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Berengario

What year?

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Hallo there,
it’s question time again: what year should a Dark Heresy campaign be set in? In FFG’s Support page I found a «Dark Heresy Timeline» which let me think it was fair to set my campaign around 816.M41: yet I keep running into sources (mainly on Lexicanum) dating many important events of the setting much later, mostly in the last century of M41.

So, I wonder, was it a mistake choosing 8xx.M41 instead of 9xx.M41?

What year did you set your campaigns or adventures in?

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As strange as it sounds i haven't set mine in a particular year, the players haven't asked for a date so unless you really need it don't worry about setting a date, as for the events listed in books you can have them happen whenever you like you are the contact between your players and the universe.

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Is DH supposed to be set before most of the major event sof the 40k universe?  This is something that hadn't pinged my radar as yet.

816.M41 sounds like it was well prior to the Tyranid's arrival in our galaxy, was it not?

To answer your question, I'd say you could set the game in any time frame you like.  If you want the game to be set in "present day" then use the Lexicanum timeline, I'd say.

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816.M41 sounds like it was well prior to the Tyranid's arrival in our galaxy, was it not?

 

 

Not quite. The First Tyrannic War and the Damocles Gulf Crusade (representing the first large scale campaigns against the Tyranids and Tau, respectively) happened shortly before 750.M41.

Of the races in 'present day' 40k, only the Necrons are yet to be acknowledged as a threat by the Imperium (with the official First Contact with the Necrons not due until 897.M41, after the Sanctuary 101 Massacre).

As I understand it, the reason the RPGs (DH at 815, RT at 816 and DW at 817) are set more than 180 years before 'present day' is to allow for expansion without running into the risk of advancing the setting. GW have, since the Eye of Terror and Storm of Chaos Global Campaigns (major events for the wargames that were touted to define future background), decided that moving the setting forward is undesirable, instead leaving the 40k Universe stuck on the edge of countless potential apocalypses that will never come, while adding more detail to past events. Because GW are unwilling to advance the timeline, it's easier for FFG to set the RPGs earlier to give themselves room for development.

 

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Thank you all, it seems like mine was not a major mistake: I’ve always loved this setting but have never played the tabletop Warhammer, so I only read the fluff without paying true attention to the dates. When I started my group’s Dark Heresy campaign I had to set it in a year and only later realized there could be some anachronism with major events (such as said Tyranids, Necrons and probably even Tau): but, to be surer, the next time I’ll choose a year somewhere in the 9xx.M41range!

Side note: calendars, dates and the passing of time in general have always been very important in our group’s campaigns. To match with the setting and its flavour, I even had to figure out a simplified calendar and day’s division which seem likely («logical») for people living in a hive (whose biological rhythms aren’t therefore set by the natural sun/night cycle).

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You also have to remember several things when dealing with 40k fluff in the Calixis Sector.

a) The Imperium is HUGH - Events happening in one side of the galaxy wont be known about in the other for a long long time. As such, even though the 'official' first encounter with the Necrons was in 897.M41 there could have been several smaller encounters all over the galaxy that the Administratum just hadn't heard of yet.

b) The Administratum is VERY convoluted - Events that are recorded by the Administratum, and then processed etc, can take years, if not generations to fully investigate and 'recognise' as being 'official'. As such, there could again have been several encounters with the Necrons that the Administratum are still fighting over whether they are Necron or not.

c) The Calixis Sector is pretty remote - Even though it is a whole sector with billions of Humans within it, it is pretty remote as far as 40k goes. Not only is it spacially far from Terra, but it is also somewhat blocked by the Eye of Terror, which forces Warp Travel and Astropathy to have to go around it, so to speak. This means that it takes even longer for information to get back to Terra.

In accordance to all of these points, it is perfectly acceptable to do near ANYTHING in whatever timeline you want, so long as it is near the 'current' timeline.

Plus, you know, you're the GM and all, so, just do whatever you want.

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Since the Calaxis Sector is far removed from the Western Fringe of the galaxy (the site of the initial Tyranid invasion), I didn't see any problem with using the "standard" starting year of 815. The 13th Black Crusade is the only major event that would have impacted the Calaxis Sector in the 900s, but I didn't want my whole campaign to revolve around fighting back that tide. If I need a bit of background relating to the Crusades in my campaign, there were 12 earlier ones to draw from...

Oh, and Necrons! They haven't been officially catologed by the Imperium "yet"- but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Great excuse to play them up as mysterious and terrifying.

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Well if you delve into cannon you find that time gets a bit tricky.  The imperial system for noting dates even has a coding system for how accurate the date is thought to be by imperial authorities (based on the likerlyhood that the message would have got to terra without this being scrambled by the chinese whisper of huge chains of astropaths through the warp (which adds additional problems as well)).  Add warp travel which normally causes time dilation but possibly causes actual time travel (one bit of fluff once said that due to time being odd in the warp a imperial fleet went to save a world from an unknown fleet that was attacking, got there and due to problems with time in the warp turned out to be the fleet that they were saving the world from........ which of cause means that events  caused themselves which is a bit of a paradox).  This basically means that the date is somewhat maliable and could vary across the imperium (not to mention segmartem, sectors, sub-sectors, etc).

This has actually led my characters to begin logging personnel time experienced rather then anything else, as due to the fact they travel in the warp a lot its regarded by them as being the only way they can be sure what events have followed one another.  I am contemplating at somepoint having something happen to them due to something they haven't done yet in their personnel chronology but has happened where they are......

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Erretnorb said:

which of cause means that events  caused themselves which is a bit of a paradox).

 

An event causing itself is still internally consistent, meaning it isn't a paradox. To have a paradox you need a contradiction. To cause a time travel paradox, you need the time travel to prevent what caused you to go back in time in the first place. For example, you go back in time and kill yourself.

 

Which an Ork did pull off in the Ork codex, and he only killed his younger self so he could get a second copy of his favourite gun.

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