Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

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Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:24 pm

I thought we ought to have another one of these just for any creative flotsam that might be drifting through our members' minds they want to exhibit to the world.

I for one have just a swirl of bad and silly ideas in my head. So just in case anyone is interested or cam use an aspect of them I will start off:

One idea that has come to me repeatedly recently is to write a 40k story from the perspective of a planet recently fallen to the Imperium. I have the idea this planet would be a place that was essentially like the Tau, but on a smaller scale and maybe with better technology, stuff they had maintained since pre-imperial times or maybe rediscovered themselves because they still have the capacity for scientific innovation.

This is partly based on an idea Shroom mentioned in the SOTS thread, about a multicultural planet on the outskirts of the Imperium, the idea of injecting some reasonable people into the setting to remind you how awful it is. In this case, though, you would get an idea of the kind of oppression the Imperium imposes on its subjects. It would also tie into the setting's gimdrak themes of how a) everything is getting worse and b) you can accept it or rage against the dying of the light.

The planet, Pallas, would have given the Imperium the fight of its life, shredding regiments of guardsmen with high tech weaponry while barely losing a single soldier, maybe they made the Adeptus Mechanicus bleed too or even took down a respectable number of Sisters of Battle or Spess Mureens, but ultimately the Imperial Guard never met a problem it couldn't throw guardsmen at until it went away (*cough*tyranids*cough* OK, for a little while, at least), and Pallas is no exception.

After that the Guard and the church are ready to have half their population sold into slavery to punish them for their intransigence, but they manage to cut a deal with the Tech Priests, ensuring a degree of leniency and the protection of the Cult of Mars.

That protection is of course reliant on them handing over their prized technology to the ritual obsessed cultists. My idea for writing this is also based on 40k fans arguing at various points that the Imperium (the 'cruelest and bloodiest regime imaginable' according to every single 40k novel) is not that bad if you tow the line. I want to write something that shows the price of towing that line, and one price that the fans barely ever mention is that the technology that makes every aspect of your life possible needs to be completely controlled by a cargo cult who think you need to light incense sticks in the fibonacci sequence, pray towards Mars and recite the laws of motion in Aramaic to make a spaceship move. That is going to have MANY knock on effects.

Please tell me if this sounds like my own nerdy whinging, by the way, because no one wants to read that.

Anyway, the story itself would focus on two characters who I so far do not have names for, so I'll just call them Rebel and Imperial.

Imperial has been working with the Ad Mech, maybe is even a tech priest herself, and is sympathetic to the fact that the Imperium, flawed as it is, is fighting a thousand threats on amillion fronts, protecting countless planets from things worse than it is. She also believes that it can be changed, it can be improved, it may take a while, but as their technology is approved and used by different planets, then they can start to fight back more effectively. As more of them join the priesthood they can change its attitude to innovation and science, they just need to be patient.

Rebel has stayed on Pallas, has read about how things used to be and has seen them getting worse, seen the Cult's incompetence and dogmatism destroy their technology and make their way of life impossible, has seen the taxes go up while quality of life and the health of the world hoes down. She's watched the tithe of people go up, seen more Pallasians watch their children being hauled away to toil and die under cold, alien stars. She says no, no more of this.

These two would be childhood friends and the whole thing would take a bit of inspiration from Code Geass (incidentally the Ad Mech operates vassal 'knight worlds' with the nobility riding miniature titans, so it could include the roller-skating mecha). I also make that comparison because Rebel would have to have a deal with some outside, eldritch force to rebel effectively. But I am not sure which one would be best because when 40k does that it's always 'aha! You see trying to stop a boot stamping on your face forever only means you get a spiky boot stamping on your face forever EVEN HARDER! MOAR GIMDRAKS!' and that's very predictable but it seems to be all their eldritches are good for.

I will probably never write this of course but it's an idea, and if anyone thinks there's something to it or that some element could be usefully repurposed then that's enough for me.

So anyone else have any random oddments?
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Heretic » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:00 am

speaker-to-trolls wrote: That protection is of course reliant on them handing over their prized technology to the ritual obsessed cultists. My idea for writing this is also based on 40k fans arguing at various points that the Imperium (the 'cruelest and bloodiest regime imaginable' according to every single 40k novel) is not that bad if you tow the line. I want to write something that shows the price of towing that line, and one price that the fans barely ever mention is that the technology that makes every aspect of your life possible needs to be completely controlled by a cargo cult who think you need to light incense sticks in the fibonacci sequence, pray towards Mars and recite the laws of motion in Aramaic to make a spaceship move. That is going to have MANY knock on effects.
I always was curious about how such a religious and ritualistic fascination with technology in the Imperium would have affected the normal citizen's life. Not too far fetched, since in real life quite a few of us treat computers like fickle gods who needs a swift kick in the tower case to work, or gaze into the refrigerator expecting somehow that there's some sort of snack that'll suddenly pop out if we look hard enough. Simply crank that kind of behavior up to 11 and put a few blessings and maybe a little altar where offerings are made similar to how a certain Jpop anime is treated by some fans for the average citizen using a grimdark telephone. Mundane things like basic telecommunications and microwaves probably don't need too many rites and more sensible Ad Mech priests will probably turn a blind eye to lapses of behavior by the masses, but the higher up you go in technological importance and complexity like BAAANNNEEBLAADDESS and computer server farms then you'll be getting into the Ad Mech prayers we know and love.

Imperial Guardsman Uplifting Primer aside, I doubt the Mechanicus goes around turning people into servitors for failing to mutter the right sermon while operating the vending machine; maybe at best the more computerized elements of Imperial Society use it as a sort of authorization protocol like a password or digital certificate. Then again, the Adeptus Mechanicus might be short on cheap labor so will do so anyway. Grimdark.
These two would be childhood friends and the whole thing would take a bit of inspiration from Code Geass (incidentally the Ad Mech operates vassal 'knight worlds' with the nobility riding miniature titans, so it could include the roller-skating mecha). I also make that comparison because Rebel would have to have a deal with some outside, eldritch force to rebel effectively. But I am not sure which one would be best because when 40k does that it's always 'aha! You see trying to stop a boot stamping on your face forever only means you get a spiky boot stamping on your face forever EVEN HARDER! MOAR GIMDRAKS!' and that's very predictable but it seems to be all their eldritches are good for.
The quintessential mech anime tropes set in British dystopian GRIMDARK. I fucking love the premise.

I recall there are a few Renegade Houses who swore to Chaos or otherwise left the Imperium. If you were going down the mech route, the Rebel could always meet up with one of those. Or the said eldritch force could help the rebel find an abandoned Knight Paladin or something deep down somewhere and get the Throne Mechanicum to bind with her. That's just some thoughts on if you went down the mech route.

As for what the eldritch power may be, while the Four Gods of Chaos are the head mojos, there is said to be other minor chaos gods, Malal/Malice being the more known. I can imagine that one of these gods is trying to gain some extra Immaterium cred by gaining turf in the system Pallas is located in. And despite being very powerful compared to the main characters, this chaos god is still minor and is putting all their assets into this one system. This can give you leeway on what exactly this minor chaos god is and why the Rebel is able to bite back at the Imperium while still maintaining the vast dystopian nature of 40k where KHORNE FLAKES and the other three still rule supreme and the Imperium is so vast that nothing short of a Segmentum-level threat will force them to use even a fraction of their forces to quell (seriously, the Calixis Sector in the RPG series is so rife with shit yet aside from a few Gray Knights and a few regiments of Imperial Guards sent the High Lords of Terra couldn't give a shit).

Hell, why does it have to be Eldritch? The Rebel MC sounds like she could be a Recongregationist, a radical faction within the Imperial Inquisition who believes that the Imperium has turned to shit and needs to be reformed again (though to what many Recongregationists can't agree on). Inquisitors are very powerful people, and they can easily funnel resources and information to elements that would help their agenda secretly.

But damn, Speaker, I do love the premise.

So anyone else have any random oddments?
A few ideas:

-MAGICAL GIRL GENRE MEETS HARD SCIENCE FICTION. MOEBLOBS WITH MASCOTS CAN'T STOP THE LAWS OF PHYSICS. In the embryonic stage right now.

-With the absence of Dakarne (come back Senpai ;_;) there's been a lack of pure fantasy aside from a post by post collab a few years back. I was curious about your guys more mythical ideas. Here's mine:

Post Apocalyptic High Fantasy where the Fae, after having become a part of the world's civilizations by being benevolent advisers and plucky sidekicks, suddenly turned on them and sacrifice 90 percent of the world to eldritch Fae gods. Only four non-Fae civilizations exist now thanks to their historical lack of Fae friendship: A Judge Dredd-esque series of City-States ruled by the Constabulary who issues out True Names to Citizens that can be magically used to weaken them if they turn Criminal (they also have a fetish for the letter C, with separate subcultures such as the Convicts with prison forts and the Condemned that dwell underground or in abandoned areas of the Cities), the Evil Overlordess who realizes how fucked the world is and becomes a sort of pragmatist whose subjects fight for her not for any love but simply because the alternative is a pixie eating your heart out slowly in some beautiful forest rite (brought to you by the letter T), a theocratic confederation of Goblins, Ratfolk, and Kobolds whose gods became physical and walk the earth (no letter motifs here, but has alot of filth and vermin motifs), and finally a ragtag coalition of all the survivors, mortal and immortal, from the various Fae-destroyed civilizations given great power and immortality to fight back; while their numbers a relatively large, this resistance of the Past is slowly dwindling with no hopes of replenishing their numbers.


-I also have ideas for a story set in an existing IP. This one is set in the Battletech universe which I've grown fond of in the past two years. Set in the Third Succession War, it's about a warlord trying to make a name in the Periphery (the asscrack of the known galaxy) while trying not get destroyed by any of the Successor Lord Houses's metaphorical sneeze. The plot revolves around our backwater heroes fending off a sort of Colonel Kurtz character from one of the Successor Lord States who went off the deep end, and began using terror and Inner Sphere technology to carve out his empire. While the warlord character has a number of Assault and Heavy Mechs as well as a small production facility that can create relatively cheap mechs like the Stinger, Wasp, and Locust, his empire is still small and has to fight a Succession War veteran who has greater resources with little hope of outside help or support. Also my first attempts at romance or other intimate subjects since my main character is married to someone from the Magistracy of Canopus.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:07 am

Glad to have you back Speaker.

The OP... well the idea is high concept, I don't know how one would go about with the narrative, in terms of details, the actual plot, conflict of the characters, etc.

Right now I can think of... I mean, barring some typical story involving shooting people and dark gods-rituals and shit... all I can think of would be something akin to... making the Imperial and the Rebel technologists' lives narrated like some kind of biopic. It might not have to end up like some BOSS BATTLE. It might just show their efforts to change things - the Imperial AdMech's experiments and researches... maybe the Rebel's insurgencies - and their life challenges. A common friend or loved one falls ill! The AdMech Imperial tries to find some sanctified techno-cure! The Rebel insurgent tries to recover some now-forbidden form of science that would actually do the job far better than the quaint Imperium style incense-burning techno-medicines!

It might become more like a drama thing. My brain just thinks of Ghibli/Miyaaki's The Wind Rises because that deals with engineers and inventors in a time where their society and country is experiencing a great and horrible shift.

Hmmm... maybe the Rebel Insurgent's efforts will lead her deep within the planet, maybe the most ancient and forbidden of techs lies within the near-fossilized colony-ship that took their ancestors to that world. Maybe there are some potent weapons, game-changing things, an STC, maybe the vessel can actually still fly and leave the world and can accommodate vast numbers of refugees! Something...

Maybe it has a Chaos-corrupted AI.

But I don't like that. I don't like how, yeah, people's solution to beat the Imperium's tyranny ends up putting them in worse more grimdarkerer situations.

Maybe the ancient outside force the Rebel encounters will be... THE SQUATS! Yes! There! Super-advanced techno-mutant-abhumans with near-Eldar-like technology that can eventually help them save their world.

SAVE THE REBELLION

SAVE THE DREAM
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Invictus » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:16 pm

Though I'm a 40K fan (AHEM) I approve of the story idea.

I'll offer my thoughts on the setting especially regarding the political situation on Pallas post-pacification. While the Imperial Guard are not known for calling the shots on administration policy after their campaign is over, there is a "right of conquest" thing in 40K where the reward for a Guard regiment's service is their disbandment and settlement on the world they helped conquer, and their commander getting to be the new Planetary Governor. Imagine this happening on Pallas! The old civilian leadership of the planet suffered a fatal case of SPEHSS MUHREEN, there's no suitable native figurehead that can be installed in their place due to the multicultural system full of checks and balances, and whoever was in charge of the campaign decided the Guard deserved it for all their blood shed anyway. So now you have a whole new overclass of offworlders who get all the important political posts plus whole loads of expropriated plunder, to the general dissatisfaction of the native population (except for those power-seekers who are busy marrying into the class and teaching their children High Gothic and forming the foundation of a new planetary aristocracy). And of course, if the new planetary overlord is a hoary old war veteran, he/she is quite likely to have no personal compunctions about putting the boot in the native populace beyond the demands of general Imperial oppression, and can form a compelling antagonist. It also creates room for offworld characters whose sympathies can align with the Rebel *and* from a position of privilege! (*hint*love interest*hint*)

To counter-balance the overlord's influence, you also have a Mechanicum who extracted significant prior concessions on how to divide up the pie, with at least some of the Techno-Magi who are all about venally and indulgently undermining proper Imperial authority as long as they get their cut of the world's industrial output. Now you know who quietly funds and maintains the rebels' rollerblade mecha forces despite that all the mecha factories should have been locked down. But you'd also have sinister (by Pallasian standards) knowledge-crusaders who are very obsessed about picking through all of the planet's pre-Imperial history, right down to whatever Dark Age technomagic that granted the protagonist her Geass-equivalent superpowers.

Speaking of which, how would Pallas have dealt with its psykers? Because a whole another Sunrise mecha show comes into mind...

Regarding rollerblade mecha, what if those were native products of Pallas' own technology? Imperial grunts are naturally not particularly good at dealing with rollerblade mecha, so the Adeptus Mechanicus got asked to bring in Knights to counter them. *Then* the Adeptus Mechanicus saw the mecha and wanted to righteously study the shit out of it, opened back-channels with the natives and cut their own deal for negotiating a more favorable surrender, and in doing so basically double-crossed the rest of the Imperial crusade. Maybe they saw it as a worthy price for the potential to use Pallasian technology to improve on their own Knights and so play their power games on a scale incomprehensible to the native protagonists, which gives them an easy place as the most sinister and incomprehensible villains. You know. Beyond plunging the planet's technology base into ritual stasis.

I even like the idea that the involvement of Imperial Knights weren't quite enough so at some point, actual Titans were brought in and the protagonists can be inflicted with indelible childhood memories of whole cities consumed in fire and terror by unstoppable colossi. Because Imperial Titans do make for terrifying final boss mecha, a kind of white whale fixed into the minds of mecha-piloting rebels to be overcome, and their presence can also be used as metaphor for the sheer *scale* of the Imperium they're fighting.
Heretic wrote:Hell, why does it have to be Eldritch? The Rebel MC sounds like she could be a Recongregationist, a radical faction within the Imperial Inquisition who believes that the Imperium has turned to shit and needs to be reformed again (though to what many Recongregationists can't agree on). Inquisitors are very powerful people, and they can easily funnel resources and information to elements that would help their agenda secretly.
Here's to reminding that whatever ideas you have about reforming the Imperium into a saner and more reasonable place, there's probably a whole conspiracy of the Imperium's own secret police that agrees with you. In a sense that's the GRIMDARK setting itself carefully folding every fictional solution back into its vast dysfunctional system, though it can be argued that it doesn't work only because the radical Inquisitorial factions are pushing for it via their typical demon-summoning gestapo ways.

But then, it makes sense for some Inquisitor with Recongregationist leanings to decide that Pallas is a suitable basis for spreading reform into the wider sector, and so covertly backs the Rebel. Maybe even have the piece of superpower-granting macguffin be some (relatively) safe archaeotech handed over by the Inquisitor, just so to allow for some moral and narrative latitude over the protagonist directly bargaining with 40K Chaos for grimdark majyyks. But I understand why it might be more thematically suitable for the power to come from Pallas itself.
Speaks wrote:So anyone else have any random oddments?
A fantasy romp tentatively titled Is My Dungeon Problematic?, following a powerful paladin who breaks into dungeons to kinkshame their overlords, as narrated by her long-suffering squire. Not a thing I'll likely write because it'll end up a send-up of a genre I have barely read.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:09 am

Wow, thanks for the responses :D

Wrt Code Pallas (working title), that's a lot of ideas! :)

To focus on the issue of what the Rebel's benefactor is for a moment: I think the idea of her either being or being supported by a Recongregationist Inquisitor is a really good one. The grim-dark element here is that the Imperium might be technically inferior and horribly immoral to the natives, but it's so much bigger that it doesn't matter, and nothing accentuates that quite like the idea that the insurgents' powerful, mysterious ally is just a malcontent subset of perhaps the most immoral and most oppressive of all its institutions.

In terms of a native Eldritch I had considered making it an ancient AI, one of the Men of Iron, the ancient robots that rebelled against pre-Imperial humanity (I am told these show up in Gaunt's Ghosts, but I haven't actually read the books). I've even considered that if she has a superpower then it could be derived from this, that it's integrated itself into the native technology and her superpower is access to its Person of Interest style surveillance network (hence it's interest in freeing the planet, the Ad Mech is dismantling this technology anyway, and considers true AI to be super-heresy). I'm not sure if this involves too many extra factors though, and I'm not even sure I want her to have a personal superpower.

Involving the squats is also very tempting, since I've thought in the past about how they could be brought back into the setting. It would tie into the Ad Mech being the principle villains (from the Rebel's viewpoint, anyway) since my own personal head-cannons are locked on the idea that the Ad Mech slowly whittled away at the Squats economically until the orks/Tyranids/whoever could finish them off, because the squats wouldn't hand over their toys. I also thought about making Pallas a squat planet, or with a mixed squat-baseline population, which means that on top of regular Imperial oppression there would be racial apartheid, fun times :P :?

Shroom, on the actual nature of the narrative; I'm not sure about which direction to take this, though on balance I don't think there should end up with a boss battle between the two protagonists. I don't really think of the Imperial collaborator being a fighter at all, more a political -scientific consultant but who might be advising the people doing the actual fighting.

Vic; I like the idea of the Guard taking over the planet, and think this could actually fit in with the Ad Mech's scheming, giving them plausible deniability about how they scuttled the Crusade by claiming they wanted to honour the guard's sacrifice or something. I also love the idea of titans being a White Whale for the rebel fighters.

On that note, since I don't know the numbers but I know titans are a big deal in the setting, maybe Pallas was actually only one planet on the crusade route. It would be a hell of a revelation once the characters find that their star system wasnt even the main object of their conquerors, just number thirteen on a string of twenty-four.

I am undeniably drawn to the melodrama of having the Rebel fall for one of the guards-turned-aristocrats :D

I have no idea what they did with their psykers :?

As for others' ideas:

Heretek- I love the fairy apocalypse idea, the thought of, instead of a blasted wasteland, the sign of danger and horror being a beautiful forest ringing with sweet birdsong and covered in delicate flowers is just wonderful :twisted:

Vic- have to say I don't know much about Dungeons and Dragons, but... I'm not sure how often you could make dungeon=BDSM jokes and make them different, sorry :(
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:18 am

Consider NANOMACHINES infused in SUPERIOR DOMINANT GENES of the Pallasians or the select ones (perhaps with Squat genes from interbreeding of ancestors) to enable them to activate nano-genelocked techs?

Gasp, mcguffins might involve some Squat cryo-ark.

Superpowers might not just be nano-gene-activated mecha but also more pervasive enviro-nano-ecologies that they might be able to activate? The ultimate eldritch weapon might be some nano-Solaris (the Soviet novel/film) kind of thing. That might enable Grey Goo or ridiculous magicks (think the Braniac-Luthor-Amazotech arc in Justice League Unlimited).
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Invictus » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:55 pm

speaker-to-trolls wrote:
In terms of a native Eldritch I had considered making it an ancient AI, one of the Men of Iron, the ancient robots that rebelled against pre-Imperial humanity (I am told these show up in Gaunt's Ghosts, but I haven't actually read the books). I've even considered that if she has a superpower then it could be derived from this, that it's integrated itself into the native technology and her superpower is access to its Person of Interest style surveillance network (hence it's interest in freeing the planet, the Ad Mech is dismantling this technology anyway, and considers true AI to be super-heresy). I'm not sure if this involves too many extra factors though, and I'm not even sure I want her to have a personal superpower.
I do like the idea of the protagonist's superpower being access to nano-cameras like everywhere, with the interface being the nanomachines infused into her blood (which she has to shed to use, because GRIMDARK), which is a very chessmastery advantage to have. It's also dramatically suitable because it's also an advantage that her enemies can also potentially access and/or subvert, because the very idea of it makes it too useful for Pallas' new rulers to want to destroy. Having an opposing version of the protagonist's own schtick is always a handy way to raise the stakes, and there are definite narrative opportunities to having the Imperial final boss stageadministrative capital be covered in the same surveillance (with the input fed into the Imperial, who turned out to be a psyker all along some wired-up psyker via AdMech-cracked gene-access*) that the Rebel has to subvert/sneak through somehow.

*There is a debate in 40K fandom famously formulated as "the Adeptus Mecanicus vs. the Adeptus Mecan'ticus", over whether they are mad scientists who cloak their genuine knowledge in ritual and mystique to maintain their monopoly on high technology, or whether they really are the superstitious incense-swinging ignoramuses that they appear to be. I tend towards the former position - which is to say, I prefer my Mechanicum to be evil rather than stupid, and to able to pull off some startling mad science feats if sufficiently motivated. And gene-locking is fairly common Imperial technology as well :v.

However, where you would want to position this surveillance network in the story is a factor to consider. If it was a known and active thing even before the Imperial invasion, it says...things about Pallasian society.

Another important point I totally failed to consider is the Standard Template Construct, the advanced and impossibly rugged technological base common to pre-Imperial human colonies all over the galaxy, a mere scrap of which the AdMech will tear apart planets to recover. And Pallas, being a planet with an uninterrupted technological society since pre-Imperial times, would be a prime candidate for where such a database might be. That's going to play majorly into whatever motivations the AdMech (and the Imperial factions in general) might have, and forces them to treat Pallasian technology as more than something to be banned on principle.

But then, STC technology is *not* the same thing as Men of Iron technology, which is way more bullshit and way more dangerous for reasons.
Shroom, on the actual nature of the narrative; I'm not sure about which direction to take this, though on balance I don't think there should end up with a boss battle between the two protagonists. I don't really think of the Imperial collaborator being a fighter at all, more a political -scientific consultant but who might be advising the people doing the actual fighting.
Well now you can have the rebel army tangling with a legion of nanomachine-hacked mecha controlled by the Imperial loyalist. :P
Vic; I like the idea of the Guard taking over the planet, and think this could actually fit in with the Ad Mech's scheming, giving them plausible deniability about how they scuttled the Crusade by claiming they wanted to honour the guard's sacrifice or something. I also love the idea of titans being a White Whale for the rebel fighters.

On that note, since I don't know the numbers but I know titans are a big deal in the setting, maybe Pallas was actually only one planet on the crusade route. It would be a hell of a revelation once the characters find that their star system wasnt even the main object of their conquerors, just number thirteen on a string of twenty-four.
Yeah, the Titans landed, broke the back of the resistance, and moved on. For the Pallasian survivors, it was an event that will scar them for the rest of their lives. For the adepts of Legio Murdertronicus, it was Tuesday.

I worry that fleshing out the wider machinations of the Imperial factions will necessarily require the fleshing out of all the nearby star systems and the general state of the Imperium in the sector Pallas belongs to, which might take the focus away from Pallas and the protagonists.
Vic- have to say I don't know much about Dungeons and Dragons, but... I'm not sure how often you could make dungeon=BDSM jokes and make them different, sorry :(
I'll take the opportunity to rant that it's actually aimed squarely at the isekai genre of Japanese light novels, wherein someone from another world falls into a fantasy milieu. It's a venerable strand of Western fantasy, but it's also currently undergoing a boom in otakudom which generally results in the shallower end of the pool being filled with works where persecuted teenage nerds are handed no-strings magical powers and privileges, harems of fantasy babes throwing themselves into their laps, and a general license for revenge and misanthropy.

Some representatives of the genre plop the protagonist straight into the body of the evil overlord of the setting and he gets to prove how misunderstood he is while handling the heroes sent to vanquish him with h4x applications of his evil overlord powers that a native of the setting would never have dreamed of. You know, that kind of power fantasy thing, often crossbred with the frequently unsavory strand that is harem anime.

My story would still be rather petty, though.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Siege » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:07 pm

I'm not fully up to snuff on 40K lore but isn't an element of the bullshit rituals that it hardens human minds against chaos corruption? Like, in the operational sense it probably doesn't actually help to light candles before operating a toaster oven (probably), but going through rote methods does prevent the user from suddenly sprouting tentacles and trying to drop the planet into the warp. Which given it's the Adeptus Mechanicus that operates everything from toaster ovens to planet-melting superweapons is not unimportant.

I really dig the concept of exploring a somewhat enlightened society that suddenly gets to deal with the Imperium's bullshit, but at the end of the day there is a reason why Earth rule is as shit as it is, and that reason boils down to 'fuckin' Chaos'. An honest exploration of the conflict between superstition and rationality in 40K ought to deal with the fact that it's not just superstition, Chaos is a real thing that fucked over countless planets and hundreds of billions of people. Pallas might not recognize that, which means that from the point of view of the Imperium they're just another world that doesn't have the foggiest clue about the sheer awful horror they're risking. The Imperium has seen this thousands of times before and they know exactly what happens to worlds like this once Chaos gets a foot in the door. That being, the best case scenario is everyone simply dies screaming.

If the story doesn't deal with that fact it risks becoming a kind of Methods of Rationality which, let's face it, was beyond awful in its disingenous wankery.

The Lords of Terra aren't idiots. It's not hard to figure their thinking: this one planet gave them major difficulties and it has zero protections against the Gods of Chaos - imagine the terribleness that might ensue if Tzeentch gets his creepy mitts on their tech! Sweet baby Jesus, the Fabricator-General must've done some major sweet-talking to keep the Inquisition from simply melting everything from orbit.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:51 am

OK so there's clearly a lot of details that would need to be sorted out for this idea to work :shock: :) this post I'll focus on some ideas I have had re. superpowers and Pallas' technology and relations with the Ad Mech

So, taking this Squat idea, plus the hooking into the computer system via nanotechnology, I have come up with some vague but potentially interesting thoughts. So the Squats had a type of ancestor worship, I figured the Pallasians could have had a kind of semi-transhumanist version of this, uploading tons of information about a person throughout their lives in order to form a digital ancestor-ghost when they died. The Ghosts wouldn't be fully human exactly, maybe not what we might call conscious, but they would have some kind of intelligence. What I'm imagining is they would be semi aware, and act as all kinds of programs, anti-malware and security and administration, they wouldn't be in control but they would make things smoother. Most importantly though, they would be a preservation of the people's ancestry and culture, and they would add just a little bit of human judgement to mechanical tasks. In theory this made it harder for the network to be used for evil or oppression.

I imagine the Pallasians' network being very all encompassing because of two things in their history, a) having to terraform or partially terraform their planet and maybe several others in their system, meaning they needed a big network for coordination and b) all their cities being hermetically sealed forts including extensive bunkers because they endured quite a few (pretty minor) WAAAGGHH!!!s in the past.

Now it's important to note they are not true abominable intelligences, because the Pallasians' ancestors originally got stranded on their planet during the Iron Man wars, so they also have a taboo against that. But, to their minds, these ancestor uploads are different because they are based on human minds. This means there are some interesting similarities between the Pallasian networks and the Martian ideas about machine spirits, or indeed the fact that (in my opinion) the older tech Priests are effectively uploaded into computers since they have replaced so much of their brains with computer parts (and I think it would be silly of them to actually leave themselves vulnerable to death by organ failure if they don't have to, I imagine they just keep an organic liver or something so they're still legally a cyborg instead of a robot)

ANYWAY this could be part of what spurred the Techies to put so much effort into preserving and controlling Pallas, along with them having STC designs which could have been destroyed if trigger happy military commanders or inquisitors jumped the gun. After the conquest, the Ad Mech have prevented public access to the Pallasian networks, but they are still keeping them operational and trying to control and subvert them, they have not kept the Administratum, the Guard warlords or the Inquisition entirely in the loop about what they are doing with this network.

The problem they have is that something happened to a lot of the ancestor upload ghosts during the war, they have been trying to thwart the Ad Mech's attempts to control the network, and despite the Techies using local collaborators, it's frustratingly difficult for them to properly access or dissect the more interesting bits of Pallasian technology without vengeful data ghosts deleting it and causing tons of other software damage besides. Early on they tried threatening to kill living Pallasians to make the Ghosts more pliable, but this doesn't seem to work.

They do have enough control to see other people accessing the network, so there is a big secret war between the Ad Mech and various cyber rebels. Our (anti?)hero just has some way to avoid being seen by the Ad Mech when she accesses the network. Her control could extend to a lot of systems the Tech Priests haven't gotten around to decommissioning or putting in storage; little bits hidden away in manufacturing centres, environmental controls, old drone machines... Most of these will have been taken offline though, so her main strength is the panopticon.

She probably operates through a series of disconnected cells using cryptic messages, with each one forming a small part of her overall plan. We get the usual The Abyss Gazes Also stuff here as having to work like this means she becomes as callous as any guardsman if someone is in her way.

And while I generally tend to play up the Imperium's incompetence and cruelty in my head... The Mechanicus would make pretty dull villains if they were legitimately stupid, so I think they should be the Mecanicus here :P doesn't mean they are necessarily closet material rationalists in the modern sense though, they may well believe in machine spirits and the Motive Force and so on in a slightly more abstract and less restrictive way than we usually think of.

Incidentally I am starting to get the idea Pallas could have a lot of cyborgs itself, all with a sort of Ghost in the Shell type aesthetic, with lots of soft blue, black,silver and deep purple tones to contrast the harsh red and gunmetal grey of the Mechanicus. This is all utterly irrelevant in a prose story of course :)
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:17 pm

I am presuming the ancestor techno-worship and various forms of techno-paganism somehow insulated them from the corruption threats Siege mentioned as being norms of the setting? So the local scienticians might also be mecha-animists?
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:12 pm

More or less mecha animists, yeah, plus with each family having virtual shrines to their ancestors and such (maybe, or maybe they become ancestors to the whole culture without favoritism once they transcend)

I'm really not sure yet how to address the threat of Chaos without sliding into either some kind of Methods of Rationality smugness (which I haven't read but sounds pretty obnoxious) or the usual predictable morality play about the evils of curiosity or dissent. I kind of like the idea of them having a non-psychotic philosophy that makes them more resistant to Chaos than most (Buddhism maybe?), but I'm not sure how to go about it. And if I introduce something Chaos-y as a third party then I don't know how to avoid it taking over the story.

Add to all this I don't have a very clear idea of how pervasive or dangerous Chaos is, other than 'very'

So basically... Maybe :?
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:59 am

Unless somehow someway they are an entire society of Pariahs? Or something... they underwent the same modifications as the Tau?

But perhaps this is why they likewise have limited territorial holdings, their ultratech doesn't extend to FTL, if they are blanks or "low-bandwidth" like the Tau, they can't do much with the Warp but as advanced as they are they can't do Warp-alternatives ala Necrons.

But this makes them munchkins. Might as well have the psych-nulled nanotechno rational non-grimdark protagonist fall in love with a Vindicare assassin. LOVE CAN BLOOM. :P
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Invictus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:21 pm

Yes, I was just coming in to ask about the extent of Pallasian voidfaring. That you've mentioned Pallas being just this single world-culture seems to imply "not much", and for a rational civilization ( :P ) there may not seem to be much pay-off to maintaining or re-developing FTL technology, especially if experimentally it mostly involves opening portals to screaming space hell. Though given the pulpy preponderance of multiple colonizable worlds in every star system in 40K, there might still be plenty of interplanetary-level activity going on. Not that it means much on the Imperium's scale, though.

On the Chaos thing, I honestly think you can play it down if it doesn't serve the the story. You don't have to include every element of 40K just because it's there, and I certainly don't expect to see any Orks, Eldar or Tyranids show up in a story focused on human struggle and oppression. Any real Chaos is dangerous enough to send the Imperium and the Pallasians teaming up, which might spoil your themes a bit. It is necessary to address some omnipresent setting elements though, such as random psykers cropping up in the population and how Pallas has been dealing with them for the last few thousand years. In the interests of playing it down, I'd suggest that Pallasian civilization did work out the threat of Chaos cults and unrestrained psykers more or less on its own, even if it lacks the understanding of the wider factors behind them, and has been clamping down on them. The nano-panopticon could have been used to spot cult activity and aetheric manifestations as much as anything else, and all the psykers could be sent to this storm-wracked island gulag-orphanage or something, since liquidating them out of hand seems out of character.

(And when the Inquisition did their deep audit of the world, they take note of said policy, sighs in relief and mutters "Praise be to Him-on-Earth, at least they're not complete heathens." and offers (well, demands) to take the psykers off their hands. Which was one of the easier moral compromises for the Pallasians to make.)

And then psychic powers in general could be the Imperial counter to Pallasian home field advantages, with all these Imperial psykers being degraded living tools/weapons who seem to be treated like they'll lose control and be terminated at a moment's notice, another manifestation of the way the Imperium mistreats and adulterates human potential. (At least until the Inquisitor, every bit the figure of power and authority, totally blindsides the protagonist by revealing psychic powers too)

Re: the cyber-ancestors, is that their actual religion? Because if so I can certainly see the Mechanicum trying even harder to argue that it's their jurisdiction rather than the Ministorum's, that if all these tutelary machine spirits in the imago progeniti must be incorporated into an overall scheme of Emperor-worship, then the Emperor they're interceding for must in nature be the Omnissiah, or the Emperor-as-techno-Jesus that the Machine Cult venerates. That would be the theology behind their power-grab, while the Ministorum would just sweep it all away and replace the ancestors with a system of Saints with similar names.

Regardless, of course the Imperium in general would want to control access to the network if it represents the living link to Pallasian knowledge and the roots of their cultural identity in one, single thing. Then it gets to remold Pallasian civilization into a loyal Imperial one in one fell swoop.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:37 pm

Maybe they devised psyk-out tech and somehow dull out psykers?

This makes me wonder, on a pseudo-tangent... are 40k psykers affected by being inside a Geller-field-using vessel? If those things can isolate the ship from the Warp's horrors while transiting the Immaterium... then would a sufficiently powerful Geller-field cut off psykers from their power source? I know that the Geller-field used in ships keep out the worse effects but they aren't totally "warp-proof" since, IIRC psykers in ships transiting warp do have worse nightmares and astropaths and navigators have to interact with the warp somehow...

Could there be "warp regionalism" in that these guys, by being really far off from the Eye of Terror and the most intense concentrations of both Chaotic warp-ness, are somehow in a place with more "pacific" warp phenomenon?
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Siege » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:46 pm

"They're all blanks LOL" is like the lamest copout of the century :D.

But perhaps Pallas is located in a region of space where the Warp is fairly calm (perhaps unusually so, which means you can later potentially introduce the plot twist that elements of their high tech are derived from ZOMG NECRONS, hence no Warp travel). And they're just one world with a not very large population and a fairly nonviolent history; that's plenty explanation for them having been lucky so far.

In which case, maybe the Ecclesiarchy enforces a kind of mental quarantine on the planet! Contact with worlds that do not have the requisite anti-Chaos defenses in place is handled with worry and care, like how NASA worries about the possibility of accidentally carrying Earth bacteria to planets like Mars on its probes. You can't just let anyone wander onto a planet like Pallas, one wrong question and one wrong answer and someone will start asking things like "why are you here", "who is the Emperor", "what is Chaos" and then suddenly tentacles and awfulness.

So as much as Pallas might think the Imperium is awful maybe the fact of the matter is that the governor they've been assigned is practically Jean-Luc Picard who deals with them in what is for the Imperium a super careful and considerate manner. They don't know half how good they have it, and just how fast the Arbites and the Administratum would pave straight over them if the Ecclesiarchy and the Inquisition hadn't decided to humour the Fabricator-General's hunch that this planet might be useful in the long term.

(This rationale also allows you to cast the local Ecclesiarch in a more favorable light, rather than as your usual foaming-at-the-mouth burn-the-witch zealot missionary. He could instead be a master propagandist and seasoned veteran of a dozen planetary inculcation campaigns, who knows that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. In fact, knowing that this person's effort is meant to stave off the very real danger of Chaos means that the resistance's hide-bound adherence to local traditions could be cast in a more villainous light. I mean, how easily can this ancestor worship be subverted for the ends of Chaos? Isn't this eerily like the warrior lodges that brought about the ruin of Warmaster Horus?)
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Invictus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:57 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Maybe they devised psyk-out tech and somehow dull out psykers?

This makes me wonder, on a pseudo-tangent... are 40k psykers affected by being inside a Geller-field-using vessel? If those things can isolate the ship from the Warp's horrors while transiting the Immaterium... then would a sufficiently powerful Geller-field cut off psykers from their power source? I know that the Geller-field used in ships keep out the worse effects but they aren't totally "warp-proof" since, IIRC psykers in ships transiting warp do have worse nightmares and astropaths and navigators have to interact with the warp somehow...

Could there be "warp regionalism" in that these guys, by being really far off from the Eye of Terror and the most intense concentrations of both Chaotic warp-ness, are somehow in a place with more "pacific" warp phenomenon?
There's no definite single principle of how psyk-out tech works, except that it's possible to line up some perfectly mundane material components to ward off warp influence. (As as for actual daemons, there seem to be additional things involving faith and symbolism that works.)

Gellar Fields are specialized technology for maintaining a bubble of real space inside the Warp, which does not necessarily translate to said bubble of real space being psyker-proof because punching through real space with their minds alone is what all psykers do already. Most of the time when a psyker is inside an active Gellar field would be when they're both inside the Warp, which is dangerous enough.

Further research indicates that the Gellar Field is not a field but more of a shield, creating a wall that the warp cannot cross, so it doesn't protect whatever is inside already.

But yeah, having a calmer background warp, having the Inquisitor note that fortunately daemonic activity doesn't happen much in these parts, can help.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:56 pm

Yes "they are all blanks!" is a very munchkin lame reason. As lame as an entire species of psi-resistant dudes in Gundams cheap-shotting Space Marines and being lame ass Counterstrike-style campers. :P

Sure maybe this world *is* surrounded by those strange eldritch blackstone monuments around the Eye of Terror, which Eisenhorn encountered in Cadia during the second book I think (when Fischig had holy scripture-inscribed shotgun buckshot and those Kasrkin tried to shank Cherubael). And maybe in this case they did a better job in suppressing Chaos and dampening the Warp than in the Cadia region.

Necrons might also be a possibility. Weren't blanks/nulls seeded on Earth and other worlds by Necron-related parties?

What is the status of the latest editions in regards to Necrons? I know the old omnicidal ones were supposedly malfunctioning deranged Necrons. The new ones have ridiculous dynasties and titles and they like chasing Indiana Jones and cackling and going "IT IS I! PHAROAH TUTENKHATEPH! WITNESS YOUR DOOM!" and stuff... but are they capable of enslaving humanoid populaces and having fiefs and groveling meatbag subjects?
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:24 pm

OK so what I'm getting Re. The threat of Chaos is:

1-any human civilisation that isn't either warded by Necrotech or located in an especially calm and non warping warp region is going to end up with a plague of psykers.
2-if it doesn't put down this plague of psykers with ruthless efficiency then it will end up kapshoored for kayaahss sooner rather than later.

Is this about right?

In that case then there are a couple of interesting options for how to deal with it.

1 is to have it be Necrotech, I have my reservations about this because again it lends itself so easily to the morality tale thing, just with eldritch aliens instead of eldritch demons.

THAT BEING SAID, they are at least less likely to take over the narrative, and I suppose that the Necrons themselves could all be gone, or still sleeping. Also, there is the possibility of a bit of dramatic irony if there are all these signs of Necrotech, and they have a myth about silver God-soldiers killing wizards alongside The Hollow Men, and if there were only an Ordo Xenos agent there it would be setting off all kinds of alarm bells, but the OX isn't interested in people who have only seen orks (not really able to corrupt anyone) so the Ad Mech and Ordo Hereticus guts don't see anything untoward and just think they have a healthy fear of witches. This is because different branches of the Inquisition don't have an efficient system for sharing information, would you make one if half your colleagues were waiting for an opportunity to murder you?

2 is to use Vic's suggestion, I like this idea but I would split the gulag into a hermetically sealed monastery and a hermetically sealed sanitarium. The first is for the particularly strong willed and relatively safe psykers, where they are aided by the imagoi in pursuing an ascetic and inoffensive lifestyle. The second is for the more dangerous ones, who are doped up to the eyeballs and monitored at all times.

Both these installations have atom bombs buried underneath them just in case.

Now as an expansion of this second one, I have had the thought the monastaries could have been started by a benevolent psyker who managed to resist the temptations of the 'chattering beasts of the Other' and offered himself up to the mercies of the non-psyker populace, his grace and general good nature meant they allowed him to work with them and teach other psykers his ascetic ways. Most were too weak to follow them and got purged, but still, he started a tradition.

It is entirely possible that this psy-buddha was, if he existed, able to resist Kayaahss because of Necrotech or having some pariah companions or something, so he could cut himself off when things got too heavy.

The important thing though is that there is now a cult veneration psy-buddha, and some claiming s/he will return or that his/her spirit is watching over humanity. This is something that the Imperial Church can seize on as a similar idea to the Emperor, and here is where you get your sympathetic Cardinal, as well as conflict between the Cults of Earth and Mars, using strains of native philosophy as proxies, can come from.

Also might be interesting to work out how a Zen version of Emperor Worship might look.

More thoughts to come

Note: you may notice I added the suggestion the psy-buddha could be a woman later on because I realised I was making a sexist assumption. But on that note; is it ever mentioned whether planets can worship the God-Empress as long as they get the general idea? :P

Note on that note: just to clarify, the reason that was a sexist assumption while deciding the protagonists were women was not, is because I had been mulling this idea over for weeks and always envisioned them as women, whereas I only just came up with psy-buddha and assumed he would be a man because Original Buddha was one. So there. Don't know if that works but whatever.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Siege » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:51 pm

I seem to recall from what I'm under the impression is Dan Abnett's work that the Ecclesiarchy accomodates the incorporation of bits and bobs from local pantheons as long as the end result is recognizable as Emperor-veneration. What you describe particularly sounds like a simple task: simply rebrand the psy-Budddha as one of His most gracious Saints come to watch and protect the locals from the threats of the Warp and you're good to go.

I'm not entirely sure by which method you'd prevent this sanitarium full of psykers from being instantly carted off by the Black Ships as soon as the Inquisition catches wind of it though. I mean, I'd think even the word of the Mechanicus only goes so far; they clearly have no jurisdiction over such things. Then again maybe they're not full-blown mad lightning throwing psykers but more like folks with prescient hunches and suchlike. And it's not like you'd expect one planet to manifest a particularly great many psykers at any one time anyway.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:52 am

Siege wrote: I'm not entirely sure by which method you'd prevent this sanitarium full of psykers from being instantly carted off by the Black Ships as soon as the Inquisition catches wind of it though. I mean, I'd think even the word of the Mechanicus only goes so far; they clearly have no jurisdiction over such things. Then again maybe they're not full-blown mad lightning throwing psykers but more like folks with prescient hunches and suchlike. And it's not like you'd expect one planet to manifest a particularly great many psykers at any one time anyway.
The sanitarium could easily become a holding cell for people destined for the black ships, the monastery is going to be the one that would upset a lot of people, especially if the psy-buddhists become the Pallasian Cult of the Emperor Buddha, they may see it as a betrayal if the Saint/incarnation/whatever's spiritual descendants get carted off.

Of course, technically, most of them are going to become one with the Emperor, so I guess they can't really complain...

This could be a pretty good way to demonstrate the dangers of Chaos without derailing the story, if you have the rebellion free some of the psykers for moral reasons and/or to fuck with the government, and one of them becomes a dangerous psychic serial killer.

This would still be a relatively minor problem though, and it wouldn't invalidate their cause the way full blown Crazy Chaos would, but the Inquisitor and one or two others could point out that this shit can get a lot more crazy.

And the Rebel will say 'I don't understand this power, so I'll stay away from it, for now, but it is a force of nature, and any force in nature can be understood and harnessed. If I have to, I'll harness any force I can. To OBLITERATE THE IMPERIUM!!!' :P *

*this is me being silly, but I do think the rebels, if not the Rebel herself then her minions comrades, should actually talk about 'destroying the Imperium' because on an emotional level, they cannot accept or understand just how vast it really is.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Invictus » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:49 pm

So to my understanding, the Imperial administration on Pallas can be divided between three leading figures:

- The Planetary Governor / Imperial Commander, a hardass ex-General who's all about putting the boot in the restive populace while promoting other ex-Guard into positions of power, while not being particularly brutal or corrupt by Imperial Commander standards. His most direct antagonism is with the Mechanicus for their perceived lack of support during the war and for their jealous control over the planetary networks. No one except the Mechanicus has an exact idea of how pervasive the network is, but he knows enough to know that it would help his rule a great deal if control was in his hands. He also disagrees with the local Archbishop over the kid gloves treatment of the natives, but knows that he can't do without the Ecclesiarchy's propaganda and cultural assimilation efforts. And of course, he and the Guard are much more likely to be good devout Imperial cultists, which means the Archbishops holds a certain amount of moral authority over him still.

A point to consider is the homeworld culture(s) from which all these ex-Guard veteran settlers come from, which provides a much more direct avenue for culture clash with Pallas.

- The Ecclesiarch / Archbishop, who as Siege suggests can be a canny propagandist who takes converting these ~*sophisticated*~ worlds as his specialty, and has already drawn up a centuries-long plan to be carried out even in his absence. (And thanks to the anti-agathics the Imperium provides to its faithful servants, this won't happen any time soon) He's probably also a master rhetorician and theologian by any standard, but his job would be a lot easier if he didn't have to go through the Mechanicus to interrogate the imago on the finer points of native beliefs and traditions, or if the Mechanicus, who are basically tolerated heretics as far as the Ecclesiarchy is concerned, didn't have such an outsized presence in general.

- The Archmagos of the Mechanicum congregation, who is of course smugly getting into everyone's business and looks forward to getting away with even more once they fully crack the network.

And gliding like a shark between the other Imperial factions is of course the Inquisitor and her own network of agents and assets, sorting out a rogue psyker here, giving a guest lecture at the protagonists' high school there, and generally following the finest =][= tradition of playing everyone against each other.
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:09 am

speaker-to-trolls wrote:
And the Rebel will say 'I don't understand this power, so I'll stay away from it, for now, but it is a force of nature, and any force in nature can be understood and harnessed. If I have to, I'll harness any force I can. To OBLITERATE THE IMPERIUM!!!' :P *
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speaker-to-trolls
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:32 pm

Invictus wrote:A point to consider is the homeworld culture(s) from which all these ex-Guard veteran settlers come from, which provides a much more direct avenue for culture clash with Pallas.
I had an idea for a regiment, vague as it is, called the 123rd Keprean Scarabs, a vaguely Egyptian themed unit with an emphasis on grenadiers and demolition teams, heavy infantry. Like the Elysian Drop Troops or the Volpones they would come from noble families and consider service in the Guard to be an honour, they would also look down on many other Guard regiments. Basically the kind of Guardsmen who would adapt most easily to becoming a government.

(to add a bit of character; they are specifically expert tunnel fighters, this comes from the fact that while they dress up as pharaohs, they are descended from grave robbers who got rich plundering the archaeotombs of their ancestors, fighting off guard robots and then flogging the stuff they found to the highest bidder. The great houses still have turf wars over the catacombs which double up as training excercises)

I also considered the Ad Mech might push for a Tallarn or other mechanised unit to join the new warlord class, since they'd presumably be friendlier to the Techies than usual footsloggers.

On the topic of the Ad Mech and Ecclesiarchy and the wider setting around this system, I had this thought; maybe the crusade as a whole was to reclaim this region (The Daiva Chain) which was a string of Dark Age colonies discovered by the Ad Mech when they interrogated an ancient database. A lot of these colonies have now been overrun by orks, others have dropped behind technologically, Pallas is really the only one the Techies are particularly interested in (this is open to change, maybe there are other advanced worlds on the Chain and maybe the whole thing was part of another, post-Strife empire that got smashed by the orks/something else. Could that have been a Squat empire?)

In any case there's a long intermission between discovering this place and the beginning of the crusade, during which time the Ecclesiarchy starts missionising some of the human planets. The bishop could, just to shake things up, actually have been opposed to the crusade, just not too vocally, because as far as he's concerned the cogboys and the military are blundering in and smashing all his careful work.

The Ad Mech were determined to get this crusade going though, they wanted to look into these places and hunt for an STC or two, while the Sector Commanders wanted glory for their families by conquering new worlds and clearing the greenskins out of the region. Incidentally, the Chain arguably overlaps the Artana and Perseus sectors, and while the Ad Mech may have stalled the Crusade by dawdling on Pallas, it's coffin was nailed shut by the two sectors' admin adepts and nobles deciding that now was a good time to sort out exactly which systems went to whom.

Nonetheless, the Bishop, in addition to his moral authority, is also an important figure because his Temple of the Future Emperor is probably the only major group of natives loyal to the Imperium out of real belief, not cynical self interest.
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Invictus
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Invictus » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:05 pm

speaker-to-trolls wrote:I had an idea for a regiment, vague as it is, called the 123rd Keprean Scarabs, a vaguely Egyptian themed unit with an emphasis on grenadiers and demolition teams, heavy infantry. Like the Elysian Drop Troops or the Volpones they would come from noble families and consider service in the Guard to be an honour, they would also look down on many other Guard regiments. Basically the kind of Guardsmen who would adapt most easily to becoming a government.

(to add a bit of character; they are specifically expert tunnel fighters, this comes from the fact that while they dress up as pharaohs, they are descended from grave robbers who got rich plundering the archaeotombs of their ancestors, fighting off guard robots and then flogging the stuff they found to the highest bidder. The great houses still have turf wars over the catacombs which double up as training excercises)
That sounds great.
speaker-to-trolls wrote:I also considered the Ad Mech might push for a Tallarn or other mechanised unit to join the new warlord class, since they'd presumably be friendlier to the Techies than usual footsloggers.
KRIEGERS

Or well, Armageddon Steel Legion. I remember the Tallarns being more horse cavalry, while Armageddonites come from a proper hive world where the deserts are just layers of factory ash, and have lots of Ork-fighting experience to boot.
speaker-to-trolls wrote:The Ad Mech were determined to get this crusade going though, they wanted to look into these places and hunt for an STC or two, while the Sector Commanders wanted glory for their families by conquering new worlds and clearing the greenskins out of the region. Incidentally, the Chain arguably overlaps the Artana and Perseus sectors, and while the Ad Mech may have stalled the Crusade by dawdling on Pallas, it's coffin was nailed shut by the two sectors' admin adepts and nobles deciding that now was a good time to sort out exactly which systems went to whom.
Well, that explains why the AdMech were willing to pony up so many Knights to begin with. Hell, Pallas with its considerable industry and rollerblade mecha would be a great world to raise fresh regiments for the Crusade, but I imagine that Mechanicus aren't eager to establish a precedent for the Administratum just taking men and machines from the industries they want to control like that. And the Planetary Governor's probably not very keen about re-arming the perfidious Pallasians this soon either.
speaker-to-trolls wrote:Nonetheless, the Bishop, in addition to his moral authority, is also an important figure because his Temple of the Future Emperor is probably the only major group of natives loyal to the Imperium out of real belief, not cynical self interest.
This poses an interesting conundrum. I can see several usual ways for the Ecclesiarchy to convert a newly conquered population - with pervasive propaganda and censorship, which can't work in Pallas' case because that's tied to the planetary networks which the AdMech have tied down, and any imported Imperial alternative media network isn't likely to be attractive to Pallasians; with education and indoctrination, which is going on with all those new schools but is going to take generations but the Crusade needs a loyal, contributing world right away; with dispensing charity to the destitute, which is less effective as usual on a world as advanced and as relatively bloodlessly conquered as Pallas; which leaves us the Psy-Buddha Cult as something to be expanded into something the entire non-psyker population can follow.

But then you can also imagine why the wider Ecclesiarchy might be nervous about forming the local Imperial cult around something like psykers. That's a quick trip to Chaosville.

Related to this, a potential character/plot hook:

A Pallasian psyker who was one of those taken from the Hermitage by the Black Ships, beheld the face of Holy Terra, was found worthy of +SOUL BINDING+ and was thus blessed by the Emperor's own light, and now returns to Pallas as a kind of celebrity living saint, performing spectacular miracles under tight supervision to sway the populace to the Promised Return. She is delicate, blind and angelic in countenance. A kind of 40K Lacus Clyne.

But hang on - maybe it's a given that all her performances are carefully choreographed and she would be surrounded by handlers who are ready to kill her at a moment's notice, but is she really what she is advertised to be? It's not like the records from the psyker orphanage are readily available, except to the protagonist and her powers. And what does *she* really think under all the propaganda, assuming that she isn't drugged up to her gills or thrown into a stasis field when not in public or kept in line with the very best in Imperial cortical bomb technology? And is she a real psyker anyway and her shows aren't actually done by elaborate anti-grav and forcefield tricks built into her baroque bone-covered wheelchair?
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Booted Vulture
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Re: Random Ideas X, Random Hard With a Vengeance

Post by Booted Vulture » Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:55 am

I have next to know 40K knowledge.

Plus I'm a hack so anything I write now would turn in to a pale immitation of mass effect. perhaps crossed with honor harrington and the power armour of Edge Of Tommorrow.

I had had an idea for a zero-g boarding scene. You could have fun with a firefight on an spaceship exterior. Magfoots and tethers and waldoes being used and countered to try and keep hold of the ship or chuck people clear.
Ah Brother! It's been too long!

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