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Kommissar K's short list of house rules for his game

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So I am in the process of preparing to run a game of DH2e, and have decided I'm likely going to have to implement a few house rules given my various rants about Overwatch. My group will consist of 3 players whom I have GM'd in games of DH1e, Deathwatch, and Only War, and are veteran tabletop RPG players (SR4, SR5, Pathfinder, D&D 3.5, Paranoia, Iron Kingdoms, Mutants and Masterminds) as well as one other player for whom this will be their first tabletop RPG as well as their first real exposure to the 40k setting (yes, I am about to be performing one of the great GMing taboos - I am inviting my soon-to-be-wife (getting married on April 25th) to join in on the game). I will be running the group through Dark Pursuits -> Desolation of the Dead -> Forgotten Gods (i.e. the intended order of the canned material).


I will, at the advice of a cool post by I beleive H.B.M.C., I will be running chargen "straight" as its presented in the books. I used to allow players to roll 10 times (9 characterisitics and 1 reroll), and assign their rolls as they saw fit to their characteristics, thus affording the players the luxury of putting their good rolls in the stats they wanted. Instead now I'll focus on the thematic grittiness of DH/40k, and have more poorly suited characters still achieving acts of heroism.


For the sake of consistency at the table, I would like to leave this post here, to both have a lasting record of the house rules I will be using, as well as to receive any input from this community, as I do at least value being able to compare opinions with others in order to arrive at a more informed position. Obviously while what I'm writing here focuses on Overwatch, if any other rule is found to be desired, this post will be edited and the new rules added.


Currently, the only thing I feel I really need to change is Overwatch, but that will require a few things:


First of all, I'm not sure how I feel about it invoking Pinning. It seems to me it includes Pinning as its viewed as an action that is traditionally reserved for machine gunners, and machine guns appropriately cause people to be pinned. Personally, I would be more willing to have Overwatch also be able to ready Surpressing Fire, and leave Pinning to that. I get that I'm improving the action efficiency of Overwatch by adding a Full Action to the list of what it can do, but personally I'm fine with it. I feel its far less open to abuse by preventing Flamers having the potential to trigger Pinning (and thus single handedly prevent an enmy from putting themselves out as a Full Action) than to allow Surpressing Fire, which is pretty much only good for Pinning, to have a slightly better chance to time the attack.


Second, I am definitely against it making more than one attack (as per the new errata). I feel it breaks the economy of actions and there are far too many instances of ways this sort of thing could be broken (multiple flamer shots? multiple grenade launcher shots?). So my new wording will definitely prevent this.


Thrid, I am uncertain about the attack being undodgable. One of my more experiences players is rather frank in feeling that if Overwatch is indeed undogable, that he will likely endeavour to use Overwatch more often as he feels it is more effective. To this end I am openly considering striking all wording that prevents Reactions from being taken within your own turn, clarifying that 2 Half Actions/1 Full Action and 1 Reaction are gained at a phase at the start of a characters turn, and simply saying that things like Counterattack benefit from burning through the targets Reaction so you can more readily hit them next turn. This has the added benefit of making ballistic mechadendrites make a bit more sense, as previously it was an attack that used your Reaction, but somehow seemed to be worded and expected to be used within a character's turn.


Kommissar K's House Rules

Page 217, remove ", which he can only use when it is not his turn" from the Reactions section.


Page 220, remove the last sentance from the Reaction section, "Reactions cannot be used during the his [sic] own turn..."


Page 223, replace Overwatch with the following:



Type: Full Action

Subtypes: Attack, Concentration, Ranged

The active character guards a specific area or target, poised to shoot at an opportune moment. When Overwatch is declared, the active character establishes a kill zone consisting of any general area, such as a corridor or tree line, which encompasses a 45 [degree] arc in the direction that the active character is facing. The active character then specifies Standard Attack, Surpressing Fire, Full Auto Burst, or Semi-Auto Burst, along with the conditions under which he will perform the chosen attack. Each time the specified conditions are met before the start of the character's next turn, he can perform that attack (so long as he is otherwise eligible to do so). Once the attack is made, Overwatch ends. This attack occurs the moment the condition is met, such as an enemy entering the kill zone. If it occurs at the same time as another character's action, the character with the higher Agility acts first. If both characters have the same Agility, they make an Opposed Agility test to see who acts first. If the attacker specifiec Surppressing Fire as the action, then the 30 [degree] arc is centered on the target that has triggered Overwatch. If a character on Overwatch performs any actions or Reactions, such as Evasion, his Overwatch immediately ends. Note this does not include Free Actions, such as speech.


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