Friday, 7 June 2013

The Wonderful World of Fluff (Part 2) Timelines

Good Morrow, Today we look at timelines, the core of any story. Most of you will have been told from the age of about four that any good story has a beginning, middle and end. Today we learn how to put that into practice in the 40k universe.

So before we begin our journey through time there are a few pre constructed rules and terms. The first and foremost of these is how we tell time and figure out when things happened in the 40k universe. If you look into your codeces, any you have handy (for me it is the most recent chaos edition) you will find that a large chunk is devoted to the fluff of specific characters and stories about the armies that they lead.
These stories all happened at different times as you may have already realised, such as the Badab war which happened between 901 and 912.M41, fairly recently as far as the game is concerned.
To understand how to work with this dating system you have to understand the term millennia, a thousand years, so when we say M41 that means the 41st Millennia. 912.M41 then meaning the 40,912th year of Imperial historical reference (the time scale we use within the game.)

So why does this matter?

The fact is, when constructing a good fluff it is one of the most important tools you can use.
Imagine for instance trying to tell the story of your life so far as if it had literally all just happened or in the wrong order ending in your birth? Without some sort of reference as to which time these events happened people have no idea as to the credibility or plot of your story.

How then do I use this?

Thankfully for us, now in this well thought out, hugely complicated time in terms of fluff; using only a few simple tools we can easily hack the system and create a complicated fluff without much need for a massive amount of work or writing.
Of course i'm not trying to claim that a well worked out fluff with complicated plot lines is not superior to a simple fluff-hack, however for most of us the latter is the more acceptable option.
So to explain this fluff-hack option I am going to use a reference out of the Chaos Codex, one I have previously used to create a fairly simple FH in the past.
The reference I am using comes from P22 of the Chaos Codex under the heading 'c112.M33 The Feral War.'
The story here talks about the armies of Magnus the Red, The Thousand Sons. Mistaken for statues leading up to a temple; the bodiless warriors suddenly awake to destroy the forces of the Relictors (Space Marines) and thier adeptus mechanicus allies.
This is such a simple story, but with what we know about the Thousand sons already it is well within the confines of the believable to think that planets all over the galaxy could be protected in much the same way.
I imagined that the sorcerers of Magnus had charmed the warriors armour to mimic the look of copper sulphate wasting, marble or other statue-esque materials, weapons and all and to simply leave them be to guard planets or temples from unsuspecting explorers.

Unfortunately this is all I have time for today however later on this week in the 'In Practice' part of this blog series please tune in to find out more about much more complicated fluff as we dive back into the fluff of the yor'corvus.

Please leave us a comment beneath to let me know any questions or requests. Even better show me some of your simple fluff hacks or even ideas for more complicated ideas!
Thanks for reading folks and I hope to see you all again in the 'In Practice' Blog post coming soon!



FH - Fluff-hack
901.M34 - 33,901st year in imperial historical record, for instance this current year (2013) would be 13.M3, thirteenth year of the 3rd Millennia.


  1. Hello Ads,

    Ah fluff. The stuff that makes the tough seem like they have the right stuff. And an excellent way to make your toy soldiers more badass by making them a named that drops purple gear! Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, 40k fluff. I've been meaning to write up some bg fluff for my Death Guard army for a while now. I have several chaos Lords I'd like to fluff-hack into a mini saga, plus make some fluff for what the Death Guard have been up to since the Heresy. There are a few mentions here & there about notable Death Guard characters being present for certain events & we all know they fell back to the Eye of Terror & Morty found a planet that looked like Barbarus, threw up some snotty curtains & called it home (aka Plague Planet) but what happened on the Plague Planet? Did they have any kind of hierarchy still? What of the 7 companies? Who commands what ships (aside from the Terminus of course) These are questions I plan on finding answers to or making them up. I have a lot of reading planned before I even begin writing & have made up a list of events compiled from events on Lexicanum, the Cahos 6th Ed Codex & various scouring of the internet in which the Death Guard were known to have been present, but wanted to run it by someone on the interwebs in case I missed anything. Now, some events are not complete as far as Dramatis Personae like the Black Crusades because I haven't read up on them completely yet & only have a rough idea of who was there:

    Strarting with Istvan III of course.

    012.M31 - The Scouring of Istvan III
    Dramatis Personae:
    Nathaniel Garro, Calas Typhon, Ignatius Grulgor, Solun decius, Ulis Temeter, Huron Fal, Horus, Mortarion, The Deathshroud, Rogal Dorn, Saul Tarvitz, Maloghurst, Malcador, Euphrati Keeler, Amendera Kendel

    014.M31 - The Siege of Terra
    Dramatis Personae:
    Horus, Angron, Magnus, Fulgrim, Mortarion, Lorgar, Perturabo, Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha, Abaddon, Kharn, The Emperor, Sanguinius, Rogal Dorn, Jaghatai Khan, Sigismund, Raldoran, Azkaelon, Constantin Valdor

    781.M31 - 1st Black Crusade
    Dramatis Personae:
    Abaddon, Typhus, Mortarion

    400.M32 - Perturabo's Plague
    Dramatis Personae:
    Perturabo, Cephias Plod (custom warpsmith I made I want to write fluff for. came from Toil), Piceous Ichor (custom chaos lord who hearing of the awesomesauce Perturabo laid down, travels to Toil to find himself one of the best warpsmiths out there, might put him in later though)

    437.M31 - The Fall of Sanctia
    Dramatis Personae:
    Mortarion, Malthas, Zebul, Ku'gath (mostly the HQ's from my Daemons allies I'm going to try & fit in here)

    140.M41 - Morganghast Sacked (not much about this one, just that infected ships start appearing drifting in the Athena Sector; Segmentum Obsuras & the Plagueclaw Murder Class cruiser appeared & wiped the whole sector)
    Dramatis Personae:
    Hypestis (another chaos lord I made. Can't find anything saying who piloted the Plagueclaw so I figure I can fit him in here)

  2. and the rest since it wouldn't let me fit all this on one post:

    757.M41 - The Plague That Walks
    Dramatis Personae:
    Typhus, maybe The Vile Savants (basically a couple Mutilators I made some homebrew rules for for the savants themselves & a buncha zombies with extra goodies for the Fyadae Strain fluff)
    Was going to add the Plagueslain of Kathur here, but apparently Cadian Blood didn't happen until M42.

    813-830.M41 - Th Siege of Vraks (loooootta reading gonna have to be done here. haven't really read much of the FW fluff)
    Dramatis Personae:

    901.M41 - The Battle of Kornovin ( Holy shit how did I never hear of this!?!? Mortarion killed the Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights & Draigo's mentor?? And Draigo then proceeds to carve "Geronitan" into Mortarion's heart!!! Bad. ASS!
    Dramatis Personae:
    Mortarion, Geronitan, Kaldor Draigo

    969.M41 - Cando System taken by Typhus & Plaguefleet
    Dramatis Personae:

    995-999.M41 - 13th Black Crusade
    Dramatis Personae:

    999.M41 - The Fall of Medusa V
    Dramatis Personae:
    Grulgor (Wow, I knew he came back but DAMN Grugs! Little late eh?

    So yeah, that's what I got so far. How's that for a response to your ad almost a month later Ads? But seriously, thank you for posting this. This is exactly what I needed to factcheck the fluff before I make my own.


  3. Hey SickSick6,

    Great to hear from you,
    Great to know that this series is making a differnce so thanks so much for your comments, my latest post should be up soon so please go and check that out too. But also go and check out my In pRactice blog posts alos, I think that they will be really useful for you too!

    Please shoot me an email too if you wanna run ideas over, I'd love to maybe show some other peoples fluff hacks and more complicated stories at the end of the series to show how it has helped people.

    Thanks for the the comment and I look forward to hearing more of the idea,