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Making a Tau homebrew?


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#1 Plushy

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:18 PM

 I'm on a bit of a homebrew binge. Many of 40k's factions fit into the Black Crusade power level (Marines, Dark Eldar, and I made my Eldar rules for it) with Only War seemingly only fitting humanity. However, there is another low-power faction; the Tau Empire.

 

We have brave Fire Warriors rushing into battle with their fierce auxillery allies (the Kroot, Demiurg, Vespid, Nicassar, and Tarellians) at their sides. The technical Earth caste, diplomatic Water caste, and aerial Air caste would all be easy to build. The armor we'd be dealing with isn't much grander than Guard flak, and their structure is much the same (infantry with rifles and pistols, heavier support from gunships and tanks) so why not build this?

Would anyone be interested in this?

 

 


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#2 Andor

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 12:51 AM

Well Kroot are already kitted out in RT, but it wouldn't be too hard to port them over, although you'ld have to decide on the power level you want them at.

Personally I think party balance is an over-rated concept in game design, although party survivability is a particular bugaboo in the 40k line. In every game I've been in a few characters have been so tough (Chaos Space Marines, Orcs) that in order for the GM to actually hurt them at all he has to employ foes capable of one-shotting the squishier members of the party.

So if someone in your Tau campaign had a battle suit (or Kroot?) it would up the stakes for the rest of the party.

But yeah, sounds like fun, go for it. Share with the rest of us.



#3 Musclewizard

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:17 AM

Andor said:

Well Kroot are already kitted out in RT, but it wouldn't be too hard to port them over, although you'ld have to decide on the power level you want them at.

Personally I think party balance is an over-rated concept in game design, although party survivability is a particular bugaboo in the 40k line. In every game I've been in a few characters have been so tough (Chaos Space Marines, Orcs) that in order for the GM to actually hurt them at all he has to employ foes capable of one-shotting the squishier members of the party.

So if someone in your Tau campaign had a battle suit (or Kroot?) it would up the stakes for the rest of the party.

But yeah, sounds like fun, go for it. Share with the rest of us.

I'd imagine a Tau battle suit to be similar to a Vehicle in Only War. I'd really love to see a Tau homebrew or even official rules for them though.



#4 Kasatka

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:43 AM

Musclewizard said:

Andor said:

 

Well Kroot are already kitted out in RT, but it wouldn't be too hard to port them over, although you'ld have to decide on the power level you want them at.

Personally I think party balance is an over-rated concept in game design, although party survivability is a particular bugaboo in the 40k line. In every game I've been in a few characters have been so tough (Chaos Space Marines, Orcs) that in order for the GM to actually hurt them at all he has to employ foes capable of one-shotting the squishier members of the party.

So if someone in your Tau campaign had a battle suit (or Kroot?) it would up the stakes for the rest of the party.

But yeah, sounds like fun, go for it. Share with the rest of us.

 

 

I'd imagine a Tau battle suit to be similar to a Vehicle in Only War. I'd really love to see a Tau homebrew or even official rules for them though.

There currently exist stats for nearly all Tau stuff in Deathwatch and its supplements… should be easy enough to port them over.

Also Tau are far from 'low-powered'. I'd put them with Eldar and Dark Eldar in the 'slightly better than basic human forces (Guard, Sisters, Inquisitorial forces minus Grey Knights)' camp.


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#5 Plushy

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 05:38 AM

 Alright then. Give me a handful of days.

 

Fire Warrior, Pathfinder, Kroot, Vespid, Nicassar, Demiurg, and maybe a Tarellian… Any other ideas?


My apologies to anyone I offend; FFG staff, playtesters, and forum users alike. 

 

Please check out my Dark Heresy to Only War conversion! You can find it on the main Only War forum. I'm always looking for more people to playtest it!


#6 JuankiMan

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:11 AM

I'd say:

Fire Caste Shas'la

Fire Caste Shas'ui (unit commander)

Fire Caste Pathfinder

Fire Caste Battlesuit Operator

Earth Caste Technician

Water Caste Diplomat

Air Caste Pilot

Kroot Carnivore

Vespid Stingwing

Demiurg Surveyor

 

I wouldn't include the Nicassar or the Tarellians. The Nicassar are used for deep-space exploration and are described as very unfit for ground operations and the Tau Empire is also trying to keep their very existence a secret, and the Tarellian seem to be more mercenaries that only have in common with the Tau their mutual opposition to the Imperium rather than actual allies.



#7 Kasatka

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:54 AM

JuankiMan said:

I'd say:

Fire Caste Shas'la

Fire Caste Shas'ui (unit commander)

Fire Caste Pathfinder

Fire Caste Battlesuit Operator

Earth Caste Technician

Water Caste Diplomat

Air Caste Pilot

Kroot Carnivore

Vespid Stingwing

Demiurg Surveyor

 

I wouldn't include the Nicassar or the Tarellians. The Nicassar are used for deep-space exploration and are described as very unfit for ground operations and the Tau Empire is also trying to keep their very existence a secret, and the Tarellian seem to be more mercenaries that only have in common with the Tau their mutual opposition to the Imperium rather than actual allies.

As has already been said, those two races aren't really suitable for PC options and i would remove the following too:

Vespid - Only the strain leaders are able to use the tech to communicate with tau, and they only give them that tech so that they have units of Vespid at their disposal. You either end up with a PC accompanied by dozens of Vespid, or completely breaking the canon and so either way it's not suitable.

Battlesuit Operator - Far too powerful for a starting class. Indeed the very fiction says that firewarriors ascend the ranks until they essentially become a commander's veterans and bodyguards - what we see in the tabletop as battlesuit pilots. By all means battlesuits could be included but should be part of the natural progression of very high level unit commanders or an alternate rank with Gm permission for regular firewarriors.

 

That cuts the list down to

Firewarrior: a straight up combat class

Unit Commander: a leadership class

Pathfinder: a stealthy, sniper/scout class

Kroot: an also stealthy, more melee centric class

Earth caste technician: a tech centric utility class

Air caste pilot: a vehicle based pilot class

Water caste diplomat: a social support class

Demiurg surveyor: a bit of a wildcard but could allow for some unique support options

and my own final addition…

Human Auxiliary: another combat class, but with a bit more versatility than a firewarrior

9 classes, with a good mix of part complementing options. Nobody should be getting battlesuits or rail rifles and the like at start, so well balanced and with plenty to work towards.

I'd see games focusing on smaller Tau expeditionary forces, far from supply lines that are forced to make greater usage of their allied and mercenary support options.

 


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Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.


#8 JuankiMan

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:15 AM

Forgetting about the Gue'Vesa Auxiliary was a big oversight on my part 

However, I don't see how a Crisis Battlesuit is more unbalanced than a Leman Russ main battle tank, but if party balance is an issue, he might start in an Eclipse Stealth suit, which is smaller and much less heavily armed and armored.



#9 Gavinfoxx

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:45 AM

Just saying, I would totally play this.  Would it be an "OW" sort of theme, though?  Which of the games would work best with a small, independent Tau expeditionary force?



#10 Gavinfoxx

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:29 PM

Also, looking at that crew… is anyone else seeing "You got your Star Trek into my Warhammer 40K! You got your Warhammer 40K into my Star Trek!"

Really.  A multi race, multi-species, multi-gendered bridge crew of a very high tech, clean looking, clean lined, bright space ship, with a crew more likely to be in the hundreds than the tens of thousands, which has a hot shot pilot, an absurdly competent engineer, a tribal warrior kind of guy, a guy of the race that is nominally considered the backwards enemy, and a ship's counselor?  And they go on away missions?  Seeing shades of Voyager and TNG here…



#11 Andor

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:38 PM

I dunno. Tau aren't really Prime Directive types. With the Greater Good thing it's more like a small band trying to bring order to a chaotic and hostile universe.

Which is actually pretty close to Andromeda, at least the first few seasons before Kevin Sorbeau took over behind the scenes and sucked 150 IQ points out of the show.



#12 Gavinfoxx

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:45 PM

And Star Trek wasn't Prime Directive type either.

Really, that was abandoned as often as the plot dictated.

Do Tau ships have much fewer people in them than Imperium ships? Being more automated and such?



#13 JuankiMan

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 12:22 PM

Gavinfoxx said:

Do Tau ships have much fewer people in them than Imperium ships? Being more automated and such?

Undoubtedly. Tau rely a lot more on automation than the Imperium and most likely most of it's security detail will consist on unmanned drones. Still, they're not like eldar ghostships, which are almost deserted.



#14 Plushy

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 12:56 PM

Fire Warrior: Built around using his Pulse Rifle/Carbine and Photon Grenades as effectively as possible. Flak armour.

Pathfinder: Stealth abilities, Markerlights and Rail Rifle. Flak armour.

Earth-caste Technician: Not sure how to handle this guy. Any tips?

Air-caste Pilot: Seems a little niche for regular play.

Water-caste Diplomat: A reskinned Adept?

Kroot: Built to be sneaky and good at seeing things, plus brutal in a melee. Potentially has Unnatural stats?

 

The Nicassar could be our psyker with some Navigate abilities, but fluff seems to oppose that. A shame; there's art of them as squidheads, and I adore that.

Vespid need to be Strain Leaders, which kinda sucks. Probably not building them yet.

Question on Kroot Shapers; are they Psykers? Could that justify being a separate Spec?

Tarellians are my favorite xenos in all of 40k. Ideas for them?


My apologies to anyone I offend; FFG staff, playtesters, and forum users alike. 

 

Please check out my Dark Heresy to Only War conversion! You can find it on the main Only War forum. I'm always looking for more people to playtest it!


#15 Woodclaw

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:02 PM

Plushy said:

Earth-caste Technician: Not sure how to handle this guy. Any tips?

I think that the Techpriest can be a good term of comparison. Granted the Earth-caste is likely to be less belligerant and more geared toward controlling drones, but I think that there should be a reasonable degree of similarity.

Plushy said:

The Nicassar could be our psyker with some Navigate abilities, but fluff seems to oppose that. A shame; there's art of them as squidheads, and I adore that.

Vespid need to be Strain Leaders, which kinda sucks. Probably not building them yet.

Question on Kroot Shapers; are they Psykers? Could that justify being a separate Spec?

Tarellians are my favorite xenos in all of 40k. Ideas for them?

I can't speak about the other xenos, but the shapers aren't psykers, at least not in the general sense of the word. As far as I know (which isn't very far) their ability to select DNA strands comes from the Kroot unique biology, not from a psychic power. From what I recall their ability is similar to the Astartes ability to extract informations by eating an enemy's flesh.



#16 Musclewizard

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:07 PM

Plushy said:

Earth-caste Technician: Not sure how to handle this guy. Any tips?

Air-caste Pilot: Seems a little niche for regular play.

Water-caste Diplomat: A reskinned Adept?

Kroot: Built to be sneaky and good at seeing things, plus brutal in a melee. Potentially has Unnatural stats?

 

The Nicassar could be our psyker with some Navigate abilities, but fluff seems to oppose that. A shame; there's art of them as squidheads, and I adore that.

Vespid need to be Strain Leaders, which kinda sucks. Probably not building them yet.

Question on Kroot Shapers; are they Psykers? Could that justify being a separate Spec?

Tarellians are my favorite xenos in all of 40k. Ideas for them?

The Earth-Caste Technician could get some device that allows him to control Drones for combat purposes.
The Water-Caste Dipolmate could be handled like a RT Seneschal.
Kroots are done in RT and seem to work fine there. They get easy access to stealth and perception, going so far as (to start with?) Unnatural Perception.
Kroot Shapers are also handled in RT but I can't recall a lot about them, I think they are an alternative rank for Kroot but thats about it.
I'm not sure how fragile Vespides really are but maybe the Strain Leader could be handled sort of like a Sergeant but with more than one Comrade though I doubt that would work all that well.

I have no idea who or what Nicassar or Tarellians are.



#17 JuankiMan

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:20 PM

Plushy said:

 

Fire Warrior: Built around using his Pulse Rifle/Carbine and Photon Grenades as effectively as possible. Flak armour.

Pathfinder: Stealth abilities, Markerlights and Rail Rifle. Flak armour.

Earth-caste Technician: Not sure how to handle this guy. Any tips?

Air-caste Pilot: Seems a little niche for regular play.

Water-caste Diplomat: A reskinned Adept?

Kroot: Built to be sneaky and good at seeing things, plus brutal in a melee. Potentially has Unnatural stats?

 

The Nicassar could be our psyker with some Navigate abilities, but fluff seems to oppose that. A shame; there's art of them as squidheads, and I adore that.

Vespid need to be Strain Leaders, which kinda sucks. Probably not building them yet.

Question on Kroot Shapers; are they Psykers? Could that justify being a separate Spec?

Tarellians are my favorite xenos in all of 40k. Ideas for them?

 

 

Fire Warriors should have carapace. Fire Warrior armour is 4+ in the TT.

Pathfinders should have pulse carbines with underslung grenade launchers. A rail rifle is an absolute beast that would make the rest of the squad's weapons almost obsolete and therefore should be something to aspire to, not equipment given at char-gen.

Earth Caste are not fighters at all, and therefore I wouldn't give them any combat related Aptitudes. Maybe Agility or Srength, Intelligence, Perception, Fellowship, Tech and Knowledge. Give them some kind of toolset, a pulse pistol and a flak vest.

Should be like the IG operator. If the squad includes a Devilfish transport, a Piranna support craft or a Hammerhead grav tank he'll be useful, otherwise his usefulness is limited.

The Diplomat should be built around social interaction more than academic knowledge, so Fellowship and Social are an absolute must.

Kroot have Unnatural Strength and Perception. Exact numbers are not given in BC and OW, but I'd say (2) each.

Nicassar have no place on the ground if you follow the fluff.

Vespid, as has been pointed out, would be completely unable to communicate with the rest of the squad unless they had a Communion Helm. It would be unfluffy, but then again so is an Ogryn, Ratling or Storm Trooper in an infantry squad. However, you'd have to decide wether or not the Helm is actually a mind control device as it has been hinted at in the fluff.

Kroot shapers are not psykers. In fact, Kroot are a completely non-psychic race, though unlike the Tau they do have shadows in the Warp. A Kroot shaper would be like an Imperial Guard Colonel. Something to aspire to, not something to start as.

Funny you like Tarellians so much when there is so little info of them. I only became aware of their existance through this very thread. Info of them is scarce to say the least, so I have absolutely no idea how they could be represented.



#18 Plushy

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:21 PM

 Drones could be problematic. When it's just a pair of Twin-Linked Pulse Carbines, then that's easy enough… but a lot of Drones can mount heavy weapons, sniper rifles, or generate force fields. Overall, Tau weapons are more powerful while the Tau themselves aren't much better than Guardsmen, but that's a bit much.

 

Nicassar are secret Tau auxilleries. They're a psyker race who love exploration, and are known to largely stay within their ships.

Tarellians are a tough mercenary race. The Imperium virus-bombed their homeworld so now they hate humans, and often sell themselves to the Tau Empire.


My apologies to anyone I offend; FFG staff, playtesters, and forum users alike. 

 

Please check out my Dark Heresy to Only War conversion! You can find it on the main Only War forum. I'm always looking for more people to playtest it!


#19 Musclewizard

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:33 PM

Plushy said:

 Drones could be problematic. When it's just a pair of Twin-Linked Pulse Carbines, then that's easy enough… but a lot of Drones can mount heavy weapons, sniper rifles, or generate force fields.

How about handling Drones a bit like Weapon Training? Like there's Operate(Drones) and then there's Drone Weapon Training (Pulse Carbines), DWT (Rail Rifle), DWT (Whatever) or splitting it into Drone Types similar to Mechadendrites Drone Training (Gun Drone), Drone Training (Heavy Gun Drone), Drone Traing (Marker Drone) etc…

There should also be some limit to how many Drones you can control at the same time. It should probably start with one and maybe a bit more later that depends both on the fluff and on the balance aspect of it all. I'm also not sure about the autonomy of Tau-Drones. Can you just "send em out" and their AI will do its thing or do you have to be "wired in" similar to controlling a puppet?



#20 Plushy

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:47 PM

Musclewizard said:

Plushy said:

 

 Drones could be problematic. When it's just a pair of Twin-Linked Pulse Carbines, then that's easy enough… but a lot of Drones can mount heavy weapons, sniper rifles, or generate force fields.

 

How about handling Drones a bit like Weapon Training? Like there's Operate(Drones) and then there's Drone Weapon Training (Pulse Carbines), DWT (Rail Rifle), DWT (Whatever) or splitting it into Drone Types similar to Mechadendrites Drone Training (Gun Drone), Drone Training (Heavy Gun Drone), Drone Traing (Marker Drone) etc…

There should also be some limit to how many Drones you can control at the same time. It should probably start with one and maybe a bit more later that depends both on the fluff and on the balance aspect of it all. I'm also not sure about the autonomy of Tau-Drones. Can you just "send em out" and their AI will do its thing or do you have to be "wired in" similar to controlling a puppet?

 

Hmm. That could work.

 

They are little AI fellas and can tag along on their own, or link up with others and make an independent squad.


My apologies to anyone I offend; FFG staff, playtesters, and forum users alike. 

 

Please check out my Dark Heresy to Only War conversion! You can find it on the main Only War forum. I'm always looking for more people to playtest it!





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