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Saldre

Malignancies

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I think that the game should support both Puritan and Radical play- and slow descent into radicalism is likelier the approach that the game should take instead of the "You hit ten, you die" approach. 

 

After all, when you  hit 100,  you die- and that's when it represents you turning into a horrible warp monstrosity. 

 

My players have, though they LOVE to deny it, mostly played radicals. They've done things. Horrible things. But things that they believed that had to be done to save the world, to get them that next clue, to take that one extra-step further at making this or that encounter easier.  

 

From Warhammer specific Xanthites and Oblationsits, to Calixis Classes and cults like Phaenonites, to player characters that are mutants or sorcerers- sure, it should be dangerous, it should come with consequences, but this is still a valid style a play that should not be punished so harshly. 

And people don't need to start off with that  mind-set: they should be able to slowly build into it. Decision after decision after decision. Radicalism by necessity its called. Later you need to look back and say "What have I become!!?" Instead of failing your test at reading your first tome, getting 10 corruption points and mutating horribly right there and then. 

 

Mooks pick up a chaos sword and turn into a babbling  monstrosity. Regular humans get to 10 corruption points and turn into chaos spawns. 

 

Players should be able to take more than that and only later on the table should they realize that the timer is slowly counting down to their demise. The fact that you can't remove corruption points as easily is GREAT and THAT by itself should be horrifying to anyone who accrues them.  

 

As for the table - maybe we can make a new one and post on it to give the guys  ideas? 

Edited by Saldre

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Hi everybody,

 

  FIrst, I must admit that I love the new malignancy system. It does bring a cthulhu-esque feel to the game. It reenforce the idea of just how dangerous the warp is.

 

   Nevertheless, I just feel that the creators might have been a little to enthustiastics. Couldn't we find a middle ground where corruption still feels terrifying, but doesn't result in a rank 1 character's death in 5 minutes? I'm sure this could be achieved by including some twisted, yet easy to concele, mutations at the beggining of the table.

 

What do you think?

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A couple of failed forbidden roles for a specialist can easily result in a first game malignancy regardless of a GM's opinion unless he chooses to ignore those rules for these rolls- which is not how a system should be ran.

 

You could start playing and telling the player that the roll that your attempting is at -50 for example, so your likely to fail it horribly and get a lot of corruption points. But then we get back to the original point of characters being able to select what they want at start-up... If they take "Specialist Daemonology" - thats likely because they intend to roll that. Imposing a -50 penalty on it in certain types of games might be acceptable, but in others, its the player is likely to be pissed off.  

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Mooks pick up a chaos sword and turn into a babbling  monstrosity. Regular humans get to 10 corruption points and turn into chaos spawns.

 

Come now, let's avoid hyperbole for the sake of folks who don't have the beta. It takes quite a bit of Corruption to get to Chaos Spawn. Swollen Brute -- which is just becoming "excessively corpulent of disturbingly muscular" -- is the worst phsyical thing that can happen to you at chargen. And these sorts of deformities are regularly on view IRL at Walmart and Gold's Gym respectively.

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Haha, that's a good point :P 

 

Well, I still think it depends on the standards of your Inquisitor starting inquisitor, or even the character's opinion himself. The worst thing that could happen to you is likely around 16 I think, which is an extra hand or arm. 

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Come now, let's avoid hyperbole for the sake of folks who don't have the beta. It takes quite a bit of Corruption to get to Chaos Spawn. Swollen Brute -- which is just becoming "excessively corpulent of disturbingly muscular" -- is the worst phsyical thing that can happen to you at chargen. And these sorts of deformities are regularly on view IRL at Walmart and Gold's Gym respectively.

 

 

 

Swollen Brute probably doesn't even mark you as a real mutant. At worse, you are morbidly obese (possible for normal humans), or a human or near abhuman from a high gravity world that historically was bred for size and strength (between a human and an Ogryn). Really, of the first 20, unnatural limb is the worse, but can be caused by normal, genetic mutation. Just say you come from the underhive and you are good to go (well, as good as that leaves you).

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I don't think you can hide becoming morbidly obese over-night from your Inquisitor though. Or not really justify it in any meaningful way. 

 

As for the hand, your good to go with a radical Inquisitor- not so much a puritan. And its true that baggy robes would help hide this. Or a mask would help hide others. But Cmon- 

 

Unless the Inquisitor is horribly stupid, I can't imagine something like his acolyte constantly showing up with more and more robes and baggy clothes and he'll be all like "Thats cool!" 

 

Say for example the guardsman that's only ever worn his flak armor suddenly shows up in multiple baggy robes.... 

Edited by Saldre

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If the Inquisitor is a severe Puritan, the PCs will need to keep that in mind as they carry out their tasks. Radical henchmen serving under a Puritan Inquisitor ... sorry, not going to end well no matter what. I get that it's hard to do your job properly as an Acolyte without ultimately being disposable ... but this is DH. Life is hard. For crying out loud, Inquisitors can wipe out worlds to protect humanity at large. How many guys better than my suddenly-tentacled Acolyte can you find on such a world?

 

This is beginning to sound a bit like a special snowflake argument. I mean, if you don't want to play a character who goes through tremendous hardship in a cruel and unfair universe, why play DH? There's also the matter of the PC's own perspective. If the PC is truly a Puritan, s/he'd be most likely to commit suicide than live as a mutant. If you want your PC to have a change of heart -- and stay alive under a fanatically Puritan Inquisitor -- then you're going to need to be clever.

 

I have a feeling most GMs will not play the Inquisitor quite so onerously. After all, the Acolytes are tools to be used: as long as they are potentially more helpful than harmful ... yep, Inquisitors too gradually and/or occasionally slide toward a radical perspective. Indeed, having a corrupted but extremely useful tool is exactly the sort of temptation that leads to Radicalism.

Edited by Manchu

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The problem is, there isn't much narrative potential in "I mutated overnight and my Inquisitor shot me without even batting an eyelid". It may jive well with the nature of the setting, but totally random death is not exactly the part of the setting that lends itself to interesting exploration.

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A puritan Inquisitor, a priest of the Ministorum, a Sororita, and pretty much anyone else with ties to the Imperial Creed has a good reason to shoot a mutant. The average citizen is taught to fear and hate mutants, leading to an angry mob if a PC with a Malignancy is in a crowded area. Guardsmen are told in their Primer to shoot mutants on sight.

The best option, I feel, would be to change the Malignancy frequency; rather than every 10 Corruption, make it every 20.

This makes it so that an Acolyte who rolls poorly when reading a cursed grimoire will not immediately sprout a mutation, but one who does such things consistently places himself at risk.

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Just another point, the text does note (at least once, maybe more) that Radical Inquisitors rather than Puritans are the ones employing unsanctioned psykers. Makes sense.

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Just another point, the text does note (at least once, maybe more) that Radical Inquisitors rather than Puritans are the ones employing unsanctioned psykers. Makes sense.

 

The issue is not really with the unsanctioned psykers and warlocks (who get what's coming to them), but for the average acolyte who begins to horribly mutate after a few missed checks. I mean, even in CoC, you have to be in pretty bad stuff before physical mutation sets in. Insanity (and probably death) happens much sooner.

 

As for Puritan inquisitors shooting their acolytes as soon as they see they have mutations, remember that acolytes usually aren't in constant direct contact with their inquisitor, and may spend months or even years without any contact. Many probably never even meet in person, so you can go a long time as a not too obvious mutant without anyone with the authority to outright kill you interacting with you.

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Insanity and corruption are different things in DH2E so the CoC comparison only gets us so far.

 

I don't know just how often opportunities come up to gain Corruption in the normal course of play. Personally, I think they would be better used as exclamation points when the PCs must face them and, to put a finer point on it, that GMs should not regularly railroad PCs into these situations. This is DH, however, and the risk comes with the territory. Even so, PCs should have the option to tread carefully -- especially given that the Malignancy table gives them good reason to do so (especially if they work for or are themselves Puritans).

Edited by Manchu

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Insanity and corruption are different things in DH2E so the CoC comparison only gets us so far.

 

The comparison was more for the sake of onset time; insanity happens relatively quickly (when your mind snaps, it snaps  immediately; it was good before, you see/experience something traumatic, or you've seen more than your mind can take, and it's done). Corruption, on the other hand, should feel insidious; characters shouldn't sprout extra limbs as soon as they reach 10 corruption. This is why you need a table for malignancies and real mutations; so the players feel the existential horror of seeing their characters slowly but surely become an abomination while still being able to hide it relatively easily at the start. The progression should be a curve (possibly getting steeper the further down you are) not a staircase like it is now.

 

Even than, comparing the onset time with that of DH1, where can have serious mental trauma but little long term effect in parallel to disorders (which you can only acquire 3 off, and only starting at 40 insanity), the DH2 acolytes are frail little creatures, whose minds snap at the first breeze. The Inquisition is supposed to pick these people, not grab any random person on the street; they should be jaded enough to though it out for a while.

 

The same can be said of Malignacies and Mutations; DH1 acolytes could get up to 10 malignancies, but only 3 "real" (read, this will get you burned) mutations, and only starting at 30 corruption. Even than, those where minor mutations. These new acolytes are mutating at the drop of a hat, and mutating seriously from the start. You lose the existential horror because their is no fear; the line between mutant and non-mutant is too clear cut, and once over the threshold, for many, might as well shoot yourself. And that's at 10 corruption, not 50.

Edited by MorioMortis

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Personally, I very much like the idea of progressing Malignancies as they're included in the new rules. But yes, the Mutations should really be a "breed apart".

 

Maybe it could be done in the following way?

1. A 20-line long table for Malignancies, which all include an option to "stack up",

2. Every 10 CP character makes a roll on this table, with every double rolled up increasing his signature malignancy, just like in the rules.

3. Once a character gets level 3 in any single malignancy, the corruption takes hold and he is then entitled to make a roll on one of two Mutation tables.

4. If character successfully makes a saving throw (which I think must include Toughness and WP tests), he gets to roll on Minor Mutations. If he fails the test, a Major Mutation roll it is.

 

With only 10 rolls on Malignancy table till the end, PC will have few opportunities to actually Mutate, but on the other hand, a risk will always be there starting with 30 CP (which is roughly an equivalent of what we had in DH1).

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Honestly, I don't get the issue with the DH1 system. It worked very well to capture both the slow descent and the danger of corruption, while also allowing for lucky (those in the Emperor's good grace) to remain relatively pure). I'd perhaps increase the odds of major mutation to 10%, giving it a chaotic twist, but characters should be able to resist mutations but still risk severe ones, without necessarily getting any. That's what the malignancies are for, small mutations that come no matter what.

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Any malignancy that subsequently results in gaining more corruption should be removed. The acolytes gaining malignancy should MOSTLY be a matter a choice.

 

"I choose to go into the Warp-tained ritual chambers to stop the ritual." 

 

"I choose to summon a daemon-host to acquire answers on a mystery that has plagued my existence." 

 

- Even though some would argue that "I choose to fight even though I've triggered my malignancy" is a choice, its a completely different choice which blurs the line between Role-play and Roll-play. 

 

Does a guardsman who feels the urge to kill come over him STOP fighting? Its his job to be a guardsman, to fight in the Emperor's name. Whats he going to do for the rest of the encounter? Sit on his thumbs? 

 

In my opinion, Warp-regen is extreme as well & Witchmark, with some luck, can result in crazy... crazy.. psykers, or sorta of unplayable psykers, as all of their powers are getting eaten up by it. Especially since its the signature malignancy of the Sanctionite- so the likeliest background for Psykers. 

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Following our first session.

 

Hiveworld Outcast mystic - rolls 1d10+10, gets a 20. Two malignancies- Acid blood & Warp-sight [blind plus unnatural senses]

 

30/45 minutes into the game, when the Caravan gets attacked by bandits, They shoot the driver [novice citizen] in the head. He gets one wound. One bandit chain-axes the Mystic, whose sitting at the open door. Blood loss. 

 

Acid blood hits everyone over 5 meters. The NPC driver gets another wound,bites it. 

 

Everybody was at a loss on how to react  :P

 

In a regular game, he would have been purged right there and then for spraying acid blood everywhere. And killing someone. He proceeds to spray acid blood on everyone and everything all the way until the end of the game. Its quite ridiculous how EVERYTHING inflicts blood loss  :P Whenever he took any damage, BAM, 1d5 meters of acid blood  :P

 

Ultimately, he beat the second saint that way- when the former hit him in the head with assail, rolling a 1 and inflicted 2 points of damage, he blood losses onto the Saint, also inflicting one point of damage- and killing him with stacked up wounds. 

 

My point is: that malignancy, in a regular game, would have EASILY resulted in that character being "removed from play" at the hands of the inquisitor, the rest of the cell, or any sensible person really. He was like a FOUNTAIN of acid blood. 

 

Again, like my players said- the malignancy system is great, its just that the malignancies themselves are crazy.

Edited by Saldre

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Following our first session.

 

Hiveworld Outcast mystic - rolls 1d10+10, gets a 20. Two malignancies- Acid blood & Warp-sight [blind plus unnatural senses]

 

30/45 minutes into the game, when the Caravan gets attacked by bandits, They shoot the driver [novice citizen] in the head. He gets one wound. One bandit chain-axes the Mystic, whose sitting at the open door. Blood loss. 

 

Acid blood hits everyone over 5 meters. The NPC driver gets another wound,bites it. 

 

Everybody was at a loss on how to react  :P

 

In a regular game, he would have been purged right there and then for spraying acid blood everywhere. And killing someone. He proceeds to spray acid blood on everyone and everything all the way until the end of the game. Its quite ridiculous how EVERYTHING inflicts blood loss  :P Whenever he took any damage, BAM, 1d5 meters of acid blood  :P

 

Ultimately, he beat the second saint that way- when the former hit him in the head with assail, rolling a 1 and inflicted 2 points of damage, he blood losses onto the Saint, also inflicting one point of damage- and killing him with stacked up wounds. 

 

 

 

Yikes!

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Following our first session.

 

Hiveworld Outcast mystic - rolls 1d10+10, gets a 20. Two malignancies- Acid blood & Warp-sight [blind plus unnatural senses]

 

This is an issue here; a starting character shouldn't start so horribly mutated that anyone with any common sense would just shoot him on sight. Sure, as a psyker, he can claim that Sightless orbs are a side effect of power use/sanctioning (bonus points for using that as a non-sanctionite), but the searing blood is a big tell. Indeed, the great majority of the malignancies are grounds for immediate termination, especially if they manifest spontaneously; an extra arm, liquid flesh or living cybernetic implants are not things you should get for being slightly corrupted. Compare that to the original malignancies, where none of them are obvious enough for termination in most cases, and it's simply ridiculous. The fact that many malignancies now also add to corruption only makes it worse; a character with bloodlust will become a mindless chaos spawn in no time.

Edited by MorioMortis

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Just go back to the old system where every 10 is a hard to resist malignancy(problematic, possibly crippling, but not MUTANTS MUST BURN effects). And every 30 is an almost impossible to resist mutation. But make it so worse failures(say a total of 5 more DoF than DoS) give major mutation, since it was basically impossible to roll major mutations in original DH.

 

Of course, with the power creep now in effect, the malignancy and mutation roll would have to scale somehow.

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Personally I like the new malignancy system i play a game where one play got so lucky with his rolls that at 46 corruption points he had only 1 malignancy and no mutations.

 

But i do think they could improve the chart by putting more shoot on sights at higher rolls and a few less obvious malignancy. I do like how certain ones(like Cannibalism) give you corruption when used, but ones like Bloodlust are much better without it.

 

I thinks another way to fix scaling is after reorganizing bad the chart change it to 1d10 + 2xCB this would scale better at later corruption levels.

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