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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.


#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". :)

  • doomande, Cogniczar, Simsum and 1 other like this
current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter -- debriefed), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors -- KIA), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose -- assassinated), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia -- retired), Taleera "Raven" Nephran (Hive Ganger & Inquisitorial Assassin -- mindwiped)

#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!





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