Monday, May 7, 2012

I Finally Played the 40k RPG!

A friend of mine was organizing a Deathwatch game last Friday, and I happened to call him about something completely unrelated at the perfect time!  Despite having been up far too late the night before catching the Avengers midnight premier, I headed over there with all due haste.

Making the character was fun - everyone else's was made by the time I got there, so there would be no poring through the tomes searching for the perfect expression of the Space Marine in my head.  Instead, it was more like, "Uh... I want to be a sniper.  Which of those makes me most sniper-like?"  This resulted in some confusion as we went along (Two hours in, "Wait, I can spit acid on people?"), but overall the character creation was easy enough, although there didn't seem to be a whole lot of flexibility built into the system to allow for customization of characters.  I guess that makes sense within the concept of mass produced soldiers, but it doesn't necessarily make for interesting character development.

Hahaha character development.  I'm playing Deathwatch and I'm worrying about character development.

So having built Mek Halfhand, I joined the squad already in process, sent to put a stop to an Ork Wauugh before it got off the ground.  They had intimidated one Ork leader, and were setting out to intimidate the others, in the hopes of turning their own mini-waugh against the larger waugh. 

Things... happened, and we faught, and slaughtered orks, and it was glorious. 

The system is a bit crunchy, though, to say the least.  First you roll to hit.  Yay, you hit!  Then they roll to dodge - boo that hit didn't hit because they dodged!  What???!  And even if you do hit, it's entirely possible they just took a flesh wound to the left thigh.  No big deal.  So as you can imagine, combat can take some time.

Mek Halfhand, though, was truly a friend of the Emperor (they were on the JV Wrestling team together), because there's a peculiar little rule that says when you roll a 10, you get to roll for another attack.  Mek just kept rolling 10s.  Standing up before the Ork Chieftain, he unleashed hell's own fury condensed into bullet form.  The one attack took the better part of 15 minutes to resolve, as 10s just kept coming up over and over again, resulting in more attack rolls, which resulted in more 10s, etc etc etc.

When all was said and done, when the calculator had been put away, the eraser burned down to a nub, the cramped forearms massaged, Mek Halfhand had done 524 points of damage to the Ork Chieftain, who had started out with 40 or so to begin with.  The Chieftain had been reduced to a greasy mist, which Mek had parsed out particle by particle, and put a bullet in each particle.

It was about then that we decided that 40k might be a bit broken.  Maybe we just didn't understand the rules right, it's possible, but either way, we decided to switch over to Stars Without Number.  I don't think most of the guys really got how big of a power gap there is between a 1st Level Space Marine in 40k and a 1st Level Dude Who Has Decided To Be An Adventurer in SWoN, but I suspect they'll realize shortly.

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