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Personal Force Field Rules Modification


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#1 Larkin

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:49 AM

 A bit of background, I threw a group of Eldar Exarchs at my PCs lead by the Farseer from LotE as a revenge/fulfilling destiny scenario. I didn't want any of the Exarchs to die, as they were just to try and enforce a 1 on 1 fight between the Farseer and the Rogue Trader, so I gave them all force fields. Almost right before this all of the PCs had picked up force fields as well.

We get into combat and the fields are blocking almost everything, and the 2 hits they don't block are brutal. The Astropath goes to -7 wounds and loses an arm and one of the Exarchs goes to -11 wounds from an inferno pistol in one seriously unfortunate series of avoidance rolls. In 3 rounds of combats roughly 95% of all attacks were either parried, dodged or blocked by the force fields. There was 1 Power Field and the rest were Eldar Fields. I saw this as appropriate, but a few of my players were slightly unhappy, saying that the combat was dragging on and it seemed like no one was really in danger. It was also pointed out that a single field was worth more than Step Aside + Wall of Steel + 4 Agility Advances + 4 WS Advances. The lower the field number, the more perceived balance exists as well according to my players.

 

To fix the perceived problem, I said I'd come on here and figure out a bunch of suggestions on how we can modify the Force Field rules to make the combat a bit grittier. If you could review and give opinions about my suggestions, and even give additional ones as you think of them I'd be very grateful. My next game is in 2 weeks and I'll post a follow up afterwards.

1) Change nothing. RAW, use the same overload and negation rules as in the book. The two hits that got through either nearly killed the person the receiving end, or DID kill that person. If that's not brutal enough for 40k, I'm not really sure what is.

2) Have the fields only count for one hit in a round. Maybe from any given source. Much more brutal, really makes the shields not worth their rarity.

3) Have them become more prone to failure. This one has several sub options, and therefore is the one I'm favoring the most. They also only count for that single round of combat to represent a field collapsing for a short period of time. Precedents include Void Shields and the rules for the Titan Void Shields from Rites of Battle.

3a) Overload: Every hit increases the overload number by 1/2 the damage inflicted. Power Fields and Pen > 10 increases it by the full damage amount.

3b) Decreasing Protection: Same as above, but each hit removes from the protection number instead. Maybe have a minimum protection rating for each field.

3c) Limited number of hits: Each field can only absorb so many hits in a round. Maybe the tens digit of the Field Rating.

3d) Multiple Sources: Like Void shields, any of the above but they only count from a single source. Exactly like void shields. The negative is that not everyone uses multiple attacks.

4) Dark Heresy: Assign each field a #d10 and use the dark heresy versions that just add to AP. (Courtesy Umbranus and Errant)

5) Double Trouble: Doubles let the attack through. 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, etc. The field doesn't fail, but the attack gets through and does damage.

 

I'm leaning the most towards 3b and setting a minimum between 20 and 35. It will encourage people to still dodge and take cover, and it won't completely strip the protection away, but as the field absorbs more and more, it gets weaker and weaker.

As I said above, please make comments and further additions.



#2 venkelos

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:00 AM

Larkin said:

 A bit of background, I threw a group of Eldar Exarchs at my PCs lead by the Farseer from LotE as a revenge/fulfilling destiny scenario. I didn't want any of the Exarchs to die, as they were just to try and enforce a 1 on 1 fight between the Farseer and the Rogue Trader, so I gave them all force fields. Almost right before this all of the PCs had picked up force fields as well.

We get into combat and the fields are blocking almost everything, and the 2 hits they don't block are brutal. The Astropath goes to -7 wounds and loses an arm and one of the Exarchs goes to -11 wounds from an inferno pistol in one seriously unfortunate series of avoidance rolls. In 3 rounds of combats roughly 95% of all attacks were either parried, dodged or blocked by the force fields. There was 1 Power Field and the rest were Eldar Fields. I saw this as appropriate, but a few of my players were slightly unhappy, saying that the combat was dragging on and it seemed like no one was really in danger. It was also pointed out that a single field was worth more than Step Aside + Wall of Steel + 4 Agility Advances + 4 WS Advances. The lower the field number, the more perceived balance exists as well according to my players.

 

To fix the perceived problem, I said I'd come on here and figure out a bunch of suggestions on how we can modify the Force Field rules to make the combat a bit grittier. If you could review and give opinions about my suggestions, and even give additional ones as you think of them I'd be very grateful. My next game is in 2 weeks and I'll post a follow up afterwards.

1) Change nothing. RAW, use the same overload and negation rules as in the book. The two hits that got through either nearly killed the person the receiving end, or DID kill that person. If that's not brutal enough for 40k, I'm not really sure what is.

2) Have the fields only count for one hit in a round. Maybe from any given source. Much more brutal, really makes the shields not worth their rarity.

3) Have them become more prone to failure. This one has several sub options, and therefore is the one I'm favoring the most. They also only count for that single round of combat to represent a field collapsing for a short period of time. Precedents include Void Shields and the rules for the Titan Void Shields from Rites of Battle.

3a) Overload: Every hit increases the overload number by 1/2 the damage inflicted. Power Fields and Pen > 10 increases it by the full damage amount.

3b) Decreasing Protection: Same as above, but each hit removes from the protection number instead. Maybe have a minimum protection rating for each field.

3c) Limited number of hits: Each field can only absorb so many hits in a round. Maybe the tens digit of the Field Rating.

3d) Multiple Sources: Like Void shields, any of the above but they only count from a single source. Exactly like void shields. The negative is that not everyone uses multiple attacks.

 

I'm leaning the most towards 3b and setting a minimum between 20 and 35. It will encourage people to still dodge and take cover, and it won't completely strip the protection away, but as the field absorbs more and more, it gets weaker and weaker.

As I said above, please make comments and further additions.

Okay, first, I'll say most, if not all of this won't likely help, because it'll read more like a "if you had done it this way", after the fact, rather than a "next time, you might try...", but I'll give it a shot. Second, this example scares me a bit. Exarchs are, IMO, made for Space Marines to fight, more than RT groups, being that they are the best of the best of the Eldar Warrior castes, and each has spent more years honing their skill than the character's grandfather has spent living, and to travel in a group... but I shut up now; do as you like in your game.

So, especially for Eldar, you might try to stir things up a bit with a liberal dose of cheating. That is to say, play to the Eldar's strengths. They have a Farseer with them, and could have maybe had a few Warlocks, too. I could've easily seen the Seer mess with your party, using his powers to cause them to have to re-roll one check each turn, even if it is a shield test, or re-roll one of his own, or that of his retinue. In that way, he could put the party at the distinct disadvantage they deserve to be in, fighting the most powerful things most Eldar can pull. If the players have to re-roll their Field tests, that could drastically reduce the effectiveness of their fields, especially if they are at the lower end, say refractors, while the Eldar, whose shields are likely substantially better, would get an even better chance at avoiding injury, while not making the shields useless in numerous other scenarios; Eldar are known for their fate-altering prowess, and powers like Doom and Conceal are both canon among the Eldar psyker castes. Even if the power reasonably only affected a single target, that person could feel the pressure as their field's efficiency drastically changes.

I also wonder what sort of fields they were given? If they have refractors, then the low score SHOULD balance them out, especially compared to the Exarch's combat skill, evasiveness, and better fled score, while if you gave them higher ones, I'd have to ask how easy you made it to find them. RTs are loaded, but they can't buy what they can't find, and many of the upper-end shields are only to be found in the possession of the AM, or the Ecclesiarchy; two groups who are not so likely to give away 5 emitters. As said, I know that this doesn't help, as they already have them, but I thought I'd mention it.

Have your enemies packing things to mess with tech. I imagine haywire grenades, or some such things, could disable their field emitters, putting them at a significant disadvantage. Exarchs could easily be carrying such weapons, especially Warp Spider or Shadow Spectre Exarchs. What sorts of Exarchs were represented? Banshees, Scorpions, and Spiders shouldn't have cared about enemy shields, and would rarely feel a hit, while Reapers and Hawks would use their abilities to make themselves difficult targets.

Did the party win? If so, that should be some nice bragging rights, getting to say they bested a Court of the Young King, sans the King (I'd argue that the presence of a full Farseer makes up for the absence of an Avatar of Khaine). Most Aspect Warriors should be no joke, and a group of Exarchs, supporting a Farseer of Serennon's power should scare Space Marines, so very good on their part. I'd say use RAW for fields, and let the luck of the dice get your players, even if Serennon might load those dice occasionally.



#3 Larkin

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:18 AM

I guess I wasn't as clear as I needed to be, sorry Venk. I was looking for just suggestions about the fields, not comments on the situation. It was more for background and what led up to the fight and the perception of the fields.

I was hoping that the players would realize that what they were facing was not to be triffled with, and I had warned OOC that I wasn't going to be playing fair. But several of the characters are bullheaded or Proud so they went ahead with the combat anyway. I'd say they I've gotten the reaction I wanted from the encounter so far, as nothing supremely unexpected has happened.

The party had 3 Normal Eldar Force Feilds, 1 Best Quality Eldar Force Field and 1 Best Quality Personal Power Field. They are Rank 6 with nearly 100PF and a sizable fleet. They traded with the Stryxis to get most of the Fields, and I let them have them because of what was coming up.

The Exarchs are all rocking BQ Eldar Fields (as well as Serrenon), had the appropriate weaponry (Had a nice time stating up the Mandiblasters) and were sharing certain aspect gear. They had the stat block of the Corsair in Edge of the Abyss with some additions. Serrenon also brought 2 Wraithguard along. The Exarchs were going out of their way to NOT kill the PCs, as it's all an elaborate trap by the Farseer to fulfill a prophecy and to lead into the final storyline of my game.

It really was 2 unlucky rolls on the Striking Scorpian's part that caused his death, a 98 on his dodge and an 87 on his field save. I couldn't even fuzz the rolls. Then the Explorator rolled max damage and killed him in one shot. I was surprised to say the least. We're in the middle of the combat, as neither side has won yet. 3 rounds took us over an hour as no one could really land a decisive hit until that last round and we had carried on past the normal end of the game.

And it's my intention to not make the fields worthless in other situations. I actually have no problem with RAW, which is why I designed the encounter as I did, but the players raised objections. So I'm going to let my players decide how to handle it, I was just looking for good feedback and maybe a few more suggestions from around the board. 



#4 venkelos

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:42 PM

No, I understood what you wanted; I just wanted some context as to the situation they were in, and what their problems were. if they had more typical fields, then their saves would be less reliable, and they might have played more defensively. As for killing the Striking Scorpion Exarch, nice job on the part of the player.

As to the fields, I'd still say keep using them, as is. If every person in this battle has Rating 75 fields, I'd say that the three hour battle means that they are doing their job nicely. If the Exarchs aren't trying to kill the players, and the players can't manage to hurt them, they'll get the idea, I hope. If they don't like how that's going, I'd have to vote for 3b, too. Rather have the rolls harder to manage than have the whole field collapse.



#5 Umbranus

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:48 AM

You could yuse the old DH field rules instead of the rules in RT.
There the fields roll 2d6 and add the rolles amount to the armor value for that attack. If the roll is a 12 it burns out after that attack.

That way the protection becomes more random and it can be countered with high pen.

I personally liked this rule better than the newer one.



#6 Larkin

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:52 AM

 Think you could point me to the Book and Page Number for that rule Umbra? If it's d6 it'll likely be a no go since it's a D10 system, but I'd like to look at it.



#7 Errant

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:26 AM

 They're scattered thoughout the Inquisitor's Handbook. Rosarious on 129, the Amulet of Warding is on 137, and refractor fields are on 181, with some interesting restrictions on what they'll block. And yes, they reduce damage by d10, not d6.



#8 Larkin

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:24 PM

 The Rosarius is on 189, but otherwise spot on info. That makes another suggested change.



#9 Umbranus

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:42 PM

My bad.

I thought I remembered being puzzled about it using D6. :)



#10 Cobramax76

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 02:35 PM

My group and i agreed to treat the force fields this way:

Same as a Voidshield....the personal force field ONLY blocks incoming ENERGY attacks...it does NOTHING to stop normal ballistic or melee attacks ( unless they are energy based )....So having a personal force field would repulse all your regular Las fire easily ( unless you used mob tactics and mass attacked it with Las..in which case iwe decided on a simple rule as follows depending on the quality of the field:

Poor quality  = 1d10 ( resulting number is total number of attacks per round it can stop before shutting down due to overheating and requires 1d10 rnds to cool down before being reactivated ) OK for one-one pesonal combat situations

Common quality = 1d10+5 ( resulting number is total number of attacks per round it can stop before shutting down due to overheating and requires 1d5 rnds to cool down before being reactivated ) Decent for small squad action where youll come under fire from a few enemy

Good quality = 2d10 ( resulting number is total number of attacks per round it can stop before shutting down due to overheating and requires 1 round to cool down before being reactivated ) Good for small squad actions where youll come under fire from several enemy

Best quality =  2d10+5 ( resulting number is total number of attacks per round it can stop ..not subject to overheating ) Very good for squad actions

As stated before the fields do NOT stop solid state rounds ( IE bullets ) they ONLY stop energy based attacks ( ranged and melee ) so their weakness IS to use SP weapons and melee attacks...but they are invaluable against Las/energy based attacks

Hope this helps..as it makes them worth the effort to get...but still gives them a good "kink in the armour" so to speak to keep them from being overly powerful. 
 



#11 Cobramax76

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 02:35 PM

Typo in first part...

Poor quality should only have 1d5 ( not 1d10 ) for total number of attacks able to be stopped



#12 Umbranus

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:52 PM

As Bolters are not energy weapons the would not be stopped as well. Which woul mean buffing one of the strongest weapons groups in game.



#13 Cobramax76

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:31 AM

Thats fine...you simply temper it with the actual cost of each bolter round..and the availability of bolters and ammo..and amp up the cost accordingly..they wont be able to get the ammo everywhere and it isnt cheap so...its a balance easily enough



#14 Errant

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:36 AM

 Bolter ammunition should be harder to find because your house rules don't work right?



#15 Umbranus

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:56 PM

Cobramax76 said:

Thats fine...you simply temper it with the actual cost of each bolter round..and the availability of bolters and ammo..and amp up the cost accordingly..they wont be able to get the ammo everywhere and it isnt cheap so...its a balance easily enough

I don't know if it's RAW (in RT I'm only player) but as we play it you don't need to buy ammo in RT. And if you got special ammo you make your aquisition test once and from then on you got your supply.



#16 Cobramax76

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:10 PM

I dont quite follow the RAW on it..as some things i and my group believe arent done correctly with it...the simple houserule is

The availability of any personal item as far as a aquisition test is determined by the location your trying to get it from ( planet / base etc )..for all the usual items its automatic..for the mundane rares etc...still same..

If it has the HOLY/BLESSED/WARP/PHASING etc..traits ( any of the actual special traits ) then the difficulty is NOT simply its rarity...its also going to take the time to make appropriate contacts to handle it as well as costing 1 or more PF to aquire them ( depending on how many and what exactly you want )...These special items are NOT meant to be found or aquired easily and even a RT SHOULD have issues getting hold of them ...as the Imperium does its best to maintain a stranglehold on their availability for a reason..therefore they will have the highest difficulty assigned as well as a loss of PF ( indicating the extreme measures needed to aquire them )...

Now things like blessed ammo..should be fairly simple in actuality...just go to the local ministorum ..pay their fee and give them a line of sh*t about how your going to a warp infested land and want to take the light of the emperor with you..blah blah blah...and you got them..but other items are not going to be so simple to aquire ( psy reactive materials for instance )..added you will garner the scrutiny of the Inquisition if you arent careful....as they will be curious about why you need such things...and will come asking questions few come back from..lol



#17 Larkin

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 07:36 PM

 An update.

 

After much valiant deliberation and severe arguement around the table, my group reached a consensus. It was decided that we'd have boneless wings and pizza for dinner during the game! And there was much rejoicing.

 

As far as the shield discussion went, it was short and sweet. The primary complainer thought about it for two weeks and decided that the system as is was fine. Everyone appreciated the other suggestions and liked either 3a or 3b as the best of the lot, but all agreed that it would be a good bit of extra book keeping.

End result, we kept it as is, and it's still quite brutal.



#18 wolph42

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:01 AM

Cobramax76 said:

Common quality = 1d10+5 ( resulting number is total number of attacks per round it can stop before shutting down due to overheating and requires 1d5 rnds to cool down before being reactivated ) Decent for small squad action where youll come under fire from a few enemy

Good quality = 2d10 ( resulting number is total number of attacks per round it can stop before shutting down due to overheating and requires 1 round to cool down before being reactivated ) Good for small squad actions where youll come under fire from several enemy

I think you didn't do your math quite right. The average result of 1d10+5 = 10.5 and the average result of 2d10 = 11. Where with the 2d10 you can throw 5 points higher, but also 4 points lower!. Which basically boils down to the fact that the common and good version are roughly the same.

 



#19 wolph42

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:45 AM

 Annoying that you can't edit your posts after a while... Anyway, to continue a more consistent and easier way to handle this is simply using poor upto best: 1d10, 2d10,3d10 and 4d10 or if you deem that too high is to play a bit with the threshold. Eg: 40 and 1d10, 50 and 1d10, 50 and 2d10, 60 and 2d10. But in any case keep the averages in mind which is 5.5 per 1d10






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