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Ghaundan

New GM/Players. Tips for common houserules?

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I've been playing the various 40k lines for a long time now and mostly enjoyed my time. However we've always added houserules or looked up which houserules people recommend. Like space combat for Rogue Trader, and we often use the newer combat rules (dark heresy first edition really punishes semi auto and heavily promotes full auto or accurate weapons in our experience).

Now, I've looked it over and I'm a bit hesitant to simply push the newer combat rules into it without doing my homework first as certain items work in conjunction with autofire and so forth. So what do people recommend? Should we simply play rules as written? Or do things get wonky later on? Please guide me to the right direction if there's already a good thread on this (like the ship combat for rogue trader). I've tried to find any but have come up empty.

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True Jargal but they are quite often forgotten (previously I've made sticky posts and inserted them into my books to keep them updated, might have to buy more...self adhesive paper? not sure on the english name).
 

So the newer rules work fine here as well? That's good to hear. It does kind of make suspensors and such worthless but I'm sure I can houserule something to make them worthwhile.

 

So, newer combat and i can't remember if it's part of the new rules or not, but I always turn the hit roll to see the hit loation (so a roll of 13 means a 31, which is arm. saves a roll and thus time).

Hopefully we'll like the system. Might use some FFG scenarios (with modifications to make room for player freedom and, well, FFG has never had well balanced scenarios in my experience)

 

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and i can't remember if it's part of the new rules or not, but I always turn the hit roll to see the hit loation (so a roll of 13 means a 31, which is arm. saves a roll and thus time).

 

It's RAW in all game lines from DH to DH2.

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and i can't remember if it's part of the new rules or not, but I always turn the hit roll to see the hit loation (so a roll of 13 means a 31, which is arm. saves a roll and thus time).

 

It's RAW in all game lines from DH to DH2.

 

Really? I'm certain it wasn't in DH1, and we just used it ever since we figured we wanted a to save on dice rolls.

Any premade scenarios you guys can recommend?

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Another question that came to mind: How are people used to treating new marines (in case someone gets killed)? I've used varied methods before, but alot of them dealt with less combat then Deathwatch.

So how do you do it? In other games I've either given the player who's "fallen behind" either due to death or not showing double exp until they catch up. And/or half the max exp on any given player in the group.

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As for a house rule I can see using the OW righteous fury rules for PCs and very important NPCs. As to grunt NPCs and other nameless faceless gits, XXXX them, I am not keeping track of their critical hits, those plebes just take an extra d10 damage, hopefully it kills them so long goodbye. Now if the players went a'hunting the mist reaper, say, yeah he gets criticals.

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Another question that came to mind: How are people used to treating new marines (in case someone gets killed)? I've used varied methods before, but alot of them dealt with less combat then Deathwatch.

So how do you do it? In other games I've either given the player who's "fallen behind" either due to death or not showing double exp until they catch up. And/or half the max exp on any given player in the group.

Dear chaos filth,

Your question is a worthy one and I hope my answer helps. Basically IFA PC buys it and the group needs a new one I try to encourage the player to create what the group needs. I mean if you already have assault marines the team may find a dev or a techmarine far more useful. So if the player creates a PC that is useful to the group just toss some extra work his way to get him more XP than others.

So if you have a combat heavy team and the new PC is a techmarine, throw them at necrons and have the techmarine be the 'star' of the mission by figuring our some blasphemous necron heretical tech while the combat grunts keep various mechanized nuisances from pestering him. If you've seen the back cover of 'the outer reach' you get that kind of feel from it.

Of just substitute chaos for necrons and a librarian for the techmarine and he has to use his psy powers to save the day. Or an apocathary has to gather tyranid DNA and bio samples, carefully extracting precise bits from the monstrosities his brothers so helpfully "tranquilized" for him.

Edited by Professor Tanhauser

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As for a house rule I can see using the OW righteous fury rules for PCs and very important NPCs. As to grunt NPCs and other nameless faceless gits, XXXX them, I am not keeping track of their critical hits, those plebes just take an extra d10 damage, hopefully it kills them so long goodbye. Now if the players went a'hunting the mist reaper, say, yeah he gets criticals.

 One of my players expressed his like for the BC crit system as well, as the d5 crit damage feels alot more cinematic and less wonky then the extra damage that's normally done. Also prevents instagibbing on attacks that were supposed to be grave. Not mortal.

 

 

Hmm, I'm more a fan of giving everyone equal exp, it seems to work best in the group. Some are new to the setting, others are a bit more quiet and "punishing" them for not being extrovert during RP by not giving them more exp. I'll stick to giving them double/extra until they catch up then. Thanks for the tips!

And that's dear xenos filth to you, i play Orks on the tabletop!

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Well, you have an avatar of a face desecrated by a chaos symbol so I called you dear chaos filth. If you want to be called dear xenos filth use an ork avatar. :P Of course then I'd probably call you dear greenskin filth... :lol:

 

Yay, i'm dear! And, i know, but i've gotten so used to this avatar changing it would seem weird right now.

Another question (I've been reading reviews and the core book i currently have), how do people feel about using chaos as an enemy? It seems odd, considering deathwatch is supposed to be used against xenos for the most part but it might be a good change of pace.

 

Edit: One more thing, i haven't read over all the talents to see how they differ from the other 40k lines but is there one regarding attacks and dodge? Spesifically one that makes them opposed. Considering that i've found the game often favour autofire way more then singelshots against high agility targets i'm interested to hear your suggestions. Mostly I've dealt it as opposed on all attacks regardless, to prevent eldar and such easily dodging a natural 1 roll from a singel attack.

Edited by Ghaundan

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 Welp, link in my signature is literally a gigantic house-rule topic, so there's that, shameless autopromotion ;).

 Opposed BS/WS Tests vs Dodge/Parry... that's a difficult thing. Theocratically, since when using full auto you hit once per degree and dodge one per degree, they are, in fact, opposed. And single-shots being easy to dodge, that's a good one. However, by my experience, single-shot weapons are usually extremely powerful - bear in mind that I upped damage a little in mu houserules, so I'm more used to fact that "You're hit with melta? You're fried". While making single shots opposed tests is fine, for me it slows combat a lot; and my players found a way around it by attacking more important enemies together, so they have to think and plan which attack will they Dodge - 5 shots from Barrage Plasma Gun or 1 Lascannon hit? Both can be deadly. It;s a little bit more tactical this way, on both sides, when initiative, delaying actions and controlling battlefield becomes more important.

 I, on one hand, did not switch to DH2/OW rules. I GM'ed DH1.0/RT/DW and I'm still GM'ing DW with old mechanics, and having fun, so it;s not necessary, although I know that I'm a small minority.

 However, Only War/BC Righteous Fury is a must. Trust me. It's as necessary as Errata, if not more. Use it.

 In all my games, I made it a rule that dying character receives half his xp before dying + full xp for the session when he died. Heroic Sacrifice gives another 200xp/Rank, in addition.

 Premades: Shadow of Madness is amazing. I made a review, and it's amazing. Final Sanction is free and good, although
 <SPOILERS!>

 exploding ship at the beginning is so boring and cliche... if you want to read about what I would do to start DW, you can read it here: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/204995-mission-objectives-during-a-tyranid-invasion/?p=2551991

About fighting Chaos. I say yes. Actually, my players in one Kill-Team (by their own decision, mind you, I did not force them) just spend most of their campaign fighting Chaos. It;s realy fun, but it's best to do it if you possess BC rulebooks, because enemies in DW are far from what you can do with BC Rulebook. I generated some memorable opponents for my KT and they seem to like them, and every mission seemed unique. Jericho Reach supplement has few nice things on pages 47 and up.
 I'll try to get my players to write something more, and I'll try to write some additional stuff later, but currently I have to end this post here. I hope it helped a little :).

 

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I use the modified deathwatch fire select bolter rule. Your fire select bolter has 4 minimags built into the sides of the gun, each holds 7 tounds, of any type. You can switch them as you choose. So you have 54 rounds in your bolter, or 55 if you load one "up the spout" but that round must be the first one fired unless you manually eject it and save it. The idea of 3 full clips hanging off the bottom of the bolter...it just doesn't pass the laugh test.

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 I totally forgot - yes, if you allow the "3 clips per magazine" rules, they will never run out of ammo and they will never have to reload. Like, never. Even with 1 magazine, considering how brutal are fights in DW, they will rarely have to reload before either they or enemies are dead, unless they roll a ton of dice and are in a target-rich environment. I just make it 1 magazine as normal, but with Fire Selector they can put any type of ammo in there, in any proportions, and change them at will between Rounds. I just give them 3 magazine for every weapon they buy, if they want more they have to buy it. 3 normal magazines, of course. In case of Missile Launcher, 3 magazines of either Kraks or Frags, player can choose which he takes. Heavy Bolter either has a backpack of 300 or 3 magazines for 60 rounds, player can choose before mission.

And I also put some limits on ammo and supply. Since rulebook says that frag/krak grenades cost 1, but only for "excessive" usage and normally there is just enough of them (and players tend to immediately ask how many is "enough"), I just made a rule that every player starts with 3 magazines of every weapon they have or requisition, 3 Frag and 3 Krak grandes.
They may requisition additional ammo - 1 Req per 2 Bolt Pistol magazines, or 1 per 1 Bolter magazine, or 2 Req per 1 Storm/Heavy bolter magazine. Frags and krak grenades cost 1 Req for 3 grenades (actually all Grenade Costs in my book are for a pack of 3 Grenades, they are expensive even then. Missiles are bought in magazines of 8, like a Soundstrike Missile Launcher magazine size). This way, players have an answer to "how much ammo I can take" that does not limit them to "how much you can carny", unless they for some reason have spare Req, like to make stupid things, or just waste Req; they will learn quickly.
Ammo to melta and plasma weaponry costs as above, but twice the cost; and ammo for Barrage Plasma weaponry cost 3x more.

Also, special ammo, pistols and heavy bolters. Adding some flat Req for a backpack full of Kraken Rounds is way too good, and illogical by the way. At least for me, as usual, you may not agree ;). I just do it by the math - for the cost of 1 special magazine, you get either 2 Bolt Pistol ammo, 1 Bolter/Sniper ammo, of half of heavy bolter/storm bolter ammo. This way having a backpack full of Kraken of Vengeance Rounds is not that cheap, but with fire selector player can put some special ammo in there and switch ammunition type before firing.


 Another thing, I tend to limit Astartes to 6 "hands", with 1-handed weapon taking 1 hand, 2-handed taking 2 hands, and Heavy weapon taking 3 hands. There is also a slot on the back for either backpack or jump pack. Most GM's will probably change it to 4 hands for more realism but I take that Marines can carry 6 hands worth of equipment, if they carry one of their weapons in their hands most of the time. Another option is to make it 6 hands but Jump Pack or backpack takes 2 hands, this is a more tactical approach.

Next. Use Requisition settings from Errata; base Core gives too much Req per Objective.

Stay away from adventure in First Founding, unless you're ready to re-write it, there are some ideas on forums. 

Some chapters and classes may not be perfectly balanced with each other, so be prepared to use Deeds and distinctions to do a little balancing, but just a little.

What are your player's chapters and classes? I could give you some more advice, if they already chose them.

Emperor's Chosen is... a specific rulebook, and I would not buy it unless you and your players love playing Deathwatch, it's your main session for some time and you are close to hitting 40 000+ experience.


... I definitely spend way too much time playing DW and thinking about DW, if I have so much to say in an answer to a very simple question... geez, I think I like Walls of Text too much ;).
 

Edited by Alank2

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Well, so far we've made...let's see. A blood angel assault marine, a blood angel sanguinary priest, dark angel assault marine (i think?), black templar tactical, space wolf tactical and imperial fist devestator.

Now, almost none of these are set in stone, the blood angel might want to go psyker, same with the space wolf and the black templar just wants to hate psykers.

I did get emperors chosen during the christmas sale so I got pretty much ALL the books now. I will defineatly have to look over the errata and make my players aware of the changes.

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Here's how I roll. Feel free to use all, some, or none. Cheers!

 

Updated Combat System



Rules follow standard DH2/OW/BC combat mechanics:
- All standard attacks are now 1/2 actions. The modifiers have been changed to +10 single shot, +0 semi automatic,& -10 full auto. ("It is a clear change from the earlier philosophy that a bunch of rounds downrange increases accuracy (+20 full auto Deathwatch/Rogue Trader) and more in line with single shots are more accurate and muzzle rise is a thing.")

- The critical attack rules have been changed as well. On a Righteous Fury (natural 10 on the damage roll) that exceeds toughness and armor and thus damags an opponent, roll 1d5 and consult the corresponding critical chart table. Apply the effect to the target. It's just a little more thought out than simply exploding damage on natural 10s.

- Players do not need to roll to confirm righteous fury. RF is automatically successful on natural 10s. One, this is to make the game a bit more deadly (but since only Elite and Master level enemies can inflict RF, it makes the game more exciting for the PCs) and it also speeds of the pace of play.

Updated Skills



We will be using the updated DH2/OW/BC skill list and descriptions

[New Skill ---> What it replaces/encompasses now]

  • Acrobatics   --> Acrobatics, Contortionist
    Athletics     --> Climb, Swim
    Awareness  --> Awareness, Lip Reading, Search
    Charm        --> Charm, Performer
    Commerce  --> Commerce, Barter, Evaluate (something's worth)
    Logic          --> Logic, Gambling
    Linguistics  --> Ciphers, Literacy, Secret Tongue, Speak Language
    Medicae     --> Chem Use, Medicae
    Operate     --> Drive, Pilot
    Parry         --> Not previously a skill; PCs with any WS upgrades or a WS above 50 should count Parry as known.*
    Stealth      --> Concealment, Silent Move, Shadowing
    Survival     --> Survival, Tracking, Wrangling
    Toughness --> Carouse (not a skill, but now a characteristic test)

*Parry may be purchased for the same amount as Dodge wherever it appears in your advance tree. Furthermore, all new skill may be purchased wherever their cheapest counterpart is found in the books. For example, if you want to upgrade Athletics at rank 2 and Climb +10 is 300xp and Swim +10 is 200xp, Athletics +10 will cost 200xp.

[This list can be found on pg. 310 of the Only War CRB. There are also trait changes, weapon quality changes and conversion rules on the next few pages after that. We will be using these as well.]

As well as using the updated skills, we will also be using their updated level names.
- Unkown: attempts to use basic skills that are unknown to your PC can be attempted at -20
- Known: skill tests at +0
- Trained: skill tests at +10
- Experienced: skill tests at +20
- Veteran: skill tests at +30 


House Rules


This is a living list and may be subject to changes.

- Rapid Reload (Talent amendment): Rapid Reload now only applies to weapons in which the PC has training in. If you do not have training in a weapons system and attempt to reload it, regardless of if you have the Rapid Reload talent, the reload time remains as listed in the weapon profile.
++ ANY talent that modified combat, such as Rapid Reload, will now only benefit players as long as they have the proper weapon's training to go with it. For example, Deadeye and Sharpshooter will only negate the penalties of called shots when using weapon's systems that the PC is proficiently trained with.

- Hatred (Talent amendment): Hatred now applies a +10 bonus to hit to both WS tests AND BS tests against the hated enemy.

- Snap-firing (Spray and Pray): A character who is sheltering behind enough cover that it could conceal their entire body may opt to Snap Fire when making shooting attacks. The character essentially only holds their weapon out of cover and fires in a general direction. Doing so results in a -20 BS penalty to hit anything in the area. Subsequently, all shots at the shooter suffer a -20 BS penalty until the start of the shooter's next turn (essentially a called shot on their exposed hand). This attack cannot be used in conjunction with an Aim action.

- Dodging/Parrying (Rules Amendment): DoS will only come into play when dodging full auto fire/Swift and Lightning attacks or using parry vs a WS standard attack.

- Called Shot (Head) (Rules Amendment): Successful called shots to the head, that does damage after TB/AP, will extend the Righteous Fury range to 9 or 10. 

- Sneak Attacking (new rule): When a successful opposed silent move test places a PC/NPC in melee range of an enemy, damage will be resolved as follows: the attacker will gain a free called shot and a free RF on a successful attack roll. Troop-level enemies will die outright, but elite/master level enemies will suffer damage as normal.  This rule can also be used against PCs. Furthermore, some troop-level enemies with unnatural toughness will not die outright at GM discretion.

- Prone (movement/stance amendment): Aside from the standard prone conditions (-20 WS, -20 Evasion; +20 WS vs prone opponent), when lying prone, PCs and NPCs will gain +10 BS when firing due to the more supportive nature of the firing position and heavy weapons will be counted as braced. Furthermore, ranged attacks vs. a prone target will be at -10 BS due to their smaller profile; Falling prone is a free action. Standing up again is a half action.

- Mono-edge (upgrade amendment): Weapons gaining the mono-quality no longer have a static pen 2. Instead, they add (+2) to the existing pen of the weapon. 

- Cover (rule clarification): When attacking an opponent in cover, any damage value that surpases the armor of the cover will be transferred to the target. Furthermore, the armor value of the cover will be reduced by 1/2 the damage that was able to get through.

- Vehicles and Initiative (rule amendment): The skill of a driver has an important implication for how quickly a vehicle responds in combat, with more skilled drivers having an important edge over less skilled drivers. A character with Drive or Pilot +10 adds +1 to their Initiative roll when controlling a vehicle, whilst characters with Drive or Pilot +20 adds +2 to their Initiative roll when controlling a vehicle.

- Deathwatch Training: Due to changes made in Righteous Fury, this Talent does not affect Righteous Fury in any way. However, the hypnotherapic training gives an automatic +5 bonus to all Tactics, Common Lore and Forbidden Lore rolls concerning known major alien races (Eldar, Ork, Tyranid and Tau, also others if GM decides the race is well-known enough).

- Oath Taking: Squad Leaders do not need to meet the Specialty pre-req to take an Oath before a mission as long as someone in their Kill Team meets the requirement. Ex: In the RAW, a Techmarine Squad Leader could not take the "Oath of the Astartes" prior to battle. But with this change, as long as the squad has either a Devastator, Tactical or Assault Marine, the Techmarine Squad Leader may choose this option. 

- Suppressing Fire: All weapons can fire Suppressing Fire. The effect of the Suppressing Fire depends on if the weapon is fired on Full-auto, Semi-auto or Single Shot:

  • Full-auto Suppressing Fire, Hard (-20) Pinning Test to avoid being pinned, Hard (-20) Ballistic Skill Test to hit anything in the area. Using Semi-auto weapon with Blast quality for Suppressing Fire counts as Full-auto Suppressing. to hit anything in the area. Using Semi-auto weapon with Blast quality for Suppressing Fire counts as Full-auto Suppressing.

     Semi-auto Suppressing Fire, Challenging (+0) Pinning Test to avoid being pinned, Very Hard (-30) Ballistic Skill Test to hit anything in the area. Using Single Shot weapon with Blast quality for Suppressing Fire counts as Semi-auto Suppressing.

     Single Shot Suppressing Fire, Routine (+20) Pinning Test to avoid being pinned, Arduous (-40) Ballistic Skill Test to hit anything in the area.

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