Jump to content



Photo

Killing a fellow player's character (Psyker)?


  • Please log in to reply
59 replies to this topic

#1 mosern

mosern

    Member

  • Members
  • 31 posts

Posted 09 May 2011 - 08:46 AM

Hi hive-mind!

 

In our group we have a Psyker. He has been a very nice addition to the team over the years (we're now at rank 7-8), and has of course saved our butts a few times. However, in that time he has managed to make walls bleed etc, you know, side-effects of messing with the Warp. Although nothing really serious so far (no deamons etc).

I was thinking - where would you (as a fellow team-member) draw the line for his carelessness, and put a bolter round (or ten) in the Psyker's head instead of looking the other way?

When he spawns some sort of deamon?

Doing Weapon-Jinx in front of the Tech-Priest?

Mind controling some other PC?

Or should we have executed him the first time he made the walls bleed? :)



#2 Darth Smeg

Darth Smeg

    Lord Nitpicker

  • Members
  • 1,690 posts

Posted 09 May 2011 - 09:19 AM

Here's an old thread on the same subject. My feelings on the subject are covered pretty exhaustively there.


Tarald - The Dark Lord of Smeg

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on

 

My House Rules for using Only War (and more) for Dark Heresy games


#3 Zakalwe

Zakalwe

    Member

  • Members
  • 531 posts

Posted 09 May 2011 - 06:57 PM

Lots of good stuff in your other thread there Darth Smeg, thanks for the link.

Here's my take:

Making walls bleed?  Strange wind?  Ghostly apparitions? It's all flavour.  No intra-party execution.  Though this could cause problems with NPCs of course.

Demonhost?  Absolutely: Terminate with extreme prejudice - last game session I did exactly that - BUT, with the psyker player's permission of course.

Being the great sport that he is, the psyker's player figured that he would never even approach those levels of power again, and he had just killed me (burned fate point) so with his blessing, and my last ounce of strength, I returned the favour.  This actually turned out to be the only way to extract the party from the crowded arms-market we were in without everyone else in the party getting shot as well for being the demon's allies.

Keep in mind though that this was only our fourth session.  A rank 7-8 character has significantly more invested in it.  In this instance we, as a group, agreed that his death was appropriate.  Unsanctioned intra-party conflict will ruin your game.

Unless you're playing Paranoia - Zap Zap Zap .

 



#4 Darth Smeg

Darth Smeg

    Lord Nitpicker

  • Members
  • 1,690 posts

Posted 09 May 2011 - 07:21 PM

I only now saw who the original poster was, but in no way should you feel you have to consider my views just because I'm your GM, Mosern :)

No no, by all means, do whatever you like.  I'm sure the fallout will be ... interesting :)


Tarald - The Dark Lord of Smeg

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on

 

My House Rules for using Only War (and more) for Dark Heresy games


#5 Zakalwe

Zakalwe

    Member

  • Members
  • 531 posts

Posted 09 May 2011 - 08:16 PM

No last minute reminders about harmonious gaming? That almost sounds like you are keen to see what happens Darth Smeg.

The Computer says that party conflict is heresy on par with witchery, I name thee 'Commie Mutant Traitor'

ZAP ZAP ZAP.

 



#6 Darth Smeg

Darth Smeg

    Lord Nitpicker

  • Members
  • 1,690 posts

Posted 09 May 2011 - 08:41 PM

Hehe, I was sorta joking. My feelings on this issue has not changed, and as for my own group I find it wonderfully hypocritical that they eagerly request that said psyker heal them at any and all possibilities using Seal Wounds (they even affectionately refer to him as their healbot, OOC).

Allowing him to WEAVE THEIR TORN FLESH together in a painful and spectacular way by USING THE RAW POWER OF THE WARP, snapping broken bones back together, CREATING and REPLACING lost BLOOD from NOTHING (well, the WARP), and sending them off to keep fighting the good fight.

If they really were afraid that he was Breaking Bad, I can't see them letting him touch their bodies and souls like this at all.

But that's just me :)


Tarald - The Dark Lord of Smeg

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on

 

My House Rules for using Only War (and more) for Dark Heresy games


#7 Niqvah

Niqvah

    Member

  • Members
  • 222 posts

Posted 09 May 2011 - 10:28 PM

I've been on both sides of this argument.

As a psyker in a game that's gone from first level up to Ascension, it is wearing that my companions still have prejudices about my witchiness, but (as Darth Smeg observes) are more than happy for me to patch them up, remove their fatigue and make enemies conveniently fall asleep. Fortunately, I've never had a world-shatteringly awful Peril (having been more than hesitant to use my abilities for many years).

I did once spawn a pink horror, but we were in an apartment block and it materialised outside the window, plummeted several floors into a crowded market and set about devouring people. Sure, there was some interparty tension (mainly the Scum trying to prevent me from going to help, insisting it was outside the remit of our mission...) but we got through it.

The makeup of your group and the relationships people have with the Psyker will play a huge role. In the game I just mentioned, the Psyker had long been the voice of sense and moderation, and the others respected his position in the group, and were thus prepared to overlook phenomena they actually had little knowledge of.

From the other side, I played a fanatical Cleric. After a lot of tension with the group's Psyker, he unwittingly unleashed daemons on us that gave my Cleric 9 Corruption in one go. Unsurprisingly, he turned around and cut the Psyker in half with his Greatsword. The Psyker's player was pretty philosophical about it.

Maybe, if you think it's going to be an issue, you could have a talk with your group OOC (especially the Psyker) and make a decision to ensure no hurt feelings or misunderstandings further down the line.

In our game, the gutted Psyker burned a fate point to stay alive (the Cleric was soon too busy with a mutant abomination to check his handiwork) and later got a fresh one from the GM for reasonable in-character reasons. No harm no foul, and it led to cool roleplay.

To conclude my waffle, you establish your character and their values, and it's your call how they would react. You should never feel like you're forcing them to act (or not act) for OOC reasons. At the same time, maybe you could take a moment to balance all the times your Psyker has saved your hide when considering whether or not their loss of control should be punishable by execution.



#8 mosern

mosern

    Member

  • Members
  • 31 posts

Posted 09 May 2011 - 11:05 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

After reading your long thread Darth, and contemplating the unity of the group - I think I've figured out where to draw the line...

Not saying he won't end up as a special servo skull at some time in the future, but for now I think he's pretty safe...



#9 Attila-IV

Attila-IV

    Member

  • Members
  • 302 posts

Posted 10 May 2011 - 03:06 AM

 You can do anything in a roleplaying game except ruin another player's good time. If killing the psyker is going to create tension among the players, stop the game cold, or outright tick off the person playing the psyker, then it shouldn't happen. No mater how common summery executions are in the setting, they just aren't fun. I only make an exception if the GM states from the start that the campaign will be highly lethal and inter-acolyte conflict will be a major theme (i.e. everyone knows what they're in for, and anyone could be executed).

As an aside, ever notice the summery execution posts always focus on Psykers?



#10 Kael

Kael

    Member

  • Members
  • 66 posts

Posted 10 May 2011 - 03:09 AM

 I'm willing to execute anyone who stands between me and the Emperor ;)



#11 Aramithius

Aramithius

    Member

  • Members
  • 41 posts

Posted 10 May 2011 - 06:30 AM

 True, they do seem to be the stereotype executees.  I think that's more down to the notion that they are a more clear and present danger if "breached" than a blunt.  A normal person can be bound up to await trial; given a secure enough prison they're no bother.  You'd have to go to considerably more trouble to bring a corrupted psyker to trial, with a lot more risks.  The "better safe than sorry" argument makes a lot more sense with psykers than blunts.



#12 Zakalwe

Zakalwe

    Member

  • Members
  • 531 posts

Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:59 AM

"Oh but it is good roleplaying for me to have my character constantly persecute the psyker"... Bollocks

The entire game is based around a suspension of disbelief, so anyone who says they have to persecute the psyker because they are a psyker is full of it.  Just hand wave it and get on with it.  Persecute any other NPC psyker you come across to your hearts content, but remember the PC psyker is a PC, and s/he is there for fun just like you are.

My character (Jungo Max - Feral World Assassin) absolutely hates psykers and I have discussed taking the elite advance of 'Hatred-Psykers' due to getting shagged by them three sessions in a row including the above mentioned Demonhost, however if another player brought in another psyker my character would be suspicious of them, but as a player I would perform the mentioned hand-wave so we can all enjoy the game.  I mean let's face it, all the other dudes at the table are either my friends or friends of friends and those relationships are more important that 'in game authenticity' because without them there is no game. 

Funnily enough, re. other PCs lining up for psychic healing, it was performing psychic healing on a party member that caused the above mentioned psyker to roll demonhost.  So much for altruism, he was actually the nicest character in the party, and was always concearned about welfare of NPCs and things like that. Poor bugger. 

@ Darth Smeg,

I could tell your comments were a bit tongue in cheek, but I see that like myself, you enjoy the role of Devil's Advocate (in a relatively harmless sort of way).

BUT...

The Computer says being Devil's Advocate is treason...

ZAP ZAP ZAP.



#13 Niqvah

Niqvah

    Member

  • Members
  • 222 posts

Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:48 AM

To respectfully disagree, I would counter by saying it would be an unfulfilling roleplay experience for me (and others in my groups) were I obliged to act out of character to avoid tension in the group. I suggest that, providing all players are amenable, it is quite acceptable to have prejudices and past experiences creating problems between player characters.

In the aforementioned example, I had made a witch-hating Cleric, and a friend created a Psyker. We both knew going into it that there would be issues, but that doesn't mean we were constantly at each other's throats, or seeking to undo each other. We worked together, grudgingly, and exchanged the odd harsh word. And yes, my Cleric did attempt to execute the Psyker when a Peril resulted in a huge Corruption dose, but to have done otherwise would be utterly contrary to the character's natural inclination. Importantly, out of character, the Psyker's player understood this, and the GM ensured it did not ultimately impact his character. Also, it gave other players the opportunity to step in and stop the Cleric going further, siding with the Psyker against him.

It depends on the sort of game you are playing, and how grimdark you want to be. By no means should anyone feel persecuted or upset out of character, but on the other hand, tension, rivalries and disagreements in a group can - in my experience - lead to enjoyable roleplay for all involved.



#14 Zakalwe

Zakalwe

    Member

  • Members
  • 531 posts

Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:51 PM

@ Niqvah:  You said

"We both knew going into it that there would be issues, but that doesn't mean we were constantly at each other's throats, or seeking to undo each other. We worked together, grudgingly, and exchanged the odd harsh word. "

and

"Importantly, out of character, the Psyker's player understood this, and the GM ensured it did not ultimately impact his character"

I think our respective positions are actually quite similar because I get the impression that you are not constantly persecuting the psyker while staying in character, and the really important thing is that you and the psyker player discussed this early on and agreed that it was all okay.  Furthermore, I also think that we agree somewhat because despite my feelings about party harmony, it was my PC that blew him away after the Demonhost.

Perhaps what we disagree on is what constitutes a rewarding roleplaying expereince but that is neither here nor there and I'm happy to disagree on that. 

Lastly,  I am actually in agreement with the greatsword incident, if a psyker unleashed demons on Jungo then unless the psyker did some very fast and convincing talking then Jungo's Orthlack MkIV would be running hot ! BLAM BLAM BLAM!

 

 



#15 Insequential

Insequential

    Member

  • Members
  • 25 posts

Posted 15 May 2011 - 08:16 PM

@Zakalwe: quite a tame position someone so used to weapons ; )

Seriously, we have had this in our group once, several years ago when I was strongly in the anti-PK camp. More recently I am in favour of it (and I don't think that everyoen needs to 'like' the idea of hereticial execution, they just have to be warned). The change of heart came after I realised that the former position was based on  having a good "gaming" experience, whiel the later opinion comes form wantign a good "roleplaying" experience (with all it's highs and lows).

What led me to the later opinion was the death a beloved long term 'non-psycker' character - it was unplanned, it was not with my consent or even a warning, but it was in character and it actually made a big roleplaying impresion on the party and the character(s) that followed. I came to realise that good gaming doesn't lead to good roleplaying, but good roleplaying almost always makes for a good game.

10c

 



#16 Zakalwe

Zakalwe

    Member

  • Members
  • 531 posts

Posted 15 May 2011 - 10:23 PM

@ Insequential

Dude, I've only just ditched SC again, I have an antique plasma rifle here that is so going to get used if I even suspect that you're going to blow my cover...

I've got a such a great little 'organic' furniture business going on here, don't make me disappear back into the...  ...surface detail.   



#17 Jack of Tears

Jack of Tears

    Member

  • Members
  • 558 posts

Posted 15 May 2011 - 10:25 PM

Attila-IV said:

 

 You can do anything in a roleplaying game except ruin another player's good time.

 

And here is your answer.  Killing another player's character is only acceptable if it isn't going to ruin the experience for the other player ... if he accepts this danger as part of his role as psyker, and if he will have fun with the scene.  It is one thing to kill him if he gets taken over by a demonhost and attacks the party ... that is very real self defense ... but getting upset and putting a bullet in his head because he made the walls bleed, or even because he tossed the party around a bit on accident, probably isn't appropriate.  (and, as GM, I'd very likely allow the PC to introduce his new character with the same starting XP as his psyker ended with ... so as not to punish him unduly for choosing to play that class)

 



#18 Jack of Tears

Jack of Tears

    Member

  • Members
  • 558 posts

Posted 15 May 2011 - 10:39 PM

Insequential said:

Seriously, we have had this in our group once, several years ago when I was strongly in the anti-PK camp.

Was he killed by one of the other players?  This can make all the difference.  Sure, no doubt things come up in a game which can pit players against one another, but just playing your class as it is written should not be a death sentence.  How is having the Guard turn on your Psyker and blow him away because he has decided the man is a blasphemy fun for anyone?  If tension has been building, the Psyker is playing his character as teetering on the edge of sanity, or he is simply doing some very messed up things which are bringing doom and corruption down around the players ... then, sure, some inner party conflict may well be appropriate ... but the latter is a result of roleplaying - the former is a result of the system being cruel to a single character class.

(In my Star Wars game one of the characters was making a lot of messed up decisions and slipping to the darkside because of it - though he failed to realize this himself - and in the process he was dragging the other characters down with him.  Over the course of a year [of actual play time] this continued to build, until - finally - the characters had to put this individual in a position where either he turned toward redemption or was killed by failing to do so.  This lead to some amazing rp in the game ... but everyone saw it coming, it was not sudden, random or arbitrary, but a real and difficult decision forced upon the other characters by events in the rp.  The player who, ultimately, lost his character wasn't being punished because his class forced him to make mistakes; he wasn't being killed because his class is naturally hated by everyone else; he was killed for a number of decisions he made over a decent stretch of time.  

I have nothing against enemies or player stupidity getting them killed in the games I run - but you really have to be careful when you start letting characters gun one another down ... especially because PCs seem to take some perverse pleasure in doing it to one another.)



#19 Gaius

Gaius

    Member

  • Members
  • 118 posts

Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:18 AM

Let me tell you the tale of two men who worked with Psykers, one was called Brother Butchery and the other was called Gaius. Brother Butchery was a lay priest who had been saved from a live of sinful violence and led to one of righteous violence in the service of the Holy Inquisition (actually an Imperial World Guardsman because Inquisitors Handbook wasn't out yet at the time so many moons ago that this was). Now the blessedly all knowing Inquisitor sent this simple wretch to aid some of his servants but one of them was an abomination, the Holy Inquisitor had told him to stay his hand for their were others to smite in the Emperors name yet and he did. He had to work with this witch with blue skin (actually just a void born with a blue tinted skin but he kept telling us it was blue so were were thinking he was a proper mutant too). This witch was reckless and used his vile sorceries far too often... such as using fear in a crowded hive city market because people were staring at the blue giant... But the witch at times had a silver tongue and Butchery stayed his chainsword being assured the effect was obviously the work of our enemy- yes *twitch* the enemy *twitch*. Eventually when using a power while the player wasn't there to heal Brother Butchery, Butchery was reluctant about this but after being assured by the Inquisitor he was safe Butchery viewed him as a useful tool but not a real person, some strange trick of the warp made the psyker appear as a daemon to all who could see... who was currently only brother butchery. Failing his fear check and running into the ruins of the underhive screaming that infernal forces were present he ran straight into the giant mutated rats he looked upon these malefic servants with horror but he had made requests for such and eventuality, rather than let this daemonic horde eat his soul he activated his explosive collar. Out of character I had chosen to play a particularily puritan character as roleplaying it was fun but when the time came due to mere fickleness of the dice (even though he should have been killed long before this for stuff the party didn't know about) I chose rather to kill my own character than attack his particularily because he wasn't there that session. He was still a very bad example of how you should play a psyker and not keep giving the party excuses to kill you.

A long time later there was Gaius Orelius Maximus, Seneschal to the Solo Rogue Trader Dynasty, this man did not start with any particular issue with psykers however through roleplaying he developed one. In their early days of their adventures a witch manipulated him trying to get him to betray his cousin and master the Rogue Trader which caused him to greatly hate this particular psyker and start to be a bit more wary of others, also the arcane technologies of a xenos race also messed with his head. He developed a hatred/fear of things that could mess with his brain which included Astropaths, this was not an insanity handed down by insanity point gain but a logical conclusion to what had been happening to him. Now at the same time the parties Astropath almost caused a fight with a group of Kroot for nonsensical reasons who were trying to get us to hire them and then went off to a bar to almost get shot because he refused to pay for a drink... Gaius as a dutiful Seneschal went and weaved words and brides to calm tensions and ease any growing fallout. He resented having to spend a large chunk of his time cleaning up the messes of the Astropath since he didn't seem to appreciate the help. The Astropath later used his psychic powers when the gellar field flickered and a sole daemon got on board the ship, he decided to push his psychic powers because I'll do way more damage (three is not worth an instant perils of the warp) and lo all the the tech in the immediate area ceased to function including Gaius' refractor shield and his bolt gun which was now an overpriced club.  After what had now become a far far deadlier battle (thankfully the rogue trader had a holy weapon and a fractal blade and our Arch Militants power armour was hexagramically warded which the GM decided would protect it) the party had a sit down with the psyker and some uneasy grew in the group as to him. However as time went on his behaviour and use of powers became more questionable so restrictions were put on his use of them such as he could only use them with the rogue traders permission or in the case of an emergency. This however made him desperate to prove how useful he was since he had acquired a whole load of new psychic powers. Now Gaius wasn't going to hide his growing disgust at the witch which seemed very logical. On a mission the Astropath used his powers without permission and it altered the side of an alien ship to make it open suddenly... when asked the Astropath admitted he had used a power on it but the effect was not what he had imagined. The rogue trader felt betrayed as did the rest of the party including Gaius who openly insulted the witch, Kaiphus Solo (our rogue trader) told Korben (the astropath) that if he used his powers again he would be shot. Feeling tensions rise Gaius activated his refractor shield while pointing his gun at Korben... Korben threw up a telekinetic shield, and Gaius fired... The scene de escalated after this but later Gaius would later be heard saying "My only regret is not holding the trigger down". Korben kept pushing his powers later on even after being told that he should never push them. Every single time he screwed over himself and the party, usually by knocking himself out. As time went by everyone became far more wary to one degree or another, Anastasia our Navigator never said a mean word to Korben but even she was getting worried by his actions. We talked at length with him about the use of his powers and how he should be more responsible. Gaius utterly terrified of this filthy with watched him carefully and would always position himself as far from Korben as he practically could. Eventually we ended up with the players divided, there was Korbens player who felt that everyone was picking on his character and then there was everyone else who felt that Korben was destroying the game by being so ludicrously reckless and everyone always having to clean up his messes. We explained to Korben's player repeatedly that if he just stopped pushing psychic powers and being so reckless then the in character rules regarding his powers would be slackened. In character people started talking more and more that our friendly psychic radio might need putting down... While rather than try and mend bridges Korben made a daemonic pact and secretly set up a chaos cult on our ship.

We had been largely handwaving away the serious ramifications of his actions but it was ruining the game, yes we'd give out to him and yeah we told him don't do this push thing but he only got shot at once by the jumpy Seneschal who was secretly terrified of him when he completely went against Kaiphus' order as detailed above. In the end we all regretted this as we ended up feeling betrayed by our crew as well as Korben, our ship, the Weeping Angel, was never the same to us after this, we always had to be watchful for taint and Korben due to his daemonic pact got away knowing all of our secrets... The player decided not to make a new character and because of the way he was talking we could all tell that he hadn't learned a damn thing. One of the other players later joined the game with an astropath, a very pious one and a very carefull one. It took him a while but he gained the command crews trust, even Gaius told him I wont shoot you at the drop of a hat after a while. He's now a valued member of our crew and was eventually told of why the command crew was so cautious about him... he was horrified.

Not every character has to hate psykers vehemently and yeah after a bit of roleplaying some may start to truely trust a psyker, and this is great but if someone does something stupid then after a while you have to start paying attention to it or it might just get worse. Psykers do have to be doubly cautious about how their actions are perceived! On the point of execution threads only ever mention psykers I ran a game once where one of the players was seriously considering killing the cleric... and not without reason. He didn't because he was another player but regrets not doing so because it was completely out of character as to why not. We all give other PCs a lot of lee way but it's best from a roleplaying point of view that after a point you just go with what your character would do.



#20 Niqvah

Niqvah

    Member

  • Members
  • 222 posts

Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:37 AM

Gaius said:

We all give other PCs a lot of lee way but it's best from a roleplaying point of view that after a point you just go with what your character would do.

Amen to that. The key point, whatever the situation and character classes involved: act in character. Otherwise, what is the point of roleplaying? The part where you don't needlessly act like a jerk to people who are supposed to be your friends should be a given.

Also, whoever is on the point of getting executed, let us not forget Fate Points and the GM. Burn a FP to stay alive (coming up with in-story reasons) and then, if the death wasn't fair on the character's player, the GM can give it back (again with suitable reasoning). Otherwise, your GM can come up with something that eases the situation (or stalls it - e.g. the characters are suddenly set upon by cultists and need to lay aside their grievance to stay alive) without anyone having to 'pull punches' or act out of character because they're up against a PC.

To me, this whole issue is one of mature roleplay. It's absolutely fine to have in-party tension - even to the point of violence breaking out - but the players and the GM need to be sensitive and grown-up about it. If someone's feeling victimised out of character, everyone needs to have a chat and come to a conclusion that keeps the game fun. Because it is, at the end of the day, a game.






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS