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This scenario won the best Games Master award at the 2016 Inquisitor Grand Tournament. It can be played with any number of warbands, though three is probably a sensible limit. The players are tasked with locating the titular cryptologists and finding the correct one to decode the message they carry. This is all a ruse on the part of one of their enemies however, who intend to set a trap for them.

The GM will require three tokens or markers to represent the true location of the cryptologists, two dummy markers, and one trap marker, all placed face down on the table in a random location. In the IGT game, the cryptologists were represented by models of brains floating in glass tanks, but any model or even just a marker will do. The trap was represented by models of giant mites, but the trap could be a grenade/servitor/portal to the warp.

DSCN4794

The GM will need to provide each player with an encoded message. In the IGT game, the players were given a strip of paper with seemingly random letters that was decoded by winding around the correct scytale held by one of the cryptologists (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scytale). You could simply note down which cryptologist has the right cipher and give the answer when the PCs access the correct cryptologist.

The decoded message is not a helpful piece of information for the players, instead a gloating message from their enemy that heralds the springing of their trap! It read "the Legion sends their regards" at the IGT. At that point, a number of NPC adversaries take to the table to hunt down and kill the warbands. 5 cyborgs took to the table in this game. Guardsmen, mutants, mercenaries or any other bunch of grunts will do instead.

The players' objective changes to simply escaping with their lives!

Below you can find sample text to supply the players, a GM guide, and statlines for the mites and cyborgs.

The Hall of the Cryptologists

+++

You have intercepted an enemy transmission and smuggled it to the one place where coin and influence can get you answers, no questions asked: the Hall of the Cryptologists.

The trio of experts within claim no code is beyond cracking and will gladly decrypt the transmission for you.

Beware however, as agents of your enemy will surely be in the area. Your conflict has been fought through the theft of intelligence from one another, and your rivals may be about to expose one of your secrets too! Prevention of your foes gaining information on you is your secondary goal.

+++

Your characters' primary objective is to have the Cryptologists decode their message. Assign the message to one model. This model must move into base-to-base contact with a Cryptologist and pass a Sagacity test to activate the console alongside the brain tank. The GM will pass you a decoder that corresponds with that Cryptologist, it is then up to you, the Player, to decode the message and read it aloud. It is entirely possible you will have gone to the wrong Cryptologist to decode your message however! Your character can try to activate another brain tank if he goes to the wrong one first.

The secondary objective is to prevent your opponents from having their messages decoded. There are a number of ways to do this: from fighting them off, to deactivating the brain tanks or destroying them.

  • To deactivate a tank, a character must pass a Sagacity test at -20 while in contact with it. The Cryptologist within will now only be able to decode a message if the tank is reactivated with a -40 Sagacity test.
  • To destroy a tank, 15 points of damage must be inflicted in a single attack, either ranged or in hand-to-hand. Damage totals are not cumulative in this case.
  • Creative methods of achieving the secondary objective will be rewarded handsomely by the GM!


Hall of Cryptologists – GM Guide

Set Up:

Randomly allocate the 6 numbered tokens around the table top, face down. When turned over during the game, consult the table to see what has been revealed.

Token

Item

1

Brain Tank 1

2

Brain Tank 2

3

Brain Tank 3

4

-

5

-

6

Giant Mites!

Assign players to a corner of the table.

Take character Speed and Initiative values.

Start the game!

Game Events:

Tokens are flipped over once a character has line of sight and passes an Awareness test.

Once phrase “The Legion sends its regards” has been said aloud, inform players that lights have gone out, plunging table into complete darkness. For the rest of that turn and the next one, vision is limited to 1/10th of Initiative. For subsequent turns it is half Initiative as the characters' eyes adjust. Infra sights/Warp Sight/etc. are not affected. The Cyborg kill team arrives on the table from a random edge.

The players' new objective is to survive the onslaught.

If a character successfully destroys a brain tank, a number of giant mites will appear on the table and attempt to eat the released brain. Once they have fed on it they will seek out further brains – especially of the living!

NPC statlines:

Cyborg

WS

BS

S

T

I

Wp

Sg

Nv

Ld

Kbk

BIV

SS

Cnc

Spd

Starting

50

46

56

58

46

44

23

64

48

6

6

12

29

4

Current















Equipment: any Common availability weapons and armour.

MITE

WS

BS

S

T

I

Wp

Sg

Nv

Ld

Kbk

BIV

SS

Cnc

Spd

Starting

50

-

45

45

39

10

1

30

1

5

5

9

23

3

Current















Armour

2














Injury Lvl

Light

Heavy

Serious

Crippled

Effect

-

Immediate: stunned for 1 turn. Persistent: -10 S and -10 T

Immediate: stunned D3 turns. Persistent: As heavy, plus -10 Initiative

Dead, dead, dead!

Special: When killed, a Mite explodes releasing toxic innards over the immediate area. This equates to a grenade with D6+2 damage, with a radius of 3yds and blast of 4.

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