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Does the Imperium of Man develop new technology?

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They do develop new technologies, but only Lord Magos and Fabricators are both smart enough to and and allowed to. Then, when they do invent something, they just hoard the knowledge anyways, unless they have something to prove.

Edited by Utherix

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The way I interpret it is that the Imperium has lost the scientific method (presumably in the chaos at the end of the Dark Age of Technology).

 

It's very hard for us as early 21st century humans to really understand how crippling this would be to general advancement and invention - effectively they have lost the understanding of the forces that empower their technology which makes it pretty much impossible to really advance.

 

They need to go back to basics and build up their knowledge bit by bit again but because of external pressures like war they just have to muddle along until the inevitable collapse.

 

The Tau are almost the mirror of this - they are a young civilisation still in possession of a full understanding of its own tech who are rapidly advancing. If they can keep out of the way of the Imperium for a few thousand years more they should eclipse the Imperium's current tech level soon and then surpass it.

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The thing is that inventions and innovations certainly do happen (especially taking into account new lore from Sciitarii and Adeptus Mechanicus codexes), however, such progress is impeded by several factors:

- scientic knowledge became a scarce commodity, guarded by Adeptus Mechanicus. Techpriest go to great lenghts to recruit talented individuals and to keep most of the hight technology away from "heathens that do not treat Machine Spirits the right way" (and that most of the Imperium proper)

- even among AdMech themselves, different sects and forgeworlds go to great lenghts to keep their best technology secret from one another, with only Adeptus Mechanicus top brass on Mars posessing full access.

- these sects and whole forgeworlds are often very obsessed with the single field of research only - for example Ryza is obsessed with plasma technology and there is, for example, a forgeworld located in system with unique gravitational phenomena. This lead to local Magos-Physics develop a deep understanding og gravity and many graviton-based technologies were devoloped, but mostly kept to their own good, not distributed widely.

- terrible and cataclysmic civil wars that haunt Imperium - Horus Heresy, Nova-Terra Interregnum, Age of Apostasy. 

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Outside of Admech - are there or would you allow "instances" of inspiration from naturally born Geniuses - aka normal humans who are super smart and would otherwise in any other setting be the inventors and scholars and technicians of said age.

 

Why - it'd be nice to seed in as story dressing some instances of independent thought - as a species man can be born with the ability to understand complex forms of math, geometry, science and the like - without the need of an Admech type organization.

 

I did see an illustration of under the Wiki for Imperial Robot (Automata) HERE - that "guy" looks like a human entity not an Mechanicus entity, just saying...

 

Pls Advise

Morbid

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Well, in many cases the Admech swoop up such individuals, and if they don't, the inquisition will, and if they don't, they're likely to go far as great Generals or Administorum Savants.  The Imperium is full of highly intelligent people.  The trick here is to separate intelligence from education - a distinction made all the more dramatic in the 40k universe by the massive control that exists over information.

 

Imagine a brilliant person who had no internet, no library and never had a science class, nor math classes after arithmetic.  They have never read a single book on technology, science or how anything works.  They might be able to eek out a basic understanding of things purely by observation and testing, particularly if they're in a location where they're not under particular scrutiny and have extra time (backwater agri-worlds perhaps) but you're not likely to get to great proficiency without stealing base knowledge from somewhere.

 

In that illustration, I'd presume the human is a Lay-Tech.  Essentially a non-cult member that's been instructed in some particular set of knowledge-instructions by a Tech-priest.  They seem to be particularly common in the medical field, which this man could easily be a member of.  

 

That said, there are some heretical underground organizations that horde and share their gathered knowledge-man-was-not-meant-to-know.  They pop up fairly often in Dark Heresy.

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We call those types of people Tau; Earth Caste, to be specific. Seriously, though,invention by anyone else would probably be so difficult, as to be pointless. Let's look past the layer of "no one, not even the AdMech, REALLY understands their technology, in the Imperium", and also the "every item has some Machine Spirit, the shattered shards of some rudimentary AI, in them, be it a flashlight, a flashlight gun (Lasgun), a tank, or whatever else", the AdMech are like the Spacing Guild, in that they have a monopoly on stuff, and a right to maintain it. If you COULD get past all of the BS around "how does this thing work?", you'd still have trouble making it more than once, or small-scale, as the only people who could mass-produce it are the AdMech, and they'll just kill you, for tech-heresy. When Henry Ford made his first cars, there was an organization that "owned the patent on the automobile" (imagine if Bill Gates could've gotten something like that on "the computer"?), and he had to get their permission, possibly even pay HUGE royalties, just to manufacture his cars, or he couldn't sell them. Now, imagine that, if he didn't, instead of suing him into poverty, and possibly jail, they could just walk in and contemptuously shoot him, and burn down his factory, with the gov't overseers standing right alongside, handing the next batch of fuel, then staying to put out the blaze with their streams of justice. The AdMech won't let any outside innovation, or competition, stand, and the Administratum need them so bad that they will stand alongside, and enforce the backwards, religious monopoly. You might make something, but few others will ever know about it.

 

Or, you have to live on one of those distant worlds, like Vaporius, or Zayth, where the tech might be there, but the Cult Mechanicus is not, and hope that they never return.

Edited by venkelos

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Perfect explanation...

 

Sort of like a dark ages scholar - sure they were smart - but as I recall only one guy in the dark ages had a library of 250 books in Europe (Dark Ages documentary LOL on the history channel yesterday ~ go figure).

 

Lay-Tech is something I can definitely wrap my mind around as well as those cabals and covens you mention from Dark Heresy - very nice.

 

I know this was a simple question but for me actually expands a lot on the prosaic or lower end of the spectrum of mankind for me - tremendous!

 

Thanks again Quicksilver

 

STAY GAMING

Morbid

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If you COULD get past all of the BS around "how does this thing work?", you'd still have trouble making it more than once, or small-scale, as the only people who could mass-produce it are the AdMech, and they'll just kill you, for tech-heresy

 

Actually there are rather limited cases of what is conseidered significant tech-heresy. Situation looks simplier - most times such "local inventions" are not even worthy of AdMech attention (to do something significant in an age of galactic travel you need some specialised technological and scientifical knowledge, and it could be learned only from either an Adeptus Mechanicus or from Heretek (that's an apostate techpriest)) and as such they never leave the confines of their star system.

If it is interesting to AdMech, they try to recruit such individual into their ranks and their inventions are put to use by techpriests themselves. 

 Seriously, though,invention by anyone else would probably be so difficult, as to be pointless.

However it do happen with the techpriest from AdMech. Rather recent innovations include, for example teleporting titans, Klenova class M warp drive (essentially, an automated analog for a navigator), grav culevrines and even a "cage field of pure law and reason" (cuts all acess to Warp within it's area of effect and negated all Warp-related effects). 

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I understand your point Venkelos, and agree - all I was looking for was a way / opportunity as a GM to make a story once in a while (prolly only once a campaign arc) as either an antagonist, past problem that has rear its ugly head now, or something to provided the basis for an event, person, or thing otherwise to be of independent manufacture - and thusly cause all sort of questions, gripes, and perhaps pain for the Players of said story / campaign...

 

By no means do I seek to seed in vast collectives of people with the ability / understanding / knowledge of Tech - the Men of Mars do a fine job and have flavor/fluff I can't match nor do I seek to (they are just plain cool).

 

I'm the type of guy who seeks the simplest explanation before going to the otherworldly and or fanatstic to explain away facets of my tales (granted there is a time and place for everything).

 

For the Emperor... and maybe the Omnisiaah (rotfl)!

 

Stay GAMING

 

Morbid

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I can certainly see that. I'm not often a fan of the sheer dominance of EVERYTHING that 40K sometimes seems to have. Tech-priests dominate tech, and so little new tech is ever made public, because who needs new things? These people live as slaves to one job, that their families have done for years. That's just one example. I often look at aspects of 40K, and wish there was, for my sight, at least, a little more wiggle room, be it psykers, religion, technology, aliens, dealings with aliens, lots of things. I know that there can be as much wiggle room as I need, but the given material is just "so grimdark", and it kind of makes me sad. If I seemed like I was trying to put the power boot down, I apologize. In little increments, it should be fine, and even the AdMech, for instance, doesn't have all-sight, everywhere, plus, as was said, what one might view as tech-heresy, another might view as just fine, or even inspiration from the Omnissiah that only they could see, because the others are unworthy.

 

I know that a few new things pop up, from time to time; there are whole branches of the AdMech redeveloping things they had, and lost, or lightly innovating from the tech they scrounge from aliens. Someday, they might even be able to gather enough Tau stuff, and balls of adamantium, to actually step up the IG's arsenal to the next level. I want my IG to have markerlights, maybe some rail cannon emplacements. The Tau have no warp access/affinity, and little to know prior interaction to more advanced races, that did, to steal their stuff, so if the very smart AdMech can just figure out how Tau stuff works, maybe they could use some of it; just slap a gear emblem on it, and say it was theirs, all the time. That being said, so many things GW introduces are done in a ret-con con way that says "what, these? They were ALWAYS there. You just heard incomplete stories, up till now."

 

Take Centurion suits.

So, let me get this straight. The AdMech, in partnership with the Adeptus Astartes, FINALLY built another variant of the Power Armor? After thousands of years, they finally came up with something?

AdMech: What, you mean the Mk8 power armors?

Huh? No, I mean the Centurion heavy Dev suits.

AdMech: What, those? No, don't be silly. Those have been around since the Horus Heresy.

Then why haven't I seen them before? (in almost 15 years of playing this game)

AdMech: Beats me. There aren't a lot of Space Marines. Even fewer of those suits. Maybe you hang out at the wrong battlefields? I suggest watching for Imperial Fists; they really like the suits.

 

Bull, but that's how they like to write it. Nothing new, just a retelling of the story, and hoping you won't notice, like Newcrons. I can accept it, much of the time, so I'll quit whining, for now. I think I'll stick behind there is very little new made because there is very little reason to. 98% of the Imperium doesn't need better stuff, as the Imperium doesn't function for them, but they for it, and that other little percentage have the best, and need little else. Were the AdMech to make some cool, new thing, and deign to share it with anyone else, who would they hand it to? And for what? This isn't Star Trek, where money is gone, and people do things for charitable reasons. Blah, blah, blah. And for the Klenova drive, I still think the Navigators might try to win that case. If all the AdMech ships DON'T use it, even they know it's sort of crap, and they should just trust Navigators to fly their ships. Teleporting titans and null-boosted Gellar fields are new to me. Probably just guilty of my usual who wrote the fluff this week syndrome. ;)

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If I seemed like I was trying to put the power boot down, I apologize. In little increments, it should be fine, and even the AdMech, for instance, doesn't have all-sight, everywhere, plus, as was said, what one might view as tech-heresy, another might view as just fine, or even inspiration from the Omnissiah that only they could see, because the others are unworthy.

 

You don't need to apologize at all ) The thing is that most of available official lore on WH40K are AFAIK only a "viewpoint on the universe", be it lore from the Codexes or Black Library's books and novels. So the level of "grimdark" can vary between "so grimdark" to "most Imperial citizens live on safe worlds far from the horrors of war and for them Chaos is known only an afterlife fate for grave sinners and heretics as preached by Ecclesiarchy (Adeptus Ministorum)". 

Those have been around since the Horus Heresy.

 

6-nd edition Codex for Space Marines claimed they (Centurion Suits) were developed after Age of Apostasy (that's after M36).

Offtopic: However, there is a slight problem with any "new tech" be it by Adeptus Mechanicus or by Tau connected to the fact that per Games Workshop's decision official timeline for WH40K will not extend beyond 999.M41. It could add much of the problem with expanding Tau's lore because, well, they achieved spaceflight only in M37 AFAIK (and their form of FTL travel became available only in M39).

 Were the AdMech to make some cool, new thing, and deign to share it with anyone else, who would they hand it to? And for what?

 

Well, that's where it should be noted that on the basis, AdMech are not commercial organization, but religious one - scientific research and invention are in fact easy to be included in their doctrine - The Quest for Knowledge. However, to techpriest any outside human is heathen, bound to show no proper respect to Machine Spirits and misuse the technology (a sacred gift from Omnissiah, made manifest through chosen creators and geniuses), that's why techpriests try to keep the best tech to themselves. 

However, their forgeworld still need resources and that's why they are conducting deals to supply tech to other Imperial organizations. The top recievers are the Inquisiton (they know how to.. persuade people into cooperation) and Imperial Navy (these are as much affiliate to Adeptus Mechanicus as to Imperium proper, by their nature of operations). Then come the Space Marines, and than Imperial planetary governments and rogue traders who keep on good relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus and only than comes Imperial Guard and other Imperial planets. 

PS: As for Imperial Guard they seem to even prefer "simple yet effective" tech like traditional artillery guns over high-tech things like plasma weapons, for that reason that such "simple, yet effective designs" (like the Leman Russ tank) could be field-repaired by Imperial Guard technicians rather than only by Adeptus Mechanicus engineseers.

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So if the very smart AdMech can just figure out how Tau stuff works, maybe they could use some of it; just slap a gear emblem on it, and say it was theirs, all the time.

 
3BYkuwYjNu0.jpgBesides all of the above, I want to mention another obstacle to innovation - the lack of reliable communications.
Imagine that some Magos invented just only a new lasgun: with increased long range, more efficient energy consumption, etc. And he wants to spread these improvements across the Imperium, to the glory of Omnissiah. However, Magos cannot send blueprints to all his colleagues on other Forge-worlds via "e-mail". Astropaths can only transmit indistinct images and verbal messages, and radio waves are so slow, which means blueprints can be sent only via courier ship. But there is no regular flights between forge-worlds, and blueprints are likely to exist only in the mind of the Magos. So there is a need to hold a meeting with his colleagues. A considerable time will be spent trying to convince others high level techpriests that such meeting is required. More time will be required for the preparation of the meeting. And then, because of the huge size of the Imperium and bizarre flows of the warp, decades (or century) will go on the road to the rendezvous (to which many never will reach, let Omnissiah save their souls). 

Finally, at the meeting it became clear that some Forge-worlds doesn't have the necessary equipment for the production of new parts of improved lasgun, on other worlds already produced their own improvements, which are incompatible with the proposed model, and third so loaded with orders that they cannot restructure the production lines for the new model, avoiding supply disruptions, etc. 

After long debates and discussions, checks for traces of techno heresy, identified deficiencies, it may be decided on the adoption of this model for mass production. Now tech-priests are sent on a long journey through the warp to their home worlds. Those who manage to get home after decades begin to rebuild the factories for the production of a new model (if in the years of absence have not lost their influence, of course), adapting it to the available technology and equipment.

And when the mass production reaching full capacity, astropaths receiving a message from another Magos, that he invented a new, more perfect lasgun ...

P.S. Sorry for my English

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So if the very smart AdMech can just figure out how Tau stuff works, maybe they could use some of it; just slap a gear emblem on it, and say it was theirs, all the time.

 
Besides all of the above, I want to mention another obstacle to innovation - the lack of reliable communications.
Imagine that some Magos invented just only a new lasgun: with increased long range, more efficient energy consumption, etc. And he wants to spread these improvements across the Imperium, to the glory of Omnissiah. However, Magos cannot send blueprints to all his colleagues on other Forge-worlds via "e-mail". Astropaths can only transmit indistinct images and verbal messages, and radio waves are so slow, which means blueprints can be sent only via courier ship. But there is no regular flights between forge-worlds, and blueprints are likely to exist only in the mind of the Magos. So there is a need to hold a meeting with his colleagues. A considerable time will be spent trying to convince others high level techpriests that such meeting is required. More time will be required for the preparation of the meeting. And then, because of the huge size of the Imperium and bizarre flows of the warp, decades (or century) will go on the road to the rendezvous (to which many never will reach, let Omnissiah save their souls). 

Finally, at the meeting it became clear that some Forge-worlds doesn't have the necessary equipment for the production of new parts of improved lasgun, on other worlds already produced their own improvements, which are incompatible with the proposed model, and third so loaded with orders that they cannot restructure the production lines for the new model, avoiding supply disruptions, etc. 

After long debates and discussions, checks for traces of techno heresy, identified deficiencies, it may be decided on the adoption of this model for mass production. Now tech-priests are sent on a long journey through the warp to their home worlds. Those who manage to get home after decades begin to rebuild the factories for the production of a new model (if in the years of absence have not lost their influence, of course), adapting it to the available technology and equipment.

And when the mass production reaching full capacity, astropaths receiving a message from another Magos, that he invented a new, more perfect lasgun ...

P.S. Sorry for my English

 

In my mind, the highest ranked Magi who would have both the authority and audacity to commit virtual tech heresy and improve the standard pattern lasgun, also have the resources required to spread any messages to the important forge worlds. Any change of such scale would have to be signed off on by a majority of the Fabricator Generals on Mars, who would only do it begrudgingly, slightly upset they didn't think of the improvement first. They may even wait a good 100 years to to make sure no new improvements are around the corner. so they don't lose precious efficiency in swapping over to the next pattern, assuming the changes are a mechanically noticeable departure from the previous model.

Edited by Utherix

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They may even wait a good 100 years

 

And that's really do happen - any new tech (both rediscovered and invented) would go through lengthy approval process, that could really take hundreds of years.

However, some new tech is appearing, even such significant innovations as whole new classes of starships. 

Offtopic: I even tend to think the opposite - most of the commonly-used imperial tech and weapons bar several exclusions are in fact AdMech's own inventions and STC's are largely a lie (i.e. the don't exist at all, at least not any more). 

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