Warhammer is an extensive franchise derived from the eponymous tabletop wargame Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles, first published in 1983. The Warhammer Fantasy universe was inspired by Tolkien's Middle-earth blended with early-modern Germany, and is comprised of a number of different races including humans, elves, dwarfs, rat-people, lizardmen, and the iconic demonic forces of Chaos. The science-fantasy offshoot, Warhammer 40,000, was spawned in 1987, sharing many game mechanics and paralleling some factions. Between the two universes, the Warhammer franchise consists of wargames, tabletop RPGs, books, films (one God-awful, one mentionable), computer games, and a MMORPG or two.
Set in a distant, dystopian future combining advanced technology with magical influence, WH40K depicts a universal free-for-all between numerous opposing factions, pretty much all of whom are out to conquer all of reality. One of its iconic features is the Space Marines, genetically-engineered supersoldiers serving as the elite defenders of the Imperium of Man. Elements of the WH40K universe have been used by various DYOSers for different purposes.
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