View Full Version : [WH] Deathwatch: The Discussion

2011-03-17, 03:23 PM
This thread is for discussion of Deathwatch, an RPG set in the Warhammer 40k universe where you control The Space Marines.

The Rose Dragon
2011-03-17, 03:35 PM
I guess I'll start.

I don't have Deathwatch. I do have Rogue Trader, mostly for the setting-related stuff, but I might be coaxed into playing a Space Marine (maybe). What are the mechanical differences between Rogue Trader and Deathwatch, aside from being able to play a Space Marine, and is there enough different setting information included within Deathwatch to make it worth buying?

The Glyphstone
2011-03-17, 03:57 PM
Deathwatch introduces a whole new area, the Jericho Reach, to set campaigns in, like Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader have their own 'areas'. A good portion of the fluff talks about the Deathwatch organization specifically and Watch-Fortress Erioch in particular (the DW main base in Jericho), but it's still good setting info all the same.

Mechanically, I understand RT and Deathwatch are pretty much based on the same system - stats, %percentile rolls for success, degrees of success, etc. The main differences in playing Marines versus Throne Agents/whatever Rogue Trader lackeys are called is that, well, they're Space Marines. Your stats are higher, your Fate Points refresh every game session, and you get cooler stuff. Librarians are all the fun parts about Psykers without the risks, since they make Willpower tests (called Focus Power) instead of rolling to beat a threshold. Enemies are correspondingly more lethal though, so it still has the same sort of tactical 'avoid getting hit whenever possible' strategy, just that enemies can twoshot you because they do 20 wounds after you soak armor and toughness instead of 5-10.

Adventure-wise, I believe the main difference is that Marines don't accumulate gear over time the way DH/RT characters do - instead, every mission has a Requisition rating based on expected complexity/difficulty, which the PC's "spend" to equip out of the Deathwatch armory to supplement their standard-issue armor, bolter, and chainsword combo (plus assorted bonuses for your specialty track). As you complete missions, Marines instead accumulate Renown, the sum of which determines the quality of gear you can requisition - you start as Initiate-rank, for example, and can request Power Swords/axes to use once you achieve Respected.

I'm currently playing a Space Wolf Assault Marine designed for dual-melee weapon combat (this adventure, I'm kitted out with Power Axe/Power Sword, and a Storm Bolter as my backup ranged weapon). This mission will give us enough renown to gain the next status level, so I'll be toting paired Lightning Claws afterwards. I'm still vastly overshadowed by the heavy-bolter-toting Devastator Marine though, who annihilates bosses in two or three rounds of shooting, and the game remains incredibly fun.