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dosan

I want to ask to everyone a question about technology in the imperium of Man!

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Hi, i am near the day i will start my campaing of Dark Heresy for the first time, and i am researching all that i can about the 41 millenium.

One subject that i find difficult is technology , because, as i know , it is mystified and revered, and most of it is in control of the MEchanicus, so my question is:

If the techonlogy is mystified, sacred, and mostly uknown (i mean , most of the imperials know how to use it, but not how it work), then how can exist so many different add ons or improvements, and weapons in the imperium. I read in the core book that even the scum and lowlifes and countles armorers in all the worlds create and modify weapons and armors, but my question is how? If they mystify technology , they should only at the most copy what the Mechanicus teach them, because creating anything else can be seen, in my eyes and the interpretation of the book, as heresy, probably a direct affront to the

Mechanicus, that controls all technology , and cares for it. I dont understand how the imperium can have so many armorers and geniuses that create and improve, if they are supposed to "not know" how the machines work! And what does the Mechanicus does about it? Does all the technology must be produced by a tech-priest or what?

 

Please , i need info about this subject, right now the only book about lore of warhammer 40000 that i am reading is the core book, and mostly comics, and some other references via Codexs of the tabletop game

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 I am not the most well versed on the subject, but from what I can tell you have it mostly right, but not completely. The technology that the Mechanicus has a complete monopoly on are things like Power Weapons, Plasma and Melta Guns, Starship drives and weapons, Void Shields, Geller Fields, Hive-Class Generators, and that kind of thing. Even among the Mechanicus, there are variations of these things: Mars Pattern, Jovian Pattern, and so on. This means that most truly "high" technology, mostly that which consists of technology greater than what we have today, rests within their hands (or servo's as appropriate). Even this is not a perfect monopoly, but for the most part they're the sole purveyors.

 

However, "low" technology or things that are truly ubiquitous are often made or understood by artisans and others not directly in the Machine Cult's employ. For example, most weaponry, low-yield power cells, some handheld devices and the like are often manufactured on a normal planet by people who understand how they work. I'm fairly certain that some of those who create these things, especially those who are exceptionally talented, understand how they work. These artisans often improve upon or alter the functionality of such things to serve their own specific purposes, and these refined designs make it out to the factory, and then so on. They are simply too widespread and simple for someone not to tinker with them until they get how they work.

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 Well the scum you refer to are the "Reclaimeters" (sp?). They are in the Inquisitors Handbook. They are looked down on by the mechanicus and are borderline tech heretics in their eyes as I see it.

Mechanicus venerate technology, ie. the machine. To them a proper veneration before turning it on is required to appease its spirit. Sort of like pleading with your clunker of a car to start so you can get to work on time. Just more incense and oils.

The reason you see a lot of variants on similar items, different pattern bolt guns etc., is because a Magos, over the course of his seeking perfection, studied a bolt gun and learned how it worked and then slightly modified it. Modifying something without a "proper knowledge" in the first place is forbidden by the Mechanicus usually.

Its a grey area in some ways. A friend of mine puts it at, "Ah the Mechanicus. Bigger, Bulkier, Less Efficient."

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You also should understand the fine distinction between how and why.  Armorers and Weaponsmiths may have figured out how their particular machine works, but still won't have any understanding of why the machine works. 

Because of this and a general lack of training on how to "desern the true nature of the machine" (engeneering), almost all modifications that these low-lifes develop are going to come from one of two sources.  Copying something that someone else did (or they did to a different weapon) , or random trial and error. 

As was said above, the Ad-Mech really on control high-technology (anything with a circet board), and even then usualy use regular imperial labor to actualy magnifacture all but the most high tech of items (Plasma, Void Etc.).  Don't forget that all Magnifactorums (as well as all Genetoriums) are technicaly (and often successfuly) under the control of the Ad-Mech, even if the Imperial Citizens working in them out number the Ad-Mech 1000-1.

Also worth noting, the 'Apeasment Rituals" often have real value.  The application of the sacred oils is often just a ritualized version of putting gas in the car's gas tank or lubricating an autopistol's slide, etc.  The speach and ritual nature is as much a memory aid as a religious rite.  To skip these really can lead to your car not working or you weapon jamming.

As for the different versions, some of them may stem from the source as well - most of these items are copies from the Dark Age of Technology.  It's likely that at that time, there were several different groups making slightly different versions of weapons and other such items, just as several companies make Assault Rifles today.

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Thansk for the replies so far, it seems a little complicated at first to understand, there are so many gray areas in Warhammer 40000 that , for a storyteller, is kind of scary . Any other opinions will be welcome. Oh, and if somebody is reading or had read the novel called "mechanicus", can be of help too, now i dont have time to read it :)

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That's not a bad guide, I'm not sure about some of it but in general it works.

As a rule of thumb I see Imperial technology as lacking computers, where they need computers it's replaced either by a servitor or cogitators (which are more like enigma machines than silicon chip based in my eyes). If you think  about how difficult it is for us to makes technology without computers then you start to see where the problems lie.

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Yeah, the chart's not all that bad.  It's definoutly worth remembering how non-uniform the Imperium is.  What is common on one world can be totaly unheard of in the next sector over.  I'd say the other big thing to remember with cognators, computers and other electronics is the seemingly compleate lack on 'multi-use' technology.  With few exceptions, every type of Imperial Technology is designed specificly for 1 function.  You wouldn't find a desktop computer, for example, there'd be a Report Writeing Terminal, a Star Chart viewing Terminal, an Internal Text Communcations terminal etc....

 

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dosan said:

there are so many gray areas in Warhammer 40000 that , for a storyteller, is kind of scary .

The trick I find is to see the gray areas less as scary places you might go against cannon, as cannon is often obscure if not outright contradictory, but as opportunity to do what you want.

The vastness and verity within the Imperium and the vagueness of fluff leave you room to create.  Street gangs that modify manufactora castoffs into bikes, go for it.  Agroworld where crude farming machinary is largely maintained by civilians as the AdMech are too busy experimenting to create new crops, sure. A feudal world claimed by the AdMech resulting in techology being used like magic in classic fantasy... actually that's mentioned in the inquistors handbook.

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The other thing worth throwing out there is that not every Ad-Mech is a crazy resarcher wizard tech-priest.  The guy down at the local Auto-shop?  Head electrition at the construction site, Sowing machine and vacuum repair? Likely all Ad-mech guys.  At that point though, particularly on Imperial Worlds, when you see them out side of their profecian, there not really much different then your average Imperial Citizan.  They were just raised in both Cults, so to speak.

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Quicksilver said:

The other thing worth throwing out there is that not every Ad-Mech is a crazy resarcher wizard tech-priest.

Quicksilver said:

The guy down at the local Auto-shop?  Head electrition at the construction site, Sowing machine and vacuum repair? Likely all Ad-mech guys.

I see there being a distinction.

Tech-Priests and Magi are the Priesthood of Mars, the ordained and initiated members of the Cult of the Machine. They are, for all intents and purposes, the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Mechanics and maintenance workers... aren't ordained priests, nor are they initiates into the Cult. I tend to term these people as lay-technicians - non-ordained persons who have been taught the rites and rituals necessary to maintain and/or operate a particular piece of blessed machinery. They're the laity, carrying out mundane but essential tasks on behalf of the priesthood.

Then there are the masses, who might be taught a few rites and rituals for simple things - for example, every Guardsman is expected to know the appropriate litanies associated with the loading, unloading, cleaning and maintenance of his lasgun

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Like most of the Imperium's ideals, there exists a subtle divide between word and practice. Though most worlds practice their own form of tech heresy, whether it be bastardized designs or even blasphemous innovation, the Mechanicus rarely intervenes. Those times they do is when the heresy in question threatens their power within the Imperium at large. An example would be a tech cult spreading through out the subsector. Allowing such a thing to exist would give the sector's rulers an alternative to the rather generous accommodations they provide the Machine Cult. The Lord's of Mars would do all in their power to stop such thing.

While most tech cults are either destroyed or inconsequential, some are instead absorbed by the Mechanicus. Though they they may preach differently, even the Machine Cult is not above using heretical tech. Otherwise they wouldn't have all those many examples of xeno inspired equipment.

Regarding the Machine Cult's spread, they often use the Imperium's own model of absorbing lesser tech cults and making them adhere to a loose canon of ideals.

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Where a lot of people come unstuck with trying to understand the Ad-Mech is in essence, it is very alien to the contemporary reader to fathom when all most people have known is a technological society which has its development pushed or retarded by financial backing and is motivated by profit. The other are where the contemporary has coping with is the fact they are often brought up where people have varying degrees of egalitarian and civil rights as a foundation to their society.
Well, there's none of that.


The vast majority of people have to endure a very feudal existence in some form or another under a minority authoritarian regime where they have to work for a subsistence and frequently have to tithe their children and produce of their labours to the Imperium at large- to varying degrees, some places are comparatively better than others. Concepts of of choice, in ones life, beliefs and behaviour is next to non-existent for a lot of people. That doesn't mean they're compliant, but mostly they're held where they are with various factors we would consider 'inhumane'...
 

How that factors into technology is much the same, if you need it, you'll be issued it and if there's an simpler way of doing it with just a lot of backbreaking through to suicidal activity with people-power, then there's no compunction about doing that either! The luxury of having a technological device simply for the sake of entertainment is literally that, a luxury few can afford because by and large the Imperium has a focus on self-maintenance and defence than self amusement. Where the Ad-Mech fit into all of this, is that they are simply a large power-base amidst a lot of other power bases in the Imperium that exist because they've made themselves indispensable to society and annihilated any competition to that power base. It doesn't matter if you've got a better way of hammering in a nail, if it doesn't get sanctioned by the AM, then the AM will legally persecute the owner and manufacturer of that device, take the device and consider re-engineering it as a pattern.
 

Patterns exist for simplicity. Take stock of every technological item in your house, stick it in a box and then take a trip to the arse end of nowhere, multiply that distance by a factor of about 10-8... then hope they've got the same power socket that you had back home, they better **** well have that power socket or you're going back to the iron age as soon as the batteries geek! Oh, its not powered by batteries? Tough **** mate, you're at the arse end of no where and we don't use 240volt AC mains power!
 

Standardisation also exists for the simple reason, that simple people with a lot of rote practice and cramming can use and fix it  (Understanding how it works is irrelevant!). Just like the above, if you've travelled eleventybillion miles from anywhere interesting, they don't want to know about your handheld nanite powered iSuck version IV comms device. If you it in the toilet after a particularly boozy night, fish it out and take it to the local mechanic... well he's not going to know how to fix it, because the standard Gronk Pattern MkIV Comms backpack is the standardised machine. Yes, it is probably worse, but it can be used and maintained by anyone trained in its operation.


Innovation exists in the Imperium, as does some semblance of private sector production (under licence!) but a galaxy is a big place and it takes a long time to travel and distribute the pattern into widespread use.

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I'm sure there are a lot of great responses - but here's my thoughts.

 

You have a TV right? Well - you know that pressing "ON" makes the screen light up in a picture.

Do you know how to make a TV? Could you repair it? Do you know how the TV screen produces the images? 

 

Common people have all the common technology we have today. Cameras are called "Picters" - Radios are called "Vox-Speakers" - Recorders are called "Vox-Thieves".  Basically - instead of some esoteric name like "camera" - it states what the item actually does. "Vox" - means "voice" in Latin. So "Voice-Speaker" being a radio makes perfect sense.

 

The Adeptus Mechanics are the only sanctioned source of invention in the Imperium. They're always looking for items called STC. Standard Template Constructs (STC) are - from what I can gather - blueprints that would act like rosetta stones for ancient technologies. You get a "fusion" STC and suddenly "Fusion Technology" would spark a revolution of weapons, engines, materials, etc.

 

However - the Mechanicus has turned science into a religion to mystify and control. They invented (and believe in) the Machine God - which governs over all technology.

 

Instead of "replacing the transmission fluid" - you are "Anointing the machine with sacred transitive oils." Instead of having a virus in a Cogitator (computer) - the cogitator is possessed by unclean spirits and must have an exorcism. (The exorcism would actually be a format and installation of an OS.)

 

Now, the question is - is there a good reason for all this? I suggest the answer is yes. Chaos has permeated everything - even technology. Without this level of fear - the entire Imperium might be destroyed. If scientists on Imperial worlds could just run around making devices that open holes into the warp - or some other idiotic technology - then the Imperial would be consumed in a matter of years.

 

Also - concerning the Machine God - there is every reason to believe that, due to the nature of the warp - a Machine God does exist. Orks, for example, believe that painting their vehicles red makes them faster - it is true. Ork vehicles painted red go fasta' - without any scientific reason. Belief makes it true. So - a belief in machine spirits - makes it, at least in some sense, a truth in the 40K universe.

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You do have a good point NO-1, there is a distinct difference between Adepts of Mars and the Machine Cult.  Even if your not ordained, you can still be a member of the Cult, just the same way as the Ecclesarchs aren't the only members of the Imperial Cult.  The Machine Cult and the Imperial Cult are, for the most part, two compatable religons.  However, given that the Priesthood of Mars really control the education and information about (advanced) use, maitinance and creation of technology, one would expect that any lay-person who where to enter one of those fields would get at least a dose of their Theology along with the nessisary rites and procedures to compleate their jobs. 

It's also worth remembering that the Machine God, at least to most of the priesthood, is not so much a sentiance diaty like the Emperor, but rather gestalt divine force that enables embodies all knowlege and enables the function of machines.  Each machine spirit is said to be a fragment of the Machine God's essence and only by removing all impurities (xeno, chaos or what have you) can it's pure function be obtained.  On a related note, the Omnissiah is not the Machine God.  The Omnissiah is a mythical person who can (or has) gained all knowlage, and therefore accended to a higher state of being.  During the Great Crusade there was a messianic cult that beleaved the Emperor was the Omnissiah, but that idea fell out of favor after a couple mellena.

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Medhia Nox said:

Orks, for example, believe that painting their vehicles red makes them faster - it is true. Ork vehicles painted red go fasta' - without any scientific reason. Belief makes it true. So - a belief in machine spirits - makes it, at least in some sense, a truth in the 40K universe.

That's not entirely true though. That works for Orks because the entire Ork race is latently psychic, and the power of the Waaargh is a literal effect. It's that that makes their red trucks go faster, and makes their guns work when they just jam and fall apart in the hands of a human.

The reason for Ork stuff happening isn't entirely the same way as Human stuff works, as generally a "machine spirit" might well just be the anthropomorphising of a machine, as well as including some rudimentary programming or partial intelligence (not full AI). For example, a suit of power armour that whirs and creaks might be seen to have a machine spirit that dislikes the idea of stealth, or a gun that jams a lot might be viewed to have a machine spirit that is angry or grumpy. It's basically attributing human motivations/emotions to inanimate objects (just like we do when we tell a slow car we're driving to hurry up, but taken to the logical extreme where we actually think the car can hear and understand us).

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Medhia Nox said:

The Adeptus Mechanics are the only sanctioned source of invention in the Imperium. They're always looking for items called STC. Standard Template Constructs (STC) are - from what I can gather - blueprints that would act like rosetta stones for ancient technologies. You get a "fusion" STC and suddenly "Fusion Technology" would spark a revolution of weapons, engines, materials, etc.

Close, but not quite.

A Standard Template Construct is - as far as our limited information tells us - a system capable of producing effective, durable, reliable machinery from pretty much any local resources. STC technology was developed alongside human expansion across the stars, with colonies built upon the foundations that STC creations provided, able to go about the business of colonising a world without needing to worry about temperamental or complex machinery.

STC databases contain information on everything from habitation structures to plasma reactors to weapons, and are more than simply repositories of information - they were intelligent (whether or not they were sentient is unknown) and adaptive.

Some worlds were reliant on STCs for their technology, working from that baseline. Others developed independently - Terra, for example, never needed STC technology, as it was the heart of all human civilisation and the birthplace of human understanding - but none survived unscathed.

When the Age of Strife began, worlds became increasingly isolated from one another. Interstellar trade dwindled and diminished to almost nothing, and soon survival was the first priority on many worlds. Knowledge faded on worlds such as these - Terra included -  as people needed to spend more time working to simply have enough food to eat and fend off enemies and predators, and the technology that remained was maintained by rote-learned methods passed down by word of mouth and ritual. On Terra itself, Techno-barbarian warlords fought for control of depleted wastelands using what technology still functioned and could still be maintained.

When a hunter-gatherer lifestyle has been the norm for generations, and the machines that aid you are maintained only by solemnly-performed rituals, with no understanding behind them (like fixing a car or a computer from a list of instructions, without knowing why it works)... what are you going to believe? The idea of a spirit in a gun or vehicle that gives it life and power might seem silly to us, yes... but consider how many people shout at their cars or computers when something unwanted happens... how many of us ascribe malice to the random glitches of the technology around us? Now, take that mindset, remove the knowledge of how the machine works, and add in a whole heap of superstition... the ritual works because it pleases the spirit of the machine. An angry machine spirit will not cooperate - the machine will not work. Thus, you have to perform the rituals in order to please the spirit of the machine so it will help... simple.

That mindset has remained, and is even encouraged by the Adeptus Mechanicus...

Medhia Nox said:

However - the Mechanicus has turned science into a religion to mystify and control. They invented (and believe in) the Machine God - which governs over all technology.

Not deliberately. Mars, like Terra, was isolated from the rest of the galaxy. The Martian populace - living on their barely-terraformed factory-world that once created the STCs in the first place - were far more reliant on technology for survival than the Terrans nearby, who the Martians chose to shun. The necessity of the machines that preserved Mars inevitably led to the same sorts of superstition and ritualistic approach that happened elsewhere, but their need made the Martians prize technology, seeking it out and trying to understand it. Knowledge is power, of course, and those who possess power are seldom eager to share it... so we end up with a Feudal Technocracy, where those who have knowledge of how technology works are deemed greater than those that do not, and knowledge is restricted by status.

As the Warp Storms raged, the Mechanicum, as they were then known, mustered exploration fleets and legions of massive machines of conquest known as Titans, and sent them into the void when the storms seemed to quiet. A few were successful, founding colonies wrought in the image of Mars... now known as Forge Worlds... and thus did the Mechanicum spread. When the storms died out and the Emperor had unified Terra under his banner, he voyaged to Mars to ally with the Mechanicum, and from that point on, the Forge Worlds formed the backbone of industry upon which the Great Crusade was fought, securing Martian dominance of technology across the Imperium.

The Machine God is... difficult to explain. At some point in their history, the Mechanicum came to believe that the machines that protected them and allowed them to live were divine in nature, blessed and superior to the men that maintain them, coming to the idea that a machine is pure and strong, not weak or fallible like flesh. The Machine God is possibly an outgrowth of this, representing the sum total of all human knowledge that has ever and will ever exist... and it is the task of the priesthood of the machine to seek out lost knowledge and attempt to understand it so that they might become closer to the Machine God.

Medhia Nox said:

Instead of "replacing the transmission fluid" - you are "Anointing the machine with sacred transitive oils." Instead of having a virus in a Cogitator (computer) - the cogitator is possessed by unclean spirits and must have an exorcism. (The exorcism would actually be a format and installation of an OS.)

Depends on who you ask. A knowledgeable (and thus high-ranking) Tech-Priest may well understand what he's doing with extremely complicated machinery, rendering the point of the rituals (to impart essential knowledge, though not necessarily with any understanding of their purpose) irrelevant, more a matter of convenience and familiarity than anything else. Tech-Priests commune with and understand machines better than normal people,

Medhia Nox said:

Also - concerning the Machine God - there is every reason to believe that, due to the nature of the warp - a Machine God does exist. Orks, for example, believe that painting their vehicles red makes them faster - it is true. Ork vehicles painted red go fasta' - without any scientific reason. Belief makes it true. So - a belief in machine spirits - makes it, at least in some sense, a truth in the 40K universe.

Actually, there are a number of viable reasons why red Ork vehicles are faster; the Orks themselves may lack any conscious understanding of it, but given that the technical skills of their engineers are instinctive and unconscious, that doesn't really matter. A Mekboy may have built a more efficient engine into the red vehicle compared to the otherwise-identical blue one... and while his unconscious mind knows the difference, his conscious mind can only see that one is red and one is blue, and that the red one goes faster.

As for Machine Spirits... the matter is simple if you ascribe all of it to superstition... but it gets complicated when you consider that sometimes, a machine spirit is a form of automation, below the sophistication of an Artificial Intelligence (which are illegal), such as the systems that operate at the hearts of starships, Titans, and Astartes vehicles like Thunderhawks and Land Raiders (in all cases, the upper end of the scale) down to simple, hidden electronic systems in smaller devices (something simple and single purpose akin to a camera's autofocus). Some devices may be attributed with a single machine spirit, while others may be viewed as having many lesser ones that all do different things... and the line between these different types of machine spirit is deliberately unclear...

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Well done NO-1, that's one of the best written sections on the Adepts of Mars I've seen in a long time. Definitely better the I could have written it. So on that note I'd like to second everything he said.

In response to Nox's query, I think that to say the "Machine Cult mystified science to retain power" really over-simplifies the entire thing. First of all, as NO-1 pointed out, technology mystified itself, the Tech-Cult became powerful because it retained the ability to create and utilize it in its mystic state, rather then let it fall to pieces. There was never the level of Intentionality that you seem to be implying.

The Cult of the Machine, which developed independently on Mars during the Age of Strife really is a product of surviving a naturally hostile environment. People could only survive in working Hab-domes. The Hab-domes were in constant need of repair and maintenance, those who had the knowledge to repair them naturally became important. Groups of survivors gathered around them to survive, to guard them from other survivors, and to support the increasing communes. In generations of this, routine became rote, and rotes became rites. And with this Technology, the only thing that enabled anyone to survive became holy in and of itself.

To say that the Cult of the Machine has continued to mystify Science (what little they know) and technology to retain power is like saying the Ecclesiarch mystify the Emperor to retain their power. While gaining power clearly plays a part in the politics of the group, it's not its entire purpose, and the vast majority of the members are indeed faithful and do believe in the word of the Cult.

P.S. I think it’s worth pointing out again that even among the Adept Magi, they know very little Science. What they understand a lot of is engineering. The reasoning and theory behind the function of the devices is very poorly understood. A Tech Magi may know everything about designing and manufacturing circuit boards, but still not know that electricity is created by movement of electrons threw a conductive path. The Adepts of Mars know how something functions, but likely do know why it functions.
 

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So - why doesn't the Machine Cult just open Universities and teach everyone how to repair their own stuff? That's the opposite of an oppressive, mystified, institution used for control of an entire Imperium.

I don't think it's - "Because it's the grim, dark future..." and in that future - we don't open schools.

And I was going for over-simplification - because all the many, many nuances of the 40K universe aren't easy to digest at the start - which is what I think the OP was aiming for.

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The point I wanted to get across is that technology is Mystic to the Tech-priests as well.  They didn't "make it mystified" to create a system of control.  As wtih almost any Feudal, stratified system citizens are only given the knowledge and skills nessisary to perform their occupation.  This applies both to knowledge about technology, as well as every other fascet of life such as religion, millitary service, farming, mercintile, government, etc.

A city of 100 people doesn't need 50 Auto mechanics, it needs 1, and maybe an apprentace to that one.  Does this grant them control over who gets their car repaired? Absolutly.  Does this mean they created car repair as a way to control the town?  Not at all.

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Medhia Nox said:

So - why doesn't the Machine Cult just open Universities and teach everyone how to repair their own stuff? That's the opposite of an oppressive, mystified, institution used for control of an entire Imperium.

The Cult Mechanicus is a mystery cult - only those within its ranks are privy to its mysteries, and deliberately so. The ruling Magos of a Forge World knows more about how technology works than the subordinate Magi who he rules over, who in turn know more than the Lexmechanics and Enginseers and other Priests Ordinary who labour beneath them, who in turn know more than the uninitiated. And that's the way they like it. For the Mechanicus, authority and knowledge are the same thing - someone is in charge because they are knowledgeable and comprehend much, and they have the access to that knowledge because they are in charge.

The Adeptus Mechanicus maintain a monopoly on scientific and technological knowledge in the Imperium... for the most part, if you want someone to do science for you, or to provide you with sophisticated machinery, you need a Tech-Priest. This gives them incredible political power, which in turn gives them the freedom needed to pursue their own agenda without interference from other parts of the Imperium. But they're also a religion, and as far as they're concerned, they're the ones who are supposed to have that knowledge, and nobody else. This is helped by the fact that for most people, technology is a mysterious and dangerous thing, a notion perpetuated by vague tales of the horrors of science and progress left unrestrained and of technology turned against mankind during the Age of Technology. Most humans would rather trust to their own efforts than put their faith in a machine... which means that they're all too willing to leave all the technological side of things to the Adeptus Mechanicus...

The Imperium does not exist to serve the interests of humanity... instead, humanity toils to serve the interests of the Imperium... and this means that the populace are encouraged to remain ignorant, obedient and fearful. This applies to any facet of the Imperium you care to think about, including technology.

The other key thing to remember is that the Powers That Be within the Imperium are no less hindered by its ways than the populace. The Ecclesiarchy promote the ideal of the God-Emperor as the absolute lord and master of mankind, and all humans are bound to serve Him... yet there's more than a little evidence to suggest that the Emperor refuted the notion of his own divinity and decried religion and superstition. The Mechanicus deliberately perpetuate ignorance and superstition regarding technology, yet their own works are wreathed in yet more superstition of their own making...

It is an empire founded on lies told long ago, and few now can remember even that lies were told, let alone discern those deceptions.

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It's interesting - but I wonder what lies you see vs. which ones I do.

I think the Pre-Heresy Imperium was a lie - and the current one is a corrupted form of the best possible choice given the circumstances.

==

I think it's important to also remember that the average person lives a life free of all the Imperium propaganda. Sure - there's always "fear the xenos" - the church is always saving souls - etc. but -

In the novels you've got mutants rocking out in their dingy clubs - criminal organizations - peaceful farmers - palatial estates. Life goes on. And it largely goes one with a LOT of the technology we have today.

Heck in Eisenhorn he goes to a cafe and gets: four cups of caffein in styro-cups and four rounded pastries. Coffee and donuts?! In the "Grim, dark future!?" you must be joking!

Of course - there's PLENTY of the grim and dark to be had - but it's actually not the majority of someone even of Eisenhorn's stature. It's just that Dan Abnett doesn't write 800 pages of him watching "Pict-screens" and listening to "Vox-Casters" cause that would be boring.

So - to the OP::

I'd consider life on most Imperial Worlds to be like our own real world - perhaps during wartime. "Food drive for Imperial Guard 224!"

Hive worlds, Shrine Worlds, etc. would be variations on it of course - but life is life. It's not unrecognizable and I think a campaign is enriched when this is shown.

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