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Pre-SoC attitudes towards mutations and frequency


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#1 Twodogz

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:51 AM

Hey guys,

 

I need some advice regarding how the different races feel towards people with mutations.

 

I have read through Liber Mutatis and found people of The Empire's general views.

 


WFRP3 Liber Mutatis p14:
People say that wizards who cast spells too recklessly risk mutation, and that trafficking with daemons or the undead is a sure fire path to mutation. Many believe that mutation can result from sinful behaviour and impious desires.

The authorities of the Empire take a hard line on mutants. Ancient edicts deem them tainted by Chaos and therefore enemies to be destroyed, no matter how rational or benign a particular mutant might appear.

Imperially sanctioned Witch Hunters and members of the Knightly Orders track down and kill mutants with the same pitiless zeal they show sorcerers and daemons. Nobles and town councils levy bounties on mutants as aggressively as they do on outlaws and goblins.

Folk in the Empire regard mutants as physically disgusting and morally abhorrent. Whenever a mutant amongst them is exposed, many people gather in droves to witness its execution. The preferred way to put a mutant to death is to burn it at the stake, a spectacle sure to delight a crowd. Witch Hunters who uncover a number of mutants in one area have been known to hold them prisoner for weeks before their execution. News of such a mass burning can draw crowds from miles around, and works wonders for a Witch Hunter’s reputation.

 

 

Could you please help me in discovering where the non-human races stand with this?  Are they aligned in hatred or are they more understanding of the potential random nature of infection of Chaos and thus more sympathetic?

 

The reason I ask is because I have a Dwarf Troll Slayer in the group I GM, who as a part of his back story watched a young man slow-roasted at the stake by a Witch Hunter.  He "put the kid out of his misery" with a throwing axe because he "only had a tentacle for an arm".

 

The "only had a tentacle for an arm" troubles me.  Surely, even as a Dwarf, he would view such an extreme mutation the product of some sort of dabbling in diabolical works?  And if he was a servant of the Dark Lords, is he deserving of sympathy or a quick death?  Also, "only a tentacle for an arm", where would he have even seen a mutation like this before?  Surely he'd be freaked out?

 

IMHO pre-Storm of Chaos should have more intrigue, superstition and be less common in the frequency of civilians bearing Chaos mutations.  After all, it's not like the North has invaded right?  I could understand his ease with mutation and assumed exposure to, if we were talking post-SoC where Chaos is everywhere, people are displaced and even the earth permeates the remnants of taint.  I am concerned that this player will miss out on the core conflict that is the 1st/3rd Ed setting.

 

What are your thoughts?


Edited by Twodogz, 29 December 2013 - 01:15 AM.

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#2 k7e9

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:23 AM

Well, a dwarf might feel that it was unnecesary to torture the mutant, and might feel that it was right to give him a quick death. Dwarves may well have heard horrible stories about mutatants that have been mutaded to such a degree that they cannot even be recognized as human. Dwarven mothers might tell these stories to keep their young from going up to the surface, for example. In that perspective "only had a tentacle for an arm" fits. I believe that the best thing you can do is talk to the player, and ask his views.

 

But there are Empire humans that help and hide mutants, without seeing themselves as chaos-worshippers. Seeing your best friend get a mutation might leave you wondering if mutants really are all bad for example. So even among empire folk there are differences in how you view mutations.

 

The quote from Liber Mutatis is the general and official attitude of the empire though (and hiding a mutant from the athourities is obviously a crime with a death sentence).


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#3 valvorik

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:14 AM

I think the only real difference is that the older and more "continuous memory" dwarf and elf cultures are less likely to see mutation as "result of sin", though still likely to see it as result of careless mucking about with magic (any human doing it is careless in their views) and a variety of other risks of exposure some of which are without blame. 

 

The dwarf and elf cultures still regard mutants as needing destruction, though perhaps mercifully if they have yet to act on the "call of chaos" - a mutant is a doomed individual who either already does or will pose a risk to others.  Materials differ a little on whether a mutant is actually doomed to hear the call of chaos (I like the description in the Drachenfels novel best for this) or could just continue on as a mutant without tipping over into monster (e.g., some of the mutants in Dying of the Light).  In my own take this means it is a "an ongoing appreciable risk".  Perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps the day after - live long enough it will happen.  Being long-lived, the elf and dwarf races see that "chaos taint always tells in the end" (eventually the dice come up all chaos stars and jigs up).


Edited by valvorik, 30 December 2013 - 07:58 AM.

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#4 Twodogz

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:47 AM

Thanks for your feedback guys.


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