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Warhammer Age of Sigmar - How's the setting?

johnnype

Emaciated do gooder
Validated User
I'm considering my next setting to dive into and Age of Sigmar (AoS) is a contender. Has anyone bothered with the fiction and/or setting fluff? Is it any good? I don't play wargames so that part of the question is of no consequence though I'm happy to buy wargame books if the fluff is worth it.

I enjoyed the Old World though I approached it mostly through the RPG.
 

Propagandor

Square-Cube Law Compliant
Validated User
It is pretty radically different from the old world. Sigmar is an actual god who rules over the realm of man with his superhuman warriors. The realms are planets/pocket dimensions connected by magical portals.

So basically the polar opposite of the gritty atmosphere in a lot of the old rpgs
 

DocShoveller

Godwin's Lawman
Validated User
I like Age of Sigmar. It's high adventure weird fantasy, radically different from the low/dark fantasy of Warhammer, but using its concepts in a new way.

The world-that-was was shattered in the End Times. The people were saved by separating them into worlds coloured by the eight winds of magic - the Mortal Realms. The greatest heroes of the world-that-was became avatars of one wind of magic and, in time, the gods of their realm. Sigmar is god of the Heavens (i.e. Celestial magic), Nagash is god of Death/Amethyst magic, and so on. The realms are connected by realmgates. Sigmar held together a coalition of all eight gods/realms to fight Chaos, but eventually he was betrayed by Nagash and the coalition fell apart. Sigmar took in as many refugees from the other realms, then locked the gates of his realm. Chaos dominated the other realms, but failed to conquer them entirely. In the realm of Azyr, Sigmar built a new army, the Stormcast, from the souls of those who died vowing vengeance against the Chaos gods. The Stormcast can die, but their souls return to Sigmar to be reforged in new bodies to fight again. When his army was ready, the Stormcast marched out of the gates of Azyr to liberate the mortal realms.

(that's where the setting starts)

The books are very pretty. The 'core' book for the line is mostly fluff and pictures, because the basic rules of AoS fit on four pages.
The novels get steadily better as time goes on. The recent stuff is pretty good, but the first wave of books was very closely tied to the first campaign releases, so they're really just battles with pauses for characterisation. The Black Library website suggests an AoS reading order - I'd ignore it. I'd jump to directly to the Legends of the Age of Sigmar series and fill in the rest via the internet. I'm told the Fyreslayers anthology and the novel Black Rift are good.
 

N0-1_H3r3

Bemused and Bewildered
Validated User
One key difference between Age of Sigmar vs a lot of similar high fantasy settings is that AoS is a setting where the forces of Chaos won already, and now the forces of Order are marching out to drive back the darkness (where many settings have an established order, with the evil forces seeking to tear it down or corrupt it). It's a setting where the "good guys" are proactive and on the offensive, and I think that opens up some interesting possibilities.
 

DocShoveller

Godwin's Lawman
Validated User
One key difference between Age of Sigmar vs a lot of similar high fantasy settings is that AoS is a setting where the forces of Chaos won already, and now the forces of Order are marching out to drive back the darkness (where many settings have an established order, with the evil forces seeking to tear it down or corrupt it). It's a setting where the "good guys" are proactive and on the offensive, and I think that opens up some interesting possibilities.
It's also - to all intents and purposes - a new setting where much of the lore is, so far, unwritten. Mysteries are mysteries, not footnotes that will be contradicted in book 23 of the series, or whatnot. It makes it an exciting setting to think about, because you never know what's coming next.
 

Ithaeur

Relic Unicorn
RPGnet Member
Validated User
As far as I can tell, the End Times stuff leading to AoS was largely unmitigated shit, though.
 

Brian888

Registered User
Validated User
If you like Slaanesh be prepared to be disappointed; She Who Thirsts has mysteriously vanished from the setting. I've heard it's because GW wants to market AoS to younger folks and consequently wants to get away from Slaanesh's S&M imagery, but I don't know if that's true or not. S/he might not be gone forever, though; Slaanesh's disappearance is an actual in-setting mystery that's bound to be resolved at some point.
 

N0-1_H3r3

Bemused and Bewildered
Validated User
If you like Slaanesh be prepared to be disappointed; She Who Thirsts has mysteriously vanished from the setting. I've heard it's because GW wants to market AoS to younger folks and consequently wants to get away from Slaanesh's S&M imagery, but I don't know if that's true or not. S/he might not be gone forever, though; Slaanesh's disappearance is an actual in-setting mystery that's bound to be resolved at some point.
It's worth noting here that while Slaanesh is absent, the daemons and devotees of Slaanesh are still around within the setting, either running around by themselves or searching for their missing god.

I imagine that, much as Tzeentch is getting a lot of focus right now in both 40k and Age of Sigmar (with new Disciples of Tzeentch arriving in the new year, following from the new Thousand Sons models released for 40k last month), when Slaanesh returns to Age of Sigmar, it'll coincide with a big release of Slaanesh stuff for 40k as well.
 

DocShoveller

Godwin's Lawman
Validated User
If you like Slaanesh be prepared to be disappointed; She Who Thirsts has mysteriously vanished from the setting. I've heard it's because GW wants to market AoS to younger folks and consequently wants to get away from Slaanesh's S&M imagery, but I don't know if that's true or not. S/he might not be gone forever, though; Slaanesh's disappearance is an actual in-setting mystery that's bound to be resolved at some point.
Malerion (god of Shadow) did *something* to Slaanesh, there are legends as to what. As Nathan says, Slaanesh's followers are still plentiful. The Horned Rat has been promoted to 'major' Chaos god in the confusion. I imagine Hashut's PowerPoint was less impressive.
 
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