Wrath & Glory Designer Diary – February 2018

Designer Diary – Ascension

Greetings, readers! Today I’m going to pick up the thread from my December Designer Diary where I talked about the different Tiers of play in the Wrath & Glory RPG. Today’s designer diary goes hand-in-hand with that one, so I suggest you read it first.

In Wrath & Glory, the first step is to choose the Tier of your campaign. After that has been established, you can freely mix any characters of that Tier or lower into your game. How does this work? Characters with an archetype of a Tier lower than the Game’s Tier can Ascend.

It would have been simple to say something like, “A character of a lower tier spends a number of build points to equal the game tier.” However, that answer—while simple—lacks any investment of story in the character’s growth. It also can lead to some unusually restrictive situations. For example, Imperial Guardsman Tannenberg (a Tier 1 archetype) joining a Tier 3 game would still begin play with just his flak armour and a lasgun, which could lead to Tannenberg’s player feeling very under-prepared for the challenges of a Tier 3 campaign.

So here’s how Ascending works. A lower-Tier character buys an “Ascension package,” which gives that character three important things. First, the character gains a new Keyword to symbolize their journey from that lower Tier to the higher one. This keyword represents some allegiance, contact, or connection to another organization that the character acquired, and it comes with some bonus influence to indicate that the character is now more well-known. Secondly, the character gains either some points of Corruption or a memorable injury—typically some kind of scar or other reminder that the 41st Millennium is a very dangerous place. Thirdly, the character may select some additional gear of higher rarity than their starting equipment, and the value of that gear scales with the new Tier to which they are ascending.

Here’s the proper example of Imperial Guardsman Tannenberg joining a Tier 3 campaign. The player spends points to buy Tannenberg’s attributes, skills, and talents as normal for Tier 1. Then, the player purchases the Ascension package “Stay the Course,” (the basic Ascension package as described above). The player decides that Tannenberg spent some time working with the Imperial Inquisition after going through grueling interrogation in the wake of a battle against a rogue psyker (gaining the Inquisition Keyword). The battle was costly, leaving Tannenberg the only survivor of his platoon and bearing a permanent twitch in one eye as a souvenir (the player chose the memorable injury). When Tannenberg joins the Tier 3 warband, he walks in with a plasma pistol holstered at his hip and a sub-dermal armour augmetic implant. Lastly, the player then spends the remaining build points (after deducting the cost of the Ascension package) on more attributes, skills, and talents until they reach the starting total for a Tier 3 character.

Tannenberg is now formidable enough to meaningfully contribute to a Tier 3 campaign and not feel entirely overshadowed by archetypes that begin at Tier 3. The twitchy Imperial Guardsman may not be as strong or as tough as a Space Marine, but he has a lot of experience dealing with the Inquisition, influence amongst that shadowy organization (as well as the Astra Militarum), and a broad depth of skills and talents that he can bring to the table.

Keep an eye on the Ulisses North America website for more updates to come about Wrath & Glory!

-Ross Watson, Product Line Manager

16 thoughts on “Wrath & Glory Designer Diary – February 2018”

  1. Lyam Trainor says:

    This is looking really good. I was wondering how you would handle this.

  2. Patrick Braunstorfer says:

    The only thing I dislike about this is being forced to have a memorable injury or corruption.

    Apart from that, loving it

  3. aaron says:

    it sounds like there will be different ascension packages to choose from, so injury or corruption may not be the only options.

    Loving the 40k pen n paper news. Cant wait!

  4. Vinicius Alvim says:

    This is very interesting! 🙂

    Hopefully, the packages are varied enough to allow for a broad scope of character archetypes! 😀

  5. Jared says:

    I few dumb questions because I think about 40k rpgs every moment of every day (which has made taking calculus tests thunderingly impossible).

    Will different guard types (tallarn, mordanian, cadian, pratorian, etc.) have different perks and debuffs based on their homeplanet? (if they are a thing at all, I’m just speculating).
    Will there be proficiencies based on race or rank or other things I can’t think of right now?
    Will there be vehicles?
    Will there be different classes of guard (Artillery, Medic, Rough Rider, Heavy Weapons, Etc.)
    Will there be different stats for different weapon patterns (Mars pattern Lasgun, other ones I don’t remember, etc.)

    Thats all I can think of right now.

    1. Eric Simon says:

      All good questions, which we will be gradually answering over the next few months. Sorry to have the information trickle out like that, but we have to make sure we get every bit approved before we say it publicly. But questions like this help us know what to talk about next, so do keep them coming!

      1. Ben says:

        Eric, apologies for such a late-in-the-game question! What I’m wondering is, since the Acolyte has can invoke their Inquisitor’s name as a “career benefit”, how is this handled for other carreers attached to an Inquisitor? This is the only sticking point I have seen in my research on this admittedly very, very, very cool-looking game. Thanks!

        1. Eric Simon says:

          I’ll admit, you’re digging farther than my limited experience can answer. I can say that in general these sorts of tags and connections are handled through the keyword mechanic, which is a very flexible way of showing your character’s associations and specializations.

          1. Ben says:

            Thank you for the speedy reply! It seems as if the system’s flexible enough to handle some tweaking, if needed. That’s good to know. I’m eagervto see it in action.

  6. - says:

    Can you say something about armory in W&G? One of the biggest problems in previous WH RPGs is lack of weaponry progression (for example, in WHFR 2ed. there was no reason to change your basic short sword based on stats from rulebook).

  7. Folk says:

    Happy Valentines day, guys!

    So here are some things I wanted to clarify soon or after.
    Will general vehicles play a major part of the system or are they more attributed to what passes as a driving skill?
    If they do factor in, is it possible to avoid the OW issue of having a driver do everything and all the other members just shooting? It seems that a couple internal parts (on any faction) would be interesting to see, even if it’s as simple as tank command, drive, gun, load, turret.

    As far as tiers go, it almost sounds as if the system is geared towards one shot campaigns and the like. Will there be a progression aside from tiers? Like an xp (or attribute point, I guess) gain durning missions that can lead to more powerful tier 1s, or is being in a tier static after character creation (without ascending, of course)?

    We all know how much GW loves it’s Imperium considering the models coming out, but you’ve mentioned a release of some major factions as well. Without getting into the minutiae of asking if I can play some ridiculous OC guardsman battalion that was mentioned half heartedly in one or two books, will there be any GM orplayer discretion packages dedicated to lesser factions within major ones? Such as the comic mentioning Raven Guard, in SMs (the GW poster boy) are we talking in depth or generalized on character differences of marines and their super special secret squirrel units? If I play DA, can I be a Ravenwing biker or if I play guard, can I play Vostroyan and get tipsy off space vodka? Obviously not those specifically, but since the IoM is GW’s baby, will we be able to hop in on the “your guys” thing that makes 40k so fun? And, if so, does it extend to any major factions? Dark eldar space clowns, for instance. Or will that just be the same?

    And on the topic of space clowns, everyone loves a good evil campaign. Will Chaos feature predominant enough to run an anti imperium series?

  8. Matchstick says:

    I’m curious why the need to buy the Ascension Package with Build Points since this will mean an Ascended Character will then have fewer build points and correspondingly be weaker/less flexible than a character archetype who starts at that Tier ?

  9. AJ Brawley says:

    Is there any chance we’ll get playable Sisters of Silence?
    Or even just playable Nulls so I can make a Null Sister of Battle with a two-handed Power Sword and pretend I’m a Sister of Silence?

  10. Forerunner546 says:

    So how does a high level character, (for example a commissar) join a lower tier game of lets say imperial guardsmen?

  11. Sapientus Sanguinus says:

    I am so excited for this to be released I’ve been waiting on a pen and paper 40K rpg for a while !
    If there is any way I can contribute to your team let me know
    I am a graphic designer and freelance graffiti artist and illustrator!
    I even like to write a little.

    Or even if you have a patreon or kickstarter I can contribute towards the development

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