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Sabbad
08-05-2007, 18:17
I'm GMing a campaign for Inquisitor at some point this summer, and reviewing the stats of the player characters in preparation for that.

One of the players is using an Inquisitor Lord named Atlar. He already has a lot of character behind him, and a history built up based around events in campaigns I'd run previously.

The player controlling Atlar wants to give him the Heroic ability. I'm not so sure.

Basically, could you guys please read this, and offer your opinion:


"Inquisitor Lord Geraldus Archimedes Atlar is an devout and experienced soldier of the Emperor, the judgement of the Emperor Incarnate. Wearing a full suit of power armour, and wielding boltgun, power sword and storm shield with consumnate ease, it is little wonder that his name is often enough to strike fear into the hearts of aliens and heretics across the galaxy. Such a reputation is well deserved, for Atlar has fought on the fiercest of battlefields and successfully defeated Greater Daemons during his long and illustrious carreer.

Atlar is a fierce Monodominant, a man obsessed with his mission to save humanity through the destruction of any deviant element of witchcraft and heresy. Whilst many traitors and rogue psykers have fallen beneath his sword, it also true that many innocents have lost their lives as a direct result of the means Atlar implements to achieve his objectives. Atlar feels no guilt for this: he knows that what he does is necessary for the good of the Imperium, and is happier to see a thousand innocents die than a single traitor walk free.

Nevertheless, the extremity of Atlar's purges are less easily understood by more moderate members of the Inquisition - particularly the Confederation of Saint Josephus, and order of Puritan Inquisitors of which Atlar is a leading member. Most infamous of all would perhaps be his decision to unleash the ultimate sanction of Exterminatus upon the Imperial world of Aquila. Civil war had recently engulfed the planet, as heretic cultists took up arms and fought against the loyalist Imperials. The revolt was eventually quashed, and the rebel leaders killed - but this was not enough for Atlar. Unwilling to risk the endurance of heresy's taint, Atlar resolved to erase all life from Aquila by means of atmospheric incineration. The efforts of Inquisitors Hectus and Parargon were unable to persuade Atlar of the folly of his actions, and were too late to stop the firing sequence. Billions of innocent lives were lost that day by Atlar's hand.

Atlar still stands by the necessity of his actions, claiming that such an ultimate sentence was needed to halt the world's heretical taint. His enemies are often vocal in their criticisms of him. They cite his execution of those who fail him and his unwillingness to "waste time" on properly ascertaining a person's guilt as evidence for madness rather than purity. But Atlar has vowed to continue along his Monodomiant path, claiming their is no time for moderation in this dark and dangerous age. Many within the Inquisition agree with him."



So guys, what do you think? Does this guy deserve the Heoric skill or not? More info on the character is available if you want it.

mistahsmoovelegs
08-05-2007, 21:12
an inquisitor LORD i would make heroic. an acolyte or inquisitor i would not.
im skeptical about the power armor. we never use it ever.

Xisor
08-05-2007, 21:45
An easy stipulation of being Heroic is that it could be removed or simply overruled at any point by the GM should the character be acting too unheroically. Or rewarded for lots of heroic actions...

By simple reading of the description, not much indicates he's particularly heroic. As a GM you have the option to strip it if it's being underused or is simply inappropriate.

Perhaps offering more lenience to the player: Do you have any reason to suspect the player is simply adding it in there because it's a dead handy ability? As it stands, there simply appears no overarching indication in the character-fluff, but it isn't exactly a large leap of plausibility either!

Sarison
08-05-2007, 22:00
without reviewing every round of your last campaign, i concur with xisor, in that he doesnt seem to have done anything particularly heroic, or lead a particularly heroic lifestyle.

our group uses a basterdization "Natural Hero," where in all protagonists have sucessful actions on 3+, instead of 4+. seperate the INQ from the Acolytes, in my opinion. but not to hi-jack the tread...

out of curiousity, what was the fate of poor Inquisitors Hectus and Paragon?

Ivan Stupidor
08-05-2007, 22:11
Well, you say Altar's been a figure in campaigns before - I assume that means you've seen him in action. Has he acted heroic? If he's been consistently a Hero - pushing himself beyond his limits, never giving up, risking life and limb to accomplish his mission, and above all succeeding because of it - then give him the Heroic skill.


an inquisitor LORD i would make heroic. an acolyte or inquisitor i would not.

I disagree with this - the Heroic skill, in my mind, is a good "destined for greatness" skill if given to a young character.

Xisor
08-05-2007, 22:22
Another note on Heroic: It's also a good indicator for characters who commonly fight above their weight (either through sheer persistent bad luck [Afriel Strain Characters], actual bravery and heroism, or more akin to Caiaphas Cain and simply finding yourself remarkably lucky in rapidly spiralling situations).

So whilst the character needn't be heroic as such, he should be renowned for doing some remarkable things. Notably, say, that scribe who always manages to shove the Space Marine over the edge as it's about to pummel the scribe's patron's head in, or the young ruffian who always picks fights way above his station and yet consistently has a bout of excellent luck...

etc.

The 'Natural Hero' skill mentioned is also a very good representation for characters with low Init and Speed values, as it means they're more likely to actually, y'know, do something...

Sabbad
08-05-2007, 22:38
Cheers for the quick replies,

The first thing to say is that I, personally, don't see why whether a character is an Inquisitor Lord, Inquisitor or Acolyte should affect whether or not he is Heroic.

The player seems to be trying to justify something in the background as an excuse to get a benefit in game, and in my view failing to do so. But that might be a slightly harsh judgement.

The thing is, in the last campaign, Atlar was awesome. As in so strong no-one wanted to play him (power sword + boltgun + power armour = death to most opposition). He's been toned downed somewhat for the upcoming campaign. And the controlling player's reasoning is "well I've sacrificed so much that I at least deserve this." Which is in my opinion an invalid line of argument, as Inquisitor is about bakcground rather than gameplay considerations.

Has Atlar acted heroically before? That depends on you definition of heroism, and that's precisely why I posted it here. In the final mission of Atlar's last campaign he managed to take on an entire Inquisitorial retinue single handed and come out smiling. He simultaneously was responsible for the murder of billions of innocent people. So it's difficult to tell really.




In reference to Parargon and Hectus: Parargon and his men offered to sacrifice themselves by holding up Atlar whilst Hectus attempted to disrupt the firing sequence. Unfortunately Hectus arrived too late. Hectus, at this point presuming Parargon to be dead, then left Atlar's shuttle and made good his escape, deeply saddened by his failure.

Parargon sees things differently. He managed to (just about) survive the encounter with Atlar, and now vows venegance upon Hectus. You see, in Parargon's eyes, Hectus just used his valiant sacrifice as an opportunity to run away, leaving him and the billions of citizens upon Aquila for dead. Embittered by this final encounter, Parargon has planned an intircate campaign of revenge upon Hectus that shall make him sincerely regret his cowardice and failure as an Inquisitor.

In the last campaign, Parargon did indeed have the opportunity to take his revenge. But that's another story...

Ivan Stupidor
09-05-2007, 01:31
Has Atlar acted heroically before? That depends on you definition of heroism, and that's precisely why I posted it here. In the final mission of Atlar's last campaign he managed to take on an entire Inquisitorial retinue single handed and come out smiling. He simultaneously was responsible for the murder of billions of innocent people. So it's difficult to tell really.



40k heroes are probably best thought as "Classical" heroes, like Achilles or Odysseus. They are men who do great things, as opposed to men who do good things.

Like Xisor says, a hero should be be someone who punches above his weight - if Altar held off an entire Inquisitorial retinue, was he seriously overmatched in the fight, or was he still expected to come out on top (or at least hold his own) due to skills and equipment? As it stands, Altar doesn't seem to be doing anything that would justify getting Herioc, and it seems that Altar's player agrees somewhat with this, as he's trying more for the "compensation for toning down my character" rather than "Altar's a Hero, and heres' why" line of argument. (What did Altar lose, anyhow?)

Sabbad
09-05-2007, 17:17
Atlar lost quite a lot of equipment (grenades and such), lost a few skills (he has five now, I think he had around ten before) and took general stat reductions. As things stand, most of his stats are actually below the average for an Inquisitor Lord now.

Too be honest, Atlar's success in the fight in question was pretty much expected - one of Parargon's flail-wielded goons charged Atlar KNOWING that his weapon had no chance of piercing the Inquisitor Lord's power armour.

Personally, I take the view that heroism is about a person's morality rather than their deeds. Otherwise, the most physically monstrous of villains can earn the heroic skill by the virtue of their combat power. I mean, the Balrog was mighty enough to take on the Dwarfs of Khazad-Dum almost single handed. Does he deserve the Heroic skill?

Of course, being a "goody" is not enough to get the Heroic skill, otherwise a tau scientist that has made a medical breakthrough might be considered worthy of the skill. My own definition of a Hero is "Someone who fight for what is right." Of course, virtue is subjective, but in this instance a guy's heroism is judged from a 20th Century perspective (lots of people think the death penalty is wrong) rather than a 41st Millennium perspective (mercy is heresy).

Ivan Stupidor
09-05-2007, 18:15
Personally, I take the view that heroism is about a person's morality rather than their deeds. Otherwise, the most physically monstrous of villains can earn the heroic skill by the virtue of their combat power. I mean, the Balrog was mighty enough to take on the Dwarfs of Khazad-Dum almost single handed. Does he deserve the Heroic skill?

Of course, being a "goody" is not enough to get the Heroic skill, otherwise a tau scientist that has made a medical breakthrough might be considered worthy of the skill. My own definition of a Hero is "Someone who fight for what is right." Of course, virtue is subjective, but in this instance a guy's heroism is judged from a 20th Century perspective (lots of people think the death penalty is wrong) rather than a 41st Millennium perspective (mercy is heresy).

But then no one who might get involved with the Inquisition is worthy of the Heroic skill - when you get right down to it, the Inquisition is a pretty unpleasant organization that does some pretty horrible things by 21st century standards. And yes, I'd argue that villains can get Heroic (or "Arch-Villain" if you wish to rename it) - they're as much capable of personal greatness as the heroes are.

In this case, though, Altar doesn't deserve it no matter whether you use your criteria or mine.

Sarison
09-05-2007, 22:30
other than game balance, why is Altar losing his stats? that doesn't seem explained. and if he is knowingly continueing to fight as he once did, without is power armour, then he could be considered heroic.

Now the above mentioned Flail wielding maniac, er, excuse me, brave defender of Aquila, HE deserves the heroic title. id say, give heroic to someone who might earn a Medal of Honor. (or whatever other version of that you are familar with.)

and i disagree with sabbad, morality has nothing to do with it. Your ability and desire to perform above your level (i finally got the boxing reference) is what makes you heroic. So a carnifex would only be heroic if he took down a titan. and desire involves some understanding of the consquences of you actions, so an inbred, grox-brained, farm boy who doesnt know what scuttlehag does would not be considered heroic for charging one that had it's back turned.

no offence to inbred grox-brained farm boys out there.

mistahsmoovelegs
09-05-2007, 22:33
heroism lends itself well to fanaticsm and fundamentalism in religious orders. i think that a cultist would be more heroic than an inquisitor, in a ham-fisted and blunt way

Catferret
10-05-2007, 00:59
Heroism IMHO is all about self sacrifice or helping others. "I killed a bunch of muties with a Powersword" is not Heroic. "I threw myself in front of the child and deflected the mutie's axe with my shoulder" is Heroic.

That help?

Sabbad
10-05-2007, 16:34
It does help, as it supports my own personal view of what the Heroic skill means, thus convincing me that I'm not entirely crazy and do in fact have a valid defendable position.

In reference to Brutus Sardon, Parargon's flail using henchmen, he DOES have the Heroism skill.

mistahsmoovelegs
10-05-2007, 19:03
a trend within the inquisition is the fact that as an inquisitor grows older, wiser and more experienced, he uses sneakier and more insidious tactics to fight his enemies. much of what an inquisitor does, for good or evil, goes under the nose of much of the rest of the imperium, so heroism really isnt the proper word for it.