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A New Perspective

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#1 TS Luikart

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 03:03 PM

"My parents did nothing to deserve a malformed child, yet they were eschewed by their peers because I was born a twisted, mewling thing. My father lost his consular position because of me, even though his decruitment letter said nothing of my defects. He eventually found work in a sewage treatment plant. What a delicious irony: a man with a pardoner's education scooping through the faeces of his fellow humans.

"My mother was beaten into a coma by a group of puritan thugs as she stood waiting in line with a handful of tattered ration tickets. Before they drove her parietal bone into her brain, they called her a mutant-*****. She was twenty-two years old. Three dozen spectators stood in line and watched. Not one of them came forward to testify at the inquest. The magistrate ruled that the incident was an unfortunate example of Darwinism at work.

"Despite the harsh life that I have been forced into, I would not surrender any of my dubious 'gifts' for a semblance of your normalcy. Were I like you, I might also be full of self-righteous intolerance towards those who are otherwise unable to choose their own births, their own destinies. In that regard, I feel that I am more fortunate than you and your 'perfect' progeny.

"Remember that I am the product of your society's excesses, your wars, your sins. You can lock us away, you can flay the skin from our bodies, and you can declare us vermin and kill us like rats. Yet the time comes when you will be unable to ignore us any longer. Your Emperor be damned when my kind rises up to claim its rightful inheritance from the ashes of your pitiful Imperium."
— Cicero, mutant terrorist, prior to his execution

The above is one of my favorite pieces of writing that didn't make it into Dark Heresy. Gary Astleford wrote that for DH. At the time, it was considered to be far too sympathetic to the "bad guys".

How very delicious.

As many of you have already noted, people like to play the bad guys. The Tome of Corruption was one of the best sellers for WFRP 2nd and not just because folks wanted to have a book detailing NPC bad guys.




#2 PartridgeKing



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Posted 27 February 2011 - 10:59 PM

 That is a brilliant piece of writing, very evocative and moving.

I now need to slip in said mutant terrorist to my running RT game so I can use it.

#3 colonel blood

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:13 PM

A lovely answer to anyone who thinks this game will just be about sitting on a throne of skulls and teabagging space marines.


What a shame it never saw the light of day until now. I thought Dark Heresy was all about the nuance.

#4 Cynical Cat

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 12:24 AM

In almost any other setting, the Imperium of Man would unquestionably be the bad guys.  Monumental injustices are daily occurances.  As the above piece illustrates, one can have very sympathetic reasons for turning against the Imperium.

#5 Jackal_Strain



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Posted 28 February 2011 - 12:50 AM

This is exactly the kind of motivation that will make characters believeable and challenging on several levels to play in Black Crusade. I plan to run Black crusade as a GM and I've already talked to several of my potential players on how I might lead such a game. 

I know that several of my players foam at the mouth at the idea of playing a chaos or renegade space marine, and can't wait bring death and destruction to the followers of the corpse on the throne, but I've made it clear that i'm not interested in running a game where the players are playing two-dimensional psychopaths that only care about killing and maiming, for killing and maimings sake.

Because that would cheapen Chaos imo.

Look at some of the more successful villains from comic history. Take Magneto for example. Leader of the Brotherhood of mutants, enemy of the X-men. Magneto is not some evil villain who wants to rule the world for power and wealth. He is blinded by rage, and honestly believes (and to a certain degree, he's right) that humans and homo-superior cannot live peacefully side by side. So given his experiences in his youth he takes the pro-active stance. This makes him a villain in the eyes of humans and their defenders, but his followers see him as a saviour. His deepest wish is to create an enviroment where his people may prosper and live free from persecution and oppression.

I see certain chaos lords and champions in the same way.

Many former chaos marines feel that they were the ones who was betrayed. The Emperor and the rest of the Imperium turned their backs on them and abandoned them. So they fight. They fight for a cause that's almost hopeless, but they fight for what they believe in. And when the Emperor turned his back, they turned tot he Gods that would listen. Gods that supplied them with real power.

Over time, their bodies and minds may have been warped, and they might lose the clarity of focus when it comes to their objectives. Certain ideas take form and the worship of chaos becomes just as, if not more, important to them than remembering what they once stood for. Some might get lost completely and fall into darkness eternal, doomed to be nothing more than a pawn to daemons, but they still have their uses. Because there are still those that remember what they fight for. And they are every bit as stubborn and dedicated to their cause as their Imperial counterparts.

And that is the appeal of Black Crusade for me. The chance to play a tragic hero. Someone who has turned to darkness out of desperation. Someone with a real motivation and a burning desire to see their vengeance fulfilled. 

#6 Alpha Chaos 13

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 07:08 AM

Jackal_Strain, your reply was very well thought out & a pleasure to read. I'm sure the Traitor Legions would appreciate your insight.

#7 TS Luikart

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 03:33 PM

Part of the problem that I think some might experience with this game is that their view of the Chaos Gods is tinged with the more simplistic view that GW has frequently forwarded in the miniatures game, e.g. Chaos is evil.

While I think "playing the bad guy" can certainly be fun, a number of players I've known over the years wouldn't want to have a flat-out evil character and would likely feel uncomfortable if told they were playing one.

Those of you familiar with a fair amount of the older material on the Chaos Gods (and in their defense, some of the Black Library lads) are aware of the fact that the Chaos Gods embody many concepts. While Khorne is the Blood God and straightforward murder is frequently put forward as pleasing to him, multiple "aspects" of violence also fall into his realm, including martial honor and courage in battle.

A nuanced approach to Chaos is the key here and considering who is involved with this project, I have no doubt that they'll pull it off.


Or to rephrase how Jackal_Strain put it:

Be magnificent in your evil.

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