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Life as an Acolyte


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#1 Aenno

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 03:47 AM

To be honest it started as a kind of comment to another thread, but I believe it is good topic as is.

Started here - http://community.fan...=1082859&page=2

 

Yes, Inquisitor can just commission a ship - but it's INQUISITOR, not his acolytes. Acolytes for sure have some power from their master, but they are not even Throne Agents. And Inquisitor isn't just a storekeeper. So, in my game it looks like something like that...

Acolyte go to his master and ask him about "m'lord, can you give me plasma gun, to pop heretics with it?"

Master looks at him and... well, variations.

0. Acolytes are sent to the difficult mission with expected heavy firefights with armored targets. "Hey, I told you to go to storekeeper - you know where he is - and tell him to give you two plasma guns. But you should return it to the stock. This technology worth more than you."

1. Acolyte is high-rank, have good dossier and can fire that plasma gun. Or he is a lover for his master (why not?). Or Inquisitor have good plans about him, something about Investigators and so on. Or he have good night sleep so is very kind today. "Oh, yes. You're proven your value so I can give it to you. Well, you're good, so I will gift it for you. Do you want some kind of memory plank on stock?"

2. Acolyte is middle-rank, Inquisitor isn't very fond of him and so. "Well, why you need it? I understand you want it, everybody do. But convince me that you really need it!"

3. Acolyte is low-rank, or maybe he is known by his habit to lose (or even to sell) rare equipment, or Inquisitor have a hangover or just is a jerk (that's really possible!). "No. Dismissed."

And don't you forget - your Inquisitor is a busy man, he have another business that secure plasma gun and a crate of best-quality lasguns for you. Even if HE can just go to the Tricorn Palace and take one from armory.

 

About ""disappear" forever"... well, in my opinion this is kind of exaggeration (even when placed in rulebook), I should to admit. I lived (he-he, just four years, but I read about a lot!) in USSR, there was KGB and so on. And if KGB just recruited you as secret employee, that didn't really means that you're disappeared (because THIS can raise questions too!). You're working on your previous work, hanging around your contacts, maybe even have a hand that push you in your career. And yes, your superiors don't dare to ask (read it as "your master use subtle influence checks to put you from your work to do some another suicide mission without Rosette flashes") - they even shouldn't to know that they have a reason to ask. Some superiors ask that particular man to go to business trip. For, well, Cindar. From Malfi. That man will not be here for, ahm, a year or something. But you will continue paying him salary, that's a orderliness.

When you start your cadre working for Inquisition directly... well, that's Ascension, you're named as Throne Agents and you, I should notice here, have no problems with money, just availability.

 

And yes, there is some danger in "to be caught in random investigation". Or with questions "why couple of adepts can need a crate of lasguns". Well, you should be able to solve it, and better - without your Inquisitor help.

It's kind of modules itself, and with my party we played it with some frequently. But we love playing live in Imperium and saving it from countless terrors, not just save it form countless terrors. It's not so fun, after all.

 

And after all, it's - I mean "you continue to live your life, but there is something more in it" - one valid explanation about career paths at all. Why have you be stucked to some common skills and talents (and, after all, ranks) if you live without bonds of society? Only War system will suit "living outside" better.

But if you have to live within society, and live here with discreet - career paths are usable enough. You're Administratum clerk (soldier, scum, Imperial Psyker, tech-priest), who works for Inquisition from time to time, so you're bonded to this role. Yet.


Edited by Aenno, 13 May 2014 - 03:51 AM.

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#2 Alrik Vas

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 04:20 AM

I know all about the inquisitorial hangover.  You STAY AWAY until it has passed...unless you want a memory wipe.

 

My inquisitor liked me, dare i say.  I asked for nothing and gave him everything.  So in the end i got a sweet best quality bolt pistol for my trouble.

 

Though i really like your idea about "live in the imerpium" not just working for it.  If everything you do is directly connected to a case, the game gets way too wound up too fast and you start to feel like your playing a stat block rather than a person.


Edited by Alrik Vas, 13 May 2014 - 04:21 AM.


#3 Lynata

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:18 AM

I guess that's a matter of how we interpret the Imperium - and as such its lifestyle. On some worlds it may work like that, but on others you simply don't go on vacation, because the concept of vacation may not exist. "Keeping a low profile", which I'd consider a key requirement for Inquisitorial work, just doesn't work in cases such as the Guardsman-career, when said Guardsman gets temporarily removed from his or her unit. It makes them special, because stuff like that just doesn't happen. Once or twice it could be explained with stuff like getting written off as sick, but again and again? Not to mention that even once or twice is already bound to raise red flags with the unit's own medics, if they have them, and/or the Commissar who may have an interest in preventing people from leaving the base without good reason.
 
Generally, I believe that the less your Inquisitor needs to do to cover your tracks, the better. This includes subtle influence, because even subtle influence may be too overt in some cases. So what if that Guardsman got temporarily transferred to a new unit, and the orders are signed by some Colonel? Then it was this Colonel that the Inquisitor had to contact and flash their rosette at. And if it was a General who told the Colonel, then it was the General. You're really just shifting the issue between different layers of hierarchy. Some Inquisitors may be able to cover their tracks by operating through assets they've installed in key positions (other ex-Acolytes), but to assume this is an option every time seems naive to me, and even then it just stays unusual.
 
Not to mention potential lasting effects of Inquisitorial missions.
 
"Oh hey, Ferk, there you are. Haven't seen you for a wh-... sweet Emperor, what happened to your face?!"
"Monorail accident."
"Ah ... nice bionics, though. Look expensive."
"I, uh, a relative came through."
 
To get back to that KGB comparison - I would think that agents recruited and left in their former environment were dedicated informants, sleepers or deep-cover operatives, who would not need to leave said environment very often, if at all. But the Acolytes in 40k are required to venture beyond the boundaries of their own world, using a means of travel that does not seem to be widely available. Furthermore, the KGB may have had it a lot easier in that in totalitarian regimes it is somewhat safe to simply trust in people being too afraid to ask questions - or perhaps people "know" and just don't mind because they consider "national security" to be a part of life. I grew up in former East Germany, and in my family's old neighbourhood there was an entire apartment block full of low-level Stasi-agents. Everyone knew. Nobody cared.
But then again, neither Soviet Russia nor East Germany were threatened by deep-rooted corruption by powers from beyond the Warp, with heretic cults, restless mutants, Chaos sorcerers and freedom fighters hiding under every rock.
 
Well, except for the latter during the last year or so. Which was also when that bit about personally knowing some state security agents blew up in the government's face, by the way, since the rioters knew where they had to go in at least some cases. :D
 
In short, personally I'd rather regard Inquisition Acolytes not as informants or sleeper agents, but rather as professional full-time operatives like those NSA and CIA secret agents who end up pulling field missions in other countries sometimes for years on end. Because I feel that's much closer to what we're playing.
 
However!
 
That doesn't mean that you cannot or should not "live within the Imperium" anyways. Indeed, for many missions it may be necessary to assume cover identities and travel under aliases. There's a section in the Inquisitor's Handbook just for this, and I feel this element really should be inserted into any Dark Heresy game. This is where your Skills may actually find some important use, especially since now there's actually a reason you might mess up at playing an ordinary person - as opposed to repercussions for failing that Common Lore check about something you've grown up with and where people you already know give you the benefit of doubt.
 
Not to mention that it's fun to dress up! I still remember that time I played a cheeky Hive ganger who cosplayed a noble.
 
"Hey Az', should we pose as a married couple, or brother and sister? Or both?"
 
(actual quote)
 
 
Just my two bolt shells, though. As I said, it largely depends on how we actually perceive "the Imperium" - and "the Inquisition". :)

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#4 doomande

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 04:45 PM

I have played both kinds of settings, the one were you have a day time job and the one were the Inquisition is your day time job and I would say that I like them both.

 

Personally do I not have anything about either, both have some really good advantages to them. Wanna or need to go undercover while you have a real job on the side? Use that in some way or another. Need some contacts while in the field, use your day time job for that and your "friends" as well. That we only play on one planet, in one hab and in one spire is a minor detail, but then again, to get each setting to work properly do you need to change the world around them a little bit.


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Sure some say blood for the blood god, skulls for the skull throne... I say muffins for the muffin god! Derp for the master derper!


#5 alemander

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 02:49 PM

I have a question on this subject of life of an acolyte.  Say you are an inquisitor and find a great candidate to be an acolyte, heck they could very well be the next interrogator for the inquisitor.  But this candidate has a family, wife & kid, etc. 

 

Do you tell the candidate, "Sorry, you are now inducted into my retinue.  Your family doesn't matter.  You don't even get to say goodbye."  Or do you as the inquisitor try to make arrangements for the candidate to keep his family?

~ alemander



#6 Cogniczar

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 02:54 PM

You (the inquisitor) arrange for said family to disappear - and appear to be the latest victim of x mystery that needs to be solved. Instant motivation. =D


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#7 ThenDoctor

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 03:48 PM

I'd make sure the player is cool with that first. Some people don't like the idea of family being in danger.


I've made an expanded Divination table for Dark Heresy Second Edition. Find it here: 

 

http://community.fan...general-thread/


#8 Robin Graves

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 03:53 PM

 

I guess that's a matter of how we interpret the Imperium - and as such its lifestyle. On some worlds it may work like that, but on others you simply don't go on vacation, because the concept of vacation may not exist. "Keeping a low profile", which I'd consider a key requirement for Inquisitorial work, just doesn't work in cases such as the Guardsman-career, when said Guardsman gets temporarily removed from his or her unit. It makes them special, because stuff like that just doesn't happen. Once or twice it could be explained with stuff like getting written off as sick, but again and again? Not to mention that even once or twice is already bound to raise red flags with the unit's own medics, if they have them, and/or the Commissar who may have an interest in preventing people from leaving the base without good reason.
 
Not to mention potential lasting effects of Inquisitorial missions.
 
"Oh hey, Ferk, there you are. Haven't seen you for a wh-... sweet Emperor, what happened to your face?!"
"Monorail accident."
"Ah ... nice bionics, though. Look expensive."
"I, uh, a relative came through."
 
 
In short, personally I'd rather regard Inquisition Acolytes not as informants or sleeper agents, but rather as professional full-time operatives like those NSA and CIA secret agents who end up pulling field missions in other countries sometimes for years on end. Because I feel that's much closer to what we're playing.
 
However!
 
That doesn't mean that you cannot or should not "live within the Imperium" anyways. Indeed, for many missions it may be necessary to assume cover identities and travel under aliases. There's a section in the Inquisitor's Handbook just for this, and I feel this element really should be inserted into any Dark Heresy game. This is where your Skills may actually find some important use, especially since now there's actually a reason you might mess up at playing an ordinary person - as opposed to repercussions for failing that Common Lore check about something you've grown up with and where people you already know give you the benefit of doubt.
 
Not to mention that it's fun to dress up! I still remember that time I played a cheeky Hive ganger who cosplayed a noble.
 
"Hey Az', should we pose as a married couple, or brother and sister? Or both?"
 
(actual quote)
 
 
Just my two bolt shells, though. As I said, it largely depends on how we actually perceive "the Imperium" - and "the Inquisition". :)

 

 

No-vacation-exists- worlds: Chemos springs to mind. Sad for you're average imperial citizen but on a lot of worlds you should be glad you have an hour of free time between end of shift and sleep time. (Would be funny if it was like that one donald duck cartoon, where he works in a munitions plant. and he gets vacation with pay- all five minutes of it, spent at the factory with a fake decor of the alps behind him- then  it's back to work on a double shift!)

 

With guardsmen i always figured you'd get "reasigned to a special unit" and they never let you join your old regiment again (atleast not without a full mind wipe), in case you start blabbing.

 

I love that "monorail accident" bit! (why can i only like this post once?)

Would be fun if it was the standard responce to any questions.

 

"Dude your face, is that acid damage?"

"Monorail accident."

"And your hair has turned white"

"scary monorail accident."

"And there's something odd about your shadow..."

"Monorail accident!"

 

Hey Az', should we pose as a married couple, or brother and sister? Or both?"

 

They will definatly believe you are nobles now!

 

Now me i always tought of acolytes as the inquisitors personal warband, (not) trusted associates, but the idea of them being sort of a local sleeper cell has some merits. It explains (to me anyway) why in game you have average abilities and normal gear while in the Dan abnett books they have psychic swords and special weapons and xenos sieve blades and what not.


Edited by Robin Graves, 02 October 2014 - 04:00 PM.


#9 ThenDoctor

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 04:57 PM

No vacation worlds? Uhm pleasure worlds exist.


I've made an expanded Divination table for Dark Heresy Second Edition. Find it here: 

 

http://community.fan...general-thread/


#10 Robin Graves

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 05:14 PM

Sorry for the typo: when i said No-vacation-worlds i meant no-vacation-allowed-worlds. As in a world on wich the very concept of vacation didn't even exist. Like Chemos is portrayed in the fluff.



#11 alemander

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 06:38 AM

I'd make sure the player is cool with that first. Some people don't like the idea of family being in danger.

 

Sorry, my question/thought was more broad/general ala do acolyte's have families and go home to dinner or if they get involved tertiary in an inquisitor's investigation and prove valuable, would the inquisitor make accomodations for this new acolyte to keep his family?  Possibly providing sanctuary or would the inquisitor be completely removed, saying, "Do what you want as long as my missions are completed and objectives are met?"

 

I know each inquisitor is an individual but from what I have read/seen, most acolytes have no families and inquisitors wouldn't make accomodations for anything like that.

 

~ alemander



#12 Librarian Astelan

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 09:17 AM

Sorry, my question/thought was more broad/general ala do acolyte's have families and go home to dinner or if they get involved tertiary in an inquisitor's investigation and prove valuable, would the inquisitor make accomodations for this new acolyte to keep his family?  Possibly providing sanctuary or would the inquisitor be completely removed, saying, "Do what you want as long as my missions are completed and objectives are met?"

 

I know each inquisitor is an individual but from what I have read/seen, most acolytes have no families and inquisitors wouldn't make accomodations for anything like that.

 

~ alemander

 

 

 

I think you have complete liberty to do as you like. In the Eisenhorn novels at the end of a case, the warband got R&R-periods that could take up multiple years (if I remember correctly). If you're working in that kind of system, having a family could work. 

 

In most games I've played in however, family was never an issue. Our characters just didn't have those. But even if you don't want to adopt the "hey you killed the Slaaneshi daemon, take a few years off"-route, you can still integrate families in the game, roleplaying wise. Think of the guardsman that has a childhood sweetheart that he still loves and writes with, or the scum that has been forced into service of the Inquisitor with the promise to protect said family. In those examples, the characters have families, but they don't intervene in the game (unless, for example, the inquisitor fails to live up to his promise and the scum find his family murdered by enemies of his inquisitor). Of course, your players need to be up for this.



#13 Cogniczar

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 05:53 PM

http://www.dakkadakk...ammer_40,000_AD


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#14 Chrysalis

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 09:33 AM

For me Acolytes are raised from "assets in the field", they may be work new (dead end) jobs or retain their old jobs. They are activated by a throne agent.

 

Sometimes entire departments are formed just to create nestings for assets. 

 

Once active, they go from assets to acolytes. 

 

Once their value has been determined they become full time throne agents. However, they still work in periphery of Inquisitorial knowledge. 

 

And then maybe they become full fledged Inquisitorial agents who are creating their own assets and webs of influence. 

 

Then we get into the big boys games. 


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#15 Visitor Q

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 02:47 PM

All of the versions are correct. Most of the Inquisitors I have used so far have been quite militant types who have quite dedicated teams of acolytes that stay in his service indefinitely without much else going on. Or they have been quite solitary figures who requisition assets for short periods of time rather than have acolytes
However experiencing with an Inquisitor who actually has acolytes that are almost like employees with a personal life could be fun.




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