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Callidon

The Unkindest Cut

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In our group's most recent bout with the corruptive forces of chaos we ran afowl of a bevy of mutants infesting the locale of our investigation.  Afflicted by an ambient source of chaotic power, local workers and Imperial guard troopers were mutated beyond any shred of humanity.  Naturally we gave these poor souls the Emperor's grace of a swift death.  In a most despicable encounter we were subjected to the mutagenic forces of the warp and by luck and fate we almost managed to emerge uncorrupted save for one of our trusted and fearsome acolyte allies.  Upon discovery of our good friend's new condition we realised we were faced with a very very tough circumstance. 

My question for all of you is this: 

Would you purge a long time friend and loyal servant of the Inquisition if they found themselves physically corrupted by chaos or would you attempt to hide their shame and protect them from the wrath of the Emperor?

Keep in mind the following supporting factors:

  1. this mutation is not easily concealed due to the severity of the change
  2. It was direct exposure to warp energy that initiated it
  3. Our Inquisitor has more puritan-ish leanings
  4. Our only point of exit from our deployment was through debriefing with a Commissar
  5. Being caught aiding and abedding chaos corrupted mutants is typically "frowned" upon in the galaxy at large

In our case we decided as a group (mutated party member included) that our great friend had to be put down for the sake of our duty.  Faced with what could only be viewed as an ignoble death our friend began to attack the group member that was opposed to the culling in order to force her hand to action (this also allowed our friend to go out fists-swinging as it were).  After the despicable deed was done we burned the corpse and agreed to never speak of the true reason behind our mighty and noble companion's death.

What would you do?

 

 

 

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That depends both on the character I'm playing and the group consensus. The latter is best discussed out of character and covers such things as when a character can die (By roll of the dice? By other PC's direct or indirect actions? By the player's own stupidity? By the necessities of the plot?). The former... well, that differs. My noble techpriest and Sororitas are still pretty naive - they'd see the necessity on an intellectual level, but probably wouldn't have the heart to actually kill them. My newly-minted Null assassin (primary inspiration: Mr Teatime), on the other hand side, would have no such compunctions...

When affected by such a condition themselves, most of my characters would likely try to go the dwarven way if at all possible: Get into a battle with little chance of survival and try to take something with you.

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Tolerance is weakness in the eyes of the Emperor. You did well to purge your friend before the mutation of his body infected his mind and soul. I would expect all of my fellow acolytes to grant me the Emperor's mercy.

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Would you purge a long time friend and loyal servant of the Inquisition if they found themselves physically corrupted by chaos or would you attempt to hide their shame and protect them from the wrath of the Emperor?

 

Most definatly, and not only that, we'd expect that very thing to occur in our group.  One of the most poignent parts of any game was when our assassin came back from a mission and realized she was a mutant, and the scene played out between her and the psyker, as he allowed her to commit suicide and recover her honor.

So far two characters have been killed in our group because they became a mutant.  Our groups general view, is that as loyal servants of the Emperor, if we turn into a mutant somewhere we sinned, and the only way to purge this obviously large sin is to face the Emperor himself and ask for forgiveness.

That said, not all the characters are in full agreement of that belief currently... which should be fun if anyone turns into a mutant.

 

 

 

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Yep stone dead. There is no need to say anymore. It is a shame to live with mutation and shows weakness. The fact that s/he could be change show s/he hasn't the strength of mind and body to be of use to the Imperium

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Bah!  You lot just haven't served in the Imperial Guard.  You've never had yer butts saved by some covering fire from a group of ratlings, or fallen to your knees in thanksgiving that the Emperor, in all his wisdom, made a squad of Ogryns come crashing into a Chaos charge mere paces before they would have cut your squad down to a man!

Yeah, my guardsman character would have opposed that vehemently.

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Casmiricus said:

Bah!  You lot just haven't served in the Imperial Guard.  You've never had yer butts saved by some covering fire from a group of ratlings, or fallen to your knees in thanksgiving that the Emperor, in all his wisdom, made a squad of Ogryns come crashing into a Chaos charge mere paces before they would have cut your squad down to a man!

Yeah, my guardsman character would have opposed that vehemently.

Aye I would have allowed the character to continue serving the Imperium though I must ask one thing. Is the person in question untainted in the mind or has he fallen to the enemy in both body and soul?

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Casmiricus said:

Bah!  You lot just haven't served in the Imperial Guard.  You've never had yer butts saved by some covering fire from a group of ratlings, or fallen to your knees in thanksgiving that the Emperor, in all his wisdom, made a squad of Ogryns come crashing into a Chaos charge mere paces before they would have cut your squad down to a man!

Yeah, my guardsman character would have opposed that vehemently.

 

Thats not mutation, thats evolution and adaptation.  High gravity and hostile worlds bred them, not warp chaos, that causes mutation.

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Mutated by chaos, yes?

Well...

First and foremost, to be purged is the fate of the mutant. Man must die so men can endure. In this case, I would have taken him "capative" insisted that he has to be brought before our Inquisitor. Any attempting to execute our "prisoner" would have been met by the drawing of a gun and a stern reminder that we are working under command of the =I= and that this prisoner has to be brought in front of our Inquisitor. Any question about "why" would have been answered with "it is not upon you to know".

After that, I would have brought our poor comrade before our =I= in order to decide whenever there is a way to let him life or if we put him down.
Of course, there is this chance that our master would have seemed to be unworthy of service after this deed. But a true friend is worth the risk. So, my soul is able to stand before the emporer.

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I would allow a character to burn a fate point. That's what they're for. There are a lot of things in the 40K universe that can kill characters,,, Not just guns.

That being said.....It is nice from time to time to throw in some taint just to see how the party handles it.

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At the end of my group's first proper mission one of the acolytes was driven insane and another gained a mutation.  The players administered the "Emperor's Peace" to the madman (without hesitation) but the mutant has (to date) been able to keep his new nature secret from the other characters.

All the PLAYERS are aware that he's a mutant now but so far he's kept it hidden in character.  That said they suspect that *something* is up with him - in fact the way we've run it he's not entirely sure what is going on.

You can read the full story (with regular updates after each session) on our group site: games.groups.yahoo.com/group/CrimsonAcolytes/

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Rob5750 said:

I would allow a character to burn a fate point. That's what they're for. There are a lot of things in the 40K universe that can kill characters,,, Not just guns.

Yeah I've let people burn a fate point to resist possession because they're really as good as dead if that happens, (the old 3 x 9's tends to be pretty lethal) and if they got possessed its going to be a TPK, Which I don't really want as the party dynamic is pretty good and they've got some history behind them now.

Still kind of wondering if that counts as being 'Illuminated' or not... he managed to score a bit of corruption for it though gran_risa.gif

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When the mutation occurred in three of the five players we talked about burning a fate point to just move on but we thought it might be more interesting to just let the dice decide and chose to use a fate point to reroll the test.  Two of us made it and the third person came up mutated again so we played it out as the monkey knife fight (our term for player on player combat). 

The mutation was rolled in the Tome of Corruption and ended up being quite gnarly leaving us with little option for hiding her mutation to transport her offworld.  It was a bummer to lose a PC but we tend towards a bit of dice/fate worship in our game group and so we had fun with it in the end.  The replacement character will be just as much of a hoot because the player herself is awesome.

 

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MKX said:

Rob5750 said:

I would allow a character to burn a fate point. That's what they're for. There are a lot of things in the 40K universe that can kill characters,,, Not just guns.

 

Yeah I've let people burn a fate point to resist possession because they're really as good as dead if that happens, (the old 3 x 9's tends to be pretty lethal) and if they got possessed its going to be a TPK, Which I don't really want as the party dynamic is pretty good and they've got some history behind them now.

Still kind of wondering if that counts as being 'Illuminated' or not... he managed to score a bit of corruption for it though gran_risa.gif

If possession of 1 PC is a TPK in your game that just shows that the rest of the characters aren't following the proper procedure for dealing with the possessed/daemonhosts.

 

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re OP:

The one time this came up, I was hoping for an interesting moral dilemma among the other characters, but never had the chance b/c as soon as he realized what happened, the mutant said a prayer to the emperor, stuck his autopistol in his mouth and emptied the clip. 

The others never had a chance to even think about what to do with him. 

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]Rob5750 said:If possession of 1 PC is a TPK in your game that just shows that the rest of the characters aren't following the proper procedure for dealing with the possessed/daemonhosts

Circumstantially they where already in some serious crap as it was trying to take out an arch-heretic and her minions. 2 of the 4 where on the deck from gunfire leaving just an NPC Dialogous who was ready to 'purge the unclean' with her bolt pistol, the other two dodging shotguns full of inferno rounds and a couple of inferno pistol rounds blasting through the hull of a moving guncutter.... as it was, the heretic managed to eject and run away from the cutter as it ploughed into a tethered airship sending 150 innocents into the caustic depths of a chemical ocean.

They got seriously pounded as it was, everyone had a fair bit of fun, used a lot of fate points and we called it a draw until next time.

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Considering how easy it is in some situations to gain Corruption Points and how it is impossible to lose them, the number of Inquisitors with no corruption and Malignancies must be slim to none. I don't think they would think that a character with a mutation (except a really vile one) should be summarily executed. They would think that he/she should be watched.

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bogi_khaosa said:

 

I mean, think about it. You're willing to employ psykers who can, by accident, turn into daemonhosts, but you're going to kill somebody because he has lidless eyes and can see at night? I think not.

 

 

 

Yeah but psykers are a part of evolution and are not directly altered by the warp like mutants are. There are a few quotes I can use here but i only half remember them. **** hate when this happens

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Being an acolyte can very quickly turn you into chum for the forces of chaos.  Whether or not you think malignancy, mutation and corruption point to execution is a matter for each cell of acolytes to come to terms with. 

It's easy to downplay some mutations like lidless eyes by wearing a floppy hat or goggles.  But when the skin along your entire left side bubbles out and deforms into numerous pustules of volleyball sized blistered flesh that burst releasing flies only to well back up again moments later....it causes some heads to turn.  Especially if you are in a situation where you can't just have your friends pop on over to the Gap and pick up some oversized khakis, a fly paper t-shirt, a bee-keeper mask and a trench coat.

I honestly think both ways could provide interesting roleplay situations.  The best part about Dark Heresy is that you never know what's going to get your acolyte in the end between madness, mutation, a bullet, being devoured, exploding or turning into a twisted heretic yourself.

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Right. The ideology is that mutants are evil, blah blah blah. That's just words, nice homilies in a sermon for the rubes. An Inquisitor has been around the block, almost certainly has a few Malignancies himself (for reasons I mentioned), and has to be practical, except for gung-ho (hypocritical) Puritans.

In game terms, what do Corruption Points do? Until you hit Damned, they cause for the most part afflictions that harm only the corrupted individual and, unless you're really unlucky, some minor mutations of the human form. They don't make the person any more likely to turn to Chaos, any more than a person suffering from radiation sickness can turn into a nuclear bomb. A Psy Rating 1 psyker is more dangerous by far than a guy with 80 Corruption Points, trembling hands, horrible nightmares, Dark Sight, hideous boils all over the place, and a strange desire to collect rat bones. Even when he hits 100, it;s not like he turns into a daemonhost -- unlike an unlikely Psy Rating 1 psyker.

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bogi_khaosa said:

Right. The ideology is that mutants are evil, blah blah blah. That's just words, nice homilies in a sermon for the rubes. An Inquisitor has been around the block, almost certainly has a few Malignancies himself (for reasons I mentioned), and has to be practical, except for gung-ho (hypocritical) Puritans.

In game terms, what do Corruption Points do? Until you hit Damned, they cause for the most part afflictions that harm only the corrupted individual and, unless you're really unlucky, some minor mutations of the human form. They don't make the person any more likely to turn to Chaos, any more than a person suffering from radiation sickness can turn into a nuclear bomb. A Psy Rating 1 psyker is more dangerous by far than a guy with 80 Corruption Points, trembling hands, horrible nightmares, Dark Sight, hideous boils all over the place, and a strange desire to collect rat bones. Even when he hits 100, it;s not like he turns into a daemonhost -- unlike an unlikely Psy Rating 1 psyker.

 

I believe you're getting IC information confused with OOC information.

 

ICly, there are no corruption points. One who is a mutant is most likely touched by chaos. Those that are touched by chaos are either the servants of chaos or will soon be. If left unchecked, they are more dangerous then a psyker for they are a definite transgression of chaos into our plane of existence and not merely a potential transgressions. Psykers are watched and monitored very carefully because of the potential threat they pose. The mutant is the personification of that very threat and, if left alone, they most definitely will grow far worse. Once chaos has touched an individual, it dose not let go. Once someone becomes a tool for chaos, they will always be a tool for chaos whether they did so willingly or not. Once chaos' mark is upon an individual, it shall fallow that individual seeking to spread it's corruption as far and wide as possible. This is the threat of the mutant. This is why the mutant must be purged.

Malignancies are a much smaller problem when compared to mutation and may not warrant purging. However, malignancies are a sure sign that chaos has it's claws in an individual and it will only be a matter of time before they turn if they haven't already. The Imperium dose believe that, in matters concerning chaos, it's always better safe then sorry and, as such, it might just be best to purge individuals with malignancies as well. Heck, they will purge entire IG regiments after a successful campaign against a chaos incursion just to be on the safe side. After all, once someone is touched by chaos, it will only get worse -it never gets better.

Most inquisitors would not have a mutation. If they did, they would work very hard to keep such hidden for if any of their brethren found out, it would be the pyre for the fallen Inquisitor. Likewise, not all Inquisitors would even have a malignancy. Not all Inquisitors deal with warp incursions. Why would an Inquisitor for Ordo Xenos who spends most all of his time hunting Orks get malignancies? Or one of Ordo Hereticus who spends their time hunting the Logicians and other hereteks?

A mutation (and to a lesser extent a malignancy) is a sure sign of sin and weakness. Whether such sin and weakness is allowed to exist would depend on the usefulness of the individual versus the potential threat they now pose as well as the Inquisitors personal outlook and philosophy.

 

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bogi_khaosa said:

Right. The ideology is that mutants are evil, blah blah blah. That's just words, nice homilies in a sermon for the rubes. An Inquisitor has been around the block, almost certainly has a few Malignancies himself (for reasons I mentioned), and has to be practical, except for gung-ho (hypocritical) Puritans.

In game terms, what do Corruption Points do? Until you hit Damned, they cause for the most part afflictions that harm only the corrupted individual and, unless you're really unlucky, some minor mutations of the human form. They don't make the person any more likely to turn to Chaos, any more than a person suffering from radiation sickness can turn into a nuclear bomb. A Psy Rating 1 psyker is more dangerous by far than a guy with 80 Corruption Points, trembling hands, horrible nightmares, Dark Sight, hideous boils all over the place, and a strange desire to collect rat bones. Even when he hits 100, it;s not like he turns into a daemonhost -- unlike an unlikely Psy Rating 1 psyker.

Bull, any Inquisitor that had some mutations and been discovered by his peers would have been executed.  A Radical may USE a mutant and the forces of Chaos against themselves, but he doesn't want to become one.  Becoming a mutant would give every Puritain the right to declare you exterminatus, and rightly so.  You may say its just nice words and nice homilies, but even the Inquisition listen to those words and homilies, and while they may disagree on exactly how to fight the war, they admit that the war exists, and that mutants ARE the enemy.

Corruption points are a roleplaying device.  While you are correct that in game nothing "bad happens" for quite some time, and technically a few mutations can be quite useful, if you're roleplaying it correctly corruption is simply how much Chaos has touched you.  It shouldn't be a simply "Oh I hit another landmark, tag me with a mutation" but a gradual step from normalcy to the servant of chaos.  It shouldn't be sudden, but as you gain chaos points, you begin to be touched by chaos more and more, a gradual change, that many who know you and work around you may not notice, but those who haven't seen you for ages would see you and go "You seem...... different."

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