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Female player and what to do?


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#1 computertrucker

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:56 AM

Ok so I am starting up my Deathwatch campaign coming this January. We are going to be playing online over Skype and using Fantasy Grounds Virtual Table Top. So far I have 3 possibly 4 of my friends playing and our 5th is one of our lady friends who has talked about possibly playing (she has played DnD with us) However she has no interest in playing a male character/Space Marine. She really doesnt know much about the universe and I have been talking to her alot about it lately and she is interested, she just doesnt care for the Marine part. I told her it might be possible to play a Xenos Inquisitor, but I would have to look into it.

So is this possible? I realize that in combat roles she would be very squishy, comparitevly. I told her as a comparison, Space Marines are many ways like Demi gods when compared to normal humans. So if it possible, what book do I need to get ? Was thinking of Dark Heresy. I toyed with the idea of Rogue Trader, however I dont think that would fit as well. I was thinking a Xenos Inquisitor would actually fit in Perfectly, I was thinking of her actually playing the roll of Liason (spelling?) and actually having her character play as a mission briefer. Where I would send her emails before games where they start missions with Intel reports along with images etc.. and let her brief the deathwatch group about what is going on in the area, and what the kill teams objectives are. Great for roleplaying.

However mechanically what book do i need? any suggestions/ideas? Thanks



#2 SomVone

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:24 AM

It's always tricky to do this kind of thing. A human built to DW levels will be less survivable, but will utterly dominate anything besides combat or the one or two areas the marines specialize in. You end up with everyone but the inquisitor doing all the fighting, and then bowing out for 90% of anything besides combat. You'll also end up with a weird power structure in the game, with one player essentially being the superior officer of the rest. Whether this would be a problem depends on your group.

There are really only two good options for people who don't want to play male characters. You can retcon the fluff so female space marines are a thing, and space marines do not require a Y chromosome to be made. They won't really be particularly female though, as the super restricted lifestyle of space marines would make any gender based differences unimportant.

You can also just, like the above example show off the heroic inhumanity of space marines, less strong macho dudes in power armor, and more inhuman post humans who sacrificed their humanity long ago in power armor. In short: space marines aren't really male either.

I lied about there being two options. You could also play a sister of battle who through some unique act of faith can replicate astartes combat abilities. Then just play a mechanical marine.

The hard thing here is having someone play a character who is not mechanically a DW character. You have to decide how squad and solo mode will work for them, and it's kind of like having someone play a commoner with 20x the skill points than normal. It's also a real pain the make DW level non-DW characters, which is important to keep in mind for anyone who doesn't really know the system.

If none of these ideas are workable, you could comeup with something on your own, or maybe Only War would suit your group better.

Thats my two cents.



#3 Alekzanter

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:33 AM

I think many people overlook the obvious in this scenario. Everyone goes to the Inquisitor for their answer.

Ascension is a wreck. Stay away from it.
My second recommendation would be to look into survivable careers. Tech-Priests, Explorators, Arch-Militants, all of these have access to Skills, Talents, Traits, and equipment that would make them far more survivable. Heck, even the Lidless Stare of a Navigator would be useful against a Horde of cultists or Fire Warriors.

Do you want someone to play an Inquisitor, a servant of the Imperium that can decide "Nope. We're not doing that Mission. I have a better idea…" and thus derailing your campaign? They do that, you know? Or, do you want someone playing an Inquisitor, a servant of the Imperium that is hamstrung and does everything the Kill Team does and is an Inquisitor in only name? Either example neuters the very spirit of an Inquisitor's purpose.

On the other hand, an Explorator, with interests in archaeotech, xenotech, or perhaps a Geneticist with an unhealthy fascination for the Xenos biology/physiology, makes more sense. The Rogue Trader Core Rules and many of its other supplements clearly show the characterization of an Arch-Militant as female, and I can speak from a GM's first-hand experience…those characters are pretty durable.

You friend could play a Gland Warrior (also Rogue Trader, outlined in the Into The Storm supplement).

If you really want to go the Ascension direction, there are Confessors, Storm Troopers, Vindicare Assassins (which uncounted GMs have lamented as being possibly the most "broken" PC career available).

The single biggest hitch in all of these is Armour and Wounds. Normal humans are lucky to get or surpass a total of 25, considering there are many other choices for Skills and Talents. Someone who's spent thousands of XP buying Sound Constitution has a pretty one-dimensional character. Normal humans have access to Power Armour, but the civilian models are nowhere near as protective as their Astartes counterparts. Civilian Power Armour can have its power source upgraded by the Forge-Masters of the Deathwatch, that's no biggie. The Apothecaries can't do the same for a human's physiology.

With Dark Heresy and The Lathe Worlds supplement you could have a Tech-Priest with comparable protection, weapons, and ability. But you would be looking at a Dark Heresy character that should rightfully be moving into the Ascension level of their Career (13k+ XP), and that doesn't even start to address this question: Are you willing to sit down, at great length, with this person while they build a multi-thousand XP Character from the ground up?

Or…

You could go with my first recommendation. Gender serves no purpose in the course of a Deathwatch game. Let her Play a Space Marine that is Female. Female Space Marines Would be no more likely to use their "feminine wiles" during the use of Interaction Skills than a Male Space Marine would attempt flirting. The idea of romance, intimacy, sex, procreation, lust, and physical desire are anathema to the Adeptus Astartes. So what, this particular Space Marine has boobs? Have you seen female body builders? Gross. If one of them wanted to "sex me up" I'd run until my legs fell off. If you (and your other players) can't hack the FSM angle, that's on you, not your lady friend. A Space Marine is a Space Marine. No one would be any more awed in the presence of a FSM than they would in the presence of a MSM.

You have a lady friend who wants to play in your game. Be a man, wear a pink shirt, and let her play a FSM. It's a game, not the end of the world.

 



#4 computertrucker

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:43 AM

Actually she said that the Space Marines didnt sound like her type of character to begin with.. Regardless if they were female or male.. She actually liked the sound of the Inquisitor better. LOL however when I told her of the Eldar while I was describing the universe she was like yep that sounds even better, I told her that wouldnt go over well though  with a bunch of Deathwatch alien hunting Marines haha.

Now question. I dont have Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader, I realize it says in DW that those characters would be need to be level 11+ to be equivalent to a Marine.. However then they come into play, and they are way overskilled in all other areas. Is it at all possible for a player to start off at level one from one of those other books and play along with level 1 marines? Its apparent that even at level 11+ they are not going to match up in survivability to a Space Marine. So why bother bumping them up so many levels?

I have told her by choosing not playing a Marine (which I described as practically demi gods) she will have a harder time in the combat situations. She seemed ok with that. I've also told her she would gain no benifits from The cohesion and group abilities, as she is not a Marine. I explained how that system worked somewhat.

Like I said she is new to the 40k universe as in like completely new. However she is a great Roleplayer, and the balance in combat power thing doesnt seem to phase her much.

Now she does like Rogues or Rangers in DnD.. The inquisitor just seemed like it would be a perfect fit. I have described to her that Inquisitors in many ways have more political power than the Marines. However the Astartes are looked upon in Reverence, Awe, and even many times fear. That the Inquisitors that work with the Astartes are not really above them, but work in tandem with them. That respect is given both ways. In some situations she would have more influence, and in some areas the Marines would.



#5 Adeptus-B

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

Fluff-wise, an Inquisitor makes the most sense; if you don't what to deal with the potential disruptions of 'command structure' which that might create, an Interrogator attached to the Killteam as an 'advisor', giving the Killteam the benefit of her extensive knowledge of xenomorphs while serving as the Inquisitor's 'eyes and ears' in the field (maybe the Inquisitor is too old/disabled to be able to go on missions himself?) is a viable alternative.

That said, if your player doesn't want to play a male, I think the odds are pretty good she won't like the ultra-combat-heavy style of Deathwatch regardless of what gender her character is. Have you considered playing one of the other WH40KRP games?



#6 computertrucker

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:38 PM

We have a great Sci Fi game that we all love.. (Shadowrun) Everyone is really pumped to play Marines (minus her). However she is intrigued by the universe after I have been talking to her about it.

If we were to play a less combat intensive game we would just stick to Shadowrun. Now dont get me wrong Shadowrun can have some serious firefights 8)



#7 Kasatka

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:07 AM

This topic comes up constantly and brews lots of resentment on both sides of the argument but your options are thus:
1) she plays a space marine anyway, because gender is irrelevant to what they are.
2) she plays a character from one of the other 40k RP lines. This option means you either give her access to, and skills in many things the marines cant do, or she just sucks in comparison and wont have fun. Either route tends to derail the game completely.

3)You change the fluff and say there are female marines. Honestly this option is the easiest, but if gender is such a big deal then you have bigger issues at hand.

Finally if that doesn't work then maybe accept that said female gamer just isnt interested in playing deathwatch. From experience, the female gamers i both play with and run games for prefer dark heresy and rogue trader.


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#8 Zappiel

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:01 AM

heyy, if she plays Shadowrun, she can handle combat!  My two cents:  i personally would shoehorn a character from one of the other 40k rpgs into yer DeathWatch game for her (inquisitor, experienced acolyte, arch-militant, etc)…..but, as you do not have these games, i'd go with a Sister of Battle, simplified (for DW use) by just having her make a marine character from a 'chapter' made up by yerself.  Cohesion etc. would either be penalized or completely out of the question for her character.  Mechanically, keep her character pretty much the same as the other marines; however, in role playing terms there are worlds of differences that you and she may exploit.  (and, indeed, you should exploit these differences, as it sounds like she's after something a little different from just another marine.)   (i s'pose you cold also do the same thing and, instead of battle sister, say it's an inquisitor…an inquisitor with some kick to it).  Whatever you do, it'll take a bit of extra effort; but ought to pay off.



#9 FieserMoep

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:34 AM

I go with Kasatkas last statement.

The problem is, that any special treatment will ultimately change the way Deathwatch is meant to be played/feeled. Either in Roleplay as in Balance aspect. To let her play an Inquisitor gives her to much power. Nobody that is new to the Fluff can play or even understand the beeing of an Inquisitor without reading lots of stuff. You are literaly giving a newbie enough power to crush your entire campaign. Do not make this mistake.

A Character from another Line like DH as an Interrogator (Adept?) might give er alot of usefull skills in knowledge and lore but makes her realy squishy. On the other hand she would not break the game (combat) balance by playing a psyker or assassin on this high level or even a Vindicare or Primaris that will show the Astartes that they are useless crap in comparsion. If you follow this the character would be a completly support orientated member of the group. No cohasion, no fancy modes. Just for the sake of roleplay and some investigation, though if you campaign is planned to board numbers of space hulks she will have no fun. But if it is an investigation roleplay Dark Heresy would suit better because Astartes are fighters, warriors and soldiers. Not some kind of detectives in power armor.

After all, I dont think she would enjoy a DW group. Itis combat oriantated, most of its roleplay happens between the "bromance" astartes that are devine warriors, chosen to fight the greates enemies known to mankind. This game is about a Team of sworn brothers that enter the battlefield against all odds and survive by faith, skill and the brother on their side.



#10 breez

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

This supplement from the dark heresy support page will give you stats for a 'starting' inquisitor. I would recommend adding Forbidden lore (Xenos) + peer deathwatch) as well. I think all int and fellow ship skills should be cheap for your player.

http://www.fantasyfl...web-quality.pdf

For survivability, you can give a best quality power armour and a Rosarius. Rules for the Rosarius vary, but I have it reduce all incoming ranged damage by 2D10. Damage output will be limited compared to the big guys.



#11 FieserMoep

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:57 AM

So the advice is to give a player that is complete new to the fluff an inquisitor PC that is among the most powerfull individuals of the entire imperium just to integrate her somehow into the game? Okay…


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#12 Inquisitor Leet

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:31 PM

Perhaps it's the way the question is phrased, but from what I understand about your post is that this isn't about gender at all, rather it's looking at alternative option to playing a space marine. What in particular did she dislike? If it's a perception of a lack of roleplaying potential there are numerous complex social encounters the DW could navigate when cleanse and purify isn't an option(heresey alert).

Another alternative to space marines would be playing an agent of the Inquisition though not a full inquisitor. Interrogators, powerful death cult assassins, sanctioned psykers of great strength or other field agents could be assigned to be the eyes and ears of an inquisitor though not necessarily the mouth. I could see some inquisitors wanting an operative that's less dogmatic and more outside the box than marines(though that varies a lot depending on the chapters involved in the kill-team)

Crunch wise I'd echo using rogue trader classes for a less puny human. You could even try reskinning black crusade where gifts of chaos are diving blessings from the emperor(or are they?!). That game has the option of a mix of marines and humans, though I havent played it so I can't say how well it'd port over.

-Inquisitor Leet


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#13 Cryhavok

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 12:57 PM

    Give her a sister of battle, or one of the varients of the adeptus sororitas. In many cases your marines will thank the emperor she is there. The dark heresey book Blood of Martyrs has complete rules on how awesome they can be with thier faith powers.

Also Consider NOT raising her XP level to the same point as the marines. My group is currently running a cross system game and that is essentially what we do. Yes the marines start stronger in combat, but, especially as a sister, she won't be useless. Give her more than starting but I would only give her 3-4 levels of xp. I would also give her the same acquisition rules as the marines use, but with sisters of battle stuff instead of astartes stuff. This makes her fairly powerful, if not quite as tough as a marine, but also leaves her character plenty of room to grow. As I know I would get extremely bored if I started with everything I wanted on my sheet already. Also speaking from experience the disparity between power levels allows for far more heroic action from the mere mortal, and I have seen them step up to the challenge. It made for some great gaming.

Also:

I ran a game once where a marine was aproached by an inquisiter and was told I need you to keep track of my experiment. He was then given the controler for the bomb collar around the neck of the orc mechboy that was standing next to the inquisitor. By sanction of said inquisitor the marine player was placed in charge of the experiment: the orc player. They had an "argument" so the orc understood who was boss, but all in all both players were happy, and it provided much fodder for the amusement of everyone. I highly reccomend orcs with bomb collars paired up with your marines, its lotsa fun. Along those same lines you could introduce a dark eldar with a bomb collar, or make up rules for an eldar (wish they would hurry up and release eldar and tau systems).

 And finally:

Its cool that it is not about female marines. That whole situation is as retarded as toilet seats. One side wants things all special for them and refuses to fit in with the group, and the other side thinks some little thing is sooo important that they can't alter it to fit the group… Both sides of that argument need some therapy.



#14 Lynata

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:22 AM

In my opinion, a Sister of Battle using Dark Heresy rules would just become a "buff-*****" (to use MMO lingo) for the rest of the team, ultimately too limited by poor rules and equipment to have her own moments. This has to do with FFG's version of Battle Sisters being (a) shoehorned into a different game where she had to be balanced against classes such as smalltime criminals, semi-civilian scribes and space FBI agents, and (b) FFG's version of Space Marines featuring a massively increased power gap compared to normal humans so as to make the game experience "more epic" (think of a movie like 300). Such a character would be able to "step up to the challenge" if it was supported by rules closer to how they were originally envisioned to work, but the way things currently stand I just don't believe it would fly in this P&P. Even just creating a Sister using Marine rules would be better than this, for in this case the character would actually have a good chance at damaging the same hard-to-beat enemies (some of which will be plain invulnerable to DH's "civilian" weapons), thus actually feeling useful in battle.

Unless, of course, the player in question would actually enjoy being limited to essentially play the supporting cast, having to be protected by the Marines like the pictoral damsel in distress whilst occasionally dishing out Space Magic miracles that let her Astartes companions fight even better. There are people like that. Then again, as has been pointed out, this doesn't seem to be an issue with gender but rather personal preferences. If the player dislikes Space Marines for their style, chances are she would dislike Battle Sisters just as much (regardless of the rules used), for they share a fairly similar lifestyle, just with added religious fanatism.

Ultimately, I think Kasatka nailed it. Also, judging by OP's posts, the player in question is someone who doesn't like Marines but is interested in 40k as a general setting, which sounds like a group conflict rooted in which of FFG's RPGs to play - with everyone but her excited to play Deathwatch, whilst this gamer would seem to enjoy Dark Heresy or (better yet) Rogue Trader a whole lot more. In essence, you've got a bunch of male players who can't wait to play combat-focused characters in a combat-focused game, whereas one female player has no problem with the occasional fight but ultimately wants "more" from a game, similar to Shadowrun sessions that also involve lots of legwork, planning, hacking, diplomacy et cetera.

Perhaps you could try to run a Deathwatch game that isn't that combat-heavy and also has segments heavy on character interaction and suspenseful investigation of potential xenos activities, and assure her of this beforehand. Explain the possibilities and describe the different Space Marine Chapters; I'm sure there are some that could pique her interest (especially those who aren't all about Rawr Battle but rather have some knightly theme or a tragic backstory going on). Perhaps she'll get around and play an Astartes after all, if you can just convince her that it won't be like a game of Duke Nukem with dice?



#15 Zappiel

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:10 PM

a thought just occurred to me while reading lynata's post:  give her a rogue trader to play with.  She's the captain of the ship used to ferry the marines to various warzones.  A lot more work for the gm, but this will give you a vast canvass for all sorts of gamestyles.  And, she doesn't hafta take any crap from the marines, as she'd be a peer of the imperium and at the very least an equal to the astartes politically.  She could (if desired) play various members of her crew for the more combaty missions alongside the marines (archmilitant or somesuch).



#16 Kasatka

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:40 AM

Zappiel said:

a thought just occurred to me while reading lynata's post:  give her a rogue trader to play with.  She's the captain of the ship used to ferry the marines to various warzones.  A lot more work for the gm, but this will give you a vast canvass for all sorts of gamestyles.  And, she doesn't hafta take any crap from the marines, as she'd be a peer of the imperium and at the very least an equal to the astartes politically.  She could (if desired) play various members of her crew for the more combaty missions alongside the marines (archmilitant or somesuch).

Except that any Rogue Trader worth their Warrant would NOT venture forth on the same missions as Astartes they were somehow forced to ferry to a mission zone. I mean if you are running the standard setting of Deathwatch then itd have to be a particularly powerful trader Dynasty to get access through the warp gate to the area… then for the Deathwatch to be requiring 3rd party transportation… and then expecting the Rogue Trader to go on the missions too…

Overall if you absolutely must throw in characters from another setting then my money would be on Only War guardsmen. They are classes and so can be created to represent any number of Imperial fighters such as guardsmen, penal legions, milita, pdf, arbites or even chapter serfs! And unlike Dark Heresy they don't break the game by being overwhelmingly good at what the marines suck at (social situations, infiltration of societies that are aware of Space Marines).


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#17 Zappiel

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

egad, good sir!  you missed the last line in me previous post……and the Inquisition can order anyone to do anything (especially if they have a kill team with them….)  - if the Inquisition wants to hide an active kill team on an innoccuous tradeship, and have that tradeship perform secret, desperate, vital, (lucrative) jobs on their behalf, why not?  This was the basic premise of our group's first foray into adventure (inquisition investigating Haarlock et al, supported last Haarlock sion to aid in his recovery of heretical/xeno/warp tech, etc etc).  Obviously, a lot of work for the gm, as this is not the standard DW campaign (more like a RT campaign, with space marines); but it IS doable, and provides a lot of character and adventure options.

I can't speak to yer point about OW as i've not read it and don't know yet how it stacks up alongside the others; but it sounds like a fine idea (so long as guard-boy doesn't feel too puny beside the Angels of Death…lottsa good roleplay potential).



#18 Lynata

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

Kasatka said:

Overall if you absolutely must throw in characters from another setting then my money would be on Only War guardsmen. They are classes and so can be created to represent any number of Imperial fighters such as guardsmen, penal legions, milita, pdf, arbites or even chapter serfs! And unlike Dark Heresy they don't break the game by being overwhelmingly good at what the marines suck at (social situations, infiltration of societies that are aware of Space Marines).

I'm not sure if it would truly be a solution to have the Marines "break the game" for the Guardsman by simply doing everything better. At least with a high-powered Inquisitor or a similar character, the player would have her own moments instead of being an add-on to the team that just cannot get anything done.

Granted, it's not a very good style for the game as it basically segments the session into "Marine stuff" and "stuff for that other character", but this way there would at least be something for everyone. Not that I actually think that things like "social situations" or incognito infiltration etc would happen all that often in a game of Deathwatch, mind you. Teams who get stuck with trying to solve such tasks should perhaps ask themselves whether they might not be better off with one of the other 40k games.

Also, this goes back to the player's actual issue. If OP's friend does not want a combat-centric character, then suggesting a Guardsman is just as helpful as suggesting to play an ordinary Marine in the first place. Which I still think is an option, though - the GM just needs to ensure and promise that it won't be 100% bolterporn. Maybe she'll bite. :)

If not … worst case, you have to see that you can't make everyone happy. If the majority of the group agrees they want such a strong focus on combat - as was implied - then the female player either has to drop out for the duration of the campaign, or suck it up and try to have fun even with a character and a game that does not inherently interest her that much. It's still a social event between friends, after all, and that may be its own reward.

 

And I still think an Inquisitor would be the most obvious choice for a non-Astartes character, if it absolutely has to be one. Those are the guys (and gals) who lead Deathwatch kill-teams in GW's fluff all the time, after all - and even though FFG opted for a different relationship, Ordo Xenos Inquisitors could still accompany a DW kill-team as allies, valued for their expertise on the subject. Just give her Astartes-grade guns and armour. She'll still be way more squishy than the others (so the Marines may have to shield her), but aside from at least dishing out equal ranged damage she could compensate her lack of resilience by solving a couple riddles along the way. This way you could keep the focus on combat and still give that player what she's looking for. Just grant her a moment or two on her own where she can examine Xenos artifacts and stuff like that - maybe even simultaneous to a separate task for the other characters, such as defending the ground against approaching enemies until the Inquisitor is done.
This principle works in all the other games that have more varied character classes; I don't see why it should not be possible in Deathwatch, despite the RAW's innate obstacles.



#19 Adeptus-B

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

We're putting too much effort into this. Here is the relevant part of the intitial question:

computertrucker said:

… However she has no interest in playing a … Space Marine. She really doesnt know much about the universe and I have been talking to her alot about it lately and she is interested, she just doesnt care for the Marine part…

If she doesn't want to play a Space Marine, then she doesn't want to play Deathwatch, plain and simple.



#20 Zappiel

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:13 AM

adeptus, you didn't read something in that quote you, erm, quoted:  "…she's interested…"

Me thinks the girl is interested….she just wants to play something with more elan and style than a hulking murderous goon….that's not a bad thing!






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