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Minister
26-07-2010, 15:09
This has been bugging me for a bit now, and the previews for the Deathwatch RPG have exacerbated it.

Are the Patriarch and the Broodlord:

1) The same thing. Patriarch is the old term, and is still sometimes used for the leaders of Covens, whilst the Imperium knows Genestealer leader-variants as Broodlords.

2) Similar creatures from different sources. A Broodlord is spawned as a leader variant by the Hive Fleets, whilst a Patriarch is a normal Genestealer that has grown larger and more powerful over decades or centuries of cult leadership.

3) Not actually that similar. the Broodlord is a powerful entity, but is mostly a pack leader and focus of the brood's short-range telepathy. The Patriarch is a bloated beast, far less agile than its smaller descendants but with terrible strength and great psychic might.

4) None of the above and/or it's more complicated.

Scalebug
26-07-2010, 15:32
Any genestealer can become a Patriarch if it manages to found a cult of infected host creatures and hybrid 'children' (and eventually more Purestrain genestealers) and grow powerful on its own 'subnet' away from the mainstream Hive Mind. While it, as long as it is out of range of the fleets, will have its own ambition of conquest and leading the good life attended by its loving family, as far as the Hive mind is concerned the purpose of the Patriarch is to focus the broods telepathy into a beacon that can be picked up and steered towards, to eventually be re-absorbed when the fleet comes.

Given its leaner, (even) more combat oriented look, a Broodlord seems to be born/created as such; to be a battle field commander, in the Hive Fleet bio-factories.

I guess a Brood Lord in itself can become a Patriarch, if cut off from its fleet, but it is not its main purpose.

So, 2) above... While ruleswise an old Patriach model without any problem will "counts as" a Brood Lord, backgrounds wise it would probably get its lethargic behind handed to it by one if they were to fight hand to hand.

It would have an edge in Psychinc combat though, as long as it has it's 'children' around.

Hunger
26-07-2010, 15:43
4) Neither, but its not complicated.

The Patriarch is simply the founding genestealer of a cult, who often grows to a ripe old age because his cult protects and defends him. He is literally the father ('patriarch') of the cult, because his genetic material is the very source of all the subsequent generations of hybrids and purestrains. Every important member of the cult is his 'child'.

I would put the Broodlord in the same category as a special forces commander - not strictly general, but a covert infiltrator and behind-enemy-lines commander. Scalebug correctly points out that the Broodlord is a soldier, whereas the Patriarch is a soldier that has become something else altogether, although he is still a lethal fighter.

I imagine a Broodlord can found a cult too - an interesting idea. I hypothesise that a Broodlord-Patriarch would produce a cult with much more lethal and intelligent hybrids.

totgeboren
26-07-2010, 15:50
The way I read it, they are in fact the same. The difference is really just how long they have been planetside.

The genestealers are the vanguard of the nids, often making planetfall long before the main Nid invasion.

I see the Broodlord as an intermediate step between Patriarch and normal stealer. Considering how long a Genestealer needs to be on a planet to spread its infection for it to be able to mount a worthwhile uprising, we are talking many many years, even generations.

A normal Broodlord I assume gets to that stature in a much shorter time, but as it gets really old, it becomes bloated and develops much more powerful psychic abilities, in order to reach out to the hive mind more easily.

However, this is just my take on things, but I feel it makes sense with what we know about genestealers and their development.

Hellebore
26-07-2010, 15:58
My opinion is that they are two morphs of the same thing. One goes down the hypercombat psycho tree whilst another goes down the 'super long lived grumpy grandpa psyker' tree.

GW seems to want everyone to ignore patriarchs and call them broodlords from the current background, but I much prefer a patriarch to be a specific psychic heavy and corpulent genestealer rather than a psychic broodlord.

Also, a genestealer can become a patriarch without having to be a broodlord first so it's not a simple progression.

Hellebore

totgeboren
26-07-2010, 16:04
Are you sure? What would we classify a genestelaer that is in between being a normal stealer and a Patriarch?
Also, being extra killy during this stage of a cults life could come in very handy, in case local investigators find them out. When the cult is established, the main genestealer can relax and grow phat, with its focus turned more to psychic abilities useful for controlling his sprawling cult.

It just makes perfect sense in my mind. :D

massey
26-07-2010, 18:44
I think the Broodlord is the newer, faster, sexier version of the Patriarch. It's the difference between watching Spartacus (Patriarch) and 300.



Yes, I know that Spartacus and 300 are not supposed to represent the same events.

TheShadowCow
26-07-2010, 18:51
Are you sure? What would we classify a genestelaer that is in between being a normal stealer and a Patriarch?
Also, being extra killy during this stage of a cults life could come in very handy, in case local investigators find them out. When the cult is established, the main genestealer can relax and grow phat, with its focus turned more to psychic abilities useful for controlling his sprawling cult.

It just makes perfect sense in my mind. :D

A dominant, successful Genestealer is well fed, both from its own killings and from offerings brought to it by its enslaved 'family'. Furthermore, Genestealers are intelligent and able to learn, so a successful Genestealer not only maintains/increases its physical prowess as it "grows" with its Cult, but it also becomes a far more cunning and wiley foe. It doesn't need to be a Broodlord for that.

The line between Genestealer and Patriarch was never truly clear - typically we were only shown the two extremes. I imagine (and it would make sense that)when the Cult of influence the Genestealer is fostering reaches a certain size, and the Genestealer reaches a certain level of intelligence/familiarity with the environment there is a natural progression from being a hunter/stalker creature infecting locals to being a more central, controlling influence. This would perhaps coincide with the births of the first Purestrains within the Cult, as they can take over the duties of infecting the population. The dominant Genestealer gradually has less and less need to leave the centre of the Cult, and overtime literally becomes an armchair commander thanks to its legions of children.

Lothlanathorian
26-07-2010, 20:32
I think the Broodlord is the newer, faster, sexier version of the Patriarch. It's the difference between watching Spartacus (Patriarch) and 300.



Yes, I know that Spartacus and 300 are not supposed to represent the same events.

I would compare it as Sparticus and Sparticus: Blood and Sand.


IMHO, the Patriarch and the Broodlord are two different things. Does a Genestealer become a Broodlord or is he born a Broodlord? We know, for a fact, that a regular Genestealer becomes a Patriarch so now we to know how one becomes a Broodlord. There, methinks, we shall find the difference (if one does exist).

ashc
26-07-2010, 20:58
My opinion is that they are two morphs of the same thing. One goes down the hypercombat psycho tree whilst another goes down the 'super long lived grumpy grandpa psyker' tree.

GW seems to want everyone to ignore patriarchs and call them broodlords from the current background, but I much prefer a patriarch to be a specific psychic heavy and corpulent genestealer rather than a psychic broodlord.

Also, a genestealer can become a patriarch without having to be a broodlord first so it's not a simple progression.

Hellebore

I believe this also.

fenrisnorth
26-07-2010, 21:33
Genestealers are immortal, a patriarch is just an old genestealer, most genestealers in an invasion aren't going to be nearly old enough, a broodlord seems to me like a specifically bred leader of genestealers, while the patriarch is one that has a cadre of mortals worshipping him, and I wouldn't be surprised if his brood telepathy allowed him to grow psychically using their minds/souls. however that last bit is pure 100% weapons-grade speculatium. I have never heard that the broodlord is an older, more mature genestealer......

so option 2, I choose you!

Hunger
26-07-2010, 22:57
Genestealers are immortal

What makes you think stealers are immortal? They are certainly not designed for long life - their role as long-term covert operatives dictates that they must be able to live for a long time - but I doubt they are immortal. The Tyranid machine works by reassimilating the biological material of its constituent creatures, and creating creatures that can live forever is an unnecessary undertaking and a waste of precious resources.

fenrisnorth
27-07-2010, 04:21
it is because of their long reconnaisance missions that an unaging creature would be so desireable. The aging process is a self imposed cellular degeneration, it happens so we will die and leave room for our offspring. There are creatures on earth that only die of injury or illness, never of age. The mole rat, nasty creature, is one such creature. As genestealers were sedded into this galaxy pre-human exploration, they would have to be capable of an indeterminate lifespan, especially as they cannot reproduce on their own.

There is not waste of resources, because it is merely a biological switch, and even if it did take resources, when the Hive fleet does show up, god knows how many centuries later, the genestealers will get eaten again.

Now I will fully agree with you that making things like gaunts have any sort of long lifespan would be pointless, but I would expect the infiltration creatures of the hive fleet would be able to remain active and viable for any amount of time neccessary.

Plus GW background flat out says they do not die of old age. it's part of the description of genestealer cults, specifically regarding the genesis of a Patriarch.

AndrewGPaul
27-07-2010, 09:22
What makes you think stealers are immortal? They are certainly not designed for long life - their role as long-term covert operatives dictates that they must be able to live for a long time - but I doubt they are immortal. The Tyranid machine works by reassimilating the biological material of its constituent creatures, and creating creatures that can live forever is an unnecessary undertaking and a waste of precious resources.
typo?


Incredibly hardy, extraordinarily long-lived, they are not deterred by the cold, vacuum or chance of centuries of isolation.


Genestealers are stronger and hardier than Men, able to withstand even the most hostile envirnments - including hard vacuum - unprotected. They live for centuries.

I can't find any other references to Genestealer longevity in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th of 5th edition Codices. Long life but not immortal.

Mind you, I'm not sure why making something immortal is any more resource-intensive than building in aging and mortality.

Hunger
27-07-2010, 11:46
Yes, thank you Andrew - that was a typo.

Being able to live for centuries makes sense, given their role, but I still doubt they are immortal. the thing is, ageing and mortality are not evolutionary traits that are the product of fortunate genetic mutations, they are the base norm (the fact that the billion-or-so species of animal and plant on Earth except just a a couple exhibit mortality is evidence that it is the same throughout the galaxy), so it would seem that it would take a degree of effort on the part of the Norn Queen to engineer the traits required for immortality into its creatures.

However, I am aware that there are creatures here on Earth that have what appear to be unending lifespans (there's a jellyfish too), and obviously we know little about Tyranid biology or the process by which they new strains are created, so we can only speculate. The idea of something living forever does not sit well with me though, and I'm sceptical about the Earth creatures.

fenrisnorth
27-07-2010, 16:48
@AndrewGPaul: I believe it was in one of the Genestealer Cult amry lists, I'll have a look for it.

gorgon
27-07-2010, 17:24
My two cents on the topic:

I think it's reasonable to assume the Broodlord is some kind of intermediate step, but that Broodlords won't evolve into Patriarchs without the right trigger.

There's old fluff that explains that when the Patriarch dies, its replacement comes from among the purestrains. I think a reasonable retcon here given the addition of the Broodlord to Genestealer canon is that the new Patriarch evolves from among the cult's Broodlords, not unlike how certain species will change gender when needed, or how insects will groom replacement queens, etc.

Re: GW wanting us to forget about Patriarchs -- it's more than that. They basically want us to forget about Genestealer Cults in general. Note that the Ichar IV history in the current Tyranid codex only mentions a "Genestealer infestation" in passing, where that history originally went into great details about the GCult there and its cleansing. In fact, it's kind of the point of the entire Ichar IV background. The GCult (more accurately the Patriarch itself) is what summoned HF Kraken to the planet.

I can only figure that they're avoiding GCult mentions to prevent questions and interest. Which IMO is petty and ridiculous, given that there were official GCult army lists from RT through 2nd ed. I mean, it's not like we're talking about a non-presence in the game like Jokaero.

Anyway, a number of hobbyists have created GCult "counts-as" armies in recent years, and I like to think that we're starting a little mini-revival.

AndrewGPaul
27-07-2010, 21:05
Yes, thank you Andrew - that was a typo.

Being able to live for centuries makes sense, given their role, but I still doubt they are immortal.


@AndrewGPaul: I believe it was in one of the Genestealer Cult amry lists, I'll have a look for it.

You're right. 16 pages on from the quote I posted earlier:

Genestealers live forever - eventually, after perhaps centuries drifting in deep space or the warp, an infested hulk will be found in deep space and searched by the unwary, or will arrive at some distant, half-forgotten outpost of Humanity.

ashc
27-07-2010, 21:20
I would prefer to consider them going in to some kind of suspended animation or hibernation in this case though, as opposed to just saying they live forever; it feels a bit wrong.

fenrisnorth
27-07-2010, 21:50
I have no doubt they could do that, but when you build an organism from the ground up, you don't put in predetermined cellular degeneration unless you want to, I mean, the emperor didn't when he built the Primarchs.

On an unrelated note I am sooooooooooo pumped for Deathwatch.

Scalebug
27-07-2010, 21:53
I would prefer to consider them going in to some kind of suspended animation or hibernation in this case though, as opposed to just saying they live forever; it feels a bit wrong.

Yeah, I would chalk that up to dramatic licence, as in them really "only" being very long lived.

A complicated, biological life form, no matter how alien, to be truly immortal is a bit of a stretch. Why would the Tyranids invest that much resources in a creature that is designed to reproduce itself away from the fleets in any case, and what with the constant bothering suspended animation (biological cocoons if they come directly from the Hive ships, and technological cryonic chambers if they are moving on after having founded a cult, and have Hybrid and Brood Brother technicians available) on the hulks?

Sure, it cuts down on food and boredom, but anyway...

fenrisnorth
27-07-2010, 22:31
what resources would need to be expended to not include the aging process?

massey
27-07-2010, 22:44
Because the things in Alien were effectively immortal. When they find the crashed ship at the beginning, they note that it's been thousands of years since the ship crashed, maybe longer. And the eggs are still alive.

Minister
28-07-2010, 06:15
Though the Xenomorph eggs were in the strange mist, complete with a laser light show. This struck me as being some sort of stasis environment.

Malice313
28-07-2010, 07:01
Yes, I know that Spartacus and 300 are not supposed to represent the same events.

You wouldn't know it from the special effects and direction.


I would prefer to consider them going in to some kind of suspended animation or hibernation in this case though, as opposed to just saying they live forever; it feels a bit wrong.

From memory suspended animation/hibernation was the case in Space Hulk (The first place Genestealer made a big appearance). One of the missions involved going in to destroy a hibernation control suite effectively killing the thousands of Genestealers in hibernation. This is supported by text on page 84 of the Compilation. Apparently even Genestealers find it hard to survive for centuries in the cold of hard vacuum.

Genestealers live for centuries according to page 81 of the Compilation. Genestealers are, however, immortal as described on page 93 of the Compilation.:confused:


In reference to the OP: Patriarchs stats are exact the same as a standard 'Stealer (with no Psychic Powers available), though a Chaos Cult Patriarch had access to Chaos Rewards, Chaos Weapons and Possession.

ashc
28-07-2010, 07:34
Genestealers live for centuries according to page 81 of the Compilation. Genestealers are, however, immortal as described on page 93 of the Compilation.:confused:

Hahaha, good going there GW :rolleyes:

Hellebore
28-07-2010, 07:42
Patriarchs had better stats than a stealer at least in 2nd ed.

They had M5 WS7 BS0 S6 T5 W4 I6 A4 Ld10 and were 4th level psykers. That's 3 extra wounds 1 less Initiative and 1 extra toughness.

Hellebore

fenrisnorth
28-07-2010, 08:19
Apparently even Genestealers find it hard to survive for centuries in the cold of hard vacuum.


Even people who live forever gotta eat!

neXus6
28-07-2010, 08:31
I've always had a bit of a hard time fitting Broodlords into Genestealer Cults.

Certainly I wouldn't put them in the same line as Stealers and Patriarchs.

One possible way of seeing it I guess would be to keep them totally seperate, a Broodlord being specifically bred by the fleet to lead stealers in a far more open violent conflict. Thus explaining why they are more "killy" and just have brood telepathy powers.

Meanwhile stealers without a broodlord are much less open, and more subtle, starting Cults, eventually one/more become Patriarchs, and finally acting like a beacon for the fleet.

I'm not really up on my current background so I could be totally wrong about the Broodlord but yeah, seems to me he is more of a special ops/assassination/destruction type squad leader. Compared to the standard Stealers and eventually Patriarchs more covert takeover.

metal bawks
28-07-2010, 10:11
Re: GW wanting us to forget about Patriarchs -- it's more than that. They basically want us to forget about Genestealer Cults in general. Note that the Ichar IV history in the current Tyranid codex only mentions a "Genestealer infestation" in passing, where that history originally went into great details about the GCult there and its cleansing. In fact, it's kind of the point of the entire Ichar IV background. The GCult (more accurately the Patriarch itself) is what summoned HF Kraken to the planet.

I can only figure that they're avoiding GCult mentions to prevent questions and interest. Which IMO is petty and ridiculous, given that there were official GCult army lists from RT through 2nd ed. I mean, it's not like we're talking about a non-presence in the game like Jokaero.

I can think of three reasons they could be avoiding the cults:

1. Political correctness. The genestealers and their hybrids had to rape people to reproduce. They had suicide bombers.

2. They were a mix of armies - Genestealers and IG (and in 1st edition, Chaos). GW seems to have moved away from this idea, as evidenced by their dropping of allies and armies such as the Lost and the Damned.

3. Not Marines.


Patriarchs had better stats than a stealer at least in 2nd ed.

They had M5 WS7 BS0 S6 T5 W4 I6 A4 Ld10 and were 4th level psykers. That's 3 extra wounds 1 less Initiative and 1 extra toughness.

Hellebore

And 1 less Move, appropriately enough. :)

nedius
28-07-2010, 10:55
I've always seen broodlords and patriarchs as two seperate things.

A brood lord is a tyranid bio-consturct, a specifically bred enhanced genestealer, rather than a genestealer who's lived a long time and gotten bigger and better. I imagine broodlords are spawned, not matured from normal stealers.

Patriarchs are a mature genestealer, their psychic power enhanced by the 'brood mind', and becoming the more ponderous, bulky creature they appear to be - although their age, size and collective brood experience still lends them great skill and strength.

The problem I have is the models for broodlords. The metal broodlord certainly supports my ideas - it looks very little like a genestealer. The head, hands and feet are different, the torso differently armoured and so on. However, the Space Hulk brood lord really does look like a bigger genestealer, thus a possiblke evolution.

This suggests a few possibilities:
1) A broodlord is spawned, although some look more like a standard genestealer than others
2) A broodlord is usually spawned, but a normal genestealer can mature into one, sometimes going through big physical changes to do so.
3) GW have issues with consistancy...

However, for me, broodlords are tyranid spawnings, patriarchs are matured genestealers.

ashc
28-07-2010, 10:59
If you consider the Broodlord as having to be 'engineered' from similar genestock as a standard genestealer then it makes a bit more sense nedius; consider a batch of embryos and one of them you decide to pump full of steroids; there's your genestealer brood led by a Broodlord!

Gingerwerewolf
28-07-2010, 11:10
Genestealers are such an old favourite that GW cant get rid of them. However when the Tyranids were fully fleshed out, they thought that they would add in the full conspiratorial idea of the Genestealers being part of the Tyranids advanced force. However they were so caught up, that they didnt really consider the complications that it would bring to us geeks who love the lore.

In my personal opinion I think that a Broodlord is a Unique Construct from the Nids, used as a Close Combat Monster, using DNA from Stealers as the base, but with a myriad of others to make em harder. Where as a Patriarch is an old Purestrain, who now has a brood behind him.

I think that GW wanted to get rid of the old Genestealer cult, for whatever reason, but allow people to use old models. Thus they invented the BroodLord as the Patriarch replacement.

Hellebore
28-07-2010, 11:11
The tyranid codex says that the hive mind takes control of the broodlord when it comes in range of the genestealer infestion. This would point towards them making the broodlord a replacement for a patriarch.

I believe the previous codex also said that the broodlord was the first genestealer to make planetfall. However the current one doesn't actually say anything about broodlords that I could find (except the aforementioned bit) and by default makes them a psyker with patriarch esque psychic powers where before they were pure close combat monsters.

Hellebore