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Do moderates have a place in Chaos?


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#1 HappyDaze

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 06:09 PM

Everything in Black Crusade seems to indicate that Chaos is all about going to extremes, but does it have to be that way? Are there any 'moderates' in the forces of Chaos? I know that most of the setting - including the Imperium - focuses on the extreme bits for the sake of the wargame, but we see it done a bit differently in the novels. Gaunt and Cain show us a more moderate view of Commissars and, from what I've read on the Only War boards, this seems to be an appealing approach to playing that game. Does a similar feeling exist in Black Crusade?

Are there Chaos Space Marines that think that spikes, horns, and chains are just silly and not something that should be applied to power armour? More seriously, are there those that hate the Imperium but not their own humanity?

I ask because I have some difficulty accepting some of the cartoonish evil that seems to come up with Chaos (much as the carttonish martinet bit seems silly when done with IG Commissars), and I'm wondering what takes others might have on Chaos as "the bad guys" of the 40K universe that are less gonzo.


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#2 fredrikslicer

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:51 PM

In theory it's not an impossible thing to have though I have yet to find it in the litterature. Alligning yourself with chaos does not mean you just turn EVILZ but rather it means you take another view on the galaxy than that of the imperium which does not need to be an extreme. The thing however is that for a lot of marines it takes traumatizing experiences (see the crimson slaughter or the flawless host) which has a tendency to propel them in the direction of extrimism. You could make a character that is not an extreme but it requires more tackt than one who is.



#3 crisaron

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:19 AM

Lords of Night book goes a bit in there.

There is a Night Lord, one of the originals that knew the sadness in their primarch that was held in the warp for thousands of years. To him chaos is a tool that must be used but also kept at a distance. He uses deamon to battle a psyker but as soon as he can he cast them away to prevent to much corruption.

He also views the new Night Lords as a form a decay of the ideals that they should have been. Still ruthless and hard, willing to take lives for a purpose, he is not a monster but a warrior, he tortures and puts up trophies but because they have a purpose.

Interesting read to get a different view of chaos.



#4 Kiton

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:08 AM

To quote a certain game: "Perhaps the same could be said of all religions"

The 'moderates' are the best way to convert people short of "demons in my head get them ou~ wait no I like it now". Its how you get those cults going; with slight shifts in how they view things, usually supported by rewards. NOT by promising everyone they'll be infected with everything more horrible than everything, and only stop feeling the pain and despair once they accept it as an inevitable cancerous unlife spreading through their bodies. That don't get you many fans.

As always, though, no one hears about the moderates; least of all those dealing with extremists. You don't want to think about the fact that you're slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people who thought The Emperor would never want their taxes so high they can't even afford corpse-starch, especially when its obvious the governor's not sending any of that cash to Holy Terra. Unfortunately, they also fail to fight against the extremists, for whatever fears makes them stand still.

You want to think about that one time you caught some noble kid who'd really, really turned, and how he was chewing on vat-grown cocaine babies left and right while touching himself with a poisoned cattle-prod and screaming about excess being perfection. So do the propaganda masters.

 

Plus, ya know… not much of a story to it if they're being quiet.



#5 Alekzanter

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:26 AM

Personally, I've wanted to play an Apostate simply as a childishly-naive "free thinker" and not a zealous blowhard, someone so naive that the concept of Corruption is only understood as far as it has taken root, if even then. Corruption Points themselves are not something a PC would notice as they accumulate, but the effects of Corruption would, and I think it would be challenging to play a character that sees this increased physical Corruption as a personal failing, errors in judgment that need remedying. A tail suddenly sprouts from his backside, and his response is Winnie The Pooh-esque: "Oh, bother. This simply won't do." A Corrupt PC who expresses sincere regret and guilt for the nature of his corrupt manifestations, but in attempting to cleanse his physical mutations he treats with the very essence of his doom. A no-win situation.

Obviously, playing a PC like this wouldn't be easy to do if most other PCs in the Warband are bloodthirsty, ******, murdering, power-hungry Corruption whores (Chaos "extremists"). He'd end up being the schoolyard geek to which everyone took turns giving swirlies and wedgies. But I think it would be fun if given an opportunity. Imagine a person who sees the oppressive, strangling edifice of the Imperium as poorly led and misguided, simply needing an eye opener, someone to point out the flaws loudly and long enough so that sweeping changes could be made for "the better", but in doing so the Skills and Talents (abilities) that he hones toward this purpose are stepping stones into the darkness. A darkness he neither wants or intends to embrace, attempting to shift focus and rationalize the sudden developement of a flaming skull or gills as having simply made a minor error in judgment: "Note to self: when motivating large crowds, offer constructive alternatives to wanton destruction and frenzied bloodlust." Jotting it into his notebook and closing its cover with a smile of satisfaction that he won't make the same mistake again. Except that he will.



#6 HappyDaze

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:00 AM

I'm also left to wonder if the majority of heretics (not Heretics as in PCs, just those outside of the Imperium) should be considered moderates. The typical background npcs that fill up settlements in the Screaming Vortex could be a good place to look. I don't think that any settlements could really exist if eveyone were the extremeists of the wargame. This also goes with my own view that the VAST majority of heretics are unaligned and that many of them  view those dedicated to one of the Ruinous Powers as dangerously imbalanced and often harmful to Chaos 'society'. Thoughts?


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#7 Kiton

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 11:06 AM

Several of the Human archetypes are pretty much described as 'probably moderate' to begin with. Granted, any starting BC character is far enough gone that their old indoctrination has been lifted, thus freeing them from things like the insanity track: Its not that they can't become paranoid sociopaths, just that there's no longer anyone to say "well you'd normally be up for promotion but your psych eval says you're a bit too borderline for greater duties to the emperor".

Still, You might still be pretty friendly, even loyal, to your homeworld; which was declared excommunicatus because of some asshats in the spires and their little mutant armies; leaving folks halfway across the planet as "officially chaos worshippers" before anyone knew what happened. You  might even wish the best to your Heretek's old rivals; sure you "went too far" with the xeno-reverse-engineering but their hands were forced in the matter by regulation and protocol to declare your works as anathema. That won't stop you helping them with all their other problems now that you've new folks you're working with… A Psyker has no choice: Its torture-to-death on the black ships, or hang out with those that hate that stuff.

 

Although an apostate is probably already full-blown worshipper from the start.



#8 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 07:39 PM

I don't really see much point in a "moderate" Chaos cultist; it can probably be done, but it sucks the fun out of it for me. I love playing a hammy card-carrying villain who giggles gleefully to himself as he plans depraved acts of blasphemy, or a power-hungry barbarian outcast in blood-spattered power armor who hurls herself at reckless abandon toward the enemy, chainsword roaring. I love playing the conniving false prophet that preaches twisted dogma to society's underclass, offering them false hope and offering the gods the souls of his new flock. While a "moderate" character could probably be done, the nature of Black Crusade, the lust for power and glory and the will to crush your enemies, doesn't lend itself well to it. And frankly, being a cackling lunatic is fun.

Remember, kids. Sanity is for the weak.


"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."


#9 Archontremaine

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 07:55 PM

See the Blood Pact from Gaunts Ghosts, running the spectrum from Deamon Prince insaniballs, to soldiers that are mirror images of the Ghosts themselves.



#10 Cymbel

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 09:33 PM

I liked how it went in the BC Prison game, pretty much everyone was a moderate, not only that, but only person was full on devoted and knew about chaos in some detail (though scant), some were unknowingly devoted and the rest unaligned. The best part of starting off "moderate" like that (we were still criminals), it set the stage for the slow descent into chaos, the shaping of the anger at imperium and the desire to smash/change/corrupt it all.



#11 HappyDaze

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:43 PM

Boss Gitsmasha said:

I don't really see much point in a "moderate" Chaos cultist; it can probably be done, but it sucks the fun out of it for me. I love playing a hammy card-carrying villain who giggles gleefully to himself as he plans depraved acts of blasphemy, or a power-hungry barbarian outcast in blood-spattered power armor who hurls herself at reckless abandon toward the enemy, chainsword roaring. I love playing the conniving false prophet that preaches twisted dogma to society's underclass, offering them false hope and offering the gods the souls of his new flock. While a "moderate" character could probably be done, the nature of Black Crusade, the lust for power and glory and the will to crush your enemies, doesn't lend itself well to it. And frankly, being a cackling lunatic is fun.

Remember, kids. Sanity is for the weak.

Well, that's the general impression of Chaos. It's the simple route to take, but I don't think it makes for a particularly believable setting any more than an Only War Commissar that immediately executes his fellow squad mates because they have less ammo than the IIUP requires. Cartoonish extremes are fun for a cartoonish game, but that's not what I'm interested in playing or running. In fact, I've had people turned off at Black Crusade immediately because the assumption is that Heretics are all going to be over-the-top cartoonishly EVIL! The WH40K setting is already hard for me to take seriously at most times, and I don't think anything is gained from trying to push the more extreme portions into the spotlight. For me and my group, there's certainly a point to placing an emphasis on moderates, so it's an obvious case of YMMV. I'm just wondering if we'll likely see any materials that show the 'softer side' of Chaos.


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#12 FieserMoep

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 05:17 AM

There are moderate heretics, but no moderate followers of chaos.

Chaos is about beeing extreme. It is emotion in its purest essence. When you have come to the points that you activly serve the dark goods, know about them, you are already tainted and corrupted. You cant say: "I am following khorne but I spare this childred for they are not worthy my blade." You can say that if you are a heretik (i. e. no follower of the imperial creed and its authorities) but at the point where you serve the god of blood and slaughter you have lost what makes you "human". You would spare them, yes, they would not dies because of your blade, but your followers will kill them, and if you have no followers you are the scum that is happy enough to kill some kids

It is the same with the other gods. Serve Slanehs and you are looking for more and more intense feeling up to the point where you participate in orgys and while having some fun you slice a throat and taste the warm blood that gets pushed out with pressure and each heartbeat of the dying human in your hands.

Chaos is extreme, thats why it is called chaos and not amnesty international.

Though you might be a heretik. You might be a free-thinker that believes the imperium is cruel and makes its people suffer. You might try to save… maybe the people of your homeworld but that would not make you a follower of the dark gods… at least it wont instantly do that. Everyone can fall, let it be out of good or bad ideals it does not matter for you become a heretic. But praying to the dark gods is way more than that.

Take the christian believe as an example, you might not like that religion, that is okay and would make you into an atheist or agnostic though the church might burn you for that, for beeing the little heretic you are. But just because you do not like christianity you are not goin to pray to lucifer or are you? And now think of this again, with god and lucifer beeing real.


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#13 Archontremaine

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:01 AM

FieserMoep said:

There are moderate heretics, but no moderate followers of chaos.

Chaos is about beeing extreme. It is emotion in its purest essence. When you have come to the points that you activly serve the dark goods, know about them, you are already tainted and corrupted. You cant say: "I am following khorne but I spare this childred for they are not worthy my blade." You can say that if you are a heretik (i. e. no follower of the imperial creed and its authorities) but at the point where you serve the god of blood and slaughter you have lost what makes you "human". You would spare them, yes, they would not dies because of your blade, but your followers will kill them, and if you have no followers you are the scum that is happy enough to kill some kids

It is the same with the other gods. Serve Slanehs and you are looking for more and more intense feeling up to the point where you participate in orgys and while having some fun you slice a throat and taste the warm blood that gets pushed out with pressure and each heartbeat of the dying human in your hands.

Chaos is extreme, thats why it is called chaos and not amnesty international.

Though you might be a heretik. You might be a free-thinker that believes the imperium is cruel and makes its people suffer. You might try to save… maybe the people of your homeworld but that would not make you a follower of the dark gods… at least it wont instantly do that. Everyone can fall, let it be out of good or bad ideals it does not matter for you become a heretic. But praying to the dark gods is way more than that.

Take the christian believe as an example, you might not like that religion, that is okay and would make you into an atheist or agnostic though the church might burn you for that, for beeing the little heretic you are. But just because you do not like christianity you are not goin to pray to lucifer or are you? And now think of this again, with god and lucifer beeing real.

your Khorne example is bad, as their is an NPC who does that, he will not kill crews that surrender, as they are unworthy as offerings, (And if I had the books with me I would find him).



#14 crisaron

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:14 AM

A lto of this depends on your personal view and if you think about the full scope of the dark gods…

1 - If you think that the guy that kills another is really evil but the one that embesel a million other for their entire pension is just misguided without directly killing anyone but leading to lots of suicide or other type of issues…

To me the 1st one is miss guided and the second one is the truely evil.

Most blood frenzy fillers are psychotics that can be "controled" with drugs, most power hungry rulers are fanatical megalomeniacs that convince the world they are sane.  The 1st one may cause a panic in a town, the second one can ruin entire ethnic groops, economies, etc.

True evil may not be brutally blatant.

2 - While chaos gods main facet is the evil side they also have their "good" side.

Tzench Lord of Change, without change there is no progress, innovation.

Khorn, Lord of War, martial pride, etc. Any warriro servers the Lord of Death.

Nurgle Rot and rebirth. While the mostly obvious part of Nurgle is the lord of Decay, he does nto represent only anthropy, he also represent the renewal.

Tzench, beauty and perfection. easy enough.

 

Trying to break the status quo of the AdMech one is followinf the Lord of Change (and progress), leading a rebellion can serve the Lord of War, etc.

 

One can be following a god and not know it.



#15 Gurkhal

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:20 AM

HappyDaze said:

Everything in Black Crusade seems to indicate that Chaos is all about going to extremes, but does it have to be that way? Are there any 'moderates' in the forces of Chaos? I know that most of the setting - including the Imperium - focuses on the extreme bits for the sake of the wargame, but we see it done a bit differently in the novels. Gaunt and Cain show us a more moderate view of Commissars and, from what I've read on the Only War boards, this seems to be an appealing approach to playing that game. Does a similar feeling exist in Black Crusade?

Are there Chaos Space Marines that think that spikes, horns, and chains are just silly and not something that should be applied to power armour? More seriously, are there those that hate the Imperium but not their own humanity?

I ask because I have some difficulty accepting some of the cartoonish evil that seems to come up with Chaos (much as the carttonish martinet bit seems silly when done with IG Commissars), and I'm wondering what takes others might have on Chaos as "the bad guys" of the 40K universe that are less gonzo.

 

Well, yes. Chaos does draw toward the extremes in a kind of increasing radicalization of its most powerful mortal members. 

But there are moderates among the followers of Chaos, although these are at most times cannon fodder and slaves with little chance of improving their loot for the very reason they are not ready to truely dedicate themselves to the powers of Chaos and thus get a chance to earn the gods' favor. The cutthroat and backstabbing gatherings of Chaos followers do not reward moderation as that is very unlikely to win the admiration or fear of the other followers or the notice of the Chaos Gods. 

There are however alot of moderate heretics, in fact most of the heretics are moderate, but few who are actual followers of Chaos will be moderate as they are under the influence of otherworldy forces that thrive on and reward extreme acts. The moderate heretics are more likely to be normal criminals, xenophiles or just random anti-Imperial people, like separatists.

You don't need to play Chaos as either cartoonish or over-the-top, as we have plenty of evils in the real world that can hardly be described as cartoonish while doing some pretty evil ****. However Chaos will be evil, selfish and increasingly radical the further they get, if you go with the canon setting. But if you don't like it, feel free to change it. I think its entirely possible to modify the setting to meet your wishes without harming anyone. 

 



#16 FieserMoep

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:54 AM

Archontremaine said:

your Khorne example is bad, as their is an NPC who does that, he will not kill crews that surrender, as they are unworthy as offerings, (And if I had the books with me I would find him).

A NPC of a supplement? I mostly ignore those for lots of them are made for story telling, an Issue I sometimes even have with the BL Novels for they sometimes create things that break with most of the basic fluff (Codex) just to be able to tell a story. Though I know that every fluff is equal I have choosen those to form my picture of WH40k and if we discuss such a theme we have to clarify on what fluff we are using, I forgot that here too.

Though in the most Rulebooks for Daemons int he TT he does not care who is killed as long as blood is spilled. Some people view him as a god of honor too… well, to some degree. He likes fights between worthy champions though he has nothing acainst a massacre on millions of civilians that are defensless and running away. If that NPC spares these crews he does that out of personal pride but not because Khorne would not accept this sacrifice. Also there is a difference between making a sacrifice with proper rites and just blowing them up



#17 HappyDaze

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 02:06 PM

There's going be a difference between what Khorne wants and what a follower of Khorne wants. No matter how devoted, mortals are not of the same mind as the Power they follow. That's why I propose that moderates should have a more prominent place in stories since they should be the majority.

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#18 Alekzanter

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 05:06 PM

An easy way to clarify the differences between moderates and extremists is by way of the movie Smokin' Aces.

Everyone is out for blood, but they all have a different approach.

Acosta (the knife-wielding git who shives Ray Liota in the elevator) is intelligent, but in the end he's just a knife man. He makes a few rookie mistakes, and bing! his bid is over before the elevator rises three floors. By way of comparison the Tremors, a trio of crazed psychopaths, get all the way to the top floor and make quite a mess of things by being quiet just long enough to walk through the lobby before going ballz out. Sharice and Georgia have an excellent plan, but Sharice can't keep pleasure out of business and loses her cool when she thinks Georgia is killed, thus blowing her chance at the reward for popping Buddy Isreal. If she had kept her **** in one sock, she could have popped Buddy and been out of the building across the street and gone long before the FBI got close, collected her money and grieved Georgia all the way to the bank.

The winner in all of this, even though he missed Isreal, is Soot (creepy scar-faced git). Cool, collected, methodical, he was standing right next to Isreal but missed his chance by seconds, and kept his nerve long enough to switch disguises and fool the FBI into thinking he was an innocent bystander, getting away clean.

For the most part, there is a varying degree of "chill" characters. A majority of moderates.

Playing Darwin, Jeeves or Lester (the Tremors) would be taxing. Ballz out, 100% of the time? No, thanks. Where's the sense of acconplishment? Anyone can poop on someones porch and run away. Over and done. Extreme. Taking the time to fill a 5-gallon bucket with the stuff, climb onto someone's roof and wait all night to dump it on their heads when their off to church in their Sunday best? Planning, preparation, execution. Moderate. 



#19 NytemareRhosyn

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 08:03 PM

                   here is an example of an extreme in bieng not extreme… i play a heritiek name circuit rhosyn breaker, he was a magos of mars who preffered teck from xenos and humans origans of old.. but due to a mishap of some adeptus astartes declaring him a heritek he has to dissappear its been a bit of time since then several hundred when he gets defrosted by some of his allies. Mars lets him go though he did nothing wrong due to the stain his name carries. he works with black crusade charecters to acompish his goal to learn to become "better" to become like the omissiah and fufill the roles he serves. to aid to invent to innovate and to create. ((why tzeentch alligned now)) though full blown chaos he does not jhust run around blowing stuff up no he thinks and acts accordingly though  iwill admit he has extremes like his greater minion Gandalf the grey knight. (killed grey knight made into servitor ((grey knight attacked first.))  

                     I mean yews my char is a psyker (psy rating 7) but he is not batshit nuts either. in my opion playing a more reasonably balanced char fits better with tzeentch, slanesh and even nurgle. 

i mean plans work right? 

unlike khornes charge and slaughter



#20 Quietus1

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:18 AM

Sure. A lot of the fluff even supports this, though it is usually mentioned as an aside at best. "Innumerable gods and beings" dwell in the warp, as stated in several books (both in FFRPG and the actual codexes in Warhammer Fantasy and 40k). As the warp is a reflection of reality (or the reverse,  depending on your point of view), it would make LESS sense if all those gods and beings were ravenous, soul-devouring monsters than if a lot of them were what  conventional morality would consider "good" or "neutral". You just don't hear about the nicer ones as much because…

1. There's less of them, because lets face it, even in our time more people are asshats than not, let alone in the 41st millenium.

2. Even if your cause is rightious, you don't normally defeat your enemies with love and fluffy bunnies and friendly spirits (daemons); you beat them with warpfire, bolts of physical hate, and summoning horrible things and throwing them in the general direction of what you need to go away.

So moderates could venerate any of those beings, or, as chaos undivided, embrace the whole of Chaos, the good and the ill. Hell, even the 4 greater have their good side. Flat-out in the books Tzeentch is a god of "Hope" for example. Pleasure is neither good nor evil,  its what direction you pursue it to. Khorne is the god of Rage--be it mindless bloodlust or rightious fury. And Nurgle cherishes all life--be it a smiling baby or the bubonic plague.

I've actually played 40k almost exclusively as chaos "moderates". 






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