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Borg451
16-09-2009, 11:53
Hi.

If you know the tv show 'Stargate SG-1' you'll know the Milky Way Galaxy is pretty much lorded over by (in the begining) the Goa'old most human and other alien planets are tainted by their oppression.

But there are a few places that gleam with freedom places like Tollana (http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/Tollana), world of the Tollan.

I like to think that within or outside of the Imperium of Man/Tau Empire/Any other large controlling government, there is a nice 'good' society that can stand up for itself (probly not in an all out assault by any of the major forces on its homeworld) but in offworld operations and the like.

Are there any in the background? or that u have invented? or can think of now?

Lord Damocles
16-09-2009, 12:01
Stelar empires cannot be reckoned in terms of the spacial areas they occupy, only in terms of the star systems under their control. The Imperium is the largest such empire in the galaxy - indeed the million or more worlds that lie under its dominion are spread throughout the entire galaxy with the exception of the Eastern Fringe. It is equivalent in extent to the reach of the Astronomican which fleets rely on for navigation. Of course the Imperium does not contol all of the star systems within this vast area, nor even the majority of the inhabited systems encompassed by its borders. The galaxy also contains many alien races ruling smaller and less coherent empires of their own.

Codex: Imperialis, pg.9


Plenty of scope there.
You could also look up the Selaacan Empire from Hellforged (although it got beat down by Necrons).

AndrewGPaul
16-09-2009, 12:27
The Imperium controls "millions" of worlds. Even assuming 10 million worlds, and only 1 world per star, there are 100-400 billion stars in the galaxy. The Imperium only controls 0.01% of the star systems in the galaxy. Plenty of room for other non-aligned human worlds.

Borg451
16-09-2009, 12:27
More Posts

sycopat
16-09-2009, 14:33
Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

Theres plenty of scope for such things, the problem lies in that as soon as an outside society makes contact with the Imperium or the Tau, it's going to be integrated or wiped out. And all the rest will destroy it out of hand, although occasionally the eldar will just ignore it.

That said, the exodites could be considered exactly what your talking about. They're basically "good", and independant. (Not human of course, but two out of three ain't bad.)

Also, of the Imperiums million worlds, only a small few are actively engaged in wars, the vast majority are peaceful and safe places, where everyone worships the emperor but mostly just get on with their lives. That occasionally a ship comes along to round up psykers, or take away a few thousand young men to the Imperial guard wouldn't be seen as oppression, but just business as usual.

Urath
16-09-2009, 14:38
That's not true, per se.

In the Grey Knights novel there is a system of worlds known as the "Trail of St.*something*" and it's largely forgotten and left to it's own devices.

canucklhead
16-09-2009, 23:10
This is the real truth of the Imperium of man. 40k is a game about war and conflict, and so the stories you will hear most are of those events which led to (da-da-da-da) war and conflict. On 10 thousand worlds across the Imperium, battle rage against the Enemies of mankind. On the other 990 thousand + worlds, things are much different.

On an agriworld, the governor awards the yearly prizes for highest crop yield at the planetary harvest festival, and there is joyous celebration when the transport ships arrive to collect the tithe. Every generation remembers the last time the ships arrived, and the proud Guardsmen in knife edge ranks, carrying their banners on parade. They went back to their farm collectives, and worked even harder to produce the food needed to keep such brave men sustained.

On a hive world, a young lad of 8 is at the medi-center, where his gene analysis has shown that he lacks the key markers to be accepted for induction to the Space Marines. His parents are secretly relieved, but they make the expected noises of disappointment. Instead, he will become a plasma welder, and perhaps raise a family of his own, proud in the knowledge that his work builds the mighty Russ tanks of the Imperial Guard.

The game is about the ugly brutal and violent aspects of the universe. The rest is up to you to imagine for yourself.

ntin
17-09-2009, 02:09
The one world that Lord Commander Solar Macharius could not conquer was inhabited by the Iron Men armed with all kinds of fancy toys. Although I think this has all been ret-conned out since Iron Men and Stone Men are not part of the official story any longer.

With that aside the universe within Warhammer 40,000 lacks the idealism and naivety that is common with the Stargate universe. There are no good guys and there is no climatic battle for justice. It is dark settings were billions die each day without being noticed or remembered. Each faction has its heroes but it is the perspective of a different faction that makes them a villain.

Argastes
17-09-2009, 02:44
The one world that Lord Commander Solar Macharius could not conquer was inhabited by the Iron Men armed with all kinds of fancy toys. Although I think this has all been ret-conned out since Iron Men and Stone Men are not part of the official story any longer.

??? Sure they are. Actually, there is no "official story" from which some previously-published fluff is excluded by GW fiat. GW has stated that all the fluff they've ever published, from previous editions and all that, is still valid. Nothing gets invalidated or superseded. So if they once published stuff about the Iron Men and Stone Men, then it's still just as much a part of the background as whatever fluff is in the latest codex.

Inquisitor Engel
17-09-2009, 03:10
??? Sure they are. Actually, there is no "official story" from which some previously-published fluff is excluded by GW fiat. GW has stated that all the fluff they've ever published, from previous editions and all that, is still valid. Nothing gets invalidated or superseded. So if they once published stuff about the Iron Men and Stone Men, then it's still just as much a part of the background as whatever fluff is in the latest codex.

To the best of my knowledge, after a decade and a half in the hobby, GW has NEVER said that. Ever. They even refuse to republish a book that contradicts the current canon.

If you could present a source for said statement, I will eat my hat.

Argastes
17-09-2009, 03:52
To the best of my knowledge, after a decade and a half in the hobby, GW has NEVER said that. Ever. They even refuse to republish a book that contradicts the current canon.

If you could present a source for said statement, I will eat my hat.

Someone else will have to provide the actual citation, because I don't have it to hand, but I hope you're in the mood for hat ;). I am frankly shocked that you have 3000+ posts and have never heard this before. It gets pointed out all the time here in the background forum.

Condottiere
17-09-2009, 07:46
That's mild - I think a Dickens' character in Oliver Twist said he'd eat his head.

Idaan
17-09-2009, 08:59
To the best of my knowledge, after a decade and a half in the hobby, GW has NEVER said that. Ever. They even refuse to republish a book that contradicts the current canon.

If you could present a source for said statement, I will eat my hat.


I'll happily be your tree. But I'm not sure you'll hear much of a crash. I weary of this question, and I weary of typing it all in yet again, yet again.

I think the real problem for me, and I speak for no other, is that the topic as a "big question" doesn't matter. It's all as true as everything else, and all just as false/half-remembered/sort-of-true. The answer you are seeking is "Yes and no" or perhaps "Sometimes". And for me, that's the end of it.

Now, ask us some specifics, eg can Black Templars spit acid and we can answer that one, and many others. But again note thet answer may well be "sometimes" or "it varies" or "depends".

But is it all true? Yes and no. Even though some of it is plainly contradictory? Yes and no. Do we deliberately contradict, retell with differences? Yes we do. Is the newer the stuff the truer it is? Yes and no. In some cases is it true that the older stuff is the truest? Yes and no. Maybe and sometimes. Depends and it varies.

It's a decaying universe without GPS and galaxy-wide communication, where precious facts are clung to long after they have been changed out of all recognition. Read A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M Miller, about monks toiling to hold onto facts in the aftermath of a nucelar war; that nails it for me.

Sorry, too much splurge here. Not meant to sound stroppy.

To attempt answer the initial question: What is GW's definition of canon? Perhaps we don't have one. Sometimes and maybe. Or perhaps we do and I'm not telling you.
What kind of hat is that may I ask?;)

Karhedron
17-09-2009, 13:08
I suspect that Ultramar is probably the only part of the Imperium that has been officially described as being a nice place to live with good education, high standards of living etc.

Doubtless there are others but as canucklhead points out, they probably aen't very interesting to write about in a game that is basically about war. :p

Borg451
17-09-2009, 20:40
I suspect that Ultramar is probably the only part of the Imperium that has been officially described as being a nice place to live with good education, high standards of living etc.

Doubtless there are others but as canucklhead points out, they probably aen't very interesting to write about in a game that is basically about war. :p


:S nicer place to live. but still believing a Zombie is a God.. and if you decide to not believe that.. get killed by load of Super Knights in Blue and Yellow

Col. Tartleton
17-09-2009, 21:25
This is what makes warhammer awesome.

They created a human empire that dominates the galaxy. Even the writers can't come close to fathoming how big their brain child is. They still toss around the word thousand as if it matters... The Imperium is the largest faction in known existance and its a thinly spread quasi empire of a million inhabited worlds which cover less than a thousandth of a percent of the stars in that galaxy. They also created a race that allegedly has eaten galaxies... In reality the galaxy is so big its quite likely the nids are a home grown threat the Imperium was unaware of until recently due to the lack of survivors, scale of the galaxy, and impossible communication.

But not only did they imagine an empire that impossibly big. According to something I read, a million dollars in ones stacked would be like ten meters high... so now imagine over 30 feet thick of dollars were planets, no not planets, entire star systems (I can't imagine many systems have more than one inhabitable planet) But we can't forget that this is simply human space, and that it covers less than 1/400,000th of the stars in the galaxy. Many of those other stars have life too.

But yet we forget, over 30,000 of those million planets have between 100 billion and a trillion people living on them. That's a lot of people, like three quintillion I believe going on the low end...

And the writers still talk about two regiments and some smattering of PDF defending a fringe world with far less than 10,000 men between the guard regiments...

Someone hasn't been reading their source books. I mean the biggest campaign numerically I've encountered is Abnetts sector spanning crusade numbering a billion foot soldiers. It would take more than that to pacify a single unruly hive world...

Welcome to the Dark Millenium...

Argastes
17-09-2009, 23:07
:S nicer place to live. but still believing a Zombie is a God.. and if you decide to not believe that.. get killed by load of Super Knights in Blue and Yellow

Since many Space Marines don't believe that the Emperor is a god (because, unlike the Ecclesiarchy, they still remember and honor his admonitions against that belief), I doubt that this is accurate. They aren't the Ecclesiarchy's goon squad, they aren't going to butcher the inhabitants of their own planets for failing to hold a belief that they themselves don't hold either. The job of the Space Marines is to rapidly respond to military threats (rebel planetary governors, alien attackers, Chaos incursions, etc.), they are not going to make it their business to enforce Imperial religious orthodoxy at gunpoint. The inhabitants of the Ultramarine-governed systems, and other Marine-controlled planets, probably have a good bit of religious freedom. Obviously they can't start forming Chaos-worshiping cults and such, but they aren't going to be put to the sword for deviating from Ecclesiarchal teachings.


[snip]

Definitely agree with this, it's absurd that mere regiments are the most common unit of the Guard that the fluff talks about. That's like the military history of WW2 being told on a squad-by-squad level. Million-man army groups should be the smallest unit of Guard that has much meaning; you'd need a couple million soldiers to take even a sparsely populated agri-world, and yeah, billions upon billions for a hive world. I wish the fluff writers had a better sense of the scale of the universe they've imagined.

Iracundus
18-09-2009, 03:15
Since many Space Marines don't believe that the Emperor is a god (because, unlike the Ecclesiarchy, they still remember and honor his admonitions against that belief), I doubt that this is accurate.

Although most Marines claim they don't see the Emperor as a god, their behavior is almost virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the Ecclesiarchy so it becomes almost a matter of theological semantics and labeling.

The Ecclesiarchy believe the Emperor is a god and pray to him, worship him, seek his blessing, and believe they will join him in the afterlife. They have priests.

The Marines believe the Emperor was the greatest Man and pray to him, worship him, seek his blessing, and believe they will join him in the afterlife. They have chaplains.

Argastes
18-09-2009, 03:44
Although most Marines claim they don't see the Emperor as a god, their behavior is almost virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the Ecclesiarchy so it becomes almost a matter of theological semantics and labeling.

The Ecclesiarchy believe the Emperor is a god and pray to him, worship him, seek his blessing, and believe they will join him in the afterlife. They have priests.

The Marines believe the Emperor was the greatest Man and pray to him, worship him, seek his blessing, and believe they will join him in the afterlife. They have chaplains.

Right, I don't disagree with any that. But my point is, they aren't going to go around massacring Imperial citizens--especially the people of their own worlds--because those people failed to toe the Ecclesiarchy's line about the emperor's divinity. Which is what Borg451 alleged. So that's what I was disagreeing with. If the Ecclesiarchy wants to kill people for failing to accept the divinity of the Emperor, they'll have to do it themselves; the Space Marines aren't going to do it for them.

EDIT: Actually, I think I do kind of disagree with the idea that SM religious behavior is "virtually indistinguishable" from the Ecclesiachy's religious behavior. It's true that both groups pray to the emperor, worship him, seek and blessing, believe they'll join him in the afterlife, and have holy men who guide them in these activities. Yet that's an extremely broad and vague analysis, and in fact the same statement could probably be made between almost any two religions in the Abrahamic tradition (which SM and Imperial religion are, despite being fictional). For instance, Episcopalians and Wahabbis both worship God, pray to him, seek his blessing, believe they'll join him in the afterlife, and have holy men. Yet no-one could reasonably claim that they are "virtually indistinguishable" in their behavior, except in the very broadest sense just described. There's a huge amount of room for heteropraxis between SMs and the Ecclesiarchy despite the very broad similarities in worshipping the emperor, praying to him, and so on. I'd imagine that the Space Marine cults differ greatly from the Ecclesiarchy in the specifics of their practices, and that there is far more separating them than just "semantics and labeling".

Iracundus
18-09-2009, 08:20
For instance, Episcopalians and Wahabbis both worship God, pray to him, seek his blessing, believe they'll join him in the afterlife, and have holy men. Yet no-one could reasonably claim that they are "virtually indistinguishable" in their behavior, except in the very broadest sense just described.

Except both of them still admit to being religions and worshipping a deity. That is different from the assertion Space Marines aren't religious at all and "just" see the Emperor as a man. Even though they call the focus of their practices a man, or the greatest man, their practices are fundamentally religious in nature, and Marines are by no means secularists as some people seem to believe.

Argastes
18-09-2009, 12:43
Except both of them still admit to being religions and worshipping a deity. That is different from the assertion Space Marines aren't religious at all and "just" see the Emperor as a man. Even though they call the focus of their practices a man, or the greatest man, their practices are fundamentally religious in nature, and Marines are by no means secularists as some people seem to believe.

Well of course, I definitely agree that Space Marines are deeply religious, and I certainly don't think they are secularists! They very clearly have religious beliefs, the fluff refers to their "cults" on many occasions. I think their attitude towards the emperor is a sort of combined hero-worship and ancestor-worship; definitely religious, just not asserting his divinity. I was just pointing out that while SMs are clearly religious and engage in the same basic religious behaviors (e.g. worship and prayer) as the Ecclesiarchy with regard to the Emperor, their actual practices could and probably do differ radically.

It's also worth noting that even if they don't view the emperor as a god, many Space Marine cults do still include belief in various other gods; I don't have my 3rd Edition marine codex on hand to check exactly what it says, but I do remember it including a fluff bit about how marines often worship their "chapter gods" alongside the Emperor and their Primarch. So it sounds like at least some marines are polytheists. It's a shame GW hasn't expanded on this theme more, it would be very interesting to see them elaborate on the religious practices of the space marines so that we could see just how strange and barbarous they are in comparison to those of the Ecclesiarchy. I'd imagine that in many cases, the various gods worshiped by a chapter might be derived from the native religions of the peoples they recruit from. This sort of 'barbarian' (in the eyes of the Ecclesiarchy) polytheism could be one reason that the Ecclesiarchy views the Space Marine cults with such enmity and suspicion.

El_Machinae
18-09-2009, 15:27
To answer the OP: a terraformed world at the fringe of the Imperium could go onto become quite the nice democracy with a prodigious tech-development rate. But, being so far from Earth means that they couldn't travel between stars using the Warp, and so their growth would be stunted. Progress tends to happen due to trade & shared innovations, and so while they might become powerful, they can only become 'so' powerful. And other aliens are still a risk to them.

Argastes
18-09-2009, 15:45
To answer the OP: a terraformed world at the fringe of the Imperium could go onto become quite the nice democracy with a prodigious tech-development rate. But, being so far from Earth means that they couldn't travel between stars using the Warp, and so their growth would be stunted. Progress tends to happen due to trade & shared innovations, and so while they might become powerful, they can only become 'so' powerful. And other aliens are still a risk to them.

They might have some other method for faster-than-light space travel. Just because warp space flight is the only method used by the Imperium and some other races doesn't mean it's the only method that's at all possible under the fictional laws of physics that exist in the 40K universe. A technologically sophisticated society that has developed independently might have discovered a method that the Imperium and others never even guessed at.

Furthermore, a planet wouldn't necessarily have to be located "at the fringe" of the Imperium to go unnoticed. The fact that the Imperium stretches across a galaxy of 400 billion star systems but only has worlds in a few million of those systems means that undiscovered civilizations are probably scattered throughout it's area, even in it's comparatively dense portions. There are probably a lot of systems even in the middle of the Segmentum Solar that haven't been visited by an Explorator ship for hundreds or thousands of years.... or ever. And when Explorator ships do visit a system, they might fail to detect a human society that exists on on one of that systems planets, and therefore mistakenly catalogue the system as uninhabited and of no interest. Thus it never gets another visit and attracts no attention from the Imperium, while the people living in that overlooked society go on about their business, slowly developing, becoming more technologically advanced over the centuries.

Iracundus
18-09-2009, 16:27
There have been many fan creations over the years of "good", high tech, non-superstitious, democratic human societies...often by people seeking to create idealized versions of modern day society or to create a valiant "rebel alliance" against the Imperium. Unfortunately these fan creations often come across as "Mary Sue" in that they are portrayed as somehow managing to overcome the issue of uncontrolled psykers, entrenched almost species wide distrust of high technology and rational scientific thinking after the Iron Men's war with humanity, and the issues of interstellar travel/communication/political organization all with generally little trouble.

Argastes
18-09-2009, 16:43
....entrenched almost species wide distrust of high technology and rational scientific thinking after the Iron Men's war with humanity...

Didn't that happen literally like 25,000 years ago though? In the intervening time period, a human society could have regressed to neolithic primitivism, reinvented agriculture and then nation-states and then industrial technology, nuked themselves back to the stone age, and redeveloped into a high-tech society yet again. It's absurd to think that even the most deep-seated cultural taboos of the DAOT would necessarily survive that long; they MIGHT, but they wouldn't always. They would literally be prehistory to the people of that society in the 41st millennium. Even the most deep-seated elements of a culture can easily be left behind during the changes that can occur over such a long period.

I do agree, though, that high-tech "good" human societies in 40K tend to suffer from Mary Sueism, and that any author who creates them should be careful to avoid this pitfall.

Iracundus
18-09-2009, 16:52
Didn't that happen literally like 25,000 years ago though? In the intervening time period, a human society could have regressed to neolithic primitivism, reinvented agriculture and then nation-states and then industrial technology, nuked themselves back to the stone age, and redeveloped into a high-tech society yet again. It's absurd to think that even the most deep-seated cultural taboos of the DAOT would necessarily survive that long; they MIGHT, but they wouldn't always. They would literally be prehistory to the people of that society in the 41st millennium. Even the most deep-seated elements of a culture can easily be left behind during the changes that can occur over such a long period.

I do agree, though, that high-tech "good" human societies in 40K tend to suffer from Mary Sueism, and that any author who creates them should be careful to avoid this pitfall.

There could be an element of survivor bias. In other words, those societies that survived the conflict with the Iron Men were those that developed that distrust and those taboos. Since we know the Iron Men ultimately lost, presumably the majority of any human societies allied with them also lost and were wiped out. Even if the actual details of the conflict became lost or muddled in the telling, general themes of the dangers of hubris, overstepping one's allotted place in the world, etc... could still be propagated leading to stalled or slowed technological progress beyond a certain point. If any of these societies establish contact with other worlds, or the AdMech, such taboos would likely be reinforced either explicitly or through other such cautionary tales.

Argastes
18-09-2009, 17:15
I don't doubt that human societies might have developed anti-technological cultural ideas at the time of the wars against the Iron Men. What I'm saying is that 20,000+ years is an incredibly long period of time for a cultural value to survive. Not just an accurate historical understanding of where the value comes from, but the value itself. No cultural value is truly permanent. Enough time has passed since the wars against the Iron Men that even the most deep-rooted technology taboos could have totally disappeared thousands of years prior to the current day. Again, it would be enough time for the people of that society to go through multiple fundamental changes in the way they live and the way their civilization works. That's enough time for even the most deeply seated cultural values to change totally.

EDIT: Yeah, obviously contact with the Imperium might restore or reinforce such ideas. But I've been talking about human societies that specifically have NOT been in contact with the Imperium.

Gen.Steiner
18-09-2009, 23:24
People often forget the time-span. Tens of thousands of years is a LONG time. In the last 20,000 years (18,000 BCE) humanity has progressed from the stone age to the information age. What values of the stone age do we retain? Almost none, unless you're a headhunting Pelonnesian tribe...

Iracundus
19-09-2009, 00:47
People often forget the time-span. Tens of thousands of years is a LONG time. In the last 20,000 years (18,000 BCE) humanity has progressed from the stone age to the information age. What values of the stone age do we retain? Almost none, unless you're a headhunting Pelonnesian tribe...

Take an evolutionary biology or psychology course and you might see we actually retain a lot of ancient ways of thinking, influencing us even though we might not consciously be aware. Aversion to risk of loss taking precedence over risk of potential gain, fear of the unknown, craving for high sugar or high fat foods are all holdovers from the ancient past.

canucklhead
19-09-2009, 00:49
Strange though, that we have kept the concepts of family groups, diety worship, cultural taboos based on superstition, ostrasism non conformists, racial, geographical and political bias, and I'm sure a hundred other things I can't be bothered think about this late. All basic human traits that we have yet to abandon, 40,000 + years on.

Argastes
19-09-2009, 01:39
Take an evolutionary biology or psychology course and you might see we actually retain a lot of ancient ways of thinking, influencing us even though we might not consciously be aware. Aversion to risk of loss taking precedence over risk of potential gain, fear of the unknown, craving for high sugar or high fat foods are all holdovers from the ancient past.

Risk-taking "conservatism" is arguably a beneficial trait even today... The same is arguably true of fear of the unknown, or at least was arguably true of it much more recently than several thousand years ago. And a craving for high-sugar or high-fat foods has an evolutionary origin that was definitely relevant as recently as a few hundred years ago for practically everyone in the world; for people in many parts of the world, it may have been relevant as recently as a few decades ago, or may even still be relevant to this very day. So I don't think it's fair to say that these things are all holdovers from our "ancient past".

That said, I do of course I agree that there are many ways in which current human cultures still harken back to our pre-agricultural roots. The original point I was trying to make, however, is that it's by no means certain that a cultural aversion to high technology originating with the Iron Men would last 20,000 years and thus prevent isolated human cultures in the 41st millennium from having a high level of technological sophistication. Perhaps such aversions would still be there in some cultures, but certainly not in all of them. So I don't think that your original claim, that "entrenched almost species-wide distrust of high technology and rational scientific thinking" poses a problem for fluff writers who want to imagine high-tech and rational human societies in 40K, is entirely valid. There has been more than enough time for such distrust to die off and disappear in some (not necessarily all, but some) isolated human societies.

Iracundus
19-09-2009, 03:00
Risk-taking "conservatism" is arguably a beneficial trait even today... The same is arguably true of fear of the unknown, or at least was arguably true of it much more recently than several thousand years ago. And a craving for high-sugar or high-fat foods has an evolutionary origin that was definitely relevant as recently as a few hundred years ago for practically everyone in the world; for people in many parts of the world, it may have been relevant as recently as a few decades ago, or may even still be relevant to this very day. So I don't think it's fair to say that these things are all holdovers from our "ancient past".


These all arose in the ancient past and have been perpetuated because they remained useful, or rather at least they were not selected against. How exactly such behavior can be passed on through so many generations (is it genetic? cultural? or mix?) still isn't definitively known.

The aversion to high technology in 40K might have been so strongly selected for as a result of the wars with the Iron Men that it could be sustained not purely culturally, but on some level perhaps even genetically. Before one scoffs, just look at the above behaviors and other "hard-wired" behaviors in animals. It need not even be as explicit as aversion to high technology itself, but rather as extreme conservatism and aversion to any risk taking or change. If curiousity and open mindedness led to death (either at the hands of Iron Men or pogroms by opponents of the Iron Men), then it is conceivable that over long periods of time this would be selected against.

Argastes
19-09-2009, 03:38
Okay, I don't have a problem with that idea, but again, surely it will not be the case on all worlds that have been settled since the time of the Iron Men. It's certainly a possibility that the populations of some worlds will have such genetic inclinations, but to me, stating that it's a problem with the fundamental idea of high-tech rational human societies in 40K is radically over-broad.

Your original statement, if you recall, was that high-tech rational human societies in 40K have a "Mary Sue" quality because it's necessarily implicit they have somehow managed to overcome the problem of "species-wide" distrust of technology and rationalism. I'm saying that on planets that have been isolated from the rest of civilization for long periods--thousands or even tens of thousands of years--it is by no means guaranteed that this distrust will still exist. So a high-tech rational human society in 40K isn't necessarily Mary Sueish, since the alleged limiting factors are surely not universally present. They may be common, even predominant, but that doesn't mean they are totally universal and I think it's absurd to suggest that they would be. In other words, the distrust can't truly be "species-wide" in the most all-inclusive sense.

I really don't understand why this comment of mine has sparked so much discussion, it seems to me that it should be quite obvious that not every single isolated human society is going to share the same ideas about technology, especially 20,000 years after the events that allegedly gave rise to these ideas. Surely you don't seriously mean to claim that every one of the millions of human-colonized worlds in the galaxy is dominated by permanently ingrained anti-technological and anti-rational views?

In fact, why is it assumed that every single human planet that was colonized in the DAOT even participated in, or was affected by, the wars against the Iron Men? We certainly don't have nearly enough specific info about that time period to say that. It seems entirely possible that many planets, which were distant or sparsely-populated backwaters at the time, might have been totally uninvolved in all that. Not that postulating such planets should even be necessary to explain why some isolated human worlds might not have a distrust of technology, of course.

Iracundus
19-09-2009, 03:53
Your original statement, if you recall, was that high-tech rational human societies in 40K have a "Mary Sue" quality because it's necessarily implicit they have somehow managed to overcome the problem of "species-wide" distrust of technology and rationalism.

Not quite. The original "Mary Sue" quality was in reference to fan creations that end up being strong, good, high tech, rational, and that have overcome with ease all the seemingly intractable problems the Imperium struggles with. High tech and rational by itself doesn't necessarily make it Mary Sue. It is the combination of "all good, no real flaws" that makes something Mary Sue.

I did not say every planet had to be permanently embedded with anti-technological views. However extreme conservatism and aversion to change and risk taking over a period of time, even transiently, can act as a brake on technological development, or slow it down considerably. There is also possibly the paradigm of high technology requiring huge infrastructure (physical and intellectual) to maintain and advance further. These two issues combined may explain why you don't have isolated human worlds having advanced to Clarke level technology.

Condottiere
20-09-2009, 09:14
These all arose in the ancient past and have been perpetuated because they remained useful, or rather at least they were not selected against. How exactly such behavior can be passed on through so many generations (is it genetic? cultural? or mix?) still isn't definitively known.

The aversion to high technology in 40K might have been so strongly selected for as a result of the wars with the Iron Men that it could be sustained not purely culturally, but on some level perhaps even genetically. Before one scoffs, just look at the above behaviors and other "hard-wired" behaviors in animals. It need not even be as explicit as aversion to high technology itself, but rather as extreme conservatism and aversion to any risk taking or change. If curiousity and open mindedness led to death (either at the hands of Iron Men or pogroms by opponents of the Iron Men), then it is conceivable that over long periods of time this would be selected against.It's unlikely that an aversion to technology would be genetically linked, but it probably is culturally reinforced.

Iracundus
20-09-2009, 10:25
I did not say it had to be an aversion to technology per se. It could be as simple as decreased initiative and willingness to try something new or take risks. Such an extreme conservatism would have the effect of slowing any technological progress.

Condottiere
20-09-2009, 10:31
You may be thinking of Warhammer Dwarves.

Burnthem
20-09-2009, 10:39
But, being so far from Earth means that they couldn't travel between stars using the Warp, and so their growth would be stunted..

Why do people still believe this? It's a load of cobblers. The Astronomican is nothing more than a navigational beacon, it in no way affects your entry into and exit from the warp.

Imagine a submarine, one with a periscope and one without, they both have no trouble at all diving into the water or surfacing, but the difference is that the one without the periscope (ie the Astronomican) has to regularly resurface to make sure they haven't gone off track and get thier bearings. The submarine with the periscope (ie a navigator on board who can 'see' the astronomican) can travel for a long long time without having to surface to check it's on the right path.

Humanity in the 40K universe was using the Warp for a long long time before the Navigator gene started to manifest itself (possibly as an effect of warp travel itself?) and got along perfectly fine.

Argastes
20-09-2009, 12:49
Good point, Burnthem. A spacecraft could still navigate around the galaxy without the Astronomican or Navigators; it would just have to travel in a series of short warp jumps, periodically coming back into real-space to check it's position, Probably via triangulation from the X-ray emissions of known pulsars, which is a real-life method that can be used to determine one's position in the galaxy (with incredible precision, it should be added).

elvinltl
21-09-2009, 06:54
Or maybe this Strong/Good/High Tech/Free Human Societies had already left our MilkyWay for another Galaxy?

Or maybe there is a parallel world where the Dark age of Technology did not happen and humans prospered?

IMO most of such societies are being subdued and trashed by Space Marines because of non-compliance. One example is the Interax which was eventually destroyed by the Space Marines. They had a good society with amazing technology and are open-minded people who embraced alien technology and even integrated aliens into their society.

gunners
21-09-2009, 08:25
Well to answer your posted question: The Interstellar : hope i spelled it right:confused:: I HH series Horus finds a empire where aliens and humans more or less coexists, and everyone is aware of the threat of Chaos.
The description of this place seems rather nice.. With solid political leadership and no apparent wars, riots or oppresion..
Of course you have to mention that the empire are not descibed in rigid details, and some things may be kept hidden, but on the surface and to our knowledge it is a small oasis in a galaxy of WAR!!!!
I have never read any fluff of the empire to have conquered or destroyed it, but who knows:rolleyes:??

And they had no problem creating a intergalatic empire... Which means Warp travel without acce to the astronomican..

:EDIT: damn it... i of course meant "the Interex".... thx for pointing out the obvious Askil

Askil the Undecided
21-09-2009, 09:31
The Interex and Kinebrach got contacted by Horus when he landed they talked until they heard the anatheme (the sword that laid horus low until Davin) had been stolen upon which they ceased peaceful talks and attacked Horus forcing him to withdraw it was never clarified what happened but given that Interex warriors gave heresy-era Astartes trouble it's safe to assume they were annihilated or we'd have heard from them since.

Also the Interex and the Kinebrach were allies not subject to the same rulers.

gunners
21-09-2009, 12:21
True, but i would be safe to aume that it demanded a huge armada of ships to deal with the navy of the Interex... When they defeated/ forced Horus to retreat it would go a long time before the empire had any kind of force ready to deal with this smaller empire again..

But yes they was allied, since the human part of the interex empire had spared the aliens, and it would seem they had some high tech society.. Wether or not it is still out there "today" gotta reamin a mystery.
BUT if it is, there you have your STRONG: beat part of the great crusade. GOOD: They fight Chaos and do not annihilate any given alien race they encounter, the Megarachnid got spared. HIGH TECH: In Horus rising it is clearly stated that they have some technology that in many ways was more advanced than that of the Imperium's. FREE HUMAN.... Well the small fragment of the society you hear about seem free, but really hard to tell without more knowledge..

My bet will go for this small interstellar empire to be the ONLY "good" human society... and no Tau don't qaulify for anything, they are by any standard just evil fishmen;)

elvinltl
21-09-2009, 14:24
The Interex and Kinebrach got contacted by Horus when he landed they talked until they heard the anatheme (the sword that laid horus low until Davin) had been stolen upon which they ceased peaceful talks and attacked Horus forcing him to withdraw it was never clarified what happened but given that Interex warriors gave heresy-era Astartes trouble it's safe to assume they were annihilated or we'd have heard from them since.

Also the Interex and the Kinebrach were allies not subject to the same rulers.

Their society was quite refine and high-tech. They even take note to finer things in life such as light intensity and background living sound. They learnt from the Eldar and they had amour that was deemed as "Masterful" by Space Marines that hardened on impact and yet remain flexible for combat. (Probably copied from the Eldar... rarely do Eldar share information with Monkeighs)

Not to mention, their normal human can fight on par with a space marines with their skills and technology alone. O.o

And remember, Xenobia is their OUTPOST!!! Can you imagine the sheer beauty and technological capability of their capital city.

And I think the Space Marines just razed it to the ground because of sheer stupidity and stubboness. Blind faith to the Emperor. Hmp...

Lockjaw
22-09-2009, 04:51
Quote To the best of my knowledge, after a decade and a half in the hobby, GW has NEVER said that. Ever. They even refuse to republish a book that contradicts the current canon.

If you could present a source for said statement, I will eat my hat.
Originally Posted by Marc Gascoigne on BL forums
I'll happily be your tree. But I'm not sure you'll hear much of a crash. I weary of this question, and I weary of typing it all in yet again, yet again.

I think the real problem for me, and I speak for no other, is that the topic as a "big question" doesn't matter. It's all as true as everything else, and all just as false/half-remembered/sort-of-true. The answer you are seeking is "Yes and no" or perhaps "Sometimes". And for me, that's the end of it.

Now, ask us some specifics, eg can Black Templars spit acid and we can answer that one, and many others. But again note thet answer may well be "sometimes" or "it varies" or "depends".

But is it all true? Yes and no. Even though some of it is plainly contradictory? Yes and no. Do we deliberately contradict, retell with differences? Yes we do. Is the newer the stuff the truer it is? Yes and no. In some cases is it true that the older stuff is the truest? Yes and no. Maybe and sometimes. Depends and it varies.

It's a decaying universe without GPS and galaxy-wide communication, where precious facts are clung to long after they have been changed out of all recognition. Read A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M Miller, about monks toiling to hold onto facts in the aftermath of a nucelar war; that nails it for me.

Sorry, too much splurge here. Not meant to sound stroppy.

To attempt answer the initial question: What is GW's definition of canon? Perhaps we don't have one. Sometimes and maybe. Or perhaps we do and I'm not telling you.


Honestly, I call that whole 'yes and maybe, no?" deal a big copout on their part, it's a big excuse for tem not to be bothered keeping things straight.

and yes, Men of Iron were never officially retconned out of existance, most people i know would still consider them valid then

Lockjaw
22-09-2009, 05:10
. These two issues combined may explain why you don't have isolated human worlds having advanced to Clarke level technology.

there was a peice of fluff a ooong time back about an mperial official visiting an isolated world to tell the monks living there how great the Imperium is and try absorbing them into the imperium, he came, saw how they lived, and decided they had nothing to offer the imperium, so he left, and it turned out they actually had high technology, but kept it hidden, sort of like the 40k version of the Foundation

Condottiere
22-09-2009, 09:04
A planet has always something to offer the Imperium, if only a cushy posting for the brother-in-law of an official in the Administration.

gunners
22-09-2009, 09:30
Anyone actually got any source that says the Interex got wiped?

In the HH it seems like not just a minor civilization, but something that would demand a huge crusade to "win them over"..

Condottiere
22-09-2009, 09:41
After a hundred centuries, it's probably integrate or have extensive conversations with Inquisitors in uncomfortable surroundings.

The faithful could always be imported from more god-fearing worlds.

elvinltl
22-09-2009, 14:20
Anyone actually got any source that says the Interex got wiped?

In the HH it seems like not just a minor civilization, but something that would demand a huge crusade to "win them over"..

Yep. Their Xenobia city was an outpost and the Space Marines were quite amazed with her.

Imagine their capital city. @.@

El_Machinae
22-09-2009, 18:56
Why do people still believe this? It's a load of cobblers. The Astronomican is nothing more than a navigational beacon, it in no way affects your entry into and exit from the warp.

Imagine a submarine, one with a periscope and one without, they both have no trouble at all diving into the water or surfacing, but the difference is that the one without the periscope (ie the Astronomican) has to regularly resurface to make sure they haven't gone off track and get thier bearings. The submarine with the periscope (ie a navigator on board who can 'see' the astronomican) can travel for a long long time without having to surface to check it's on the right path.

Humanity in the 40K universe was using the Warp for a long long time before the Navigator gene started to manifest itself (possibly as an effect of warp travel itself?) and got along perfectly fine.

I'm under the impression that the travel was safer then, due to the nature of the Warp in that era. "Losing ones bearings" in the 40k Warp strikes me as being terribly dangerous for humans.