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What next for 40K RPG?

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Tom Cruise said:

I'd like a second edition of the system, myself. One centralised core book with up to date, standardised rules, with DH, OW, BC etc released as supplements for that system. The same approach the World of Darkness games use. It'd increase inter-compatability a ton, and mean any ruleset updates effect ALL of the systems.



This is exactly what i want for exactly the same reasons.

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A Tau RPG would be soo cool!

The Tau is, in my opinion, the most "playable" alien races of Warhammer 40.000 with the Eldar being a second distant option.

One thing that makes the Tau the most playable is their empire is a myriad of races - even humans (Gue'Vasa), not just Tau, so this gives more options to players. And they are not "overpower" like the Eldar.

But an Ork RPG would be good too!

Specially if the setting is dark humorous - like the Orks!

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There are afew problems wth Tau…they are only in one part of the galaxy, we don,t have much lore about their normal life and about their society. Yeah we know that they have cast system but nothing more. Also their cast sytem would be a problem for GMs and players because of restrictions and limitations which are result of casts.

In my opinion the best alien race for RPG is Eldar. We know many things about their society, their common life and their habits. Also you can find Eldar i whole galaxy and they are free to change paths, to move from world to world. I think that Eldar gives you more options than any other alien race in WH40k.

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FreezeZ said:

There are afew problems wth Tau…they are only in one part of the galaxy, we don,t have much lore about their normal life and about their society. Yeah we know that they have cast system but nothing more. Also their cast sytem would be a problem for GMs and players because of restrictions and limitations which are result of casts.

The new Tau codex has lots of new fluffy stuff in it, including the living conditions of the average Tau.  Also, castes would be easy, because caste = careeer path and that's it. So the Fire Caste Tau is the combat class, the Earth Caste Tau is the engineer class, the Water Caste Tau is the social class, the Air Caste Tau is the pilot class and the Ethereal Caste Tau is the leader class. Have three specializations per caste (for example, a Fire Caste Tau can pick Fire Warrior/DPS, Pathfinder/Stealth and Firesight/sniper) and there you go, you have everything you need to define your Tau as far as career goes. 

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But are they able to change them? Are they able to learn things outside their caste? I haven't read new codex yet so maybe there is something about their society but this is codex…i dont believe that there is enough fluff about their life to play RPG. Also how would you combine PCs from many castes? Ok, some sort of diplomatic mission( few guys from fire for protection, one from air, few from water and maybe from earth), securing important resources but you will have problem to make a group from different castes which will be working together  from mission to mission.

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FreezeZ said:

But are they able to change them? Are they able to learn things outside their caste? I haven't read new codex yet so maybe there is something about their society but this is codex…i dont believe that there is enough fluff about their life to play RPG. Also how would you combine PCs from many castes? Ok, some sort of diplomatic mission( few guys from fire for protection, one from air, few from water and maybe from earth), securing important resources but you will have problem to make a group from different castes which will be working together  from mission to mission.

No they can't change them at all, but it is an overarching theme in the FFG 40k RPGs, so it is fine. Also, the new codex puts heavy emphasis on cooperation between castes. For example, conquering a new planet is a complex multi-phase operation that involves all the castes. Rememeber that the  biggest thing with the Tau is "working together for the Greater Good". And the party would do exactly this, so they are 500% fluffy. 

Also, there is a new book from Black Library, Shadowsun, that is 100% Tau centric and has a lot of fluff in it. 

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Honestly, at this point I'm not really expecting another new game.  We're barely getting releases for the existing ones compared to a couple years ago.  And even those are coming out further and further apart.

 

Honestly, I'm almost more afraid that "What's next" for 40k RPGs is FFG losing the license back to GW.  Whether not being able to afford renewing it, or deciding they've done what hey can.

 

Heck, even Only War started out as a Sourcebook, that exploded into its own game.    So I think if there was a new game, it probably would have had some light shed by now.

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I'm not really expecting anything new either.  FFG seem to be letting the 40k line slide.  Then again, with Games Workship seemingly desperate for revenue, I'm surprised they have not made a play for preminant RPG rights.

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BaronIveagh said:

…Then again, with Games Workship seemingly desperate for revenue, I'm surprised they have not made a play for preminant RPG rights.

GW put out the first edition of Dark Heresy themselves, and decided that it wasn't profitable enough for them to keep it 'in-house' (despite huge pre-order sales), so I don't see them trying to 'get it back'. The liscence to FFG seems to be a no-lose situaton for GW in my opinion: it helps keep fans interested in the 40Kverse, and it drives at least some miniature and Black Library sales (I doubt I'm the only one who has bought minis that I wouldn't otherwise get to use in the rpgs), at no cost to GW. Why would they want to screw that up?

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I love the Aptitude dynamic introduced in Only War.  I think that is a great way to handle Careers/Specialties/Archtypes in the future.  I also really dig the regiment creation system, and I wish they would have done something similar from the get go for Chapter creation for Deathwatch.

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Really for  me, short of an Eldar game…  Well, or a Horus Heresy one,* I think my most wanted book next is one that 'updates' all the existing games to this sort of system.  Ideally just a single corebook of updates, VERY dense, no real fluff, just chapters on how to translate each existing core book to the current OW style rules.

 

That being unlikely, a Horus Heresy one that used Only War style rules and had ways for both Space Marines and others?  Yeah, that would be perfect!

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Dulahan said:

That being unlikely, a Horus Heresy one that used Only War style rules and had ways for both Space Marines and others?  Yeah, that would be perfect!

Given how both the HH novels as well as previous attempts to mix Astartes characters with other people in FFG's 40k RPGs worked out, do you really think that such a game would truly be fun to play for everyone? I mean, people who would opt to play a human would basically be pushed into the role of "supporting cast".

Most fans craving for a HH RPG (and I do agree that it'd likely be a lot) would probably like it to stick to the vision propagated by the popular novel series, meaning a Deathwatch-style epic experience focused on how great the Space Marines are, complete with that ton of special rules that throw bonuses at Marine PCs like there's no tomorrow. I'm not sure normal people have any place in such a game other than to serve as extras. Black Crusade was already pushing it, but there some classes at least had the option to stand out thanks to their psychic powers, special influence, or the ability to have mighty daemons and CSM's as NPC minions. A Heresy RPG, on the other hand, would take place at a time where Marines run the entire Great Crusade, and I don't think summoning daemons would be an option to counteract that immense gap that has been introduced with the previous games either. Sure, in theory they could close that gap again, but that would surely go against expectations of a great many fans as well as the narrative produced in the HH novels.

And given the previous games, I have also come to be rather sceptical regarding any RPG from this studio that brings Astartes and normal humans together. For a long time I used to hope otherwise (I'm a big fan of the "one rulebook for all" idea), but I've come to believe that under the circumstances it may truly be better to keep them segregated into different games. It simply comes down to people having to decide whether they want Marines to be that awesome that they put everyone and everything else into their shadow, or whether they'd like a game where they can actually fight side by side with non-Marine combat characters (as may happen in some novels or Codex fluff) and have the latter still enjoy things. It's one or the other, but not both.

Granted, designwise many of the perks that make it difficult to reconcile both types of characters come down to the underlying system (I'm looking at you, Unnatural Stats and combat rules), but the studio already had the chance to address these in the past and produce something more intercompatible like GW's Inquisitor game, but aside for slightly toning it down for BC they really didn't. I don't see why that would change now. It quite simply seems to be a matter of one's interpretation and personal preferences, but the abovementioned limitations apply.

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Lynata said:

Given how both the HH novels as well as previous attempts to mix Astartes characters with other people in FFG's 40k RPGs worked out, do you really think that such a game would truly be fun to play for everyone? I mean, people who would opt to play a human would basically be pushed into the role of "supporting cast".

Oh no! You could safely advance in areas other than combat with your average human! Specifically non-combat support classes would have a reason to exist! What an outrage!

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AtoMaki said:

Lynata said:

 

Given how both the HH novels as well as previous attempts to mix Astartes characters with other people in FFG's 40k RPGs worked out, do you really think that such a game would truly be fun to play for everyone? I mean, people who would opt to play a human would basically be pushed into the role of "supporting cast".

 

 

Oh no! You could safely advance in areas other than combat with your average human! Specifically non-combat support classes would have a reason to exist! What an outrage!

 

Well, it seems fair to say that anywhere from one to two thirds of every session in a 40K campaign is going to consist of combat.  Even if you just have one fight in the whole session, the granularity of the combat system means that it's necessarily going to be time consuming.  Knowing this, very few players are going to voluntarily abstain from one to two thirds of the session just to have the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the remainder of the session.  This is why it seems silly to me to reserve valuable or even crucial skills to non-combat-exclusive classes: either someone sits out most of every session just so they can make the necessary Tech-Use/Medicae/Lore roll to move the story forward, or the party consists of muscle-headed lunks inept at even basic non-physical tasks. And the non-combat skill rolls never have the same level of engagement that combat does: it's either a single binary roll, or a series of rolls where any one failure is a total failure.

 

I think Only War really did it right in this regard.  Since everyone has respectable combat ability, everyone can comfortably focus on non-combat development knowing that they will be able to participate meaningfully in both combat and non-combat encounters.  If FFG was going to develop a Horus Heresy game line, it seems reasonable to limit the scope to Space Marines given that they are the primary movers and shakers in the time period, and they have a very reasonable balance between combat and non-combat ability.

 

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Exactly my thoughts. Combat-focused Space Marines next to social-focused humans? In the midst of the Great Crusade?

I guess it might work if you specifically let each player roll up two characters, one for the battle and one for the social sessions. I know some groups have combined their Dark Heresy campaigns with the Deathwatch book in this fashion. But for a new release, what's the point? May as well limit it to those classes that actually get things done in that narrative.

If you intermix them, you will just end up with your game evening having "Marine phases" and "normal guy phases", kind of like in the older Shadowrun editions where the Matrix still was its own dimension and hacking basically meant the rest of the team could lean back, but probably even worse as it'd happen more often. And in Shadowrun at least the decker was still useful elsewhere.

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Kharol said:

Well, it seems fair to say that anywhere from one to two thirds of every session in a 40K campaign is going to consist of combat.  Even if you just have one fight in the whole session, the granularity of the combat system means that it's necessarily going to be time consuming.  Knowing this, very few players are going to voluntarily abstain from one to two thirds of the session just to have the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the remainder of the session.  This is why it seems silly to me to reserve valuable or even crucial skills to non-combat-exclusive classes: either someone sits out most of every session just so they can make the necessary Tech-Use/Medicae/Lore roll to move the story forward, or the party consists of muscle-headed lunks inept at even basic non-physical tasks. And the non-combat skill rolls never have the same level of engagement that combat does: it's either a single binary roll, or a series of rolls where any one failure is a total failure.

I think Only War really did it right in this regard.  Since everyone has respectable combat ability, everyone can comfortably focus on non-combat development knowing that they will be able to participate meaningfully in both combat and non-combat encounters.  If FFG was going to develop a Horus Heresy game line, it seems reasonable to limit the scope to Space Marines given that they are the primary movers and shakers in the time period, and they have a very reasonable balance between combat and non-combat ability.

I dunno, we had may-many sessions that were completely devoid of combat. If the system and the setting supports and rewards non-violent solutions at least just as much as actual fights, then the PCs would lean towards those solutions better, because nobody likes to take Damage. 

OW is kinda' like a weirdo here, because some of its non-combat stuff is pretty much essential (Medicae, Tech-Use, Survival) while others are right at the very bottom of the trash bin (Fellowship and anything related to it). 

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Or they could just make the game.  And ADMIT in the rules that there are different tiers of play, that regular humans are not meant to and will not be able to keep up with the Marines.

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AtoMaki said:

I dunno, we had may-many sessions that were completely devoid of combat. If the system and the setting supports and rewards non-violent solutions at least just as much as actual fights, then the PCs would lean towards those solutions better, because nobody likes to take Damage. 

OW is kinda' like a weirdo here, because some of its non-combat stuff is pretty much essential (Medicae, Tech-Use, Survival) while others are right at the very bottom of the trash bin (Fellowship and anything related to it).

Many sessions like that in Deathwatch, or DH/RT? I'd say it always depends on the scope of the campaign and the style of narrative, as well as what the dramatis personae are there for and associated with.

Don't get me wrong, with the Great Crusade I could actually think that Marines engage more in social stuff, similar to what some of the Post-Heresy Chapters do on their various homeworlds (governance, guidance, tutorship, …). But I wouldn't assume that normal people have any place in that, not in this era. Besides, how many fans would play a Space Marine without wanting to experience their combat prowess? Isn't that their raison d'être, the most dominant factor in their representation, and the primary reason why they are so popular in the first place?

With OW, the structuring of the skills and talents is fitting to the theme, as I would not regard Medicae, Tech-Use or Survival as "pure" non-combat skills, but rather things that are useful or even necessary to supplement the battle experience. It's the same with Deathwatch, too. And I would expect the same from a Great Crusade RPG. Yet … these are abilities that you could simply use a Marine for. In fact, I'd say it would be weird to have an Imperial Army medic tag along as a healer for a bunch of Astartes.

 

Dulahan said:

Or they could just make the game.  And ADMIT in the rules that there are different tiers of play, that regular humans are not meant to and will not be able to keep up with the Marines.
But is it economical to commit design resources to a feature that few people would use? What percentage of buyers would willingly play "extras" who have little impact on the game due to their diminished role?

And in this case I'm not even talking about the artificially widened gap in FFG's games, but also that the Horus Heresy as a setting just does not have much to offer for normal people - not in the way it is presented in the novels, at least. What sort of normal human "support" classes would people be supposed to play? Remembrancers who get to make rolls on how good their songs about the actual heroes will be?

They may as well focus on the actual "stars" of that era entirely. The designers had their chance for mixed groups with equal usefulness in the past but opted against it - I suppose it may well be a matter of vision, but I just don't see what they could gain from shoehorning normal humans in a game whose narration has so far entirely ommitted them. It'd be kind of like making a Superman RPG where you can also play normal cops, firefighters and mailmen who get to do things alongside Clark Kent. It just doesn't seem very … practical? pensativo

But let's hear your ideas. How exactly would you design a Great Crusade RPG that doesn't feature Marines alone, yet is fun to play for everyone?

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Lynata said:

Many sessions like that in Deathwatch, or DH/RT? I'd say it always depends on the scope of the campaign and the style of narrative, as well as what the dramatis personae are there for and associated with.

Better! We had them in BC, where we had a mixed Space Marine/Human party. And oddly enough, we often found Humans more useful in these adventures than Space Marines, because they had a much wider selection of non-violent options. 

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*nods* BC also delivers a much more appropriate "opportunity" for such types of interaction, as just about every famous Chaos Warband relies much more on human helpers - not to mention their use for infiltrating other societies, or their ability to use psychic powers and summon daemons or be important for a variety of dark rituals. In the Great Crusade, this modus operandi just isn't available, hence my scepticism.

Note that the Great Crusade isn't actually my forte, though, so perhaps there is something I missed. Since I prefer the "mystified legend" approach in the studio material, my knowledge of the interpretation presented in the novel series (or interpretations - I heard that some novels portray the same event differently) relies entirely on the bits and pieces I pick up from forum discussions amongst fans of that era. It seems obvious, though, that those stories focus entirely on the Astartes. Even Deathwatch would have offered more potential for human characters, at least as per GW's Inquisitor articles. ;)

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Lynata said:

 

And in this case I'm not even talking about the artificially widened gap in FFG's games, but also that the Horus Heresy as a setting just does not have much to offer for normal people - not in the way it is presented in the novels, at least. What sort of normal human "support" classes would people be supposed to play? Remembrancers who get to make rolls on how good their songs about the actual heroes will be?

They may as well focus on the actual "stars" of that era entirely. The designers had their chance for mixed groups with equal usefulness in the past but opted against it - I suppose it may well be a matter of vision, but I just don't see what they could gain from shoehorning normal humans in a game whose narration has so far entirely ommitted them. It'd be kind of like making a Superman RPG where you can also play normal cops, firefighters and mailmen who get to do things alongside Clark Kent. It just doesn't seem very … practical? pensativo

But let's hear your ideas. How exactly would you design a Great Crusade RPG that doesn't feature Marines alone, yet is fun to play for everyone?

 

I don't think you quite got my point.  It's not that Humans should be played alongside Marines and just accept they will suck.  Instead it's that they shouldn't be played alongside each other at all.  Your group is either Astartes OR Regulars.  Whether done with a shared setting book or a shared corebook in  general doesn't matter. 

 

It wouldn't even be the first game ever to have varying tiers like that.  Exalted and Cthulhutech just to name a couple of the biggest named ones.

 

Because outside of mixed groups there is plenty of cool stuff for people to do on either end of the spectrum.  a group of PC Remembrancers could lead to an AMAZING game.  Likewise, so would a squad of Astartes (And with Only War style advancement, the Latter could actually all be in a Tactical Marines squad from the same chapter and still feel distinct without seeming anti-lore in terms of composition or a Rules mistake!).

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Dulahan said:

I don't think you quite got my point.
Indeed I did not - thanks for the explanation, I'm not familiar with any games that employ such tiered, separated "campaign styles" in a single book. ;)

That would work, I suppose - at least mechanically. I still think it'd be a weird waste of development resources given that, at least in Black Library's portrayal, there doesn't really seem to be a place for normal humans in that era other than as faceless extras. FFG could probably just invent some stuff again, such as, basically, Only War with the Imperial Army instead of the Imperial Guard, but I'd say that this would work much better as a supplement for Only War. As far as a group of PC Remembrancers is concerned … ouph, a 40k roleplaying game about civilian news reporters and poets? That's certainly novel, but do you believe that such a game would find a lot of fans?

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Lynata said:

That would work, I suppose - at least mechanically. I still think it'd be a weird waste of development resources given that, at least in Black Library's portrayal, there doesn't really seem to be a place for normal humans in that era other than as faceless extras

This gave me an idea: what about Space Marines and "above-average normal humans" (example: Ascension characters) in the same party? that sounds plausible…

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I think space marines and normal humans might be a bad idea. Space marines are so far removed from Humanity that they are like demigods to most humans. All but the most jaded humans in the imperium would stand in awe of them for the entire campaign. In contrast Normal Humans barely even register to Astartes, they are so for above humanity that they look down on humans. Combat wise there would be little that a guardsman could do compared to the marine and story wise the marine would basically ignore the humans and quickly leave them behind.

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I've a few veiws on this whole Horus Heresy as a setting for an RPG. And I realise it's a fan favourite.

Firstly how good is it for making a flexible party with distinct characters? In my view not really. It's a very rare situation that has a two Legions working together and even then it's a temporary affair. And even during that battle it's not likely that they'll have mixed squads. So it's only really going to be a single legion affair with only the differetiation comming from the different specialities we are still not really supposed to be mixing in a single squad. Basically everyones a Deathshroud terminator or no one is.

And the legions are an Army, a single army with orders dictated by their superiors so, although individual squads have great tactical flexibilty that's not going to be more than take that specific objective, it's hardly going to be a lot of freedom for the PC's.

But this is a OW forum I hear you say, if you can play a member of the Imperial Guard then what's the difference between the legions. Good point, but the answer quite simply is scale. The same objective given to a single Legion squad to do in a few hours might be issued to a whole company and take the best part of a week the part the ragtag guardsmen play is massively varied, if they even get the same orders, for example defend this position to a Guard company is basically an excuse for NPC interaction with the rest of the company for most of the mission. For the legion it's basically twiddling thumbs till the actual attack.

Basically Deathwatch is a pretty unique situation where you get a bunch of different chapters and specialties mixing in a squad with the almost unlimited remit of the Inquistion. Without that there are severe limits on a long term campaign.

What about adding humans to mix? Well on one hand, prior to Deification of the Emperor there wasn't as great a divide between a human soldier and an Astartes, at least in most cases on the Imperium side. The great armies towards the Heresy would have mixtures of Astartes and Army troops in most cases and the human comanders would sit around the planning table with the Astartes Generals Leiutenants. But they wouldn't really mix units in combat but might deployed with each other on a battlefield but again, hardly a permantent situation.

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