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Adeptus-B

NEW ABHUMANS

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White Dwarf #302 featured a ‘Chapter Approved’ article by Andy Hoare, detailing new abhumans for use in Imperial Guard armies (this was back when White Dwarf featured articles with -gasp!- useful information, rather than just providing previews of upcoming GW products like it does now-a-days). Here is my attempt at adapting some of these abhumans for use in Only War.

 

Traditionally, abhumans are fielded in dedicated units of their own kind. Between their specialized abilities and the Imperium’s contempt for mutation, these units are ruthlessly employed in the hottest warzones, with even less regard for their survivability than regular Guard units. As a result, abhuman units suffer high casualty rates; when the unit is no longer viable, survivors are sometimes ‘folded’ into non-abhuman units. This can be a mixed blessing: while the new unit benefits from the abhumans’ special abilities, the effect on the units’ morale from being forced into close contact with troops that are not entirely human is… uncertain at best.

 

Note that none of these new Specialties have been play-tested: GMs allow them in their campaigns at their own risk.

 

_________

 

NIGHTSIDERS-

The populations of many worlds in the Imperium live their lives in near, or sometimes complete, darkness. Some planets are inhabitable only on their night side, because the opposite surface is exposed to the full force of the system’s star. Other populations exist underground, because the surface of their world is entirely uninhabitable. Throughout the millennia, technology may have regressed due to ignorance, isolation, or natural disaster, and the population may have changed either by design (unsanctioned genetic manipulation) or by some accident of nature. Such populations are considered mutants by many, for they may sport bulbous eyes adapted to the dimmest conditions, or they may in fact have only vestigial eyes and enhanced other senses that compensate for near or total darkness.

-WD#302, p.66

 

STARTING APTITUDES, TALENTS, AND MODIFIERS-

Characteristic Bonus: +10 Perception, -5 Fellowship.

Starting Aptitudes: Weapon Skill, Agility, Perception, Finesse, Defense, Fieldcraft.

Starting Skills: Awareness, Dodge, Navigate (Surface), Scrutiny.

Starting Talents: Combat Sense, Heightened Senses (Sight), Weapon Training (Las, Low-Tech).

Traits: Dark-sight, Light-sensitive*.

Specialist Equipment: Polarized goggles.

Wounds: 7+1d5

 

*LIGHT-SENSITIVE

Having adapted to a near-lightless environment, Nightsiders find bright light to be quite uncomfortable. All Tests a Nightrider takes in bright daylight or equivalent illumination suffer a -10 penalty. Darkened goggles or similar eye protection negate this penalty.

 

COMRADE ADVANCES

???

 

NIGHTSIDER RECOMMENDED ADVANCES

Weapon Skill- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Weapon Skill- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Agility- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Agility- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Perception- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Perception- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Acrobatics (Skill) Page 116

Awareness +10 (Skill) Page 118

Dodge +10 (Skill) Page 121

Parry (Skill) Page 129

Scrutiny +10 (Skill) Page 131

Stealth (Skill) Page 132

Stealth +10 (Skill) Page 132

Survival (Skill) Page 132

Survival +10 (Skill) Page 132

Counter Attack (Talent) Page 142

Crippling Strike (Talent) Page 142

Disarm (Talent) Page 142

Hard Target (Talent) Page 145

Light Sleeper (Talent) Page 147

Quick Draw (Talent) Page 150

Rapid Reaction (Talent) Page 150

Step Aside (Talent) Page 151

Sure Strike (Talent) Page 151

Swift Attack (Talent) Page 151

 

__________

 

THE AFRIEL STRAIN-

Little is known of the troops created by a shadowy and largely experimental program that developed a breed of soldiers known as the Afriel Strain. Imperial scientists harvested genetic material from a number of the Imperium’s greatest heroes in an attempt to capitalize on the characteristics that made such men and women truly great. It is rumored that even the legendary Macharius contributed DNA to the program. However, as with all such programs, descriptions of the donors and the warriors created by the experiment have been suppressed.

 

Though the Afriel Strain is, or was, an attempt to create the perfect soldier, it failed. For no reason the creators can ascertain, the Afriels attract the animosity of other warriors and suffer from the most appalling bad luck. Each time soldiers of the Afriel Strain have taken the field, they have met with some success. The Afriels are undoubtedly superior to normal Guardsmen. However, these initial successes are inevitably followed by a rapid decline and death of the Afriel regiment. Nonetheless, whoever the creators of the Afriel Strain may be, they continue to experiment and field their ‘perfect soldiers’ across the countless warzones of the Imperium.

 

Afriels are identifiable by the fact that they are universally albino, with pale hair, alabaster skin, and colorless eyes. Their appearance only adds to the air that ‘something just isn’t right’ with these warriors.

-WD#302, p.67

 

STARTING APTITUDES, TALENTS, AND MODIFIERS-

Characteristic Bonus: +5 Weapon Skill, +5 Ballistic Skill, +5 Willpower, -10 Fellowship.

Starting Aptitudes: Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, Intelligence, Willpower, Finesse.

Starting Skills: Common Lore (Imperium), Common Lore (War), Linguistics (High Gothic), Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis), Tech Use.

Starting Talents: Nerves of Steel, Unshakable Faith, Weapon Training (Las, Low-Tech, SP).

Traits: Ill-Fated*, Unnatural Aura**, Mental Deterioration***.

Specialist Equipment: Good Craftsmanship lasgun or Good Craftsmanship combat shotgun, Common Craftsmanship mono-knife.

Wounds: 10+1d5

 

*ILL-FATED

The soldiers of the Afriel Strain have a reputation for suffering from unusually bad luck. They subtract 1 from their starting Fate Points (to a minimum of 1). When an Afriel spends a Fate Point, roll a d10. On a ‘10’, the character receives no benefit from the spent Fate Point (this does not apply to Burning Fate).

 

**UNNATURAL AURA

As products of strange scientific experiments that defy the laws of nature, it is no surprise that Afriels have a disturbing aura, a vague sense that something just isn’t right about the genetically engineered warriors. This disconcerting aura causes all Willpower Tests within 3 meters of an Afriel to suffer a -5 penalty (Afriels are not effected by this penalty). While an Afriel’s presence proves disturbing to allies, it can drive enemies mad with rage. Opponents of an Afriel gain the Hatred Talent.

 

***MENTAL DETERIORATION

Afriels are well aware of their artificial nature and the disturbing implications of their ‘ancestry’, and this knowledge is a constant burden on the Afriel’s mind. When making Trauma Tests from gaining Insanity Points, Afriels must roll twice and take the worse result.

 

As the ultra-rare products of a secret cabal of mysterious progenitors, Afriels do not have Comrades.

 

AFRIEL STRAIN RECOMMENDED ADVANCES

Weapon Skill- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Weapon Skill- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Ballistic Skill- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Ballistic Skill- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Willpower- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Willpower- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Acrobatics (Skill) Page 116

Athletics (Skill) Page 117

Awareness (Skill) Page118

Dodge (Skill) Page 121

Logic (Skill) Page 125

Navigate [surface] (Skill) Page 127

Operate [surface] (Skill) Page 128

Security (Skill) Page 131

Stealth (Skill) Page 134

Survival (Skill) Page 132

Arms Master (Talent) Page 140

Blind Fighting (Talent) Page 141

Cold Hearted (Talent) Page 141

Fearless (Talent) Page 144

Lasgun Barrage (Talent) Page 147

Marksman (Talent) Page 147

Mighty Shot (Talent) Page 148

Quick Draw (Talent) Page 150

Rapid Reload (Talent) Page 150

Swift Attack (Talent) Page 151

Whirlwind of Death (Talent) Page 153

 

__________

 

HOMO SAPIENS VARIATUS-

Many terms are used to describe mutations that combine the appearance of human beings with something altogether more bestial. ‘Degens,’ ‘beasts,’ and ‘twists’ are common names used to describe this large range of mutations. All types of beasts do not necessarily look alike, and different traits can manifest themselves. Otherwise, however, phenotypes of Homo Sapiens Variatus are genetically fairly stable and are considered to be forms of Abhumans rather than isolated examples of unpredictable mutations. In temperament as well as appearance, degens are often bestial and have a reputation for aggression and lack of discipline. Units of beasts in the Imperial Guard are regarded as useful fighters and are ideal for suicidal assaults were brawn rather than brains is required. Other warriors dislike degens, as they are rowdy and unsanitary.

 

Many beasts serving in the Imperial Guard are forced to proclaim their loyalties by wearing purity seals and devotional scripts, so as to avoid being taken for servants of the Ruinous Powers. It is known that the more extreme of mutants in the service of the Great Enemy tend toward gross physical mutations and sometimes have horns, cloven feet, and even the faces of goats. Such mutants are destroyed on sight, for they are considered beyond the pale of acceptable variation.

-WD#302, p.68

 

STARTING APTITUDES, TALENTS, AND MODIFIERS-

Characteristic Bonus: +5 Weapon Skill, +5 Toughness, -5 Intelligence, -10 Fellowship.

Starting Aptitudes: Weapon Skill, Strength, Toughness, Offence, Fieldcraft.

Starting Skills: Athletics, Common Lore (Imperial Creed), Intimidate, Survival.

Starting Talents: Berserk Charge, Iron Jaw, Unarmed Warrior, Weapon Training (Las, Low-Tech).

Specialist Equipment: Common Craftsmanship sword or axe or warhammer, Common Craftsmanship laspistol (replaces lasgun) and 4 charge packs, devotional script.

Wounds: 8+1d10

Fluency: Degens do not start with the Linguistics (Low Gothic) Skill at creation, although they are still capable of engaging in any verbal communication that does not require a Skill Test.

 

COMRADE ADVANCES

???

 

HOMO SAPIENS VARIATUS RECOMMENDED ADVANCES

Weapon Skill- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Weapon Skill- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Strength- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Strength- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Toughness- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Toughness- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Athletics +10 (Skill) Page 117

Awareness (Skill) Page 118

Navigate [surface] (Skill) Page 127

Parry (Skill) Page 129

Survival (Skill) Page 132

Combat Master (Talent) Page 141

Crushing Blow (Talent) Page 142

Die Hard (Talent) Page 142

Double Team (Talent) Page 142

Frenzy (Talent) Page 144

Furious Assault (Talent) Page 144

Hardy (Talent) Page 145

Heightened Senses [smell] (Talent) Page 145

Sidearm (Talent) Page 151

Sprint (Talent) Page 151

Takedown (Talent) Page 152

Two-Weapon Wielder (Talent) Page 152

Unarmed Master (Talent) Page 152

 

__________

 

GLAND WARRIORS-

When the forge world of Dantis III was invaded by Tyranids, Imperial Guard regiments from the nearby world of Lostok were drafted to combat the menace. The surface of Dantis III was heavily polluted, and the infestation of deadly Tyranid organisms made fighting outside the factory complexes almost impossible. A few companies of the Lostok 23rd were modified by the Tech-Priests to fight in the hellish warzone. The Tech-Priests included many organs and drug-secreting glands that enabled the Guardsmen to survive unprotected and boost their combat abilities and aggressiveness. Only a handful of Gland Warriors are believed to have survived the conflict, which saw the Tyranid swarm repulsed from Dantis III.

 

The processes by which the companies of the Lostok 23rd became Gland Warriors are understood only by a few Tech-Priests and used only rarely, as the Inquisition invariably takes an interest in the use of such technologies. Nonetheless, a number of regiments have been subjected to the process and can be found in the most hellish of war zones across the galaxy.

WD#302, p.69

 

STARTING APTITUDES, TALENTS, AND MODIFIERS-

Characteristic Bonus: +5 Toughness, +5 Agility, -5 Intelligence, -5 Fellowship.

Starting Aptitudes: Weapon Skill, Toughness, Agility, Defense, Fieldcraft.

Starting Skills: Athletics, Parry, Scholastic Lore (Chymistry), Survival.

Starting Talents: Die Hard, Iron Jaw, Orthoproxy, Resistance (Poisons), Weapon Training (Las, SP, Low-Tech).

Starting Traits: Gland Warrior Augmentation*.

Specialist Equipment: Good Craftsmanship spear or Common Craftsmanship sword, Common Craftsmanship hand cannon with 2 reloads.

Wounds: 12+1d5

Starting Insanity Points: 1d10

 

*GLAD WARRIOR AUGMENTATION

Soldiers who undergo the grueling series of surgeries and chymical treatments to become Glad Warriors gain advantages that set them apart from the rest of the Imperial Guard- if they survive the process. The implantation of genetically engineered vat-grown organs and glands allows a Gland Warrior to survive in a variety of hostile environments- they are treated as having ‘built-in’ respirators and survival suits. Also, the implanted glands allow one of these abhumans to release certain chymical substances into their system at will. As a Full Action, a Gland Warrior can ‘inject’ himself with a dose of De-Tox, Frenzon, Slaught, or Stimm (a Gland Warrior gains 1 Insanity Point every time a dose of Frenzon is triggered). Each type of drug can be used once each hour- it takes that long for the glands to replenish the supply (the GM can increase this time depending on factors such as lack of food or sleep). These chymical surges are not without risk: each time a Glad Warrior triggers the release of a drug into his system, he must make an Easy (+30) Toughness test or suffer 1d5 (I) Wounds to the Body location, not reduced by armour or Toughness. The difficulty of this test increases by 1 increment for every drug currently active in the Gland Warrior’s system (hence, if a Gland Warrior currently has both Frenzon and Slaught active, and he triggers a dose of Stimm, the Toughness test is reduced to Ordinary [+10]).

 

The Adeptus Mechanicus carefully guards the secret s of creating Gland Warriors, keeping their numbers strictly limited. Also, Gland Warriors tend to see themselves as something ‘beyond’ regular Guardsmen. As a result,  Gland Warriors do not have Comrades.

 

GLAND WARRIOR RECOMMENDED ADVANCES

Weapon Skill- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Weapon Skill- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Toughness- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Toughness- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Agility- Simple (Characteristic) Page 102

Agility- Intermediate (Characteristic) Page 102

Athletics +10 (Skill) Page 116

Awareness (Skill) Page 118

Awareness +10 (Skill) Page 118

Dodge (Skill) Page 121

Intimidate (Skill) Page 123

Navigate [surface] (Skill) Page 127

Parry +10 (Skill) Page 129

Stealth (Skill) Page 132

Stealth +10 (Skill) Page 132

Survival +10 (Skill) Page 132

Blind Fighting (Talent) Page 141

Combat Master (Talent) Page 141

Die Hard (Talent) Page 142

Furious Assault (Talent) Page 144

Hard Target (Talent) Page 145

Hardy (Talent) Page 145

Jaded (Talent) Page 146

Never Die (Talent) Page 149

Preternatural Speed (Talent) Page 150

Sprint (Talent) Page 151

Swift Attack (Talent) Page 151

Whirlwind of Death (Talent) Page 153

__________

 

I’m currently drawing a blank on what kind of Comrade advances to give Nightsiders and Degens, so if anyone wants to make suggestions, it would be much appreciated. Keep in mind that Nightsiders are depicted as basically standard Guardsmen who just happen to see in the dark, and Degens are treated pretty much as cannon fodder.

 

Also, does my version of Gland Warriors seem too powerful? I’m not sure that their built-in drawbacks adequately balance their substantial advantages…

Edited by Adeptus-B

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Hey, I remember that article! I particularly liked the Nightsiders and Afriel strain.

 

You could propably make at least some of those be simply homeworld choices rather than having the whole package since I think at least most of them would have all Guardsman classes available. (Well, the Homo Sapiens Variatus might be mere shock troops with no heavy weapon support and much like with Ogryns might have "normal" humans as the officers since they propably aren't trusted enough to be raised to higher positions.) If you make it cost several points so that the players will be forced to go with bare bones kit (much like the penal colony homeworld, but since these homeworlds offer great natural abilities to the player characters the punishment/restrictions should be greater.)

 

These would also be the only case where I think the support specialisations should not get the regimental kit or homeworld bonuses. Mechanicus and ministrotum would propably not have taken subhumans into their numbers and Ogryns and Ratlings would not have been thought higly enough to be taken as Afriel strain candidates etc. (If the mechanicus wants to clone the perfect human, I just can't believe them deciding to base them on some Ogryn. No matter how heroic that Ogryn might have been.)

 

But you could go with mixed regiment rules for  the support specialists. I mean, Afriel strain regiment would definitely have support with them as their creators give them the best equipment and weapons so that they can prove their worth, having psykers and techpriests and other support given to them is also logical.

 

Another change I suggest is giving the Afriel strain some logistics penalty and some enemies, perhaps even Mechanicus (well, a different group in Mechanicus than the ones working with the experiment) or Inquisition, since experiments like that might be considered heretical. I actually got the impression that most of their "bad luck" is from other regiments not tolerating their presence which should be represented as troubles in acquiring supplies or even occasional "friendly fire" incidents.

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You could propably make at least some of those be simply homeworld choices rather than having the whole package since I think at least most of them would have all Guardsman classes available.

 

Sure, all abhumans should really be homeworld-effects rather than having race also serve as their specialty, but I was following the pattern already laid down by the game. Would there be much interest in playing an all-abhuman regiment?

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The character creation/regiment creation rules for Only War does not play well with abhumans and homeworld-specific characters.

It's one of the main reasons I don't really like it very much.

The regiment creation is cool, but it meshes badly with abhumans (why oh whyyy are these specializations?) and those that are assumed to be from completely different origins than the regiment (schola progenium comes to mind).

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Are the Afriel a breed of Serpentor? :lol: I'm sorry, but I read that, and I'm old enough to remember G.I. Joe, from the 80's, when Dr. Mindbender collected all the DNA of "every great military leader in history", to create new leader for Cobra, with C.Cmdr. being such a weak, sniveling leader (just not in the comics). When they couldn't get Alexander the Great's, I think they subbed in Sgt. Slaughter. :D This sounds like a whole line of Serpentors, including some bad luck.

 

Anyway, some interesting ideas, and I've always rather liked the Gland Warriors from RT; nice to see another push for some of the cool "other" options in 40K.

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While I agree with that, I think they didn't want to make varied Ogryns and Ratlings. There aren't usually heavy weapon Ogryns, and medic Ogryns, and Operator Ratlings; they stereotypically fill a role, with Ogryns being Ogryns (big, bulky morons who use a few types of guns, and should either guard or line-break) and Ratlings being Ratlings (midget snipers with a penchant for cowardice, only slightly outdone by a penchant for good cooking). While I'm sure if you dig, you COULD find some examples of less stereotypical these abhumans, they are rare as the Emperor's words spoken, of late, and so we get them as specializations. Also, many of these games, when possible, port things right out of the codexes for the table top, and that's how Ogryns and Ratlings are there. Of course, I'm only saying stuff everyone knows already, but I thought I would, since it came up.

 

D&D can have flexibility; if you want to be an Ork Wizard, or Halfling Fighter, you CAN (whether it's a good idea is arguable). Here, they borrowed from old D&D, like 1st ed, where Elf was a class, not a race, and they were good at certain things, like a class. In a game where you WILL be a human, for the most part, race mechanics are sort of unnecessary, and thus we get these Ogryns, and these Ratlings.

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Of the new ones I adapted, I think Nightsiders suffer the most from being a race and a specialty. Afriels, Degens, and Gland Warriors are all, broadly, commandos, so they probably work better within the OW-established system of making abhumans count as specialties. Nightsiders, though, should ideally be a regiment, with access to most of the standard Guard specialties...

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You could propably make at least some of those be simply homeworld choices rather than having the whole package since I think at least most of them would have all Guardsman classes available.

 

Sure, all abhumans should really be homeworld-effects rather than having race also serve as their specialty, but I was following the pattern already laid down by the game. Would there be much interest in playing an all-abhuman regiment?

 

Not all Ab-humans should, many abhumans fight mostly mixed with humans as is the example with Ogryns, Ratlings and Homo Sapiens Variatus. On the other hand Nightsiders have evolved to such a state due to the lack of light on their home world and would never be found on a home world with a different environ.

 

I would keep Homo Sapiens Variatus as a specialization with the comrade acting as his beast master.

Nightsiders and Afriel Strain I would make home world options.

Gland Warriors I would instead make a Regiment Type.

 

The downside to this is that you could technically be several types of abhumans simultaneously but added specialization limitations for some of the options would hinder that.

 

Of course this is just my opinions and the way I would do it and should just be considered suggestions. To see the way I did it, follow this link;

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bd9wiamlywlxh0c/More%20Abhumans%20for%20Only%20War.pdf

Edited by Leogun_91

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