Friday, March 1, 2013

The Twelve

Thanks to the local library, I read the second book in Justin Cronin's Passage trilogy this week.  Titled The Twelve, it is set mostly about five years after the first book, and fills in some details about how the world before is swept away by the virals.  A new antagonist is introduced, and some effort is made to eliminate the remaining twelve original virals.

I found the book to be adequate in advancing the overall plot, although it felt quite a bit more "Hollywood" than the first book, and had what seemed be some changes in characterization, in particular the affliction of 'Lish and Amy.  Over all not quite as good, but more even in tone and structure.  Recommended if you read the first book, otherwise you probably need not bother (although it is self contained enough that you could start with this one).

The next book, City of Mirrors, is due sometime in late 2014, so I assume I will read it in early 2015, after which the movies will probably start to come out (or the rights will lapse).

It occurred to me on the way into work, that a portion of the book had a very 40k feel, and might make for an excellent scenario for Inquisitor/Necromunda or other 40k skirmish games.  I have placed it after a jump break, because it may spoil a portion of the book.

The Homeland
In this scenario the players control an Inquisitorial retinue/Death Watch Kill team or similar, and are attempting to infiltrate and destroy a nascent cult on the central continent of D'moyne IV.  A charismatic, and unusually long lived cult leader has gathered together over 70,000 citizens in an enclave located on a small river.  There he has been building some sort of temple complex north of a town.  Primary structures are "the Dome" a large administrative palace clearly based on standard imperial governor's palace, the arena, which can hold the whole population, the feed lot, which has a strange secured bay, and the necropolis, a monstrous pyramid built over generations.  The whole facility is surounded by a light wall, seemingly more oriented to keeping the population in, than to defending from attack.

Click to Enlarge

Your agents have received word that the leader will gather the population together in the arena for some sort of announcement one day from now, which gives you the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the colony. Local contacts have shown you an unguarded tunnel, which runs under the river from the west, and enters the city's sewer system somewhere in the workshop district.

Goal: infiltrate, investigate, and escape with knowledge of the potential threat posed by this colony.  Secondary goals: Destroy virals, destroy necropolis structure, eliminate cult leadership.

Opposition: roving patrols of lightly armed guards, pure strain genestealers, genestealer hybrids, genestealer patriarch.  The genestealers are located in the feedlot during the day, and on the night of the pronouncement, they will be trucked to the arena, where they will be fed.  The Patriarch is out of town until the pronouncement, when he will arrive by limousine from the west. Guilder, the magus, is located in the Dome during the day, working on paperwork with the hybrids who act as administrators.

Characters: Guilder, a genestealer magus of middling psychic power

Notes: In this scenario I have replaced the virals of the book with genestealers, the red eyes with genestealer hybrids, and the twelve with a single genestealer patriarch.  These seem like adequate replacements as they are similarly powered in relationship to a standard human.

Miniatures: if you want to more closely represent the virals of the books,  I suggest that suitably painted crypt ghouls could make for convincing virals, and  crypt horrors with varghast heads would make for suitable stand ins for the ancient forms of the twelve.

Just shave off the stupid bone backs, and paint dark

Similarly, shave off the various back bone/spikes.

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