Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
hellebore2

Too much Corruption/Insanity in the Radical's Handbook?

Recommended Posts

Looking through all the options, alternate ranks, background packages etc, one thing struck me. Almost everything gives out corruption and it generally does so by the bucketful.

Considering that it's not very hard to get corruption or insanity if the game has any involvement with daemons or the warp (I've got players that have ~15 corruption and 20 insanity and they haven't seen a daemon in 25 sessions) it seems that there is a rather subtle bias in the book that being a radical NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER works, EVER.

I find that very unfortunate. It seems like a bit of a waste really, like writing a whole supplement about playing suicidally terminal characters who are guaranteed to die in a set amount of time. There just doesn't seem to be any way out, if you become a radical and use radical abilities you will rack up the corruption in no time.

 

An example is the Heretek Savant. Every time they use their special abilities, which are pretty much the core of the character concept, they get 1D5 insanity. So by simply playing the character they turn into insane and unplayable characters in ~30 sessions. And alot of them can get sorcery, which gives corruption out by the handful, every time you use a power in fact.

If being a radical truly drove you to destruction, if it was ultimately always fruitless, why do it? It seems self destructive and whilst the Oblationists are like that, not all of them are.

Not only that, but what of the chaos sorcerers? The truly nasty ones? You implode at 100 corruption. If chaos sorcerers became as unusable as player characters at 100 corruption they would never reach the heights they do.

So my questions are:

If corruption happens all the time being a radical, why ever become one? Corruption is never a good thing.

Should you really accrue corruption that quickly if you become removed from play at 100 CPs?

If you do accrue corruption that quicky shouldn't you be able to play on past 100 CPs? What about all the completely corrupted people in the galaxy? They don't just die when they reach 100 CPs.

 

The book is really nice and i'm enjoying reading it, but it seems to me that it (imo) unfairly paints radicalism in a unanimously negative light by ensuring anything that isn't 'in the name of the emperor' garners corruption and insanity. That is running dangerously close to objective morality, rather than the supposedly subjective morality that 40k is built on. If being a radical guarantees corruption then it's objectively saying that anything not 'puritan' is bad, because corruption is objectively a bad thing.

It isn't really shades of grey if one shade of morality garners inworld physical and mental degradation is it.

 

I keep expecting to read in the intro 'this book is for people who wish to play bad inquisitorial acolytes, where they strive to become corrupt in mind and body. If you don't wish to eventually decay into madness and oblivion stay true to the emperor's holy light.'

One wonders how those alien races that don't worship the emperor and don't follow the puritan dogma manage to survive with all their inevitably accrued corrption and insanity, considering their out look on life would fit under radicalism.

 

Hellebore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore said:

So my questions are:

If corruption happens all the time being a radical, why ever become one? Corruption is never a good thing.

Should you really accrue corruption that quickly if you become removed from play at 100 CPs?

If you do accrue corruption that quicky shouldn't you be able to play on past 100 CPs? What about all the completely corrupted people in the galaxy? They don't just die when they reach 100 CPs.

The book is really nice and i'm enjoying reading it, but it seems to me that it (imo) unfairly paints radicalism in a unanimously negative light by ensuring anything that isn't 'in the name of the emperor' garners corruption and insanity. That is running dangerously close to objective morality, rather than the supposedly subjective morality that 40k is built on. If being a radical guarantees corruption then it's objectively saying that anything not 'puritan' is bad, because corruption is objectively a bad thing.

It isn't really shades of grey if one shade of morality garners inworld physical and mental degradation is it.

 I keep expecting to read in the intro 'this book is for people who wish to play bad inquisitorial acolytes, where they strive to become corrupt in mind and body. If you don't wish to eventually decay into madness and oblivion stay true to the emperor's holy light.'

One wonders how those alien races that don't worship the emperor and don't follow the puritan dogma manage to survive with all their inevitably accrued corrption and insanity, considering their out look on life would fit under radicalism.

I must say, I have to agree with you here, on most every point.  sad.gif

As one explanation, it is my belief that the designers (of the game) intended this to represent the fact that faith - even in a long-dead, not-so-divine being - can overcome the inevitable slide that all humanity will suffer in this 'oh-so-nasty' universe ... and that any deviation from that 'group faith', degrades the whole, evidenced by insanity and corruption.

However, in my mind, while it may be unfair, unjust, and generally unpleasant ... I believe that it fits the grim dark atmosphere that the game purports to espouse.

Then again, on several threads here, I have been seeing and reading things that lead me to believe that the highest-and-mightiest amongst the Calixis Conclave may indeed be hopelessly corrupted.  This is just another example of the inherent 'hypocrasy' of the Imperium, as it is understood in the game.  Even the 'good guys' are ruthless, savage bastards ... evincing one to question whether there are really any 'good guys' in this universe.

IMHO, the Soul Drinkers had it right.  Someone needs to forge a new empire of humanity, with the goals of meeting the needs of all its citizens, and allowing them the possibility of a pleasant future.  Of course, since I am an American citizen, I am biased.  gran_risa.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore said:

One wonders how those alien races that don't worship the emperor and don't follow the puritan dogma manage to survive with all their inevitably accrued corrption and insanity, considering their out look on life would fit under radicalism.

 

 

Hellebore

[/quote

 

I'll put together a longer point with some thoughts on the rest of your post later but I wanted to quickly touch on this point:

 

Aliens aren't human, ergo the insanity rules don't apply to them. By human standards even an Eldar is probably considered insane. Certainly the likes of Dark Eldar and Orks are. The same goes, to a lesser extent, for corruption. The corruption rules are there for humans.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering if that was going to be a defence. The problem is that the rules and background for insanity and corruption are pretty objective, if a PC encounters one of the specific circumstances that grant insanity/corruption, then they receive it. It just so happens that PCs are at the moment are all human. I doubt very much that if (when) other aliens become PCs (probably in rogue trader) that they will have a seperate system for that. As they are PCs they will follow the same rules that all other PCs follow.

 

So my rebuttal of that is that those rules are for PCs and whilst humans are PCs, not all PCs are Humans. Consider that all the other rules (skills, talents, traits etc) are followed identically by NPC aliens, even down to psychology affecting abilities like Fearless, from beyond etc. If those rules were truly only for humans then they would surely not give out talents that negate/modify them to non humans as it would be a moot point.

 EDIT: Sister Cat, I'm glad I'm not the only one that sees the trend. What worries me is how shall we say 'dishonest' the authors are about it. They don't come right out and say 'radicalism is objectively bad in the universe of 40k, despite the setting's moral relativism' rather they write it in such a way as to make sure that anyone reading can really only come to that conclusion. Which is quite bizarre considering how totally repressive the Imperium is compared to our own image of human rights. It's a little hypocritical to objectively have radicalism as bad and inevitably destroy you and put the Imperium up as 'good' when it murders its own people by the billions and bleeds them dry.

The problem isn't necessarily with this (although I prefer my 40k with real moral relativism, not pseudo relativism) but with the insetting inconsistency it creates. All these inquisitors have spent years fighting the good fight. They drift into radicalism as a means to an end. But if they were GUARANTEED to implode in moral decay, then there wouldn't be anyone to follow them, there wouldn't be any organisations because their turnover would be too high. You couldn't get 400 year old Xanthite inquisitor lords who'd spent 200 years being radicals because they'd fall apart too quickly. Not only that, but no others would want to follow in their footsteps. They only turn to radicalism because it offers what they see as a better way to win their endless war. But only the Oblationists truly want to die in the process, the others wish to live and continue their work. So whilst the idea that radicalism inevitably destroys you works for Oblationists it doesn't for anyone else.

The only way I could see it working is if Radicals had developed a reliable means to remove corruption. Basically they accept the radioactive affects of corruption to do their job because they know they can remove it later. But no one that actually knows how deadly radiation is works with it without protection, except Oblationists of course.

 

Hellebore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore said:

 

So my rebuttal of that is that those rules are for PCs and whilst humans are PCs, not all PCs are Humans. Consider that all the other rules (skills, talents, traits etc) are followed identically by NPC aliens, even down to psychology affecting abilities like Fearless, from beyond etc. If those rules were truly only for humans then they would surely not give out talents that negate/modify them to non humans as it would be a moot point.

 EDIT: Sister Cat, I'm glad I'm not the only one that sees the trend. What worries me is how shall we say 'dishonest' the authors are about it. They don't come right out and say 'radicalism is objectively bad in the universe of 40k, despite the setting's moral relativism' rather they write it in such a way as to make sure that anyone reading can really only come to that conclusion.

The problem isn't necessarily with this (although I prefer my 40k with real moral relativism, not pseudo relativism) but with the insetting inconsistency it creates. All these inquisitors have spent years fighting the good fight. They drift into radicalism as a means to an end. But if they were GUARANTEED to implode in moral decay, then there wouldn't be anyone to follow them, there wouldn't be any organisations because their turnover would be too high. You couldn't get 400 year old Xanthite inquisitor lords who'd spent 200 years being radicals because they'd fall apart too quickly. Not only that, but no others would want to follow in their footsteps. They only turn to radicalism because it offers what they see as a better way to win their endless war. But only the Oblationists truly want to die in the process, the others wish to live and continue their work. So whilst the idea that radicalism inevitably destroys you works for Oblationists it doesn't for anyone else.

Hellebore

 

 

Ha!  gran_risa.gif  And this exactly is why my players have decided to go the Oblationist route.  Yeah, they are jacked up, yeah they are likely going to be excommunicated and executed, and yeah they are likely to be insane and hopelessly corrupted ... but they, "BY THE EMPEROR" are going to make a difference before they fall!!!  angel.gif

As far as the 'authors', I guess since I'm new to the 40K universe, I learned right from the start that 'dishonesty' is the meat and drink of the Empire.  I'm not saying that I like it, or that I wouldn't like to see an alternative in canon.  However, I do see the 'unlimited' potential for RP'ing in this unholy-dichotomic setting.  gui%C3%B1o.gif  And, for what it's worth, I have immense respect for my players for 'choosing' to go the Radical, and even 'Oblationist' route.  They may be a bunch of thugs ... but at least they don't try to claim they are anything but that.

Granted, it's going to cost them.  But, even realizing that, they chose to take honest route.  What can I say?  I respect that.  I know, I know ... I guess I'm a softy.  happy.gif

I guess my ultimate point is ... while it is annoying on one level, it also is an opportunity for many shades of role-playing.  So many opportunities there.  Hope this makes sense, I am working on 3 hours of sleep over the past two days.  lengua.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking through all the options, alternate ranks, background packages etc, one thing struck me. Almost everything gives out corruption and it generally does so by the bucketful.

Considering that it's not very hard to get corruption or insanity if the game has any involvement with daemons or the warp (I've got players that have ~15 corruption and 20 insanity and they haven't seen a daemon in 25 sessions) it seems that there is a rather subtle bias in the book that being a radical NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER works, EVER.

 

I find that very unfortunate. It seems like a bit of a waste really, like writing a whole supplement about playing suicidally terminal characters who are guaranteed to die in a set amount of time. There just doesn't seem to be any way out, if you become a radical and use radical abilities you will rack up the corruption in no time.

Yes, that's kind of the point. Maybe radical Inquisitors have better means of protection from Corruption, but Acolytes using radical powers won't be in the business for too long. However, the fact that you can't use all of your powers all of the time if you want to survive is already present in standard DH - a Sister will run out of Fate Points before long while a Psyker will sooner or later call down some Perils.

 

 

 

An example is the Heretek Savant. Every time they use their special abilities, which are pretty much the core of the character concept, they get 1D5 insanity. So by simply playing the character they turn into insane and unplayable characters in ~30 sessions. And alot of them can get sorcery, which gives corruption out by the handful, every time you use a power in fact.

That depends on your abilities - assuming Armour of Contempt and a WP bonus of 5, you get one point of corruption per spell on average which may last you through a campaign.

 

 

If being a radical truly drove you to destruction, if it was ultimately always fruitless, why do it? It seems self destructive and whilst the Oblationists are like that, not all of them are.

Not only that, but what of the chaos sorcerers? The truly nasty ones? You implode at 100 corruption. If chaos sorcerers became as unusable as player characters at 100 corruption they would never reach the heights they do.

Um... no. Firstly, the Corruption rules are explicitly written for PCs (see the box on DH page 238). Secondly, the 100 on the corruption table says "damned - character removed from play". Now I don't know about you, but for me, "damned" describes the status of full-blown Chaos Sorcerers pretty well. In most cases, 100 corruption will mean the forging of a permanent pact with a dark god with the character becoming a willing servant of Chaos.

 

 

So my questions are:

If corruption happens all the time being a radical, why ever become one? Corruption is never a good thing.

Because it's not about you having your cake and eating it, but about you becoming a more effective protector of humanity - until you become another threat at any rate, but in this case, your inquisitor hopefully notes it and has you eliminated.

 

 

Should you really accrue corruption that quickly if you become removed from play at 100 CPs?

I think it's a little too fast, but not by too much.

 

 

If you do accrue corruption that quicky shouldn't you be able to play on past 100 CPs? What about all the completely corrupted people in the galaxy? They don't just die when they reach 100 CPs.

 

Nope, but you'd then have to play among one of the damned factions. Might be fun as well, though.

 

The book is really nice and i'm enjoying reading it, but it seems to me that it (imo) unfairly paints radicalism in a unanimously negative light by ensuring anything that isn't 'in the name of the emperor' garners corruption and insanity. That is running dangerously close to objective morality, rather than the supposedly subjective morality that 40k is built on. If being a radical guarantees corruption then it's objectively saying that anything not 'puritan' is bad, because corruption is objectively a bad thing.

The point of radicalism (at least the xanthite-related parts) is that they're at least on the edge of damnation and will ultimately fall. And although "ultimately" can be quite some time away for inquisitors, most of them use Acolytes on a "chew 'em up and spit 'em out" base. For that, they gain quite a bit of power that wouldn't be available to others - candle burning twice as bright and so on.

 

 

It isn't really shades of grey if one shade of morality garners inworld physical and mental degradation is it.

It is if the other shade of grey has a tendency of spontaneously dieing because they don't use every tool at their disposal.

 

 

 

I keep expecting to read in the intro 'this book is for people who wish to play bad inquisitorial acolytes, where they strive to become corrupt in mind and body. If you don't wish to eventually decay into madness and oblivion stay true to the emperor's holy light.'

One wonders how those alien races that don't worship the emperor and don't follow the puritan dogma manage to survive with all their inevitably accrued corrption and insanity, considering their out look on life would fit under radicalism.

Perhaps they're not subject to Corruption the same way as humanity? But please name one example of a species that has contact to the warp without being either somewhat shielded from it (Eldar, probably Orks) or rather corrupted (Dark Eldar).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from france

if we consider that carreer in the radical are ... radical and give insanuty and corruption what can we think of other carrer not present in the radical. does that make them puritan? if so they also bring a lot of corruption and insanity points.

i don't know what to think about this.  how corruption and insanyty point scan by themselves justifies the radical label?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sister Cat said:

Then again, on several threads here, I have been seeing and reading things that lead me to believe that the highest-and-mightiest amongst the Calixis Conclave may indeed be hopelessly corrupted.  This is just another example of the inherent 'hypocrasy' of the Imperium, as it is understood in the game.  Even the 'good guys' are ruthless, savage bastards ... evincing one to question whether there are really any 'good guys' in this universe.

IMHO, the Soul Drinkers had it right.  Someone needs to forge a new empire of humanity, with the goals of meeting the needs of all its citizens, and allowing them the possibility of a pleasant future.  Of course, since I am an American citizen, I am biased.  gran_risa.gif

the Imperium of man is no less a hypocrisy than modern earth gov'ts. if its one thing human beings have a penchant for, its for being full of crap. while many folks might grimdark this and grimdark that. i take a more balanced view. the future of 40K is a dark and terrifying regime full of ppl that we really wouldn't want to meet anytime soon, much less pass by on a empty street. but not everyone will be thinking of number 1. there will be those that will be 'good' guys. of all stripes and professions. MOST will probably fall under the apathetic/selfish category that however is really no different from the world we live in. but there are good guys.

even the 'good guys' are ruthless, savage bastards. some are. others aren't. when u really look at how the ppl of the Imperium are indoctrinated. how these 'values' permeate their very existence. their concept of 'total war' makes von clauswitz concept seem childish. they make war and conflicts in an uncompromising manner. very similar to radical muslims concept of jihad but on a vastly larger and more destructive scale. to them, they ARE the good guys. they justify things the same way that we as ppl always have.

me. i'm a recongregator myself but refuse to wield the powers of Chaos. i believe in the Emperors true vision for man and that the Imperium has been saddled by false prophets, corrupted usurpers and the willfully ignorant. i'll consort with Dark Tech, psykers and xenos scum but i gotta draw the line at Chaos. u chaos types are some crazy bleep bleep beeeeeppers.

which brings us to the OP.

@Hellebore. i would agree with your points but (and i can't say for certain not knowing what the designers had in mind) i think it was built as such so that Radical players would use these Chaos powers sparingly. those that did not would experience a quickening on that fast and easy path to damnation.these CP/IPs are that 'uh oh' mechanic so players can have that mental check, to reflect that slow steady warping path that Chaos is know for.

we're not talking about Chaos sorcerers that will show off their power willynilly. we're talking Acolytes that still believe in and fear the power of the Inquisition. it is a measured approach to confine such powers to crucial circumstances or at least away from those prying eyes of authority. at least this is my take on it all.

all inquisitors see themselves as doing the Emperors work. as do all Acolytes. i would liken the warp and chaos kind of like crack cocaine or any other vile narcotic.  simply, one wants the easy way and to feel good doing it even though they see the potential effects of it. the reason why they do it even viewing the damage it causes is ...hubris. we have all seen and head this line. 'no that won't happen to me. those other ppl were stupid and careless. i know what i'm doing'

most new Acolytes are in a bit more of a vacuum i'd wager. they've never seen true damnation or if they had didn't recognize it for what it was. I recall in early 40K lore  Imperial Guard units have been wiped out post conflict for coming into contact with Chaos forces or blatantly lied to. told that what they fought were mutants and not debased creatures that used to be folks just like them. the Imperium does what it can to suppress  information about Chaos.

of those that have seen it and wished to embrace it. HUBRIS. and so for that hubris and the power they wield...they are on a ticking clock.

DH doesn't reflect 400 year old Acolytes and Inquisitors well, if at all. i'd wager in the creation of the game this was an oversight and they attempted to create the idea of  damnation and corruption within the scope of the ranking system. any other way and there would have to be ALOT more ranks involved i'd think.  mayhaps Ascension will address this.

cheers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore said:

 

So my rebuttal of that is that those rules are for PCs and whilst humans are PCs, not all PCs are Humans. Consider that all the other rules (skills, talents, traits etc) are followed identically by NPC aliens, even down to psychology affecting abilities like Fearless, from beyond etc. If those rules were truly only for humans then they would surely not give out talents that negate/modify them to non humans as it would be a moot point.

 

Hellebore

 

The problem with this part is the fact that I have to highly, extremely doubt we'll be getting playable Alien races. I mean, the only two that would be even NEAR playable with humans in the party are Eldar and Tau, and thats even stretching it slightly.

I really think that xenos will not be playable. If more then just 2 of them had a possibliity to be friendly with humans (I KNOW Orks won't ever be, and Nids want to eat everything, and Necrons want all dead period), so we may never know how Corruption and Insanity work for them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The Blood Axe ork clan has repeated references in the source material for being willing to work as mercenaries in exchange for superior Imperial military hardware.

Other references to mercenary aliens abound, mostly in races that only have a little old original RT concept art and never hit the table-top, but its there in the source material.

Aliens don't have to be friendly to humans to be willing to work for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DocIII said:

The Blood Axe ork clan has repeated references in the source material for being willing to work as mercenaries in exchange for superior Imperial military hardware.

Other references to mercenary aliens abound, mostly in races that only have a little old original RT concept art and never hit the table-top, but its there in the source material.

Aliens don't have to be friendly to humans to be willing to work for them.

True, there are various ork clans that can be hired by humans for short periods, but I don't know if that would make them decent PC's for long campaigns. After all, no one in their right mind would try to keep ork mercenaries around for any great length of time fearing that said orks might experience a moment of non-violence and get a touch bored -and a bored ork is the worst kind of ork to be around. ;-)

Hellebore said:

I was wondering if that was going to be a defence. The problem is that the rules and background for insanity and corruption are pretty objective, if a PC encounters one of the specific circumstances that grant insanity/corruption, then they receive it. It just so happens that PCs are at the moment are all human. I doubt very much that if (when) other aliens become PCs (probably in rogue trader) that they will have a seperate system for that. As they are PCs they will follow the same rules that all other PCs follow.

 

So my rebuttal of that is that those rules are for PCs and whilst humans are PCs, not all PCs are Humans. Consider that all the other rules (skills, talents, traits etc) are followed identically by NPC aliens, even down to psychology affecting abilities like Fearless, from beyond etc. If those rules were truly only for humans then they would surely not give out talents that negate/modify them to non humans as it would be a moot point.

 

Whether there will be playable xenos in the future or not is not a valid point or argument as to whether the rules presented is only for humans or not. Humans are the only thing that is playable by the RAW and, as such, they're the only kinds of PC's that we can definitly say have been considered by the designers for the rules to apply to. Anything else is speculation on a future that has not yet come to pass, is not guaranteed to come to pass, and if it dose come to pass, we do not know what form it will take.

NPCs do not fallow the same rules that PCs do. Just because, for convenience sake, there are several cross over's in how they are presented, that NPCs can have the same talents and skills that PCs have, etc, is no argument that they fallow all the rules that PCs do. It explicitly states in the book, pg 238 that the rules for gaining CP's is for PCs only. NPC humans don't even fallow the same rules for gaining corruption and in the rest of the reading on OPs, they were written with PCs in mind and how they would effect a PC over time while nothing is mentioned that the GM needs to keep tabs on an NPC's IP's and how much they gain and change over time. That is the preview of the story, not a rules mechanic. The mechanic for gaining IPs and CPs only exist because PCs exist -a mechanic for them gaining these little nuggets of drama is needed in order to keep things fair and objective as gaining these things is usually more of a negative change in character outside the players control. NPCs, by contrast, don't need to be treated in such an even handed fashion -they are treated as the story and a PCs interaction with them dictates they should be treated and nothing more.

Sure, NPCs have a lot of skills, talents, and traits that PCs have, but they also have a lot that PCs don't (stampede, strange physiology, etc) and lack some that PCs have. How many NPCs have XPs listed? Should an NPC's experience points be kept track of? Should they get extra points for good role playing? More of these little rules apply to PCs over NPCs because keeping track of such things over an extended period of time (the only way such things become apparent) is more suited to PCs who, again, need an even handed base to work from above and beyond the GM's own disposition and the basic needs of the story. NPCs grow when the story would logically have them grow, they go insane when it's logical for them to do such (no matter how much IPs they would have gotten if they were a PC), they are twisted by the warp when suitable, and they fall from grace when dramatically appropriate.

As far as RH espousing a particular morality, it doesn't. Corruption and Insanity are NOT moral gages. It doesn't matter what ones moral compass is set to, if they are touched by the warp, they will be corrupted. It doesn't matter what choice they made, what they thought, what they felt, what their goal was, or even if it was in any way voluntary at all; if someone is exposed to the warp, they will be corrupted. That is not a statement of the fiber of their moral character (though it could be seen as an indicator... after all, certain morally defiant individuals are more likely to muck about with the warp and be corrupted). Likewise, IPs are not a measure of a characters morality or how moral they've lived their life. It's merely an indication of the amount of mental trauma they've suffered from, whether by their own doing or at the hands of anouther. A lot of the alt. careers in the RH dish out CPs because in order to get that career rank, the character would need to delve into matters that involve the warp in a less then safe fashion and the ones that dish out the IPs do such because that career would have the PC do things that is damaging to the human psyche (and, yes, human psyche because, by the RAW, all PCs are human and, as such, at this time, we only need to worry about what would cause mental trauma in a human).

I feel that RH remains morally neutral. Sure, if you fallow the path of the radical and aren't extra special careful, you will fall, but that's how all such stories go. However, would the character falling be the right choice? Puritans will not take up the weapons of the enemy (which lead to corruption) no matter the cost while a Radical will if the end results outweigh the cost (the cost being their immortal soul, sanity, future, etc). Which is the right decision to make? Te book never makes a moral judgment as to who is right, which is the ultimate right path to fallow. It simply outlines the dangers and benefits of the radical path.

If a planet was somehow doomed to be destroyed with all 60 billion souls on it and the only way to save it and all those lives was to **** yourself and work a chaos ritual, what would be the right and moral decision to make, success and damnation or failure with a pure soul? The puritan would say that the Inquisitor must remain pure at all costs and thus killing the planet and those 60 billion souls would be the only proper moral choice while the Radical would say that damning himself to save those 60 billion souls is the proper moral choice. That is a moral quandry, not the amount of IPs and CPs one gains from an act. Actually gaining those IPs and CPs makes the moral quandary. After all, if working the chaos ritual didn't **** the sorcerer 9and impart IPs or CPs) then it would be a no-brainer decision on what the right course of action would be.

Puritans are pure of soul (but can be utter evil bastards) but at the cost of effectiveness. Radicals are far more effective, but the cost is damnation. Who's more right? The book dosn't really say. It simply presents a different, more effective, and far more dangerous method of attacking the enemies of the Imperium. If this other method came at little or no cost, then there wouldn't be much of a choice as to what the right path was, radical all the way. The problem is, Radicalism comes at a cost, damnation is incredibly easy from that road, and while it's far more effective then sticking to the true and tried weapons of the Emperor, it is a danger to the one who walks such a path and all they came in contact with. There in lies the moral dilemma. It's not a definite this is wrong, that its right. Instead, is it right to gamble with such dangerous things to win the day or should one play it safe, lose the battle in the hope of winning the next battle without risking everything?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What exactly in the radicals handbook gives corruption where no corruption is due? I've only skimmed through it casually so far but I can't recall where just being radical gives corruption, however many radical options are combined with warp dabbling and other similar stuff that SHOULD give corruption. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most things in the Radical's Handbook hand out a large chunk of corruption or insanity, but it's mostly a one-time cost. The more consistent costs are small or can be reduced significantly. Even the 1d5 Insanity that Hereteks get is actually rather small compared to the benefits those abilities hand out.

Keeping the Imperial Creed doesn't actually get you that far. Even Faith Talents only last until you acumulate 10 Corruption. Insanity, of course, is quite in keeping with some interpretations of the Creed...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore, I'm surrprised to find myself disagreeing on principles here.I don't have the RH yet, so mechanically I might actually agree (e.g. if the rate is simply too quick).

However, the nature of 'radical' always has struck me, throughout my time emersed in GW lore, is that it is a slow slide. That the division of radical/puritan is essentially arbitrary and ever-changing and that characters who 'fall' are not necessarily those who do so through a particular fault, rhyme or reason.

To put that in a bit of perspective, I mean that radical careers (in the way I understand things; though I've not seen the book) is doing something you know to be wrong.

With acolytes this is very important because it isn't Inquisitor. In Inquisitor the choice of puritan/radical backstory isn't quite as crucifying to the player because the 'characters' usually aren't Player Characters. Taking the scope of Dark Heresy as one thing, and PCs as a limited section of humanity within which the PCs are permissable within the rules, then moving beyond 100IP or CP simply represents a moving of scope. A canny GM can circumvent that, but that also applies to almost every problem.

Rather: Radical Inquisitors, Chaos Sorcerors and so forth aren't Player Characters as we deal with 'em in DH. Neither are Astartes. Or Custodians. Or Servitors. Or Arco-flagellants. Or STC vehicle Machine Spirits. 'Radical acolytes' might well be better represented as villains. The trick from Inquisitor was that as a rule of thumb: young Inquisitor = Puritan, old = Radical. More desperate, more jaded, less to lose, bigger threats etc.

With that in mind, I really don't think 100IPs or CPs is the end for the characters, but it is intended to be the end at which the players can reasonably play them within the 'constraints of the game'. As said: canny GMs can sort that, but it's a whole extra pile of stuff to do.

However, back to agreeing and constructive things rather than idly disagreeing. If the rules don't fit with your image of the universe (rightly or wrongly), my initial system has usually been WP versus corruption, taking a Call of Cthulhu approach to it. (WP/T vs Corruption, Int/Per vs Sanity, usually) Wherein a success largely minimises the corruption/insanity (but sometimes the reverse is true and maximises). The point is simply that I wonder if you think such a system would be better enforced with an added 'layer' of test?

In my view, blanket insanity/corruption doesn't quite reflect the strength and potential of the characters (but it does reflect the cosmic horror of the universe; but it's not always as fun to play with that in mind). I prefer to have a layer in between wherein players can fortify themselves. Not indefinite, but perhaps long enough that they can die in a fight still consciously serving the Emperor long before they mutate into spawn, and thus the Emperor'll have to judge 'em personally. In terms of legislating to avoid setting precedent for munchkinism I think that's a more likely apologist's explanation for the RH. But as I say: I've not seen it, I am keen to. Avoiding munchkinism does tie into the use of fate points and 'elite advances' too. It allows a canny player-GM combo to totally trump someone who's min-maxing the rules; and that is why the Emperor protects. aplauso.gif

(I.e.: Elite Advance of 500EXP to reduce 20 CPs though inflicting characteristics damage and not counting towards career...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Graver stated things very well, so I have little to add.  One thing that is important to remember, though, is that while the rules might give a specific point cost for things like Corruption and Insanity, the characters in the setting have no ability to quantifiably measure those things.  All someone in the setting might know is that touching the Warp taints their soul, makes them feel 'dirty' or somehow less themselves to a greater or lesser extent.  Same thing with Insanity.  The character doesn't know that he or she just gained 15 Insanity points, just that suddenly nothing made sense where mere moments ago it did (or it makes too much sense!), or that voices are whispering to them when they weren't before.  Most characters shouldn't even realize they're insane, when they become so.

 

Finally, the OP asked:  "If corruption happens all the time being a radical, why ever become one?  Corruption is never a good thing."  Well, there are many many stories out there about characters selling their soul to the Devil in exchange for something.  Sure, sometimes the character doesn't realize it's the Devil until it's too late, but most of the time the character willingly enters into the bargain.  Selling your soul to the Devil sure doesn't seem like a good thing, so why would a character ever do that?  Because they want something.  Sometimes the character thinks they can get away with it and trick the Devil in the end, but sometimes the character isn't deluding themselves, knows the consequences, and sells their soul anyway, because they just want whatever it is that badly.

 

Just my 2 Thrones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a lot of really good points here and at the moment I don't have time to write down everything.

 

One thing I wanted to say is that it may be entirely down to the fact the book almost exclusively focuses on warp based radicalism. Radicals aren't always like that though. A radical could be a Logician, a humanitarian, an enlightened person working with the tau, a democratic reformist. These types of radicals should be seen as 'radical' from the perspective of the Imperium, but they shouldn't be seen as radical from the universe (corruption comes across as a 'law' of the universe, you will get corruption from doing X just as suredly as you will get dead if you jump off a building on a heavy G world).

An example I disagree with is the xenografting. That's putting alien components in you. This can result in corruption, which I think is wrong because it has nothing to do with the warp. I can see it qualitatively being corrupting, that is the perfect human form is corrupted by impure alien flesh, but not in the definition give of actual Corruption. A tau's heart is not going to give warp based corruption.

So, when I can get back to write out some more things, I'll just say that it may be down to the focus of the book on warp based radicalism and thus producing the image that all radicals get corrupted and die. ie, whilst all warp users are radicals, not all radicals are warp users. If the book did more on 'mundane' radicalism I may not have come away with the opinion that I did. Put yourself in the shoes of someone that doesn't know 40k very well, if you read that book, what would radicalism appear to you as?

It's a good discussion so far, very intelligent.cool.gif

Hellebore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore said:

 

There are a lot of really good points here and at the moment I don't have time to write down everything.

 

One thing I wanted to say is that it may be entirely down to the fact the book almost exclusively focuses on warp based radicalism. Radicals aren't always like that though. A radical could be a Logician, a humanitarian, an enlightened person working with the tau, a democratic reformist. These types of radicals should be seen as 'radical' from the perspective of the Imperium, but they shouldn't be seen as radical from the universe (corruption comes across as a 'law' of the universe, you will get corruption from doing X just as suredly as you will get dead if you jump off a building on a heavy G world).

An example I disagree with is the xenografting. That's putting alien components in you. This can result in corruption, which I think is wrong because it has nothing to do with the warp. I can see it qualitatively being corrupting, that is the perfect human form is corrupted by impure alien flesh, but not in the definition give of actual Corruption. A tau's heart is not going to give warp based corruption.

So, when I can get back to write out some more things, I'll just say that it may be down to the focus of the book on warp based radicalism and thus producing the image that all radicals get corrupted and die. ie, whilst all warp users are radicals, not all radicals are warp users. If the book did more on 'mundane' radicalism I may not have come away with the opinion that I did. Put yourself in the shoes of someone that doesn't know 40k very well, if you read that book, what would radicalism appear to you as?

It's a good discussion so far, very intelligent.cool.gif

Hellebore

 

 

 

This i would definitly agree with. As alternate ranks go, they are almost all tied up in the warp and warp-craft in some shade or colour. What's funny is the three careers they cut were the three that didn't deal with the warp (except for penal legionair and that arbiter assassin fella). One would think they should have been kept for balancing things out and some of the other careers snipped. However, if one were to really read the book, they'd realize the warp was just one end of radicalism as the radical factions mentioned, only 3(?) muck about with the warp, the others are just, well, radical.

However, for the radical types you are talking about, perhaps they don't really require an alt rank as they simply have a divergent philosophy which doesn't require any specialized skill and talent set like dabbling with the warp dose. The elite advance Sworn Radical would suffice for such radicals.

As for the Corruption for transgenic grafting, I hadn't read that, but in looking it over, I'd have to say that the 1d10 CPs for the FL failure might be, in a generic way, indicative of the surgeon accidentally getting a warp tainted xenos specimen or using a warp tainted species without knowing they were warp tainted. However, I'd also go as far as saying perhaps you could amend that and give the player a choice of 1d10 CPs (the surgeon screwed up and implanted some warp tainted xenos flesh) or 2d10 IPs (the surgeon screwed up and just implanted some material that is just strait out bad for the human body and mind or too alien for it to accept properly). Either way, xenos corruption is not warp corruption as illustrated wonderfully by the Halo Devices. However, xenos can be warp corrupted in which case, that xenos can spread warp corruption.

In the end, i agree, there is a heavy slant towards the dangers and corruption on the warp in the crunchy rulsy parts of the book, more so them most any thing else, but this might be because Warp Corruption is the only definite kind of corruption we have a whole separate track and rules for.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do hate to repeat myself..but...roleplaying is NOT about the rules! most things will suck if you only look at it with a "what can I gain?"-mentality.
Why chose to play a radical character? because it can be fun and different, radicalism is not about skills it's about once mentality.
Yes you get alot of insanity and corruption points but that's what you get for trying to be different in a world where "different" means death, this is not D&D where you can chose an "evil god" and just get some different spells, you work for the inquisition after all, the left hand of the emperor working to destroy the enemies of mankind and if you chose to do this using xeno tech or demonweapons then ofcause you will be corrupted sooner or later.

As mentioned earlier the Radicals handbook is written for acolytes who dosn't posses near enough of the mental strength nor willpower to withstand what they encounter or the powers they use should they chose the road of the radical..unlike the inquisitor they work for and why should he care if he's acolytes go insane or gets corrupted? theres always more where they came from.

Sorry if it seems like an angry outburst, I'm just tired of seeing all these posts that value rulewise gain/loss over a fun character to roleplay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore said:

If being a radical truly drove you to destruction, if it was ultimately always fruitless, why do it? It seems self destructive and whilst the Oblationists are like that, not all of them are.

If life always ends in death (which it seems to do), why live?

Sometimes people want more power faster and are prepared to pay the price of burning fast and bright instead of playing safe.

Sometimes people can't play safe without losing everything.

Sometimes people just don't care.

The whole concept of "Radicalism" implies that you are prepared to take great risks and sacrifice everything in order to achieve something you probably couldn't do at all by using tested-and-safe methods.

Besides, 40k universe is a place where you can join endless civilian population, pay your taxes, take insurance and try your best to stay safe and still get killed in gruesome and nasty way by demons from outer hell. Nothing is absolutely safe. Some things just have greater risks.

 

Hellebore said:

Not only that, but what of the chaos sorcerers? The truly nasty ones? You implode at 100 corruption. If chaos sorcerers became as unusable as player characters at 100 corruption they would never reach the heights they do.

Well... DH is the game where you play Inquisitorial Acolytes, not Chaos Acolytes. I would guess that the risks of corruption in DH are deliberately put into high gear to prevent power-playing munchkins from rolling a radical demon-worshipping sorcerer-psyker each and every time and tunring the game into something that it is not. If you want to run a campaign where all PCs are chaos sorcerers I think you are well within your rights to adjust the corruption rules accordingly.

 

Hellebore said:

If corruption happens all the time being a radical, why ever become one? Corruption is never a good thing.

Why don't people stop take drugs? Why don't people exercise more? Why don't people eat healthy? Why don't people stop polluting the sh*t out of the planet?

Because they want to do something else. Logic is never, ever the way to judge what humans will and will not do.

 

Hellebore said:

Should you really accrue corruption that quickly if you become removed from play at 100 CPs?

The whole idea of radicalism is to "burn fast and bright". You might not have that many years to live as radical but you have the power to achieve more in those years... Besides, if yiu want to play safe why are you playing DH to start with? Its a nasty, dark world where bad, bad things happen every day. Most characters are lucky to live through 30 sessions.

 

Hellebore said:

If you do accrue corruption that quicky shouldn't you be able to play on past 100 CPs? What about all the completely corrupted people in the galaxy? They don't just die when they reach 100 CPs.

Once again, if you wish to run a campaign with all players playing chaos acolytes you would probably use a bit different rules. These rules are for people who, if they wander into dark paths, are likely to get busted and executed for treason and heresy way before they reach 100 CPs. 

 

Hellebore said:

The book is really nice and i'm enjoying reading it, but it seems to me that it (imo) unfairly paints radicalism in a unanimously negative light by ensuring anything that isn't 'in the name of the emperor' garners corruption and insanity. That is running dangerously close to objective morality, rather than the supposedly subjective morality that 40k is built on. If being a radical guarantees corruption then it's objectively saying that anything not 'puritan' is bad, because corruption is objectively a bad thing.

40K world is subjective morality. Dark Heresy setting isn't. DH is zealous-fanatics-vs-corrupted-heretics. Its supposed to be pretty much as subjective as you can get. The whole idea of the game and the setting is that. You aren't supposed to play people who know all the risks and min-max their powers around that. You are supposed to play people who fully believe that there is a "the right way" and "the fast, deadly way" of doing things. If you want to run another kind of campaign adjust rules to fit that kind of setting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore said:

One thing I wanted to say is that it may be entirely down to the fact the book almost exclusively focuses on warp based radicalism. Radicals aren't always like that though. A radical could be a Logician, a humanitarian, an enlightened person working with the tau, a democratic reformist. These types of radicals should be seen as 'radical' from the perspective of the Imperium, but they shouldn't be seen as radical from the universe (corruption comes across as a 'law' of the universe, you will get corruption from doing X just as suredly as you will get dead if you jump off a building on a heavy G world).

An example I disagree with is the xenografting. That's putting alien components in you. This can result in corruption, which I think is wrong because it has nothing to do with the warp. I can see it qualitatively being corrupting, that is the perfect human form is corrupted by impure alien flesh, but not in the definition give of actual Corruption. A tau's heart is not going to give warp based corruption.

So, when I can get back to write out some more things, I'll just say that it may be down to the focus of the book on warp based radicalism and thus producing the image that all radicals get corrupted and die. ie, whilst all warp users are radicals, not all radicals are warp users. If the book did more on 'mundane' radicalism I may not have come away with the opinion that I did. Put yourself in the shoes of someone that doesn't know 40k very well, if you read that book, what would radicalism appear to you as?

I think I get you now. Many of the other points still stand, I'd say, but your example of the xenografting is one I'd completely agree with. In my view implementing CPs as suggested would be taking too literal a view of 'Impeity to the Emperor=Corrupt'. An interesting take, but too literal for my tastes. The threat of the alien is both more mundane and more subtle, IMO, with it not only threatening the nature of the Imperium, but of what it means to be (xenophobically) human.

With that in mind, I think the complaint of 'lots of warp focus' is sensible, though the decision is itself understandable. The DH system is geared vs Chaos/Psykers/Heresy, aliens are a bit of a mundane threat in that regard. The rules readily accomodate alien threats by not really requiring much outside the normal rules. The warpy side is a lot more...'special' by nature. Well, arguably that's the case, but it needn't be complete. And, of course, for not-all-warpy heresy, there's also Disciples and Creatures to account. As player resources more xenotech and xenosettings could be desirable, but as routes for characters, there's not much there.

The truly mundane heresies could do with something too, but those draw very heavily on realworld events that I think FFG still seem to have made the right decision on opting for warpy stuff instead of ponzi schemes, scams, selling-of-honours, expenses scamming and the insidious threat of constitutional reform. Not that that isn't interesting, but that when there is demand for new career ranks and such, it'd be foolish to present something too mundane when you can really go with the exotic things, like the hardcore radicals.

To that extent: I don't think it's a balanced book, but then I don't think it should be either.

On the upside, more Radical-y stuff is always welcome IMO. Mundane threats are something largely neglected in DH, it'd be interesting to see some of them fleshed out with rules and whatnot. But then as said: the PDF of cut careers does this surprisingly well, and it's free. The Infil-traitor is a clever twist on a classic SF/spy story and having that available is pretty **** neat. Including Sabateour and Demagogue means they all work not only as 'Radical' careers, but any sort of mischievous Inquisitor. Demagagoue wouldn't be used by a Puritan, oh really?

 

Anyway, as you've said, if it's a case of focussing on Warp-craft stuff, I'm much more receptive to the points. Still, very much want to get the darned book!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore said:

The problem is that the rules and background for insanity and corruption are pretty objective, if a PC encounters one of the specific circumstances that grant insanity/corruption, then they receive it.

Uhm, I can't say I agree.

Most of the time, creatures that can potentially grant insanity and/or corruption usualy have a Fear Rating, making the PC's roll against willpower to see if they are scared shitless or not. If they pass, the usually don't receive any insanity points (or corruption points if we're dealing with warp creatures). Granted the odd freak or two might exist that ALWAYS grant Insanity and Corruption regardless if you pass your fear check or not, but these amounts are usually small.

Also don't forget that the more insane you are the less likely yu are to acquire insanity points as well from "lesser fears". Always keep in mind that if the tens in your number of insanity is double or more than an actual creatures fear rating your are basically immune to it (which of course means that when you have gathered up a hefty chunk of insanity, certain warp creatures won't even be able to scare you enough to actually give you corruption points as well).

Also, as for insanity, the rules only say that characters become effectively "unplayable" when they reach 100 points. Before that they are perfectly playable (although they might have certain disorders that can make life a little more difficult than usual). There are also plenty of talents and acquirable traits that can be used to combat the effects of insanity (Rite of Pure Thought for Techpriests comes to mind here).

So I'd say that stooping to radicalism isn't a sure path to damnation through insanity or corruption. As long as you have the strength of mind (i.e willpower and talents that boost your willpower or help against certahn phenomena) most effects and drawbacks could feasibly be worked around...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellebore said:

One thing I wanted to say is that it may be entirely down to the fact the book almost exclusively focuses on warp based radicalism. Radicals aren't always like that though. A radical could be a Logician, a humanitarian, an enlightened person working with the tau, a democratic reformist. These types of radicals should be seen as 'radical' from the perspective of the Imperium, but they shouldn't be seen as radical from the universe (corruption comes across as a 'law' of the universe, you will get corruption from doing X just as suredly as you will get dead if you jump off a building on a heavy G world).

Thing is, though, philisophical radicalism (as opposed to technical radicalism - that is, the former is radical in intent, the latter radical in method) is invariably less about the tools and the techniques (many of which have a deleterious influence upon body, mind and soul) than it is about the believed end result. A philosophical radical has a particular goal to achieve - the strength-through-war approach of an Istvaanian, or the rebuild-the-Imperium approach of a Recongregator are good examples of this. The tools which they use to achieve those goals are no different, really, to the tools of anybody else in the Imperium, and consequently when you get to the mechanical side of things, they're far less represented. In rules terms, the warp-touched radicalism - a not uncommon form of technical radicalism - requires a significant treatment, because the rules don't necessarily exist anywhere else, and it's hard to present the idea of "using the Powers of the Warp against Chaos" without detailing those Powers of the Warp for the players to use against Chaos.

Making that distinction, and acknowledging a different level of mechanical requirement for the different sides of this matter, is important, IMO. A faction whose flavour of Radicalism is a belief in reformation or similar needs only a section explaining what they believe. A faction who seek to wield sorcery and daemonology against the Enemies of Man needs both a description of their beliefs and a description of the tools of their trade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

theDevilofWormwood said:

Finally, the OP asked:  "If corruption happens all the time being a radical, why ever become one?  Corruption is never a good thing."  Well, there are many many stories out there about characters selling their soul to the Devil in exchange for something.  Sure, sometimes the character doesn't realize it's the Devil until it's too late, but most of the time the character willingly enters into the bargain.  Selling your soul to the Devil sure doesn't seem like a good thing, so why would a character ever do that?  Because they want something.  Sometimes the character thinks they can get away with it and trick the Devil in the end, but sometimes the character isn't deluding themselves, knows the consequences, and sells their soul anyway, because they just want whatever it is that badly.

 

And sometimes the slip into corruption is not noticed, beguiling the corrupted into thinking they are still the "Good guy."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I felt the volumes of insanity and corruption being handed out by the various radical things in the book were wholly appropriate. They are forbidden for  a reason, especially sorcery. Sorcery is frequently described as being horrendously dangerous, soul polluting activity undertaken by the archeneny, if it was just a different kind of psyker, that would be kinda lame.

There are several factors that would allow an Inquisitor to survive long term while using corrupting methods, a high Willpower, Dark hearted Talent and an Immateria ward would do wonders for preventing too much corruption building up. 

there are two themes that I think these mechanics aid beautifully, the first is that Chaos is temping and powerful but it is an inheritally malign force. You can use its power against it, but it will always claim you in the end.

40k (imo) has a definite theme that the weak and foolish suffer through their hubris, and these mechanics suits this perfectly. An ill-prepared or low willpower sorcerer is naught but daemon-bait, and that in my opinion, is pure 40k. Anyone hare-brained enough to build warp-based technology *into their body* or pick up a daemon weapon, even with the best of intentions, is going to get whats coming to them, probably sooner rather than later.

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...