Games Workshops classic Realms of Chaos ‘Slaves to darkness’ to be re-printed and released
One is aware one does not usually do GW partly out of the fact they have a massive PR engine and usually what one catches is in a private concept, journalism arguments aside. However, this one came via other sources so running with it. (please don’t sue)
|See image of RoC SD bottom left
Games Workshop it seems is again moving in interesting times and the new CEO is certainly showing that the company can be moved both forward in new and dynamic ways, yet still keep an emotional hand in the past and never more so that with the surprise reprint of the classic Rogue Trader WH40k, yet it seems that this was just the start and in what is expected to be very exciting news will soon join it the ever darkly exquisitely written Realms of Chaos ‘Slave to darkness.’ The book that brought Chaos to the minds of impressionable 80’s teenagers and to be thought of as a game changer in how tabletop gaming could be away from the historical crowds. It less set the stage and more set the stage on fire in being one of a pair of books that grognards now everywhere felt were the most interesting books that GW ever produced. (And bemoaning the sudden price drop and value of their copies, .Ed)
Slaves to Darkness featured extensive detailed descriptions of the gods Khorne and Slaanesh, complete with a pantheon of their Daemons, rules and background for including these in tabletop battles as demonic armies. It also started to encourage people to not just buy an army but make it your own, to buy other miniatures so you could take them apart and create custom conversions, and provide what was many a teenagers life for many moons the basic idea of Chaos warbands and build your own adventures and backgrounds with them.
|Realm of Chaos ‘Slaves to Darkness’
It also introduced the Imperium’s Daemonhunters of the Ordo Malleus and their associated Space Marine chapter – the Grey Knights. The book provided a nice balance in what it offered.
The volume is also notable for its having a solid coherant narriative foundation for the Horus Heresy, an event which while mentioned in Rogue Trader was as then more of a background flavour to the epic galaxy-spanning battles taking place. RoC explained what that flavour was, it locked the Horus Heresy firmly into the midns of the gamers and established the role of Chaos and the demon influence in the GW40k – SF universe
And provides the link between the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 worlds; which is explicitly stated in the first pages of the book.
‘It also features rules on the creation of Chaos Champions and their warbands, Daemon weapons, demonic possession and the Horus Heresy of WH40K. To give a flavour of the background and attributes of followers of Chaos it contained material such as a list of over 120 “Chaos Attributes” – mutations that the followers of Chaos were often afflicted by. This included some mutations that were advantageous, such as those that made the mutant extra strong or taller and those that confer a disadvantage, such as ones that made the mutant small, weak or stupid. Other mutations were purely cosmetic, such as giving the mutant brightly coloured skin or eyes on stalks, whilst some mutations were clearly comical, such as one that gave the mutant a silly walk (possibly inspired by the Monty Python sketch The Ministry of Silly Walks) and even a mutation that bestowed the “gift” of uncontrollable flatulence.’ Quote Wikipedia
written by Rick Priestley, Bryan Ansell, Mike Brunton, Simon Forrest, who were already venerable figures in the gaming industry and GW. They were harmonists who took the art of writing by deftly mixing humour with horror as they tackled the big questions of Galaxy spanning concepts and battles, factions and wars, and lay down the groundwork for what is now a major part of many peoples lives. What the writers brought was an analytical mind, combined with raw creativity and a collection of artists with keen aesthetic insights and an ability to understand the writers’ analytical minds and transcribe them into art that was both raw and somehow right for the book.
It is good to see such older works being released and providing a newer generation with a taste of what was a mind altering experience for those dark and early days of gaming, and one can only hope that they continue with the release of Realms of Chaos – ‘Lost and the Dammed.’