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Space marines in Rogue Trader


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#1 nagumyrehal

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 03:07 PM

Hay everyone i thought i post this, so pepole could have a real long debate about SM in RT.

Firstly Death Watch SM

Secondly BC SM

Thirdly Ranks xp leveling up ect

finally apart of the crew

So is it mad or just different?

Edited by nagumyrehal, 22 November 2013 - 03:08 PM.


#2 Magellan

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 05:41 PM

In my experience, this either leads to very weak space marines (the ones in BC are pathetic), all other characters being made superfluous in combat (the ones in DW are insane), tons upon tons of balancing issues, and extremely flimsy justifications for both role playing choices and mechanics. Personally, I turn tail and run the moment I hear about space marines as PCs, and would never recommend it to anyone.

 

You may start by asking a player "why do you want to play a space marine?". If you get anything other than insecure stuttering, "for mechanical advantage", or a clumsy attempt to hide that they really just want to be able to push others around more effectively, well... that means you've met a better space marine player than I ever have.

 

Now, can this sort of thing be done well? Of course it can - it's a role playing game, you can do anything. Would it take a lot of effort to make it work mechanically? Yes. Would it take a liberal interpretation of "space marine"? Also yes. Would I trust anyone who actually wanted to play a space marine to do it well? Not any time soon.

 

To answer your question, it's mad. Like, 5d10+10 insanity points of madness, at the very least.


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#3 WilliamAsher

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:58 PM

LOL.  I agree that the reason for why a player wants to play a Astartes is important.  If you like their reason and think the player can handle roleplaying one without messing up your game.  The other players need to weigh in as well, as having an Astartes traveling with them is going to raise the bar on encounter difficulty as well as limit what they can do.

 

Why is the Space Marine running around with a Rogue Trader? 

      a)  Is he bound by some ancient compact formed when the Rogue Trader managed to save a group of battle brothers from a wrecked ship or dying world?  If so, he may be basically part of the RT's retinue.  Does he resent the lack of oportunity to earn glory?  Does he enjoy the challange of having to keep the squishies alive?  I could see a chapter providing a single scout marine to fufil such a contract.  The scout would be equiped with equipment that could be maintained locally and would require additional upkeep tests due to lack of supply line. 

      b)  Is he a Kill Marine of Deathwatch out in the Expanse to search for some forgotten relic or alien danger?  He is likely to be a full Battle Brother of extreme power, but you are going to be able to force the group into dangerous (by Astartes definition) situations with very little reward.  You will want to make sure that they other players are ok with this.  The nice thing is that you can take the kid gloves off even more, and most enemies are going to try to take down the Marine first.

 

If the group does decide they are ok wtih an Astartes traveling with them, what effect does this have on designing encounters?  You can definitely ramp up the physical threats.  That said, a good Arch-militant is going to kill one enemy a turn as it is.  Your Engiseer can probably kill another (Heavy Weapons/Melee).  The Astartes is more survivable, but also more likely to be limited by his own prejudices.  Your RT can also forget about some of his more 'creative' schemes.  A Marine isn't going to be ok with a lot of the more illegal things RTs do.  The frequent upkeep tests mean that the Marine is going to run out of ammunition every once in a while.  This means that the player is going to be carrying 'normal' human weapons a good part of the time (like Lascannons and Heavy Bolters). 

 

I have never had a player actually want to play a Marine in my games.  The one time it got brought up, the rest of the group didn't want to be limited by the Marine's presence.  I could see a young marine fufilling an ancient compact as an interesting role playing choice though.  The Marine could be from one of the fleet based chapters (the Black Templar's could afford to loan out a Scout easily enough) or from a chapter that recruits from a primative society ('I hate these caves of steel!').  A young marine also has more chances to grow and adapt.  If your group is willing, then it might be worth the bit of extra work.



#4 Traejun

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 07:25 PM

Want to play a space marine?  Play Deathwatch or Black Crusade.



#5 LordBlades

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:04 AM

I haven't played BC and don't own any books, so all of the stuff below refers exclusively to DW space marines, and We've had a couple in my group, and are looking to add more (full story below).

 

From a RP point of view there are plenty of ways to make sense, depending on your imagination:

 

-you can have the marine not actually be associated with Deathwatch at all and give him his own reasons for sticking with the Rouge Trader. We've had a Marines Errant  Librarian that had gone rouge basically (he had a Daemon imprisoned inside his head, so he couldn't really get back to his chapter until he found a solution to kill it) and our group's current Space Marine is a pre-Heresy Dark Angel that we've bumped into somewhere in the warp (he'd been trapped there in a stasis-like state for 10k years). He doesn't want to go back to his chapter because he feels they're only a pale shadow of the Dark Angels he knew, and he;d probably disappear quite quickly once he leaves the ship, since he's quite loud about how the Emperor didn't want to be worshiped as a god in the first place.

 

- you can have a sole Deatwatch marine sent to accompany the Rogue Trader for whatever reason. the Kill-marine in Rites of Battle suggests such associations aren't exactly unheard of.

 

-this goes a bit beyond the 'Space Marines in Rogue Trader', but in my group we've decided to add a whole Deathwatch Kill-team to our RT ship. The RT got himself made an Inquisitor in the Ordo Xenos, and has convinced his superiors he could make good use of a kill team aboard his ship. Plan is for each player to get a DW char in addition to our current RT chars (and for the Dark Angel player to get a RT char), and play them alternatively, as the situation seems fit.

 

From a mechanical point of view, if anything, DW marines seem underpowered comparative to RT chars. By the rules, a Space Marine starts with 13000 XP, compared to the Rogue Trader character's 5000. So, at the point the Space MArine enters play, with 1000 XP worth of stuff and starting gear, the RT character has already spent 8500 XP, and is already Rank 4. Usually, there's a lot more you can achieve with 4 ranks and 8500 XP than with as tarting DW character.

 

When our Dark Angel entered play, he found himself regularly outclassed in combat by the RT Arch-Militant. She had purchased a couple of BS and Toughness advancements, some shooting talents, and had Machine 3 trait from Augmenticist alt rank. Between that, her own power armor and storm bolter, she was tankier than the marine (AP+T higher in every location than the marine in power armor), better shooter (got higher DPR than the marine) and had a broader skillset. The marine's only advantage was raw HP.

 

Even if you lower the starting XP of space marines, they still fall behind, assuming you award equal XP, as their talents and advancements cost a lot more than RT talents and advancements.

 

Yes, in the end, a Space Marine will be better at a given task because, at the end of the day, after you've purchased all possible talents and advancements, superior stats and weapons with bigger damage stats giving you an edge. It happens quite late though (RT character can peak way quicker) and the RT chars still hold a advantage in the breadth of their skill-set: it takes 30.500 'spendable' (over starting value) XP to fully level a RT character, while it takes 38.000 to do the same with a DW character, so the DW character has around 25% more XP to play with. DW talents usually cost much more than 25% extra compared to their RT equivalents, so a DW character will end up spending a higher percentage of his total XP in order to get the same talent as his RT counterpart, leaving less XP for developing skills in other fields, which, coupled with the bigger XP cost compared to RT, means the DW character will have even less skills overall.


Edited by LordBlades, 25 November 2013 - 02:05 AM.


#6 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 11:56 AM

Some ideas of how to get SMs into RT.

 

Ordo Xenos sends a DW SM to a RT's personal entourage to act as an "advisor on xenos" - that RT is under suspicion of high heresy regarding Xenos (even to the degree a Warrant of Trade can go) and is to be purged for his sins case that marine confirms the suspicion.

The SM's security is to be enforced by the RT and he pretty much doesn't have a choice - not accepting the Inquisition's terms for the continuity of his warrant will simply mean his whole Dinasty will be branded as heretic right away.

 

Or...

The explorers find this ancient hulk drifting in the void from millenia ago, still with some power running through its stasis chambers... The sole SM survivor is from a chapter too far away and will stick to the RT (who he feels in debt with) for as long as he can get back to his chapter (a Black Templar not belonging to the DW for instance).


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#7 CaptainStabby

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 12:42 PM

Er... in a game where you can drop literally REGIMENTS of troops on a world/problem etc... one SM really isn't that big of a deal in terms of power creep. Honestly an Astartes causes more problems than he solves for a RT, depending on the flavour of the Lord Captain.

 

There are plenty of fluff reasons for one to be on a RT ship, everything from oath to a RT dynasty, to being on the run, or even full on heretic etc. That's easy.



#8 Chacha

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 12:51 PM

Er... in a game where you can drop literally REGIMENTS of troops on a world/problem etc... one SM really isn't that big of a deal in terms of power creep. Honestly an Astartes causes more problems than he solves for a RT, depending on the flavour of the Lord Captain.

 

There are plenty of fluff reasons for one to be on a RT ship, everything from oath to a RT dynasty, to being on the run, or even full on heretic etc. That's easy.

The problem is more along the lines of pretty much every single party member being rendered useless in combat because, well.. the Space Marine is just that much better than them. What do you fancy the Arch Militant doing, for example?



#9 CaptainStabby

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:31 PM

Use the horde rules or the guidelines on enemies from BC (which just make good sense anyhow), it's not THAT hard to challenge a Space Marine, and a properly tooled up combat character from RT, or even DH can be equally if not more scary if that's the only concern.

 

I'd put my rank4 DH guardsman up against a starting SM any day same goes for my RT Explorator, and they would wreck one if you go on pure stats. Keep in mind, RT characters should be using acquisition and get lots of toys. a SM should not be allowed to do so, mostly because you simply can't "acquire" Astartes kit. Sure, you can get ammo and power cells and such but, in all likelihood the marine is going to be stuck with what he comes on board with, he's going to remain at a fairly baseline power level while all of the RT characters continue to gear up.

 

I agree that early on, yes the SM will be a rockstar in combat, but by rank 3, maybe 4 an Arch Militant should be just as good if not better, especially, as I said if all you are worried about are combat stats.

 

Personally, as I said, depending on the type of RT captain, a SM is well more trouble than they are worth, sure you get a super killy badass, but you pretty much negate any kind of RT shenanigans that even seem out of line in most cases. Plus if you step too far out of line with what the psychopathic super soldier deems is proper you now have him running around on YOUR ship.



#10 CaptainStabby

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:34 PM

I think the hardest part is the XP progression since the scales are different in the games, but at the end of the day that's just a math problem tbh.



#11 Chacha

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:47 PM

Use the horde rules or the guidelines on enemies from BC (which just make good sense anyhow), it's not THAT hard to challenge a Space Marine, and a properly tooled up combat character from RT, or even DH can be equally if not more scary if that's the only concern.

 

I'd put my rank4 DH guardsman up against a starting SM any day same goes for my RT Explorator, and they would wreck one if you go on pure stats. Keep in mind, RT characters should be using acquisition and get lots of toys. a SM should not be allowed to do so, mostly because you simply can't "acquire" Astartes kit. Sure, you can get ammo and power cells and such but, in all likelihood the marine is going to be stuck with what he comes on board with, he's going to remain at a fairly baseline power level while all of the RT characters continue to gear up.

 

I agree that early on, yes the SM will be a rockstar in combat, but by rank 3, maybe 4 an Arch Militant should be just as good if not better, especially, as I said if all you are worried about are combat stats.

 

Personally, as I said, depending on the type of RT captain, a SM is well more trouble than they are worth, sure you get a super killy badass, but you pretty much negate any kind of RT shenanigans that even seem out of line in most cases. Plus if you step too far out of line with what the psychopathic super soldier deems is proper you now have him running around on YOUR ship.

 

First of all, the problem was never to challenge the Space Marine. The problem was making sure that he did not completely and utterly outshine the party in every single way when it comes to combat. That is to say, making the other classes redundant in combat. Second, I quite fail to see how your characters can stand up to Space Marines. How exactly do they contend with his truckload of Unnaturals, for example?

 

Furthemore, why in the blazing heck would a Space Marine not be able to acquire Rogue Trader gear such as RT Lascannons, Autocannons, etc? Sure, he might not get Deathwatch stuff, but what's preventing him from acquiring gear from the normal book? Do the markets suddenly close because they're selling to an Astartes? And if so, what's to stop the RT from acquiring that gear for himself... and then handing it to the Space Marine?



#12 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:57 PM

 

Use the horde rules or the guidelines on enemies from BC (which just make good sense anyhow), it's not THAT hard to challenge a Space Marine, and a properly tooled up combat character from RT, or even DH can be equally if not more scary if that's the only concern.

 

I'd put my rank4 DH guardsman up against a starting SM any day same goes for my RT Explorator, and they would wreck one if you go on pure stats. Keep in mind, RT characters should be using acquisition and get lots of toys. a SM should not be allowed to do so, mostly because you simply can't "acquire" Astartes kit. Sure, you can get ammo and power cells and such but, in all likelihood the marine is going to be stuck with what he comes on board with, he's going to remain at a fairly baseline power level while all of the RT characters continue to gear up.

 

I agree that early on, yes the SM will be a rockstar in combat, but by rank 3, maybe 4 an Arch Militant should be just as good if not better, especially, as I said if all you are worried about are combat stats.

 

Personally, as I said, depending on the type of RT captain, a SM is well more trouble than they are worth, sure you get a super killy badass, but you pretty much negate any kind of RT shenanigans that even seem out of line in most cases. Plus if you step too far out of line with what the psychopathic super soldier deems is proper you now have him running around on YOUR ship.

 

First of all, the problem was never to challenge the Space Marine. The problem was making sure that he did not completely and utterly outshine the party in every single way when it comes to combat. That is to say, making the other classes redundant in combat. Second, I quite fail to see how your characters can stand up to Space Marines. How exactly do they contend with his truckload of Unnaturals, for example?

 

Furthemore, why in the blazing heck would a Space Marine not be able to acquire Rogue Trader gear such as RT Lascannons, Autocannons, etc? Sure, he might not get Deathwatch stuff, but what's preventing him from acquiring gear from the normal book? Do the markets suddenly close because they're selling to an Astartes? And if so, what's to stop the RT from acquiring that gear for himself... and then handing it to the Space Marine?

 

 

It's not about if the Astartes "can", but if he "will" do that. The RT can procure him a lot of equipment, but the player RPing the Astartes need to remember they are quite conditioned.

 

An SM would just that easily start using a heavy bolter (not fitted for a space marine, with different grip and everything) instead of his chapter-consecrated bolter?

 

Also, don't you think he would be pretty worried about the replacement parts you always manage procure for his damaged battle armor? This is an Astartes power armor, not the common one you get in the rulebook, these ones can only be found at the black markets I guess - you can't just paste adamantium over a damaged breast plate, these are multi-layered carapaces terribly hard to craft, much more protective than that usual human sized power armor.


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#13 CaptainStabby

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:19 PM

You're looking simply at the mechanics of it. That's what I was saying. The solution to a SM being OP is not just in the mechanics but in how the universe works. Would a SM let a random crewman/medic etc treat his wounds? What does your average squishy human know about the physiology of an Astartes? Next to nothing. Even your average Explorator or AdMech? Same answer. Do you think the Marine is going to let anyone aside from a proper Techmarine fiddle with his armor? Unlikely, even if they had the actual technical knowledge.

 

As I said, I think the thing with a SM outside of BC or DW is they are playing a game of diminishing returns, yes, they are SUPER COOL early on, but they plateau because the RT characters should probably be leveling faster (the math problem above) and are simply going to have access to better goodies as the game progresses.

 

A SM isn't just going to pick up random gear, that would be anathema to everything they are, the Astartes Bolter is an instrument of The Emperors will, same for their armor. In a pinch? Sure, grab the Lascannon off the tripod where the dead armsmen are and blow up the tank, but he's not just going to go shopping, that's not what Astartes do, it just isn't. Aside from the heavy weapons, as mentioned in BC where it clearly states that it takes 3 crew or one Legionnaire to operate, most "human sized" gear simply isn't going to be usable by a Marine. I can see things like power etc. fields being given to him by the RT. In the Kill-Marine writeup it mentions using non Astartes gear but it doesn't mention how to really go about it. I'd look to BC for the guidelines there. Of course all of that depends on the type of Marine, why he's there in the first place etc... 

 

I'd make any kind of upgrade in gear a super big deal for a Space Marine, running across a crusade force, finding an old Astartes bunker/cache. Outside of a Chapter or DW setting Astartes gear is damn near relic level of rarity.

 

At rank 1 yes, absolutely statline wise a SM is going to outshine starting RT characters, agreed. I just don't think that gap lasts very long once the game starts. :)


Edited by CaptainStabby, 25 November 2013 - 02:40 PM.

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#14 Magellan

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 05:12 PM

So... the only way they're gonna be balanced is through GM fiat, is what you're saying?


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#15 Tenebrae

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 05:28 PM

They're not supposed to be balanced :-/



#16 Magellan

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 05:33 PM

They're not supposed to be in Rogue Trader. What's your point?


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#17 CaptainStabby

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 05:57 PM

You call it GM fiat, I call it paying attention to the actual fluff of the universe. *shrug* ymmv.

 

I'm just saying that of all of the absurd stuff that goes on in and is pretty much encouraged to go on in a RT game, in my opinion a Space Marine on board is way, way down on the list of absurd things.

 

The Kill Marine is pretty much specifically meant for use in RT, so saying they aren't supposed to be there is inaccurate from a FFG fluff and mechanic standpoint. From a straight up GW fluff standpoint it's also inaccurate.



#18 Brother Anselm

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 06:16 PM

Some ideas of how to get SMs into RT.

Or...
The explorers find this ancient hulk drifting in the void from millenia ago, still with some power running through its stasis chambers... The sole SM survivor is from a chapter too far away and will stick to the RT (who he feels in debt with) for as long as he can get back to his chapter (a Black Templar not belonging to the DW for instance).


From reading the 'you know you're playing Rogue Trader when..' post. A Black Templar is the wrong kind of marine to have on board your ship. Debt or not his duty to the Emperor comes first, and what some of the players of Rogue Trader get up to the body count is gonna be massive. :D

 

PS

Thats the Black Templar doing his best to exterminate the Rogue Trader's crew (and PCs)


Edited by Brother Anselm, 25 November 2013 - 06:50 PM.

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#19 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 06:33 PM

Well, in BC, where you have humans and SMs running around together, is that the humans can do things the SMs can't, like go undercover or even walk around in the open on an Imperial world without some kind of disguise. Or fit through vents. :)

 

The game isn't all combat.



#20 Fgdsfg

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 06:49 PM

 

Some ideas of how to get SMs into RT.

Or...
The explorers find this ancient hulk drifting in the void from millenia ago, still with some power running through its stasis chambers... The sole SM survivor is from a chapter too far away and will stick to the RT (who he feels in debt with) for as long as he can get back to his chapter (a Black Templar not belonging to the DW for instance).


From reading the 'you know you're playing Rogue Trader when..' post. A Black Templar is the wrong kind of marine to have on board your ship. Debt or not his duty to the Emperor comes first, and what some of the players of Rogue Trader get up to the body count is gonna be massive. :D

 

Dear lord, this, so much this.

I love the Black Templars to bits, but if anyone comes within 10au of my ship, I'm going to vent the hab-blocks as a sacrifice to the Emperor and ask the Navigator to initiate warp-travel immediately, shutting down life support on everywhere except the bridge and the Navigator spire, yelling at the bridge crew to divert more power to the engines.


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