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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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No... the properly played ork tends to be disruptive as well.  It's one of the reasons I almost never allow one in my campaigns.

 

I don't find Orks disruptive, because there are lots of ways for Orks to be "entertained", and it's not a jump to say that an Ork would become adapted to the people they're around because that's how Ork "Psychology" works to some degree.

 

The problem I and my group have had with Orks is there's really not much character growth you can do. They're defined by fighting, and so much of Rogue Trader is social based that there's not a lot of room for an Ork in that.

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Hence, ONE of the reasons.  There are many.  If we're being completely honest, no xenos work great in RT.  Eldar are ok, and Kroot are slightly less ok - albeit one dimensional.  Orks are there for comic relief and they are great in combat, but tend to be terrible in every other facet of the game (if properly played).

 

Again, the ultimate problem is that if someone wants to play an Ork or Dark Eldar the way they actually are, the character just ends up being more of a problem than a benefit.

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This is why I'm confused as to why Craftworld Eldar/Rangers still don't have rules in Rogue Trader, as they seem like the kind of Xenos that is most naturally suited to the system, especially since "Eldar disguised as human" is a thing that happens in the setting.

 

I posted a link to a pretty good homebrew for one on Page 1, but I'll repeat the link here because I do think it's worth offering to your players.

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I've seen that.  It's EXCEPTIONALLY well done, in my not-so-humble opinion.  I have a campaign going right now where I'm working with a player creating an Eldar Ranger for when we dramatically kill off his character.

 

I trust this person enough to actually play the character properly, but this is the only xenos PC I'd even consider allowing - and even then, its only because THIS particular player is the one to do it.

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No... the properly played ork tends to be disruptive as well.  It's one of the reasons I almost never allow one in my campaigns.

 

I don't find Orks disruptive, because there are lots of ways for Orks to be "entertained", and it's not a jump to say that an Ork would become adapted to the people they're around because that's how Ork "Psychology" works to some degree.

 

The problem I and my group have had with Orks is there's really not much character growth you can do. They're defined by fighting, and so much of Rogue Trader is social based that there's not a lot of room for an Ork in that.

 

 

Have you ever had to explain an Ork he needs to stop killing the guys they're killing because you realized somebody were willing to pay a ransom for them? :P

 

In the end IMO, all Xenos have the same problem: there are campaigns where they fit, and campaigns where they don't, much like the more radical human archetypes. In the end, it's up to the player and GM to make it work or not play it.

Edited by LordBlades

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This is why I'm confused as to why Craftworld Eldar/Rangers still don't have rules in Rogue Trader, as they seem like the kind of Xenos that is most naturally suited to the system, especially since "Eldar disguised as human" is a thing that happens in the setting.

 

I posted a link to a pretty good homebrew for one on Page 1, but I'll repeat the link here because I do think it's worth offering to your players.

Thing is, there's this bizarre presumption that the Eldar are the "nice" aliens, and thus get on well with humans and make appropriate allies, etc, etc. It's the whole "Looks somewhat like a LoTR Elf" thing, as best as I can tell - people seem to expect the Eldar to be like Legolas and Elrond. That and the "they look almost human, so they must be OK" thing.

 

Frankly, I don't buy into that. From a human perspective, the difference between the capricious, arrogant and ancient point-eared aliens, and the capricious, arrogant and ancient pointy-eared aliens with blades all over their armour... is that the latter can literally eat your pain.

 

The Eldar don't conveniently divide into 'naughty' and 'nice'. Craftworlders are isolationist, and tend to be variously manipulative and/or militant with regards to what they regard as 'lesser species' (ie, everyone that isn't them). Outcasts - pirate princes and rangers, who so many regard as 'ideal' - are mercurial creatures driven by whim and wanderlust, as inclined to genocide as diplomacy, and for reasons no greater than 'because I felt like it'. Eldar as a species are the creatures who created Slaanesh, and every excess and depravity that Slaanesh embodies... the Eldar can imagine, and are capable of. Their bloodlust and savagery in battle is a potentially addictive experience, even for the ascetic and ultra-disciplined Craftworlders. Even the 'noblest' of them are high-functioning sociopaths at best and downright psychopathic at worst, and may vary between the two at a moment's notice. And, by and large, they regard humans as quick-breeding vermin who defile all they touch and possess a particular vulnerability to the influence of The Great Enemy.

 

The Dark Eldar are, at least, honest about what they are.

 

I wrote the rules for Dark Eldar player characters (well, the Kabalite, and the basic Dark Eldar species rules, plus the armoury and bestiary in that book - the web enhancement were done by someone else. I wouldn't have agreed to do that if I didn't believe they were a feasible match for a Rogue Trader group. Of course they're not a fit for every group... but then, depending on how your group plays, there are options in the core rulebook that aren't appropriate for every group (you try fitting a Missionary into a decidedly impious group).

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This is why I'm confused as to why Craftworld Eldar/Rangers still don't have rules in Rogue Trader, as they seem like the kind of Xenos that is most naturally suited to the system, especially since "Eldar disguised as human" is a thing that happens in the setting.

 

I posted a link to a pretty good homebrew for one on Page 1, but I'll repeat the link here because I do think it's worth offering to your players.

Thing is, there's this bizarre presumption that the Eldar are the "nice" aliens, and thus get on well with humans and make appropriate allies, etc, etc. It's the whole "Looks somewhat like a LoTR Elf" thing, as best as I can tell - people seem to expect the Eldar to be like Legolas and Elrond. That and the "they look almost human, so they must be OK" thing.

 

Frankly, I don't buy into that. From a human perspective, the difference between the capricious, arrogant and ancient point-eared aliens, and the capricious, arrogant and ancient pointy-eared aliens with blades all over their armour... is that the latter can literally eat your pain.

 

The Eldar don't conveniently divide into 'naughty' and 'nice'. Craftworlders are isolationist, and tend to be variously manipulative and/or militant with regards to what they regard as 'lesser species' (ie, everyone that isn't them). Outcasts - pirate princes and rangers, who so many regard as 'ideal' - are mercurial creatures driven by whim and wanderlust, as inclined to genocide as diplomacy, and for reasons no greater than 'because I felt like it'. Eldar as a species are the creatures who created Slaanesh, and every excess and depravity that Slaanesh embodies... the Eldar can imagine, and are capable of. Their bloodlust and savagery in battle is a potentially addictive experience, even for the ascetic and ultra-disciplined Craftworlders. Even the 'noblest' of them are high-functioning sociopaths at best and downright psychopathic at worst, and may vary between the two at a moment's notice. And, by and large, they regard humans as quick-breeding vermin who defile all they touch and possess a particular vulnerability to the influence of The Great Enemy.

 

The Dark Eldar are, at least, honest about what they are.

 

I wrote the rules for Dark Eldar player characters (well, the Kabalite, and the basic Dark Eldar species rules, plus the armoury and bestiary in that book - the web enhancement were done by someone else. I wouldn't have agreed to do that if I didn't believe they were a feasible match for a Rogue Trader group. Of course they're not a fit for every group... but then, depending on how your group plays, there are options in the core rulebook that aren't appropriate for every group (you try fitting a Missionary into a decidedly impious group).

 

 

Oh I don't think that the Craftworld Eldar are "nice", or "allies", although I do believe they share Tolkein's tendency to have them prance around and then kill you unexpectedly. If anything they've been more annoying and a bigger threat to my group because they'll often appear reasonable and trustworthy, and then screw everyone over. These are the people who will divert a Hive Fleet to a sector of innocent human worlds rather than risk losing a single Eldar world, and they don't have to explain their actions because they would have been right in 200 years time, so really the people they're screwing over now wouldn't be ALIVE to complain when the bad things they're preventing happen. Thus they may as well just die now.

 

LordBlades was right that ultimately any Xenos can fit into any campaign as long as the player and the GM are on the same page, and essentially the group understands that even if one person is acting like a jerk, they're all still playing the same campaign together.

 

I actually think you nailed the bit about why I have problems with Dark Eldar on the crew, in that they are completely honest about what they are. They are murderous, pleasure-addicted psychopaths because they need to be that way to survive. The thing about Craftworld Eldar, or Kroot, or even the odd Ork is that you could find one who wants to be something more than what their people are, whereas it's so hard to imagine a DEldar doing that because of the explicit "Has to torturekill to survive" aspect of what they are.

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This is why I'm confused as to why Craftworld Eldar/Rangers still don't have rules in Rogue Trader, as they seem like the kind of Xenos that is most naturally suited to the system, especially since "Eldar disguised as human" is a thing that happens in the setting.

 

I posted a link to a pretty good homebrew for one on Page 1, but I'll repeat the link here because I do think it's worth offering to your players.

Thing is, there's this bizarre presumption that the Eldar are the "nice" aliens, and thus get on well with humans and make appropriate allies, etc, etc. It's the whole "Looks somewhat like a LoTR Elf" thing, as best as I can tell - people seem to expect the Eldar to be like Legolas and Elrond. That and the "they look almost human, so they must be OK" thing.

 

Frankly, I don't buy into that. From a human perspective, the difference between the capricious, arrogant and ancient point-eared aliens, and the capricious, arrogant and ancient pointy-eared aliens with blades all over their armour... is that the latter can literally eat your pain.

 

The Eldar don't conveniently divide into 'naughty' and 'nice'. Craftworlders are isolationist, and tend to be variously manipulative and/or militant with regards to what they regard as 'lesser species' (ie, everyone that isn't them). Outcasts - pirate princes and rangers, who so many regard as 'ideal' - are mercurial creatures driven by whim and wanderlust, as inclined to genocide as diplomacy, and for reasons no greater than 'because I felt like it'. Eldar as a species are the creatures who created Slaanesh, and every excess and depravity that Slaanesh embodies... the Eldar can imagine, and are capable of. Their bloodlust and savagery in battle is a potentially addictive experience, even for the ascetic and ultra-disciplined Craftworlders. Even the 'noblest' of them are high-functioning sociopaths at best and downright psychopathic at worst, and may vary between the two at a moment's notice. And, by and large, they regard humans as quick-breeding vermin who defile all they touch and possess a particular vulnerability to the influence of The Great Enemy.

 

The Dark Eldar are, at least, honest about what they are.

 

I wrote the rules for Dark Eldar player characters (well, the Kabalite, and the basic Dark Eldar species rules, plus the armoury and bestiary in that book - the web enhancement were done by someone else. I wouldn't have agreed to do that if I didn't believe they were a feasible match for a Rogue Trader group. Of course they're not a fit for every group... but then, depending on how your group plays, there are options in the core rulebook that aren't appropriate for every group (you try fitting a Missionary into a decidedly impious group).

 

Well, I can say that you did a splendid job on writing the DE.  I don't own the book, but from the work and effort you put into it, splendid all around. :D

 

With that said, fluff wise, the Craft World and Exodis Eldar are seen more predominately working with the Imperium.  I have read various novels, Codexs, Magazines, and Rules Books to note that it happens more than any other race in the Warhammer 40k francize.  While DE, I can't recall any.  Now I haven't bought any novels, Codexs, or Magazines within the past 3 years or so, so I could be mistaken that they have recently been allying themselves with the Imperium.  I mean heck, Necrons talk now <_<, and have emotions like Care Bears.  But... the point still stands, that the Craft World and Exodis Eldar are seen more fluff wise with working with humans, Space Marines, and/or the Imperium singularly as individuals and as a whole as a race/species.  Sorry to rain on your parade.  :ph34r:

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No Craftworlders and Outcasts aren't "nice" although by nice I think you mean benevolent and know they're definately not that, I never meant to imply that Outcasts were benevolant or human loving when I said that they're far better suited to player characters in a RT game than Dark Eldar are.

 

The difference in my opinion is that when Craftworlder's or Outcasts kill you or scre you over there's always some sort of rationale or coherant emotional motivation behind it. They don't kill you just to watch you bleed but they will kill you to get their way or because they're trying to change the future their seers have witnessed. They're arrogant, decietful and usually almost as xenophobic as the Imperium but they're not mad dog killers. So if you tie a character backstory to some sort of motivation that links the fate of the Craftworld/Outcast Eldar player to the party then the party can still function, although if you're doing it right he'll be coy about why he's helping the party and they still shouldn't trust him.

 

On the other hand Dark Eldar are mad dog killers, they have a spiritual imperitive to be total monsters toward everyone 95% of the time.

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On the other hand Dark Eldar are mad dog killers, they have a spiritual imperitive to be total monsters toward everyone 95% of the time.

 

Unless you're somehow important to their interests.

 

Contrary to what seems to be the popular opinion around here, DE can have goals, plans and dreams beyond 'survive today so I can kill some more tomorrow'.

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Yeah just tack on "so I can survive to the day after tomorrow and maybe impress the chuckleheads around me enough that they'll defer to me, and maybe that cute female who works at the serrated hook and spike shop will finally go out with me so the two of us can have disturbing painful sex that will let us survive to the next day." and there you have it.

 

Yes the Dark Eldar can have plans too, but those plans are pretty much always hostile to everyone who isn't them in ways that the Craftworlders plans are not.

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Eldar don't live in a highly competitive world; their goal is survival, and numbers are lacking. Dark Eldar have this problem, but they also happen to be douchebags about it, and kill even each other for fun. Theirs is a long wait for the next potential power play, and their worst enemies are usually other Dark Eldar. Every one wants to be in charge, and have the most power, just because, and because it's what they know.

 

Let me go sappy on you, for just a moment. I'm a Dark Eldar on your ship. Can I like you? Do I even understand that, anymore? No matter how I try to justify why I do what I do to other people, like a vampire in a cheesy teen flick (where I DON'T sparkle :angry: ) I intentionally hurt others, kill them, simply to extend and maintain my own worthless life, and in my case, it has to be as gruesome as possible. I was raised this way, so I'm probably not even likely to see it as terribly wrong. I might value you as a means to an end, or a shield against another who means me harm, but I don't know if I could really "like" you, and should you like me back? If I borrow from a fanfic where it's possible for Humans and Elves to love each other, despite being different species who both frown on and ostracize for it, I can't likely do that, either. Love isn't something most Dark Eldar should still be capable of, and anyone that I DO love is likely simply going to be seen as a liability; something one of the other cabals, or even someone else in mine, can use against me. I do everything to maintain my strength, but I can't do that for you. People who try to make DE anything more than cold-blooded murder machines really is only doing it for fun; anyone who does what they do WANTS to, because if they don't see their continued existence as wrong, there's a problem, and being raised to think it's fine means a whole race of whack people.

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On the other hand aren't Imperial citizens indoctrinated from birth that it's mankind's divine right to rule the universe and that everyone else is inferior and should be exterminated for no other reason than not being human?

Not only it's fine to kill stuff that's different because ir's different, but the more you do it the more the Emperor likes you.

Why is a DE that moves beyond typical DE mindset harder to accept than a bunch of humans moving beyond 40k human mindset (which they have to in order to accept a Xeno crew member) ?

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Aren't most people of the Imperium unaware of the existence of real xenos?  And just live their lives as has been done for generations?

 

I think your position would have more weight if humans had kill Xenos to survive.  They don't, and most people don't.

 

Dark Eldar....different kettle of tortured, abused and murdered fish.

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No Craftworlders and Outcasts aren't "nice" although by nice I think you mean benevolent and know they're definately not that, I never meant to imply that Outcasts were benevolant or human loving when I said that they're far better suited to player characters in a RT game than Dark Eldar are.

 

The difference in my opinion is that when Craftworlder's or Outcasts kill you or scre you over there's always some sort of rationale or coherant emotional motivation behind it. They don't kill you just to watch you bleed but they will kill you to get their way or because they're trying to change the future their seers have witnessed. They're arrogant, decietful and usually almost as xenophobic as the Imperium but they're not mad dog killers. So if you tie a character backstory to some sort of motivation that links the fate of the Craftworld/Outcast Eldar player to the party then the party can still function, although if you're doing it right he'll be coy about why he's helping the party and they still shouldn't trust him.

 

On the other hand Dark Eldar are mad dog killers, they have a spiritual imperitive to be total monsters toward everyone 95% of the time.

Actually, there's no guarantee that Outcasts will have a reason beyond general loathing or murderous whimsy. Craftworlders are isolationist and exceptionally disciplined (required by their lifestyle), and tend to unleash the bloodthirsty and vicious sides of themselves only when required (having spent centuries learning to focus and harness it), but even they regard bloodshed and warfare as art forms.

 

Outcasts have no such restraint. They are more akin to the Eldar of old, unbound by an law but their own desires... and Eldar emotions are powerful things, orders of magnitude more intense than those of humans. Eldar Corsairs are noted as being able to move from mercy and compassion to lethal rage at a moment's notice for no reason whatsoever, and their freedom from the burdens of the Exodite life or the constraints of the Path means that they can succumb entirely to wanton desires that eclipse even the most mercurial and hedonistic of humans. No, they're not mad dog killers... they're worse. They're high-functioning sociopaths with no regard for the sanctity of life, for whom all of existence is a plaything to be bent to their whims.

 

Dark Eldar, you know where you stand. They have much more coherently-defined motivations. They have concrete and immediate things that they need and want, and can be relied upon to pursue such goals. Like any mercenary, so long as their price is being paid, they'll play nice, and so long as they can't get a better deal elsewhere (dependence and fear of denial - two central tenets of Dark Eldar society). Only, in this case, the price is a steady supply of screaming victims, plus an assortment of longer-term goals if they're particularly ambitious.

 

Yeah just tack on "so I can survive to the day after tomorrow and maybe impress the chuckleheads around me enough that they'll defer to me, and maybe that cute female who works at the serrated hook and spike shop will finally go out with me so the two of us can have disturbing painful sex that will let us survive to the next day." and there you have it.

 

Yes the Dark Eldar can have plans too, but those plans are pretty much always hostile to everyone who isn't them in ways that the Craftworlders plans are not.

The Second and Third Armageddon Wars. Hundreds of trillions of dead humans to hypothetically spare a few thousand Eldar lives.

 

There's a fine line between "The fact that you're alive offends me deeply, and if your death serves me then I will gladly sacrifice it for my goals" and "I eat your agony, and I want to torture you to death after hunting you to exhaustion and paralytic terror" if you're the one being sacrificed. Either way, you're screwed, and may never know the reasons why.

 

Eldar don't live in a highly competitive world; their goal is survival, and numbers are lacking. Dark Eldar have this problem, but they also happen to be douchebags about it, and kill even each other for fun. Theirs is a long wait for the next potential power play, and their worst enemies are usually other Dark Eldar. Every one wants to be in charge, and have the most power, just because, and because it's what they know.

 

Let me go sappy on you, for just a moment. I'm a Dark Eldar on your ship. Can I like you? Do I even understand that, anymore? No matter how I try to justify why I do what I do to other people, like a vampire in a cheesy teen flick (where I DON'T sparkle :angry: ) I intentionally hurt others, kill them, simply to extend and maintain my own worthless life, and in my case, it has to be as gruesome as possible. I was raised this way, so I'm probably not even likely to see it as terribly wrong. I might value you as a means to an end, or a shield against another who means me harm, but I don't know if I could really "like" you, and should you like me back? If I borrow from a fanfic where it's possible for Humans and Elves to love each other, despite being different species who both frown on and ostracize for it, I can't likely do that, either. Love isn't something most Dark Eldar should still be capable of, and anyone that I DO love is likely simply going to be seen as a liability; something one of the other cabals, or even someone else in mine, can use against me. I do everything to maintain my strength, but I can't do that for you. People who try to make DE anything more than cold-blooded murder machines really is only doing it for fun; anyone who does what they do WANTS to, because if they don't see their continued existence as wrong, there's a problem, and being raised to think it's fine means a whole race of whack people.

All alliances between different species in 40k are an elaborate form of enlightened self-interest - the idea that helping the other guy now benefits me in some signficant and meaningful way. To the Kroot, everyone else is food - including their own friends and family. To the Orks, everyone is an enemy, but the Orks don't regard enemies as a bad thing, because you always need someone to fight. At best, an Ork will regard you as Skumgrod, a term roughly translated to "hated friend/favourite enemy", and even if he chooses not to fight you now, it'll still relish the opportunity to stomp your face in at some future point.

 

I don't regard the idea of inter-species love as plausible, so I'll just push that aside. But you seem to be under the impression that Dark Eldar society is non-stop murder. Were that the case, the trappings of civilisation could not exist - they have an economy (of slaves, admittedly, and more abstract thing besides), they have distinct factions and social groups. They have a heirarchy defined by more than murder (the trick to murderous promotions is ensuring you're strong enough to survive reprisals and challenges - this often requires alliances, which in turn requires the ability to choose not to murder people).

 

Sure, they're psychotic by human standards... but that doesn't mean they're utterly incapable of doing things other than immediately murdering everyone they meet. They're still Eldar, and thus capable of emotional depth far greater than humans - and given that Eldar are the species that created Slaanesh, everything that She Who Thirsts embodies (all sensations and emotional states taken to extremes) they are capable of.

 

Aren't most people of the Imperium unaware of the existence of real xenos?  And just live their lives as has been done for generations?

 

I think your position would have more weight if humans had kill Xenos to survive.  They don't, and most people don't.

 

Dark Eldar....different kettle of tortured, abused and murdered fish.

Most people in the Imperium are unaware of the existence of specific Xenos... but the concept of "the ravening alien hordes who want to defile your homes and eat you and your children" is an important one, simply because it gives the people something to be afraid of so that they cleave to the protective dominion of the Imperium of Man.

 

Still, humanity is continually assailed on all sides by enemies, and countless Xenos species make up a significant majority of that. Individual humans may not all be required to take up arms, but mankind as a whole is trapped in a battle against extinction.

 

Humanity regards genocide as an ideal, the extinction of any and all intelligent life that isn't them to be an absolute goal. That's a core tenet of the Imperial Creed - suffer not the alien to live.

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On the other hand aren't Imperial citizens indoctrinated from birth that it's mankind's divine right to rule the universe and that everyone else is inferior and should be exterminated for no other reason than not being human?

Not only it's fine to kill stuff that's different because ir's different, but the more you do it the more the Emperor likes you.

Why is a DE that moves beyond typical DE mindset harder to accept than a bunch of humans moving beyond 40k human mindset (which they have to in order to accept a Xeno crew member) ?

 

There's a difference between simply being told something by your oppressive government/religion that treats you like **** and actually believing it to the point where it fully defines your personality. To most people in the Imperium the Imperium is primarily a big scary monolithic organization that bosses them around, taxes them to death and takes away the lower classes sons and daughters to go fight in wars they've never heard of and none of them ever come back.

 

On the fluff end I tend to operate as a GM under the idea that the day to day reality for the average jerk is much like in various real oppressive regimes in history, he salutes/obeys when he's told because otherwise he'll be shot but the truth is he'd probably rather be doing something else. He's just human, if he hates xenos and wants them all dead it's primarily because they frighten him either because he's been told all his life they're out to get him or because he's encountered some and they tried to kill him or both.

 

There are exceptions yes your Commisars and your Inquisitors etc but if that personality fully defined everyone in the Imperium you wouldn't have Rogue Traders and you wouldn't even have Commisars either since every guardsmen would just run fanatically toward them enemy. Another thing to keep in mind is that the things The Emperor said and actually stood for, and the things his Imperium does and his church preaches millennia later are typically not the same thing.

 

Now on the other hand the Dark Eldar are all defined by their sadistic activities because it's how they eat. Many modern revisionist vampire/other monster stories have seriously ****** things up. They've totally skewed away from the personal and psychological consequences of being a vampire in favor of romanticizing something that's supposed to be abhorrent. Hey if it floats your boat to play a "not evil" Dark Eldar fine but what you've created at that point is just the same old tired Drizzt cliche of the Mary Sue member of the evil race whose existence contradicts every piece of established fluff and makes no sense whatsoever when you really think about it.

 

Aren't most people of the Imperium unaware of the existence of real xenos?  And just live their lives as has been done for generations?

 

I think your position would have more weight if humans had kill Xenos to survive.  They don't, and most people don't.

 

Dark Eldar....different kettle of tortured, abused and murdered fish.

 

I think it depends largely on the world and the local culture, there are worlds/pockets of worlds out there who haven't been invaded by Xenos ever. Although I think everyone is still aware of the concept of xenos, I'm sure The Emperor killed alot of them during his crusade there'd just be too much cultural reference to their existence for people to be totally unaware of the concept.

 

On the other hand take a really isolated long established Imperial world and you'd likely find alot of guys on the street who suspect that xenos are just a bunch of legends perpetuated by the state to keep him down but he'd prrobably keep that opinion to himself for the most part.

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Even if the average Imperial citizen may not know to tell a Necron Immortal apart from a Carnifex or what either of those are, the general hatred toward aliens, mutants, psykers (in short, pretty much everybody different from an average human, except for Space Marines) and heretics is one of the core beliefs of the Imperial Creed and as such widely preached to the masses.

 

Also, I was under the impression (from most of the WH40k books I've read) that the great majority of Imperial citizens do buy into the fact that the Emperor is a God and at least the broad outlines of the Imperial Creed.

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Also, I was under the impression (from most of the WH40k books I've read) that the great majority of Imperial citizens do buy into the fact that the Emperor is a God and at least the broad outlines of the Imperial Creed.

 

I have always held to the idea that thinking otherwise is so far heretical that anyone gets shot for it. Space Marines I believe view the Emperor closer to a father figure, which is what he should be to them. I have had a player argue that it's only natural people would believe he's just a very powerful psyker, but I flat-out disallowed that in the campaign. Individual PCs are free to think whatever they want, but I don't think there are any churches that preach otherwise, nor Imperial authorities willing to put up with this.

 

The Imperium's not known for its tolerance or openness to new ideas after all.

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On the fluff end I tend to operate as a GM under the idea that the day to day reality for the average jerk is much like in various real oppressive regimes in history, he salutes/obeys when he's told because otherwise he'll be shot but the truth is he'd probably rather be doing something else. He's just human, if he hates xenos and wants them all dead it's primarily because they frighten him either because he's been told all his life they're out to get him or because he's encountered some and they tried to kill him or both.

 

Real-life oppressive regimes actually tend to be pretty popular, especially if they have a very strong ideology (as the Imperium does).

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Real-life oppressive regimes actually tend to be pretty popular, especially if they have a very strong ideology (as the Imperium does).

 

Well like all politics what they really tend to be is divisive, just like all cultural narratives and social norms tend to be the product of 15-30% of the population brow beating everyone else into accepting/living by them and convincing everybody that anyone who doesn't is alone and also some kind of freak. No strong ideology isn't what makes them popular you're mixing up cause and effect, rather fear of some enemy or looming doom makes strong ideology popular which in  turn leads to regimes led by zealots. Thing is though most such regimes tend to exist as impractical solutions to practical problems and the Imperium is no different.

 

I think it's imporant to remember that without the Imperium and especially without The Emperor about 80% of the human race would be wiped out or enslaved within the span of about five hundred years, the Imperium is necessary to human survival it's just unfortunate that it's so incompetent and filled with assholes. Although ultimately it's doomed because eventually The Emperor will die in any case. In the long run the galaxy will probably be overrun by either the nids or the orks as soon as one wipes out the other.

 

Also, I was under the impression (from most of the WH40k books I've read) that the great majority of Imperial citizens do buy into the fact that the Emperor is a God and at least the broad outlines of the Imperial Creed.

 

In a vague sort of way yes the vast majority probably do, but their faith is probably more invested in the institutions of The Emperor's Church than they are in the Emperor himself. Unless you're an astropath, Navigator, member of the Adeptus or live on Terra The Emperor is a fairly abstract concept. However the hundred meter tall cathedrals on your planet are a fair bit more tangible. In the long run the institutions of religion always beat out whatever core philosophy or individual they're supposed to be based on..

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Also, I was under the impression (from most of the WH40k books I've read) that the great majority of Imperial citizens do buy into the fact that the Emperor is a God and at least the broad outlines of the Imperial Creed.

 

In a vague sort of way yes the vast majority probably do, but their faith is probably more invested in the institutions of The Emperor's Church than they are in the Emperor himself. Unless you're an astropath, Navigator, member of the Adeptus or live on Terra The Emperor is a fairly abstract concept. However the hundred meter tall cathedrals on your planet are a fair bit more tangible. In the long run the institutions of religion always beat out whatever core philosophy or individual they're supposed to be based on..

 

 

Yeah, and that came to a head about 5 millennia ago when it became more about the Ministorum than the Emperor. A young, enterprising go-getter named Goge Vandire discovered that women can make awesome soldiers, and that there's no problem political manipulation can't solve. Sadly, he was not a Rogue Trader but the head of the Ecclesiarchy at the time, and that lead to the delightful but under-written Reign of Blood. Which was about as much fun as it sounds.

 

After that delightful period the bloodthirsty psychopaths in the Inquisition have been a lot more vigilant about curbing over-ambitious priests. Also there are verifiable miracles that occur in the Imperium which probably help bolster faith in the Emperor-As-God believers. People are raised from birth in the belief that no matter how terrible their lives are (pretty terrible!) the Emperor watches over them and protects them, and they might not know that he's doing it as a dessicated husk kept animate through the blood of a thousand sacrifices per day, but they would probably believe that something's out there. It's pretty much the only hope they have to hold on to.

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Trying to get back on the subject, the way I see it,  the average Imperial citizen is taught to 'shoot first and ask no question later because whatever the foul Xeno had to say was certainly Heresy in any case' whenever they seen an alien, and odds are the vast majority of Imperial citizens would do so without second thoughts. That or run like hell.

 

To interact with Xeno cultures like Rogue Traders and their crews are expected to do is a fair way from the general mentality of the Imperial citizen described above. Still, you're expected to do it from an Imperial perspective, promoting the best interests of the Imperium (aka human supremacy), and I expect that's what the majority of Rogue Traders do.

 

To actually get close enough to a Xeno to accept him as part of your crew and close retinue, is also a fair way from what I think it's the typical Rogue trader behavior.

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