40K RPG: Here’s What We Learned About Wrath and Glory

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Wrath and Glory is the upcoming 40K RPG, and if we learned one thing, it’s that it will be Broad and Inclusive.

Gen Con 50 was full of big reveals and announcements–one of the more exciting ones was a closer look at the upcoming 40K RPG, Wrath and Glory. We had a chance to talk with Ross Watson, a name longtime BoLS Fans might recognize, and have the scoop on what’s coming up. We’ve also dug up the Ulisses developer panel for you as well, which is definitely worth checking out–there’s a lot of cool stuff upcoming from these guys. They’re the ones responsible for the English versions of The Dark Eye, which is basically the D&D of Germany (and won the Silver ENnie for Best Setting), and they’re also bringing you the new TORG Eternity and Fading Suns. So quite the pedigree here, folks.

Most of the details are still a little vague, but the game is still a year or so away, so that’s to be expected. But here’s a few things we know for sure.

The game itself is designed to be very broad and inclusive–that’s basically the game’s catchphrase, but with good reason. The goal of the game is for players to be able to tell the kinds of 40K stories that are exciting, all the way from a squad of inept guardsmen trying to take on a mission that is way above their paygrade, to the Eldar rangers hunting down mystic relics and adventure, to the squad of veteran space marines stomping through a seemingly-empty space hulk. It’s an ambitious goal to try and have one system that’s expansive enough to include the full range of 40K possibilities (well, excepting Tyranids, of course), while also remaining balanced.

The Eversor, seen here, has great balance.

But they want to keep the game focused around campaigns–rather than having a separate line for Rogue Trader or Dark Heresy or whatever, they want to be able to have one game that can support all kinds of adventures. And campaigns are the way they’ll delineate the various parts of the game. What do they mean by campaign? Well, a good jumping off point for understanding what these are might be the Pathfinder Adventure Path system. Each campaign will have a series of linked adventures as well as new options for players and a look at the setting, kind of like the Adventure Path, Player’s Guide, and Campaign Setting books that accompany an adventure path.

Wrath and Glory’s campaigns also help to narrow the focus to one aspect of the 40K setting. Rather than say “here’s everything go for it” they’ll let players focus on a particular angle–the first one centers around the Imperium Nihilus, the region of space cut off by the Cicatrix Maledictum. There you’ll have the adventure that takes players into the Dark Imperium and beyond, but you’ll also see something like a Player’s Guide which will have all the options for players like new skills or abilities or races or what have you, capped off with a setting book that really explores that particular region of the galaxy. And that’s the plan per campaign at the moment. Again, the game isn’t out yet–but it sounds like they’ve really hit the ground running. Watson mentioned plans for another campaign–this one all about the Doom of the Eldar, before going on to talk about how he was hoping that this game would let us see the more unusual parts of the 40K setting.

I’m real excited to see what that looks like. After all, the galaxy in 40K is full of possibilities. You have crazy artefact worlds full of ancient technology, weird Eldar webway ghosts, alien shrines, chaos-infected wastelands–we almost never see a planet after it’s been exterminatus’d–or going on some kind of Orky rampage. All of these could offer up a new perspective on the galaxy, which I’m excited to get into. Wrath and Glory might define the overarching theme of 40K, but there are so many different ways to come at it.

Players will be able to play as humans or xenos as they see fit. We can safely say that Humans, Aeiouldari, and Orks will be among the playable races, and we’ll probably see the other fun xenos types as well–harlequins and dark eldar were specifically mentioned, so keep your eyes peeled for those. Or don’t. The dark eldar will probably peel your eyes for you anyway.

Whatever it is, we’ll peel it! Stop by today for our patented triple-stacked service. That’s right, you get a Peeling, Scraping, and Flensing all for one convenient price.

The other big piece of news is that they’re working closely with the GW team to explore the story. While GW advances the timeline of the narrative, Wrath and Glory has a chance to flesh it out. To take a magnifying glass to a particular area of the galaxy, especially if they’re going to be releasing these setting books to accompany the campaign. The first adventure they’ve announced is an Anthology that takes you to different parts of the galaxy where you can do things like visit the Black Library, etc.

As far as actual mechanical details go–those are few and far between. Aside from the playable races and the fact that the game will be “broad and inclusive” and have rules for vehicles as well as for individual people. we don’t know much as of yet. The game’s central mechanic will be a bunch of d6-based dice pools that represent your various skills and allow the game to be “broad and inclusive.” The other big detail we know is that there will be a critical hit system, and it will be incredibly brutal, in keeping with the storied tradition of the 40K rpgs of yore.

You can watch the developer commentary below for the full details and some quetsions–but either way, this looks pretty exciting. Check back for more Wrath and Glory details.

via Ulisses

Wrath and Glory info starts at 30:20

Wrath and Glory is slated for a release at Gen Con 2018.

  • TheWanderingJewels
  • Defenestratus

    Going to be hard to top FFG’s material. I think I’ll keep my 40k RPG campaigns in that system.

    • vlad78

      FFG is topo notch but far too rules heavy imho.

      • Muninwing

        so is this Gurps vs tail-end AD&D 2nd all over again?

        • vlad78

          Some things never change.

      • BrianDavion

        rules heavy isn’t a bad thing, I’d rather have rules for everything that I can ignore at my leisure. then “no rules for a buncha stuff that I’ll be forced to wing it on”

        • vlad78

          I think the exact opposite. I prefer a simplier and more straightforward system with some rules specific to the background allowing a lot of freedom and putting the narrative aspect of the game at the forefront instead of forcing us to swallow hundreds of pages of rules trying to explain everything.

  • Nonot Gonnapey

    From what I’ve read it’s going to use a dice pool mechanic, which I am generally not a fan of. look forward to seeing how it works in practice before deciding whether I hate it. 🙂

    • TheWanderingJewels

      which is fair

    • Muninwing

      i don’t really understand why people don’t like dice pools.

      i’ve seen some pool mechanics that work poorly, but others that work well… but i also don’t have the huge aversion to pools that some people do. i guess if there was a thing like it that i hated — like if i had an irrational hatred of d12s — then i could sympathize. but i just don’t get why that’s the drawn line for some people.

      • Laurence J Sinclair

        Throwing piles of dice and counting individual results takes a lot more time than rolling a fixed quantity. That’s the main drawback that I dislike.

        • Muninwing

          but how big a deal is that, really?

          if you upward-limit the numbers of dice (no more than 10 per roll, for instance), then it’s not terrible. and if most rolls will be made on 3-6 dice, that’s pretty good.

      • euansmith

        I like D12s. They roll well and offer a nice range of possibilities. Like a less fussy D20.

      • Xodis

        Mainly because its a pain, especially in games when dice pools can be as large as IG or Orc shooting. Also it slows down things like combat if you dont have enough dice for everyone to have their own pile since they need to wait for more dice to roll. Probably wont be THAT big of an issue with D6’s since everyone has a crap ton of them, but WW’s WoD game used D10 dice pool and was just an annoyance.

        • Muninwing

          I played a lot of Mage and a lot of Exalted… and i’ll admit… never had much of a problem with the dice rolling.

          it was tons easier than calculating THAC0.

          i have a 3 Str and a 2 Ath — i roll 5 dice, and see how many are a 6+… that takes about two seconds longer than rolling a d20 and adding my combat score, or whatever else system.

          but that’s just me. and i bought a set of 10 d10s, so i always had enough. showed up equipped to play.

          i actually think i’d love to see 40k using d10s instead — there’s a better statistical curve, and more room for range of effects or penalties/bonuses.

          • Xodis

            Well thermo-dynamics is easier than THAC0 lol.

            Its not so much adding these 2 stats together and looking for 6’s as much as it is adding these 2 stats together and determining what all abilities you have to work as bonuses both in number of dice and to add to the dice roll. All that can be simplified with simple +1’s and +2’s to everything so you have a static +# for every roll.

            FFG StarWars uses a dice pool system that is pretty much perfect IMO, as instead of getting a bunch of bonuses and dice, you get a set amount and your abilities just add success and no modifiers. Takes a bit to learn their unique symbols, but afterwards is faster even than a D20.

  • Xodis

    Im not a fan of dice pools, but it might work in this situation. Space Marines having higher pools means increased chances but nothing as guaranteed as in FFG, also means that Humans with their lower dice pool can STILL achieve some success against a SM enemy.

  • simon

    From what I’ve read it’s going to use a dice pool mechanic, which I am generally not a fan of. look forward to seeing how it works in practice before deciding whether I hate it. 🙂

  • Tushan

    Wonder what type of rpg this will lean towards, an uncover-mystery detective game with character interactions and combat underneath or a I´m-12-years-old and just want never ending stupid battles in a dungeon kind of rpg.

  • quentin dumont

    so is this Gurps vs tail-end AD&D 2nd all over again?