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Necrozius

Rape and torture in the name of the Imperium

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Aureus said:

Whether a subject is reacting rationally to the information, experience, and physical perceptions they have is the only measure by which someone's sanity can be made.

 

Yes, but you aren't defining Rationality. It is subjective, because rationality is tied to how you view the world and how you view the world is tied to how the environment TEACHES YOU to view the world.

What you have said above means that two people doing exactly the same thing can both be sane, insane or one of each depending on what their personal view of Rational is. Which makes it virtually impossible to ascertain.

Is rationality non-self destructive behaviour? A monkey acts irrationally if it jumps of a mountain, because it will die. However you can perform ostensibly self destructive things for rational reasons - cutting your arm off to escape an avalanche.

 

So, what exactly IS rationality? Seeing as how it differs from person to person and people can change their 'rationality' throughout their lives (as simple as kids believing in santa to realising its mum and dad, or a born again christian) it isn't a very easy thing to quantify.

 

Hellebore

 

 

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To judge the the insane, you must first judge the sane.

Defining sanity: Sanity is the your basic action/interaction pattern of your usual reposense stance towards different stituations. With a solid foundation of reason to do things as the are done, either through rational deduction or because the god emperor said it.

Insanity: Insanity is noteable changes to this pattern, that reaches out of the avarage citizens action pattern.

Insanitypoints are experiances that shatters the foundation of sanity, that may form an foundation for an insanity.

 

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Well, after reading all of these responses, I have to admit that this subject is one of the prime reasons that myself, as well as some of my players, have started to tire of the Dark Heresy setting.

Yes it is Grim and Dark and we enjoy making serious story lines with mature issues.

But when some players can essentially play the fantasy of being a space nazi sadist without any direct consequences, things become a little TOO dark.

There is a very dark theme in this roleplaying game: that there really IS no higher power save for the Chaos Gods, who reward their minions for their destructive behaviors and actions. There is nothing for the opposite side of the spectrum, meaning no spiritual rewards for being "good".

The other problem is that because the setting is so VAST (thousands of worlds and differing societies with their own definitions of right and wrong) there is no concrete sense of morality. Characters, or even the players themselves, can rationalize away the most "heinous" acts. I've been flat out disturbed by some the choices my players have made. One of whom takes a little too much pleasure out of murdering innocent bystanders who's lives are already consumed by misery. They laugh maniacally when children in particular feel the kiss of a flamer.

I guess that Dark Heresy is just not the setting for me: it is just too dark, which sounds crazy, considering that I like the Call of Cthulhu setting so much (which is the very DEFINITION of a campaign setting without hope).

Before I get accused of wanting a more goody-goody sunshine let's be friends roleplaying, I will adamantly state that no, I don't want that at all. I just find that because everything is so freaking dark that it becomes monochromatic and dull: there is no contrast.

Obviously, many people are huge fans of this concept: that right from the start, when your friends are creating their characters there should be a disclaimer that the setting involves a good dose of cold-war paranoia and religious zealotry mixed in with the constant chance that things can break out into PvP without the consent of everyone at the table.

...Oh and the fact that **** and torture has no spiritual or mystical consequences but exposing yourself to evil space demons does.

I've already cancelled my order of Creatures Anathema because frankly... Dark Heresy just isn't for me. Or for my players, for that matter: half of them have already quit.

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Your problem seems to stem from you acceptance of the moral relatavism and subjective measure of sanity espoused by many of the folks posting above.   I don't have that problem in my game because I don't base my dishing out of IP or CP on what is and isn't "normal for me or my homeworld" 

I find that that degree of subjectivity renders the point meaningless and makes IP only a tool for the GM to punish players for behaving "out-of-character" as the GM sees it.

1) I think people should stay in character and major departures from that should have to be justified w/in the game setting or its poor roleplaying.

2) IP are a measure of sanity/insanity not a measure of poor RP punishment points.

The setting is bleak, but a valid and solid approach (though admittedly not the only one) is for the characters to attempt to be the bright point in that bleak night, attempting to stand against the ever rising tide of darkness. 

Giving up the setting/game because you can't find a mystical good guy seems a bit odd to me.

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DocIII said:

Giving up the setting/game because you can't find a mystical good guy seems a bit odd to me.

I have a few reasons, but one of them isn't about finding a mystical good guy, which I find is a condescending and simplistic way to put it.

Everything in this setting is bleak and cynical. There is no way to really balance that out, thematically.

DocIII said:

Your problem seems to stem from you acceptance of the moral relatavism and subjective measure of sanity espoused by many of the folks posting above. I don't have that problem in my game because I don't base my dishing out of IP or CP on what is and isn't "normal for me or my homeworld"

You're right, however, on the fact that I'm uncomfortable with my players being villains and having characters who can get away with lots of destructive and exploitative behavior. In a sense, this kind of issue of mine could happen with any roleplaying game.

This setting practically condones PvP, and that's just not my style.

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Necrozius said:

 

There is a very dark theme in this roleplaying game: that there really IS no higher power save for the Chaos Gods, who reward their minions for their destructive behaviors and actions. There is nothing for the opposite side of the spectrum, meaning no spiritual rewards for being "good".

The other problem is that because the setting is so VAST (thousands of worlds and differing societies with their own definitions of right and wrong) there is no concrete sense of morality. Characters, or even the players themselves, can rationalize away the most "heinous" acts. I've been flat out disturbed by some the choices my players have made. One of whom takes a little too much pleasure out of murdering innocent bystanders who's lives are already consumed by misery. They laugh maniacally when children in particular feel the kiss of a flamer.

 

 

First there are at your choice options for rewards of being good, like and not just the removal of a few IP or CP as there minds return to balance for the crimes they commited or witnessed , and demonic influence withdrawing from the subject who was acting against the its likeing, and as the emperor smile upon you.
And if players do great good deeds they become living legends, and you might grant them a fate point.

And for your players they seem as evil, as what the heretics my acolytes sometimes hunt.

 

 

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Necrozius,

Please understand that the discussion that a number of us have been having here is more a intellectual discussion now, instead of a full blown conversation about the 40k universe as a whole, and Dark Heresy in Particular.  We could very easily go the whole RAW thing like another game does, but 40k because of its diversity allows and even encourages discussions like this, so don't let this discussion have an impact on your decision.

Now that said, yes 40k is a dark future, but no darker then World War II roleplaying, or roleplaying in games like Midnight and Call of Cthuhlu.   Humanity is at war, has been at war for a very long time, and history has shown us how far humanity will go just to retain control during wars and times of crisis.

Now that said, you mentioned... hold on let me get the quote "But when some players can essentially play the fantasy of being a space nazi sadist without any direct consequences, things become a little TOO dark."

Okay see that's become the basis for this entire discussion.  What you do as GM, and how as a GM you play it, is up to you.  If your GM allows this type of play, then well its your GMs fault, not yours.  If you GM plays it so that your inquisitor smacks down a player for being this way, killing him immediately then that's in his right too.

The caveat here is the underlying statement that is constantly bantered around here, which is the huge variable... "What's your Inquisitor Like".

The Inquisitor is the control of the entire system.  Just because there isn't something in the RAW, doesn't mean its acceptable in your game, unless you're a complete rules lawyer.  The lynch pin of this entire system is what your Inquisitor allows and doesn't allow.  Your Inquisitor is a Radical who actively employs mutants and psykers, then there shouldn'y be much PvP since your Inquisitor will actively act against any alcolyte who gets too conservative for him.

You have an Inquisitor who grew up in the masses of a hive world, and if very pro-people, pro-worker, he's going to react very strongly to strong arm tactics against people he identifies with.  You don't like Interrogations, then allow your players to be a psyker.  A number of psyker tricks allow you to completley do away with interrogations, and if you bend the RAW a bit, and do away with certain side bar rules, and lessen the effects of Perils, you can make it a bit more sunny and cheerful.

Dark Heresy doesn't HAVE to be dark and sadistic, but it can certainly be played that way.  The Inquisitor is the GMs tool to squash certain play he doesn't agree with.  He's the avenue that bridges the RAW and the GMs personal desires.

Just because there is no hard and fast rule that says "you can't be sadistic, and if you do X will happen to you" doesn't mean it should or shouldn't be that way.  Alot of this game is lets to GM caveat through the Inquisitor.

Oh, and many games don't have "penelties" for being a sadistic idiot.  Heck now you can be a Paladin, totally evil, fallen from grace in 4.0, and since your powers come from you, and not your god, nothing happens to you.  There are very few games that you can't be in some shape or form the Dark Hero or Anti-Hero.  But it usually the GM that says "the flavor of this game isn't that way so I'm not going to allow this."

Why, concidering the large bredth of cultures and types of Inquisitors can't you do the same in this game? 

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Hellebore said:

Aureus said:

 

Whether a subject is reacting rationally to the information, experience, and physical perceptions they have is the only measure by which someone's sanity can be made.

 

 

 Yes, but you aren't defining Rationality. It is subjective, because rationality is tied to how you view the world and how you view the world is tied to how the environment TEACHES YOU to view the world.

What you have said above means that two people doing exactly the same thing can both be sane, insane or one of each depending on what their personal view of Rational is. Which makes it virtually impossible to ascertain.

Is rationality non-self destructive behaviour? A monkey acts irrationally if it jumps of a mountain, because it will die. However you can perform ostensibly self destructive things for rational reasons - cutting your arm off to escape an avalanche.

 So, what exactly IS rationality? Seeing as how it differs from person to person and people can change their 'rationality' throughout their lives (as simple as kids believing in santa to realising its mum and dad, or a born again christian) it isn't a very easy thing to quantify.

 Hellebore

 

The Most coherent view of Rationality I have encountered is that it is a mental 'tool' that allow rational agents to extrapolate conclusions based on experience and evidence. Rationality is impartial and carries no moral weight itself.equally, the 'garbage in, garbage out' principle appiles, Reasion can only weigh given input, if one is unwilling to entertail certain thoughts, then they will not influence the reasoned outcome. Equal valid and rational debates could be:

I've got 3 million people I need to 'dispose' of. setting them up in death camps away from my population centers would be an expedient and efficent way to do this.

Given that existance is suffering and non-existance is non-suffering and that it is better to not suffer than to suffer, I will now comit suicide.

I deserve the money in this wallet I found because there is a lot of money in it, which clearly indicates that the person was rich and thus deserves the money less than I.

The person's Rationality does not change, it is what information they have at hand and how much of it they allow to influence their decision making.

The definition of Reason is Serious Business, and has been for the last 2500ish years aleast.

Probably not helpful, but hey, Philosophy rarely is. :D

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My point is not weather reason or even sanity is necessarily objective, but rather that in order to be governed by a game system using points as a measure and to be applied fairly across the players by the GM some objective standard must be used.  Otherwise there is no point having a system and not merely making arbitrary determinations.

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DocIII said:

My point is not weather reason or even sanity is necessarily objective, but rather that in order to be governed by a game system using points as a measure and to be applied fairly across the players by the GM some objective standard must be used.  Otherwise there is no point having a system and not merely making arbitrary determinations.

Not strictly true, but certainly the easist to write, GM and play.

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Hmm, I hope I didn't aggravate the situation by dragging the conversation more off course there Necrozius.sad.gif

 

I think perhaps that the image of 40k and the practicality of 40k are two very different things. It's one thing to read about an inquisitor stating how he needed to kill a world - it sounds cool and atmospheric, laden with gravitas. But when you are actually PLAYING as the people that do the killing, you start to realise that the inquisition are just NOT NICE PEOPLE . They thrive in a world of moral relativism, floating in the grey. They justify what they do, but they do horrible things.

It's hard because the inquisition will kill innocents and do it righteously. Rather than asking them to die in the name of humanity, the inquisition simply decides for them and presses the button.

 

It's really REALLY hard to see the inquisition as good guys in any sense, whether the PCs play up being space nazis or not.

 

Perhaps if you focused your acolytes on aliens and daemons the space nazi feel would lessen somewhat? There they would find more easily identifiable 'bad guys' who represent a more clear threat and side steps the moral quandries of an innocent human population.

 

What your players are experiencing is a lack of restraint because although they themselves may understand what is right and wrong, there is nothing in the game that specifically punishes you for doing the 'wrong thing'. If your inquisitor is a compassionate person, they might discipline a PC with an electrowrack for accidentally killing children or something. The other consequence for players is simply to give them Corruption points for doing things that attracts the dark gods. Rather than them going insane, they just fall further faster. Then the inquisition must have them shot.

 

If that threat is reinforced, that without sticking to the strictures of the inquistor they will be executed, that may keep them in line. An inquisitor is a person of great self control, unlike players without any punishment, an Inquisitor must maintain self control. That is one of the most important factors in the character that contributes to them becoming an inquisitor. So, by default your inquisitor should be providing a moral compass. Whether the PCs come from one planet or another is irrelevant. If the inquisitor says 'this is wrong' then it is wrong. Insanity may not be accrued if a player does something in keeping with his homeworld, but it doesn't mean the inquisitor will let them do whatever they want.

 

Also the examples of cannibal warriors etc are very extreme. The only kind of society you'll get that in is a feral world and they may be exterminated because of it. Gangers will be violent, but won't flout authority as they know what the consequences will be. The average imperial worlder will not be a space nazi either.

 

It seems like the players simply got carried away with the freedom of the setting and ignored the basics. They can't just make a sociopath cannibal necrophile and expect it to end up in the inquisition for example.

 EDIT: Something Tiger's Heart just suggested was not telling them they are accruing corruption points. Without the number in front of them, they simply won't know how far to push it. Tell them you will be recording corruption points but won't tell them when they get them. That fear may stop them doing the wrong thing.

Hellebore

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Hellebore said:

I think perhaps that the image of 40k and the practicality of 40k are two very different things. It's one thing to read about an inquisitor stating how he needed to kill a world - it sounds cool and atmospheric, laden with gravitas. But when you are actually PLAYING as the people that do the killing, you start to realise that the inquisition are just NOT NICE PEOPLE . They thrive in a world of moral relativism, floating in the grey. They justify what they do, but they do horrible things.

It's hard because the inquisition will kill innocents and do it righteously. Rather than asking them to die in the name of humanity, the inquisition simply decides for them and presses the button.

I think this is one very good reason for PCs being Acolytes, rather than Inquisitors in their own right - they're not the ones making the difficult decisions, and they're still learning how harsh and unpleasant the galaxy really is, how terrible the enemies of Man can be. A good long-term campaign arc (one that I'm working on with my current group) is having one of the Acolytes be groomed to become another Inquisitor down the line, so with every mission comes increased authority, increased autonomy and new challenges... and difficult decisions with terrible repercussions.

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>>I also think there shouldn’t be corruption points either, because if you look what Ecclesiarchy does without being corrupted by the chaos gods, no act of cruelty your players can come up with deserves them in comparison (In case your players proof me wrong, I would strongly suggest that you ask yourself if you still want to play with them).<<
 

Man, my players are fun to game with precisely because they can come up with worse things than this and do them in the proper instances. (such as when playing villains)  While that is amusingly screwed up, it certainly isn't the worst thing I've seen or done (as GM) in a game.

And, I really wish people would stop misusing the term "sociopath", aside from a few of you, the majority really mean to be saying "psychopath".  The two really are different.

As for the use of Insanity Points, it seems to me that either people or the system are using them incorrectly.  Insanity should not be gained by a character's own actions unless those actions are forced upon him and fly in the face of his or her personal morality or understanding of the world.  Thus, if you are forced to **** or murder someone while at gunpoint you would gain insanity - if you murdered or raped a person because it was the thing to do at the time, and you accept that, you're not going to go nuts, in general.  This does not mean you aren't already insane, merely that you aren't gaining any additional insanity by commiting the act. 

Should you witness or experience something that shatters your faith in morality or reality - such as watching a demon possessed child shred off her clothes and **** herself with the sign of the holy emperor - then you should certainly gain some insanity.

In general people go mad by the things they are forced to endure, not the things they choose to do. (actions you are ordered to do during a combat situation may certainly qualify as "things you are forced to endure")

As to insanity, it is the inability to cope with reality.  There are many levels of "insanity" (a legal term, by the way, not a psychological title) from "antisocial personality disorders" to outright "schizophrenia", so trying to apply a simple guidline is impossible.  A psychopath in a world of psychopaths is still "insane", that insanity is merely the norm for the culture.  (here we are not defining insanity as the "deviation from cultural norms", though that is one recognized deffinition)  Take that individual out of his cultural surroundings and his insanity becomes evident.  (mind you, there are certainly cultures who define insanity as the above mentioned deviation from the norm, in which case perfectly sane people can be insitutionalized ... and if the institution houses a fair number of truly insane individuals it will not be long before the sorry victim becomes "insane" himself - proven "fact".)

Because sanity is so subjective, based upon the culture or subculture one belongs to, the only true deffinition is that mentioned above - the inability to cope with reality.  These individuals tend to be schizophrenics who have so divorced themselves from the real world that they can no longer function effectively on their own.  They act inappropriately to stimulus, harbor blatently false beliefs, cannot engage in communication with others of their culture/race, do not differentiate between reality and the imagined, and so on.  In virtually any society these individuals are going to be labelled "insane". (save in rare instances where they are instead considered "blessed" with otherworldly insights, but they still tend to be sepparated from the society at large)

my two thrones.

 

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(I would put these all in the same post, but they are completely different trains of thought)

As to keeping the pcs and players in line, consider utilizing a Kharma system in which you track good and bad Kharma for each character.  At the begining of each session you determine who has the best or worse kharma and treat them accordingly - those with terrible kharma suffer random bad luck, or are the target of some poetic bit of justice; while those with good kharma are treated favorably, finding things going generally well for them throughout the session.  You make the players aware of the mechanic, but do not let them know where they are on the list.  Thus, players who choose to behave badly reap what they sow, the same with those who behave well.  This might be a good way of making people aware that their actions have repercussions.

Me, I'd not use that system in 40k, merely because I like the bleak atmosphere, but it may certainly be appropriate for some.

 

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Necrozius said:

 

...Oh and the fact that **** and torture has no spiritual or mystical consequences but exposing yourself to evil space demons does.

 

 

Just out of curiosity: did you find that surprising? Sure **** and torture are probably the most heinous acts I can think of that humans enact upon eachother, but i you look at the real world there is a grim theme involving both **** and torture. The grimness of it all is that far from every torturer and rapist get caught and sentenced. And since there are no proof what so ever that a mystical higher power exists to punish these "evildoers" in the real world either, alot of offenders will just "slip through the cracks" unharmed and unpunished.

So WHY should it be any different in the forty-first millenium? Adding the fact that that fictional age is blatantly darker than our own time is? Oh and lets not forget the fact that the common man in the Imperium have their human value greatly inflated simply because there are so many humans in the galaxy. A torture/murder here or a **** there barely matters today, just imagin how unimportant it would seem in an age where mankind has simply lost count of how many individual humans exists, and that the species is under assault by alien and daemonic horrors whose only goal is pretty genocidal in nature.

I say it once more: **** and torture must be the most heinous acts i can think of, no matter th circumstances. BUT in a world like the one in Dark Heresy i can DEFINETLY see why such crimes are considered "petty" and unimportant in contrast to crimes like dealing with "evil space demons". The first crime ruins one persons life, the other can ruin several millions of peoples lives. Combine that with the medival mindset of the people depicted in this setting and it sudenly isnt so hard to understand why the priorities look like they do...

P.S And YES I love the setting. The grimmer, darker, cynical and nihilistic it gets the better because of two reasons. The first is because it lets me as a player explore more "larger than life" themes (like aliens and daemonic influence etc), unhindered by petty morality constraints. The second is because it makes me appriciate the realtively good standards I live by in the real world. Lets face it, we who live in industrialized nations have a tendency to whine and ***** about petty aspects in our day to day life. If its not slow internet connections, its high gas prices or commercial breaks in television, when at the same time people in underdeveloped nations have to fight STARVATION! So taking imaginary vacations to dark and grim roleplaying settings really puts you in perspective, and it teaches you not to take your relatively good life for granted, because it could be SO MUCH worse... D.S

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Ok, ****...

It is intimated in the Horus Heresy novels that Space Marines can and do commit **** as one of the methods of quelling a civilian population after an invasion by the Imperium.  Not saying it's right or moral, but that (Pre-Heresy anyway) it was viewed as an acceptable and even necessary method of controlling female civilians.

Want to discourage ****?  Make the next character who perpetrates this crime catch an uncurable Xenos STD with horrible side effects....guarantee none of your players will ever try it again.

Shoot, my players are afraid to get laid with a willing participant....

Torture...

Maybe this game isn't for you.  Inquisitors torture people.  It's what they do.  The sun rises in the East (on most planets) the sky is blue (on some planets) and Inquisitors torture people.  Lots of people.  Innocent people who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and accidentally witnessed the rampaging Pink Horror are....?  Drum roll?  That's right.  Interrogated and then 'martyred'.

Have you read the preface of any (every one's the same) 40k novel?  It's the most brutal, totalitarian regime ever known to mankind.  And your party of adventurers aren't just a cog in the wheel, they're the "ON" button of the whole machine.

That being said, moral dilemmas are half the game.  This game is about Order vs. Chaos, not good vs. evil.  Even the Tau are evil.  There are NO "good" races in 40k like other games.

As a GM though, you have to decide whether the character's "evil" actions are done out of necessity or pleasure.  Evil done gleefully, even necessary evil, is ...corrupt.  It leads to the Dark Side.  Doing enough evil for the sheer fun of it leads to things like...the birth of Slannesh for example.  That's why I hand out Corruption points when players willfully commit unnecessary atrocities.

Remember, an Inquisitor strands for the Emperor, and the Emperor is the champion of Order.  The less lawful and orderly an Inquisitor becomes, the more Radical he/she becomes...eventually turning to the very Chaos he/she spent most of their life fighting. 

So, as a GM, you mustn't punish the deed, but punish the MOTIVE.  Even in the Imperium, people frown upon blatant immorality.  There are still "Sins" and certainly consequences of your actions leading from angry mobs with chains and cricket bats to Jimmy the Assassin who only cares about revenge against "That Inquisitor who killed my dad in cold blood" ten years ago.

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40k is the only game where you can theoretically bludgeon a cultist to death using an infant as your cudgel and not suffer consequences save for your own personal moral struggle (insanity).  Of course if the warp was whispering to you and pointing out how the infant would make a good weapon than we're talking corruption in addition to insanity.

Everyone exists to further the cause of the Imperium and to serve the Emperor.  One way or another.

To put it in DnD Alignment terms:

Lawful - Almost certain not to be burned for your crimes.  Other horrible deaths highly likely.

Neutral - Possibly not going to burn for your crimes.  Other horrible deaths highly likely.

Chaos - Avoid anything flammable at all costs.  Other horrible deaths highly likely.

You'll notice I didn't mention good/neutral/evil because as far as society is concerned it doesn't matter as long as you serve the Emperor.

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

The infant died a Martyr's Death in service of the Emperor.  Right now he's a Divine Cherubim in the lap of the Holy Emperor, forever in the light of His Grace and Mercy....

Exactly. gran_risa.gif

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The setting may allow for it, but if any player of mine started wanting to play a psychopathic sex murderer and enjoyed going into graphic detail about it I would 1) eject them from the game rapidly and 2) wonder about the mental health of the player. Who wants to play Death Squad Member?

Really, I don't see why the setting for DH is so supposedly more accepting of this kind of thing that many others. There's nothing stopping a DnD player from playing a psychopathic sex murderer if he or she wants to do so -- for whatever bizarre reason that somebody would want to play such a character.

My own take is that the Inquisition sees itself as an organization that Does What Has to Be Done No Matter How Damaging to One's Own Peace of Mind, not one that revels in it. It may torture people if it is perceived as necessary, but the mindset of most Inquisitors is not "oh goody! torture!" Not even the Nazis did this. 

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

Ok, ****...

It is intimated in the Horus Heresy novels that Space Marines can and do commit **** as one of the methods of quelling a civilian population after an invasion by the Imperium.  Not saying it's right or moral, but that (Pre-Heresy anyway) it was viewed as an acceptable and even necessary method of controlling female civilians.

Having read all the Heresy books, I can not think of any point where **** was commited as a method of quelling a civilian population.  Heck I can't even think of any mention of ****, even in Fulgrim, which was an Emperors Children based book, and I beleive in current 40k they are probably the only marines who would engage in said acts.

I think **** and torture fit far more simply into insanity than corruption, as corruption is specifically chaos related, where as insanity is more to do with conventional horror.  This is unless it is suitably disturbing to attract the attention of a dark power in which case it would probably bring both to the perpetrator.

Within my system there are a lot of shades of grey.  I have a couple of assassins, one who has a code of honour, and one who is quite happy to blast civillians. chop off fingers, kill babies, sexually assault females etc as long as it helps him complete his mission given to him by the god emperor via the inquisition.  Due to his conviction that he is doing these things for the right reasons he gets a will power test to resist gaining insanity for it.  If someone else, like the honourable assassin gunslinger did this, they would have no reason to do so, and would gain a greater degree of insanity.

Of course this is kept in balance by me as a GM.  Too much out and out evil, will result in him attracting the chaos gods, and he will be marked and made a target by the inquisition themselves.  If this happens it is up to his comrades to decide their course of action.

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Depends on their motives. If they do moaraly questionable things in the name of the imperium, give them insanity points... more or less depending on how much they try to work around it, the more necisary or justifiable the less insanity. If they are just doing things for fun, or even questionable motives... give them coruption...

A plague demon in one of the Ragnar books told Ragnar and the Inquisitor that every living creature has a built in sense of apathy, and that's what 'father nurgle' uses to gain a foothold in the minds of mortals.

Even without any particular influence... excessive torture could be leaving a person's soul open to the temptations of Slaneshi or Kharn... undue curiosity and study of forbiden lore will give coruption or insanity as you resist (or not) the urgings of tzinchi...

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bogi_khaosa said:

 

My own take is that the Inquisition sees itself as an organization that Does What Has to Be Done No Matter How Damaging to One's Own Peace of Mind, not one that revels in it. It may torture people if it is perceived as necessary, but the mindset of most Inquisitors is not "oh goody! torture!" Not even the Nazis did this. 

 

 

Can you be completely sure that there were no sadists or psychopaths within the nazi ranks? (particularly the Waffen SS). Like with the Inquisition, there will be sadists who revels in torture that slips throught the cracks (since the Inquisition answers to no one other than itself, its agents isnt under much scrutiny). I mean, its not exactly a coincidence that the INquisition both breeds humanitys staunchest defenders AND its most heinous and despicable heretics. Thats what makes it an intruguing organisation to stage RPG adventures in. Every agent and Inquisitor could possibly be a raving lunatic, who likes to torture children in his or her spare time to the gleeful Chaos gods satisfaction. That would certainly explain Inquisitorial platitudes like "Trust in your suspicion" or "Innocence proves nothing" or "Divided we stand, United we fall" etc.

I must say that im a little surprised at what a taboo certain behavior seems to be in some gaming groups. I mean, as long as these behaviours provides interesting plot twists and conflicting group dynamics then whats the big deal? You watch movies and read books about murder stories, and the despicable acts the murderers do. Would you prefer that they cut out the murderer completely because "he's not very nice"? : /

And also is it so hard to understand that certain players get a bit tired of playing the same goody-two-shoes boyscout heroes, and that they get a bit fascinated by "the dark side" from time to time? If you've watched the TV-series Dexter (which takes the psychotic murderers point of view instead of the police chasing him), you would get a pretty good idea of what i mean. Sure psychopaths who commit disgusting atrocities are horrible and twisted, but they are also a little fascinating, and they certainly provide interesting roles in movies and litterature, so why taboo them in RPGs? Are they destined to always be NPCs, and are players always to be forbidden to play these types of roles?

Its just make believe, so why so afraid of being a little decadent? >:D

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I obviously can't say there were NO sadists among the Nazis, but the speeches that Himmler etc. gave to the SS were all about how "we have done terrible things that have tried our souls, but we have retained our sanity and have done what we must for the Fatherland, oh poor us," not about how "we be killin' babies'! Yay!" (The Waffen SS were an elite military unit anyway -- the Final Solution was carried out by different people.) 

YMMV, but I don't see the only alternative to playing a goody two shoes being playing an unspeakable monster and have problems imagining what kind of person would want to do such a thing. That's not decadent -- that's f'd in the head. :)

Then again, it's only a game. Whatever works...

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