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Questions regarding lore of a given setting seem to be on-topic on the site, if the setting in question is related to a tabletop roleplaying game:

While Warhammer 40k is mainly a Wargame, the franchise also has official tabletop RPG books. It's lore is rather deep and complex (and sometimes very convoluted!), so it isn't uncommon for discussions to arise in the shape of "how are psykers sacrificed to the Golden Throne" or "What is the average lifespan of an Adeptus Astartes?".

There is a relatively new but bustling community of roleplayers in my area that is really into Warhammer 40k Wrath & Glory, and I intend to join one of their games soon. However, I'm a complete newbie regarding 40k lore, and I'll certainly find myself in a situation where I'll have to dig up some lore to check the viability of a character choice or a story plotline.

So, I ask -

Do we tackle 40k Wrath & Glory's lore questions?

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I’m gonna go ahead and just say “yes”

Warhammer 40k is a campaign setting for an RPG. It’s also the setting for a bunch of other things, which means you could reasonably ask about it on SF&F or BCG or Arqade or probably a few other places within Stack Exchange. But the existence of other places where you could ask doesn’t mean you can’t ask here.

And trying to decide—without necessarily knowing the answer—whether a particular question is going to be addressed in the RPG materials, the wargame materials, the novels, the video games, or whatever else, is a mess, and not worth our time. More importantly, it violates what I consider a pretty key principle of this site: you don’t have to know the answer to your question in order to decide if you’re allowed to ask it in the first place.

Asking about 40k here, as opposed to other places you might ask, means something—namely, that you are asking RPG experts for their answer. If that’s the perspective you want, this is the place to ask. If you want the perspective of wargamers, or video gamers, or whatever, ask in the respective places. But I don’t think there’s any cause for this site to start trying to police this in any fashion. If we started to get overwhelmed by 40k questions that almost always required non-RPG expertise to answer because the RPG materials just never cover the things being asked about, maybe we could or should. But right now, we definitely do not have that problem.

That being the case, I don’t really want to start establishing “rules” about it. I don’t think there is value in having every question establish some boilerplate hierarchy of how acceptable any given source is. I don’t think it’s necessary to specify that you are, in fact, interested in the question because of an RPG. And this does run up against policies we do have, like “just because you want to know because it’s relevant to your campaign doesn’t automatically make it on-topic here,” (so there is no merit in demanding querents specify that they are in fact playing the RPG), and “we don’t police accepted answers,” (so we cannot “object” to someone going with an answer that relies on non-RPG sources to address the question).

So my answer here is simply “yes.” Ask 40k lore questions here. We’ll assume good faith and that you are, in fact, asking here because you want RPG experts’ expertise on the matter. If we get a few confused users whose questions were better off on another site but they asked here because they didn’t know better, oh well; I highly doubt this is really going to cause the site problems.

(Obviously, rules questions about the war game or the mechanics of the video game don’t belong here. But those are easily distinguished without necessarily knowing the answer to the question, which is a key distinction in my mind.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ "you don’t have to know the answer to your question in order to decide if you’re allowed to ask it in the first place." +1. Plus, you know, the rest of it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Jul 15 at 14:50
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As long as they are tied to the RPG

The Warhammer (both Fantasy and 40k) lore is a mess. Many things are spread out among the board/card games, novels, PC games, tabletop army books, and the RPGs. As long as the question asks about the RPG aspect, it is on topic. This might or might not include bits from other than the RPG books as sources, but the question needs to solve an RPG-related question.

As a simple example, asking about the stance of Faction A to Faction B could be a valid question if described as solving an RPG question. But asking for what equipment Unit X has without showing the RPG-relation would be presumably Wargame-centric and off-topic.

This is similar to Legend of the 5 rings, where there is an old CCG, an LCG, novels, and the RPGs. These share a world and lore, but not all things are elaborated everywhere similarly. At times cards or novel lore holds tiny bits that the RPG doesn't tell about, but which can inform a good answer that tries to solve an RPG-related issue. One example is the number of toes for dragons needed for a description of one, where the best answer is the card-art which has canon value in L5R. However, in such cases, it can help to establish a ranking in which order sources are deemed authoritative.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "However, in such cases, it can help to establish a ranking in which order sources are deemed authoritative." I'll point out here that 40k's canon policy can be summed up as "everything is canon, even the things that contradict each other". \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Jul 13 at 11:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Answers that reference lore outside of RPG-related sources could be useful, as the answer a post seeks may be found in a medium they haven't purchased, or even know of. I understand the want/need to "keep it RPG," but such a limitation may be more harmful than useful. I think this is more usefully worded as "as long as the question asks about something that has a tRPG." \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Jul 15 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jason_c_o the target is to keep the question focus on an RPG aspect. like "My players have a Psionic and tried to study orc language. Can they somehow establish negotiations with them?" is an RPG centric question about W40k that is RPG-centric but the answer is in novels, imperial army and orc codices: in some ways one can... However "What's the name of the main tank used by the Cadian Legions?" is not RPG-centric, it is about the wargame, which has the answer in the imperial army codices telling you Leeman Russ. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jul 15 at 15:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would you assume that such a question wouldn't come up during RP? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Jul 15 at 15:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jason_c_o Without any introduction that makes the question RPGcentric, the question "what's the basic tank of the Imperial Army" is most likely about the tabletop. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jul 15 at 18:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ And thats why we assume good faith. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Jul 15 at 23:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Given that there is a whole RPG to be played as Imperal Guardsmen, including being a tanker and including rules to form your own tank regiment, I would assume that we treat "what's the basic tank of the Imperial Army" as a valid question. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Jul 16 at 6:59

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