed. If you think about scale, for most 40k battles on the table top, a 25 PL game might represent the seizure of a particular territory, where a 50 PL game might represent control over a city-sector or a collection of territories, while a 100 PL game might be control of an entire settlement, and a 150 PL game might represent control of a large city. How many cities does it take to control a continent? How many continents are there on the planet? Will one planet be enough to serve the needs of your players? With enough continents, it could, right? I mean, you get to decide how many territories make up a city-sector, how many sectors there are in a settlement, and then how many settlements there are on each of those continents. I would advise thinking bigger than a single planet for many reasons. First of all, a single planet creates a narrow scope for faction participation: it's easier to explain the presence of a diversity of factions when you have seven or eight planets for these forces to hide in. This also leves room for Battlefleet Gothic games to travel between planetary engagements. This sets up some of the Planetfall missions as well. Fortunately, three recent codices- T'au, Genestealer Cults and Tyranids- have each provided individual rules for designing star systems and planets. The T'au rules are the most complete- allowing you to generate 4-8 Planets... Of which there are 9 different types. The Genstealer Cult rules provide only 6 types of planets, while the Tyranid rules provide only 3 planet types. So if you're running a campaign, you can use any of these rules to help you define your Star System(s), whether you're including the faction that uses those rules in your campaign or not. In fact, if you generate a star system and its planets using the T'au rules, you can pick the closest planet type from both the GSC codex and the Tyranid Codex. and then add the planetary characteristics from those books to the planet in addition to its T'au characteristics. This achieves two effects: First, every planet in your system will have all the information that it needs to support the Crusade forces of players from any of these factions, and second, these rules give you excellent information which can be used as the basis of your "fluff" for the setting, with impacts on terrain, theatres of war, and even specific missions and territories. This, for example, is what the first three planets might look like- so that if you roll a Shrine World, you know not only that the T'au need to rack up 5 Diplomacy points to achieve a victory here, but we also know that the GSC would have to infiltrate the Community, Politics and Religion institutions to conquer the same planet, and that Tyranids need to consume 3D3 Biomass and overcome Resistance 2 to complete an Invasion of this planet. Here are the other two sections of the chart: It's worth mentioning that the correspondences between planet types are just one possible interpretation. A Research World, for example, could just as easily be a Hive or Frontier World as a Forge World, depending upon the needs of your campaign. But which of those three GSC Planet types you link to the Research World helps to further define it. This happens again when we choose a Tyranid planet to link... But of the three, the Tyranid planetary characteristics give us the least amount of story information. The final issue here goes back to size and scope. We said earlier that most 40k conflicts represent battles whose consequences are smaller than planetary control... Yet the characteristics described in these rules ARE planet wide. So if we change scale, we can apply these characteristics at a micro-level. For example, maybe 5 Diplomacy points would allow a T'au player to assume nominal control of a settlement. Controlling the majority of settlements on a continent would allow nominal control of the continent. Control of the majority of continents would allow for nominal control of the planet. Nominal Control, incidentally, would be a degree of control where a player could begin to reap the benefits of having the upper hand, even though there are still pockets of resistance which are constantly trying to undermine that advantage. And that's it for our first ever rules post here in the Chronicles of Saint Katherine's Aegis. I will be using these rules to generate our Star System over in the Saint Katherine's Aegis Campaign forum, but I'd love to hear any feedback about this post. Is it something you might use? Have you done similar things in your own campaigns, but perhaps achieved it in a different way?
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