Switch Theme:

What should be considered canon?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in ie
Hallowed Canoness




Ireland

Ahh, 40k canon ... a tricky topic. But one that very much deserves discussion.

First of all, you have to put things into categories. You cannot sort novels or codices by the people who wrote them - I'm talking about the cases where some people think that Goto's books and Ward's GK codex are both "non-canon" but every other codex and BL novel is fine. That's just not how it works and only invites personal interpretation of a much larger degree than when you'd work with categories.

Next, there is the problem that Games Workshop has released little information on how they deal with the subject - which is on some level understandable, as lots of people prize licensed material for supposedly adding to a uniform continuity, and a clear statement that this is not the case would inevitably lower the market value of said products. However we still have statements from various people, both current and former GW employees as well as Black Library authors, who usually only briefly touch the core of this question. Their comments, however, actually do paint a rather consistent image, and one that is clearly not in line with the common assumption that anything bearing the 40k logo is "canon" in a sense as that it established a fact.

During the 2008 GW General Meeting (whose entire report can be found here), George Mann, Head of Publishing at Games Workshop and the boss of Black Library, was confronted by a future novel writer who had inquired about this very topic:
In further conversation, George emphasized that Black Library’s main objective was to “tell good stories”. He agreed that some points in certain novels could, perhaps, have benefited from the editor’s red pen (a certain multilaser was mentioned) but was at pains to explain that, just as each hobbyist tends to interpret the background and facts of the Warhammer and 40k worlds differently, so does each author. In essence, each author represents an “alternative” version of the respective worlds. After pressing him further, he explained that only the Studio material (rulebooks, codexes, army books and suchlike) was canonical in that is HAD to be adhered-to in the plots and background of the novels. There was no obligation on authors to adhere to facts and events as spelled out in Black Library work.

This establishes a chain of facts for Black Library novels that works as follows:
- authors of BL novels are not required to adhere to whatever new stuff another author has invented in his book
-- due to this, BL novels cannot "create canon", as this would requite other BL books to follow it
--- for the same reason, BL novels cannot modify or retcon studio material canon
Conclusion: BL novels have no effect on the setting as written in GW studio material (rulebooks and codices). They are, as Mann said, "alternative worlds".

It is due to this double-edged freedom that we end up with contradictions throughout the licensed publications, and in some cases an author's interpretation may even conflict with studio material, such as the size of Abnett's Marines or Mitchell's Schola Progenium. In some cases, these conflicts may arise due to the author having missed a small detail when researching the background, for the fluff of 40k is vast and many small bits of information that were created over the decades are difficult to find, especially in cases where they have only been published in a magazine. In many cases, only hardcore fans that focus on researching every last bit of information on their one favorite army will actually remember this (or did you know that GW released an article about Sororitas using drop pods in the Citadel Magazine?), so the vast amount of mistakes in BL novels only gets noticed by a small percentage of readers, if at all. It is only thanks to the internet that talk about these mistakes actually spreads and others are made aware, and you can bet your immortal soul that somewhere there are players who consider C.S. Goto's books to be a perfect representation of the setting, simply because their own interpretation is similar to the one of the author.

This brings us to our next statement, though. This one comes from Gav Thorpe, which I'm sure you all know as a former game and background designer and major contributor to the franchise. On his blog, he talks about the advantages of tie-in fiction and how it works with the 40k setting, and whilst the majority of the post is (quite validly) praising the advantages of artistic license and the ability to work with a certain degree of freedom, one important sentence stands out in echoing what George Mann hinted at:
Gav Thorpe wrote:If the developers and other creative folks believe a contribution by an author fits the bill and has an appeal to the audience, why not fold it back into the ‘game’ world – such as Gaunt’s Ghosts or characters from the Gotrek and Felix series. On the other hand, if an author has a bit of a wobbly moment, there’s no pressure to feel that it has to be accepted into the worldview promulgated by the codexes and army books.

In short, Games Workshop occasionally "adopts" things they like and feel would make a cool addition to the setting as described in the studio material, but they feel in no way obliged to accept anything coming out of the Black Library as binding. This stance leads me to suggest that the players should neither.

But we have more. Aaron Dembski-Bowden, who many of you will know as an author working on the Horus Heresy novel series, has a blog, too - and one post is specifically directed at the issue of canonicity:
Aaron Dembski-Bowden wrote:I’ve read 40K novels that categorically violate my opinions and perceptions of how 40K works, and I have no trouble ignoring them afterwards. [...] Within the possibility of endless interpretation lies the potential for freedom. What matters is respecting the source material, contributing to it, and sticking to the theme.

The above is somewhat ripped straight out of the middle of the post, but I maintain it remains in context. I suggest that you, dear reader, give the entire blogpost a look and check for yourself, for it is quite enlightening. The comment section of it is just as important, for not only does the author explain one incident where he chose to disregard even codex material (and I actually find myself agreeing with his preferences there), but you will also notice that another popular ex-GW employee - former game designer Andy Hoare - added his two cents there:
Andy Hoare wrote:It all stems from the assumption that there’s a binding contract between author and reader to adhere to some nonexistent subjective construct or ‘true’ representation of the setting. There is no such contract, and no such objective truth.

So, that's what the people who are actually working on the material are thinking, based on their experience with Games Workshop, the Black Library and FFG.

For many years, I too have thought that "everything 40k" was canon in that it all added fact after fact to a single universe, much like how the Star Wars setting works. These quotes, however, make the Star Trek franchise a better comparison. Just like probably many other fans of Warhammer 40.000, I made the mistake of taking canonicity for granted - because, hey, everybody did! It was not until I stumbled upon more and more little "mistakes" (from my perception in that they would conflict with what the actual studio material had established) that I began to scour the interwebs for the above statements in hopes of finding an answer. And I have to say, for all my love for consistency, I actually like this far more than the alternative. For this means that I do not have to accept everything as cold hard fact just because it originated in the interpretation of a single "outsourced" writer, up to and including certain things that I perceive as violating the very spirit of some of the setting's aspects. The very same artistic license granting the authors a larger range to exert their creativity in now also grants us the ability to pick and choose.

Personally, I have thus opted for a "best of both worlds" approach, in that I will defer to anything that is promulgated by the studio itself - as this seems to remain an established standard that everybody else is supposed to adhere to - but that I will also adopt whatever little snippet from Black Library material fits into the setting as it is perceived and interpreted (on the basis of the studio material) by me, whilst keeping in mind the risk that these adoptions may be overruled by GW any day.

Hope this was somewhat helpful.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2011/08/04 00:19:07


 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Just throwing it out there, I love the star wars canon system. Its very regimented and clear cut as to whats what:

G (George Lucas) canon is absolute canon. This category includes the final releases of the six films, the novelizations of the films, the radio dramas based on the films, the film scripts, and any material found in any other source (published or not) that comes directly from George Lucas himself. G canon outranks all other forms of canon.
C (continuity) canon refers to the main body of EU work, and is the next most authoritative level of canon. All material published under the Star Wars label that doesn't fall into either G, S, or N canon is C canon and is considered authoritative as long as it isn't contradicted by G canon.
S (secondary) canon refers to older, less accurate, or less coherent EU works, which would not ordinarily fit in the main continuity of G and C canon. For example, this includes the popular online roleplaying game Star Wars Galaxies, and certain elements of a few N-canon stories.
N continuity material is also known as "non-canon" or "non-continuity" material. What-if stories (such as those published under the Infinities label) and anything else that cannot at all fit into continuity is placed into this category. "N-continuity" is not considered canon.

Even better is that Lucas Licensing maintains an internal database known as Holocron, which is basically an internal wiki that contains info on basically everything ever published, etc. , as well as info on things that have yet to be published (there is a strong amount of central planning in the Star Wars EU in terms of the overall direction the story is taking). Writers, game developers, etc. are given access to it, and from it they can pull up pretty much any information to limit contradictions. Unfortunately the didn't implement the thing until around the turn of the millenium, so pior to that parts of the EU were as muddled as BL fluff currently is, but they've since retconned most of the blatant contradictions.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





The best part of 40K is that a majority of it's fluff is propaganda for a specific race so even when it's canon it's debatable whether what's canon is actually true and not just one race tooting it's own horn.
   
Made in au
Anti-Armour Swiss Guard






Newcastle, OZ

1. The codices (until 'updated' and retconned).
2. The Imperial Armour books (until contradicted by another source).
3. BL novels (excluding everything by Goto).

In that order.

In the end, it's all propaganda contradicted by every other source. This is the thing with propaganda. It's all a great big ego-boosting fib.

I'm 50.
Old enough to know better, young enough to not give a ****.

That is not dead which can eternal lie ...

... and yet, with strange aeons, even death may die.
 
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter




Seattle

Basically, it's like this...

If it's in a book that is directly related to the game of Warhammer: 40,000 as a table-top game played with little metal or plastic soldiers, then it is "canon", so long as another one of these books doesn't come along and change it... because that then becomes canon and the old stuff is forgotten and dies.

If it's from any other source and is not a topic for a book directly related to the table-top game? Then you can make up whatever the feth you want.

It is best to be a pessimist. You are usually right and, when you're wrong, you're pleasantly surprised. 
   
Made in us
Tzeentch Doomlord Pilot




Noctis Labyrinthus

Except for a codex, which I will always admit is canon, what I like is canon, what I dislike is not.

Every single member of the staff of GW could tell me otherwise, and I would tell them to shove it.
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter




Seattle

Which works just fine for your home games and maybe games between friends at your FLGS... but not in a discussion about canonical topics on a forum like Dakka. Hell, I break a lot of fluff in my home DH game, because it makes for better story and setting, and just looks cool, besides, but I wouldn't dream of arguing that my inclusion of Centurions from Battlestar Galactica into the AdMech Legio Cybernetica is in any way "canon".

It'd be like trying to discuss the career of the Beatles with music-philes, and maintain that the Beatles are all alive and well and still in the studio, because you didn't like the fact that Yoko Ono got involved and John Lennon got killed, so in your fan-fic, she didn't and he didn't, and he's still alive and making awesome music in Lisbon or something.

It works in your fan-fic, it doesn't work in "serious" discussion of the topic, which is what a discussion on canon topics on a forum like this is. It's "serious", but not serious.

It is best to be a pessimist. You are usually right and, when you're wrong, you're pleasantly surprised. 
   
Made in ca
Stone Bonkers Fabricator General





Arstotzka

pssst Coa, change the title to "canon"

 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Psienesis wrote:Which works just fine for your home games and maybe games between friends at your FLGS... but not in a discussion about canonical topics on a forum like Dakka. Hell, I break a lot of fluff in my home DH game, because it makes for better story and setting, and just looks cool, besides, but I wouldn't dream of arguing that my inclusion of Centurions from Battlestar Galactica into the AdMech Legio Cybernetica is in any way "canon".

It'd be like trying to discuss the career of the Beatles with music-philes, and maintain that the Beatles are all alive and well and still in the studio, because you didn't like the fact that Yoko Ono got involved and John Lennon got killed, so in your fan-fic, she didn't and he didn't, and he's still alive and making awesome music in Lisbon or something.

It works in your fan-fic, it doesn't work in "serious" discussion of the topic, which is what a discussion on canon topics on a forum like this is. It's "serious", but not serious.


This. What you choose to believe and not to believe is not canon. Thats your own 'personal 40k'. Canon refers to what is official/treated as genuine material.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in us
Willing Inquisitorial Excruciator





Dragons, man. DRAGONS.

I split canon into "Novels", and "Codecies", each of which is practically it's own universe for me.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2011/08/04 04:33:14





http://darkspenthouse.punbb-hosting.com/index.php

MrDwhitey wrote:My 40k group drove a tank through an Orphanage. I felt it was a charitable cause.
purplefood wrote:I saw a tree eat a man once... after it cooked him with lightning... damn man eating lightning trees...
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




St. George, UT

The only things I have a difficult time swallowing, even in canon material, is when numbers are given.

The number disparity over world populations, faction populations, # of worlds, etc. just get a little too far out of hand to form a cohesive body.

Of course that is where plot armor comes in. I think some authors just pick a number that sounds impressive without looking at the whole picture of 40K.

My favorite example of this is the Emperor himself and his need to devour 100 souls a day. 36,500 souls a year. But not just any soul, psycher souls. Now how long has he been on that throne? Think about it... seriously, it sucks to be born a psycher. There is a good chance your going get your soul ate before you die of natural causes.

See pics of my Orks, Tau, Emperor's Children, Necrons, Space Wolves, and Dark Eldar here:


 
   
Made in rs
Resolute Ultramarine Honor Guard





Holy Terra

Nicholas wrote:The best part of 40K is that a majority of it's fluff is propaganda for a specific race so even when it's canon it's debatable whether what's canon is actually true and not just one race tooting it's own horn.


Exactly, and when 2 sides start fighting they will always support their own side and we would have no victor at all. So people use other sources to compensate ( sometimes it can se easy as "I think we can assume" ).


Automatically Appended Next Post:
KamikazeCanuck wrote:pssst Coa, change the title to "canon"


Sry, my bad English again

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2011/08/04 06:53:19


For Emperor and Imperium!!!!
None shall stand against the Crusade of the Righteous!!!
Kanluwen wrote: "I like the Tau. I just don't like people misconstruing things to say that it means that they're somehow a huge galactic threat. They're not. They're a threat to the Imperium of Man like sharks are a threat to the US Army."
"Pain is temporary, honor is forever"
Emperor of Mankind:
"The day I have a sit-down with a pansy elf, magic mushroom, or commie frog is the day I put a bolt shell in my head."
in your name it shall be done"
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/2SSSR2

Viersche wrote:
Abadabadoobaddon wrote:
the Emperor might be the greatest psyker that ever lived, but he doesn't have the specialized training that a Grey Knight has. Also he doesn't have a Grey Knight's unshakable faith in the Emperor.


The Emperor doesn't have a GKs unshakable faith in the Emperor which is....basically himself?

Ronin wrote:

"Brother Coa (and the OP Tadashi) is like, the biggest IoM fanboy I can think of here. It's like he IS from the Imperium, sent back in time and across dimensions."

 
   
Made in gb
Screaming Banshee






Novosibirsk, Russia

Codex = religiously canon.

Anything else? It depends on whether you, as an individual gamer, like it. I mean, for Emperor's sake there are still people running about in denial about the Squats.

Thought I'd give the whole 'Blogger' lark a go...
-Cadian 812th (rotting in a cupboard)
-Dark Angels 3rd Company (in disfavour, eBay?)
-Irun'Mahn (pretty and deserve love; why aren't I giving them it?)
-Draigo 'n' his Merry Band (to be continued) - How to magnetise Grey Knight strike squads' two-handed and special weapons
-The Maggot Host
Klan WurldWaagh -Are now in my first P&M blog! If you like the idea of WW2 and Orks, please take a look... 
   
Made in se
Wicked Warp Spider






Ios

I read somewhere that GW considers everything official canon (including the stuff from Relic Entertainment), although their canon does not have to be continuous. That is, that it's quite OK if one source contradicts the other, and that there's only a few universal truths.
I think this was from Gav Thorpe, though I don't have the quote so take it with a pinch of salt.

P.S. Goto has been vetoed by the fans not to be canon

I really need to stay away from the 40K forums. 
   
Made in ie
Hallowed Canoness




Ireland

Mahtamori wrote:I read somewhere that GW considers everything official canon (including the stuff from Relic Entertainment), although their canon does not have to be continuous. That is, that it's quite OK if one source contradicts the other, and that there's only a few universal truths.
I think this was from Gav Thorpe, though I don't have the quote so take it with a pinch of salt.
You are probably referring to the statement from Marc Gascogne about how it's "all official" - that one gets thrown around fairly often when people bother to pull sources, but what is often missed is that the very same statement later relativizes this by adding that it's "all rumours, distorted legends and half truths." In addition to this, "official" isn't exactly the same as "canon" (it just means that the material is protected under license and allowed to bear the franchise mark), and he refuses to provide an answer as to if it's "all canon" - though his wording could also be interpreted in a way that simply means GW does not even have a canon policy.
You can find a full quote of his statement (which was printed in a White Dwarf) here.

Marc was also interviewed here where he clarifies that BL books are not supposed to contradict studio material, which is one of the essential points that George Mann made in his reply - basically a confirmation that BL cannot "retcon" GW.

You can find an actual quote from Gav that seems a bit less "shrouding" in my first post above. He clearly differentiates between novel and codex material, though it should be noted that - at least according to all those statements and comments from the people who have been or are working in or with GW - the only reason why codices could be considered "canon" is because GW is much more likely to stick to material they themselves have already written rather than inventing it anew every year, so you're more likely to find a certain consistency from codex to codex (as much of the material in a new book is just rewrites or even plain copypaste, with the rest being made to "fit in" said previously established fluff). As Gav said, GW does not feel in any way bound to accept what some BL author invented into the setting as defined by their own books, but they do occasionally "adopt" things they like.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2011/08/04 12:47:51


 
   
Made in us
Consigned to the Grim Darkness





USA

Considering the rulebook itself has typos and factual errors, yeah, I'd say that a source's state of canon is a bit nebulous, even the supposedly hard sources. Probably Codex -> Non-Codex source (IIUP for example) -> Rulebook -> Black Library = FFG roleplay -> fan fiction or something like that.

The people in the past who convinced themselves to do unspeakable things were no less human than you or I. They made their decisions; the only thing that prevents history from repeating itself is making different ones.
-- Adam Serwer
My blog
 
   
Made in gb
Wight Lord with the Sword of Kings






UK

Brother Coa wrote:-Other 40k games story lines are considered canon, except for Fire Warrior and it's continued book ( many peopel don't consider this canon because that 1 FW kill such enemies and so many enemies that he even make Grey Knights Terminators to fade in comarison ). My personal opinion: 1 Tau FW killed thousands of Guardsman, hundreds of Astartes and Chaos Astartes ( some of them in melee ), Chaos Sorceress, Oblitarators, Raptors, several DAEMON PRINCES and as the grand finale - Grater Daemon of Tzenech - all by himself.

Fill me in if I miss something and tell me your opinion.


I treat anything published by or on behalf of GW as Canon (even when I don't like it - but then for my own games etc I would ignore fluff that I don't like where possible), but would tend to go along with the hierachy as others outline.

re Fire Warrior - well Kais is an average Fire Warrior in the same ways as Gaunt and Cain are just average Commissars, Marbo is just a Catachan guardsman, etc. He is their equivalent - an individual who does truely extrordinary things in the service of his Empire.

He kills lots of things in the game (although a lot less than you outline) but the novel makes clear he is also "helped" on his path of destruction by other powers who see him as a pawn in a larger game. But as often happens, the pawn is underestimated........

I AM A MARINE PLAYER

"Unimaginably ancient xenos artefact somewhere on the planet, hive fleet poised above our heads, hidden 'stealer broods making an early start....and now a bloody Chaos cult crawling out of the woodwork just in case we were bored. Welcome to my world, Ciaphas."
Inquisitor Amberley Vail, Ordo Xenos

"I will admit that some Primachs like Russ or Horus could have a chance against an unarmed 12 year old novice but, a full Battle Sister??!! One to one? In close combat? Perhaps three Primarchs fighting together... but just one Primarch?" da001

www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/528517.page

A Bloody Road - my Warhammer Fantasy Fiction 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Codecies and the IA series should be considered canon, but that doesn't mean that they're true. Many of the historical data points in them could reflect Imperial propaganda.
   
Made in rs
Resolute Ultramarine Honor Guard





Holy Terra

Mr Morden wrote:
re Fire Warrior - well Kais is an average Fire Warrior in the same ways as Gaunt and Cain are just average Commissars, Marbo is just a Catachan guardsman, etc. He is their equivalent - an individual who does truely extrordinary things in the service of his Empire.


Never heard about Cain or Gaunt or Marbo kill Lord of Change. That thing can also see the future http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Lord_of_Change And it is a freaking Grater Daemon foe Emperor's sake ( you know, the one you usually need 10 Grey Knights Terminators to kill ).

He kills lots of things in the game (although a lot less than you outline) but the novel makes clear he is also "helped" on his path of destruction by other powers who see him as a pawn in a larger game. But as often happens, the pawn is underestimated........


On one level you kill 72 Stormtroopers and 3 Space Marines, on the next you kill 52 Stormtroopers and 7 Space Marines ( I counted ). And that part is also true, he had a help from KHORNE. And that is why I consider this non canon - Tau can't hear them at all as we have seen in Dark Crusade Chaos Stronghold attack. ( notice the buzzing )



For Emperor and Imperium!!!!
None shall stand against the Crusade of the Righteous!!!
Kanluwen wrote: "I like the Tau. I just don't like people misconstruing things to say that it means that they're somehow a huge galactic threat. They're not. They're a threat to the Imperium of Man like sharks are a threat to the US Army."
"Pain is temporary, honor is forever"
Emperor of Mankind:
"The day I have a sit-down with a pansy elf, magic mushroom, or commie frog is the day I put a bolt shell in my head."
in your name it shall be done"
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/2SSSR2

Viersche wrote:
Abadabadoobaddon wrote:
the Emperor might be the greatest psyker that ever lived, but he doesn't have the specialized training that a Grey Knight has. Also he doesn't have a Grey Knight's unshakable faith in the Emperor.


The Emperor doesn't have a GKs unshakable faith in the Emperor which is....basically himself?

Ronin wrote:

"Brother Coa (and the OP Tadashi) is like, the biggest IoM fanboy I can think of here. It's like he IS from the Imperium, sent back in time and across dimensions."

 
   
Made in us
Badass "Sister Sin"






Camas, WA

Lynata wrote:But we have more. Aaron Dembski-Bowden, who many of you will know as an author working on the Horus Heresy novel series, has a blog, too - and one post is specifically directed at the issue of canonicity:
Aaron Dembski-Bowden wrote:I’ve read 40K novels that categorically violate my opinions and perceptions of how 40K works, and I have no trouble ignoring them afterwards. [...] Within the possibility of endless interpretation lies the potential for freedom. What matters is respecting the source material, contributing to it, and sticking to the theme.


That was a great blog post. Thanks for pointing it out! Gives a lot of insight into what GW/BL, etc actually thinks about it.

Looking for great deals on miniatures or have a large pile you are looking to sell off? Checkout Mindtaker Miniatures on Facebook!
Live in the Pacific NW? Check out http://ordofanaticus.com
Want to know your rumor monger's history? Check out the Ongoing Rumor Accuracy Tracking thread

"For this thread to have some utility and remain useful, please refrain from spamming it with 'jokes'." - Alpharius
"Irrational negativity is the engine that drives the forums" - BrassScorpion
"It's too early to be crying about this. Maybe next month all your tears will be valid." - Redbeard

200+ Successful Trades on Dakka.
My trade list: http://mindtaker.org/trade.html 
   
Made in nl
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Anything you want. Why should I follow some rules on what I'm allowed to like?
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter




Seattle

That pretty much ignores the definition of "canon", that's why. No one's saying you can't do it, I'm sure all of us do it to some extent in some areas, but it doesn't make our fan-dexes or fan-fics or RPG settings and house rules and all of that sort of stuff "canon" to the hobby worldwide.

It would be like... ok, I'm a big Imperium fan, but I'm also a real big fan of semi-utopian science fiction settings. So, because I like these things... the Heresy? Never happened. The Big E and all his kids get along just great, Father/Son picnics, baseball games, the whole nine yards. Sure, there's still warfare and battle, because there's all these nasty aliens out there that need to be purged but, for the average citizen of the Imperium of Man? It's a golden age of prosperity, equality and fun.

So, while I am free to run a game with this belief... it is not the canon setting to Warhammer 40,000.



As an addition, for those confused about the word, this is the definition of "canon" outside of religious meanings:
"the body of rules, principles, or standards accepted as axiomatic and universally binding in a field of study or art"
Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011.

(Note: I don't actually run a game like this, this was just an example)

It is best to be a pessimist. You are usually right and, when you're wrong, you're pleasantly surprised. 
   
Made in us
Stone Bonkers Fabricator General






A garden grove on Citadel Station

Brother Coa wrote:On one level you kill 72 Stormtroopers and 3 Space Marines, on the next you kill 52 Stormtroopers and 7 Space Marines ( I counted ). And that part is also true, he had a help from KHORNE. And that is why I consider this non canon - Tau can't hear them at all as we have seen in Dark Crusade Chaos Stronghold attack. ( notice the buzzing )


Or, the Tau commander could be referring to the voices as the comm chatter/buzzing, rather than acknowledge them.

ph34r's forgeworld Phobos blog
+From Iron Cometh Strength+ +From Strength Cometh Will+ +From Will Cometh Faith+ +From Faith Cometh Honor+ +From Honor Cometh Iron+
The Polito form is dead, insect. Are you afraid? What is it you fear? The end of your trivial existence?
When the history of my glory is written, your species shall only be a footnote to my magnificence.
 
   
Made in ie
Hallowed Canoness




Ireland

[huh, doublepost]

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2011/08/04 22:32:44


 
   
Made in us
Consigned to the Grim Darkness





USA

Tau are not blanks.

Please don't act like they are.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2011/08/04 21:00:27


The people in the past who convinced themselves to do unspeakable things were no less human than you or I. They made their decisions; the only thing that prevents history from repeating itself is making different ones.
-- Adam Serwer
My blog
 
   
Made in ie
Hallowed Canoness




Ireland

Psienesis wrote:That pretty much ignores the definition of "canon", that's why. No one's saying you can't do it, I'm sure all of us do it to some extent in some areas, but it doesn't make our fan-dexes or fan-fics or RPG settings and house rules and all of that sort of stuff "canon" to the hobby worldwide.

It pretty much fits to how the people at Games Workshop and the Black Library see it, though. Judging from the comments and statements I posted earlier, there is no canon. The idea of a 40k canon is wishful thinking by fans who (like me, back when I joined the hobby) want all their books to contribute to a uniform continuity.
The only thing somewhat coming close to a supposed canon seems to be - as Gav and George said - the rulebooks and codices, and that only because they provide us with some sort of foundation that other publications are *supposed* to follow. But even codex material seems to be "fluid" and may change from edition to edition.

Games Workshop provides us with the groundworks, and they do want it to be our own decision what we do with it. Here is an interesting article from Bolter and Chainsword that discusses the advantages of this approach for hobbyists.

Personally, I would prefer working within the confines of a well-defined setting like SW, but I do acknowledge and understand the points of those who prefer the freedom that GW grants them. It's simply a matter of preferences. Obviously it is also a matter of much misconception.

ph34r wrote:Or, the Tau commander could be referring to the voices as the comm chatter/buzzing, rather than acknowledge them.
Plus it's video game versus video game.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2011/08/04 21:07:28


 
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter




Seattle

The GW canon is not as extensive as the SW canon, to be sure... but there's some basic things that are "canon" to the setting that one simply cannot ignore if one wants to discuss what WH40K is or is not.

Yes, things can change from one Codex edition to the next... but so does SW canon (also changing based on what a guy says in a press interview, off the top of his head, in a moment of pique, whatever).

Again, no one is saying you can't create your own Chapters, backgrounds, events, aspects to established organizations (like my BSG Centurions as AdMech robot-soldiers), or historical events (like the Heresy never happening)... but outside of a personal game or an immediate circle of friends, these fan-fics are probably not going to show up in a Chapter Approved publication or a National Tournament.

There's lots and lots of "canon" that I discard for my own games (like the entire existence of the Blood Ravens SM Chapter in my DH games), but, again, I wouldn't try to argue that this is how the universal GW 40k world is/should be for every other 40k player.

It is best to be a pessimist. You are usually right and, when you're wrong, you're pleasantly surprised. 
   
Made in ie
Hallowed Canoness




Ireland

Psienesis wrote:The GW canon is not as extensive as the SW canon, to be sure... but there's some basic things that are "canon" to the setting that one simply cannot ignore if one wants to discuss what WH40K is or is not.
To an extent I agree, of course! The difficult thing is just the definition of what these basic things are. It's easy to sum up the general principle of "getting the look and feel right" (paraphrased from Aaron's blog), but with this philosophy, the extent of "true" canon could probably be summed up on a single A4 page, where Space Marines are described in just one or two sentences. There are few things that seem "immovable". Grey Knight and Sororitas incorruptability being just the latest examples of a codex-powered revision. Or these dreadful changes to the Night Lords' armour that Aaron has chosen to ignore for his Horus Heresy novels.

It's funny how, the more I talk and think about it, the further I move away from a position I held just about half a year ago.

As for things not showing up in Chapter Approved publications or a National Tournament, I suppose the same thing could be said about new "facts" from Black Library novels or the RPG - though GW has indeed occasionally published things from both BL novels as well as fan-fics, if they thought it'd fit to the current incarnation of the setting as described in the studio material.

I guess all that matters is finding some "mutual ground" for your local gaming group, be it for the RPG or the Tabletop. And that seems to be how GW intended it to work out.
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter




Seattle

Most certainly... but, again, in the interests of establishing "canon", we pretty much have to refer to the Codices and other materials directly related to the table-top wargame as the "facts", and all other sources can be picked from, taken whole, or totally ignored as suits the individual player or play group.

It is best to be a pessimist. You are usually right and, when you're wrong, you're pleasantly surprised. 
   
Made in gb
Wight Lord with the Sword of Kings






UK

Brother Coa wrote:
Mr Morden wrote:
re Fire Warrior - well Kais is an average Fire Warrior in the same ways as Gaunt and Cain are just average Commissars, Marbo is just a Catachan guardsman, etc. He is their equivalent - an individual who does truely extrordinary things in the service of his Empire.


Never heard about Cain or Gaunt or Marbo kill Lord of Change. That thing can also see the future http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Lord_of_Change And it is a freaking Grater Daemon foe Emperor's sake ( you know, the one you usually need 10 Grey Knights Terminators to kill ).

He kills lots of things in the game (although a lot less than you outline) but the novel makes clear he is also "helped" on his path of destruction by other powers who see him as a pawn in a larger game. But as often happens, the pawn is underestimated........


On one level you kill 72 Stormtroopers and 3 Space Marines, on the next you kill 52 Stormtroopers and 7 Space Marines ( I counted ). And that part is also true, he had a help from KHORNE. And that is why I consider this non canon - Tau can't hear them at all as we have seen in Dark Crusade Chaos Stronghold attack. ( notice the buzzing )........


Er yep but in your first post it was "thousands of Imperial guardsmen and hundreds of Marines". When I player Fire Warrior you shot things with the best weapon you could and avoided H-t-H like the plague

The whole point as I understood was that somethng had been awakened in Kais that had not in the other Tau - the ones that were slaughtered as they ran screaming.........probably a bit like Commander Farsight is now a bit different to other Tau.

Tau are not blanks they are "blunt" and have little presence in the warp - this may have soemthing to do with the Ethereal Caste who rescued them from Mon'tau or great terror.........

Oh - Cain and his aide have defeated at least one Daemon Prince..........

I AM A MARINE PLAYER

"Unimaginably ancient xenos artefact somewhere on the planet, hive fleet poised above our heads, hidden 'stealer broods making an early start....and now a bloody Chaos cult crawling out of the woodwork just in case we were bored. Welcome to my world, Ciaphas."
Inquisitor Amberley Vail, Ordo Xenos

"I will admit that some Primachs like Russ or Horus could have a chance against an unarmed 12 year old novice but, a full Battle Sister??!! One to one? In close combat? Perhaps three Primarchs fighting together... but just one Primarch?" da001

www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/528517.page

A Bloody Road - my Warhammer Fantasy Fiction 
   
 
Forum Index » 40K Background
Go to: