Curse of the Alabaster

1-the-phaeton
by Laurence Blanche – Ancient Terran illuminator

 

“Give a man a mask and he will show his true face”

by Orcar Wilde – Ancient Terran illuminator

The Masked King

+++

“BY ORDER OF HIS MOST HOLY MAJESTY
THE GOD-EMPEROR OF TERRA

SEQUESTERED INQUISITORIAL DOSSIERS
AUTHORISED PERSONS ONLY

CASE FILE 357:20U:JL77:SNK
Please enter your authority code > • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Validating…

Thank you, inquisitor. You may proceed.”

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To whom it may concern, a communiqué
Carried by Guild Astropathica (Terran) via meme-wave 309~a.777 triple intra
Path detail:
Origin: Thracian Primaris, Helican Sub 81281 origin date: 142.16.M42
(relayed: divergent M-12/Ostall VII)
Received: Alabaster, Cadia U08, Helican 3388, Obscura 23, Terra 52981, Titan:  reception dates: 133-159.771.M41
Transcripts carried and logged as per header
(redundant copy filed buffer 4675 key 20)

Author: Lord Inquisitor Pelagius
Master of the Ordo Hereticus,
Inquisition High Council Officio, Terra

Agents,

Bothrops Nummifer the Twentieth, Rogue Trader, (Dossier attached)

Capture at all cost. Exterminate if unable to. Erase all assets.

Inquisitor Inson, the Ordo Scriptorium, (Dossier attached)

Exterminate. Without Ordo trace. 

Illuminati Aquila,

Caius Celestine Pelagius

 

Curse of the Alabaster

 

Greetings,

Venerable composer of Sumptowns and Dystopia, Shibboleth of the city of Angels has invited Weirdingway, Killing Cold (of between bolter and me) and me to join his Los Angeles =I=munda group for what should undoubtedly be the most epic Inq28/Necromunda/Blanchitsu-vibed event the United States has ever seen.

Knowing Shibboleth, the Terrain will be crazy good and playing on it an absolute, genuine privilege. This is also the first time I participate in an event, campaign, thing like this, were I have zero organizational responsibilities (thank Emperor, still running on fumes from Pilgrym). The Pilgrym Agents are still in Nottingham for secret missions, so need to make something new. Time to just enjoy a creation of a small group of exquisite miniatures. And to imagine a wicked story line.

GAME SETTING

“Imagine a Black Ship, filled with psykers collected under a Letter of Marque by a mad Rogue Trader family, separate from the Navigators guild. Things are played loose and dangerously. And one trip, en route, the geller fields fail, and horrible possibilities enter their reality. Thousands die in the ensuing violence onboard, as the crew desperately tries to fight the chaos unleashed.

they pull closer to an industrial world, the nearest port from this storm, looking for respite. The navigator is killed in the conflict and the ship emerges from the warp into realspace with horrible miscalculation. It shatters into large sections, each emerging suddenly within a massive industrial hive spire.

The days, weeks, and months following are utter madness.

Psykers who survive the crash spill into the hive, bringing chaos. Nobles eager to hunt for new slaves for their service and pleasures. Precinct Arbites desperately trying to restore some semblance of order within their regions. Martial Law. Hive gangs of all sizes, colors, and goals jockeying for position with the new power imbalance. Salvage teams, scrappers, entering the ruins to gain rare technologies, seeking to strip the ship of valuables. Mercenaries descending into the industrial sump wastes seeking to catch psykers for the bounties on their heads. Inquisitors sent to clean up the mess…. ”

 

Bothrops Nummifer the Twentieth, Rogue Trader, first WIP look at his person and court.

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Migs

35 thoughts on “Curse of the Alabaster

  1. Pelagius is such a bad loser… now I want to write about a failed assassination attempt. But I’ve got a 40k Khorne warband to create!

    Great storyline and your Rogue Trader is pretty bloody awesome. Looking forward to seeing all of those bases get filled. Also nice that you don’t have to leave the country or even the state for a game.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A bit off topic here but some people on Instagram seem a little wound up what these games are called – call em what you like it’s your game – there’s a great deal of rules extension, anarchy, and there’s whole wads of the necromancy rules not used – likewise the whole inquisitor game encompass’s so much background and vibe that was never felt in the necromunda game – a combination wether rules, background or atmosphere seems comfortable – I use both terms but also Imunda borrowed off Pete – and yup I participate in inquisitor games as well – we just call em inquisitor – inq28 is a modelling mind set to me not a pedantic description of rules – loosen people play what you want and enjoy yourself …….

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Pedantic, yes, I am inclined to agree. It has always been about creating characters and building worlds to me. Such a focus on what rule system is used misses the point of the entire endeavor. If everyone involved is there to have a good time and explore the setting/tell a story, the rules only really need to act as a loose framework to keep things running smoothly.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I also saw the Instagram comments and almost responded there but decided better of it. I consider this as modelling/character building and gaming: Inquisitor., Inq28, Imunda or Inquisimunda, Necro rules Inquisitor design elements all rolled into one …. If you look at the Inq28 modelling and painting forum on the Ammobunker that is a free for all; of all the above games (and a few odds and ends thrown in too). But I think the main thing about that section is it just encompasses a certain feel now, its evolved. When we get together we use whatever rules work or fit and make up equipment and rules in any case (nicking stuff from Dark Heresey et al is a must have imo). The main focus of all the above games is making them narrative, immersive and exciting and visually stunning (completely painted miniatures are a must….bone dice and antique rulers are also becoming quiet the accessory too). Rules are just a vague mechanic for telling a story. The rule of that’s cool, lets make it happen works even better than dice (eg walking shrine falling, rolling, crushing pilgryms as it tumbles down the cracking steps – good idea JB lets do it). But then I meet up with other groups and they play purely Inquisitor rules in 28mm. So I guess it also depends on your gaming buddies and being able to fit in.

    I’ve used Inquisitor rules and wished I’d used Necro rules part way though because we’ve used too many models. I’ve played Imunda with Necro rules and thought that this is lacking and another layer of detail should have been thrown in. I’ve played Inquisitor and I don’t think I’ve ever used the negative modifier for shooting someone who walked in their last turn….there has to be a point where you think sod all these rules. I’ve played Necro and thought this would be much better on a D10. Just do what is right at the time.

    Best rule I use: is role your dice before working out what you need. A one is probably a fail and a six is probably a pass. If its somewhere in the middle you may need to think about it. (This is even more important if you’re playing Inquisitor, though its a D100 and high is bad and low is good).

    Saying all that though when I first got into this I was all for Inquisitor. Imunda being a slightly dirty word. I guess my various super gaming buddies have shown me that it all works together in a wonderful homogeneous mash up.

    Have fun and make cool models. Don’t get hung up on words or terms or rules.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That kerfuffle was kind of funny. Reminded me of a conversation with Wynton Marsalis. Bunch of folks objecting to how he would describe Jazz & what they were trying to achieve artistically

    He said something along the lines of “who better to articulate an musical or art form than its actual practitioners at its highest levels?” He’s right. There’s been the creation of an international community of dedicated hobbyists working towards a common goal of narrative play, as well as pushing the boundaries of this as a real art form.

    The name doesn’t matter as much as the work itself

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s not without irony that a movement with Inquisitor at its heart would involves some degree of factionalism: not just in terms of what is and isn’t an appropriate name, or who begat what, or to whom it all belongs or who should be considered its exponents. I admit that whilst I do find some of it perplexing, I suppose it’s to be expected: whilst some need the security of there being a defined and definite way of doing things, and a correct terminology to accompany that, others react in a more freeform manner and thrown protocol to the wind. If anything, it’s the latter that begat Inq28 for me, but then, a long time back when Inquisitor was launched, you wouldn’t have to go far to find other people who belittled its 28mm twin, so it’s always ever been the case. In short, it’s all horses for courses, and we should probably all learn to remember that.

    The only sadness for me in all this arises when people are looking for a way in: often the questions arise, ‘how do I start this?’, ‘where are the rules?’, ‘where is the structure?’, ‘how do I do what you are doing?’ – and in short, my answer has always been, ‘do whatever suits you and the people you game with. don’t look for a code or a book or a series of explanations, just start modeling, start gaming, and the rules will follow to fit. reach agreements with your friends, pursue narrative threads above all else, don’t worry what might or might not fall outside of what everyone else has done – just go and do it, do anything, and start from there.’

    And for some, that will involve an adherence to a ruleset with no deviation from its laws whilst for others the rules will never even be a thought. The only thing I would suggest is respecting the myriad ways of achieving the same goal – we all just want to world-build and narrate in miniature form. Let’s keep that at its core.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. I think it probably should be, especially considering who has posted comments…

        I’m afraid I weighed in on the Instagram comments. Apologies to whoever gets all the notifications… :/

        Like

    1. Loved your thoughts on this.

      I agree re: the doorway into this. I’ve found many gamers that are amazed & intrigued by the look and feel of this movement, but then get hung up on rules systems. They’re so accustomed to the expectation of army building, list construction, what’s legal, etc. it’s been a defining feature of the way large army play has evolved. In some ways I feel that tournament play mindset has become the defining influence and skews expectations when meeting someone to play for the first time.

      I look at Inq28 as the open pass for storytelling. In many way ways I got caught up in “army paralysis” looking at huge projects and trying to decide on purchases , lists, paint scheme, etc

      I missed the way I played as a kid, when my brother and I had a handful of minis (and Spacehulk!!) and told stories with them. Not surprised I eventually found my way to film & tv, where storytelling is king.

      That desire to paint a handful of minis, tell a story is the heart of this movement, in my opinion. Two years ago several Los Angeles hobbiysts hung out in the parking lot of a local game shop. We all loved the Blanchitsu articles in white dwarf, etc. We had a long conversation about our dissatisfaction with large army gaming, and the desire to return to a looser game: Rogue Trader meets Inuisitor meets Necromunda. We had no idea what that exactly me to for game rules, but we all wanted to change things up.

      We found the inq28 forum and we’re all inspired. We started building odd models and trying other play. And two years later everything is different.

      I can remember most of the narrative games I’ve played over the last year or so. They’ve all been fun. What started as three players grew, with a dozen playing inq type games in our circles. We’ve met SO many talented people from ALL around the world. We’ve made new friends, including some folks that were our personal warhammer heroes and influences.

      It’s been an incredible experience and positive change.

      All because we wanted to tell stories

      Liked by 3 people

  6. This quarrel sure reminds me of the genre wars that happen with music, especially underground metal and punk, where narrow genre constraints become overly important. Certainly genre names have a worthwhile role, helping people find more music in styles that they like, but they also tend to have a toxic effect on the community.

    I only played Inquisitor briefly, and I recall it being fairly complicated, being based on a D100 system. While it had a fairly in-depth combat system, my notion of roleplaying games was that the ruleset was simply a guide. The most important aspect of RPGs always was the roleplaying, with the rules being their to help direct that. Getting overly caught up with rules detracts from that. But, I guess everyone finds different aspects of games enjoyable. There will always be people who enjoy min-maxing and making the most powerful characters a game can offer, something that requires a close understanding of the ruleset.

    Making the Pilgrym project overly focused on rules would have hurt the experience. Adam built the Red Church to be characterful, not to be overly effective in the game. Giving everyone plasma weapons does not make for a very thematic group, but it would help them be more successful in an actual game.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have nothing but respect for what you guys do for the hobby. I simply wanted to point out that people often get confused when it comes to the appropriate, in their eyes, ruleset you use for your games because of mislabelling. Not everybody is so esoteric and capable of playing games without structure. I’m slightly embarrassed for myself that it was viewed as a silly comment by such pillars of the Inquisitor genre. I didn’t really mean for it to get out of hand. Very much looking forward to reading your updates on this new project.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t think anyone took it the wrong way. In fact, I think this has been a really positive conversation. In some ways indicative of the fact that this mode of play has “arrived” in some form among the public awareness of it.

      The thing is, I don’t view that Esoteric to play a game without structure. In fact, what it really reminds me of is how little kids play. They take their toys and tell stories. This feels like it’s influenced by that raw initial direction, and given a bit of guidance by the rulesets that are flexible to cover most game situations.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, it did stir up an interesting discussion. And as far I as I have read it didnt get out of hand (maybe I missed something?). I think that respect for different ways of approaching the hobby is core. One of the incredibly wonderful things about the weathered worlds of 40K is that they are open to a myriad of takes on how to bring them to life regardless of wether it is in games or through character- and narrative building. I dont think it has much to do with being esoteric or mislabelling but more about hinting at a framework that fits you and your gaming group in which your games can unfold. Inq28 for me is more than anything an indication of the substance of the games. Not so much the technicalities. I would say, that in this case, and in the case of the Pilgrym, etc., it has nothing to do with Necromunda at all, which is not only a rules set but also a specific Hive World in Segmentum Solar…far away from the black ships of the Alabaster and Terra.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I understand, Shibboleth and I agree because I’m of the same mindset when it comes to playing. But I’ve had to listen to and read about enough people in my gaming club, the local community and on social media getting super confused when Inq28, in all of its forms, is explained to them. I just think calling an event Inq28 and then telling someone that you’re using Necromunda rules is confusing. A lot of people that might not be in the hobby as long as those who remember the good old days of “Rogue Trader” would find such freeform gaming esoteric, I’m luckily not one as I’m quite keen on RPG’s and that has always been how we approach them. I will however be using Fulgrims nicely worded description of playing Inquisitor based games above for my next explanation to anyone who seems confused.

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    1. You are right that the name Inq28 is misleading. I don’t want it to appear that we are vilifying you for pointing that fact out. I think the people here would agree that we want everyone who is excited about the movement to join in and try their hand at it. And if being more mindful of how things are described will help with that, then we should do it.

      Like

  9. For me it’s not about being a ‘lawyer’ or the fun police or a lack of respect for others. I totally agree the stock rules are clunky and don’t always work. I’ve played loose rules and still do as it makes it more fluid and easier to play. My comments about the rules definition wasn’t about causing insult or telling people what to do but more about clarity for a fellow hobbyist who genuinely seemed confused at what the whole thing is. It’s great that it’s evolved from the old 54mm system but it’s now such a jargon heavy thing in an already niche part of the 40k universe. I started INQ because it wasn’t elitist and you can’t power game like the wfb and 40k. It was much more relaxed and for want of a better word ‘arty’. The current mix of rule sets and spin off games like inquismunda mean it’s sometimes quite daunting to get into and not as accessible as it could be (or once was when it was literally the 28mm version only). E.g. some hobbyists will literally only play inquisimunda via the fan made rule book which is there is nothing wrong with as it’s their hobby but that’s not the same as the Inqvitational events rules sets or war band restrictions. Both are technically still inq28 but from an outsiders perspective it’s not going to be clear why they are different or the ethos behind them even though both systems are ‘right’. Essentially I’m not knocking anyone for mixing the rules up to make it work I just think it’s easy to forget it’s quite a tricky sub game/genre/direction of the 40k universe for people to pick up.

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    1. Well, on that note, I’ll take the opportunity to bend the ear of Thistle, the wellspring, and whisper the same request I made over a year ago when we first began corresponding. 🙂

      We’d love to see something that captures this spirit and gaming ethos as an “official” book. Perhaps a Forgeworld book, that visually captures the Blanchitsu sensibility and provides a gaming rules context for this type of play. Maybe it could be a type of add-on for the Necromunda ruleset when that is newly released……. it would be glorious.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The core to me of Blanchitsu, Inq28mm etc. is that it represents not a rigid way that you must play, but rather an aesthetic, an emotional resonance, a way of telling stories, that should not be rigidly bound about how this must be experienced. Each individual player and group will bring their own perspective and response and that must be permitted.

        I actually think that this creative freedom should be enshrined in the heart of 40K. This would require a complete stripping back to basics of the core 40K rules. This will allow for gaming ‘mind-space’ to be allocated to playing and story telling rather than things like the different rules for things like basic unit types and all their little exceptions and special rules.

        Players could then choose to layer in the detail as suits the game or story being told. Rather than endless hours devoted to understanding how army list building works and the difference between a Beast and a Cavalry unit, you can make choices about how much detail you want in different aspects that represent the aesthetic for each group. If you want more detailed terrain rules, you can drop that in, if you want more weapon granularity, that is available. The players decide what speaks to them, not the manufacturer.

        Nota bene, this should not exclude the player who wants a competitive game. Points, army building, squeezing efficiency, working within restrictions are all valid desires in game playing. I just feel that the core of the game should not assume those as the default way to play.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Essentially “INQ28” will always communicate a concept that is tied to a set of rules and a specific scale: i.e. Inquisitor 28mm.

    The sequence of graphemes I.N.Q.2.8. relates conceptually to the pre-existing set of signs “Inquisitor” and “28mm”, and relies on them to communicate meaning. If the language group wish to no longer communicate this pre-existing meaning, and does not want to create the idea that the subject is related to specific rules, it needs to create a new sign that does not relate to pre-existing concepts. A new sign because the current one is overly burdened with a meaning that no longer matches the intention of the users.

    Simply claiming authority, even on a populist ticket, to re-define the sign on your own terms will never achieve success in communicating, the sign “INQ28” will always be burdened with ideas of an abbreviation of “Inquisitor 28mm”. Io be clear, it isn’t about whether you play with this rule or that rule, its about communicating.

    Perhaps the community have outgrown the usefulness of the 5 graphemes I.N.Q.2.8. There is enough creativity and talent in the community to devise a new sign that can be filled with new meaning.

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  11. Quite a delightful read altogether in the comments! I’m sure if ever GW decides to make inq28 “official”, most in the community will reject it and deliver something even more rebellious. It’s an inseparable feature of this niche to rebel, evolve and not conform. And it’s true, beginner’s confusion is a symptom of it..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am inclined to agree with this. The nature of this passion for creation and world/character building inherently rejects the idea of a single book to define it. I think what I would like best is if GW released Necromunda again, updating the rules a little, and releasing new plastic gangs. This would introduce a whole new generation of people to the skirmish/gang warfare in hive worlds. And while it would not directly affect people wanting to play these Inquisitor themed games, it would give them more models to convert and rules to adapt to their own ends.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, this has turned into a fascinating discussion.

    I would agree that if labels are needed then I think yes we need a new one. Both ‘inq28’ and ‘I-munda’ are based on formal commercial game systems, and that’s just not appropriate for a free-form hobby based on modelling and narrative which isn’t that bothered with game rules and certainly not points. But I also agree with Toni that the community would reject anything official and want to rebel!

    We should not be surprised about the mindset of most GW hobbyists though, after all GW push a very straightjacketed agenda, with all the official rules, codexes and the way products are packaged. What this community is doing is so completely un-GW.

    For me personally, of my two occasional gaming friends, one is a historical buff for which gaming is secondary but he doesn’t understand why I am interested in ‘robots’ and the other is a competitive W40K club gamer for which gaming is everything – I have trouble getting across the concept of this movement to both of them!

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  13. I’ve found a couple of interesting analogues or parallels recently to the above discussion, too: firstly, a few months a go, I met a small group of people through a a mutual friend who were all in Nottingham for the Forge World Open Day: they were very keen on getting their hands on the latest Horus Heresy miniatures on offer, and had a disposition towards becoming the first in their immediate circle to have purchased and (more importantly) painted some big ticket items. Technical painting skill was really prized, as was gaming acumen, and differentiating their marines along formal Chapter Iconographic lines. Travelling to, and meeting up before, big Forge World events was a big part of their social experience of the hobby. It was really interesting to witness as it’s something that I’ve never really thought about – a further niche within a niche, I suppose. What was interesting was that they were mostly aware of the Blanchitsu crew, and kindly disposed towards it, but to them it was as much of a curiosity as they were to me. Like two colours sitting side by side having been dispersed through a prism – connected but slightly apart.

    The second was this evening, funnily enough: someone had shared my Lilith Cult post onto a French Inquisitor group. Several of the comments were negative, and mostly along the lines of ‘the paintwork is shit’ – which doesn’t bother me, per se – I know why I paint as I do, but I thought raised an interesting parallel to those who have to stratify or codify ‘correct’ ways of doing things, to the point where they become didactic, wilfully ignoring the fact that there are a multiplicity of approaches and reasons for doing certain thing in certain ways, each of those dependent upon context.

    Nevertheless, it’s all made me think – or at least, it’s been a reminder to think: in some ways, Iron Sleet was devised as a way of unfolding and revealing a particular way of doing things to a larger audience. Perhaps this has been the first real instance where that audience has rubbed up against something that we, as collective and simultaneous exponents of that way of doing things, have always already taken for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Really interesting read through the comments; it was good to get some clarification on how you guys approach INQ28 games on Instagram originally.

    I had assumed some ruleset was used a framework be it Inquistor 54 or IMunda etc. Learning that it was more freeform was a great discovery. Also answers a lot of questions as to how events were played out.

    It has been great to review the passion and thinking behind people’s diverse opinions on what the genre means to them each.

    Like

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