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a thousand years, so when we say M41 that means the 41st Millennia. 912.M41 then meaning the 40,912th year of Imperial historical reference (the time scale we use within the game.)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.