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LuciusMacharius

Statline for a Primarch

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 I am currently writing a campaign where I reveal hints of one of the Lost Primarchs.  I have yet to develop any personal skills though I am curious what sort of statline one of them would have given they are capable of killing Greater Demons (though not with great ease).  I had a previous post regarding Finding the Lost Primarchs and had a lot of input.  Normally, I wouldn't give them stats since they are demi-gods, but I figure it would be interesting to include some specific information on them should my players get ballsy and try to fight one (they usually do).

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Roll a 01-05 to not die, each round. If they're playing with you.

Your players cannot beat a primarch. Your players and their watch house cannot beat a primarch. Angron was once in the basement of a fortress that collapsed down on him. He punched his way out. Magnus the Red was attacked by an Eldar titan. He telekinetically crushed it into a sphere. Roboute Guilliman was ejected into space, catapulted across the void, punched his way into an enemy battleship and only didn't kill the entire crew because he got caught up in fighting a greater daemon. Sanguinius broke the spine and banished the king of the Bloodthirsters. The only primarch to have been killed by something that wasn;t another Primarch or the God-emperor himself actively desired death. Those that WERE killed by other primarchs are, in some cases, getting better.

 

They have no statline. They don't roll dice. They just win. If you're not personally chosen by the chaos gods? You lose. If your players decide t push their luck? They lose.

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From a narrative perspective I agree with professor_kylan, but it is your game, so here is my advice:

 

Look at the stats of a Greater Daemon from Black Crusade or Mark of the Xenos, then make that one even nastier and then create something that could kill even that.

 

There you go.

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I agree with Kylan, though I have to wonder if he is talking about the Battle for Calth. In that case, he indeed did not punch his way into the enemy ship, he just roamed around in the near vacuum that skinned his flagship [without a helmet], literally punching the heads off of the enemy Word Bearers.

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I did exagerate that part, I have a weakness for such :D

He used a door. But everything else is pretty much legit.

(Also, didn't mean to come across as sounding like so much of a jerk to the OP - sorry about that! Just something I hold pretty solid views on!)

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 Guilliman punches people's heads off, Fulgrim punches THROUGH an AVATAR's head. Angron backhanded marines in half with a chainsaw without really noticing, Ferrus Manus shapes adamantium with his bare hands, and Fulgrim takes one of those fists in the face and it barely bruises him. 

Primarchs aren't NPCS, they are plot devices, Who, to be honest, I would be very cautious about using. Maybe use something the players THINK is him, but turns out to be a crappy clone that dissolves into a bubbling puddle of liquified flesh when they kill it. And it should still have stats to slap around a c'tan shard.

If you do use a real one in your game, and the players try something, call a TO, tell them that it's not a fight for them, then if they continue, just kill one in the most cinematic fashion possible. He burns a point of fate, and the Primarch goes about his business. It took the Space Wolves CHAPTER (closer to Legion at that point) to STALL Angron at the first battle of Armageddon to give the Grey Knights time to arrive.

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 Later on throughout the game, I am having them face something ridiculously badass (like a Greater Demon or Avatar of Khaine).  I just wanted some guideline.  I just used a Greater Demon Statline for a Bloodthirster and ensured 50% more wounds, 2d10 to each stat etc.  Does that sound fair?

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The most powerful Greater Daemons can be summoned to somewhere that isn't a daemonworld, but is incredibly rare. One of the most powerful of Khorne's servants, An'ggrath, is summoned during the Siege of Vraks and defeated. You could feasibly introduce a daemon on the same level of power. But that should be at the end of a campaign.

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Yeah, Primarchs are a level of power all their own. They aren't Tolkien's Sauron, but they are similar in their badassness, in their setting. If you stat one, you might as well stat Him on Terra after that, and to do that, you'd have to stat Leman Russ, and then stat the Emperor to take him down with a single punch, and without using his psychic power, because he did that (one of my favorite memories when I have to put up with loud Space Wolves fanboys playing their cheese Marines on table top).

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Because I've got a few minutes free…

Primarch Baseline (Master)

WS 80

BS 80

S 85 (20) -  includes armour

T 65 (18)

Ag 70 (14)

Int 70 (14)

Per 70 (14)

WP 70 (14)

Fel 70 (14)

Move: 8/16/24/48

Wounds: 200

Skills: Acrobatics (Ag), Awareness (Per) +20, Carouse (T) +10, Charm (Fel) +10, Chem-Use (Int), Ciphers (Legion Runes, Imperial Codes) (Int) +20, Climb (S) +20, Command (Fel) +20, Concealment (Ag), Deceive (Fel) +10, Demolition (Int) +20, Dodge (Ag) +10, Drive (all) +10, Evaluate (Int) +20, Inquiry (Fel) +10, Interrogation (WP) +10, Intimidate (S) +20, Literacy (Int) +20, Logic (Int) +10, Lore: Common (Legiones Astartes, Mechanicum, Imperial Army, Tech, War, Imperium) (Int) +20, Lore: Forbidden (Legiones Astartes, Psykers, Xenos) (Int) +20, Lore: Scholastic (Archaic, Astromancy, Beasts, Cryptology, Heraldry, Judgement, Legend, Philosophy, Legion Doctrine) (Int) +20, Medicae (Int), Navigation (Surface, Stellar) (Int) +20, Pilot (all) (Ag) +20, Psyniscience (Per), Scrutiny (Per) +20, Search (Per) +20, Shadowing (Ag), Silent Move (Ag), Sleight of Hand (Ag), Speak Language (Homeworld, High Gothic, Low Gothic) (Int) +20, Survival (Int) +20, Swim (S) +20, Tactics (All) (Int) +20, Tech-Use (Int) +10, Tracking (Int) +10

Talents: Air of Authority, Ambidextrous, Astartes Weapon Training, Bastion of Iron Will, Blademaster, Blind Fighting, Bolter Drill, Bulging Biceps, Call to Vengeance, Combat Formation, Combat Master, Crack Shot, Crippling Strike, Crushing Blow, Deadeye Shot, Die Hard, Duty Unto Death, Exemplar of Honour, Good Reputation (Imperium), Hammer Blow, Hardy, Heightened Senses (all), Hip Shooting, Hunter of Aliens, Into the Jaws of Hell, Iron Discipline, Iron Jaw, Killing Strike, Lightning Attack, Lightning Reflexes, Marksman, Master Orator, Mighty Shot, Peer (Imperium), Polyglot, Precise Blow, Preternatural Speed, Psy Rating 6, Quick Draw, Rapid Reaction, Rapid Reload, Resistance (Cold, Heat, Poison, Psychic Powers), Sharpshooter, Sprint, Step Aside, Storm of Iron, Strong Minded, Sure Strike, Swift Attack, Takedown, Talented (Command, Tactics [All]), Target Selection, Thunder Charge, Total Recall, True Grit, Two Weapon Wielder (Ballistic, Melee), Unarmed Master, Unarmed Warrior, Unbowed and Unbroken, Wall of Steel, Whirlwind of Death, Wisdom of the Ancients,

Traits: Auto-Stabilised, Dark Sight, Fear (2), From Beyond, Regeneration (20), Size (Hulking), Sturdy, The Stuff of Nightmares, Touched by the Fates (20), Unnatural Agility (x2), Unnatural Fellowship (x2), Unnatural Intelligence (x2), Unnatural Perception (x2), Unnatural Strength (x3), Unnatural Toughness (x3), Unnatural Willpower (x2)

Special: The Emperor's Sons: The Primarchs are the Emperor's finest creation, the beings from whom the Legiones Astartes sprang, and each Primarch is to his sons as they are to mortals. A Primarch may employ relevant Squad and Solo Mode abilities (based on his Legion, etc), as if he were a Battle-Brother of Rank 10. In any army led by a Primarch, all Space Marines of his blood add +5 to their squad's starting Cohesion.

Armour: Master-Crafted Artificer Armour (All 13; +20 Strength. Armour History varies by Primarch)

Psychic Powers: Varies by Primarch - some have many, others all but ignore their innate psychic power.

Weapons: Varies - every Primarch possessed countless dozens of different and unique weapons, all of them crafted to the highest standard either by their own hands, that of a brother, or by the finest artificers of the Mechanicum. Two fairly generic examples are presented here: Primarch Bolter (120m; S/4/-; 1d10+16 X; Pen 6; Clip 28; Rld Full; Accurate, Devastating (1), Tearing, Never Jams), Primarch's Sword (2d10+29 E; Pen 9; Balanced, Felling (2), Devastating (2), Power Field, Razor Sharp)

 

Individual Primarchs would further modify stats, skills, talents, powers and equipment and will probably have an additional special rule or two each as well.

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I fall squarely into the don't stat a Primarch camp.

If you do anyway:
I would start with all stats in the 60+ range with all of them having Unnatural X 4-5.
Wounds 200+
The ability to dodge or parry every attack against them that they are aware of, then GM option dodging all attacks they are unaware of. Like the Temple Assassin trait only better.
They would have a regeneration ability.
They have a programmed knowledge of almost everything the Emperor knew. Some knowledge seems to vary from Primarch to Primarch.
Armor would vary but all of it should probably be better than a suit of Terminator armor.
Their unarmed attacks should probably be considered Tearing.


Edit: Ninja'd by NO-1, although I have to say I wasn't too far off his idea.

 

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 To be specific, I am not having my characters fight a Primarch nor would I encourage it in any way.  Part of the Primarch's purpose is to guide the Kill Team through an important mission regarding the End Times (a sort of potential prophecy).  The Lost Primarch will not reveal much about themselves, but will make it known that they are wanting to preserve mankind at any cost.  I am still in the process of writing it, so some ideas have been tossed around.  Eventually, I want the Kill Team to fight something like a Greater Demon.  However, I will wait until they have achieved higher rank/experience.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Because I've got a few minutes free…

Primarch Baseline (Master)

WS 80

BS 80

S 85 (20) -  includes armour

T 65 (18)

Ag 70 (14)

Int 70 (14)

Per 70 (14)

WP 70 (14)

Fel 70 (14)

Move: 8/16/24/48

Wounds: 200

Skills: Acrobatics (Ag), Awareness (Per) +20, Carouse (T) +10, Charm (Fel) +10, Chem-Use (Int), Ciphers (Legion Runes, Imperial Codes) (Int) +20, Climb (S) +20, Command (Fel) +20, Concealment (Ag), Deceive (Fel) +10, Demolition (Int) +20, Dodge (Ag) +10, Drive (all) +10, Evaluate (Int) +20, Inquiry (Fel) +10, Interrogation (WP) +10, Intimidate (S) +20, Literacy (Int) +20, Logic (Int) +10, Lore: Common (Legiones Astartes, Mechanicum, Imperial Army, Tech, War, Imperium) (Int) +20, Lore: Forbidden (Legiones Astartes, Psykers, Xenos) (Int) +20, Lore: Scholastic (Archaic, Astromancy, Beasts, Cryptology, Heraldry, Judgement, Legend, Philosophy, Legion Doctrine) (Int) +20, Medicae (Int), Navigation (Surface, Stellar) (Int) +20, Pilot (all) (Ag) +20, Psyniscience (Per), Scrutiny (Per) +20, Search (Per) +20, Shadowing (Ag), Silent Move (Ag), Sleight of Hand (Ag), Speak Language (Homeworld, High Gothic, Low Gothic) (Int) +20, Survival (Int) +20, Swim (S) +20, Tactics (All) (Int) +20, Tech-Use (Int) +10, Tracking (Int) +10

Talents: Air of Authority, Ambidextrous, Astartes Weapon Training, Bastion of Iron Will, Blademaster, Blind Fighting, Bolter Drill, Bulging Biceps, Call to Vengeance, Combat Formation, Combat Master, Crack Shot, Crippling Strike, Crushing Blow, Deadeye Shot, Die Hard, Duty Unto Death, Exemplar of Honour, Good Reputation (Imperium), Hammer Blow, Hardy, Heightened Senses (all), Hip Shooting, Hunter of Aliens, Into the Jaws of Hell, Iron Discipline, Iron Jaw, Killing Strike, Lightning Attack, Lightning Reflexes, Marksman, Master Orator, Mighty Shot, Peer (Imperium), Polyglot, Precise Blow, Preternatural Speed, Psy Rating 6, Quick Draw, Rapid Reaction, Rapid Reload, Resistance (Cold, Heat, Poison, Psychic Powers), Sharpshooter, Sprint, Step Aside, Storm of Iron, Strong Minded, Sure Strike, Swift Attack, Takedown, Talented (Command, Tactics [All]), Target Selection, Thunder Charge, Total Recall, True Grit, Two Weapon Wielder (Ballistic, Melee), Unarmed Master, Unarmed Warrior, Unbowed and Unbroken, Wall of Steel, Whirlwind of Death, Wisdom of the Ancients,

Traits: Auto-Stabilised, Dark Sight, Fear (2), From Beyond, Regeneration (20), Size (Hulking), Sturdy, The Stuff of Nightmares, Touched by the Fates (20), Unnatural Agility (x2), Unnatural Fellowship (x2), Unnatural Intelligence (x2), Unnatural Perception (x2), Unnatural Strength (x3), Unnatural Toughness (x3), Unnatural Willpower (x2)

Special: The Emperor's Sons: The Primarchs are the Emperor's finest creation, the beings from whom the Legiones Astartes sprang, and each Primarch is to his sons as they are to mortals. A Primarch may employ relevant Squad and Solo Mode abilities (based on his Legion, etc), as if he were a Battle-Brother of Rank 10. In any army led by a Primarch, all Space Marines of his blood add +5 to their squad's starting Cohesion.

Armour: Master-Crafted Artificer Armour (All 13; +20 Strength. Armour History varies by Primarch)

Psychic Powers: Varies by Primarch - some have many, others all but ignore their innate psychic power.

Weapons: Varies - every Primarch possessed countless dozens of different and unique weapons, all of them crafted to the highest standard either by their own hands, that of a brother, or by the finest artificers of the Mechanicum. Two fairly generic examples are presented here: Primarch Bolter (120m; S/4/-; 1d10+16 X; Pen 6; Clip 28; Rld Full; Accurate, Devastating (1), Tearing, Never Jams), Primarch's Sword (2d10+29 E; Pen 9; Balanced, Felling (2), Devastating (2), Power Field, Razor Sharp)

 

Individual Primarchs would further modify stats, skills, talents, powers and equipment and will probably have an additional special rule or two each as well.

I would maybe change the strength and toughness bonus to x3 considering that they can kill Greater Demons.  I imagine they would be just as strong/tough

 

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LuciusMacharius said:

 

I would maybe change the strength and toughness bonus to x3 considering that they can kill Greater Demons.  I imagine they would be just as strong/tough

 

Look again. Strength and Toughness are both Unnatural x3; everything else is Unnatural x2. Under the Black Crusade/Only War versions of the rules, I'd have given them Unnatural Weapon Skill and Unnatural Ballistic Skill, too.

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I 'm of a couple of different minds on the Primarchs.  On the one hand there is the idea that if you stat it, they will kill it, as well as it seeming to be almost heretical to try and put stats on something so godly and powerful.

On the other hand, if done right it would make for an incredible way to cap a campaign that has gone on a long time.

Many say that they don't want to ever see the stats of a primarch, yet I'm sure they love to read of the very personal exploits of the Primarchs in the current Horus Heresy books (me too).

At the end of the day they are incredibly powerful epic beings, that struggle against other epically powerful things, and yet they are not even close to the power of the highest beings (The Emperor, the Chaos Gods, etc).  They fight against things with high stats and have to struggle mightily against them (Sanguinus's first fight against the Bloodthirster resulted in two broken legs plus other wounds and he lost, but survived).  In comparison to each other, some are clearly outshined by others.  Just look at the First Heretic and how easily Lorgar was slapped around by his Brothers Konrad and Corvus, yet he was like a titan to the marines he betrayed and killed with his Crozeus.

Point being, they can be statted if one chose to, and they can still be kept meaningful.  Will some Kill Team try and kill them?  Sure, will some succeed?  Unlikely but yeah it could happen.  Would that be so bad?  In all honesty it depends on how it was done.  Part of epic stories is accomplishing the seemingly impossible.  So if the goal is to take down one of the fallen primarchs let the PCs come up with a suitable plan, and said plan might not involve them actually fighting him/it, but setting the trap that ultimately destroys it.

As for stats, the ones that were provided by another poster work pretty well and as suggested should get customization per Primarch.  Here are some other things to throw in:

How to use a Primarch in a story: (just some ideas for how to use them, there are many more)


Flashback.  IMO the safest way to use an actual Primarch without upsetting the canon or messing with anyone's sensibilities too much.  Come up with a story that happened during the Great Crusade and the PCs are playing actual Astartes in that time; perhaps their geneseed comes directly from theirs, or they see some advanced holo recording and rather than just relate the events you play them out, or some kind of Warp or time travel method.  In this story they could meet the Primarch, even as just a cameo maybe, or maybe more directly and experience firsthand their merest expression of might (and not lose their actual characters).

Flash forward: Similar to the flashback, it's really an alternate reality where they can meet a Primarch.  In this one maybe Ferrus Manus lived somehow for example and all of the others (Emperor included) died.  Just he is left to protect what little there is left against the Tyrannids.  The PCs are there and all they can do is see him die heroically, but maybe get an answer for how to handle the Hive Fleet Dagon.

Flawed Primarch: It's not a real primarch, it's a doppelganger, a clone, an echo, something claiming to be a Primarch.  Incredibly powerful, but possibly manageable by the PCs, part of the story involves revealing the deception and then still handling an incredibly powerful being.

Primarch's legacy: Something of the Primarch left behind; a ship, a weapon, an ultimate plan, and it's fallen into the wrong hands.  Similar to the flawed Primarch, perhaps even some representation of the Primarch's ghost or spirit resides in it or maybe just a very detailed simulacrum.

Full on Primarch: Any of the Daemon Prince Primarchs are still around supposedly, plus several loyalists could return from whatever exile they went on.  This might not be as beneficial as some would think.  What would The Khan think of this Empire?  Or Leman Russ?  Would they rebel against it to save it?  Anything they did could have vast ripples.  If a Primarch returned, how would the other Chapters react or the High Lords of Terra?  On the one hand a beloved Primarch is back, on the other, the Chapters were organized to prevent too much power to reside in any one being's hand, and the High Lords don't share power.  Would the Ultramarines for example try to keep such a being contained, even attack him if he looked like he was trying to gather too much power?  Would High Lords denounce him as a fake?  The PCs might never see this returned Primarch, but would feel his power ripple through the Warp and see his affects as he restructures the Empire and its military.  We have already seen the traitor Daemon Princes affects, so we have plenty of canon knowledge of what they might do.  Maybe the PCs have to quest to find a Primarch in order to counter a Primarch?  Maybe they need someone like Lorgar to counter a maniacal and recovered Roboute (heretical, I know!)?  The point is make it an interesting story, try to avoid some of the more obvious plots.

Heaven's on Fire!: The Primarchs (all that are not canon-dead) return to have a knock down dragout fight.  I wouldn't do this; unless you're a heck of a story teller it would never live up to the hype.  But if you think you can and your players are up for it, it's your game.  In a situation like this you might be better off having the PCs themselves play the Primarchs, why not?  You've definitely gone off the page by choosing this option anyway.



So based on some possibly feasible stories or methods of using a Primarch, what can kill them?  To be honest they are killable.  Usually it's by beings like themselves, but a good plan that takes into account their many failings (usually of a mental or personality nature); they have been either killed or greatly hurt.  One of the best examples would be Roboute nearly losing to one of Lorgar's high priests in the most recent novel.  He didn't lose, and he faced incredible opposition, but at the end a traitor space marine (likely possesed and highly favored by Chaos) came as close as a mortal could to killing a Primarch.  It took a heck of a lot to do it, and they almost succeeded.  A major aspect of the entire Calth invasion was to take out Roboute, and they came close.  Here are some things that might do it, these all involve plans though, not the PCs trying a heads up fight.


Destroying the ship that they're on.  It's how Rogal supposedly died.  A Primarch likely cannot survive a Warp engine exploding or being hit by ship level weapons.  Some might have a defense they can use though, and mere vaccuum exposure shouldn't do it.  Sending a ship into a star should do it, as would possibly crashing it directly into a planet.


Exposure to: the Warp (maybe not kill, but corrupt), a huge and deadly planet (a planet with intense gravity, heat/cold, and atmosphere), close exposure to a star, devoured by a Tyrannid Bio Ship or other suitable bio construct.


A deadly weapon from the Vault (you fight a plot device with a plot device).   Such a weapon shouldn't kill the being, but perhaps greatly reduce its power, making it an incredible fight, with just a slight chance to win.


Somehow turning the force or the Astronomican into a kind of weapon and blasting the Primarch (likely one of the Traitor Primarchs) into nothingness.


Exterminatus on the planet the Primarch is on.  This is likely the most powerful expression of the Empire's might, yet the least likely to succeed, as any Primarch has a decent chance of somehow surviving this just by virtue of their resilience and resourcefulness.  So it might work to keep a Primarch occupied, but it would very likely make it impossible to confirm the kill.  The PCs will likely wonder for a long time if they actually got him.



Just a few ideas there.  As it stands, I don't necessarily think it's a good idea to stat or play (as an NPC or plot device) a Primarch, it will likely never live up to the hype.  But if that is the kind of game you like and you put some great effort into making the story, you could potentially have a campaign that will long be talked about.  Which is the goal of most players and GMs.

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Gaire said:

Wait, so outside of their armor, they only have strength 65? Otherwise, your math is off on their strength bonus.

Strength and Toughness 65, with Unnatural x3 for both. This is a baseline/average, so there still has to be room to increase it for the stronger Primarchs like Russ and Angron. Same with all the characteristics - I aimed slightly low so that individual Primarchs could be increased as necessary from the baseline.

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 I'm not a fan of stat'ing out a Demi-god or God-like being.  If you give them stats its something that can be killed by players and puts them in the same realm the players occupy.

"A wild Leman Russ appears!"

"You use Chain-Kinebranch!"

"It's super-effective!"

Then you throw a poke-ball at him….

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Minnjitsu said:

 I'm not a fan of stat'ing out a Demi-god or God-like being.  If you give them stats its something that can be killed by players and puts them in the same realm the players occupy.

I like statting out Demi-gods and God-like beings for the exact same reason. Everything occupies the same universe, if you can stat up Scout Titans and Starships, you can stat up Primarchs. Being a Primarch shouldn't be an automatic win-button - if it was Horus would never have been wounded on Davin.

A Primarch is to a Marine what a Marine is to an ordinary human, significantly superior in every way but not totally undefeatable.

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