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HappyDaze

Do moderates have a place in Chaos?

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Batman doesn't try to terrify everyone in Gotham. He only aimed for the criminals. If he did try to terrify the entire city, he wouldn't even be an antihero vigilante, he'd just be a typical supervillain.

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Well, yes in some ways they are like Batman. And they are the most moderate in Chaos because they generally frown upon corruption and deity worship, it's tolerated but not preferred. Right there is moderation. They are evil, but they aren't: BURN THE GALAXY BECAUSE THE VOICES IN MY HEAD SAID SO! Like many of the extremists you mentioned. They are more: Burn the galaxy because it's as good a plan as any.

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Your view of moderation doesn't really match with mine. I would rather see those that don't much care for the Chaos Powers not doing the exact same things that the radicals do for no reason other than 'why not?'. I mean modration of actions as much as moderation of motivation.

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As example of what I consider moderates:

I have a loose band of Chaos Space Marines that call themselves the War Hounds. They were started by members of the World Eaters that overcame the bloodlust of Khorne and their Butcher's Nails. They are long since gone with most members of the War Hounds coming from renegade members of Loyalist Chapters.

The War Hounds are against serving any of the Chaos Gods, seeing the example of what happened to the on original War Hounds/World Eaters as the fate of those that walk that path. They further avoid hierarchy and avoid Champions (most of their ranks would be considered Forsaken).

The War Hounds operate protection rackets among several worlds of the Screaming Vortex. Between this and mercenary contracts, they make a fair living in small bands. The one constant among them is loyalty - both to their fellow War Hounds and to those they protect (as long as the protection money comes in).

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Terraneaux said:

In 40k, much of the misery its inhabitants experience is of their own devising.  It's probable that this is true simply because so many believe it to be true.  All that's stopping the Chaos Gods from being the Beneficent Powers as opposed to ruinous is the belief and id of mortals.

Not really in  keeping with 40K's Pop Middle Ages in Space theme. The Warp is Hell and the four gods are the Devil. They tempt you with what seems innocent, but really leads only to damnation. Salvation lies in unthinking faith.

(Note I realize this is not how the Middle Ages or the Medieval Church actually were, but as they are popularly imagined. Which is the background of 40K.)

 

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bogi_khaosa said:

Not really in  keeping with 40K's Pop Middle Ages in Space theme. The Warp is Hell and the four gods are the Devil. They tempt you with what seems innocent, but really leads only to damnation. Salvation lies in unthinking faith.

(Note I realize this is not how the Middle Ages or the Medieval Church actually were, but as they are popularly imagined. Which is the background of 40K.

 

The warp has consistently been depicted as being colored by the psyches of mortals.  That's why the four chaos gods are all created from the actions and beliefs of mortals.  But it's a positive feedback loop: the warp is dicks because people are dicks, and the warp in turn convinces people to be more dicks, which influences the warp to be more dicks… and so on.  

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Terraneaux said:

 

The warp has consistently been depicted as being colored by the psyches of mortals.  That's why the four chaos gods are all created from the actions and beliefs of mortals.  But it's a positive feedback loop: the warp is dicks because people are dicks, and the warp in turn convinces people to be more dicks, which influences the warp to be more dicks… and so on.  

Not to get into a theological debate about a fictional universe, but I think the idea, in keeping with the ultrapuritan grimdarkness, is that ALL emotions are manifestations of dickness, some less than others. For instance, Nurgle IS the god of Love. The God of Love job is taken in 40K. He is the true nature of love. or better put, love in its maximum form. When you love, you feed Nurgle, or are manifesting Nurgle, or a little of both.

 

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bogi_khaosa said:

Terraneaux said:

 

 

The warp has consistently been depicted as being colored by the psyches of mortals.  That's why the four chaos gods are all created from the actions and beliefs of mortals.  But it's a positive feedback loop: the warp is dicks because people are dicks, and the warp in turn convinces people to be more dicks, which influences the warp to be more dicks… and so on.  

 

 

Not to get into a theological debate about a fictional universe, but I think the idea, in keeping with the ultrapuritan grimdarkness, is that ALL emotions are manifestations of dickness, some less than others. For instance, Nurgle IS the god of Love. The God of Love job is taken in 40K. He is the true nature of love. or better put, love in its maximum form. When you love, you feed Nurgle, or are manifesting Nurgle, or a little of both.

 

Nurgle is familial/platonic love, while Slaanesh is romantic love. If Nurgle is your jolly old grandpa who wants you to sit in his lap so he can tell you a story, Slaanesh is your hot girlfriend who wants to try that thing you've always wanted to do with her. You love them both, but in very different ways.

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From an imperial standpoint, that bears out. The warp is hell and everything but the emperor is the devil. But to those who have thrown off the shackles of ignorance….

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bogi_khaosa said:

Not to get into a theological debate about a fictional universe, but I think the idea, in keeping with the ultrapuritan grimdarkness, is that ALL emotions are manifestations of dickness, some less than others. For instance, Nurgle IS the god of Love. The God of Love job is taken in 40K. He is the true nature of love. or better put, love in its maximum form. When you love, you feed Nurgle, or are manifesting Nurgle, or a little of both

 

Members of the Imperium are plenty emotional - their fervor for their god and their hatred of their enemies springs to mind.  All of this isn't necessarily self-defeating; because the Imperium isn't very fond of positive emotion either, being a stiflingly oppressive totalitarian government, it's likely to proscribe any given emotion as being an unacceptable expression of one's humanity.  

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Might be a little late for me to chime in, but I plan to do exactly this if I ever find enough people to play )-: . If it's what you want, and what you're players/GM wants, go for it! The 40K team made these books fully aware that people would have different interpretations of there work, and that people would add variations, spins, and house rules (hence why there's a section ON THIS VERY FORUM for that sort of thing). In short, if you think it's fun, then do it!

 

P.S., Might want to try Bright Hammer, it has your back in the "not cartoon villain" chaos follower department. Heck, many followers of the Gods of Chaos (or, as they are known here, the Lords of Order) are ALLIES of the Imperium!  http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Setting:Brighthammer_40,000/Lords_of_Order

Edited by InquistiorCalinx

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Subtle, seemingly sane and intelligent chaos space marines seem several orders of magnitude more dangerous to me than those who embrace corruption. Treacheries of the Space Marines anthology has a short story "one of us", where a small warband of alpha legionnaires with no ships, vast resources or blessings from the gods but relying on silver tongues, sharp wits and millenia of experience as professional strategists managed to put entire sector to its knees, form a capable, solid cultist military force, spread influence over all branches of local imperial civil and military power and finally get their faithful operative in the seat of Lord Inquisitor.

Yep, I also like to roleplay badass champion of ruinous powers with trophy racks and lust for slaughter. But when I play it smart I really enjoy black crusade.

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And this is where the setting / game and mechanics truly shine.

 

The stereotypical Durrrr, kill maim, Duuurrrr! types can be fun for one-shot scenarios.

But for campaigns I prefer the mastermind / arch villain kind - so too does my players, thankfully. :)

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There's a lot of everything in 40K.  It's a **** big galaxy with a ****-ton of different cultures and mentalities.  As such, almost anything you can think of, can exist.

 

As to the question of the thread - yes, moderates can exist in chaos/BC.  I tend to see people who turned to chaos for "freedom" as the classic moderates of chaos.  Similarly, anyone that's become disillusioned with the Imperium, or any of its major adepta, and departed from that society could easily be an example of someone poking around with chaos followers and be termed a moderate.

 

For me, the best example of a moderate in a BC game would be the Heretek.  That character is often not a follower of chaos at all, but a heretic by reason of his or her beliefs and philosophies... not because they worship any or all chaos gods.

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Dark mechanicus, while arguably being the only humans deliberately and successfully innovating science and technology insted of slowly forgetting and ritualising it, are not nesseserily moderate. Most of them are part evil mad scientist part nazi "doctor" with a bit of daemonic rituals thrown to the mix. Someone who doesn't mind using a sentinent, malevolent demonic entity as a software for ship-borne high-yield orbit to surface target acquisition arrays powered by casual human sacrifices is not moderate in my book.

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Dark mechanicus, while arguably being the only humans deliberately and successfully innovating science and technology insted of slowly forgetting and ritualising it, are not nesseserily moderate. Most of them are part evil mad scientist part nazi "doctor" with a bit of daemonic rituals thrown to the mix. Someone who doesn't mind using a sentinent, malevolent demonic entity as a software for ship-borne high-yield orbit to surface target acquisition arrays powered by casual human sacrifices is not moderate in my book.

 

Prude!

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The Chaos Gods are themselves extremists, thus many individuals end up falling to extreme ends of the scale due to all the temptations. It is pretty much an aspect of the fluff that more you give in and lose yourself to a God, the more empowered you become. Look at the Daemon Primarchs. All of them who champion a specific patron pretty much entirely embody that God's views. Angron is essentially nothing more than mindless slaughter incarnate, for example.

 

So it's possible to be a moderate in the World of Chaos, but you will never benefit from the powers of the Gods as much as those who throw off all inhibitions and give themselves utterly to them. 

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There's a quote in the core rulebook (somewhere) which reads along the lines of

"We fight for Chaos that we might live for ourselves"

 

Crucially, it's attribited to a Captain Benoit of the 'Free Systems Alliance'.

 

That doesn't strike me as someone who's "Rargh! Blood! Skulls! Tentacles!" but someone who's taken one look at the Imperium from the outside and (quite understandably) said they want nothing whatsoever to do with the Xenophobic, Genocidal, Militant-Religious, Oppressive Dictatorial Nightmare of an empire.

 

If people want to play Black Crusade as the good guys (ish), a nice setting is a region of space with an Imperial Crusade thundering through it; burning anyone with a native religion that can't be twisted into the Ministorum's neat little framework, annexing every world it can lay its hands on and strip-mining every resource to feed its war engine, devastating entire worlds if its convenient....the 'heretics' need to make alliances and form some sort of power base capable of opposing the Imperium, including recruiting Chaos Marine mercenaries, learning to use the powers of the warp, persuading independent worlds to throw their armies and fleets into battle now, rather than saving them for its own defence....

 

In fact, you can play a pretty good Black Crusade campaign by more-or-less following the plot of Star Wars with the Imperium cast as the Evil Galactic Empire, Vader as an Inquisitor, an Imperial Battleship as the Death Star(s), and the rebels as independent worlds being overrun by a crusade.

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I think it's important to note that the setting of 40k, as written, seems to have no real good guys.  There should be loads of moral ambiguity, but there's no reason you can't say 'The Imperium is a massive, corrupt, soul-crushingly evil government, I support Chaos because while it's pretty ****** up there's at least the chance of self-actualization.'

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There's a quote in the core rulebook (somewhere) which reads along the lines of

"We fight for Chaos that we might live for ourselves"

I think it's "We live for Chaos so that we might die for ourselves." which makes him sound a little more zealous.

 

 

Dark mechanicus, while arguably being the only humans deliberately and successfully innovating science and technology insted of slowly forgetting and ritualising it, are not nesseserily moderate. Most of them are part evil mad scientist part nazi "doctor" with a bit of daemonic rituals thrown to the mix. Someone who doesn't mind using a sentinent, malevolent demonic entity as a software for ship-borne high-yield orbit to surface target acquisition arrays powered by casual human sacrifices is not moderate in my book.

Not that you're not entitled to your opinion, but in *my* view, gluing metal together and throwing daemons at it until it works doesn't seem very innovative. Usually, my hereteks are of the same opinion, which I suppose makes them pretty moderate.

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40K is Pop Middle Ages in Space, where Chaos is the Devil. That's where these archetypes come from -- medieval representations of the Devil and Hell. Chaos worshipers are witches and Satan worshippers, as depicted in the Middle Ages (and even  more so later, during the witch hunts and, um, Inquisition -- witches actually weren't widely believed in until the Renaissance).

 

Moreover, 40K, if you haven't noticed, is puritanical in its ethics.

 

"Chaos moderates" violates the theme and the theology underlying it. If you sign away your soul, you get sucked further and further down. You are damned.

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It's also Pop Dystopia, though, owing a lot to the kind of depressing science fiction thought that creates things like Judge Dredd.  Or 1984, honestly, and in the latter's case especially the idea that so much of what 'the establishment' says is true is propaganda is part and parcel of the theme.

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And if you mention influences on warhammer chaos is among else fantasy vikings, less so compared to fantasy warhammer but obvious nonetheless.

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I'd say yes, and the BC core rulebook reflects this in fluff if not neccessarily in rules. Number one: Most of the people in 40k are humans, as in "normal" humans. They're used to VERY different lives then us, but they're still human. 

Most of the people you hear about are not normal. Space Marines seem so changed they're not really subject to normal human reactions and interractions and the fluff makes it clear that when they fall they fall HARD. But regular humans? Look at Only War's human enemy, the dominate. They're normal human beings and the book specifically states they are to be portrayed alot "softer" then the imperial guard because they're not raving fanatics who shoots anyone for being legitimately afraid of charging a machine gun.

 

Falling into service of the chaos gods and just throwing yourself all in with them are two different things. A warrior can have a strong moral code, such as  not killing non-combatants but he's still in service of khorne. Willingly or not. Tzeetch might give his boon to a scheming imperial governor wishing to seceed because the tithes are sucking the life out of his planet, but that doesn't make him radical in the "propthletizing damnation" kind, only the political kind. Which is still heresy because in the imperium religion is law and the god emperor the head of state.

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