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Longevity of a Space Marine: Fan Opinions and Background Welcome! :D


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#1 Kage2020

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:01 AM

So, since this is all Space Marine focused, I just thought that I would get peoples' opinion as to the longevity of Marines.  So, err, yeah.  That's the question.  In your own particularly interpretation of the 40k universe, are Marines immortal (ala the Horus Heresy novels)?  Do they have a lesser lifespan and, if so, what is that lifespan and how did you come to use those particular values?  

My interest stems out of writing this up for a little fan supplement wherein I tried to create a value that is balanced between the extremes (several hundred years versus immortal... sorry, unaging).

Oh, if you post a reference to the background, feel free to add a citation.  It's always nice to see where things come from. 

Kage



#2 Ranek7212

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:31 AM

Well Kage in the Space Wolf Army book, The newest one for 5th edition. IT states that  on page 50. that Ulrick the Slayer is the oldest space wolf, barring Bjorn who is the oldest dreadnaught, (10000 years Plus in age is bjorn). He is older then Logan Grimnar, who saga streches back 700 years 500 of that being the Great Wolf.

So that is old. We know that one Blood angel is over 1000, cant remember who that is as I do not have their army book with me, because I play only the Wolves of Space.



#3 Grid Reaper1

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:37 AM

 Yes, Dante, current Chapter Master of the Blood Angels, is over 1000 years old. With all Blood Angels having a tendency for a very long life ( if not K.I.A.).



#4 Adam France

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:36 AM

I think they were effectively immortal back in the Heresy era, but they are somewhat diminished today - though still having extremely long lifespans, perhaps in excess of 2-3 millenia ... or more.



#5 Hivemind

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:00 AM

Just treat them as immortal. They are pretty much anyways. Dante being a vampire and Bjorn being in basicly suspended animation type chambers aside. They die from war. Something eventually will get them. If not, they could live forever.



#6 Aajav-Khan

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:15 AM

     Oh look, a thread about Space Marine "immortality". Is it that time of the month again? *sigh*

- Space Marines are not immortal. ( Stasis, Warp and Dreadnought caskets do not count )

- Yes, they are very long lived but they do age. There are variations between Legion gene-seeds ( ie. the note about Blood Angels being particularly long lived ). 

- The whole "immortality" meme is a misconception based on a flawed reading of  a passage in the first Horus Heresy novel. 



#7 talsine

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 02:14 PM

Dante is 1300 years old and, currently, the oldest active Capter Master in the Adeptus. Most marines would probably live in the 300 to 500 year range if they don't die in combat, though you have to remember, that is relative to their perceptions of time. You can go into the warp, travel for 1 week, and arrives years later. Or earlier, though thats rarer, and maybe only in one of the comics/novels as a plot device.



#8 theonelawler

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 03:35 PM

My view is that most space Marines would go out and fight a last battle before dying of old age i.e find a planet and see how many aliens you can cut down before you do.



#9 Meph

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:14 PM

I think 400-600 years is about spot-on for the lifespan of an average Marine. The Great Wolf and Dante are the exceptions. The Blood Angels have always had a lifespan  that was generally longer than the rest thanks to their regenerative sarcophagi. (Although Ive been a Blood Angels ever since the early days of wh40K Rogue Trader, ive always found the whole sarcopagus/actual blood drinking element to be a bit silly ever since it was introduced during the second or third  edition.)

 

An example for a marine retiring due to old age can be found in Graham McNeill's latest Ultramarine novel; The Chapter's Due, where a veteran is made regent of an agricultural colony planet. They don't specify his age but it's clear he's not 'methusulah-age-old'. I think the half-millennium age is a good one.

 

Don't forget that in the great Crusade, even the oldest marine is just about a few hundred years old as the Great Crusade has only been going on a bit over two centuries and only some veterans are older, being veterans of the Unification Wars on Earth.

 

Don't take Chaos Marines as a reference because they're infused with Chaos and time spent in the warp is beyond relative anyway. The only 'marines' older than Chapter Master Dante are in Dreadnought form, living corpses permanently slaved to the machine.

 

Indeed, forget about the whole 'immortality' thing, that's mostly used in an existential way in each single marine being a great hero akin to the Ancient greek heroes like Hercules, Paris, Achilles and the like, ie: beings that are larger than life and are remembered as such by the average Imperial peasant and citizen.



#10 Balodek

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 02:16 AM

The Salamander book has a marine from the original Expeditionary Fleet surviving for 10,000 years.  Granted he wasn't exactly in good shape but he was alive.



#11 borithan

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 06:45 AM

The Ultramarine's codex suggests that 400 years is the expected maximum length of time a Space Marine is epxected to remain combat effective. One of the characters (the Chaplain... can't remember his name) is 500 years old and he is explcitly noted as being considered unusual for being in active service. Actuially... I am unsure, it may be 500 years and he is 600. Something like that anyway. However this demonstrates that Space Marines age, even if slowly, and if they survive they will generally retire from combat duties when it gets to about half a century. How much longer they live after that? Unsure, but for most Chapters I would imagine 700 would be the maximum.

 

Blood Angels (and their successsor chapters) are a special case, being noted for living (and being able to serve effectively in combat) much longer than a normal Space Marine. Even then Dante is the oldest living Space Marine, and is about 1200, so we know normal Marines don't live to 1200, even if they don't die in combat.



#12 Drake56

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 11:22 PM

as i have posted elsewhere on this subject as many people have said it is quite contradictry depending on source material but i like the idea of if not killed in action then they keep going. This is also taking into the account of warp travel and such dilating time.

If i recall the oldest known non dred space marine (discounting those noble chaos marines) is Lysander who  beats dante by i think around half a century admitadly nearly a thousand of them were spent in the warp.

and the marine in chapters due was made planerty ruler not due to age but to being made combat non-effective through injury,or thats how it reads to me



#13 Kage2020

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 01:30 AM

Aajav-Khan said:

 

Oh look, a thread about Space Marine "immortality". Is it that time of the month again? *sigh*

 

 

A favour, please?  The reason that I posted this thread was to get some opinions on the diversity of the materials in the 'fluff' (and, yes, this is definitely a circumstance where it is 'fluff' and not background) and just see where, at the moment, the fan community was "at."  Another bit of data might be added with Deathwatch, but I won't know that until it is released in PDF format.  What it is most certainly not about is yet another post about immortality, even if that is one of the suggestions, but it is a post about potentials and interpretations.

Anyway, thanks for the posts.  It seems that the solution that I had found seems to slightly stretch some, underestimate some others, and allow for variation of interpretation for the exceptions.  I'll probably include the immortality shtick for Great Crusade-era Marines, but will be tempted to link that to a dependency, and maybe to a "self-destruct."  Probably not how most people see their "god Marines," and also something that I will dwell upon to see if it works for a less "high fantasy/heroic" approach to the 40k universe, but there you have it.  

That's all that I needed, so thanks.

Kage



#14 RenoDM

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 03:17 AM

Something else to consider; lifespans in the 40k setting are longer across the spectrum of humanity in general, and amongst anyone who spends time in the void (space) specifically.  Rogue Trader mentions that on average 12 days pass in the "real world" for every day in the warp while traveling.  That alone accounts for many of the three to five century old human explorers, travelers, void-farers, and naval crews.

As a base-line for Deathwatch I would think that the average battle-brother is at least centuries old, having already managed to distinguish himself with his chapter and earning the honor of being seconded to a kill-team.  Relative "age" is an interesting area to explore from a roleplaying perspective.  What's it like for the marines to return to their fortress monastery years, decades, and centuries after their last vist?  What's changed?  Or even returning to a planet they haven't been to in a while?  Maybe they are heroes to the great-grand children of a people they once saved (although that was merely a decade ago from the marines perspective. 

Certainly a good area to explore.



#15 Kage2020

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 03:33 AM

Certainly worth considering, although I was actually after opinions and personal interpretations on the longevity of the Marine rather than the "life-extending" properties of the warp due to time dilation.  Of course, I didn't precisely mention that so, as you say, good call!

Kage



#16 Walker0001

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 05:28 AM

I would say that most marines are mortal and live about 400 to 500 years as a rule but there are always exceptions so some could much longer lived than other say 600 to 700.

Dreadnought marines can live thousands of years but remember that alot of them sleep away the time when not fighting and also their memories tend to go after awhile so they can't remember everything.

The blood angels are a different case as they live over 1000+ could possible get a normal marine life span on top as well so maybe 1800 years if special.



#17 borithan

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 05:49 AM

The statement about apparent immortality in in the Horus Heresy series does not contradict the 5-1000 year "natural" life span suggested by the various sources in the Space Marine Codices. The Horus Heresy series is set 200 years after the start of the Great Crusade, making even the oldest Space Marines (who are meant to be noticably aged, though that may be down to many of the oldest ones being transformed when they were older and not being "true" Space Marines) about 300 (if we give them time to be involved in the last of the fighting on Earth and time involved to build up the Legions). They haven't reached even the end of their combat lifespan, so as far as most people of the time are concerned they *may* be immortal (it is not stated as a fact, just the thoughts of the character involved... and I think it is stated that they are not sure if they are immortal or not). However, it later becomes clear that they are not, just very long lived. Those in the know probably (but not necessarily) knew this, but it seems that it was not broadcast as general information.

 

Basically no official source anywhere supports the idea Space Marines are actually immortal, just that during the Great Crusade some people thought they might be. That of course doesn't stop anyone having immortal Space Marines in their own version of the background.



#18 Balodek

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 06:53 AM

There is also a short story in one of the anthology collections about a Chaos Space Marine hunting down the "descendant" of his friend from the Horus Heresy.  This descendant has the same gene seed as his friend, and is noted as thinking the CSM looked familiar.  So that brings up another interesting aspect of immortality, in the form of a gene seed legacy that is passed down Marine to Marine, and may in some ways also pass down memories to the next Marine.



#19 Kage2020

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 07:21 AM

Almost completely off-topic, but the idea of "genetic lineages" through the progenoids/zygotes, while somewhat problematic, does produce some interesting RP possibilities.  In some ways the resultant lineage would be akin to the concept of family in Pendragon, allowing a player to continue with a heroic lineage.  They're not necessarily going to feel bummed when their character dies because they can take on something from that lineage that is approved with the GM—a skill modifier, attribute bonus, Trait/advantage, or whatever.

Err, but there we go.  Just thought that I would say. 

Kage



#20 ThenDoctor

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:38 AM

Kage2020 said:

Almost completely off-topic, but the idea of "genetic lineages" through the progenoids/zygotes, while somewhat problematic, does produce some interesting RP possibilities.  In some ways the resultant lineage would be akin to the concept of family in Pendragon, allowing a player to continue with a heroic lineage.  They're not necessarily going to feel bummed when their character dies because they can take on something from that lineage that is approved with the GM—a skill modifier, attribute bonus, Trait/advantage, or whatever.

Err, but there we go.  Just thought that I would say. 

Kage

no sir that is completely off topic...

as for the actual question i think the 200-800 is the norm 1000+ would be rare (as stated Blood Angels are usually long lived) put them in a dreadnaught and they are effectively if properly maintained, immortal


I've made an expanded Divination table for Dark Heresy Second Edition.Find it here: 

 

http://community.fan...general-thread/





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