The Pillars of Society is a Black Crusade game that I plan to start in a few weeks, I am currently looking for 4-6 players and the game should run for about 3 months give or take.
The party will have the job or trying to overthrow the current rulers of the city and turn it over to the gods of chaos.
The idea is that there are eleven 'pillars of society', organisatations that control the city and in order to cause a revoltion a number of these pillars will need to be removed by the players. Each player should select one pillar to work against, each session the plan of one of the players will be put into action and that player will be in charge for that week.
Generally the missions should be somewhat undercover as if the imperial forces find out about the heretics then they will be hunted down.
The classes avalible are: -
Apostate - A sneaky undercover type of Heretic normally once part of an imperial organisation and maybe still part of it.
Heretek - A renegade member of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Renegade - A heretic who specialises in fighting rather than being sneaky like Apostate.
Psyker - A heretic with psychic powers.
The Pillers are as follows: -
The Mechanicus is less powerful on Telos than many other imperial planets and many technologies considered secret on other planets are freely available. The reason behind this is unknown but it is likely that some agreement was reached with the original settlers to allow the Mechanicus access to the terraforming equipment discovered on the planet. However, in Babel the mechanicus is very powerful, after the laughing death outbreak many of the jobs previously carried out by the effected had to be done by mechanicus servitors which were produced very quickly from factories in the bowels of the city. It may be possible to destabilise the machanicus by going control of some of these servitors or finding some material which may be used to turn the mechanicus of other cities against their secretive Babel companies.
The Medica or guild of doctors is both loved and hated by the common people of the hive. They are most famous for having discovered the cure for the laughing death; however, they continue to sell it at a high price that most can barely afford. Their leader is a Mechanicus lord going by the name of Hippocrates who operates from a large hospital / research area in the noble sector. If the Medica were to fall then the laughing death could quickly resurface, if the cure were to be stolen in bulk it could be used to gain the trust of many of the common workers who currently have to pay for the cure.
Planetary Defence force
Like all imperial worlds telos is required to raise a force to protect itself. Due to the number of wild orks on telos its planetary defence force is quite well trained and equipped relative to many other worlds. Babel due to its position has little trouble with Orks although raids are not uncommon so its forces are some of the weaker on the planet but should not be underestimated. The PDF is an extension of the noble’s personal troops with different detachments being raised and equipped by a different family in lue of tithes. This leads to the PDF being badly fractured although its upper command are independent and loyal to the cities governor their troops do what their Nobel masters tell them to do. This balkanisation could be used to turn the PDF against itself or to co-opt them to help in the revolution itself.
As with all imperial planets, the ecclesiarchy has an important role in the running of Society. In Hive Babel the church is highly ordered and stratified. The Cardinal in charge of the hives spiritual wellbeing is Marcus Silverman, a highly paranoid individual who rarely leaves his cathedral due to numerous assassination attempts from other members of the church which have been mysteriously and some say miraculously foiled. The ecclesiarchy itself is highly corrupt with most priests being paid by the nobility to ensure the people do not rise up against their rulers. Different priests often compete for the best patrons and assassinations are common. If the cardinal were to be killed the church would collapse into feuding priests quite quickly, alternatively maybe some of the priests could be persuaded to worship a different god or gods.
The feared guardians of Imperial law are a dangerous force for any group of heretics, however, the precinct in Babel are relatively small likely well less than a hundred officers. However, the precinct itself is a significant fortress and contains a major armoury which in the event of rebellion would prevent the precinct falling for many weeks or months, long enough for reinforcements from other hives to arrive. In addition to the Arbites themselves the hive has its own police force, the enforcers lead by lord commodious Shank. Surprisingly the enforcers are highly moral, efficient and near incorruptible, although some bad apples do exist. However, they are poorly trained at dealing with serious heretics and may not notice what is happening to the hive until it is too late.
The syndicates are various criminal organisations which make a living in hive Babel, although not often thought of as a pillar of society they serve an important function in the hive. They have access to good which are otherwise illegal such as weapons and drugs and can provide them to other groups, for a price. They are a disorganised lot and spend most of their time fighting each other rather than dealing with the more obvious threat of the enforcers. Some may be desperate enough to turn to the Dark Gods for power where are others are more devout. If they could be persuaded to join the heretics they would be a good source of partially trained and disposable troops, alternatively they could be manipulated into attacking other groups as deniable assets.
Adeptus Astra Telepathica
Due to the conditions on Telos astropaths are used not only for interstellar communication but for important messages between the hives themselves. However, due to their rarity the hive only has a few of these rare individuals probably only half a dozen or less and most interplanetary communications are relayed to new Valhalla. Unusually, the telepathica are in charge of all out hive communication not just astropaths and also trains the various couriers that transport most communications to other hives including the small number of air craft that brave the skies of Telos with important messages. If the Telepathics were to be destroyed or co-opted than all connection with the rest of the planet would be destroyed preventing warnings being issued or reinforcements being requested.
As one of the few organisations which would understand the true nature of the heretics the inquisition is a major threat. Luckily there is little inquisition presence on Telos although this may not be the case for much longer as only a few years ago an inquisition embassy was introduced in the capital hive of New Valhalla with an interrogator assigned to run it. There is no official inquisition presence in hive Babel although it is certain that there is at least one group of acolytes present. If these acolytes could be identified and removed the Heretics could slow their discovery, however, if the removal was too obvious it might be counterproductive as the inquisition would be altered, it might be better to try to provide the inquisition with false information or even try to corrupt them.
As on most imperial worlds approximately 25% of the hives population works directly or indirectly for the Administratum recording and processing statistics, collecting taxes and other burocratic works. The Administratum is not a direct threat to the heretics and its inertia many in fact make it harder for other organisations to track them down. However, the destruction or corruption of a portion of the adminstratum would bring large scale chaos to the hive setting the scene for a revolution.
The various guilds make up much of the working class of the hive. With the power of the Adapus Mechanicus weakened these guilds have access to more technology than normal but still keep secrets. Each guild teaches a particular type of manufacturing procedure to its members and generally different guilds get along well although rivalry is common. It is hard for any revolution to succeed without the support of the common people and although they have suffered through the laughing death and how with the corrupt ecclesiarchy and medica most are loyal imperial citizens although with time and effort this may be changed.
Like most imperial worlds Telos is mostly ruled by noble families descended from the officers of the imperial guard that originally conquered the planet. As is used many of these families are corrupt and spend much of their time feuding with each other. Each noble house has its own official private army; in addition many have also raised regiments of PDF. The current governor of the city is Lord Randof Branden-Smyth whose family have ruled Babel since its founding. He is a very well protected individual but his death would be an important objective for any potential revolutionaries, it may be easier to corrupt a number of families to the heretic’s side to start a civil war or to get the families to do the heretics dirty work for them.