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#1 Maleficus_Sadi

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 08:09 AM

I recently purchased the Deathwatch RPG and am getting ready to get a campaign going, but I have a few people interested in playing that want to play Sisters of Battle. I'm not totally convinced that I want to buy, "The Inquisitor's Handbook" just for the small section that details the Sisters of Battle, so I was wondering if anyone had some ideas to help convert the Space Marine stats into Sisters of Battle ones. To be completely honest, I'm only moderately familiar with the 40k universe after being exposed to the, "Dawn of War" series and a few of the novels. But I'm not quite sure what the major differences are between the SoB and a SM. The SoB wear power armor like SM, but aren't genetically engineered to be quite on the same level as SM's, as I understand it, so could I get away with taking away some of the extra abilities the SM get via organs and instead give the SoB characters a few extra experience points to allocate into skills, making them more versatile and knowledgeable, versus out-right powerful? I already told the people interested in playing SoB that they might be a little underpowered when compared to their SM counterparts, and they are perfectly fine with that, as long as it isn't overwhelmingly underpowered. We're interested in making them "feel" different and set apart from their normal, SM counterparts and they want to play the SoB mostly for the RP flavor that it could add to the group. Can I do this without the fluff from Dark Heresy? (Not having information on Faith powers, etc., from said supplement? I'm not really interested in having my SoB players make Rank 13+ Ascension DH characters and have them grouped with Rank 1 DW SM's, so I'm looking for an alternative solution). Maybe I can throw in default specialization with Flamer weapons, etc?

I'm also not really interested in the Rogue Trader or Dark Heresy universe, as my group is flat-out big into the Space Marines and none of the other fluff (they being 40k: TT gamers), so that is another reason I'm not interested in dropping the $ for the Dark Heresy supplement.

Also, I'm looking for a good scenario to run and I'm not unaccustomed to moderately or heavily modifying campaigns. That being said, what would be a good first campaign to run?

Thanks for the input!



#2 Gamebook

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:37 AM

Doing the sisters of battle with Deathwatch rules is an interesting idea. Deathwatch has extra combat rules, principally cohesion, squad and solo abilities that don't feature in Dark Heresy. Using the rules for devising your own chapter you could spec out the sisters of battle. The sisters themselves are divided into large organisations called Orders, each of which has its own heraldry, leaders and culture in much the same way as a space marine chapter.

In terms of abilities the sisters are of course only ordinary humans, just well-trained humans. It is a universal feature of their rules, both WH40K:TT and Dark Heresy, that they get special abilities from their faith in the Emperor. Their equipment is very similar to what the marines use, except that it tends to be smaller. I would remove all the movement/agility penalties and size increase that power armour normally imposes as Angel pattern armour is very compact, but in turn there is no black carapace interface or strength boost.

In order to reduce the workload reuse Deathwatch rules as much as possible. Battle sisters have a number of roles similar to the space marines. Battle sisters, Celestians and Dominion  are all equivalent to Tactical, Retributors to Devastators, Seraphim to Assault, Sisters Hospitaller to Apothecaries. The sisters do not deal with technology or psykers so have no equivalent of Librarians or Techmarines.

In roleplaying terms the sisters of battle do not actually like or trust the space marines. They are aware of the existence of the Horus Heresy and the Traitor Marines and hold all marines in suspicion. They also differ in religious beliefs, and at times in the past there has been bloodshed between sisters and marines over matters of faith. The sisters are some of the few people in the Imperium who are not in awe of the astartes.



#3 Maleficus_Sadi

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:30 AM

That's a lot of really good input, Gamebook, thank you kindly! You gave me a lot of info to work with and I definitely think that once I acquire the, "Honour the Chapter" supplement, I'll be able to hammer out some good Orders for my Sisters.

Anyone else have other ideas or opinions on the matter? I'm curious if I should try to find out what "Faith" powers the Sisters of Battle get in DH and try implementing them in some way, since they won't have the same amount of overall strength and defenses as a standard SM. That, or just give them an extra tweak via Chapter Attributes and perhaps Chapter specific weaponry that involve heavy-based flamer weapons?

Thanks again!

 



#4 Vehem

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:10 AM

The only thing I would add is that if you were to consider buying a supplement to support this, you'd likely want "Blood of Martyrs" rather than the Inquisitor's Handbook or Ascension. It's more specifically what you're looking for - I'll give a quick rundown of the contents below.

Chapters…

  1. "A Million Worlds, one Emperor" - details of the Imperial Faith, including Saints and Saint Worship - mostly just relevent fluff
  2. "Paths of the Righteous" - seems to be mostly for Ministorium and related careers - probably not that useful
  3. "Brides of the Emperor" - specifically covers SoB characters with 7 specialities, including those mentioned above. Also includes a Sidebar with suggestions for using them in Deathwatch or Rogue Trader campaigns (in terms of power balance)
  4. "Faith and Fury" - faith powers.
  5. "Reliquary" - relics and specialized bolt/flame weapons, plus armour
  6. "Ecclesiarchal Campaigns" - themes and advice for running campaigns featuring Sisters

Of that - 5 Chapters seem useful to Deathwatch and the rest of it just makes life a lot easier in the long run. Seems to be up for $32 on Amazon (or £26 if you're on my side of the pond).

One thing it doesn't cover however is how they'd interact with Deathwatch Squad modes - though you could fairly easily construct a few Oaths of their own, or just apply the equivalent speciality restrictions for Tactical/Battle Sister, Assault/Seraphim etc. Alternatively, if you have a few each of Sisters and Astartes, you could rule that they're allied, but use significantly different tactics - give the Astartes their Squad Mode and the Sisters their Faith Powers and keep the two separate - Boys vs Girls style.



#5 Lynata

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:20 AM

 

Greetings!
 
Purchasing either the Inquisitor's Handbook or Blood of Martyrs (which deliver two different versions of Battle Sisters) would be one way to play such a character, but it certainly isn't the only one. Indeed, I am of the opinion that the massive power gap between Dark Heresy and Deathwatch would negatively impact the game by making some characters of the group resist and deal less damage whilst maintaining the same focus on martial abilities and gameplay style.
 
All things considered, I would support your idea of simply taking DW rules and altering them slightly to differentiate the characters from one another. Not only would it save you money, it also ensures that the gap isn't as massive, providing all members of your group with a roughly equal chance to shine in their chosen roles (augmented by the characters' various backgrounds and specialties). Simply remove the two Unnatural Traits and all the special organs and their effects and you should be good to go.
 
Granted, according to the Games Workshop website, the Sisters of Battle are equals to their brother Marines only thanks to their ability to compensate the lack of genetical enhancement with their faith and devotion, but you likely wouldn't want to make up a special Faith mechanic all by yourself as this may get too complicated and (or so I believe) it's not even actually needed in this case. The Deathwatch rules are already very heroic as they are, so simply have your Sisters treat anything spectacular as a sign of the Emperor watching over them. Again going solely by the Codex fluff, that's what those "miracles" actually are, anyways. You did mention Dawn of War, however, which had a more flamboyant interpretation of said faith, so this may depend on which image of the Sisters you and your group prefer. Both (superstition vs actual divine magic) are equally valid representations of the setting, and it is but a matter of expectations what you should choose. Personally, I prefer a more ambiguous implementation - things such as ignoring the effects of being injured, or getting a small bonus to attack and/or damage via momentary "ki-style" focus. One of the key advantages of Sisters over Marines is that they are less likely to become corrupted, but as this threat doesn't seem to be represented in DW mechanics anyways this would likely be of no concern for your game.
 
In terms of equipment, just give them access to the same weapons, except for the Chapter-specific or traditionally Marine-only gear such as Power Fists, of course. The lack of Unnatural Strength and Toughness will likely result in the SoB characters focusing on ranged combat, which should be fine. If you wish to balance this somewhat, you could give your Marines normal chain weapons, whereas the leader of the SoB contingent gets a power weapon. This way, you could have one of the Sororitas characters act as a sort of paragon who also fights in close combat at the front with one or more of your melee-minded Marines, whereas the rest of the team hangs back to focus on ranged attacks. To make said paragon even tougher you could add relic-style armour attachments such as the SoB Crusader gear you know from Dawn of War (providing +1 AP on the various locations).
 
Also, here's an armour design I wrote up a long time ago as a sort of a happy medium between the Deathwatch Astartes armour and the low-scale Dark Heresy equipment, meant to be used for SoB characters in a DW game. Maybe you'll find it to be of some use:
 
---
 
Sororitas Angel-pattern Mark II Power Armour
 
A successor to the design created for the insane High Lord Vandire’s bodyguard, the Angel Mark II forms the current standard battle armour of the Orders Militant. Faithful to its roots, the suit merges the look of the original garments once worn by the warriors of the San Leor temple cult with the magnificent mysteries of Imperial high technology. Thanks to treaties once wrought by Sebastian Thor himself, the Adeptus Ministorum has acquired permanent lease of the machinery necessary to produce this armour in the gigantic Ecclesiarchal forges on the Shrine World of Ophelia VII. Every suit is lovingly cared for by the Order it has been granted to, and many are engraved with filigree ornamentation of holy scripture and religious iconography. Despite or perhaps even due to their extreme value it is tradition to bury a Sister Militant in her armour, with only the backpack and helmet being repurposed.
 
The armour consists of a series of ceramite-covered plasteel plates resting on a form-fitting suit of electrically motivated fibre bundles. Similar to the variants worn by the mighty Astartes, individual plates of armour can be up to an inch thick, thus conferring an equal degree of armoured protection. However, as the Sisters of Battle are not implanted with the Black Carapace, they must forego many of the additional functions available to their brother Space Marines, such as the more powerful strength enhancement or advanced life-support, yet in turn allowing the Angel-pattern to retain a smaller profile.
 
Internal mechanisms are controlled by a series of high-sensitivity pressure sensors, converting even the most delicate motion of its wearer into immediate artificial augmentation by feeding the impulse back to the fibre bundles embedded in the undergarment. This kind of interface allows the Ministorum to forego dependence on Mechanicus-supplied MIU-implants, though it was rumoured that the mad High Lord Vandire had rejected this option for purely aesthetical reasons. Furthermore, this also means that the armour can be worn by virtually anyone, with only a certain amount of calibration required to perfectly attune each suit to the user.
 
Using an uncalibrated suit of Power Armour incurs a -10 penalty to all Tests related to Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, Strength and Agility. The Rite of Calibration can be performed at every Sororitas convent the size of a Preceptory or larger and takes about half an hour to complete.
Donning the armour and observing the minimum amount of activation rites takes about 20-30 minutes without assistance, or 10 minutes with the aid of a single person. Arm- and legplates are attached first before the traditional robes are donned. The breastplate, interlocking ventral slabs and pauldrons are worn above the robes. Every suit issued is of at least Good Quality.
 
 
Angel-pattern Power Armour
 
Ceramite Plating: Protective plates cover most of the fibre suit, providing 8 Armour Points for the torso and 7 for arms and legs. The high grade of quality increases AP by +1 against the first attack each round. A suit of Best Quality provides 9/8 permanent Armour Points instead.
 
Autoinjector: When the armour is penetrated, the suit automatically begins pumping painkillers into the warrior’s veins. Upon receiving the first Critical Injury, treat the character as being injected with a single dose of Stimm. Roll 2d10+10 for duration due to the potency of this drug.
Replacing the canister requires a Tech-Use (+0) Test. If the character should not be familiar with this armour pattern, the Test becomes Challenging (+20).
 
Fission-Powered: The armour’s backpack contains a fusion reactor capable of powering the suit indefinitely. Internal batteries allow operation without the backpack for a maximum of 5 hours. Combat situations cause battery lifetime to decrease by 1 hour per encounter due to the increased power consumption.
The backpack may also be damaged by attacks made to the wearer’s back (see chart).
 
Recoil Suppression: Internal suspension and servo-assisted aiming allow wielding even the heaviest guns with ease. As long as the armour remains powered, the character may treat every Heavy Weapon as Braced by default. In addition, Basic weapons and Pistol weapons that require two hands can be used one-handed without penalty.
 
Enhanced Strength: Using a complex array of delicate pressure sensors and assuming proper calibration, the armour’s arcane machinery copies and augments each and every move of its owner. As long as the armour remains powered, it confers a +10 bonus to Strength.
 
Voxlink: The armour comes equipped with an integrated multi-channel short range vox for secure communication. Frequencies and volume can be adjusted by controls on the collar, which also contains the audio pickup. If no helmet is worn, a micro-bead worn in the ear can substitute for speakers.
 
 
Sabbat-pattern Helmet
 
Ceramite Plating: The reinforced visor and neck guard provide 7 Armour Points for the head. The high grade of quality increases AP by +1 against the first attack each round. A helmet of Best Quality provides 8 permanent Armour Points instead.
 
Auto-Senses: Cogitator-assisted battle optics and multi-spectrum filtering optimise the user’s performance in the field and shield her eyes from irritation. The character gains the Dark Sight and Heightened Senses (Sight) trait, a +5 bonus to Ballistic Skill Tests and immunity to the effects of a Photon Flash Grenade.
The character cannot use Auto-Senses and Preysight simultaneously. Switching modes is a Half Action and requires the character to touch the helmet.
 
Preysight: Advanced thermal imaging allows the Sister to detect heretics who hope to escape judgment twixt the shadows. The character gains the Dark Sight trait and a +20 bonus to Perception (Seeing) Tests against creatures whose body temperature does not blend in with the environment. This also negates concealment by smoke.
The character cannot use Auto-Senses and Preysight simultaneously. Switching modes is a Half Action and requires the character to touch the helmet.
 
Rebreather: When worn with a helmet, the armour can be sealed to isolate its owner from a hostile environment. As long as the armour remains powered, the character is immune to the effects of hazardous gases and airborne toxins or infections unless otherwise stated. A small oxygen supply enables the user to survive in the vacuum of space for a short amount of time, but the size of the reserve and shortcomings in the suit’s temperature regulators limit operational time to less than an hour.
The wearer can switch between air filters and independent oxygen supply using a Half Action.

 


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#6 Maleficus_Sadi

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 12:52 PM

Thank you very much for the responses! Vehem, I like your idea of giving the SoB's their Faith Powers in lieu of them not having equivalent Solo/Squad Modes. After reading through the, "Faith and Fury" chapter, I definitely feel like it is a must for the powers to be included, since it adds a lot of thematic flavor to the SoB's manifesting their faith through physical means and also helps them come to terms with some of their short-comings.

I appreciate the extensive response, Lynata, and I'm glad I'm not the only person who has been interested in doing something like this. It seems you have your ideas pretty fleshed out, so I do believe I will be using a lot of what you have to say within my group as-is! I definitely love the, "Sabbat-pattern Helmet" touch as it gives a very unique ability to the Sister of Battle that makes her stand out amongst a group of Astartes. 

A question I have is in the event that the group is affected by a haywire grenade (which causes a Dead Zone), would you think that the Mark II Power Armour would be less affected by the penalties of it (due to its lightweight and mobility?) vs the penalties imposed upon a Mark VII Astartes Power Armour when caught in a Dead Zone? 

Additionally, how did your SoB's fair when compared to their Astartes counterparts during gameplay (if you have tested it out?). There are a lot of minute buffs that the SM's get via their special organs that a SoB will obviously miss out on. This is one reason I'm tempted to incorporate the "Faith & Fury" abilities from the "Blood of Martyr's" handbook.

And another question, should I use the, "Rank Advances + Seraphim/Celestian/etc.," from previously mentioned book when my SoB's level up? Between Faith Powers and the BoS Advances, will this keep them up to par with the SM's as they level up?

Lastly, something I was considering… how would discourse between a Black Templar (one of my player's is thinking of choosing this chapter) and a Sister of Battle go? I would imagine that the Templar would find he has more in common with the Sister of Battle (due to their blind-devotion and fervent faith in the Emperor) than he would with his other, Astartes-Brethren (also combined with the fact that both sects loathe psykers). 

Those are all the commentaries and questions I can think of at the moment, but thanks for the help everyone! Looking eagerly forward to GM'ing my first Deathwatch campaign in a few more weeks!

 



#7 Lynata

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:42 AM

 

As per its 3E Codex fluff, Sororitas power armour is based on the same systems and technology as its Astartes pendant, so personally I believe it should be affected by Haywire in a similar way also. I don't have my book with me right now, so I can't comment on whether or not the effects should be slightly adjusted, though.
 
I've played the BoM-version of a Battle Sister once, but I cannot comment too much on their efficiency as I did not use any of its Acts of Faith. They are too much of a contradiction to my interpretation of the Sororitas as shaped by GW's own writings, which described Acts of Faith as a psychological "mind over matter" effort (combination of peak physical performance, decades of training, and fanatical conviction) rather than outright divine magic. In my vision of the 41st millennium, the latter just doesn't have any place - everything magical is either technology, Warp phenomena / psychic powers, or simply superstition. For the purpose of a mixed DW game, it'd also be a bit difficult for the Marines to continue denying the Emperor's godhood if they see His worshippers running around casting obvious miracles.
But as I've said, this aspect of the setting differs a lot depending on which source you're looking at, so it boils down to the group's preferences. Just mind the consequences, such as the characters' reactions to witnessing divine magic!
 
One mechanical disadvantage I see with BoM's Acts of Faith, however, is that many of them are "group buffs" that not only improve the Sister's combat efficiency but that of anyone in the group. If you include the Marines in this, the Acts of Faith become relatively meaningless as the end result does not temporarily lift the Sororitas characters above the Astartes. Even worse, some effects may have a much stronger effect on the already strong Marines than the Sisters, so for the purpose of granting the Sororitas their own place in the limelight I just don't see this working. And to top it off, the Sisters have to spend Fate Points anytime they activate this talent, which the players might otherwise use elsewhere as the Marines will be able to do.
 
Sitenote: whilst I dig the aspect of a Sister as a motivational boost, I feel that this was much better accomplished with the "Litany of X" talents, which, for example, conferred the advantage of Hate on party members open to the Sister's spiritual guidance.
 
A workaround to the limelight problem, however, might be to limit the advantages of Acts of Faith to the Sororitas characters only, explaining it with faith (Pure Faith) as a requirement to benefit from them. Some of the "spells" are still too flashy for my taste, but this way you'd at least reach that balance where the Marines have a higher average performance, yet AoF giving the Sisters a chance to temporarily keep up with or even surpass them on occasion.
 
Also, since it seems you've checked out Blood of Martyrs, maybe take a look at the Inquisitor's Handbook now as well and compare its own Acts of Faith, which are ( a ) not as obviously magical and ( b ) focus on strengthening the user rather than being a "group buff". The effects are generally minor boosts, such as a slight damage bonus to one attack, but they should fit in nicely.
 
If you're not afraid of more houseruling, you might even try to write your own AoF as inspired by those in the TT Codex. You can download an abridged version for free on GW's own website: http://www.games-wor...__Witch_Hunters
 
As far as Rank Advances go, I'd say just look to the Deathwatch book. Fluffwise, the classes are largely compatible, and (I think?) you've already started kitting out the Sororitas characters as per DW rules anyways. This way, you also forego the need to convert XP cost. Keep in mind that BoM was written for a different game line less focused on heroic battles, and even beyond this I feel as if that book's advancements are an XP trap that see a Battle Sister ending up with fewer talents and skills than comparable DH characters at later levels (basically, they start out too strong due to equipment, but end up too weak due to lacking skills/talents).
 
Regarding the Black Templar .. I think there's definitively some potential for great roleplaying there! Which direction it would take is a matter of interpretation, as some people think that two fanatics of slightly different religious denominations (Emperor is a god vs Emperor is not a god) may end up having more trouble due to the minor differences between their respective cultures, for which we certainly have real life precedent. On the other hand, and this is what I am going by, I feel as if the "outside pressure" from actual heretics and enemies is so strong that these characters should easily see past those differences. Not to mention that, whilst GW never wrote about Black Templars and Sororitas having trouble with each other, they DID write about them working together. The Black Templars' own Codex mentions the Vinculus Crusade, where Marshal Ludoldus fough side by side with Canoness Jasmine, defeating a daemon of Khorne. Another instance would be that one of the Black Templar Battle Banners for the Battle of Terra at the end of the Age of Apostasy honours those forces of the Ecclesiarchy who helped topple Vandire, so they don't seem to hold a grudge or at least respect Alicia Dominica relenting and beheading her mad master.
 
I think your group will be in for some interesting roleplaying either way, though cooperation will probably ensure more fun than confrontation. Both the Templars as well as the Sisters certainly have a lot in common as far as attitude and conviction are concerned. :)
 
 
 
Oh, and something else .. if you want to tweak the Sororitas characters a little depending on which Order they come from, perhaps you can use the following paragraphs. It was originally written to be compatible to Only War, but that shouldn't be too much of an issue. If nothing else, perhaps your players can use its fluff - it's all taken from various GW sources. However, note that the "recent events" are referring to the end of M41 … I think that most DW campaigns take place a few centuries some time prior to that.
 
Order: Order of the Bloody Rose
Patron: Saint Mina, the Vengeful
Founded: M38, by edict of Ecclesiarch Deacis VI
Base: Convent Sanctorum, Ophelia VII
Uniform: Red armour, black cloaks with white lining
Description: The Order of the Bloody Rose was not formally created until two and a half millennia after the founding of the Adepta Sororitas, and by this time its patron saint, Mina, was long dead. Mina was known as a dark and brooding warrioress. She was the most aggressive and impetuous of Dominica’s comrades and her symbol was accordingly a blood red rose, prominent with thorns. The Battle Sisters of the Bloody Rose, resplendent in their deep-crimson power armour, echo Mina’s desire to slay their enemies as quickly as possible, and the Order’s Dominion squads are renowned for the ferocity of their assaults.
Recent events: In response to Imperial armies massing near the Eye of Terror to defend the Gateway World of Cadia against a looming Black Crusade, the Order of the Bloody Rose has deployed in full force, leaving only a core of several hundred novices continuing their training in the Convent Sanctorum, as well as a few isolated Missions elsewhere in the galaxy. Quickly setting up fortified convents throughout the sector, the six Preceptories of the Bloody Rose form the largest contribution of any of the Orders Militant to the Imperial forces defending the Cadian sector.
As a splinter of Hive Fleet Leviathan approaches the Belis Corona system, Canoness Astra of the Order of the Silver Lily calls upon her fellow Sororitas from across the region to relieve the battered convent of the Minor Order of the Ermine Mantle near the Hive City of Subiaco Diablo, which has suffered greatly at a recent Plague Zombie epidemic: although its Sisters’ faith and purity protected them from the unnatural disease, the nigh-constant fighting against the afflicted population has cost the convent all of its veterans and officers and severely depleted its ammunition stores.
Perks: +3 BS, Hatred (Chaos), Crack Shot
 
Order: Order of Our Martyred Lady
Patron: Saint Katherine, the Shield Bearer
Founded: M36, by edict of Ecclesiarch Sebastian Thor
Base: Convent Sanctorum, Ophelia VII
Uniform: Black armour, red cloaks with white lining
Description: Katherine was regarded as Dominica’s second. Her order was originally entitled the Order of the Fiery Heart, in reference to Katherine’s fierce persona, but so deeply did the Battle Sisters mourn her death that they renamed themselves the Order of Our Martyred Lady, and for many centuries thereafter they wore black. Even amongst the devout warriors of the Sororitas, the Sisters of Our Martyred Lady have a reputation for incredible determination, inspired by the desire to avenge the deaths of their fallen. This inner fire drives them to destroy their enemies utterly and without mercy.
Recent events: Having maintained a minor presence in the sector ever since the Order was founded, it came to no surprise that the Martyred Lady’s Battle Sisters were joining the defenders’ ranks as Imperial forces prepared for the Third War of Armageddon. The proud Sororitas defending Hive Tempestora, however, were unprepared for the Orks’ sheer size of numbers that managed to circumvent the Imperial main lines by the unprecedented use of Ork submersibles converted from civilian tanker hulls. After a long and bloody battle, the Ecclesiarchal basilica was the last Imperial position within the Hive to fall, the loss sending shockwaves throughout the entire Order and leading many Novices to question their faith in the divine Emperor.
In remembrance of the spilt blood of their many martyred Sisters, the Order has opted to change the colour of their robes from black to red. Although Canoness Mariana has less than three hundred Battle Sisters left to field upon the battlefields of Armageddon, she has vowed to retake Tempestora at all costs, or die trying.
Perks: +3 WS, Hatred (Orks), Combat Master
 
Order: Order of the Valorous Heart
Patron: Saint Lucia, the Enduring
Founded: M36, by edict of Ecclesiarch Alexis XXII
Base: Convent Sanctorum, Ophelia VII
Uniform: Black armour, black cloaks with white lining
Description: The Sisters of the Order of the Valorous Heart believe they must atone for the unwitting sedition committed by the Daughters of the Emperor during Vandire’s Reign of Blood. The Order’s founding saint, Lucia, was the most penitent of Dominica’s companions, and her Battle Sisters strive to emulate her example – demanding expiation for the slightest perceived sin. As a result, a disproportionate number of its Battle Sisters exile themselves and seek redemption as a Sister Repentia. Lucia is often depicted holding the skull of the executed Lord Vandire – a reminder to never hearken the words of false prophets.
Recent events: TBA
Perks: +3 TN, Hatred (Heretics), Flagellant
 
Order: Order of the Sacred Rose
Patron: Saint Arabella, the Liberator
Founded: M38, by edict of Ecclesiarch Deacis VI
Base: Convent Prioris, Terra
Uniform: White armour, black cloaks with red lining
Description: The Order of the Sacred Rose was also not created in the lifetime of its patron saint, Arabella. In her lifetime, Arabella earned the honorific of ‘Liberator’ and many Battle Sisters, especially Retributors, are known to pray to her spirit for liberation from doubt and rash action when a cool, logical head is required. Of all Dominica’s bodyguards, Arabella was known as a disciplined, even-tempered Sister. However, behind her serenity lay the determination of a resolute warrior, and her symbol was thus a white rose, held in a mailed gauntlet. The white armoured Sisters of the Sacred Rose embody the same virtues.
Recent events: TBA
Perks: +3 WP, Hatred (Mutants), Rapid Reload
 
Order: Order of the Ebon Chalice
Patron: Saint Dominica, Patron Saint of the Sisterhood, Bearer of the Grail of Ages
Founded: M36, by edict of Ecclesiarch Sebastian Thor
Base: Convent Prioris, Terra
Uniform: Black armour, white cloaks with red lining
Description: The Order of the Ebon Chalice is the oldest of the Orders Militant, founded at the birth of the Adepta Sororitas by Alicia Dominica, the patron saint of the Sisterhood. Dominica led her warriors in countless crusades against the enemies of the Imperium, and she was the first heroine to be proclaimed a Living Saint by the Ecclesiarchy. The uniforms of Dominica’s Order are based on the original garments worn by the Daughters of the Emperor, and their combat doctrines, formed on equal parts religious devotion and training, have remained largely unchanged for four thousand years.
Recent events: TBA
Perks: +3 Int, Hatred (Heretics), Meditation
 
Order: Order of the Argent Shroud
Patron: Saint Silvana, the Selfless
Founded: M36, by edict of Ecclesiarch Alexis XXII
Base: Convent Prioris, Terra
Uniform: Silver armour, white cloaks with red lining
Description: Silvana was the first of Dominica’s bodyguards to be martyred – assassinated shortly after the Order of the Ebon Chalice was divided into two Orders Militant. A silvery image of Silvana’s skull was left imprinted on her death shroud, and the newly formed Order took the Argent Shroud as their image and title. Silvana was renowned for her altruistic spirit and her stoic faith. She seldom spoke, believing that deeds on the battlefield spoke more of a warrior’s devotion than any words. The Sisters of the Argent Shroud likewise rarely speak, and they are famed for their selfless acts of heroism.
Recent events: Joining the defence of Armageddon against Ghazghkull Thraka’s gigantic Waaagh!, the Order of the Argent Shroud originally deployed alongside the Imperial lines at Volcanos Hive, preparing for the seemingly inevitable invasion by the greenskin hordes. With no other enemy to fight, the Sisters soon turned to policing the Imperial Guard, rooting out suspected heretics and traitors, but also causing a general decline in morale as their purges continued. Once the Orks had actually landed, the Sisters were quickly dispatched to the Fire Wastes, where they fought alongside the Flesh Tearers Space Marines and successfully drove off Warboss Rukglum’s Big Gunz. Upon witnessing the frenzied Flesh Tearers massacring the allied Hive Militia at Gaius Point, however, Canoness Carmina hastily withdrew her forces, passionately petitioning General Kurov for an immediate Inquisitorial investigation into the Chapter’s blood lust. As a result, the Flesh Tearers Chapter is close to excommunication, its long-hidden geneseed corruption finally revealed.
In the meantime, Canoness Carmina has pledged her Order’s support to Canoness Mariana of the Martyred Lady to aid in recapturing Hive Tempestora from the Orks.
Perks: +3 Fel, Hatred (Heretics), Nerves of Steel

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current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#8 Maleficus_Sadi

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:35 AM

I'm almost overwhelmed by how much I have to work with now! Thanks for all the information, Lynata. I actually ordered, "Honour the Chapter" so I could attempt at crafting some of the Orders Militant, but it seems that has already been done! Did you make those Order stats yourself, or are they from another supplement?

I'll probably slightly adjust the negative stats imposed from Dead Zones on the Mark II Armour, simply because I don't see it being nearly as overbearingly heavy as the Mark VII would be. Thanks!

I was also thinking about what would be better as far as using the Rank tables from BoM vs DW, but I totally forgot that the scaling wasn't quite the same due to the Rank differences between the books. I'll just use the tables of similarity, such as Seraphim using the Assault Ranks, Hospitallers using the Apothecary ranks and so forth. Obviously a SoB shouldn't be allowed to select Librarian as a class and as far as I'm aware, they have no Techmarine equivalents, correct? 

I suppose Dawn of War has slightly tainted my view of "Faith Powers," (and honestly, Warhammer Online is probably to blame as well!) but I definitely see where you are coming from. I'll have to give the topic some more thought and probably involve the other players and see what they think. I appreciate the link you gave to the Witch Hunters Codex, as that'll open the options up for Faith Powers by quite a bit. It will be fun to craft some of my own!

You also pointed out the main problem I foresaw between the Sister of Battle and her compatriot Space Marines (an unbelief that the Emperor is divinity)! I'm obviously not as well-versed in the fluff as you are, so I am curious if there are ANY Space Marine Chapters that actually believe in the divinity of the Emperor, as is taught by the Ecclesiarchy? Or do all Space Marines simply view him as a father-like figure and a standard to live up to?

You mentioned earlier that, "One of the key advantages of Sisters over Marines is that they are less likely to become corrupted, but as this threat doesn't seem to be represented in DW mechanics anyways this would likely be of no concern for your game."   Having played Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising, a big centerpiece of the game was "Corruption Points." If the Space Marine Commander managed to corrupt his entire squad, he became the new Champion for the Alpha Legion. Now, I'm not interested in doing a complete 180 in my campaign and having them become so corrupted that they turn into Chaos Space Marines (although that would be an interesting idea!), but I am interested in adding a better Corruption mechanic than what DW offers. Additionally, I have a Blood Raven Librarian that I want to keep in check by using this system, so he won't just be pushing every spell all willy-nilly and exploding every xeno they encounter with ease! That being said, do you know of one that has been homebrewed that works better? For instance, at 100 Corruption Points, the player becomes "unplayable." And typically these points are only forced upon a character (mostly) from interaction with the Warp or combat with Warp-based beings. But what if there was a system that penalized "Chaotic" acts? I could see the execution of an entire branch of Imperial Guardsmen simply for the sake of "throwing your weight around because they didn't want to comply," as an act that would corrupt the squad and bring them closer to the beliefs of the Chaos Gods (perhaps Khorne, in this instance and maybe even have them "Fall" towards a certain Chaos deity? Tzeentch when they come into tactic with forbidden warp knowledge, Khorne when they commit acts of violence, etc.). Additionally, I'm contemplating on keeping Corruption Points secret from the players (Corrupt individuals never realize the insidiousness of taint and heresy, before it is too late, after all!), and mostly using NPC dialogue and interactions to warn them of their point values when they reach a milestone (25%, 50%, 75%, perhaps?). Interactions with Inquisitor's, other psykers, and maybe visits from demons of the warp via nightmare-like visions would be the basis for most of these encounters. Any thoughts on this?

Lastly, fluff-wise, how do I justify a Sister of Battle of battle being seconded into the Deathwatch? The SoB's already work closely with the Inquisition, so why is it that I've noticed some people give a look of bewilderment when they hear the words, "Deathwatch" and "Sisters of Battle" in the same sentence?

Thanks again for all the input and assistance! I came looking for a small plate of food and instead was invited to a feast! I am in your debt (:



#9 Lynata

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:42 PM

Hah, you don't have to work with this, I'm just throwing it out there as I'd rather see someone use it than it collecting digital dust. :)

And yes, those stats are just something I whipped up in an attempt to represent an Order's small "personality quirk" and recent history. As mentioned, this was written with Only War regimental rules in mind, so feel free to adjust them to better compare to the Astartes Chapters in the Deathwatch book (such as making the +3's into +5's for example).
 
After re-reading the DW rules, I suppose you could lower the difficulty of the Strength Test from -40 to -30 or -20, and the physical actions penalty to -20. This is a bit less punishing and could be justified with the smaller mass, as you mentioned. The occupant will likely still have a (more?) troublesome time as the Sisters wouldn't have as much Strength due to lacking the genetical enhancements!
 
As for the Advancement tables, I guess you could simply limit them to the following:
  • Battle Sister <-> Tactical Marine
  • Retributor <-> Devastator Marine (limited to heavy bolter, heavy flamer, or multi-melta)
  • Seraphim <-> Assault Marine (note that in this case you should trade the focus on melee weapons for dual pistols)
Hospitallers are not actually members of the Orders Militant (and thus not actual Battle Sisters), but of the Orders Hospitaller. They wouldn't wear power armour either. Do you have a player who has expressed an interest in playing such a character? A Hospitaller would likely provide some interesting potential for roleplaying, but as far as combat encounters go she'd be severely disadvantaged - against both the Marines and her Sisters Militant.
 
According to the article on Rhinos in White Dwarf #269, The Sisterhood has specially sanctioned technicians - I've simply dubbed them Mistress of the Armoury (to reflect similar titles such as Mistress of Repentia, or Mistress of Novices) - who take care of their vehicles and equipment, but I don't think they deploy with them. Or if they do, I've never seen a hint about this anywhere.
It is an interesting idea, though … perhaps you've just inspired me. *makes a note* Anyways, moving on!
 
As far as faith powers are concerned, I'd suggest just talk it through with your group and see what everyone thinks/prefers. Ultimately, there's no right or wrong answer to this - I just have to try hard not to let my own bias affect the stuff I type. ;)
 
Regarding Space Marine Chapters and a potential belief in the godhood of the Emperor .. that's a tough nut, and I think this too depends on what sources you're looking at. All I can say is that GW fluff itself mentions that rejection of the Ecclesiarchy's teachings is the norm - yet that does not exactly rule out deviations, and apparently at least some licensed products have explored this possibility. After digging around in the internet a little, it appears that Forgeworld's Badab War books portray the Fire Angels Chapter as devout followers of the Imperial Creed. All things considered, I'd say it is possible but rare.
 
The relationship between the Astartes and the Imperial Cult generally is one of minimal tolerance, with a symbolic tie in the form of the Chaplains' Rosarius (gifted from the Ecclesiarchy) and occasional armed conflict when some Preacher's mindless fanatism clashes with some Marine's unyielding arrogance. Both organisations are usually good at keeping the peace, but every now and then you just have two people that are just looking for a fight confront each other. ;)
Interestingly, it seems a bit brighter as far as the Sisters of Battle are concerned - there is still the issue of religious differences, but according to the Codex fluff, both Sisters and Marines have a sort of grudging respect for each other as warriors (excepting some Order- and Chapter-specific incidents, of course).
 
The Black Templars at least seem to walk a middle line, or so it appears. I don't think they truly believe in the Emperor's divinity, yet at the same time they seem to respect the Ecclesiarchy's role and the effect of its teachings, for the Codex fluff on Grimaldus mentions how he rescued a number of holy relics from the rubble of an Ecclesiarchal cathedral, an event that saw him gain quite a bit of reputation with the faithful.
 
I like your thoughts on Corruption Points, and believe this would actually be a better mechanic than the RAW as it incorporates a character's personality and actions beyond the obvious, and (by being tracked in secret) isn't rubbed into the player's face. I would recommend keeping in mind that "evil" isn't identical to "Chaos", for the latter represents a metaphysical corruption caused by exposure to the Warp.
At the same time, however, I believe there would be some small link, given that emotions (be it by the Space Marine, or by those he kills or mistreats) can have a direct effect on the Warp and vice versa. Perhaps just cap the way the players' actions accumulate Corruption Points depending on how far they're already gone - at 80 CP, ordering an artillery strike on a refugee camp full of Imperial civvies just to flush out the Orks that have occupied it shouldn't have the same effect as when you do this at 0 CP.
I guess if you punish character actions with CP at all, only assign a single Corruption Point per instance, to represent the character slowly opening their mind to the actual taint (Warp exposure, daemonic presence, etc).
 
Small advertisement: If you can get your hands on the short story "Daemonblood" by Ben Counter, it tells of Ultramarines Sergeant Castus being corrupted and becoming a Champion of Nurgle, and Sister Seraphim Aescarion, who was present when he fell, embarking on a decades-long quest to bring Castus, now her personal nemesis, to justice. It can be found in some of Black Library's short story anthologies such as Dark Imperium or Let The Galaxy Burn, and perhaps it provides some inspiration on the subject.
 
Generally, as far as Corruption Points are concerned, it might be argued that people shouldn't fall to Chaos "as quickly", but then again they shouldn't gain new skills and talents at rapid speed or rise through the ranks either, so I guess we can just chalk this up to the usual peculiarities of a P&P game. ;)
 
Finally, for the question of Battle Sisters and the Deathwatch: I really don't think they would be seconded to the Deathwatch as in becoming members of it, but I don't see a problem with temporary co-operation, either through an ad-hoc encounter in the field, or even as a planned campaign. The bewilderment possibly stems from a lot of people not being well accustomed to GW's fluff on the Sisters of Battle and thus "underestimating"* both their capabilities as well as range of operations.
 
Okay - it's not really underestimating, as a number of licensed sources really do market them as being little better than Guardsman in power armour, so it's once again a matter of interpretation and preferences. But as far as I'm concerned, I will simply point to the following two quotes:
 
"Heretics take many forms. Most are lost humans, whose weak minds have been corrupted by the manifold temptations of a dark and sinister galaxy. None are immune - planetary governors, Imperial Guard Commanders and even whole Space Marine Chapters have been declared heretic and been exterminated as such by the Sisters of Battle. Yet there is no stricture within the Ecclesiarchy that heresy is a purely human crime. Aliens can also be sanctioned as heretics - that the creed against which they transgress is not their own is of no account. Nevermore so is this true than of the alien who chances his army against the Emperor's Will by inciting rebellion, subverting the will of Imperial subjects, or invading by force. Genesis matters naught - all heretics are damned, and all must be purged with fire, lest their apostasy gather a following."
- White Dwarf #382
 
"In battle, each team normally comes under the authority of an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, but, in some exceptional cases, a Deathwatch Captain or Librarian may assume command if circumstances dictate. Their authority is absolute and none dare question their word. The commander of a Deathwatch detachment may freely requisition forces and equipment without a word of complaint being raised against him. […] There are many ways an Ordo Xenos kill-team can see action alongside regular Imperial forces. It may be that the team has uncovered an alien threat too great for it to deal with alone and needs the backup of a larger, more conventional force. Such was the case when a kill-team under the command of Inquisitor Reynaard discovered an alien worshipping cult on the world of Mandall IV. It was believed that the cult was localised to a particular district of the capital city, but when righteous retribution descended upon the blasphemers, the entire population of the city turned upon the kill-team. Reynaard and the Space Marines barely managed to escape with their lives and later returned at the head of over half a million soldiers. To ensure the destruction of the cult, Reynaard's forces laid waste to the city, leaving no trace that it had ever existed and killed every living creature within its walls."
- White Dwarf #259
 
Admittedly, the Sisters of Battle form the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Hereticus, not the Ordo Xenos, which (depending on how you interpret the Convocation of Nephilim) may affect how fast or even if the OX may requisition them at all - yet at the same time the zeal of a Canoness should not be underrated, and the Sisters may well have a vested interest in purging whoever the kill-team is about to attack, so much so that they might readily accept an invitation to join the mission. Thus, I believe you have several options open on how to explain the presence of SoB characters in a Deathwatch campaign. Here are just four that spring to mind:
 
- The Battle Sisters have been working in the personal retinue of an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor, helping him/her to investigate [insert strange rumours or events here], when said guy or gal crossed paths with an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos and it turns out they were investigating the same thing. In a rare display of inter-organisational co-operation, the Inquisitors, rather than trampling on each others' jurisdictional foot, decide to pool their resources. The Sororitas are seconded to the kill-team both to help in combat as well as to report any progress to their OH boss so he/she can be sure that no loose ends remain.
This scenario should work particularly well with Tau as enemies due to the Tau Empire's penchant for influencing human worlds via diplomacy, trade (open and secret) or infiltration (using humans already converted to their cause).
 
- The Battle Sisters are all that's left over from a Sororitas convent that came under attack by alien forces by the time the kill-team arrives. Their leader pledges their help to the Marines in the hopes of eradicating the Xenos threat to the region before either leaving to join another Order or becoming lone shrine wardens for a holy site.
 
- The Battle Sisters are guardians on a pilgrim ship that is attacked by alien forces, either in space, docked at a fuel depot, or grounded on a barren world where some Saint was said to have passed by. Either their leader decides to locate the source of these attacks and is then contacted by a representative of the Ordo Xenos arranging for a meeting, or the kill-team arrives to help by chance. Alternatively, the Sororitas could have been captured and the Marines find them in some prison cell, free them, and team up.
 
- The Battle Sisters and their NPC Sister Superior are shrine wardens that are protecting some holy relic in the middle of nowhere. It just so happens that this place becomes the site of a big fight between the Deathwatch kill-team and their Necron or Dark Eldar enemies. The Sororitas never fret to actually use a relic weapon rather than just letting them sit idle in a stasis field, so the Superior grabs the thing and proceeds to join the Space Marines in battle. However, the aliens react strangely to the relic, as if they recognise it or a part of it, and begin to focus their attacks on the Sisters. Then, the Superior - and the relic - disappear in a flash of green light (if Necron) / is captured by a Mandrake manifesting behind her (if Dark Eldar). After the xenos withdraw, the remaining Sisters vow to retake the relic and find out what happened to their leader. Joining the kill-team is a natural step on this quest.
 
All of these would only support a temporary affiliation for a single alien enemy - however, this co-operation may just as well serve as a starting point for a good working relationship that sees them team up again in the future. If the Inquisitor the kill-team is working with sees potential in the Sororitas, he or she may arrange for them to join the team again. This may seem like a bit of a stretch, but not at all impossible … especially if the Inquisitor herself was a Battle Sister once, which does happen from time to time!
 
Should you look for a campaign involving Chaos rather than aliens, there are also options such as the Sororitas' manhunt for Miriael Sabathiel or the Inquisition's interest in rogue Seraphim Ephrael Stern. Not to mention a possible campaign built around the events of the Third War of Armageddon (two Ordo Xenos kill-teams have been mentioned in the Force Disposition Chart) or the 13th Black Crusade (alien mercenaries or infiltrators trying to exploit Imperial forces being busy with Abbadon ?) …
 
If there's anything else I could add, just throw me a hint. As you can see, I could talk about the Sororitas all day. ;)

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#10 Maleficus_Sadi

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 10:36 AM

Well, I think you've exhausted every inquiry I can think of! I appreciate all the help and insight! I may have some more SoB questions that might arise after we get the campaign going, but for the moment, everything is starting to fall into place.

As far as the Hospitaller went, I was just curious what avenues they should have opened to them. If they seem genuinely interested in playing one, I'll have to come back and get some pointers from you! And definitely keep me posted if you ever craft a class for the, "Mistress of the Armoury!" That'd be something unique to see wandering around with a Deathwatch Kill-Team (:

I just have to read the rulebook a few more times to wrap my head around some of the nuances of the system. It's vastly different from what I'm used to and I've never played the tabletop, but everyone in my group is very eager to give it a shot and constantly harasses me for updates on it! 

Thanks again, Lynata! If anything pops up, I'll keep in touch.

Cheers!



#11 Lynata

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:23 PM

Ah, it'd probably just a "Techmarine Lite" or so .. a Hospitaller for mechanical stuff, so to say .. but for some reason I really like that image I have in the head now. :)

Anyways, glad to hear your group is enthusiastic about the game - good luck with your adventures!


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#12 Lynata

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:31 AM

Gah! I almost forgot …

GW's Inquisitor RPG offers another take on Acts of Faith, too - perhaps this would be comparatively easy to adapt. Here's an archived page:

http://web.archive.o.../sororitas.html

I've toyed a bit with a modified version of this system myself, also taking into account the "morale modifiers" from the tabeltop codex. For example, for the Willpower test you could provide small bonuses or penalties for events that may affect the Sisters' behaviour and efficiency at focusing their holy zeal:

  • character recently witnessed a "miracle" (or what could be mistaken as such): +20
  • fellow Sister killed or unconscious: +10
  • character was recently ritually blessed by a Sororitas superior or an official of the Ecclesiarchy: +10
  • character stands on sacred ground or nearby a holy relic: +5
  • character has squad coherence with at least one other Battle Sister: +5
  • Imperial ally killed or unconscious: +5
  • character was recently ordered to yield ground / withdraw from combat: -5
  • character was recently prevented from executing a captured alien, witch or mutant: -5
  • character is forced to cooperate with helpful aliens, psykers or mutants: -10
  • character stands on unholy ground or nearby a desecrated Imperial shrine: -10
  • character was unable to pray that day, has allowed herself to be captured, or has otherwise transgressed against her code: -20

(note: only one positive and one negative bonus may be active at any time, but smaller bonuses/penalties get replaced by greater ones once the appropriate event is triggered)

 

For the actual effects, I would translate them to DW in the following manner:

Attempting an Act of Faith costs a minor action, regardless of whether or not it succeeds.

Fearsome: The character summons all her confidence and hate to conjure an almost tangible aura of sacred terror. Enemies that attempt to charge the character must pass a Willpower test or stand rooted on their spot for the rest of their turn. Enemies that are charged by or already are in melee combat with the character must pass a Willpower test or receive a -10 penalty to WS for the remainder of their turn. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the character's Willpower Bonus.
 
Frenzy: The character works herself into a holy rage, gaining all the advantages and disadvantages of the Frenzy talent for a number of rounds equal to the character's Willpower Bonus.
 
Regeneration: The character utters a quick prayer and loses a level of Fatigue.
 
Word of the Emperor: The character spends her major action preaching from the Imperial Creed; enemies within earshot must pass a Willpower test or lose their next major action as they recover from nervousness. Daemonic creatures which fail the test are instead stunned for 1d3 turns.
 
 
 
If you think that 1d6 Faith Points are too much in addition to the standard contingent of Fate Points, you could perhaps adjust this by providing a set amount of Faith Points based on level or Willpower Bonus, or by modifying the roll (1d6-X). And, of course, all of this is just yet another suggestion. Feel free to adjust and modify as you see fit! :)

 

PS: Apologies for the double-post, but editing the previous message was no longer possible!


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#13 Maleficus_Sadi

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:18 AM

Sorry for the late response… It's been crazy x_x.

Okay, two quick Sisters related questions: 1) I've looked through a few of the supplements, but I don't see any stats for an Eviscerator. Canon-wise, are they Repentia-squad specific? That may be why I can't find one! I ask because my Assault Marine was wondering if there was a version of the Chainsword that was two-handed. I knew there was lore-wise, but didn't think there was in DW. 2) Somehwat related… What do you think of the Repentia being in DW? They have absolutely no armor… so not sure if someone could play one in a DW squad (NPC or otherwise). But I'm currently reading, "Faith and Fire", so the thought just came up!

I'm definitely going to incorporate these Acts of Faith into the game for my Sisters! Thanks for all the work and info. Seriously, FFG should hire you to write a Deathwatch Supplement for the Sisters of Battle! 

Oh, last question. I'm considering (since I'm giving the Sisters access to Acts of Faith and Fate Points), of giving them a Solo and Chapter mode abilities (using squad cohesion, but only helpful to other Sisters of Battle or those who have the "Purity of Faith" talent). I have the, "Honour the Chapter" supplement, but given your extensive (and at times overwhelming! haha) knowledge of the universe, perhaps you have a few ideas on whether they should: A) get one and an idea of what I can give them ability wise or B) If the Acts of Faith and Fate Points constitute enough power to make-up for not having the Solo/Squad modes.

Thanks once again!



#14 Lynata

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:19 PM

Hi again!
 
 
Eviscerators are special, but they're not Repentia-exclusive. They could be taken by quirky Sisters Superior and Canonesses as weapons of rank and status similar to power swords, although they are a bit different in that they are always two-handed (and thus somewhat unwieldy, not permitting simultaneous use with a firearm) and more associated with the Repentia (for whom it has ceremonial meaning) than anything else.
 
"The Eviscerator is a grotesquely large two-handed chainsword. In its military capacity, it must be wielded in both hands and so cannot be used in combination with another close combat weapon. It is treated in all other respects as a chainfist."
^ … so you could perhaps just treat it like an Astartes Chainfist, with all the advantages and drawbacks. The early access to such a weapon (Renown level Famed) is somewhat tricky, but on the other hand the character suffers from having very little armour, which might balance this out? In MMO terms, I suppose you could say the Repentia is a "glass cannon".
 
 
Repentia as player characters may also be somewhat problematic in that they actively seek redemption through death, which - keeping in mind that a game of DW would likely offer ample opportunity for such martyrdom - could mean a quick end for the PC. It's something I would not recommend to the player, but if they insist and understand the risks, I'd probably allow it. In the end, if they do not have a problem with their character likely dying sooner rather than later, it is their choice. I would have to think about some way of letting them rejoin the game with a new character, though, and the player definitively needs to be aware of the high risk of losing a potentially lovingly fleshed out character too fast for their taste.
Also, Repentia are not exactly talkative characters, considering their vow of seclusion. This is no problem if one of the other Sororitas characters is a Mistress to take care of her, yet when interacting with "rank and file" Battle Sisters or even the Marines, she would likely be a silent, pragmatic shadow, just waiting for her chance to find redemption in battle. Then again, some players might actually like this idea …
 
That being said, Sisters Repentia who are not members of a Redemption Squad led by a Mistress may also have some more freedom in how they act and even how they dress. Once more pointing towards the article about Sister Anastasia, is that perhaps close to what your player had in mind? It may be possible to supplant the death wish with the burning conviction of seeing a very specific mission brought to a successful end, which might tame the character's suicidal tendencies somewhat, and even see her don some crude armour:
 
 
This drawing appeared in a Citadel Journal #49, in an article about the Sisters Repentia from Andy Hoare. It was accompanied by some background fluff and a neat story piece about an Imperial Guard corporal whose squad was cut down, but whose life was ultimately saved by a Repentia who threw herself at his attackers so that he could escape. As you can see, the Repentia in the drawing still has parts of her former armour - the greaves, the protective leather "corset", and a single shoulder pauldron - in addition to some other stuff she seems to have picked up during her quest for redemption. Whilst not conferring as much damage reduction as power armour, it would at least be something. The only problem may be that this isn't quite the traditional image of the Repentia that most people would hold, but with some additional background (again, see Anastasia's vision quest) it may be justified.
You may also be interested in converting the "Only in death does duty end" special rule from Anastasia's article for the player Repentia.
 
There is a very, very, very small chance that a Sister Repentia may actually find absolution without actually dying, as long as she has proven her readiness for martyrdom and the battle was suitably difficult (Critical Injuries should be involved). This could be a powerful long term goal for the character as some sort of sub-plot for the campaign, with the other player characters having to provide eyewitness accounts to the Canoness in order to see her reinstated via the rarely-practiced Rites of Reaffirmation, reserved for those lost in duty yet returned to the bosom of the convent (meaning, either having been MIA or presumed KIA, or an absolved Repentia).
 
Yet another option would also be to have a few Repentia be NPCs, and offer the position of Mistress as a player class, which was something I've been mulling over for the stuff I've been writing on. Basically using the Repentia as expendable, non-regenerative resources (as brutal as it may sound) for a homebrewed variant of DW's horde rules meant for smaller units.
 
 
For your last question, are you considering the system I proposed in a previous post, or the one from Blood of Martyrs? I'm just confused as you mentioned Fate Points - and considering their use for other important things in the game, I believe that this might be an unnecessary hindrance, as the Acts of Faith are supposed to be what may make the Battle Sisters somewhat equal to their brother Marines (who also get Fate Points by default).
 
If you were thinking of following my suggestion, however, I would assume that it'd be enough. The balance I try to achieve is that the Space Marines should offer a higher performance on average, but that the Sisters can keep up or even occasionally surpass them via careful/clever use of Acts of Faith. Just like it works on the tabletop, and how it was lauded in their fluff. In a way, you could even say that AoF are their version of Solo/Squad modes in that their success is modified by how many Sisters are in close proximity to each other, the fanatism of the squad members working like a chain reaction. Unlike with Marine Chapters or Imperial Guard regiments, there also is no significant difference between the Orders Militant, other than the aforementioned minor details I have already assigned small bonuses for.
 
Note that my rules on them have not been playtested yet, so some ad-hoc tinkering may be required. I would certainly be grateful for any feedback that you or your players could offer after trying them, in case I should make any alterations!
 
 
Ah, if I had known someone would be this interested I would have probably continued my work on this semi-abandoned project long ago. Thank you for the kind words! I'm certainly glad to see it being of some use. avergonzado_alegre

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#15 Maleficus_Sadi

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 03:23 PM

So I was reading the Witch Hunters Codex and came upon this: "The power armour worn by the Battle Sisters of the Orders Militant is based upon the same archaic systems as that worn by the brethren of the Adeptus Astartes. It provides the same degree of armoured protection, yet must forego the more advanced lifesupport systems and strength enhancing abilities used by the Space Marines, as the Sisters of Battle are not implanted with the Black Carapace that allows the Astartes to interface fully with their own armour."
However, in the, "Rising Tempest" Supplement, they give the stats for a few Sisters of Battle as only having (Head, Arms, Legs, 7; Chest 8 - like what you suggested earlier). But the Codex specifically says it provides the same degree of armoured protection as an Adeptes Astartes Power Armour? Interestingly enough, it also gives a few new perviews on, "Pure Faith" and some other Faith Powers. I'm completely unfamiliar with the "saves" in the tabletop, but how much do they differ (Astartes Armour vs Angel-Pattern Armour)?
 
Your information on the Sister Repentias is more than enough to work with, thank you! Once I'm able to get the Sisters in a few sessions and play-test them out, I'll definitely post some feedback on how everything went! 
 
As far as, "Faith Points" I was meaning to say what if the Sister rolled for "Fate Points" as normal (per Table 1-2 of Core) in addition to receiving the "Faith Points" you mentioned earlier to replace any sort of "Solo/Squad Mode Abilities." Or, should they receive just the "Faith Points" and should I try to craft Squad/Solo mode abilities that are specific to the Sororitas (I think Rites of Battle discuss how to do this)?
 
Once again, I'm running out of questions, but I'm already starting to create some NPC Sisters of Battle!
 
Lastly, if I had an Inquisitor with a personal retinue of Sisters, what is the maximum rank any of them would be? I'm assuming a Cannoness would be out of their reach, but how about a Sister Superior? Or would they only have average-ranking Sisters?


#16 Lynata

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 06:24 PM

Maleficus_Sadi said:

So I was reading the Witch Hunters Codex and came upon this: "The power armour worn by the Battle Sisters of the Orders Militant is based upon the same archaic systems as that worn by the brethren of the Adeptus Astartes. It provides the same degree of armoured protection, yet must forego the more advanced lifesupport systems and strength enhancing abilities used by the Space Marines, as the Sisters of Battle are not implanted with the Black Carapace that allows the Astartes to interface fully with their own armour."
However, in the "Rising Tempest" Supplement, they give the stats for a few Sisters of Battle as only having (Head, Arms, Legs, 7; Chest 8 - like what you suggested earlier). But the Codex specifically says it provides the same degree of armoured protection as an Adeptes Astartes Power Armour?
Believe me, I've been confused as well, and disappointed, when I first read these stats in FFG's material, perceiving it as an arbitrary means to push the Sisters away from their proximity to the Astartes - similar to my criticism about how BI/FFG invented an artificial gap between, for example, Marine bolters and everyone elses, even going so far as calling any and all non-Marine bolters "civilian". It felt like an insult.
 
With time, I've grown a bit more moderate. I acknowledge that, whilst the Sisters' power armour uses the same materials and basic technology, it also has a slimmer profile and misses out on some bulk that, in the Marine version, is filled with all sorts of semi-useful gadgets such as drug dispensers, lifesign monitors, waste recyclers and other assorted tools that might come in handy in some circumstances. In short, if GW's Codex Angels of Death may be believed, Marine power armour has an armour thickness of 1 inch, and I could easily see the Sororitas armour being just as thick. However, below this outer layer of armour, the Marine version has some other stuff that the Sisters have to make do without, and I've come to think that perhaps this layer of support machinery may act like "improvised armour", conferring +1 AP to the Astartes version. It might still be in line with the Codex fluff (which personally I treat as sacrosanct) in that such a small difference might still count as "the same degree".
 
Ultimately, I feel it could be argued both sides, and I've adopted the slightly lesser version primarily because this way it remains at least remotely compatible to FFG's material (and thus might be easier to "sell"), because this way it could also be used in Dark Heresy games - and because I have ultimately opted, as much as a workaround as for actual potential, to offer a later upgrade to the armour as part of the armoury available to advanced characters:
 
Crusader Greaves, Crusader Gauntlets, Blessed Plackart
 
The first two items were optional upgrades for Canoness Selena Agna in the Dawn of War expansion "Soulstorm", whilst the chestpiece seems to be a reinforced (and richly ornamented) metal version of the standard corset-type leather cover that is commonly worn above the armour's belly "gills" (dust protection perhaps?). Aside from showing up on a number of artworks, it is worn by the Canoness miniature in the tabletop.
 
They were intended as unlockable upgrades a player could gradually acquire through a Renown-system somewhere in-between what Deathwatch offers for the Space Marines and what Blood of Martyrs offers for Sisters Militant. Their effect was simply to add +1/+1/+2 AP to their respective location, so that a fully upgraded endgame armour would clock in at AP 8 for legs and arms, and AP 10 on the body location - exactly the same as Marine power armour by now.
 
What I've been after may get more obvious when you look at this chart. My plan was essentially trying to "fix" Sisters of Battle for the 40k RPGs by building upon the tiered level system: 1-8 for Dark Heresy, 5-12 for Rogue Trader, and 9-16 for Deathwatch and Ascension, if I remember their listing correctly. You could have Novices or young Sisters in Dark Heresy, or Veteran Sisters who get to accompany Marines, for example.
 
 
Maleficus_Sadi said:
Interestingly enough, it also gives a few new perviews on, "Pure Faith" and some other Faith Powers. I'm completely unfamiliar with the "saves" in the tabletop, but how much do they differ (Astartes Armour vs Angel-Pattern Armour)?
In the big tabletop, there is zero difference between different suits of power armour - they all provide the same 3+ armour save.
In GW's Inquisitor RPG, Space Marine power armour was identical to non-Marine PA with the exception of also featuring 3 points of ablative armour on the chest, legs, and arms - which is basically "one-off" AP that gets destroyed after negating damage once.
 
 
Maleficus_Sadi said:
Your information on the Sister Repentias is more than enough to work with, thank you! Once I'm able to get the Sisters in a few sessions and play-test them out, I'll definitely post some feedback on how everything went!

Thanks, it really would be appreciated! :)

 

 
Maleficus_Sadi said:
As far as, "Faith Points" I was meaning to say what if the Sister rolled for "Fate Points" as normal (per Table 1-2 of Core) in addition to receiving the "Faith Points" you mentioned earlier to replace any sort of "Solo/Squad Mode Abilities." Or, should they receive just the "Faith Points" and should I try to craft Squad/Solo mode abilities that are specific to the Sororitas (I think Rites of Battle discuss how to do this)?
Oohh, gotcha!
 
No, I think the combination of Fate Points and "Faith Points" should work out nicely. Have them spend Fate Points exactly like the Marines do, and in addition to this let them spend Faith Points on the Acts of Faith that may (if used wisely) occasionally let them pull off especially cool stuff. If my ideas work out, it should result in a nice balance between the Marines' "stable" performance and the Sisters' somewhat more erratic combat prowess.
 
That being said, don't let me stop you from trying out your own ideas either! If you see something in Rites of Battle that sounds like it could fit the bill, think it over, and if you implement it, let me know what exactly you did. It might just be a feature I could adopt into my own stuff!
 
 
Maleficus_Sadi said:
Lastly, if I had an Inquisitor with a personal retinue of Sisters, what is the maximum rank any of them would be? I'm assuming a Cannoness would be out of their reach, but how about a Sister Superior? Or would they only have average-ranking Sisters?
I would assume that a Sister Superior would be non-standard, but all things considered I'd say it is not out of the question..
 
Sisters Superior fill a role somewhere between the Marines' Squad Sergeants and Company Captains. They are veterans of many years of faithful service and, in battle, lead their Sisters semi-independently from the rest of their Order. In addition to this, they are also responsible for the upbringing, education, wellbeing (physical and mental) and discipline of any newly inducted Sororitas who have just finished their novitiate, basically "adopting" them into their squad (that is the original fluff wording). Hence they are fairly important for their Order and usually bound tightly to a specific squad, and possibly additional duties in the convent.
 
However, it should not be too hard to craft a narrative on how a Sister Superior may have found herself in the employ of an Inquisitor - ranging from the character being a special envoy of her Order, all the way to her being all that's left over of her squad, and the Inquisitor takes her in (possibly after a joint action where her squad was originally supposed to be nothing but temporary backup - something goes wrong, people die, yet against all odds she is the one that prevails … cue a massive guilt complex and a burning desire to avenge the deaths of her Sisters).
 
Of course, a simple solution might also be that an Inquisitor with good connections to a specific convent manages to recruit an entire small squad of, say, four Sisters into his retinue, with the Sister Superior being the squad leader, the whole affair being treated as an "indefinite detachment". You mentioned you've started to read Faith & Fire (good choice!), which means you should be familiar with Miriya and her squad by now. complice

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#17 Maleficus_Sadi

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:25 AM

The irony that I started up Dawn of War: Soulstorm (for the 5th time) earlier this week due to this thread and how we're tying in mechanics from it is not lost upon me xD! 
 
"… for example, Marine bolters and everyone elses, even going so far as calling any and all non-Marine bolters "civilian". It felt like an insult."
In the Campaign Supplement I mentioned, they list the Sisters as wielding, "Godwyn De'Az Pattern Bolters" with the following stats: (90m; S/2/-; 1d10+7 X; Pen 4; Clip 30; Rld Full; Reliable, Tearing). So I guess the question is, is the "Reliable" trait worth -2 damage, a lower RoF and a 10 meter range penalty? I think I might give my Sisters this 'De'Az' variant, just because the Sister-NPC's seem to wield them, but it seems like they are (as you say) pushing away the Sororitas from their proximity to the Astartes. And I don't think the stats are a good trade off either…
 
In regards to power armour, an NPC "Palatine Ariel" is listed as having Legs, Arms, Head 10; Body 11; so I can easily see how (with adding the Crusader pieces) a Sister's Angel-Pattern Armour catch up to the Adeptes' Variant or exceed it. Now that I'm thinking about it though, I think my Sisters might fall off really hard when/if any of the KT members gain Terminator-Honors (or Crux Terminatus). How can they hope to keep up with Terminator stats or weaponry?
 
I'm loving the armoury table that you made (and, oh look, the De'Az pattern bolter)!! Not sure what statistics you have labeled for the Sarissa, but they have listed (1d10+6 R; Pen 0; Unbalanced). If you ever get that totally fleshed out, I would love to see more of it! Also curious to know what the Sisters version is of an "Astartes Combat Knife" (since the Sarissa is more akin to a bayonet, as I understand it)?
 
@ Fate Points and "Faith" Points: Perfect! I'll definitely be doing that then. And as much as I could implement my own spin of things, you really seem to have a daunting, intimate knowledge of the Ecclesiarchy and the Sisters of Battle! I am more than happy to bow to your superior wisdom in such manners as this! I'm also not entirely familiar with the DWRPG mechanics, as this is my first campaign (I've been wanting to purchase and play DW since release, but no one else has wanted to fork out the money… naturally -_-).
 
Speaking of Faith Points, someone wanted to take the "Soul Storm" Faith Talent and I haven't quite decided how to rule on it yet (out of the Blood of Martyr's handbook)… frankly, the skill itself sounds awesome and might even impress the Librarian the first time they use it, but the ability also sounds really… "warpy"? (Not a word!)
 
So far, I'm really enjoying the book and I'm looking forward to reading, "Hammer and Anvil" (which I have heard is even better). I've always been a pretty big fan of the Sororitas ever since I played them in Soulstorm. Between them and the Necrons, if I was ever serious about starting up an army for 40k: TT, they would definitely be my first or second choice (I'd probably have to toss a coin!).
 
A few more notes on, "Rising Tempest": They list the Sororitas Power Armour as adding +10 to Strength, and +5 to BS. Does not increase Size. Heavy Weapons count as Braced. I can't remember if yours adds the BS or not (or if you even want it to, I just thought you might be interested in knowing). Frankly, the campaign looks like a lot of fun with a lot of political intrigue regarding the Inquisition and the Palatine Ariel. I'm probably going to want to run this campaign after the free ones they gave out for RPG Day (:
 
Oh, a few quick random questions: I'm curious to see if you've made some stats for something similar to the, "Cloak of St. Apira" that Cannoness Selena Agna wore during the Kaurava Campaign. Also, just curious if you play the 40k:TT Sisters of Battle at all? 


#18 Lynata

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 03:41 PM

Maleficus_Sadi said:

In the Campaign Supplement I mentioned, they list the Sisters as wielding, "Godwyn De'Az Pattern Bolters" with the following stats: (90m; S/2/-; 1d10+7 X; Pen 4; Clip 30; Rld Full; Reliable, Tearing). So I guess the question is, is the "Reliable" trait worth -2 damage, a lower RoF and a 10 meter range penalty? I think I might give my Sisters this 'De'Az' variant, just because the Sister-NPC's seem to wield them, but it seems like they are (as you say) pushing away the Sororitas from their proximity to the Astartes. And I don't think the stats are a good trade off either…

Not in my opinion either, no. As I said, for the weapons, I'd just give them the exact same gear, with the exact same rules. Even with Acts of Faith, they can likely use all the help they can get to try and keep up with the Marines. I'm also going by GW's original fluff and their Inquisitor game, and see neither a good in- nor out-of-universe reason why it should be different.

Interesting how the Godwyn-De'az in that supplement is different from the one in Blood of Martyrs, though. There, this bolter was "just" 1d10+5 damage, just like all the other boltguns. I suppose they bumped it slightly because the designers are well aware of how the NPCs might fail against DW-scale enemies (who are statted to be a threat to DW-Marines) otherwise.

 
Maleficus_Sadi said:
Now that I'm thinking about it though, I think my Sisters might fall off really hard when/if any of the KT members gain Terminator-Honors (or Crux Terminatus). How can they hope to keep up with Terminator stats or weaponry?
Well, the Sororitas lack an equivalent to Terminator-armour. In this case I would actually say they'd have to swallow the bitter pill and just be more careful. However, to make it a bit easier on them, you might consider handing out a Rosarius to their leader, or give their CC-minded characters an Ecclesiarchy version of Storm Shields. The ranged combatants would just have to stand back and try to not get shot.
 
Do you know already what sort of roles they might be interested in? Shock infantry, close combat, ranged support, jump troops, squad leader …?
 
Maleficus_Sadi said:
Not sure what statistics you have labeled for the Sarissa, but they have listed (1d10+6 R; Pen 0; Unbalanced). If you ever get that totally fleshed out, I would love to see more of it! Also curious to know what the Sisters version is of an "Astartes Combat Knife" (since the Sarissa is more akin to a bayonet, as I understand it)?
Hm, the Sarissa stats are interesting. I figured that, just like a bayonet allows a rifle to be used like an 1d10 R spear, a sarissa would allow a bolter to be used like an 1d10+1 R axe. This is actually how it was introduced in Dark Heresy's Inquisitor's Handbook. Like the Godwyn-De'az, this seems to be just one more example of an item working differently in every book, I suppose.
 
That being said, the 1d10+6 R is obviously much more useful in an environment like Deathwatch to overcome the enemies' greater resilience, so in this case I would say go with those stats if you want to make it available?
 
With the knife I am a bit torn between two versions - a large and menacing militaristic combat knife, or a more elaborate dagger that would also serve a ceremonial purpose. With the Battle Sisters being a blend between the practical and the decorative, it could go both ways…
But it's more meant for the Novices, anyways. For fully fledged Battle Sisters, I would rather recommend the shortsword-like Mono Cutlass as a sidearm. It's what they used in Soulstorm and for some reason it seems both fitting and unique. For the sake of simplicity, again just refer to an equivalent Deathwatch rulebook item, in this case probably the Astartes Combat Knife.
 
And I'm not sure whether you've already gotten to that part in Faith & Fire, but the author James Swallow had a rather cool idea there in that he came up with a sort of emergency dagger hidden inside the Chaplet Ecclesiasticus (the religious icon dangling from their rosaries). If you want to include that in addition to the other gear, this is what I whipped up back then:
 
Martyr Blade
Class: Melee
Damage 1d5
Type: Rending
Penetration: 2
Weight: - (included in Chaplet Ecclesiasticus)
Special Rules: Mono (+2 Pen), Unbalanced (-10 to Parry), requires 2 Full Actions to be prepared for use
 
It's chiefly a fluff item, I suppose, but I like the idea behind it (and it serves as a reminder for the Sisters' "death before capture" attitude) and you never know when it might come in handy, given that an enemy is unlikely to recognise their rosary as hiding a weapon.
 
Maleficus_Sadi said:
Speaking of Faith Points, someone wanted to take the "Soul Storm" Faith Talent and I haven't quite decided how to rule on it yet (out of the Blood of Martyr's handbook)… frankly, the skill itself sounds awesome and might even impress the Librarian the first time they use it, but the ability also sounds really… "warpy"? (Not a word!)
Yeah … this really is something that people either love or hate, I think.
 
In my eyes, it turns the Sisters' Acts of Faith from misinterpreted badassness (power of will and sheer grit causes Sister to do something awesome, religious community immediately thinks the Emperor did it and hypes it up to a "miracle") into fancy Space Magic. It destroys the vagueness that has for so many years been one of the most interesting aspects of this ability, and in a weird way, it also makes the Sisters less badass - as apparently they're not that good because they had decades of training, having been drilled to become fanatical killing machines, but just because they manage to tap some sort of divine energy. Which in itself just feels wrong for the setting. In "my" 40k, there are no actual gods - just pretenders and Warp entities who are seen as such. Isn't this part of what makes this setting Grimdark™?
 
Instead, the existence of actual divine magic would suddenly make the Ecclesiarchy right. There is a true god, and he protects humanity. The Space Marines thus are not one of the last holdouts of rational thought, they're actually wrong for resisting the glorious truth of the Imperial Church and its spell-wielding paladins…  No, thanks. burla
 
But as you can see, this really is a matter of personal preferences - and you may need to have a talk with your SoB players about this topic, and ask them which "version" of a Battle Sister they would rather want to play. The heroine whose willpower allows her to push her body to nigh-inhuman levels of performance, or the power-armoured space mage?
 
You may be able to salvage some of the magicky AoF from the material, but Soulstorm in particular is rather … flashy. Ultimately, it's your call, and you should confer with your players regarding these options.
 
A good idea that FFG came up with is "Miraculous Survival" in Blood of Martyrs, though, and this is one you could adopt. I would say make it special, however, and only let it work once throughout the campaign, being offered as an option to burn a Fate Point whenever the first Battle Sister character would die.
I would also weaken its effects to retain the "vagueness" of the original Acts of Faith. Instead of letting the character get up with full Wounds, let her roll 1d10 + Toughness Bonus, and give her that. Lost limbs etc remain lost, but anything that is not obviously crippled starts to work again as if it wasn't as bad as it looked like at first, and the rest is simply ignored for the rest of the encounter. For the religiously inspired witnesses, this will still look like an obvious miracle - whereas even someone who does not believe in such wonders would at least be very impressed, perhaps even left to question their beliefs.
 
Maleficus_Sadi said:
So far, I'm really enjoying the book and I'm looking forward to reading, "Hammer and Anvil" (which I have heard is even better). I've always been a pretty big fan of the Sororitas ever since I played them in Soulstorm. Between them and the Necrons, if I was ever serious about starting up an army for 40k: TT, they would definitely be my first or second choice (I'd probably have to toss a coin!).
Cool! I think you'll like Hammer and Anvil - although it features the "Newcrons", as they are called. That said, I believe the author has done a good job at bridging the gap between old and new. Swallow came up with new ideas in this book, too, and I'm really tempted to include the Sororitas version of the Venator scout car into my list of vehicles.
 
Maleficus_Sadi said:
A few more notes on, "Rising Tempest": They list the Sororitas Power Armour as adding +10 to Strength, and +5 to BS. Does not increase Size. Heavy Weapons count as Braced. I can't remember if yours adds the BS or not (or if you even want it to, I just thought you might be interested in knowing). Frankly, the campaign looks like a lot of fun with a lot of political intrigue regarding the Inquisition and the Palatine Ariel. I'm probably going to want to run this campaign after the free ones they gave out for RPG Day (:[/QUOTE]
 

Yeah, that sounds similar to the profile this armour has in Blood of Martyrs, and what I have included in my modified version of it. In the spirit of the Deathwatch game, which really goes out of its way to throw details and bonus traits to PA, my take on the Sororitas' armour also includes a few other gadgets I've read in other sources and which I thought were fitting. The Auto-Injector with the painkiller doses, for example, has its roots in the short story "Daemonblood" by Ben Counter, where it helps Seraphim Aescarion to ignore her broken leg. It is basically a "light" version of the Marines' Bio-Monitor feature.

Also, that supplement sounds like it has a cool story! I'm actually intrigued what the writers might have come up with there.

Maleficus_Sadi said:

Oh, a few quick random questions: I'm curious to see if you've made some stats for something similar to the, "Cloak of St. Apira" that Cannoness Selena Agna wore during the Kaurava Campaign. Also, just curious if you play the 40k:TT Sisters of Battle at all?
For the cloak and other such relics, you may be interested in this free PDF that FFG had released some time after Ascension.
 
Whoever wrote it made a little "mistake" in switching the names around, though. In GW's Codex fluff, the Mantle of Ophelia is the lesser version of the two capes ("badge of office for high ranking members of the Adepta Sororitas"), whereas the Cloak of St. Aspira is the unique relic with the more powerful effect.
The effects the writer has assigned to these items (after swapping their names around :P) looks fitting enough, however, so if you really want to incorporate these items you could run with that - and the "+3 AP to all locations" Mantle of Ophelia could even be useful to address that issue of not having access to Terminator armour.
 
Keep in mind that this is extremely rare stuff, however. The Mantle of Ophelia can easily be justified to be handed to your Sisters' squad leader if she is of sufficient rank, but with exception of the Fire Lance and Flame Hammer, the other items likely exist only once in the entire galaxy.
 
And yes, I've got the tabletop SoB. They were not the first army I've collected (my very first minis actually were a bunch of Space Marines), but I've come to fell in love with their visual designs and background the more I saw of them. This is why I keep hunting down all those old White Dwarf articles about them, or why I nerdrage when I feel they don't get "treated right" by the writer in some novel or wherever. Okay, the latter doesn't happen as often anymore ever since I came to understand that 40k does not really have a canon in a way that there is one single truth, but I'm still miffed. ;)
Haven't played my Sisters in a looong time, however. Or any other army in the 40k TT. Right now, I'm just lacking the time and potential players, the 5E Codex release wasn't exactly overwhelming, and the majority of my stuff is still in Germany from where I've emigrated anyways.
I'm actually being drawn into Battletech right now, but the Sororitas will always have a place in my geeky heart. ;)

 


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#19 Maleficus_Sadi

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:08 PM

Sorry for the lack of responses, as I've had some unfortunate incidents x_x …

The main incident is that one of the players interested in playing a Sister of Battle bailed (for whatever reason) and the second individual decided that, this being his first time playing (everyones first time playing, to be honest), he erred on the side of caution and decided to roll up a standard Space Marine, but is wanting to re-roll a Sister of Battle when his character retires or takes a dirt nap (fair enough!). That being said, I'm still very interested in creating some Sister of Battle characters on my own (NPC's with PC sheets that are every bit the equivalent of a PC), so that is probably how I will be proceeding. At least until I manage to get the one person left comfortable enough with the game that I can kill off his Marine so I can force him roll an SoB reir.

I remember reading the "Miraculous Survival" ability and to be honest, I loved it! It reminded me a lot of Saint Celestine. That being said, what is your understanding of Living Saints? They seem almost… beyond mortal at times (to me). This is however, most likely due to the Dawn of War franchise tinting my view of them (though I have read the Warwiki entries on them as well).

Well, I bought a Sister Superior model to use in our game, but honestly my team is lacking in Medicae. However, I was really hoping to portray my Sister of Battle as a, "mortal badass" rather than toting around a Hospitaller… I'm considering (since she was part of my missing Inquisitor's retinue) letting her have the Inquisitor's floating Medicae Servo-Skull float around and follow her to do the healing (until they find the Inquisitor; if they do!), thus allowing her to fulfill her desired role and the party also getting a decent healer-type. At this time, we have a Tac, Lib, Assault, and Tech (with my NPC Devastator who may be pulling off a Heroic Sacrifice in the final encounter of the module to make room for my Sister Superior avergonzado_alegre)… that being said, I'm not entirely sure what specialization she should be. As much as I would love to have her be a Repentia, it doesn't really fit (no worries, I'll throw some of them in when we do the Rising Tempest module!). Suggestions?

As always, looking forward to your response!



#20 Lynata

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:47 AM

No worries! A full squad of Space Marines is certainly safer than any experiments - after all, as I said I didn't get around to actually playtest any of my stuff myself yet, and only did some theorycrafting with my group's GM and another player so far.
 
Regarding Living Saints, I actually interpreted them to be Warp Entities - "Daemons of Order", if you will - conjured and called forth by the intense emotion that is released when the masses of the faithful focus their minds on prayers of hope and hate … somewhat similar to how Slaanesh was born, just at a much smaller scale. The veil between the Warp and Realspace, likely already thinned due to the gigantic conflict if not outright sorcery by heretical cults, tears open just enough to allow some of the Immaterium slip through and become affected by the crusade's participants before attempting to possess the body of one of the most faithful in the center of the struggle in order to retain its location. This way, the entity absorbs the memories and perhaps even facets of the personality of its host.
 
Ironically, as the Saint begins its crusade of holy terror, the struggle becomes more orderly and the once-fanatical masses begin to deprive the entity of the emotion it requires to sustain itself, until at some point in time it has to return to the Immaterium, either to be absorbed by other daemons (as we are told in Codex fluff happens constantly) or to reappear at a later time if the requirements for its appearance are met again.
 
But obviously, that's just one possible interpretation! It could really be anything, from the actual divine magic that FFG material propagates, all the way to a combination of ancient technology and religiously motivated hyperbole (or outright deception of the simple-minded Imperial citizenry) resulting in the Codex presenting us with an idealised version of the true event. As Marc Gascogne once wrote in White Dwarf, it may all just be half-truths and legends … comiendo
 
As for the NPC, this is a bit tricky in that it would seem a strange option for a healer regardless of whether you make her a Hospitaller or have the servo-skull operate in this capacity, as Space Marines may be too far removed from mainline humans to respond well to the ministrations of someone not accustomed to their unique physiology, such as a proper Brother Apothecary.
On the other hand, given that the servo-skull was used by an Inquisitor, perhaps it could possess the necessary knowledge after all - or at the very least is somewhat more likely to do so than a Sister Hospitaller, who would be forced to improvise. I would probably still assign a penalty to the skull simply to represent the lack of proper tools and drugs to care for Astartes, but it's better than not having any healer at all!
 
Don't feel compelled to have the Sister Superior there at any cost, though. The character needs a purpose or at least a justification for her presence, lest it may seem strange. Given that she was in the Inquisitor's retinue, however, I suppose it makes sense for her to try to track him down - and in doing so team up with the Marines. aliviado
 
As far as a possible specialisation is concerned … phew, this is a difficult question. I think I would look to what else your players could need at the moment or in the near future aside from the healer (which will be covered by the servo-skull). A Retributor with a heavy weapon probably wouldn't make too much sense in an Inquisitorial retinue, and Celestians are more of a honour guard, so we're left with either a Dominion, a Seraphim, or a normal Sister Militant. The Seraphim Superior, whilst awesome, might be at risk of occasionally stealing the show from your Assault Marine, which isn't the purpose of an NPC, so I'd lean towards either a Dominion Superior with a flamer or meltagun providing some fire support for your players, or a normal Sister Superior with a boltgun and chainsword (not actively seeking out close combat, but not shying back from it either, and switching to the blade once enemies attempt to charge your ranged fighters).
 
In fact, maybe she should be a normal Sister Superior even if she carries a meltagun or a flamer, as this option isn't barred to them, and they "get around" more than Dominions (who are less multi-purpose due to their focus on supporting other squads) do, which makes her a more likely candidate for accompanying an Inquisitor.
You could also make her stand out more amongst the Marines (without overshadowing them) in that she actually totes around a combi-weapon, meaning a boltgun that comes attached with a limited-use meltagun or flamer. Rather popular with veteran Sisters.
 
Since you already purchased a miniature, though, what is she equipped with? You might simply craft the NPC around how she looks. complice

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)




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