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Rites of Battle.
Speaking of Purity Seals though I am definitely expanding on them in my games to make them something that adds temporary boosts to a space marine that has been given one by his superior or chaplain. Here is the link;
I just figured that they would actually offer bonuses that were very tangible. I would reward them on the type of performance they had in the previous mission. They would also depend on how well the character roleplayed their character… sort of a meta game reward for playing in character and creating a game that feels a bit more alive with player narrative and interaction.
Seems a bit "power-up"erry to me. I would not typically allow this kind of stuff in an RPG.
Relics do the same sort of thing. I wanted to create another type of reward, something that was temporary. I see Purity Seals as the perfect option. In the book 'Rites of Battle' they have the Purity Seals but they say they carry with them 'blessings' determined by the GM. So it seems that they would be offering some sort of in game bonus.
1. They are made of paper, so they are temporary. Rarely, lasting more than a single adventure. I have players track that information on any Purity Seals they may have. Each adventure, I have players roll a d10 - they can keep the purity seal on a roll of 10.
2. A Purity Seal should never confer more than a +10 bonus. Even that much is a lot but given that it is a temporary bonus - it is completely controllable. Purity seals should offer blessings in very specific, class based ways… the leader of an upcoming mission may recieve a purity seal blessing from a chaplain "so that your squad may work as one" offering the leader a +1 cohesion bonus or maybe +10 to Fellowship towards his squad.
3. My players love them. They can't ask for certain ones. I offer them based on the success of their last mission. If they failed in their mission, maybe the chaplain will give one out but don't expect the Company Cpt. or the Squad Sgt. to give them out for failure. They are to honor the success of a battle-brother and bless him in the future.
4. Rewards are few for players of Deathwatch. There is no "loot", there is no "gold". There is Renown, requisition and experience. I like to create rewards that are based around honoring the Emperor and the Chapter. I use the expanded renown in Rites of Battle where renown can be lost and gained. I love the reward/penalty system in Rites of Battle. Most of the new "Honours" introduced in Rites of Battle are roleplaying focused.
Did not state you (emphasis, imagine I was pointing at you when you read that) could not use them.
But look at it from my point of view. Your players are getting a "temporary bonus to a stat of their choice for a limited amount of time". Makes me think of the damage boost powers and what not in arcade shooters, not something in a game representative of a realistic (in setting) world.
Of course your players love them, +10 to a stat is equivalent to on average 3000+ xp in advances (2 ranks of stat advances), and they're getting them for free. Its way too much, even ignoring the rediculousness of a piece of paper making someone shoot better.
If they were an "honor" then let them be an honor, they don't have to give stat bonuses. A roll of battles the Astartes succesfully accomplished (which wouldn't exist for a Deathwatch marine when you really think about it, you know… secrecy and all that) would be enough for a real Astartes, theres no need for it to increase his abilities. Or were they crafted by the local wizard and imbued with a magical aura?
But hey, your game. I don't think this idea is appropriate for an RPG, but I can't stop you. I can, though, give my opinions as to why a veteran RPG player considers it a bad idea, for the consideration of other players looking here for ideas or inspiration.
There has been this Dark Heresy Space Marine Fan Work, which had these Purity Seals with some rules about it. At least more detailed than done in the Rites of Battle with this non-saying description.
An Empty Mind Is A Loyal Mind
My Deathwatch Houserules, Game AidsPrinter Friendly Record Sheet:
It's definitely not +10 to a stat (read 2 above). It's +10 to something very specific - such as +10 on a fear test. The players don't get to choose them, I do as a GM. Example: A chaplain gives one of the space marines a Purity Seal blessing. During the blessing and in the text it describes "in fear you shall not waiver". All this does is give the character a +10 on the Fear Test.
I'm definitely not trying to convince you to use them at all. Here is where I got the idea (Rites of Battle, 211):
Each Purity Seal carries with it a different invocation of blessing as devised by the Chaplain depending on his assessment of the Battle-Brother’s own purity. The exact nature of the blessing depends on the Chaplain (i.e., the GM), and is chosen when the blessing is bestowed. Common blessings include such things as that no xenos blade shall piece the brothers fl esh; once within the brother’s sight, no enemy shall live to see another day; or the brother’s boltgun shall never grow cold from fi ring or his chainsword dry from blood once the enemy has been encountered. The effect of these blessings is mostly to spur the Battle-Brother in an effort to prove his valour to his Chapter and to the Emperor by bringing the blessing to pass, and it may even cause him to change his tactics or become reckless with bravery.
A Battle-Brother can also draw strength from his Purity Seal by reciting its prayer and reaffi rming his sense of duty to his Chapter and to the Emperor. In game terms, this can mean the GM giving the player-character a moment of respite or chance to gather his Battle-Brother’s wits before making another great effort.
I basically read that and said to myself it should do something. This something is not an enchantment - it's all in the battle-brother's head. I would never give +10 to Weapon Skill. I might give a bonus of +1 damage using a weapon though. Like I said in the other post, they give a bonus in a very specific way. What I meant by that is specific tests. One I just rewarded to the Librarian was a -10 on the psychic phenomena chart. I never reward more than one. It's all in his head… it's not magical - it's confidence in being recognized for something you did. The player never gets to pick it. I do - based on actions in the last game.
As far as the "I don't think this idea is appropriate for an RPG, but I can't stop you. I can, though, give my opinions as to why a veteran RPG player considers it a bad idea, for the consideration of other players looking here for ideas or inspiration." that you said, I am a veteran RPG gamer. I'm also a published game designer (Green Ronin and and my own books primarily for d20). Also, every single RPG I have played usually has single use and temporary bonuses - say potions, scrolls and the like in fantasy games… even games that have nothing to do with magic have "masterwork items" that do the same thing and confer better use…
(also, relics grant far more than the bonuses I have talked about for my Purity Seals)
I'm also a published game designer (Green Ronin and and my own books primarily for d20). Also, every single RPG I have played usually has single use and temporary bonuses - say potions, scrolls and the like in fantasy games… even games that have nothing to do with magic have "masterwork items" that do the same thing and confer better use…
(also, relics grant far more than the bonuses I have talked about for my Purity Seals)
Being a big name or hi to do something or other does not make you infallible. Ford Edsel and Chevy Nova speak volumes on that. I gave my opinion.
Temporary magic items… or a temporary magical Piece of paper,,, neither fit in WH40k. (If you want them to be daemon possesed and dole out corruption each day they're worn, I'd be all for that.)
Just because another, completely different game system, in a completely different game setting uses something like your description does not mean Deathwatch must, or even should.
I'd imagine relics should have nice bonuses… They require you to be pretty high up with the reputation and usually take around 1500xp to get a hold of one. Compared to a free piece of paper…
Again, just expressing my views, which contrast to yours, for what constitutes keeping with a realistic setting in the game for the sake of other impressionable players.
I really like this Cryhavok. Not being magical is important as I've stated. I want them to be a mental, personal thing granting confidence because the space-marine believes for his actions the Emperor himself may be watching his deeds. There should be effects granted to the battle-brother, even penalties to act against them because they are so important.
Again, I am not trying to convince anyone - I am attempting to create an answer to in-game fluff. "A Battle-Brother can also draw strength from his Purity Seal by reciting its prayer and reaffirming his sense of duty to his chapter and to the Emperor." Comes right out of the book. I definitely agree that +10 on say Weapon Skill is way too much but +1 magnitude damage while in melee with a horde is the way I go with them. They are small bonuses and very situational.
Also. In Warhammer 40k (wargame) they had an effect allowing you to roll an extra die. I believe now in the wargames they have no effect. I have not played for sometime but still get the books.
I am definitely willing to stand strong on my side of things. I stick to fluff, I stick to what I know. I don't just throw these out there. As far as gaining corruption for wearing them, do relics do the same thing in your game? One of my goals is to reaffirm in-game fluff with mechanics. They don't grant huge bonuses. I think the largest one I gave was a +10 to the Fear Test. The rest are very situational. I might give one to a character that roleplayed their character the best. It might not be the way you like to play. You might not like this one either: I don't reward them to the player that succeeded the most with dice. I reward them for playing in-character. Also… if any of the gamers make me lose it, laughing my ass off, they might recieve one. So, yeah sometimes they are meta rewards. At my table, it's about fun - not remaining so rule rigid that the game lacks the essential element that we gather for.
To further expand on this thought: when I say temporary, personally I mean "unyil lost or destroyed like any other equipment." I dont see them being written on simple paper, but on some scifi equivalent that is longer lasting. It could even be on a type of cloth. Also while deciding what this demeanor would be would be between player and GM, the character could scribe his own with ghe trade scribe, but would likely work with his chaplain to do so, this seems apropriate to me because of the personal nature of the purity seal. By that same token the character with trade scrimshaw could inscribe it more permanently on to his armor, making it last as long as he wears that suit, and leaving a legacy behind for the next marine to wear it(though it wouldnt have the same meaning to the next guy).
Well. When a Demeanor is triggered, there is a lot more than just a +10. It follows the rules of 'Using a Fate Point'. Also, these should be rewarded rarely. You don't normally see a space-marine with more than 2, maybe 3 of them. I think I am going to delve into this more and create a more limited version. I think even allowing the use a fate point is too much, it's a good direction though and gives me a few ideas on where to take them but I will start another thread. I kind of feel like this thread got hijacked by our debate on the topic.
Recieving a Purity Seal is a big deal. I think I am going to work on an actual "relic style" basis for using them. I am going to focus more on the fluff within Rites of Battle.
Also, it does state that they are coated with protectve sealants or electrum casings in order to protect them. So, I think I am going to work in a more permanent solution to them. I can see how they can remain for some time. I might be revising my idea of them based on our conversation here.
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