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Should Warhammer 40K move in the timeline? YES or NO, WHY?


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#1 Inquisitor Balthazar J. Skult

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 06:23 AM

YES or NO and WHY?

Myself: Yes, I've known the universe of WH40K for just over a decade now and have become bored of the supposedly "unique" setting and "Grimdark" nature. Video games and certain novels have already made way for a much more interesting story. (personal opinion) Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novels embody this with an actual sense of humor and action whilst retaining setting and suspense. What most people seem to forget when loving their disgusting "Grimdark" setting is that, regardless of any setting, universe, rediculous faiths, cults threats to humanity, mutants, etc., that humans are still human. Often people cite that any form of love-making is instantly involving Slaanesh, or enjoying the slaughter of your enemies is on grounds of Khorne worship. Too often do I find other forum surfers spouting their bull about how "this is heresy" or "this is right because that is what makes Warhammer 40k unique". They sound the voracious radical Inquisitors that hinder the Inquisition.

(also opinion) Note: Warhammer 40K was unique in the 90's. With the progressive medium of good videogames and excellent writers, sci-fi fantasy is mainstream…in essence.



#2 Bassemandrh

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:18 AM

No, i simply dont see the point in moving forward when we allready have 10k years of nothing to be explored and built upon. You can easily have multiple generation long story arcs happen before we are even close to reaching The End Times.



#3 Lynata

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:37 AM

This seems to be a fairly popular topic amongst fans.

My own opinion: No. It doesn't need to, and indeed might be counterproductive if it did.

From how I perceive the setting, the year 999.M41 ends with a huge cliffhanger whose outcome has a good chance of reshaping half the galaxy, including the Imperium. One could say that GW kind of "wrote themselves into a corner", as the only two options to continue the current timeline would be to keep the effects of the Thirteenth Black Crusade very limited (which would be a huge anti-climatic letdown after so many years of "hype"), or by going along with it and re-designing the setting, similar to how Battletech did it with the Dark Age .. and quite possibly with the same negative responses from a fandom which sees their favourite factions reshaped or entire armies ceasing to exist.

It's a risk that I just don't see GW being willing to take, especially when - as Andy Hoare once explained - 40k is "a setting designed first and foremost to house a really cool game". A setting for you to house your own games and stories in, not a story that delivers itself (though it easily would have potential to do so).

That being said, why would we have to go beyond M41, anyways? There's 10.000 years between the Horus Heresy and "now" that can be retroactively filled with new events and adventures. In fact, this is being done all the time, and I'd actually prefer if GW's studio writers would flesh out the earlier eras a bit more rather than cramming half the big events in Imperial history into the last year of its timeline.

Allow me to quote another forum's user with something that made me smile:

Let us not forget that 40K grew up out of a desire to essentially have Warhammer in Space. I tend to toss around my old battered copy of Rogue Trader to my kids friends who get into 40K and they always ask questions like "Where's the Emperor? Where's the story?"
To which I can only say, "Back then, they made it up on their own."

- from http://www.dakkadakk...91.page#5356485



Inquisitor Balthazar J. Skult said:

Often people cite that any form of love-making is instantly involving Slaanesh, or enjoying the slaughter of your enemies is on grounds of Khorne worship.

Heh, that's almost stuff for a topic on its own. In a way, those people would not be wrong. The Chaos Gods are, to a fairly large degree, fueled by human emotions, and if one were to go by Codex fluff, even love is "just another name for desire". One does not need to consciously worship a Chaos deity to indirectly serve it - the "birth" of Slaanesh has shown as much.

Of course, given that (as per its writers and creators) the franchise does not actually follow a uniform "canon truth" and that the various official sources often deliver conflicting portrayals of the world, perception of the exact degree of Grim Darkness™ is left to the individual reader and gamer. For example, the Cain novels you mentioned have no place in my interpretation of 40k, as my preferences focus on the background released by the GW studio itself.

A snippet from the rulebook to exemplify how GW material portrays the setting:

"The Imperium is home to countless billions of lost souls. The teeming masses of humanity throng the stars, but few have time to appreciate the majesty of the heavens. For the greater part of the human race, their only concern is a desperate struggle for survival.

All servants of the Imperium have a vocation that defies their existence, often alloted before they are even born. Pallid citizens toil day and night at thankless and futile tasks forced upon them by uncaring superiors, blind to the terrible truths that threaten Mankind from the void. Oblivious, they sacrifice their dreams on the altar of false hope, giving their all for the continueing survival of a decaying civilisation that cares not if they thrive or if they are ground to dust.

In the hab-complexes of the civilised worlds, the shuffle of sore-ravaged feet and the scratch of thermoquil upon vellum is punctuated by the thunder of distant war. Hunchbacked factotums and aged lickspittles slave endlessly under the unforgiving vigilance of Judicar-Prelates and Titheproctor Superians. Only a few hours' sleep is permitted each night, and even that is plagued by the grind of constant industry, for the incessant wars of the Imperium demand a heavy price. Drooling Ideosavants trade gibberish with Pendanticum, Dataslave and Stasis Clerk in a babel tongue which none truly understand. Even death is no escape; the remains of the faithful are reincarnated as servo-skulls so that they might serve the Imperium for eternity.

In the streets outside the hab-blocks and manufactorums, the Arbitrators enforce their unforgiving rule upon the desperate and the homeless. Feral children fight over the dead flesh of the fallen, their struggles lit only by flickering luminas set into crumbling masonry. Scapegoats, lepers, and pilgrims press and push in great queues that will last a lifetime, desperate in their quests for absolution they will never receive. Through this sickly gruel of flesh stride the privileged few, untouched by disease or the ravages of acidic rain. It is they who maintain the status quo for their own hidden ends, they who guide humanity itself. Some are pure of intent, some embody the corruption at the heart of the Imperium, but one thing is true for all - they care not for the fate of the common man."


In essence, this is what I want from 40k, and thus what "should" be the norm. If I wanted a brighter world, I'd settle for one of the many other franchises which would deliver. However, it is the apocalyptic dystopia I am after, the exploration of mankind's darkest side and the faint glimmer of hope which seems to shine all the more brightly when everything else is so dark. And so here I am. :)

This does in no way invalidate, say, Mitchell's ideas, which have found their way into your interpretation. Ultimately, neither mine nor your vision, nor anyone elses, is "more right" than the other. Games Workshop allows and actively wants us to take away what we wish from the setting and make it our own. As Gav Thorpe once put it, 40k "exists as tens of thousands of overlapping realities in the imaginations of games developers, writers, readers and gamers, and none of those interpretations is wrong."

 


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previous characters: Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader frigate Artemisia)

#4 FieserMoep

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:31 AM

The Warhammer Fluff is made and intended to not move in the timeline. The main purposse is to support the Tabletop Wargame where player spend hundreds of buck to build up an army and to give it a place in the official fluff or their own fandom. The only major changes we had the last years were published in the specific army books and even there the most changes were created to happen for a long time. The Wargame is about a Status of utter destruction where every army is literaly at its peek of power (more or less) or more specific: is "equal" to the other powers waging for war.

Imagine the Fluff continues for several hundred years (and to notice a progress in the timeline it has to be that much if not thousands). What do you expect? Eitherway the Tyranids have reached Terra or not, this would lead to the destruction of the imperium or the current hive fleets. What about the Black Crusade? Is the the bridgehead strong enough to allow the chaos fleets to gather and start a new assault to finaly crush the imperial defenders or is this just another crusade that ultimatly failed. Did the Tau finaly have become exterminated because the imperium has no other, more important battle to fight or are they still creeping around.

The Fluff is there to create a somewhat "balance of power" where every faction can push and play a major role, this is where the Wargame comes into place and where every player has a sufficent fluff to "like" his army. Lots of people do not want to start an army about a faction that just sucks in any way.



#5 Alekzanter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:00 AM

Personally, no.

Recently, I was reading Adeptis-B's thread entitled 'The Vermillion Codex". I became quite engaged in the story, and literally stayed up well past a sane bedtime to continue reading it. Now I know there is more coming, and I have to be patient, but when I had finished reading the latest entry I cried out "No!" because I wanted to know "what happened next". But the story won't go on forever, it can't, especially if it comes to its inevitable conclusion. When it does, I'll be soundly disappointed.

If the 40K timeline were to progress, whatever newest bracket of events entered wouldn't be enough. I'd still want to know what happens next. And so would you.

Since 1997, I have devoured every "historical" 40K reference I could get my hands on, and it's never been enough. I've read much of the original stories about the Primarchs, and much of what continues to be written about them in the Horus Heresy series of novels, and the thought of the (missing) Primarchs returning to walk once again among Mankind (or Roboutte miraculously healing his wound) fills me with a sense of disappointment…they would be larger-than-life to the people of 40K, but to me they would become just another batch of plot-forwarding devices, and that would diminish their greatness while at the same time making the backdrop of 40K itself less significant.

Something so keenly impressed upon the masses of 40K enthusiasts since what…1983?…is the grim, dark, brooding, fearful, paranoid, resentful, desparate, politicking, war-embroiled Imperium of Man's gasping last breaths; to save it or destroy it now means the end has finally come. That there is nothing left for it in salvation or annihilation. The encroaching darkness will be driven away, or it will consume Mankind utterly, and either way there's nothing left for anyone to do. Chaos wins? Does that mean the end of everything, including existence? The Imperium "wins"? What does that even mean for the Imperium? No more wars? No more need for the Imperial Guard? No need for the Inquisition? Or does winning just mean a stay of execution, and really, in the long run, there has been no advance in timeline, just an addition of events beyond 999 M41, with no real difference to the stage cosmetics? What would it matter if this stay of execution came after that date? Nothing, I tell you. And if the Imperium were to faill, to finally suffer defeat after that date…would you trust to any games developer, novelist, or "fluff" writer to do any of it the justice it deserves? Mat Ward writing the "New Imperium"? Perish the thought. His over-the-top grim-dark bro-gore stories are the epitome of crap. Could you live with yourself if you got what you wished for, even though it would be penned by him? The Originals (namely Priestly) are out of the picture. The apprentices they took under their wings have gone, and long before the masters. All that's left now is wish-listing fanboys and marketing execs, and they would be writing that forwarding time line you say needs moving.

The dear Commissar Cain is appealing to you because he is near-unique among all the other heroes. He's a real human being. Everyone else has set their humanity aside. And for good reason. The 41st Millenium is a dark and dangerous place.

You want the time line to go forward, write your own version. Speaking from personal experience, even that won't be enough to satisfy you, and you certainly won't do it the justice it deserves. The grim dark you would do without is a greater personality than even the God-Emperor, without it, 40K is nothing. 

 



#6 Lynata

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:29 AM

 

Very well put, Alekzanter.

And a bit depressing with that section concerning the future of the franchise, even though in my heart I feel you're probably right.


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#7 Gurkhal

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:31 AM

Lynata said:

A load of text. 

 

I pretty much agree with this. The setting does not need to go forward, although I could well live with it if it did go forward.



#8 Lynata

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:28 AM

Gurkhal said:

although I could well live with it if it did go forward

I confess, I might even be somewhat intrigued, but it would have to be a new era with some tangible changes - a bit like the difference between the Original Trilogy and the Prequels in Star Wars - to "make sense" (if nothing changes, why bother?), and by now I'm so deep in the comfort zone that is ~M41 that I'm unsure how exactly I would deal with potentially drastic changes to the stuff I've grown to like.

I suppose it would help to consider the timeline not as an ongoing story and neither as just ONE setting, but rather the basis for "several settings" set apart by large blocks of time and each sporting one or more unique traits that give it a face and a name:
The Great Crusade, The Horus Heresy, The Age of Apostasy, The Days of Ending, … ?

In that case it becomes important to make each of these eras playable and "keep them valid" rather than focusing on a singular year. A bit like in Battletech, where you have games and campaigns and sourcebooks set over hundreds of years instead of pursueing a single "here and now". This way, players who have grown to like a particular era need not feel diminished when they feel unable to cope with the changes presented by the next one.

Of course, GW has barely started to touch anything before M41 as a viable "playing ground" for scenarios and events. Maybe their Forgeworld division will fill this gap … some day. Ultimately, I'd rather read about the past than the future, if only because the past can still influence the "here and now" that is M41, whereas the future offers less potential, unless you come up with an elaborate plot on how one of your ideas ties into some major event in the upcoming millennia. I admit, this might be interesting to brainstorm about as well …

/random musings


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previous characters: Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader frigate Artemisia)

#9 FieserMoep

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:09 AM

Well, for example I am happy with the situation as it is now. I am given a huge universe that is, thanks to the rulebooks and novels, quite detailed though we still have tons if not the most area of the fluff uncovered. It is the freedom of WH40k in combination with is somewhat "strict" setting that makes me like it. The theme is grim and dark and lots of stuff is pretty much standarized but i have still the posibility to create hundreds of different worlds that can easily fit into the fluff without any problem. WH40k is and was always a system that forces you to add your own imagination, that did not discribe everything. I can take from the different fluff sources what ever I like and prefer and further extend that with my own imagination.

To move the timeline would just bring us to another point where the timeline has stoped, nothing will satisfy us because this story will not end, it can not. WH40k is about conflicts with all their darkness, it is about suffering and sacrifising your own humanity to ultimatly save humankind. There is no salvation there is only war. And the reason why we have this specific century where all the main events happen is because this is the brink we are walking on. Everything can be won or everything can be lost. A time beyond that would require winners and loosers. We have just rescieved the turn though everything depends on the river.



#10 The Laughing God

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:48 PM

so where can I find more information on the End Times? I remember a short reference in the latest version (I think) of the tabletop wargame rulebook, but nothing else.


Show me ... everything!


#11 Adam France

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:14 AM

Definitely not. In my bitter experience metaplot advancement almost invariably destroys the things I like about a given setting.

We have 10,000 years to play in - the setting (even only little old Calixis Sector) is woefully underdetailed, let's see more and more depth and detail added - not a metaplot that one way or the other will sweep the whole thing aside.

Re the OP's other point, yes I agree some folks over-do the grimdark, but that's a personal taste issue. I play in the Abnettverse version of 40K, where there are indeed lots of normal recognisable human beings, who have normal human emotions, live relatively recognisable (or at least imaginable) lives, and yet are still sometimes 'heroic' or 'antiheroic'. I think to over stress grimdark to the point where no-one is recognisably human is a mistake and not to my taste. But either way 40K is big enough to accomodate either take on the setting. 



#12 Lynata

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 01:44 PM

The Laughing God said:

so where can I find more information on the End Times? I remember a short reference in the latest version (I think) of the tabletop wargame rulebook, but nothing else.
From how I understood it, the "End Times" are pretty much just the default point in time that games of 40k would take place in - meaning, around M41. It culminates in the Thirteenth Black Crusade, but a whole lot of events over the past couple years/decades/centuries are leading up to it, from a general decline in stability and a surge of heretical cults, to the Astronomican growing weaker, to the Golden Throne developing irreparable flaws in its arcane mechanisms.

5 minutes to midnight and so on.


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#13 Braddoc

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:33 AM

Lynata said:

The Laughing God said:

so where can I find more information on the End Times? I remember a short reference in the latest version (I think) of the tabletop wargame rulebook, but nothing else.

From how I understood it, the "End Times" are pretty much just the default point in time that games of 40k would take place in - meaning, around M41. It culminates in the Thirteenth Black Crusade, but a whole lot of events over the past couple years/decades/centuries are leading up to it, from a general decline in stability and a surge of heretical cults, to the Astronomican growing weaker, to the Golden Throne developing irreparable flaws in its arcane mechanisms.

 

5 minutes to midnight and so on.

 

You forgot my favourite one, where the (almost the) WHOLE Segmentum Pacificus went turncoat and hundreds of rebellions and uprising happening all at once, with communication being lost across most of the Segmentum.

So yeah..a fiffh of the Imperium cannot be reached via astropathic means, no one knows what is happening….of course no idea how that arrived, just some off hand comment about the event being "Carefully seeded and stoked by Chaos elements" and content yourselves with that.



#14 InquisitorAlexel

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:22 AM

I also agree with the Dan Abnett version of 40k; it's the future, there are horrible things happening in a wider universe than our simple planet Earth, but there are still humans (with all their greatness and fallings) and more than this: horrible xenos, daemons and their worshippers. No need to even transform the basic human into something inhuman, the rest of the setting do it by itself.

 

About moving on the timeline…how long will the end time lasts? What I mean is, yeah, we are at the breaking point, but the breaking point could last for 2 thousand years. Personnaly, my games where settled in before 40 999, an now I'm close to 41 200, I move forward because there is a continuity in my way the universe advances, but mankind endure, xenos explodes and chaos corrupts. In my opinion, the universe will stay the same; when some empire falls, other rises. The only continuity in my opinion is mankind and chaos…the rest, even if there are glorious things, can still die and go to hell, my favourite universe will still be there: mankind again Chaos.

We could have a new golden age, where invaders are cast out, where orks are no more threath and tyranids eliminated, chaos would come back one day. And other xenos would rise and fight too. Or otherwise, we could have a smaller and smaller imperium as the time gose, with periods of opportunism where the Imperium do crusades and conquer backs parts of the galaxy. We play in a universe where time doesn't mean really anything because everything's too big to change a lot in a small period of time, and if it does change, it will so slowly that it will have to change back again.


So in my opinion: no need to move on the timeline, but if we do, I don't think it must have a terrible lot of change. (In my head, after 40 999, the tau are dead, but that's because I always hated this faction, and this is another story)



#15 Lynata

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:13 PM

Braddoc said:

You forgot my favourite one, where the (almost the) WHOLE Segmentum Pacificus went turncoat and hundreds of rebellions and uprising happening all at once, with communication being lost across most of the Segmentum.
Hm, I thought only all communication had ceased due to a warpstorm, and that the rebellions were a result of that - not the other way around. Matter of interpretation, I guess .. but what better time to pick? It's a golden opportunity for Chaos cults everywhere, although it is well possible that some nefarious mastermind gave them a signal.

Lots of potential for creative minds.

InquisitorAlexel said:

What I mean is, yeah, we are at the breaking point, but the breaking point could last for 2 thousand years.
The breakdown, maybe. The Imperium is huge, after all, and fill not fall quickly. The breaking point itself .. the moment of decision? That, I believe, would happen in a much shorter time, all depending on whether Cadia can weather the storm, or if Imperial defences are overrun. Once the latter happens, it will be difficult to stem the tide, for once the bottleneck that is the Cadian Gateway has been cleared, those who cast in their lot with the Ruinous Powers have little difficulty leading vast armadas from the Eye right into Imperial space - all they way unto Terra, should they wish to do so…

Kind of like in Anastasia's vision. :D

However, that is of course just my interpretation. But given that the past couple millennia had the Imperium devolve and stand on the precipe of collapse several times already, all it needs is a good shove, and the house of cards will crumble. That shove may well be the combination of all those horrific events that somehow all occur in the last days of M41, from the meatgrinder that is Armageddon to the failure of the Golden Throne, from the Astronomican growing weaker and cutting off entire regions to that strange wave of rebellions that is sweeping through the realm. And, of course, Abbadon's big push at Cadia itself. In addition to all the minor conflicts the Imperium has to endure on daily basis already, I see it like a stretched rubber band finally snapping.

What you described as a smaller Imperium that would "bounce back" time and time again during period of opportunism is, in the end, exactly what the last 10.000 years of the IoM looked like. If that were the result of the Thirteenth Black Crusade as well as all the other major conflicts tugging at the fabric that keeps the Emperor's realm together, then there really wasn't much point in hyping it all up so much. It'll just be routine, and I think that would be rather disappointing given the build-up.


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

#16 InquisitorAlexel

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 03:24 PM

It could still bounce back at full strenght. We must remember that 25 thousand years before, there were something like dozen human colonised worlds and it became something huge and strong. Nothing say that it could be impossible for a couple of thousand of worlds, still united together, to build back an empire when the principal adversary are brutish orks that are as much a threath in 40k than they were in 15k, or the eldar that were an empire then and couldn't stop mankind to expand while they are now a few millions in the galaxy. The real threath would be chaos, which would have wasted a lot of their great firepower assaulting the empire, and the tyranids that can boast gigantic armies. But still, one world can halt or stop them, as seen on Maccrage.

Yes, the Imperium of mankind was hit and recovered many times in the past. But when Goge Vandire was there, there was not much left of the Empire and a war made it whole again. There were gigantic whaaagh! that nearly swept half of the Imperium away and it built itself back. I'm not saying, in any realistic way that this will certainly happen, I'm saying that nothing can make sure that one specie like mankind, with all their technology, power, capacity to populates its worlds and anything, it could easily get back on track with the right leader.

Because actually, the Imperium is on the brink of collapse because of its sheer importance; the Imperium is everywhere and all the galactic species are in war against it. When it won't be the case anymore, do you think all the xenos will continue to attack it without fighting each other? Mankind will become again a small power like it was before the Imperium, and then, they will have the choice to get back on track or getting killed slowly.



#17 Armour

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:15 AM

Of course, even with the astronomican faltering, its failure might mean the Emperor's soul is freed and reborn, resulting in his "second coming"…  Certainly there is plenty to point to that sort of result in the fiction.  Great Crusade v2.0, anyone?  

I subscribe the the "Abnettverse" as do others in this thread.  Less grim, plenty of dark.  The best thing about 40k is that it is vast enough to set great stories in, without having to bump into any of the canon characters or events.



#18 Lynata

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:33 AM

InquisitorAlexel said:

It could still bounce back at full strenght. We must remember that 25 thousand years before, there were something like dozen human colonised worlds and it became something huge and strong. Nothing say that it could be impossible for a couple of thousand of worlds, still united together, to build back an empire when the principal adversary are brutish orks that are as much a threath in 40k than they were in 15k, or the eldar that were an empire then and couldn't stop mankind to expand while they are now a few millions in the galaxy.
I actually agree here, that's pretty much my interpretation as well. :)

I just think that this wouldn't happen in the scope of a few decades or centuries, but over a timeframe somewhat similar to the many millennia you mentioned came before the original Imperium. That, and this reborn Imperium's power may well not be Terra. It may not even have an Emperor (or not this one), and it may have a distinctively different hierarchy with different factions using different equipment. In short, it might be as different from the Imperium we know as the Imperium is different to the original human empire(s) in the Dark Age of Technology.

This is what I would expect from whatever comes after 999.M41 - with all the build-up the galaxy needs to be different, not just "another day in the Imperium". Then again, any "new Imperium" probably should still hold some resemblance in certain aspects for recognition values? Different, yet familiar… If so, a comparison of the ideal might be the Legacy era in Star Wars, for those of you that read the comics.

There's certainly a lot of potential for creative minds.

InquisitorAlexel said:

Yes, the Imperium of mankind was hit and recovered many times in the past. But when Goge Vandire was there, there was not much left of the Empire and a war made it whole again. There were gigantic whaaagh! that nearly swept half of the Imperium away and it built itself back.
Tbh, both events don't sound like they really threatened the stability of the Imperium as a geographic entity, although that's of course just what *I* took away from reading about the respective eras. During the Age of Apostasy, entire regions were isolated due to warp storms - but as soon as communications were re-established, people played ball with Terra. A second Great Crusade wasn't necessary. Similarly, that Waaagh of the Beast doesn't sound like one big push but a huge number of simultaneous small incursions occurring across Imperial space, with no true strategy and with no central leadership, and no real goal. It was more like a force of nature compared to what Ghazghkull managed to put together for Armageddon.


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

#19 macd21

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:21 AM

InquisitorAlexel said:

It could still bounce back at full strenght.

Sure it could. And that would be terrible. "The end-times were upon us, but we snatched victory from the jaws of defeat… Now what?"

If you continue the timeline you've basically got 3 choices, none of them good:
 

1. Status quo - nothing overly major happens. There's big battles, campaigns etc, but nothing that has the potential to really shake the setting. The problem with this is that it gets a bit boring and frustrating as people get fed up waiting for the big climax that never comes.

2. Huzzah! Major conflict that threatens the Imperium but the forces of mankind emerge victorious! The problem with this is that it leaves the setting a bit redundant. Sure, you can throw in another big bad guy to threaten mankind etc, but enough of that and it just turns into problem 1 above. It's a bit like setting a LotR game after the one ring has been destroyed, it's just not as interesting without the threat of doom hanging over everything.

3. Oh crap. Major conflict that threatens the Imperium and mankind loses. Essentially changes the setting completely.

Other games and settings have tried one or another of the above approaches over the years. There are also other problems with meta-plots (such as fluff-buildup driving away new customers, for example). As people have realised the problems it's led to them being far less popular than they used to be, with some settings just freezing their timelines to deal with it.



#20 Face Eater

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:52 AM

I don't mind that they arn't advancing the timeline. It's good that it's set in a period where all the forces are active, there's doom on the horizon but they don't know what form it will take. It's a big Galaxy with plenty of stories within it that haven't been told yet.

People invest a lot of time in 40K and if you have to make sweeping changes you are going to disenfrancise some loyal fans. Say they said the Imperial Fists had been destroyed or the Eldar wiped out finally. That's going to send a lot people elsewhere. 

And if you advance the storyline without anything really happening then what's the point?

I think what they need to do that they haven't done so far is emphasise that the tide is turning against the Imperium, that it starting crack.

For instance a lot of their background developement comes from Forgeworlds line, who are working on 'The Fall of Opheus' with the Imperial defenders against the Necrons. It would do a hell of a lot to emphasis the threat of the Necrons if they actually won that. Doubt it will happen though. Or maybe a big push from tyranid hive fleet wiping out a section of the galaxy and taking some major (but previously not, or bearly, mentioned) Imperial worlds with it. How about the Tau and one of the Craftworlds form an alliance, sure the Eldar are in it for themselves, but it's in their interest to play along together now. What if Fulgrim is seen rampaging through part of the Galaxy with the head of Leman Russ? 

In short, they don't need to advance the timeline but I don't think they are doing enough to put life into the setting as it is. 






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