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View Full Version : Who is the "GW" that we all Talk about in the Lore?



Gingerwerewolf
28-07-2010, 11:18
When we discuss lore in this detail, we use the "Games Workshop" name together with "They" this and "GW" that.

As I understand it there is one Gent who's Job it is to make sure that the Cannon is legit and so forth, Alan Merrit.

So when we come across problems in the Lore such as the Genestealer Broodlord Debate, why do you think these things came about? Alan Merrit's been with GW since Rogue Trader and before.

So are they deliberate, to get the creative juices flowing?
Are they mistakes made by the company that has put out billions of words of lore out, and obviously mistakes will be made?
Theres a conspiracy to generate Nerdrage and get us all pumped up about the hobby?
Doesnt matter, discussing Lore is ace!

Hellebore
28-07-2010, 11:29
I think many of them are simply mistakes.

However, the sheer number of dead avatars littering the pages of 40k codicies for the last 4 years or so seem far more like deliberate nerdrage inducing acts to me.

You can't have an avatar die in EVERY publication and NOT be doing it deliberately.

Hellebore

gitburna
28-07-2010, 12:04
So when we come across problems in the Lore such as the Genestealer Broodlord Debate, why do you think these things came about? Alan Merrit's been with GW since Rogue Trader and before.

So are they deliberate, to get the creative juices flowing?
Are they mistakes made by the company that has put out billions of words of lore out, and obviously mistakes will be made?
Theres a conspiracy to generate Nerdrage and get us all pumped up about the hobby?
Doesnt matter, discussing Lore is ace!

I think it's often deliberate, occasionally a mistake. Occasionally for conspiracy & debate.

Essentially i think that what happens is that sometimes, people just want to improve/expand on an idea, and that the original seed of the idea is quite constraining.

I recall a quote Andy Chambers made which i think is originally from Rick Priestly, when he said that "It never pays to be too tidy with an ever-expanding background" I'm sure you can understand what is meant here. Wether its adding to or staying within existing background.

I mean, there's people raging about broodlords changing but then perfectly happy (i presume) with the fact that the end of the Horus Heresy went from being a fight in a concrete command bunker to a teleport attack on a battlebarge, and all that entails. Presumably also OK with the changes they made to the Eldar when they came up with the Craftworlds idea, and, for that matter, Dark Eldar ? We'd presumably never have had sternguard and vanguard, ironclad dreadnoughts, the storm raven transport , autarchs, blah blah blah.

FabricatorGeneralMike
28-07-2010, 12:21
I think it's often deliberate, occasionally a mistake. Occasionally for conspiracy & debate.

Essentially i think that what happens is that sometimes, people just want to improve/expand on an idea, and that the original seed of the idea is quite constraining.

I recall a quote Andy Chambers made which i think is originally from Rick Priestly, when he said that "It never pays to be too tidy with an ever-expanding background" I'm sure you can understand what is meant here. Wether its adding to or staying within existing background.

I mean, there's people raging about broodlords changing but then perfectly happy (i presume) with the fact that the end of the Horus Heresy went from being a fight in a concrete command bunker to a teleport attack on a battlebarge, and all that entails. Presumably also OK with the changes they made to the Eldar when they came up with the Craftworlds idea, and, for that matter, Dark Eldar ? We'd presumably never have had sternguard and vanguard, ironclad dreadnoughts, the storm raven transport , autarchs, blah blah blah.

Concrete command bunker :confused:. Could you please put down a reference with book and page number please. As far as I know, its always been a teleport attack. Wayyy back in Space Marine days, along with the WD articles and the 2nd lotd book ( can't remember the name, I remember slaves to darkness....:eyebrows:) its always been a teleport attack with the big Sang himself getting killed by Horus.

Philip S
28-07-2010, 12:37
All the above and more.

40K is a setting, an open background to place scenarios and stories. Think of 40K as WWII and it starts to make sense. The Guns of Navarone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guns_of_Navarone_%28novel%29) is a WWII story, yet the plot is fictions and even the island it is set on is made up. Yet this novel and film do not affect any other WWII story, and could even co-exist with the film the Battle of the Bulge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Bulge_%28film%29) in the minds of many.

40K is like that, hundreds of stories all set in 40K, yet each and everyone can be as made up and fake relative to the actual 40K setting as The Guns of Navarone is the WWII.

40K is more about the spirit of the lore than the letter...

Philip

Scalebug
28-07-2010, 12:47
Concrete command bunker . Could you please put down a reference with book and page number please. As far as I know, its always been a teleport attack.

The Command Bunker attack was in Slaves to Darkness, the first realm of chaos book (1988), and as the Horus Heresy got more information in The Lost and the Damned (1990) the Emperor instead teleported to Horus's space ship in orbit. The first Epic scale rules set (Adeptus Titanicus and Space Marine) came out between these two books (1988 and 1989), it might had already changed in the background there, I don't recall.

(And, no, Ollaus Pious was not in either version of the story, he is still a throwaway line blown way out of proportion by people who have not themselves read the books... ;))

Hunger
28-07-2010, 14:25
The situation grew more desparate by the hour, when the Outer Palace was abandoned by the Traitor Legions and their allies, the Emperor acted. He disconnected himself from the Astronomican, a signal to the remainder of the Imperial Fleet that the end, one way or another, was approaching. The Emperor and an elite company of Custodes Adeptus soldiery and Imperial Fist marines were then teleported into Horus' command bunker. In the fierce fighting that followed, Horus was killed (although his body was never found), and the Emperor seriously wounded.

I wonder how many people realise that this was the first description of the Horus Heresy, in which Horus is not a primarch, but simply "the greatest military commander the Imperium has ever produced", and the Heresy "a conventional revolt".

Also, I wonder how many people realise that the Legiones Astartes were also known as Chapters at this point, despite being at Legion strength - Horus is said to have converted nine 'Chapters' to his cause. It was only later that Guilliman splitting the 'Chapters' into 1000-man autonomous units was introduced, giving rise to the current meaning of the Chapter formation, and the Term 'Legion' replaced the original 'Chapter' label.

ashc
28-07-2010, 14:32
Also, there hasn't always been one person in charge of the background; never was until it started getting thrown around that Alan Merritt was now some kind of Lorekeeper.

FabricatorGeneralMike
29-07-2010, 04:38
I wonder how many people realise that this was the first description of the Horus Heresy, in which Horus is not a primarch, but simply "the greatest military commander the Imperium has ever produced", and the Heresy "a conventional revolt".

Also, I wonder how many people realise that the Legiones Astartes were also known as Chapters at this point, despite being at Legion strength - Horus is said to have converted nine 'Chapters' to his cause. It was only later that Guilliman splitting the 'Chapters' into 1000-man autonomous units was introduced, giving rise to the current meaning of the Chapter formation, and the Term 'Legion' replaced the original 'Chapter' label.

Yes I miss that the leaders of a marine chapter during the heresy being called a Imperial Commander. I guess it changed with space marine. I don't have the rule book with me right now, but wasn't horus called a primarch in the beginning story there? ( I miss Benjaid(sp?) his aid. I was kinda hoping he would be in the HH books but we got stuck with malogirst the twisted :rolleyes:) I also think that the pic of Rogal Dorn in there next to the IF story he was called a Imperial Commander?

Yeah, the whole Legion/Chapter thing changed with 2nd ed 40k. I believe it was in the Codex Imperalius book.

Polaria
29-07-2010, 07:29
GW is a company with the objective to make money.

GW simply can't afford to hire dozens of people to fact-check every FW/FFG/BL publication word-by-word.

GW simply can't afford to diss every FW/FFG/BL publication by saying they are not "canon".

Thus, there will be an endless flood of small (and big) mistakes because no-one fact-checked them but they are all supposed to be canon.

Gingerwerewolf
29-07-2010, 08:46
In the YEars following Rogue Trader and up until 1990 really the entire 40k History was all over the place, with each publication contradicting the previous. Heck as has been seen above even within the same publication there is contradictory stories.

The old Stories are great too, but its the more or less current version that I love. I guess a lot of it comes down to when you first really read the History. The history I read started with the Lost and the Damned and parts of Rogue Trader.

Does the Poll work for you guys?

Askil the Undecided
29-07-2010, 10:22
The poll misses out the only answer that could be described as accurate:

Negligence: GW simply doesn't care, just as long as their market maintains it's buying of their products.

ashc
29-07-2010, 10:24
The poll misses out the only answer that could be described as accurate:

Negligence: GW simply doesn't care, just as long as their market maintains it's buying of their products.

With my cynics hat on, I do agree with this. For GW, whether it keeps that much to an established background is really a secondary consideration to selling models.

Gingerwerewolf
29-07-2010, 14:35
Maybe they need to understand that the Lore promotes the selling of their products. ;)

ashc
29-07-2010, 15:02
Maybe they need to understand that the Lore promotes the selling of their products. ;)

For some maybe, but for the majority not so much. It will be the pretty models :)

Lars Porsenna
29-07-2010, 15:41
GW is a company with the objective to make money.

GW simply can't afford to hire dozens of people to fact-check every FW/FFG/BL publication word-by-word.

GW simply can't afford to diss every FW/FFG/BL publication by saying they are not "canon".

Thus, there will be an endless flood of small (and big) mistakes because no-one fact-checked them but they are all supposed to be canon.

Sorry, but I'm not so sure about this bit of logic. One of the objectives of the Battletech publishers currently is to reconcile "canon" and tidy up the mess they had in their setting. They've been doing very well with this, and they're a compnay a fraction of the size of GW, but with just as detailed (perhaps more) background as 40K. If they can do it and stay in business, why can't GW?

The comment "they don't care" is more legitimate to me IMHO.

Damon.

MagosHereticus
29-07-2010, 15:59
strict cannon vetting would not increase profits, better to allow artistic freedom to grow the game than restrict it for little benefit

massey
29-07-2010, 18:21
Sorry, but I'm not so sure about this bit of logic. One of the objectives of the Battletech publishers currently is to reconcile "canon" and tidy up the mess they had in their setting. They've been doing very well with this, and they're a compnay a fraction of the size of GW, but with just as detailed (perhaps more) background as 40K. If they can do it and stay in business, why can't GW?

The comment "they don't care" is more legitimate to me IMHO.

Damon.

This is a great point. Battletech has loads and loads of history, with more novels written for it than have been written for 40K (and all of them "canon"). But Battletech is more of an evolving story rather than a setting. And that's where they lost a lot of people. Some people dropped out with the Clan Invasion. Then you have the formation of the new Star League. Then you have all that crap that followed with jumping 200 years in the future and the clix games. Battletech basically slit its own throat by trying to advance the storyline. Every time you change something in the universe, you risk losing customers who think the change is dumb. It's like movie sequels, eventually you make so many that you lose your target audience. By keeping things vague, 40K tries to avoid that.

yabbadabba
29-07-2010, 18:31
Also, there hasn't always been one person in charge of the background; never was until it started getting thrown around that Alan Merritt was now some kind of Lorekeeper.He lsint a Lorekeeper at all. He is the guy who is in complete control of ok-ing all the creativity in order to ensure that it is protectable and doesn't cause an issue which could serious bite GW in the ass; in essence he is the one who says no - alot.

If you want an analogy, he is the traditionalist teacher with the big cane who smacks you over the knuckles for being creative instead of a mindless drone copying out your lines :evilgrin:.

AstartesWarMachine
29-07-2010, 18:49
I think that some of the best lore comes from these mistakes.

As a writer myself I find that when I go back to an old story, I often find ways to make a "screwup" turn into a clever and cool aspect of the story. For GW, leaving loose ends is less a mistake and more a "this is a harmless blip on the radar that will keep the fans talking until we create some new iconic piece of lore that ties into it."

Case in pont -- I bet my right arm there will be a story in the next Eldar codex about Avatars being weakened due to the Chaos Gods' overpowering warp presence or something like that. In this regard, I actually really dig the advancement of the story through codex releases. For example, the more powerful wargear and newer vehicles being used by some of the new SM armies makes a lot of sense, in the context of the Imperium's collapse that is heavily suggested is oncoming throughout the main rulebook.


Every time you change something in the universe, you risk losing customers who think the change is dumb. It's like movie sequels, eventually you make so many that you lose your target audience. By keeping things vague, 40K tries to avoid that. Yes, though I give the 40k writers a lot of credit in that they have evolved some of their tales to become a lot cooler than their original concepts ever were. With this game it's less of an expansion, and more an evolution.

Hrw-Amen
29-07-2010, 23:05
What happened to the poll, it would not let me vote?

Also, I think GW will be bound to make mistakes over time as things get misheard, stories of what people thought someone said 25 years ago in RT are passed around. It is just like real life. If I retold a story of what I was doing in 1985, I wonder how accurate it would really be? I know you could say that they should go back and read things, but in away a few errors or misconceptions, things being left open or to artisic licence is a good thing. It leaves room for further developements. Admittedly some are just too blatant and should not be made, but most are forgiveable as simple retelling of old stories and different peoples take on things. At least that is how I see it.

Askil the Undecided
30-07-2010, 00:34
What happened to the poll, it would not let me vote?

Also, I think GW will be bound to make mistakes over time as things get misheard, stories of what people thought someone said 25 years ago in RT are passed around. It is just like real life. If I retold a story of what I was doing in 1985, I wonder how accurate it would really be? I know you could say that they should go back and read things, but in away a few errors or misconceptions, things being left open or to artisic licence is a good thing. It leaves room for further developements. Admittedly some are just too blatant and should not be made, but most are forgiveable as simple retelling of old stories and different peoples take on things. At least that is how I see it.

Your point while well made is partially untrue, because there do exist people in ths world who can check, and if we're lucky and have been really good boys and girls even show us the publication from 1985 (a year I spent in potentia) in which this or that piece of fluff is stated. As such knowledge of RT fluff isn't always just half-remembered rumour.

DapperAnarchist
31-07-2010, 01:13
In some cases, people seem to think that there is not so much a Loremaster, but a Lore - some ineffable eternal plan worked out in the distant past to which all things hew. At this point, I find it unexpectedly useful to reference Derrida - there is no pure truth, no story that isn't already created by a player, and thus "fan-fluff". It began with a single GM, writing not an authoritative text, but a guide for his players. Warhammer is always already a fan creation, and no text can claim to authority over another.

So is there a Lore, a Truth of Warhammer 40,000? Perhaps, but if so, its a truth of mood and tone, not of fact and event. Sometimes things offend against that truth - Alliances between Blood Angels and Necrons (and not even in the interesting "I can give you what you desire, lifeforce overflowing, if you serve me" sort, but the overdone noble alliance type that Warhammer was in part an attempt to break), excessive Avatar deaths, stuff like that - but so much does not.