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Is it fluff possible?

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#1 Vipertongue



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:44 PM

  Hi, I've been reading these forums for quite some time now but I rarely post. Recently, however, my group has thrown me for quite the loop (I'm the storyteller.) My players have all been avid 40k players for years but mostly non-imperial armies. When the time came for them to make characters they were rather at a loss for homeworlds to choose from so they chose the easy road and chose worlds from either the Imperial Guard Codex (Valhalla and Praetoria specifically) or novels they'd read (specifically Glavia from the Eisenhorn novels.) Can characters from that distance in the universe actually end up any where near eachother in the span of a human life time in the 40k universe? Also, for curiosity's sake how long would it take a navigator to cross from one end of the universe to the other assuming he were immortal?

I'm just curious since they're having fun and have developed very interesting backstories each I plan to let them run with them because in the grand scheme it doesn't really matter. The rogue trader is a Praetorian noble who's father 'exhiled' him by granting him a warrant of trade. In a hate filled moment he signed it over on the condition that he goes…and pointed on a map of the galaxy to, you guessed it, the Koronus expanse. The valhallan was picked up alongthe way since she is a former Valhallan Ice Warrior and the Glavian kinda just 'came with the ship.'

Is that fluff reasonable? Thanks in advance for any input you guys have on the subject 

#2 Plushy



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:17 PM

Guard regiments often end up far away from home, across the galaxy. This is especially true for famous planets, like Valhalla; there's no reason that character wouldn't have ended up nearby, and the same goes for the other Guard character.

For everyone else, you have to remember that space travel in 40k isn't through reality: the bulk of it is through the Warp, where distances and time mean nothing. People often end up time travelling small amounts happens every once in a while, so jumping across the galaxy isn't too hard. it certainly shouldn't be an issue in your game.

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#3 Lynata



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:52 PM


The likelihood of such characters gathering at a single place really depends on their individual backgrounds. It's certainly possible - under the right circumstances. Space travel is not as common as to allow everyone to use it, but … well, nobles have connections and/or wealth, soldiers and adepts get reassigned, servants accompany their masters elsewhere, etc. In theory, you could even spin a story of how someone gets captured in place A, then freed in place B, or about a character who undertook a pilgrimage but ran out of money on the long way to Holy Terra. Lots of options. From what little you posted, it seems feasible enough to me!
As for travel duration .. "it depends", which is something you'll hear a lot in 40k. My personal interpretation is that it can be months, it can be years, all depending on the ship as well as the Navigator's skill, and the stability of the Warp.
Also, don't be too concerned about the fluff. The franchise "suffers" from a certain lack of consistency when it comes to details (I gathered some comments from renowned 40k authors on the subject here), which will inevitably result in you at some point receiving conflicting information from two or more sources. I made the mistake of believing in a "canon" for 40k for quite some time, and grew more and more frustrated the more contradictions I discovered, as they challenged what I had read elsewhere and thus the image of the setting I had in mind. It took me a while to realise I was wrong to simply expect a Battletech-like level of consistency in the first place.
What truly matters is your own perception as well as that of your players. Get a feeling for which sources they enjoyed reading, and how their individual interpretations of the setting look like, then build upon that by establishing the overlap as a common ground.
Good luck and have fun! :)

#4 Iku Rex

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:03 PM

Vipertongue said:


Can characters from that distance in the universe actually end up any where near eachother in the span of a human life time in the 40k universe? Also, for curiosity's sake how long would it take a navigator to cross from one end of the universe to the other assuming he were immortal?



Warhammer 40K only takes place in the Milky Way galaxy. According to the Core Rulebook (p 184) a journey across the galaxy will typically take "several years". There is also a secret warp gate (allowing instantaneous travel AFAIK) from the Jericho Reach in Ultima Segmentum to the Koronus Expanse.


So, characters could come from anywhere in the galaxy.


Vipertongue said:


The rogue trader is a Praetorian noble who's father 'exhiled' him by granting him a warrant of trade. In a hate filled moment he signed it over on the condition that he goes…and pointed on a map of the galaxy to, you guessed it, the Koronus expanse. 




(A proper Rogue Trader is  a Peer of the Imperium. His status is equal to that of an Inquisitor or Space Marine Chapter Master [p 322]. A Warrant of Trade is usually granted by the office of the High Lords of Terra [p 325]. That doesn't mean a rich and powerful planetary noble couldn't pull some strings, or have an unused Warrant locked away in a vault somewhere, but you should still keep in mind that a Warrant of Trade is a Big Deal.)

#5 Blood Pact

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:19 AM

Though it should be noted, Rogue Trader don't have as much power within established space, as they do out in the fringe regions, like the Koronus Expanse (or Jericho Reach). It's balanced out by being a virtual law unto yourself out in those regions of space, and unless you get really crazy everything you do has tacit approval of the Civitas Imperialis.

#6 Alasseo



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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:10 PM

To expand upon what Iku said; it is possible, assuming stable warp conditions, a "straight line" course, no major crew casualties (psychological, psychic, or physical), no serious equipment malfunctions and a sufficiently hardcore Navigator (or team thereof) for an Imperial ship to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other in a year (see either the original Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader core book, or Space Fleet. Can't quote page references offhand, I'm afraid).

In practical terms, a year at warp isn't going to happen. Equipment will break down if it's put under high levels of stress for that long (and you do not want that to happen to the Geller Field Generators), and unless you manage to get a crew of perfectly, superhumanly sane and stable Untouchables/pariahs, spending such a prolonged period out on the Sea of Souls is going to result in a significant portion of the crew getting warp-crazed, or rioting or even getting possessed. All Very Bad Things ™.
Added to that the fact that it's apparently nearly impossible to use the Empyrean near the galactic core (See Fanatic! Mag #2), so you'd need to take a rather significant dog-leg, which would necessarily increase the time spent out of Real space. Obviously, this would exacerbate other problems.
Also worth bearing in mind is that even Navigators have to take breaks, and for that matter, return to real space to fix their position via star sightings periodically. This is why journeys tend to take longer- ships drop back into real space, do maintainance, figure out where they are, recalculate their course for the next leg and, if possible, dock/put in for supplies (they may not be needed, but it's good practice).

To put it into context, a trip from Eechan in the Helican sub, Scarus Sector to Cadia (the next sector across, possibly the next-but-one) took Inq. Eisenhorn the best part of a year, but that required changing vessels part-way, and most of the distance was done on a Mechanicus super-heavy transport, which is admittedly not the fastest of ships. Inq. Draco, on the other hand, managed to make the trip from Stalinvast, to the Eye, to Holy Terra (a trip far more hazardous, and several dozen times the length) in roughly twice as long, although his ship was his own (rather than havine to book passage on other vessels), and built to be fast, discreet and very, very cool.
A century later, Draco and his entourage travel from Terra out past Kar Duniash (so, given the need for the dogleg, a trip of roughly the same distance as the galaxy edge-to-edge), with a few stops along the way, in roughly 2-4 years or so. Again, fast ship, but still: totally possible for characters from all over the Imperium to wind up together, particularly if you're not too bothered about them being roughly the same age- lots of warp travel makes it kinda tricky to determine someone's actual age anyway (is it how long they've lived/experienced? or how long since they were born?).

To look at your specific examples- Praetoria and Valhalla are, I believe, part of the same Segmentum, so having the noble pick up the Guardsman isn't that far-fetched (admittedly, even a Sector is massive in actual terms, never mind a Segmentum). It does suggest their route towards the Expanse, though: Praetoria is quite a way Coreward-by-Spinward of Valhalla, and they're both on the other side of the galaxy from Glavia (which actually isn't that far from the Koronus Expanse, comparatively speaking. It's only a couple of Sectors over, in Scarus). So, either the Glavian is doing the galactic tour, or he's the last one they pick up (which suggests they were passengers on someone else's ship, if not several in succession on the way there, which kind of works better, in my conception of 40k fluff, at least). If the latter, then the Praetorian is likely headed Rimward-by-Trailing out to Kar Duniash (logical point to meet the Valhallan, as it's the Segmentum capital. Major transhipment hub, headquarters of the Administratum and the Guard and Navy for the whole Segmentum), and then taking a Trailing route to the galactic North, past Valhalla (other possible meeting point) to Dimmamar just across the border in the Segmentum Tempestus, and then either carry on straight Trailing to Cypra Mundi (another Segmentum capital), or beat Coreward to Ornsworld. From that point, it gets complicated as both routes then have to deal with outlier storms from the Eye, but it's also far more populated. The Ornsworld route makes a bit more sense though, as it allows an easier passage up to the Cadian sector, and then they can beat along around to the Scarus, and then Calixis sectors, and obviously, from there the Koronus Expanse awaits.

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#7 wolph42



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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:14 AM

note that there are jumpgates spread through out the galaxy, which makes travel over vast distances instantanaously. Of course the locations of these are heavily guarded and highly classified. Thus were it a military transport then its not unlikely that one was used which means that the span of the galxy could have been crossed in a minute… of course you'll still need to travel to and from it. 

If you would consider the current RT rules however… then travelling from edge to edge in the expanse is about 40 days under 'normal' circumstances and 12x as much in real time. 

now assuming this map then the expanse is a bit smaller then the galaxis sector which is 3 blocks wide. Lets say it would take 45 days to travel the galaxis sector edge to edge, then (look at map) it will take about 15 days travel per square, under IDEAL circumstances!! and without leaving the warp. Typically however the optimal travel speed is 3 days warp jump and say… 1 day recalculation so the actual time then becomes 18 days per square. Add another 2 for less well circumstances and we get to 20. 

Ok the distance from the expanse to the realm of ultramar is roughly 50 squares. Thus it would take about 200 days travel of which 1/6 is pend in real time and 5/6 in warp. Taking in the x12 factor we get to roughly 2030 days travel in real time which equals 5.6 years.

#8 Alasseo



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Posted 12 March 2013 - 03:34 AM

Not a particularly good map to assume, sadly- aside from the repeated mispelling of Segmentum (which, let's be fair, does not necessarily invalidate the map's accuracy), Ornsworld shows up twice (the one by the Coreward Border is in the right place), the Gothic Sector's major naval base (Port Maw) is shown halfway across the segmentum, and one world (Schindlegeist, former location of a Blackstone Fortress) seems to have been moved all the way to the middle of Ultima Segmentum. For that matter, the Gothic Sector shouldn't be over there, as it's part of the Cadian Gate-Terra route of strongpoints. (as is Armageddon, and for that matter, Fenris).


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