Back to Crafty Games Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
September 01, 2014, 05:06:37 PM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Welcome to the Crafty Games Forums!

Note to New Members: To combat spam, we have instituted new rules: you must post 5 replies to existing threads before you can create new threads.

+  Crafty Games Forum
|-+  Community
| |-+  Off-Topic
| | |-+  Why so grimdark?
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Why so grimdark?  (Read 673 times)
glimmerrat
Control
******
Posts: 3517


Iconoclast


View Profile
« on: July 07, 2012, 11:56:17 AM »

So I read a piece recently explaining why 40k's Imperium is so grimdark. Now don't get me wrong, I already knew the details, but i'd never seen it spelled out like this before. Thought you lot might like it - it makes for interesting reading. FYI, I DIDN'T WRITE THIS. The horrendous spelling, punctutation and grammar is not my fault. It just makes for awesome reading.

The Mechanicus does NOT have the technology. They haven't been living on some fancy paradise planet since pre-Fall. Mars is an anarchic nightmare shithole the moment you leave the safe zones into the kilometres of labyrinthine corridors beneath it full of rogue machinery, self-aware and malevolent AI from before the Fall, and the daemon programs of the Heresy. EVERYTHING in the databases is fucked. The databases are fragmented over the entire surface to the extent that it would be impossible to see one tenth of the total files in the ludicrously extended life of a Magos even assuming that they are completely safe to visit. And they are not.
 
The files have been corrupted into madness by the Fall, and the unleashing of the most potent informational warfare systems ever to exist to defeat the Iron Men. Nearly all of Mars was rendered uninhabitable, what they live in now is built on the top of the ruins. They send archeotech expeditions in to find shit, nearly all of them never come back. The sheer number of rogue war machine running around in there is sufficient to rape the mind. Then came the Heresy, which was not earth-exclusive. Mars as the second most critical planet in the Imperium was the site of fighting nearly as ferocious as on Terra, with Mechanicus loyalists and Hereteks fighting tooth, nail, and mechadendrite everywhere. Ancient machines were unleashed, viruses both normal and daemonic unleashed into all the computer systems. Nearly every single stored record on Mars was rendered unusable, and those that survived are half the time self-aware and don't like you, or daemonic and actively try to kill you.
 
If you come back with a schematic, it is almost certainly gibberish, and if it isn't, it's probably corrupted into uselessness. If it does come back whole it was probably malevolently fucked with so that instead of a Lasgun power cell it's a fucking grenade set to detonate the second you finish building it. Why do you think they want off-world STCs so damned much if they had them all here? The fucking Heresy is why. Off-world they only have to contend with the Fall's war and its effects on the machinery plus twenty thousand years of degradation with no maintenance. But at least off-world it'll probably just not work instead of actively seek to kill you.
 
Why do you think they seek to placate the Machine Spirit? It's because it exists. The fragments of trillions of self-aware programs, flourishing during the Dark Age of Technology and shattered by Man in his war with the Iron men, imprisoning the few who had not set themselves irrevocably into the machinery, a prison smashed wide open by the Heresy. Everything that can hold programming in the Imperium has a shard of a program in it. EVERYTHING. And you'd better fucking please it or it will do everything in its power to make your day shit. Sure, if it's a Lasgun it'll just not work or start shooting off rounds by itself, but if you piss off a Land Raider you can say bye-bye to half a continent. They apply these principles to things without spirits by habit, since they're so used to dealing with tanks that if not talked to just right might go rogue and annihilate the Manufactorum before they can be killed.
 
This is why they do not like ANYONE fucking with technology, because it is so rare to find anything that just works it is critical it not be compromised. That, and they do not have the actual knowledge to fuck with it intelligently, just through experimentation, which inevitably leads to slaughter. Pressing buttons to see what works is fine in a 21st century computer, but it is a very stupid thing to do at the helm of a 410th century starship with the destructive power to end solar systems. The entire knowledge base of humanity was lost. Not forgotten, but outright lost. Everything at all, poof. Nobody knows anything because the Fall fucked everything up and the Heresy double-fucked it. To rebuild the theoretical framework needed to design new technologies that don't kill everyone near them would require starting from the ground up. They don't have the time, and they never have.
 
This gets on to the point of war and what it does to technology. Someone will parrot that it makes it go much faster. Yes, it makes practical applications of technology go much faster. It also utterly stops all research on the scientific theories behind those technologies. This means that when war chugs along for a decade or two things get done. It means when it goes on too long you run out of theories to turn into technologies, and then you run out of technologies to apply. You stagnate. When you have been fighting in a war for survival in a drastically overextended empire, this is what happens. You are desperate for any extra materiel that can possibly be produced. Half your entire fucking military might went rogue, smashed the half that stayed, leaving you with the tattered shreds of a war machine to keep hold of an empire that was reaching straining point with an army far larger. There is no time for the sort of applied research programs that took Man twenty five thousand years to develop, in a time of unprecedented growth and prosperity.

This is also why the Adeptus Mechanicus insists on cargo cultism. It's because when you are dealing with things you barely understand because everything you knew about them was destroyed it is the safest and most reliable option. The rituals do not exists for mysticism, they exist because they are the most practical means of building, repairing and maintaining the equipment they have with the knowledge surviving. You don't understand why pressing that button makes it go, because the manual tried to take over your brain and the copies are all unreadable and the research base that would let you reverse-engineer it does not exist and cannot be built.
 
Why are the Tau doing so well with their technology? Because they had peace. Eight thousand years unmolested by any enemy and they were helped the entire time by the most advanced biological race in the galaxy. Give the Imperium eight thousand years of peace and I can guarantee you it will be harder than it was during the Great Crusade.
 
Logged

VAO Control; Crafty Freelancer; Freethinker

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
glimmerrat
Control
******
Posts: 3517


Iconoclast


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 11:56:38 AM »

Since some still don't get the idea, try this.

Build a library, fill it with all human knowledge. You take it elsewhere when you need a book from it, but the book is only a simplified copy. You don't understand the real book, and you don't need to. Nobody takes the real books anywhere because why would you, when there's a whole library there?
 
Now that library goes rogue and the maintenance machinery starts killing everyone any-fucking-where near it. Where the fuck did they all come from, you swear to god there weren't this many, and there weren't because they're using the library's information to fight their war. The government fights a battle that destroys the planet against these robots and tears apart the library to stop them using it, only to be destroyed in the process. The library is leveled, cast into flames, every book burned and every computer virus-laden.
 
Then comes a man who worked there. He talks to the few surviving library workers, assembles their information, and starts rebuilding a city around the library and expanding it as the librarians find little scraps of paper and fragmented bits of files that stuck together just right read something. They rebuild a library from scrap on the ashes of the old. It isn't a shadow on the glory of the old, but it is all they have.
 
Then the city turns on itself, kills its master, and the librarians turn to rage. Half of them kill the other half and destroy the remnants of the library because where they're going they won't need science. Everything burns, and the city is left to a scattered few survivors, walls open to the world, with the hungry predators circling.
 
The Adeptus Mechanicus is the sole surviving librarian, desperately scrabbling through the ashes of paper and splinters of hard drives for anything to help him and the city he needs to survive just a second longer.
 
The Imperium isn't grim because things suck by choice and could be fine if a sensible person came along. That sensible person wouldn't survive fifty seconds of the reality. The Imperium is grim because every single shit decision, every single sacrifice, every single death, every single man, woman, and child suffering a shit life in the worst conditions imaginable, is the absolute best that can be done. It is a study of the worst happening to everyone and what part of your humanity must be sacrificed today just to stand a chance of survival, and all it asks is whether or not it would have perhaps been better to die.
 
Logged

VAO Control; Crafty Freelancer; Freethinker

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
Gentry
Powered By Publisher
Control
******
Posts: 2818


It's a Trap!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 04:41:43 PM »

I have heard it said that all optimism in Britian died during the Blitz. Given the worldview of GW's product line, I'm hard pressed to disagree.  Smiley
Logged

I'm a secret VAO Control (Shh!)

Check out Wyrmstone for FC Open Source campaigning

Have you joined Knife Rights yet?

Live and game in Flyover Country? Join Tornado Alley Game Guil
Valentina
Control
******
Posts: 2000



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2012, 05:06:26 PM »

I know those writings.
They are from 4chan's /tg/ board.
While fairly clever, take them with a regulation dose of sodium chloride.
Both are from threads attacking the Tau for being "weaklings" and show traces of /tg/'s fetish for Imperium of Man jingoism. Especially the second one -witness the nobility inherent in "every single man, woman, and child suffering a shit life in the worst conditions imaginable."
That said, I'll contribute a summary posted by some Anon of the setting I really liked though I suspect part of it was copped from TV Tropes.

Quote
It is the future. Not just any future, but tens of thousands of years into the future.

Space Travel is achieved by magic eye mutants that follow a corpse lighthouse, when traversing Psychic Space Hell. During this voyage they have a shield named after a prolific spoon-bender to protect them from Bad Thoughts with Sharp Claws. They may arrive tomorrow, or they may arrive yesterday.

Your average mechanic is just as likely to carry incense and a book of prayers as he is a wrench.

The forces of mankind entrust the majority of their defence to untrustworthy murder-machines, even the "best" of whom is overtly building their own empire. The rest of their defence is trusted to men with flashlights.

Their enemies - in no particular order - are faster than light travelling all biological space locusts, space elves, vampire space elves, blue camel communist/fascists from an anime version of china, working class thugs who just so happen to be green and made of both plant matter and flesh, evil robots from before the dawn of most life in the galaxy who once fought psychic space lizards (who coincidentally created most life in the galaxy, except the Bad Robots and a few others) said bad robots work for literal Gods who feed on stars and somehow overthrew said gods with LOLSCIENCE and FINALLY a group who follow anywhere between one and four Giant Bad Thoughts who pretend to be gods, glue spike to their codpieces and rape babies.

And YET, OP only has an issue with Star Vikings drinking Space Mead...?

The whole damn setting is retarded.

-Sharpest Spoon Anon
Logged

"Cui bono?" -Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla, 127 BCE.

"Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders" -Martin Luthor, 1483-1546.
Wolverine
Control
******
Posts: 3662


I want to smoke a fairy


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 05:36:11 AM »

I still miss the Squats.

Logged

"Dickhead books?"
 -Patrick Kapera wrestling with the New Zealand accent
glimmerrat
Control
******
Posts: 3517


Iconoclast


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2012, 07:48:11 AM »

I still miss the Squats.

Have you seen the Demiurg concept art? At the last Games Day, Jes Goodwin mentioned that they'd be making an appearanc ein the next Tau Codex. Admittedly i'll believe it when I see it, but GW *know* that the Squats have a small but very loyal fanbase.
Logged

VAO Control; Crafty Freelancer; Freethinker

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
Wolverine
Control
******
Posts: 3662


I want to smoke a fairy


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 03:37:09 PM »

Yeah, the Demiurg look interesting, but depending on who you ask they either vary a little or a lot from the original Squats.

I know, I know, I'm never going to get another army of space bikers, but it does make me wonder how many people will ultimately be disappointed. Knowing GW's fickle fans, probably a lot.

There is some potential with Mantic's Forge Fathers, but neither of them are really high on my list at the moment.
Logged

"Dickhead books?"
 -Patrick Kapera wrestling with the New Zealand accent
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.13 | SMF © 2006-2011, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!