Our group has been playing a Death Watch campaign for a while now that doesn't have any Space Marines in it. We wanted to play a military campaign but everyone wanted to play Battle Sisters. Therefore we adopted the following conventions to generate the game. I thought I'd share them in case anyone else wanted to try this.
Campaign uses the Jericho Reach - Acheros salient as the main setting. Instead of the Ordo Xenos, we used the Ordo Hereticus as the higher command. We kept the Battle Sisters from the same order so as to avoid any cohesion issues. It also seemed appropriate given the background.
Adepta Sororitas Kill Team: [We used the following character types as PC] Battle Sister – Palatine (Ascended character and team leader) Battle Sister – Seraphim (Strike Specialist) Battle Sister – Celestian (Assault Specialist) Battle Sister – Dominion (Weapon Specialist) Battle Sister – Retributor (Heavy Weapons) (Sister Repentia)
Support Personnel: [NPC attachments or possible player characters with GM approval] Sister Hospitaller (players love this as an NPC attachment) Sister Dialogous (likely limited in a combat oriented campaign) Sister Famulous (likely limited in a combat oriented campaign) Inquisitor – Ordo Hereticus (would direct team through Palatine)
Additional Assets: [available to team on request as per influence rules] Arco-flagellants Penitent Engines Redemptionist Cadres Ministorum Clergy
Game Mechanics: Use Blood of Martyrs and Ascension rules for Battle Sisters and faith powers. Use Death Watch rules for campaign and hordes. Psychic rules should not be an issue as only NPC or enemies have them. Use the Death Watch psychic rules for these. Cohesion and Individual/Squad Mode rules are not used. Players should vote who will be the Palatine for the team. (Sororitas are far more regimented than Death Watch and so have an established chain of command. The Palatine will always be the team leader.) All characters start with 1400xp. All characters can use the Palatine characteristic advances to Master level. Palatine uses the Palatine ascended class from Ascension. All other characters use the Battle Sister Class from Blood of Martyrs, except as modified below. Characters may choose either Seraphim or Celestian as their specialist class, but not both. This counts as a bonus rank level and does not replace a normal one. Instead of Seraphim or Celestian, characters may choose to be either Dominions or Retributors and gain the benefit indicated below. Dominion: Gains the “Bolter Mastery” special ability from Death Watch Tactical Marine. As an elite advance, she can apply the same benefit to flamers or melta-guns. Each type of weapon requires a separate elite advance. She starts with a good quality SOB Bolter and may requisition a storm bolter or flamer or melt-gun as per rules. She may not requisition heavy weapons. Retributor: Gains the “Immovable Warrior” special ability from Death Watch Devastator Marine. The “Unrelenting Destruction” special ability (ignore Squad Mode restriction) can be gained as an elite advance at GM discretion. She starts with a good quality Heavy Bolter and may requisition a Multi-melta or Heavy Flamer as per rules. GM should restrict access to non-heavy weapons other than SOB Bolters, as this is not her role.
Sister Repentia: This should not be a starting character class. The GM should “award” this class where it is appropriate due to game play. Once taken, this is the only class the character can have and the only character advances they can take. Duty until death!
Influence/Requisition for equipment: This is the biggest fudge in combining the systems and the GM is going to have to make their own adaptations. As a guide; allow the team free access to standard SOB weapon types but set prerequisites for non-standard weapons and relics. Use the influence system from Ascension as the default, with the team going through the Palatine (or Inquisitor) to get their equipment.
Mission Themes: [use the Death Watch mission format] • Purge the heretics • Destroy the Chaos forces • Return the sinner for punishment • Save the devout • Recover the relic • Protect the shrine • Bolster the faith • Escort the church dignitary Battle Sisters don’t fight for glory or renown, they fight for duty and faith. Therefore, instead of Renown Points, consider awarding “Faith Points” for deeds accomplished during missions. These are like Fate Points but can only be used for activating Faith Talents (and so can be spent or burnt accordingly). Be conservative with these awards as faith talents are powerful and their use should be restricted.
Vehicles: Use the vehicle rules from Rites of Battle with Rhino & Razorback representing SOB Rhino and Immolator (substitute twin linked Heavy Flamers or Multi-meltas on Razorback).
This has worked really well so far, as there are well over 50,000 XP worth of advances in the Battle Sister career path for the players to spend their XP on. This covers them up to Rank 16 and they have compared favourably with Space Marines power wise. As everyone is using pretty much the same list, there has been no real power distortions. As GM I have found it easy to set challenges using the enemies (and sometimes allies) from Death Watch.
I hope this is of some use to people.