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Made in us
Ancient Chaos Terminator




The dark hollows of Kentucky

 kirotheavenger wrote:
I think it was Know No Fear in which it's stated/shown/revealed that what sends Dreadnoughts insane is the sleep cycles.

That's odd, because the reason generally given for why CSM dreadnoughts go insane is that CSM don't put their dreadnoughts to sleep when not needed, and instead just chain them up somewhere.
   
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U.k

I don’t think the fluff has changed, I think machine spirits are still the same joke they have always been but now they use it more subtlety and people believe that they mean it’s they are real spirits in the machine.

It makes complete sense that characters in the
Fiction and setting believe it but we shouldn’t need it spelling out to us as the reader. There are no ghosts the machines just a lack of understanding and that hasn’t changed. But people seem to kiss and subtlety nowadays. All the example of machine spirits given in this thread so far are all cases of people in setting not getting how things work. Just like in baneblade where the tank “chooses” its new commander. It doesn’t it isn’t sentient or any such thing. It just works when that guy sits in and he in turn learns how best to manage the machine so it runs properly. Thus easing its “angry machine spirit”.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





I've never gotten the idea that machine spirits were 'real' in the sense of being genuine spirits or souls.

Just a mix of good ol' fashioned animism at the low end, and animism + AI of near, but still sub-sentience level at the high end.

   
Made in us
Exalted Beastlord




 Gadzilla666 wrote:
 kirotheavenger wrote:
I think it was Know No Fear in which it's stated/shown/revealed that what sends Dreadnoughts insane is the sleep cycles.

That's odd, because the reason generally given for why CSM dreadnoughts go insane is that CSM don't put their dreadnoughts to sleep when not needed, and instead just chain them up somewhere.


Yeah, Bjorn has been going in and out of stasis since the Heresy, and he's fine.

The current SM codex is very clear it is the opposite (p 37)
"Inside, little remains of the interred Space Marine but shriveled biological components sloshing in life-giving fluids. Such an existence shatters the sanity of even the strongest-minded warriors, and as such they slumber for centuries at a time, preserved only for the battles in which the Chapter needs them the most."

So they need the stasis-slumber to maintain sanity.

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
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Carlovonsexron wrote:
I've never gotten the idea that machine spirits were 'real' in the sense of being genuine spirits or souls.

Just a mix of good ol' fashioned animism at the low end, and animism + AI of near, but still sub-sentience level at the high end.


Quite right. And then there’s the added confusion that the land raider had a bit of kit called the “machine spirit”. Which is specific and distinct from the machine sprint talked about of lasguns or electric doors etc.
   
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Journeyman Inquisitor with Visions of the Warp




In Devestation of Baal, they have a Dreadnaught guarding that Chaos Alien thing, and he's about.....Well, before Dante I think?
   
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!!Goffik Rocker!!






Nuremberg

My understanding of the Land Raider (and Titan and other) Machine Spirit was that it was the understanding of the ignorant Imperials of the basic AI targetting and piloting system in the Land Raider.

To them, it's much the same as a glitchy OS needing to be placated or a laser gun needing to be maintained - all mysterious spirits that are dealt with through inscrutable ritual.

I like to imagine some Tech Priests are aware of this, but work cynically inside the confines of the Mechanicum for their own ends.

So like some are saying, the concept runs the gamut from animism of simpler tech because people don't understand how it works to misunderstanding more complex tech and simpler AI or guidance systems (or the sensory feedback systems of complex machines like Titans).

I'm not convinced the background is better if it's actually a magical presence inside all human technology.

   
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Jealous that Horus is Warmaster





Titans and Knights are very different from a Landraider regarding spirits though. A Landraider spirit probably is just advanced systems being mistaken for a soul but with Titans and Knights, it absolutely is the case of them having a soul. When Knights choose their riders, it's not a case of applying the right oils or pushing the right buttons, the Knight throne connects with the rider and will judge them worthy or not. It's roughly the same with Titans. A Warhound Princeps can't just be promoted to Imperator Princeps because the spirits of each machine are radically different. A Warhound is a hunting dog and usually takes "young" or eager Princeps that share its need to stalk prey. But its spirit is relatively weak and a Princeps can overpower it most of the time. A Warlord or Imperator spirit is as stubborn and prideful as you would expect from a colossal nigh-invincible war machine and it is always a fight between Princeps and spirit for control. This is what we see in Helsreach when Zahra fights with the spirit of Stormbringer and nearly loses.
The spiritual nature of the Imperium and Mechanicus means that although Titans and Knights are likely AI because they react like humans when pleased or angry the Admech see the presence of a soul in the machine, which in my books is way cooler than "superstitious robe men think a smart computer is a ghost". We also know that Titans and Knights can be corrupted by Chaos and it's not just the Princeps and crew that feel the effect, the machine itself can be fully corrupted.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/11 13:18:12


 
   
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Nuremberg

I agree that a Titan's "spirit" or AI is much more powerful and advanced than that of a Land Raider. And I think that the Mechanicus understand somewhat the complexity of it. I think they are also hypocrites that allow the existence of these AI for themselves while denying them to others, or make justification due to having some organic tissue in there or whatever. So I don't think we really disagree that much.

   
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So what do we consider massive/heavy Naughts like Telemon, those are almost Knights, and those might have tech that pre-date the HH.
   
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Jealous that Horus is Warmaster





Probably the same deal as a regular dread tbh. A Telemon has a Custodes piloting it as well, beings who are rumoured to be incorruptible by Chaos are going to need pretty strong minds and might be able to handle being a Dreadnought better. Again it all comes down to the sarcophagus and whether the suit that houses it is one machine spirit or a bunch of small ones. I would lean towards many smaller ones.
   
Made in fi
Shas'la with Pulse Carbine






40K is not science fiction, it's space fantasy. I see no reason why actual "Machine Spirits" couldn't exist in such a setting. If there's an abundance of supernatural things occuring in the Galaxy at any given moment, wouldn't be a stretch to imagine electronic ghosts existed as well. How could the powers of Chaos corrupt mechanized entities otherwise?

If there weren't electronic ghosts, what would you call Eldar spirit stones etc? Somehow, spiritual beings can exist inside electronic devices in the setting. Sure enough, how such a thing works requires a bunch of handwavium but that's the beauty of fiction innit

Machine Spirits are very much misunderstood by the plebs in 40K, that's pretty much a given.. and would be part and parcel for Institutions such as AdMech to obfusciate the truth even further. If you say a bog-standard tablet computer has a machine spirit inside, and that you might upset it if you start meddling with it, well that's a pretty good way to discourage people from learning to hack stuff. The less common people understand about tech, the better for the powers that be.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2021/03/11 16:55:22


 
   
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 tauist wrote:
40K is not science fiction, it's space fantasy. I see no reason why actual "Machine Spirits" couldn't exist in such a setting. If there's an abundance of supernatural things occuring in the Galaxy at any given moment, wouldn't be a stretch to imagine electronic ghosts existed as well. How could the powers of Chaos corrupt mechanized entities otherwise?

If there weren't electronic ghosts, what would you call Eldar spirit stones etc? Somehow, spiritual beings can exist inside electronic devices in the setting. Sure enough, how such a thing works requires a bunch of handwavium but that's the beauty of fiction innit

Machine Spirits are very much misunderstood by the plebs in 40K, that's pretty much a given.. and would be part and parcel for Institutions such as AdMech to obfusciate the truth even further. If you say a bog-standard tablet computer has a machine spirit inside, and that you might upset it if you start meddling with it, well that's a pretty good way to discourage people from learning to hack stuff. The less common people understand about tech, the better for the powers that be.



Because 40K is science fantasy fiction, and is written from a very secular, poke fun at religion stand point. The admech are a dig at the church and at technology. Now aliens are different. Living things can have souls in 40K especially alien ones. The eldar have a good understanding of souls but there machines don’t have them. Eldar souls can be put into machines, originally there were “ghost warriors” - dreadnought with the fluff we know now about spirit stones and then there were dreadnought with an actual live eldar piloting them - these confusing look like the spirit driven ones we know now. But it’s was never the machines souls it was an eldar and it only worked because of wraith bone being psycho active. But even Titans spirit is just a misrepresentation of cantankerous systems and AI misunderstood. A knight choosing it pilot isn’t a spirit actually choosing it’s just someone working better with the interface than others and no one knowing why. When you get to canis Rex rescuing it’s pilot then that’s just myth really. Did anyone see it happen???
   
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Halifax

Codex Heretic Astartes: Chaos Space Marines

"It is the changeling power of the warp that allows this process to take place, melding the inert and the animate together on a spiritual level in order to form something far greater than mere cybernetics." p.68

"The machine spirits that once dwelt inside the cogitators of these Chaos Land Raiders are distorted or forcibly supplanted by daemonic entities, giving these growling, snarling battle tanks a literal life of their own." p.71

"As the warrior's physicality changes, his spirit fuses with the war-spirits of destruction and butchery that flicker within his weaponry." p.69

   
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Nurglitch wrote:
Codex Heretic Astartes: Chaos Space Marines

"It is the changeling power of the warp that allows this process to take place, melding the inert and the animate together on a spiritual level in order to form something far greater than mere cybernetics." p.68

"The machine spirits that once dwelt inside the cogitators of these Chaos Land Raiders are distorted or forcibly supplanted by daemonic entities, giving these growling, snarling battle tanks a literal life of their own." p.71

"As the warrior's physicality changes, his spirit fuses with the war-spirits of destruction and butchery that flicker within his weaponry." p.69


So there the chaos lot believe there are spirits in the machines, non of that means there is, it’s unreliable typical GW stuff. If you want to think there is that’s grand for you but I believe you are missing a trick.
   
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I thought the machine spirit was just a superstitious method of understanding the equipment; they conduct “oil change rituals” and “anoint” the machine spirit in accordance with a “prayer” (technical manual describing how to conduct an oil change on the machine) to appease the machine spirit. They have seen what happens when you fail to appease the machine spirit; equipment fails. They attribute the consequences of not conducting proper rituals (preventative maintenance) on their equipment to enraging the machine spirit, when in actuality it’s the same thing as when your car runs for ten years without an oil change; things start to fall apart and stuff doesn’t get properly lubricated, etc etc. Actual mechanical understanding of the equipment gave way to superstition. Now on occasion I figure an actual “machine spirit” may be actual artificial intelligence, like for automated turrets or something, and they are just unaware of the nature of such things, simply calling that a machine spirit as well.

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. -Kurt Vonnegut 
   
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Upstate, New York

There is also the fact that prayer works in real and tangible ways. If you believe that saying the right things over your lasgun will help it shoot true, it might actually improve your aim. Like oks just believing their tech works, despite just being rust riveted together. This might just be subconsciously tapping into the warp. Just one guy doing it might not be enough to tap into the power, but when the whole IoM is doing the same thing, it might just work.

The eldar birthed a major chaos god with their debauched emotions. Billions of guardmen might have the juice to spark a minor one to look after their rifles...

/headcannon.


   
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Nuremberg

The ork tech thing was presented in the background as a theory from an Imperial, who just can't understand how Ork tech can work since he percieves them as stupid.

It's really unfortunate for the setting that this has become "canon", as it was originally ambiguous and much better that way.

Similarly, I dislike everything in 40K being explained away with latent background psychic ability and warp magic. It makes everything less interesting and more homogenous, and also amps up the Warp in ways I think are kind of boring - it just makes the Warp an extension to physics rather than something unknowable, cosmic and untethered from cause and effect.

   
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Halifax

It doesn't have to be explained away. You can have ritualized maintenance in the same breath as machine spirits, as one is material and the other is spiritual. I mean, having everything Orks have be explained by latent psychic power is just as dumb as having human stuff be explained by latent psychic powers, but the spiritual stuff is a feature of Warhammer 40,000; it's baked in. Orks are obviously far less concerned about ergonomics, user-safety, and the moral implications of technology so no wonder an order of superstitious tech-priests can't figure it out when their entire purpose is explaining why stuff so high tech it can be built out of scraps is improper for human use.

The Warp specifically isn't an extension to physics, it's ritual and intentions and all the mysterious stuff of consciousness that we still can't explain in terms of physics, and which people in 40k use just efficiently enough for interstellar travel, communication, and decision-making.

In fact that's one of the interesting things about the Warp in 40k, that it very specifically isn't real. Where 40k is fiction, the Warp isn't even real in the fiction; its utility to Mankind in that fiction is based on how it side-steps reality. In reality, we have no more theoretical basis for consciousness, subjectivity, and meaning than we have for the inside of a Black Hole, and in 40k that leads to a cool synthesis of science-fiction and fantasy that asks (1) what if there was mental stuff aside from real stuff, and (2) what does it mean when this sort of silly buggers actually happens to people.

I mean, reducing the spiritual and the technological to simply the technological is the modern reduction. We could say that machine spirits are simply either superstition or superstition about a kind of technology, and it's just a weird form of luck that this happens in a fictional universe where Unreality is breaking down real-space.

And if you want superstition about technology without the spiritual angle, with it just being people being stupid there's always Battletech.

   
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In the second Custodes book, I think Valayiran talks about how when he gets in his shuttle, he has to wait for the dormant Machine Spirit to awaken. Surely they must know if it's truth or a joke played on the imperium. He is also seriously borderline racist if you could call them one, against the Ad-mech. He calls them grasping, greedy, and coniving zealots of a false god.
   
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Nuremberg

I can totally accept that it is the canon now, I just don't like it.

   
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Regular Dakkanaut




In at least some of the older lore things like Titans that had major machine spirits was because they had animal brains embedded within them fitted out like servitors and used as a processor. Wolves etc for warhounds and things like bears for larger titans.

Technically gets around the ban on ‘artificial’ intelligence while having so much tech in the, that there’s very little practical difference.
   
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Well, Bella "Walking lorebreak" Cawl is a sentient AI now, so where does that leave us? Does he have a soul? He is about the size of a dreadnaught.....give or take.
   
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Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






He is....and he isn’t.

He does have surrogate bodies, sure. But, each is piloted (for want of a better word) by copies of his consciousness. His engrams mapped and installed.

We don’t know if they’re on a blanked or cloned brain, data wafer etc.

Remember. The Ad Mech is a religion. Appalling hypocrisy for the upper echelons goes with the territory.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

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FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
In the second Custodes book, I think Valayiran talks about how when he gets in his shuttle, he has to wait for the dormant Machine Spirit to awaken. Surely they must know if it's truth or a joke played on the imperium. He is also seriously borderline racist if you could call them one, against the Ad-mech. He calls them grasping, greedy, and coniving zealots of a false god.


That’s just the same has having to wait for your computer to boot up when you turn it on.
   
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Well, he also literally menions in book 1, had to go back and re-read it, "The machine Spirits of the Galatus Dreadnaughts inhabiting their impressive forms needed to be awoken from their slumber.

Hes a custodian, and he's directly referencing the existence of the Machine Spirits. in Dreads.

Custodes 1, cannot lie. And 2, are wise enough to know what is an is not fake crap. Dreadnaught machine spirits exist.
   
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Killer Klaivex







I think that there's a fairly simple and in-universe explanation for most examples of the Machine Spirit.

Simply put, in the 40K Universe, belief actually has reality-warping effects thanks to the Warp. If you believe strongly enough that your lasgun has a soul, something flickers in the Warp in response to that. If a machine-priest says prayers over it once a week, the flicker starts and stays longer. If you use the bayonet on the lasgun to rip out people's hearts, the veil between dimensions thins slightly each time you kill someone with it. And so on. Every one of these acts of belief and faith combines with the presence of death or other reality-thinning activities (jumping through the warp on a ship, for example) to make that scrap of 'soul' in the warp stronger.

When it gets strong enough, your weapon (or whatever machine) has effectively become imbued with a 'spirit', so to speak. It's not a spirit in the sense that it was ever human, it's entirely shaped by the beliefs and actions which led to its birth. But by the time you end up with Fabius Bile's backpack, it has effectively taken on a life of its own.

On the flip side, a lasgun with no owner that came straight out an automated factory has no such presence in the warp or 'soul'. That's why Tau tech is 'soulless'

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/03/16 17:01:06



 
   
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Grim Dark Angels Interrogator-Chaplain




Vigo. Spain.

I always tought machine spirits are the combination of a couple of things that short of merge in a semi conscisciouness in the most powerfull of machines:

-The biological components, for example: The souls of old imperial knights or titan pilots, the human brains of failed neophytes and servitors SM and AM use in their bigger machines when they need superior computation power.
-Proto-AI or just advanced software that aren't fully understood, the bigger and more complex the machine, the more advanced and archaic their software components are: Ships, Titans, land raiders, etc...


Those two components, combined with the fact that for thousands of years humans have been praying to their machines, and the bigger the machine, the more revered it is (Titants are for the most part, revered as walking war-gods), working as some kind of "warp cement" that brings everything together in a esotheric and badly defined way to make the bigger machines act, some times as their own thing. And in the biggest ones like imperial knights, titans, great tanks or space ships, can even converge into forming his own personality.

In all the other stuff: Normal machinery, weapons, power armor, etc... I believe they don't have actually a spirit. When imperial people say "I have to make a ritual so my imperial-microwave spirit machine awakens and cooks me stuff", what they are refering is probably just pushing the buttons and actually doing the normal things anyone does when operating a machine, but with the assumption of it being a sort of religious ritual.


TLR I have always understood the machine spirit as a religious invention of the Adeptus Mechanicus born from their lack of understanding, but that actually comes to be in some of the more powerfull technology by the combination of multiple factors.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/03/16 17:15:23


 Crimson Devil wrote:

Dakka does have White Knights and is also rather infamous for it's Black Knights. A new edition brings out the passionate and not all of them are good at expressing themselves in written form. There have been plenty of hysterical responses from both sides so far. So we descend into pointless bickering with neither side listening to each other. So posting here becomes more masturbation than conversation.

ERJAK wrote:
Forcing a 40k player to keep playing 7th is basically a hate crime.

 
   
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FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
Well, he also literally menions in book 1, had to go back and re-read it, "The machine Spirits of the Galatus Dreadnaughts inhabiting their impressive forms needed to be awoken from their slumber.

Hes a custodian, and he's directly referencing the existence of the Machine Spirits. in Dreads.

Custodes 1, cannot lie. And 2, are wise enough to know what is an is not fake crap. Dreadnaught machine spirits exist.


Custodes still believe in the imperial creed and that’s nonsense. It doesn’t mean they are real it just means he believes they are. In universe saying that they don’t have would seem foolish and stupid but that only because that’s the limit of their understanding. Us as readers or players have the privilege of knowing it not true and can see the folly of their superstitious beliefs. The writers shouldn’t have to spell that out for us, if you want to believe that in universe all machines have spirits or souls that’s up to you but you are missing the point of 40ks relationship with religion.
   
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Actually they do NOT believe in the imperial creed. Read the books. Everything that happened AFTER the Emperor "died" was done by the Imperium, on it's own, without the consent of the E, or the Custodes. It's almost a direct quote by Trajaan in book 1 when he is admonishing the Counselor for his belief that the Custodes and the Church should join together and fight the wars of the Imperium. He's like: those are your wars of your perverted church, of a perverted imperium. It's never what they wanted, and they are the literal counselors of the Emperor, who talk with him and commune with him. Valarian knows what the greatest truth of the galaxy is, as a "best friend" of the emperor, and he knows machine Spirits exist. I don't see the breakdown in the logic.
   
 
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