Character Creation


Complete the steps for “Giving Characters Life” (Deathwatch, page 28-34). These steps include Gender and Appearance, Past Events, Power Armor History, Nature, Demeanor, and Name. Ignore any rules systems these pages allude to; this simply provides background information about your character.


Select an origin Chapter: Black Templars, Blood Angles, Crimson Fists, Dark Angles, Imperial Fists, Raven Guard, Salamanders, Silver Eagles, Space Wolves, Storm Wardens, Ultramarines, or White Scars. Each Chapter provides your starting set of Characteristics and your Combat Doctrine. Alternately, you can invent your own successor chapter to one these, using the founding chapter’s rules. Chapters are described behind this link.

Spend 100 XP on Characteristics and Quirks. Raising a Characteristic to the next highest rating costs ten times the value it is being raised to. For example, raising Brawn from 3 to 4 would require 40 XP. Each improvement must be purchased separately. This means that raising Brawn from 3 to 5 would cost 90 XP (40 for raising it from 3 to 4, then 50 more for raising it from 4 to 5). No Characteristic can be raised above a rating of 5 at character creation.

Positive Quirks each list their own XP costs. Negative Quirks each list the amount of additional XP they give you to spend in this step. Any unspent points from this step are lost. Be aware that XP earned after character creation cannot be used on Characteristics or Quirks; what you choose now stays with your character.


Choose a designated Role: Apothecary, Assault Marine, Chaplain, Commander, Crew Marine, Devastator Marine, Librarian, Scout Marine, Tactical Marine, or Techmarine. Roles are described behind this link.

Spend 75 XP on Skills. Spend another 75 XP on Talents (and Psyker Talents if you are a Librarian). Any unspent points are lost.

Each Skill has five ranks available for training. A character might already have some free ranks provided by his origin Chapter and team Role. Additional Skills can be gained by spending XP, so long as no Skill is raised above two ranks at character creation. The cost to train a Skill to the next highest rank is 5 XP times the new rank. For example, raising a Skill from 0 to 1 costs 5 XP. Each rank must be purchased separately. Raising a Skill from 3 to 5 would cost 45 XP (20 for raising it from 3 to 4, then 25 more for raising it from 4 to 5). Skills are described behind this link.

Each Talent tree has one or more Talents at each tier. The cost to purchase a Talent is 5 XP times the tier it exists at. For example, purchasing a third-tier Talent costs 15 XP. Talents from the second tier or higher cannot be purchased unless the character has already purchased at least one Talent from the tier directly below it. Talents are described behind this link.

A character can also purchase ranks of a non-Role Skill or purchase non-Role Talents. Each such Skill rank or Talent costs 5 XP more than its normal cost. Characters who are not Librarians cannot purchase Psyker Talents at any cost.


Choose your gear. Record your default equipment, determined by your role. Spend 500 additional points of Requisition to customize your loadout. Gear is described behind this link.


Determine derived attributes. Calculate your Wound Threshold, Strain Threshold, Defense, and Soak.

Your Wound Threshold represents the amount of physical damage you can suffer before getting knocked out. If your accumulated injuries exceed your Wound Threshold by 10 points, you are killed. Your starting Wound Threshold is 11, plus your Brawn rating, plus your number of ranks in the Fortitude Talent.

Your Strain Threshold represents the amount of mental fatigue you can suffer before becoming stunned, dazed, or incapacitated. Any Strain points that exceed your Strain Threshold applied against your Wound Threshold instead. Your starting Strain Threshold is 11, plus your Willpower rating, plus 2 per rank you have in the Grit Talent.

Defense provides penalties for your enemies to hit you in combat, usually derived from your gear. It is divided into ranged defense and melee defense. Your default value is 0.

Your Soak value determines how well you resist physical damage. Subtract your Soak from the damage of incoming attacks. Any remaining damage is applied against your Wound Threshold (or Strain Threshold under certain circumstances). Your Soak value is equal to your Brawn, and raised by your armor’s Soak rating as well as your number of ranks in the Enduring Talent.

Character Creation

Rites of Battle Randy Randy