Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Tools of the Enemy

As I've alluded to previously, I am putting together a sourcebook on the Xanthite faction of the Inquisition. Much like the Thorian, Recongregator, Istvaanian and Amalathian sourcebooks that have come before (all can be downloaded through Marco Skoll's archive), this piece will delve into the history of this much-maligned faction and give insights into how they operate within the Inquisition. Perhaps more than any other faction, the Xanthites find themselves at odds with their fellow Inquisitors due to the use of the weapons and tools of Chaos that forms their central philosophy. Xanthites wish to turn Chaos against itself, and will use any means necessary to achieve their goal. Utilising the strictly forbidden brings them into conflict with the overwhelming majority of the Inquisition that believe a line has been crossed. This fundamental difference leads to open war, which is exactly why they have such an important part to play in Inquisitor campaigns; they are fantastic anti-heroes and antagonists that have the weight of their terrible choices on their shoulders.

At the heart of the book is the tale of Xanthus himself, a man who challenged conventional thought within the Inquisition and tried to show the puritan mainstream that there were other ways to combat the Imperium's enemies. A tragic character, he started a war he had no intention of fighting and died for his beliefs. His beliefs lived on however, and some could point to him being the most important Inquisitor to have borne the seal for how his actions changed the outlook of the institution at the Emperor's left hand.

As well as discussing the part Xanthites play within the Inquisition, there will be a lengthy section on including Xanthites and their unorthodox war bands in games of Inquisitor. One of the strengths of the game is the ability to use just about any archetype one could imagine, and some of the more unusual are most likely to be seen in the retinue of a Radical Inquisitor like a Xanthite. The Exorcised, the Host Bound and Daemonhosts themselves are looked at in depth. I've taken it upon myself to strengthen the Daemonhost archetype by including a new guide to creating the characters, where the type of daemon and its God will have an effect on its strengths and weaknesses, and to apply bonuses and penalties for how strongly bound it is to its host. A once-bound daemon is a massively powerful weapon, but is much more likely to escape its bindings than a thrice-bound daemon whose powers have been diluted (but still potent enough). I have also written a new approach for daemonhosts becoming unbound. The original rules presented in Exterminatus magazine made it far too easy for daemons to become unbound, and practically required a roll every turn to see if the daemon escaped. I can't think of any game where the GM has used these rules. I hope that mine make more sense and are easier to apply to in-game situations.

I have also had a lot of fun coming up with a range of new daemon weapon abilities. The list in the rulebook was a good start, but there is plenty room for more. I have divided the current and new abilities up into five groups, 4 aligned with the Gods of Chaos, and the final group unaligned. I think it's a bit more fitting that some abilities be the preserve of certain Gods. From the original abilities in the rulebook, I think that Deathlust reads like a Khornate property, while Magical Force seems like a property of Tzeentch. The destructive potential of some of the properties, such as Brainleech, in comparison to abilities like Lashing has led me to limit some of them to weapons bound with the essence of a Greater Entity of Chaos (either a bound Daemon Prince or Greater Daemon), as the power of these should be countered by being the preserve of a daemon with high Willpower. If your character wants one of the most deadly weapons, he will have to run the risk of the daemon overpowering him and possessing his mortal form!

That's it for the introductory look at the sourcebook. I'll be releasing more details over the coming weeks and months before the big reveal later this year. For now, I have a number of modelling projects for illustrating the book with, not least the daemonhost that's under construction in this thread on the Conclave.

If anybody has any pictures or pieces of fiction they would like to contribute then please let me know. I will also be looking for proofreaders shortly.

The Carthaxian Inquisitor


  1. Replies
    1. If you are still keen to proof-read, the link to the first draft can be found on the Facebook page if you haven't already seen it.