Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay – Wrath & Glory Review
Have you ever wanted to adventure into the darkest reaches of the Imperium, fight against the horrific entities of The Warp or defend the scattered bastions of Humanity on the wrong side of the Cicatrix Maledictum?
Well now you can in the latest version of Warhammer 40,000 Wrath & Glory from Cubicle 7!
There have been a couple of different roleplaying games set in the Warhammer 40k universe, but this is the latest incarnation – a new edition of Wrath & Glory that has undergone the Rubicon Primaris and come out the other side as a stronger, meatier, combat ready tome ready to guide you through the grim darkness of the far future.
The Gilead System
Wrath & Glory has an interesting setting in the form of the Gilead System. This once prosperous system is now thrown into the darkness and horror of the Noctis Aeterna, cut off from the wider Imperium with the wild chaotic currents of the warp now cutting off any transport or communication back into core systems in what has been coined as the Dark Imperium.
I really like the idea of the game being set in this side of the Galaxy, as this really lends itself to roleplaying in the 40k universe – the party will not have the infinite resources of the Imperium on hand in order to solve any problems, so may have to turn to other more “creative” ways of handling the situation on hand.
The rulebook also has a great section detailing the worlds and some of the characters the party may encounter here – I really hope we see this expanded further in other expansions and source books!
The book does stress that these worlds are just a framework for your adventures, but it’s great to see these worlds listed in order to give you a starting point for your journeys in the 40k universe.
Building a legend
The first thing most people want to dive into with a new roleplaying game are the character creation options, and Wrath & Glory uses a system that makes it very quick to get a new adventurer rolled up and ready for action.
When creating your campaign, the players pick a framework and tier to represent the both the goals and characters that will be adventuring, and the “power level” of this party. This allows a range of variety in how your party is constructed, from fresh faced conscripts into the Astra Militarum, to grizzled Veteran Primaris Marines and everything in between! Essentially each tier starts with an increasingly larger experience pool from which to build your character allowing you lots more options at character creation.
Once you have worked out your framework and tier you can then spend those points to make your character! In a move that makes getting your character in action as soon as possible, Wrath & Glory allows you to pick and choose from a variety of Archetypes that have an experience points cost in addition to suggested skills and attributes that work well within that character build. This minimises the time taken to get those characters together and makes things much easier for someone new to roleplaying games – you can of course finely tune your character from scratch if you so wish, but the Archetype system is so easy to use we’ll be using it in all our games!
The rulebook has a large selection of Archetypes for a load of different factions from the Warhammer 40,000 universe so there will be something for everyone. In an unexpected move there are also options for both Eldar and Ork player characters!
These Xenos options are a great addition and hopefully we see more Archetypes in the future to further expand the system!
That’s how we roll
The core system for the game is based around looking for a number of successes from a pool of D6’s based on your abilities. 4’s and 5’s count as 1 success, and 6’s count as 2 (And can also be converted in order to obtain additional benefits). Again this makes the game accessible to people who maybe haven’t played a roleplaying game before but will no doubt have enough 6 sided dice to be able to play! It also makes sure it is very easy to understand how difficult a test is and what your chances of succeeding will be based on your stats and current modifiers.
One of the dice in your pool is the Wrath Die, and this is represented by using a different colour. This is your wild card and is used to represent the awesome heroic moments in the adventure on a roll of a 6, or when things may have taken an unexpected turn on a roll of a 1. The fact that this is on a 6 sided dice means that these criticals and complications will happen fairly regularly over the course of the game, allowing the players to add some narrative flavour to the proceedings in the case of complications, while also generating a steady stream of Glory that can be spent on increasing damage or seizing the initiative amongst other things!
These tests apply to most checks in the game including combat, and makes it really easy to pick up the flow and thrust of the system.
Combat is a little different than most RPGs in the way that combat alternates between the players and the advisories – this makes decisions on who acts first important and means that rules that interact with this sequence very powerful (Such as the aforementioned ability to seize initiative!) The rulebook does however give the option to roll for initiative manually as you would in other RPGs if you are so inclined!
What I really like about this ruleset is something that isn’t stressed enough in some games – the golden rule!
If a rule is in the way of fun, change or ignore it.
If a game is no longer being fun because of a rule, then it is no longer a game and more of a chore – I love that the Wrath & Glory team have made it clear that sometimes it should be encouraged to adjust a rule when the need arises if it is making a negative impact in that situation.
Adventures in the Dark Imperium
I have been wanting to play more roleplaying games recently, but real life unfortunately gets in the way far too often. Wrath & Glory looks like a great system for getting your games set in the 41st millennium off the ground as quickly as possible with some tools that really removes a lot of the paperwork that is often needed in the preparation of a campaign. This combined with a large and varied collection of different character types and an interesting universe to explore creates a vast toolbox in which to craft adventures in the 40k universe. I’m looking forward to forging some tales with this ruleset and can’t wait to see what our group encounters!
Cubicle 7 kindly provided us a copy of the PDF for review purposes