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TheDireAvenger
08-07-2010, 14:59
Imperials always wear them and Grey Knights literally paster their Dreadnoughts and their armour with them.

But do they actually do anything? Is it like garlic to Vampires but to Chaos instead?

I think they are highly iffy and I'm wondering if they actually work.

The Inevitable One
08-07-2010, 15:08
They don't do anything other than symbolize that your free from the taint of Chaos.

RCgothic
08-07-2010, 15:09
It can hurt daemons to be near such strong declarations of faith. Those purity seals are another weapon in the grey knight's arsenal.

TheDireAvenger
08-07-2010, 15:10
They don't do anything other than symbolize that your free from the taint of Chaos.

Wow, like that helps. :eyebrows:

Bloodknight
08-07-2010, 15:14
So what, they're religious icons. I've heard of people who kiss their Christophorus medals when they get into their car. As if that helps...or putting one of those Ichthys stickers on the bumper - all it does is telling the people behind you that you're most probably a slow and insecure driver (at least that's my experience with people sporting these bumper stickers) who thinks that this has some protective effect. Of course it doesn't. That doesn't mean you can't believe in it.

To arch back to topic: they think it does something. Just as the AdMech thinks that singing to a lasgun would do something good. It's religion, it doesn't have to make sense.

Hunger
08-07-2010, 15:20
In game terms they are visual representations (for your sake) of a non-physical aspect of the model, such as his ability/personality/devotion etc, in the same way as the crux terminatus badge. The model's fighting prowess does not improve because he sticks the badge on his armour, the badge is a representation of his veteran status and testament to his skill.

In fluff terms, the purity seals represent the model's purity and strength of character - his devotion to the Emperor and to his battle brothers, and his iron willpower that will hold firm in the face of horrifying enemies. Its got nothing to do with Chaos - chapters don't need to mark out which of their members are free of the taint of the Dark Powers, because its a condition of being a loyalist Space Marine! Those Space Marines that do exhibit the taint of Chaos are killed, rather than simply not being allowed to wear a purity seal.

Nor do the Marines think that the seals are lucky charms that somehow protect them in battle - they are simply a demonstration of his mastery of himself. They can also be oaths the Marine has sworn, displayed on his armour for all to see.

Decius
08-07-2010, 15:28
Does a neck tie do anything? Nope, but it's fashionable.

Skulls and purity seals are all the rage in the 41st millennium.

Iuris
08-07-2010, 16:06
I always thought they only worked as a mark of worthiness. IE, you don't get any ability by them, but you actually need to already have the ability to be worthy of bearing them.

x-esiv-4c
08-07-2010, 16:29
I'd think they would parallel wearing a "cross" in modern today cultures. They don't do anything functionally.

phoenix01
08-07-2010, 16:37
In 4th edition, purity seals did something (can't remember just what right now). In 5th editon, purity seals are something to be scraped off the power armour.

Bloodknight
08-07-2010, 16:48
(can't remember just what right now)

They made you run away faster (3d6, taking the highest two, instead of 2d6).

spetswalshe
08-07-2010, 16:53
I always like to think of them like Catch 22's 'Great Loyalty Pledge Crusade'. Brother Uriel gets a purity seal, so you have to attach a bigger one to your own armour to show how much purer your faith is. Then he gets two, so you get four... The joke being that those silly wax things come straight off when you jump out of the Thunderhawk, or run past a tree, or kick down a brick wall or get set on fire.

I imagine their actual anti-daemonic capacity is limited to nothing more than giving a minor daemon a slight headache, at best.

mightymconeshot
08-07-2010, 16:57
I thought it had something to do with having faced a demon and not having your mind wiped?
If not then yeah in fourth edition because you were purer then you ran faster. I guess to get that report of how you got your butt handed to you as a super solider back to HQ.

MarcoSkoll
08-07-2010, 17:20
Wow, like that helps.
Sure does. Might stop some crazy witch-hunter type from shooting you on sight.

Many mutants in the service of the Inquisition (and yes, there are mutants in the service of the Inquisition) are thus marked so that they're not immediately killed when seen.

EDIT:

They made you run away faster (3d6, taking the highest two, instead of 2d6).
No, I think it was roll an extra dice, then choose one to discard. So you could choose to run away faster, but ultimately, you could also choose to flee slower.

Polaria
08-07-2010, 17:20
Of course the purity seals do something. They keep you pure.

Have you ever been to one of those tournaments where everyone and their dog is playing Ultrasmurfs/Spacewolves/Dark Angels/Blood Angels/Black Templars/Some other color of loyalist marines? Did you ever wonder when two loyalist armies play which one is really loyal and which one is just faking it?

Count the purity seals. The army with less of them is mindcontrolled by nasty daemons or just plain heretic. ;)

Lechium
08-07-2010, 17:21
They used to have an in-game effect in third edition IIRC. Something to do with morale or regrouping I think. Nowadays they're just a fashion accessory, as everyone else has said.

Gaargod
08-07-2010, 17:28
Depends...

Remember this is a universe where faith is literally a weapon (versus daemons, at least). If a space marine thinks his purity seal is a shield against daemons, it can become so.

Of course, for that to work, his faith has to be sufficiently strong to beat off the daemon. The purity seal per se isn't doing anything (if he had an equal amount of faith in a pebble, it would do the same thing), but as a symbol of his faith, it could be immensely powerful.

Sykorax
08-07-2010, 18:21
For higher ranked members, maybe it shows that their servitors and minions have properly cleaned and anointed their armor and weapons where they affix a purity seal on it after to show that they've signed off on their work...

For lower ranked SM, they do these tasks themselves, thus fewer or no purity seals as they know the task has been done!

Lupe
08-07-2010, 18:30
Well, purity seals are some sort of combination between medals and memorabilia.

Some scrolls would actually detail the feats of arms a marine has accomplished throughout his lifetime, and mark him out as a being an exceptionally tough or resourceful individual.

Others might actually be something like the old "Oaths of moment", as a constant reminder of what a marine is fighting for, and as a source of inspiration. Kinda like a modern day soldier carrying a picture of his family in his wallet to boost his morale before going into battle...

They would work differently from case to case, but they would accomplish the same thing... help keep a marine focused, and, as such, less vulnerable to the temptations of Chaos...

Decius
08-07-2010, 19:28
In some of the 40k RPG systems, there are rules for pentegramic and hexagramic wards to help protect the wearer against psychic powers and daemons. Such wards could be incorporated into purity seals. Then again, would they be purity seals anymore? Or just wards? Food for thought.

Hunger
09-07-2010, 08:35
Remember this is a universe where faith is literally a weapon

Faith is a weapon in our world too - just ask the Taliban.

IvanTih
09-07-2010, 09:20
Considering that they are connected to the Emperor I think that they could help in a fight with chaos forces.

mob16151
09-07-2010, 09:27
All the Purity seals are IMO is visible proof of your love for the Emperor. They look nice, and there a tradition.


P.S. Does anyone ever look at a Purity seal, and wonder if there's illiterate marines?

Bob: Hey Jake can you write me a purity seal?

Jake: Sure Bob what would you like me to write?

Bob:You know, I smite these enemies in the name of the Emperor, etc,etc.

Jake: *Writing furiously* Bob's hung like a horsefly, has horrible B.O.,is mentally damaged, and has had to be rescued from an angry Jokaero once.

Later in the drop pod

Bob: Dudes, why is everyone snickering at me?

IvanTih
09-07-2010, 09:38
All the Purity seals are IMO is visible proof of your love for the Emperor. They look nice, and there a tradition.


P.S. Does anyone ever look at a Purity seal, and wonder if there's illiterate marines?

Bob: Hey Jake can you write me a purity seal?

Jake: Sure Bob what would you like me to write?

Bob:You know, I smite these enemies in the name of the Emperor, etc,etc.

Jake: *Writing furiously* Bob's hung like a horsefly, has horrible B.O.,is mentally damaged, and has had to be rescued from an angry Jokaero once.

Later in the drop pod

Bob: Dudes, why is everyone snickering at me?
Good joke,good one.

Askil the Undecided
09-07-2010, 12:13
Purity seals are symbolic like wearing a quote from the Bible or a signed character reference from the Dalai Lama countersigned by the Pope, leading Rabbi, several Bhuddha and three or four more religious leaders.

They are quite important if you believe the bloke who gave you it that's it's sacred but they are less than worthless if you don't, either way they are just trinkets.

However, purity seals are not the only thing that are written on parchments and sealed onto armour so are pentagrammic and hexagrammic wards which do have a practical use those of resisting deamons and psykers respectively and are powerful weapons against those enemies.

LexxBomb
09-07-2010, 14:48
So what, they're religious icons. I've heard of people who kiss their Christophorus medals when they get into their car. As if that helps...or putting one of those Ichthys stickers on the bumper - all it does is telling the people behind you that you're most probably a slow and insecure driver (at least that's my experience with people sporting these bumper stickers) who thinks that this has some protective effect. Of course it doesn't. That doesn't mean you can't believe in it

i once was a member of a local church based rally team... nothing funnier then a Mitsubishi Evo rally car going sideways with a christian fish decal on the rear bumper

massey
09-07-2010, 14:58
Yeah, I'd agree they are most similar to wearing a cross. Theoretically, there's some value to it if you are actually engaged in a spiritual battle. When you're just out killing orks, it's probably not much use. Just like wearing a cross isn't going to protect you if you're in a car accident, but it's handy to have around in case of a vampire attack.

Raellos
09-07-2010, 15:01
Depends...

Remember this is a universe where faith is literally a weapon (versus daemons, at least). If a space marine thinks his purity seal is a shield against daemons, it can become so.

Of course, for that to work, his faith has to be sufficiently strong to beat off the daemon. The purity seal per se isn't doing anything (if he had an equal amount of faith in a pebble, it would do the same thing), but as a symbol of his faith, it could be immensely powerful.

Gaargod is correct, IMO.

Warhammer 40,000 is a setting where thoughts and actions have created gods.

As a religious symbol the purity seal could become a focus for the individual's faith in the Emperor. That faith would have to be strong though, I doubt that the purity seal would have the same effect when it has been given as an award to a cynical guardsman than one that a faithful and strong willed guardsman wears.

ctsteel
09-07-2010, 15:19
The 4th ed codex just says
Purity seals are bestowed upon space marines of proven purity and value.

The 5th ed codex says
The Purity Seal is not so much an honour as a blessing. Before a campaign the Chapter Chaplains pass through the ranks chanting litanies and invocations. Honoured individuals are marked by the Chaplains for special blessings recorded on the parchment streamers and affixed to their armour with the great wax seal.

Insignium Astartes has the same wording as 5th but adds further to this
Often the very receiving of such a blessing may itself be marked by the adopting of a solid electrum casting of the seal, permanently attached to a Marine's armour or wargear.

TheRedAngel
10-07-2010, 13:40
Yep, and the IA quotes origin even dates back to the old codex Ultramarines, 40K second edition.

Vikingkingq
10-07-2010, 15:24
Depends...

Remember this is a universe where faith is literally a weapon (versus daemons, at least). If a space marine thinks his purity seal is a shield against daemons, it can become so.

Of course, for that to work, his faith has to be sufficiently strong to beat off the daemon. The purity seal per se isn't doing anything (if he had an equal amount of faith in a pebble, it would do the same thing), but as a symbol of his faith, it could be immensely powerful.

Bingo. People forget sometimes that the nature of the Warp as a psycho-reactive plane of spiritual energy changes up the equations. If enough people believe something strongly enough, it becomes true in the Warp.

Given that there's the force of an entire galaxy-spanning empire behind the idea that a purity seal protects against Chaos corruption, I'd imagine it has a very real effect. If wielded by a believer, etc.

canucklhead
10-07-2010, 21:46
In case it helps, in the PC game Chaos Gate, you received a purity seal for going through 5 consecutive missions without breaking in combat. Showing to all the purity of your faith in the Emperor and your stability (purity) in the face of the enemy.

So seeing someone wearing a purity seal in the heat of a 40k battle would be a boost to morale, and this person would find his judgement valued and his reputation high.

The fallback dice reflected this as a greater control over things like a tactical retreat, (as opposed to a rout), or a greater chance to regroup around a respected leader.

the Tau do it with bonding knives.

FrankieKhainor
11-07-2010, 20:11
I think it's so you can tell your chaptermates from the chaos. They're rites of passage things and oaths to the emperor that are sworn to a higher ranked marine before battle. It's like wearing a cross on a chain - a symbol of your faith and a thing you can look at and kiss or something to renew your strength etc.

PsympleJester
11-07-2010, 20:33
Remember guys this is not the same universe as 40k.

In the 40k universe believing in something actually can make it happen.
In our universe believing that your car goes faster because it has a fancy paint job does not make it happen...
In the 40k universe it does!

The is just one small example of this.
Hence spacemarine power armour could be made out of sun dried cow poo, but because of the purity seals it actualy stops bullets aslong as they believe it.
Just remember next time you shake your armour saves, shooting rolls, assault rolls, rolls to wound or leadership rolls with spacemarines.... Remember to believe you are serving the emporer and you have the ability to kill daemons single handedly... and it just might happen.

tacoo
12-07-2010, 01:15
Of course the purity seals do something. They keep you pure.

Have you ever been to one of those tournaments where everyone and their dog is playing Ultrasmurfs/Spacewolves/Dark Angels/Blood Angels/Black Templars/Some other color of loyalist marines? Did you ever wonder when two loyalist armies play which one is really loyal and which one is just faking it?

Count the purity seals. The army with less of them is mindcontrolled by nasty daemons or just plain heretic. ;)

That explains why a grey knight has never fallen to chaos, 1 squad has more seals then a entire army, and so few people play them that they never face each other.

ChaplainOrion
12-07-2010, 01:53
They're used so that the space marines remember what to get at the grocery store.

Askil the Undecided
12-07-2010, 05:43
Purity seals are symbolic like wearing a quote from the Bible or a signed character reference from the Dalai Lama countersigned by the Pope, leading Rabbi, several Bhuddha and three or four more religious leaders.

They are quite important if you believe the bloke who gave you it that's it's sacred but they are less than worthless if you don't, either way they are just trinkets.

However, purity seals are not the only thing that are written on parchments and sealed onto armour so are pentagrammic and hexagrammic wards which do have a practical use those of resisting deamons and psykers respectively and are powerful weapons against those enemies.

Oh look I explained exactly why some less clever writers have said purity seals can beat deamons and psykers.

The End.