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

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Dark Eldar have potential, but i would port them over to Black crusade. At least there one torture obsessed murderous bastard wont stand out that moch from the other psychotic characters. Altough teh tought of the dark eldar aand the slaanesh champion getting togetehr for soem R&R... shudder.

 

So yeah, mature groups only... making the GM vomit should not be the main focus of the session :)

Ah, the superficial logic that says "Dark Eldar must get on great with Chaos worshippers, because they're all spiky and evil!"

 

A champion of Slaanesh is a mortal worshipping the being that destroyed Eldar civilisation. Its every action and thought is appeasement of She Who Thirsts, the Doom of the Eldar, the very thing that the Dark Eldar strive to elude with every waking moment (they eat pain and terror to prolong their lives; they prolong their lives to avoid dying and being devoured by Slaanesh).

 

Why would an Eldar, of any sort, spend any time socialising with a Champion of Slaanesh?

 

The mercenary side can come into play here - Fabius Bile (who, admittedly, is more scientist than daemon-worshipper) is known to have trained with Haemonculi to perfect his fleshcrafting - but Chaos is one of the fundamental enemies of Eldarkind as a whole.

 

Just as importantly, Dark Eldar don't work in the advancement structure for Black Crusade - they don't sit with the alignment rules well (as they aren't Chaos worshippers) and the corruption rules in BC are completely inappropriate for them.

 

 

I didn't say they would get on great. I just tought they would get along better with the guys who are raiding planets to maim and enslave like Deldar do, rather than rich imperials cruising around looking for the next profit margin. I mean WHY would a Deldar join a RT? Get stuck with these crude mon-keigh on their ugly, ugly ships? no thanks!

 

I put the slaanesh champion and the Deldar together becuz they are the two characters that can get out of hand and squicky in the hands of the wrong players. Even I will play my slaaneshi raptor as a depraved monster with a tendency to go for the schola progenium pupils, untill my Gm kindly asked me to tone it down a notch. And thats not counting theother guy in my group who described his armor as "spiked with fetuses impaled on it" - eeeeewww, that got banned quick!

 

What is it with people and making grand sweeping judgements over an entire race? DEldar aren't tiranids, they are not a hive-mind. They are all individuals, with personalities and stuff. DEldar's aren't all as one snobs and homicidal xenophobes. By your logic there are no tourists, no white buddhists, no black christians, no asian people in the west and no westerners in the asia.

Reasons for a DEldar to be in a Rogue Trader's entourage:

  1. Xenophilia.
  2. Escaping assassins.
  3. Hunting for technology/treasure/fuel.
  4. Getting Rogue Trader on your side to help with some home problems.
  5. Interstellar tourism.
  6. New and exciting enemies.
  7. Arlequin training.
  8. "I'm poor and can't get a job!"
  9. "I'm a noble and don't want to get a job!"
  10. Preparing an assassination of someone in the Imperial society.

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Edit: two guys with the same picture makes it look like one guy spam-posting at just a glance... :P

 

Part of the problem I see is a holdover of perception from their old fluff. In the old fluff, they tortured you horribly because they wanted to. They needed to eat your soul, but the torture part was optional, and they did it for fun anyways.

 

The new fluff however, is that they NEED to to torture you to survive. It is no longer a matter of want anymore, but need. Though this doesn't make them any less horrid, there is a big difference between torturing you because they want to, and torturing you because they need to. This sole difference adds a bit more tragedy to their situation to me. They are savage, cruel, and selfish because that is who they need to be to survive. It is how they can justify doing what they do, and living how they live. Anything less, and the universe would crush them down to nothing.

 

Also, per fluff (the last time I read it anyways, correct me if I'm outdated here), Harlequins draw recruits from all forms of Eldar society, Craftworlders, Exodites, Corsairs, and that's right, Commorites too. Not that the Harlequins are shining paragons of virtue by any means, but they are by far leaps and bounds removed from Dark Eldar in general behaviour and temperament. That any DE at all can become a Harlequin or Solitaire shows they are indeed capable of dynamic and malleable personalities, and aren't entirely defined to the pigeon-hole of psychotic torture fiend that wants to stab all their allies in the back one day. DE are entirely capable of realizing there are bigger things out there than themselves, there is more to life than wanton self-pleasure, and self-control can be in their best interests.

 

Of course, KNOWING there is more to life than what they make of it doesn't necessarily mean they'll let that change them all that much, but the fact that they CAN change from the popular perception people have of them, even by a little, should give license to players to make interesting characters out of them. Ruthless, cruel, and disturbing characters for sure, but also cunning, insightful, and possibly a bit tragic as well.

 

My 2 pence at least

Edited by Crow Eye

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I honestly never considered if a DEldar could become a Harlequin. My instinct was going to be no, but it might be possible on reflection. However their binding ritual works, it's meant to free them from the draining influence of Slaanesh, and they no longer need to wear a soul stone, so it seems like an actually repentant DEldar could become a Harlequin as an option? It seems like it's far more than just a lifestyle choice with the crazy, dancing mimes, and I doubt they would take just anyone (nor would just anyone survive I'm guessing), but it is possible.

 

If it does free them from the soul-draining though then they'd also probably stop all the free-wheeling murder torture. Unless it was part of the performance.

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I honestly never considered if a DEldar could become a Harlequin. My instinct was going to be no, but it might be possible on reflection. However their binding ritual works, it's meant to free them from the draining influence of Slaanesh, and they no longer need to wear a soul stone, so it seems like an actually repentant DEldar could become a Harlequin as an option? It seems like it's far more than just a lifestyle choice with the crazy, dancing mimes, and I doubt they would take just anyone (nor would just anyone survive I'm guessing), but it is possible.

 

If it does free them from the soul-draining though then they'd also probably stop all the free-wheeling murder torture. Unless it was part of the performance.

They can, and canonically do become Harlequins. And yes, they can stop the soul-eating, because as Harlequins, their souls are protected by the Cegorah.

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I don't think anyone's saying Eldar can't be a variety of personalities etc. The real crux I see is Eldar in the imperial context, which raises the following question for me:

 

Why would an Eldar, who is supposed to be, like, smart, even infiltrate as a xenos?

What if the Eldar is disguised as a human?

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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).

 

 

N0-1_H3r3, thank you for writing this up.  I originally had most of the same misgivings about allowing Dark Eldar characters as many others.  I had felt that it would be like the fable about the Fox and the Scorpion crossing the river.  I do have one issue with your justification.  You say Dark Eldar are a better fit because they're more 'honest about what they are'.  I'm under no illusion that Craftworld Eldar, Exodites, Corsairs, or Harlequins are 'nice' by any measure.  My question is why other Eldar kin are incapable of controlling their urges where Dark Eldar are capable? Corsairs and Craftworld Eldar on the Outcast path are acting much the same as the Dark Eldar, though they receive no sustenance from it.  Can't they act in pure self-interest same as the Dark Eldar? What prevents them from working with a Rogue Trader group out of a similar self-interest? 

Edited by Vulkan He''stan

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In some of the old fluff, Corsair fleets use to welcome Dark Eldar outcasts as much as they did Craftworld Outcasts (not to mention the handful of born-corsairs).  They're also known to be employed by wealthy (and somewhat insane) imperials as deadly but unreliable mercenaries.  I don't see any reason why Commaroghian Dark Eldar are inherently more 'appropriate' to be a command officer/adviser on a Rogue Trader's than a ship-lost Corsair.  Outcasts in particular are often in the fluff mentioned to maintain close ties and respect for their craftworld, even while they're actively rebelling against it and as least as much as I can find rarely do anything "because they feel like it" even if that's how it appears to short-lived and ignorant humanity.

 

I had a player who stopped into my game for a few sessions play an Eldar (she's a eldar player in TT as well).  We came up with the rather easily worked in motivation that an Eldar Farseer had predicted that the Rogue Trader would be required to do something in the near (within the decade) future that would be greatly beneficial to the Eldar Race.  Being an outcaste, she was assigned to guard him and nudge him in the right direction when necessary.  For the Rogue Trader, it was "hey, you're skilled, impressive and useful in a fight, why not?"  He knew the eldar were there to manipulate him, but at least that mean she had a reason to keep him alive and effective.

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Not EVERY Dark Eldar is pure evil, just most of them; Every once in a blue moon a Dark Eldar tires of the typical lifestyle, whether fed up with backstabbing/being stabbed, weary of 24/7 cruelty, or even realizing that their lifestyle is self-destructive/ultimately futile. Most become mercenaries/assassins/pirates, a few join the harlequins and very rarely, join a craftworld. Also, there's always the Incubi, who "just" kill mercilessly and with relish, and let's face it, your Arch-Militant is just that. As to why they'd join a human/behave themselves, that's easy: They pissed off someone powerful, and this human has a spaceship to keep them out of harms way. Best stay on his good side, right?

Edited by InquistiorCalinx

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Except the mechanics of pain tokens encourage you to act out at least some torture on allies. I guess it varies per group but having no combat for a few sessions is pretty standard in our Rogue Trader and collecting enough pain tokens for a fate point seems nigh impossible to be honest.

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Except the mechanics of pain tokens encourage you to act out at least some torture on allies. I guess it varies per group but having no combat for a few sessions is pretty standard in our Rogue Trader and collecting enough pain tokens for a fate point seems nigh impossible to be honest.

 

You don't need enough for a fate point, just one per session. Have the DE and Arch-Militant spar or perhaps have the DE tell "ghost stories" to a large group of people. For example, do an intimidate test to represent how scary the story is. For each degree of success (or maybe 2), the audience members must test against that level of fear or run away screaming. Each one that does (or again, maybe every 2 that does) grants a pain token. 

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There are also 2 ship upgrades that would work great at allowing a DE to get his Pain Token per session: Disciplinarium and Resolution Arena (both in Hostile Acquisition),

 

This assumes you're using the author's clarification about how the DE rules should function (I think it's in this thread). Per Rules as Written you can just generate as many Pain Tokens as you please by repeatedly using Takedown to stun another PC in a sparring match.

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Sparring matches makes a lot of sense as a way to generate tokens though it does seem a bit gamey, and no I hadn't seen those extra rules. I played as a Dark Eldar but I felt it wouldn't be too suitable long term. Our Kroot is having similar problems with starving from eating people and it causing mutinies and such.

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Sparring matches makes a lot of sense as a way to generate tokens though it does seem a bit gamey, and no I hadn't seen those extra rules. I played as a Dark Eldar but I felt it wouldn't be too suitable long term. Our Kroot is having similar problems with starving from eating people and it causing mutinies and such.

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/96405-peoples-opinion-of-the-dark-eldar-career-paths-and-the-general-playability-of-dark-eldar/page-5#entry954398

 

This is the post I mean.

N0-1_H3r3 wrote the Dark Eldar rules AFAIK   

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My big problem with DE is that by the last lore I am aware of (which is from around the time of their 5E codex) staying in realspace really accelerates their soul-draining, and thus the rate they need to replenish it. This is why they usually don't stay in realspace much. Now, with a rogue trader, sometimes you have long treks in between things, and due to the vagaries of the warp you can have warp transitions that take months - during which any minor disturbance on board can lead to a disaster. Having a DE on board during that time is among the worst ideas you can have. This  is a distinctly dark eldar problem, and a pretty **** big one.

Edited by The_Shaman

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Late post, I know, but it is mentioned that once in a blue moon a Dark Eldar will realize that their way of life is self-destructive/unsustainable, and decide to leave. Most end up as mercenaries. A few end up on a craftworld. Perhaps a DE could work if they're on the run from their society and join the Rt for a steady job/a way away from their kin. They wouldn't exactly be "good", but they're trying to be "less bad" at the very least.

 

EDIT: just realized I already posted this a year ago. My bad!

Edited by InquistiorCalinx

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On 10/1/2014 at 7:09 AM, Longes said:

Well, the fact that Khorne, the magic-hating psyker-killing god of melee combat has Prince of Pleasure as his greatest enemy, and not the god of magic, is just another proof of Tzeentch's magnificent bastardness.

Khorne has no allies, only people/groups he hates (microscopically small amounts) less.

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