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DrgnScorpion

Legion Rules

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So I wonder if anybody has thought of legion rules much as the rules for space marines from Deathwatch. I did with my group right from the start and this is our preliminary idea

 

Legion Rules
Death Guard: +5 Toughness, +3 Wounds, starts off aligned to Nurgle, you dont get your power armor bonus to speed but you can never go below 2 for speed, can never remove power armor.


Thousand Sons: +5 Willpower, +1 Psy Rating, Must be a Sorceror, starts off aligned to Tzeetch, immune to mutations of all sorts, can never remove power armor,


Word Bearer: +5 Willpower, +5 Fellowship, gain the Cant of Lorgar (only if champion) from the Achilus Assault under the Dark Apostle entry,


Alpha Legion: +5 Perception, +5 Fellowship,


Night Lords: +5 Perception, Fear (1)


Black Legion: +5 to two stats of choice, can be aligned to any of the gods.


Iron Warriors: +5 Willpower, +5 Perception, gain paranoia for free, gain Tactica (Siege Warfare)


World Eaters: +5 Strength, +5 Weapon Skill, starts off aligned to Khorne, gain frenzy from the start.


Emperors Children: +5 Agility, +5 Willpower, starts off aligned to Slaanesh

for the four legions that start off aligned. You start after full character creation. Your number starts as 5 above what is needed to be aligned. If you get to a different alignment you lose all benefits of being from your legion except for the stat bonues. You can never get marked by that god and can never get aligned with them again.

 

So here are the preliminary rules for legions i'm working on.

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While a neat idea, there's a few problems. First of all, unlike Deathwatch, CSM are supposed to be able to work alongside humans. Allowing them to get some rather significant and powerful extra boosts on top of what they already get is a massive unbalancer in that department. If you're in a marines only game, less of an issue. Not one at all, really.

Furthermore, starting Aligned is HUGE bonus, especially if you start counting as having 5 more advances on top of what is necessary. This is enough to more or less make the whole alignment game completely pointless without significant effort to break it, which it completely discourages even more than the original. Also minor note, this means that the Thousand Son Character gets to remove his power armor again if he gets unaligned to Tzeentch, as written. Which seems... odd.

The Emperor's children, however, lose nothing by breaking alignment, which is odd in a different way.

Other than that, the boosts look more or less balanced. The Iron Warriors get to collect a little more, maybe, but then again Siege Warfare is a bit of a niche know-how.

Honestly, as long as you're in a marines only game, I'd just remove the alignment thing. You can still worship a god without counting as aligned, it just means you haven't done enough to earn their eye yet. If you're gonna run a mixed-race game, I'd not use it, tbh, and just let your players decide what Legion they want to be from and "flavor/paint" their character accordingly.
 

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I'm still working on it which is why some are more complete than others. My group composition is this: 2 Death Guard, 1 Thousand Son, 1 Word Bearer, 1 World Eater, and 3 humans.

I'm going to put more clarification into what gets removed or not. Also being aligned starting is also a huge disadvantage if you look at it. Our Thousand Son wants some combat abilities so that he can be able to parry and counter attack if needed. Those are going to cost so much more now. One of the Death Guard is a sorceror which is going to be hard for him to upgrade his willpower to be effective. My player base are all major lore fiends so everything that is coming out i'm running by them first so as not to unbalance the game. I thank you for your post it did bring some things that I hadn't thought of to light.

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oh and not being able to remove your power armor is a disadvantage not an advantage. So they wouldn't lose that. but a Thousand Son would suddenly be able to be mutated which would be the scariest thing in the world to them.

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First and most important of all: what are the humans getting in return? I mean, the marines are ALL getting +10 characteristic boosts AND most of them are getting a talent or two for free. At the very least the humans should get equal bonuses to this, otherwise you're risking serious player annoyance as you widen the gap between Space Marine and Human. This actually gets worse since you have 3 player characters who can never remove their amour, ever. Which means that the social situation stealth, which space marines out of armor make problematic, is almost impossible, making it even harder for the humans to do their social game stuff outside of the Screaming Vortex. Hell, considering their Legions, the very distinctive armor makes even posing as Loyalists more or less utterly impossible.

And sure, a Thousand Sons Sorcerer has a harder time buying some melee stuff. He meanwhile gets almost all psyker related advances cheaper and starts with access to Tzeentch powers, which hosts some of the most potent stuff in the game. All Tzeentchian advances are also cheaper, which means he can get the Mark faster and cheaper than he would otherwise.

For the other ones, especially the black legion, it's even less of a bum deal since they all start with easier access to what they want. And they all get to start pretty safe in their ability to attempt to get Chaos God specific gifts right outta the gate. Alignments are meant to be a net gain, and they are for everything but the most wishy-washy middle of the road Jack of all Trades type. Sure, it's less awesome if you decide to play against type, but then again, so is picking apostate as the archetype for a melee guy. Don't mean you should balance the rules for that choice.

Also, the Rubric of Ahriman (what turned the Thousand Sons into walking golems) isn't tied to Tzeentch and I see no reason it (and the anti-mutation protection it grants) would go away because you no longer support Tzeentch. Hell, it's purpose is blatantly opposed to Tzeentch's very nature. TBH, I'd rule it applies above and beyond whatever else is applied to the character. I'd also suggest removing the whole perma-banned from re-aligning rules etc and just say that they get what they get and can change alignment just like anybody else without losing anything. The chaos gods might be vindictive and cruel, but they're also so **** fickle that they gladly let you back into the fold.

Really, I strongly suggest removing the automatic alignment. If not that, at the very least the special rules that permanently ban a character from rejoining said god or losing some of the bonuses for falling out of favor.
 

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I think the stat bonuses could really break you here.  Space Marines already get +5 to all stats; now you're adding more?  I can already build a sorcerer with a 60 starting WP, but I have to give up 5 strength and 2 wounds to do it.  Now you're giving me 5 more willpower, plus a psy rating, and not really making me give up anything?  Why would anyone roll a psyker?

As others have pointed out, starting aligned is a huge bonus.  I understand why it doesn't make any sense to play a dedicated marine not aligned to the right god, but think of it like this:  that doesn't mean they don't worship that god, just that they haven't done enough to attract its attention and get its favor in any meaningful fashion (xp cost adjustment, rewards, etc.).  A Death Guard might worship Nurgle, but that doesn't mean he's proven himself enough to become tougher more easily through his god's favor (buy Toughness cheap by being aligned).  If you wanted any alignment rules, I would simply say that the character is never allowed to buy advances that would cause them to become aligned to an innapropriate god.

Space Marines already have so much; it's unfair in a mixed game to give them more without making them pay for it.  I'd stay away from stats, except as costs, because the opportunites to min/max are too great.  Fear for a Night Lord makes sense; what if it also came with a Fellowship penalty?  Frenzy is a big boost for World Eaters; what if it came with an Int penalty?  Or reduced weapon proficiencies?  I actually quite like the speed thing you've got going for Death Guard.  Think of minor additions like these to add flavor without breaking the game.

Also, maybe I'm missing something, but why couldn't Thousand Sons remove their armor?  The Rubric sealed the Rubric Marines into their armor, but I haven't seen where it did the same for the sorcerers whose power it amplified (though I may have missed it).  And a Rubric Marine isn't suitable for a PC, as they're essentially mindless automatons (perfect for minions, though).

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I´d try to give the "Legion" marines advantages and disadvantages that are roughly in line with Prides, Disgraces and Motivations and use the "Legion Rules" instead of those.

Some Example penalties for Legion Marines:

Death Guard: Fellowship, depending on how rotten he is Agility or Intelligence.

Word Bearer: Intelligence: his religious zeal might at times be in conflict with logic and reason.

Night Lord: Fellowship: Night Lords are atheists. Maybe even a Iower Infamy (less glory in the eyes of gods they don´t care for) to start with.

World Eater: Ballistic Skill, Intelligence: Lobotomized zerkers obsessed with melee combat.

Emperors Children: Toughness, for overstressing their bodies with excesses of various natures.

Thousand Son: Strength, Weapon Skill: for using their mind way more than their body.

 

You could also customize with skills and talents after character creation, by just swapping stuff.

For instance: A Chosen of the Iron Warriors Legion could swap 2 of his skills (the Chosen ones, not those that are universal to CSM) for Scholastic Lore (Siege Tactics) and Tech Use. If he wants Paranoia too, I´d let him take it for giving up 2 of the Chosens T1 talents (like Rapid Reload and Deadeye Shot, or whatever the Chosen can take instead).

And voila, just by swapping equally costed stuff we have a nice Iron Warrior marine.

 

 

 

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@ Revered Mort: As i'm working on just Legions right now this is all tied to the orginal 9 traitor legions. It even says in the book if you wanted to play a character from Deathwatch you get to keep your bonuses from there. I'm just making it the same with the Chaos Legions that sided with Horus. Also, humans can do a hell of a lot more than the chaos marines, i'm still working on it still for all the unaligned legions. Plus when it comes to humans..well they are humans. Not survivors from legend itself.

@mijal: Deathwatch Space Marines start with the same thing. When they move over to Black Crusade or if somebody wanted to say play a fallen Ultramarine they get their stat bonuses. How is what i'm doing any different from that. Also these are as I keep saying preliminary. Each legion is going to have its drawbacks and benefits. The Thousand Sons not being able to leave their armor is a drawback. I have major stuff done on the legions already represented in my game. I'm working on the others and the Night Lords will have some stuff they are my legion of choice for all things. I also put it in the Thousand Entry you have to be a Sorceror to even be a Thousand Son.

@moepp: I wasn't going to rewrite the entire character creation stuff just add some flavor for it.

 

Oh, and for everybody concerned about the humans in my game: They chose to play human even knowing the legion rules I was working on. Their response was they wanted to have more fun playing humans than marines. Remember folks: This is still being worked on.

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@ Revered Mort: As i'm working on just Legions right now this is all tied to the orginal 9 traitor legions. It even says in the book if you wanted to play a character from Deathwatch you get to keep your bonuses from there. I'm just making it the same with the Chaos Legions that sided with Horus. Also, humans can do a hell of a lot more than the chaos marines, i'm still working on it still for all the unaligned legions. Plus when it comes to humans..well they are humans. Not survivors from legend itself.

I'd love a page reference to where the book says that, specifically.

Also, no, they're not "survivors of legend" they're the plucky ass bastards who are hardcore enough to hang around the "survivors of legend" and talk and deal with them like equals. They're the One in a thousand billion who have the drive, tenacity, dedication and raw, seething power to take the world by the horns and drive it's direction without a lifetime of training and an arsenal of implants and weapons to elevate them above their common man.

@mijal: Deathwatch Space Marines start with the same thing. When they move over to Black Crusade or if somebody wanted to say play a fallen Ultramarine they get their stat bonuses. How is what i'm doing any different from that. Also these are as I keep saying preliminary. Each legion is going to have its drawbacks and benefits. The Thousand Sons not being able to leave their armor is a drawback. I have major stuff done on the legions already represented in my game. I'm working on the others and the Night Lords will have some stuff they are my legion of choice for all things. I also put it in the Thousand Entry you have to be a Sorceror to even be a Thousand Son.

Personally, the rules me and my group have adopted to fallen marines is "Make a Space marine. Pick your role. Recolor your armor, ask if you can swap some equipment around. If you really want to, maybe ask if you can replace a talent or skill with another.".

Deathwatch characters transferred straight in are worth far more xp than a starting BC character within that little "comparison" system they have. Sure, they have more stat bonuses. They also have more talents, more skills AND a completely different system for getting equipment AND no Infamy. What you've written so far (we can't critique what you haven't shown, we can only judge what we see) gives massive bonuses to space marine characters with almost no drawbacks involved. This is a unbalanced mechanic.

Also, the actual rules for transferring in a character is on pg 281. It includes removing almost all skills and talents. It seems far less forgiving in terms of net-gain than this.

@moepp: I wasn't going to rewrite the entire character creation stuff just add some flavor for it.

 Well you're already adding another layer with massive game-mechanical impacts. His system merely allows for player customization based on GM allowance, which some gm's might even allow without "I am LEGION!" justification.

Oh, and for everybody concerned about the humans in my game: They chose to play human even knowing the legion rules I was working on. Their response was they wanted to have more fun playing humans than marines. Remember folks: This is still being worked on.

Were they aware that the system would give massive bonuses to the Space Marines while leaving them high and dry? Knowing you were working on house-rules is not the same as knowing you're working on a specific player choice benefiting house-rule that leaves them not only behind in terms of points and "kewl Stuff" but also makes it a lot harder for them to do what they are meant to be good at doing, since doing it means leaving behind 3 individual players who will no doubt quickly grow bored with being completely banned from a lot of non-combat or heretic interactions in the game? The trapped in armor guys make ANY imperial infiltration more or less impossible. Especially the Thousand Sons sorcerer, who can't even hold out for the chance of getting stealth benefiting mutations!

The consequences of this will go beyond "The space marines get +10 extra points and a talent" and the drawbacks you have are, interestingly enough, the ones who seriously risk tilting the game so far in focus of Space Marine endeavours that playing a human becomes a sucker's game.

@Mijal Also, maybe I'm missing something, but why couldn't Thousand Sons remove their armor? The Rubric sealed the Rubric Marines into their armor, but I haven't seen where it did the same for the sorcerers whose power it amplified (though I may have missed it). And a Rubric Marine isn't suitable for a PC, as they're essentially mindless automatons (perfect for minions, though).

To the best of my knowledge, fluff has always been a bit unclear as to whether the Rubric trapped the sorcerers AND amplified their powers or just amplified their powers. We know Ahriman made it with his flesh intact, but considering his general douchebag behaviour he might very well have exempted himself from the powerful and untested spell the first time he tried it. It's a hard pick, "Jerkass" or "Professor Guinea Pig". Both are such staple tropes of 40k gaming.

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 I've got to agree with the majority here - with vanilla BC, humans and CSM are halfway balanced. Just handing out somewhere around 1000 XP worth of advances to one kind of players but not the other... I don't know. Would you play in a D&D game where the GM said "Oh, and you elf? Well, elves are awesome and more experienced than the others anyway, so you're starting three levels above the others." 
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't.

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*sighs* Its fluff that becomes rules. When they have a talent called Ancient Warrior that says hey you survived the Heresy and my characters picked the legions they wanted because they are cool. Hell, I'm allowing the older marks from Rites of Battle for some legions based on the Heresy rules for how they got it. Its interesting how alot of you are fighting something that is fluff based. Yes my human characters know that the Space Marines are getting better from this. They also realize that i'm going to still make it fun for them.

Yes, I may be unbalancing the game but i'm also creating a system that says this: Guess what now you actually FEEL like your playing a character from that legion. Instead of a Death Guard player starting off unaligned because there are none that are. Same with World Eaters, Thousand Sons, and Emperors Children. Those four legions have a very distinct attitude and makeup. Guess what they start aligned and yes they will have to read up on the legion that they chose. If a player doesn't want to be one of those four then they play a renegade or something else in the legions. Its all about choice. I also am still working on it. I posted it thinking that people would actually enjoy trying out some rules that make Chaos Space Marines not suck compared to their younger loyalist counterparts in Deathwatch.

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1. Give everyone 2-3k extra experience, along with the corresponding increase in Corruption and Infamy.(see p.47).

2. CSM players spend this experience in a way consistent with their Legions' themes and get an appropriate allignment in the process.

3. Human players spend this experience however they want.

4. Profit!

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Morangias said:

1. Give everyone 2-3k extra experience, along with the corresponding increase in Corruption and Infamy.(see p.47).

2. CSM players spend this experience in a way consistent with their Legions' themes and get an appropriate allignment in the process.

3. Human players spend this experience however they want.

4. Profit!

That's how I did it; one of the two Chaos Marines in my group is a Thousand Sons Sorcerer of the Raptorae (and thus Telekinetic) who managed to get Warpsmith as his first Gift, so he's Psy Rating 5.

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One of the things i'm doing for the humans is that they get extra stuff based on background. If they dont know anything about the setting or background I help them come up with an idea and they get stuff based on that.

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 Morangias' solution ftw.

Noone ever said that you have to start the game at 8k XP - and if you go up to Deathwatch levels (what was it? 13k?), CSMs seem like they'd be a lot stronger than their loyalist counterparts.

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 Another way to do it is to just have those specific marine backgrounds state that: "If this character even becomes unaligned, it is instead aligned to (whoever)." Basically just removed the unaligned option for those Marines, that wouldn't affect too much right off the bat, as they'd still have to earn marks and stay aligned to fulfill their background and feel.

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My suggestion would be to make the Legion specific background have an XP cost attached.  My suggestion would be something along the lines of 500 xp, which is a nice round number and easy to grant as an additional bonus.  Then the package would need to be balanced accordingly.  Granting anymore attributes to CSMs is probably too much.  My suggestion would be to find something unique for each Legion and focus on that aspect.

My suggestion:

Legion Background (500xp):

World Eater:  When charging, the character deals an additional 2 points of melee damage.  This damage is doubled if the character is wielding a 2handed melee weapon.  This trait counts towards alignment toward Khorne.

Death Guard:  The CSM gains 2 wounds.  Additionally, this trait counts towards alignment toward Nurgle.

Emperor's Children:  The character's senses have been torn and tested to the point of destruction.  Jaded, the character is immune to any effects that would rob him of his senses.  At the GM's discretion, the character may need to make an attribute test to avoid losing his sense(s).  This trait counts towards alignment towards Slaanesh.

The Thousand Sons:  This trait may only be taken by Sorcerers.  Protected by Tzeentch, the Sorcerer may re-roll any one Warp Phenomena roll once per game session.  The re-roll is affected by all the modifiers of the original.  This trait counts towards alignment toward Tzeentch.

The Night Lords:  As stealth experts, the Night Lords reduce the normal penalty to stealth for wearing power armor from -30 to -10.

The Black Legion:  As the sons of Horus and the pre-eminent Traitor Legion, the Black Legion is infamous among enemies and allies alike.  The CSM may draw on this advantage once per encounter, enhancing his Infamy by 20% or his Infamy Bonus by +2. 

The Word Bearers:  Adherents of Lorgar, the Word Bearers are among the most fanatical adherents of Chaos.  Their faith is well-known, and it grants them an uncommon strength of will.  Once per game session, a Word Bearer can cause an attempt to sway him from his chosen path to fail.  Whether Psychic Power, silver tongue or other confusion, the Word Bearer cleaves to his faith and soldiers on.  The GM is the final arbiter of what constitutes an attempt to sway the Word Bearer.

Iron Warriors:  Siege experts and masters of defensive warfare, an Iron Warrior is able to make maximum use of any cover.  Whenever affected by cover, the Iron Warrior gains +3 Armor against all attacks.

Alpha Legion:  Infiltration experts, the Alpha Legion have mastered the ability to blend in with normal human society.  Whenever not wearing obvious Space Marine equipment, Alpha Legionnaires may pass as ordinary, albeit large, humans.  They receive no penalties to social rolls and are particularly difficult to identify as marines.

Obviously these are just a few quick suggestions, and some of them may not be at all balanced with the others.  But at least its a starting point, and the abilities are somewhat related to the specialties and trademarks of the various Legions.

 

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I like both ideas for what to do. I might find a way to turn it into a background that could be bought. Along with making some for the humans to go for as well from Bladehate. If I do the extra experience there are some characters that pretty much become unkillable. I'll be thinking about it and seeing what I can come up with.

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 I think the way you begin the game as a veteran of one of the original legions (ie one of the heresy era traitor marines) is to start at higher levels of XP. Throwing a few bones in the direction of the legion players isn't enough, and it unbalances the game in favour of legion players over human players.
Ancient Warrior, whilst representative of being something other than a fresh recruit or recent traitor, does not properly represent true veterans of the heresy.

If you want players to start off as 'marked' warriors of the heresy era legions, a better way of doing it might be to create new archetypes to represent this. These would replace the existing archetypes and offer unique (but balanced) bonuses. Off the top of my head, equipment is an easy way of tweaking things and can be factored into skill and talents balance - the Heretek gets a lot of high end gear to make up for fewer skills and talents.

So for example a World Eaters warrior could get a Legion Chainaxe, Legion Plasma Pistol with 2 clips of ammo, Legion Power Armour, and some Legion Frag and Krak grenades, plus a couple of combat talents and some warfare-related skills... maybe an archetype ability along the lines of 'Blood for the Blood God!' - Whenever the character causes a critical hit that results in being drenched in gore, they recieve an extra reaction that round. Whenever the character causes a critical hit that results in decapitation, or otherwise demolishes the head of an enemy, they instead receive an extra standard action that round.

However i believe that these new archetypes should still start off unaligned - this doesn't represent that the character isn't a follower of a certain god, merely that they aren't CURRENTLY in favour and must earn that respect and attention.

using this system you aren't categorically giving 'legion' players anything above and beyond what the humans get, but are still giving them some distinct flavour.
 

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Looking through everything and reading everybodies ideas and the critisims. I have found a solution that should be interesting.

My players will start with 2k extra experience. I will have backgrounds made that will cost an average of 500xp - 1000xp for human and chaos space marines. They will count as two - three into the advancement they are applied for. So a Death Guard buys his background and it counts as two to three toward Nurgle (haven't come up with a final number). My Unaligned legions will have backgrounds as well that will also do the same but for Unaligned.

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DrgnScorpion said:

Looking through everything and reading everybodies ideas and the critisims. I have found a solution that should be interesting.

My players will start with 2k extra experience. I will have backgrounds made that will cost an average of 500xp - 1000xp for human and chaos space marines. They will count as two - three into the advancement they are applied for. So a Death Guard buys his background and it counts as two to three toward Nurgle (haven't come up with a final number). My Unaligned legions will have backgrounds as well that will also do the same but for Unaligned.

Sounds like a plan. I'd be grateful to see the background packages you'll create, for the sake of my own games.

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