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Typharius
21-09-2009, 00:43
Don't worry, although I am a huge SM/Emperor fanboy I am not asking this in the hope people will tell me how immense the emperor was, just that you never really get to read about his powers being truly tested other than the battle with Horus in which he held back of course, and during the Ullanor campaign when he apparently almost got strangled by an ork. Anyone got any sort of "ballpark" idea of the limits of his powers perhaps in comparison to other immensely powerful characters from any species in 40k?

Captain DD
21-09-2009, 00:48
Maybe he's a pint sized Galactus?!?

Lusall
21-09-2009, 00:50
Well...I don't really know if that's possible to say. Safe to say...the Emperor was a BMF.

Typharius
21-09-2009, 01:02
BMF indeed haha, I suppose if ten thousand Psykers have to die every day to keep him alive you could say he was ten thousand times the power of an average Psyker? ^^ then again I have no idea what level of Psykers they sacrifice to him either. *furrows brow*

Lord-Gen Bale Chambers
21-09-2009, 02:21
During the Great Crusade, the Emperor could power and focus the Astronomicon from half way across the galaxy.

That is pretty damn powerful.

w00tm0ng3r
21-09-2009, 03:12
The best answer is that he has powers as the plot demands. This is why on one hand he can bitch slap the void dragon while on the other he can almost get strangled by an ork.

Lusall
21-09-2009, 03:14
Yes, but I think the point of his post was to get a better idea of how powerful the Emperor was. (We all know GW will change this and that for the purposes of fluff.)

Vesica
21-09-2009, 03:14
During the Great Crusade, the Emperor could power and focus the Astronomicon from half way across the galaxy.

That is pretty damn powerful.

Yep,

You know he is powerful when the 4 chaos gods worked together to try and kill him and failed.

Warsurge
21-09-2009, 03:35
Yep,

You know he is powerful when the 4 chaos gods worked together to try and kill him and failed.

They did not fail. He is dying slowly because of what Horus was able to do to him. When he dies he will be reborn more godly that he already is and take on the Chaos Gods.

wolf40k
21-09-2009, 03:41
I remember reading somewhere that the psychic blast that he killed Horus with was the equivalent of 9000 Las-cannons.:eek:

Edit: It's over 9000
lol just saw that.

genestealer_baldric
21-09-2009, 08:13
I remember reading somewhere that the psychic blast that he killed Horus with was the equivalent of 9000 Las-cannons.:eek:

Edit: It's over 9000
lol just saw that.

So all horus needed to do survive was wear a mirror ball suit?

Well apparentley the "ork" was a old style warboss that makes baneblades look like a skateboard. Also depending on the waaaaaagghhhh going on the weird boys may of be sheiliding there boss, but they would have to have hunderds of alpha level +++++++++++++ to hope sheild againts the Empeors might.

Iuris
21-09-2009, 08:57
Me, I'm in favour of more "down to earth" 40k, so:

-Physical: Tall human, within human norm. Perfect physical condition, perhaps above normal human norm. (Psychic power augments this by whole orders of magnitude.)

-Mental: the mind of a scientist. Generally a genius and polymath. ( I do remember he was a scientist primary mentioned somewhere in the tons of background)

-Psychic: Psyker of power exceeding any other human in all aspects. Predictive power at almost Farseer level, however, the "raw" power should be significantly greater. Also has the Astronomican at his disposal as a source of power to tap into.

DeathTyrant
21-09-2009, 09:06
I'm not sure if this is still canon, but in the older fluff, didn't Ork weirdboyz amplify and focus the power of the Ork waaagghhh psychic energy? So, if we are talking a bout a waaaagggin the tens or hundreds of millions, then that would make for some powerful weirdboyz.

Askil the Undecided
21-09-2009, 09:18
Imagine the most astounding feat of power that you can grasp by eye i.e. that you can perceive without outside help. (Flying cities, moons shifting in orbit huge superintense cyclonic megasystemic weather patterns.)

The Big E can make these occur.

He couldn't do absolutely everything one could imagine but he could do just about anything he turned his hand to (and if he couldn't he could work out a way to do it anyway.)

The important thing to remember is that the Big E for all his enormous power was still a man and as such he was fallible, he could still be blindsided, he sometimes overlooked things and he could be suprised, it was just much harder than normal.

grissom2006
21-09-2009, 09:45
I also think in part he knew better than to put all is faith into his psychic ability as everytime you tap into you become more and more tempted by it's trappings.

changer of fate
21-09-2009, 10:20
well if BIG E was that much of a BMF, then how big horus would have to be to be able to stand up against emperor, and mortally wound him?

genestealer_baldric
21-09-2009, 10:32
well if BIG E was that much of a BMF, then how big horus would have to be to be able to stand up against emperor, and mortally wound him?

because he had the powers of the 4 chaos gods in his belly giving him a major caffine boost.

when the empeor lashed out the chaos gods fled horus lest they be destroyed as well.

Damage,Inc.
21-09-2009, 10:57
"The Emperor is a plot device!"

*Picture Damage,Inc. wearing a placard and yelling this at people along a street corner...

Condottiere
21-09-2009, 11:16
The Emperor powers vary in accordance to the opposition he faces.

sigur
21-09-2009, 11:35
How do you want to quantify such a thing?

Typharius
21-09-2009, 13:06
I was just looking for peoples opinions really, theres no way of knowing exactly what his limits were but already I'm reading some interesting replies. Oh and Changer of fate, it's already been stated many times in the fluff that when the Emperor fought Horus he was unable to focus his full powers due to the conflict he felt at killing his favorite son.

Typharius
21-09-2009, 13:09
And ok I want to stop another 10,000 people saying "it changes when the author wants him to do something" just tell me what your opinion is when you think of the Emperor, when I think about the 40k universe I don't think of it in terms of fluff and plot devices, I see the characters as I perceive them.

Jedi152
21-09-2009, 13:09
As an aside note: Where did the Emperor come from? Does the background basically amount to "one day the Emperor was born and he was badass!!"?

Typharius
21-09-2009, 13:11
Born in Anitola to human parents, he was the reincarnation of the earths earlier Psykers, Shamans who used to reincarnate via the warp. When the warp began to become distorted there souls were being devoured by creatures there, so thousands of them all reincarnated into one body ala the big E was born.

EDIT: Anatolia*

loveless
21-09-2009, 13:42
I like to think of the Emperor being like Dr. Manhattan - only showing concern towards humanity instead of indifference, and wearing clothing as opposed to putting himself on display for the whole world to see.

Burnthem
21-09-2009, 13:52
How do you want to quantify such a thing?

I believe the current unit for quantifying 'power' as such is either the metric ton or the bushel, i forget which. Or is it the Ounce? Hmm....

Whatever it is i know for a fact that the Emperor's power was rated at approximately 448 million Bushels, which is alot by anybodies standards!

MvS
21-09-2009, 15:08
There are many good doscussions on the Emperor here on Warseer. Here are a few links that may prove interesting:

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160838&highlight=Emperor

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186261&highlight=Emperor

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36476&highlight=The+Emperor

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160838&highlight=Emperor&page=2

:)

Typharius
21-09-2009, 15:40
Thanks very much for the links MVS, I can't figure out for the life of me how to search the forums for topics xD

EDIT: I just found the search tool, I guess my attempts to find it at 5am were hindered by my tiredness.

The Anarchist
21-09-2009, 16:45
pretty much the emperor was as powerfull as the four chaos gods, but not forced only to abide in the imaterium. so the Emperor is the single most powerfull being in existance both physiclay and psychicly. he's still mortal, but so powerfull as to be insanely hard to kill, the reason he cna be killed by an ork for example is that his physical form is essentialy human, agumented by almost unlimited psychic powers. so if he's used alot of his psychic might, tired out or using his psychic powers to do lots of things at once like the astronomicon and fight all the psychic waggggh power of a Ork warhost his physical form is weaken to the extent as to only be as hard as primarch for example. we know primarchs can be killed, jsut with huge amounts of effort, so the idea of one of the largest and ahrdest Orks ever being hard enough to do it we see how the emperor can have almost been strangled.

just my two cents.

Firaxin
21-09-2009, 17:01
If the Emperor could be used in Apocalypse games, he wouldn't have a model. Instead, the controlling player would get to throw/roll a live hand grenade into the enemy's army twice a turn (once in the shooting phase, once in the assault phase).

Damage,Inc.
21-09-2009, 17:02
The problem with people as powerful and full of win as the Emperor is that when they fail, it's epic.

Gue'Vesa'Vre Kilo
21-09-2009, 18:22
If the Emperor could be used in Apocalypse games, he wouldn't have a model. Instead, the controlling player would get to throw/roll a live hand grenade into the enemy's army twice a turn (once in the shooting phase, once in the assault phase).

lol loved it! sigged:D

MvS
21-09-2009, 21:58
From the oldest imagery to the most recent, the Emperor has been described as fighting in the Great Crusade alongside his men. It doesn't describe him as obliterating whole armies from on high with his psychic might. He fights.

Now I know this is out of kilter with other depictions of him holding back armies of daemons with his presence alone (the whole Golden-Throne-as-a-plug issue), but it does tell us something about his limitations. His power, though immense, has limitations. Perhaps they're contextual (so he has more power over the Warp and daemons than over People and Realspace), or maybe the limitations are dependent upon other clauses (like him directing the Astronomican even while fighting in the Gereat Crusade), but they are there.

Col. Tartleton
21-09-2009, 22:17
How powerful is Jesus?

It's a similar sort of question.

The answer is strong enough to shove the crux up the Romans' asses, but Jesus was a pacifist and took the high road and carried it.

The Emperor has no qualms about stabbing people in the anus with giant wooden crosses. The Emperor is half way between Jesus and Vlad the Impaler...

DarkMatter2
21-09-2009, 22:37
I do not understand why the Emperor's "power level" is such a fascinating topic of discussion for so many.

The answer is that his powers are whatever he needs to suit the story.

Some may call this poor universe building, I think it is more or less the end result of having such a hugely important character so poorly defined.

Not that, in the end, I would want to know how many Bloodthirsters the Emperor could take on in hand to hand combat - his role is to facilitate the story and to serve as a unifying factor for the Imperium, not to be a uberleet final boss.

Could he kill a C'Tan? If the story called for it. Could he destroy an Ork army on his own? If the story called for it.

Damage,Inc.
22-09-2009, 02:01
The main thing about 40K, which is often forgotten in how the background in portrayed- is that the background is told from the point of view of the layperson of the 41st millenium. The stories about feats change through the years and become exagerated with retelling. It's like epic sagas where the story is built based on true events and every retelling gets more and more added or embellished.

Also, a lot of 40K background tends to be more subtle than we give it credit for. The Emperor is seen as all-powerful and all-knowing yet he still has failures and weaknesses like mortal men. He is powerful in combat but can be bested, or at least nearly. Is this because of a limitation on physical strength? Psychological limits as it was with Horus? Distraction from seeing so many threads of the future?

Who knows, the background is unclear and GW ain't saying for sure, nor should they.

My personal favorite portrayal of the Emperor comes from the old Inquisition War triogy- where the incarcerated mind has fractured into a reflection of the Shamans that created Him, each seeing a different path to the future. The end result of having a physically dead, mentally deranged and yet all-powerful master at the helm of things is compelling to me.

And yet, He is not at the helm of control. The High Lords of Terra administer in His 'absence', interpreting what he tells them through the Tarot. These Lords have always been portrayed as being after their own interests as the Emperor cannot stop them, and the 'miracles' and visions the Emperor gives to worthy souls are His small way of reaching past the jail cell of the Golden Throne...

Writerski7
22-09-2009, 02:51
They did not fail. He is dying slowly because of what Horus was able to do to him. When he dies he will be reborn more godly that he already is and take on the Chaos Gods.

And he will be Chuck Norris. :D

Thanatos_elNyx
22-09-2009, 16:16
BMF?

Well there aren't 10,000 Pskers dying to keep him alive, they are dying for the Astrotelicomicon.

MvS
23-09-2009, 12:41
Could he kill a C'Tan? If the story called for it. Could he destroy an Ork army on his own? If the story called for it.
Indeed! To which I would add:

"Can an Ork Warlord throttle the Emperor mid-battle, requiring Horus to 'save' his father? If the story called for it"

Iracundus
23-09-2009, 14:23
And yet, He is not at the helm of control. The High Lords of Terra administer in His 'absence', interpreting what he tells them through the Tarot. These Lords have always been portrayed as being after their own interests as the Emperor cannot stop them, and the 'miracles' and visions the Emperor gives to worthy souls are His small way of reaching past the jail cell of the Golden Throne...

The High Lords get an unnecessarily bad reputation IMO. They are people in powerful positions, and while they may all be corrupt in some way (at least in so far as needing to be in order to maintain their positions), they are not necessarily evil megalomaniacs deliberately out to weaken or destroy the Imperium. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the High Lords are likely in their own way, attempting to help the Imperium, though their ways are limited by the constraints of their office, the limitations of communication, the fallibility of information, and of course their own lifespan.

More disturbing to my mind is the idea of the Imperium with nobody really in control, despite any titles to the contrary.

The Emperor is dead physically, and psychically is busy with the Astronomicon. His mind is, according to the novel Inquisitor, fractured into separate and sometimes competing sub-minds. His soul is adrift in the warp as the Star Child.

The High Lords for all their title and nominal power, are limited in the amount of real policy change or direction they can really make. The size and decentralized nature of Imperial organization mean the High Lords only make sweeping general declarations of policy equivalent to mission statements or pep talks(see Epic Hive War, where the High Lords basically just decree that the Imperium has to wipe out the Tyranids). They only make specific decrees regarding planets of huge importance or that are close to Terra, due to the communication time needed. All the organizations have their own interests so any real reform is constrained by the need to placate the special interests of each group, and the post-Heresy Imperium was structured precisely to ensure no individual or entity had too much power. That has the effect of making it almost impossible to significantly alter the status quo with any conscious intent.

In effect then, instead of a bunch of evil villains (easy for people to scapegoat) at the helm of the Imperium, what you really have is the ship of state essentially drifting on autopilot, able to make minor corrections to maintain its current course (ie the status quo) but incapable of actually changing course. Anyone with the power or charisma to take charge (like the Primarchs) is gone, and the system is set up to shackle and restrain anyone from taking control and making changes. The problem is of course the current range of simultaneous major threats looming like an iceberg in front.

genestealer_baldric
23-09-2009, 15:21
59 Mega fonzis?

MontytheMighty
23-09-2009, 18:19
They did not fail. He is dying slowly because of what Horus was able to do to him. When he dies he will be reborn more godly that he already is and take on the Chaos Gods.

if that were the case, how is that not a failure for the chaos gods?

Imperialis_Dominatus
23-09-2009, 20:40
The best answer is that he has powers as the plot demands. This is why on one hand he can bitch slap the void dragon while on the other he can almost get strangled by an ork.\

Course, the Ork Warboss was the size of a Leman Russ (maybe bigger, it's in the first trilogy of the HH series).

I've always thought that Ork 'struggled to choke the life out of the Emperor' (IA BL) because the Emperor was allowing Horus to pay off his earlier life debt, thus strengthening their bond.


well if BIG E was that much of a BMF, then how big horus would have to be to be able to stand up against emperor, and mortally wound him?

Because the Emperor was holding back, and when he stopped holding back, Horus was obliterated on every plane of existence.

Well, except the body. But every other plane of existence.


From the oldest imagery to the most recent, the Emperor has been described as fighting in the Great Crusade alongside his men. It doesn't describe him as obliterating whole armies from on high with his psychic might. He fights.

Now I know this is out of kilter with other depictions of him holding back armies of daemons with his presence alone (the whole Golden-Throne-as-a-plug issue), but it does tell us something about his limitations. His power, though immense, has limitations. Perhaps they're contextual (so he has more power over the Warp and daemons than over People and Realspace), or maybe the limitations are dependent upon other clauses (like him directing the Astronomican even while fighting in the Gereat Crusade), but they are there.

Or perhaps he was holding back his overt psychic might to reinforce notions that he was a man, and not a god?


The High Lords for all their title and nominal power, are limited in the amount of real policy change or direction they can really make. ...High Lords only make sweeping general declarations of policy equivalent to mission statements or pep talks... All the organizations have their own interests so any real reform is constrained by the need to placate the special interests of each group

And then I gained a new perspective on my boss.

seraphius
23-09-2009, 20:57
If you read upp on some old fluff/new fluff, books(horus heresy) etc.. you will find som means of info as to the power he COULD wield, not how powerfull he actually was.

What i mean is.

He made the primarcs(but could beat the best of them on a bad day or holding back)
One primarc(sanguinus) beat the crap out of the lord of all bloodthirsters that killed 100 loyalist marines without breaking a sweat.

4 chaos gods gave their power to one man(horus) who was not able to take him down(yes yes.. he is slowly dying 10000!!! years after)

He powers/is the astronomican, something that spans the galaxy.. and that beeing done by brainpower alone.

I tend to look at everything about lore and fluff from a game point of view, so in that effect i see the emperor as:

a char that could sit on he`s throne, play gameboy and whistle "we are the champions" while all 4 chaos gods avatars(ie bloodthirster,great unclean one etc) c`tan and any other special char today was standing around him trying to beat him upp and just wink them away with flick of the wrist:)

MvS
23-09-2009, 21:17
Or perhaps he was holding back his overt psychic might to reinforce notions that he was a man, and not a god?
It's possible, but then people already did start to regard him as a god even without him revealing his true power, and he was also content to let the Mechanicum worship him as the Omnissiah.

How far would he have been willing to go to control his image? He allowed himself to be perceived as this glorious godlike male, with a golden halo and all that jazz, but apparently didn't want to use his godlike powers to smite armies from the sky...?

It seems to me that it should have been the reverse - he appears like an relatively ordinary guy but uses his immense powers to smite the enemies of mankind en-masse with a few friendly casualties as possible. But he didn't seem to do this.

Vesica
23-09-2009, 21:32
They did not fail. He is dying slowly because of what Horus was able to do to him. When he dies he will be reborn more godly that he already is and take on the Chaos Gods.

And you dont call that failing? half killing your enemy and allowing him to become even more powerful?

Vesica
24-09-2009, 00:31
And ok I want to stop another 10,000 people saying "it changes when the author wants him to do something" just tell me what your opinion is when you think of the Emperor, when I think about the 40k universe I don't think of it in terms of fluff and plot devices, I see the characters as I perceive them.

The Emperor in my opinion is what his name states a God.

I think he was holding back in his fight with Horus untill the very end, after all who would want to believe that their favoured son had betrayed all he had once loved? He was powerful enough to unite all of Mankind under one banner.

He could go toe to toe with all 4 chaos gods and win.

Tyron
24-09-2009, 00:55
It's possible, but then people already did start to regard him as a god even without him revealing his true power, and he was also content to let the Mechanicum worship him as the Omnissiah.

How far would he have been willing to go to control his image? He allowed himself to be perceived as this glorious godlike male, with a golden halo and all that jazz, but apparently didn't want to use his godlike powers to smite armies from the sky...?

It seems to me that it should have been the reverse - he appears like an relatively ordinary guy but uses his immense powers to smite the enemies of mankind en-masse with a few friendly casualties as possible. But he didn't seem to do this.

I think the reason the Ork strangled him was due to the pressure of powering the astronomican, holding chaos at bay, keeping up his own appearance and using his powers to fight.

For anyone that will take its toll on anyone who has done this for 200 years and this is why I think he went back to Terra so he could rest as he knew he was getting vulnerable and didn't want to risk it.

Also if he smites everything from the sky then there wouldn't be a story, he needs man to fight for themselves so they can believe and work for the end goal. If the Emperor did everything for them then they would be complacent.

Condottiere
24-09-2009, 06:29
It's possible, but then people already did start to regard him as a god even without him revealing his true power, and he was also content to let the Mechanicum worship him as the Omnissiah.

How far would he have been willing to go to control his image? He allowed himself to be perceived as this glorious godlike male, with a golden halo and all that jazz, but apparently didn't want to use his godlike powers to smite armies from the sky...?

It seems to me that it should have been the reverse - he appears like an relatively ordinary guy but uses his immense powers to smite the enemies of mankind en-masse with a few friendly casualties as possible. But he didn't seem to do this.It's likely that a demographic worshipped him after he revealed himself and before his confrontation with Horus, as it's in the nature of certain humans to idolize charismatic personalities.

darth mortis
24-09-2009, 08:40
hi all.
well as far as power levels go i think you could probably use the librarian psychic powers as an example e.g might of the ancients but instead of 2d6 use 4? or the qucikening to boost his I to 10. thats not to say he wouldnt be hard without them maybe on the c'tan level of strengh toughness etc but with his psychic powers putting him upto 10's? after all he was flesh and blood to an extent ( born from human parents ) but he would of been tougher, stronger, faster then the primarch's so even with horus boosted up with all the chaos gods the big e would still be one up until he used his powers.

MvS
24-09-2009, 12:12
I think the reason the Ork strangled him was due to the pressure of powering the astronomican, holding chaos at bay, keeping up his own appearance and using his powers to fight.

I've used a similar argument myself in the past. I think the point is that there is room enough in the imagery to satisfy either of the two general stances on the Emperor (deity or god-in-waiting vs. extraordinarily powerful psyker-scientist), but that neither position is the objective 'truth' that applies consistently across the imagery.

Draxonicar
24-09-2009, 22:02
ell, in the horus heresy book, it says when he and hous dueled, they traded blows many times that could destroy whole planets.....

Argastes
24-09-2009, 22:05
ell, in the horus heresy book, it says when he and hous dueled, they traded blows many times that could destroy whole planets.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbole

EDIT: Actually, I initially presumed you meant physical blows, but I guess you probably meant mental blows. So nevermind, who knows how powerful such "blows" are.

Imperialis_Dominatus
24-09-2009, 22:44
ell, in the horus heresy book, it says when he and hous dueled, they traded blows many times that could destroy whole planets.....

The Horus Heresy book, eh? Since when has the series gotten to that point? :p

ryng_sting
25-09-2009, 09:05
I've always read it as the Ork trying to choke the life out of the Emperor. Then it's as mundane as someone pointing a gun and trying to shoot him, and Horus's act becomes more of an honour thing than a last-minute rescue.