Some interesting developments from FFG have come to my attention this week: two new products are coming for their excellent range of 40k-set RPGs. First up is something that was announced at the beginning of 2011 - Only War. Initially conceived as a supplement to Dark Heresy in the mould of Blood of Martyrs or The Book of Judgement adding some weight and variety to various character archetypes (in this instance, the humble Imperial Guardsman), it seems like FFG have decided that they have enough material to launch Only War as another - the fifth - 40k set RPG.
Take the role of a Guardsman with one of twelve distinct Specialties, offering unique skills to your squad to complement those of your comrades. Will you bring the light of the God-Emperor to the battlefield as a Ministorum Priest, or will you wield the Imperium’s most cutting-edge technology as a fearsome Storm Trooper? Perhaps you’ll tend to the machine spirits of the Guard’s many war machines as a Tech-Priest Enginseer, or lead the charge as your squad’s Sergeant. Whatever your function, you’ll be a vital part of the Imperium’s vast war machine. [here]
Quite how this will work in game terms whilst retaining theme I will wait and see - I've been finding it difficult to conceive of situations where a group of Guardsmen would have such a divergent team of operatives working together. Naturally, just because one can use so many differing specialist troop types doesn't mean that one has to, but previous FFG RPGs have very much been geared towards utilising a one-of-everything approach, so we'll see if this model is suggested by the core rulebook or not later this year. Either way, the quality should be at least as high as all other FFG products - ie, very, and it's another step forward to a 'grand unifying' RPG ruleset for the entire Imperium, which is very welcome.
Second up, though, out of the blue comes this:
The Tome of Fate is apparently the first of four Chaos God-specific expansions for Black Crusade - and is a vey welcome tome indeed. Following the life-altering Realms of Chaos twins, via the excellent MvS Liber Chaotica series, and the faltered Throne of Chaos series, I've always had a soft spot for works that flesh out the mechanics of the servants of the Dark Gods. We've long needed a series that tackles the ruinous powers in detail within the 41st Millennium, and I'm pleased to see that FFG have been give the licence to produce these. Exciting times indeed.