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Why Not Always Name Drop?


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#1 PencilBoy99

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 02:20 PM

Why shouldn't the Acolytes, whenever their cover isn't absolutely vital to the mission, always pull the "We're the Inquisition" card?

 

This makes it challenging for me as a GM, since they should be able to summon massive amounts of assistance and get instant acquiescence. Don't want to hand over your Power Sword - "we're the Inquisition". Lots of cultists to fight? Bring in the Planetary Defense Forces and the Arbites.

 

I've handled it so far by violating the setting. In my game so far, the Inquisition's power really rests on a mix of fear, knowledge (from spying and the like), political influence, etc. If someone doesn't want to do what the aclyote's say, in reality, most of the time, nothing might happen to them - or if it does it will be a LONG time before it happens, and even then the Inquisition will be careful to get all it's ducks in a row if that person is important.

 

How do you/should I handle it?


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#2 Adeptus-B

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 02:43 PM

Inquisitors have virtually unlimited power- but their operatives do not.

 

In my campaign, I say that Acolytes do not have independent authority- they are authorized by their Inquisitor to execute the specific mission at hand, and beyond that they have no more authority than any other member of the Adeptus. If they step too far out of line, harass powerful citizens, or otherwise try to 'milk' their connection to the big =][=, they risk locals with knowledge of Imperial law getting them in trouble with their superiors.

 

When they hit Throne Agent rank, they gain authority of their own, but within the extremely hierarchical society of the Imperium, there are always people who 'outrank' them.


Edited by Adeptus-B, 20 December 2013 - 04:32 PM.

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#3 ColArana

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:04 PM

My GM has handled it with a mixture of things. Sometimes it works! My Psyker did manage to get a group of disgruntled workers to drop their weapons by pulling the "I'm the Inquisition" card. But then again, we were going to kill them anyways if they hadn't, so there were no "drawbacks" as it were, to doing so.

 

Besides that situation, my GM has stressed the indication that not everyone likes the Inquisition. If you just go around pronouncing yourself the Inquisition, word is going to get out. People will avoid you, and it'll attract enemies of the Inquisition. You may even start a mass panic on some worlds, where the Inquisition isn't very well known, and it's very hard to find certain individuals or get info, when everyone who can get offworld, is trying to do so.

 

Being an Inquisitor is a double edged sword, and in my GM's opinion (and mine, based on our campaign) the "We're the Inquisition" card should only be dropped if there are no other options available, because there are as many potential consequences for it, as benefits.


Edited by ColArana, 20 December 2013 - 03:06 PM.

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#4 ThenDoctor

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 06:18 PM

Because depending on the inquisitor he may not want his name dropped.

 

Think about it, you're an inquisitor and you need something done relatively quietly, but you don't want to send any resources you care about losing. So you send the scrubs you just hired to see if they are worth the trouble you went through getting them.

 

But at the first sign of trouble, or laziness if it's a certain case, the guys you picked, or at least someone you trust picked, and decided are worthy of serving under you aren't willing to handle the issue on their own. Worse still not even realize the danger they can put themselves in, and name drop. The Inquisition doesn't want it's name dropped everywhere, let alone the political shadow play intrigue nightmare that can come from having your name personally dropped.

 

"We are part of the Inquisition, serving under Inquisitor X." Can be just as dangerous as getting a bolter put up to your head.

 

The inquisitors I play, and have played under, not only want, but they expect acolytes to respect the unique opportunity they've been given and want them to show just what they can do. Sure there are situations where it's necessary to name drop, but those situations usually don't involve the enemies being afraid of the Inquisition, it involves enemies that want to keep the PCs alive to find out how much the Inquisition knows.


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#5 Fgdsfg

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 01:41 AM

Because if they even know the name of the Interrogator of the Inquisitor that recruited them, I (as the said Inquisitor) would have them black-bagged, freeze-dried, ground up into little pieces, thrown into sodium hydroxide, reduced to a fine powder, thrown into a meat-processor, mixed with potatoes and fed to pigs.

And if you mention that you have any connection to the inquisition during an undercover mission of any kind, you've just tipped off half the planet, Gossip Girl-style. Thanks for nothing, you worthless pieces of gutter-trash, what am I supposed to do with you now? I'm going to have to send you away for reconstructive surgery and have the chirugeons spaced out the airlock afterwards, and the medical team's entire extended family, just to make sure nobody comes looking for them.

Do you have any idea what that costs?

It's less than it costs me to train new acolytes.

[...]

I've handled it so far by violating the setting. In my game so far, the Inquisition's power really rests on a mix of fear, knowledge (from spying and the like), political influence, etc. If someone doesn't want to do what the aclyote's say, in reality, most of the time, nothing might happen to them - or if it does it will be a LONG time before it happens, and even then the Inquisition will be careful to get all it's ducks in a row if that person is important.

[...]

That doesn't sound like "violating the setting" at all. Based on what little you've said, that sounds exactly like how it should be. The Inquisition's absolute power and authority is a formality without a basis in reality - the Imperium is a largely feudal system in an anarchic reality.

Their actual power is only as great as others consider it to be, whether out of loyalty or fear or force. A fledging Inquisitor might have no influence over a sector at all, whereas another may be able to marshal an entire Sector-Command to instigate an actual Crusade against the heretics forty planetary systems over.

Inquisitors that offend have a tendency to disappear, much like an overzealous Commissar that pisses a Regimental Commander in the face and wastes loyal squad members.

Edited by Fgdsfg, 21 December 2013 - 01:51 AM.

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#6 Radwraith

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 06:05 AM


 

[...]

I've handled it so far by violating the setting. In my game so far, the Inquisition's power really rests on a mix of fear, knowledge (from spying and the like), political influence, etc. If someone doesn't want to do what the aclyote's say, in reality, most of the time, nothing might happen to them - or if it does it will be a LONG time before it happens, and even then the Inquisition will be careful to get all it's ducks in a row if that person is important.

[...]

That doesn't sound like "violating the setting" at all. Based on what little you've said, that sounds exactly like how it should be. The Inquisition's absolute power and authority is a formality without a basis in reality - the Imperium is a largely feudal system in an anarchic reality.

Their actual power is only as great as others consider it to be, whether out of loyalty or fear or force. A fledging Inquisitor might have no influence over a sector at all, whereas another may be able to marshal an entire Sector-Command to instigate an actual Crusade against the heretics forty planetary systems over.

Inquisitors that offend have a tendency to disappear, much like an overzealous Commissar that pisses a Regimental Commander in the face and wastes loyal squad members.

 

I agree here. Ascension does a pretty good job of showing the limits of an inquisitor's influence (If nothing else!). The Acolytes do not have an Influence score (At least in DH1) and as such do not have any right or ability to bark orders at anyone! What they do have is rank. An IG Colonel or Tech Magos is going to be treated with a good deal of deference having nothing to do with the =][=! Also, As has been stated earlier; Acolytes are intended to be undercover operatives in one form or another. If they go around "name dropping" their Inquisitor will not appreciate it unless he has given his express permission to do so!



#7 Tenebrae

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 06:29 AM

A PC asked her inquisitor just this recently and was told:
"Have you ever hunted with hounds? They are loud and noisy and scare up the prey, making it run towards you and easy to catch. Some inquisitors do this. I do not.

My prey is intelligent, if I show my hand too early and scare them, they will go into hiding and be that much harder to find. Instead, let them think themselves safe, that they will come out to play - and then I will be there to sentence them in the name of the Emperor.

Now, I cannot always do this. I bear the Rosetta and thus cannot always remain hidden. Which is why I need pawns, to stay beneath the radar. Sometimes I must hunt with hounds. But then I shall be the hound. Loud and visible and flagrant. And I shall scare my prey and they shall run into the arms of my invisible pawns.

 

When hunting heretics, it pays to understand the value of silence and invisibility. If you cannot stay unseen, I have no use for you."

 

... sounded cooler when the GM just whipped it out, mind you.


Edited by Tenebrae, 21 December 2013 - 12:58 PM.

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#8 Kshatriya

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:25 PM

Because name-dropping the =][= is the best way to get any cover blown and yourself outgunned and black-bagged. Nobody is going to remember some random ops team there by some random faction. Everyone is going to remember the Inquisition getting involved. And the Inquisition works best when its threat is lurking, not exposed.


Edited by Kshatriya, 22 December 2013 - 06:26 PM.


#9 Lynata

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:01 PM

Aye, there are several reasons for why it might be unwise to just announce yourself openly the moment you set down foot.

 

I know this RPG deviates from GW's original material a bit, but I still find the following excerpts helpful to convey an idea that does exist in Dark Heresy, too.

 

#1 Don't alert the enemy

 

"An Inquisitor has, in theory, the whole of Humanity to command to his cause. He can requisition Space Marines and soldiers of the Imperial Guard, call upon specialist warriors such as Grey Knights and Sisters of Battle. And yet, the nature of his task means that all too often he must rely upon his own strengths and resources. If he fears a planetary ruler to be under the influence of the malign beasts of Chaos, to whom can he turn? If the populace of a world has risen in revolt against the Emperor, who will provide him with succour? By necessity, the Inquisitor works mostly in the darkness and shadows, his presence not recognised, his works unseen. Thus the Inquisitor and his warrior band know that they must stand alone against the horrors of the galaxy, for they can trust no one else."
- 6E Codex: Inquisition
 
#2 Don't presume that flashing an Inquisitorial seal will get you anywhere, every time
 
"The basic operational unit of the Inquisition is the Inquisitor. In an Imperium that groans under the weight of gargantuan organisations and an impossible bureaucracy, the Inquisition is unfettered by such considerations and is free to operate where and how it sees fit. With an open remit to combat threats to Mankind, the Inquisition operates outside of the other Imperial organisations, though it has absolute authority over them.
In practice, the Inquisition must be more political than its mandate allows. Though their power derives from the Emperor himself, and even the High Lords of Terra are not above their scrutiny, the Inquisition must also rely on the other parts of the Imperium for resources. The Inquisition has tremendous amounts of power, and has access to troops, weaponry and archives beyond most other Imperial organisations - yet it must still receive these from the Adeptus Astartes, the Imperial Guard, the Adeptus Mechanicus and others."
- GW Inquisitor: Thorian Sourcebook
 
#3 Every Inquisitor has rivals within their own organisation
 
"Given the secretive nature of the Inquisition, the way a cell operates is very much built upon keeping the members secure and to protect them from outside recognition. Many Inquisitors do not work openly, and simply identifying another Inquisitor can prove difficult. At some point, as suspicions are aroused, an Inquisitor will have to make the choice whether to declare himself - risking discovery by a potential foe, but also gaining a possible ally. If two covertly operating Inquisitors encounter each other, the manner of their meeting will determine their reaction."
- GW Inquisitor: Thorian Sourcebook
 
Of course, there are also more martial-minded Inquisitors who act openly, arriving with their household army to flush out cultists, yet as such a hard-handed approach runs the fear of simply scattering the malcontents like rats rather than succeeding in approaching the root cause of the issue, such tactics may not work every time, or only when a world is already in open rebellion, forcing the Inquisitor's hand. That being said, there is also the option of another Inquisitor "piggy-backing" an overtly acting colleague's zealous crusade by acting in the shadows, using the confusion and chaos to pursue their own mission, like Jaq Draco in the Inquisitor novel. ;)

Edited by Lynata, 22 December 2013 - 09:05 PM.

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#10 The Inquisition

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:14 PM

 

Aye, there are several reasons for why it might be unwise to just announce yourself openly the moment you set down foot.

 

 

 

As a note as well, the Inquisitor may not actually give the acolytes the ability to prove they're Inquisition.

 

This might especially occur for new acolytes.

 

But additionally, even if they can, acolytes may not be able to invoke full authority (the guard might demand something more substantive from the inquisitor personally if they requisition something big)--

 

And, as has been stated, telling everyone who's in charge of the heretic investigation might just help the heretics kill you before you find them.

 

GM's should perhaps look at this sort of stuff as an opportunity. Likely 'how to provide a sensible challenge for the acolytes in a way that adapts to their actions'.


Edited by The Inquisition, 22 December 2013 - 09:14 PM.

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#11 Arrakiz

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:00 PM

One thing that people didn't really even mention is this: imperial bureaucracy is terribly slow. Usually, when you flash inquisitorial ID and requisition something big, they just won't be able to provide it, Inqusition or not.

 

Imperial Guard works on pretty tight provisions. They can't mobilize quickly, they have everything scheduled and they have their own administration. So do Arbitrators. So does the Church.

 

Let's assume you flash the ID infront of an Imperial Seargant. Or an officer. Or hell, let's say you get to a comissar or even, somehow, the Plantery Governor. And then what? Do you expect that they will drop everything and give you all the aid they can? Sorry, but more usually then not they simply can't.

 

Oh they will help. If they aren't in on the heresy, they will give you a tip. Possibly a piece of equipement. Or maybe, a small squad of men to help. But most often, they will simply be unable to do anything more.

 

Virtually everyone in the Impeirum is overworked, overstressed and overpowered by very tangible fear that they may cease to exist at any given moment. They have it pretty rough. When you show up flashing the =][= acting like you're the only one doing any substentional work and demanding support that is simply impossible to be given, you're not making allies. You're making enemies.

 

Imperium is not the modern World. Constant war is not just a state of military, it's engraved deeply within the mind of every man and woman of the Imperium. They're all tired and paranoid. If you want something from them, put time and effort into making them your allies and then they will try to help you. You're not doing that by demanding immediate support by appealing to authority that isn't even yours.

 

Edit: this is also why I can't understand why people keep saying that Inquisition treats it's operatives like lowliest mooks while it should have best equipement available. Well, they do have the best equipement available. And it's being used. All the time. All those bolters and force weapons are not lying peacefully in secret armories- they're being used constantly three or four sectors away in suicide missions on which the future of the Imperium hinges. And then they take those glorious weapons to the grave with them, on a lowly planet, in a pool of mud and blood, cluthing desperetly the grips of their guns.

 

Inquisition has more operatives then it has available equipement. Honsetly, if I was ever given something more substentional then a chainsword from my Inqusitor, I'd start praying. Because that means he's sending us on a mission that demands better equipment. And that likely means it's over.

 

Case in point- I was recently given a single psy round to deal with the Psyker on our team. And I already started thinking on my next character.


Edited by Arrakiz, 04 January 2014 - 06:01 AM.

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#12 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 04:49 AM

I let them.

They' had proof of identification to be used in extremis only as they were supposed to remain undercover, and flashed it in front of some arbites to make life easier.

 

Said arbites knew they didn't have legal rank on a judge per se, but that pointing this out would probably just lead to a direct vox call to an exasperated inquisitor who would just order them to turn over the damn prisoner anyway.

 

They got their way. However, said use of authority was recorded in the Arbite's files and this was noted by...other parties.

 

The fact that the following gaming session consisted of a massive, well-organised assassination attempt which cost the party a groundcar, a chainsword, three fate points and a left arm was not explicitely stated to be connected. But they got the hint.


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#13 Braddoc

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:07 PM

Why shouldn't the Acolytes, whenever their cover isn't absolutely vital to the mission, always pull the "We're the Inquisition" card?

 

This makes it challenging for me as a GM, since they should be able to summon massive amounts of assistance and get instant acquiescence. Don't want to hand over your Power Sword - "we're the Inquisition". Lots of cultists to fight? Bring in the Planetary Defense Forces and the Arbites.

 

I've handled it so far by violating the setting. In my game so far, the Inquisition's power really rests on a mix of fear, knowledge (from spying and the like), political influence, etc. If someone doesn't want to do what the aclyote's say, in reality, most of the time, nothing might happen to them - or if it does it will be a LONG time before it happens, and even then the Inquisition will be careful to get all it's ducks in a row if that person is important.

 

How do you/should I handle it?

 

You should play in my games;  When the players can save their asses/make tings easier for them by taking that =I= card out, they begin talking in riddles, evading questions and usually looking like over bloated asses.

 

When stealth is an issue, where discretion is the better part of valour, bam! Nobody suspects the Imperial Inquisition!

 

Granted that was campaign #1...campaign #2 was worked with way way waaayyy more stealth and discretion, one would say over the top as well...the only way they did say they were the =I= was an actual slip-up of writing (we play on mIRC) and even then the player manged to threaten the journalist (of all people) about how horribly slow and painfully he will die if he even got a general thought about talking about it...it worked until now too!

Oh and of course the mandatory time they faced off some heretics, got to scream you're the Inquisition after all...



#14 Morangias

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:21 PM

You should play in my games;  When the players can save their asses/make tings easier for them by taking that =I= card out, they begin talking in riddles, evading questions and usually looking like over bloated asses.

Ha! I have a player like that as well. Generally she's a great player, but giving her character any kind of restricted knowledge or secret mission makes her incapable of expressing the simplest thought clearly, either to the NPCs or to the group.


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#15 GauntZero

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:08 AM

Dont forget that not everyone knows about the inquisition.

Imperial institutes might know in many instances, but an underhive ganger mit not.

And even if they do know about the inquisition, that knowledge might be very very limited.
Not to speak about that rarely someone will know the correct identification if your words are true.
Anyone might say "I am the i quisition" and show you some blingbling style symbols. So what ?
You really think people believe you, scum bag ?

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#16 segara82

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:00 AM

I posted the following in the DH2 forum sinc the question about subtlety came up there too:

 

Reasons for not-name-dropping:

Not all cultists manage to hide. But witnesses disappear or change their statements, evidence degrades or gets destroyed, information and people get manipulated ... making it much harder for the Acolytes find something and/or someone that sticks or that will help them.
Getting stonewalled from official institutions because you have no evidence against respected members of their community ('How dare you to accuse Sir Pentalan?! He and his family have done more for the Empire than you upstarts!'),
finding only dead informants or none (Dead people tell no tales),
those that cannot be killed to avoid attention get blackmailed or intimidated,
accidents get arranged,
security systems get an update or rearrangement,
traps get layed to embarass the Acolytes,
fake trails to accuse innocents are layed out,
red herrings are set up to further delay the investigations,
..

 

and of course there can be ambushes, accelerations to the hereticals plans, other powerplayers your were not investigating got rattled, ...

 

And GauntZero brought up another good one. Considering the sheer size of the Empire and its settlements there must be billions of people who never heard about the =I=.

I can somehow imagine that ganger. 'A new gang with it's own bling? Competition! Let's nail 'em!'

It sounds so good that i'll steal it for one my groups.


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#17 GauntZero

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:23 AM

Inquisition ? What do you talk about being Inquisition ? Me and my gang are much more Inquisition than you are !
Even my grandma is more inquisition than you *bambam*
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#18 segara82

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:57 PM

My group has to be careful not to be mistaken for a british comedy group. After all, 3 of them (Firebrand Redemptionist, Sister Hospitaler, Techpriest) often wear red robes.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Ixgc_FGam3s


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#19 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:22 AM

My group has to be careful not to be mistaken for a british comedy group. After all, 3 of them (Firebrand Redemptionist, Sister Hospitaler, Techpriest) often wear red robes.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Ixgc_FGam3s

 

So - they represent "fear", "surprise", and "ruthless efficiency" respectively?



#20 segara82

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 02:22 PM

No, not really. They are more akin to blunder, slip-up and disaster.

That's why the Cleric went the Redemptionist way and trys to get his hands on all Chain and Flame Weapons that he can get (and carry).

The Techpriest tries his best to not get caught in the mess, and the Sororitas is busy with keeping everyone alive.


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