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Influence for resource acquisition - debate


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#61 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 06:00 PM

Interesting ideas seanpp.

 

To clarify though, i'll restate my main question:

 

how do you use the rules for resource Influence requisition rolls in your games?

 

 

I'm really interested in hearing how others are dealing with the evident issues (as broadly discussed) with the acquisition RAW.  But also, the creative ways you've used them to enhance play (if at all).

 

Acquiring possessions and resources will be a key part of almost every DH game, so i thought it would be good to debate, and discuss how different people handle it.

 

For me, i'm probably going to draft in 1st Ed costs.  I just think a coinage system is so much simpler to manage these issues.

 

I was thinking of some modified system, but it just doesn't seem to work, for me at least.  *shrug*

 

BUT...i am still interested in hearing about how others sort out requisitioning.   :D

 

My group has found that the Influence system RAW works well for our group after a few small modifications:

  • When acquiring an item, you roll against the base availability of the item before deciding on item quality. You may choose what quality of item you wish to buy after rolling your Influence test.
    • This eliminates feel-bad moments when you try to buy a Poor-quality bionic arm because you really need an arm right now, only to roll amazingly and realize you could've got a Good quality version.
    • It also lets you downgrade the Average quality grenade launcher you just failed to buy into a Poor one because a launcher that jams frequently is better than nothing.
  • If a character gets more degrees of success than needed to buy an item, he can opt to buy multiple copies of that item. Each degree of success above the one required to buy the item lets you get another copy of the same item. Buying multiple copies of rare items like boltguns is subject to GM approval.
  • I am generous with circumstance bonuses for acquiring minor items like chronos or lamp packs. If the Acolytes are in a large city, acquiring such items is practically automatic.

Other than that, we've been happy with the Influence system as is. We prefer to spend as little time acquiring items as possible in favor of investigating and purging heretics. I enjoy the open-endedness and reduced bookkeeping of the system, and I'm SO happy that players are no longer discouraged from playing certain classes because they have a poor monthly wage.

 

Also, here are some rules concerning Influence that I missed on my first read-through of the (beta) rules:

  • If an Acolyte even attempts to buy an item with a negative Availability modifier, the group's Subtlety decreases by an amount equal to the tens digit of that modifier.
  • When an Acolyte fails an Influence test by more DoF than his Fellowship bonus, he reduces his Influence by a number equal to the DoF on the test (represents abuse of an Acolyte's authority and discourages "fishing" for powerful items). This seems too harsh though -- IMO it should be a decrease of DoF-FelB.
  • When an Acolyte tries to trade in a more valuable item to get a bonus on an Influence test, they get to keep the item if they fail the test.
  • An Acolyte can "burn" 1d5 Influence to pass an Influence test with DoS equal to his Fellowship bonus.
  • Unless disallowed by the GM, Acolytes can use their Inquisitor's influence value. The group's Subtlety decreases by 2 every time they do this, and if the Acolytes repeatedly misuse their privilege the Inquisitor will NOT be happy.
  • Acolytes can use their Influence in place of another attribute when making social rolls where appropriate.

Edited by Covered in Weasels, 31 August 2014 - 12:51 PM.

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#62 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 02:36 AM

Location and subtlety will provide bonuses or maluses to influence - such that most of the time, a chrono should be bumped down to ubiquitous, if you're after common or poor quality in a mid-hive area, especially in Desoleum, which can't exactly be short of clockwork workshops.

 

The two things that are missing - didn't register until you pointed it out - are requisitioning multiple items and combined items. That's a bit of a random oversight as they have been in previous core rulebooks, and (to take your example) some modifications can't be bought seperately.

 

Buying a red-dot laser sight and attaching it to a weapon (probably with an easy Trade (Armourer) check) is fine, but you can't do the same for the 'compact' modification - either it's a compact laspistol or it isn't.

 

The previous rules for hybrid acquisitions, if I remember, was to start with the rarest component and punt the availability up one level per extra thing bolted to it. So Luddite's compact laspistol is Scarce (highest rarity) kicked up three levels of rarity (Extremely Rare).

 

This is obviously bloody hard to get hold of, but you're after a heavily customised pistol that is almost definitionally intended for illegal shennanigans, so I'm fine with this; you can always use your inquisitor's influence or burn some of your own to auto-pass the test.

 

Alternatively, you could just buy the compact laspistol (Average, increased to Scarce) and buy the silencer and scope seperately; this then needs you to play armourer and attach the mods yourself, though.

 

As far as multiple acquisitions are concerned, 1 plus 1 per degree of success is fine at first, but if you want one per party member (as per the example of disguises), it seems a bit harsh; if you can get hold of three or four suits of guard flak armour, getting a fifth is probably not that much harder. Adding an extra -10 seems unjustified as every extra degree of success required makes the acquisition exponentially harder than the previous one...

 

 

I'll be honest, at least when I GM-ed Ascension, I used the "this one thing I ask of you" rules to have people burn influence quite often. It's an expendable resource; be ready to expend it!


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#63 Capt_Dymock

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 04:26 PM

One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

 

This does fall more under "winging it" as it's not spelled out in the RAW, but if you don't want to make the player roll 4 times for all those pieces, then I would make the base difficulty the highest of the various components (scarce in this case), plus another level to reflect the fact that this is not random components but at this point is a highly customized, non-standard Las Pistol. The PC could also be given an opportunity to moderate this by using other skills such as Commerce or even Charm if they want to role-play the interaction and not just make a test to get some new gear. 

 

 

My general feeling on this whole topic is that the more abstract Influence system is just fine, it just takes a certain amount of GM discretion. Even 1st Ed required a lot of GM decisions. My current 1st Ed campaign is set in a hive with a population of 650 million. That doesn't mean I'm going to make every single acquisition roll for my players at the Difficult level or easier, as the chart on p126 would seem to suggest. Some things are still going to be impossible to get no matter what.

 

Somewhat related, I'm running 1st ed right now and I don't think anyone has bought anything, mostly because they're based in a large Arbiters station right now anyway, so they're able to get SP weapons and light armor without any difficult. I don't even make them roll, because narratively it doesn't make sense in their situation. So even though technically Thrones are the currency of the 1st ed system, I'm using an abstracted "influence" system already.

 

My final thought is that I have had a blast in past campaigns keeping close track of money. I played the only Noble Born in my group, and everyone kept coming to me for money for new equipment or even bribes. My character was kind of an ass about it, and he insisted people pay him back, and even charged interest to a couple people because they were wasting money recklessly. Another PC in our group (the scum, of course) got in several thousand Thrones deep with a Rogue Trader because of his gambling problem. This was also a fun turn of events for the story, and the kind of thing that would probably not have happened with the new Influence system.

 

So long story short, I like both systems. They both have kinks to be worked out, but I don't think either one is fatally flawed. And it's not like it would be too onerous to just use the Thrones from 1st ed in 2nd ed. Influence could be reserved for actually influencing different groups and people, as opposed to just buying goods and services.


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#64 seanpp

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:17 PM

 

 

Also, here are some rules concerning Influence that I missed on my first read-through of the (beta) rules:

  • If an Acolyte even attempts to buy an item with a negative Availability modifier, the group's Subtlety decreases by an amount equal to that modifier.
  • When an Acolyte fails an Influence test by more DoF than his Fellowship bonus, he reduces his Influence by a number equal to the DoF on the test (represents abuse of an Acolyte's authority and discourages "fishing" for powerful items). This seems too harsh though -- IMO it should be a decrease of DoF-FelB.

 

 

Just a couple of notes here on these items:

  • An attempt to acquire an item with a negative modifier results in a loss to Subtlety of the tens digit of the modifier - not the modifier - that would be brutal, eh! (pg 142)
  • When an Acolyte fails an Influence Test by more DoF than his Fellowship Bonus, "his Influence decreases by the difference between the two", which in your post is exactly what you said you'd prefer...so good news. :) (pg 269)


#65 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 03:30 AM

The one other thing we did - and this is a house rule - to support 'money', was 'pre-rolling acquisition tests'.

 

That is, people could make an influence test to "source funds" or whatever, which they could then spend later in the mission to pass an influence/acquisition test(s).

 

In much the same way that a player starts with (Influence Bonus) acquisitions of scarce or less, you could rule that passing a test to 'draw on funds' at the start of the mission gives them several successful acquisition test for equipment or services "in their pocket" for later in that mission.



#66 Amaimon

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 03:53 AM

Let me put it this way: I'm an avid World of Darkness player. In case you're not familiar with it, resources in WoD are graded on a scale of zero to five, and you can acquire any item rated below your wealth level without putting a strain on your wealth - if you want to buy something valued at the same level as your Resources rating, you lose a dot of Resources. That's pretty much the whole system.

 

Yes, and it works great because it doesnt need any rolls, and everything is clear and transparent. You know, what you can afford, and what you cant.

 

If you wanted influence in DH to work like that you just need a simple fix for - assign each item a value from 1 to 10 that corresponds to players influence bonus. The rest is the same like in WoD.

 

About combining aquisitions in RT - it's the cost of the most expensive item -5 per every other item, in this case RDS, which is Scarce (-10) and 3 other items (-15), for a total -25.

 

About using the money with Influence system, I used the system Erathia proposed for RT, and that is Liquid Profit. Its essentialy points you can burn to gain bonus to rolls.  For example, team has 80 liquid profit points (money, gold, adamantium bars, skin pathes, oath debts whatever). They try to aquire stuff, but fail their roll by 20. They really care about the thing, so they spend 20 liquid profit, to grease palms, spend more money, and they aquire the item.

 

This system really helps with things that dont really give you influence, and are finite.


Edited by Amaimon, 28 August 2014 - 04:01 AM.


#67 Alox

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 12:47 AM

I haven't checked if the stats in this handbook made by Malik Carr is compatible with DH2, but it is useful if you want prices on your items:

 

http://community.fan...galaxy-of-guns/

 

I use the PDFs in my DH1 campaign, and my preliminary feeling is that I can use them without major modifications for DH2 as well.


Edited by Alox, 31 August 2014 - 12:54 AM.


#68 Gurkhal

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 05:54 AM

One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

 

This does fall more under "winging it" as it's not spelled out in the RAW, but if you don't want to make the player roll 4 times for all those pieces, then I would make the base difficulty the highest of the various components (scarce in this case), plus another level to reflect the fact that this is not random components but at this point is a highly customized, non-standard Las Pistol. The PC could also be given an opportunity to moderate this by using other skills such as Commerce or even Charm if they want to role-play the interaction and not just make a test to get some new gear. 

 

 

I know that I would make the player roll for each thing and see how many of these desired stuff to his gun that he managed to get over. Its entirely possible for example that he don't get one or two things from his wishing list but can get his hands on the rest.



#69 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:12 AM

Yes and no.

 

I can see how you can buy a generic laser sight but how can you acquire the 'compact' upgrade independently of the laspistol?


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#70 cps

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:55 AM

Yes and no.

 

I can see how you can buy a generic laser sight but how can you acquire the 'compact' upgrade independently of the laspistol?

 

Buy a new frame and take out all the parts that make the gun work and stick them into the new frame. Presto! New tiny gun.



#71 Gurkhal

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 10:02 AM

Yes and no.

 

I can see how you can buy a generic laser sight but how can you acquire the 'compact' upgrade independently of the laspistol?

 

Easy. If he gets success in getting the gun, he's got the gun. If he fails to get the compact part, its not a compact gun that he gets hold of.






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