The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Hobby, Painting and Modelling => The Dark Millennium => Topic started by: theemperorswill on October 21, 2009, 07:57:40 PM

Title: how far is too far?
Post by: theemperorswill on October 21, 2009, 07:57:40 PM
a thought occured to me today. we all know that INQ scale servo skulls are as rare as rocking horse poo, so how does the conclave feel about the idea of using 28mm skulls as a representation of babies or young childrens skulls? after all in the 41st millenium, war is everything so i would guess anything goes? or is this one step too far? this should open a liveley debate
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: Tullio on October 21, 2009, 08:37:47 PM
Let's face it, we regularly accept (Ie, don't consider too sick for a game) and talk about atrocities far worse in the background than dead babies. It's usually hidden behind a lot of evil adjectives that don't mean a lot, but it's there. The real debate is this - can you get away with using an adult skull for a child's skull? It's not just a question of size, after all, a kid's skull is very differently proportioned to an adult's skull.

Tullio
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: theemperorswill on October 21, 2009, 09:17:14 PM
i`ll take that as 1 for. have amongst my 40k armies, 4 or 5 servo skulls that i`m looking to use in INQ and was trying to find a way round the size difference.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: MarcoSkoll on October 21, 2009, 10:14:44 PM
While I don't think it's too far, there is the question of why. What has caused the Imperium to decide to use a child's skull?

What exactly has the child done to deserve what is, quite frankly, the pretty high honour of being able to serve the Imperium beyond death?
Personally, whenever I've used Servo Skulls, I always dedicate a paragraph to who the skull belonged to, and then either why they were honoured in this fashion or why the skull's master decided to have the skull of the person converted in such a manner - was it a relative? A friend? An enemy whose redemption must continue beyond death with servitude to the Emperor?

I say it's alright, as long as you have a good explanation for why children's skulls were used.

~~~~~

Also, as Tullio points out, child's skulls are differently proportioned, so 28mm skulls will not look like child's skulls, just undersized adult ones.

For reference...

Adult skull:
(http://visual.merriam-webster.com/images/human-being/anatomy/skeleton/lateral-view-skull.jpg)

Child's skull:
(http://visual.merriam-webster.com/images/human-being/anatomy/skeleton/childs-skull.jpg)
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: Ynek on October 22, 2009, 02:30:22 AM
Dead babies are a pretty grim, dark subject matter which seldom comes up in polite conversation...

However, it wouldn't be the "grim darkness" of the far future without some grimness and darkness, now, would it?

Personally, I've gone a lot further than dead babies in my time. Anyone who's read the Hive Maiden's full backstory would probably agree with me.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: Tyrius on October 22, 2009, 01:55:47 PM
As long as the background makes sense, and the model looks suitable, then go for it.

 If you're worrying about how it fits into the background already created for 40k, I can think of a few examples for you.
 In Necropolis - Cherub flesh-puppets under the control of Vervunhive's ruler (can't remember his name for the life of me)  made from the body of a child,
 In Survival Instinct - One of the Ulanti daughters being thrown from a Spire Balcony into the environmental void shield,
 In Warriors of Ultramar - A child being eviserated by a hormagaunt,

Black Library writers have made no bones (no pun intended) about the fact that the 41st millenium is a dark and deeply unpleasant place, and Inquisitor is, at the end of the day, an Adult game. As long as you approach the subject from a place where you keep it in mind, you'll be fine.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: theemperorswill on October 22, 2009, 05:09:46 PM
accept the statement about size and shape differencies, but how many of us get with the micrometer to check proportions ? as for the background, surley psycers are gifted from birth not developed with age? if chaos forces can affect anyone suseptable, it stands to reason that a child would be more suseptable than a free thinking adult. just a thought.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: MarcoSkoll on October 22, 2009, 05:36:57 PM
accept the statement about size and shape differencies, but how many of us get with the micrometer to check proportions?
You don't NEED to get in with the micrometer for the proportions to look way off.
They won't look like children's skulls, they'll look like half size adult skulls. Put a 28mm guardsman up against a 54mm Guardsman - does the small guardsman look like it could feasibly be a child?

No, of course not.

Quote
Surely psykers are gifted from birth not developed with age
Wyrds develop quite early, but most other psykers develop at some age (sometimes "coming in" in more than one stage.)
Anyway, being a psyker is not justification for being a servo skull - in fact, given the general prejudice against psykers, they're less likely to become a servo skull.

My issue is that I can't see a child having either performed deeds of a magnitude for them to either be honoured or need to be redeemed to the extent that one would use their skull for this purpose.
This particularly comes down to the fact that you're suggesting several. One child amongst a group of adult scale skulls - that may be justifiable. But someone who is surrounded by a swarm of children's skulls seems very improbable.

The only real explanation that comes to mind is that they were the owner's family (who got killed in some atrocity), and they wish to be accompanied by their dead children's skull until their own death - very twisted... but therefore, essentially perfect.

As I said before, if you can model with the skulls in an appropriate manner (if you can add some width to the 28mm skulls with green stuff, that may solve the proportion issue to some degree), and you can adequately explain why the children's skulls have been used (bear in mind, quite a number of servo skulls are people that their owner once knew, or are continuing to serve in a role they once did. So, servo skulls in an Arbites Precinct are likely former Arbites) then go for it - however, if you're having to fudge on either one, then that's not really very good, is it?
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: Kaled on October 22, 2009, 05:53:10 PM
My Tech-Priestess has a load of 28mm 'servo-skulls' - if asked* I'd tell people they're not actually made from skulls, but are just shaped like them.


* Which so far no one has done, so I guess using 28mm skulls on a 54mm model isn't really that big a deal - if I were you I'd just use them if they look good and worry about justifying it later.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: theemperorswill on October 22, 2009, 06:45:44 PM
the idea of an inquisitors young  relatives appeals. and as the rear of 28mm skulls is thankfully lacking detail, seems like slight remodelling may be the way to go. have to admit i thought this post would run more along the lines of whats decent or not. glad to see twisted ideas are not frowned upon.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: Heroka Vendile on October 22, 2009, 07:02:09 PM
the idea of an inquisitors young  relatives appeals. and as the rear of 28mm skulls is thankfully lacking detail, seems like slight remodelling may be the way to go. have to admit i thought this post would run more along the lines of whats decent or not. glad to see twisted ideas are not frowned upon.

There isn't really a line of what is and isn't decent in the Grimdark frankly. It is a truly terrible place where a life has no real value attached to it.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: MarcoSkoll on October 22, 2009, 11:56:08 PM
glad to see twisted ideas are not frowned upon.
Not at all. Around here, the inverse is more likely to be true.

Actually, I have had a couple of ideas and characters questioned as being "a bit up-beat for Inquisitor".

Still, I like playing characters who have things that do bring them happiness, because then they have something to lose - and that's an interesting motivation that needs exploring more.
While "nothing to lose" is a popular Hollywood plot (usually because it implies the character will take insane risks) - a character who is trying to avoid losing something or someone they treasure/care about can take even greater risks and they're usually far more interesting to roleplay.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: Vladimir on October 29, 2009, 10:15:03 AM
I feel I ought to say that grim for the sake of grim isn't necessarily good. Grim because it's a cool concept and fits the background, sure, but don't just chuck in some baby-killing for the sake of it. Give it some depth.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: precinctomega on November 01, 2009, 08:46:45 AM
In the interests of balance, I feel moved to point out that, whilst 54mm servo-skulls are hard to come by, 54mm skulls aren't and a number of companies produce them.

R.
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: Tyrant on November 06, 2009, 04:48:26 PM
I assumed that if a character wanted a little help he dug up a skull and fitted it with anti grav (propellor for basic ones) and stuck a knife/needle/gun in its mouth.

And I assumed on forge worlds for instance that skulls would be a big business and everyone had one, a bit like mobile phones.

Does this mean that we should have* background on 'proper' servo skulls that come with seals and the stamp of the inquisition?
Edit: I see that Marco does...

*Not that I think its a law to have certain things in your fluff.

Nathan
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: DapperAnarchist on November 06, 2009, 06:28:31 PM
I have two, and they have some basic background - names and the like. They are supposed to be the skulls of martyrs, honoured servants, and the like...
Title: Re: how far is too far?
Post by: MarcoSkoll on November 07, 2009, 03:45:01 PM
I assumed that if a character wanted a little help he dug up a skull and fitted it with anti grav and stuck a knife/needle/gun in its mouth.
Given that most tech goes through the AdMech, then such an unofficial situation would be unlikely.

Quote
Does this mean that we should have background on 'proper' servo skulls that come with seals and the stamp of the inquisition?
It's not essential, but it doesn't hurt. It really depends on your kind of background. I like to sit and write a character with a whole load of information - where they got their possessions and such. Although you can get away without this, it's so much more characterful to have it.

Let me demonstrate.

~~~~~

While I could just have a "Gun skull with laspistol", is it not so much more interesting to have "The blessed skull of Cardinal Whitely, who gave his life to help bring down the Proto-Witch of Heplon IV", especially if that skull carries the Cardinal's own heirloom duelling las?

The skull of the Cardinal currently belongs to Inquisitor Betton, who requested the skull of a martyred holy man to aid him in his quest to slay the Daemon Prince H'rec'nox.

It doesn't need to be all that complex - I just made that all up on the spot. For a few seconds of work, I've got the small details which make a servo skull so much more than just "Yup, it's a floating head".

~~~~~

A character's equipment takes on more interest if you explain what it is, where it's from and why they have it.

You don't need to explain every last grenade of course or just a basic knife, but adding details to a couple of the items the character uses really adds something. To take that bog standard knife, if it's the blade the still anonymous man that saved them from an attacker three years ago carried... now it can grab attention.