Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DocIII

I need a good Ultramarines atrocity...

Recommended Posts

the liegekiller said:

if your campaigns are so grim and dark with no real light of the better part of humanity. just what are the Acolytes fighting to save?

You seem to forget that most acolytes aren't fighting a voluntary fight to save anything. Most of them are press ganged into the Inquisition to a certain extent.

My point here is that just because you work for an Inquisitor it doesn't necessarily mean that your real motivation is to save humanity from anything. In fact there are quite a lot of Inquisitors out there who don't actively pursue saving humanity either. That is the grim and dark nature of 40K. Even the supposed heroes are most of the time far from heroes. The 40K universe is simply the constant process of choices between two or several different evils. The Imperium of Man is a society in decline. The highmark was during the Emperors Crusade, but since Horus and his allies went and ****** that up, the Imperium of Man will never reach the same spot of glory again.

So the question for most acolytes is: what will they do in the meantime before the Imperium finally collapse upon itself? Will they serve to further their own ends? Will they serve just to leave their mark in the world? Will they serve in order to try and change the Imperium to something better and more longlasting? Will they serve only to stab their fellow man in the back and help the gods of Chaos or insidious aliens destroy mankind?

The Inquisition and the Imperium is so blatantly fighting a losing battle, mainly because it doesn't really fight for mankinds glory anymore, but because it fights to preserve it's own glory and survival. When the Emperor was around, the Empire was a means to an end. Namely the unification of mankind scattered across the galaxy, and after that help mankind to progress into something larger than the sum of its parts. But since the Emperor fell, the Imperium of Man have become the end itself, rather than the means to an end. The goal for every adeptus is to preserve the Imperium, even if it means falling into superstition, anti-intellectualism, xenophobia, atrocities, genocide etc. etc.

So the only real "hope" for mankind lies not within the Ultramarines, nor any adeptus for that matter. All adepta (including the astartes) are integrated parts of the Imperium of Man. If mankind really hope to achieve something better and more idealistic, the Imperium of Man has to be destroyed and the scattered remains must be rebuilt into something better. The Imperium in it's current state is a machine without a driver. The Emperor was that driver, but he's dead (or effectively dead at the very least).

Quite simply, it's not gonna last.

Of course, this is something that most people in the Imperium aren't aware of, including most acolytes of Inquisitors. But the players should be aware of this. So the fun part is finding out exactly how each acolyte will handle this realisation.

Hate to break it to ya, but there is no room for "hope" and "light" in grimdark. Grimdark is about darkness, decline and inevitable doom. The reason why it's fun to play in such an enviroment is because you get to see how the characters within that enviroment reacts to it.

 

Oh, and if you disagree, remember this quote from 40K: "Hope is but the first step on the road to disappointment."

So if one really wanted to convey this notion, then the Ultramarines should certainly get their name dragged in the dirt. It's the grimdark thing to do. demonio.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

N0-1_H3r3 said:


I tend to view it that one of the defining traits of the Imperium is that those who must face the most terrible of foes do so to protect the innocent masses of mankind, but that in doing so, those same defenders of mankind must separate themselves from that mass. The Astartes sacrifice their humanity to stand firm against impossible odds and unimaginable horrors.

...  That is, IMO, the point. That the few must **** themselves, must be monsters, to fight that which is worse...

I agree with most of what you've said.  I think the sacrifice of their humanity to protect it is one of the most compelling things about Space Marines.  That said, while there is certainly precedent in the IP for those who have grown so far from their genetic origin that they can no longer understand the common man, I think there is plenty of support for those who still understand what they had to give up, and who still have emotions and drives that are very human.

I think the same is true for Inquisitors (that there is space for both types).  And frankly the ones I find the most interesting are the ones still human enough to mourn the part of themselves they've sacrificed.   (Admittedly, I have a personal preference towards tortured characters.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why, in the name of the Holy Throne, does this plot require the Ultramarines? I am no cheerleader for the champions of Ultramar, but there are few thing more pure in all the 40K universe than the integrity of the Ultramarines chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.

This is also VERY dangerous ground as stories go. For starters, a single Space Marine is deadly to an entire group of human warriors. A squad of them, deadly to several platoons of human warriors. An entire battle detatchment?  DEATH INCARNATE! Now let us assume for the sake of argument that the Marines in question truely commit some attrocity worthy of an Inquisition investigation.  The authority of the Inquisition is nearly limitless in scope within the Imperium. The key word here in "nearly".  The glaring exception to Inquisition authority are the Space Marine chapters.  Inquisitors may flash their Rosette, identify themselves and then DEMAND obediance from servants of the Emperor from all walks of life, from the lowly hive ganger to the towering heights of a Sector Governor...  But of the Space Marines they must humbly REQUEST! A request that the Marine commander is free to REFUSE with or without justification.  What this means is that your acolytes (not Inquisitors, but mere servants of an Inquisitor) making any demands or accusations against Space Marines can be dealt with with a simple "Request denied! Now remove yourself from my encampment."  That you plan on using Ultramarines is good in that they *probably* will not kill the acolytes out of hand for making such a suggestion.  A Blood Angel or Dark Angel almost certainly WOULD kill Inquisition agents that stuck their noses in "Chapter business".

As a story angle, I think that this is a frustrating dead-end.

Have you considered using something more "touchable, yet still dangerous" such as a unit of Mordian (or whatever) Stormtroopers, Naval Security, perhaps even a Commisar who overstepped his (considerable) authority?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ZillaPrime said:

As a story angle, I think that this is a frustrating dead-end.

That's interesting. Because from the same angle I see several different avenues of investigation and quite an interesting plot. It's not like acolytes aren't used to sucking up to people with higher authority than themselves after all, and if that needs to be done while they conduct their spy business and investigations, then so be it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Little Dave said:

You main problem is that Space Marine chapters are famously independent, secretive, isolationary and down right untouchable unless they obviously turn to Chaos.

Which just makes it all the better and more challenging for the PC's. Perhaps the commanding officer of the SMurfs is a good friend of the acolytes' Inquisitor and when the Inquisitor shows his concern over a few events connected to a SMurf action his good friend will oblige in letting him/her and a few of his/her entourage to investigate the matter.

Of course the commanding officer knows all about the cover up's and the SMurfs frequent lies to create good PR and a heroic image of themselves, but is confident that he has concealed all the relevant facts well enough. But he didn't plan for the acolytes to be so adept at investigation.

It would be an awesome scenario. Drama! Betrayal! Ruination of friendships! The truth revealed about the supposed "heroic and pure" Ultramarines! It's almost epic! gran_risa.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ZillaPrime said:

Why, in the name of the Holy Throne, does this plot require the Ultramarines? I am no cheerleader for the champions of Ultramar, but there are few thing more pure in all the 40K universe than the integrity of the Ultramarines chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.

This is also VERY dangerous ground as stories go. For starters, a single Space Marine is deadly to an entire group of human warriors. A squad of them, deadly to several platoons of human warriors. An entire battle detatchment?  DEATH INCARNATE! Now let us assume for the sake of argument that the Marines in question truely commit some attrocity worthy of an Inquisition investigation.  The authority of the Inquisition is nearly limitless in scope within the Imperium. The key word here in "nearly".  The glaring exception to Inquisition authority are the Space Marine chapters.  Inquisitors may flash their Rosette, identify themselves and then DEMAND obediance from servants of the Emperor from all walks of life, from the lowly hive ganger to the towering heights of a Sector Governor...  But of the Space Marines they must humbly REQUEST! A request that the Marine commander is free to REFUSE with or without justification.  What this means is that your acolytes (not Inquisitors, but mere servants of an Inquisitor) making any demands or accusations against Space Marines can be dealt with with a simple "Request denied! Now remove yourself from my encampment."  That you plan on using Ultramarines is good in that they *probably* will not kill the acolytes out of hand for making such a suggestion.  A Blood Angel or Dark Angel almost certainly WOULD kill Inquisition agents that stuck their noses in "Chapter business".

As a story angle, I think that this is a frustrating dead-end.

Have you considered using something more "touchable, yet still dangerous" such as a unit of Mordian (or whatever) Stormtroopers, Naval Security, perhaps even a Commisar who overstepped his (considerable) authority?

I never said they were supposed to investigate the Ultramarines.  Just witness something that a non-space marine would see as a horriffic attrocity. 

As addressed at length in the background info and discussion above, Space Marines have a different view of morality than a normal person due to their extreme warrior indoctrination.  Actions that are considered honorable for an idividual who sees duty to kill where needed as the highest virtue will be different than those of people with other views.  With Space Marines you take that disconnect to the extreme.

Why Ultramarines? - to highlight that very point.  They have the heroic reputation.  So does a soldier who single handedly kills several dozen enemies in close quarters.  He comes home, gets medals and praise, but the majority of those people if watching this hero do the acts he was named a hero for would be absolutely horrified.

The who point of the exercise is to show that absolute duty and discipline (traits all sources agree that the chapter that gave us the Codex Astarters embodies) are not always compatible with what someone with a different set of priorities would deem as doing "what is right".

Also as the Imperium is a vicious and brutal tyrannical authoritarian regime, being loyal soldiers to it (even with semi-autonomous nature of marine chapters) many times does not equal being the "good guys"

Not trying to drag the Ultramarines name in the mud or any of that, just showing different points of view of what is "good" and that being an honorable and dutiful "Angel of Death" does not entail being nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually like the idea, as long as it's meant to help players understand the 40k Universe better.  In all honesty I don't really believe the Ultramarines would likely ever do something that was an atrocity in the pitiless eyes of the Imperium, but by the standards of our time they would be seen as monsters.  Just look at the Geneva Convention.  They use weapons that cause terrible suffering (flamers and bolters hello), they execute prisoners as they see fit, and they have a penchant for genocide (as in wiping out cities and worlds if they are seen as irredeemably corrupted).  Such behavior is pretty universal throughout the Imperium however.  The Imperial Guard and Navy are just as likely to do the exact same things.  I mean in the new IG codex they have a Hellhound variant that spews acidic poison that causes flesh to melt! 

My point is that I'm all for the idea as long as it's intended to bring the nature of 40k to life.  But if the intent is to just make the Ultramarines look like monsters I think it's kind of a misled notion.  Ultramarines are no more and no less merciless than the rest of the Imperium.  If the players react negatively to the purge of a xenos cult, however brutal and horrific, they aren't really immersing themselves into the 40k ethos properly.  As a GM it's your job to try and facilitate that immersion.  This is potentially a great way to do it.

By the way, I would assume that the campaign in question doesn't take place in the Calixis Sector.  While genestealer cults are everywhere, the Ultramarines are generally only active on the opposite side of the Galaxy.  Having the Ultramarines showing up in the Calixis Sector would raise fluff-violation flags for any players who know 40k very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atheosis said:

 

They use weapons that cause terrible suffering (flamers and bolters hello)

 

 

Actually, flamethrowers aren't prohibited weapons according to the geneva convention. As for bolters, I really couldn't tell. Though the St. Petersburg declaration of 1868 did try to make nations renounce the usage of explosive projectiles under a weight of 400 grams for this sort of purpose. Though im not really sure how much a bolter shell weigh, and then there's the mass-reactive warhead to consider. Since they are designed to penetrate and THEN detonate inside their targets, which would instantly kill most human targets, rather than just detonating and hoping to cause maiming injuries due to the shrapnel.

So quite simply, it is a very good likelyhood that both flamers and bolters are up to geneva convention standards. Ain't that wierd? gran_risa.gif

 

Ultramarines are no more and no less merciless than the rest of the Imperium. If the players react negatively to the purge of a xenos cult, however brutal and horrific, they aren't really immersing themselves into the 40k ethos properly

 

Well the trouble with Ultramarines or any other space marine chapter for that matter is the natural difficulty for any human to actually connect and sympathize with such a creature. (I mean, we're talking about humanoid giants, able to crush a man's skull with their fists and they can even spit corrosive acid!)

Seeing these mythical giants beating down normal humans like they were nothing more than little children would most likely instill a rather monstrous image into any human onlookers.

So while a xenos cult purging commited by normal humans might come off as "righteous and just" in the eyes of a common Imperial citizen, seeing an astartes do the same thing might not look as righteous after all. It's probably why most Imperial propaganda tend to focus on the battles where space marines fight alien monstrosities or members of the traitor legions, rather than beating down civil insurrections and heretical cults. At least in the case of the SMurfs, since they clearly know the importance of good PR. gui%C3%B1o.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Varnias Tybalt said:

Atheosis said:

 

They use weapons that cause terrible suffering (flamers and bolters hello)

 

 

Actually, flamethrowers aren't prohibited weapons according to the geneva convention. As for bolters, I really couldn't tell. Though the St. Petersburg declaration of 1868 did try to make nations renounce the usage of explosive projectiles under a weight of 400 grams for this sort of purpose. Though im not really sure how much a bolter shell weigh, and then there's the mass-reactive warhead to consider. Since they are designed to penetrate and THEN detonate inside their targets, which would instantly kill most human targets, rather than just detonating and hoping to cause maiming injuries due to the shrapnel.

So quite simply, it is a very good likelyhood that both flamers and bolters are up to geneva convention standards. Ain't that wierd? gran_risa.gif

 

Ultramarines are no more and no less merciless than the rest of the Imperium. If the players react negatively to the purge of a xenos cult, however brutal and horrific, they aren't really immersing themselves into the 40k ethos properly

 

Well the trouble with Ultramarines or any other space marine chapter for that matter is the natural difficulty for any human to actually connect and sympathize with such a creature. (I mean, we're talking about humanoid giants, able to crush a man's skull with their fists and they can even spit corrosive acid!)

Seeing these mythical giants beating down normal humans like they were nothing more than little children would most likely instill a rather monstrous image into any human onlookers.

So while a xenos cult purging commited by normal humans might come off as "righteous and just" in the eyes of a common Imperial citizen, seeing an astartes do the same thing might not look as righteous after all. It's probably why most Imperial propaganda tend to focus on the battles where space marines fight alien monstrosities or members of the traitor legions, rather than beating down civil insurrections and heretical cults. At least in the case of the SMurfs, since they clearly know the importance of good PR. gui%C3%B1o.gif

 

While technically you are right and neither type of weapon is prohibited by the Geneva Convention, International consensus is very negative in regards to the use of either flamethrowers or explosive ammunition against enemy combatants.  I was more referring to the sensibilities of the Geneva Convention than specific prohibitions, my point being that 21st century notions of atrocities just don't hold up in 40k.   The Imperium has all the brutality of the middle-ages just with high tech weaponry.  In a setting where extreme torture and sanctioned massacres are commonplace virtually every armed force within the Imperium is guilty of atrocities on a regular basis.

And regarding your take on the perception of Space Marines performing a purge appearing less righteous to normal humans, I think you're underestimating the Astartes propaganda.  To nearly all Imperial citizens (barring those from backwater and uncivilized worlds) the Astartes are seen as the Emperor's divine weapons.  I certainly agree that a common Imperial citizen, upon witnessing it firtshand, would be terrified at the destructive capacity of the Astartes in battle.  Such individuals will likely fear Space Marines intensely for the rest of their life.  That doesn't mean they would question the rightness of their actions.  Imperial citizens are conditioned to feel no compassion for the enemy of the Imperium.  Witnessing a company of Space Marines kill every man, woman, and child in a town where a Chaos taint has been found, for instance, a loyal Imperial citizen might be saddened and disgusted by the carnage, but he wouldn't suddenly see the righteous servants of the Imperium (the Space Marines) as anything other than that: righteous.  

Regarding a situation where the acolytes have evidence that a purge is unnecessary (as was mentioned early on), it would ultimately depend on the chapter involved.  The Ultramarines are NOT a chapter that would blythely go about slaughtering Imperial citizens if their was another option.  Neither would the Salamanders, the Space Wolves, or most other chapters for that matter.  On the other hand the Black Templars, Iron Hands, and Dark Angels might well go ahead "just to be sure" as was said.  If such an event came up I could understand the Acolytes bearing a grudge against said Chapter, and when the reality that their fury is impotent sets in (as the Inquisition needs A LOT more than that to prosecute an Astartes Chapter) the players would have another opportunity to learn that the 40k setting really is grim.  In all honesty, most Inquisitors are, sooner or later, going to give orders to the acolytes of a no less morally ambiguos nature.  Of course each group is different, and some GMs will likely create more humane Inquisitors.  I just hope that people remember that such individuals are the exception rather than the rule, for virtually every Imperial institution.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atheosis said:

And regarding your take on the perception of Space Marines performing a purge appearing less righteous to normal humans, I think you're underestimating the Astartes propaganda.  To nearly all Imperial citizens (barring those from backwater and uncivilized worlds) the Astartes are seen as the Emperor's divine weapons.  I certainly agree that a common Imperial citizen, upon witnessing it firtshand, would be terrified at the destructive capacity of the Astartes in battle.  Such individuals will likely fear Space Marines intensely for the rest of their life.  That doesn't mean they would question the rightness of their actions.

Which pretty much means 90 percent of all Imperial citizens then, since very few have actually laid their eyes on a real space marine first hand. Most of the "Space Marine Propaganda" consists of erected stone statues of notable space marines or stories of legend and myth passed down through the generations.

My point here being that anything can sound heroic/divine/righteous if the only thing you've ever seen and heard of it is statues, paintings, legends and myth. Just look at how modern religious people react to seeing a beautiful rendition of Jesus Christ on canvas, and if they have read the bible their minds tend to instantly be drawn to his messages of peace and miraculous exploits as it has been told for millenia.

It's the same thing going on with space marines and Imperial citizens, and as we all know the real deal tend to be way more gritty and have a lot more significant impact. Meaning of course that any Imperial citizen witnessing a space marine in action with his naked eyes for the first time will most certainly have his or her faith tested. Perhaps not their faith in the emperor, but certainly about the supposed righteousness of the space marines mission and very existence. Remember that the myths of the Horus Heresy are still recounted, and it was mainly the "precious" space marines who  was behind all of it.

Suffice to say that the vast majority of imperial citizens have reasons to both fear and distrust the astartes, and this shows through in pretty much all fiction describing interactions between the two, where only hardened Inquisitors and high ranking commanders are usually able to speak with the astartes with a straight back and a confident look. The rest tend to be quite nervous, and for good reason.

 

Atheosis said:

Imperial citizens are conditioned to feel no compassion for the enemy of the Imperium.  Witnessing a company of Space Marines kill every man, woman, and child in a town where a Chaos taint has been found, for instance, a loyal Imperial citizen might be saddened and disgusted by the carnage, but he wouldn't suddenly see the righteous servants of the Imperium (the Space Marines) as anything other than that: righteous.  

The imperial conditioning varies from world to world, and there are plenty of sectors within Imperial society where most citizens don't have such good contact with the fire and brimstone clerics preaching about the virtues of hatred and the "just nature" of the astartes. Most citizens just try to get by, even in the most hellish of societies (especially in hive cities where crime and corruption run rampant and which is the most populated sectors of the Imperium in general).

So while most cirizens might rejoice if they hear news (propaganda) of some astartes conducted purging of "heretics" (which is a very broad term to say the least) on a neighbouring world in the sub-sector, seeing the same thing happen for yourself, and to a "heretical cult" that you might have lived side by side with for years and it seemed pretty harmless (like most cults do) would hardly make anyone break out in joyous dancing and cheering. This is especially true in hive cities where most citizens are very much aware of the corrupt nature of the ruling body and the disillusioned view of information passed down to the common man.

To summarize, both the idea of "heresy" and the idea of actually seeing a purge conducted by real astartes will test the faith of any citizen not having witnessed it before. It's just a matter of which direction their faith will lean towards after the entire ordeal.

It's pretty much the same in the real world really. It's easy to imagine "glory" and "honor" in different violent pursuits. It doesn't matter if you're just a green conscript in a standing army or if you're a religious fanatic. Propaganda will make it all seem cool and glorious... 'til you actually get to see, live and breathe it for yourself that is....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we're pretty much in agreement that common Imperial citizens are going to be fearful of Space Marines (especially if they actually see them in combat).  I think our only real disagreement is that said citizens would necessarily start doubting their righteousness due to such fear.  Seeing as much of the Imperium is ruled by fear, that Astartes are merely an extension of that.  Don't get me wrong, some might wonder about whether or not it was right to purge the genestealer cult that they had thought was an Emperor-fearing Ecclesiarchal congregation, but most are simply going to thank the Emperor that they were spared.  Both the Astartes and the Inquisition are feared by the common Imperial citizen, but that doesn't mean they are wondering if what they are doing is "right".  Such thinking leads down the road to damnation.  Those who are not from a world where the Imperial culture, religious and otherwise, is strong might have very different reactions I'll admit, but such individuals are a definite minority in the Imperium as a whole.  

Ultimately I think we're probably both right and wrong, as generalizations are always rather difficult when talking about 40k.  On some worlds I could easily see what you're saying being true.  On others not so much.  Some worlds are hard as nails and utterly ruthless and wouldn't be phased at all (think devout military worlds like Cadia or some death worlds), while others are quite a bit more sheltered.  Most however probably fall somewhere in the middle.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Varnias Tybalt said:

It would be an awesome scenario. Drama! Betrayal! Ruination of friendships! The truth revealed about the supposed "heroic and pure" Ultramarines! It's almost epic! gran_risa.gif

Heh, heh ... ALMOST epic???  sorpresa.gif 

It would be Shakespearean - heck, it would be like Homer all over again.  partido_risa.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sister Cat said:

Varnias Tybalt said:

 

It would be an awesome scenario. Drama! Betrayal! Ruination of friendships! The truth revealed about the supposed "heroic and pure" Ultramarines! It's almost epic! gran_risa.gif

 

 

Heh, heh ... ALMOST epic???  sorpresa.gif 

It would be Shakespearean - heck, it would be like Homer all over again.  partido_risa.gif

 

Noooo!

Not Shakespeare! I hate Shakespeare and I don't want my musings to be compared to his work. If anything I try to stay away from shakespearean storytelling. preocupado.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Varnias

My humblest apologies, O Maestro of the grimdark tragedy!  gran_risa.gif

I meant no disrespect to your style, nor offense to your sensibilities.  Rather, it was my intent to imply that the sheer scale of it was, at the very least, indeed epic.

Again, please accept my apologies.  I am enjoying this thread immensely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sister Cat said:

@Varnias

My humblest apologies, O Maestro of the grimdark tragedy!  gran_risa.gif

I meant no disrespect to your style, nor offense to your sensibilities.  Rather, it was my intent to imply that the sheer scale of it was, at the very least, indeed epic.

Again, please accept my apologies.  I am enjoying this thread immensely.

No worries, I get what you meant. gui%C3%B1o.gif

It's just that I really can't stomach Shakespeare. I know he's popular amongst the likeminded litterature academics and all that... Or rather, most of them are indoctrinated into liking his works without really having a choice in the matter, because being vocal about your dislike for certain authors and playwriters does not sit well with certain teachers and professors.

And I guess I should admit that I don't really find his works to be awful or anything, it's just that his style, while well above most standards but still not my cup of tea, in combination with his 'canonized' status within the educational circles just makes for a really bad tasting image for me.

In fact, I dislike many authors and playwriters mainly because students are forced to read their works and read about them just because some stuck-up and self proclaimed "litterature elite" have decided that these authors are something everyone should learn about in public education because "the elite" likes these authors (or have been 'educated to like' these authors).

Whatever happened to promoting a student to develop individual taste? I mean it's all just cultural expressions and not really something overwhelmingly important for society at large when you think about it.

I mean sure, books and plays are mostly fine and dandy. But really, you won't solve world hunger by staging plays and writing books about fictional characters. So clearly this litterature snobbery is nothing short of self-praise for the "litterature elite" and them trying to pass themselves and their opinions of as being "extra speshul", when all they do is really just sitting around reading and discussing fiction that doesn't solve any of the problems in the world.

And I can relate to that, Im doing the exact same thing on messageboards like this. It's just that im not so overly serious and anal about the different kinds of fiction that I like. Sure I've made it into a big part of my life, but it's not all that I am, nor do I take the ideas of  "space orks fighting space elves... In space", very seriously. It's cool to read about and play games about that setting, and im having a good time doing it. But really that's the only reason why I do it. To have fun, and in order to have fun with it, I should distance myself from it a little and not take it so bloody seriously.

This is something that the academic world can't understand about their litterature snobbery. They have made it their job into pushing the fiction that they like onto everyone else (or at least all the students in schools), and pretty much sucked all the fun out of fiction just by being so goddamned serious and anal about it.

And Shakespeare has (unfortunately and probably against his wishes) become a part of all that, and that in combination with the fact that I don't really think he's "all that" makes me dislike his works. If he had been left to being what he was, an author and a playwriter without all that academic attention I might have enjoyed his stories and style. I guess you could say that the academic world have done with Shakespeare, what Christianity did with Jesus. Jesus Christ had a nice philosophy for being human (and he was probably a little crazy too, history has shown us what happens to people trying to promote ideas of being nice to eachother), but his followers and later the self proclaimed "religious leaders" distorted and perverted his message into an unrecognizable mass of crazyness. And how did they do it? Well they made everything so goddamned serious of course. gran_risa.gif

But this is pretty off-topic, so I'll stop extrapolating right there. I just felt it would be prudent to explaing why I reacted the way I did. happy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, you really didn't owe me an explanation.  I learned a long time ago not to take anything on any forums TOO seriously.  gui%C3%B1o.gif

But I did want you to know that my intent was not to insult.

Anyhow, good gaming.  And good topic.  If I think of anything useful to add, you'll find it here, but so far you guys have way outdone anything I've thought of.  So keep it up.  aplauso.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atheosis said:

I think we're pretty much in agreement that common Imperial citizens are going to be fearful of Space Marines (especially if they actually see them in combat).  I think our only real disagreement is that said citizens would necessarily start doubting their righteousness due to such fear.  Seeing as much of the Imperium is ruled by fear, that Astartes are merely an extension of that.  Don't get me wrong, some might wonder about whether or not it was right to purge the genestealer cult that they had thought was an Emperor-fearing Ecclesiarchal congregation, but most are simply going to thank the Emperor that they were spared.  Both the Astartes and the Inquisition are feared by the common Imperial citizen, but that doesn't mean they are wondering if what they are doing is "right".  Such thinking leads down the road to damnation.  Those who are not from a world where the Imperial culture, religious and otherwise, is strong might have very different reactions I'll admit, but such individuals are a definite minority in the Imperium as a whole.  

Ultimately I think we're probably both right and wrong, as generalizations are always rather difficult when talking about 40k.  On some worlds I could easily see what you're saying being true.  On others not so much.  Some worlds are hard as nails and utterly ruthless and wouldn't be phased at all (think devout military worlds like Cadia or some death worlds), while others are quite a bit more sheltered.  Most however probably fall somewhere in the middle.   

As stated from the OP the ordinary Imperial Citizen is not the point.  We're not talking about regular citizens, we're talking about acolytes, more specifically PC acolytes.  The point is to drive player reaction and to illustrate both the brutality of the setting and the difference in world-view between relativly normal humans and 7 ft tall indoctrinated to be killing machines supermen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DocIII said:

Atheosis said:

 

I think we're pretty much in agreement that common Imperial citizens are going to be fearful of Space Marines (especially if they actually see them in combat).  I think our only real disagreement is that said citizens would necessarily start doubting their righteousness due to such fear.  Seeing as much of the Imperium is ruled by fear, that Astartes are merely an extension of that.  Don't get me wrong, some might wonder about whether or not it was right to purge the genestealer cult that they had thought was an Emperor-fearing Ecclesiarchal congregation, but most are simply going to thank the Emperor that they were spared.  Both the Astartes and the Inquisition are feared by the common Imperial citizen, but that doesn't mean they are wondering if what they are doing is "right".  Such thinking leads down the road to damnation.  Those who are not from a world where the Imperial culture, religious and otherwise, is strong might have very different reactions I'll admit, but such individuals are a definite minority in the Imperium as a whole.  

Ultimately I think we're probably both right and wrong, as generalizations are always rather difficult when talking about 40k.  On some worlds I could easily see what you're saying being true.  On others not so much.  Some worlds are hard as nails and utterly ruthless and wouldn't be phased at all (think devout military worlds like Cadia or some death worlds), while others are quite a bit more sheltered.  Most however probably fall somewhere in the middle.   

 

 

As stated from the OP the ordinary Imperial Citizen is not the point.  We're not talking about regular citizens, we're talking about acolytes, more specifically PC acolytes.  The point is to drive player reaction and to illustrate both the brutality of the setting and the difference in world-view between relativly normal humans and 7 ft tall indoctrinated to be killing machines supermen.

As I said I'm all for it if that's the intent.  My issue was with the idea of setting the Ultramarines up as monsters. 

If it allows the players to get further immersed in the setting, great.  If it causes them to think they and their Inquisitor should go after the Ultramarines, not so great.  Truth be told, the Ultramarines would likely consult with an Inquisitor before acting in such an instance anyway.  If the players do have a problem with such an event they'll likely come into conflict with their boss as well...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atheosis said:

 

As I said I'm all for it if that's the intent.  My issue was with the idea of setting the Ultramarines up as monsters. 

If it allows the players to get further immersed in the setting, great.  If it causes them to think they and their Inquisitor should go after the Ultramarines, not so great.  Truth be told, the Ultramarines would likely consult with an Inquisitor before acting in such an instance anyway.  If the players do have a problem with such an event they'll likely come into conflict with their boss as well...

I think what Doclll is trying to get at, is shattering some illusions about the so called "good guys" of the Imperium for both the players and the player characters alike.

I think it's not so much as setting the PC's up to actually hunt down and fight a bunch of Ultramarines, but more of tarnish their legend and good reputation to provide a sort of "grim reality", and showing off that while any Space Marine might have a lot of reputation as a hero and a lot of illusions surrounding their heroics, the reality is that they are basically monsters who don't care about normal humans nor have any emotional relationship towards humans, because all such emotions have been "cut away" during their transcendence in becoming an astartes. And while most normal humans might be corrupt and terrible in some way, at least their motivations and reasons are more "human" and easy to relate to, in contrast to the monstrous space marines who regard most things in a really strange and almost alien manner.

It's a pretty common theme in most "supersoldier fiction". Movies like Universal Soldier with Jean-Claude Van Damme dealt with some of these issues, as did video games like Hitman Codename 47. Their creators tried to create supersoldiers using the canvas of a human being, but when they were done it resulted in "something else" than an actual human being (at the very least in a psychological sense). Something that normal people who weren't revived from the dead or created in a test-tube and born as adults, might have difficulties to relate to.

Of course, im not a mindreader and I can only guess at what Doclll's true intentions are, but this is the vision I get. happy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atheosis said:

Reading the Horus Heresy novels, I really don't see Space Marines having greatly divergent psychology from normal humans...

Really? What about their psychoconditioning to not feel or experience fear as we know it? What about the fact that warfare is something that pretty much all astartes consider to be a "joyous activity" and even fun, while human beings generally tend to loathe the experience?

What about the fact that in Fulgrim, the Space Marines immediately acted in a brutal and violent manner when they heard the "tunes of Slaanesh", when normal humans instead just started to have sex on the floor?

I'd call that "divergent" to say the least...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Varnias Tybalt said:

Atheosis said:

 

Reading the Horus Heresy novels, I really don't see Space Marines having greatly divergent psychology from normal humans...

 

 

Really? What about their psychoconditioning to not feel or experience fear as we know it? What about the fact that warfare is something that pretty much all astartes consider to be a "joyous activity" and even fun, while human beings generally tend to loathe the experience?

What about the fact that in Fulgrim, the Space Marines immediately acted in a brutal and violent manner when they heard the "tunes of Slaanesh", when normal humans instead just started to have sex on the floor?

I'd call that "divergent" to say the least...

Keyword being "greatly".  All the fluff seems to support that Space Marines feel emotions in a very similar way to normal humans (albeit with tendency towards violent expression).  There are definite differences without a doubt, but their emotional realities aren't that different from normal humans like, say, the Eldar.  Space Marines do feel fear by the way (many, many stories make this very clear), it's just that their conditioning and training prevents fear from affecting them as it does normal humans (though then again there are normal humans in the Imperium who are virtually fearless as well).  To me the most inhuman thing about Space Marines is their utter disinterest in sex.  I think I've seen virtually every emotion represented in one book or another (anger, happiness, despair, jealousy, ambition, resentment, pride, etc.) that is except for lust or romantic attraction.  Fulgrim was the one exception and clearly due to the influence of Slaanesh rather than normal Space Marine psychology (and even then as you point out they responded with violence rather than anything sexual). 

To me Space Marines are still very human, but some may disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atheosis said:

 

Keyword being "greatly".  All the fluff seems to support that Space Marines feel emotions in a very similar way to normal humans (albeit with tendency towards violent expression).  There are definite differences without a doubt, but their emotional realities aren't that different from normal humans like, say, the Eldar.  Space Marines do feel fear by the way (many, many stories make this very clear), it's just that their conditioning and training prevents fear from affecting them as it does normal humans (though then again there are normal humans in the Imperium who are virtually fearless as well).  To me the most inhuman thing about Space Marines is their utter disinterest in sex.  I think I've seen virtually every emotion represented in one book or another (anger, happiness, despair, jealousy, ambition, resentment, pride, etc.) that is except for lust or romantic attraction.  Fulgrim was the one exception and clearly due to the influence of Slaanesh rather than normal Space Marine psychology (and even then as you point out they responded with violence rather than anything sexual). 

To me Space Marines are still very human, but some may disagree.

Well the thing about Space Marines is that their emotions seem to be experienced by them in a very different manner than in human beings and brought about by very different things. Not only because of the fact that they barely register fear (it's like a "distant memory" to them according to their own accounts in the books), but because so grossly different things bring about certain emotions in them.

Like my example with warfare. Pretty much all guardsmen in every story feel miserable at the battlefield. Often they are expected to fight in harsh conditions, where food and water supplies might be irregular, enemies are monstrous and fear inducing, the officers are often vicious and uncaring of the regular troopers, the guardsmen have to suffer through heavy rain, intense cold, extreme heat and even bad atmospheres where the air might not even be breathable, they have to see all their comerades die regularly and always have that gut feeling that they might be next to go.

While there might occur a whole lot of macho bravado within the Imperial Guard, and some guardsmen are more "used to" certain harsh conditions (Valhallans being used to extreme cold, Catachans used to hellish jungle enviroments, Tallarns being used to deserts etc. etc.) all guardsmen show signs of dislike during a battle, and it's not odd at all (speak with any real world veteran and they'll tell you of the miserable conditions they had to stomach).

But Space Marines aren't concerned by these things at all. They are basically psychoconditioned to actually like battelfield conditions. They feel at home there, and they jump at every opportunity to achieve glory for their own. Feeling that during one of the most awful conditions imaginable is not very "human" in my opinion, that's either superhuman or simply psychotic

And that's what makes them interesting. Their minds are not wired as human minds are, they are re-wired during the process of turning a neophyte into a battle brother. They might look like they are showing "human" emotions, but that's rarely the case because the things that bring about many of their emotions would probably not evoke the same response in any sane human being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Varnias Tybalt said:

Atheosis said:

 

 

Keyword being "greatly".  All the fluff seems to support that Space Marines feel emotions in a very similar way to normal humans (albeit with tendency towards violent expression).  There are definite differences without a doubt, but their emotional realities aren't that different from normal humans like, say, the Eldar.  Space Marines do feel fear by the way (many, many stories make this very clear), it's just that their conditioning and training prevents fear from affecting them as it does normal humans (though then again there are normal humans in the Imperium who are virtually fearless as well).  To me the most inhuman thing about Space Marines is their utter disinterest in sex.  I think I've seen virtually every emotion represented in one book or another (anger, happiness, despair, jealousy, ambition, resentment, pride, etc.) that is except for lust or romantic attraction.  Fulgrim was the one exception and clearly due to the influence of Slaanesh rather than normal Space Marine psychology (and even then as you point out they responded with violence rather than anything sexual). 

To me Space Marines are still very human, but some may disagree.

 

 

Well the thing about Space Marines is that their emotions seem to be experienced by them in a very different manner than in human beings and brought about by very different things. Not only because of the fact that they barely register fear (it's like a "distant memory" to them according to their own accounts in the books), but because so grossly different things bring about certain emotions in them.

Like my example with warfare. Pretty much all guardsmen in every story feel miserable at the battlefield. Often they are expected to fight in harsh conditions, where food and water supplies might be irregular, enemies are monstrous and fear inducing, the officers are often vicious and uncaring of the regular troopers, the guardsmen have to suffer through heavy rain, intense cold, extreme heat and even bad atmospheres where the air might not even be breathable, they have to see all their comerades die regularly and always have that gut feeling that they might be next to go.

While there might occur a whole lot of macho bravado within the Imperial Guard, and some guardsmen are more "used to" certain harsh conditions (Valhallans being used to extreme cold, Catachans used to hellish jungle enviroments, Tallarns being used to deserts etc. etc.) all guardsmen show signs of dislike during a battle, and it's not odd at all (speak with any real world veteran and they'll tell you of the miserable conditions they had to stomach).

But Space Marines aren't concerned by these things at all. They are basically psychoconditioned to actually like battelfield conditions. They feel at home there, and they jump at every opportunity to achieve glory for their own. Feeling that during one of the most awful conditions imaginable is not very "human" in my opinion, that's either superhuman or simply psychotic

And that's what makes them interesting. Their minds are not wired as human minds are, they are re-wired during the process of turning a neophyte into a battle brother. They might look like they are showing "human" emotions, but that's rarely the case because the things that bring about many of their emotions would probably not evoke the same response in any sane human being.

While I agree with what you are saying, I would just like to point out that not every human has the same emotional reactions to any given thing.  Space Marines are almost certainly aberrant in their psychology but that doesn't mean their psychology is fundamentally inhuman.

Not every person has the same reaction to warfare.  Some actually enjoy it.  Such individuals may ultimately join the special forces and make a career out of killing people.  They're still human.  Do you remember the huge firefight between a pair of criminals in body armor and the LA police back in the nineties?  Those guys stood out in the open and actually seemed to be enjoying themselves.  Such behavior is certainly aberrant, but it doesn't nullify that such individuals remain human and still have human emotions.

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...