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What is sex like in the 40K universe?

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Are humans the "rabbits" of the Milkway Galaxy?

 

In that what is the maturing time needed for other xenos to go from infancy to adulthood?

 

One could argue that mold/fungus grows slow (for Orcs) while the "nids" are more like cells and antibodies of the hiveship - so they dont count LOL

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I actually sort of assume Orks grow FAST, as the Old Ones needed their vast numbers, and stable numbers, to do battle. That their physiology also supports long life (that their culture really doesn't), helps. I still say we don't really know for Eldar, who should be the opposite end of the spectrum. Most things that live a long time, and Eldar do, take a long time to mature, and reach "breeding age". Eldar might not be fertile till they are 200, if I try to very loosely use a human comparison, and I often put it even later, so as to help me keep their populations in the toilet, where they are. They've been a "dying breed" for millennia, since they are Elves in SPEHSS, but they take many precautions to preserve their core populations, and these core pops SHOULD be able to do some shoring up, over centuries, but they haven't, and so I argue that one reason is their slow maturing rate. If I was born today, I COULD have children by the time I'm 13 (shiver), and socially, I could easily be doing it from 17. So, by the time I'm 20, I could/should have several kids. Eldar? If they take a few centuries to mature, that's a long "down time" between births.

 

Otherwise, yes, I'd say humans ARE the rabbits of the galaxy. We have no real "mating season", with males always being fertile, and females having more "good times" and "bad times", but most any of them CAN result in pregnancy, we are environmentally adaptable, and the gov't of the setting should strongly enforce breeding, to put Humanity in all parts of the galaxy, and to fuel their meat-grinders for IG. Orks and Nids don't have to "breed", in the same way we do, so they can compete with, or surpass, our breeding speed, but Tau? I don't know, and they have strong gov't limitations on certain aspects of breeding (I also don't know if they are closer to 50/50 on male to female ratio, or if Shadowsun and Torchstar being the only "official" female members of their race, in only one of 5 castes, is actually telling of more than GeeDub's potential sexism). Some of the other species (the Kroot, the Stryxis, the Rak'gol), I honestly don't care, but they seem to breed fast enough that they are still present whenever needed, or to be a threat.

 

As much as I say this, and other people often try to rebut it, I'll sort of say it, again. EVERY other race in 40k seems to focus at least 90% of all its efforts on wiping out just Humanity; even Humanity's own efforts. That we are still around, and in numbers to dwarf all but the Orks and Nids, two races bred to repopulate quickly, and without procreation, says something potent about our breeding potential.

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The eldar where this, according to the necrontyr, before Slaanesh omnommed most of the eldar.

 

Maybe the Tau need a sixth caste...yeah this won't get creepy fast. Atleast the Tau could buff up their numbers by building more drones.Hell maybe one day they build a singularity class AI and we get a all drone army with a drone commander.

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As others have said, sex in the Imperium is probably very common, and I would think that the necessity of the wars the Imperium fights would encourage plenty of heterosexual relations as opposed to homosexual ones.  The Emperor needs troops!  Depending on the planet and the situation that planet is in, and the amount of Ecclesiarchal influence, the way sex is treated can run the spectrum.  It's up to the GM.  Rogue Traders can do pretty much whatever they want.  

 

Personally, as the Rogue Trader, I don't have a harem.  I've thought about it, but my Seneschal and my Missionary (a Sister of Battle) don't want me to have one.  I don't like ticking them off.  They want me marrying a woman of a noble house or another Rogue Trader or something.  Plus, I've already adopted a boy who bravely made his way to the Palace all the way from his place at one of the Macrocannons.  Rather not scandalize the lad with a lot of lascivious living.  I play the Captain as a serious man who loves his ship and crew.  While he can be a womanizer, he prefers a certain quality of woman; well-bred, gorgeous, and most importantly, rich. 

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Otherwise, yes, I'd say humans ARE the rabbits of the galaxy. We have no real "mating season", with males always being fertile, and females having more "good times" and "bad times", but most any of them CAN result in pregnancy, we are environmentally adaptable, and the gov't of the setting should strongly enforce breeding, to put Humanity in all parts of the galaxy, and to fuel their meat-grinders for IG.

 

I don't really see governments enforcing breeding, though obviously some individual planets might based on their unique culture and local conditions -- but by and large, to me, humanity in 40k actually seems to breed way too fast even without any official intervention. Look at all those vastly overpopulated hive worlds! Places are having trouble keeping the teeming masses under control and securing enough food to cover even the base needs of their people. Millions of human beings who just waste away in the sewers, waiting for a chance to get out of the mudhole.

 

Human lives are numerous and cheap, that's why the Imperium is so casually throwing them away.

 

They may take a bit longer to spread, but I'd say they are almost like Orcs in this regard. :D

 

Personally, as the Rogue Trader, I don't have a harem.  I've thought about it, but my Seneschal and my Missionary (a Sister of Battle) don't want me to have one. 

 

:lol:

 

Have you tried bartering with them? "How about just one courtesan? EVERYONE ELSE is having one!"

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There's a strong argument for "do not spill thy seed upon the ground" being Ecclesiarchical doctrine; they are very much like the Roman Catholic church after all, and the whole 'replenish the ranks' thing feels, to me, appropriate to the setting. Lynata is right, there does seem to be a population problem on some worlds in the Imperium, but then given the vast distances involved recruitment is probably heavier in some places then others (depending on their proximity to any battlefront).

 

I don't see homosexuality as being against the law in most places, but it might be in some, and perhaps on more hard-line religious planets it's considered a mutation, with all the problems that brings. In my universe it's frowned upon enough that many homosexuals do whatever they can to get away from their home - which means, usually, joining the Navy.

 

Ploin juice, sodomy and the lash :)

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On Lynata's point on the overpopulation in hive worlds I've often thought by fluff in source books and adventures that this is a really under utilised resource by the Imperium.

 

With so many ignorant people desperate to get out I would have thought they would be easy pickings for the Imperial propaganda machine. "Join the Imperial Guard today and change your lot in life, 3 square meals a day, adventure and camaraderie could be yours!"

 

With so many billions the IG could double over night and even the regiments made up of poor quality recruits could have resources saved by only providing basic training and equipment and then sending them against the enemy to sap their resources and stamina before you send in the rest of the IG to knock them out.

 

Since the population of the underhives seem to do very little, if anything, to the structure and economy of the planets they live on there seems to be no loss in their removal. In fact since these are the kind of people that are most likely to turn to crime, heresy and rebellion their removal may in fact be beneficial on top of the benefits of doubling your military capacity overnight. And since they will probably be shipped off to a battlezone so far away and have a short life expectancy there's not likely to be any real repercussions.

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^ That is actually how I recall it from the codices and the Necromunda rulebook! It's just that recruitment (at least as per the original material) is always handled by the local government. The Imperium just looks at how many people are living on a specific world and then sets a tithe grade. For hive worlds, it is supposedly rather high indeed.

 

Selected quotes from the 5th edition Codex IG:

 

"On some planets, this may take the form of an official military or a garrison force. On other worlds, the duty to defend their world may fall to dozens of separate armies, tribes and hive gangs, some of which may even be warring factions who unite to oppose an invading foe. [...] On seething hive worlds such as Alcatran, it is common for entire generations to be drafted and sent to fight on distant worlds, the indentured gangs given the choice between volunteering or summary execution."
 
"As part of their annual tithe, Imperial Governors are obliged to send no less than one tenth of their overall fighting force, and as much more as the Departmento Munitorum deem necessary, to fight the Emperor's wars throughout the galaxy. This is the most important aspect of the tribute, for it is these regiments that form the Imperial Guard. The exact number of regiments that are to be raised for the Imperial Guard will depend upon the individual world's tithe grade and its proximity to hostile warzones. For a hive world such as Armageddon, caught in the throes of an all-consuming war, a draft of at least a hundred million men at arms and several million armoured vehicles is typical - a tiny fraction of the total populace which numbers in the hundreds of billions."
 
"On many planets, service in the Imperial Guard is seen as noble and brings much honour to the ruling houses. Many young hopefuls, especially on industrial worlds and factory planets, flock to the world's military forces in the hope of being found worthy of the Imperial Guard - often the only chance of escape from their claustrophobic existence and endless work shifts."
 
The background for Necromunda explained its hive gangs in more detail, and regiments formed from their people (such as the 8th Necromundan Spiders) occasionally appear in Imperial Guard fluff throughout the franchise.
 
And the Imperial Guard is already providing only basic training and equipment for its cannonfodder: The 2E codex IG mentioned that soldiers drafted into the Guard receive only as much training as it takes their regimental transport to reach the warzone where they will be thrown into the meatgrinder. As per the numbers provided in that very same source, standard deployment speed for a newly raised regiment varies between 30 and 120 days, with 75 days being typical - an average that is less than the basic training you receive in most contemporary armies.
 
Fortunately for the troops, most of the soldiers will already have received some military drill on their homeworld, be it because they were part of a gang, a warrior tribe or the PDF. Either way, the Imperial Guard does not care much for advanced training. They just take their troops from a tithing world, and drop them straight into a warzone. You barely learned how to recharge your lasgun on the journey? Too bad. :P
 
Apart from the Imperium having trouble to properly organise a concerted recruitment effort through standardised regulations and propaganda dispersion by nature of its lack of reach, the chief limiting factor for humanity's armies seems to not be the people, but rather the wargear they are issued with. It truly is a Grimdark world when the lasgun carried by a trooper is seen as a more valuable military resource than the soldier him- or herself!
 
 
(disclaimer: note that as is usual with my posts, the above interpretation is based on GW codex background; contradictions to other sources are likely and, as always, there is no universal truth in these matters)

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Apart from the Imperium having trouble to properly organise a concerted recruitment effort through standardised regulations and propaganda dispersion by nature of its lack of reach, the chief limiting factor for humanity's armies seems to not be the people, but rather the wargear they are issued with. It truly is a Grimdark world when the lasgun carried by a trooper is seen as a more valuable military resource than the soldier him- or herself!

 

 

Without my lasgun I am nothing. Without me, my lasgun is nothing.

 

 

Plasma guns on the other hand... Yeah I'm with the admech/adminis on this: Grunts in flak armour shouldn't be using rare weapons with a tendency to overheat and kill it's user.

 

Also I have the idea the administratum sees every piece of equipment (webbing, socks, etc..) as more valuable than the guardsmen that are using them. I mean judging by their attitude and the penalties on unauthorised modification of kit...

Edited by Robin Graves

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Otherwise, yes, I'd say humans ARE the rabbits of the galaxy. We have no real "mating season", with males always being fertile, and females having more "good times" and "bad times", but most any of them CAN result in pregnancy, we are environmentally adaptable, and the gov't of the setting should strongly enforce breeding, to put Humanity in all parts of the galaxy, and to fuel their meat-grinders for IG.

 

I don't really see governments enforcing breeding, though obviously some individual planets might based on their unique culture and local conditions -- but by and large, to me, humanity in 40k actually seems to breed way too fast even without any official intervention. Look at all those vastly overpopulated hive worlds! Places are having trouble keeping the teeming masses under control and securing enough food to cover even the base needs of their people. Millions of human beings who just waste away in the sewers, waiting for a chance to get out of the mudhole.

 

Human lives are numerous and cheap, that's why the Imperium is so casually throwing them away.

 

They may take a bit longer to spread, but I'd say they are almost like Orcs in this regard. :D

 

Personally, as the Rogue Trader, I don't have a harem.  I've thought about it, but my Seneschal and my Missionary (a Sister of Battle) don't want me to have one. 

 

:lol:

 

Have you tried bartering with them? "How about just one courtesan? EVERYONE ELSE is having one!"

 

 

 

Oh, they don't mind him having the occasional floozy here and there, but they don't want a harem.  They both want to make sure that my character's dynasty has a strong bloodline, but the Seneschal thinks a harem is a security risk, and the Missionary wants to promote the Lord-Captain as a bit more noble than he actually is, because there is something of a mythical image that the crew has of him (not too long ago we fended off two Ork ships at once, and didn't get scratched, so they call him "blessed" or "lucky").  They are in negotiations with a noble house to hook up with one of their daughters, but I'm thinking what he may do is just kidnap her anyway.  I don't really like these guys, but they have hot women.  

 

Depending on the sector and worlds, the Imperium could potentially encourage breeding among humans.  They could even make it mandatory, but I'd think that'd be a rather desperate situation.  The Imperium doesn't really think there's overcrowding, and if you look at it from their perspective, there isn't any.  Those are potential troops, laborers, servants, colonists, and cannon fodder.  As a Rogue Trader, I see ratings.  More people means the wars against the Emperor's enemies can continue, and they have every reason to perpetuate warfare.  Chaos, Tyranids, Orks, and everything else out there doesn't make them deluded in their appraisal.  

 

I had this idea that some worlds, or sects, might force breeding to produce Psykers.  I could see even some Navigator Houses doing this.  In fact, I can see the Ad Mech helping out with their Genetors, to help to make more Psykers or Navigators for the Imperium, or for their own malevolent ends.  

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I'm not sure the Imperium thinks there is overcrowding or not, but certainly they don't think they're short on human resources, else they'd have better policies in place to protect it from needless waste. In the end, troops without weapons are worthless, as are colonists without ships or servants without factories. There's a "hard cap" on the usefulness of the human population, and I daresay the majority of mankind is not fulfilling any purpose other than existing and making trouble for their lords. :D

 

I had this idea that some worlds, or sects, might force breeding to produce Psykers.  I could see even some Navigator Houses doing this.  In fact, I can see the Ad Mech helping out with their Genetors, to help to make more Psykers or Navigators for the Imperium, or for their own malevolent ends. 

 

Ouphh ... well, psykers are generally regarded as unwanted accidents, even though the Imperium utterly relies on them. That is part of the wicked, twisted dichotomy in the setting -- almost like it was with the Jews in earlier Europe who were generally reviled by the populace but still critical for the economy, for they filled an important vacuum that was closed off to Christians for religious reasons.

 

As such, personally I can't see anyone but underground cults and heretical tribal sects who don't follow the Imperial Creed (or are even actively working against it) to support psyker breeding.

 

That being said, for the Navis Nobilite it is the only way to prolong their bloodlines, at least how GW had explained it:

 

"This centralisation of power serves two purposes; it provides a focus for the material power and wealth of the Great Family, but also serves to control the breeding and progression of the family genome. The Navigator-gene can only be preserved by intermarriage, as it is lost when a Navigator breeds with an ordinary human."

-- d100 Inquisitor

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I'm not sure the Imperium thinks there is overcrowding or not, but certainly they don't think they're short on human resources, else they'd have better policies in place to protect it from needless waste. In the end, troops without weapons are worthless, as are colonists without ships or servants without factories. There's a "hard cap" on the usefulness of the human population, and I daresay the majority of mankind is not fulfilling any purpose other than existing and making trouble for their lords. :D

 

I had this idea that some worlds, or sects, might force breeding to produce Psykers.  I could see even some Navigator Houses doing this.  In fact, I can see the Ad Mech helping out with their Genetors, to help to make more Psykers or Navigators for the Imperium, or for their own malevolent ends. 

 

Ouphh ... well, psykers are generally regarded as unwanted accidents, even though the Imperium utterly relies on them. That is part of the wicked, twisted dichotomy in the setting -- almost like it was with the Jews in earlier Europe who were generally reviled by the populace but still critical for the economy, for they filled an important vacuum that was closed off to Christians for religious reasons.

 

As such, personally I can't see anyone but underground cults and heretical tribal sects who don't follow the Imperial Creed (or are even actively working against it) to support psyker breeding.

 

That being said, for the Navis Nobilite it is the only way to prolong their bloodlines, at least how GW had explained it:

 

"This centralisation of power serves two purposes; it provides a focus for the material power and wealth of the Great Family, but also serves to control the breeding and progression of the family genome. The Navigator-gene can only be preserved by intermarriage, as it is lost when a Navigator breeds with an ordinary human."

-- d100 Inquisitor

 

With regard to population, I still think the general Imperial approach is to promote procreation, even at the expense of marriage itself.  I'm sure not every sector in the Imperium necessarily believes it's vital to have multitudes of people ready for various services, but I think the Imperial Creed would not allow Contraception outright for fear that it would corrupt a world into a decadent frame of mind.  Not all corruption is done by Chaos; sometimes it's done by people who have rather selfish interests with no help from the Ruinous Powers at all.  It's the nature of the beast, if you will, that the Imperium itself has to deal with, in order to fight the enemies from without, they have to also fight the enemies from within, and they've accepted this at great expense.  That's why they have the Adeptus Arbites, the Adeptus Sororitas, the Inquisition, the Imperial Guard, and the Adeptus Astartes, after all. 

 

As for the breeding of psykers, I can easily see a planetary governor, members or even leaders of a noble house, or even elements of the Adeptus Terra itself doing such a thing to increase the likelihood of more psykers for a lot of reasons.  Some may even have the best of intentions; they want to keep the Emperor going, and that means psykers need to be somehow bred, if not through some sort of heretical scientific research than through sheer playing the odds.  Of course, this is heretical in and of itself even if the intent be noble, because it opens the door for a lot of nasty things.  Having one's own psykers, unsanctioned by the Imperium, could be a powerful weapon to use against your enemies.  This could be something a rival Rogue Trader could be doing for his own malign purposes.  I'm sure this approach has crossed a lot of people's minds.  Not that it has to be totally effective, mind you, it just has to work well enough.  The results of this are monstrous, both to men and women (and children) alike.  It would completely wreck social stability in areas, be they hive cities or continents or even whole worlds where they are practiced, because if the goal is to produce specific kinds of people, then what's to be done with the multitudes of illegitimate children?  Families are a very stabilizing element in any society, and a society that willfully wrecks havoc on it must become something of a surrogate, much like the Soviet Union and China have done in order to destroy social normative functions to promote loyalty to the State.  The boys go off to military schools, labor camps, and other places as dictated by the bureaucracy, while the girls are seconded to being breeding chattel, who get no say in who they choose as a partner.  This naturally leads to a form of de facto military prostitution, where the boys, who are both encouraged to go to the breeding houses, must also give part of their pay for the privilege, because this also helps keep soldiers dependent on the state.  I'd say such a scenario, while very heretical, is also quite fitting for the setting of the game.  

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Firstly, I simply refuse to include a Joy Division in my games. I like grimdark but no.

 

Secondly, the birth rate of psykers has been steadily increasing since their first appearance among humanity 18,000 years ago. With a million worlds there are already enough psykers to sustain the Emperor and the Astronomican.

 

And thirdly, the Imperial Creed - that every citizen has drummed into them from birth - insists that psykers are bad; as you say, even to consider breeding psykers is heresy in thought. Such a large-scale effort could never be secret which means that you'll have the big I breathing down your neck almost immediately... if your population doesn't rise up first. No one wants a warp incursion in their back yard.

 

I wouldn't be at all surprised if some nutter had tried it at some point but it's by no means a good idea.

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......

 

I wouldn't be at all surprised if some nutter had tried it at some point but it's by no means a good idea.

It's actually one of the main elements in a Warhammer 40k novel.  Pretty good read too.  I think it was part of a trilogy; however, I'm not at home and for the life of me can not remember the title of it. 

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With regard to population, I still think the general Imperial approach is to promote procreation, even at the expense of marriage itself.  I'm sure not every sector in the Imperium necessarily believes it's vital to have multitudes of people ready for various services, but I think the Imperial Creed would not allow Contraception outright for fear that it would corrupt a world into a decadent frame of mind. 

 

I would say that if such a facet of religious doctrine exists, then it'd be one of the various interpretations. The Imperial Creed - at least as explained in the original source material - can be summed up in four very simple tenets:

  • The Emperor is your God (= basic theology)
  • Know your place and respect your betters (= obey the authorities)
  • Protect the Imperium from the wiles of Chaos and alien subversion (= call to arms)
  • Be wary against heresy and mutation (= rat out thy neighbours)
Needless to say, these four tenets see some variation in how they are applied in detail. For example, it is certainly not inconceivable that individual planets (or rather their dioceses) could promote procreation, or bans on contraception and homosexuality as part of their local flavour of religion. I would not, however, apply this on a universal level, much like the Calendites and the Phalacians cannot decide on minor details concerning the nature of the Emperor's divinity.

 

It is clear, however, that sexuality does find consideration in certain segments of the flock, up to and including complete renunciation, as is the case with the Adepta Sororitas. After all, if you enjoy something, it can probably corrupt you! ;)

 

 

I wouldn't be at all surprised if some nutter had tried it at some point but it's by no means a good idea.

It's actually one of the main elements in a Warhammer 40k novel. 

 

In another novel, the Emperor himself seems to have ordered a machine to create psykers. Cue instant heresy and crisis of faith. :D

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My character's marriage plans seem so much less ambitious now that I've read these two threads...

 

All my Rogue Trader wants is to find a nice woman from the planet Catachan who's classy, not bad to look at, and can rip the spine out of an Ork. He wants someone who can shrug off assassins like she's made of teflon.

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