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View Full Version : What percentage of lobotomised human does it take to make a servitor?



Flame of Udun
10-08-2006, 18:34
No its not the start of a bad joke, I was just wondering how much visible flesh you need to have something that qualifies as a servitor or do you really just need the brain and some guts ? The reason behind this is that I'm trying to come up with some servitor designs that don't look like the standard "borgified" human. So any thoughts on what makes a servitor?

Gorbad Ironclaw
10-08-2006, 18:38
A servitor would be anything that have had it's brain functions sanitised and reprogrammed to server a specific function.

You could have more or less completely mechanical servitors, as long as there is a human brain in it.

Stahlgeist
10-08-2006, 18:42
Don't know about anyone else, but I just need the Medulla Oblongata, the Optic Nerves, and a 1' section of spine. :chrome: Everything else is sausage.

I think animal nervous systems could also be used.

EDIT; sorry, I usually leave most of the cerebellum in too, for limb control, autosenses & such. Multiple limbs sometimes requires multiple cerebellums linked in parallel.

Khaine's Messenger
10-08-2006, 18:52
No its not the start of a bad joke, I was just wondering how much visible flesh you need to have something that qualifies as a servitor or do you really just need the brain and some guts ?

All you need is the brain and a bit of wiring, really. The rest is just a matter of spare parts to hand for the function you want to build a servitor for. Referring to someone's remains as "not enough to make a servitor" (like in "Deus Ex Machinus") is a rather telling way to describe the great absence of physical being brought on by a very messy death, but it's still an exaggeration. The limbs and such are a matter of aesthetics, funcationality, and redundancy (if the servitor has lungs and a circulatory system, you don't have to put its brain in an oxygenated vat with all sorts of crazy wires, etc.). If you're building all your servitors for a purpose-built project, you could put them together any way you want, imho.

Now, you might be stigmatized if anyone finds out (even Eisenhorn found the servitor crew of the Trader he frequents to be rather upsetting), but hubris can take a man anywhere. ;)

ryng_sting
10-08-2006, 18:55
Average Little Chef waitress.

Minister
10-08-2006, 21:11
I am in agreement with Khaine's Messenger on this one, but will make clear that the subject really should be alive and reasonably healthy when the procedure begins, or at least not long enough dead for decay to set in. Too much brain damage makes the whole thing worthless. You can't just haul corpses off of a battlefield a week after the war finishes.

Kage2020
10-08-2006, 23:11
I've always wondered whether it would be more complex to make a servitor than, say, a robot... Hmmn. But yes, KM has the right of it for me. Brain in a box with appropriate "support fluid" and some form of hormonal injector thingy-ma-bob.

Kage

El_Machinae
11-08-2006, 12:04
I think it's entirely variable. I suspect that some servitors have dead skin stretched over a robot.

I also suspect that the servitors are considered superior if they contain more human parts for function.

t-tauri
11-08-2006, 12:15
I also suspect that the servitors are considered superior if they contain more human parts for function.
Adeptus Mechanicus and Iron Hands want as few human parts as possible. Just the brain would be ideal, though the human nervous and digestive system make quite efficient control/refuelling systems for the brain.

The distinction between a servitor and a cyborg is really just the degree of free will left. I'm in agreement with Stahlgeist that animal systems could be used for many tasks (guard dogs?) as well as control circuits in many machines.

ThousandPlateaus
11-08-2006, 12:44
I've always wondered whether it would be more complex to make a servitor than, say, a robot...
Kage

It probably would be more complex, but the I imagine it's probably necessary for robots to have some (even trace) vestige of humanity left in their aesthetic composition/comportment - don't forget how maligned technology is in the Imperium, it's a terrifying, dangerous and mystical thing and robots as we understand them would simply cause too much trouble outside of the AdMech (and even within AdMech, only by those who had some kind of meta-knowledge of what and how technology is...)

Servitors must retain enough of their older form so that they appear as augmented people rather than something that would cause panic and mistrust in citizens (and not just the lowly, either...)

McMullet
11-08-2006, 13:00
I think the organs of the original human would be retained simply for practicality. That way you have a ready-made support system for the brain, rather than having to manufacture one (a costly and difficult thing to do, I should imagine). You could make it a "brain in a jar on a robot" if you wanted to, but every organ you remove has to be replaced.

Limbs, on the other hand (see what I did there?), would be of potentially less use, depending on the application of the servitor in question. For a medical or food-preparing servitor, at least one human hand would probably be useful, and again difficult to replicate mechanically. Another limb might be replaced with some "tools of the trade".

Stahlgeist
11-08-2006, 16:05
Servitors must retain enough of their older form so that they appear as augmented people rather than something that would cause panic and mistrust in citizens (and not just the lowly, either...)

Excellent point; it fits in with both the DAoT & the whole Butlerian Jiha...er, sorry, "War Against the Men of Iron" fluff as well. It's kinda ironic, but a zombified human with metal bits would be less scary to the average Joe Imperial Citizen than a full-fledged android (ie man-shaped robot).

So you'd also need a heart & some of the original circulatory system - that would save time and $.

ThousandPlateaus
11-08-2006, 16:20
& the whole Butlerian Jiha...er, sorry...

Haha! Die!



It's kinda ironic, but a zombified human with metal bits would be less scary to the average Joe Imperial Citizen than a full-fledged android (ie man-shaped robot).


Considerably less scary - and as I said, not just average Joe, average High Lord, average =][=, average AdMech (although they'd have a more vested, morbid fascination)...
But as I've said - Imperial citizen would be scared of tills and toasters and fax machines, though...

Stahlgeist
11-08-2006, 16:27
Haha! Die!

Hey, steal from the best, I say.

Could make for an excellent story from the POV of a servitor - someone is made into a servitor, but by accident enough of the brain is left behind for conscious thought. The job would have to be somewhat interesting - something more exciting than servitor #3756B on the widget production line. Maybe an Inquisitorial gun servitor. Could be pretty horrific.

nurgleman
11-08-2006, 16:34
I believe there have been cases of Servitors retain more conciousness than they were meant to. hence, feral servitors. One thing I wonder is if a servitor has to be made of just one human or if some servitors are made up of multiple parts from different humans.

Kage2020
11-08-2006, 16:35
Could make for an excellent story from the POV of a servitor - someone is made into a servitor, but by accident enough of the brain is left behind for conscious thought.
Ah, the 'ole "ghost in the machine" approach. This, for me, is one of the reasons that servitors are regularly "whiped" (cf. gun servitors) so as to prevent the (re)development of personality, i.e. the whole "holographic memory" gig.

Kage

ThousandPlateaus
11-08-2006, 19:30
hence, feral servitors.


but by accident enough of the brain is left behind for conscious thought.


Ah, the 'ole "ghost in the machine" approach. Kage

Heh, cool.
Existential feral cherub-children go on a revenge rampage...

Stahlgeist
11-08-2006, 20:09
I was thinking of the old '70s Marvel comics character Deathlok the Demolisher - basically designed to be a controllable super-soldier, but they left too much of his forebrain in & he went AWOL.

Looked a bit like a servitor as well, metal bits on the outside, half a metal skull, grey unhelathy pallor, one glowing red eye. GIS his name if you want to see what I mean.

ThousandPlateaus
11-08-2006, 20:50
Yeah - uncanny!

Pain
12-08-2006, 08:32
Conciousness is something noone wants in a servitor - especially the Inquisition. I think conscious thought is what makes something open for warp/psyker influence. The greyknight novels suggest that servitors are somewhat "psykersafe". The Inquisition uses them for guarding psykers and patrolling purposes in one of their primary HQs (IIRC the main base on Titan).

McMullet
12-08-2006, 11:00
Well, the warp is tied to the "soul", so I assume that servitors would be made soulless (effectively "killing" their personality, just not their body). I suppose conciousness is as good an analogy for the souls as anything else.

Krusk
13-08-2006, 15:56
Now I know BL stuff isn't definitive, but I seem to remember that in a Eisenhorn novel, a Alpha plus psyker controled a labour servitor? or did he control someone who turned it on and made it attack? I seem to remeber that he was making it attack though.

Flame of Udun
13-08-2006, 16:28
I don't think servitors are soulless, they are probably just not attractive to daemons like psykers are. I think the part of the brain that controls self awareness and creative though is removed/wiped so that they have no real sense of who they are or what ever they merely do what they are programmed and told to do.

Kage2020
13-08-2006, 19:39
Unless the servitor happens to be a psyker, ala the Holomats of the adeptus mechanicus' Holy Altar system, they are going to be broadly safe, soul or no.

Kage

Mechanicus
13-08-2006, 20:19
Transmats are the psychic ones, I believe. ;) But apart from that, I agree with the rest.

Warden
13-08-2006, 20:28
In Grey Knights it mentions servitors working on Daemonic Items are wired to a trigger to kill them in the event that something tried to force its way through them, now i dont know if these servitors are former psykers but i like to think that a servitor still has a presence in the warp, albiet a very small one?

jimbobodoll
13-08-2006, 21:07
In Grey Knights it mentions servitors working on Daemonic Items are wired to a trigger to kill them in the event that something tried to force its way through them, now i dont know if these servitors are former psykers but i like to think that a servitor still has a presence in the warp, albiet a very small one?

Like the Tau's natural state then? In regard to this and slightly OT... Maybe the Tau have a small warp presence because they are totally wrapped up in serving the greater good? Perhaps their emotions, like servitors are unnatural/crippled versions of the emotions of other sentient life?

cav da man
13-08-2006, 21:53
Like the Tau's natural state then? In regard to this and slightly OT... Maybe the Tau have a small warp presence because they are totally wrapped up in serving the greater good? Perhaps their emotions, like servitors are unnatural/crippled versions of the emotions of other sentient life?

the way the tau are talked about in the codex suggests differently, there's a story in there about a squad being bonded and it talks about emotions i think. I think just because they have a smaller warp presence doesnt mean they should be assumed to be less alive or "crippled" in comparison to say humans.

jimbobodoll
13-08-2006, 22:02
I only meant "crippled" in terms of literally, disabled... Emotions yes, but always being manipulated by the ethereals... Like brain washing and thus perhaps like a servitors reduced range of emotions.

cav da man
14-08-2006, 12:04
I only meant "crippled" in terms of literally, disabled... Emotions yes, but always being manipulated by the ethereals... Like brain washing and thus perhaps like a servitors reduced range of emotions.

i dont think it reduces the range of emotions, i find it more that certain emotions can be brought up to overide what they would have originally felt but they dont need to be controlled in the sense of constant intervention ive always thought of it more as guiding how they react to create the desired effect but otherwise they are normal.
Anyway this is pretty off topic so we dont need to discuss it anymore.