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View Full Version : Writing in the future of the 40k Universe



WastedWhiteBoy
15-05-2008, 03:51
Ok, so I was just searching the forums, finding out some information about Terra (so I could figure out if my chaos lord could have fought on the planet, way back during the heresy)

To explain myself a bit, I really just started getting into 40K. I don't play the TT, just started collecting minis, and thatís simply because I enjoy painting. But what I enjoy most is the fluff, to be sure. While it can be downright lame at times, for the most part I find it to be interesting and just downright entertaining. So naturally, I want to write my own fluff. Not that difficult; I've never been a great writer, but I enjoy it. So I want to write fluff for my forces of chaos.

Now, I've got a lot of area to cover, of course. After all, the founder is over ten thousand years old, a psyker who was recruited as a librarian for the night lords during the days of the great crusade. He fled to the eye like many of his fellows after horus was killed, but returned with a war band during the 1st black crusade. That leaves me with a ton of potential stories.

But I really don't want to bore everyone, so I'll get to the point. While I'm exploring the past of the Heralds of Purgatory (not a very creative name, really, but its what I'm using) I'm also exploring the present, which opens some problems. By present, I'm talking around the 3rd century of the 42nd millennium. My chaos guys, along with a contingent of word bearers and an ancient nurgle daemon prince (leading his own company of plague marines) are striking out from the maelstrom in a ferocious tide. If done right, I think it will be neat little story I can be somewhat proud of.

But I'm running into some problems. Namely, tyranids.

I have nothing against the bugs themselves, really. However, the whole doomsday scenario they bring to the table is the biggest problem. Sure, I could mention how Hive fleet Leviathan was taken care of by the orks (which I plan on doing, because asides from chaos, orks come in second for my favorite race) However, from what I've read online, there are supposed to be a lot of tyranids. A whole lot, as in, several hive fleets entering the galaxy within the next century or so. So essentially, they're gonna swarm in and eat everything within a couple hundred years, making my little invasion useless.

I thought of necrons as well, but I can basically say, "Yea, they're still sleeping" with relative ease, and not sound like a complete idiot. But with the bugs, it doesn't seem possible. Its gonna be kinda hard to write about the current exploits of my beloved chaos guys if a couple hundred hive fleets show up a couple years after the 13th black crusade and go "Nom nom nom!!!."

So my question is two fold, really. First, the broader one, is it possible really to write about the 42nd millennium and beyond without seeming contrived, or is it just not meant to be? And second, is the whole "billions of hive fleets coming to EAT YOU ALL!" able to be disprove in any way, or is it a dead sure thing in the fluff?

Drogmir
15-05-2008, 04:10
Well technically the DOOM Scenario applies to several races

Imperial: The Star Child comes back and Imperial forces cleanse the stars
Orks: Unite under 1 flag and everything (non orky) dies
Necrons: Star Gods come back and everyone is screwed (again)
Tyranids: EAT EAT EAT!!!!
Chaos: Eye of terror just expands over everything

There's nothing wrong with fanfic so write away about the 42nd millennium, just don't expect games workshop to pick it up

madd0ct0r
15-05-2008, 11:08
You could just not mention them.

It'd give you something to do for a sequel - the demon worlds are being consumed. Punishemtn must be brought. ectect.

MvS
15-05-2008, 12:53
It is by merit of the fact that there ARE so many Super Armies of Galactic Doom that you can postulate a future.

What if the Orks (supposedly the most populace of all species in the galaxy) get their act together in the face of a massive Tyranid invasion and completely stomp the Tyranids from the galactic core right to the outer-darkness?

What if the Necrons and the Tyranids come to blows and the C'tan finally decide that they are bored of sleeping and want their Eldar, human and Tau playthings/slaves NOW, and so embark upon a massive extermination program against the Tyranids? Tyranids may be able to evolve so impossibly quickly that they are immune to biological warfare, but what's to stop the Necrons creating quadrillions of self-replicating, semi-sentient nanite machines that can 'infect' the Hivefleets and wipes them out from within?

Added to this, while the Super Armies of Doom are all clashing, the Imperium, Renegades, Chaos Servants, Tau, Eldar, Demiurge and any other race/species/army you care to mention would all be throwing their bit into the mix too.

I tend to view the 40K setting as bleak and overrun with warfare, but that doesn't mean there is an inescapable doom hanging over it like in WFB. The Imperium may fall, or it may just get smaller, or it may change altogether, or it may fragments into smaller but powerful empires, who knows?

Almost anything is possible in a galaxy of possibilities.

Chaos and Evil
15-05-2008, 13:09
The fall of the Imperium is simply inevitable.

MvS
15-05-2008, 13:28
The question is what is meant by 'fall'...?

It could be the end of the Imperial system as is, which can mean fragmentation, a change of government style, the rebirth of the Emperor, the Ultimate Death of the Emperor, it could be a collapse and/or change in ideology, it could be alliances where non existed before. It could be a completely fresh start, with all the hope and loss of life that would entail

It could conceivably mean extinction on humanity, but that's just a but boring and, for me, cliche.

Victomorga
15-05-2008, 18:41
you can do whatever the hell you want with your own fluff.

personally, I think it looks like the 'nids are going to be eating the universe to death, but no one knows for sure. it would be unrealistic to depict them as completely wiped out in the future, but not unreasonable for you not to mention them.

just have fun! you can always explain away any inconsistencies that surface later down the road.

Khaine's Messenger
15-05-2008, 20:59
But with the bugs, it doesn't seem possible. Its gonna be kinda hard to write about the current exploits of my beloved chaos guys if a couple hundred hive fleets show up a couple years after the 13th black crusade and go "Nom nom nom!!!."

A few options. One is that wars in 40k take hundreds of years. The whole thing with the Orks could still be going on, carefully administered by Kryptmann's former acolytes and shadow agents hunted by the rest of the Inquisition. Leviathan could have been blunted entirely by the Orks, who're now geared up for the Ragna-Ork, and your boys want to get in on the action before the Orks ruin everything. Da Boyz could have been slaughtered, after which Leviathan stalled in the Segmentum Solar, leaving it ripe for the pickings in the aftermath.... Anything, really.


First, the broader one, is it possible really to write about the 42nd millennium and beyond without seeming contrived, or is it just not meant to be?

I think you have to take a step back and really examine whether or not it is necessary to write a story in that time period. 40k is kinda malleable with respect to time periods anyway, so if you're afraid of going too far into the future, you've got 10,000 years to play with, and since he serves the Ruinous Powers, he could show up at almost any point in time. If the time period you need is one of relative peace so that your doods can show up like a roar of thunder and be the only badasses around, then waiting out the Nid-ocalypse might be a reasonable gambit, since the aforementioned Nid-ocalypse might not play out with the inevitable "reset the galaxy" button. Think 40k as an even more absurd post-apocalyptic setting, and the forces of Chaos, semi-secure in their bastions of insanity, have been able to weather the storm....


And second, is the whole "billions of hive fleets coming to EAT YOU ALL!" able to be disprove in any way, or is it a dead sure thing in the fluff?

I don't think you really need a throw-away line about it at all, really, unless you intend to include the Tyranids in your story somewhere.

Kandarin
15-05-2008, 23:26
And second, is the whole "billions of hive fleets coming to EAT YOU ALL!" able to be disprove in any way, or is it a dead sure thing in the fluff?

The line about oncoming Tyranid DOOM comes from the Tyranid codex. It's a little blurb written by a consortium of Imperials who are Very Concerned and want appropriate steps taken, which are nothing short of apocalyptic. However, these folks never even identify themselves, much less provide any tangible reasoning or intelligence for their claim that a bazillion Hive Fleets are a-comin', so it's fair to say that their words can be taken with a grain of salt.

There could be a million more Hive Fleets out there. Conversely, the ones we've seen could be the entirety of the Tyranid race. We just don't know, and nothing solid has been given to us.

DarkMatter2
16-05-2008, 05:51
The fall of the Imperium is simply inevitable.

I disagree. That is what I like about 40k - its future isn't set in stone like WHFB.

The Imperium is awesomely huge. Given its immense resources and its seemingly unending will to fight on, it probably has the best chance of winning out in the end.

The Imperium has enough resources to meet and counter every race in the galaxy (outside of the Nids it seems), while at the same time sustaining large scale offensive operation like Sabbat Worlds.

For all the doom and gloom, the Imperium seems to mostly be doing fine. It wins nearly all its battles...

Most of this "they are teh doomzor" stuff comes from the bias codex fluff of their opposing races.

The Imperium has survived ten thousand years of everything the galaxy has thrown at it and come out stronger and larger than before.

The fall of the Imperium may be inevitable, but it will probably be from internal decay or the death/return of the Emperor, not from "omgzorz bugz kekekeke" or "robot zombies, ohnozorz!!!" Humanity will survive I believe, as it has survived many a crisis before in the past.

Chaos and Evil
16-05-2008, 09:27
The Imperium has survived ten thousand years of everything the galaxy has thrown at it and come out stronger and larger than before.

Wrong ; Every year the Imperium is smaller than it was the year before.

At the end of the great crusade, there were 1.5 million worlds in the Imperium, now, only 1 million... and it's getting smaller...

DarkMatter2
16-05-2008, 09:48
Wrong ; Every year the Imperium is smaller than it was the year before.

At the end of the great crusade, there were 1.5 million worlds in the Imperium, now, only 1 million... and it's getting smaller...

Where is the proof of this? That sounds a lot like fan fiction. I am a huge fluff junkie and never ONCE have I seen the size of the Imperium during the heresy stated. Not even hinted at.

The Imperium is constantly in the process of colonizing, retaking planets, etc etc etc. It generally only loses planets in bulk to Tyranid assaults, and those have only begun recently. The Macharian crusade also reclaimed a thousand world just 300 years or so prior to current game year.

Simple math says that the Great Crusade didn't have time to conquer 1 million worlds, let alone 1.5 million worlds. 10,000 years is a long time, I imagine that most Imperial worlds were founded or conquered after the Great Crusade.

Iracundus
16-05-2008, 10:04
The Imperium had expanded to more or less its current size already from the Great Crusade. Macharius conquered nearly 1000 worlds within seven years, a feat not matched since the Great Crusade (IG Codex 2nd ed.), so it shows the kind of rapid expansion characteristic of the Great Crusade era.

If one looks at the map of the Eastern Fringe, one can see the wedge taken out of the limit of the Astronomicon by Kraken. The 2nd ed. Tyranid Codex and Epic Hive War both show a before and after Astronomicon limit, showing how the fleet has taken a bite out of the Imperium's borders.

Kryptmann annihilated hundreds of Imperial worlds to stall Leviathan. There is no evidence to suggest the Imperium is colonizing or reconquering worlds at nearly the rate at which enemies are taking them or which the Imperium itself is forced to destroy in order to deny them to enemies.

DarkMatter2
16-05-2008, 10:08
We know:

1. The Imperium DOES colonize worlds.

2. The only time that the Imperium loses planets en masse is to Tyranid assaults. They may lose planets here and there to the occasional massive Ork waaaghhhh or Chaos assault, but they generally seem to hold firm.

As Ragnar says in one of the Space Wolves books, the Imperium always returns with a much larger force to reclaim their planets. This, apparently, is the basis of the saying that the Imperium always wins, because it always comes back.

So, yeah, the Tyranids have taken chunks out of the Imperium, but that is only sporadic and only in the last few hundred years.

Iracundus
16-05-2008, 10:20
I never said the Imperium doesn't colonize or gain worlds but there is no objective non-biased (ie not just Imperial propaganda) evidence they are doing so at anything approaching the rate they lose them.

DarkMatter2
16-05-2008, 10:20
I never said they were doing it at the rate that they are losing them, only that they slowly gain them, and have only begun losing them in large chunks to the Nids in the past 200 years.

Iracundus
16-05-2008, 10:23
I am not just talking about the Tyranids. There isn't any objective evidence the Imperium gains worlds at the rate they lose them to any other races or sources period. That supports the position the Imperium is eroding, slowly perhaps but still eroding.

DarkMatter2
16-05-2008, 10:28
Yeah, but just going by your standards there isn't really any objective evidence that they lose them faster than they gain them either.

From what I have seen they tend to lose planets and come and take them back.

From what I can see their loss of planets before the Tyranid assaults was minimal. They may have lost a handful of planets a year, and they would often crusade and take them back.

Outside of the context of large scale assaults like the Hive Fleets, a few planets a year is close enough to equilibrium in a million world empire for it not to matter, especially given that the Imperium does colonize. Given that it is stated somewhere that the vast majority of people in the Imperium aren't even aware that aliens exist, and most have never seen conflict of any kind, I think the Imperium is doing fine ATM.

The Imperium of course isn't going to exist forever, granted, but people on these forums talk like the Empire of Million Worlds is bound for destruction next Tuesday or something. I'd give it another 10,000 years at least.

WastedWhiteBoy
19-05-2008, 03:34
Wow, thanks everyone, really. Got some good ideas, to be sure, and good help in general.

Puffin Magician
20-05-2008, 16:18
Is the whole "billions of hive fleets coming to EAT YOU ALL!" able to be disproven in any way, or is it a dead sure thing in the fluff?Isn't the whole "more fleets acomin'" an Imperial estimate? Humans are clearly the most close-minded, biased, ignorant race in 40k, so it's extremely easy to say that they are simply wrong. There's absolutely nothing to prove that the Tyranids will arrive en masse in M42. It could take them a thousand years to get here, or longer.

So have fun with your personalized fluff, that's what makes the game and story fun. If anyone thinks otherwise, agree to disagree.

Varath- Lord Impaler
21-05-2008, 03:39
Pff Tyranids.


This is a problem with the current generation of background. People have forgotten how powerful the Imperium is, even right now.

If Tyranid Hive fleets come in to do the whole 'Gobble' Scenario, then many aspects of the Imperium will be united, they will stop their little powergames against each other, stop holding back forces, and unleash what they have.

I have to say that no matter how big a hive fleet is, the Imperium reproduces its men, machines and weapons faster. also, above all, a tyranid hive fleet is SLOW. It cant match the speed of Imperial ships, and they will be able to harry hive fleets easily, hit with Nova cannons, launch Torpedos, run when they get close.

The Imperium is still strong, and i think GW should write some background soon reflecting it.

Iracundus
21-05-2008, 04:08
If Tyranid Hive fleets come in to do the whole 'Gobble' Scenario, then many aspects of the Imperium will be united, they will stop their little powergames against each other, stop holding back forces, and unleash what they have.


Given how decentralized the Imperium is and how close minded and petty humanity in 40K is, there is no guarantee the Imperium will alter its ways even if these hypothesized Tyranid reinforcements arrive. It didn't do so for Kraken despite its massive inroads.

After Kraken took a big bite out of the Eastern Fringe as detailed in Epic Hive War and 2nd ed. Tyranid Codex maps, the High Lords issued a decree of total war on the Tyranids and ordering the Imperium to exterminate them...yet years after that there is little evidence to show of that kind of total mobilization, and the status quo seems to continue on the Eastern Fringe much like before if not worse due to the transfer of troops to the Cadian Gate. The decree seems to have been so much empty hot air and propaganda.