Process Document: Deathwatch Character Creation Guide

One of the joys of playing a tabletop roleplaying game is the character creation process, where you take an idea for an alter-ego in the game’s world, whether detailed or vague, and flesh out the particular flavours of awesomeness that the character is good at. Choosing options for skills and cool talents from the rule book often leads to detail on the character’s history and vice versa.

But if you’re using a complex set of rules, like those of the Deathwatch Core Rulebook, you can find the joy of creating frustrated by turning pages back and forth, making sure you have already given your character the necessary pre-requisites for a particular cool thing you want your character to do (or that you’ve not chosen a skill that your character doesn’t already have).

Experiencing that frustration myself, I decided to expand the summary of character creation on pages 23 and 24 into a step-by-step character creation process. You’ll still need a copy of the Deathwatch Core Rulebook for the definitions of the various skills, talents and traits, but this document will save you from a lot of the cross-referencing of tables.

Deathwatch Character Creation v1.0

Goal: Enable players of the Deathwatch Roleplaying Game to create new, Rank 1 Deathwatch Space Marine characters in a minimum of time.


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

Brief: The organisation of the rules for creating new Deathwatch Space Marine characters in the Deathwatch Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook leads to the process of character creation taking an extended period.

  • A player can purchase options for a starting Marine from the General Space Marine advances list and the lists for the chosen Chapter and Specialty.
    • Due to pre-requisites and the limit of 1,000 experience points, not all Rank 1 options are available to the Marine during creation.
    • As the book intends to allow players and GMs to create custom chapters or non-Deathwatch Marines, the advances lists also include options that starting Marines already have (Awareness, Ciphers (Chaper Runes), Climb, etc.).
  • The full list of starting skills, abilities and traits can sometimes be hard to find.
  • The Deathwatch Living Errata v1.1 includes changes to character creation.


  • Character creation process condensed to five pages.
  • Advance tables only feature advances that can be purchased with 1,000 experience points.