Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
filliman

Why we play 40k

Recommended Posts

But so too is there a problem that I have with the universe, and it's not even with the universe.  It's with some of the fans.  I've been meaning to make a thread dedicated to it so I'll only touch on it here.  I'm sure everyone has experience with fans who don't explore anything beyond what is covered in the Black Library books, and even then only the ones they have read, refusing to acknowledge any other possibilities.  That kind of person (who I've had in several campaigns) tends to wind up being a bit of a stick in the mud compared to those who are willing to explore, most often because they cannot metagame knowledge about the universe.  It's incredibly frustrating sometimes to try and have a discussion about what could be in the 40k universe only to be met with "ANYTHING BUT CATHOLIC SPACE NAZIS IS WRONG AND YOU ARE AN IGNORAMUS FOR SUGGESTING OTHERWISE".

 

Summation (tl;dr): I play it because of it's endless storytelling potential, but I have issues with the mindset that some people bring to the table.

On the other hand, I can appreciate people who want to play within the game in a way that feels like how that character would actually play, rather than "knowing everything, and just working to get the next shiny." Now, I won't say you said you support that, but my experience is that many of my friends who do read then don't accept the fact that their characters don't. We know certain things about 40k because we get the "God on a cloud" seat, we know what Necrons are, that they have Gauss weaponry, and what it does. We know what Tyranids are, and that there is a Hive Mind behind them. We know that the Eldar created Slaanesh, and are slowly dying out, and that the Tau might be Commies who might be sterilizing non-Tau to limit their pop growth, even as they preach about wanting the bountiful lives to further enhance the Greater Good. Blah, blah, blah. This doesn't mean that the characters, some of the singly dimmest beings in existence, depending on your game, also get to know everything you do. Some things we know would get us shot by the =][= for knowing them (the Emperor is a psyker, and also soon to expire). I can appreciate when my players choose to behave more like people in the world they are laying in, rather than gamers there on holiday, who already know all the secrets. Flexibility, and a wanderlust, are great, but do they fit with how your character grew up? I want my players to act like 40k people, in character, more than themselves, with all of their real-world experiences, ust transplanted there for a day. Are you on holiday? Why are you so happy and chummy? You're all in a warzone you will die in. Sort of like on RT, where I gave a nice speech on Navigators and mutations. I'll spare you the bulk, but they wanted to know how to circumvent some of the mutations, to get the powers they wanted without the hindrances they didn't. Now, I can see that, and am often guilty, too, but the player wants this. The character grew up a Navigator, surrounded by others, raised to see their mutations as a part of what they were; they accept them, and would not, necessarily WANT to alter them. If you are a Dwarf, and get the leg extension surgery, because you want to be taller, you will potentially catch much flak from the rest of your fellows, because what you did is unnecessary, and you were just ashamed, or some such. You, the character, who want the best for the least might feel a certain way, but your character should feel a way that fits with them, more than he is you with a character mask on, unless that's what you've been playing. If they aren't metagaming knowing crap, then they SHOULD behave like someone there actually would. Also, I need to stop doing these tirades when half-asleep; I make more points when I can think. ;) Might sound like less of an ass, too, but I don't know.

 

One sour point I frequently have with 40k is that, aside from the camaraderie of a working unit, or a group of players, there is so little camaraderie. I accept that it's the grimdark, but so many people-groups are their own little rock, and to hell with allies. Could the Eldar use help? Sure, but they won't ask, they'll still look down their noses, and they won't even help you help yourself. If you are going to make our mistakes again, we'll just let you, because it'll be fun to watch it happen to someone else, this time. Dark Kin are the bad guys. Won't help, but don't want their help. Orks don't barely do teamwork amongst themselves. Nids can't be reasoned with, and just want to eat. Necrons want to kill everyone, too. The Tau put on the face I expected of the dying Eldar, trying to get allies, but most of them have little the Tau should want, other than labor forces and resources, and they still view their own race as superior, weakening their partner-organisms to keep them compliant. And Humans? The great bridge between the disparate? The people who dream of seeing everything, and maybe banging a hot alien on every planet? Nope, they are as bad, or worse, as everyone else in existence. Just once, even for a little while, it would be nice for two races in 40k to act in concert, without either looking to weaken the other, shiv the other, or see the other as worthless. I don't need a United Federation of Planets, but when every people stand alone, the Nids just win. You've played Starcraft, you know it is true.

 

Still, a great setting, mixing aspects of "science", magic, the past, the future, and the now, all in a way that I don't have to feel bad for rooting for whomever I want to, because they are all equally culpable. There are some ideas I would love to introduce to it, and the nice part is, the way 40k is done, in many ways, it invites me to, sort of like pre-Disney Star Wars used to, and maybe still will, after the buzz of new stuff dies down later.

Edited by venkelos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Star Wars....

Yea, out of all that you said, all I got out of it was that you like Star Wars.   :D j/k   I always refer back to the 40k motto when I start thinking it could be a little like something else (whether Firefly, Star Wars, Starcraft or DnD).  "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war."   That is why I like it.  Even with everything stacked against the race you love (whether you prefer the Imperium, Tyranids, Orks or Eldar), against all odds, against all possibility of living peacefully, and in spite of inevitably losing time and time again, you want your race to pick itself up again and continue fighting, and win.  Even in a setting of high attrition rates, wanton slaughter, genocide, and even the complete and utter destruction of planets and their stars, you shout out to your race to get back into the ring and XO the opponent into oblivion.  This game wasn't made for the weak of heart, it wasn't made for quitters, whiners, people who think they have it to tough, who try to hide in the shadows or crawl under a rock to wait it out.  No, this game was made for conquerors, for winners, for people who want to succeed at something, to be someone in an untold billion of their race, to rise them up, spit back into their enemies eyes, and give them one good lick again just for spite.  This game, was made for us who enjoy War...... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

40k for me mostly hits the right note of "over the top" but not to completely ridiculous levels.

 

It's epic space fantasy with influences from many other genres thrown in for good measure.

 

In short, it's a rich and highly entertaining universe to roleplay in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've loved 40k for years, and the roleplaying has been a huge source of enjoyment for me. I love how over the top and dystopian it is, where the greatest empire in the galaxy is run by billions of scribes who can barely read and make mistakes left and right. It is refreshing to have a view of humanity in the future not dominated by hippy socialism, but instead ran by fear, ignorance, racism, and hate. You just don't see it every day.

 

My problem with the setting, though, is how impenetrable it can be for new people. Out of my gaming group, I am the only one who knew of 40k or had any understanding of the setting. The other guys have come to learn, in varying degrees, but it is a chronic challenge to get them to have a feel for the entire 40k setting. Most of them aren't big readers, and since there aren't any movies, it makes it hard to put it in a frame of reference. Calling it "Catholic space Nazis" only goes so far. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986) are both very good representations of the tone and atmosphere of much of Warhammer 40k. Would there even be any Space Hulk (1989) without them? So using them as a starting point to bring people into the setting is just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

     Venkelos you do have a point, but if you look at the established elements of the setting, more people than you think are familiar with Xenos.  The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook on pages 159-167 details Orks, Tyranids, Eldar, and even a brief warning on Chaos.  Admittedly it is only a brief synopsis and much of the information if wrong, but wherever there is an Imperial Guard Regiment there are likely those talking about 'what they would do if they ever came upon one' as soldiers often do.  So too are there many who have had interaction with the other forces in the galaxy and have even more perspective.  There are probably guard veterans who, like the soldiers in Vietnam, had to retrain the recruits to proper field vs academy practices.  (Ex: the "Don't salute me, you'll get me killed" moment in Forrest Gump).

     Further, (at least in the Rogue Trader core) the interpretation of the Emperor is fluid.  Nowhere does it require ignorance or blind faith on the characters part.  For consideration from the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook page 263:

“The ways in which the Emperor is worshipped are multitudinous. To some He is revered as a distant, patriarchal and human figure. Others identify Him with some aspect of nature, many others, such as the primitive Epheisians of Dwimlicht, regard Him as a star-god, for His agents only visit occasionally and they descend from the heavens when they do so. But all the creeds of the cult agree upon this one thing: there is only one Emperor. To worship a pantheon of gods and put other gods alongside Him is heresy. However, there have been many individuals over the millennia who have been seen as His saints, people visibly touched by the Emperor, and they are venerated all over the Imperium. There are saints for every aspect of life and there is a thriving trade in their relics on many worlds.”

     Furthermore, you can have all levels of technology and understanding, as is referenced in the Rogue Trader Core Rulebook on page 306:

“Many human worlds benefit from mutual contact and a comparable level of technology. Others have regressed to a primitive and barbarous state as a result of long periods of isolation. New human-populated worlds are being discovered all the time, and there remains an unknown number which have been isolated and forgotten for hundreds, if not thousands of years.”

     My point is that if you want to have that interpretation it's perfectly fine and can be a fun facet to explore.  My problem is that far too often people think that they MUST act as an ignoramus who has no understanding.  There is a fair bit more widespread understanding of the Xenos than is generally acknowledged based on the literature that the writers have produced, and even more so for those who are working for the high agencies that are often the driving forces of 40kRP (Inquisition, Rogue Traders, and Deathwatch).  It's always worth remembering that if you have been working with such an agency or were even considered that you are often a cut above the rest, and this can also apply to knowledge.  If you don't want to, that is perfectly fine too!  By all means you are allowed to play a xenophobic primitive wielding a greatsword whose sole purpose is the murder of those not human, there are many of those in the universe and they do fit.  My point has always been that you can have interactions beyond that.

     As to "just going for the next shiny", that's a fair concern if you don't have people willing to properly embrace their characters.  As a couterpoint you can still have an enormous amount of intrigue, diplomacy, and interaction with these other forces.  In any one of the 40kRP lines you still must consolidate and then hold on to any power you might be able to attain.  Rogue Traders might enlist the allegiance of an Eldar Corsair fleet for aid in destroying a rival for an exorbitant price.  Acolytes might convince an Ork Warboss that some rivals on the other side of the sector would provide a better fight for them than themselves.  The Ymgarl Tyranids are ones that are severed from the hive mind and could be interacted with, see here and here.  The revision of the Necrons recently opens the possibility of interaction with them as well.  More importantly there are many examples of the races working together within the official lore, I mentioned a few of these in defense of my Xenos Character Guide, but a short list: Eldar and Humans working with the Cabal, Farseer Macha's aid and continuing relationship with Gabriel Angelos, Eldar warning Pedro Kantor after Traitors Gorge, Princeps Hekate working with a squad of Phantom Titans to repel Tyranids and then parting on relatively good terms, the Inquisition's open use of Jokaero, and the fact that you can become a Sanctioned Xeno within the Imperium are just some examples of how the 'strict xenophobia' is not as black and white as it is depicted.

     As for preconceptions, I'm with you there one hundred and twenty percent.  That has always been a point of contention between myself and my aforementioned problem players.  They are rabid fans of the works of the Black Library that they have read, and utilize that as the sole gauge of the universe.  They would always without fail metagame and when things proved to be not to their preconceptions they would react surprisingly violently, almost like petulant children.  It sounds harsh but some of them would literally go 'fine' and start pouting.  I sometimes wonder why I still enjoy the universe when these are the people I had to play with.

Edited by LodgeBlackman99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

looks like we'll soon play 40k because we'll have to.

 

(Have to as in a choice between warhammer fantasy and warhammer 40K)

 

I have just finished The End times: Archaon... and  SPOLERS AHEAD.

 

 

It's all gone. The whole world is gone. Sucked into warprifts. In the end Chaos won.

 

Not sure what GW is gonna do with warhammer fantasy now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure what GW is gonna do with warhammer fantasy now.

 

Distill it down into a setting where 99% of the background is about the heroes of all factions being doomed for all eternity to battle one another on small, isolated pieces of land without meaningful, lasting results?

 

amazing_warhammer_fantasy_battle_table.j

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do I like 40k? That's easy!  Umm, or not, there's quite a few factors:

 

1) The aesthetics are pretty darn cool, I'm particularly fond of the styles of the Tau, Eldar, and various human factions, it distills so many other things that I love, like Gothic architecture, knights, samurai, powered armor, and mecha

 

2) The lore is extremely well done, fleshed out, and again, has a variety of elements I love

   -Arthurian legend

   -Gothic and Cosmic horror

   -High Tech warfare

   -High Fantasy

   -All sorts of pop history

   -Pulp

   -Politicking

 

2.5) Yet there's still room for all sorts of crazy things that were just totally made up and 100% creativity, from new alien races and wild planets to Catheric half Eldar veterans and personal stories of romance as well as interplanetary struggles.  Some settings do one or two things extremely well, 40k (and 30k) does everything really well

 

3) As weird as it sounds, I like dreaming about how to make the 40k universe a better place.  In the face of the Imperium and the Chaos gods and the 'nids and 'crons, setting aside our real our real world, I don't buy that the universe has to be a horrifying and terrible world to live in.  Right now, I'm just a High Schooler gearing up for college and ROTC, I can't change a whole lot in the world, or even my personal life at the moment, and probably never will do as much as I like.  It's nice to contemplate ways that another world could be brought out of absolute horror into a livable and gentler one.  Not exactly a standard reason for liking 40k, I know, but it's true.

 

3.5) All that darkness also has the positive effect of brightening what true heroism and goodness does exist in the 40k universe, the lives of those like Ragnar Blackmane, pretty much any Salamander, Commander Farsight, Ollanius Pius, Ciaphas Cain, Pedro Kantor, Commander Dante, and so on.  Not to say I don't love characters like Sigismund, Lion el'Johnson, and Prince Yriel, even Magnus the Red, because they are indeed awesome.  The Emperor of Mankind though, he's a pretty big butt, and I hope he gets some swift kicks in the shorts from Thomas Jefferson, Godfrey of Boullion, George Patton, and a few others when the Porcelain Golden Throne shorts out.

 

4) It's a fun setting to tell stories with my friends in, and to crack pop culture jokes in, and to paint 15mm minis for to push around the good ole' gridded white board

Edited by 3AcresAndATau

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Distill it down into a setting where 99% of the background is about the heroes of all factions being doomed for all eternity to battle one another on small, isolated pieces of land without meaningful, lasting results?

So... Gothhammer? :D

 

or Emohammer if you will...

Edited by Robin Graves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly? Only because our group started as a bunch of wargamers playing 40k. It was a universe that was very well known to all of us. Add the fact that we wanted to play a space opera and we ended up here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the reasons that most of you have said. It's a shared universe that has been ripping off of other settings and works for so long, and it so over the top. That it's both unique, has every almost every story element you might want to use, and is highly inviting of people just importing stuff and 40kifying it.

 

You have a wide range of potential tones and types of stories. Gritty serious low key espionage, black comedy war stories, over the top heroic adventures. Any particular story you can think of can be ported over to the setting and applied a coat of 40k paint more easily than most settings. Both because 40k has a enough 40k specific analogues that already exist, and because they've imported so much it's easy to apply the formula of 40k to anything that already doesn't have a direct analogue. "Hey do you think this idea will work?" "Yeah sure, just add like more skulls, make it grimdark, and either make what is loud louder or make something mundane so loud and so big that it's now ridiculous." 

 

Because of both GW's and the fans attitude about internal consistency, the setting is able to generally ignore the sorts of continuity issues that usually plague most shared universes. Fans aren't constantly fighting or being worried about conflicting stories, they just try to come up with new explanations or pick the funner interpretation. Being able to read so many stories in the setting, and as a GM being able to tell so many different stories. That are all still linked my certain touchstones that makes a story both familiar, and new. It's just really fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the setting is able to generally ignore the sorts of continuity issues that usually plague most shared universes. Fans aren't constantly fighting or being worried about conflicting stories

 

What? :D

 

Ever heard of what GW did to Necrons?

Edited by Elavion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

 

What?  :D

 

Ever heard of what GW did to Necrons?

 

 

I like the Necron change. It reinforces how doomed humanity is, while giving them a different outlook than the "Metallic Tyranids". Plus their explanation was that the first Necrons to awaken were the Tomb Worlds where they were so badly damaged that the stock infantry had no personalities. The intelligent ones didn't draw as much attention to themselves, but the "damaged Necron" still exist and represent the old-style Necrons. As retcons go, that one doesn't rankle too much with me.

 

I... can't explain what happened to Pariahs though. No idea why those went away.

 

 

 

Why did you post an empty message?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes there are sorta constant retcons and inconsistencies. I didn't say the setting avoided such things, but just ignores it. Some fluff slowly moves over the year to the point where you had half Eldar Smurfs, that as time went on seemed more and more weird. Then you have massive changes over night like the Necrons. And all the things in between. But do to the way the writers go about with the setting, it's not as grating to me personally as it could be. The setting has been changing for so long, importing so many new references and ideas, based around what's cooler more than what's logical, and no one seems to care about cleanly it up. Instead taking the opinion that everything is canon and up to the audience.

 

When I read widely different characterizations for factions, serious inconsistency, or fairly blatant continuity error. I'm more likely to laugh and roll with it (oh course the greatest Khorne Champion in the sector is a psyker, of course this Wych worships Slannesh, of course [stupid thing]), than to scoff and roll my eyes. When that some thing happens in say a comic book universe (what, why did they change his haircut, that's so stupid!) I get mildly annoyed that no one is making an effort to make a unified setting.

 

I think it's funny, I think it means that the fans generally shy away from overly serious debates about canoncity. And instead note the general depiction, and then try and come up with an explanation. "DEldar fear slannesh and hate her worshippers for the most part. But it's not out of the question that there would be a few who broached there societies one taboo, I mean doesn't that make it even more fun?" It's more fun to have fun with it, rather than fight against it. It's a more interesting setting to tell stories in that one that's considered sacrosanct. For me anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the Necron change. It reinforces how doomed humanity is, while giving them a different outlook than the "Metallic Tyranids". Plus their explanation was that the first Necrons to awaken were the Tomb Worlds where they were so badly damaged that the stock infantry had no personalities. The intelligent ones didn't draw as much attention to themselves, but the "damaged Necron" still exist and represent the old-style Necrons. As retcons go, that one doesn't rankle too much with me.

 

I never said that the change was bad, just that there was a huge one ;)

 

Previously it was C'tan that won and taken control over the Necrons, now it's the other way around. So they basically turned everything upside down ;)

Edited by Elavion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's funny, I think it means that the fans generally shy away from overly serious debates about canoncity. 

 

Ohhh no. No. They really don't.  :D

 

I admire your attitude, though! I wish I had been the same, but for better or worse, one of my very first real contacts with 40k was in a forum that until this very day has a "background" section where the same topics get rehashed every week, in 20-page debates where people continue to throw conflicting sources at each other, refusing to accept that the writers of those very same books have flat-out stated that there is no canon. I got told by other fans that it works kind of like with Battletech or how Star Wars used to function, and this has poisoned me for years, until I finally began to hunt down actual quotes from the actual game designers, and had an epiphany.

 

For me it's probably too late to adopt such a "laissez-faire" perspective as yours as I am just too absorbed in the books I "grew up on", but at the very least I've since managed to accept that in 40k, anything goes and it's all down to individual interpretation, as much as my personal preferences may occasionally keep shining through my posts.

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atleast they are keeping the admech consistent... Advanced tech mixed with religion and concentrated stooopid. :D

 

The new codex made me facepalm several times...

 

Like the perpetuum mobile walkers, the admech is to afraid to switch off so they have to hoist new crew on them with a crane! Gaaaah!!!!

 

On the other hand they have cool rayguns and walker tanks that look like a cross between a small defiler and something from DUST Warfare. Oh an d (possibly) Nikolai Tesla's skull. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atleast they are keeping the admech consistent...

 

Nah... Dark Heresy is actually a good example here - in one game, all a Techpriest can do is really know technology well (or at least better than anyone else), in another, they can snap their fingers and all weapons in a radius magically fix themselves.

 

It boils down to the Machine Spirit just being a myth or truly a divine power. The fans are divided, and so are the writers of various official products.

 

I've already dissed the new TT minis sufficiently in another thread, too. :D

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About the minis, and this will make you sad (made me sad for a bit): No praetorians on tracks! Booooh! For shame GW, for shame! :) But all is forgiven: I love those dune crawlers.

 

Could be down the rank of techpriest...

 

D4v3: "Hey, T0m! Check this one out! " *snaps fingers, arc reactor auto-repairs itself.*

T0m: "How do you do that D4v3?"

D4v3: "N00b! Maybe if you learn all there is about technobabble and arc reactors you will begin to understand how my amazing intelect allowed me to do that! Come back when you have more than 36 cyberrnetic implants, welp!"

T0m: "455"

D4v3: "What was that T0m?"

T0m: "Nothing."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Ohhh no. No. They really don't.  :D

 

 

Yeah I guess it all depends to where you talk about the setting and your first contact with it. My first places typically stressed how it was an over the top setting filled with every possible idea just amped up with a slightly spin. How from a meta perspective it's been around for so long and had so many writers, and from an in universe one the setting is large and bombastic. That most contradictions aren't a big deal, can be explained, or can be a source of humor. These forums that I've read for a good while usually have GMs trying to make various plots or settings or mechanical ideas work in their games with their players. Everything from tone/tech/culture/continuity are all sort of up for grabs in someone's game, and people here generally try to help and iterate on each other's ideas.

 

Whether it's a question of how ignorant most people are of Chaos, do 95% of chaos cultists not know the names of their gods or do moderately educated imperials have a highly skewed by decent knowledge of the Horus Heresy? Are Space Marines mook marines, movie marines or both? Easier to handwave stuff like common storm troopers/arbiters/SOBs/whatevers are, or how to make something obviously not canon like female space marines more seamless. The lost primarchs were female/there were always female space marines off screen/integrated or separated chapters/analogues to famous chapters and so on.

 

Those are all the sorts of questions I've seen people argue over. I'd be lying if I said that I never scoffed at a particular story, or tossed in my two cents on a repetitive and humorless debate. But for the most part here and the other places I frequent either have advice, or have a laugh(often both). People are able to say "That's not my idea, but here's how you could try it." That's obviously not the only reason I like discussing and playing in the setting, but it's one of the bigger ones.

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...