Fantasy Flight Games Announces Deathwatch, the Space Marine RPG

I think they were already on record about producing this, but it is nice to get an official announcement. Sometime this summer, presumably at Gen Con Indy, Fantasy Flight Games will release the third and last of the Warhammer 40K roleplaying games, after Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader. In Deathwatch, the players get to step into the huge boots of the most iconic characters of the setting – the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines of the Emperor.

I’m excited about this one. I’m a huge fan of the setting, always have been, and I think the previous two RPGs portray it well. There’s that insane sense of scale, the pitch-black comedy, the casual violence and darkness.

It’s often been commented that space marines would be hard to make an RPG about. They’re essentially warrior monks, defined by their profession as soldiers, their faith in the Emperor and their chapter affiliation. The space marines in the fluff tend to have little in the way of a personality. I agree with this. Getting interesting characters out of a space marine RPG for most chapters would be hard, with the exceptions of the Space Wolves, perhaps the White Scars – and Deathwatch.

The membership of the Deathwatch is drawn from the proven veterans of other chapters. They serve a tour of duty in the Deathwatch, under the authority of the Inquisition’s Ordo Xenos, and then return back to their own chapter. While a Dark Angel or an Imperial Fist among their own is just another monomaniac, throw them in a Deathwatch group with five other guys who all have different stripes of monomania, and you’ll suddenly have interesting characters and conflicting personalities, possibly with age-old grudges against the other members based on the original colour of their armour.

Ought to be interesting. I am definitely looking forward to this game.

Also, this settles it. Next month, Dark Heresy.

3 thoughts on “Fantasy Flight Games Announces Deathwatch, the Space Marine RPG

  1. You may well be better starting off with Rogue Trader rather then Dark Heresy. The latter is pretty rough, with Rogue Trader being a much more refined version of the system.

  2. On the other hand, if you prefer your games to be a mixture of Paranoia and the Battle of Passchendaele Dark Heresy is perfect 🙂

  3. I feel more comfortable with Dark Heresy. I’ve run it before and one player specifically requested it. I’ve also been reading the Ravenor series, which inspires me. From Dark Heresy, we can proceed to Rogue Trader and, eventually, Deathwatch.

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