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Once again, the sun rises over Beautiful Terra!

In the Noble Brightness of the 41st millennium, there is only HIGH ADVENTURE!

To properly begin you for this article, imagine Warhammer 40,000, the grim darkness of it all, and the unflinching agony that everyone in that universe feels every waking moment
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Now throw everything you just thought about out into the Eye of Terror, dial everything back to before the Horus Heresy, and expunge everything even slightly bad and replace it with HIGH ADVENTURE!

After all that, it’s time to say hello to Brighthammer.

Straight from the bowels of 4chan, BrightHammer 40K is exactly what it looks like: a Lighter and Softer version of Warhammer 40K.

Find it here: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Setting:Brighthammer_40,000/2nd_edition


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This alternate setting contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Most of the elements that made all of the factions of 40K evil one way or another (even humans' worse version of the Spanish Inquisition) has been removed.
    • The Lords of Order are a prominent example; though they're compared to the Greek Gods in terms of temperament and described as being "passively malicious" at worst, they are much "nicer" and embody benevolent aspects of the Chaos Gods' portfolios and enforce Order. This is a stark contrast to the Chaos gods, who are directly responsible for Warhammer 40,000 being such a Crapsack World, and are constantly out to corrupt humanity into serving them, while also being constantly at war with each other.
      • Khorne promotes honorable combat and is the divine patron of courageous and mighty warriors, but he disdains the weak and has little compassion for those who can't help themselves.
      • Nurgle is a compassionate god of stability and helps build prosperous civilizations, but is unchanging and fears bringing change himself, with his followers being infamous for their oppressiveness.
      • Tzeentch embodies the good sides of magic, wisdom, and knowledge, but is the most chaotic of the Lords of Order and has a "leap before you look" mentality. He is also a Hope Bringer for the people of Brighthammer 40,000, but can take away that hope just as easily.
      • Slaanesh, the youngest of the Lords of Order, was born not of the Eldar's hedonism, but the Eldar's desire to kill the Universal Destroy and answer the prayers of the abused goddess Isha for a deity who is capable of being loving and compassionate. S/he's basically equal parts Aphrodite and the Muses, responsible for passion, love, and artistic inspiration. However, he/she is vain, ill-tempered, and easily offended.
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    • The traitor Primarchs were also given this treatment, especially Horus Lupercal, known as Horus the Great in this setting. In 40k canon, they sided with the Chaos gods because either they were corrupted by their forces, or mistreatment by the Emperor of Mankind drove them to Chaos. Here, they're treated and worshiped as demigod saviors of the galaxy because they sacrificed themselves to protect everyone from the tyrannical influence of the Lords of Order after they became bloated and corrupted from the souls killed during the Great Crusade.
      • Primarch Horus Lupercal in canon 40k was tricked into siding with Chaos, and it was his actions in the Horus Heresy as the Arch-Heretic that rendered the Emperor of Mankind a barely living corpse, and significantly crippled the Imperium of Man. Here, after the Lords of Order were corrupted by the massive influx of souls who died in the Great Crusade, Horus instigated the "Horus Ascendancy" event by committing ritual suicide with some of his brothers so they could become Princes of Order and counter the Lords of Order's collective tyrannical influence on the galaxy. As a result, Horus and his Ascended brothers are celebrated as heroes and worshiped as the Emperor's Demigods.
      • Primarch Lorgar in canon 40k was the true instigator of the Horus Heresy, whose actions influenced Horus Lupercal to go on the warpath against the Imperium of Man based on a lie. Here, he joined Horus in becoming Princes of Order to save the galaxy from the corrupted Lords of Order during the Great Crusade, and is celebrated as a hero.
      • Primarch Fulgrim in canon 40k was a narcissist obsessed with obtaining personal perfection in all things, which led to him getting possessed by a daemon. Here, as Slaanesh's Prince of Order, he strikes against those who seek to subjugate other people's spirits to their own.
      • Primarch Angron in canon 40k was an ex-gladiator driven insane with bloodlust because of the Butcher's Nails implanted in his brain, constantly forcing him to feel anger and bloodlust even outside the battlefield. Here, as Khorne's Prince of Order, he guides the hands of worthy warriors to their victory.
      • Primarch Mortarion in canon 40k was an Omnicidal Maniac fueled by hatred and resentment to the point where he seeks to blight everything with his Choas-blessed plagues. Instead, as Nurgle's Prince of Order, he guards life against evil and morally bankrupt individuals who would destroy it to further their own goals.
      • Primarch Magnus the Red in canon 40k was an Insufferable Genius who arrogantly thought he could pursue and study dangerous, forbidden knowledge without consequences. Instead, as Tzeentch's Prince of Order, he guards forbidden knowledge of ages past and future, driving away anyone who seeks to gain it.
    • The Emperor of Mankind is also more outwardly compassionate and heroic than his canon 40k counterpart, and was implied to be a good father figure for all the Primarchs. During the Great Crusade, he let Horus and several of his brothers sacrifice themselves during the Great Crusade by committing ritual suicide, as it allowed them to become Princes of Order and save the galaxy by countering the tyrannical influence of the corrupted Lords of Order, who were all bloated from the souls massacred by the Adepts of Unified Order. In addition, he has a goatee.
    • The Necrontyr are a valiant race of freedom-fighters who sought to end the reign of the Old Ones, and rather than being enslaved by and proceeding to enslave the C'tan, willingly partnered with them in order to defeat their mutual foe and save the other races bound under their will.
    • Orks and Eldar, after being freed from the control of the Old Ones by the Necrontyr, began to seek their own purpose in life. The Orks still love a good fight, but hold a sense of honor in their heads, and will outright avoid harming civilians whenever they can. They are very receptive to negotiations and will graciously back off if the other party isn’t interested in fighting (in other editions, the Orks actually hate fighting and are compared to gorillas in terms of non-violent temperament). The Eldar never underwent the explosive hedonism that would've caused the Eye of Terror's formation, and in fact went on to create the Order Lords through prayer in a desire to create a balance to the universe that would prevent the Old Ones from returning or having their sins repeated.
    • Depending on the Writer, the Tyranids are either unchanged, or they are sentient Genesis Bombs that travel to desolate planets and terraform them into beautiful garden worlds in a quest to create a perfect planet. Rather than being feared and hated, the Tyranids are the most beloved Xenos in the galaxy.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The Tau and their obsession with a Space Communist "Greater Good" mentality not only doesn't changes much from how it was in canon (the universe being Lighter and Softer now makes them a more crapsack option in comparison instead of a lesser one) but Depending on the Writer they have gone all the way to Flash Gordon-style mustache-twirling villains who’re obsessed with the "Lesser Evil."
    • The Old Ones (here called the Great Old Ones) were Precursors in the 40k canon, and while they were Shrouded in Myth many great achievements were attributed to them, such as mastering the Warp as well as creating and guiding many of the younger races of the galaxy—such as the Aeldari, Orks, and Jokaero—before they were destroyed by the Necrontyr and their C'tan masters. Here, the Great Old Ones are Abusive Precursors whose tyranny is legendary among the races of the Brighthammer galaxy, and the Xenos they created were explicitly designed as slave soldiers in The War in Heaven. They were so evil and powerful that the Necrontyr and C'tan were forced to commit total genocide on them just to end the war. Even that wasn't enough to end them permanently, as the influence they had on the Warp created the Universal Destroyer, which required the ascension of Gork and Mork to fight the Warp Entity to a standstill before the Lords of Order could strike it down for good. Even now the Exodite Eldar are attempting to resurrect them.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: A Reconstruction. Depending on the Writer, the galaxy is either a near-total utopia or very close to it. The Imperium of Man is a bastion of benevolent order, the Lords of Order distribute their miracles freely with their more passively malicious actions being tempered by the noble ascended Primarchs, the Orks are Noble Savages, the Eldar are enlightened mystics who helped create Slaanesh and the Eye of Harmony (a place of unparalleled bliss and contentment), the Necrontyr and C’tans were peaceful freedom-fighters who now meditate in self-imposed isolation, and the Tyranids are friendly “Gene Merchants” who only wish to help others and create a perfect planet. There are still dangers within this galaxy, such as the dogmatic Tau, as well as rogue Eldar who wish to resurrect the tyrannical Great Old Ones. The Imperium itself has problems of a different type and scale, such as corrupt imperial governors, seditious rebels, massive pirate fleets, and rogue psykers. Even the planets that the Tyranids create are filled with fantastical wild animals and environments that could easily kill ill-prepared travelers. Luckily, the galaxy will never want for heroes with the noble-to-a-fault Space Marines and Imperial Guard, and professional adventurers (who’re the equivalent of the rogue traders).
  • Deity of Human Origin: The honored Primarchs, led by Horus Lupercal, became benevolent Princes of Order after committing ritual suicide in order to ascend and counter the influence of the Lords of Order, who were corrupted into tyrants by a mass influx of murdered souls during the Great Crusade.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: In contrast to the canon Emperor's clean-shaven jawline, the Emperor of Brighthammer has a goatee and is a more benevolent leader and father to the Primarchs, unlike the canon Emperor who treated the Primarchs like tools to be used.
  • Fallen Hero: The Initiates of Order were initially a brotherhood of warriors founded during the war with the Great Old Ones, and they would travel across the galaxy as Hope Bringers in the name of the Lords of Order. However, after its rapid growth and transformation into a functioning government, and the birth of the Imperium of Man, the Initiates of Order, now the "Adepts of Unified Order" became extremely xenophobic and tried purging all Imperial Planets of "heretical" lifeforms as a show of extreme disagreement of the Imperium of Man's tolerance towards Xeno races. This not only caused a minor faction of Adepts to side with the Imperium of Man out of horrified disgust, it also corrupted the Lords of Order, who became bloated from the massive influx of souls who died in what was called the "Great Crusade", and turned all four of them into divine tyrants. To save the galaxy, Horus Lupercal instigated the Horus Ascendancy event by committing ritual suicide with some of his fellow Primarchs so they could Ascend of Princes of Order, and counter the Lords of Order's tyrannical influence. In the end, the Imperium of Man was victorious, with the Emperor of Mankind personally slaying the Archadept responsible for the tragedies, but it's because of the Great Crusade that the modern Initiates of Order don't have a central unified structure anymore.
  • Death by Adaptation: The traitor Primarchs committed ritual suicide during the Great Crusade in order to counter the corrupted Lords of Order's influence, becoming Princes of Order in the process. This contrasts the loyalist Primarchs, who are either dead or missing in canon 40k.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Slaanesh is this to the Lords of Order in their fight to contain the Universal Destroyer, being the one who tips the odds in their favor.
  • Enemy Mine: A major reason for the way the setting is now is that a lot of the different factions were able to cooperate against greater threats. The Necrontyr, C'tan, Eldar, and Orks won their freedom from the grip of the Great Old Ones, the warp abomination created from this first struggle known as the Universal Destroyer was sealed away with the combined effort of the Lords of Order and Gork & Mork, the Imperium of Man cleaned up the mess that resulted in the Lords of Order being corrupted, and the sudden appearance of the despotic Tau Empire and the all-consuming Tyranid Hivemind inspired people to start banding together to mitigate the damage done by the two factions.
  • Football Hooligans: The Orks were made less grimdark by finding a less-lethal vent for their violent impulses, Blood Bowl.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The traitor Primarchs in this setting, led by Horus, all committed ritual suicide during the Great Crusade, which allowed them to become Princes of Order and counter the Lords of Order's influence after the four gods got bloated from the souls who died and were corrupted into becoming tyrants.
  • Lighter and Softer: Brighthammer 40,000 changes most of the factions from Warhammer 40,000 and makes them more sympathetic. The Tau are unchanged, and simply dropping them into a more idealistic setting shifts them from A Lighter Shade of Gray to Always Chaotic Evil. The Tyranids are also unchanged, but they were already arguably the most threatening villains in the original setting.
  • Mirror Universe: To the canon 40K universe, with an emphasis in high adventure and less War Is Hell.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The Eye of Harmony is a positive version of this. It was created by the Eldar during the birth of Slaanesh and is reputed to be the most peaceful place in the known galaxy. Everyone who goes there is overcome with a palpable sense of bliss and tranquility. It's basically a spa retreat the size of a galactic arm.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Inverted with most of the other aliens in the setting, but the Tau remain Space Commies and without a World of Jerkass to provide contrast they are now definitely the villains of the setting.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: Gork and Mork helped keep the Universal Destroyer at bay by fighting it to a standstill for millennia until the Lords of Order could strike it down.
  • Space Opera: The Lighter and Softer approach to the source material means a higher emphasis in this side of the setting.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The God-Emperor of Mankind is still around, and so do many other canonically dead characters.

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