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Sebastian Yorke

GM rant, leave yours here

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I had a navigator that tended to overuse his lidless stare far too often, his navigator house sent someone to " adjust his outlook on the matter"...party wakes up the next morning with a new navigator in the command throne and the old one chained to the bulkhead behind the throne with a burned out hole were his third eye used to be weeping for death.  

 

I let the player play the new navigator ( basically gave him the sheet back,minus a fate point) who seemed to never use his eye unless absolutely necessary :)

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I had a navigator that tended to overuse his lidless stare far too often, his navigator house sent someone to " adjust his outlook on the matter"...party wakes up the next morning with a new navigator in the command throne and the old one chained to the bulkhead behind the throne with a burned out hole were his third eye used to be weeping for death.  

 

I let the player play the new navigator ( basically gave him the sheet back,minus a fate point) who seemed to never use his eye unless absolutely necessary :)

 

Last time our Nav tried opening his eye in front of a group of 20+ household troops, someone passed the WP test really well and he took a plasma shot to the face. After the subsequent plastic surgery and the implantation of subskin/specially crafted cranial armor, he was much less inclined to lidless-stare everything.

Edited by Sebastian Yorke

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I had a navigator that tended to overuse his lidless stare far too often, his navigator house sent someone to " adjust his outlook on the matter"...party wakes up the next morning with a new navigator in the command throne and the old one chained to the bulkhead behind the throne with a burned out hole were his third eye used to be weeping for death.  

 

I let the player play the new navigator ( basically gave him the sheet back,minus a fate point) who seemed to never use his eye unless absolutely necessary :)

 

Typical RT :P

As the quote is posted out of context I won't judge you as I don't know how it all took place, but personally I would consider that as an abuse of a GMs powers. Additionally as a navigator, he is a noble so his torture and probably subsequent death by his own house seems somewhat unrealistic. But as I said I don't know the whole story.

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My rant?

 

FTL communications, whether GM or player, it still drives me crazy when someone says, "But what about...?"

 

[GM] The astropath will send that message off.  It might take days or weeks to get a reply.

 

Player agrees, then wants to add to the message 20 minutes later.

 

These messages need to be well thought out, covering as much ground as possible, and that applies to both players and GMs.  After all, it takes the Astropaths hours just to get in the right frame of mind to send the message in the first place.  GMs set the stage, though, so the onus is on them.

 

GMs out there, if you're listening, don't make up Astropathic communications on the fly unless you absolutely have to, and even then, ask your players for a 20 minute break while you brainstorm the issue.  Your players are going to have many questions.  The person sending that message might have thought of those questions ahead of time and preempted the characters' thoughts.  Add that to the message.

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I had a navigator that tended to overuse his lidless stare far too often, his navigator house sent someone to " adjust his outlook on the matter"...party wakes up the next morning with a new navigator in the command throne and the old one chained to the bulkhead behind the throne with a burned out hole were his third eye used to be weeping for death.  

 

I let the player play the new navigator ( basically gave him the sheet back,minus a fate point) who seemed to never use his eye unless absolutely necessary :)

 

Typical RT :P

As the quote is posted out of context I won't judge you as I don't know how it all took place, but personally I would consider that as an abuse of a GMs powers. Additionally as a navigator, he is a noble so his torture and probably subsequent death by his own house seems somewhat unrealistic. But as I said I don't know the whole story.

 

 

Personally I'd have done something similar.

 

Rather than having the Navigator taken away and replaced I would have had him given a gift.

 

The next time it was convenient the Navigator would find he had a message from his house which simply said. "Word of your many exploits has reached us and we feel you are deserving of a retainer that befits your performance."

 

Along with the message comes a very morose servant with an eyepatch over his forehead (or perhaps a servo skull with with a third eye hole). The servant's (or skull's) name is Final Warning.

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That I would approve of, I just think it is wrong to punish a character by outright killing them. Sure players die because of their actions, but don't just "you are struck by lightning, make a new character"

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Why wouldn't blatant / unresponsible use of the Third NAV Eye invoke some sort of corruption gain?

 

If a NAV just kills his own staff and crew doesn't that justify such gains?

 

OR OR - god forbid you apply some sort of "trial" to the NAV randomly (as thus not to become predictable) such as

 

Look Up "Astral Perception" in Shadowrun - as a GM I'd have no problem using THAT analog for play since all of this stems from Lovecraft anyway (horrors, chaos gods, old ones = really?)

 

Explain it away under the pretense - warp space "here" is biased against mortal actions

 

Like how once upon a time D&D used the concept of Wild MAGIC and the associated Wild Magic Zones...

 

But in short and simple - why not the call for Corruption Points?

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Depends on how you interpret CP, I suppose.

 

To some it represents a moral decay of the soul (in which case it would be justified), to others it's solely Warp-based corruption as a form of exposure to the raw stuff of Chaos (in which case it wouldn't).

 

Personally, I like to believe it's both and neither ... the first few CP also being possible to attain just by being amoral (representing the character losing their morality-based shield against Warp corruption), but at a certain threshold (5?) you do need active exposure to daemonic energy for more corruption. Because it doesn't really make sense to start spouting tentacles just because you're an a-hole (as that's a fairly regular thing in the Imperium!).

 

However, instead of Corruption, there's also Insanity as an alternative here ... :)

Edited by Lynata

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My rant?

 

FTL communications, whether GM or player, it still drives me crazy when someone says, "But what about...?"

 

[GM] The astropath will send that message off.  It might take days or weeks to get a reply.

 

Player agrees, then wants to add to the message 20 minutes later.

 

These messages need to be well thought out, covering as much ground as possible, and that applies to both players and GMs.  After all, it takes the Astropaths hours just to get in the right frame of mind to send the message in the first place.  GMs set the stage, though, so the onus is on them.

 

GMs out there, if you're listening, don't make up Astropathic communications on the fly unless you absolutely have to, and even then, ask your players for a 20 minute break while you brainstorm the issue.  Your players are going to have many questions.  The person sending that message might have thought of those questions ahead of time and preempted the characters' thoughts.  Add that to the message.

 

 

I STRONGLY agree with this. 

 

Rogue Trader, despite being my favorite RPG ever (no, really!), is not a perfect system...but one thing it does astoundingly well is capture the sense of being on the utter edge of the galaxy, and making it clear that help is very very very far off. 

 

It does this with the sheer time scale of Warp Travel (it's no Star Trek "Engage, we'll get there in 4 days for sure"). And it does this with the unpredictable, slow, crawling nature of astropathic communiques. 

 

In my opinion, if the PCs don't praise the God Emperor every time that they arrive safely from the Warp, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. If the PCs don't react to an astropathic message with elation and excitement at the new bevy of information from beyond their little sphere, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! 

 

...or, at least different.

WHICH IS WRONG! RAWR! 

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I STRONGLY agree with this. 

 

Rogue Trader, despite being my favorite RPG ever (no, really!), is not a perfect system...but one thing it does astoundingly well is capture the sense of being on the utter edge of the galaxy, and making it clear that help is very very very far off. 

 

It does this with the sheer time scale of Warp Travel (it's no Star Trek "Engage, we'll get there in 4 days for sure"). And it does this with the unpredictable, slow, crawling nature of astropathic communiques. 

 

In my opinion, if the PCs don't praise the God Emperor every time that they arrive safely from the Warp, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. If the PCs don't react to an astropathic message with elation and excitement at the new bevy of information from beyond their little sphere, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! 

 

...or, at least different.

WHICH IS WRONG! RAWR! 

 

 

Of course most RTs are to busy stalmping out their own personal empires to care about astropathic messages.

Also this being the 40k universe those can't contain much good news.

 

Message one: "please come back, chaos fleet inboud to our system."

Message two: "don't come back, chaos is awesome hail Slaanesh!"

Message three: (un-translated) "the angel sanguinius hugging a silver skeleton."

 

But yeah warptravel should be a bit dangerous and not routine.

And with time and space not exsisting in the warp means you could arive at your destination before you have left.

In one of the GW novels there's a fleet of ships making a series of warp jumps, and after the 3d jump they come out of warp to find one ship a burned out hulk, but they have to move on. But when they drop out of warp after the 4th jump that same ship is with them and fully functional.  

 

How do you even respond to that?

 

Navigator: "captain, should we hail them and tell them what we saw?"

Captain: "Naaah It would just freak them out."

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The problem with asking your player to make each astropathic message extremely carefully considered is that players are only gaming for a few hours a week, but Rogue Traders are living the life fulltime. It's a general problem with RPGs that PCs are always much worse at longterm planning because they must hammer out in 1 or 2 hours what their characters have days or weeks of travel to mull over, and really good at shortterm decision making because they have at least a few minutes to think about their next action while everyone else takes their turn compared to a character who's got about eight seconds to do the same and is also getting shot at while this happens. Asking players to take a similar amount of time as their characters to make longterm plans is just not sensible. The player has way less time to spend on this than the character does.

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Time is always a consideration, Lupa, but playing out an astropathic communique like an FTL radio just ruins the feel I think 40k deserves.  Every genre has its limiting factors, and leaving those out of a game changes the genre.  Since most of us sign up to play 40k, it's safe to assume we want 40k.  If I wanted Star Trek, I'd sign up there.

 

Hey, that's my rant.

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Of course most RTs are to busy stalmping out their own personal empires to care about astropathic messages.

 

Also this being the 40k universe those can't contain much good news.

 

Hey, that's why you need a wife and children back at port, so you can get letters about your kids going to school and...and I'm the only person who cares about that, am I?

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Of course most RTs are to busy stalmping out their own personal empires to care about astropathic messages.

 

Also this being the 40k universe those can't contain much good news.

 

Hey, that's why you need a wife and children back at port, so you can get letters about your kids going to school and...and I'm the only person who cares about that, am I?

 

 

You have a point, but Rogue traders see everything big. (Buy in bulk, it's cheaper)

This is how it would happen:

 

Astropath: My lord, your harem on our home planet has been captured by chaos forces.

RT: Slaanesh forces?

ASt. No m'lord.

RT: ****.

RT: Ah well ...Right, let's go find me a new harem!

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It still amazes me that the Imperium has lasted 10,000 years...what? I mean that. But seriously, on the point of communication, when your only method involves human antennae, possibly warp-garbled messages (what else might Tzeentch occupy Thursdays doing?), and time delays of ridiculous quantities...you might not even know where the person you want to reach is, or who is in the place you want to reach? You send a message to Hades Hive. Did it get there? Did Orks happen to already kill everyone, leaving no Astropaths to hear it? getting this message to McCragge, beseeching Marneus Calgar for aide would be wise, but the Tyranid Hive Fleet you don't know about might've drowned out your message in the Shadow.

 

I suppose astropaths make little different sense than any other FTL communications sci-fi series use (Star Trek uses subspace comm buoys, or something, and Star Wars used satellites anchored IN hyperspace, somehow), so I won't just whine, but it seems so odd that the Imperium can operate with such long delays in communication, decryption, and retransmission of ANYTHING they want to say. It might be that I have had the privilege of growing up in a society with fast communications (I post this, it immediately goes up, someone can immediately respond. I send an email, same things. With my cell phone, I can talk in real-time to anyone on Earth, for the most part ;) ), but it is hard for me to accept that the vast domains of the Imperium can stay even as interconnected and functional as they are when they have week-long lag, and their radio might suffer an aneurism, or summon a daemon, if the static gets too wanky. My less enlightened of 40k friends would have even more issue.

 

I suppose one good thing is that most of the other races are as flummoxed, so at least it isn't a staggering Human failing, only. I can imagine how the Eldar might cheat, and view the Nids much like the Zerg, with the Hive Mind perceiving all that it's drones each see, and updating components of the swarm as it chooses, but Orks? Tau? I don't know.

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its like the age of sail. When Columbus got to the Americas, he had no communication without actually sending a ship back on the three month journey to Spain with his message, hope it doesnt sink for any reason, hope the queen/king get and decide to reply, another 3 months back. 6 months with no response. plenty of time for his colony to be overrun, starve out, anything. Same goes for interstellar space now

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A good analogy. :)

 

And yeah, this is also why the Imperium looks like it does: feudal, with all those planetary governors being allowed to rule as they see fit. In a way, the Imperium of Man is less a single state, but rather a loose collection of colonies who are all obliged to send a tithe in order to maintain the faintest attempt of organised resistance against the many enemies mankind has to face, quite like in the medieval times.

 

This is why rescue fleets sent to help a besieged planet may arrive a hundred years too late, or why the order of law is a local thing rather than Imperium-wide, or why religion in the Imperium may differ depending on the planet you look at, why the only uniform item in the Imperial Guard is the (or rather, any type of) lasgun ... the list goes on. The Tau Empire itself exists only because the Imperium is generally incapable of adapting to changing circumstances without a massive delay.

 

Only the smallest, most disciplinary committed organisations even have a chance at preserving uniformity, and whenever a fast response to a threat is needed, it has to come from armies who are either already waiting for such an emergency, or who are raised in the direct vicinity of the cause.

 

Just one of the things that make the setting fairly unique.

 

That being said, I think even worse than communication and transportation is the crazy levels of organisation that would be required to maintain an understanding of what's going on. Going by GW's original material, an Imperial Guard regiment can be mobilised and deployed on the target world within about a month's time - but with a million planets, and thousands of wars to keep track of simultaneously ... think about how many layers of bureaucracy it takes, and how easy various facts and news may slip through the net. With so many messages pouring in, entire worlds populated by millions of human beings are treated just like tickets in some sort of customer support system handled by Adeptus Administratum Gamemasters.

 

"Hey, Scribe Jonas, your count is down 20% this week. See that you take care of a couple more wars in the next few days or you won't have a chance at that rations raise we talked about."

Edited by Lynata

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I agree with what Cornwallis and Lynata put forward.

 

For what it's worth, in my own interpretation of the setting, the Imperium tends to be much more like a distant ideal than a concrete presence. It is the idea of the manifest destiny of mankind to rule the galaxy. It is the concept invoked when the worlds of a sector are trying to rally for mutual defense. It is also, of course, the idea of unity through worship of the Emperor.

 

In the way I present the setting in my games, the rare occasions when the Imperium actually becomes a solid, tangible thing, it is almost always devastating and a sign things are very, very bad. If you're dealing with a threat on a scale that local forces cannot handle it, then you're past worrying about whether a particular world is actually going to survive. You're at the point of just trying to keep humans from being wiped from an entire region.

 

Crusade fleets and Space Marines don't come around to check and make sure you're doing okay, basically. By the time they're sent, you are indeed more than likely already dead. Or, y'know, worse. Because 40k. :)

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This is why rescue fleets sent to help a besieged planet may arrive a hundred years too late, or why the order of law is a local thing rather than Imperium-wide, or why religion in the Imperium may differ depending on the planet you look at, why the only uniform item in the Imperial Guard is the (or rather, any type of) lasgun ... the list goes on. The Tau Empire itself exists only because the Imperium is generally incapable of adapting to changing circumstances without a massive delay.

The Tau (continue to) exist because the Tyrannids showed up before the Imperium got around to properly finishing the Tau off, though the Imperium had started the process. And the Imperium then, quite reasonably, decided that the Tyrannids were a somewhat higher priority than a minor xenos pocket empire, of which there are no doubt hundreds at any given time, and just like (probably) thousands crushed by the Imperium in the past.

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actualy its worse than that.

 

This is what happened:

 

1. Imperial scouts find world populated by blueskinned xenos in the blackpowder stage of technological advancement.

2. Fleet of colonist ships is launched to wipe out the blueskins and colonise the planet.

3. Entire fleet is lost in the warp.

4. Imperium forgot about the whole thing.

5. Centuries later some clerk stumbles across the orignal scout's recomendations for colonisation.

6. New fleet is launched.

7. and encounters the Tau empire with technology that's more advanced than that of the Imperium.

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It still amazes me that the Imperium has lasted 10,000 years...what? I mean that. But seriously, on the point of communication, when your only method involves human antennae, possibly warp-garbled messages (what else might Tzeentch occupy Thursdays doing?), and time delays of ridiculous quantities...you might not even know where the person you want to reach is, or who is in the place you want to reach? You send a message to Hades Hive. Did it get there? Did Orks happen to already kill everyone, leaving no Astropaths to hear it? getting this message to McCragge, beseeching Marneus Calgar for aide would be wise, but the Tyranid Hive Fleet you don't know about might've drowned out your message in the Shadow.

[snip]

I suppose one good thing is that most of the other races are as flummoxed, so at least it isn't a staggering Human failing, only. I can imagine how the Eldar might cheat, and view the Nids much like the Zerg, with the Hive Mind perceiving all that it's drones each see, and updating components of the swarm as it chooses, but Orks? Tau? I don't know.

I have been thinking about Ork communications as part of prepping for my all Ork game and my conclusion (so far) has been that Orks essentially don't communicate over long distances. They don't care to maintain a network of Weirdboyz in the same way the Imperium maintains the astropathic network so Orkish communication is generally within the same system.

This means Ork colonies, ships and fleets are generally entirely independant and don't communicate with each other. However as Orks are capable of co-ordinating large scale invasions when under the influnce of a Waaaugh! there must be something more to them.

In my mind when enough Orks get into a big enough fight it puts out a call that can be felt by other Orks no matter how far away. Then the Orks feeling the call all begin to act in concert (or as close to acting in concert as Orks can) and make their way to the fight. As the warp is a reflection of the local thoughts and minds so many Orkish minds concentrating on one point tends to alter the flows of the warp so their ships all have a tendency to arrive in batches.

In game terms when an Orkish Rogue Trader is engaging in a military objective every x points towards that objective spreads the call out another system.

Edited by WeedyGrot

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Crusade fleets and Space Marines don't come around to check and make sure you're doing okay, basically. By the time they're sent, you are indeed more than likely already dead. Or, y'know, worse. Because 40k.  :)

 

Ironically, in GW's version of the setting, Space Marines respond more quickly than the Imperial Guard - they're like the firefighters of the Imperium, "first responders" who already have one or more companies of troops "spaceborne" on attack cruisers just waiting for a distress call. The Guard gets mobilised when the threat is too much to handle with a few dozen or a few hundred Astartes.

 

The last time this was explained in full detail was waaay back during 2nd edition, though. I have a feeling it hasn't been described in more recent times as it makes the Astartes feel less important than the Guard, which is a notion the studio may wish to avoid, even if it makes perfect sense due to the Marines' relative rarity.

 

I fully agree with the rest of your post, though, and in a way the above only serves to strengthen your basic argument further in regards to how critical it is for Planetary Defence Forces to hold the ground!

 

4. Imperium forgot about the whole thing.

 

Thanks, that is exactly what I was referring to. ;)

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