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genestealer_baldric
11-05-2009, 09:51
A quick question how much would your average bloke on a imperial world know about xenos,(orks,tyranids tau eldar etc) i know the idea of chaos is strongley supressed. But do people know about the big green angry space space mushrooms or the hungry bug like critters.

i think it depends on there role if they are involved in off world details then they will hear things but no facts. but jeff working at the local pub will know almost nothing.

i was thinking if they knew a few things about certain critters it may help in case of invasion or attack.

Daver X
11-05-2009, 10:21
nothing except what they look like and where to shoot them, if that and they are all evil (this they would all know)

Vote Kantor
11-05-2009, 10:28
In The novel Eye of terror (i think) it is said that if asked about xenos the average citizen will know about orks if they know about anything, but some know of certain others, mainly Eldar pirates. possibly tau.

chromedog
11-05-2009, 10:31
Guard are aware of their existence and weaknesses (orks are small and cowardly).
Citizens know even less. Knowledge breeds understanding. Understanding breeds trust. You CANNOT TRUST the filthy XENOS SCUM. Ignorance is bliss.

Imperial citizens are "really HAPPY".

Condottiere
11-05-2009, 10:56
Your average Imperial citizen probably thinks they are mutants, evil mutants that need to be denounced and killed, not necessarily in that order.

genestealer_baldric
11-05-2009, 10:58
i also surpose where the planet is and if they been attacked or raided by a race before will aftect there knowladge

Mr_Rose
11-05-2009, 11:07
Well, that really depends on the world: medieval and similar less developed civilisations might not be aware of xenos as being from another planet, just "somewhere else" like a lost continent or something (you should see the ridiculous stuff medieval humans used to believe was on the other side of the world before they actually went there).

Civilised worlds in the Imperium almost certainly make their citizens aware that not only are they part of a vast galactic confederation and that they owe their very existence to off-world forces, but that humans are not alone in the Galaxy. I doubt that the average hive worker or menial knows anything specific about particular breeds of xenos scum beyond legends of attacks on their world, but people with leisure time might well have access to such information, even if it is highly propagandised.

Anyone involved in interstellar activities will of course be more familiar with the concept of non-humans, as will frontier worlds, and some members of the populations in both classes will have actually seen an alien at some point.

Elessar
11-05-2009, 11:58
i also surpose where the planet is and if they been attacked or raided by a race before will aftect there knowladge

I know that I've seen a poster warning Imperial Citizens what to do in case of Tyranid invasion, so I would work under the assumption that position would probably dictate a lot of what they know.

I would also think that the Imperium would tell their citizens more than we think they would, but all of it would be propaganda. If the people believe that there are big bad aliens out there, threatening the mighty Imperium, they are more likely to join the Guard, supply regiments and fall in line. Fear of an external force helps keep people following there own government.

DarkMatter2
11-05-2009, 15:18
Nothing. The average human does not know that aliens exist.

Cane
11-05-2009, 15:33
Definitely depends on the world - in this universe of untold billions of humans there's going to be a lot of diversity.

And humans on worlds like Valhalla would definitely know a lot about Orks since they've been a huge part of their history.

Quetch
11-05-2009, 16:02
Most will be aware of orks, since they exist almost everywhere; but of the other races they would only know anything from experience of previous invasions, or roumers. Knowledge of the “big bad” races would be heavily suppressed, so they would know almost nothing of chaos, tyranids, or necrons. The imperium still has yet to work out the difference between the eldar and their darker cousins, so no problems there ;)

Maidel
11-05-2009, 16:10
Nothing. Utterly nothing. This is the average citizen we are talking about. I imaging most worlds are a bit like ours. If aliens exist then only the governments know about it. We are kept in the dark for our own safety.

However some worlds, eg Cadia, will know all about it. But the average citizen know exactly enough to keep them a loyal subject and nothing more.

sycopat
11-05-2009, 17:16
I imagine the average citizen knows aliens exist, and they want to eat you.

Depending on the nearby alien populations they will probaby know a bit more, but everything they know will be anti-alien propoganda.

i.e. Orks are foul smelling brutes who exist only to make war and eat humans.
Eldar are debauched hedonists who exist only to screw over and eat humans.
Tau are Insidious Heretics who exist only to lure you away from the loving embrace of the emperor and eat humans.
Tyranids are foul smelling alien monsters who exist only to eat humans.

And of course the church teaches if you don't worship the emperor and kill mutants, daemons will come and eat you. (Which I suppose technically isn't propoganda...)

Condottiere
11-05-2009, 17:25
Eat or be eaten; humans don't get to eat xenos, or do they?

NightrawenII
11-05-2009, 18:20
Eat or be eaten; humans don't get to eat xenos, or do they?

Well, there is thread about taste of xenos.;)

librisrouge
11-05-2009, 19:24
[QUOTE=sycopat;3562708]Orks are foul smelling brutes who exist only to make war and eat humans.
Eldar are debauched hedonists who exist only to screw over and eat humans.
Tau are Insidious Heretics who exist only to lure you away from the loving embrace of the emperor and eat humans.
Tyranids are foul smelling alien monsters who exist only to eat humans.QUOTE]

I imagine that this is the foundation of Imperial/Alien relationships. These aliens are more or less known to people that actually have to deal with them. Minor aliens (i.e. those that outnumber Tau but don't get a codex) would also be known if they're agressors in the area. I imagine common aliens have basic descriptions and kill/run on sight orders issued to civilians.

Knowledge of Necrons, C'tan, and a few others is consistantly suppressed though.

Idaan
11-05-2009, 19:29
The regular, Emperor-worshipping Humans have to know something about the Xenos. The basic tenet of the Ecclesiarchy is that of divinity of Man and that it is his manifest destiny to rule the stars. The Xeno is an obstacle on this way and so overcoming and subjugating the Xeno is taking one step further on the path to fulfilment of the Emperor's divine plan.
The Xeno is also an important concept for the propaganda: it is the enemy on the outside that is constantly trying to destroy the Imperium. Creating a siege mindset and a common enemy is a very important thing for a totalitarian government.

The actual details will vary. On a world with nearly no invasions in 10000 years people will only know that the Alien exists and that they have to stay vigilant but that they can overcome the enemies relatively easy with the Emperor's grace. On a world often ravaged by Orks there will be brochures and fliers on how to use your pesticides and fertilisers to curb the alien menace, all lies of course. On a world that had its tithe increased the vox-broadcasts will speak of incoming alien hordes to fling the population into mass psychosis and increase production.
The answer is, as usually, it varies.

Hrw-Amen
11-05-2009, 19:31
Of course humans eat aliens. They do not have to be inteligent ones. I imagine that nearly every planet in the galaxy that humans have settled has some type of alien flora and fauna that is culitvated and probably some sort of local beasts raised as cattle.

I cannot see many worlds bothering to import lettuce, cabbage and cows from Terra when there are perfectly good local alternatives. Think of Grox, re-caf etc; it is all alien even if it has become part of the culture of the planet, system or even sector.

Maidel
11-05-2009, 19:33
The regular, Emperor-worshipping Humans have to know something about the Xenos. The basic tenet of the Ecclesiarchy is that of divinity of Man and that it is his manifest destiny to rule the stars. The Xeno is an obstacle on this way and so overcoming and subjugating the Xeno is taking one step further on the path to fulfilment of the Emperor's divine plan.
The Xeno is also an important concept for the propaganda: it is the enemy on the outside that is constantly trying to destroy the Imperium. Creating a siege mindset and a common enemy is a very important thing for a totalitarian government.

However all of that can be applied to heretical humans - so they dont need to know about xenos at all.

pointyteeth
11-05-2009, 19:51
I always get a Starship Troopers sorta vibe when it comes to humans vs. xenos in 40K (just not as corny). I think humans would know about aliens but only through propaganda from the Eccliesiarchy and Inquisition.

To steal a line from Zap Brannigan; "We know nothing about their language, their history or what they look like. But we can assume this: they stand for everything we don’t stand for. Also they told me you guys look like dorks!”

Mr_Rose
11-05-2009, 20:40
I always get a Starship Troopers sorta vibe when it comes to humans vs. xenos in 40K (just not as corny).
You've only seen that gods-awful movie they desecrated the starship troopers name with, haven't you?:eyebrows:

Condottiere
11-05-2009, 20:53
Why does Starship Troopers always get denigrated? The first movie was actually quite good.

Maidel
11-05-2009, 21:03
Why does Starship Troopers always get denigrated? The first movie was actually quite good.

Its only good if you 'get' it. If you take it at face value it is a fairly decent action film, but it is so much more than that if you get the irony of the entire film and its facist social commentary.

Mr_Rose
11-05-2009, 21:08
Why does Starship Troopers always get denigrated? The first movie was actually quite good.
Because the book is approximately one hojillion times better, what with practically inventing the whole concept of powered armour, which, for some reason, never appeared in the film.
Frankly, the CG cartoon was orders of magnitude better than the film too.

Condottiere
11-05-2009, 21:20
Because the book is approximately one hojillion times better, what with practically inventing the whole concept of powered armour, which, for some reason, never appeared in the film.
Frankly, the CG cartoon was orders of magnitude better than the film too.The writers never utilized the CG cartoon to even half of it's potential.

Urath
11-05-2009, 21:26
i also surpose where the planet is and if they been attacked or raided by a race before will aftect there knowladge

Well, in a short story in the Dark Eldar codex a world is periodically attacked by said devious Eldar and the citizens don't even know what they look like, save for the ravings of a madman.

Also, in Tales of Heresy the tale of the Space Wolves (forgotten the name) a world is basically taken over by Dark Eldar, yet the citizens know nothing about them save for their appearance and what kind of equipment they use, as in what it does, and the intentions of the aliens.

RusVal
11-05-2009, 21:30
Because the book is approximately one hojillion times better, what with practically inventing the whole concept of powered armour, which, for some reason, never appeared in the film.

Supposedly the lack of power armor was for "budget reasons". :rolleyes:
Oh well, at least they had them in the third movie.

Back on topic, like everything in the Imperium, knowledge of Xenos varies from world to world. Obviously, most citizens won't know the details about them, but if a world has had invaders in the past, a few things might get through. An example is that Valhallans burn dead Orks as a matter of tradition. They might not know that doing that cuts down on the number of spores released into the air, but they might have noticed the large decrease of Ork incursions after doing such, so they continue the practice.

Col. Tartleton
11-05-2009, 22:58
There's at least one other reference to that being the case.

The Administratum doesn't want to tell anyone that Orks grow from the ground like weeds... that really won't help moral.

"I shot an Ork"

"Oh that's just swell, in two months that one Ork will now be sixty or more."

"What?"

"They spore Einstein. What the hell did they teach you in boot camp? You realize if you don't burn the body its only going to spread this infestation!"

"Err... No."

"Your damn lucky this is just Orks we're fighting. But Honestly, what's next, you gonna offer your rations to a Gretchin cause it don't look like its going to bite your face off? Your damn wrong if you think that mate, they will actually eat your face off!"

Maidel
11-05-2009, 23:01
@ Tartleton - wasnt that talk between soldiers?

Which pretty much invalidates the 'ordinary citizens' bit.

librisrouge
11-05-2009, 23:04
On world's like Valhalla, ordinary civilians would probably have to serve stints in the militia. This would give them first hand experience with some aliens (read: Orks.)

DarkMatter2
12-05-2009, 03:02
Your average human doesn't know aliens exist because they have no reason to know.

The vast majority of humanity lives life in placid ignorance of such things.

They worship the Emperor, they work, eat, sleep, reproduce.

The "Imperium" as it is plays no appreciable part in their lives.

Col. Tartleton
12-05-2009, 03:07
Well the conscript is supposed to be the untrained guy with a rifle and the other guy is a soldier. Like a literal militiamen and a legit PDF trooper.

Lets put it this way: The average Imperial citizen believes in Aliens with the same sureness as the average person on earth now. Yeah they're probably out there, the scale of the galaxy suggests it, but they aren't going to come here, and even if they did we'd totally kill the crap out of them cause we're Humans and God's on our side. Ho right!

massey
12-05-2009, 04:17
However all of that can be applied to heretical humans - so they dont need to know about xenos at all.

Why bother to suppress knowledge of aliens? There's no benefit.

The Imperium suppresses knowledge of demons, because if people knew about them (as in, that they actually existed in real life, and not just some vague impressions of "evil spirits"), it could actually trigger a demonic attack. But that's not the case with aliens.


Your average human doesn't know aliens exist because they have no reason to know.

The vast majority of humanity lives life in placid ignorance of such things.

They worship the Emperor, they work, eat, sleep, reproduce.

The "Imperium" as it is plays no appreciable part in their lives.

Again, there's no reason to keep it quiet. The existence of aliens isn't a big secret.

It really depends on what "average citizen" means.

Citizen on feudal world? Probably doesn't know anything beyond his own town.
Citizen on hive world? Definitely knows about aliens, space travel, etc. Probably can't tell the difference between an Eldar and a Tau though.

The existence of aliens has never been a secret in the Imperium. In fact, it's been a traditional source of propoganda.

Condottiere
12-05-2009, 05:19
The more I read this thread, the more this looks like what happens in rather large continental size states - there is little interest in international matters, except that bad people live in other countries and a lot of money has to be spent in fighting them; if you spot anything foreign or alien looking, report it to the policing or internal security agencies.

NightrawenII
12-05-2009, 10:21
Because the book is approximately one hojillion times better, what with practically inventing the whole concept of powered armour, which, for some reason, never appeared in the film.
Frankly, the CG cartoon was orders of magnitude better than the film too.

True story. I found this in store and it has Dark Angels SM on the cover. No kidding.:eek:


Citizen on feudal world? Probably doesn't know anything beyond his own town.

But they know about God-Emperor and his Angels of Death. They need someone to fight against.;) ie Orks are referred as deamons, so when Orks arrive, the people start scream and run in the circles.


Citizen on hive world? Definitely knows about aliens, space travel, etc. Probably can't tell the difference between an Eldar and a Tau though.

The existence of aliens has never been a secret in the Imperium. In fact, it's been a traditional source of propoganda.

Im with you in this one. The citizens of Imperium are always warned before treachery and unholyness of xenos.

a squig
12-05-2009, 14:48
Yeah depends on local authroities, i surpose it also depends on the type of world deathworlds or plantes near edges of systems probaly get enough visters and strange things attacking they wouldnt be botherd by the odd gloomy elf sorry eldar does.

Idaan
12-05-2009, 18:01
However all of that can be applied to heretical humans - so they dont need to know about xenos at all.Heretics are a whole different thing. They are the enemy within, a constant reminder that any human might condemn his soul to hell by not following the Emperor's creed. They are the ones to blame for accidents, factories not working, economical plans being delayed. In Soviet Russia they are the counter-revolutionists, kuhlaks and idlers, while the aliens are the western imperialists and nazis. Each totalitarian government creates two kinds of enemies: those on the outside and those on the inside. Imperium is no different: this is even repeated almost word for word in Inquisitorial "enemy within, without (and beyond)".


Your average human doesn't know aliens exist because they have no reason to know.

The vast majority of humanity lives life in placid ignorance of such things.
But a man who lives in ignorance is happy and not afraid. Fear is what keeps the Imperial population in check, urges it to keep the production rates up and not stray from the Emperor's path.

Condottiere
12-05-2009, 18:24
Heretics and daemon possession are internal enemies, and need not be identified as aliens.

DarkMatter2
12-05-2009, 23:25
Why bother to suppress knowledge of aliens? There's no benefit.

It keeps people from asking questions. It removes the idea of an alternative to the Imperium. Many figures within the imperium advocate hiding knowledge of the possibility of space travel as well.

In general, if the Imperium has to choose between letting people know things and NOT letting people know things, they choose the latter.


The existence of aliens has never been a secret in the Imperium. In fact, it's been a traditional source of propoganda.

Thats the assumption that keeps getting thrown around in this thread, but as far as I can tell its BS.

I can never, ever remember an instance of anti-Alien propaganda aimed at the general public in the years I have been into WH40k.

What good does anti-alien propaganda do for a shmuck that never does anything but work? How does it benefit the Imperium at all to tell the general populace about aliens?


But a man who lives in ignorance is happy and not afraid. Fear is what keeps the Imperial population in check, urges it to keep the production rates up and not stray from the Emperor's path.

Almost all figures within the Imperium at large fear the various agents of the Imperium FAR more than its alien foes.

The fear that keeps people in line stems from the pitiless Imperial authorities.

Aliens may kill you if you mess up, the Imperium WILL kill you if you mess up.

NightrawenII
13-05-2009, 11:35
Thats the assumption that keeps getting thrown around in this thread, but as far as I can tell its BS.

I can never, ever remember an instance of anti-Alien propaganda aimed at the general public in the years I have been into WH40k.

What good does anti-alien propaganda do for a shmuck that never does anything but work? How does it benefit the Imperium at all to tell the general populace about aliens?

Ahem, what about edicts forbiding trade with Tau and use their technology???

Well, You have right. There isnt anyone, who tell the average people about xenos, but when you get to some position, where you can encounter them, then you are educated about the right way of actions (burn them with a flamer!!!!).

About heretics. There is thing called Plague of Unbelieve. Read Shira Calpurnia books, they know about heretics, but not specificaly about Chaos or Chaos followers.

The deamon thing is tricky. Because most of the ships crew know, what to do when the sirens starts scream while they are still in the warp.:skull: