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I’ve been thinking about Cogniczar’s call for an ‘outline’ for the Ordo Xenos project. I looked through my other Dark Heresy sourcebooks for ideas, and it seems to me that Daemon Hunter has a layout that would work well for our purposes. DH’s chapters are: 1) The Ordo Malleus [overview/factions/holdings/dramatis personae], 2) Hunter Careers [PC options], 3) Malleus Armoury [new equipment], 4) Daemonic Incursions [adversaries], 5) Grey Knights [new crunch]. Here’s how I picture that breakdown translating to an Ordo Xenos sourcebook:

 

Chapter 1: The Ordo Xenos-

  • Overview of the Ordo Xenos and its duties.
  • History of the Calixian Ordo Xenos- from purging xeno remnants in the wake of the Angeven Crusade, up to consulting on Waaagh! Grimtoof on the Spinward Front and investigating emerging threats in the Koronus Expanse, such as the Rak’Gol.
  • An overview of how the different Puritan-through-Radical factions within the Ordo interpret their duties- and much more detail on the Calixis-specific Xeno Hybris radical faction (mentioned in The Radical’s Handbook p.128 and Disciples of the Dark Gods p.181).
  • A ‘Who’s Who’ of Ordo Xenos Inquisitors and other key figures, and descriptions of the political intrigues within the Ordo.
  • Holdings of the Ordo Xenos, possibly combined with descriptions of some Forbidden Worlds quarantined by the Ordo due to xeno contamination.
  • An overview of the Calixian Deathwatch, with key personnel, holdings, and recent activities.

 

Here’s a quick run-down of OX inquisitors that have appeared in various DH books: Inq. Van Vuygens (DHRB:320), Inq. Al-Subaai (DHRB:322), Inq. Llor (DotDG:179), Inq. Amaros (DotDG:180), and Inq. Arcturos (DotDG:181)- this was a hasty search, am I missing any?

 

I have introduced a character in my campaign called Inquisitor-Lord Titus Gormanghast, the premier expert on xenomorphology in the Calixis Sector, who is slowly dying of a powerful mutagenic poison as the result of a Dark Eldar assassination attempt. He is kept alive in a life-support tank which constantly tries to counteract the effects of the poison, but the best Imperial science can do is delay the inevitable. I came up with this situation simply to justify his being available to consult, but not participate in missions; it occurs to me that, if he was the head of the Calixian OX, his impending death could set up an interesting power struggle within the Ordo, as senior inquisitors vie to become his replacement, frantically forming alliances and trying to sabotage rivals…

 

As for the Calixian Deathwatch, I use the Threnos Zone (DHRB:326) as the site of the Sector’s Watch Fortress, with the 13 lifeless planets being the Exterminatus’d remains of the Yu’Vath capitol system. The constantly-broadcast Imperial Hymns that interfere with navigation are intended to foil would-be treasure hunters. See here for more details.

 

To contrast with the Jericho Reach, I would make the Calixian Deathwatch understaffed, with only a few Kill Teams at their disposal (-and they are being run ragged putting out fires across the sector). Hence, Acolytes must sometimes be sent in when no Astartes are available…

 

Chapter 2: PC Options-

  • New Origins.
  • New Background Packages.
  • New Alternate Ranks.
  • New Cell Directives.

 

I currently have some Origins (Changeling [a human raised by Eldar] and Collegus Xenorum [mentioned in The Koronus Bestiary p.101]), Background Packages (Raid Survivor, Freed Thrall- see earlier posts in this thread), and Alternate Ranks (Diplomatist [authorized negotiator with xenos], Scalp-Taker [hunter of alien bounties], Archaeoxenologist [excavator of xeno sites- name taken from the Eisenhorn novels], and Xenophile [collector of forbidden artifacts]) in progress.

 

This section should probably contain references to appropriate options from other sources (with page numers) like the Calixian Xeno-Arcanist in The Inquisitor’s Handbook p.58 and Cold Trade Broker in Book of Judgement p.37.

 

Chapter 3: New Equipment-

  • Xeno-fighting ‘Counter Measures’.
  • New Xeno items.
  • A 1d100 list of minor xeno artifacts (with no real combat applications) that can be used to quickly flesh out a Cold Trade auction, warehouse, or smuggler’s cargo.
  • Descriptions of Tech Heresy involving xeno materials, possibly with more info on the Ordinati Xenologis (a rogue Adeptus Mechanicus cult, mentioned in the Rogue Trader sourcebook Hostile Acquisitions p.133).

 

I have complained in several threads about the blatant Power Creep in later DH sourcebooks, usually exemplified by equipment that is simply a drastically better version of an existing item. Some people say that this Power Creep is intentional and carefully calculated, but I don’t buy it; I think “like that thing, but way better!” is simply a cop-out used by freelance writers to fill pages when they can’t think of anything original. This offends me on multiple levels: in addition to throwing game balance out of whack (Book of Judgement, for example, includes stacking armour combos that can render PCs flat-out immune to conventional weapons) and defying common sense (if a new sourcebook’s “Omega-Plus Lasgun” is astronomically better than a conventional Lasgun, why hasn’t it replaced all conventional Lasguns? Yes, the Imperium is reactionary, but 10,000 years is plenty of time for Natural Selection to exert itself), there is the all-important fact that people play WH40KRP because they like the 40K universe, and not because they just like percentile systems and don’t care about the setting; hence anything that renders iconic elements of the 40K universe statistically obsolete is committing an egregious sin.

 

This means that the Armoury will undoubtedly be the hardest part of this project. Original, logical, and balanced- that’s a tall order…

 

Chapter 4: Adversaries-

  • An overview of the Cold Trade, with a particular organization given the full Disciples of the Dark Gods-style treatment (I vote for the ‘League of Black Crystal’- a Cold Trade group led by a radical Inquisitor, mentioned in the Rogue Trader sourcebook Hostile Acquisitions p.134).
  • New xenos, and some more info on existing species (the Enoulians from Creatures Anathema p.86 could definitely use some love, and of course more details on the Slaught and Yu’Vath are a must).
  • Xeno beasts, with guidelines for what kind of creatures are broadly legal within the Calixis Sector (such as the Mukaali from The Koronus Bestiary), which require varying degrees of licensing (Sabre Wolves from the DH Rulebook, Ripsaw Scuttlers from DotDG), and which are flatly illegal (such as most Deathworld species). This section should reference the rules for training xenobeasts in The Radical’s Handbook p.140. More info on The Beast House from DotDG would also probably be appropriate.
  • A xeno generator, expanding on the limited one in the DH GM's Screen.

 

I’ve created WH40KRP versions of the Hrud (long-time lurkers on the edges of the 40Kverse), Morgauth (based a brief description in The Radical’s Handbook p.200), Verminthiculians (mentioned Dark Heresy Rulebook p.258), and Nostrafex (mentioned Disciples of the Dark Gods p.71)- see here for details (I'll treat these posts as rough drafts and polish them up), and I’m working on the Draethri ( from The Radical’s Handbook p.201), plus some xenobeasts.

 

As far as the Big Mystery of what the Enoulians are up to with the weird stuff (dead plants, fossils) they are collecting, my suggestion would be that they are trying to reconstruct the DNA of a long-extinct void-travelling super-predator species, which they hope to unleash against the hated Imperium.

 

I’ve seen a post somewhere with full details of Genestealer Cults in WH40KRP- if we ask nicely we might be able to borrow that…

 

Chapter 5: New Crunch-

  • Using Deathwatch allies?
  • Xeno PCs?

 

I’m not sure about this part… are there any other suggestions?

 

 

That’s my two Thrones worth. -And keep in mind that this is all just suggestions- this project is still in the ‘spit-balling’ stage. Feel free to contradict any of this, and once everyone has said their piece we can vote on which versions to keep later.

Edited by Adeptus-B

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I already claimed dibs on a xenos generator, and I have had thoughts of doing an ork and eldar based supplement in the future. .This seems like a good opportunity to stretch my legs on that.

 

What I'm going to start working on this week is:

 

1. A preliminary draft for a xenos generator (Tables, etc)

 

Adeptus-B seems to be the 'authoritive' figure on house-ruled xenos around these parts, so i'll make a few entries and send them off to you for review. 

 

 

I have introduced a character in my campaign called Inquisitor-Lord Titus Gormanghast, the premier expert on xenomorphology in the Calixis Sector, who is slowly dying of a powerful mutagenic poison as the result of a Dark Eldar assassination attempt. He is kept alive in a life-support tank which constantly tries to counteract the effects of the poison, but the best Imperial science can do is delay the inevitable. I came up with this situation simply to justify his being available to consult, but not participate in missions; it occurs to me that, if he was the head of the Calixian OX, his impending death could set up an interesting power struggle within the Ordo, as senior inquisitors vie to become his replacement, frantically forming alliances and trying to sabotage rivals…

 

This seems like a great candidate for writing snippets to grace our project. Those sidebars, quotes, etc. If I may, I'll write a few during my parts.

 

As I believe in taking these projects "1 step at a time", I'll stop here with my stated goal for the week. I'll continue picking up odd sections as I see fit (or get inspiration randomly). 

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Hmm... the Equipment-Section is going to be a challenge if we try to keep the Power Creep in reins. 

 

Furthermore, I totally agree on Cognizar's thought about the Inquisitor, he surely has a lot of wisdom to share in his musings.

 

Another thing I was wondering about: Add an adventure to the supplement?

 

Oh, and I'll quickly write you both a Message with my Skype-Stuff

 

Edit: ****, almost forgot stating that I'll start working a bit on our favorite Maggot-Men starting today.

Edited by darkforce

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I really like Adeptus-B's layout plans, much better than my feeble skeleton. I think I'll be able to chime in on ideas for Chapter 1 initially, until I'm more up to speed with the crunch.

 

Some initial thoughts on the factions, how each of the following operates within the Ordo Xenos. I'll expand these ideas further if people think these are good directions to go in.

 

Monodominants - majority of Xenos inquisitors, basic brief (possibly included in the general outline of the Ordo?).

 

Thorians - Ressurectionist/Heretek rump within the Ordo, seeking alien tech to resurrect/enhance avatars or humanity in general (convoluted, depends on the inquisitor in question). If the upper echelons of the Calixian Ordo have connections to the Eldar (especially possible if we adopt Gormenghast (although I would suggest a change in name, the reference is a little too blatant for my tastes), we can drop a few curious bits about the Avatar/Young King relationship in here as possible methods to explore/hint at.

 
Istvaanians/Recongrenators - work to introduce xeno influences into places to see what results. Istvaanians to get disorder, Recongrenators have Eldar sympathies as a potential "better template" for Imperial governance (particularly if they are psykers themselves)?
 
Oblationists - exposure to plagues etc to create new strains of humanity. Also works with rogue traders to study any blurred lines between alien and human, before purging them all out in a holocaust. Also potential for "frontier" inquisitors planted with new world settlements (not necessarily oblationist).
 
Polypsykanna - focus on psychic threats to humanity's ascension. Potential ally/enemy for any Eldar admirers, depending on the Inquisitor in question. Very much a scattered party within the Ordo, no real power base due to differing opinions on how to treat/use xeno psykers as a way to advance humanity.
 
Xenos Hybris - scours alien races for beneficial things to incorporate, keep eyes on Rogue Traders particularly. Court planetary governors in order to exert the influence to affect changes into society, and potentially AdMech in order to subtly introduce xeno-innovations. Large member base, but likely not very effectual as likely to alienate majority of AdMech if found out.
 
I'll start on fuller write-ups for these this evening, although I'm not able to format them fully. If I post them up can someone "bind" them for me as part of the overall supplement development?
Edited by Aramithius

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...(especially possible if we adopt Gormenghast (although I would suggest a change in name, the reference is a little too blatant for my tastes)

 

:P  Yeah, you're probably right! I really like 'Gormanghast' as a surname, but I'm fine with changing 'Titus' to avoid overt comparison to Mervyn Peake's novels.

 

-Speaking of Radical Inquisitors trying to use Eldar technology to resurrect the Emperor, that's a plot point in the (fairly) recent Black Library novel Atlas Infernal.

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-Speaking of Radical Inquisitors trying to use Eldar technology to resurrect the Emperor, that's a plot point in the (fairly) recent Black Library novel Atlas Infernal.

 

 

Depending on the inquisitor in question, it'll be less outright resurrection and more channelling portions of the Emperor, although resurrection could be on the cards too. Perhaps less for the Calixis sector than elsewhere, though.

 

Atlas Infernal looks interesting, although it does rather contradict the old position of Czevak being granted access by the Black Library by the guardians, and the reasons for that could be a whole novel in themselves, but that's just me being an old stick-in-the-mud I imagine.

 

I'll start work on the outlines over the next day or so. Hopefully have something up by Tuesday evening.

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First chapter(ish) of the background is below. I've stuck with the format in Dæmonhunters for the most part, although I've tried not to regurgitate the history too much, as it's not very relevant to the Ordo Xenos, who don't actually have that much do to with the Inquisition's history at large. If I need more of the general stuff, let me know.

 

In order to give the Ordo a distinct place, I've added in some organisational creep after the Age of Apostasy, highlighted in red. I've tried to cast them as diplomats and organisers, which opens up plenty of political possibilities for Acolytes, as well as just alien-tracking, e.g. can the acolytes get some dirt on the general who's stalling the advance, and so discredit him in council, letting their master win the generals around to exterminate her pet threat?

 

Right now it feels a little bland sauceish, let me know what you think, and I can get improving.

 

Anyway... stuff!

 

 

Chapter 1: The Ordo Xenos

 

There are a billion names of damnation! A billion kinds of things that slither and slime and defile the land and sea and wind. Each thing is a kind of sin spawned by man's evil. And that man is very sinful there are many of these damned things and their power is great.

 

As the purpose of all things in nature is to increase so it is with the damned. They would we joined them and so they seek to overcome us. In alien forms they assault us. In sleep they come to spread doubt and fear among us. They would corrupt our hearts and see us damned too. Trust them not nor suffer them to live.

 

For each alien destroyed is a soul freed from eternal bondage. Each mortal alien life extinguished is a human soul raised to glory. Thus our eternal destiny is written in the blood of the alien - Anonymous

 

The Ordo Xenos is the branch of the Inquisition dedicated to rooting out and destroying  alien threats to the Imperium. These come in a vast array of forms, from the slavering hordes that would break the Imperium by brute force to more insidious threats that hide within Imperial worlds, organisations and even its citizens. Whether the slavering hordes of orks, the barely seen Hrud, the enigmatic and treacherous Eldar or manifold other threats, the Ordo Xenos must ensure that they are all rooted out and destroyed before they threaten the Imperium.

 

The Enemy Without

 

"You ask why we must cleanse the xenos? I will tell you. The filth of the alien and the witch must be exterminated to preserve the purity of the Human race, lest we degenerate into abomination." - Witch Hunter Tyrus

 

The Imperium is beset on all sides by other species in the galaxy, most of them hostile to the burgeoning Imperium and the humanity it sustains. Even those that profess friendship are likely doing so for their own ends, which may ultimately bring the Imperium to its knees.

Each world the Imperium settles on carries its own flora and fauna that may seek to find a way to corrupt or destroy the settlers. Plants that kill and eat, mindless organisms that enslave humans to their will, all must be wiped out for humanity to prosper. There are also many races that would seek to spred themselves, to wipe out humanity in their path. Whether they come bearing open arms or pretending friendship, these foes must be known, faced and destroyed in a genocidal war of all against all. And there are those xenos species that try to slip under humanity's radar, to infest the dark corners of the galaxy and rise up like a tide from within. All must be resisted.

 

Saddest of all are those pitiful specimens of humanity that would side with the alien for their own purposes. Whether for the pursuit of wealth, or power, or the misguided idea of perfect and neutral knowledge, some try to traffick with the alien. These people forfeit their humanity when they deal with the xenos, and will be destroyed alongside the aliens they claim are so harmless.

 

Origins

 

In the same way as the Ordo Malleus, the Ordo Xenos is believed to have been created after the Emperor's Ascension, at his request, to seek out "men of character, skill and determination", that these men will form a "cadre of an elite group of investigators whose job it is to root out heresy and treachery wherever it may hide." For the Ordo Xenos, to bring down the Imperium by invasion and collaboration with aliens is the highest treachery.

 

There is relatively little information about the events surrounding the creation of the Ordo Xenos, as aliens were somewhat removed from the internal turmoil that resulted in the creation of the Inquisition shortly after the Emperor's internment in the Golden Throne. However, that very absence has shaped its history, particularly its relative insignificance next to the other branches of the Inquisition.

 

Rediscovery

 

The Inquisition's origins lie in the immediate aftermath of the Horus Heresy, as the fate of humanity hung in the balance and the Emperor was interred in the Golden Throne. While the news spread and the Imperium as a whole sank variously into despair and worship of the now deified Emperor, a number of his servants gathered to discuss their future, and the Emperor's. What was said at that gathering is not recorded, but the conclave's members swore to protect the Emperor at all costs. Using the command of the Emperor as their mandate, they set themselves above any Imperial authority apart from the High Lords themselves. By the first anniversary of the Emperor's Ascension, a grim-faced man claiming to represent "the Holy Orders of the Emperor's Inquisition" presented himself to the Senatorum Imperialis.

 

Over the next few centuries, the agents of this self-proclaimed amalgamation of organisations accompanied the armies of the Imperium as they chased down the remnants of Horus' rebellion, ensuring that no record of the traitors survived to tempt others down the path to Chaos. For millennia, the horrors of the alien were forgotten as the Inquisition sent out legions of purgator-servitors, data-killing viruses, mind-cleansed Adminstratum adepts and pyromaniacal convicts to purge all record and knowledge of the Legion's existence in a pyre of celebration and forgetfulness at humanity's recovery.

 

Apostasy and Division

 

Concern with chaose had turned the gaze of the imperium inwards, with little inclination to root out the corrupting influences of aliens from beyond humanity's own ranks. What few inquisitors were concerned with aliens during the Age of Forging were primarily occupied with ensuring that humanity was kept pure, the taint of the xenos seen as a minor yet similar threat to the taint of Chaos. With no formalised Ordos, inquisitors investigated anything they saw fit, but relatively few concerned themselves with what lay beyond the Imperium's borders.

 

This ultimately proved to be the undoing of the Imperium, as the storms that preceded the Age of Apostasy in the 36th Millennium rained down hordes of aliens upon worlds utterly unprepared for outside threats. Many of the Ordo's historians look back in shame on this period, believing that if they had prepared planetary governors for the threats posed by the alien then they would have been better-equipped to deal with the tide that the Warp storms brought forth.

 

This weakening of power, combined with an increased rivalry between the Administratum and the Ecclesiarchy, allowed the High Lord Goge Vandire to seize control of both organisations and steadily charmed, bribed or coerced the other High Lords to follow his designs. Any who questioned him were violently suppressed, in what came to be known as the Reign of Blood.

 

After Vandire was deposed by the Brides of the Emperor and the ascension of Sebastian Thor, the Inquisition was reorganised to better face the threats against the Imperium, from whatever source. The Ordos Hereticus and Xenos were begun to better face the multitude of threats that the Imperium faced, and the Ordo Malleus was stripped of much of the internal oversight function it had previously held, with each inquisitor now being the theoretical equal of the others.

 

Insertion and Exploration

 

The newly formed Ordo Xenos had a major task ahead of it: to rebuild what was lost to the opportunistic aliens that had devastated Imperial worlds during the Age of Apostasy. Ordo Xenos Inquisitors formed a major part of the rebuilding and reconquest efforts that followed, directing the penitent crusades to those areas where they would be most effective, and rooting out lingering alien influences in the reconquered worlds. Many warrens of alien influence were found and eliminated due to the efforts of the new Ordo Xenos Inquisitors, and their efforts on the crusades accorded them much gratitude and status within the Imperial military machine. Due to the goodwill towards the Ordo as a result of these campaigns, the Ordo Xenos became one of the few organisations to be able to successfully co-ordinate full-scale actions against hitherto unknown or unconsidered enemies, bringing together coalitions from throughout the Adeptus Terra and the Imperial military to deal with many threats.

 

Which was sorely needed in the years to come. The dawn of the 41st Millennium brought with it dire peril as the insatiable menace of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Behemoth descended upon Ultima Segmentum. Inquisitor Kryptmann organised the defences across a cordon of worlds, eventually halting the alien menace at Ichar IV and Macragge through determination and ruthless sacrifice. Having beaten back two more Tyranid invasions, the Ordo Xenos was again called to investigate strange dead worlds after reports of cybernetic aliens wiping out the sparse settlers on these worlds. Soon, thanks to Ordo Xenos investigations, sector commanders were rising to meet the Necron threat, and strikes were beginning on the Necrons' tombs while they still slumber. It is clear that the Ordo Xenos are needed at all corners and in all parts of the Imperium to guard against the threat posed by the Enemy Without.

 

 

I'll be working on the Calixis implications and factions as applied to the Xenos this week, hopefully have it done by Friday. For now it's just getting tasters up and running, to slot the substantive ideas in.

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Alright, a few days passed and I finally got around writing a first draft of some stuff about the Slaught... only two pages yet, still much more to write, but the rough direction should be clear.

 

Further following is making more stuff up about the already existing sections, maybe adding a few new Slaught Items (Or should I just say "for a List of Slaught-Items look into the Xeno-Armoury"?). I further took the Liberty to make the Blood Harvest Adventure I wrote for my Haarlock-Campaign a "Canon"-Event. Oh, and I'll also write a bit more about the Haarlock-Connection, considering the Role the Haarlocks play in the Calixis... and a few Eyewitness-reports. Feedback wanted  :)

 

Oh, here's the Link, before I forget it

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Looking good so far, although potentially a bit more about the Amaranthine Syndicate and the Ordo Xenos' relation to the Slaught might be an idea, to stop it just being regurgitations of existing canon. Looking forward to reading more, though!

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I’ve been thinking about Chapter 4- the ‘Adversaries’ section. Here’s what I’m thinking of for a break-down (subject to change):

 

CHAPTER 4: THE ENEMY WITHOUT

 

Part 1: The Cold Trade

  • Overview of Cold Trade activities within the Calixis Sector.
  • The League of the Black Crystal (mentioned in Hostile Acquisitions p.134).
  • The Terlain Cluster (mentioned in Daemon Hunter p.68).
  • The Stryxis (largely paraphrased from Rogue Trader).

Sidebar: Port Wander and Footfall.

 

Part 2: The Xeno Threat

  • Overview of xeno activities within the Calixis Sector.
  • Hrud (stealthy ‘parasites’ frequently referenced in 40K lore)*
  • Morgauth (scavanging reptilids mentioned in The Radical’s Handbook p.200)*
  • Verminthiculians (wild mercenaries and reavers [‘Chaos Wookies’- my take] mentioned Dark Heresy Rulebook p. 258)*
  • Nostrafex (space vampires [my take] mentioned Disciples of the Dark Gods p. 71)*
  • Draethri (smug, condescending masterminds [my take] mentioned in The Radical’s Handbook p.201)
  • Galthite (Cossack-like brigands [my take] mentioned in Into the Storm p.125)
  • [Others? Suggestions welcome]

*See the NEW XENOS link in my signature below for the first drafts of these species.

Sidebar: Waaagh! Grimtoof attacking the Spinward Front (largely paraphrased from Only War).

Sidebar: The secret goal of the Enoulians.

Sidebar: Rumor of Lictors on Fedrid (expanding on a reference in Creatures Anathema p.95).

Sidebar: Impending threat of the Rak’Gol approaching through the Koronus Expanse.

 

Part 3: Xenovirals

  • Overview of xeno diseases and the Rites of Innoculation required to visit other planets.
  • [Various sample contagions]
  • [name pending] sentient parasitic infection (loosely inspired by the Stephen King short story I Am The Doorway).

Sidebar: Plague devastation of Abairen’s Hope (now called  Abandoned Hope), currently quarantined.

 

Part 4: Aboriginal and Feral Populations

  • Ch’k-Ch’k (ravenous ‘pygmies’ on Zumthor).
  • [name pending] near-extinct race on Balecaster, now occupying a role similar to the Sidhe in Celtic lore.
  • [name pending] species believed extinct (known via ruins on Percipre), who have actually transcended to multidimensional existence.
  • Feral Orks, on Vaxanide and elsewhere.
  • [Others? Suggestions welcome]

 

Part 5: Xenobeasts

  • Overview of transporting, licensing, and training xenobeasts (referencing The Radical’s Handbook p. 140).
  • Prahma-Rex (flightless riding bird from Ichovor)
  • Glitterbugs (dangerous insects from Tygress III, worn as jewelry by decadent Malfian nobles)
  • Gyrinx (psychic Eldar cats from 40K lore, sought as familiars by Imperial radicals)
  • [Others pending; suggestions welcome]
  • Sample Carnivora (beast-fighting arena) with maps.

Sidebar: Inquisitorial suspicions about the Beast House.

 

Comments/suggestions? My selections of xenos are mostly pretty overt and combat-oriented; I suppose there should be some more ‘subtle’, X-Files-type threats…

 

-And I'm not sure if Jokaero should be included here, or in a separate chapter on Sanctioned Xenos...?

Edited by Adeptus-B

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I'd think about a few more non-beastlike animal-y xenos... not sure exactly what, but my template for "awesome nonsentient Xenos" is the Umbra from Xenology. I'd also happily elaborate on the Hrud, taking Xenology as primary source material.

 

Sanctioned Xenos... are there really enough of those to go around?

 

In terms of making them like X-files, most of the races can go that way if you limit exposure to them in the campaign, just leaving their traces everywhere. May be worth a GM's section somewhere discussing themes in an Ordo Xenos campaign.

 

In the Xenovirals section, would it be worth including some form of low-key hivemind-type thing a la xenofungus from Alpha Centauri?

 

I'd also put the Cold Trade somewhere near the back - introduce the actual aliens first, and then go on to describe the humans that deal with them.

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I'd also put the Cold Trade somewhere near the back - introduce the actual aliens first, and then go on to describe the humans that deal with them.

 

Hmm, I was thinking that I should 'build up' to the xeno entries, but I guess it would be more dramatic to hit readers with those right off the bat. Consider it moved.

 

-And since I don't own Xenology (because prices seem to hover around a hundred bucks on Amazon.com and eBay...), it'll be up to you to find cool stuff from that for inclusion.  :P

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-And since I don't own Xenology (because prices seem to hover around a hundred bucks on Amazon.com and eBay...), it'll be up to you to find cool stuff from that for inclusion.  :P

 

Challenge accepted.

 

When I get round to finishing the political structure of the Ordo Xenos in the Calixis sector. I have contrasting pictures in my head, and I want to include all three - the Czevak/Lok-equivalents who move in military circles and have all the pull of aristocratic orators, the scholars/archaeologists who accompany the explorator teams and muck around with alien ruins/the "frontier", and the shady ones who do stuff with the Cold Trade and similarly insidious threats, the direct X-files analogue. No reason why any given inquisitor couldn't do all three at various points, but we need institutions and outlines by archetype, I think.

 

The first of these I want to set up almost as a landed gentry subclass, so that they can mingle with their own class of aristocrat to get results without the possibility of social exclusion. Lots of patronage and extravagance, and funding shady side-projects in evidence.

 

The second IS those shady side-projects writ large, focusing on the down-and-dirty side of things and how the Ordo deals with syndicates and the covert war side of it.

 

And then the resources the Inquisition provides to new worlds and the semi-explorator fleets of its own, to find new aliens to kill before they kill humanity. I imagine lots of Rogue Traders on the staff in here, or at least those connected to them.

 

Does this sound like a good outline to sketch stuff around?

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An update on progress, this time the beginnings of an outline for the Calxian Ordo Xenos. Not quite finished yet - I want to say a bit more about the general Ordo operations before it's totally done. And then a section detailing the factional politics and a few xeno-archives before the overview is done. Then it's on to cataloguing past threats.

 

 

The Calixian Ordo Xenos

 

The open nature of the Inquisition brings both benefits and problems of the Ordo Xenos. One of the most immediate is that Inquisitorial holdings can be openly managed as such, without the need for falsifying operations. Since Angevin's crusade, this has meant that over time Ordo Xenos inquisitors have held and managed lands alongside the civilian and militant nobility for millennia, and as such shared the same concerns and to extent interests as the other aristocrats. Historically, this has resulted in very smooth operations for the Ordo as there is little institutional friction between the de facto peers; when a xenos threat is presented by an Inquisitor, it is generally not as a voice calling in the wilderness, but advice from one who shares the same concerns, interests and lifestyle to those who they are trying to convince.

Because of this, something similar to noble houses have grown up among Ordo Xenos inquisitors, with certain inquisitors sharing resources and handing them down to newly-appointed inquisitors as they see fit, grooming heirs apparent for their contacts to engage with if they are killed or otherwise unable to manage their estates. The result has been one of the most convoluted and patronage-laden organisations in the sector in order to manage things effectively, an irregular assembly of Ordo inquisitors known as the Vassals' Convocation.

 

The Vassals' Convocation

 

The Vassals' Convocation serves as a governing body of sorts for the Calixian Ordo Xenos, although it just as much a place for intrigue, pageantry or outright banqueting depending on the occasion, location and convenor of the meeting.

 

The Convocation's original purpose was to enable open discussion of the best candidates and positions to present threats and courses of action to the other parts of the Imperium. It still officially serves this purpose, with much discussion of the latest threats and where and who would be the best place to combat them. However, what began as a simple discussion of assignment and assessments of best usage has morphed into a complex bidding system and series of orations, where Inquisitorial claims can be spun out for days or weeks if necessary. Inquisitors will be readily found reciting precedents and in some cases ideological lineage in order to claim certain resources or rights to influence particularly vital clients.

 

Sidebar: All the Sector's a Stage...

The machinations of the Vassals' Convocation are, of course, no substitute for action, and most Inquisitors voicing their claims are almost certainly also taking less open means to secure what they want. Quite possibly at the same time as strenuously putting their point across at Convocation.

This has by now become part of the 'game', and the Convocation's real value is political, an opportunity to size up who is also involved in investigating particular threats, their worth as a potential ally or their proclivity to obstruct. Deals brokered at the sides of the Convocation are possibly more valuable than the debates themselves in this regard.

 

The Convocation is called by any Ordo Xenos inquisitor who feels so inclined, and is currently in possession of Ordo holdings they were gifted at a previous session. They call Convocation at a place of their choosing, and issue a call for the assignment or request of Inquisitorial property (generally land, sequestered military forces, or the Deathwatch). For the duration of this period to the Convocation's end they are known as the Lord-President, regardless of any other title or rank they may hold in the Ordo or Inquisition in general. The Lord-President appoints a Master of Assizes, usually one of their own staff, to pass judgement on who is to be assigned what after the debates and bidding are completed. It is expected that the Lord-President will not receive anything from the Convocation, but may offer up items for others. As a result, the most common declarations from Convocations is the declarations of Lords-President as to who will receive their property if they should die or become indisposed. This is the one area where the Master of Assizes will (generally) be completely predictable - the wishes of the Lord-President will be respected to the letter (at least publicly), unless they can be made to change their own mind on the matter. In other debates, the Master of Assizes plays a much more active role in apportioning the claims, tracing precedent and lines of argument closely, as well as referring to their own reports on what is necessary for the matters at hand.

 

Convocation is also an occasion to bring new threats before other Inquisitors, and bring the organisation's collective knowledge to bear on a new potential alien threat. When one particular Inquisitor needs to alert others to the threat she has found, one of the best recourses she can have is to call a Convocation and present the new threat and seek allies to deal with it. These more informational sessions are potentially just as detail-laden as the resource bidding, necessitating the employment of legions of xeno-arcanists, xenographers, explorators, Adeptus Mechanicus genetors and any others who might have information able to bring to bear on these matters.

 

Convocations are also occasionally used to mark celebratory occasions, whether the extinction of particular races, reconquering a particular world, the discovery and destruction of particularly dangerous artefacts, whatever the Inquisitor in question deems a suitable occasion. These functions may also serve the purpose of mixing with the nobility of other organisations, giving rise to the relationships that the Vassals' Convocation was intended to manage. And so the cycle of procurement, management and assignment of relationships continues. At least, for those who take part in such events.

 

Covert Operations

 

While the Vassals' Convocation may oversee much of the Ordo's more public-facing activities, it is merely the tip of the iceberg. For every inquisitor bidding for new land or presenting new finds at Convocation, there are at least three getting their hands dirty in some more direct fashion, uncovering xenos threats and dealing with them. Even those who spend the majority of their time in Convocation will likely have their acolytes engaged in a range of activities, and hold assets of their own they would never willingly barter away, or even make public to potential factional rivals.

 

Many of these are conducted behind closed doors, to that word of the Ordo's involvement will not leak out beyond their membership. This is especially the case for operations surveiling the various parts of the Imperium likely to deal with suspect xenos artefects and goods, like those engaging in the cold trade. While many in the Ordo are actively working to shut these operations down, some inquisitors, particularly those non-Monodominant members of the Ordo, keep them running under their own terms, and with their own agents. Entire trade rings and smuggling operations run under Ordo supervision, keeping an eye out for new or dangerous artefacts to destroy or acquire for themselves before they ever reach their intended buyers.

 

Sidebar: War in the Shadows

While the impression given here implies that the Ordo may have a good hand on the Cold Trade, this is far from the whole picture. While various inquisitors may have their own pawns to use in the Trade, other interests hostile to the Imperium also make moves within the Cold Trade. Inquisitors always have to ask what is behind the moves made by the Trade, whether it's the whims of individual merchants or a controlling effort from a major player. Such players could be hostile xenos looking to subvert Imperial government, or an organisation looking to pry itself loose from the Imperium with the help of a xenos patron. The problem for Inquisitors is finding out which moves are relatively harmless, and which are likely to lead to bigger problems further down the line. 

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Just bumping this thread with a quick update - I have a faction outline for the Calixian Ordo Xenos that I'll be writing up in the next few days (sorry, really should have been last week but work's been busy). Also just need to reread some bits of the Thorian Sourcebook for sources on Gormenghast's friends...

 

Also, would anyone have any wish for sourcebooks on Calxian organsations, like the history of the Skalen-Har Hegemony, Devayn Incorporation etc? I though these organisations could have so much more mileage and detail than the books currently give them.

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Been pretty busy with work training and site updating, but i'll be revisiting my xenos generator files tomorrow and giving the material a review with some commentary. Just posting this in now so everyone knows im still on board. Just rl issues cropping up and getting in my way. =P

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Just bumping this thread with a quick update - I have a faction outline for the Calixian Ordo Xenos that I'll be writing up in the next few days (sorry, really should have been last week but work's been busy). Also just need to reread some bits of the Thorian Sourcebook for sources on Gormenghast's friends...

 

Also, would anyone have any wish for sourcebooks on Calxian organsations, like the history of the Skalen-Har Hegemony, Devayn Incorporation etc? I though these organisations could have so much more mileage and detail than the books currently give them.

Been pretty busy with work training and site updating, but i'll be revisiting my xenos generator files tomorrow and giving the material a review with some commentary. Just posting this in now so everyone knows im still on board. Just rl issues cropping up and getting in my way. =P

 

No worries- I'm not setting any speed records myself.  ;)

 

(And yes, Aramithius, I would be interested in more info on Calixian organizations.)

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Update on the politics below, with a finishing paragraph for the preceding section. It really needs padding out, and I'm not sure quite where to take that. It also needs some leading text to discuss things like Gormenghast and the factions apart from the Thorians, but I'm wondering where to fit it in.

 

Read, enjoy, and any suggestions would be great.

 

 

Operations of this sort are the most important to the Ordo, as they are often the frontline for the more subtle threats faced by humanity. Many a world would in the Calixis Sector has been saved from crumbling from the foundation up through the acts of the Ordo Xenos. For more heterodox inquisitors, it is also the perfect position to introduce their own influences or even selected xenos ideas into Imperial society without drawing attention to their activities.

 

Politics of the Ordo Xenos Calixis

 

The Ordox Xenos Calixis is nominally headed by Inquisitor Maximillian Gormenghast, although his current influence on the Ordo is negligible. While he has a long and illustrious history of involvement in directing the Ordo, particularly recently in isolating He has been in a coma from an unknown pathogen for the last thirty years, and his acolytes and political allies have been fighting tooth-and-nail to maintain his estates from being seized by other factions at Convocation.

 

The biggest battle however has been to maintain the secrecy of Gormenghast’s location and the reason he hasn’t succumbed to the pathogen. Prior to his coma (which some believe to be poisoning from either hostile xenos or political enemies), Gormenghast was amalgamating Eldar and Xenarch technologies to extract and bond a soul’s warp essence into a warp-powered matrix similar to an Eldar spirit stone. His Thorian allies are using a precursor to this technology to sustain him. However, if their heresy were to be discovered, it would implicate several other pivotal figures within the Calixian Ordo Xenos.

 

Most of the senior members of the Ordo have always had distinct Thorian leanings, and have since the Angevin Crusade. The Transfiguration of Drusus in 367.M39 excited the attention of many Incarnationists, although there are no claims among the faction to have been responsible for the Transfiguration itself. Those Thorians that did reach the Crusade and study Drusus insinuated themselves tightly within the Crusade's emerging social hierarchy, but were too late to influence its direction. As a result, the Ordo is overwhelmingly Monodominant, with a culture of thought that is hostile to most other philosophies.

 

Some among Gormenghast's Thorian cohort have quietly encouraged the development of a young cadre of inquisitors following the Xenos Hybris philosophy. These are then quietly monitored for anything that could be of use to the Thorians, such as the preserving mechanism currently sustaining Gormenghast. And if they are discovered, the Hybris inquisitors can always be disavowed, having little overt personal or professional sympathies with their Thorian sponsors.

 

Sidebar: Learning to Speak Monodominant

 

The presumed Monodominant leanings of most of the Ordo has led to those with other agendas needing to subtly couch their arguments and aims in Monodominant terms, lest their more zealous compatriots accuse them of heresy. Meetings must be signalled as for "investigative" purposes in particular projects (usually code for particular overarching goals of other factions), or Imperial organisations invented to cloak the records of these factions in a veneer of respectability. This can also lead to inquisitors and their acolytes becoming embroiled in schemes they have no interest in pursuing, or would in fact actively oppose if they knew their true aims. The discerning Ordo Xenos inquisitor needs to learn to look beyond the xenos-hating rhetoric to the consequences of the actions their compatriots are proposing.

 

Edited by Aramithius

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Gentlemen, I don’t know if this has already been considered and discarded but what about abhumans?

 

There are likely many human populations which have evolved to cope with the environment of their home planet, much like the orgyns and ratlings, and which are thus not readily recognizable as humans. Unless some more obscure Ordo deals with such new found ‘human’ colonies, I’d expect the Ordo Xenos to investigate such sentient beings to determine if they are Xenos or not and then to decide if they should be exterminated or if they are allowed to survive.

 

Perhaps this task deserves some attention in an Ordo Xenos book?

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Is there a fan supplement for introducing ratlings as a player race  but not a class?

 

i have a guy that wants to play a ratling psyker.. natural instinct is to say NO but i can't find lore that says it is impossible..if one existed why not in the inquisition? not sure what starting stats skills and traits to use though.

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Is there a fan supplement for introducing ratlings as a player race but not a class?

i have a guy that wants to play a ratling psyker.. natural instinct is to say NO but i can't find lore that says it is impossible..if one existed why not in the inquisition? not sure what starting stats skills and traits to use though.

well there is this http://darkheresy.wikia.com/wiki/Ratlings

and according to the author Nathan “N0-1_H3r3” Dowdell

"Voided Minds

Ratlings have no known psykers and have a natural resistance to psychic phenomena.

Benefit: Anyone attempting to use a psychic power on you does so with a -20 penalty. Any power that would be used to influence your mind suffer a -30 penalty."

Edited by Angel of Death

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I've done a bit of tinkering with this:

 

CHAPTER 4: THE ENEMY WITHOUT

 

Part 1: The Xeno Threat

Overview of xeno activities within the Calixis Sector.

  • Hrud (stealthy ‘parasites’ frequently referenced in 40K lore)*
  • Morgauth (scavenging reptilids mentioned in The Radical’s Handbook p.200)*
  • Verminthiculians (wild mercenaries and reavers [‘Chaos Wookies’- my take] mentioned Dark Heresy Rulebook p. 258)*
  • Nostrafex (space vampires [my take] mentioned Disciples of the Dark Gods p. 71)*
  • Draethri (smug, condescending masterminds [my take] mentioned in The Radical’s Handbook p.201)
  • Ghurkhul (Cossack-like brigands)
  • ‘Flesh-Reapers’ (Mysterious organ-harvesters)
  • Morphaelaq (Parasitic ‘dream-weavers’ who they produce an addictive narcotic; prolonged use alters the human brain, turning it into food for these aliens)
  • Genestealer Cults? (we might be able to borrow Santiago's cool write-up here)
  • Others? Suggestions welcome

*See the NEW XENOS link in my signature below for the first drafts of these species.

Sidebar: Waaagh! Grimtoof attacking the Spinward Front (largely paraphrased from Only War).

Sidebar: The secret goal of the Enoulians.

Sidebar: Rumor of Lictors on Fedrid (expanding on a reference in Creatures Anathema p.95).

Sidebar: Impending threat of the Rak’Gol approaching through the Koronus Expanse.

 

Part 2: The Cold Trade

Overview of Cold Trade activities within the Calixis Sector.

  • The League of the Black Crystal (mentioned in Hostile Acquisitions p.134)
  • The Terlain Cluster (mentioned in Daemon Hunter p.68. My take would be that the Gatekeepers found a portal into a fractured, abandoned section of the Eldar webway. Altering it with their own technology, they have turned it into their own ‘pocket dimension’, from which they operate their market, with links throughout the Cluster. They are secretly living in dread of Something Bad, and engage in trade to acquire the supplies they will need to survive when it finally arrives and they cut their mini-dimension off from realspace to wait out the apocalypse.)
  • The Stryxis (nomadic xeno-traders, largely paraphrased from Rogue Trader)

Sidebar: Port Wander and Footfall.

 

Part 3: Xenovirals

Overview of xeno diseases and the Rites of Innoculation required by Imperial law in order to visit other planets.

  • Various sample contagions, including ‘the Ague’, as minor reactions to local pathogens are collectively called in Imperial Guard slang.
  • RedReave (an especially deadly hemorrhagic disease which- in its terminal stage- causes bleeding from the eyes and outbursts of psychotic violence)
  • Josian Pox (a wide-spread disease with frequent outbreaks; it used to be a mere nuisance, but it mutates slightly with each episode, and could turn deadly in the near future)
  • [name pending] (fungal infection that takes over the brain, ‘zombifying’ the victim and eventually causing the head to burst in a spore-filled contagious cloud)
  • Dusk Fever (a common cause of death spread by biting insects in the swamps of the planet Dusk).
  • Hellblight (a powerful weaponized virus engineered by the Yu’Vath during the Angevin Crusade; it is believed to be contained to a few high-security labs…)
  • [name pending] (a sentient parasitic infection which eventually controls the host- loosely inspired by the Stephen King short story I Am The Doorway)

Sidebar: Plague devastation of the planet Abairen’s Hope (now called  Abandoned Hope), currently quarantined.

 

Part 4: Aboriginal and Feral Populations

  • Ch’k-Ch’k (ravenous ‘pygmies’ on Zumthor, who’s population is exploding due to Imperial settlers wiping out most of the natural predators which kept their numbers in check).
  • Myrrkynn (a.k.a. the Blue Folk, a near-extinct race on Balecaster, now occupying a role similar to the Sidhe in Celtic lore. They are trying to pass their ancient rituals on to human children- supposedly to avert an impending cataclysm).
  • Ghenji (stone-age tribal aliens living in the jungles of Tygress III).
  • Cephallian [imperial designation, due to enlarged heads; real name unknown] (species believed extinct, known via ruins on the planet Percipre, who have actually transcended to multidimensional existence).
  • Ollopoloa (enslaved population on mining world of Nahme, used to mine valuable minerals on their homeworld, due to toxins in the air making a large-scale human workforce impractical. They are secretly trying to re-learn their race’s long-lost psychic powers in order to revolt against their Imperial oppressors).
  • Feral Orks (boar-riding savages, on Vaxanide and elsewhere).
  • Others? Suggestions welcome

Sidebar: On Sentience (Magos Biologis determinants for what constitutes a true 'xeno' vs a dumb animal).

 

Part 5: Xenobeasts

Overview of transporting, licensing, and training xenobeasts (referencing The Radical’s Handbook p. 140).

  • Prahma-Rex (flightless riding bird from Ichovor)
  • Glitterbugs (dangerous insects from Tygress III, worn as jewelry by decadent Malfian nobles)
  • Gyrinx (psychic Eldar cats from 40K lore, sought as familiars by Imperial radicals)
  • [name pending] (silicate hydraform from the Haddrack deathworld)
  • Others pending; suggestions welcome

Sample Carnivora (beast-fighting arena) with maps.

Sidebar: Inquisitorial suspicions about the Beast House.

Edited by Adeptus-B

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