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Magellan

Priests and Seneschals

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Thebigjul said:

Priest characters have a power no one else can have, and I'm not talking about faith but charge of office.

Priest in the Warhammer 40K universe are not only priest…

They are the bearer of the words of the Emperor (and yes I use a heretic quote… Lorgar should be happy his heresy is now the fondation of the Imperium).

They are light in the darkness (sure those are as often the light of burniong corpses as the enlightement of the soul).

They are people you don't want to mess with because attack a missionary is attacking the church.

Ok, you will say that's great but what the **** for xenos and off limits of the Imperium.

The answer is the link beetween the cultures. Most of the world colonised by man had been rediscover by the crusade 10000 years ago, all of them had been taught an Imperial creed. The priest is the diplomat the one who will know what to say or not, what to do or not.

And I think that is the reason more than anything that it seems - to me - that so many doesn't want to play Missionaries. It is also the main appeal of the Career, I would think.

Much like DnD Paladins, they can be a source of much inter-party conflict because - again, it is the impression I have gotten - lots of groups either play somewhat-radicals or at least include people that are partway radical. Or worse. In fact, much of the background of the game suggests precisely this - Dynasties being formed to get rid of troublesome individuals or families, Tech-priests that get sent on Explorator missions to avoid societal or theological conflicts, misfit navymen, degenerate nobles and war-weary militants.

I get the feeling that the Missionary in this - despite there quite clearly being radicals amongst the ecclesiarchy and inquisition itself - sticks out like a sore thumb. The Missionary has.. what? Two viable alternate career options? One, Torchbearer, is essentially a ranger-paladin multiclass aimed at taking the Faith to the frontier by arms. The other is a charlatan peddling fake relics, like a truly fallen priest. You could also argue that the Drusian Adherent might be suitable for a Missionary, but that's arguable, considering that the Drusian Adherent is more of a priestly option for everyone else, rather than the other way around.

Want to trade with xenos? That's heretical. Want to have a xeno in the crew? That's heretical. Anyone gains a mutation? That's extra heretical. Nevermind having an Explorator that wants to graft some fancy Necron Gauss weapons to his sternum. It's legal, yes, because you are on the frontier and you have a warrant of trade. But religion isn't about legality.

I just think that there should be more options for Missionaries to conform to the realities of the Koronus Expanse. Dark Heresy is shock-full of options for radicals or those on the fringe of the Ecclesiarchy or in the Inquisition - and describes a mountain of organisations that would be appropriate for a Missionary that is playing Rogue Trader. Nevermind the fact that a player easily could come up with options on their own, with some know-how of the universe.

It would be nice with a Rogue Trader supplement dealing with religion in the Koronus Expanse or fringe radicals.

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It all boils down to the type of campaign you're playing. Just as not all Rogue Traders will want an easily bored alien hooligan running around their ship, and few will tolerate the company of a Chaos Reaver or run the risk of associating with a Secessionist, the adequacy of the Missionary depends on the group and the tone of the game. What makes the Missionary's case egregious is the fact that it's a core class, but if the group is striving to combat Chaos pirates close to Iniquity then he's almost essential. Or if they're working to rediscover ancient human colonies and bring them back to the fold of the Imperium (for a nice comission, of course), or if they're founding their own colonies. 

The main sticking point is precisely his Pure Faith, with implies a total and honest adherence to the Emperor's message, a level of conviction so pure that it actually hurts the denizens of the Warp. However, it should be pointed out that the Emperor's message is not necessarily the same as the Imperial Creed. Perhaps he follows the spirit but not the letter of Imperial Dogma, which likely got him into trouble and pushed his towards the frontier. Perhaps he believes that mutants should be pitied and offered succuor, not just maligned and burnt. Perhaps he even has the radical idea that sufficiently civilized aliens could be converted to the light of the Emperor (There was one such individual that tried this with the Tau. It ended in tragedy, but at least he gave it a shot). In my experience many people have trouble moving away from the stereotype of Father Burninator Mc.Killyoudead, from the Shrine World of Youfilthyheretic Prime, but having been a man before being a God, the Emperor is a very complex deity and his worship is as multifaceted as the Imperium itself.

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JuankiMan said:

[…]

The main sticking point is precisely his Pure Faith, with implies a total and honest adherence to the Emperor's message, a level of conviction so pure that it actually hurts the denizens of the Warp. However, it should be pointed out that the Emperor's message is not necessarily the same as the Imperial Creed. Perhaps he follows the spirit but not the letter of Imperial Dogma, which likely got him into trouble and pushed his towards the frontier. Perhaps he believes that mutants should be pitied and offered succuor, not just maligned and burnt. Perhaps he even has the radical idea that sufficiently civilized aliens could be converted to the light of the Emperor (There was one such individual that tried this with the Tau. It ended in tragedy, but at least he gave it a shot). In my experience many people have trouble moving away from the stereotype of Father Burninator Mc.Killyoudead, from the Shrine World of Youfilthyheretic Prime, but having been a man before being a God, the Emperor is a very complex deity and his worship is as multifaceted as the Imperium itself.

I would also stress that there is nothing that actually says that these powers are in fact granted by the Emperor. It could be faith and conviction alone that ends up creating feats of miracle. What is most important, then, is that the Missionary believes his own cause right and just, and in line with the goals of the Emperor.

Everything we objectively know about the Emperor (a knowledge "current-day" Imperials would rarely or never have) leads me to believe that in no way, fashion or form would he support the Ecclesiarchy or the claims of his supposed divinity. Yet miracles clearly happen and clearly radicals experience them as much as puritans. Supposedly.

I'm not saying that Missionaries are de facto shallow. All I was saying is that I would like to see them get a bit meat on their bones in Rogue Trader.

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First I want to apologise for being quite agressive in my previous post. People plmay what they like and how they like.

Second, maybe a little look at the DH books about ecclesiarchy could help you to have a batter understanding at how large the imperial creed can be.

Third, yes they can have faith but it is not a default talent, you can limit it by honest RP from your player to get it and after keep it. (my DH GM play it like it with me and it was good).

Fourth, as actually few member of the church is true in his faith and they are all looking for dominion on the material world instead of focusing on the spiritual world. That also could be an ailm for a priest being with a RT.

And I explain, RT discover planet or rediscover. Senechal and Arch Militant will see at the good working of the new colony, but who is going to order a cathedral, take his share of taxes, offering, gift and else for the rest of the souls of the heird they are making? Who could engage a population to take arms in the name of the ecclesiarchy ( and then for the missionary) taking great lands and cities, transforming a place in a ecclessiuarchy stronghold only responding to him?

At the end he can be a real treat or asset for the RT.

Who else have an ascendant over the crew of the spaceship taking care of the souls of the travellers against the deamon of the warp.

It is already working today, look at the USA and the Crusade against the axe of evil….scary. Put god in a sentence and a great country turns to be no more than a freaking lot of zealous white christian fanatics.( and I know all americans aren(t like that, same thing for us french, some of us have good personnal hygene).lol

Have fun!

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I would like to say i agree with pretty much everyone here saying there's no need for change to these 2 Characters.

Anyway, i have no idea how to "improve" the sceneschals special power. As for the missionary, if you have access to Blood of Martyrs (DH Supplement for the church) you could try to convert their faith power system to Roguetrader. In my opinion the new powers are more powerful than the old ones, but you need to buy more than one power to get the real powerhouse faith powers.

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In both my previous game as well as my current one, I've always had players eager to play a Seneschal. The same can't be said for the Missionary. My players largely like to play up the 'rogue' aspect of Rogue Trader, and they've just not felt that the current options available with the Missionary really promote an open approach to the career. For both games, I've had NPC Missionaries aboard, and they make great mouthpieces to occasionally remind the PCs that there are some things that go beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior even for RTs (Explorators can do much the same from the angle of the Adeptus Mechanicus).

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