Wrath & Glory
|Wrath & Glory|
|RPG published by
Ulisses Spiele/Cubicle 7
|Rule System||d6 pools|
|No. of Players||3+|
|Session Time||10+ minutes|
|Essential Books||Wrath and Glory Core Rulebook|
The new 40K RPG published by Ulisses Spiele, later transferred to Cubicle 7 (the guys behind Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition). It is completely separate from the FFG RPGs, and will be far more streamlined, using D6 pools instead of D100s, as well as several mechanics designed to make the game simpler to play and easier to pick up for newcomers. Additionally, the game will take place during the "present day" of 40k (i.e. after the appearance of the Great Rift and the conclusion of the Indomitus Crusade). There is an introduction comic here revealing multiple game mechanics. A second and slightly more fluffy introductory piece is available here.
After a relatively basic reception, there was very little that Ulisses Spiele did with the IP. After about a year of fuck-all content, it came out that they were transferring the License to Cubicle 7, who might finally be able to do something with this game in a way almost but not quite reminiscent of how Dark Heresy transferred over to Fantasy Flight Games.
It's important to note that many game mechanics in Wrath and Glory are session based, meaning the game balance is directly impacted by the extent to which the players (and GM) are distracted by things like side conversations, snacks, bathroom breaks, or anything else which modifies the number of sessions it takes to get something done.
All fractions are always rounded up.
In any contest, ties go to the "attacker", i.e. whoever instigated the test - for example, in a Persuasion contest, this would be the Persuader, not the Persuadee.
The GM determines a "tier" for the campaign, which is an integer from 1 to 5; on a very broad level, this describes the "power level" of the campaign. The Tier sets a variety of other variables, such as the greatest number of bonus dice or greatest penalty a roll can receive, the number of points characters are built with in chargen, and so on and so forth.
Pool of D6s
Anything you attempt to do with chances for success and failure represents your chances with a pool of D6s; you roll them, with each 4 and 5 counting as 1 success, and every 6 counting as 2 successes, meaning the average per die is 2/3. Everything you attempt to do has some Difficulty Number (DN); you need at least these many successes to "succeed", and extra successes may count for something, depending on the task.
Greatest Bonus or Penalty
For any roll or test, the greatest number of bonus dice you can receive is equal to Tier+3, and likewise, the greatest DN penalty (the highest positive modifier the DN can receive) is equal to Tier+3. There is no limit to "static" bonuses you may receive, or to additional dice which are not bonuses (such as exotic ammo types which add damage dice) - only bonus dice are capped.
Taking Half/Buying Success
Like taking 10 in Dungeons and Dragons, in Wrath and Glory, when the situation is not stressful (i.e. the consequences of failure are typically insignificant), you can simply divide your dice pool in half and declare that many successes. It is GM discretion when this is appropriate. No matter how big your pool, if you do this, you cannot end up with more successes than Tierx2. The rulebook refers to this as "Buying Successes".
Shifts and Tests vs Rolls
Rolls are distinct from tests, although the rulebook is not consistent about obeying its own rules on this matter; in essence, a roll is like a test with DN 0, but the fundamental distinction is that a test uses shifts, while a roll counts all successes - shifts are dice rolls of 6 (2 successes at once) above and beyond what you need. If taking the shift away from the test would prevent you from succeeding, you don't count it as a shift.
For example, Joe the Scum makes a Toughness roll and a Toughness test, DN 1. He rolls 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on both. On the roll, he had 4 total successes (1 for the 4, 1 for the 5, 2 for the 6). On the test, he had 2 - 1 for beating the DN, and a second for that 6, because he can subtract the 2 successes without failing the test. Had the DN been 3, he would have had only 1 success, despite the 6, because he could not have dropped the 6 and still succeeded.
Additional successes on tests usually improve the result in some non-linear fashion; for example, when rolling to hit, a shifted die becomes a damage die, while for making a fire, a shift might make the fire bigger, or make it take less time to get going. Generally, it is up to the GM how to adjudicate what a shift does; the rulebook offers relatively little guidance on this, beyond the core concept that shifts should either get things done faster or get better things done. One of the few listed examples is that, 1/test, provided the DN was at least 1, a maximum of 1 die can be shifted into a Glory point. Additional successes on a roll are usually strictly linear - for example, the more successes you get on a Soak roll, the more you Soak.
Note that tests and rolls are distinct in terms of any other rule referencing those terms - for example, many things, such as sustaining a Psykic Power, make tests more difficult without making rolls more difficult.
The game also has opposed "rolls", which it refers to as both a "roll" and a "test" in the relevant rules block; which is intended is probably "test", as opposed rolls retain the concept of DN penalties, which ordinarily are not even defined for rolls (the distinction is important, because you can only shift - e.g. for Glory - on a test. not a roll). Specifically, both actors roll their relevant dice pool, but any DN penalties either would suffer is instead a bonus to the opposing pool (because this combines parallel caps - you can't have a bigger bonus than the maximum bonus for your tier, or a bigger penalty than the maximum penalty for your tier - into one combined cap, and because what this does is lower an actor's needed number from 1 per DN penalty to 2/3 per DN penalty, this means opposed rolling is intrinsically much easier for both sides than normal testing is). Whoever rolls higher is the winner (ties go to the instigator); it is not clearly defined anywhere whether or not the winner can actually treat the loser's roll as the DN on a passed test for the purposes of shifts, so discuss with your GM.
1 die in every test (rolls with DN at least 1) must be a
Wild Wrath die; it may be possible for there to be multiple Wrath dice (such as when psykers cast their powers), but typically, there is exactly 1 Wrath die. This die behaves like any other, except that on a 6, you generate a Glory point (see below) and score a Critical Hit if the test is successful and critical hits are defined for the task at hand. 1s on the Wrath die, on the other hand, cause "Complications", which are excuses for the GM to make you suffer.
Critical hits are typically defined only in combat, where they both set minimum wounds dealt to 1, and let you draw from a fun deck of cards the GM has, roll on a table in the book, or any other way the GM deems appropriate to determine what horrible, horrible thing has happened to the target. Combat is discussed in detail below, but of particular note here is that due to how the rules on damage interact, when you do critically hit, a damage roll that would otherwise be exactly 0 (i.e. equal the target's damage resistance, called "resilience") does more net damage than a roll of 1, so when you critically hit and would deal 1 damage, if you have a way to reduce your damage by 1, you should do so.
This mechanic penalizes the players for taking too many sessions to get something done; there is a party-wide resource called Glory, and at the start of each session, it resets to 0. Glory has a maximum capacity of either 6 or "the number of players plus 2", whichever value is higher; because the rulebook does not clarify when to check the player count, it is not clear whether or not the Glory pool's size changes if players show up late or leave early.
In order to maximize fun, there is no system in place for arbitrating what happens when at least 1 player wants to consume Glory and at least 1 does not want it consumed, but it is consumed by 1 player at a time when used. Glory can do 4 things.
- Each Glory Point can become an unrerollable bonus die (subject to the standard bonus dice limit set by your tier).
- Each Glory Point can become +1 damage (which is not a bonus die, and hence not restricted in any way by tier).
- Typically, critical effects have a listed way for Glory to be spent to make them even worse for the target. One particularly popular way is to simply increase damage dealt by 1.
- A Glory point can be spent when a character wants to preempt another character's activation.
What We Know
- The Core Rulebook will contain rules for Humans, Space Marines (classic and Primaris), Eldar, and Orks. There may be future expansions with other alien races such as the Tau or Dark Eldar.
- There will be "Adventure Path" style releases. The first release will follow a group of Imperials in Imperium Nihilus, the second following Ulthwe Eldar.
- The game uses a d6 dice pool system. Rolls of 1-3 are failures, 4-5 are successes, 6 is a double success, and if more successes than needed are rolled a 6 can be shifted from the total successes for extra bonuses to the roll effect (such as a boost to damage rolls in combat or allowing a task to be completed faster). One (usually - psykers can have more, because they cheat) of these dice must be the Wrath die, which is a blatant ripoff of the Ghost die from Ghostbusters RPG, or the Wild Die from D6 System: if you roll a 1 on the Wrath die, bad shit happens, but it can also generate wrath points (a consumable resource, like Edge in Shadowrun - for example, you can spend a wrath point to re-roll all failures on any single roll).
- You can't reroll the Wrath die using wrath.
- "Failing forward" is the name of a deliberate attitude the developers took towards the entire design, meaning that even if a roll is failed, no one failed roll will be enough to lead to a TPK situation; it will still have negative consequences, however.
- After choosing a species and character Archetype, characters pick Keywords, suggesting allegiance ("Imperial Guard", "Inquisition", "Ganger", etc.). In addition to fluffing a character out, they have crunch effects like making it easier to get rare gear or aiding in getting help from another faction.
- The game has a player "Tier" system, from I-V, which reflect a combination of a given character's combat ability, authority, and wargear access, among other things. A Tier I character would be a Guardsman, Eldar Corsair, or Ork Boy (grunts, essentially), while things like Space Marines, Eldar Warlocks, and Commissars would be Tier III. Any given campaign will have an agreed-upon Tier set for it, which will dictate limits on Archetypes, dice pool limits, and the overall challenge level of the campaign. This ensures that a given campaign won't pit characters against anything too easy or too hard for their expected power level- an individual Genestealer that would be the "main villain" of a Tier I game session would only qualify as a basic mook in a Tier III game, for example.
- Characters of lower tiers can join higher tiered games through Ascension, wherein they pick up a new keyword, some form of memorable injury or a number of corruption points, some better starting equipment that would allow them to stay competitive (like plasma weapons), and a boost to attributes, skills, and talents that would bring that character up to the equivalent of a starting character for that tier.
- Initiative order is decided by the players "agreeing" instead of rolling. They take turns with the GM (i.e. Player 1, GM monster 1, Player 2, GM monster 2 etc...). HOWEVER, GMs can spend a resource called Ruin to go first, while players can spend Glory to go back to back. In the likely case of disagreement or uncertainty as to who goes first, the characters simply roll their Initiative attribute and compare icons, with the highest number of icons acting first. In the case of a tie, player characters win over NPCs, and if the tie is between two players or two NPCs, the players choose who goes first (or the GM does, in the case of the NPCs).
- Individually weak enemies can form a mob- a single group that acts as if it was an individual. Mobs gain bonus dice to attack rolls equal to half their size (e.g. 5 dice for a 10-Ork mob) rather than rolling one die per attack, can divide their attacks across multiple targets, and may split into smaller mobs on their turn.
- All damage is calculated by adding the weapon's base damage to a roll of at least a single die. This narrows the range and prevents a bolter from rolling a 2 in the same turn a lasgun rolled a 12.
- Extra damage and special effects can be added by moving exalted icons. So far the only thing we have confirmed is extra damage die which can do a max of +2 damage.
- Your damage rolls are done the same as Icons/successes. (1,2,3) give you nothing but disappointment. (4,5) give you one piddly bit of extra damage. Roll a 6 and you get 2 extra damage.
- Basic number of successes needed to pass is 3 with difficult tasks taking more. Because the average number of successes per die is 2/3, this means "average" tasks need a pool of at least 5 dice for you to succeed on average - anything less, and you should expect failure. In general, you need 1.5*target DC dice to succeed at least half the time, rounding down.
- At release, there will be 32 archetypes divided amongst the four races (Humans, Eldar, Ork, Space Marine)
- archetypes will be added with the campaign sets (really leaning into the Paizo revenue scheme, aren't we?)
- Archetypes By Tier
- Tier 1: Ministorum Priest, Sister Hospitaller, Imperial Guardsman, Inquisitional Acolyte, Inquisitorial Adept, Hive Ganger, Cultist, Elder Corsair, Ork Boy
- Tier 2: Death Cult Assassin, Sister of Battle, Tempestus Scion, Space Marine Scout, Sanctioned Psyker, Rogue Trader, Skitarius, Scavvy, Rogue Pskyer, Eldar Ranger, Ork Kommando
- Tier 3: Crusader, Imperial Commissar*BLAM*, Tactical Space Marine, Tech-Priest, Desperado (read: John Wick), Chaos Space Marine, Heretek, Eldar Warlock, Ork Nob
- Tier 4: Inquisitor (sick!), Primaris Marine Intercessor
- There will be Savage Worlds style Campaign Cards, which are distributed at the beginning of the session, one per player. At any time during the game, a player can use the Campaign card to change the flavor of the encounter. The example given was a card which made diplomacy two steps more difficult, but gave every player an additional Wrath point.
- A "Framework" system exists for mixed groups, which gives them their reasons to work together when the individual party members might not be inclined to do so.
- Psykers are a fair bit more stable, with needing a 1 on the Wrath die to roll on the "Perils of the Warp" and several 1's on Wrath die's to have them escalate in effect.
Due to the relative lack of Species, Archetypes, and Adversaries in the core book, you'll often find yourself having to improvise (presumably until further books are released). Seeing as there is no core place to find homebrew for Wrath and Glory, here's a list of some of the better homebrew you can find online:
- The High Altar of Technology: A massive Adeptus Mechanicus supplement.
- Cicatrix Maledictum This fansite contains the following:
- Hesperax's Vault - Dark Eldar and assorted stuff including Kabalites, Wyches, Scourge, and Incubi
- Tome of Glory - a Chaos Space Marine supplement including rules for Traitor Legionnaires, chaos-aligned Talents, Heretical Astartes Archetypes, Ascension Packages (including becoming a Daemon Prince), rules for Rituals, and how to create your own daemon weapons.
- The Emperor's Angels - a supplement for (codex compliant) marines.
- God Engines - archetypes, war machines, and some accessories that help with running an Adeptus Titanicus themed game.
- Expanded Voidship Rules - what it says.
- Expanded Armoury More weapons including different patterns of everyone's favourite trusty flashlight.
- Necron Warrior
- Power Armour Marks
- Wrath and Glory Homebrew
If you come up with anything yourself, why not post it here?
Even success doesn't protect you from the Commissar's fury but on the bright side it takes more than one shitty roll to justify a TPK
- The new official Wrath & Glory website
- The official Wrath & Glory website on Ulisses.com (such as it is)
- Revelations; a preview document explaining what the system is planned to do and giving some example scenarios
- Blessings Unheralded; a preview module containing some of the core rules and a sample adventure
- Bell of Lost Souls plays Wrath & Glory with the lead game designer
- Part 2 of the Bell of Lost Souls game