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cpteveros

Dead Sergeant's New Character

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I can mostly agree with that; of the games in the line, RT and DW are the two I would most enjoy playing, partly because of the snowflake syndrome, and partly because of the scope. I DO like OW, on many levels, and like I said, I believe I could enjoy at least playing a Heavy, a Sergeant, something with Commander, if the GM is using those, or some such. I just don't agree with them having one game where all the "snowflakes" are absent. Your average Guardsman cannot hope to fathom tech, because the Tech Priests don't allow it, so they had better not need to do anything more than patch a vehicle, or disassemble a gun. I'm not a big fan of Storm Troopers, Commissars, Ogryns, Ratlings, or Priests, but they are the equivalents that fill the various roles as in other FFG 40K games.

 

I don't want to keep arguing about this; I see where you are coming from, and I feel that these various "others" should be represented in game more than an NPC cameo. Certainly, I enjoy a bit of a snowflake; it's an excuse to be more noticeable in "life" than I am in my own. Of the various grunt classes, only the Medic and Operator make me look on with trepidation; I don't particularly like either, even with their obvious uses/necessity. Give me bossiness, an autocannon, or a meltagun, and I'll probably be happy enough. ;)

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I just don't feel like the Specialists really have a role in much of the game, outside an all-specialist group. The rules as written seem to imply the game is meant to be played as a group of grunts, fighting. After all, the whole game is pretty much combat. To me, the Specialists were thrown in as an afterthought. In a normal campaign they wouldn't be running around with the same squad for years on years. 

 

Speaking of which, I'm a little disappointed there aren't really any kind of rules beyond being a grunt. What if you want to play as a Lieutenant, or the command staff of a regiment? Where are those rules? Do guardsmen never get promoted?

 

There just seems to be a general lack of advancement, rank-wise. Granted, OW is a very fatal game, and not many survive long. But those that do, rise to the top. Your average troopers get older, more experienced and become sergeants. Your sergeants may become commissioned officers, after enough time. That's how the military works; nobody stays the same rank with the same job their entire career.

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The thing is also that the Commissar and Storm Trooper, possibly the most 'badass' specialists career, looks to much like the nigh-mandatory grunt classes; Sarge for the Commissar and the Weapon Specialist for the Storm Trooper (at least now; the ST used to be more assault oriented than just a social-less Weap Spec with top armour and gun).  The others are unique enough to be not like the guardsmen classes and not step on anyone else's toes so to speak.

 

Also the fluff, or at least the interpretation of most have of it, is pretty linear for those two; Commissars goes about shooting guardsmen for the slightest of offense, imagined or not, while the storm trooper drops in via Valkyrie and walks away from explosions.  Hence why most players who played them act just like that; it's not inter-party killing Mr. GM sir, it's what commissars do!  Not my fault Johnny failed his WP and his character ran away; he can burn his only fate point to keep playing y'know..

 

I admit thought, I only played 2 sessions worth of OW (the GM dropped) playing a cowardly Storm Trooper (the demeanours list is great btw) and ran Final Testament with 3 players in which we only had an Ogryn as specialist (Sarge and heavy as the other two), and it wasn't that fun; he ran into melee any chance he had, went around camp intimidating any and everyone (yes, including Munitorum clerks, Commissars, Officers of other regiments etc etc) got into critical every other encounter (the other encounter got him down to a handful of wounds) and despite getting an autocannon at the end, still was charging into melee even if that meant running 150 meters into open ground, under fire.

 

I didn't continued running OW after that campaign.

Edited by Braddoc

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Which is part of the reason I haven't allowed players to be Specialists. They are rather overpowered and one-sided, destroying the point of being a squishy wimp of a guardsman. 

 

My only issue is with my guys not roleplaying much, and always trying to craft/req/loot the best possible gear. I think they are playing it more like a loot-gathering dungeon game (I blame exposure to modern CRPGs) than as the regular grunts with regular gear that they ought to be.

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We played my stormie with same gear as everone else in the regiment, (flak vest, autogun and stub auto) without the advanced toys he`s just a CQB grunt with a stealth skill who uses mentor to tell everyone else to shut up when they are trying to be sneaky.

 

All of which it well with his backround as a schola trained soldier turned drill sergeant who got sent to the penal legion after wathing his trooprs die, suffering a breakdown and burning his stripes.

 

Specialistsdon`t break the game but they do strain the fluff if taken at face value.

Edited by Askil

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Which is part of the reason I haven't allowed players to be Specialists. They are rather overpowered and one-sided, destroying the point of being a squishy wimp of a guardsman. 

 

My only issue is with my guys not roleplaying much, and always trying to craft/req/loot the best possible gear. I think they are playing it more like a loot-gathering dungeon game (I blame exposure to modern CRPGs) than as the regular grunts with regular gear that they ought to be.

Don't let players game the rules to get advantages. The Departmeno Munitorum is very clear on most things regarding gear. Even if the rules allow them to try to roll on plasma weapons does not mean you need to.

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Which is part of the reason I haven't allowed players to be Specialists. They are rather overpowered and one-sided, destroying the point of being a squishy wimp of a guardsman. 

 

My only issue is with my guys not roleplaying much, and always trying to craft/req/loot the best possible gear. I think they are playing it more like a loot-gathering dungeon game (I blame exposure to modern CRPGs) than as the regular grunts with regular gear that they ought to be.

They were tacked on because the players might run into other stuff beyond their "grunt" ken. Imperials are kept simle (read: "stupid"), because a simpleton is easier to repel Chaos from. Your mind isn't labored with thoughts of Daemons, beautiful aliens, or how the tank works, mechanically. You know how to serve the Emperor, shoot for the Emperor's foes, die for the Emperor, and if you've been paying attention, killing the Emperorp's foes, to live to serve the Emperor another day (fluff-wise, anyway). You have a Psyker because the opposing forces, be they Orks, Chaos, or S.Dom. forces MIGHT have some, and if they do, and you don't, it can hurt, and just be confusing. It's easier to have a Psyker than to have an Inquisition-kitted Acolyte with anti-Psyker gear, to do the same job. You bring a Tech-Priest because you might find some weird gizmo, and wouldn't know what it does, how to turn it on, or if it's already doing it. Priests are nice because you WILL see stuff to make your skin crawl, and the mind is a fragile thing, thanks to the Ecclessiarchy.

 

Of course, there is also the biggest reason; they were in the codex. If you go back to DH, and especially Ascension, several character options got in there ONLY because they were in the 4E Daemonhunters Codex. They weren't fitting, necessarily, they weren't always balanced, even against each other, but they were playable, because we owned that codex, and practically every option in one was in the other. The OW Specialists also belong, to some point, but we'll be honest, some are there simply because they are figured into the IG Codex, and because if a GM is going to NPC it, some player will want to PC it, and it's easier than making some BS up later. Also, it's easier to copy/paste if all the archetypes are always available. Every other FFG 40K game has SOME playable psyker, so this one does, too, or they could've skipped the rules, for the most part. They have a tech-monkey, so OW does.

 

As for Officers, fluff has many of them being armchair generals, leading from a bunker. It would be weird to be your Colonel, directing distant hordes around, and what do the other character types do with you? Some regiments don't promote that way, anyway, so the rules might've been iffy.

Edited by venkelos
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I see your point on the Specialists, which makes sense. Commissars, psykers, and storm troopers are all cool and everyone wants to be one. Fluff-wise, I just didn't see the reason. Though the way GW and company have been treating the fluff, it doesn't seem to matter how it would work.

 

As for the higher ups, I've always gotten the impression there were two types of IG officers: Command, sitting in bunkers ruthlessly sacrificing whole regiments, and the rest of the commissioned officers, who seem to lead from the front. Maybe it's because that's how most of the books seem to be written, or because HQ choices are a requirement in TT. There just seems to be a lot of brass running around on the battlefield. 

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Yeah, while you could argue that the big HQ's of other factions wouldn't really be hoofing it in "little" excursions (unless you prior spout something of being a smidge of some bigger, massive battle elsewhere), you can see Marneus Calgar, Abaddon the Despoiler, Ghaszgul Mag Uruk Thraka, or whomever have you, and the IG need to have their own "equal" heroes, even being merely mortals, so you get Creed, Straken, Harker, and the rest fighting in the trenches. While i certainly believe that Creed and Kell hauled themselves out of the subt. command bunker when Abaddon assaulted Cadia, I don't think he does that often, morale or not.

 

On the other hand, yeah I believe SOME IG Officers fight from the front, so I'm not saying otherwise. in the RPG, however, I imagine a higher-ranked Officer being in charge of a lot more soldiers than a group the players comprise, and it just doesn't fit for me. If you can make it work, that would be cool, however.

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If this was more of a real life military force, obviously the higher ups would not be taking the field. Junior officers rarely would, either. The TT just presents this differently, and I've taken this as how the IG operates. 

 

I just don't see much in the way of advancement in OW, which I think is sorely missed. Say a character managed to survive throughout a campaign, and receives his advanced specialty and all. What then? In real life, the longer you serve, the higher your rank will (generally) be. People get promoted and receive new jobs and duties. Do characters in OW just keep buying skills and talents until they are killed? 

 

Maybe it is a topic for a later expansion book, or something. I don't know. Just feels to me like the game lacks depth in that regard.

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The Commander archetype from Hammer of the Emperor is essentially the playable officer.  I've always viewed them as a Lieutenant of sorts.  They would certainly still lead from the front.

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If this was more of a real life military force, obviously the higher ups would not be taking the field. Junior officers rarely would, either. The TT just presents this differently, and I've taken this as how the IG operates. 

 

I just don't see much in the way of advancement in OW, which I think is sorely missed. Say a character managed to survive throughout a campaign, and receives his advanced specialty and all. What then? In real life, the longer you serve, the higher your rank will (generally) be. People get promoted and receive new jobs and duties. Do characters in OW just keep buying skills and talents until they are killed? 

 

Maybe it is a topic for a later expansion book, or something. I don't know. Just feels to me like the game lacks depth in that regard.

 

Starting characters: Rookie meat.  See 'Fifteen Hours.'

 

More experienced characters: Veterans, Army Rangers.  See 'Gaunts Ghosts.'

 

High end characters: Seals, Green Berets, Delta.  Inquisitorial Stormtroopers or Last Chancers.  Still not the ones making decisions.

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If this was more of a real life military force, obviously the higher ups would not be taking the field. Junior officers rarely would, either. The TT just presents this differently, and I've taken this as how the IG operates. 

 

I just don't see much in the way of advancement in OW, which I think is sorely missed. Say a character managed to survive throughout a campaign, and receives his advanced specialty and all. What then? In real life, the longer you serve, the higher your rank will (generally) be. People get promoted and receive new jobs and duties. Do characters in OW just keep buying skills and talents until they are killed? 

 

Maybe it is a topic for a later expansion book, or something. I don't know. Just feels to me like the game lacks depth in that regard.

 

Starting characters: Rookie meat.  See 'Fifteen Hours.'

 

More experienced characters: Veterans, Army Rangers.  See 'Gaunts Ghosts.'

 

High end characters: Seals, Green Berets, Delta.  Inquisitorial Stormtroopers or Last Chancers.  Still not the ones making decisions.

 

Which is what I've seen it as. However, even the Seals, Green Berets, Delta Force soldiers become noncoms and either get too old to fight and retire, or become commissioned officers. There just seems to be an indefinite "badassery increase" and not so much actual advancement in the game.

 

As for the Commander, it's a sergeant 2.0. I'm talking actual rules and examples of how to use officers, and potentially some uses for them outside of combat.

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Um.  If the characters get old enough to retire, then it's up to the GM to either say "you get old and actually buy the farm, where do you want to retire?", "The Commissariat called.  They want you to teach at the sector Schola.  Rejection is not an option.", or "You're getting old.  Lose ten BS, WS, S, Ag. Each."

 

Alternatively, if you want to turn it into a Commissioned Officer game, crib the mass combat rules.  Or go play the tabletop.  If you want to play the Noncom/Squad Leader game, take away their comrades and give them each squads instead.  Functionally, promotion is no different from commendation, and should be done at GM discretion.  If the players are asking for it, grant an Elite career change.  Make them invest XP in a tactics skill, a la Deathwatch.

 

Maybe I'm just missing your point, but to me OW is all about being soldiers, and it seems to me that you're talking about either A) what happens when they get old and stop being soldiers or B) what happens when they get old and stop being grunts.  In the case of A) Character retires and lives happily ever after.  Congratulations, you won.  Or maybe it turns into a high-level Dark Heresy game, or one of the characters is awarded a Warrant of Trade for some reason.  Either way, you aren't playing OW anymore.  In the case of B), either you get creative with mass combat rules or, like I said earlier, you start playing the tabletop.  In what way are the tools already provided by Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, and Black Crusade not sufficient for all the ways you might have to transition from an endgame scenario?

 

Edit: Oh yes.  And don't forget that true advancement to the senior Officer ranks pretty much requires political backing.  The Imperium doesn't do mustangs- at least, not outside of the Astartes, where every Chapter Master was once a Scout.

Edited by Annaamarth

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You make a very good point, I'm glad you've answered my question fully. My players are nowhere near ready for each leading a squad, but if that day comes, then they could each get a handful of comrades and that would be it, using the mass combat rules. 

 

I also like the idea of using the other games - it would give me the chance to branch out into something other than go here, find thing/person, kill enemies sort of mission that seems to be the go to type for OW. 

 

I am aware that Joe Blow would never make his way to High Command, I was just commenting on the distinction between the officers who lead from the front, and the commanders who lead from a bunker. Besides, it wouldn't be much of a game if all of the players just sat in a room with a map, no matter how creative I got with rules.

 

EDIT: as for my point, it wasn't so much "What do you do when they all get old?" as it was "What sort of advancement opportunities are there for players outside of multiclassing?"

Edited by cpteveros

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I think that, indeed, it could be very interesting if you managed to, through numerous actions, acquire enough respect, clout, or what have you to receive a Warrant of Trade. You and squad would translate to the class options there (not difficult, for the most part), and if you made some friends with the Navy, too, say acquitting yourself with honor aboard the Lycurgos (No Surrender star-fort mission), having a ship wouldn't even be BS. You might get to bring a chunk of your regiment you have risen through along, to be your house guard, or what have you, and either be seconded to help fight the SDom forces from space, with your wits and resources, or head off to do something else for the Imperium. Only so many promotion slots, even if you are part of a meritocracy, but they can always have one more Rogue Trader. ;) Numerous RT backstories seem to revolve around either people getting the job because the other reward, such as a promotion to Lord Admiral, wasn't likely to become available, or to get rid of an overly successful/troublesome individual who is still useful. I'm not sure who gives you the Warrant, were you to receive one in the Periphery, but I think it could be a very cool scene, near the end of a campaign, to have you and squad brought out before the troops, and have maybe your General, maybe Lord Marshall Ghanzorik, or maybe a recurring Inquisitor, if you like them as much as I do, (possibly some big names, but I find it hard to justify the even bigger ones, like Lord Sector Hax, and you'd have to go to Scintilla) present you with a Warrant of Trade, and your first dispatch to greatness. Granted, this could also be my snowflake syndrome talking again, and it's just as likely you'll troll around in the trenches forever, but a man can dream. A man can dream. ;)

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EDIT: as for my point, it wasn't so much "What do you do when they all get old?" as it was "What sort of advancement opportunities are there for players outside of multiclassing?"

Revised list to accomodate.

 

Starting characters: Rookie meat.  See 'Fifteen Hours.'

 

More experienced characters: Veterans, Army Rangers.  See 'Gaunts Ghosts.'

 

High end characters: Seals, Green Berets, Delta.  Inquisitorial Stormtroopers or Last Chancers.  Still not the ones making decisions.

 

Commissioned characters: Junior officers and squad leaders.  They each get a comrade and four 'minion/henchmen' style followers, who each get a comrade of their own.

 

Rewarded characters: Teachers at West Point, instructors at BUD/S, 'consultants' for CIA, astronauts.  Change game systems to Rogue Trader or Dark Heresy.

 

For bonus points: Subvert established lore and they become Space Marines, change game system to Deathwatch.  They get corrupted or otherwise go renegade to fight against Imperial tyranny, change game system to Black Crusade.

Fixed?

 

Edit: here's an idea.  They advance fantastically, allow them the chance to found a regiment.  Build a new regiment with the old characters as the senior noncoms (or even commissioned officers, if you went that route) and grant bonus points for regiment construction.  Allow the players to make new characters, with this new well-equipped, elite force.  Or tell them to "make new characters, you're all Princeps," and give them each a Titan.  Take the time to develop new specialties based on the different types of Titans (Warhound Princeps, Reaver Princeps, etc).  There's some scale for you.

Edited by Annaamarth

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I am detecting either hostility or facetiousness, I can't determine which. At any rate, I really do like your suggestions and thank you for clarifying for me what sorts of things would work for the game. I am new to GMing and roleplaying in general, so thank you, and thanks to everyone else too for the help.

 

I really like the idea of the characters becoming NPCs in charge of a new regiment, it would add a lot of character to making a new regiment. I might have to incorporate that!

 

Just wondering, how often are people made Rogue Traders? Obviously they aren't too commonplace, but are there new ones made? What sort of thing gets you a Warrant?

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Partly facetious, absolutely no level of hostility, mostly sincere.  When I asked if fixed, that was sincere.  My goal was to ensure that all of the most likely scenarios and stages of advancement were covered.  The suggestion of allowing them to upgrade to Astartes, squad leaders or Titan Princeps was absolutely sincere.  Some of that plays merry hell with the fluff, but GMs have a license to do so, right?

 

A Warrant is generally issued in payment for services rendered, but often leaves you indebted to one organization or another.  Save a high-ranking Ecclesiarchy or Administratum official, for example.  Honestly, though, with the sort of politicking that happens in the Guard, I'd still expect the Warrant to go the Lord General in charge- at least, unless the Inquisition was involved, and someone wants a Trader in his pocket.  That would work.

 

I'd be just as likely to pick a squad member more-or-less at random, have some grand-high muckymucks show up and say "Why didn't you tell us you were related to Rogue Trader Amadeus Quintus?  He just died, you inherited the Warrant!"  To which the player might say "wait, what?"

 

It could even be a case of mistaken identity or corrupted records.  Oops.  :lol:

 

Edit: pretty sure I just made up the name, but could be wrong.  Nobody yell at me for corrupting fluff, pls >.>

Edited by Annaamarth

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Well in that case, no problem! I don't think I will upgrade them to Princeps or Space Marines, as that's a lot of lore I will have to explain, as well as justifying the murder of fluff to myself. I'm not ready for that yet  :P

 

As for the Warrant, I think the inheritance thing would be a hysterical way to move into RT! Especially if they get the  announcement while they are in enemy territory, cut off from Imperial lines. "Oh, hey. So your medic is actually the sole surviving member of House Grobag. You have to get him back here ASAP!" would be a great new objective as they fight Orks. 

 

Then what if an even better claimant is discovered... The possibilities are endless  :lol:

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Off topic, the moment you said claimant I thought of a Rogue Trader mod for Crusader Kings.

 

That would be amazing.

 

Back on topic regarding this remarkable digression, about the time the squad gets to 4000-4500 xp I think would be a good time to try to transition them into Rogue Trader- although I'm positive that a clean transition would be impossible, it would be simplified if the players were using specialists or advanced careers.  Enginseer to Explorator, Officer or Commissar to Rogue Trader, Cleric to Missionary, so on and so forth.

 

This idea intrigues me.  I may have to try to implement something like it into an upcoming game.  I'm thinking start the game at grunt level (no specialists), allow them to transition to specialists as casualties are taken, perhaps even turn it into a specialists-only kill-team within the regiment.  At high-level play, change the scale to Rogue Trader.

 

I'll have to build some 4k xp characters and see how well they export to RT.  Woot, tinkering.

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It seems my love of Paradox games involving medieval family intrigue is spilling over into other genres...

 

They are nearing 4k, with a few sessions to go we might have the opportunity. Only one of the players is a Commissar, the rest are grunts that haven't multi-classed because I don't have that book. I'm thinking of making one of the newer guys (or one who isn't that good/powerful) the rogue trader, just to really get them into the game. 

 

It would be far less of a headache if they were playing the correct specialties, but the idea of a squad of IG veterans taking over a whole voidship without really knowing what they are doing is just too good. In reality, the players don't know anything about how ships in 40k operate, who does what, or the correct procedures for doing it. I think the roleplaying would come quite easily, then!  :P

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