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I'm running a Dark Heresy V2 campaign and am up to four sessions. The characters are:

  • a former trade-princess now seeking revenge for the Inquisitor who raided her family (because of shady connections with heretic stuff, but she does not know that)
  • a tech-savvy highborn infiltrator enrolled in an Administratum corp (AC) specialized in the recovery of recently rediscovered planets
  • a agoraphobic Arbites specialized in protection and crowd control
  • a psyker with a father complex.

That band, which of no members know each other, was sent by Inquisitor A to gather information on a planet who was recently recovered, and report any informations that might be relevant for the Inquisition (my players played several Dark Heresy campaigns and are well versed in Warhammer 40.000 lore, so I did not precised the nature of informations).

Their cover is to work within AC. Problem is, AC is under indirect control of Inquisitor B, who wants to seize the planet and its various psy-related resources for himself. And one of my PCs is currently collaborating with him in order to allow AC to take total control over the local government.

I struggle in making my band work together. They don't have any shared backstory before the campaign and their skillset is really different.

  • The trader is negotiating contracts with local nobility to regenerate the local economy (and using its influence to plant weapons on the field to facilitate Inquisitor B coup against local government).
  • The infiltrator is doing field data collection, and occasionally report to the local chief of AC
  • The psyker is more or less guided by the events and does not do anything in particular. He was in contact with a Warp entity central to the plot, so he may become a conduit for tips, or horrendous demonic manifestations
  • The arbitrator is training a local militia and protecting the other characters while they are on the field

So far, the only moment they shared together was the interrogation of a shadow local operative send by an equally shadowy psyker-killing organization. They shared a gameplay moment together and it was nice to see and play, according to their feedbacks.

But I fail to find coherent and/or cool ideas to make them work on the same objective (because "collecting informations" is vague at best), or even to bring them together on a common place.

The session starting this evening will see the psyker and arbitrator going to a riot trying to contain it, while the infiltrator will free the operative they captured earlier to trace his employers. I have not yet devised what the trader will do, I was planning on roleplaying a long discussion between her and the chief of AC, the latter wanting to see if he can entrust her to work openly with Inquisitor B.

I realize while writing this message that the main issue is to put together the trader and the rest of the group.

Do you have any advices on how to create and renew my group cohesion?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Julien, and welcome to RPG Stack Exchange! I see you've gone through the tour going by the Informed badge on your Stack Overflow account; thanks for doing that. You can join us on Role-playing Games Meta to discuss site maintenance, and when you reach 20 rep you can also join us in Role-playing Games Chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Aug 8 '17 at 9:00
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A couple things.

One, not all games need group cohesion. If your players are content with the current level of spotlight switching, you may be trying to solve something that's not necessarily a problem. Take the game Fiasco; it's pretty rare to have all the characters appear in the same scene. Or Amber, often PCs meet only to have conflicts with each other. There is a valid playstyle that works exactly like your current state. Make sure the group sees a problem to change before trying to change it.

Two, this isn't all your problem as the GM. No one conspired to get me and my work mates or my friends IRL together - we decided to come together over something. Your players can decide "Hey I like that guy I met that time maybe we should work together/hang out/swap spit" and go do it. They don't have to lie about like beached fish waiting for you to do it. (Or maybe they aren't doing it because they don't feel the need, see point one above).

Three, to really force the issue, you just need threats that require the cumulative force of a bunch of player characters. The more this is just an empire building game, the less they're going to need to come together. But if the forces of Chaos assault their base, or there's some social occasion that it's totally in someone's favor to attend, or whatever. It sounds like you're pretty much deliberately not doing this - you describe actually planning what the characters will do each session (not real sandboxy), but somehow still can't bring them together? You are in control of all those other world forces (AC, inqusitor A, etc.) so feeling like you're at the mercy of them is some kind of weird reverse My Guy syndrome. If you want it to happen, make it happen! Have the riot be surrounding where that operative is held. Have the chief of AC tell the trader "here's a writ to go interrogate that shadow operative, to you know, find out his employers." Oh look, all the PCs are coming together! With potential for conflict, but hey, this is WH40K.

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Infiltrator

You could make up a list of facts or pertinent info for the infiltrator to figure out/uncover. This list doesn't need to be long, it could have only 2-3 but could be as large as a dozen or more. They can be bite-sized too: "the Lord-Regent of the planet has been known in circles close to him to favor heresies in his court", "a rogue Guardsman company has terroized the surrounding lands for months but the local Arbites do nothing -- rumor has it there's a family connection at the heart of it involving two brothers" or whatever is relevant to your plot/world.

Trader

Use the info from the Infiltrator to get bonuses on relevant tests (+5 - +20) made dependent on how useful it is.

Commerce tests can be made to better equip the factions your PCs wish to support. Charm and Deceive tests can also be made to dissuade certain NPCs from making the distribution or supply of these weapons hard as well as throwing off trails that are social in nature (the right bribe to the right Adjutant). Certain results can also be used by the other PCs to further their own sub-plots.

Psyker

The Psyker can attempt to cultivate a following which aides either themselves or the PCs. The former creates a useful source of manpower and talent to direct, the latter does the former but without the inherent narrative conflict (which itself could prove to be great RP for your players!).

They can attempt to detect Warp anomolies in the region or provide backup to one of the other PCs where the presence of a Psyker (or their powers!) might be well-suited to expidite certain tasks. This would further bring together the members of your group by being inclusive of what sounds like a usually adrift PC.

Arbite

Have the Arbite make tests while training (Command would be excellent here but so too could be Scholastic Lore or Athletics or any of the combat Skills. Or it could be as straight FEL or INT roll). These tests provide bonuses to the militia when used in combat. It may also make it so that bonuses are provided to the other PCs when interacting with NPCs that appreciate the effort and/or a well-trained militia. The Trader could even negotiate to be paid for the effort and/or receive discounts on purchases and better prices for sold equipment/goods as compensation.

There's loads of ways to link up your group. These are just a few suggestions and focus on the roles in creating cohesion though there are certainly other aspects.

Asynchronous Cohesion/Collaboration

Since your PCs do not actually know each other or have very little knowledge of each other and because it sounds like you plan on having this be a long-term thing, you could quite easily setup meta-missions that have each of them complete an objective that affects the other PCs in an asynchronous manner.

You could have a base-building mission: the psyker clears out Warp anomolies (or, at least, accurately marks them for others to avoid) in an or uses their cult to help build/fund the base, the trader purchases and negotiates for the necessary materiel to equip such a base or the land for it, the infiltrator can scout for the best areas to build a base or influence decisions and information available about the effort through subterfuge, the arbite can handle temporary command of the base and recruit for it as well as train the men. All of this can be done through NPC interactions, the PCs never have to meet each other but can if ever desired.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's probably worth noting that a group sent by the Inquisition to prepare a planet is likely not going to spend every waking hour together. The fact that they're working on different things is normal, but they should meet up to discuss how things are going and how they can take advantage of each others efforts to reach their common or individual goals. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Aug 8 '17 at 13:00
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Two general strategies. One, keep the four characters separate. Let the players run members of a support squad for the PC they're not controlling at the time. That gives everybody the chance to participate. Two, force them together by giving them a common enemy. That enemy may believe they're allies because of some misunderstanding, but the PCs won't know that. There may even be some politics or intrigue that the PCs must uncover to resolve the situation.

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