Wrath & Glory Designer Diary – April 2018

When designing combat rules for Wrath & Glory, something that I knew I wanted was an initiative system that would encourage teamwork. We experimented with several different approaches, but the one that satisfied our design goals was an initiative system that promoted a back-and-forth flow between the players and the Game Master.

Here’s how it works: The players and NPCs controlled by the GM take turns, one at a time, until every character involved in the combat has taken a turn. The players choose one from their side, then GM chooses one from his side, and so on.

However, it is not entirely that simple! Both the GM and the players have resources they can spend to alter this setup. For the Game Master, he can spend his GM-resource—called Ruin—to act first instead of the players. And for the players, there’s a group resource called Glory that they can spend to Seize the Initiative.

When you Seize the Initiative, your side can have another character act before the GM’s forces’ turn. So, if the players choose to have Michael act first, they can then spend Glory at the end of his turn to nominate another player—in this case, Wendy—who can then take her character’s turn. You can only Seize the Initiative once before the other side gets to take a turn.

This ensures that there’s a flow to a combat scene, a back-and-forth where both sides get to take actions in rough proximity to one another. This also allows for that teamwork I was talking about earlier! If the warband was facing a tough opponent, for example, Michael could use his character’s turn to make an Interaction attack and render the opponent vulnerable, lowering its Defence. This sets up Wendy to take advantage and land a solid hit, potentially shifting more dice into the damage roll!

If there’s ever any doubt about who acts 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).

This initiative system comes in handy when the GM is controlling several opponents during the combat. Sometimes, enemies who are individually weak—called Troops—can form a single group that acts at the same time. This is called a mob, and mobs act and attack much like a single character. The GM doesn’t roll ten individual attacks for a mob of ten orks, for example. Instead, he makes a single roll, and the orks gain a number of bonus dice equal to half their size (so in this case, +5d). Mobs can also split their attacks if they’re fighting multiple opponents, and the GM can, if they wish, split up a mob on their turn so that there are more than one group of enemies acting in the combat.

Now you have an idea about how initiative works in Wrath & Glory—plus some info about mobs, which are quite fun to fight (although they can be dangerous in large numbers!). Stay tuned to the Ulisses North America website as we reveal more about Wrath & Glory, Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay!

-Ross Watson, Product Line Manager

13 thoughts on “Wrath & Glory Designer Diary – April 2018”

  1. Sangladius says:

    Love the mechanics of this, really nice! Though, I do think there was a missed opportunity to call the GMs resource “Wrath” as the PCs is called “Glory”. As always, keep up the great work. I am looking forward to seeing more.

    1. Eric Simon says:

      “Wrath” is actually a different PC resource. So there’s “Wrath,” “Glory” AND “Ruin.”

  2. Witch Hunter Sol says:

    Okay that’s actually a satisfying effect with the alternative Initiative systems. It alleviates me from my concerns shown in the web comic, which was really my only concern with the rules up to that point. Since while it is fun to play with a group of friends, even friends can descend into bickering about who goes first. This extra bit of structure is going to help stabilize the game and the groups at the tables even more so.

  3. Mike k says:

    Highest number of ” icons ” why can’t we just have straight forward dice I don’t want special dice me and my mates have to buy. I know why because it boosts sales. Bad move people previous system didn’t need ” special ” dice

    1. Eric Simon says:

      It’s designed to play with D6s, where 4 and 5 give you one icon and 6 gives you two. Check out our example of play comic to see what I mean:
      https://www.ulisses-us.com/comic/wg-example-p1/

      1. Mike k says:

        Thanks for example and explanation consider the ” nerd rage ” averted.

  4. Shane Wilson says:

    Is it possible to generate Glory within a combat?
    Is the Glory determined by the attributes of a party, its actions (in or out of combat) or both?

    Note: This reminds me of the initiative rules for the Star Trek RPG by Modiphius, although it uses d20s

  5. Daniel says:

    Im Glad to read these news, really hoping to see this in action, but i want to ask, how will you handle mobs and tactical maps, how much space will a mob use and things like that, because in my group we usually use maps for have a counter about your cover, the distance between players and npc and things like that.

  6. Aaron says:

    Dice is something people will always disagree on. Mike doesn’t want special dice, but there are collectors out there who would buy special dice even if they won’t play the game. We even have our own facebook group. : )

  7. Durak Rask says:

    Something i haven’t read anything about yet is gear. Not so much weapons and armor. But other kind of gear.

    Will there be weapon upgrades, poison, drugs and so on? .. What about primitiv weapons like bows?

    And second, how many “Skills” will there be, like survival and knowledge?

    Thanks, looking forward to more info on the game, looks exiting so far 🙂

    1. Eric Simon says:

      We’ll continue to preview more and more about the book right up until release. Some of these things may be beyond the scope of the already very large Core Rules, but we can certainly keep them in mind for future supplements.

  8. Ricardo Alves Junqueira Penteado says:

    This is definitelly very interesting!

    I like a lot the idea of a simpler system, more focused on RP, for WH.

    Will there be a beta version of the pdf that we can check out before we commit to the pre-order?

    1. Eric Simon says:

      Not of the full Core Rules, but Blessings Unheralded, the Free RPG Day product and extended Quick Start, will be available next week! (Look for announcements about free download coupons for that!)

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