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vichn

Ways of Chaotic corruption

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Hi everyone.

The more my party makes progress, the more I find their characters perks.

For instance, over the last 2-3 missions I got to know that our medic talks a lot about sex and when we had one moment where fingerprints for door access were necessary, he suggested to skin the hands of guards. I hope he talks more like this since Slaanesh waits for him around the corner.

Now, the questions is, how do I represent corruption by allegiance to different Chaos gods?

Hope to hear your ideas.
Thanks.

Edited by vichn

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By default, Dark Heresy doesn't really intend to model corruption in much detail. That would be something more like the Black Crusade books.

However, you could perhaps assign a specific Characteristic to each type of corruption, depending on the associate Chaos God (e. g. Fellowship for Slaanesh, Intelligence for Tzeentch, Strength for Khorne, Toughness for Nurgle) and/or give minor positive modifiers to specific skills that act as the appropriate "catalyst" for a character's taint (e. g. Charm or Medicae for your medic's examples). Then, each time a character gains  Corruption Points, instead track the CP secretly (inform the group beforehand that you'd track these values covertly) and give the character a +3 to the Characteristic or a +5 to the Skill, depending on what is most fitting for the situation. These are temporary bonuses and they will remain in effect only for the duration of 1d5 sessions (but they may stack).

This way you could simulate the "slippery slope" of corruption, or how someone might even regard it as a positive influence rather than a one-way road to damnation, and you would "personalise" the corruption effect to each character in your group.

Note that this is by no means a well thought-out idea, just something that occurred to me as I was reading this post. There are probably smarter ways to go about this, but somehow my mind immediately wandered to a comparison with how other RPGs handle drug addiction in that you always have a short-term positive effect at a risk of long-term consequences.

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Hi there,

I would not give a character a bonus for falling into the hands of chaos. This will work well to tempt them, but I would rather toy a bit with the Malignancies (p.290 core rules).

First and foremost, do not roll them at random if you would rather like something special for the PC that fits the way the player portrait that character.

A lot of them can be easily tailored to have a slightly different reason for the game effect, and may be bend a bit to the Slaanesh-Way:

Morbid will work just as well when the character is not "gloomy" but "lusty" while the torture part can be kept.

Witch-Mark could just as well be one small, female breast on an otherwise male character, an overlong tongue that does NOT look normal, spiked/teethed genitalia. Or you could change the character to a hermaphrodite.

Waste Frame could be the lithe, sickening beauty of somebody that is just TOO thin.

Malign Sight does not need to be rot and decay, either. If once field of view is overlayed with scenes of pain and lust instead, it will be just as distracting.

Ashen Taste can be turned into "joyful self-punishment"

Last but not least, Strange Addiction is sooooo easy to toy with.

=======================================================================
With kind regards: Gregorius21778
My blog

P.S: Hey, Asmodee! We want our signatures back!

Edited by Gregorius21778

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3 hours ago, Gregorius21778 said:

First and foremost, do not roll them at random if you would rather like something special for the PC that fits the way the player portrait that character.

On that note, didn't someone here create a much longer, more exhaustive list of mutations inspired from the old WHFB? Might be something in there to adopt, too ...

4 hours ago, Gregorius21778 said:

P.S: Hey, Asmodee! We want our signatures back!

^ !

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55 minutes ago, Lynata said:

On that note, didn't someone here create a much longer, more exhaustive list of mutations inspired from the old WHFB? Might be something in there to adopt, too ...

^ !

I guess you are talking about this article from TheWorldSmith (forget about the forum search engine, use an internet search engine instead).

I had started something much, much smaller a long time.

 =======================================================================
With kind regards: Gregorius21778
My blog

P.S: Hey, Asmodee! We want our signatures back!

 

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Hey and thanks everyone for the answer.

18 hours ago, Lynata said:

By default, Dark Heresy doesn't really intend to model corruption in much detail. That would be something more like the Black Crusade books.

Are you thinking BC might have it or did you actually find stuff like this?

Edited by vichn

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On 2/12/2017 at 7:06 PM, vichn said:

Hi everyone.

The more my party makes progress, the more I find their characters perks.

For instance, over the last 2-3 missions I got to know that our medic talks a lot about sex and when we had one moment where fingerprints for door access were necessary, he suggested to skin the hands of guards. I hope he talks more like this since Slaanesh waits for him around the corner.

Now, the questions is, how do I represent corruption by allegiance to different Chaos gods?

Hope to hear your ideas.
Thanks.

Well the issue here is that you're oversimplifying corruption and as most do oversimplifying what Slaanesh is about.

Your medic talking about sex and suggesting they flay someone's hand for the prints is nothing.

Slaanesh cares about the pursuit of an experience, not the act unless it leads to it.

Your medic flaying their own hand to see what it feels like is something Slaanesh would care about.

Sex is generally the gateway to most Slaaneshi cults, but is not necessarily something Slaanesh really cares for anymore it's way too basic for them.

Corruption by allegiance is brought about by specific mutations based on the God in question. Examples exist in Black Crusade as marks or gifts of the gods, but it's not something for Dark Heresy as the power levels are different.

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6 hours ago, vichn said:

Are you thinking BC might have it or did you actually find stuff like this?

The latter. Black Crusade features a more detailed corruption mechanic that effectively gives each mutation a specific "twist" unique to one of the Gods. It's fitting for the book as the entire game revolves around Chaos, so naturally a greater level of detail was welcome here.

As Doc mentioned, there would be balancing concerns - the different RPG lines weren't created to be perfectly compatible and complementary, but rather are standalone RPGs with different power curves and different gameplay styles  that simply happen to share the same franchise and the same underlying d100 mechanic (where detail in rules evolves from product line to product line). However, if you do have the book or can borrow it, you may be able to find a lot of cool inspiration, as long as you don't necessarily copy stuff over 1:1.

1 hour ago, ThenDoctor said:

Slaanesh cares about the pursuit of an experience, not the act unless it leads to it.

When it comes to Slaanesh, an easy rule of thumb is to consider obsession and excess:

Simply enjoying something is okay. If it were otherwise, even just eating a meal would turn everyone into a heretic. What gets Slaanesh's attention is the decadent downward spiral where "enough is never enough".

In OP's example, personally I would deem the stuff with the hand a rather suitably grimdark example of medical professional expertise. However, if he truly is obsessed with sex ... I'd say that's more than just having fun, and might indeed be an opening for corruption, if combined with a suitable catalyst. Which could be something as simple as attracting the attention of a daemon in one's sleep (necessitating a stay in an area where the veil is weak) and failing your Willpower save, ending up with an imaginary friend who keeps visiting you in your dreams, planting "helpful" advice and nudging you further towards bliss...

Edited by Lynata

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On 14.02.2017 at 4:13 AM, ThenDoctor said:

Well the issue here is that you're oversimplifying corruption and as most do oversimplifying what Slaanesh is about.

Your medic talking about sex and suggesting they flay someone's hand for the prints is nothing.

Slaanesh cares about the pursuit of an experience, not the act unless it leads to it.

Your medic flaying their own hand to see what it feels like is something Slaanesh would care about.

Got it, thanks. 

I suppose it's a bit early for corrupting then.

On 14.02.2017 at 5:14 AM, Lynata said:

The latter. Black Crusade features a more detailed corruption mechanic that effectively gives each mutation a specific "twist" unique to one of the Gods. It's fitting for the book as the entire game revolves around Chaos, so naturally a greater level of detail was welcome here.

As Doc mentioned, there would be balancing concerns - the different RPG lines weren't created to be perfectly compatible and complementary, but rather are standalone RPGs with different power curves and different gameplay styles  that simply happen to share the same franchise and the same underlying d100 mechanic (where detail in rules evolves from product line to product line). However, if you do have the book or can borrow it, you may be able to find a lot of cool inspiration, as long as you don't necessarily copy stuff over 1:1.

When it comes to Slaanesh, an easy rule of thumb is to consider obsession and excess:

Simply enjoying something is okay. If it were otherwise, even just eating a meal would turn everyone into a heretic. What gets Slaanesh's attention is the decadent downward spiral where "enough is never enough".

All I found in BC rulebook at the moment was about 5 pages of narrative text about ways of different Gods of Chaos and their Marks (which is still useful) and without any game mechanic influence. Maybe there's more.

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i would say you overthink things too much. corruption points is exactly that. your downward path to chaos. humans dont just have lust or greed or whatever. we have a little bit of everything. i think warhammer universe as, the cause justifies the means. so for example a player burning an npc in the name of the emperor because he was a heretic is fine but doing the same in order to hide his unfaithfulness is not. award cp according to that. hiding in the darkness or coming out to the light of the emperor is only a choice :) . awarding malignacies that fit the circumstance is always nice!  

Edited by DarkSolstice

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9 hours ago, vichn said:

All I found in BC rulebook at the moment was about 5 pages of narrative text about ways of different Gods of Chaos and their Marks (which is still useful) and without any game mechanic influence. Maybe there's more.

Have you checked Gifts of the Gods on page 290? The vast majority of them have mechanical effects, too, in addition to narrative ones (though one might argue the latter would be more important).

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14 minutes ago, DarkSolstice said:

i think warhammer universe as the cause justifies the means. so for example a player burning an npc in the name of the emperor because he was a heretic is fine but doing the same in order to hide his unfaithfulness is not.

Sort of, yeah. Ultimately, any and all actions are meaningless unless they affect the psyche of either the perpetrator or a victim -- because the Warp functions based on and reacts to thought and emotion, not because of some physical thing on the material plane. Flesh or steel matter naught, it is the mind that is both sustenance and manipulator of the Immaterium, including its creatures. As such, faith truly is one's best shield, as aptly demonstrated by the records of the Sisters of Battle. Or, to quote a Thought for the Day: "Ignorance is bliss."

Taking the above example, burning an NPC in the name of the Emperor would leave the attacker unharmed as they are convinced by the righteousness of their action. On the other hand, the victim may well fuel the power of the Dark Gods because of the fear or hatred they feel at the moment, or because his or her death makes others (friends, relatives) feel despair or hatred. Of course, such minutiae of Warp cosmology would be utterly unknown to the characters themselves, unless they are an extremely well-versed Inquisitor in possession of forbidden knowledge.

Of course, the same action may still yield an emotional response later on if a character re-evaluates it and comes to the conclusion that they have committed a wrong -- triggering a crisis of faith.

Edited by Lynata

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36 minutes ago, Lynata said:

Sort of, yeah. Ultimately, any and all actions are meaningless unless they affect the psyche of either the perpetrator or a victim -- because the Warp functions based on and reacts to thought and emotion, not because of some physical thing on the material plane. Flesh or steel matter naught, it is the mind that is both sustenance and manipulator of the Immaterium, including its creatures. As such, faith truly is one's best shield, as aptly demonstrated by the records of the Sisters of Battle. Or, to quote a Thought for the Day: "Ignorance is bliss."

Taking the above example, burning an NPC in the name of the Emperor would leave the attacker unharmed as they are convinced by the righteousness of their action. On the other hand, the victim may well fuel the power of the Dark Gods because of the fear or hatred they feel at the moment, or because his or her death makes others (friends, relatives) feel despair or hatred. Of course, such minutiae of Warp cosmology would be utterly unknown to the characters themselves, unless they are an extremely well-versed Inquisitor in possession of forbidden knowledge.

Of course, the same action may still yield an emotional response later on if a character re-evaluates it and comes to the conclusion that they have committed a wrong -- triggering a crisis of faith.

Coulnd't agree more! :) the rest usually is the surprise!

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On 16.02.2017 at 0:59 AM, Lynata said:

Have you checked Gifts of the Gods on page 290? The vast majority of them have mechanical effects, too, in addition to narrative ones (though one might argue the latter would be more important).

Oh, my, this is what I was looking for. Thanks!

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On 16.02.2017 at 1:07 AM, Lynata said:

Sort of, yeah. Ultimately, any and all actions are meaningless unless they affect the psyche of either the perpetrator or a victim -- because the Warp functions based on and reacts to thought and emotion

Would that mean that those who can't feel emotions when whether they are doing an action or receiving an action are unaffected by Warp?

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7 hours ago, vichn said:

Would that mean that those who can't feel emotions when whether they are doing an action or receiving an action are unaffected by Warp?

Spiritual corruption is all about the mental state. Someone who cannot feel emotions will also have no aspirations -- what could the Warp possibly offer them? There's no personality weakness to latch on. This is what makes Adepta Sororitas more resilient against Chaos, too. Not that they're completely emotionless, of course, but their upbringing and way of life are focused on keeping them "innocent", unable or at least unlikely to develop the kind of dreams and hopes that might make a normal person (or a Space Marine) vulnerable.

Even better are the servitors, as these lobotomised poor sods truly have zero emotion (except in some Black Library novels whose author may have different ideas on the subject than Games Workshop themselves), meaning their minds should be immune to "passive corruption", meaning as a result of what they are doing.

Although I'd even argue it begins earlier than actual Warp taint. Unfortunately, Dark Heresy doesn't distinguish between physical and mental corruption. Both are related, but you can get physically corrupted whilst remaining mentally pure (though mental corruption can follow out of despair at one's situation), just like you can be the most moustache-twirling villain of a Chaos Cultist and yet look perfectly fine from the outside (though physical corruption can follow as such a person is likely to delve ever-deeper into forbidden lore and depraved rituals, tempting the Immaterium).

A more granular approach might have been to keep track of both separately, and have Spiritual Purity as well as Physical Purity be affected by different things (emotions for the former, warp energy for the latter), with a link between both tracks. Spiritual Purity acts as your shield against mental corruption, and can in some cases even thwart actual psychic assaults, but once your Spiritual Purity is depleted, Chaos would have an easier way to corrupt your body as well.

On a sidenote: This is a completely different setting, but given how the Fade in BioWare's Dragon Age functions, it might be worth looking at this franchise for ideas on cosmology, too. There, Mages are effectively Dragon Age's dark fantasy version of Psykers as their abilities work thanks to them being able to tap into the Fade, which is an extraplanar realm where everyone goes to in their dreams. The Fade is populated by "daemons" who are inherently neutral, but have taken to mimick the ideas and emotions of dreamers, and in some cases even attempted to enter the real world through them as vessels. Sounds familiar?

Anyways, in this setting, most countries enforce strict regulations on Mages due to them being so vulnerable to daemonic possession. As soon as a child with this gift is discovered, the Templars - the Chantry's religious military order - will pick them up and bring them in. At this point, they can either petition to join the Circle of Mages and spend their lives in one of the Circle's Towers under constant Templar guard, or undergo the Rite of Tranquility, which involves removing their ability to feel emotions or experience dreams, in turn making them almost entirely immune to daemonic possession.

http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Tranquil

Like I said, different setting -- but given how the Fade is almost exactly the same as the Warp, the same logic applies to its functionality and limitations.

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The Warp doesn't really care about your emotional state, not for the purposes of corruption at least. Too many things in the lore refute this.

 

The existence of Irradial Cogitators, warp-crazed Servitors, warp-corrupted weapons born from their potential within the warp, and so on. The Warp is not the Fade, it doesn't just reflect emotions and dreams, it reflects the potential of physical matter as well, which is why the Necrons for example are still fearful of its influence and can fall prey to it (see the entry in Codex Chaos Daemons on the Khornate Daemon Prince that eats a Tomb World).

 

As for the Sororitas, they aren't less susceptible, but more. Its just that they are protected by their connection to the Emperor, a psychic being of vast power that they draw strength from. That's why faith is such a powerful tool, because it invites the power of the Warp in a controlled manner. Astropaths and Navigators pray for this very reason, because a lack of emotion makes it easier for the Warp to... well, warp you.

Edited by SCKoNi

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20 hours ago, SCKoNi said:

The Warp doesn't really care about your emotional state, not for the purposes of corruption at least.

The Warp is defined solely by emotion and things connected to it; it is a force of nature entirely dependent on external influence, rather than a sentient being with a will of its own. Of course anything or anyone can, in theory, be tainted/twisted/corrupted, but this effect would still originate from emotion and conscious thought, it doesn't just "happen". A being that feels no emotion thus runs no risk of corrupting themselves; there is no connection and nothing the Warp could feed on or draw inspiration from.

I don't think I've ever seen something hinting at the Immaterium reflecting "the potential of physical matter" -- it just happens to be that by M41, the Warp is so full of random thoughts and emotions that they have become condensed in almost-sentient yet still reactionary forces that some would call "Chaos Gods". But that still doesn't mean the Warp changes physical matter randomly; it's still a reflection of some thought or emotion. If it were otherwise, there would be less substance to the things the Immaterium changes them into, as they'd be 100% random rather than still having purpose.

I follow the theory that the Warp was once entirely calm and empty, and it did not become chaotic before people started to dump all their emotional baggage into it. If you have seen the movie "Sphere", this is kind of what I'm getting at here. The 6E 40k rulebook also has an interesting explanation by a Navigator on the nature of the Warp, and how it is affected by the things that travel through it (like Imperial ships).

20 hours ago, SCKoNi said:

As for the Sororitas, they aren't less susceptible, but more. Its just that they are protected by their connection to the Emperor, a psychic being of vast power that they draw strength from. That's why faith is such a powerful tool, because it invites the power of the Warp in a controlled manner.

We're probably operating based on different and mutually incompatible sources on this one. Personally, I'm going by the background the GW studio themselves have written, in which it was clarified that the Sisters' faith and its effects has nothing to do with the Warp or psychic powers. This is why, for example, the 3E rules for the Shield of Faith - before it was streamlined into a +1 Deny the Witch general rule - had them reject even benevolent psychic effects from allied psykers.

Ironically, based on the above it would seem that the Warp's connection to peoples' thoughts and emotions is also what makes it vulnerable to being pushed back by the individuals it "feeds" on. Prayer focuses the mind, and if your faith is strong enough, you may actually succeed in "willing" the Warp away, just like the Warp would take hold in your body and spirit if you weren't. You won't be able to tap into the Immaterium's potential like a true psyker can, but you can still use the link that any Human being has with the Warp to sabotage it.

As such, I don't see prayer as a way to make people more emotional, but rather to guide existing and non-suppressable emotions into an orderly path. The very purpose of meditation is to calm yourself, after all.

20 hours ago, SCKoNi said:

Astropaths and Navigators pray for this very reason, because a lack of emotion makes it easier for the Warp to... well, warp you.

If this were the case, wouldn't we see non-sentient things (including Necron troops) change form a lot more often? It appears to me that a psychic disturbance appears first in an emotional, feeling being that henceforth can act as a conduit, and that warped objects are either just a byproduct, an accident, or the product of some ritual rather than the supposedly primary way the Warp manifests itself in the real world.

To take the Tau as an example: as per the rules for d100 Inquisitor, daemons have trouble acting upon them because contrary to most Humans (and psykers in particular) the reflection of their souls in the Immaterium is nigh-imperceptible. Whatever the cause for this may be, it follows that inanimate objects have even less of a presence in the Warp because they have no soul.

Ultimately, the Warp has zero interest in any object of the material realm. It feeds on thoughts and emotions, and thus the souls of people. It cares not for "the potential of physical matter" because this is not its sustenance, and as far as I'm aware, nothing in the way the various Chaos forces operate indicates that either the Warp or its "gods" would have any opinion on secular materials. And why would they?

Edited by Lynata

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Hey, guys, I got another related question.

Can someone describe in a nutshell how could one express tendency to one or another god?

As Doctor described above, Slaanesh is about endless purse of sensations. Tzeench, I guess, would be pursue of knowledge to gain ultimate power. 

Khorne? He is not about plain stupid killing, even if it seems so, imo. And Nurgle? ....

Edited by vichn

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29 minutes ago, vichn said:

Can someone describe in a nutshell how could one express tendency to one or another god?

Very succinctly put.

Slaanesh: The pursuit of new more extreme sensation at all cost.

Tzeentch: The use of and pursuit of arcane knowledge for personal benefit.

Khorne: The enactment of brutal violence for personal glory (glory here being nebulous).

Nurgle: The pursuit of seeing the great cycle of life, death, and rebirth/change continued and furthered.

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1 hour ago, vichn said:

And what about Malal? :)

Malal doesn't legally or technically exist in the 40k universe.

Even then the goals of Chaos Undivided are to make sure that Chaos is spread in a general sense and that not one force of the four powers gain too much traction over any of the others.

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Of course 40k is 90% headcanon, so anyone who wants to insert Malal - or any other homebrewed Warp entity into their games - should feel free to do so, as long as the table agrees!

As for "expressing a tendency", is this referring to actions alone or was the question more general? For the various Chaos Gods also have stuff like colours, iconography and numbers associated with them, which a dedicated cultist may display as part of their physical appearance. Even "body mods" could be a thing!

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