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testosteronicon
24-08-2008, 15:23
I don't know a lot of nid fluff but hope some of you guys could answer some questions:

As far as I've understood they create cults that don't really know they're a part of the swarm but stage revolutions/rebellions on the worlds prior to consumption.

1) But does these cults interrogate and give information to the hive tyrant's?

2) Do the nids ever talk to their enemies (through hypnotized humans etc)?

3) Do they sometimes capture and enhance enemies, then make uber soldiers of them (as happend to Kerrigan in the Starcraft game when the Zerg got her) ?

If the latter is correct then my hive fleet will be more than happy to include a Broodlord/former commisar!!!! :D

Magos Explorator
24-08-2008, 16:00
I was under the impression that Genestealer Cults essentially acted as a "homing beacon" for Tyranid fleets, and that the Genestealers themselves may not be actively aware of this role. The cultists would then be primed to rise up and revolt within the Imperial planet shortly before the Tyranids arrive, so the world is weakened and divided and so easier for the fleet to destroy resistance. Presumably the cultists just get consumed by the Hive Fleet along with the rest of the organic matter on the planet.

I don't know of direct communication between cultists and other Tyranid entities.

Gorbad Ironclaw
24-08-2008, 16:35
It's pretty much a no to all of those questions.

Now Nids will consume and use any good genes they find in an enemy, but it would be inside a nid creature. The only time you get 'half-breeds' so to speak is with a 'Stealer Cult.

And while these cults help and guide the Tyranid invasion, they don't meet up with a Tyrant and brief it or anything like that, they just send a psychic beacon that here is good feeding. And then the Nids eats everything, including cultists.

As for talking to humans, obviously the 'Stealer Cults do, Tyranids themselves don't. They can't, and they probably wouldn't even get the idea. Not that there is any need for them to do it either.

Badger[Fr]
24-08-2008, 16:48
2) Do the nids ever talk to their enemies (through hypnotized humans etc)?
The Zoats used to, but AFAIK, they've been retconned. An old 40k novel (I can't remember its title right now) featured a passage in which a Zoat explained to Space Marines that the Great Devourer came to purge the whole galaxy from those unclean conscious beings whose thoughts trouble the Warp.

Alessander
24-08-2008, 16:50
Originally, Genestealers and their cults were not connected to Tyranids. In fact, they were invented before the 'nids where (in the 1989 Space Hulk board game).

A single Genestealer infects some humans, who are then brainwashed to breed and create hybrids. Eventually the third and fourth generation hybrids look like humans and, with lots of numbers, are able to infiltrate a world's political hierarchy. Eventually open revolt happens, which automatically sends out a "food here" signal to the hive fleets.

After a hive invasion is complete, EVERYTHING is killed and broken down to be consumed by the hive ships. The cults that attracted it (although old Space-Hulk fluff states that the original Genestealer Patriarch that created the cult will be long gone and infecting another world by the time a revolt happens), and even the tyranid armies. Tyranids swarms are not moved back in to the hive ship they were launched from, but broken down and re-absorbed. Meaning that every Ripper, Carnifex and Tyrant is pretty much a newborn for an invasion, and then reabsorbed after the invasion. Everything is controlled by the hive-mind, a single entity. Tyrants are not leaders, but just foci for the hive-mind. An entire swarm, even an entire fleet is basically part of one being-the hive mind.

Remember that the majority of a planet's bio-mass is the atmosphere, oceans and fauna (if any). The sentient creatures (humans, in our cases) putting up resistance are just a tiny fraction of the world's bio-mass. The Tyranid swarms unleashed are also insignifigant compared to the bio-mass of the planet, so destroying and recyling them isn't of much concequence to the hive ships and the swarm overall.


;2891612']The Zoats used to, but AFAIK, they've been retconned. An old 40k novel (I can't remember its title right now) featured a passage in which a Zoat explained to Space Marines that the Great Devourer came to purge the whole galaxy from those unclean conscious beings whose thoughts trouble the Warp.

Sort of. Zoats were never part of the Tyranid race, but a slave race. GW got rid of them in both their 40K and WFB settings.

TheRoadWarrior
24-08-2008, 17:15
i thought that the bigger the cult is, the "brighter" the signal is in the warp, or somethng like that.

testosteronicon
24-08-2008, 17:41
So there is no proof in the background for nids that can justify a nifty conversion of an imperial agent into a super biocreature...:cries:

well, well. More time to paint awesome carnifexes then

Radium
24-08-2008, 18:03
... Meaning that every Ripper, Carnifex and Tyrant is pretty much a newborn for an invasion, and then reabsorbed after the invasion.

I believe 3rd ed. codex stated some of the greater beasts (tyrants, fexes, and FW stuff) are transported on bio ships, as growing them anew with every invasion would take too much time.
Of course, knowing GW, this has probably been changed in the new codex.

Charax
24-08-2008, 18:09
Some of the larger creatures are certainly carried in stasis from planet to planet, otherwise Tyranid Attack would have been the most boring game ever

heretics bane
24-08-2008, 18:17
There kinda like the scouting parties of the 'nids, they end up on said world, start a few cults up and when the nids are about they turn on their locators and it steers the hive fleets towards the planet.

Messiah
24-08-2008, 18:57
Some of the larger creatures are certainly carried in stasis from planet to planet, otherwise Tyranid Attack would have been the most boring game ever

I doubt it, there are probably eggs all over the bioships ready to hatch if an enemy boards the vessel.

ctsteel
24-08-2008, 21:54
A single Genestealer infects some humans, who are then brainwashed to breed and create hybrids. Eventually the third and fourth generation hybrids look like humans and, with lots of numbers, are able to infiltrate a world's political hierarchy.

I am pretty sure this is the other way round - the first few generations (being mostly infected humans) are very close to human with some mutations, and each subsequent generation has more mutation. And by the time you get to about sixth or seventh generation, you start getting close to pure genestealers. So they become closer to purestrain with each generation.

Cartographer
24-08-2008, 22:43
I am pretty sure this is the other way round - the first few generations (being mostly infected humans) are very close to human with some mutations, and each subsequent generation has more mutation. And by the time you get to about sixth or seventh generation, you start getting close to pure genestealers. So they become closer to purestrain with each generation.

Unfortunately not, the first and second generation hybrids are the most "Stealer-like", with the third and forth generation hybrids the most human like. Fifth generation onwards could be anything from pure-strain Genestealer through the various hybrids or even human (albeit an "infected" human). Odd from a genetic standpoint, but that's what was written.

On a side note, Zoats weren't exactly retconned, they're in the current Tyranid codex as one of the forgotten fleets iirc, that was wiped out in short order by the Imperium.
(just be glad Squigs are back to being entirely "Orky" and not a result of Tyranid genetic manipulation of Ork DNA... that and the Zoat inclusion in the Hive fleets were some high points for WD background...)

Firaxin
24-08-2008, 22:53
I am pretty sure this is the other way round - the first few generations (being mostly infected humans) are very close to human with some mutations, and each subsequent generation has more mutation. And by the time you get to about sixth or seventh generation, you start getting close to pure genestealers. So they become closer to purestrain with each generation.

Correct, although I think it's closer to four generations before true genestealers start being birthed.

testosteronicon, if you want to model your broodlord as a commissar and stay true to the fluff, I would reccomend saying that its a Magus which 'counts as' a broodlord. The Magus in a 'stealer cult is second in importance only to the Patriarch (which is a pure genestealer), because the Magus looks like a human and can communicate with the non-stealer population, acting as the cult's voice. It's also a strong psyker, which would account for the broodlord's synapse rule.

ctsteel
24-08-2008, 22:54
Unfortunately not, the first and second generation hybrids are the most "Stealer-like", with the third and forth generation hybrids the most human like. Fifth generation onwards could be anything from pure-strain Genestealer through the various hybrids or even human (albeit an "infected" human). Odd from a genetic standpoint, but that's what was written.

kinda makes some sense though - the initial couple of generations produce warrior breeds to protect the broodlord (edit: patriarch I mean), once that is attained, the next couple of generations are built for infiltration and spreading the infection. With subsequent generations producing whatever is deemed most required.

Firaxin
25-08-2008, 00:14
kinda makes some sense though - the initial couple of generations produce warrior breeds to protect the broodlord (edit: patriarch I mean), once that is attained, the next couple of generations are built for infiltration and spreading the infection. With subsequent generations producing whatever is deemed most required.

But what you're saying is:

F1: Pure humans give birth to Pure genestealers
F2: Pure genestealers give birth to hybrids
F3: Hybrids give birth to more human hybrids
F4: Hybrids give birth to pure humans

:wtf:

In many cases the patriarch is not even present at the beginning, so there would be no need to protect him. Besides, you're trying to mantain stealth and secrecy at the beginning cause you're not yet strong enough to call the hive fleet. If the patriarch was discovered that early it wouldn't matter how many bodyguards he had.

ctsteel
25-08-2008, 07:36
well that wasn't my initial assertion, but I was looking at the other poster's suggestion that it was different to my idea and trying to find the logic. I haven't read the stuff he has so I have no direct basis to contradict him.

I can see the possibility of either, though I'm more inclined to follow my original thoughts on later generation = more genestealer-like as this fits with other things I have read about the spread of the cult over time, going from infected drones to full stealers if left long enough.

But (taking the other viewpoint for a moment) given the ability of the nids to manipulate genetics, why wouldn't they be able to selectively choose the genetic makeup of the offspring? The initial implanted hosts might be just a delivery mechanism for the genestealer DNA, so you get a closer to pure genestealer immediately.

I still think my first thoughts fit better but I'm willing to look at both angles.

pinegulf
25-08-2008, 10:57
I got one stupid question. If stealers are apart of Nid race then why in evolutionary point of view does this 'lure'-ability of stealers survive? I mean every place that gets inflitrated by stealers will be eaten/sterilised. Or could it be that stealers are 'slave'-race driven before the actual swarm? Maybe they aren't as evil as they seem... -Hmm-

Griefbringer
25-08-2008, 11:10
The genestealer cults are perfectly able to spread themselves to other worlds before the big 'nid invasion force (or the wrath of Imperium) shows up, presuming that they can get their hands on some spacecraft.

Slaaneshi Slave
25-08-2008, 11:10
Gene Stealers (lamest name ever, really) broadcast a psychic signal to the fleets, which drawns them to their location.

ctsteel
25-08-2008, 11:31
random thoughts ahead, proceed with caution.....

I wonder if back in the dim mists of time (possibly back as far as the war against the necrontyr), the hive mind sent out the original genestealers in all directions from their originating galaxy, somewhat like flinging seeds across a field and waiting to see what sprouts. The genestealers were in a raw state, inside mycetic spore pods or such, and once they cross the vast void between galaxies (or got pulled into a warp rift etc) and landed on a planet or ship/hulk, they awoke and went looking for the local genetic material to bond with.

The end result is an organism that can adapt itself to the 'local' (in galactic terms) conditions and races, and can then be in a position to spread itself around and raise the psychic signal to the waiting hive fleets, watching from their dead galaxy for their seeds to sprout and call them to harvest.

The alternative to this is that the hive fleets move on constantly and just fling the seeds out directly in front of them at the next galaxy, to prepare for their imminent arrival. This would make sense in terms of not having to wait aeons before they can arrive at the signal, but it could have the side effect of them arriving in a dead galaxy and having nothing to consume. I imagine this is reduced somewhat by them being able to consume anything, rather than just living beings.

NashTrickster
25-08-2008, 12:08
In many cases the patriarch is not even present at the beginningMy turn to use this smiley: :wtf:
"Patriarch" is the name given to the 'Stealer who infected the first humans of a particular cult, so it would necessarily been present at the very beginning! I'll grant you that it wouldn't have "changed" yet (becoming bloated and gaining psychic powers) but it'd still be "the Patriarch"...

And, here is how it works according to the official fluff:
The 'Stealer infects several human hosts, their genes are modified and their offspring, the first generation, will be half human, half 'Stealer.
The second generation will have less of the 'Stealer in its appearance but still sport some obvious marks of the infection that can't be easily hidden; like extra arms, chitin plates, etc...
The third generation will have the basic shape of a human but can't really pass for humans at close range. Their skin color and/or texture, their skull shape, and other such details will appear "wrong" under close scrutiny.
The fourth will see the birth of (almost) completely human looking Brood members (there may still a few subtle hints of the 'Stealer gene apparent) and particularly of the "true"* psychic members of the Cult, the Magus (Magi)...
The fifth generation will produce purestrain 'Stealers.

[* - the others just share a telepathic link with the Patriarch.]

And as far as logic is concerned:
If you mean "genetic logic" then what can you possibly know of xenos genetics? It may take four generations for the 'Stealer genes to learn to reproduce a correct "fake" of the host! Thus, while the ratio of 'Stealer genes to host genes has been in fact increasing through these generations, they "look" more and more human. (That would explain why the 5th generation is purestrain.)
And if you mean logic "from a tactical PoV", at the point of the first generation, the cult is made only of 3 types: the Patriarch, the infectees (who are 100% human and thus are the perfect infiltrators), and their hybrid offspring, which is more than able to defend itself. Makes sense from a tactical PoV IMO...

Abaddonshand
25-08-2008, 13:41
Cannon fluff from the Black Library book Xenology is that Genestealers are harbingers of the Hivefleets. Every genestealer could in effect become a broodlord or patriarch (the Magus is different, he needs to be born of hybrids), all they need to do is infect enough humans, and then ensure the humans breed producing hybrids. In this way, if even one purestrain genestealer survives to make planet fall, it can result in a full blown cult, suggesting that purestrains have a far higher intellect than they are given credit for (they can remain incognito in human society for one!)

After infected humans breed, their children are little more than animals, with brief lives filled with fighting and further breeding. (first gen)

Their children are "truest of predators" and can be selectively bred, again illustrating the intellect of the patriarch/ broodlord who is orchestrating this. (second gen)

The third 3rd gen can be whatever they are required to be, and there are far less genetic flaws than previous gens (a problem with all hybrids, in real life too, they are generally sterile). These are highly intelligent and powerful, but can arguably pass as human without close scrutiny.

Next, the fouth gen is the purest form of hybrid, able to pass fully as humans, yet being linked to the Patriarch/ Broodlord through the same brood telepathy as all others. Having the strength and speed of stealers, combined with human understanding of technology, able to utilise high level tech (unlike the others, who are pretty much stumped at anything higher than autopistols or shotguns etc). It is in this generation that the Magus is usual found, at this point he is needed (and can be created out of the purest genepool) to commence large scale inflitration of human society, with churches and religions to the "Skymother" being control by him as front for inflitration.

The 5th, and final generation are purestrain stealers, and then it all begins again, with the "Purii" infecting more humans on the planet in question, or being smuggled to other planets to spread the infection, and become Patriarchs or Broodlords themselves.

Every tyranid, including the purestrain stealers all send signals constantly to the hivemind, but when there are only a handfull of purestrains on a world of 6.6 billion say (;)), the signal is relatively weak. Every hybrid who is born (of all generations) and every inflected human increases the signal, until the hivemind judges it strong enough to commence an assault. That's when the hivefleets turn their attentions to the planet.

N.B. Some of the above has also be gathered from 2nd, 3rd and 4th ed tyranid codexs.