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Decessor

A Reasonable Rate of Acquiring Bionics and Implants

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I read the background that by default most space marines are only going to gain cybernetics as bionics to replace body parts lost in battle and not through voluntary surgery.

"Most" does not cover all though. The techmarines have guidelines of one free bionic when they reach certain levels of reknown. However there aren't similar guidelines for the Iron Hands and other machine-friendly chapters. So I'm trying to work out what is a reasonable rate for an Iron Hands in the Deathwatch to acquire cybernetics, because they *do* undergo voluntary replacement of perfectly good limbs and organs to add functionality and durability.

A few options that come to mind:

1. Use RAW and acquire as many cybernetics per mission as the requisition will allow. Seems dodgy to me by background but technically possible.

2. One cybernetic per successful mission.

3. Copy techmarine guidelines.

4. Leave the decision entirely to the discretion of the Iron Fathers (i.e. the GM via NPCs).

 

I'm currently leaning towards one cybernetic per successsful mission but I'll be talking to the GM about the matter and I'm curious as to what others think about this.

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There are guidlines for Iron hands.

They acquire cybernectics according to their chapter advance table.

They might not be the bionics you're looking for (see what I did there), but they are bionics.

In addition there is a lot of precedent in fluff even the Iron Hands don't simply willy nilly replace appendages. Numerous stories abound of Iron Hand Astartes being grateful their body parts were mangled in a fight because it could now be replaced with steel. One is in the Codex space marines for instance. That seems to point out even they won't give up an operable limb in most cases unless needed. Besides if they could just replace all the weak flesh they have whenever they feel like it what is fueling all that internal hate they have?

 

Additionally, RAW does NOT support bionic acquisition through requisition. It states in black and white in the cybernetics section of the armoury the requisition and renown costs are there for reference only and that cybernetics are usually (which means everyone minus the few exceptions) only doled out for destroyed limbs. The few exceptions being Techmarines and Iron Hand chapters.

Allowing an Iron Hand character to acquire bionics at twice the rate of a techmarine is rediculous. Think on it, you'll take your PC through 2-3 missions before his renown lvl or rank goes up. So theres 3 bionics to the techmarine's 1. This statement is not intended to be supportive of your primary idea, rather a statement of fact.

Giving them the same abilities as techmarines is also rediculous. Cheapens the Techmarine speciality.

Of all your options you listed the most appropriate would be the 4th. Leave that stuff up to the GM. Feel free to take elite advances etc. from your GM, but free bionics is not the way.

The Iron Hands have the flesh is weak in their chapter advances, which represents their bionic enhancement outside of a space marines normal means of acquiring bionics (lost limbs).

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I must concur with the above assesment.

In addition, the Deed in Rites of Battle that provides a character with two Bionics for the cost of a Fate point really would be a must for anyone wanting to create a character with a desire to be very machine-like. This one combines with the Iron Hands writeup nicely, and in my opinion the combination provides exactly what a player is looking for in that case.

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Well, this is why I wanted more opinions. I'm not as familiar with Iron Hands as some of the other chapters so I'm still getting to grips with their background. For 99% of chapters the rules in the cybernetics would be completely sufficient but I saw the words "usually" and "exceptions", hence my queries. That and the Iron Hands description on p10 of First Founding talks about "esoteric augers" and "inbuilt weapons" so there is background to suggest implants other than purely replacement bionics and the bracing that The Flesh is Weak provides. That said, I can easily imagine the Iron Hands champing at the bit to acquire more cybernetics than their doctrine and self-restraint will actually allow them to. Hoping for battle damage fits with their flesh-hating mentality methinks. Thanks for the input herichimo and Blood Pact. I'm going with the Price of Victory deed and the Siege of Gantor Terentes background.

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 Well, an Iron Hands Techmarine can start with six cybernetics- seven if you count Flesh is Weak 1. Just depends on if your GM will allow you to take two deeds; Price of Victory and Omnissiah's Calling. You do that, take all the Flesh is Weak advances as well as Machinator Array and Enhanced Bionic Frame, and (assuming you count those talents as cybernetics) an Iron Hands Techmarine can finish a Rank 8 campaign with 15 cybernetics.

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Gaire said:

Just depends on if your GM will allow you to take two deeds; Price of Victory and Omnissiah's Calling.

Which should be read as, "You're GM goes against the intent of the game and chooses not to follow the specific rules in Rites of Battle allowing a character to choose only one deed."

Rights of Battle, Page 24, column 2, 2nd paragraph under Using Deeds, "Each character may only purchase one Deed." [sic]

Now I'm not saying you can't, but the guys who made the game are saying you can't.

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Being as I'm in the game where Decessor's potential Iron Hand character might be coming into play if his ill fortuned Lamenter holds to his current rate of limb and organ loss I might not have a completely unbiased view.

The flesh is weak is nice but a solid cybernetic limb is desirable, getting extra cybernetics like a Techmarine does take somewhat from a techmarine... seeing as I'm the party's tech marine I don't particularly like the idea either of course. However players might be able to convince a GM if they are playing a Iron Hand or Tech Marine to let them choose a cybernetic of an appropriate amount as signature wargear? This might be easier to swallow if the character is entering the game of course. Just a suggestion though some might disagree.

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 OK, to begin, you can buy as many cybernetics as you can afford with Requisitions, the only thing that is noted is that A) they are usually only purchased to replace useless pieces of a Battle-Brother, and B) they are one time purchases, meaning you drop the Req to buy one once and its yours till you die.

That said Iron Hands do have a tendency to modify themselves more, as a consequence of FAILURE, because of their Primach's curse. From a psychological point of view they are perfectionists who sublimate their own perceived failures onto the "weakness" inherent in flesh with any consideration of circumstance instead of their own spiritual or mental failure, or the possibility that there wasn't actually any failure on their own part at all.

 

To me personally when playing an Iron Hand character I would buy up the flesh is weak quickly (mostly because it keeps you from dying and is really awesome) and then from then on out actually wait until something unfortunate happens (like failure to meet a personal goal or a mission objective). I would then look at it from my character's perspective and figure out where he would internalize the blame. Example if he missed a shot and that shot (might have) killed a foe that then fled and was either something he personally had sworn a vendetta on or was a mission objective then after that mission I would have that arm replaced with a cybernetic, because in the brother's mind the weakness and inaccuracy of his flash had cost him something and become a liability. Obviously if he loses a limb or takes heavy Critical Damage to a location I would replace bits there too.

 

To me its all about crawling into the characters head, and really feeling his flaws. Also remember that as he grows older the things he might consider "weakness" or "failure" grow broader and easier to blame, where once as a young Marine the brother might have had to miss an important shot to qualify as weakness as he becomes more aged and spiteful just missing a shot at all might be reason enough to replace his entire arm, get an MIU unit plugged into his brain and weapon, and replace his eye with a cybernetic because they all had some small part in his tiny imperfection and are now all considered weak and frail.

 

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TempestSatori said:

 OK, to begin, you can buy as many cybernetics as you can afford with Requisitions, the only thing that is noted is that A) they are usually only purchased to replace useless pieces of a Battle-Brother,

Saying they are usually only purhased as replacement parts is pretty much the same thing as saying they can't be purchased like other items except in unusual circumstances, such as the GM allowing it, not like any other items. That's why Reknown requirements are listed for reference.

Otherwise you get into the horribly borked game-ruining situations discussion on this forum many times.

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Quite the cross-section of opinion! Also, hi Gaius.

I got to have a chat with the GM in question last night. His take was that the Iron Hands have their own unusual practices but the same doesn't apply to Iron Hands seconded to the Deathwatch. Not enough bionics in stock (at least at Watch Fortress Erioch) to keep them supplied in the same manner. Works for me.

I'm still working on the finer details of Brother Ikos' personality. My aim was for a fairly archetypical Iron Hands marine so trying to pin down how he would view a term in the Deathwatch. I see him taking the Apocrypon Oath *very* seriously as he represents his Chapter. Thing is he's likely to hold others to the same standard methinks.

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 @Bogi, maybe cybernetics are usually something that most people don't want to chop off pieces of themselves just to have, but there are no RULES that say you can't. In the end if you use all your Req to get cybernetics instead of mission appropriate gear he's probably gonna end up fragged anyway so it doesn't really matter. That is a game issue that balances itself.

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It doesn't balance itself. Cybernetics are dirt-cheap and provide a permanent upgrade, _including a +2 to Toughness Bonus_; in any combat situation, they are AUTOMATICALLY appropriate equipment; moreover I think RAI are pretty clear, albeit cloudy as RAW due to standard FFG crap editing.

There is no explicit rule that you can't do it in order to give GMs the leeway to allow it in exceptional situations, not every time a player wants. Otherwise, believe me, everything will be borked because it is hideously unbalancing. Do the math yourself.

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An Astartes is more than a weapon.

The Astartes are the result of a thousand generations of techno-alchemical eugenics. Each bred to be the ultimate fighting machine. One Astartes can destroy a regiment of lesser men, one thousand can destroy a civilisation. In a galaxy of one billion worlds, only a million of these knights, these angels, are required to guard her borders.

To craft one takes twenty years of training, gene-crafting and flesh modifications. They are unstoppable in battle, the human frame extended to pure perfection. Should one be wounded, his blood clots into armour as hard as bone. His ribs are an unbreakable sheath of ceramite hardened ivory. They have two hearts, three lungs. Their blood is nearly iridescent red, brighter than ours which is darkened with our sins.

They are pure. Perfect. The genetic legacy of the God-Emperor, without whom there would be no light left in this dark galaxy.

And you would slice parts of and replace it with cold, unfeeling iron?!

There are those astartes that do so, aye. The scions of mars do so because they seek communion with their god. Theirs is a holy work. There are those that are damaged by battle, sustaining wounds that would slay a mortal man instantly. Theirs is not a choice, they repalce meat with metal due to a lack of other options. There are those poor sould who suffer due to a miniscule weaknes in their geneseed, a flaw from their genetic all-father, that convinced them that flesh is weak and must be replaced. Theirs is a pitiable condition, the flaw of their Primarch for which there is no cure. They find no comfort in their new, metal frames. One despair once they discover that hte weakness was not of the flesh at all.

You cannot replace perfection. You annot enhance it with scraps of metal and sensors and servos. The holy flesh of the astartes is not a canvas for you to ply your perverse bio-mechanical artistry.

Cybernetics without cause are blasphemy. Heresy.

An Astartes is more than a weapon.

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RAW allow a great deal of things - the difference between an okay game and a great game is knowing where to apply those rules and where not to. If the GM of a campaign allows people to blow all of their requisition on bionics whenever they want, that is absolutely their perogative (spelling... brain... fail...), but there's no way I'd allow that to happen. Yes, guy playing the techmarine in my game, this means you.

What is a reasonable rate? If you're running with BC critical hit rules on your major villains (I personally rule anything of Elite level or over OR any NPC that's been named) then your PCs will start losing limbs and eyes soon enough, even with true grit in play. If the Techmarine or Apothecary perceives a notable weakness in a character, they may organise a replacement (contant failing on awareness rolls might lead to a bionic eye, constant failures on balance based checks might suggest a leg may need to be replaced) - an Iron Hand or successor may use this reasoning more than most others.

 

 

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With all of the stuff done to take a "lowly mortal Human" and elevate them to a Space Marine, and all that that entails, it seems a bit of a waste to then go back and replace a bunch of that modified body with cybernetics; why not just tech up a Human, then, sort of like versions of the Custodes have been described? For my two bits, I'd say keep the tech to need, or very specific exceptions, such as Techmarines. This is a group (the Imperium), who have had various fears and superstitions regarding machines, and anyone who thought that a Man of Iron was so bad would probably also fear a superhuman Space Marine, highly educated, battle-trained and hardened, and modified with numerous mechanical augmetics. While I'm not certain, anymore, I often assumed that a Techmarine's servo-arm was part of his SUIT, not a part of HIM, so maybe even Techmarines shouldn't just look for every opportunity to "upgrade", and more seek to maintain their already highly modified body.

On the other hand, while I think I understand the point of it, it seems a bit sad that Deathwatch was the game that dropped the Cortex Implants from the list of cybernetics. I could see a Techmarine, or even an Apothecary, benefiting from Unnatural Intelligence x2. Of course, as said I get why not, as Space Marines ALREADY get Unnatural Strength and Toughness, and Unnatural Characteristics are often easily abused.

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Well I'm not disagreeing with you, but I guess its because I'm a total hard ass of a GM, so none of my players have even though of wasting Req on cybernetics, because they'll need to soon enough anyway. And I'm the same way, if its Elite it has Critical Wounds and doesnt got down till you kill it outright. Running Final Sanction that was has gotten everyone close to the edge more than once.

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One thing that I'm surprised no ones mentioned is that Bionics still need 2d10 days (someone please correct me on that no doubt I'm wrong but it is significant) to implant so unless there's a good reason to delay the mission (like an actual missing limb requiring replacing) the GM's got a good in game reason to disallow it a much of the time.

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Also, astartes bionics are usually going to be installed on board a vessel or watch station. So unless the ship or facility itself is coming under assault, a day or two recuperating isn't going to be a pressing issue. Even with Deathwatch's speedy vessels, the astartes will heal up on route to a mission even on a bad roll.

The Iron Hands background in FF makes a point that Iron Hands are skilled enough to perform such extensive bionic replacements on their own and still keep the essential characteristics of an Astartes. Implying that many others who would attempt that level of replacement would ruin an astartes. That itself would be a reason for Iron Hands to appear strange to other Astartes.

 

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