Process Document: Deathwatch Rule System Summary

Folks play tabletop RPGs for a particular brand of fun: The fun of creating a badass alter-ego for oneself and going out on an adventure to kick arse and take names. Though video games may do the in-the-moment adrenaline of arse-kicking a little better, there’s nothing like a friend who creates and adapts an adventure just for you and your mates.

To be an arse-kicker, though, you need challenge. Nothing provides challenge quite like the rules of a traditional roleplaying game, and the Deathwatch Roleplaying Game is no exception, especially when it comes to all the options a player has to boost the odds in their Deathwatch Space Marine’s favour. Even a Marine just out of character creation gets a host of bonuses and opportunities to re-roll a bad dice-roll.

That’s why I created a system summary that doesn’t just break the rules of testing skills and combat down; it includes all of the basic bonuses plus the menu players can choose form when they spend a Fate Point or trigger one of their Marines’ two Demeanours. The combat rules also include notes on what Marines need to be mindful of, like automatically confirming Righteous Fury against alien targets and halving any Critical Damage they take.

Deathwatch System Two-Sheet v1.0

Project Breakdown

Goal: Help players of the Deathwatch Roleplaying Game remember the working of the rules and the standard boosts that their characters provide.


  • Deathwatch Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook (Fantasy Flight Games / Games Workshop)
  • Deathwatch Living Errata v1.1 (Fantasy Flight Games / Games Workshop)

Brief: The rules of the Deathwatch Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook are complex, with options spread across multiple sections of the book.


A two-sided sheet:

  • Page 1:
    • The basic test to see whether a character succeeds at a stated action.
    • The basic bonuses and re-roll opportunities available to all Marines.
    • The rules on using Fate Points and Demeanours for further bonuses and re-rolls
  • Page 2: A summary of the rules and procedure for combat, with reminders of specific bonuses for Marine characters.

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