Veps and Weapon Fetish, for review and comment

Chris, one of my players in the upcoming BE campaign, A Line in the Sand , came up with something really neat regarding the Veps and the fetishist trait.

I’ll quote it whole cloth:

Weapons and armor, like all created things, have a purpose. Thus, they have a spirit. Anyone who believes they don’t must then also believe that Kerrn have no spirits, since they too were fabricated.

The Veps’ need to fetishise is an extension of this belief. A level of identification with weapons, armor and other fabricated things and the need to give those spirits form. He looks at these things as brothers, not tools. To assault this belief is to assault the Kerrn’s belief in their own souls.

Therefore, the fetishising of items should in some way reflect the items’ purpose and the Kerrn’s identification with it.

Given enough time, an item left with a Kerrn with this belief will eventually become unrecognizable as they carve and craft a shell to match the spirit within.

More short term versions of this would include tying things to an item (like hair or ropes with things handing on them), notching, or mixing blood (the wielder’s blood is mixed with fluids used to clean a gun before cleaning, similar to the “blood brothers” games kids used to play).

Given the option, a fetishist would never use an item without first doing something to show respect.
Now check out some of the work he’s done on his technology here, here, hereand here.

There isn’t really a lot written about the Kerrn in the book. I mean, the Fetishist trait is partially a joke! I really like how the player took the trait and made it his own.

I’m thinking that when he wants to burn technology up and throw in his fetishist die trait, he’d need to come up with an entertaining write up, similar in nature to what he’s put together thus far.

Does that, in your opinion, satisfy the requirement of disturbing the other players? Do you find it somewhat disturbing? I’d appreciate the feedback!

Fuck yeah! That’s beautiful! EDIT: Though what really matters is not how many hours a player spends being cool before the game, but if they can make the game cool. A nice bit of color in-game is worth a thousand words and a paper-mache mockup.

The only things I’d add are first, that it doesn’t fit my vision of the Vep concept to have them reduce the functionality or risk damage to the weapon in order to venerate it, so I’d nix the blood/oil mixture and limit the extent of the ornamentation (well, limit is the wrong word, you can do some amazing things without interfering with function, but I’d shape that ornamentation towards fully realizing the spirit and purpose of the weapon rather than just showing the Kerrn’s love).

Second, I’ve always thought that with the freewheeling philosophy-love of the Kerrn, they probably have a lot of rejection of traditional belief. I love this idea, but I don’t see it as an orthodoxy, as something that all Kerrn will break your skull if you doubt (though maybe all the Kerrn on your world are true believers) but rather as something that a passionate minority believe deeply in, among a multitude of other philosophies, religions, and a number of atheistic or anti-theistic creeds (the strain of Judaic thought that regards the Holocaust as the breaking of God’s covenant with his chosen would probably seem familiar to some Kerrn, for instance).

PS. How did he get the Iron Trained trait? It’s not in any of the Kerrn LPs, did you guys trait-vote it for him?

Those are terrific ideas and beautiful images… but not what I think of when I think of Veps. I think of someone who can rattle on for hours about the development of the Mk 59 Wide Aperture Jurngunain Arms Fusor and can compare its penetration effects against standard rolled homogeneous iridium armour compared to a 10mm ‘Ultraviolent’ Karsan heavy laser. You see, while the laser deposits all its energy on the surface of the target, leading to cratering and the creation of plasma and blast effects that actually impede the laser’s ability to continue to damage the target, the fusor, particulalry this wide aperture variant, tends to deposit it’s energy throughout the target, significantly reducing the effectiveness of armour. Of course, the fusor can be more easily dealt with using magnetic shielding that diffuses the charged particles before they can interact with the target, and the newer models of the Ultraviolent utilizes a pulsed beam that, while it delivers less power, gives some time for the blast effects to dissipate before interacting with the target again, actually increasing the amount of damage that can be done. Despite this, and the Ultraviolent’s admittedly longer range, the Mk 59 comes out slightly ahead because of its greater damage potential and considerably reduced weight, allowing most Kerrn soldiers to wield one singlehandedly, as opposed to the Ultraviolent, which usually requires a crew and tripod. Now, the Scorpion MPIML has, in my opinion, an edge on both of those weapons because, although it is far simpler and has reduced damage effects, it is easier to maintain and basically fires itself.

That’s what I think of when I think of Veps…

Great, great stuff. As Mike and Devin say, not for all Kerrn Veps, but it’s a fantastic realization of the fetish trait. That would be where these tech-worshipers would emerge… the fetishists. I really, really love the idea of the Kerrns identifying with other manufactured objects. That’s deeply cool.


I agree this is a beautiful interpretation of the “Fetishist” trait, and one well in keeping with the image of the Kerrn as quirky warrior-philosophers and skilled artisans.