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Eleventh Hour questions from a 40K newbie


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#1 Cormorant

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:08 PM

 Howdy, all -

I'm a dabbler in the 40K Universe. I've read some odds and ends books, played a few video games, played a little Dark Heresy, but I don't play the minis game and I don't know the world that well. I picked up Eleventh Hour, though, really liked the adventure, and hope to run it for some similarly "Warhammer Casual" friends within a couple weeks. 

To that end, I've got a few questions, all to do with Orks at the moment. Might follow with some more later…

1) Ork accents are always written in the fluff as Cockney, but…are they actually supposed to be speaking English (or Gothic, I think they call it)? Mainly I want to know so I know whether players can ever talk to them, overhear conversations, trade trash talk, etc. Orks are so entertaining it seems a shame not to let humans at least share some exchanges with them on occasion. 

2) Related question: I know chit-chatting with Xenos isn't thought highly of in the ultra-xenophobic setting of 40K, but does it ever happen? Would Imperial Guardsmen ever capture and interrogate an Ork, for instance? Or is that just unthinkable and all Orks MUST BE PUT DOWN?

3) Are Ork weapons usable by humans? And the related question: would humans even deign to try such a thing, or would it be as offensive as picking up something tainted by Chaos?

Thanks in advance!

 



#2 Plushy

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:39 PM

 1) Orks speak a weird form of Low Gothic. Their Cockney accents are as hard to understand to you as they are to the humans.

2) Probably not done by the Guard. That's more of an Ordo Xenos kind of thing.

3) It depends. It might work, or it might be junk held together only by the psychic power of the Waaagh! Sources really differ on this. Most humans wouldn't want to, but might if desperate enough. Whatever it is would likely be less efficient than Imperial tech, though.


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#3 Bassemandrh

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:06 PM

1. I guess orcs speak some kind of Low Gothic even thought, to me, it makes no sense that Humans and Orcs would share their language. I would personally not let a human be able to understand Green-skin language unless he had learned to speak Green-skin. Makes them more scary and less of a comic relief. I would also make Orcs seem less funny in my description of their actions and equipment.

2. I think even the guard interrogate Xenos for information if they think it is necessary. Of course the Ordo Xenos would be more prone to do it as it is their field of influence. Also i have a hard time seeing anyone getting anything usefull out of Orcs as they would either flee or fight to the death, they would probably not know anything anyway so i doubt anyone would bother to interrogate them.

3. As a last resort i could see the Guard using Orc weapons, but they would not be good weapons. Orcs have a habit of making things better than they are just because they can. Red goes faster and such. In Dark Heresy all Orc weapons are unreliable in the hands of non-orcs to represent how orcs can make bad weapons design work pretty much flawlessly.



#4 Dige

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:07 PM

Hi there!

1) Actually, I think that mostly Orks speak their own language, which predates low gothic by many millenia. Some have learned Low Gothic (Blood Axes, Pirates, Warbosses and such) but not your average Ork, and then the learned cannot (or do not bother to) learn to speak it well. This at least is supported by RT rules, not sure about rest. It seems understandable and if you (like me) have problems with their accents, your Orks can just scream and talk bestially, making them more xenolike and frightening.

2) Depends, see 1. Shouting oneliners to the foul xenos while exterminating them is always good, though. Discussion with them depends also on the mood of the Orks: mostly you can only talk to them when you look not intresting to fight. Otherwise most Orks prefer just to fight you. And Commissars are on the lookout for persons who heretically converse with the enemy, of course :D.

3) In other 40k RPGs, Ork weapons have the Unaccurate trait when (and only when) wielded by non-orks, making Aiming impossible. They might Jam more often, and the really "intresting" mekboy designs probably would not work at all, or outright explode.

Hope this helps.

          Dige.

EDIT: Ah, ninjad mostly apparently.



#5 Woodclaw

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:54 AM

Cormorant said:

 Howdy, all -

I'm a dabbler in the 40K Universe. I've read some odds and ends books, played a few video games, played a little Dark Heresy, but I don't play the minis game and I don't know the world that well. I picked up Eleventh Hour, though, really liked the adventure, and hope to run it for some similarly "Warhammer Casual" friends within a couple weeks. 

To that end, I've got a few questions, all to do with Orks at the moment. Might follow with some more later…

1) Ork accents are always written in the fluff as Cockney, but…are they actually supposed to be speaking English (or Gothic, I think they call it)? Mainly I want to know so I know whether players can ever talk to them, overhear conversations, trade trash talk, etc. Orks are so entertaining it seems a shame not to let humans at least share some exchanges with them on occasion. 

2) Related question: I know chit-chatting with Xenos isn't thought highly of in the ultra-xenophobic setting of 40K, but does it ever happen? Would Imperial Guardsmen ever capture and interrogate an Ork, for instance? Or is that just unthinkable and all Orks MUST BE PUT DOWN?

3) Are Ork weapons usable by humans? And the related question: would humans even deign to try such a thing, or would it be as offensive as picking up something tainted by Chaos?

Thanks in advance!

 

First, welcome to the dark side of Sci-Fi.

About your questions:

  1. Orks are supposed to have their own language, the Cockney accent is meant to give something of a "sound reference" for the GM, but the basic ork doesn't speak gothic. The accent comes from the original 40k portray of the orks, which was heavily influenced by hooligans.
  2. The big problem is that 99% of the guards don't speak any kind of Xeno language. Interrogating a Ork (likely under duress) isn't out of question, but the language barrier makes it a unviable option. The Ordo Xenos and other groups within the Imperium are better suited for this tasks.
  3. Ork weapons are very problematic for the whole "make-it-work" psi-effect, as Dige noted there are rules for this kind of situation in RT. Still some Guard regiments tend to use xenos weapons when the situation is bad (Armageddon's Ork Hunters are famous for using Shootas)


#6 Bayard91

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 04:12 AM

1) Judging from the book Helsreach, I would say that you would be able to communicate with the Orks to some point. In the book, Grimaldus, the Black Templars newly appointed Reclusiarch of the 1st Crusade, goes insane when an Ork just mutilates their Gothic language. Grimaldus picks up the Ork and slams him into a corridor wall again and again when the Ork tries to speak. Each time, the orks skull cracks a little more. It was a very entertaining moment.

2) There are parts of the Imperium that actually often trade with the Tau empire. Many Rogue Traders go out and hire xenos mercenaries. Before the Emperor was wired up in his golden toilet, the Imperium of man wasn't as xenophobic and were working towards peace with aliens. But without the Emperors' word to guide them, the whole of humanity is running around like Sardines in Sponge Bob Square Pants, yelling "MEEP MEEP MEEP MEEP MEEP!" all of the time.

3) Ork weapons are useable to an extent. Really, it's a piece of junk and the Ork doesn't realize that he's holding a possible bomb. The shoota could end up blowing the stock out and into the Orks shoulder. Really, shootas are nothing more than noise makers for Orks. Actually hitting the enemy with a shot is just a bonus. A human could pick an Ork weapon up, but I would say he would judge the weapon to be useless without a proper weapons tech test. Intelligence I guess you could put that under. Same goes for many other xenos weapon. You would have to familiarize yourself with the weapon before you could use it effectively. Unless it's a tyranid weapon or something similar. Those are attached to the organism and the ammunition is produced from their own body.



#7 Adeptus-B

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

1) I seem to recall reading references to orks having their own language, but I think that the Rogue Trader rpg has all orks speaking Low Gothic. I prefer to think of them as having their own gutteral language (some words of which- snik, dakka, etc. were listed in the 3rd Ed Ork Codex), and the 'Cockney' accents are the result of the minority of orks who have picked up some Low Gothic butchering the language.

2) Any contact with xenos is strictly forbidden for the common Imperial citizen, but the active military tend to have more leeway.

3) The rules penalty for using weapons without the proper Talent is -30 (or is it -20- I don't have a Rulebook handy…). Ork weapons have the additional penalty of being Unreliable when used by anyone other than an ork. -And a Guardsman's superiors would likely take a dim view of 'filthy xeno' weapons being used in place of standard Munitorium-issue arms, but it is worth noting that there is at least one regiment in the Imperium (the Armagedon Ork Slayers) who use scavenged ork weapons almost exclusively.



#8 Braddoc

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:27 AM

It is at -20, using a wepaon without the proper talents for them.

 

As for language, I consider it different from Low Gothic, but enough 'similar'  to allow communication (keeping in mind, in a Rogue Trader/ Dark Heresy Acolyte situation) with a Low gothic test at -20, allowing some talks to be had (if they can manage to calm da boyz down)


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#9 Cormorant

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:03 PM

 Excellent information - thanks everyone!

My notion definitely wasn't to have chit-chats with Orks as a common occurrence, but I'm pretty decent with an accent and was thinking I might have a hard time NOT throwing out some Orkish dialogue at some point on the adventure - even if it was more for a laugh than as part of a plot point. From what I've discerned it would be reasonable to allow for at least some garbled exchanges as long as it was done in the proper roleplay context - disgust from any NPC's involved to cue players new to 40K and some entertaining dimwittedness on the part of the Orks.



#10 SomVone

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:11 PM

1. Orks usually speak their own language, though orks will loot words just as much as they loot weapons, so some low (and maybe high) gothic words will be used. Some orks learn low gothic (frequently Blood Axes or leaders) to make threats, demands, and even trades easier.

2. Orks are on humanities hit list so conversations are pretty banned. Interrogating an ork is something which most guardsmen will only try once, as a captured ork will probably not do much besides try to break free and yell swears at its captors. Sometimes regiments will parade captured orks around for the troopers morale though.

3. Broadly yes. Ork weapons are built to scale with their super tough and strong frames, which makes them hard to use. They also tend to be less powerful and reliable when used by non orks, though only the really crazy stuff like Kustom Mega Blastas and Shokk Attack Guns will fail to fire. The use of ork weapons is frowned upon, though people will use them in a pinch. The Armaggon ork hunters did after all.



#11 Plasmafest

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:21 PM

Orks use language much like they use scrap to make a vehicle; build a rough outline then apply violence until it works or is destroyed. To put it another way, Orks occassionally take 'Umies' prisoner and interrogate them for information. They also use slave labour, so clearly they can make themselves understood well enough to serve their needs.



#12 Lord General Bale Chambers

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:33 AM

1.  In the books, (Ciaphas Cain series for example), the Ork language is depicted as a series of grunts and growls.  As already mentioned, Warbosses, some Nobz, the Blood Axe Clan and Free Bootas are the most likely orks to have picked up low Gothic.

2.  Orks will take human slaves, so they do have to communicate with them.  Chat in battle would include all kinds of insults and shouts of WAAAAAGGHH!!  Your average boy and even nob isn't going to know much beyond the battle that just occurred.  The Blood Axe clan tends to plan grand strategies similar to what you would expect from the Guard, but that isn't always the case with other clans.  Most are looking for a good fight and just following orders. 

3.  Nearly all Ork weapons have the innaccurate and unreliable special rules, so I don't think a guardsmen would choose one over a lasgun unless they were desparate.  Even then, Ork weapons are large and heavy (a good explaination for the -20 without training) in the hands of a human.

 

The Blood Axe clan of orks are probably best suited for Only War.  They speak low gothic.  They are known to "copy" the guard to some extent.  They are the only Orks known to wear camo and issue an order to retreat.  They will also trade with Humans and fight as mercenaries.  They consider it a good laugh and cunning to trade for weapons, then use those weapons to attack the people they traded with.

There's an older story of a regiment of scum caught trading a battery of another regiments basilisks to Orks for various looted items.  The catch (and only reason they weren't executed) was that the basilisks were rigged to explode and it blew up the ork mekboyz and a good portion of their ammo dump.   



#13 Est_1987

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:45 AM

There are many points to answer your questions here, all of which is valid.

 By that I mean 40k is to be interipted by the players and as GM's we can creat our own worlds based on an existing Lore. My understanding is that most of the fiction (Black Libary) books are not to be considered a reliable source because the authors are sharing their opinion on the 40k universe and as such various authors have created oppositre facts about races, weapons and a million other things in the 40k universe.

So i'll throw in my opinion.

1. Orks speak their own language of grunts, snarls, shouts and phsical punches. They have been known to speak a broken form of Low Gothic (Informal speech) but only when speaking to humans.

2. They could interogate them but it relates to the 1st point. If the Ork dosn't undertsand the language he can't answer questions. If he can he would only answer truthfully in my opinion with a show of force that was larger than his own. Orks arn't easily intimidated and consider anything smaller than them easy to beat and squishy.

3. Ork weaponary is generally scrap welded together with a crude form of firing mechanism. In some lore there has been some ork weaponary that has seen to be fired but when inspected found to have no trigger at all. I'd say use a mixture of this have the Guradsmen find weapons that IF they want to use can but it dosn't mean they can figure out how to. The guradsmen should obviously be able to see that their weapons are better than the orks'.

To conclud I'd just say use common sense (sometimes hard to do when it relates to a alien species I know) but if it feels possible while being grounded in some form of realistic context then it usually makes everyone happy.

Have fun with the game!

Est_1987






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