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Nurgle
13th Jul, 2009

It is not always clear to many why someone would worship Nurgle as it is the god of ‘despair’ and that hardly sounds like the basis of a chaos champion. However this is perhaps too narrow a take on ‘Father Nurgle’, and when we consider all ‘his’ characteristics it becomes clear why someone would worship ‘him’. It is almost all the same reasons people turn to current religions in our world – peace, acceptance, forgiveness, caring, love, endurance etc. While hope is more the realm of Tzeentch, Nurgle seems to be about acceptance of one’s situation and working with what you have rather than wishing on ‘vein hope’. Nurlge seems to be eminently practical, a god of the people, the poor, the dispossessed, all those who want to survive without big dreams and ambitions, to bring up a family, to ‘fit in’, to be a part of a greater the community and accept restrictions to achieve that. To endure hard times, that is Nurgle, and even a slave would pray to Nurgle for salvation. For in doing so they are asking for help not empowerment (rather than the other chaos gods which seems to all be the go-getters and party animals).

Nurlge also seems to be quite complex, not merely despair, but also covers ‘rebirth’ and transformation after grief and loss, of changing (very chaos). Anyone that hate their life and undergoes a transformation after suffering is exhibiting emotions that feed Nurgle. There is more – it also seems to cover ‘glee’ (carnival of Nurgle) and entertainers (many who suffer from depression) and a sense of humour, and self depreciating humour at that (who doesn’t think a Clown is an agent of Nurgle? An alcoholic Clown reeking of booze stumbling about the place?).

And while Slaanesh maybe a total crack head, and love stimulants, Nurgle seems to get all the depressants like alcohol, and all the drugs that aid in ‘forgetting’ and ‘enduring’ like pain killers (something I imagine Slaanesh would not like, or Khorne).

Nurlge is perhaps the greatest of all the chaos gods, and looking at this broader image of Nurgle it’s clear to see why – we, the common man, already worship him; and we didn’t even know it (but Nurlge is caring and does not demand recognition, it sustains us in our darkest hours…). Nurgle can be found at the bottom of a pint glass, it can be heard in the laughter down the pub, in the giggles of loose women, felt in the embrace of prostitutes, seen in the eyes of staving children, and smelt in the infections and STDs that plague humanity. It could even be said to be the driving force in reproduction, in the pain and madness of love, right down to the self sacrificing love and care a parent has for their child.

Nurgle is with us. Always. It is the default chaos god….

Well it would if we were in 40K!

As a last thought, St. Nicholas used to have a green costume before coca~cola got a hold of him. A portly gentlemen, full of glee, with gifts, and bring forth a time of drinking, and over indulgence, but also strife, debt and feelings guilt – all marking the winter solstice – Father Christmas is probably an aspect of Nurgle. A Greater Daemon? Sometimes chaos is tempting πŸ˜€

Philip

Is the Emperor a Vampire?
8th Jul, 2009

This is another one of my crazy thoughts. I posted it on Warseer, but it didn’t get much response, so I thought I would post it here.

Could the Emperor be a 40K (Rogue Trader ’87) vampire?

The 40K version drains ‘Psi points’ instead of blood. Along with that it has polymorphic ability (can change its metabolism to match), they assume/ seek positions of power, have psychic power like humans, their stat lines (in game terms) is far superior to that of a human, and they are immortal.

The Emperor could be a very powerful Vampire. An Alpha class human is pretty strong, but an equivalent Vampire may be even more powerful.

It would also explain some other quirks of the Emperor, such as the need to consume 1,000 Psykers to survive. Something a vampire would relish, and the golden throne may have been a fortunate happenstance of the Emperor’s confrontation with Horus.

It may also explain some other legacy aspects, like the the Blood Angels’ need to drink blood, the World Eaters, and perhaps all chapter’s marine creation process seeming to involve blood (Space Wolves and Blood Angels being the most obvious).

The Primarchs may be vampire/ human hybrids. It may explain some of the mutations instead of ‘chaos did it’, Sanguinius’ wings (a variant of bat wings) and the Space Wolves fangs (Vampires and wolves have a long association). The wulfen may be a type of marine that has gone to far over to the Vampire (Werewolf) side.

Taking all this into account when thinking about who the Emperor is on Earth – ‘Dracula’ springs to mind, but I think the historical base is probably a better ‘grim dark’ version. Dracula needs a 40K makeover to match.

As to where the Emperor is now?

If he is a ‘Vampire’ and not human, ‘his’ motivations and aims may be very different to what we assume them to be. Instead of a beacon of humanity as he claims, he may be exploiting humanity instead. The credit he took for guiding humanity may be complete hogwash, he could’ve rewritten history from his position of power.

Clues to his whereabouts could be found in our ‘modern day’, or rather the modern day of the 40K alternate universe, left by his need to feed. Zombies. I suspect Zombies would be here and now as humans have not become proper Psykers yet, and do not have enough psi energy for the Emperor to feed and leave little effect.

I suspect that anywhere in the world where people can disappear en masse, the Emperor will be there – feeding. This would put him in very different places to where one might expect. Instead of being at the forefront of human endeavour, leading humanity to the stars, he is probably embedded in positions of power within concentration camps (Nazi, Khmer Rouge, etc.), max security prisons, or countries that are totalitarian and isolated. An alternate reality of North Korea? Kim Jong-il? After all being the only vampire on the planet is probably quite lonely… πŸ˜›

Actually he would probably be heading up one of (alternate reality) North Korea’s concentration camps.

Philip

Sciror: Background Meta-Framework
29th Jun, 2009

A meta what now? A background meta-framework is really just a whole bunch of descriptions of how things in the game world ‘works’. It describes mundane technologies, but how all the fantastical elements come about and function, an outline of what can be done with them, and the elements that are already assumed to exist within the game world. It is the base concept underpinnings of a full background. The foundations of the background onto which all else can be (quickly) built as all the heavy work is done.

Sciror: The meta-framework I am putting together is called ‘Sciror‘. It is basically all the concepts I came up with for explaining 40K technology and magic, ripping out all GW references, and re-purposing the remaining (original) writing for Sciror. Sciror is effectively ‘Philverse’ without any GW IP.

Once all the core concepts are shifted over, I will put together some example empires, factions and even isolated fantasy worlds are an example of what can be built with Sciror. The idea is to make world creation simple and allow for many genre without having to worry too much about how it all works, and all the while keeping all the Sciror based universes compatible and all ticking along under WarSpike ruleset.

More on the Sciror website

Sciror Forums over on Troll Forged

Draklodyte
10th May, 2009

I’ve added a gallery for images for Galerie Daniel Maghen. The first image is my Draklodyte commissioned by Oliver. It’s based on the troll/ troglodyte I posted up in the WHF section of my site. I was asked to stick some wings on it, which I did, and the Draklodyte was born!
Draklodyte
This is a pretty powerful beastie, on thick arms it bounds along like a Gorilla, and able to scale mountainous terrain with ease. The wings are a bit small for the sheer mass which affects it’s modus operadi.

I imagine that the Draklodyte climbs up onto cliff tops and ‘dive bombs’ its victims. Swooping down at great speed: straight into the back of the party! Bowling them over like skittles – Strike! It then turns on them, butts them down, sits on their chests and devours their flailing hands. It has a very tough hide and regenerative powers and is a real pig to kill, but you are unlikely to get the chance as it employs the ‘hit and run’ tactic. As soon as it’s eaten our arms it’s out of there! It will not stand and fight – ever.

It’s much the same as the troglodyte this concept is based on. As such I think they are smart and cunning, they tend to be a bit shy, and only attack when they have surprise.

Perhaps the drakes have wings, and the troglodyte is the female? She nests in the depths of dwarf strongholds?

The published image can be found in the L’univers des Dragons book published by Galerie Daniel Maghen.

Ecorium Terrain Concepts
21st Apr, 2009

I was chatting away over on Troll Forged forum, about WarSpike and what-nots, and I noticed Ed was interested in making some terrain. I chipped in with this thread: Modular Ecorium Blocks to see if he would be interested in making some Ecorium terrain. I always thought they would make great scenery for gaming, as the designs are kinda Space Hulk ‘compliant’, and miniature friendly. They should be easy to use with Space Hulk, 40K or WarSpike. The idea is to recreate my Ecopolis designs for Hives. I always figure it’s much easier to design if you have a developed concept of what yo wish to represent in model form. I have a ton of ideas for these modular units; ultra-modern, nature gone wild, damaged areas, re-built steam-punk as-hoc mods, all interchangeable so you can ‘degrade’ various areas. It seems to have generated a bit of interest, and IceSword has picked up the baton and ran with it, and has already started to built a ‘hydroponic garden’ with green walls with an eye to making a few rack-farm units too. IceSword et al. have a ton of ideas, and the feedback has been great – it will be very interesting to see what develops.

This is all very exceiting, and I wonder if anyone else in interested in making such terrain? If so, head over to Troll Forged Forum, and also check out the minis from their ‘sculpting collective’: Troll Forged. It a fascinating project and a great place for budding sculptors to get their creations cast up and sold (it’s a bit like Print on Demand for minis).

Dan Browned
19th Apr, 2009

I was looking at my sites logs to see where all the traffic is coming from, I do this from time to time out of curiosity, and I noticed that was a bit of traffic from ‘TV Tropes’. The link in my log files lead me to the ‘Dan Browned‘ entry. Tentatively I followed, and after reading the Trope my fears were confirmed and I must confess I was a little concerned. I scanned through the entry, and I finally found the link to my site under Tabletop Games;

Source: TV Tropes: Dan Browned This troper has yet to meet a 40k fan who even tried taking the science seriously as to how it actually worked. Ironically enou… C the tactics employed by the various races in fluff have met a degree of grudging acknowledgement of having been researched and at least being plausible by the jarheads who played it most of the time.

  • This guy gives it his best shot to try and justify the 40K universe. It’s not perfect, but he tries. http://www.philipsibbering.com/WH40KRP/40K_1_Concepts_index.shtml

That’s not bad, in fact it’s quite good! Hence this post πŸ˜€ It seems I’ve come up as the lone voice of trying to make sense of 40K ‘as is’ (I think that is some kind of definition of madness…). Anyway, it made me smile, and a took a certain twisted pride in it.

Rule of cool
22nd Feb, 2009

This rule is often levelled at 40K to disparage the setting, and to dismiss some of the more outlandish and non-conforming sci-fi concepts as simply ‘rule of cool‘. I understand the concept of ‘rule of cool’ and ‘grimdark‘ but I do not think they should be seen as used to defining 40K in it’s entirety. It think these expressions are ‘summaries of the superficial’, sound bites to broadly describe a feeling or ethos of a setting but not really descriptive of what that setting it.

I tend to think 40K is much deeper than the sound bites, and that often the rule of cool can be explained to be reasonable and make sense with a little imagination and logic. It’s not hard to come up with reason why the ‘rule of cool’ concept which seems air light and fluffy sweet as cotton candy could actually be the tip of the iceberg, and a great segue into a deeper background. Indeed I used this principle in my development of ‘Philverse’ version of 40K.

I would also note that GW has always encouraged fans to come up with their own background for their armies, and therefore the background is quite open and adaptable and seems to be able to handle almost any sci-fi or fantasy concept you care to throw at it. It seems to many ways to follow the British tradition of sci-fi such as Doctor Who, Sapphire and Steel, and even Red Dwarf. Often they are far less concerned with the technical side of things, and often mock technobabble, yet they may tackle complex issues of what happens in a technology actually existed and how humans would deal with it. It’s less about the tech and more about the human drama, comedy and curiosity.

If the rule of cool is used as a segue to deeper veins of creative thought, the sound bite attention grabber to guide the reader to deeper riches, I have no problem with it.

Lasgun concept (peace keeping)
29th Dec, 2008

The ubiquitous Lasgun is the primary weapon of the IG. It is basically a streaming stun gun, delivering an incapacitating shock to insurgents to enable capture and later interrogation by the Inquisition. The Lasgun is designed with peace keeping in mind, but even peace keepers have to kill. The Lasgun has a secondary mode that is a lethal high energy ‘pulse’ setting that packs quite a punch. The electroshock is about 30W and good enough to stop the heart of most humans, and the ‘exotic’ laser can defeat lesser armours to deliver the shock. The extreme wavelength of the laser gives it unusual penetrative powers, and can create an ionisation tunnel thorough armour to deliver the shock. It can also super-heat the water in the body to cause an explosive expansion of stream. This can cause serious wounds (combined with the electroshock can hurl targets quite a distance).

The last mode of the Lasgun is a low power ‘laser disrupter’ mode. This is use to mess with the vision of a charging enemy protected from the stun effect (i.e. inside a car etc.). The prime use of this is to stop vehicles are road blocks.

All these modes allow the IG to be far more decisive in scenarios where civilians are involved. It has also lead to the IG view that it is better to ‘stun first and ask questions later’, the concept expanded to the ‘stun everyone and let the Emperor sort them out’ ethos of crowd control. However, the stun effect can be lethal to children and the elderly, and trigger happy Troopers have caused incidents where the vulnerable have perished to the shock effect even on the non-lethal setting. Lasguns have also be used in war crimes, torture and abuse. The most notable is the practice of ‘execute and revive’, and the use by ‘gangs’ (rogue element within the IG, or AWOL) to capture victims at long range.

The Lasgun is seen as a weapon of Imperial oppression and the preeminent weapon in psychological warfare. It causes great fear among civilians; who often see the IG as having no impediment to using it. The IG are quick to stun even over minor infractions, and some seem to enjoy it and are looking for an excuse to use the weapon.

Note: Some Lasgun have the pulse mode disabled due to excessive civilian deaths. Without the pulse setting the Lasgun can be ineffective against determined or protected enemy combatants.

Tech note: The Lasgun may use electromagnetic radiation that can penetrate and be based on a ‘graser/ gaser’, (a gamma ray laser), x-ray laser or ultraviolet laser as an ionising medium. If so, this is why it will penetrate armour, go through mirrors etc. Running with this idea, I would speculate that in strict STC designs the graser is not powerful enough to debilitate a target immediately on it’s own, it is the electroshock that stuns and stops the target dead in their tracks. It would cause ionisation damage at higher energy levels, but this could be somewhat mitigated due to the secondary shock effect and the associated lower energy level needed to pull it off. In this concept the Lasgun is a relatively low power weapon compared to regular laser weapons that used brute force photon energy to destroy targets. It only takes around 25W of electroshock to stop the human heart.

Wounds: Even peripheral strikes to limbs from a Lasgun will stun and take a person down. On the pulse setting a strike would stop the heart and render the person disabled via spasm; locked up in excruciating pain before loosing consciousness and dying. High powered Lasgun (hot shot?) may cause explosions of super heated steam to erupt from the strike zone creating large ragged holes in the flesh of the target, and induce radiation sickness. This is not a ‘humane’ weapon.

Sole Survivor
26th Apr, 2008

This is my theory on the origins of the Emperor. Us 40K fans endlessly speculate on where the Emperor was in our history, and who in history the Emperor may have been. To me the answer has always been pretty apparent that a being of such power, and the ‘Shamans’ would show up in our history and be very noticeable. The Emperor was born in Anatolia in 8,000 BC an it seem to me the only real records from that time are later recordings of myths and gods.

Titans
The Titans of Greek Myth seem to be very elemental, like ‘time’ and ‘chaos’. Translated in 40K I suspect they would turn out to beΒ  the Old Ones, or the Slann (agents of the old Ones, though I think the various monsters could actually be the ‘Slann’ but demonised for the myths – like the Cyclops or Hydra).

Gods (real gods)
I propose that the Gods of antiquity where actually alpha-class psykers of immense power that gave rise to Greek myths of the gods we read about in the great sagas. These Gods are the progenitors of all humans. However humans as we know them today are a degenerate offspring of the Gods (think Hesiod’s Five Ages). It seems alpha+alpha does not equal alpha offspring! The first generation are demi-god, so originally there are demi-gods and all sort running about, which gives rise to lesser demi-gods, but it all boils down to modern humans (with no powers to speak of). Every now and then a new psyker is made (throw back) and even new alpha-class psykers emerge.

According to the legend of Titanomachy the Titans and Gods have a bit of a war and things get messy. So in this concept the alpha psykers have a war with the Old Ones, or perhaps more specifically they may have had a war with the Old One’s agents: the Slann. Then they probably close the web way gate on Earth (the one the Emperor ‘found’).

Further to this concept: The Emperor, for some reason or another, consumes the other gods (as Greek gods tend to do in the myths) and contains all the other god’s ‘souls’ of that age (which gives an alternate version of events to the Shaman sacrifice but matches the same outcome of a ‘gestalt soul’). When creating the Primarchs he literally plucked them out of his being and bound them to a clone body (clones are supported by some of the background). They came out different because such a powerful soul would have an effect on the body (plus a little chaos influence). The Emperor can not make new super souls, but he can make clone bodies.

I would say the Emperor is ‘Zeus’ / ‘Jupiter’, the last god standing. This gave rise to the monotheistic and monistic religions in ancient 40K, the first real version being Aten. I can see the Emperor, bathed in golden light and with a halo as a version on Aten.

Anyway, the Emperor is the king on the gods, consumes the other gods to become one god. Then vomits up (god seem to do that from time to time) a whole bunch of gods he had previously consumed and bound them to clone bodies. The betrayal of the Primarch may have more to do with ancient history than chaos.

In this little pet theory of mine is about magic and gods in the old fashions sense. There is not high tech alien influence, and not technology fossils. The reason being that god like powers kinda negates the need for technology, or if you have psionic powers to the point of a ‘god’ (in the Greek god sense) you really do not need technology. Therefore there would be relatively little technology during the era of the gods, and all technology is most likely invented by humans over generations as they lost their powers (or relied on ‘god’ to sort it out, which back then was kinda like asking great-great-grandfather to sort it out).

Primarchs
Then the Primarch are recreations of past ‘gods’ and would be (technically – if true) human. They would be part of the Homo line, before Homo sapiens (sub-species sapiens). This particular human is totally missing from the scientific line as we know it – as they have not ‘died’ and left remains. The Primarchs would be as human as the Emperor is human, but they are not post-(modern)human but pre-(modern)human. I suspect they are merely a version of human who has been genetically tampered with (but still compatible with humans) and more a sub-species. Basically the greatest of genetic traits blended to a form of ‘perfection’ (in a gross all out warbot kinda way).

Humans
Looking at the old myths, it seems the children of the gods become minor gods with far less power, and the children of the minor gods are weaker still. After several generations (or hundreds of generations) the offspring are literally plain old humans with not super psyker powers, though we retain our smarts and ‘soul’. The other problem is that at some point we do not have the powers to rejuvenate, and we are no longer sustained by warp energy and we became mortal.

In this scenario a demi-god isn’t really a demi-god, but a mating between earlier generation with a later generation of human. This may boost the child’s power compared to the generation of a given era, and elevates them above other humans, but they will not live forever.

All the evolution of mankind could be Slann interference (though probably not due to the time line), or some other interference. I tend to see the human experiment as a ‘failure’ as it can’t give rise to new super powerful souls with any regularity, and most (back in the day) I would guess had to be artificially created and bonded to a human body (possession?). The body and mind reproduced properly in off spring but the soul did not generate correctly (incompatible souls? Not ‘soul mates’) and degenerated in power over successive generations to become weak and eventual un-psyker (this engineered link to a powerful soul is probably why daemons can possess a human – as all the plumbing is there)

But things did not go smoothly with the Gods (Psykers) and Titans (Slann?). The Emperor (Zeus) as one of the old Greek Gods (not a Titan) eventually gets into a spat with the Titans which is ‘oh so human’. I would guess this is what happens when you build a super-weapon like a alpha-class psyker – your creation may decide that they don’t need you! It is a fear that humans have of their creations, because it’s exactly what we would do (and in this case did). We project our power lust onto everything to form targets and then seek to tear it down in the name of self defense.

Humans are very destructive – we are made that way! We are designed (in 40K myth via Philverse) to destroy everything that is not human, and have an engineered fear of the unknown and those not like us (hit it first and ask questions later). We stay ever vigilant, and are always up to no good. Sometimes this Old One/ Slann engineered imperative goes astray and we demonised other humans, but all humans when confronted by real aliens become ‘adjusted’ or ‘synchronised’ to the target and rally together.

Technology
Eventually the Gods realize humans are a lost cause and will continue to degenerate, their reliance on technology will make them weaker and weaker; eventually forcing them to tamper with their own genetics. This tampering will make humans incompatible with the last vestiges of the divinity, and sever the soul link. They become automatons, devoid of creativity and passion, the fire in their eyes finally goes out and they eventually loose the will to live.

Unless someone does something about it – cue the Emperor and his amazing powers of interference on the sly (and the web way, nothing like having super powers ‘gods’ charging about the web way causing trouble for all! oh, and these god may have been around for a long time, they may even be the Eldar gods too!).

Chaos
Also chaos may be closely linked to humans (there are a lot of them all over the place) and with the ‘current’ lack of our ability to draw power from the warp it may be creating a backlog. It may be that humans in 40K do not feed the warp, or the chaos gods, at all. It may be a case of ‘flow of creation’, and the Old Ones may be unable to channel power though humans to work their wonders (like they could with the Slann – which we may have killed). All this backlog of creative power may create the chaos gods which then cause trouble. The chaos powers or daemons can possess a humans in a temporary way, but this is due to weakness in the humans but the link still existing.

It’s all a huge mess, but great fun! (well, I think so, but I would – wouldn’t I) Again it’s all down to how you imagineer it, and this musing can be as wrong or right as you like it.

Philip

PS: This has been used as a base for the Of Ghods and Primarchs on my site.

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