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Black Crusade Social Combat in Dark Heresy?


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#1 ThenDoctor

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 02:18 PM

So I've been reading that part of Tome of Excess again recently and thought it might apply nicely to the investigation part of Dark Heresy. Has anyone tried it? Does it sound very feasible? If so, what should you replace the wagering system (BC wagers Infamy) with?


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#2 Cogniczar

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:52 PM

I have used it in Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy 2.0. If you play with either version of the beta of 2.0, simply replace infamy with Influence. For Dark Heresy 1st edition, I'f spitball the idea of expending 100 thrones for each point towards the 'Infamy wager. Just a thought.

 

Experience wise, its great to set a more social encounter-based investigation or scene where the 'heretic' or vis-a-vis bad person is too powerful (socially) to apprehend without reproach, or without a self incriminating confession. Using the mechanics here is great to have a framework to resolve that, as the players build up to getting key points in the arguement to be made.

 
For the three times i've used it, its worked out well.


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#3 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 09:52 AM

How exactly does BC social combat work? Would you recommend picking up the Tome of Excess just for these rules, or is there a place I can find them online? I have a player who loves political intrigue and complex social situations, and social combat sounds like exactly the kind of thing he'd like. The Slaanesh stuff wouldn't really be useful for our group at this moment, as they are currently dealing with Nurgle cultists and tech-heresy.


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#4 ThenDoctor

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:12 AM

I can't really suggest one way or the other on buying the Tomes. I bought Black Crusade and the Tomes because I wanted to use them to expand Dark Heresy since they're the only thing that really describes Chaosy stuff.

 

However the rules themselves aren't Slaneeshi in nature

 

I don't have the book in front of me so this is likely wrong but in short.

 

1) enter a "combat"

 

2) Decide how much Infamy (it's a base measure of how much people respect you Ascension has a similar thing.)

 

3) Make interaction tests or Fellowship tests depending on the nature of the "combat"

 

4) Winning a particular round reduces (not permanently) Willpower of the opponent and gives a bonus to the next round (This is where I'm likely wrong) when you run out of that the combat is over. The loser loses that victory and something else happens as well as the general result of losing that particular engagement in the story itself.

 

I don't know if you can find it anywhere, but I don't feel comfortable putting word for word the way it works since it's copywrited material. However if that particular investigation lasts a while they finally anounced the Tome of Decay.


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#5 Lynata

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:02 PM

I have to say, that does sound intrigueing. How does it work in practice?

 

Thanks for the short explanation. :)



#6 ThenDoctor

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:16 PM

I haven't gotten the chance to use it. I'll review it in detail when I get the chance and correct any blarring mistakes I made. They also have some talents and things you can take to improve your prowess at the combat.


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#7 ThenDoctor

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 05:28 AM

I appoligize oh great lords of the forum, for the edit function seems not to be working for me.

 

Social combat basics:

 

1. Note current infamy and willpower values

 

2. Bid infamy (here is where I'm looking for a substitution.)

 

3. Highest fel can go first or second. Describe what the character is doing, speech and actions, in a short paragraph.

 

4. Determine the victor, this is supposed to be the one that performed most In Character. They get a bonus to the following step.

 

5. opposed fel test. Both losing ends in a tie, the crowd can decide a winner but if not then the steps repeat at 2. Any bid infamy is lost. If degrees of success is tied then the one that bid the most infamy wins. If these are the same then the highest fel wins.

 

6. If there is a straight winner from the loser loses 1d5 Willpower + any infamy the victor bid. The loser also loses any infamy they bid, but this isn't added to the will loss.

 

7. If a person loses more than 10 Will in a round this manifests itself in a physical way. Sweating ticking such things. The person can Perception to see this and use it in Step three and they win they get a higher bonus to Step 5.

 

8. Repeat 2-7 until one person loses all their Willpower. The winner immediately regains all Willpower, and infamy. The loser regains half their respective value and the rest comes back over time in a rate the GM specifies.

 

Talents can affect values in the combat as well.


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#8 Lynata

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 08:18 AM

2. Bid infamy (here is where I'm looking for a substitution.)

 

Influence from Ascension springs to mind. It's really nothing but a mirror-score of Infamy, similar to Renown from Deathwatch.

 

Personally, I'd love to see reputation being tracked on a per-organisation and/or per-location basis, rather than having one stat for all (plus Peer talents, but still...), even if it'd make for additional bookkeeping. Matter of preferences, though.



#9 ThenDoctor

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 08:25 AM

I can see that for Ascension, but what about lower power play? Does Renown have a conversion for lower power play? (Haven't read Ascension in ages)


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#10 Lynata

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 09:32 AM

I can see that for Ascension, but what about lower power play? Does Renown have a conversion for lower power play?

 

Depends on whether you see Deathwatch as a Rank 1-8 or 9-16 game.

 

I guess both Influence as well as Renown would be an option here.

 

The Ascension supplement may be geared for higher levels of play, but there's nothing keeping you from adopting parts of it for earlier stages: Even if you don't let any of the PCs become an Inquisitor - which you could - they still act as proxies of one, and I could see them gaining reputation by themselves in pursuit of their duties (at least if they are using a name that allows other Imperials to track their exploits).

 

On the other hand, it should also be fairly easy to adapt Renown to Dark Heresy by explaining it refers to the Acolytes proving their worth to their Inquisitor, and the Inquisitor in turn lending them more support. It's a bit tricky as to how this could actually boost the characters' "weight" in a social confrontation because it'd refer more to their Inquisitor than the PCs themselves, but ...

 

That said, I suppose you could also let Renown refer to how other organisations and major NPCs see the player characters and their actions (example: help flush out a Chaos cult, gain Renown with the Adeptus Arbites and the local Governor) - going back to the remark I made about tracking individual reputations above. More bookkeeping, but it would be more realistic this way / would make more sense.



#11 Cogniczar

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:46 AM

The Ascension supplement may be geared for higher levels of play, but there's nothing keeping you from adopting parts of it for earlier stages: Even if you don't let any of the PCs become an Inquisitor - which you could - they still act as proxies of one, and I could see them gaining reputation by themselves in pursuit of their duties (at least if they are using a name that allows other Imperials to track their exploits).

 

The ascension supplement is helpful by providing a chart with equivilent levels of Influence according to lower level entities (such as Hive Gangers, the local Enforcers, etc). So the basis is there, and it is written in the same chapter with ideas to integrate with lower lev acolytes.

 

There is also a pseduo-rule to use it to get caches of thrones for the 'on the run, or in too deep' groups.


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#12 Cail

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:29 AM

I have used it in Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy 2.0. If you play with either version of the beta of 2.0, simply replace infamy with Influence. For Dark Heresy 1st edition, I'f spitball the idea of expending 100 thrones for each point towards the 'Infamy wager. Just a thought.

 

Experience wise, its great to set a more social encounter-based investigation or scene where the 'heretic' or vis-a-vis bad person is too powerful (socially) to apprehend without reproach, or without a self incriminating confession. Using the mechanics here is great to have a framework to resolve that, as the players build up to getting key points in the arguement to be made.

 
For the three times i've used it, its worked out well.

I entered this thread with the intention of saying 'My friend does this..." but there you are beating me to it XD


Edited by Cail, 09 April 2014 - 11:29 AM.

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#13 ThenDoctor

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 06:23 PM

I guess it would depend on if you think of it as the acolyte's own renown or a reflection of the Inquisitor they work for. That could have some rough repurcussions if they lose a few of those however, no Inquisitor likes being made a laughing stock of by some mooks he hired.


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#14 Cail

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:25 PM

I guess it would depend on if you think of it as the acolyte's own renown or a reflection of the Inquisitor they work for. That could have some rough repurcussions if they lose a few of those however, no Inquisitor likes being made a laughing stock of by some mooks he hired.

 

Isn't that a given? Any Acolyte who's deeds become known about enough for him to have his own renown must be doing a pretty bad job at being a hidden agent of His will.


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#15 ThenDoctor

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 05:51 AM

Under that logic any inquisitor that makes a name for him/herself is doing a bad job. It depends on if it's better for your work to be known or if you don't want to be known.


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#16 Lynata

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:25 AM

Yep, given how Influence is used in Ascension, it doesn't make a lot of sense if the group acts in utter secrecy. I suppose this might be another one of the cases where the game doesn't really know what it wants to be, skirting the edges between GW's more "public" take on the Inquisition and the RPG writers' "cloak and dagger" ideas.
 
That being said, it can still work if you're clever with the use of aliases and persistent identities as suggested in the Inquisitor's Handbook. After all, there is nothing that says the player characters cannot make a name for themselves that is independent of the true nature of their covert activities, especially if they keep working with their "native" organisation/s. A Cleric for example could build an identity as a travelling missionary or demagogue, hijacking local religious institutions and their resources for his or her Inquisitorial assignment. Any fame the character gains, for example by flushing out a heretical cult, would be attributed to this public identity, and the character would be able to make use of it when dealing with appropriate people in the future.
 
The same goes for a travelling Guardsman of the "Chaliced Commissariat" who just happens to show up everywhere the local military is in trouble. Or a famous bounty hunter Scum who is known as a troubleshooter who has already worked with several planetary governors. Or an Adepta Sororitas heroine who travels the sector rooting out corruption and purging evil. The list goes on. If these characters are supposed to keep their Inquisitorial assignments a secret, then they better have a good reason to show up where they do, anyways!
 
Of course, this comes with a risk of enemies being able to track the whereabouts of the character/s, and potentially putting the puzzle pieces together and noticing a strange pattern in their involvement. On the other hand, such attention needs a trigger, and most opponents would lack the means to gain insight into the true circumstances of a character's earlier missions. A rival Inquisitor, on the other hand ... ;)
 
tl;dr: You could see this as potential, if you're willing to deal with the hassle of keeping track of multiple identities, and correctly attributing renown as well as enemy attention to each alias individually.

Edited by Lynata, 10 April 2014 - 07:28 AM.


#17 Cogniczar

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:51 AM

Im not in agreeance about the influence necessarily meaning the characters are actually making a 'public name' of themselves. That's largely dependent on how they are using their Influence.

 

Acolytes who are using their Influence narratively in conneciton with thier own cell network are obviously still keeping true to the 'cloak and dagger' aspects, while the players who blatantly use it against known Lords of the Imperium (Governors, Arbiter Marshals, etc) are the ones creating an active name for themselves.

 

To me, each party is going to involve their 'Influence' on seperate paths. They might be blatantly charging across the planet, or they could be getting more known by the 'underground' forces. And neither is necessarily bad - Each Inquisitor is different after all. Some like it secret, don't reveal yourself. Others, particularly of the monodominant flair, don't give a rat's arse. If you find the heretics, kill them all and anyone who was within a mile radius to be sure. 



#18 Lynata

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:45 PM

Necessarily? No. But to wield influence, someone has to come forward and exert pressure in some way - it cannot come out of nowhere. A network of cell contacts acting as proxy for the players (in the same way as the players act as proxies for their Inquisitor) is what I'd consider included in my suggestion, but even here said contacts would have to know the PCs and have a reason to go the extra mile to help them -> the PCs using Influence to make NPCs use their own Influence.

 

After all, the big problem with total secrecy would be how to actually accumulate Influence if nobody knows you.

 

This is also why I am in favour of tracking Influence on a per-item basis rather than just having a single score for everything, everyone, and everywhere. Because the use of aliases, contacts, and detours would result in different reactions depending on the nature of your approach, and the reputation you have with whomever you are talking to.

 

That's part of the "cloak and daggers" for me, too - to know when and where you can or even must afford to take a step out of the shadows in order to lay the groundwork for better protection and support in the future, in this case by establishing contacts that are willing to aid you. As the saying goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained. :)


Edited by Lynata, 10 April 2014 - 12:46 PM.


#19 Drop Bear 2.0

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 02:36 AM

could be fun to force things during investigations, but if the villain is too powerful to touch publicly, well that's when they show up the next morning in a very public place, the mark of their crime burnt or cut in to their flesh and written in their blood "No One Expects the Imperial =][=nquisition" in nice big letters






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