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Tau Indoctrination


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#1 soapmode

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:57 PM

For a while now it's bugged me that the Tau, at a glance, appear to be the 'good guys' of the 40K setting. That's clearly not the case, but I wanted to go a step further to formalise their own particular brand of evil.

So here's something I cooked up recently for inclusion in my planned DH campaign to make the Tau a little more sinister. Despite the name, this idea had its genesis not in Mass Effect, but in Paranoia by West End Games (now under license by Mongoose Publishing), together with Dawkins' notion of Memes. There's some deliberately simplified concaternation of Utilitarianism with Communism here, which aren't the same thing, but for the sake of adding flavour to the Tau race I think it serves its purpose well enough. The actual mechanics are still rather rough and ready, and advice from more seasoned GMs on refining them would be appreciated.


"The Greater Good"

"You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea."

--Medgar Evers

"An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded."

--Unknown Librarian

To the unwary, the Greater Good is a seemingly benign promise of hope, happiness, and purpose in an otherwise bleak reality; particularly for the faceless and unappreciated masses of the Imperium's fringe worlds. To those who know better, it is one of the most insidious forms of heresy yet encountered.  For this is an enemy without form or boundary, as mutable as Tzeentch's twisted schemes, as infectious as any plague of Nurgle, as seductive and devious as Slaanesh's interlopers; and can see its converts commit slaughter and self-sacrifice on a scale to rival the crusades of Khorne. The Greater Good is not simply an idea. It is a living, virulent entity, that, once taken root in the minds of its converts, can demand a response normally reserved solely for Tyranid infestation.

The meme of the Greater Good spreads through extended contact with the indoctrinated (i.e. those in possession of the trait: Tau Indoctrination). For every day spent socialising in the company of those already propagandised one must test WP, with a cumulative -10 penalty for each day after the first. In addition, Tau Ethereals can actively instill indoctrination via an opposed WP test once a day. This is a psychic ability that demands an opposed WP test, and functions rather like the Navigator ability 'The Lidless Stare' (p180 Rogue Trader core book). The rules for avoiding the Gaze are the same. Would-be victims who possess any of Common Knowledge (Imperium, Imperial Creed, Adeptus Mechanicus, Ecclesiarchy) have +10 to resist for each rank of the skill possessed. Only the highest ranking skill can be used to resist; separate skills cannot be added together for a higher bonus.

Successful resistance means the player is immune from further indoctrination tests for the rest of the day. Failure however, grants the victim the trait: Tau Indoctrination.


Trait: Tau Indoctrination

Whilst this trait is in effect you are at a permanent -10 to WP tests to resist orders and requests from Tau officiates. Orders which demand self sacrifice, or betrayal of close friends and colleagues are made at base WP.

You have a -20 WP test to resist direct commands from Ethereals, with -10 WP for orders demanding self-sacrifice or betrayal. Resistance grants immunity from further commands for the duration of the scene, but also results in such feelings of self conflict that all further actions are conducted at +10 difficulty.

Fear tests are made at +10 bonus against anything directly threatening the Tau race.When in the company of outsiders (i.e. those without the trait: Tau Indoctrination) a WP test must be passed in order to avoid actively espousing the wonders of Tau society and the benefits of the Greater Good. Such overt acts of heresy carry a heavy penalty in the wrong company!

---------------------------------

 

These rules have been written from an Imperial perspective. Other major races will likely be far more resistant, or even outright immune in the case of Orks and Chaos heretics, for example.

The rules can be used in Rogue Trader too. I'd also like to hash out some sort of mechanic for dealing with the spread of Tau Indoctrination to a ship's crew. Something like a daily test against morale, with failure resulting in a steady decline to the point of mutiny unless the necessary steps (likely purgation) are taken.

Regarding potential Kroot characters, it could be assumed that they necessarily are not indoctrinated and so do not have the trait. Alternatively, devious GMs might want to insist their Kroot players have this trait, with all the potential headaches that can arise from it!

 



#2 soapmode

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:59 PM

 'Morale' too. Damn this forum for its lack of edit function. :P



#3 FieserMoep

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 01:58 PM

Well, the Greate Good is no "harder" Indoctrination or Believe than any other heretical believe would be.

The Tau does not "indotrinate" you. You believe them or you suffer. Humans on Worlds conquered by Tau are getting sterelised and send to workcamps, some individuals my accept the greater good and have to prove their worth and the truth of their believes. But if they want to control your mind because you are a very important individual they actualy have the needed technology for that. Just take a look on the Vespids and their Communion Helm. I dont see any reasons why the blather of the greater good should require such very harsh checks if the most akolythes ignore the most "regular" temptations some chaos cults offer.

And additional some talents like unshakable faith etc. should render immune to such nonsense as the greater good for the imperial creed is for sure just as strong as it is this garbage.

 

Those who betray their own race do this of free will, not beacuse they are forced to. They believe from themself that the Tau can provide peace ans such things because the make them believe to. But they make them believe by telling them lies and giving them promises they wish for. But it is nothing that turns you into a traitor for a day in just ten minutes. For example its just like the GDR of east Germany (To avoid the Nazis). Some of them beliefed into the regime, some did not and cheered the promises of west germany becaus they sounded nice.

But in WH40k Terms East Germany is just as cruel as it needs to be to guarantee the sheer survival of mankind and west germany is nothing but a lie to weaken the people.

 

A simple civilian does not know the difference so it is his own behaviour that lets him make the choise, but there is nobody manipulation his mine in just a day. Any regime will make it people think they are the only hope, that how real indoktrination works, it starts in the childhoof. But any short term effekt is just mind manipulation by what any fancy tech you want. And some akolythes of the Inquisition, that might have seen some things, wont be turend into a traitro just by one day of blather.

 

Another thing would be some toxin rules for the pheromons of the etherals.But just talkin about something does not turn you into a traiter unless its some wierd psycic ****. And for real, the Tau dont use that.

 

PS: there is an edit option.



#4 soapmode

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 02:15 PM

"The Tau does not "indotrinate" you."

Not sure if you're picking up on my single typo of 'indoctrinate' there or using quote marks for effect? You've made a few yourself. Regardless, some interesting insights into Tau here, though I'd argue that notions such as 'believe or suffer' are a form of indoctrination. Naturally, these are my proposed house rules and so there's no apology to be made for changing canon lore.



#5 FieserMoep

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:03 PM

No, the quotation marks are not for a typo. I do enough myself and as a non-native-speaker I would judge nobody by the correct writing.

 

For my understanding our current term of indoctrination is some slow process. For example the GDR of East germany took the children of persons who did not follow the rules of the regime. They put them in education institutions that thaught them the way of the government as a good thing. For sure it can start later too but one of the main tools of indoctrination is constant propaganda just as you can see it in WH40k too. The goal of indoctrination is to make you believe something by confronting you with subliminal propaganda. You should believe something because it seems right and naturaly for you, not because someone has forced you.

For example we are indoctrinated to believe that there are human rights, noboy would doubt that but still it is indoctrination. It can be used for both sides, good and evil and it tries to catch on us during our socialisation process (duno if thats the correct term in english). Indoctrination is about the very basics of moral  and nothing short-termed (unless in sci-fi). (For example this term was complelty wrong in the game Mass Effect, it was no indoctrination it was just simple mind manipulation by some fancy technology).

And "believe or suffer" is no indoctrination its emotional blackmail. You do that because of fear, not because you think it is right. Thats the tricky thing about indocrination. They just tell you that X is Y and you have to believe that by urself. The Imperium tells you the Emperor is a God, over your whole livespan. You have no proof that this migh be wrong, you just have to belive this just as we have to believe that murder is a bad thing. Some hundred/thousand years ago murder was completly okay if it gave you an advantage or the law allowed it.

 

And dont get me wrong, I dont want your apolofy because its your game and therefore your rules. But you posted them here for discussion and not just our agreement, right?



#6 soapmode

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:29 PM

"And dont get me wrong, I dont want your apolofy because its your game and therefore your rules. But you posted them here for discussion and not just our agreement, right?"

Of course, I didn't mean to imply you'd asked for it. I just wanted to be clear that what was up for discussion (by my preference at least) was more the mechanics, not how true to the original fluff I was being. As it stands I do find the Tau a source of interesting possibilities but still rather bland as is. Hence the desire to tweak them for my DH campaign.

"For my understanding our current term of indoctrination is some slow process"

I'd go along with that as far as the reality of the matter, certainly, but I'm not committed to a realistic portrayal of the mechanisms of social and political propaganda, here. I'm instead characterising a particular insidious effect with the term 'indoctrination'. I should perhaps instead have put more emphasis on the Meme aspect, but had hoped to highlight that in the opening quotes. The idea here is that this is a new kind of heretical threat, not at all like the others the Imperium faces. Outside of the immediate threat of the Tau military force, this is not a tangible danger, nor is it a supernatural one, but more of a 'battle for hearts and minds', if you like.

"And "believe or suffer" is no indoctrination its emotional blackmail."

In the strictest sense of how the psychological process of indoctrination would take effect, possibly. The reason I say otherwise though is because Stockholm Syndrome comes to mind, which is arguably a form of indoctrination (in my admittedly loose sense; again, I don't want get hung up on the actualities of the psychology). Given the Tau appear to hold entire worlds hostage as both their captors and protectors, Stockholm Syndrome on a massive scale seems like a possible repercussion.

I didn't know that Ethereals use pheremones by the way. Thanks for the pointer, I'll look into that.

 



#7 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 07:25 AM

I'd say that, in spite of the known (by us) consequences of non-compliance with the Tau, they're more inclined towards psychological trickery and indoctrination than commanding through fear. I don't believe that the Tau advertise the consequences of dissent - those who do not conform simply disappear and are never again acknowledged - and instead the natural way of things is to act as if everything is perfect.

Given that the Tau media is part of the Water Caste, which also controls trade, bureaucracy, administration, diplomacy and so forth, it's a fair assumption that every message broadcast on Tau-held worlds is carefully structured and controlled propaganda designed to reinforce the ideals of the Tau'va.

I'm generally disinclined to involve Ethereals in dealings with non-Tau - as far as we know, the influence of an Ethereal doesn't cross the species barrier. The role and responsibilities of the Ethereal Caste within Tau society is more to guide and advise upon the general direction of society - setting in motion plans that will be enacted by the other castes - so they don't really need to mingle with the other species.

If you want a culture that embraces "rule through fear", look no further than the Imperium - just retribution and the suffering of the righteous are core concepts within the Imperium. The populace are taught to fear the darkness, to fear knowledge, to fear the unknown, to fear the scrutiny of the Inquisition, to fear the curse of the psyker and the mutant, to fear the unnatural nature of the alien, and generally to embrace an outlook of scepticism and hatred towards anything different. Justice in the Imperium is public, brutal and serves to inspire awe and terrify the populace into compliance and order.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#8 Gavinfoxx

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 03:35 PM

It's not a psychic ability, because blanks and such don't disrupt it.  It's pheromone, sociological, genetic imperative, etc. etc. based.



#9 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:17 PM

 For a while now it's bugged me that the Imperium, at a glance, appear to be the 'good guys' of the 40K setting. That's clearly not the case, but I wanted to go a step further to formalise their own particular brand of evil.

So here's something I cooked up recently for inclusion in my planned DH campaign to make the Imperium a little more sinister. Despite the name, this idea had its genesis not in Mass Effect, but in Paranoia by West End Games (now under license by Mongoose Publishing), together with Dawkins' notion of Memes. There's some deliberately simplified concaternation of Totalitarianism with Catholicism here, which aren't the same thing, but for the sake of adding flavour to the human race I think it serves its purpose well enough. The actual mechanics are still rather rough and ready, and advice from more seasoned GMs on refining them would be appreciated.


"The Imperial Creed"

"Thought begets Heresy. Heresy begets Retribution."

--Thought for the Day

"Do not ask 'why kill the alien?' Instead ask, 'why not?'"

--Unknown Marine

To the unwary, the Imperium of Man is a seemingly benign promise of salvation, security, and purpose in an otherwise bleak reality; particularly for the faceless and unappreciated masses of the uncivilized fringe worlds. To those who know better, it is one of the most insidious forms of oppression yet encountered. For this is an enemy without form or boundary, as mutable as Tzeentch's twisted schemes, as infectious as any plague of Nurgle, as seductive and devious as Slaanesh's interlopers; and can see its converts commit slaughter and self-sacrifice on a scale to rival the crusades of Khorne. The Imperial Creed is not simply an idea. It is a living, virulent entity, that, once taken root in the minds of its converts, can demand a response normally reserved solely for Tyranid infestation.

The meme of the Imperial Creed spreads through extended contact with the indoctrinated (i.e. those in possession of the trait: Pure Faith). For every day spent socialising in the company of those already propagandised one must test WP, with a cumulative -10 penalty for each day after the first. In addition, Imperial Chaplains and Priests can actively instill indoctrination via an opposed WP test once a day. This is a psychic ability that demands an opposed WP test, and functions rather like the Navigator ability 'The Lidless Stare' (p180 Rogue Trader core book). The rules for avoiding the Gaze are the same. Would-be victims who possess any of Common Knowledge (Chaos, The Horus Heresy, Tau Empire, Orks) have +10 to resist for each rank of the skill possessed. Only the highest ranking skill can be used to resist; separate skills cannot be added together for a higher bonus.

Successful resistance means the player is immune from further indoctrination tests for the rest of the day. Failure however, grants the victim the trait: Imperial Indoctrination.


Trait: Imperial Indoctrination

Whilst this trait is in effect you are at a permanent -10 to WP tests to resist orders and requests from Imperial officiates. Orders which demand self sacrifice, or betrayal of close friends and colleagues are made at base WP.

You have a -20 WP test to resist direct commands from Imperial clergy, with -10 WP for orders demanding self-sacrifice or betrayal. Resistance grants immunity from further commands for the duration of the scene, but also results in such feelings of self conflict that all further actions are conducted at +10 difficulty.

Fear tests are made at +10 bonus against anything directly threatening the human race.When in the company of outsiders (i.e. those without the trait: Imperial Indoctrination) a WP test must be passed in order to avoid actively espousing the wonders of Imperial society and the benefits of the God Emperor. Such overt acts of faith carry a heavy penalty in the wrong company!

---------------------------------

 

These rules have been written from an alien perspective. Other major races will likely be far more resistant, or even outright immune in the case of Orks and Chaos heretics, for example.

The rules can be used in Rogue Trader too. I'd also like to hash out some sort of mechanic for dealing with the spread of Imperial Indoctrination to a ship's crew. Something like a daily test against morale, with failure resulting in a steady decline to the point of mutiny unless the necessary steps (likely purgation) are taken.

Regarding potential human characters, it could be assumed that they necessarily are not indoctrinated and so do not have the trait. Alternatively, devious GMs might want to insist their human players have this trait, with all the potential headaches that can arise from it!


"Oomans are pink an' soft, not tough an' green like da Boyz. Dey'z all da same size too, so dey'z always arguin' about who's in charge, 'cos dere's no way o' tellin' c'ept fer badges an' ooniforms an' fings. When one o' dem wants ta lord it over da uvvers, 'e says 'I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me', or 'I know summink wot you lot don't know, so yer better lissen good'. Da funny fing is, 'arf of 'em believe it an' da uvver 'arf don't, so 'e has ta hit 'em all anyway or run fer it. Wot a lot o' mukkin' about if yer asks me. An' while dey'z all arguin' wiv each uvver over who's da boss, da Orks can clobber da lot."


#10 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 07:29 PM

 Fer a while now it'z zogged me dat da Orkses, at a glance, appear ta be da 'evil gitz' ov da 40K setting. Dat's clearly not da kase, but I wanted ta go a step furva ta formalize deir own partikula brand o' spikiness.

So 'ere's somefing I cooked up recently fer inklushun in me planned DH campaign ta make da Orkses a little more kunnin'. Despite da name, dis idea had its jennysis not in Mass Effect, but in Paranoia by West End Games (now unda loisense by Mongoose Publishing), togevva wif Dawkins' notion o' Memes. Dere's some deliberately simplified concaternation o' Anarchy wif Meritocracy here, which ain't da same thing, but fer da sake o' addin' flava to da Ork race I fink it serves its purpose well enuff. Da akshual mekaniks are still rather ruff an' ready, an' advice from more seasoned GMs on refining 'em would be appreciated.


"The Waaagh!"

"WAAAAAAAGH!!!!"

--Orkses

"'ERE WE GO, 'ERE WE GO, 'ERE WE GO!!!!."

--Uvva Orkses

To da unOrky, da Waaagh! is a seemin'ly benign promise o' freedom, 'appiness, an' smashin' stuff in an uvvawize bleak reality; particularly fer da faceless an' unappreciated masses of da 'umie gitz. To dose 'oo know betta, it is one o' da most kunnin' forms of 'eresy yet encountered. Fer dis is a scrap wivout form or boundary, as squidgy as Beakface's twisted skemes, as 'ard as any lurgy o' Greengutz, as sneeky an' kunnin' as Snaketung's interlopers; an' kan see itz konvertz smash fings an' kill lotsa weedy grotz on a skale ta rival da krusades o' Dogface. Da Waaagh! iz not simply an idea. It iz a livin', virulent entity, dat, once taken root in da mindz of its konvertz, kan get da 'umies real riled up fer a big fight, hurr hurr hurr!

Da meme o' da Waaagh! spreads through ekstended kontact wif da indoktrinated (i.e. dose in pozeshun of da trait: Ork Indoktrinashun). Fer every day spent mukkin' about in da kompany o' dose already propa… propa… er, finkin' Orky, one must test WP, wif a kumulative -10 penalty fer each day afta da furst. In addishun, Orkses bigga than ya kan actively instill indoktrinashun via an opposed WP test once a day. Dis is a Weirdboy wotsit dat demandz an opposed WP test, and funkshuns ravva like da Navigata ability 'Da Lidless Stare' (p180 Rogue Trader kore book). Da rules fer avoiding da Gaze are da same. Would-be viktims who pozess any of Kommon Nollij (Imperium, Imperial Creed, Adeptus Mechanicus, Ecclesiarchy) 'ave +10 ta resist fer each rank o' da skill pozessed. Only da 'ighest rankin' skill kan be used ta resist; separate skillz kannot be added togevva fer an 'igher bonus.

Suksessful resistance means da playa is immune from further indoktrinashun tests fer da rest o' da day. Failure 'owever, grants da viktim da trait: Ork Indoktrinashun.


Trait: Ork Indoktrinashun

Whilst dis trait is in effekt you are at a permanent -10 to WP tests to resist shouts from Orkses bigga than ya. Orders which demand gettin' blown up or smashin' yer mates are made at base WP.

Ya have a -20 WP test to resist direct commands from Orkses bigga than ya, with -10 WP for orders demandin' gettin' blown up or smashin' yer mates. Resistance grants immunity from further commands fer da durashun of da scene, but also results in such feelings of weediness that all furtha akshuns are kondukted at +10 difficulty.

Snivelin' Grot tests are made at +10 bonus against anyfing direktly roarin' an' screamin' at da Ork race.When in the company of Un-Orky gitz (i.e. dose wivout da trait: Ork Indoktrinashun) a WP test must be passed in orda ta avoid aktively espousing da wondas of yer big, flashy shoota an' da benefits of da Waaagh!. Such overt akts of Orkiness carry an 'eavy penalty in da wrong kompany!

---------------------------------

 

Dese roolz 'ave been written from an Ork perspektiv. Uvva major gitz will likely be far more resistant, or even outright immune in the case o' Panzees an' Beakie Boyz, for example.

Da roolz kan be used in Rogue Trada too. I'd also like ta 'ash out some sort a mekanik fer dealing wiv da spread of Ork Indoktrinashun to a ship'z krew. Somefing like a daily test against morale, wiv failure resultin' in a steady decline to da point of mutiny unless da necessary steps (likely krumpin' 'eadz) iz taken.

Regardin' potenshul Ork karakters, it kould be assumed dat dey necessarily iz not indoktrinated and so do not have da trait. Alternatively, kunnin' GMs might wanna insist deir Ork playaz 'ave dis trait, wiv all da potenshul 'eadbangerz dat kan arise from it!


"Oomans are pink an' soft, not tough an' green like da Boyz. Dey'z all da same size too, so dey'z always arguin' about who's in charge, 'cos dere's no way o' tellin' c'ept fer badges an' ooniforms an' fings. When one o' dem wants ta lord it over da uvvers, 'e says 'I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me', or 'I know summink wot you lot don't know, so yer better lissen good'. Da funny fing is, 'arf of 'em believe it an' da uvver 'arf don't, so 'e has ta hit 'em all anyway or run fer it. Wot a lot o' mukkin' about if yer asks me. An' while dey'z all arguin' wiv each uvver over who's da boss, da Orks can clobber da lot."


#11 soapmode

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:11 AM

 Because Dark Heresy is all about playing xenos… Neither do Orks or the Imperium actively engage in propagandising external threats, as I'm proposing the Tau do in my campaign. Yes, the Imperium uses propaganda on its own populous but they're no way close to welcoming outsiders into the fold as much the Tau obviously are.

 

Erm, full marks for effort though! I did chuckle at the Orky names for the Chaos gods.



#12 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:34 AM

 The problem I have with your rules is that you're saying that Ethereals can psychically control any non-Tau just by talking to them and convert them to their cause, from a hab-worker to an Inquisitor Lord. Sure, the Inquisitor would get a bonus to their Willpower test, but one bad roll later and they're espousing the virtues of the Greater Good. This isn't actually how Ethereals work. The Vespid are mind-controlled by special helmets, which is technological rather than psychic in nature. The Kroot are purely mercenary, and only work with the Tau because they pay well and let them fight (and eat) new alien races. In fact, Kroot are so mercenary that they're willing to lend their services to anyone who will pay for them, even if it goes against the Greater Good (such as working for a Rogue Trader). The Gue'vesa humans only work with the Tau because the alternatives are life in a concentration camp or a pulse rifle to the back of the head. While a minority in each species are true believers, so to speak, for the most part only the Tau themselves actually seem to believe their own lies. The Ethereals ended the Mont'au and unified the Tau race, so the other castes feel like they owe the Ethereals a debt; this eventually mutated into the Greater Good hierarchy which placed the Ethereals at the top. Even then, there are exceptions to this, such as the Farsight Enclaves.

An Ethereal's natural control should not affect non-Tau and those not allied with the Tau, at least not in crunch. In fluff, an Ethereal can be as charismatic as the GM makes him, and it's up to the players or NPCs whether or not they fall for it. But an Ethereal's influence is not quite as compelling as you say they are, and they're certainly not psychic. If anything, their control is based on historical loyalty and pheromones, which is why they're so much more compelling to other Tau when they speak to them face to face. A Tau would listen to an Ethereal for the same reasons a Guardsman would listen to a great Imperial hero such as Commissar Yarrick. For non-Tau, they have to rely on sheer charisma and force of will instead, just like any Imperial clergyman (or an Ork bigger than his inferiors). Consider it a Charm or Deceive test, then, with appropriate bonuses. They're all silver-tongued devils, after all.

So that's why I 'looted' your post. It's silly that Orks or Imperials would brainwash others so easily, so it's silly that Tau would as well. Actual mind control is generally the territory of Chaos, and in that case it's less subtle persuasion and more "mind ****".


"Oomans are pink an' soft, not tough an' green like da Boyz. Dey'z all da same size too, so dey'z always arguin' about who's in charge, 'cos dere's no way o' tellin' c'ept fer badges an' ooniforms an' fings. When one o' dem wants ta lord it over da uvvers, 'e says 'I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me', or 'I know summink wot you lot don't know, so yer better lissen good'. Da funny fing is, 'arf of 'em believe it an' da uvver 'arf don't, so 'e has ta hit 'em all anyway or run fer it. Wot a lot o' mukkin' about if yer asks me. An' while dey'z all arguin' wiv each uvver over who's da boss, da Orks can clobber da lot."


#13 soapmode

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:35 PM

Thanks for the more constructive criticisms.

I can certainly take seriously your concern that the rules I've set out would make for an overpowered effect, and I've already taken on board previous posters' comments that Ethereals are more likely to work in the background, and use pheromones rather than psychic ability. Of course, these rules were meant only to be a starting point, and this was clearly stated in the opening post. Given you decided to rewrite it twice, it's a little trying that you missed this. Your original responses looked very much like some misguided reductio ad absurdum that wanted to show the very idea of Tau indoctrination was a nonstarter; not that my rules implementation was problematic. Your notes on kroot and Ethereals' interactions with the rest of the Tau are helpful though.

I disagree that mind control is more the provenance of Chaos, by the bye. The effects of the Warp on a sentient's mind is more akin to harmful sensation, of the kind embodied by the Cthulhu Mythos, for example. Besides which, control is born of a desire for order, not chaos.

 



#14 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

 I was, in fact, going for reductio ad absurdum in my previous posts. I suppose it's a holdover from the time I spend on 4chan.

Indoctrination is not instantaneous; it's a slow process that can last for weeks or months. Charm or Deceive tests could be used to make a character think "Hey, that blue xeno kinda has a point," but it's not total mind control. It should not be mind control. It should be… much more than that.

When dealing with other Tau, the Ethereals have the advantage of pheromones and historical baggage. These don't apply to other races such as Gue'vesa or Kroot, so they have to rely on words alone. But an Ethereal can do something the Imperium cannot. An Ethereal can promise love, coexistence, and a new purpose. They can promise new science; Tau technology may not be as advanced as Imperial technology, but as the Imperium loses libraries of data, never to be relearned, and barely understand what tech they can keep, the Tau understand theirs fully, and it is only getting stronger with each passing year. Here's a speech fragment you can use, if you like.

"The Imperium is dying. It has lasted for thousands of years, an admirable feat, but all things must come to an end one day. However, though your Imperium may die, humanity need not die with it. We offer you shelter from the storm, a safe port where new friends are willing to lend you a hand. Cast aside your xenophobia and your hatred, and join us in a union of brotherhood, peace, and tranquility. We shall protect you. We shall give you a new purpose. We shall build on the ashes of the past to forge a bright future- for all of us. Tau, Kroot, Vespid, Demiurg, and Human. We offer our hand in friendship. It is up to you to accept."

An Imperial citizen can easily dismiss these words as hollow lies, but others might listen and grow curious. They might want to see for themselves what the Tau can promise. And if they like what they see… it will be an interesting day for them.

 


"Oomans are pink an' soft, not tough an' green like da Boyz. Dey'z all da same size too, so dey'z always arguin' about who's in charge, 'cos dere's no way o' tellin' c'ept fer badges an' ooniforms an' fings. When one o' dem wants ta lord it over da uvvers, 'e says 'I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me', or 'I know summink wot you lot don't know, so yer better lissen good'. Da funny fing is, 'arf of 'em believe it an' da uvver 'arf don't, so 'e has ta hit 'em all anyway or run fer it. Wot a lot o' mukkin' about if yer asks me. An' while dey'z all arguin' wiv each uvver over who's da boss, da Orks can clobber da lot."


#15 Blood Pact

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:12 AM

 

It's always quaint when people get their rhetoric all lined up, because they want to tell us all about how the Imperium is evil.

We know it is.

Most of us anyway. And at the same time, we also realize that the Imperium is still the default 'good guy', because everyone else is just a little bit more evil, and/or a little bit less concerned for the well being of humanity.

Though the Tau and Eldar fanboys are the only true bloc of holdouts on the "who's the least evil" issue. Aside from the occasional barking mad fool who thinks Chaos would mellow out and not be totally, absolutely monstrous, if the Imperium just wasn't around.

 

Also: I love it when stuff is written 'Ork style' it always makes me chuckle. And has produced some of the funniest threads on /tg/. When I read "Yu's a greenskin 'Arry!" for the first time I loled so hard.



#16 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:29 PM

The thing about every side in 40k, save for the Tyranids and Dark Eldar, is that they have both monstrous and sympathetic qualities. The Imperium is a corrupt, fascist, racist regime that routinely kills its own citizens and exterminates entire alien races, but they do this because they believe it is the only way for the human race to survive in a galaxy that seems like it's actively out to kill them. Chaos wants to break free from the oppressive regime of the Imperium, and attracts both downtrodden rebels who just want to live out their own lives and cackling, insane puppy-kickers. The Eldar look out for their own and see Chaos as the ultimate enemy, but they will happily kill millions of "lesser races" to save a handful of Eldar a couple hundred years down the line. The Tau promise a brotherhood of peace and progress, and to a certain extent they deliver on this, but secretly they're just as oppressive and power-hungry as the Imperium is. The Necrons (going by their new fluff; Oldcrons seem firmly "Crush-Kill-Destroy" evil) just want their empire back, and they're pissed off because they've spent most of their millennia-long existence being screwed over by the Old Ones and the C'tan. The Necrons are sympathetic because they've been hurt before and don't want to be hurt ever again, and they're monstrous because they're willing to smash every other civilization into dust in order to make that possible. Sort of like the Imperium of Man, really.

The Orks, well…. um… They don't actually hate you, they're just killing your family and shelling your home because they find it fun, and they assume you do too. That someone might actually not like fighting is a completely alien concept to them. If you bomb an Ork's encampment and kill a bunch of his fellow Boyz, the thought going through his dull mind will be "Oh boy, da 'umiez wanna fight! Dis is gonna be fun!" If you've watched "Meet the Pyro", imagine an entire species of that and you're not far off the mark.

The Tyranids are neither good nor evil, they're just hungry animals. As for the Dark Eldar, if there's anything at all sympathetic about them, I haven't found it yet. 

Also, Looted Macbeth is a thing of beauty.


"Oomans are pink an' soft, not tough an' green like da Boyz. Dey'z all da same size too, so dey'z always arguin' about who's in charge, 'cos dere's no way o' tellin' c'ept fer badges an' ooniforms an' fings. When one o' dem wants ta lord it over da uvvers, 'e says 'I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me', or 'I know summink wot you lot don't know, so yer better lissen good'. Da funny fing is, 'arf of 'em believe it an' da uvver 'arf don't, so 'e has ta hit 'em all anyway or run fer it. Wot a lot o' mukkin' about if yer asks me. An' while dey'z all arguin' wiv each uvver over who's da boss, da Orks can clobber da lot."


#17 Blood Pact

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:03 AM

Well, the thing about Chaos is that you can start out a righteous freedom fighter, out to save the huddled masses, yearning to breath, etc., etc… but it's still Chaos. You're going to still eventually end up dining on fresh children's eyeballs, and committing other grotesque acts soon enough, cause that's just how Chaos rolls, once its got its hooks in to you deep enough.



#18 soapmode

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:05 AM

 "It's always quaint when people get their rhetoric all lined up, because they want to tell us all about how the Imperium is evil.

We know it is"

 

Agreed, it's really is quite special. Good job I didn't do that, too.



#19 Lionus

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:52 PM

Blood Pact said:

Well, the thing about Chaos is that you can start out a righteous freedom fighter, out to save the huddled masses, yearning to breath, etc., etc… but it's still Chaos. You're going to still eventually end up dining on fresh children's eyeballs, and committing other grotesque acts soon enough, cause that's just how Chaos rolls, once its got its hooks in to you deep enough.

The road to hell has always been lined with good intentions






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