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roleplaying in DW


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#1 slaamgebel

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:35 AM

Im a Gm and I was wondering with marine is it possible to have roleplay moment. My player are really mindless tin cans that walk/charge at foes and kill all (mostly like khorne berzerker but without the blood for the blood god part :P)

What are your trick as a gm or player that have help/made it happen to have roleplay moment.

#2 Avdnm

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 02:32 AM

You might want to look in this post, where this question was discussed. But you should consider to not push your players into something they don't want... some just like the "khorne berzerker" style ;-)



#3 slaamgebel

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:23 AM

Tnx for the reply and link

#4 Kshatriya

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 06:41 PM

If you're not having fun with Khorne Berserker style (and I can understand not - it gets really old to do nothing but run combat for 4 hours straight) then I suggest tossing in Erioch interludes. Don't let your players take Signature Wargear or Advanced Specialties without roleplaying it - make them play out the interview with the Chaplains and Captains and Keepers if they want to be a Keeper. Make them counsel their Brothers from other Chapters if they want to be a Chaplain. Have the Watch-Captain put restrictions on their war gear in the next mission to see if they're up to the task of being a Champion. Etc.

 

Besides that, the Deathwatch is like any military unit - political. Have them play politics. Each Watch-Captain has his own views, prejudices, friends, rivals for whatever reasons. Doubly so for Inquisitors. Do your players think a more Radical Inquisitor like Quist is in the right, or do they think she borders on heresy and decide to side with a more Puritan one?

 

Basically, if you want role-play, you have to provide a chance for it. Constantly fighting nids will not provide that chance because nids cannot negotiate. Send them against Tau, and then have both sides ambushed by nids, orks, necrons - whatever. Force them to negotiate a temporary alliance against the new foe and then see who breaks it first. Basically, don't expect the PCs to seek out roleplaying opportunities - they may not think they can. But if you provide them, they may have fun and decide to pursue more. 

 

Also insist that they actually respond as a member of their Chapter would. Have them get into the mindset, even with combat. A Black Templar is not going to be content hanging back shooting, he's going to want to charge. An Imperial Fist is not going to be in the open, he's going to use cover to his advantage. Etc.

 

For example in my game I'm planning on some disaster befalling several Deathwatch Kill-Teams who were sent on missions ordered by the Watch-Commander, and as a result, Mordrigael is going to step down in disgrace and possibly just return to his Chapter. The Watch-Captains will be vying to replace him, and one of the frontrunners is going to end up dead, with the PCs' Watch-Captain implicated in the death - whether they were fighting a ritual duel or had an argument or whatever, and the PCs have to work to exonerate or condemn him, and may wind up having a decent role in kingmaking the new Watch Commander.


Edited by Kshatriya, 08 January 2014 - 06:43 PM.

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#5 Alrik Vas

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:37 PM

Watch Fortress interludes can be fun, yes.  My GM had us roleplay by interacting with other Imperial elements.  We got sent on a mission with the Holy Ordos, baiscally we were this inquisitor's bodyguards and we almost screwed up right at the outset.  We barely saved her from getting killed by poison at the beginning, but she was out of it for a while as we had to do all her investigating or else the mission would be a complete flop.

 

Fortunately we were Adeptus Astartes, so when we made demands and asked questions, people were pretty accomidating and the folks who weren't came under our scrutiny.  If you think i mean "bolter fire" when i say scrutiny, you would be mostly right.  there was quite a bit of scrutinizing that went on that game.


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#6 Visitor Q

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:21 AM

Remember that Space Marines are more than just biological Terminators (as in the film Terminator) they are 'Knights'.  A combination of Templar and nobility.  There is no reason why they wouldn't be put in situations where they have to investigate and interact.  The only difference is framing the scenario so that the PCs aren't left wodnering why acolytes aren't doing the same job.



#7 venkelos

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:53 AM

Remember that Space Marines are more than just biological Terminators (as in the film Terminator) they are 'Knights'.  A combination of Templar and nobility.  There is no reason why they wouldn't be put in situations where they have to investigate and interact.  The only difference is framing the scenario so that the PCs aren't left wodnering why acolytes aren't doing the same job.

Interact with each other, but knights are still human, and whether rich noble knight, or paid heavy infantry warrior knight, they can still relate to the other humans. Space Marines aren't so human, anymore, with their mind-wipes, conditioning, modifications, and all that. They don't know what it's like to be "people", and much of the fiction often shows the people fawning over, and bowing to the Astartes, as if they were the Emperor's children (read princes, not that Chaos Chapter; that's a different  response). They rarely investigate because they are sent in to fight the worst stuff. Much of the time, there aren't enough Space Marines to have them Sherlocking it up, wondering what happened. Certainly, they can be sent to a place, have to scope it out, and figure out what's going on, but what is going on is going to be some serious crap.



#8 Kshatriya

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:38 PM

 The only difference is framing the scenario so that the PCs aren't left wodnering why acolytes aren't doing the same job.

I have been in that situation where one player was very unsatisfied with the "acolyte work" the DW had to perform in a particular module. It was very disheartening to constantly hear that, and I ultimately decided that I would rather run a variety of missions without that player being part of my play group, rather than do the work of an enemy AI in an RTS or SRPG game (which is apparently the kind of game he preferred). I consider myself much better off and much more satisfied  GMing now.

 

I also took the DW rules advice where higher-ranking members of the Guard, Navy, Adeptus, etc respect the Astartes, but are honored and experienced experts in their own right so there's no puerile fawning, and indeed they're not afraid to tell the Deathwatch, "no I'm not going to do that unless you can help me break the stalemate in the eastern trench war" or whatnot. It's made play a lot more fun on the GM end, and the players have enjoyed that angle as well.


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#9 Askold

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 03:17 AM

I would think that the interaction between Deathwatch members would offer huge opportunities for roleplaying. Rivalries (A Space wolf and a Dark angel in the same team? Uh oh! ) competition, the immensely different tactics that different chapters use all offer opportunities for roleplay.

 

So even without the investigations and collaboration with outsiders there can be more than simple "shoot/stab everything you see" action in the game. And even though I personally agree that the Inquisition has agents whose whole job is to do these investigations while the Deathwatch is sent AFTER a threat has been discovered this does not mean that they wouldn't do ANY investigation. Just propably not the initial one.

 

 

For example, the people who discovered that genestealer cult the Deathwatch is sent to destroy were propably some acolytes or local authorities but after the team is down on the planet why wouldn't they do their own investigation as well? I mean the locals might have been infiltrated but the team knows they are all pure and with the keen Astartes senses, equipment and decades or even centuries of experience they could start tracking the heart of the infestation themselves.


Edited by Askold, 11 January 2014 - 03:20 AM.


#10 Visitor Q

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:42 AM

 

Remember that Space Marines are more than just biological Terminators (as in the film Terminator) they are 'Knights'.  A combination of Templar and nobility.  There is no reason why they wouldn't be put in situations where they have to investigate and interact.  The only difference is framing the scenario so that the PCs aren't left wodnering why acolytes aren't doing the same job.

Interact with each other, but knights are still human, and whether rich noble knight, or paid heavy infantry warrior knight, they can still relate to the other humans. Space Marines aren't so human, anymore, with their mind-wipes, conditioning, modifications, and all that. They don't know what it's like to be "people", and much of the fiction often shows the people fawning over, and bowing to the Astartes, as if they were the Emperor's children (read princes, not that Chaos Chapter; that's a different  response). They rarely investigate because they are sent in to fight the worst stuff. Much of the time, there aren't enough Space Marines to have them Sherlocking it up, wondering what happened. Certainly, they can be sent to a place, have to scope it out, and figure out what's going on, but what is going on is going to be some serious crap.

 

 

How much the Marines aren't really 'people' anymore very much depends on the Chapter.  So the Salamanders, White Consuls, Crimson Fists and Ultramarines probably very much are able to interact with ordinary humans and relate to them with a reasonable degree of success.  Flesh Tearers, Black Templars and Iron Hands..not so much.

 

Also the PCs play Deathwatch Marines.  Astartes specially chosen for their role.  In some cases this might be because they represent far more personable examples of their Chapter. 

 

In addition they might be put into a position where they have to investigate without realising that is what they are getting into.  For example they go as an Honour Guard for an Inquisitor Lord to a diplomatic function onboard a Battleship etc.  Inquisitor Lord is poisoned and alien saboteurs have planted a bomb. All the guests are suspects, only the Marines are considered above reproach and so are tasked with finding the xenos cultist.

 

In game terms there is nothing particularly stopping a Space Marine being more than a half decent investigator.  They start with Int of 2D10+30 and 2D10+30 Fel standard and I think in the right specialty/Chapter can take Charm and Inquiry.  Plus you can be a Kill Marine which again I think gives you access to various investigation style skills and talents (will need to check this again). 

 

When I have GMd Deathwatch I haven't skimped on the role play side of thigns at all.  However I would say they 'investigations' have been less solving a mystery style problem and more a political issue (Will this Rogue Trader help us or will be betray us to the Xenos Corsairs etc).


Edited by Visitor Q, 13 January 2014 - 06:45 AM.

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#11 Moirdryd

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 05:16 PM

I would recommend some of the Horus Heresy Audio Dramas as, while the Astartes have changed since the days of the Crusade,it can still demonstrate what they are like. Some of the other Space Marine books can also demonstrate marine personalities.

#12 Gurkhal

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 01:13 AM

This thread should really be in the Game Master Section.

 

Anyway, I don't have much of a trouble with the Nids as it allows me to focus on human-related non-combat things that can come up.

 

Otherwise I have no direct problem with combat heavy DW games. These ARE Space Marines after all and war and combat should be their normal business. But I can totally see why people might find it tiring to run battle scene, after battle scene, after battle scene, and so on.






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