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N0-1_H3r3

New Speciality Special Abilities

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I was holding back with the idea for these while we were all waiting for Rites of Battle, to see if anything similar was poised to exist. Turns out... there wasn't anything quite like these in there, so I was free to dabble, and I put together the first, rough draft of these additional Special Abilities for Apothecaries, Assault Marines, Devastators and Tactical Marines.

Some of them are written for specific chapters, allowing players to build their Assault Marine as a Blood Claw, or their Apothecary as a Sanguinary Priest. Others are simply there to offer more options beyond those in the rulebook.

These abilities are designed to be options alongside those abilities in the rulebook, free to be selected by any eligable character in place of the likes of Unrelenting Devastation, Bolter Mastery, etc.

Apothecary

Sanguinary Priest (Blood Angels only)

The Apothecaries of the Blood Angels differ from those of other Chapters in several ways. Owing to the nature of the Blood Angels' curse, the Chapter's Apothecaries are as vital to the spiritual guidance of their brethren as the Chapter's Chaplains, exhorting control over the dark fury that consumes the Sons of Sanguinius. These Sanguinary Priests must practice what they preach, for the necessary bloodletting of the Apothecary's calling, whether to heal their brothers or to claim their geneseed evokes the Red Thirst's terrible grip upon their minds, turning their most crucial of duties into a spiritual trial that must be overcome time and again. To aid them, to bolster their resolve against the darkest parts of themselves, each narthecium in use by the Sanguinary Priests contains a blessed fragment of one of the Blood Chalices, each imbued with the merest fragment of Sanguinius' grace, urging the priests and their nearby brethren to greater glories.

A Blood Angels Apothecary gains a +3 bonus to all Willpower Tests and may enter a Frenzy (if he has that Talent) as a Free Action. The same benefit is conferred to any Blood Angels in Squad Mode with the Apothecary.

Assault Marine

Master of Blades

The Assault Marine gains a +10 bonus to all Weapon Skill Tests and +2 to Damage when wielding a bladed melee weapon (combat blade, sword, chainsword, etc). This ability only functions in Solo Mode.

Scornful Defence

The Assault Marine knows well when to go for the kill and when to throw his foes aside dismissively for his brothers to slay. When the Assault Marine parries or dodges an attack, his squad-mates gain +10 to hit against the attacking enemy. This ability only functions in Squad Mode.

Reckless Charge (Space Wolves only)

Still hot-blooded and vital with the youthful fury of a young pup, the Battle Brother throws caution to the wind when he charges, lashing out with deadly abandon. When performing a Charge Attack action, the Battle Brother may spend his Reaction to make an additional attack with the same bonuses to hit. This ability may only be used in Solo Mode.

Wrathful Crusader (Black Templars only)

The righteous hate of the Black Templars is strong, and many of their Assault Marines learn to turn that loathing into lethality. When making a melee attack against an enemy he Hates, the Assault Marine deals an additional +2 damage to individual enemies, or +1d5 points of Magnitude damage against a Horde. This ability may only be used in Solo Mode.

Devastator

Covering Fire

The Devastator's timing is perfect, every shot flawlessly delivered to grant his brethren moments of respite from the deadly attentions of the enemy, fleeting moments enough to act. In any turn where the Devastator hits with a Heavy weapon by 4 or more Degrees of Success, he may grant a single Battle-Brother within Support Range a bonus Half Action, during his next turn which may not be used for any attack action, focus power action or any action with the Concentration sub-type. This ability may only be used in Squad Mode.

Inescapable Wrath

If the Devastator spends at least a Half Action aiming before an attack with a Heavy Weapon, all attempts to dodge that attack suffer an additional -10 penalty. This ability may only be used in Solo Mode.

Wisdom of Ages (Space Wolves only)

The Marine is long of tooth and long-practiced at delivering firepower where it is needed most. When the Devastator makes an Aim action, he may attempt a Challenging (+0) Awareness Test; if successful, his subsequent attack gains +1 Pen, with an additional +1 for every two Degrees of Success. This Awareness Test gains a +10 bonus if he aims as a Full Action. This ability may only be used in Solo Mode.

Restraining the Curse (Blood Angels only)

Those Sons of Sanguinius who serve as Devastators must constantly fight to restrain their darker urges so that they can fulfill their battlefield role. The Devastator may re-roll all tests to resist succumbing to the Black Rage.

Tactical Marine

Mentor

The Marine's skill at guiding and aiding others makes him a boon to his squad, his experience helping them achieve even greater victories. Any character the Battle-Brother assists gains an additional +10 bonus to their test, and all Battle-Brothers in his squad may treat any skill he is Trained in as a Basic Skill. This ability may only be used in Squad Mode.

Tactical Flexibility

The Tactical Marine is proficient in every method and tool of war in use by the Astartes. The Battle-Brother treats all Drive, Pilot and Tactics skills as Basic skills, and only suffers a -10 penalty for using a weapon untrained. Any Drive, Pilot and Tactics skills he is Trained in gain a +5 bonus.

Patient Hunter (Space Wolves only)

The Marine is cunning and careful, moving to capitalise upon the briefest moments of weakness. The Marine may, as a free action, take a single half action (which may not be an attack or any action with the concentration subtype) when he causes an enemy to be stunned, pinned or Critically Injured. This ability may only be used in Solo Mode.

Stern Crusader (Black Templars only)

The Templar's wrath knows no limitations, and his fury is as easily expressed with a storm of fire as with the clash of blades. The character gains the benefits of the Hatred talent with ranged attacks as well as with melee attacks. This ability may only be used in Solo Mode.

 

 

As I said, this is the first draft, rough and basic. I'm open to suggestions for improvements or additional abilities (particularly ones for other Chapters), so feel free to comment.

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 You could also have these be Speciality-specific Deeds (and assign them an XP cost).

I like the overall feel of the Long Fang option, might be a bit "too good" though. Would need testing.

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        I like the effort you put into these, I would allow them as background in fluff only with no bonuses myself( you are already getting a chapter bonus and assimulating into DW).  I really disliked 90% of RoB, the vehicals were a nice referrance, other then that I could do without it. Luckily my cheap players who had to be talked into just getting the core book will never buy it.

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Nimon said:

        I like the effort you put into these, I would allow them as background in fluff only with no bonuses myself( you are already getting a chapter bonus and assimulating into DW).

Remember that these options are designed to be taken instead of the normal choice of special abilities that come with a Speciality - it isn't a bigger bonus, but the choice to have a different one - that's key. It helps when you've got multiple characters of the same Speciality to have more options to help distinguish between them.

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HappyDaze said:

I'd like to see some abilities that break the pattern of only functioning in either Solo Mode or Squad Mode.  Ideally I'd like to see EVERY ability rewritten to have both a Solo and a Squad effect.

I would like to see this as well. If im a tactical marine wilth bolter mastery, It's rare that i get to use it. Staying in squad mode is a no brainer with things like lead by example and fire for effect.

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 Kudos. I've been toying with this idea myself, though I hadn't got around to putting pen to paper, as yet.

Points that spring to mind:

Sanguinary Priest: Language needs clearing up as to if the WP bonus also applies to others.

Reckless Charge: 'spend his reaction' - what if he has more than one, can those also be spent. Just another grammatical clear-up needed.

Inescapable Wrath: Nice idea, but only -10 is quite poor, considering it takes an aim action to achieve. If it's -10 only then it'd be better off either being on all attacks (aimed or not), or upped to -20 or more. remember that you're competing with unrelenting devastation here, which is amazing.

Wisdom of ages: Any way to mechanically simplify this, instead of requiring additional die rolls?

 

Other stuff:

Tacticals probably need something a little more exciting, rather than further bard-like abilities. There's obvious scope here for a scout sergeant package.

There's scope here for a way of giving a team lacking an Apo some medicae. It makes sense for a kill-team to have someone along cross-trained in it, and able to recover gene-seed. So some kind of 'apothecary's apprentice' seems an obvious addition.

Some kind of vehicle crew/commander package for tech-marines?

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Siranui said:

Sanguinary Priest: Language needs clearing up as to if the WP bonus also applies to others.

Yes, it does; I'll look to cleaning up the text.

Siranui said:

Reckless Charge: 'spend his reaction' - what if he has more than one, can those also be spent. Just another grammatical clear-up needed.

Fundamentally, it's the same as the WAAAGH! talent that Orks get in Into the Storm, which itself is essentially just Furious Assault but for charging instead of all-out attack. As it stands, there is no other way to gain more than one reaction to spend on that ability - due to being Solo Mode only, it cannot be used with Tactical Spacing, and as it requires that the character charge it cannot be used with Defensive Stance... and the talents Wall of Steel and Step Aside grant bonus reactions only for specific purposes. Again, I'll clear up the text, but the distinction is fundamentally moot.

Siranui said:

Inescapable Wrath: Nice idea, but only -10 is quite poor, considering it takes an aim action to achieve. If it's -10 only then it'd be better off either being on all attacks (aimed or not), or upped to -20 or more. remember that you're competing with unrelenting devastation here, which is amazing.

Nice alternatives, I'll look at them and see which serve my purposes better. Part of the intention was to go with abilities that were potentially more useful with weapons other than the heavy bolter; Unrelenting Devastation is just short of pointless with a Lascannon, afterall (hey, two Mag damage instead of one... wow).

Siranui said:

Wisdom of ages: Any way to mechanically simplify this, instead of requiring additional die rolls?

Perhaps. I wanted to key it to the character's inherently high capabilities in regards to perception. Alternatives that spring to mind now rely on Perception Bonus in place of a test, but that may become too potent as Space Wolves get Unnatural Perception from Wolf Senses at later ranks.

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Tacticals probably need something a little more exciting, rather than further bard-like abilities. There's obvious scope here for a scout sergeant package.

My personal inclination with the Scout Sergeant is a full Speciality rather than a bolt-on ability for another speciality.

N0-1_H3r3 said:

There's scope here for a way of giving a team lacking an Apo some medicae. It makes sense for a kill-team to have someone along cross-trained in it, and able to recover gene-seed. So some kind of 'apothecary's apprentice' seems an obvious addition.

Good suggestions, though I'd be reluctant to allow non-Apothecaries to collect geneseed. Field medic is one thing, guardian of the Chapter's future is another entirely.

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Some kind of vehicle crew/commander package for tech-marines?

Techmarines, like Librarians, are awkward - their special abilties are not options, but fixed elements the same for every character. Librarians are perhaps more awkward due to only having one special ability (psychic powers), for which removal is not an option. Techmarines could, in theory, count their "reinforcing cover" ability as an option, but it's not something I'd pondered on at the time of writing these.

Thanks for the feedback; it's most appreciated.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Fundamentally, it's the same as the WAAAGH! talent that Orks get in Into the Storm...

***

 

Nice alternatives, I'll look at them and see which serve my purposes better. Part of the intention was to go with abilities that were potentially more useful with weapons other than the heavy bolter; Unrelenting Devastation is just short of pointless with a Lascannon, afterall (hey, two Mag damage instead of one... wow).

***

 

Perhaps. I wanted to key it to the character's inherently high capabilities in regards to perception. Alternatives that spring to mind now rely on Perception Bonus in place of a test, but that may become too potent as Space Wolves get Unnatural Perception from Wolf Senses at later ranks.

***

 

My personal inclination with the Scout Sergeant is a full Speciality rather than a bolt-on ability for another speciality.

***

 

Good suggestions, though I'd be reluctant to allow non-Apothecaries to collect geneseed. Field medic is one thing, guardian of the Chapter's future is another entirely.

***

 

Techmarines could, in theory, count their "reinforcing cover" ability as an option, but it's not something I'd pondered on at the time of writing these.

 

 

Might still be worth just clearing the grammar up, though.

***

-10 Does just seem a little poor for something that's not 'always on'. It's essentially only reducing a Dodge chance by 25%-30%, which still makes it far more effective to blaze away with an autofire weapon if you're worried about shots being dodged. I'm not sure what I'd prefer: 'always on' and a lower bonus, or a large bonus at the cost of the aim action.

***

It may not be possible to simplify mechanically, but I'm always a fan of complex results obtained elegantly.

***

Probably. I'm not crazy on the whole Scout Sergeant idea myself, anyway. Meh: maybe a 'covert ops' solo mode specialisation of some kind for those who like their sneaky/sniper types. The problem is that Tacticals -by their nature- are usually in squad mode. It's a shame the Bolter Spec isn't a squad thing in many ways, as the Unrelenting Devastation ability does make the Dev the 'shooty character of choice', when really the Tactical should also be effective in the area.

***

Really? I see a lot of fluff justification for it. Marines are dead tetchy about wanting their Geneseed returned to the Chapter at the best of times. The PC Marines are light-years from their home Chapter, and know that if they die, the tale of glory will never be told, due to the Watch's secretive nature. All that will get posted back is their gear and -hopefully- geneseed. Given that Teams are so small it's a given that most will lack an APO (in fluff theory, even if not in game-play practice). Now given that the DW get sent on all kinds of crazy missions, there's a mighty fine reason for one of the team to be trained in use of the Reductor. One could even argue that it might be the limit of their cross-training, and they never actually get taught any 'medicae' other than recovering seed. Although that would then be a speciality that would see rare use!

***

The tech-marine cover reinforcement is to my mind eminently suitable for replacement with something else quite niche. Especially since the IF Chapter rules came out, making Siegemaster and the Solo Mode duplicate and over-shadow what was always a fairly poor ability anyway. Heck: As a player, I'd even jump at the chance to sub-out the ability for a standard-quality cybernetic. Of course, a vehicle crew thing would also suit a Tactical.

 

Other things that leap to mind... although some of these might make better deeds, and I'm literally pulling ideas off the top of my head, here:

Technical cross-training.

Demolitions: Increased effect when using the skill and maybe greater effect with Grenades. 'Appraise' as trained?

Standard bearer type thing, perhaps. Bonuses when bearing a back-banner (which is a bit of a poor bit of kit at present) and similar.

Perhaps a 'bodyguard' type thing: A 'protector' type.

Another leadership-type package for Tacs (or indeed anyone else), seeing as their mainstay special ability is part-eclipsed by the new mechanics for sharing Chapter Patterns in RoB. Gives more cohesion or a way of recovering it.

Afor-mentioned solo sneaky/sniper/infiltration type.

Some kind of tank/elite killing ability for Devs, giving them a choice of being uber against hordes via R.D. or better able to deal with heavy threats.

Sword brethren?

Something to make the Fists a bit better.

 

 

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Restraining the Curse (Blood Angels only)

Those Sons of Sanguinius who serve as Devastators must constantly fight to restrain their darker urges so that they can fulfill their battlefield role. The Devastator may re-roll all tests to resist succumbing to the Black Rage.

 

Don't you mean Red Thirst? I thought succumbing to the Black Rage was a career-ending move.

 

Alex

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