News for January 2011
In the Wan Light of a Half Dead Star 22
A preview of Rites of Battle, a Deathwatch Supplement
Deathwatch | Published 21 January 2011

Greetings, Deathwatch Fans!

Rites of Battle is the new, upcoming sourcebook for Deathwatch. This tome has a lot of great content for both players and Game Masters, a balance that the project team worked hard to achieve. For players, Rites of Battle has tons of exciting material, including a number of Advanced Specializations; new paths for your Deathwatch Space Marine to tread, from the mysterious Deathwatch Black Shield to the prestigious Deathwatch Champion.

The Advanced Specializations were created by Andy Chambers, and there’s a preview for one of these options found in Rites of Battle (the Deathwatch Chaplain) available on the Deathwatch Support Page.

Rites of Battle excerpt (pdf, 636 KB)

Watch Fortress Erioch

In addition, Andy also worked on a section of Rites of Battle aimed primarily at Game Masters; a detailed look at the “home base” for the Deathwatch in the Jericho Reach, a vast and enigmatic construction known as Watch Fortress Erioch. Below, Andy provides his perspective on this section of the book:

I was very lucky to get assigned some truly amazing sections for Rites of Battle. Most of them revolved around Watch Fortress Erioch and its inhabitants waaaay out in the Jericho Reach. The brief for the fortress itself was highly evocative - a gigantic, ancient place hanging in the wan light of a dead star, half forgotten by most but still faithfully manned by the grim and silent brethren of the Deathwatch. I drew additional inspiration from books like Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast and Lord Dunsany's In the Land of Time and Other Fantasy Tales. These feature vast, rambling fortresses and their equally rambling inhabitants and I wanted to evoke some of the same feel for Watch Fortress Erioch.

I wrote up several characters and locations for Watch Fortress Erioch, and adventure ideas for both that I thought would be fun to GM. I aimed to build up as much strangeness and intrigue as possible within the fortress itself so it wasn't merely a safe haven to run to between missions but a place with plenty of its own excitement and dangers. Probably my favourite section was the Xenos Bestiarium, a kind of alien zoo where all kinds of creatures are imprisoned, interrogated, tested and used for target practice by the Deathwatch. Several of its inhabitants are written up as characters with their own adventure seeds and a breakout of weird unknown aliens is always pending.

Beyond the fortress itself I also got to work with the other designers on creating new specializations for Deathwatch characters such as the highly anticipated Chaplain and Dreadnought. The latter might spoil your chances of pulling off a stealth mission but brings enough firepower that you probably won't care. We also introduced some new specializations unique to the Deathwatch itself, like the Watch Captain, Kill-Marine and Black Shields.

Thanks, Andy! Keep checking back for more on Rites of Battle, and look for on store shelves in the next few weeks!

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 (22)

Published: 1/29/2011 3:10:32 AM

Though I feel bad in continuing an off topic line of comment - I second Brother Chaplain Magister. Some Deathwatch avatars would be so very welcome!

Brother Chaplain Magister
Published: 1/27/2011 2:22:21 AM

 OFF TOPIC: also would be very kind, if FFG would put up some new avatars, from Rogue Trader and specially from Death Watch... 

Thanks in advance ! 

Brother Chaplain Magister
Published: 1/27/2011 2:08:05 AM

 Most likely I will convert the rules, so the characters will be able to start as a Chaplain. The only thing that makes a chaplain a bit too powerful for starters is the Rosarius, but if they recive it only at level 4.... (I don't know about the Crozius Arcanum, but that is also a restriction, as  that is the only close combat waepon a chaplain can use)

There is no reason why a chapter would not send chaplains to the deathwatch. Even in an organization like the DW someone has to take care of their brothers spiritual needs, and no chapter would trust an "outsider" with their secrets. Imagine a space wolf confessing to a dark angel chaplain. Or a blood angel speaking about the red thirst to an ultramarine....

Also mixing the chaplain and the apothecary together would allow the Wolf Priest, as the Sons of Fenris needs someone who takes care of their bodies and souls.

Knight of McCragge
Published: 1/26/2011 11:31:29 PM

I agree with Nimon i think it should be a special lization all to its own but hey you might be able to  swing it to where you can start off as a chaplain any way...sides the rules are there as guide lines any way who says you can have one of your kill team start off as a chaplain thats gonna be awesome the dreadnought....well its a damn dreadnought i run three of em in the tt of 40k lets see if they are really gonna be that bad ass :D

Published: 1/26/2011 7:36:59 AM

Chaplain: great! Dreadnought: um, well, I already know what our entire group will want to play... Unleash the Ancients!

Published: 1/25/2011 7:29:12 PM


                   I am sorry to say if the rest of the book is anything like that section on chaplains I will not be buying it. Did you not learn from the past mistake with the Adepta Sororitas in the inquisitors handbook, I think the revamp in Blood of Martyrs was a step in the right direction, but with this it seems you are taking a step backword.  Chaplains should be a full specialization not some alternate advancement.

Red Die Guy
Published: 1/25/2011 9:40:08 AM

"new specializations for Deathwatch characters such as the highly anticipated Chaplain and Dreadnought. The latter might spoil your chances of pulling off a stealth mission but brings enough firepower that you probably won't care."

Hahaha! Can't wait! Nice one Andy!

Who needs stealth when we have Brother Immortalus!? ATTACK!


Published: 1/24/2011 11:14:01 PM

I really like the DW creative team right now.  Seems everyone's up to the job.  Keep it going!

Brother Chaplain Magister
Published: 1/24/2011 3:43:09 PM

 Spoken too soon... Just finished reading the section and frankly I'm a bit dissapointed. Would have been nice, to start as a chaplain... 

Brother Chaplain Magister
Published: 1/24/2011 3:25:06 PM

 Chaplains at last! Finally my favorite type of space marine! Can't wait for it! Also would be nice to have something for the Space Wolves, as they are locked out for the Apothecary carrier and now from Chaplain. Mixing together the two would allow the wolf priest... 

Published: 1/23/2011 4:39:27 PM

 Just saw where this is being shipped to stores!  Not much longer and it will be in my grubby little hands.

Published: 1/23/2011 8:10:38 AM

The Chaplain is suitably righteous.

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