Product– Wrath and Glory Warhammer 40K Roleplay Core Book
System– Wrath and Glory Warhammer 40K Roleplay
Producer– Ulisses Spiele
TL; DR– In the Grim Dark Future there is only a surprisingly indie RPG! 93%
Basics-For the God Emperor! Wrath and Glory is a new RPG from Ulisses Spiele that covers the world of 40K, a grim, gothic world of alien threats to mankind and the equally horrible men and women who fight the xeno threat while burning heretics by the score. Let’s bust up how to play.
Core rules- Wrath and glory uses a modified d6 system like Shadowrun. Every action taken by the character is done by adding up the character’s attribute plus their skill for that action and rolling that many six-sided dice. One die is kept a separate color and is called the wrath dice, and is important later. Players then count all the dice that roll 4s and 5s for single successes. Each 6 counts as two successes. Most tests require 3 successes to succeed, with some harder things requiring up to 11 almost impossible to get successes while easy things that always succeed might only require 1 success. Players have access to a number of different pools to alter these rolls.
Icons and Exalted Icons-Each 4 and 5 counts as an icon. This means successes, but it opens up design space. Not only do sixes count as two success, but sixes also count as exalted icons. All players share an icon pool that extra exalted icons can be shifted into or take from called glory. Exalted icons provide extra dice on damage, making tests go fasters, getting better results, or moved into the glory pool. Glory give you extra dice, extra damage, increase critical hit severity, and mess with initiative.
Wrath-Wrath is the last pool players can play with. Wrath allows players to reroll failures on a test, gain back shock (think stamina points from Starfinder), gain bonuses on some checks, and add elements to a scene. This is the most powerful pool a player can use, so they only gain more points by role playing well, completing objectives, and some out of combat campaign goals.
Ruin-Ruin is the last pool that players can generate, but this is a GM toy. Ruin operates like a combination of wrath and glory but for NPCs. Players generate ruin when the roll a 6 on the one separate wrath die.
Combat-Combat is interesting because combat has much more indie vibe to is. Players take turns nominating characters then NPCs to act leading to a much more narrative structure. Attacks work just like all other rolls with an attacker rolling attribute + skill vs. targets defence value. On a success, the attacker rolls a number of dice equal to the exalted icons shifted from the attack or glory pool plus any from the weapon itself plus the weapons base damage value. Success on the extra dice add to the base damage. If damage is equal to or lower then the targets resistance, then it takes some shock (again, it’s kind of like stamina points from Starfinder, they come back quickly on a quick rest but you can be knocked out when you lose them all). If the damage if more than the resistance, you take wounds. When wounds equal your total, you’re dead! If you roll a 6 on the wrath die,not only does ruin generate, but you do critical hit damage.
In addition to the narrative structure of combat, players can spend glory to further mess with initiative. Instead of nominating an NPC to go after a player, the players can spend glory to force another player to go after another player. When the story demands awesome, the pools of player toys provide!
Also in combat are mobs of creatures. It would not be Warhammer if you didn’t fight 40 orcs at a time! When more then one unnamed creatures is present, they can fight as one giant mob with each extra creature beyond the first adding extra dice to the attack pool.
Psionics- Warhammer 40K doesn’t have magic, it’s got psionics or psykers! Psionics fit in simply like any other skill roll. You make willpower + psychic mastery roll and need to hit a number of success based on the power to activate it. In addition, each power also has a number of extra abilities called potency that can be activated if a character hit enough exalted icons.
Those are the major parts of the game. Attribute + skill for rolls looking for 4s, 5s, and hopefully 6s to do cool stuff and move the story forward. Let’s see what I think.
Theme or Fluff-Well done RPGs that introduce a new world fall into two major camps-story first or crunch first. This game starts story first. Overall, it’s well done. I don’t know a lot about the imperium of mankind and the horrors of the warp, but I know there is A LOT. This book CANNOT teach you all that you can learn about 40K. That is just impossible as there are entire youtube channels that release videos daily and still find 40K content to cover months later! The book is more human centered, but later the book give lots of rules for non-human characters. It makes me want to know more about these xeno races. That’s not bad, but a bit more would make me feel like I could run a xeno game without needing other books. However, as your first introduction to the world of Warhammer 40K, this is a great place to start from. 4.5/5
Mechanics or Crunch– I really like the mechanics of this game. Warhammer 40K is a game where you throw buckets of d6s at problems until they die. This game uses the same mechanic, but slimmed down. Unlike the wargame, you do not compare defense values before rolling and checking charts to find what the numbers on the dice need to be to hit a creature. This games uses a Shadowrun inspired d6 system that is amazingly slick. Shadowrun isn’t the perfect example, but its the system that comes to mind when I roll d6s and look for specific numbers. The comparison brakes down further when you add in glory, wrath, and ruin. I love everything I see here as Wrath and Glory has carved out its own mechanics from other games. What’s more, the narrative nature of the game really draws you in. You can’t sit on the sideline waiting for your initiative. Every player has to be engaged to really survive as a team. The tier system of character development and determining appropriate challenges will help the games running smoothly and let players know if that orc is just another nob loser to kill in a hit or a major problem that will kill the entire crew! Nothing here feels like it will just slow down the game. I can’t say how much I love everything that I see here. 5/5
Execution-I like this book. I was reading a PDF, so I can’t comment on if its hyperlinked, but it looks great. It’s also over 400 pages so that’s amazing for the price. However, the one thing I wish the book had was more pictures. I know enough 40K to hum a few bars, but I can’t keep up with the deep lore. I never got into the miniature game because models had to be accurate to play in a tournament, and I don’t know a bolter from a lascanon. I’d like more pictures in the book to show me what all the weapons, armors, and toys are. Wanting more is a great place to leave your customers, and I can tell this one will have several more splat books. It’s a great book, but more fluff would help follow what all the action is about as well as break up the text in the book. 4.5/5
Summary-This game had a tall order to follow. Wrath and Glory needed to deliver an RPG that let players throw a buckets of d6s, play quick, and let bloody glory for the god emperor rage across the galaxy. And I think it does it! The system need more books to cover everything as ANY 40K RPG can’t be complete in one book. Just the 30+ years of lore means that any one book that is made can’t come close to explaining all of what is going on here. But this tome does start the RPG at a good place. The mechanics are slick and play fast. The pools of different tokens make me feel like I have control of the action. The narrative nature of combat further brings in players to a visceral RPG where story comes first. The fluf of the world feels good, and even a novice like myself feels like I’ve learned enough to at least start. The book is laid out well, but needs more pictures to help break up text and show not tell me more about the world. None of these complaints are game ending bad though. I love what I’m seeing, and I just can’t wait for more! 93%