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My teeth hurt already, but I think I'm going to like it! (Stars of Iniquity)


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#41 Asajev

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:46 PM

I see thanks TiLT, does the number of planets or stellar bodies increase per number of stars. I.E. each star develops its own star system?



#42 TiLT

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:53 PM

Asajev said:

I see thanks TiLT, does the number of planets or stellar bodies increase per number of stars. I.E. each star develops its own star system?

No. If that's what you want, just roll up two systems. 



#43 Adam France

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:39 PM

Made over confident by the excellent quality of the previous two 40Krpg books I've bought (Lathe Worlds and Book of Judgement), I made the mistake of breaking my personal rule of never now buying FFG books sight unseen and received this one from an online order yesterday.

Okay, I accept, I was expecting something different (details on 'new worlds beyond the Emperor's light' as the blurb falsely promised imo), but to me this book is next to useless. It basically is almost entirely given over to lots of very short 'random' creation tables, aimed at creating systems and adventure events, but imo it fails to provide either enough events, or enough exciting new ideas.

Also, the system creation rules, as mentioned in some of the posts upthread, are simply too detailed to be rolled at the table during play, so presumably are intended to be used by GM's prior to play during the adventure creation process. This makes me wonder why you'd bother using the book at all, it's not like it gives much in the way of 'new' imaginative 40K system/planet ideas - indeed honestly there is nothing I've yet seen that made me think 'wow, I'd NEVER have thought of that'. In other words, to me, it seems to be a book for GMs unable to think up interesting settings … which, okay, that's fair enough, but if so wouldn't it have made more sense and been a whole lot easier for the reader/GM, if the book had just included write ups on 30-40 new systems/planets in the Expanse?

Why make ME do the work I expect to pay FFG to do? Also, I am 100% certain any 40K rpg GM worth his screen could come up with a better and more imaginative system/planet in 2 hours, than most of those created by this system. Indeed in many ways I fear the system would create more limited systems/settings than a good GM could in the same time. 

Don't get me wrong, I do think there is a place for random tables in 40K rpg games, but imo random tables are for when the GM needs an event he hasn't had time to plan for or think out, or if the pc's go wildly off piste, thus they should be quick and easy to use, providing results that can then be used 'on the fly'. They should also be pretty long and varied to avoid annoying repetition, for example I would have much preferred this book to give us 30-40 2-3 page write ups on sundry systems or planets in the Koronus Expanse (new and imaginative settings that a professional writer has spent time and effort thinking about and pollishing), the colony rules (which are okay), and two D1000 random tables, one for space encounters, one for planetside encounters, with each entry given maybe 2 lines of space.

As it is I have bought a book I will almost certainly never use (except possibly for the few pages of colony rules). I did however also buy a new Battletech sourcebook at the same time, this was the Interstellar Expeditions sourcebook - a book that though slightly shorter than SoI is packed with new settings for BT's Periphery. That's how you provide a GM with helpful setting and idea hooks. FFG take note, for the love of the God-Emperor. avergonzado_triste



#44 Asajev

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:12 AM

Well the book is a tool kit just like many tool kits for other game systems. I think it is worth it mostly because it gives you guidelines in how they design the star systems they use in pre fabricated adventures. I understand you purchased something you were not expecting but that does not mean the blurb was telling you a lie. Indeed those systems are beyond the Emperor's Light. The side point is you have to build them on your own. With a little bit of creative thought from the GM part this book can provide more then 100 star systems of adventures. In my personal opinion as you have your own the book helps new game masters be able to design a large area of space that fits the Warhammer 40k setting. As a bonus point, the level of detail given is for the game master I see no reason you can't wing it in the middle of a game if you need a star system. After all a star system is your back drop for story telling. You can give it detail after the game.

Some advice from a long time GM, you spend at least as long planning and preping for your game as you will be playing it. In my case a game night is 4 hours of game and 3-4 hours of prep work to give the best performance. Tool kits that are mostly charts can take very long to work through at first but as you become familiar with the book you will be able to complete all the steps in no time. What is left that the book does not cover is creative development of how to use those things that you rolled. That would be our job as GMs, we provide a good time to our players and if we have problems imagining what a roll's result can be maybe put it to the side for a while it will come to you at some point. The other point of advice I can give you especially with a book like this is keep it modular and not linear. If you feel it is to much work at the table then just do a brief roll for the star type and the main planet. Then as your players are doing their thing making of plans you can roll bits of the system as they are needed.

I hope this helps you out. I am sorry you got something you were not expecting but that is no reason to say the book is as good as useless. Give it an honest good try it might not work in the way you were thinking but I can garantee you that if you combine the book with your creative story telling that book will give you more then you would have gotten from something like Lure of the Expanse or other premade adventures.



#45 TiLT

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:25 AM

For the impatient among you, I decided to throw caution to the wind and start coding a PC-version of the generator. If things work out correctly, it should be able to draw upon, at the very least, Stars of Inequity, The Koronus Bestiary, and Battlefleet Koronus. You can choose which books you have available, and the generator will use only those. You should be able to print the final results in a neatly formatted, Word-like document, export them to other word processors, or even just use the application directly during your game sessions. Each option should be equally viable. You will be able to generate a system with one click and don't have to worry about anything else, or you can go through everything in detail, adding or discarding things where you want to and re-generating parts of the system that you don't like. You should also be able to write custom descriptions for every little thing in the game, not unlike what I did in the two PDFs I posted. 

Needless to say, this is a hell of a lot of work, but the Proof of Concept is working very nicely. The application will only describe rules where I feel it's absolutely necessary, so you'll need the book to be able to use the results it produces. Hopefully FFG won't shut this down, as I'm trying to be very careful with their copyrights, doing my best to enhance their book instead of replacing it. 

No guarantees that I'll ever finish this thing, but it's looking good. 



#46 Fgdsfg

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:27 AM

TiLT said:

For the impatient among you, I decided to throw caution to the wind and start coding a PC-version of the generator. If things work out correctly, it should be able to draw upon, at the very least, Stars of Inequity, The Koronus Bestiary, and Battlefleet Koronus. You can choose which books you have available, and the generator will use only those. You should be able to print the final results in a neatly formatted, Word-like document, export them to other word processors, or even just use the application directly during your game sessions. Each option should be equally viable. You will be able to generate a system with one click and don't have to worry about anything else, or you can go through everything in detail, adding or discarding things where you want to and re-generating parts of the system that you don't like. You should also be able to write custom descriptions for every little thing in the game, not unlike what I did in the two PDFs I posted. 

Needless to say, this is a hell of a lot of work, but the Proof of Concept is working very nicely. The application will only describe rules where I feel it's absolutely necessary, so you'll need the book to be able to use the results it produces. Hopefully FFG won't shut this down, as I'm trying to be very careful with their copyrights, doing my best to enhance their book instead of replacing it. 

No guarantees that I'll ever finish this thing, but it's looking good. 

Oh god, if you finish this, you are a prince among men.

Endless star systems, a button press away.


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#47 HappyDaze

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:47 AM

TiLT said:

For the impatient among you, I decided to throw caution to the wind and start coding a PC-version of the generator. If things work out correctly, it should be able to draw upon, at the very least, Stars of Inequity, The Koronus Bestiary, and Battlefleet Koronus. You can choose which books you have available, and the generator will use only those. You should be able to print the final results in a neatly formatted, Word-like document, export them to other word processors, or even just use the application directly during your game sessions. Each option should be equally viable. You will be able to generate a system with one click and don't have to worry about anything else, or you can go through everything in detail, adding or discarding things where you want to and re-generating parts of the system that you don't like. You should also be able to write custom descriptions for every little thing in the game, not unlike what I did in the two PDFs I posted. 

Needless to say, this is a hell of a lot of work, but the Proof of Concept is working very nicely. The application will only describe rules where I feel it's absolutely necessary, so you'll need the book to be able to use the results it produces. Hopefully FFG won't shut this down, as I'm trying to be very careful with their copyrights, doing my best to enhance their book instead of replacing it. 

No guarantees that I'll ever finish this thing, but it's looking good. 

I consider myself more time-starved than impatient, but I greatly appreciate what you're trying to do.

Out of curiosity, what parts of Battlefleet Koronus will you be drawing upon?


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#48 TiLT

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

HappyDaze said:

Out of curiosity, what parts of Battlefleet Koronus will you be drawing upon?

There are sections of the generator that inform you that you may use Battlefleet Koronus to pick viable ships for a variety of reasons. The idea is that I'll randomly pick ships from that book if you have it, but if you don't, you'll only get the total number of ships (and perhaps whether they are Xenos or not) so that you can pick for yourself from whatever sources you may have handy. Maybe, just maybe, if I'm not completely sick of the generator by then, I might allow use of the GM Pack's ship generator for those situations. I don't know if there's much of a point to that though, since I suspect that the majority of those who will use this generator actually have Battlefleet Koronus. 



#49 susanbrindle

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:56 PM

I consider myself more impatient than time-starved. This is a beautiful dream you're working on.



#50 Radwraith

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:42 PM

TiLT said:

For the impatient among you, I decided to throw caution to the wind and start coding a PC-version of the generator. If things work out correctly, it should be able to draw upon, at the very least, Stars of Inequity, The Koronus Bestiary, and Battlefleet Koronus. You can choose which books you have available, and the generator will use only those. You should be able to print the final results in a neatly formatted, Word-like document, export them to other word processors, or even just use the application directly during your game sessions. Each option should be equally viable. You will be able to generate a system with one click and don't have to worry about anything else, or you can go through everything in detail, adding or discarding things where you want to and re-generating parts of the system that you don't like. You should also be able to write custom descriptions for every little thing in the game, not unlike what I did in the two PDFs I posted. 

Needless to say, this is a hell of a lot of work, but the Proof of Concept is working very nicely. The application will only describe rules where I feel it's absolutely necessary, so you'll need the book to be able to use the results it produces. Hopefully FFG won't shut this down, as I'm trying to be very careful with their copyrights, doing my best to enhance their book instead of replacing it. 

No guarantees that I'll ever finish this thing, but it's looking good. 

Excellent! If you finish it or get near to finishing it I will be happy to test it!reir



#51 WilliamAsher

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:30 PM

TiLT - As I mentioned, you can run the many endeavors you need for upgrades as background endeavors.  The book has a specific subsection on oursourcing parts of the 'Colony Endeavor', not the subsequent upgrades.  Those would be covered by the normal Background Endeavor rules from Into the Storm.  Unfortunately, they are less likely to succeed and can have negative consequences beyond simply not getting the infastructure you need.  The colony does get a +10 on your check to see if the Background Endeavor succeeds if the colony leader is managing it though.  Note that this is one way to make use of your colony leadership benifits outside of the colony as long as the colony leader could reasonable oversee them.  For instance, establishing other endeavors in the system (such as asteroid mining, minor research, or even mines that aren't actually part of the colony) to generate PF. 

The limits on harvesting resources are a reasonable roleplaying limtiation that I would provide to my players as a way to setting a fair expectation of what they can get away with without risking their control of the colony.  You will note that they did not provide a specific roll required, simply 'convince their lackeys that this was all for the best.'  To this GM, that means a series of social tests and some roleplaying.  In order to do these tests 'they must put in an appearance at their colony' as well.  As GM I would make it relatively easy to convince the colony once a year to provide such a tribute, but have the difficulty raise itself every subsequent attempt as the people get more and more disgruntled with having their efforts and resources taken without getting anything back.  As a GM, I try to give the players a fair idea of what they can accomplish (and how much risk they have of failure) up front.  You will note that the Imperium has had more than a few cases of rebellion over working conditions and poor treatment.

The way the system is written, the players have to at their colony every 90 days and convince the colonists to hand over the majority of the fruits of their labors in stripmining (and it it stripmining, as even a small colony can deplete a plentiful resource in a few years) their world and be happy about it.  They must 'put in an appearance at their colony', they can not delegate this responsibility or run it by astropath.  If they fail to convince the colony, the colony's Complacency decreases by 1d5.  Note that 0 Comlacency will probably destroy a small colony (-1d5 Order/Productivity until you raise Complacency again, and 0 Order means complete anarchy and NO PF as your colony kills itself off 1 size per 90 days).  So while you could just tell them to hand over the resources and suck it up, they would probably try to poison you and you would lose all the work you have put into the colony in quick order.  The rules for colonies can be pretty unforgiving, as any time a stat drops to 0 you are in danger of the colony cascading into oblivion.  Also, raising Complacency requires a Lesser Endeavor to install some sort of upgrade.  So every time you fail to convince your colony you need to run 1d5 Lesser Endeavors to make up for the loss of Complacency.  Note that you do not get PF for them, and that you are limited to a number of Support Upgrades equal to the colony size.  Even failing to convince them two or three times could cause irrevovable damage to the colony.  It is because the consequences of failure in this are so severe that I provide the players with a guideline of what they can expect to do reasonably safely.  The colony should be profitable over the long term, but expecting to pull 3 PF every 90 days out of the colony immediately on founding (and for many years) seems excessive.  What motivation is there to do anything else if you can just stripmine a colony for a few years and earn 60+ PF (on top of the base colony PF)? 



#52 Routa-maa

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:13 PM

TiLT said:

For the impatient among you, I decided to throw caution to the wind and start coding a PC-version of the generator. If things work out correctly, it should be able to draw upon, at the very least, Stars of Inequity, The Koronus Bestiary, and Battlefleet Koronus. You can choose which books you have available, and the generator will use only those. You should be able to print the final results in a neatly formatted, Word-like document, export them to other word processors, or even just use the application directly during your game sessions. Each option should be equally viable. You will be able to generate a system with one click and don't have to worry about anything else, or you can go through everything in detail, adding or discarding things where you want to and re-generating parts of the system that you don't like. You should also be able to write custom descriptions for every little thing in the game, not unlike what I did in the two PDFs I posted. 

Needless to say, this is a hell of a lot of work, but the Proof of Concept is working very nicely. The application will only describe rules where I feel it's absolutely necessary, so you'll need the book to be able to use the results it produces. Hopefully FFG won't shut this down, as I'm trying to be very careful with their copyrights, doing my best to enhance their book instead of replacing it. 

No guarantees that I'll ever finish this thing, but it's looking good. 

May the Omnissiah bless you with kind machine-spirits and keep of any malign scrapcodes from entering thy hallow computations on this thrice blessed endeavour.

Hopefully you see this through.


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#53 HappyDaze

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:30 PM

Let's just say that the colony is located in the Primary Biosphere of a system. That means that it takes 4 weeks to move from this world to a safe jump point. If your other location is similarly in the Primary Biosphere of another system, and your Warp travel only takes 1 week (and with no time dilation) that means running even a single colony on a 90 day (12 week) rotation is pretty unrealistic.

Start at 'Home'

<<<1 week to unload>>>

<<<4 weeks to jump point>>>

<<<1 week in the Warp>>>

<<<4 weeks from jump point>>

At Colony

<<<1 week to load>>>

<<<4 weeks to jump point>>>

<<<1 week in the Warp>>>

<<<4 weeks from jump point>>

Back at 'Home'

 

If you can't delegate the harvest to others, it's not likely you can really pull this off more than every 20 weeks. And that's if you're doing nothing else (except for fighting off boredom with a macrocannon).


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#54 TiLT

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:46 PM

I noticed the same thing. I'm not sure if they've actually balanced it to work this way, intending for the colony to grow on its own while the players are doing other things, and provide resources to them only if they actually show up. I guess it depends on what you want the system do do. If your players get stuck in the Warp for a while, say, 150 days, that is on average 1800 days for the colony or 20 resource extractions/chances to grow. The colony is likely to have collapsed before you have a chance to interact with them. I'm probably going to use 90 days as a baseline, then adjust it during play to keep it reasonable. In other words, make growth happen at the speed of plot. 



#55 WilliamAsher

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:20 PM

The possible growth every 90 days is definitely going to be something I plan to manage carefully.  RAW you could have your colony collapse after only 2 cycles if it grew each time.  Each growth lowers your complacency 1, so easily hit 0.  That can easily drop your order to 0, which will wipe a young colony very quickly.  I am thinking of limiting colony growth to once per year, with the colony not needing to roll again for the rest of the year.  That way, if you colony grows you don't have to worry about a bad roll dropping your size.  If I do, I will probably limit shrinking to once per year as well.  This will keep a level of volatility, but allow the PCs to respond to changes in their colony rather than just find out that it bred itself into extinction.  The colony would be very likely for size to change over a year, just not as drastically.  I am also considering just making it a once a year roll, which seems more realistic.  I may even just change all the 90 day cycles to yearly, but am still trying to figure out all the effects of the change.  I will have to reduce the resource depletion rates, but I was thinking of doing so anyways.  The present rates can burn out the largest possible resources in less than a decade in a small colony.



#56 TiLT

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:35 PM

WilliamAsher said:

The possible growth every 90 days is definitely going to be something I plan to manage carefully.  RAW you could have your colony collapse after only 2 cycles if it grew each time.  Each growth lowers your complacency 1, so easily hit 0.  That can easily drop your order to 0, which will wipe a young colony very quickly.  I am thinking of limiting colony growth to once per year, with the colony not needing to roll again for the rest of the year.  That way, if you colony grows you don't have to worry about a bad roll dropping your size.  If I do, I will probably limit shrinking to once per year as well.  This will keep a level of volatility, but allow the PCs to respond to changes in their colony rather than just find out that it bred itself into extinction.  The colony would be very likely for size to change over a year, just not as drastically.  I am also considering just making it a once a year roll, which seems more realistic.  I may even just change all the 90 day cycles to yearly, but am still trying to figure out all the effects of the change.  I will have to reduce the resource depletion rates, but I was thinking of doing so anyways.  The present rates can burn out the largest possible resources in less than a decade in a small colony.

I would probably disallow growth in a colony that is already asking for a colony upgrade from its last growth. This means that growth won't continue in an unchecked spiral towards disaster if the players can't interfere in time, and it will eliminate your first concern. Then again, new colonies are supposed to be at great risk. This is the most volatile part of the colonization process, after all. 

As for resource abundance, you're forgetting that planets worth extracting resources from can have hundreds of them. I'm seeing this in my system generation tool during testing. Even a simple asteroid field can have 200+ abundance in its resources in some cases. Worthwhile planets to settle on would probably have at least 150 total abundance in resources to extract, possibly a lot more. With average rolls, a small colony would have to spend exactly two decades to completely strip those 150 resources. The idea is that a planet can be stripped "quickly", but that when this happens, it should have grown large and powerful enough that it no longer needs those resources to be a very important location in the Koronus Expanse. Successful colonies may start out very different (research station vs industrial colony vs agricultural colony, to name a few examples), but once it grows big enough, the original purpose will be of little concern or consequence, and different types of colonies will all appear very similar to each other.






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