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Do Normal People Matter?

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Zappiel said:

With that in mind, our beloved Astartes are perfectly explainable.

Only if you approach them as purely gene-enhanced soldiers. I can't view them as such because of their origins. The genetics of the Emperor are beyond human (as we actually know from the background book Xenology that psykers have a physiological/genetic component to their abilities), and from the Emperor the Primarchs were made, using a mixture of science and sorcery. The Emperor himself is orders of magnitude more than any normal psyker - a lifespan of some thirty-nine thousand years at the time of his internment into the Golden Throne, a capacity for knowledge and understanding that exceeds the greatest augmented minds of the Mechanicum of Mars, psychic power sufficient to pose a real challenge to the Ruinous Powers and a presence such that no human being who ever met the Emperor has ever doubted the simple fact that he was the Emperor.

The Primarchs themselves possessed supernatural capabilities, and were each in some way psychic - Magnus the Red's psychic mastery is well-known, as are the precognitive sight of both Sanguinius and Curze, but less so is Corax's ability to walk unseen, or even the raw and awe-inspiring presence that each Primarch possessed to some extent.

The Astartes are created from the genes of the Primarchs. They are the result of incredbly complex genetic engineering the likes of which human science had never before seen, yet designed to be mass-produced in a way that previous genhanced soldiers (such as the Thunder Warriors or Adeptus Custodes) could not be. Each Space Marine is the fusion of carefully-selected human beings (chosen for physiological, psychological and genetic compatibility) and a series of implanted organs that automatically retroengineer the body and mind of a neophyte through processes developed during the dawn of the Imperium. The science behind each implant is beyond the capability of almost any human or posthuman mind to comprehend (many have tried, none have successfully replicated the Emperor's work), and each implant exists only because of the fusion of science and sorcery that created the Primarchs.

In essence, defining what makes a Space Marine a Space Marine is a lot harder than it looks, and is far from being a matter of pure science.

As for the matter of the interaction between the Warp and reality… the Warp presses close to reality in many places, and the mere existence of the Ruinous Powers demonstrates that the veil between is not as impermeable as might be comforting to think. The Warp impinges upon the fabric of reality every moment of every day… it is an influence that cannot be easily discarded.

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I liked it back when there was more mystery and ambiguity about the nature of the Emperor and his supposed divinity. Miracles were less blatant, atheists and separatists actually had a foot to stand on, and there was always a possibility that the Chaos worshippers are right all along. 

Now days everybody knows the Imperium are the good guystm even when they are screaming for hatred, genocide and ignorance. Nobody even bats an eyelid anymore. You can have Inquisitor Hitler authorizing the exterminatus of planet Auschwitz to protect the purity of the human race from xeno infiltration, and everyone is HOO HAH IMPERIUM **** YEAH! 

 

But hey, at least they aren't Tau. 

 

 

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Zappiel said:

And I would argue that His ability to heal machinery is merely Him telling the Star Dragon/'Deus in Machina' to do it (which is, of course, a tremendously powerful thing to do, too….)]

To me, that sounds pretty much like:

And God said: "let there be ligh". Chuck Norris answered: "You could say 'please'"

Now, there is something Chuck Norris-like in the Emperor, isn't it? pensativo

So, how can you claim that the Emperor is no god? reir

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oh, Tristelune, u didn't go there!  Let us leave The Chuck out of this….he will only confuse our notions of deity beyond repair…..and Guest469 has illuminated the kernel of my thoughts quite expertly….my real concern is that, nowadays, we don't batt an eyelash when we scream:  "DEATH TO THE MUTANT!!", because we 'know' that the Emprah and his bad boys are the good guys…….but that kinda thing is pretty much not cool…..the moral ambiguity has essentially left 40k, because we're allowed to do anything we like cause we're the good guys………….really?  Again, this 'Emprah hero worship' is clouding the waters……make no mistake, motivations aside:  the Emperor was a tyrant who enslaved his own species in order to achieve apotheosis.  The supposed 'next evolutionary step' of humanity, namely everyone evolving psychic powers, cannot happen so long as the imperium stands:  all psyker genetic material is weeded out of the gene pool by the Black Ships and fed to the Emprah.  The Emprah is stalling human evolution!  So that he can be a god!  Hubris indeed.

The Ruinous Powers exist because the Old Ones created a bunch of 'super soldiers' whose minds tapped into the Warp dimension and stirred up the latent energies there.  Chaos is a side-effect of:  "we're the good guys and we can do whatever we want because we're the good guys" mentality.  But that theme seems to have been lost in 2012's version of 40k…..Conrad Curze allowed himself to be executed on the Emprah's order in order to prove that he (curze) was right to do what he did, because the Emprah did the same thing……i.e. the Emprah is a tyrant whose only goal is power, who brooks NO interference with his power and NO rivals.  If we accept that the Emprah has foresight, then we must must assume he saw the Heresy…wanted the Heresy…to weed out those amongst his sons who would think to rival him…..he foresaw that he would be a god (just didn't realize the nature of that 'godliness'…), so he wasn't worried about any consequences….

And No1….you know i like you…..but i think you misinterpreted my statement:  "…Astartes are perfectly explainable."  In my worldview, the scientific method is perfectly able to explain anything (indeed, nothing can be found to elude rigorous scientific inquiry - it's the very nature of the universe itself).  I don't need to resort to hand-waving and hocus pocus to 'splain things.  I don't see 'science' and 'sorcery' as two distinct things:  indeed, i would submit that there is a definite methodology to 'sorcery' - a 'science,' if you will.  It seems to me that the emprah knew exactly how psyker powers worked, and why.  Just because we don't doesn't mean that we should invoke magic and gods to explain it…..to the emprah, it was all just knowledge, pure scientific knowledge.  Witness the Imperial Truth…..

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Zappiel said:

oh, Tristelune, u didn't go there!  Let us leave The Chuck out of this….he will only confuse our notions of deity beyond repair…..and Guest469 has illuminated the kernel of my thoughts quite expertly….my real concern is that, nowadays, we don't batt an eyelash when we scream:  "DEATH TO THE MUTANT!!", because we 'know' that the Emprah and his bad boys are the good guys…….but that kinda thing is pretty much not cool…..the moral ambiguity has essentially left 40k, because we're allowed to do anything we like cause we're the good guys………….really?  Again, this 'Emprah hero worship' is clouding the waters……make no mistake, motivations aside:  the Emperor was a tyrant who enslaved his own species in order to achieve apotheosis.  The supposed 'next evolutionary step' of humanity, namely everyone evolving psychic powers, cannot happen so long as the imperium stands:  all psyker genetic material is weeded out of the gene pool by the Black Ships and fed to the Emprah.  The Emprah is stalling human evolution!  So that he can be a god!  Hubris indeed.

The Ruinous Powers exist because the Old Ones created a bunch of 'super soldiers' whose minds tapped into the Warp dimension and stirred up the latent energies there.  Chaos is a side-effect of:  "we're the good guys and we can do whatever we want because we're the good guys" mentality.  But that theme seems to have been lost in 2012's version of 40k…..Conrad Curze allowed himself to be executed on the Emprah's order in order to prove that he (curze) was right to do what he did, because the Emprah did the same thing……i.e. the Emprah is a tyrant whose only goal is power, who brooks NO interference with his power and NO rivals.  If we accept that the Emprah has foresight, then we must must assume he saw the Heresy…wanted the Heresy…to weed out those amongst his sons who would think to rival him…..he foresaw that he would be a god (just didn't realize the nature of that 'godliness'…), so he wasn't worried about any consequences….

And No1….you know i like you…..but i think you misinterpreted my statement:  "…Astartes are perfectly explainable."  In my worldview, the scientific method is perfectly able to explain anything (indeed, nothing can be found to elude rigorous scientific inquiry - it's the very nature of the universe itself).  I don't need to resort to hand-waving and hocus pocus to 'splain things.  I don't see 'science' and 'sorcery' as two distinct things:  indeed, i would submit that there is a definite methodology to 'sorcery' - a 'science,' if you will.  It seems to me that the emprah knew exactly how psyker powers worked, and why.  Just because we don't doesn't mean that we should invoke magic and gods to explain it…..to the emprah, it was all just knowledge, pure scientific knowledge.  Witness the Imperial Truth…..

And thus did Zappiel go over 100 cp! That knock on your door will be your local Inquisitors helper coming to "help you out"! (Unless it's the Daemon herald of hope and change… It's so confusing sometimes!destellosasustado

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Care to be a tad more constructive, rod?  Sadly, you missed the entire point……i'm sure a five year old could help you out.pillo

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Zappiel said:

Care to be a tad more constructive, rod?  Sadly, you missed the entire point……i'm sure a five year old could help you out.pillo

Easy Zap! It was a joke! No harm intended!  (The five year old would probably confuse me anyway!reir) The reason I posted earlier is that the 40k universe is more about fantasy than science fiction. Yes the physics of modern firearms are largely the same as real life but the Emperor IS A GOD! Not necessarily tougher than the other chaos entities but rather a Diametrically opposed deity/entity dedicated to order and harmony and an equal to any of them. Much like modern religeons have deviated greatly from the original teachings of their forebearers so to have the lords of Terra deviated sharply from the Grand design of the Emperor. The Horus heresy books sort of delve into the idea that while the Emperor was more than willing to use military force to achieve his ends; He was at heart a far more benevolent and honorable lord than any of those who followed him.

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ah, i see:  invective cheerfully withdrawn!  Thank you for taking the time to steer me right, sir!aliviado

Now, I agree with yer post….to be sure, I am not arguing for a more sciencey interpretation - I'm a pro-fantasy-interpretation fella…my grimdark has skaven in it, and spacedwarves, and lots of mythic conflict (and mythos spillover) and such…..I s'pose my argument is:  Yes, normal people in 40k matter; because EVERY faction in 40k is bad, no side has the market cornered on moral authority, and war is hell.  Remember the last line of the standard 40k prologue:   there is no peace among the stars, only carnage and slaughter and the laughter of thirsting gods (quoted from memory, sorry).  Every 40k book out there begins with that blurb (except the horus heresy books i suppose).  What does that tell us?  That in the grimdark future there is only war, and the ones benefitting from it are the Chaos gods.  Now, i'm not saying that peace is due to arrive in the grimdark anytime soon - heavens no!  But, sadly, that's the only solution that will work, seemingly.  Fighting evil begets evil; that's the trap the Imperium is stuck in, and it can't fight its way out.  (Though it's making a damned fine showing nonetheless.)

But having said all that, the 'reality' in the 40k milieu is that the High Lords don't give a whiff of a care about 'normal people' and never will.  The really interesting roleplaying stories will arise from that conflict, it seems to me.  Morally, and ultimately, yes - normal people matter (heck, their misery strengthens the Warp); but orders is orders, and orders say Purge and Cleanse….which creates more misery, strengthening Chaos further……the real grimdarkiness of 40k is that we humans are fighting the good fight, and fighting it as well as or better than could be expected…..but we're still losing, everybody's losing, because the powers that be don't give a **** about 'normal people', the very stuff from which Chaos grows stronger…….

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Zappiel said:

my real concern is that, nowadays, we don't batt an eyelash when we scream:  "DEATH TO THE MUTANT!!", because we 'know' that the Emprah and his bad boys are the good guys…….but that kinda thing is pretty much not cool…..the moral ambiguity has essentially left 40k, because we're allowed to do anything we like cause we're the good guys………….really?  Again, this 'Emprah hero worship' is clouding the waters……make no mistake, motivations aside:  the Emperor was a tyrant who enslaved his own species in order to achieve apotheosis.  The supposed 'next evolutionary step' of humanity, namely everyone evolving psychic powers, cannot happen so long as the imperium stands:  all psyker genetic material is weeded out of the gene pool by the Black Ships and fed to the Emprah.  The Emprah is stalling human evolution!  So that he can be a god!  Hubris indeed.

So ambiguity is a bad thing? It's got to be a dead certainty that everyone is evil and irredeemably so?

No thanks. I like ambiguity… I like shades of grey.

Nobody knows what the Emperor intended… because it was never completed. The modern Imperium is a pale reflection of the Imperium that was, created by imperfect beings who had no idea what it was (for good or ill) they were attempting to replicate. It is an edifice constructed upon lies so ancient that none remain who remember them being told. It is cultural inertia, a stagnant civilisation that can know no change because all that truly remains of its origins is a desperate will to survive a hostile universe.

The truth is, for all we have learned about the Emperor in recent materials, for all that has been revealed of Imperial Truth and the pre-Heresy Imperium… all it has given us is uncertainty… the knowledge that, the more me know, the less we can hold to be true. The Emperor's goals and motivations remain unknown, and even his methods are only known in a superficial way. His apotheosis is, as much as anything else, likely to be a hundred centuries of excruciating torment, an ageless soul bound within a mummified carcass that is not allowed to perish.

The evolution of humanity? Unbound psykers are a literal and undeniable threat to all around them - this has been a fact of the setting since before the addition of Chaos to 40k (it's in the original 40k rulebook - Chaos wasn't part of 40k until the Realms of Chaos books, which came later). Daemons, astral spectres, enslavers, psychneuien, astral hounds and other psychic predators exist only to prey on those whose souls are potent but whose wills are weak. Those who are fed to the Throne are those who - left unchecked - would lead to the annihilation of worlds. Those whose powers are sufficiently strong to be of practical use and who possess the will to use them effectively are allowed to thrive, under watch. Psykers existed unchecked and unconstrained for generations before the Imperium… it was called the Age of Strife, when human civilisation was scattered and isolated across the galaxy, left to the dominion of sorcerer-kings and warlock-tyrants and those in thrall to daemons.

Even then, the number of human beings who can manifest even the least of psychic abilities grows with every generation, so it's not like humanity is evolutionarily stagnant - quite the opposite.

At no point did I - or anyone else - claim that the Emperor was a hero or anything else so positive. But at the same time, I have no illusions that I know more than petty trivia about the Emperor.

Zappiel said:

The Ruinous Powers exist because the Old Ones created a bunch of 'super soldiers' whose minds tapped into the Warp dimension and stirred up the latent energies there.  Chaos is a side-effect of:  "we're the good guys and we can do whatever we want because we're the good guys" mentality.

Source? Save for fan speculation, we have exactly no idea where the Ruinous Powers came from, only that they originate from the fading millennia of the War in Heaven.

What we know… is that Chaos is entropy. Chaos is incessant change, for its own sake. Chaos is corrosive to the very fabric of existence. It may not be subject to the morals of mortals… but its amoral nature is nonetheless borne from being anathema to material existence.

Zappiel said:

Conrad Curze allowed himself to be executed on the Emprah's order in order to prove that he (curze) was right to do what he did, because the Emprah did the same thing……i.e. the Emprah is a tyrant whose only goal is power, who brooks NO interference with his power and NO rivals.  If we accept that the Emprah has foresight, then we must must assume he saw the Heresy…wanted the Heresy…to weed out those amongst his sons who would think to rival him…..he foresaw that he would be a god (just didn't realize the nature of that 'godliness'…), so he wasn't worried about any consequences….

So much of this is based on assumptions about things that are uncertain. Much of it appears to come from picking a single motivation and assuming that to be the sole and unwavering truth. Curze was mad, driven by dark visions and an upbringing that showed the absolute worst of humanity. On one level, yes, his motivation is vindication… on another, it's despair, for he loathed what his Legion had become (alone amongst all the Primarchs, Curze hated his sons).

Steve-O said:

And No1….you know i like you…..but i think you misinterpreted my statement:  "…Astartes are perfectly explainable."  In my worldview, the scientific method is perfectly able to explain anything (indeed, nothing can be found to elude rigorous scientific inquiry - it's the very nature of the universe itself).  I don't need to resort to hand-waving and hocus pocus to 'splain things.  I don't see 'science' and 'sorcery' as two distinct things:  indeed, i would submit that there is a definite methodology to 'sorcery' - a 'science,' if you will.  It seems to me that the emprah knew exactly how psyker powers worked, and why.  Just because we don't doesn't mean that we should invoke magic and gods to explain it…..to the emprah, it was all just knowledge, pure scientific knowledge.

Again, assumptions.

Sorcery taps into the Warp, and the Warp doesn't operate on any of the rules that define reality. There is certainly a method to it… but the Warp is a place of nightmares and emotions and ephemera, where nothing is constant and nothing is certain. The Warp is the formless void, the shapeless potential from which anything and everything is possible, but within which nothing is true or permanent.

The Astartes may be perfectly explainable, if you have all the information. But we don't, and can't - in-setting, it's information that only the Emperor possesses and which few mortal minds can adequately comprehend, and out-of-setting it's information that simply doesn't exist.

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okay, you need to step up your game, because you're not reading what i'm writing…..you start off claiming i'm against ambiguity…huh?!!  My WHOLE argument has been AGAINST the certainty of the Emprah bein' good, and FOR the ambiguity of the Emprah bein' not good……so, honestly, you lost me at your first line………

You demand a source for the war in heaven information?  Necron codex, i do believe, good sir (Not newcrons, mind you).  Some may also have been gleaned from Eldar/Craftworld codices.  All primary source material.  No novels, no stories.  No fan fiction, no fan speculation.  My mind is for canon, pure, beautiful, unadulterated canon.

Chaos is NOT entropy…can't teach an advanced physics course on these boards, but yer gonna hafta do yer own research on that one…..because, really, chaos is so opposite to what entropy is it ain't funny…..

(and while i agree that Chaos is corrosive to the Materium, do not forget that the Materium is also just as corrosive to Chaos….)

And regarding yer last point, you still do not understand what i'm saying…..i'm sure yer not being deliberately obtuse, my explanations are failing….you say things like "nothing is constant or certain"  without, it seems, realizing that one (of many) things that could be said with constant certainty is that 'nothing is constant or certain'…that's a very definite, testable hypothesis regarding the warp……thus, the warp is not unknowable….throwing up our hands and saying it can't be understood is, let's face it, anathema to the Imperial Truth; and the Imperial Truth is one very definite thing we know about the Emprah and his motivations…  You keep pointing at the edge of the map and saying 'there be dragons' and seeing nothing but blank space; i look and i see plenty.

Now, honestly, i'm not sure why i've drawn your fire……everything i've stated has a canonical source….i don't read the stories, i read the rulebooks - all the junk in my head (re. 40k at least) comes from the rulebooks, 25 years of rulebooks.  You seem to want to paint me as a monodominant, someone trying to impose my will on the 40k 'verse, when that is completely opposite to the truth:  i want to know the grimdark of 40k; i want to understand it; i do not want to add one jot or tittle to it, not one iota.  But i will sift and glean and research in my quest for the canonical 'truth' of 40k…..and the 'Truth', so far as i've been able to tell, is:  Yes, normal people matter, but everyone in 40k has forgotten it, and it's up to the players to bring some 'humanity' back to the grimdark, one normal person at a time.  Quite frankly, the canon seems to be pointing toward Cypher being the one who'll bring the Imperium to its knees in order to restore humanity to greatness.  (or, of course, he's the one to End it all….)

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Zappiel said:

okay, you need to step up your game, because you're not reading what i'm writing…..you start off claiming i'm against ambiguity…huh?!!  My WHOLE argument has been AGAINST the certainty of the Emprah bein' good, and FOR the ambiguity of the Emprah bein' not good……so, honestly, you lost me at your first line………

Except that the idea that the Emperor was unequivocally a "bad man" removes uncertainty, it doesn't add it. Making the Emperor's motives (and methods, to an extent) unknown makes things uncertain. If we know for sure that he was a xenocidal tyrant with no desire but apotheosis, then there is no uncertainty.

Good and Evil are both certainties, and ones that I find largely irrelevant when applied to 40k in general.

Zappiel said:

You demand a source for the war in heaven information?  Necron codex, i do believe, good sir (Not newcrons, mind you).  Some may also have been gleaned from Eldar/Craftworld codices.  All primary source material.  No novels, no stories.  No fan fiction, no fan speculation.  My mind is for canon, pure, beautiful, unadulterated canon.

The war in heaven material in the old Codex Necrons (and in every other source it has appeared in) has always been presented as being as much mythology as fact.

There is an unfortunate trend in community interpretations of supposed "canon" to take what is presented at face value and then to complain when that superficial interpretation is challenged. Those sources don't actually provided definitive answers (to be fair, virtually no source on 40k provides definitive answers), but people have come to assume that they do… which only causes problems.

Unknown said:

Chaos is NOT entropy…can't teach an advanced physics course on these boards, but yer gonna hafta do yer own research on that one…..because, really, chaos is so opposite to what entropy is it ain't funny…..

(and while i agree that Chaos is corrosive to the Materium, do not forget that the Materium is also just as corrosive to Chaos….)

Clearly you and I have very different ideas about what Chaos is (and what the Warp is by extension).

As I view it - as I have viewed it for pretty much the last decade of reading 40k material, to be precise - the Warp and Chaos (which are essentially synonymous in concept) are the fundamental un-substance from which existence was wrought.. it's the formless, endless mass of unrealised potential that universes are made of - the Chaos of ancient Greek mythology (rather than the more contemporary usage of Chaos as randomness or the antithesis of Order). All things tend back to this Primordium, for as it is without form, so form is undone in its presence - it is literally corrosive to reality because the laws of reality cease to govern what the Warp suffuses. Chaos is both a distorted reflection of and a metaphysical reaction to the presence of a material universe, but it is still of and integral to the Warp, attempting to sweep in and both suffuse and disseminate these little aberrant pockets of reality we call universes…

Unknown said:

And regarding yer last point, you still do not understand what i'm saying…..i'm sure yer not being deliberately obtuse, my explanations are failing….you say things like "nothing is constant or certain"  without, it seems, realizing that one (of many) things that could be said with constant certainty is that 'nothing is constant or certain'…that's a very definite, testable hypothesis regarding the warp……thus, the warp is not unknowable….throwing up our hands and saying it can't be understood is, let's face it, anathema to the Imperial Truth; and the Imperial Truth is one very definite thing we know about the Emprah and his motivations…  You keep pointing at the edge of the map and saying 'there be dragons' and seeing nothing but blank space; i look and i see plenty.

Oh where to begin…

How can you test something that is subject to perpetual fluctuation in reaction to the mere existence of conscious minds? Something that seems to act at times as if a sentient will acts upon it, yet at others seems to have no guiding force behind it? Things like thought and emotion are tangible within the Immaterium, and thus the mere existence of consciousness changes the Warp… and that's before you get to the intellects that dwell within it. The uncertainty of the Warp is difficult to define because it so often defies definition. No human being can look upon the Warp without going mad because it defies comprehension, and even those who are bred to see it can only see what their mind interprets rather than the absolute truth of the Warp. Scientific method won't work because you cannot be sure during any given experiment that an alien intellect is not screwing with your results (indeed, the downfall of so many sorcerers and scientists in 40k is because they thought they understood the Warp when all they really knew were lies told to entrap them).

Imperial Truth failed… and the Emperor knew it to be a lie to begin with, for it was taken as absolute truth that there were no daemons, no godlike entities… yet those things both exist and were known about by the Emperor long before the Imperium was founded. As with so much else about it, this facet of the history of the Imperium and the motivations of the Emperor are based upon falsehood. Reason and logic are comforting lies, reassuring falsehoods that (in-setting) lure people to their doom…

Unknown said:

Now, honestly, i'm not sure why i've drawn your fire……everything i've stated has a canonical source….i don't read the stories, i read the rulebooks - all the junk in my head (re. 40k at least) comes from the rulebooks, 25 years of rulebooks.

The rulebooks only tell part of the story, and one focussed upon the more military aspects of the setting. Beyond that… well, there is a difference between "canon" and "truth" with 40k… something that a lot of people have had difficulty grasping.

To paraphrase (or quote directly - I can't be entirely certain of the wording) a former head of Black Library: "everything is canon, nothing is true".

Unknown said:

You seem to want to paint me as a monodominant, someone trying to impose my will on the 40k 'verse, when that is completely opposite to the truth:  i want to know the grimdark of 40k; i want to understand it; i do not want to add one jot or tittle to it, not one iota.

And there is the flaw in your reasoning.

40k doesn't exist in stasis. It never has, and never will. It was never intended to be looked upon from afar without being touched or interpreted or regarded without personal bias. It is - almost by design - impossible to look upon 40k without imposing your own bias upon it. It's a mesh of plot hooks and mysteries and concepts and interlinking ideas built upon by hundreds, even thousands of writers (myself included, I'm pleased to say) and millions of fans over the course of a quarter of a century.

There is no central metaphor, no grand plan or overarching concept behind it all… it's a writhing, many-tendrilled mass that no two people view the same way. All anyone can see are the pieces… and it's up to the individual imagination to connect them together.

You're trying to find a truth where there is none, trying to distil 40k down into a mundane and essential core… and that in itself goes against the way the 40k setting has been built over the years.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

To paraphrase (or quote directly - I can't be entirely certain of the wording) a former head of Black Library: "everything is canon, nothing is true".
Almost. It was "everything and nothing is true".

Novel author Aaron Dembski-Bowden posted a copy of that article in this thread.

As much as I disagree with some of your opinions and preferences - I gotta hand it to you, you were right on the money on the question of 40k and "canon" throughout this IP's various media, long ago as we debated this. It just took me a very long time and more research to receive this epiphany as well. I can only hope that, in time, more and more fans will swing around as well. It certainly makes all the conflicts and contradictions easier to bear.

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aha, well there we have it….Games Workshop will never, ever say anything equivocal about anything, because they hafta keep their options open for future profits…..they hafta keep the universe 'open' because their modern crop of writers are too lazy to read the material that has come before and maintain consistency….far easier to make sheit up as you go than maintain any sense of continuity…..Mat Ward….Black Library…..the original Necron codex states quite clearly that there are four necron gods, they're bad, and they're back.  No mythological fantasizing there…..every player of necrons in the late 90's/early 2000's knew exactly what they were playing….then a bunch of hacks decided they wanted more 'feeling', more 'character', so they made Newcrons….somebody didn't quite like the feel of dwarfs in space, so no more squats….you cannot for one minute suggest that people are wrong for critisizing blatant, 180 degree changes to the established facts of the game and setting.  Your clear disdain for what people care about is….insightful.

What has to be understood is that gw has decided to put profits ahead of setting consistency…..all your hand-waving and mythologizing and ambiguity is just you covering for the fact that the company is a company doing what company's do…….those of us who've been here since the beginning know what's going on….why are you trying to be deceptive??  Why are you deliberately obscuring the issue? 

40k is total war; it's the end times; the galaxy is going to burn, soon.  For table top gaming purposes, this is fine, totally fine.  Everything happens in 999m40.  Fine and good.  But, in the rpg, a gm is going to find that, sooner or later, he has to advance the plot.  Something has to happen, some consequences have to be felt.  The wheels of the galaxy, in a continuing story, will roll on.  And, though you choose (wrongly) to ignore it, there indeed is a metaplot.  No, scratch that:  there WAS a metaplot; i concede that there no longer is one; but it was there in the beginning, and developed throughout the 90's and early 2000's.  Then the artists got squeezed out and the suits took over.  In this new, modern 40k, individual humans don't matter one tidbit - the focus is on carnage and slaughter and the newest biggest figure to add to yer army….in new 40k, it's all $$$ and sell the rubes the latest gewgaw.  In OLD 40k, original 40k, the 40k that sustained us for some 15 or 20 years, individual humans very much DO matter:  individual heroes are the only chance the grimdark galaxy has of righting itself before all is washed away in a tide of blood….Good and Evil irrelevant in 40k?!!  !!  Wow, you've got some interestingly wrong idears….

Your a subcontractor, sir, and yer trying to explain the Sistine Chapel while you're busy scraping away that old nasty Michelangelo scribblings and painting-in yer own stick figures……give us a break….

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was it indeed?  so no1 can attack posters relentlessly, totally derailing the thread, but we can't defend ourselves and try to keep things on topic…….i see……..very constructive, vent…….now, anybody with anything constructive care to address the question at the heart of this thread?

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No1 has been levelly defending and explaining his points,  with direct and clear responses to you which I cannot percieve as being insulting. You went back at him by telling him he's a hack. Great job.

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No, he's been levelly attacking what he perceives as my position because he (and you) fail to read what i post, latch on to one comment you find distasteful, and attack.  Out of my whole post you only read the last line…..great job…..

Now, if he's busy crying over the truth, that's his problem…..I've been trying to keep this thread on-track despite his constant harangues…..and now yers….and i've kept meself damned civil while doing it; but there's only so much i am willing to take, and Christmas is over………

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(You want crass, and unconcerned with politeness? I'm your man.

And here I was, going to delete all this, thinking it unecessary after the good job No1-H3r3 did. No really, I wrote this hours ago, and as I kept scrolling along I saw No1 explaining things better than I ever could, and assumed everything would be alright. And then I got to your next post…)

 

Zappiel said:

hmmmmmm….our notions of "the Divine" differ……..there is absolutely 0 % divinity in space marines……the Emprah (heresy alert!) is not a god….he's human, with psionic/'magic' powers; but he ain't no god. Sure, he was tougher than the four chaos 'gods'; but they ain't anything close to godly either. Hell, they're just castoff emotional wastage. He has no hint of omniscience nor omnipotence. I'm here to clear the bedazzlement from our eyes, so that we may clearly see our beloved space marines and their primarchs for what they really honestly are. None of this hero-worshipping, 'they are gods of war' sheit for me, thanx…..seems a bit too fanboyish, no? Now, don't get me wrong: space marines (and, well, war) is my Dark Angel; I love this ****….but let's not sugarcoat it; let's call it for what it is.

laughingsistersofbattle.jpg

Someone doesn't know the story of the Shaman, does he? Thousands of humanity's best and brightest psykers, taking part in one huge suicide-ritual-pact, their conciousness and souls combing to create the greatest psyker ever known to humanity of all the galaxy (there's a reason why the Chaos Gods fear Him specifically, so much they bend their every effort to killing him, and not say the Old Ones). Much more than some psyker who hit the all-time high in the genetic lottery and fluked his way in to becoming the most powerful living being to ever walk the galaxy.

You can't demand that everyone ignore the cosmology of the 40K universe in favour of our own current system of beliefs and understanding of the universe. The Chaos Gods may be just "castoff emotional wastage" to you, but unfortunately the reality is that the Warp is tied closely to the natural world, what happens in one can have an effect on the other, usually the reaction being with the warp, but not always. They are eons old, and and have grown so powerful that they are beyond ordinary human sentience in to something else entirely, and will not be ignored just because you don't like it. God, in the judeo-christian sense not only doesn't exist in 40K, and cannot possibly exist, except as some kind of gestalt Warp entity, ala the Ruinous Powers. Likewise the D&D Gods. They're not a 'person' sitting around with a portfolio of stuff that falls under their purvue, collecting up their woshippers and taking them to their private Plane of the multiverse as they die. And you can't tell us that THAT is what a God is, just because you're not satisfied with how things work in within the actual universe of 40K.

Remember the part when you were talking about how you believe science can explain everything, even in 40K? You're right, but unfortunately sometimes the answer Science is going to give you (in 40K) is, "The Warp Did It".

 

 

Zappiel said:

As for the Emprah being godly, well…….to borrow an example from star trek (gasp! great Scott, don't go there!), let us look at Q: Q has more power in the snap of his fingers than the Emprah could ever dream of…..and there is no way in hell any of us would consider Q to be a god - massively, sickeningly powerful, yes; but no god. Again, I don't deny that, in universe, Imperial citizens can, do, and must worship him as god; I'm merely stating that WE shouldn't. We have the perspective and objectivity to see things in 40k for how they 'really' would be; we can imagine ourselves there, and can see it through our own eyes. Our characters can worship the Emprah and revere the Astartes; but we are objective, we (more or less) know what's going on.[And just to clear up a couple points: the Immortal Emperor of Mankind was born 9000 years before Christ, in ancient Anatoly (yes, Turkey), the birthplace of human civilization as we currently understand it. Immortality does not equate with godliness (elsewise, every vampire would be a god, and what a tiresome pantheon that would be…). And I would argue that His ability to heal machinery is merely Him telling the Star Dragon/'Deus in Machina' to do it (which is, of course, a tremendously powerful thing to do, too….)]

Ironic example in Star Trek. Ironic in that, and most people really don't realise it, is that Star Trek is like Star Wars, that despite the popularity it holds it is actually one of the worst detailed science-fiction/fantasy settings there is. Nothing about the actual NATURE of Q or the Q Continuum is ever explained. We don't know what their powers are based on, where they stem from, what powers them. When it comes to 40K, we know how Psykers work. They're a genetic abnormality that allows them to tap in to the limitless energies of the warp, and use that energy to produce effects within the real universe that could loosely be described as "supernatural" in nature, because the Warp and things sourced from it do not obey the laws of the natural universe. Their powers are inherently limited by their own capabilities, and even moreso by the mercurial and dangerous aspects of the power their harnessing, with the added danger that there are things living in that alternate dimension that want to eat their soul. A Psyker might snap his fingers and make solid objects appear out of nowhere, but we know the processes behind that. Trying to compare them to Q, who snaps his fingers and makes things appear, when we know absolutely nothing about his powers, is a lazy comparison. As lazy as the people writing the background for the Q. At least Stargate gave everyone a loose explanation on how Ascended beings and their powers worked, how they got there in the first place, etc., more than "because they can".

Now, specifically on the subject of whether Q is a God. Actually, yes he is. He is omniscient and omnipotent, in every judeo-christian sense of the word, he could very well be THE God, not just A God. Because you appear to be forgetting that Gods aren't all kindness and nobility. No, some Gods are like Kali, they have six arms so they can have a variety of ways to kill you with. Some Gods just to drink and party a lot, you'd find those in the Norse Pantheon. Even ol' Yahweh himself tended to get especially grouchy in the old days, what with killing first born and turning people in to pillars of salt.

 

 

Zappiel said:

aha, well there we have it….Games Workshop will never, ever say anything equivocal about anything, because they hafta keep their options open for future profits…..they hafta keep the universe 'open' because their modern crop of writers are too lazy to read the material that has come before and maintain consistency….far easier to make sheit up as you go than maintain any sense of continuity…..Mat Ward….Black Library…..the original Necron codex states quite clearly that there are four necron gods, they're bad, and they're back. No mythological fantasizing there…..every player of necrons in the late 90's/early 2000's knew exactly what they were playing….then a bunch of hacks decided they wanted more 'feeling', more 'character', so they made Newcrons….somebody didn't quite like the feel of dwarfs in space, so no more squats….you cannot for one minute suggest that people are wrong for critisizing blatant, 180 degree changes to the established facts of the game and setting. Your clear disdain for what people care about is….insightful.

 

So, instead of accepting that 40K fans actually like things the way they are, with no secret ur-truth to rule them all, you simply jump to accusing everyone involved with the company of being greedy shills. Real classy there.

And we also get to see that you're an angry Necron fanboy too. It must really steam you that the majority of 40K gamers like the Newcrons too. Even though so many people wanted desperately to hate them, for no other reason than Matt Ward was involved.

guest469 said:

I liked it back when there was more mystery and ambiguity about the nature of the Emperor and his supposed divinity. Miracles were less blatant, atheists and separatists actually had a foot to stand on, and there was always a possibility that the Chaos worshippers are right all along.

Now days everybody knows the Imperium are the good guystm even when they are screaming for hatred, genocide and ignorance. Nobody even bats an eyelid anymore. You can have Inquisitor Hitler authorizing the exterminatus of planet Auschwitz to protect the purity of the human race from xeno infiltration, and everyone is HOO HAH IMPERIUM **** YEAH!

 

But hey, at least they aren't Tau.

You'll find that, for the most part, noone really needed to be told that the Imperium are the good guys, no matter how far back in the fluff that you go. The thought that Chaos could actually be the good guys, when they go around toturing and murdering people, in ways more awful than the Dark Eldar, is ludicrous. Most of the Traitor Legionaires can't even make the claim that they're doing it as a part of their war against the Imperium anymore. For many, it's about fun, or BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!, or because they need to do some sorcerous experiment.

And your precious Tau, as much as I'm sure you hate to admit it, may politely ask if you'd like to be in their Empire.. before they invade you, when you say No. But after they've conquered your world in a brutal assault, they take you and anyone else who continues to resist (cause they gave you the chance to have cake and shiny toys already, so none of that for you now) and stick them in reeducation camps. Or sterilize them and use them as forced labour. Brainwash your leaders to get you to follow the party line.

And they keep pushing scientific advancement and research, not afraid of exploring new frontiers of science. Except that one of the reasons the Imperium is stagnant is because they've learned the hard way, there's some things it's better not to study. Keep networking AI's together to make them more and more intelligent and useful to the Greater Good, because that's not a good way to have a repeat of the Iron Men revolt (if you think the Tau are somehow more advanced than the Dark Age of Technology, you're kidding yourself).

But hey, at least they aren't the Imperium.

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Blood Pact said:

So, instead of accepting that 40K fans actually like things the way they are, with no secret ur-truth to rule them all, you simply jump to accusing everyone involved with the company of being greedy shills. Real classy there.

And we also get to see that you're an angry Necron fanboy too. It must really steam you that the majority of 40K gamers like the Newcrons too. Even though so many people wanted desperately to hate them, for no other reason than Matt Ward was involved.

One thing I feel I have to add is that I can understand his emotional position, as much as I would have conveyed it a little more … diplomatic. I think many, if not most fans of 40k would appreciate greater consistency and continuity throughout the franchise. The only reason that we do not see more criticism on the company's current policies is that most fans are not even aware of how it works. Look around - all those fluff discussions we see throughout several online communities? The vast majority of them is a simple waste of time, simply because the participants all operate on material that is not even intended to tie into each other, with the end result being that everybody thinks that he or she has "got it right", yet being faced with the frustration that whatever question is being discussed cannot be answered, as contradictions remain unresolved. It boils down to the various communities basically building some sort of local consensus, where the personal preference of the most active posters is presented as fact that everyone else should adopt. This forum is no different, as I believe you remember from our own debates.

But regardless of my own opinion regarding it, this lack of consistency between the different products is not actually something that the company could be faulted for. Where it does deserve criticism, however, is the lack of clarification on the subject. It really should be made more obvious, so that fans do not grow up with false expectations regarding the stability of the setting or the information value of individual sources.

Due to the situation at hand, I think it is understandable that those of us who do experience this "epiphany", at least those of us who used to regard 40k as a singular world, where every licensed product would add something to the greater whole, get frustrated, even angry at essentially having been misled (though it was just other fans that did the misleading, rather than GW themselves) … before they would somehow come to terms with the situation. That's how it happened to me, and that's how Aaron Dembski-Bowden described it for himself. I don't know if it was different with you, but I think that, given time, Zappiel may adapt as well. He just needs to re-order his perception now, and realise the disadvantages as well as the advantages that GW's current stance offers him.

For example that he may now simply choose to ignore the bit about Tau forced sterilisation from the Dawn of War games which you mentioned in your post. ;)

I still think a "common ground" for all of us to operate on (greater than just the basics about the Emperor being dead, Marines all being male, etc) would be better in this age and time where 40k is not just limited to a local bunch of gamers anymore, but now that the cat is outta the bag, we may as well pick and choose just like the guys who write the stuff we buy do it.

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Good on you, Lynata!  Way to spur the conversation forward (though we're still not back onto topic…..)  :)

But, sadly, Blood Pact is one of those who don't get it and can't read my posts with a neutral attitude………..i know all about the shamans, i'm not a necron fanboy, and, yeah, pretty much everything else you said was also completely wrong……sorry……read my posts again with less rage and hate in yer eyes… what you fail to understand is:  i don't have my own personal opinion re 40k - i have the information from the source material…this isn't my personal interpretation, this is the information that's out there.

If we're gonna talk 'fluff', then we need to differentiate between the Forge World products (which are not primary canon) and the TT rulebooks (which ARE primary canon)…..there is a flow to the background info in 40k, starting with Rogue Trader, then 2nd ed., 3rd ed., and then the rest of the editions thru the 2000's…..things got very solidified in 3rd edition; mebe 3rd and 4th editions.  Not a lot of fluff changes in the rulebooks since then, really.  And, let's be honest, all the fluff changes are the result of a company not wanting to be limited by what it's printed in the past - perfectly understandable from a profits perspective (and not a secret ur-truth held by greedy shills…..wow, bloodpact, yer good).  The company can and will change anything to suit its whims and maximize its profits…….

Artistically, from the standpoint of a consistent vision of 40k, this just is not on, however.

If yer havin' trouble understanding that concept, skip on to another thread.

Hey, if yer happy having everything but the kitchen sink thrown at you in the vain attempt to take yer money, then fine….but if you want a consistent vision, you gotta dig, and dig long and deep.  But it's out there…it CAN be found…there IS a consistent 40k vision…….

But, we must be sure to not cloud the issue with silly, childish notions of godhood and heroics - our *characters* can hold such notions, but we as players and gamemasters can not and must not.  This is not an emotional position; pure logic, baby.

This leads back to the question:  do normal people matter in 40k?  From our perspective as players and gamemaster:  absolutely yes!  Stories involving overcoming impossible odds, saving the day, rescuing the distressed are the meat 'n potatoes of compelling 40k tales.  From the perspective of an Imperial High Lord:  absolutely not!  No single human life could ever possibly be measured against species survival (except, of course, for the high lord's own personal human life….). 

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Normal humans do matter... to some chapters. There are about a thousand chapters maybe more but there are those who stand out. Here are some. When it comes to fact of other normal people, the higher you get the less you care. If you know anymore please list them, or edit mine.

 

We respect normal people(Slightly).

Salamanders: They have a history of kindness and compassion to the normal majority of humans. Even though their faces are scary enough to make a man have nightmares especially when they're angry, they try to still to show kindness. They are the eptimome of bravery and will fight to the last to defend refugees from orkish raidas'. Many authors write that Salamanders when at home live in their home villages as chiefs. They govern their own village and visit mum and dad (mindblow). Wonder how it feels to be them. The Salamanders are good guys, the hero that would rather help then fight. They still fight a lot.

 

Ultramarines: Not so much as the Salamanders but the Ultramarines are patient and understanding of humans. They don't throw their superiority around and will listen instead of barging in and saving the day. The Ultramarines are famous for making an empire in an empire, Ultramar. The happiest place in the galaxy(not including the sad day when Hive Fleet Behamoth came. They weren't so happy then). This were every civilian life matters, thats what they think but it is more 'livable' than most of the rest of the Imperium. However the Ultramarines aren't as close to people than the Salamanders.

 

Word Bearers: I know they're Chaos loving bastards but they have to be on here. When they were Emperor loving bastards they had a slow conquest rate. Not because they're second rate but because they stay on the planet and ensure a succesful world. For the Emperor of course. They made a happy trail of planets all praising the Emperors name. Monarchia was one but not for long. Lorgar was the most important part of this. He would have been happier as a governer or a priest, just not a warrior.

 

We do not respect normal people(hate them actually)

Iron hands: Humans are weak and lack hatred. Sure most don't have enough badass cybernetics. Iron Hands don't as much as hate humans but they find them weak and limited by their flesh. Even techmarines aren't fully exempt. Iron Hands are more prone to ignoring people as they see them unworthy of attention. Some might even sneer at the armoury serf(bad idea).

 

Night Lords: Terror is the only way forwards! I don't want to say anything bad at them cause they are my favourite Chaos chapter\warband. However they do not act kindly to normal people. Gas, terror, terrorism, bombings and you get the idea.

 

Here are only some examples. Please write more.

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Well, the Marines Malevolent are an obvious candidate for the "hate" section.  :lol:

 

"I fully believe that the Marines Malevolent hold Imperial citizens in contempt and perceive themselves to be self-evidently superior to their fellow man. While biologically this may indeed be the case, I feel it is a worrying psychological trait that has not only brought about the deaths of nearly four thousand refugees and members of the Adeptus Ministorum, but shows a worryingly egotistical streak in the command structure of the Marines Malevolent."
- Colonel Destrier Celestine, Armageddon Command Guard
 
Though often it is also a matter of interpretation, especially as every so often some sources offer conflicting portrayals. In case of the Salamanders, for example, the short story "Know Thine Enemy" from GW designer Gav Thorpe almost had a Salamander Marine punch a Guardsman's head off for daring to suggest that the IG platoon could take over watch duty in order to allow the Astartes to rest after their long march to the rendezvous point.
And then there is the ambiguous GW fluff on the Salamanders' role in society, where it states that they do not only live with the ordinary Humans, but actually assume leadership positions in their communities. So, are they truly benevolent and beloved elders, or cruel lords commanding absolute fealty from their inferior subjects? The Index Astartes mentions how this leadership role, this position of absolute authority over the Human population of Nocturne, is "as craved as much as the chance to become a legendary warrior for the Emperor" by young aspirants...
 
Make of that what you will, but personally I find that the fandom may have focused on the benevolent depiction of the Salamanders a little too much (to the point that much of it is hearsay, merely propagated because everybody else says so), so much so that many are not even aware of the alternative possibility. ;)
 
Ultimately, of course, the decision rests with us as the readers. :)
Edited by Lynata
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Ultimately, of course, the decision rests with us as the readers. Lynata said this.

 

Very much agreed. I wonder about the Space Wolfs though. They get a 5+ bonus to fellowship in DW but I know cases when they can be 'cough' a bit cruel. They were made as the Emperors excecutioners(Horus Heresy fluff). So would they be cruel or kind or even both? They are the most celebrating of Space Marines but just like the Nords they represent(obvious) they are merciless killers. Please help me here.

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Please help me here.

 

This is a tricky one. The Space Wolves in particular seem to have gone through a lot of subtly different interpretations all depending on who writes about them. In the words of another player, "they can't decide whether they want to be Space Vikings, Werewolves, Loyalist World Eaters, Mary Sues, Wolverine, Monsters, Primitive Pagans, Disciplined, Feral, Serious, Humorous, Intelligent, Bestial, Super Soldiers or an awful amalgamation of all of these often contradictory things."

 

I'd say go for which of these terms you like the most - personally, my favoured version is Space Viking Super Soldiers with just a hint of Werewolves, and for their behaviour in and out of battle, as well as their reputation, I'm looking at the real world viking cliché which, imho, was the original inspiration.

 

And even the Horus Heresy novels are just one of many possible interpretations of 40k (and quite over the top compared to the Index Astartes' version of events).

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Thanks Lynata! :)

 

Now you've mentioned it my favourite version of Space Wolves are the humorous band of brothers who are utterly devoted to each other but still have the friendly rivalry and not so friendly competitions. They will fight to the death(or till they sleep on red snow). I also like the interpretation in the codex. It says in there that some Space Wolves splash mead on their favoured tanks to thank them! About whever they care for the majority it also says in the codex(Space Wolfs collecter) that after the first war of Armagedon the Inquisition did massive purges. They killed many soldiers and civilians to keep the war secret. Logan Grimnir when hearing this flew into a vengeful rage, angry at the callous treatment of his fellow in arms even if they were normal humans. He threatened violence but thanks to the soothing words of Ulrik the Slayer a civil war was averted. This might sound disagreeable to some but I like it, because it shows how the Space Wolves respect all warriors no matter if you're a lowly guardsman. The scenario did ensure one thing, Logan's hate of the Administratum.

 

How about that to think about. I went a bit of topic there but I am interested in the relations of humans and Space Marines. I also love making up quotes and things. See how you like it.

 

They think they are superior but in the end they are human. They have flaws as well as we do, they can feel anger and serenity, joy and sadness. How I laugh at their traitorous kin. They thought they were different. How wrong they are. Some marines have a similair notion. But without us they would not exist. Even the Almighty Emperor, may his light cleanse my soul, is human. Yes a powerful, godlike one but still human. In the end it is because we are human not because we have weapons, armies and generals that make the galaxy fear us! No, the fact that we are human keeps the darkness at bay. The Emperor protects.                                                    Last words of Inquisitor Kallias after the Battle of Octavian. Executed for Treason and Heresy.

Edited by Misha

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