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Nazguire
15-07-2005, 10:51
Does anyone else think that since the early years of 40k, the background for Chaos and its followers has been watered down.

Nowadays, the followers of Chaos have been described generally as sporting a few mutations such as horns, tentacles etc, nothing too graphic or disturbing.

While in the olden days of yore and especially the older BL books such as Inquisition War, mutations, daemons, daemon worlds etc were enough to make you puke.

Example, in Inquisition War there is a daemon cow thing with many breasts that likes being tied up and beaten and stabbed. :wtf:

Or the Emperor's Children Marine that has his penis extend into a leash of sorts that holds a Spawn, everytime the Spawn is hurt, the Marine has a good time so to speak.


Thoughts?

Karhedron
15-07-2005, 11:02
GW markets to a younger audience than it used to and consequently have toned down much of their imagery accordingy. Chaos is now just generally evil and spiky rather than giving you and impression of serious debauchery.

To be fair though, much of the stuff in the Inquisition war trilogy comes from the mind of Ian Watson. If you read some of his other fiction you will find that he is often equally vivid there too.

Bmaxwell
15-07-2005, 11:58
where is that in the inq war the frist book?

Eversor
15-07-2005, 12:15
Does anyone else think that since the early years of 40k, the background for Chaos and its followers has been watered down.
:chrome: Yes, I do feel that it's been watered down. But it's not just the visceral details (some of which I'm glad to be rid of). It's the whole background that's been reduced to Khorne = angry, Slaanesh = pervert, Nurgle = slimy and Tzeentch = magic.

I loved the way Chaos used to be a complex, intriguing thing. A force full of contradictions, that held the lure of power at the price of your soul. But very evil and unpleasant. Now it's just portrayed as spiky, evil and full of ugly mutations. At least the mutations used to be ... well, chaotic!

The Libers Chaotica does a little to re-establish the proper background. But it's still nothing compared to the Realm of Chaos books. Of course, I still have them, so I know the truth ;)

Cheitan Shadowless
15-07-2005, 12:39
Yeah...I recall a piece o' fluff where a Tzeentch sorcerer made wild flowers grow in his footsteps. Chaos is so boring nowadays. It's nothing but doom, spikiness, doom and evil. EVIL I tell you! :rolleyes:

The best sort of chaos is the kind that doesn't care for good or evil, but is simply chaotic because...well because it's chaos. A little less doom and evil, would be preferrable to a little more chaos. After all, they're not called Doom Space Marines or Evil Space Marines, now are they? :eyebrows:

Delicious Soy
15-07-2005, 14:15
I do remeber a time when noise marines made people pop like blisters, Night Lords would watch a man try to pry a gun from his amputated arm and blood letters that would crush a mans head with open palms before licking the blood off. Today much of the disorder and well, chaos of chaos in missing, it's too orderly. I think its mainly the writing style used, they really need to have that dort of manic collection of montages to capture a fragment of insanity.

c4z
15-07-2005, 14:32
I agree with all of you. I would like Chaos to be a bit more insane and chaotic. Nowadays it's all about mutations. Oh man, he has got a big horn in his forehead and like to kill things, how absolutely, insanely chaotic.

I don't really care about all those mutations and how evil they are. I want them to be more psycothic. They're minds in utterly chaos. I would like them to sing happy songs and dancing while chrushing heads on Imperial soldiers. Well maybe not like that but more insane. Not just evil.

Actually I don't see where the Chaos is in todays Chaos Marines. They got an extra arm or something, but nothing more than that. They go around killing their enemies just like ordinary Space Marines, taking orders from their leaders and being far away from Chaotic...

It would be cool if the Chaos Space Marines had some special rule for all of their units that would make them a bit more chaotic game-wise than they are today.

Umm, I'm just babling on... Don't mind me...

Briareos
15-07-2005, 15:54
GW's Chaos lost its soul (so to speak) when it stopped being an acceptable alternative to the Imperium's regime. Chaos followers than devolved from exotic and human diletantes to 2-D perpetually angry goons.

swordquest
15-07-2005, 16:37
I think chaos has gone down hill since Malal left the building. An odd number of gods, five particularly, so you can have a pentagram(Upside down one :evilgrin: ) and other Satanist symbols. I WANT CHAOS TO BE EVIL, SATANIC CRAZY ASYLUM PEOPLE THAT WORSHIP ENTROPY AND THE TOTAL BRAKEDOWN OF ALL LAW AND EXISTANCE AND EAT BABIES AND RAPE, AND PILAGE THE POOR PEASANTIES OF THE IMPIRIUM!!!1!!!11111!!!!

Lord-Warlock
15-07-2005, 16:41
Well, there are some remnants. I recall Night Haunter's throne room was constructed from still-living humans, for example...

But still, it's gone downhill. But what are you gonna do?

"Mommy, can I get this game?"
"What's it about?"
*Opens Realm of Chaos books*

'Nuff said.

Briareos
15-07-2005, 16:45
I think chaos has gone down hill since Malal left the building. An odd number of gods, five particularly, so you can have a pentagram(Upside down one ) and other Satanist symbols. I WANT CHAOS TO BE EVIL, SATANIC CRAZY ASYLUM PEOPLE THAT WORSHIP ENTROPY AND THE TOTAL BRAKEDOWN OF ALL LAW AND EXISTANCE AND EAT BABIES AND RAPE, AND PILAGE THE POOR PEASANTIES OF THE IMPIRIUM!!!1!!!11111!!!!
Reducing Chaos to a shade of Z-movie, testosterone saturated, "evil" (beat the other guy up and steal his cattle/wife/land) is exactly why it spiralled downhill.

MvS
15-07-2005, 16:46
The Libers Chaotica does a little to re-establish the proper background. But it's still nothing compared to the Realm of Chaos books. Of course, I still have them, so I know the truth ;)
*Takes a deep breath and steps onto his soapbox*

You are kidding, right?

Having written Libers Slaanesh, Nurgle and Tzeentch, and having been consulted on the re-write of the Liber Khorne manuscript, I've got to say that everything to do with the background imagery of Chaos that was in the old Realms of Chaos books were put into the Liber Chaotica. All of it, barring rules and tables of course.

Also, inconsistencies and 'problems' like Nurgle being a personification of just disease were sorted out. All the Four Great Powers of Chaos were given motivations and were made more diverse. Now there is actually a reason why people would be drawn to worship them, other than just because they are mad, bad or deviant.

At least this is what I think. I would of course appreciate knowing what it is that the Realms of Chaos books said about Chaos that the Liber Chaotica didn't - I mean genuinely I'd love to know, because I spent a very long time trying to get every little detail that wasn't inconsistent into the Chaotica books, and even many of the inconsistencies were explored and given rationalisations.

Just so we're all clear, this isn't a rant (honest!), but I really do want to know what properties the Realms of Chaos books have that seem to make them referenced so frequently as having more detailed and exploration that the Libers. Again, I'm not talking about mutation tables, or rules or stuff about the Star Child and the Illuminanti, because these weren't part of the Chaotica brief and aren't really part of the Chaos mythology. They're purely 40K.

Help me out here.

Please.


Reducing Chaos to a shade of Z-movie, testosterone saturated, "evil" (beat the other guy up and steal his cattle/wife/land) is exactly why it spiralled downhill.
I agree wholeheartedly with this. But I guess that was the inevitable problem of the battlegame.

Still, hopefully things are starting to improve now. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay promises to broaden and deepen the Chaos imagery further, and if the rumoured 40K roleplay kicks off then we're all laughing. I Hope.

Oh, and hello again Briareos! Long time no speak. :)

Briareos
15-07-2005, 17:05
[Briareos comes along quietly, puts his soapbox down and steps on it.]

While the Liber Chaotica books were a nice effort on GW's part to bring the lores of Chaos up to date, I personally found them of a lesser quality then the original Realms of Chaos books.

This was due in part to the more often than not horrendous artwork of the last two books (Nurgle and Tzeentch) but I also found the ambiguity, the moral dilemnas, lacking. it was mostly "Chaos is bad, perversion, mutation, madness". Encyclopedic listing of Norse tribes or magic cults doesn't bring depth if it isn't placed in the relevant context. And that context, which I found lacking in the LC books is that in a world where the individual is trampled by higher-ups (be it the Imperium's iron heel, or the feudal regime of the Empire), Chaos is the only road to self-made freedom. Except that the soul gets destroyed along the way. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

This has nothing to do with the quality of the writing which was pretty good for a product such as this, although the occasional use of modern terms bothered me a bit.

Chaos is not evil. Nor is it good. Portraying it as one or the other is, to me, reducing it to pulp fiction (which has often more to do with editorial guidelines than the writer's talent).

[/Briareos steps off his soapbox]


Reducing Chaos to a shade of Z-movie, testosterone saturated, "evil" (beat the other guy up and steal his cattle/wife/land) is exactly why it spiralled downhill.
I agree wholeheartedly with this. But I guess that was the inevitable problem of the battlegame.
I still think it's more a problem of poorly planned background development, but that's just the project manager in me speaking :D
Battles are the game, not the context. The taking of Empire towns by Chaos forces provide oportunities for fights, whether it is a manichean "good-vs-evil" context or a more grey "downtroddens-come-back-to-kick-abusive-lord-out" context.

Still, hopefully things are starting to improve now. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay promises to broaden and deepen the Chaos imagery further, and if the rumoured 40K roleplay kicks off then we're all laughing. I Hope.
I'll reserve my judgement untill I can get my hands on the supplements ;)

The pestilent 1
15-07-2005, 17:06
i miss the days when Nurgle would pet his minions (heh, that story where anurgling crawls into the crook of his arm and pees :rolleyes: )
would find amusment in the workings of civilisation, and then gleefully send a buch of half insane daemons that count so much that it produces a Bass tone.

nowadays its all "Nurgle is evil, he lures in minions with false promises, then makes them all rotty and whatnot"
yeah. because im sure every one of Nurgles followers fled to himbecause they were afraid of his diseases.
what happened to the followers that follow him because they want vengance on order, to tear down the shackles of civilisation and to revel in the rubble.
what happened to the ones that turned to him because the only way out their despair is to embrace it?

stupid death guard.

(props to Liber chaotica: nurgle by the way, was a shame i could never get a hold of the others)


edit: to an outsiders view, Chaos is evil.
look at Setekh for example, the egyptian god that represented everything hostile to order and cilisation, constantly bringing about mayhem and disorder.
but the only thing that could stand against the one true evil (Apophis) who represented the desire to destroy everything.
Setekh was hated and reviled, but was seen as a necisary evil, because while he bought Chaos and disorder with him, a new order always rose up in his wake.
hence, the lure of chaos.
sacrificing your own soul so that the universe can change, and grow.
so that you can tear it down again when it becomes corrupt.
so. in essence. chaos is the one true "good" guy.
yeah, i'll buy that.

Brusilov
15-07-2005, 17:22
*pats M.v.S. on the shoulder sympathically and walks on top of his own soap box to rant madly like in the good old days*

M.v.S. you're working against a legend of GW fluff, a monument. No matter how good you work was (and he was pretty good), these two books have a status that is much superior to their qualities, if simply because they're out of print and people refer to them constantly.
As Londo Mollari says in B5, "leave for a year, they'll listen to you leave for ten years, they'll build statues to your glory, leave forever and they'll deify you" or something to that effect. The same applies with RoC.

The only thing I miss is obviously Star Child fluff (unless it's in there and I've missed it somehow).

MvS
15-07-2005, 17:26
the more often than not horrendous artwork of the last two books (Nurgle and Tzeentch)
Ah. Not my decision. Other people have mentioned this as well...

Ah well..


but I also found the ambiguity, the moral dilemnas, lacking. it was mostly "Chaos is bad, perversion, mutation, madness".
Really?

I tried to avoid this. In slaanesh we had a conversation between the urbane cult Magus Alphonse Dolmance and a priest of Sigmar where Dolmance explains the beauty and inevitability of Slaanesh, without just banging on about kinky sex and deviance. Also, Slaanesh was described as more than 'naughty' pleasure, but also the appreciation of beauty, the desire to feel itself and the persuit of perfection.

With Nurgle we have the old Father Nurgle who cares for his followers, and also an explanation why. Blame was also apportioned to the cruetly of society that often pushes people out of the 'mainstream' so that worshipping Nurgle is the most sane and justifiable thing to do.

Tzeentch dealt meainly with the nature of magic, but it also looked at Tzeentch as the personification of change and the desrire for change, and so expanded on Him as more than just this sneaky daemon-god of magic and explored him as a god of those who wish to change their environment and better themselves.

Surely this is the sort of stuff that makes the imagery more 3-D?


Encyclopedic listing of Norse tribes or magic cults doesn't bring depth if it isn't placed in the relevant context.
I didn't really like that either, hence the reason I tried to avoid them in the Chaotica books I had control over.


And that context, which I found lacking in the LC books is that in a world where the individual is trampled by higher-ups Chaos is the only road to self-made freedom. Except that the soul gets destroyed along the way. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
I've got to disagree. This is covered in great detail in Libers Slaanesh and Nurgle. In the interview with Dolmance, in the essay by the witch hunter van Hadden, in the writings of sister Duvallier and many other places.


This has nothing to do with the quality of the writing which was pretty good for a product such as this,
Thank you.


although the occasional use of modern terms bothered me a bit.
My editor said the same. But my original brief was to write from the perspective of a 40K inquisitor, and a lot of my ideas and planning came from that. Also, some of the more interesting subtlties of daemonic and divine motivations or psychological problems couldn't really be expressed in pre-Enlightenment terminology, so I decided to err on the side of anachronism rather than just go for a persistent "it's all just spoooooky and wierd" fudge.

People had been waiting so long for a coherent and cohesive exploration of Chaos, that I thought it only just to go all out and give it - even if it meant using speech that wasn't entirely Renaissance.

But otherwise, guilty as charged... :(


Chaos is not evil. Nor is it good. Portraying it as one or the other is, to me, reducing it to pulp fiction
I tried to create both. Obviously there was stuff I was required to put in, but I tried to give a balance between the Sigmarite's perception of Chaos (being as it is evil), and the perception of the amoral destructiveness that comes from persuing anything at all in extreme, which of course is what daemons and Chaos Gods do and require.

Briareos
15-07-2005, 17:33
M.v.S. you're working against a legend of GW fluff, a monument. No matter how good you work was (and he was pretty good), these two books have a status that is much superior to their qualities, if simply because they're out of print and people refer to them constantly.
For me it's more a question of tone and direction than of "status". But I see what you mean. Still, I'll never bow to your Moorcockian views, Commissar !!!

[Briareos whips out his glorified watergun and runs for the nearest cover (which also happens to be a nice pub)]

MvS
15-07-2005, 17:34
you're working against a legend of GW fluff
Very true.

But then please understand, I'm not trying to defend the Chaotica books just because they are my work. I'm actually offering a criticism of the legendary status of the RoC books and the depth, breadth and quality of the background stuff in them. It's good, but not as much as its legend.


The only thing I miss is obviously Star Child fluff (unless it's in there and I've missed it somehow).
Yes. Shame about that. There's nothing really in the Chaotica books about the Star Child. I was told to stay away from it.

I did however try to give a glimpse of how the Star Child might come to dominate the Warp in my description of the divinity of Sigmar in Liber Undivided. But it's only elements really.

Pity.

Briareos
15-07-2005, 17:51
I understand the implications of working on commissioned work where editorial control is often very tight. My remarks are not a critic of your work per se, but of the direction which was given to the book by the Black Library.

While I appreciated the morally ambiguious chapters you mentioned, they were often eclipsed by the more numerous manichean texts.
The recycling of several sections and texts from the RoC books probably also tainted my opinion of the LC books. But that is only a problem for those who already own the RoC books, and I don't think they were the primary targets for the Liber Chaotica series.

MvS
15-07-2005, 18:00
My remarks are not a critic of your work per se, but of the direction which was given to the book by the Black Library.
I realise. Thanks though.


While I appreciated the morally ambiguious chapters you mentioned, they were often eclipsed by the more numerous manichean texts.
Such are the problems of writing from the POV of a Sigmarite priest...

But your point is well taken.


The recycling of several sections and texts from the RoC books probably also tainted my opinion of the LC books. But that is only a problem for those who already own the RoC books, and I don't think they were the primary targets for the Liber Chaotica series.
Indeed so.

It's worth pointing out though that no section of RoS were copied exactly. They were all tweaked and adapted in some way or another. The choice I was given was either let the RoC die the death, or reprint some of them in the Chaotica books, hence the reason they were used. Even though I dispute the 'exhaustive detail' that some seem to believe the RoC books had that no subsequent book has come close to replicating, there was some excellent stuff in those books that really shouldn't be allowed to disappear. So we used them.

I do take all your points Briareos as to the mood or biases of the Chaotica books. My critique was of the notion that the RoC books still had Chaos 'fluff' that isn't mentioned or explored in the Chaotica series. It has been, only the RoC books were more unrelenting in the scary ambiguity of their mood than the Chaotica books, which were supposedly written by a mad priest who hated Chaos, so there was inevitably a leaning in mood more towards the dangers and 'wrongness' of Chaos rather than its more user-friendly side.

sigur
15-07-2005, 18:10
... the beauty and inevitability of Slaanesh, without just banging on about kinky sex and deviance. Also, Slaanesh was described as more than 'naughty' pleasure, but also the appreciation of beauty, the desire to feel itself and the persuit of perfection...


Important point in my opinion. There's more to Slaanesh than boobies and whips.(to reduce it into a simplistic phrase)

Anyway, this discussion makes me await my complete Liber Chaotica eagerly as I haven't been into the dark Gods' fluff for some years. Nice to hear that all the material of RoC and LaTD (was that the title of the other book?) was put into this piece because I'm a child of 2nd edition and I've never had my sticky fingers on those old books. But I've read those also quite old Inquisition war books (1st german printing without any GW licence and therefore some terrible mistranslations) and his image of demon worlds and the like was rather impressive.

Briareos
15-07-2005, 18:17
Let's try to get back on topic and expand on the Liber Chaotica discussion.

Has Chaos been "watered down" in the 40.000 universe since the Realms of Chaos days ? Has the enemy within lost its luster and devolved into a pulp villain ?

While some Black Library publications do try to provide a more nuanced point of view (such as the Liber Chaotica books, insofar as they apply to the 40.000 background), I personally find the pulp orientation of the majority of the background work troubling.

There is a great background in there, some amazing backdrops and opportunities for truly great storytelling. Sadly, the only ambivalent Chaos character is Cypher, and see how much fluff he gets ? Almost none.
Where are the Chaos individuals who fight for a better tomorrow or just to escape their fate ? They seem to have been slaughtered by psychotic, megalomaniac and blood crazed Chaos marines.

[Feel free to jump in M. Thorpe, we are amongst friends here :angel: ]

swordquest
15-07-2005, 19:26
I WANT MALAL BACK!!!!!!!!!!!! Chaos is too orderly for him, he goes beyond chaos and is the god of total entropy and anarchy.

Brusilov
15-07-2005, 20:07
All shall bow before the might of Moorcock! :rolleyes: ;) :eyebrows:
*calls in his trusted Lucius pattern Baneblade*

Hmm... hmm... Sorry about that, I might need to detach myself a little from Mister Moorcock's work, because it is true that I greatly respect him and his work, and the massive inspiration he has given to GW, he is not the be all end all of the universe.

On the matter of watered down Chaos, I'll blame Abaddon, the basic thug that gives Chaos a bad name.
My Word Bearer Dark Apostle is all about bringing enlightment to the masses of the Imperium and ushering a new golden age under the guidance of Chaos, an age when those worthy of the gods' attention rule, but then he is a religious fanatic... And then there is his archenemy, not some Imperial guy (although Saint Ekaterina of Tsarytsin often finds himself on the receiving end of his machiavelian plots), but a Sensei that saw what the Imperium stands for and learned what the Illuminati had in store for his kind and turned his back on mankind, eventually becoming a Daemon Prince. He wants to free humanity from the shackles of the Imperium, but also prevent Chaos from taking over (kinda Malalite without saying the name ;) ).

Arhiman however is IMHO a good example of a nice Chaos guy from GW. The man is driven by a quest for knowledge that nows no bounds. To him Chaos seems like a tool to reach his objective.
The same could be said of Fabius Bile...

mostholycerebus
15-07-2005, 20:26
I remember when the 'good' and 'bad' guys weren't so clear cut. When your choices were enslavement to a dead husk's totalitarian regime, or freedom amidst chaos and evil. GW's marketing has really cut out the heart of this games backgound IMO.

TenTailedCat
15-07-2005, 20:32
Back on Portent I remember someone mentioning a bit of old fluff about a Tzeench sorcerer who kept souls in his workshop or something and was remembering all the weirdness he'd gotten up to in his life. I never got to read it, could someone maybe post that up?

Eversor
15-07-2005, 22:38
*Takes a deep breath and steps onto his soapbox*
You are kidding, right?

:chrome: Not one bit. While I do like the Chaotica books for their content, as well as layout and general presentation, I feel that they lack the "godlike" third person view that the RoC books have. I do agree with Brusilov that they are sometimes put on too high a piedistal (they have their flaws, for certain).

But the most important bits (to me, at least) in the RoC books are the mechanics behind the metaphysics, the stuff that noone really knows about, except us in the real life perspective. A first person perspective can never explain how the gods themselves are pools of souls, drawn together into warp storms, as no scholar in neither 40k nor WHFB would have that information. And I feel that these mechanics are absolutely vital to understanding what the Warhammer chaos forces are, and how they can at the same time be evil, neutral and good. Chaos is, by its very nature of containing every possibility, a force of opposites. And while chaotic, the Big Four are anomalies: they are (fairly) structured and logical conciousnesses formed within the chaos. It's this, and the whole Body - Mind - Soul trinity that is so beautiful about Warhammer cosmology.

The Libers are of course not part of the real watering down process, sorry if I implied that. It's just that they don't offer enough to balance out the years of dilution performed in other publications. As has been mentioned, chaos has gone from being a metaphysical force to a role of spiky arch villain. It has gone so far that any time a background history where a Khornate follower is presented as anything but a mindless frothing loon, people scream "that's against the fluff!" To break up that stereotype, chaos really needs to be explained in real depth. The Libers only come half way. We simply need more of the same to enlighten the young masses, prefferably from a third person perspective.

But now I'm just rambling. Better quit that and start on those "nature of chaos" essays that I've been planning to write for the last couple of years ;) Hopefully this thread will bring some good discussion to fuel my thoughts!

EDIT: And in the hours it took me to finish this reply, lots of good stuff has been added ;) I'm too tired to reply to everything. Peace, love and chaos!

TenTailedCat
15-07-2005, 23:43
Why don't you old fogies just gather together any and all bits of ancient Chaos fluff you can find and compile it yourselves. One o the things that attracted me to miniature wargaming in the first place was the fact that nothing is set in stone - unlike in a video game or a film you can change anything from rules to statistics to fluff when playing with your own little group, there's infinite scope, if you can back it up with a bit of effort.

Instead of complaining, why not do something about it?

Eversor
15-07-2005, 23:45
Instead of complaining, why not do something about it?
:chrome: Sorry, I realise I come across as a whining old conservative fart. But I will do something about it, I promise ;) And I'll never be hungry again!

TenTailedCat
15-07-2005, 23:49
I didn't mean to sound insulting, it's just lots of us young uns' maybe feel left out, I've heard lots of good things about the old chaos but most of us don't have access to it, It'd be nice if (for instance) it was all in that 40k wiki or even if it were just added here in a sticky thread.

I worry that GW will bury all the old stuff and pretend like it never happened, like the Squa... *is shot by a GW sniper*

Asher
15-07-2005, 23:57
Why don't you old fogies just gather together any and all bits of ancient Chaos fluff you can find and compile it yourselves. One o the things that attracted me to miniature wargaming in the first place was the fact that nothing is set in stone - unlike in a video game or a film you can change anything from rules to statistics to fluff when playing with your own little group, there's infinite scope, if you can back it up with a bit of effort.

Instead of complaining, why not do something about it?

Although I agree with you on this matter and have begun to do something against it myself (in Fantasy though), it is not as simple as it seems.
Brusilov gives a good example of how old background can support an 40k army. Trouble is though, that there are less and less enlighted people to whom terms like Star Child, Knights, Illuminati, sensei and what not ring bells. Most people in my gaming group know their army-fluff rather well, the race-fluff is sketchily known and universal (especialy old) fluff is met with ignorance. Also the polarisation is strong at times. When I changed form my chaos marines to dark angels, a fellow player was delighted that I finaly change from the bad to the "good-guys".

Valhallan
16-07-2005, 00:13
Example, in Inquisition War there is a daemon cow thing with many breasts that likes being tied up and beaten and stabbed. :wtf:

Or the Emperor's Children Marine that has his penis extend into a leash of sorts that holds a Spawn, everytime the Spawn is hurt, the Marine has a good time so to speak.


Thoughts?

:wtf: indeed. I laughed hard when i read the first post. Whip lash! :P Anywho if that what it was like than yes it is watered down. But thats really what chaos is intended to be and worse. The cause is those little 10 year olds and their parents! Start beating your kids if they whine about not having money for warhammer! If we all do it at once they cant stop us... wait I'm 15. Ahh!

Nazguire
16-07-2005, 02:51
Although I agree with you on this matter and have begun to do something against it myself (in Fantasy though), it is not as simple as it seems.
Brusilov gives a good example of how old background can support an 40k army. Trouble is though, that there are less and less enlighted people to whom terms like Star Child, Knights, Illuminati, sensei and what not ring bells. Most people in my gaming group know their army-fluff rather well, the race-fluff is sketchily known and universal (especialy old) fluff is met with ignorance. Also the polarisation is strong at times. When I changed form my chaos marines to dark angels, a fellow player was delighted that I finaly change from the bad to the "good-guys".


Indeed, mention the word Star Child or the Squats at a gaming group and people will not know what you are talking about unless they have been involved in the hobby for at 5+ years. 40k was always about, in my mind, the people that seem to be the good guys aren't really the good guys, just the more ordered of the 2 evils. Chaos isn't inherently evil, which GW tell us constantly, but never support it with background. Instead we have the generic multi-boobed Daemonette violating herself or the horned beastman decapitating things left right and centre.

The Witch Hunters Codex 'attempted' to show that the Imperium and especially Inquisition aren't good guys, but the Chaos Codex simply told us that Horus didn't like taking orders and turned into spiky death. When the original background informed us that the rebels were fighting for a new future for Humanity, to install a stronger Emperor and Chaos was a tool.

Index Astartes also tried to show us the confusion over whether the Chaos Legions are or were truly evil when they rebelled or merely had a different way of thinking, especially with the Night Lords and Word Bearers. Before they too stagnated and died with the World Eaters IA which just told us "Angron mad!"

Valhallan
16-07-2005, 03:42
In my own opinion the backround of chaos to what I understand is to destroy the emperor and create a new imperium. They feel the emperor is to weak. But higher up like horus and abbadon are just stubborn and don't wanna take orders. Horus mostly. That to me makes the most sence.

I've been playing for 3 years and I know what the star child and squats are.

PlagueLord
16-07-2005, 07:05
I've been playing for five years, and I know what most of the old background is about. But only from zealously reading this very forum for four years. Without Portent my knowledge of the background would be rudimentary at best.

Nazguire
16-07-2005, 07:22
I've been playing for five years, and I know what most of the old background is about. But only from zealously reading this very forum for four years. Without Portent my knowledge of the background would be rudimentary at best.

Exactly. Most players (lets face it, the majority of people don't cruise around Portent/Warseer) only know the basics of the 40k background, the surface of their race's history, the very starting points of what is 40k.

GW doesn't exactly do a good job of expanding their knowledge, the Codex' being very light on the background. Those that discover the Black Library and its Background books (i.e. Liber Chaotica) are an exception, but it takes a while methinks before those that aren't as enlightened enough to cruise Warseer discover that a Squat isn't a constipation position. ;)

zealousheretic
16-07-2005, 09:18
Back on Portent I remember someone mentioning a bit of old fluff about a Tzeench sorcerer who kept souls in his workshop or something and was remembering all the weirdness he'd gotten up to in his life. I never got to read it, could someone maybe post that up?

I might be familiar with this. Was it in either the 2nd edition Codex:Imperialis or Wargear book?

If it's the story I think it is, it wasn't souls, it was memories: the premise of the story was that the only way the sorceror could live for ten thousand years and retain his sanity was to purge his mind of memories every so often, keeping only the things he thought were important. He relives the Heresy, remembers the countless enemies he's killed and battles he's fought, and remembers just how he became what he is.

It's a good story, one of my favorites.

TenTailedCat
16-07-2005, 09:43
That might be it actually. Would you know where I could find it online?

Shadowheart
16-07-2005, 10:29
For the record, I started in second edition and read all the Codex books from that and I've kept up fairly well with the developements until about the time of the C'tan background revision. I've recently acquired a bunch of old GW books, including Rogue Trader and Slaves to Darkness. I have and have read LC: Slaanesh and will get the collected volume next time I'm at the store (haven't been there in ages).


As was mentioned before in this thread, I feel a lot of the 'watering down' is due to a shift in story(background)-telling perspective. The oldest background talked about things from a modern day perspective, where the writers could step 'out of character' so to speak in order to explain what they were trying to do. That changed into a sort of 'the Emperor' perspective where the narrator basically knew everything there was to know about the 40K universe, if nothing outside of it. And then background became increasingly subjective, often being presented in the form of reports from Inquisitors and such, actual characters from the fictional universe itself.

The problem is two-fold. First, the more subjective the more information gets left out. The Emperor knows more than an Inquisitor, but the writer who wrote the Emperor knows even more. Second, it means the description will be increasingly coloured by the point of view. The writer has a point of view very similar to our own, a similar understanding of morality and so on. The Emperor is still pretty open-minded, but he will look with very different eyes on things like the Warp or technology. And the Inquisitor finally has a frame of reference completely different from our own. He's going to call Chaos evil, regardless of whether we the readers agree.
Of course, you need to interpret the information correctly, and you can often figure out that what the Inquisitor is saying wouldn't fly in the modern world . But you can't always be sure. And what I want to be trying to figure out is the background itself, not just the way it's presented.

The "show, don't tell", "action, action, action" and "in your face" principles that GW seems to demand of their story writers adds insult to injury. If you write about a Guardsman fighting Khorne Berserkers, from the Guardsman's point of view, and you never leave the thick of the battle, of course the psychopathic maniac aspect is the only one that is going to be described. Writing about someone in a position to reflect on the philosophical implications is apparently not done.

So it's not that they threw out a lot of the depth per se. It's more that they stopped looking beneath the surface, figuring we find the surface interesting enough in and of itself. Certainly it's enough to serve the game.

It also appears to me that GW doesn't give their writers as much room as they did in the early days, they have a very clear picture now of what their universes are like. There are certain rules to which 40K artwork, background etc. should adhere, and perhaps those rules are too strict. It kills a lot of the diversity from which especially Chaos can benefit.
I mean, I don't want the basic background to be all varied, I don't want Space Wolves that act completely different from story to story. But the details, individual characters and places, those should offer inventive variations on the main themes. That's one reason I love John Blanche's artwork, he keeps whacking out new concepts and unique characters.


Why don't you old fogies just gather together any and all bits of ancient Chaos fluff you can find and compile it yourselves.

That has been done, actually. But it's of dubious legality. We can't just go ahead and republish Realms of Chaos, those are GW's books. And I could write up my own take on 40K Chaos, but it'd be entirely up to GW whether it'd become part of 40K as such. Could put it up on the web and have everyone read it, but that'd still just be my take on Chaos, and it's GW's take that's under discussion really.


As to Liber Chaotica, I think I should reserve my judgement until I've read the whole thing. The Slaanesh volume is all I've read so far, and it was inevitable I'd be disappointed with that. Slaanesh is my favourite of the Chaos gods but she's probably the most risky one for GW to write about (if they are to publish the text, anyway). Still, I feel it's rather weak of them to decide to include a god of unspeakable pleasure and perversion in their fictional worlds and then worry about the frail minds of their readers. I want graphic descriptions of pleasure beyond my darkest nightmares already. Being desensitized is such a drag.

Cheitan Shadowless
16-07-2005, 10:41
*lots of good stuff being said*

Umm, I'm just babling on... Don't mind me...*minds you* ;)
More seriously, I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of more randomness and madness in Chaos gameplay. Not Orky randomness and madness, of course - the Chaosy kind.


But what are you gonna do?

"Mommy, can I get this game?"
"What's it about?"
*Opens Realm of Chaos books*

'Nuff said.Kids need to be better at doing what we did. Or, well, at least what I know I did.

Buy the bloody things on your own out of your own bloody money. If that's not telling parents that you're mature enough to handle certain matters on your own, I don't know what is. I mean - a person who can handle his/her own economy but not a tabletop wargame and its associated fiction...that would just be sad. :eyebrows:

EVIL INC
16-07-2005, 11:25
Well, its like this, GW could make a huge bundle of money if they were to simply rerelease the old Rogue Trader books. It would be a simple matter of hiring someone (or more likely asking who they already have working for them and choosing from out of all the raised hands) to put in charge of the project and rereleasing Rogue Trader as one of thier specialist games. That way, the young players would have full access to the true fluff without it being part of the main game.

It's watered down because the game was originally intended for mature players. Of course that usually means older but as was my case and many others throughout the years, you can have mature young people too. It is when GW started gearing towards the purely young crowd instead of the mature crowd that things started going wrong for them.

Gazak Blacktoof
16-07-2005, 12:55
A first person perspective can never explain how the gods themselves are pools of souls, drawn together into warp storms, as no scholar in neither 40k nor WHFB would have that information.

I'd have to disagree with this given that is one of the topics covered in the liber chaotica tzeentch book.

MvS
16-07-2005, 14:18
Indeed it is, in great detail.

SHADOWHEART:

as for the Slaanesh book not being graphic enough for you, well... we tried.

We put the pictures of daemonettes wearing thongs and S&M gear in there (pictures that weren't in the RoS books); we put big picture from RoS of disgusting creatures smooching while gripping a gigantic really veiny spike-ended phallus above their heads; I put a reference to Dechala the Denied One using an evil potion to create her helpless drug-slaves from blood, warpdust and "the vile fluids of her fornication"; and finally I slipped as many references to deviancy as I could without losing the point of the book and turning it into just crappie fantasy-horror soft porn.

I don't know. I guess I'll just have to bow to the unassailable mythic status of 'The Lost and the Damned' and the 'Realms of Chaos' books...

*sighs and shuffles out of the thread*

Tom - Heretic
16-07-2005, 14:26
anf finally I slipped as many references to deviancy as I could without losing the point of the book and turning it into just crappie fantasy-horror soft porn.


Assuming that there is no market for crappie fantasy-horror soft porn. I've seen the websites.

So you wrote LC: Tzeentch? Nice :). I really enjoyed it. Haven't picked up the others, though I might head out this morning and get LC: Slaanesh after I've been to softies hard stuff.

MvS
16-07-2005, 14:35
[color=greengeen]Assuming that there is no market for crappie fantasy-horror soft porn. I've seen the websites.
Well, if there's a market for it, maybe GW could be canvassed for an over 18's Members Only section to their website? ;) :D

Asher
16-07-2005, 14:49
Well, if there's a market for it, maybe GW could be canvassed for an over 18's Members Only section to their website? ;) :D

Nah, I assume Tentacle-Hentai-Porn already 'satisfied' this market. ;)

I'm also in possesion of the LC: Complete edition and must say that the work done there is really great. I agree though that an extern point of view would be better, but it is good as it is. Good work MvS.

To do graphic descriptions of pleasure beyond darkest nightmares, is not that easy I assume, as the writers are still humans. One must be of a really twisted mind to picture the most profound perversion of Slannesh. And even sicker to try to express it in words.

Khaeron Baoth
16-07-2005, 15:03
I love Liber Chaotica: Tzeentch. I have played about eight years and got some new knowledge about my favourite chaos god. Extra point of view would be better, but still: Keep up the good work.

New codexes and army books give too simple picture about everything, be it from High Elves to Necrons. So this "watering down" is general problem, not just chaos one. It would be fixed by writing fluff books of each army.

Dr Death
16-07-2005, 15:21
I think i want my say in this, ive been playing for around 7 years now, and as others have said, i only really started to "discover" the background in the past 3 or so years, i was aware of the Horus Heresy and the fact the eldar were a "dying race" but other than this my knowledge was neglegable. A combination of the Index Astartes articles and the old Codex Imperialis really started me on my "fluff awakening" and for a couple of years now ive started a quest to write an altogether more mature and "fluff accurate" set of 40k rulebooks to base my games on (If you're at all interested send me an email to drdeath153@hotmail.com, i'll be happy to accept opinions particularly as relates to portrayal of background.)

As to chaos, i think that GW have made it a little too tame nowadays. Chaos is essentially horror, and whats scary nowadays is more psychological than it is physical, the concept of anarchy which is what chaos stands for is the ultimate example of darwins survival of the fittest- So long as you are unbeaten you will survive, but fall and chaos will suck your very soul from your body for eternal enslavement. Anyone who denies Chaos is evil i think is wrong, chaos is evil but it is an evil people are willing to risk for liberation from the imperium.

As to the liber chaotica books, very nice peices of work. I unfourtunatly havnt read the original realm of chaos books so i cannot compare but i found the Liber Chaotica books to be very revealing, though not quite as disturbing and evil as when i first read about the imperium. IMHO people should fear to read about the nature of chaos for it is disturbing and twisted, but if they dare, they should find amongst the twisted images of hell quite disturbingly seductivive reasons and arguments to tread the path to damnation.

As regards another point made (sorry if all this doesnt particularly run together well, got a bit of a headache) I think writing from peoples point of veiw is a good way to get your head into the world but there should be more stuff written from other peoples point of veiw- particularly chaos, Inquisition studies on chaos are all well and good but they dont get into the nitty gritty of just how much of the individuals free will remains once they dedicate themselves to the dark gods, this is what i myself am trying to do in the aforementioned project.

Dr Death

PlagueLord
16-07-2005, 21:08
Gotta agree with Dr Death there. Subjective narration is nice, but we really need some from Chaos's point of view. Sadly, the recent stuff I've read from chaos's POV hasn't made me like them any more (Storm of Iron, Dead Sky/Black Sun, Lord of the Night). Lord of the Night in particular struck me as a bad representation. Sahaal comes across as stupid, not betrayed, or misunderstood, or whatever other "pity me" adjective the author was going for.

The Iron Warriors come across much better, in the "chaos is a tool" method of thinking. I do fear that GW is only making two kinds of Chaos characters. The spiky evil villain of evil and killyness (Abbadon), and the angst-ridden twit who got screwed over by the big bad emperor (Sahaal). The interesting ones (Ahriman, Bile, Cypher) get a paragraph with each new codex, but are largely ignored.

MvS
16-07-2005, 21:23
The Chaotica Books were bound by the perspective of the priest, unfortuantely. GW prefers subjective poinbts of views so as to add 'flavour' to the descriptions, but also I guess to give the Studio wriggle room if they want it.

Originally I'd wanted to write the Chaotica from a POV of a 40K radical inquisitor, critical and complementary of both the Imperium and Chaos, but I fear it wasn't to be. The word from 'on high' was that it has to be from a Sigmarite priest's perspective only.

I'm hoping the WFRP supplements will have more of an objective view of things, but we'll see.

Roll on 40K roleplay. :)

The pestilent 1
16-07-2005, 21:56
wow, that would have been so cool.
a relatively unbiased view of Chaos and the Imperium just to rpove that Chaos doesnt automaticly equal evil.
and yes. Abbaddon is an Absolute tool aint he, give me Typhus and Ahriman anyday.

Brusilov
16-07-2005, 22:02
That was the whole issue with the subjective writing IHMO. While Chaos are similar concepts in both universes, generally speaking, you can barely touch the matter of its representation in 40k. Otherwise you'd end up strengthening the link between the two universes too much.
Mind you, generally speaking the books were quite good, but it would have required either seperate sections each written from a different perspective, and a section that would touch upon the concepts common to both (kinda like the way RoC was organised in fact, but keeping the subjective perspective if need be).
IMO the real issue derives from the idea that BL wanted to make the book appear as if it had been written from the perspective of someone inside the universe. That was not a good way to do it. You would necessarily end with an incomplete picture of what Chaos stands for, at least in my mind (and even if you use the perspective of a priest driven mad by his visions).

In a sense the court descriptions in the Old World Bestiary for the new edition of WHRPG would have been the way to go. Common view, sholar's view, in our own words would have been perfect, allowing the author to give a good glimpse at what Chaos really is.
I liked that idea so much that I use the quote from the Tzeentch Horror from that book in my sig. Sums up the nature of Chaos quite well if you ask me.

MvS
17-07-2005, 12:56
I agree with Brus entirely.

The Liber Chaotica was the first background books of their kind for BL, and they didn't know how well it would be recived or what format it should take. The Loathesome ratmen had better artwork (generally speaking) that was tied more closely to the text. The Uplifting Primer was a further evolution.

I think there's a trend that the background books are getting better. They're starting to get their own artwork, rather than just having to use existing concept sketches, and the authors are getting slightly (slightly!) wider remits with what they can include in them.

Apart from the WFRP books, the BL background books are always going to be from the limited POV of someone within the imagery. That's BL's 'safety net' with the Studio I think.

The Roleplay books will still be largely from the POV of characters within the imageries, but as Brus pointed out, there is generally a cross-section of radically different views that gives a clearer picture of what the 'truth' might be.

So I say again, roll on 40K roleplay. In fact, I suggest everyone start writing emails and letters to Black Industries saying how badly you want to see a 40K roleplay game with lots of in depth and exhaustive source-books...

;)

Brusilov
17-07-2005, 13:16
Well, look at the Battle for Armageddon fluff book for example. Although the Inquisitorial report was there to describe the 1st war against Angron and his World Eaters it gave useful insight on the whole matter.

Personally I think BL should write from a subjective perspective (general mood within GW atm), but could cross this POV. The whole idea is that you get someone compiling data on a certain topic from a variety of sources, either Imperial or not, well informed or not, and you would throw in his POV on top of that. Get three or four POV on a topic like Chaos: Joe Imperium (we know next to nothing of how much he does know of Chaos, although the IIUP gives useful insight), an Inquisitor (or several: one puritan and one radical) and finally notes recovered from some Chaos Magus or somesuch (or even dreams and visions) and finally the narraotrs POV.
And voilà, you have enough perspectives to give you a good glimpse at what the truth really is (while muddying the water enough so that you get the subjectivity GW is after).

40k RPG... Hmm, maybe I should starte to hassle Black Industries. Anyone want to start a petitiion for it? ;)

Dr Death
17-07-2005, 13:41
Yes the big problem with POV writing is that it is limited by what that person knows, its one of the problems with writing for people like the dark angels (i though they might be a good benchmark for how to convey imformation) because with the Dark Angels, even from the standpoint of a deathwing who is privy to much of the history of the chapter, still there is so much more to know.
But with all that, it certainly is more evocative if as a player reads they feel some form of connection or place in the universe they inhabit, that is my aim, that as a player reads through an army book something rings true with them, they feel some form of real reason to collect the army.
This is particularly true of chaos, people do not turn to chaos because being spikey is cooler, its because they feel some form of dissatisfaction with the imperium, there are very few positive reasons to turn to the dark gods, no-one with the exception perhaps of Horus, turned to chaos to improove the human condition, their reasons are all selfish, introverted, based on self gain or self pity and so is their path to chaos decided. Tread it if you dare, but do not look for a way back.....

Dr Death

Brusilov
17-07-2005, 14:04
I disagree with the idea that the ideas for people to be driven to Chaos would be mostly selfish. As is said "hell is paved with good intentions." On the contrary, I would argue that while many people go down the path of Chaos because they are dissatisfied with their place in society, many want to change this situation, many seek the power to redress the wrongs they believe has been done to them or to improve the situation for everyone. Instead of being cynical, ambitious and power-hungry people (that'd be the practitioner of Dark Magic in WH, and more precisely Necromancers), I'd believe those who turn to Chaos to be high-minded idealists who feel betrayed or want to power they think they need to make things better.
Personally, when I hear someone telling me he wants to improve the lot of mankind I run away because it will inevitably end with millions of dead (and I can provide real life examples) ;)

The important thing about Chaos is also the corrupting nature of its power. You may start to draw upon its power for noble reasons but in the end your goal has become so twisted it's a parody of what it once was, but I don't think those who turn to Chaos would forget their ideal, albeit monstrously changed beyond recognition, some much as it would be nothing more than oppression and terror in the name of an ideal (but that's the worst type of oppression because it draws upon a justification in people's mind that will allow them to accomplish the most horrible of tasks without a second thought).

Hellebore
18-07-2005, 04:45
I suppose if you want to make a really cliched analogy to the allure of chaos, the ever present dark side of the force could sufice.

Although not portrayed very articulately the fall of anakin skywalker to the dark side came about through the need for power in order to better protect his loved ones.

This can quite easily be applied to chaos:

the goodwife who turns to nurgle worship to spare her child an agonising death from plague

The man who sees his wife and daughter molested and killed calls on the power of khorne to avenge their defilement, and infuse him with power

Or the poor man who turns to magic in order to feed and clothe his family, slowly becomes intoxicated with the power he now has.


Something that would be interesting is a character that has embraced chaos and then renounced it- a man who realised after he had damned himslef that he his absolute power had corrupted him absolutely and through sheer force of will went 'cold turkey'.


I think chaos becomes an addiction, just as being rich is an addiction- when you have money you want more. Or power over people.


hellebore

TenTailedCat
18-07-2005, 04:48
I forget where I read this but in some fluff someone says something like people will always suffer, but under Chaos those who don't suffer benefit immensely, whereas in the Imperium everyone suffers to some extent or another.

I didn't put it nearly half as snappily as the original quote, which I can't remember verbatim. Usual half-baked Cultist ramblings anyway.

Goblinardo
18-07-2005, 05:04
40k RPG... Hmm, maybe I should starte to hassle Black Industries. Anyone want to start a petitiion for it? ;)

I'm interested. We should make a petition for it.

Now, what do we want from Black Industries?



Worldbooks. Lots and lots of worldbooks. And sourcebooks. And racebooks. And tech-books. Hell, even rulebooks.

;)

Instigation
18-07-2005, 05:45
I personally really like the way Dan Abnett describes chaos in 40k. The minions are all crazy, deformed nutters and the leaders are powerful megalomaniacs or genious military leaders. Also his writing from the point of view of chaos throughout sabbat martyr was just brilliant in my oppinion and i think captured the character of the followers of chaos perfectly.
Basically all this talk of chaos been in some way good for example like that husband seeing his daughter murdered and turning to khorne to get revenge is justification for what is still in the end evil. And people with motivations like this joining chaos are a minority. The majority are bread within the realsm of chaos whether it be fantasy or in the eye of terror/cults in 40k so they no nothing else except chaos.
So i like Dan abnetts chaos - evil for evils sake and the promise of ridiculous power if you are successful.

sigur
18-07-2005, 05:58
As I like the link between the Old World and the 40k universe very much and would like to see it strengthened (a thing I won't see, I know :( ), the Liber <name> books should have been written from the perspective of an all-seeing narrator which would leave no speculations about subjectivity of the texts and all that. Elements of 40k and WHFB should have been woven into the text equally and maybe even mixed.

Brusilov
18-07-2005, 06:29
Indeed the whole point of Chaos is that by joining Chaos you gamble not only your life but also with your soul. Success means ascension to daemonhood, failure means being turned into a Chaos spawn and having your soul devoured by the gods of Chaos.

As to the petition for the 40k RPG, where should we start it? Here? As to what we want, we'd like sourcebooks, background books on the Imperium and on all the races of the 40k universe. We want to learn things we never learn in the Codices and articles in WD: on other Imperial organisations, on life in the Imperium...

worldshatterer
18-07-2005, 08:29
Who really would go with Evil for Evil's sake?

Most of what we call evil acts throughout history, have been performed by people who honestly believed they were doing the right thing, and/or did not think through the consequences . This is what turning to chaos is about, not look at me i am t3h 3vil 0n3, ph33r my sp1k3n3ss .

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, not the 2-dimensionalness that modern fluff would indicate.

f2k
18-07-2005, 09:48
I might be familiar with this. Was it in either the 2nd edition Codex:Imperialis or Wargear book?

If it's the story I think it is, it wasn't souls, it was memories: the premise of the story was that the only way the sorceror could live for ten thousand years and retain his sanity was to purge his mind of memories every so often, keeping only the things he thought were important. He relives the Heresy, remembers the countless enemies he's killed and battles he's fought, and remembers just how he became what he is.

It's a good story, one of my favorites.

I believe you’re referring to Captain Karlsen (sp?).

He was, for a time, a recurring figure in the fluff, being part of several, mostly Epic, battlereps and a few short stories.
I really really liked him. He was a guy with a boundless hatred of the Empire and a deep loathing for his “lesser” followers (cultist and the like). And yet – he knew very well that he was damned…


As for Chaos being watered down. I think that this is a problem with the 40K setting in general these days. When I started playing 40K (10+ years ago) knowledge of Chaos was kept secret. The average citizen simply didn’t know that Chaos excited. Whole planets were razed on the slightest suspicion of a Chaos taint. IG was never used to combat Chaos – they didn’t stand much of a chance against Daemons, and even if they won they would have to be exterminated afterwards. Marines could be used – but then they were mindscrubbed afterwards to keep the secret. Only the Inquisition and the GK knew anything about Chaos.

40K had gotten kiddyfied to such a degree that everything has become black/white. A crying shame really…

Shadowheart
18-07-2005, 11:08
As long as GW effectively uses "Chaos" as a different term for "Evil" the whole thing is going to be a joke anyway. Evil is wrong by definition. There's no way for anyone to turn to Evil and have made the right choice. Since the Dark Side is Evil, Anakin had to make a mistake to join it. If Chaos is Evil, then Horus has to have made one too.

The whole point of chosing the Law vs. Chaos conflict instead of the old Good vs. Evil is moral ambivalence, they're most certainly not different terms for the same thing. Chaos and Law are opposing philosophies, but neither is by definition better than the other. If anything it is the right balance between the two that is good, and extremes in either direction that are evil.

I believe it would greatly benefit GW's backgrounds if they went back to Moorcock's stories and took the underlying ideas from them as well as the mere appearance of Chaos. It would add a whole new level to the background, and a strong foundation. I've found that reading Moorcock's books has given me a much stronger grasp on some aspects of the GW backgrounds. Take for example the following excerpts from The Dreamthief's Daughter, where Elric encounters the mad Lady Miggea of Law.

I knew their kind. The Knights of Law served a holy cause. Summoned to the standard of their mistress, the Lady Miggea, I knew they would fight to the death for her. They did not and could not question her. Their nature was to serve the office, no matter how warped it had become. They clung to a single idea, just as she did, unable to imagine more than one thing, more than one future, that they must create. They disguised their natural rapacity as their quest for Order.

Madness was what I witnessed. I had seen it more than once when Law became corrupted and decadent. For that reason alone my people preferred the uncertainties and wildness of Chaos. Law gone rotten was a far more perilous prospect. Chaos did not pretend to logic, save the logic of temperament, of feeling.

She made no answer, though it seemed she was off before her rider was ready. It amused me that she chose that particular form and pretended that the man on her back was her master. Another sign of her monstrous delusion. I had ventured into supernatural realms where logic of her sort ruled. Nothing was more hideous. Even a Melnibonéan could not take pleasure in the wretchedness which the likes of Miggea created. Her half-dreaming mind was scarcely aware of the consequences of her actions. She believed that she ordered and protected, that she sacrificed herself to the common good. Her knights, of course, would obey without question. Duty and loyalty were all. Virtues unto themselves. They were as mad as she.
It reminds me very much of the Imperium. The Emperor may have been a champion of Law that brought stability to end the Age of Strife, but by now the Imperium is in such a state that a reign of Chaos might be preferable. And Chaos encompasses more than just the four gods, or spiky armour and mutations. You can be of a Chaotic inclination without selling your soul, although you're likely to drift to such extremes sooner or later.


Anyway, as soon as I've beat my friends to finishing Le Morte Darthur I'm going to read the complete LC and re-read the Slaanesh part, and read The Lost and the Damned as well.

Brusilov
18-07-2005, 19:48
Shadowheart puts in much more articulate, and with nice quotations from Moorcock, the idea I've been trying to make across for some time. I can do nothing but wholeheartily agree with him. I remember a time when there was an acknowledgement to Moorcock inside the rulebook of WH (back in 3rd or 4th Ed. I think). GW needs to return to the roots of what the concept of Chaos means, the destructive entropy, a necessity for the universe to exist in a way we find livable, just as much as Laws is necessary.

I particularly love the way realms under the complete domination of Chaos are described in the Corum saga, as places obeying every whim of their master, changing as they saw fit, but ultimately sterile.

Shadowheart is perfectly right when he argues that both Chaos has the same potential for evil. I'm not asking for the introduction of the concept of Champion Eternal into the fluff, but for the concept of Chaos (and Law) to be used as they were meant to.

Bmaxwell
18-07-2005, 20:02
reminds me of when i did a D&D game were it was law vs chaos instead of the useal good vs evil. very interesting.

Eversor
18-07-2005, 20:56
It reminds me very much of the Imperium. The Emperor may have been a champion of Law that brought stability to end the Age of Strife, but by now the Imperium is in such a state that a reign of Chaos might be preferable. And Chaos encompasses more than just the four gods, or spiky armour and mutations. You can be of a Chaotic inclination without selling your soul, although you're likely to drift to such extremes sooner or later.

:chrome: Very well put, quotes and all! I'll toss in my two cents as well... I agree with you and Brusilov (and many others) that Chaos should not be an evil thing.
But in GW's version it has always been portrayed as a force of corruption. Even if you're using it as a means to an end, it inevitably twists the end you're trying to achieve. Definitely not for evil, but it is always Chaos that is the master (this is of course a theme in the Elric saga as well), and it is a master that inherently is unpredictable. And there is always the possibility of losing your soul if you dedicate yourself too much (becoming a champion and fusing your shadow-self with a god)...

I also find it interesting how the Warhammer cosmology never really included Law as more than an afterthought (via the gods of Law in WFRP). I hope this is intentional, actually. It's nice to have the balance skewed in this way. There is no real antithesis of chaos. No pantheon of Law.

Instead, the antithesis of Chaos lie in the order of matter, and the civilizations of sentient beings. Incidentally, the very sentient beings who bring the power to Chaos. The opposite are the stagnation of the Imperium as well as the Eldar. This theme is not reflected in Moorcock (not that I know of anyway), but I like it very much. Instead of having the balance between Law and Chaos being the order of the universe, Chaos alone is the order. It is the only natural force, fed by the emotions and souls of material beings. And matter and logic themselves are just possibilities within Chaos.

This theme is continued in the Chaos gods themselvesas they are conciousnesses (= order and logic) born out of the possibilities of Chaos. They even take physical form within the warp storms that form their "shapes" within the warp.

In conclusion, I too would like to see Chaos going "back to the roots". But I don't want to see any Law versus Chaos in 40k or Warhammer. This is a point where GW's version differs from Moorcocks, and has done at least since the RoC books were written. So there I disagree with you Brusilov. Keep Law as a natural (or supernatural) force out of the equation. Have the balance skewed. It's more interesting that way.

(Also, as to the analogy of the Emperor, it's a sweet irony that the real salvation of Mankind lies in his rebirth as a warp power (= Chaos god), not in the stagnant Imperium ;))

Brusilov
18-07-2005, 21:58
But what you may fail to see is that Gods of Law are as much warp powers as Chaos gods, except they do not "feed off" (for lack of a better term) on the same emotions and beliefs. If you want a WH example (still existing to this day), it is Solkan, Arianka and Illuminas.

And you're wrong when you say stagnation is not reflected in Moorcock, it is represented by excess of Law. A world of pure Law would be frozen in stasis, in the perfection that the gods of Law would see fit. So in a sense it's not much different from the sterile entropy of pure Chaos.
This is something that Moorcock implies in his work, that is a combination of Law and Chaos that creates a world where mortals can live, a world with set rules (like physics) and room for change (evolution, life and death). The exact amount of either is up for debate.

So Law fits perfectly with the constraints of the 40k universe IMHO

Eversor
18-07-2005, 22:46
But what you may fail to see is that Gods of Law are as much warp powers as Chaos gods, except they do not "feed off" (for lack of a better term) on the same emotions and beliefs. If you want a WH example (still existing to this day), it is Solkan, Arianka and Illuminas.
:chrome: Indeed! In Warhammer (Warhammer as in both WHFB and 40k), the gods of Law are Chaos gods, formed within the stuff of Chaos. Which is part of the Irony (note the capital I). Law is just an aspect/possibility within Chaos, not its opposite, as with Moorcock. This is what I meant by no pantheon of Law in Warhammer. The gods of Law are just as much beings of Chaos as any other creature with a soul...

This is what I haven't seen in Moorcock. But it could just be that I haven't read enough ;)


And you're wrong when you say stagnation is not reflected in Moorcock, it is represented by excess of Law.
Sorry, I realise now that I was unclear ;) What I meant was that the opposite of Chaos in Warhammer is more represented by mortals and their societies than by gods, whereas in Moorcock's cosmology the opposite of Chaos is Law. Moorcock certainly touches on stagnation.


This is something that Moorcock implies in his work, that is a combination of Law and Chaos that creates a world where mortals can live, a world with set rules (like physics) and room for change (evolution, life and death). The exact amount of either is up for debate.

So Law fits perfectly with the constraints of the 40k universe IMHO
The concept of Law fits. But I don't think Law, as in an absolute opposite of Chaos fits (in the same way as gods of Law are not opposite of gods of Chaos in Warhammer).

The way I picture a "Moorcockian multiverse" is a classic balance/yin-yang multiverse. Chaos and its opposite Law, with the material world in the middle. This is similar to the old Nordic cosmology, with fire (Chaos) and ice (Law). Where the two touch, matter, life and small Japanese cars spring up.

In Warhammer, there is no balance. Just Chaos, of which everything is a possibility, including gods of Law and the material universe. You're more versed in Moorcock than me though, so I could be wrong.

I feel there's a language barrier as well ;) I could be trying to say the same thing as you, but I'm grasping for words, especially as I'm trying to write so ... "scientifically".

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that I feel there are some differences between the cosmologies of Moorcock and Warhammer (though the latter derives from the former), and that not everything can/should be carried over.

But it's an interesting discussion, that's I feel is definitely going in the right direction!

Shadowheart
19-07-2005, 01:41
There's at least one occassion (I think in one of the Elric stories) where Moorcock goes on about the problems of unlimited Chaos and unlimited Law, but I don't recall where exactly... in any case, as Brusilov said, it adds up to pretty much the same thing. Constant and complete change would be utterly pointless, there could be no sense of progress at all, just change for its own sake. Law at least would have progress, but it would be equally pointless, just constant movement in a single direction, there would be no sense of perspective. Something along those lines, anyway.

I don't think you can have Chaos without having Law, although the balance between the two can certainly be skewed. Indeed that's almost always the case, and it's where the Eternal Champion comes in to restore the Balance, temporarily. In Elric's world, Law had very little presence and the forces of Chaos shaped the world and fought amongst themselves most of the time. Elric has very little to do with the Lords of Law, and Stormbringer is in fact a weapon of Chaos forged to combat Chaos.

However, though it's not always a simple matter of Law and Chaos directly fighting eachother, they are always both present to some extend. There needn't be gods or higher powers involved (though there usually seem to be), it's more a matter of metaphysical concepts. If Law didn't exist at all in 40K, then there would be nothing to oppose Chaos and the galaxy would be in a state of ultimate entropy. There's something holding back the gods of Chaos, even if it's just in the minds of the races in the physical universe.

It's true that there needs to be Chaos for Law to make order out of anything, but likewise there needs to be Law in order for there to be entropy, it's a constant conflict. And I think this too was discussed in one of the Elric stories (I really should browse my books for some more quotes), Chaos and Law need eachother, and if they could achieve the ultimate victory that they desire, it would effectively destroy themselves.

So, I agree to not having gods of Law in 40K (or indeed Fantasy), even Moorcock's lords of Law didn't sit that well with me. I don't think demons and suchlike are suited to Law. However, there are other ways in which Law (and Chaos, for that matter) can be represented, of which I think the system of the Eldar Paths is an example. They are deliberately trying to direct their lives along a certain path, to control their emotions and impulses with artificial (mental) means.

After all, the implication in Moorcock's stories is that the Eternal Champion is everyone, that in all our lives we strive for a balance. Law and Chaos are universal factors that just as readily appear in politics and personal problems as they do in swords & sorcery.

Brusilov
19-07-2005, 06:35
On the matter of the warp, I would point out that it is not Chaos, the warp is a neutral medium in which emotions whirl and gather into nexuses that eventually reach a critical mass and gain sentience. The term Realm of Chaos does not apply to the whole warp (neither in 40k nor in WH), but to "regions" (if such thing can be said about a dimension where geography is at best a dubious concept). There are regions where the warp is neutral (its normal state) and others where it is dominated by the emotions and beliefs of Law.
The difference between Chaos and Law should is not where they reside IMHO but in the ideas and concepts they represent. They all 'live' in a dimension that has shaped by the emotions of mortals, and as Shadowheart says, there is both Chaos and Law within each and everyone of us, even in Chaos Space Marines (although in very minimal quantities).

I'll admit that there might not be necessarily gods of Law in GW's universes but the concept itself certainly exists. You are quite right when you say that Moorcock's view of the universe is a yin/yang system.
Even in WH there is need for Law. Just think of the raw matter of Chaos, magic, filtering through the polar portals, they are shaped into something that follows rules in the material universe, the winds of magic. Law is things like societies (as you mention rightly), the laws of physics and other such things.

Dr Death
19-07-2005, 12:10
Can i play devils advocate here?

Do you really expect a player new to the game to take all this in? Its alright fluff nuts sitting there banging on about how chaos should be more like the moorcockian vision where it isnt really evil but is instead an "alternative" and how all this relates to the warp and thats own cosmology, but if anything this would further alienate the players from the fluff, drive them away, make them think that if they have to know and understand all this to make an army then it obviously isnt worth the hassle.

Now for my personal opinion. Personally i think that ultimatly, deep down, somewhere in the recesses of whatever dimension you're thinking of, chaos is evil. To my mind (granted im a very imperialistic person) chaos twists the best of human nature to be the worst of human desire, this is they key thing for me that makes chaos what it is. But this does not mean i like simple evil, or indeed that i think the imperium and its own dogma is "right". Personally, the idea that if both the imperium and chaos comprimised a little it would make the universe the perfect balance doesnt seem quite the right solution to the problems of humanity-

"So if i start worshipping a pantheon of malignant spirits and you sacrifice yourself to feed your soul to my savior, all our problems are cured"

(I know its an oversimplification but im doing it for comic effect untill someone can explain how it isnt that simple)
So, if thats what i thinks wrong then what do i thinks right? Well, as i said earlier, chaos to my mind is ultimatly evil. Whats really horrifying though is that what the imperium is doing is ultimatly right, just in a very hamfisted manner. The imperium has essentially "lost" the thing that united it, that being the Emperor and has been milling around in the hands of beaurocrats for 10 millenia. People do not like beaurocrats, people like heroic leaders, and seeing as the imperiums heroic leader has been doing very little (to the eyes of your imperial citizen) for that same 10 millenia breeds malcontent like scum on a pond.
Its here where chaos comes in, chaos promises power and freedom beyond your wildest dreams, a chance to break the "deadlock" which is all the imperium can offer, Is that not enough to seduce someone? Chaos appeals to your good intentions, your want to change things for the better, but slowly ever so slowly twists them to fit their own purpose- anarchy, can anarchy be a good thing? I really think not.

Dr Death

Shadowheart
19-07-2005, 13:50
Do you really expect a player new to the game to take all this in? Its alright fluff nuts sitting there banging on about how chaos should be more like the moorcockian vision where it isnt really evil but is instead an "alternative" and how all this relates to the warp and thats own cosmology, but if anything this would further alienate the players from the fluff, drive them away, make them think that if they have to know and understand all this to make an army then it obviously isnt worth the hassle.

That's probably GW's reasoning, a process affectionately known as "dumbing down". Keeping everything simple so that the masses (which are universally concidered stupid) won't be scared away. With the eventual effect that those who aren't stupid get fed up with the limited scope and lack of depth. See also Hollywood movies.

But there's no need to whack a newbie over the head with the underlying philosophy of the background (if it were to have one). People that aren't interested in the subtleties of the background could just take a Chaos marine to be some kind of space bad-ass in spiky armour. Which they are.
Moorcock's fantasy stories are in the first place pulpy swords & sorcery adventures, the weird monsters and heroic battles take up way more space than the occassional insightful thoughts. It's not all deep stuff all the time, but the depth is there.


Anyway, Chaos (and Law) in the Moorcockian sense is an abstract concept, it's neutral, not in and of itself evil, and it can't make you do anything any more than Time or Death can. It doesn't corrupt, it doesn't lure anyone, it just is. How people deal with it is up to them. Now, those that follow or belong to Chaos, they can do stuff, as evidenced for example by Elric's patron, Arioch. And generally they're out for conquest and personal gain, just like their Lawful counterparts. Chaos and Law are seldom goals unto themselves, usually individuals are driven by more complex and practical concerns.

In Warhammer things appear to be different, Chaos is described as an agressive force, but it could just be that when GW write "Chaos" they're referring to the gods of Chaos (and their followers). I'll not argue that those aren't evil, but they don't equate Chaos itself. As has been noted before, both Chaos and Law can be turned to evil, and excessive amounts of either are harmful to the human condition.


Personally I don't think what the Imperium is doing is at all right, although arguably it's the best you could expect them to do under the circumstances. That's what makes 40K such a bleak future, there's no chance for moderation, for complex solutions, for Balance. It's all-out war with no apparent chance of resolution.

While I agree with Brusilov that the Eternal Champion figure is better left out of the official background, I still find it interesting to speculate on who that might be or have been in 40K. Perhaps it was the Emperor and he failed, his quest to bring Balance stalled until he can finally get out of the throne and end the conflict. Or perhaps it was Horus and he succeeded, and this eternity of carnage and slaughter is the best this universe could have.

The pestilent 1
19-07-2005, 14:41
While I agree with Brusilov that the Eternal Champion figure is better left out of the official background, I still find it interesting to speculate on who that might be or have been in 40K. Perhaps it was the Emperor and he failed, his quest to bring Balance stalled until he can finally get out of the throne and end the conflict. Or perhaps it was Horus and he succeeded, and this eternity of carnage and slaughter is the best this universe could have.

now that would be interesting, a very S.Baxter idea there.
the best the universe can hope for is a long, bleak future of utmost violence, with nought but slaughter and genocide to look forward to.
a universe of utmost horror and darkness, but one where a total resolution (IE: chaos overwhelming the imperium, the tyranid hivefleets grouping into one unstoppable invasion, the orks grouping into one massive WAAGH etc) is impossible, thus ensuring man/eldar/ork/tau/etc kind shall forever remain...

beutiful! :cool:

Dr Death
19-07-2005, 15:16
Well you have swayed me somewhat shadowheart (i particularly liked your bleak take on 40k's eternal champion), but then one has to ask what is chaos?
Chaos as it stands is whats worshipped by its followers, the gods- Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh and Tzeench, these can be worshipped as one, that being chaos undivided, but as you're explaining it chaos undivided isnt evil, the separate gods are, but chaos undivided is the balance to the lawfulness of the imperium. Now considering chaos undivided has spawned perhaps the most evil of characters (Abbadon and Zaraphiston (or the "A-z of chaos" as they are better known) and Fabius Bile (yes he was emperors children originally but he's officially undivided)) then how can that be said? I suppose if the imperium "Is" law then the warp "Is" chaos. If that is the case then i would then say yes, chaos is nutural but chaos as worshipped by its followers most certainly is not.

Dr Death

The pestilent 1
19-07-2005, 15:26
true, some of chaos' followers are what can be called evil (Abbadons a tool mind) but that is true for everything.
the imperium (law) has also spawned a totalitarien regime where twelve people rule an entire species numbering in the trillions through an iron-fisted rule.
abbadon (the stupid tool) wants vengance on them.
tell me?
whos evil :p

Dr Death
19-07-2005, 16:03
Well thats the delicious irony of 40k, chaos is evil yet offers freedom and release. The Imperium is good yet offers subserviance and slavery.

Take your pick

Dr Death

f2k
19-07-2005, 17:56
Freedom and release? Perhaps – but at what cost…?

Briareos
19-07-2005, 18:17
The Imperium is good ? Are we talking about the same totalitarian, xenophobic, brainwashing, 1984-like regime here ?

How is the Imperium good ? Some imperial citizens may be more humane, more "good" than others, but the regime itself is an abomination.

Kjell
19-07-2005, 23:27
The Imperium is good ? Are we talking about the same totalitarian, xenophobic, brainwashing, 1984-like regime here ?

How is the Imperium good ? Some imperial citizens may be more humane, more "good" than others, but the regime itself is an abomination.
You can say many bad things about the Imperium, all of them true, but it will not rip your mind asunder and feed on your soul. Chaos doesn't want to protect anything, not in the long run. It wants to destroy order, a prime example of that being the Imperium.

The Imperium protects through opression. The only way for it to remain is to ban everything else and kill those who think differently. Imperial authority does not kill out of malice, hatred or bloodlust. Yes, the Imperial authorities does hate certain ideas but they don't kill those ideas because they hate them, they kill those ideas because they are opposed to the survival of the Imperium and thus the (sane, ordered) survival of the human species.

MvS
19-07-2005, 23:45
To me the Imperium represents an attempt to assure the survival of humanity as a species and a platform from which the either a) their god 9the Emperor may continue to 'protect' humanity, or b) as a platform to assure the Second Coming of the Emperor in whatever way or form.

It isn't 'good', unless 'good' is to be considered the survival of the specias at any cost and the promotion of the Emperor as the one chance humanity has against Chaos.

The entities of Chaos want and need to consume the mortal universe - or, at the very least, their extreme natures drive them towards doing so, whether they want it or not. This isn't simply 'evil' for its own sake, but it does put a dampener on the Imperium's notion of the survival of the human species.

Briareos
20-07-2005, 00:02
You can say many bad things about the Imperium, all of them true, but it will not rip your mind asunder and feed on your soul.
Astronomican anyone ? :rolleyes:


Chaos doesn't want to protect anything, not in the long run. It wants to destroy order, a prime example of that being the Imperium.
I do not think the Imperium is such a hot example of Order. While it certainly is a regime which thrives on the (ideal of) total control of its citizenry, one quick look at its organization shows how lax that control really is. Information may take centuries to get from their point of origin to the Lords of Terra or even sector command, where it more often than not gets buried in the archives. Reaction, when there is one, is often somewhat random (throw bodies at the threat and see what happens) and outdated.
The Imperium still exists after 10.000 years because of its sheer size and numerous strong local governments (Maccrage and other marine or mechanicus controlled systems being a prime example). Not because it is "Ordered".

The Imperium is a sham because it is presented as the sole alternative to Chaos. The end of the Imperium does not necessarily implies the end of the human species, but the continuation of the Imperium feeds the Four through its wars (humanity vs everyone else), decay (the Emperor and the power structures as a whole) and schemings (Inquisition and High Lords).

Brusilov
20-07-2005, 06:29
The Astronomican is a good example, but the feeding of thousands of psykers to the Golden Throne to feed the Emperor is even better. This proves my point that the gods of Law (as I believe the Emperor to be) are nothing but warp powers feeding off other emotions. The process of sacrificing psykers to the Golden Throne is much akin to the Chaos Gods harvesting souls to feed them.

And I disagree, you can worship Chaos Undivided. You can either do it by worshipping all the gods equally, in the manner of a pantheon, or you can worship the Great Unnamable One, the conceptual (or is it?) god of Chaos Undivided.

The end of the Imperium is not the end of humanity? It certainly is in the way we know. Mankind shall be balkanised between many states and small empires that shall be easy prey for Orks, Nids or Chaos. So the alternative would probably be unifying mankind under the rule of Chaos, not a perspective I'd enjoy, even considering how ruthless the Imperium is.

Instigation
20-07-2005, 07:31
Also the fact that "Unifying" and "Chaos" are a good example of an oxymoron.
More likely if chaos were to triumph the galaxy would be splintered amongst and ruled over by daemonic demogogues and their personal empires and cults of personality.

I have to say though that the Chaos of today does focus less on those who fall to chaos as a result of misguided intentions and as such does focus less on the moral ambiguities that it used to. However, that is because these are a minority of the followers of chaos and that IMO the majority of chaos forces are made up of creatures born and bred under its influence from infancy and knowing nothing else. The fluff for chaos today focuses on those powerful leaders who are evil for the purpose of evil, chaotic for the purpose of chaos, they dont seek to justify their actions through inventing some higher-purpose (eg a knorne berserker doing what he does because he is all about martial honour) - they are free of the need for any kind of this justification and instead serve chaos because they truly believe in their insane, raving way that chaos IS the way to go and that the atrocities and crimes and butcheries they perpetrate SHOULD be done. They are totally free from any common human feelings of empathy or pity or need to explain their actions and they are a law unto themselves, doing what they want and when they want - and at the same time they are still and forever slaves to the un-userpable gods of chaos and therein liese their tragedy: regardless of their aparent freedom from any bonds that we impose on our societies to create order they are still forever slaves to higher powers.

It is these kinds of characters that chaos fluff of today focuses on and a good example of this is Aarchon from WHFB who asks for nothing but to be an "Instrument" of the ascension of chaos and to me personally these kinds of characters are preferable - pure evil in all its whispering, chittering and screaching etc etc glory and i belive dan abnett portrays some excellent examples of this in his Ghaunts Ghosts and in his way creates alot of fluff for the more common chaos forces faced by the imperium.
But at the same time i do understand where the majority of you are coming from in regards to there been less moral dilemas associated with Chaos these days.
Also i think that the index astartes articles detailing the traitor legions still have alot of that moral ambiguity: angron, mortarion and heck look at Magnus and how screwed over he got...so its not really that watered down.

Alot of people also mention the days when entire guard regiments would be terminated for witnessing chaos and space marine chapters would get mind wiped. Well IMO that isnt really feasible because the imperium would simply collapse in a day given how many chaos incursions there are and given that all they would be doing would be killing themselves instead of actually FIGHTING chaos - so again i think that in that case its not a matter of watering down old fluff but rather an effort on the part of games workshop to make it a more plausible setting.

just some of my thoughts...

Emperor's Light
20-07-2005, 09:29
I do like the fact that IG regiments are terminated whole sale after fighting chaos and SMs mind-wiped. It offers more possibilities. One of the better Eisenhorn short stories was about a group of IG veterans who were affected with the 40k version of PTSD after fighting chaos their whole careers.

Worship of chaos undivided, and in fact worship of chaos in general, is not worship in the sense generally thought of in Western monodeistic religions. It's more worship in the sense that you are appeasing certain spirits, each having claim to a particular realm of mortal affairs, in exchange for favors or protection. I think Warhammer Fantasy gives a better sense of this in the way the Norse, Kurgans, and Hung worship the chaos gods.

So Abbadon and the like serve their own agendas. Their worship of the chaos gods only extend so far as to pay homage to the gods in exchange for favors and powers to better pursue their agenda.

Dr Death
20-07-2005, 11:23
Instigation- Evil for the sake of being evil? Wheres the fun in that, the only place where simple evil is entertaining is when mixed with a large amount of humour- Pantomime villainy. The thing i personally love about the traitor legions is the fact they are fallen heroes, their ideals were pure....once, but now they are twisted facsimilies of their former selves. The most interesting characters in chaos are not the B@D@$$ Supa Killas who are mere pawns in the machinations of chaos but those who were not born into chaos, that joined for some other matter but slowly became warped in their own logic to see things from the veiwpoint of the dark gods.
Archaon was a fabulous example of this.... untill 6th ed. He was once a fallen templar of sigmar who honestly beleived he was the undivided forces of chaos' champion, questing desparately to find the 6 treasures that would proove him so. This gave him a reason to be at war, any number of situations can arise where armies block archaons passage to a potential resting place of the final treasure, he might lead a campaign skewering every corpse on the way to draw the attention of the gods and so be sent a sign, the best characters are those who's story is not yet compleate.

Equally the most compelling of the traitor legions are those that turned for reasons deeper than "well horus is doing it" Horus was a far better villain than Abbaddon could ever be due to the fact that he honestly beleived that the next step for humankind was to join the dark gods.

Equally the thousand sons, the word bearers and particularly the nightlords (hmmm a legion that goes around ruthlessly slaughtering defenceless populations after torturous campaigns of fear, yet is essentially nutural hmmmmm) are more compelling and interesting than the world eaters and the alpha legion (though they do have an excuse for joining just because "well horus is doing it").

Dr Death

Brusilov
20-07-2005, 14:31
Evil for evil's sake? I don't believe such things can exist. And anyway I don't think they fit within the 40k universe, not to mention such one dimensional characters are utterly uninteresting. They are boring thugs that go about beating people for no apparent reason. They're not worth my time.

What makes Chaos Marines interesting is, as Dr Death mentions, that they are fallen heroes. They are twisted mirror images of their brothers, their ideals became travesties of what they once stood for, but they still believe in them, even more so because it is the only thing that prevents them from going completely mad.

I would also mention that throughout history, you'll never find evil being done for its own sake. It may seems so at first glance, but if you look carefully at it, you'll see it was always done for a cause, and generally a good and noble cause at that.
Just think of the massacres accomplished in the name of Jesus Christ, the persecutions, the wars, the burning of heretics... Think too of the oppression of communism, done in the name of an ideal of equality and brotherly love for all mankind.
The greatest evils are not done by evil people, but by good people that become twisted because they believe their ideal gives them every right to impose it on others.

Mr.terminatorbob
20-07-2005, 14:49
The end of the Imperium is not the end of humanity? It certainly is in the way we know. Mankind shall be balkanised between many states and small empires that shall be easy prey for Orks, Nids or Chaos. So the alternative would probably be unifying mankind under the rule of Chaos, not a perspective I'd enjoy, even considering how ruthless the Imperium is.
or you could join the Tau and become a Gue'vesa because that would be better then unifiying under chaos.

Brusilov
20-07-2005, 18:44
Yes I would probably join the Tau as well, because no matter your place in society you're respected. While with Chaos, if you don't have the chance of being a chosen of the gods, you're just fodder for the gods...
And even if you manage to gain the attention of the gods you still have the possibility of being turned into a mindless spawn.

dugaal
21-07-2005, 00:22
Hi, im new, so go easy on me

As others mentioned, GW's desire to cover a more broad demographic (read: 14 year olds with parent's income) is the most likely reason in terms of GW's marketing dept.
You also have to take into account back in the 80's they didnt have the compartmentalized plastic miniatures of today, where each chest, shoulder and arm fits has to fit each other without cutting them up, giving them a lego-like appeal. Back then the majority of the mini's were one-piece lead, and the mini artists probably had far more creative freedom, considering they didnt have all the corperate overhead. This allowed the models to each be unique, and subsequently the fluff could follow their visions in parallel. When you look at how many mini's it takes to field a 'decent' army these days, producing that many utterly unique minis would be impossible, and too daunting for the average gamer to convert himself and individually paint up.
This assembly style the game have taken on betrays the sense of Chaos we had back then, making it simpler to pigeon-hole Chaos as evil (but strictly uniformed for ease) then to actually make them chaotic.

Brusilov
21-07-2005, 06:45
Personally I don't think the change in imagery has much to do with the streamlining of miniatures (although I agree I loved the time when you would build a small warband of individual miniatures), if anything it has indeed to do with the simplification of the fluff because GW wanted to widen its audience.
But most importantly it has to do with the relative importance between the game and the fluff. Fluff is just that, a nice justification for a good battle, and thus does need to be so complex, and especially have an interesting description of Chaos

Instigation
21-07-2005, 07:06
Right, right dont get me wrong guys, i agree that the characters of many of the fallen astartes and the moral ambiguities of their causes are very interesting - but these are not mirror images (as you say) of the chapters of loyal astartes. Rather these are those who think they are using chaos to their own ends but in the end chaos uses them and magnus is a good example of this..



Equally the most compelling of the traitor legions are those that turned for reasons deeper than "well horus is doing it" Horus was a far better villain than Abbaddon could ever be due to the fact that he honestly beleived that the next step for humankind was to join the dark gods.

This isnt entirely correct. Horus didn;t believe he was doing anything in mankinds best interest. According to the legends he was injured and brought back to health by followers of chaos, so he was twised and poisened by it and anything he did after that was done in the grip of that madness. He didnt decide that chaos was the right way, more like he was brainwashed into it.

Now what im saying is that i like those who are TRUE mirror images of good (using your word) like for example Aarchon is in WHFB. He is totally sworn to the cause of chaos and he utterly believes that chaos is the way to go. He wasnt tricked into it - he chose it as his path after he learnt some truth and called the gods liars etc. He isnt one of those like adaddon or Magnus who think they are using chaos and instead it ends up using them but is in fact in full knowledge that he is a pawn and embraces that fact - he is a willing instrument of chaos, ruin and destruction...and these are exactly the kinds of characters i like. These kinds that dont justify it like abaddon does without actually really throwing his lot in with chaos or like Magnus who is only there because he has no choice. - but rather those biengs who CHOSE to do chaos' bidding.
A warhammer 40k example of what im talking about would be Lorgar and the word bearers. After he was told off, so to speak, for his methods by the emperor he chose to throw in his lot with chaos and since that time had been a willing pawn of chaos. These are the kinds of badguy characters that im talking about.

Maybe this isnt just evil for the sake of evil and im using wrong words to describe it, but it is a true mirror image of good IMO to be doing evils bidding willingly.

Dr Death
21-07-2005, 10:19
Well actually Horus did beleive he was doing something for mankind, he and the primarchs had reached the edge of the galaxy, they stood as conquorers of the dark, the emperor however, rather than celebrate the greatest acheivements of mankind and honour the primarchs and their legions decided to withdraw to his own affairs, hide away in the darkest laboratories of earth.

Horus realised that now the great conquest was done, he and his fellow primarchs would become bystanders while the positions of power were to be given over to lesser beings and beurocrats and for the imperium to become stagnent, never venturing beyond its borders for fear of upsetting political balance. This fostered a deep rage in the heart of Horus, the weak would now have more authority than the strong, the glories of the great crusade crumbling into ruin. It was with this already substantial "chip" on his shoulder that Horus was taken in by the lodges after being injured.

The lodges really opened Horus' eyes to chaos, here he was, a mighty champion of the emperor being cured by his sworn enemies. The experience not only increased his understanding of the forces he was at war with but also the possibility they offered. When Horus emerged he was convinced by chaos, he knew that the only way for his ideal of the rule of the strong to become a reality was through joining them and so chaos was the logical next step for mankind. There was also the potential for immortality which the dark gods offered but to my mind its far more compelling to have Horus as someone who thought beyond a shadow of a doubt that what he was doing was the right thing for humankind.

Dr Death

Brusilov
21-07-2005, 10:43
The Chaos Marines are mirror images of the Loyal Marines, but not in the sense that you can make parallels between each Traitor and Loyalist Legions. They are mirror images in the sense that they are travesties of everything the Space Marines stand for.
The whole point about CSM is that because of their actions the noble beliefs they once had have been twisted beyond recognition. Their belief that the strong and worthy must rule have become a front for naked oppression, but they still believe in it because this is what sustains Chaos, beliefs. The whole 40k universe is centered around the concepts of beliefs, opinions, dogmas and such like.

And if you read the speech by Horus in one of the HH books, his official reason for turning, was pretty much as Dr Death describes it. And in a sense he was right, we have but to look at what the Imperium looks like now...

And incidently Horus was not healed by Chaos worshippers, he recovered on his own and was later introduced into a warrior's lodge that was a front for a Chaos cult. He had his eyes opened there, but as mentioned before, he already had doubts on the manner mankind should be ruled beforehand.

Nazguire
22-07-2005, 03:00
The Chaos Marines are mirror images of the Loyal Marines, but not in the sense that you can make parallels between each Traitor and Loyalist Legions. They are mirror images in the sense that they are travesties of everything the Space Marines stand for.
The whole point about CSM is that because of their actions the noble beliefs they once had have been twisted beyond recognition. Their belief that the strong and worthy must rule have become a front for naked oppression, but they still believe in it because this is what sustains Chaos, beliefs. The whole 40k universe is centered around the concepts of beliefs, opinions, dogmas and such like.

And if you read the speech by Horus in one of the HH books, his official reason for turning, was pretty much as Dr Death describes it. And in a sense he was right, we have but to look at what the Imperium looks like now...

And incidently Horus was not healed by Chaos worshippers, he recovered on his own and was later introduced into a warrior's lodge that was a front for a Chaos cult. He had his eyes opened there, but as mentioned before, he already had doubts on the manner mankind should be ruled beforehand.

Exactly how it should remain. I'd much rather hear grandiose speeches how the Chaos Legions want to redeem mankind and install a stronger power structure to defend Humanity, then hear them bellow about glory for the Gods every minute.

Horus in the HH books is more of the revolutionary instead of psychopath that I envisioned him to be. Instead of some maniacal fanatic that just wants to be head honcho, he seriously believes he is doing the right thing. Nowadays, the only Legions that fight for his cause are the Word Bearers and to an extent the Alpha Legion and Night Lords, the rest fight and hate for hatreds sake. No other reason.

Brusilov
22-07-2005, 06:13
This is on of the reasons why I play Word Bearers, because they embody how I see Space Marines, although I have thought of playing Sons of Horus (Black Legions who remain loyal to the true Warmaster and tell Abaddon to go to hell).

On the matter of the god specific legions, one should return to the reason why they turned or the different aspect of the gods to try and give them a reason, albeit twisted for fighting: martial pride for the World Eaters, quest for perfection for the Emperor's Children, desperation and trying to survive for the Death Guard and quest for knowledge for the Thousand Sons.

Dr Death
22-07-2005, 10:53
I think the god specific legions have certainly the seed of a compelling reason, but what needs to happen is there needs to be a bit more explanation. To my mind the ones that need the least work really are the death guard and the thousand sons, they're pretty well conceived but then it is based on the core theme of survival- Death Guard from the plagues that wracked them and Thousand sons from the wrath of the Space Wolves. The World Eaters and the Emperors Children are a bit more of a question mark based on the fact they turned willingly to the dark gods. As it stands in the background, the reasons are fairly flimsy (World Eaters turned because their primarch had a grudge (which begs the question- why join khorne?) and the Emperors Children because Horus showed him "means for perfection to be acheived" whatever that means)

But looking at it, the reasons given for those who willingly turned dont seem powerful enough to warrent the turn, so i think GW needs to up the ante a little and give more copelling reasons for people being seduced by chaos rather than being forced into it.

DrDeath

Emperor's Light
22-07-2005, 11:07
Horus's rhetoric can be just as self-serving as a corrupt Imperial Cardinal's. After all, in Revenge of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine talked about "restoring peace and order back to the galaxy" under the reign of the Sith. :D

I don't think the Thousand Sons turning to Tzeentch to save themselves from the Space Wolves makes a lot of sense. First, the Space Wolves overwhelming superiority against the Thousand Sons is kind of strange, when it's one Space Marine Legion against another, and the Thousand Sons were defending their home planet (fortificatons, knowing the terrain, friendly populace, etc.) Even a surprise attack should not have been that overwhelming unless Magnus is just so incautious that he has no planetary defense schemes in place against precisely the eventuality of a surprise attack.

Likewise, the legion could have simply gone over to Horus's side without committing to a particular chaos god. I prefer to think that the Thousand Sons had already previously been attacted to the worship of Tzeentch because of their quest for knowledge of the warp.

Brusilov
22-07-2005, 17:08
To me, Tzeentch set up the turning of Magnus from the very beginning. Let's not forgot we're talking about the Architect of fate here. The Space Wolves surprise attacked succeeded not so much because the SW were vastly superior to the TS but because Tzeentch willed it. He blinded Magnus and his sorcerers to the arrival of the SW

Briareos
22-07-2005, 22:01
I don't really like the portraying of Tzeentch as an infaillible chess player getting back on his feet no matter what. I prefer to see this god as a crazy schizophrenic and omniscience. While Tzeentch may know all and may be able to predict all, I think the god is paralysed by so much data and truly takes part in the affairs of mortals only when a dominant personallity (briefly) emerges.

But that's just me :)

Brusilov
22-07-2005, 22:19
I disagree, I see Tzeentch as the ultimate manipulator, and while it is true he may lose himself in his plots and the twists he creates, he loves nothing more than pushing fate one way or another thanks to careful nudges that spill over into grandiose events.
Tzeentch has to make up for it because ambition and the other emotions he feeds from are not as powerful as those or Khorne, Nurgle or Slaanesh. In a sense (and don't get ideas), he is akin to the Deceiver for the C'tan (although probably not as weak), he makes up for his lack of power compared to Khorne by his deviousness.

And you have to remember you have to be two to play chess. And the other gods, while not as good as he, do the same thing. And so does the Emperor. And He is a master of skill equal to that of Tzeentch.

Minister
22-07-2005, 23:34
Eye of Terror again, Bruslov?

Briareos
22-07-2005, 23:41
[Bass voice] Tonight : when fluffheads collide [/Bass voice]

Chalk one more on the scoreboard for things we disagree on ;)
My view of the 40K universe is much less "ordered" then yours. I don't think there exists opposites playing chess, nor grand concepts like Chaos and Order (in the Moorcokian sense).

I don't really see the Four as intelligent at all - just vast echo chambers for the emotional agregates composing them. Nothing more than idiot savants. As such, while they may possess vast powers and knowledge, their nature prevents them from using their full potentials.

You see a chessboard, I see brownian movement :)

Emperor's Light
23-07-2005, 00:15
It's hard to define the Chaos Gods in human terms. In Warhammer Fantasy they are more anthropomorphosized. I do think that in 40K they are less so. They do not act as a Greek god would. However, it does appear that they have agendas which are carried out by their servants and exhibit intelligence. They bestow gifts on successful champions and elevate those who have served them best to daemonhood.

Brusilov
23-07-2005, 08:56
Yes Minister, EoT again. What can I say? The novel sucked but the concept therein made sense, at least from my point of view. And it fits my Moorcockian approach to the universe, by having two forces beyond human comprehension struggle for domination over our universe, and thus nullifying each other and allowing us to living more or less sensible lives.

The problem with your description Briareos is that it does not seem to take into account the fact that, as Lightie mentioned, the gods have their agenda. The description of the birth of Slaanesh clearly implies, at least IMHO, that upon reaching a critical mass, the emotional soup that was to become Slaanesh reached consciousness of its own existence (I would not use sentience, but still) and started to act directly or indirectly, through its minions (as it had done before its birth, see novel Farseer), to influence the universe.

I don't think that the Chaos gods as they currently are are what you describe. This reminds me more of Azathoth from the Cthulhu Mythos and I don't agree with it. The Star Child is in such a state however because it has not yet reached the critical mass that shall allow him to reach consciousness.

This is an old quote from a very short excerpt, the conversation between Horus and his aide, moments before the Warmaster left for the warrior lodge on Davin.


And in the Warp, something smiled.

Quite clearly in my opinion, this indicates that the gods have their own will and further their goals themselves as well as through their servants. This does not mean rolling thunder and booming voice, but simply little nudges here and there, pebbles thrown down a hill that will cause an avalanche.

Briareos
23-07-2005, 09:08
To me, the Four are utlimately limited by that which feeds them and can not go against what composes the core of their beings (confrontation for Khorne, sensuality for Slaanesh, etc...). This aspect of the Chaos gods is evident in the limitations they impose on their followers (Khorne forbids the use of psychic powers by his followers - although not the use psy-powered items).
The Four (and other warp entities) being monomaniac specialists fits in nicely with the idea of a disturbed immaterium where emotions no longer flow and mingle but rather group by similarities (pleasure, hope, etc...).

Dr Death
23-07-2005, 09:45
Im more on the side of briareos with this, if indeed Tzeench was able to twist the threads of fate he could have just as easily caused the heresy by himself making him by far the most pre-eminent power in the warp.......nah. Its actually remarkable how small a part the chaos gods actually play in the heresy, they basically make the pact with horus and then the only part they play post that is in the sending of hordes of deamons. I too fail to see the forces of chaos as having much influence outside of the warp, they're deities and as such even if they do have a conciousness, it remains separate from the affairs of their mortal followers. The Gods of Chaos in 40k are more a concept, omnipresent but only through the warp. Just like religions in our own worlds their ideals are interpreted by those "gifted" with the ability to commune. Therefore a gods true stance could be confused by any number of "prophets"- Some may veiw Khorne as the god of righteous combat, others as some gladiatorial god, others as the god of murder and wanton bloodshed, guessing the theory thats "right" is really up for grabs.

Dr Death

Brusilov
23-07-2005, 09:47
And thus this is where I throw in the concept of the Great Unnamable One, the one true god of Chaos Undivided, of which the so-called Big Four are only aspects. The Great Unnamable One, by representing all aspects of Chaos, is not bound by the limitations of the emotions from which feed each of the gods.
He is not his own entity per se, just as the warp powers are gestalt entities of all emotionally charge souls, the Great Unnamable One is a gestalt entity composed of all the gods. When the powers of Chaos unite for an assault upon the world of mortals his consciousness hardens for a while, before collapsing again when the Imperium manages to repel it.

And this creates a nice parallelism between the many minds of the Emperor (refer to the Inquisition War trilogy).

ryng_sting
23-07-2005, 15:15
The insidious lure of Chaos, I think, has never been better described than it is now in the current background books. That's what they are for, after all - to reach those places that a tabletop game can't.

I find Liber Chaotica Complete the best of the background books; previous posts suggest I need to qualify this statement. (Apologies to those who've already seen it already on Amazon.co.uk, albeit with more spelling errors.)

What I like about of all the books - perhaps in the last two volumes - Liber - is the way they go beyond 'good' and 'evil' to deal with Chaos in-depth, to emphasise that the lure of Chaos is more than simply being tempted by something external - it's about being pulled in all the directions within yourself. When you're dealing with the zone where inner space meets outer space (emotions and the aethyr, the soul and infinity), it's natural for things to be contradictory and amibiguous, and ambiguity is always rich soil for artistic growth. Richter Kless starts out as a Chaos-hating, pious man, but by the end of his journey, after each mind-shattering discovery, he's almost completely at odds with the man he was when he started it. How often when we set out with a conscious agenda we only be set ourselves up to undermine it! (In the same vein I've often finished Paradise Lost with the feeling that Satan came off more sympathetically than Milton ever intended.)

I understand that some aren't happy with the inclusion of 40k fluff in the books. Personally, I like the de-familarised perception we get from Kless's point of view. I like that kind of imaginative engagement with a text, as you find in the poetry of Craig Raine, or Riddley Walker, or The Inheritors. ('The Abandoned One will carry the power of Blackstone...Lupine Warriors will oppose him', the irony of having a daemon prince with the same name as the Empire's greatest saviour, etc. etc.)

There's the cohesive internal logic at work, too. Who's to say that the Lady of the Lake, Shallya and Isha aren't ultimately the same goddess by a variety of names, and one who probably lies somewhere in Tzeentch's orbit? That lays a lot of the groundwork for guessing how Hashut, Sotek, and the Horned Rat not only found their origins, but why.

Several of the characters who give evidence (an odd term, granted, but I do think of LC as a documentary in print) have nice touches that make them rounded characters, not simply paragraphs in a wider thesis. My favourite was ex-Grand Theogonist Volkmar's paper on 'The Unique Divinity of Sigmar Heldenhammer.' You have a mind that is religious but also empirical; optimistic but domineering; profound but quietly blinkered. (You can't help but wonder if his views have changed since his death and rebirth and the actual experience of the aethyr.) There's Sister Marie Duvallier, the epitome of Shallyan virtue, growing progressively more bitter with every contact with Nurgle's evil, and likewise with the grim, inward-looking Captain Van Hadden.

There are other pleasures, some too incidental and too petty to post here. But I can't resist the urge to paraphrase some sentences, as I don't have the book to hand:

'When a soldier succumbs to Khorne it is becaue he forgets why he kills.'

'Nurgle always grants his minions contentment within their misery, rather than salvation from it.'

'Let us suppose, by some stretch of the imagination, that a place awaits us after the grave. I daresay the abode my lord Slaanesh would be more desirable than that of your dull god...'

and above all, poor Kless's conclusion at the end of the book, a resolutely secular message from a book that codifies souls, daemons, and gods:

'If we are to find blessings or dammnation, it will be on this side of the grave. I know this now.'

I also look forward to the possibilities opened up by the books. The article on the Lingua Praestina in the late Inferno! magazine was one example. Where would a similar article about the Champions of Light go, or one about how a soul permanently merges with Chaos to become an immortal daemon prince? One that reveals, in full, Archaon's apocalyptic discovery? Or about the metaphysics of Necromancy, Vampires and Nagash, and why religious belief and artefacts can hurt them? The possibilities are near-endless.

Nazguire
24-07-2005, 04:04
I think the god specific legions have certainly the seed of a compelling reason, but what needs to happen is there needs to be a bit more explanation. To my mind the ones that need the least work really are the death guard and the thousand sons, they're pretty well conceived but then it is based on the core theme of survival- Death Guard from the plagues that wracked them and Thousand sons from the wrath of the Space Wolves. The World Eaters and the Emperors Children are a bit more of a question mark based on the fact they turned willingly to the dark gods. As it stands in the background, the reasons are fairly flimsy (World Eaters turned because their primarch had a grudge (which begs the question- why join khorne?) and the Emperors Children because Horus showed him "means for perfection to be acheived" whatever that means)

But looking at it, the reasons given for those who willingly turned dont seem powerful enough to warrent the turn, so i think GW needs to up the ante a little and give more copelling reasons for people being seduced by chaos rather than being forced into it.

DrDeath


The World Eaters didn't willingly turn to Khorne. They already had blood rituals, Horus simply twisted the meaning of their rituals to Khornate worship. For example, it was common practise to collect heads before they worshipped Khorne. Horus simply twisted it to "Blood for the Blood God" worship.

Fulgrim turned to Slanneshi worship because as he was parleying with Horus, Slannesh crept into his mind while Horus was twisting Fulgrim's thoughts, and perverted his ideals.

Dr Death
24-07-2005, 10:02
Bit of a one word answer- How?

.....Suffixed by somewhat more than one word- The World Eaters didnt actually have blood rituals as such, blood was just part and parcel of what they did, they were warriors, gladiators, killers. Many of such people tend to be very supersticious, almost paranoid, and the taking of trophies from the enemy can be thought of to be good luck. These are not religious rituals just as carrying a rabbits foot is not a religious ritual. The real reason for the turn to chaos (if not to khorne) was Angrons personal dislike of the emperor, just as rawne had never been in agreement with Gaunt, so Angron harboured a personal grudge against the emperor. When the time came Horus knew who could be counted upon to rebel against the emperor, joining chaos however let alone khorne is something i daresay even Angron was wary of.

Dr Death

Nazguire
24-07-2005, 10:16
Bit of a one word answer- How?

.....Suffixed by somewhat more than one word- The World Eaters didnt actually have blood rituals as such, blood was just part and parcel of what they did, they were warriors, gladiators, killers. Many of such people tend to be very supersticious, almost paranoid, and the taking of trophies from the enemy can be thought of to be good luck. These are not religious rituals just as carrying a rabbits foot is not a religious ritual. The real reason for the turn to chaos (if not to khorne) was Angrons personal dislike of the emperor, just as rawne had never been in agreement with Gaunt, so Angron harboured a personal grudge against the emperor. When the time came Horus knew who could be counted upon to rebel against the emperor, joining chaos however let alone khorne is something i daresay even Angron was wary of.

Dr Death


The IA states that the World Eaters competed in taking the most amount of heads from the enemy to prove prowess and I remember reading an earlier part of background that states that the WE had blood rituals. Yes Angron had a grudge and that was the reason he betrayed the Emperor, however joining Khornate worship wasthe Legion's rituals whether they were religious or not, being twisted around to that of Khorne.

cailus
24-07-2005, 13:54
I think the problem is that GW has toned down in the Imerpium making it a good organisation that only does what is necessary to survive. This includes murdering billions but with the idea that the whole will survive.

But in the past the Imperium and Chaos were two sides of the same coin. i think this is best shown in Ian Watson's Inquisitor trilogy. In these books you get the idea that the Imperium is as insane as Chaos. For example the Arbites' crowd control tactics involved lobbing grenades into the crowd of religious fanatics and then deploying armoured cars with autocannons against them. The fanatics themselves are insane religious zealots dedicated to the Emperor. Again they die in droves as they stampede to get close to a religious artefact.

The point I'm trying to make is that both Chaos and the Imperium are similar in their disregard for human life and that they only crave obediance and worship. This is no longer the case.

Now the Imperium has a concern for the wellbeing of its citizens. For example the Salamanders were upset during the Armagdeon War that another Chapter opened fire on a refugee camp that had been infiltrated by the Orks. This is not what would happen in the old 40K universe where those refugees would've been obliterated simply because they did not oppose the orks.

The Astartes too have become goody-twoshoes. In the past they had a disregard for ordinary humans. I remember reading a story in one of the 2nd ed books where as Blood Angel Sergeant has to force himself to remember that the Imperial Guard were human too and that they were not weak simply because they did not have the constitution of a Space Marine.

Lucifer216
24-07-2005, 15:37
To briefly return to the Liber Chaotica, if I may,

I think that regarding the Liber Chaotica and the original Realm of Chaos books, the authors have done an excellent job, with pretty much all of the material of equal if not better quality. The whole bundle is done to a much higher standard of presentation, although the red scribbles got rather annoying towards the end.

However, although the Liber Chaotic serves as an excellent primer on the 4 Greater powers, it does little to expand the background as a whole. Rather because of its in-character perspective, a great deal of pages are given to dark hintings about matters that we, out of character know a great deal more about. For example, the two pages on the Emperor’s children, although they add to the completeness of the Slaaneshi book, did not add anything an avid reader of warhammer fiction wouldn’t already know. In fact this goes for most of the content of the books. I appreciate the difficulty of the task, but I still think it was a mistake to offer so little new information about Chaos in both the Fantasy and 40K universes. After all, this book is most likely to interest veteran gamers who may have already obtained a good degree of knowledge on the workings of Chaos and have read the Realm of Chaos books.

However, there are parts that worked beautifully. The apocalyptic Khornate histories and prophecies were extremely well done. The musing into the nature of Sigmar and the workings of magic in LB: Tzeentch were also well done, as was the conversations with the Marquis in LB:Slannesh.

I guess I was hoping for more plot-hooks for use in Fantasy-roleplay or Inquisitor, or even to given my tabletop games more of a narrative flavour.

But that’s just my opinion.

MvS
24-07-2005, 23:33
Or about the metaphysics of Necromancy, Vampires and Nagash, and why religious belief and artefacts can hurt them?
Funny you should mention that...

;)

MvS
24-07-2005, 23:56
the two pages on the Emperor’s children, although they add to the completeness of the Slaaneshi book, did not add anything an avid reader of warhammer fiction wouldn’t already know.
This is the reason specific 40K references were all-but dropped from the books as they went along. There's only so much that can be said from the POV of a renaissance-style (ish) priest about Chaos Space Marines, and after a while what he has to say is just begins to sound like a record on the skip - especially when what he is touching upon has been explored in far greater detail in other dedicated publications about Chaos Space Marines.

(Apologies for the double-post by the way)

Nazguire
25-07-2005, 10:11
Funny you should mention that...

;)

Do I sense a book on Necromancy? Oh God I hope so. :D

Brusilov
25-07-2005, 11:42
Indeed, I too smell a background book on the forbidden arts of necromancy coming our way, either from BL or from BI for the WHRPG...
Good stuff coming our way :)

Now, if we could get these kinds of books for 40k as well, instead of the HH books, seemingly taking a revisionist approach on the Heresy :eyebrows:

MvS
25-07-2005, 23:09
The 40K universe is even more tightly controlled than the Fantasy universe. I mean, trying to write a background book about the 40K universe comes with more caveats and umming and erring from BL than any other kind of book... or at least so it seems in my own limited experience.

I guess it's because it's the most popular GW property and most continually added to, updated and/or revised by the Studio chaps.

Brusilov
25-07-2005, 23:25
The constant revision is part of the problem IMHO, I would happily settle down for a final version of events, so that GW could spend time writing about other things, instead of running in circles and serving us over and over the same old dishes of Horus Heresy revised, of more bloody Space Marines...
I want to learn new things, not shake my head at the Nth revision of the same piece of fluff :rolleyes: :eyebrows:

EmperorsChamp01
25-07-2005, 23:25
Ive got 3 words for you Mothers of America. They have striped everything violent and wrong in all our games. Its Bull. Like the nurgling moseld used to have them flippin the bird and smoking and stuff and now thats all gone

TenTailedCat
26-07-2005, 02:31
Just to interject with a comment if I may.

You may have noticed the discussion about the new Horus Heresy fluff on the sabertooth website. They've written from a 'god perspective', and it's awful.

You're all asking for more clarifications of Chaos, and to have any new Liber Chaotica type books written from this perspective rather than subjective viewpoints, yes?
All I can say is be careful what you wish for.
At least at the moment you can interpret things as you see fit, rather than having them dictated to you and set in stone.

Brusilov
26-07-2005, 06:22
Personally I'm not asking for an objective perspective, but from multiple subjective POV of different people (Inquisitor, Ecclesiarchy priest, Joe Imperium, cultist...). This would have the triple advantage of giving us information on Chaos, keep the subjective perspective GW sees as important but also tell us how Chaos is seen in the Imperium.

Nazguire
26-07-2005, 12:13
Personally I'm not asking for an objective perspective, but from multiple subjective POV of different people (Inquisitor, Ecclesiarchy priest, Joe Imperium, cultist...). This would have the triple advantage of giving us information on Chaos, keep the subjective perspective GW sees as important but also tell us how Chaos is seen in the Imperium.


An in-depth Cultist review of why he/she fell, how he fell and just generally what he/she thinks of the Chaos Gods would go down well especially. :D

MvS
26-07-2005, 13:14
Personally I'm not asking for an objective perspective, but from multiple subjective POV of different people (Inquisitor, Ecclesiarchy priest, Joe Imperium, cultist...). This would have the triple advantage of giving us information on Chaos, keep the subjective perspective GW sees as important but also tell us how Chaos is seen in the Imperium.
Amen to that.