Author Topic: Assassins and Personality  (Read 2553 times)

Offline Alyster Wick

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Assassins and Personality
« on: June 19, 2011, 10:24:58 PM »
I've been slowly gathering bits to create an Officio Assassinorum character but have hit an impasse. While I had the most difficult pieces in place for the model it occurred to me that it would be rather boring to do a generic assassin based off of their 28mm counterparts. Why not go for something more unique, I thought.

Anyway, going along this lines I started thinking about how I could change the apparel of the character which got me thinking about individuality and ultimately I landed on the question of, "Just how much of a personality do officio assassins have?"

Doing some light research it seems like (barring eversors) there is a lot of potential for deviation. Given, there will tons of mental conditioning and their loyalty to the Emperor must be beyond doubt. To that end my thoughts were that the temple itself must have a very narrow, hardline view of Imperial justice which is predicated absolute loyalty to the institution of the Imperium embodied by the Senate. My thoughts were that institutional loyalty should solve the problem of philosophical questions. They are agents of action, leaving philosophy to the bureaucrats.

Anyway, I've started ranting but based on the (admittedly light) research I've done there seems to be no reason why an officio assassin couldn't be a vibrant and interesting character. While there will be inherent limits on them and much work would be done to break them out of their hard as nails archetype it should work.

Just wanted to get thoughts, feels, criticisms from the conclave masses.

Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Assassins and Personality
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 10:57:25 PM »
Well, I don't know about personalities (though perhaps look up interviews with Special Forces and the like?) but I did have the idea that there might be other sets of equipment within the temples than those shown in the 28mm versions. An Eversor who specialises in unarmed or improvised weapons - he could be infiltrated in, not appearing on weapon scanners, and would then kill his targets using whatever he can find on the way. A Vindicare who uses the weapons of the enemy, to make it look like someone other than the Imperium performed the assassination. A Callidus with more concealed weapons than the usual Neural Shredder and Phase Sword - implanted weapons, for example - or take a leaf out of Meh'Lindi's book and make one who impersonates aliens.

Thinking about personality though, how about one who is also an artist? Who sees their life as art, their killing as art, and their painting/sculpting/poetry as art as well.
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Offline SpanielBear

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Re: Assassins and Personality
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 11:04:47 PM »
Well, I presume the more esoteric death cults and so forth are up to the creative force behind the cult in question. But within the background of the big four, lessee...

Callidus- Would need to be fairly personable for their modus operandi. It's all very well to disguise yourself, but if you can't display a wide range of emotions you aren't going to get very far. That said, I imagine a callidus assassin may well have some identity/personality issues- you spend so long behind so many masks, you're going to become pretty existential about the 'real you'. I could see a certain amount of see-sawing in behaviour, alternating between acting and responding in ways that are most likely to garner the trust and affection of their colleagues, then snapping back into being really distant and cold, to try and compensate for behaving as though they were 'working'. I also imagine trust would play a big part in any relationship or friendship they formed- living behind a disguise being so important to the assassins survival, it would be incredibly meaningful for them to abandon that safety net- to show someone their 'real' face.

Eversor- Well, these guys are indeed hampered by being drugged up rage machines. I guess again it depends on their fluff- as in, are the drugs permanent, or mission dependant. Because if they have periods of lucidity, then that can be really interesting. You could have an individual who shakes and scratches from the withdrawal, or someone who is totally dissociated from the personality that emerges when he works. The idea of a calm, polite, skull faced killing machine appeals somehow. Perhaps he oil-paints... Do they remember what happens when they kill? Are they directing the slaughter, or do they ride along as a helpless observer of the carnage? Or is their concious mind totally oblivious, but the experiences of their subconscious self always boils beneath the surface. I believe it is an Conclave members signature: I would be king of infinite space, but that I have bad dreams...

Vindicare- These guys actually seem to be almost bland, given that their methods involve killing from a very long way away. It would be easy to go down the cold sniper route, but that seems generic. As immensly skilled individuals, I imagine that they would have superiority complexes from here to Cadia. I would imagine it is tremendously hard to be someone who could shoot a penny from two miles away, and not develop a certain condescension for the little people. I could almost see them as giant, human cats- arrogant, aloof, having servants rather than friends, and if they screw up they would immediately kill all witnesses and pretend it never happened. I doubt they would lick themselves in the same way, but apart from that. Alternatively there could be a patronising element, trying to impart the ways of their obvious talents upon poor, benighted lessers.

Culexus- Imagine being someone that no one could love. Pariahs are soulless, and inspire revulsion in their peers, but there is no reason that they couldn't have the potential to be psychologically rounded human beings. It could be truly tragic- wanting to be friendly and warm and caring, but never receiving validation for the overtures you make. Bitterness is certainly one option, but another is over-reaching- A Culexus with no concept of personal space and boundaries, who always tries to start each mission with a group hug, and gives you inappropriately expensive gifts out of the blue, and they have absolutely no chance at all of being endearing. Almost makes you feel sorry for the abomination.

Is this the sort of thing you had in mind? I mean obviously there is no limit to how characters could be conceived, but these struck me as some interesting rough profiles that moved beyond the 'cold focused killer' model.
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Offline Zakkeg

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Re: Assassins and Personality
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 09:34:10 AM »
Love your take on the Callidus and Vindicare, Span - particularly the cat analogy. Red Dwarf, anyone?  ;D

Alyster had it right the first time on Eversors, though; they're permanent nutters, to the point that they must be kept restrained (cryo-stasis, if memory serves) between missions.

Not sure I like the clingy Culexus idea. Makes some sense psychologically, but they're really meant to be the grimdarkiest of grimdark, and pushing for group hugs will tend to put rather a large dent in that. Gets even worse when you realize that physical proximity to a high-level null causes nausea...

Though it occurs to me that they should be able to interact normally amongst themselves and their fellow pariahs. Just, y'know, something to think about.
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Offline Alyster Wick

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Re: Assassins and Personality
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2011, 08:13:03 PM »
I'm really liking all these ideas, thanks guys for the brainstorming assist!

Together I'm cobbling together thoughts on a pariah somewhat of a God complex who splits his time between abstract art and training. He fancies himself the emperor's hand of death and takes the creation of art (inspired by his executions) as gifts from the emperor. In his mind he has elevated himself above mortals and believes that the death-aura he carries with him is a divine blessing.

Of course there are strong elements of an almost insane break with reality here but I figure that this type of thing needs to be tolerated in the culexus temple more than the others as it's rather difficult to find someone with the pariah gene who can actually perform on the physical level demanded by the officio.