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sebold
31-07-2010, 16:22
look, i dont wanna start anything and i dont really mean anything wrong, but i wuz just really curious, ive read pretty much every BL novel thats come out and ive been wondering, about the citizens of the mperium, are they all gothic/caucasian/made up/gothic germanish? or are there, well, i dont know, asian looking people like chinese and japs or african american black people, are there even any rednecks still around? I Call on my brothers for their words of wisdumb!:chrome:

plus, im nt xur bt wasnt the inquisitor in the frst DoW game,(the 1 with the bloodravens,gabriel,maledictum and that traitor librarian) um? black?

and im xur after tens of thousands of years, new kinds of humans have developed, with different skin tones and languages but this is my gripe, it seems all the characters and people in BL novels as well as games are usually caucasian of a 40k variation of that which is wat made me start thinking of this thread=P

(edit)
thanks for all the replies, i finally got over my mental block..

i sort of actually mean more of the ethnicity in the hobby and not so much the 40k universe fluff but its still good discussing it
as some of you have said, the hobby doesnt really show that much ethnicity, sisters of battles, alot of the IG and helmet less space marines are usually caucasian, shouldnt GW involve more different ethnic groups in order for the hobby to touch more people? especially those outside the US and EuropeXp

(damn, typing is for servitors and smart orks!)

narrativium
31-07-2010, 16:34
Are there people in 41st Millennium who resemble each of the different appearances of humans we have today? Sure. Are they related? Possibly, and possibly not, and either way, very very distantly. In 38,000 years we've had time to evolve into Ogryns, and we've encountered a lot of aliens who don't resemble us at all. Compared to that, little differences like skin tone and accent and such just don't come up much in conversation.

Noserenda
31-07-2010, 16:36
There are plenty of examples of various races throughout Black Library and even GW direct things. Try looking :rolleyes:

Iuris
31-07-2010, 17:57
I'm pretty sure I once read about a planet with blue skinned inhabitants, so, I guess you get every colour and phenotype available...

Devastator
31-07-2010, 19:01
sorry i dont speak l337 try english instead?

Michael M.
31-07-2010, 20:06
Of course there are different races within the human race all over the galaxy.
Some examples:
Mundus Planus: The homeworld of the White Scars Chapter. They have an mongolian background and they look like mongolians.
Fenris: The homeworld of the Space Wolves Chapter. They have a scandinavian/viking look and background
Tallarn: The homeworld of the Imperial Guard regiments of Tallarn. They are very similar to the Tuareg of the northern Sahara.
And there´re many more, depending on the natural environment of their homeworld. The people on a night world would have pale white skin color and maybe infravision.

Shamana
31-07-2010, 20:37
@ Sebold: there are, and many. The problem is finding any mentions of that in canon - for example, Dark Heresy (which is a 40k-based RPG) has various skin tones for various worlds, including slightly bluish or porcelain for voidborns. In regular 40k books, of which I've read very few, I remember only reading that a Valhallan troopers Caiaphas Cain served with had dark brown skin tone, which was noted as very unusual among Valhallans and marked her as a descendant of offworld immigrants.

BaronDG
31-07-2010, 21:28
No there arn't! The Sisters of battle search out and destroy deviants and mutants!!!

j/k...

AndrewGPaul
31-07-2010, 21:44
@ Sebold: there are, and many. The problem is finding any mentions of that in canon - for example, Dark Heresy (which is a 40k-based RPG) has various skin tones for various worlds, including slightly bluish ...

Which isn't totally out-of-this-world:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kyperry3/Blue_Fugates_Troublesome_Creek.html

SharpSilver
31-07-2010, 22:19
sorry i dont speak l337 try english instead?

Pardon? :eyebrows:

On-topic

Since Terra is meant to be the 'centre' of the humanity'. I believe rightly that if we speed up our existence a few thousand years. Earth is still going to be a multi-ethnicity society. Even though in the 41st Millennium, and Terra is a giant Hive City, it's still going to have the roots of early ethnicity implanted into the human race on Terra. For example, Asian, African, you name it. In the 41st Millenium, with nations become redundant and Terra becoming a giant sprawling hive surrounded by the wastes of former humanity, genetic heritage may be lose due to this process.

Although it's undoubtedly true that after a while, some genetic processes may mean that we lose some specific ethnic ties, not everyone is going to be Caucasian and speak Gothic. ;) However it's sad that there is a lack of ethnicity in this hobby, where it seems every Space Marine/Imperial Guardsman/Sister of Battle is automatically White and Caucasian. Perhaps this a tendency related at more GW or maybe even a Player-developed thing. I think it's a discussion worth having.

madprophet
01-08-2010, 02:52
Anything and everything goes as far as the minor differences in appearance of human beings is concerned.

I would imagine the genepool got well and truly mixed during the great scattering of mankind but I would also imagine that some pockets of "pure" genotypes of one sort or another have been preserved.

The Salamander Space Marines (and presumably the people of their homeworld) are presented as being of African descent. The Dark Angels are presented as being Native Americans (with Jewish names... go figure). The Tallarns are Middle-Eastern/North African, the Mordians are Prussians, the Catachans are a mixed bag (but a heavily muscled mixed bag), the Valhallans are Russians/North Asians, who knows what the Steel Legion or Death Korps of Krieg look like under their gas masks. Whatever world the character "Hero" from the Col. Schaefer's Last Chancers set comes from obviously has some Japanese/East Asian types on it...

So, yeah - every genotype you can find today exists in the 41st millennium along with a big bunch of mixed "race" people.

Balgora
01-08-2010, 03:06
I was under the impression the salamanders became very dark skinned because of a change in whichever of their marine implants is to do with radiation and not because of however they looked before they started the transition.

N0-1_H3r3
01-08-2010, 09:37
What isn't considered is that new 'races' (however one wishes to define that) may have formed over dozens of millennia of interstellar colonisation, particularly before the advent of the Astronomicon to aid long-distance interstellar travel, and during the Age of Strife that isolated human colonies all over the galaxy. Even after the advent of the Imperium, interstellar travel is still beyond the reach of the overwhelming majority of people, meaning that it's almost impossible to talk about a singular human population in these terms, but rather a collection of roughly a million isolated terrestrial human populations, and an indeterminate number of voidborn human populations, each of which would have been developing essentially in isolation for several millennia.

Gorbad Ironclaw
01-08-2010, 09:41
The Dark Angels are presented as being Native Americans (with Jewish names... go figure).

Not really. The Deathwing borrow some Native American inspired iconography because of the Deathwing story, but they recruit from several different worlds and have no set cultural base at all.

Similar with the Salamandars, it's a malfunctioning implant that turns them entirely black, rather than them reqruiting from a black skinned population. (The population might be black, I don't know, but it's irrelevant to the skin tone of the Salamanders themselves).

And in any case, it's 38k years into the future, none of the cultures or anything like that we know from present day earth would have survived in a form we would recognise it in. On the other hand you would have had thousand and thousand of new ones from all over human occopied space to deal with.

Malice313
01-08-2010, 10:14
I've been running some fun Dark Heresy based on French Indo-China set on Vaxanide, with the hive being "French" from Malfia and the jungle being "Vietnamese".

...and of course there is Valkyries! No surfing though.

Hunger
01-08-2010, 19:11
I think some posters are confusing the genetic 'race' of humanity's scattered peoples with the conceptual theme with which the models have been designed.

Yes, Valhallans have a distinctly Russian theme, what with their furry hats and trench coats, but this is down to them having a real-world design theme that they come from a cold planet. There is nothing to suggest that they are in any way descended from today's inhabitants of Russia, or that they share any sort of genetic connection. The same goes for every other planetary poplulace.

Also, do not confuse culture with race - a man who lives in a cold place can wear a furry hat without having a Caucasian bloodline, just as an Aboriginal man can like rock 'n roll or be the head chef at a Chinese restaurant.

Now to answer the OP's question: Yes, there are certainly descendants of our original races on other planets across the galaxy - the original generation ships would have set sail from Terra just like early humans spread out from Africa. And, just as the mutation of early human genes has led to the variety of different races we have on Earth today, so too would it lead to a variety of different peoples living across the galaxy in the year 40,999.

Added to this are the selection pressures exerted by the environments in which the people live, plus the fact that evolution has had four times as long to work its magic as it has from our roots today, meaning that evolutionary adaption will certainly be noticeable in the people of M41, so you will certainly have people with very good low-light vision coming from night worlds, people with excellent protective pigments in their skin (who may not necessarity be black...) who come from very hot worlds or those with thin atmospheres, and so on.

The extent of alteration that 38,000 years can probably produce in the human species means that in extreme cases you might not recognise people as being human. For example, the loss of eyes is an adaptive mutation found in Earth creatures that receive no light - it has been observed to develop in certain kinds of fish over 1000 generations when bred in total darkness.

If we take one generation to be 25 years (likely in humans with the average life expectancy of M41), that means about 1200 generations will have elapsed by the year 40,000 - meaning its not only possible, but quite likely, that there are races of people with drastic physiological alterations such as no eyes, multiple limbs, cricket-jointed legs, hyper-intelligence or even superhero 'super-powers' such as spiderman's web ability, superman's strength or even (given the setting) natural psychic levitation!

Chem-Dog
01-08-2010, 20:02
I was under the impression the salamanders became very dark skinned because of a change in whichever of their marine implants is to do with radiation and not because of however they looked before they started the transition.

The Melanochrome, or Melanochromic Organ, is hemispherical and black. It monitors radiation levels and types bombarding the skin, and if necessary, sets off chemical reactions to darken the skin to protect it from ultraviolet exposure. It also provides limited protection from other forms of radiation. :D

A simple answer to the OP is YES, the human species is far from homogenised in the 40K universe, in addition to the various ethnic roots original settlers may have had there are many many environmental circumstances on individual worlds that may further change the size, shape and colour of it's inhabitants.

N0-1_H3r3
01-08-2010, 21:37
If we take one generation to be 25 years (likely in humans with the average life expectancy of M41), that means about 1200 generations will have elapsed by the year 40,000 - meaning its not only possible, but quite likely, that there are races of people with drastic physiological alterations such as no eyes, multiple limbs, cricket-jointed legs, hyper-intelligence or even superhero 'super-powers' such as spiderman's web ability, superman's strength or even (given the setting) natural psychic levitation!
Of course, the Imperium is likely to engage in genocide to remove the more extreme variations from existence, or at the very least classify them as "Abhuman" and utilise them as second-class citizens.

Green-is-best
01-08-2010, 21:41
I miss the days when Salamanders were Black people instead of black people.

madprophet
01-08-2010, 23:14
I think some posters are confusing the genetic 'race' of humanity's scattered peoples with the conceptual theme with which the models have been designed.

You have a point but 40k is very much a galaxy of hats (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PlanetOfHats) and the Valhallans have been presented as VERY Russian, down to their proverbs (e.g. "It's never too late to panic" - a very old Russian saw).

The naming conventions (Kubrik Chenkov, Confessor Kyrinov, etc.) also suggest they are Russians or at least descended from the Slavic/East European genotype. The artwork GW has generated for them also backs up this assumption as does what BL fluff exists for them.


Yes, Valhallans have a distinctly Russian theme, what with their furry hats and trench coats, but this is down to them having a real-world design theme that they come from a cold planet.
Quite so, but is is more than that - they are portrayed as being from a cold planet with a distinctly Russian outlook and very Slavic looking soldiers.


Also, do not confuse culture with race - a man who lives in a cold place can wear a furry hat without having a Caucasian bloodline, just as an Aboriginal man can like rock 'n roll or be the head chef at a Chinese restaurant.
Not so long ago, race and culture were inseparable - people spoke of an English race, a French race, etc. With the relative isolationism of each planetary system from another in the 41st millennium, it is very likely that attitudes similar to the 19th and early 20th century here on Earth might resurface.


Now to answer the OP's question: Yes, there are certainly descendants of our original races on other planets across the galaxy - the original generation ships would have set sail from Terra just like early humans spread out from Africa. And, just as the mutation of early human genes has led to the variety of different races we have on Earth today, so too would it lead to a variety of different peoples living across the galaxy in the year 40,999.
Quite right. Of this there can be no real doubt - it would explain why the Valhallans are so much like modern Russians, Mordians like Prussians, Praetorians like 19th century Britishers, etc.


Added to this are the selection pressures exerted by the environments in which the people live, plus the fact that evolution has had four times as long to work its magic as it has from our roots today, meaning that evolutionary adaption will certainly be noticeable in the people of M41, so you will certainly have people with very good low-light vision coming from night worlds, people with excellent protective pigments in their skin (who may not necessarity be black...) who come from very hot worlds or those with thin atmospheres, and so on.
Very likely - of course, there are limits to the tolerance of the Ordo Xenos' and the Holy Ecclesiarchy's tolerance...


The extent of alteration that 38,000 years can probably produce in the human species means that in extreme cases you might not recognise people as being human. For example, the loss of eyes is an adaptive mutation found in Earth creatures that receive no light - it has been observed to develop in certain kinds of fish over 1000 generations when bred in total darkness.
Entirely possible, though such mutants would be classed as Abhumans at best and more likely denounced as Beastmen or heretics.


If we take one generation to be 25 years (likely in humans with the average life expectancy of M41), that means about 1200 generations will have elapsed by the year 40,000 - meaning its not only possible, but quite likely, that there are races of people with drastic physiological alterations such as no eyes, multiple limbs, cricket-jointed legs, hyper-intelligence or even superhero 'super-powers' such as spiderman's web ability, superman's strength or even (given the setting) natural psychic levitation!
The Ordo Malleus and Ordo Hereticus calls such mutants traitors! Kill the Mutant, Burn the Witch, Purge the Unclean!!!!

sebold
01-08-2010, 23:49
I think some posters are confusing the genetic 'race' of humanity's scattered peoples with the conceptual theme with which the models have been designed.

Yes, Valhallans have a distinctly Russian theme, what with their furry hats and trench coats, but this is down to them having a real-world design theme that they come from a cold planet. There is nothing to suggest that they are in any way descended from today's inhabitants of Russia, or that they share any sort of genetic connection. The same goes for every other planetary poplulace.

Also, do not confuse culture with race - a man who lives in a cold place can wear a furry hat without having a Caucasian bloodline, just as an Aboriginal man can like rock 'n roll or be the head chef at a Chinese restaurant.

Now to answer the OP's question: Yes, there are certainly descendants of our original races on other planets across the galaxy - the original generation ships would have set sail from Terra just like early humans spread out from Africa. And, just as the mutation of early human genes has led to the variety of different races we have on Earth today, so too would it lead to a variety of different peoples living across the galaxy in the year 40,999.

Added to this are the selection pressures exerted by the environments in which the people live, plus the fact that evolution has had four times as long to work its magic as it has from our roots today, meaning that evolutionary adaption will certainly be noticeable in the people of M41, so you will certainly have people with very good low-light vision coming from night worlds, people with excellent protective pigments in their skin (who may not necessarity be black...) who come from very hot worlds or those with thin atmospheres, and so on.

The extent of alteration that 38,000 years can probably produce in the human species means that in extreme cases you might not recognise people as being human. For example, the loss of eyes is an adaptive mutation found in Earth creatures that receive no light - it has been observed to develop in certain kinds of fish over 1000 generations when bred in total darkness.

If we take one generation to be 25 years (likely in humans with the average life expectancy of M41), that means about 1200 generations will have elapsed by the year 40,000 - meaning its not only possible, but quite likely, that there are races of people with drastic physiological alterations such as no eyes, multiple limbs, cricket-jointed legs, hyper-intelligence or even superhero 'super-powers' such as spiderman's web ability, superman's strength or even (given the setting) natural psychic levitation!

so the mortifactors are blind?:chrome: that explains alot

ashendant
02-08-2010, 00:15
Well there are the Abhumans which include the following
Afriel Strain
Beastmen
Gland War veterans
Ogryns
Ratlings
Squats
Nightsiders

http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Abhuman

Hellebore
02-08-2010, 00:35
Race is far more of a cultural/social term than it is biological.

So technically none of the people in 40k belong to any 'race' that you see today. They belong to their own races. That some of them bear similarities to stereotypes from Earth doesn't make them literally earth races.

Hellebore

N0-1_H3r3
02-08-2010, 05:50
You have a point but 40k is very much a galaxy of hats (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PlanetOfHats) and the Valhallans have been presented as VERY Russian, down to their proverbs (e.g. "It's never too late to panic" - a very old Russian saw).

The naming conventions (Kubrik Chenkov, Confessor Kyrinov, etc.) also suggest they are Russians or at least descended from the Slavic/East European genotype. The artwork GW has generated for them also backs up this assumption as does what BL fluff exists for them.


Quite so, but is is more than that - they are portrayed as being from a cold planet with a distinctly Russian outlook and very Slavic looking soldiers.
Except that we also know that the Imperium doesn't actually speak English and Fake Latin - those are stand-ins for Low and High Gothic, respectively, to make them understandable to the audience (much as the Westron language in Lord of the Rings is translated to English for the reader). This applies as much to names and the like as anything else - Frodo's name wasn't actually Frodo, that was simply a "translation" of it, and consequently, it's just as likely that the Valhallans are presented as Russian, without necessarily having to be Russian.

abasio
02-08-2010, 06:00
Quite a few books I have read have referred to characters with black skin. I think in the first Horus Heresy book there was a rememberancer who was black. A lot of other characters don't have their skin colour described at all and seeing as it is a book with no pictures of them you can decide what colour they are yourself. So if there are no non-white guys in your 40K it's because your brain makes every character white until specifically stated otherwise.

Do you paint all your models white? Why not painting a few dark skinned models too? It might be too difficult to paint the finer details of asian features on the models though.

Askil the Undecided
02-08-2010, 13:05
How about this theory:

Long ago in the 1980's when GW was a half-dozen white thirtyish year old basement dwellers in a Nottingham lockup who had got bored of D&D they wanted to write something funny but they didn't want to be sued for making racist jokes.

Thus when they wrote they didn't explictly mention race, but took inspiration from existing cultures where thematically appropriate to make what they wrote more down-to-earth or pay homage to certain images in culture or literature. (Did anyone say "Dune" or "Rambo?")

When GW drew beyond the lockup it maintained this stance to maintain it's profit margins.

When BL was born it employed outside writers who wrote their take on the canon and included descriptions of characters of necessity, including their skin colour in some cases.

Zurubbu
02-08-2010, 20:01
I've heard that over time humanity will turn black because of black being so über color that it goes over white (yeah, i wrote it like that 'cuz i'm bad at english).

Almost everyone in the 40k universe is white so i guess there is some conspiracy going on.

madprophet
04-08-2010, 01:57
Quite a few books I have read have referred to characters with black skin. I think in the first Horus Heresy book there was a rememberancer who was black. A lot of other characters don't have their skin colour described at all and seeing as it is a book with no pictures of them you can decide what colour they are yourself. So if there are no non-white guys in your 40K it's because your brain makes every character white until specifically stated otherwise.
Not necessarily, look at the GW art and the covers of those books. Commissar Gaunt is pictured as a Caucasian as are the Ghosts. Commissar Cain is also white, also Commissar Yarrick, Rogal Dorn, Marneus Calgar, Abaddon the Despoiler, the Emperor (even though he's supposed to be Anatolian). Aside from the occasional Salamander marine, I can't recall any major character portrayed as non-white in any of GW's artwork.

Looking at the figures themselves (and restricting ourselves to human figures only) the only 40k figure I can recall sculpted in specifically non-white features is the Hero character from the Colonel Schaefer's Last Chancers boxed set (he's very Asian looking) though a case can be made for Captain Al'Rahem being Middle-Eastern or Central Asian but still...

It may be parochial, but it is not entirely unjustified, to think of most GW characters as white. Of course, as has been repeatedly stated, there can be no real doubt that every genotype we are currently familiar with (and many we haven't encountered yet) exists in the Imperium so you are justified in using whatever skintone or combination of skintones you like on your IG or other human figures.


Do you paint all your models white? Why not painting a few dark skinned models too? It might be too difficult to paint the finer details of asian features on the models though.

True enough, but there are fluff reasons for choosing the skin tones we do. I play Valhallan Guard (my own fluff though) so I use a mix of Caucasian and Asian skin tones. Black or Brown skin would seem out of place. I stayed very close to the North Eurasia/Slavic meme borrowing a lot of ideas from the Czarist and Soviet armies with more than a little influence from my own time in the U.S. Army

If I played Cadian or Catachans, it would be a different story. Both are modeled on the NATO militaries and as such should be multi-ethnic.

Mordians are Prussian, so they probably would be all white. Besides, Mordia is a night world - not a lot of opportunity to get a tan. Tallarns on the other hand should be darker skinned - ranging from olive to black skin tones. Just my opinion, of course. :angel:

A lot of folks simply pick one skin tone and do all their models in that tone for ease of painting reasons and since most wargamers I've met are white or Asian (not sure why, but it has been my experience) so are most of the armies I've seen on the tabletop; barring those historical armies of those who like the British intervention in the Sudan, Zulu Wars, American-Indian wars or Vietnam/Korean conflicts, of course.:eyebrows:

A friend of mine insists his Salamanders are all black but they are all modeled with their helmets on :) (he hates painting faces)

Lars Porsenna
04-08-2010, 19:57
A lot of folks simply pick one skin tone and do all their models in that tone for ease of painting reasons and since most wargamers I've met are white or Asian (not sure why, but it has been my experience)

Just to be contrarian, I've met more black wargamers than I have asian... :)

Damon.

Astelan
26-08-2010, 17:19
erg..I hate these threads.

does the lack of diversity in skincolor/ethnicity in 40k make realistic sense? no.

is it explicable given the IRL origins of the game and the cultural archetypes space marines and sob are based off of? yes.

40k is basically fantasy in space and knights, elves, orcs, mages etc are European fantasy fiction concepts developed mostly by European and anglo American authors primarily from European myths and legends.

is there anything ethnocentric or insensitive about this? in my opinion, no.

as for painting preferences there exists no rule that says that your marines have to be pale blue eyed Germanic types, you can paint them however you wish. GWs depictions of them are a product of the companies European origins and the Gothic theme of the fluff.

Toramino
27-08-2010, 02:25
erg..I hate these threads.

does the lack of diversity in skincolor/ethnicity in 40k make realistic sense? no.

is it explicable given the IRL origins of the game and the cultural archetypes space marines and sob are based off of? yes.

40k is basically fantasy in space and knights, elves, orcs, mages etc are European fantasy fiction concepts developed mostly by European and anglo American authors primarily from European myths and legends.

is there anything ethnocentric or insensitive about this? in my opinion, no.

as for painting preferences there exists no rule that says that your marines have to be pale blue eyed Germanic types, you can paint them however you wish. GWs depictions of them are a product of the companies European origins and the Gothic theme of the fluff.


agreed completely, good post.

woodfin
27-08-2010, 03:32
Squats are a great example for your question.

StarshipBOb
27-08-2010, 05:49
I'm pretty sure I once read about a planet with blue skinned inhabitants, so, I guess you get every colour and phenotype available...

Sometimes skin color can be the result of enviromental factors rather then genetics. Case in point, the person here turned blue due the use of collodial silver as an antibiotic. link (http://boingboing.net/2007/12/20/another-person-turns.html)

Anyway with the sheer amount of enviroments available in the Imperium, certain changes like the above aren't to be unexpected.

Askil the Undecided
27-08-2010, 16:46
It's Papa Smurf!

The Highlander
29-08-2010, 10:10
There is a very simple reason why most people in the 40K artwork and background are white. The vast majority of the artists, writers, game designers excreta are from a white European (mainly British) background and therefore to them a ‘default’ human is a white European.

Look at it this way, if I asked a random person from England to draw a cow, chances are they would produce a black and white Friesian since to them that is the ‘default’ cow. If I asked someone from the Highlands of Scotland, I might well end up was a picture of an orange, hairy highland cow, while if I asked someone from India then they would probably draw something completely different. People just default to what they are familiar with.