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Tech-priest: Heretical Behavior?

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Hi guys,

 

As stated in my last post, I'm new to GMing and this game in general, but not to 40k. My group hasn't started actually playing yet, but we've been doing some introductory character-work, and I have a question about the Tech-priest, the answer to which seems kind of ambiguous in the material I've read.

Basically, the guy playing the Tech-priest wants his character to be a fervent worshipper of the Omnissiah, to the point where he views all biological flesh as weak. As such, he wants to always be attempting to give people implants. Not like, assaulting people, but say if a member of his party were injured, instead of healing him right off, he might be like "So, while you're injured.. you know a cybernetic arm would be MUCH better than this poor broken one.." or when fighting enemies, might hack their arm off and then when bringing them in for questioning, attempt to attach some kind of mechanical replacement, just because it 'makes the galaxy a little less imperfect."

The issue I see is, is this considered heretek behavior? It seems pretty in-line with the worship of the Machine God, but I know I've read several places that the Cult Mechanicus is pretty stingy with its technology: IE, it thinks only its members should have access. I know in Creatures Anathema there are several examples of hereteks who were declared such for sharing technology willy-nilly. However, cybernetic replacement parts seem available to anyone based on the core book, assuming they have the cash and someone who can attach them.

Assuming he sticks to already-available cybernetics, and doesn't share any tech 'secrets' or exclusive tech like mechadendrites, could he behave in this manner without attracting the unfavorable attention of the Cult? I'm not unwilling to let him do it either way... I just want to know if he will face consequences from his contemporaries for it.

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this is actually interesting, with all the role play options u have afforded to u by way of this player.

to directly answer ur question. yes it would draw some attention from the Mechanicus. and this is where the fun comes in. there are those that would hunt u having declared u heretek. and there may very well be a small cult  of Adepts that believe whole-heartedly in the inferiority of the flesh. they already really do. this is an extreme form of Mechanicus fundamentalism let us say. maybe they are radicals themselves doing sinful experiments researching and developing newer bionics and augmentations, different power sources, alloys, and neutral interfaces to create...a better likeness of the Omnissiah.

but there are more practical problems to consider...why would this adept want to impart such a gift to someone as undeserving as they had just tried to capture/kill them? say also that u did allow him to experiment willy nilly. he is potentially creating more and now better armed and capable baddies. the Inquisition and the Arbites might very well take offence to this. cybernetics aren't cheap. wouldn't he be better taking care of his own 'body as a temple' as opposed to some other fleshsack? would the Inquisitor himself not have a problem with this kind of behaviour...it would seem a waste of resources and time. and if this Inquisitor harbours the PC he and the entire band may very well come under fire from the Mechanicus...and they really aren't an organization one would want to trifle with..even for an Inquisitor.

the dialogue would be interesting between the PCs with this one and interactions with the general Imperial public...oh he'd have to have a very low Fel characteristic with kind of attitude

cheers

 

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To me it would seem that kind of behaviour might actually be promoted, not frowned upon.  Sharing technology would be teaching people how to make/fix it themself.  Making someone half robot is what they do.

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First of all, cybernetic implants are rather expensive and most simply cannot afford them. So, hacking of the limbs of the odd down-hive dregs and attaching cybernetic limbs would be very costly for the Tech-Priest. However, presupposed the Tech-Priest somehow has an unlimited supply of ready to transplant cybernetic limbs somewhere, this kind of behaviour would certainly be considered as radical, but not really heretekal (sp?). Maybe he would be comparable to a Red Redemptionist for the Ministorum. Radical and a little weird, but still tolerated by the Mechanicus superiors.

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This characters out-look does sound interesting. As Luthor Harkon said it sounds radical but not heretical. The mechanicus tries it's best to upgrade as much of it's servants as possible as once they are implanted they don't require any seperate arcane knowledge to use (only to maintain).

I imagine he will be frustrated by the lack of resources available to back up his grand plans though, which seems to be the case in all adepta anyway.

The line of Heresy is where normal technology is free to use by all, such as making simple to use music players available to people that do not know the correct rites to use it (the I-pod Heresy).

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As Luthor said, your Tech Priest better be rolling in the dough if he’s gonna slap a bionic part on every Tom, ****, and Harry that he comes across. If money is no object though… so be it.

 

I would try and keep his behavior in perspective. The Imperium is a big place and, odd’s are, ANYONE would be considered a Heretic by someone or another just for taking a 15 minute nap. I think we, as players, understand the very clear lines between the Imperial Creed and heresy but, as characters things are much more muddy… and, indeed, given the perspective of the characters, nearly any belief system could seem justified… but, with that in mind, nearly any belief system can be deemed heretical as well.

Your players rail against Khorn, the blood god. They may root out a cult of a couple dozen people sacrificing animals and exterminate it… on behalf of the Imperium that thinks’ nothing of allowing billions to toil in horrific slave-like conditions on Forge Worlds.

Your players rail against Nurgle, the plague god. They might come across a group of mutants who’ve fallen under his doctrine and turn them all over to the planetary authorities for execution… on behalf of the Imperium that has virus bombs readily at hand to exact Exterminatus on entire planets.

Your players rail against Tzeanch, the god of change. They might run into a powerful band of rogue psychers and experience horrors unimaginable in bringing them down… on behalf of an Imperium who scours the galaxy for psychers to ship to Terra where their souls are consumed in an eternal effort to keep the Emperor and the astronomicon alive.

Your players rail against Slanesh, the god of excess. They might find cult devoted to the use of drugs, locate the suppliers, and eliminate them… On behalf of an Imperium that distributes combat drugs to make it’s neigh-infinite Imperial Guard mind-numbed enough to face the horrors of the galaxy.

I don’t think the desire to “bring the flesh closer to the machine” is heretical in the context of Dark Heresy at all. We, as players, can easily point to something and say – THAT’S HERETICAL! But things would not be so simple for the characters… in fact… imagine LIVING in the 40k universe… you discover you’re a low-level psycher and a Black Ship is scouring the planet and apprehending every psycher they find. A Tzeanchian cult comes along and promises to help you escape your soul being consumed. What would YOU do?

The 40k universe is FAR more grey than it is black and white and mostly it comes down to who or what you are and how well armed you are that determines whether or not you're a heretic.

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An ecclesiastical Tech-Priest sounds like a fun character. I don't have a problem with it, but as others have pointed out, various factions in the Church might take umbrage with the character being free with the technology of the Omnissiah. At the very least, they would seek to impress upon the Tech-Priest that only those souls worthy of the Omnissiah's blessings should receive them, and that he should be careful to choose only those who have proven themselves in the eyes of the god. Leave what is considered worthiness vague, but it should probably include obediance towards the Tech-Priest and his hierachy, a willingness to accept the Omnissiac scriptures, and a high aptitude for Tech-Use.

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I like the idea. It sounds like it make for good role playing. Your techpriest will likely become frustrated though.

 

There is another consideration: Time

It takes a minimum of a day to properly implant cybernetics. The techpriest would become so busy (If he had the money) replacing peoples limbs (and eyes, etc...) that it would interfere with his work with the Inquisition. 'Upgrading' your peers may go well with your Inquisitor, but I doubt he'd like it if the techpriest was 'helping' random people when he could be hunting down heretics and aliens.

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You think your guy's bad.

The tech-priest in my game grabbed a guy w/o warning, cut out his larynx and replaced it w/ a jury rigged cyber bit made from a respirator, a vox, a dataslate and a small speaker.

Later when interrogating a prisoner, without even discussing it with the rest of the acolytes or anyone else involved, he began cutting on the prisoner to prep him for later processing into a sevitor (brain surgery with no paralytics or pain meds anyone?)

Suffice it to say our techy may well be a bit nuts.

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It takes a minimum of a day to properly implant cybernetics. The techpriest would become so busy (If he had the money) replacing peoples limbs (and eyes, etc...) that it would interfere with his work with the Inquisition. 'Upgrading' your peers may go well with your Inquisitor, but I doubt he'd like it if the techpriest was 'helping' random people when he could be hunting down heretics and aliens.

That depends on how often the cell is called upon. After all, your sleeper cells become effective only when they spend the majority of their time, you know, sleeping. Or outfitting random people with augmetics. Whatever fits your bill, I guess...

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DocIII said:

You think your guy's bad.

The tech-priest in my game grabbed a guy w/o warning, cut out his larynx and replaced it w/ a jury rigged cyber bit made from a respirator, a vox, a dataslate and a small speaker.

Later when interrogating a prisoner, without even discussing it with the rest of the acolytes or anyone else involved, he began cutting on the prisoner to prep him for later processing into a sevitor (brain surgery with no paralytics or pain meds anyone?)

Suffice it to say our techy may well be a bit nuts.

I love this!  I briefly played a techpriest that collected the heads from all the people the party had killed and made servo skulls for income and fun.  He unfortunatly had to leave the group because one member of the group welded khorn berzerker armor onto the chimera they had on loan for the mission.  When they got back to base the Techpriest had that member arrested and had to purge the chimera.  He left shortly after because he viewed the party as too radical.  (going to come back as an enemy later)

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Haha, in my game our Tech priest has taken our groups dead Assassin (formerly me :'( ), removed his brain and is carrying it about int he groups shuttle, hoping to return to a mechanicus outpost and have my brain implanted into a servitor :o

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LEGION3000 said:

DocIII said:

 

You think your guy's bad.

The tech-priest in my game grabbed a guy w/o warning, cut out his larynx and replaced it w/ a jury rigged cyber bit made from a respirator, a vox, a dataslate and a small speaker.

Later when interrogating a prisoner, without even discussing it with the rest of the acolytes or anyone else involved, he began cutting on the prisoner to prep him for later processing into a sevitor (brain surgery with no paralytics or pain meds anyone?)

Suffice it to say our techy may well be a bit nuts.

 

 

I love this!  I briefly played a techpriest that collected the heads from all the people the party had killed and made servo skulls for income and fun.  He unfortunatly had to leave the group because one member of the group welded khorn berzerker armor onto the chimera they had on loan for the mission.  When they got back to base the Techpriest had that member arrested and had to purge the chimera.  He left shortly after because he viewed the party as too radical.  (going to come back as an enemy later)

 

Looks like the Mechanicus got another arco-flagellant. Attaching Warp tainted objects to divinely approved vehicles is a high crime according to common Mechanicus doctrine.

 

 Back to the main point. I believe you can safely allow this player to explore just how far he can go before he runs afoul of standard doctrine (which, by the way, YOU define....hehehe). Also, try to reign it in if it starts to de-rail the game you have running. GM's have to walk a fine line between gentle prodding and bringing out the Plot Force Mallet (Class: Roleplay, Range: Table-wide, Dam: XP value as determined by GM, Pen: 10+, Special: Flexible in application, Fast, Unresistable), so keep your eyes open for abuse. Happy gaming!

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A couple of things to consider:

1) In a society dominated by bureaucracy, at the very least your tech-priest would have to have approval from his superiors - i.e. a higher-up tech magos and/or his inquisitor - before performing any sort of tech-surgery. As you can imagine often this would lead to the patient being dead before approval is received, so your tech-priest may have to subscribe to the philosopy of asking for forgiveness rather than permission. He may be okay if the surgeries he's performing are 'standard' operations, but it's a fine line between necessary surgery and heretical experimentation.

2) I would be a little suspicious of your player simply looking to upgrade himself and his party with more and more kit just to make them more invincible vs. thier enemies. Perhaps a little power-gaming? Nothing wrong with that if that's the kind of campaign you want to run.

Personally I wouldn't go easy on him. It would open up the doors to more role-playing opportunties if he had to justify his actions every once in a while at least.

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