Recruitment: Only War – The Walking Cities of Tortoga


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Thirteen thousand years ago, Tortoga went silent. The Green Tide, the feral beast known as the Ork, swept across the Corconau System and amongst the dozens of Imperial planets in it's path was the agri-world of Tortoga. Little is remembered of the planet beyond two notes in the buried records of the Administratum. One, it was famous for it's 'Walking Cities,' which has confounded scholars for years, and second it's main production was a lichen with exceptional nutritional values.

Grand Marshal Varl Ferkkoon has been ordered to take back Tortoga as the first step in raising a Crusade to march back across the Corconau System, using the agri world as both a stepping stone deeper into the sector as well as providing the much needed food resources the world could provide. In response, the Grand Marshal has levied the Imperial war machine to produce new Regiments of Imperial Guard from across the nearby sector.


“Without the food and resources of Tortoga, the Crusade would never have had a chance. Ferkkoon knew this, but still he sent in troops as green as the Yuan grasslands because he also knew without veterans to spearhead the coming war, Tortoga would mean nothing.” --- Strategist Gol Ti


This is a recruitment thread for a homebrew Only War campaign set in the Warhammer 40k universe. The only necessities to sign up, at the moment, are a knowledge of the universe and access to the Only War core rulebook.

Once I have 5-6 players, the opening sequence of the campaign will be that I will open up Regiment Creation voting, giving the options in the thread (though I won't be listing all the rules, just the options). Everyone should be able to just make 1 post with their picks, I'll gather the votes and break any ties, then I will write up a few paragraphs on the Planet, Culture and basic Regiment standards. From there, everyone can write up their Characters and will get started.

All I need for applications is why you feel like you should be in the Campaign. Whether that's an RP sample or an argument or a bribe (no cards, cash only :P) or whatever. Why pick you?

See you on the battlefield, recruits!

Hand raised - I've got the books, and an inkling to kick on.

I'm also acquainted with the regiment creation system, and will be able to assist with that. I'd suggest that the people be picked first, then follow on with regiment creation on the discussion thread thereafter.

My preference would be to go with a Weapon's Specialist, though I could also make a Sergeant.

The only things that I'd be leery of is allowing Commissars and Storm Troopers as character options. I just find that Only War really cries out to be tailored more at the shapeless mass of the imperium... rather than allowing executioners beholden to no-one but themselves free reign; and Storm Troopers just start out with gear far better than every other option.

A previous Only War PbP I was in for writing comparison

A current Rogue Trader to show that I understand the system and have a few wilted writing chops.

If you take a poke through my aliases and previous campaigns I would hope that you can see that I'm present, engaged and reliable.

If there's anything else you'd like to see let me know.

I'm extrememly interested in playing. I have access to all of the books, and have been dying to play.

Regiment creation looks fun and the idea of creating a regiment democratically sounds like it will be a good way to get to know the group and weave our stories into a cohesive unit.

I haven't actually played ONly War before, however from looking over the specialties I'm really most interested in either the Heavy Gunner or Medic. However, assuming Hammer of the Emperor is open then I would rather pick a specialty and move into Sharpshooter when the time comes - assuming it would make sense for both our regiment and our team's composition that is.

Followed things over to here, glad you got a thread up for recruitment.

Why I should get in? Because I started the thread to bring us all here? Also, I've got some aliases and games I'm in here and on I've only been playing for less than a year, but I've got all the books and read a good majority of them. I have tried to get into an OW game, but that was explained in the other thread.

I'm willing to take a back seat and let others lead, though that's not my real life nature, I know when to let others lead when they are more capable. Looking forward to learning more about this great universe, improving my writing, and enjoying good stories.

I'll have to freshen up on what I'd like to be, I usually play some techmarine variant, but I might want to give something else a try. I recently started a DW campaign as a Psyker, so I'll take a look at the classes and possible specialties, and see what looks interesting. Operator?

How would charecter creation be? If its flexible then I'll choose before I roll/assign points, if its random, then I might wait on deciding until I see what the dice gods decide.

Any PC rules or guidelines?

As for creating a regiment, it sounds interesting and I'd like to have a part in it. Voting sounds fine, more egalitarian.

My interest is solid.
I've been in one other Only war thread here on the forum, and half a dozen Dark Heresy/ and Rogue trader games as well.
I've got access to the main book as well as hammer of the emperor at the moment, and am pretty familiar with the rules.
I have also been a RL GM for Dark Heresy and Rogue trader for about two years.

As for my interest, I was thinking of starting as a weapon specialist and then move on to scout or Brawler, depending on what kind of regiment we end up making together.

I'm definitely interested!

As far as credentials go, I've been playing 40K for over a decade and I would say that I have an intimate grasp of fluff. I have all of the Only War books, as well as the other 40K RPG games (not that they're relevant now, but still).

I've already participated in a Deathwatch game on the forums that you can find here. Unfortunately, the GM took an extended leave of absence which sort of killed my drive to return to the game.

Other examples of my writing can be found in my alias. I'm an active pbp player and GM that is currently playing in and GMing two games with a third on the way.

As far as bribes go... I see that you've expressed some interest in my Carrion Crown game. Maybe you scratch my back, I scratch yours. ;)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Color me interested as well. I have the main rulebook, but nothing beyond it.

I GMed a short-lived Deathwatch game here and came to the rescue of a Rogue Trader I originally joined as a player when the GM abandoned it. Also and played a little bit of Black Crusade IRL. My player credits range back a while (family taking precedence...), but should be visible in my profile. :) In particular, I consider Anya a good example.

As to why I should be in the game? I feel I can contribute an interesting, well-thought out character to the story. Do we really need to to more than that? ;)

dotting for interest. I know about the 40k universe (read a lot of the books, especially the dan abnett ones, and played the minis game for a while), but I've never played any of the ttrpgs (rogue trader or deathwatch or what have you). I'm gonna go pick up the book and then i'll get a character made.

you should allow me because I make interesting characters who people love to hate, or hate to love. Also, I on occasion like to make characters like prince phil from slayers, and i'm more than willing to accept the fact my character is going to get shot in the face in a bad way at some point. probably while buying beer. some of the stories I've heard of this series of games

Cause why not, I'll start making my character (I love drive thru rpg).

WS: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (3, 5) + 20 = 28
BS: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (2, 2) + 20 = 24
S: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (6, 4) + 20 = 30
T: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (3, 6) + 20 = 29
AG: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (3, 2) + 20 = 25
Int: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (7, 8) + 20 = 35
PER: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (2, 6) + 20 = 28
WP: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (5, 5) + 20 = 30
FEL: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (2, 5) + 20 = 27

gonna reroll my BS since it's the lowest
BS: 2d10 + 20 ⇒ (7, 3) + 20 = 30

So my stats ended up:
WS 28
BS 30
S 30
T 29
AG 25
INT 35
PER 28
WP 30
FEL 27
suggestions on class/type of trooper I should play? I don't have any desire to play a commissar.

I'd lean towards a Commissar, Priest, Techpriest, or Medic. I love the crazy religious tone of the Imperium.

I think I might actually play a commissar, having looked through the various specialties. I have an idea to base him more along the "inspiring by example" and less along the "that dude is a d!$k who will shoot me" school of commissar-ing.

Just repeating that if Commissars are permitted, I'll respectfully withdraw completely.

Wounds: 1d5 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11

I don't have to be a commissar. don't wanna make anyone withdraw.

option b will be to make a scout/knife fighter, probably via weapon specialist.

Alright, I'm gonna cut registration off here. Currently enrolled:

Mark Sweetnam

Unfortunately I agree with Mark Sweetnam about Commissars and Storm Troopers at this time. I will probably end up using Commissars as NPC's to be interacted with, and if this becomes a recurring campaign with activity and not a one-shot adventure I might open them up as things progress.

Vrog, I really do appreciate the enthusiasm but I'll be setting up a points-buy system rather than rolling just because it's so much easier to standardize that way.

Now, while I'm setting up the campaign materials and threads, I figured we could start on the Regimental Creation. So, in the following I'm going to lay out the options for several votes and everyone can make ONE choice for each. Once all six of you have voted, I'll tally the results and put up a few blurbs about the Regiment you've created. I will also accept specific Equipment requests, rather than votes, and see what I can do with that.

If you want to provide reasoning as to your votes to try and convince the other players who haven't voted yet, feel free but know it isn't binding. Also note I have omitted regimental choices I feel would bog down play or become monotonous. Also-Also note, you may want to watch how expensive the choices turns out to be because I might either A) Slap on extra drawbacks, or B) Dock some points on the Character Buys to compensate. Oh snap, I went there!


Death World
Fortress World
Hive World
Imperial Colony
Penal Colony
Schola Progenium (only way Storm Troopers are playable)
Feral World
Feudal World
Forge World
Frontier World
Mining Colony

Commanding Officer::


Regiment Type::

Drop Troops
Light Infantry
Line Infantry
Siege Infantry
Heavy Reconnaissance

Doctrines and Special Equipment (vote 2 or 3):

Close Order Drill
Favoured Foe (Specify)
Hardened Fighters
Iron Discipline
Close Quarters Battle
Combat Drugs
Warrior Weapons
Covert Strike
Electro-Vox Warfare
Forward Observation


Cloud of Suspicion
Cult of Chivalry
Honor Bound
Incompetent Leadership
Poorly Provisioned
The Few

oh, well, thanks anyway. Good luck guys!

Gives a short bow - thanks for the selection HeftyUpTop, and I'll put forward on the regiment choices shortly.

Sweet, I'll read up on the regiment creation and take a vote tonight after work.

Rather than be prescriptive to one - I've tallied some that I like below (with a short comment why):

Death World: good skill / talent and extra wounds.
Penal Colony: limits the starting gear, but I like the RP potential of being criminals sent out to die and having to fight against the odds, etc.
Frontier World: gives good skills and talent and provides a good RP base.

Regiment Type:
Line Infantry: sounds boring, but we get a good rifle, grenades in the regimental kit for free and flak armor.
Grenadiers: - light carapace armor and grenade launchers for everyone. Also get tech-use as a skill.

The key choice for the Regiment type is whether we want to stay on our feet or have a regimental vehicle. Choices like Armored, or Hunter-Killer provide vehicle support - but don't contain any real upgrades to the basic guardsman's kit. So if we went with a vehicle I'd suggest taking one of the doctrines that provides armor and a gun / melee weapon.

Training Doctrines:
Hardened Fighters: gives a melee weapon upgrade.
Iron Discipline: gives WP as an aptitude.
Sharpshooters: gives BS as an aptitude, making upgrades cheaper / boosting XP for character creation.
Chameleoline: stealth boosting items.
Warror Weapons: gives Parry as a skill, helping us not die ;)
Close-Quarters Battle: monoknives, light carapace, las carbines a free talent and bonuses to attack point blank.
Electro-Vox Warfare: we get a bunch of techie gear like slates, microbeads and auspexs.

Cult of Chivalry / Dishonoured / Honor Bound: all allow for some common RP thread to shape the unit and group together.

As far as regimental gear, the only two things that I'd be adamant on - is starting with at least flak armor (if not carapace) and making sure we get a decent basic weapon.

Thank you very much for the invitation, and I gladly accept.

As far as Regiment creation I have a general idea in my head, but I'll need to brush up on a few of the finer details and post my votes in a few hours.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Ok, some votes and some thoughts:

Penal Colony This choice lends itself to the most diverse cast of characters, since it includes both natives to the colony (children and grandchildren of criminals) as well as newly-deported exiles. This might give the regimen a taste of unorthodoxy, which is simply a requirement for most PCs ;) Additionally, this is a cheap choice.

Fixed An ultra-stoic hardass keeping the reigns held tight works best IMHO in a regiment that is composed of the imperiums refuse. Also, this is another "cheap" choice.

Mechanized Our own APC, need I really say more? Comes in handy in any number of ways

Sharpshooters We may not be stormtroopers, but that only means we don't have to attend their marksmanship academy. Seriously, though - BS upgrades are too good to pass up.

Augmentics OR Combat Drugs Both would be good - we will lose limbs, while CD meshes well with the origin world.

I don't know about drawbacks, but going on names alone I would suggest Mistrusted or Cloud of Suspicion, in that order

Mechanized would work as well - it includes an M36, flak armor and grenades in the standard regimental kit also.

My Votes and some reasoning to them:


To be honest I was stuck between the RP perspective of the Penal Colony and that of the Frontier World. Both gave respectable bonuses and seemed like fun options to take characters from; the die hard criminal living for the moment, or the man who helped to forge a new pathway for the Imperium who was stuck on some Rock too far for them to actually care about.

In the end, I'm giving my vote to the Frontier World.


Again, I was stuck between a few choices that I thought would make for an interesting commander.

However, my vote will go to the Fixed Commander. It is a cheaper option than a few of the other ones I particualarly liked, and to be perfectly honest I'm trying to save some points I blew on the Home-world at this point.

Regiment Type:

I'll be honest, I'm stuck at this one because I like two options just about equally well, Guerrilla Regiment[b] and [b]Grenadiers.

The major downside of the Guerrilla Regiment is that we don't get armor, would give up the Tech-Use skill, and lose a small bonus to BS. although we would gain the Stealth skill, a small bonus to Perception, and get to start with a fairly decent loadout. In either case both options seem to give some good tangible benefits, and I'm not certain which would be the better option.

So, at the moment No Vote Casted

Training Doctrine:

I love the Sharpshooter Doctrine, so it gets my vote hands down.

Equipment Doctrine:

I'm voting for Forward Observer, the main reason being that it's improved Chameleoline for 1 extra point.


For drawbacks I was considering The Few or a combination of CUlt of Chivalry and Honor Bound. I think all of them are good roleplaying wise, and personally I kind of like the idea of The Few as a roleplaying avenue. We are all we have reliably, so we need to make it count sort of thing.

I tentatively vote for The Few however I'd feel more comfortable discussing at length the different drawbacks once we have a more finalized version of what our Regiment will look like.

Final Point Use (After Drawback(s) Subtracted): 12

I'll have to look closer at Regimental Equipment, but I suppose most of it will end up being contigent on what we receive for Regiment creation. I do agree with you though Mark, at the very least we will need to pick up Flak Armor or better and make sure we have a pretty good main weapon.

We could still pick up the weapon and flak armor as part of the regimental loadout, but it would limit the points available for other customizations.

A M36 and flak armor would chew through 20 of the available 30 points (unless we were a penal regiment) - so it's doable, just cheaper and easier to get through doctrine / regiment choices.

Now the Guerrilla gets a Lascarbine at least, and the upgrade to an M36 is only 5, although I don't believe they receive armor as well...

Going to think a little, but I admit I like the rpg aspect of the Penal colony, I'd also like the Schola progenium for the same reason, but it's a mite more expensive.

Commander...not so important, fixed is in the lead now, and I could accept that.

Regiment type...well, guerrilla troops makes a lot of sense for penal colony scum. Criminals are often sneaky, so that fits pretty well.

Guerrilla can be combined with Close quarter fighters. Get in, get close and play havoc with the enemy.
Plus it covers for the lack of armour from the regiment type.

Furthermore, you could combine it with either Survivalists or Sharpshooters, either one would add a nice boost AND fit pretty well thematically.

And to make up for the extra cost, you could then take the few as drawback.
We'd be the survivors of other penal legions, the best or the luckiest.
Thus it would explain why we might get extra dangerous jobs, but also why they feel they can entrust us with better than standard gear.
And how they can have enough gear for the whole unit.

Call it a...first draft if you like, v 0.8 or something.

Sweet! Thanks for the invite. I'll brush up on the regiment system and get a vote up tonight.

Here are my votes and reasoning.

Home World-Frontier Penal Colony-2

Training Doctrine- Sharpshooter Doctrine 4
(You all seem in love with this one, looks good.)

Commanding Officer Phlegmatic 1
(Someone smart and knowledgable of war. If we are from a penal colony or frontier world, we probably know little of war and could benefit from this commanders experience.)

Regiment Type-Grenadier 4
(Excellent all around chrecteristic increases, skills and talents, light carapace armour, Grenade Launchers, what more do you need?)

pecial Equip Doctrine: Vanguard 6
(Better Chimera than mechanised, good ranged or shotgun weapon, demolitions, etc, looks fun to play this type of regiment, more autonomy.)

Drawbacks-The Few +5 (Goes great with being the Vanguard, elite soldiers are harder to replace.)

Here are my votes and the thoughts behind them:

Home World:
Penal World - Most of the points made by everybody else are valid for this. It simply creates the easiest explanation for a wide cast of characters. Plus, I love the Last Chancers. :D

2 points

Commanding Officer:
Fixed - This is the sort of man that would need to lead a group as unruly as a penal regiment.

1 point

Regiment Type:
Guerilla - I see that a lot of people are interested in playing Penal Colony characters, yet also want cool gear. Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't make a ton of sense. We're cast-offs. Afterthoughts to the Imperium. We should be sent on the most dangerous missions without a ton of support.

4 points

Scavengers - It makes sense with the planet and regimental backgrounds, plus it should help us further individualize our characters.

3 points

Sharpshooters - What sort of hero soldier isn't a good shot?

4 points

Die-Hards - We're hardened criminals. We should be tough.

3 points

The Few - Dirty Dozen? Last Chancers? It feels like I'm just rehashing this stuff. :)

+5 points

This are just my thoughts on the regiment, by no means am I completely sold on something. I'd love to hear any and all comments. Also, I feel like in a PbP type of game, the GM should really be the one making the regimental decisions. This just seems to complicated to really vote it out without all of us actually sitting down together and discussing it. Just my 2 cents.

One of the justifying arguments for having cool gear despite being from a penal colony would be taking 'The Few' as a drawback.

Eveyone else is dead, but we looted all the good stuff.

I'll second having HeftyUpTop making an executive decision and defining the regiment based on what best fits both the avenues we've posted, and his vision for the game.

Hey guys,

Awesome to see all the thought processes going in to the votes. Unless Mark or Bogg want to make any changes to their 'not quite final' votes, I should be able to get a nice sized blurb up for the Regiment sometime tomorrow, along with a Character Creation system.

Just so you know, the first mission for the campaign that I'm building in to was set to be able to hit any type of regiment. Now that I see what way you guys want to go, I can definitely play more closely to the themes you seem to want.

Which is awesome, because I love the Dirty Dozen-style arc. So believe me when I say you may not see it immediately, but it'll develop over the course of the game for sure.

No additional notes on the regiment creation from my side - as I said I'm easy going as long as we get a decent armor and sidearm.

HeftyUpTop - might be worth kicking off the Discussion thread as well? - that way we can take the chatter over to there.

Scavenger was my second choice, goes well with the other choices.

Sweet, looks like we are all on the same page mostly about what kind of regiment we want. Until that discussion kicks off, anyone got their heart set on a particular specialty? Hefty said he'll be giving us a buy system, so we can build properly.

No, I am good I think, After some thinking, I've not come up with any alternatives I like better.

Oh, should we vote on what kind of favoured basic/Heavy weapons we want for the regiment as well?
My picks would be the Triplex pattern lasgun and the Autocannon.

How cool would it be to play as an armored regiment and we get our own Leman Russ? Talking about ramping up the challenge of encounters...

For favoured weapons - I think it's best to leave those to the Heavy Gunners / Weapons Specialists amongst us to choose (as they'll be using them).

Though for basic weapons I'd prefer something with real punch like a Plasma or Melta.

I'm quite excited for this all, expecially since it seems we were all much of the same page with what we wanted to see from a Regiment.

Well, to a point, but then again, I would have been surprised if we were all 100% in synch.
I mean, if we go for the majority, we ARE going to be from a penal colony, we are going to be a guerrilla regiment, who are good at shooting and are few.
Probably with a pretty stubborn bull-headed leader to boot.
The question is what the second doctrine will be?
If we go with the close quarter battle, we get some armour, otherwise we only get the flak vest that is included in the basic kit.

Dark Archive

Dotting for interest.

I see familiar faces ;-)

Radavel wrote:

Dotting for interest.

I see familiar faces ;-)

Always nice to see a familiar alias.

Ahoy there Cap'n.

Hey folks, just updating. I'm having a bit of a hectic weekend, a post with substance will be up tomorrow.

Ahoy, maties.

Oh, well... didn't see this.

If you guys are still recruiting, please let me know. I'd love to try and get into another Only War game. Our last game came so close to finishing a mission (around an entire year of game time, mind). I've got a good working knowledge of the rules as well.

Alright, so in short you guys made a mash of Schaeffers Last Chancers and the Tanith First and Only. Like... exactly...

Anyways, my hectic weekend continued into today and I just haven't been able to get anything creative done all weekend (which, as an amateur writer, has me going crazy). I should have some time tomorrow to bang out some words and get the Regiment blurbs, the Character Creation and a proper discussion thread up.

To the new folks poking their heads in, unfortunately the Recruitment is closed for now.

I get the Last chancers reference, it's a good and natural one, but I'm not 100% sure what the First and only comes in?
They are less a guerrilla regiment than a scouting regiment right?

How's that writers block going?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Well, i guess this game is DOA

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