I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with RPGs, for everything I like about a system there is something that infuriates me. Sometimes the things that pushed my buttons weren’t the systems fault, a good system can go bad in the wrong hands, but most of the time it was the systems fault and thus the developers.
Fantasy Flight is really pushing hard on all my buttons. First they released Dark Heresy, a good idea and fantastic setting but the mechanics borrowed heavily from a very broken system, Warhammer Fantasy Battles 2nd edition. The biggest issues arose from the character creation, it took far to long for a character to become respectable fighter which, for me anyway, made it hard to care. I play RPGs to be a hero not a lackey, that was the problem with WFB and it never could get into that one either.
Then came Rogue Trader, a slight improved version of Dark Heresy, but still bogged down in poor character creation. Though it was better and a shorter path to hero status it didn’t fix enough of the problems from the previous titles to make me care. Both of these games lived in the Warhammer 40k universe, so playing a lowly Inquisitor’s henchman or an underpowered space pirate while the galaxy was full of menacing xenos and uber Space Marines just didn’t satisfy.
Needless to say when FFG announced Deathwatch I was pretty thrilled, finally I would get to play a Space Marine and all that that implied. The book delivered a lot but not enough to warrant FFG’s always high price tag, it seemed like a source book for Dark Heresy. After all the Deathwatch are just part of the Inquisition’s bag of tricks, again my irritation with the developers and FFG flared. But whatever, I had a game I liked, the glaring flaws had been fixed and I was ready to throw some dice.
Now FFG has announced Black Crusade, Deathwatch with a chaos paint job, so that’s another $60 for what should have been a source book for Deathwatch or better yet a source book for Dark Heresy. Consider my buttons pushed.