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Varnias Tybalt

Stats for Murder Servitors?

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With the notorious Murder Servitors + Teleportarium combo well known, I've been wondering: has anyone attempted to provide stats for the class of servitors known as "Murder Servitors" for use in standard combat between PC's and NPC's?

Granted there are a few servitors described with stats in the Rogue Trader rulebook, and aside from those there's also the Arco-Flagellants from Diciples of the Dark Gods and Praetorian Battle Servitors listed in Inquisitors Handbook to consider using as substitutes... But I don't know, some of them seem sort of inappropriate. The Flagellants for instance, while certainly matching the sheer ferocity I imagine Murder Servitors to have, they seem somewhat "meatshieldy" and single-minded to be an effective strike force supposed to plant and detonate melta charges aboard enemy vessels. Sure as pure suicide bombers they might do the trick, but from their purpose and design they seem to be intented to just slaughter large amounts of meaty targets rather than acheiving special objectives.

The Praetorian Battle Servitors however do seem to possess the sophistication, but from their description (both in IH and the "Mechanicum" novel of the Horus Heresy series) they seem to be rather heavy, tank-like versions of battle servitors (often using tracked engines as locomotion). So for an effective hit and run attack they seem a little too slow and heavy.

My vision of a Murder Servitor (using my imagination combined with what little has been used to describe these cyborg beasties) is something of a crosbreed between a Praetorian and an Arco-Flagellant, designed to swiftly and efficiently "saw" through certain masses of ship rating defenders, plant the explosives and return to the automated assault boat where a few tech-adepts and the coordinating assault leader (the PC leading the H&R attack) are entrenched and who coordinate and guide the actions of the Murder Servitors. Or failing that, make the servitors activate the melta charges in a timely fashion and thus self-destruct but allowing the assault boat time to withdraw.

What do you guys think? Should we perhaps post a few drafts of what stats these things could have? God knows that they could sure be useful for interesting encounters in Rogue Trader games (like when some nasty pirates or rival Rogue Traders manage to flood the inner sanctum of the bridge with Murder Servitors, or perhaps when a botched warp transition makes some of the PC's own Murder Servitors in cryo stasis thaw and go haywire).

 

Let's put our heads together and make up something that we can prodly call a purebred/built "Murder Servitor" so we GM's don't have to settle for sluggish substitutes, shall we? demonio.gif

 

So first topic, do you agree with my assessment that a Murder Servitor would be a sort of cross between a Praetorian and an Arco-Flagellant, or does anyone beg to differ? If so please motivate your opinion and we'll discuss it further.

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I make my players take out the Void Shields first.  Luckily for me, they acknowledge ORT as "official rules" unless NRT directly states contradictory.  That is, NRT supersedes ORT, but NRT doesn't say, whereas ORT specifically states Teleporters don't work through Power Fields or Void Shields.

Minor setback for them, as their first Hit'n'Run raid always targets the Voids...  As one of my players puts it, "Gotta send in Obi-Wan to take out the Tractor Beam..."

To the original question, I see pretty much any combat-specific Servitor as a "Murder Servitor".  So, yeah, I see them as a cross between Arco-Flagellents and Praetorians and everything in-between.  Every ship's probably got a few combat Servitors, but the choice to take "Murder Servitors" seems to me to indicate that this ship actually keeps a large stock of them where other ships/captains might deem this a waste of resources.

My players asked the same question and I told them that they're Servitors with only one purpose: Kill'un. And they've got old parts and are really decked out, that is not a "cheap" version.

But if anyone has a really good idea of how (or why) to differentiate "Murder" Servitors from other run-of-the-mill combat Servitors i'd be happy to read it.

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

I make my players take out the Void Shields first.  Luckily for me, they acknowledge ORT as "official rules" unless NRT directly states contradictory.  That is, NRT supersedes ORT, but NRT doesn't say, whereas ORT specifically states Teleporters don't work through Power Fields or Void Shields.

Minor setback for them, as their first Hit'n'Run raid always targets the Voids...  As one of my players puts it, "Gotta send in Obi-Wan to take out the Tractor Beam..."

On a personal note, my group and I settled for that a Teleportarium is a "one use per strategic round" type of equipment and it has fixed the issue to an appropriate level (though we did rule that if you have the space and power to install a second teleportarium you can use both to make two consecutive H&R's per SR with all the appropriate bonuses as long as there is enough PC* avaliable to lead the attacks that is). But if we'd want to make a second attack and we only have one Teleportarium then the other will have to be conducted the old fashioned way (with an assault boat and the risk of getting shot to death in it).

If I just made them take down the void shields first, then it wouldn't really change much. All my players would do is change the order of how they do things (shoot first, H&R later rather than the other way around).

Maxim C. Gatling said:

But if anyone has a really good idea of how (or why) to differentiate "Murder" Servitors from other run-of-the-mill combat Servitors i'd be happy to read it.

The thing is, I was sort of thinking that servitors comes in a varying degree of shapes and models, but the AdMech don't seem to construct servitors just for the heck of it. They do it with a specific purpose in mind for the servitor in question. So run-of-the-mill combat servitors would most likely function in a similar way as "regular troopers" in a normal army. They make up the meatshields and cannon fodder as far as combat servitors go. Praetorians seem to fill the "tank" function combined with a heavy weapons specialist role. They can take serious punishment, and they can dish out serious punishment, but they are big and lumbering and thus a bit lower than their smaller brethren.

Arco-Flagellants on the other hand aren't really servitors per se (it is supposed to be a form of punishment and penance for the subject who has to undergo the Arco-Flagellation procedure), but in form and function they seem to make up a sort of shock troopers. They are fast and dish out heavy punishment, but they aren't exactly as resilient as the Praetorians or the normal combat servitors and if they are forced to run long ways in open ground they will most likely get shot to pieces before they can do any damage to the target in question.

Anyway, my point here is that servitors (or servitor-like constructs) seem to be constructed with a certain purpose in mind. And I'd guess that this holds true for the ones designated as "murder servitors" as well, since they are used in hit and run attacks during starship combat, I'd asume that they are constructed with that specific purpose in mind, and I believe that they should have certain stats that differentiate them from the "grunts" like run-o-the-mill combat servitors and gun servitors.

Anyone who agrees with this?

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I agree that Murder Servitors should be a specific model or series of models all with the intent and only functionality of killing uncontrollably once they are activated. There should be a reason they are kept in cold storage when not in use. 

The only real question is-

How mean should they be?

 

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ItsUncertainWho said:

I agree that Murder Servitors should be a specific model or series of models all with the intent and only functionality of killing uncontrollably once they are activated. There should be a reason they are kept in cold storage when not in use. 

 

The only real question is-

How mean should they be?

 

That's the big question isn't it? gran_risa.gif

Feel free to post some stats and configurations if you wish. Im gonna go over the stats of a few of the current servitors and see if I can shake something up.

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Extending the analogy of armies for battle sevitors raises the question of scout and sniper variants (together with others such as fast attack), which sounds interesting.

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I would think they'd be like a high-quality, no-expense spared Combat Servitor programmed to function like an Arco-Flagellant.  Or one of those Assassins..the ones all glanded up for a one-use killing spree?

The question my players pose is "How many do we have?  Will we run out?"  I just make the assumption that the damaged ones would be meticulously refurbished.

But seeing as there will be times when they fail in their function and the target ship gets away making them irretrievable...?

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

I would think they'd be like a high-quality, no-expense spared Combat Servitor programmed to function like an Arco-Flagellant.  Or one of those Assassins..the ones all glanded up for a one-use killing spree?

The question my players pose is "How many do we have?  Will we run out?"  I just make the assumption that the damaged ones would be meticulously refurbished.

But seeing as there will be times when they fail in their function and the target ship gets away making them irretrievable...?

 

Do it on a case-by-case basic- and handle it via an upkeep roll, which is a good mechanic for this.

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