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Polaria

Imperial use of Xeno technology

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The books like Disciplines of Dark Gods and Radicals Handbook make it sound like all xeno technology was suspect or even outright contraband. However, Rogue Trader and Inquisitors Handbook seem to sport all kinds of xeno goods in the hands of Imperial nobles or even Administratum. From table-top fluff we know that stuff like C'tan Phase Blades are used even by "purest of pures" the Astartes themselves. So what is your opinion on the legality of xenos technology? Is there some pieces which require an "imperial stamp of approval" while most remains off-limits or is it more like "you can get it if you pry it out of my cold, dead hands"?

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There does appear to be something of a dichotomy in the literature on that topic, does there not?

I get the impression that the high and mighty, espcecially those who - at least on paper - are answerable only to the Emperor, have much more leeway in this regard.  Inquisitors and their retinues, Rogue Traders and their retinues, Astartes, etc.  While the nobles and lesser citizens just have to hope that they aren't seen using Xenos tech by the wrong member of the Ecclesiarchy, Inquisition, or Arbites.

And that is pretty much the way I play it.  Of course, even an Inquisitor who uses Xeno-tech with impunity could be called out by one of his peers, particularly if that peer happens to be militantly Puritan in outlook.

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Rogue Trades are exceptional in a way, they are outside of the standard administrum sanction. They have letters allowing them to discover new technologies etc and are out of touch from the inquisition if they don't dable to far... (which some Inquisitor don't like and others love)

There is no simple truth in the 40k universe (hell look at the rules of their table top game), everyting should be taken from a point of view...

The Radicals will indulge, the neutral may, the purist won't ever at any cost... and then you enter feelings, psykers, etc...

Once a technology is aquired by the mechanicus it is studied and classified either as "evil", "good" or "irrelevant". How, when, how often, etc. is up to your DM. Some Mechanicus agents are radical them self, etc.

You could have one forge world approuving a design (because one archmagos said so) and one other in another sector saying no, then you may have covert internal warfare, etc.

There is no simple solution, just allow a few items to pass depending on the surrounding etc.

While a Inquisitor may know what a Xeno Needler is a low life scum may not, etc.

 

 

 

 

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I think you mistake is assuming that the Imperium is fair, or even sane. What is illegal and heresy, to be punished by death, among the manufactory dregs of Hive Primus might be considered merely scandalous among the nobility of the same hive and commonplace among the agents of Holy Inquisition.

Of course, there is some internal logic to it. The Imperium is, in part, based on the idea that the masses can't handle the truth about reality, the horrors of the warp, the evils of the xenos, etc. Of course, the rulers of the Imperium are better then that... better equiped mentaly and spiritually to deal with those truths and so able to tell the difference between what is safe and what is corrupt. Obviously, agents of Holy Ordos would fall into the highest of these catagories, able to radical and dangerous handle things like xeno tech and free thinking without the same risks suffered by the ignorant masses of humanity below them.

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My take on it is that all xeno items are strictly illegal, unless you have specific dispensation to use it, granted by an official representative of the Adeptus Terra. Thus, PCs would need the permission of their Inquisitor to use xenotech legally- which makes a nice tool for maintaining game balance ("I don't care how useful you think that Necron weapon would be, it is a heresy! Destroy it immediately!"). It also makes it tricky for greedy PCs to sell illegal loot- an Ork choppa may be worth a few hundred thrones acording to Creatures Anathema, but good luck finding a merchant who will be willing to risk the death penalty by buying it from them...

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 It seems that at least low-level xeno tech is somewhat accepted among the nobility of the Imperium and will often be overlooked by non-firebrand Inquisitors if the nobleman in question appears sensible enough. For an example, take a look at the Spyrer "gangs" of Necromunda.

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Cifer said:

 It seems that at least low-level xeno tech is somewhat accepted among the nobility of the Imperium and will often be overlooked by non-firebrand Inquisitors if the nobleman in question appears sensible enough. For an example, take a look at the Spyrer "gangs" of Necromunda.

 

Let's not forget about the Digital weapons, the finest examples of which are produced by the Jakaero.  Which, by the way, is also a tolerated Xenos breed to be traded with.

-=Brother Praetus=-

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Theres also the matter that the Imperium (often via the Adeptus Mechanicus) reverse engineered a lot of technology, thats why you get imperial versions of weapons like the Shurican pistol (as seen in most editions of WH40k, both in rules and in fluff), though these reverse engineered weapons tend to be bigger and bulkier than the original versions..

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Velvetears said:

Theres also the matter that the Imperium (often via the Adeptus Mechanicus) reverse engineered a lot of technology, thats why you get imperial versions of weapons like the Shurican pistol (as seen in most editions of WH40k, both in rules and in fluff), though these reverse engineered weapons tend to be bigger and bulkier than the original versions..

 

Well, bigger and heavier is always better.  Just ask an Ork.  gran_risa.gif

-=Brother Praetus=-

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Thanks for the opinions so far. I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately, since the imperial use of xeno technology will play a significant part in the continuation of my DH campaign. Currently the Acolytes and their Inquisitor are tracking down possible Necron influences inside the Imperial Administratum and one of the leads they have now is that some of Adeptus Mechanicus sanctioned technology used by Officio Assassinorum (C'tan Phase Blades and Animus Speculum specifically) may actually be of Necron origin... Considering how powerfull Officio is they can't exactly just walk into Terra and have the whole organization interred for heresy. So, for now, they just have to deal with it as fait accompli by the Officio and proceed to look how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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Polaria said:

Currently the Acolytes and their Inquisitor are tracking down possible Necron influences inside the Imperial Administratum...

I recommend reading the short story Deux Ex Mechanicus by Andy Chambers (originally printed in Inferno! magazine, reprinted in the omnibus paperback  Let The Galaxy Burn). It has some interesting info on Necron infilraitors in Imperial society.

One other thing to keep in mind with xenotech is that it may not even be useable by humans. Do Necron gauss flayers even have triggers, or are they fired by some kind of cybernetic link...?

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On last mission they actually managed to capture a (dead) Pariah at the cost of one burned fate point and few lost limbs (literally). They did get their hands on the actual warscythe and while their enginseers made some tests on the weapon the issue of trigger hasn't even come up yet since they haven't yet even found a way to 1) turn the power on, 2) actually get a power source big enough to power it. :P

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It's a sticky issue in the 40K universe.

Imagine you find yourself some Xenoweapons and wish to hold on to them for dire situations. Can you maintain them? Sure a tech-priest might be able to engineer one into a semi-functional. Now, are you sure it doesn't interact with the warp in any way? It might you know! Or worse, it might corrupt the user in mind and spirit in some fashion, it might give away Imperial information to xeno spies, it might be completely harmless...

The point is your dealing with a dangerous unknown. A useful, problematic, tempting unknown. Due to the caste system in the Imperial society it's more likely those with power can side-step the rules for practicle reasons. Xeno tools are useful, but your running a risk of both spiritual and beauracraticly every time you use one. I'll lay you odds that good Inquisitors keeps a small catch of deniable assets like this on call for emergencies, or for strict use in the field only. PC's might get a quiet wink to secret a few gagets away from their superior, or they might do it anyway. But expect such tools to be rare, unreliable, useful, but a value judgement each time they pick one up.

That's how I rule it anyway.

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Agreed, I only have 2 players who have xenos items and neither carries them openly. They learned that lesson fast from one of the first players to die in my game. He walks into a cathedral to get some info and he ends up in an altercation with a redemptionist lay brother and he pulls an Tau pistol out to defend himself and ends up getting killed for heresy. There are some groups that do not care why you have it or who you are. Xenos tech is a double-edged sword and should be treated as such.

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