Author Topic: Inquisitorial Ships  (Read 23374 times)

Offline Vladilek

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Inquisitorial Ships
« on: August 18, 2011, 06:18:41 AM »
I can definitely see the Inquisition having it's own private fleet of ships for a Sector Conclave to use (Why not?) but what about a personal ship for an Inquisitor and his/her operations? I've heard of Inquisitorial "lightships" and of course the Telepathica Black Ships that Witch Hunters often hitch a ride on and also a Inquisitorial Black Ship that is basically a strike cruiser (I'm not exactly sure if this is canon) along with ships in several books I've seen being described as the usual small, black, sleek and powerful type. What if the Inquisitor doesn't want to deal with a Rogue Trader and wants a personal ship? Eisenhorn had the gun cutter but it wasn't capable of warp travel. It would have to be small enough as to avoid attention (A Grand Cruiser doesn't exactly scream subtlety.) and could operate for long periods of time without having to re-supply which seems to me like a mix between a light cruiser and a frigate but bigger than a corvette. An Inquisitor could commandeer a Imperial Navy ship but even with absolute authority it would be a delicate process. If the sector is busy in terms of naval operations I don't think they would hand over a valuable resource for the Inquisitor's personal use but if a threat was deemed important enough definitely. If the commanding officer was executed for heresy (Actual heresy along the lines of a secessionist plot, chaotic influence or xenos involvement.) along with his officers by an Inquisitor he/she could acquire it during the power void even if the Navy complained and tried to load him/her down with paperwork right?

Besides a ship used by the Conclave what options does the Inquisitor have? If he/she's a Monodominant, along the lines of more subtle Monodominant as posted in my other thread by another member, but a militant nonetheless who wants a extensive network of agents and resources and requires something that can be used for a indefinite time and has the capability of planetary bombardment and can hold its own against most ships its own size but obviously not a Astartes Strike Cruiser? As for Exteriminatus what would you consider realistic in the 40k universe?

An Inquisitor has the authority to sanction Exterminatus but destroying a vital hive world because of five rogue psykers would spell doom for the Inquisitor as the sector conclave would require him to justify his actions or be censured. I've read where an Inquisitor has to get a Astartes battle-barge to carry out the Exterminatus but could a light cruiser or frigate be outfitted with such weapons? It would require impressive political maneuvering, influence and power if possible at all as I would think the higher ups in the Holy Ordos would keep such weapons out of the hands of the majority of the conclave or Inquisition as a whole as the majority of the Imperium would burn. If a daemonic incursion occurs planetwide and it's deemed lost or the same kind of catastrophic event definitely but I just don't see a bunch of children with unliminted power running around with Exterminatus. If the Inquisitor has a master or allies in the upper echelons, such as a very very powerful Inquisitor Lord with the pull, I could see him acquiring it. I'd figure a full blown Inquisition War between extremely influential Inquisitors or their factions would have Exterminatus weapons thrown around. But back to the original question what kind of ship am I looking for?
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 01:54:20 PM »
but what about a personal ship for an Inquisitor and his/her operations?
Yes, of course. Inquisitors are incredibly powerful people - if a Rogue Trader can have his own ship, an Inquisitor certainly can.

Two examples from my own collection:

My namesake, Inquisitor Skoll - he took charge of a smuggler's operation, which brought with it the "Ynys Mon", a very fast and agile transport ship. For those who understand Rogue Trader ship profiles, here's the one that I rolled/composed for it:

Speed: 11; Detection: +20; Armour: 12; Space: 40 (Used:40); Manoeuvrability: +33; Hull Integrity: 35; Turret Rating: 1; Power: 48 (Used: 48)
Crew Population: 100; Crew Morale: 101; Crew Rating: 40
Weapon capacity: 1 x Dorsal (Jovian Missile Battery), 1 x Prow (Jovian Missile Battery)
Essential Components: Hull (Orion Star Clipper), Main Cargo Bay, Lathe 2a Drive, Markov 1 Warp Engine, Warpsbane hull, Single Void Shield Array, Commerce Bridge, Vitae Pattern Life Sustainer, Voidsmen Quarters, Deep Void Auger Array.
Optional Components: Jovian Missile Battery (x2), Augmented Retrothrusters, Empyrean Mantle, Observation Dome, Auxillary Plasma Banks, Crack Crew
Complications: Blasphemous Tendencies, Wolf In Sheep's Clothing (Hidden Components: Main Cargo Bay, Both missile batteries)
Total Ship Points: 44


(In retrospect, that wouldn't've been a shabby ship for our current Rogue Trader adventure. Same cost too.)

Not what you'd immediately expect for an Inquisitor, but the idea of a transport ship is a good one for those who would want to be more subtle. And being a smuggler's ship, this one is pretty perfect - the speed, manoeuvrability and cloaking systems to avoid fights, as well as enough firepower for when you do get into them.
And the cargo holds can prove useful too - it never hurts to have room to keep stuff like gun shuttles, vehicles and any other resources you'd rather not have to reacquire on each planet.

It's not too hard to get a smuggler in an armlock over things - not that working for an Inquisitor is going to be much different for them. It's dangerous but very well paid either way.

Now, Inquisitor Rhodes on the other hand - she has a decommissioned Cobra Destroyer. Formerly gutted by enemy fire on a scouting mission, her old mentor recovered it when it drifted close to an Imperial planet some hundreds of years afterwards. Investigating it as a possible threat, he quickly realised it could be useful to him. As it was too heavily damaged to go back into proper Navy service, it was pretty easy for him to secure ownership of it, and so most of a hundred years later, it was passed on to Lyra when Byssus retired to safer deskwork (leaving the roles of field work to agents and his former students).

Of course, those are just two possible examples - much like a Rogue Trader would, simple political pressure and money could get an Inquisitor a ship, as could stealing one or taking it as plunder.

Quote
I've read where an Inquisitor has to get a Astartes battle-barge to carry out the Exterminatus but could a light cruiser or frigate be outfitted with such weapons?
Anything big enough to be warp capable could in theory carry Virus bombs or cyclonic torpedoes, and possibly enough to destroy a planet. Whether the sector conclave would allow such a thing is another matter.

In my mind, legitimately Exterminatus capable ships are limited to a rare few in the Imperial Navy, Adeptus Mechanicus, Inquisition and the largest Space Marine ships.

And to be fair, would you really want to be on a ship that carried such dangerous munitions?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 12:09:09 AM by MarcoSkoll »
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Offline Inquisitor Octavian Lars

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 03:55:23 PM »
I'm thinking for my namesake, Octavian that he will have a few ships at his command. Probably a destroyer, a cruiser and a battleship (for putting the fear of the emperor in his enemies). My plan is for his Cruiser and battleship to be of a custom design, built for him and will be constructed on lucian. (like his shuttle)
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2011, 04:41:29 PM »
Probably a destroyer, a cruiser and a battleship (for putting the fear of the emperor in his enemies).
Maintaining even a cruiser would stretch the resources of even a very successful Inquisitor, but to maintain a battleship as well would be nearly impossible. The authority to own a fleet is not the same as having the resources to support one (which is a lot more complex than going to the local Imperial Promethium depot and going "Fill 'er up mate".)

If he needs to put the fear of the Emperor in his enemies, it would be more practical to have contacts in the Imperial Navy who can turn up with the big guns when they're needed.

Quote
My plan is for his Cruiser and battleship to be of a custom design, built for him and will be constructed on lucian.
That's very, very, very unlikely. Building any warp capable ship is incredibly expensive (let alone anything as large as a battleship) and can take decades - it normally takes the most incredibly powerful organisations in the Imperium to order and support the construction of new ships . We're not talking about single Inquisitors, we're talking about the Imperial Navy, entire Conclaves, or a very powerful Inquisitor Lord (who, even then, will likely have to cajole his Conclave to help, and probably won't get exclusive use of it).

Almost every ship owned by an individual, even one as powerful as an Inquisitor, will be a hand me down - hundreds, if not thousands, of years old before they were even born. If they can simply manage to refit it to fulfil their needs, they are doing well.
But to have a new ship, particularly one of that scale, made for you as an individual would mark you out as impossibly powerful.

Not to mention that the idea of a custom ship design probably counts as tech heresy. Modified, perhaps, but to make anything new (rather than developed from an STC) would rile almost the entirety of the Mechanicus. And good luck getting anywhere if no enginseers are willing to work on your vessel because they see it as an abomination against the Omnissiah.
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Offline Flinty

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 01:33:38 PM »
Interesting question. I've always been a little uneasy with the wider Inquisition fluff, particularly the off-shoots that run into the table-top area of the Inquisition as a battlefield force. I appreciate we are concerned mostly with the cloak and dagger stuff, but quite why an Inquisitor would bother to don tin-can power armour and start directing small armies seems beyond me - surely the whole point of the Inquisition is the ability to requisition the necessary specialist resources for any situation.

This means I always envisaged the Inquisitorial headquarters in any Sector being strictly Need to Know - possibly flagged as 'Warning- enter this area on pain of exterminatus (deliveries 8.00-8.30 adjacent moon, strictly by appointment)', but its not the sort of organisation that has receptionists, plastic plants in the foyer and a big sign out front. Unless of course its operating under a much more likely guise of a false front planet side somewhere. Several whacking great ships in a 'secret' space dock orbiting a 'secret' fortress (no doubt under a volcano) seems....meh. Iím rambling arenít I? and obviously this is just a personal view and has no connection with any  canonical information.

So, to get back to the point - why would the Inquisition need or want ships of its own? How often are the controlling Conclave members or Sector Lords going to require the destruction of a planet - not that often, and definitely not often enough to warrant the resources to maintain a large warp-capable military grade vessel. Surely itís so much easier just to phone the Navy? - plus they get the added thrill of bossing someone around and pulling rank left right and centre (a thrill that never becomes stale, Iím sure) AND maintain the EYHBTIAL mystery shtick. I can see a small fleet of discrete, disguised/undercover ships being available, through unconnected front organizations, coerced traders, and those who owe a Ďfavourí and so forth, so whatever fits or is required is probably available at pretty short notice with absolutely no questions asked.

As Marco states Ė private transport is very different. Transports are logically the most likely to be used, simply because they must be the most numerous type of vessel, and internally easy to reconfigure to individual need; and for those lucky few with massive clout, possibly upgraded engineering. Even the smallest Navy ship (still a huge crew) is less than subtle, but, itís a big universe so someone must be doing it somewhere.

As for sanctioning exterminatus, whatever the method Ė there better be a bloody good-reason backed up with suitable power point slides and mountains of data-slates, or else a career is going to end rather abruptly. Exterminatus doesnít Ė canít Ė happen that often or just on the whim of an individual (well, not often..) or else the Imperium would end in outright Anarchy as warring factions zapped hives, planets and each other on a whim. 
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Offline Ynek

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011, 03:40:20 PM »
As for sanctioning exterminatus, whatever the method Ė there better be a bloody good-reason backed up with suitable power point slides and mountains of data-slates, or else a career is going to end rather abruptly. Exterminatus doesnít Ė canít Ė happen that often or just on the whim of an individual.

This is actually pretty close to the background story of an Inquisitor I came up with as a Dark Heresy antagonist a while back. I went through a phase of creating Inquisitors who really, shouldn't ever have been granted their Inquisitorial seal.

Inquisitor Frank Lambourg was a monodominant who, during his time as an explicator, famously stated: "I would burn an entire world of innocents just to destroy a single heretic." His peers simply dismissed this as a sign of piety and zeal. However, upon earning his Inquisitorial seal, he put his beliefs into practice, burning a civilised world off the Imperial charts by exterminatus.

Aghast, the local conclaves issued many cartas against him, but he is yet to be caught.





Anyway, on the subject of Inquisitorial ships, I can only really echo what others have already said - Whilst an inquisitor may have the authority and sometimes the financial clout to afford their own ship, the majority of inquisitors would probably be contented with simply requisitioning/borrowing ships from other organisations.

An inquisitor would probably only ever need a single ship. What can two or three ships do that one ship cannot? The only thing that multiple ships can do better than a single vessel is fight, and if you're expecting trouble, or a fleet engagement, why go at all? Why not just send in the Navy?
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Offline Inquisitor Octavian Lars

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2011, 03:57:31 PM »
Right then, from what marco said, my new plan is for him to have good navy contacts for big guns, and a Frigate being made for him from some newly discovered STC on lucian for his use in 10-15 years. Untill then, he uses a souped up freighter (5 bajillion hidden gunz) several side cannons and prow ordnance as well as a sizeable launch bay.
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Offline Flinty

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2011, 04:31:05 PM »
Quote
some newly discovered STC

Humm, I would have thought these are a) rarer than hens teeth and b) firmly under the control of the Ad.Mech  and its existance unlikely to be admitted to in any circumstance, even to the Inquisition.

Does it have to be a new one? I think the pimped frieghter (that would take a fair few strings being pulled and fingers twisted/snapped alone) is a neat idea and surely better suited for rooting out the dark secrets in the dim corners of the Imperium than something that would have every bell and whistle blowing the moment it appeared?

 
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Offline Ynek

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 05:11:54 PM »
Humm, I would have thought these are a) rarer than hens teeth and b) firmly under the control of the Ad.Mech  and its existance unlikely to be admitted to in any circumstance, even to the Inquisition.  

Well, yes, newly discovered STCs are rare as hell, but they aren't immediately the property of the AdMech upon discovery. Sure, the STC will be as useful as a chocolate teapot without AdMech help, but the STC template itself doesn't necessarily 'belong' to the AdMech until it actually falls into their hands.

I reckon that the Baal Predator is a great example of this. The Blood Angels found the STC, and chose not to hand it over to the AdMech, keeping it for themselves. The Space Marines have their own tech-support people (techmarines) so they tend to get away with this sort of behaviour, even if there may be other negative consequences further down the line.

But people tend not to just be walking along the street and trip over an STC. People who find them, by and large, will have been looking for it. They're normally on uncharted worlds long forgotten by the Imperium, or are hidden in some god-forsaken place. So, your inquisitor will need a damned good reason to find one.

Whilst not impossible, such a story would take some careful crafting. Perhaps the Inquisitor was investigating a non-admech radical techno-worshipping-cult on some backwater planet, only to discover that their 'idol' or 'god' was actually a piece of technology far more advanced than any he had seen before. (Even an Inquisitor wouldn't know what an STC template looks like, in much the same way that an AdMech magos probably wouldn't know how to tell a bloodthirster apart from a lord of change.)

He might have taken such a piece of technology away on his pimp-freighter, deciding that it was probably too valuable to simply destroy or hand over to the planet's authorities.

Although how he got the template identified and put to use without the help of the Adeptus Mechanicus would probably need some explaining. It's a bit like when you're playing monopoly, and you've got Park Lane, and your friend has Mayfair. Neither of you can make use of those properties unless you hold both. Your Inquisitor holds the template, but lacks the expertise to use it, and the AdMech have the expertise, but not the template. And if the AdMech KNEW that you had a template that you weren't sharing, they would probably assassinate you and steal it. Entire wars have probably been fought over less.

A more reasonable explanation is that, as a dutiful servant of the Imperium, he handed the template over to an AdMech Magos whom he trusted. Upon discovering that the template was for a small ship, the Inqusitor became interested. Eventually, after much negotiation, it was agreed that the prototype model of this new ship should be given to the Inquisitor. The Inquisitor would use it in his day to day work, and the Adeptus Mechanicus techpriests on board would report back to the AdMech about how the ship held up.

So, basically, he would be doing product testing for the Admech. It's a bit more reasonable than "I found a template, used it, and ain't sharin'. Y'jelly?"



P.S. I was under the impression that building ships took centuries, not decades. After all, you're basically building a city in space. That sort of thing doesn't get done within a single lifetime... How long did it take to build London, or Chicago?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 05:13:26 PM by Ynek »
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Offline Inquisitor Octavian Lars

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2011, 05:45:18 PM »
I felt that if I was to make the ship useable in Octavian's lifetime, it would have to be resonablely quick to construct so as such made the time 10-15 years. Maybe it has a simple construction and the AdMech want this baby for testing ASAP (in my head, Lucians rush into things and expect results quickly).
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2011, 06:14:44 PM »
While Ynek offers a plausible story, it can take many lifetimes for rediscovered STCs to be officially accepted by the AdMech, so this Magos would be being rather brash to just start construction quickly.

Also, he brings up a point I was going to, if in reverse - would an Inquisitor necessarily want a new, mysterious and untested ship? A Sword Frigate might not be special, but they're proven.

How long did it take to build London, or Chicago?
That's not a very good question for two reasons - firstly, when do you define a city to be "built"? A spaceship has a set of blueprints, so you can look at it and say it's done. But a city has no such hard boundary.

Secondly, these are settlements built over many varying ranges of technology. A settlement has existed at the Thames since almost time immemorial.

The only example I can think of right now where there's a defined start, end and a consistent technology level is Milton Keynes (which isn't officially a city, but was envisioned as one). In that case, the answer is 25 years.
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Offline Inquisitor Octavian Lars

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2011, 08:30:08 PM »
Quote
While Ynek offers a plausible story, it can take many lifetimes for rediscovered STCs to be officially accepted by the AdMech, so this Magos would be being rather brash to just start construction quickly.
I shall answer with my own quote.
Quote
(in my head, Lucians rush into things and expect results quickly).

Quote
Also, he brings up a point I was going to, if in reverse - would an Inquisitor necessarily want a new, mysterious and untested ship? A Sword Frigate might not be special, but they're proven.
He still has the pimped freighter, and can always ask for a sword from his navy contacts.
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Offline Ynek

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2011, 09:17:49 PM »
(in my head, Lucians rush into things and expect results quickly).

Kinda makes sense. The quest for knowledge waits for no man, right?


On the subject of ship/city building...
Whilst it is true that a city could probably be built in a few decades, I like to think of Imperial ships as being something that takes a real amount of dedication, resources and time to complete. I like to think that generations of builders were involved in it's construction, over several centuries, until the ship is finally completed, at which point, there would be planet-wide celebration and jubilation.

In the Rogue Trader (RPG) rulebook, it states that ships can take anywhere from decades to centuries to build. (first paragraph of 'anatomy of a starship', page 189.) So I'd imagine that some ships would take longer than others to build on account of their size, or because the technology involved in their construction is particularly sensitive, complex or poorly understood (this last one would probably apply in this case).

Additionally, most 'new' ships are made from recycled, salvaged wrecks and the like. Rebuilding a ship from a wreck might take decades, but starting from scratch would almost certainly take longer.

I tend to imagine that it's only the very small ships, such as cobras, swords, firestorms, falchions, vipers and the like that take a matter of decades. I like to think that when a cruiser sails out of drydock, it's already centuries old... But that's just personal preference, I suppose.
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Offline Flinty

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2011, 10:41:45 PM »
Rather than cities - perhaps Cathedrals would be a better analogy, espceially given GW's fondness for making the original Titans look distinctly architectural.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of 'generational' ship construction, I could see that for the larger classes.
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Inquisitorial Ships
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2011, 04:59:56 PM »
I shall answer with my own quote.
Quote
(in my head, Lucians rush into things and expect results quickly).
Whoa, easy on the stereotyping. This is all too overdone in sci-fi, where entire planets are written with a very narrow range of cultures and temperaments. Similar to the whole thing where all the action happens in just the planetary capital as well.

Sure, other planets might think of Lucians that way, but when a stereotype exists, it's almost always an exaggeration of a notable minority and seldom a realistic interpretation of the whole (particularly when on a planetary scale).

You as the author should be looking at it from an objective view where the planet as a whole is host to an entire range of temperaments. As, indeed, a Magos - having both probably had emotional suppression, and being quite used to being involved in projects that could take centuries - is unlikely to have an impetuous nature.

If anyone's going to be arguing for this to go quickly, it would be the Inquisitor, not the Magos.

In the Rogue Trader (RPG) rulebook, it states that ships can take anywhere from decades to centuries to build. (first paragraph of 'anatomy of a starship', page 189.)
Which contrasts with page 274, where it's phrased as "many years (often decades)".

But it's fair to say it's a lengthy process. The kind of timescale where, from the character's perspective, it's always still being built.
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