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Only War Via Deathwatch


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#1 antijoke_13

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:41 PM

stop me if you've heard this one.

 

Has anyone else considered/tried using Deathwatch Rules to instead run a game revolving around the exploits of a squad consisting of members from the same chapter, versus the traditional Deathwatch game?

 

While I love Deathwatch, and have had a lot of fun playing the game as written, I think that Only War's Approach to the party binding system (having all players run characters of the Same Regiment) would work nicely for Deathwatch. For Example, Playing a Squad of Ultramarines during the Tyrannic Wars, or a Pack of Spacewolves during the Siege of Fenris, or a Squad of Dark Angels Hunting for one of the Fallen. Hell, Even Playing Grey Knights sent to deal with a Warp Incursion. 

 

Thoughts?



#2 Lynata

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 12:00 AM

I think I've read of at least two groups running a game like that here. It's not too hard to pull off, anyways - just have everyone roll characters from the same Chapter, and the GM weave a campaign that focuses on a fitting narrative. The normal books already supply just about everything you could possibly need, given that FFG's Deathwatch also employs all manner of vehicles and troop types much like a "real" Chapter would.

 

... not that this would have much to do with Only War, given that OW is more about gritty, lethal battles and people dying left and right, whereas DW seems more focused on heroics. But I think I get what you mean.  :lol:

 

You've already come up with some good ideas, too. The "hard" part would probably be the comparatively large squad size, but there are several options to deal with this - either have the players be from a smaller squad that only has 5 members by default (filling empty spots with NPCs as needed), ooor have the campaign focus on the squad in a "non-standard" situation, such as the player characters following some sort of quest, or being survivors from a larger attack, cut off from the rest of their Chapter and now having to pursue their mission objective alone (kind of like in the Space Marine video game).


Edited by Lynata, 30 November 2013 - 12:06 AM.

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)

#3 BrotherHuitztli

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 02:11 AM

I've thought about this, but had an idea for making a custom chapter that uses veteran squads in each of their companies that have the make up of a kill-team. Or you could use the mentors http://wh40k.lexican...n#.UpmdOOKonvE.



#4 JiveProfessor

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:19 AM

It was one of my first thoughts when I grabbed Deathwatch. I have had a lot of success in other game systems doing something similar. While at face value you lose some diversity, if you give the players ample opportunity to interact with those outside of their Chapter or tough social choices with no clear answer then you can really bring out the individualism of the characters.


My Rogue Trader Play-by-Post Campaign - Of Profit and Plunder. http://forums.gville....php?board=21.0

 


#5 Kshatriya

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 01:11 PM

You don't really lose much. The biggest issue to me is Cohesion, since it's implied that same-chapter squads don't really need to worry about it in the same way because there's no cultural friction. I'd also just eliminate Tactical Expertise for the obvious reason and make Bolter Mastery apply in Squad Mode. But I'd do that anyway.



#6 Korvis

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 03:19 PM

Meh....seems an "easy way out" to avoid the role playing....one of the key parts to DW is how players interact with each other from different Chapter backgrounds/histories/cultures/traditions and experiences.  Sure, maybe a similar parallel can be made in the IG context about different hometown/village/settlement and so on.  Making a single squad of the same Chapter just seems so very small scale that I'm missing the potential enjoyment...maybe it's just me.  The DW is diverse for a reason....the Kill Team can benefit from the variety and difference of each member and become a better team than is they were ALL from the same Chapter.  Different specialties, different experiences, different approaches to face the problem/enemy at hand.

 

I'm not saying the camaraderie wouldn't be a bonus to a squad of same Chapter guys, but it too would exist with a Kill Team after they had been together longer enough to forge that bond in trust and abilities through the crucible of missions under fire.  I apologize if I am a descenting  opinion.....but i am just missing the enjoyment (potential and/or actual) in your premise.  When a Chapter deploys a Company.....to follow a squad or half squad of 5 or so battle-brothers just seems so.....trivial on the greater scale of why they were deployed to begin with.  The DW wouldn't fill Kill Team slots with ALL members of the same Chapter, IMHO, and I guess I am just missing your point in this endeavor.


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#7 BrotherHuitztli

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 06:40 AM

It would be something to have the group start out as brothers in the scout company and then see them evolve into veterans of their chapter. If you like space wolves I've read fluff that states they never replenish their packs and the same group of blood claws you begin with will be your squad your whole life so it's easier to think of a group of grey fangs who have 'grown up' together so to speak who get sent ahead as a vanguard action to preform deathwatch type missions before their company arrives in full. Or like I mentioned in my other post using the Mentors chapter since they get loaned out on different missions all over the imperium.

 

The main attraction is you'd have oppertunities to interact with things outside the sphere of the deathwatch. Dealing with a planetary uprising in one sector then having a mission to combat the Orks in the claxis sector, or things of that nature.



#8 venkelos

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:19 PM

It seems like a simple idea, but the diversity of Chapter is part of what I like about DW, over OW. For me, I like Cadians a lot, and think that the Catachans are just dumb as hell. The Elysians are pretty cool, if you don't have a powerful attachment to tanks, and most of the other Regiments don't do anything much for me. So, when I want to sit down and play OW, I have to hope that EVERYONE wants to be Cadian, or I might not enjoy it, as much. In DW, though, if I want to be an Ultramarine, or a Salamander, or an Iron Fist, I can be, and I don't have to be forced to play those Blood Angels and Space Wolves so many other people think are the only good Space Marines, while the Ultramarines are just vanilla.

 

Certainly, it opens one up to a certain amount of twinking and cliche choices, such as the Ultramarines Tactical, or the Iron Hands Techmarine, but I still appreciate it more than having to pick one Regiment, when an argument could be made that several are functional in a given warzone, and the Lord Militant controls each, at least to some degree. With the varying arguments I've heard for how Regiment most of the Specialists are (abilities and gear), compared to the Guardsmen, a certain amount of several regiments in the same team would seem fine, to me. It would give some appearance of a special unit, assembled by the Command for their specialties and gifts, and made to work together, rather than a group of Cadians, when one player wants to be a Storm Trooper (regiment sort of unimportant), another a Rough Rider (that's apparently a specific regiment, or two, now), the third a Heavy, and the fourth a tech-priest (see Storm Trooper).

 

To the main topic, no it would seem rather easy, over all. The rules should work the same, for the most part, and instead of taking orders from a Watch Commander or Inquisitor, it would be from your Chapter Master, or maybe some other head of a Company.



#9 professor_kylan

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:45 PM

Given how I'm spamming all the other threads on this board at the moment, I figure I'll stop in here and say hi.

I've recently been working on a unified 40k rpg, and one of the goals of it was to try to be able to run Scout -> Veteran astartes games with people being able to play characters from the same chapter, of the same specialisation (Four tactical marines and a devastator in a combat squad) and still have each character different, interesting and viable. I'm yet to run a single chapter astartes game (as much as I really, REALLY want to), but I'm always looking for playtesters to see if my rules work! :P

 

When it comes to Cohesion, I'd run it like core DW with few modifications personally. The only big change I'd make is auto-replenishing d5 cohesion after each battle. Just get ready to REALLY up the amount of baddies you need.

http://community.fan...ed-rpg-project/



#10 Kshatriya

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 03:28 PM

Yeah needing to really up the amount of enemies to keep a challenge is very, very bad. Combat is molasses-slow in this system as it is.



#11 Radwraith

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:13 PM

I don't think this is impossible at all! The players would be a "Vanguard" or "Sternguard" squad or perhaps even a group of 1st company termies (Depending on experience). It's even possible that the players are part of the "Command squad" supporting their Brother Captain at the leading edge of a campaign (Which would allow for the more esoteric roles of Apothecary, Librarian and even mixing tactical assault and devastator marines) Character's could even be squad leaders for their own squads of assault, tactical or devastator squads (using "basic" space marines from the NPC section of BC as their squad mates) if you want your game to get that large!

 

As an Add on for OW's spinward front campaign I would heavily favor the chapter being Storm Wardens since that is their AOE. 



#12 Alrik Vas

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:16 PM

While you lose some versatility in going with one chapter, you get to explore that chapter fully and the majority of them have so much information and nuance you could run a game for years and not really experience it all, honestly.

 

Plus you get almost all the specialities still (depending on the chapter your playing) and you get to make a character in different ways.  I mean, you play a tactical ultramarine in DW, there's really only one or two ways you make him and both involve you having an insanely high Fellowship.  If you're all ultramarines...then suddenly not everyone has to be prince valiant, now do they?

 

Just something to chew on.


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#13 DJSunhammer

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:53 PM

While you lose some versatility in going with one chapter, you get to explore that chapter fully and the majority of them have so much information and nuance you could run a game for years and not really experience it all, honestly.

 

Plus you get almost all the specialities still (depending on the chapter your playing) and you get to make a character in different ways.  I mean, you play a tactical ultramarine in DW, there's really only one or two ways you make him and both involve you having an insanely high Fellowship.  If you're all ultramarines...then suddenly not everyone has to be prince valiant, now do they?

 

Just something to chew on.

I think this in particular is one of the greater flaws with Deathwatch. There is nothing in any of the 40k lore on Space Marines that says every Tactical Marine is the command type. Yet that is what Tac Marines have become with this game. It's a really strange decision.



#14 Kshatriya

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 07:04 PM

It was the only role left, I think, and they even mostly obviated that with Forging the Bond.



#15 Alrik Vas

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:18 PM

I think it was done because, as a tactical marine, you've been all the other basic specialities.  You're supposed to be pretty experienced and that makes you a great canidate for leadership.  Astartes don't just survive, they thrive.  You've made it along, so you've got your chops as it were.

 

Though, yeah, that doesn't mean they all need command +20 and 60 fellowship.



#16 Kshatriya

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:29 PM

The problem really is that they don't get Command--their mechanical key skill for lots of stuff--quicker than anyone else. Even more reason to be a smurf: I came to be insufferable in role-play, I stayed for the superior mechanical options. ;)



#17 DJSunhammer

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:41 PM

It was the only role left, I think, and they even mostly obviated that with Forging the Bond.

They could have just as easily made the Tac Marine a balance between melee and ranged combat, which is pretty much what they are in TT. If they had done that, they could have introduced an advanced specialty that focuses on Command, like a Deathwatch Sergeant or something.

 

That is actually what I've done with my rebuild of Deathwatch, among other things.



#18 Kshatriya

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:47 PM

I initially thought it wasn't good at being a jack-of-all-trades (and have commented on how being a jack-of-all-trades is not a generally satisfying role in a game heavily devoted to specialists). However I now think the Tacmarine has a good base chassis to do as you suggested. It's just lacking key talents to take it far enough, i.e. early access to TWF Talents.

 

Also technically the Squad Leader is effectively the Kill-Team's Sergeant for purposes of that mission. We've taken to use the rank of Kill-Sergeant in that role.



#19 LordBlades

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:19 AM

IMO Tactical is one of the worst written careers. It's talents and special abilities push it into a single direction (leadership+some ranged combat stuff), and at that Ultrasmurfs and Codex chapters are way better than anyone else, until mid-game  (when you can hit auto-success on Command checks with pretty much anyone).


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#20 DJSunhammer

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:50 AM

I initially thought it wasn't good at being a jack-of-all-trades (and have commented on how being a jack-of-all-trades is not a generally satisfying role in a game heavily devoted to specialists). However I now think the Tacmarine has a good base chassis to do as you suggested. It's just lacking key talents to take it far enough, i.e. early access to TWF Talents.

 

Also technically the Squad Leader is effectively the Kill-Team's Sergeant for purposes of that mission. We've taken to use the rank of Kill-Sergeant in that role.

Well, what I've done is rewrite the Aptitudes system and fit it to deathwatch. After I did that, changing the role of the tac marine was as easy as limiting the Aptitudes Tac has to ranged and melee combat and gave the spec a new special ability that is good no matter what method of combat you are using. It should work passably well with heavy weapons too.

 

To me, TWF Talents don't scream versatility, they just scream TWF.


Edited by DJSunhammer, 16 January 2014 - 10:51 AM.





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