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chuxfm
18-02-2015, 16:49
I know this will probably cause a lot of arguments/debate.

I also know it will be hard to dilute.

But what would you say is the essential core reading list that would give me a good fairly in depth grasp of 40k lore?

BL GW FW Whatever. Say around 6-8 books.

I have a basic understanding, or overview, of 40k lore. Some things, however, that seem obvious as part of canon to other players seem to elude me.

Chux.

=Angel=
18-02-2015, 17:04
The Third ed Rulebook. The basics of the lore are there- and have been repeated since in other rulebooks. However the 4th onward were done in colour and are missing a lot of Blanchey crazyness that really sells the nightmare far future.
207935
207936
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The good guys, ladies and gents. In that last one, someone has numbered all those skulls.
That's the kind of thing the Imperium gets up to.

Furthermore the Imperial dating (chronology, not courting) is explained as are different classes of worlds, forge, feudal, death, civilised, dead etc.

ItsAquila
18-02-2015, 17:05
Best you start looking for that kind of stuff over in the 40k Background forum. :D

Other then that: Basic Rule Book and Armybooks of whatever Army strikes your fancy. :)

The bearded one
18-02-2015, 17:43
The Third ed Rulebook. The basics of the lore are there- and have been repeated since in other rulebooks. However the 4th onward were done in colour and are missing a lot of Blanchey crazyness that really sells the nightmare far future?

I thought the most recent rulebook fluffsection was also pretty expansive (with quite a lot of blanche art), with a rather neat appendix section elaborating on topics like the imperial dating system, how astropaths work, the mechanicus and their relation to the imperium, andsoforth. A lot of info that is often not really touched upon.

Scammel
18-02-2015, 17:51
The rulebooks will give you the greatest overview of the setting (for all the faults of the rules themselves, the BRBs have always been top-notch in that respect) and codexes will give you plenty of faction specific detail - however, codexes tend to give a skewed viewpoint of the wider setting and you'll be left wondering why the faction in question hasn't yet conquered the galaxy. There's a vast range of novels too, and certain authors can give different takes on the tone of the universe that might provide food for thought. Abnett in particular has a reputation for Nicehammer, which eases up on the grimdark to create a galaxy that might actually work. The Heresy series is fantastic once you've gotten a good understanding of the current setting, as events and characters in the Heresy have a big impact on the 'now'.

chuxfm
18-02-2015, 18:55
First of all. Apologies for wrong sub forum. Secondly. I have read the rule books extensively. That's the extent of my knowledge. I would say the stuff in the rule book is a good base but I want to go deeper. What would you recommend I read from there (I have read chaos marine and space marine codices).

Lord Damocles
18-02-2015, 18:57
Are there any particular areas which you particularly want to look into more deeply? It will be far easier to focus your (re)search than to attempt to take on the entirety of 40K's background in any depth at once.

theJ
19-02-2015, 10:34
So I'm gonna go ahead and say... this place. The way I learnt the fluff was by hanging around the forums, reading fluff-related threads, and looking up whatever I didn't understand on lexicanum.

Ok, well, the rulebooks are even better, but the forums are definitely a close second...

Other than that... you may want to consider looking up some of the older rulebooks as well; their focus on narrative over facts may make it a little hard to get actual knowledge, but they get across the spirit of the setting FAR better than the newer books do.
...and the spirit is ultimately more important than the facts, when it comes to warhammer. Both the warhammer settings are, ultimately, designed as starting points for your own creations, not to be fully fleshed out and functional worlds in their own right. True understanding of warhammer comes from embracing this concept.

chuxfm
19-02-2015, 12:15
Are there any particular areas which you particularly want to look into more deeply? It will be far easier to focus your (re)search than to attempt to take on the entirety of 40K's background in any depth at once.

Well I would say I'm particularly interested in the origins of The Emperor and the ancient history of the galaxy. I'm talking Shamans, Old Ones, Eldar in their prime etc. etc.

I know there is currently a thread disputing who or what The Emperor actually is. But a bit of insight into his origins does interest me.


Chux.

quantumcollider
20-02-2015, 19:37
For a really in-depth perspective I recommend the Fantasy Flight Games RPG books for WH40K. However, there are many source books and expansions, so they are not really suited as introduction to 40K, but perfect for an in-depth view of certain topics.

AndrewGPaul
22-02-2015, 17:35
Do you want _facts_ or an insight into the tone and themes of the setting? If the latter, you could do a lot worse than reading Matthew Farrer's Enforcer trilogy, along with Ian Watson's Inquisitor (reprinted as Draco; don't bother with the sequels).

That'll help show the superstitious and highly religious mindset of the Imperium, rather than just Ooh-rah Space Marines and poring over forgotten technology.

And a helping of 2000AD and Dune, while you're at it. :)

Lord Damocles
22-02-2015, 20:03
It might be worth getting hold of Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (and Realm of Chaos: The Lost and The Damned) from eBay.

thanoson
22-02-2015, 21:48
It might be worth getting hold of Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (and Realm of Chaos: The Lost and The Damned) from eBay.

I 2nd this. Lost and the Damned was so deep with fluff from fantasy and 40k. I still want to know about the sensai and the Starchild.

Bold_or_Stupid
22-02-2015, 22:24
Dune, the Foundation series, 2000 AD, watch Star Wars.

Ozendorph
22-02-2015, 23:06
I 2nd this. Lost and the Damned was so deep with fluff from fantasy and 40k. I still want to know about the sensai and the Starchild.

Thirded. Some of the best lore (not just for Chaos) and artwork is found in those books

Still Standing
22-02-2015, 23:16
Eisenhorn trilogy.
Talon of Horus.
Horus Heresy series.

angelismortis
22-02-2015, 23:20
An anthology I recommend is Let the Galaxy Burn. It shows the universe from many perspectives.

Spiney Norman
22-02-2015, 23:41
Eisenhorn trilogy.
Talon of Horus.
Horus Heresy series.

I'd fully endorse these sources, with particular emphasis on anything written by Aaron Demski-Bowden and Dan Abnett, of course if you are more interested in Xeno armies there might be other places you want to go to, but for chaos/imperium background these are your best sources. The codex design team wouldn't know good quality writing if it were tattooed on to their chest, so codex fluff is typically quite low quality.

Sir_Turalyon
23-02-2015, 00:01
3rd edition Rulebook as single best synthetic source of 40k background, especially on Imperium and Imperial organisations; later books go into details but don't give coherent image.

As suplementary readings, 2nd edition wargear book to know what equipment does and how pieces of equipment compare in power level, fluff-wise. RT Realm of Chaos to learn about chaos, three RT era books on Orks to learn about Orks, 2nd edition Eldar codex to learn about Eldar. Index Astartes article series on Space Marines. Codex:Sisters of Battle for flavour.

Keep sanctioned fanart from BL out of the mix, as entertainment it's supposed to be.

chuxfm
23-02-2015, 12:51
Eisenhorn trilogy.
Talon of Horus.
Horus Heresy series.


Funnily enough I bought the Eisenhorn Trilogy 2 years ago and still haven't read it! I'm gonna start it when I've finished Do Andorids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Brave New World.

Chux.

Still Standing
23-02-2015, 12:59
For a long time I though the Eisenhorn books were the best pieces of 40k fiction ever written. The Talon of Horus may have knocked them off the top spot, but I want to wait for a couple more books in the series before I decide for sure.

Dkoz
23-02-2015, 14:18
I have to give a nod to the Ciaphas Cain series, they are a great read and although they mostly deal with the commissar and the AM some of the books give a look at the Space Marine interactions with non-marine characters.

BasetheRuin
23-02-2015, 14:18
If you're into old GW publications, you could do worse than read the awesome 2nd ed Codex Imperialis. It has the whole 40k universe in there (except coverage of the 'new' Tau and Necrons) and it's got that original spark of creativity so apparent in the early GW publications. Through some of the background has obviously been outdated. The artwork is top notch too, full of dark hopelessness instead of the more high fantasy heroic art of today.

I'm not sure if I'd recommend the Talon of Horus though. In my opinion it's a bit overresearched, with some pretty bland main characters and a rushed storyline.


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tu33y
23-02-2015, 14:20
hate to troll but Starship Troopers, Dune.

on a serious note, older WDs used to have good fluff bits in... like the stuff about the dreadnaughts in the issue the plastic dreads were released... look for old WDS in the 100-230 range?

Still Standing
23-02-2015, 16:39
I'm not sure if I'd recommend the Talon of Horus though. In my opinion it's a bit overresearched, with some pretty bland main characters and a rushed storyline.

There is so much new material in there that it is pretty much the defining document for the Empire of the Eye at this stage. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by overresearched. It's not a bad thing that it doesn't contradict previous background. It builds on everything we know about the Warp and introduces some fantastic new concepts.

Sir Didymus
23-02-2015, 17:13
I'd recommend going with 40K Rogue Trader and the two old Realms of Chaos Books, Orks and White Dwarfs before issue 170. Everything after that is just rehashed content and Ward'ian fanfic :p

Draconis
23-02-2015, 19:07
Best you start looking for that kind of stuff over in the 40k Background forum. :D

Other then that: Basic Rule Book and Armybooks of whatever Army strikes your fancy. :)

Cept Necrons :) Best to start with 3rd and then 5th. Leave the new one alone lol.

earth127
23-02-2015, 19:45
What's so bad about the new necron fluff, or are you afraid the OP might like the OP-flavoured cheese?

Lord Damocles
23-02-2015, 19:48
The 7th edition Codex: Necrons just doesn't have much background content in it.

Still Standing
24-02-2015, 07:06
Personally I prefer the new Necron fluff. The 3rd Ed book had too much "the C'Tan did it" for my tastes.

Commissar Davis
24-02-2015, 23:47
This could get me some stick, but the old Inquisition Wars series is worth a read.

Be warned that the original versions of these are the best and still about, but they have much of the old GrimDark from 98.

GrandmasterWang
25-02-2015, 00:23
For a long time I though the Eisenhorn books were the best pieces of 40k fiction ever written. The Talon of Horus may have knocked them off the top spot, but I want to wait for a couple more books in the series before I decide for sure.

... interesting.

I loved the Eisenhorn trilogy and really rate it for an engrossing 40k tale with a bit more depth than the average marines pew pew book. Highly recommended. You can just get the Eisenhorn trilogy and ignore the Ravener stuff.

I like the Black Legion codex for additional black legion background. Does Talon of Horus mesh well with this?

Talon of Horus - How would you rate the portrayal of Abbadon? Any who have read please answer.

I personally consider the 2nd edition ork codex as must read 40k back ground. The 5th edition dark eldar codex is really good also. I have not yet read the newest one.

Still Standing
25-02-2015, 00:31
I've not read the Black Legion supplement. Abaddon is extremely well written in Talon of Horus. I was expecting comedy moustache twirling Bond villain, but instead we got a deep character with lots of well thought out back story whilst still leaving lots of mystery to explore in the coming books. I was surprised by how well ADB portrayed him.

Okuto
25-02-2015, 02:58
greatly depends on what factions you prefer

But for the generalist go with

-3rd edition rulebook, covers everything pretty good
-current fluff book, light but updates quickly


If you go the more imperial route(its pointless to resist, you can't go anywhere in 40k without tripping over some smurfs)

-Read the horus heresy novels, particularly the ones that involve horus and word bearers if you want a general feel unless you fancy a particular legion
-gaunts ghosts tells you everything you need to know how the Imperial Guard works
-Eisenhorn has you covered on the inquisition side

Saunders
25-02-2015, 21:06
Path of the Eldar & Path of the Dark Eldar omnibus for definitive (see: only) readings on the eldar and dark eldar, respectively.

Okuto
26-02-2015, 02:29
Personally I prefer the new Necron fluff. The 3rd Ed book had too much "the C'Tan did it" for my tastes.


IMO, the the fall of Damnos novel(and campaign book) is the best book to read if you want to get a necron's perspective

Most of the other books that have crons just shows them as faceless enemies.

T10
27-02-2015, 11:22
Most of the other books that have crons just shows them as faceless enemies.

Who could scream NOOO!! to this face? Awww :)

208579

conscriptboris
03-03-2015, 00:30
Any good follower of the imperial creed only needs his INFANTRYMANS UPLIFTING IMPERIAL PRIMER, havent got one you say? Well thats a flogging!

Also, xenology for non-imperial stuff

Okuto
03-03-2015, 01:06
Also, xenology for non-imperial stuff

Nah.....its an Imperial's views on xenos......

The FFG books have a good amount of info on xenos and how they fit in 40k

conscriptboris
03-03-2015, 09:02
@Okuto, true but it shows the indepth biology and structure of other races, i dont believe any other book does so. I didnt enjoy reading it, but for pure fluff, its good, its not a ridiculous bias imperial view like the primers either.