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Using XP as ‘money’


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#1 ranoncles

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 05:37 AM

One of the perennial problems of DH (and the other lines) is how to manage equipment creep. Players logically want the best equipment and rightfully rail against an all-powerful Inquisition equipping them with inferior, low grade items.

 

As a GM, this causes a few problems as better equipment is a form of reward and deferred gratification to entice players to play more and more sessions and better weapons necessitate better opponents to keep things challenging. At the same time, there has to be a gradual curve of nasty opponents for the players to really show they are progressing and are being given more difficult tasks.

 

The different FFG lines all have slightly different ways of dealing with equipment, from using money to influence, profit value and whatnot.

 

But has anybody ever used XP as currency?

 

This gives players the choice between ‘investing’ in their characters (by buying improvements, skills or talents) or buying better equipment (with the caveat that if they lose the equipment it will be replaced when and if possible).

 

Simply put, is it better to be a high BS acolyte with a simple snub pistol than a low BS acolyte with a powerful bolt pistol?

 

Any thoughts on how this would work?  


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#2 Cogniczar

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 05:52 AM

Sounds like a cool alternative. Defintely going to extend the campaign life - unless you inflate experience rewards to compensate. Other than that, the idea of getting better as you gain experience or get better gear - it puts alot more options to persued, but at the tempetation of possibly gimping oneself early on. 



#3 Nath0610

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:18 AM

I do like this idea, however, I have two major issues with the concept: 
Firstly what rate of exchange would be used, because too much and the people who opt into doing this will become incredibly overpowered, or too little and it would make them feel useless.
Secondly the concept of allowing people to be at different ranks would hurt the flavor and roleplaying of the game. I mean having someone who has taken down daemons and cultists still be at first rank whilst everyone else is at rank 4 or 5 might be a bit strange. Especially because of how important the ranks appear to be in terms of description and reputation.

If you could figure out a way around these two issues it would be very viable and interesting, however it is hard to think that there is a way.
It would spice up the choices and not restrict people to the same old builds, so I am excited to see if other posters have ideas on the subject. :D

Hope this doesn't come off sounding arrogant or rude, it is just my two cents on the idea. 
 



#4 ranoncles

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:45 AM

Not sure what you mean about players being at different ranks?

As I envision it, the GM hands out XP after a session. Each player can then spend it on a skill or so or spend it on acquiring a better weapon, gizmo or armour. They would still all be at the same level regarding XP spending….

 

Regarding the XP cost of equipment, the easiest would be to simply change throne gelt value to XP cost but that would cause some problems as DH prices go from low to very high. So obviously, the actual XP cost would need some work based on categories etc.

 

For example, the XP cost of weapons could be based on the damage they inflict. Any 1d10+1 weapon is free. Every +1 damage a weapon does costs another 100XP or so. Thus a 1d0+3 weapon would cost 200XP to acquire.  And so forth. Special abilities such as (semi) auto fire or tearing would cost additional XP.

 

Just a thought.



#5 Lynata

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:10 AM

As I envision it, the GM hands out XP after a session. Each player can then spend it on a skill or so or spend it on acquiring a better weapon, gizmo or armour. They would still all be at the same level regarding XP spending….

 

That's how I understood it as well. It'd essentially be the player having to decide/balance between equipment and skills/talents. You could have brute force characters running around with plasma guns but being of little use anywhere outside combat (and even within combat they may lack a high BS score or useful talents), and on the other hand you have the specialists who are either "just okay" in terms of damage but very useful with special knowledge (tech-experts, investigators, etc), or manage to get that extra bit of oomph out of an otherwise cheap gun (sniper with long las or autorifle).

 

I kind of like the idea, but I would (a) put limits on how much XP you can spend on equipment to prevent minmaxing, and (b) perhaps consider offering specific perks or talents for characters who deliberately stick with cheaper guns, such as adopting that "personal weapon" talent from Rogue Trader. It's just a matter of time until the guy/gal with the expensive gun will get it, too, but by that time the other character should consider upgrading as well, and until that point it should help with balancing.

 

Perhaps a mechanic to convert XP into "Requisition Points" (ratio of 100:1, can convert up to X per Rank) that players can save up and later, well, requisition gear from their Inquisitor and/or other Imperial organisations with? This would simultaneously eliminate the wacky "we work for the Inquisition but have to buy our own ammo" thing that never really sat well with me.


Edited by Lynata, 04 April 2014 - 08:15 AM.


#6 Librarian Astelan

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:54 AM

I think the major flaw in this idea is that any "ordinary" advances bought with xp stick with the character, whatever happens. It's very easy to loose a weapon in DH and although as a GM you could easily give the player the same weapon the next day, this might seem artificial. Certainly if your players should start to abuse this mechanic:

 

"Meh, I'm gonna drop this excellent plasma cannon, cause it's slowing me down. Besides, I'll get another one as soon as I return back to base."

 

In my opinion, if a player has spent XP on something, you should rarely take it away afterwards. Of course I can imagine situations where a GM has to do such things, or the dice fall like that (loose x wounds because of critical damage - while your player has taken sound constitution). But again, those should be exceptions at all times.



#7 Lynata

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:19 AM

Good point. One way to mitigate this might be a "compromise" of sorts that has players receive a 50%(?) penalty:

  • If you lose the gear, you can get a new piece for half price in Requisition
  • If you want to upgrade, you can surrender your gear to the armoury and receive half its cost back to your pool

This should lead to players taking care not to lose their stuff, whilst making it not hurt as much if it still happens?



#8 Darth Smeg

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 03:20 PM

Something similar is done in Fate, where you can choose to have specific gear as one of your character Aspects. 

 

It kinda works as you suggest, in that you give up other character "elements" in order to have "cool gear", which can't be taken away from you (at least, not permanently).

 

It could certainly work, but would require a lot of work, seeing how DH is really kind of gun-porn in the first place.

 

But then, the money part of DH was always wonky


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#9 Lynata

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 04:12 PM

But then, the money part of DH was always wonky

 

Ohhhh yes.



#10 Nath0610

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 05:12 PM

Not sure what you mean about players being at different ranks?

As I envision it, the GM hands out XP after a session. Each player can then spend it on a skill or so or spend it on acquiring a better weapon, gizmo or armour. They would still all be at the same level regarding XP spending….

 

Regarding the XP cost of equipment, the easiest would be to simply change throne gelt value to XP cost but that would cause some problems as DH prices go from low to very high. So obviously, the actual XP cost would need some work based on categories etc.

 

For example, the XP cost of weapons could be based on the damage they inflict. Any 1d10+1 weapon is free. Every +1 damage a weapon does costs another 100XP or so. Thus a 1d0+3 weapon would cost 200XP to acquire.  And so forth. Special abilities such as (semi) auto fire or tearing would cost additional XP.

 

Just a thought.

I assumed that if it was being converted it wouldn't be used as standard exp but as throne gelt, but i thought wrong. :P



#11 darkforce

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 05:52 PM

Hmmm... 

First of all, I actually like the system with money. Sure, some of the prices need some adjustments and some objects restricting, but overall I like the idea of having an actual, tangible currency and not the abstract profit factor just floating in the air as a number. It also allows for more fun gambling, fun bartering-sequences and, of course, pickpockets have a far more visible effect. I'm also conflicted on the ability of certain services and objects being available by means of a dice roll. 

 

The often-mentioned problem with the Acolytes having to pay for their stuff could be resolved by either a pool-based system like requisition in DW. The requested Objects would be borrowed for a longer time though and can be refunded on a 1:1 basis between missions/everytime you're at a Stockpile/some Inquisitorial contact akin to a quartermaster. If you loose something, you'd better have a good explanation and good bartering-skills (more roleplaying-opportunities, yay) or the Item and the points from the Requisition-Pool are gone. 

 

Of course, talents would allow you to increase your Requisition-Pool and you could use your pool to slap some benefits onto certain items. Just a few thoughts in the morning.

 

Oh, and another problem I see is the 40k-systems power level being quite reliant on which gear is used... different systems I play(ed) like Star Wars D20 Saga Edition or the Dark Eye rely much more on Experience when it comes to power Level of the Characters. But that's a problem (or no problem, depending on your point of view) that's inherent to the system and probably not gonna change.



#12 Simsum

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:08 PM


One of the perennial problems of DH (and the other lines) is how to manage equipment creep. Players logically want the best equipment and rightfully rail against an all-powerful Inquisition equipping them with inferior, low grade items.

 

Don't get me wrong, I think your idea is both workable and perfectly sensible. But I'm not seeing how it addresses the problem you have.

 

As far as I can tell, you're just changing: "why wouldn't the Inquisition give me a 5K thrones gun?" Into "why wouldn't the Inquisition give me a 500xp gun?"

 

I would address the problem you're having partly through a meta discussion, but mainly through the fiction.

 

Meta-wise, I'd explain to my players that the game doesn't handle high-powered PCs in a very satisfying manner, and that it becomes a pain in the neck for the GM.

 

Fiction-wise, I'd make it clear to my players that they're hired help at most, and not in any way part of the Inquisition. They'll either have to be content with whatever tools their employer provides, or equip themselves as best they can.

 

More, they are - most likely - operating in public and in civilised areas, so dressing up in carapace armour and lugging around auto-cannons are most likely going to get them attacked and killed as terrorists by the closest Enforcers and/or Arbites.

 

Flak, a sword & a pistol is about the limit of how dressed-to-kill a PC can be and still expect to roam free and unmolested in Imperial society. And even then, running around armed to the teeth isn't likely make a favourable impression on the average citizen.

 

... It's yet another one of those things I really dislike about DH. The system is presented as, and exclusively concerns itself with, low-powered dungeon crawling. In a system as crunchy as this is, why in the world do weapons, armour and the like not have a "this is likely to send civilians running for their lives and get you murdered by 40Kops the second you're seen in public" stat?



#13 Lynata

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:50 PM

First of all, I actually like the system with money. Sure, some of the prices need some adjustments and some objects restricting, but overall I like the idea of having an actual, tangible currency and not the abstract profit factor just floating in the air as a number. [...] The often-mentioned problem with the Acolytes having to pay for their stuff could be resolved by either a pool-based system like requisition in DW.

 

So, basically a tandem system incorporating both the RAW and what is being suggested/discussed here?

 

It reminds me of something that one of my groups attempted, where everyone could temporarily requisition necessary equipment from Inquisitorial contacts, but still use their own cash to pay for anything else - and save up for equipment they could purchase and then actually own and modify to their hearts' content.

 

We didn't use a point-based system or something like that to track requisition, but I suppose the basic idea was similar.

 

Fiction-wise, I'd make it clear to my players that they're hired help at most, and not in any way part of the Inquisition. They'll either have to be content with whatever tools their employer provides, or equip themselves as best they can.

 

Basically making them "minions" to the actual Acolytes and Cells like in the original studio fluff? I could see that work - though you'd probably have to bar or modify some of the careers to make them fit.

 

It comes down to whether a group wants to play DH as "the scrub game" as I've seen it described here at times, or as "The Inquisition™" as the premise suggests. From how it is constructed and written, it seems to try to be both, yet sadly without really succeeding at either due to certain minor but glaring faults at each "tier".

 

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Edited by Lynata, 04 April 2014 - 07:52 PM.


#14 Simsum

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:15 PM

The more I think about this idea, the more I like it. I think it would fit very well with a slight reformation of the combat Talents, tying them a little bit closer to the actual weapons the Acolytes use.

It reminds me of something that one of my groups attempted, where everyone could temporarily requisition necessary equipment from Inquisitorial contacts, but still use their own cash to pay for anything else - and save up for equipment they could purchase and then actually own and modify to their hearts' content.
 
We didn't use a point-based system or something like that to track requisition, but I suppose the basic idea was similar.


This is pretty much what we did too, initially. I'd ask my players what what they wanted, mull it over for a bit, and then have their boss hand them whatever I thought was appropriate, using their wishes as my guideline.

 

Basically making them "minions" to the actual Acolytes and Cells like in the original studio fluff? I could see that work - though you'd probably have to bar or modify some of the careers to make them fit.
 
It comes down to whether a group wants to play DH as "the scrub game" as I've seen it described here at times, or as "The Inquisition™" as the premise suggests. From how it is constructed and written, it seems to try to be both, yet sadly without really succeeding at either due to certain minor but glaring faults at each "tier".


Yeah.. There's some issues there. For example, by RAW it's quite likely a campaign will have extensive detours to far-away planets simply because it's the only way for a player to fulfil the fluff requirement for the Advance Scheme they want.

The entire Career system is, in my not-so-humble opinion, a trainwreck.

We used to work around it by throwing RAW Ranks & Alt. Ranks out the window, and instead adopt a houserule very much like the Roles mechanic in the cancelled DH2e beta. I forget the exact details, but it was basically a houserule defining how players were allowed to put together the Advance Scheme they wanted, so we didn't have to deal with the RAW failtrain.

Fortunately our group prefer to play scrubs, but in our opinion the system really doesn't work well for high-powered play. Not just because it has some pretty severe balancing issues, but also because the rules don't really do epic. If I was going to run a game with a bunch of Inquisitors with in Artificer Armour, I'm pretty sure I'd use a much more rules-lite system geared more towards players doing epic stuff. Like the Cinematic Unisystem maybe.

Incidentally, I don't think there's any inherent problem with a largely gear-based power curve. DH's system is just very fragile to scaling.
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#15 Braddoc

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:58 PM

I use Bradon, a grumpy Squat (Ok, they're all grumpy base value) and his crew that runs Munitorium D at the Tricorn where the players can request/borrow/buy  equipment.

 

http://dark-heresy.w...aces.com/Bradon

 

Basically, the players at first can only request items up to scarce availability. So forget about getting that carapace armour and that boltgun at Rank 1.  With this that means they don't need to loot everybody they see of raid every armoury they manage to cross.  Also, I get to control, via Bradon, what the acolytes have; sure they can request 100 frag grenades, but that doesn't mean they'll get it.  They'll get a few and that's it.

 

Then, to keep with the 'living world', they got to fill a form with a literacy test.  Like I said in another post, they can roll how much they want, it's not super critical, but they'll waste in-game time doing that, and time is generally of the essence.

 

This allowed them to save up their monthly pay to buy some fancy gear (good/best quality stuff or implants, top tier armour and weapons), giving them the idea that they are part of a large organization and also giving them a counter where they can buy their gear without having to run around in the Hive trying to find a store who got it.  Also, as they are in the Tricorn, they can walk around with melee/pistol weapons around, but basic or heavy weapons are frown upon;  This is the Imperium after all, no one walks around unarmed, but can't have some possible unstable person walking with a heavy bolter or flamer  around.

 

Also, The players have an apartment in the Tricorn, something basic at first (common room/kitchen, simple bathroom, 2 bedrooms with 2 beds each, basic rations) and as they get higher ranks, this also gets better (Added a TV, secured vox line to the outside, small workstation to mod their guns or to fiddle around with tech, prayer closet, better food and accommodations)

 

I also given them the chance to train during their down time, as not everyone was interested into the alternate ranks, and well, like it or not, they're part of the =I=, so only natural that their Inquisitor made sure he had qualified personnel at his disposal.  Of course they only started with the basic courses, the rest was available at later ranks.

 

http://dark-heresy.w...es.com/i-school

 

So that I don't have to type it again, this is how I do it my game; now the players are about to go into ascension (after this current mission) and while they do have fancy gear, most of my player's items are either

 

1-Job based, like the Arbites having Arbites armour and his Vox Legi shotgun, or the carapace armour and plasmagun of the guardsmen

2-Best quality version of 'simple' weapons, like best quality stub automatics with some bells and whistles (silencers, red-dot, manstopper rounds) or/and best quality blades (non power, just mono)

3-Intergatred Lathes las weapon for the Tech-Priest.  Because Cult of Sollex and money.

4-Xeno items taken along the way, in this case, Eldar flip Belt.

5- Requisitioned for temporary use- in the case I'm talking it was a boltgun for the Arbites and a combat servitor armed with twin-linked heavy Stubber for the Tech-Priest

6-Standard gear, like booth knife, las pistols, extendable baton, vox-caster, photo-visors, cameleonite cloaks etc etc...

 

Keeping in mind that I run mostly an investigative campaign, so combat is not central to the game, but more something that happens along the way (I try to encourage, for lack of a better word, my players to use stealth, smarts and discretion rather than brute force- but when the chips are down they can handle themselves quite well) While most of them got hurt alot, it was mostly thanks to ambushes and bad luck rather than being shot point blank with an autocannon.

 

And for the record, I use the DH system for combat, money , psychic powers and the like; the BC/OW system is for BC/OW, not for DH.


Edited by Braddoc, 04 April 2014 - 09:59 PM.

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#16 WilliamAsher

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 10:59 PM

How do you plan to handle the players picking up the weapons of their enemies(or fallen allies)?  With this system you will be penalizing characters that spend their xp instead of stealing off of the dead.  I could see making more rare items harder to get, but I always kind of liked the combination of cash and loot for this sort of lower level play.  I have also considered a requsition system for all but basic 'standard' gear.  The idea being that they keep a personal weapon and sidearm, along with basic armor and requisition better gear as appropriate for the mission.  The players would be encouraged to stash weapons they find in Inquisitional stashes across the sector and get access to items from other stashes at the beginning (or rarely during) of a mission.

 

On a minor point, I assume you are going to ignore crafting completely then.  Also, how are you going to handle ammunition? 



#17 Lynata

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:26 PM

How do you plan to handle the players picking up the weapons of their enemies(or fallen allies)?

 

Just to offer something from the top of my head ... stuff that is better than what should be freely available to everyone (snubs and las- or autoweapons) would probably be considered tainted if it was carried into battle by a traitor/heretic or alien, and could thus quickly "disappear" by having it appropriated by one of the many agencies that care about purity. For equipment carried by allies, it is probably a bit more tricky, but then again the parent organisation is probably going to retrieve the bodies of their fallen (including arms and armour), and at this level the players probably lack the pull to insist on keeping it.

 

Here, the players' low low station actually offers an easy way out, and last but not least their Inquisitor would have final say about what they get to run around with. Maintenance and ammunition or spare parts propose further hurdles that should be taken into consideration. Just because a gun used to work flawlessly the last time it was fired by an ally, doesn't mean it'll still do after it was dropped as said ally died a grisly death. The players also won't have anyone explain proper usage to them - so good luck figuring out when it's safe to fire that plasma gun, and where exactly the "vent" switch is located!

 

 

By the time the players have accumulated sufficient prestige and influence to actually tell people to leave them the stuff they find, I'd argue it's okay for them to run around with it. And this is before we consider that it might not be smart to confront the PCs with high-powered enemies in the first Ranks, anyways.



#18 Simsum

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:54 PM

Heh, the issues people are having on these forums are really making e appreciate the people I play with.

Anyway, three easy solutions to loot happy PCs:
  • Genelocks are cheap & therefore ubiquitous - even on things like swords and arour.
  • When you blow people up, you blow up their stuff alongside them.
  • Machine Spirits are always dangerous and often hateful, spiteful, petty things.
...

I'd be interested in discussing the details of an xp-for-gear system. Right now I'm having a few issues trying to envision exactly how to go about it. One of the draws of this system - to my group at least - is the gun porn. Or the absurd amounts of gear, if you prefer.
It seems to me an xp-for-gear system is likely to lock players into gear choices to an extent that undermines the gun porn.

Edited by Simsum, 04 April 2014 - 11:54 PM.


#19 Traejun

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 01:01 AM

Nah. Average player will spend it on gear. .. and end up being the worst shot ever, wasting bolts by the dozen. Death will follow soon after.

The way I do it it's simple. I don't let them shop often by placing time constraints on their operations. They live and die by loot. Given that I control the loot, I control the power creep and prevent uneven/imbalanced campaign flow.

#20 WilliamAsher

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 02:28 AM

Hmmm...so if you are going to arbitrarily tell them that the hive gangers weapons have cooties are tainted, why not just limit what they can buy?  Both systems are arbitrary, but yours takes away things the players feel they have earned.  Making it hard to get something means that they feel accomplished when they get it.  Taking it away for a contrived feeling reason makes them feel cheated.  I have seen both done in different games and taking away things they have 'won' usually causes more problems.  I can see the Inquisitor taking away an Inferno Pistol or Malatek weapon, but autoguns?  Making it hard to buy weapons makes the players work for it, but rewards the roleplaying and effort.

 

As far as them not knowing how to use or maintain a weapon, do they have the Weapon Talent for it?  If so, then they know how to use it relatively safely.  Do you have a Tech-priest?  Then they can maintain all but the exotic gear.  Limiting ammunition works well for some items, as plasma flasks may be very difficult to get and they will angst over every shot.  I am not advocating allowing them to have everything, but being completely arbitrary and making them spend xp when the book says they get cash they can use to buy stuff is limiting them even more.  Your players may be ok with it, or you may end up with a bunch of disgruntled players.  Ballancing that will require you to know your players. 

 

As to Simsum's points:

1)  Genelocks are Extremely Rare items in Rogue Trader, so I would guess that they are not going to be on anything but the most exotic gear.  My Rogue Trader players ripped them out and reprogrammed them to look for Genestealer DNA markers to search out a genestealer cult.  Afterwards they kept them as too useful and cool to get rid of.  Fingerprint and Vox locks are more common, but smart players will figure a way around them.

 

2)  This works sometimes, but falls into the contrived 'you don't get their stuff because I say so' arena if done all the time.

 

3)  Once again, a decent Tech-priest may be able to soothe them.  If you tell him he can't all the time the player is going to feel like he wasted his time playing the character. 






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