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Help me understand the Webway


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#1 HappyDaze

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:16 AM

I've read over the bit on the Webway in The Soul Reaver and then, loving what I saw there, I even picked up the Dark Eldar Codex. However, the bits on the Webway left me wondering about a few things.

1) Is there atmosphere within the Webway? I know that the larger arterials are big enough for spacecraft, but I also know that we have all sorts of fliers in Commorragh, so I'm curious. Is it like a 'tubular planet' with atmosphere around the insides of the lumen (where the cities are based) but vacuum in the center (where the spires reach toward)?

2) Are there natural points of access to the Webway, or are they all constructs?

3) Is it possible to mount a Webway portal in a starship? Would this be a reasonable xenos component?

4) Is it reasonable to have something like a Wraithgate (a man-portable Webway portal that can be used to move individuals and even small vehicles), and what would be the Availability?

5) Can the Webway be accessed from the Warp? Would a Gellar Field interfere with using a Wraithgate (assuming that the Wraithgate was aboard the ship with the field up)?


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#2 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:18 AM

HappyDaze said:

1) Is there atmosphere within the Webway? I know that the larger arterials are big enough for spacecraft, but I also know that we have all sorts of fliers in Commorragh, so I'm curious. Is it like a 'tubular planet' with atmosphere around the insides of the lumen (where the cities are based) but vacuum in the center (where the spires reach toward)?

The Webway is typically depicted as having an atmosphere - Eldar forces of all kinds often deploy from the Webway on foot directly onto a planetary surface.

HappyDaze said:

2) Are there natural points of access to the Webway, or are they all constructs?

The Webway itself is an artificial creation, an evolution of the Warp Gate Network of the Old Ones. The points of access are thus all artificial, though that doesn't necessarily require an obvious physical gateway.

However, webway tunnels can become damaged by psychic pressure, and part of the network was ruined during the Fall of the Eldar, resulting in sections exposed to the Warp, which are typically sealed off as soon as it is detected, by the Harlequins who guard the Webway.

HappyDaze said:

3) Is it possible to mount a Webway portal in a starship? Would this be a reasonable xenos component?

As your next question notes, Webway gates come in a variety of sizes. I imagine that many Eldar vessels employ webway gates as a means of deploying troops to and from a planetary surface, evacuating in case of emergency, and other situations. All Eldar Craftworlds contain a multitude of webway gates, ranging from massive ones able to transport starships, to those large enough only to convey individual travellers on foot.

HappyDaze said:

4) Is it reasonable to have something like a Wraithgate (a man-portable Webway portal that can be used to move individuals and even small vehicles), and what would be the Availability?

I'd say Unique at best, as such items would be extremely difficult to find in the best of situations. I know of only one vehicle within the background that contains a Webway Gate - the Eldar Storm Serpent, a Super-Heavy Gravtank. I'd avoid trying to install them on any other vehicles.

HappyDaze said:

5) Can the Webway be accessed from the Warp? Would a Gellar Field interfere with using a Wraithgate (assuming that the Wraithgate was aboard the ship with the field up)?

Given that breached Webway tunnels can lead into the Warp, I imagine it's possible - but highly inadvisable - to enter the Webway from the Warp. I don't know if Gellar Fields interfere with the operation of a Webway Gate, as I don't think it's ever actually come up.


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#3 Cornwallis

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:33 AM

I've always been interested in the webway as well but my information is limited to… this thread and "its a network of fast travel faster than warp jumps…

can someone give me a quick summary of what they are, look like etcetera? sounds like inverted tunnel reality as of this thread, but again I'm very ill informed.



#4 Fresnel

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:36 AM

 A webway is a form of permanent gellar field within the warp. I doubt if a normal gellar field would effect it at all. Imperial gellar fields are like a tent compared to the reinforced bunker of a webway.



#5 Fgdsfg

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:40 AM

I agree with everything N0-1_H3r3 said except one thing; I just cannot imagine the Webway having an atmosphere, being oxygenated and pressurised. At least not in the regular sense. Webways open up everywhere, including straight out into space. Wouldn't there be biomes? A slow buildup of growth, nevermind the animals that surely would slip into it on occasion? How would you ventilate it, or prevent pockets of carbon-dioxide in certain places, or concentrations of oxygen in others? Or whatever unholy thing that comes from the Eldar?

Yeah, I might be overthinking it a bit, but I don't know, I just have a hard time seeing it. I think it feels more reasonable to believe that the armour worn by the people we see entering and exiting the webway on foot either have their own pressurisation, or that between whatever two points they travel between (such as the smaller webway gates on a planet) have structures within the webway to accommodate open, unprotected travel.
Cornwallis said:

I've always been interested in the webway as well but my information is limited to… this thread and "its a network of fast travel faster than warp jumps…

can someone give me a quick summary of what they are, look like etcetera? sounds like inverted tunnel reality as of this thread, but again I'm very ill informed.

I try to think of it as a form of controlled wormhole, but with multiple entrances and exits, sprawling throughout the immaterium, generally not caring at all which way that reality chooses to twist. The Webway allows you to travel through the condensed space of the immaterium without risk, but with the caveat that the locations are fixed to gateways.

 


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#6 BirdofHermes

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:29 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

HappyDaze said:

5) Can the Webway be accessed from the Warp? Would a Gellar Field interfere with using a Wraithgate (assuming that the Wraithgate was aboard the ship with the field up)?

 

Given that breached Webway tunnels can lead into the Warp, I imagine it's possible - but highly inadvisable - to enter the Webway from the Warp. I don't know if Gellar Fields interfere with the operation of a Webway Gate, as I don't think it's ever actually come up.

There is a point in "Lure of the Expanse" where the players can navigate  their ship through a webway portal.  Directly speaking this does not adversely affect them.



#7 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:01 PM

Fgdsfg said:

I agree with everything N0-1_H3r3 said except one thing; I just cannot imagine the Webway having an atmosphere, being oxygenated and pressurised. At least not in the regular sense. Webways open up everywhere, including straight out into space. Wouldn't there be biomes? A slow buildup of growth, nevermind the animals that surely would slip into it on occasion? How would you ventilate it, or prevent pockets of carbon-dioxide in certain places, or concentrations of oxygen in others? Or whatever unholy thing that comes from the Eldar?

It doesn't obey the natural laws of reality, because it isn't part of reality.

A Gellar Field is a simple concept in its own right - a pocket of reality to ward a vessel from the corrosive un-substance of the Warp. The Webway is more than less than that - it is safe, in its own right, from the toxic influence of the raw Immaterium, yet it is also beyond the physical reality that most beings call home, and contains its own dangers and hazards to the unwary because of its extradimensional nature. The Eldar have long known many of the mysteries of the Webway, enough to be wary of its perils and watchful for them enough to navigate around them, but few know the Webway as the Harlequins of the Laughing God do, and they are loathe to speak even a fraction of its secrets.

In short… it's an extradimensional labyrinth realm, eternally shifting. The petty nuisances of the material universe need not apply.

Fgdsfg said:

Yeah, I might be overthinking it a bit, but I don't know, I just have a hard time seeing it. I think it feels more reasonable to believe that the armour worn by the people we see entering and exiting the webway on foot either have their own pressurisation, or that between whatever two points they travel between (such as the smaller webway gates on a planet) have structures within the webway to accommodate open, unprotected travel.

The Webway isn't purely a travel medium, though - the Eldar have had settlements within the Webway for tens of thousands of years at least, most of which have long since been fused with the Dark City of Commorragh and now sit beneath the light of stolen suns. Further, the smaller passages and gateways are actually far more common than the ones large enough to accomodate starships. Enough of the Webway is habitable to unprotected life that creatures actually inhabit it.

The heart of the Webway concept is closer to myth than science fiction. It is a place, but not one within physical reality. It is the paths that Eldritch beings use to step between the stars, their passage unseen and unnoticed by man. It is a gloaming place, bathed in perpetual half-light, home to tricksters, sages and bloodthirsty monsters alike. It is one of the wonders of the galaxy, the result of science so advanced that lesser creatures call it magic, and sorcery so complex that it may as well be the work of gods, so incomprehensible is its scale and the splendour of its construction.

On a related note, I like to keep more than a little mystery with the Eldar - they're ancient, cruel and inscrutable beings of alien intellect and an inhuman capacity for extremes of emotion, whose science seems as witchcraft to the men of the Imperium, and whose magic is subtle and potent in equal measure. As Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin mentioned in their designer notes for the Dark Eldar revamp, the Dark Eldar are the nasty, nightmarish side of fairy stories… the impossible, spectral beings who appear in the night and spirit away friends and family members, who thirst for terror and sup upon agony. I like the concept, and I really feel that the Eldar as a whole benefit from being a little more "capricious fae beings" and a little less "pointy-eared aliens". They move in silence and secrecy between worlds along glittering paths that only they can walk, arrive unheralded and depart as suddenly, weave spells of misdirection and misfortune and their motives are seldom known to any but themselves.


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#8 HappyDaze

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:15 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

They move in silence and secrecy between worlds along glittering paths that only they can walk, arrive unheralded and depart as suddenly, weave spells of misdirection and misfortune and their motives are seldom known to any but themselves.

IME, that kind of thing tends to fall apart when they are placed into the role of PCs.


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#9 eBarbarossa

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 12:07 AM

Exactly. That's why I never supported Eldar as PCs.

On an unrelated note: Yes, there must be some kind of atmosphere in the webway. The Dark Eldar Codex mentions several nasty beasties entering the webway through a splintered portal and spreading to other worlds.



#10 Blood Pact

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:56 AM

HappyDaze said:

IME, that kind of thing tends to fall apart when they are placed into the role of PCs.

Isn't that what PC's are best at though?

The players come up with a 'plan' and hilarity ensues.



#11 Nameless2all

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 02:40 PM

Great concepts to know.  I hadn't the foggiest idea on what the Webway was.  Don't know to much about the Eldar myself, other than they are old, created the all seeing eye by accident, and don't appear to like procreating allot.   


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