Are Obliterators really known for skill in close combat?
There's not really any point in needing 2 or 3 weapon training skills; most start with at least this many.
I'm also thinking we could better show the affinity they gain for their equipment in a different fashion, but it shouldn't all be just good news.
Well, insomniac boredom makes for creativity, so… here's a whole other take on it.
Stage 1: Host [No Talent]: Requirements: BS 30, WS 30, Toughness 30
At this stage, a Character has been infected by the virus long enough for it to propagate throughout his system. However, further progression will only be possible in those who are not only worthy, but also welcome and accept its presence. Those without even the listed basic requirements are functionally immune at the time, their minds and bodies preventing it from achieving even basic changes to their body. So dormant is the virus within them that it would take a direct and significant blood transfusion to affect another.
A carrier has difficulty removing his equipment. Flesh slowly seems to fuse to weapons, armor and equipment, blood-clots and scabbing extending onto the items when suffered. At this stage, any piece of equipment in physical contact with the character for at least one minute then takes twice as long to be divested of carefully: removing it by force is no more difficult but tears at the character's flesh. Pistols and one-handed melee weapons are painful but merely distracting; removing a two-handed melee, basic or heavy weapon, or removing armor in a hurry (such as through the kind ministrations of a lynch-mob) inflicts a single wound, bypassing armour and toughness.
All is not lost, however: a character ignores 25% of his bonded equipment's weight as his body adapts to its presence. This weight is ignored for purposes of encumbrance only; a 100kg human wearing power-armor and bonded to a Lascannon would quickly overload a 200kg elevator system. A host of the Obliterator virus is contagious: direct exposure to their blood or fluids will infect a character who fails an Average toughness test. Eliminating the infection will require a regimen of Very Hard medicae. Equipment only ever bonds through use: A pistol in its leg-holster will not become part of the character's leg, though the holster itself will. Bonded Gear [besides weapons and armour] no longer requires power.
Stage 2 [Tier 1 Talent]: Requirements: BS 35, WS 30, Toughness 35, Tech Use[Trained], Obliterator Stage 1 Infection
The Obliterator Talents consider Unaligned characters 'devoted', and are paid for as if 'True' by these characters. Any character with Stage II or higher counts as having an additional mutation for purposes of detection by psychic measures.
-At this stage, the Obliterator infection becomes irreversibly part of the character, and can no longer be cured. Bonded equipment becomes permanent and melds into the character: more than one would-be colossus of heavy-weaponry has died of starvation after losing use of their hands or wearing a rebreather.
However, Weapons and Armor now weigh 50% less for purposes of encumbrance, and the penalty for using a Bonded Basic Weapon one-handed (wiser than the alternative at this stage) is reduced by 10% (For a total of -0 with carbines or other such systems). A character bonded to Carapace or heavier is automatically considered vacuum-sealed, and halves the high-AP penalty to stealth. Weapons do not have unlimited ammunition, but the character may replenish these weapons externally, in addition to producing ammunition in a limited fashion: At the cost of a full-action and one level of fatigue, the character may instantly reload the weapon to its full capacity.
Tearing off any piece of equipment inflicts a single wound, while removing bonded armor is akin to a flensing, causing 1d5 wounds, once again bypassing armour and toughness in both cases.
Stage 3[Tier 2 Talent]: Requirements: BS 45, WS 40, Strength 35, Toughness 45, Tech Use[+10], Machine[+1], Obliterator Stage II Infection
-The third stage of Obliterator infection instills the traits of absorbtion and modification to the character. Choose a single weapon bonded to each limb: This weapon may now be deployed or re-absorbed at will, counts as a 'natural weapon' and no longer requires ammunition. Basic weapons remain too unwieldy to use in melee, however. Whatever armour was worn at the time of this purchase is now fused to him entirely. Panels may be opened or accessed, individual sections retracted or opened as bodily functions require, but its removal would require a complete flensing. If the armour was not previously of Best Quality, it is considered as such now.
The character may choose not to be bonded to new equipment he holds or otherwise obtains, Bonded equipment is not considered at all towards encumbrance, but the constant changes and absorbtion of various materials within the character's body are becoming apparent: Increase the character's size to Hulking, if they were not already. The character may now absorb further modifications to his weapons and armour, installing upgrades with normal checks as if they were not indisposed.
Obliterator: Stage 4[Tier 3 Talent]: BS 50, Strength 40, Toughness 50, Machine [+2], Stage III Obliterator
-The Character is now a Full-Fledged Obliterator. The character's Daemonic nature protects his Machine trait from Haywire effects, though additional damage or penetration to those with such a trait continue to occur. The Character may now repair and regenerate his weapons and armour, and may store a number of bonded weapons within his body equal to the combined total of his natural Toughness Bonus and Machine Traits. Weapons hidden away cannot be individually detected, though the full-fledged obliterator counts as a second additional mutation for purposes of detecting such a character.
Basic Weapons may be used as Pistols in melee by the character, and even Two-Handed Melee and Heavy Weapons may be used one-handed in this way, no longer needing both hands or bracing [if the character somehow did not yet have the auto-stablized or bulging-biceps traits or talents], though Heavy Weapons still may not be used for two-weapon-wielding.
Gift of the Gods: Obliterators:
Obliterators have but two gifts available to them; a reward from their own bodies and the overall will of chaos. Unaligned Obliterators at Stage III or above may attempt to petition for these in the same manner as devouts of other Gods.
1-50 Mechanical Daemon: The character's being melds ever more perfectly to his form. His Armour grants an additional unnatural-characteristic bonus of +1 to either Strength or Agility, and his Machine trait improves by +1. If gained a second time, apply to the characteristic not yet chosen.
51-00 Daemon's Weapons: The character may to roll a single Unaligned Daemon Weapon Attribute, adding at most Half his Infamy to the roll. All bonded weapons may now benefit from this attribute as if they themselves were daemon weapons.
If ever achieved a second time, this mutation instead grants all compatible weapons half the character's Willpower Bonus to their Damage and Penetration.