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The Great Crusade > The Glorious Imperium > Reference Material


Title: Reference Material
Description: A few pages I've found.


Weiss - February 27, 2008 01:11 PM (GMT)
Here are a few topics of interest that I've found on a board for the Adeptus Mechanicus. It's quite dead, which is a shame really, as it has some very nice content...

Mechanicus Primer
Titan Legions
Mechanicus Organisation Chart
Hortwerth's Iron Brotherhood
Hoff's Adeptus Mechanicus

These are the topics I found of interest, but there are plenty more. I'd encourage anyone to have a good scratch around, the moderator I spoke to (Apologist) certainly seems rather knowledgeable (and happens to live in my area, so will hopefully be getting a game in against his Skittari once I've got a working force of Iron Hands)

BigWill - February 27, 2008 07:23 PM (GMT)
Could we post others armies even if they are not ours?
I've seen some good Ad-mech on other sites.
I even know of a site that sells ad-mech minis he made.
I'll try to find it and post it.

Weiss - February 28, 2008 08:37 AM (GMT)
That's the Hortwerth's Iron Brotherhood link.

Link for the store: Iron Brotherhood

I just tried to order from there and it asks for a validation code. I've entered it three or four seperate times now, but it still says it's invalid... Will have to e-mail the website...

ShroudFilm - February 28, 2008 12:27 PM (GMT)
Post anything you like as long as it's not against GW's IP policy.

Other people's armies are fair game, just make sure you include any information you can (like who they are, where they are, any links to their websites etc) and post up lots of pictures.

As for the other board, I see no reason why we can't data-mine their pages to repost the content here... obviously only that which applies to the PH era.

Apologist - February 28, 2008 01:01 PM (GMT)
Hey guys,
*waves at Weiss*
Cheers for pimping the board out here I'd just like to extend a mechanically-enhanced hand in welcome to our time-delayed brethren at The Great Crusade.
;)

I'm the Archmagos Veneratus (mod) over at the Adeptus Mechanicus forums Weiss mentioned, and thought I'd pop my head in here to offer my help if there's any needed, and invite you to browse our datastacks.

QUOTE
As for the other board, I see no reason why we can't data-mine their pages to repost the content here... obviously only that which applies to the PH era.

We're happy for you to use our material, but please do post a link. It will help to increase traffic to our still-growing site; and we ask permission from our High Altar contributors we'd like to show them respect. We go to great lengths to make sure that the material we post on the Adeptus Mechanicus forum is canonical, or supported by canonical interpretation.

There is a great deal of crossover between the pre-heresy Mechanicum and the Cult/Adeptus Mechanicus, and it's a rich vein of background material that I'd be happy to help sort and discuss.

Here's the link to our forum; please come and browse if you have a few moments:
http://z6.invisionfree.com/adeptusmechanic...dex.php?act=idx

We're mainly a resource site, rather than a discussion site the Adeptus Mechanicus is very much a niche subject, with very little official material beyond the RT-era. However, the mod group and posters there are knowledgeable and enthusiastic, so we should be able to answer pretty much any questions you have.

Some sample piccies to whet your appetites:
user posted image
A wise and powerful Techmagos of the Divisio Militaris.

user posted image
Fearsome Combat Ogryns provide raw muscle for the skitarii

user posted image
The Iron Hands chapter of the Adeptus Astartes has links to the Mechanicus stretching back to the days of the Great Crusade.

Weiss - February 28, 2008 01:46 PM (GMT)
*waves back*

Good to have you on here man! I've left you a few questions scattered about on the other board, will check there in a bit.

Hopefully it can be turned into a discussion site too. If you make a banner, I'd be happy to stick it in my sig alongside our one on other sites.

BigWill - February 28, 2008 01:55 PM (GMT)
Welcome Apologist.
In my opinon the Ad-Mech now is about the same as Ad-mech PH.
Except for PH dark Ad-Mech you can scratchbuild AI robots.

ShroudFilm - February 28, 2008 02:16 PM (GMT)
No, no AI robots even pre-Heresy. AI was completely avoided post-Iron Men revolt. The robots used in early Imperial forces were drones or fed with basic combat programs. They couldn't think for themselves.

Welcome, Apologist! I shall head over to your site this evening and see what's going on... :D

Weiss - February 28, 2008 02:28 PM (GMT)
The robots would be implanted with a (most likely) vat-grown brain, which is then overlaid with "wetware" programs. They may seem to think but are just reacting to a complex series of instructions.

VESPASIAN - February 28, 2008 02:47 PM (GMT)
Welcome to the forum Apologist!

I've had a look at your site and it looks really good. Some of the miniatures are very impressive. Makes me want Horus Heresy: Mechanicum, to be released even sooner!

Needless to say I've joined your forum and I hope that you enjoy your time here.

Apologist - February 28, 2008 03:05 PM (GMT)
Thanks for the friendly welcome, enhanced flesh-units! ;)

Here's my thoughts on Imperial Robots: The Cult Mechanicus do not, have not and never will construct 'true' robots based entirely on artificial (i.e. metal/plastic etc. based) means, as a result of the Iron Men's revolt.

Even in Rogue Trader, Robots were actually cyborgs essentially Dreadnought suits with an implanted artificial brain. The Legio Cybernetica robots had (and have) biological brains that were grown, and then had 'wetware' programs overlaid on to them.

The influence of Herbert and Asimov was made explicit in 3rd edition, where the Iron Men (artificial humans robots, by implication) were introduced. The Iron Men were destroyed in Imperial Prehistory, and humankind in the 41st Millennium lives in a Dark Age, where knowledge is scanty, and maintained only by the Cult Mechanicus. Warnings thirteen, fourteen and sixteen deal with this:
13. The knowledge of the ancients stands beyond question.
14. The machine spirit guards the knowledge of the ancients.
16. To break with ritual is to break with faith.

In other words, what 'the ancients' did was right, and continues to be right conservatism is a central tenet of the religion. Thus, the Mechanicus allows no thinking machine to be constructed unless it contains a soul (since the Ancients destroyed all of their soulless sentiences Iron Men). Three of the Warnings deal with this specifically:
10. The soul is the conscience of sentience.
11. A soul can be bestowed only by the Omnissiah. (Off-topic, I believe this to be the Dragon Cult's main heresy.)
12. The Soulless sentience is the enemy of all. (Possibly a direct reference to the Iron Men, but certainly a stark and uncharacteristically direct commandment not to make them!).

But what does 'soul' mean in this context? The concept of human superiority is essential to the very basic structure of the Cult Mechanicus. According to the cult's beliefs:
* Humans have souls (implied)
* These souls are bestowed by the Omnissiah (explicit)
* Augmented humans continue to have souls (implied)
* As long as the augmented human maintains sentience the ability to reason, gain knowledge and make decisions based on that knowledge, the soul remains (implied)
* Conversely, if the ability of a human to be sentient is removed, he becomes soulless (such as in a servitor). If a machine is given the ability to be sentient, this is AI: abominable intelligence. No soul is created, since only the Omnissiah can bestow souls.

This allows Cult members to be all but machine no flesh remaining beyond that which maintains sentience. This is implied to be parts of the brain, but I have no doubts that some Cult members are now entirely artificial, replacing even their brains with techno-arcana. This requires a bit of double-think; but I'm sure this is second nature to the Cult Mechanicus after all, who's going to question a four-thousand year old Magos' decision to have his final biological parts replaced? He's almost an Ancient himself!

Autocalculators, servo skulls and other simple machines etc. are soulless and non-sentient, so can quite happily be constructed and given routines and programs to do basic things, much like modern day computers are not sentient.

Some servitors start out as sentient humans (and thus have a soul), and are lobotomised to remove sentience: and thus lose their soul but they also lose sentience, so this is okay by the Cult. Other servitors are grown (ref. Dark Apostle etc) non-sentient and thus soulless. Note that this includes certain forgeworld's Skitarii. (See later.)

Robots (in the Imperial sense) start out as simple machines, like servo-skulls. However, they need much more complex programming to allow them to be combat effective. However, a sufficiently complex program (such as one that would allow a robot to be combat-effective) is dangerously close to appearing sentient: making decisions etc. Since the Cult has no way of measuring 'souls', and souls can only be bestowed by the Omnissiah (and not by jumped-up techpriests), an organic brain is grown (presumably invested with a soul, since it's based on human tissue), and a wetware program laid onto it to give it limited instructions and limited sentience, much like a simple machine as defined above. This neatly bypasses the 'soulless sentience' problem. It is stated that the Legio Cybernetica (the part of the Cult in charge of the robots) is viewed with suspicion by the rest of the Cult and the Imperium at large, and GW has gone out of its way to make the Legio and its robots seem untrustworthy since Rogue Trader, stating they were among the first to declare for Horus. Robots in 40K are thus definitely erring on heresy.

The Red Sorcerer - February 28, 2008 05:21 PM (GMT)
Greetings, Magos Apologist! May your data-implants continue to function with the efficiency of the Omnissiah itself.

So, robots among the Mechanicus itself are already dodgy, and genuine AI is completely out. But how far along the road of Techno-Heresy would members of the Dark Mechanicus be prepared to tread? Seeing as Techno-Heresy is pretty much their stock in trade, would they be prepared to venture into genuine AI without the organic component? I'm inclined to say yes myself, but is there canon background/informed supposition that you are aware of that says otherwise?

Yours sincerely,

Pitiful fleshbag.


Magos Explorator - February 28, 2008 06:22 PM (GMT)
There's a short story in Horus Heresy: Collected Visions involving the Mechanicum True AI. I don't remember the title offhand, though. That's the only source I can think of, though.

ShroudFilm - February 28, 2008 06:39 PM (GMT)
Apologist, please head over to the Q&A section - we are discussing the timeline and have stumbled upon the issues of Golden/Iron/Stone Men... I'd love to hear your input on that!

Apologist - February 29, 2008 09:49 AM (GMT)
QUOTE
But how far along the road of Techno-Heresy would members of the Dark Mechanicus be prepared to tread? Seeing as Techno-Heresy is pretty much their stock in trade, would they be prepared to venture into genuine AI without the organic component? I'm inclined to say yes myself, but is there canon background/informed supposition that you are aware of that says otherwise?


Information on the Dark brethren is even more ephemeral than regular Cult Mechanicus. The only veguely relevant bits I can think of off the top of my head are the short story Warped Stars from the Deathwing anthology, which involves a battlesuit-cum-robot that may or may not be a true robot, in that it doesn't seem to have any flesh-unit as part of it. It's complicated further by the fact that its 'soul' (which may or may not be the remnant of a human soul, or a 'true' AI) is seemingly possessed (or at least stone bonkers).

The only modern (i.e. post 3rd ed.) treatment of the Dark Adeptus that I'm aware of is a brief mention in Dark Apostle, and the (extremely pulpy) Dark Adeptus. Neither mentions robots. There's a Gaunt's Ghosts novel that mentions Iron Men in a fairly perfunctory manner, but it basically restates what's in the 3rd ed. rulebook rather than expanding on it.

My personal view is that the Dark Mechanicus is not a cohesive group; but rather it's a label put on a lot of disparate groups and factions by the Adeptus Mechanicus a little like all non-Catholic groups being termed heretics, heathens etc in the past.

A better 40k metaphor would be the Inquisition. The Adeptus Mechanicus equates to the Puritans: a group who dictate 'what is proper' and then there are the radicals who experiment with things that they perhaps shouldn't (equivalent to Inquisitors who research Daemons etc) and finally the renegades: nasty pieces of work who serve only themselves. This would include deluded radical techpriests who think they're the only pure ones left, out-and-out deamonomancers, and well-meaning fools.

With this borne in mind, I find it extremely likely that some renegade techpriest somewhere has at least experimented with true Abominable Intelligence. There's a post on doublethink and some expanded thoughts on the Dark Mechanicus on the Ad Mech forums if you'd like to discuss further, since it gets into non-Pre-Heresy stuff now. :ph43r:

Weiss - February 29, 2008 11:00 AM (GMT)
:lol: You're shameless! :D

Falyaet Morphaeus - August 4, 2010 01:54 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Apologist @ Feb 29 2008, 09:49 AM)
With this borne in mind, I find it extremely likely that some renegade techpriest somewhere has at least experimented with true Abominable Intelligence.

What about that story in the Collected Visions book? I don't have mine with me right now, but I remember it's a mechanicus story about a techpriest who invents an AI, and the AI ends up slaughtering the Imperials who come for it, including the techpriest himself, eventually.

ShroudFilm - August 4, 2010 02:23 PM (GMT)
THREADOMANCY!

That story would be 'The Kaban Project' by Graham McNeill. It was concluded in 'Mechanicum'.

Falyaet Morphaeus - August 4, 2010 02:53 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (ShroudFilm @ Aug 4 2010, 02:23 PM)
THREADOMANCY!

That story would be 'The Kaban Project' by Graham McNeill. It was concluded in 'Mechanicum'.

Yes. Yes it was. XD I thought is appropriate, though.

And ah, yes! That was it! Thank you, Shroud.




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