Thursday, 24 January 2013

In The Grim Darkness of Mega-City One... 40kRPGs for Judge Dredd: Some Thoughts

So, like I posted about earlier in the week, I'd been wondering about writing up some rules for running Judge Dredd with the Dark Heresy system. Well, that thought went out the window pretty quickly - after all, Judges spend 15 years training before they get to hit the streets.

So, I instead turned my eye to Rogue Trader - and, lo and behold, it's a pretty good fit! It has competent characters, with a dash of lethality, lots of cool options for skills and gear, and a built-in way to handwave the problem of "Standard-Issue Gear" and spending money - the Profit Factor system.

First, it's no longer Profit Factor, but Renown (or Acquisition, or Respect or something similar) - a way to represent the pull and "power" a Judge has to requisition more bodies, vehicles or unusual gear. In all respects, it works the same, so we'll not fiddle it too much (for now).

The thing that makes these characters more competent than their DH counterparts is the Origin Path system - which gives you lumps of backstory, along with packages of Skills and Talents to make up 4,500xp (the remaining 500xp can be spent as you wish). This might need a few tweaks, but it shouldn't be too much work.

Skills will obviously have to change, but not by much - most of RT's (exhaustive) list of skills are fair, it's mainly the Knowledge skills which need to change. And similarly, most of the Talents will suit, with even the more setting-specific ones simply needing the serial numbers filed off.

For Careers, I can think of a few off the top of my head:

Street Judge (your common-or-garden Judge) - a "jack of all trades" career, might need to make a specific Advance chart for this one.
Tac-Judge (as in "tactical", a SWAT equivalent) - "The Heavy", most likely modify the Arch-Militant Career for this one.
Tek-Judge - I'll take more influence from the Explorator here, with more focus on Knowledge skills than becoming tough as all Hell.
Wally Squad (Undercover Judges) - something like DH's Scum - a Career based around lying, deceptions, and "criminal" skills and knowledge.
Psi-Judge - the Psyker and Astropath Careers are a little bit too setting-specific to be much use here, and Psi-Judges still have their Judge training to fall back on - I'll make a unique Advance Chart for this one too (most likely based off the Street Judge, with extra Psi-options in place of more generalist Advances).

The Psychic Power system will need some tweaking - and with so many options for how do model it, between DH and RT using different mechanics for Psy Rating, along with rules for Sorcery, I have plenty to work with. But, the one that's catching my eye as being similar enough to work would be the Navigator scheme. We'll see what sticks.

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