Author Topic: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR  (Read 847 times)

Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« on: October 24, 2016, 01:33:30 AM »
Just an add-on to my discussion of the Jaq Draco novels.  These guys have, obviously, not been canon in a long time... but isn't that exactly the way they'd want it? ;)

THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR

If you don't like the Illuminati, this topic is not for you. For those of us who do, here are some gaming rules that I have drawn directly from the original fluff (always a dangerous thing in 40K):

"The existence of the Black Library is known to only a few, and entry is allowed to even fewer individuals. The library's 'mind' defends itself from the weak who would misuse its knowledge by refusing entry to all except those who have acknowledged and tempered the Chaos within themselves. The immature, who are still vulnerable to the promises and seductions of Chaos, find that they are unable to pass through its gateway. As a result few have seen within the Library or read any of its books. Only two groups come and go at will: The Human Illuminati and the Solitaires of the Eldar Harlequins."

- Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness page 215.

"They are close-mouthed to such degree that an Inquisitor-Illuminati would torture a brother Illuminati to death to preserve their shared secret - and that brother would go willing to his death in such circumstances. For the Illuminati, the ends - the preservation of Mankind - justify any means, up to and including the destruction of the Emperor and the Imperium."

-- Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness page 216.

IMMUNITY TO MIND CONTROL OF ANY TYPE: These sections seem to indicate that the possession by daemons that the illuminati have undergone has so hardened them that they would be invulnerable to illusion, mind control or any other power that directly effects the mind. They have been suckered once by Chaos, and are no longer buying into it, so Chaos, and immature psykers, cannot effect their minds. Similarly, no more brutal form of mind control, like torture, can ever effect them.

For the same reason, the Illuminati can never be re-possessed by daemons or other warp entities.

"But the Sensei have been duped. There is to be no Armageddon, no Ragnarok, no last battle fought against the forces of Chaos. At the moment the Emperor's will breaks, the Illuminati will offer up the remaining Sensei in a sacrifice to the Golden Throne of Earth. The Emperor and the Sensei will be united, in just the same manner as the Emperor has absorbed countless psykers. The new, evolved Sensei-Emperor, father and sons, will arise to protect and lead Mankind. Such is the plan of the Illuminati."

- Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness page 216.

INFLUENCE OVER THE SENSEI: This seems to indicate that the Illuminati have some control over the Sensei, simply because the Sensei are firmly ensnared within their plans. I would say that a Sensei would have to take a Nerve/Cool test at a -30/-3 modifier to resist the orders of an Illuminatus, not because this is any kind of strange power, but just because he has been so thoroughly duped.

KNOWLEDGE OF THE WEIRD AND ARCANE: Further, their access to the Black Library would mean that the Illuminati know a lot of stuff that other characters just would have no clue about. Occasionally, this might manifest itself in some useful way. Give each Illuminatus a 1d6 roll at the beginning of each scenario to see if anything useful to him is around:

1-3: Nothing special.

4: A bolt hole of some kind exists. Somewhere on the board (within 1d20 inches of the Illuminatus, random direction) is an ancient teleporter, warp gate, secreted spaceship, or something else he can use to escape if he reaches it. Only the Illuminatus will be able to find the bolt-hole, and, if he does, he automatically escapes. He would not use it, of course, unless his mission were complete.

5: Some strange artifact or psychic item exists on the field. Maybe a force sword, force rod, daemon weapon, Chaos artifact of some type, etc. Only the Illuminatus can find and wield it, if he would. It's location is determined randomly, as above, and revealed to the player by the game master.

6: One basic model or mook level character on the other side is actually an ally. He is either an Illuminatus, Sensei or Harlequin Solitaire (equal chance of each). The Illuminatus player can switch this guy out for his 'true' self at any point during the game.

This knowledge also gives him the ability to detect any other Illuminated being, Sensei, Chaos creature or artifact, or psychic creature or artifact on the table, and to know what its powers are.

Illuminati Statistics and Abilities

Most Illuminati will be Inquisitors, and will have profiles and equipment as such. This is simply because the Inquisitor is the character most likely to be possessed by Chaos and have the strength to throw it back out. Other possibilities would include Witch Hunters, Navigators, Space Marine Chapter Commanders, Commissars, and ordinary possessed human psykers (or even non-psykers) who found the wherewithal to cast out the possessing daemon.

Remember that whatever the Illuminatus was before, he is now a servant of the Brotherhood only, and would never betray another illuminated being (including a Solitaire or other illuminated alien). Torturing one another to death where needed, does not count as betrayal, of course.

Becoming Illuminated

If you want to work it into the game, any time a character becomes possessed for any reason, or otherwise falls to Chaos, there is a chance that he fights off the daemon and becomes illuminated. The battle is instantaneous, and is resolved off the table in the realms of Chaos.
The daemon and possessed being fight with any psychic or magical powers and any psychic or magical artifacts they have available. The possessed character can use daemon or chaos weapons if he has them, and if they are not of the same alignment as the possessing daemon: Chaos is, of course, chaotic enough to struggle against itself. Non-psychic weapons and other equipment cannot help. They do not extend into the Empyrean for the purposes of this type of battle.

If the character wins, he emerges, scarred but triumphant, forever an illuminatus. If he fails, he is forever lost to Chaos.

Note that it is completely up to the GM whether or not this happens with any particular character. Most possessed beings give in to Chaos stupidly and wholeheartedly. Only a few have sense enough to try to break free before they are utterly consumed.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 08:11:47 PM by Inquisitor Thaken »

Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 01:36:07 AM »
Hmm.  Blacking out my post for some reason.  Please note that I am the original author, though I also posted it to Dakka, some years ago.

Offline greenstuff_gav

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 08:55:19 AM »
you'd used the [ brackets; this changes colour :)
i make no apologies, i warned you my ability to roll ones was infectious...

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Offline mcjomar

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2016, 09:14:37 AM »
Being as I've currently got some characters (Samantha and Jack) who are Illuminati, the discussions in those two threads might be of interest to you as reference.

That said, I'm not (or to be accurate, no longer) sure that the readings from Realms of Chaos (I've got PDFs) are enough to justify a character be immune to telepathic interference or daemonic possession in-game.
It merely suggests that it happened, and that the characters were able to throw it off - at most for Inquisitor you'd justify it as a crazy overpowered Wp stat, which is the approach I'm probably going to take.

I'm also not sure the "knowledge of wierd stuff" is strictly necessary in Inquisitor. Ditto the Influence over Sensei.
It just indicates in the source text that the Illuminati have managed it, but says nothing about them having any extra special powers or abilities to do so.
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Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2016, 07:58:32 PM »
you'd used the [ brackets; this changes colour :)

Ah!  Thanks.

Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2016, 08:04:31 PM »

That said, I'm not (or to be accurate, no longer) sure that the readings from Realms of Chaos (I've got PDFs) are enough to justify a character be immune to telepathic interference or daemonic possession in-game.

I'm also not sure the "knowledge of wierd stuff" is strictly necessary in Inquisitor. Ditto the Influence over Sensei.
It just indicates in the source text that the Illuminati have managed it, but says nothing about them having any extra special powers or abilities to do so.

*Shrugs*  My version, it will certainly not be everybody's, though I think it works well.

However, as I've said elsewhere (probably ad nauseam) I think the fun of the Imperium is that NOBODY really knows the truth, and EVERYBODY is in conflict as to what the truth really is, often to the point of killing each other over it.  As far as I'm concerned, all rules and fluff, whether retconned and re-retconned by GW, or written by some loon like me, are versions of the truth.  This is a good way of looking at it, as then everything can be incorporated into your game, and even the GM doesn't really know the whole truth of it.

Offline TheNephew

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2016, 08:19:45 PM »
I agree with McJomar as far as the "weird knowledge" goes, but I think you're quite right on the strength of will stuff.

Maybe it's not a plain immunity to psykers and possession, but from what I recall of the fluff, they are Illuminated by the titanic mental effort of excorcising themselves - such an act would leave a lasting impression on a mind that could well render them effectively beyond the reach of virtually anything to possess or control, until we get to "plot element-grade" characters/daemons/etc.

The weird knowledge thing just seems a bit small-scale though; something to do as part of campaign building by your GM, perhaps, but having it be a random roll seems a bit trivialising - these are after all characters with access to the greatest repository of divinatory arcane knowledge perhaps in the universe.
"There's a handy sword over there" seems too small for that.
"I've come to this system to guide events such that [xyz] comes to pass" is more on the scale I'd expect such a character to operate.

Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2016, 08:57:57 PM »
The weird knowledge thing just seems a bit small-scale though; something to do as part of campaign building by your GM, perhaps, but having it be a random roll seems a bit trivialising - these are after all characters with access to the greatest repository of divinatory arcane knowledge perhaps in the universe.
"There's a handy sword over there" seems too small for that.
"I've come to this system to guide events such that [xyz] comes to pass" is more on the scale I'd expect such a character to operate.


Say that the Illuminati need a planet saved from destruction (or maybe destroyed), and that this hits them from out of left field.  They have only a single Illuminatus in the area: that dark and forboding operative known only as "The Nephew".  The briefing goes something like, "...and though we can't offer you any other assistance, we do know from one of our Brothers in the Ordo Xenos that a cloaked null-ship lies buried at a point coded into this transponder-locator.  If you are fortunate, it might just get you out before the quantum-bomb causes the continent to explode..." or whatever.  Trivial, yes, but definitely the sort of thing that might come in handy, if there is anything there at all.

Of course, there would be nothing to stop "The Nephew" from obtaining other knowledge as well, such as why the planet needed destroying or how to go about it, which would probably, as you point out, be built into the mission brief.

Of course, if the Illuminatus is an NPC, as your assumption seems to indicate, then having him show up with a lot of mysterious universe-shattering-level information would be exactly the sort of thing that would be necessary.

This extra knowledge just (maybe) throws in a little something to give him a little extra oomph, and making him seem shrouded in mysterious lore (read as: one snotty bastard) to the PCs.

Offline TheNephew

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2016, 11:48:27 PM »
I think we're pretty much on the same page here, yes.
My quibble was with it being an in-game ability/talent/trait (effectively) rather than a component of the background you'd write the story around.
Certainly for pick-up play you can just have the GM pick or roll something to fit into the scenario - in the respect I agree that it can be something to prop up their power level to an appropriate degree (as big cogs in the galactic meta-plot) without having to resort to "and they have power armour and a power sword and a bolt pistol" as well as their Wp 200.

Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2016, 12:48:29 AM »

Offline jediknight129

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2016, 11:01:36 AM »
Random question here, based on what I have read BG wise doesn't the act of binding a daemon into a host body effectively kill the person? There's stuff where a host is attempting to talk to the binder as the person begging to be helped to be freed from what was done to them that turns out to be the daemon trying to trick them.

Certainly in the Eisenhorn trilogy we are told that binding a daemon to a host effectively destroys the person because the first rune in the series expells the original soul from the body leaving it an empty she'll for the daemon to inhabit.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2016, 12:06:43 PM »
Random question here, based on what I have read BG wise doesn't the act of binding a daemon into a host body effectively kill the person?
Binding a daemon would normally kill the person, but there are two addenda to that - the "normally" part (a botched ritual or a strong enough willed host may be different), and the existence of unbound daemonhosts; binding is not a vital part in possession of a host.
However, unbound daemonhosts tend to not have a sustained role in stories - they have a much shorter lifespan, as the binding anchors the daemon and slows its corruption of its host, and they're also not the type that people tend to willingly create (given it's giving the daemon inside free-rein, which is generally in the category of "bad ideas").

I would suspect that the distinct majority of illuminati will come about from an unbound possession.
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Offline mcjomar

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2016, 01:24:58 PM »
The eisenhorn trilogy makes note that one part of a binding process includes the removal of the previous soul. In my characters background I've  assumed that the lack of that part of the process plus a strong enough Wp would possibly lead to the chance of survival of that soul and possible illumination if they are truly strong enough. But that's just my take based on available information
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Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2016, 01:34:56 PM »
Been a looooooong time  since I read Eisenhorn, but IIRC, the Arbites (can't remember his name) who serves him betrays him at the end of the series, and gets possessed by Eisenhorn's bound daemon  (also can't remember his name; Cherubael, maybe?) and the resulting monstrosity now likes Eisenhorn, rather than wanting to screw him over at every possibility. 

If I do recall that correctly, that would seem to indicate that something of the underlying man survived.

Offline mcjomar

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Re: THE ILLUMINATI IN INQUISITOR
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2016, 04:44:33 PM »
I was never quite sure about that.
We've seen it added to with some ministories, and the new Bequin series, starting with Pariah I think is the name.
But I assumed it was just a part of the much tighter binding process Eisenhorn applied. Didn't think of it being tied to Fischig.
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