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Author Topic: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids  (Read 811 times)

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Offline Kage2020

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Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« on: April 24, 2022, 01:06:20 AM »
Are you ready for a true background challenge? A collaborative one based around discussion, concepts, a knowledge of what was originally the 'fluff' but is now "the background"? Something that requires critical and synthetic thinking?

Okay, I might be overselling this one. So what is this all about?

I've decided to finish my fan version of a project on the Adeptus Astartes. It was basically what the Deathwatch RPG was before it existed, but for another game system. I've got the game system side of things covered. What I would love to discuss, though, are interpretations of the background and how these might by represented in art. Originally done by "Magelord" for the long-defunct "Anargo Sector Project".

What I'm going to be working with some artists to do (with Magelord's permission) is to finish a project that he started: an informative image for every progenoid. I cannot seem to post the image to another site, so here's the link from GDrive:

melanchrome.png - Google Drive

Anyone up for discussing what and where the other progenoids are? I've got five other images that I can share (if I can figure it out, technology schmecknology), but otherwise I'm contracting with an artist to finish these because, well, it deserves to be finished and I don't have the artistic talent.

Or is it just going to be crickets? ;) (And, to be honest, it's fine if this is no longer something that people here want to do. The 40k community has gone through radical changes over the years and this might just be where we're at.)

Edit: The other progenoid images that I have are...

  • 15 -- Neuroglottis
  • 16 -- Mucranoid
  • 17 -- Betcher's Gland
  • 18 -- Progenoids
  • 19 -- Black Carapace
« Last Edit: April 24, 2022, 02:34:51 AM by Kage2020 »

Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2022, 08:34:15 AM »
Aren't the progenoids specifically the Gene-seed? As in another name for them?

Love the picture by the way.

Ahh, there was recently a video on youtube where someone tried to take a more realistic/gritty look at what implanting lots of hormone-altering implants would do to someone (spoiler, it was ugly) but now I can't seem to find it for the life of me. They went into detail on where all the organs are placed and how that would affect the physiology. I'll see if I can find it later.

Offline Wyddr

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2022, 10:04:57 AM »
I couldn't tell you what they look like (they're internal organs, mostly, so...squishy? Gray-ish?), but as for location, pretty much all of them are in the torso/neck/head, for obvious reasons.

The oolotic kidney is probably tucked right next to the regular kidneys. Betcher's Gland is in the throat, for sure. The one where you can eat the flesh of the enemy and gain their memories is in the brain and linked into the tongue and nose, most likely (btw, in my Deathwatch game I ran I made it clear you had to eat the thing's brain, since eating somebody's bicep won't tell you their memories, obviously).

The boosted heart is next to/attached to their regular heart, and so on...

Offline Kage2020

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2022, 09:15:41 PM »
Aren't the progenoids specifically the Gene-seed? As in another name for them?

Love the picture by the way.
Well, the Progenoids, which receive the genetic information from the other zygotes, are one of the images that has also been done.

progenoids.png - Google Drive

Unsurprisingly they're in the neck and the chest as per the background materials from all those years ago.

Ahh, there was recently a video on youtube where someone tried to take a more realistic/gritty look at what implanting lots of hormone-altering implants would do to someone (spoiler, it was ugly) but now I can't seem to find it for the life of me.
That's a shame as it sounds perfect.

The boosted heart is next to/attached to their regular heart, and so on...
So, let's create a quick table with locations (if determined), and for kicks 'n' giggles what they might look like (gruesome turned up to 11)?

I'll edit this for table in a little while. I'm waiting for customer support to help me fix my 360 camera for work...


Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2022, 09:32:09 PM »
Aren't the progenoids specifically the Gene-seed? As in another name for them?

Love the picture by the way.
Well, the Progenoids, which receive the genetic information from the other zygotes, are one of the images that has also been done.

progenoids.png - Google Drive

Unsurprisingly they're in the neck and the chest as per the background materials from all those years ago.

Ahh, there was recently a video on youtube where someone tried to take a more realistic/gritty look at what implanting lots of hormone-altering implants would do to someone (spoiler, it was ugly) but now I can't seem to find it for the life of me.
That's a shame as it sounds perfect.

Found it!
Reimagining SPACE MARINES with @Arbitor Ian - YouTube

They discuss some of the impracticality and unrealistic aspects of the process but then run with it anyway, so you shouldn't take everything too seriously (it's fun make believe after all), but I think they offer a pretty interesting take. Anchoring space marines in real people with acromegaly disorders is a sobering thought for example, and offers perhaps a more grounded take that contrasts real marines against the "handsome Aryan supermen" propaganda image. The only point I largely disagree with is the idea that the acid spitting would erode the lower gums and lip. Just seems a bit overkill, stylistically.

Offline Kage2020

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2022, 10:44:16 PM »
You are The Man, Sir_Godspeed. Thank you!

Well, guess this is yet another dead thread.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2022, 11:04:35 PM by Kage2020 »

Offline Calamity

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2022, 09:04:52 PM »
Would I be wrong in thinking that space marines should have weird looking proportions in comparison to regular humans?  Like a tiny head in comparison to their bodies?  Sorry if I’m talking nonsense, I’ve just wondered in with curiosity.  ;D

Offline Kage2020

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2022, 04:47:16 AM »
It's worth considering. With that said, most cranial formation occurs before the selection ages of Marine candidates?

Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2022, 03:11:57 PM »
The choice of the video above focuses on real life people with acromegaly, a hormonal condition causing exaggerated growth.

In those people, you usually see enlarged features of the brow, jaw, and nose, among other things, but frequently asymmetrically. Additionally, the back of the head might be disproportionately small, giving them a - and please pardon my characterization of people with a hormonal condition here - "brutish" look (the most famous example is Andre the Giant). Similarly, eyes don't really grow at all in humans, so they will come off as proportionally small, too.

Whether this is the interpretation you want to run with or not is obviously up to you.

Philip Sibbering had his interpretation of Space Marine body proportions on his site, which gave Space Marines roughly the height of some of the world's largest basketball players, but made them almost twice as wide, which did indeed give them a very small head, proportionally.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2022, 03:14:16 PM by Sir_Godspeed »

Offline Wyddr

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2022, 09:52:56 PM »
The thing with Astartes proportions and features is that it all depends on how much space-magic you are applying here. Yes, if any of this were based on science we are currently aware of, they would be monstrous. But half the point of having this setting so far in the future that they have forgotten more tricks than we have currently ever learned is that they can do what we usually think of as impossible.

This is my roundabout way of saying that as soon as somebody uses the word "realistically" to apply to anything in 40k, I sort of turn my ears off because somebody has definitely missed the point.

I'm pretty sure the Emperor would not design his perfect super-men to dissolve their own teeth out of their skulls. The fluff for the Blood Angels makes a special point to say they're pretty and the Space Wolves are always on about their fangs, so...ipso facto.

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2022, 10:14:42 PM »
You mean like the solid ribcage making breathing more difficult and depleted deuterium (which you can make work if you *really* bend yourself into a singularity of language) rounds?

Yeah, just let it go. Just go with the Orks. It works as everyone believes it does.
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2022, 09:13:39 AM »
I think you misunderstand me. It's not about strict realism, just playing with the aesthetics of realism, rooting something in something from the real world, or adding to the verisimillitude of it. It's about what we think make the setting more interesting.

For example, I'm not super into the the lantern-jawed Astartes all the time, because I don't think it's all that interesting, and I think it undermines some of the built-in dystopism of the process, so going with some affects of hormonal imbalance from RL and showing that there is a human cost to creating superhuman murder machines would be thematically fitting, and I think it could be made even more interesting by juxtaposing that with having normal Imperial humans stil revere them as essentially holy beings. A bit like how Imperials find those weirdo, mutilated flying baby-cyborgs wonderful and cute, but a reader would find them unsettling. I like that kind of stuff, it's very Warhammer-y to me, and once upon a time it seems like GW had a similar thought, given some of the early artwork of Space Marines. The eroded lower lip, on the other hand, just seems goofy. So there are lines and nuances here, obviously.

I think it's a bit disingenuous to say "they mentioned the word realism so I checked out", that's hardly fair to the video or my follow-up statement.

Offline Wyddr

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2022, 12:17:33 PM »
I think you misunderstand me. It's not about strict realism, just playing with the aesthetics of realism, rooting something in something from the real world, or adding to the verisimillitude of it. It's about what we think make the setting more interesting.

This is sort of where this line of thinking loses me, though. The aesthetics of the world are just about the only thing about the 40k-verse that *isn't* open to much interpretation, since the aesthetics are the driving force behind literally the whole thing. Realism and verisimilitude are expressly *not* valued aspects of the setting, so I find compromising the aesthetics in favor of verisimilitude an act contrary to the central appeal of the IP.

It's like applying real-world physics to Star Wars or making a grimdark Star Trek. Can you? I guess, sure. But it's my suspicion you've just found yourself in the wrong aisle of the geek store.

Quote
I think it's a bit disingenuous to say "they mentioned the word realism so I checked out", that's hardly fair to the video or my follow-up statement.

I apologize if I offended, but I do find these discussions somewhat counterproductive. I'll bow out, now.

Offline Kage2020

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Re: Ready for a Background Challenge? Progenoids
« Reply #13 on: May 1, 2022, 07:01:56 PM »
Philip Sibbering had his interpretation of Space Marine body proportions on his site, which gave Space Marines roughly the height of some of the world's largest basketball players, but made them almost twice as wide, which did indeed give them a very small head, proportionally.
For your amusement, the original artist of the image that I posted in the OP told me once that he had taken Phil's image and "squished" it to remove the wackiness.

This is my roundabout way of saying that as soon as somebody uses the word "realistically" to apply to anything in 40k, I sort of turn my ears off because somebody has definitely missed the point.
I see the point that you're making, but admit that I've never really be overtly drawn to it. This might be because of the original intent that I had when I originally came back to the universe, which was to make it into a viable RPG setting by creating a solid framework behind the "rule of cool" (aesthetics, feel, riff, or whatever you want to use).

So, for me, injecting some "realism" works fine. Warp travel that works like Age of Sail, a Geller Field that's not just about preventing gribblies from coming in (the "submarine approach"), but rather about acting like electromagetic/magic sails. More Spelljammer than World War I.

*shrugs*

I'm pretty sure the Emperor would not design his perfect super-men to dissolve their own teeth out of their skulls.
On this I would tend to agree, though with that said there's a difference between that assumption and that of (relative) perfection. For example, with that kind of metabolism I can very much imagine that they require a whole bunch of drugs to keep 'em going. What happens when those drugs are no longer part of the picture?

That, again for me, is an interesting question that extends from a reasonable approach.

Again, though. Potaytoes - Potahtoes.

It's about what we think make the setting more interesting.
Yes!

...and I think it undermines some of the built-in dystopism of the process
I've often used them so I won't repeat them, but there are quotes from Terminator and Prophecy that are perfect for Space Marines insofar as they are the "Angels of Death".

I apologize if I offended, but I do find these discussions somewhat counterproductive. I'll bow out, now.
Perfectly reasonable. These kind of discussions have waned since the mid-00s to early-10s, possibly because of the introduction of the official RPGs?

 


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