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MrBigMr
11-02-2008, 17:47
Lets see if I can put this into words.
What are the limits of marine psychology? By mere physical standpoint they're like all men, but is their psychotherapy and all that crap made them unable to certain things? And has falling to Chaos eliminated these things? I remember reading in some thread that marines aren't able to have sex, even Chaos marines as they're still ruled over by the psycho-conditioning.

But that's only the physical act. Is a marine able to feel love or any other "human" emotion? What about pity, like for war orphans or a fluffy little kitten that wanders up to a marine? Or remorse for something done?

Um, I don't know what else to say. If you know anything else that (Chaos) marines aren't able to, lemme know.

Richter Kless
11-02-2008, 18:36
No, just no.

They are mindless killing machines, made for war, bred for war. As much as Marine lovers want to believe, but Marines just can't do everything. Falling in love is one of those.

Turning to Chaos doesn't change this, it just corrupts it into a more debased and heinous form.

Supremearchmarshal
11-02-2008, 18:47
I'd say yes, they can and do feel many human emotions - regret and pity certainly - even fear (ATSKNF is not 100% true). Love? In a sexual way certainly not, and I don't think they can fall in love with a woman, either. But they certainly can love in a platonic way - their battle-brothers, their Primarch etc. Of course it would also very greatly according to the chapter. Ditto for CSM; if anything, it'll vary even more according to the individual. Though of course they usually are much more selfish and ruthless than their loyalist counterparts.

It's not that they're emotionless - they put their duties above all. So they usually will virus-bomb a planet with a lot of innocents they probably won't feel very good about it.

grumpy old gamer
11-02-2008, 19:18
From the Soul Drinkers series - an IG colonel stated that Marines were all recruited when they were young teenagers when people think that they are immortal and immune to fear. They then take these youngsters and give them the body to match the mind.
From this I would say that if a vanilla marine has the emotional and psychological maturity of a 14yrs old that is only kept in check with discipline / honour etc then they would still be capable of normal person feelings. How they expressed these feelings,what emotional outlet they have is a different matter. ( Though maybe not considered cannon Space Marine shows how young initates dealt with their hormonal rushes through the tunnel of death scene - but one example)

Wraith
11-02-2008, 19:23
I believe (from the fluff I've read) that an Astartes can look at a human female for example and consider that she is attractive / beautiful and of course the opposite unattractive / ugly.

What an Astartes lacks in this case is the 'physical urge', 'lust' you might say, mainly because of the drugs, hormones, and the intense psycho conditioning.


In terms of other emotions, they can certainly 'love' but it's more a religious, spiritual sort of reverence.

Pity? I think Astartes can recognise injustice, and they can feel obliged to fight injustice where it coincides with their orders and responsibilities. It differs from chapter to chapter -- some Astartes feel 'innocent' Imperial Citizens are little better than the heretics they are there to kill taking an extremely aloof attitude to humans, while other Astartes feel is their duty to serve humanity (humbly).

The one point to note though is that Astartes like most warriors are quite pragmatic, apparent acts of indifference to human or animal suffering may in fact be an example of an Astartes believing he is better helping by following orders and completing his mission as quickly as possible.

Remorse is something I feel Astartes can certainly experience but again this is tempered by an extremely pragmatic approach to life.

grumpy old gamer
11-02-2008, 19:27
Wraith -" In terms of other emotions, they can certainly 'love' but it's more a religious, spiritual sort of reverence" - is this not unmature idealic love. More in line with the french code of chivalry?

Lexington
11-02-2008, 19:32
I don't know what the official answer on this is (and it appears to vary from author to author), but if Marines are "mindless killing machines, made for war, bred for war," I can't imagine why anyone would want to read about them.

Wraith
11-02-2008, 20:01
Wraith -" In terms of other emotions, they can certainly 'love' but it's more a religious, spiritual sort of reverence" - is this not unmature idealic love. More in line with the french code of chivalry?

Depends on the chapter -- some are religious and worship the Emperor as a god and their Primarch as at least demi-gods. Other chapters view the Emperor as a man (a very important, powerful man but none the less a man), and their Primarch in a similar vein.

What I'm portraying here is a form of 'love' which yes could be based in some sort of philosophical, moral, or spiritual context.

The wikipedia entry on love (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love#Ancient_Greek) maybe of interest to you...

Commander Dante
11-02-2008, 22:07
im pretty sure the servants of slaanesh do engage in sex, and in the old inquisitor series a deamonate was able to arouse the urges of lex for a moment

Imperialis_Dominatus
11-02-2008, 22:30
Well. Food for thought.


"Free from tradition, constraint, and responsibility, a Chaos Space Marine can excercise his every whim, whether it is for bloodshed, sensual pleasure, ambition, love or hatred."

zoodog
12-02-2008, 00:39
I don't know what the official answer on this is (and it appears to vary from author to author), but if Marines are "mindless killing machines, made for war, bred for war," I can't imagine why anyone would want to read about them.

well there are books and magazines about Guns/Knifes/Swords and what they do and people read those.

I'm not sure about the canon answer but I always marines on sort of a permeant adrenaline high, Seeing everything as a threat, possible threat, or insignificant acting and planing there on.

Perhaps a better question would be "are the battle brothers friends of one another?" and the relations there

Sekhmet
12-02-2008, 02:09
I believe (from the fluff I've read) that an Astartes can look at a human female for example and consider that she is attractive / beautiful and of course the opposite unattractive / ugly.

What an Astartes lacks in this case is the 'physical urge', 'lust' you might say, mainly because of the drugs, hormones, and the intense psycho conditioning.


I agree, just look at the Blood Angels. How could they be superb artists, some of the best in the Imperium, if they didn't know what was beautiful and what wasn't?

TheOverlord
12-02-2008, 05:16
I always did like the idea of marines as soulless but intelligent automata who's purpose and drive throughout his life is to serve the Emperor and Mankind and destroy it's enemies wherever they are. They, after all, ignore pain, hunger, sleep deprivation, (to a point) so I don't see why they cannot ignore the less powerful of their needs, as in lust and love. They're supposed to be warrior-monks who sleep, eat, and live for war in the Emperor's name, and I really liked them when they are less human-like, aloof and unreachable.

That's exactly why I enjoy Chaos Marines even more! It's because of their infallibility, that it takes the worst kinds of mental aggrievement to push them past the barrier into a descent of madness. Everything they had to abstain from is suddenly open for the taking, every want, every need, every possible path lay before them now. But they are probably so ingrained in their ways that changing is not so easy for them. So instead of simply choosing everything like a good Slaaneshi worshiper would, they simply debase what they already know and find pleasure in murder and pillage.

So No, I don't think that a normal Emperor fearing marine would go for the love angle with the ladies, but Chaos Marines, they probably wouldn't either, not love anyway. Lust is more likely his answer. After all, no woman can say no to a genetically enhanced 8 foot tall giant in armor who's hot under the collar (if she did, honestly, don't think he'd care anyway). Probably won't survive the encounter, either.

Burnthem
12-02-2008, 09:00
A Marine must be able to feel quite a few emotions, fear, pain, pleasure and all the rest. If they didnt then Slaanesh would have had a pretty hard time getting alot of Marines to worship him/her/it.

The_Outsider
12-02-2008, 09:11
"Do you enjoy peace?"
"How can a man enjoy something he knows nothing about?"

This (rough) quote comes from the film "For a fist full of dollars" and IMO completely sums up marine emotion (on a broad scale).

One can read a book about love - but to truly experience it is something else entirely. I see marines as being able to feel the "motions" of love but they would struggle/find it impossible to express it in any meaningful way to another human - marines could easily focus their urges/desires/etc into something they can dominate at, they can keep control (as a good part about marine training is being calm and in control).

So, instead of a horny teenage who can punch through walls, you get an 8ft marine who's desire get taken out in the form of extereme violence against the enemies of the Emperor.

Russell's teapot
12-02-2008, 11:08
IIRC didn't Ragnar Blackmane rail against the =][= for sending all the inhabiants of Armageddon to do penal sevitude after the first war? That seems to show that he has some sort of empathy at least for humans.

I agree with Sekhmet about the Blood Angel's artistic credentials & implied emotions.

I would have thought that each chapter is different (whether because of the psyco-training they undergo or because of how they interact with the imperium at large). For example I'd expect the Salamanders & Ultramarines to be the most empathic (as they live/work closely with humans), whereas the Dark Angels to be among the least (they live in a SPACE ROCK - only seeing humans at war).

I don't know about CSM...

Iuris
12-02-2008, 11:23
I'd say they are all still capable of all, except that their sexual drive is redirected towards religious and martial fervor. Nothing more wrong with their willies than what you'd expect off a really pious monk.

The_Outsider
12-02-2008, 11:24
IIRC didn't Ragnar Blackmane rail against the =][= for sending all the inhabiants of Armageddon to do penal sevitude after the first war? That seems to show that he has some sort of empathy at least for humans.

Was Logan Grimnar, space wolf chapter master.

However I see that it wassn't important that they were ordinary humans, I see it as Grminar saw that members of the Imoerium fought tooth and nail to keep it going from the hordes of darkness, they fought as anyone warrior would born of fenris and the Imperium basically told them to F off and die somewhere out of the way.

This would hit home pretty hard to a space wolf who values honour and battle prowess really highly.

Iuris
12-02-2008, 11:35
IIRC didn't Ragnar Blackmane rail against the =][= for sending all the inhabiants of Armageddon to do penal sevitude after the first war? That seems to show that he has some sort of empathy at least for humans.

It was Logan Grimnar, IIRC. The old wolf himself. Ragnar is just a great company leader.

MrBigMr
12-02-2008, 11:43
Well. Food for thought.
You, sir, have just won yourself one million internets.

Colonel Puti
12-02-2008, 11:56
I'm pretty sure that Marines are fully capable of feeling all the basic emotions, that a "normal" human can feel. These emotions develop pretty early and I don't se why the psychotherapy would mess up the basic emotions.

Some of the more complex emotions could get suppressed because of the harsh training and "lack of use". But something like mercy could probably spring up in extraordinary situations that haven't been covered in training (need to slaughter civilians for reason x for exsample).

Pride and honour, often associated with Marines "need" emotions. You can't take pride from your actions if they don't wake up any emotions.

(Damn it's hard to write something like this in foreign language. I hope someone understands.)

Champsguy
12-02-2008, 14:54
I'm pretty sure that Marines are fully capable of feeling all the basic emotions, that a "normal" human can feel. These emotions develop pretty early and I don't se why the psychotherapy would mess up the basic emotions.

Some of the more complex emotions could get suppressed because of the harsh training and "lack of use". But something like mercy could probably spring up in extraordinary situations that haven't been covered in training (need to slaughter civilians for reason x for exsample).

Pride and honour, often associated with Marines "need" emotions. You can't take pride from your actions if they don't wake up any emotions.

(Damn it's hard to write something like this in foreign language. I hope someone understands.)

Excellent job. It was perfectly understandable. I agree with you.

A marine is not physiologically incapable of feeling human emotions. Well, most, anyway--there'll always be a few chapters who think they need to surgically alter their soldiers ("Welcome to the Iron Hands. Today we're going to surgically remove your penis and replace it with a welding torch." "...Umm, is it too late to join the Ultramarines?"). However, they are unlikely to understand a lot of emotions, or be that empathic, when all they do is hang out with a bunch of military guys all the time. You wouldn't confide to Brother Asmodeus about how your girlfriend left you and you don't understand why she didn't want to marry you. He'd probably get very uncomfortable and try and back out of the room. Especially if you started crying.

I imagine it would be like one of those family comedies involving some well known tough guy actor (Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Rock, Hulk Hogan), where he gets stuck taking care of a teenage girl, a 5 year old, and a baby. "Why won't it stop crying???" "I don't know, Brother Evictus! It shrieks like a spawn of hell!" Then the teenage girl screams "I hate you! You don't understand me!", starts crying, and runs out of the room. The marines look at each other and scratch their heads.

MrBigMr
12-02-2008, 15:21
Burn the teenager, kill the kid and purge the unclean baby.

Russell's teapot
12-02-2008, 17:06
Was Logan Grimnar, space wolf chapter master.


It was Logan Grimnar, IIRC. The old wolf himself. Ragnar is just a great company leader.

Dagnammit!


However I see that it wassn't important that they were ordinary humans, I see it as Grminar saw that members of the Imoerium fought tooth and nail to keep it going from the hordes of darkness, they fought as anyone warrior would born of fenris and the Imperium basically told them to F off and die somewhere out of the way.

This would hit home pretty hard to a space wolf who values honour and battle prowess really highly.

Agreed - not only was my fluff wrong, it was a poor example - it truley does suck to be me:(


Burn the teenager, kill the kid and purge the unclean baby.

And poke the noob with pointy sticks!:p

FrankManic
12-02-2008, 17:34
From what I have read, in various BL publications, Marines are able to experience the full range of human emotions. Being, essentially, cloistered monks with excellent martial training and conditioning, they experience these emotions and relate to them in a different manner than one might expect, but they're still there.

In the middle ages, in Europe, much of the mystical tradition of Christianity approached closeness to God by using language related to love. The ideal of some mystics was to be fully and totally in love with God. Applying this idea to the Space Marines, some chapters or individuals may be said to approach the Emperor, the Imperium, the Chapter, or the Primarch as an object of platonic, spiritual love.

Space Marines are known to exhibit mercy, compassion, and pity. Administering the Emperor's Peace is an act of mercy and compassion. A harsh act, true, but then it is an act suitable to the world in which a Space Marine lives. Depending on the Chapter and the individual, Space Marines have been known to go to great trouble to spare the innocent or at least minimize collateral damage. Other Marines have been known to give their lives to protect Imperial Civilians. I'm thinking, specifically, of a First Company Terminator who was rendered unconscious and amnesiac during a skirmish with Tyranids on a low technology world, was rescued and healed by local civilians, and later went out to single handedly slay a Carnifex that had survived the Marines scouring of that world, in order to protect the civilian population from the creatures wrath.

The Deathwatch Librarian in the Eisenhorn trilogy is another example of the complexity of the Space Marines. As a Marine Librarian, this person has incredible and dangerous power that he must constantly be wary of. At the same time, Eisenhorn describes him as a likable and endearing person, having a good sense of humor and a companionable manner.

I believe the important thing to be understood is that the Marines can be unthinking engines of war when they have need, but when they are not at war they can be intelligent, sensitive, and wise.

Imperialis_Dominatus
12-02-2008, 20:42
After all, no woman can say no to a genetically enhanced 8 foot tall giant in armor who's hot under the collar (if she did, honestly, don't think he'd care anyway). Probably won't survive the encounter, either.

Space Marines don't consider it sex if the woman survives, eh? Sounds like a Chuck Norris joke I heard...


You, sir, have just won yourself one million internets.

Thanks. Codex references for the win. Though no one else seems to have noticed it...

Supremearchmarshal
12-02-2008, 21:25
Thanks. Codex references for the win. Though no one else seems to have noticed it...

Probably I dismissed it since it doesn't exactly sound right - Chaos does not equal freedom... :evilgrin:

MrBigMr
12-02-2008, 21:41
Chaos does not equal freedom... :evilgrin:
Yes it does, actually. Chaos by itself, is total independent freedom. Anarchy at best. There are no laws. No one is going to scream at you for not being devouted enough to a corpse god. No one is going to shoot you for being an alien or mutant. No one is going to say you can't do something because some old set of rules don't have it mentioned. No one is going to shun you for being a Chaos heretic.

When it comes down to the gods, they don't care who worships them and how, as long as the emotions and souls keep rolling in. Doesn't matter if your idea of worship is to sleep late, run around raping and killing or just popping pills and painting 72 hours straight.

Imperialis_Dominatus
12-02-2008, 22:18
Probably I dismissed it since it doesn't exactly sound right - Chaos does not equal freedom... :evilgrin:

Oh, it's not freedom when you're enslaved to the Gods, but it feels a lot more like freedom when you give up a life of deprivation and sacrifice and do whatever you want with the body of a god that you have been gifted. It's only later (specifically, when you die and your soul roasts in the Warp) that you might realize it's not exactly what it appears...;)

Supremearchmarshal
12-02-2008, 22:41
Yes it does, actually. Chaos by itself, is total independent freedom. Anarchy at best. There are no laws. No one is going to scream at you for not being devouted enough to a corpse god. No one is going to shoot you for being an alien or mutant. No one is going to say you can't do something because some old set of rules don't have it mentioned. No one is going to shun you for being a Chaos heretic.

:eyebrows: Except that, like it or not, you still have to obey rules - try turning away from a Chaos god and get turned into a Spawn. Don't be reckless enough and get killed by Kharn. If you're a Mutant and disobey a CSM, chances are you'll get killed.

Maybe the best example is the old William King story about the final conflict between the Emperor and Horus:


Mad laughter rings out. "Why? You ask me why? Have all those millennia tought you nothing? Weak fool, your timidity prevented you from binding the forces of Chaos. You shied away from the ultimate power. I have bound it to my will and will lead humanity into a new age. I, Horus, Master Of Chaos.

The Emperor looks at his former friend and shakes his head. He sees the trap that has ensnared Horus. "No man can master Chaos," he says quietly. "You have deluded yourself. You are the servant not the master."



Oh, it's not freedom when you're enslaved to the Gods, but it feels a lot more like freedom when you give up a life of deprivation and sacrifice and do whatever you want with the body of a god that you have been gifted. It's only later (specifically, when you die and your soul roasts in the Warp) that you might realize it's not exactly what it appears...;)

Well put.

Baltar
12-02-2008, 22:46
Chaos is ultimately slavery.

As to the question of "Can Marines Love?":

I hope not. Any way to close off the fanboy geekery that would inevitably result from such a plot point, I support it.

MrBigMr
13-02-2008, 13:56
:eyebrows: Except that, like it or not, you still have to obey rules - try turning away from a Chaos god and get turned into a Spawn.
Read Daemon World. If Chaos gods could kill you just like that because you don't worship them, why are anyone of us alive, as we don't worship them?


Don't be reckless enough and get killed by Kharn. If you're a Mutant and disobey a CSM, chances are you'll get killed.
Yes, that is a problem, but what about if you're tougher than Kharn or a CSM, you can **** them up. That's the great thing about Chaos: You don't like something and you have the power, change it. Don't like that bossy lady/lord? Overthrow him/her. To the grunts, it doesn't matter who causes their suffering. Then again, if someone doesn't like you, he/she can overthrow you.

You can't do things like that in the Imperium. Shoot the commissar and you'll receive a quick trial and a speedy execution. Come up with a fancy new things which doesn't have an STC and the Admech will have your ass. Get too friendly with an alien or a mutant and prepare to be purged.


Chaos is ultimately slavery.
What isn't?


I hope not. Any way to close off the fanboy geekery that would inevitably result from such a plot point, I support it.
Love is geeky? Then what is muscled, deep voiced macho BS dudes with guns that are only matched in size by their codpieces?

Supremearchmarshal
13-02-2008, 18:05
Read Daemon World. If Chaos gods could kill you just like that because you don't worship them, why are anyone of us alive, as we don't worship them?

What I meant was that once you start worshiping a Chaos god, you cannot stop without consequences.


Yes, that is a problem, but what about if you're tougher than Kharn or a CSM, you can **** them up. That's the great thing about Chaos: You don't like something and you have the power, change it. Don't like that bossy lady/lord? Overthrow him/her. To the grunts, it doesn't matter who causes their suffering. Then again, if someone doesn't like you, he/she can overthrow you.

You can't do things like that in the Imperium. Shoot the commissar and you'll receive a quick trial and a speedy execution. Come up with a fancy new things which doesn't have an STC and the Admech will have your ass. Get too friendly with an alien or a mutant and prepare to be purged.

It's essentially the same. The only difference is that Chaos functions on a more personal level. So a CSM who defeats his Lord becomes the new leader, but you can do the same in the Imperium - not by shooting him in the back (though if no one finds out...), but by manipulating the system so you come out on top - or maybe even simply by proving yourself better. If you're strong or smart or just plain lucky enough you might get away with it (examples: Catachans, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, even the Ultramarines). More likely though you'll get killed or excommunicated - just like the Mutant and Berserker in the aforementioned example.
Hell, even the Daemons (beings made from pure Warp energy) have an extremely rigid hierarchy: Steed/Servant - Beast - Lesser Daemon - Greater Daemon - God

Baltar
13-02-2008, 18:08
Love is geeky? Then what is muscled, deep voiced macho BS dudes with guns that are only matched in size by their codpieces?

Thats more gay than geeky.

Johnnyfrej
13-02-2008, 21:08
You can't do things like that in the Imperium. Shoot the commissar and you'll receive a quick trial and a speedy execution.
I doubt he would get a "quick" trial or a "speedy" execution.
"Any soldier who, on any pretence whatsoever, strikes a superior officer, or draws a weapon, or offers any violence against him, will be shot. (Art. 3680/35k) -Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer
If just threatening an officer will get you shot, I shudder to think of what they would do to you if you actually killed one (tortured, flogged, skinned, salted and then burned alive sounds about what the Imperium would do :evilgrin:)

Anyway back on topic...
I agree with what the majority are saying about the Astares, that they are capable of emotions, just that they deal with them in a different way. This is another reason I like my IG better, they are just a bunch of "normal" humans with relatable feelings and emotions.

-Private Jon

MrBigMr
13-02-2008, 21:44
Thats more gay than geeky.
You don't say...


I doubt he would get a "quick" trial or a "speedy" execution.
"Any soldier who, on any pretence whatsoever, strikes a superior officer, or draws a weapon, or offers any violence against him, will be shot. (Art. 3680/35k) -Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer
Quick: "For striking/drawing a weapon/threatening/etc. an officer..."
Speedy: *bang bang*


If just threatening an officer will get you shot, I shudder to think of what they would do to you if you actually killed one
Paperwork:
Lost: One officer, lieutenant. Last seen in command bunker with a live grenade.
Request: One officer, lieutenant, and one standard issue fragmentation hand grenade.

Ghost Of Caliban
13-02-2008, 22:07
the play up of sexual tension between female charactors and marines in the HH books is basically about misunderstanding.
Marines don't understand sexual tension but feel it like any other human, it's totally foriegn to them and i believe in time away from the chapter they would revert to a more human existance and who knows maybe fall in love.
The issue of humanising marines is a dollars and cents one, they have to seem likeable and portrayed as human as possible but still be the ultra enhanced death machines they are to sell units.

ThorOdensson
13-02-2008, 23:43
I think that the Psycho-conditioning essentially creates a sort of on/off switch for the Marines emotions, How much is switched off would depend on the chapter.

When going into battle the marines flick this "switch" and become emotionless killing machines able to make rational / logical decisions in battle without emotions clouding their judgement. Outside of Battle marines can experience the whole range of emotions, although they might not understand all of them due to inexperience.