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alexateske

officio assassinorum

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Callidus would obviously have great social skills, with a bit of poison lore thrown in. As a special class ability, I could see them getting to choose temporary Peer and/or Good Reputation talents depending on the face they're wearing - if they emulate a Xeno cultist, they might get Peer and Good Reputation (Xeno cult) as well as Peer (Xeno venerated by Xeno cult).

As for Culexus... well, I'd say when you've statted something that can defeat the ohmygawdhecankillthreelordsofchangeperround-psyker, you're nearly there.

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Callidus should have decent melee (if not Eversor levels) and insanely high social skills.

Perhaps have Culexus reduce the effective WP bonus and/or Psy rating of all characters near him? Or better yet, damage those.

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Try these, thinking in terms of NPC Culexus Assassins:

Omega-level Null: Culexus Assassins are amongst the most potent of Nulls, their very essence a howling abyss akin to a psychic black hole. Their terrifying nature is further augmented by specialised, arcane equipment, making them the most lethal of Psyker-killers. So rare are Nulls of this potency, and so arduous and deadly is their training, that Culexus Assassins are the rarest of all agents of the Officio Assassinorum. A Culexus Assassin gains the following special abilities:

  • Repugnant Presence: The Culexus has a Fellowship of 5 and suffers an additional -10 penalty on all Fellowship-based Skill Tests.
  • Psychic Invulnerability: The Culexus is completely immune to Psychic Powers, psychic energy and effects directed at them (as well as warp powers, possession, Corruption from warp shock, and so forth). This rule is identical to the rule of the same name found on page 38 of The Radical's Handbook.
  • Extreme Psychic Disruption: All psychic powers and abilities manifested in the Culexus' immediate area (a radius equal to twice its Willpower Bonus in metres) have their Threshold increased by 20, and any associated Tests by the psyker have their Difficulty increased by -30. Additionally, creatures subject to Warp Instability will suffer triple damage from its effects while in this area. In addition, any tests to sustain psychic powers must be made every round while within the Culexus' presence, instead of every 10 rounds.
  • Abhorrent to Behold: To all creatures and characters with the Psyniscience skill, a Culexus Assassin in plain sight of them - that is, visible to their normal senses - counts as possessing the Fear (4) Trait. Even creatures normally immune to Fear Tests are subject to this effect. To minds not sensitive to the Immaterium, the utter wrongness of a Culexus means that only the strongest minds can force themselves to even acknowledge that such a creature exists. Creatures without the Psyniscience skill must pass a Challenging (+0) Willpower Test in order to acknowledge a Culexus Assassin at all.
  • The Abyss Staring Back: The mere presence of a Culexus is a thing of nightmares, drawing in psychic energy as a black hole draws in light. Creatures nearby find their will draining away, an implacable sense of hopelessness sapping their resistance. Within a radius equal to twice the Culexus' Willpower Bonus in metres, all creatures suffer a -10 penalty to Willpower Tests, and creatures lose the benefit of any Unnatural Willpower traits they may possess.
  • Wyrd-slaying Touch: The merest touch of a Culexus Assassin is agony for a Psyker, the close proximity causing the soul to shriek with unimaginable pain. When combined with the lethal combat abilities of a Culexus, a Psyker's power is turned from a boon to a terrible curse. Against a psyker, a Culexus gains a bonus to damage with unarmed attacks equal to twice the Psyker's Psy Rating. In addition, successful hits that deal greater damage than the psyker's Willpower Bonus also cause 1 level of Fatigue due to the draining influence of the Culexus and the agony it causes.

Animus Speculum

The method by which this rare and bizarre weapon functions is unknown, though many theories exist. All that is know is that the presence of nearby Psykers empowers it, allowing it to unleash lethal blasts of energy. It is a ranged weapon with the following rules:

Basic, Range: 30m, Rate of Fire: -/-/3*, Damage: 2d10+4 E, Pen 0, Clip Infinite, Reload N/A, Special: Auto-Stabilised, Warp Weapon, Reliable

*The Animus Speculum has only its basic rate of fire listed. At any given moment, the actual rate of fire of the Animus Speculum instead -/-/X, where X is the combined Psy Rating of every Psyker within 60m, to a minimum of 3. If the combined Psy Rating of every Psyker within 60m is greater than 10, treat the rate of fire as -/-/10 and give the Animus Speculum the Storm quality.

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ItsUncertainWho said:

You are both a genius and utterly evil. 

So my players tell me. Well, the evil part, anyway. Rarely is my genius quite as appreciated by them.

To be fair, they're still rough, and would likely need tweaking and refining and suchlike (I've folded the effect of their Etherium suit into the Omega-level Null rules, for example - I wouldn't have done that ordinarily), plus fitted to a proper NPC block with characteristics, skills and talents, etc - for the moment, assume that they're like an Eversor, but with different gear (which reminds me; I haven't written up Psyk-out Grenades... need to work on those at some point).

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The Boy Named Crow said:

 As long as we're requesting things, has anyone statted up a C'Tan phase sword?

I was considering it, and my solution was to make it a normal sword, dealing 1d10 damage, but having it completely ignore both armor and toughness bonus.

I did up a version ages back, on the old forum, along with the other tools of the Vindicare and Callidus temples. Someone was kind enough to repost them here when these forums first opened, and I've reposted the relevant bits below - the Vindicare stuff no longer being relevant now that there are official versions in Ascension.

Templum Callidus

Exotic Weapon: Neural Shredder

Class: Basic
Range: 20m
RoF: S/-/-
Dam: Special
Pen: 8
Clip: 10
Rld: 4 Full
Special: Flame (cannot set targets alight),
Wt: 2kg
Cost: Not available for sale
Availability: Not available for sale

A Neural Shredder does not deal damage in any conventional way, but rather directly interferes with the target's brain function, incapacitating or even killing enemies by overloading their brains. A character hit by a Neural Shredder is stunned for 1d5 rounds and loses 3d10 points from both his Intelligence, Willpower (roll once, and subtract the same value from both), which can be recovered at the normal rate. If either score is reduced to 0, then the character falls unconscious as described on page 200 of the Dark Heresy rulebook. If both scores are reduced to 0, the character dies from a massive brain haemorrhage.

Exotic Weapon: C'Tan Phase Sword
Class: Melee
Dam: 1d10+5 R
Pen: infinite
Special: Warp Weapon, Flexible, Unwieldy (note: The Flexible and Unwieldy qualities represent the fact that the weapon's phasing nature makes it impractical to parry or to parry with, as the blade is not always tangible)
Wt: 1.3kg
Cost: Not available for sale
Availability: Not available for sale

Poisoned Blades
Treat as Mono-edged Knives coated in the Ars Imperialis Mortua poison, described in the GM's Kit. If you don't have the GM's Kit, use the Toxic quality instead.

Polymorphine
Polymorphine is a potent and highly restricted drug that allows the user to manipulate the shape, colouring and structure of their bodies, permitting a skilled user to assume the appearance of others. Without special surgical and/or augmetic implants, a polymorphine user can only assume the appearance of others of her species, but the drug remains a useful asset to Callidus Assassins working deep undercover.
A single dose of polymorphine makes the user's form malleable for five minutes, during which time, Intelligence or Willpower tests can be attempted to shape their body in different ways. Intelligence is used for subtle, precise changes - eye colour, facial features, etc, while Willpower is used for more drastic changes, such as height, weight, build, gender, etc. GM's discretion should be applied to both what changes can be made in this time, and how difficult the tests are.
Assuming appropriate changes have been made, the resulting change of appearance grants the user a +30 bonus to all Disguise tests.
Reverting to one's original form requires another dose of Polymorphine, but no tests.

Someone untrained in the use of Polymorphine [perhaps add a new talent - "Polymorphine Use"?] cannot control the changes easily, treats all tests to wilfully change his form as Very Hard (-30) and must test even to revert to his natural state.

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I have Polymorphine Training (Int) in my game for some of the long term PC's that got roped into assisting the Assassinorum.

Basically there is a portable DNA Corer, which is a large pistol sized/shaped device which has a small cogitator in it, an extraction needle and an injecting needle, they 'core' someone with the extractor, or obtain a sample big enough to do the job (and hope its uncontaminated!), it gets broken down and applied to a shot of Polymorphine as the mimic strand of DNA.

The process takes 1hr, reduced by 10min per degree of success on an (Ordinary +10) Polymorphine Use skill roll to formulate the drug. It takes 15min to take effect and replicates the target sample DNA with 100% accuracy, during this stage a Toughness (+0 Male and +20 Female) test is made to avoid taking 1 wound (no soak) and is permanent until the subjects original DNA is reloaded and done over again.

That will give you a +30 to your disguise checks, additional Hypno-Indoctrination training with specialist Assassinorum equipment to cover the subjects Accent, Language(s), some transitory cover history and so forth will grant an additional +20 to disguise checks, but such proscribed equipment isn't exactly portable and about as common as hens teeth! It is usually done over a 1 week period in 16hr sessions and usually requires a WP check (+0) to avoid getting 1D5 IP's.

All the normal things apply with Polymorphine, basically it'll mimic a humanoid pattern (2 arms, legs, head, etc) and any sex of the subject.

 

In regards to the Animus Speculum, mines slightly similar, but- has a blast radius instead that gets progessively more terrible the more psykers there are around. From memory they did in 40K TT anyway.

 

Pity the Callidus isnt in there, they are slightly more believable to have a PC go into as part of the nature of both the Inquisition (being primarily covert investigators) AND the Assassinorum Temple assassins that are 'made' from birth with horrific training methods. Its only the social skills of the Callidus that I'd consider letting a PC play one after some truly, god **** awful amounts of being tortured by the Assassinorum, not "Joe Pinapples" the Vindicare... he's banned as a PC playable class.

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Cifer said:

 @N0-1

Would the Phase-Sword's Warp ability be affected by Hexagrammatic Wards? It's not like Necron tech is particularly warp-based.

I wouldn't think so, but I imagine, if you gave it enough thought, you could justify it, depending on whether or not you wanted to allow it or not. In this instance, Warp Weapon is really just shorthand for 'ignores armour completely'

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 In this instance, Warp Weapon is really just shorthand for 'ignores armour completely'

That's what I assumed, but as written, it takes on all the aspects of a Warp Weapon - including being negated by warded armour.

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I had our PCs fight a Callidus Assassin once towards the finale of our campaign (a small cruiser hosting a charity ball for tranch war orphans, for much Fifth-Element styled fun). This was pre-ascension (about a week or two before it was released IIRC), so I had  to guess the approximate power of an assassinorum operative, looking to our rank 8 assassins as guides, but compared to the published Eversor she didn't end up being too far behind, aside from lacking unnatural traits, which I personally believe is a bit silly so I wasn't too worried.

I don't remember the exact details, but she was basically built like a High WS, AG, and Fel melee-assassin (assassin's strike, step-aside/wall-of-steel, the works) with a heavy focus on social combat and chemistry knowledge. That being said, there were also a lot of "non-callidus" abilities granted to her; you can't forget that while assassinorum operatives may have their specialties, they are still highly badass at all forms of killing things. So don't forget stuff like Demolitions, even if it's not +20/Talented/Supermegabadass.

Equipmentwise, she just had a best-quality bodyglove (AP4), Phase Sword and Neural Shredder, and a small assortment of chemicals. The Phase Sword I used as a re-skinned Ghost Sword from Rogue Trader, while the Neural Shredder was a bit more interesting. After tinkering somewhat, I produced a weapon which functioned gamewise like a hand flamer, but dealing the effects of a high strength Blood Boil power, with the degress of failure for "dodging" stacking up for a more powerful effect.

Ironically, for pulling out all the stops on a character like this, she probably died in one of the most demeaning and underwhelming ways known to a character in the entire campaign. Even the BBEG who was headshotted by Nrvnqsr in the first round of the final battle had a more badass death. Admittedly, it's the best example of teamwork I've ever seen our party pull off, but nevertheless...

She was confronted "backstage" by our techpriest (Right of Awe stops most menials bothering to ask what a 200kg mass of robes and dendrites is doing backstage) as they had a quick duel behind the curtain, alerting everyone attending to the fact something was not right. During the battle, the callidus dives through a hole/elevator built into the main stage as the PCs use it  to rush the plot Macguffin away from her. Our untouchable moritat assassin is holding her off in melee while our arbitrator whisks the plot character away down a hallway, and our techpriest gives chase down the disabled lift shaft, dropping down and trying to impale her with his 8 robolegs. She parries and cuts his legs off, leaving him floored. Someone ditches a hallucinogen grenade into the hole from the fight outside, and while everyone important passes, assassinorum operatives evidently don't have Fate Points.

She drops to the ground, playing dead. Our techpriest realises the sham instantly and vaporises her with his hellgun. Now the lucky sonofagrox has a neural shredder, phase sword, has superseded his master through various shenanigans 'eliminating' him, and is chasing down a certain servo-skull named Morte, now possessed by an AI program he almost had in his grasp.

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The Hobo Hunter said:

Now the lucky sonofagrox has a neural shredder, phase sword, has superseded his master through various shenanigans 'eliminating' him, and is chasing down a certain servo-skull named Morte, now possessed by an AI program he almost had in his grasp.

PC's rarely brush their tracks behind them to any degree of thoroughness and that kind of gear they will make an effort to get back.

To be fair (rather than slit his throat in the middle of the night), just have them nick it back and let him wake up with a meltabomb set with a mercury switch and very finely calibrated altimeter sitting on his chest.

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Oh, Mechanicus Politics will be interesting enough without being hounded for cool gear (lower-tier individuals rushing to fill the power gap left by an assassinated leader, with Legs fully determined and ruthless enough to make a grab himself), but since we haven't returned to that cell in a long time, in fact since our last campaign reached its conclusion, I'll worry about that when we return there.

Right now, our current party is, how do I put this delicately, rather screwed (isn't that always the case?).

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