Occurrence Border Random Encounters
- 1 Occurrence Border Random Event Tables
- 1.1 On Demanding Random Numbers
- 1.2 Master Random Events Table
- 1.3 Ship Problems Table
- 1.4 Warp Problems
- 1.4.1 Whispers
- 1.4.2 Minor Warp-Spawn
- 1.4.3 Possessed Equipment
- 1.4.4 Departed Acquaintances Room
- 1.4.5 Doorway to the Warp
- 1.4.6 Possessed Servitor
- 1.4.7 Moderate Warp-Spawn
- 1.4.8 Unreality Zone
- 1.4.9 Warp Terrain
- 1.4.10 Weird Manifestation
- 1.4.11 Cogtain Issues
- 1.4.12 Heresy
- 1.4.13 Daemonhost
Occurrence Border Random Event Tables
These tables were designed for adventures upon the Occurrence Border "spacecraft", in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It could probably be made to work for other spacecraft, but it would be nice to think that there isn't actually any other spaceship out there that's as shitty as this one.
If you for whatever reason want to let the dice decide your fate, here are a number of lovely random tables, intended for use with Dark Heresy 1e. You can let the dice entirely decide your fate, by rolling to see how many rolls you make on which tables, or you can pick a table that meets your specific needs and roll a few times. Or just pick something you like the look of. Note that the default assumption is that rolls which are modified out-of-bounds (IE, rolls modified below 1, or above 100,) are discounted, and considered a temporary reprieve from the Emperor/Omnissiah. Exceptions are noted below.
On Demanding Random Numbers
Very often, this document suggests that you put the players on the spot and demand a random number from them between 1 and 100. If you only ever do this to make them choose what kind of Terrible Things are going to happen to them, they’ll quickly learn to start lowballing their numbers.
To counteract this, and make demanding random numbers from your players more interesting rather than purely punitive, it is suggested that you mix random numbers demanded for which are plugged into the random events tables, with random windfalls of Thrones or Thrones-worth of equipment, especially if you preface this with a die roll and then multiply the player’s number by the result of that die. You may even wish to demand another player flip a coin during this, and consider multiplying the result by an additional 2 if if comes up tails.
This will put the players in the position of choosing between their greed an survival instinct - a potential random windfall of 2,000 Thrones is certainly nothing to turn one’s nose up at! But is it worth the risk of saying “One Hundred” and getting a Daemonhost to deal with?
Master Random Events Table
If you want to leave everything, including the nature, severity, and complicating factors of your encounter to chance, start by rolling 1d100 and consulting this table, for a truly random encounter.
- 01-33: Roll on the Ship Problems Table with a -10 modifier.
- 33-40: Roll on the Ship Problems Table.
- 41-45: Roll twice on the Ship Problems Table with a -10 modifier to the first roll, and a -20 modifier to the second.
- 45-50: Roll on the Ship Problems Table with a -10 modifier, and on the Warp Problems Table with a -20 modifier.
- 51-60: Roll twice on the Ship Problems Table with no modifier and a -10 modifier, and once on the Warp Problems Table with a -10 modifier.
- 61-66: Roll on the Ship Problems Table, and flip the digits if the result is equal to or below 50. (IE, 49 becomes 94.) Treat any doubles (11, 22 ... 88) as being in the 90s. (IE, 33 becomes 93, 55 becomes 95, etc.)
- 67-80: Roll on the Warp Problems Table with a -10 modifier.
- 81-85: Roll on the Warp Problems Table.
- 86-90: Roll twice on the Warp Problems Table with a -10 modifier to the first roll, and a -20 modifier to the second.
- 91-93: Roll on the Warp Problems Table, and on the Ship Problems Table.
- 94-96: Roll twice on the Warp Problems Table with no modifier and a -10 modifier, and once on the Ship Problems Table with a +10 bonus.
- 97-99: Roll on the Warp Problems Table, and flip the digits if the result is equal to or below 50. (IE, 49 becomes 94.) Treat any doubles (11, 22 ... 88) as being in the 90s. (IE, 33 becomes 93, 55 becomes 95, etc.)
- 100: Demand a number from 1-100 from one player, then make another player flip a coin. Heads: Ship Problems Table, Tails: Warp Problems Table.
Occurrence Border Random Encounter Tables
These tables are separated into three levels of severity, to give you an idea just how deep the shit you're in is about to get.
|Ship Problems Table||Warp Problems Table|
|01-20:||Gravity Issues||01-40:||Whispers of the Warp|
|21-40:||Warning Sticker Issues||41-50:||Minor Warp-spawn|
|40-60:||Navigational Hazards||51-60:||Possessed Equipment|
|61-70:||Minor Equipment Fault||61-70:||Departed Acquaintances Room|
|71-75:||Xeno-Tech Issues||71-75:||Doorway to the Warp|
|76-80:||Krootoid Outbreak||71:||Tentacle Beast|
|81-85:||Major Equipment Fault||72:||Fire Pit|
|86-90:||Cracked Crewman||73:||The Poo Door|
|BY THE EMPEROR/OMNISSIAH!||74:||Daemonettes|
|91-93:||Major Krootoid Outbreak||75:||Something New|
|94-96:||Major Xeno-Tech Issue||76-80:||Possessed Servitor|
|97-99:||Critical Equipment Fault||80-85:||Moderate Warp-Spawn|
|BY THE EMPEROR/OMNISSIAH!|
Ship Problems Table
There isn't a ship flying in the 41st millennium that isn't plagued by problems and embarrassing, frustrating things that Just Go Wrong on it. If you show a Commissar a ship which actually is in a perfect state of repair, he will BLAM you for treason because you've clearly defected to the Tau Empire.
That said, the Occurrence Border has far, far more than her fair share of shitty ship problems.
"Down" relative to the ship is a direction of 180° and facing the prow of the ship - IE, 0° would be pulling 'up,' 180° is normal, 90° would put your feet on the starboard bulkhead, and 270 would put you on the port bulkhead.
Many areas on the Occurence Border have some gravitational issues associated with them. If the DM wants to establish a different 'norm' in an area than usual, he may consider rolling 1d100+130 to generate a gravitational pull which averages to the usual but can vary wildly. For a number which will be statistically closer to the norm of 180 but can still vary significantly, consider rolling 4d10+158.
Results of 1-45 are applied cumulatively. If the gravity shifts suddenly and abruptly, everyone, from the lowliest Rating to a Daemon Prince, finds this very disorienting. Everyone is at a -10 penalty to all actions, unless the gravity suddenly shifts 45° or more in one go, in which case they are at a -30 penalty.
Results of 46-80 are applied abruptly. This is highly disorienting, causing everyone to take a -30 penalty in the round in which the gravity strength changes, cumulative in addition to any penalties they would be suffering for the new gravitational pull. Gravity's a bitch, and the bigger you are, the harder it pulls.
If a result of 81-95 is rolled, continue to re-roll and apply effects.
- 01-20: Pulls in the wrong direction at normal strength.
- 01-05: Is offset -45°. Under otherwise normal conditions, this orients to 135° (Down-Starboard.)
- 06-10: Is offset +45°. Under otherwise normal conditions, this orients to 225° (Down-Port.)
- 11-15: Is offset -20° Fore-Aft. Under otherwise normal conditions, moving towards the bow is an uphill hike.
- 16-20: Is offset +20° Fore-Aft. Under otherwise normal conditions, moving towards the stern is an uphill hike.
- 21-45: Shifts cardinally in the wrong direction, at normal strength.
- 21-25: Is offset -90°. Under otherwise normal conditions, this orients to 90°. The starboard wall is now the deck.
- 26-30: Is offset +90°. Under otherwise normal conditions, this orients to 270°. The port wall is now the deck.
- 31-35: Is offset 180°. Under otherwise normal conditions, this orients to 360°. The ceiling is now the deck.
- 36-40: Is offset -90° Fore-Aft. Under otherwise normal conditions, the aft wall is now the deck.
- 41-45: Is offset +90° Fore-Aft. Under otherwise normal conditions, the fore wall is now the deck.
- 46-80: Has strength issues.
- 46-55: Is between 0.5g and 0.75g. Low Gravity Modifiers (Pages 38 and 116, Core) are in effect.
- 56-60: Is between 0.17g and 0.25g. Triple the effects of Low Gravity.
- 61-70: Is between 1.5g and 2g. High Gravity Modifiers (Pages 38 and 116, Core) are in effect.
- 71-75: Is between 3g and 3.5g. Triple the effects of High Gravity, and this is -30 arduous terrain (Page 253, Core).
- 76-80: Is less than 0.08g. There is effectively no gravity whatsoever - treat as zero gravity (Pages 38 and 116, Core). This is -10 difficult terrain (Page 253, Core).
- 81-90: Has two distinct problems. Roll twice on this chart.
- 91-95: Has three distinct problems. Roll thrice on this chart.
- 96-100: Gravity shifts frequently.
- Every round in combat (or every narratively-relevant interval of non-combat time,) roll again on this table. Roll at the start of combat rounds. Rolls of 96-100 indicate the problem is getting worse; roll an additional time on the table for each time this result is reached. Should this reach the point where the GM would be rolling more than three times per round, the poor overloaded gravity generators give out, leaving the entire compartment in microgravity. Frankly, this may come as something of a relief.
Warning Sticker Issues
There are lots and lots of warning notices around the Occurrence Border, a great many of them enshrined as bronze plaques, the rest in the form of the sticky notes that every Engineer worth his salt (and by now, probably more than a few of the Tech-Priests) carries with him. They can also be painted on the walls, and everyone on this ship, from the Captain down to the newest Rating, has it pounded into their head from day 1 that you scorn the advice of these notes at your own great peril. In this case, though, something's off about the notes...
- 01-55: Unclear Notes pervade this area. Instead of explanations, the best you can hope for is a "Do not touch" or "Don't forget to ..." note. Perhaps no-one alive actually knows why this warning is here, and have just maintained warnings that were left by previous generations. Tech-Use to interact with the ship in this area is at a -10 penalty unless the notes can be clarified.
- 56-80: Incomplete/Misleading Warning Stickers: The warning stickers here are very unhelpful. They might be so old as to be visibly faded and soiled, rendering their accuracy dubious regardless of how clear the note, they might be written in obscure jargon requiring careful scrutiny to work out, they might only say "Call Bill!" In the worst cases, they may reference crew who are no longer aboard the Occurrence Border. Tech-Use to interact with the ship in this area is at a -20 penalty unless the notes can be clarified.
- 81-95: Missing, illegible, or otherwise inscrutable Warning Stickers. The warning stickers here are either absent entirely, or so obtuse, arcane, illegible, or otherwise unhelpful as to be altogether irrelevant. Tech-Use to interact with the ship in this area is at a -30 penalty unless the notes (if they exist at all,) are clarified, or someone who knows the section in detail is contacted.
- 96-100: Malevolant Warning Stickers: The stickers in this section are not merely misleading, they're actively hostile to the ship and its crew. Perhaps they were tampered with by a saboteur, a mean-spirited drunk on a bender, or even the forces of Chaos, twisting the information on the notes passively during Warp transit. Perhaps they're simply so old that they predate the ship's last retrofit, or even its last two or three, and what was once good information is now literally the worst. Either way, attempting any Tech-Use rolls to interact with the ship in this area will cause Bad Things to happen, like a hatch to one of the sealed, tainted areas to spring open, gravity to suddenly invert or vanish, a black-water line to begin spraying into the compartment at firehose pressure, a neighboring compartment to vent, or fill with plasma, a major ship system to go offline, etc. If the GM doesn't want to decide, he can always roll for another random event and have the result lie in wait until someone tries to manipulate the ship...
Navigational hazards are seldom an entire problem in and of themselves, but they tend to complicate things - usually, getting to your destination, but they could also complicate another random hazard.
- 01-25: You Can't Get There from Here. Such is the state of the ship that, to put it quite plainly, you cannot chart anything approaching a reasonable route to your destination from your location. It might be literally separated from you by just one bulkhead, or it might be on the other side or end of the ship, but you can't get there from here. If you want to reach your destination, you must chart a circuitous or otherwise non-intuitive route. You'll get there, eventually, barring some non-euclidian geometry (which is not only possible but entirely probable on this ship,) but it will take you a while. Increase the time to arrive at your destination by 60% over what a reasonable arrival time would be. A Navigation test is called for, with each degree of success reducing the time penalty by 10%. Failures can actually increase your arrival time, as even less-efficient routes are plotted, or the navigator gets lost. But look on the bright side: anyone may treat Navigation as a Basic Skill on the Occurrence Border.
- 26-50: Unexpected Obstruction. Something unexpected obstructs your route. It may be that a corridor you were planning to use has been vented to space, flushed with hot plasma, or has been filled with wall-to-wall servitors. Extremely intensive maintenence may be taking place, or the ship's Armsmen may be fighting a battle with minor daemons. A hatch may have slammed shut and broken shut. Either way, delay is inevitable, whether you go through, or backtrack and go around. Barring an unusual ability to resolve the obstruction (joining the armsmen in battle, tip-toeing through the repair work, putting on voidsuits and traversing the voided corridor, etc,) a 25% increase in travel time hits you unexpectedly and unavoidably.
- 51-75: Gravity hazard strikes suddenly and without forewarning. Maybe the section you were attempting to traverse had an unmarked gravity anomaly, maybe it just developed, possibly while you were in the corridor. This could be dangerous, but the upshot is that it might not slow you down much, and might even give you a speed boost (if the corridor you need to traverse becomes a nice easy downhill jog,) assuming you can pass it without being injured. Roll on the Gravity Issues Table and apply the effects without warning.
- 76-90: Mundane Weirdness. The terrain becomes appallingly weird as you traverse the ship. You might encounter a corridor which has unexpectedly become a snowy wonderland (or an icy hellscape.) You might encounter a room where cooking grease from the ship's kitchens has gushed en masse, and then been stirred up by gravitational fluctuations, or a corridor where the hull plates are buzzing and snapping with electricity. Either way, traversing this corridor is gonna be hard.
- 91-100: Warpy Weirdness. If you're flying on the Occurrence Border, then Warp phenomena can become just another navigational hazard. Roll on the Warp Problems Table, re-rolling any result of 76 or greater. This is just the shit you have to deal with getting to the problem you were heading to deal with!
Minor, Major, and Critical Equipment Faults
Things go wrong on a warpship, this is a given fact of life, any ship, any crew. This, however, is the Occurrence freaking Border. Roll some dice, generate some faults, figure out how to deal with it. Warning: Supply your own technobabble!
Unlike the other tables, on this table, rolls modified out-of-bounds are re-rolled. Minor equipment faults reroll any result of 70+, and apply a -1 modifier to the Problem table. Major Equipment Failures do not apply any modifiers. Critical equipment failures reroll any Equipment roll of 70 or lower.
In all cases, any result that would result in utter annihilation to the ship, such as the Gellar Field becoming or even likely becoming completely inoperable during warp transit, should be rerolled.
|Equipment (1d100)||Problem (1d10)|
|01-10:||Illumination||1:||Working Strangely or intermittently. (Lights on weird cycle, comm cycles randomly, etc.)|
|11-20:||Temperature||2:||Not working hard enough.|
|21-30:||Lockers||3:||Working too hard.|
|41-50:||Cogitators||5:||Damaging other equipment.|
|51-60:||Lifts||6:||Creating a hazard.|
|61-65:||Moving Walkway||7:||Stopped working.|
|76-80:||Atmosphere Circulation||10:||Broke and needs new parts.|
|96-100:||Gellar Field Generator|
Once you've determined your problem, you need to figure out what, why, and how to fix it. So, for example, you might roll for a random major equipment fault and get rolls of 74 and 4, indicating that the atmosphere generation somewhere on the ship (presumably, either a location which your PCs are heading to, or passing by,) is damaging itself. So you tell the players that there's reports of inexplicable damage in the life support systems in the area, buying yourself time to cook up some technobabble and a cause. In this case, you might say that the cause is that some rating saw a cable hanging from the ceiling fly loose from a socket in the wall and plugged it back in, not realizing that the cable, being non-keyed, could be inserted incorrectly into the socket. As a result, charge is running through the life support systems with the electrical flow reversed. Thanks to the necessarily hardy nature of Imperial engineering, the equipment is still functional, but it won't be if this state of affairs goes on for much longer, because the reversed electron flow is causing shorts in the equipment, arcing bolts of electricity between metal parts deep inside the guts, burning out motors, and threatening to start a lovely electrical fire.
The Occurrence Border has a surprising amount of Xenotech aboard it. Amazingly, this can't even all be blamed squarely on the All Guardsman Party's sudden and entirely understandable fascination with Tau gear, as the prior captain, who fancied himself a Rogue Trader despite having more in common physically with a comically oversized Squig, was known on occasion to install Xenos tech on the ship.
This works much like the Equipment Faults. Roll 1d100 to determine the source of the problem, and then 1d10 to determine what it's doing, not doing, or causing.
Unlike with the Equipment Faults tables, there are no modifiers here. The GM is advised to 'wing it' when deciding what constitutes a xeno-tech issue, and what constitutes a critical xeno-tech issue.
|Racial Origin (1d100)||Device Type/Purpose (1d10)||Problem (1d10)|
|1-50:||Tau||1:||Personal Weapon||1:||Has been Discovered|
|51-60:||Eldar||2:||Personal Defense||2:||Has been Destroyed|
|61-70:||Ork||3:||Vehicular Weapon||3:||Causing problems among the crew|
|71-80:||Necron||4:||Vehicular Defense||4:||Needs to be covered-up|
|80-85:||Tyranid||5:||Transport||5:||Needs to be repaired|
|86-90:||Demiurg||6:||Life Support||6:||Needs to be destroyed|
|91-93:||Tarellian||7:||Entertainment||7:||Needs to be used|
|94-96:||Vespid||8:||Tool||8:||Needs to be hidden|
|97-100:||Other||9:||Combat Support||9:||Needs to be found|
|10:||Surveillance||10:||Needs to be stolen|
The category of xeno-tech is a surprisingly broad one, and might include technological leftovers from humanity's distant past, especially technology left over from rival civilizations which were destroyed during the Great Crusade.
For example, if you rolled 52, 2, and 5, for a Major Xeno-Tech Issue you would discover that an Eldar personal defense system needs to be repaired. At first this seems insurmountable (and indeed, you may wish to simply look stony and roll some more dice if you can't think of anything quickly,) but if you have time to prepare in advance, you might decide that an Eldar Harlequin Flip-Belt was, at one point in time or another, incorporated into the grav-plating in the spinal corridor of the ship as an expedient repair measure. With the Flip Belt in need of repair, however, the original problem is back; the grav-plating is pulling harder and harder gravity at the dorsal spine of the ship increasing steadily. Eventually, structural members will give out. It may be techno-heresy, but if you don't repair that Flip Belt, Bad Things will be happening to the Border in short order.
At some point in the not-distant past, the previous, goose-honking suited squig captain had a Kroot mercenary aboard his vessel, as it made him seem rather more Rogue Trader-ish. Then eventually he ran into issues with the Xenos mercenary actually expecting to be paid for his services, and abandoned him. Unfortunately for the Occurence Border, the Kroot mercenary had brought a great many Krootoid animals with him, which were settled in one of the vast forward hydroponics bays. The bay was simply sealed in the vain hope that the Krootoid creatures would expire without their handler.
One might think it would hard to impossible for a bunch of wild animals to infest a spaceship, without being something super-deadly like Tyranids. One would be wrong; Krootoid creatures are consummate vermin, from the largest predator to the smallest among them. Small nests and infestations crop up all over the ship, and they can wind up subsisting simply off rats and roaches for weeks, months, or longer, before unwary humans stumble onto them and arouse the nest's ire.
A Krootoid Outbreak should indicate either one moderate-threat Krootoid creature, such as a Kroot Hound loose in the corridors, or a nest of minor ones. A Critical Krootoid Outbreak indicates either one extremely dangerous Krootoid creature, such as a loose Knarloc hungry and on the hunt, a pack of moderate-threat Krootoids, or a horde of the smaller ones.
The Occurence Border is the leading cause of stress among 99.9% of those who travel on her. (The remainder being Inquistorial goons charged with doing insane shit like capturing a live Zoanthrope on a regular basis, the medics who worry about them/have to keep them alive, and the psyker and cogbros who have to keep their secrets and help them out in the field occasionally.) The Occurence Border is a very, very strong source of stress, and sometimes, people just Can't Take It Anymore.
Someone on the ship, somewhere, has cracked under the pressure like an eggshell under a Thunderhammer. Okay, that's an unfair analogy, but the point is that someone's lost it, and for whatever reason, it's your problem to deal with, before it becomes the Armsmen's problem, or Emperor forbid, the Captain's Problem. If it becomes the Captain's Problem, things will get unpleasant real fast.
It could be a junior cogboy who's lost it and is "repairing" things in ways that just make things worse, even if they are following the book. It could be someone from your area who's gone cataonic and needs help, or it could be a chef who has had to crush one too many Kroot Rats underfoot and is now waving his chaincleaver about, threatening to hold a Long Pig Barbeque unless someone exterminates the damn things right this fucking instant. It could be some poor soul who's found a Nurgling playing in the toilet bowl a few too many times and is now rushing about the ship with a backpack full of grenades, flushing them down the heads sans pin.
Whatever the cause of them having cracked, whatever their grievance real or imagined (and on this ship, it's far more likely to be real than imagined,) it's now Your Problem. Handle it, before someone else does. The GM may wish to consult the following table for inspiration.
|Crewman's Speciality (1d100)||Crewman's Location (1d100)||Crewman's Grievance relates to... (1d100)|
|51-55:||Gunnery Crew||21-30:||Amidships||17-23:||Gambling Dispute|
|56-60:||Galley Crew||31-40:||Spinal Corridor||24-30:||Own Vice|
|60-65:||Cargo Staff||41-45:||Galley||31-37:||Others' Vice|
|70-75:||Engineering Staff||51-55:||Cargo Bay||45-52:||Warp Taint|
|76-85:||Ecclesiarchical Staff||56-60:||Engineering||53-60:||Krootoid Infestation|
|86-90:||Petty Officer||61-65:||Maintenance Shafts||61-67:||Intraship Navigation|
|91-95:||Midshipman||66-70:||Conning Tower||68-74:||Equipment Maintenance|
|96-100:||Officer||71-75:||Crew Quarters||75-82:||Head Injury|
|76-80:||Officer Country||83-90:||Religious Dispute|
|81-85:||Recreational Facility||91-95:||Other Real Issue|
|86-90:||Hydroponics Bay||96-100:||Imaginary/Unaddressable Issue|
|99:||Gellar Field Generator|
|100:||Psyker Holding Cells|
Say for example, you decided to roll to determine which crewman cracked, and rolled a 9, 7, and 29. That indicates that a Rating somewhere in the forward sections of the ship that isn't anywhere in particular has cracked because of his own vice, and is behaving erratically. He's been using Gladstones, but his source dried up and he hasn't been able to find a replacement. He sank deeper and deeper into withdrawal symptoms, until he finally couldn't take it anymore, and now he's prowling around the forward sections of the ship, desperately searching for a hidden stash of Gladstones - or something, anything - that can take the edge off. He hasn't started opening machine covers or sealed bays... Yet. But it might not be much more than a matter of time.
Treason is much like a Cracked Crewman, and indeed, it may well be the result of a crewman who has completely lost it, and the GM may wish to roll on the Cracked Crewman Tables to determine who, what, and where.
The difference is that unlike a Cracked crewman, who is behaving erratically, a Traitor has crossed a line that can't be swept under the rug and come back from. They mean to damage the ship severely, have murdered and possibly will murder more, are possibly trying to defect to the Tau Empire or just plain desert, or have just violently lost it and are breaking everything and everyone they can get their hands on.
As before, it's your problem to handle, possibly because you're the only ones close enough to do any goddamn thing about it. For example... Say you rolled an 87, 78, and 8. This indicates that your traitor is a Petty Officer, somewhere in Officer Country, and his grievance is a personal dispute. In this case, it would be reasonable to decide that this Petty Officer felt that a less-deserving former Petty Officer was promoted over him, and stewed in jealousy and rage, until some slight by the promoted Midshipman, real or imagined, set him off. He murdered the target of his ire, and is now on a murderous rip through Officer Country wearing full carapace armor and wielding a combat shotgun, aiming for the friends of the slain man, the Lieutenant who promoted the Middie, and anyone else who gets in his way. If the players are Armsmen or members of some other armed group, they may be the first armed responders who can show up. If they're not, then they may simply have the great misfortune of being around when the traitor begins his rampage, and must attempt to escape with their lives or somehow bring him down before he can kill many people.
There's the shitty ship problems every ship has to deal with... And then there's the Occurrence Border, a ship where there is literally a standing patrol around the ship to hunt down and shoot Warp critters before they can become problematic.
The Whispers of the Warp are echoes of the deep and pervasive warp taint that pervades the ship. They may manifest as literal whispers, as places or times where unseen things move at the the corners of your vision but are never present when you turn around, and such. It's like being in a ship with a slightly weakened Gellar Field during Warp transition.
Ecclesiarchs would be horrified to know how common Whispers are on the Occurrence Border, and rightly so, for they can be corrupting. However, they are usually so low-level that most stand good odds of resisting corruption... And familiarity breeds contempt, which a strong-willed character may gird themselves in like armor. On the Occurrence Border, panicked prayer or rushing to a chapel are only typical reactions for those unfamiliar with the ship. The familiar are more likely to slam the wall with their fist and shout "Awh shaddup!"
The GM should determine just how strong the following effects are, whether or how much Corruption they threaten, and so forth. They would tend to get stronger the further towards the tainted areas, or if the ship is in Warp transit, but other factors might also contribute.
- 01-05: Chill Snap
- The temperature suddenly drops, immediately and dramatically. No insulation can protect you against this effect, you immediately feel as if you were hit in the face with an arctic blast while stark naked, regardless of what you're wearing. This is literally chilling, but has no lingering effect. No thermometers will ever record this, not even those applied to your person, but you're probably going to be left with chattering teeth and rubbing yourself, or seeking a source of warmth.
- 06-10: Temperature Spike
- The exact opposite of Chill Snap, your temperature suddenly spikes, making you feel as if you walked an hour on a blazing day. Unless you can pass an Easy (+30) Toughness test, you gain one level of Fatigue which persists until you can cool off, the most expedient way to do so being to strip and jump into the nearest shower for a few minutes.
- 11-15: Did you say something?
- You think that someone in your group said something to you, but you didn't make it out. When you ask them to repeat it, they deny having said anything. For extra !!Fun!!, the GM might pass a note to one player, directing them to say something in-character, either addressed to another member of the group or which will undoubtedly get their interest, but to muffle it or jumble their words up, then deny ever having said anything. If you're alone, you may still hear the voice of a friend, comrade, or a loved one saying something, and it will be natural to assume they have joined you and are just behind you, but when you look, you are alone.
- 16-20: Phantom Movement
- You can't shake the feeling that there's something out there, moving, on the edge of your peripheral vision, but when you look there is nothing except what should be there. But when you look back to what you were doing, you see it again...
- 20-25: Flickering Lights
- The lights in the compartment flicker, and continue to do so for quite some time. You can't really be sure this is the Whispers of the Warp and not the mundane result of an old ship being shitty... But the moment you go to diagnose the fault, the lights spring back to full, and electrical sensors will register no disruption in the area.
- 26-30: Electrical Disruption
- Like a result of Flickering Lights except moreso, an Electrical Disruption is often the bane of the ship's Mechanicus and Engineers. Things begin to malfunction in the vicinity; doors unlocking themselves and opening, latches on lockers springing open, data-panels flickering on and of, circulator fans shutting off or spinning into overdrive, recaf machines spitting out scalding-hot tea, lighting fixtures blowing out or glowing too brightly, etcetera. These faults appear to have mundane cause, but go away as soon as you begin attempting to repair them. The moment you look back to the work you were about to perform, you see that on second inspection, there is nothing wrong after all.
- 31-35: Ghostly Scream
- An horrific scream echoes down the corridors, much like the sound of a man having his bollocks gnawed off by a Kroot Hound. When you arrive at the source of the sound, ready to render aid, you burst in upon the inhabitants of the compartment, who were going about their business and hadn't heard any screams. Of course, the one time you do decide to ignore it, it's going to have been someone actually being murdered...
- 36-40: Dark Forboding
- A chill wind blows past everyone, chilling them slightly, even through the heaviest insulating equipment. Their temperature returns to normal, but they're unable to shake the feeling that somewhere, something dreadful has happened. The GM may want to call upon one or more of the players to deliver an Obi-Wan like declaration of what they feel has transpired... Or the players may wish to supply it themselves.
- 41-45: Warp Echo
- For up to a minute, reverberation becomes greatly enhanced, regardless of the acoustic qualities of the environs. Loud machinery rapidly becomes an incoherent din, while voices can be hard to make out.
- 46-50: Temporal Echo
- You come suddenly across a scene from the Occurrence Border's past. This can be subtle - for instance, seeing a few crewmen you don't recognize performing work that you think was already done ages ago - or it can be dramatic, such as seeing the events of the Chaos Incursion that lead to the Daemonic possession of the Cogtain, watching Servitors doing blasphemous things. When you attempt to interact with the echo, however, you experience a moment of sudden disorientation, and find yourself alone, with only those who should be there, wondering what just happened.
- 51-55: Moment of Emotion
- You experience a sudden moment of intense emotion, no greater than one combat round in duration. This might be a major distraction during actual combat, but even if suddenly possessed by berzerk rage, the moment will pass before you can act on it... But you may well hang on to that feeling, if it was resonant with your true feelings. Feel free to just choose, or the GM may roll on the provided random emotion table, or choose for you.
- Random Emotion Table (1d10)
- 1: Rage
- 2: Depression
- 3: Paranoia
- 4: Lust
- 5: Vengefulness
- 6: Avarice
- 7: Ambition
- 8: Sadism
- 9: Terror
- 10: Joy
- Random Emotion Table (1d10)
- 56-60: Warp Wind
- Air howls through the area, as though the compartment were exposed to the void, or the atmosphere circulation systems were overloading. Light objects like paper, recaf mugs, servo-skulls, and the like are flung around. The phenomena dies down after a few seconds, and upon investigating, no cause may be discovered, nor was the wind blast recorded by any sensors.
- 61-65: Mirror Ripple
- Mirrors and other reflective surfaces appear to ripple, like waves on the surface of water. If they are touched, they feel solid, but appear to react much like water into which an object has been dropped.
- 66-70: Baleful Introspection
- Your mind is drawn inexorably towards your regrets, opportunities you failed to capitalize on, those who have wronged you or whom you hold responsible for bad things which have befallen you, and such. This effect usually lasts between one and ten minutes, and can be very distracting - or it can even focus you, if the thing you think about is related to the goal you are pursuing.
- 71-80: Talking Objects
- Inanimate objects, either in your possession or vicinity, begin to talk to you. This seems absolutely reasonable at the time if you have more than 10 Insanity Points, and you are likely to reply, even being capable of holding long conversations with those objects. They can be surprisingly insightful, especially if they've been yours for a long time. Fortunately, only you can hear what they have to say to you, but others can hear your response.
- 80-100: Bleeding Corridors
- By far the most distressingly common single manifestation of the Warp Whispers aboard the Occurrence Border, the hallways tend to bleed; sometimes it simply rains from the ceiling, sometimes weeps from the eyes of images and statuary, sometimes it just seeps out of the walls. This can be most distressing the first time you experience it, especially if you slip or get caught in a blood-shower, but everyone with any experience aboard the Occurrence Border will tell you that Warp blood washes out just fine.
Quite simply, a very minor warp-spawned creature is on the loose, and somehow has not been contained in one of the sealed, tainted compartments. It is loose, causing trouble, and needs to be dealt with, swiftly. Such minor warp spawn are never the most serious of threats - at most, the like of a lone Nurgling. Even these most minor manifestations, however, can cause trouble, but at the same time, impose a weary sense upon those who have to deal with the vermin-caliber daemon. Most such beasts are at most an annoyance - dangerous to a lone crewman, or if they burrow into and begin wrecking machinery, or taint something important, but not significantly moreso than a Krootoid vermin. Perhaps worryingly, there's a rumour that someone would like to capture a Krootoid vermin and loose it upon a Minor Warp-Spawned entity for the purpose of taking bets regarding which would prevail.
All things being equal, Daemons would really prefer to possess a powerful Psyker whose will they catch in an offguard moment. Failing that, a human or other sapient will do, and if it's really desperate and a bit degenerate, a corpse.
Then there's the ones that are just stupid, ultimately desperate, blind, or otherwise idiotic. Anyone who's ever complained about machinery or equipment which isn't doing what they expect it to do likely says it is possessed.
Those who have flown on the Occurrence Border, however, will not make such claims regarding equipment that is merely failing to perform the way they want it to perform, for the simple fact that they probably have seen literally possessed equipment. It's a strange quirk of the Occurrence Border that sometimes Daemons can actually possess machines and components aboard, though thankfully none of the biggest and most critical systems. You will hopefully never hear the phrase "A Daemon's possessed the forward lance battery" shouted in a panicked tone of voice.
Far more likely is "Oh, Throne, there's another damn daemon in air vent forty seven, making it glow and shoot purple sparks and spin backwards. Someone call the Confessor to kick the damn thing out before it starts an electrical fire!"
Such possessions are typically annoying, as Daemons have little concept of what they're possessing when they stoop to possessing a machine. They can be quite dangerous, if something big like a lift or gantry crane gets possessed, or a door which cunningly waits for someone to tread through it so as to slam down and grind the poor soul into grox-burgers, but far more often than not, it will be something entirely non-critical that gets possessed, leaving the daemon wondering what the hell it's possessed and what its capabilities are. Really, it's kind of just awkward and embarrassing all around when a Daemon possesses a light switch and spends all of its short time in control of the switch frantically flipping it up and down, unable to perceive the light it is causing to switch off and on.
Departed Acquaintances Room
By far and away the most common Doorway to the Warp, the Departed Acquaintances Room can often wind up being a boon to those who encounter it, provided they remain wary and guarded.
The Departed Acquaintances Room is exactly what it sounds like - every so often, someone will open a doorway and, instead of what they were expecting to find, will find a roomful of skeletons. These skeletons will usually be engaged in some social event, like playing cards. They are also the manifestations of those known to the people who opened the door, who are deceased. The skeletons will bear some mark hinting at how the person died - someone who was shot in the head might have a bad case of exit-wound skull, someone who was decapitated might both appear to be headless, while those who died in fires and explosions may appear to be charred, etc.
Those who appear in the Departed Acquaintances Room will always be those who bore those present when the door is opened no ill-will - although they might bear each other ill-will, and might even be seen quarrelling amongst themselves. They may be friends, loved ones, comrades, colleagues, acquaintances, or even enemies who bore no personal grudge against the living, even if they were slain by them.
The skeletons will never identify themselves, nor will they acknowledge being the departed if identified, but they will at least wave or greet the living. Often they will offer advice, unsolicited but valuable, pertaining to the immediate problems facing the living - for instance, when lost navigating the Occurrence Border during the events which saw its purchase into Inquisitorial service, the (future) Interrogator and his squad were given trustworthy directions by the skeletons.
However, you must never, never, NEVER step into the Departed Acquaintances Room. Nobody knows for sure what happens to someone who does, as nobody is admitting to having seen someone do so, but it is assuredly bad.
Doorway to the Warp
The Departed Acquaintances Room is a Doorway to the Warp, but as far as things which are related to the Warp go, it is arguably more benign than a Sanctioned Psyker. The same is most emphatically not true of the following possibilities. Everyone should be grateful that the Departed Acquaintances Room is at least twice as likely as the rest of these possibilities combined.
Fortunately, Doorways to the Warp are only really possible when there's Gellar field problems, or something else inviting the Warp into the Materium. At other times, the worst you'll usually experience is a vision of what could have happened.
The doorway opens onto a corridor or a room, as expected, but the compartment is filled with writhing tentacles and giant eyeballs. This beast can be lazy, and is quite fragile for a beast of the Warp, but killing it in its entirety has proven impossible, as it seems to lack any form of body whatsoever. The tentacles seem to join to more tentacles, and the eyeballs to the tentacles, and occasionally a terrible maw will gibber.
Really, it's not all that terrible, as the tentacles are quite fragile, able to be hewn apart with chainswords or simply blasted with explosives. They will, on occasion, open a door of their own volition and attempt to drag unwary passers-by in. If you absolutely have to traverse the Tentacle Beast-occupied room, your best bet is to pop frags and detpacks into the room, wait for the earth-shattering kaboom, and then sprint like the Daemons of the Warp are chasing you, because they probably are.
Not entirely dangerous in and of itself, the Fire Pit is where a doorway simply fails to open to where you expect it to open into, and instead opens into a kilometers-long, obsidian-edged pit full of fire. As long as you take a moment to check what's beyond the door before you leap, you can just close the door. The Fire Pit is insidious, though, in that many doors can lead to it at once, and you might find a corridor end with three branching pathways suddenly becomes a dead end because all of the doors lead into the Fire Pit.
It should go without saying that falling a few kilometers into a warp-fire is lethal, and that's if you're lucky. On the other hand, you can also reliably dispose of mundane threats and/or trash and this makes the room a tactical utility in combat. Dodging a charging Krootoid vermin as it fails to stop and falls screaming into the Pit of Doom is very amusing. Not quite so when it is biting your own falling body as well, but no pain no gain right?
The Poo Door
To-date, nobody has opened the door marked "Temporary Sewage Storage, Wear a Suit" during any kind of Warpy shenanigans, or at any other time for that matter, so nobody knows exactly what's inside. It almost assuredly involves mountains of shit, and quite probably Nurglite daemons, and will without question be extremely unpleasant.
What makes it definitely Warpy, however, is that that door isn't marked as such on any of the ship's maps, and has a tendency to appear where it hasn't been before, or even where it has. And it's usually not where it was when you go back to take a look a second time.
The Daemonettes Room (or at least they're presumed to be Daemonettes,) is a room which contains two entities, tied up. They take the form of two of the loved ones most important to members of the group which open it, preferring to take female forms but on occasion known to take male ones. The exact circumstances of the tying-up vary; they might be chained to the walls, or strapped to a medical bed, or in stocks, or even tied to stakes or crucifixes. They might appear to have been assaulted in any number of ways, from simple brutish beatings, to sexual assault, to being covered in claw and bite marks, to having apparently been tortured with medical implements, and they may be in any state of dress or undress. They are also always, always, screaming for those whose loved ones they take the form of to help them.
The Daemonettes Room is quite dangerous, as of course everyone's first instinct is to leap to the aid of their loved ones. However, even a split second's reflection will make it obvious that in most cases, the loved ones in question are at least one of no longer among the living, not aboard the Occurrence Border, or already in the group which has opened the door.
If, however, the ploy does work, and one or more people leap into action to aid the tied-up creatures, their comrades have but moments to save them from themselves, if they can subdue their enraptured, well-meaning foolish friends, or shake them out of it, there is yet time to withdraw. The moment the bindings come off of even one of the 'trapped' creatures, however, the door slams shut, and anyone who was within is lost, apparently forever.
As fucked-up as the Occurrence Border is, there's bound to be more Warpy shit waiting behind doors yet unopened. GMs, this is your time to think of something!
There's a reason most of the crew on the Occurrence Border learn to fear Servitors; for some reason, they are especially vulnerable to being possessed. You'll know this when you see it from the Daemonic light shining in their eyes and ocular implants, the fact that they're (usually) no longer following orders and have just begun dismantling, destroying, or killing.
Fortunately, without a full-blown Chaos Heretek to command them, they don't follow any grand plan. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop them from causing a tremendous amount of damage or ending a lot of lives. If a Servitor gets possessed, you need to Handle It, fast. The damage they can cause is tremendous if left unchecked, and is almost comparable to the damage that Twitch will cause when word of a servitor's possession filters up to him and he comes down to terminate it personally and with explosive prejudice.
Usually, such servitors will be no more than they were before they were possessed, but on occasion a particularly strong Daemonic influence can warp the servitor. Hopefully, nobody would be idiotic enough to bring a heavy combat servitor aboard the Occurrence Border, yet sometimes, when a servitor is possessed in dark places, it spontaneously mutates, or in a fit of inspired madness welds additional components to itself, making it a force to be reckoned with. The following Possessed Servitor Type table references many normal Servitors, but the heavier, more dangerous ones, are generally the result of a more typical possessed servitor mutating or modifying itself before its rampage. If they are not the result of that, then someone has a lot to answer for, bringing an expensive and extremely dangerous servitor type aboard a ship where servitors becoming possessed servants of the Ruinous Powers (or just plain possessed by insane and degenerate Daemons,) is a somewhat routine occurrence.
Possessed Servitor Type Table (1d100)
- 01-25: Servitor Drone (Servo-Skull)
- 26-50: Industrial Servitor
- 51-60: C.A.T. Unit (Mutated Servo-Skull)
- 61-70: Combat Servitor
- 71-80: Gun Servitor
- 81-85: Archivid (Mutated Medicae Servitor)
- 86-90: Remidium-Pattern Medicae Servitor (Fill Medicae Mechadendrites with something thoroughly unpleasant.)
- 91-93: Spatha-Pattern Combat Servitor (Mutated Industrial Servitor)
- 94-96: Excruciator (Mutated Medicae Servitor)
- 97-99: Velox-Pattern Security Servitor (Mutated Combat Servitor)
- 100: Sheol-Pattern Murder Servitor (Mutated Gun Servitor)
Servitor Drone: Dark Heresy pg. 344
Industrial Servitor: Dark Heresy, pg. 341
Combat Servitors: Dark Heresy pg. 338
Gun Servitors: Dark Heresy pg.340
Spatha-Pattern Combat Servitor, Remidium-Pattern Medicae Servitor, Velox-Pattern Security Servitor & C.A.T. Unit: Lathe Worlds pg. 68-69.
Sheol-pattern Murder Servitor: Lathe Worlds pg. 119
Archivid & Excruciator Servitor: Lathe Worlds pg. 120
Despite the name, there is nothing moderate about these warp-spawn, nor should moderation be used in dealing with them. A Moderate Warp-Spawn emergence is Very Bad, and indicates that a Lesser Daemon has manifested itself somewhere, somewhere outside the sealed and Tainted areas, and is probably just running around, making the most of its time before it gets pushed back into its immaterial natural state; making the most of its time meaning that in all likelihood, it's out to break people and hurt things, whatever it finds before it vanishes back into the Warp. These will be dangerous things, like Flesh Hounds of Khorne, Daemonettes, and their ilk, solitary, aware that their time is short before the Gellar Field pushes them out and away, and simply out on a killing spree. Alternatively, it could be an entire pack of the smaller ones; a pack of Nurglings is something no man should ever have to witness splashing around in a trough urinal.
An Unreality Zone is an area where reality itself is starting to run at the edges, perhaps because the Gellar Field is experiencing a localized weakening relating to one of the Refurbished Gellar Fields Generators' destruction, perhaps because Tzeench farted, perhaps because the neighboring area is just that tainted, or maybe some Psyker, all the way in Segmentum Pacificus, rolled for Psychic Phenomena, rolled between 01 and 03, and had a Dark Forboding that something unfortunate was happening to someone, somewhere, in the galaxy.
An Unreality Zone is very much like a place where Whispers of the Warp are happening, not just to one person, or to a few people, but to everybody, all the time. These can be quite stressful, and rather annoying. Typically the best way to deal with these is to get outside the zone, hunker down, and wait for it to pass. But if that's not an option - say, if you're flying with approximately 4/11ths the recommended Gellar Field Coverage on your vessel and you absolutely must traverse an area which is experiencing weak holds on reality - you may have to just sack up and deal with it.
The GM should feel free to either roll several times on the Whispers table, have his players roll several times, pick a few options at random, or even demand random numbers from the players. And of course, to just make up his own effects as he sees fit.
Warp Terrain is what happens when you take an Unreality Zone and turn it up to 11. Reality isn't just running at the edges now, it's become so excrementally runny that the normal rules of reality are more like a set of guidelines than actual physical laws.
This is where shit gets weird, walls start holding conversations with ceiling lamps, corridors stretch into infinity or loop back to where they started, Euclidian geometry ceases to have any respect for the laws of space and time, multiple objects can occupy the same location at once, or objects can occupy multiple locations at once, or both, and more. Navigation becomes challenging to say the least under these conditions, and this kind of thing is usually a warning that the ship needs to drop back to realspace and do a whole heap of praying before going back into the Warp, less a major Daemon come through. While not deadly in and of itself, this can severely complicate anything else you may wish to do, like traveling to another part of the ship, or maintaining failing infrastructure.
The bread and green butter of the Occurrence Border Experience, Weird Manifestations are where shit gets unreal. This is the kind of thing that results in an entire forward landing bay becoming coated with psychic warp fungus that wants to lure people in so it can eat them. It could be something else which is truly weird, like a fresco of the Emperor's battle with Horus coming to life and the two of them battling in the wall, or the toilets going on strike and loudly refusing to take anyone's shit, while the urinals all-too-eagerly express their preference for being used for their intended purpose, creeping everyone out. These are always weird, and frequently, though not always, highly lethal.
During the purchase of the Occurence Border into Inquisitorial hands, the ship was flown entirely by the Adeptus Mechanicus, at least until they all went full-blown stark-raving Chaos Heretek and had to be purged for Heresy.
The leader of this group, the Cogboy Captain, or Cogtain as he was referred to, was nuttier than squirrel poo. He built a gigantic servitor-titan and rode it for a bit. Then he merged it with a Daemonhost which was already with a Great Knarloc. Then he merged with it, and after it was destroyed, he ejected from the Daemoni-Gnarlo-Servo-Titan, taking the Daemoni-part with him, becoming a Daemonhost Heretek. Then a brave Martyr of the Imperium went berzerk all over his face with a chainsword, then a cretinous thief cranked the gravity up to about 200g, smashing him through four decks and half of an awkwardly placed wall.
That finally brought the Cogtain's rampage to an end, but, sadly, his existence seems to linger on in some tormented form. The crater he left still screams and curses at anyone who can hear it in ragged Binary and the most sulfurous Low Gothic swearing, and glows with rather unnatural light. All Ecclesiarchial efforts to spiritually expunge him were met with contempt, derision, and vulgarities, reducing several senior Ecclesiarchs to responding in the kind of language that you typically hear out of an Agi-World Preacher after some hick ran over his foot with a tractor.
Since physically expunging the Cogtain would have required the exceedingly expensive and structurally dubious removal of the conning tower and what would amount to a large biopsy of the ship's dorsal hull, eventually the traditional Occurrence Border Solution was employed; the crater was sealed off, covered in holy icons and symbols, blessed every way the priests could think to bless it, and then an entire chapel was built around the holy containment dome, and a very cynical old battleaxe of a Confessor who was fast with the praying and even faster with the Holy Promethium was assigned to administer to the ship's great need of Ecclesiarchical administration. It keeps the Cogtain quiet... Mostly. (Then the lifts were reconstructed atop the chapel. It's that kind of a ship.)
The Cogtain Crater is mostly quiescent, which is to say that nobody can hear it outside of its containment cell, between thick insulation, enough prayer seals, holy icons and devotional texts to convert an entire Feral World, and the typical religious chanting and singing going on in the chapel.
Occasionally, though, there will be issues. Sometimes the Cogtain Crater can connect itself to other heavily-tainted areas, such as locations on the ship where a Daemonhost spawned, and can scream through the wall, or lash out with a jagged, prehensile blade of metal to grab, impale, or otherwise harm people and drag them through - or grab equipment, it can do that, too. Maybe it might do something else, or get especially screamy to the point where it drowns out the chanting the chapel. Either way, you have to deal with it.
Quite simply, some poor bastard on the ship has either cracked, seen too many things that Man was Not Meant to See and failed to develop the armour of contempt, or they were secretly heretical all along and have decided that being posted to the Occurrence Border is as good as a sign from their dark god that the time is nigh.
Whomever they are, they're a Super-Heretical Mega-Asshole up to something Very Bad, like trying to create an Unbound Daemonhost, or destroy/sabotage the Gellar Field Generator while the ship is in Warp transit, or unseal the tainted areas and herd in a mess of Kroot Rats for the daemons to possess, or else they're up to generic cult-y things and in any event, they need to be stopped before it's too late.
As simple as it is unsubtle, a Daemonhost manifests somewhere on the ship. Maybe a Heretic went unnoticed for too long and got possessed, or maybe some poor fucker with the merest glimmer of undetectable Psychic potential got culled from the herd, or maybe some Kroot Hound skulking in the vents ate some of the Warp Fungus and mutated, inviting the Daemonhost into it.
Either way, there is now a Daemonhost on the loose. Its goal is that of all Daemonhosts: destroy, rend, tear, etc. Or maybe it wants to merge with the Cogtain Crater. This is not a problem for a group of lowly acolytes to deal with on their own, this is a problem for the entire ship to shit their collective trousers. This is what it looks like when things go completely ploin-shaped. This is, generally speaking, not a problem you "solve," it's a problem you "survive." Recommended methods include calling for all the backup, the application of liberal quantities of high explosives, optionally with Holy Shrapnel payload if available, abuse of large lift shafts and gravity generator control, spacing the damn thing altogether, venting drive plasma directly at its face, and running like the Daemons of the Warp are after you, because in this case that is literally true. Prayer alone will not help, so save your breath, you'll need it for the running.