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Why are there Aclyotes at All?


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#1 PencilBoy99

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 07:41 AM

I'm sure there's a reason for this but I don't know what it is.

 

Why aren't Inquisitor's heavy handed? For example, your Inquisitor hears a rumor that there are mutants in a hive. In the game, you'd have a great scenario involving investigation. But (1) Inquisitors have vast amounts of unchecked power and (2) most of the quotes in books and such imply that people don't count, etc. So, why not simply order that the entire lower levels of the hive be eradicated in some horrible way? It's not illegal - normal people don't matter in the 40K culture.



#2 Morangias

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:07 AM

There are Inquisitors who would do just that and call it a day.

 

There are, on the other hand, Inquisitors who either find this approach wasteful (remember, while people don't matter as individuals, they do matter as raw manpower behind Imperium's warmachine), or distasteful (some Inquisitors will come from backgrounds that'll make them view the plight of the ordinary man somewhat more favorably than others, and might have misgivings about executing them indiscriminately if there's another way to handle things), or simply would question the efficiency of such a solution.

 

An Inquisitor who drops down on a planet like a fiery hammer of Emperor's wrath will make his presence known immediately to heretics two systems away, so to speak. It's easy to miss important targets when you operate like that - heretics are generally a secretive bunch, and much more so when Inquisitorial Storm Troopers are already going through the underhive with a power comb.

 

That's where Acolytes come in - they're much more secretive, perfectly disposable, and with some luck they won't tip off every heretic on the planet the day they arrive.


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#3 Green Knight

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:28 PM

I'm sure there's a reason for this but I don't know what it is.

 

Why aren't Inquisitor's heavy handed? For example, your Inquisitor hears a rumor that there are mutants in a hive. In the game, you'd have a great scenario involving investigation. But (1) Inquisitors have vast amounts of unchecked power and (2) most of the quotes in books and such imply that people don't count, etc. So, why not simply order that the entire lower levels of the hive be eradicated in some horrible way? It's not illegal - normal people don't matter in the 40K culture.

 

If you take this line of thought all the way there is but one solution: The total eradication of all human life. Because there is always hidden heresy. And innocence proves nothing. Etc.

 

Most Inquisitors try to detect the taint before it goes so far as to require purging an entire hive or world. Cut away the rot before it can spread etc.


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#4 Gurkhal

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:42 PM

To the reasons mentioned I would also call that the heavy hammer approach has a way to tick off various people, including other Inquisitors, and that could lead to the heavy handed Inquisitor's death sooner rather than later.


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#5 Brother Anselm

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 01:17 PM

and it makes for a very boring roleplaying system if the adventure involves just nuking somewhere from orbit as the solution  :unsure:


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#6 Morangias

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 03:53 PM

and it makes for a very boring roleplaying system if the adventure involves just nuking somewhere from orbit as the solution  :unsure:

And, admittedly, the in-setting justification here is much more plausible than in Rogue Trader  :rolleyes:

 

Another thing is, even those Inquisitors who like the "purge them all and let Emprah sort them out" approach still need at least a general direction to their smiting - they can't start bombing random cities in hopes of killing some heretics along with the loyal subjects, they need to know which city the heretics are at so they can order killing it with fire. And, again, if one's preferred measures range from Holy Exterminatus to "smaller scale genocide", chances are good he'll need someone more subtle to point him in the right direction. Again, looks like a job for Acolytes!


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#7 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 02:05 AM

Because sooner or later you need someone left alive to run the Imperium's infrastructure.

Equally, an Inquisitor's power isn't quite as unlimited as it's made out to be; whilst Inquisitors are very much top of the heap, 'Peers of the Imperium' all theoretically have pretty much direct imperial mandate and you can't just execute them without good evidence unless you want to answer some very searching questions later on. This covers:

 

Chapter Masters of the Astartes

Warmaster/Lord General/Lord Admiral

Lord-Governors, especially Lord Subsector or Lord Sector

Holders of Warrants of Trade

Archmagi

Cardinals Astral

 

In theory, an Inquisitor could just walk up to such an individual, yell "look, a heretic!" and slot them in the head. In practice.....not a chance, because they have authority to do pretty much the same thing to anyone within their remit of authority.


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#8 PencilBoy99

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:38 AM

Thanks!



#9 Fgdsfg

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:37 AM

I can think of several clear reasons.

It's not cost effective. The Emperor's rocks are not free. If manpower does not matter, you might as well expend manpower to solve the problem. You'd have to employ possibly thousands upon thousands to enforce an exterminatus or eradicate a full underhive, expending hundreds of man-hours of each, not to mention all other relevant upkeep.

Manpower matters. It just does. The value of a world is basically weighted in people, more often than not. Individuals doesn't matter (much, usually), but the engines of the Imperium runs on human blood as the wheels of war tramples the enemies of mankind into unhallowed graves.

It's simply not very effective. If you eradicate a full underhive, you will never know how far the heresy stretches. It could go from the bottom of the underhives to the spires, or maybe even onto other worlds entirely, perhaps spanning the entirety of the sector. It's not unheard of. But if all you do is burn 1/10th of the world population - or the full population in the case of an exterminatus - you'll never know.

Inquisitors are "bad", but usually not sociopathic. Inquisitors are usually still mostly human. They are capable of caring just as much as anyone else, and while it is a harsh galaxy, they might go to great lengths to avoid just indiscriminately killing humans unless necessary. The Imperium of Mankind appears repressive, harsh, violent and uncaring not because the people in it are bad or because the Imperium is evil, but because it has to be those things to survive. It's not a choice.

The powers of an Inquisitor isn't, despite appearances, total. A lot of people seem to think that Inquisitors can do anything they want. But they can't. They can do a lot of things, and they have every legal right to do so. But "legality" in the Imperium isn't clear-cut. People can refuse to help. This may cost them dearly, but they can. An Inquisitor's real power has very little to do with "right" as much as it's about executive influence. There are other players in the Imperium with similar stature, or that might make the Inquisitor's job very hard. Chapter Masters of the Adeptus Astartes, Rogue Traders, and other Inquisitors are examples of many of those that are also considered Peers of the Imperium, that might object to the indiscriminate killing of large amounts of a population. This may be due to many reasons, including seemingly random or personal ones.

And let's not forget entire hierarchies that might object. Sector Governors and Commanders, the Navis Nobilite, the Adeptus Arbites (which keeps a full precinct on every tithed planet!) or the Scholastia Psykana just to mention a few that might have objection with you just cleansing a full Hive for seemingly (to them) no reason.

The Inquisitorial Rosette can only take you so far.

An Inquisitor that openly misbehaves would, above all else, run the risk of bumping horns with another Inquisitor altogether, or maybe a full Conclave.


Edited by Fgdsfg, 16 September 2013 - 09:51 AM.

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#10 MKX

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:48 PM

Acolytes are a very important asset in intelligence gathering and something of a tertiary role of problem solving in small situations, they're what's known as a mk1 eyeball. Otherwise 40k is still a very primitive existance technologically, they don't have streets full of security cameras, easily accessible databases like an internet, phone networks and a somewhat 'silo' job environment where cross-communication with peers isn't always widely adopted.

So in a way, yes the Acolyte is a peon amongst trillions, but he/she is actually critical in getting information back to the boss as well as a different opinion the Inq might not always have outside their inner-circle of professional advisors. Plus, for the acolyte its a 'ladder climb' for them in the Imperium in terms of personal power, influence, cash and career which most of the time locks people into some kind of service from birth to death. They might not necessarily make Inquisitor themselves, but they'll fast track it up the ranks of people that matter...

 

...course, the problem always the (much higher than average) possibility of being eaten by hostile xenos, soul stolen by daemons, corruption and some underhive scum running around with their head on a stick :)

 

Putting a world to the sword so to speak isn't easy either, aside from the polical rammifications it is 'the' very last resort. You have to remember that they might be heretical filth, but they're more than likely sitting on what may well be centuries of critical infrastructure that the Imperium needs to fight its wars, feed people, make machines and so forth. That if it was removed by saturation bombing or cyclonics- might actually affect a much larger sphere of influence that puts an even bigger hole in the Imperium. Worlds that aren't churning out las-guns to baneblades, warp engines to ration packs or even just raising 19million Imperial Guard a year get noticed if they go missing and having half a dozen culties running around is literally not the end of the world.

Half a dozen acolytes that get their arses killed by cultists just means to Mr/Mrs Inquisitor, I need to recruit another 6 acolytes and l have to formulate a much stronger response to the matter now we have a much better idea of the situation. :P


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#11 PencilBoy99

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:24 AM

This was very helpful! Thank you.



#12 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:40 AM

Inquisitors are "bad", but usually not sociopathic. Inquisitors are usually still mostly human. They are capable of caring just as much as anyone else, and while it is a harsh galaxy, they might go to great lengths to avoid just indiscriminately killing humans unless necessary. The Imperium of Mankind appears repressive, harsh, violent and uncaring not because the people in it are bad or because the Imperium is evil, but because it has to be those things to survive. It's not a choice.

 
Reminds me of the Inquisition War trilogy - one of the key drivers in the story is that

Spoiler

Edited by Magnus Grendel, 17 September 2013 - 08:41 AM.

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#13 PencilBoy99

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:16 AM

Magnus - I had forgotten about that! I love love love the idea that yes, Inquisitors have to do horrible things, but at least for the kinds of people who are protagonists in fiction and RPG's, doing those things is a SACRIFICE (one of the themes of the game).

 

To the best of my knowledge, Corruption and Insanity are a function of things you see/experience (a mutagen, a terrible book, a monster). Is there a way to use it so that it's also a function of what you do? That is, as long as my group is willing to go along with it, they'll be asked to to terrible things, and they can go ahead and do them, but they'll be an Insanity/Corruption roll to do so.



#14 Askil

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 07:26 AM

My GM gave us a hefty slap of corruption for callously abandoning a camp of three million refugees without giving them any warning so we could escape in an orbital shuttle while the rampaging horde of xenos we were fleeing from ate them. then he gave us insanity for those of us who managed to reduce our corruption gain by passing willpower.

 

In short, our actions either didn`t bother us mentally but stained our souls in the bood of the innocents we left to die (corruption) or caused us to be severely conflicted and weighed down with guilt and survivor`s remorse (insanity.) 

 

I too adopted this method of using corruption and insanity to record mental anguish and moral debasement in my games soon after.

 

E.G. the first time a sheltered adept from a pleasure world turns a cultist`s head into a fine red mist should be traumatic. (WP test or gain d5 insanity if passed by 2 or more degrees he secretly enjoys it and gains d5 corruption)

 

I totally agree with this useage. It ties in with why puritan n00bs tend to become more radical as they age an why elderly puritans tend to be self-flagellating penitents.


Edited by Askil, 04 October 2013 - 07:33 AM.

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#15 Morangias

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:21 AM

My GM gave us a hefty slap of corruption for callously abandoning a camp of three million refugees without giving them any warning so we could escape in an orbital shuttle while the rampaging horde of xenos we were fleeing from ate them. then he gave us insanity for those of us who managed to reduce our corruption gain by passing willpower.

 

In short, our actions either didn`t bother us mentally but stained our souls in the bood of the innocents we left to die (corruption) or caused us to be severely conflicted and weighed down with guilt and survivor`s remorse (insanity.) 

Your GM made a mistake. You can't gain Corruption from sources unrelated to Chaos.


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#16 SgtOddity

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:04 AM

You say that but doing such a deed would cause a ripple effect in the warp. The PCs just left thousands of people to die so demons (who have a stronger presence in reality now due to the massacre) now can worm their influence into the PCs hence the corruption.

 

Its a bit "iffy" but it could be a reason as to how and why. 


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#17 Fgdsfg

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:09 AM

My GM gave us a hefty slap of corruption for callously abandoning a camp of three million refugees without giving them any warning so we could escape in an orbital shuttle while the rampaging horde of xenos we were fleeing from ate them. then he gave us insanity for those of us who managed to reduce our corruption gain by passing willpower.
 
In short, our actions either didn`t bother us mentally but stained our souls in the bood of the innocents we left to die (corruption) or caused us to be severely conflicted and weighed down with guilt and survivor`s remorse (insanity.)

Your GM made a mistake. You can't gain Corruption from sources unrelated to Chaos.


They just abandoned three million innocent souls, consigning them to gruesome death. I'd say that this is definitely the kind of thing that would turn the gaze of the warp upon you and stain your soul, and definitely weigh upon their consciousnesses in one way or another (unless they are cold as hell).

Throwing insanity upon those that managed to reduce their Corruption is a bit bitchy, though. If they managed to mitigate their corruption, they shouldn't be punished for it. If you throw insanity at some of them by the aforementioned logic, everyone should get it, not just the ones that somehow mitigate their received corruption.

I'd say that it'd qualify as a "Dark Deed", since they were aware of the consequences.

Edited by Fgdsfg, 04 October 2013 - 09:10 AM.

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#18 Morangias

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:17 AM

If it worked like that, your average decision-maker in the Imperium would reach spawndom in about a month, since consigning millions to gruesome deaths seems to be the day job of at least half of Administratum.

 

There is a specific list of triggers for corruption gain, and what they did matches none of them. Insanity, that's a different story. Things weighing down on your consciousness, committing or witnessing atrocities - that's the stuff of insanity. Corruption is strictly reserved for the stuff of the Warp, so unless the planet exploded with daemonic incursions as they watched, or they muttered prayers to Khorne as they left the people for slaughter - no Corruption for them.


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.


#19 SgtOddity

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:31 AM

I see your point, re-reading the rules about corruption it does have to involve chaos. If you really wanted to however you could use the "Dark Deeds" rule to give out corruption points but its a bit of a vague subject. The rule lists:

 

"Evil acts done in the furtherance of a malignancy"

 

As a possible way of gaining corruption points and I feel that killing millions somehow benefits demons as it would weaken the veil between the warp and reality.

 

In the end its up to the GM I guess. 


Edited by SgtOddity, 04 October 2013 - 09:31 AM.

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#20 Morangias

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:51 AM

I see your point, re-reading the rules about corruption it does have to involve chaos. If you really wanted to however you could use the "Dark Deeds" rule to give out corruption points but its a bit of a vague subject. The rule lists:

 

"Evil acts done in the furtherance of a malignancy"

Did any character responsible for making that call have a Malignancy that affected his decision? If so, he probably should gain Corruption, but why would the rest get soiled by the daemonic voices in his head?

 

As a possible way of gaining corruption points and I feel that killing millions somehow benefits demons as it would weaken the veil between the warp and reality.

Still doesn't work like that, as almost everything humans do benefits daemons in some way.

 

 

In the end its up to the GM I guess. 

Whatever works for your game, but it doesn't change the fact that the GM just dropped Corruption on you randomly and against the rules - a fact that bears repeating in case someone unfamiliar with the rules reads this thread and reaches the wrong conclusions which may negatively affect his view of the game.


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.





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