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Advice on W&G for a new player/dm?


Berzul
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Hey everyone.

 

So, although I have enough experience playing TTRPGs, I have never played Wrath and Glory or any other Warhammer-Based RPG

 

I am going to run a session for a group on the 28th of september, as a first try into the game for everyone.

 

I'm just wondering... Does anyone have any advice on the game? What rules work well and what rules do not? What to avoid for a first attempt at the game?

 

Im curious, as trying a new game is always daunting, and I know there must be rules that either need tweaking or things that a DM should be wary of.

 

Any advice? It would be most welcome.

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Welcome Berzul!

 

I regret that my W&G advice is limited as I myself am catching up on it, but it is different to the other 40K RPG games as it uses dice pools instead of the D100 system and it focuses more on narrative and RP than crunch.

 

I did find this article, by our own brother, Redtoof to be very useful when I was looking into W&G for the first time: Blessings Unheralded

 

I hope some of the other RPG forum dwellers can chime in.

 

MR.

Edited by Mazer Rackham
Typo begone!
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I read it.

 

You know? It DOES give you a feel of what to expect from the game. Althougj a very simple retelling of the experience with the first session, it helped me visualize how it most likely should look like, as a game.

 

The adventure I'm planning, just in case, is a one-shot that can lead to a campaign (as the group decides later on) and is as follows:

 

On a fortified system called Alerviel near the southern side of the Temporary Rift Corridor of the Cicatrix Malesictum, there is a Shrine World called Aversia VII.

 

This world is a mandatory port for pilgrim ships passing the corridor from the Imperium Nihilus, on route to Holy Terra, carrying devout refugees and survivors from the lost side of the galaxy.

 

A particularly famous ship, a Martian Cruiser called the Grey Pilgrim, under the direct control of the Ecclesiarchy, which is a flying monastery in itself and houses an order of Hospitallier Sisters, is passing by Aversia VII.

 

The ship's three main decks are dense and industrial city-scapes of over four square kilometers in size, housing over thirty thousand people each (with denizens varying between crew, permanent inhabitants, and refugees on pilgrimage to Terra). Each subsection of which, has a representative in a council that aids in the decisions taken by the ship's captain.

 

As the Grey Pilgrim passes by Aversia VII and continues on its path to Terra, the group is wrapped into a murderous plot enacted by the gangs aboard the lowest deck of the ship.

 

They must face the gangers, survive their attacks, and —if possible— stop their plans, least their murderous rampage bring political disaster to the Captain and the crew, during their voyage to Holy Terra.

 

The group is Tier 1, Rank 3, consisting of:

 

- A Guardsman of great Cadian lineage, eager to prove himself up to his heritage, and on route to a new warfront, aboard the Grey Pilgrim, after his regiment defended a sieged world on the Imperium Nihilus.

 

- A ratling priest from Aversia VII, taking a ride in the Grey Pilgrim, after having finished travelling inside the system to bring the Word of the Emperor to other worlds. He is now looking to take the faith beyond the system he was born in.

 

- A ganger of poor combat skills but incredible intellect, knowledgeable in medicae (and thus, highly respected in the underworld of Aversia VII), who has vast influence and cunning, and always knows where to find the right tool, person, or faction, to get a job done. Now seeking to escape the world aboard the Grey Pilgrim after his gang was wiped out in a turf war gone horribly wrong.

 

- A Sister Hospitallier. Low ranking member of the Order of the Pilgrim Sisters, from the monastery that exists within the Grey Pilgrim. Bane to gangers, she is a part of the militant arm of the faithful. She is strong and deadly; armed with a signature dueling baton that all sisters of this arm of the faith carry. A simbol of authority, that marks her as the enforcer of the law aboard the vessel, and justice incarnate to all scum that prey on the refugees in the lower deck of the Grey Pilgrim.

 

The idea of this session is to get familiar with the rules, and introduce a setting that we can plant seeds into, for future adventures!

Edited by Berzul
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That sounds like a very solid framework going forward, I think you evoke the sense of scale and threat very effectively and give a lot of scope for future adventures in the same thread!

 

I wish you and your group all success with your new adventures - I don't think you need much more advice other than - you have to report in here and tell us how it goes!

 

MR.

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Thank you!

 

Ill be sure to post how the game went. My impressions on the system, and everything.

 

This one game will indeed be very contained. A straightforward plot for low tier heroes, thrown into a difficult situation that presents a localized threat inside the setting.

 

If it works, it should give me room to expand into either higher ranks with the same party or new higher tier heroes, and through larger adventures.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok so, how did th game go?

 

I'll start by describing the adventure and then I'll go over my impressions of the game system itself.

 

 

So, to put the story in context, the adventure was as follows:

 

Hidden Content
A cruiser of the Ecclesiarchy, commanded by a renowned war hero, has been travelling across the temporary rift corridor at the north of the Chardon Sector, carrying refugees and survivors from the Imperium Nihilus back to the Imperium. On each voyage, the captain must stop by a world called Aversia VII in the Aversiel System, near the corridor, to perform rites and pay tithes to the Ecclesiarchy, which go directly to the Planetary Defense Force of Aversia VII, as this shrine world is also a major defense point for stopping chaos incursions into the shouthern part of the known galaxy.

 

The cruiser itself works as a colossal flying city/monstery, divided into three decks of about 4 square kilometers and housing tens of thousands of people each. This decks are all centered around a monastery that cuts through all decks, and which houses an order of sororitas called the Pilgrim Sisterhood. The decks of the ship are divided as social structures, with the crew of the ship on top, the permanent inhabitants of the ship in the middle, and the refugees in the bottom, to their fate as gangs and various dangers about in the parts of the ship where the command crew has left most people to their fate, in the hand of a very stretched out group of hospitaller sisters.

 

The adventure would take the group into the cruiser, leaving Aversia VII, and into a plot from a local gang from the third deck to try and murder a key political figure in the section of the ship; as this political figure had had a hand in getting the captain charged for heresy by the sisterhood. This, for allowing gangers to flourish undisturbed in the lower section of the ship, and keeping the law of the ship's own defense force handcuffed from intervening in the lower deck, all for his own personal gain. With tithes being paid by the gangers to the captain, and the Imperium at large being none the wiser, since refugees living in the corners of the cruiser, dying by the hundreds, is not something anyone would lose sleep over.

 

I had four players in total.

 

A new guy who had never played a tabletop rpg before. He played a ganger from Aversia VII, specialized in medicae and influence.

A girl who was a bit rusty on the lore, playing a sister hospitaller from a militant branch of the Pilgrim Sisterhood, specialized in hand to hand combat and tasked with keeping order in the lower deck.

A guy good on lore but not so much on the mechanics, playing a squat from the Adeptus Ministorum of Aversia VII, specialized in swaying large groups.

And, a guy good on both lore and the mechanics, playing a very stern and by the book infantryman, from a besieged world in the Imperium Nihilus, hitching a ride in redeployment to a new warzone, on board the cruiser, along with the rest of his platoon.

 

 

So, how did the game go?

 

Hidden Content
Well, we had a very long part of the game consisting of introducing the setting for the adventure, and each character.

 

The priest was introduced first, as he attended the ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the cruiser into orbit above Aversia VII. He was witness to the apearance of the captain, andwto the fact that -surprise, surprise!- the captain in question arriving at Aversia VII for the rites and tithes was not the warhero everyone knew commanded the cruiser, but rather a new captain. This caused a lot of gossip across the central cathedral of the planet, and soon the character was tasked by his superiors to board the cruiser. To make contact with the head chaplain aboard the cruiser, and to try and figure out just what the hell had happened, as the previous captain was famous, well loved, and a hero of great standing.

 

The ganger was escaping a shoot out that had wiped most of his gang. Thrown into a difficult position, he required from a contact a way out of the planet so as to escape, since he was a poor warrior and his gang had been almost wiped out. Through his contact, he managed passage on board a small transport into the cruiser, bounded for whichever planet was NOT Aversia VII. This played out with a small combat of just a couple of rounds, as the ganger started the session on the run from his enemies, and managed to shoot one of his pursuers before stealthly running away.

 

The priest and the ganger met up on the same transport. The ganger under a fake identity. However, since the priest had been part of a gang when young, they quickly managed to identify the nature of each other's backgrounds, and through some very good roleplaying, made quick friends. They arrived at the cruiser and met with the contact of the gangers contact, on board the ship. An old woman who acted as an agent to this political figure I mentioned, who had agreed to pull some strings and get the ganger on board the cruiser and into the third deck of the ship, so as to recruit him due to his famous skill as a medicae specialist. The sisterhood, it seemed, was stretched too thin in the slums of the cruiser, and having an independant medicant on staff would come in handy for this political figure.

 

The priest, for his part, tried to reach the hea chaplain, but since there would be some days of rites performed as the ship travelled out of the orbit of Aversia VII and into range to make a jump to another system, he figured he could spare the time and follow his new friend. They could go see the chaplain together, another day (this, planting the seed for another adventure down the line).

 

In the meantime, the infantry man was being tasked as well.

 

He belonged to the first squad of the 34th platoon of the 179th regiment of the Defense Force of the planet Nautilus in the Imperium Nihilus. His entire platoon now on route to being redeployed at a new warzone, and thus, somewhat on leave. After months on board the ship, his squad was growing bored and restless, so his sergeant had managed to contact this political figure I mentioned, a man who had actually thought of hiring the squad as a teporary defense unit for the slums of the third deck, as the place had been for many years left in the hands of gangers and other villains. So, this one infantry man was sent first, to iron out details of the squad going into temporary service for the political figurehead.

 

At the same time, the sister hospitaller was being summon by her sister superior to one of the interrogation chambers of the monastery. There, an interrogator sister had managed to torture some news from a ganger they had captured. This spoke of how a particular gang called the Anointed Ones, all of whom had been allies of the previous captain, had been forced on the run after the captain had been charged as a heretic. Without the protection of the bridge of the cruiser, this gang was now loosing its control of the third deck. They planned a show of force by killing this political key figure, who it also turned out had been instrumental in the finding of the charges of heresy against the captain.

 

The entire party met up at a local chapel that the NPC used as a base of operations. The man turned out to be a very faithful person, and a local leader of the people. He was not blind to the perils of living in the third deck of the cruiser, and had indeed wanted in good faith to recruit the ganger medic and the infantry squad to help his people. But, the sister came with warnings of an attack by the anointed ones, and that he did not believe. THe sister and the man went downstairs to an office beneath the altar of the chapel, to discuss the matter. THe man insisted that the gangers had been disbanded after the charges against the ship's captain, their benefactor, and that his concern were the other gangs now battling for power in the vacuum left by this events. The sister, for her part, told him that he cared little for him, for him believing in her, or for his life. But that she had good intel that the gang WAS still a problem and that they were coming.

 

Upstairs, the infantry man and the ganger got to talking, and while distracted, the anointed ones showed up to shoot the place up. A large combat followed, with the party being a bit streched across the chapel, trying to regoup, as an ambush was sprung by a mob of over 20 lightly armed gangers. During it, the medic was almost killed, the priest had to restore the shock o the party twice, and the combat specialists managed to clear the roo through awesome dice rolls and attacks. The tide of battle turned against the players when the priest player used his campaign card to summon enemy reinforcements as a way of gambling for additional wrath, but the party still managed to persevere and win the day.

 

Saddly, some gangers did manage to sneak past them and into the lower chambers of the chapel, after the NPC. The ganger player then played HIS card, which gave him a corrption test (which he failed horribly) to gamble for deep knowledge from the warp into the person of this NPC. So, we ruled that, while almost death, a demon from the warp infused his mind with visions and knowledge of the NPC, corrupting him in the process. He woke up in a trance, holding impossible knowledge of the plot, and uriging the party to follow the enemy down into the lower chapmbers of the chapel.

 

And, with the combat over and the cliffhanger in place, we called it a night.

 

 

What did we think of the system itself?

 

Well, we liked it.

 

None of us had played it before, but most of us being avid Dungeons and Dragons players, and with the skill system being similar, we had no issue in getting the grasp of it. Even the player that was new managed to get on the horse quite quickly and easily.

 

What I feel is good about the system is:

 

  • Archetypes have few powers or abilities, but the ones they have a very well focused and come into play in a satisfying way. The speeches of the priest saved the day twice. The look out sir of the infantry man saved the ganger on the first round of combat. And it played in a very cinematic way that made everyone excited about combat.
  • The dice system is great, I think. Most rolls will be a success, which is nice as players feel like they are accomplishing things. Failure is not there often, so when it is, it matters. And, with complications happening regardless of the success or failure of the test, the balance that provides is pretty good. I gotta say, this might be my favourite part of the whole system.
  • The way complications and campaign cards played into the session was also pretty good. The party quickly managed to thread the effects of each card into narratively satisfying events. To give some examples:

1) The priest used his campaign card to summon enemy reinforcements. This was played right after I managed to close the escape route for the party, describind volleys of fire coming from the front gate of the chapel. This was originally just meant as a threat, but when the card was played the party themselves called it as those heavy gunners walking in spraying bullets.

 

2) When the reinforcements arrived, I called for one elite to show up with them. A mutant. And, the sister hospitaller played her card, which was that a chaos simbol or item gave everyone a corruption test, for wrath points. So, we played it that looking upon the mutant was the source of corruption, and the infantry man failed, which took a serious mental toll on him during combat.

 

3) At the end of combat, the ganger played his card, using it to wake up from uncoinsciousness through the power of a chaos vision that gave him information key to the adventure.

 

  • Even the complications played well like this The lasgun of the infantry man malfunctioned during combat, the gangers gun fell out of his pocket at one point, the sister hospitaller gained corruption upon witnessing the gruesome state of the ganger being interrogated. All this due to complications, each leading at each point into something that helped fuel the story. I was very pleasently surprised. Other systems I have played do not manage this sort of engagement with their critical failures of critical hits, and I think it works here because of the fact that the complication is not tied to the failure or success of the action itself. In other games, failing is already bad, getting a critical failure feels like piling in, and it gets uninteresting fast. But here, complications just add drama, as the game moves forward.

 

Also

 

  • The combat is surprisingly smooth and fast paced. Lethal too. I mean, the party managed to gun down two dozen troops, but they still almost died That left them feeling the danger of the world, while still feeling like badasses against their enemies.

 

BUT, what we felt is bad about the system reallt boilds down to one issue. And that is, that the book is very, VERY poorly written and edited.

 

It is baddly organized, specially in the character creation chapter. The rules are often incomplete, or even contradict other parts of the book. Playing the game required me to read the core manual in painstalking detail, to make a TON of cheat sheets and summaries f rules for consulting them throughout the session (which came very much in handy, luckly), and also to straight up house rule some things. Mostly with regards to actions in combat, and how mobs worked.

 

But, if you can find the faults in the mechanics and patch it up a bit, the game works pretty well.

 

We were all pleasently surprised, and efinetly plan on playing it more.

 

 

 

 

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That's a fantastic run-through Berzul, my compliments :)

 

I am very glad you and your players got a great game and it sounds like it is going to interesting places!

 

I agree with you on the layout of the book, it is written by people who used to work on the FFG RPG books, which are notorious for layout and editing mistakes and I should apologise for not warning you about that, I thought I mentioned it in an earlier post, but regret I must have omitted it.

 

You vanquished the Tzeenchian layout quite handily though!

 

Thank you for sharing your experiences with the game and I am certain it will inform a lot of other players who want to grapple with the system.

 

MR.

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Thanks, Mazer.

 

I made a google doc file with a series of tables, to sum up rules for the game in bulletpoint form.

 

I'll see abpit reviewing it today, and post a public link in the forum to leave it as a resource for future players.

 

I'm also working on rewritting (in a summary fashion) the character creation chapter. To have a better organized version of the text at hand.

 

I really liked this game, and I hope to play it a lot more in the future. I never did play previous WH40k TTRPG games, but this is as good as I need to enjoy myself.

 

I am wondering what will happen in the future, though. As far as I could tell, Ulisses lost the license early this year? And then the game went to Cubicle7? But they only have some pdf supplements on their online store and nothing else. Despite having anounced a reprint of the book.

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That would be a superb resource if you could do that - my thanks again, not just in a personal capacity but as a Moderator as well for helping to build the tools for the community.

 

On the subject of the books, you are quite correct, Cubicle 7 did take over the license and I stress I am no insider, but I am aware they are making moves to produce new content for W&G, so here's hoping.

 

MR.

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