Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
darksabrz

Cross-Game Integration Issues?

Recommended Posts

In a previous thread I opened up, I mentioned having concerns about the balance between Dark Heresy / Ascension characters with Deathwatch, let alone the issues with trying to spend longer making a character up that would be "balanced" alongside Deathwatch Space Marines.  Seeing some of the threads I've read more recently, that concern is creeping up again.  So, how would one best integrate characters together?

My original plan had been to run a Dark Heresy game at first, get my group used to the theme and setting and all that.  One of the players is female, and doesn't feel comfortable playing males by her own admission, so I'm hyping up Sisters of Battle for her.  The idea was to take them up through the ranks to Rank 8… and about the time they'd be ready to go for Ascension-level characters, see if the two other players would prefer playing Space Marines and let them make such characters while letting the Sister of Battle continue on with Ascended-level play.

Has anyone tried doing this before (cross-game in general, Sister of Battle with Deathwatch specifically), and if so, what were your experiences with it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first Deathwatch campaign started at 13,500xp. An Inquisitor's Handbook sister of battle ascended to crusader and three Deathwatch marines with the same xp.  It worked out okay. The battle sister couldn't dish out or take the same damage as the space marines, despite having quite excellent gear including numerous best quality items.

The same player temporarily switched to a primaris psyker for the second mission and was a glass cannon. With pyrokinetic powers she was doing horrific damage to hordes.

My conclusion? I'd honestly prefer to do up a 'battle sister' or 'psyker' using the Deathwatch rules and describe the nigh unique levels of augmentation, perhaps along the lines of Inquisitor Lord Hector Rex. That said, a higher level party with more skills for the space marine and more combat abilities for the ascension characters might work out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Wouldn't it be easier to remove the great strength and toughness, and maybe do 15+2d6 or 20+2d6 for her str and Tough that a space marine has, and the augments, and just give them those to work with and have the player choose from the none astarties versions of the equipment?  You know since Sister's of battle use very similar gear and such?  I mean heck there is a Sister's equivelent for every one of the space marine classes except Libarian, and Machine Cultist.

 

I mean for a quick and dirty fix that would seem to work, if you have just one female player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The short answer is that the games don't scale against each other. One an xp-to-xp basis, an Inquisitor/any other Ascended charcter can beat a Space Marine like a red headed step child. They are going to have infinitely more talents and skills than any Deathwatch character. Same thing with Rogue Trader, or even the similar Only War (where OW Guardsmen are head and shoulders better than DH Guardsmen, with stats in the 40's and access to heavy weapons). A friend of mine if playing an Inquisitor in a Deathwatch game, and the result is just brutal. Yes, the Marines are a bit tougher and more awesome, but he's way better.

I would alter the amount of XP, depending of the direction you are going in. If you were putting a DH character into Deathwatch, you could have them start at maybe half XP compared to what Deathwatch characters start with. For the reverse, a Marine could start with higher XP than they should if they were brought into an established DH game. I don't have any exact numbers, so you might need to play with it a little.

It should be noted that Sisters of Battle don't fit too well into the Deathwatch by nature of what they are. They are battle nuns/church police officers who work with the Ordo Hereticus. The Deathwatch, on the other hand, fight aliens. While there can be some crossover, it would be an incidental and sort of one time thing. And Inquisitor, on the other hand…

As for your player refusing to play a male character, it should be noted that Marines are basically sexless robots. There is nothing male about them, aside from their original DNA. This isn't like playing another gender in a D&D game or something. Marines are battle monks who know nothing of love, happiness, or the outside world. Tell her to play an articulate Latin robot, and you're basically there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For intergration, you definitely want all characters to be following the same XP scheme - otherwise the balance is just fiddly (the alternative is to just award XP differently - that is, award XP as recommended by the gameline that a character follows, even if that means that the same objective is worth more XP to Space marines).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HaplessOne said:

Wouldn't it be easier to remove the great strength and toughness, and maybe do 15+2d6 or 20+2d6 for her str and Tough that a space marine has, and the augments, and just give them those to work with and have the player choose from the none astarties versions of the equipment?  You know since Sister's of battle use very similar gear and such?  I mean heck there is a Sister's equivelent for every one of the space marine classes except Libarian, and Machine Cultist.
For Battle Sisters and Inquisitors, I would not boost Strength and Toughness, but make available Astartes-grade armour and weapons - basically, giving them what the tabletop fluff says they have. The character would still be rather squishy (having about 3-4 points of resilience less) and not "pwn" as much in close combat, but at least be able to deal comparable ranged damage and thus feel like a valuable addition to the team.

For Battle Sisters, I would also recommend using the Inquisitor's Handbook version rather than Blood of Martyrs. A lot of people seem to think the latter is better, but I disagree - most of the miracles in there are "team boosts" that would only increase the badassness of the Marines even further, and for this the character pays with a more punishing advancement scheme where you'll need much more XP.
But I'll admit that I am also biased by the IH book's miracles being much more "toned down" and preserving the vague nature that the AoF have in the TT fluff, rather than giving them space magic that makes them cast forth rays of light from out of their eyes and other such things.

ScooterinAB said:

It should be noted that Sisters of Battle don't fit too well into the Deathwatch by nature of what they are. They are battle nuns/church police officers who work with the Ordo Hereticus. The Deathwatch, on the other hand, fight aliens. While there can be some crossover, it would be an incidental and sort of one time thing. And Inquisitor, on the other hand…
It is not so incidental as you may think. Battle Sisters may fight virtually anything and everyone, as an issue of White Dwarf once noted. Their list of battle narratives in the 3E Codex included several reasons for why they would attack any army in 40k, including all the aliens. If the GM really wants, it should not be difficult to craft a reason for their presence.

"Their fanatical devotion is a bulwark against corruption, heresy, and alien attack, and once battle has been joined they will stop at nothing until their enemies are utterly crushed. […] Wherever there are foes of the Emperor, the Sisters of Battle will be found fighting with faith and steel."
- 5E C:SoB

"Heretics take many forms. Most are lost humans, whose weak minds have been corrupted by the manifold temptations of a dark and sinister galaxy. None are immune - planetary governors, Imperial Guard commanders and even whole Space Marine Chapters have been declared heretic and been exterminated as such by the Sisters of Battle. Yet there is no stricture within the Ecclesiarchy that heresy is a purely human crime. Aliens can also be sanctioned as heretics - that the creed against which they transgress is not their own is of no account. Nevermore so is this true than of the alien who chances his army against the Emperor's Will by inciting rebellion, subverting the will of Imperial subjects or invading by force. Genesis matters naught - all heretics are damned, and all must be purged with fire, lest their apostasy gather a following."
- WD #382

This is more suited for a campaign of interconnected missions rather than some sort of official teamwork, though. Something like a single Sister Militant hanging around with a Deathwatch Kill-team rather than her own Sisters would be strange indeed. The easiest explanation would be to have her be a sole survivor that gets picked up by the Marines, and stays around to complete her mission and avenge her Sisters' deaths. There, problem solved. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just play an Iron Hand, Son of Medusa, Flesh Tearer, Angel Sanguine, or Minotaur. See if "Inhuman killing machine" is better than "male" taste wise, this is how I solved this problem I my own game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DARK HERESY CHARACTERS IN DEATHWATCH
Playing a Dark Heresy character in Deathwatch, make your character and use Ascension. Want to play a female character that fights right alongside Space Marines - make an Ascended Crusader. There is no reason in Fluff why that character would not be welcome in the Deathwatch or even assigned to serve with them under certain circumstances. If you make a Dark Heresy character for Deathwatch there should be a reason that character should be working with Space Marines in the first place.

ROGUE TRADER CHARACTERS IN DEATHWATCH
If you are making a Rogue Trader character, make a Rank 4 character. Again, there should be a reason that the character would be working for/with Deathwatch. Even with Deathwatch, especially in recent fluff there are a lot of politics going on there are plenty of reasons to have other characters with a kill-team either in support of or directly working with the team.

A NOTE ON TRANSLATIONS OF WEAPONS AND POWERS
There are psyker powers in Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader that are used differently, you might have to make some modifications. Librarians have fewer more potent powers than Heresy psykers. In the same hand, an Ascended Psycher is far more powerful than a Librarian in raw psychic power. They should be treated as such too… when it comes to combat the Space Marine will clean house. Also, you need to play the suspicious attitude of the Space Marine no matter who it is. They don't really like non-marines.

 

FIT YOUR CHARACTER INTO DEATHWATCH
Deathwatch is not just a space marine legion. They are supported by hundreds of thousands of other humans. If you have a player that wants to fit into the game find a way to do it if you have the books. If not, make something for it. If it sounds fun, put it into your game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If survival is a concern don't forget fields.  A 50% field is a pretty big advantage.  Cyberware and rare equipment makes up a lot too.  Dodge is another important survival skill.

 

My RT game is Rank 6 and the Arch-Millitant was capable of two shotting a Defiler (Used the stats for a Warp Drive core that had become possessed, but gave it a Warp Weapon heavy flamer).  Some of that was luck, some of it is the Archeotech Bolt Sniper Rifle he found some time ago, and some just how his charater is built.  I am planning on having them come up against a Space Hulk soon, and don't really plan to modify the Arc of Souls rules much (if at all).  I think they can take it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My limited-intellect question is this; why does this issue keep coming up? I'm not trying to be rude, but other than the fact that the games are all written by the same people, and loosely in the same galaxy, they have remarkably little in common.

 

To me, DH is more investigative, with some combat thrown in when appropriate, or inappropriate, if the party oopsed. It's rather skill-centric, and more about interactions with people than their interactions with your bolters. RT is similar, but more you make the rules, with the players going off with an Inquisitor's power, AND a ship, to make their own legend in the stars.

 

Then we hit DW. Not to say Space Marines CAN'T be social, but they aren't social, at least not outside their own tight-knit group. People see them in awe, they might see people as children, or unnecessary, and most of what they do involves combat, that thing they are built to do. With only a million or so Space Marines, I think they can find enough battles to fight that spare time isn't an issue. OW is similar, but with Humans. Where the SMs are for quick fights, IG bog down enemies for decades, and eventually win the battle. Much of their game isn't social, either, because aside from a sucking up Logistics check, most people they could talk to are the enemy.

 

So, we have two games with skill focus, and two with combat focus. Inquisitors could borrow either force for their own ends, at least short term, and Rogue Traders can do the same, if they spread some money, but each group often has so little reason to involve itself with the other. The Inquisitor and RT should strive to avoid combat, and that's what the IG and SMs are for. Most DH characters aren't going to hang with Space Marines, and vice versa.

 

Please note, this isn't me just trying to be an ass. I genuinely want to know what keeps bringing this up? What sort of interactions, real or imagined, are so frequently important that it gets asked? If you have a character in one game, it shouldn't be too hard to carry that spirit over, and rebuild it in another, if it's appropriate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please note, this isn't me just trying to be an ass. I genuinely want to know what keeps bringing this up? What sort of interactions, real or imagined, are so frequently important that it gets asked?

 

I don't think it has much to do with interactions, but rather with the various games' play style and narrative themes. Dark Heresy is, as you say, more investigative. Yet perhaps some people would like to try a more combat-heavy game? Of course, the first thing that springs to mind is Only War. However, that game is of course focused on the Imperial Guard and thus the more "basic" battles against long waves of low-level enemy grunts. So, what is left for the people who want more combat, but don't miss out on the occasionally epic encounters in DH? Only Deathwatch. And with it, the limitation on "Space Marines or bust", even though the franchise offers so much more potential here.

 

Of course, one could say that people should simply adapt to the game and make a character per the book, yet there's no reason to come up with alternatives just like this community has houseruled tons of other options they thought should exist into the various games. If it ends up with every player in that group having more fun, why not? It's arguably better than opinions being split, and the party being forced to either forget about DW, or one or more players being forced to play a character they don't like.

 

The Inquisitor and RT should strive to avoid combat

 

Here it comes down to interpretation. Whilst this might be true for the fluff as this game's designers wrote it, it's not generally what you hear elsewhere. And players who are more accustomed to Games Workshop's original fluff about the Inquisition and the Deathwatch might be confused and then decide to go with the original material anyways, because quite simply this is an RPG, and the game is what you make of it.

 

There are a number of Inquisitors who are way more martial and direct than the "undercover CIA agent" version that DH seems to convey as the only type of Inquisitor in existence, and in GW's fluff about the Deathwatch, the majority of DW squads deploy together with and are commanded in battle by an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos.

 

You know what the real irony is? As per Gav Thorpe's Inquisitor article on using Space Marines, the Deathwatch exists only because GW was looking for a way to have Space Marines and human characters fight side by side in the same team.

 

In the end, it comes down to which version of the fluff you think is cooler and thus subscribe to, but I hope it's easier to see why some players may look for ways to bring these games closer to what they "grew up" with. ;)

 

Not to say Space Marines CAN'T be social, but they aren't social, at least not outside their own tight-knit group.

 

Of course the same goes for several types of characters you can play in, say, DH.

 

 

when it comes to combat the Space Marine will clean house

 

... and that is the glaring issue with a 1:1 translation between the different games. Mixed groups as per RAW may work out if the non-Marine isn't intended to be a combatant anyways but rather an investigator, or a supporter. Yet play a combat-focused character and you'll generally end up being a drag, simply because of how the mechanics work in this game, and the inflated gap between the characters.

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Please note, this isn't me just trying to be an ass. I genuinely want to know what keeps bringing this up? What sort of interactions, real or imagined, are so frequently important that it gets asked? If you have a character in one game, it shouldn't be too hard to carry that spirit over, and rebuild it in another, if it's appropriate.

 

Because a lot of people insist on playing Space Marines no matter what the setting. At least that seems to be a common theme. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If only a handsome and sexually potent gentleman genius had recently gathered together some (still in beta testing) rules for such interactions! Oh, what a master of the written word and intellect beyond imagining he must have!

 

http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/94049-40k-unified-rpg-project/

 

Still looking for feedback to improve - give it a look and if you think it'd solve all your problems, let me know! If, on the other hand, it looks like it would cause nothing but pain, suffering and the rising of dark gods, also let me know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are starting your mixed party from scratch, one way to keep Space Marines from rendering Mortals totally insignificant  in combat is to implement two of the changes from Black Crusade: make Unnaturals additive (+4) rather than multipliers (x2), and drop the extra armour to Astartes body location (so, 8-All). With Deathwatch rules, SMs typically have a combined TB/AP of 16-20; implementing these changes will take them down to 16-17, allowing them to be wounded by some things than won't necessarily InstaKill well-armoured Mortals.

Edited by Adeptus-B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I generally don't like the game's focus on Toughness as a protective measure, especially where a naked bodies become more resilient than powered armour. As long as the combat system makes armour worse than TB, I don't believe mixed groups are a good idea at all, as much as they might (occasionally) make sense in the setting.

 

It comes down to how tough and awesome you as the individual player believe Space Marines should be, but I can only caution against leaving other character types out of the equation when you're planning on a universal system that aims for being fun for everyone, normal human combat characters included.

 

A number of "fixes" have been proposed over the past few months elsewhere, amongst them adopting the injury system from GW's Inquisitor game, lowering the Toughness bonus (either just for SM or for everyone), or having Toughness apply fully only against Primitive Weapon damage and only 50% for modern weaponry (possibly with turning Unnatural Toughness not into a multiplier but just an upgrade that lets a Marine's TB protect fully against modern weapons too) ...

Perhaps with these changes, you could also remove the "+1" Astartes bonus from their gear, further lowering the inflated gap between characters and making actual gear more important than a player's choice of "race".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Perhaps with these changes, you could also remove the "+1" Astartes bonus from their gear, further lowering the inflated gap between characters and making actual gear more important than a player's choice of "race".

 

Yeah, the main driver behind the different values for Astartes vs. non-Astartes boltguns was the fact that Space Marines wouldn't be able to kill each other with the boltgun stats from Dark Heresy (bye-bye Horus Heresy). With Space Marines using the BC changes, you could split the difference between DH boltguns (1d10+5) and Errata'd Astartes boltguns (1d10+9) and get perfectly viable 1d10+7 boltguns for everyone (since, let's face it, the stats from DH are badly underpowered relative to their depiction in 40K lore).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unifying boltgun stats for everyone is also counter to the lore. Astartes have better gear than is on the open market, and bigger-caliber weapons across the board.

 

Not according to GW's lore. At least once we're talking about Inquisitorial operatives and military personnel.

 

This also isn't the first d100/d10 ruleset with detailed weapon stats - in Inquisitor, everyone got the same guns, too. But then again, Inquisitor also had a different injury mechanic that did not outright nullify incoming damage because your skin is more resilient than actual armour...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unifying boltgun stats for everyone is also counter to the lore. Astartes have better gear than is on the open market, and bigger-caliber weapons across the board.

In some cases this might be true, and the Astartes' weapons might be bigger, might have bigger clips, be heavier, cumbersome to use, more exotic, have more upgrades and Storm- and Combi-weapons might be commonplace due to the lack of regard to weapon sizes. They might also be better, simply because they are well-kept, well-guarded and produced as a matter of secrecy.

However, as Lynata clarified above me, they do not have different calibres. In the end, a bolter bolt is a bolter bolt, no matter what weapon fires it. Space Marines might have easier access than, say, a guardsman, to special ammunitions, but the actual ammunition is all the same.

While the Imperium is a disparate ****-hole in many ways, one thing it likes is interchangeability when it comes to weaponry, apparently. There's a reason upgrades tend to be modular, the weapons robust and ammunition created wholesale across entire sectors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unifying boltgun stats for everyone is also counter to the lore. Astartes have better gear than is on the open market, and bigger-caliber weapons across the board.

 

They do have higher-quality gear than the general Imperium, which is best represented, in my opinion, with Weapon Quality and not with alternate stat lines.

 

I've never seen a GW reference to Astartes weapons being higher caliber than 'mortal' versions of the same weapons. Certainly the miniatures (and, let's face it, as a miniature manufacturer first and foremost, GW's miniatures usually drive the fluff, rather than vice versa) depict like weapons being the same size. As far as I can tell, the 'Man's Reach Exceeds His Grasp' concept exists only in WH40KRP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly I don't see the DH stats as underpowered with regard to the lore and the typical amount of wound ablation present at the DH level, which isn't applicable to the DW level. At the DH level, 1d10+5 pen 4 is capable of one- or two-shotting human enemies, with the caveat that there may be unlucky rolls (but that's also the nature of a d10 plus constant-based random damage generator versus flat damage only modified by successes rolled). Is the complaint that bolters don't always result in a one-shot? 

 

Then again, I'm fine with Toughness: my DW players get severely hurt with frequency, mow down the enemies of Man with varying degrees of effectiveness with a bolter (because some problems just can't be solved with bolters).

 

I'm pretty sure Black Industries/FFG has made caliber distinctions at least in the earlier books, and we've all seen how bad early-DH decisions kept going and going and going through the entire life of that game line when any errata could just fix it. But the mechanical comparison is on the same level as DH and DW having different stats for genestealer enemies. They're separate game lines not designed to be compatible (unlike FFG's new separate Star Wars lines, which are supposed to be completely compatible). What's challenging for DH is a cakewalk for DW; what's hard for DW is too lethal for DH. Even if they're described as being the same caliber I don't think there's a good way (or good reason) to unify stat blocks between games that are not intended by the developers to mix.

 

To address the OP, there is frankly no good way to integrate; DH characters will always be skill monkeys that obviate skill-related challenges that might trouble Astartes, and Astartes will obviate combat, if not due to the rules giving them super-stats, then with the RAW for Squad Modes and Cohesion. Either that or certain DH characters in Ascension will obviate the need for any party beyond themselves.

Edited by Kshatriya

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that BI/FFG's stuff counts as fluff on the same level or lack thereof as GW's, so the different weapon levels are in fact now part of fluff.

 

Makes sense to me anyway. Astartes should obviously be able to carry bigger guns with higher caliber. It would be silly otherwise frankly.

Edited by bogi_khaosa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...