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How common are Radicals and / or Puritans? Viability vs Grim Dark.

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So we all like the Radicals Handbook.  It has some really neat options in there to play quite interesting charaters. But amongst Inquisitors and Acolytes how common are they really?

As I'm not really an afficionado outsite of the RPG, what I would like people's opinions on is how common are the Radicals and the Puritans in the other 40K material?  Maybe I need to go read my books again, but I get the impression that it could go two ways and that the 'percentage' so to speak of Radicals and Puritans is either:

a.  Two sides of the coin (i.e. there are only Radicals OR Puritians), or

b.  The two extremes of a continuim with mostly 'Moderates' in the middle.

I generally prefer the latter (b) of the two because that's how it seems it would work best to me, but I have to acknowledge that the former (a) is probably considerably more 'Grim Dark'.

Any thoughts?

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It is worth remembering that there are alot of different puritans just like there are different radicals.

A mono-dominant and a Thorian may well come to blows over their agendas.

I find that the terms radical/puritan are cosmetic and doesn´t really mean anything, all inquisitors are individuals and these broad terms are simply stereotypes we try to apply to easily categorize them. The truth is that both camps have their extremists but most would probably be commited to an "the ends justify the means" mentality. They are all on the same side and the moderates probably get along reasonably well.

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I always kind of think of the Inquisitorial Puritan/Radical factions as being a bit like political parties. It's not a perfect analogy, but it works on some levels. Both are defined by what are effectively philosophical beliefs over how temporal power should be applied. Both have differing levels of commitment to the underlying philosophy within their own ranks.

To take the analogy further, if Puritans are right wing and Radicals are left wing, I would say the Inquisition as a whole is Central-Rightist, ie the Inquisition (as of 816 M41, anyway) has a broadly Puritan bias, with perhaps 75-90% of Inquisitors folowing this philosophy. Of the remaining Inquisitors, you're looking at extremists from both factions, with extreme Puritans (monodominants etc) being more common than radicals of any type. 

This is all a very personal interpretation of course! There's very little canon material on actual percentages within conclaves, although Eisenhorn touches on it a little and suggests that Amalthians (Centre-Right Puritans) are fairly common. On the other hand, of the only cabal of Inquisitors we know anything about, (the Tyrantine Cabal in DH) One's a monodominant, two are radicals the remainder are fairly centrist...so I could be wildly off base here!

To extrapolate from that, it's also quite conceivable that a lot of Inquisitors fake their political allegiance. Many of those who proclaim themseves puritans are extreme radicals, though one imagines the opposite is rarer. 

A lot of very senior Inquisitor Lords seem to have been both radicals and puritans at some point in their careers. It is possible that those groomed for very senior roles within the organisation (the Lords of conclaves, cabals, regional Ordos etc) are encouraged to see both sides of the old Puritan/Radical divide, as this may give them a useful overview of the merits and drawbacks of both approaches.   

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As has been said, there is little in the canon to tell us, but I would say that most Inquisitors are on a seesaw in this regard. I.e. no one holds that strictly to any one creed... It is far to dangerous to.

Sure, a Puritan is a Puritan, and they will follow their Puritan creed, but such a creed could also say that any even slightly heretical or radical behaviour should be stamped out. Despite this, they aren't going to start shooting Radical Inquisitors left and right. No one is that stupid.

Same thing goes for the Radicals. I am sure every Radical is as suspicious of his fellows as he is of his 'enemies'. The categories are, as has been said, loose stereotypes. It is like saying skin cells, blood cells and brain cells are all cells of the human body, and therefore are the same. It is a ridiculous claim.

Every Inquisitor is unique, and I would be utterly surprised if there was even one who would hold absolutely blindly to any one creed.

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Radicals and Puritans are stand points to the 'norm' of Imperial Creed.  The way to look at it is to take a problem that an Inquisitor would need to solve, an example an Imperial Governor with-holding the Tithe.

Now each person dealing with this problem would approach it differently. The method of approach would define them, as either puritan or radical as well as which philosophy they fit into.

Think about it for a second, how do you deal with an Imperial Governor with-holding the Tithe.

............

Assassinate him, then replace him.(puritan)

Full Scale Invasion.(puritan)

Investigate the reasoning behind the Heretical act, to root out other heresy.(both)

Fund and organise a revolution.(radical)

Displace an Ork infested space hulk to land of the planet (radical)

The list of methods is endless, it is these actions that define whether someone is a puritan or a radical.  Remember life is cheap in the Grim Dark future, Imperial Justice maybe be slow to come to bear would once it does it is brutal and voilent.

 

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 I have always seen Radicals as borderline heretics, Xanthites for instance actively use Chaos socerery and weapons. For any inquisitor of different beliefs than Xanthism this person would be a Warp loving heretic and should be treated as such.

The reason they arent killed on sight is because: A- they are too powerful politicly, B- they keep it a secret, C- only voice the opinion that using these things could prove to be beneficial, but dont actually use them.

Almost every radical faction in Radicals handbook fit quite well with this especially the larger ones (Xanthites, Istvaanians, Recongregators) and also the medium sized ones for the most part. 

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Radicals and Puritans means nothing.

Libricars think to they as Puritans, but for the other Amalatians, they are Radicals.

A Xanthite may disagree with a Monodominat on how use demon weapons, but they may agree to kill all xeno in the universe.

Usually, Puritans are young close minded, Radical are few, more practical, powerful, open minded, old Inquisitors.

But, if you found a young Radical...Emperor protect you! You found a trouble finder!

Your Master: <<Hei! What happen if I speak this strange words?>>

You:<<Oh! Please! Not again!>>

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Bare in mind also that certain Radical philosophies, in moderation, are already Imperial practice, for example Rouge Traders are allowed to deal with Xenos, mutants are tolerated in the form of Navigators, and Abhumans.  The Imperium regularly uses the warp both for travel and with regard to psykers. 

The Isstavanian doctrine that conflict makes the Imperium stronger is carried through in small doses through the preaching of the Ecclesiarchy, and the recruitment of Imperial Soldiers (both marines and guardsmen) from Hive Worlds and Deathworlds. 

Equally I would imagine that certain Puritian ideologies such as Amalathianism (that the Imperium should stay the same) if taken too far would become almost radical.  So for example imagine a Amalathianite inquisitor seeking to destroy a working STC or even stopping any further Space Marine foundings!

Overall my view is that most Inquisitors will probably be basically Puritan in their outlook, probably Mono-dominate/Amalathianite but not utterly fanatical about it.  This is I think a matter for a GM to decide though.  If for example you feel that it makes more sense for Inquisitors to inevitably slide into Radicalisim then I don't think there is anything wrong or un40Kish about that.

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Valdek said:

Radicals and Puritans are stand points to the 'norm' of Imperial Creed.  The way to look at it is to take a problem that an Inquisitor would need to solve, an example an Imperial Governor with-holding the Tithe.

Now each person dealing with this problem would approach it differently. The method of approach would define them, as either puritan or radical as well as which philosophy they fit into.

Think about it for a second, how do you deal with an Imperial Governor with-holding the Tithe.

............

Assassinate him, then replace him.(puritan)

Full Scale Invasion.(puritan)

Investigate the reasoning behind the Heretical act, to root out other heresy.(both)

Fund and organise a revolution.(radical)

Displace an Ork infested space hulk to land of the planet (radical)

The list of methods is endless, it is these actions that define whether someone is a puritan or a radical.  Remember life is cheap in the Grim Dark future, Imperial Justice maybe be slow to come to bear would once it does it is brutal and voilent.

 

 

To be fair, organising a revolution can be entirely Puritan, since the Governor is obviously a heretic that needs purged! A Redemptionist revolution would be terrifying, actually.

Pedantry aside, I would say that most people have the right of it here. Generally, the Inquisition will tend towards a moderate Puritanism, with Amalathianism and Thorianism being very popular. Most Radicals will be generally moderate, and not condemned for being so, such as some Recongregators, or even some Istvaanians, so long as they aren't too extreme in their methodology. 

At present, I'm playing a pretty moderate Interrogator, who has not yet formally joined a faction, but sympathises with the Thorians, Recongregators and others. He is, for the most part, a Puritan, but is a practical Puritan: He disagrees with sorcery and using Chaos against itself for practical reasons as opposed to moral reasons; the temptation and the risks are never ever worth it, in his opinion.

When it comes to society, technology and xenos, however; he is pretty Radical: He doesn't trust aliens, and mostly sees them as a threat, but only wants to destroy those that appear threatening, such as Tyranids. The Tau, for instance, are a waste of Imperial time, which could be better spent dealing with actual threats like Abaddon or the Hive Fleets.

The Interrogator, in spite of his relative tolerance for certain alien species, isn't really a Radical, since he isn't in the Ordo Xenos, but employed by the Ordo Hereticus. When it comes to society, yes he's more tolerant (Attempting to punish only the guilty?!), but not to the point of Radicalism. He still executes traitors, he still burns those that would commit sorcerous acts. If he was Ordo Xenos, his positions might be considered Radical.

This sort of brings up the point: An Inquisitor's Puritanism, or the perception of it, at least, might depend on his job. A character may burn someone who even reads a tome of forbidden knowledge by accident, but may also be convincing his Tau friends to burn similar books.

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 It's been said in a number of publications that most inquisitors that start out young tend to be fairly hot-headed. They are young men of faith, whose sudden rise to a position of being able to have an impact on the various heresies affecting the Imperium.

Over time these men will become practical and less dogmatic in their behaviour - accepting that not all fights can be won, so tolerating minor threats to deal with major ones is a logical, if not obvious choice. Eventually this adaptable mentality will see an inquisitor finding himself allying with other like-minded inquisitors, which is all the Inquisitorial factions are. They aren't official doctrines or organisations, indeed most don't even have a heirarchy or meetings, and as such it's not like an Inquisitor can just go and sign up - he'll most likely be groomed over the course of several operations (potentially orchestrated for just such a purpose).

I think you also have to consider that it is a foolish Inquisitor that announces his political and philosophical beliefs as soon as he meets another Inquisitor. It would completely break down the Inquisiton's ability to work with other entities (or rather demand they work FOR the Inquisition), and would lead to outright war amongst the Inquisition.

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Kasatka said:

 It's been said in a number of publications that most inquisitors that start out young tend to be fairly hot-headed. They are young men of faith, whose sudden rise to a position of being able to have an impact on the various heresies affecting the Imperium.

Over time these men will become practical and less dogmatic in their behaviour - accepting that not all fights can be won, so tolerating minor threats to deal with major ones is a logical, if not obvious choice. Eventually this adaptable mentality will see an inquisitor finding himself allying with other like-minded inquisitors, which is all the Inquisitorial factions are. They aren't official doctrines or organisations, indeed most don't even have a heirarchy or meetings, and as such it's not like an Inquisitor can just go and sign up - he'll most likely be groomed over the course of several operations (potentially orchestrated for just such a purpose).

 

Wasn't that in Eisenhorn or Ravenor?  As you say, something like "Most Inquisitors start out as Puritans" and over time they drift to one side or the other.

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Dulahan said:

Wasn't that in Eisenhorn or Ravenor?  As you say, something like "Most Inquisitors start out as Puritans" and over time they drift to one side or the other.

It's originally from the Inquisitor game from the early 2000s- the idea that most Inquisitors start out Puritan, and drift toward Moderate and Radical philosophies over time. The Eisenhorn trilogy was written to support that game; kinda funny that the support matterial turned out to be so much more popular than the game system it was supporting...

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Adeptus-B said:

Dulahan said:

 

Wasn't that in Eisenhorn or Ravenor?  As you say, something like "Most Inquisitors start out as Puritans" and over time they drift to one side or the other.

 

 

It's originally from the Inquisitor game from the early 2000s- the idea that most Inquisitors start out Puritan, and drift toward Moderate and Radical philosophies over time. The Eisenhorn trilogy was written to support that game; kinda funny that the support matterial turned out to be so much more popular than the game system it was supporting...

Well to be honest it was quite popular amongst the circles i frequented, but then we were grammar-school wargame nerds ^_^

I played Inquisitor for years, though using 40k models and adjusting the measurements slightly (using 1inch = 1 yard or meter, i forget which the system used). By doing so it meant we could use the heavier, longer ranged weapons more regularly and could also make use of necromunda/gorkamorka terrain (the old plastic bulkheads and cardboard walkways stuff).

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bluntpencil2001 said:

When it comes to society, technology and xenos, however; he is pretty Radical: He doesn't trust aliens, and mostly sees them as a threat, but only wants to destroy those that appear threatening, such as Tyranids. The Tau, for instance, are a waste of Imperial time, which could be better spent dealing with actual threats like Abaddon or the Hive Fleets.

The Interrogator, in spite of his relative tolerance for certain alien species, isn't really a Radical, since he isn't in the Ordo Xenos, but employed by the Ordo Hereticus. When it comes to society, yes he's more tolerant (Attempting to punish only the guilty?!), but not to the point of Radicalism. He still executes traitors, he still burns those that would commit sorcerous acts. If he was Ordo Xenos, his positions might be considered Radical.

This sort of brings up the point: An Inquisitor's Puritanism, or the perception of it, at least, might depend on his job. A character may burn someone who even reads a tome of forbidden knowledge by accident, but may also be convincing his Tau friends to burn similar books.

Yeah, the Ordo he's a part of doesn't determine whether this actions are radical or pure. Being in the Ordo Xenos isn't an appointed task, but more akin to a chosen specialty. You're not told "it's your job to kill the alien", you take up that goal because you've decided that the alien is a great threat to the Imperium.

So thinking you should only use your time and resources against legitimate alien threats, is no more or less radical of an opinion depending on what Ordo you're in.

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