Author Topic: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.  (Read 11041 times)

Offline Eziah Kranox

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Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« on: September 19, 2012, 02:51:05 PM »
So, after reading some of the available fluff on pariahs I had a thought. Now I understand that physics doesn't apply in the warp but bare with me. Energy does not just dissappear, even if it is lost it is just transmuted into a different form or used to achieve something. So could a pariah become the equivalent of a psychic conductor. Like he saps psychic energy from others then unleashes it, quite literally becoming the ultimate tool of the Inquisition. It just strikes me as odd that pariahs just effectively destroy warp energy and from my understanding (high school physics) it seems plausible that a pariah could do something with the energy. So I am asking you for your oppinions could this be possible?

Offline Charax

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2012, 03:11:28 PM »
So, a form of Pariah that projects a beam of null energy that grows in power proportionate to the level of psychic ability in the area?

Hmm. Sounds kinda familiar
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2012, 04:38:27 PM »
As Charax hinted, look at the Culexus temple.

However, I'm not a massive fan of pariahs "doing something" as it's somewhat literally something for nothing, and often seems to be an excuse to get psychic powers without brain explosions.

As for destroying the energy? That warp energy might be destroyed is no great faux pas when it was created from emotion, thought and memory - none of which are considered by any scientific authority I know as a form of energy. (A consequence of, yes. Actually energy themselves, no.)
The warp does break the laws of thermodynamics just a teensy bit.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 04:40:48 PM by MarcoSkoll »
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Offline Koval

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 07:38:24 PM »
Do remember however that the Culexus Temple also relies on heavily specialised equipment for its operatives to do what they do, and they have to train their operatives quite extensively for them to use it properly. So the answer is basically "Culexus Assassin or no dice".

...and being as Culexus Assassins tend to break fluff and game mechanics a bit if they're used as anything other than independent operatives, I wouldn't advise doing much with it.

Destroying energy isn't a huge problem in this context anyway -- in the Immaterium, physics is a joke you tell your friends -- though I can't mind at the moment whether Warp/Pariah interactions result in the Warp energy being destroyed/neutralised/whatever or just being shunted back out of reality.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 12:50:39 AM »
though I can't mind at the moment whether Warp/Pariah interactions result in the Warp energy being destroyed/neutralised/whatever or just being shunted back out of reality.
Given that something like telepathy or similar need never involve any appreciable energy entering reality, I doubt the latter.

And, I'm not sure how immune a Pariah might be to the energy once it's in reality - a fireball, biolightning or a telekinetically launched crate is thermal, electrical or kinetic energy, not psychic.
After all, I'm mostly unaffected by magnetic force or energy, but this doesn't make me immune to being run down by a maglev train.

Some sources portray Pariahs as being immune to such things, I know, but I'm not all that sure about the idea, seeing as their shtick is practically "follows mortal laws of physics".
(I'll add my version of Acts of Faith does give the possibility to be unharmed by psychic bolts, but that's the character protecting themselves with force of belief, not actually nullifying the flames/lightning.)
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Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 01:56:02 AM »
And, I'm not sure how immune a Pariah might be to the energy once it's in reality - a fireball, biolightning or a telekinetically launched crate is thermal, electrical or kinetic energy, not psychic.
After all, I'm mostly unaffected by magnetic force or energy, but this doesn't make me immune to being run down by a maglev train
A matter of context, really.

As I view it - the process of using an active psychic power (one which manifests a distinct change upon the physical world, as opposed to those derived from passive observation of the Warp such as divination) is the act of bringing a controlled quantity of "warp-stuff" (it cannot fittingly be described as a form of energy because it is the substance of an extradimensional space beyond the "jurisdiction" of physical law) into reality and using its presence to circumvent the laws of the physical universe. A Pyrokine (I loathe the term Pyromancy, as its etymology is completely inappropriate for the discipline it describes) can create flame spontaneously without the requisite fuel or heat source.

So, a Pyrokine hurls a fireball at a Pariah... at the moment of impact, the Pariah's nature re-asserts physical law by removing the Warp-stuff from the equation. The fireball cannot exist - its existence was already contrary to natural law - so it ceases to exist (dissipating rapidly). However, were the fireball to strike a flammable object, those flames would be real and could affect the Pariah normally.

A Telekine attempting to impel a Pariah will fail - the Telekine cannot exert any impossible force or intertia upon the Pariah directly. However, hurling an object confers momentum upon that object, and that could still be sufficient to inflict harm. Similarly, levitating an object above the Pariah and dropping it will work - the object is subject to gravity, not warp-spawned powers.
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 06:45:52 PM »
it cannot fittingly be described as a form of energy because it is the substance of an extradimensional space beyond the "jurisdiction" of physical law
... I'd say that's up for debate. Energy is something surprisingly hard to define - we define it by what it can do, because there is no real "be" about it. It is only indirectly observable - you can't point, at any level of scale, and say "There. That's energy", you have to say "That is something that has energy".

It's usually defined at its simplest as something that makes "work" happen - that is, that it can do stuff. And by that yardstick, I'd say warp-stuff can be called energy, because it's very capable of doing things.

Quote
I loathe the term Pyromancy, as its etymology is completely inappropriate for the discipline it describes
Not a great fan either (strictly, it'd be divination through fire - actually, the idea of a literal pyromancer might be an interesting one for a character), which is why I tend to talk about pyrokinetics myself.
Thinking about it, I should probably also refer to biokinetics as well, but that sounds quite a lot like it should be a study course on how muscles work.

However, the common definition of necromancy referring to the zombie raising sorcerer type has obviously shifted the term.

Quote
So, a Pyrokine hurls a fireball at a Pariah... at the moment of impact, the Pariah's nature re-asserts physical law by removing the Warp-stuff from the equation.
But by that version of events, let's say there's a Biokinetic who at some point loses an arm. They're pretty talented, so they use their power to regrow it. We know the material universe has its limits, so the mass for this new arm has to obey conservation of mass-energy. So the arm's new matter must have been created from "warp stuff".

Now, that psyker meets a Pariah*. By your interpretation, their arm is contrary to natural law, being made of warp matter - and would thus disappear in a puff of logic, leaving the psyker to bleed all over the floor.
*Assuming we're still within a time span of a year or three, such that the most of the cells involved haven't been replaced through normal biological processes.

And that... well, that seems more than a bit off as a sequence of events to me. Like I say, I'm not sold on the logic that energy/matter is not real because it was once warp energy.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 06:48:53 PM by MarcoSkoll »
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Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 08:22:05 PM »
it cannot fittingly be described as a form of energy because it is the substance of an extradimensional space beyond the "jurisdiction" of physical law
... I'd say that's up for debate. Energy is something surprisingly hard to define - we define it by what it can do, because there is no real "be" about it. It is only indirectly observable - you can't point, at any level of scale, and say "There. That's energy", you have to say "That is something that has energy".

It's usually defined at its simplest as something that makes "work" happen - that is, that it can do stuff. And by that yardstick, I'd say warp-stuff can be called energy, because it's very capable of doing things.
We'll agree to disagree here, but I can see your point. I've been working to an expanding theory of aethyric dynamics for some time now (the first points of the theory having been defined about a decade ago), which does heavily influence how I view the interaction of the warp and real-space.

In part, I tend to prefer the term 'warp-stuff', because it's not burdened by concepts linked to physical law, even if it is somewhat vague or ill-defined.

Quote
However, the common definition of necromancy referring to the zombie raising sorcerer type has obviously shifted the term.
Clearly, though many necromancers of fiction do at least partly fit the traditional definition by communing with spirits and gaining knowledge from the dead. A preferable term (and one far more laden with opportunities, IMO), is Thanaturgy, derived from Thanatos and Thaumaturgy.

Quote
And that... well, that seems more than a bit off as a sequence of events to me. Like I say, I'm not sold on the logic that energy/matter is not real because it was once warp energy.
I see your point, but there are a few specific differences in our interpretations of the situation here.

The energy and matter are real, but the Warp is permitting 'impossible' interactions by circumventing physical law. A fireball conjured by a pyrokine is a ball of fire in every sense of the words... but the circumstances by which it comes to exist are artificial - eliminating the need for fuel or an initial heat source (or even oxygen). It's impossible fire. So long as the pyrokine is able to exert influence upon it, he can continue to permit the fire to exist... but the moment that he ceases exerting influence, the fireball once more requires all the things that fire needs to exist. Under normal circumstances, this means that the fireball will dissipate - it has no fuel to continue burning.

To go to your biokinetic example, the warp-spawned effect is the abnormal stimulation of tissue growth, rather than the tissue itself. It would be the path of least resistance (tissue growth is a natural process - the unnatural part is the speed and artifically-directed nature of the growth). Once grown, the arm is entirely real - if it wasn't, it would require continual concentration to maintain (loss of concentration when controlling "warp-stuff" is what causes psychic phenomena and perils of the warp), no different to injuries caused by psychic effects being real (a telekine can break your bones - his method is unnatural, but the injuries are real).

In essence, the effect of an active psychic power is to bend or outright ignore the natural laws of the universe (a passive power is, as previously noted, defined by observation of the Warp to glean some supernatural insight - according to Gav Thorpe's Path of the Seer, the Eldar seem to regard this as the fundamental heart of learning psychic powers, and their focus on mastery of those techniques is why they are so skilled within divination). Different psykers, beyond their innate capacity to draw from the Warp and influence its use, are more or less proficient at creating particular effects based on their own knowledge and instincts.
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Offline krenshar

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 09:51:30 PM »
Eziah, how attached are you to what you describe being a part of Pariah-hood?  As an alternative, there's a mirror-psyker in the Ravenor books (sorry Marco); he has no proactive powers of his own but can eavesdrop on telepathic communication targeted at others and gets the occasional prophetic dream.

Perhaps a Psychic Siphon ability would do the job?
This is just an initial idea but the siphoning could work as an alternative to nullification; a ranged ability targeting an opponent psyker outside of the standard turn sequence.  To siphon, the character rolls d100 at the same time as the psyker's Willpower roll is made.  If the siphoning character's roll is less than the psyker's roll minus the distance between Psyphon and psyker in yards (eg. psyker 8 yards away rolls 53 -> Psyphon needs 44 or less), then providing the psyker has passed it's check, the psychic energy is stolen by the Psyphon and no effect manifests.  If the psyker fails their check they suffer psychic overload as normal and the Psyphon gains nothing.
If the siphoning is successful, the character can attempt to use the same power in his/her next turn.  The Siphon must make their own Willpower check however, applying all bonuses and penalties as normal.  Effectively, the Psyphon becomes a true psyker for that turn but possesses only the psychic ability that was siphoned.  If the Siphon doesn't use this ability within their next turn, the psychic energy dissipates; the Psyphon is not a true psyker and cannot marshal the energy for long.

[EDIT]  One siphoning per Psyphon per turn.  [/EDIT]

Other options include:
  * that the Psyphon suffers a proportion of any psychic overloads the target psyker suffers,
  * a change from siphoning to genuine mirroring - the psyker's power functions as normal and the mirror-psyker can replicate it  in their next turn with a successful
       'siphon' roll.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 09:53:27 PM by krenshar »

Offline Eziah Kranox

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2012, 11:07:29 AM »
Oh, I wasn't too fussed about making a pariah character.
I just thought that it may be theoretically possible and I just wanted to open the idea up to the experts :D.
Although that siphoning idea is cool and I may use it at some point

Offline Koval

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2012, 07:40:50 PM »
So you want to make a character that's somewhere between a Blue Mage and HADOYASTOPTHIS?!

Offline Mordenkenain

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 04:02:36 PM »
there is one case of this somewhere in the background (i think possibly during the horus heresy, though not in the book series of that name), a so-called "black pariah" who is sort of a more active variant, less emptiness, more soul draining void. However, this should never turn up in inquisitor, consider that a culexus assassin is valued at 8-10 space marines (give or take) in 40k, this black pariah would probably be valued at several culexuses, and a space marine is considered somewhat OP in inquisitor games.
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Offline Koval

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 04:59:59 PM »
Spear (in Nemesis) was more or less a one-off and had the Culexus Grand Master crapping himself, though, so I think we can safely ignore it.

I actually don't have many nice things to say about how the Culexus Temple were handled in Nemesis, if I'm honest (not that it was an especially bad read, just that I didn't like that aspect of it)

Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 11:14:32 AM »
though I can't mind at the moment whether Warp/Pariah interactions result in the Warp energy being destroyed/neutralised/whatever or just being shunted back out of reality.
Given that something like telepathy or similar need never involve any appreciable energy entering reality, I doubt the latter.

And, I'm not sure how immune a Pariah might be to the energy once it's in reality - a fireball, biolightning or a telekinetically launched crate is thermal, electrical or kinetic energy, not psychic.
After all, I'm mostly unaffected by magnetic force or energy, but this doesn't make me immune to being run down by a maglev train.

Some sources portray Pariahs as being immune to such things, I know, but I'm not all that sure about the idea, seeing as their shtick is practically "follows mortal laws of physics".
(I'll add my version of Acts of Faith does give the possibility to be unharmed by psychic bolts, but that's the character protecting themselves with force of belief, not actually nullifying the flames/lightning.)

I've just realised why a Pariah COULD be immune to telekenetically thrown objects. If Warp/Real overlap physics is actually Aristotelian or Impetus like, without inertia, then once the telekenetic force is blocked/blunted/diverted, the crate would behave as if it had simply been sitting in midair, without movement - it would fall. I kind of like this idea, because intuitive physics (the physics we basically, at root, start with or behave according to) is mostly Aristotelian or Impetus. Well, not exactly, but there are close formal similarities. Anyway, if Impetus is what we believe, then surely the Warp should, when being physical, behave more like Impetus theory than Newtonian/Inertia theory.
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Pariahs - An idea that intrigued me.
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 01:02:57 PM »
Quote
the crate would behave as if it had simply been sitting in midair, without movement
Except that, if you subtract the initial psychic impulse, there are at least two other forces that have been acting on the crate under normal conditions - gravity, and drag. It'd crash  backwards (drag has been pushing back against it) into the ground very fast (it's already been falling for some time already). In a rotating reference frame, you could also have Coriolis effects.

If you argue you can take motion and take out one of its vectors because it's not real, the end result is more unnatural than what you had in the first place.

There are many reasons I don't like the warp being a subcategory of defined energies (e.g. "warp kinetic energy"), rather than an energy of its own (subject to energy being able to change form).

~~~~~

And I completely forgot to address this point previously:

To go to your biokinetic example, the warp-spawned effect is the abnormal stimulation of tissue growth, rather than the tissue itself.
I disagree. The mass for the arm, unless it is being gleaned from elsewhere in the psyker's physiology (which would only be sustainable if the psyker had considerable excesses of body fat), has come from somewhere and mass conservation has been breached.
The raw materials for that tissue growth to shape are another warp-spawned effect.
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