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How do Navigators navigate ?


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#1 Ariolan

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 07:30 AM

So they perceive the warp and all,

but is there any arcane machinery involved ? Something like the whatchmacallit from StarTrek that Spock took his insights from ? I have heard about the Sanctum, but I am unsure of what that is - basically its just where the Navigator stays, right ?

 

Does anybody know whether the navigation process requires some sort of machinery ?

 

Thanks for some references, or if none, wild speculations.



#2 Kage2020

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 07:53 AM

Arioloan said >>>

So they perceive the warp and all,

The joys of the Pineal, or Third, Eye.  Yes.

Well, that and the Astronomican.  Cannot forget that thing. 

Ariolan said >>>

but is there any arcane machinery involved ?

You're in the "it depends on what edition you believe," I'm afraid.  In earlier editions there was "arcane machinery" that would allow the crew of a ship to peer into the warp when they were in normal space.  One might guess that similar, limited abilities might have been available to "internal sensors" when the ship was traversing the warp.

Later materials tend to focus on the Navigator themselves (projected out the "top" of the ship in a crystalline "bubble"), and their connection to the ship.  Earlier images from, say, the Boxtree publication of Inquisitor (now Draco) by Ian Watson showed Vitali Googol draped on a sofa, eating something (IIRC), with numerous monitors in the background.  Whether these were used to peer into the warp or were just there to tell him how the ship was doing is entirely up to your own interpretation.  Generally speaking, though, the emphasis is on the Navigator and their ability to see warp currents and the Astronomican.

Ariolan said >>>

I have heard about the Sanctum, but I am unsure of what that is - basically its just where the Navigator stays, right ?

I only have a hazy memory about this, or rather I hazily remember that it has been variously a place where the Navigator stays, or the place within which they guide the ship through the warp (the whole crystal bubble thing).  Of course, the hazy memory means that they might have been described as one and the same in the BL novels in question and I might just have glossed over it (or glazed over while reading it! ;)).

Ariolan said >>>

Does anybody know whether the navigation process requires some sort of machinery ?

Well, there is the interface and support machinery that is commonly cited as allowing the Navigator to perform their duties (this goes back into the more ancient 'fluff' as well), but beyond that I cannot remember of anything necessary.  (Also, I tend not to read the most recent 'fluff,' so I presume I'm about to be proven incorrect! ;)).

Kage



#3 talsine

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 08:15 AM

i would try the Rogue Trader forum, they would know more since its more a part of that game, and not all of those players cross over here



#4 Kage2020

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 08:27 AM

Just remember the idea that things have changed between the editions.  (Although I am waiting for a Navigator-Space Marine to crop up shortly. ;))

Kage



#5 Ariolan

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 08:31 AM

This was rather helpful, Kage 2020. Thank you.

I have been toying with a campaign idea that requires some thought on the navigation process.

For me, the whole Deathwatch fluff should lead to an epic story arc. I figured, the PCs should have a really important long-time mission, something universe-shattering. When I design such an arc, I have all these little scenes in my head that I would like to fit together.

I must have the Navigator-in-a-tank from the original Dune, for one.

 

So, I figured the following ( still unordered)

- The emperor's throne has had a malfunction. Yes. That's something no one except a couple of the Lords of Terra know (actually, only the lead adeptus custodes). It is leaking a certain fluid. That fluid is giga-expensive to make. It requires a secret recipe, that the Tau have, and will require the pooled resources of an industrial planet's production capacity for ?five? years plus very odd components. The chief component is Elerium-115 (stole that from XCom), which I wanted to make crucial to the Navigation process to give a hint to the players that it is involved in the Astronomican somehow, and it will seriously piss off many navigator houses. Somesuch.

 

So, I figured, maybe the Sanctum is some sort of bio-tank that the Navigator immersed herself in to get "on line". Filled with Elerium 115.

 

Maybe I just will it so,

 

ah the joys of gamemastering...

 



#6 Kage2020

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 08:46 AM

Ariolan said >>>

This was rather helpful, Kage 2020. Thank you.

No worries.

Ariolan said >>>

I have been toying with a campaign idea that requires some thought on the navigation process.

You might want to check out King's novel, Farseer.  There's a pretty decent description of at least the Navigator-side of the process.

Ariolan said >>>

I must have the Navigator-in-a-tank from the original Dune, for one.

I forget the author at the moment, but check out Wolf Blade.  Suffice to say that I think that there is sufficient precedent, if you felt it necessary, for you to have your Navigator-in-a-tank.

Ariolan said >>>

- The emperor's throne has had a malfunction.

That's actually not too far from the "canon truth," so good to go.

Ariolan said >>>

It is leaking a certain fluid. That fluid is giga-expensive to make. It requires a secret recipe, that the Tau have, and will require the pooled resources of an industrial planet's production capacity for ?five? years plus very odd components.

Just remember that the Golden Throne was constructed or altered (depending on what you believe) long before the Imperium became aware of the Tau.  That doesn't mean that your plot is impossible.  Rather, I'm just throwing it out there so that you can consider the implications if you feel that they're relevant.

Ariolan said >>>

So, I figured, maybe the Sanctum is some sort of bio-tank that the Navigator immersed herself in to get "on line". Filled with Elerium 115.

The background does not refer to such a device, but there is no reason that you couldn't have one.  Perhaps a certain House of Navigators requires sensory deprivation to be able to guide the ship through?

Kage



#7 SpawnoChaos

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:36 AM

 From the various novels that I've read, it would seem that Navigators are depicted several different ways. 

This is probably due to their houses and how their mutations present themselves. The "sanctum" that I"m aware of is where a Navigator and his "family" of sorts would live above the bridge of an Imperial Navy vessel.

They are completely cut off from the rest of the ship with the exception of a simple ladder / hatch. In their sanctum, they eat, sleep, drive the ship through the warp (either looking through the glass ceiling dome or by sitting inside a "couch" of sorts with cables attached to them), communicate via vox with the bridge, etc. 

The Imperial Navy typically keeps the Navigators away from the rest of the crew (some of their mutations are QUITE obvious and would scare the crewmembers). 

The sanctum would normally house just a small group of Navigators from a single house, if not just one Navigator on smaller ships. On larger vessels (cruisers and larger) there may be an entire "family" of Navigators that live in the sanctum. They may all be related or just related by Navigator House.

 



#8 Cifer

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 11:53 AM

 Depending on whether you'd prefer to have all of your navigators in a tank, there's an easy explanation for it: Navigators are mutants and while their third eye immunizes them to most results of contact with the warp, some corruption still seeps through (along with the little problems inherent *ahem* in inbreeding). Thus, during their long lives, most navigators will mutate more and more until they can barely leave their Sanctum anymore since anyone else would consider them a vile mutant to be purged. If the mutations go too far, you could easily have them be life-threatening enough to require constant life-support measures, which would be your tank.



#9 SpawnoChaos

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 01:08 PM

Cifer said:

 Depending on whether you'd prefer to have all of your navigators in a tank, there's an easy explanation for it: Navigators are mutants and while their third eye immunizes them to most results of contact with the warp, some corruption still seeps through (along with the little problems inherent *ahem* in inbreeding). Thus, during their long lives, most navigators will mutate more and more until they can barely leave their Sanctum anymore since anyone else would consider them a vile mutant to be purged. If the mutations go too far, you could easily have them be life-threatening enough to require constant life-support measures, which would be your tank.

 

Add this description to what others have mentioned above and you'll get a very accurate description of what it means to be a Navigator and the kind of life they have.



#10 Ariolan

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 08:52 AM

Thanks everybody for being very constructive and helping me with the story.

I like the idea that the throne is really old, so maybe it was indeed "aulde Tau technologys", now forgotten - maybe there is some Tau equivalent (sort of, obviously the lesser thing, and maybe only insofar as Space Travel signalling goes with the Elerium and such)  so thanks to Kage for that one.

The description of a one-entry only restricted area of the ship for the Navigators aka the Sanctum I found very evocative and I will include that one, so thanks tp SpawnoChaos.

Cifer's idea about either or the Sanctum / tank having social implications is attractive, too, especially the corruption/inbreeding/mutation issue. I also like the Rogue Trader's take on navigation, so that maybe the longer you're on the job, the weirder you go, and maybe the Elerium is some sort of catalyst/hook like the Spice in Dune. Experienced navigators can ingest/immerse themselves in bigger quantities and perform safer jumps/quicker/longer. Being good old catch-22 WH40K, apart from the price there is most certainly a horizon in that ability. So at some point the jumps get more difficult/ attract more Warp creatures as the Navigator thins the veil between himself and Chaos.

My planned campaign should feature some 10 or so installments ( I have always done unending campaigns, and I would like to limit the whole arc). I want it to portray the liberation of a (Tau) prisoner from an inquisition prison, not necessarily with force, an exchange of the Tau for the refining instructions for the Elerium, that are so tremendous that the PC should figure out themselves that they will require the uses of an entire Forge World for several years ( I gave all PC two campaign secrets to start with, and here I planned the hint "time has a different meaning for Space Marines when building things" to interlock so that the players can realize it's no problem if they spend five years on that manufacturing job), obviously requiring some muscle on their part to get the production running on their terms. A ancient manuscript will play a role, and a group of people that are also, maybe unknowingly, involved in thwarting the heroes, that will have no idea on what it actually is that they are manufacturing.

One of the installments will involve a member of the Adeptus Custodes to come get the fluid, at which point the players ultimately should get the idea of what the point is of the mini-series. I hope they don't get it until then, and that I can leave enough breadcrumbs that it all makes sense in the end, which might be difficult.

Further ideas, non-ordered:

PCs get orders from "the Concilum", a secret body within the Deathwatch, and they will later reveal that the Council is composed of three people, the "Allfather", a mystical man, probably a very old Space Marine, "Mother", some form of artifcial intelligence and one of the High Lords of Terra.

I am still working on ordering the components and making them interlinked, which I find the hardest work. Anyway, I hope that we actually get to play the thing, all of us getting, well, kinda old and having families and day jobs.....

Once again, thanks everybody for helping with the story, if anything in here piques your interest and you would like to suggest, elaborate or criticize, you are most welcome to do so.

 



#11 Kage2020

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 09:42 AM

Ariolan said:

I like the idea that the throne is really old, so maybe it was indeed "aulde Tau technologys", now forgotten - maybe there is some Tau equivalent (sort of, obviously the lesser thing, and maybe only insofar as Space Travel signalling goes with the Elerium and such)  so thanks to Kage for that one.

Just to clarify, I was pointing out that the Golden Throne would have pre-dated the Tau Empire.  On the other hand, it's your game and you can do what you want and it's all good!

Kage



#12 KjetilKverndokken

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 10:11 AM

Also take notice that they are a blatent rip-off from "Dune" Navigators, so ideas from that book series can come in handy. (also the newish mini series have a cool view on them in the beginning episode).



#13 Santiago

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 11:17 PM

 Oh yeah, and AI is the highest form of Tech Heresy...



#14 Kage2020

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 05:55 AM

Santiago said:

 

 Oh yeah, and AI is the highest form of Tech Heresy...

 

 

And the wonderful thing is that it mostly comes down to semantics.  

"Oh, this?  That's not AI.  Nooo... Perish the thought.  That's just merely the next iteration of an independent servitor, as constrained to the Laws of the Cult as anything else.  And, no, that's not a Chaos tentacle coming from my back, but experimentation in organic mechadendrites.  Omnissiah's nadz, Adept, but you really should catch up with the fashions..."

Kage






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