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Some new gear for your acolytes…

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#1 Lightbringer



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Posted 15 August 2009 - 12:01 PM



Sin Eater powder

The Officio Assasinorum is one of the few Imperial institutions that is more secretive and feared than the Inquisition. True Imperial Assassins of the handful of Assassinorum Temples (as opposed to the many “unofficial” Imperial death cults) are amongst the deadliest killers in the galaxy, capable of slaying almost any target, given sufficient time to plan their approach.

The Officio utilises a wide variety of exotic tools in order to carry out their sacred duties. Most of these are weapons: however they also employ more mundane equipment such as rope harnesses, lockpicks and night vision goggles. On occasion, an assassin is forced by circumstances beyond their control to utilise a very specialist piece of Officio equipment: sin eater powder.

The powder is a genetically engineered variant on the horrific life-eater virus deployed in Imperial Exterminatus bio weapons. The original life-eater weapon is an awesomely vituperative agent capable of consuming entire planetary populations in minutes, and rendering their living flesh into explosive chemicals capable of burning whole worlds in hellish firestorms.

Its counterpart – the sin eater virus – is a more benign (though still potent) agent which dissolves only dead flesh, though it does so with a rapidity that astounds those unused to its effects. Usually deployed in a matt-black container which resembles nothing so much as a saltshaker, the sin-eater virus is used to dispose of inconvenient dead bodies left behind by Imperial Assassins in the course of their duties. A single shaker-full can dispose of over a dozen bodies in less than a minute apiece. The virus rapidly converts all dead flesh into an odourless steam that rapidly dissipates, leaving no trace of any human body. Any corpse (indeed, even its trace DNA) will vanish completely, leaving behind only its clothes, augmetics and equipment. Variants are commonly used to dispose of Ork corpses and other dangerous Xeno species.

The powder is so rare as to be unheard of on the open market, though well connected Inquisitors may use their Ordo Sicarious colleague’s sources for the benefit of their acolytes.

Lesser versions of the powder are common in the underworld, as someone always needs a way to rapidly dispose of a body. “False” sin eater powder – usually taking the form of powerful acids – is relatively easy to acquire from any large hive world if one knows where to ask. Its effects on a human corpse are spectacularly messy: they render a corpse down into trace fats and tissues, which can then be flushed away down any normal sanitary system. This process is usually traumatic for the “cleaner” forced to do the duty, takes about half an hour per corpse, and leaves much trace evidence. Clothes, augmetics and equipment worn on the corpse will be ruined, but not disposed of.


Item: True Sin Eater Powder
Cost: 5,000 per shaker
Wt: -
Availability: Ordos and Imperial servants only (GM issue only)
Special rules: completely dissolves human corpses in under a minute apiece, leaving only augmetics, clothes and equipment. Traceless.

Item: False Sin Eater Powder
Cost: 50 per corpse
Wt: 2 kgs per corpse
Availability: Rare
Special rules: using false sin eater powder is a horrifically unscientific process that tends to unhinge those unused to its effects. The first time anyone witnesses the dissolving of a corpse at close range with powerful acids, they must take a fear test. A failure gives the witness 1 insanity point. Furthermore, the process is messy and will cause the surrounding area to stink for at least 5 hours afterwards, even if carefully washed.

Tracker Drone

“Making a low buzz like an angry insect, a cyber-drone flew in through the hatchway. It was travelling at head height, and as soon as it was in the bay, it decelerated and began to hover gently along, as if sniffing the air.
The drone was small. It had been built into the polished skull of some deer or grazer. The red glow of motion tracker-systems shone from its eye sockets. Under the base of the occipital bone, the drone’s tiny lift motors whirred and pulsed.”

-Ravenor by Dan Abnett

Tracker drones are a miniature and inferior version of a cyber-skull, designed principally to assist hunters and beast-drovers in the pursuit of wild animals. Driven by an extremely rudimentary machine-spirit, what the tracker lacks in the mechanical purity and faithful soul of a true servo skull, it makes up for in persistence and simplicity.

A Tracker Drone’s sole purpose is to silently explore a particular area in order to acquire a target for its master. As soon as it locates any target which matches preset parameters (typically a human or animal heatsource) it signals its controller (usually via a chime in a paired earpiece) and then follows the target until its master shoots it.

Although initially designed for big game hunters, these devices are also popular with killers and bounty hunters. Tracker Drones are always unarmed, and are usually formed from the skulls of small to medium sized animals.

Tracker Drone Profile
WS: - BS: - S: 05 T: 15 Ag: 40 Int: 10 Per: 35 WP: 15 Fel: -

Movement: -

Skills: Awareness +20, Tracking +10, Dodge +10, Silent Move +10

Talents: Fearless,

Traits: Dark sight, Flier 6, Machine (1) Programmed instinct, Size (puny)

Weapons: none

Cost: 750 thrones, availability Scarce

Special rules: The Tracker Drone has a single programme: Locate. The Drone will methodically search a given area until it locates a human sized heatsource. As soon as it locates one, it will notify its master via a silent signal, and then follow the target until it stops emitting heat. It will then continue searching.

Witch Hound
The Ordo Hereticus’ primary duty is arguably the capture and suppression of psykers. Identifying psykers is – for non psykers – often a tricky business. While some psykers are stereotypically wild-eyed bald cacklers with glowing eyes, the vast majority resemble perfectly normal humans, with no uniformly reliable way of identifying them, especially if their powers are feeble, or if they are consciously seeking to conceal their abilities. Many Ordo Hereticus Inquisitors are driven to insane paranoia by this issue, creating increasingly bizarre and contradictory tests for identifying “witches” that involve ducking into water and the burning or mortification of the flesh.

Psy Trackers – temperamental handheld devices easily confused by psychic background noise – are a mainstay of the Ordos, but they are often inadequate to the task at hand and prone to catastrophic false positives.

One alternative employed by some Ordo Hereticus witchunters is the Witch Hound. This is a small, nondescript looking breed of dog with a short, wiry grey hide that has been shown over the centuries to have some limited talent for identifying psychic ability. The dogs are rather like sniffer dogs employed by some planetary police forces to identify contraband or explosives. They react according to their training whenever they detect psychic ability or the taint of the warp, usually whimpering or barking to identify their discovery to their handler.

The dogs often make mistakes, and are easily confused or unsettled by new psychic phenomena. No scientific explanation for their talent has ever satisfactorily advanced, (although it is not believed that they are themselves psychic) and many Inquisitors disdain the use of the animals.

Witch Hound Profile
WS: 30 BS: - S: 15 T: 20 Ag: 30 Int: 15 Per: 38 WP: 40 Fel: -

Movement: 6/12/18/36

Skills: Awareness +20, Tracking +10, Dodge +10 Swim

Talents: Sprint, Psyniscience

Traits: Bestial, natural weapon (bite) Quadruped

Weapons: Bite (1d10+1R, Primitive)

Cost: 2,000 thrones, availability Very Rare


#2 Nullius



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Posted 15 August 2009 - 06:47 PM

Some more excellent posts from Lightbringer. My thanks and warmest regards for your fun and creative posts. They are always an entertaining and inspiring read.

#3 TheFlatline



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Posted 15 August 2009 - 10:32 PM

Good stuff. The tracker drones gave me an idea for a varient. I won't stat it up as completely as you did your write-ups, but I'll throw the idea out there:


Hound Drones:

Hound Drones are a variant on tracker drones. Small, bare-bones skull servitors, and utterly single-minded in their task, they are even more limited in focus, albeit not in use, than their Tracker bretheren. Hound Drones coordinate automatically with Tracker Drones and each other, receiving their target confirmation from the Tracker or from a Hound with a positive ID (verified by the operator if no Tracker Drone is used). From that point on, they will endlessly, relentlessly pursue the target so long as any Hound or Tracker still maintains contact with the target. Usually released in packs of 5 or more, they attack relentlessly using a high-voltage electric discharge designed not to harm or stun, but to cause cramps, pain, trouble breathing, and other hobbling effects, harrying the quarry from all sides. Each shock in and of itself is more or less harmless, inflicting a jolt of energy that requires an Ordinary (or if this is too lethal, Routine) Toughness check. On a failure, the target takes one level of fatigue. Hound Drones do not attack every round, instead waiting 1D5 minutes between waves of attacks. When the time is up, the entire pack attacks at once on the same round, swooping in on the target. For each successive hit in the wave of attacks, the Toughness difficulty is staged up by one grade (ie, two successful hits would be a challenging toughness check). If the target takes a level of fatigue at any time during the harrying, the rest of the pack will abort their attacks and return to an observation pattern, out of easy reach of the target. If the target does not move more than a meter during one round (3-5 seconds), the next round the entire pack of Drones will attack, and continue to attack each subsequent round, until the target starts to move again, at which point they return to their usual pattern of semi-random attacks. When the target passes out from too many levels of fatigue, the drones will swoop in every minute or so to attack, in order to keep the prey from moving away.

Power Armor and Carapace armor provide some protection from the painful muscle-cramping jolt, and require three or two hounds to successfully hit in a round beyond the first to stage the toughness check up, respectively. Hounds can be programmed to "howl" when they attack or at random intervals in any of a dozen different formats of animals, humans, and straight irritating sounds to wage a sort of psychological warfare on the prey. This has no set game rules, but one suggestion could be to call for willpower checks, with failure resulting in panic and increased difficulty on all mental-related rolls, and for every 2 degrees of failure on each check the target suffers a point of insanity as his mind fractures at being hunted so relentlessly.  Another idea is that the howls, when properly attuned to the target, cause the same effect as a Fear 1 aura on the target. Custom howls can be programmed in at a nominal cost for a pack of Hound Drones.

Originally designed to replace frail canines in xenos game hunts, Hound Drones have come to be favored by some bounty hunters and more formal forms of law enforcement. It offers a non-lethal, albeit terrifying, method to track down a target, and offers a large degree of safety to the user, who traditionally follows at some safe distance from the chase, at a more liesurly pace, sometimes for hours until the target collapses, exhausted either from his relentless flight, or from the nipping attacks of the Hound Drones. On some worlds, the nobility have been known to create private security firms or bounty hunting companies, where the entire group of nobles, complete with bodyguards, track down a criminal and apprehend or execute him at the end of a long and exhilirating (for the nobility!) chase. It's even considered a gentleman's sport on some worlds. On others where such sport is frowned upon, slaver gangs sell rich, bored sportsmen the opportunity to have an ancient Terra "fox" hunt, either using hand-picked xenos or humans. The hunts take place in secret, and it is not unusual for bystanders to die in the thrill of the hunt.


Stats I don't feel like writing right now, maybe tomorrow. What does everyone think?

#4 MKX



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Posted 19 August 2009 - 03:50 AM

Ah yeah, gunna borrow some of your dogs for a bit of a psyker hunting next time I run now that the party has 2 of them in it.

Thinking I need to cull it down

#5 Hellebore



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Posted 19 August 2009 - 03:56 AM

If you like psyker hunting try a null hound:




I made it a while ago for Dark Reign.



#6 TheFlatline



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Posted 20 August 2009 - 11:18 AM

MKX said:

Ah yeah, gunna borrow some of your dogs for a bit of a psyker hunting next time I run now that the party has 2 of them in it.

Thinking I need to cull it down

The concept is that the first hour isn't so bad. Maybe even the first couple hours. But as the hours drop by and the attacks simply continue, at a not-so-predetermined interval, and that they *never* relent or allow you to stop and rest, there's a real feeling of frustration, fear, and dread. They're as much psychological weapons as they are tracking tools.

If you notice your target is not accumulating fatigue, I'd say it's an Ordinary Tech-Use roll to alter the settings for the entire pack so that they continue to attack even after the first level of fatigue is inflicted.

#7 Friend of the Dork

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 10:55 PM

Much praise for your inventiveness and entusiasm to share, but IMO the Officio Assasinorum is never as feared as the Inquisition. After all an assassin wants to kill you as efficiently and silently as he can, while an Inquisitor might spend a long time doing the most vile tortures so that you wish you were just assassinated.


But otherwise nice read :)

#8 MKX



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Posted 21 August 2009 - 07:50 AM

TheFlatline said:

The concept is that the first hour isn't so bad. Maybe even the first couple hours. But as the hours drop by and the attacks simply continue, at a not-so-predetermined interval, and that they *never* relent or allow you to stop and rest, there's a real feeling of frustration, fear, and dread. They're as much psychological weapons as they are tracking tools.

If you notice your target is not accumulating fatigue, I'd say it's an Ordinary Tech-Use roll to alter the settings for the entire pack so that they continue to attack even after the first level of fatigue is inflicted.

At some point they're going to be going up against the temple tendancy, which I'm cranking up to extremist, zero-tolerance/arsehole levels on a certain planet not tithing their psykers. So they'll come across the local witch hunters that'll literally hound them over the planet with packs of ordinary dogs hooked up to implanted psy-trackers (cheap, simple and disposable) and keep coming turning up wherever they go, raising levies of cranky yokels with pitchforks, shotguns and fire to kick em out of bed at all hours.

They might dodge em for a day or two, but they're going to always be turning up, it'll really complicate and comprimise what is probably going to be some fairly straight forward, if high level target wetwork when the hunters turn into the hunted.

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