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Sami
11-12-2011, 16:51
Yes, this is a massive open-ended subject.

I am a 40K player, and have played it on and off for about 15 years. Started in second edition and even when not playing it I've kept track of updates in the lore as the background has been expanded (and retconned :shifty:) though collecting the rulebooks, codexes, Black Library books, etc. I am by no means a master on it, but I understand pretty much everything as to the hows and why everything has happened, who can do what, the ideals of all the factions, etc. No, I can't name some obscure titan legion in an old edition of white dwarf :).I had the advantage of starting when the number of available materials was rather small and kept up with everything as more stuff was released.

I became interested in Warhammer fantasy through Warhammer Online, which was rather late in fantasy's lifetime compared to when I started with 40K. While I've picked up a lot of bits and pieces from reading this site, some of the army books and so on, there is so much lore for Fantasy that I don't know where to start. I still haven't quite figured out how everyone stands in the "current day", let alone how everyone got to that point and why.

I like Warhammer fantasy, and wish to know more. Lots more. Obsessively more. My starting point has always been Chaos, as the concept of the gods and daemons is pretty identical to 40K (even if their form of existance is not), but besides that I'm stumped. So Warseer, I come to you.

I am looking for help with the following:

1) The best resources to piece together a general timeline of the fantasy background. Whether this be the main rulebook (even previous editions - they can always be "aquired" online if out of print), old white dwarfs, specific codexes (again, any edition), etc.

2) The politics of the factions, i.e. who is allied with who, who hates who, who was part of who but isn't, who's back-stabbed who over the years, etc etc. And of course, the whys (if possible).

3) The power levels of each race and their influence. For example, in 40K the Orks individually aren't that powerful, but there are so damned many of them that they can stream-roll planet after planet through strength of numbers. The Dark Eldar have some of the most impressive weapon tech in the universe, but their numbers are so small that they presence is barely felt (except when they steal an entire planet's populations for slaves).

4) How the Warhammer world "works", in particular magic, souls, afterlifes (if there is one), etc. Pretty sure there's no overlap between fantasy and 40K here at all :)

I get the feeling I will eventually end up reading every rulebook and codex, but ideally would like to start reading them in the right order (if there is one) so it all makes sense.

Help, and thank you,

-Sami

P.S. I was tempted to start a daemon army as I love the models (and its the lore I'm most familiar with), but upon reading a few threads it seems their power level (and thus popularity) is completely inverted from their 40K brethren...

P.P.S. Looking purely at the background of the fantasy universe, not any rules mechanics (that will come later and something that can be picked up by just reading the main rulebook).

t-tauri
11-12-2011, 17:06
Moved to background.

Sami
11-12-2011, 19:01
Thank you :)

theshoveller
11-12-2011, 19:21
Like most long-running (British) settings, canon in Warhammer Fantasy is long, convoluted and contradictory. Warhammer Online is quite different in tone to WFB and that's different from WFRP in turn.

I personally think that the old Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay core rulebook (the first edition) is a cracking sourcebook, but it was first printed over twenty years ago and the style has changed a fair bit since then - WFB, always a bigger 'scale' game than WFRP to start with, has a much more 'epic' feel to it these days and its humour is far less black.

I'm told the current hardback WFB rulebook has plenty of setting information sandwiched in the middle of it (the section not included in the pocket-sized book that comes with Island of Blood), but I've not had a proper read of it, so I can't comment in detail.

If you're a chaos fan though, I don't think you can go far wrong with the Liber Chaotica. I don't know if it's still in print (and it was pricey), but I own it and think it a cracking read. It's a series of scholarly treatise on the chaos gods and their followers, complete with hastily scribbled (insane) marginal notes. It's completely full colour and weighs a ton.

Leogun_91
11-12-2011, 21:44
Liber Chaotica while being a great book is not a good starting point. Read the armybooks first and start with chaos (most central to the setting AND your favorite) and then take empire as most everything is shown from their perspective. Then just go on from there until you've read the armybooks, with that you'll have a great base for mostly all warhammer related things.
The 3rd edition roleplaying books are also very well fitting with current warhammer fluff and have some great background although I by far prefer 2nd editions rulesystem.

snottlebocket
11-12-2011, 22:50
I'd browse ebay for all the old 4th edition books. You can get them cheap and they're some of the fattest, fluff heavy resources you can find on the various armies of warhammer. You can usually find them for about the same cost as a white dwarf these days.

The vast majority of fluff for the past 15+ years has been rehashed 4th edition material. The majority of the remainder are badly written additions and revisions.

Son of Sanguinius
12-12-2011, 05:21
1) The best resources to piece together a general timeline of the fantasy background. Whether this be the main rulebook (even previous editions - they can always be "aquired" online if out of print), old white dwarfs, specific codexes (again, any edition), etc.

Lexicanum will be a good overview. Each individual armybook will have timelines, as will the core rulebook, but lexicanum is obviously the cheapest.



2) The politics of the factions, i.e. who is allied with who, who hates who, who was part of who but isn't, who's back-stabbed who over the years, etc etc. And of course, the whys (if possible).

That is going to take forever to get into. Too much for a single response here, at least. It might be easier if you asked per faction. Ultimately, every race, even the closest allies, have pissed each other off royally over the years. Extremely generally, GW breaks up the groupings into this-

Forces of Order:
- The Empire of Man
- The Kingdom of Bretonnia (arthurian humans)
- The Kingdom of Ulthuan (high elves)
- The Kingdom of the Dwarves
- The Kingdom of the Lizardmen
- The Kingdom of Athel Loren (wood elves)

Forces of Destruction:
- The Warriors of Chaos
- The Beastmen
- The Demon Legions
- The Orcs and Goblins
- The Kingdom of Naggaroth (the Dark Elves)
- The Skaven (rat-men...think paranoid Dark Eldar with a hunger to match the tyranids)

Neutral
- The Ogre Kingdoms
- The Kingdom of Nehekhara (the Tomb Kings...think Necrons)



3) The power levels of each race and their influence. For example, in 40K the Orks individually aren't that powerful, but there are so damned many of them that they can stream-roll planet after planet through strength of numbers. The Dark Eldar have some of the most impressive weapon tech in the universe, but their numbers are so small that they presence is barely felt (except when they steal an entire planet's populations for slaves).

The whole world is in a fluctuating stalemate, where each faction gains temporary dominance at different times. Only the Lizardmen and the Wood Elves are separate from this, as the Lizardmen are vary isolationist and the Wood Elves are too small to be considered a dominant power outside of their domain. It would be much like 40k's situation, if 2/3rd's of the Imperium's territory was divided up equally among the other races.



4) How the Warhammer world "works", in particular magic, souls, afterlifes (if there is one), etc. Pretty sure there's no overlap between fantasy and 40K here at all :)

Liber Chaotica is the best resource here. One of the more cerebral Black Library works. If he is who he claims to be, the author of said book is here on the forums under the name MvS and may be willing to wax philosophical and metaphysical if you asked him nicely.

Very generally, the realm of magic (or realm of chaos) in fantasy works much like the warp in 40k, with the most significant differences being 1) the Chaos gods are not so dominant that other gods cannot exist and 2) the energies of the realm of magic tend to gravitate toward physical focal points, which is why fantasy has the psuedo-elemental lore.

The Realm of Magic is pure energy, shaped by and reflecting the consciousnesses and sub-consciousnesses of mortals. Mortals with sufficiently strong souls and wills can use it to alter the physics and probabilities of material space. So at it's core, it's the same as the warp.

Arnizipal
12-12-2011, 11:37
4) How the Warhammer world "works", in particular magic, souls, afterlifes (if there is one), etc. Pretty sure there's no overlap between fantasy and 40K here at all :)
Some threads to get you started (they're old and long, but still worth a read):

- If all Gods are Chaos Gods... (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9535) ( a discussion on what makes up gods and daemons and how and why the operate the way they do)

- Chaos can't win (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=100201) (is a final Chaos victory inevitable and what will happen when this comes to pass)

- The Soul and Death (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6658) (what happens when you die in the Warhammer World)

- What date is it? (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101432) (the Imperial way of timekeeping)

- What is the story with the Runefangs and Ghal Maraz (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=127547) (about the most powerful set of magical weapons in the Empire)


- The Kingdom of the Lizardmen

They're not really a kingdom, they're a theocracy.
And each Slann tends to have its own interpretations on the way things should be.

TheDarkDaff
13-12-2011, 11:41
There was a Warhammer encyclopaedia released a while back. There is a lot of new stuff but one very cool thing it does give you is a combined timeline (over a number of pages) of the major events in each races history.

Athelassan
13-12-2011, 13:59
FWIW, I can't stand the "forces of order/forces of destruction" thing (I know it's official, but I still hate it). I can sort of see why it's there, but at the same time it's misleading and hugely over-simplified. There are barons of the Empire who would happily ally with forces of Chaos or the Skaven to get one over on their neighbours. The Lizardmen are utterly xenophobic and will merrily slaughter just about anyone who gets in their way no matter whether they're nominally on the same side, and the Wood Elves aren't much better. The Ogres are at least as destructive as most of the Destruction factions. The Vampire Counts fought to all intents and purposes as allies of the Empire during the Storm of Chaos despite having tried repeatedly to overthrow it in the past.

The only really enduring alliances on the side of "order" are the Dwarfs and the Empire, and the Wood Elves and Bretonnians (although the latter might well just be a master/puppet relationship) and even then they occasionally break down. There have been alliances between other factions, but they tend to be more transitory.

Lexicanum is an ok source but its segregation by topic makes it difficult to use for an overview, and there are also a number of mistakes knocking around in there which annoy me every time I visit it. The core rulebook is your best bet - that includes a fair description of each faction and a timeline for everybody as well as a history of the world. I think the 7th edition book had something similar, and that might be rather cheaper to acquire on ebay or the like (the background hasn't changed much between editions). Anything as far back as about 4th edition, as mentioned above, is probably worth taking a look at, and can normally be acquired cheaply. The tone has changed substantially since 3rd edition so I wouldn't bother with it (although the 3rd edition stuff, and the corresponding 1st ed WFRP books, are good in themselves)

I would recommend the 2nd edition WFRP books (especially Sigmar's Heirs, Tome of Salvation, Tome of Corruption and Realms of Sorcery) for a ground-level idea of what's going on - they really are excellent. Unfortunately they are also devilishly expensive these days as they've been out of print a while, as are most of the BL background books (also pretty good for the most part). The 4th/5th edition army books are a good bet (and are not generally too expensive second-hand) but bear in mind some of the background from them will probably have been altered in the intervening years.

Ath