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Xenos PCs


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#1 Niqvah

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:48 AM

While we're about the business of speculation, what do we think about the prospect of xenos as potential classes? Kroot have already been laid out for RT, and there is precedent for them falling to Chaos. The main race I would personally be interested in is Dark Eldar. They would offer fairly high-level characters (given Chaos Marines may also be on the table) and would be a riot to play. The sort of toys they could employ (some of the best tech going) would also prove quite appealing...

But how the deuce do you persuade a disparate group to work together without backstabbing each other at every turn? Do you even attempt such a thing, given that's just what Chaos does? If you don't, though, won't games wind up being rather short-lived and confrontational?

So many questions at this early stage! I look forward to Design Diaries to help me figure out whether or not I am excited about this...

One thing that occurs re: xenos, the tagline of the game states '...the only price is your humanity.' Hmm! But could a Chaos Marine be argued to have had humanity to lose in the first place..?



#2 CaptainSabutai

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:01 AM

 We have plenty of historical and fictional examples of groups considered morally 'bad' with hindsight cooperating for prolonged periods of time to acheive shared goals-at the risk of invoking a goodwin, Hitler didn't conquer most of Europe singlehandedly, so long as people don't revert to the 'Chaotic Stupid' portrayal of evil, there should be no problem. Playing a deathwatch game with a Kill Team of righteous Space marines, or a D&D party of all Paladins has an equal chance of degenerating into stupidity as a game of Black Crusade, as the chance of that occurring is determined by the maturity level of the players as opposed to the game being played .

In response to the above question, I think the Loxatl from the Gaunts Ghosts series could make a good start for a chaos xenos PC, we know they can be motivated by greed by them appearing as mercenaries, they are capable of emotional bonds due to their 'anger-hunger' when one of them is slain, they have awesome flechette harnesses- they'd work quite nicely...



#3 Cifer

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:20 AM

 A Dark Heresy supplement had a fitting xeno race as well - either it was Disciples or Creatures. They were a humanoid species with mercenary tendencies and two little oddities: taking items as payment that have no recognizable value and harboring an irrational hatred for the Imperium. The book speculated that they would likely turn to Chaos soon.



#4 Niqvah

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:38 AM

CaptainSabutai said:

We have plenty of historical and fictional examples of groups considered morally 'bad' with hindsight cooperating for prolonged periods of time to acheive shared goals-at the risk of invoking a goodwin, Hitler didn't conquer most of Europe singlehandedly, so long as people don't revert to the 'Chaotic Stupid' portrayal of evil, there should be no problem. Playing a deathwatch game with a Kill Team of righteous Space marines, or a D&D party of all Paladins has an equal chance of degenerating into stupidity as a game of Black Crusade, as the chance of that occurring is determined by the maturity level of the players as opposed to the game being played .

I can certainly see short-term cooperation occurring in order to achieve a particular goal, but at the end of the day, everyone's going to want to climb to the top, and that generally has to be done over heaps of dead bodies. You'll work under a particular leader as long as they're bigger and scarier than you, or you have some reason to, but when you see your chance to take them down, or they have a moment of weakness...

There are also a lot of precedents for that in 40k fluff. I just think there needs to be something in place to ensure there are reasons for the PCs not to want to take each other out too quickly.



#5 Bandersnatch

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:06 PM

I'm hoping there'll be Dark Eldar in Black Crusade. A friend of mine even speculated on how they might deal with Corruption: Dark Eldar sustain their souls and bodies using the psychic energy of the pain and terror and suffering of their victims. However, it is noted that it can be difficult to stir and Archon's heart with only the mundane acts of sadism and depravity, they require truly exquisite feats of artistic misery. Perhaps as Dark Eldar accumulate Corruption, they become jaded to the lesser and more common pains and anguishes of their victims, and their appetite increased dramatically, either for victims in bulk, or for the finest execution in feats of exquisite bloodshed and torture. In effect, they begin to develop a tolerance.

Dark Eldar and Chaos goals aren't mutually exclusive. The xenos are (probably) not capable of becoming Daemon Princes, and likely wouldn't wish to if they could. As for launching a Black Crusade, the Dark Eldar have no interest in capturing or holding territory, and no particular vendetta against the Imperium. No, the Dark Eldar seek two things; perfection in their chosen crafts of death and torture, and prestige. A Dark Eldar's endgame would involve besting the legendary Lelith Hespreux in the gladiatorial arenas, creating a masterful stitchwork abomination from the most fearsom xenos species and revered heroes in the sector, or carrying out a raid of such daring, cunning, power, and masterful execution that the towers of Commorraugh shudder with vicarious delight (a successful raid on the heart of Scintilla would be a good example, even better if one captures the governor).

Of course, Dark Eldar are complete and utter narcissists. They would fully expect to be stabbed in the back by their former allies, that is the way of life in the Dark City. This is the same for the servants of Chaos, but as has been previously stated, evil does not have to be stupid. Everyone who's read the evil-overlord list knows that its not a good idea to be a jerk for the sake of being a jerk. Why betray a friend now when they can yet be useful in the future, why dispose of a useful tool? Infighting is almost a certainty, but it can be avoided for a time, delayed almost indefinitely, until one side believes that there is more to be gained from conflict than cooperation. A good strategy to preserves such alliances is to make one invaluable to one's allies.



#6 Gaius

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 12:32 AM

Cifer said:

 A Dark Heresy supplement had a fitting xeno race as well - either it was Disciples or Creatures. They were a humanoid species with mercenary tendencies and two little oddities: taking items as payment that have no recognizable value and harboring an irrational hatred for the Imperium. The book speculated that they would likely turn to Chaos soon.

The Enoulians is what you are thinking of, they are in Creatures Anathema. I could see the designers putting a tribe of them or something in the default setting area since it's near the Calixis sector and these guys really haven't had much exposure.

Another race I could imagine they could throw in as part of an adventure is the Yu'vath, their empire was destroyed by the Angevin Crusade and they used all sorts of techno sorcery and such. With the sorcerous links and how powerful they were (some of their ships are detailed in Rogue Trader adventures and they are scary!) I could easily see would be chaos champions going relic hunting on some secluded forboding world.

If someone really wanted to play a Kroot anyway the GM could just consider letting them play the class in Into the Storm. I doubt Fantasy Flight are going to bring Kroot in as a playable race as they only recently brought out a book with them in it as a playable race which they'll state is compatible... a lot of people have issues with how the characters work in the other systems because Dark Heresy advances are half those of Rogue Trader for example so there is a big debate over how truely balanced they are.



#7 Lynata

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 05:57 AM

Hmm, I'm not entirely sure on this, but didn't the Dark Eldar "hate" Slaanesh for the downfall of their civilization, whilst all the torture and sacrifice had originally(!) developed as a means to buy themselves more time before he/she would come for them? Naturally, this only strengthens Slaanesh further and has, as we can all see, corrupted the Dark Eldar beyond salvation, but from what I recall the hate for Chaos as a faction remained (meaning even if all they do serves Chaos they'd not march under its banner).

Naturally, all this would not keep individual or perhaps small groups of Dark Eldar from breaking with Commoragh and allying themselves to an army of cultists/CSM - either because the ends justify the means (joint raids -> more souls and slaves for the taking), or maybe because they hope to manipulate this movement for their own dark ends. It's just something to keep in mind.


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)

#8 Bandersnatch

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 08:58 AM

Its true that the Dark Eldar hate and fear Slaanesh, and that the horror they inflict on the galaxy is a way for them to avoid having their souls slowly devoured by She Who Thirsts. Of course, they also hate and fear each other (particularly those currently in power). Essentially, the Dark Eldar are feeding Slaanesh other peoples' souls so s/he won't eat their own. Yet, anyway. But really, Dark Eldar are so fickle and cruel and pragmatic, I can easily see them as allies of any group of bad-guys, whether they knowingly serve Chaos or not. Of course, both sides will always believe that they are underhandedly exploiting the other.



#9 Alpharius Omegon

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 10:33 AM

I think Dark Eldar would be a great choice.  Fickle and self-serving, they'll help anyone so long as they come out on top in the end. 



#10 Adeptus-B

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 02:22 PM

The hard part would be structuring xeno PC rules in such a way as to discourage falling into the D&D trap- representing non-human characters as basically humans with some special abilities (and maybe- maybe- a personality quirk or two...). The main gimick of the Eldar is that, while they are the most human-looking of the major races, they are one of the least human psychologically, being nearly unknowable by human standards.



#11 Lord Ork

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:15 PM

Adeptus-B said:

The main gimick of the Eldar is that, while they are the most human-looking of the major races, they are one of the least human psychologically, being nearly unknowable by human standards.

Well, that is quite a big statement. Usually alien races have very inhuman mindset. Remember there are some with hive mind, or even the Orks. Or many other.



#12 MechHaven

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 11:37 PM

reading through this thread i get the idea that everyone is seeing this game as very two dimensional and black and white. the one thing you are forgetting is that in the warhammer 40k universe there is no such thing as good guys and bad guys only shades of grey. an imperial marine and a chaos marine are not very different when you boil them down to good or evil...only loyalties and motivations differ. some followers of chaos can be nobler then servants of the imperium. the motivations are the key. dark eldar do what they do to save their race and  themselves from extinction, humanity would do the same, or worse if it came down to it.

the imperial war machine slaughters entire races wholesale just for the crime of being non human....murders its own citizens or turns them into slave labor for having genetic deviation from the norm. and exterminates entire planets because they don't believe the same as 90% of "humanity". Sounds like the imperium has already lost itself to evil to me....and these are the "good guys".

now lets look at a chaos follower. this individual could have a family or community they wish to protect from what ever may come to harm them. looking for the power to do that tis individual turns to the dark gods, making a pact. this individual can get along with, and even befriend non humans and mutants as long as they pose no threat the that family or community. he or she may do some vile things over a career but, to me, seems no less honorable then the space marine giving up his humanity to protect the imperium. granted this is only one possible reason that someone might turn to chaos....it is still on the list and there are other equally as noble reasons one may turn.

all i'm saying really is "shades of grey" some are just darker then others. when this game releases i intend to include it into my growing tool kit but if we do run this one i personally will reject any character for it that i feel is about as flat as the character sheet it is written up on.

 



#13 Lynata

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:39 AM

I really like the idea of "shades of grey" - in other settings. In 40k you have a lot of these shades in the lower echelons, too, but an important thing to remember is that Chaos does corrupt, it does make you "evil". Always. It's just a matter of time - name one high tier exception. You may enter into a pact with the Chaos Gods to save your family, but ultimately the tragedy will only be that much greater. Perhaps yours will be the hand that murders them in a great sacrifice to your new Gods.

Yes, at times the Imperium can seem as cruel as Chaos, but as you pointed out, the motivations differ. And that's a very important factor here. The Imperium is about sacrificing oneself (which conveniently includes the "expectation" that the sacrifice of others is okay, too, when it's considered necessary for the "greater good") - Chaos is about sacrificing others to gain personal power.

And I'm really not sure if a Dark Eldar truly cares for anything besides himself. Their whole society seems to work merely as an "alliance of convenience", even more egoistic than the Drow who at least have a pantheon of gods and clerics to unite them in spirit, in addition to "professional" unity as a warband.


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)

#14 Sergeant Brother

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 03:45 AM

 I have often thought that there should be another Eldar faction - the Crone World Eldar. Those Eldar who survived being sucked into the Eye of Terror and became powerful servants of Chaos. The setting fluff doesn't really back me up here, but I think it could be a neat idea.



#15 Blood Pact

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 05:45 AM

They're not really army material, being the smalleft faction of the Eldar race by far (well, maybe more numerous than Harlequins), which is why we haven't really seen much on them. Not to mention, they seem to only live within the confines of the Eye of Terror.

But considering the ambitious and mercenary nature of the Dark Eldar, I'd say they'd be a perfect Xenos race to include in Black Crusade, their motivation being more material than spiritual. The taking of vast numbers of slaves, while the wanton slaughter and carnage would be there to sustain them.



#16 Sergeant Brother

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:11 AM

 I feel though, when it comes to the Eldar, that they are such a major race in the 40K universe and so unique that they deserve their own RPG instead of being an add on to Black Crusade. That goes for any kind of Eldar, including dark ones.



#17 Lynata

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:28 AM

Truth be told, every faction could have its own RPG. Every army could have its own RPG (see DW). There certainly is enough material available, and I would presume that each fan sees his particular favorite as unique and important enough to warrant it.

The only thing preventing this are the very real issues of time and money that have to be invested (and returned by good sale numbers), so FFG has to decide on what sells best, expanding slowly.


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)

#18 Sergeant Brother

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:52 AM

 That's true, they can only make so many RPG's and sell so many books. Though if they make any more stand alone core games based on 40K, I think that it should be the Eldar as aside from the Imperium and Chaos, they are the most important faction and the one which plays the largest role in the setting. They are also fairly complex and nuanced, enough to deserve their own book in my opinion.



#19 No:12

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:40 PM

Hi,

+1 on the Eldar. I'd pay good money to play a pointy eared bastard with a debilitating narc addiction!

I would only hope FFG pay some attention to power scaling and how it would fit alongside other games. Be a shame not to be able to integrate it with RT and even BC...



#20 Lynata

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 02:17 AM

No:12 said:

I would only hope FFG pay some attention to power scaling and how it would fit alongside other games. Be a shame not to be able to integrate it with RT and even BC...

I honestly think that it would take a 2nd edition of the entire 40k RPG franchise to get the power scaling right. I'm curious to see how BC will factor into this, though, given that it aims for a completely different kind of progression. The "free" character generation sounds like something I'd like to see for the other games, too, and the rules for minions would appear quite interesting as well!

 


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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