Saturday, January 14, 2012

Deathwatch RPG - Final Sanction

What if James Cameron made RPGs.

I posted a while ago about how excited I was about Deathwatch RPG and how much I wanted to play it. In the last few months, thanks to an ad I had up , I have gotten some interest in the game. Last week, we had our first game run by yours truly. It was the free first adventure called Final Sanction and it went pretty well.

I had that ad up on RPG Game Finder for ages when two people messaged me within a month. . I was floored. One, Ryan, looked like he was going to shape up well, but ended up wanting to drive the bus a little too much for my tastes and flaked out. The other is Kris and he seems like a good egg. He is a little bit of a stoner but a good RPer and a decent guy.

Fig 1a
I had put out feelers at the local GW store for people that might be interested in playing. I asked the staff for discretion as most of the people that play there I want to choke and throw down the well. I am eager to play but I also have standards. Power gamers, social rejects, juveniles have no place at my table. I don't mean to be cruel about that sort of thing, but I know what makes for a good RPG experience for me and refuse to willing compromise that. Nothing is more miserable than being stuck at a table with a Bard that just keeps trying to get drunk and have sex with everything or a Barbarian (see fig 1a) that won't stop telling you about how he can kill your character with one swing (and you can't even block it so don't try).

One of the girls from the store threw her hat into the ring and joined up with her husband. They are both quality people and the guy is a decent White Wolf Storyteller so he will probably take the reigns after I am done. Another girl from the store and her husband were supposed to join up but never got it together.

Neither beautiful nor unique.
That brings me to flakes. Nerds are some damn flaky people and it drives me bonkers. They will make plans with you only to change it later and never give you a heads up. Ryan and I were even joking about how flaky some people can be only to have him do the very thing that we were laughing about. If you are getting an RPG group together and have 10 people tell you that they are interested, 7 of them are never going to make the first game.

We started late (about 8pm) and still had some character stuff to do. Character creation is very hard and not easy to follow in the book. In fact, that is my biggest criticism about the book. Things are just not laid out in any sort of order that s useful. Gettin off topic here.

One person was lagging behind on character creation (the pitfalls of only having one main book), so we did some character sparring between the stock Techmarine and Assault Marine. The one thing that I (kinda) learned is that Space Marines are tough! With a toughness bonus of usually about 8 and AV 8 in most locations, that means that a SM does not care what kind of gun you have unless you are doing 2d10+6 damage. Even if you max out all of those dice (I do not do righteous fury on my bad guys for simplicity sake), you are not going to put a dent in a space marine's armor. The Techmarine had his way with the Assault Marine because of his servo arm. It had massive damage and I think some AP to it but I can't remember.

Completely accurate.
Once everyone had their characters, I did some half-ass scene setting. I tried to play up the mystery of Deathwatch by never letting them meet the Watch Commander and having their missions delivered to them by a serf. I tried to breathe some life into the Captain of the ship that brought them to the planet, but kinda fell flat.

The first big battle was massive. I had 3 hordes of traitors of at least 50 and three hordes of 15 with heavy stubbers. That would have been easy for them to mow down, but I inserted three turning points from the next section. There was a Traitor Commander yelling at the PDF forces and doing moral damage. There was a fault in the building where a few well-placed grenades would bring the whole thing down. There was a horde with a demo charge running towards the PDF lines. I used some boxes on the battle mat to represent both the PDF's moral and remaining men. As I marked off the boxes, that put the pressure on the Kill-Team to finish up.

It worked out well. The assault marine zoomed all over the place murdering the fuck out of things. The Techmarine tried to bolster the PDF lines and rouse their moral. The Devastator did what Devastators do and lit up the rebels with his heavy bolter. All in all I was very pleased. We worked many of the kinks out of the combat system and I think that we will be better preparedfor future combats.

After I did the real exposition of the mission via Syndalia and paid out the objectives for them. I still need to type them up a little better and add in some more, but I listed them below.

It was 1 am by that point so we called it a night. I still need to finish my notes and send out an email.

I think this is a great group and will be fun!

 Looks like other folk are having fun with DWRPG too!

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