So I have recently come into the acquisition of my first Servo Skull (yay!), which is actually the skull of one of our other comrades. To be specific it's the skull of a Psyker who fried himself with Psychic Bolt.

Now he has a special rule that on anything higher than 50 he shorts out. From this I'm starting to believe that some part of Eli (the Psyker) has stuck around.

What I want to know, is what might happen if I put a Vox implant in him? Would he still be Eli? or would he just be unresponsive? Or would he just be screaming as he relived his final moments?

Or is that all just up to the GM?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Since the answer on your last question mentions that a Servo Skull "[has] been fitted with rudimentary artificial intelligence", doesn't that mean it's definitely not Eli in there? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 17, 2014 at 23:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ No matter what the rules say, "disembodied skull screaming in eternal agony" seems like it has to be the right answer if you want to call yourself a Warhammer game. \$\endgroup\$
    – AgentPaper
    Nov 17, 2014 at 23:41
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ If the skull manages to retain some lingering fragment of the psyker's connection to the warp, you might not want to listen too closely to what it screams. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Nov 19, 2014 at 5:44

2 Answers 2


I would say NO.

The Servo Skull is a hollowed-out skull, the brain is only held "working" by a cogitator, and the AI is the one that is controlling the skull. It might have some resemblance to its previous owner, it might even feel "haunted" by his spirit, but the object itself is just a robotic utility.

You will have as much result with as putting Vox on a vending machine, a rifle, or a toaster. That is to say, nothing -should- happen, if everything follows the basic rules of nature.

But as with all things, everything is up to the GM in the final say.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with everything except the 'alas', it's these twist that can bring a game to 'life'. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 18, 2014 at 12:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ The great machine spirit was strong in that one... \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob
    Nov 18, 2014 at 13:20

Because of what happened to all the cool computers (read Dan Abnett's Dark Mechanicum for the 30K version of this tale) 40K can't suffer even a Commodore 64 to live.

Machines were twisted by the powers of Chaos, and made evil. It is unclear whether this has happened twice to Humanity or not. An initial golden age of expansion flung Humanity to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, only for a dark age to settle in atop that, only to be ended by the unifying conquests of the Emperor. During the Horus Heresy, the digital Chaos curse infected the Mechanicum on Mars, slaying many and turning some into grim servants of Chaos, due to their extensive bio-cybernetic enchantments. The curse itself in 30K had been imprisoned in the tomb of some ancient and accursed techno-witch, who had been buried deep within the surface of Mars long ago, presumably before or with the arrival of the Emperor, who knew where the tomb was and kept secret its location from all others. The evil of machines from this point on necessitated the creation of sanctified servitors, the technology for which already existed throughout the Empire as punishment for certain classes of criminal offenses.

Bottom line, all the parts of the brain that were the person are dead. Some things remain: pattern recognition, short-term memory capacity, but only the barest rudiments, to make it an effective lobotomized slave, and to keep it safe from the corruption of Chaos.

P.S. This is based on Games Workshop lore for Warhammer 40K and 30K. At the end of the day, the DM is bound by nothing. But if they want to keep their campaign canon, they'll need to read the canon.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There is at least one example of a Servo Skull which retains it's personality. "The Tactical Auto-Reliquary of Tyberius". It's a gold servo skull which contains special psycho-circuitry so that it retains Tyberius' memories, so they can use his tactical genius. It's a special case, and it was done very deliberatly, so it is not the norm, but it is an example of a servo skull which kept it's memories, though he is very much dead, it is just a machine with his memories and personality. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1, 2015 at 1:26

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