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LordBlades

People's opinion of the Dark Eldar career paths and the general playability of Dark Eldar

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I don't have any expierience with DE in RT, but I'd like to point that - just as in cases of SoB and Marines - a Dark Eldar on board of RT vessel isn't going to be yet another dark eldar #121242.

A sociopath and total psycho - yes ofcourse, but he just have to have something special. I.e. politics: why not have a DE forced to serve (and "serve" is *the* word) on board human vessel as an wicked entertaiment for some Kabal boss who is looking at him almost constantly?

 

As to the daily killing - resolution arena, disciplinarium, brig and list go on and on.

Apart from being psychos DE are described as more inteligent than humans and they have technology and skill far beyond those of Imperium. Look at HBOs Dexter - there can be a sociopathic serial-murderer in a normal sociaty without causing any big turmoil.

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I don't see Dark Eldar being discussed too often around here, and I have never seen a Kabalite Warrior nor a Wych (not to mention alt ranks) in play, so I'm curios what are people's opinions/experience with them.

I, like most if not all members here, have zero experience with an Eldar, Dark or otherwise, in the party. I'd assume they'd be no more difficult to include in an adventuring party than any other Xenos species and whatever substantial bonuses they get should be more than compensated for by the extra derring-do performed by the player because of said bonuses.

 

 

I really think they just made the wrong Eldar the playable Eldar, what about those unruly adolescent Craftworld Eldar in their hundred and seventies who don't wanna stay home and listen to the man? The ones that specifically head out to wander around the galaxy like rich recently graduated college kids backpacking around Europe? Those are the ones they should have made playable.

+1

Edited by Ale Golem

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I'm currently playing a Dark Eldar in our new game. He and a small group of his brethern are living on the ship our newly minted Rogue Trader only just inherited. For a concept I took the outcast prince but my character was acutally born on the ship but grew up mainly among the Dark Eldar in the lower holds.

His key attribute is his keen mind and he is actually willing to help the Rogue Trader (who in is very inexperienced) and learn more about human. 
During our first game the group tried to explain the concept op a natural death, it did not realy compute.

I'm trying to fill the role of seneschal/vizier and with plenty of elite advance I might actually succeed. He is however slightly sociopathic and does try to take slaves (secretly) everytime we attack another ship (via Hit & Run action). His reason for this is to support his family and kin.

So basically he is a Dark Eldar noble who was exiled and acts like a Corsair Prince on a for him alien vessal. He advises the young rogue trader in affairs of business and keeps him on a need to know base of aby off book activities.

Yes I'm downplaying the übersadistic torture **** but that is something I try to do off screen. Also he wants to understand humanity.
But so far he discovered that the Imperium is much more cruel than any dark eldar kabal, which is not far from the truth since the Imperium are basically Lenin style Space Nazi's where 99% of the population are treated worse than an average Dark Eldar Slave.

We just started so I'm curious where this will lead...
 

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Yes I'm downplaying the übersadistic torture **** but that is something I try to do off screen. Also he wants to understand humanity.

But so far he discovered that the Imperium is much more cruel than any dark eldar kabal, which is not far from the truth since the Imperium are basically Lenin style Space Nazi's where 99% of the population are treated worse than an average Dark Eldar Slave.

 

 

I am a huge proponent of the grimdark portion of the 40K RPG setting, but I have to argue that no, the Imperium is NOT more cruel than any Dark Eldar Kabal. Even at our worst, it's rare that we kill someone more than once. Also the bulk of humanity lives in Hive Cities, where they're generally ignored by the Imperium, but they're still capable of supporting lives and families (with a high percentage of mutation). The Imperial Army kills millions of soldiers in the time it took you to read that sentence, and considers public executions a form of morale boosting, but at least they give them food and clothes.

 

Dark Eldar Kabals are terrible because the psychic pain of all of their slaves is literally low-level nourishment for all the Dark Eldar around them. I am not saying that you have to change your character's actions at all, and doing your murderdeathtorture off screen would be imminently preferable for me, but watching the worst of the Imperium would make your average Dark Eldar go "Awwww, that's cute". 

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While the Imperium might not match the Dark Eldar in cruelty applied to an individual, they make up for it in their willigness to commit bulk murder. An Exterminatus can kill billions, or even tens or hundreds of billions in a matter of hours. I wonder how long it takes the entirety of the Dark Eldar population to kill a few billion slaves.

 

The average imperial citizen might have a very different outlook on life than the average Dark Eldar, but the Imperium as a whole is a merciless and remorseless machine, it's very existence fueled by the suffering and deaths of humans, from the tens of thousands of psykers that die every day to fuel the Astronomican to the untold billions of dead and maimed that have fallen on the innumerable battlefields, internal or external in the struggle to prevail versus real or perceived foes. And being a good Imperial citizen means endorsing all that, knowingly or not.

 

EDIT: I'm also curious how the stuff being done to psykers compares to Dark Eldar tortures :P

Edited by LordBlades

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Look at HBOs Dexter - there can be a sociopathic serial-murderer in a normal sociaty without causing any big turmoil.

The big turmoil is more that it's a xenos on the ship, with the Captain's remit. The RT and his entourage are supposed to be very capable of seeing beyond the Imperial party line of "abhor the xenos" and are actively encouraged to deal with them so long as the interests of the Imperium ultimately come out on top. I don't think, say, the random macrobattery teams will see it the same way, if they're even capable of it - the RT is pressed to keep his crew in line with the Imperial Creed, even if he himself is somewhat encouraged to deviate from it. By contrast the vast majority below Senior Staff on the crew are probably Imperial Creed orthodox believers and find the xenos presence vile, not understanding why the Captain tolerates his presence (and never directly seeing the benefit of it), hence the morale loss.

Edited by Kshatriya

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Players can rarely properly play Dark Eldar because: 1) they don't understand what Dark Eldar are really like; 2) they can't bring themselves to RP like a read Dark Eldar; an 3) actually playing a Dark Eldar right makes them straight impossible to be members of anything but a sociopath pirate slaving Rogue Trader crew.

 

I REALLY wish I could find a way to include them properly, as I know plenty of people capable of RP'ing them properly.  But, alas, even considering having them in a game sets off alarms.  They're story, synergy and reality wreckers.

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Players can rarely properly play Dark Eldar because: 1) they don't understand what Dark Eldar are really like; 2) they can't bring themselves to RP like a read Dark Eldar; an 3) actually playing a Dark Eldar right makes them straight impossible to be members of anything but a sociopath pirate slaving Rogue Trader crew.

 

I REALLY wish I could find a way to include them properly, as I know plenty of people capable of RP'ing them properly.  But, alas, even considering having them in a game sets off alarms.  They're story, synergy and reality wreckers.

 

 

Just curios, why do you think DE are story wreckers? I mean, apart from being Xenos, and xenos not being suited to all games&stories, why would a DE be a bigger story wrecker than let's say an ork? Which, if properly RPed can't really be rationed with outside a relatively narrow set of circumstances and it's really difficult to build a deep personality&motives for one.

Edited by LordBlades

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We've talked about playing an all DEldar raiding party when our current saga expires.

Should be doable, though it see it as somewhat short lived.

The only thing that makes it not doable is you have, what, 2 careers to pick from?

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Players can rarely properly play Dark Eldar because: 1) they don't understand what Dark Eldar are really like; 2) they can't bring themselves to RP like a read Dark Eldar; an 3) actually playing a Dark Eldar right makes them straight impossible to be members of anything but a sociopath pirate slaving Rogue Trader crew.

 

I REALLY wish I could find a way to include them properly, as I know plenty of people capable of RP'ing them properly.  But, alas, even considering having them in a game sets off alarms.  They're story, synergy and reality wreckers.

 

 

Just curios, why do you think DE are story wreckers? I mean, apart from being Xenos, and xenos not being suited to all games&stories, why would a DE be a bigger story wrecker than let's say an ork? Which, if properly RPed can't really be rationed with outside a relatively narrow set of circumstances and it's really difficult to build a deep personality&motives for one.

 

 

The nature of the Dark Eldar makes it a story wrecker.  Sociopathic, bordering on insane.  An EXTREME sense of narcissism.  Over the top violent with a mean-streak.  Bottom line, in order to have a character like a true DE in a campaign, you'd be forced to:

 

1. Tailor campaign to accept someone like that ^

2. Hide the DE

3. Kill the DE 

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'You have to tailor your campaign to accept something like that' can be stated about a great deal of careers. The typical Missionary won't probably work on a campaign where the party regularly deals with Chaos peacefully because it's profitable, a typical Tech-priest won't work in a campaign where half of the pary's gear and ship is Xenotech etc.

As for Dark Eldar being borderline insane, they're also pretty smart and accomplished schemers. A DE that plans to stick around a RT crew probably has a good reason (which is up for the player to determine) and is savvy emough to realize he can't just waltz in there and behave like he's still in Comorragh. Even if he feels the need for cruelty, he'll probably reserve it for combats, slaves or momemts nobidy's looking.

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Never ever heard of "dealing peacefully with chaos"... does that really ever happen in your games.

 

I've had RT crews deal with a lot of questionable people - from trading thousands of slaves to a Dark Eldar Corsair Captian for a couple weapons, to engineering the invasion and mass murder of an imperial warship so they could cross into forbidden space - but dealing with chaos?  Not once.

 

Who does that?  lol

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Never ever heard of "dealing peacefully with chaos"... does that really ever happen in your games.

 

I've had RT crews deal with a lot of questionable people - from trading thousands of slaves to a Dark Eldar Corsair Captian for a couple weapons, to engineering the invasion and mass murder of an imperial warship so they could cross into forbidden space - but dealing with chaos?  Not once.

 

Who does that?  lol

 

If there's one thing I think we can all rely on with Chaos, it's that they're easily understood and very simple to negotiate. Also they're completely willing to listen to reason, and not betray people on a whim because we can make calm and rational arguments about how that would be an unwise decision. And then they will behave like civilized beings.

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Never ever heard of "dealing peacefully with chaos"... does that really ever happen in your games.

 

I've had RT crews deal with a lot of questionable people - from trading thousands of slaves to a Dark Eldar Corsair Captian for a couple weapons, to engineering the invasion and mass murder of an imperial warship so they could cross into forbidden space - but dealing with chaos?  Not once.

 

Who does that?  lol

 

If you were a rather unscrupulous Rogue Trader, who just happened to 'liberate' a transport of weapons&tanks bound for a world under threat for Chaos insurrection from the hands of pirates, and the planetary governor demanded his weapons back, while the Chaos insurrection guys offered to pay handsomely for them, which one would you choose? :P

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If you were a rather unscrupulous Rogue Trader, who just happened to 'liberate' a transport of weapons&tanks bound for a world under threat for Chaos insurrection from the hands of pirates, and the planetary governor demanded his weapons back, while the Chaos insurrection guys offered to pay handsomely for them, which one would you choose? :P

 

 

Assuming that you hadn't just told the Governor the weapons had been destroyed and keep them by myself, probably I (meaning the Rogue Trader in my group) would do the following.

 

1) Inform the Governor that his weapons were safe, but my ship had taken damage in the retrieval, but we will be making best speed back to his planet to return them into rightful Imperial hands.

2) Do not proceed back at best speed.

3) Dispatch agents ahead of me at best speed to infiltrate the planet, identify potential heirs of successorship and identify which ones are most lenient to the cause

4) If the Governor continues to be unhelpful, plant evidence that he was behind the Chaos incursion

5) Arrive at the planet. Host a massive parade celebrating my arrival and incredible victory over the Chaos Raiders. Go overboard with the parade. No one can stop a parade.

6) Publicly return the Governor's weapons in an equally lavish ceremony complete with lots of PR opportunities and Servo-skulls taking pictures. Pledge to uncover the truth behind who was vile enough to attract the Chaos Raiders

7) Privately reveal the evidence you-yourself-planted that the Governor was behind the invasion without revealing that you planted it. See how he reacts.

8a) If he continues to be rude, obstinate or turns out to have actually been behind the plot, assassinate him and all uncooperative heirs. Install the previously seditious heirs as the new Governor, making sure they know who to thank.

8b) If he seems shocked, contrite or desperate over the fact that someone could be betraying him, execute the heirs you identified as seditious and reveal that they were behind it all.

9) More PR opportunities.

10) Leverage PR opportunities with the Merchant's Guild in terms of licensed merchandise and lucrative trade contracts.

11) Under no circumstances negotiate with Chaos Raiders because there's no scenario in which that ends well.

Edited by Erathia

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Players can rarely properly play Dark Eldar because: 1) they don't understand what Dark Eldar are really like; 2) they can't bring themselves to RP like a read Dark Eldar; an 3) actually playing a Dark Eldar right makes them straight impossible to be members of anything but a sociopath pirate slaving Rogue Trader crew.

 

I REALLY wish I could find a way to include them properly, as I know plenty of people capable of RP'ing them properly.  But, alas, even considering having them in a game sets off alarms.  They're story, synergy and reality wreckers.

 

 

Just curios, why do you think DE are story wreckers? I mean, apart from being Xenos, and xenos not being suited to all games&stories, why would a DE be a bigger story wrecker than let's say an ork? Which, if properly RPed can't really be rationed with outside a relatively narrow set of circumstances and it's really difficult to build a deep personality&motives for one.

 

 

The nature of the Dark Eldar makes it a story wrecker.  Sociopathic, bordering on insane.  An EXTREME sense of narcissism.  Over the top violent with a mean-streak.  Bottom line, in order to have a character like a true DE in a campaign, you'd be forced to:

 

1. Tailor campaign to accept someone like that ^

2. Hide the DE

3. Kill the DE 

 

Thing is, Dark Eldar are also long-lived schemers and extremely mercenary in their outlook. They're calculating and patient. Theirs is a culture without taboo or restriction, and while that means an abundance of torture and perversion and promotion-through-murder, it also means that if a Dark Eldar can gain from playing nice with the primates, then he'll certainly give it consideration.

 

And, honestly, the list of character flaws you've described seem to cover 90% of all player characters, Rogue Traders in particular.

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None of the mechanics for any other career directly encourage being actively disruptive in anything other than an "evil" campaign in the way that the DEldar and Reaver do imo. That's more my problem than the fluff. 

So the rampant, psychotic, pathological need for violence found in all Orks doesn't count as disruptive? What about the cultural and physiological imperative of Kroot to consume the flesh of kin and foe alike to shape the evolution of their kind?

 

Sure, there aren't any mechanics to back these up... but that shouldn't change how the characters are played. Dark Eldar have a physical and metaphysical need to sate themselves on the anguish and torment of others, yes... but how does that differ in practical terms from the more mundane cruelty of humans to each other? A starship is filled with vast numbers of indentured slaves and mind-scrubbed servitors, toiling through short and painful lives for no reason than the commands of those deemed more worthy. The prospect of being unfortunate enough to be tortured to death to feed a sadistic alien's unnatural thirst is only slightly more unpleasant than just being alive in the labour gangs...

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