So I had a go at GMing Deathwatch in a short one-off yesterday and my players had some feedback about the game that I thought I would ask for thoughts about on here. I should point out that one of the players has a decent grasp on the background from playing 40K and the other didn't.
1. Upon meeting they didn't have a great deal to talk/RP about other than their preferred way of killing xenos filth… This seems like it could be a problem unless the characters have a well fleshed out background, things they have done etc. This may be less of an issue with a proper campaign where the players have time to sort this out but I was wondering if this is a common issue with the game.
2. What do Space Marines do when they aren't killing things? Starting characters have basically no skills that aren't knowledge of or the ability to kill things. Sure they probably pray a lot and train a lot in between missions but this doesn't lead (IMO) to many RP opportunities. It was suggested that it might be worth allowing the characters one or two free skills to represent other things they do (hobbies to put it simply). Obviously this isn't very cannon but otherwise it seems the characters could be quite one-dimensional.
They had absolutely no problem with the mission side of things and there was some good interaction as they went through - discussions about what was going on and their views of it based on their chapter's view of things, for example - but they were worried that a long running game would struggle a bit if they just played "space paladins".
What are other people's thoughts/experiences? Are we just approaching the game with the wrong expectations?
Thanks in advance.
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My experience is that roleplaying opportunities in Deathwatch emerge primarily while executing the mission at hand (both from trying to get the PC's personalities to mesh into a cohesive team in persuit of the mission objective, and from interaction with NPCs during the course of the mission) rather than from the PC's 'down time', which is normally pretty dry.
My 'fan-created content':
For role playing maybe you must read some books and try to make them read by your players.
As said before, Rp will come to your game if your players have knowledge of their chapter history, heroesz and cult. Then they will not be long to RP when doctrine will come to clash.
By Guilliman and the Holly Codex! Courage and honnor Brothers!
There's actually a quote in one of the Deathwatch books from an Inquisitor who mocks enemies who mistakenly assume that Space Marines spend their time killing and then waiting around to kill some more. All Space Marines have centuries, usually milennia, of chapter doctrines, histories and heroic examples to draw inspiration from. They will have different, possibly wildly divergant views on how a mission should be accomplished and how the killteam as a whole should behave during missions. How they view mortals, other astartes, the Inquisition and even enemies will vary. Even training offers opportunities for roleplay as brothers critique and learn from each other. And it is far from unknown for Marines to have activities outside of standard training. Imperial Fists scrimshaw, Blood Angels work on art.
Pericula in mora
Danger in delay
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