N18 The fabled khornate psyker, and what to make of it

PedroLoco

Juve
May 30, 2018
40
83
28
34
Cruas-Meysse, France
Hi,

In another thread, we discussed a bit about the various cults of Khorne in Necromunda. Fluff-wise, I felt that using psykers in Khornate cults was a bit inappropriate, but rules-wise, the changes it implied was out of the scope of the previous thread. So I open this one. I am not sure it belongs to this part of the forum, and not the Rules section, so if you feel so and can move the thread, feel free to do so.

First, I wonder about something : it seems that Helot Cultists unwittingly worship the Chaos gods. At least, the Cultists are unaware of this, but the Demagogue knows. As such, a Khorne-worshipping Demagogue would surely scorn psykers and at the very least avoid them. Ok, but... Helots can change their allegiance.
Second, CGCs seem to be a bit more extreme in their veneration of Kho... the Lord of Bone and Sinew. The even eschew the use of ranged weaponry (despite it being one of the most killy instruments invented by humanity), just to please their bloody divinity. So well... psykers would seem to be quite a small sacrifice (literally, most often) to the veneration of the Lord. All of this be well and good, but... CGCs don't nominally venerate the Big K, so does their LoBaS also reject psykers ? Any Chaos scholar to enlighten me about the behavior of local incarnations of the 4 majors Chaos gods ?
Third and last, the problem is a mix of the two preceding when we look at Chaos-corrupted house gangs : do they wittingly worship Khorne ? Even if it is the case, do they even know about the Khornate tenets that prevent the use of psykers ?

So I thought along two lanes :
- Either Khorne can manifest its distaste for the gangs use of psykers in one way or another, encouraging a gang who uses them to seek the patronage of some of the more weakling-loving gods (that is, the other big 3). It's simple, doesn't unbalance of the game much (well, much more than it is already at least), and requires minimal rules adjustment : a malus in the Dark Ritual for everybody, and a malus to the conversion roll for the soon-to-be corrupted gang ; something steep enough to make them rethink their choice of henchmen or divinity. As the corrupted gangs cannot change their chosen cult, it would be pretty useless to choose Khorne if they ally with psykers on a regular basis, though it leaves the door open to sporadic collaboration (if you don't seek the blessings for a time, as the malus would also increase the risk of spawndom). For Helots, it would prevent you from seeking Khorne's blessing as long as you have a psyker in the gang. However, it does nothing for the CGCs, as they don't seek favour of the gods, being an always-Khorne cult.
- Or you can simply prevent Khornate cult from recruiting psykers, forcing them to leave when the cult/gang becomes aligned to Khorne. To compensate for the loss, some boon would be in order (as we all know how psyker powers are game-changingly powerful... well, without sarcasm, it should be a sacrifice to renounce psykers forever ; that it is not is pretty sad). CGCs could be prevented from taking psykers altogether without any change, I believe. They are boony enough as it is, imho (though if you disagree, some kind of boon could be added to them, too). This is more of a problem for Helots, as they may have to renounce to the oh-so-powerful witch (see previous remark on the usefulness of psykers) ; anyway, being forced to renounce/remove a true gang member (not a hired gun) should be compensated more substantially, I think. Maybe with another champion type, but given how crappy the witch is, it may introduce some balance problem (maybe keep this if the gang becomes khornate forever ? with other boons for aligning definitely with other gods ? it goes beyond the present scope).

What do you make of this ? Am I overthinking this ? Anyway, any thought is good to read.
 

Baffo

Gang Champion
Aug 2, 2018
385
863
118
Ljubljana
Hi,

In another thread, we discussed a bit about the various cults of Khorne in Necromunda. Fluff-wise, I felt that using psykers in Khornate cults was a bit inappropriate, but rules-wise, the changes it implied was out of the scope of the previous thread. So I open this one. I am not sure it belongs to this part of the forum, and not the Rules section, so if you feel so and can move the thread, feel free to do so.

First, I wonder about something : it seems that Helot Cultists unwittingly worship the Chaos gods. At least, the Cultists are unaware of this, but the Demagogue knows. As such, a Khorne-worshipping Demagogue would surely scorn psykers and at the very least avoid them. Ok, but... Helots can change their allegiance.
Second, CGCs seem to be a bit more extreme in their veneration of Kho... the Lord of Bone and Sinew. The even eschew the use of ranged weaponry (despite it being one of the most killy instruments invented by humanity), just to please their bloody divinity. So well... psykers would seem to be quite a small sacrifice (literally, most often) to the veneration of the Lord. All of this be well and good, but... CGCs don't nominally venerate the Big K, so does their LoBaS also reject psykers ? Any Chaos scholar to enlighten me about the behavior of local incarnations of the 4 majors Chaos gods ?
Third and last, the problem is a mix of the two preceding when we look at Chaos-corrupted house gangs : do they wittingly worship Khorne ? Even if it is the case, do they even know about the Khornate tenets that prevent the use of psykers ?

So I thought along two lanes :
- Either Khorne can manifest its distaste for the gangs use of psykers in one way or another, encouraging a gang who uses them to seek the patronage of some of the more weakling-loving gods (that is, the other big 3). It's simple, doesn't unbalance of the game much (well, much more than it is already at least), and requires minimal rules adjustment : a malus in the Dark Ritual for everybody, and a malus to the conversion roll for the soon-to-be corrupted gang ; something steep enough to make them rethink their choice of henchmen or divinity. As the corrupted gangs cannot change their chosen cult, it would be pretty useless to choose Khorne if they ally with psykers on a regular basis, though it leaves the door open to sporadic collaboration (if you don't seek the blessings for a time, as the malus would also increase the risk of spawndom). For Helots, it would prevent you from seeking Khorne's blessing as long as you have a psyker in the gang. However, it does nothing for the CGCs, as they don't seek favour of the gods, being an always-Khorne cult.
- Or you can simply prevent Khornate cult from recruiting psykers, forcing them to leave when the cult/gang becomes aligned to Khorne. To compensate for the loss, some boon would be in order (as we all know how psyker powers are game-changingly powerful... well, without sarcasm, it should be a sacrifice to renounce psykers forever ; that it is not is pretty sad). CGCs could be prevented from taking psykers altogether without any change, I believe. They are boony enough as it is, imho (though if you disagree, some kind of boon could be added to them, too). This is more of a problem for Helots, as they may have to renounce to the oh-so-powerful witch (see previous remark on the usefulness of psykers) ; anyway, being forced to renounce/remove a true gang member (not a hired gun) should be compensated more substantially, I think. Maybe with another champion type, but given how crappy the witch is, it may introduce some balance problem (maybe keep this if the gang becomes khornate forever ? with other boons for aligning definitely with other gods ? it goes beyond the present scope).

What do you make of this ? Am I overthinking this ? Anyway, any thought is good to read.
You might be overthinking it, or at least overthinking the House rulings to correct it...
There are not that many Hire-able psykers that would work for a Chaos aligned gang (most of the existing named psykers are Law abiding and the couple available to Outlaw gangs are fairly minor), so 'preventing Khorne gangs to hire them' is not really that much of a sacrifice, but problem arise with 'involuntary' psykers within the gang (due to Ghast ingestion or Chaos favours table from BoR), since 'fluff-wise' if a Khorne worshipping gang rolls up the 11-12 result on favour table, which permanently turns a gang member into a Psyker, that 'gift' is coming from Khorne himself.

My suggestion would be to just re-name Wyrd powers to Demonic gifts, when applied to Khorne followers (which gets around the fluff inconsistency of Khorne creating Psykers among his followers), and mechanically just play them as any Wyrd powers (maybe if you want to roleplay add the rule forbidding Khorne gangs to hire out-of-gang Psykers).

If that is not enough for your group, then you may very well 'forbid' Psykers in Khorne cults, but in that case you have to come up with an alternate result in the Chaos favour table (since gaining a Chosen Psykik power is equivalent to gaining a new skill, maybe if a Khorne gang rolls 11-12 they get to chose a fighter and chose a Combat/Brawn/Ferocity/Savagery skill for him/her instead, would be an equivalent benefit, more thematically appropriate to Khorne).

hope that helps and cheers!
 
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Scavvierising

Gang Hero
Honored Tribesman
Aug 3, 2016
511
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The Novel Blood Pact has Khorne Blood rituals that basically equate to magic powers. So already wiggle room for Khorne psykers. Although that was written by Dan Abnett who takes some liberties with cannon.
Don't know how often you're rolling favors and that in your campaign but a little bit of imagination and most of the effects gained could be explained by daemon gifts and bio weaponry growth's which please Khorne. Back in RT champions might have things like lascannons growing out of their arms WFB as well. So such affects should be easily explainable.
With regards to allying with psykers there isn't really a problem. It's not his followers doing magic just some bad kids they got caught up with. Old chaos books like to stress how Khorne likes it a lot when you turn on your allies/friends/families etc. So the big Kdog probably assumes you're allying with them just so you can betray them.
 
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PedroLoco

Juve
May 30, 2018
40
83
28
34
Cruas-Meysse, France
Thank you both for the input. I didn't know about those special K's rituals which makes an opening for khornate powers. The Demonic Gifts instead of Wyrd Powers is a nice workaround for the moment, as each can be explained by the way of totally-not-psychic mutations (and they are crap anyway).
I'll still work on an heavier modification for my friends and I to use, I'll post here when it is ready.
 

spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
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Tribe Council
Feb 8, 2013
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Yeah khorne blood mages and similar references are scattered about in a few places in the lore. Gore mages, blood witches and the like would be how I'd envisage khorne psykers. or just... you know... khorne psykers. He is the god of martial powers, duty, honour, strength, skulls, blood, etc etc etc, he has many many facits, and not all of them would abhore magic in all its forms, just likely never be a main focus to any.