I used Shaq as a base because he's 7'6" and this made it easy to scale the body mass up to a marine's proportions. Basically a marine is about one and half times as broad as Shaq. I did this to match the Jes Goodwin diagram of the marine (when scaled to fit 7'6" rather than 7'). Obviously just making Shaq one and half times as broad without modifying the depth would make the marine a bit flat, so I also multiplied his depth by one and half to match. This gives quite a solid body mass but without being too crazy, in many ways it's similar to a 'stocky' build only larger.
To work out the weight of this marine I multiplied 350lbs (Shaq) by 1.5 for breadth to give 525lbs, and then multiplied 525lbs by 1.5 for depth to give 787.5 which I rounded up to 780lbs. This means a marine made of muscle and bone with a density similar to Shaq is 780lbs. This is quite massive for a human, as humans never actually have a body type, with these proportions, at this scale.
Looking at the marine he may look a bit bulky compared to many a comic book hero, as we are used to seeing a certain hero type of figure, it is easy to assume this type of marine he is slow. However, considering the cross section of bone and limb he is probably surprising quick (considering preconceptions) for such a mass. Combined with the extreme skeletal modifications they may also have increased strength due to better skeletal leverage (like a chimp or gorilla is very strong for their mass). These marine could pack quite a wallop - like charging Rhino!
At 780lbs, increased skeletal leverage and strength boosting power armour it is easy to see how a marine can lift a large adult male by the throat with one hand. It's easy to see how they can crush skulls, not because of hand waving, but through sheer power.
Evolution of Psykers
The concept of humans 'evolving' into a Psyker species is an interesting concept in 40K. While chance mutation in humanity's genetic code that gives an advantage to an individual may lead to evolution of the species via offspring dominating the gene-pool, it seems that this is not the case in 40K. Psykers seem very vulnerable in 40K and most fall to chaos all too easily, yet more pop up all over the Imperium.
Psyker powers are thought to be linked to genetics, as some species have strong Psyker powers (Eldar) while others seem totally devoid of any Psyker power or even a warp image (Tau). This seems to imply that Psyker power must have some form of genetic component. However in humans it seems that chance mutations of Psykers power would never survive long enough in a population to become dominant. It could be that the genes are recessive, and that they pop up from time to time when both parents have the recessive gene. This doesn't explain why those with the recessive Psyker genes (and hence: no power) would become so popular to cause an epidemic (fall of the Golden Age).
Something else is at work here. If it was a simple gene based power humans would have found it long ago. There is evidence that such knowledge may have existed with the Navigators (and the navigator gene), these strange mutants with the third eye, is compelling. The Navigators have the power of navigation, but this power is seen as distinct from full Psyker powers; as they lack many of the proper Psyker powers and are immune to possession. It is not conclusive that all of the Navigator's powers are purely gene based. Navigators often exhibit proper Psyker powers in addition to their 'innate' abilities.
Thinking about evolution, and humanity's rise to power through technology advancement and our resultant domination of our enviroment; it seems that humans have not changed much for thousands of years. We seem pretty constant as there is no need to change as we can always overcome our enviroment with the abilities we have now. The only threat is other humans.
It's the 'other humans', and the concept of competition, I think provides the key to the Psyker conundrum. The only real evolution seen by humans is in ideas. Wars are dominated by technological superiority. They are dominated by ideas, concepts and memes (social information norms - tenants). The real evolution is in our ideas, it is the ideas that are competing with each other, mind vs mind with the body and genetics being relatively constant.
Humans in 40K may already be fully Psyker enabled: they all have the genetic code needed to draw on the warp and produce Psyker effects. The problem is that the genetic code only gives the potential for the power to exist, but that the potential has to be activated and this is where ideas come into play.
Certain ideas and concepts, memes and feelings, affect the warp image. A correct combination aligns the warp image in such a way as to activate the power. Once activated and the person is aware, they may become locked in that state of mind, or they can switch back and forth.
The activation of the power may vary from person to person depending on their own personal warp image, generated from their personality. Each person's activation sequence is different and not uniform across all humans. It is all down ideas and memes - an incredibly complex 'lock'.
This would mean that Psyker powers in 40K are indeed genetic at there core, yet it is not that simple case of a gene based power. The memes play a huge part. Therefore the Navigators may be just like all other humans with the addition of having been genetically engineered with a 'third eye'. if this adaption is combined with some meditation in a limited enviroment and isolated gene-pool (and hence isolated memes) it could make activation more predictable. The activation may be a minor part of the human Psyker power which is then boosted by the engineered adaptations. This would also explain why some Navigators develop other powers, as they are just as susceptible as other humans to spontaneous development via meme infection - that talking with other humans and picking up ideas and memes means the navigator may unlock other powers.
If this is the case: Psykers in 40K are going to be exceptionally random and with no genetic markers to distinguish them from any other human (as all humans have the same genetic 'Psyker' markers and are as such 'invisible'). A new Psyker can spontaneously pop up anywhere, the result of a mere idea, something they saw for the first time may be all that is needed to unlock the Psyker powers. A person could look at the patterns on a butterfly's wings (homage to chaos theory) and unleash an Alpha class Psyker.
New experience and ideas would increase the likelihood of unlocking powers. The Imperium may not like the idea of this happening in an uncontrolled manner. 'Travel broadens the mind', yet in 40K this may not be seen as a good thing. The reason the Golden Age gave rise to a Psyker epidemic may have nothing to do with the chaos powers, it may be down to the rapid exchange of information and the development of new ideas. The more information you have the greater the chance of unlocking a power.
Perhaps enlightenment in 40K brings about super powers, or at other times an ignorant child may stumble upon the 'key' and unlock hell (Apex Twins). Perhaps laughing hard after watching 'Happy Tree Friends' did it?
Maybe this is why many humans have developed a 'cult' of ignorance. They see accepting new ideas may lead to your downfall. That the only information your really want is the information in your own population (if stable and Psyker free). On the other hand, many may go looking for new information. It may explain why Inquisitors all seem to go nuts and gain super powers. It may have little to do with Chaos Gods and merely 'chaos'.
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.
The Titans of Greek Myth seem to be very elemental, like 'time' and 'chaos'. Translated in 40K I suspect they would turn out to be 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).
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).
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.
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!).
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.
PS: This has been used as a base for the Of Ghods and Primarchs on my site.
This fella built a... 'spider' thing, which I think it pretty much how I imagine Ork tech would look. I wonder if given the choice that Orks wouldn't build such things?
I could imagine this thing stomping across the battlefield, but it would need to be faster and a little more mobile. Good effort though!
Rednecks build spider mech!
Makes me smile every time I see it move 😀
Musings on marine martial arts
Image if you will, a marine is in combat without weapons against a skilled unarmed opponent. The closest target area in relation to the arms is the opponent's guard. The Marine ignores the head an body and grabs the guard. In this case the opponent's arms (it could be a spear etc. or any hand weapon held in a guard that is outstretched to the front).
The marine grabs the opponent's arm (snatch, slightly circular punch with open hand), and while most skilled opponent shouldn't have any trouble getting out of a grab, this poor fellow finds the marine is too strong (plus the armoured gauntlets) and they can't twist out of it, the marine's thumb is not weak point in their grip, and the opponent is held fast. (a regular human can use the same tactic but they have to move in while their opponent is defeating their grab, as most human aren't strong enough to maintain an outstretched grab hold around the arm)
The marine crushes the arm in the grab, snapping bones and pulls the (out of range (head/ body)) opponent towards them for a finisher. The marine isn't chasing after their opponents, instead the marines snatch what comes close and drags their opponent to them.
In comparison to a striking style, and in single combat, this is no more difficult than punching at a guard (the most commonly known use I imagine is boxing). Swap the punch impact for an open hand grab. A quick snatch.
When the marine is facing multiple combatants, the same thing applies; snatch and pull. The marine draws people to them to be destroyed. This also deals with over-commitment problem as the arm is much faster and quicker to recover than the whole body - a fast deadly opponent (Eldar/ Nid) is going to find it harder to catch the marine over-balanced. I think marines are very good at retaining their balance (for their size they know it would be a weakness) and rarely overreach or chase their opponents.
As to other techniques used to speed up the butchery, a marine could literally grab the arm, force the person down and knee them in the face or body (about the right (optimal) height considering the difference in size). A bit comical imagining them 'marching' through a crowd like this, but considering their armour it wouldn't be a problem. Using one arm means they can still hold their weapon.
This grab and pull would, as I mentioned earlier, defeat many conventional hand weapons; from two handed swords (with guards such of the plough or ox) and spears, to single handed weapons and shields. It is the marines grip that is deadly, and just like a medieval gauntlet they can grab a 'live' blade with their power gauntlets and not care. They can use one arm to deflect high one handed mace blows and the other to grab their shield and pull the bearer down (the Bolter is heavily armoured and could act as a shield of a sorts). Marines are hand grapple fighters, and this is how I imagine the Techno-Barbarians (makes me think of techno music and barbarians all freaking out at a rave!) of ancient Terra used to fight with their powered torsos - the forerunner of the Mark 1 'Thunder Armour' used by the first marines. A legacy I image would carry over to current marine close combat systems.
In general terms the snatch and grab means no second chances for the opponent to recover. I see marines as being all about the business and they wouldn't waste their strength advantage in combat. It also allows them to grab weapons and turn them on the bearer, in many ways the marines do not need to carry hand weapons into combat because the enemy will supply the levers (weapon) of their own destruction. A weapon is just a way for a marine to get to a person quicker (if the opponent is stupid enough to hang on). Kinda like combat fishing.
I think it is very interesting inventing combat arts for the marine. I believe it's a good idea to draw inspiration from many of the current arts, but not limited by them: think of the possibilities!
I've been a little distracted updating my website in my spare time. It has been long overdue, and was becoming quite a mess. I hope the new site will be easier to get around, and allow me to expand on some of the concepts on the site. One area I really want to tackle more is the Adeptus Mechanicus. I find the idea of exploring super advanced technology yet retaining the feel of 40K and the religious feel is great fun.
My theory on the Adeptus-Mechanicus 'religious' practices is that is may be more like Buddhist chanting to induce a meditative state that allows the priests to access their electrografts (knowledge implants). This gives a good reason for their carry on, and in a way makes it seem like a region to untrained eyes (like Buddhist is more philosophy than religion, but often taken as a religion like Christianity or Islam). Even their incense may have meditative enhancement qualities (drugs). There chants may also be voice activated passwords, and the interface screen may be in their heads hidden from view. The Implants building a monitor screen in the Tech-Priests imagination. They may even be linked via wi-fi.
Advanced technology may not look like our modern technology. It may look like magic, but it's not. It's use may give us an impression of religion, but it's not. The science of 40k may look to us the same way western science looked to tribes in the Amazon.
As to how it become so advanced I think that depends how you imagine it all. Information of the Dark Age is scare. I think what the Dark Age brought fourth is a technology so advanced and mind bending that humans would never understand it without help (implants). The machines invented devices that humans couldn't. So the loss of the machines is not so much the loss of all technology, but the loss of all the really high tech technology that humans couldn't have made anyway. I image 40K advanced tech to be so advanced that even we would look at it with a quizzical expression.
Seems the Dark Heresy is rising from the ashes via Fantasy Flight Games, which is great news. It's still not POD (which I will continue to jump up and down about), but it's great to hear it will continue to be available.
It will be interesting to see how things develop game and background wise, and what the lads and lasses at FFG come up with. The BI team created Dark Heresy in the bosom of GW, 40K vets with access to the studio, and I wonder how development will be handled in the future.
FFG have a forum, and I wonder if all the RPG fans will jump over? The fans often like both the novels and the games, and I see them as tightly linked, so splinting the fan base across two official forums could prove difficult in a 'business sense' - in that BL banned wargame discussion on the BL forum as they do not deal with the wargame rules (different department), so will they ban RPG discussion? I wonder if there will there be a similar policy on the FFG forums about BL fiction (seeing as BL fiction is not their company)?
Anyway, it's good to see it will not die out, and I wish FFG the best of luck 😉
Edit [6 Mar 08]: yep, the BL has shut the boards. All jump to the new FFG 40K Forum.
I am so easily distracted at times...
My mind is an altered state naturally, so this seems perfectly normal;
And yes: I love it!
While I'm at it, you can't top this;
[dead link] 🙁
OK: shows over, it's really just an excuse to try out the embedding of videos using wordpress 😛
I quite like the idea that the only reason marines are given, or allowed to retain, a mind that can think like a regular human is so they can beat them!
I imagine their ‘human’ side as a personality matrix, a sub-routine which is no more than an artificial implant. This implant is a mixture of Electrograft with neuropath reorganisation and restructuring, and patterning with psycho-indoctrination.
In the books and novels produced by BL, I image that the side you hear is this ‘implant’, not the actual mind of the marine. The personality matrix is a stand in, a charismatic ‘father figure’ generated by the implant’s control of facial features and body gesture. All orchestrated to engender a feeling authority and trust.
The marine’s mind in ‘reality’ is totally alien to a regular human and thinks in very strange ways (like Confucius on steroids). It is constantly working behind the mask, musing on strategy and simulations in conjunction with the machine spirit of the implant. While in communication with a human it’s mind is silent (apart from the personality matrix twittering on). The marine, even in conversation is not distracted, instead it is watching your every move, it (he) anticipates the sudden attack, it is constantly scanning it’s surroundings, it is using it suit’s enhanced sensor to scan, to check for concealed bombs. It is uploading imagines of those about it for logs and recognition matrices in the ether of the machine spirit, it is always watching, it never stops, it wants to kill you, and it will as soon as you give it an excuse.
To emphasize the point, a marine could be friendly and civil to you for 20 years, you could even consider the marine a friend, but if you were to say something heretical or say a word on its watch list you would be dead before you finished the sentence.
These marines have more in common with the terminator than a human, that’s why I refer to them as ‘it’ not ‘he’. There are no more than machines of flesh. All very Rogue Trader era in flavour.
Noise Marine obviously use ‘sonic weapons’ so you probably think they require air (atmosphere) to propagate the sound wave right?
Wrong! Noise Marines use ‘soul scream’ technology, a bastardised version of Eldar technologies derived from ancient Slann devices, tweaked by the power of chaos and amped up with the raw energies of the warp!
Soul Scream technology uses border-space to propagate the ‘reality waves’, think of them a concussive wave form of power-field energy riding the ether. They are tuned to disrupt the link between a human and their warp image, to directly interfere with the psyker umbilical link to our dreams, to rend our very soul. Being overwhelmed by these waves can induce madness, and in so doing the link can become stronger and the person consumed with base desired and over emotion. Such a person who falls, become craven and demonic, adoring fans of the noise marines. They are know as the fallen, the groupie of the Noise Marines.
When a Noise Marine strums out stairway to heaven on their sonic guitars, the high notes shed your sanity with volume that should by all rights burst your eardrums, the middle notes distort your soul, and their bass plunking really hit home to the bone, and may even shatter and inflict injuries.
Many think they can resist the power of a Noise Marine, but burst eardrums will not save you, neither will armour or psyker powers. All who hear shall fall, and cavort and writhe to the music of the warp. Such is the art of the Noise Marines, first Adorations of Slaanesh, idolic champions of pain and pleasure.