A great way non astartes can go is with vehicles. "Car chases" are alot of fun in my experiences. With a human driving they can be directly responsible for alot of action, while her astartes passengers can man the guns and defend the vehicle from extra unwanted passengers. Including a rogue trader ship can allow this action to extend from the extreme example of ship combat, where the marines are not nearly as needed as the human, all the way down to grabing a random truck, piling in the marines and making a high speed run to break through enemy lines. Car chases are a lot of fun and a kill count gained through vehicular homicide is a good way to go.
One strength any human has over a marine is size. Im not talking about modifiers here, but actual physical demensions that allow a human to fit into places no marine could. Now while a marine in scout armor can be quite good at stealth, this quality of humans makes infiltration a very viable option. A human can infiltrate in and disable defenses, redirect troops or cause other problems for the enemy, that would be more difficult for a marine to pull off.
Also I should note that one difference between me and many GMs Ive heard of, is that I seem to be freer with elite advances. I allow elite advances for anything a player devotes time and effort to develpoing. This probably leads to more versatile characters than a more strict GM. There are other things, but Im typing on a phone right now so Ill get back later.
Some suggestions for specific classes:Voidmaster: specialise in small craft. This will not only allow you to specialize as the kill team's insertion method, but also give other options. These can be things like the kill team marking targets for you to airstrike, and them silencing AA guns to clear the way for you. This method will however have you somewhat removed from the action, which could get boring. One of my players decided that, to liven things up, he was going to accompany the kill team on the ground and play grand theft auto. He would find and implement as many vehicles as he could (breaking them in the process generally), and then complete any mission he could by stealing an enemy ship. He started a collection of them. This had the over time effect of giving the killteam a large pool of insertion vehicles to use, and made the voidmaster a tidy profit. Skills he made a great deal of use with included tech use, chem use, demolitions and securityâ€¦ And piloting/driving of course.
The Seneschal is a master of information. With sources of information spread across known space, you may know, or be able to find out, more about the targets than the inquisition or deathwatch may know themselves. You can prep the target by applying economic preassure through intermediaries while the kill team is en route, possibly reducing the level of equipment or supplies, or even moral of the enemy the kill team faces. An Adept would be in a similar situation information-wise, in that they know, well, everything. Both could make it thier goal in the mission, to acquire more intel. Downloading databases, or something like that. They can even disseminate a lot of information on the spot. An adept at later levels can acquire a psy rating to help protect him, and the seneschal, in all likelyhood, orders plasmaguns with his pizzaâ€¦ Gear should not be a problem for him. Tech use, electoo inductors, and good cranial implants are all highly reccomended.
Arbitrators and Scum both fall into a simular category for me. They are like oposite sides of the same coin. Lots of investagative/interaction skills, and some pretty decent combat skills. Both also can likely access contacts on opposite sides of the law. Most killteams I haven't seen make much use of such things though. If you have players playing such characters, my reccomendation is thus: have them arrive ahead of the killteam and prepare the way for them. Then have them hold out till the killteam catches up with them and they finish together. Alot could happen while they are holding out. Having a local hab gang or arbites unit intervene on your behalf or provide a distraction can be a useful thing to bring to the table. These two classes are well suited to the type of infiltration I mentioned earlier. I had one scum player that used his time helping the deathwatch to expand his own criminal empire across the jerico reach. His web of influence was enough to make tzeentch himself jealous by the end. And it paved the way for the imperium to make great strides in taking back the reach. And no sector of the imperium had more pardoned criminals
You could also let her play a sister of silence or another character with the untouchable talent. That is for sure something that the marines could find useful and not be able to provide them selves.
For more info on sisters of silence: http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Sisters_of_Silence
The PDF: http://manuel.rifault.free.fr/Public/JDR/Dark%20Heresy/Sisters%20of%20Silence.pdf
It is an old file, so some of the new rules for untouchable may be preferred, YMMV. It could be a good idea to take the battle sisters from the Matyr book and modify them to silent sisters with inspiration from this PDF, i.e. throw out the faith stuff and put in the untouchable stuff.
I've only read the first page, so maybe this was already suggested. If she likes playing rangers why not have her play a scout? First Founding has the Wolf Scout. no conversions no under powered characters, easy solution.
@Cryhavok: You've done a very good job laying out the value of non-Astartes characters in a Deathwatch game. There is a value in the unique skills and peer groups for each class across the various 40k RPGs that could not only help the Kill-Team mechanically, but on the character-development level as well.
My Kill-Team is actually being led by an Inquisitor Canoness. She has faith powers and holy relic weapons and all that fun stuff. My character holds her in higher regard than the rest of the Kill Teams for several reasons, and this reverential respect is actually helping my character out quite a bit in the long run.
My character's Chapter believes the Emperor is a god, though not quite in the same way as the Ecclesiarchy. In fact, a knee-jerk reaction to a lot of our ritual practices would be to declare them Heresy. Other Chapters are suspicious of us, and I was sent to the Deathwatch to make our Chapter look good. When my character met the Canoness, he shifted priorities towards impressing her rather than other Astartes.
My Chapter takes the idea of "Daughters of the Emperor" literally, in that we believe they are adopted daughters of the Emperor's household. This was reinforced when I learned she had actually been to Terra. My character's religious conviction soared.
In our most recent mission we set down on a Shrine World, because the Canoness felt a strange shadow over the world (Tyranids were ruled out). Seeing as I made it clear to the GM whenever I was engaging in my private devotionals to the God Emperor when we were not on mission (letting blood from my ears and whatnot), when we arrived at the convent overlooking the primary place of pilgrimage on the planet, I was the only Astartes allowed in. The GM told me that for the purposes of engaging with the Sororitas, I was treated as having True Faith.
Seeing as we are currently defending the shrine from a Tzeentch-aligned, heavily armoured CSM warband, after this mission the GM will probably grant me the Elite Advance, Peer (Sororitas).
OP, having a non-Astartes member in the Kill Team is incredibly beneficial for each SM player, if they just know how to capitalize on it through solid role-playing. If I were to take the Kill Marine Advances for my character to facilitate his transition into Rogue Trader or Dark Heresy games, I already have a starting point for who I might end up working with. I can jump right into the Web of Peers Talent when I advance (if I have the Exp to spend on it).
I have friends in the Sororitas, I can walk through the Convents freely, and I have a direction to take my character after the campaign is over. And this is all because there is a non-Astartes in the party, and I roleplayed to that responsively. Allow the non-Astartes character, both to facilitate the desires of the player in question, and for the benefit of the rest of the party.
In my gaming groups they are usually balanced between men and women gaming, sometimes I have 3 women and 2 men gaming. I started my first Deathwatch game with them last year and it was great. I ran the game and did not play a character, I usually don't. It was 3 guys and 2 ladies. The guys of course all wanted to play Adeptus Astartes characters. Not for the ladies. But I worked it out this way and you will need more than just the Deathwatch book.
One player wanted to play an Adepta Sororitas right when I mentioned what they do. Luckily she knows all about Warhammer, she is my wife and I listen to audio tapes so she knows a lot of the general premice behind faith and the emperor and has played priests and clerics in other games. She was able to start with more experience than the base Battle Sister. (requires Blood of Martyrs). Also, I allowed the use of better gear because she was a part of the Deathwatch. In my Deathwatch game, the Deathwatch also has a Deathwatch Convent with many different "Brides of the Emperor".
The problem with the other player was they wanted a character that was different. We ended up coming up with a Death Cult Assassin (Ascension), but we made alterations to make it a Deathwatch Assassin. The character worked out great. Where the three guys were playing the hard hitting frontline of the group, the Sister of Battle had some incredible power when it needed to be used. In the game the idea of a Space Marine forming relationships with women became something that was pretty cool in game. The assassin was an awesome addition and she loved her character and could do things the other characters could not… such as walk into a populated area without being identified as a servant of the Emperor. The battle sister sort of filled the same roll as a Librarian. The assassin was incredibly skilled compared to the Space Marines.
All in all - use Blood of Martyrs and Dark Heresy to allow a wider range of use. My Deathwatch is not just a bunch of Space Marines, they consist of:
Deathwatch Convent with Brides of the Emperor. This includes Battle Sisters, Seraphim, Celestian, Sister Dialogous and Sister Hospitallers. The Deathwatch Convent is a separate ship that allows no men aboard. An agreement made thousands of years ago.
The Deathwatch Astra Telepepathica and thier Witch Hunters. The Sisters of Silence still exist and serve the Grey Knights and the Deathwatch in secret. A single black ship serves the Deathwatch and seeks out psykers. They are trained to serve the Deathwatch.
The Deathwatch Assassins. Not part of the scouts, these assassins are normally attached to Kill-Teams. Usually the assassins have their own missions within the kill team missions. They are taken from the Death Cult's best assassins.
The Deathwatch Ministorum is a part of the Imperial Cult. With their shrine ship, they are usually not too far away from the Deathwatch Flagship.
Also, one other thing of note (in my games) the Grey Knights and the Deathwatch work closely together and see each other as close allies, even sharing their secrets with one another. There are even times when Grey Knights will accompany Deathwatch kill-teams and vice versa. I am focused on the idea of hunting Xenos in my games but Chaos is always a part of my games too.
Don't just limit your games to exact canon… not much is known about the Deathwatch, that's the idea. It gives you freedom to play.
Thats it. You mixed the lines up with each other to "open" the possibilities. Some may say this alters the feeling of playing death watch and pretty much the game becomes more like Dark Heresy to a point where I have to ask you why you still need Astartes? Wouldnt another Guardsman fit in the role too? Though It is okay if you want to stick with a non-fluff round but if someone is at the point where he does not want to play a fluff-round anymore he also has not the problem how to deal with female players.
You know that the term "Bride of the Emperor" is pretty much heretical?
The Sisters of Silence are seperated from other organisations by reason and are one of the most elite troops the emperor had founded. An detachement for Deatwatch use is wasted potential, also they have other duties.
Sounds pretty much like standard Inquisition acolythes.
Absolutly no, the Grey Knights do not even share their secrets with the Ordo Malleus. They were founded by the personal decree of the Emperor and though thy may be subordinates they are equal to the Inquisition in their buisiness.
Well, at least it is know that the Deathwatch is an Astartes Only Formation called by the ordo Xenos to perform duties others cant do. To call someone else (A simple death-cult assassin) a Deathwatch Assassin is an Insult to the Astartes. You do not offer Astartes Honors to a simple human. Also I wonder about the other Institutions like you Convent etc. that pretty much looks like en extremly tiny scaled imperium. The Idea behind the Grey Knights and the Deathwatch is that they are not centralized (Something a minor faction with only one ship is). They may have strongholds but their strike-teams are scattered around the galaxy to allow fast-response-deployment. Well, just call them what they are, Acolythes, and attach them to a Kill-Team if needed. The only problem is that this would require a Campaign where a Kill-Team is send to Aid and acompanie a particular Inquisitor. Though their potential would be wasted if you add some investigation or social play to keep the other players amused. A kill team is a valuable asset, made to fight, not to talk. Thats why they are made of Astartes and are not part of an inquisitorial cell. They fight, and all the time they do nothing is wasted.
For one, I didn't think this was about tearing down other posts it was about answering the question of the first post but I will mention a few things.
“Brides of the Emperor” is a nickname used many times to refer to the Adepta Sororitas. In order to get around the “no men under arms” after reformation by Sebastion Thor. The Ecclesiarchy created the Adepta Sororitas to be their military arm. The term is used in several places including the main core rulebook Deathwatch.
The Deathwatch itself is a big “unknown” and work very closely with Inquisition. The Inquisition has three Ordos Majoris (Xenos, Malleus and Hereticus) – they share knowledge and work together, usually. They both still answer to Inquisitorial Conclaves of Inquisitor Lords. While they do have some power – sort of a “check and balance” system with the Inquisition because the Ordo Malleus has the Emperor's Warrant there are still support units that both Ordo Malleus and Ordo Xenos use – well if you go by the novels and the game books. They have ranks of Imperial Guards, Assassins and pretty much anything that the Inquisition can muster.
Both the Deathwatch and the Grey Knights are part of a larger army that is with them almost all the time. This is shown in fluff.
The Ordo Xenos and the Ordo Malleus strike forces are bolstered by units from other adeptus astartes chapters, the Imperial Guard and the Officio Assassinorum. The Grey Knights are found in small numbers along side all sorts of other units… in almost every book they are in and every piece of fluff I hve seen. The Deathwatch is the same – their primary enemy is just different. The Deathwatch works more closely with the Imperial Guard. The Deathwatch operates almost exclusively as kill-teams and not strike-teams – which are vastly different in size. A strike-team is usually a company. Okay… The Deathwatch are sometimes led into battle by Inquisitors (see Ravenor and Eisenhorn novels) even alongside the Grey Knights.
There are no Sisters of Silence anymore – the Witchseekers are gone but their black ships are not. They are used by the Aeptus Astra Telepathica now.
Needless to say, if you look at all of the background in the novels and even game book fluff – the Deathwatch is not just a Chapter. While the organization of the Deathwatch is an Adeptus Astartes Chapter – they are support and are supported by the Imperial Guard, the Inquisition, even by Grey Knights. Yes, even the assassins support the Deathwatch if need be.
The Deathwatch do not field strike-teams as you suggested. They field kill-teams. They are different.
Fleets of ships travel together and arrive at locations together. Deathwatch kill-teams do not have their own ship usually and use other transportation.
Well, all in all I was offering up different ideas to the primary question so I will add in some more (however heretical that may be to you FieserMoep);
1. I have mentioned the 'Sisters of Silence' from the Horus Heresy. They are not mentioned after that. There is no mention of them being disbanded or destroyed. They simply disappear in M31. As a matter of fact the last record of them is at the Battle of Terra. They use power swords, bolters and their own type of power armor. They were witchseekers immune to psyker powers for the most part and there was even a sister of silence at the founding of the Grey Knights… so it goes to say that perhaps there is something more to the sisters of silence today. If you wanted to make a female space marine this would be a good place to start because none of the Primarch gene-seeds can be used to create a female space marine… but the gene-seed of the emperor might be able to create a daughter.
2. Regardless of what anyone says it's your game. Make it fun. My wife didn't want to play a bulky space marine and was happy with a Sister of Battle with 13k experience. It states in pretty much every book what you can do in order to bring characters from other books up to deathwatch game play. Don't be afraid to bend the universe to your will to make a good game.
It was not my intention to tear something down. I was just irritated because he said he isnt aiming to reflect the exact canon though I see some points as major differences from the fluff.
Yes, I know that the Term "Brides of the Emperor" existed but further more this was the titel Goge Vandire gave them in the Age of Apostasy. Before they were called "Daughters of the Emperor" and after Alicia Domenica brought Vandire to justice they were renamed "Daughters of the Emperor". Therefore the Titel "Bride" is heretical and hubristic because there is nothing in the Imperium to be on such a Level of Equality to the Emperor as a Bride would be. Though everyone is a Son and a Daughter of the Emperor and the Sororitas are among the purest and therefore bear this titel.
Also the structure of the Inquisition is more fracticle. There are only conclaves where a Lord Inquisitor is strong enough to establish and protect one, mostly it is, as you said, a check and balance by personal power. And yes, there are Inquisitorial Troops, this is exactly what I said. So why do not use them instead calling someone else than Deathwatch Marines, well, Deathwatch?
Also about the Deathwatch and Grey Knights this is exactly what I said ealier. They are part of a larger force, though they have to work in small kill-teams across the human-controlled Galaxy to be availalbe as an asset when requested. This also pretty much prevents them from beeing atached to an Inquisitorial Cadre because they are to valuable to spent their time with doin nothing. The Investigation and localisation is the Job of the Inquisition and its acolythes. After that they call for aid if the inquisitors forces alone are not enough and maybe the Deathwatch or Grey Knights may respond and do their work. After that particular mission they are gone again unless the Mission of the Inquisitor is of such importance that he recieves the allowance to use thes troops for a longer period of time.
Also the Deathwatch is not assisted by other imperial forces per se. The Inquisitor is assisted because the Deathwatch is just an Asset as any other troop he might call. The Authority is by the Inquisitor, not the Deathwatch, because only the Inquisitor has the Authority to muster such a force, notice that this is different than the actual field authority.
Also the Deatchwatch is able to field Stike-Forces though it is the same problem the Grey Knights suffer from. Because they are spread among the galacy they mostly work in Kill-Teams because they are so few. Also these are specialized troops that are trained to work in a kill-team though if the engagement or foe they face requires it they are able to field strike-forces. And a strike force does not necessarly consist of an entire company. Even regular Space Marines are fielded in Squads with some Vehicles and work as a strike force. Only lager Campaigns or Battles usually see complete companies. For example the Lok'Kroll Xenocide saw several Kill-Teams that might have worked seperated with different objectives though they still fullfill my understanding of a Strike-Force that consists of a few Squad-Sized Troop-Detachements that are propably supported by Vehicles.
In the end, do not get me wrong, I understood this topic as an Intention to integrate female Players into the Game with keeping the fluff intact. If you have accepted to break the fluff here and there then this problem does not exist for me anymore because you can take every solution you want. The only problem to integrate women is the fluff and their wish to not play a male. If you break the fluff there is no problem anymore.
Well, I still don't buy the b.s. argument that female players can't possibly play male rpg characters, but I'll try to keep this positive'n'helpful…
Have you considered running an Ascention-level Dark Heresy Odro Xenos Throne Agent party, with a few Deathwatch Killmarines (as per the alternate rank in Rites of Battle) attached for extra muscle?
My 'fan-created content':
I like to stand by the fluff in the fact that there are no female Space Marines. On page 15 of Deathwatch, there is a quote:
They must be male, because zygotes are keyed to male hormones and tissue types,
hence the need for compatibility tests and psychological screening.
In order to remain as close to fluff as possible you could always use ascended characters that are under direct control of an Inquisitor. So, throw out the entire idea of trying to make them a part of the Deathwatch. Here are some ideas:
1. She can play a Crusader (from Dark Heresy Ascension). The Crusader can choose 'Hunter of Aliens' as an ascended trait. Because they have an unbreakable oath with an Inquisitor it is very easy to fit into a Deathwatch Campaign. An Ascended Crusader is is probably better in melee than a Space Marine due to the advances available to them…. Also, this fits very well if you have another player that wants to play an Inquisitor. The Shield Against Harm ability can be used to aid the other character.
2. Like a few great novels, she can play an Ascended Inquisitor (Dark Heresy Ascension). This would pretty much put her in a leadership position. Inquisitors have been known to lead Deathwatch Kill-Teams in the field. The Inquisitor would be great if your player is experienced in playing roleplaying games. The Deathwatch Space Marines that are with her are the hammer while she is the investigator. During character creation you could have her choose skills that would make her a bit more Deathwatch-ish - choose Xenos skills and stuff.
3. While I don't like trying to mix the different psychic systems between the games you could go with a Primaris Psyker. Keep in mind that a Primaris Psyker is very powerful but they might be attached to a Deathwatch Kill-Team for extended periods especially when their encounters would bring them into tainted areas or areas exposed to warp energies. Just watch out because a Psyker Lord (another name for the Primaris Psyker) can make or break a campaign. Some of these psykers are swept up into the ranks of the Inquisition as Throne Agents.