“Those fools and their talk of spirits and rites; technology is cause and consequence, mechanism and effect, and should not be so restrained and mishandled as those red-robed simpletons would believe.”
–Rephenesti Korvane, Heretek
Pirates and criminals travelling the stars often struggle to maintain the high technology of their ships, lacking the necessary expert personnel to perform the rites of maintenance and appease recalcitrant machine spirits. While some can secure compacts of labour with true Tech-Priests—this is far from the only option.
Within the Koronus Expanse there exist those who defy the dictates and traditions of the Adeptus Mechanicus, choosing to experiment with technology and try to understand how it works without the sanction of the Cult Mechanicus.
Condemned as techno-heretics, or hereteks, these individuals are hunted for their blasphemous acts, and shown no mercy should they be caught. Many of these individuals flock together for mutual protection and the benefits of their illicit
studies. Such groups often find that the employ of pirates and smugglers grants
them the freedom and mobility they need to survive, and the opportunity to work with advanced machinery beyond the gaze of the Mechanicus.
Over the years, certain hereteks have arisen in the Koronus Expanse accompanied by tales of infamous actions. Whether former members of the Disciples of Thule or agents of the Lathes, their sinister reputations have generated a collective moniker amongst the low-born populaces from Footfall to Damaris. Now in the Expanse a fallen Tech-Priest of sufficient skill and infamy is likely to be labelled an Arch-Heretek by the populace. Though there are no set criteria for what makes
an Arch-Heretek, they are often a match for true Tech-Priests and Explorators in
terms of their understanding and proficiency with machines. The greatest of them were once Tech-Priests, now turned from the worship of the Omnissiah. Arch-Hereteks are highly valued by voidfaring criminals, both for their expertise in all things technical and their unique abilities.
Becoming an Arch-heretek
The Adeptus Mechanicus jealously guard the and scientific is sufficient. Becoming an Arch-Heretek, however, is more challenging. To survive long enough to gain true skill with, and mastery over, technology takes considerable cunning. To become an equal to the Martian Priesthood takes greater knowledge still, sufficient to supplement flesh with advanced machinery.
Required Career: Any except Kroot, Orks, Navigators, Astropaths, or Missionaries (note, this allows non-Explorators to take these advances, or Explorators to use this career to purchase advances at a premium that will be available more cheaply later).
Alternate Rank: Rank 2 or Higher (7,000 xp)
Other Requirements: The Explorer must have the Tech-Use skill, and have experimented with technology without the sanction of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Alternatively, the Explorer must be a Tech-Priest who has defied the laws and
strictures of the Cult Mechanicus.
Special: Arch-Hereteks automatically receive the Talent Enemy (Mechanicus).
Advance Cost Type Prerequisites
Logic 100 Skill
Common Lore (Tech) 200 Skill
Common Lore (Tech) +10 200 Skill Common Lore (Tech)
Forbidden Lore (Archeotech) 200 Skill
Forbidden Lore (Warp) 200 Skill
Forbidden Lore (Xenos) 200 Skill
Secret Tongue (Tech) 200 Skill
Secret Tongue (Tech) +10 200 Skill Secret Tongue (Tech)
Security 200 Skill
Security +10 300 Skill Security
Trade (Technomat) 300 Skill
Tech-Use +10 400 Skill Tech-Use
Forbidden Lore (Archeotech) +10 500 Skill Forbidden Lore (Archeotech)
Forbidden Lore (Warp) +10 500 Skill Forbidden Lore (Warp)
Forbidden Lore (Xenos)+10 500 Skill Forbidden Lore (Xenos)
Binary Chatter 200 Talent
Feedback Screech 300 Talent Mechanicus Implants
Logis Implant 400 Talent
Electrical Succour 500 Talent Mechanicus Implants
Ferric Lure 500 Talent Mechanicus Implants
Luminen Charge 500 Talent Mechanicus Implants
Luminen Shock 500 Talent Mechanicus Implants
Subversive Programming 500 Talent Binary Chatter, Mechanicus Implants
Vile Intrusion 500 Talent Electrograft Use, Mechanicus Implants
Luminen Desecration 750 Talent Mechanicus Implants, Luminen Charge, Luminen Shock
The Flesh is Weak 1 750 Talent Mechanicus Implants
The Flesh is Weak 2 900 Talent Mechanicus Implants, The Flesh is Weak 1
Apostate Mechanic 1000 Talent Tech-Use +10
Apostate Mechanic (Talent)
Prerequisites: Tech-Use +10
The Explorer modifies himself with arcane technology and now wields techno-arcane powers normally the preserve of the Priesthood of Mars. For the purpose of fulfilling prerequisites, the Explorer counts as possessing the Mechanicus Implants Trait. He does not gain any of the normal effects of the Trait, and he may not necessarily have the same implants, but rather equivalent devices of his own devising.
Subversive Programming (talent)
Prerequisites: Mechanicus Implants
The Explorer has devised a binary argot that confuses and subverts the programming of servitors and other machinecreatures, allowing him to direct their actions. As a Half Action, the Explorer may attempt to command a creature with the Machine Trait and an Intelligence of 20 or less. Make an Opposed Challenging (+0) Tech-Use vs. Willpower Test. If he succeeds, the creature must follow the Explorer’s commands for the following Round. The Explorer may continue to maintain control by spending a Half Action in subsequent Rounds. If he chooses to do this, he must make another opposed Test after four Rounds to maintain the link. The commands must be simple and achievable in one round. Some examples include “Flee,” “Fall,” and “Attack the closest target.”
Luminen Desecration (Talent)
Prerequisites: Mechanicus Implants
The Explorer’s implants generate a violent techsorcism pulse, allowing him to disable technology in his presence. A single gesture and most sophisticated devices simply cease to function. A successful Challenging (+0) Ballistic Skill Test allows him to direct the energy against a single target within 10 metres. This is a ranged attack and can be Dodged but not blocked by Fields or other protective devices. If the target is carrying any electrical devices—including energy weapons and bionic systems—then they cease to operate for 1d5 rounds, as if their power had run out. If the target is a vehicle, then it immediately suffers a Critical Hit as if the user had scored Righteous Fury, subtracting one to the Critical Hit result (a result of zero results in no Critical Hit).
Vile Intrusion (Talent)
Prerequisites: Electrograft Use, Mechanicus Implants The Explorer is skilled at gaining access to the knowledge of the most sophisticated machine spirits, assailing them with scrap-code and malicious spirits of his own creation, until they break under the strain. The Explorer gains a +20 bonus on all Tech-Use and Security Tests made to gain unauthorized access to an electronic system such as a Cogitator or an electronic lock, so long as the character can connect directly to it using his implants.