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New Deathwatch Designer Diary: Target of Opportunity


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#1 FFG Ross Watson

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 04:59 AM

Greetings, Deathwatch fans!

This week, I have a designer diary discussing more details about Missions, plus more great news. Enjoy!



#2 greystroke

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 05:11 AM

first thanks for the update.

i like the idea were there is a mechanism in place for a change in leadership mission to mission this should help roleplay and add character to deathwatch



#3 kenshin138

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:46 AM

 Good Diary entry Ross. I think it does a good overview of the system.



#4 The Wyzard

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 10:24 AM

This is actually pretty intriguing stuff, and I even think I approve of the rotating leader structure.  One just has to be careful who one games with...there are plenty of players who don't really belong in that position.  As we all know.  

 

I'm actually digging on how I imagine the mission structure and choice of oath will shape the experience of play.  Even if you're going on a purely diplomatic/roleplaying type mission where you don't expect to have to use weapons, Space Marines likely have very goal-oriented personalities.  I expect that they sort of reflexively frame their activities in terms of "stuff we want to do" and "how are we going to do this stuff" leading into "doing the HELL* out of whatever that stuff was."



#5 ShadowHawkIV

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 11:43 AM

I think it's fantastic that there's going to be so much framework for actually roleplaying characters. Being a fluff-**** myself, I really enjoy being able to have enough background to know general guidelines as to what sort of person my character is, why they are that way, and what sorts of ways they would deal with situations.

At first glance here, the oath systems seem like a good way of framing character behaviour and roleplaying more than just "DIE XENOS SCUM! DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA!"



#6 Kage2020

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 12:10 PM

I rather enjoyed that Designer's Diary.  I think that it rounded out a number of interesting issues, both in terms of the game itself and the approach of the game designers themselves in dealing with, and listening to, the fans themselves.  With regards to listening to the concerns of the fans, Ross' comment on "it is not a random chart, nor is it a railroad" was particularly welcome.  Kudos for that.  Final judgement about the nature of the "mission generator" is something that can only be made when people see the product, but seeing that particularly duck shot from the "concern game" is great.

The examples of missions were interesting and, in my mind, well done.  There are some potential clarifications that could have been made, but that gets into nit-picking that is not really necessary for a Designer's Diary (again, in my mind).  Of the three, the political one was the weakest since it had a bit of a "...required more than bolter fire to solve... honest guv'!" vibe to it.  Stillinteresting nonetheless.

The rotating leadership thing when coupled with the Oaths still makes me pause, but I think that this is one of those things that you're going to have to see the "final product" to fully appreciate (or damn) it.  For example, on reflection I'm amused that I wasn't a fan of the "punitive" nature of the Dark Heresy psyker rules, but my own interpretation was, ultimately, geared around a different flavour of punishment.  Oaths, and Team Powers, as described here don't suit my simulation, but with the final product...?  Who knows.

Regardless, it seems that FFG have certainly thought everything through and have a very specific interpretation of how things are going to work.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the final game is received by the fans. 

Kage



#7 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:01 PM

I think this all sounds great. I cannot wait for this book to come out.

MY only question is... is that the front cover art? I can't say I'm all that impressed by it. The Marine at the front is too far forward, blocking most of the view to everyone behind him. I'd've preferred it with the 'camera' zoomed out, to show more of the squad.

I also love how this game appears to be taking the route of rewarding players for acting as a team rather than penalising them for not acting as a team. It's good because you then have a situation where people want to work together for the benefits it brings rather than having to work together to avoid some arbitrary penalty or negative.

BYE
 


Matt Eustace. Contributing Author Credits: Church of the Damned, The Lathe Worlds, The Lathe Worlds - The Lost Dataslate, Only War Core Rulebook, Hammer of the Emperor, Shield of Humanity, Tome of Fate, Tome of Blood, Tome of Excess and Tome of Decay.

The views expressed in this post are my own. I do not speak for or on behalf of Fantasy Flight Games.


#8 Atheosis

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 07:10 PM

Democratic Space Marines...

Am I the only one that is made queasy by the idea?



#9 Artemesia

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 07:43 PM

Atheosis said:

Democratic Space Marines...

Am I the only one that is made queasy by the idea?

Once again, you are unhappy with everything. Duly noted.



#10 Adam France

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:00 PM

I guess some degree of 'democracy' inside the team was kinda likely, as there isn't necessarily a strong imperative to have one commander, or different ranks inside a team of maybe 4 marines. 

While the adventures/missions (?) described in the diary sound fine (if a little vague as ever on specifics - ie how did the investigative adventure played at the house game actually work? Were the marines questioning npcs? What legal rights would a SM kill team have in the Imperium to forces Imperial citicens to answer interrogation? etc etc), I still don't really understand why a game mechanic is needed at all to cover that. AD&D and pretty much every other rpg ever made has had the characters set off on missions (in effect), but they needed no specific mechanic to describe that, why does DW need one?

I'm not being moany here, I just don't see the need and with page space the perennial defence against why we are forced to choose from only the 'Paltry 6 Chapters' I wonder at the inclusion and presumably space consumption of including such a strange and unnecessary seeming game mechanic.



#11 Bilateralrope

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 09:01 PM

Adam France said:

What legal rights would a SM kill team have in the Imperium to forces Imperial citicens to answer interrogation? etc etc),

 

 

Wouldn't it be Inquisitorial authority most of the time ?



#12 ShadowHawkIV

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 09:34 PM

Atheosis said:

Democratic Space Marines...

Am I the only one that is made queasy by the idea?

 

Check the fluff, read the books - they're following as closely to the way that everything in GW canon says they should in terms of the internal organization of a DW Kill team. Usually the 'head' of the KT is the inquisitor, who tells the KT what they want from them and the KT then does it. It's more of a small, fluid, tactical group of highly specialized soldiers; this isn't the usual command structure like you'd have in a chapter. This is a Deathwatch Kill Team.



#13 Adam France

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 04:59 AM

Bilateralrope said:

Adam France said:

What legal rights would a SM kill team have in the Imperium to forces Imperial citicens to answer interrogation? etc etc),

Wouldn't it be Inquisitorial authority most of the time ?

Possibly ... but without an Inquisitor present? I mean sure, a SM could bully most civilians, but how about a Navy Captain, or a planetary governor, or a Rogue Trader? Are the DW just the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos? Does that mean they have full Inquisitorial powers?



#14 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 06:19 AM

Adam France said:

Bilateralrope said:

 

Adam France said:

What legal rights would a SM kill team have in the Imperium to forces Imperial citicens to answer interrogation? etc etc),

Wouldn't it be Inquisitorial authority most of the time ?

 

 

Possibly ... but without an Inquisitor present? I mean sure, a SM could bully most civilians, but how about a Navy Captain, or a planetary governor, or a Rogue Trader? Are the DW just the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos? Does that mean they have full Inquisitorial powers?

I imagine, between the physical presence of a Space Marine, the firepower they wield, and the fact that they operate on the authority of the Inquisition (whether or not they wield that authority themselves), few people are going to stand firm in the face of members of the Deathwatch.... and those that do are likely the sort that won't budge for anything short of direct Inquisitorial intervention.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

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#15 The Wyzard

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 06:33 AM

 There is something about the cover art that bothers me.

 

Look how that Space Marine is standing.  He's leaning back with his hips thrust forward.  That doesn't say "badass" to me.  It says something more like "I am about to burst into a dance sequence" or something.  Seriously, it's just an odd/awkward posture that doesn't fit the tone.  All of the detail and such are technically very good, but that guy's stance and the composition of the piece are not so great.



#16 Adam France

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 12:08 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

 

 

I imagine, between the physical presence of a Space Marine, the firepower they wield, and the fact that they operate on the authority of the Inquisition (whether or not they wield that authority themselves), few people are going to stand firm in the face of members of the Deathwatch.... and those that do are likely the sort that won't budge for anything short of direct Inquisitorial intervention.

 

 

Not sure that's actually true. A planetary governor could have ample defences ready for an uppity couple of marines, should they kick up rough. As could many another Imperial citizen.   

Sure few normal people would argue with a SM. But that in itself presents something of a problem rpg wise when it comes to investigative adventures ... does it mean no npc will lie to pcs? 

Marines at the end of the day are very good soldiers. I remain unconvinced about their suitability as private eyes. Or infiltration operatives. Or diplomats.

I dislike the cover too, which is a shame as a lot of the art shown originally was very good. I think they should have just gone with a black cover with the DW marine pointing the gun at the viewer, as on the product info page. That's a good pic. The cover looks cartoonish and a bit ... naff. Imo. 



#17 Atheosis

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 08:16 PM

Artemesia said:

Atheosis said:

 

Democratic Space Marines...

Am I the only one that is made queasy by the idea?

 

 

Once again, you are unhappy with everything. Duly noted.

Meh.  These DDs just don't do it for me.  Sorry if that offends you.  I really want to like DW, but the info that keeps coming out leaves me less than excited. 

That said I understand why they are going this route on a practical level.  It's difficult to set up one player as the defacto leader of a group.  It can cause serious issues.  So I can live with it.  Doesn't mean the idea doesn't bother me.



#18 macd21

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 01:42 AM

Adam France said:

What legal rights would a SM kill team have in the Imperium to forces Imperial citicens to answer interrogation? etc etc),

None at all, probably. That isn't really unusual, however, nor would it really stop a Marine from doing so. In the Imperium the law doesn't really work the same way it does now. Authority isn't about your legal jurisdiction, it's about what you can get away with. The law doesn't say that a SM is allowed to walk up to a planetary governor, punch him in the face and then start asking him questions... but the law doesn't say that he isn't allowed to either. It comes down to what he can get away with.

Basically a Death Watch Marine can do whatever the hell he likes until he annoys someone powerful enough to stop him.



#19 Kage2020

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 02:31 AM

macd21 said:

Basically a Death Watch Marine can do whatever the hell he likes until he annoys someone powerful enough to stop him.

I would have to agree with that.  GIven my favourite quotes on the subject (I want post them again), one would have to wonder what would happen if the average Joe, be they strongly Christian or not, would do when faced with an Angelwings, fiery sword, humbling sense of power exuding from them, etc.  Legal power?  Talk about divine right.  (Errr, not that this makes them objectively divine, just to the subjective interpretation of members of the Imperium... Well, you get the point.)

I also agree with Atheosis in general.  Most of the mechanics that are being expressed don't really do anything for me, but I'm looking forward to seeing the final game.  For example, while I'm not fond of the "Team Awesome Mode" (Solo versus Team Mode) I use something similar in my own interpretation, which is basically to allow the Marine to access "powers" as they advance in experience/rank, be they from technological advancement (augmentation, artificer armour, etc.) or through some "glorious deed."  It basically encompasses what might be thought of as "Marine Awesome Mode."  It's as equally video-game-like as many of the Designer's Diaries have revealedSolo/Team Mode, Oaths, Team Leader advantages, Squad Fate (Cohesion), etc.

None of that makes it a criticism or, worse, a complaint.  At the moment and without further information one can do little than offer up observations based upon preferences.

Kage



#20 warpdancer

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 03:55 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Adam France said:

 

Bilateralrope said:

 

Adam France said:

What legal rights would a SM kill team have in the Imperium to forces Imperial citicens to answer interrogation? etc etc),

Wouldn't it be Inquisitorial authority most of the time ?

 

 

Possibly ... but without an Inquisitor present? I mean sure, a SM could bully most civilians, but how about a Navy Captain, or a planetary governor, or a Rogue Trader? Are the DW just the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos? Does that mean they have full Inquisitorial powers?

 

 

I imagine, between the physical presence of a Space Marine, the firepower they wield, and the fact that they operate on the authority of the Inquisition (whether or not they wield that authority themselves),

and that they´re the Angels of death from HIM-on-terra, the Space knights of humanity, very few  will have objections to cooperate and since when have imperial citicens rights, except the right o serve






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