Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
filliman

Why we play 40k

Recommended Posts

I like the breadth of possibilities of the game. Back in the Ancient times of gaming (D&D 1st), when people got tired of the classic medieval setting, someone would typically try to do a "Time travel" or D&D in spaesh! type game. Many other companies have tried to do this kind of cross-genre thing but I feel that 40k is the best of them! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because it's over the top to the point where it loops past grimdark and all the way back around to silly, while still being grimdark. It's the perfect place for black humour and crazy action set pieces. Your everyday life looks like the cover of a heavy metal album. You can strap on an explosive gauntlet the size of your torso, launch temples from orbit, live lives so decadent that African warlord/presidents for life would raise an eyebrow from atop their solid gold and tiger skin thrones, and it would be cheaper to buy a hundred human beings than to fire your sidearm once. In fact filling the pit blocking your way with bodies is a legitimate tactic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. its an easy universe grasp; esp. all the derivative sci fi (heinlein, terminators, moorcock, tolkien in space, alien xenomorphs, robotech)
2. tons of source material for 25 years.

3. loads of miniatures and game accessories available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst 40k is by far not the only setting I enjoy playing in (or reading about), it just hits a certain spot that makes it interesting to me. The combination of Grimdark™ dystopia and stylish, well-designed baroque/medieval "retro" looks provides a fairly unique playing ground. Furthermore, Games Workshop has "stolen" so many references from other cool and classy movies, games and novels that anyone who appreciates the 80s brand of sci-fi (Dune, Judge Dredd, Mad Max, Terminator, Total Recall, ...) is bound to find something they like, not to mention the many homages and black humour plays on real world history.

 

Also, although initially a drawback due to me being a stickler for consistency, with GW's "no canon" policy there are now so many different takes on the setting that there's a high chance that anyone could find a version appealing to their personal taste in terms of realism vs fantasy as long as they appreciate the basic idea, plus you can cherrypick or ignore what you like or dislike most from an extensive array of source material, or even add your own ideas as all the other authors do. The entire IP is a lot more "inviting" towards customisation than most other settings, with justifications for many deviations already built into the background of an Imperium plagued by cultural and technological differences and interstellar travel or communications neither being reliable nor widely available.

 

40k can be like a melting pot of countless other settings, featuring scantly-clad techno-barbarians with electro-spears fighting next to WW2-themed soldiers with laser weapons next to medieval knights in powered armour dueling a cyberpunk ganger with dual wield plasma pistols. Without any of them feeling out of place. If you want it to be, you can make Warhammer 40,000 your personal "best of" your most favourite movies and books.

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many things about 40k I'd change, but I echo Egyptoid on the vast amount of background material.  I like my players to be able to look up stuff without me having had to generate it all.  It's why I also like Traveller and Forgotten Realms.

 

I don't play DH or BC, and really have to interest in doing so.  I like the horror genre, but I have no desire to play Call of Cthulhu in Space, and playing "evil" in a galaxy indundated with it is just too over-the-top for me.

 

I like the Dune-ish aspects, and I reallly like the scale of Rogue Trader.  Okay, miles-long ships are probably stupid.  I mean, at that point why not just hollow out asteroids?  But I have no problem suspending my disbelief in that regard.

 

It's not 40k I like so much as RT.  It's just a good game.  It lends itself well to narrative styles of play.  Personal combats can be very detailed, but mass combat can be decided with a couple dice rolls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There really aren't any good guys. I have played so many RPGs where the party is just expected to be the "good guys", going to save the kingdom, defeat the evil god, or what have you, just because. When they ask "can we play bad guys?", the answer is usually no. If you want to be a little a-holish in your character portrayal, your "goodie goodie" party mates will probably be bothered, and try to hold you to a higher standard. In 40k, though, you don't NEED to be good, or even decent, and the game doesn't fall apart for it. You are as often acting on your own objectives as the will of another, and are rather free to achieve victory by whatever means are available. Not too many other games where you might bring about the annihilation of an entire world, and just consider it "the cost of doing business", or what have you.

 

Also, and this is a little stickler for me, I don't see as much the feeling of "where are all the bigger characters?" You are playing D&D, let's say Forgotten Realms, because that is my favorite campaign world for D&D, when 4th ed wasn't slitting its throat (thank you 5th ed for ret-conning that, as I see it, anyway ;) ) Anyway, so you are playing your merry band of ne'rdowells, at the behest of the king, and he wants you to go fight the evil wizard Convenientus. This man seeks to unlock the powers of some artifact, or lose some dark deity on the world, in an effort to bring about unfathomable suffering, and you are supposed to stop him. My question; where is Elminster? Where is Khelban "Blackstaff" Arunsun? Why are the big movers and shakers of the world not being called out to deal with this threat, or at least contributing something to your success? While I suppose this is a thing RT, and 40k, could also suffer from, I like the feeling that you are among the most powerful, and there is some sense to not waiting for "someone better" to come along, and save the day.

 

40k also benefits from entertaining me with the minis hobby, and the whole of it helped keep me occupied through chunks of college, back in the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There really aren't any good guys.

 

I'd say there perfectly can be. Perhaps there even should be. It's just that they won't get very far...  :P

 

And then of course there are the characters who just believe they are the good guys. There's lots of those in the Imperium, too. Of course, those can be even more villainous than the pragmatics, depending on the circumstances. ;)

 

But yeah, I think this adds a lot to make the setting feel "more real", similar to how it works with Dragon Age or Warcraft (the P&P version, not the MMO). I think D&D/FR suffers here because characters' behaviour is codified into alignments, and they are so important that there are spells to identify them, and holy warriors are granted their abilities based on whether or not they stick to them. The Warcraft P&P, which is based on the same d20 system, fortunately worked around this by allowing characters to attain a Fanatism trait which circumvented the whole thing - based on the (imho quite logical) reasoning that whether or not a paladin "falls" and has their access to divine magic revoked depends not on a neutral assessment of their actions, but rather what their own conscience thinks of them. In other words, if you can justify your actions, you'll get away with em. Now enjoy fighting fire with fire.

 

Also, and this is a little stickler for me, I don't see as much the feeling of "where are all the bigger characters?"

 

On that note I always felt this RPG line could do with a little less of Space Marine pandering. I don't need to be reminded on every 5th page how my gun sucks or how awesome they are compared to anyone else, thankyouverymuch.

 

Just one of my pet peeves, and whether it disturbs anyone else depends a lot on their interpretation of the setting. But It's telling when not even Games Workshop's own material goes to such an extent to promote them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because Heroquest was awesome and one thing led to another...

 

It is dark, yet colorfull, science fiction with a lot of barbarism. It feels like a fully contained universe, rather than a bunch of factions thrown together to make a game. The Entirety of the setting is batshit insane and yet awesome. It has that blend of fantasy and sci-fi that make Star Wars and Masters of the universe so awesome. It comes in flavors from dystopian punk to grimdark to space opera to stupidgrimdark.

 

The 40k universe: It's an awesoem place to visit, but i wouldn't wanna live there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a fun twist on both fantasy and sci-fi. It's 40 millenia into the future, and you are hitting each other with chainswords. Or using ultra high-tech devices that almost no one know the exact workings of.

 

Hilariously over the top and yet incredibly grim, or anywhere in between, allowing for a game nearly anywhere on the scale.

 

Impressive atmosphere and visuals. From Call of Cthulhu in space to gothic cathedrals with massive guns, it's the setting that takes it to eleven.

 

Huge setting with both a lot of lore and tons of blank sheets. Sure, the iconic 40k is sometimes jokingly referred to as "catholic space nazis," but when the setting encompasses pretty much the entire galaxy all sorts of strange societies and planets are an option. Want X? We can fit it... somewhere. It may be highly illegal, heretical or simply unusual, but it exists somewhere.

 

So many shoutouts and cultural references.

Edited by The_Shaman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It feels like a fully contained universe, rather than a bunch of factions thrown together to make a game.

 

I feel like I should have added this to my post, too. The stuff in 40k is "stolen together" from countless other settings as well as real world history - but the point is, it's stolen so well that you still end up with things looking like they really belong together, rather than a wild hodgepodge of puzzle pieces that don't really fit to one another. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because it's a setting that actively works against heroes. The victories you earn are tinged with desperation and hollowness, and people actively resist you trying to make things better. I like seeing my players struggle and force themselves to try and save a planet or a city or even a person. They might do it for their selfish reasons, and because they hate to lose, but they are also committed to trying to single-handedly reverse this dark age by any means necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It feels like a fully contained universe, rather than a bunch of factions thrown together to make a game.

 

I feel like I should have added this to my post, too. The stuff in 40k is "stolen together" from countless other settings as well as real world history - but the point is, it's stolen so well that you still end up with things looking like they really belong together, rather than a wild hodgepodge of puzzle pieces that don't really fit to one another. ;)

 

 

Also the whole depth of the races background. Knowing the chaos runes won't help you play better on the tabletop, but it lets you write some cool lines of your daemon prince's weapon!

 

Random game:

Space orks. Green. barbaric. low tech weapons. Tolkien meets Mad Max.

 

Warhammer 40k:

(space) Orks; Green, barbaric, insane weapons made by oddboys, ork kultur, Waaaagh! different klans, Goffs is da 'ardest and da best, Evil Sunz like vehicles, Red uns go fasta. Orks are plant based. Squigs. Orks Live to fight. Psykers can have "'eadbang" results or do that bit from Monthy Python. Ork titan class vehicles are representations of their gods

and they even have their own chant: " 'ere we go! 'ere we go! 'ere we go!"

 

See the difference?

 

And for such a fleshed out background it's still realy easy to make up your own forces and convert them to your liking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a short warhammer story about a dwarf troll slayer yelling that he can't find a proper opponent to fight. "Is there no one who will give me a proper fight?" he roars as he looks with contempt upon a goblin shaman. Who Casts Gorks warpath. And the poor slayer looks up just in time to see what's comming for him. It was Gork. Que one very dead and very flat troll slayer.

 

 

In warhammer the gods are real. And the Ork ones will stomp on you! :D

Edited by Robin Graves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...