PDA

View Full Version : Should GW redo the fluff?



Xyrex
18-06-2010, 02:15
Exactly what it says. WH 40k fluff is soooooooooo inconsistent and contradictory to itself: Does the lasgun have recoil? Is the bolter a missile launcher? Is The Lion a traitor? Ect?

Anyways, what I was thinking, it would be nice if GW redid the fluff to make it make sense. Just as well, they should redo the "science" to make WH40K SCIFI and not FISCI. Who agrees?

Scribe of Khorne
18-06-2010, 02:22
Couldnt disagree more.

The fluff is madness, filled with contrary views, 'facts' and opinions. Its random, it contradicts, and is so vast that nearly anything is possible.

The fluff is honestly what makes 40k.

headache62
18-06-2010, 02:39
I disagree - the fluff really lends itself to the idea that the universe is a mindlessly vast area where stories become distorted by time, space, and re-telling. That is actually one part of what I find so fascinating - the idea that these stories and legends are seen and interpreted in various ways, and they happened so long ago and the technology is treated almost as arcana creates an almost surreal reading and gaming experience.

It's almost like the Wheel of Time series in that way - Robert Jordan designed the world so that stories are shown to be mixed and altered through time and distance.

Warhammer 40k isn't hard science fiction - it is almost science fantasy, which I'm fine with.

snakezenn
18-06-2010, 02:41
The fluff is awesome! Why on earth or terra, would they need to change it!?

ODINM4
18-06-2010, 03:02
the fluff/imagrey is the only reason im into 40k so much

solkan
18-06-2010, 04:16
I also agree with snakezenn, Odinm4, headache62, and Scribe of Khorne that the maddening, self-contradictory and inconsistent aspects of the fluff are part of why the fluff is good. 40K is not a positivist science fiction setting, it's a melodramatic space opera setting, and people like it that way.

Born Again
18-06-2010, 04:19
I got in to 40k for the models and the richness of the fluff. If they changed it, half my reason for playing would be gone.

FabricatorGeneralMike
18-06-2010, 04:24
That way of telling a story, madness, horror, embelishment, this is what keeps me in 40k. I love the way that every story is just someones point of view. That's how I see the new HH books also, it's not what happened it's someones interpitation of what happened. Just like the fluff in the old Spacemarine games.

woodfin
18-06-2010, 04:43
Exactly what it says. WH 40k fluff is soooooooooo inconsistent and contradictory to itself: Does the lasgun have recoil? Is the bolter a missile launcher? Is The Lion a traitor? Ect?

Anyways, what I was thinking, it would be nice if GW redid the fluff to make it make sense. Just as well, they should redo the "science" to make WH40K SCIFI and not FISCI. Who agrees?

You speak of the work of chaos!

Burn the heretic!

ReveredChaplainDrake
18-06-2010, 04:49
The great thing about 40k fluff is that you can put yourself in it and (usually) avoid being an obvious bad guy. There are so many factions with different ideologies that anybody can find some faction in the fluff that they identify with. On top of this, the fluff is designed on such an opinionated, almost apocryphal perspective that, no matter who you choose to side with, you can consider your guys to be in the right. Nobody would play Chaos Marines if they were card-carrying villains. Thanks to the obnoxious bias in Imperial propaganda, it's fully feasible that they're blowing this whole "Horus Heresy" thing completely out of proportion, and that it's the Chaos Marines who are right all along.

The Orange
18-06-2010, 04:49
Nah, I like the fluff as it is, I'd only prefer it to progress faster then a snail. If GW did try to "redo" the fluff they'd no doubt mess it up.

Garven Dreis
18-06-2010, 05:09
Thanks to the obnoxious bias in Imperial propaganda, it's fully feasible that they're blowing this whole "Horus Heresy" thing completely out of proportion, and that it's the Chaos Marines who are right all along.

Do you mind if I quote this in my sig? I think it's priceless.

Pacorko
18-06-2010, 05:59
In a universe filled with such an oppressive, paranoid, ignorant and xenofobic human society all those contradictions are "understandable". Most of the poor brute can barely read and the ones who write are either zealots or madmen.

Personally, I can't stand some of the fluff and agree that if it was made a bit more cohesive, I wouldn't raise my brow at the sheer stupidity of the numbers or the "science". But if a codex contradicts another in terms of fiction, I really pay no mind and usually turn a blind eye to those parts I just don't like, and trudge happily into the absurdity of the GRIMDARK looneyverse that I do dig.

Then, I concur with ReveredChaplainDrake: most of the fluff we know of is Imperial propaganda, and no matter what the thugs that run the Imperium of Man no longer follow the Emperor's designs or original intentions.

Chaos Space Marines are every bit as a savage as--or even more so than--the Imperial thugs, so... even if they are right, they do wrong.

Gorbad Ironclaw
18-06-2010, 06:04
I don't think it's really possible to do, although I would like to see it adjusted a little bit at times as there are various things that's really stretching your suspension of disbelief.
Almost everything to do with Marines for instance.

But 40k have never been an internally consistent or even sensible universe so expanding a huge amount of effort to turn it into one is likely not going to be worth the effort and is actually likely to annoy a lot of people as there favourite things about the setting are changed.

Corax
18-06-2010, 06:42
Who says that its meant to make sense?

I've always been of the view that the ambiguity and uncertainty about what is what is a reflection of the disorder and ignorance of the age of the Imperium. Things are meant to contradict each other because no-one is really sure what is true, what is false, what is forgotten, and what is propaganda.

40k would be much less interesting without all the uncertainty.

AndrewGPaul
18-06-2010, 07:35
Exactly what it says. WH 40k fluff is soooooooooo inconsistent and contradictory to itself: Does the lasgun have recoil? Is the bolter a missile launcher? Is The Lion a traitor? Ect?

Anyways, what I was thinking, it would be nice if GW redid the fluff to make it make sense. Just as well, they should redo the "science" to make WH40K SCIFI and not FISCI. Who agrees?


It depends. I wouldn't turn down a bit more scientific rigour* and consistency in descriptions. However, I'll be blunt - if you want a Sci Fi game, go away. There's plenty others out there (I recommend Infinity). 40K is deliberately a fantasy setting with rayguns, just like Star Wars. Science isn't the focus of the setting, and the setting should never be changed to suit people who don't understand that.

As for your point about Lion el'Jonson, I think the existing material is pretty clear that he wasn't a traitor. The fact that there's enough ambiguity to let people think otherwise is a good thing, not a failing.

*in the 'real-world' descriptions of the setting, not necessarily in-universe.

Wrath
18-06-2010, 08:07
I like it as is actually. It has the feel of real history. Some of the stories actually directly contradict each other just like if it had been past down generation to generation, which in fact it has. None of it is "true" it is all just made up, so you can just choose your favorite telling of a historical event and it becomes fact.

Giganthrax
18-06-2010, 08:43
The fluff is awesome! Why on earth or terra, would they need to change it!?
Quoted for truth.

grissom2006
18-06-2010, 10:08
Nope they shouldn't redo it. The fluff is core to the product. The fact it contradicts and shows differing views only adds to this. I shows perspectives from differents points of view. What we take as being the truth within the fluff very much depends on your perspective. Redoing the fluff would ruin the very heart of a product thats coming up on 30 years old.

negZero
18-06-2010, 10:13
OP post alone is good enough reason why they shouldn't redo the fluff. Is the Loin? We don't know. Lasgun having recoil? Who really cares? Bolters just aren't missile launchers for the last time.

sigur
18-06-2010, 10:21
....
Anyways, what I was thinking, it would be nice if GW redid the fluff to make it make sense. Just as well, they should redo the "science" to make WH40K SCIFI and not FISCI. Who agrees?

Not many I assume.

.) First off, 40k never was Sci-Fi to begin with, it was always Fantasy in Space or Space Fantasy or whatever. The most sci-fi was Rogue Trader but at the latest with 2nd edition, it became plain old fantasy in space. A nice thing. If you want science fiction, you should look into other backgrounds.

.) Then, the 40k background is awesome even if they constantly try to torpedoe it in recent years. A few inconsistancies are no reason to rewrite anything at all. Well, maybe write the C'tan out. Speaking of inconsistancies, how can there be such things if we have Warp travel which basically can change stuff all the time and magic powers that mess with reality?

.) 40k doesn't work without the background. Actually, I think you just suggested the worst thing GW could do to the system since shredding it with 3rd edition. I think if GW REALLY had wanted to kill their system in 1998, they should have rewritten the background as well. I'm pretty sure that about everyone would have quit then.

If you want science fiction and consistant background, go look for a sci fi setting that hasn't been around for as long as 40k (and isn't fantasy like 40k). Even Star Trek, a thing with very strong background that is looked upon by legions of custodians of continuity, has strong inconsistancies. I think it was an inspired young man in the late 1980s who once said
"But if you're wondering how they eat and breathe, and other science facts, just repeat to yourself "It's just a show, I should really just relax"."

I think that pretty much applies to 40k as well.

Hellebore
18-06-2010, 10:36
Wow, how many people here completely missread the OP?

He was just asking for GW to rewrite it to make sense, not to make the emperor a tomato or orks to be bunny rabbits. :rolleyes:

I for one am sick of the literary cop out they use. It isn't clever or 'artsy' to say 'well it's all true doncha see?' it's lazy and a way to avoid taking any responsability for the stuff they write.

So, as the OP was NOT asking for 40k to be rewritten into something else, merely to have it written to make more sense (ie the current authors take responsibility for what they write and not hide behind the 'it's all lies' excuse) then yes count me in.

Hellebore

sigur
18-06-2010, 10:39
Any rewrite to change the background to "make sense" would include lots of changes because they rather write stuff to make it sound cool rather than to make sense. They've been doing that for a long time so stuffing sense down the throat of fluff would change a fair bit.

Also, 40k background, while amusing and to an extend valuable as satire, isn't something to make sense of too much i.e. isn't a very clever background in itself.

AndrewGPaul
18-06-2010, 13:13
Wow, how many people here completely missread the OP?

He was just asking for GW to rewrite it to make sense, not to make the emperor a tomato or orks to be bunny rabbits. :rolleyes:

I for one am sick of the literary cop out they use. It isn't clever or 'artsy' to say 'well it's all true doncha see?' it's lazy and a way to avoid taking any responsability for the stuff they write.

It's to make the players take responsibility for their game. They supply two or three contradictory stories, and you can pick the one you like to be true.

It also gives the setting a sense of age. The Horus Heresy is 10,000 years 'old'. That's a longer period of time than recorded human history. We shouldn't be surprised that there are conflicting accounts - we should be surprised that there are any accounts at all.

Lord Malorne
18-06-2010, 13:18
Don't see the point in fixing the fluff.

Zweischneid
18-06-2010, 13:33
It also gives the setting a sense of age. The Horus Heresy is 10,000 years 'old'. That's a longer period of time than recorded human history. We shouldn't be surprised that there are conflicting accounts - we should be surprised that there are any accounts at all.

That's because you shouldn't take numbers "literally" in 40K. GW just uses improbably big and improbably small numbers to emphazise things.

Like 10.000 or 40.000 years is just a short hand for really, really long. It doesn't prevent people from 10.000 years ago showing up in contemporary fluff and vice versa.

Or how only "1000 Space Marines" per chapter is just a short hand for really, really elite few, yet doesn't change the fact that every other tuesday they fight massive battles where they "die by the hundreds in noble sacrifice"

Nuimber in 40k-fluff don't really mean numbers. They only ever mean "it-is-so-cool-awsome-uber-epic-that-it-is-just-off-any-sensible-scale".

Lars Porsenna
18-06-2010, 13:38
Wow, how many people here completely missread the OP?

He was just asking for GW to rewrite it to make sense, not to make the emperor a tomato or orks to be bunny rabbits. :rolleyes:


IMHO "rewriting" the fluff suggests much more radical changes than, say, reconciling the fluff.

I'm not sure I would want more scientific rigour in my 40K -- and this is coming from the sort of person that creates spreadsheets to determine the Schwartzchild radius of a black hole...for fun! It is science fantasy, the sort of thing you'd read in Heavy Metal magazine. And it's fine that way.

Damon.

AndrewGPaul
18-06-2010, 14:10
That's because you shouldn't take numbers "literally" in 40K. GW just uses improbably big and improbably small numbers to emphazise things.

Like 10.000 or 40.000 years is just a short hand for really, really long. It doesn't prevent people from 10.000 years ago showing up in contemporary fluff and vice versa.

Or how only "1000 Space Marines" per chapter is just a short hand for really, really elite few, yet doesn't change the fact that every other tuesday they fight massive battles where they "die by the hundreds in noble sacrifice"

Nuimber in 40k-fluff don't really mean numbers. They only ever mean "it-is-so-cool-awsome-uber-epic-that-it-is-just-off-any-sensible-scale".

In an out-of-universe context, that's the case. In-universe, I don't think everyone's so functionally innumerate. :rolleyes: No matter how silly you think it is, in-universe it's a fact that the Heresy was 10,000 years ago, that it's still remembered and that Space Marine Chapters consist of about a thousand Marines.

Hashmal
18-06-2010, 14:26
Absolutely not. The fluff is zany, often conflicting, and told from myriad points of view; exactly how it should be in such a disconnected universe. I would appreciate them toning down the Blood Bloody Blood or Wolfy McWolfson, since that's just lazy naming.

When did FISCI become an acceptable abbreviation? Blech.

Bunnahabhain
18-06-2010, 14:47
I just wish they'd fix the really , obvious at a glance, silly numbers out. Not try and fix them, just leave them out, or only relate them to other in universe things. If you're going to make direct references to real life things, at least make them credible

ie Ad mech report on wraithbone armour ( dress up in bad latin as wished)....

This 50mm thick panel provides protection equal to 1200mm re-enforced concrete.:mad:

This 50mm panel provides protection equal to 200mm of our top grade adamantine armour, or 350mm standard grade plasteel. :)

Both sound equally good, but one doesn't have a relation to real life, so can't sound silly...


Of course, it's science fantasy, with a huge element of willing suspension of disbelief, but make that easier, by leaving things as 'we can't see how this works', rather than a few of the current 'THAT CAN'T POSSIBLY WORK AT ALL LIKE THAT' bits.

example marine casulty report for a several hundred marines in an epic battle...

" Of the fallen battle brothers, five were dead, and Veteran sargent bob, who had given his power fist, and most of his body to slay the warboss, was given the honour of a Dreadnaught. The other 50 brothers who fell had suffered a variety of lost limbs, eyes, and other serious injuries, and with suitable bionics etc, made full recoveries in 5 days to three months. Third company, who took the worst of the casualties, were stood down from battle readiness for 6 weeks.

After two days of efforts by the tech marines, the captain, and his terminator bodyguard were freed from their armour, which are still undergoing repairs. The ramshackle, but fieldlishly effective, shokk attack gun has severaly damaged all the control mechanisms of the armour locking them rigid on the battlefield, whilst leaving the wearers unharmed."

Just play up their wonderful resiliance and healing capacity, and you have a much more credible marine force, who don't get wiped out in a few years of normal operations....

dala_karn
18-06-2010, 16:24
Wow, how many people here completely missread the OP?

from what i read, no one.

the fluff should stay as it is. if 40k was real life and you asked a guy on terra one thing and then jump to say Cadia and asked them the same question, i bet you get two different answers. i bet information is really hard to spread accross an entire universe, and once your done spreading one fact round another fact turns up stating the previous to be false. and i'm only talking planets, think about the thousands if not millions of ships, space stations and asteroid colonies that haven't yet got the info.

AndrewGPaul
18-06-2010, 16:52
I just wish they'd fix the really , obvious at a glance, silly numbers out. Not try and fix them, just leave them out, or only relate them to other in universe things. If you're going to make direct references to real life things, at least make them credible

ie Ad mech report on wraithbone armour ( dress up in bad latin as wished)....

This 50mm thick panel provides protection equal to 1200mm re-enforced concrete.:mad:


What's wrong with that?

Skyros
18-06-2010, 16:55
Those kind of quibbles seem like the last things they'd fix up in a fluff redo, and it would take away focus from more important things (like redoing codexes that haven't been updated in more than a decade!)

Gorbad Ironclaw
18-06-2010, 16:57
Just play up their wonderful resiliance and healing capacity, and you have a much more credible marine force, who don't get wiped out in a few years of normal operations....

If we want more credible marines we would also need a whole lot more of them. I don't care how elite they are, 10/100/1000 troops can not conquer/pacify/control a planet on there own.

But as have been said, 40k is terrible when it comes to numbers. Troop numbers for instance always seem really low.

Sir_Turalyon
18-06-2010, 17:17
I for one am sick of the literary cop out they use. It isn't clever or 'artsy' to say 'well it's all true doncha see?' it's lazy and a way to avoid taking any responsability for the stuff they write.


Actualy this is quite responsible for long-running franchise, because there will always come a guy in love with his newest brainfart and with enough executive backing to turn it into canon. By this approach 40k is pretty immune to things like death of Superman, Jar-Jar-Binks, Porthos the captain's dog, Fulgrim geting posessed by deamonic sword, kingdom of Azeroth now being always having beed called Stormwind or Mandalorians vanquishing Jedi left, right and center. People will laugh and shake their head at stupidity of things that othwerwise would leave the background RUINED FOREVER!!!1!!!eleven!

genestealer_baldric
18-06-2010, 18:16
of course there are condradictions just like real life things change and diffrent points of view by the authors and readers of fluff all affect thefacts. but all these add to the realness of the condradictary fluff that gw has resulted in unitentley a deep rich background.

Lunatic Fringe
18-06-2010, 21:40
of course there are condradictions just like real life things change and diffrent points of view by the authors and readers of fluff all affect thefacts. but all these add to the realness of the condradictary fluff that gw has resulted in unitentley a deep rich background.

Yes. This is my feeling too.



But as have been said, 40k is terrible when it comes to numbers.Actual history is terrible with numbers. Relly old battles have crazy numbers of fighters.

But i want gw to start collecting all of the fluff in some kind of archive that can be read. every word they hav wrote. and every campaign they have done. even if it does clash ith other fluff it would be great.

sigur
19-06-2010, 01:00
Actual history is terrible with numbers. Relly old battles have crazy numbers of fighters.

No, it's not, and I have 200,000,000 Phoenicians to back me up on this! ;)


In all seriousness, there has been an incredibly inflation of numbers, especially in recent years. By chance, I flicked through 2nd edition Codex Space Wolves yesterday and the great heroic deed Ulrik the Slayer has done was killing three World Eaters CSM in close combat during the first Armageddon War. I don't have the latest codex SW here but I'm pretty sure by today's standards, he would have killed an Avatar in close combat (who hasn't?), threw it at a CSM battle barge which in turn fell down to the surface of a planet, stopping an Ork-Waaagh and inconveniencing a demonic infestion. Such overblown numbers don't make stuff sound more "epic", it just makes background sound boring and overblown. One dude killing three very good fighters in close combat sounds like an achievement. One dude killing incarnations of gods or something sounds just like it's written to impress.

UberBeast
19-06-2010, 01:05
I feel the pain with the 40k fluff and its consistency. I have always enjoyed it, but the longer I stay in the hobby and read the fiction, the more annoyed I get by the contradictions that are inevitably brought on through a string of various authors and poor consistency control.

I doubt that re-writing anything it possible. They just need to get a team of people who actually cares about the fluff and can keep it "true to faith" to keep an eye on their published material.

Xyrex
19-06-2010, 01:25
Stupid heretic black library authors. I don't mean to change the fluff, but to stop saying that lasers recoil. The scifi thing isn't like this creates a stable wormhole by.... I mean that they shouldn't come up with the most BS thing they can think of and publishing it. Take a look at the meltagun thread in my sig.

Shadowlance
19-06-2010, 01:50
Stupid heretic black library authors. I don't mean to change the fluff, but to stop saying that lasers recoil. The scifi thing isn't like this creates a stable wormhole by.... I mean that they shouldn't come up with the most BS thing they can think of and publishing it. Take a look at the meltagun thread in my sig.

I hate to say it but I still disagree. 40k fluff is not and probably will never be something that GWS will ever take a 100% realistic view on. I mean take a look at the comic humour in their fluff, Orks....need more be said?

The fluff is what makes 40k great; it is not about making everything believable but making everything likeable. If you collect guard, there are tales of guard killing marines in the dozens and taking down titans and so on, if you collect marines there are tales of them owning up millions of guard and taking on worlds and armadas.

The fluff isn’t there to make sense but to make it sound cool, and especially for those who collect it is to make their army sound cool.

40k fluff isn’t a rigid thing, it lives and breathes and gets infected and leaks puss (at least when referring to nurgle) it allows for countless additions to the universe each one having its own style and heroic pose.

So either you like it, "mmm this 40k fluff cake tastes delicious" or either you don’t "hmm, this 40k fluff cake looks funny....even though it is delicious". Consistency and believability are reasonable sacrifices to make a universe that so many today love.

Shadowlance:D

Gensuke626
19-06-2010, 02:21
Here's what I think...OP wants better science in his 40k. 40k uses bad or not science and handwavium.

Basically he wants his Star Wars (40K) to be more like Star Trek (Umm...Star Trek?)

To me, it's all Science Fantasy anyway...the "Psychic Abilities" are basically magic and a lot of stuff doesn't make sense no matter how you spin it (Chain Swords, Space Marines, Meltaguns, why Imperial Guard Sargeants have 2 attacks base). I like it that way.

Edit - On second thought...maybe we should tell GW to make better science fluff, so I no longer need to hear about "40k Is Unrealistic!" threads in the Background Forum for the Umpteen billionth time. :rolleyes:

heck, then we could close the Background Forum all together!:evilgrin:

burad
19-06-2010, 02:35
Most of the fluff I have read is great.
But we need some Ork fluff.
All we have is Blood and Thunder, and Deff Skwadron.
We need lots more.

Raven1
19-06-2010, 04:01
Personally I like the fluff. It doesn't have to make sense or follow any continuity. I mean in an Imperium that large and that in the dark on anything scientific anything is possible. Heck, motors and weapons on land raiders border on the magical. At that point any thing is possible, it is a thousand stories from a thousand different points of view. They are varied, different and changing, kind of like how the truth really is.

Xyrex
19-06-2010, 04:07
So I could say that from my point of view my dark angels are actually orks in power armor, and that the emperor is my SM captain and that my Vindicare assassin is really a C'tan teamed up with the orks to eliminate the chaos SM and my ven. dread. is really a walking Valkyrie?

Edit: oh, and I forgot, from my point of view... the horus heresy was really my captain fighting my flagbearer over a donut then the donut became alive, and tried to take over the world, as well as naming itself Horus. It is completely reasonable to assume that this is what GW authors will make it into, and guess what... You won't have any problems with that... will you?

Shadowlance
19-06-2010, 09:02
So I could say that from my point of view my dark angels are actually orks in power armor, and that the emperor is my SM captain and that my Vindicare assassin is really a C'tan teamed up with the orks to eliminate the chaos SM and my ven. dread. is really a walking Valkyrie?

Edit: oh, and I forgot, from my point of view... the horus heresy was really my captain fighting my flagbearer over a donut then the donut became alive, and tried to take over the world, as well as naming itself Horus. It is completely reasonable to assume that this is what GW authors will make it into, and guess what... You won't have any problems with that... will you?

Sure, whatever you want man 40k allows for perhaps the most bendable universe for personal fluff (Id love to see this Modelled :D). However the average 40k gamer is going to say that is ridiculous with a :wtf: look on their face so be careful where you are saying that.

We are not saying that it is 100 percent believable, just that GWS knows the difference between unbelievable in the cool sense, and unbelievable :wtf:

Also as a added note, ITS A GAME IN A MADE UP UNIVERSE!!, try to look at it with a happy face :p

Shadowlance

daboarder
19-06-2010, 11:31
I can understand where the OP is coming from, he wants a setup like the starwars sequel books. Each one of those is gone over with a fine tooth combe by lucas art or whoever GL's publisher is to ensure that they fit the continuim and nothing really contradictory pops up in them. That said my only really gripe with the fluff is tha way that in the last few years it has become cartoony and superman like whereas the old 3rd ed fluff was very grim/dark/brutal. Authors were unaffraid to leave things unanswered or present you with a tragic ending where everyone dies. best example I can think of this is the fall of malvollion short story NOW THAT was a great 40k story.

Corax
19-06-2010, 11:40
Stupid heretic black library authors. I don't mean to change the fluff, but to stop saying that lasers recoil.

That's the "Rule of Cool" in effect.

What is realistic is less important than what is cool. For example, why are bolters always depicted ejecting empty casings even though bolt shells (rockets?) are caseless ammo according to the fluff?
Answer: Because it looks cool!

Valtiel
19-06-2010, 13:40
The way they have written their background stories and fluff in the last couple of codices I don't think they should mess around with the main story. It is good now as it is and I don't want to see it changed too much. I guess many of these things that pop up is because of the Black Library authors writing stuff that might now make sense.

I have no idea what my point of this post is anymore...

Xyrex
19-06-2010, 17:38
That's the "Rule of Cool" in effect.

What is realistic is less important than what is cool. For example, why are bolters always depicted ejecting empty casings even though bolt shells (rockets?) are caseless ammo according to the fluff?
Answer: Because it looks cool!

Answer: because they have a kicker charge.

Helicon_One
19-06-2010, 18:04
So I could say that from my point of view my dark angels are actually orks in power armor, and that the emperor is my SM captain and that my Vindicare assassin is really a C'tan teamed up with the orks to eliminate the chaos SM and my ven. dread. is really a walking Valkyrie?

Edit: oh, and I forgot, from my point of view... the horus heresy was really my captain fighting my flagbearer over a donut then the donut became alive, and tried to take over the world, as well as naming itself Horus. It is completely reasonable to assume that this is what GW authors will make it into, and guess what... You won't have any problems with that... will you?

In the same way that you can, if you wish, believe that the pizza delivery van opposite is actually beaming CIA mind control lasers into your TV and that ten thousand years ago Atlantis was built out of bean bags by invisible alien lizards with cheese-powered flying saucers. Yes.

On the other hand, don't be too surprised when people give you a weird look and back slowly away if you say so out loud.

Xyrex
19-06-2010, 19:49
haha lol. WH 40k conspiracy?

Project2501
19-06-2010, 20:23
I don't think that GW should redo the fluff.

I DO think that GW should bring back a much improved online fluff section (like they used to have) that would preclude the need for Lexicanum.

TheMav80
19-06-2010, 20:28
Just keep Ward away from the Codex backrounds. That will help a lot.

Xyrex
19-06-2010, 20:34
Just keep Ward away from the Codex backrounds. That will help a lot.

fair enough.

Hellebore
19-06-2010, 23:42
In the same way that you can, if you wish, believe that the pizza delivery van opposite is actually beaming CIA mind control lasers into your TV and that ten thousand years ago Atlantis was built out of bean bags by invisible alien lizards with cheese-powered flying saucers. Yes.

On the other hand, don't be too surprised when people give you a weird look and back slowly away if you say so out loud.

An example of the hypocrisy of those who insist there is 'no' canon.

What is a bolter? Well 'technically' it could mean anything and we'll shout down anyone that prevents us having the RIGHT to claim a bolter is whatever we want.

But it's still a gyroc used by space marines and we'll discuss it with the implicit assumption that everyone else knows what we're talking about. Because it's not like having a discussion about something with an assumed knowledge and common background means there's a canon for a bolter does it?:rolleyes:

This is what really irritates me about the 'there is no canon' fanclub. Few of you actually treat 40k like there is no canon, yet aggressively defend the concept anyway. Few of you discuss Sanguinius as being a mushroom, few of you pretend the Horus Heresy was something that happened over a donut.

Most of you consider the fluff as written by GW to be 'correct' and still refuse to admit that by doing so you are implicitly sticking to a canon you don't believe exists.

Hellebore

Sir_Turalyon
19-06-2010, 23:56
Not at all. The purpose of canon is to mark everything else published as "non-canon" , "weaker canon" or "retconed and no longer true" and disregard it. Stating that there is no canon does not mean that nothing is sure, it means there is nothing to disregard in published material. It means the same as saying that everything published is canon, no matter how contradictory.

Lord_Squinty
20-06-2010, 00:04
Should GW redo the fluff?


Worst Troll ever....

Hellebore
20-06-2010, 00:12
Not at all. The purpose of canon is to mark everything else published as "non-canon" , "weaker canon" or "retconed and no longer true" and disregard it. Stating that there is no canon does not mean that nothing is sure, it means there is nothing to disregard in published material. It means the same as saying that everything published is canon, no matter how contradictory.

It does mean that nothing is sure because two contradictory pieces of information by definition cannot both be true. You can argue that it does all you want, it is flat out catagorically fallacious.

Hellebore

Sir_Turalyon
20-06-2010, 01:46
No, it means that things described in two contradictory pieces cannot be sure. Things that are described without contradictions are sure. We can't know for sure what was composition of Garro's force on Eisenstein (just Death Guard or all Traitor Legion members? both "canonicaly" true), or whenever guy who attacked Horus and got himself killed was Imperial Fist or Army grunt (ditto), or what happened to the Squats (or whenever anything happened, I have yet to see text printed by GW stating they are extinct, so AFAIK "canonicaly" they are still there). But we can be sure of general principles of bolt weapon workings, or of existance and looks of eight marks of marine armour, or of Yarrick having one eye and power claw. Again, "no cannon" does not mean absence of truths, or players fan art being as valid backgound sources as GW publications; merely that GW has artistic licence to publiss contradictory books that don't invalidate each other, and does not have to pick sides and say which is canonical.



two contradictory pieces of information by definition cannot both be true.


Tell that to Schrodinger's cat :) . Information may be impossible to verify, truths may be unprovable. Plenty of good stories set in our universe is based on possible, but unverifiable information (like identity of man in Iron Mask. Sure, he had identity, just no human is sure what it was. does it mean only omniscient God can write books on the subject?) Why should GW limit themselves to writing absolute truths? Absolute truths tend to be more boring than hard to verify speculation.

Franchises with estabilished canon sometimes do the same thing with open ended compter games - players can have fun with with different storylines and multiple endings, then in the sequel they find out knowledge of exploits of their previous characters is vague and no one knows what exactly happened, except that hero of previous part succeeded. But was he good or bad guy,did he kill big bad or talked him into changing his ways or took over his empire then disappeared? In seting with canonical background, common answer is "one of these things happen and others did not, but no one in-universe is sure which". In GW's no-cannon approach, answer is the same, with " and we don't know eighter, nor we care, both stories were good" added. All stories are good and might happen, why pick one to be true?

daboarder
20-06-2010, 02:00
It does mean that nothing is sure because two contradictory pieces of information by definition cannot both be true. You can argue that it does all you want, it is flat out catagorically fallacious.

Hellebore

sorry couldnt resist hellebore.
Electron=particle and a wave.
Edit: though techincally speaking notheing about an electron being a particle contradicts it also being a wave, if the poster above doesn't believe this there is an entire field of science called quantum mechanics that would like to dissagree with you.

Iracundus
20-06-2010, 05:20
Particle wave duality is not an applicable analogy as the two states are not contradictory.



Tell that to Schrodinger's cat . Information may be impossible to verify, truths may be unprovable.

Schrodinger's cat thought experiment is not an accurate analogy either. The superposition of the two states of the cat only exists until observation occurs. At that point it collapses into one of 2 states, alive or dead, and that is then the truth.

That lack of certainty in the absence of observation is only analogous to how some parts of the background have had no comment on them, such as what lies beyond the Gates of Varl? In the absence of information, there is room for speculation but once GW writes what is beyond the Gates of Varl, the various speculative theories collapse into what is known. Another 40K example would be the result of the Ichar IV write in campaign in the 1990's. Until the results were published, it was impossible to say whether the Imperium had won, lost, or drawn, but once the reuslts were published and in subsequent Codices since, it is a known fact that the Imperium defeated the Tyranids. The range of possible outcomes has collapsed to one fixed one.

To say there is "no canon" yet for there to be truths is itself contradictory, since canon, in the sense of a canonical fact, is the truth within the universe. There can be no truths within a fictional universe without some canon defining the fixed facts of that universe, even if it is as simple as the existence of gravity.



But we can be sure of general principles of bolt weapon workings, or of existance and looks of eight marks of marine armour, or of Yarrick having one eye and power claw.

What is being described above IS canon because canon is the existence of fixed immutable facts regarding something in the universe. For there to be no canon is to say that Yarrick having 100 eyes and 3 clawed hands is as valid and as equally reasonable and acceptable as Yarrick having 1 eye and claw. It is also equally absurd and impossible for both to be true simultaneously in spite of ongoing observation.

By acknowledging there are some things that people can be sure of and that are fixed and known is to acknowledge there is a canon. Without any fixed facts settings just disintegrate into incoherent nonsense.

Sir_Turalyon
20-06-2010, 10:47
Schrodinger's cat thought experiment is not an accurate analogy either. The superposition of the two states of the cat only exists until observation occurs. At that point it collapses into one of 2 states, alive or dead, and that is then the truth.


It is an accurate analogy as "no cannon" describes situations when observation is no longer possible, two states are no longer distinguishable and there are two contradicting relations as of what state experminet ended with. The cat is dead for ten tousand years, eighter from experiment or natural causes, and two witness relations of experiment give us contradicting data so we are no wiser than before the observation. We know that cat might live or die, but truth is beyond our grasp.



To say there is "no canon" yet for there to be truths is itself contradictory, since canon, in the sense of a canonical fact, is the truth within the universe. There can be no truths within a fictional universe without some canon defining the fixed facts of that universe, even if it is as simple as the existence of gravity.


First of all, presence of Chaos making mockery of classical logic is one of premises of universe. But even ignoring that, in practice, canon is "tool for estabilishing precedence between contradictiong background pieces", with things being hard canon, soft canon, possible canon and rest of that. It's more about sayng which piece can prove which piece wrong than what piece is true (because today's truth may be retconed by even truer truth tomorrow :rolleyes: ).

Eighter way, some of truths in 40k seting are unknown to us without reader making an observation - which is of course impossible - and purposefuly presented as exclusive alternaties. So while there potentialy is a 40k canon as you define it, we can never know it, so we may as well act as if it never existed.


What is being described above IS canon because canon is the existence of fixed immutable facts regarding something in the universe.


Until some ignorant writes Yarrick with three healthy eyes - than both things will simultanously be canon. Or in your sense, both will stop being canon as set of truths cannon include contradictions, and Yarrick will canonicaly exist but have unknown set of eyes, which makes equaly little sense. With the likes of C.S Goto or Dan Abnett running around, it's best to stay away from having hard truths for that reason alone.

Iracundus
20-06-2010, 11:10
It is an accurate analogy as "no cannon" describes situations when observation is no longer possible, two states are no longer distinguishable and there are two contradicting relations as of what state experminet ended with. The cat is dead for ten tousand years, eighter from experiment or natural causes, and two witness relations of experiment give us contradicting data so we are no wiser than before the observation. We know that cat might live or die, but truth is beyond our grasp.


Observation is always possible within a fictional universe as the holder of the IP is not constrained by things such as time and can write what is the observed truth, no matter where it occurs in the timeline. Observation in the Schrodinger's cat experiment does not and cannot result in the same superimposed states existing after obsevation. The only two possible states after observation are the states of being alive or dead. The "half alive, half dead" superposition is not a possibility after observation.

To apply this to the Yarrick situation, Yarrick can either have 1 eye, or 100 eyes. He cannot have the situation of simultaneously having only 1 eye and 100 eyes at the same time.




Eighter way, some of truths in 40k seting are unknown to us without reader making an observation - which is of course impossible - and purposefuly presented as exclusive alternaties. So while there potentialy is a 40k canon as you define it, we can never know it, so we may as well act as if it never existed.

We can know it just as we know anything else in 40K, through the God's eye 3rd person narrator POV when used by GW. This is distinct from in-character POV portrayals which are fallible and potentially inaccurate.

GW has shown there is such a place as Terra and an entity called the Emperor. Saying "no canon" is something you yourself don't actually follow because otherwise saying Terra is a giant jelly donut or never existed or the Emperor is a bunny rabbit is again equally valid and acceptable. Over and over again people claim "no canon" yet act in accordance with the existence of a canon: people reject the idea of marines being blue skinned bunny rabits with 10 arms, or bolters being feather dusters firing potatoes. The fact they try and then claim these things are "unreasonable" means there are some things which are fixed and "reasonable" which is the definition of having canonical fact in the universe. Without canon, NOTHING can be ruled out as being reasonable or unreasonable and there is no basis to make any judgement call on anything, whether it be something as simple as whether humans in the universe have 2 arms or 3. "No canon" reduces things to incoherence and nonsense.

Retcons are a different matter. They re-define the canon, but then it is retroactively true and is then canon. Horus used to be in a bunker during the Heresy but that has been retconned to be his battle barge. Now the canon is that Horus was and always has been on his battle barge when the Emperor boarded. However that means there is still a canon as people cannot then say that at the same time Horus was on the barge he was at Ultramar halfway across the galaxy. There is still canon as there are still boundaries on what is true or false within the universe.



Until some ignorant writes Yarrick with three healthy eyes - than both things will simultanously be canon.

That is the absurdity you might try to argue but you don't yourself (or anyone else claiming "no canon") actually follow. If anyone were to claim Yarrick had 3 eyes or 100 eyes and could therefore see anything even in the back of his head, people would reject that as being unreasonable and untrue. Likewise if anyone claimed that he had both conditions true at the same time, he would be similarly dismissed as being ridiculous.

Yarrick existing with an unknown number of eyes until observed and described is NOT ridiculous as humans can be injured and lose eyes (or have them replaced with bionics in 40K). However we do have statements of what happened to Yarrick's eyes during the 2nd War for Armageddon, therefore there is canon about how many eyes he has. It is NOT valid to claim that Yarrick having 3 eyes or having 100 eyes is canon because that has already been ruled out. Yet in saying those things are "no longer" or "not canon" is by implication admitting there is canon.

theunwantedbeing
20-06-2010, 11:11
Both sound equally good, but one doesn't have a relation to real life, so can't sound silly...

Exactly.
This needs looking at for 40k stuff, or at least force the writers to add an extra 0 to any number they think sounds big as it is invariably far too small by at least an order of magnitude.

Land raiders driving around ignoring lascannon shots that bounce harmlessly off its 30cm of steel armour?
Laughable
Land Raiders driving around ignoring lascannon shots that bounce harmlessly off its 3m of steel armour?
Awesome and makes more sense now

Doesnt matter if it sounds too good either, its 40,000 years of advancement(well 30,000 as tech in 40k is all apparently at least 10,000 years old).

No issue with fluff being written in a biased way though.
Eldar say they won a particular battle, Marines say they won in their records of that battle. Guard say neither side won, and orks say they won the fight despite not actually participating!
Nothing wrong with that at all :)

Iracundus
20-06-2010, 11:23
No issue with fluff being written in a biased way though.
Eldar say they won a particular battle, Marines say they won in their records of that battle. Guard say neither side won, and orks say they won the fight despite not actually participating!
Nothing wrong with that at all :)

The issue of having individual in-universe biased records though is separate from the issue of having a canon, or the objective fact of the universe, when written from a 3rd party omniscient narrator point of view.

To use your example, individual factions within the universe can believe whatever they want or have falsified records, however from the objective point of view, the battle either occurred or it didn't. One cannot say the battle both occurred and also did not occur, or occurred but was a three legged race. All of these cannot be true at the same time. If there are no souces other than in-universe sources, then one could question whether it actually occurred as depicted in those sources, but when the omniscient 3rd party narrator says the battle occurred, then it becomes fixed fact within the universe.

Anth_F
20-06-2010, 11:32
REAL history itself s full of these inconsistent and contradictory pieces of information and that's what makes the fluff so rich. The development and growth of the fluff over 30 years is GW's greatest achievment. They will never stream line and change the fluff.

Iracundus
20-06-2010, 12:12
REAL history itself s full of these inconsistent and contradictory pieces of information and that's what makes the fluff so rich. The development and growth of the fluff over 30 years is GW's greatest achievment. They will never stream line and change the fluff.

Like others, you seem to confuse the issues, confusing the issue of objective canonical fact with in-universe accounts of things and events.

In real history, there are differing interpretations or accounts from historical documents. However, there is still objective fact. Whatever the interpretations of Augustus/Octavian, there will be no disagreement that the individual existed. Nor will there be disputes that Marc Antony won and became ruler of Rome, nor will there be claims that both separate possibilities both occurred simultaneously. There will also be objective physical fact in the existence of such places as the Italian peninsula and the other sites mentioned in the histories. That too equates to a "canon" of what occurred in the past, as it still imposes boundaries on what can or cannot be said.

Sir_Turalyon
20-06-2010, 17:21
This, however, is fiction. There are no facts, objective or otherwise. There was no Horus or Yarrick, there is only published fiction about them. Owners of some franshises try to keep their fiction consistent and call that canon; others, like GW, don't bother.

Not to mention idea that there was no Octavian August, just falsified records about him, is actualy plausible. We don't consider these not because we have hard proof that August existed, but because questioning his existance would not lead us to anything constructive. Not so in fiction, where it can lead to good story ( or, more likely, bad story).

Xyrex
20-06-2010, 21:35
You might as well state that the emperor is only a myth.

TheMav80
20-06-2010, 23:00
If the backround is so malleable we wouldn't have tons of threads over what constitutes a "fluffy" army list for all the various factions.

Hellebore
21-06-2010, 02:31
People are confusing what canon is. Canon is 'truth'. It can be 'true' that no one knows what is behind the gates of Varl. However something is and that something is the truth. So in 40k no one knowing something is canon, but from an outside observer there is something (which could be nothing) and that something is true.

Thus there can be the canon that C occurred and the canon that X and Y think that A and B occurred instead. Although A and B are contradictory it doesn't matter because they are fallible opinion. As the assumption of A and B are fallible it is perfectly fine for them to be 'canon'. It is objective fact that X and Y hold to A and B and it is canon that their opinions are fallible. C could actually be A, but correlation and causation are separate issues.

Now there is at least one example I can think of off the top of my head where the READER is the only individual that knows the 'truth' in 40k about something. That is that the Lion is sleeping within the rock. No she said he said and no one else but the reader knowing it to be true.

No matter what characters/factions/history believes, the truth is always one thing.

Just because two different factions see the same event differently does not make them both valid points of view. Just because two historians both interpret history differently does not make them both true.

The difference between our history and 40k is that we can never know the truth unless we have a time machine. We can only deduce the truth based on the evidence.

In 40k we can be told the truth independently by the omniscient narrator, an example being the Lion in the rock. That few if any people in the 40k universe agree with or even know about the information as stated by the narrator is completely irrelevant.

Canon means truth. Two things can be true by themselves as personal opinions but from the perspective of an outside observer only one will be objective fact. There is always truth, just because you don't know what it is does not in any way make the truth less true.

Hellebore

Ironmonger
21-06-2010, 05:36
I agree with Hellebore's posts in this thread (as I find I tend to do... :p), except for one thing: canon is not 'truth;' canon is what the powers that be (i.e. GW and sub.'s) hold to be valid by internal agreement. The established agreement was that once long ago orks mated with female orks to reproduce... up until the time someone said 'No, they reproduce like fungi, with spores!' The canon changed when someone had a 'better' idea of how to portray Jesu... I mean, the orks. However, I LONG to see consistency in 40k, something that can be easily accomplished, but tends to get overlooked when whoring the latest army.

Not to say that PP is any better, but at least their fluff is consistant... for now...

Grimbad
21-06-2010, 05:43
...or what happened to the Squats (or whenever anything happened, I have yet to see text printed by GW stating they are extinct, so AFAIK "canonicaly" they are still there).

According to the 5th edition rulebook, Dark Eldar raiders slaughtered some Golgothan refugees.
Golgotha being a squat homeworld.
So they are out there, battling vague fluff tacked on by sadistic writers.

@Hellebore: Why not make up examples:
You come across a crater with bits of space marine splattered everywhere. A servitor is poking the remains and jotting down notes. A ways away, a leman russ sits idle with a dead gun loader slumped out the top hatch, a bolter hole in the dozer blade, and a weeping tank commander leaned against the side.

The excited historian-servitor, eager to recount the last stand of the marine he was following, tells you Battle Brother Bill shot Gun Loader Gregory, then was killed by the artillery shell Gregory had just fired. A moment later, a stray bolter shot hit the tank's dozer blade.

A mournful Tank Driver Dave, upset over the death of his friend, tells you that Bill panicked and shot the dozer blade, then Gregory fired the cannon and blew Bill to pieces, then was in turn hit by a stray bolter shot.

Both storytellers have a bias. One wants to glorify the marine, the other wants to make Greg's death sound like a tragic accident. In both accounts, a stray bullet features. In both accounts, Greg killed Bill. In both accounts, a bolter shot hit the dozer blade. These things are probably real.
The questions are where Bill's shot hit and where the stray shot hit. In both accounts, these are the things subject to bias.
Or, the reader could guess that Bill's shot hit the dozer blade and Greg was hit by a sniper round meant for Dave.

The reader can also take this story to be a prime example of why Imperial tank crew should stay under the hatch. Which brings me to realism. while I think contradiction adds some flavor to the fluff, it would be nice if realism were thrown in more often. The contradictory accounts could more specifically denounce each other as propaganda and give more plausible stories rather than leaving that to the reader. For example: "While the commonly noted figure in Imperial rumor is a night and a day versus an orkish horde, witnesses say that Marneus Calgar held the gate of Zalathras alone against a small patrol during a three-hour eclipse. These witnesses tend to disappear quickly." Varying levels of plausibility are already in the fluff (microwave meltaguns vs. sub-molecular gas meltaguns), but are not explicitly contradictory. If they were, we the readers could say "that sub-molecular gas thing is total gibberish, I'm sticking with the microwave thing".

Most of all, things like (as mentioned in the first post) lasgun recoil, bolts/beams, meltagun function, etcetera, should either be standardized or specifically put down to variations between forgeworld patterns. There is no way in-universe sources who have been surrounded by lasguns their whole lives would disagree on whether or not they recoil.

Reinholt
21-06-2010, 05:54
I don't have a problem with the fluff being inconsistent, when there is reason for it. Genuinely intending to provide a mysterious, contradictory view of the universe where nobody has all the answers i fine.

What I can't stand is how poor and cheesy some of the writing is. Ambiguity or not is not the problem; really lame writing is (just look at half the fluff in the new BA codex, for example). They have a good idea being executed very poorly, as of now, in my view.

Wrath
21-06-2010, 06:49
I don't have a problem with the fluff being inconsistent, when there is reason for it. Genuinely intending to provide a mysterious, contradictory view of the universe where nobody has all the answers i fine.

What I can't stand is how poor and cheesy some of the writing is. Ambiguity or not is not the problem; really lame writing is (just look at half the fluff in the new BA codex, for example). They have a good idea being executed very poorly, as of now, in my view.

/agree ^^all of this^^

I find it extremely funny that some of you guys are looking for "truth" in fictional writing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_(fiction)

Iracundus
21-06-2010, 09:31
The holder of the IP determines what is truth within a fictional universe and has a degree of control that is not comparable to simply falsifying or modifying real historical records. The writers of a fictional IP can if they chose, have a completely different set of physics from real life. Without some form of canon, some generally internally consistent set of rules and facts whatever those may be even if wildly divergent from "reality", a fictional universe just becomes incoherent nonsense. Yet that is clearly not what 40K is, since people talk repeatedly about such things as the Emperor, the Imperium, bolters, etc... and clearly mean the same fixed meaning.

Retconning is distinct and different from merely having "false records". Retconning shifts what is true retroactively. So before Orks did breed sexually but now since retconning, they breed (and always have bred) via spores. However that is still a canonical truth, as it would still be untrue to assert they breed via another means like binary fission.

Horus was in a bunker before, but now has been retconned to have been on his battle barge. Once again the canonical truth of what Horus was doing at that particular time has shifted. However that does not mean there is no canon, as one still cannot say Horus was having a party on Ultramar at the same time.

Tokugawa100
21-06-2010, 11:44
Redo the fluff:eek:

"JESUS H CHRIST" What on Earth for"!

The fluff is my greatest love for the game, its so intricate with multiple views and a long stream of crazy, epicness. I love the little myths, conspiracies and contradictories of the 40k Universe.

It makes the universe so much more real.


I cant imagine a more boring idea then redoing everything to make it consistent, this would kill it for me.

I vote for a "Never Change and love how it is":D

Ironmonger
22-06-2010, 06:25
^your sig, there? About the orks? Yeah, that was changed fluff.

Tokugawa100
22-06-2010, 22:56
^your sig, there? About the orks? Yeah, that was changed fluff.

I sigged it because I thought it was funny;)

Though Orks are just as much living ecosystems as Tyranids.

Hellebore
23-06-2010, 02:28
I sigged it because I thought it was funny;)

Though Orks are just as much living ecosystems as Tyranids.

But them being a living ecosystem is retconned. They used to be marsupial esque and reproduce via a pouch. The fungal growth and spore ecosystem thing is a very recent retcon of ork background.

Hellebore