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View Full Version : Is there a limit to how powerful a being can be in the material universe of 40k?



Captain Stern
21-09-2007, 22:02
Is there a limit to how powerful a being can be in the material universe of 40k?

Savant
21-09-2007, 22:04
Without any aid from the warp, you mean?

If there is, the C'tan are it. They have no connection to the warp, and even the tabletop versions of them (which are nerfed from their fluff incarnations the same as Space Marines, and only represent fragments of the C'tan anyway) are rock hard.

Progena
21-09-2007, 22:05
It's the limit of how much Warp-Essence you can stuff into a Chaos Marine before he becomes a Spawn.

Terrordar
21-09-2007, 22:09
The Tyranids are also a good example of this. Remember some of the monster Nids?

Captain Stern
21-09-2007, 22:18
I'm not limiting this to warp entities.

There's stuff in the background that leads me to think there might be a power plateaux in terms of what you can do offensively in the short term.

For example:

Nightbringer manifesting himself in such a way that he fought an avatar of Khaine on a battlefield rather than attacking the Eldar forces from orbit.

The Emperor's body burning out because his final assault upon Horus was too powerful (super nova powered) while he was able to survive longer term feats requiring more power like the astronomican.

Avatars of Khaine who's power roughly equal the most powerful of daemons. Why didn't he split into less Avatars each holding more power?

DantesInferno
21-09-2007, 22:24
It depends on what sort of power you mean. Do you mean "able to produce force/energy", or are we including the ability to influence events through others?

It also depends on what you mean by a "being" in the material universe. I was wondering aloud in another thread whether you could count the Hive Mind as a material consciousness - if you accept that, it may well be the most powerful physical being around.

Captain Stern
21-09-2007, 22:26
The most powerful displays of power in the MATERIAL universe of 40k that I can think of:

The Emperor's deathbow to Horus.

Abaddon destroying a star with the Blackstones.

The C'tan eating stars.

In the material universe of 40k nothing's ever exceeded those examples (that I can think of at least). In the immaterium on the other hand star eating, star moulding, star powered attacks e.t.c. aren't all that impressive. Why is this?

Captain Stern
21-09-2007, 22:27
It depends on what sort of power you mean. Do you mean "able to produce force/energy", or are we including the ability to influence events through others?
.

The former, and at short notice.

Savant
21-09-2007, 22:38
Yup, of course it's the Tyranids. Stoopid me. Technically they all act with one mind - they're like the cells in a much bigger body. A body that strecthes across galaxies.

As for sheer force in a concentrated space? Wasn't there an extract from a BL novel in the (old now, I guess) Chaos codex about Abaddon flying a planet killer ship? I suppose that would be it - I doubt Horus, The Emperor and a C'tan fragment combined could survive a direct blast from that thing. It was a massive gun the size of a dreadnought!

Probably an old star-eating C'tan could survive. And a hive fleet would too (admittedly with a large planet shaped hole in it afterward).

Hellbore
22-09-2007, 01:06
that would be the Planet Killer Abbadon's Flagship.
Basically its a flying gun, possibly warp-powered.

DantesInferno
22-09-2007, 01:21
Just one extra point: when the WD 161 story of the Emperor v Horus clash describes the Emperor firing "a mighty bolt of pure force, more coherent than a laser, more destructive than an exploding sun", I think it's pretty clearly meant to be a metaphor. If the Emperor's psychic attack really was literally "more destructive than an exploding sun", it would not only have taken out Horus, but the Emperor, Horus's battle barge, and the rest of Terra.

Slaaneshi Slave
22-09-2007, 01:30
The most powerful? The Dyson Sphere. :p Nothing else in the universe is as powerful as this. C'Tan can absorb all the energy from a star, but they can't do anything with it, so power but no control. The Dyson Sphere, and whoever made it, has/had the power to absorb 100% of the energy output of a star, and put it to use.

Other than that? Depends if you can make enough sacrifices to allow of the Chaos Gods to manifest itself physically (no reason why it can't). :p

Nargrakhan
22-09-2007, 01:37
Just one extra point: when the WD 161 story of the Emperor v Horus clash describes the Emperor firing "a mighty bolt of pure force, more coherent than a laser, more destructive than an exploding sun", I think it's pretty clearly meant to be a metaphor. If the Emperor's psychic attack really was literally "more destructive than an exploding sun", it would not only have taken out Horus, but the Emperor, Horus's battle barge, and the rest of Terra.

I lol'ed.

I am so tempted to use that a sig. :p

Savant
22-09-2007, 01:59
Other than that? Depends if you can make enough sacrifices to allow of the Chaos Gods to manifest itself physically (no reason why it can't). :p

My understanding of chaos summoning is that you have to release as many souls as makes up the entity you're trying to summon. For example;

-1000 people die, and these people's lives were dominated by/died while feeling the emotion 'slightly miffed'.

-These souls flutter about the Empyrean, no longer anchored by their mortal shell to one place, and eventually get together and form a bigger entity that is comprised of the different souls. Because all these souls were dominated by the emotion 'slightly miffed' they form a 'daemon of slight miffedness'.

-This daemon is 1000 souls strong. Obviously if more people die while feeling slightly miffed it'll get stronger, with the most dominant emotions creating the biggest daemons (like, say, anger, sensation, decay and hope ;O)

-If you wanted to summon a daemon of slight miffedness you'd have to kill 1000 people, which would create a 'shell' of souls in one concentrated location the daemon could use to temporarily exist in the Matterium, until those souls too dispersed into the warp.

So in order to actually summon a chaos god you'd need to kill as many souls as have ever gone in to it's creation, which is probably more souls than are actually alive at any one point in the entire Imperium. Alternatively the fluff seems to suggest that you don't need all the souls that went into it's creation, just enough that it can pour some of it's power into. But then it would only be as powerful as the number of people you could actually kill in an extremely concentrated space (a sacrificial alter) while also in a very short period of time. Which probably isn't enough to beat a hive fleet or C'tan, given that the fluff seems to suggest a greater demon or a daemon prince is about as tough as anyone can feasible summon.

izandral
22-09-2007, 02:19
the tyranids hive mind is a rather impressive (if passive) show of force. The astronomican is also of about the same magnitude but then again both are warp powered. As for material plane only i think the stripping of a 1/3 of the mass of a planet by tyranids is probably even more impressive then just blowing it up. probably requires more invested energy to do also

Slaaneshi Slave
22-09-2007, 02:21
The Hive Mind is way in excess of the Astronomican. The Hive Mind spans the gap between galaxies...

Savant
22-09-2007, 02:21
Is the hive mind actually a brain floating around somewhere, or the collective of all the tyranids working together (or all the tyranid synapse creatures anyway), as per the cells of a larger organism metaphor?

Slaaneshi Slave
22-09-2007, 02:35
Originally it was the gestalt consiousness of all the Tyranids in the universe, but recently they have put the Norn Queens into the mix, so I'm not so sure anymore (having not read the recent tyranid fluff).

Captain Stern
22-09-2007, 03:08
Just one extra point: when the WD 161 story of the Emperor v Horus clash describes the Emperor firing "a mighty bolt of pure force, more coherent than a laser, more destructive than an exploding sun", I think it's pretty clearly meant to be a metaphor. If the Emperor's psychic attack really was literally "more destructive than an exploding sun", it would not only have taken out Horus, but the Emperor, Horus's battle barge, and the rest of Terra.

:rolleyes:

Devil-Tears
22-09-2007, 04:19
"a mighty bolt of pure force, more coherent than a laser, more destructive than an exploding sun"

He is.....the EMPEROR!!!

I'm sorry, just couldn't resist.:D

izandral
23-09-2007, 02:58
The Hive Mind is way in excess of the Astronomican. The Hive Mind spans the gap between galaxies...

that's more speculation than anything else since no one went between the galaxies to check if the shadow in the warp is there.

for the norn queen i was under the impression that there's more than one of those (i think it was even a unit you could take in epic) and i don't think it leads. It's just the present main factory for the nids but probably still a slave to the collective

clarkdobbs112
23-09-2007, 04:14
there's tons of norn queens. one for every hive ship

[SD] Bob Plisskin
23-09-2007, 05:51
given that the fluff seems to suggest a greater demon or a daemon prince is about as tough as anyone can feasible summon.

But there were chaos beings that were more powerful than a GD/DP like Angron, when he was running around before he got banished to the warp it took like 10 billion grey knights to stop him (great exaggeration).

Unfortunately now he's pretty much stuck in the warp, as you showed with your examples it would take a hell of a lot of sacrafices to get a being of that amount of power out of the warp.

Hellebore
23-09-2007, 06:04
The Hive Mind is a warp entity - otherwise there would not be a shadow in the warp.

If you follow the evidence logically, the Hive Mind looks like a godconstruct formed from LIVING souls. Due to the singleminded nature of the tyranid race, their souls resonate in perfect harmony and are all connected together. Thus the hive mind is a warp god, but forged of living souls rather than those that have died and been absorbed.

The C'tan are the limit of natural power (as in, realspace power). They are at the furthest limit of realspace physics, able to exploit the loopholes of cosmological law but not break them. When you throw the immaterium in, you CAN break those laws.

A Daemon Prince or Greater Daemon residing within the Eye is capable of crushing entire planets, whilst one summoned to a battlefield on a backwater peasant world would have trouble crushing bugs.

In the Warp the chaos gods are almost infinite in power. It's their ability to affect realspace that is limited. Considering that there really isn't any form to the warp, they can do what ever they want.

Hellebore

DantesInferno
23-09-2007, 08:00
The Hive Mind is a warp entity - otherwise there would not be a shadow in the warp.

Not necessarily? The Hive Mind could be a consciousness residing in the physical world who has effects on the Warp. Much like normal humans, whose consciousness is apparently the product of interactions in the brain, and can indirectly effect the warp. And you can be conscious without affecting the warp, for example Pariah gene-carriers.


If you follow the evidence logically, the Hive Mind looks like a godconstruct formed from LIVING souls. Due to the singleminded nature of the tyranid race, their souls resonate in perfect harmony and are all connected together. Thus the hive mind is a warp god, but forged of living souls rather than those that have died and been absorbed.

Or alternatively the Shadow-in-the-Warp could be the warp-interference caused by the massive sentience of the Hive Mind, which resides in the physical universe.

Hellebore
23-09-2007, 08:21
The way I understood it the only way for your conciousness to interact with the warp was through the soul. As far as I am aware there is no other way for a sentient being to influence the warp independent of their soul.

Thus, as the soul is the only way to interact, the Hive Mind is made up of trillions of souls.

Hellebore

Slaaneshi Slave
23-09-2007, 08:42
You can interact with the warp using technology, too. Necron Pillons are good examples. What is the difference between organic technology and inorganic technology? ;)

Biomass Denial
23-09-2007, 08:53
The other theory on the shadow in the warp is that its just the noise created in the warp by the mental "conversation" and recieving of "orders" by all the various tyranid creatures that causes it. Think of talking to someone ten metres away. Now place three hundred speakers all on a low hum between you and that person and see if you can still hear them.

Tehkonrad
23-09-2007, 10:25
the difference between inorganic and organic technology is...
ones alive:angel:

Slaaneshi Slave
23-09-2007, 13:07
the difference between inorganic and organic technology is...
ones alive:angel:

So no real difference at all then. :rolleyes:

Invader Nails
25-09-2007, 22:49
Not functionally, anyway.


Getting back to the original topic, don't forget that "the suns themselves once lived and died" at the command of the Eldar. They also created the Talismans of Vaul, which are able to kill C'tan. Also, remember that Eldrad Ulthran was apparently not all that impressed with the Emperor and all his smoke and mirrors (and he was actually alive at the same time as the Emperor, so I'd imagine he actually knows what he's talking about). So I'd throw a pointy Eldar hat into the running for "most powerful thing ever."