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Robin Graves

Inquisitors in Rogue Trader

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Remember, a Rosette isn't just a paperweight. It also has a collection of Inquisitorial identification and override codes and ciphers, etc. Any Arbites Precint Fortress - any Imperial Adeptus Terra facility with functioning tech and lay-technicians, really, and probably any Imperial Ship - would be able to verify that a Rosette is really a Rosette and the bearer is really the Inquisitorial Representative they say they are.

However ... part of the process is the Inquisition's reputation. They Do Not Approve when someone claims to be an Inquisitor who isn't the Inquisitor they say they are. For that matter, in DH's Daemon Hunter sourcebook, there's a fluff bit wherein an Ordo Sicarius(I think) Inquisitor who pretended to be an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor got executed for impersonating an Inquisitor.

The vast majority of people wouldn't even dare to consider impersonating an Inquisitor.

 

Also, if you're going to impersonate an Inquisitor, and get away with it for any amount of time, you're going to need to be very careful with how and what you do with your false authority. And, of course, if you ever get exposed, the Inquisition will promptly place a very large price on your head, dispatch Imperial Assassins, Imperial Navy assets, their own ships, and quite possibly raise up a Rogue Trader Warrant with the condition of bringing you and ship in to be made an example of and seize all your assets. All depending on what you've done and how well resourced you are.

Even Chaos doesn't impersonate Inquisitors much - Chaos may draw Inquisitors into Radicalism and Heresy, but that's a fallen Inquisitor (whose radicalism and heresies may or may not have been exposed yet), not a falsified Inquisitor. There is a difference and it does matter.

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Indeed. The start of 'Ravenor' has Carl Thonius flash Gideon's rosette in a magistratum precinct - the captain's first response is to reach into his desk and pull out a cogitator lead, connect it to the side of the rosette, swear, and confirm that it's genuine.

 

Pretty much any cogitator system the imperium manufactures will respond to a rosette's override. It's what makes dealing with rogue hereteks so dangerous - they're likely to have enough nous to build their own stuff and/or remove said overrides....

 

Even in Nemesis the assassins are successful quite a bit of the time. Occasions when they're thrown at Horus/Primarchs/Abaddon etc don't really count as that's not a normal target even by their standards....

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Even Chaos doesn't impersonate Inquisitors much

 That we know of ;-)

 

 

It's much more efficient to make them think that they can use the powers of Chaos against itself and just flat out corrupt them.

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Even Chaos doesn't impersonate Inquisitors much

 That we know of ;-)

 

 

It's much more efficient to make them think that they can use the powers of Chaos against itself and just flat out corrupt them.

 

Exactly. Why go through the trouble of making everything you need to successfully pull off Inquisitorial Impersonation, when it's far easier and faster to corrupt or convert the Real Thing? Remember, only one thing needs to go wrong in impersonating an Inquisitor for your entire scheme to fall apart, whereas the Real Thing can get away with a lot more (and probably knows how), plus, y'know, has a pre-existing reputation to work with. A False Inquisitor requires constant upkeep to maintain, and an appalling amount of resources to start off.

Or rather, anyone who can arrange for a successful Inquisitorial Impersonation would find their time and resources better served acquiring a genuine Inquisitor (or more than one), who are then self-sustaining/maintaining assets, while anyone who can't get a genuine Inquisitor likely cannot successfully impersonate one.

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Inquisitors can be an antagonistic and helpful source. Inquisitors are sually of the Alpha personality, look at Eisenhorn.

 

When he was on a rogue trader ship he appreciated but was immune to the rogue trader's flattery. He has is own goals and ambitions. Inquisitors will persue these ends regardless of the consequences to you, so make sure if you ally with them that your goals are inline with eachother and are mutually beneficial.

 

Because the Inquisition always wins, regardless.

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I think Inquisitors are a great character in Rogue Trader games, due to two distinct advantages.  

 

1) they're on the same level, and in many ways similar to Rogue Traders.  Both are powerful individuals often with great resources and arcane technologies at their command and and advanced understanding of uncommon (or proscribed) knowledge.  Both are largely independent of the greater Imperial Feudal Framework.  Both often have numerous simultaneous goals and plots running, often based on the careful application of inducted servants.  

 

2) Unlike fellow rogue traders, however, an Inquisitor's goal and a Rogue Trader's goal are often complementary, rather than contradictory.  Many inquisitors would be happy to let a Rogue Trader claim the glory and profit in exchange for dealing with the danger of a particular overt situation.  A Rogue Trader looking to unload a demon-bound sword might find the Inquisiton a safer hand for it to end up in.  Inquisitors often have reasonable access to rewards that might be difficult for a Rogue Trader, such as requisitioning a company of Astra Militarum or a long concealed tome with the location of a cursed wreck.

 

Most inquisitors aren't total self-focused assholes and generally a Rogue Trader; who has both the right and the strength of will to deal with the horror of the mutant, the demon, and most certainly the alien; is very low on an Inquisitor's list of potential threats to the Imperium.  Particularly if they've been friendly in the past.

 

Aside: While this is by no means official, in my campaign I noted that (at least in the calixis sector) Lord Inquisitor is used to refer to an Inquisitor who has chosen to operate openly as a member of the Inquisition.  Just using Inquisitor refers to a member who's name remains unconnected with her inquisitorial nature.  This was mostly because I needed something to call different people.

Edited by Quicksilver

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Unless both the RT and the inquisitor want the same piece of Xeno tech...

Then the politics start. And with politics i mean assassinations.

And with assassinations i mean: vortex grenades, poison blades, explosive decompression, eversor assassins, ships firing on one another, bombs, chaos, dogs and cats living together, reprogrammed servitors, power sword duels, alien weapons firing, psychic blasts, bee shooting scorpions (don't ask), in other words... Mayhem!

Edited by Robin Graves

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Oh, how hast thou with jealousy infected

The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?

Why, so didst thou. Seem they grave and learnèd?

Why, so didst thou. Come they of noble family?

Why, so didst thou. Seem they religious?

Why, so didst thou. Or are they spare in diet,

Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,

Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,

Garnished and decked in modest complement,

Not working with the eye without the ear,

And but in purgèd judgment trusting neither?

Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem.

And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot

To mark the full-fraught man and best endued

With some suspicion. 

 

(Henry the V, Shakespeare)

Edited by Quicksilver

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In the RT game I play in the group has fairly close ties with a Radical Inquisitor.

 

My Seneschal is likely to be recruited by her at some stage, he has enough cells and acolytes, and resources to become one. and one of his acolytes is currently receiving assassin training. Much to my GM's Horror when they realised I was starting a Death Cult.

We have an active inquisitorial spy on our ship that has access to pretty much anything they want, and we have the use of one of the Inquisitors Psykers, after we got one of her psyker interrogators killed, accidentally.

We also helped kill a rival of the Inquisitors, in which I nearly collapsed a building with a single Frag grenade (3 Rf's in a row and 16 Storm troops turned to red mist later, the building held). The Inquisitor died at the hands of the Interrogator that died during a ship battle that broke our Dauntless.

 

I gave over a Lord Inquisitors fortune, but not his ship, for extensive access to the Librarium they had, and armoury. I now run around with an Executor pistol as my go to weapon with my BQ Inferno Pistol.

 

I also was responsibly for invoking a daemon's name to make an Ecclesiarchy ship leave a system that was under the influence of chaos, because the Inq on there was a jerk. reports back in Footfall & Port Wander make no mention of said Inquisitor. He was the big shiney "LOOK! I have a Rosette!" type.

 

I like Inquisitors getting all up in our business. Mostly because I'm devious enough to make it work in my favour for looking into things I would want to do anyway. "Knowledge Is Power. Guard It Well" as they say.

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Short anwser yes, long anwser at this point through various individuals in it our group is tied in with not only the Inquisition but also the Arbites, Mechanicus and the Navy in one gigantic web of wetwork and intrigue while we smuggle, rob and steal along the way. We've become a hyper milterized private navy/army of a dynasty who can be trusted for discretion as we kill people and take their stuff for tangental political reasons we barely care about just so long as you keep paying us. We get away with it because we have major dirt on all of them and if any of them tries to squish us we would just release it to the others.

 

We're a little light on the trade side of the Rogue Trading, we have three systems one of which we own a third of through a corporation we set up with Jeremaia Blitz and the Ecclesiarchy, the second of which is essentially worthless and that we mostly ignore, and the last of which is a pretty thin front for a major Egarian cold trade operation.

 

Or to put it in other words, we're basically the kind of South African style war for fun and profit soldiers of fortune stereotypes you often see as the villians in trite Hollywood films. Oh and we like to **** in Winterscale's cheereos whenever we can because we're in a feud with him. Half the people in the party have probably killed close to fifty people each in close combat alone by now.

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In the campaign I am playing in, my Rogue trader has a ...greivance with a particular inquisitor. He ferried this person around into the expanse at the inquisitor's request, and shortly after the inquisitor departed a headless brutish daemon-thing started picking off crew. I later find out the daemon-thing was put there by one of the inquisitor's agents by mistake...what was ACTUALLY supposed to end up there were tyrranid spores that were meant  to kill of me and my crew and therefore (somehow, I don't have the details) lure in the person the inquisitor was REALLY after.

 

Fast forward 8 years or so, and now the inquisitor (now a Lord Inquisitor) has declared my RT excommunicate tratoris, citing the use of a xenos parasite to create berserkers to attack the imperium (simplified). In fact, this was the work of said inquisitor, using the xenos that he found while my RT was carting him around. So basically he pinned his crimes on me.

 

Currently I am laying low on a planetary stronghold deep in the expanse, having faked my death for multiple reasons. Eventually, however, I will return and me and my dynasty will go to open war with this inquisitor. An example must be set; that not even the Inquisition may trifle with us. My wife, an inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus, will declare my enemy Excommunicate Tratoris for HIS crimes. The inquisitor, his family, his retiune, his allies, and THEIR family, retinues, and allies, will all die. If I'm feeling generous, I MIGHT not arrange for their homeworlds to be rendered uninhabitable.

Edited by Quietus1

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My players are going to run afoul of Inquisitiorial agents in a bit. They've done a couple of things recently that the Inquisition would frown on, most notably opening an inquisitional courier package they found on a wrecked ship. They did loose several red-shirts to an Entropy Device before the explorator figured it out and disabled the bloodlock bolt with a very good roll. I won't get into the specifics in case the players happen to peek onto this forum, but depending on how it turns out they may not even realize the inquisition is involved for quite a while.

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I have only ever introduced Inquisitors as shadowy figures in the background and sectors away manipulating the events from as far away as possible (when im running the game).

 

  Well with that said I partly ran a game for a time with one of the players being a young and recently promoted inquisitor, it went incredibly well I worked with the player and we developed a good story as to why he was traveling the Rouge Trader and we created a small retinue of acolytes (we also played these acolytes when we wanted to do low LVL adventures). The idea was that the Inquisitor needed the typical taxi service and extra muscle a RT brings (as well as a good cover story).

When I wasn’t Gming the game I would play the RT and the player that played the Inquisitor would GM).

 

 The warrant was the really ancient one that you could pic in “Into the storm” (the age of rebirth) where one of the primarchs or some other super important person (we always kept it up in the air) also it was won in recognition of a great deed (at the time we were reading the Horus Heresy books), so we saw that it was a little to Marysueish and decided to have the house in ruins.  

A few thousand years ago a cabal of Inquisitors decided that the RT House was to famous/Infamous  and purged it killing all household members (a war far out of the empire, one of the stipulations of the warrant is to seek out new worlds and travel in uncharted territory’s, a  7 year mission) something they were very good at) the Cabal took this opportunity to wipe out the house and take all its holdings and take the warrant to confirm who exactly singed it (so on and so forth).

 

  Enter the RT character, we did it as (man out of time, we use Central Casting: Heroes for Tomorrow) the RT was found on a hidden on terra it was the last holding in the ownership of the Navis Nobilite House (which had fallen into disgrace and the last mutated member was visiting) in a stasis pod, the RT was revived and told of the situation.  After a few years and gathering of equipment from other hidden holdings (we played most of this out I wanted to start the Toon as having nothing but the clothes on his back, the House ring (archeotech multi-key) and a kraken tooth knife) yes very epic beginnings). So after trying to enter the imperial palace prove that RT was a Rogue Trader (not even getting to within a 100 miles of the palace) then trying to break into imperial palace and getting caught, was taken to the Inquisition and was “questioned” about him being a RT from a house that did not exists while their escaped from cell twice and was able to thwart descendants of the original Cabal and expose there heresies.  With the help of a very young interrogator (the Inquisitor player) was able to get his credentials confirmed (there was a copy of the original warrant in the vaults under the Imperial Palace, but not the original). Unfortunately the original was not there and was a series of other adventures which included the inquisitor.  

 

  The Inquisitors were done well extremely eccentric and insane the GM did the factions really well (it was a big part of the game) and they had good back stories and (we the players) would not encountered them until the end of a series (sometimes very anticlimactic) they were usually the bad guys so to speak.

 

  I’ve found that trying to introduce “MarySue” NPCs (Inquisitors) as detrimental to a good campaign or any campaign. I find Inquisitor’s steal too much thunder from the players; it’s difficult to do correctly and still maintain respect for the warrant of trade (even if it’s a new one) and the players or the Inquisitor.

 

 Although they make great adversarial NPCs, why because they are not so easy to defeat. They must be defeated legally (within the bounds of the imperium) and morally (in front of their peers).  And if they are setup over a number of game sessions then maybe the players will like it too (when Introduced). 

 

Also if you introduce the inquisitor as a ****** then you should introduce an inquisitor that is not, and will help the PC’s defeat the douchy one.  In that way you don’t have to experience a thing that happens when an inquisitor shows and watching all your players make some amazing critical rolls with the dice and your NPC Inq dying in ways you never thought possible.

The warhammer 40k novels help a lot and there almost always an inquisitor in them, we use them for adventure material.

 

We play our games in a very 1987 Rogue Trader fashion, the style being that the imperium is not all powerful and there is plenty of unexplained and unexplored space (even within the borders), the Imperium can only consolidate very little of what they claim and many other xenos empires exist.

 

The Imperium keeps that knowledge to only the very highest echelons, so for example many Inquisitors do not know of the

horrors that lurk beyond the borders that is only the purview and remit of the Rogue Trader (Hence their reason for being).

 

In the recent material it gives the impression that Inquisitors can do anything and whatever they feel like whenever it suits them and this hampers the other institutions and I get players that only want to play inquisitors.  Also it’s like the Imperium is this all-encompassing super power in the galaxy. 

 

sorry im ranting. OK theirs my two thrones

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My party spends most of their time out in the homebrew expanse we use for our game, and the influence of the Inquisition is felt sporadically at best out there. However, recently they journeyed back into Imperial space to try and obtain the support of the Astra Telepathica for their various endeavours, because they were tired of not being able to check on their projects without actually journeying back to them.

 

Of course, once there they found out the only 'bargaining chip' they could offer was arranging for a Black Ship to visit their holdings, and performing the Tithe themselves. Pay in to get paid out, basically. They were given long enough to let the potential horror and enormity of that task start to settle in, and then they were contacted by someone who said he could arrange to fulfill their request immediately.

 

They agreed, with the understanding they would owe the person an unspecified favor in the future. He chose that moment to reveal his Inquisitorial origins, and said he was "confident they could be relied on to fulfill their side of the bargain when the time came." Moderately terrified since they all have dark secrets to hide, they've spent a lot of time wondering how they managed to draw the attention of the powerful, invisible, inscrutable Inquisition.

 

Now, the reality.

 

The reality is that the man they interacted with isn't exactly an Inquisitor. He's not sure what to call himself, honestly. As far as he knows, he's the only operative of the Inquisition in this entire region of space. All he knows is his master dropped him off with a large but limited supply of thrones, and told him to 'keep an eye on things.' Ever since then, (200 years or so) he's just been playing the game as best he can. He's built criminal enterprises to fund his operations, and gotten cybernetic implants that let him change his appearance as needed. He's suppressed cults, watched out for xenos invasions, and hunted heretics. There is no back-up that he knows how to call on, it may not even exist, and if the party were to actually call him out, they're almost undoubtedly more powerful than he is by any measure.

 

Yet there's that reputation and dark rumour in the back of every Imperial citizen's mind, and that's what he trades on...

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There's that reputation and dark rumour in the back of every Imperial citizen's mind, and that's what he trades on...

That's how I'm planning on running them, relying on reputation and intimidation to get others to do their work because their resources are usually already tied up in so many other things. Then again if they wind up running into an actual inquisitor rather than an agent that means things have probably gone spectacularly bad.

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My guys are on good terms with the members of the Inquisition they have had direct dealings with. One of them awarded them their Warrant in the first session in a somewhat improvisational manner. Now that action pissed off a great many people, the Warrant wasn't meant for them you see, but not any Inquisitors. Mostly the RT's bitter, rich, and powerful rivals who were supposed to get it, and the various Administratum clerks they bribed on the way.

 

Another Inquisitor showed up in person recently, he wanted to debrief the RT over some recent brush in with the Rak'Ghuls and his somewhat questionable decision to disseminate videos of him sword fighting them in a propaganda/documentary film throughout the Expanse and Calixis sector. He was very polite, asked to do it over dinner at a nearby restaurant. He asked him about what had happened, and asked to inspect some of the captured Rak ships that the RT was shipping to the Lathe worlds as a favor. The RT agreed, and the Inquisitor excused himself and went about murdering the kitchen staff for poor dinner service(incompetence is silent treachery against the Empra).

 

I plan on having them run into some antagonistic ones in the nearish future. That'll be less me policing them through in game means, and more I want them to deal with determined hostile Inquisitors cause it sounds fun. And I agree that all Inqs should have at least 2 fatepoints, unless you're actively planing on killing them off.

 

On the side note to two pages ago. I've personally dealt with arranged marriages by having multiple contracts. Contracts between the bride and groom, and contracts between the PC's dynasty and the other group. The whole thing involved agreed upon lines of succession, each group making PF investments in the other, the moving of multiple void ships, and the status(being of age, captaining a ship for a certain length of time, whatever) of any resulting children playing directly into the size of the ultimate dowry. Sorta like statistical clauses in a sports contract. It was fun coming up with it as a GM, trying to come up with something that both made sense, the players would agree to, and was interesting. 

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I'm currently running two Rogue Trader campaigns.

 

The Scorpio dynasty flagship has a reputation: a good one with radical inquisitors and a bad one with puritans. They rooted out hidden throne agents on the ship after one of their mid-level factotums was murdered and dumped them on an Imperial world. They recovered some highly sealed Inquisition storage containers from a stranded rogue trader who claimed he had acted under Inquisitorial request, also rescuing the last survivors of a rival Inquisition warband. They handed everything and everyone they could over to the Ordo Calixis, and ended up making a deal with a spymaster with a radical rep to keep them out of Inquisition politics.

 

Command crew of the Bismarck dynasty (but not the rogue trader himself) inquired about a bounty on an Inquisitor in Footfall. This individual had been literally shooting up low-level cold traders in the corridors and "interested parties" wanted him gone. When the bounty hit a full profit factor (this is what was offered) they made a plan to snuff the inquisitor. Inquiries revealed that the inqusitor had requisitioned secure quarters at the Liege's Palace and that the Liege was the go-between for cold trader Quintet interests were offering the bounty.

 

So a seneschal and an arch-militant broke into those quarters, piled the Inquisitor's ammunition and grenade supplies against the door and wall - and waited. The fight consisted of one massive explosion that left the inquisitor's retinue as paste, and a vicious duel between him and the arch-militant. One dead inquisitor later, the pair legged it with his equipment, planning to get the giant "I"'s removed. They got paid at least, and I have plothooks.

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