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The Octaguide 2.0

Octavulg Octaguide

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#101
Gripharius

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This post left blank to confuse and frighten.

 

I found this both confusing and frightening.

 

Mission accomplished.


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#102
Octavulg

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Victory! 


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#103
Gripharius

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Octavulg, I'd like to propose that you consider adding an addendum to your guide regarding the lengthy and complex process involved with the creation of a Chapter. Some DIY IAs include very specific reasons why or missions for which the Chapter was created. Considering the huge, complex process involved with creating a Chapter -- even for the Administratum that deals with huge, complex processes every day -- the idea that any particular Chapter was *created* for a very specific purpose or specific mission is unlikely (not impossible, but unlikely).

Obviously, the Chapters created to lid the Eye are a prominent example of Chapters created for a specific purpose. But the scale of creating numerous Chapters to guard something as massive in scope and threat as the Eye should be considered. I suggest that IA authors consider whether the High Lords really go through the very lengthy and resource-consuming process of creating a Chapter just because of a series of pirate raids on a frontier of the Imperium, no matter how devastating those raids were (just for example).

Now, once a few fledgling Chapters are nearing the end of the creation process and the High Lords get around to allotting them homeworlds and missions, of course they would likely consider major and recent threats when sending them off on their first assignments.

While I know that the wiki is not canon, consider the following entry from the WH40K Wiki on all of the massive elements and moving pieces in the preparation for and creation of a Chapter in a Founding. Considering this may help illustrate that, generally, Chapters are created because the High Lords feel the Imperium as a whole needs more Astartes, not in response to any particular threat or event.

New Space Marine Chapters are not created piecemeal as required by the Imperium's strategic needs, but rather in deliberate groupings called "Foundings." The process by which a new Founding's creation is approved by the Imperial government is mysterious and arcane, subject to decades or even centuries of planning before it is announced. It is only by an edict of the High Lords of Terra that such an undertaking as the creation of new Chapters can be instigated, for it requires the cooperation and mobilisation of countless divisions within the Imperium's monolithic and vast governmental organisations. Establishing new Astartes Chapters on an individual basis is nigh impossible--the mobilisation of such vast resources is beyond the ability of any single segment of the Imperium.

The Adeptus Mechanicus plays an essential role in the process of a Founding, for its highest echelons are tasked with creating, testing and developing the gene-seed samples that will provide the genetic foundation of the new Chapters. By ancient custom, the Mechanicus has the right to expect a tithe of 5% of the gene-seed of every Space Marine Chapter to assist it in the creation of new Chapters and to check that the purity of the existing Astartes Chapters' DNA has remained untainted by mutation or exposure to Chaos. Each Chapter is created from the gene-seed of an existing donor Chapter. The zygote derived from each type of gene-seed is implanted by the Magi Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus in a human test-slave who spends his entire life in a static experimental capsule, immobile and serving as nothing but a medium from which two Progenoid Glands will develop. When the Progenoids are fully developed, they are extracted from the original test-slave and then implanted into another two test-slaves, producing four Progenoids, and so on. It takes 55 standard years of this type of reproduction to create a healthy set of 1,000 new Astartes organs. These must be tested for purity and genetic consistency before they will be sanctioned officially by the Fabricator-General of the Adeptus Mechanicus and then by the High Lords of Terra, speaking for the Emperor of Mankind, who alone can give permission for the creation of a new Chapter.

Entire Forge Worlds may be turned over to the manufacture of the mighty arsenal of weaponry, ammunition, Power Armour, vehicles and starships that any such force will require. There are a myriad of other concerns as well. A suitable homeworld inhabited by humans must be identified for the new Chapter, which will likely provide not only a secure and defensible base of operations, but also a source of new recruits as well. Such worlds might have been reported by itinerant Rogue Traders and earmarked centuries before by Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators as potential Astartes homeworlds. A degree of environmental terraforming might be required and the natives of the world (if they are to become the source of the new Chapter's Aspirants) must be studied and tested by the Mechanicus' Magi Biologis and Genetors for many generations to ensure they are genetically pure and free of any strain of mutation that might later affect the Chapter itself. The construction of a Chapter's fortress-monastery may be one of the greatest undertakings of all, drawing on the genius of the Imperium's most accomplished military architects and engineers. If the Chapter is to be fleet-based, then even more work must be put into the construction of a massive Chapter Barque or an unusually large Battle Barge to serve as the Chapter's mobile fortress-monastery and all of the related capital warships and Escorts such a highly-mobile Chapter will require.

The already extant Space Marine Chapters may also have a role in this process, though to what degree can vary greatly from Founding to Founding. Many of the First Founding Chapters maintain close links with Chapters created using their own gene-seed stocks, and the Chapter Masters might have a hand in planning future Foundings using that genetic material. It is said that the Disciples of Caliban, a Dark Angels Successor Chapter, was created following the direct appeal of the Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels, an extremely rare request.

In the more than 10,000 standard years that have passed since the First Founding of the 20 original Space Marine Legions by the Emperor, there have been 25 subsequent Foundings of new Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes; with the most recent, the 26th Founding, occurring in the year 738.M41, approximately 250 standard years ago. Even before a new Founding is announced, entire generations of Imperial servants may have toiled in preparation. Even once the process has been declared and is underway, it is likely to be at least a standard century before the new Chapters are ready to begin combat operations. In times of dire need for the Imperium, faster development has been attempted, but this has often resulted in disaster. Gene-seed cultured in haste is likely to degrade or to mutate, and a great many other factors can lead the entire process astray. And there is no foe more dangerous to the Imperium of Man that a Space Marine who has been corrupted by Chaos or gone Renegade for another reason.


See http://warhammer40k....m/wiki/Chapter.

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#104
Ravenfeld

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Very well put Octa, insightful and to the point (I'm reading it in parts, went through criticism so far but felt compelled to pat you on the back, haha)

 

It's extremely thorough, and with that comes a length that isn't easily tackled in a single sitting. But i'll get to it, I am very interested to see what your principles are so I can attempt to apply them to my future works.

 

Thanks for taking the time to transcribe it!


Edited by Ravenfeld, 23 May 2013 - 08:03 PM.

[size=2]"Recall the Principle Lesson." -- "Only the Spirit is Pure - The mind may be swayed, the body may fail"[/size]
[size=2]"Only the soul cradles vengeance - Become the weapon of the soul." -- "Where the mind hesitates, overcome it - Where the body fails, replace it"[/size]
[size=2]"Aspire to the condition of the Primarch - Emulate his union with steel" -- "Never waver, never retreat, never doubt."[/size]
[size=2]"The flesh is weak - The weak shall be purged - What remains is strength" -- "The flesh is weak - What remains is strength."[/size][i][b][size=2] -- [size=3]"The flesh is weak."[/size][/size][/b][/i]
 
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#105
Sergeant Lowe

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I have just finished reading your guide and found it very informative and helpful.


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#106
Aegnor

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Gripharius - that Wiki article is much closer to how I think about Chapters being founded. The old "the Doom Hippos were founded in response to increased pirate activity in the Karl Franz sector" thing always struck me as a touch forced and unrealistic.
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#107
Conn Eremon

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Honestly, seems like a pointless nitpicking of semantics, which is the only difference between being Founded for a specific purpose and having a specific purpose given to them upon Founding.

I sincerely doubt the High Lords, who everyone seems to forget have the ability delegate things like this, would not "fire and forget" Chapters of Space Marines.

Edited by Cormac Airt, 05 January 2014 - 07:23 AM.

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#108
Aegnor

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That's not what I was saying though. The issue is not when they are given a specific purpose, but how specific a purpose they are given. A chapter is a huge investment of resources that will last for millennia (you'd hope). They're a force that will have the power to overthrow whole sectors/empires.

Certainly they can be created to respond to a specific threat, but it would have to be a pretty major threat that is expected to be there for the longterm. An increase in raids by human pirates is something you send a navy destroyer to go crush. An outbreak of raids by Eldar or an outbreak of heresy is something you assemble a crusade to fight or just send an established chapter of marines. As the wiki article says, the main reason HLOT would approve a founding is because they recognize overall that the Imperium needs more marines, and they'll put them wherever they're most stretched rather than responding to whichever mole has most recently stuck its head out of a hole to be whacked. So a chapter will have some immediate issues to confront in the patch they're allocated, but those issues won't have necessarily been new issues or the major prompt for the chapter's creation in my view.

I think a reason for finding could be something like "recognising that the military resources of the Imperium were overstretched, the HLOT ordered the Xth founding. When assigning the new chapters, the need to have sufficient forces to guard the Angellus sector against the neighbouring ork empire centred around Caladon prompted the HLOT to base one of the new chapters there."

Tl:dr - a marine chapter is like a nuclear aircraft carrier. You don't build one because of something happening this year, you build them will a careful eye to what resources you'll need in the next 30 years to respond to major strategic threats.
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#109
Malthe

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I've always wondered why a lot of people spend so much time and effort in justifying why their chapter was founded. Foundings are foundings, beyond special occasions such as the 2nd, 13th and 21st, they are all much the same.

I might make sense to spend some time explaining where the chapter was first send, who was its first enemy, and how this experience formed the chapter. But the question of why the chapter was sent where, usually comes down to "bad guys over there: please go kill them."

 

If the chapter established a speciel relationship with someone they fought with, against or for, or if they developed some quirk based of their experiences, then by all means tell us. Otherwise don't bother. It's alright - they were founded - we get it.

 

And don't forget to tell us about what happened to your chapter since its founding. First impressions are great and important, sure, but hopefully the thousands of years spent fighting the horrors of the galaxy since then made a little impact too... Early formative experiences are easy to write, they are easy explanations for weird quirks and preferences, but they shouldn't be the end all, be all, of a chapter's identity. It's all very freudian.

Sorry, that was a side track.

 

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#110
Conn Eremon

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@Aegnor: I agree with what you say, so if I misunderstood I apologize. I was mostly referring to Gripharius' post, that your last reply brought to my attention.

That said, I would not dismiss immediate problems as impossible or improbable Founding purposes. While long-term makes a lot of sense, I don't see anything wrong with saying, for example, the Chapter was Founded and sent after an increasing pirate threat in such and such subsector. Especially for a fleet-based crusading Chapter, that is all about traveling from immediate threats to immediate threats. It would be like giving them their first target, realizing their next targets might not exist yet. Whereas homeworld-based Chapters may have more long-term planning applied to them. You wouldn't, for instance, plant a Chapter forever in that subsector just because of a recent increase in pirate activity.

@Malthe: I agree that Foundings are only important in how they shape the Chapter's character, or that they began the events that lead to such an impact. That the Origins section should be most about those things that most shaped the Chapter into what it is presently.

Edited by Cormac Airt, 05 January 2014 - 06:35 PM.

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#111
Gripharius

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My personal pet peeve is an IA that treats the founding of a Chapter too lightly, like something that happens every other weekend or at the snap of someone's fingers.  Like "Inquisitor X told the Adeptus Mechanicus to make a new Chapter to fight a horde of greenskins infesting Star System Y, and then 6 months later, the Fighting Marines of Doom were born, and they crushed the greenskin invasion."  I just think it cheapens a Chapter by suggesting it was created because some backwater planet somewhere got a hangnail. 

 

If you are going to touch on the Founding of your Chapter in your IA, I think you should reflect how rare and how special Foundings are, and what a massive amount of Imperial resources are involved.  The Imperium is used to dealing with mammoth undertakings that involve thousands of worlds and billions of people.  But a Founding is a really big f'n deal even for the Imperium.

 

If you read that passage quoted above and think about it, it really makes sense.  The amount of time involved, as well as the allocation of manpower and valuable resources... it's a complex and special event that requires consideration of the "macro" big picture rather than individual planets and specific threats.  And considering the scale of military force represented by a Chapter, I think Founding one is probably one of the very few things that the HLOT would never delegate, but that's just my opinion. 

 

However, I realized that certain IA writers want their Chapters to have a singular focus from its earliest days, which is why I included the part about the HLOT and their first assignments.  I think the difference between giving a Founding its due and treating it like a push-button event is more than just semantics.

 

Now, admittedly, its a personal pet peeve and I'm not trying to stop anyone from doing anything or laying down some kind of law on Foundings.  If someone wants to write an IA where some AdMech Priest just sticks some geneseed in a microwave and 20 minutes later a full-grown Chapter jumps out, that's fine, I'm not stopping you.  I just think its a bigger deal than that, and should be treated as a huge and momentous occasion from the outset.


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#112
Lysimachus

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I guess it depends when you consider to be a Chapter's Founding date.

 

If the date is the start of the preparations for creating it, then yes, it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to be planning specific goals (might be just the most broad agenda, perhaps just the Segmentum they'll be assigned to, etc).

 

However, if you see the date as when the Chapter is ready to go into action, then obviously it's reasonable to give them an appropriate mission to accomplish (or a specific area of space to cleanse/patrol/guard).


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#113
Gripharius

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I guess it depends when you consider to be a Chapter's Founding date.

 

If the date is the start of the preparations for creating it, then yes, it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to be planning specific goals (might be just the most broad agenda, perhaps just the Segmentum they'll be assigned to, etc).

 

However, if you see the date as when the Chapter is ready to go into action, then obviously it's reasonable to give them an appropriate mission to accomplish (or a specific area of space to cleanse/patrol/guard).

 

Even if the Founding date is the date when the Chapter is ready to go into action, then all of the actual founding and creating of the Chapter has already occurred.  If the Founding date is also when the Chapter gets an assignment to go fight X, I don't see how you can say that fighting X is the reason why the Chapter was founded. 

 

Besides, I've always assumed Founding dates were more like "the 21st Century" than "January 6, 2014."

 

 

EDIT: I realize I'm being obstinate and unnecessarily argumentative, but like I said, it's a personal pet peeve.


Edited by Gripharius, 06 January 2014 - 08:59 PM.

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#114
Lysimachus

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EDIT: I realize I'm being obstinate and unnecessarily argumentative, but like I said, it's a personal pet peeve.



Lol, I'm honestly inclined to agree with you, just playing Devil's Advocate!
 
 
 
That said, if the problem is big enough that the Administratum's strategists predict that it will be an on-going issue, they might be able to assign a Chapter well in advance? For example, one of my Chapters was created to be placed between the EoT and a large Ork Empire on the western edge of the Ultima Segmentum, to be in a position to fight against both. Fairly reasonable to assume both problems weren't going anywhere in the time it took to create the Chapter.

 

 

Likewise (once the 27th Founding happens, anyway) I could see Chapters being earmarked for campaigns against Tau or Tyranids right from when they were just gleams in a Tech-priests bionic eye. The problem isn't going away any time soon.

 

 

Edit: But like I said, I guess that's pretty general agenda rather than specific world/campaign, and would be subject to change if a greater need arose in the meantime.


Edited by Strike Captain Lysimachus, 06 January 2014 - 09:17 PM.


#115
Gripharius

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I think you can justify anything if you really want to justify it.  You can throw out almost any specific Astartes-level threat and we can figure a way to make an exception to the rule.

 

My point is about the way Foundings generally work.  Generally, the HLOT (or their trusted military advisors), look across the galazy at both the current threats and the looming threats to the Imperium, and weigh those against against the current and expected forces of the Imperium.  If they see or expect increased or increasing levels of Astartes-level threats, and/or decreased or decreasing levels of Astartes forces in play, then they undertake the lengthy and arduous task of Founding a Chapter or several Chapters.

 

It's the difference between resource production and resource allocation.  Resource production is more about how much you need versus how much you have, while resource allocation is about where you are going to put which resources.  Of course, resource allocation is necessarily a part of resource production -- you have to forecast what kinds of allocations you will have to make when you are doing resource production. 

 

I think its more about having enough Astartes to face all of the Astartes-level threats that the Imperium may face rather than xeroxing out a fresh bunch of Space Marines every time some new horde of greenskins goes Waaagh or some star system falls to Chaos.

 

But I guess my larger point is really more the case where an IA assumes Inquisitor so-and-so or Magistrate X can snap his fingers and 20 minutes later a brand new Chapter is created to face whatever band of miscreants have gotten his panties in a wad.  I think that detracts from the overall ultra-elite nature of a Space Marine Chapter. 

 

 

EDIT: And with that, I will seek inner peace, pray for serenity, and try to let this go. 


Edited by Gripharius, 06 January 2014 - 09:34 PM.

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#116
Conn Eremon

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I guess it depends when you consider to be a Chapter's Founding date.

If the date is the start of the preparations for creating it, then yes, it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to be planning specific goals (might be just the most broad agenda, perhaps just the Segmentum they'll be assigned to, etc).

However, if you see the date as when the Chapter is ready to go into action, then obviously it's reasonable to give them an appropriate mission to accomplish (or a specific area of space to cleanse/patrol/guard).


Even if the Founding date is the date when the Chapter is ready to go into action, then all of the actual founding and creating of the Chapter has already occurred. If the Founding date is also when the Chapter gets an assignment to go fight X, I don't see how you can say that fighting X is the reason why the Chapter was founded.

Besides, I've always assumed Founding dates were more like "the 21st Century" than "January 6, 2014."


EDIT: I realize I'm being obstinate and unnecessarily argumentative, but like I said, it's a personal pet peeve.

I realize I am, too. Mostly, I'm just arguing because I don't want us to become too dismissive of people's ideas. Which isn't to say that the opposing side is arguing that we should dismiss other people's ideas, just that I'm afraid making such a stance could lead to something like that happening.

To me, saying "I was part of the 26th Founding and my first action was against the Necrons, as ordained by those who gave us our first missions."

Says the exact same thing as "I was founded to wage war against Necrons."

But without all of the unnecessary words that many people (maybe not everyone) are already aware of. And yes, I know, I chose Necrons specifically because nobody was Founded to do anything with them, unless we go with the fan-made 27th Founding.

For instance, my Emerald Tigers. I am fine with stating that their Founding intention was to take part in a specific Crusade, though they became bound to the area upon its completion by their own volition. I don't need to say that the High Lords of Terra had no such designs for the Chapter upon the very beginnings of their Founding, or that any special attention was granted to them. I don't need to say they were Founded just like every other Chapter, a faceless, nameless blob given a Chapter number and farmed from nothing alongside the others. I don't need to say that their task was given to them by some middleman as a means to get their history of bloody war started. I don't need to say that they were given this destiny by sheer chance, a luck of the draw. That they could have been sent somewhere else, or stationed upon some home world prepared for them since the beginnings of their Founding. I don't need to say that, because I already know that. As do you. So I say that they were Founded to take part in this Crusade, because those few words say all that for me, or for anyone else who understands how this process works, because they have read on what has been said of it. And if someone else says that their Chapter was Founded to combat the Dark Eldar threat, I don't need to criticize that. Because it isn't by default wrong, and we don't need this person to reword it to say something else that means nothing different.

It could say all that, though. The old IAs did, about the Legions. I can't think of a single one that didn't start off its Origins like someone plagiarizing another's paper but slightly changing the wording to hide the deed. But I don't need to. I don't have to. I have a lot of IAs and ITs I want to write, and have begun to. None of them will say that.

Edited by Cormac Airt, 06 January 2014 - 09:39 PM.

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#117
Conviction

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I will say Gripharius' posts actually helped me out a lot with fleshing out my Chapter (As I told him in PMs). Not pigeon-holing my Chapter into being founded for a specific region with the beginning Origins portion opened up a lot of doors for me to establish their character later in my IA. Reading my Chapter IA now, compared to its previous version, it comes off as a lot more thought out. My Chapter didn't start out as the badasses I wanted them to be immediately. They began as an average Chapter that eventually earned its homeworld and found its purpose. I think that by adapting Gripharius' suggestions, it will help a lot of people writing IAs to really be able to develop more unique Chapter character. It has turned into a pet peeve for him because so many people fall into this trap (myself so very much included).


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#118
Sanguine_Knight

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I am new to developing a DIY Chapter and writing its IA. I have found this guide to be quite interesting and informative. That being said I have a few questions. What is the best way to decide what it is your Chapter originally set out to do? I kind of agree with them not being created to whack the mole as someone put it, but I also agree that a founding is a big deal and they don't just create a Space Marine Chapter and then say "Ok guys go kill something somewhere." To me it seems like there has to be some reason for the Chapter's creation but it shouldn't be too specific or too vague. Is it ok to send them to a particular region because of a severe lack of Imperial presence? Then maybe they can find their homeworld while on a patrol arc through said region? A couple of run ins with the bad guys and their I have it? That was an idea I was toying with but wasn't sure if it would work well or not.



#119
Conn Eremon

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It is certainly possible that somewhere in the process of a Founding, certain involved individuals might have gathered data for likely beginning actions.

Since the description given to how home worlds are chosen early in this process, and how involved that selection is, I think that one could certainly say that their home world's general location was chosen as a candidate for a new Chapter's base because of its status as a lynchpin for a certain area that is currently lacking in the kind of support the Marines can give. With lengthy tests proving purity of spirit and genes, it was added to the list of worlds to be granted to newborn Chapters.

I think the main thing people want you to avoid is to give your Chapter a purpose, a destiny, from its inception. The High Lords did not make your Chapter to combat such and such, or to hold fast such and such. The High Lords ordered a Founding and then others took over with the process. Which means something more along the lines of certain bureaucrats/adepts telling you to join this ongoing or building Crusade, or to report to that world to find your new Fortress-Monastery. And from there, an identity can be forged. Want your Chapter to be defined by its locale? No problem. Just be sure to remember that the Chapter was only placed there. Any identity it might derive from it is of its own making after that fact.

But this sort of C&C can be best done in a new thread of your own, where we can see the ideas going around in your head and provide perhaps more specific advice.

Edited by Cormac Airt, 05 March 2014 - 07:26 AM.

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#120
Sanguine_Knight

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Agreed... Thanks for the input. I will start one once I have some details locked down.



#121
Octavulg

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...On the 29th of January, the Octaguide will be five years old. Considering I remember the heated debates and veiled insults that spawned it, that makes me feel old. And I'm too young to feel old.

 

That said, that means it's time for an update. So, anyone who's willing, rip it to shreds. Or tell me things you feel people currently lack guidance on. And so on.


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#122
Brother Tyler

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I think that open-ended input will be too broad, especially considering the wide range of personalities that roam these halls. Perhaps you ought to establish your basic intent with the Octaguide in terms of tone (the current tone is vastly different from the tone of the initial version), range of issues you cover, perspective, etc. Given that intent, the rest of us can hopefully provide meaningful input that fits both what you would like to accomplish (and how) and our own views.
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#123
Ace Debonair

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Five years, already? blink.png

It really doesn't feel like it's been that long.

 

Having re-read the guide in it's entirety, I think I can safely say I don't see anything I disagree with.happy.png

Heck, a few times I've considered writing my own guide, except for it'd consist entirely of a silly title and the words "Read the Octaguide again". laugh.png


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#124
Lysimachus

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Only things that come immediately to mind are 1) could include one more option for naming conventions, the Nouns-Adjective; Marines Errant, Angels Penitent, etc (can't imagine why I noticed it! :P). I know it's kinda the same thing as 'Blanks of X' but possibly worth mentioning...

Also, does the math on percentages for Chapter colours include the schemes added in the most recent dex?
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