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#21 Xathess Wolfe

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:07 PM

Kage2020 said:

So it seems that flexibility is more of an issue rather than power-scaling of the Dark Heresy system?

Kage

I don't know if flexibility is the word  for it, because the system with its elite advances is pretty flexible... but more there is a limit on how flexible you can be.

Simply put, the hard cap on advancement strikes people the wrong way, especially when they have this really cool character concept, and then as they progress they find themselves having to pick and choose skills and limit their characters not because of simple choices, but because they suddenly find themselves up against a hardcap and having to determine if said skill or said attribute pick is going to stop them from developing their character the way they want to.

And that's even before you start talking about combat monsters and over the top gonzo characters.  Its very hard to expand your character in fun, non-combat ways because you have to choose to fight against a hardcap and being useful in the story.  Want your character to be an excellent singer or dancer... well that there depending on your class can be minimal 300 exp just to get singing +20 assuming that your class even offers that chance.  Get a class that for some reason states that your character never sings, and it becomes an elite advance, and assuming your GM is being generous and charging only 150 exp for the skills, its now 450 exp.  That's also assuming you're lucky and all the skills are normally 100 exp.  Most of them the initial pick is 200 exp then 100 exp for the follow ups, making it 400 exp for a singing +20.  And that's SINGING, which arguable comes into play very minimally in an actual game.

But if you want to flesh out your character you have to take it, but that's 450 exp you're taking away from something else that can be more useful in your average game, aka talents.  This wouldn't be so bad with an open ended system, but with a hardcap system it can become frustrated.

Even more so if you want to play a God-type character where your character has every combat talent in the book, has elite combat attributes, AND can make a killer cherry mouse, all while reciting the Imperial Creed... from memory.

Make matters worse is that the Inquisitor's Handbook has the beginnings of power-creep raise its ugly head with the new alternate paths.  These paths can be a liability because often then restrict you from taking skills from your original pick without paying +50exp per skill, and that can be a HUGE investment of exp, again taking you owe so much closer to that hardcap with very little return.

So while the game can be very flexible with elite advances... that very same flexibility is its drawback since every elite advance takes away the ability to flesh out your character in meaningful ways, due to a very hard cap.

Which is why I'm looking forward to Ascention, to at least raise that stupid hardcap, and allow me to continue to DEVELOP my character along meaningful lines, and make him 3 dimensional instead of constantly fighting the fight between 2-dimensional usefulness and 3-dimensional living breathgin character.



#22 Hellebore

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:24 PM

All of that doesn't require an increase in the STAT cap though surely? I think a stat cap increase would cause more harm than good across the game as a whole.

 

Although DH states that 15,000 XP is sort of the end of the game, you can still run your characters past that with no real problems.

 

I think that simply allowing more advances to be taken will provide growth without mucking around with core stats.

 

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#23 Dezmond

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:33 PM

I think it more important to consider results.

How many mook gangers should a PC be able to beat up. Work from there.



#24 Hellebore

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:36 PM

Depends what the stats of said mook ganger is. If they are all WS/BS15 then quite a lot. You don't need WS70 warriors to do that.

 

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#25 LuciusT

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:50 PM

Hellebore said:

Depends what the stats of said mook ganger is.

 

Exactly. One of the reasons I quite like that Minion rules have found there way into DH's Creatures Anathema (by way of a another popular pen and paper rpg which shall remain nameless).



#26 Hellebore

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:18 PM

What ARE the minion rules? Has anyone been able to have a look to find out? Is it just 1 hit point monsters or what?

 

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#27 LuciusT

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:24 PM

At the risk of drawing the ire of our hosts...

You have 2 levels of minions. The basic level is functionally the same as the original True 20 Minion rules, they die if they get wounded, etc. The advanced minion is more complex and tougher, able to take more than one wound, but I don't remember the exact details. They are very good, simple, rules that would allow some great "desperate stands against hordes of enemies" moments.

My FLGS had Creatures Anathema in stock today. I had a chance to glance through it. Two big thumbs up BTW.



#28 Kage2020

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:26 PM

Xathess Wolfe said:

So while the game can be very flexible with elite advances... that very same flexibility is its drawback since every elite advance takes away the ability to flesh out your character in meaningful ways, due to a very hard cap.

You had me at... erm, no, you didn't have me at all.  Thanks for taking the time to explain that, though.  It kind of reinforces my first impressions of the system that I have not developed through playing, but I shall leave it at that.  Obviously system-related materials is not going to be something that I'm overtly able to talk about insofar as it addresses the characters... erm, but there we go.  

Kage



#29 Xathess Wolfe

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:29 PM

And while minion rules are definatly important combat and for combat gods, the rules for social conflict with minions is equalably important, which is what I'm hoping will be expanded as well later.  Because while its all great and good to determine relative powerlevels for Guardsman and Space Marines via mook/minion rules, it doesn't work so well for social characters like certain builds of Psykers, Clerics, Scum, Arbitrators and definatly Adepts.

While no one likes their combat being bogged down with minions that take 4 hours to kill, no one likes to bog down their stories either with having to spend hours of having some Inquisitor interrogating some 1 die mook either.



#30 LuciusT

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:39 PM

Xathess Wolfe said:

 

While no one likes their combat being bogged down with minions that take 4 hours to kill, no one likes to bog down their stories either with having to spend hours of having some Inquisitor interrogating some 1 die mook either.

 

 

So, apply the same rules: one success wins. Your Inquisitor is interrogating a mook, make an Interrogate check. You succeed. he breaks and spills everything he knows. No fuss, no muss (well maybe a little muss). The only problem then is the annoying need to roll a 30 or less on a D% but fixing that little flaw requires slightly more modifications to the overall system.



#31 Xathess Wolfe

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:45 PM

LuciusT said:

So, apply the same rules: one success wins. Your Inquisitor is interrogating a mook, make an Interrogate check. You succeed. he breaks and spills everything he knows. No fuss, no muss (well maybe a little muss). The only problem then is the annoying need to roll a 30 or less on a D% but fixing that little flaw requires slightly more modifications to the overall system.

Oh I agree its fixable and doable with a number of houserules, but I guess my point is that a gamesystem's powerlevel shouldn't strictly be based upon how many people you can kill in 1.2 seconds when the game system isn't all about combat.

While combat is important, its not the only thing in powerlevels that need to be concidered when designing a game.



#32 Xathess Wolfe

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:51 PM

Kage2020 said:

You had me at... erm, no, you didn't have me at all.  Thanks for taking the time to explain that, though.  It kind of reinforces my first impressions of the system that I have not developed through playing, but I shall leave it at that.  Obviously system-related materials is not going to be something that I'm overtly able to talk about insofar as it addresses the characters... erm, but there we go.  

Kage

I never said the system was perfect, nor have I said it was for everyone, and since you've never slammed your issues with the system down everyone elses throat like certain other people, I have no worries.

One of the ways we houseruled fixed it was that attribute picks do not effect what tier you belong to.  Its not a perfect fix, FAR from being perfect, but it helps in some ways fix the issues that the hardcap brings to it.  The drawbacks are that attributes are the Emperor of Dark Heresy, so it can be easily abused, but a good GM can cover those bases to a degree.

Still, I'll admit that there are certain problems inherant within the system, but that's standard to any and all RPG systems on the market today.  I have yet to find the perfect system, and I've been playing for YEARS.

Still its a very good system, as long as you have a good GM and some good Players who don't overly abuse the problems in the system and abuse the simple houserule fixes.  But like most systems, it breaks down quickly when you get the powergaming munchkins who try and work the system for everything it has.



#33 Dezmond

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 04:00 PM

+++++The only problem then is the annoying need to roll a 30 or less on a D% but fixing that little flaw requires slightly more modifications to the overall system.+++++

That is the big flaw. Is there anything at this point that can be done to fix it? I think it needs to be done as soon as possible before, like 40k itself, it hardens in to an unmovable baggage that no one can change because it is so ingrained.

It is just gonna be so hard to be proper heric with a 50% chance of looking like a doofus.

--

I'm surprised to see mook rules get a free pass. Where is the 'where is the challenge in killing one hitpoint mooks?'

:0)

Man, if they had had mook rules from the getgo I'd have been so much happier.

Course, point blank autofire from a 15BS is still hitting on a 55 or less. So lock the doors and hope they don't have guns.



#34 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:56 PM

Have any of you ever been in a real firefight? Most Soldiers I know will hit a stationary target on a firing range with just about every shot (0ver 90%) of the time. From the prone position, not rushed, at a stationary fixed target with time to aim, sounds like a +60 modifier to me. But once a real fire fight starts their accuracy suffers as the enemy is moving, concealed, behind cover, firing back and not letting them fire unrushed or with aim.

Seems quite like Dark Heresy to me.

Most good mechanics are probably in the 35-45% range for their mechanic skill. Add in taking extra time, proper equipment/tools, assistants, technical manuals and using associated skills (Lore: Mechanical Vehicles) and its not unreasonable for them to gain upwards to a +40, +50 or even +60 modifier, allowing them to fix most mechanical problems with a near 100% accuracy. But to fix the same mechanical problem with chewing gum wrappers, chicken wire, a leatherman and in under two minutes they would be at around 25%, makes sense to me.

There is nothing inheritly wrong with the system. In the above examples the degree of success and failure determines the final outcome. Perhaps the GM likes the idea of the PCs hotwiring the broken down old space marine cycle the evil cult has kept in their secret bunker armoury so the PCs can make a get away, but wiff the Tech Priest fails by 1 degree, well the hit wiring works, but only for 1D10 rounds. Congratulations, you removed yourself from one firefight location to another location.

The wiff factor is not a flaw in the system, it actually represents a good deal of sci-fi and action films quite well. Not every shot hits, its just a matter of truth, but you can do things to stack the odds in your favor.

However, I do believe that Fate Points should do more then reroll a failed roll. Perhaps add a +10 or +20 bonus.



#35 Dezmond

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 06:08 PM

In my experience Call of Cthulhu leads to a keystone cops style farce as people constantly fail rolls and no one ever seems especially competent.

And the hated CoC has much higher skill values than DH...

--

I agree that the important thing is to start measuring levels of success and avoid a 'fail' making your character look like a total loser.

Maybe to at least ease the issue we can code in to the rules that under 1* the skill you score a Major Success. Under 2* the skill is a Minor Success while under 3* your skill is a fail.

So 30 becomes 30%/60%/90% and only a 10% chance of outright failing to do what you were trying for.



#36 Wilfred Owen

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 06:40 PM

Dezmond said:

 

In my experience Call of Cthulhu leads to a keystone cops style farce as people constantly fail rolls and no one ever seems especially competent.

And the hated CoC has much higher skill values than DH...

 

The Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game is meant to allow people to play out their fantasies of what it would be like to experience Lovecraft's stories 'first hand', not to powergame the Cthulhu mythos.  In that end, a relatively increased rate of failed rolls (I note that you have exaggerated again) serves a fundamental purpose - Atmosphere.  Similarly, in Lovecraft's stories, his protagonists never really succeeded against the alien horrors - otherwise it would have gone against what Lovecraft was trying to say thematically.

In a similar vein, I see Dark Heresy like that.  The 40k universe is not a nice place - even Space Marines get butchered.  I think it's fitting that characters aren't always succeeding in their rolls, for it adds tension and atmosphere.

What do you mean when you write, 'hated'?  Call of Cthulhu is considered one of the greatest RPGs ever.  It is still selling today after years of being in print. 



#37 theDevilofWormwood

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 09:08 PM

I totally agree with Peacekeeper_b on this one.  It seems to me that the unmodified roll indicates a sort of "barebones" situation under challenging conditions (the +/-0 test difficulty is called "Challenging" after all).  As Peacekeeper said, time and tools as well as other things would provide bonuses, while adverse weather, particularly stressful circumstances, etc would give penalties. 

This actually reminds me a lot of Unknown Armies, another % system where they did something similar.  In UA there are three kinds of checks:  Minor, Significant, and Major.  Minor checks represent situations with lots of time and no risk - you pretty much auto succeed if you have the skill, though the GM can make you roll to see how well you succeed.  These are things like reading a book or taking a picture.  Significant skill checks are for situations that are challenging but present little actual risk - if you have the skill, you only fail if you roll really poorly, otherwise it's just a matter of barely succeeding or succeeding with style;  if you don't have the skill you can only hope to achieve a weak success, but it's still possible.  Finally there's the Major checks which cover stressful situations with lots of risk, eg combat.  There's only success or failure, no in between.

Anyway, I figure that skill check paradigm introduced in UA can be applied to DH, but without changing the system, just changing how people roll.  Good conditions should give bonuses as readily as bad conditions give penalties.  Also, I figure anything under normal conditions that's not dramatically important should be an auto-success, as long as they have the skill.  Somebody earlier mentioned being dissatisfied with PCs having a good chance to fail at tying their shoes or crossing the street.  But I figure you shouldn't be rolling for mundane things like that unless someone's pointing a gun at you or you're being chased by slavering mutants while they're happening, and then suddenly such checks are dramatically appropriate.  Heck, you could even use some of these ideas to deal with the "PCs miss the vital clue because they all rolled bad" problem.  Instead of making it success or failure, make it auto-success but variable time.  The better the PC rolls, the quicker he finds the clue.  Best roll finds it first.  If all the PCs roll bad enough, they still find it, but just as generic really-incovenient-encounter happens, complicating their lives immensely. 

In fact, if there is a fault with the Dark Heresy rules, I would say that it's in the writer's not explaining better how this is suppose to work.  My PC group flubbed way more checks than we passed, till we all figure out that the GM was supposed to be throwing out a lot more bonuses to rolls, and that the PCs were expected to take advantage of situational modifiers.  Once that clicked, things went fine.  It just seems to be a different way of handling a system than a lot of other mainstream games out there.  But yeah, more guidelines on how to use the system, and better fleshed out social interaction rules would be really nice.  Which, it sounds like we're going to get in Rogue Trader, actually (coming vaguely back to the forum topic ).  Definitely something I'd be looking at using in Dark Heresy games, if RT does in fact have it, to facilitate better the crazy behind the scenes politics that can go on.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.



#38 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:23 PM

One of the things I would like to see for DH/RT/DW or 40KRPG overall is a definative GMs guide that explains how to incorporate things like 40K atmosphere, rule interpretations, and other items found in various GM style books from many other games.

I still think the game for 40K should have started out with core rule books (like World of Darkness does now days, or what BRP is trying to do) and then Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader could have been campaign settings.

Maybe after Death Wing they will release a core rule book overall?

But still if Rogue Trader follows the same level of quality as Dark Heresy, then I will be there for every book!



#39 Luddite

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 12:42 AM

Peacekeeper_b said:

Maybe after Death Wing they will release a core rule book overall?

I think this is already essential.  I'm looking at my shelf where DH, IH, and DotDG currently lurk.  already with only three books the rules bloat and total disorder of core rules across these theee books is a bloody nightmare.

I really think taking the approach contrary to 'core crunch book supported by theme books' is a mistake.  Theres a very good reason why this has become the insdustry standard approach...it works. 

Peacekeeper_b said:

But still if Rogue Trader follows the same level of quality as Dark Heresy, then I will be there for every book!

I'm pretty much dropping DH in favour of RT. 

It looks far closer to what i was expecting from a 40k RPG so there's the personal preference there, but i'd also expect that 'lessons have been learned'  so that it won't have the flaws I lament from DH.

I can't wait!!

 



#40 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:10 AM

Honestly I dont want my PCs to be stuck in one 40K genre. I would like to see them kind of bounce around between the two settings.

But yeah, A 40K core rule book that incorporates all the mechanics would be great. As it is I have to flip thorugh the core book, IHB, DotDG and the Vehicles Apocrypha to run my complete games.

All these "rules" could go into one "rule book".

Gygax had it right when he released AD&D in the three core books. But hey, I still think it is a fine line of books.






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