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 Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO

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KnightSeerValkia
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PostSubject: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Thu Jan 10 2013, 21:54

Was reading an email from GW about their events and it mentioned Kill Team, and since the idea of Kill Team interests me (will probably try to convince either my boyfriend or my local to do a Kill Team sometime soon) I decided to read up about the rules provided by the 2013 Kill Team pdf and FAQ...

Quote :
Q. What if I give one of my specialists the Psyker Special Rule?
A. Your specialist becomes a Mastery Level 1 Psyker, and has ac-cess to all of the psychic powers normally available to psykers from his codex. If your codex does not include any psychic powers (eg Tau or Dark Eldar), then you have access to the Pyromancy and Biomancy disciplines from the Warhammer 40,000 rule book.

So basically Kill Team lets use go "Oh I want to play with a Psyker, but I want to play Dark Eldar and they don't have Psykers...nevermind the fluff XD"

So in addition to the blantant disregard of Commoragh law and general canon (Shadowseer not withstanding), an interesting idea on creating indivdual fluff to explain and enrich the Dark Eldar experience with a new twist or totally off the wall crazy by GW's part? Personally, I'm gonna say both because it does allow creatively to shine and play with unusual toys but still its crazy lol. Your thoughts?

Now for those more interested in the tatical side of this, would you use a Psyker as one of your 3 specialists at all? And if so what units would you think to use this surprisng bit of information? My thoughts on this jump to either Reavers or Incubi if nothing else for the sheer cool factor of Jetbike Psyker or Deadly Assault Psyker =3

(Inb4 everyone knew this already and I am just a fool xP)


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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Thu Jan 10 2013, 22:11

I would say that if you're into the fluff and want an explaination then think of it like this:
The Dark Eldar are a race that is so technologically advanced that some of their stuff borders on magic. I bet that an ambitious Haemie could think up some sort of implant that would allow the manipulation of physics and cause the conversion of kinetic, or sound, or whatever other energy is present into a torrent of flames that could be controlled by the thoughts of the implant's user.

If you like fluff, stay away from using the explaination of them being a psyker, I implore you! 9'Tis just from my dislike of them, though.)

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Fri Jan 11 2013, 08:05

You can think of it like your a psycher employed by Duke since he and his fleet doesnt live in Commorragh. Even Corsair live in his fleet and seek it for safety from time to time.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Fri Jan 11 2013, 11:16

I believe Cavash is onto the intent of GW. Both Biomancy and Pyromancy can very easily be explained with technological gadgets or implants. For example, Biomancy:

Smite - a lightning gun
Iron Arm - easily can be a sophisticated shielding augment
Enfeeble - a device that emits disorienting gas (hell, the Grey Knight grenades have these effects)
Endurance - can be treated as a biostim injector or extremely potent combat drugs
Life Leech - oh dear, it's the Animus Vitae of old! Not sure how it would work out for Tau, but even then you could easily come up with something.
Warp Speed - combat drugs that make you crazy fast.
Haemorrhage - oh, so deliciously Dark Eldar... Easily could be a random piece of Haemonculus kit, or some experimental shock weapon for Tau.

Now for Pyromancy:
Flame Breath - that's a flamer. That burns you extra hard.
Fiery Form - some kind of a flame shield combined with strength enhancing gadgets.
Fire Shield - exactly that, a shield projector that harms the enemy around the target.
Inferno - a sophisticated mini-grenade launcher that sweeps the target area with explosives.
Spontaneous Combustion - a ray weapon that sets the target on fire!
Sunburst - mini-grenade launcher that showers the area around the wielder with blinding explosives.
Molten Beam - it's a meltagun. Well that's boring! How about a meltagun built into the wielder's gauntlet or on the wrist?

It's literally the same deal with Necrons. Hell, all the Cryptek abilities are pretty much psychic powers that don't require a Leadership test. It's really all how you fluff it up yourself, though I admit the FAQ could've added a simple, clarifying line of "Treat these otherwise unavailable powers as experimental weaponry that require a Leadership test to use, treating Perils of the Warp results as mishaps of the experimental gadgets".

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Fri Jan 11 2013, 14:10

Siticus the Ancient wrote:

It's literally the same deal with Necrons. Hell, all the Cryptek abilities are pretty much psychic powers that don't require a Leadership test. It's really all how you fluff it up yourself, though I admit the FAQ could've added a simple, clarifying line of "Treat these otherwise unavailable powers as experimental weaponry that require a Leadership test to use, treating Perils of the Warp results as mishaps of the experimental gadgets".

and when has GW cared about a narative Razz

actually this is kinda interesting... I might have to take it as one of my traits (heck my current killteam squad just takes relentless and S&P atm... psyker would be interesting choice for a 3rd

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Sat Jan 12 2013, 02:20

could go with the most obvious way to explain it and be semi 'fluffy'

point 1. Dark Eldar are descended from a race of psykers,


Point 2. they're paranoid Slaanesh will eat their souls, so these days they don't really worry about developing their psyker abilities.

point 3. they literally thrive on the suffering of others, someone's mental and emotional state while in pain nourishes them, revitalizes them, and gives them a rush


It doesn't take too much a stretch, or breaks fluff much, to say the feeding off suffering is a risidual abilities from their more psykickally advanced days. There's nothing stating that the Dark Eldar lobotomized themselves, they just don't develop phsyker abilities anymore, and in fact prohibit it in commorraugh.

ergo, there may be occasions where a dark eldar *could* develop enough to become a level 1 psyker, they'd likely need to keep a lid on it even more than a rouge psyker in the imperium, but it is possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Sun Jan 20 2013, 06:49

Grendel007 wrote:
could go with the most obvious way to explain it and be semi 'fluffy'


ergo, there may be occasions where a dark eldar *could* develop enough to become a level 1 psyker, they'd likely need to keep a lid on it even more than a rouge psyker in the imperium, but it is possible.

This. They never become psychic because the dark city is like a psychic clean room. The genetics for it are still there they just never use it and or are never exposed to it so the powers never develop. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the corsair psykers were originally dark eldar that ran off when they found out what they could do.
That's kinda how I read it anyways.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Sun Jan 20 2013, 16:21

Ignoring genetics and everything that would mean that they are still psychically latent, psyker's souls light up in the warp when they are using psychic powers attracting daemons.

CWE have their paths and their stones to make sure that their soul is not snatched away from them. Exodites have the toughness of their everyday lives to keep them focussed, protecting their souls.

Dark Eldar protect themselves by not accessing the warp and trying to seperate themselves as much as possible from it (along with nomming on the souls of others). Yes, there may be a few exceptions, but Eldar souls attract Slaanesh's gaze as they are extra tasty. I've kind of always had the thought that if a Dark Eldar were to use developed psychic powers they would have their soul ripped from them leaving a lifeless husk.

In my opinion 'keeping a lid on it' would be extraordinarily difficult. Eldar of all kinds are prone to obsession, and if you chose to leave Commorragh to develop your powers you are going to be focussing on your training and will likely become obsessed with it eventually until you finally get consumed by your self-destructive path.

I'm not saying that DE psykers can't happen, but for Kill Team, a game where you're most likely going to be a special task force serving somebody within Commorragh, it's not likely that you're going to have one of these DE outcast psykers. There are just better ways of explaining the powers, experimental Haemie technology being one of them.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Sun Jan 20 2013, 17:38

Consider the following...

If the dark eldar never use any form psychic powers how do they fill the void in their souls by torturing other soul possessing creatures? Aren't souls intrinsically linked to the warp and manipulating them requires some degree of psychic ability?

Also consider that Baron Sathonyx not only captured an Eldar Farseer, but paraded it around and presented it to his archon before being banished. Vect did what? Put a bounty on his head? I'm sure psykers are persecuted in the dark city, probably with the same zeal and fear as the Imperium, but how much more effective are they really?

Also Shaa-dom fell to Vect in M37, ~6000 years after the fall of the eldar and the branching of the eldar race into Craftworld, Exodite and Dark Eldar. This preceeds 40k by 4000 or so years. At the time of Shaa-doms fall at least one of El'uriaq's handmaidens was psychicaly active and made use of her powers. This according to Path of the Renegade, her name was Aguenevere(Sp?). She is still alive (sort of).

Also it has been about 10,000 years since the eldar branched out, a very short time when you consider how long it takes the force of evolution to do its work unassisted. Especially considering evolution works over generations and the eldar reproduce very slowly.

Also the "if you don't use it you lose it" idea of psychic genes atrophying because the dark eldar don't use them doesn't follow evolution. It follows use and disuse principal laid out by Jean Baptiste Lamarck which was disproven in the late 1800s.

Also mandrakes.

Now consider the following... again...

Psychicaly sensitive craftworld eldar take the path of the seer and develope their psychic abilities which takes a very long time. This not only requires psychicaly sensitive individuals, but mentors, access to knowledge, the ability to practice without interference and a very long time.

I would surmise that the dark eldar never lost their psychic ability, just the ability to refine it. There are no mentors, no knowledge base and the very real threat of death and torture if they were to be found out. This coupled with other factors of their society which place fighting and survival at the top of the to do list means that no dark eldar has the opportunity to develop their powers.
Also a good bit of propaganda spread by Vect may have most of the population truly believing they have no psychic powers. The atrophy line in the codex, is that stated as fact or is that what Vect states as fact?
Instead of having psychic powers such as the eldar or even the imperium I would say the dark eldar's powers are far more subtle and intuitive.
Did that wych duck that blow in combat because she could read her opponents moves or did she just "know" what would happen and dodge. Did the archon know there would be an assassination attempt or did he get lucky? Is leilith really that fast on her own or is there something more to it?

TL;DR Dark Eldar are still psychic. For a variety of reasons they almost never develop their powers. Many of the things that they are able to do may be attributed to passive psychic abilities that they themselves are not aware of.


P.S. I threw this together in an hour of browsing my codex and the lexicanum with some background knowledge, if I've gotten anything wrong please correct me.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Sun Jan 20 2013, 18:39

Quote :
If the dark eldar never use any form psychic powers how do they fill the void in their souls by torturing other soul possessing creatures?
One cannot know as it is never stated. It can only be speculated, but extremely latent empathic vampirism could be the reason. It is not stated, though.

Quote :
Aren't souls intrinsically linked to the warp and manipulating them requires some degree of psychic ability?
I would not agree that all souls are linked to the Wrap. The Tau have souls but are not present in the warp (I think, I'm not goodwith their fluff) and there are Imperial humans known as untouchables that have souls but have a negative presence in the warp. They are psychic blanks. Pariahs are different, though, I believe, as they are sometimes called Soulless.

On the second point, I would say, no, you don't need to be psychic to manipulate the warp. In the Eisenhorn trilogy the Inquisitor visits Cadia and there are large pylons that seem to be responsible for the Cadian Gate.
Spoiler:
 

Quote :
Also consider that Baron Sathonyx not only captured an Eldar Farseer, but paraded it around and presented it to his archon before being banished. Vect did what? Put a bounty on his head? I'm sure psykers are persecuted in the dark city, probably with the same zeal and fear as the Imperium, but how much more effective are they really?
Psykers are sometimes kept as playthings by Archons (At least in the old codex), but Farseers have control over their abilities and would not be as likely to damn the souls of the Dark Eldar and lead chaos into Commorragh itself.

Also, didn't Anguevere use runes and other forms of prediction instead of actually connecting herself directly to the warp? (I don't remember, I don't have the book nearby and have no incentive to read it again.)

Quote :
Also it has been about 10,000 years since the eldar branched out, a very short time when you consider how long it takes the force of evolution to do its work unassisted. Especially considering evolution works over generations and the eldar reproduce very slowly.

Also the "if you don't use it you lose it" idea of psychic genes atrophying because the dark eldar don't use them doesn't follow evolution. It follows use and disuse principal laid out by Jean Baptiste Lamarck which was disproven in the late 1800s.

I understand evolution and how it works, I am completely against sayng that the psychic genes have been erradicated or atrophied due to a lack of use, but have you considered that those with a strong psychic presence could have been exterminated to try and stop the spread of the genes.

I don't want to start quoting genetics textbooks as it can get tedious, but if you put as many DE as you can find with two dominant Psyker alleles and most of those with one dominant and one recessive then surely you could stem the spread of psykers. Although, I wouldn't argue this due to the completely different DNA structures of Eldar to Humans.

Quote :
Also mandrakes.
Everything that the codex says about them is speculated. It says that their origins are shrouded, so nobody can know for certain what they are.
They could be DE that have been absorbed partly by the warp due to psychic experimentation or they could be the spawn of Nightmares and not be DE at all.

Quote :
The atrophy line in the codex, is that stated as fact or is that what Vect states as fact?
I would say that this was fact when the Codex was written but things like Path of the Renegade have made people think that psychic DE are possible and that psychic abilities are far more ingrained in their culture than originally thought.

Quote :
Did that wych duck that blow in combat because she could read her opponents moves or did she just "know" what would happen and dodge. Did the archon know there would be an assassination attempt or did he get lucky? Is leilith really that fast on her own or is there something more to it?

TL;DR Dark Eldar are still psychic. For a variety of reasons they almost never develop their powers. Many of the things that they are able to do may be attributed to passive psychic abilities that they themselves are not aware of.
I do not think Wyches can read their opponent's minds. Eldar language and communication relies heavily on body language, so they may be able to see where a strike is coming from and what another's next move will be fro how they hold themselves. Archons are paranoid and scheming. They think everything is against them and will see most plots possible, even if imagined. I believe that Lelith is just that good.

I do not think that the Dark Eldar are still a psychic race. I think an odd accident can pop up that would be put down at birth or would escape to train themselve, but I guess this is where we must agree to disagree.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Sun Jan 20 2013, 18:52

Also Dark Eldar are not about feeding off souls any-more but emotions and pain (as their fluff was changed in the new codex). Personally I think Fleshcrafter haemonculus (biomancy) or Alrchemist haemonculus (pyromancy) make a lot more sense.

As for the evolution suggestion, it's irrelevant, a lot of the psychic ability was ripped out the Dark Eldar when the fall happened, as opposed to their craftworld cousins who had already fled.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Sun Jan 20 2013, 18:54

Indeed, Mush! I agree.

Also, that's a good point. A lot of psykers (from all races) died due to the fall, so it's safe to assume that nearly all of the unrepenting DE psykers were consumed during the cataclysm.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Sun Jan 20 2013, 21:43

I just wanted to say real quick I don't mean to attack anyone or the canon. I don't think I came out that way, but words over the internet lose a lot of their connotation and have no tone. I'm just putting forth some observations about the psychic/non-psychic nature of the dark eldar to generate conversation.

Any way.....

I missed the part about feeding off of emotions (new) vs souls (old). Perhaps its me, but if something isn't explainable from the standpoint of biology. I.E. They are feeding off of the chemicals released by the brain in reaction to pain or fear. And it can't be explained by technology. I.E. a machine is harvesting the emotions/souls/ect and processing it to be fed to the dark eldar. Then to me it smells of warp/psyker shenanigans. Sort of like "A wizard did it" for 40k.
Also it is stated that Vect came up with it which means it wasn't plainly obvious. If it were it wouldn't require someone, let alone Vect, to come up with it. Not saying its psychic, not enough proof. It just seems like the obvious answer to a mysterious power.

I don't have the 2nd ed codex on me so I didn't know about eldar farseer pets. Keeping craftworld eldar psykers for playthings makes more sense as they are more stable. Sathonyx just had a paranoid archon. And the bounty could have come from anyone. I concede the point.

Anguever did use runes, however any one can use psychic talismans in the 40k universe, they just won't work. The best analogue I can think of is the Emperors tarot deck. Anyone can flip the cards over, but only trained psykers can accurately and reliably tell the future with them. So there has to be something to start with for the runes to work.

As for genetics usually its a no-no to bring real world reasoning into a fantasy universe, I just thought it peculiar that the writers would present a disproven genetic theory in relation to the lack of dark eldar psykers. It sounded to me almost like propaganda. Like Vect saying that dark eldar shouldn't look within themselves for psychic powers because there are none in hopes that no one would actually try. Then kill anyone who tries to dissuade others. Rinse wash and repeat for a couple thousand years and you have the big lie on a massive scale.

Also it was my impression that the "psyker gene" was almost always recessive. Meaning that you can't just breed more psykers from other psykers. Its like albinism or any other recessive genetic disorder. You may have perfectly normal non-psyker parents then bang you're taking day trips to warp and cavorting with chaos entities leading to the entire destruction of your world. Unless the blackships find you and whisk you away to put your talents to use for the Emperor. Not sure if its the same for eldar, but it would stand to reason.

You're right little is known about mandrakes. I'd definitely be interested it they came out with more background on them. For now I'll leave it alone.

I wasn't trying to infer that wyches can read minds or that archons aren't always paranoid or that Lelith was drawing power from warp to move faster or strike with more precision. I was trying to get at the idea that if you don't know you have psychic powers how could you tell if you were reading an enemy combatants body language or looking ahead a fraction of a second into the future to see where they would strike. An archon could be paranoid, could get a "really bad feeling" about a certain situation and divert his plans or travel to avoid it, thus spoiling an ambush. Is that instincts or something else? When does a gut feeling stop being a gut feeling and turn into knowing something more than you should.

As for the speculation of Lelith what would be the difference between pushing yourself harder and willing yourself to be faster or pushing yourself harder and tapping into a little stash of left-over psychic heritage to boost your reflexes. It is whispered that she replaced her blood with adrenaline which I'm 99.999% sure would kill her. Or maybe she is just that fast. Thats the whole point if it comes second nature to you how do you know whether a skill or feeling is the result of natural explainable biological process or a hardly noticeable innate link to the warp/minor psyker-ocity-ness.

Also I'd like to go on the record saying that I don't think Leilith is a hidden psyker or warp touched. I just found her to be the best example for demonstration.

And not to totally derail the thread in killteam games I agree experimental tech would probably be a better way of fitting the narrative than actually have a psyker who somehow managed to refine their powers on their own

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar....Level 1 Psykers xO   Mon Jan 21 2013, 12:15

There is a line near the beginning of Path of the Renegade that states that Dark Eldar are psychic to a degree, but they don't manifest powers since most of their psychic potential is turned inwards to hide their presence from Slaanesh, and they take drugs that help keep their powers down. The book does have some examples of DE psykers (the aformentioned handmaiden, and there's also a few lines that imply low-level psykers existing in Low Comorragh, where nobody really bothers to enforce any rules, including the "no psykers" rule). In codex we have Baron Sathonyx, who seems to have very low level of psychic ability (he uses the psychoactive crystal bones of a farseer as a focus to receive visions of the future) and of course we have the whole "power from pain" thing, which seems to be psychic in nature (souls in 40k are the same thing as warp presense, so replenishing their soul with pain would imply some kind of psychoactive ability).

So I'd say Dark Eldar still have psychic potential, but instead of drawing power from the warp to manifest psychic abilities, they use it to siphon emotional energy (namely pain and suffering) from their victims to replenish their own warp presense.

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