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On Forge Worlds, tithing, and the Imperial Guard


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#1 KarmicCycle

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:01 AM

I was very disappointed in the Forge World homeworld description, in that it states over and over that Forge Worlds tithe to the Imperial Guard. This is simply not canonical.

 

The Treaty of Mars granted political autonomy to the Mechanicum of Mars and its Forge Worlds scattered across the galaxy as well as an exception to the Imperial Truth so that the Cult Mechanicus' adherents could continue to practice their faith. 

 

Forge Worlds supply technology, weaponry, ships, and tech priests to the Imperium, in exchange for navigators and astropaths; and that is the extent of their obligation.

 

In regards to the DH character creation system, this could create some very interesting character customization. The big one being that the Imperial Guard background could be used to represent Skitarii characters, the militant arm of the Mechanicus.

 

For more on the Skitarii:

The Skitarii, also known as the Tech-Guard, are the cybernetic military forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus of the Imperium of Man. They are used to defend Mechanicus Forge Worlds, manufacturing installations elsewhere in the Imperium and often accompany high-ranking Tech-priests and Magi as their bodyguards. Skitarii also serve as the armed forces that defend the Mechanicus' Explorator vessels that explore the galactic frontier. Skitarii safeguard Titans on campaign from boarding actions and prevent hostile forces from reaching the war engines' dead zone, where its main weapon batteries are useless. A number of Titan Legions maintain their own Skitarii detachments for this purpose, and if they do not, their Mechanicus masters will provide ample forces to protect the God Machines. The term "Skitarii" is formally applied by the Tech-priests of the Mechanicus to all of the military forces under their command, including infantry and armoured vehicles, save for the Titan Legions and the Knights. However, the term colloquially has often referred solely to the Adeptus Mechanicus' cybernetic infantrymen.


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#2 Morangias

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:15 AM

FFG regularly takes liberties with 40k canon if they believe their idea works better for the game - and in their defense, 40k wasn't initially designed to weather the kind of inside look it gets through the medium of RPGs. That's why Deathwatch was granted more autonomy from the Inquisition than it has in other sources, for another example.

 

In this case, it is to maintain the maximum amount of options for character creation, as Skitarii warriors would be better represented by Forge/AdMech/Warrior than Forge/IG/Warrior, but they didn't quite feel like restricting character creation options based on homeworld.

 

This could probably do without saying it's a regular occurrence - just mention that it happened based on some specific deals between a specific Forge World and the sector's Munitorum, and the option remains free without blatantly negating previously established facts.


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#3 KarmicCycle

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:21 AM

...as Skitarii warriors would be better represented by Forge/AdMech/Warrior than Forge/IG/Warrior...

 

I disagree with this assessment. A Forge/AdMech/Warrior is a warrior Tech Priest, as it gains the Mechanicus Implants. It is a full robed member of the Mechanicus. A Forge/IG/Warrior is not a full robed Tech Priest, but a menial citizen of a Forge World in a military role. This, to me, is the amazing subtlety of this character creation system. 


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#4 KarmicCycle

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:26 AM

To illustrate further, the Skitarii are a military legion, with many different aspects. Not all of them are warriors, as they have support staff, scouts, heavy infantry, vehicle operators, etc. This can be represented by all the roles as such: 

Forge/IG/Assassin - Skitarii sniper/scout

Forge/IG/Chirurgeon - Skitarii medic

Forge/IG/Sage - Skitarii intelligence officer

 

This works in the same way as it would for any IG character using a role other than Warrior.


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#5 Lynata

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:03 AM

Different sources will portray such details in different ways. As Morangias mentioned, this by far isn't the first time FFG deviates from GW material.

 

That being said, in the past this has actually worked "in favour" of the AdMech, for in Games Workshop's material the Mechanicus is not as independent as you seem to imply. If you are looking at the political chart in the 6E rulebook, the Adeptus Mechanicus is attached to and located below the High Lords of Terra, on a level similar to the Adeptus Ministorum and the Adeptus Terra, with all three of these organisations having a seat on the Senatorum Imperialis - including the AdMech's Fabricator General. Also, as per the Thorian Sourcebook and the 6E Codex Inquisition, the Inquisition's full authority extends over the AdMech, with GW's Inquisitor game even including an example of a Magos being executed.

Yet I recall Dark Heresy implying that here, the Inquisition has no power over the Mechanicus, which is essentially left to police itself.

 

 

To illustrate further, the Skitarii are a military legion, with many different aspects. Not all of them are warriors, as they have support staff, scouts, heavy infantry, vehicle operators, etc.

 

To be fair, he was specifically talking about Skitarii warriors.


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#6 KarmicCycle

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:50 AM

I think we are focusing on differing aspects of this discussion. I understand that FFG deviates from GW in some aspects. In some cases this is probably for the good of the game, and in others it might be indicative of not understanding the history and canon.

 

 

for in Games Workshop's material the Mechanicus is not as independent as you seem to imply. If you are looking at the political chart in the 6E rulebook, the Adeptus Mechanicus is attached to and located below the High Lords of Terra

 

You are correct in the placement in Imperial hierarchy, but not in Imperial history. The AdMech is an Adeptus, and organized into Imperial life as such, but its history is much different than all the others. All the other Adeptus were created by the Imperium to serve a function, while the Mechanicus joined the Imperium prior to the kick-off of the crusades. The Emperor discovered the Mechanicus on Mars, and chose to ally with the Fabricator General instead of attempting to conquer Mars. This milestone is an important marker in the creation of The Imperium. The Treaty of Mars is illustrative of this history, and no other Adeptus has this kind of autonomy. 

 

 

To be fair, he was specifically talking about Skitarii warriors.

 

The difference I am trying to illustrate is this: The Adeptus Mechanicus background makes a Tech Priest. The Forge World homeworld does not. There is a difference between a -/AdMech/Sage, and a Forge/-/Sage.


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#7 Lynata

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:47 PM

The Emperor discovered the Mechanicus on Mars, and chose to ally with the Fabricator General instead of attempting to conquer Mars. This milestone is an important marker in the creation of The Imperium. The Treaty of Mars is illustrative of this history, and no other Adeptus has this kind of autonomy.

 

Except the Adeptus Astartes. ;)

 

"Because of their importance to the Imperium, the Adeptus Mechanicus was allowed, in quiet discord, to continue following its own mysterious strictures. The Cult Mechanicus does acknowledge the Emperor as the Master of Mankind, although they do not recognise the authority of the Adeptus Ministorum, despite its official sanction. While other religions were named as heretical for such acts, the Adeptus Mechanicus has been granted an unusual autonomy, a freedom of worship unparalleled save for that granted to the Space Marines for their unusual practices." 
- 6E rulebook p.402 

 

What the Treaty of Mars exactly is also depends much on interpretation - or the sources we may be reading. When White Dwarf #178 featured an article discussing the past of the Adeptus Mechanicus, it made it sound neither as if the Emperor conquered Mars nor the AdMech merely allying with him. They joined his empire:

 

"On Mars the Emperor was recognised as the long-awaited Omnissiah of cult legend. A frenzy of popular uprising swept through the entire Cult Mechanicus as word spread of his coming. When the Emperor arrived on Mars he was hailed as the Machine God Incarnate and the Tech-Priests and Techno-Magi alike came to acknowledge his leadership and marvel at the technical secrets at his command.
 
Not all amongst the Cult Mechanicus were happy with this turn of events. Many of the senior Magi resented the disturbance in the status quo threatening, as it did, their own power base. A few of these malcontents led a rebellion and seized the Temple of All Knowledge from where they called the faithful to war against the Emperor.
 
The conflict that followed was short and bloody, and ended in the defeat of the reactionaries and triumph of the Emperor's followers. Mars and Earth were reunited after millennia of separate development.
 
To establish their place amongst the new rulers of the Imperium the Cult Mechanicus became the Adeptus Mechanicus, and its cult leaders became High Lords of Terra. Over the following millennia the people of Earth and Mars would march forward together, welded into one mighty Imperium, yet distinctly different societies with their own governments and institutions.
 
It is now the forty-first millennium. The Emperor has endured for ten thousand years, his living spirit continues to guide the fate of mankind though his body is rank with decay. On the world of Mars the Techno-Magi celebrate the rites of the Machine God and his divine manifestation the undying Emperor. Throughout the Imperium there are countless Forge Worlds devoted to the pursuit of knowledge. The Titan Legions and the Tech-Guard armies of the Adeptus Mechanicus protect and expand the territories of the Machine God. In conjunction with the Space Marines and Imperial Guard, they form the fighting armies of the Imperium, the most potent force in the galaxy. 
 
The Forge Worlds and Knight Worlds remain fiercely loyal to their Martian masters. Their industry and their tithes are to the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Techno-Magi of the Cult Mechanicus. Where other human worlds in the Imperium are part of the feudal empire controlled by the Administratum of the Adeptus Terra on Earth, the Adeptus Mechanicus retains direct ownership of its own territories. Thus the Forge Worlds and the Knight Worlds owe no obligations to the Adepts of Earth. They raise no regiments for the Imperial Guard and they pay no tithes to the treasury. They are not answerable to the Adeptus Terra but to the Adeptus Mechanicus. Only the Inquisition has jurisdiction in their territories, as there are no worlds in the Imperium where those warriors of righteousness may not walk freely." 

 

The difference I am trying to illustrate is this: The Adeptus Mechanicus background makes a Tech Priest. The Forge World homeworld does not. There is a difference between a -/AdMech/Sage, and a Forge/-/Sage.

 

Fair enough, that's a good point. I'll have to read up again on the specifics - though it may be possible that it would still fit, if the Skitarii are similarly inducted into cult rites as the warriors of the Ecclesiarchy. From what I've read about the Forge Worlds, they function very similar to the Shrine Worlds of the Ministorum, just following a different religion - but one that still extends over every aspect of life.

 

... basically making the Tech-Guard the "Frateris Templar" of the Mechanicus, if you will.

 

I suppose it depends on how we see the Skitarii and life on a Forge World, again making it a matter of interpretation. But I'd have to re-check the exact mechanical effects of this background before I could be sure of my own opinion. ;)


Edited by Lynata, 07 January 2014 - 01:51 PM.

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#8 svstrauser

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 11:00 AM

I do realize WH40K cannon can be "flexible", so to speak, but I believe most sources would indicate that a Skitarii should be a Forge / Ad Mech / Warrior.

Your background defines who you serve and who you we, and the Skitarii serre, so to speak, "raised" (trained would be a more technical term, maybe) by.

And the skitarii are raised / trained / built / grown in vats by the Adeptus Mechanicus.

This is very clear, at least, in the "Priests of Mars" novels.

Rules-wise, also, I believe ths bonus makes a lot more sense.

Just a visual help:

299px-SkitariiWarrior.jpg


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#9 Tom Cruise

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 11:03 AM

What the Skitarii are seems to vary completely depending on which writer you ask, to the point that 'Adeptus Mechanicus troops' is the only real consistent description.

 

So basically do whatever the **** you want with them.


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#10 svstrauser

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:04 PM

What the Skitarii are seems to vary completely depending on which writer you ask, to the point that 'Adeptus Mechanicus troops' is the only real consistent description.

 

So basically do whatever the **** you want with them.

That's a very good point, really.

I would go with Adepts trained for war.

The Inquisitor's handbook disagrees with me there, as they invented the "Secutor", but it is clearly just a stand in for the Skitarii, which they have never made into a class or advance, for reasons I do not know.

What I do know is that they are not a part of the IG.


Edited by svstrauser, 08 January 2014 - 12:04 PM.

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#11 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:29 AM

I think the Skitarii are the Mechanicus equivalent of the PDF/Imperial Guard. They are not full Tech-Priests, but rather are a standing military force formed from the populations of forge worlds. Source material indicates that they function as enforcers/PDF on Mechanicus worlds but are sometimes used offensively in a manner similar to the IG.

 

Skitarii are not necessarily any better trained than "normal" Guardsmen, but they are very well equipped. They tend to have some form of augmentations to boost their combat abilities and use an unusually high amount of high-tech weapons as befits soldiers of the Machine God. Examples include the disgustingly potent Vanaheim assault shotgun. I also imagine they would use gun servitors in addition to/in place of standard heavy weapons teams (using two men to fire one gun is sooooo inefficient :D)

 

EDIT: This may not be supported to the letter by 40k source material, it's just my personal take on the Skitarii. I do distinctly remember reading that Skitarii enforce the law on forge worlds though -- I believe it was in the discription of the Vanaheim in the Inquisitor's Handbook.


Edited by Covered in Weasels, 09 January 2014 - 08:34 AM.

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#12 Lynata

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:59 AM

Personally, I'd certainly agree with this interpretation! In my vision of the 41st millennium, a Forge World is a dystopian arrangement of dark corridors, monolithic factorum halls and ever-working machinery populated mostly by lobotomised and repurposed servitor drones, with the human percentage growing up in a highly organised and all-encompassing regime entirely controlled by the omnipresent Cult Mechanicus, where every single life is but a number in some registry, a string of data to be assigned and reassigned to other work places, homes, and domestic partners as required by the calculations of some administrative cogitator, all for the greater glory of the Machine God.
 
Step out of line in any way, and you won't just incur a fine or a prison sentence, as this would be far too inefficient for the followers of the Omnissiah. No, if you do not fit in with this society, your body will be recycled and repurposed, likely joining the legions of aforementioned servitors, as all you are is a living proof that The Flesh Is Weak.
 
As such, the enforcers of the AdMech's rule need not possess much understanding in criminal procedures or investigation. Troublemakers are simply tracked via cameras and implanted tracers, rounded up and transferred into the blessed care of the Divisio Biologis. All you need is a trusty shotgun and an adamant faith in your god to steel your spirit against the corrupting influence of doubt and compassion. ;)
 

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#13 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:38 AM

There's inherent difficulty defining the Skitarii, purely because the Adeptus Mechanicus are an example of a Feudal Technocracy. Each and every Magos (and equivalent Ruling Priests, such as Logis, Genetors and Artisans) is the lord of a domain, responsible for his own research, his own manufacturing, and his own defence forces (the term Magos is freqently misused to simply refer to a senior or particularly experienced Tech-Priest; strictly speaking, it's a major political appointment, equivalent to being a Cardinal of the Ecclesiarchy or a Judge of the Adeptus Arbites, and comes with its own responsibilities). On a Forge World - with plenty of room for local variation, as many Forge World predate the Imperium, having been founded by exploratory forces braving the Warp Storms during the Age of Strife - there may be dozens or hundreds of individual domains, each ruled by a single Magos, each with their own Skitarii Legions, mustered and manufactured according to the particular proclivities of their liege lord.

 

Amongst other things, this means that Magi with military-applicable specialities will often have those specialities reflected in the organisation and armament of their warriors, and the strength of those militaries will vary based on how war-focussed ther lord is. One Magos may create a token defence force out of the strongest and most aggressive menials given simple armour and lasguns, while another may painstakingly manufacture phalanx after phalanx of genetically and cybernetically enhanced living weapons that are a match for the Astartes in their brutal efficiency... and all other points between those two extremes.


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#14 svstrauser

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:17 PM

Both Lynata and N0something, I will not quote your posts here as it would just bloat the thread, but I would like to say that both your posts sounded great!

It's very good to see other members with this interest in the fluff, and I very much agree with your interpretations. Many books (again, Priests of Mars and Titanicus come as my favorite sources of AdMech fluff) mention that criminals, undesirables and outcasts in general are turned into servitors in planets under Mechanicus watch.

Actually, if memory serves, there is a RT book that mentions that even if you only have low enough grades, not being considered fit to serve, it's off to the meat factories with you.

And N0, there are many WH40K sourcebooks that provide glimpses of what you just said. The planet Heterodyne comes to mind.

After reading about it (an actual feudal world ruled by the AdMech, that mixes medieval and advanced cyber technology), and incorporating the fact that the different Skitarii legions are VERY different, according to the magos who rule them, I ruled that the best weaponsmiths and cybersmiths from Calixis come from Heterodyne and, as such, the Skitarii in the sector look like medieval knights, wearing gothic platemail (although a very advanced form of it) over their implants.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me love WH40K.
 


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#15 susanbrindle

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:03 PM

I agree fully with No One Here- The Skitarii are going to work a lot like the Imperial Guard, in that there's a world of difference between regiments from Cadia, Krieg, Catachan, Valhala, Mordia, Tallarn... and that's mostly just cultural differences. Factor in the huge variety in technological specialties and you're never going to have a standardized example. 

 

That said, one could define a few of the common Admech flavors in the Askellon sector, if they wanted to release something like The Lathe Worlds in 2nd edition. 



#16 Lynata

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:24 PM

(an actual feudal world ruled by the AdMech, that mixes medieval and advanced cyber technology)

 

This reminds me of the fluff about the Knight Worlds - feudal planets governed and protected by a caste of noble warriors under the auspices of the Adeptus Mechanicus, offering armies and resources to the Machine Cult in exchange for technology and continued maintenance of their ancient walking war machines.

 

There's quite a bit about them on these archived White Dwarf excerpts, in case anyone is looking for some inspiration. Just scroll down a bit for two articles! :)


Edited by Lynata, 09 January 2014 - 02:25 PM.

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#17 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 07:45 AM

The Adeptus Mechanicus are an example of a Feudal Technocracy.

 

 

...Someone's played Traveller.

 

To date, there have been two 'flavours' of Skitarii shown in the 40k novels, artwork, etc: the Ben Counter/Sandy Mitchel "Clockwork Stormtroopers" and the Graham McNeil/Dan Abnett "Augmetic Gorillas" who bear little or no resemblance to the Imperial Guard. Personally, I like to assume that both exist, and different Forges - and different cohorts within those forges - will organise their forces differently.


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#18 Elior

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 10:07 AM

It's likely the Skitarii vary in looks and capability based upon the battleground or environment that they are in as well. For instance, if they are primarily fighting on soft surfaces like mud, they may have tank treads instead of legs or if they are in the jungle, they might look non-human so that they can more quickly navigate the terrain.



#19 svstrauser

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 10:24 AM

 

The Adeptus Mechanicus are an example of a Feudal Technocracy.

 

 

...Someone's played Traveller.

 

To date, there have been two 'flavours' of Skitarii shown in the 40k novels, artwork, etc: the Ben Counter/Sandy Mitchel "Clockwork Stormtroopers" and the Graham McNeil/Dan Abnett "Augmetic Gorillas" who bear little or no resemblance to the Imperial Guard. Personally, I like to assume that both exist, and different Forges - and different cohorts within those forges - will organise their forces differently.

 

At least in my games I play them like this. 

Every sector, and in some cases subsectors or even  specific forgeworlds, have their own traditions and rules. Therefore, each one has their own different kind of Skitarii.

Actually, with very few exceptions to rules that encompass the full Imperium, I do this for most aspects of the setting.


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#20 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 12:51 PM

At least in my games I play them like this. 

Every sector, and in some cases subsectors or even  specific forgeworlds, have their own traditions and rules. Therefore, each one has their own different kind of Skitarii.

Actually, with very few exceptions to rules that encompass the full Imperium, I do this for most aspects of the setting.

 

It's a good approach to take - why do you think the 40kRPs always have their own sectors? A corner of space unique to each RPG, allowing FFG to detail things without having to make sweeping declarations about the whole setting (which, amongst other things, speeds up approvals - defining something as specific to the RPG 'sandbox' means that GW is much more likely to give it the thumbs up.


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