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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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By the straight crunch, no, no they don't. I have other problems with the Ork career but it isn't because the mechanics of it encourages people to be asshats.

 

Fluff wise, yes of course, you can find an excuse for ANY of the careers to be a pain in the arse but I honestly don't see the crunch of any of them catering to it like in the cases I mentioned. 

 

There is a huge difference between.

 

"My character is doing this because the mechanics of it require me to."

and

"My character is doing this because I think that's what is required of me by the fluff."

 

See what I'm saying?

 

As always ymmv, I'm just speaking from the experience of if you give players an excuse to do something they are going to do it. As much as we all like to talk about the social contract of tabletop gaming, there's always "that guy". I don't think the careers are broken or don't work, on the contrary I think they do what they were intended to do very well, in my case however that's not something that I'd allow in most games I run. 

Edited by CaptainStabby

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Neither Orks nor Kroot provide the mechanical excuse for players to be asshats. DEldar and Reavers do, full stop.

 

It's the same reason you never let someone play a Sith in a StarWars game.

 

I disagree.

 

DE needs to generate at least 1 pain token per session, and they generate it for a number of things, including Stunning a living creature. What's stopping a DE from having a friendly spar with a party member at the beginning of each session, repeatedly use Takedown, generate enough Pain Tokens for let's say 50 Fate Points and then go on with the play? From a strictly mechanical standpoint you can have a DE that never kills anyone outside combat, but still reaps the full bonuses of being a DE. Hell, it's even more effective than torture (it's doable at any point for how long you deem necessary since the party most likely travels together and you never risk running out of 'fuel').

 

Now take a look at Kroot. Eaters of the Dead requires you eat dead bodies regularly (since the bonus only lasts for TB hours), no way around it. Even if you keep defeated foes in cold storage, the 'must not have been killed more than 24 hours before' means you need to produce at least 1 fight per day, or start having to deliberately kill several living things (4 to 6 most likely, they can be cattle or the like though) per day if you want the temp HP.

Edited by LordBlades

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I take that back.  I recently read one Fan Fiction account written in this Forum about DE and a RT that is superb, and I would recommend it to anyone.

 

Which was that, then?

Edited by Darth Smeg

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DE needs to generate at least 1 pain token per session, and they generate it for a number of things, including Stunning a living creature. What's stopping a DE from having a friendly spar with a party member at the beginning of each session, repeatedly use Takedown, generate enough Pain Tokens for let's say 50 Fate Points and then go on with the play? From a strictly mechanical standpoint you can have a DE that never kills anyone outside combat, but still reaps the full bonuses of being a DE. Hell, it's even more effective than torture (it's doable at any point for how long you deem necessary since the party most likely travels together and you never risk running out of 'fuel').

Rule of thumb for Power Through Pain - as in, my intent when developing the rule - is that the specific actions/events that accrue Pain Tokens are for combat, while GM's discretion covers long-term and out-of-combat 'feasting'. This is also why most of the associated Talents work on Pain Tokens accrued during that encounter - the rush from consuming that much agony and dread in a short space of time in the heat of battle is particularly invigorating. I admit that the final version of the text is unclear in this regard - my apologies, but it went through a lot of revisions and some earlier concepts were lost amidst changes.

 

To be fair, though, a typical young and healthy Kabalite shouldn't need to torture or kill more than one person every few days outside of battle to be sated, less if she's content merely inspiring dread and terror through lurking and prowling, or passively feeding on the pre-existing anguish of the ship's "mortal fuel". On a ship with tens or hundreds of thousands of souls, theres a lot of pain to go around, and the occasional additional grisly death or sudden disappearance won't impact anything more than the Morale penalty the ship already suffers from having an alien on board. That'll go up as he or she ages and suffers spiritual degradation (Corruption Points), but not noticeably within the lifespan of even a human using Rejuvenat.

 

Remember, most Dark Eldar don't get to raid outside of the Dark City, and subsist primarily through passive feeding on arena battles and the general unpleasantness of Commorragh. Kabalite Warriors - even the least of them - are an elite caste, extremely skilled and clever. They're no mere murderers, they're hunters; creatures who revel in the chase and the terror of their prey as much as the kill.

 

As an aside, an early draft of the Ork Freebooters in Into the Storm contained a similar trait that made Orks restless and lethargic without occasional opportunities for violence. Orks are adrenaline junkies with major attention deficit disorders; they're physiologically and pathologically incapable of sitting still and being quiet. The rule was scrapped as being too fiddly for no real benefit (while Power Through Pain has a solid basis in the wargame rules and a concrete benefit along with the drawback).

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I think the rules as you wrote them are great, and it reads like an interesting character class to play. I'm aware that on most large void ships there's probably at least one death a day from a macrocannon shell slipping and crushing someone, or radiation shielding failing and lethally dosing someone, or just a random argument between crew members that gets out of hand. A Void ship could support a Dark Eldar's lifestyle, and as you pointed out the mere fear of being chosen as the next victim would probably be enough. The difference is that accepting a Kabalite Warrior on board means acknowledging you are occasionally going to sacrifice human lives to feed this Xenos, plus the rest of your crew could very easily get wise to this situation which will cause cascading problems.

 

My distaste for Dark Eldar is just a personal dislike for the kind of roleplaying that is involved -even implicitly- in allowing a Dark Eldar on board. Something that had come up in my game that I hadn't mentioned here though is much like most citizens of the Imperium don't know one Xenos from another, it's also entirely possible your PCs, even a Rogue Trader, might not know that there are distinctions between Eldar. They could accept a Dark Eldar on board who is lying about his origin and mission, and then the deaths needed to sustain its life could potentially just be hidden in the nominal shipboard losses I mentioned earlier.

 

Also I support both the idea of not allowing DE to say they've gained 500 Fate Points every warp journey, and that if you have Orks on board you need some sort of constant stimulation to stop them from thinking that their Kap'n's gone a bit soft and it's time for a new leader to take over.

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Rule of thumb for Power Through Pain - as in, my intent when developing the rule - is that the specific actions/events that accrue Pain Tokens are for combat, while GM's discretion covers long-term and out-of-combat 'feasting'. This is also why most of the associated Talents work on Pain Tokens accrued during that encounter - the rush from consuming that much agony and dread in a short space of time in the heat of battle is particularly invigorating. I admit that the final version of the text is unclear in this regard - my apologies, but it went through a lot of revisions and some earlier concepts were lost amidst changes.

 

 

 

Thanks for clearing that up. It makes more sense this way (prevents the obvious easy but completely out of touch with fluff way to easy gain Pain Tokens that I described), as well as throw a serious wrench into the whole 'DE have mechanical incentive to be jerks to everyone'.

 

 

To be fair, though, a typical young and healthy Kabalite shouldn't need to torture or kill more than one person every few days outside of battle to be sated, less if she's content merely inspiring dread and terror through lurking and prowling, or passively feeding on the pre-existing anguish of the ship's "mortal fuel". On a ship with tens or hundreds of thousands of souls, theres a lot of pain to go around, and the occasional additional grisly death or sudden disappearance won't impact anything more than the Morale penalty the ship already suffers from having an alien on board. That'll go up as he or she ages and suffers spiritual degradation (Corruption Points), but not noticeably within the lifespan of even a human using Rejuvenat.

 

Remember, most Dark Eldar don't get to raid outside of the Dark City, and subsist primarily through passive feeding on arena battles and the general unpleasantness of Commorragh. Kabalite Warriors - even the least of them - are an elite caste, extremely skilled and clever. They're no mere murderers, they're hunters; creatures who revel in the chase and the terror of their prey as much as the kill.

 

 

So I take it that 'if a Dark Eldar character inflicts suffering on the crew of a vessel to gain Pain Tokens (or for any other reason unjustifiable in the eyes of the crew), the ship’s Morale is reduced by 1 for each incident' rule that got added to the end of 'Speak Not Unto The Alien' trait wasn't part of the initial idea either? Personally I found it greatly exaggerated given that the average crew member might not even know what a Dark Eldar is and that given the grimness of WH 40K in general and the number of creepy stuff that is said to lurk into the darker parts of many ships, I doubt the occasional suspicious death or disappearance of Nick Nobody from the lower decks would raise enough eyebrows to affect morale.

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I think the rules as you wrote them are great, and it reads like an interesting character class to play. I'm aware that on most large void ships there's probably at least one death a day from a macrocannon shell slipping and crushing someone, or radiation shielding failing and lethally dosing someone, or just a random argument between crew members that gets out of hand. A Void ship could support a Dark Eldar's lifestyle, and as you pointed out the mere fear of being chosen as the next victim would probably be enough. The difference is that accepting a Kabalite Warrior on board means acknowledging you are occasionally going to sacrifice human lives to feed this Xenos, plus the rest of your crew could very easily get wise to this situation which will cause cascading problems.

 

My distaste for Dark Eldar is just a personal dislike for the kind of roleplaying that is involved -even implicitly- in allowing a Dark Eldar on board. Something that had come up in my game that I hadn't mentioned here though is much like most citizens of the Imperium don't know one Xenos from another, it's also entirely possible your PCs, even a Rogue Trader, might not know that there are distinctions between Eldar. They could accept a Dark Eldar on board who is lying about his origin and mission, and then the deaths needed to sustain its life could potentially just be hidden in the nominal shipboard losses I mentioned earlier.

 

Also I support both the idea of not allowing DE to say they've gained 500 Fate Points every warp journey, and that if you have Orks on board you need some sort of constant stimulation to stop them from thinking that their Kap'n's gone a bit soft and it's time for a new leader to take over.

Oh, an Ork wouldn't try and take over - remember, he's an Ork and they're not. Orks regard strength in other Orks as worthiness to lead, and strength in other species as worthiness to be good enemies. A Freeboota is odd in that they can delay their gratification long enough to engage in alliances, agreeing not to fight one set of non-Orks in order to get lots of opportunities to fight and loot other non-Orks.

 

A bored Ork, of any kind, is dangerous. A bored Ork is a violent Ork. Admittedly, any Ork that isn't dead is a violent Ork, but ones in the throes of boredom are worse...

 

So I take it that 'if a Dark Eldar character inflicts suffering on the crew of a vessel to gain Pain Tokens (or for any other reason unjustifiable in the eyes of the crew), the ship’s Morale is reduced by 1 for each incident' rule that got added to the end of 'Speak Not Unto The Alien' trait wasn't part of the initial idea either? Personally I found it greatly exaggerated given that the average crew member might not even know what a Dark Eldar is and that given the grimness of WH 40K in general and the number of creepy stuff that is said to lurk into the darker parts of many ships, I doubt the occasional suspicious death or disappearance of Nick Nobody from the lower decks would raise enough eyebrows to affect morale.

Oh, that was part of the initial plan. As much as the death toll and general unease are already a factor in voidship life, a Dark Eldar warrior of any skill or strength is a genuinely unpleasant and creepy creature to be around. They're like twisted fairy tales, otherworldly beings from a realm of poisoned half-light and menacing gloom who drink terror and eat pain and make bargains for blood and souls, who move like oiled shadow and whose eyes gaze into a man's spirit.

 

If there's one hunting you, you know about it. Because it's so much more satisfying if the prey knows it's being hunted.

 

An Ork or a Kroot or some other alien is a drain on morale because they're alien, and that's enough to unnerve some of the crew. A Dark Eldar of any sort actively thrives on that unease, even if he's not murdering in any noteworthy manner.

 

My point is, overall: the effects of a Dark Eldar on the ship will, in all likelihood, be more significant than those who accept the notion have suggested, but somewhat less significant than proposed by the idea's detractors. They're a decidedly horrific thing to invite aboard your vessel, but that's entirely apt for some crews. Not every option is right for every game, afterall.

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While I agree a Dark Eldar are (and should be) far creepier than your average Xeno (my Tau Void-master is quite friendly :P) I don't think they'd willingly cause that much terror as -1 morale prr kill seems to imply.

After all, if you frighten deveral tens of thousand people that you're locked in the same confined space with for months at a time, I really don't see how you could avoid an 'unfortunate accident' for too long.

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The Lord-Captain makes sure. Any group that willingly brings a DE on as crew probably has some issues with goodness, and also doesn't want the "backwards thinking" of his or her crew (since they obviously don't feel the same) to jeopardize this important individual. If the rest of the players are shining paragons of greatness and faith, then they, as players will viciously beat their friend who wants to toss in a hook-fetish, alien, sadist gladiator, so if it got in, then the players don't mind doing some terrible things to the ship's crew, and what the DE does probably won't phase them much. Power outages, food shortages, any number of things can stifle a potential mutiny, at least for a while, and "loyal" operatives can snoop them out. You might even send the DE after a leader of such a movement, to inspire fear and loyalty, as it is, in the rest. Have a ship where the Lord-Captain is necessary to reset everything, and a crew needing a working ship can only go so far.

 

I think one of the hurdles some people, myself included, have, is the perception that Dark Eldar a vicious, malignant monsters, who joyfully do terrible things to everyone around them. Now, I feel that this is true, but I don't feel it is unique to the pointy-eared night fiends, alone; plenty of human people, real and fictional, are true monsters, so on a game where the other players are portraying the worst of Rogue Traders, men and women given way to much stuff and free reign, with way to little oversight from the people who handed it over, using their formidable power to do whatever they want, and harm whoever gets in the way, one more unstoppable monster of vicious bloodlust isn't a hard sell. They work, in a game where no one is good, and in the grimdark future, that's maybe very often.

Edited by venkelos

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While I agree a Dark Eldar are (and should be) far creepier than your average Xeno (my Tau Void-master is quite friendly :P) I don't think they'd willingly cause that much terror as -1 morale prr kill seems to imply.

After all, if you frighten deveral tens of thousand people that you're locked in the same confined space with for months at a time, I really don't see how you could avoid an 'unfortunate accident' for too long.

The discussion comes back round - it's not strictly -1 morale per kill, and as described earlier, out-of-combat use of Power Through Pain should be handled by GM discretion. A single stunning hit, fear test, etc doesn't impact crew morale of a massive starship, but a Dark Eldar warrior spending a month while in transit hunting one of the labour gangs in the under-decks... that's going to cause some nightmares...

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Dumb question: whatever happened to adaptability? Why does the effect continue to last for months? The people of 40Kverse should be so jaded, and inured to terrors that constantly plague them that it should stop putting them off. Either they realize that they aren't in danger, with enough others around, they think they can handle it, or they give up and stop caring. Certainly, I've never lived in terrible conditions, with fear my closest bunkmate, but I've put up with plenty of irritating, or detrimental things, and when it becomes obvious that they won't be getting better, you just get used to them; they become the norm, which no longer engenders much response from me. Life on a ship is possibly total **** already, with or without a Dark Eldar skulking around. These people are surrounded by volatile technology they don't understand, being ministered to by TPs who barely understand it, themselves, and one bad jump away from an asteroid collision, Khorne, or a raiding fleet of nightmarish xenos monsters. There aren't constant mutinies across the fleets, so the people must "get used to it."

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Dumb question: whatever happened to adaptability? Why does the effect continue to last for months? The people of 40Kverse should be so jaded, and inured to terrors that constantly plague them that it should stop putting them off. Either they realize that they aren't in danger, with enough others around, they think they can handle it, or they give up and stop caring. Certainly, I've never lived in terrible conditions, with fear my closest bunkmate, but I've put up with plenty of irritating, or detrimental things, and when it becomes obvious that they won't be getting better, you just get used to them; they become the norm, which no longer engenders much response from me. Life on a ship is possibly total **** already, with or without a Dark Eldar skulking around. These people are surrounded by volatile technology they don't understand, being ministered to by TPs who barely understand it, themselves, and one bad jump away from an asteroid collision, Khorne, or a raiding fleet of nightmarish xenos monsters. There aren't constant mutinies across the fleets, so the people must "get used to it."

It's all a matter of degrees. The Imperium is a frequently-horrible place... but people carry on regardless because that's what they've been raised into. That's life. Humanity is a superstitious, hidebound breed, and countless generations have existed in an environment of fear and ignorance so pervasive that nobody knows anything else. You're wary with technology, because it's a thing (deliberately) shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, ministered to by a chosen few (the Martian Priesthood). You're wary of those who are different, because a lifetime of sermons have taught you that duty comes first and those who stray are to be feared because they might be The Enemy.

 

You're also told that alien life is out there, and it is hostile to all humanity. Aliens will kill everyone you know and love, defile your home and eat your children. Dread of the unknown taken to a greater level - this is why any alien ally imposes a Morale penalty on a ship's crew. Uncertainty because the mere existence of an alien ally contradicts generations of certainty that Aliens Are Bad.

 

Dark Eldar are a step beyond. An Ork or Kroot mercenary is a physical threat, savage and violent. They're inhuman, but in a comfortingly primal way - they seem primitive, crude and animalistic, reassuring humans of their superiority. Eldar are not only refined and advanced enough to put a lie to the idea that aliens are merely slightly-cunning animals, but unnervingly not-quite-human in mien and far too fluid and graceful (it's said that the superficial similarity between humans and Eldar vanishes the moment you see them move - no human can move as they do). Dark Eldar are worse... because they want to be feared. They cultivate pain and terror in others with a predatory manner and a patient, calculating mind.

 

The presence of a Dark Eldar amongst humans is going to inspire more dread than another alien... because the idea of being feared is so fundamental to their self-image as to be almost instinctive. No matter the terms of your agreement (pray he does not change them again), he is a predator amongst prey, and a creature for whom cultivating fear in others is not only a means to feed but a defence mechanism against would-be rivals (a Kabalite Warrior who is not feared by his lessers and peers will not survive).

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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'm not going to get into a historical debate here, but both of the recent real regimes that the Imperium is most closely patterned on (Nazi Germany and the Stalin-era USSR) were very popular and in neither case was in 15-30% of the population browbeating the remainded (it was more the opposite -- the majority of the German population had a high opinion of the Nazis until the 1960s).

Edited by bogi_khaosa

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Okay, so what about your crew NOT growing up in Imperial-controlled space? We are out in the Expanse, a benighted zone long bereft of the light from Him on Terra. Numerous worlds have no memory of, nor history with the Imperium, until it and its representatives show up, claiming manifest destiny, and try to force it. People out in the Expanse know of aliens, and not of the Imperium, and while some of those aliens certainly do things that don't require Imperial dogma to convince you are bad, they are much more exposed to, and familiar with these breeds. Why, if I restock my crew losses from these worlds, does it not reflect? I can't possibly fly all the way back to Port Wander every time I need new crew. People who grew up on Vaporius, or Zayth, any number of worlds that the Imperium doesn't own yet, should maybe not be illustrated as being the same semi-mindless sheeple that the Ministorum, the Schola Progenum, and other dogma-agencies make the Imperium's own people into.

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I'm not going to get into a historical debate here, but both of the recent real regimes that the Imperium is most closely patterned on (Nazi Germany and the Stalin-era USSR) were very popular and in neither case was in 15-30% of the population browbeating the remainded (it was more the opposite -- the majority of the German population had a high opinion of the Nazis until the 1960s).

 

Actually in both cases it was the loudest angriest largest minority just knocking everyone else into line at least at the start, the Nazi party came into power with less than thirty percent of the vote. Until WW2 or "The Great Patriotic War" as the Soviets referred to it provided a massive crisis, external threat and common experience/narrative for the Russian populace (mostly misery something which Russians are good at) the communist party was on pretty shaky ground having only just barely managed to consolidate power after a prolonged and confusing civil war against a much less cohesive majority.

 

Hell we almost just saw something similar happen in Egypt where the largest angriest minority in that case Islamic Fundamentalists almost grabbed power twice but failed only because the Egyptian Army was consolidated against them. Everywhere else you look in the middle east right now it seems to be going the other way though.

 

Anyway I don't want to get into politics, politics are ******* stupid because people are stupid and they're always running around believing in things "bigger than themselves" which is about the dumbest thing you can do. I think that's one of the reasons I like The Imperium in 40K so much, it's such a brutal and truthful criticism of what it looks like when people insist on going down that road.

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Okay, so what about your crew NOT growing up in Imperial-controlled space? We are out in the Expanse, a benighted zone long bereft of the light from Him on Terra. Numerous worlds have no memory of, nor history with the Imperium, until it and its representatives show up, claiming manifest destiny, and try to force it. People out in the Expanse know of aliens, and not of the Imperium, and while some of those aliens certainly do things that don't require Imperial dogma to convince you are bad, they are much more exposed to, and familiar with these breeds. Why, if I restock my crew losses from these worlds, does it not reflect? I can't possibly fly all the way back to Port Wander every time I need new crew. People who grew up on Vaporius, or Zayth, any number of worlds that the Imperium doesn't own yet, should maybe not be illustrated as being the same semi-mindless sheeple that the Ministorum, the Schola Progenum, and other dogma-agencies make the Imperium's own people into.

Here's the thing about 40k. For all the sermonising of the Imperium seems like propaganda, it stems from truth. The aliens out there are hostile to humanity. Mankind does stand on the brink of extinction.

 

It doesn't take much to bring a world of humans into the fold, partly because the Imperium has gotten really good at it (altering religions to make them Emperor-centric is really effective), and partly because the idea of the Imperium - Humanity united for mutual defence and survival - works. The latter is because the galaxy is a hostile place, full of creatures battling to maintain their own interests against one another and trying to survive - through resistance or compliance - the primordial menace of Chaos.

 

Which is worse; being told of unnamed Xenos who want to eat you, or actually meeting them? In this instance, the truth is arguably worse than the propaganda.

 

Beyond that, starships are typically filled with temples and shrines (often the most warded and fortified locations on a ship, as sanctuaries during warp travel), which in turn are staffed by clergy and laity whose purpose is to keep the crew reverent, Emperor-fearing and compliant - and a compliant crew is valuable when you're outnumbered ten thousand to one by them. A Rogue Trader is given leeway to ignore the strictures of the Imperium while beyond its borders (to an extent - there are some things even a Rogue Trader shouldn't do, though that gets into the realms of the politics of Peers of the Imperium, which is a complex and deadly game), his crew only have that luxury so long as their Lord and Master extends it to them (likely in the case of the most senior staff - the other PCs - but unlikely in the case of anyone who's expected to follow orders).

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Hey, just read this topic today. Great read, love the points brought up.

As a Xenoplile and Extra-Heretic myself (I play a Tau character in Deathwatch) I am of course a big fan of all the Xenos races in this game. I already know how I'd play a Dark Eldar character so no problems there. As for getting the rest of the crew to not lynch you, well.... I guess I'd first have to ask how much it really affects them. I mean, -2 Morale doesn't seem like a lot, which may be because there's only a few Xenos on the ship at a time. With only one to ten aliens aboard a ship of tens of thousands of humans I doubt most of the crew would ever really interact with them. Rumors would spread like wildfire of course, but beyond that?

If you're really concerned with how the crew will react though, why not try the Tau method out? They seem to know how to win people over. Spend a little of that Profit Factor and give your crew better conditions. Hire some propagandists to talk about how lucky they have it. Winterscale has his crazy mood swings, while Chorda throws people's lives away like they're waste paper. I bet of you gave your crew some better food and beds with actual pillows and they'd happily accept the odd Ork or Eldar hanging out in the corners of the ship.

"What's that you say? We're getting two meals a day now? TWO Actual meals? And not that corpse starch stuff, either? Praise The Emperor!"

Edited by Ramellan

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I've always said the Dark Eldar are actually the most likely of all Eldar to work for a human. Other Eldar aren't as likely to leave home, and Corsairs aren't 'in it' to be mercenaries, but to have fun and explore life outside the confines of a strict life on a Craftworld or Exodite world.

 

So Corsairs, Craftworld Eldar, and Exodites likely won't be on a Rogue Trader ship for money. Just whatever mercurial reasons that the Eldar have. So of them all, Dark Eldar have one more reason to do it. Because they live in a society where wealth can buy power.

 

Aside from that, while they are probably the most arrogant of the Eldar (debatable though, their callous disregard for life is a necessity for survival before anything else), the Dark Eldar are also the most willing to 'get their hands dirty' to accomplish their goals, especially if those goals directly relate to their survival (while all Eldar are liable to work with humans when their life is on the line, the Dark Eldar's generally greater levels of pragmatism gives them more room).

 

And of the four branches of the Eldar society, the Dark Eldar is the least forgiving. Corsairs can almost always go back to their Craftworld, for example, and the others don't usually permanently dispossess their members, because of their race's already dwindling numbers. A Dark Eldar cast out from their society is pretty screwed. They will be persona non grata in Commorragh at least, and maybe even the far spurs like the Nexus of Shadows. The human might literally be their best option for not only survival, but biding their time while building up the power necessary to return to Dark Eldar society (because unless you piss off Vect himself, you can always make a comeback).

 

 

So yeah, I think they have a place. Dark Eldar not only have the most reasons to find themselves on a human ship, but the most easily exploitable ones. A sane Exodite wouldn't willingly jump on an 'alien' ship, no matter how bored. A Craftworld Eldar, even a ranger, is only going to come aboard for Mysterious Eldar Reasons. And a Corsair isn't likely to sign on unless you're their only option, since this is his spring break, not the Rogue Trader's.

 

 

Edit: And regarding the frequent "They'll constantly be planning to murder you!" assertion. Unless they're planning to murder the entire ship, and this plan somehow works out in their benefit, they have no reason to do this. Even actual real life sociopaths don't kill anyone around them for no reason (inb4 "but sustenance?", that can be gotten from the crew of redshirts, if not a more suitable source).

 

...

Also, I don't know what it is, but I find Orks are a little less difficult to explain than the Dark Eldar, you just have to explain different things for the most part (for my part, in the game I'm in, my RT and the Ork were marooned on the same planet for 3 years). Also I find they're more readily accessable because of the generally more lighthearted tone of the Orks. Even at its grimdarkest, the Orks have been the comic relief of 40K.

Edited by Blood Pact

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That being said, I was more interested in mechanical aspects. How are the Dark Eldar classes from a mechanical point of view? Are they too strong/weak? Any interesting things they can pull off/the GM should be aware of?

 

I don't 'believe' in playing mathhammer (nor am I accusing you), but they're very good at combat and things requiring Agility, so sneaking and piloting.

 

So from a gaming perspective they have a handful of good niches that they can fulfill easily, based on raw stats. Career and Advanced Ranks are mostly combat focused obviously. But you have enough flexibility that you're not pidgeon-holed in to playing Killy McStabstab the whole game.

 

An idea of mine I've never got to play is basically a reaver, leaning toward fighter piloting later. Something I think he'd be pretty good at, considering the previously alluded bonuses to Agility that Eldar have.

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Dark Eldar are evil and have gruesome feeding requirements. That doesn't make them stupid or sloppy.

 

I haven't been in a campaign with a Dark Eldar PC but it's something I'd like to try out. I would be inclined to restrict them to experienced players however.

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We used to had a DEldar in our group.

Young kabalite warrior, funny guy, very polite, well-mannered and impressive useful in combat. He even gave us a small profit in the illicit gladiatorial arenas of Footfall.

 

Second game session: Rogue Trader almost poisoned to the death, the Senescal lost a hand and a krak grenade was launched to the DEldar´s mouth. Splortch.

 

The end.

Edited by DeMarchese

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DE Wych proved interesting as the players decided that she would take part in the regular pit fighting and blood sports aboard the vessel to get her pain tokens.  Avoided the issue with Morale loss because anyone could leap into the pit and fight her, and many invariably did.  Even unarmed, a dark eldar can inflict much pain without actually killing anyone.

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