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So maybe some of the fluffmeisters out there can answer this one for me.
Now, there have been many threads here about what would happen if, say, the Emperor dies, the nids take terra, the Void Dragon wakes and busts out of Mars, etc. and all have been dismissed as way too catastrophic to be workable, that for GW to do so will cause shockwaves throughout the entire gaming system that could be unrecoverable.
So, in spite of this indisputable reality, I keep seeing signs that the end is coming. More and more I read about some awful event coming that will change everything, turn the whole 40k universe on its head. I've seen it mostly coming in the form of ominous dreams/impressions from psykers, both human and otherwise. Now, normally I'd write this off as mere "window dressing" for this grim future, a cheap attempt at manufacturing tension that, to be blunt, no longer surprises me in the GW world.
But I keep thinking about that "critical flaw" in the emperor's throne and I wonder: Am I making too much out of this, or is GW gearing up to actually attempt the impossible? If so, what is the plan? Are they going to kill off the emperor? Will the throne finally break down, forcing some sort of cataclysmic event or civil war? In short, just what is GW up to?
Personally, I think that they're going to keep heading down this direction and then have something akin to the Storm of Chaos in WHFB, having everything that can go wrong go wrong, then setting it "sort of right" afterwards. People are still going to be dead, but things may be just slightly less hopeless.
All I would say is never say never. With forge World producing a pretty awsome range of figueres there is nothing to stop GW having the Primarchs return and the Emperor reincarnate a new body.....
Unlikely but who knows........10 years ago I would have thought it nuts that GW produced a series about the Horus Heresy.
"God is dead" Nietzsche- 1886
"Nietzsche is dead" God- 1900
Why are there scams? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q71FLDIMBc8
I have to admit that I've noticed something similar too.
To be honest, I'd imagine that we're seeing the early signs of marketing for some future release/campaign. At the moment, these signs and heralds could mean anything - the Emperor could return as the Star Child - cue real-world global campaign, multiple new mini releases (Leman Russ, a Clone of Horus, et al.) boosts in sales of all mini's, particularly SM's, IG, and Chaos. That might also be the ideal time to release an "Eye of Terror" style codex for the Inquisition as a whole - keeping relatively the same units and rules, but tiding them all over until they get a proper re-do. The signs could also mean that a whole new race will arrive in the future - miraculously avoiding the destruction of the Imperium by th Tyranids, destroying the Dragon on Mars and generally maintaining the status quo.
Of course, something big might happen - it just seems damn near impossible now because we're looking from the inside out. I remember a time when my Imperial Guardsmen were zipping around in Land Speeders and Rhino's - now the fact that that ever happened is relegated to a single paragraph in the IG codex, which reports on a regiment that uses these things - describing them as archaic, non-conformist and basically techno-heretics. Who's to say that in another 15 years or so we won't be looking back and saying "HA! I can't believe we ever thought the Imperium would crumble without the Emperor!" or "Wow - isn't it lucky the Chenixians turned up when they did - 40k would've really been screwed without them!" or "Hmm - it turns out that the Tyranids were allergic to the Eldar, who had started reproducing like rabbits, and that not only does the bio-waste left over from the Tyranids melting kill Eldar on touch, but it also stunts their breeding again and acts as a restorative for the Golden Throne. Well that was lucky..."
Basically, I agree with you - GW are planning something, as you really don't need to create tension in a table-top gaming world and it was already fairly obvious the the Imperium was in dire straights. It'll be interesting to see what it is, but at the moment I don't think even they know - and it'll be a long time before we do!
Could it not just be a safety net in case, like bigger businesses have, GW spectacularly implode?
'in the grim darkness there is only war... yadda yadda yadda...aliens, chaosy = bad for man....yadda yadda yadda...ooo I know, the Big E is actually dying, yeah, thats good....no man = no 40k because whatever kills man obviously kills everything else....I'm on to something here...no 40k = no GW....hmmm, *roots about in the savings jar* hey, we've enough for one last hurrah here, lets make some nice plastics at ridiculous prices, release a book saying we're doomed, captain manwairing in a comical scottish accent then call it a day having gone out on a high.'
To be honest, what with all this credit crunch panic I'm surprised GW haven't suffered more - I mean I know in my house at the minute 'buying little plastic men is at the bottom of the shopping list.' (her words, not mine...)
Maybe GW are kinda wrapping things up, maybe the business is losing its viability and they are intending to go out with a revelation for the fans if it goes arse over tit.
All maybes because I obviously don't know.
Or you could all be right - maybe there is a huge event on the horizon, but it's 999999.M41 - it's like new years eve in 40k land and has been for three editions now - if they are going to do anything they should advance the story line proper without squeezing everything into an apocalyptic final few minutes. 40k won't stop being 40k just because its 41k.
As for what that event is, its chaos. It has to be, it cannot be anything else. Necrons aren't popular enough, tyranids are too alien, orks don't have the story line to justify it...its chaos. Maybe the VD does wake up, maybe tyranids do get to Terra, but overall the next big event will be chaos because it opens up many many doors, are the typical bad guys and are alternative marines.
Primark (sic - I saw that written on another board - 'who's your favourite primark?') models, the rebirth of the emperor as a god, ahriman in the Black Library, the destruction of the ultramarines (what?), new army lists and the finalisation of fluff etc
But that would be an uber cool campaign - the Sol system under attack from everyone, and as grand as it sounds, it'd probably be pretty straightforward and an easy storyline to write.
I can't say I've seen it all but I live for the things that keep me hollow.
Of all of those scenarios, the only one I can see not making much of a difference, is the Emperor dying (if he's not already). The bureaucratic nightmare that is the Imperium would not fail by changing that 1 to a 0 (binarily speaking). Things would keep trudging along, because no-one would find out about it.
If on the other hand he were to reincarnate or recover, how long do you think it would be before one Inquisitor or another decided that a living Emperor is bad for the stability of the Imperium as a whole? I'd give him a year at most.
As far as 99.99999999999% of the Imperium knows, he's on the throne keeping an eye on things. If an Inquisitor says that the Emperor getting off his throne to wander around for a bit was heresy, who's going to argue with him?
The Void Dragon waking could be a pretty significant alteration to the current universe. You'd have a major schism amongst the Ad Mech, and therefore almost the entire manufacturing arm of the Imperium. They are however not a populous sector of the Imperium, meaning that while it could affect the balance of the whole, it's unlikely to do so. You'd have planets adjusting their iconography, but maintaining the manufacturing standards/requirements, and their trading arrangements.
It'd probably end up a Dragon Orthodox/Emperor Orthodox split, if not a "Dragon as Emperor" theological takeover. In any event, it's possible that the Dragon, in its semi-conscious waking state, could be contained and harnessed for the benefit of the Ad Mech, if GW were going to take the path of a wake up call.
As far as things stand, I can't see even a desperate GW shooting the cash cow by irrevocably altering the storyline. If nothing else, a storyline that can be continued can be sold to another company; who can then alter it for their own purposes - it wouldn't be the first time that would have happened...FASA's Battletech -> Wizkidz/FanPro.
Last edited by mpdscott; January 2nd, 2009 at 10:19.
Mysterious Member of the ANZAC Clan
Second, if you take the HH novels as canon, then no Emperor = human Webway gate on Terra is permanently open and countless daemons overrun the earth. Bummer.
Third, no Emperor = huge morale loss. If the common citizen believes the Emperor protects them and worships him as their god, him going bye bye brings everyone into despair.
Fourth, this is the Emperor. To counteract his claim some little Inquisitor is going to need evidence that the guy who's been sitting on the throne for the last ten thousand years is not the Emperor. And if his claim is taken as correct, then he can't go against him, the Emperor is the Inquisition's only boss. The one dude who thinks the company is making the wrong decision cant go against the guy who owns the company.
As for the bureacracy, you're completely right. The Imperium is the most decentralised political body in history, the loss of Terra in a bureacratic sense will most likely just destroy archives that date back ten thousand years.
Essentially, the game would NOT fall apart. GW practices an excellent game of "brinksmanship" where everything bad is ABOUT to happen, but it never really does.
The next time we hear mention of the golden throne, it will probably involve a known date in which the Emperor will die. However, that date will either never approach, or it will also include information on a discovery that will save the Astro and the Portal.
I could almost see GW killing the emperor in favor of waking the void-dragon. For whatever reason, the VD is able to replace him, but on a "machine level" where it just serves the AdMech. This would shift balance in the Imperium, with the Mechanicus sitting with their finger on the trigger of the apocalypse, and the older organizations of the Imperial Cult being therefore relegated to an anti-demonic-incursion role. There would probably be alot of tension between the Inq. and the AdMech.
One thing is certain of course, this topic really does capture the interest of practically every 40k gamer out there. I don't think there is a single marine player who wouldn't want to be able to field his Primarch alongside his marines, let alone fielding the emperor. The move towards Apocaylpse games certainly means that the scale of the might of these individuals can be captured in terms of tabletop gameplay.
The number of responses to this thread, which itself is hardly unique is another indicator that GW probably couldn't make a poor decision here. If they do nothing, we will talk about it, if they do something we will talk about it and probably buy the models too.
I know I would. Heck i'd collect every possible weapon combination the Emperor came in and probably convert a few of my own.
With each successive release GW has to give the gamer a little something extra. If a new version of the core rulebook is released without changing the environment of the game, it essentially comes off as, "OK, I know the last few editions of the game were badly flawed, but this one works. It totally does! Buy this rulebook."
If the story moves and the game moves with it, you're just buying the next chapter, and that's a lot more palatable.
I would not put GW killing the Emperor outside the realm of possibility. Granted, it would dramatically change the setting of the game and make for interesting reading, but on the tabletop, it wouldn't change.
It would just keep the setting from stagnating.
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