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ebony14

Commissars in Dark Heresy?

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Just an idle thought, but where would Commissars of the Guard fall into the careers in Dark Heresy? As political officers, they seem less purely combat oriented than Guardsmen, even advanced ones. Would they be Arbtrators?

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There's the Chaliced Commissariat rank in the IH, but technically they're not IG commissars. For an IG commissar, I would just go with the Lieutenant --> Commander career path and emphasize interaction skills.

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Assuming you don't want to use the Chaliced Commissariat alternate rank (which I personally loathe - the special rule just doesn't make any sense), the arbitrator career would probably be a good fit, especially if you switch out a few of the Lore skills.

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bogi_khaosa said:

Why not just use the Guardsman advancement scheme, but spend your XP on relevant skills (Inquiry, Interrogation, Lore, etc.)?

That would work, I suppose, but I guess I see the Commissariat as a body independent of any Guardsman battallion, Imperial or otherwise.  We are talking about a group of men that, as individuals, frighten squads of Guardsmen so badly that they are willing to charge superior forces rather than face one man with a bolter pistol and a chainsword. It speaks of their Fellowship and Intimidate abilities. Further investigation of the talents available to Guardsmen is warranted, but this is primarily a purely cerebral exercise at this point.

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The two angles that I would take if I was considering placing PC Commissars in my game would be:  Make it a background package or make it an elite advance package like the Redeptionist (not to be confused with the Redemptionist background package of course).

As a background package you could make it only available to individuals with the Schola Progenum homeword choice and then choose to be either a Guardsman, Arbitrator, or Cleric.  Then other than the background package giving him the 'official' title of Commissar and it's few advantages/disadvantages it would be up to the player to buy up skills and talents that keep with the Commissar idea.

As an elite advance you charge a base cost for the bonus of being a Commissar (just like the Redemptionist one) and pick out a number of skills and talents that you would percieve as being the core of what being a Commisar is.  Once again I'd prolly make sure that only Schola Progenum that picked Guardsman, Arbitrator, or Cleric would have access to it.  Then they would be able to buy from that list in addition to their normal advance scheme but might give them some things that might not be.

 

In any case being a Commissar isn't so much a job but a calling that is started when they are very young.  Best of luck in making it work if you end up trying.

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 If I was doing this I would use a combination of Imperial Guard and Cleric templates to come up with a new career path. They would most definately receive IG training since they are attached to those units but they have many of the aspects of the Cleric. Pick some skills and talents from both to combine into a new career. I'd favor the basic skills of both paths while disallowing the more specialized and advanced skills of each. Think of it as more of a multi-class career path. Abilities of both but more difficult to advance and without the advanced specialization available to the other two paths.

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I had a player dead-set on playing a Commissar, and we came up with a Cleric variant to base it on. It's working well so far. Looks like this (apologies for the long post):

Commissar
(Variant of Cleric career)

Must take Schola Progenium background.

Starting Skills: Speak Language (Low Gothic, High Gothic), Common Lore (Imperial Creed), Common Lore (Imperial Guard), Common Lore (War), Performer (Orator).

Starting Talents: Basic Weapon Training (Las, Primitive), Melee Weapon Training(Primitive), Pistol Training(Las, SP)

Starting Gear: Sword, Laspistol and 1 charge pack, Lasgun and 1 charge pack, knife, Commissar's uniform, Flak greatcoat.

Ranks
The Redemptionist stream is not available

Novice
Initiate = Junior Cadet
Priest = Senior Cadet
Preacher = Junior Commissar
Cleric = Commisar
Confessor = Senior Commisar
Bishop = Command Staff Commissar
Heirophant = Hero of the Imperium

Advances

Characteristic advances remain the same

The following general changes are made wherever they occur in the Cleric career listing:

Replace
Barter with Command
Blather with Intimidate
Ciphers (Acolyte) with Ciphers (War Cant)
Command with Interrogation
Common Lore (Ecclesiarchy) with Common Lore (Imperium)
Common Lore (Imperium) with Common Lore (Imperial Guard)
Interrogation with Barter
Performer (Singer) with Performer (Orator)
Pilot (Civilian Craft) with Pilot (Military Craft)
Scholastic Lore (Legend) with Common Lore (War)
Scholastic Lore (Imperial Creed) with Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis)
Scholastic Lore (Philosophy) with Scholastic Lore (Judgement)
Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis) with Scholastic Lore (Imperial Creed)
Secret Tongue (Ecclesiarchy) with Secret Tongue (Military)

Remove
Trade (Cook)
Trade (Copyist)
Performer (Musician)

In addition, the following advances are available:

Junior Cadet
Replace Peer (Ecclesiarchy) with Peer (Commissariat)

Senior Cadet
Replace Peer (Workers) with Peer (Military)
Common Lore (Imperial Guard) +20 100

Junior Commissar
Replace Peer (Middle Classes) with Peer (Administratum)
Replace Decadence with Jaded
Common Lore (War) +20 100

Senior Commissar
Forbidden Lore (Xenos) 100

Command Staff Commissar
Replace Peer (Nobility) with Peer (Ecclesiarchy)
Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis) +20

Hero of the Imperium
Replace Peer (Astropaths) with Peer (Inquisition)
Into the Jaws of Hell 200
Litany of Hate 200

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Why are you using the Hierophant path? Redemptionist looks like a better fit, especially since you add Into the Jaws of Hell and Litany of Hate into the deal, which are the "capstone" abilities of the Redemptionist.

Further, I'd reccommend against dropping the acolyte cipher. The fact that the guardsman doesn't get it was just a typo that has been fixed by errata.

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Well, as you note I end up combining bits of both anyway, so in many ways it's a conflation of the two. The thinking essentially was that a high-level Commissar would be a disciplined and skilled fighter, versed in forbidden lores, but ultimately more of a gifted leader of men than an outstanding individual warrior. I wanted to avoid a lot of the fanatic-type advances that come with the Redemptionist stream, which it seemed to me were best reserved for cleric career proper. Judge for yourself if you think I succeeded or not. As to the acolyte cyphers - yes, you're right, I should have kept those in.

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Well, as you note I end up combining bits of both anyway, so in many ways it's a conflation of the two.

I'd say adding in additional capstones from another career or career path makes the whole thing too strong.

 

The thinking essentially was that a high-level Commissar would be a disciplined and skilled fighter, versed in forbidden lores, but ultimately more of a gifted leader of men than an outstanding individual warrior. I wanted to avoid a lot of the fanatic-type advances that come with the Redemptionist stream, which it seemed to me were best reserved for cleric career proper.

Fanatic sounds pretty fitting for your average Commissar. Note that a certain Cain is not exactly representative for the profession. The job of a regular commissar is to keep his men in line on and off the battlefield as well as motivate them (and he shouldn't run away at the first sign of danger himself). That sounds to me perfectly like the Redemptionist path with Fearless, Into the Jaws of Hell and Litany of Hatred.

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I'm currently playing a commissar in a campaign, the GM downloaded it from the Darkreign site, and apart from a couple of anomalies (like iirc bolt pistol being available twice - easy fix, swap secound Bolt pistol training for melta pistol training, the only one not on the list) it works very well, not too powerful not too weak

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Cifer - I guess we just have different 'takes' on Commissars. My player is a big fan of Cain and I've been reading Gaunt stuff, so the career may be skewed in a certain direction.

  As to the power level of the career, it's actually scaled back from the pitch my player originally made, which essentially cherry-picked the best bits from both streams and added in some high level Guardsman stuff too. We're a long way off the further reaches of the scheme as yet, so we'll have to see if it really is unbalanced. So far he's actually finding it frustrating under-powered in that as the only character in the party with a military background he's fast declining in relative combat effectiveness compared to the main fighters. As in everything though, YMMV.

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I know what u r facing. I once had a player dead set on playing a space marine. so i looked up my books on how a space marine (probaly Death Watch) could become an alcolyte. i didnt find much on that so i made something up. then i came up with starter gear an astartes would have and even made up some skills. I thought about basing him off of a gaurdsman, but then i decided to make his profile entirely from scratch it worked very well. the only drawback was making it seem realistic that a grey knight (my group was determined on being Ordo Malleus) would be an alcolyte and wonder the imperium.

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ebony14 said:

Just an idle thought, but where would Commissars of the Guard fall into the careers in Dark Heresy? As political officers, they seem less purely combat oriented than Guardsmen, even advanced ones. Would they be Arbtrators?

Guardsman with emphasis on interaction and leadership skills, and he or she would have to be from a Schola Progenium background as well (from what I've read about Ciaphas Cain and Gaunts Ghosts all Commissars have Schola Progenium backgrounds)

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Farax Isan said:

I know what u r facing. I once had a player dead set on playing a space marine. so i looked up my books on how a space marine (probaly Death Watch) could become an alcolyte. i didnt find much on that so i made something up. then i came up with starter gear an astartes would have and even made up some skills. I thought about basing him off of a gaurdsman, but then i decided to make his profile entirely from scratch it worked very well. the only drawback was making it seem realistic that a grey knight (my group was determined on being Ordo Malleus) would be an alcolyte and wonder the imperium.

Sorry but that sounds absolutely horrible no matter how you sell it.  Obviously you ran custom missions because there would be no way in the world you could run the book missions with an 8 foot tall power armor wearing, force weapons weilding superhuman in the group.

An open plea to anyone that wants to play a space marine in DH, for the love of the God Emperor Just STOP IT!  Its like saying you want to drive an Indy car in downtown New York.

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