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Lewis
17-04-2009, 23:29
I''ve been leafing through a copy of Rogue Trader and gawping at how different the original intent for the game was. Its clear that the focus of the game world was much more orientated towards petty human struggles, the Emperor had just got old and keeled over, mutations started because of atomic wars in man's past, the warp was more incomprehensible than it was malicious....So my question is: which game book (codex, rule book, novel or whatever) do you feel has done the most to shape the world of Warhammer 40K that we know today?

My vote has to go to Realm of Chaos Volume 1. Describing the Horus Heresy for the first time as it did, it shaped the Imperium for ever more and created the the fundamental axis of the galaxy forevermore. All Space marine and guard fluff is still dominated by echoes of this Heresy. Even more importantly it was the first proper introduction of chaos to the Wh 40K universe so the fallof the Eldar et al stems from the introduction of this book.


I don't know if I'm stating the obvious here but I'd be interested if anyone can think of another contender for most influential text.

Radium
18-04-2009, 05:54
Dune.

Yeah, I know that's not GW, but it has been more than just an influence on 40k ;).

Drogmir
18-04-2009, 06:43
I'd have to say Judge Dredd's comic run

Have you seen the pictures? they just scream Dredd style to me.

At least back in the Rogue Trader era, as of late I'd say Star Ship troopers seems to have more of a role than not.

Poseidal
18-04-2009, 09:07
A lot of what is in Rogue Trader is still pretty much unchanged now, but there's just a different focus.

WD127 or Waaaagh! The Orks would holda lot of sway too.

Lewis
18-04-2009, 11:19
I agree about Judge Dredd, but most of it has been jettisoned now.

WD127 would be my second choice.

GeneralDisaster
18-04-2009, 11:51
I'd have to say Dune had a pretty large influence, but basically the whole cyberpunk genre combined with some Space Opera works would sum up the entire influence of the game.

Also, lots of ancient civilizations.

TheBigBadWolf
18-04-2009, 13:16
I would say realms of chaos for old fluff, but the most influential modern text would have to be Xenology, it creayed some very interesting questions and got a load of discusion.

The third edition rulebook was pretty influential aswell, the timing format piece, the paper on the ages of man and a few others, the pic of the kroot springs to mind (they did create a semi army out of that one pic)

Hellebore
18-04-2009, 13:26
The third edition rulebook was pretty influential aswell, the timing format piece, the paper on the ages of man and a few others, the pic of the kroot springs to mind (they did create a semi army out of that one pic)


The timing thing at least comes from the Rogue Trader book and is copied virtually verbatim. I'm not sure about the ages of man, but it's most likely based on the original.

The thing is that a lot has changed but it's still the same. The basic structure of the 40k universe is not really different now than it was in RT.

I think the biggest contribution to 40k was 2nd edition in toto. The codex imperialis and wargear books both contributed to solidifying and crystalising the image of the 40k universe. Then the 2nd codicies (well not all of them, the eldar and ork ones were virtually copies of the WD articles on them) also increased the breadth of the 40k universe.

So I think that the most defining moment of 40k was the introduction of 2nd ed. It is really what one would call the 'beginning' of modern 40k.

Hellebore

Light of the Emperor
18-04-2009, 15:08
I agree with Hellebore on 2nd edition. One of the biggest influences that I've seen is Codex Imperialis. Its a great collection of information. If you don't have it, I strongly recommend getting your hands on it or at least take a glance.

Kyrios
18-04-2009, 15:49
What is so special about WD 127?

The_Tempest
18-04-2009, 16:36
I've gotta agree with Radium and GeneralDisaster on this one - Dune is one of the most influential books in the 40k background. I've read both Dune and Dune Messiah, and I’d say the first book is better than most black library novels. I highly suggest it to anyone into sci-fi.
In terms of GW influence on itself, 40k was started as basically space warhammer (i.e. eldar, squats, chaos, orks). They’ve tried to move away from that, but some of the themes are still there.

Brother Siccarius
18-04-2009, 17:23
I''ve been leafing through a copy of Rogue Trader and gawping at how different the original intent for the game was. Its clear that the focus of the game world was much more orientated towards petty human struggles, the Emperor had just got old and keeled over, mutations started because of atomic wars in man's past, the warp was more incomprehensible than it was malicious....So my question is: which game book (codex, rule book, novel or whatever) do you feel has done the most to shape the world of Warhammer 40K that we know today?

My vote has to go to Realm of Chaos Volume 1. Describing the Horus Heresy for the first time as it did, it shaped the Imperium for ever more and created the the fundamental axis of the galaxy forevermore. All Space marine and guard fluff is still dominated by echoes of this Heresy. Even more importantly it was the first proper introduction of chaos to the Wh 40K universe so the fallof the Eldar et al stems from the introduction of this book.


I don't know if I'm stating the obvious here but I'd be interested if anyone can think of another contender for most influential text.

At least two of the things you mentioned are still in effect, it's just slightly glossed over by Imperial Thought. Mutants are still created by nuclear war and radiation (Kreig horses and necromunda mutants respectively). The Warp is still incoprehensible and not necessarily malicious. The Warp isn't made up of demons and chaos gods (Actually quite the other way around), they just live there. The Warp itself is very neutral unlike many of it's inhabitants.

As Hellebore said, a lot has stayed the same while minor details and how things were approched were changed. Mainly things were approached from a more Imperial Perspective, which is why mutants are deemed to be from chaos and evil, and the Warp seems to be all chaos and demons. Because the Imperium doesn't really know or think otherwise.

However, I can pick an army book at random (Excluding Necrons and Tau) and see a lot of the old Realms of Chaos, Rogue Trader, or Waaagh! Da Orks.

Though, since you asked for game books, I don't see why Dune keeps getting mentioned.

GeneralDisaster
18-04-2009, 17:41
I've gotta agree with GeneralDisaster on this one.

Are you mad?

Game books-wise, I'd say that Rogue Trader is THE book for 40K background. Although WAAGH! Set out the Ork background...without which, they'd still be...well, we all remember RT Orks.

Crazy Tom
18-04-2009, 17:57
I've read both Dune and Dune Messiah, and Id say the first book is better than most black library novels.


Might want to rephrase that before nerds eat you.

clanfield
18-04-2009, 18:17
game book wise id say realms to chaos -cos even the herasy didnt exist before that book yet alone chaos as to out of game books dune

G.Hawke
18-04-2009, 18:22
Might want to rephrase that before nerds eat you.

80% of Bl's books arn't high brow award winning fiction. its a simple fact. they're good reads, fun for hobbiests and obessives, but not much to pull the normal man. the other 20% are for those few unique books like Lords of the Night, His last command, Eisenhorn, Storm of Iron, and most (with two exceptions) of the horus heresy series, which become definitive novels in there own right.

hawke

Sir Charles
18-04-2009, 18:37
80% of Bl's books arn't high brow award winning fiction. its a simple fact. they're good reads, fun for hobbiests and obessives, but not much to pull the normal man. the other 20% are for those few unique books like Lords of the Night, His last command, Eisenhorn, Storm of Iron, and most (with two exceptions) of the horus heresy series, which become definitive novels in there own right.

hawke
I think he was more referring to the suggestion, by the use of most, that any BL books are as good as the original Dune books.

WrYpoRrY
18-04-2009, 23:39
I agree with Hawke on that one.
Most 40k books are, to all intents and purposes, aeroplane novels. Albeit very violent aeroplane novels (but that's what makes them so great). A lot of them contradict each other but every so often we get a really exceptional one, like as Hawke said, Eisenhorn or Storm of Iron.

The Anarchist
19-04-2009, 00:13
i think personaly it comes down to two books that made the game; RT this set the scence, its where it all began it set up everything that follows so in truth everything 40k stems from this. i absolutly treasure my copy of RT, feck i thinks its as old as me even.

other book is second ed rule book, this set up or changed alot of things to create the frame and a fair amount of the history of 40k as we now know it.

Lewis
19-04-2009, 00:22
What is so special about WD 127?

It introduced Eldar aspect warriors, farseers, warlocks, avatars, spirit stones, all the stuff that make up modern Eldar. It edges out Waaargh The Orks (which created the background for orks) because they were reponsible for the creation of the Eye of Terror and thus some of the greater history of the universe (although some of this was covered in RoC).

I guess Codex: Necrons is also a contender.

SimonL
19-04-2009, 00:36
Oh dear, tell me people didn't just compare the brilliantly complex social and political insights of Dune to Storm of Iron or Eisenhorn (which I did read and liked)?

Sigh, you do realize that the sci-fi setting of Dune is just a stage for the examination of religion, political systems and the potential of humans beings unfettered by modern "crutches" like computers? It is much more than "Muad-dib, raaawr we has knives and cool shields".

I read tons of BL books (I have at least 30), but in no way to they compare. They have no underlying metaphors, themes, etc...

captainramoz
19-04-2009, 00:41
80% of Bl's books arn't high brow award winning fiction. its a simple fact. they're good reads, fun for hobbiests and obessives, but not much to pull the normal man. the other 20% are for those few unique books like Lords of the Night, His last command, Eisenhorn, Storm of Iron, and most (with two exceptions) of the horus heresy series, which become definitive novels in there own right.

hawke
WOT
When i think of dune novels my head says booooooooooooooooooooring
bl books are great they are the only books in wich i actually read 20 pages in 10 minutes

SimonL
19-04-2009, 00:46
WOT
When i think of dune novels my head says booooooooooooooooooooring
bl books are great they are the only books in wich i actually read 20 pages in 10 minutes

That's because they are mostly written with a 13 year-old reading level. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but they aren't equal to great literary works.

captainramoz
19-04-2009, 00:52
That's because they are mostly written with a 13 year-old reading level. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but they aren't equal to great literary works.
Damm straight still I find dune way to time goes by so quikly and antique and as i see it there's no real big connection betwen stories or an iconic caracther(besides the GOD EMPEROR who could resist lasgun fire(he wouldn't last a second in 40k:D))

Crazy Tom
19-04-2009, 13:01
Sigh, you do realize that the sci-fi setting of Dune is just a stage for the examination of religion, political systems and the potential of humans beings unfettered by modern "crutches" like computers? It is much more than "Muad-dib, raaawr we has knives and cool shields".

I read tons of BL books (I have at least 30), but in no way to they compare. They have no underlying metaphors, themes, etc...

Dune was also a deconstruction of the 'planetary romance' subgenre of sci-fi novels and features one of the best-thought out alien biospheres in fiction.

I wouldn't say the BL books have no underlying metaphors and themes, though. All work has 'theme', even if the author doesn't intend it. It's just with the BL books, the focus is combat. If you get some symbolism, that's a bonus. Dan Abnett throws a fair bit in.

And yes, to all you people (person) who misinterpreted my post, the nerds eating him would be the Dune fans. Greif. Thanks to those who figured out the obvious.

Kyrios
19-04-2009, 14:51
Is there any chance that the really old codicii (?) / resource books will be made available on-line in the future (like necromunda and BFG)? It would be really nice for lots of reasons

Brother Siccarius
19-04-2009, 14:56
Old codecii, not likely. Old background books, there's a possibility with BL changing to a print on demand structure. However, the oldest ones, like Waaagh! Da Orks and Lost and the Damned will probably be left by the wayside.

Lewis
19-04-2009, 16:57
Mmm, the background tweaks since those books were released have been too great, especially RoC which went on and on and on about how Khorne and Slannesh hated each other so very much and would never work together.

In addition RoC was a game rather than a background book and had army lists for Khorne or Slannesh only armies and campaign system for playing chaos warbands (a system that was redone in a more balanced but less flavoursum fashion a while back.)

Did any one here ever play that RoC game? It was the least balanced game GW have ever produced (capturing the fickle nature of chaos i suppose.) It was simultaniously great and awful.

Aliarzathanil
20-04-2009, 14:58
I'd say the Bible and Milton's Paradise Lost are big influences.

Monsterzonk
20-04-2009, 15:06
For me, Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn trilogy had a huge impact, as it opened the galaxy of Warhammer 40,000 beyond the big battles, and delved into the mechanics behind the war-torn future. I love these books! They're probably not the most influential, but still...

Cheers,
Monsterzonk :skull:

genestealer_baldric
20-04-2009, 16:08
the horus hersay series possibly tales of hersay or mechanicum,

Lars Porsenna
21-04-2009, 00:33
A lot of them contradict each other but every so often we get a really exceptional one, like as Hawke said, Eisenhorn or Storm of Iron.

I never read the Eisenhorn books, but I read Storm of Iron. I must ask...why is this book held up compared to all of the other WH40K books? When I read it, I found it just as derivative as many of the other books?

Damon.

vladsimpaler
21-04-2009, 03:39
WOT
When i think of dune novels my head says booooooooooooooooooooring
bl books are great they are the only books in wich i actually read 20 pages in 10 minutes

Woah, wait, are you serious? :eyebrows:

Come on, Dune is an excellent book. Novel. Just because every second something doesn't blow up doesn't mean that it's bad.

I'm 16 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I have ADD.

Captain Stern
21-04-2009, 03:59
The Orks of Waargh the Orks were ditched after 2nd edition. They only became more like what they used to be once GW realised that what they'd replaced them with was rubish.

40K isn't very much like Dune. For years now there have been people who delighted in talking ever so glibly about how 40k is a ripoff of Dune, but the truth is there really isn't much to tie the two. From reading Rogue Trader I always thought GW got the bulk of their ideas from Star Wars.

HK-47
21-04-2009, 05:19
I have to agree with Captain Stern on the Dune-40k comparison, I have literal read all of the Dune books expect the two sequels written by Herbert's son. I read the Prequels written by Brian Herbert, but I'm not reading "Sandworm's of Dune" as I feel it makes little sense with everything else that happened in the series. Anyway, I'm going on a tangent but other then the hatred of artificial intelligence and the God-Emperor there is not that many similarities.

Now with that rant done, the most influential books have to be realm of chaos, the 2nd edition codexs, BFG ( for actually showing that there is more to the 40k universe then ground engagements), codex necorns, xenology (though that is probably stretching it), 5th edition rulebook (mostly the fluff, IMO), a couple of BL books the biggest being the first three Hours Heresy books.

These are all of the top of my head and is not conclusive I probably miss a lot.

Khornies & milk
21-04-2009, 07:14
The WD 40K Compendium is an excellent background book, as are the RT books, and the Eisenhorn Trilogy...man I love that book, read it twice now.

Zahr Dalsk
21-04-2009, 12:57
codicii (?)

The plural of Codex is Codices, actually :)

captainramoz
21-04-2009, 14:49
Woah, wait, are you serious? :eyebrows:

Come on, Dune is an excellent book. Novel. Just because every second something doesn't blow up doesn't mean that it's bad.

I'm 16 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I have ADD.

You to have ADD:D
Well I dont really like Dune cause its like something happens only every 3000 years it makes me feel small in comparisson to the infinite universe

Sekhmet
21-04-2009, 19:02
I've read both Dune and Dune Messiah, and Id say the first book is better than most black library novels. I highly suggest it to anyone into sci-fi.

Dune is considered by basically everyone to be one of, if not the, best science fiction novels ever written. While I love 40k, Dune is better written, has a complex plot, and was innovative. Sure there aren't explosions every 5 pages or gunfights every 3 paragraphs, but that doesn't necessarily make a good book.

To be perfectly honest, while some BL books are decent, so far none have been amazing. The HH book with the Istvaan Massacre was pretty good though.

As for comparisons of 40k to Dune, off the top of my head:
God-Emperor in the literal sense
Mutated human "navigators" required for faster-than-light travel
Lasguns
Personal shields
Large emphasis on close combat
Eugenics

Rockerfella
21-04-2009, 19:12
Dune is considered by basically everyone to be one of, if not the, best science fiction novels ever written. While I love 40k, Dune is better written, has a complex plot, and was innovative. Sure there aren't explosions every 5 pages or gunfights every 3 paragraphs, but that doesn't necessarily make a good book.

To be perfectly honest, while some BL books are decent, so far none have been amazing. The HH book with the Istvaan Massacre was pretty good though.

As for comparisons of 40k to Dune, off the top of my head:
God-Emperor in the literal sense
Mutated human "navigators" required for faster-than-light travel
Lasguns
Personal shields
Large emphasis on close combat
Eugenics

See, I LOVE my sci fi books, and I bought and read Dune purely based on its reputation.

It simply wasn't for me, that does not mean, however, than i'm ignorant of its considerable influence upon the genre. It was, in fact, listen in britains top 100 reads, which is why I bought it.

In terms of the character deverlopment, and depth there of, plot development and pace, I think its above and beyond anything i've read from BL.

However, I simply prefer the 40k universe. And, for some odd reason, that means, weirdly, that I prefer reading 40k books too.

How odd.... *wanders off to meditate upon such a weird revelation* :eek: :p

Sekhmet
21-04-2009, 19:28
See, I LOVE my sci fi books, and I bought and read Dune purely based on its reputation.

It simply wasn't for me, that does not mean, however, than i'm ignorant of its considerable influence upon the genre. It was, in fact, listen in britains top 100 reads, which is why I bought it.

In terms of the character deverlopment, and depth there of, plot development and pace, I think its above and beyond anything i've read from BL.

However, I simply prefer the 40k universe. And, for some odd reason, that means, weirdly, that I prefer reading 40k books too.

How odd.... *wanders off to meditate upon such a weird revelation* :eek: :p

Well even Dune, with its bleak deserts and constant threat of violence, is mostly based on politics.



That's one of the interesting benefits of Warhammer 40,000. After reading plenty of 40k background, nothing else ever really comes close; nothing really feels that bad or disturbing. Things like Unit 731, the Holocaust, etc... it feels so very minor in comparison to everyday 40k setting, where that kind of thing is not just common, but indeed a very strong policy for certain forces.

I'm so desensitized to atrocities now, because of 40k and various online forums, that I also find it hard to keep interested in books that don't come close.

Oh no, they killed your dad and took over his position on I..Arrakis. Boo hoo. When your planet gets destroyed because of a couple of heretics living there, then maybe you have something to cry about.

Bran Dawri
21-04-2009, 20:57
Oh, I dunno. I never cared much for Dune (enjoyed it, and its sequel. Series bogged down for me after that), but the mindless drivel BL mostly publishes - and that includes Storm of Iron - is nowhere near it in comparison.
And for those who say that 40K background jades to anything, Maus, for instance got a far greater emotional investment from me.
Most of that is just 40K's generally abysmal writing. It's just too over-the-top to take seriously, and badly written to boot. Every time I'm in danger of actually getting drawn into a 40K story, some incredibly jarring stupidity, plot - or otherwise throws all that carefully built up suspension out the window.

DarkMatter2
22-04-2009, 10:42
I'd have to agree that, if the 40k universe is sort of an all-time great sci-fi trope pastiche, there is still a solid foundation of like 60% Dune at its core.

The most powerful connection 40k and Dune share is their negative outlook on religion - in Herbert's work religion is a way of manipulating people to your ends, a way of enslaving the minds of humanity. The whole point of the Golden Path was that if humanity were to survive it would have to move beyond religion and hero worship.

This bleak, cynical outlook informs 40k very powerfully.

All that plus the feudal space empire, merciless elite supersoldiers, holy crusades moving from planet to planet.

40k is just awash with Dune imagery.

Temprus
22-04-2009, 23:19
So my question is: which game book (codex, rule book, novel or whatever) do you feel has done the most to shape the world of Warhammer 40K that we know today?If we want to answer the OP's question as asked, then the answer would be: The 5th Edition Rulebook, it has redefined certain aspects of the setting so much, it defines what we know today. ;) I will have to think about it more for an answer that replies to the intent of the question but I suspect I will go with one of the old WD rules reprints or Realms of Chaos. :D

Edit: Warhammer 40k is Dune, 2000AD/Judge Dredd, The Jodoverse, Starship Troopers and Warhammer Fantasy Battles stuck in a blender with other bits of Sci-Fi "classics" to season it.

Brother_Chaplian Raimo
23-04-2009, 00:18
I consider the original Dune to be pure Epic Win, and the innumerable sequels Moderate Fail. The best BL I've ever read has reached Higher Meh.

Anyways...

I've gotta give it to the Third Ed. rulebook. My introduction to 40k, and so...huge. You can really see the evolution of RT into the modern 40k setting.
Strictly speaking, I find many parts of RT a lot cooler, but still...the BBB is iconic.

Steel Legion for Life
23-04-2009, 00:46
I'd say the Rulebook that came with the Armies of the Imperium box set for epic.

That gave us literally 90% of the background on how Imperial armies fought in the field; previously there were contradictory bits and pieces - for example, the Shadowsword and Baneblade had different names! They were the Glaive and something else.

The entire structure of marines chapters; the idea that there are ten companies, some with different roles comes from there - as well as the idea of Ravenwing and Deathwing.

The "modern" idea of the Imperial Guard comes from there as well - regiments being recruited from one planet; regiments being around 6,000 men in size; ideas like basilisks and Leman Russ tanks being the mainstays around which the guard fight.

All kinds of things we take for granted in modern 40k come from this.