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venkelos

Space Marine Crew Bonuses

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So, I am not looking for a Rogue Trader who can manage to field squads of Astartes; I know different iterations of the fluff seem to allow this, some Space Marines have traveled with oath-bound Rogue Traders, in the past, and all, but this is for an enemy ship. If the really unfortunate happened, and a group found a ship crewed, at least mostly, with Astartes, what would be the damage/rules perks they could sport? I know Chaos Space Marines are different, and this example actually does depend on the enemy being Plague Marines/Death Guard, or a ship with at least a fair number of them (a warband), and captained by one, but what sort of bonuses would you give a ship crewed by Astartes, or CSM?

The ship is NOT a Battle Barge, or Strike Cruiser, as I don't really know how you'd build one of those, in RT rules, but the plan for the foe is a warband named the Plague Wind, led by a Chaos Lord, of some type, called the Plague Lord, till I feel like being more creative. His command ship is an Overlord-class Battlecruiser, called the Pox Totalis. I don't know all of its perks, yet, but it will have virus torpedoes, some heavy guns, and stuff to allow the Death Guard to board enemy vessels, as that is what they are good at. It will also either have an ability to sacrifice armor value, to shrug off some damage (exploding pustule blisters), or limited healing (metastasizing hull), letting it really absorb a pounding. Any ideas of what sort of advantages to give the ship, to reflect its ridiculous crew, would be great.

Asa second, while I'm glad I thought of this all before the Death Guard became important, again, I don't know so much about them. Is there a real difference between "Plague Marine" (Nurgle's CSM), and "Death Guard" (Mortarion's sons, who serve Nurgle)? I get that all DG ARE Plague Marines, but not sure if they are really different, sort of like Noise Marines vs. Emperor's Children, and Khornate Berserkers vs. World Eaters. Thanks much, and please have a good one!!!

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You can try to adopt rules for ground battles from Battlefleet Koronus (p.124, sidebar The Adeptus Astartes) and recalculate they to standard rules.

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BFG has Leadership scores rolled. For normal crews:

1: 6 Untried
2-3: 7 Experienced
4-5: 8 Veteran
6: 9 Crack

For Space Marines:

1-2: 8
3-4: 9
5-6: 10

In RT Crew Rating has 5 named steps from 20 (Incompetent) to 60 (Elite), so the converted ranges would be 20-50 and 30-60. For basic values, of course. Those who actually try would accumulate bonuses.

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Remember that Astartes will only be the commander plus possibly command crew, with most of the actual crew being serfs(for loyal Astartes) or slaves (for Chaos Marines). I would suggest adapting the BFG leadership scores based on how many Astartes are actually on board-just a commander, likely an escort vessel would be crew rating 50-Veteran. A squad's worth, an Astartes commander and bridge crew, plus a couple to oversee the enginarium would be crew rating 60-Elite. A full Astartes crew-a demi-company or more, sufficient to man the bridge+enginarium, have overseers directly running each component, and enough left over to mount boarding actions; the equivalent of BFG leadership 10 with full bonuses for boarding/H&R-that would be crew rating 70, with an appropriately impressive moniker.

Edited by ViperMagnum357

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19 hours ago, ViperMagnum357 said:

Remember that Astartes will only be the commander plus possibly command crew, with most of the actual crew being serfs(for loyal Astartes) or slaves (for Chaos Marines). I would suggest adapting the BFG leadership scores based on how many Astartes are actually on board

Why would it change performance? As you noted yourself, for most part it's not really their job. Chapter serfs + servitors + probably Mechanicus auxiliaries.

While they have Techmarines, engines and to lesser degree cogitators are considered arcane even in Mechanicus. Looking at the list, there are several normally tech-priest roles, one of them is tech-priest only: Drivesmaster (engines - no options here), Omnissianic Congregator (looking after machine spirit - techpriest or a Forge Worlder) and Enginseer Prime (coordinates maintenance and repairs - usually techpriest, both due to required skills and outranking the others involved). Master of Etherics (surely the experienced Techmarines already have worked with sensors and communications) and lesser positions probably can do without.

19 hours ago, ViperMagnum357 said:

 A full Astartes crew-a demi-company or more, sufficient to man the bridge+enginarium, have overseers directly running each component, and enough left over to mount boarding actions; the equivalent of BFG leadership 10 with full bonuses for boarding/H&R-that would be crew rating 70, with an appropriately impressive moniker.

Adjusted values don't get monikers, do they? But +10 is fairly easy: +5 for dedicated training (Crew Improvements - Best Quality) , +5 for having a competent Chief Bosun present. Then there are components..,

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^In the fluff, there is a vast gulf between  a good human/tech priest command crew and even a mediocre Astartes when commanding a vessel; not just the bridge, but overseeing the engines and gun crews. Astartes are not just physically augmented, but mentally as well, their minds described as tactical computers only the best Mechanicus tech can exceed. The few times Astartes ship commanders are seen in action, like in The Emperor's Finest, their ability to analyze and respond to a tactical situation leaves everyone else flatfooted, from the Chapter Serf shipmaster to the Mechanicus Magos and entourage that are ostensibly in charge of the expedition. And remember the leadership values in BFG are different for Chaos and Loyal Astartes. Regular Navy vessels have leadership 6-9, from green crews up to the best un-augmented humanly possible. Chaos ships are also leadership 6-9 to account for slaves up to experienced chaos reavers, with an Astartes crew granting +1, thus 7-10 to account for overseers and slavedrivers as well as Chaos Marines in key positions. Loyal Astartes are leadership 8-10, which not only accounts for the Astartes commanders and possible crew, but also a crew entirely made up of tech priests, high quality servitors, and chapter serfs-who were mostly once aspirants, some of the smartest, toughest, and most competent specimens humanity has to offer, and many of whom missed the cut to become Astartes by the slimmest of margins. A crew rating of 70 would be the base rating with a full Astartes complement, likely increased to 80 due to training and equipment plus excellent non-coms. No unaugmented crew should be able to match what you would expect to find aboard a Space Marine Strike Cruiser or Battlebarge without some crazy tech.

And after that lengthy digression, I would say to OP that a 'typical' chaos capital ship would be mostly crewed by slaves, and its quality would be disproportionately tied to the quality of its commanders. In BFG, full Chaos Marine crews provided a bonus to leadership and boarding actions, while Nurgle dedicated vessels were extra tough-an extra hit, the equivalent of an extra escort's worth of damage before being crippled or hulked, plus Nurgle ships could not be boarded by enemies.

Edited by ViperMagnum357

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On ‎15‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 5:34 PM, venkelos said:

So, I am not looking for a Rogue Trader who can manage to field squads of Astartes; I know different iterations of the fluff seem to allow this, some Space Marines have traveled with oath-bound Rogue Traders, in the past, and all, but this is for an enemy ship. If the really unfortunate happened, and a group found a ship crewed, at least mostly, with Astartes, what would be the damage/rules perks they could sport? I know Chaos Space Marines are different, and this example actually does depend on the enemy being Plague Marines/Death Guard, or a ship with at least a fair number of them (a warband), and captained by one, but what sort of bonuses would you give a ship crewed by Astartes, or CSM?

A 'chaos space marine ship' does not have a purely space marine crew anymore than a loyalist one does.

As noted, most of the crew are Chapter Serfs or Servitors, however chapter serfs are, as a rule, more motivated, and physically better than the rest of humanity (because 'not quite good enough to qualify as a space marine' covers a lot of impressive human specimens!) so a Crack/Veteran crew is justified, especially if a non-trivial proportion of the senior officers actually are astartes.

A lot of chaos legion ships, though, will still have slave crews, in which case I don't see them needing any specific bonuses.

My response would be as follows:

  • Create NPCs for a half-dozen traitor astartes (the commander, master gunner, helm-master, warpsmith, master-at-arms, and the plague surgeon). To be honest, their respective strengths are probably enough to make any ship dangerous, because you can use their BS, command rolls, piloting rolls, etc.
  • If there are a sizeable contingent of astartes other than this, consider them to be based in a barracks that is a combination of the Stormtrooper contingent upgrade and a barracks or murder-servitor component.
  • Any torpedo tubes should be virus torpedo armed.
On ‎15‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 5:34 PM, venkelos said:

The ship is NOT a Battle Barge, or Strike Cruiser, as I don't really know how you'd build one of those, in RT rules, but the plan for the foe is a warband named the Plague Wind, led by a Chaos Lord, of some type, called the Plague Lord, till I feel like being more creative. His command ship is an Overlord-class Battlecruiser, called the Pox Totalis. I don't know all of its perks, yet, but it will have virus torpedoes, some heavy guns, and stuff to allow the Death Guard to board enemy vessels, as that is what they are good at. It will also either have an ability to sacrifice armor value, to shrug off some damage (exploding pustule blisters), or limited healing (metastasizing hull), letting it really absorb a pounding. Any ideas of what sort of advantages to give the ship, to reflect its ridiculous crew, would be great.

I'm a big believer in just renaming existing components and/or changing the skill test to 'disguise' origins.

You could just load the thing with reinforced bulkhead components.

I'd personally give it servitor crew (giving it a low crew score except where a named plague marine takes command because zombies and cultists), a crew reclamation facility (braaaaains). 

Field Bracing component(s) would give you your 'healing' ability - you can shut down other components and route the power into the field brace, and increase your hull by double that amount with a tech use test. 

 

On ‎15‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 5:34 PM, venkelos said:

Asa second, while I'm glad I thought of this all before the Death Guard became important, again, I don't know so much about them. Is there a real difference between "Plague Marine" (Nurgle's CSM), and "Death Guard" (Mortarion's sons, who serve Nurgle)? I get that all DG ARE Plague Marines, but not sure if they are really different, sort of like Noise Marines vs. Emperor's Children, and Khornate Berserkers vs. World Eaters. Thanks much, and please have a good one!!!

Not all Plague Marines are Death Guard, but to all intents and purposes, ALL Death Guard are now Plague Marines due to what happened to Mortarion's fleet. There are non-plague marine nurgle Marines, but they're generally renegades and 'converts' (or victims) from other legions (like the Black Legion).

 

 

Let me have a try. 

The Overlord-Class Battlecruiser seems like a nice ship to start with - it's old enough, after all, and scary enough that making it a chaos lord's flagship makes sense. A repulsive is an older design but can't take extra armour, whilst the other grand cruisers lack any slot for the almost-inevitable virus torpedoes.

 

Okay.

  • Overlord-class Cruiser
  • Background, Machine Spirit & Past History
    • Vessel of the Fleet (1 ship point version)
    • Blasphemous Tendancies
    • Haunted
  • Ship Upgrades
    • Common-Craftsmanship Servitor Crew
    • Common-Craftsmanship Targeting Matrix
    • Best Craftsmanship Storm Trooper Detachment
    • Best Craftsmanship Superior Damage Control
  • Primary Components:
    • Saturnine-pattern Class 4a “Ultra” Drive
    • Miloslav h-616.b Warp engine
    • Belecane-pattern 90.r Geller Field
    • Multiple Void Shield Array
    • Armoured Command Bridge
    • Mark 1.r Life Sustainer
    • Slave Quarters
    • Mark–100 Auger Array
  • Supplemental Components
    • (Prow) Mars-Pattern Torpedo Tubes - Virus Torpedoes
    • (Dorsal) Pyros Melta-Cannons
    • (Port) Pyros Melta-Cannons
    • (Port) Pyros Melta-Cannons
    • (Starboard) Pyros Melta-Cannons
    • (Starboard) Pyros Melta-Cannons
    • Armoured Prow
    • Reinforced Prow
    • Armour Plating
    • Excess Void Armour
    • Field Bracing x 4
    • Reinforced Interior Bulkheads x 4
    • Defensive Countermeasures
    • Hydraphurian KL-247 Jamming system
    • Broadband Hymn Casters
    • Munitorium
    • Tenebro-Maze
    • Murder-Servitors
    • Medicae Deck
    • Crew Reclamation Facility

I would re-name a few of these, of course, and change a few of the relevant skill tests and effects to make them more daemonic and plague-ey.

 

Suggestions:

 

  • Pox Totalis
  • Class: Corrupted Battlecruiser
  • Dimensions: 5.3km long, 0.85 km abeam at fins approx.
  • Mass: 35 megatonnes approx
  • 100,000 crew, approx. (Primarily Reanimate Dead)
  • Acceleration 1.6 gravities max sustainable acceleration

Crewed by a mix of plague-ridden cultists and the walking dead, all who serve on the Pox Totalis are bound to the will of whoever sits in the Plague-Lord's throne. The ship's hull is bloated with corrosion and can sustain awesome punishment without flinching, whilst what should be crippling wounds somehow fail to find critical systems or even regrow with cancerous daemon-flesh as the ship's horrified opponents look on.

Surrounded by a cloud of toxic gases and spores, the ship is hard to even target clearly, and any who approach too close are subjected to massive bombardments with huge blight-warhead loaded macrobattery shells and torpedoes, along with precise strikes from the Death Guard boarding cadres aboard. Any who do not surrender will quickly succumb to the infections running rampant through the ship, consuming both crew and the ship's structure.

Statistics (all components included):

  • Speed: 3
  • Manouvrability: +5
  • Armour: 24 (Prow Armour 30)
  • Hull Integrity: 106
  • Turret Rating: 2
  • Crew Rating: 30

Essential Components:

  • Archaeic Plasma Drive
  • Possessed Warp Engine
  • Flickering Gellar Field
  • Multiple Void Shield Array
  • The Plague-Lord's Thronehall (Armoured Command Bridge, Vessel Of The Fleet, Targeting Matrix)
  • Foetid Plague Hives (M-1.r Life Sustainers, Medicae Deck)
  • Poxwalker Halls (Slave Quarters, Crew Reclamation Facility)
  • Mark–100 Auger Array

Supplemental Components

  • Plague-Fume Clouds (Defensive Countermeasures, Hydraphurian KL-247 Jamming system, Broadband Hymn Casters)
  • Prow Corroded Virus Torpedo Tubes
  • Twin Port, Twin Starboard & Dorsal Blight Cannons (Pyros Melta-Cannons)
  • Blight Warhead Vault (Munitorium)
  • Death Guard Assault Cadres (Murder-Servitors, Best Craftsmanship Storm Trooper Detachment, Common-Craftsmanship Servitor Crew)
  • Cankerous Hull Tumours (Field Bracing x 4, Reinforced Interior Bulkheads x 4, Best Craftsmanship Superior Damage Control, Tenebro-Maze)

Special Rules:

  • Warp Navigation: Reduce the duration of all warp passages by half, and any Navigation Tests to pilot the ship through the warp gain a +25 bonus. 
  • Roll on the Warp Travel Encounters table (page 186 of Rogue Trader) every three days rather than every five days and subtract -20 from the result of any rolls made on the Warp Travel Encounters table. 
  • If the Plaguelord's Thronehall takes a Critical Hit or becomes damaged or unpowered, roll 1d10. On a 4 or higher, the Thronehall is unharmed. 
  • Whilst the Thronehall is occupied, the occupier may make a Challenging (+0) Command Test. If the Test is successful, the ship does not suffer the effects of being crippled during its subsequent turn.
  • All crew-members gain Enemy (Imperial Navy) and while aboard the ship, all crew suffer –5 to Willpower based Tests .
  • The plague zombie crew may not initiate boarding actions.  The ship always counts Morale as 100, and all crew loses are reduced by 3, then halved, to a minimum of 1. If a Component on this vessel is depressurized, the Crew Population suffers only 1d5-4 damage (including the bonuses above)
  • All non-crewmembers suffer –5 to Command Tests involving boarding actions or hit and run actions due to toxins and virulant infection in the ship's atmosphere. This ship gains +10 to all Command Tests when defending against boarding actions and Hit and Run Actions.
  • When used to conduct a Hit and Run Action, the Death Guard cadres provide a +30 bonus to the opposed Command Test. When determining the Critical Hit inflicted by a Hit and Run Action they participated in, the character conducting the raid may select any result between 1 and 6, rather than rolling, and raid doubles the amount of Hull Integrity damage dealt. When the Pox Totalis wins an opposed Command Test while defending in a boarding action, it adds 1d5 to the damage inflicted to Crew Population. 
  • The Pox Totalis inflicts an additional D10+D5 damage when ramming
  • When a Component on this ship is selected to be affected from a critical hit, it is chosen by the ship’s controller, not the attacker.
  • Should the Cankerous Hull Tumours become Damaged or Unpowered, the Pox Totalis loses 24 Hull integrity.  This cannot bring the ship’s Hull Integrity below 0. The amount of hull integrity provided by this Component may be increased with a Challenging (+0) Forbidden Lore (Daemonology) Test (this counts as a Free Action in starship combat) by unpowering other Components and increasing hull integrity by the following:
    • Blight Cannons - 8 Hull Integrity (each)
    • Multiple Void Shield Array - 14 Hull Integrity
    • Torpedo Tubes - 4 Hull Integrity
  •  If performing isolated extended repairs, crew members receive +10 to their Tech-Use Tests.
  • The Pox Totalis will instinctively seal and vent a burning Component to space when it is consumed by fire, so that the fire cannot spread to any additional Components.
  • The Corroded Virus Torpedo Tubes impose a -5 Ballistic Skill penalty, and fire spreads of 6 torpedo tubes. The component holds 7 salvos. If this Component is Damaged or Destroyed (but not Unpowered or Depressurised) while torpedoes are loaded, it has a 10 percent chance of exploding. In this event, the Component is destroyed and the ship takes 2d5 Hull Integrity damage.
  • The Blight Cannons have the following stats: Strength 3, Damage 1D10+4 (1D10+5 if the Blight Warhead Vault is intact), Critcal 4, Range 4
  • Any criticals inflicted are automatically a Fire! critical, representing rampant infection and corrosion rather than a normal blaze and requiring a Medicae or Scholastic Lore (Chymistry) rather than tech-use test to combat.
  • The  Pox Totalis reduces the Explorer's Achievement total by 25 Achievement Points when it is contesting a military objective
  •  If the Blight Warhead Vault is damaged, it explodes. The ship takes 2d5 damage to Hull Integrity, and a Component of the GM’s choice is set on fire.
  • All other ships must make a Difficult (–10) Tech Use Test in order to use vox or other broadcast communications while within 30 VUs of this vessel, and characters aboard this vessel gain +10 on all Intimidate Tests against all ships within 30 VUs.
  • The Pox Totalis may not perform Silent Running, but any Focussed Augury Tests made to scan it suffer a –20 penalty.
  • Once per combat, the Pox Totalis may release an especially dense burst of fumes. When it does so, the fumes apply a –20 penalty to all Ballistic Skill Tests made to attack the ship for the next 1d5+1 Strategic Turns. Torpedoes suffer a –30 penalty instead. Once used, this feat cannot be repeated without a period of extended repairs outside of combat.

 

It'll need a few half-decent Astartes characters with good BS, Int and Fel to make it work (because the crew won't be able to fight the ship effectively by themselves). 

Edited by Magnus Grendel
venkelos likes this

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Thank you VERY much! Sorry to have been gone for so long, but I was kind of gone, for so long. ;) This is really cool, and I will pour over it, again, and probably have a nice ship for my story, even as a BBEG, if a game of Rogue Trader were ever to fall into my lap. Thanks very much for all the work, and please have a great one.

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