Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Cornwallis

PC mutants in social situations

Recommended Posts

I've got a Navigator whose unnaturally tall, oddly jointed limbs, an unnerving aura, and if you follow house rules forum I'll soon have an explorator with wings. I believe theres another mutant in the group but I dont remember, because of my following question:

 

how do you handle mutant PCs in normal social enviroments? for the most part when it was just the navigator I mostly hand waved over it and let every assume it was just because of being a Navigator, but I dont think thats good enough most of the time, even more so when its NOT just the navigator. so how often do you throw in panic, distress, anything from imperials to mutants who are more than just scum?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't actually had that problem in my game yet, as the only mutant in my game is an Explorator who lucked out and got hideous strength (don't ask about his melee damage). Well, between all the mecha-dendrites, the flesh is weak, machinator arrays, maglev stuff, and other implants I figure it's probably not even easily evident that some of his extra strength comes from a mutation. I figure he's already at "body horror" levels of modification. And I figure the Ad Mech is probably more lenient, or at least used to, mutation in their tech priests who muck about with exotic radiations and such on a regular basis.

Edited by Spatulaodoom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's mostly small stuff really.  Like another noble / high ranking / VIP person ignoring the mutant character and only conversing with the human looking ones.  Or lowly crew decks muttering prays when they walk by, going out of their way to avoid them, blaming them for their problems, etc etc.  The big things are usually the modifiers in certain settings, with the tidbits of the above thrown in (like your RT brings the mutant PC to a meet with the planetary governor, who sees it as a insult).

 

As for panic and distress....  well, when the s*** starts to hit the fan, and the crew are about to mutiny, they can initially start blaming the mutant PC's first for their troubles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, for a more serious answer ...

 

The exact result should obviously rely on the individual mutant, meaning how strong/visible/disfiguring their mutations are, and whether they make them look more dangerous or just moor pitiful. The former could see guards stiffen, hands moving closer to their weapons. The latter might cause barely hidden sounds of disgust or amusement to be heard, quite comparable to visitors of a freakshow.

 

I would certainly expect any negative reaction towards the mutants to also be added to the Rogue Trader's reputation, though. She or he will be known as "the one who brought these hideous monsters into the court", and may subsequently have to deal with the fallout of such a blunder in etiquette. People less willing to talk to them, demanding higher prices for their services, that sort of stuff. On some premises, they may be flat-out refused to enter as long as they bring "that thing" with them.

 

d37abedf8281160fec24f321b15f0af56d996607

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they're Navis Nobilite with only minor mutations, they're given the nice-nasty treatment by most. If they're a Navigator that is a hideous mutant abomination, then revulsion and avoidance whenever possible.

 

Anyone else with an obvious mutation will be treated with outright contempt at best, and hunted down for purging at worst.

 

It hasn't come up with anyone but our Navigator yet, but I'm excited for it to happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I always saw it as most people will not speak to your Astropath, I handled it as people refusing to speak to "it" or only doing so reluctantly, often speaking more slowly so "it understands what I'm saying".

The Navigator is also creepy, but its a navigator. So long as he doesn't go full on Dune fish-slug, he will be spoken to....again, reluctantly at best.

Any other PC with mutations will be given hard squints and commoners may not want to speak to them at all, or be fearful of them and someone more zealous may try to set them on fire.

That's always just how I've seen it though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple books you might want to read (I will have to get the titles) but high society deals with Navigators differently then "normal" mutants, Navigator houses are courted by nobility, investors, etc., considering Navigators are the surefire way to operate through the warp.  Navigators are unique, special and feared (not just because of some odd mutation) and are actually treated with a great deal of respect.  The same applies to Astropaths, though maybe not through nobility, they are the life blood of the Imperium (literally in the case of the Emperor) and communications with other worlds, sectors, segmentums, etc. are impossible without these vital people.  Keeping that in mind, people will be a little cautious around them because of how the Imperium brands psykers, but these are "ok" psykers.

 

The common man will be scared/nervous/uncomfortable around these two but rarely will act hostile.

 

A Mutant PC with obvious mutations is likely going to be met with open hostility, even on planets that utilize mutant indentured/slave labor force.  Even human prisoners/slaves are treated (barely) better than mutants.  So encountering them with Rogue Traders could cause some conflict (interaction penalties).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were some interesting bits about Navigators in GW's Inquisitor game:

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20080415200354/http://es.games-workshop.com/especialista/inquisitor/bestiario/fleet.html

 

Excerpt:

"Then, as now, most people shunned Navigators. With their strange three-eyed appearance, few would have dealings with them, and many in positions of power were jealous of their privileged status. Superstition and fear surrounds them, as it does all other mutants."

 

As far as Astropaths go, I'm with filliman. They are essentially treated as "pets" living in a gilded cage, so most people likely won't feel very inclined to chat them up. Indeed, many might just ignore them entirely due to their role as "inventory", akin to a living telephone.

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One book for navigators and how they are treated can be found in Wolfblade by William King.  Keep in mind, that Rogue Traders do not often interact with the common man, but more often with officials, nobility, etc.  Sure the common man is going to be fearful of the Navigator, but even the Inquisition is hesitant to mess with the Navigator Houses.  Wolfblade really shows a lot about high society and Navigators.  The Inquisition War series is another one.

 

I have to disagree with people interpretation of Astropaths.  The books from the Horus Heresy series paints a respected, noble light around the Astropaths.  Keep in mind that Astropaths are kept from the common man and are usually around governmental officials and such (Rogue Traders), you wont find Astropaths outside of official capacity and not necessarily on every ship.  However, Sanctioned Pyskers are feared and often met with fear and loathing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh, well .. the Horus Heresy novels not only contradict GW's own material, they also take part 10,000 years earlier in a much more enlightened Imperium. But since you mentioned the Inquisition War series .. ironically that's exactly where I got that "gilded cage" analogy from, if you remember that Astropath from Stalinvast. You know, that old lady with the cat.

 

But in the end, there is no "correct" answer anyways. The novels in particular keep churning out conflicting information on how things work, so it all comes down to us cherrypicking what we like most.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think imperial aristos view navigators as mutants. They are important people coming from powerfull houses and they have breeding and conections. Nothing like that rabble that gets round up for the work gangs in the underhive.

You know that if we didn't need them we would drag them into the deepest hole we possibly could and throw them in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you kidding? If i was an imperial noble I'd have an entire cult of (ex naviagtor) assassins called "The Third Eye" going around killing those who get in my way. And have them leave creepy messages scrawled on the walls to scare my oponents.

 

"The eyes are open"

 

"He sees you."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you kidding? If i was an imperial noble I'd have an entire cult of (ex naviagtor) assassins called "The Third Eye" going around killing those who get in my way. And have them leave creepy messages scrawled on the walls to scare my oponents.

 

"The eyes are open"

 

"He sees you."

Sir, have a cookie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way I've always read it was that Navigators and Astropaths aren't considered psykers and mutants really, though they are. Simply because they are so incredibly important to the daily function of the Imperium, they are kind of in their own class. Are they creepy? Yes. Do they still make people uncomfortable? Yes. Despite this, I see them being treated with a degree of respect similar to that of other nobles, though they are living examples of GPS and telephones. YMMV, but the fluff has always presented them as a separate class of mutant/psyker, and one that is given much more power within society. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YMMV, but the fluff has always presented them as a separate class of mutant/psyker, and one that is given much more power within society. 

 

Depends on the fluff! Although I agree with the "separate type of mutant" wording.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Astropaths and Navigators are as bad as everyone else, in the eyes of most of the Imperium, in my take of the fluff, except that they are necessary for its future. Especially people whose lives in no way get to "leave the planet, explore the galaxy" will NEVERlook at a Navigator, especially an advanced one, and not cry, faint, make the sign of the Aquilla, and just run away. If you ever read Dune, this is part of why the Navigators are NEVER seen by the people; they are mysteries, brought aboard the highliners in secret, and no one has ever seen one. That Paul insists later that one is stationed on the surface of Arrakis is tantamount to slapping the Guild, and Edric, in the face, but the Emperor can do that. In 40k, MOST Navigators don't leave their towers much, because they make the crews uncomfortable; we NEED them, but we **** our souls for letting them live. Important Navigators get around this, and the Scions, if you read it, are specifically chosen because they are NOT heavily mutated, and likely a bit more resistant to mutation; they might not grow in power as much, as a result, but they can be around people, and those people won't hurl.

 

I see Astropaths in much the same way. They are necessary, so tolerated, but they dress in obvious ways, most people avoid them, and they have a penchant for NOT doing so much with their psychic powers, so they aren't as creepy. Also, if people know that the Astropaths have been touched by the Emperor, then they might let a certain amount of "he's a monster!" slide, as the Emperor has vouched for this one.

 

I see them both as wonderful examples of how people work; if we dodn't need them, we'd kill them, but we DO need them, so they will be barely tolerated, until they slip up, and then we WILL kill them. Let not your eyes fall away from these ones, for they must at all times be watched. "Fear the mutant, Burn the witch." Many real life people would get rid of people they don't like, especially "useless" ones, if a stronger gov't didn't say they couldn't. As is, you accept others are watching them, waiting to kill them, and hope your life never swerves into needing to interact with them. Opinion cannon expended ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Navigators are mutants. Sanctioned, vitally necessary, extraordinarily wealthy mutants. The circles they normally operate in understand all of the above.

 

Astropaths are sanctioned and a bit less obviously mutated. They still need to keep a respectable face because they're more expendable than navigators.

 

But as always in 40k, "it depends" can be tacked on afterwards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...