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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a question I've been asking a number of people, and I ask here because I feel the Fluffy community is the most enlightened, delightful and honest crowd that this question could be asked to. Thus here it is:

What would *you* like to see in a Warhammer 40K story revolving around Space Marines? Use as a point of reference old stories you might have read, hell use as a reference point the novels you've read as well. And give your opinion in a fully honest manner. You won't get bashed, you won't be looked down upon no matter how outrageous or silly it might be.

For instance, do you wish there were only battles and no (let's say) Remembrancer-moments? Do you want more character-development? Do you wish it were more romantic? That there were more real-life situations revolving around the characters (to the extent possible of course)? What is it you would like to see, that you haven't seen before - and what is it you would like to keep seeing that you've seen thus far.

Everyone please give an honest opinion ^^
 

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One Awesome Dude
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Personally, I'd like to see more of the human aspect of them. I just finished Brothers of the Snake and found it to be pretty cool even though a lot of people just thought of it as 'ok'. I liked it because it showed how at least one marine thinks, and a lot of it showed how a chapter truly operates - chapter serfs, slaves, rituals, induction tests. I like to see the little things.

As for battle, that's always welcome with me, I just don't like to see people do things they couldn't even contemplate in game. There is a battle order in fluff that violates the game because the game does have to be fair, but sometimes authors take it too far, making Space Marines seem undefeatable - though I have found this to be somewhat rare, usually it isn't too bad.

And I guess last, I like to see the moral and emotional side of a Space Marine. How does he justify, say retreating from a battle they have lost and leaving the populace to die? I like to also see dialog between Space Marines (non-battle circumstances) because I like to be able to gauge how human a chapter is, how typical their conversation can be, etc.

If I think of more I'll let you know.
 

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I agree with hotspike in the matter that little things, like chapter serfs, deserve a bit more attention. Personally, i would like to see a deeper look into the heart of a Space Marine, what he really thinks and feels during his rise in the chapter hierachy. Also, it would be cool to have some "normal" soldier playing a major part in the story, i guess it would be nice to have the two compared. For example the commander of an IG Baneblade or something in that area. And please, no romance. Space Marines are warriors, not lovers. Also they are too heavy to fit on a white horse.
 

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It's what's for dinner
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"But I love you,"
"I know. However, it can never be. You are a Howling Banshee from the Craftworld Aul'Pown'Yu. I am a Space Marine from the chapter Killer Fire Lions. Farewell. You shall always be in both my hearts."
Now tell me Kelnor, what's wrong with that? :rofl

I guess I'm most interested in seeing character growth. I like to see something more than just "Oh no, there is a threat that insults our beloved Emperor. Let's fight in his name and kill the foe. They die in the hundreds, we die in the few, but it is still a great loss, blah blah. Now, I know, I know that Astartes aren't much into growth, but work with me here. Even a Space marine can rethink their ideology somewhat after staving off a Tyranid invasion. It could turn them bitter, war hungry, violently hateful against xenos to a uncontrolable degree, or questionable of that librarian who tapped into the Hive Mind (dangerous business at best). All of those things are still very marine-like, but they show dynamic character growth, which all stories need.
 

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Formerly BrotherAzriel
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2,373 Posts
I had an idea for a series of books, i may get round to it one day,

Book one: Clansman, the story of a young tribesman, who enters the trials to become a marine, the book ends with him passing the final test.

Book two: Aspriant, in this book our young man goes through the complex trials and surgery of a marine, includeing pscyo indoctrination and his first battle tests, the book ends with him deploying alone with his squad fir the first time behind enemy lines

Book three: Battle Brother: our man is finaly a marine, he is sent to the eye of terror to fight the 13th crusade, many big fights, defending a world that gets over run, the marine and whats left of his company (around 20 men) must fight behind enemy lines, book ends with the arrival of re enforcemnts to re claim the word.

Book four:1st Company, He becomes a terminator and is involved in the defence of another world, he loses his life at the end in a nail biteing battle against a chaos deamon prince, however, his death is not in vain.


Soo, thats my 2 cents!
 

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BrotherAzriel, what you described is more or less the flow of the space wolf novels; following the rise of Rangar Blackmane from normal tribesman to the wolf lord that dealt several major blows to the thousand sons. (The first book actually went through his trials to becoming a space marine and his very first encounter with the sorcerer Maddox, the second his true first taste of war on another world, and so on, with the third book containing one of his most important feats, the fourth being the consequences of his actions in the third, and the fifth his return to the chapter.)
 

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Always Fabulous
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Writing good Space Marine fluff is similar to playing Space Marines on the tabletop. It's easy to do but it's hard to do well. With the Astartes, you're always walking a delicate balance between making them seem too powerful and making them seem too human, which diminishes their impact if you ask me. I have yet to see a novel that is able to walk this line perfectly but there are a few which have come pretty darn close. I quite like Captain Eshara from Storm of Iron as he is able to play both the warrior and the diplomat without being too human. Remember that Marines aren't human anymore, their mindset is completely different to that of a normal human and they can only really find company amongst other Marines. There was a part in False Gods where Horus says that the Emperor must be very lonely because there is no one like Him. Even the Primarchs are engineered to be copies of Him but are not really the same, He is a completely unique being and as such no one will truly be able to identify with him. Same goes for Marines and normal humans.

A book that can strike that delicate balance will probably rank among the finest Space Marine novels ever written.
 

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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I definetly like the feel more people are going for, Chapter Growth, Character Development - more internal and a little more emphasis on day-to-day activities. Conversations between Space Marines, their emotions, some more in-depth look into their state of mind. All of that is quite interesting to me. What else would you like to see more of? Perhaps a completely original idea? Or doing something slightly unexpected?
 

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"But I love you,"
"I know. However, it can never be. You are a Howling Banshee from the Craftworld Aul'Pown'Yu. I am a Space Marine from the chapter Killer Fire Lions. Farewell. You shall always be in both my hearts."
Now tell me Kelnor, what's wrong with that? :rofl
BLASPHEMY!!!! NO FILTHY XENOS SHALL EVER PUT ITS DIRTY CLAWS ON THE HOLY ARMOR OF A SPACE MARINE, LET ALONE HIS SACRED BODY! PRAISE THE NAME OF THE E.... oops got a bit carried away there. What i meant to say was, i would like to see that temptation part of a Space Marines life curved out a bit, you know, the time when he is tempted by Chaos. Maybe even let him slip into a Cult, before finding forgiveness and redemption before the Emperor.
 

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One Awesome Dude
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I think the real hurdle there becomes the whole redemption thing, most of the time you have to go to radical steps to ensure that no one declares you a heretic anyway. It's tough to be forgiven by the Imperium, even then you are treated with open suspicion, at best.

But I agree, I'd love to explore the temptations of Chaos for a Space Marine. I'd love to read a book about the Constantinus Iconoclasm especially.
 

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Dark Apostle
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I would like to see Chaos portrayed less like a bunch of slobbering morons. If you've read my fluff, you probably know that I like to portray my Word Bearers much the same way Imperial marines are portrayed, the main difference being that they worship the Chaos gods. Sure, my marines kill Imperials, but there's none of the senseless butchering of countless civilians in order to win the favor of the gods.
 

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Always Fabulous
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I'm not sure about redemption, though. I mean, part of what makes a Chaos Space Marine so strong and dangerous is that he knows that he can never be forgiven so he has nothing to lose and fights without hesitation. There's only two ways a Chaos Marine's life can end - in immortality or death, whether it's at the hands of rival Chaos worshippers or his former comrades who have come to cleanse his soul. I mean even if they repent, there can really be no forgiveness because they're not heretics who have never seen the Emperor's light. They're traitors who have knowingly and willingly spat on their oaths to defend humanity.
 

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Senior Member
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I would like to see Chaos portrayed less like a bunch of slobbering morons. If you've read my fluff, you probably know that I like to portray my Word Bearers much the same way Imperial marines are portrayed, the main difference being that they worship the Chaos gods. Sure, my marines kill Imperials, but there's none of the senseless butchering of countless civilians in order to win the favor of the gods.
Read "Dark Sky, Black Sun," look for a bloke who I believe is named Honsou.

He's awesome in a way only an Iron Warrior can be.

"What can't you hear me? IT MUST BE ALL THIS METAL IN THE WAY!" said as tearing into a chaos dreadnought.

Hateful, petty, destructive, and absolutely brilliant.

Personally, I'd like to see more of the interplay between chapters. Not all marines are created equal, I also like seeing the dogmatic differences between them. IE: Uriel Ventris coming to blows with the Mortifactors.
 

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Has a monkey!
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Straying just slightly off-topic, but I'd like to voice my support of 10th Lyran's view. While sometimes Chaos might demand blatant slaughter and debauchery, there's a lot more to it than that. I think a book about a Chaos Marine, or the fall of a loyal Marine, might be interesting.

I also agree with the others. Marines shouldn't be indestructible or infallible; characters are always more interesting if they're not Mary-Sues.

A little early in the morning for detailed dissertations, however. Need sleep.
 

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Dusk Phantom
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713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I figure I'd throw in my two cents as well too - I'm of the same school of thought as Lyran in the sense that I want to see Chaos portrayed as less the psycho, crazy mofos that they keep showing them as - and more as intelligent, tactical and wise 10'000 year old veterans.

Also the chaos gods, I like to think of them as the alternative. I never see things in a 'Good' and 'Evil' light. I see them in a more 'Right or Wrong' light, but even then the world isn't so black and white - and I don't think that the Chaos Gods are just 'evil' in the classic sense. I believe every one of the Chaos Gods has a specific side that is in essence 'good' or at the very least 'neutral'. For instance Khorne being not just some psycho god of serial killing butchers, but also - the True God of War, Martial Honour, Strength of Will and Respect a worthy foe. Or Tzeentch being the god of Change, the god of Revolution, of Intelligence, wisdom... the God that destroys convervativism and favours constant change into new ways, not to mention the god of Magic and Knowledge. Nurgle as a patriarchal father who cares for his men, the god of Trials in the sense that 'what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger' and in particular the god of Protection. - Slaanesh is the Patron of the Arts, a god much like Bachus in the sense that he's frivolous, he enjoys fine things - allows those who follow him a certain degree of hedonism and freedom of mental and even sexual desires. In essence I believe they all have a worthy side that any one could worship, just like anyone psychotic could worship the crazier sides.
 

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Senior Member
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I figure I'd throw in my two cents as well too - I'm of the same school of thought as Lyran in the sense that I want to see Chaos portrayed as less the psycho, crazy mofos that they keep showing them as - and more as intelligent, tactical and wise 10'000 year old veterans.

Also the chaos gods, I like to think of them as the alternative. I never see things in a 'Good' and 'Evil' light. I see them in a more 'Right or Wrong' light, but even then the world isn't so black and white - and I don't think that the Chaos Gods are just 'evil' in the classic sense. I believe every one of the Chaos Gods has a specific side that is in essence 'good' or at the very least 'neutral'. For instance Khorne being not just some psycho god of serial killing butchers, but also - the True God of War, Martial Honour, Strength of Will and Respect a worthy foe. Or Tzeentch being the god of Change, the god of Revolution, of Intelligence, wisdom... the God that destroys convervativism and favours constant change into new ways, not to mention the god of Magic and Knowledge. Nurgle as a patriarchal father who cares for his men, the god of Trials in the sense that 'what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger' and in particular the god of Protection. - Slaanesh is the Patron of the Arts, a god much like Bachus in the sense that he's frivolous, he enjoys fine things - allows those who follow him a certain degree of hedonism and freedom of mental and even sexual desires. In essence I believe they all have a worthy side that any one could worship, just like anyone psychotic could worship the crazier sides.
Th trick here is that while in small scale, the average generic chaos star wearing acolyte might see Khorne as all the things you laid out, ultimately he's about one thing, that I'll get to in a minute.

The Chaos/Order distinction in 40k can be boiled down into man fighting himself.

The Emperor represents man approaching a cold hatefilled, empty, godless universe and responding with a Nietczan style 'I will make my own destiny regardless. I will die doing what I want to do!" Which of course leads into fascism and devouring the weak like sushi rolls when taken to its extreme.

Conversely, instead of conflicting the insanity and despair of the universe, the chaos gods present 'coping' mechanisms.

Slaanesh: It may have no purpose, but I will enjoy what I can. Eat and be merry, tomorrow we die.

Khorne: I will lose myself in battle, fighting on until the end so I no longer need to /think/ or /consider/ the hell in which we live.

Nurgle: All will eventually one day die, so, might as well do it now.

Tzeentch: The universe -doesn't- lack meaning. You just don't udnerstand what it is. We make up the meaning! Everything is subjective!! We just need to learn more! There's a secret somewhere!

Taken to their extreme, all the chaos gods... they're all escape hatches. And all have a cost that diminishes the 'human being' who takes them. The Emperor retains the humanity of his 'victims' at least, although he drowns them in hate.

Khorne destroys the mind.
Tzeetch pushes the mind til it breaks.
Nurgle disregards the mind and tries to smother one with comfort and "This is the natural way of things."
Slaanesh drowns the mind in sensation.

Thus...ranting maniac.
 

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Son of LO
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4,529 Posts
Also the chaos gods, I like to think of them as the alternative. I never see things in a 'Good' and 'Evil' light. I see them in a more 'Right or Wrong' light, but even then the world isn't so black and white - and I don't think that the Chaos Gods are just 'evil' in the classic sense. I believe every one of the Chaos Gods has a specific side that is in essence 'good' or at the very least 'neutral'.
I don't think it's about good and evil.. I think it's about scale and moderation.

What's the difference between honourable battle and a berserk massacre?

What's the difference between tender lovemaking and a sordid orgy?

What's the difference between evolution and violent mutation?

In all cases it's scale. The problem with the Chaos Gods is that they do not value restraint. They're are made of emotion, and they see abseloutely nothing beyond that. It's all quantity. Bigger is always better.. More emotion/saccrifice/offerings empowers the God more, so naturally, the best response is always the most extreme.

That sets the chaos Gods quite far outside 'normal' human experience. Humans value moderation, we pretty much need it to live in a society, or we'd all be berserk killers or crazed loners constantly trying to tear down social barriers.

Accepting chaos means rejecting those barriers.. It means being able to go to the extremes. In fact, it makes the extremes acceptable, and the moderated response weak. If you're offering a single skull won in an honourable duel, and your friend has slaughtered hordes of enemy in a berserk rage to acquire hundreds of skulls, who gets rewarded? If you sit in your room looking at bright colours, and your friend goes out and renders down the population of an entire planet to make combat drugs in order to dedicate a horrifically extreme experience to Slannesh, who gets rewarded?

I don't believe in good and evil at all.. But I believe in human and inhuman, and chaos is pretty damn inhuman. It should be, really, since we're talking about beings of impossible scale and utterly incomprehensible mindset.

I don't think chaos beings should be slobbering morons, but neither should they be moderated, disciplined social human beings with a moral conscience. They've rejected that, they've put it aside. Who the hell cares about the humans who get rendered down into combat drugs? Where do you get the idea that they had any essential value? The experience created by the combat drugs is infinately, infinately more valuable to chaos than their pointless lives anyway.

^ Note, that's called using a dramatic voice and doesn't represent my RL practices. I'm not a derranged cannibal.. yet..
 

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Formerly BrotherAzriel
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2,373 Posts
BrotherAzriel, what you described is more or less the flow of the space wolf novels; following the rise of Rangar Blackmane from normal tribesman to the wolf lord that dealt several major blows to the thousand sons. (The first book actually went through his trials to becoming a space marine and his very first encounter with the sorcerer Maddox, the second his true first taste of war on another world, and so on, with the third book containing one of his most important feats, the fourth being the consequences of his actions in the third, and the fifth his return to the chapter.)
Serious??? Ahh crap. The space wolf novels are the only marine themed books i am yet to read, back to the drawing boards for me! lol

DoH!!!!
 

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Senior Member
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a good definition mantis. well played......well played indeed.....

well i would like to definatly see....some romance! That'd totally open up a whole new wave of marine possiblities and fluffage. I'd also like to see more on the interaction between the space marines and the Imperium. Sorta like...how do the laws apply, how do policies interact with marines, how does beauracracy effect chapters.....boring stuff like that! :party2:
 
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