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Deathwatch and Inquisitors pushing their weight around


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#1 fleshbearer

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:12 PM

Last night we started a game where our kill team was being 'led' by an Inquisitor. We came upon a problem when she told us that we were her 'bodyguards' and we had to do what she told us. My character, as the squad leader, scolded her for her insolence, then it devolved into a debate (out of game) about who was in charge.

I essentially told her that only those in my Ultramarines chapter above me, those in the Deathwatch above me, and the Emperor, were able to order me around. We followed her because our goals happened to coincide, but we were under no obligation to actually obey her. If our goals conflicted, we would cheerfully ignore -nay sacrifice her- if necessary.

Any thoughts on this?

 

 



#2 Stormast

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:22 PM

That's a bit more subtle.

An Inquisitor is not supposed to boss you around (after all, you're supposed to know what the f*** you're doing). But in the mean time, the Deathwatch is the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos...So you're technically part of the Inquisition.

A "normal" Space Marine would only tag along with Inquisitors as you describe. A Deathwatch Marine would have to have better reasons than "I didn't want to follow these orders" to refuse an Inquisitor's orders. It may be that you find them idiotic, or think you don't belong to the plan. But anyway Deathwatch Marines would be more along the lines of "OK, I disagree, so just lemme explain you what I think Inquisitor..." than "Screw you, I only obey to my Chapter and above".

What's more, your Chapter obeys to the High Lords, or if he does not, he may well end up Excommunicate Traitoris ;)

In the Deathwatch, there is no "official" hierachical order between the Inquisitors and the Watch Captains, for example, but then again you're supposed to be working for the Inquisition, so if it's not about really important matters, you should be sticking to it ;)

As for the "bodyguards" thing, even if it is a bit rude to say it so, well if you were attached to the Inquisitor, you're surely supposed to do whatever is needed to ensure she gets home safe. So technically you're her bodyguards ;)

But context would help, here.



#3 Siranui

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 11:10 PM

 As a Deathwatch marine, your character has sworn oaths of loyalty to the Watch. If the Watch Captain sent you to go and do what the Inquisitor tells you, then you do what the Inquisitor tells you. That's chain of Command. By being sent on a mission by the Watch Captain at the behest of an Inquisitor, your Watch Captain is essentially putting the team under the Inquisitors temporary control.

It's about..dare I say... the greater good. The Inquisition is there to help the Imperium. The Astartes sends marines to the Watch to help the Imperium. The Watch works with the Inquisition for the good of the Imperium. The Inquisitor is doing a mission for the Imperium, and the Watch is there to help. If that means following order, then so be it. Your kill-team NEEDS that Inquisitor in order to overcome a threat to the Imperium, and he/she NEEDS you to work with them.

Also: Remember that Inquisitors have absolute authority. They can and have investigated and condemned entire Chapters before. Whereas your marines essentially hold absolutely no authority outside of your Chapter.

Although more context would be nice.



#4 fleshbearer

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 11:59 PM

OK, to give a bit more detail: we were contacted by an Inquisitor to investigate a missing Inquisitor who'd stumbled on some xeno ruins...fair enough. We hadn't been specifically instructed by our superiors that she was in charge and I know ordinarily, Inquisitors have pretty much unlimited jurisdiction but space marines are kind of 'out of the chain of command' a bit. To me it comes down to: Inquisitors have unlimited authority but Space Marines are only answerable to their direct superiors (unless I'm mistaken). 
As squad leader, I honestly wasn't sure if I had to follow her (if so: fine) or if she was more of an advisor, regardless of her attitude.



#5 Stormast

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 12:11 AM

But you haven't left the Watch Station on your own, have you? The Captain must have accepted the mission (for you :P)...

Anyway, as you're here at here demand, you can't really turn her down that frankly. But if her orders do seem off, you've got all the right there is to tell her and try and make things happen smoothlier.

But you can't really just handwave her. And you've somehow got to protect her (she's an Inquisitor, and so deserves a little bit of protection at least ;)).



#6 Argus Van Het

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 04:03 AM

 So, playing the second adventure of The Emperor Protects, it seems.

I'd advise you to do what countless people have been doing since the dawn of time: smile, say yes, and do whatever you think needs to be done. Were you Imperial Guard, it would be no problem to "accidentize" the inconvenient superior during a firefight (you know, Catachan IG had that rule about rolling a dice for each Comissar before the battle... to see if the mini was already dead XDDD). Sadly, a Space Marine has honor.

Anyway, if the Inquisitor is an NPC, don't worry, few things are more irritant for a GM than to play the role of the leader of the group.



#7 Stormast

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 04:22 AM

Errrrrrrr...Anyway, you don't kill an Inquisitor like that, really.

Unless you're already that corrupted.



#8 Arkhan

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 12:08 AM

In my opinion it's highly dependant on what orders your watch captain has given you in detail, since that is what you have to adhere to.

If he said "go with the inquisitor and do what she tells you" then you obviously are under her command.

If he said "go an protect the inquisitor" then you have to protect her, but you can do that the way you see fit. So if she wants to send you somewhere, but you think it would be sounder to stay with her, then you can say "No". After all, you are the combat expert, not her.

Now, if your captain said "go and help the inquisitor with her task", then it becomes difficult. I'd agree with your assessment that you are not bound to obey her. It's more like a partnership, where you work together for a common goal. This partnership should be one of respect.

So if she has a task for you, you should only turn it down if you have good reasons for doing so. But she, on the other hand, should also be respectful towards you and a phrase like "you're my bodyguards so do the hell what I'm saying" is not showing much respect towards you and your team. In such a situation, I guess it comes down to playing your character. Marines are no robots, they are not 100% alike. A diplomatic, calm battle brother may overlook such rudeness and still do what the inquisitor wants him to, but there are also many hotheaded marines who would get more or less incensed.



#9 VoidDragon

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:14 AM

I find the "relationship" between my fellow players and Inquisitors constantly strained.  Our groups motto has been "kill the Inquisitor first, that is all."

I'd like to think that the Inquisition has a fairly good command structure within the Deathwatch, as this chapter is formed under the Ordo Xenos. To compare to a similar chapter, the Grey Knights, the inquisition does not have full command over them, but can recruit them to further mutual goals.  The Deathwatch is an organization bent on the betterment of the Imperium of man, in and through the threat of various Xenos.

YES, there are corrupt and power hungry Inquisitors that can/will screw you. But one bad experience shouldn't be the foundation of future dealings. You know what you call that... Prejudice.  Honorable Space Marines should be above such idiocy.

I'm not saying we have to follow an Inquisitors orders blindly, but give them more faith in working with them. Although, I will say, much of my understanding on the Inquisition is that they are the "secret police", and even they don't have respond to the High Lords of Terra. That can make them pretty arrogant.

My underlying comment I think i want to make is... Try to roleplay in their universe, and not bring ours into theirs.



#10 Decessor

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 12:05 AM

The relationship in background between the Deathwatch and the Ordo Xenos has subtly changed with the release of the Deathwatch rpg. Deathwatch is more of an ally to Ordo Xenos than a subordinate organisation. And as a space marine chapter, they are one of the few organisations that have sufficient power to challenge individual inquisitors if they feel the need. However, both are meant to be working together. And if the watch captain ordered you on a mission, you're following his orders (e.g. protect the Inquisitor) unless you think of a *damn* good reason not to.



#11 decPL

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 12:31 AM

VoidDragon said:

Prejudice.  Honorable Space Marines should be above such idiocy.

Taken out of context, I know (and I do agree with your post), but in my experience Adeptus Astartes are prejudice incarnate.



#12 ak-73

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:58 AM

Stormast said:

Errrrrrrr...Anyway, you don't kill an Inquisitor like that, really.

Unless you're already that corrupted.

 

Well, Inquisitors have been killed on grounds of infringing chain-of-command before.

"Despite the power of the Inquisition and the ancient and honoured role of the Inquisitor of the Chamber, the sole and final authority of the Watch Fortress, and thereby all the Deathwatch Marines in the Jericho Reach is the Master of Vigilance, a position held by the most senior Deathwatch Captain in the Jericho Reach. Others that have thought to act otherwise, including certain members of the Inquisition, have paid for this mistake with their lives."

There is no doubt who has the final word on DW operations: the Deathwatch itself. And if an Inquisitor seeks to impose his might on the Deathwatch, he or she is to be retired on a permanent basis. Just to preserve proper inner imperial power balance.

As far as the DW (and thus to a large degree the Ordo Xenos) is concerned, the Marines wear the pants.

 

Alex


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#13 MexicanNinja

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 10:35 AM

Here's one possible solution, and it's something my Death Watch Captain used for these exact situations.  I took peer (Inquisition) and air of authority, tag that along with a top notch  Fellowship, +20 command skill, and you can see where this goes.  It ends up in a more favorable situation for the kill-team.  Of course, all of my Space Marines are from Ultramarines, for the command skill, and I take the skills that make people listen to the words comming out of my mouth.  Now, this isn't going to make the Inquisitors whimper in your presence, however, it could make him listen to your words a bit more.



#14 Polaria

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:24 PM

One thing to consider is that Inquisitor has a literal "Emperors Permission to Do Whatever Needed" and in terms of theoretical "ranking" in Imperium Inquisitorial Mandate outranks anyone and everyone save the Big E himself.

If required, Inquisitors may call on the service and/or resources of any Imperial servant or organization. Not even a High Lord of Terra may refuse the order of an Inquisitor without good reason. This power extends across the Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Mechanicus, however learned Inquisitors show discretion and request the assistance of the Space Marines and attempt not to anger the Adepts of Mars.

The Space Marine chapters autonomy depends on their mandate to protect the mankind by any means they deem necessary. There has been several historical examples of Space Marine chapters clashing with other Imperial organizations (including Inquisition) over if they need to answer to anyone else. Save for a few rare examples all Space Marine chapters who have openly challenged Inquisitorial Mandate have ended up Excommunicate Traitoris and destroyed by other marines.

In Deathwatch there really should not be any issue over this: The relationship of Chapters, Deathwatch and Inqusition is quite clear. Deathwatch IS part of Inquisition and as such once you have sweared the oath and joined the Deathwatch your original chapter has been outranked and no-one from your original chapter has any say over you untill you end your Deathwatch tour. How your chain of command goes inside Deathwatch varies, but it should go without questioning that Watch Captains, Watch Commanders and all Inquisitors outrank you by a good few miles.

If you have a problem with this particular Inquisitor then the best and most prudent course of action is to nod, smile and say yes... and keep eye on her. After all, you do have your own Watch Captain, who is your direct superior, to report to after everything is over. If the mission was kosher and went well, then what did you lose? Nothing. If it went south, report to Watch Captain as he certainly has much more influence with Deathwatch and Inquisitors than you can ever dream of.

Whatever you do, DO NOT even think about murdering the Inquisitor just because you don't like her manners. She technically has the direct mandate from Big E and even if you do manage to kill her off you have just broken your oath to Deathwatch and the Watch Captain WILL punish you if they find out. He has no other choice, really, since if they let any Space Marine go around killing Inquisitors on whim they risk having the whole Deathwatch/Ordo Xenos deal fall to ruins, resulting in xenos getting upper hand and Deathwatch as an organization failing in their sworn duty towards Emperor and Mankind.

In short: If you start to kill your own people (Inquisitors most certainly included) on whim you might as well start looking for navigation maps to Eye of Terror and a nice Chaos God to swear your allegiance to, because that is EXACTLY where that path will lead to...



#15 isidro

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 10:00 PM

 

Ok, here is my input:

The inquisition is another organization o the empire. A powerfull and feared one but only up to a certain rank. For example, a planetary governor may fear one inquisitor but at the same time the inquisitor needs to be pretty sure and have solid evidence or he will be facing a lot of opposition from all the planetary organizations on said planet. An inquisitor, except a very very high ranked one, can't even think of accusing a Lord militant in chage of fighting a war over a few sectors.

On the Space Marine vs Inquisition... In theory an inquisitor can land on Baal or Fenris and start burning "witches", in reality the Marines have lordship over those planets and wouldn't take this kindly or peacefully. Even if the inquisitor was right on the money he would have to secure the marines cooperation.

On the deathwatch it's pretty much the same thing, IMO ofc, the Inquisitor sets goals, investigates threats and responds by contacting the watch and getting the firepower to do it. On the field of battle it's hard to say Marines don't have operational control.The inquisitor certainly has an input and his opinion matters but  OFC they should and must protect the inquisitor, but unless he was given explicit authority over those Marines then it's down to the individuals and how they work around each other.

Regarding  players, stupidity and infantile behavior usually becomes the norm on these confrontations. Just make sure they understand that assassinating an inquisitor is a big nono, just killing an anoying teacher/co-worker/passer-by/neighbour is sometimes sweet to imagine but 99,99% of you won't do it. Just not worth it. Give them a splash of common sense, point out that passing 5 fellowship rolls at 50 fellowship and fate point is (0,75^5)% which is pretty low. Hopefully hard math won't be necessary. Unless the campaign revolves around that... then it's another set of rules.

 

Isidro



#16 MexicanNinja

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 03:35 AM

Polaria said:

One thing to consider is that Inquisitor has a literal "Emperors Permission to Do Whatever Needed" and in terms of theoretical "ranking" in Imperium Inquisitorial Mandate outranks anyone and everyone save the Big E himself...

They may be true to the vast majority, however, tell that to a Grey Knight and watch what happens.

 



#17 boruta666

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:33 AM

In wh40k owner of bigger gun write the law.

 

if Inquisitor is plain dumb and for a moment forget that he isnt dealing with mindless guardsman but Sons of the Emperor ? forget for a minute that he isnt your equal in combat situation and let him fend for himself.

Also in many cases safest way of dealing with stupid inquisition member is just to kill him, allowing him to plot vengeance is big mistake.

As GM i have bit different way to portrait such conflicts or joint-operations. If inquisitor is selected to observe DW brothers on mission that mean that this particular inquisitior have aproval of DW commander, his humble advice will be heard but decision always belong to DW field leader. If they will meet some random inquisitor on field he can only ask or beg for their help. (on funny side one of such random inquisitors that KT have meet while fighting chaos turned to friendship among ordo maleus inquisitor and KT members after many joint missions, they were going long and hard road to help each other witch was great material for new sessions and rp)

 



#18 Siranui

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:49 AM

 If there's a dumb Inquisitor, the GM is to blame for not roleplaying the character properly, to my mind. There are no stupid Inquisitors, just like there are no blind fighter pilots.



#19 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:50 AM

boruta666 said:

In wh40k owner of bigger gun write the law.

 

The Inquisition have the authority to kill planets... Exterminatus is, at least within the Imperium, the biggest gun.

That aside, while your statement is broadly true, there is nuance to the matter - an Inquisitor, by merit of his status and the challenges faced attaining that status and the theoretically-limitless authority it provides, will be extremely skilled at the politics of violence - understanding that force equals authority and thus having powerful allies and servants makes one far more capable of wielding the Ultimate Authority (which is tantamount to speaking with the Emperor's Voice) than being alone. It's why Inquisitors build networks of contacts, allies (both within and beyond the Inquisition), servants and acolytes - because getting on the bad side of four Inquisitors, three Cardinals, eight Imperial Commanders, fifteen different Arbitors-Senioris, and half of the Sector Admiralty (because they're all powerful allies of the Inquisitor) is far worse than just annoying a single Inquisitor.

As with all things at the highest levels of the Imperium, it is all a complex and delicate balancing act. A Kill-Team really can't get away with murdering an Inquisitor because he annoyed them, but similarly the Inquisitor can't really get away with treating the Kill-Team like slaves, especially if he wants to continue taking advantage of the prowess of the Deathwatch. Technically, the Inquisitor is still the Kill-Team's better - he is, like all Inquisitors, the Emperor's Left Hand, empowered to use any means necessary to ensure the survival of Mankind - but he stands on roughly equal terms with the local Watch Commander, who may have a few things to say about wasting the valuable assets of the Deathwatch.


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#20 MexicanNinja

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:22 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

The Inquisition have the authority to kill planets... Exterminatus is, at least within the Imperium, the biggest gun...

Technically, a Death Watch Captain could do the same thing.






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