In Warhammer 40k, the established canon requires that a ship attempting to enter the Warp must travel outside of a solar system before activating its warp drive. It is accepted that attempting to jump before reaching the "safe zone" would result in, at best, the ship being hurled hundreds of light years off course, and at worst, it would be torn apart.

How does this property affect exiting the warp? I assumed it was the same, and that attempting to drop out of warp inside a system would be suicide; however, aren't there confirmed instances of space hulks appearing over planets? If not, would the reverse still hold true, that attempting to drop out of warp while "inside" a planetary system would be suicidal?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The fact that there are many records of "hulks" exiting Warp inside a gravitational field, but exceptionally few "ships" exiting Warp in the same conditions, leads me to believe that doing so is indeed suicidal. I don't have the research to back it up on hand, but anyone can feel free to extrapolate further and post an answer. (Yes, I know, they don't need my permission to turn my comment into an answer. It's only there so that no one will miss a chance to post an answer by being polite and giving me a chance to do so. I'm not doing the 40k research, so there's no need.) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 23, 2015 at 2:47

1 Answer 1


The answer to that question leans more in in the general direction that it isn't a good idea to leave the Warp within the force of a gravitational body.

Considering that a ship is required to leave the solar system to open the Warp and enter through it, it would be safe to assume the same is required for exiting as well; lest you unleash unforseen consequences on the system. I did a bit of research in the Lexicanum and on the Warp Jump page I found an interesting passage under the section Limitations of Warp Travel.

Ships coming out of the warp must appear some distance away in deep space or risk destruction among the graviton surges in-system. Because of this many civilised worlds have specific jump points marked by beacons to assist in navigation. An ambushing fleet will often lurk nearby, in the hopes of catching a ship unaware. (Source: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Warp_jump )

And in the Rogue Trader Handbook on page 186, I found this interesting statement:

STAGE FIVE: LEAVING THE WARP - Once the Navigator’s destination has been reached, he must make a Hard (–20) Navigation (Warp) Test to determine the accuracy of his entrance point in real space, which in general terms the Navigator can perceive from the warp in a shadowy and indistinct fashion. Succeeding at this test means that the vessel exits the warp were the Navigator intended. A failure means that the ship exits off target (dangerously close to a planetary body rather than in the outer reaches of a system for example), with degrees of failure indicating a more extreme deviation.

However, if you consider the Dawn of War series a canon and reliable source, than the following video would seem to contradict these statements.


So I guess it depends on your view and judgement. If this is for one of the WH40k TTRPG's like Rogue Trader that deals with owning a ship and Warp Travel, then that arbitration is in the GM's hands, ultimately.

However, personally I would say that it is better to exit the Warp outside of the solar system. Better safe than sorry, right?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Given that we only deal with traditional RPGs here, even a lore question is necessarily in the RPG context. Given that, you should probably amend this answer to drop those caveats and answer more confidently. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 27, 2015 at 1:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, but he still only mentioned the universe in question and attached no game to it. So forgive my broadness, but it is simply a reflection of the broadness in the question. And I believe it is answered. 2/3 sources point one way so it is safest to lean in that direction. But since there is a source pointing the opposite, that leaves the subject open to interpretation if the reader considers the source in question canon and reliable. That is what I meant to convey. \$\endgroup\$
    – DaveFY
    Mar 27, 2015 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's a good answer, that's not it. It just doesn't need things like "I am not sure whether this question is for one of the WH40k TTRPG's or not". If it wasn't, it would have been rejected as off topic. You can safely answer questions here knowing that it is for an RPG. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 27, 2015 at 14:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahh okay. My apologies for misunderstanding what you meant. \$\endgroup\$
    – DaveFY
    Mar 28, 2015 at 1:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ I changed the opening sentence. How's that? \$\endgroup\$
    – DaveFY
    Mar 28, 2015 at 1:34

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