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What makes a Heretek?


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#1 susanbrindle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:07 AM

I'm not exactly clear on where the techpriests draw the line. I know that they're okay with variations, since every system seems to have its own gun patterns (IE: Calixis-Pattern bolters are different from Obscura-Pattern bolters)

I know they're okay with innovation, because Explorator Research Outposts are one of the basic settlement types of the Imperium (albiet a less common one.) Plus you do occasionally hear about a Magos who invented something cool.

So where exactly are the lines between Hereteks and Techpriests drawn? Is it entirely a philosophical difference, with Hereteks being those who reject the divinity of the machine? Is it based on rank? (So an Archmagos could design a new plasma rifle, but for a lowly enginseer to do so would be hubris?) Is it based on the nature of the changes made?


Into The Storm  includes a modification for plasma weapons that spreads out the plasma and makes them into super-flamers, and the modification is described as being highly illegal and proscribed by the AdMech, such that players will have to seek out a heretek to modify their weapons if they want plasma flamers. So apparently sawn-off rifles are heresy, but I can't see any overarching methodology to what is and isn't legal.



#2 Daisuke

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:06 AM

That's because there isn't one.  What is and is not heresy largely depends on who you ask.  The Ecclesiarchy and Mechanicus are both composed of ideologies that vary from sector to sector, and sometimes you even get groups in the same sector that disagree.



#3 Bassemandrh

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:18 AM

Actually there are 1-2 pages on tech heresies in The Lathe Worlds for Dark Heresy.

The thing is that alot of it depends on who you are when you do things. For instance it is technicly tech heresy to missuse machines, it just isn't something the admech enforces violently. On the other hand working with Necromancy via tech is an instant death sentence.

A list of the worst tech heresies according to the Calixian Admech:

Betraying of the Admech: if you break a deal or otherwise betray them.

Human Gene Manipulation: Mixing with Xenos, forced mutation etc.

Epyric Devices: using, studying etc. of  devices that seek the use the warp.

Returning Life to the dead: Cant do necrmancy.

AI = Abominable Intelligence: using, studying etc. of AI like the Iron men or things like them.

 

Also Innovation is, from what i read, illegal. You're allowed to make minor modifications so long as the object stays true to its intended purpose and base form. Thus a Plasma gun that functions as a flamer i illegal as it works very differently to your average plasma gun.
Also remember that The Admech usually just catalogue things, so a research center is most likely there to catalogue animals, materials etc. It can also test and record weapon properties without being focused on invention of new equipment.



#4 susanbrindle

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:23 AM

Bassemandrh said:

Actually there are 1-2 pages on tech heresies in The Lathe Worlds for Dark Heresy.

The thing is that alot of it depends on who you are when you do things. For instance it is technicly tech heresy to missuse machines, it just isn't something the admech enforces violently. On the other hand working with Necromancy via tech is an instant death sentence.

A list of the worst tech heresies according to the Calixian Admech:

Betraying of the Admech: if you break a deal or otherwise betray them.

Human Gene Manipulation: Mixing with Xenos, forced mutation etc.

Epyric Devices: using, studying etc. of  devices that seek the use the warp.

Returning Life to the dead: Cant do necrmancy.

AI = Abominable Intelligence: using, studying etc. of AI like the Iron men or things like them.

 

Also Innovation is, from what i read, illegal. You're allowed to make minor modifications so long as the object stays true to its intended purpose and base form. Thus a Plasma gun that functions as a flamer i illegal as it works very differently to your average plasma gun.
Also remember that The Admech usually just catalogue things, so a research center is most likely there to catalogue animals, materials etc. It can also test and record weapon properties without being focused on invention of new equipment.

 

Interesting that genetics is posited as a forbidden science here, but in fact, just a few pages later the Lathesmaster is explicitly stated as having genetically enhanced resistances to environmental hazards.

 

Then we also have the Genetor alternate class rank (Which allows the player to select useful mutations for themself, including things like regeneration and wings) which is presented as an accepted branch of the Admech.



#5 Cryhavok

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:18 AM

susanbrindle said:

 

Bassemandrh said:

 

Interesting that genetics is posited as a forbidden science here, but in fact, just a few pages later the Lathesmaster is explicitly stated as having genetically enhanced resistances to environmental hazards.

 

Then we also have the Genetor alternate class rank (Which allows the player to select useful mutations for themself, including things like regeneration and wings) which is presented as an accepted branch of the Admech.

 

 

From everything I have read into the lore, it's not illegal if a higher authority tasks you to do it. Unless you run afoul of said higher authority's rivals or enemies. Otherwise it is illegal to just randomly decide, "Oh this morning I am going to genetically engineer myself some tentacles and jump out of dark corners yelling suprise!" On the otherhand, if you petition to be assigned to research such a thing, and make sure the petition goes to freindly people rather than hostile ones then your likely to get approval for a wide variety of things that would otherwise be illegal.



#6 macd21

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:31 PM

Cryhavok said:

From everything I have read into the lore, it's not illegal if a higher authority tasks you to do it. Unless you run afoul of said higher authority's rivals or enemies. Otherwise it is illegal to just randomly decide, "Oh this morning I am going to genetically engineer myself some tentacles and jump out of dark corners yelling suprise!" On the otherhand, if you petition to be assigned to research such a thing, and make sure the petition goes to freindly people rather than hostile ones then your likely to get approval for a wide variety of things that would otherwise be illegal.

I don't think that's quite it. Performing such research is still illegal (or rather heretekal), it's just that being powerful (or having a powerful patron) can protect you from punishment. If you get caught you can still get in trouble, so such research is usually done in secret.

There are also grey areas and rules that contradict each other. For example gene manipulation - where do you draw the line?



#7 lurkeroutthere

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:39 PM

It's also worth noting that there is a fundamental difference between genetically engineering human beings to accomplish a certain goal, and just futzing around with eugenics. Additionally methodology is important, in-utero synthetic treatments? Sure probably ok. Splicing in Elday DNA? DIE HERETEK!

Lastly there is quite a bit of forgiveness or reverence for past events. As long as the CoM thinks that the lashe masters were altered during the Great Crusade or the Dark Age of Technology it's fine, but trying to do further modifications now would be frowned upon.



#8 Fresnel

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:12 PM

Aren't the Lathemasters thinly disguised Squats?

Space marines are the height of genetic engineering within the Imperium. Genetors can only achieve pale and partial augmentation compare to the Astartes, but it is on the same technological path. 



#9 HappyDaze

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:27 AM

My game had a Genetor that was attempting to modify ogryn to have greater intelligence through various means, genetic alteration being prefered if it could be made to breed true. This didn't get him branded as a heretek, but his "success" that resulted in a batch of ogryn supremecists that operated much like Star Trek's Khan got him on the Inquisition's naughty list pretty quickly.


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#10 Fgdsfg

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:43 AM

Anyway. So. Hereteks.

In a game that recently was canned, I was playing a Genetor with a plan. Fluffed out as an exiled Genetor and aspiring Magos Biologis and borderline-Malatek from the Lathes and a member of The Carnicula, he was trying to talk the resident Arch-Militant into becoming a Gland Warrior. And of course my character, Sven Fex, was going to perform the surgery.

What I never mentioned was that for the surgery, I was also going to perform a Transgenic Grafting, implanting an Eldar Spleen. So in essence, the plan was that the Arch-Militant was going to be sedated, and then:

Turned into a Gland Warrior.
Have an Eldar Spleen implanted, for the Matchless Grace Trait, gaining Catfall, Sprint and Unnatural Agility (x2).
Have multiple bodyparts replaced; Cranial Armour, Subskin Armour, Voidskin, Thief's Light and Interkeratic Implants.

I was then going to take daily notes to see if his ears grew.


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#11 SirFrog

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

Now, heretek, heretek, heretek.

It's a weird subject, really. The thing is, much like the Ecclesiarchy could be said to be full of people squabbling over theological details, one might say that the Cult Mechanicus are full of people squabbling over technological details (i.e the same damn thing, really). The thing is that the galaxy, hell, even the sector is a damn big place, and there are loads of people with different opinions. The Adeptus Ministorum are not really a very homogenous bunch, so why should the Adeptus Mechanicus be any different? Sure, there are some ground pillars, but each school interpret it differently.

My current GM usually says that what is forbidden is to research new principles of operation. Applying and modifying already researched stuff is fine, like slimming down a shotgun to fit in an arm or making a ridiculously high-powered SP-weapon, as it all relies on tried-and-true mechanics. However, fitting a plasma gun with the above mentioned plasma-spray-thingy would rely on some strange, new device to turn the usual pellet of plasma into a stream.

Some AdMech also believe that the spirit of Omnissiah exist in other things than just machines, placing him/her/it into physical phenomena or the bodies of animals and creatures. Yet others believe that since the Omnissiah exist in all things, even filthy xenotech, it can always be purged and returned to its most holy form.

For example, the "Solo" Boltgun is deemed heretical by some of the Mechanicus, and yet it was probably developed by loyalist tech-priests and manufactured on a tech-priest controlled forge world, or at least at a Mechanicus facility.

In our current game I play as an Explorator declared dead on paper, due to the loss of the ship he served on. As such, the AdMech are sort of iffy having him around (I mean, you can't assign a job to someone who's dead, right?), and spends most of his time annoying the crew of Anastasia with mostly pointless science. But I digress. The thing is, we recently discovered a rather funky crystal, who actually is a plant of sorts. When impacted, it shatters into razor-sharp shards rather powerfully. As such, the sadistic bastard to tech-priest designed a bolter shell around them. This, however, is according to our definition NOT tech-heresy, as it does not rely on any new principles. It's like burning wood. You don't care if the wood is sort of terran or purple and mushroom-like. You just burn the stuff as long as you don't get high and it isn't from the warp.

Of cource, meddling with the warp and psychic stuff is strictly forbidden, but done anyway. We do love dem force weapons, don't we?

And, naturally, knowing the high-ups helps the Arbites look the other way. Just don't expect any help if the Inquisition is after ya.

 



#12 UberMutant

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:02 AM

My group's techpriest is well on his way to becomming a heretek.

One bionic arm has a shuriken catapult built into it, the other has a sunrifle. He has assimilated a number of heretic texts and thus has a large amount of forbidden lore. His next challenge is to get some Psybernetics installed. He's torn between the Arch Heretek and the Psychic cultist from the Navis Primer.

He also has a legion of homemade kill servitors (the sign above the door to his servituor workshop says "Crew Hospital"….. ).

 

To be honest, the way its going with the whole crew (apart from the captain), I'll be reaching for the black crusade handbook before too long….



#13 UberMutant

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:15 AM

My group's techpriest is well on his way to becomming a heretek.

One bionic arm has a shuriken catapult built into it, the other has a sunrifle. He has assimilated a number of heretic texts and thus has a large amount of forbidden lore. His next challenge is to get some Psybernetics installed. He's torn between the Arch Heretek and the Psychic cultist from the Navis Primer.

He also has a legion of homemade kill servitors (the sign above the door to his servituor workshop says "Crew Hospital"….. ).

 

To be honest, the way its going with the whole crew (apart from the captain), I'll be reaching for the black crusade handbook before too long….



#14 HappyDaze

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

Fgdsfg said:

Anyway. So. Hereteks.

In a game that recently was canned, I was playing a Genetor with a plan. Fluffed out as an exiled Genetor and aspiring Magos Biologis and borderline-Malatek from the Lathes and a member of The Carnicula, he was trying to talk the resident Arch-Militant into becoming a Gland Warrior. And of course my character, Sven Fex, was going to perform the surgery.

What I never mentioned was that for the surgery, I was also going to perform a Transgenic Grafting, implanting an Eldar Spleen. So in essence, the plan was that the Arch-Militant was going to be sedated, and then:

Turned into a Gland Warrior.
Have an Eldar Spleen implanted, for the Matchless Grace Trait, gaining Catfall, Sprint and Unnatural Agility (x2).
Have multiple bodyparts replaced; Cranial Armour, Subskin Armour, Voidskin, Thief's Light and Interkeratic Implants.

I was then going to take daily notes to see if his ears grew.

Matchless Grace from a xenos is cool, but from a spleen? Biology failure…

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#15 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 11:39 AM

Yeah, I'm pretty sure implanting alien organs would cause violent rejection symptoms and death. Especially considering how it's possible for bodies to reject organs from other humans, let alone aliens. Mind you, there is a procedure in the Radical's Handbook that lets you do this, but the risk of failure is high, and even on a success, both the surgeon and the patient gain Corruption and/or Insanity from the procedure.


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#16 susanbrindle

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

I'm tempted to try become the king of all Hereteks by compiling all the schematics I can find, stripping all the religion out of a science textbook, and then hiding both inside some kind of fancy device (Gold-encrusted music box?) which I'll then have mass produced. Probably need a forge world or twelve for this. Once every planetary governor, imperial general, high noble, and admiral in the the segmentum has one, they'll all pop open.

 

Hopefully, the Admech falls apart soon after. More likely, there's a series of vicious civil wars and purges that threatens to undermine the Imperium as a whole. Either way, fun times.



#17 Blood Pact

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:25 AM

macd21 said:

Cryhavok said:

 

From everything I have read into the lore, it's not illegal if a higher authority tasks you to do it. Unless you run afoul of said higher authority's rivals or enemies. Otherwise it is illegal to just randomly decide, "Oh this morning I am going to genetically engineer myself some tentacles and jump out of dark corners yelling suprise!" On the otherhand, if you petition to be assigned to research such a thing, and make sure the petition goes to freindly people rather than hostile ones then your likely to get approval for a wide variety of things that would otherwise be illegal.

 

 

I don't think that's quite it. Performing such research is still illegal (or rather heretekal), it's just that being powerful (or having a powerful patron) can protect you from punishment. If you get caught you can still get in trouble, so such research is usually done in secret.

There are also grey areas and rules that contradict each other. For example gene manipulation - where do you draw the line?

The greatest objections seem to be over genetic splicing with Xenos (there's a whole heretical faction mentioned for that one), and inducing mutation. Since the human form is holy, so the Emperor doesn't want you to go adding tentacles, or a set of gills, to it.

But entirely illegal? Well obviously not, otherwise the Genetors and others wouldn't even exist (because the Genetor studies human anatomy and genetics as much as Xenos). While hypocrisy abounds within 40K, it'd be hard to argue against the theory when we have so much evidence to the contrary. Starting with the Space Marines, who argueably get a pass because the Emperor created them himself. But others, such as the Gland Warriors, a wholly successful 'design' of genetically modified human. As well as the less successful Afriel Strain, cloned regiments of soldiers made using the spliced together genetics of many of the Imperium's greatest heroes (from Chapter Approved, they were Guardsmen with Know No Fear, and very bad luck).

While office politics is certainly likely to play a part, even a big part, the real big determiners are probably the things I mentioned above. Messing with the base human form, and/or trying to make it more Xenos.






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