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Professor Tanhauser

Why do you like 40k?

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Ok, serious question. Why do you like 40k?

I mean I wouldn't want to live in that universe for a second. The imperium may be a necessary evil in the realty of the 40k universe. That doesn't mean I want to live in it. In fact I couldn't live in the imperium. I would be killed as a heretic because I would not and could not live the way people have to in the imperium.

The imperium is nothing but ignorance, fear, lies and hate. It makes nazi gemrany, stalinist russia and maoist china look good by comparison. There is nothing good about the imperium. I know the books usually dwell on how evil the other forces are in the 40k universe, because frankly a novel about space marines murdering people en masse because they refuse to quietly and obediently work to serve the imperium while being starved to death by it doesn't make a good selling novel, but that's what life in the imperium usually is for most people.

So why do do we like 40k universe so much? is it because it looks cool? It creates a very simple "us vs. them" setting? Do we do it to almost parody the imperium? I'm not sure. I was hoping you'd know.

 

 

 

 

 

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I mean I wouldn't want to live in that universe for a second. The imperium may be a necessary evil in the realty of the 40k universe. That doesn't mean I want to live in it. In fact I couldn't live in the imperium. I would be killed as a heretic because I would not and could not live the way people have to in the imperium.

 

I mean obviously, if you're approaching it as you in your current existence were transported to the 41st Millenium. But if you were born then, on a world you'd know nothing different than the galaxy you live in. So it wouldn't seem any different than normal.

 

There's no racism in the Imperium, at least within humanity's ranks. No sexism either for the most part. You are all humans, and you work towards the survival of humanity.

 

Yes there are people that would go against that, but those people do eventually become corrupted and eventually face a downfall.

 

Generally people aren't starved to death by the imperium. People make just enough to survive and no more, because you don't need more than what the Emperor provides. You work to pay your tithes, and you earn your survival.

 

But yeah it's grim, it's grim because it's necessary in their eyes. Those space marine purges remove elements from society that have already not accepted the peaceable measure of reintegration to the Imperium, they pose a risk as a secessionist faction, and the last thing they need is a civil war.

 

But why do I like it?

 

It's relatively interesting, the lore is deep enough to have some bite but they explicitly state that it's up to your own interpretation at the end of the day. The factions are interesting in their own right. I can't think of a faction that doesn't have something interesting going for it. Evil is evil, and sometimes (most of the time) the "good" guys don't win.

 

I like fiction that's willing to have failure in it.

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For me, there are numerous reasons. 

 

1. The overall story is wonderfully compelling and interesting, this isn't Star Trek where everything is shiny, perfect, and humans are all nice and friendly. This is a dark and gritty future, the era of peaceful coexistence ended a long time ago, now it's mankind desperately struggling against all the odds in a universe that desperately seeks to corrupt it or destroy it. It is a humanity that has emerged from the ashes and shouts defiantly at a cruel and unforgiving universe that they will not go silently into the night. And the Xenos aren't that much better, with even the "best" of them being either callous and egocentric manipulators who would kill all humans if they ever got back on their feet, and an expansionist and hypocritical empire who seeks to remake the universe and all it's races in their image, whether they want to or not. It is a universe where the good guys are complicated shades of grey while the villains are the most twisted and vile beings in existence. The themes and tones create a beautiful yet horrific setting that is so compelling that you can't turn away from it, even though you know deep down it isn't going to end well. You continue reading because no matter what happens, humanity will continue to fight on, with the possible vain hope that the Emperor will return and lead them to glory. And it is that hope that unifies humanity and keeps it going. This isn't just a setting about genetically enhanced super soldiers beating up on aliens and each other, it is a setting that celebrates the human spirit to overcome all the odds and to not only survive but thrive in some cases. Of the Guardsmen with his lone lasgun facing vicious aliens that outclass him in every way and inhuman and horrificly mindboggingly inhuman entities from the realm where all your emotions dreams take on nightmarish forms. 

 

2. Great Characters. From the complex and all too human demigods known as the primarchs and their horribly flawed at best father, down to the cowardly commissar who is just trying to survive in a universe that has gone mad but somehow always comes out on top. There are not mere men, these are epic figures straight out of the old classics of literature. We not only cheer at their triumps but also weep at their tragedies and hardships they have to endrure. The clash between Horus and the Emperor is both awesome and terrible to behold, especially considering that Horus was once the best of all men, and the tragic horror that he fell from grace and into darkness, and now has to be put down but a grieving and heartbroken father, who is ultimately wrecked and ruined in the final battle to kill his beloved son. The fact that he treated some of his other sons horribly only makes the whole affair even more tragic, considering that he could of prevented it if head ever seen his sons as individuals with their own hopes and dreams, and not just as weapons to carry out his will. 

 

3. The setting is pretty cool. 

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I love the Imperium, it's cool :P This comes mainly from much of the early art, and the epic scale of everything.

 

I love the Sisters and the Ministorum. It's just cool.

 

I . . . don't really feel like going into detail about WHY i think there things are cool, but mostly it boils down to epic scale, bad-a** characters, and yelling "There Emperor Protects!" and "HERESY!" at people.

 

The fluff in general is just epic, and incredibly interesting (I mean epic in terms of scale. Epic is not a synonym for awesome in this case).

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The main thing I like about the 40Kverse is the level of detail and color. This is a fictional setting that has been growing organically for three decades straight. I also like the 'futuristic dark age' theme- it's dramatically different from modern reality, but with enough recognizable elements to allow 'suspension of disbelief'. Also, it fuses sci-fi and fantasy elements far better than most attempts that I have seen.

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Chaos.

 

What? who said liking 40k has to have something to do with the Imperium?

 

I like it because it's a space opera, but it's not opera, it's 80's metal. It's science fiction except it's 51% fantasy*. It's gothic grimdark but also 80's punk. There is decades of lore but there is no canon. You have super science but progress is dead. There are all these cool factions and weird stuff. It's a greek tragedy and ultraviolence. And best off all: it's dialed up to 11!

 

 

 

 

 

* Actually that's the probably the core why I like 40k: It is scifi covered with fantasy tropes, kinda like He-man and the masters of the universe toys. And I never outgrew the 80s so, yeah that's pretty much it for me. I like 40k because on some deep subconsious leve it reminds me of masters of the universe. (Same goes for Mortal Kombat btw)

Edited by Robin Graves

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Some of my fave bits out of 40k:

 

Realm of chaos (aka everything chaos!)

Harlequins (killer clowns from outerspace!)

Genestealer cults (evil bugmen cultists in limousines!)

Deathwatch (all the chapter icons with all the exotic ammo!)

Mechanicus (machine worshiping cyber loonies!)

Tyranids (starship troopers meets alien meets Galactus!)

Titans and Knights (Giant mecha!)

Squats (dwarves in spaaaaaaace!)

Eldar ( just the autarchs and aspect warriors really)

Blood angels (my fave chapter in the space crusade boardgame, what got me started.)

Edited by Robin Graves

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If You look at all of the futuristic stories of the past they will all be the same in one -- they greatly overestimate human progress.

As we didn't have flying cars and hoverboards in 2015 as Doc Emmet Brown showed us; We had no intelligent robot uprisings in 2008 as Asimov wrote; Cyberpunk 2077 was called 2020 once, it was changed when it became obvious that in three years we couldn't progress that much; 2000AD franchise looks way different from our real 2000 AD... and so on, and so on...

 

Warhammer is probably the only different though, it shows You that for every step further humanity sometimes takes at least one step back, that not everything is perfect and definitely not everyone is "good". That way I think that WH40K is actually realistic (or at least more realistic than any mass effect or star trek could ever be). And I like it.

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...Cyberpunk 2077 was called 2020 once, it was changed when it became obvious that in three years we couldn't progress that much...

 

The very first edition was set in- wait for it- 2013. Where can I get some of those neural interface plugs that we were all supposed to have by now?

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I'd also like to add that its very open to GM, and player, creativity. In Fantasy there's little room for the GM to invent new countries or add new races, but in 40k you can happily add alien races, planets, cultures and what else you may want and it won't break the setting or cause a player rebellion.

Edited by Gurkhal

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