I just picked up the newest Codex: Dark Eldar (yeah, it’s been out for over a year, but at $30 retail, I only buy the Codices of armies I don’t collect when I can find them used). It’s a good read; I was surprised to learn that Commorragh, the Dark City located in the Eldar Webway, is home to several species other than the Dark Eldar. Some of these beasts, slaves, and mercenaries are given 40K stats, and I thought it would be fun to try to adapt some of them to Dark Heresy (any excuse to collect more miniatures!).
DONORIAN CLAWED FIEND-
Long ago the main webway portal into the Donorian system split under the pressure of a Warp storm, and the tunnels that spread out from it became infested with Fiends. The Clawed Fiend is a towering hulk of muscle and fur that has extremely advanced senses, able to see in several spectrums at once. A Clawed Fiend enters a berserk state when it is wounded- few warriors are quick enough to evade a raging Fiend that has scented the rotten tang of its own ichor.
-Codex: Dark Eldar, page 30
Their tabletop stats are:
WS: 4 BS: 0 S: 5 T: 5 W: 4 I: 5 A: 4 Ld: 5 Sv: 6+
Special Rules: move as Beasts; Bestial Fury (+1 A when wounded)
Rather than give the Fiend dismal Will Power to reflect its low Leadership, I thought that it would be better to represent it as having average WP combined with the Bestial Trait. Here is what I came up with, trying to stay true to its tabletop depiction and taking the look of the figure into consideration:
DONORIAN CLAWED FIEND
WS: 45 BS: - S (8)45 T: 55 Ag: 45 Int: 15 Per: 45 WP: 30 Fel:-
MOVE: 5/10/15/30 WOUNDS: 40
SKILLS: Awareness, Climb, Tracking.
TALENTS: Berserk Charge, Heightened Senses (Sight, Smell, Hearing), Light Sleeper, Lightning Attack, Sprint.
TRAITS: Bestial, Dark Sight, Fear (2), Improved Natural Weapon (Claws), Natural Armour (3), Size (Hulking), Unnatural Strength (x2), Bestial Fury (if this monster is wounded and passes its WP test for being Bestial, it immediately becomes Frenzied), Tail-Lash (gains an extra Reaction, which can only be used to Parry an attack).
ARMOUR: None (3 All)
WEAPONS: Claws (1d10+10 R; Tearing)
THREAT RATING: XENOS MINORIS
ADVENTURE SEEDS: Something is killing settlers on the frontier planet of Snowden’s World. The few surviving witnesses describe the attacker as a huge, hairy beast that emerges from the unexplored Howlingwood forest to rend unwary victims limb from limb. The Sector government is dismissive of the reports, claiming that the attacks are being caused by a commonplace predator native to the newly-settled world and thus not worthy of intervention from Scintilla. Stories of the Beast’s rampages reach the ear of a veteran Inquisitor, however, who thinks the descriptions of the Beast sound strangely familiar… A team of Acolytes are dispatched to Snowden’s World to confirm the Inquisitor’s suspicion that the attacks are being perpetrated by a rogue xenomorph. The investigation proves the Inquisitor’s hypothesis correct: Clawed Fiends are emerging from an undiscovered Eldar Portal within the overgrown forest, and the Acolytes must locate and destroy the Portal before the population of Fiends plaguing the frontier world becomes completely uncontrollable.
True Dark Eldar make rather dubious bodyguards due to their treacherous nature. Instead, Archons employ the more reliable alien mercenaries that inhabit Commorragh to protect them from the inevitable coup. Though these bodyguards hail from all across the galaxy, favoured amongst them are the Sslyth, hulking serpent-bodied warrior-fiends whose race fell to the temptations of unbridled excess millennia ago. Having two sets of arms, Sslyth mercenaries sport enough guns and jag-sharp blades to easily make a mess of any assassin or would-be usurper.
-Codex: Dark Eldar, page 35
WS: 4 BS: 4 S: 5 T: 5 W: 2 I: 4 A: 3 Ld: 3 Sv: 5+
Special Rules: Fleet, Feel No Pain
Very much an elite troop-type. The Leadership of 3 seems startlingly low for a high-end mercenary, but it makes sense in context: in 40K, they use the Leadership value of their boss; if the boss is killed, the mercenary Sslyth has little incentive to keep fighting. So, here’s my take on a DH SSlyth:
WS: 45 BS: 40 S: 45 T: 50 Ag: 45 Int: 35 Per: 30 WP: 35 Fel: 20
MOVE: 4/8/12/24 WOUNDS: 25
SKILLS: Awareness, Carouse, Dodge, Forbidden Lore (Xenos), Speak Language (Sslyth, Eldar) TALENTS: Basic Weapon Training (Las, SP, Exotic), Combat Master, Hip Shooting, Jaded, Melee Weapon Training (Primitive), Pistol Training (Las, SP, Exotic), Polyglot (treats Speak Language as a Basic skill), Swift Attack
TRAITS: Crawler, Multiple Arms, Natural Weapon (Bite), Unnatural Speed (x2), Constrictor (counts as having Unnatural Strength (x2) on Grapple damage)
ARMOUR: Custom xeno armour (5 Body/Arms)
WEAPONS: Bite (1d10+5 I; Primitive, Toxic); Monosword (1d10+7, Pen 2, Balanced); Cestus (1d5+5 I, Primitive); Shardcarbine (75m, S/5/10, 1d10+2 R, Pen 3, Clip 150, Rld 2Full; Toxic, Hail of Splinters*); Splinter Pistol (50m, S/3/6, 1d10 R, Pen 3, Clip 120, Rld 2Full; Toxic, Hail of Splinters*); or as supplied by employer.
*Hail of Splinters: If fired on Full Automatic, the weapon gains the Tearing trait.
GEAR: Microbead (for communicating with employer), 2 spare clips for each weapon, jewelry worth 3d10 Thrones, plus one of the following (roll d10): 1-2: 2d10 coins of various (mostly alien) denominations; 3-4: 1-2 doses of a xeno-narcotic (this has the same effect as Stimm for the Sslyth, but is poisonous to mammalian life); 5-6: bag of 1d5 small live rodents (a snack); 7-8: trophies from previous battles (human scalps, ork teef, kroot quills, etc.); 9-10: art object worth 1d5x100 Thrones (10% chance Warp-tainted).
THREAT RATING: XENOS MINORIS
ADVENTURE SEEDS: The executive director of a major Merchant House is suspected of engaging in illegal trade with xenos. The Acolytes are sent to investigate and, if proof of the allegations can be found, they are to capture or kill the executive. Complicating the latter half of the mission is the fact that the heretic has used his xeno contacts to hire some impressive bodyguards.
Though innumerable species of atavistic bloodbeasts prowl Commorragh, it is perhaps the Ur-Ghul that is the most hideous of all; a sightless but agile troglodyte that hails from the labyrinthine ziggurats of Shaa-dom. Once one of these whip-thin horrors has smelt you with its rows of quivering scent-pits there is no escape from the violence that follows.
-Codex: Dark Eldar, page 35
WS: 4 BS: 0 S: 4 T: 3 W: 1 I: 5 A: 3 Ld: 3 Sv: -
Special Rules: Fleet, Feel No Pain, Furious Charge
WS: 45 BS: - S 40 T: 35 Ag: 55 Int: 18 Per: 45 WP: 20 Fel: 05
MOVE: 5/10/15/30 WOUNDS: 12
SKILLS: Awareness, Acrobatics, Climb, Concealment +20, Contortionist, Dodge, Shadowing +10, Silent Move +20, Tracking +20
TALENTS: Berserk Charge, Hard Target, Furious Assault, Heightened Senses (Smell), Sprint, Swift Attack
TRAITS: Blind (the Ur-Ghul does not suffer the normal -30 penalty to attacks), Fear (1), Natural Weapon (Claws and Bite)
WEAPONS: Claws/Bite (1d10+8 R, Primitive)
THREAT RATING: XENOS MINORIS
ADVENTURE SEEDS: The population of Ur-Ghuls lurking on the fringes of a district of Commorragh is getting out of control. A local gang of Hellions decide that it would be amusing to herd the ghastly creatures through a Webway Portal that opens onto an Imperial world. Rather than intercede, the local Archon decides the tide of ravening Ur-Ghuls may provide an interesting way of testing the defenses of the planet, in anticipation of a future raid…
So, what do you think? I haven’t play-tested any of these yet- I wanted to get some feedback first. Are there any changes you would recommend?
My 'fan-created content':
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Well, the Koronus Bestiary really stole my thunder re: that first batch of xenos…
-But I'm not easily deterred. Here is my take on the hrud, xenos that have been lingering on the edges of the 40Kverse for many years. Credit where due: most of the background info comes from Lexicanum.
-- THE HRUD --
The Imperium views the noisome xeno race known as the hrud as little more than parasites, foul scavengers with no significant culture of their own. Needless to say, this is not a view shared by the hrud themselves. The hrud are an ancient and far-flung people, who had established colonies on numerous planets long before the sons of Terra left their homeworld to walk among the stars. They pride themselves on their record-keeping, and there are those who speculate that the hrud have information contained within their ancient archives that would open up such terrifying vistas of eldritch aeons that no human mind could absorb the revelations without forfeiting sanity.
The hrud are a dark-dwelling race who inhabit underground tunnel complexes (called juunlak in the hrud tongue), preferably near the settlements of other races. There, they live in secret, using stealth to pilfer the goods they cannot produce themselves. As their numbers increase, the hrud prepare for a peh-ha, or mass migration. This typically involves a small group of hrud ‘scouts’ stowing away on a space-faring vessel, carrying with them the essential components of their warp-based technology. When they eventually arrive at a new world, the hrud set up a secret base and begin stealing the technological items needed to combine with their own components to create a warp gate. Once the gateway is functional, the hrud Raheed, or ‘masstribe’, begins migrating in earnest to the new location.
Unfortunately the sustained operation of a hrud warp gate generates an enormous amount of entropic energy, which can have devastating effects on the surrounding environment. Crops turn to dust overnight, organic materials crumble, and residents find themselves aging at an incredibly accelerated rate, often going from spry youths to do doddering old men in a matter of days. These shocking occurrences are often the first indication a human population has that a hrud infestation is nearby. Since this normally triggers an attempted purge by Imperial authorities, the hrud usually try to keep their mass migrations secret, but their need to utilize the stolen technology of others, including tapping into energy sources to power their warp gates, sometimes prevents them from setting up their colonies a sufficient distance from human population centers to avoid detection.
There is another woe for those living near hrud infestations. The scavenging of these stealthy aliens is not limited to material goods: the hrud also make use of slaves, capturing unwary humans to perform the unskilled labor necessary to keep a colony functioning properly. Many of these slaves die from contact with the toxins perpetually secreted by the hrud, but those hardy individuals who develop a resistance to the poisons sometimes become valued resources to hrud settlements, being viewed by some hrud as loyal ‘pets’, especially if the slave was captured young and stays with the hrud long enough to forget his or her previous life.
In appearance the hrud are rarely perceived as anything more that vaguely humanoid shapes, shorter than the human norm, swathed in ragged robes. Sometimes a ratlike tail is glimpsed dragging behind, but beyond this even those who have had first-hand encounters with the hrud would be hard-pressed to provide any significant details. Even study of hrud corpses is problematic, as these xenos decompose at an incredible rate, putrefying into a loathsome puddle of toxic liquid shortly after death. Those rare individuals who have seen living hrud without their traditional robes describe them as hairless creatures with large, black eyes and limbs which are not jointed, like those of humans, but segmented, in the nature of a spine.
WS:23 BS:33 S:25 T:25 A:(8)43 INT:35 PER:33 WP:35 FEL:13
SKILLS: Acrobatics, Awareness, Climb, Concealment +20, Contortionist +20, Dodge +10, Forbidden Lore (Xenos), Search, Shadowing +20, Silent Move +10, Speak Language (Hrud), Survival, Tech Use.
TALENTS: Ambidextrous, Exotic Weapon Training (Hrud Fusil), Jaded, Leap Up, Melee Weapon Training, Talented (Concealment).
TRAITS: Dark Sight, Light-Sensitive*, Poison Secretions**, Entropic Aura***, Size: Scrawny, Unnatural Agility.
*All Tests are at -10 in direct sunlight or equivalent illumination.
**The toxins produced by the hrud’s state of semi-decomposition render them dangerous to the touch. Any creature whose bare skin comes into contact with a hrud must pass an Ordinary (+10)Toughness test or lose 1d10 points of Toughness for 1d2 months. If the creature is exposed to these toxic secretions a number of times equal to 10-TB and survives, it develops immunity to hrud poison (most slaves encountered in hrud communities will have developed this immunity).
***Repeated exposure to the corrupting energies of their warp-based technology has led to the hrud permanently radiating an aura of entropic energy. This aura has the following effects: First, it renders hrud immune to the aging effects of their warp gates. Second, it dampens a percentage of light in their vicinity, allowing the hrud to make Concealment tests even while under direct observation. Third, non-living items near a hrud will age approximately 10 times faster than normal. This has little impact on machinery or other metal items; the most obvious consequence of this effect is to cause food to spoil within minutes of being near a hrud. Finally, the entropic aura will cause the body of a slain hrud to decompose at a highly accelerated rate, completely dissolving into a foul, toxic liquid within an hour of death.
ARMOUR: Reinforced robes (3 All; Primitive)
WEAPONS: Hrud Fusil (100m, S/-/-, 2d10 E, Pen 5, Clip: 1, Rld: Full; Overheats, Warp Weapon), Hrud Picknife (1d10+2 I, Pen 1d10, Toxic). Also, there is a 30% chance that a hrud will be carrying a scavenged back-up weapon. These are 75% likely to be some form of standard Imperial pistol, with a 25% chance of being something more exotic, such as a xeno-manufactured weapon which the nomadic hrud picked up during its travels. Scavenged weapons will only have half their clip capacity in ammo remaining. There is a 50% chance that the hrud has practiced with the weapon sufficiently to acquire the appropriate Weapon Training Talent; otherwise, it suffers the normal penalties for unskilled weapon use.
GEAR: 2d10 reloads for the Fusil; miscellaneous tools and other odds and ends stolen from unwary previous owners.
About 1 in 20 hrud will be ‘chieftains’, members of their leadership class. Approximately 25% of hrud are ‘tinkers’- those charged with building and maintaining the hrud’s technological implements, from their ever-present fusils to the mysterious warp gates which they use to spread across the galaxy. These items are usually built with scavenged materials around a core of ancient, irreplaceable components which have been handed down from generation to generation since the earliest days of hrud migrations.
As hrud; +5 to all stats; 12 Wounds; add the Navigation: Ground and Security Skills, and the Polyglot Talent. The chieftain will automatically have a scavenged back-up weapon with a full ammunition load, and the appropriate Weapon Talent to use it.
As hrud; +5 to BS, A, WP; +10 to Int, Per; add the Chem Use skill and replace Tech Use with Tech Use +20.
I'm currently working on write-ups of some of the Calixis-native xenos mentioned in The Radical's Handbook; I'll post those when I'm satisfied with them.
My 'fan-created content':
Yea, either great minds think alike, or someone stole some of your concepts. I like it all though. Congrats for thinking on it first!
"Live long, so that others may prosper in your endeavours…. or so that you can piss on your enemies graves."
Additional DH & RT material can be found on the link provided below. Most of the material was provided by others players, while some of it was created/edited by me. GM discretion is advised.
I’ve been working on descriptions for some of the Calixian xenomorphs mentioned in The Radical’s Handbook. Here is my version of the Morgauth, based on the very brief description on p.200.
The Morgauth first came to the attention of the Imperium in the wake of the Angevin Crusade. Indeed, some xenological scholars have hypothesized that the Crusade may have inadvertently led to the technological ascent of this reptilian species. This theory states that it was likely the crash of a battle-damaged Imperial voidship upon the Morgauth’s (as yet unidentified) home planet which inspired the xenos to construct their own spacefaring vessels. This theory is lent credence by the fact that nearly all Morgauth technology is built upon a base of salvaged Imperial components. Indeed, acquiring Imperial technology seems to be the primary pursuit of these xenos, whether by simply scavenging abandoned materials or through aggressive acts of piracy.
Little is officially known about Morgauth culture. Most of the Imperium’s information about their behavior comes second-hand from void-pirates who occasionally engage in trade with the xenos. These accounts portray the Morgauth as cautious, methodical, and pragmatic. While many of their kind have learned to speak Low Gothic, they seem to be incapable of understanding certain human concepts, such as humor and sarcasm. Those who have dealings with the Morgauth quickly learn to keep things simple and straight-forward; the reptilians’ innate pragmatism means they see nothing wrong with resorting to violence to get what they want if they deem another’s behavior to be too confusing.
Physically, the Morgauth are stocky bipeds, somewhat shorter than the Imperial average but much heavier, with hunched backs and short tails. Their reptilian ancestry is plain to see, from their elongated snouts and flicking forked tongues, to their scale-covered hides. Along their backs (from the top of their heads down to their rear haunches) the scales thicken into bony plates, every bit as damage-resistant as Imperial Guard flak armour. Morgauth are typically dark green in colour, fading to a lighter yellowish-green on their bellies- a clear indication that their species evolved from quadrupedal ancestors.
Technologically, the Morgauth can best be described as talented scavengers. Although their bestial appearance may lead some to assume that they must be quite primitive, the truth is that the Morgauth have an innate knack for deciphering Imperial technology, and, being wholly ignorant of the dogmas of the Machine Cult, can be quite creative in repurposing salvaged components. Naturally, this infuriates disciples of the Machine God: representatives of the Lathes have petitioned both the Ordo Xenos and the Calixis Sector government to undertake a campaign of extermination against these ‘blasphemous’ aliens, but neither organization has deemed the Morgauth a substantial enough threat to justify committing the time and resources required to eradicate them outright, when there are so many more immediate threats within the Sector borders.
Of course, those who have been on the receiving end of Morgauth aggression usually have a very different assessment of the threat posed by the reptilians. Their asymmetrical ships prowl the area around the Spinward edge of the Drusian Marches, searching for vulnerable vessels which they can loot with hit-and-run raids. Their boarding actions tend to be as methodical as they are brutal: drill-prowed boarding torpedoes burrow into defending vessels to deliver large numbers of Morgauth raiders, who sweep corridors clear of resistance until they have secured their objective. Although they are rather slow on foot, this rarely proves to be a major impediment in shipboard engagements: the Morgauth have taken to employing mantlets- large, wheeled shields- in the front lines of their boarding actions, making their advances slow but relentless. While shots ring off the Morgauth’s ‘mobile cover’, little can protect the defenders from the xeno’s preferred weapon: the dreaded ‘burn caster’, who’s thermic shells make a mockery of standard armour.
Having no known psykers within their kind with which to navigate the treacherous currents of the warp, the Morgauth rely solely on stable warp corridors to travel between systems. Over the last millennium, they have complied a series of extremely accurate charts of the warp currents adjacent to the Fydae Great Cloud, presumably through the process of trial and error- just how many Morgauth lives and vessels have been lost in this endeavor is anyone’s guess, but the number is no doubt daunting. The fruits yielded by this painstaking labor now allow the Morgauth to travel unimpeded virtually anywhere within half an Imperial Sub-Sector of the Fydae Great Cloud. Rumor has it that the reptilians have even discovered routes through the extreme gravitic fluctuations of the pulsar clusters of the Great Cloud itself, making acquiring a complete set of Morgauth navigational charts a goal of many within the Navis Nobilite, as well as certain radical Inquisitors. Translating them from the Morgauth’s bizarre hieroglyphic language may prove to be problematic, and there are those in positions of power who maintain that the tools of xenos can lead to no destination other than damnation…
WS:43 BS:28 S:45 T:50 A:22 INT:30 PER:25 WP:42 FEL:20
SKILLS: Awareness, Search, Speak Language (Morgauth; 35% chance of Low Gothic), Tech Use +10, Trade (any one), plus one of the following: Demolition, Navigation (Stellar), Pilot (Spacecraft), Scholastic Lore (Astromancy or Chymstry), Security.
TALENTS: Arms Master, Basic Weapon Training ( Flame, Las, SP), Bulging Biceps, Crushing Blow, Die Hard, Exotic Weapon Training (Morgauth Burn Caster), Heavy Weapon Training (SP),Melee Weapon Training (Primitive), Nerves Of Steel, Pistol Training (Las, SP), Resistance (Heat), Technical Knock.
TRAITS: Armour Plating, Cold-Blooded*, Natural Armour (2), Natural Weapon (Bite), Sturdy.
*Toughness is halved against cold-based effects.
ARMOUR: Thick Hide (2 All; Primitive), Bony Plates (4 Rear); in addition, 1 in 5 boarding party members will be equipped with a mantlet (see below).
WEAPONS: Bite (1d10+3 R, Primitive); Scavenged Imperial weapons or Morgauth Burn Caster (20m; S/3/-; 1d10+4 E; Pen: 9; Clip: 12; Rld: 3 Full; Unstable); Basic Weapons will usually be equipped with a Melee Attachment (1d5+7 R; Primitive); 25% chance of a Magna-Storm Grenade (see below).
GEAR: Two weapon reloads
THREAT RATING: Xenos Minoris
MANTLET: Basically a slab of metal on wheels, mantlets can be used to provide mobile cover, albeit at the cost of speed afoot. Most mantlets incorporate a gunport that can accommodate most Basic and Pistol weapons.
Mantlet: 5 points of Cover from front arc; can’t Charge or Run while in use.
MAGNA-STORM GRENADE: A geodesic ball of metal composed of triangles of magnetized metal, when armed and thrown a magnetic pulse turns the shards into deadly projectiles. In an open environment, the initial blast is all a combatant has to worry about, but in an enclosed space, such as a voidship corridor, the full effect of these xeno-grenades becomes apparent. Tiny magnetic generators launched by the blast attach themselves to the floor and ceiling and produce rapidly alternating positive and negative magnetic pulses, turning the razor-edged shards into a whirling cloud of death. This effect occupies a column as wide as the blast radius and lasts 1d5 rounds; anyone moving through the effect or staying within it from round to round will take damage as if caught in the initial blast. In addition, shots fired through the whirling metal shards have a chance of being deflected. Any Ranged attack with an AP of less than 4 which passes through an active magna-storm effect is negated.
Magna-Storm Grenade: 3xS; S/-/-; 2d10 R; Pen 2; Blast 3 plus Special.
Pretty mundane, almost Star Trekian xenos, but I think that’s what the description calls for. I’m trying to make my version of the Draethi (RH p.201) much, much weirder…
My 'fan-created content':
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