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Kandarin
26-03-2008, 22:00
I know I'm wading into "Me-can-icus" vs. "Me-can't-icus" territory here, but it's worth a try.

What range of equipment falls under the aegis of STC parts within the Cult of the Machine God? Is it just large parts, such as the traditional method of sticking a different turret on a tank and calling it progress, or can STC tech include an amalgamation of smaller parts that are still considered acceptable?

Could the following situation ever happen?

-----


(Two Techpriests are examining a piece of alien technology)

Junior Techpriest: These energy readouts are astounding! This system has the potential to exceed our current maximums by at least ten percent, if I may be allowed to incorporate it into my studies...

Senior Techpriest: It is xenos technology, and is not of the holy writ of the Machine God, laid down in our STC. It is forbidden.

Junior Techpriest: I understand, Magos. However, I believe I could duplicate this effect if I modified one of the reactors specified in the writ of the Machine God, archive seventeen, folder nine, file ten point five. If I replaced the main fuel rods with one of the Holy Thorium Fuel Rods of Forgeworld Magydos and substituted the current layout with Blessed Wiring Arrangement #45,389, it should in theory produce similar results.

Senior Techpriest: Your proposal...has merit. I shall take it to the Fabricator-General. Begin your tests, but do not progress past Phase 2.

Richter Kless
26-03-2008, 22:08
I think you just made it happen.

The way you wrote that makes it impossible for me to say that that couldn't happen.

Iracundus
26-03-2008, 22:18
In the AM theological paradigm, the STC is supposed to be the sum total of all knowledge or at least all knowledge that's clean and worth knowing. Any innovation is going to have to at least try to portray itself as a rediscovered variant or possible variant allowed for within the STC templates, whether this is the truth or not.

Perfect Organism
26-03-2008, 23:15
Tricky question. I'd say that it would be very controversial, but probably just about acceptable if the tech-priest in question was able to argue that the components were designed to be combined in that way or think up some complicated theology to justify it. It's certianlly bordering on techno-heresy by my understanding of AM beliefs, but I get the impression that at least some factions of the AM aren't too concerned about that so long as the end product works and you can avoid the more puritan elements burning you at the stake.

sabreu
26-03-2008, 23:40
It all depends on the techpriest really. Remember, the Admech is as fractured as the Inquisition in their perceptions of what is and what isn't viable.

centy
26-03-2008, 23:43
There is most likley a rank/section of the mechanicus that do the heritical type of work ie experimentation to see if the stc can be modified to suit current needs.
After all there are examples were xenos tech have allready been included in stc constructs. Note sure what atm but i think void sheilds may be one.

Feor
27-03-2008, 00:04
You've pretty much described how the Ad Mech "invents" things.

All STC parts are supposed to be modular and able to be combined (hence "standard") So as far as the AdMech is concerned, combining two STC parts is not heresey. Of course, this doesn't mean they just run around slapping things together willy nilly. They do centuries of testing and research on a "new" piece of gear before allowing it out into the open galaxy. And well they should, unlike the real world, where the device might fail and kill somebody, in the WH4K universe, if the device is not properly tested and blessed it can litterally be possesed and consume the souls of anyone using it.

Aeolian
27-03-2008, 02:29
Well the STC was the Standard Template Construct. It was the bottom level of technology in the DAoT and the universal standard. In much the same way that the AK-47 is the standard for small arms.

This is why many people think that it in no way represents the sum of human knowledge but merely the most commonly distributed human knowledge.

Which happens to be a little farther ahead of Imperial technology, which is (mainly) derived from STC fragments or designs heavily modified from STCs and such.

Rarely is any technology derived from STC directly. The Leman Russ was a farm vehicle that one world had modified into a tank thousands of years prior to it's introduction into the Imperial Army.

But that is still considered STC by the AM. STC is an extremely far reaching abbreviation.

Chem-Dog
27-03-2008, 03:40
It's worth pointing out that the Landraider Crusader was given official Status by the Adeptus Mechanicus long after it's capabilities had been proven and it's design copied by several Chapters, I'm sure it can be imagined that this process occurs many times on many levels but I doubt the Mechanicus themselves would encourage any real innovation withing their own ranks.


Well the STC was the Standard Template Construct. It was the bottom level of technology in the DAoT and the universal standard. In much the same way that the AK-47 is the standard for small arms.

I was always given to believe that the STC were the height of human endeavour, that a machine could tell you how to assemble practically any mechanism, system or machine using the materials readily available.

Brother Siccarius
27-03-2008, 06:20
Could the following situation ever happen?

-----

Yes, why the hell else would they have an entire branch of the mechanicus that studies alien technology and aliens themselves if they were going to take every bit of research, look at it, stamp "ALIEN" on it and toss it in a shredder?

They'll look at alien technology and be able to find ways to adapt and change their own designs based on it. Remember, the only problem they have with the Tau "technosorcery" is that they don't pay upkeep to machine spirits.

Iuris
27-03-2008, 07:27
That way, I doubt it would happen. But then, a smart Techpriest would never say out loud "I got the idea from Xenos". You simply claim epiphany, and reap all the glory yourself :)

Jellicoe
27-03-2008, 08:14
I thought it was the rhino not the Russ that was derived from a settler vehicle/farming vehicle?

legio mortis
27-03-2008, 16:10
I thought it was the rhino not the Russ that was derived from a settler vehicle/farming vehicle?
That's what I though as well, with the Rhino being derived from the famous Land Crawler.

tsutek
27-03-2008, 16:17
They do centuries of testing and research on a "new" piece of gear before allowing it out into the open galaxy. And well they should, unlike the real world, where the device might fail and kill somebody, in the WH4K universe, if the device is not properly tested and blessed it can litterally be possesed and consume the souls of anyone using it.

That, and the fact that if an institution the size of the Imperium starts to manufacture something on a thousand factory worlds, the templates/blueprints/calculations/resource requirements for that manufacturing work must be something that is not changing once every year.

Unlike nokia and microsoft, the imperium cannot "beta-test" new technology with its 'customers' and make quick fixes as they go. Once the plan to start manufacturing a certain item goes into motion, thousands if not millions of factories start building a vast amount of the stuff, and to find a fault in a schematic etc. in that point would already be too late and end up costing shiz-zillions.

The whole point I see in STC's and the conservative admech attitudes come from the vastness of imperium. In such a big playground you just have to make every new tech bit a 'killer' in every sense of design and engineering: cutting the required resources as much as possible, using the most elegant manufacturing materials as possible (even better if the designs allow construction from several different materials to support more lo-fi communities), and blueprinting and engineering all components to be maximum efficient (low power consumption, ease of repair and maintenance, minimized unwanted crosstalk/chatter in the electronics, the list could go on and on..). Such would designs take decades to perfect if not longer.

Did I digress? I'll get back to reading Buckminster Fuller..

tsutek
27-03-2008, 16:23
Well the STC was the Standard Template Construct. It was the bottom level of technology in the DAoT and the universal standard. In much the same way that the AK-47 is the standard for small arms.

Your example is very fitting. I remember seeing a weapons documentary where they explained some of the reasons for AK's success - It is a very reliable weapon that is cheap, easy to build (doesn't require a fancy, ultra-accurate manufactoring facilities), modify and maintain. Mr. Kalashnikov's AK would surely be found inside an STC! :)

Random Integer
27-03-2008, 17:16
I've never seen the AM as dogmatically opposed to innovation, theres certainly enough fluff mentions of them having research facilities and plundering Xenos tech whole sale. I think its as much a structural thing as anything.

The AMs privileged position within the Imperium is dependent on their monopoly of certain kinds of tech, specifically space travel and weaponry. I see that as being replicated internally within the AM with position being dependent on control of knowledge. So the Master of the Arcane Arts of Warp Engines will be more highly placed than the Master of the Arcane Arts of Flush Toilets. So if some bright spark adept comes along with their new Super Froonium drive then he's going to be a direct threat to the Master of Warp Engines position so the success or failure of the new tech depends on the Masters reaction. If he's honourable he champions the new tech but if he isn't then he just cries 'Heretic', has the adept burnt at the stake and the plans locked away in an archive. The adept could go to a rival for protection but then you're into faction politics and the new tech is just a bargaining chip.

This would mean that the AMs hierarchy has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo as opposed to encouraging innovation, which would explain the stop-start nature of AM development.

Mechanicus
27-03-2008, 17:51
In addition to the above, I'd like to draw a line between innovation and development - innovation is a new creation, and in my view, the Mechanicus despise it because in their book, innovation means someone's not been using STC parts. The main advantage of the STC is it's modularity, and to produce a machine without would indeed be heresy to them.

Development, on the other hand, I think is different; using STC parts to suit a new purpose, creating or adjusting parts only where necessary and only if these new/revised parts are actually going to still work with the other god-knows-how-many designs in the STC data banks.

Just my view, of course, but it makes sense to me. :)

Aeolian
27-03-2008, 19:16
People aren't looking at STC the right way.

The AdMech have next to no STC designs. Most often they have 9th or 10th generation printouts that have survived and are often found to have been modified over the millennia.

They don't just uncover an STC like it's a tangible thing.

Brother Siccarius
27-03-2008, 21:12
People aren't looking at STC the right way.

The AdMech have next to no STC designs. Most often they have 9th or 10th generation printouts that have survived and are often found to have been modified over the millennia.

They don't just uncover an STC like it's a tangible thing.

Actually they have quite a few of STC designs, they just don't openly give or report all of them to the rest of the Imperium. The HH novels tell us that they even possessed the closest thing to a fully functioning STC system that anyone's ever seen, at one point.

Though, aside from that, they're also capable of creating a lot of things that they just keep a tight restriction on; Terminator armor (while not STC), Plasma weaponry, Land Raiders, Land Speeders, ect. All of which are looked upon as fairly precious heirlooms by the owners or restricted to certain peoples, but the Admech could make more perfectly well. Which is why there isn't a gigantic shortage of it, because the admech is able to make more, they just keep a tight leash on the market.

Kandarin
27-03-2008, 21:47
I will admit that my example detracted from the real question at hand.

How small do STC components get, and are "small" or "large" components considered standard? For example, take that turret that got added to the Land Raider Crusader. Was its addition considered the addition of a single part (i.e. "strap the new turret on and call it a new design") or was it an amalgamation of hundreds or thousands of STC parts (such that the turret itself was an innovation).

If I looked at a list of STC components, would it say things like "Turret #3, Holy Armor Plate Arrangement #41, Field Generator #6" or "Wire #4198, tube #59819, "plasma relay #198"?

Mechanicus
27-03-2008, 22:22
Probably all of them, in a way.

I think:
-STC parts: lowest common denominator; wires, batteries, bulbs, etc.
-STC systems: mechanisms for a purpose; motors, lamps, etc.
-STC configurations: different systems combined to make a functioning machine; guns, tanks, titans, ships, etc.

All would have set 'types' that the Cult dictates how to do them (barring local variations, of course), but different combinations of them (with the odd addition of a part or system to cover new areas) would lead to the cautious advancements that occur in the Mechanicus in my view. All just my opinion. :)

Archangel_Ruined
27-03-2008, 23:09
New STC constructs or combinations depends entirely on who wants them. If a radical techpriest mooches around some xenos worlds and finds a new way to improve plasma coil efficiency by 17.246% over the lifespan of the unit he'll use it, and unless a staunch conformist gets in the way will probably be lauded for his efforts. Techmarines also take a far more practical approach to STC data, combining weapons from other systems into new warmachines where necessary, or producing landraiders from alternate materials where the optimum raw stock isn't present. Techmarines view STC data as a means to an end, that of protecting their bretheren, rather than an absolute sacred text, but this is all part of having to keep a chapter in fighting condition as opposed to pure acedemic research. I think that there as many answers to that question as there are techmarines and xeno technologies out there, as each will have their opinions and their boundaries when it comes to researching unclean artifacts.

Feor
28-03-2008, 01:36
People aren't looking at STC the right way.

The AdMech have next to no STC designs. Most often they have 9th or 10th generation printouts that have survived and are often found to have been modified over the millennia.

They don't just uncover an STC like it's a tangible thing.

Actually the AdMech have an almost complete set of all but the rarest STCs on Mars. Just they lost the Index for the vaults and everything's coded.

It'd be like going through a library with every book ever written, where all the books' spines have been gone over with magic marker, and you don't know the Dewey Decimal system. :p

And an STC is a tangible thing, an STC takes one of two forms: either an STC blueprint, which is a piece of paper of electronic document containing instructions how to build a device, OR it's a system that will build a device for you with whatever materials are available. If you had a Leman Russ STC, but the world you were on was existing in the bronze age, an STC system will build you a steam powered bronze and wood Leman Russ with a ballista turret, because that's the materials you have available.

The first is valuable, the second is priceless.

Also of note: It appears that the Ad Mech assumes anything connecting to an STC component is, itself, probably an STC component. Hence why Archaeotech is often searched out for STCs, because if they find Holy Capacitor #174, connected to unknown resistor #823, then it's assumed that teh resistor is an STC component that hasn't been documented before, and it will be studied and examined incredibly closely to try and backengineer an STC blueprint from it.

Koryphaus
28-03-2008, 10:38
Actually the AdMech have an almost complete set of all but the rarest STCs on Mars. Just they lost the Index for the vaults and everything's coded.

It'd be like going through a library with every book ever written, where all the books' spines have been gone over with magic marker, and you don't know the Dewey Decimal system. :p

Not to mention that fact that when Magos Land led an expedition into the catacombs of Mars to search them, he and his explorator team were hunted down and killed, one by one... Makes that scary old lady librarian (sorry, thts a generalisation) down the road seem rather pleasant, doesn't it?

SPOILER WARNING FOR DARK APOSTLE

Ive always seen the AM as being generally opposed to changing or fiddling or altering anything that is seen to be of the omnissiah (such as in Storm of Iron when the techpriest modifies the voxcaster, and he feels it to be bordering technoheresy), although the techpriest in Dark Apostle can replace some of his cranial implants with "inventive" parts, as he tinkers with the void shields on the Centurio Ordinatus

Aeolian
28-03-2008, 13:06
Actually the AdMech have an almost complete set of all but the rarest STCs on Mars. Just they lost the Index for the vaults and everything's coded.

It'd be like going through a library with every book ever written, where all the books' spines have been gone over with magic marker, and you don't know the Dewey Decimal system. :p

So in a practical way my point stands.


And an STC is a tangible thing, an STC takes one of two forms: either an STC blueprint, which is a piece of paper of electronic document containing instructions how to build a device, OR it's a system that will build a device for you with whatever materials are available.

Except they rarely ever find first generation printouts, what the find is usually tampered with over the millenia.


If you had a Leman Russ STC, but the world you were on was existing in the bronze age, an STC system will build you a steam powered bronze and wood Leman Russ with a ballista turret, because that's the materials you have available.

Except it wouldn't because the Leman Russ wasn't a tank. The STC would build a tank.