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venkelos

Half-Breeds - The "Human" Factor

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Okay, so apologies ahead of time, but this one is going to go off into what some might deem "stupid territory", one of those "why do we care?" moments, possibly. That said:

 

Warhammer 40,000 has a lot of rich stuff in it, and it has a lot of stuff that it blatantly stole from other people. One of the things that is usually missing, barring one weird Space Marine we'd rather not talk about, is half-breeds. Now, science fiction is rife with the concept, so it isn't new, and many fantasy stories have it, too, but the point of this thread is NOT actually "can a human and a _________ breed?" I can give numerous answers saying "of course they can", and most are hearsay, or only loosely based on provable things, often examples from other science fiction/fantasy sources, who also just said "yes, because they can." For the premises of what I want out of this, the assumption is yes, it may be possible. Star Trek would have me believe that Humans can mate with Vulcans (Spock), Romulans (Sela), Klingons (several), and all of these grew up on different worlds, with different genomes (seeded by Odo's people eons before, but the Old Ones could've seeded Holy Terra, or the Necrons could have, off something they caught, I don't know. Tolkien says that Humans and Elves can mate. It's often the fictional ability of a human, like Captain James T. Kirk, to be able to go off, into the vast, and mate with various alien babes. Star Wars is as guilty, pre EU-death, and there are many others. Sometimes, it's the "dream" that gets certain individuals to go out into space, at all.

 

Blah, blah, blah, the point is, I am actually trying to figure out what benefits there might be. Here comes a bit of the story. Aedan Qel-Drake has an Eldar aboard his ship, for the time being, helping with an issue I invented in my verse, named Cendaseiâ Cirdanvae. Some things happen, she loses a bet, and some other things happen. In the end, it comes to be that she has a child, and since she hadn't been with an Eldar male in quite some time (their physicians had actually thought she was probably sterile, so another reason she didn't have to expect this), there's no other option. Whether Isha had something to do with it (possibly, I haven't decided), or not, there is now an infant crossbreed, named Yévalinda. I full well know how the Eldar are likely to react, when she starts growing up on post-Hive Fleet Iyanden, and the Imperium response, if/when it ever comes to light would be catastrophic, but that's also not entirely the point here.

 

The point here is, I'm wondering what "Human" advantages the young girl might gain. Let's be honest, humans suck, in many of these works. We are often the dumbest, slowest, weakest, or something; at the very least, we are often "the average", sort of a jack of all trades, great at none scenario. If the Imperium wasn't so xenophobic, the advantages of psychic power, long life, vital health, and super agility would all be viewed as wonderful improvements to the lumbering, clumsy human form they espouse to see as holy, while sacrificing millions in droves. The Eldar, on the other hand, are likely to view this as a downgrade to an Eldar. What benefits, though, might there be? The Tyranids ate Orks for durability and breeding speed, and the Eldar for psychic strength. Did they merely eat Humans "just to get us out of the way", or purely as protein? What good things could the Human half bring to the table, where the Space Elf is lacking? Stronger soul? The Emperor's protection against Chaos? Anything? In fantasy, it would be a hardier form, probably, but the Eldar don't seem to be the "+2 Dex, -4 Con" elves other franchises often use (I had to play Pathfinder to have Elves who weren't made of glass), being at least as hardy and strong as humans, and there aren't really any social advantages, with the Imperium being SO closed-minded about anyone else, which is part of why she is likely to grow up on Iyanden, being shunned by her sneering Eldar kin. My idea isn't going to go away in my little story, but I was wondering if there would be any advantage, as opposed to just being "a human that got some upgrades", and/or "an Eldar caveman"?

 

Any thoughts, if you can get through all this ridiculous stuff, and care to share, would be much appreciated. Thank you.

 

 

As an extra pointless, how powerful might you rate the AdMech, compared to the Inquisition? If it came to it, one MIGHT be able to find a Genetor who would be very interested to get to see such a hybrid, and you might be able to convince yourself, at least at first, that this research won't be too invasive, or traumatizing (read fatal). Could they hold back the Ordo Xenos, however, when said Inquisitor decides to purge the alien all over the place, before tearing down an entire Rogue Trader Dynasty, and butchering everyone associated with it? Obviously, the bulk plan is to grow up on Iyanden, where the Eldar won't be happy, but I can make a case that even this "Eldar" life is one they can't afford to kill outright, though it won't be fun, but if the Inquisition found out, say when she was brought to Footfall for a visit, could ANYTHING stop them? Rogue Traders are powers in their own right, but they've been toppled for much less "heresy" before this.

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I think human DNA would give Yévalinda all the benefits of mental retardation and gross disfigurement, being a disgusting interbred mutant who is a disgrace to both her races. She would also have a small level of psychic power as an Eldar.

 

The AdMech is way more powerful than the Inquisition in number of troops, but a fight between AdMech and Inquisition would quickly turn into Admech vs. Imperium if Inquisition had time to rally support and call in favors. That's debatable too since the AdMech is embedded in every other imperial branch to some extent. How does one fight the AdMech when all your stuff stops working?

Edited by Utherix

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The only benefit I can think of for an Eldar human crossbreed would be a shorter gestation period and shorter period of time until adulthood.

 

Statwise I would assume the child to be inferior to an Eldar in every way but they wouldn't take 150 years to become a teenager.

 

Also I quite like this perspective on how other races might view humans:
http://cheezburger.com/8278903296

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The only benefit I can think of for an Eldar human crossbreed would be a shorter gestation period and shorter period of time until adulthood.

 

Statwise I would assume the child to be inferior to an Eldar in every way but they wouldn't take 150 years to become a teenager.

 

Also I quite like this perspective on how other races might view humans:

http://cheezburger.com/8278903296

An interesting read. My only complaint with it is, in my opinion, many of the alien races we have fabricated ARE superior to us, either to scare us, the fear factor, or because, almost no matter who you are, we all seem to like the underdog, where even the Little Mac of the world, the Joe Blows, and other "I wasn't born the best of this, graced by the touch of God!" people can, with effort, surpass the worst of what we find. The Rebels can beat the Empire, with all of its troops, materiel, and evil powers with an army of teddy bears, and  a few squadrons of snub fighters. But, looking at those aliens, they are all better, at least at something, and probably several somethings. It'll remain to be seen, if we ever encounter an alien race as advanced, or more so, than ourselves, if any of those "Humans will look better when they STILL win" cues.

 

As for how Lyn will develop, I'm sadly going to favor her Eldar heritage, both because it is rather superior, physically, and because I will probably deem that Eldar DNA, being more complicated and structured, having been engineered, is more dominant. In Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan, his son shows no degeneration, compared to the rest's modified standard, for having a human baseline mother. It's sort of a cop out, I suppose, bu it happens. Maybe I'll make up something for her "human advantage", like how her muted soul light, compared to a pure-blood Eldar, might hide her better from the forces of Chaos. Maybe she won't even need a spirit stone. Then again, when humans die, they just disappear, forever, so maybe that's not a great advantage, either. It'll take some thinking, but if my plotting is as plodding as the GW material I'm butchering, I don't need to rush past the 999.M41 mark, either, so she could be "just a baby" for a long time. Thank you, of course, for your thoughts, everyone. ;)

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Another possibility is that the Eldar gestation is more complex than humans realize and the donor DNA provided by a non Eldar is simply broken down and reassembled to something more acceptable.

 

After all there is a wealth of genetic information available so perhaps instead of one sperm fertilizing one egg the best available genetic characteristics are taken from all available sources and then reconstituted in a way that allows the Eldar parent to actually create a child. It sounds a little genestealer-esk (what with the literal stealing of genes and all) but it doesn't have to be a biological process. Perhaps as a dying race the Eldar all have implanted devices that filter and purify genetic material to enable propagation when that wouldn't normally be possible. The reason it doesn't happen more often is that Eldar find it so very distasteful.

 

I'd probably make gestation take longer than normal in those cases because more work has to be done but that way Lyn can effectively be 99.99% Eldar with little to know human characteristics but her upbringing could include significantly more human ideology.

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This is a topic similar to "female Space Marines" - so my opinion about it will be the same. It's not my cup of tea, but I also don't see why someone else should not have their fun with such an idea. 40k is, after all, a very "personal" thing, given that the many contradictions in the official material force us to come up with our own headcanon. As such, I'll try to throw in my thoughts about the questions posed, based on the assumption that crossbreeds can happen, but otherwise using GW's studio material to address the points in detail:
 
First off, the advantages of crossbreeds. Yes, it is true that alien species are often said to be superior in some area compared to humans, but at the same time it seems to be an age-old cliché that this superiority is extremely focused and that humans are unique in that they are "only" average there, which does kind of make them jacks-of-all-trades just as you pointed out. However, this can easily be seen as an advantage all in its own right:
 
Compared to the eldar, humans may not be as quick, but they are also better able to adapt and improvise, probably a result of their quicker lifespans as opposed to a species that is used to conform to strict ceremonies and tradition not just as a way of culture, but also due to their long lives possibly rendering them too thoughtful and too contemplating and too fixated on perfection, when something "quick and dirty" would be better for a situation that requires thinking outside the box.
 
This would best be represented by Skills and roleplaying, though. If we're talking just Characteristics bonuses, then I would point to the eldar being quicker than humans, but humans being tougher than eldar. A crossbreed could thus fall in-between these two differences, being slightly quicker and weaker than the average human, but slightly slower and tougher than the average eldar.
 
Her soul would likely be weaker than an eldar's, though. As the Eldar Codex points out, human souls simply disintegrate in the Warp, whereas only an eldar's will persist (with the risk of being eaten by a gruedaemon). Her soul would probably share the fate of her human parent, but at the same time she might make a better psyker than most humans, having a natural aptitude here.
 
tl;dr
 
Character Generation in comparison to baseline humans:
  • +30 Agility (instead of 25)
  • +20 Toughness (instead of 25)
  • +20 Strength (instead of 25)
  • Pick either Catfall, Lightning Reflexes, or Dark Sight
 
As for the AdMech question, I think it is important to keep in mind that it is just an organisation rather than a single entity, and one which had already been split asunder in a civil war before. A single Genetor would certainly not have the backing of their entire faction when the stakes are this high, and would be swiftly made a sacrificial lamb to preserve the peace - as was the case with Hexun Lurd in the aftermath of the Virenus Gambit.
 
The Inquisition has very little in the form of own troops and ships, but its theoretically unlimited authority gives it command of any and all forces within the Imperium, from lowly PDF troopers to Space Marine Chapters to Titan Legions. How much such an incident could escalate depends entirely on the Inquisitor in question, whether they are opposed by other Inquisitors, and how the Fabricator General and the rest of the AdMech would think of this and the value of their troublesome colleague.
 
At the same time, the Inquisition is not a uniform body either, and much like Ephrael Stern was only hunted by a single Inquisitor with a personal vendetta against her, so could your crossbreed only hunted by a single Inquisitor. Said Inquisitor may have arranged for her to be wanted across Imperial space, but I'm going to assume that she would not openly travel as a non-human anyways. Other than that, his or her resources in regards to a capture are pretty limited, because as large as the Imperium is, its military is limited and excessive requisition will summon intervention from other Inquisitors. So much like with Ephrael Stern, you could make this a very personal thing between an elite team of crack operatives versus the cunning of your RT. The trick is to keep on running, for as small as this team is: if they find you, they would have a valid reason to summon the full might of the Imperium, and then it'd only be a question of days until there's an Imperial Navy boarding party, a Deathwatch Kill-Team or a Sororitas Purity Control Mission knocking on your ship's door.
 
Easily material for some adventure!

 

That's debatable too since the AdMech is embedded in every other imperial branch to some extent. How does one fight the AdMech when all your stuff stops working?

 

Shoot the overseer, ask their immediate subordinate where their loyalties lie.

 

600px-Comissar_Promotions.jpg

 

The AdMech is rather vulnerable especially because it is so deeply intertwined with the rest of the IoM by now.

Edited by Lynata

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As for how Lyn will develop, I'm sadly going to favor her Eldar heritage, both because it is rather superior, physically, and because I will probably deem that Eldar DNA, being more complicated and structured, having been engineered, is more dominant. 

 

I very much like Lyns, so I will simply add this little tidbit - there are suggestions in some of the lore that humans, or at least modern humans, are also engineered - and likely by the same Old Ones.  (Ancient Aliens anyone?) This theory suggests that humanity may have been designed as an attempt to strike a balance between the strengths of Orks and Eldar.  Of course, this same theory puts out that humanity may have been, at least in part, designed to be a test bed for a superior combat form (Emperor/Primarchs/Space Marines) which proved to be highly effective, until it was discovered that such individual power gathered so quickly made them weak to Warp corruption.

 

There is also relatively little to suggest that Eldar are more powerful psykers then humans.  (Indeed we see many exceptionally powerful human psykers) Rather, the Eldar are more reliable psykers, able to use the warp in such ways that they can be counted on for routine and daily occurrence.  Couple this with the fact that the baseline psychic potential of any Eldar is well above the baseline psychic potential of humans, and you generate a psychically gifted race that still doesn't produce the planet-destroying psychic apocalypse that can occur from an Alpha+ human psyker.  

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Rather, the Eldar are more reliable psykers, able to use the warp in such ways that they can be counted on for routine and daily occurrence.  Couple this with the fact that the baseline psychic potential of any Eldar is well above the baseline psychic potential of humans, and you generate a psychically gifted race that still doesn't produce the planet-destroying psychic apocalypse that can occur from an Alpha+ human psyker.  

 

That's a good point. Perhaps OP could draw inspiration from Black Crusade here, using the "safer casting" rules for Space Marine Librarians?
 
One thing I also liked about GW's d100 Inquisitor game is how it used various different "dice formats" to create more diversity between Characteristics ranges, not just slapping a +X on it (and thereby increasing not just the minimum but also the maximum), but often using different dice to adjust the range only in one direction. For example, this is how you could generate Willpower:
 
Human standard: 2d10+25 -> 27-45
Eldar Crossbreed: 1d10+35 -> 36-45
 
Same maximum, but a much higher average starting value.
Edited by Lynata

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I'm not a fan of an Eldar-human hybrid either but think of it like an academic exercise. Venkelos isn't a player asking to play a hybrid in your game or even suggesting that a hybrid has to be remotely possible in your version of 40K. He's a GM running his own version of 40K asking for help generating ideas with a concept he's already implemented.

 

You can choose to come up with some ideas that might help or you can ignore the thread entirely as participation isn't mandatory.

 

While I wouldn't have a hybrid* in my game I think the idea Lynata suggests of the hybrid having a higher baseline but no actual advantage over a human is a fairly good one.

 

*except genestealer hybrids.

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Yep, sorry to have offended your 40K sensibilities, Traejun; I rather thought I'd snag somebody that way, when I posted this little topic.

 

In all truth, I doubt I'd want one in my game, either, if for no other reason, no certainty of how the mechanics of it would work, thus why I asked, but if Tolkien, D&D, and the Tales Series have shown me anything, it doesn't matter why they shouldn't be able to exist, or how socially they shouldn't exist, half-elves DO exist, and 40K has no more convinced me than them, in the case of a unique circumstance. They wasted (my opinion) an entire book on letting evil, BDSM murder elves be playable on my ship, so I'm not feeling too off. All that said, I'd not probably screw one of my players by allowing it, either, simply because I see the fluff as damning them, and it's fluff I support, so I'd use it. If this story did continue far enough, it acknowledges that this incident could destroy Qel-Drake, tear down his entire dynasty, get everyone he's associated with (sister, supporters, his Maidens) burned, so I'm not entirely ignoring the theme of 40K, just having yet another character in that setting see how long a dance he can do, and how much damage control e can manage. Being way out there, in the Expanse, helps, but only so much.

 

See, the truth is, with this, and many other questions I ask, I'm not even a GM looking for this stuff. These are all my world-building/story-making ideas, and I hope to garner ideas, tags, criticism, and help with them from other people who know either the setting, the system, or both better than I might. My friends all disperse in summer, and they aren't fond of some tenets of 40K, those that know any of them, but the joy of GMing in a college games club is that every so often, the kids all change, so maybe someday, they will want to play. To that end, I have whole little chunks of stuff I could include in it, from Aedan Qel-Drake, Isabella Artymus, Vanessa Rythbum,and Edric Korvallus, to the Eldar-assisted Tau insurrection into the Expanse, and numerous other little things I've asked other folks about, over the time I've been here. I sometimes don't plan ahead enough, and then my games flop, as I struggle to throw in something, and it fails. In RT, I'm doing various other world-building bits I didn't for PF, D&D, or Star Wars.

 

As a side bit, while I know it is the fluff, I don't want to watch the Eldar just disappear, and be arrogant mega*icks the entire way out. Since the story isn't in any danger of moving past the 999.M41 marker, because GW realized what they may have done to Fantasy, I know that the Eldar will never truly get to that point, but from fluff, I want them to have a more meaningful contribution to the end than "we were there, we knew what was up, we said and did nothing, because no one else did, for us." If the Imperium, even chunks of it, could gain stuff from the Eldar, and maybe the Tau, they could MAYBE actually win, having weaponry superior to their dark mirror enemies, psykers trained to less likely succumb, a "safe" path across the universe that THEY have the military strength to clear parts of, and on. Would the Eldar want it to be us? No, probably not, but there aren't many options, and a splinter group is checking the Tau, in my verse, right now. While I know it won't happen, grimdark and all, I like to implement little bits of hope here and there. Besides, even prisoner, Isha needed something to do, and the Eldar aren't the most lively race, as is.

 

If the Space Marines could tolerate one (Matt Ward writing?), my fluff will tolerate one much less damaging, since she's even outside the Imperium, and could spend much to all her time on Iyanden, or Footfall, where the Imperium has no clue. Might wonder if she could be viable for Sanctioned Xenos. If they thought she was "just an Eldar", I don't see how it would be any different than an Ork, a Kroot, or what have you, and how her master treats her is up to them; Qel-Drake just wouldn't be the usual ****** I'd expect one who "owns" a xenos might be.

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One benefit nobody seems to mention is human fertility! The Eldar are a dying race! If crossbreeding with humans is possible, then breeding said half-eldar back with a true Eldar would likely result in a true Eldar birth with a much higher birth rate. For the Eldar this would be a godsend! In fact, Eldar farseers might even encourage such if it meant double or triple digit population growth! Of course the imperium would hate that too!

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In fact, Eldar farseers might even encourage such if it meant double or triple digit population growth!

 

Hah - no, I believe they would be far too proud to accept such "abominations" with human DNA in their genes. After all, as soon as you introduce human genes into the bloodline, it would be forever changed and likely never, ever be able to be "100% eldar" again. In their pride, I think the Craftworld eldar would reject any such approach as too extreme, stoically maintaining that they can survive without such "corruption". After all, holding on to tradition is one of the primary themes of Craftworld culture, as "all they have left".

 

However ... some of the so-called Exodite communities could be pragmatic enough to adopt and support just such a mindset, though I'd still expect some internal debate over the topic.

Edited by Lynata

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