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Robin Graves

(Role)playing Ecclesiarchy characters

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I was just wondering how many people play priests, confessors, missionaries, crazy-guy-with-dual-flamethrowers in the 40K RPGS? Well obviously not BC (and if you are, i definatly want to hear about it)

 

I myself have not yet got around to play the more zealous elements of the god-emperors flock.

My character ideas ranged from "Brother Maynard from monthy python and the holy grail"

(later became an enginseer) to "Father jack Hackett from Father Ted" (drink! guns! blood! orks!)

But once i have a hold of DH2 (emperor willing this weekend) I'll try to make a proper eccelsiarch priest.

 

So why don't you share any stories/ideas/builds for priests with me?

 

There is only the Emperor!

 

 

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All Chaos Gods have the capability oh having priests. They just express their faith differently.

 

I've always found the idea of not playing a zealot priest really interesting. He's a man of the cloth yes, he has faith yes, but is he going to burn someone for equating the God Emperor to their Sun God? No, all imperial faith is expressed very differently.

 

You could also play a clergyman who is currently going through a crisis of faith and he hopes to reinstill his faith in the Emperor by doing His work through the Inquisition.

 

It opens up some really interesting roleplaying options in terms of talking with the other group members about their own faith and how they express it as well. Especially if there's a psyker in the group.

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I once played a Sister of Battle and covered my character sheet in relevant lines from the Imperial Creed and quotes from Imperial Saints to repeat whenever they seemed relevant to the situation at hand. I feel like you're not doing the fire and brimstone thing properly if you're not shouting scripture constantly.

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I played a Shrine World Mechanicus Heirophant in a short-lived DH2 game run by my friend. He was a missionary of the Omnissiah tasked with spreading the faith to a feudal-tech planet newly reintroduced to the Imperium by an Explorator fleet. He was a boisterous, extra-friendly type who didn't quite understand normal human mannerisms due to his time spent with the Machine Cult, so he provided a bit of comic relief while serving as the party's social character. In battle, he charged forward in chainmail (and subskin armor) while decapitating his enemies with a giant cog-toothed axe.

 

In my DH campaign (set in the Calixis Sector), the Cult of the Red Redemption are recurring villains. The Acolytes sometimes find their leads or investigations compromised when over-zealous Redemptionists start burning every suspected heretic in sight, and they have to find a way to deal with enemies who are technically loyal servants of the Imperium.

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The MAJOR problem with Ministorum characters is that we don't actually have any clue what they are supposed to be doing.  At least the AdMech has the Quest for Knowledge Mysteries and Warnings to give you something to work with.

 

I've still yet to see anything that sets out what the Minstorum Orthodoxy is.  So its almost impossible therefore to define what is herectical.

 

That makes roleplaying one of these characters almost impossible, which is why i stay well away from the Ecclesiarchy in my games.

Edited by Luddite

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I once played a Sister of Battle and covered my character sheet in relevant lines from the Imperial Creed and quotes from Imperial Saints to repeat whenever they seemed relevant to the situation at hand. I feel like you're not doing the fire and brimstone thing properly if you're not shouting scripture constantly.

 

I think the Sisterhood is just a lot more strict and offers less freedom for obvious personality deviations (a number of BL novels unfortunately falls short of this portrayal), compared to the Ministorum clergy. The latter is not raised and brainwashed in a uniform manner and from early childhood, but rather tends to represent a weird blend between the Imperial Creed and local beliefs, to say nothing of the much greater potential for corruption or even just a simple thirst for power.

 

Priests thus offer a much wider range of personality types, and even allow you to blend in native beliefs if you want to go for something truly crazy. "Fire and brimstone" is a valid approach even for corrupt priests, as it is a tool to control the populace - but I can easily imagine more tolerant, benevolent movements within the Ministorum.

 

tl;dr: as far as I'm concerned, you're both right.  :lol:

 

 

Redeemer comics is what you are looking for if you want inspiration for crazy awesome religious fanatic rooting out heretics, deviants, mutants and unbelievers alike in the name of the Throne.

 

Glory, glory, the Redeemer! As he goes purging on! ♪

 

 

The MAJOR problem with Ministorum characters is that we don't actually have any clue what they are supposed to be doing.

 

I have a feeling the 2nd edition SoB Codex could be of interest to you in this regard. It includes not only a detailed structure of the Ministorum, but also talks about the tasks the different parts of the clergy are assigned to.

 

The most likely types of clerics you'd play in a Dark Heresy campaign are probably Preachers, Confessors and Missionaries. Preachers are your common priests, usually leaders of a shrine/church/chapel in some village or city, and preaching the Creed to the local populace. Confessors are are a more "offensive" type of Preacher who are particularly zealous, and it is their responsibility to root out heresy and lead the faithful in armed conflict. By Imperial decree, every single Guard regiment and Naval capital ship must include at least one Confessor to tend to the troops' spiritual well-being. Lastly, Missionaries are those clerics who have sworn to spread the Creed into those chaotic regions of space that have just been (re)conquered by the Imperium of Man, in an effort to replace or merge the local faith with officially approved Ministorum dogmas.

 

A fourth type of quasi-cleric is the Drill-Abbot - a veteran soldier of the Imperium's armed forces who has retired into the Ecclesiarchy's Schola Progenium. They are ordained as Preachers of the clergy, but their purpose is the indoctrination and training of those children surrendered into the Ministorum's tender embrace (essentially making the Schola their church).

Even a Drill-Abbot could theoretically be conscripted into the Inquisition, however. In spite of the warrior background, I have a feeling you'd still be better served with the priest's class, as it symbolises the shift in the character's focus. Plus, it's not like clerics don't have access to some impressive combat abilities as well.

 

For further inspiration, perhaps this article from GW's Inquisitor game - as well as the accompanying example character, Preacher Josef - could be of use:

http://games-workshop.com/specialist/inquisitor/bestiario/ecclesiarchy.html

 

For more bits and pieces about the Imperial Creed, check out the other articles as well, such as the "Cultists & Fanatics" one.

 

I've still yet to see anything that sets out what the Minstorum Orthodoxy is.  So its almost impossible therefore to define what is herectical.

 

I think it can be summed up as:

 

- Accept the Emperor as your God, or else

- Humans rule the universe

- Aliens are bad

- Mutants are bad

- Psykers are Mutants

- The faithful citizen obeys their lord

- The faithful citizen must stand ready to pick up arms to fight the Enemies of Mankind

- The Enemies of the Church are the Enemies of Mankind

 

There's a lot of scripture to go around from a great variety of sources; you should be able to get a good idea just by looking at some cleric's quotes. :)

Edited by Lynata

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The details will likely differ based on the local interpretation of the faith - I've listed some general points above (sorry for the retroactive edit; I was still tinkering with my post just as you were writing yours), but the Cultists & Fanatics article sums it up nicely:

 

"The teachings of the Ecclesiarchy are not a loving creed, as they were incepted to praise the Emperor above all other things and to give Mankind the faith and willpower to continue the endless fight against rebels, aliens and the forces of darkness despite horrendous hardship and torturous agony. There are countless factions of belief within the Ecclesiarchy, each preaching a slightly different message. Some are more common than others and in the dark times of the 41st Millennium the most apocalyptic, militant faiths have many supporters.
 
These doctrines are highly xenophobic and violent, its members sworn to expunge all sin with fire and blade. For some cults their focus of hatred is very limited: mutants, witches or aliens. For others, such as the Redemptionists, they see sin in every creature, which must be purged through bloodshed; it really is a dogma of kill or be killed in the most extreme cases."
 
I'd say this gives you some leeway depending on just how extreme and "problematic" you'd like to play your character - in either way it reduces the chance of actually doing something terribly wrong. Just have your character remain adamant and convinced that his/her interpretation of the faith is really the correct one. Everyone else is at best lacking in faith and needs to be constantly reminded about how you just want to save their eternal soul, or at worst a heretic who needs to pay for their aberrant ways.
 
If you can wait a few hours until I get back home I can check what the 2E Codex has to say - I remember it including a good description about the Creed as well. :)
Edited by Lynata

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Has anybody read the Dark Future novels by Jack Yeovil (Kim Newman)?

 

I'm gonna make my priest character as a mix of  Elder Ngyuen Seth ("Route 666") And Bruhja from the HH novel "Fear to thread" Mirror shades, black robes, wide brimm hat , clean shaven, creepy old guy vibe. Not fire and brimstone but the freezer burn of quiet superiority. Looking trough the DH2 beta i was thinking of maing him an adeptus ministorum mystic who passes of his psychic powers as miracles/manifestation of the Divine Emperor. The problem is what type of inquisitor would want an unsanctioned psyker for an acolyte. Then again the inquisitor could be a radical.

 

"The Emperor wil recongise his own..."

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 'and preaching the Creed to the local populace'

 

 

And the details of that Creed are?

 

In the case of my (soon to be fully fleshed out) charcter: "Whatever they say is wrong, whatever i say is right. The Emperor will set you free." But then again he is quite subversive...

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Yeah I agree with the person who said that the problem with a character that is a defender of the Imperial Creed is that no one has ever said what the theology of the Creed is.

 

The Ecclesiarchy is supposed to be a stickler for fine points of dogma, but alas GW/FFG/etc. have never said what the fine points of dogma actually are.

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Besides the obvious main tenets of faith/Imperium (hate xenos and psykers, obey your masters etc.), a player should just make up what he wants his tenets of faith to be. The Imperium accepts many slight and not so slight diviations after all. Its a role-playing game, not bible study. If NPC's object to the "mad ravings" of the PC, just use opposed Imperial Creed rolls to determine who had the better arguments. Burn the loser at the stake....

 

(And see your player suddenly acquire Common Lore (Imperial Creed) +20......)

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[...] the problem with a character that is a defender of the Imperial Creed is that no one has ever said what the theology of the Creed is

 

But they did:

 

"It is the duty of every Imperial citizen to protect the Imperium from outside forces, and to fight against the wiles of Chaos and alien subversion. The Imperium must also be kept pure from within: heresies, unsanctioned cults and mutation must all be reported and promptly dealt with. The Imperial Creed also dictates a strong sense of hierarchy and structure within humanity. Everybody has a place and function to fulfil in the great scheme and they must be content to perform that function to the best of their ability. A respect for authority, with the ultimate authority being the Emperor itself, is the basis for this hierarchy. [...]"
- 2E C:SoB
 
It just can't get much more detailed than that, for as mentioned before how this is lived in detail depends very much on the planet you are currently located on. But I recommend anyone interested in the topic to take a look at the full text of which the above quote is merely a small excerpt. I just can't be arsed to type two entire pages out of an old book. :P
But I'm sure it could be found somewhere on the web. *coughcough*
 
This problem is not too dissimilar to real world faith as well. Ask five people what Christianity is about and you'll either get an answer just as general as the above quote, or you'll hear different things from everyone.
Edited by Lynata

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In fact, you could take many quotes from the bible (or the Koran or whatever!) And convert them in classic Gothic fashion to "Imperial scripture" and you wouldn't be wrong!

Just remember that in 40K, "virgin" has nothing to do with sex and instead means someone that's never suffered a critical wound. :P

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Otherwise every Space Marine would be a virgin right?  ^_^

 

Not per necessity. Many primitive cultures considers people adult and ready for sex much earlier than our own Western cultures do and as such its entirely possible for a 16 year old to be a father in a primitive society, especially if he has, for that culture, admirable traits as a warrior.

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In fact, you could take many quotes from the bible (or the Koran or whatever!) And convert them in classic Gothic fashion to "Imperial scripture" and you wouldn't be wrong!

 

Though at least on some worlds you should probably leave out the bits about women being the source of all evil etc, or those concerned with sexuality.

 

Oh, and replace "love thy neighbour" with "report thy neighbour". :P

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In fact, you could take many quotes from the bible (or the Koran or whatever!) And convert them in classic Gothic fashion to "Imperial scripture" and you wouldn't be wrong!

Just remember that in 40K, "virgin" has nothing to do with sex and instead means someone that's never suffered a critical wound. :P

 

 

That would make the phrase "popping the cherry" kinda gross.  :)

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