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New(ish) gamesmaster with some questions


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#1 Tagakoner

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:18 AM

 Hi there!

So I am a new(ish) GM in Deathwatch, and I have three questions.

First off a fluff related question:
When NPC (who isn't a space marine) addresses one of my players (a Battle brother), what title will they use?
I went with sir, but it sounds kinda weird, especially when it comes from a high ranking person like an Inquisitor or
General or such.
So basically; how do your NPCs address your players?

 

Second question is game mechanics related:
My squad of players are very gung ho. They rarely use any tactics. So how do I get them to act more Space marine-like
and not just storm into whatever environment is laid out in front of them? How do you use the tactics skill?


Third question:
This adds to my second question. So my players were fighting a big horde of mutants and slaves. I got them bogged down
in combat and the situation started to look a bit bleak for them. Then one of them figured out that their own frag grenades
can't harm themselves. So they started to just pull the pins out of frag grenades and dropping it in front of them. Leaving them in
a crater of mutant parts and themselves being fine.
Did we get something wrong here, or can a marine's own frag grenade not harm himself? 



#2 Kshatriya

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:32 AM

 1) I have generals/Rogue Traders/naval captains/other powerplayers say either "my lord", "Astarte," or occasionally the Chapter based on their temperament. Inquisitors say "Astarte," the PC's first name, or their Chapter or sometimes their special title if appropriate like Keeper, Chaplain, Forgemaster, etc. Rank and file IG typically say "my lord."

2) Tactics is a very GM-fiat skill on what info it can provide; I try to make most iterations of it useful in as many circumstances as possible. Realistically you should show them how bad it is to run in with no plan by putting them in crits with well-prepared enemies. Or have their Captain chastise them for their recklessness. 

3) Generally they cannot hurt themselves with frags barring very high rolls. I think the errata gives frags a bit of pen. And if they hit RF make them roll it out against themselves! Also a good place to be chastised for acting, well, unprofessional. 



#3 Saibot

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:39 AM

On 1) I would have them be addressed by rank. So "Battle-Brother", "Brother-Sergeant", "Apothecary", "Codicier" and so on.

 

3) As Kshatriya said, they need to roll rather high to harm themselves with Astartes Frag Grenades. That being said, the errata gives them a bit more base damage and whenever they do what you described I would always have the legs be hit automatically (usually one of the less armoured locations). In that case the average Marine has to at least roll a 7 and an 8 to harm himself.



#4 DailyDose

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 06:22 AM

 If you want your players to think more tactically, you may need to pit them against more powerful enemies, or more challenging combat scenarios. For example, try making stealth a necessity, or place hostages in the area. I find that books about real-world special operations are good inspiration for this sort of thing. One thing to remember, however: Your players are portraying 8-foot tall, acid-spitting, superhuman giants with access to the best armor and weapons in the galaxy. Sometimes, the best option for them is to wade in and start destroying things.



#5 Plasmafest

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:38 PM

1) What they said. Plus; by given name, informally - not necessarily friendly either, Governors are rather used to living in their own little bubble. Some, common citizens especially, might not dare to address an Astartes at all. 

2) You can try to make them be tactical by forcing them to make choices. For instance, attack them with more enemies than the standard mechanics permit them to attack in a single round (specifically, none standing within 2m of another). Have these enemies engage in a variety of actions; some charge, some shoot & scoot/sneak from cover to cover towards the flanks, some snipe from on high, and some perform non-combat Extended Actions, such as; Taunting (cohesion damage if ignored), voxing target coordinates/calling for reinforcements, rigging demolitions etc…  At the very least, they'll be easily persuaded to use Bolter Assault/Fire for Effect or similar.

3) I knew I remembered this from somewheres; p.140, the definition of Weapon Class: "Unless also classed as Melee, thrown weapons cannot be used in close combat." So their actions weren't legal, but it's obscure so don't feel too bad.  For justification to back up this rule, and its obvious reference to just such metagaming, try to make them feel bad about the loss of all their purity seals, or other such personal touches. Have the 'House Techmarine collectively slap them for the disrespect to their wargear.  Also, remember that Blast weapons cause cohesion damage for any hit that rolled at least 10 damage, regardless of whether it wounded them (though only once per Turn).

 



#6 AlphariusOmegon7

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:22 AM

 1) Pretty much here I use the basic maxim that most people regard the Astartes as near demigods, and barely see them.  Ever.  It's like meeting a rockstar, except the rockstar is really Jesus's great grandson and can kill you with impunity if you piss him off.  So pretty much standard NPC (Imperial Guard, Civilians, etc) call them Lord Astartes.  People of a slightly higher rank simply call them Astartes, or if familiar with them maybe by first names.  Douchebags call them Space Marine.  

2) Have disadvantages.  They charge into an ambush without prep, give the bad guys some sort of bonus.  Litter traps across your missions, or have them do a mission where if they charge in they fail.  They'll get so used to doing tactics that they'll do them normally.  

3) Yes, my kill team does this.  It's cool, and it emphasises how awesome SMs really are.  



#7 Kshatriya

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 06:01 AM

 Plasma, I think that's Devastating weapons, not Blast. 



#8 Tagakoner

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 11:30 AM

 Hi all!

Thanks so much for your advice! Sorry that it took so long to respond, had problems with my interwebs until today.

Had them play a game today where I had a time limit before they had to be extracted with hordes of enemies closing in
on them right before the much needed extraction (much similar to the example mission in the core rulebook). I also souped
up some of the enemies, showing them that there is still some things to be wary of out there. 

All this helped quite a bit, and in the end they took some high ground and laid down overlapping fields of fire and such.
So I was quite happy with the outcome. 

Thanks to you guys I also have a few nice ideas for future games, where tactics will be a must.

Cookies for all!
 



#9 Plasmafest

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:49 PM

Kshatriya said:

 Plasma, I think that's Devastating weapons, not Blast. 

p. 212; under the title 'Cohesion Damage', any hit that rolls 10 Damage or more (before taking away AP & TB), from Basic-Accurate, Blast or Devastating weapons causes Cohesion loss. So a frag missile, for example, being both Blast & Devastating, could cause 2 CD a shot.  Though the bottom-left paragraph says otherwise; might simply houserule that to 'one source' of CD a turn rather than 1 point.



#10 Polaria

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 02:13 AM

Tagakoner said:

First off a fluff related question:
When NPC (who isn't a space marine) addresses one of my players (a Battle brother), what title will they use?
I went with sir, but it sounds kinda weird, especially when it comes from a high ranking person like an Inquisitor or
General or such.
So basically; how do your NPCs address your players?

 

Second question is game mechanics related:
My squad of players are very gung ho. They rarely use any tactics. So how do I get them to act more Space marine-like
and not just storm into whatever environment is laid out in front of them? How do you use the tactics skill?


Third question:
This adds to my second question. So my players were fighting a big horde of mutants and slaves. I got them bogged down
in combat and the situation started to look a bit bleak for them. Then one of them figured out that their own frag grenades
can't harm themselves. So they started to just pull the pins out of frag grenades and dropping it in front of them. Leaving them in
a crater of mutant parts and themselves being fine.
Did we get something wrong here, or can a marine's own frag grenade not harm himself? 

1. Depends on the NPC. "My Lord" is a good start for mortals. "Revered Astartes" or something like that doesn't hurt either. For serfs I simply make them use "Sir" as they have grown more accustomed to having Angels of Death around. Oh, and our local Inquisitor doesn't address them at all unless it is a very formal occasion. 

2. Noy all players can be tacticians. All Astartes, however, are. Thus I make them roll Tactics every time they are doing something stupid and tell them what might happen if they pursue that line of action. It is their own decision after that.

3. My players actually quite regularly drop frag grenades at their own feet when surrounded by massive hordes. Its becoming almost a Codex tactic in our group.






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