I'm looking at making an NPC CSM that has Gluttony as his Disgrace. In his case, it's an unusual appetite - an appreciation for the memories and sensations obtained through his omophagia implant. Looking at Black Crusade, there doesn't appear to be much to guide my hand on how much is obtained and what needs to be consumed to get the memories of the meal, so I'll ask for some ideas from here. Extra thanks for those that can cite sources from WH40K materials (novels, comics, whatever).
1) What can be obtained throught this implant?
2) How long is the information obtained through this implant retained?
3) Does it matter what part of the enemy is consumed and how much of a sample is consumed? Do a few stray hairs or skin cells left behind on bedsheets carry as much as fresh blood or brains? Could a Slaneeshi CSM swab the inside of another's cheek with his tongue while kissing them and get enough of a sample to learn something through his omophagia? What if he bit the lip?
4) Does this work on xenos (that have fleshy bodies, NOT things like Necrons)?
5) Does this work on creatures with the daemonic type? What about possessed creatues?
6) Does the tissue have to be fresh, or could it be used on dead tissue (recently dead like a murder victim or even long dead like a fossil)?
7) Is it easy to ignore/suppress this implant's function, or do you get amazing insight into every meal you eat, no matter how mundane? I had imagined that the CSM has to specifically activate it, just as they aren't always drooling acid or oozing mucranoid secretions.
I know that this is NOT a hard science point of the game; I'm looking to see how far others are willing to let this implant go in their games.
There is some debate (IRL) that "memories" become part of a creature's genetic structure, though the general concensus is that these memories are neural (brain and nerve) in nature, instinctual, muscle "memory" (such as when something becomes a "natural" motion due to continuous repetition), and so on. Then you get into the realm of "Well, we know why we breathe, but how does the body "know" that?"
Omophagia To show it's proper spelling, is defined as the eating of raw food. (Gah! That copy/paste is huge!)
In relation to the Omophagea, the general concensus online (Warseer…for what they're worth, and Bolter & Chainsword) lean toward the ability of this implant as working when consuming brain matter or thick nerve bundles, and that the information "learned" is a collection of the instincts of the creature being consumed (such as "This planet is a scorching desert and this is what my bestial instinct says I do to stay hydrated and cool."), and/or the most recent and foremost memories (stuff on the mind at the moment of death…I'm assuming not "GAH! I'm dea…!", but more like "I was piloting this Devilfish…").
Heres some source material…
Phase 8:Omophagea http://wh40k.lexican...arine#Omophagea
Phase 8 (in a little more depth) http://warhammer40k..../wiki/Omophagea
Space Marine Implants (previously known as "Initiation Stages" http://images4.wikia...artesorgans.jpg
Then there is this bit of creepiness http://z6.invisionfr...es/ar/t1676.htm
This last one caused me to dig out DotDG and read up on the Slaugth ability to consume memories (DotDG, pg 80), and I think the description there is as good as any on which to base what the Omophagea actually does. Create a generalized Table for Difficulties and/or how much information is gained (DoS). It does, however, explicitly state the memories are a "jumbled morass" and that unless the information is put to continual use (you might think of it as piloting a Devilfish but not really knowing what you're doing; it just comes a"naturally") or the information is recorded the memories otherwise fade over time (within a few weeks…for Slaugth).
In the interest of being thorough, I dug out my (very old) copy of White Dwarf Presents: Warhammer 40,000 Compendium. Phase 8 is on pg 8 and reads as follows:
"This is a compicated implant. It really becomes part of the brain, but is actually situated within the spinal cord between the cervical and thoracic vertibrae. Four nerve sheaths, called neuroclea, are implanted between the spine and the preomnoral stomach wall. The omophagea is designed to absorb genetic material, generated in animal tissue as a function of memory, experience or innate ability. This endows the Marine with an unusual survival trait: he can actually learn by eating. If a Marine eats a part of a creature, he will absorb some of the memories of that creature. This can be useful in an alien environment. Incidentally, it is the presence of this organ which has created the various flesh (eating) and blood drinking rituals for which the Marines are famous, as well as giving the names to Chapters such as the Blood Drinkers or the Flesh Tearers, etc."
Originally printed in White Dwarf (circa 1987), article by Rick Priestly
Phase 8 is typically introduced into an "initiate" when he is between the ages of 14-16, and phases 7 and 9 (the Preomnor and the Multi-Lung, respectively) are often introduced simultaneously.
My take: the Marine learns the basics. Comsume the flesh of a creature that lives its life in a harsh environment and it might provide the Survival Skill or, if the PC arleady has that, a bonus to the Skill Test. Where to find water, food, shelter, a mate, etc. One could take it further but be situational: the Marine has just killed the pilot of the Orca drop ship, and if he doesn't land it rather than letting it crash his chances for survival are slim, so he consumes some cerebral matter, sifts through the recent memories (a Difficult Intelligence Test, maybe) and learned how to fly an Orca well enough to (crash) land instead of crash.
For what it's worth, I'd say consuming Daemonic (or possessed) flesh is paramount to eating the Warp, or in the case of possessed, reduced-calorie Warp. Might enlighten the PC in the ways of Corruption, but otherwise no useful info. I'd go with the flesh needing to be brain or similar, sentient creatures may retain info longer after death than bestial creatures, long dead/fossilized creatures/Xenos/people are a no-go.