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Ale Golem

Shirking Navigator Mutations

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Many of the Navigator mutations are purely cosmetic or only have drawbacks due to physical deformities. Are there any rules preventing a Navigator from simply having cosmetic or reconstructive surgery performed by the ship’s Genetor? Alternatively, how would physical mutations work if a Navigator took the Augmenticist alternate career?

Edited by Ale Golem

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I’m curious about this too. I started a similar thread about the machine trait and bleeding and the consensus was beings with the machine traits still have significant organic components (just look at servitors) so unless they have a specific cybernetic in the area that they were damaged then they bleed as normal. I’d extend that logic out to mutation so having a pair of cybernetic arms would prevent the Fingers like Talons mutation but having the machine trait would not. The mutation Withered Form or Bloated Form would be difficult to prevent/correct without a great many cybernetic replacements and something like Membranous Growths would require the replacement of all of the limbs with cybernetics.

 

I’m not sure if I’d have cybernetics become corrupted in the same way that a demon possessing a machine can warp it’s shape but it might be possible, even then however I’d probably allow a corrupted cybernetic to be ‘swapped out.’

 

As for the option of just correcting the mutation with surgery I’d say that something like that was a temporary fix as the body will ‘heal’ back to the new normal given time unless it is somehow prevented from doing so (such as with the presence of a cybernetic). Ruleswise however I am not aware of any rules that prevent such thing but nor am I aware of any rules that allow it. If it were possible could non-mutated characters have cosmetic surgery to increase their fellowship?

Edited by WeedyGrot

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I conspired with my Navigator to make a new list of Navigator mutations, some of which are purely beneficial, some of which are purely harmful, most of which are a compromise between the two. You can view them here if you're interested.

 

Mutations and cybernetics have always been weird. In general you would expect there to be a harder test to "install" them appropriately, however with Navigators I would think proprietary knowledge would get in the way. They are all examples of an incredibly distorted "human" even before mutations, and their houses probably wouldn't like Genetors snooping around in there - nor would they be able to necessarily understand everything they're seeing.

 

Still I don't think there would be a problem if they cut out damaged organs/skin provided they did a full cybernetic replacement afterwards. The problem comes when the body tries to mutate later and there's cybernetics where their new liver is trying to grow.

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Mutations and cybernetics have always been weird. In general you would expect there to be a harder test to "install" them appropriately, however with Navigators I would think proprietary knowledge would get in the way. They are all examples of an incredibly distorted "human" even before mutations, and their houses probably wouldn't like Genetors snooping around in there - nor would they be able to necessarily understand everything they're seeing.

I would assume Navigator houses have their own Genetors, someone has to know enough about genetics and their specific physiology to act as a medical professional to families. Their basic internal makeup probably isn't that much different from a normal human's however I'm betting you would be hard pressed to find a doctor willing to birth a child that might melt his soul when it pops out or one who isn't too superstitious to work on something "tainted" by the warp.

 

 

Still I don't think there would be a problem if they cut out damaged organs/skin provided they did a full cybernetic replacement afterwards. The problem comes when the body tries to mutate later and there's cybernetics where their new liver is trying to grow.

It'd be a lot of fun to play a vain Navigator who took the Augmenticist alternate career because they didn't want to lose their looks when the mutations set in. Physical Perfection would be taken only after major deformative mutations to represent getting the offending flesh cut away and replaced with pure, beautiful, gleaming machine.

Edited by Ale Golem

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I would think that if a mutated limb was severed, and replaced with a mechanical device, you'd lose the mutation, good or  bad. And yeah, some Navigator mutations are harder to rip out and fix than others. However, as some people look at cyborgs in much the same social light as mutants, you might not escape the stigma. One might want to wait on getting cybernetics, though, because if you don't have the spot to get the one you rolled, I'd equivalate it to rolling one you already had, and thus rolling again, until you do get one that's appropriate. That could hedge you into some of the REALLY crappy ones, and some might "detach" a prosthetic, in a most unhappy way.

 

One little thing to think of, though, is that some Navigators, at least, are going to REVEL in their mutations, even the bad ones. They are raised in their Houses, and among others who WILL mutate, so they aren't as likely to be raised to detest mutation; in fact, their mutations are often viewed as a sign of power, since they come with the acquisition of more powers, and from the "concentration of Navigator greatness" in their DNA. Certainly not always true, but... So some might not care, even if their player thinks that they would, in the same circumstances. We put a high value on physical attractiveness, but 40k world doesn't always. Looking beautiful is nice, but this is a world of broken people, tube-riddled nobles, cyborgs, servitors, and mutants; the bar for beauty might not be so high. Thus, it might be okay for the CHARACTER to look monstrous, and Navigators, being inbred something fierce, it's almost expected. In my world, Novator Daedalus Volaris looks like Navigator Edric from the Sci-Fi Channel Children of Dune movie, so he's about as inhuman looking as possible, with white skin, no hair, membranes connecting his limbs, no ears or nose, glowing eyes, thin limbs, and all that; he'd look more like an older Air Caste Tau than a Human. This doesn't bother him, though, as he grew up in this environment; the flip belt Asteira brought him from a job also helped ;)

 

Little bit of both sides there. Also make sure your GM considers cybernetics added to one of the better mutations, IMO, Strange Vitality. How does lopping off a limb work with healing it back, if you've placed a prosthetic in, in the meantime? Numerous people here have had different ideas on it, but you and your player/GM should decide how you want it to work.

 

My example will be my Navigator, Asteira. She is designed to be a Navigator who doesn't advertise it physically, to later make more contracts for her House. Her mutations have been kept to a limit, and her "genetic stability" (Toughness 47) was plotted by her father to resist it, in his efforts to reset the degradation in his line. Asteira has Strange Vitality and Fingers Like Talons. The one is just good, for the most part, while the other is hidden. Asteira dresses nobly, or at least sensually, so she just works in very nice gloves (Best-quality, padded, to simulate Human hands) to any outfit. She's in a serious relationship, and even Arin hasn't seen her without them. She also wears a complicated circlet thing to cover her warp eye, with an iris in it for navigating the Passage of Judgment. Thus, sometimes a little cosmetic fix can fix a little cosmetic problem. Also, I rule that her healing might interfere with prosthetics. If she ever loses an arm in combat, maybe I'll have to decide.

Edited by venkelos

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Honestly I think that the gradual transformation into a total freakshow is one of the biggest reasons why you would WANT to play the class because it's one of the two things that makes it totally different than the others, I'd partner it with some dabbling in Sorcery and run the character kind of like a slightly whimsical Emperor Palpatine.

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Honestly I think that the gradual transformation into a total freakshow is one of the biggest reasons why you would WANT to play the class because it's one of the two things that makes it totally different than the others

 

Don't get me wrong, I love the standard Navigator in all their hideous glory. It was the first class I ever played when we picked up the game and, if I remember correctly, I wound up with Pale & Hairless Flesh, Strangely Jointed Limbs and Eyes As Dark As The Void. I wound up taking point with the Kroot a lot as I had decent mobility, could se in the dark and started taking The Course Untraveled. A good amount of their mutations are awesome and, depending on the charater concept, far too good to give up. However, some, like bloated and elongated form, would probably leave a person in agony for the remainder of their life. Now some Navigators would likely see the daily pain endured as a badge of honor and suffer it proudly however there are likely many who would seek relief.

Edited by Ale Golem

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Many of the Navigator mutations are purely cosmetic or only have drawbacks due to physical deformities. Are there any rules preventing a Navigator from simply having cosmetic or reconstructive surgery performed by the ship’s Genetor? Alternatively, how would physical mutations work if a Navigator took the Augmenticist alternate career?

 

I don't allow reconstructive surgery, but I don't see what's to stop a Navigator from say, cutting off their hands if they get bony talons, or having all their teeth pulled if they get a mouth full of razor sharp teeth, or having their face cut off and replaced with a mask of metal, etc.    Social penalties would apply.  

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Many of the Navigator mutations are purely cosmetic or only have drawbacks due to physical deformities. Are there any rules preventing a Navigator from simply having cosmetic or reconstructive surgery performed by the ship’s Genetor? Alternatively, how would physical mutations work if a Navigator took the Augmenticist alternate career?

 

I don't allow reconstructive surgery, but I don't see what's to stop a Navigator from say, cutting off their hands if they get bony talons, or having all their teeth pulled if they get a mouth full of razor sharp teeth, or having their face cut off and replaced with a mask of metal, etc.    Social penalties would apply.  

 

Would you consider the social penalties worse, less than or equal to any accrued from the aforementioned mutations? When you say you don't allow reconstructive surgery do you mean you'd ban bionics to replace the amputated appendages or just wouldn't allow "plastic" surgery?

 

Edited by Ale Golem

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You might have to question WHO the social penalties are from. Being a mutant, and a freakishly disfigured one, is very socially frowned upon, even as one of the few mutants the Imperium "allows" to flourish. However, much like Little People with bone extensions, born-deaf individuals getting cochlear implants (this is actually a very big deal in that community, right now), or similar "normalcy grasping" surgeries, your fellow Navigators, who you will have to live with (you're STILL a mutant) will shun you for denying your heritage. navigators are clannish, and picky about their heritage, so I think they would make you suffer more for trying to "fix" it, than everyone else, whose afraid of you will for being a Navigator.

 

Were it me, I'd try to push for the player trying to play up that Navigators don't usually look at many of their mutations as detrimental, even if they are; it's a sign of their heritage. No amount of plastic surgery will make you not a mutant, so hatred of some level will still come from the normal people. If you lose a limb, or gain a "fixable" mutation that otherwise renders your character unplayable, then I'd say get it fixed, but if you gain black claws, or some other disturbing mutation, accept that it's a part of the character you wanted to play, like that bulging eye in your forehead, or cosmetically change it (Asteira's aforementioned padded gloves).

 

I don't mean to just harp on this issue; I know I have already mentioned it, but I feel it can be a very important aspect of the character. In many games, you either try to make your self the sexiest, most suave person you can, or the most hideous monster, just because you can, or because you think it might be fun; you want the best (most pimped) character you can get, but much like the AdMech, the Ministorum, the Adetus Astra Telepathica, and others, this is a culture unto itself, with a built in "what we're like" vibe. It can, and possibly should be endeavored to play to that aspect, other than just having the beautiful character who also has navigator powers. Having made Asteira, I might sound a bit hypocritical there, myself, but I worked the angle into story, and she doesn't take crazy measures to rid herself of her few mutations. She doesn't fully accept them, either (her own love hasn't seen her without the gloves), but it's worked into the fluff. Done excusing myself. ;)

Edited by venkelos

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Would you consider the social penalties worse, less than or equal to any accrued from the aforementioned mutations? When you say you don't allow reconstructive surgery do you mean you'd ban bionics to replace the amputated appendages or just wouldn't allow "plastic" surgery?

 

 

 

By that I mean that if you try and get lipo for the bloated form mutation, you'll just get fat again.   If you have your teeth whittled down, you'll grow some more.   If you file down your fingers, they'll regrow.  Etc.

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At the end of the day the Navigator just isn't the class designed to be the front man of a group, I think the value a Navigator player brings to a party in terms of social interactions is a combination of mystique and intimidation factor. Per the fluff people are scared and superstitious of Navigators, a cunning Navigator would know when and how to play to those fears to cow a group of provincial or primitive humans.

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To be honest, it mostly depends on the type of house your Navigator is from, and what role he played in the house. Navigators hailing from Magisterial houses might pay more attention to emerging mutations and might be a tiny bit worried, seeing that resisting mutations for as long as possible is actually indicative of pure genetics. The purer and nobler your genes, the less likely you would be to turn into a hideous monster by the age of 40. Also, if your character is a Navis Scion (Alternate Rank in Into the Storm), you are actually chosen by your house for being exceptionally beautiful with striking features, no hideous mutations from birth, and you act as a diplomat and representative of your house (until you become older and inevitably you gain more mutations). Personally, the personal tragedy/discomfort that all your social life and career will one day end because you will become a monster and the inevitability of  this curse is really exciting. It is essentially a path of doom for socially-based characters, such as diplomats (yes, you can play a Navigator diplomat, and it's actually super fun and interesting), or those who revel in the admiration from normal humans for being so beautiful and exotic.

Navis from Nomadic or Shrouded houses probably wouldn't care much about their mutations and would put less value in recruiting diplomats and representatives. Renegade Navigators are probably the ones most likely to genuinely revel in their monstrous appearance, a badge of honour for attaining so much power, and a powerful tool to intimidate. Personally I dislike this type of "Look at me, I am such a wonderfully terrifying and powerful monster" idea of a character. Adds no real "drama" to losing your body, pretty much, to hideous mutations, and don't forget - eventually your mind. For me, it strikes with a bit of tragedy and sadness (for sociable navigators) rather than pride and exhilaration.

As for getting surgery and implants - no, unless the character is very influential and of high rank. If he is from a Magisterial House, he will have obscene amounts of money and resources to draw from, and a reason to even want to get rid of/mitigate the mutations. But then again, it is better if the character does his best NOT to acquire them in the first place (which is easy, with a nice + 20 bonus to toughness with Magisterial ;)) Renegades - no, live on with your mutations and become the monster your family has engineered you to be. That is your fate and your purpose.

Edited by dobyk21

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If the player cuts off his arms to replace them, let the body grow spontaneously a new mutation. The basic thing is: it probably has been tried before and found that Navigators can't escape the gravity of their situation.

 

Alex

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I'd have their cybernetics/new flesh mutate back into whatever they tried to replace - the Warp is not to be denied.  Then again, in my game I'm trying to emphasise how much of a malevolent consciousness in its own right the Warp itself is, and other people might not want to play that up so much.  There's a lot of good suggestions in this thread.  

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Point of fact it mentions that Navigators use cybernetics and reconstructive surgery to remove their mutations under the Navis Scion alternative class.  So, fluff wise, yes, this appears to work, as if the mutations just came back someplace else, there really wouldn't be a point.

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Navis Scions make AWESOME diplomats!  But if they want to try and fight back against their mutations with genetic manipulation or implants they have to draw on their party wealth.  They can't let word get back to the rest of their house that they have suffered mutations or they could be recalled home and sent to the Spawnitorium...

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Point of fact it mentions that Navigators use cybernetics and reconstructive surgery to remove their mutations under the Navis Scion alternative class.  So, fluff wise, yes, this appears to work, as if the mutations just came back someplace else, there really wouldn't be a point.

 

Unless they had to constantly get reconstructive surgery or cybernetics. To me that seems more in keeping with the grimdark nature of 40K

"Okay sir hold still while we agonizingly grind your fingerbones back into shape and remember to schedule another appointment next month for us to do the same thing. Wouldn't want word getting out would you sir?"

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Point of fact it mentions that Navigators use cybernetics and reconstructive surgery to remove their mutations under the Navis Scion alternative class.  So, fluff wise, yes, this appears to work, as if the mutations just came back someplace else, there really wouldn't be a point.

I wouldn't say they'll just pop up someplace else, but I WOULD say if you roll a mutation you now can't get, such as the aforementioned wicked claws, because you now have the robot devil's hands (and they are very good hands ;)), I as GM would make you roll again; you shouldn't get to dodge mutations, a hallmark of your character type, because you had the foresight to get those parts replaced. If you have the claws, and get new hands, no I wouldn't say "okay, let's see what replacement mutation you now generate; you aggravated your genes with the surgery", but if you lost your hands, or took up the Augmeticist altr career, and willingly swapped them out, then rolled claws, I'm making you try again, and get something else. Like I said, that can be a tradeoff; if you just got claws, but now you might get Bloated, or worse, because you SHOULD have to get something, and some things can't be replaced, even by the eldest Magos (although I do think it would be cool to go into the cave where the Void Dragon is trapped, and find those ancient AdMechs basically are Necrons, at that point.)

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