Gideon Lugenburg, 5th son of the “great” Baron Boreas Lugenburg, looked out at the planet far below. The planet of Numarc, an ice world. It looked like a hostile planet, it was nothing like the lush and green agri world Evish’s Paradise from which he hailed.
However, it was a perfect place for the enterprising gentleman to lay low and rebuild. Imperial rule was weak, and there would be plenty of opportunities to be made in the power vacuum. And it was also very unlikely that “they” would find him on a planet like this.
The landing permission from the starport of Numarc Prime ticked in, and Gideon piloted the slow and cumbersome mining ship towards the planet.
I picked up “Five parsecs from home” from Mophidious recently. It is a ruleset meant for solo or co-op gaming, with a procedurally generated campaign and battle system. You control a crew of around 6, who are travelling through space on a spaceship, doing missions for various benefactors and battling rivals, while trying to pay down their debt and make it big.
The original setting is cyber-punk sci-fi, but I saw the opportunity to run it as a 40k RPG-light system, with an inquisitor or rogue trader acting as the crew leader.
I rolled up a random crew, and ended up with an interesting assortment of characters and gear, who were fairly easy to transfer to 40k counterparts.
Background: Common cause, somewhat honorable bandits
5th in line for the Lugenburg barony. Gideon attracted the attention of the Ordo Xenos following some lucrative dealings in xeno artifacts. His ship was seized by Inquisition agents, and he barely made it out of Evish’s Paradise, spending all of his remaining wealth and contacts on a battered mining vessel and help with evading the inquisition.
Gear: Duelling pistol, sword, nerve adjuster implant
A natural rebel, Jiath-Siel left her craftworld at a young age and fell into the employ of Gideon, enjoying the free and exciting life of the rogue trader, plying her trade as a pick-pocket. Also of interest to the Inquisition, Jiath-Siel owes Gideon her loyality as he brought her along on his escape.
Gear: Colony rifle, handgun
Gideon encountered the automaton on earlier travels. Little is known about how the robot functions, but seemingly, there is a guiding machine spirit, as the robot need no guidance in battle. Gideon has made sure to keep the robot from the eyes of the adeptus mechanicus, as they might not take kindly to a rogue trader operating an automaton
Gear: Bolt rifle with attached bayonet
Ambrosius started life as a ganger in the hives of Merus XII. However, during the chaos uprising, he witnessed the divine power of the sisters of battle. The revelation changed his life, and he turned his life over to the emperor, becoming a drifting street preacher. However, being an inter-planetary preacher is hard work, and sometimes, he makes use of his ganger experience to acquire supplies. He had spent out his welcome on Evish, and saw the opportunity to find new places to preach by joining Gideon.
Gear: Auto pistol, handgun
Mordo Vorin hails from the feudal world Xandrioc I, a world famed for the hardened mercenary companies they produce. Mordo was part of one such company, the Sanguine Sun, but his ambitions put him in conflict with the company leadership, an often deadly position. He left the company and ended up in the employ of Gideon. A man with little in the ways of a moral compass, Mordo stays with Gideon to build his own fame and fortune, hoping one day to return to his company as a natural leader.
Gear: Colony rifle, handgun
While some men will fight for the emperor to the bitter end against the alien, others, like Hans, will not fight a doomed battle. Instead, Hans enlisted in the Gue’vesa forces, the human armed forces set up by the Tau force to help police the newly conquered planet. Eventually, Hans moved over to a career as a bounty hunter, hunting down known anti-Tau insurgents. However, when the insurgents started to hunt him back, Hans packed his bags and took his bounty hunting career to places with less history, eventually ending up in the company of the xeno-friendly Gideon Lugenburg.
Gear: Shatter axe, handgun, boosted leg implant
The astropathic relay blinked. It was a magenta level transmission. Gideon knew who it must be from. He had needed many favours to escape Evish, and now, one of them was already calling. Touching the screen with his decoding ring, the transmission unscrambled.
“We have noted your arrival at Numarc. You must immediately travel to the city of Zuzar. We suspect Xenos cult activity in the area. We need you to eliminate their leader. This is extremely urgent.
– Wandering Sons”
Eliminating xenos cults? Were they mad? That sounded horrifically dangerous, and not to mention, not very profitable. No, he would rather look for more sensible opportunities. The wandering sons could wait.
It did not take long to find a patron looking for capable parties. Labyrinth Navigations, a corporation specialising in space vessel navigation equipment, had an important task. A small xenos space ship, probably of Tau origin, had crashed in a ruined settlement just forty miles from Numarc Prime. Labyrinth needed as much tech as possible salvaged from the ship, before it could escape or be destroyed.
The area was a lawless wilderness, with no known living settlements nearby. Two armoured trucks would take the team to the location, and the hazard pay was good. Securing xenos tech was of course not very legal, but the weak imperial government was unlikely to catch them in the act. Gideon knew a good opportunity when he saw one. The team mounted up in the two trucks, and headed out into the ice wastes.
Securing the nav-parts
The truck rolled to a halt, and Gideon and his three partners jumped out. The other truck with his last two partners was still nowhere to be seen, but with the xeno vessel in their sights, there was no time to lose, and they started to move up to secure it.
Sudden swift movement nearby stopped them in their tracks. A lightning fast xeno and four savage humans ran towards the artefact. They were clearly used to the freezing conditions, using the slick ice to gain extra speed. The humans were armed with nasty close combat weapons. Spiked bats, chain saws and more, and they were almost upon the team.
Ambrosius and UR-025 opened up on the charging savages, Ambrosius gunning down on of them with his auto pistol. However, before he could down another, the xenos had climbed up the building and fired, making Ambrosius duck for cover. Panicing, Ambrosius emptied his clip trying to down the alien, only succeeding in making him duck for cover.
The savages charged further forwards, one of them sliding straight into Hans, knocking them both down. Hans emptied his stubber at the sliding savage, but missed every shot.
UR-025 turned his bolt rifle on a savage with a chainsaw, gunning him down with the explosive bolts.
In the building, the gunfight between the xeno and Ambrosius continued. A lasbolt clipped Ambrosius, but it was just a flesh wound. He emptied his secondary handgun in the direction of the xeno. One of the bullets headed straight for the xeno, but in the last moment, a big chunk of ice fell, diverting the bullet. However, UR-025 now also joined the short range firefight. Emptying the bolt rifle into the xeno, he was finally brought down with explosive firepower.
Only two savages remained, and they launched themselves for cover. But then the second APC arrived, and Mordo Vorin cornered one of the savages, gunning him down.
The last savage engaged the full team in a game of cat and mouse, dodging bullets. When most of the team was out of ammo, the savage finally broke from cover to launch an assault. Gideon grinned. This was the kind of battle he liked, 6 vs 1, gun vs blade. He took aim with his duelling pistol and fired. One bullet hit, but the man kept charging forwards. He fired again, hitting him again, but still he was coming. He was too close now! Emptying the rest of the clip, the man finally staggered and fell to his knees. UR-025 moved in and drove his bayonet through the savage, ending him once and for all.
With no more hostiles, the team quickly gathered the xeno tech. They found a data slate on the dead xeno warrior, which pointed towards another corporation being involved in illegal alien tech. Might as well have a little chat with them soon, should be more opportunities for the enterprising gentleman.
When they arrived back at the ship, a message was waiting for him. It was short, but to the point.
“We will remember your betrayal”
Well, the wandering sons might not be too happy about him not following their directions, but it was still probably better to renege on a promise to a shadowy society than actively engaging xeno cults in battle anyways.
After game summary
Gideon learned a lot from his first skirmish, and got an increase in combat skill. The crew was also well payed, and found the opportunity to purchase a heavy stubber, an auspex and some grav dampeners.
The secret society patron got distrustful of Gideon after his failure to accept their mission, and withdrew their patronage. However, documents found on the field of battle led to a new corporate patron. As the Tau agent and his minions were all killed, no new rivals were made.
With the successful mission for Labyrinth Navigations, Gideon Lugenburg and his companions have started on the track to rebuilding.
|Battered mining ship||22 creds||35||5||Fuel hog|
Story points: 8
Stash: Heavy stubber (rattlegun) with bipod, shotgun, auspex (scanner bot), grav dampener, 2x fixer, 3x close combat weapons, 3x dazzle grenade
XP: Gideon (3), Jiath-Siel (3), UR-025 (0), Ambrosius (4), Mordo (6), Hans (3)
- Gideon – personal breakthrough (+1 to combat)
- Mordo – someone wants a package delivered
- Hans – nice place (wants to settle down on Numarc)
Wandering Sons (secret society)
- Labyrinth Navigations (corporation)
- Tamurdan Industries (corporation)
- Sanguine Sun (feral mercenaries)