PDA

View Full Version : Imperial Tech Levels



Phunting
18-02-2008, 00:21
One aspect of the 40k background I really like is the variation in technology of planets, we have civilizations at all levels from the utterly primitive through feudal to futuristic.

My question though, is why? The Imperium has plenty of traders, who would stand to make vast fortunes in selling tech to the more primitive planets, so why don't they? How could a feudal planet really stay as such for long?

PondaNagura
18-02-2008, 00:25
dull minds are easier to manipulate.
also that would take time and resources that the imeprium could spend on more productivce things, like survival
lastly the admech holds monopoly over most imperial technology, and they guard what they have greedily. very few people, other than the admechs have access to the levels of tech they do, and stealing from the admech has dire consequences.

Phunting
18-02-2008, 00:41
But the Ad Mech doesn't really hold all technology exclusively. Many worlds have their own factories that mass produce all kinds of technological things and are nothing to do with the Mechanicus. House Orlock for example...

So I'm not talking about diverting Imperial forces to up the tech levels, but independant guilds, houses and traders of which there are plenty.

And anyway isn't it in the Imperium's survival interest to have everyone as advanced as possible. A fully armed and self-producing world is going to hold off an Ork Waagh a whole lot better than a bunch of peasants with pitch forks.

Xgladar
18-02-2008, 00:58
this is really an easy one

why do you think some planets are still barbaric and primitive? its because they are away from greater imperial control or are inhospitable to anyone but the population currently on it

also what would traders possibly get for trading with primitives? their fish?
the primitives would only be considered if they had something of actual value,like rare mineral formations on their planets or something.

Phunting
18-02-2008, 01:05
why do you think some planets are still barbaric and primitive? its because they are away from greater imperial control or are inhospitable to anyone but the population currently on itNot according to maps they're not. They have feudal worlds slap next to hive worlds.


also what would traders possibly get for trading with primitives? their fish?Well yeah actually. With hive worlds demanding food becuase they're not self-sufficient I'm sure many feudal worlds would generate huge income if they could be farmed with modern methods.

Lord Cook
18-02-2008, 01:14
I've always gotten the impression that worlds are relatively similar to each other (technologically) within certain spheres of influence, like for example a single sub-sector. If trade and mercantile activity within this region is plentiful, then all the worlds within it will, over time, equalize out. Obviously wealthier worlds are likely to have more access to new technology than others. However, where trade/tourism is negligible, influences of any kind (technology included) are likely to be much slower, or more difficult. Culture may also have a great deal to do with it. Perhaps a particular society places little value on material possessions? If the sword is the ancient traditional weapon of choice, they're unlikely to be too eager to buy a load of fancy new laser weapons, for example.

Also they may not wish to change. If the ruling elite of a world owe their wealth to agriculture, why would they encourage the introduction of industrialisation and a general trend towards a service economy? Perhaps a particular world has no metal resources at all, and is forced to build out of stone and wood? That would also make electrical components more difficult to make as well. And so forth.

Basically, there are hundreds of different factors to consider.

Leftenant Gashrog
18-02-2008, 01:16
A fully armed and self-producing world is going to hold off an Ork Waagh a whole lot better than a bunch of peasants with pitch forks.

Not just an Ork Waaagh.. I can certainly see the Adeptus Terra doing its best to make sure a world isn't uplifted until the populations faith and loyalty is assured.

PondaNagura
18-02-2008, 01:16
part of the reason the worlds have the technology is because few individuals comprehend it. that knowledge gives them power. the imperium is not a for the greater good society...thats tau. the individuals who have tech, and have an inkling to how it works are the ones in charge of planets, or hold sway to how things operate in the planetary/galactic scheme. Had the Heresy not occured, maybe there would be a greater spread of common knowledge.

besides why trade technology for suplies when you can supress them and TAKE it?

Kage2020
18-02-2008, 04:10
'Cos. I'm afraid that's the best answer. Even in some of the more rational sci-fi universes you'll find this kind of discrepancy because it's generally cooler to have worlds with different tech-levels. It's just 40k makes a bigger living nightmare of this than normal, which is why you'll see justifications such as the ones above: STC, the Adeptus Mechanicus. It's quite an impressive stack of cards... ;)

Kage

Apologist
18-02-2008, 09:04
Compare a first world country to a third world country in the extreme case, it's lasers to stone tools within a few hundred miles.

Now expand that over light years, reduce the amount of people that can cross the 'sea' to privileged and unscrupulous aristocrats, and then put in place a restrictive, ultra-conservative and fiercely secretive Cult of technology that reserves its materials in a form of super-protectionism and regards its technologies as miraculous occurences of their jealous and greedy god.

Add in a fiercely independent, suspicious and relgious populace that fear change of any kind, and remove any sense of duty to improve the lot of the stone-age peoples.

Top that off with a crushingly slow and inefficient bureaucracy that can see a hundred generations pass before a requisition order for emergency aid is filed, and you get somewhere near it...

...and then consider that there is no 'first-world' equivalent. The Imperium operates at a second world level at best, relying on past glories and technologies that are jealously hoarded, and not shared except under duress.

iamkion132
18-02-2008, 15:44
How likely is it for a Feral World to get to a tech level around ours on their own, with no AM influence?

Malforus
18-02-2008, 16:02
I would say it would have a low chance as the imperium moves about the galaxy alot and it takes thousands of years to go from spears to lasguns.

As for varying tech leves look at our planet...due to cultural differences we have tribal societies and technocrasies (Dubai in a way). Its all about who has the governmental power and the money. I could see a world that for intesive purposes was in the 1600's except for the globally linked ruling class that kicked it new school with a 40k level of technology. Plus I would put forward that from a military perspective if you want soldiers, the more ignorant they are the better. The more they learn and grow in their training typically translates to more trustworthy and devoted troops. Look at african paramilitary groups. Kids plucked from living in huts, with ak's pushed into their hands. If they make it to 18 they will be hardened fighters who are completely devoted to their direct leadership. (Not that the listed crime against humanity is ok...its terrible, but from a resource and personel standpoint its accurate.)

Honestly keeping people peasants makes them easier to control, and direct. Why wouldn't a corrupt Planatery governer keep a technocratic cabal not unlike the illumanati around...its easier to administrate.


Democracy and equality is the most time intensive but, if done fairly also means its also the fairest. You get what you put into it.

icegreentea
18-02-2008, 16:06
I thought they liked to keep a bunch of worlds as Feral, Death, or Feudal worlds since those environments tended to produce really really good soldiers for the IG and AA. Given the relatively low population density of such worlds, as well as the amount of people that must be processed to make such a program worth while, I think that would result in a lot of these worlds sitting around. Example, say the IG likes to raise some regiments from a handfull of feral worlds. But they are all sparesly populated that they can really only raise one/two regiment per world per generation. So in order to have any decent amount of barbarian-soldiers, you would have to have a bunch of these worlds just sitting around.

Drugmoney420
18-02-2008, 16:35
[QUOTE=icegreentea;2365995]I thought they liked to keep a bunch of worlds as Feral, Death, or Feudal worlds since those environments tended to produce really really good soldiers for the IG and AA. Given the relatively low population density of such worlds, as well as the amount of people that must be processed to make such a program worth while, I think that would result in a lot of these worlds sitting around. Example, say the IG likes to raise some regiments from a handfull of feral worlds. But they are all sparesly populated that they can really only raise one/two regiment per world per generation. So in order to have any decent amount of barbarian-soldiers, you would have to have a bunch of these worlds just sitting around.[/QUOTE

This is the explanation i've always heard. Just look at the White Scars world they want it to be primitive with a lot of conflicts because it produces better soldiers.

Kage2020
18-02-2008, 17:32
I would say it would have a low chance as the imperium moves about the galaxy alot and it takes thousands of years to go from spears to lasguns.
And here, with the post directly above this one, is the the true tension in interpreting the 40k universe. On the one hand you've got a pre-Renaissance style game universe ("Cassocks in Space," or basically a 'porting of a fantasy variation of medieval north-western Europe) coupled with an almost Renaissance, perhaps post-Renaissance, idea where you've got much more communications (and thus arguably cultural dialogue), etc. Combine that with other tensions - every world is different, but they're all the same because it's the Imperium - an dso forth, and you're presented almost with a game universe that is the sum of its contradictions.

Of course, that doesn't mean that individual components cannot be justified (as these posts prove), just that when you put some "movement" into the system - historical, political, cultural or whatever - things tend to stress and, perhaps, even fracture somewhat. :D

At least in my mind. Then again, preference and interpretation are ever eternal.

Kage

Brother Siccarius
18-02-2008, 18:27
But the Ad Mech doesn't really hold all technology exclusively. Many worlds have their own factories that mass produce all kinds of technological things and are nothing to do with the Mechanicus. House Orlock for example...


Mechanicus has it's hands in everything from ground car repair to orbital defence repair. Everyone in the Imperium who makes or repairs something technological has at least minor contact with the Mechanicus. Think of them like the Inquisition of Machines, they're everywhere, even if not specifically mentioned.



And anyway isn't it in the Imperium's survival interest to have everyone as advanced as possible. A fully armed and self-producing world is going to hold off an Ork Waagh a whole lot better than a bunch of peasants with pitch forks.
Not really, A Feudal or Savage world is good for warrior stock, which keeps up the Imperial Guard. Besides, it's not the main planetary inhabitants that keep the invaders out, it's the PDF or Imperial Governor's troops that hold them at bay, which are only slightly less than IG in effectiveness.

DapperAnarchist
18-02-2008, 21:40
Necromunda is kinda odd... It really doesn't mesh with anything else thats mentioned in the background. I mean, heavy bolters being carried by one guy, plasma pistols in the hands of deep - hive scavvies. So I'd feel confident in not really paying attention to the Hive Factories not having an AdMech presence. Though, we never see the House factories - perhaps they do have AdMech overseers, keeping an eye on things.

inquisitorautry
18-02-2008, 22:26
You also have to think about what happens to a baron/count/whatever on a feudal world that buys a tractor or two to increase his serfs output..and then the tractors break down. I don't see the AdMech as having a monopoly on the production or sale of technology, but on the repair and upkeep of it. Just because you can use a piece of technology doesn't mean you know what to do when it breaks down.

mick005usa
18-02-2008, 22:50
I think I see what you're getting at Kage. 40k's fluff implies a certain level of communication. Historically, improved, or at least, a modicum of communication leads to the diffusion of technology across cultures. One would expect this trend to be present in the Imperium, as in other cultures.

Templar_Victorious
18-02-2008, 23:06
Knowledge is power, guard it well.

Isn't there a consensus though, that technology once brought down the world, and it is now safekept by the Ad Mech, with also the reason of profitable services. A world that advances too fast, could indeed challenge the Imperium about the right of rule, planet to planet. If all these new high tech worlds would want to become independant, the Imperium would shatter in its foundations.

Lord Torquemada
19-02-2008, 12:58
Yeah alot of people have probably already said this but the imperium only cares for its survival. At one time the empire was as technologically sophisticated as the eldar with grav-tanks, millions of astartes, and other technological miracles like the Standard Template Constructs that have been lost do to the dogmatic view of the Adeptus Terra. Technology is a thing they need not worry about because they think that the emperor is always going to be watching over them doing everything for them. The imperium is a theocracy and has been for ten millenia. I mean the people felt betrayed by technology after the horus heresy so most shun the idea of trying to understand it out of fear. So Honestly the history of this galaxy is so vast that there are limitless contemplations as to why the imperium is still the true power in the galaxy with its limited technology.

Kage2020
19-02-2008, 18:22
Mechanicus has it's hands in everything from ground car repair to orbital defence repair.
What about production of swords? Tin cans?

The idea that the Adeptus Mechanicus are directly involved in every aspect of technology is one of those things that takes a whole lot of suspension of disbelief to accept... ;)

Kage

icegreentea
20-02-2008, 22:56
What about production of swords? Tin cans?

The idea that the Adeptus Mechanicus are directly involved in every aspect of technology is one of those things that takes a whole lot of suspension of disbelief to accept... ;)



I don't think the GP was talking about the AM doing everything, but rather that everything that is produced/repaired is controlled indirectly on some level. I think the opening chapter from 15 Hours had the kid trying to repair some engine while reciting some stuff that local techpriest/engiseer or w/e told him (maybe through his dad or w/e). On the low level, while this might mean that the AM don't actually go out and do everything, everything that people KNOW is from the AM (even indirectly through parents or w/e).

Who knows, maybe even in a Death World as a blacksmith works a piece of steel he is intoning the praise of the Machine God.

Aeolian
21-02-2008, 00:55
I love the Mechanicus but I loathe the idea that they are involved in everything.

There are probably scores of thousands of planets that make and design even their own spaceships, although probably not interstellar.

qsd
21-02-2008, 05:26
I love the Mechanicus but I loathe the idea that they are involved in everything.

There are probably scores of thousands of planets that make and design even their own spaceships, although probably not interstellar.

Isn't that sort of like saying "The Emperor is cool and all, but I dislike the fact that he's worshipped throughout the Imperium"?


They do, somewhat; its why different patterns of vehicles exist.
In fact, the general requirement for a vehicle to be classed a certain type is really just that it has to have roughly the same operating characteristics and weapon configuration of that class. The appearance and such isn't particularly a concern though, as can be seen in Imperial space ships.
Sure, its not quite "Hurricane bolters kind of suck... Hey I have an idea, let's mount Hurricane assault cannons on the LRC instead!", but still.

Aeolian
21-02-2008, 11:50
Isn't that sort of like saying "The Emperor is cool and all, but I dislike the fact that he's worshipped throughout the Imperium"?


They do, somewhat; its why different patterns of vehicles exist.
In fact, the general requirement for a vehicle to be classed a certain type is really just that it has to have roughly the same operating characteristics and weapon configuration of that class. The appearance and such isn't particularly a concern though, as can be seen in Imperial space ships.
Sure, its not quite "Hurricane bolters kind of suck... Hey I have an idea, let's mount Hurricane assault cannons on the LRC instead!", but still.

Well no not really, because the Emperor isn't worshipped on every world, the Imperial cult isn't present on every world and so on and so forth and has minimal presence on many more.

That is the best part of 40k - Not all IG regiments use the Leman Russ, not all planets are the same.

If every planet, for example, had all typical Gothic Architecture, then I would give up on 40k fluff. In fact the opposite is true, even on worlds very integral to the Imperium.

CELS
21-02-2008, 11:53
Mechanicus has it's hands in everything from ground car repair to orbital defence repair. Everyone in the Imperium who makes or repairs something technological has at least minor contact with the Mechanicus. Think of them like the Inquisition of Machines, they're everywhere, even if not specifically mentioned.
I completely disagree, both in regards to the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Inquisition. In regards to the latter, I'd say there is a fair bit of evidence to support my interpretation. In regards to the former, the jury's still out, since GW/BL doesn't focus on such things.


Not really, A Feudal or Savage world is good for warrior stock, which keeps up the Imperial Guard. Besides, it's not the main planetary inhabitants that keep the invaders out, it's the PDF or Imperial Governor's troops that hold them at bay, which are only slightly less than IG in effectiveness.

In my opinion, the value of this "warrior stock" would generally be tremendously outweighed by the advantages of established colonies. Feral worlds and feudal worlds tend to have very low populations compared to the so-called civilized worlds, so quite often it's probably a case of weighing up 10 vicious feral fighters (who wouldn't know a frag grenade from a can of soup) to 100 "normal" soldiers. And on top of that, you have the benefits of industry, agriculture, etc.

In my opinion, the Imperium will almost always profit from developing primitive worlds, as long as those worlds can support either agriculture or industry. The most important reason they don't always develop worlds like that, I think, is because they simply don't have the resources. It's a simple cost-benefit analysis, and usually the feral worlds get the short end of the stick. The Imperium's resources are stretched, and the resources that could go into turning a feral world into a high-tech marvel usually go to supporting and defending more established colonies, because that is more cost-effective in the short run.

Furthermore, when it comes to changing cultures and societies, history has shown many times that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink ;)