News for June 2010
Knowledge, Power, & Free RPG Day 17
Deathwatch Psychic Powers + Free RPG Day Extras!
Deathwatch | Published 18 June 2010

by Ross Watson, Senior RPG Developer, and Owen Barnes

Greetings, Deathwatch fans!

Deathwatch Kill-teams often rely upon the psychic powers and learned guidance of a Librarian. These specially trained Space Marines have highly-developed psychic abilities and battle-disciplines that make them into potent warriors. Librarians can communicate across stellar distances, confuse an enemy force, or strike down the strongest foe with bolts of conjured lightning. Librarians are also taught much secret knowledge, and it is this role that often proves most useful to a Kill-team.

Deathwatch Librarian characters in the Deathwatch RPG have access to a number of different psychic powers to choose from. There are some powers that all Librarians share, and in addition, each Chapter has their own particular abilities that only a Librarian from that Chapter may use. Similar to the psychic power rules in Rogue Trader, Librarians have a great deal of control over their abilities, and may choose to use them at a tightly contained manner (the Fettered level), exert their abilities at a fuller level of power but with some risk (the Unfettered level), or they can summon every erg of effort into a massive feat of psychic dominance that incurs a great risk indeed (the Push level).

Here is an example psychic power found in the Deathwatch core rulebook:

Force Dome
Action: Full
Opposed: No
Range: 5m x Psy Rating radius
Sustained: Yes
Description: Summoning up a shimmering field of force, the Librarian fashions a shell around himself and nearby allies. The shell is a sphere extending up to the radius around, above, and below the Librarian and protecting him and any within it. The shell provides 2 AP x Psy Rating against all kinds of ranged attacks or hazardous environmental effects (this additional protection stacks with any worn Armour), even trapping air and water within it. However, it does not stop melee attacks or creatures (friend or foe) that may pass through it without restriction.

Deathwatch Psychic Powers
Librarians are an iconic part of the Warhammer 40,000 universe and play a vital role in the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. They are also among the most formidable battle psykers the Imperium has to offer, with truly fearsome powers and abilities. With this in mind the Psychic Powers Chapter for Deathwatch was designed to take Player-Characters with psychic abilities to a whole new tier of power and provide them with a potent arsenal of with which to vanquish their foes.

In many ways Librarians function just like other psykers, tapping into the warp and channelling energy to create effects (players familiar with Rogue Trader will recognise many of the rules for using psychic powers). Of course a Librarian naturally has more raw power (Psy Rating) and can develop their power to a point beyond the endurance of weaker, more mortal minds. Psy Rating is also used far more extensively in Deathwatch and governs all aspects of psychic power such as its range, area of effect, damage inflicted or how hard it is to resist. This means that the same power manifested with a Psy Rating of 2 will be noticeably weaker than if it were manifested with a Psy Rating of 6. In some cases having a higher Psy Rating can even unlock addition benefits and effects from a power unavailable to those with weaker gifts.

The real changes however exist within the selection of the powers themselves and how characters can use them. Like other psykers Librarians have access to a section of Telepathy and Divination powers (both important to their role communicating with the fleet or advising their commanders), however they also have their own special Discipline of Codex Powers. These are battle powers, abilities that can turn the tide of war and immolate entire platoons of soldiers in clouds of fiery death. Players familiar with the Warhammer 40,000 miniatures game will probably recognise some of these powers; like Smite (which can tear foes apart with psychic lightning), The Gate of Infinity, (which can transport Battle-Brothers instantly across a world), or Vortex of Doom (which opens a hole in the world that will devour anything in its path).

In addition to a large selection of Codex powers each Chapter has a number of their own powers – secret of unique abilities passed down by through specialised training and the gifts of their gene-seed. This means that a Blood Angel Librarian will have access to powers and abilities unlike that of a Dark Angel or Ultramarine, reflecting the strengths of their Chapter. One of my favourite of these Chapter powers is the Storm Warden ability Hammer of the Emperor, which allows the Librarian to literally level entire buildings by calling down a hammer of psychic force kilometres across!

Given their impressive powers (added to the fact that Librarians have access to far more knowledge than any other kind of Battle-Brother) Librarians make for very a useful addition to any kill-team.

Forward, Battle-Brothers!

Don’t forget that tomorrow is Free RPG Day! At any participating local game store you can find copies of Final Sanction, an introduction to the Deathwatch roleplaying game! Final Sanction contains quick-start rules to get you going, pre-generated Deathwatch Space Marine characters, and a high-stakes adventure that puts your Kill-team right into the middle of the action.

As a special bonus, you can find two additional pre-generated characters for Final Sanction on the Deathwatch Support page, and there will be a Final Sanction FAQ thread listed on the Deathwatch forums!

Download the additional Pre-generated characters here:

Brother Octavius and Brother Gregor (pdf, 456 KB)

In addition, you can come to the FFG Event Center in Roseville MN on that same day to play through Final Sanction with the Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay Development Team! Myself (Ross Watson), Sam Stewart, and Mack Martin will all be on hand to guide you through this exciting debut of the Deathwatch RPG.

Deathwatch is a roleplaying game in which players take on the roles of the bio-engineered super-soldiers known as Space Marines. United with their battle-brothers, players will complete extraordinary missions involving some of the greatest heroes and deadliest opponents the Warhammer 40,000 universe has to offer.

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Comments (17)

Published: 6/18/2010 2:29:24 PM

I'm soo excited about this! I really hope they put  Final Sanction up on the site soon!

Published: 6/18/2010 2:14:22 PM

when will this be available for download tomorrow as i have a 2pm game scheduled to demo it??????

Published: 6/18/2010 1:49:35 PM

Hoping to be playing this tomorrow! Very excited! And thank you for the extra characters; very cool. :D

Published: 6/18/2010 11:28:24 AM



I'm assuming you guys will upload it soon after the day anyhow.

Published: 6/18/2010 11:14:25 AM

My FLGS isn't participating. I would like the PDF of Final Sanction. Now. Please.

That said. Thanks for this nibble. I look forward to the full meal!

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