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So is this a good idea? or So you want to play a Chaos Cultist


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#1 jesusjohn

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:59 AM

Ok so you want to play a Chaos cultist, why? Now i'm a long time Vampire player (since first edition) and enjoyed it a lot. However Vampire and i would guess Black Crusade (keep thinking of My Chemical Romance for some reason) have the potentiaal to turn into a moustache twirling exersice or a exersice in evil for evils sake. I am not saying this is a bad idea i'm just opening that debate so here we go.

So lets look at this, at it's best the good things are the potential to view the 40k universe from a different perspective, play a complex character in a complex setting. There is the potential to play some mind blowing scifi/supernatural senarios (i'm thinking anime here!), politics, soul seaching,  looking at the chaos gods in broarder strokes and exploring the human condition, what is freedom, and in serving the gods are you exchanging one form of servatude for another. Also who dosn't want to be the bad guy  form time to time. I think the Fluff will be awsome if it is as good as the old lost and the damned books. Playing the mindset of someone who worships pure chaos and it's effect of their personality looks huge fun! A party of fully developed characters and a good gm this would be great!

Now lets have a look at it from the opersite direction it is a game that allows you to play a diesised, murderous, manipulative sexual sadist with Kewl powers engaged in terroist acts against humanity in an atempt to sell humanitys to evil gods ... see what i did there? Now at it's worst it becomes D and D with some serious issues. For those of you in the UK see this book in the Daily Mail soon ;) You can put the same spin on DH (torture) RT (greed  is good) DW (ultra violence). The problem is i have played enough rp games with people playing 'evil' for evils sake and it is either to camp for words or makes you wonder if your mate needs some proffesional help, don't even get me started on LARP evil! The main problem is that people don't view themselves as evil they act, normaly with best intentions, no matter how skewed they are and with a bad DM and group it could esialy slip into combat, camp evil and torture porn.

Alot of what will happen with this product will be how it's presented and play tested. WIll it be mainly about Chaos undivided? are the playtesters all grown ups who roleplay alot (if so it might be worth inviting players who are coming form D and D to see if people will get the vision for the product form the book) and what is the intention behind the book? Now white wolf might have done some of the most pretentious RP supliments in history (banging on about Joseph Conrad etc!), but they did, in the early days at least, make it a antiHERO game.

Anyway please don't look at a crisism and look at it as a open dialogue. Anyway i'm off to put a black cape and hat on and cackle evily until the other half puts me back in my place! ;)



#2 Dulahan

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:06 AM

I think it is.  Since, really, for every immature group I am darned certain there are 2 or 3 who can handle it quite well.  And just as importantly?  The setting.  Like you said.

 

For one, you might not need to leave Chaos itself to have something cool.  Daemon World (The last of the Grey Knights books) was set on an awesome Khornate world.  And I can easily see how PCs could play on a setting like that.  Especially with cool things to become.  There's a lot of possibilities for a very weird level of 'epic' here.



#3 Dulahan

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:41 AM

Blah, realized Daemon World was a separate book, I am referring to the Grey Knights book, not Daemon World.   and for some reason I can't edit my last post.



#4 jesusjohn

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:46 AM

Playing on a Daemon world would be good, along with inter faction interactions, certainly the manouvering of various warbands/cults to gain the favor of the gods would be very cool.



#5 Elgrun

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 01:27 PM

I think it'd be amazing to have an infiltration job as a cultist. You've got all the intricacies of politics for Imperial/Hive worlds, combat for Feral Worlds and War Zones, and the mixed pot of Warp Travel. Then there's the additional complication of, while this is going on, the Inquisition is ever vigilant...



#6 Lynata

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 01:50 PM

Yeah, I'm looking forward to it, both to play another faction in general as well as to "explore" the aspects only offered in playing a corrupted character. Given we're talking about Chaos, I guess you could call that "evil for evil's sake" (at least at some point in the character's progression into what normal people would refer to as madness), but I think it all comes down to the players and their GM as to how complex or stupid a game gets.

I remember I roleplayed a drow character for several years (first on an UO Freeshard, then continueing her on an NWN Persistent World), and as a player I had a lot of fun working with this culture's alternate system of society and their utter lack of morale, as this resulted in a lot of interesting plots and events that were simply very different if not unthinkable for "normal" characters. Whilst I realize that there's still a big difference between drow and Chaos I do believe that I can "carry over" a lot of the stuff I learned to Black Crusade.

Also, doesn't everybody want to be the bad guy sometimes? ;)


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter -- debriefed), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors -- KIA), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose -- assassinated), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia -- retired), Taleera "Raven" Nephran (Hive Ganger & Inquisitorial Assassin -- mindwiped)

#7 Decessor

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:39 AM

How about playing a conspiracy to corrupt an inquisitor? Engineer situations where the Inquisitor is forced into ever more drastic and terrible solutions until they fall by necessity or desire.



#8 Lynata

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:50 AM

Decessor said:

How about playing a conspiracy to corrupt an inquisitor? Engineer situations where the Inquisitor is forced into ever more drastic and terrible solutions until they fall by necessity or desire.

Corrupting an Inquisitor seems to be incredibly difficult, given that you'd have to be part of his cell to exert influence - I could see it possible for a Daemonhost, perhaps, or a corrupted Psyker - though it would likely be very difficult to not get executed right away upon discovery (given that you are but one in the midst of half a dozen people dedicated to and experienced with finding and rooting out what you are), and might need the Inquisitor to have already taken a few steps on the path of a Radical.

What's easier and perhaps even more interesting, though, would be the corruption of major Imperial officials. The Imperial Armour books had a very interesting and detailed account on the Siege of Vraks, where the Imperium attempted to depose of an Apostate Cardinal named Xaphan. This Cardinal by himself started out as a very faithful, loyal and talented cleric, and during his five-year-pilgrimage through his diocese his passionate speeches regularly caused religious ecstasy in the masses, and more and more people followed him in blind fanatism.
However, one of his trusted advisors, Deacon Mamon, was a deep cover agent of Chaos, and diligently worked to influence the Cardinal, finally causing him to plan a Crusade through his own sector to cleanse the Imperium of impurity. The Ordo Hereticus gained news of this and, after an assassination attempt failed, made plans to lay siege to his fortress on Vraks, leading Imperial forces into a prolonged battle against each other that would take 17 years and cost the lives of 14 million troops (with no accounts of civilian losses).

A prime example of what Chaos infiltration is able to achieve.


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter -- debriefed), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors -- KIA), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose -- assassinated), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia -- retired), Taleera "Raven" Nephran (Hive Ganger & Inquisitorial Assassin -- mindwiped)

#9 postalpatriot

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:42 AM

jesusjohn said:

Ok so you want to play a Chaos cultist, why? Now i'm a long time Vampire player (since first edition) and enjoyed it a lot. However Vampire and i would guess Black Crusade (keep thinking of My Chemical Romance for some reason) have the potentiaal to turn into a moustache twirling exersice or a exersice in evil for evils sake. I am not saying this is a bad idea i'm just opening that debate so here we go.

So lets look at this, at it's best the good things are the potential to view the 40k universe from a different perspective, play a complex character in a complex setting. There is the potential to play some mind blowing scifi/supernatural senarios (i'm thinking anime here!), politics, soul seaching,  looking at the chaos gods in broarder strokes and exploring the human condition, what is freedom, and in serving the gods are you exchanging one form of servatude for another. Also who dosn't want to be the bad guy  form time to time. I think the Fluff will be awsome if it is as good as the old lost and the damned books. Playing the mindset of someone who worships pure chaos and it's effect of their personality looks huge fun! A party of fully developed characters and a good gm this would be great!

Now lets have a look at it from the opersite direction it is a game that allows you to play a diesised, murderous, manipulative sexual sadist with Kewl powers engaged in terroist acts against humanity in an atempt to sell humanitys to evil gods ... see what i did there? Now at it's worst it becomes D and D with some serious issues. For those of you in the UK see this book in the Daily Mail soon ;) You can put the same spin on DH (torture) RT (greed  is good) DW (ultra violence). The problem is i have played enough rp games with people playing 'evil' for evils sake and it is either to camp for words or makes you wonder if your mate needs some proffesional help, don't even get me started on LARP evil! The main problem is that people don't view themselves as evil they act, normaly with best intentions, no matter how skewed they are and with a bad DM and group it could esialy slip into combat, camp evil and torture porn.

Alot of what will happen with this product will be how it's presented and play tested. WIll it be mainly about Chaos undivided? are the playtesters all grown ups who roleplay alot (if so it might be worth inviting players who are coming form D and D to see if people will get the vision for the product form the book) and what is the intention behind the book? Now white wolf might have done some of the most pretentious RP supliments in history (banging on about Joseph Conrad etc!), but they did, in the early days at least, make it a antiHERO game.

Anyway please don't look at a crisism and look at it as a open dialogue. Anyway i'm off to put a black cape and hat on and cackle evily until the other half puts me back in my place! ;)

You got to remember, the cultist aspect you are joking right, There more then just being a murdering nut (Okay khorne kinda fails that), Or a crazed pleasure fiend,  plague bearing, changer of ways. While you may be those things, to be those things out in the open means you will die.,  There will be two types of games, Those that require thought and the Space vikings style that all pillage and burn, LEts be honest the later is fun for one or two games and quickly grows old.

Personally i  find the idea of playing a Chaos space marine to be endlessly amusing. It's not about destroying for the sake of destroying, there is just so many layers to how complex they are when you really think about it. The whole sons who feel betrayed so they betray, the aspect of how the chaos gods impact them.  When I read about the CSM  some times i wonder if they don't veiw them self in the anti-hero role. They see the emperor as this false god, and them selves as the liberating force.

Bottom line the hack and slash players are going to have run of the mill boring games, The thoughtful scheming plotters, Oh boy, I can't wait to send a solar system into strife., Being Evil for evil sake is not good role playing. Let me tell ya that party of Berserkers oh man that is going to be good times. THere are only so many creative ways to dismember and butcher some one.



#10 Lynata

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:06 AM

postalpatriot said:

When I read about the CSM  some times i wonder if they don't veiw them self in the anti-hero role. They see the emperor as this false god, and them selves as the liberating force.
I wouldn't read too much into it; the setting of 40k and especially the role of Chaos are extremely simplified. Chaos Marines kinda -are- the cliché bad guys; they revel in causing unnecessary bloodshed, suffering and all the other things that are usually frowned upon for serious villains because they are so blatantly obvious and over the top evil for evil's sake.

Where you can expand upon, however, is the background. Even the aforementioned CSMs who enjoy slaughtering the innocent did not just start to walk down this path without reason. Where they are now they really are just amoral butchers whose idea of fun is to snap someone's head off - but they were on the other side once, and what caused them to shift allegiance is often a linkage of tragic events and misunderstandings that actually makes it believable. These things are at the core of their burning hatred, and even though the Traitors have long slipped into madness they keep getting plagued by them, some even abusing the perceived wrongs as some sort of justification for the atrocities they commit, not caring at all about having become that which they once fought.

In a way you are still right, though. It's not all just about causing mayhem. Some may actively try to convert  a few others, make them see the "truth" as it was revealed to them. I'd not use the term "anti-hero", though, as that still makes them look too good. They are mad butchers - they just have a reason for it.

This whole topic actually made me remember "The Invitation", a short story written by Dan Abnett. Here's an excerpt:

 

"I'm cold," said Lowen Tegget. He sat down, and hunched his head between his knees. He was tired. There was a dreadful stench of blood in the air of the great hall, like hot iron.

"Cold can be ignored," said the shadows.

"Says you. I'm cut here. You cut me."

Miriael Sabathiel emerged from the darkness, sword in hand, and bent down beside him. "You'll heal. You're mine now. Daemon princes sing and my pulse quickens. Soon yours will quicken too."

"Throne," Tegget sighed. "Am I cursed? Have you cursed me?"

"You were the invitation, Lowen. You helped me defeat my enemies. I'm showing my gratitude by sparing your life... and sharing with you the wonders I've seen."

Tegget groaned.

Miriael Sabathiel straightened up and held out her arm. The two kestrel lures swooped in and perched there. One was dripping with blood.

"I like you, Lowen. I like your toys. They please me. You could serve me."

"How, lady?"

"Oh, Lowen Tegget. By being you. You are a cunning man. A fine killer. See, tonight you did for two Sisters of Battle. There is nothing you can't do."

Tegget smiled and shook his head sadly.

"I'm just a catcher of men, lady," he said. She reached out her hand and began to stroke his shaggy hair. "You're so much more than that, Lowen," she said. "You're my friend, and you're an instrument now. I'd like you to walk with me and serve at my side."

He looked up at her, his face as pale and frightened. "Is this what corruption feels like?" he asked.

She nodded, still stroking his head.

"Feels good," he admitted. "Where will we go?"

"Ah, now, my little hunter," Miriael Sabathiel said, "how are you at hunting Eldar?"


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter -- debriefed), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors -- KIA), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose -- assassinated), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia -- retired), Taleera "Raven" Nephran (Hive Ganger & Inquisitorial Assassin -- mindwiped)

#11 Decessor

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:18 PM

Lynata said:

Corrupting an Inquisitor seems to be incredibly difficult, given that you'd have to be part of his cell to exert influence - I could see it possible for a Daemonhost, perhaps, or a corrupted Psyker - though it would likely be very difficult to not get executed right away upon discovery (given that you are but one in the midst of half a dozen people dedicated to and experienced with finding and rooting out what you are), and might need the Inquisitor to have already taken a few steps on the path of a Radical.

What's easier and perhaps even more interesting, though, would be the corruption of major Imperial officials. The Imperial Armour books had a very interesting and detailed account on the Siege of Vraks, where the Imperium attempted to depose of an Apostate Cardinal named Xaphan. This Cardinal by himself started out as a very faithful, loyal and talented cleric, and during his five-year-pilgrimage through his diocese his passionate speeches regularly caused religious ecstasy in the masses, and more and more people followed him in blind fanatism.
However, one of his trusted advisors, Deacon Mamon, was a deep cover agent of Chaos, and diligently worked to influence the Cardinal, finally causing him to plan a Crusade through his own sector to cleanse the Imperium of impurity. The Ordo Hereticus gained news of this and, after an assassination attempt failed, made plans to lay siege to his fortress on Vraks, leading Imperial forces into a prolonged battle against each other that would take 17 years and cost the lives of 14 million troops (with no accounts of civilian losses).

A prime example of what Chaos infiltration is able to achieve.

Oh it would certainly be easier to target lesser officials in the Adeptus. But turning an Inquisitor is quite the ambitious project and some players would be inspired by the challenge. I must check out the Vraks material, could be quite useful.

 



#12 Lynata

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:41 PM

Decessor said:

I must check out the Vraks material, could be quite useful.
The German version of Lexicanum has a detailed account of the siege - for some reason, this is the only wiki I know where the German version is more extensive than the English one. If you happen to understand the language, however, you can find the relevant entries here:


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter -- debriefed), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors -- KIA), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose -- assassinated), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia -- retired), Taleera "Raven" Nephran (Hive Ganger & Inquisitorial Assassin -- mindwiped)

#13 HorrorRisen

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 03:25 AM

hmm seems like no one has remembered that not all chaos are in it to be crazy and kill granted some are but not all, some simply want power and want what chaos offers. also not all of choas are mindless and only want blood for example many chaos sorcerers have well planned out plans and are devout to Tzeentch which sort of requires you not be a mindless brute. dont believe me eliphas thinks over his attacks and does not simply butcher any planet he comes across remember at the beinging of DOW2 retribution when Neroth is killing the space marines and wants to level the planet and eliphas stops him and gets back on track. but im ranting so in short most want power not solely to be evil and there is no set way a chaos acts (come on they worship a god of change) besides hereteks sound fun and there is far more then the chaos space marines.



#14 Kerrik

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 03:47 PM

Well, I get your point, but personally..

I cannot wait to bring down my first hive city.



#15 vastrix

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:22 PM

 To corrupt the most pious of Inquisitors, help him defeat the villain he hates the most. Chaos.

A rival daemon. A rival warlord. The Inquisitor is actively trying to destroy this threat. This threat is also your enemy. 

Join with your enemy against the Inquisitor, strengthen your enemy as best you can so that the Inquisitor cannot defeat him (if this is already true, then you're halfway there). Offer him help with daemonic weapons, rites, and allies for the only way to weed out the weak of Chaos is to use the strong of Chaos.

When all around the Inquisitor seems lost, when it seems that he will perish and his enemy will triumph? There's a good chance that he will make any pact to defend the Imperium.

I am given over to thoughts about the World of Warcraft and the downfall of Prince Arthas in Warcraft III when he claims the magic sword so he can defeat the undead host plaguing the kingdom, only to become their leader.

 

Now for Evil characters? I've done two extremes. In my early D&D days, I played a Neutral Evil warrior (can't recall what specific class as this is almost 20 years ago). He was selfish and sought power, cruel in the excess. Took down a God, travelled the dimensions to a Shadowrun type world and was given cybernetic arms with inbuilt machine guns (real useful in the age of sword and sorcery). Built a castle and a kingdom on the corpses of plenty of innocents. Perished at the hands of heroes...

I played another game. One loosely based on a theme similar to the Highlander. You know, Immortals with the swords and the beheading. Was a straight up "do gooder" and joined a party fighting a mad man in charge of a evil military corporation who wished death and destruction for the world. Fought him and defeated a few of his plans and confronted him in a duel. Upon his death, my character found himself in charge of this same corporation. I turned the company into an empire as slowly, but surely I "understood" the best way to maintain the peace across the world was to rule it. The best of intentions, but a bloody path. Anyways, a powerful Immortal challenged me to a duel and I was losing, but spent all the experience I could to give me a great bonus on a single attack and killed him. I was given exp beyond the scope of a year of gaming and whilst I was being given this energy, someone (npc) killed me (gm regretted the exp given and took it out on my character). This indeed would be similar to the Dragonlance world where the Priest-King wished to destroy all evil and magic. His extremist good cast him as a villain and the Gods responded with a meteor strike.

 



#16 HorrorRisen

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:20 AM

ya i agree kerrik but still wanted to mention that there are other types of chaos after all i got a player in my group who wants to play the voice of reason but ya i will be extremely satisfied when i spread the plagues of nurgle to a hive world and watch them all rot. 



#17 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 12:49 AM

From the POV of many cultists they are freedom-fighters against a nightmarishly oppressive government. I would go with that.



#18 Lynata

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 01:33 AM

bogi_khaosa said:

From the POV of many cultists they are freedom-fighters against a nightmarishly oppressive government.

They may start out as such, but I'm pretty sure this changes rather quickly when daemons start popping up on your world and the local populace gets harvested for sacrifice to the Gods. Which is, I believe, the scope Black Crusade is aiming for. And the difference between a mere heretic and a real Chaos cultist. A twisted PoV may remain, it just adapts to the situation and corruption and switches from just "fighting for freedom" to "bloody revenge against your former masters", "survive within the new hierarchy" and/or "attain personal power".

It's a fairly simple view, but considering everything the official materials show us, I do not believe that the setting allows for as many "layers" between good and evil when it comes to Chaos, which is a fairly modern concept that often does not apply to settings that have been created decades ago, when shades of grey weren't that popular as they are today.

You still have them in 40k, but rather in the Imperium. Or, in short, grim darkness may not be black and white, but it's still just black and grey. Evil versus a lesser evil justified as necessity.


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter -- debriefed), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors -- KIA), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose -- assassinated), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia -- retired), Taleera "Raven" Nephran (Hive Ganger & Inquisitorial Assassin -- mindwiped)




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