Monthly Archives: August 2017

Dire Avengers of the Shrine of the Shrieking Soul

The Dire Avengers of the Shrieking Soul Shrine have a long history with the  craftworld Biel-Tan.  Their exarch is one of the oldest of all the Dire Avenger shrines.  A master of warfare in times of crisis he leads his avengers in swift strikes. Uncannily striking the foe in their weakest spots.  These strikes cause the enemy’s commanders to change their battle plans to the benefit of the forces of Biel-Tan.

Shrine of the Shrieking Soul
Shrine of the Shrieking Soul

Soul Scream

The Shrieking Soul Shrine Dire Avengers work closely with Howling Banshees. They  thin an enemies ranks with their focused shuriken fire before the Banshees leap in.  The exarch wields the dire sword Soul Scream, given to the first exarch of the shrine by Asurman himself.  Through a millenia of battles it has been wielded by the exarch of the shrine.Its killing stroke decapitating the foe.  The soul gem on the sword is said to hold the soul of an exarch slain by Asurman for fleeing the battlefield and dishonoring his now cursed and forgotten shrine.

Dire Avengers
Dire Avengers

Small Strike Teams

For small strikes the exarch will take his 4 most trusted warriors in a Falcon that delivers them where they need to be.  The Falcon then provides covering fire.  After accomplishing their purpose they return to the Falcon and move on to their next target. The small strike teams never get bogged down in long, protracted fights.  These small teams strike behind the enemy’s lines, forcing the enemy commander to deal with them.

Large Strike Teams

For larger strikes the exarch will take a full squad and a Wave Serpent to deliver them where their firepower will provide the greatest benefit.  The larger squads have successfully held up rampaging Orc mobs and turned Tyranid swarms to where they could be decimated by other the forces of Biel-Tan.

The larger teams  hold a portion of the battlefield, denying the enemy a flanking maneuver or forcing the enemy to split his forces around the Dire Avengers.

RPG Conflict

Walking through Target at this time of year always makes me think about GM’ing an RPG.
All the school supplies for sale artfully displayed in a small section of the store awakens an itch in my gaming soul.
Seeing all the packages of crisp, clean graph paper, the new empty binders/notebooks with lots of empty pockets, dividers and the packages of pens, pencils, colored pencils, highlighters etc makes me want to rip open those packages of graph paper and colored pencils and begin laying out the bones of an adventure.
But what adventure?
I’m no longer interested in the worlds of Fantasy.  Dungeons & Dragons will always have an honored spot in my memory.  Designing dungeons ruled by a vampire clan that threw orcs, gelatinous cubes, zombies, skeletons and giants at the adventurers in  vain attempts to prevent the adventurers reaching and destroying the vampires was fun.  Or sketching out  vast cave networks where the adventurers were being hunted down by an angry red dragon for killing its hatchlings.  The creation of these worlds and populating them with monsters, magic swords, potions and scrolls will always be remembered as fun, creative times.
But I’m currently more interested in science fiction settings.
And this is where my conflict is.
Edge of the Empire Rulebook
Edge of the Empire Rulebook
I really like what I’ve read about the Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG system.  There is/was a live play podcast  called “Bothan Banter”   https://bothanbanter.com/ that was very entertaining to listen to and provided great insight into game play that you can’t get from reading the rules & sourcebooks.
But I like Marc Miller’s Traveller universe better.  It ‘feels’ more of a science-fiction milieu, especially if set during the time of the Imperium.  Where the Star Wars universe is a little more cartoony in my opinion.  In the Traveller universe I can see more adventures in the style of Robert H. Heinlien, like Lazarus Long and his extended family colonizing planets and moving on, or Starship Troopers engaged in pitched battles.
I think an Edge of the Empire  story could work with a  Traveller style feel.  It’s a little grittier than an Age of Rebellion story, it could deal more with humans and aliens, less with Force users and Imperial antagonists.  A story about gamblers, second sons from aristocratic planets, shady deals, crime lords and their henchmen all while keeping out of Imperial view would flow nicely.   Or a remote colony world where rare metals are discovered leading to an influx of prospectors, confidence tricksters, unscrupulous corporations and mercenaries hiring out as guards, bandits or militia.
FFG’s dice with their success/fail mechanic, advantages, disadvantages, triumphs and despair encourage and nurture storytelling.  The GM can make a task more challenging by adding difficulty dice to the dice pool.  The players can enhance their successes by rolling some advantages or triumphs. Likewise  the GM can tone down their successes if they roll some disadvantages.
Sure, maybe they successfully picked the pocket of a minor character by rolling up a success, however some threats lead to a loud mouthed kid  that saw them and he starts yelling what he saw at the top of his lungs!
That sounds like fun!
I think I’ve resolved my conflict.