I’m stepping into murky waters here. You might see words like, “in my opinion” and “I think”, hopefully you can forgive me what may well turn into a soapbox rant, which I hope it isn’t.

It was woman’s day yesterday so I spent the evening enjoying a pasttime which has one of the more severe gender layouts, (with the possible exception of competition Ro-sham-bo) namely playing RPG’s with my mates. Obviously women play RPG’s and wargame, that’s a given, but the powerful force of strong body odour and prehistoric social skills keeps a lot of them away. (For the record, I have one woman amongst my group, but she’s the first I’ve GM’d for in a campaign.)

So what do we, the great unwashed, do to support the fair sex in thier search for fair treatment? Well, first of all, we acknowledge woman’s day for what it is, which is a day of protest against unfair treatment. Which in case your wondering, is still happening, day in, day out. This isn’t a day about celebrating women for being all around nice people, (which they are by the way, with a few exceptions) this is a day about fighting for recognition that they still aren’t getting.

Which brings us to the topic of this entire post, RPG’s, fantasy settings and women’s place therin. I’m going to throw some historical perspective in here, as well as taking in a few of the books I’ve read that take certain of these issues into account. If you’ve got a book you think takes these issues into account quite well, feel free to suggest it to me, I’ll endeavour to add it to the mountainous collection of books I’ve told myself I’ll read, if it’s got tanks in it I might be convinced to move it up the list.

When someone sits down to run an RPG, they usually have an idea of what kind of setting they want, high-magic, low-magic, horror, dark-humour, yada yada yada, admittedly you quickly have to resign yourself to the fact that the title of “hero’s of the thrice-spliced beam of divinity” isn’t really descriptive of the group and they would by better served by a title like “six gobshites and a magic sword”.

Within this commitment to run a particular setting there is a commitment to a particular style of gender politics. With a lot of high fantasy, for example, there’s a greater commitment to an even 50-50 split among roles between men and women. This works quite well within settings like that. But it’s not for everything, which is sort of what this post is about.

I really hope you don’t think I’m a mysogionist or a chauvenist or anything else, but if your considering running a fantasy RPG, I’d ask, just for a moment, to consider being a sexist.

Women have only been acknowledged as having equal rights under the law in the past century. Even with such a broad statement, they are still battling under the kind of social stigma that sees them as second rate citizens, babymakers and “emotional”.

If you think this is bad, then consider the law beforehand. They were forbidden access to education, segregated within the workforce, but worst of all, they, half the population of the planet, were quietly ignored.

What effect does this have on you playing Dungeons and Dragons? None, if your playing 4th ed. (Oooooooooooooooooh, buuuuuuuuuuurn.) But if your planning on making your world “realistic”, I’d encourage you to consider some gender issues. Why? Because women have gone through hell over the past few millenia and I think that deserves to be recognised. Nay, it needs to be acknowledged. It’s a great way to increase your own knowledge of early modern and medieval society and a fantastic way of introducing some realism into your environment. I’m not saying that your whole game needs to be an all encompassing crusade to free women from the male yoke. (Couldn’t find any good penis jokes to stick in here..Oh wait, that’ll do!) But introducing some confusing property laws and occasionally groping hands (Thanks Dan, you dick) improves the level of realism and maybe opens people’s eyes.

Is it fair? No, no it isn’t, it is distinctly UNFAIR, but remember, in a game of about six players, there may be no female players, but there may be female player characters. Do they deserve to have their lives made miserable for them? Hells yes they do, so the person playing that character doesn’t fall into the classic man-playing-woman trap, namely, playing a dude with boobs. What if they’re actually a woman playing a female character? Yes, you still need to be a stinker, why? Because being unfair is part of being a GM. Challange your players, they get better at this whole roleplaying thing when you crap on them from a height.

The hope here is that someone out there will get a better understanding of gender politics and be more understanding towards gender gaps and issues which, genuinely, aren’t discussed enough. I guess it’s a bonus that you get to be a horrible jerk to some of your players for a few hours.


Happy belated women’d day, peace out.

Another Quite the Character, I’m afraid there was no weekend post as I was a bit busy.
Fiachra is a long running player(read:victim) in my currently running WFRP3 campaign. We’ve been playing in various games for several years now, he recently got behind the screen to run some sessions of his own, including several excellent deathwatch games.
First Question, what’s your character’s name?
Uladin Rogunson.

In one sentence please, what’s their race, class, career, gender and any other statistical muck we need to get an “on paper” definition for them?
A male Dwarven Watchman.

What was your idea of the character when you first created it?
Originally he was a Dwarven lawman who had tracked a criminal into the Empire but had subsequently lost his trail. He would lend his skills as an investigator and warrior to the party as a way of searching the empire for his quarry.

How did that work out for you?
Most of that concept is still there although their have been some additions. For example it turned out that Uladin was the only real fighting type in the original group that wasn’t also a frothing berserker so he sort of took on a very defensive role. Unfortunately that meant dropping developing his investigation skills in favour of defensive abilities but that in itself has been interesting. Uladin sees himself a a protector, standing between his allies and the many nasty things they encounter even if it does lead to him taking bad beatings. His original background is still their as well, he has had a few runs in with his Nemesis but he is also interacting with the wider world a bit more, swearing vengeance for the death of his allies and gaining a sidekick.

What do you think of your relationship with your GM?
Nice try Aido .

Honestly I think we are getting on fairly well. He plays memorable NPC’s, gets the tone of the Old World right and explains the initially fairly intimidating mechanics of WFRP 3rd ed well. He also incorporates the character’s own background and private plotting into the game which is much appreciated.

What do you think of your relationship with the other players?
Pretty good I think. We all seem to be having fun which is the main thing.

Uladin hasn’t made too many enemies either, although there may be some tension with some of the less scrupulous PC’s upcoming.

Has your character had a defining moment that made you rethink how you played them?
His reaction to Dubrovich’s death may count. Before this he had been a little lax about always doing the right thing, but after one of the allies he was supposed to protect was abducted and murdered he rethought his outlook. Dubrovich had actually been quite a dubious character but guilt led to him being mythologised and Uladin being much more careful in his conduct.

Adopting Klaus, the afore mentioned sidekick, might also qualify. Klaus is an (apparently) fearsome mercenary who Uladin took pity on after he constituently failed to hit him for an entire fight. Now Uladin has a henchmen to help with carrying things and manual labour. I think it was a fairly good idea as it gave Uladin some more character and allowed for some (hopefully) entertaining interactions.

This whole blog post does a lot to quell my fears of the upcoming “The Enemy Within” campaign. Glad to see that someone who’s had such a decisive influence in the game I love so much is back writing material for it. I will have to wait for the product to come out, but for the moment, OPTIMISM!

Graeme Davis

In 1986 I was hired by Games Workshop to help develop a tabletop roleplaying game based on their Warhammer fantasy miniatures game. I had done some freelancing before then, but this was my first job in the games industry. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay was released in time for Christmas that year, and one of the first priorities was to produce an adventure campaign for the new game that would allow players to explore the Empire and other parts of the Warhammer world. The campaign was called The Enemy Within, and it dealt with the less obvious face of Chaos: secret cults and corruption in high places that threatened the Empire’s very existence.

The campaign was largely planned by Jim Bambra and Phil Gallagher, two recent recruits from TSR UK’s roleplaying games design team. Together with Graeme Morris, for whom I am sometimes mistaken, they had been responsible for a number…

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I pestered my fellow blogger and long time gaming buddy about one of his old characters from days of yore…
*Does a tearful sniffle while looking into the horizon while singing “memoriiiiiies…”*
First Question, what’s your character’s name?

Johann Smit

In one sentence please, what’s their race, class, career, gender and any other statistical muck we need to get an “on paper” definition for them?

Johann is a male human rogue/charlatan type, nominally heavy on the charisma and social skills.

What was your idea of the character when you first created it?

Basically, a sort of less bad-ass version of Han Solo, more cowardly and devious while retaining the snark. He was going to be the words-heavy guy, because tanks bore me and the other slots in the party were taken. Johann was meant to be a trickster and a con man.

How did that work out for you?

He changed a lot after a while. Playing the anti-hero can be fun, and I found myself drifting from the original concept a lot. Johann is a guy who will never admit it, but deep down he loves to be seen as the hero, provided he can do as little work as possible. That ended up being a lot more fun to play then the original idea, because I could retain the “cowardly” thing while also getting away with brief moment of “do-goodery”.

What do you think of your relationship with your GM?

I hate the bastard. Seriously though, it’s great. Aido encourages role-playing and evolving characters and doesn’t get too bogged down in a railway plot.

What do you think of your relationship with the other players?

Personally, fine. They were all, nearly anyway, good friends of mine before hand or became so after.

In game terms, Johann and myself rapidly became the most experienced members of that game (which lasted years and had lots of player turnover). To that end, I found myself taking the lead in a lot of ventures, with mixed results.

This wasn’t my intention to begin with, but so many players were new to the system, with new characters, that it sometimes seemed like I was in charge of the party (at least so far in that I suggested plans and got things moving sometimes).

In role-play terms, Johann often became something of a comic foil for other characters to berate or try and screw over in small ways, which kinda worked. Anto’ wizard and Bernard’s hobbit medic had that good kind of relationship with Johann.

Aido’s NPC of Anya Von Reuiter became the character Johann was almost centred around, an intentionally doomed romantic angle that I pushed from the outset because I thought it would be funny to try. I think it worked out really great, because it added to Johann’s more negative characteristics (lechery, obsession and thinking he’s a ladies man when he isn’t)

Has your character had a defining moment that made you rethink how you played them?

Pretty early on, with the “Dangy” thing as Johann and another player rescued this Imperial street urchin from fire-happy Witchhunters. I’m not really sure why I did that at the time, but it worked into how Johann switched from “con-man asshole” to “somewhat likable charlatan” very quickly. From then on, Johann was a much nicer (and somewhat more reliable) guy then he was originally intended to be.

Dave Costelloe has his own blog neverfeltbetter.wordpress.com where you can read about stuff like football and stuff that makes me come out in a rash. He also has some really excellent historical insight.

Hopefully the vast majority of you(I can speak like there’s more than one of you since I got more than fifty visits in the last few days.) weren’t freaked out when I started talking about European air mobility issues. Hell, maybe one or two of you gave a flying toss.

We’re going back to talking about plain boring old RPG’s again, hope that’s alright with ya’ll.

I play a decent amount of female characters. There’s a reason for that. The most major is the horrifying soulless badass I made out of one my long running NPC’s. She’s been a constant influence for a lot of my major female NPC’s especially the evil, manipulative ones, you can also bet your bottom dollar that if I’m making a female character, I’m at least tipping my hat towards her, the psychotic bitch.

So this post is twofold, discussing creating and motivation for characters and discussing “evil” within the context of an RPG.

I recently started playing Rogue Trader, a rather fantastic RPG based in the 41st millenium that manages to insert just enough GRIMDARK(tm) to give you the necessary flavour but also adds the much more enjoyable element that you’re a space pirate with a giant ship that can carbonize cities.

I realised after a little while that Ayasharee Van Reuteur is more accurately based on Admiral Kane(sp) from Battlestar Galactica. Yes, I’m fully aware that Admiral Kane, from Battlestar Galactica, was a complete bitch. Are you seeing a pattern here?

It’s a retroactive realisation and more guilt by associationrather than blatantly copying every aspect of the character, but there are still plenty of strong links.

I guess I realised it after I made Ayasharee, in her first act upon assuming the role of Lord Captain, weld her own father to the outside of the ship. Why? Because I don’t want them to just call me Crazy Aido for the sake of it, but also since, hey, that’s what I see this character as being like, so, hey, that’s what she’s like. But it also brings up this whole amusing moral swamp that some systems deal with and some don’t. The character of Admiral Kane in BSG doesn’t give a flying hoot when she leaves an awfully large quantity of people to die in space and on at least one occasion goes through the more direct approach to corporal punishment.  Where precisely am I going with this? Well, who’s to say Admiral Kane is, necessarily, evil to her rotten little core? She certainly has a fairly skewed set of morals, but that doesn’t mean she sits on top of a throne of skulls and calls for virgin sacrifices.*Personal note: Do both of the above.* I imagine for any of her subordinates, life isn’t all that bad a ride. True, the end of year assessment is a bit of pain in the ass, but so long as you knuckle down, she’ll go the whole hog for you. So, if I were, for example, a junior officer on board said ship, I’d feel I had a supporting, nurturing command system and be more inclined to ignore the haunting screams of the innocents we’d murdered.

So my character is inwardly focused and believes in rewarding her own troops before say, considering anyone elses’ basic human rights. Did I say that was right? No. Did I say that armed forces or navies throughout the world should take that approach? Hell no. But it’s certainly amusing to see what happens when we apply it to an already GRIMDARK(tm) universe and see what colour the printout comes out. Let’s call it a social experiment.

But more importantly, I don’t think my character is typically evil and that’s where the real fun lies. Too many RPG’s have some kind of inbuilt moral code. If you want to be able to do “x” then don’t for god’s sake do “y”, or some such. I suppose it’s ok when you play some games. But when something makes it so cut and dried, then you are always either twiddling your moustache with maniacal glee or radiating on the top of your pyramid of self funded orphanages. What do we learn? It’s good to go your own way sometimes. That, and I shouldn’t play a paladin, ever.

Of course, in my own strange way, I’m not saying a stratified system of good and evil is bad either. If we take pathfinder for example, and even playing a paladin, that can be a very serious challange, especially if your GM is a complete dick.

So what are we left with? Evil, pure unadulterated evil, and easy rationalisation for piss poor roleplaying? I hope not, but I can see it happening. Alternatively, we raise the standard of gaming when someone decides to play the decisive dickhead with will of iron. Hopefully what happens here is someone reads this and goes out to play their respective badass to the best of their ability.


On one final note: My other female character, Anierra Ierionessa, turned out almost completely opposite from how I thought she would, namely in terms of her having a very strong moral code, as well being inclined to stand up for it. This for me is a bit of a triumph since I hadn’t really decided on how to play her when the campaign started, so it’s nice to get little surprises like this.


Next: Slash Fiction

Since my head is almost universally stuck firmly between my buttcrack, I tend not to notice important things like Barack Obama pledging to pull troops out of Afghanistan by 2014. I also tend to ignore the far reaching effects that such a withdrawal is going to have, or indeed, lack thereof. But there’s one thing that does strike a note with me, and that’s the development of the A400M, Airbus military’s much vaunted long range combat capable airlifter.

When I say vaunted, I generally imply by Airbus themselves and very few others, since, in case you haven’t been paying attention, the project is massively overdue, overcost and generally a giant sticking sore on Airbus’ record. The aircraft ran almost immediately into problems, mostly due to the decision to make it a collaborative project between several countries. The overly heavy impetus on having a a combined European effort with very little input from outside sources, a glaring example being the refusal to use American made Pratt and Whitney engines, very quickly turned into a quagmire of inter-state bungles where each nation’s piece of the A400M puzzle simply wouldn’t fit any of the others.

The A400M, now being referred to as the Atlas, is currently three years and counting behind schedule and is need of constant bailouts from it’s major investors in order to keep the project running. The plane is built and almost complete in terms of flight-testing and meeting all it’s safety standards, but that still leaves till at least the end of 2012 before the first orders start being met.

The irony for the Atlas is that it was saved rather than crippled by the European economic crisis, since the vast amounts of money that had been injected into the project compelled European leaders to actively improve their cooperation to the point that the project was put back on track, of course, that still required a massive cash influx as well as putting the project back by three years so they could iron out it’s respective kinks.

The real test for Airbus will now be delivering the aircraft in time to make a meaningful input into what has, for Germany, been a logistically testing time. Germany had initially made the number of orders it did in order to support it’s deployment to Afghanistan. While the Bundeswehr has been waiting for it’s new aircraft to arrive, it has been reliant on three air platforms for all of it’s air transport.

The only asset belonging directly to the Bundeswehr and therefore flyable by pilots trained and more importantly, contractually able to fly for anything close to combat conditions is their aging fleet of c-160 Transaals, if you’re not familiar with the transaal, prepare to be underwhelmed, it’s a two engine tactical airlifter in the strictest sense, with limited range and even more limited lift capability, these aircraft are relegated to the “battle-taxi” roles that require fixed wing aircraft, important jobs, not least of which is casualty evacuation. Saying that Germany “relies” on these aircraft is risky to say the least, as they are decades old, in need of constant maintainance and worse yet, spare parts are becoming increasingly hard to come by.

The other asset is chartered aircraft, which are essentially a “delivery only” service, used to bring heavy equipment too sensitive to be delivered overland or needed for a more immediate project. The draught horse for this kind of work is the likes of  the Anatov 124, which is used by just about every armed force in the world, including both Ireland and America, for heavy strategic lift. The aircraft remains strongly in the hands of chartered lift companies and is therefore unavailable for combat operations and regardless of which, the Anatov is not fully pressurised. While providing for a very major need by many armies, it could never be called upon for frontline support.

Finally, filling in a tiny gap within air lift requirements is the leased squadron of C-17’s available to Europe. What these really serve to do is provide a glimpse of what a country like Germany could do if it had access to a medium range strategic lifter like the new Atlas aircraft.

To really understand the role that the new Atlas aircraft could serve for the Bundeswehr, we should probably look at the work of the C-150 Hercules, currently being used by the Royal Air Force in it’s own combat support operations. Why? Because it’s playing a much more active role than the Transaals ever could. The Transaal is relegated to second line combat duty. The British planes are employed in a variety of much more frontline work, essentially giving the British army the ability to support it’s troops in the frontline from the air if needs be. This at the least allows them the ability to take at least a slightly greater risk in terms of deployment and operations, which they need to do, faced as they are with more aggressive Taliban units coming over the Pakistani border.

So what will the A400M do if it reaches the scene on time? Probably save money for the German army by finally allowing them to scrap their aging fleet of Transaals and beyond that, not much. By the time the aircraft finally comes onto the scene in enough numbers, Germany will likely have shipped the last of their troops home. The entire debacle’s long reaching effects might also scare Germany off any further long range deployment for many years to come as well, especially given the negative press received due to perceived timidity on the part of the Bundeswehr. Could the new aircraft have corrected this problem? It could certainly have helped, giving German operations a decidedly more aggressive edge.

We now know that the A400M is quite an impressive aircraft and would be a capable successor for the likes of the C-150 Hercules, but that doesn’t mean it can simply step in and take that role. Airbus will dearly miss that opportunity to prove it’s new aircraft’s strengths.

So this is where I’ll be sticking the bulk of stuff about RPG’s though I may have to subdivide it even further. Because I’m a catagorical maniac like that.

My main game is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay third edition. This blog will have alot talking about that, but it’ll also have alot about various other systems including pathfinder, 40krp and anything else I happen to be playing, really, I want the discussion topics to be general enough that anyone who wants to chip in can do so.

My first blog here will be something I hope to get input from a number of different sources on, for a number of different game systems.

We’ll call it Quite the Character, obviously, I haven’t had the chance to ask anyone else about their characters, but with time, I’ll put together a format that everyone can answer. Also, hey,  it means someone else is doing all the work, which means this might get updated fairly frequently! Wahey!

First Question, what’s your character’s name?

Anierra Ierionessa.

In one sentence please, what’s their race, class, career, gender and any other statistical muck we need to get an “on paper” definition for them?

“It” is a High Elf Swordmaster.

What was your idea of the character when you first created it?

A high elf tourist of sorts, travelling the Empire with some unmentioned secret constantly compelling them to get in other people’s business.

How did that work out for you?

I initially thought I was going to play the strong silent type, since this was my first fighter character in a while(as well as my first character in a while, stupid being a GM all the time) but my big flappy mouth rapidly started and couldn’t stop. I’m now the sarcastic one of the group, which has proved to be surprisingly rewarding.

What do you think of your relationship with your GM?

He’s a remarkably sound guy, he’s willing to give us a lot of leeway in terms of developing our characters. But he still imposes the harsh background of the warhammer world with remarkable efficiency.

What do you think of your relationship with the other players?

I have this hilarious running conflict with one of the other players where I make fun of him and he gets all surly, honestly, it’s one of the best things about the game for me. All the players are veterans of the tabletop and also have good characters, honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had such an excellent inter-party relationship.

Has your character had a defining moment that made you rethink how you played them?

Yes! I missed the bad guy! Something that isn’t easy to do in WFRP, yet I still managed. It also meant that our wizard got dropped because of it, so I like to think my character sort of beat themselves up over it.

That’s it. If I come up with any other questions I’ll post them up, if I like you, I’ll send you a little questionairre about your character.

My Online GM Daniel Wise gives us the down low on his Character…

I’ll have our campaign’s page on Obsidian Portal visible…somewhere… in the near future. Enjoy!

First Question, what’s your character’s name?

Erika Weiss (English equivalent Erica White)

In one sentence please, what’s their race, class, career, gender and any other statistical muck we need to get an “on paper” definition for them?

A human female adventurer who’s technical career is mercenary ex thief.

What was your idea of the character when you first created it?

Having a character who started out as an old hand at adventuring, rather than a brand new guy.  You name it she’s done it.

How did that work out for you?

Great but I haven’t had much of a run with her.  Because of the round table GM I have only played 1 and a half sessions with her as a full time character, she has spent 7 sessions as a glorified NPC which doesn’t allow for true character development because the only proper interaction I’ve had is with other PCs and not NPCS (as why would I talk to myself and steal the PCs spotlight)

What do you think of your relationship with your GM?

Well it’s good but I hate to sound like a dick but my GM isn’t as good as I am, I can no longer improve as a player based on what he offers.  He seems to start of strong and gets bored with it so he ends it quick.  In the 3 hours I’ve gotten to play Erika as a full PC I am his most effective story character as I know when to get the ball rolling if the other two are derailing the plot.

What do you think of your relationship with the other players?

Great.  One character views her as a scary mother figure and his either scared of her or awe inspired (he is a 15 year old kid).  The other views her as an old soldier (as she is an old soldier) and an adventurer’s resource.  The GM’s character views her as dependable but a little odd.  OOC I need to watch myself because I have a habit of taking the other characters spot light.  A. Because I am a GM I know how to talk to NPCs to get plot points out of them, if I do it too much the others guys don’t improve as players.

Has your character had a defining moment that made you rethink how you played them?

No not yet, upon spending time with her as a  GM’s PC I have decided to make her noticeably crueller than what I originally intended.  In my short times spent as a player I make this blatantly obvious.  Not so much as an NPC (don’t want to steal the show and all)

…And that’s all. I’m sort of enjoying this. Getting insight into people’s thought processes as they continue playing with their character’s is always fun. You can find my campaign with Dan at Sigmar’s Heirs. Dan’s other campaign is at Citizens of the Empire.

Myself and Fiachra, a friend of mine, ran a Deathwatch scenario at Epiccon this year. We’ve run a few sessions of this and it’s stirred up the usual hornet’s nest in the back of my mind. Which you all are about to bear witness to. Isn’t blogging fun?


1. It’s in the 41st millenium.

If your not already familiar with that, then either a)get familiar or b) don’t play deathwatch. I started playing 40k in it’s wargame format at the age of twelve, so obviously I’m fairly familiar with it, but for the uninitiated, the seemingly futuristic setting that often lacks futurism can be a shock. Of course, that often takes second fiddle to 40k’s general sense of ALL SKULLS, ALL THE TIME. Honestly many people are surprised that the entire human race hasn’t been overwhelmed by the sheer futility of it all and commited mass, galaxy-wide suicide.

2. It’s a bugger to get the hang of.

Deathwatch is the third installment in the series of 40krp, working on the premise that people have gone through Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader, (Both of which are excellent games in their own right that use precisely the same ruleset.) Unfortunately I don’t think they took properly into consideration that many people had been waiting all this time just to play Deathwatch and not playing any of the other games, so they made a game focused for people who were well experienced with their d100 system. I don’t know about you, but the persistent level of simple math required to keep a game of deathwatch running often leads me to fluff dice rolls like a mad-‘un. Essentially you are creating a super advanced character and using some of the most complex rules of the whole setting. Fine, if you’ve at least run dark heresy a few times. Not fine if you’re moving into it straight from 40k the wargame.

3. It’s got Space Marines.

Surely this should be a positive factor. Since, you know, it’s kind of what the whole game is about and what various people have been soiling their undergarments over for the past I-dunno-how-long. But what you need to understand is that from a roleplaying perspective, space marines are death. When you make a character for an RPG, you think up Background, Motivation and character traits. For a Deathwatch space marine, all three of these are typified by the following sentance:

“I shoot aliens in the face with my boltgun.”

There’s bugger all else to it really. I watched a friend of mine create a character for a once-off game. His character bio was essentially “marine X did his job for twenty years and then joined the Deathwatch.” That was it. Bugger all else. If it had have been any more two-dimensional I could have served it with sugar and lemon juice. Space marines don’t do anything else other than fight the Imperium’s enemies and get angry about it, so it requires some imagination to come up with something truly interesting. Space Marines also mean that the game suffers from it’s final problem…

4. All combat, all the time.

I’m not saying that every second of a deathwatch game is based ENTIRELY around combat… Wait, no, that’s exactly what I’m saying. You’ve got a character who’s got a fully reactive suit of powered armour, a genetically enhanced body and a gun that rapid-fires mass-reactive rockets. Doing anything other than combat is like showing up to a circle-jerk with a flask of viagra wearing three condoms and wetsuit. So if your not either in combat or contributing to an action that leads directly to it, then your going to feel like someone who has inadvertently shown up at said circle-jerk: Jipped on.


Well that’s what I’ve been thinking about for the past while with the intention of having enough info to be able to at least suggest to someone how to run their own campaign over a reasonably long period instead of the classic, “two missions and we’re done” scenario. I have two pieces of knowledge so far:

1. Good character background is absolutely essential, because you want to use it inspire inter-player conflict. I’d almost be inclined to try and use a rogue-trader-esque system of background tracking to attempt to tie the group together, but when I say tie the group together, I really mean tear the group apart. Because if there’s one thing that we’ve found is really fun about deathwatch, it’s interparty conflict. Say what you like about teamwork being half the fun, when you know your squad mates are considering leaving you to rot, then the whole thing gets alot more interesting.

The second is the golden rule of GM’ing and should be liberally applied anyway, but I dunno, even more so, they deserve it, the acid spitting freaks…

2. make life hell for your players. The best thing I can think of is to promise them stuff, then don’t give it to them and make them operate over a longer period than they initially assumed they would. Every round becomes important now. Now you’ve got to get over your teamwork issues. Fight together, but still come out on the moral high ground from that other dickhead.

Maybe I’ll try and make more of this, but given the amount of deathwatch games we put in, it’s unlikely, however, I am always eager for suggestions. But right now I just want some sleep!

Night all!


Welcome to what will hopefully be a longer series of blogs about a lot of things.


The idea behind this is to provide my lazy brain with something to wax rhetoric on, so don’t be surprised if I’m less than 100% consistent. However, you can rely on finding the following topics here, on a regular basis.


1. Role-playing game related topics, character bios, interesting ideas and adventure synopsis’. RPGs take up a lot of my time and I enjoy them immensely, so this is where I’m wont to discuss their development with the wider world.

2. Board and Wargaming, another of my hobby horses, when something new and interesting comes out and I’ve had a go of it, I’ll try and stick something up here. Because obviously you desperately crave my input to make choices in your daily lives. I’m also trying to alot more figure painting as well, so I guess that’ll go up here too.

3. The fine art of killing people. I’m a martial artist and a scholar of military history and strategic studies. Mostly I tend towards the strategic studies end of things, so more of “how” rather than “why”. I like to think that a better understanding of one of humanities most basic and powerful instincts gives us a better understanding of ourselves. If you want a better historical analysis than I can usually give, then hop on over to http://neverfeltbetter.wordpress.com and my mate Dave will talk your ears off.

4. Anime. There, might as well admit that I’m an out and out anime freak now. I’ll usually sit down to watch a few of the new series as and when they come up and really even I’m not sure why because about 90% of it is complete GARBAGE but occasionally I get surprised.

5. Whatever else happens to tickle my fancy…


So! Now you have the general jist of things, hope to be seeing you alot more and feel free to comment.