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FFG Ross Watson

New Deathwatch Designer Diary: The Jericho Reach

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To Psion - Really really bad luck with first book choice, that's almost as bad as grabbing the Souldrinker's Omnibus heh, Ultramarines or Space Boyscouts (always follow the manual!) are really as lackluster as you can get.  I mean really, what do you expect from a chapter who's greatest achievements include (but are not limited to) NOT arriving at the Battle of Terra in time to do anything, Getting their first company entirely eaten by tyranids, and losing the Damoclese Crusade?  The 2nd Ultra's book was ok, but only because of the Deathwatch Killteam in it and interaction with the Mortifactor's chapter which added some actual characterization. 

If you want Epic Space Marines, try the Ragnar series (very Beowulf-esque) and easy reads, 4th or 5th book even has some of the best interaction between 2 non-standard space marine chapters (won't add in any spoilers and whatnot).

Gav Thorpe's Angels of Darkness is another good one, pointing out the dilema any good GM can use in the upcoming Deathwatch RPG.  Again, no spoilers but it's far from space knights.

As much as I can't stand CS Goto, I did like his Deathwatch books, again, for the characters of the kill team, as well as the first Grey Knights book as it actually has a surprise ending.

Dan Abnett's Iron Snakes book was good, and different from the norm, though you can probably push this off as space knights heh.

The short story book Deathwing had some fine pieces in it too for space marines.

The Horus Heresy stuff is good too, and I'm told the books Iron Hands and the two Armaggedon books about Black Templars are entertaining.

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BrotherHostower said:

I mean really, what do you expect from a chapter who's greatest achievements include (but are not limited to) NOT arriving at the Battle of Terra in time to do anything, Getting their first company entirely eaten by tyranids, and losing the Damoclese Crusade? 

Those are some pretty spurious criticisms as I'm sure you're aware.  I'm pretty ambivalent towards the Ultras, but I don't think any other Chapter would've fared much better in those situations.  They're no doubt a rather boring Chapter, but they're far from incompetent as you seem to be inferring. 

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Yes this thread turned into a book competition on who's novels best depict the Space Marines. The thruth is they all do. GW has published them and the novels are all part of the fluff whether You like some in particular or not.  Some of them are realy, realy bad? Well too bad, read the ones You think are good or just stick with the DW main rolebook. Im sure there will be a whole CHAPTER (hi,hi :) ) on roleplaying Space Marines.

Mr. Watson: Thank You for the designer diary. I realy liked the idea of the Crusade (all this political intrigues as in Gaunt's Ghosts) and the independent agenda of Deathwatch. I think I'm going to buy the book. Keep sending us the updates. Happy Easter everyone. 

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BrotherHostower said:

To Psion - Really really bad luck with first book choice, that's almost as bad as grabbing the Souldrinker's Omnibus heh, Ultramarines or Space Boyscouts (always follow the manual!) are really as lackluster as you can get.  I mean really, what do you expect from a chapter who's greatest achievements include (but are not limited to) NOT arriving at the Battle of Terra in time to do anything, Getting their first company entirely eaten by tyranids, and losing the Damoclese Crusade?  The 2nd Ultra's book was ok, but only because of the Deathwatch Killteam in it and interaction with the Mortifactor's chapter which added some actual characterization.

Yeah, with The Killing Ground, the character I actually liked reading about  the most was the planet itself.  Its ties to Chaos, the political turmoil sparked by rebellion and civil war (somewhat justified sedition even by the Imperium's draconic standards,)  the warp-fueled hauntings.  The others... I actually got annoyed when McNeil switched over to the two Ultramarines as they rarely did anything constructive until the climax.  A company psyker who knew the end was coming but was ignored because the head cheese was an idiot, an actually LIKEABLE commissiar (fancy meeting one of those,) the somewhat to-be-expected incompetent/sociopathic Imperial commander (Guardsmen novels have dozens of thoses,) the priest enjoying the excesses of his office but weighed down by the atrocities he witnessed....  And then we had Sergeant Blandfaced and Captain Blah, way to ruin an otherwise decent cast.

Well, thanks for the reading recommendations but only had enough time for one book to give me a rough idea what RPing a Space Marine would be like.  And considering that my comment spawned the same kind of (relatively) immature bickering I've gotten before when I was looking for a good 40k book; I see I still made the right decision picking a book at random even though... yeah, it was a mediocre read.  Going to have to work through the rest of my reading list (Ky Vatta is THE ultimate Rogue Trader) before I look at Black Library books again.

And to reiterate:  Still not entirely sold on this product.  That being said I like what I'm seeing for Jericho Reach so far.  I am almost as big of a Tau fanboy as I am a Guard one and both the Crusade and the warp gate relic sound like perfect opprotunities for Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader characters to find their ways into the region.

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 The warp gate looks slightly eldaresque and we don't have much description on whether the term warp gate is literal or figurative so it could actually be an eldar gate.

Stable warp gates are part of 40k and the eldar own the most. Some just guard the material position of an entrance to a stable warp corridor others create a stable tunnel through warp space.

So, cliched or not, warp tunnels are part of 40k.

 

Hellebore

 

 

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Psion said:

BrotherHostower said:

 

To Psion - Really really bad luck with first book choice, that's almost as bad as grabbing the Souldrinker's Omnibus heh, Ultramarines or Space Boyscouts (always follow the manual!) are really as lackluster as you can get.  I mean really, what do you expect from a chapter who's greatest achievements include (but are not limited to) NOT arriving at the Battle of Terra in time to do anything, Getting their first company entirely eaten by tyranids, and losing the Damoclese Crusade?  The 2nd Ultra's book was ok, but only because of the Deathwatch Killteam in it and interaction with the Mortifactor's chapter which added some actual characterization.

 

Yeah, with The Killing Ground, the character I actually liked reading about  the most was the planet itself.  Its ties to Chaos, the political turmoil sparked by rebellion and civil war (somewhat justified sedition even by the Imperium's draconic standards,)  the warp-fueled hauntings.  The others... I actually got annoyed when McNeil switched over to the two Ultramarines as they rarely did anything constructive until the climax.  A company psyker who knew the end was coming but was ignored because the head cheese was an idiot, an actually LIKEABLE commissiar (fancy meeting one of those,) the somewhat to-be-expected incompetent/sociopathic Imperial commander (Guardsmen novels have dozens of thoses,) the priest enjoying the excesses of his office but weighed down by the atrocities he witnessed....  And then we had Sergeant Blandfaced and Captain Blah, way to ruin an otherwise decent cast.

Well, thanks for the reading recommendations but only had enough time for one book to give me a rough idea what RPing a Space Marine would be like.  And considering that my comment spawned the same kind of (relatively) immature bickering I've gotten before when I was looking for a good 40k book; I see I still made the right decision picking a book at random even though... yeah, it was a mediocre read.  Going to have to work through the rest of my reading list (Ky Vatta is THE ultimate Rogue Trader) before I look at Black Library books again.

And to reiterate:  Still not entirely sold on this product.  That being said I like what I'm seeing for Jericho Reach so far.  I am almost as big of a Tau fanboy as I am a Guard one and both the Crusade and the warp gate relic sound like perfect opprotunities for Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader characters to find their ways into the region.

If your looking for a book that makes marines out to be fully three dimensional characters, then pick up the Wolves books by King and Lee.   Ragnar is a great example of how unconventional a space marine can be and still not be a heretic.  Plus, the novels throw him into some very unusual situations, some of which I could see adapting to a DW campaign (such as his time as part of the Navigators honor guard).   

 

As to the diary...interesting.  The gate is a little odd, unless they are planning on making some weird peice of Ancients technology, which would neatly add necrons in the mix of possible foes.  But...eh, who knows...ah well, if nothing else can always ignore the gate, its not like the Imperium needs anything other than planets with Xenos and heretic scum occupying them to declare a crusade :)

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What about the ancient Slaan who were, I believe, responsible for the warp gates in WHFRP? They were a spacefaring race, as I recall. They may be the ones behind this warpgate. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Anyone?

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I advice Watsons Space Marine Novel about the Three  of Trazlor, the way of three young men from Trazlor to Imperial Fists  and Angels of Darkness from Gave Thorpe

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warpdancer said:

I advice Watsons Space Marine Novel about the Three  of Trazlor, the way of three young men from Trazlor to Imperial Fists  and Angels of Darkness from Gave Thorpe

Both of which are outdated and invalidated sources of background. Still in print, but outdated+invalidated.

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Kanluwen said:

warpdancer said:

 

I advice Watsons Space Marine Novel about the Three  of Trazlor, the way of three young men from Trazlor to Imperial Fists  and Angels of Darkness from Gave Thorpe

 

 

Both of which are outdated and invalidated sources of background. Still in print, but outdated+invalidated.

Ehm, may I ask you, since when is Angels of Darkness outdated?

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Mithras said:

What about the ancient Slaan who were, I believe, responsible for the warp gates in WHFRP? They were a spacefaring race, as I recall. They may be the ones behind this warpgate. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Anyone?

Possible, though it would be more likely to be the Old Ones than the Slaan (I believe at one point in the fluff the Slaan were the Old Ones, but that got retconned. Now the Slaan are another fallen race, while the Old Ones are something altogether different).

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Angels of Darkness has not been invalidated.  Then again, the Dark Angels haven't really had any major lore updates since 2nd Edition, and almost all of the short stories and novels we have are solely focused on the Fallen (even the Horus Heresy books about them deal heavily with events leading to the Chapter splitting apart).  I think there may be some stuff about them fighting threats to more than just their Chapter's honour in Deathwing, but I've never had the opportunity to read it.

Thank you for the designer diary, Mr. Watson...  The "Evil GM" part of my brain is already plotting and planning, and that is a good thing.

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Nice setting! I've run 40k-campaigns on the eastern fringe, and the area is a great excuse to justify the presence of most armies. I like the different moods of the three crusading "arms", and even though the gate might not be the most original link to DH and RT, it does the job and can easily be ignored by anyone who wants to isolate their Kill-team from Calixis.

Looking forward to reading more, up ahead.

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