Death to the False Emperor and all those who serve, part 3 – Chaos Boons

Welcome back to my series of articles on Chaos Space Marines. It has been a while since the last time. A very long time. In this third instalment I’ll talk primarily about what happens when the Champion of Chaos catch the eye of the Dark Gods and earns his reward – the Chaos Boons. Please check out the post about Morale and Leadership and the one about the Champion of Chaos army wide special rule.

To earn the favour of the Dark Gods is what it’s all about. You do their dark biddings, kill the heroes of their enemies and you expect to be rewarded. The in-game mechanic to receive the favours of the Dark Gods is the Chaos Boons earned through killing enemy characters. The table is huge and extremely random, it ranges from being ignored or turned into a Chaos Spawn to gaining Eternal Warrior or ascending to daemonhood as an immortal Daemon Prince. Most of the tables 25 boons are both good and useful. But the randomness of the table (it’s just too big) makes it all but impossible to bank on gaining any certain boon or type of boon. The Chaos Boon table is just unwieldy from both a fluff and gaming perspective.

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Randomness alone is not a problem, it befits the flickering nature of the Ruinous Powers. They bestow upon you whatever gift they see fitting. The problem is that the table is all over the place and there is no connection between the God by whom the Champion is marked and the reward expected to be gained. If you’re an unmarked Champion of Chaos it’s quite understandable that the gifts are random as you can’t really tell who’s eye you will catch. But when you’re marked you kill in the name of you patron God and no one else. The gifts granted should fit the theme of that particular God.

Luckily this can be “fixed” without changing the mechanic or the boons. All we need to do is split up the boons into God specific Chaos Boons tables. When you earned a boon, you just roll 1D6 on the table corresponding to the mark on the Champion. If the Champion has no mark, roll on a random table. Simple! I made some example tables:

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Khorne Chaos Boon Table

  1. Unworthy offering: No reward.
  2. Warp frenzy: +1 Attack.
  3. Strenght of the Berzerker: +1 Strength.
  4. Blade of Chaos: A Melee weapon now has Fleshbane.
  5. Mind of Metal: Adamantium Will.
  6. Lifetaker: Melee attack have Instant Death.

Nurgle Chaos Boon Table

  1. Unworthy offering: No reward.
  2. Bloated: Returned to full wounds or, if unwounded, has +1 Wound.
  3. Crystalline Body: +1 Toughness.
  4. Shield of Force: Shrouded.
  5. Venomous: Melee attacks are Poisoned.
  6. Meteoric Charge: Hammer of Wrath.

Slaanesh Chaos Boon Table

  1. Unworthy offering: No reward.
  2. Icy Aura: Enemy models in base contact at Initiative Step 1 take a S4 AP5 hit.
  3. Warp Claws: Shred.
  4. Blademaster: +1 Weapon Skill.
  5. Temporal Distortion: Fleet (and his unit too).
  6. Masochism: Feel No Pain.

Tzeentch Chaos Boon Table

  1. Unworthy offering: No reward.
  2. Fragment of Immortailty: Eternal Warrior.
  3. Mechanoid: Armour Save improves by 1.
  4. Witch Eater: Passing a Deny the Witch roll makes the enemy Psyker take a S6 AP2 hit.
  5. Cosmic Fate: Re-roll failed Armour Saves.
  6. Gun Morph: A ranged weapon has +1 Strength.

These are just some ideas thrown out there. The mechanic of God specific Boons does leave a big question hanging, at least if we keep them short and simple like this and that is how to deal with Dark Apotheosis and the risk of becoming a Spawn. The Codex Khorne Daemonkin got a mechanic with the pick a Champion, pass a Leadership test to become a Daemon Prince, fail it and become a Chaos Spawn. I have no idea on how to mesh that with the God based Chaos Boon tables. So I’ll leave it hanging.

In the first part of the series we mitigated some of the Leadership and Morale issuse of the Chaos Space Marines by adding Stubborn and/or an ability to re-roll fail tests to the Champion of Chaos rule. Then we looked on how to increase the Champions survivability by adding the ability to Look out Sir! in a challenge to the Champion of Chaos rule. And in this post we tweaked the Chaos Boons.

I think I’ll try and do at least one more post in this series and that will be regarding the Chaos Space Marines, the actual squads of Marines that is.

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8 thoughts on “Death to the False Emperor and all those who serve, part 3 – Chaos Boons

  1. It’s an interesting idea and one I had not considered until you brought it up here.

    How about before rolling on the table you must pass a LD check. If you roll double 1’s then make an initiative test. If you fail you turn into a Spawn. If you roll double 6’s also make an initiative test and if pass you become a Prince. If you pass the LD check otherwise you roll on the table. In this scenario I’d remove the unworthy offering as they’ve already passed an LD check to roll on the table as it is.

    Without doing the math out, that should keep the odds of Spawn and Prince relatively close to what they are now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This mechanism could work. But there will maybe be too many dice rolls. I was toying with the idea of if you roll the same Boon twice you’d be turn into a spawn or prince.

      The best part of KDK mechanism is that you decided who if any gets turned into a daemon prince. I really prefer a solution like that. It gives you more choice and flexibility as a player.

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  2. Just realized it would make more sense for double 1’s to be Prince since it’s passing the LD check, and then double 6’s for Spawn. Can’t seem to edit to fix it.

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  3. I like this idea, I do like the boons but I would like lists like this that are a bit more specific plus a generic one. I still wouldnt mind rolling a 2d6 but it being 2-12 . Double 1s your a spawn! somewhere in the middle for nothing and then double sixes for Demon Prince? What do you think about that?

    Also, no Initiative bonus to Slaaaanneeeshhhh? Id give Khorne Hammer of Wrath in exchange for fleshbane replacing poison in Nurgle, Nurgle get FNP and Initiative thrown somewhere in Slaanesh.

    I really hope for a Chaos codex thats a lot of fun when Sigmar takes a break.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. +1 iniative would have been an obvious choice for slaanesh. The reason I excluded it from the list is because Slaanesh need all the help it can get and +1I doesn’t. It is in most cases redundant. Feel no Pain is way better and fits the Slaanesh theme (since they gain FNP with their icon).

      I also wanted to spead the really good stuff around. It would be very easy to make Nurgle super boss mode. Adding both Fleshbane and Feel no Pain would do that, in my opinion. At the same time, if you do that, then everybody would only play Nurgle all the time.

      That’s how I reasoned when putting the tables together. I wanted the tables to be relatively balanced against each other.

      Your Idea with slightly larger tables but adding spawn and prince to the tables could work.

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  4. This doesn’t really have any way to fit in Multiple Rewards though, nothing brings me as much sadistic glee as watching my GoM gamble pay off by giving me 2-4 different rewards instead of just the 1. Even with how random the table is your bound to get something worthwhile off of 4 different gifts.

    My favorite game I have ever played started with me rolling GoM for a basic aspiring champion whose very first roll gained him 4 extra rolls, in which he rolled Multiple Rewards again granting him a total of 6 gifts. And of course with just the sheer quantity of gifts he had he became the biggest badass on the battlefield that day. Quantity of gifts can easily outdo quality of gifts.

    What really needs to be fixed is that some models are actually weakened by becoming daemon princes because they started out pimped up with gear and weapons only to lose it all (I’m looking at you Nurgle terminator lord), daemon princes should at least be allowed to maintain any gifts they received prior to ascension.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. Multiple Gifts are great and super fun. It sounds like that game with the boss champ mst have been great. But personally I’ll trade the possiblity of multiple gifts for a more solid and reliable table.

      I’m in complete agreement with you regarding becoming a Daemon Prince. A tooled out lord easily loose Power when becoming a Daemon Prince. You must maintain Gifts gained and Artifacts. Even then, you probably loose out if getting turned. The Khorne Daemonkin’s mechanism is pretty great in this regard, as you can choose which model to turn into a DP (you keep your artifacts and you get wings for free).

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