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Space marines and the Machine Cult


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#1 LordBlades

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 10:05 AM

I'm trying to better define the personality of my upcoming Salamanders Tactical Marine, a rather interesting question popped up (this guy is going to be interacting with quite a bit of xenotech aboard a RT vessel):

 

What do Space Marines in general think about the Machine Cult?

 

I know they look at the Emperor as more of a father figure than god, so I doubt they'd acknowledge the Omnissiah as a true god, but then how do they really view it?

 

 

 



#2 antijoke_13

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 12:46 PM

it's to my understanding that Tech Marines are less "ambassadors of the Machine Cult/Astartes to the Astartes/Machine Cult", and more Technically minded Marines who are initiated to the more advanced precepts of armor and weapon maintenance and STC retrieval and activation. Tech Marines may be initiated to the Credo Omnissiah and be the equivalent of most midrange Tech Magi, but their hearts and loyalties still lie solely with their Chapter, and their chapter's belief structure.

 

that's not to say you couldn't play a closet Omnissian Acolyte, a tech marine who thinks there's something to the Credo Omnissiah. but most Tech Priests just don't buy into the philosophy, even if they know a lot about it.



#3 Kshatriya

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 04:36 PM

The Omnissiah is the purest expression of technology - including warfare. The Omnissiah is the originator of the very smart Machine Spirits present in Land Raiders, Thunderhawks and all starships. I think they view it as an aspect of the Emperor, in his role as supreme innovator of mankind - which is somewhat accurate, since the Astartes know the Emperor created their "template" scientifically.



#4 Lynata

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 10:11 PM

I'm sure the various sources allow for a lot of interpretation on this subject as well. What I gathered from GW's own sources is that the Space Marines very much believe in machine spirits, too, as this gets talked about a bit in some fluff pieces about Tech-Marines (for example, check out this transcript from the relevant Index Astartes article as originally published in White Dwarf) as well as some of the short story bits you can find in the tabletop codices and rulebooks (e.g. 3E Codex Space Marines, White Dwarf #269 "Rhinos").

 

You raise a good point, LordBlades, in calling to attention the weird conflict between most Chapters denying the Emperor being a god, yet at the same time apparently having no problem with the Machine Cult. I can only imagine that this is a result of a reorganisation in the Legiones Astartes after the Emperor made Mars join the Imperium, after which point the Tech-Priests would begin tending to their equipment and spreading their religion. Faith can absolutely accept one god yet denying another, so perhaps the Emperor's sanctioning of the Cult Mechanicus and the Tech-Priests' monopoly on technology would set in motion a (slow) adoption of its basic beliefs, just like the Imperial Creed has, over time, been adopted by some (much fewer) Chapters.

 

This gets even more likely in FFG's interpretation of the setting, where Tech-Priests actually can commune with and manipulate a machine spirit, rather than it being mere superstition and lobotomised brains, depending on the individual item or vehicle in question. Then again, there is now actual and irrefutable divine magic in this RPG as well, so I'm having a hard time seeing how FFG's Space Marines could still think the Emperor is not a god when his servants are able to throw laser beams out of their eyes and stuff...  :rolleyes:


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#5 Brother Anselm

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 03:52 PM

Ansgar looked to Adlar Company's own techmarine, the red power-armoured Isendur, to see him make the sign of machine across his chest. The destruction of Hellsbreach would hit Isendur particularly hard, especially on top of the pain he already bore for the loss of Solemnus. He had spent a number of years on Mars, the capital planet of the Adeptus Mechanicus. There he had been inducted into the machine mysteries of the tech-priests. He venerated the machine as a living, cybernetic deity. Some among the crusade fleet whispered that the beliefs of the techmarines bordered on the heretical but Ansgar found such a thing unthinkable in warriors dedicated to the most devout of all the Chapters.

A Black Templar would no more permit a heretic to remain within their ranks than they would a witch. 

 

Brother Ansgar. Emperors Champion, Black Templar

Crusade of Armageddon by Jonathan Green

 

Its one interpretation.

As a Salamander I'd also look at how the Omnissah also fits into the teaching of the Prometheus cult.



#6 pearldrum1

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 05:13 PM

The Omnissiah is the purest expression of technology - including warfare. The Omnissiah is the originator of the very smart Machine Spirits present in Land Raiders, Thunderhawks and all starships. I think they view it as an aspect of the Emperor, in his role as supreme innovator of mankind - which is somewhat accurate, since the Astartes know the Emperor created their "template" scientifically.

 

 

Oh and also, it is a C'tan that the Emperor could not kill so he bound it underneath Mars instead. LOL@the Omnisshiah.



#7 Fgdsfg

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 05:56 PM

[...]

 

This gets even more likely in FFG's interpretation of the setting, where Tech-Priests actually can commune with and manipulate a machine spirit, rather than it being mere superstition and lobotomised brains, depending on the individual item or vehicle in question. Then again, there is now actual and irrefutable divine magic in this RPG as well, so I'm having a hard time seeing how FFG's Space Marines could still think the Emperor is not a god when his servants are able to throw laser beams out of their eyes and stuff...  :rolleyes:

What? Did I miss something serious, because I don't remember any of these two things.


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#8 pearldrum1

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 08:46 PM

I think this is a reference to the power of faith and belief and its very real consequences within the Warp. Since the Emperor is the official God of trillions of sentient beings, his power in the Warp is substantial and can be manifested in realspace through faith.

 

The Adeptus Sororitas for example can actually use their faith as a physical weapon.



#9 Lynata

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:52 PM

What? Did I miss something serious, because I don't remember any of these two things.

 

Making any ally's gun within 10 meters unjam, for example? The pulling power of Ferric Lure depending on the character's Willpower rather than separately upgradeable equipment or implants? I can't think of how this would be possible without the Mechanicus' version of space magic.

 

I think this is a reference to the power of faith and belief and its very real consequences within the Warp. Since the Emperor is the official God of trillions of sentient beings, his power in the Warp is substantial and can be manifested in realspace through faith.

The Adeptus Sororitas for example can actually use their faith as a physical weapon.

 

In FFG's version of the setting, anyways ...


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#10 LordBlades

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:05 AM

The Adeptus Sororitas for example can actually use their faith as a physical weapon.

 

Is there anyhting however in the books to prove that this power comes or doesn't come from the Emperor as opposed to the faith itself? As in, would a sister that fell into heresy and actually stopped worshiping the Emperor lose her powers?



#11 pearldrum1

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:11 AM

The powers come from her faith, not directly from the Emperor. They are being manifested because of the existential belief - and the quantity of it. As a result of the overflow of Emperor Worship in the metaphysical universe, it is becoming manifest in realspace.

 

 

So, I dont think she would lose her power. She would probably benefit from generating the power in the same way, albeit with a Chaotic overlord benefactor in place of the Imperial Cult.



#12 Lynata

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 12:09 PM

Is there anyhting however in the books to prove that this power comes or doesn't come from the Emperor as opposed to the faith itself? As in, would a sister that fell into heresy and actually stopped worshiping the Emperor lose her powers?


Depends on which books you mean. As far as GW's own material goes:

"The Daughters of the Emperor studied ancient arts of war, using a taxing learning process to clear their minds of all worldly considerations, honing their skills over their entire lives."
- 2E C:SoB

"For millennia, the Sisters have practiced their unique method of war, combining combat doctrine and prayer which enables them to accomplish feats upon the battlefield that appear miraculous to the unschooled."
- 3E C:WH

"The perfervid, unquestioning nature of this faith is a potent weapon indeed, manifesting as divine inspiration that drives the Sororitas to unprecedented feats of martial prowess."
- 6E C:SoB

If it would come from the Emperor or even just the Warp, it would probably count as a psychic power - which would be contradicted by the 3E Shield of Faith (which auto-deflected even beneficial psychic abilities from their allies) as well as the rules in GW's Inquisitors game, which stated that AoF are "not counted as psychic powers and so may not be nullified", as well as that "no Adepta Sororitas character will ever have psychic powers of any sort".

Or, in short, to me it seems like the original idea was a sort of "mind over matter" approach, reflecting a mixture of intense training and uncompromising, zealous dedication to the cause which sees the warrior banish all fears from her mind, ignore dreadful injuries and pain (possibly simply delaying her death/unconsciousness) or summon preternatural strength. We have accounts for this sort of stuff happening in real life, from soldiers ignoring multiple bullet injuries to some frail girl lifting a 5600 pound jeep off her father's leg. The Sisters of Battle are quite simply an army that has this as a part of their theme.
This also explains various TT rules such as Acts of Faith depending on Leadership scores (squad leader inspiring her Sisters) or the death of their comrades-in-arms (increasing the "zeal level" by evoking a thirst for vengeance).

Obviously, there are many other interpretations in existence once you look at the licensed material, though. In Dawn of War as well as FFG's Blood of Martyrs supplement, it is rather obviously space magic, with effects that are much flashier than anything from GW's tabletop - which should probably make it difficult for the Space Marines to continue saying "nah, he's not a god" when the girl next to them starts shooting lasers out of her eyes after saying a prayer. Either that, or they kill her for unsanctioned psychic activities. :lol:

In the Inquisitor's Handbook, a book still written by the original Black Industries team, a Sister would also lose her Faith powers if her Corruption score ever rose above 10, which kind of fits to the original material: no Acts of Faith without actually being faithful. Without religion to serve as a catalyst for their willpower, they'd be nothing but very well trained soldiers. This is not to say that, in theory, they could not start following a different religion with the same zeal (Chaos?) or even just believe in a worldly cause (Imperial nationalism?) strong enough that it'd have the same effect - but aside from the very low chance of one of them falling in the first place, the character would have to survive her "crisis of faith", and any new belief she adopts likely would not be as strong as the first one (if worldly it misses the conviction about supernatural aid from the Emperor, and if religious it would not be as unquestioning considering she'd already forsaken her first faith).

I believe the loss of Pure Faith due to Corruption was not part of FFG's remake of the Sororitas as published in the Blood of Martyrs supplement, though, so that characters created using the rules from this book would indeed keep their powers if they fall.

Edited by Lynata, 02 December 2013 - 12:13 PM.

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#13 pearldrum1

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:50 PM


If it would come from the Emperor or even just the Warp, it would probably count as a psychic power - which would be contradicted by the 3E Shield of Faith (which auto-deflected even beneficial psychic abilities from their allies) as well as the rules in GW's Inquisitors game, which stated that AoF are "not counted as psychic powers and so may not be nullified", as well as that "no Adepta Sororitas character will ever have psychic powers of any sort".
 

 

Ah, I did not know this. I see. Space Magic it is!



#14 Lynata

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 06:06 PM

Well, if you're dismissing the Codex fluff about it not being as miraculous - or magical - as the witnesses may believe, then you could also dismiss the Inquisitor bit saying it's no Warp stuff. The way this franchise handles its fluff does leave the option to cherrypick. ;)

 

Personally, I don't like both alternate interpretations, but the psychic power one would at least circumvent the weird notion of "divine magic" apparently existing solely for the servants of the Emperor, whereas any other cultist has to rely on psyker tricks, or the Warp-fueled gifts of some Chaos god.

It would be an entirely new form of power in the setting, and to see it in use only in a single faction ... how would you explain this?

 

Also, I just noticed (thanks to looking at the thread title) that I may have totally derailed the thread with such a long reply as in #12.

To bring this back to the Tech-Priests of the Adeptus Astartes, I suppose with them at least we'd have a second candidate for users of divine magic, though they're still Imperials, as if only the Emperor and/or the Omnissiah were the only true god/s of the entire galaxy?


Edited by Lynata, 02 December 2013 - 06:08 PM.

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#15 pearldrum1

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:09 PM

Perhaps only the true benevolent Gods?

 

Are all of the Eldar's powers Warp Fueled as well? Don't they pull upon the power of the souls of their ancient dead - if so, could that not also be argued as a divine sort of power?

 

And the poor Tau... their technology keeps them strong. They need not of anyone's Warp or Divine BS magic.



#16 Lynata

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:17 PM

Given the connection between souls and the Warp as already (briefly) alluded to above, wouldn't Eldar "magics" just be psychic stuff as well, somewhere?

 

Matter of interpretation (and preferences), I suppose - like the entire thread.  ;)


Edited by Lynata, 02 December 2013 - 10:31 PM.

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current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#17 pearldrum1

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 12:32 AM

Exactly - left intentionally vague in order to promote fan interpretations and greater game flexibility.

 

 

OR just a big oversight on the parts of the writers.



#18 Kshatriya

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 06:37 PM

 

The Omnissiah is the purest expression of technology - including warfare. The Omnissiah is the originator of the very smart Machine Spirits present in Land Raiders, Thunderhawks and all starships. I think they view it as an aspect of the Emperor, in his role as supreme innovator of mankind - which is somewhat accurate, since the Astartes know the Emperor created their "template" scientifically.

 

 

Oh and also, it is a C'tan that the Emperor could not kill so he bound it underneath Mars instead. LOL@the Omnisshiah.

 

It can be though I wouldn't be surprised if that changed with the changes to Necrons.



#19 pearldrum1

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 08:41 PM

Oh, I wasnt aware of the changes. I dont keep up with the Necs. What happened?



#20 Lynata

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:05 PM

I'm not sure if it carried over into these RPGs (the expansion on the Grey Knights did not - with exception of the terrible Dreadknight *shivers*), but in essence the Necrons were pushed a bit more towards the "Tomb Kings" of WHFB, in that their leaders now have unique personalities. The rank-and-file Terminators are still very much robo zombies, but the higher you go in "value", the more slivers of their original identity they retained, however twisted and fragmented by the horrors they had brought upon themselves.

 

This is why you can now have different Necron Lords pursueing different goals, having their troops employ different tactics, or even scheming against one another.

 

I don't recall any changes to the C'tan background, though I may be mistaken. Most of the "buzz" by Necron fans was about how they perceived the spirit of their army to be corrupted by this new interpretation.


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)




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