Author Topic: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted  (Read 2768 times)

Offline Swarbie

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Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« on: March 29, 2010, 11:36:59 AM »
*in character*
Year: 010. M42
Author: Storm-Trooper Captain Darthos Cade
To: Inquisitorial Guard Commander Sheelan Cade

Brother, I write to warn you of a new threat. It is insidious, and has been spreading across the system of +CENSORED BY ORDER OF INQUISITION+. I believe it was first discovered by the tau, who attempted to use it as a weapon, then abandoned it when it proved uncontrollable.

This threat is a new species of xenos. It is a carnivorous hominid, standing over 7 feet tall when upright. It has a voracious taste for human flesh, and will seek us out relentlessly.

Its defining feature is a lack of any form of head. Its eyes are located on its shoulders, and its large mouth has replaced the abdominal muscles. Its teeth are large, over 4 inches long in cases, and it has three rows of these on each jaw. A number of fleshy tentacles adorn its back.

The legs of this creature are immensely strong, propelling it more than 30 feet in a single bound, and its hands are tipped with vicious barbed claws. An autopsy of one beast has revealed that all of its major organs are low down in the body, and its brain located approximately 10 cm above its genitals. Biologis Haines has decided to name this species Xenos decaput anthropophagi

Study has shown, at the cost of many lives, that they are nocturnal and live in burrows that may extend up to 600 meters under the surface, provided the soil is firm. They live in packs consisting of one dominant and up to three subservient males, a matriarch, and over 20 other breeding females. Once under a planets surface, they spread quickly, and soon become almost impossible to dislodge from their captured territory.  

Although they have less-than-human levels of intelligence, they have much cunning, and in several cases have managed to stow away on board merchant vessels. When the vessels made port, they burst out of hiding, devoured the crew and slaughtered their way out of the starport.  

Although I have quarantined the system in proxy of my master, there is no guarantee that they will not escape somehow, whether it be aboard a smuggler's vessel, or, God-Emperor protect, aboard my own ship. Beware, for they do indeed make fearsome enemies.

Regarding my master . . . The Biologis has been trying his best, but I fear it will take some time. I believe it will be many years before we are able to revive Jorken, if ever.

The Emperor Protects!!!

Darthos Cade

*out of character*

Ok, so this is a nasty xenos critter I dreamed up after reading The Monstrumologist: The Terror Beneath. They are almost identical to the creatures in the book, but I added tentacles to make them a little more gribbly.

I plan on making one of these some time with the aid of the chaos spawn kit.

Now, what do YOU people think? Do you like it? Love it? Can't stand the idea? Please, tell me. If anyone feels inspired to make some, I'd be honoured to see your take on these.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 11:39:38 AM by Swarbie »
And I saw her body burning,
With it, my world
To dust returning

Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 01:58:23 PM »
They remind me of the old version of the Genestealer, from Rogue Trader - which is good! The 41st Millennium seems to be lacking a "simple" predator...
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kamikaze watermelon

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2010, 02:22:24 PM »
Pretty good. Definitely fills the space Genestealers left when it turned out they were Tyranids and not an independent species.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2010, 05:13:27 PM »
...and its brain located approximately 10 cm above its genitals.
Hmm, a species that literally thinks below the waist.

Quote
I have decided to name this species Xenos anthropophagi horribilis
That's not really much of a defining species name. Let me translate: Scary alien that eats humans. That doesn't narrow it down much at all, as there are quite a lot of species that do that in the 41st millennium.

Your missive expressly states that its defining feature is a lack of head - and species names generally go for describing defining features - so likely, decaput would feature in the species name.
Something like Xenos decaput anthropophagi is a more likely name - horriblis, as far as I know, appears in no genuine species name, as "scary" is nowhere near descriptive enough to be any use.

If you're wondering why I've ordered it that way around, it's more likely that decaput would be the genus than anthropophagi, as the first is more defining than the second.

Also, it's unlikely a Storm Trooper captain would have any say in the species naming whatsoever. The Biologis you mention could however have some say in it, and would also presumably have access to enough information to work out that this is a new species - after all, you can only work out that it's a new species if you've done an exhaustive check to make sure that it's not already been discovered.

~~~~~

That's my thoughts at least. You'd probably need to talk to someone like Sargoth to get the best answer, but I'm generally pretty well versed in science. After all, science is interesting...

However, those quibbles aside, sounds pretty good.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 05:16:49 PM by MarcoSkoll »
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Offline Swarbie

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 11:38:13 AM »
My thanks to everyone. Especially Marco. That's a good point. I think I will edit the original post for this. After all, "scary alien that eats humans" is accurate, but not amazingly specific.

Also, I will be expanding the information on this beasty as the Biologis runs more tests and autopsies.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 11:40:25 AM by Swarbie »
And I saw her body burning,
With it, my world
To dust returning

Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 10:44:18 PM »
Sounds like a great idea for a gribbly - i'd love to see a model of it!

Although they have less-than-human levels of intelligence, they have much cunning, and in several cases have managed to stow away on board merchant vessels.

It would have great potential for an 'Alien' style scenario aboard a starship. The inability to use projectile weapons (due to the vessels having thin walls oir some such reason) would make for an interesting and tense game as the characters are forced to face the beast 'head on' (perhaps an inappropriate phrase!)

Offline Myriad

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2010, 01:23:17 PM »
A very interesting idea.  I've always liked the idea of an inquisitor game with limited (or malfunctioning) technology.

I love the creature themselves.  There's always room for more gribbly alien monsters in inquisitor.
I had better point out, that some of the clubs I represent are of a military bent.

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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2010, 05:17:55 PM »
... scenario aboard a starship. The inability to use projectile weapons (due to the vessels having thin walls oir some such reason)...
If you're ever on a spacecraft where you can't use projectile weapons because it could pierce the walls, it's not a great one to be on. While micro-meteors are rare, they do exist, and while small, they are very fast - 60 km/s is not impossible. Compare to the fastest projectile* human kind has ever managed at 42 km/s.
*Of significant mass. Sub-atomic particles or nuclei are not included.
Anything that's going to be in space for a prolonged time will need to be able to survive such impacts time and time again - if their integrity would be seriously threatened by anything short of anti-materiel weapons, then it's really not up to task.

A better way in my mind of limiting the effect of projectile weapons is with very tight conditions, so there's never a line of sight of more than a few yards. Dark conditions can also help - if it's very poorly lit, how are you to know if that noise was your team-mate or the gribbly monster? You could shoot at any noise you hear, but that might mean shooting the wrong thing... or simply using up your ammo to no avail.
Done right, this can actually make using projectile weapons more of a disadvantage than not using them. The character may never be able to get off a shot at a charging monster, and then they've got to fumble around changing to hand-to-hand weapons.

In my mind, the best way of controlling things is to make using them impractical or unreliable, rather than saying that they can't be used.

- Want to curb that bioscanner? There's a warren of rodents under this area, and your bioscanner is picking them up as well. Good luck telling the real results from the fake ones.

- Too many guns? Well, there are pockets of explosive gas in this manufactorum - firing a gun is now a risky action, with failure setting off a small explosion centred on the character.

- Want to keep psykers under control? It is said that this cave taints the warp and tricks the mind. Drawing upon the aethyr here can cost you your sanity - even if only temporarily. Hence, any psyker who rolls certain numbers (any number ending in 3, a prime number, etc - your choice) on their test must pass a Wp test or suffer from hallucinations, whether or not the power was successful.

Now, to me, that kind of rule makes for a more interesting game than just an outright banning. Players may choose to interpret it as "Don't use guns/psychic powers/etc", but if they don't... well, that's when the fun happens.
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Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 08:29:42 PM »
If you're ever on a spacecraft where you can't use projectile weapons because it could pierce the walls, it's not a great one to be on. While micro-meteors are rare, they do exist, and while small, they are very fast - 60 km/s is not impossible. Compare to the fastest projectile* human kind has ever managed at 42 km/s.

To be honest my statement was never one of personal scientific hypothesis - it's just what is said in the film Alien - the source i was quoting. They can't shoot the Aliens because that breaches the hulls (as seen in Alien:Resurrection), and they can't stab it because it's blood would corrode the hulls. It was never based on my own 'findings' 'understandings' or 'theories' - i was just making a movie reference and suggesting a scenario based around the movie.

On the other hand, could it not be said that a forcefield being generated around the ship is what deflects micro-meteors and other projectiles and that the walls alone could not? Because the forcefield is only designed to deflect missiles outside of the ship (imagine it like a bubble around the ship) it would not prevent something INSIDE the ship piercing the walls. Still, just a suggestion - the idea was more a throwaway thing than something i'd really thought through; the quote just reminded me of Alien, and I was suggesting an Alien scenario.

Still, I really like your alternate suggestions - I've actually already played a game with the anti-Psyker rule (in 28mm). It was set in a 'haunted mansion' - which was just a place which, due to daemonic activity was just much less separated from the warp than standard space. Thus, every time you used a psychic power you had to roll a D6 and on a roll of a 1, your brain suffers a 'kickback', and you can't use psychic powers for a certain amount of turns (I can't remeber how many it was). It was rubbish for me, because my psyker rolled a 1 on his first turn! Still, it was a fun scenario, which, if i recall correctly ended with a Slaneeshi Daemon doing unspeakable things to some redshirts.... Good times, good times...

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 03:18:43 AM »
To be honest my statement was never one of personal scientific hypothesis - it's just what is said in the film Alien - the source i was quoting.
Well, I'll admit that I've never seen Alien, so the reference would be lost on me. But my point stands - spacecraft have to be capable of surviving far more serious impacts than the average firearm.

Quote
On the other hand, could it not be said that a forcefield being generated around the ship is what deflects micro-meteors and other projectiles and that the walls alone could not?
The AdMech tend to look on shields as a supplement to physical armour rather than a replacement.

Quote
Still, I really like your alternate suggestions
It's what I tend to do with my normal group, because they're less likely to complain about being hindered in doing something than being outright banned from doing it.

After all, it's one thing to tell a player of the hazard - it's quite another to make the decision that their characters are going to take it seriously for them. Mr Shoot M. McBlamBlam might well get told that sparks could set off pockets of explosive gas, but does that really mean he'll leave his guns in his holsters?

There are obviously lots of ways to GM, and what I do probably doesn't work for others, but one of my principles is to keep any interference with the roleplaying to a minimum. A character's actions are the player's choice to make. So, except in rare cases, I tend to go with the principle of making the character not want to do something, rather than telling them they can't.

One particularly good way to make characters/players even more paranoid is to not hand over the full rules for hazards. Sometimes I might tell the players how the hazard is set off, but not how serious the results are. Or if I'm feeling really evil, I may just tell them what the hazard is, and let them worry about how they might set it off and what will happen.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Alyster Wick

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2010, 04:59:39 AM »
Quote
Well, I'll admit that I've never seen Alien, so the reference would be lost on me.

Considering your encyclopedic knowledge of things this shocks me to no end.  As an Inquisitor player I demand you watch it now (and at least its sequel Aliens, if not the 3rd as well).  The series are like Inquisitor games waiting to happen.

Bad on Topic:

I am going to admit that I'm not a huge fan of headless creatures.  I guess I just like my gribblies with faces (I realize the hypocrisy of saying this less than a day after posting my own created race which is nothing but tentacles above the waist, however they also wear bio-suits that make them look more "normal" so they can fit in with other species). 

That said, they are perfect in that anyone could easily make them using the spawn models as a basis (I thought that was your inspiration before I got to the bottom).  I could see them being fun to play against, I guess if I were to try and create a creature to fill the void left by genestealers then these wouldn't be my cup of tea due to the headlessness.  The background and modeling possibilities are solid though and that's what really counts.  I'm very open to having my mind changed once you whip some of these up.

Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 01:20:50 PM »
I too demand you watch Alien and Aliens! Beyond all the inspiration they give, they're just great films! Don't bother with 3 or resurrection though (just my opinion, but they are widely agreed upon as rubbish). Anyway, i apologise for threadjacking - this is my last off-topic post here.

Offline Swarbie

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Re: Inquisitorial brief: New species of xenos spotted
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2010, 05:36:42 AM »
Quote
Don't bother with 3 or resurrection though


These are the two films from the series that I've seen, and both were ok, but not great. I've seen snippets of the first two, and they look much better.

Anyway.

*in character voice*
Author: Darthos Cade
To: Sheelan Cade
Rating: Urgent


Sheelan, Biologis Haines has been doing more research in the past month, but has now mysteriously disappeared. The creatures have begun to mount an assault on our base of operations down at the planet's surface.

I've attached some of Haines' research to this message for you.

I must go now. I am needed at the base.

The Emperor Protects

Darthos.

***

File Attached: 24Z-Alpha-AlphaQ

Opening . . .

These creatures are remarkable pioneers of evolution! They are incredibly tough and strong, and move far faster than anything my initial studies could have revealed.

Their claws and teeth appear to be compounds formed from keratin and a naturally formed silicate structure; the silicate forms the core of each tooth or claw and the keratin sheaths it. This means the claws and teeth are extremely hard-wearing and almost unbreakable, and as the keratin sheath is worn down it is quickly regrown to form a razor-sharp edge.

This allows the creatures to form the tunnels and burrows they live in very quickly, and they can dig towards their prey, using their heightened senses to pick up vibrations.

Their ears are long slits located on the side of the ribcage, underneath the armpit. Testing has revealed their hearing to be at least five times more sensitive than that of the average human.

The jaws are powered by muscles with a high number of fast-twitch muscle fibres, allowing them to exert huge forces when biting. I estimate the pressure generated by the bite of one of these creatures to be somewhere in the realms of two thousand pounds per square inch. Evidence on the battlefield supports this; I have seen a man broken in two with a single bite, not to mention the destruction they can cause to ranged weaponry when they get close. Although I have explained numerous times to the storm-troopers that I specialize in bio-mechanics, they still insist on bringing their hell-guns to me for repair. In most cases, the weapon is beyond repair, often having had the barrel or power-ports crushed.

The creatures' teeth are somewhat serrated but also taper to a point, allowing them to grip or cut as required. The teeth are also home to some of the most virulent strains of bacteria I have ever encountered; in many cases, those who are bitten are too ill to continue fighting once their wounds have been treated. I have been forced to perform many amputations and bionic replacements to prevent soldiers from losing their lives to gangrene.

The tentacles are both an extension of the creatures' digestive tracts and the housing for their olfactory and taste organs. The creatures cannot use these tentacles to grip anything, but have a certain amount of control over them, allowing them to position the tentacles to taste and smell a potential food item before ingesting it. These organs are so sensitive that when we lay out corpses stuffed with poison, the creatures ignore them entirely, instead of falling upon the dead flesh and devouring it, as is their usual behaviour towards any dead creatures, and particularly human corpses, left outside the base's walls.

Finally, my autopsies have revealed a fatal weakness in these creatures. When a human is shot in the head, there is a fairly good chance of survival (depending on the weapon used, obviously), as the skull will absorb much of the impact and occasionally deflect or stop the projectile, thus protecting the brain. However, these creatures have only a thin layer of cartilage and their groin muscles protecting their brain, at least from the front. From behind, the pelvic bones provide good protection; but a good shot to the groin from the front will almost always kill these creatures. Even in the cases where the shot misses the brain (which is significantly smaller than a human's), the shock and trauma tend to do enough damage to either kill the beast or knock it unconscious at the very least.

This weakness gives us a chance, at the very least. A chance. 
And I saw her body burning,
With it, my world
To dust returning