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Unified WH40k Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes

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On and off, for a little while, I've been (slowly) tinkering with my own "unified ruleset", combining most of the WH40k line, with the exception of Xenos and Chaos/Space Marines (thus throwing most of Deathwatch and a small part of Black Crusade out the window for the time being).

Sometimes, with a variety of people, I discuss various rules changes and homebrews that is to be added to this system, and I maintain a list of notes to remind me of various design decisions that I have come up with, or that others have come up with and suggested to me. This project is entirely private, although might be shared once it's done sometime in the future, and nowhere near done.

However, by request, I'm sharing the collection of notes and part of what I've done so far, and I'd love some feedback on any of it, if anyone is interested, if you think something seems pants-on-head retarded, or if something can be refined or improved. I also don't mind any suggestions for additional homebrewed rules that would fit with the idea of a unified ruleset.

The basic assumption is that the system operates based upon Only War, with heavy homebrewing to accomodate a variety of settings and starting points, based on the four lines; Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Black Crusade, and Only War.

Without further ado, here comes a long collection of notes, most of it cleaned up from snippets ripped straight out of conversations:


On relative power level of Archetypes:

Replacing "Career" and "Specialization" with "Archetypes" terminologically, each Archetype is assumed to be on the relative "power level" of Dark Heresy or Only War.

A character's relative strengths and weaknesses is not solely determined by career, but rather lot in life, paths taken, positions held, influence and relative life experience. This is best relegated to a system of Origin Paths unique for each Campaign Setting (Only War, Dark Heresy, Black Crusade, and Rogue Trader), determining what brought a character to his current place in history, presenting him with the starting scenario that sets the stage of the campaign.

By keeping the individual Archetypes "low" in relative power, the boundries and special abilities offered defines the character, without implying positions of power or influence. Conversely, Archetypes (previously "Careers" or similar) that specifically confine a character to positions that could only truly be gained as a function of roleplaying or advancement has been relegated to the concept of Specialist Packages (merging the concepts of Alternate Career Ranks (RT/DH), Elite Advancement Packages (RT/DH) and Advanced Specialities (OW), as well as part of the (terribly broken) "supplemental" Archetypes in Black Crusade.

Some might also be made into generalized Backgrounds, that will work just like backgrounds in Dark Heresy, and be available independent of Origin Path/Campaign Setting used.

TL;DR: Weaker careers/archetypes/specializations, relative strength and power level determined by campaign setting-specific Origin Path choices, background packages, and specialist packages.

On Comrades (Only War):

Use Minion (BC) and Follower (DW) rules to create a generalized system in which Comrade (Change in terminology; Companion?) in Only War can actually be codified more in how they work. Anyone starting with a Comrade in their Archetype (such as ALL Guardsmen types from Only War) would get a "Lesser Minion" (rename?) instead, conforming to certain attributes (i.e. must be human, etc), because the concrete rules for Comrades is heavily on the "wat?"-side of things.


On Navigators & Psykers:

Obviously, there would have to be a Navigator Aptitude that you cannot normally acquire, and a diversified ruleset to allow Sanctioned Psykers, Witches and Astropaths to all function under the same system; most notably giving Astropaths bonuses to "...of the warp"-stuff, since they are shielded, and perhaps able to buy Telepathic, Divination, Theosophamy, and Soul Ward powers cheaper, and others more expensively.

This is because Astropaths are Sanctioned in a unique manner, shielded by the Emperor, but are actually on the crap end of the power spectrum compared to (regular) Sanctioned Psykers.


On Alternate Career Ranks/Elite Advancement Packages:

All (most?) Alternate Career Ranks & Elite Advancement Packages replaced with Specialist Packages, that all have solid prereqs. (including at least one Aptitude prereq.), costs varying degrees of experience, perhaps offering discounts to certain skills and talents, and the chance to buy 2-3 unique talents or traits or whatnot that would otherwise have been unavailable.

This is already how most later-book Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy Alternate Career Ranks work, anyway; gives something unique in addition to the package of skills/talents at earlier ranks/for cheaps.

The same goes for Elite Advancement Packages. Cut out the latter and make sure that each Specialist Package has something that's signature "it".

Some Specialist Packages can change some or all Aptitudes similar to Advanced Specialities in Only War. Others may not.


On Astropaths, Sanctioned Psykers, and Rogue Psykers:

Reasonably, Astropaths should start at a Psy-Rating of 1, but receive a discount (75% total?) on certain (Telepathy, Divinity, Theosophamy & Soulward) disciplines, using powers as a Soulbound Psyker, but being unable to ever learn Chaos/Reaver/Renegade powers unless they somehow get Soulbound to someone else (Greater Daemon, Chaos God, etc) or manage to lose their connection to the Emperor through other means, becoming Unbound rather than Soulbound.

Astropaths would also start with the talents (or trait?) that makes Psyniscience a Free or Reflex Action - for some reason they don't already, even though Psyniscience would/should be their only real way to perceive most of the world.

There is a need for four distinct levels of psychic power; Soulbound, Conditioned, Unbound, and Daemon. Soulbound and "Bound", exemplified by Astropaths and regular Sanctioned Psykers, should not be lumped together. The Soulbound are distinct and unique, and this should be represented through added proficiency in specific fields and protection from some of the horrors of the warp (being "anchored" to beings greater than themselves).


Sanctioned Psykers start with a Psy-Rating of 2 (or 3? Too powerful for a starting Archetype?), an extra power or two of their choice (whereas Astropaths only start with Telepathy stuff), and get a semi-unique new power level, between the aforementioned Soulbound and Unbound (known as Bound and Rogue in some books). Could also pay a premium on certain powers such as Soul-Ward, since they are not Soulbound at all.

Only Soulbound characters should be able to perform Astrotelepathy without having a chance of gaining Insanity or Corruption.

Rogue Psykers could get a Psy-Rating of 2, but only start with an assorted number of low-tier Renegade or Chaos powers, and are unable to even learn certain disciplines at all, such as Soul-Ward (and potentially Theosophamy). Obviously, they would use their Psychic Powers as Rogue (otherwise known as Unbound or Unsanctioned).

More on Archetypes:

On the implementation of thematically "stronger" careers/archetyes/specializations in a unified ruleset, I've decided that Elite Advancement Packages and Alternate Career Ranks are going to be made into a single Package-form with prereqs., an experience cost, something nifty upon picking it, and with a few advances that are unique to that package.

Also, I have decided to make, for example, Commissars and Stormtrooper, into these packages, with the prereqs. that they can only be taken on creation, and that they obviously require you to be Schola Progenium. In addition to make more sense in-universe (since Commissars and Stormtroopers, to keep with those examples, all require specialized and more extensive training compared to, say, a Scum or Desperado right off the street), it also helps alleviate the obviouse balance issues in throwing a green Sergeant into the same group as a fresh Stormtrooper.

It will also help diversify for those that wants to be special kinds of Stormtroopers, since even a Stormtrooper squad would have people with different specializations - it will allow you to take Medic as your Archetype, and then pick the Stormtrooper Package on creation (if you are Schola Progenium and pay the experience cost, which will likely be the lion's part of your free experience on creation for Dark Heresy or Only War).

In fact, it would be possible to make a diverse group of players that are all Stormtroopers, yet have different defining Archetypes, and later go on to develop in wildly different directions by taking different advances, taking different Specialization Packages with different peculiarities, and that will further mix up the bag by diversifying who has which Aptitudes.

In a unified system, I want all players to start on the same relative "power-level", while also making sense in the context of the universe, independent as to whether the character is going to be used in Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Black Crusade, or Only War.

On weapon talents & proficiencies:

The way Weapon Training works in Only War doesn't sit well with me. But at the same time, neither does the older systems. No matter what, I think there is something lacking.

I was thinking I'd break weapons up into CLASS and TYPE, with two different talents. Weapon Proficiency (<class>) trains you in Class, while Weapon Training (<type>) trains you in Type.

Using a weapon for which you have neither Class nor Type would incur a -40 penalty, while having training in either Class or Type would incur a -20. Having training in both would mean no inherent penalty at all.

The "Arms Master"-talent would reduce the penalty by 20, to a maximum of -10 (So if you have Type but not Class, the penalty would be -10; If you have neither Class nor Type, it would be -20 instead of -40).

Some weapons would have no Type, while some may have no Class; this includes, for example, many Exotic Weapons that operate so differently that the only way you can realistically use them is with the Exotic Weapons Operation talent.

Classes would be Melee, Thrown, Basic, Pistol and Heavy.

ADDENDUM: Add "Unarmed" to Classes, based on Pugilist/Unarmed Warrior discussion here. /ADDENDUM EDIT: Scratch that. This is better achieved with a Special Quality. /EDIT

Types would be Bolt, Chain, Spray, Las, Launcher, Melta, Power, Shock, and Solid Projectile.

Some (Exotic) weapons would have Unique Type, corresponding to the general kind of exotic weapon it is. For example, weapons with the Eldar Type would all be usable by someone with the Exotic Weapons Operation (Eldar) talent. All Gauss Types with the Exotic Weapons Operation (Gauss). This is, of course, provided that they also can use that Class. In many cases, a Pistol is still a Pistol and a Heavy weapon is still Heavy.

What this system specifically allows is diversification of concepts, but what it does primarily for me is that it removes the sillyness of someone being able to use a Power Sword, but not a Feudal Sword. Or a Shock-Whip, but not a Grox-Whip.

This is because while you would need Weapon Proficiency (Melee) AND Weapon Training (Power) to use a Power Sword properly, a regular Feudal Sworld would only be Class: Melee, but with Type: None.

Weapon Proficiency (Class) would be categorized as a Tier 1 talent with the General and Offense OR Defence OR Finesse Aptitudes.

Weapons Training (Tye) would be classified as a Tier 1 talent with the General and Finesse Aptitudes (just like basic Only War).

Does this sound like a good system, or needless complication to soothe my autistic mind aimed at making sense of things that everyone else is fine with not making sense?

Aptitude terminology and thoughts:

An issue of pure terminology for rules clarifications, Aptitudes are now split into two main categories. Characteristics Aptitudes (Strength, Toughness, Intelligence, Weapon Skill, Agility, etc) and Professional Aptitudes (Fieldcraft, Social, Leadership, etc). This is mostly cosmetic, but helps point things out, instead of using the cumbersome and explanatory "an aptitude that shares it's name with a characteristic".

Furthermore, Skills and Talents (or any advances) may now have multiple Aptitudes associated with either part of the Skill or Talent. For example, one skill may be tied to Fellowship and Social OR Leadership. This means that to count as having two Aptitudes in order to buy, for example the Command skill, he needs Fellowship, and then either Social or Leadership. If he did not have Fellowship, but had both Social and Leadership, he would still count as having only one Aptitude.

This is done in order to diversify the number of available ways to acquire and learn certain advances that might make sense to get in multiple ways.

Also, a third kind of Aptitude has been introduced; Alignment. Being Aligned with a certain god of Chaos, only possible become if you have the Damned Trait, normally only acquirable automatically by being in a Black Crusade campaign or by GM fiat in any other setting, means that you count as having three Aptitudes when buying a certain advance, further reducing the cost. Similarly, some advances have an Antithesis. If you are Aligned with the Antithesis of an Advance, you count as having one Aptitude less.

This means that the Lost and the Damned, Chaos worshippers and the like, will always have a leg up on the pious masses of humanity. They are, however, on the fast track to becoming daemon-chowder, and in a Black Crusade campaign, this should still be acceptable seeing as all players receive this benefit (and detriment) in a similar way to basic "pre-unified ruleset" Black Crusade.

Subhuman Characteristic (Trait):

I have decided to introduce a Subhuman Characteristic, an analogue to my Inhuman/Unnatural Characteristic idea, that makes all talents and skills that are bought with a Characteristics Aptitude corresponding to that Subhuman Characteristic double in experience cost. It would also increase the difficulty of any Characteristic-based Skill Test involving said Characteristics by one step.

For example, if a character has Subhuman Intelligence, they will pay double cost for Linguistics, since Linguistics is based on the Intelligence and General Aptitudes. Similarly, it would pay double for the Polyglot Talent, since it's based on the Intelligence and Social Aptitudes.

A Hard Tech-Use Skill Test (-20) would become Very Hard (-30). But a Commerce Skill Test that is made with Fellowship would not increase, even though Commerce has the Intelligence Aptitude. If you, however, did a Commerce Skill Test using Intelligence, it's difficulty would increase by one step.

Any straight Characteristics Test would not be increased in difficulty, since it is not a Skill Test, such as the GM requesting an Intelligence Test to recall an event, or an Agility Test when rolling to safely jump down a ledge.

Ogryns is an example of those that would start with Subhuman Intelligence, as an example of where this would be used appropriately. As an added note, however, for Ogryns, it would be possible to remove this trait by a BONE-process (Biochemical Ogryn Neural Enhancement). It would not make them gain the Intelligence Aptitude or help with their abysmal intelligence, but would remove the Subhuman Intelligence Trait.

Other places where this would be appropriate is with certain Mutations (Minor or Major) or Malignancies, or certain other Homeworld options, such as Abhuman (Beastmen in particular; perhaps Subhuman Agility for minotaurs, or Subhuman Toughness for ratfolks, Subhuman Fellowship for reptile-like beastmen, etc).


Inhuman Characteristics and Unnatural Characteristics:

Inhuman Characteristic (X):

  One or more of the creature's Characteristics is of inhuman or superhuman levels. This is indicated by a number that is then added directly to the relevant Characteristic Bonus. For example, a creature with a Strength of 41 normally has a Strength Bonus of 4; if the creature had Inhuman Characteristic (3) then it's Strength Bonus increases to 7 (4+3).

   A creature may have this Trait more than once. Each time, it's applied to a new Characteristic or added to the modifier of a pre-existing Inhuman Characteristic.

   In addition, whenever someone with an Inhuman Characteristic succeeds on a Test utilising that Characteristic, they gain a number of bonus Degrees of Success equal to half their Inhuman Characteristics modifier (rounded down).

   During Opposed Characteristics Tests that end in a tie, the one with the higher Inhuman Characteristic modifier wins, unless either creature has the Unnatural Characteristic trait, in which case it takes precedence.

   Inhuman Characteristics is added after any other modifier to a Characteristics Bonus, such as Unnatural Characteristic (X).

Unnatural Characteristic (X):

  One or more of the creature's Characteristics have been modified through supernatural or unnatural means. Each time this trait is gained, select a Characteristic, and double it's Characteristic Bonus. For example, a creature with a Strength of 41 normally has a Strength Bonus of 4; if the creature had Unnatural Strength (3), then it's Strength Bonus increases to 12 (4*3).

   A creature may have this Trait more than once. Each time, it's applied to a new Characteristic or added to the modifier of a pre-existing Unnatural Characteristic.

   In addition, whenever someone with an Unnatural Characteristic succeeds on an Opposed Test utilising that Characteristic, they gain a number of bonus Degrees of Success equal to their Unnatural Characteristics modifier. During Opposed Characteristics Tests that end in a tie, the one with the higher Unnatural Characteristic modifier always wins.

   When taking a Skill Test based upon a Characteristic with the Unnatural Characteristic Trait, the base Difficulty of the Test is staged downwards one level for each modifier past 1, to a maximum of -30. For example, a creature with Unnatural Intelligence (3) attempting a Very Hard (-30) Medicae Skill Test would attempt the action at Difficult (-10) instead.

   Unnatural Characteristic is added before any other modifier to a Characteristic Bonus, such as Inhuman Characteristic.

This allows to keep the functionality of both kinds of the trait, allowing for a wider range of item, character and creature interaction and interpretations, without breaking cross-functionality, and makes for easier scaling and backwards compatibility between the campaign settings.

And that's it for now. I have an unfinished Skills document too, if anyone's interested, but right now, this is just a tangled mess of thoughts. If you just managed to read through all of that, I'd love some feedback on anything or everything. :)

Edited by Fgdsfg

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Also, I found my notes on planned Archetypes and the logic behind it. I would add it to the previous post, but there is a limit on the number of quoted sections that can be made in a single post (which is greatly frustrating sometimes).

I should not complain. The forums are much better now than before, bar some hamfisted moderation that prefer to ignore issues and points raised.

Either way:

Planned Archetypes:

Sanctioned Psyker
Rogue Psyker
Weapon Specialist

Going entirely by what's available in Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Black Crusade and Only War, I notably left out; Rogue Trader, Arch-Militant, Voidmaster, Heavy Gunner, Commissar, Stormtrooper, Ratling, Ogryn, Tech-Priest Enginseer, Renegade, Apostate, Ministorum Priest, Heretek, Missionary, Explorator and.. I think that's it.

Rogue Trader because *anyone* can be a Rogue Trader, it never really made any sense to make it a career, especially since nobody that starts out a character (or at least very rarely) is a Rogue Trader for years/as a career before they actually start playing.

Arch-Militant and Voidmaster because they are too "high-up-y" and are better covered by various others anyway (Operator, Weapon Specialist, Sergeant).

Heavy Gunner because it's way too specific for anything other than Only War itself, and might as well be covered by Weapon Specialist.

Commissar and Stormtrooper, as per aforementioned logic in previous notes.

Ratling and Ogryn because they should be homeworld or origin choices, not fudging Archetypes or Careers. Goddammit. Also, instead of making Ratling into a generalized "Sniper" career, I decided that that would be better covered by either Weapon Specialist or Assassin already, anyway.

Heretek, Tech-Priest Enginseer and Explorator are already covered by general Tech-Priest.

Apostate is already covered by Arbites, Adept, Cleric or similar.

Missionary and Ministorum Priest is already covered by Cleric.

Renegade is covered by either Medic, Operator, Weapon Specialist, Assassin, Arbites or Sergeant.

Did I miss anything? Some aspect I forgot to cover? Flawed logic? Throw me some thoughts.

Edit: Uploaded the Skill Tables w/ Description(s), WIP:

Edited by Fgdsfg
Nameless2all and LyonHart like this

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How would you handle Marines and Eldar characteristics? As Inhuman, or as unnatural?


(Static vs multiplier)

Probably both. I'd say that Eldar Agility would be Unnatural, while Marine Strength/Toughness would be Inhuman. But in the end, it comes down to what feels right.

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Your ideas has merit, and are very interesting, and I really wish FFG went with a unified approch right from the start.


My regular Group is going to return to Rogue Trader after running with Only War, and it feels like such a huge step backwards in terms of character development.


Do you have any prototyping done on a character creation selection - Aptitudes etc for classes not described in the Only War universe? (Say Arbitrator or similar?)

Gridash likes this

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Skill Tables w/ descriptions, WIP:

Your ideas has merit, and are very interesting, and I really wish FFG went with a unified approch right from the start.


My regular Group is going to return to Rogue Trader after running with Only War, and it feels like such a huge step backwards in terms of character development.


Do you have any prototyping done on a character creation selection - Aptitudes etc for classes not described in the Only War universe? (Say Arbitrator or similar?)

No, sorry, it's all in my head at the moment, and very far from being fleshed out in any way. The only thing I've done so far is work on skills a bit, but I haven't even done that for what must be weeks now. The project is still ongoing, but it's just.. very slow.

If you look around, though, there's been a couple of conversions of Dark Heresy to Only War.

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I'll probably be double-posting a lot in this thread, apologies if anyone is annoyed by it. If any moderator thinks this is unacceptable, simply say so and I'll stop.

Addendum: Added the idea of a "Unarmed" class of weapons based on discussion here. An Unarmed-Class weapon would count as Unarmed for the purpose of all mechanics, Talents and Traits, which means that with an Unarmed weapon, you'd be unable to Parry unless you had, for example, the Unarmed Warrior Talent, which would allow you to always count as Armed, even when using an Unarmed weapon. A good example of an Unarmed-class Weapon would be the Shock Gloves. Very few weapons would be classified as Unarmed.

Addendum addendum: ...actually, scratch that. It would be better as a Special Quality, otherwise you'd need Weapon Proficiency (Unarmed) to be able to use your Unarmed-classed weapons even in an Unarmed capacity. This would be both retarded and punitive to the dedicated pugilist.

Thoughts on Mechadendrites and stacking of bionics:

Mechadendrites should follow the same rules as MIU Weapons Interface, since they are an integrated limb attached both to the "true flesh", fused with the spine, and hooked up to the Potentia Coil. This means that Mechadendrites can be used as a Free Action as part of an Attack. This does not waive the one-attack-maximum inherent to the game rules, unless you have the appropriate Talents or Traits conferring extra attacks.

What Bionics and Implants stack and how should be clarified. Some implants make perfect sense with stacking, such as multiple best-craftsmanship bionic arms or multiple manipulator Mechadendrites, whereas others, such as the benefits of the Medical Mechadendrite, doesn't. This should be codified by clarifying the general rule ("bioncs don't stack") and by adding to the description of individual implants (pointing out that "Additional instances of <this implant> does stack in <this manner>").

See discussion here.

Thoughts on knives and small melee weapons, and the fighting with such:

Melee weapons should not automatically scale on Strength Bonus, but certain choice weapons, notably knives (which are otherwise classified as regular melee weapons), most (all?) which are of small damage (1d5), should scale on Agility Bonus instead, representative of the usage of knives in finding weak spots or making dodging attacks against opponents.

Introduce a Talent, Piercing Strike, which would allow all weapons that scale from Agility Bonus to also add their Strength Bonus. Tier 2. Strength/Finesse. Align Slaanesh, Anti Nurgle.

Precision Telekinesis

Value: 100 xp

Prerequisites: None

Focus Power Test: Willpower

Range: 5m x Psy Rating

Unlike the first gross manipulations of Telekinesis, this Power allows the psyker to fine tune his ability until he can do anything at range that he could do with his bare hands. In any situation where the task in question would require a Characteristic Test (not Skill Test), the psyker substitutes Willpower instead. The psyker’s Psy Rating substitutes for his Characteristics Bonus when using this technique.

If using this Technique to attack with a weapon, the psyker must still spend Actions as he were wielding the weapon in hand. He benefits and suffers from all circumstantial and character-based (but not Action-based) penalties and bonuses he would normally have were he wielding the weapon (including Proficeincy penalties), and measures all ranges to targets from himself, not the weapon. If he (not the weapon) does not have line of sight to the target, he suffers the usual penalties for blind firing.

Edited by Fgdsfg

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Thoughts on Characteristics on creation and Characteristics Advances:

All Archetypes start with +3 to a Characteristic, instead of the standard Only War +5.

Characteristics Advances function as in standard Only War, except that they only confer +3, with an added fifth tier. Thus;

  • Simple, +3.
  • Intermediate, +3.
  • Practised, +3.
  • Advanced, +3.
  • Elite, +3.
The costs being:
  • Two Matching Aptitudes:

    Simple, 100xp.

    Intermediate, 250xp.

    Practised, 500xp.

    Advanced, 750xp.

    Elite, 1250xp.

  • One Matching Aptitude:

    Simple, 250xp.

    Intermediate, 500xp.

    Practised, 750xp.

    Advanced, 1000xp.

    Elite, 1750xp.

  • No Matching Aptitudes:

    Simple, 500xp.

    Intermediate, 750xp.

    Practised, 1000xp.

    Advanced, 1750xp.

    Elite, 2500xp.

On a similar note, Skill Advances are now:
  • Trained.
  • Experienced.
  • Veteran.
  • Expert.
This is a simple change in terminology.

Completely random notes on Skills:

Alignment counts as an extra Aptitude.

Antithesis counts as one Aptitude less.

The same Aptitude for Primary and Secondary Aptitude counts twice.

Basic skills can be used at -20 or half Characteristic, whichever is the lower penalty.

Advanced skills can be used at -20 or half Characteristic, whichever is the higher penalty.

Specialist skills cannot be used without training.

Group Skills detones Skill Groups: Whether a skill within a skill-group is considered Basic, Advanced or Specialist depends on the Skill-group.

B denotes a Basic Skill. B+ denotes a Basic Skill that receives a bonus when trained; +10 on Trained (instead of +0), +20 on Experienced (instead of +10), +40 on Veteran (instead of +20) and +60 on Expert (instead of +30). This represents easily trained fundamental skills where specialization pays off spectacularily, but that is otherwise ”mastered” relatively easily.

Edit: Ditched Skill/Talent contributing to Alignment. Instead, Corruption/Infamy will be tracked.

Skills renamed Elementary, Basic, Advanced, and Specialized.

Edited by Fgdsfg

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Finished the Skill Table:

Currently working on Skill Descriptions:


Edit: Turns out it's not fully finished, I've changed some names around and done some formatting, but I can't upload it yet and work is slow anyway. Added changed Social to Social OR Leadership for Intimidate, for example. Renamed Common Lore to Mundane Lore.

I'm also considering adding a Fanaticism Aptitude, but while I'm sure to find many Talents & Abilities it would be applicable to, I'm not so sure about skills. We'll see.

Edited by Fgdsfg

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Edit: Nvm. Apparently signature size is expanded now.

I really enjoy what I've read so far.  What would you suggest as a starting freebie XP amount for new characters?

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I was thinking that the starting XP would at least partly be decided by what you run, whether it's Rogue Trader, Only War, Dark Heresy or Black Crusade, with some XP being reserved in some cases for Specialist Packages.

I was thinking 500xp for Dark Heresy/Only War characters, and 1500 for Rogue Trader/Black Crusade, but in the latter, 1000xp would be reserved for taking Specialist Packages or Backgrounds ("Backgrounds" would be generalized packages that can be taken on creation similar to how Backgrounds work in Dark Heresy,, but anyone can take them, independant from "Origin Path" on creation).

That's what I have in my head, though.

Nameless2all likes this

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Thought of the day: Diplomacy isn't a very good skill and complicates something that can be done better in other ways.

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Notes on races; Humans, Ogryns, Ratlings and Squats. Black Crusade-based for use in Only War-based Unified Ruleset where first step of creation is choosing race. Additional races pending (Beastmen?).


Starting Skills:
Mundane Lore (Any Two)
Linguistics (Low Gothic)
Trade (Any One) OR Linguistics (Any One)

Average (Size 4)

Choose ONE:
1) The Quick and The Dead
2) The Strength of Faith
3) The Force of the Fortuitous

Humans are always of an average size, a category the share with most denizens of the galaxy and the vast majority of mankind. They receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size, and unless otherwise noted, require no changes to listed equipment.

To survive in the Galaxy, particularly as a human, one must be quick, both in wits and action. Sometimes fast reflexes can compensate for ceramite armour. All characters with this Trait add a +2 bonus to Initiative Rolls.

The centre of struggle for the God-Emperor and the Ruinous Powers alike, humans can be particularly hardy against the influences, or assertive in their struggle for, the wiles of the Warp. All characters with this Trait must modify their Corruption in one of two ways whenever they gain Corruption. Either they spend a Fate Point (or equivalent) to reduce the Corruption gained by an amount equal to half their Willpower Bonus or Toughness Bonus (to a minimum of 1) or they increase the Corruption gained by +1.

The galaxy is full of evolutionary dead ends and species that lacked both the perseverance and power needed to survive. Humanity is not one of them, and have proven again and again to be remarkably strong, whether it's squeezing the last good thing out of a bad situation, or ruthlessly pull upon every favour or opportunity at hand. All characters with this trait chooses to increase their Infamy Score, Logistics Rating, Influence Record, or Profit Factor by +1d5 at the start of every session, for the duration of the session.

Weapon Skill        2d10+20
Ballistic Skill        2d10+20
Strength            2d10+20
Toughness            2d10+20
Agility                2d10+20
Intelligence        2d10+20
Perception            2d10+20
Willpower            2d10+20
Fellowship            2d10+20

Wounds Base:
7 + 1d5 (8-12)

Available Archetypes: Adept, Arbitrator, Assassin, Astropath, Cleric, Desperado, Medic, Navigator, Operator, Rogue Psyker, Sanctioned Psyker, Seneschal, Sergeant, Tech-Priest, Weapon Specialist.



Starting Skills:
Mundane Lore (Ogryns)
Intimidate OR Survival

Starting Traits:
But It Dark in Dere!
Hulking (Size 5)
Subhuman Intelligence
Inhuman Strength (2)
Inhuman Toughness (2)
Harsh Living
Susceptible to Corruption

Despite their fearsome and fearless nature, Ogryns are extremely claustrophobic. They will usually not enter caves, basements, ruins, infantry fightning vehicles like the Chimera, or even smaller than average buildings of their own free will. Officers, Commissars or other recognized leaders can order them into such places, but suffer a -10 penalty to any Command Skill Tests to do so. Should the Ogryn recognize the need to enter, he may attempt to pass a Challenging (+0) Willpower Test to enter any darkened, confined space. Failure results in the refusal to enter, and it takes 1 minuter before you can summon up the courage to try again. Though this is not a Fear Test, some effects and abilities that influence a Fear Test also affect this Trait (for example, a character with the Iron Discipline Talent may re-roll his Willpower Test to enter a dark tunnel). For the purpose of this Trait, the fear experienced does not count as a mundane horror and thus is not negated by the Jaded Talent. Additionally, Ogryns suffer a -10 to all Skill Tests when so confined.

Ogryns typically stand about three meters tall, and a little more than half that wide, towering even over the feared Astartes. Average height and weight are easily double that of a regular Feral-World human. Ogryns have the Hulking Trait, increasing their Agility Bonus by +1 for the purpose of Movement Rate(s), suffering a -10 penalty to all tests pertaining to stealth, and granting enemies that are attacking them a +10 bonus to attack. Additionally, this also means that it can often be difficult to use some items and weapons built for human use, at the GMs discretion.

Ogryns are sturdy and hard to take down, more than a match for most. They gain a +20 bonus to Tests made to resist Grappling and uses of the Takedown Talent.

Ogryns are incredibly strong and resilient compared to average humans, and gain both the Inhuman Strength (2) and Inhuman Toughness (2) Traits, adding +2 to their Strength Bonus and +2 their Toughness Bonus. Additionally, when they succeed on a Test utilising Strenght or Toughness, they increase their Degrees of Success by 1. During Opposed Characteristics Tests that end in a tie, the one with the higher Inhuman Characteristic modifier wins, unless either creature has the Unnatural Characteristic Trait, in which case that takes precedence.

Ogryns are known to be tremendously dumb, easily outclassed by young children in terms of overall intelligence. Capable of learning basic languages, most tasks based on intelligence is far past the capabilities of the average Ogryn. Ogryns gain the Subhuman Intelligence Trait. All Advances that depend on the Intelligence Aptitude costs twice as many Experience Points than it would normally have costed with the set of Aptitudes the Ogryn has. Additionally, all Intelligence-based Skill Tests, regardless of what Characteristic the Skill normally uses, increases it's difficulty by 10 (Thus a Hard (-20) Deceive Skill Test based on Intelligence would become Very Hard (-30). It does not affect other Intelligence Characteristic Tests, only Skill Tests.

(in a Non-Aptitude-based game, this would simply double the cost of all advances normally governed by Intelligence or at the GM:s discretion)

Ogryns evolved on worlds favouring violence and harsh living, becoming natural survivors in an environment that rewarded violence and punished everyone. To Ogryns, the Survival Skill is always based on Perception, and the Intimidation Skill is always based on Strength.

Ogryn are very susceptible to the touch of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers, often suffering malignant mutations and devolving horribly under the influences of the Warp and it's masters, sometimes resulting in so-called Ogryn Berserkers or Plague Ogryns. Whenever an Ogryn gains Corruption, he adds +1 to the Corruption gained. Additionally, whenever an Ogryn attempts to resist mutation, he does so at an additional -10. If the Ogryn is Dedicated to the Dark Gods, if he were to receive a Gift of the Gods or Reward of the Gods through any means, he rolls one additional time on the Gift of the Gods table as if through a Failing, applying the result in addition to any other results.

Weapon Skill        2d10+20
Ballistic Skill        2d10+20
Strength            2d10+30
Toughness            2d10+30
Agility                2d10+10
Intelligence        2d10+5
Perception            2d10+20
Willpower            2d10+20
Fellowship            2d10+15

Wounds Base:
10 +2d5 (12-20)

Available Archetypes: Desperado, Weapon Specialist (and Sergeant, if starting with a BONE-Implant).




Starting Skills:
Munande Lore (Ratlings)
Linguistics (Low Gothic)
Trade (Cook OR Agriculturist)
Sleight of Hand OR Deceive

Weedy (Size 3)
Resist the Taint
Voided Mind
Lecherous Git

Ratlings are small, weedy and scrawny little things, only about half the size of human beings. Taking great advantage of this fact, Ratlings are harder to hit and easier to hide. Ratlings have the Weedy Trait, lowering their Agility Bonus by -1 for the purpose of Movement Rate(s), but gaining a +10 bonus to all tests pertaining to stealth, and conferring enemies that are attacking them with a -10 penalty to attack. Additionally, this also means that in rare cases, it can be difficult to use some items and equipment built for human use, at the GMs discretion.

Ratlings have been known to resist the wiles of the warp time and time again, and appears to have developed a natural resistance to the influences of chaos, perhaps due to the fact that some of their principle worlds have been known to repel ruinous incursions time and time gain. Whenever a Ratling would gain Corruption through any means, he reduces the Corruption gained by -1, to a minimum of +1.

Ratlings are naturally perceptive and resistant to things that would influence their usually simple minds. As such, Ratlings gain a +20 to resist any Psychic Powers that target the mind or attempt to wrest control of their free-spirited (or air-brained) heads. This is in addition to any other modifiers, such as the Resistance (Psychic Powers) Talents.

Ratlings are stunted in part due to thousands of years of inbreeding on worlds with naturally soporific climates and abundant harvests, with their natural lives spent eating until sick, drinking copious amounts of intoxicating liquids and procreating uncontrollably. Amongst non-ratlings, they are frequently called lecherous, thieving gits. Ratlings can never gain the Orthoproxy or Cold-Hearted Talents through any natural means.

Weapon Skill        2d10+20
Ballistic Skill        2d10+20
Strength            2d10+10
Toughness            2d10+10
Agility                2d10+25
Intelligence        2d10+20
Perception            2d10+30
Willpower            2d10+10
Fellowship            2d10+30

Wounds Base:
5 + 1d5 (6-10)

Available Archetypes: Assassin, Desperado, Medic, Operator, Seneschal, Weapon Specialist.



Starting Skills:
Mundane Lore (Squats, Tech)
Linguistics (Squat, Low Gothic)
Tech-Use OR Demolition OR Logic

Firm Form
Average (Size 4)
Harrowing Past

Squats are almost as wide as they are tall, with a very low centre of gravity and are incredibly sturdy, hardy people. Because of this, they gain a +20 bonus to Tests made to resist Grappling and uses of the Takedown Talent.

The Squat body is a solid, stable form, able to support heavy weights without difficulty. A Squat counts his Strength Bonus as twice it's normal value for the purposes of Lifting and Carrying.

Squats rarely forgets even the most minor slight against them, and the gravest wrongs done to them result in hatred and loathing. Few beings have done such terrible things to deserve such enmity, but some have. All Squats have the Hatred (Orks), Hatred (Tyranids), Enemy (Orks), Rival (Eldar) and Peer (Squats) Talents. In addition, whenever in combat with Orks or Tyranids, they must take a Challenging (+0) Willpower Test to disengage, pull back, or flee in any way. These Talents cannot be removed through any means, being deeply embedded in the squat psyche.

While physically shorter and wider than the average human, squats are still overall of average size, although considerably more sturdier and muscular. Because of this, they suffer no bonuses or penalties due to size, but at the GM:s discretion, some armour or equipment made for humans may be hard to use for squats, or harder to acquire in the correct size, at the GM:s discretion.

The myriad Leagues and Strongholds of the squat Homeworlds, having stood as bulwarks against the green tide for countless millennia, fell to the tyranid plague of Hive Fleet Behemoth in the early centuries of m41. The destruction of the squat civilization is still a recent and painful memory to most squats, and haunts their nightmares. Squats start play with 2d10 Insanity Points (if applicable) and the Horrific Nightmares (Minor) Mental Disorder, or another appropriate Mental Disorder at the GM:s discretion.

Weapon Skill        2d10+20
Ballistic Skill        2d10+20
Strength            2d10+20
Toughness            2d10+25
Agility                2d10+15
Intelligence        2d10+20
Perception            2d10+20
Willpower            2d10+25
Fellowship            2d10+15

Wounds Base:
8 + 1d5 (9-13)

Available Archetypes: Adept, Desperado, Medic, Operator, Seneschal, Sergeant, Weapon Specialist.

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Shocking weapons can Stun their opponents with a powerful surge of energy. A target that takes at least 1 point of Damage from a Shocking weapon, after Armour, must make a Toughness Test equal to the modifier in parenthesis (X). If he fails, he is Stunned for a number of Rounds equal to his Degrees of Failure, to a minimum of 1. As part of a Called Shot or Stun Combat Action, the Attack does not need to Penetrate Armour. At the GM:s discretion, this may have no effect on certain enemies, such as some with the Machine or Daemonic Traits.

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Sorry to Necro this thread, but this is really a cool idea.

How is it going? Is it on ice or abandoned all togheter?


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Fgdsfg was banned a while ago, so the project is pretty much dead. So far as I've heard they shot their mouth off one too many times, though since the relevant threads have been purged in all likelihood I have no idea of the details of the situation.

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