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MrBigMr
05-01-2008, 00:43
So the Imperium uses Astropaths to keep up with world events, bound to the Emperor. It says in the rulebook that it's the only ways for a psycher to communicate via the Warp.

So, how does Chaos do it, taken that they most likely can't hack through the Emperor? I've heard something about Dark Astropaths. Do they differ from normal ones? Do they tap into something else? Mangus contacted the Emperor via sorcery, so would sorcerers be able to send stuff from place to place.


And few related questions:
-How does Astropath communication really work? The rulebook talked about dreams and visions, but can they transmit raw data? Pictures, videos, audio, schematics and things like that.
-How is the data sent and received? You just give an Astropath a message to send and (s)he'll just work something up, or is the thing faxed just like it is via some machine with the Astropath being the transmitter?
-How long are the ranges Astropaths are used at? Probably not for local calls, but planet to planet? Inner system to the outer system? Planet to a fleet outside of the system, but near it?
-Is there max range on the things, or is it just about how deep the Astropath is willing to go in the Warp?

Malevon
05-01-2008, 00:53
I can't answer your questions about Chaos Astropaths with any certainty, besides to say that most beings with who don't have to worry about being corrupted by the Warp are able to use it more fully than those who have to fear it; also most Daemons don't have to obey the laws of space and time, and can exit the warp at any location they want, in any time period they want, as well as having limited knowledge of the future. (At least according to Black Library.) Therefore any forces directly aligned with daemons might not have need of Astropaths.

I can speak with a little more certainty about the actual workings of Astropaths, however. They have ports in their skull that hook them up to machinery to amplify their powers and receive data. Using this machinery, they can send hard data from computers, and probably transmit schematics and things. Although they are still of use without this machinery, evidenced by their presence in Inquisitor retinues, I am not sure to what extent. Their communications without machinery might be restricted to simple warnings and messages (not detailed reports or data) and probably is more restricted in range. I don't know if there is a definitive restriction on range of Astropathic communication, but I can say with some certainty that they can transmit data within a sub-sector.

Hope that helps you.

Captin Korea!
05-01-2008, 01:02
Wouldn't chaos use sorcery or daemons to get in and out of the warp? The farther the Astropath goes in the warp the more likely he'll end up dead.

MrBigMr
05-01-2008, 01:08
Yes it does, thank you.

As to daemons, I wouldn't put the importanse of communication with vast armies across star systems into their hands. They'd screw it up on purpose, even if you'd have them by their balls and chained up to a vox caster.

Malevon
05-01-2008, 01:33
You're right about daemons. I guess the means of communication of a Heretical outfit would depend upon its situation; a group of renegade Imperial Guards or a radical Inquisitor who mostly have access to Imperial technology would probably have the same methods as they did before going rogue, but a Chaos Space Marine legion with access to powerful sorcerers and warp technology might utilize it. Alternatively, Heretical forces are much more likely to be lone warbands or isolated cults with much less need for communication than the organized forces of the Imperium.

MadDogMike
05-01-2008, 04:18
Yes it does, thank you.

As to daemons, I wouldn't put the importanse of communication with vast armies across star systems into their hands. They'd screw it up on purpose, even if you'd have them by their balls and chained up to a vox caster.

It depends; the new codex did mention Possessed assisted sorcerors with navigating the Warp, so they might also help with communications (assuming the sorcerors can't just handle that themselves). Possessed at least have daemons that have a vested interest in helping, since if they screw over their hosts they screw over their own joyride into the Materium.

As for Astropaths themselves, there have been plenty of pics/videos I can think of in the fluff that were sent via astropathic signals, so they can obviously handle more than just straight text messages. I'm expect that requires the machines mentioned by Malevon to handle, but relaying a dictated message they can do without a mechanism to interpret the data stream. They also have some basic psyker skills, so that + their ability to handle simple messages without assistance is probably why Inquisitors often have them around. As for signalling itself, I don't think it's a question of diving into the Warp so much as basically producing a loud "yell" that can be heard at a distance. So the range probably depends on the strength of the Astropath in question. I imagine the noted risks to Astropaths in the fluff come mainly from the fact that they're "loud" enough to attract more notice from daemons than psykers just using their powers locally, and by definition they have a weaker level of control over their powers since the binding to the Emperor was done to strengthen said control. I'm assuming there must be some specialized training involved in actually sending a signal though also (probably to learn how to aim it in particular) which is why other psykers use the Astropaths to relay messages rather than screw with sending messages with their own powers.

Kage2020
05-01-2008, 18:10
As normal, "the warp did it" is the answer. ;)

For Chaos cultists, though, sorcery seems the more likely response to interstellar communication, as well as the time honoured use of couriers. Of course, I would argue that exactly the same premise is going on with Astropaths and that, despite the mind-machine interface, they are not sending out binary or compressed files with graphics or whatever. ;) Thus, when you've got something important and big to send, you use a courier.

For me, anyway.

Kage

nurgle_boy
05-01-2008, 18:33
clearly, chaos communicate with A.I.M. Astropath Instant Messenger :D

I imagine that if the chaos gods will it, they will simply make a clear path in the warp for a traitor psyker (if the message is important, such as an invitation to the next black crusade) to send it through.

I can also imagine them using some sort of rig using captured and enslaved psykers, being tortured, although this may not be as reliable.

Also, I imagine chaos use Torrents as well... They seem to have a multitude of corrupted files on them at least :D

Griffin
05-01-2008, 18:43
Well the Chaos codex mentions that Chaos sorcerers use Possessed to navigate the warp easier - I assume a Dark astropath can do the same in one of a few ways. My thoughts:

1. Even the smallest daemon is immensely powerful in the warp - maby they use them to sort of over charge to send a message long distance.

2. Daemon Messenger - pop him a message, and he takes it where it's needed.

3. Maby sorcery isn't as bound by distance as Psyker energy since they often make a distinction between the difference of the two. Maby sorcery can reach longer distances.

4. Maby joining chaos has club benefits, like them Gods helping em fellers out with some calm warp paths for a good old long distance chat.


I dunno - anythings possible I suppose.

Finnith
05-01-2008, 20:45
Theres also the tried and tested altar/virgin/chanting method which seems to be pretty good at getting messages across from the warp. Instantaneous since you can talk directly to the demon you need or that wants a word with you. The demon can then drop the information directly into your head on a need to know basis.

Dont think you even need a psyker for it, just a bloke in a cowl chanting the words read from a book bound with human skin or whatever was to hand at the time.

Sounds more reliable, easier and ethical than trying to sort out a mobile phone contract thats for sure.

Supremearchmarshal
05-01-2008, 21:55
So the Imperium uses Astropaths to keep up with world events, bound to the Emperor. It says in the rulebook that it's the only ways for a psycher to communicate via the Warp.

So, how does Chaos do it, taken that they most likely can't hack through the Emperor? I've heard something about Dark Astropaths. Do they differ from normal ones? Do they tap into something else? Mangus contacted the Emperor via sorcery, so would sorcerers be able to send stuff from place to place.

3 ways I can think of: enslaved Astropaths, Sorcerers (maybe - Magnus is much more powerful than a normal Sorcerer) and Daemons.


And few related questions:
-How does Astropath communication really work? The rulebook talked about dreams and visions, but can they transmit raw data? Pictures, videos, audio, schematics and things like that.

He must be able to do it somehow - how would the Imperium be able to organize a crusade or coordinate the defence of a sector if the Astropath cannot send raw data?


-How is the data sent and received? You just give an Astropath a message to send and (s)he'll just work something up, or is the thing faxed just like it is via some machine with the Astropath being the transmitter?

The first, as I remember from BL novels. I seem to recall that the Astropath may misinterpret the message - or maybe even deliberately change it.


-How long are the ranges Astropaths are used at? Probably not for local calls, but planet to planet? Inner system to the outer system? Planet to a fleet outside of the system, but near it?

not sure, but I think only for interstellar communication.


-Is there max range on the things, or is it just about how deep the Astropath is willing to go in the Warp?

As far as I know the only limit is the Galaxy - I vaguely recall some old fluff about those trying to communicate across the empty space between galaxies being driven mad by the vastness of the void or something like that. Also messages may get distorted over long distances, or lost alltogether, but that's the Warp for ya.

MrBigMr
05-01-2008, 23:31
3 ways I can think of: enslaved Astropaths, Sorcerers (maybe - Magnus is much more powerful than a normal Sorcerer) and Daemons.
Could there be corrupted astropaths? Some who work willingly, rather than be all chained up? I wouldn't trust daemons nor sorcery with important tactical things. Imperium isn't the only thing that needs to coordinate its movements. Large scale Chaos operations and crusades most likely also need more than just a billion crazy heads and someone to point them into a direction.


Also messages may get distorted over long distances, or lost alltogether, but that's the Warp for ya.
Still beats the postal service anyday.

Lucifer216
05-01-2008, 23:59
Don't forget the method used in Lord of the Night. Ie. Stick a big lead helmet on an astropath. Torture him brutally, causing loads of demons in the warp to flock to him. Rench helmet off, give message, execute Astropath. Result: Message gets broadcasted in all directions by the warp itself.

Got to love Zhao Sahaal.

Ave Dominus Nox!

MrBigMr
06-01-2008, 00:50
The problem with methods like execution of astropaths and sacrificing a virgin every time you need to make a call (Slaanesh worshiper would say "screw the message and screw the virgin"), is that they're not really plausible as an average day things. Surely forces not as chaosy as tentacle growing daemonlovers would have access to more sensible things. Those true Chaos nutcases would propably use such methods just for the kicks.

Sounds like such things were made to make the universe seem darker, like how Imperial ships seremoniously send slaves to die in the reactors in order to prepare for the next jump. Do you really thing it's a common practise? I doubt it.

Sebastian Thor
06-01-2008, 01:19
Well, how do species like the Tau, who haven't managed to work the warp yet manage their communication? OK, it's a much smaller empire, but still, it's a long way between the stars for a messenger to travel pre-warp.

MrBigMr
06-01-2008, 01:48
Well, how do species like the Tau, who haven't managed to work the warp yet manage their communication? OK, it's a much smaller empire, but still, it's a long way between the stars for a messenger to travel pre-warp.
There was a long talk on the matter and most likely form was an messanger ship (most likely automated drone ship) that patrolled different systems/septs and up/downloaded stuff from place to another. Military and goverment information was probably transported via couriers.

In system communication shouldn't be a problem. So it takes some time for the signal to reach another planet or something, but other than that it shouldn't be a problem. No cybering with your sweetheart, but a sort of email like communication either via text or audio/visual means could be possible.

Kage2020
06-01-2008, 05:12
If only Portent was open and we had access to the "Imperial Pony Express" thread. ;)

Kage

zerachiel
06-01-2008, 05:25
From what I remember from the Space Marine codexes, Librarians are capable of communicating via the Warp, and handle long-distance communications for their Chapter. Since Librarians that turn to Chaos become Sorcerors (or dead), I believe Sorcerors will also have this ability.

plasticfrog
06-01-2008, 07:16
As for range.... I recall that such things as Astropathic Relay Stations exist. So clearly range for Imperial Astropaths is not unlimited.

Supremearchmarshal
06-01-2008, 11:58
Could there be corrupted astropaths? Some who work willingly, rather than be all chained up? I wouldn't trust daemons nor sorcery with important tactical things. Imperium isn't the only thing that needs to coordinate its movements. Large scale Chaos operations and crusades most likely also need more than just a billion crazy heads and someone to point them into a direction.

I think it would be very rare for Astropaths to work willingly for Chaos, since they have to be soul-bound with the Emperor. A few might resent that they have become essentially tools for the Imperium and become blind, and decide to turn against the Imperium, though.


Still beats the postal service anyday.

:D


As for range.... I recall that such things as Astropathic Relay Stations exist. So clearly range for Imperial Astropaths is not unlimited.

Ok, I checked the RT rulebook, they could send messages of only up to 10 words up to a distance of 50,000 light years. Of course, this is really old fluff so it may have been changed. Also, the relay stations could exist to help the messages stay clear.

Burnthem
06-01-2008, 12:17
Ok, I checked the RT rulebook, they could send messages of only up to 10 words up to a distance of 50,000 light years. Of course, this is really old fluff so it may have been changed. Also, the relay stations could exist to help the messages stay clear.

I dont think that applies anymore, the fluff contains many examples of Astropaths sending more than just a few words.

Also Astropaths dont have to understand a message to send it, meaning they are also a fairly secure means of communication.

The Eisenhorn trilogy contains alot of good bits about Astropaths, especially the strain they go through to retreive an especially weak or damaged signal.

MrBigMr
06-01-2008, 12:22
From what I remember from the Space Marine codexes, Librarians are capable of communicating via the Warp, and handle long-distance communications for their Chapter. Since Librarians that turn to Chaos become Sorcerors (or dead), I believe Sorcerors will also have this ability.
I on the other hand read about SM astropaths (not marines, but astropaths working for the marines), but it's an old old piece, so might not hold any truth nowadays.

Burnthem
06-01-2008, 13:26
Marines do have Astropaths, its just Librarians also have the ability to send astropathic signals, the range depending on their training/strength/talent etc

FrankManic
07-01-2008, 10:56
I wonder if bored astrophaths play astrophone, sending out a nonesense psychic message and waiting to see what garbled version comes back to them. Or maybe they play space-chess, or exchange pie recipes.

Burnthem
07-01-2008, 10:58
Haha, Astropaths prank calling each other, LOL :)

Supremearchmarshal
07-01-2008, 11:06
I dont think that applies anymore, the fluff contains many examples of Astropaths sending more than just a few words.

I agree - it was rather impractical to limit them in such a way.

Kage2020
07-01-2008, 18:07
If anything, in the newer material the distance has decreased dramatically and the amount of information increased. I do not, however, think that the smaller amount of words is in any way impractical, but rather reinforces what the Astropathic Network is there for: priviledged communication.

Kage