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Do Normal People Matter?


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#21 Zappiel

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

hmmmmmm….our notions of "the Divine" differ……..there is absolutely 0 % divinity in space marines……the Emprah (heresy alert!) is not a god….he's human, with psionic/'magic' powers; but he ain't no god.  Sure, he was tougher than the four chaos 'gods'; but they ain't anything close to godly either.  Hell, they're just castoff emotional wastage.  He has no hint of omniscience nor omnipotence.  I'm here to clear the bedazzlement from our eyes, so that we may clearly see our beloved space marines and their primarchs for what they really honestly are.  None of this hero-worshipping, 'they are gods of war' sheit for me, thanx…..seems a bit too fanboyish, no?  Now, don't get me wrong:  space marines (and, well, war) is my Dark Angel; I love this ****….but let's not sugarcoat it; let's call it for what it is.



#22 Radwraith

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

Zappiel said:

hmmmmmm….our notions of "the Divine" differ……..there is absolutely 0 % divinity in space marines……the Emprah (heresy alert!) is not a god….he's human, with psionic/'magic' powers; but he ain't no god.  Sure, he was tougher than the four chaos 'gods'; but they ain't anything close to godly either.  Hell, they're just castoff emotional wastage.  He has no hint of omniscience nor omnipotence.  I'm here to clear the bedazzlement from our eyes, so that we may clearly see our beloved space marines and their primarchs for what they really honestly are.  None of this hero-worshipping, 'they are gods of war' sheit for me, thanx…..seems a bit too fanboyish, no?  Now, don't get me wrong:  space marines (and, well, war) is my Dark Angel; I love this ****….but let's not sugarcoat it; let's call it for what it is.

Heresy indeed! To compare the world of Warhammer 40k to our current concepts of faith and divinity is somewhat strange in the first place but let's try: The Emperor could in fact be viewed in a very similar light to the second coming of Jesus (Except that in 40k fluff the Emperor would have been born only slightly after Jesus (In what is now turkey). His Immortality from that point could be construed as one aspect of divinity.  The Emperor is a much more aggressive individual (Again a correlation to biblical prophesy of the second coming). His Psychic powers go WAY beyond those of even a psyker primaris into the realm of miracles! (Such as the ability to "heal" machinery with but a touch! Overall; throughout the fluff we presented with a very convincing case for a fantasy version of divinity! Thus; with his Primarchs being the direct result of his genetics and his science we are presented with a group of twenty beings who are for all intents and being "Angels". (About half of whom turn on him in yet another biblical allegory!) The Space Marines are the direct result of the mixing of Primarch DNA with normal (Though still "best available" examples) Human DNA and you have something that could roughly be described as a demi-god!

All this is said with the Caveat that 40k is a fantasy fiction world and I do not mean to impugn anyone's very real religeous beliefs. Comparing 40k or D&D mythologies to actual religeous faith is a slippery place to go and I generally consider it  a dangerous conversation.



#23 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:27 AM


Zappiel said:



 


hmmmmmm….our notions of "the Divine" differ……..there is absolutely 0 % divinity in space marines……the Emprah (heresy alert!) is not a god….he's human, with psionic/'magic' powers; but he ain't no god.


 


Tell that to the untold quadrillions of people who worship him.


From the perspective of the citizenry of the Imperium, the Space Marines are the literal sons of the Emperor's own sons. They are, in that sense, figurative demigods. That they don't fit your personal definition does not change this notion.


Zappiel said:


Sure, he was tougher than the four chaos 'gods'; but they ain't anything close to godly either.  Hell, they're just castoff emotional wastage.


 


Again, depends on one's definitions. I tend not to use the term Chaos Gods anyway - Ruinous Powers is a more fitting moniker, IMO. Even so, as much as they're nothing more than pseudosentient coalescences of emotion and thought… they're also fundamental forces in the universe, entities that defy easy comprehension in their ephemeral nature.


I'm here to clear the bedazzlement from our eyes, so that we may clearly see our beloved space marines and their primarchs for what they really honestly are.


Actually, what you seem to be trying to do is strip away the mystery and fantasy from a setting founded upon those things. 40k isn't hard science fiction - it's fantasy adorned with trappings that superficially resemble sci-fi. The 40k universe is one resplendent with the supernatural and the mysterious, one where logic and reason and plain truths are paths to self-deception and crippling delusion. It has more in common with myth and legend than anything else.


I'm just calling it for what it is.


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#24 Zappiel

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:58 AM

now we're mixing up reality with 40k……I fully understand that, In Universe, the citizenry of the Imperium know their Emprah is God, and his space marines are the Angels of Death….that is clearly and well established.  However, we poor muggles stuck in the 21st century have a certain perspective on things that is more…objective.  We know more than ANYONE in the 40k universe; we can see the whole thing.  Now, from OUR perspective (and this has nothing to do with personal preferences regarding religiousity or god), we can clearly see that space marines are NOT in any way shape or form godly; they're men with a cool health-care package and a lot of spare aggression.

To be clear:  it is not my intention to steal any mystery or wonder from the universe; far from it.  I am beholden to the belief that 40k is NOT hard science fiction (although what a dark dark future 40k would be if it was pure sci fi!!!)  but is in fact space fantasy.  However, 40k is based on the rules of our physical universe - it really only slips beyond hard sf with its conceptions of the Warp and psykers.  Therefore, we can and should regard things in 40k with a scientific eye, so far as it goes.  With that in mind, our beloved Astartes are perfectly explainable.

I like 'Ruinous Powers' as a term as well, but it takes longer to type……;)

(oh, and I'm not sure they can be classed as 'fundamental forces' in our universe:  they didn't exist until the Old Ones' experiments got out of hand, meaning the actual forces we regard as the Ruinous Powers are not universal in nature……although the energy field/dimension known as the Warp is presumably intrinsic to reality.)

As for the Emprah being godly, well…….to borrow an example from star trek (gasp!  great Scott, don't go there!), let us look at Q:  Q has more power in the snap of his fingers than the Emprah could ever dream of…..and there is no way in hell any of us would consider Q to be a god - massively, sickeningly powerful, yes; but no god.  Again, I don't deny that, in universe, Imperial citizens can, do, and must worship him as god; I'm merely stating that WE shouldn't.  We have the perspective and objectivity to see things in 40k for how they 'really' would be; we can imagine ourselves there, and can see it through our own eyes.  Our characters can worship the Emprah and revere the Astartes; but we are objective, we (more or less) know what's going on.[And just to clear up a couple points:  the Immortal Emperor of Mankind was born 9000 years before Christ, in ancient Anatoly (yes, Turkey), the birthplace of human civilization as we currently understand it.  Immortality does not equate with godliness (elsewise, every vampire would be a god, and what a tiresome pantheon that would be…).  And I would argue that His ability to heal machinery is merely Him telling the Star Dragon/'Deus in Machina' to do it (which is, of course, a tremendously powerful thing to do, too….)]



#25 Zappiel

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:04 AM

(and having said all that, i too agree that 40k is a perfect vehicle for mythic exploration and legendary exploits; none of what i've said impinges upon the experience of a galactic citizen stuck in the grimdark….I merely want us 2k people to keep our perspective and not go crazy worshipping a bunch of bloodthirsty goons as gods…..war and tyranny suck in real life; but in the grimdark, hell yes!)



#26 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:19 AM

Zappiel said:

With that in mind, our beloved Astartes are perfectly explainable.

Only if you approach them as purely gene-enhanced soldiers. I can't view them as such because of their origins. The genetics of the Emperor are beyond human (as we actually know from the background book Xenology that psykers have a physiological/genetic component to their abilities), and from the Emperor the Primarchs were made, using a mixture of science and sorcery. The Emperor himself is orders of magnitude more than any normal psyker - a lifespan of some thirty-nine thousand years at the time of his internment into the Golden Throne, a capacity for knowledge and understanding that exceeds the greatest augmented minds of the Mechanicum of Mars, psychic power sufficient to pose a real challenge to the Ruinous Powers and a presence such that no human being who ever met the Emperor has ever doubted the simple fact that he was the Emperor.

The Primarchs themselves possessed supernatural capabilities, and were each in some way psychic - Magnus the Red's psychic mastery is well-known, as are the precognitive sight of both Sanguinius and Curze, but less so is Corax's ability to walk unseen, or even the raw and awe-inspiring presence that each Primarch possessed to some extent.

The Astartes are created from the genes of the Primarchs. They are the result of incredbly complex genetic engineering the likes of which human science had never before seen, yet designed to be mass-produced in a way that previous genhanced soldiers (such as the Thunder Warriors or Adeptus Custodes) could not be. Each Space Marine is the fusion of carefully-selected human beings (chosen for physiological, psychological and genetic compatibility) and a series of implanted organs that automatically retroengineer the body and mind of a neophyte through processes developed during the dawn of the Imperium. The science behind each implant is beyond the capability of almost any human or posthuman mind to comprehend (many have tried, none have successfully replicated the Emperor's work), and each implant exists only because of the fusion of science and sorcery that created the Primarchs.

In essence, defining what makes a Space Marine a Space Marine is a lot harder than it looks, and is far from being a matter of pure science.

As for the matter of the interaction between the Warp and reality… the Warp presses close to reality in many places, and the mere existence of the Ruinous Powers demonstrates that the veil between is not as impermeable as might be comforting to think. The Warp impinges upon the fabric of reality every moment of every day… it is an influence that cannot be easily discarded.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#27 guest469

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

I liked it back when there was more mystery and ambiguity about the nature of the Emperor and his supposed divinity. Miracles were less blatant, atheists and separatists actually had a foot to stand on, and there was always a possibility that the Chaos worshippers are right all along. 

Now days everybody knows the Imperium are the good guystm even when they are screaming for hatred, genocide and ignorance. Nobody even bats an eyelid anymore. You can have Inquisitor Hitler authorizing the exterminatus of planet Auschwitz to protect the purity of the human race from xeno infiltration, and everyone is HOO HAH IMPERIUM **** YEAH! 

 

But hey, at least they aren't Tau. 

 

 



#28 Tristelune

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:45 AM

Zappiel said:

And I would argue that His ability to heal machinery is merely Him telling the Star Dragon/'Deus in Machina' to do it (which is, of course, a tremendously powerful thing to do, too….)]

To me, that sounds pretty much like:

And God said: "let there be ligh". Chuck Norris answered: "You could say 'please'"

Now, there is something Chuck Norris-like in the Emperor, isn't it? pensativo

So, how can you claim that the Emperor is no god? reir



#29 Zappiel

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:52 PM

oh, Tristelune, u didn't go there!  Let us leave The Chuck out of this….he will only confuse our notions of deity beyond repair…..and Guest469 has illuminated the kernel of my thoughts quite expertly….my real concern is that, nowadays, we don't batt an eyelash when we scream:  "DEATH TO THE MUTANT!!", because we 'know' that the Emprah and his bad boys are the good guys…….but that kinda thing is pretty much not cool…..the moral ambiguity has essentially left 40k, because we're allowed to do anything we like cause we're the good guys………….really?  Again, this 'Emprah hero worship' is clouding the waters……make no mistake, motivations aside:  the Emperor was a tyrant who enslaved his own species in order to achieve apotheosis.  The supposed 'next evolutionary step' of humanity, namely everyone evolving psychic powers, cannot happen so long as the imperium stands:  all psyker genetic material is weeded out of the gene pool by the Black Ships and fed to the Emprah.  The Emprah is stalling human evolution!  So that he can be a god!  Hubris indeed.

The Ruinous Powers exist because the Old Ones created a bunch of 'super soldiers' whose minds tapped into the Warp dimension and stirred up the latent energies there.  Chaos is a side-effect of:  "we're the good guys and we can do whatever we want because we're the good guys" mentality.  But that theme seems to have been lost in 2012's version of 40k…..Conrad Curze allowed himself to be executed on the Emprah's order in order to prove that he (curze) was right to do what he did, because the Emprah did the same thing……i.e. the Emprah is a tyrant whose only goal is power, who brooks NO interference with his power and NO rivals.  If we accept that the Emprah has foresight, then we must must assume he saw the Heresy…wanted the Heresy…to weed out those amongst his sons who would think to rival him…..he foresaw that he would be a god (just didn't realize the nature of that 'godliness'…), so he wasn't worried about any consequences….

And No1….you know i like you…..but i think you misinterpreted my statement:  "…Astartes are perfectly explainable."  In my worldview, the scientific method is perfectly able to explain anything (indeed, nothing can be found to elude rigorous scientific inquiry - it's the very nature of the universe itself).  I don't need to resort to hand-waving and hocus pocus to 'splain things.  I don't see 'science' and 'sorcery' as two distinct things:  indeed, i would submit that there is a definite methodology to 'sorcery' - a 'science,' if you will.  It seems to me that the emprah knew exactly how psyker powers worked, and why.  Just because we don't doesn't mean that we should invoke magic and gods to explain it…..to the emprah, it was all just knowledge, pure scientific knowledge.  Witness the Imperial Truth…..



#30 Radwraith

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:05 PM

Zappiel said:

oh, Tristelune, u didn't go there!  Let us leave The Chuck out of this….he will only confuse our notions of deity beyond repair…..and Guest469 has illuminated the kernel of my thoughts quite expertly….my real concern is that, nowadays, we don't batt an eyelash when we scream:  "DEATH TO THE MUTANT!!", because we 'know' that the Emprah and his bad boys are the good guys…….but that kinda thing is pretty much not cool…..the moral ambiguity has essentially left 40k, because we're allowed to do anything we like cause we're the good guys………….really?  Again, this 'Emprah hero worship' is clouding the waters……make no mistake, motivations aside:  the Emperor was a tyrant who enslaved his own species in order to achieve apotheosis.  The supposed 'next evolutionary step' of humanity, namely everyone evolving psychic powers, cannot happen so long as the imperium stands:  all psyker genetic material is weeded out of the gene pool by the Black Ships and fed to the Emprah.  The Emprah is stalling human evolution!  So that he can be a god!  Hubris indeed.

The Ruinous Powers exist because the Old Ones created a bunch of 'super soldiers' whose minds tapped into the Warp dimension and stirred up the latent energies there.  Chaos is a side-effect of:  "we're the good guys and we can do whatever we want because we're the good guys" mentality.  But that theme seems to have been lost in 2012's version of 40k…..Conrad Curze allowed himself to be executed on the Emprah's order in order to prove that he (curze) was right to do what he did, because the Emprah did the same thing……i.e. the Emprah is a tyrant whose only goal is power, who brooks NO interference with his power and NO rivals.  If we accept that the Emprah has foresight, then we must must assume he saw the Heresy…wanted the Heresy…to weed out those amongst his sons who would think to rival him…..he foresaw that he would be a god (just didn't realize the nature of that 'godliness'…), so he wasn't worried about any consequences….

And No1….you know i like you…..but i think you misinterpreted my statement:  "…Astartes are perfectly explainable."  In my worldview, the scientific method is perfectly able to explain anything (indeed, nothing can be found to elude rigorous scientific inquiry - it's the very nature of the universe itself).  I don't need to resort to hand-waving and hocus pocus to 'splain things.  I don't see 'science' and 'sorcery' as two distinct things:  indeed, i would submit that there is a definite methodology to 'sorcery' - a 'science,' if you will.  It seems to me that the emprah knew exactly how psyker powers worked, and why.  Just because we don't doesn't mean that we should invoke magic and gods to explain it…..to the emprah, it was all just knowledge, pure scientific knowledge.  Witness the Imperial Truth…..

And thus did Zappiel go over 100 cp! That knock on your door will be your local Inquisitors helper coming to "help you out"! (Unless it's the Daemon herald of hope and change… It's so confusing sometimes!destellosasustado



#31 Zappiel

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:55 AM

Care to be a tad more constructive, rod?  Sadly, you missed the entire point……i'm sure a five year old could help you out.pillo



#32 Radwraith

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:29 PM

Zappiel said:

Care to be a tad more constructive, rod?  Sadly, you missed the entire point……i'm sure a five year old could help you out.pillo

Easy Zap! It was a joke! No harm intended!  (The five year old would probably confuse me anyway!reir) The reason I posted earlier is that the 40k universe is more about fantasy than science fiction. Yes the physics of modern firearms are largely the same as real life but the Emperor IS A GOD! Not necessarily tougher than the other chaos entities but rather a Diametrically opposed deity/entity dedicated to order and harmony and an equal to any of them. Much like modern religeons have deviated greatly from the original teachings of their forebearers so to have the lords of Terra deviated sharply from the Grand design of the Emperor. The Horus heresy books sort of delve into the idea that while the Emperor was more than willing to use military force to achieve his ends; He was at heart a far more benevolent and honorable lord than any of those who followed him.



#33 Zappiel

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:27 PM

ah, i see:  invective cheerfully withdrawn!  Thank you for taking the time to steer me right, sir!aliviado

Now, I agree with yer post….to be sure, I am not arguing for a more sciencey interpretation - I'm a pro-fantasy-interpretation fella…my grimdark has skaven in it, and spacedwarves, and lots of mythic conflict (and mythos spillover) and such…..I s'pose my argument is:  Yes, normal people in 40k matter; because EVERY faction in 40k is bad, no side has the market cornered on moral authority, and war is hell.  Remember the last line of the standard 40k prologue:   there is no peace among the stars, only carnage and slaughter and the laughter of thirsting gods (quoted from memory, sorry).  Every 40k book out there begins with that blurb (except the horus heresy books i suppose).  What does that tell us?  That in the grimdark future there is only war, and the ones benefitting from it are the Chaos gods.  Now, i'm not saying that peace is due to arrive in the grimdark anytime soon - heavens no!  But, sadly, that's the only solution that will work, seemingly.  Fighting evil begets evil; that's the trap the Imperium is stuck in, and it can't fight its way out.  (Though it's making a damned fine showing nonetheless.)

But having said all that, the 'reality' in the 40k milieu is that the High Lords don't give a whiff of a care about 'normal people' and never will.  The really interesting roleplaying stories will arise from that conflict, it seems to me.  Morally, and ultimately, yes - normal people matter (heck, their misery strengthens the Warp); but orders is orders, and orders say Purge and Cleanse….which creates more misery, strengthening Chaos further……the real grimdarkiness of 40k is that we humans are fighting the good fight, and fighting it as well as or better than could be expected…..but we're still losing, everybody's losing, because the powers that be don't give a damn about 'normal people', the very stuff from which Chaos grows stronger…….



#34 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:46 PM

Zappiel said:

my real concern is that, nowadays, we don't batt an eyelash when we scream:  "DEATH TO THE MUTANT!!", because we 'know' that the Emprah and his bad boys are the good guys…….but that kinda thing is pretty much not cool…..the moral ambiguity has essentially left 40k, because we're allowed to do anything we like cause we're the good guys………….really?  Again, this 'Emprah hero worship' is clouding the waters……make no mistake, motivations aside:  the Emperor was a tyrant who enslaved his own species in order to achieve apotheosis.  The supposed 'next evolutionary step' of humanity, namely everyone evolving psychic powers, cannot happen so long as the imperium stands:  all psyker genetic material is weeded out of the gene pool by the Black Ships and fed to the Emprah.  The Emprah is stalling human evolution!  So that he can be a god!  Hubris indeed.

So ambiguity is a bad thing? It's got to be a dead certainty that everyone is evil and irredeemably so?

No thanks. I like ambiguity… I like shades of grey.

Nobody knows what the Emperor intended… because it was never completed. The modern Imperium is a pale reflection of the Imperium that was, created by imperfect beings who had no idea what it was (for good or ill) they were attempting to replicate. It is an edifice constructed upon lies so ancient that none remain who remember them being told. It is cultural inertia, a stagnant civilisation that can know no change because all that truly remains of its origins is a desperate will to survive a hostile universe.

The truth is, for all we have learned about the Emperor in recent materials, for all that has been revealed of Imperial Truth and the pre-Heresy Imperium… all it has given us is uncertainty… the knowledge that, the more me know, the less we can hold to be true. The Emperor's goals and motivations remain unknown, and even his methods are only known in a superficial way. His apotheosis is, as much as anything else, likely to be a hundred centuries of excruciating torment, an ageless soul bound within a mummified carcass that is not allowed to perish.

The evolution of humanity? Unbound psykers are a literal and undeniable threat to all around them - this has been a fact of the setting since before the addition of Chaos to 40k (it's in the original 40k rulebook - Chaos wasn't part of 40k until the Realms of Chaos books, which came later). Daemons, astral spectres, enslavers, psychneuien, astral hounds and other psychic predators exist only to prey on those whose souls are potent but whose wills are weak. Those who are fed to the Throne are those who - left unchecked - would lead to the annihilation of worlds. Those whose powers are sufficiently strong to be of practical use and who possess the will to use them effectively are allowed to thrive, under watch. Psykers existed unchecked and unconstrained for generations before the Imperium… it was called the Age of Strife, when human civilisation was scattered and isolated across the galaxy, left to the dominion of sorcerer-kings and warlock-tyrants and those in thrall to daemons.

Even then, the number of human beings who can manifest even the least of psychic abilities grows with every generation, so it's not like humanity is evolutionarily stagnant - quite the opposite.

At no point did I - or anyone else - claim that the Emperor was a hero or anything else so positive. But at the same time, I have no illusions that I know more than petty trivia about the Emperor.

Zappiel said:

The Ruinous Powers exist because the Old Ones created a bunch of 'super soldiers' whose minds tapped into the Warp dimension and stirred up the latent energies there.  Chaos is a side-effect of:  "we're the good guys and we can do whatever we want because we're the good guys" mentality.

Source? Save for fan speculation, we have exactly no idea where the Ruinous Powers came from, only that they originate from the fading millennia of the War in Heaven.

What we know… is that Chaos is entropy. Chaos is incessant change, for its own sake. Chaos is corrosive to the very fabric of existence. It may not be subject to the morals of mortals… but its amoral nature is nonetheless borne from being anathema to material existence.

Zappiel said:

Conrad Curze allowed himself to be executed on the Emprah's order in order to prove that he (curze) was right to do what he did, because the Emprah did the same thing……i.e. the Emprah is a tyrant whose only goal is power, who brooks NO interference with his power and NO rivals.  If we accept that the Emprah has foresight, then we must must assume he saw the Heresy…wanted the Heresy…to weed out those amongst his sons who would think to rival him…..he foresaw that he would be a god (just didn't realize the nature of that 'godliness'…), so he wasn't worried about any consequences….

So much of this is based on assumptions about things that are uncertain. Much of it appears to come from picking a single motivation and assuming that to be the sole and unwavering truth. Curze was mad, driven by dark visions and an upbringing that showed the absolute worst of humanity. On one level, yes, his motivation is vindication… on another, it's despair, for he loathed what his Legion had become (alone amongst all the Primarchs, Curze hated his sons).

Steve-O said:

And No1….you know i like you…..but i think you misinterpreted my statement:  "…Astartes are perfectly explainable."  In my worldview, the scientific method is perfectly able to explain anything (indeed, nothing can be found to elude rigorous scientific inquiry - it's the very nature of the universe itself).  I don't need to resort to hand-waving and hocus pocus to 'splain things.  I don't see 'science' and 'sorcery' as two distinct things:  indeed, i would submit that there is a definite methodology to 'sorcery' - a 'science,' if you will.  It seems to me that the emprah knew exactly how psyker powers worked, and why.  Just because we don't doesn't mean that we should invoke magic and gods to explain it…..to the emprah, it was all just knowledge, pure scientific knowledge.

Again, assumptions.

Sorcery taps into the Warp, and the Warp doesn't operate on any of the rules that define reality. There is certainly a method to it… but the Warp is a place of nightmares and emotions and ephemera, where nothing is constant and nothing is certain. The Warp is the formless void, the shapeless potential from which anything and everything is possible, but within which nothing is true or permanent.

The Astartes may be perfectly explainable, if you have all the information. But we don't, and can't - in-setting, it's information that only the Emperor possesses and which few mortal minds can adequately comprehend, and out-of-setting it's information that simply doesn't exist.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#35 Zappiel

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:21 PM

okay, you need to step up your game, because you're not reading what i'm writing…..you start off claiming i'm against ambiguity…huh?!!  My WHOLE argument has been AGAINST the certainty of the Emprah bein' good, and FOR the ambiguity of the Emprah bein' not good……so, honestly, you lost me at your first line………

You demand a source for the war in heaven information?  Necron codex, i do believe, good sir (Not newcrons, mind you).  Some may also have been gleaned from Eldar/Craftworld codices.  All primary source material.  No novels, no stories.  No fan fiction, no fan speculation.  My mind is for canon, pure, beautiful, unadulterated canon.

Chaos is NOT entropy…can't teach an advanced physics course on these boards, but yer gonna hafta do yer own research on that one…..because, really, chaos is so opposite to what entropy is it ain't funny…..

(and while i agree that Chaos is corrosive to the Materium, do not forget that the Materium is also just as corrosive to Chaos….)

And regarding yer last point, you still do not understand what i'm saying…..i'm sure yer not being deliberately obtuse, my explanations are failing….you say things like "nothing is constant or certain"  without, it seems, realizing that one (of many) things that could be said with constant certainty is that 'nothing is constant or certain'…that's a very definite, testable hypothesis regarding the warp……thus, the warp is not unknowable….throwing up our hands and saying it can't be understood is, let's face it, anathema to the Imperial Truth; and the Imperial Truth is one very definite thing we know about the Emprah and his motivations…  You keep pointing at the edge of the map and saying 'there be dragons' and seeing nothing but blank space; i look and i see plenty.

Now, honestly, i'm not sure why i've drawn your fire……everything i've stated has a canonical source….i don't read the stories, i read the rulebooks - all the junk in my head (re. 40k at least) comes from the rulebooks, 25 years of rulebooks.  You seem to want to paint me as a monodominant, someone trying to impose my will on the 40k 'verse, when that is completely opposite to the truth:  i want to know the grimdark of 40k; i want to understand it; i do not want to add one jot or tittle to it, not one iota.  But i will sift and glean and research in my quest for the canonical 'truth' of 40k…..and the 'Truth', so far as i've been able to tell, is:  Yes, normal people matter, but everyone in 40k has forgotten it, and it's up to the players to bring some 'humanity' back to the grimdark, one normal person at a time.  Quite frankly, the canon seems to be pointing toward Cypher being the one who'll bring the Imperium to its knees in order to restore humanity to greatness.  (or, of course, he's the one to End it all….)



#36 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

Zappiel said:

okay, you need to step up your game, because you're not reading what i'm writing…..you start off claiming i'm against ambiguity…huh?!!  My WHOLE argument has been AGAINST the certainty of the Emprah bein' good, and FOR the ambiguity of the Emprah bein' not good……so, honestly, you lost me at your first line………

Except that the idea that the Emperor was unequivocally a "bad man" removes uncertainty, it doesn't add it. Making the Emperor's motives (and methods, to an extent) unknown makes things uncertain. If we know for sure that he was a xenocidal tyrant with no desire but apotheosis, then there is no uncertainty.

Good and Evil are both certainties, and ones that I find largely irrelevant when applied to 40k in general.

Zappiel said:

You demand a source for the war in heaven information?  Necron codex, i do believe, good sir (Not newcrons, mind you).  Some may also have been gleaned from Eldar/Craftworld codices.  All primary source material.  No novels, no stories.  No fan fiction, no fan speculation.  My mind is for canon, pure, beautiful, unadulterated canon.

The war in heaven material in the old Codex Necrons (and in every other source it has appeared in) has always been presented as being as much mythology as fact.

There is an unfortunate trend in community interpretations of supposed "canon" to take what is presented at face value and then to complain when that superficial interpretation is challenged. Those sources don't actually provided definitive answers (to be fair, virtually no source on 40k provides definitive answers), but people have come to assume that they do… which only causes problems.

Unknown said:

Chaos is NOT entropy…can't teach an advanced physics course on these boards, but yer gonna hafta do yer own research on that one…..because, really, chaos is so opposite to what entropy is it ain't funny…..

(and while i agree that Chaos is corrosive to the Materium, do not forget that the Materium is also just as corrosive to Chaos….)

Clearly you and I have very different ideas about what Chaos is (and what the Warp is by extension).

As I view it - as I have viewed it for pretty much the last decade of reading 40k material, to be precise - the Warp and Chaos (which are essentially synonymous in concept) are the fundamental un-substance from which existence was wrought.. it's the formless, endless mass of unrealised potential that universes are made of - the Chaos of ancient Greek mythology (rather than the more contemporary usage of Chaos as randomness or the antithesis of Order). All things tend back to this Primordium, for as it is without form, so form is undone in its presence - it is literally corrosive to reality because the laws of reality cease to govern what the Warp suffuses. Chaos is both a distorted reflection of and a metaphysical reaction to the presence of a material universe, but it is still of and integral to the Warp, attempting to sweep in and both suffuse and disseminate these little aberrant pockets of reality we call universes…

Unknown said:

And regarding yer last point, you still do not understand what i'm saying…..i'm sure yer not being deliberately obtuse, my explanations are failing….you say things like "nothing is constant or certain"  without, it seems, realizing that one (of many) things that could be said with constant certainty is that 'nothing is constant or certain'…that's a very definite, testable hypothesis regarding the warp……thus, the warp is not unknowable….throwing up our hands and saying it can't be understood is, let's face it, anathema to the Imperial Truth; and the Imperial Truth is one very definite thing we know about the Emprah and his motivations…  You keep pointing at the edge of the map and saying 'there be dragons' and seeing nothing but blank space; i look and i see plenty.

Oh where to begin…

How can you test something that is subject to perpetual fluctuation in reaction to the mere existence of conscious minds? Something that seems to act at times as if a sentient will acts upon it, yet at others seems to have no guiding force behind it? Things like thought and emotion are tangible within the Immaterium, and thus the mere existence of consciousness changes the Warp… and that's before you get to the intellects that dwell within it. The uncertainty of the Warp is difficult to define because it so often defies definition. No human being can look upon the Warp without going mad because it defies comprehension, and even those who are bred to see it can only see what their mind interprets rather than the absolute truth of the Warp. Scientific method won't work because you cannot be sure during any given experiment that an alien intellect is not screwing with your results (indeed, the downfall of so many sorcerers and scientists in 40k is because they thought they understood the Warp when all they really knew were lies told to entrap them).

Imperial Truth failed… and the Emperor knew it to be a lie to begin with, for it was taken as absolute truth that there were no daemons, no godlike entities… yet those things both exist and were known about by the Emperor long before the Imperium was founded. As with so much else about it, this facet of the history of the Imperium and the motivations of the Emperor are based upon falsehood. Reason and logic are comforting lies, reassuring falsehoods that (in-setting) lure people to their doom…

Unknown said:

Now, honestly, i'm not sure why i've drawn your fire……everything i've stated has a canonical source….i don't read the stories, i read the rulebooks - all the junk in my head (re. 40k at least) comes from the rulebooks, 25 years of rulebooks.

The rulebooks only tell part of the story, and one focussed upon the more military aspects of the setting. Beyond that… well, there is a difference between "canon" and "truth" with 40k… something that a lot of people have had difficulty grasping.

To paraphrase (or quote directly - I can't be entirely certain of the wording) a former head of Black Library: "everything is canon, nothing is true".

Unknown said:

You seem to want to paint me as a monodominant, someone trying to impose my will on the 40k 'verse, when that is completely opposite to the truth:  i want to know the grimdark of 40k; i want to understand it; i do not want to add one jot or tittle to it, not one iota.

And there is the flaw in your reasoning.

40k doesn't exist in stasis. It never has, and never will. It was never intended to be looked upon from afar without being touched or interpreted or regarded without personal bias. It is - almost by design - impossible to look upon 40k without imposing your own bias upon it. It's a mesh of plot hooks and mysteries and concepts and interlinking ideas built upon by hundreds, even thousands of writers (myself included, I'm pleased to say) and millions of fans over the course of a quarter of a century.

There is no central metaphor, no grand plan or overarching concept behind it all… it's a writhing, many-tendrilled mass that no two people view the same way. All anyone can see are the pieces… and it's up to the individual imagination to connect them together.

You're trying to find a truth where there is none, trying to distil 40k down into a mundane and essential core… and that in itself goes against the way the 40k setting has been built over the years.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#37 Lynata

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:34 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

To paraphrase (or quote directly - I can't be entirely certain of the wording) a former head of Black Library: "everything is canon, nothing is true".
Almost. It was "everything and nothing is true".

Novel author Aaron Dembski-Bowden posted a copy of that article in this thread.

As much as I disagree with some of your opinions and preferences - I gotta hand it to you, you were right on the money on the question of 40k and "canon" throughout this IP's various media, long ago as we debated this. It just took me a very long time and more research to receive this epiphany as well. I can only hope that, in time, more and more fans will swing around as well. It certainly makes all the conflicts and contradictions easier to bear.


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter -- debriefed), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors -- KIA), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose -- assassinated), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia -- retired), Taleera "Raven" Nephran (Hive Ganger & Inquisitorial Assassin -- mindwiped)

#38 Zappiel

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 02:48 PM

aha, well there we have it….Games Workshop will never, ever say anything equivocal about anything, because they hafta keep their options open for future profits…..they hafta keep the universe 'open' because their modern crop of writers are too lazy to read the material that has come before and maintain consistency….far easier to make sheit up as you go than maintain any sense of continuity…..Mat Ward….Black Library…..the original Necron codex states quite clearly that there are four necron gods, they're bad, and they're back.  No mythological fantasizing there…..every player of necrons in the late 90's/early 2000's knew exactly what they were playing….then a bunch of hacks decided they wanted more 'feeling', more 'character', so they made Newcrons….somebody didn't quite like the feel of dwarfs in space, so no more squats….you cannot for one minute suggest that people are wrong for critisizing blatant, 180 degree changes to the established facts of the game and setting.  Your clear disdain for what people care about is….insightful.

What has to be understood is that gw has decided to put profits ahead of setting consistency…..all your hand-waving and mythologizing and ambiguity is just you covering for the fact that the company is a company doing what company's do…….those of us who've been here since the beginning know what's going on….why are you trying to be deceptive??  Why are you deliberately obscuring the issue? 

40k is total war; it's the end times; the galaxy is going to burn, soon.  For table top gaming purposes, this is fine, totally fine.  Everything happens in 999m40.  Fine and good.  But, in the rpg, a gm is going to find that, sooner or later, he has to advance the plot.  Something has to happen, some consequences have to be felt.  The wheels of the galaxy, in a continuing story, will roll on.  And, though you choose (wrongly) to ignore it, there indeed is a metaplot.  No, scratch that:  there WAS a metaplot; i concede that there no longer is one; but it was there in the beginning, and developed throughout the 90's and early 2000's.  Then the artists got squeezed out and the suits took over.  In this new, modern 40k, individual humans don't matter one tidbit - the focus is on carnage and slaughter and the newest biggest figure to add to yer army….in new 40k, it's all $$$ and sell the rubes the latest gewgaw.  In OLD 40k, original 40k, the 40k that sustained us for some 15 or 20 years, individual humans very much DO matter:  individual heroes are the only chance the grimdark galaxy has of righting itself before all is washed away in a tide of blood….Good and Evil irrelevant in 40k?!!  !!  Wow, you've got some interestingly wrong idears….

Your a subcontractor, sir, and yer trying to explain the Sistine Chapel while you're busy scraping away that old nasty Michelangelo scribblings and painting-in yer own stick figures……give us a break….



#39 Captain Ventris

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:14 PM

Well, that was certainly… neckbeardy of you.



#40 Zappiel

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:44 AM

was it indeed?  so no1 can attack posters relentlessly, totally derailing the thread, but we can't defend ourselves and try to keep things on topic…….i see……..very constructive, vent…….now, anybody with anything constructive care to address the question at the heart of this thread?






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