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Morvith
10-06-2010, 18:53
With the release of a new Eldar focused book just around the corner, it would seem Black Library has relaxed a little bit on their restrictions on having xenos the protagonists of their books (for at least Eldar anyway).

The reason the restriction was there in the first place was because they felt the aliens in 40k were too 'alien' to be characterized in any way. So, what do you guys think? Yay for more alien focused stories, or are they better off as vaguely developed antagonists for human characters?

MajorWesJanson
10-06-2010, 19:13
With the release of a new Eldar focused book just around the corner, it would seem Black Library has relaxed a little bit on their restrictions on having xenos the protagonists of their books (for at least Eldar anyway).

The reason the restriction was there in the first place was because they felt the aliens in 40k were too 'alien' to be characterized in any way. So, what do you guys think? Yay for more alien focused stories, or are they better off as vaguely developed antagonists for human characters?

This Eldar series is probably a way to test the waters. If it worksand they sell well enough, we may see more eldar books and maybe some Dark Eldar or Tau.

Drasanil
10-06-2010, 19:15
The reason the restriction was there in the first place was because they felt the aliens in 40k were too 'alien' to be characterized in any way. So, what do you guys think? Yay for more alien focused stories, or are they better off as vaguely developed antagonists for SPESS MAHREEN! characters?

There. Fixed that for you;)

Anything that helps alleviate the oversaturation of Marine Pr0n is a good thing as far as I'm concerned, unless it's written by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.

Besides the whole too 'alien' thing was pretty poor excuse given that GWs backround and descriptions already made most of the major Xenos somewhat relatable.

Idaan
10-06-2010, 21:27
This Eldar series is probably a way to test the waters. If it worksand they sell well enough, we may see more eldar books and maybe some Dark Eldar or Tau.

Actually, both Tau and Dark Eldar stories with alien POV are set to appear in the "Fear the Alien" antology. What's even more awesome is that they're both fan submissions.

Ilkhan
11-06-2010, 03:49
Anything that helps alleviate the oversaturation of Marine Pr0n is a good thing as far as I'm concerned, unless it's written by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.

I will say that though xenos books have been sorely lacking, we do have a number of Guard and Inquisition novels. Heck, even an Arbites trilogy. It's not all Marines, just all human.

That said, I do hope we get some Tau books somewhere down the line. Or Necron! I'd pay good money for something that gave full characterization to a Necron.

Gorbad Ironclaw
11-06-2010, 05:36
The real ironic thing is that Space Marines really should be almost as alien as the aliens, but them not being written like that doesn't seem to be a problem.

Toramino
11-06-2010, 06:36
The real ironic thing is that Space Marines really should be almost as alien as the aliens, but them not being written like that doesn't seem to be a problem.

well they kind of are in a way, GW have transformed marines into such heroically perfect individuals in the stories i find it impossible to relate to them on any level.

Malagate
11-06-2010, 08:57
That said, I do hope we get some Tau books somewhere down the line. Or Necron! I'd pay good money for something that gave full characterization to a Necron.

Hah, I too would pay monies for a Necron book, but only if it was either entirely in Necron glyphs or binary :D

I think the main reason there isn't more xeno books is because most xeno background isn't as fleshed out or as complex as Imperium stuff, there's simply not as much to draw upon nor is it easy to write from a truly alien perspective. The exceptions would be Eldar (maybe Dark Eldar too) and Tau, as their backgrounds are quite well rounded with not as many gaps as others, also they have complex motives and social interactions compared to other xenos. Eldar plots and Tau schisms are far more interesting than Ork boys hitting each other for 300 pages (also more intesting than CSM costume porn (I'm looking at you Dark Apostle) and the boring Hero of the Heroic light that is some Space Marine stuff).

Sai-Lauren
11-06-2010, 09:07
Hah, I too would pay monies for a Necron book, but only if it was either entirely in Necron glyphs or binary

Hmm, maybe a history of the C'Tan influence leading up to their becoming the Necrons we know now, and possibly the War In Heaven (hey, if the Marines can have an entire series where "one of their leaders goes a little off the rails" :D, Eldar and Necrons should get at least one book covering the original galaxy-wide conflict).

Dead.Blue.Clown
11-06-2010, 11:28
The real ironic thing is that Space Marines really should be almost as alien as the aliens...

I think there are a few novels that portray Astartes in that light. It's an aspect of their character that's important to some of the writers.

Iuris
11-06-2010, 11:46
Wasn't there a Lictor (or something like one) point of view story published once? Although the critter kinda kept growing, so who knows what it was.

I'd also point out that while BL books are written from a human perspective, there are plenty shorter sotories that are written from the point of view of xenos. I remember Ork an Eldar POV stories in older codices.

Scalebug
11-06-2010, 13:46
If you are thinking of the one with Inquisitor Kryptmann, it was a "Grabber-slasher"...
http://wh40k.lexicanum.de/mediawiki/images/thumb/f/f1/Grabberslasher.jpg/180px-Grabberslasher.jpg

Pretty cool story, alternating between the Inquisitor researching Tyranids just before the second hive fleet arrived, and the assassin-lifeform working its way towards him, eating stuff to grow bigger (a bird, sheep and some PDF troopers IIRC).

Lunatic Fringe
11-06-2010, 14:17
If they can't write good human stories half of the time i don't think they can do aliens unless they are done like star trek aliens who are just humans with pointy ears. The crys from eldar players when goto adds the path of the multilaser will even drown out all of the whining about the avatar dying so much.

LexxBomb
11-06-2010, 16:38
personally i enjoyed William King's "Farseer", with him back on staff i would love to see his Eldar trilogy finished.

Ilkhan
12-06-2010, 00:39
If they can't write good human stories half of the time i don't think they can do aliens unless they are done like star trek aliens who are just humans with pointy ears. The crys from eldar players when goto adds the path of the multilaser will even drown out all of the whining about the avatar dying so much.

Well, Star Trek's really more like "humans with simple prosthetic makeup and a single planetwide personality quirk," too be honest. The humans with pointy ears and an obsession with Hollywood "logic," the humans with bumpy foreheads and rage issues, the humans with big ears and universal avarice...

...and this is coming from a Star Trek fan. ;) But I digress...

(Hey, wait, Vulcan/Romulan, Craftworld Eldar/Dark Eldar... some parallels, no?)

Captain Stern
12-06-2010, 03:47
In the past GW only had the likes of Bill King, Bryan Ansell and Ian Watson etc writing for them, and they clearly weren't up to the challenge of alien POV.

Now, thankfully, GW has people like Ben Counter, Graham Macneil and Gav Thorpe writing novels for them, and so previously sacred and/ or delicate parts of the background such as the Horus Heresy and Alien POV can be explored in a non ham handed way. It's just more good news for the fans. :)

Drasanil
12-06-2010, 03:58
In the past GW only had the likes of Bill King, Bryan Ansell and Ian Watson etc writing for them, and they clearly weren't up to the challenge of alien POV.

Now, thankfully, GW has people like Ben Counter, Graham Macneil and Gav Thorpe writing novels for them, and so previously sacred and/ or delicate parts of the background such as the Horus Heresy and Alien POV can be explored in a non ham handed way. It's just more good news for the fans. :)

:eyebrows:

Sarcasm, Yes? No? Maybe?

Hellebore
12-06-2010, 04:35
Well if it isn't sarcasm it's just plain wrong. Almost all the 2nd ed short stories in codicies were written by Bill King - ie from an alien perspective.

It was only with 3rd ed that GW decided to drop any alien PoV.

Hellebore

LexxBomb
12-06-2010, 07:22
and with that the soul of 40k died

Malice313
12-06-2010, 10:29
If you are thinking of the one with Inquisitor Kryptmann, it was a "Grabber-slasher"...
http://wh40k.lexicanum.de/mediawiki/images/thumb/f/f1/Grabberslasher.jpg/180px-Grabberslasher.jpg

Pretty cool story, alternating between the Inquisitor researching Tyranids just before the second hive fleet arrived, and the assassin-lifeform working its way towards him, eating stuff to grow bigger (a bird, sheep and some PDF troopers IIRC).

Ah the old Grabber Slasher from Advanced Space Crusade. It shares many characteristics with Orks and can mutate into the shape of anything it has killed previously.

I've been playing ASC a bit of it recently. The Grabber Slasher is useful as it leaps onto its prey (which is probably when they got the leaping idea for the Hormagaunt) and in that way you can avoid getting cut to pieces by Over Watch and Reaction fire.

They are pretty dopey though and have a low Reaction score. I'm actually not sure if they are on the same par as a Genestealer. In some instances I find the Grabber Slasher more useful. I managed to cut up a Space Marine Captain in Terminator Armour with a G/S last campaign. My Marine opponent was not happy!!!

Its a pretty dinky illustration and no model was ever released, so we use Hormagaunts.

Scalebug
12-06-2010, 11:16
There actually was a model released, although labeled "Big Squig". For a short while, when Tyrands first got a real army-list, in latter years of 1st edition, the Squigswarms were part of it (lots of small squigs on a 40mm base, with a big one in the middle, on of two models was the G-S there, the other was a huge Spidersquig thing).

Background was that captured orks had been used as basis for the creatures, then their friends boarded the hive-ships and found them in the hatching chambers, recogniced them as 'Orky' and rescued as many as they could carry before the Hivemind squashed the last spark of individuality in them.

That piece of background was really only pointed to in that single WD article, as somebody must have pointed out that it didn't really mesh with the established descriptions of Squigs as a
long standing and important part of Ork society, somehow being the product of Tyranid manipulation, as the Tyranids had only been in the galaxy for a few hundred years... so come 2nd edition, the Squigswarm became Rippers instead...

http://wh40k.lexicanum.de/mediawiki/images/e/eb/Tyra_ripper_samMiniatur02.jpg

Malice313
12-06-2010, 11:23
There actually was a model released, although labeled "Big Squig". For a short while, when Tyrands first got a real army-list, in latter years of 1st edition, the Squigswarms were part of it (lots of small squigs on a 40mm base, with a big one in the middle, on of two models was the G-S there, the other was a huge Spidersquig thing).

Background was that captured orks had been used as basis for the creatures, then their friends boarded the hive-ships and found them in the hatching chambers, recogniced them as 'Orky' and rescued as many as they could carry before the Hivemind squashed the last spark of individuality in them.

That piece of background was really only pointed to in that single WD article, as somebody must have pointed out that it didn't really mesh with the established descriptions of Squigs as a
long standing and important part of Ork society, somehow being the product of Tyranid manipulation, as the Tyranids had only been in the galaxy for a few hundred years... so come 2nd edition, the Squigswarm became Rippers instead...

http://wh40k.lexicanum.de/mediawiki/images/e/eb/Tyra_ripper_samMiniatur02.jpg

Oh yeah... I remember that! I remember that both Orks and Tyranids could take Squig swarm bases.

That was back when they first released the Hunter Slayer (Termagaunt) mini's in metal.

Hmm... I wonder if I'll ever find one on ebay. Most people wouldn't know what it was so search wouldn't help much.

Lunatic Fringe
12-06-2010, 12:36
and with that the soul of 40k died

Wait just a few years till the 1st and 2nd edition players start getting to retirement age and you might have something.




Well, Star Trek's really more like "humans with simple prosthetic makeup and a single planetwide personality quirk," too be honest. The humans with pointy ears and an obsession with Hollywood "logic," the humans with bumpy foreheads and rage issues, the humans with big ears and universal avarice...Yeah eldar are similar. Take tolkiens ubermench elves concept and mix it with a lot of cultural beliefs borrowed from some human group or groups (asian is a popular choice) and you got eldar. For added fun they borrow some philisophical concepts from human cultures that feel alien to the reader but are just plain old human ideas. Oh but they're still alien because they feel emotions strongly.




(Hey, wait, Vulcan/Romulan, Craftworld Eldar/Dark Eldar... some parallels, no?)Pointy eared race that's supposed to be smarter and wiser than humans and has emotions that nearly destroyed their people that solves it by finding a way or a path to control those emotions. nope no similarity here. :D

I hope the books for the spaace elfs are good but i'm not counting on it. and i'm not expecting alien beyond what star trek or some of the less weird star wars races does. (eldar are chiss?)

Gorbad Ironclaw
12-06-2010, 14:31
Well, Star Trek's really more like "humans with simple prosthetic makeup and a single planetwide personality quirk," too be honest. The humans with pointy ears and an obsession with Hollywood "logic," the humans with bumpy foreheads and rage issues, the humans with big ears and universal avarice...

...and this is coming from a Star Trek fan. ;) But I digress...

(Hey, wait, Vulcan/Romulan, Craftworld Eldar/Dark Eldar... some parallels, no?)

40k does include another stupid sci-fi trope though that is at least as annoying. Single culture/climate planets.

You have jungle planets, ice planets, desert planets, etc. all seemingly without any real variation or climate. And while a book like Necropolis actually does portray at least marginally different cultures across a world all to often it's just assumed to be exactly the same all over.

Obviously it's a lot easier if you can describe an entire world in a single sentence but it's rather annoying, lazy and boring.

Kage2020
12-06-2010, 14:50
From an anthropological stance, I've never really had a problem with people taking on the role of alien species as long as they are willing to try and make them believably alien. As pointed out in the above thread, there are after all numerous real world cultures that are going to strike the reader is being completely "alien" to them even though they involve other humans. The idea is to as much as possible get this feeling with your alien race, whatever it might be.

Mono-cultures are always going to be a problem, but then so too is the enticement of making everything different for the sake of making it different. 40k contains both of these elements in abundance, so it seems that taking the middle ground might make a novel change.

When it comes down to it, though, the primary obstacle to "believable" aliens is GW itself. To be able to believably, or even just plausibly, explore an alien culture you "have" to do some minor things like describe that culture in concrete terms. All of this, "It varies from Craftworld to Craftworld" or the more generic version "It varies from <whatever> to <whatever>" does little to help. There is no solid basis to explore, and until those are provided then aliens are just going to come off as superficial and two-dimensional as, well, many of the other characters in the 40k universe.

(I would like to see a fairly decent analysis of the Imperium, for example. Until then it will be defined by some artistic guidelines about "theme.")

Err... Anyway. There you have it. Take it all with a pinch of salt or whatever else you want.

Kage

Hellebore
12-06-2010, 14:50
They have those but they aren't the sum total of planets/cultures in 40k, unlike some other settings.

There ARE desert planets out there - Mars, Mercury and ice planetoids - Pluto etc.

Cadia is an example off the top of my head with multiple climates. Armageddon has polar ice and equatorial jungles.

I have a feeling that there are more desert/ice planets in the galaxy than there are any other type... except perhaps gas.

hellebore

Kage2020
12-06-2010, 15:00
They are, however, infrequently explored as such. The Armaggedon system, if memory serves, fell into that particular hole even if arguably the mainworld didn't quite. Quite a bit of it, however, is just due to lack of exploration. Ask the average fan if they would like to see, say, a cut away diagram or blueprints of an Imperial ship? Chances are that you're going to get a chorus of people shouting, "Please!" Ask for an Eldar ship? Maybe a smaller number of people calling for it, but they're going to be calling for it.

Are GW going to produce said exploration? Probably not. So then the fans are left to their own devices. Projects will grow up and inherently run into problems of who can use Sketchup, who can use Photoshop, Maya, 3ds Max or whatever.

I think that it's the same process with world design. Quite simply it takes a rather large amount of time to do and quite often a single individual doesn't have all the talents that are needed to draw it together. And group projects have their own special form of pain. :D

Is it really worth GW's time to do anything other than offer the inspirational material that fans subsequently take up with? Are detailed explorations really their thing? Or are we really just getting to the level of things like the official 40k RPG line representing the depth to which they're willing to go (which is better, but still not 'great')?

Kage

Gorbad Ironclaw
12-06-2010, 15:24
They have those but they aren't the sum total of planets/cultures in 40k, unlike some other settings.

There ARE desert planets out there - Mars, Mercury and ice planetoids - Pluto etc.

Cadia is an example off the top of my head with multiple climates. Armageddon has polar ice and equatorial jungles.

I have a feeling that there are more desert/ice planets in the galaxy than there are any other type... except perhaps gas.

hellebore

I know there are desert planets, or ice planets, or gas giants (I think the current theory is that the gas planets are the most common ones?).

But you also have something like Catachan. It's all a jungle, really? And if it's not all a jungle why are people living in it (actually, it's a pretty good question, why are people living there?).
40k isn't about space exploration so I don't expect to get a detailed account of climate zones and what not, but it would be nice to see it come up occasionally. I remember reading Pandora's Box by Hamilton and there is a paragraph about why the Big15 (essentially the 15 biggest industrial centres) mostly have there big cities in sub-tropical climate zones. It's so they have a more stable climate and so don't need civil engineering equipment to deal with things like snow in the winter. Now whatever it actually works out cheaper if you ran the numbers I have no idea, but just it being mentioned was neat.



Mono-cultures are always going to be a problem, but then so too is the enticement of making everything different for the sake of making it different.

Agreed. Making everything different just for the sake of it is equally bad. But that's why I mentioned Necropolis, because it actually managed to make it seem as if the different cities were separate entities with there own identity but clearly part of the same whole. Now it also does it without giving any real information so it might just be me projecting my own idea into it.

It's also a bit more difficult to do with the sort of macro scale 40k works at, it's a lot easier if you look at a single planet in details.

But you also raise the good point about it being very hard to make believable aliens or even human cultures when we are never really given any details about anything. Even the Imperium doesn't have a really unifying culture. Religion and civil code all comes down to the individual planet (or cities/communities) so it really could be almost anything you want. It makes it a great backdrop for doing homebrew stuff, but makes it quite difficult really discussing things as mostly it will come down to me liking it this way and you preferring it a different way with all approaches being equally valid/plausible.

Sai-Lauren
14-06-2010, 10:57
There ARE desert planets out there - Mars, Mercury and ice planetoids - Pluto etc.

Cadia is an example off the top of my head with multiple climates. Armageddon has polar ice and equatorial jungles.

I have a feeling that there are more desert/ice planets in the galaxy than there are any other type... except perhaps gas.

Mars has polar regions.

Personally, whenever anyone says "desert/garden/whatever world" I put that in the temperate band and add the poles, equatorial regions etc on top based on that (the equatorial region on a desert world would be a pretty unpleasant place).



I think that it's the same process with world design. Quite simply it takes a rather large amount of time to do and quite often a single individual doesn't have all the talents that are needed to draw it together. And group projects have their own special form of pain.

There are some RPG programs available that allow you to generate a world - but IMO, you kind of have to start with where it is in the planetary system, and what the system is - is it a single star or binary system - and are they close or distant? Orbiting the star(s) or a brown dwarf/super-massive gas giant? Is the world in the life zone or outside it (and thus needing habitats, a reason to be there and either food/water production facilities or docks to get food/water on world and waste products off to go to agricultural worlds as fertiliser)? Tidally locked or rotating? Number of satellites?

But humans would try and settle earth-like worlds with nitrogen/oxgen atmospheres, plenty of water and edible local crops unless there's specific reasons to settle somewhere else (mineral resources for example).

Kage2020
14-06-2010, 15:23
There are some RPG programs available that allow you to generate a world - but IMO, you kind of have to start with where it is in the planetary system, and what the system is - is it a single star or binary system - and are they close or distant? Orbiting the star(s) or a brown dwarf/super-massive gas giant? Is the world in the life zone or outside it (and thus needing habitats, a reason to be there and either food/water production facilities or docks to get food/water on world and waste products off to go to agricultural worlds as fertiliser)? Tidally locked or rotating? Number of satellites?
Indeed. There are numerous programs that allow you to do that, whether it is Traveller Heaven & Earth, Astrosynthesis or any of a number of others. My point being that even then most people don't have the ability to completely pull it off. Heck, you can see it in the gear-head/bolter vs. lasgun thread at the moment--they had me at "fluid dynamics." ;)

Okay, that very last bit was tongue-in-cheek if you didn't guess already. While there are programs that can create the physical parameters, what about the economy? The variable cultures? The flora and fauna?


But humans would try and settle earth-like worlds with nitrogen/oxgen atmospheres, plenty of water and edible local crops unless there's specific reasons to settle somewhere else (mineral resources for example).
Indeed. Suddenly, though, we're dealing with very few systems out there that might be capable of producing these type of conditions.

Of course, we all know that so I'm just stating the obvious. :D

Errr, bringing it back to the thread in question, I guess this comes back to the idea that in terms of producing fully-fleshed out worlds, cultures, or whatever, might be a bit much to ask an author to do in their "spare time" while they're writing their book. They are, after all, only human. (With or without deranged mechanical gerbils. ;))

Kage

Sildani
14-06-2010, 16:00
Kage: completely agree on that last point. Creating a perfectly-fleshed out world that is possible in most every way is just too time-consuming. The book has to get written eventually! There comes a point where we, the audience, must simply suspend our disbelief and go along for the ride.

Of course, that's where the "canon" gets bruised. The 40K universe reminds me of a chinese buffet restaurant - most every popular dish (aka background stories) are offered. You take what you want, and leave the rest.

Kage2020
14-06-2010, 16:27
Creating a perfectly-fleshed out world that is possible in most every way is just too time-consuming.
Indeed. That's what the fans are there for. At the same time, asking a bit more from Black Library in general is not really a bad thing, is it? Aaron Dembski-Bowden pointed out that he felt that the BL bods underestimated their readership, so "demanding" more from the authors can be a good thing--it shows that we want more.

At the same time? Yeah. In-depth worlds, systems, or whatever, might be out because of time constraints. Ones that aren't superficial or continually break suspension of disbelief? Might be worth some thought.

This is one of the things that I love about the much-maligned fan interpretations and supplements produced for the wargame, the official roleplaying line maintained by Fantasy Flight Games, etc.--They push the boundaries of expectation. The fans go, "Look, GW. We mostly love what you've done, now take a gander at this..." GW takes a look and goes, "Bugger. We can do better than that, have at you fan!"

Or, at least, that's how I like to think of it. Might not be true, but rose-tinted glasses can also be fun. :D


The 40k universe reminds me of a chinese buffer restaurant - most every popular dish (aka background stories) are offered. You take what you want, and leave the rest.
Indeed.

Interpretation of the background is not acceptance from a divine source, but a negotiation of preferences and moments of, "Oh, now that's seriously cool. That other thing? Not so much... Oh, but you love it. No, that's cool, but what about that?"

:D

Kage

Sai-Lauren
14-06-2010, 16:29
Okay, that very last bit was tongue-in-cheek if you didn't guess already. While there are programs that can create the physical parameters, what about the economy? The variable cultures? The flora and fauna?

Ok, inner, prime or outer life zone? Percentage of water available? Star type? Answer those and that pretty much says whether it's suitable for growing crops.

If it's not, you're looking at a mining world, or possibly a land-grab colony - basically somewhere to host a military base to protect or conquer nearby systems.



Indeed. Suddenly, though, we're dealing with very few systems out there that might be capable of producing these type of conditions.

Well, they're down to something like 10xEarth in size for exo-planet detection. But I can't believe that a 0.8-1.2 g world in the stellar life zone is something seriously unusual, and that there's not one around somewhere like Barnard's Star or Sirius.



Errr, bringing it back to the thread in question, I guess this comes back to the idea that in terms of producing fully-fleshed out worlds, cultures, or whatever, might be a bit much to ask an author to do in their "spare time" while they're writing their book. They are, after all, only human. (With or without deranged mechanical gerbils. )

Not really, pick a reason for the world to exist (agriculture, mining, military, scientific), then add in support industries based around that.

For instance, agri-worlds will need fertiliser production facilities to process waste products from other worlds, transport infrastructure to get crops to processing centres and processed foods to starports, the starport workers (freighters may need to be decontamintated to prevent spread of parasites and diseases - which gives Nurgle cultists something right there), harvesters (IMO, a nomadic workforce that moves around the planet harvesting crops in different parts as they come into season - a world wouldn't grow a single type of crop because it would risk too much if the crop failed), plus the PDF, medical people, techs to repair machinery, law enforcement, some teachers and so on. Throw in the nobility, maybe a few off worlders who maintain estates in picturesque areas, limited mining (with the mines then enlarged to allow the growth of crops like mushrooms, rhubarb and so on), and possibly the production of narcotic crops if there are any natural to the planet (or have been imported).

Hmm, sorry, that's probably a more fleshed out world than most authors can be bothered to come up with. :)

But you don't really need to know that alternate tuesday's are half-day closing for hairdressers (unless the main character rushing for his appointment is central to the plot), or that every fifth daughter has to have the middle name Janice or something like that. That kind of minutiae is too detailed. :p

Kage2020
14-06-2010, 16:41
Ok, inner, prime or outer life zone? Percentage of water available? Star type? Answer those and that pretty much says whether it's suitable for growing crops.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that it is not possible to develop a fully fleshed-out world, just merely pointing out that very few people are going to encompass the skill set to truly realise it. For example, you mention crop growth based upon the planets orbit and star type, but what about atmospheric composition? Albedo? Local flora? Soil chemistry?

On the topic of the thread I'm just really saying that there has to be a point at which the author has "Roll the dice and shout," as the phrase goes in the RPG circle. In other words, does the author really need to know the albedo of the world to make it an interesting locale?

That's playing Devil's Advocate, of course. On my own behalf I would love to see that kind of detail being thrown out there. Perhaps not in the novels, but extended sourcebooks, blueprints of starships, etc. Those are the kind of things that I would love to personally see.

Sorry for the brief response. I didn't want to take the topic too far off topic. (And remember Anargo--I'm at least a little bit familiar with the process of world-building. :D)

Edit: On the other hand, the last three novels from BL that I've read I've rather enjoyed: Soul Hunter, The Thousand Sons, and Shadow King. Hopefully this does signal a change in the stance of BL to the topics and quality of their books. (Of course, not everyone is going to agree with me on those, but that's kind of the fun of a discussion forum. :D)

Kage

Capardio
14-06-2010, 20:41
I'm pretty happy with this development. Many of those imperial story's i found pretty boring.. its all like "For the emperor! Kill everything!", and the space marines is just annoying.. nuff said
I like the eldar so ill read any book written about the eldar.

Hellebore
15-06-2010, 00:40
Mars has polar regions.

Personally, whenever anyone says "desert/garden/whatever world" I put that in the temperate band and add the poles, equatorial regions etc on top based on that (the equatorial region on a desert world would be a pretty unpleasant place).


Lol, yeah but considering Mars' temperature I was thinking of the whole. :D

It's a desert that never gets above -5C where the water that does exist is frozen at the locations that are the coldest for the longest amount of time. Mars would probably be better described as an 'ice world' only because it's so cold. Geologically a 'desert' world but climatologically an ice world.

I suppose we could look at all the 'one trope' moons around the gas giants. Europa, Ganymede and of course Io which is the classic volcano/hell type world.

Mercury is a 'desert world' in terms of structure although it might have some polar ice. Even though Pluto isn't a planet anymore it still exhibits a single trope environment.

My point is that although it's cliche, one climate worlds would most likely be THE most common of all planet types barring Gas planets.

Even the Earth has been in several of these single climate states multiple times. It's been a universal volcano world and was so for several hundred million years. It's been an ice world at least once in the Pre-Cambrian. It's had water for a while, and for a long time was just rocky outcrops surrounded by water. During the Mesozoic it was fairly stable and the planet was virtually covered in vegetation. There were sparser arid areas, but it was near universally a 'forest' world.

Like everything it just needs to be done in controlled amounts. Rather than all of one or the other they need some of everything.

Hellebore

Sai-Lauren
15-06-2010, 10:42
Lol, yeah but considering Mars' temperature I was thinking of the whole. :D

It's a desert that never gets above -5C where the water that does exist is frozen at the locations that are the coldest for the longest amount of time. Mars would probably be better described as an 'ice world' only because it's so cold. Geologically a 'desert' world but climatologically an ice world.

I'd say Desert due to minimal rain and general lack of surface water - an Ice world would IMO be primarily in an ice age with significant continental glaciation (even if there's a "temperate" area around the equator where a population can live in a level of comfort), or an otherwise habitable world either in the outer life zone or an eccentric orbit that takes it out to that region.



Mercury is a 'desert world' in terms of structure although it might have some polar ice. Even though Pluto isn't a planet anymore it still exhibits a single trope environment.

IIRC, even the night side of Mercury is too hot for any available water to freeze. And Pluto might have tidal forces from Charon which might affect the environment (admittedly from ludicrously cold to merely incredibly cold) :)

And you forgot Venus - that's going to be pretty much a hell world all over. :)



My point is that although it's cliche, one climate worlds would most likely be THE most common of all planet types barring Gas planets.

But the sub-set of generally habitable worlds (the ones that you can just set a colony down on and let it grow) wouldn't all be single climate.

If there is a reason to set up a colony on the world in the first place, then that's fine - Catachan for instance could have been intended to produce plant/animal extracts to go into medical pharmaceuticals, plant fibers for ropes and clothing, and so on.

Somwhere like Fenris doesn't make sense though - there's no baseline infrastructure for them to produce anything.

Kage2020
15-06-2010, 23:48
My point is that although it's cliche, one climate worlds would most likely be THE most common of all planet types barring Gas planets.
And mine was merely, "Yet not how it is commonly employed by GW." Arguably (remembering the Armageddon system specifically, if hazily). That's all. :D

Kage

Sir_Turalyon
16-06-2010, 00:31
Anything that helps alleviate the oversaturation of Marine Pr0n is a good thing as far as I'm concerned, unless it's written by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.


Like Fire Warrior? Last time they tries a xenos book it was so bad everybody seems to have purposefuly forgotten it :P .

Kage2020
16-06-2010, 00:37
Point. On the other hand, even their Marine Porn isn't great, with some notable exceptions. Indeed, there is some debate as to whether Marines should count as aliens (it's an old debate that I'm just noting and not wanting to get into).

Kage