I've been looking at playing some Warhammer 40k tabletop roleplaying game, more specifically Deathwatch. Because of my lack of knowledge on the Warhammer 40k universe, we have decided that I should be a player. Still, I have made a few thoughts about what kind of game I would run if I was the gamemaster.
What is Deathwatch?
First of all, to those who don't know it, Fantasy Flight has created a tabletop roleplaying game based on the Warhammer 40k universe, which initially is a tabletop miniature wargame. It is set in a dystopian science-fantasy setting. It is called 40k because it is set in the 41st millenium, 38.000 years in the future. In this future, the space marines are genetically engineered superhuman soldiers. Space marines are divided up into "chapters" of 1.000 soldiers, and some of these are specifically trained to join the Deathwatch, a group of elite space marines that are made up of various chapters. In the tabletop roleplaying game, the players take on the role of the space marines that make up a squad in Deathwatch. The players are then sent out on special missions and play through their character's service in Deathwatch.
Adventure 1: A Growing Shadow
If I was the gamemaster to such a game, I would create a number of adventures, but due to my lack of knowledge on the Warhammer 40k universe, many players might not recognize Warhammer in the games that I would host. My first adventure would be an invasion game where the players are given any and all resources they desired to invade a planet from a bug-like alien species (I would probably use the Tyranid). The invasion game would be short, especially with all the resources given to the players, but as soon as they go for their exit, they discover that their way off the planet has been sabotaged. Investigating this mysterious turn of events reveal that the people that Deathwatch has been invading the planet for, has been corrupted by more powerful entities (I would probably use Daemons).
The players would now need to find their own way off a hostile planet where all (or the majority of) their resources have been taken away. Creative players would come up with a plan, which I would reward by making possible. Most players would probably try to find a ship, in which case I would either let them steal one, or find a rogue trader that can help them. If the players can't think of anything themselves, I'd send them to the leader of the invasion forces, which hasn't been corrupted yet (not until the players reach him).
If the players go speak with the leader of the invasion forces, they would discover that he too just recently has been corrupted, and they would have to defeat him (he would be the boss fight of this game). Defeating him would lead to a rogue trader that can help them recover a special ancient ship. The players could also skip the boss fight and go directly for the rogue trader or even steal their own ship. Eventually, they should get off the planet, which would mark the end of the adventure, and give the players their own ship that they could use in future adventures.
Adventure 2: Brothers in Arms
Players are playing Deathwatch characters, and their mission in this campaign would be to invade this specific world. Once that is complete, their services to Deathwatch would be over. With the daemons corrupting the invaders, the players would have to defeat the daemons before they would be able to invade the planet. With their own ship at their disposal, they can now travel throughout the galaxy to find the leader of the daemon forces and a means to defeat it. This means that once the party has left the planet, they would have a choice between three adventures.
Their first choice would be to gather more space marines from one of their chapters to aid them. As they arrive to the chapter's home world, they discover that the daemon's influence is much more widespread than just the one planet they were supposed to invade. They are launched into a space battle. If the players aren't into space battles, this part can be skipped. The players then discover than an orbital platform has been captured and sabotaged. It is being steered towards the planet and if it crashes it would cause massive destruction. The players are sent on to the platform to secure it before it crashes. This will save their chapter's headquarters, and earn their favour, which the players will need in the end when they attack the daemon infested planet. I might add more to this adventure, but that is my initial plan.
Adventure 3: Last Stand
Another choice would involve returning to the deathwatch headquarters (is there such a place?) only to discover that it has been completely invaded by the daemon's influence. The players will be allowed to join their brethren on the surface for one last stand. They don't stand a chance, but that is alright, because the Deathwatch plan to lure as many of the daemon's forces to the planet and then destroy the planet. If everything goes according to plan, the planet that the party is supposed to invade will become the Deathwatch's new headquarters.
First the players are set to protect one specific place on the planet. During this last stand, the players will be sent out to destroy certain compounds that serve as planetary defenses. Once the defenses are down, the party will be able to enter more ancient parts of the planet in order to activate some kind of ancient device that will cause the planet to explode. They will have to protect this device until it explodes, effectively giving up their lives, or they will fail. If they succeed, they will be saved at the last minute. If they fail, the daemons will have access to information and devices that would make the final invasion incredibly difficult.
Adventure 4: Forbidden Weapon
The third and last choice the players would have would be to go to a planet in search of an ancient device that can be used as a powerful weapon against the daemons. This is a more peaceful mission where the party finds themselves on a mysterious planet. They will end up in mysterious vaults and dungeons, only to have to fight their way through traps and sentries in order to recover this forbidden weapon that has been hidden away. Maybe I could use this weapon as a plot twist somehow. This adventure would require more details, but this is basically it.
Adventure 5: Into the Rift
Once the party has gone through all three missions, they will have to track down the leader of the daemon. They will have gathered an ancient device from their homeworld, which they can use to track the daemon. This leads them into a mysterious anomaly (I'm sure there's something like this in the universe. Something to do with Chaos probably. I would have to look into it). Within the anomaly they discover a mysterious alien daemon base or something, which they need to infiltrate, blow their way in, and get into the heart of it to defeat the leader of the daemon.
This is as far as my thoughts has gone. I would probably create a sixth adventure where the players would have to return to the initial planet and invade it again, removing the remaining daemons there. I would have to read up a lot on daemons, or use another race. Doesn't really matter since we're not playing this game, but this is what I would create if it was me, and my first step would be to read up on Tyranids and Daemons and create the first adventure.
As a player, I'll probably play a Storm Warden Techmarine inspired by my previous Deathwatch character, maybe I'll even try to copy it. I'm definitely looking forward to playing Deathwatch again, with yet another gamemaster that has the lore under control.
Next week I'll be writing about our plans for combining tabletop roleplaying games with tabletop miniature wargames, card games, and computer games. All of this is being done officially in the western part of Zealand in Denmark, and I'm hoping to have it up and running in the autumn of 2016. Read more about it next week. If
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