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witchking
27-10-2008, 09:47
Hello guys i am a fantasy guy myself but its impossible to avoid 40k things since it seems to be more popular 'i can see why to everyone loves guns :)'.
Can someone give me a quick version of a few things like heresy,emperor,chaos,terminators,any other big thing that could be explained easily. I don't have any of the books and its pretty hard to learn the basics without them.

Sojourner
27-10-2008, 09:58
Set in the 41st Millennium. Humanity has expanded from Earth - the 'real' Earth apparently - across the galaxy but this was so long ago it's largely been forgotten in the aftermath of the Age of Strife where for some obscure reason everything went tits-up. This ended when the Emperor - 40k's equivalent of Sigmar, a highly psychic, genius demigod - reconquered Terra and created the Space Marines. The Space Marines are bioengineered super-soldiers who are modified from ordinary humans at early adolescence by implanting them with organs grown from the cells of one of twenty Primarchs, true supermen engineered by the Emperor himself (more or less) in his image. He and the Space Marines set about reconquering the galaxy which goes rather well until his favourite Primarch, Horus, starts mucking about with supernatural forces and goes crazy/possessed/whatever and convinces, coerces or blackmails half of the others into betraying the Emperor and declaring war on the new Imperium. The traitors destroy four of the loyalist Space Marine legions in a surprise attack on Istvaan and from there battle their way to Earth, besieging it. The battle culminates in Horus mortally wounding the Emperor before being killed himself. The Emperor is placed in a stasis machine called the Golden Throne and has been there for the past ten thousand years, reckoning from the 'present day' in the game world. The Imperium embarks down a path of slow degeneration and corruption, even though many of the ancient institutions, like the modern Space Marines, remain.

Jimbobjeff
27-10-2008, 10:05
Basically think medievil Europe in space and you wont go far wrong. For the imperium anyways.

Coasty
27-10-2008, 10:11
Fantasy In Spaaaaace...

parus_ater
27-10-2008, 10:22
Fantasy In Spaaaaace...

Whooooooooooooooooooo!

parus_ater
27-10-2008, 10:24
I suggest you hop along to a GW shop during a weekday and you'll find staff bored to tears wanting a game. They've got an "Introductory Game" policy (well, they did when I was a staffer!) and they'll talk you through playing with the AoBR set

TheBigBadWolf
27-10-2008, 10:30
Set in the 41st Millennium. Humanity has expanded from Earth - the 'real' Earth apparently - across the galaxy but this was so long ago it's largely been forgotten in the aftermath of the Age of Strife where for some obscure reason everything went tits-up. This ended when the Emperor - 40k's equivalent of Sigmar, a highly psychic, genius demigod - reconquered Terra and created the Space Marines. The Space Marines are bioengineered super-soldiers who are modified from ordinary humans at early adolescence by implanting them with organs grown from the cells of one of twenty Primarchs, true supermen engineered by the Emperor himself (more or less) in his image. He and the Space Marines set about reconquering the galaxy which goes rather well until his favourite Primarch, Horus, starts mucking about with supernatural forces and goes crazy/possessed/whatever and convinces, coerces or blackmails half of the others into betraying the Emperor and declaring war on the new Imperium. The traitors destroy four of the loyalist Space Marine legions in a surprise attack on Istvaan and from there battle their way to Earth, besieging it. The battle culminates in Horus mortally wounding the Emperor before being killed himself. The Emperor is placed in a stasis machine called the Golden Throne and has been there for the past ten thousand years, reckoning from the 'present day' in the game world. The Imperium embarks down a path of slow degeneration and corruption, even though many of the ancient institutions, like the modern Space Marines, remain.

Pretty much summed it up there.

Just to finish the OP question, Terminators are veteran SM who have been granted the right to wear terminator armour, it pretty much ancient armour that is better constructed than the stuff now due to the loss of knowladge of Tech Priests/techmarines etc.

The Tau are new and unaware of the true horrors of the universe.

The eldar are a dying race, still making grandious claims.

The tyranids are from another galaxy where they ate everything and want to eat everything here.

The necrons are ancient machines who fought the old ones (created everything)

Kroot are pure awesome :D (but unfortuantley absorbed bt Tau empire)

Think if just summed up the other races good ;)

Iuris
27-10-2008, 10:30
Sure. Essentially, it's the gothic middle ages in the 40th millenium.

Short history:

Humanity goes ascendand after 2000 AD. Golden age of technology, humanity spreads throughout the galaxy. This time is NOW, in 40000 AD, known as the dark age of technology. (we'd call it the golden age, but to the people of 40k, this is dark as in missing the light of the emperor).

However, things go bad - internal struggles mean that humanity splinters and starts warring amongst itself. Earth is locked away by warp storms, preventing meaningful interstellar travel. This is known as the age of Strife. On Mars, to preserve technology, a religious order is founded, the Adeptus Mechanicus. Treating technology as holy and alive, they are a power unto themselves and posess the greatest technologies that humanity retains.

Meanwhile, the ancient Eldar empire goes decadent. Really decadent. Since they are all naturally psychic, this is a problem - their psychic excess starts to swirl into a warp entity. At about 30000 AD, this warp entity is born - Slaanesh. The birth is a cataclysmic event on interstellar scale. It breaches the walls of reality and creates the Eye of Terror - an area of warpspace-realspace overlap, the realm of demons. Think the Chaos wastes on an interstellar scale. Few Eldar survive and all have to find a way of protecting themselves from Slaanesh and chaos.

The shock of Slaanesh's birth blows away the warp storms around Earth. On it, the Emperor has been waiting for it to happen and starts to reunite all of humanity. Allying with the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Imperium is established and reconquers most of the Galaxy.

Part of the preparations is the creation of the Primarchs, 20 genetically and psionically engineered superbeings that are to be the Emperor's greatest servants, the leaders of the Imperium. From that effort also come the Space marines - genetically enhanced soldiers that wear powered armor and are the very elite of the Emperor's forces.

However, the Warp gods don't like the idea and interfere in the creation of the Primarchs. The effect is that the Primarchs go missing from Earth while still unborn. The Primarchs are scattered all over the galaxy, and wherever they wind up, they rise to positions of power. As the Emperor reconquers the galaxy, he also rediscovers his lost "sons" and reunites them with their Space marine legions.

However, Chaos doesn't give up. They attempt and succeed in corrupting half of the primarchs, including the Emperor's favourite Horus, the warmaster - the leader of the crusade in the Emperor's absence. They rebel and start to drive toward Earth.

On Earth, they start besieging the Imperial palace. The siege is hard on all sides, and eventually, Horus decides to draw the Emperor out by lowering the shields on his flagship. The Emperor leads a strike force to decapitate the rebellion. The confrontation ends with Horus dead and the Emperor mortally wounded. Before the Emperor dies, he is placed into a life preserving system known as the Golden throne. Interpretations vary, but mine own is that his body died, but the soul is still bound to it by constant sacrifice of souls.

What follows is 10000 years of Imperial rule, mostly stagnation and regression. The emperor becomes treated as a god. The central authorities gain the nature of a priesthood (the Adeptus of Terra), and a church of the emperor is formed, known as the Ecclesiarchy. To prevent new rebellions, power is strictly separated. The Space marines live in monastic orders, separate from the regular army, the Imperial guard, in turn separate from the Imperial Navy, ... Various imperial organisations maintain order, each in its own way. Of note is the Inquisition, investigating the greatest threats to humanity.


Of course, the Imperium faces enemies aplenty.

Chaos is still rampant in its strongholds in the Eye of Terror. Of note are the traitor Space marines and the Dark Mechanicus (chaos alligned Adeptus mechanicus rebels). Just like the chaos you are familiar with, except with power armor and space ships :)

Eldar still exist, clinging to existence at the edge of extinction. Three groups are noted. The Craftworld Eldar live on giant space ships and protect themselves from Chaos by leading their lives in strictly ritualistic ways, known as paths, focusing on one and only one activity. The Exodites are a more rustic variety of planet dwelling Eldar, protecting themselves rather in the way of the Amish - by living with the land and so on. Ride dragons. The Dark Eldar are the black sheep of the family and drain the souls of other sentients to protect their own souls. Spiky and sadistic in nature.

Orks are Orks. Except they get guns here. General troublemakers all over the galaxy.

A recant threat is the invasion by the Tyranids, alien swarm creatures from outside the galaxy. Look and feel like the Xenomorphs from the Aliens movie. Use biotechnology and are fused into the Hive mind as far as minds and souls are concerned. All they do is devour all biomass from a planet.

The Necrons are metallic constructs, the remnants of an ancient empire which transferred their consciousnesses into robot bodies, and are slaves to the C'tan, energy vampires of godlike power. Possessed of powerful technologies, they are still only awakening so the threat is dismissed.

The Tau are newcomers. A young race, they are still possessed of the vigor of youth, possibly not realizing how big and bad the Galaxy they are intent on conquering is. While their technology does not quite measure up to the Imperium's they do have the advantage of still knowing how it works, while the Imperium has mostly forgotten and only retains the knowledge only in a religious way.

Well, that's the basics.

Radium
27-10-2008, 10:36
you can sum it up in 4 words: Dune + GrimDark + Fantasy Races.

And then some small interesting things.

Yeah, others said it rather more eloquently, and in every way better then I ever could, and I don't really think all of 40k can be described in a single post (or even a whole lot of post by a whole lot of people for that matter), it is just too vast and too varied.

Allen
27-10-2008, 11:17
Hello guys i am a fantasy guy myself but its impossible to avoid 40k things since it seems to be more popular 'i can see why to everyone loves guns :)'.
Can someone give me a quick version of a few things like heresy,emperor,chaos,terminators,any other big thing that could be explained easily. I don't have any of the books and its pretty hard to learn the basics without them.


1. Mankind rocks. Our race manage to gain slowly an impressive technology level, and create the Standard Template Constructs. Those machines are libraries of every possible tool and/or equipment mankind ever built; on request they analyze the situation on a world and indicate what is needed to do something and how it can be built with the local resources. Warp is discovered: it's basically another dimension of "pure energy" where the toughts, needs and emotions of every single sentient species in the Galaxy are reflected. Mankind uses Warp as a shortcut to bypass the distance between the stars: time and space flows differently in that dimension, and a spaceship cant "enter" the warp outside the Solar System and reach in few months or years the other side of the Milky Way. Mankind colonize large portions of the Galaxy.


2. Standard sci-fi turning point. The Artificial Intelligences of mankind go SkyNet and start a rebellion. Mankind fight hard to crush them and finally win, but at a terrible cost: resources on many worlds are depleted, communications between planets are virtually non-existent. A lot of "psykers" (a spontaneous mutation of mankind) are born; those individuals have a strong connection with the Warp and can manipulate both dimension (warp and real space) with relative ease. The psykers drawn attention of beings in the warp and growing reports of "possession" and "daemons" starts to appear. Whole worlds are lost when the warp-beings broke into real space. The warp, meanwhile, is no longer a calm ocean: warp storms rage everywhere, short and long range travels in the warp are impossible.
Mankind is isolated in the colonized worlds; in some cases technology disappear and society turns into barbarism. Earth/Terra fades into legend.


3. Standard Fantasy turning point. On Earth/Terra a mighty hero appear. Someone say he's an immortal being that guide humanity from the dawn of time. Someone say he's the last vestige of the Golden Age of Mankind. He's know only as "The Emperor", and no-one knows more.
He manage to unite the barbaric nations of Old Earth and to restart a technological and cultural renaissance. He create 12 super-human beings, called the Primarchs: biological engineered "humans" he considered his sons. Four of the most powerful beings of the warp scattered those still infant sons across the Galaxy. The Emperor used the Primarch templates to "agument" normal humans: the Space Marine, super-human soldiers, are born. Every Marine is placed in a Legion; there are 12 Legions, each one created with the template of a Primarch.


4. Mankind strikes back. The Emperor declare that everything mankind lost during "Old Night" (the millennia-long age of isolation after the warp storms) will be reclaimed. He travels to Mars, previously the shrine of the technological research and development of mankind; here science turned into religion, and Tech-Priests rever the few scraps of ancient knowledge as manifestation of a divinity that knows all. The Mechanicum (the church of Mars) declare that the Emperor is the Omnissiah, the avatar of the ancient knowledge. With the technological assistance of the Mechanicum the Emperor declare a Great Crusade: countless fleets sail from the Solar System to take back the worlds lost so many years ago. At the front of the Crusade there are the Space Marine. One by one the Primarchs, now fully grown, are rediscovered and placed at the head of their respective Legions. Like an unstoppable avalanche, mankind reconquest a great part of the Galaxy.


5. We need some drama. The beings in the warp (that someone call "Daemons" and "Gods") look at the ever-increasing Imperium of Man and start to plan its downfall: the Emperor is actively promoting the "Imperial Truth" (there are no religions or gods, the only truth can be found in science) and the beings of the warp does not want an interesting species as mankind partially immune to superstition. The manage to convince one of the Primarchs, the disaffected Lorgar of the Word Bearers Legions, to join their cause. Lorgar's plans manage to turn against the Emperor Horus, the favoured Primarch and the Warmaster of the Imperim. Horus via manipulation successfully plant the seeds of rebellion into the hearths of seven other Primarchs.
A full-scale rebellion start and the Imperium is on the verge of destruction: Horus is the commander-in-chief of all the military forces of the Great Crusade, and before declaring war to the Emperor himself manage to scatter the loyal Legions and armies in the Galaxy. Horus brings the war directly at the hearth of the Imperium, on Terra. At the culminating point of the battle for the Imperial Palace Horus understand that the loyalist reinforcements are en route to Terra: he have to solve the siege quickly. His ships lowers its shields, and the Emperor see a chanche to end the war with a single blow. He and a large force teleport into Horus ship. Horus manage to scatter the teleported boarding party across his ship, and fight hand-to-hand with the Emperor. He's killed, but manage to seriously wound the Emperor.


6. A bad end. The Emperor is nearly killed; he commands to Rogal Dorn, one of the loyal Primarchs, to entomb him in a device called "The Golden Throne". The Imperium is on its knees: the traitor Legions retreat to an area of space called "The Eye of Terror", a place where the warp and our real dimension are no longer separated. Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion, write the Codex Astartes: it's a tactical and strategical manual for every Space Marine force. Guilliman broke every Legion in several smaller "Chapters", composed of roughly 1000 marines: a large fighting force composed of Marines is no longer compatible with the stability of the Imperium. The Emperor become silent a few years after the Heresy. He's still alive in the Golden Throne, but he does not move or speak anymore.


7. That's really ironic. A small cult that was ostracized when the Emperor enforced the Imperial Truth start to gain followers: this cult say that the Emperor is God and mankind should start to revere it as the Saviour of Man. The cult quickly grows and become a problem: the Imperium, wishing to avoid another war, recognize it as a legal religion. The Ecclesiarchy is born, and with time the Cult of the Emperor will be the official religion of the Imperium of Man. The Mechanicum of Mars becames the Adeptus Mechanicus, but refuse to be annexed to the Imperium: Mars and the other Forge Worlds are merely allied of the Imperium of Man.


8. Nowadays. Anno Domini 40.000 (somehow Mankind still use the old way of counting the years from the supposed birth of Christ) The Imperium is a society riddled by intolerance, religious fanatism and death-obsessed clergymen. Technology is stagnating, and the Emperor is a living God, the Guiding Light and Saviour of Mankind. Traditionalism is a key virtue, and everything that step away from the "normal" route is frowned upon (when not declared "heresy"). What the Emperor tried to rebuilt on a social and scientific level is irrimediably lost. Mankind is kept in ignorance by the Imperial Senate and the great, expansionistic vision of the Great Crusade is lost forever. New worlds rediscovered are first indoctrinated by the Ecclesiarchy and then passed to the Adeptus Mechanicus for a technological scrutiny. Every "heresy", be it moral, religious or technological, is purged.
New and old xeno races threat the Imperium, exploiting its immobilism and traditionalistic approach to science and warfare. Intestine rebellion against the oppressive rule of a galaxy-spanning inefficient tiranny is tragically common. The psyker spontaneous mutation continue to manifest in mankind, and a growing number of people with a strong connection with the warp start to appear on several worlds.

LexxBomb
27-10-2008, 12:33
im surprised that no on mentioned that wh fantasy used to be a word in the eye of terror... but then now that I have mentioned it im sure to get flamed.

Burnthem
27-10-2008, 12:47
1. Mankind rocks.

2. Standard sci-fi turning point.

3. Standard Fantasy turning point.

4. Mankind strikes back.

5. We need some drama.

6. A bad end.

7. That's really ironic.

8. Nowadays.

Hahahaha, best. 40K. Summary. Ever.

You, sir, win 3.5 Internets!

Allen
27-10-2008, 13:00
im surprised that no on mentioned that wh fantasy used to be a word in the eye of terror... but then now that I have mentioned it im sure to get flamed.

Basically because the WHFB planet is no more in the Eye of Terror.
The OP asked a summary about WH40k to better understand the setting. Talking about retconned outdated fluff could be potentially confusing for a gamer who does not know the background :D

Ghudra
27-10-2008, 13:11
im surprised that no on mentioned that wh fantasy used to be a world in the eye of terror...

Heck, the now separate WFB & 40K universes used to be the same, as the fledgling 40K needed a strong link to WFB to get off the ground. With the two games now being independent, it isn't really worth mentioning the former links to Fantasy in a summary of 40K's "current" history.

This (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Warhammer_40,000) can be helpful in finding more out about the 40K backstory. Wikipedia has loads of stuff as well.

Ivan Stupidor
27-10-2008, 13:51
8. Nowadays. Anno Domini 40.000 (somehow Mankind still use the old way of counting the years from the supposed birth of Christ)

They've actually now explicitly in the 5th edition rulebook stated what I've occasionally heard for a while: the dating system isn't directly descended from the modern one, but rather from something much more important to a space-faring culture:

Four hundred centuries have passed since man stepped into the cold of space. Forty thousand years. An age so long that its history is shrouded in legend.
- 5th edition rulebook, pg. 101

Allen
27-10-2008, 14:01
They've actually now explicitly in the 5th edition rulebook stated what I've occasionally heard for a while: the dating system isn't directly descended from the modern one, but rather from something much more important to a space-faring culture:

Four hundred centuries have passed since man stepped into the cold of space. Forty thousand years. An age so long that its history is shrouded in legend.
- 5th edition rulebook, pg. 101

Ouch, I've missed that. I wonder if it's 40.000 years from the first manned extra-atmospheric flight or 40.000 years from the first starship voyage...

Raellos
27-10-2008, 14:05
Just to finish the OP question, Terminators are veteran SM who have been granted the right to wear terminator armour, it pretty much ancient armour that is better constructed than the stuff now due to the loss of knowladge of Tech Priests/techmarines etc.

Me being the anal sort I often am will have to correct you. Terminator Armour (or Tactical Dreadnought Armour) was originally designed as a schmicko new mark of armour to replace normal marine power armour. *This pattern was originally adapted from Civilian suits used to work inside Reactors and extremely hazardous environments. But just like me designing a ship in Galactic Civilisations II, the techpriests went a bit overboard by putting all the cool shizna they could think of into the armour, with the end result being that is was too bulky for normal battlefield use. Terminator armour found it's niche in close quarters work though, such as in spaceship boarding actions, a task which the armour is suited to exceptionally well.

The knowledge to build the armour has not been lost, it is just difficult to manufacture as the technology incorporated into the armour is rather advanced.

Clockwork-Knight
27-10-2008, 14:24
Ouch, I've missed that. I wonder if it's 40.000 years from the first manned extra-atmospheric flight or 40.000 years from the first starship voyage...No, it's written on page 126 how the calendary functions. It uses Anno Domini, it's ours, just with a different census concerning the years.

Warhammer 40k has always been set in our forty-first millennium, since 1st edition, when it was called Rogue Trader. Anybody else saying otherwise is either new to the game, or deliberately telling you false things.

Notice the part "shrouded in myths".

Burnthem
27-10-2008, 14:26
And to add to that Raellos, Tactical Dreadnought Armour was originally adapted from Civilian suits that were used to work inside Reactors and extremely hazardous environments.

Raellos
27-10-2008, 14:36
Done, Burnthem ;)

Kage2020
27-10-2008, 19:09
He create 12 super-human beings, called the Primarchs...
Hmmn... 12? Linky... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primarch#The_Legions)

Kage

Ravensgard
27-10-2008, 19:27
If you want to play fantasy in 40K, go for space wolfs ! :-)

Allen
28-10-2008, 09:29
Hmmn... 12? Linky... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primarch#The_Legions)

Kage


Ooops...I've missed the right number.
I mean, no, no! It's a conspiracy you know. They told you the Primarchs were twenty. That's not true. It's not true I say, dammit! Listen to me. Listen! They want you to think there was twenty Primarchs. It's important to understand...wait. Is that an Arbites badge under your trench? What the fug you are, a Judge?!

WAIT! WAIT! NOOOOOOOOOO....

Ivan Stupidor
28-10-2008, 18:28
No, it's written on page 126 how the calendary functions. It uses Anno Domini, it's ours, just with a different census concerning the years.

I just noticed that this morning while I was taking a break from painting. Oh, 40k. Never change.

witchking
30-10-2008, 01:36
Hmmm...well all i have to say is wow about the depth of the lore in 40k. I have been thinking about making a army eventually because fantasy is harder to get games and such and i just will be painting for fun most of the time anyways. I thought that fantasy was the back in the dayness and 40k was the future but still the same universe. So dreadnoughts suit of armour or a robot? And are tou a good army? I like there big sniper looking guns.

Borsil
30-10-2008, 01:54
Intestine rebellion against the oppressive rule of a galaxy-spanning inefficient tiranny is tragically common.

Good post, but I think you mean internecine- unless all those tyrants cause is really bad heartburn? :D
I know, I'm being anal, I'll go to sleep now....

afshinbb
30-10-2008, 02:16
wow i have been playing 40k for since rougue trader and never really read all the fluff. thanks guys for getting me updated too. sounds more fantastic now that i know how things got the way they are, thanks for taking the time to read the fluff and pass it down, peace. or i mean WAR, you forgot to tell the OP, "in the grim darkness of the future, THERE IS ONLY WAR!" and "LET THE GALAXY BURN!".

Herman the Heathen
30-10-2008, 09:39
For a bit more fun/ironic/hilarious/true description of WH40K go here:http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Warhammer40000

This one always cracketh me up.

The basic premise of 40k, insofar as it can be summed up, is that of an eternal, impossibly vast conflict between a number of absurdly powerful genocidal, xenocidal and in one case omnicidal factions, with every single weapon, ideology and creative piece of nastiness imaginable turned up to eleven.