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ak-73

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Usually I just perceive it as a literary form of fanservice. Main character is a dude, must get sexy girls. And apparently nobody in the world of 40k is save, be them brainwashed assassins (who have absolutely nothing to gain from having sex with their handler) or nuns with guns (who are otherwise expected to maintain purity and isolation).

 

I blame the IP's power fantasy origins which, to this day, keep inspiring a large number of Black Library authors and result in what the fandom has colloquially dubbed "bolter porn". But I admit that it may just annoy me more these days as I'm already fed up with similar tropes in anime, and as such operate under the perception that romantic entanglements work to the detriment of a story more often than not, simply because the execution tends to focus on sexual fantasies rather than social drama. I'm sure there are examples that manage to do better (Song of Ice and Fire springs to mind), but unfortunately they seem to be comparatively rare, and indeed I cannot think of any from 40k.

 

... wow, apologies for the rant, I didn't want to steer the discussion that much into the OT. ;)

Edited by Lynata

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be them brainwashed assassins (who have absolutely nothing to gain from having sex with their handler) or nuns with guns (who are otherwise expected to maintain purity and isolation).

 

I mean they're doing what their handlers want, which is what they're supposed to do. Which speaks volumes of bad stuff about the unhealthiness and messed upness about sleeping with an assassin under your command, but whatever.

 

As for Sororitas; still pissed about that Cain novel I see.

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Back on topic though, I think we should definitely thank the FFG team for having so many depictions of females in the setting and not just the stock stuff you always see.

 

I doubt we'll see such a congregation of females in the 40k universe for a time yet.

 

Although I dislike their choice of using "he" and they're mention of it being difficult for a female in the galaxy, but you can't win them all. The majority of the made for game FFG art depicting females is good and not over the top or showy.

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Back on topic though, I think we should definitely thank the FFG team for having so many depictions of females in the setting and not just the stock stuff you always see.

 

I wholeheartedly agree. The good thing was that they were, for the most part, actually reasonable depictions and not just 40K pin-up fanservice. Plus they tended to have art of women in the stereotypically male positions such as the Arbitrator from the DH2 corebook and the Commissar from the OW corebook which I thought was pretty neat.

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I wholeheartedly agree. The good thing was that they were, for the most part, actually reasonable depictions and not just 40K pin-up fanservice. Plus they tended to have art of women in the stereotypically male positions such as the Arbitrator from the DH2 corebook and the Commissar from the OW corebook which I thought was pretty neat.

 

I think the biggest one was Arch-Militant from Rogue Trader myself.

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Yes, finding WH40K RPG was a very pleasant surprise. I'm very conservative as GM/player and in the last fifteen years it turned out the single new setting/system that I accepted. So - many thanks, FFG!

And, by the way, FFG forums is one of my best experiences with online RPG community ;)

Edited by Jargal

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I wholeheartedly agree. The good thing was that they were, for the most part, actually reasonable depictions and not just 40K pin-up fanservice. Plus they tended to have art of women in the stereotypically male positions such as the Arbitrator from the DH2 corebook and the Commissar from the OW corebook which I thought was pretty neat.

 

Apart from the Commissar wearing combat heels...  <_<  But as Doc said, "can't win em all".

 

I actually think it's okay that 40k is a relatively sexist setting, if you keep in mind that this isn't the Imperial theme (see female High Lords, Inquisitors, Battle Sisters) but only the result of many individual worlds, in particular primitive ones, maintaining sexist local customs -- and that these worlds aren't always patriarchies but some matriarchies as well. The Xenonian Free Companies spring to mind; I've worked on a fan supplement for Only War featuring them and their homeworld.
 
In this context, I see no reason to fault FFG on this one, apart that they could've possibly done better by inserting the aforementioned contrast rather than just saying "yeah, sometimes there's misogyny".
 
Player freedom in character generation and a bit of pre-game planning in the group means that people can choose whether they want to embrace this sociocultural issue as roleplaying potential or rather avoid it as it may make them uncomfortable. Some men and women may enjoy a scenario where their character is relegated to a submissive supporting role, either because they think they'd enjoy potential perks (e.g. chivalry), or because it's a secret fantasy they'd like to try in a safe/playful environment. On the other hand, some men and women may enjoy a scenario where their character has to "fight the odds", striving for and being granted a chance to prove themselves in the eyes of those who would belittle them due to their sex. Such details can form rather personal side-plots for a game all by themselves! The only important thing is that players do not feel *forced* into a role where they have to face discrimination and ridicule, as this could rapidly sap the fun out of the game and lead to awkward moments at the table. As always, communication is key.
 
Anyways, it was certainly nice to see some female Guardsmen and Arbitrators for a change. Have there been illustrations of naval officers, too? I swear, I've seen all sorts of women in the few GW books that bother mentioning that they exist, apart from naval personnel, so I'd be curious about an example, especially one in the proven style and quality of the artist/s that FFG has tapped for their books.
 
Though seeing as we're already talking about this topic now, it also couldn't hurt to have some representation for other ethnicities as well. I know it may be weird to promote diversity/inclusiveness via a setting like 40k of all sorts, but stuff like this could be easily justified or even expected by pointing at the various homeworlds, which usually tend to be treated like single-climate countries in the fluff anyways. Plus, there's a precedent even among Games Workshop's own books (black Seraphim in 3E Codex:Witchhunters).

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You know, I've been interested in this line for years now.  I never had a chance to really get into the Warhammer RPGs besides a few short-lived online games until 2014, when I introduced the game system to my primary gaming group.  I decided it was awesome enough (and I had a shiny, new 2nd Edition Core book in my bag) to risk trying out given all of good reviews I'd heard, and none of my friends were into Warhammer so it was a clean slate for everyone to figure out things.  The first game I ever GM'd was this system with that group (starting with the pre-made materials), and we're still playing with the occasional break to try out something different or let another person try out a storyline of theirs (I'm writing up a new campaign as we speak, actually).  

 

Dark Heresy's ease of use has sold me on keeping it alive with the people I play with from now on, and the depth one can get out of it is great.  I'm still quite sad that the license is falling out of Fantasy Flight Games' grasp, because I really think they did a stellar job by it.  Sure, there's the occasional problem here or there; that happens everywhere, and there's always been Errata or a helpful local community to make sure things are taken care of.  

 

I'm also taking inspiration from this; some friends and I have slowly been chipping together an updated, universal system for all of the branches of the FFG Warhammer games, and I've actually got some headway into my own personal project- updating Warhammer Fantasy to the 2e Ruleset.  Someday, I want to hand my group my old copy of Trollslayer to give them a feel for the setting and then delve into it with no brakes.  

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I've had fun with the 40k games, but I don't know that I'd call them influential. They feel more emblematic of the game design of the late 90s/2000s that came along with 3.0/3.5 D&D. Set classes, talents/feats, a pile of skills, a bunch of rules for simulating physics, and a heavy focus on adding mechanical options to players as a selling point. That's a style of RPG that is now being turned away from the same way we turned away from games that read like math textbooks from the 80s and games following the White Wolf Vampires/Splats style in the 90s. People seem to be looking for things that are simpler and evocative. Video games have made most people much more literate in game theory and design, and the ease of publishing have allowed people to be more experimental with game designs and not just copy things rote from D&D. The popular culture of RPGs seems to be shifting away from gameplay and more into story and story-evoking mechanics. The second edition of Dark Heresy had some lurching steps toward these things, but remained bound by old traditions. I think it's spot on to say that this line would not have been anywhere near as popular without the 40k setting. Is it an influential set of books? No, I'd say that it's not. Is it a fun set of books? Yes, it's fun, warts and all, but it's time to move on to bigger and better things. 

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I started RPGing with AD&D, late in the reign of Gary Gygax in the early 1980s. I think the last RPG I bought during that initial frenzy of nerdism was the first edition of Cyberpunk (than set in the far-away year of... 2013). After my gaming group drifted away one by one, I pretty much lost interest gaming, until I was laid off from my job in the late '90s and, to make ends meet, was forced to take a temporary job at a comic book store. There I discovered WH40K (I'd been aware of it before that, but had never looked seriously at it). I became obsessed with the 40Kverse, and started collecting minis. Around this time, I bumped into a co-worker from my previous job, who told me that he was interested in testing out the then-newly launched D&D3E. Two campaigns later, we heard that a WH40KRPG was coming out soon, and since our regular GM needed a break, I volunteered to run it.

 

That campaign is still going to this day. We've been forced to take several breaks due to unforeseen circumstances (the worst of which involved two rounds of brain surgery for one of my players!), but we are now on the brink of Ascension.

 

So, yeah, I guess I have to call myself a fan, despite the numerous mechanical flaws in the system. It scratched exactly the I had at exactly the right time...

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but we are now on the brink of Ascension.

 

I've been reading back through DH1 for fun and I did the math on it.

 

50k xp to complete an Ascension level career path.

 

400 xp from character creation.

 

Absolute base minimum xp per 4 hour session 200 xp.

 

248 session, 992 hours, assuming 1 session / week = roughly 4 years and 40 weeks of playing.

 

I want to so bad. Although almost all pre written adventures want you to give out more than 200 xp per session so I think that number is off.

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Have there been illustrations of naval officers, too? I swear, I've seen all sorts of women in the few GW books that bother mentioning that they exist, apart from naval personnel, so I'd be curious about an example, especially one in the proven style and quality of the artist/s that FFG has tapped for their books.

 

I can't remember if there was anything from RT that had female naval personnel aside from the Arch-Militant that Doc mentioned. I vaguely recall that the Imperial Navy background option in Enemies Without had a female officer as its artwork but I'm not certain if that was the case. On a side note, hurrah for probably one of the extremely few instances of female Mechanicus artwork in Enemies Within.

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Well, I don't see many contenders in this thread for a more influential game of the 00s (excluding the usual D&D and derivatives). And I don't mean system design, that wasn't 40K RP's forte. It is a solid gamist system though. In certain RPG parts of the internet, Dark Heresy was all over the place.The world, the art, the grit (in part due to crummy stats on rank 1 PCs)... it all clicked. 40K RP is a major RPG now, ranking on the level of Shadowrun. That's pretty impressive, oWoD and SR were quite influential in the 90s themselves. And it burst when 40K was really huge and 40K memes were all over the net themselves.

 

Alex

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ranking on the level of Shadowrun

 

Whoah. As much as I like Dark Heresy and its sister games, that's a pretty big comparison.

 

Shadowrun existed for several decades and spawned numerous novels and videogames. Dark Heresy went for 8 years and, in terms of ancillary merchandise, has but one novel series which was cancelled after the 2nd book. Granted, Shadowrun had the advantage of launching in an age where P&P itself was still more popular, but on the flipside Dark Heresy had the advantage of profiting from an established franchise with a sizable following with people who seem to have way too much money on their hands.

 

Though it actually makes me wonder if GW may have intended Dark Heresy as a way to lure RPG folks to their miniatures game in an effort to expand their audience, and then terminating Black Industries when it didn't work out as 40k itself may still be somewhat niche?

 

Either way, there was potential for more. The world and atmosphere built by the rule- and sourcebooks are quite evocative, to a point where I'm convinced a videogame set in this framework could be supremely interesting, primarily because there is little else on the market that compares to 40k's dystopian civil life. Everyone in sci-fi has their cool space marines and nasty aliens, but they are not what makes 40k grimdark and special. Mankind itself is. The "banality of evil" that exists on every street where the Arbites gun down impoverished food rioters, and in every tunnel through which a mob of religious fanatics hunts a group of innocent mutants for their sin of being born.

 

Alas, it's the same kind of disappointment I hold for there still not being a Necromunda videogame. Who knows, maybe in time -- Mordheim got something rather cool, after all. :P

 

I have to agree with Nimsim that Dark Heresy still clung a little too tight to "established industry wisdom", although at least the various games did undergo an evolution of sorts, most prominently dropping classes and talent trees for something more open. FFG certainly was caught between a rock and a hard place, though, considering that they had to balance DH 2E carefully in order to not scare away their existing fans. See that huuuuge discussion about the use of action points (which, to this day, I think might have been interesting).

 

As far as the future is concerned, I'm presently waiting for Coriolis to finish print. It has a less fantastical setting, but its art and atmosphere feels quite familiar -- with the added advantage of a less bloated rules system and a focus on survival as an underdog.

 

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That's not to say I'm forgetting all about Dark Heresy (or its sister games), mind you. I've still got a lot of books, and I expect to have fun with them for many years to come. :D

 

Well, I don't see many contenders in this thread for a more influential game of the 00s (excluding the usual D&D and derivatives).

 

Legend of the Five Rings?

 

Granted, its first book was released in 1995, but most of its material falls into the 00s. On ranker.com it's more than twenty places (#20) before Dark Heresy (#43), for whatever that's worth. Obviously not a very representative ranking, but still a sizable voterbase considering the 1st place (D&D) had more than 15,000 upvotes.

 

I just hope FFG, which recently acquired its license, is going to continue the RPG line and not just focus on the TCG.

Edited by Lynata

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Well, I don't see many contenders in this thread for a more influential game of the 00s (excluding the usual D&D and derivatives). And I don't mean system design, that wasn't 40K RP's forte. It is a solid gamist system though. In certain RPG parts of the internet, Dark Heresy was all over the place.The world, the art, the grit (in part due to crummy stats on rank 1 PCs)... it all clicked. 40K RP is a major RPG now, ranking on the level of Shadowrun. That's pretty impressive, oWoD and SR were quite influential in the 90s themselves. And it burst when 40K was really huge and 40K memes were all over the net themselves.

 

Alex

It depends on what you call influential. I'm going with "influences other things in the RPG community." I can't think of many games that were influenced by the 40k rules or setting besides attempts to put the setting on a different ruleset. Influential games from Dark Heresy's time are D&D 3.5 (since it did the whole D20 license thing). That basically DOMINATED the 2000s. Late 2000s and 2010s saw a lot more influence coming from Fate, Apocalypse World, and the OSR.

On the other hand if you're talking popularity, then yeah 40k games are in the top 5 sometimes top 3.

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Have there been illustrations of naval officers, too?

 

Lord-Captain Sylvia Locke, RT "The Frozen Reaches". Combat heels detected :) IG is more practical - Lord General Reila Vann (DW "Rising Tempest") wears heavy boots without heels...

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Lord-Captain Sylvia Locke, RT "The Frozen Reaches".

 

Oh, I was referring to the Imperial Navy -- wasn't Locke a Rogue Trader?

 

But yeah, IG has some nice art in the books. In terms of officers, this has to be my favourite.

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You want a strong female character? Look no further than Aoife Armengarde, a woman so badass they used the letters she wrote to her daughter as the fluff extras throughout the Into the Storm book.

 

Piggybacking off that I love that they use a character's life as the fluff extras. Like Ferlon Gelth's or whatever his name is in Creatures Anthema.

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Or the Arch-Militant of that... w/e his name is Rogue Trader in Koronus Bestiary, it always adds some nice dimension and depth to the setting seeing it from an actual characters point of view. Kudos to the writers that wrote those, great stuff that has helped me as both GM and player sometimes.

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