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What do you guys think about letting a death watch charactor into a dark heresy campain. the rest of the guys are playing dark heresy charactors. I will give the dark heresy = xp (i think it is 14,000) but it still might be unbalanced.

what do you guys think i am not shure.

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 As a temporary NPC, a deathwatch character would be fine.  

As a PC however, playing as a genetically enhanced super soldier inducted into an elite covert military organization with access to some of the best weapons, armour and training available...while the rest of the group are run of the mill humans is OP to the max.  Even if said Deathwatch character was FOV (Fresh Out of the Vat) and a Scout, they would still have a colossal advantage over the regular humans, only taking into account the genetic modifications.  

It probably isnt a good idea, even if everyone agrees to the idea.  You would probably have to assign XP differently between the players, as a heroic task for a group of standard throne agents is something a Deathwatch operative could do blindfolded and partially disabled (slight exaggeration).  The chance of that Deathwatch operative being the 'one who does everything' is so high.  Not to mention secrecy goes out the window.  Even without power armour, a Space Marine is at least a foot taller than the tallest Feral.  Not to mention they WHY of a super elite deathwatch (or even normal) marine being assigned (permanently?) to an inquisitor is a HUGE investment of Imperial resources.  When a single space marine is easily the match of multiple squads of Guardsmen, wouldn't his superior training and wargear better serve the Imperium on the battlefield, rather than poking around in some corrupt magistrates closet?

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 I think it can be done, provided the players are reasonable about the whole thing. Having an Astartes on board 'changes the game' a lot, but then so to does running around wielding the actual authority of the God-Emperor of Mankind on a rosette in your pocket.

Disguising an Astartes isn't too difficult in a hive-sump. Taking them to a ball, however, might be more difficult. Alot of the time might require the Astartes acting like an off-site techpriest or adviser alot of the time. Have his own armour systems linked to some sensor feeds on the rest of the team when used for 'undercover' operations. 

Requires some skill and means that things are quite difficult or quite easy in many cases, but if the GM's willing to run with it and introduce a few other ideas as well (off-site character acting via vox-link [scrutiny/Awareness/Evaluate etc takes a -10 hit, but can still be done assuming linked to a reasonable bearer], for example), but I see no reason it's seriously any more difficult than having an Arbites Judge, Inquisitor, Hierophant or Vindicare running around. 

Ascension changes the nature of the game to a large extent, but not so much that it's an impossible game. Players just have a lot more freedom and power. Playing an Astartes is actually quite minor, IMO, compared to dealing with the actual authority wielded by such a team.

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Problem with DW as-is, is that its incremental scale (weapons, armour, gear, challenges etc) got turned up to "eleventy" and it doesn't really work very well next to either RT or DH Ascended characters.

The possibility is there though, for all kinds of reasons to include a marine in a group, my first GM's fiat aside from a fairly epic adventure to have him in the group would be that there is no deathwatch training and just have a regular marine, maybe later we could think about it but I'd prefer to start small. Maybe a scout marine/journeyman selecting from chapter and regular marine advance tables with some of his implants not quite grown, a fairly limited amount of equipment (scout armour, sniper rifle, bolt pistol and a knife- not a lot of fancy ammo) and without the squad modes will tone him down a bit. Just make sure that your DH characters are advanced enough in equipment not to be too overwhelmed, if you''ve got a guardsman in the group he's probably going to overtake him eventually as a combat-career.

(Mind you, you can make a guardsman a couple of ways which gives them tangible benefits outside of combat)

Marines are pretty much purposed for one thing though, shooting and beating the ***** out of everything.... and not much else.

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Introducing a Space Marine into the party could lead to a very interesting dynamic, if played right

The Inquisition, if I recall correctly, is the only organization that can... 'investigate' space marines of wrongdoing. Also, being an enforcement arm of The Emperor, one could imagine inquisition agents being the only thing space marines are careful around.

It could be fun, if the marine player was game, to really play up this aspect.

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I don't think it will work. Even experienced and storytelling-interested players will not like it if there is someone in their midst who is so much more powerful than them that he will constantly outshine them. I would try to have a temporary character, at best.

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I had a player who wanted to play a space marine, but even in my (admittedly after looking through these forums) rather high powered campaign a space marine would simply be extremely dominant in any action, thus my rejecting such a player character. Some of the more powerful weapons in the arsenal such as the bolt weapons are noted to be mere toys compared to those weilded by the space marines.

Thus the question would be how to balance things such that everyone can share the spotlight. I am not saying it couldnt be done, it might be able to be accomplished say by making the space marine in charge of the more physical aspects of combat, and the major mental challanges of the investigation being handled by the adepts or agents. Much is in how its handled, but given the likely issues in setting up said handaling such that all players have some importance/time to shine as it were I think it is not the best course of action.

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 Stats wise it could be done, but I would consider with being selective with the weapons allowed....

Astartes Chain Sword: yes
Astartes Shotgun: yes
Bolt Pistol: Nu, unless you limit the ammo, or downgrade the damage (2d10+2 X, Pen 5, Tearing)
Power Weapon: No, with their Unnatural Strength they would overpower the PC too much
Heavy Bolter: Hell No!!!
Plasma Weapons: No!!!
Melta Weapons: No!!!


I would urge for the would be Marine player to play a Melee Specialist (Assault Marine) in Scout Armour (mostly), Though I would add the Extra's of the Cadian Pattern Carapace Armour from Ascension.

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You could allow the DH characters to find special gear that could measure up somewhat in scale to the Space Marine gear. Some ascension careers also get unnatural toughness and unnatural strength and will likely have 60+ in those abilities as well, which will be comparable to space marines.

Only glaring difference will be the amount of skills/talents available to DH characters compared to DW characters. Wether that will be a problem for your game is of course up to you. Just remember that DW careers are starting out fresh at 13k experience and have slower progression than DH careers. So you may want to give the DW more xp each session to make up for this. I have not seen anyone making in depth analysis of this, so you will have to test and see how it works with your players.

 

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 Santiago: You raise a good point, but by connection rather than directly. An Astartes in DH won't be operating with ready supply from a Watch Station. When he's 'stepping out the door' he's going to have a very definite limit on what goes with him. Sure, he could have enough reloads to take down a platoon of guardsmen without breaking a sweat. But two? Three? 

Astartes won't be operating with a good choice of specialisations. Why would, for example, an Assault Marine or a Devastator specialisation be operating on their lonesome? Lonesome, unless you're a Salamander, will be at best a Tactical, Apothecary (why're they away from their brothers?), Librarian or, I think most commonly, a Techmarine.

So the trouble then with Plasma/Melta/Heavy Bolter style weaponry is...what the hell are they doing lumbering it about in the first place and, more likely, what the Dickens are they going to do once it's done?

This takes us to why getting the feel for Astartes is key: they're very reverential of their weapons and techniques. Toting a plasma cannon around whilst helping an Inquisitor unearth a cultist warren seems at once overpowered and stupid. At least take the flamer!

The point remains: in Ascension, an Astartes is operating without proper requisition (having to rely upon Influence, I'd say) and almost certainly without access to their normal 'genehanced superhuman creature comforts'. Also they can't use squad-mode abilities and suffer massively from being only one.

To reiterate an earlier point: allowing a Vindicare but not an Astartes?

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I would say that Astartes simply raise to much attention. In this point, I dare to disagree that a Spacemarine could be disguised. How "disguised" is something about 2,50m tall? Even if all features are veiled (burka, anyone?).

Since they are so rare a sight in the everday life of the imperium, anything needing "cover" will not work out unless the marine stays far, far away till the "final fight". Hardly fun, I would say.

On the other hand, in a combat orientat game it might be best to have all of the players "go marine".

If you are talking "Ascension", it might work. But again, forget about going undercover.

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Gregorius21778 said:

If you are talking "Ascension", it might work.

 

That's what I'm thinking. But even in an Ascended campaign, I suspect you will end up with the Space Marine being dead weight during investigations, then dwarfing all of the other characters into insignifigance during combat...

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 Not persé,

An Ultra Marine would also make a good social investigator and a **** good leader if you go for the Tactical Smurf, Blood Angels have a nice creepy feel to them and Elite Advance.
Dark Angels are great interrogators as are Black Templars.
All Marines can buy Inquiry at Rank 2 so they are pretty good actually.

The only thing I wouldn't do is give them a large supply of Bolt Shells, atleast hte regular Astartes Bolt Shells....

Starting Equipment for an Ascension Campaign Deathwatch Marine:

- Astartes Bolt Pistol
This is an iconic sidearm no marine should be without, but because all Astartes Shells are Stamped as Astartes Shells by the Munitorium they draw to much attention so instead give them "Civilian" Bolt Shells which do 1d10+5 X, Pen 4, for sake of play I would assume they would fit.
Though If you feel iffy about this one you might allow the:

- Astartes Flame Pistol
Though the fire damage per round is slightly higher it should really matter, and the damage is about equal to those characters wielding plasma weapons.

- Astartes Chain Sword
A fine weapon, I might even allow a good quality (WS +5%, 1d10+3 R, Pen 4, Balanced, Tearing) one since its lower damage than a Power Sword.

- Astartes Combat Knife
This a standard issue and little different from a mono sword.

- Astartes Shotgun
A very good weapon and not overpowered compared to the weapons the Throne Agents would have, allow for ample ammo and perhaps even solid shot (Man Stopper Rounds).

- Astartes Carapace Scout Armour
One of the few pieces of equipment I would actually upgrade, allow for the legs to be covered and perhaps add a Encrypted Micro-bead and the attachements for a Grav Chute.




If you stick to this equipment and allow for a few Elite Advances so the character can fit the campaign I think a Marine would be an excellent addition to a group of Throne Agents.
In heavy combat sessions you might have the Inquisitor give the Marine a clip of Astartes Bolt ammo but no more, otherwise he will totally outshine the rest.

Santiago...

ps: Marines can well be 2.1 meter tall which isn't that exceptional
pps: I rather allow a Marine than a Vindicare
ppps: It is the Primaris Psykers task to outshine the rest in combat
 

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*Shrug*

Your the GM, you can arguably do anything you so desire. However, I wouldn't personally recommend it. A Space Marine completely changes the theme of DH, and should generally be reserved for NPC's.

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I am not allowing Deathwatch characters as replacement or new PCs for my Ascended DH game at this time.  The poor Magos and combat cyborg Guardsman already struggle enough with undercover as it is...  Don't want to make them look like James Bond in comparrison by including an oh-so-subtle GIANT EFFING ASTARTES into the proverbial punchbowl they swim in.

Sure they are horrifying nigh-unstoppable killing machines, but that is really not the problem for a DH game.  The problem (besides game universe continuity) is one of style and practicality.  Then from the RP standpoint, how much of this "skulking dishonest Inquisition bullcrap" is the typical Astartes really prepared to overlook while spending year after year away from his battle-brothers?

"Why does your 2.3m tall monster of a buttler have a fused ribcage, Mechanicus-style interface ports and service studs imbedded in his forehead?"   Player:  "Uh, he has a thyroid condition?"partido_risa.gif

That plus just expect that more "dastardly underhanded heretical sorts" might suspect they have been discovered when Brother Gojirah starts poking around and asking leading questions...  So when your three-man Throne Agent team leaps from the shadows they must be prepared to shout :

"EVERYONE EXPECTS THE IMPERIAL INQUISITION!"

(How did not ONE of you guys go there?!  Honestly...  For shame.)gran_risa.gif

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ZillaPrime said:

I am not allowing Deathwatch characters as replacement or new PCs for my Ascended DH game at this time.  The poor Magos and combat cyborg Guardsman already struggle enough with undercover as it is...  Don't want to make them look like James Bond in comparrison by including an oh-so-subtle GIANT EFFING ASTARTES into the proverbial punchbowl they swim in.

Sure they are horrifying nigh-unstoppable killing machines, but that is really not the problem for a DH game.  The problem (besides game universe continuity) is one of style and practicality.  Then from the RP standpoint, how much of this "skulking dishonest Inquisition bullcrap" is the typical Astartes really prepared to overlook while spending year after year away from his battle-brothers?

"Why does your 2.3m tall monster of a buttler have a fused ribcage, Mechanicus-style interface ports and service studs imbedded in his forehead?"   Player:  "Uh, he has a thyroid condition?"partido_risa.gif

That plus just expect that more "dastardly underhanded heretical sorts" might suspect they have been discovered when Brother Gojirah starts poking around and asking leading questions...  So when your three-man Throne Agent team leaps from the shadows they must be prepared to shout :

"EVERYONE EXPECTS THE IMPERIAL INQUISITION!"

(How did not ONE of you guys go there?!  Honestly...  For shame.)gran_risa.gif

My 12 cents, coming from playing in DH and running DW.  It's totally doable in an ascended game the same way allowing DH characters in DW would work.  You need to make sure that the group has a need for a combat monster, and allow each character to shine in their own right.  If you have two combatish characters already then they may not be fans of the Marine stealing the show (poor guardsman, what upgrade package did he choose?  storm tropper is just so...lame).

Putting the Astartes in carapace armor for 'undercover' work, etc. is all totally doable though.  Inquisitors, noble houses, etc. all have bodyguards, and having a 2.3m bodyguard with some augmentation wouldn't be that out of the question.  Sure you might not be able to pretend that you're a pauper or slumlord, but you could focus on the rich and powerful.  Also remember that Astartes have decent all around stats, so saying they can't have a good fellowship or charm is a misnomer.  Santiago's numbers and ideas ring pretty true for me, though I wouldn't have a problem with the bolt pistol (the Vindicare pistol is comparable, and I wouldn't have a problem with a vindiacare myself either)

As for skulking about, they go where the Emperor tells them to go, and if he says go this group he'll go with that group.  That being said, you would need to provide opportunity in the adventure where it would make sense, which may in fact be waaay more trouble than it's worth.

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The problem isn't mechanically, you can justify anything mechanically because everything uses the same basic system tweaked one way or another - RT characters have higher base stats and lower skill range than a DH character; DW characters are more combat focused than either, yadda yadda... Problem becomes thematically. Its fine for a Space Marine to accompany a team out on a kill mission or what not, but for a Space Marine to go out with a group of acolytes to INVESTIGATE THE GALAXY ! is just .. Odd. Yes, they "go where the Emperor tells them", but thats more likely to mean they go where their Chapter-Master or such tells them to go, and getting seconded with a disposable team of acolytes on a long term basis seems like an odd thing to do.

They will stand out even undercover, space marines are huge, bulky, and even less likely to stand for subtly than Sororitas. Yes, there are other huge and bulky things in the setting, but your not going to see that kind of build from normal augmentation and genetic tampering - nor are they going to generally try to pretend to be a mutant or such. Its a can of worms, because assuming you can even somehow disguise the Space Marine for what he is, he isn't likely going to be tolerant of ... Almost everything. Its going to be likely the group will have to be very puritan, and very combat ready.

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^ I agree, and would like to add or reiterate the COST of having that 2.3m super soldier running around. 

He is designed to go to the toughest, most dangerous/deadly regions of the Imperium, behind enemy lines, single handedly hold a bridge while his battle brothers do a tactical withdrawl.  He is given his armour and his gear for a reason.  To kill as many foes as possible...and not to die easily by said foes.  If some acolyte gets ganked assaulting a den of cultists...that is one thing.  But to have a seconded Marine in inferior armour with inferior weapons going into the same place and falling...that is a HUGE loss.  Massive.  Who is going to retrieve his gene-seed when he dies?  How long is it going to take to 'create' another to replace him? 

Even if his chapter-master goes insane and actually assigns him to a long-term detail to a Inquisitor...having him as a 'servant' or 'bodyguard' is insulting/demeaning.  Unless you are trying to make it like "Kindergarten Cop" and get a jolly good bellyful of laughs in before he snaps the inquisitors neck with two fingers and walks off.  That would be pretty rad come to think of it...

That being said...if it was for an extended Xenos campaign that might be slightly more fitting.  Having one come in as a 'short-term' consultant for the acolyte n00bs facing some alien foe(s).  Much more plausible than having him poking around some settlement looking for clues, or hunting for a single cultist when he should be leveling the settlement to the ground with his superior firepower, or laying waste to HORDES of heretics. 

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 One of my players has made up an interesting Librarian character when we tried DW, which we didn't really enjoy.

Would he be harder or easier to fit into a DH campaign than a 'normal' SM do you think. The other characters are all about to ascend to Throne agent status.

 

Tam

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Rakiel said:

 Problem becomes thematically. Its fine for a Space Marine to accompany a team out on a kill mission or what not, but for a Space Marine to go out with a group of acolytes to INVESTIGATE THE GALAXY ! is just .. Odd. Yes, they "go where the Emperor tells them", but thats more likely to mean they go where their Chapter-Master or such tells them to go, and getting seconded with a disposable team of acolytes on a long term basis seems like an odd thing to do.

Maybe a radical inquisitor and a renegade astartes? not saying a full chaos space marine, but one that has broken his vows and struck out for himself, i seem to remember the red corsairs were originaly like that  but going by the lexicanum, it seems they are pledged to the arch enemy now

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Moff8 said:

 One of my players has made up an interesting Librarian character when we tried DW, which we didn't really enjoy.

Would he be harder or easier to fit into a DH campaign than a 'normal' SM do you think. The other characters are all about to ascend to Throne agent status.

 

Tam

Ascension games can be more easier to fit an SM into, because the players are an Inquisitional team themselves, so it makes it easier for a Space Marine to be seconded to them for massive conflicts and such... But Librarians create an even harder fluff issue than a normal Space Marine, since they take all the standard issues of having a Space Marine and raise them up a few notches since your essentially taking away a specially trained asset to the chapter that has a defined role in the workings and future of it. As said though, its your game and you can really do whatever you want to it but fluff wise.. It would be strange for a Chapter to just hand out their Librarians, most of them don't have that many.

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Simple solution:

All players, roll up DW characters. Excellent.. Should your DH team ever call for, be assigned, or ohterwise end up being more or less involved with a killteam doing dirty work in your camapaign..this the team that does it. Everyone gets a few sessions of runnign around being nigh invincible supermen doing amazing things, then you can get back to the business of being skulking acolytes without having to worry about wher eyou hding the 9 foot, 400 pound, angel of death who looks like the statues in the local temple.

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The main problem with mixing DH and DW characters into same group is that the systems just don't meet in regards of number and level of skills and talents and how they work. "Beginning level" Space Marines (14000 xp in DW) pay so much for all the assorted marine awesomeness that in the end they actually make pretty **** crappy DH characters. A starting level SM doesn't have much skills outside shooting and killing so when compared to 14000 xp-Ascended DH characters he is useless in investigation and simply a liability in undercover work. Okay, so his role would be the killer-in-the-box just waiting to be unleashed to wreak bloody murder... Except, and this is the real biggie, the DW marines are balanced to be more deadly than anyone else when you have at least three and run them using the Squad Modes for your best advantage, at which point they are really **** unstoppable. 

The problem is that a lone DW character in DH group doesn't have two or three mates to synchronize with and group modes giving that extra punch, so he ends up lacking. If you spend 14000 xp for dedicated ass-kicking Adepta Sororitas/Assassin/Sacntioned Psyker/Techpriest character in 40K he or she will kick the lone SM ass in two rounds and never look back. So, unless you spend a **** lot of time to balance the characters one-by-one the only thing SM can do better than others is spitting acid, taking damage and lying in coma. Not much fun for the SM player, eh?

Then again, if power gaming players ain't your problem, your group is mostly focused on actual roleplaying instead of rollplaying and they can handle the fact that all caharacters are not equally usefull... Well, then go right ahead and put the SM into the group. Just remember to build the missions so that having a 2,3 meter-tall, half-a-ton man of ceramite (remember that black carapace even when outside power armor) doesn't turn into a liability for the team.

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Plus, let's not forget the role of personality/mindset. A Space Marine amongst a group of Inquisitorial agents will likely be about as welcome as a Paladin in a D&D party made up of Rogues (pardon my geeking)...

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