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Gauging interest - Unified rulebook


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#1 Storm6436

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:03 AM

Why I'm doing this: My OW campaign is not traditional, so some folks might not be as bothered by certain aspects of the game.   Currently running a binary campaign where the primary focuses on the original party (Started Dark Heresy, moved to Ascention, someone picked up a Warrant, so it's RT + Inquisitor) … primary campaign is being treated more as a strategic map…  OW characters come out to play when the RT or the Inquisitor deem it necessary to unleash their regiment.   As such, I've got a ton of either conflicting rules or general kludges in multiple sourcebooks… equipment in one series that is not in the other, class advances that aren't in others, so on and so forth.

This ends soon.

What I'm doing:  Unifying the core sourcebooks for DH, RT, and OW into a single coherent entity.

 95% of the rules come from OW.  Character creation still uses aptitudes, etc.  Adopted skills list  comes from OW, it makes more sense.

What I've done:  I've gone through most of the sourcebooks I have, compiling all the talents, skill groups, classes, etc.   Tons of data entry.  The spreadsheet looks like a character centric version of the Warhammer Armory XLS.  The major books I've pulled from so far include: Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Only War, The Radical's Handbook, Blood of Martyrs, and Hammer of the Emperor.  Done some basic deconfiction as I've gone along… duplicated talents, etc.

What I have yet to do:  
 

  1. Go through the rest of my sourcebooks looking for viable talents, elite advances, and the like.  This includes Ascention and Into the Storm.  Just haven't gotten there yet.
  2. Once all the talents and class information is put together, I'm going to have to wade through all of it and deconflict it.  There are a lot more talents that are duplicated in OW/HoE than the ones listed specifically in the book. 
  3. Gross design mechanics -- I'm not a big fan of how OW handles psykers.  Some aspects, I like a lot, like their rework of the manifest system and how psy rating is a lot more important… but beyond that, most of their psyker powers are dull, unimaginative, and, for the most part, not nearly as interesting or useful as the powers they replaced.  Call me nuts, but I just don't care for certain parts.  So, where there are conflicts between DH, RT, and OW, I'm going to have to figure out which source book wins or if I'm going to merge multiple rule systems or not.  On the psyker front, it's likely I'll take the psyker power listing from DH/RT and the gross rule set from OW and fit them together.  I'll have to keep an eye for balance overall, especially when you considre I'm aiming at having DH/RT classes alongside OW classes.  I've got some basic design work utilizing the OW style class system done, but I'm not close enough to finalizing it to throw it out there.  One other thing I've noticed is that most of the "extra" classes offered in the DH line can really only be used as flavor under OW rules… given the lack of restriction to skills in OW unlike DH/RT.


So, I'm hoping this project I'm doing will allow me to leave my non-OW books on the shelf when it comes to character stuff… and use the RT books only when it comes to ship-related things.   Would like to know how useful you guys think such a thing might be?   Honestly, I'm not sure FFG would appreciate me posting it, considering that if I don't mess it up, it's going to be far more than just a simple concentration of their published materials.

 



#2 Lynata

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:38 AM

Several people have already started to unify the rules by applying OW mechanics to one of the older games, and questions regarding the ease of integration for crossover campaigns with characters, enemies or equipment from one of the other core rulebooks have been regular topics for years, so there certainly seems to be some interest. From what it sounds like, however, your project seems to be the biggest so far, if only because you have opted to translate everything, from how it sounds like.
 
You certainly have your work cut out for yourself, especially considering that you have to make design choices by yourself, too, as you mentioned in your third point. If you are willing to scale back Space Marines from Movie Marine to a level closer to the original fluff, you may even be able to include the Deathwatch and Black Crusade RPGs in your project, thus making it an all-encompassing ruleset for Imperial, Neutral, and Chaos campaigns - as well as allowing characters a natural transition between them. Or, well, keep Marines on their level and thus allow for epic Marine-campaigns as simply another option from your stuff (although I think potential for mixed groups would be more interesting).
 
I wish you the best of luck, and fun - I can say from own experience that it takes a lot of dedication to pull through with such a huge project, so let's hope you are more successful at maintaining focus than I was. dormido

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#3 Storm6436

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:18 AM

Lynata said:

Several people have already started to unify the rules by applying OW mechanics to one of the older games, and questions regarding the ease of integration for crossover campaigns with characters, enemies or equipment from one of the other core rulebooks have been regular topics for years, so there certainly seems to be some interest. From what it sounds like, however, your project seems to be the biggest so far, if only because you have opted to translate everything, from how it sounds like.
 
You certainly have your work cut out for yourself, especially considering that you have to make design choices by yourself, too, as you mentioned in your third point. If you are willing to scale back Space Marines from Movie Marine to a level closer to the original fluff, you may even be able to include the Deathwatch and Black Crusade RPGs in your project, thus making it an all-encompassing ruleset for Imperial, Neutral, and Chaos campaigns - as well as allowing characters a natural transition between them. Or, well, keep Marines on their level and thus allow for epic Marine-campaigns as simply another option from your stuff (although I think potential for mixed groups would be more interesting).
 
I wish you the best of luck, and fun - I can say from own experience that it takes a lot of dedication to pull through with such a huge project, so let's hope you are more successful at maintaining focus than I was. dormido

 

I figure it's a matter of taking things a bite at a time.  Doing DH/RT won't be too bad, since they're the most similar to OW.   If I get that section down, then I'll likely do DW.   As it stands right now, I've got a ton of BC books, but I use them to generate VIP badguys and the like for the party ATM.

 Honestly, I think the biggest problem I have with the game system mechanics as a whole when it comes to the differences… is that it's obvious the designers wanted bigger/better/faster but eventually painted themselves in a corner.   Take DW for example… while I like the idea it kinda wants to be DH but with space marines, the fact that you have no option but to play as Deathwatch kinda bugs me.  What if I wanted to play as a full unit of UltraMarines?  It would have been better for them to make a universal set of rules for space marines, then explain how to play the special exceptions… stuff like Deathwatch, the Space Wolves, Grey Knights, etc.   Instead, everything is Deathwatch focused, and I think that detracts from the overall feel of "Look, I'm a space marine.  I can walk, kick ass, and chew bubble gum at the same time" feeling.  

  All in all, I understand and agree: Space marines are supposed to be the last word in sticking a boot in someone's nethers… but I'm just not seeing the extreme difference in bolters between the smaller caliber human stuff and the SM stuff.  Also, seeing as the space marines crew their own ships, it would've been nice to have a RT tie in with starships… then you could publish stats for chapter spacecraft and the like, making both the space marine fans and the Rogue Trader types happy… especially if you did it in a cross-compatible format where the RT folks could use Astartes craft in their games.   Hell, I bet that book would sell damn well.

 That all said, I think the other glaring problem that you run into is the same one I ran into with Only War:  some sections, it's obvious the devs have no real world experience on anything related to the subject matter.   Sadly, they have the penultimate excuse:  It's 40k, tech isn't understood/people are just more retarded now.   I mean, I get that, I really do… but it gets so overused that I have issues swallowing that excuse… especially when I've seen how certain facets really do work or don't work in real life.  Some lessons are universal, they speak their truths in such a manner to where any idiot could understand them and i don't see 38k years somehow erasing fundamentally trivial lessons to learn.

 For example:  In OW, Stormtrooper is a starting class… having been .mil and knowing how basic training regimens work, and how advanced training comes into play… how much sense does it make for you to take your brand new Stormtrooper, fresh out of their pipeline, and throw him into a guard unit?  He is level 1 in the game, after all.   Honestly, if you're farming out your folks to lesser units, you send your vets, the folks who can look at the newbs and say with a straight face: Welcome to the suck.    Why?  Because if you take a guy straight out of the pipeline and farm him out, he hasn't had time to solidify his skillset.  He hasn't had time to learn that bootcamp is not life, and that real combat is different from what they teach you in school.   Having a newbie stormtrooper included with guardsmen would be doing both a disservice:  The guardsmen would not get the benefit of the wisdom from a real vet and the stormtrooper's special training would go to waste and decay while he was not with his unit.   Veterans suffer less from the skill decay and they actually know what works.     So, given the stats of the stormtrooper as available in OW as a support class, I can't help but come to the conclusion he's just as much a noob as the rest of the party and as such has no business being there.

 One of the things I'm considering in terms of balance and giving everyone something to work towards… after all, I'm including DH/Ascension here… what i'm looking at is at either 10k, 12.5k, or 15k XP be a split off for support classes in OW, and the DH/RT classes… introducing the Ascension and Into the Storm classes as available.   Ie. treat it like the transition between DH and Ascension.  Psykers can make Primaris, your regular guardsmen have, by this time, bounced around a ton of different classes and picked up everything they're interested in… Give the regular guardsmen something to work towards: let them become Stormtroopers.  Your Enginseer?  Let him make Magos.    So on, and so forth.

Anyways, I think I'll shut up now; need to get back to building my spreadsheet of doom.



#4 Storm6436

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:59 AM

 Oh, as I was just reminded by my girlfriend, our party psyker:  maintaining focus shouldn't be much of a problem, considering I'm doing this to make my own campaign easier to handle.  I've discussed much of this with my players and they seem all for it, from the fluff-knowledgable guys to the 'Hey, I just want to rolls some dice, drink some beer, and kill some damn orcs' folks who've never cracked a book or played the table top.  I guess it's a result of having folks who played DH, tried rolling RT characters, deciding 'Screw this' and me deciding there was no reason why their current characters couldn't fill the appropriate roles with some penalties thrown in until they'd grown into their new shoes as it were.  Bit more complicated than that, but I don't think everyone wants to sit here and read an encylopedic explanation :P

If anyone gets curious, I've been posting snippets from our campaign under the title "The Emperor Prevails" in various GM/House rules sections.  I'm sure much of what I've done with my game so far would be considered Heresy or Apostasy by many W40k fans… but it's worked so far, and by going over my proposed changes with my fluff-heavy players, I've made sure to avoid obvious heresy or at least hide it under a pretty guise :) 

 Oh, and I'll definitely have to do Deathwatch in a more sane fashion.  We've recovered a contingent of pre-Heresy Thousand Sons that a few players have made noises about wishing they could play :)  Long story, but not really fluff breaking to the point of brain-bleeding.    I was complimented by how things worked by the fluff-guys :) 



#5 Lynata

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:40 PM

Ah, it always comes down to a matter of preferences, and I guess many of the choices made by the game designers can be attributed to a maximum degree of player freedom. Deathwatch, for example, was probably chosen as a theme because the players there are free to pick their character from just about any Marine Chapter they can imagine, rather than having to decide on one Chapter for everyone. The same can be said for Only War, where the Storm Troopers would otherwise only operate in their own dedicated units rather than mingle with line troops. Or the invention of female Vostroyan Firstborn. The list goes on.
 
And in a way, 40k as a franchise fully supports deviating interpretations. I still don't really like it, as I prefer consistency as it exists in settings like Battletech, but I've at least come to accept GW's way of handling their world now, and have found ways to work with it. This is also why it can only be positive if we have not just one but many fans working out many different rulesets, each following their own vision (just like the various novel authors, and like the designers and writers from Black Industries and Fantasy Flight did), for it will only increase the ability of those who have grown to like a different interpretation of the setting to find something to their liking and, hopefully, have even more fun playing the game.
 
That is why I've put time into starting my own project as well, after all, for I've always envisioned a 40k RPG as a platform to play adventures the likes of which we may know from various stories or timeline events. In part, this can be achieved by the existing ruleset already, yet each game's focus on its own narrative style and theme, rather than compatibility with the other product lines, obviously makes it rather difficult to recreate every style of campaign I feel should be possible, i.e. which has a precedence in the original GW fluff I've "grown up with". To say nothing of the equipment and enemy stats that keep jumping up and down between the books, or where FFG decided to just make something weaker or more powerful than its original Codex fluff.
But such details are things we all have to decide for ourselves, just like the question what sort of fluff we'd like to incorporate in our interpretations of the 41st Millennium in the first place. The "different lenses through which we can view the world", as Aaron Dembski-Bowden once said.
 
Anyways, good luck with your endeavour! With a group behind your back, I can see that there's likely not going to be a shortage of motivation.

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#6 Storm6436

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:09 AM

Lynata said:

Ah, it always comes down to a matter of preferences, and I guess many of the choices made by the game designers can be attributed to a maximum degree of player freedom. Deathwatch, for example, was probably chosen as a theme because the players there are free to pick their character from just about any Marine Chapter they can imagine, rather than having to decide on one Chapter for everyone. The same can be said for Only War, where the Storm Troopers would otherwise only operate in their own dedicated units rather than mingle with line troops. Or the invention of female Vostroyan Firstborn. The list goes on.
 
And in a way, 40k as a franchise fully supports deviating interpretations. I still don't really like it, as I prefer consistency as it exists in settings like Battletech, but I've at least come to accept GW's way of handling their world now, and have found ways to work with it. This is also why it can only be positive if we have not just one but many fans working out many different rulesets, each following their own vision (just like the various novel authors, and like the designers and writers from Black Industries and Fantasy Flight did), for it will only increase the ability of those who have grown to like a different interpretation of the setting to find something to their liking and, hopefully, have even more fun playing the game.
 
That is why I've put time into starting my own project as well, after all, for I've always envisioned a 40k RPG as a platform to play adventures the likes of which we may know from various stories or timeline events. In part, this can be achieved by the existing ruleset already, yet each game's focus on its own narrative style and theme, rather than compatibility with the other product lines, obviously makes it rather difficult to recreate every style of campaign I feel should be possible, i.e. which has a precedence in the original GW fluff I've "grown up with". To say nothing of the equipment and enemy stats that keep jumping up and down between the books, or where FFG decided to just make something weaker or more powerful than its original Codex fluff.
But such details are things we all have to decide for ourselves, just like the question what sort of fluff we'd like to incorporate in our interpretations of the 41st Millennium in the first place. The "different lenses through which we can view the world", as Aaron Dembski-Bowden once said.
 
Anyways, good luck with your endeavour! With a group behind your back, I can see that there's likely not going to be a shortage of motivation.

 

Very true.  What's worse is that different folks in the group are clamoring for different stuff.  My Rogue Trader who is also the party psyker is pushing for a draft of my revised crew rules for starcraft… and for me to finish the DH/RT/OW integration so she can see how it works… primarily because we've spent the last two days doing theoretical discussions as to how to handle psyker mechanics.  At this point, I'm keeping the OW base mechanics (Psy-rating/WP change, attribute test instead of manifest, etc)  but going to work in overbleed from DH, refactor the power list to make it more appropriate and to give OW psykers a little more oomph behind them instead of the neutered version present.    Part of that is going to be balanced by the powers themselves, part by the fact that I'll be requiring WS or BS tests for most offensive skills, which keeps the "I use Force barrage and with my 6 Psy Rating and 65 WP… and I'm pushing… that makes… carry the eight… yeah. We win." far less of an easy feat to accomplish while retaining a bit of the flash.   Likely cutting bolts down to 1d5 instead of 1d10 since I'm adding overbleed effects back in, and likely psyker talents to make them more effective.   1d5 not soaked by armor is still pretty damaging against things that only have 10-15 HP to begin with ;)

 Finished basic data entry for Into the Storm and Ascension yesterday.  By basic, I mean I have the talents and the like in "Name - Req - Summary" fashion done.  Also have most of the Kroot stuff put in.

 Honestly, if I'm going to push this as a replacement Players Handbook, it'll require a lot more work and a significantly larger spreadsheet… but it's looking like, with the mechanics changes I'm doing, that I might be heading in that way.   At the rate I'm going, I should just do the work and see if FFG wants it for v2.0 for their games  :)  Maybe an author credit or something :P

 Figure I'll be visiting the equipment section to pare down the selection choices as right now, the Armory spreadsheet has a *ton* of gear… converting it into an acceptable listing for gear wouldn't hurt.   I know one snag is the old Hellgun vs new hotshot las.   Haven't really read up on that.  I kinda liked the hellguns :(



#7 Lynata

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 03:24 AM

Storm6436 said:

I know one snag is the old Hellgun vs new hotshot las.   Haven't really read up on that.  I kinda liked the hellguns :(
Well … make it so you have both? complice


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#8 Storm6436

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 03:42 AM

Lynata said:

Storm6436 said:

I know one snag is the old Hellgun vs new hotshot las.   Haven't really read up on that.  I kinda liked the hellguns :(

Well … make it so you have both? complice

 

 

Entirely a possibility.  I'm still at data entry at this point.  Design changes come once I've got everything I need put together.   Without looking up the stats, etc… I can probably justify keeping both and upping the rarity of the hellguns a notch saying they're almost exclusively used by Inquisitorial Stormtrooper units while everyeone else gets to suck it on the Hotshot las. 

 Kind of frowny ATM.  Been trying to reach my player who rolled a stormtrooper for the last two days to discuss me force-converting him to main-line weapon specialist and removing Stormtrooper as a starting class, as I plan on introducing an Ascension style cut-off at 15k XP for an Ascension style character evolution… and would like to have the 'prestige' class for main grunts be Stormtrooper with alternative templates for specialists.  That will make more sense once I get more design work done and can explain a bit better how I'm thinking I want templates to work… assuming I stick with that idea :P



#9 MILLANDSON

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 11:12 PM

Just to say, I'd be careful about distributing that - if it doesn't require a copy of the various rules, it is likely to break copyright.

You've just got to be very careful when it comes to copying lots of stuff from various books into a single document, especially if it's not going to just be for personal use.


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#10 Storm6436

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:01 AM

MILLANDSON said:

Just to say, I'd be careful about distributing that - if it doesn't require a copy of the various rules, it is likely to break copyright.

You've just got to be very careful when it comes to copying lots of stuff from various books into a single document, especially if it's not going to just be for personal use.


 Yep, that's the curious thing though.  I don't think FFG went after eBarbarossa or the other guy for their W40K RPG Armory spreadsheet.  I'll likely keep it similar, just enough info to get an idea how it works, but not so much as to be a complete book.   List of talents, class outlines, progression chart, but not an all-in-one doc.  

 As it stands, using OW as a base, I've been poking and prodding, seeing how the dev team for OW dealt with DH/AS.  Definitely approve of a few changes.   Biggest deal that I figure is that I'm bringing a bunch of the psyker stuff from DH into this unified ruleset.  Some names have changed to better suit the power, some details in the powers have changed to reflect the new ruleset, some values tweaked to lower the OMG-factor of some of the powers.  Currently, I figure I'm less than 72 hours real-world from being able to refactor a Ascention level Primaris Psyker who cross-classed into Rogue Trader under my new rule set.  The fun thing is, with the priorities I set, I'm looking at less than 2 hours from that Psyker being convertible to the new ruleset to most other classes.

 Under the current design, I'm looking at all the base classes in DH, RT, and OW as selectible.  Going live will necessitate me completely finishing AS/ITS integration, since my party is at a ~18k XP ATM.   Will probably take me a day or two to plot out any other available classes.   After looking through Disciples of the Dark Gods and some of the other books; really, once you convert to OW, all those other classes are… fluff.  Nothing functional to make them stand out.   *shrug*  I'll worry about it when I get there.

 Speaking of worrying about things, one thing I noticed that I'm not sure how it'll play out:  say you have a psyker, as it stands under OW rules, a psyker with 18k XP would be level 7.  Given that they can't cross-class, that means they could take 6 WP enhancements from staying Psyker.  Figure 35 as an average "fresh from the dice" starting WP stat, from leveling alone, they'd have a 65 WP… and less than 1k XP. would get you easily into the 70s.

 



#11 Morkalg

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:48 PM

I'd be very very interested in something like this. 


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#12 Woodclaw

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:45 PM

I've tried something like this myself, adding a good measure of Cyberpunk 2020 to level some problems with the combat section. Unfortunalty the work went to the backburner some time ago, due to time constraints.



#13 Storm6436

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:02 AM

Woodclaw said:

I've tried something like this myself, adding a good measure of Cyberpunk 2020 to level some problems with the combat section. Unfortunalty the work went to the backburner some time ago, due to time constraints.

 I've gone back and forth with a few of my friends that are pretty hardcore W40K RPG… so, 99% of data entry is done, and I'm stuck at "Making final design decisions to figure out how much more needs to be done and what should just be left where it is."

 So, in short, this is more or less what I've done, in XLS format:

Complete list of all OW and HoE talents, skills, skill groups, psyker powers, etc.

Made a complete listing of all the same from DH, RT, and the other non-OW suppliments, then checked for redundancies, screened for updates, then isolated talents/etc that weren't included in OW.

 This lead to a list of talents and the like that had been orphaned… pretty much the entire DH psyker power list and most psyker talents weren't carried over… a select few of the Ascention talents were carried over, but not all.  No faith powers made the crossover.

 I've gone over the original DH psyker powers, removed what's essentially duplicates, made the proper substitutions for swapping WP-based stuff for OW's Psy Rating-based system.   Converted many of the old psyker talents to be compatible with the new PR-based system.

 Which leaves me a few design decisions: 

 Classes --  Seeing as HoE reintroduced the level scheme along with "advanced" classes and the like, do I stick the DH/RT classes with the support/specialist label from OW or do I do something else?   (Note:  Since I wrote that, I've come up with something.  Needs to be playtested.  Could be awesome.)

Talents -- They ditched all the paragon skills and most of the talents from Ascension… can't blame them, they were, for the most part, useless.  That said, there are a few holes:  las/plasma/sp expertise and mastery… but nothing for bolt.  Melee wise they have chain expertise, but nothing for power or force weapons.    I'm looking into absconding with a few of the AS talent/skill labels and turning them into new content.  Not sure if I'm going to stick them at T3 in terms of talents, or make a T4 to stick them in.   One theme is the weapon mastery… since weapon training is done by projectile type now (las, plasma, etc) instead of form factor (pistol, basic (rifle), etc) I'm thinking of bringing up weapon expertise talents back for them. 
 Example:  Rifle Expertise - BS 50 - Ballistics skill, finesse - Many long hours of practice and a never-ending series of firefights, your rifle has seen you through it all.  Its weight, a familiar comfort in your hands; the recoil, reassuring.  Your rifle has started to become part of you and you a part of it.  When using rifles capable of using semi-auto fire, gain +10 to BS checks made with it, add one to its semi-auto rate of fire.

 Smooth Operator - Weapon Expertise (Rifle, Pistol, etc), BS 55, Agi 40 - Sweep and clear.  Breach, bang, and clear.  You've heard these orders given so many times, they've become second nature.  You've engaged in clearing operations for so long now, you are no longer consciously aware of the mundane tasks.   When making an attack action with a ranged weapon, you may forgo the +10 BS bonus granted by talents like Rifle Expertise, instead making a move action while firing.   This move action may take place before, during or after the attacks being made and does not count against the single move action limit, as it is considered wholly part of the attack action being made.



#14 Storm6436

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:58 AM

One other thing I've discovered while doing all the entry and looking at the underlying mechanics… after conversion to OW, almost every class that doesn't fit an archetype is extraneous, reduced to merely fluff.   Thanks to the aptitude system, there isn't much functional difference between most classes.   I'm thinking of remediating some of this by requiring +30 skills be only available to characters with both aptitudes for them.    Depending on how I do things, that should help differenciate between the classes a bit.



#15 Lynata

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:40 PM

Storm6436 said:

One other thing I've discovered while doing all the entry and looking at the underlying mechanics… after conversion to OW, almost every class that doesn't fit an archetype is extraneous, reduced to merely fluff.   Thanks to the aptitude system, there isn't much functional difference between most classes.
Is that really a bad thing? It may be personal preference, but I'd think this is rather realistic, and I like a degree of realism in my games. Most if not all of the differences come from the background and how players should RP these characters.

In fact, I wouldn't even try to translate every class, but rather merge some of them into one that has options for "branching out" into different specialisations. Why would the Sniper have to be a class on its own, for example? Just use "Guardsman", and let the player acquire sniper-y advances and equipment.

For my own pet-project I also thought about giving each class one or two unique abilities that make sure another class cannot quite emulate them 100%, though, even if they can (and should be allowed to) get fairly close under the right circumstances. Maybe that's something you may want to adopt - the basic concept itself isn't new and already exists for the various games, after all.


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#16 Storm6436

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 01:51 PM

Lynata said:

Storm6436 said:

One other thing I've discovered while doing all the entry and looking at the underlying mechanics… after conversion to OW, almost every class that doesn't fit an archetype is extraneous, reduced to merely fluff.   Thanks to the aptitude system, there isn't much functional difference between most classes.

Is that really a bad thing? It may be personal preference, but I'd think this is rather realistic, and I like a degree of realism in my games. Most if not all of the differences come from the background and how players should RP these characters.

 

In fact, I wouldn't even try to translate every class, but rather merge some of them into one that has options for "branching out" into different specialisations. Why would the Sniper have to be a class on its own, for example? Just use "Guardsman", and let the player acquire sniper-y advances and equipment.

For my own pet-project I also thought about giving each class one or two unique abilities that make sure another class cannot quite emulate them 100%, though, even if they can (and should be allowed to) get fairly close under the right circumstances. Maybe that's something you may want to adopt - the basic concept itself isn't new and already exists for the various games, after all.

 

I wouldn't say that it's necessarily a bad thing… just that I can see some people looking at stuff and being "But my DH character was a X and a Y… now I'm just X with an extra aptitude and being put off.   I guess it's more like biting in to something and it's not what you thought it was…. like thinking you found some chocolate chips cookies when they're really just freakin cheap-ass raisin cookies :(  lol

 Game this monday, pushing my alpha-version live then.   Effectively removed nearly all rogue trader classes, slipped in a mechanic that made them redundant.  If this works, if you insist on playing a RT campaign where you guys start in space, you simply roll out a new toon on this system starting at rank 3, and there are templates on how to mimic rogue trader classes with what's available.

 

 Rought now my source doc is pretty rough… and by rough I mean *zero* fluff.  Nothing but tables and mechanics descriptions.  I'm thinking I'm going to put together a second document for describing how to use the spreadsheet.

 In other news, I gave psykers some serious love by merging the DH/RT-based psychic power list in, to include flavoring several of the old talents and putting them back in as well.   Flip side, for balance, psykers now need Ballistic or Melee skill, depending on what they're using.  AEs don't require either, and this may be removed if it  gimps them too much in playtesting… but when you see the amount of new love they have, it'll be apparant why I needed them to split their XP from just stacking WP till the floor caved in.
 



#17 Storm6436

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:02 PM

On an off note: 

 I'm running a binary campaign, where our DH/RT characters are essentially the strategic map, our RT has a imperial guard regiment she "obtained" through various means (including guilting the IG/munitorium over a variety of services she'd done for them) … and the OW campaign, which is a reflection of the Rogue Trader's actions, is the tactical map.  This IG regiment is modified drop-troopers, instead of Airborne, they're air assault-- there is a difference.   Took more than a few phone calls with a few army buddies of mine who have their ranger tabs and the like, one of which is a 40k nut, to come to a happy place with the regiment design.  Either way, they've been used primarily as transorbital recon and the like… 

 Monday will mark their first combat drop where they expected trouble going in, as opposed to thinking that the area is unpopulated and getting lit up by targetting radars and anti-aircraft fire :P    They'll be air-dropping in with planetary locals as a show of trustworthyness (ie. Rogue Trader is trying to ingratiate herself to the planetary leaders) … and jumping right into an area overrun with chaos cultists who have managed to actually summon more than a few barely bound daemonhosts.

 Should be fun.  :)  Plan on singing Blood on the Risers to set the mood while they're all in the air transports waiting to jump :P



#18 Storm6436

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 06:50 AM

Okay, so first beta test session complete!

 In the planning stages, I realized that many folks had built their characters in a manner that wasn't very conducive to the aptitude system... ie. a Tech priest that went mostly combat stuff because he liked the idea of skitarri/tech-guard/crimson guard, whose character rules have been curiously absent for some time... or a seneschal who went heavy combat side...  I discovered this after building default aptitudes for every class I'm including based off the cost to purchase attribute upgrades. 

 My solution, aside from adding one aptitude to the classes that were pretty short, addressed both the lack of aptitudes for general play and the fact that I eliminated most of the Rogue Trader classes.   My RT-loving players were kinda miffed at this at first, but when I explained the system I'd come up with, it took them a few elegant,but they all eventually came around and decided my solution was the most elegant they could come up with.  The solution?  Specialization/Focus.   At rank 3, instead of taking a +5 to a stat, you get to choose a focus from a table I generated... I tried to generate sufficient types of focus stuff to allow folks to really add flavor to their character.   

 Want to take your character in a martial direction?  Got a focus for melee and another for ballistics.   Congrats, ghetto tech-guard (I plan on making a list of skitarii specific implants that require one of the militant focuses) ... but what if your character already has the aptitudes for ballistics or melee? Why would you take that focus?   Each focus has a primary and secondary aptitude, but only gives you one.  If you have the primary, you get the secondary, if you have the secondary, you get nothing immediately.  The talent that becomes available for each focus allows a single reroll per session under specific circumstances... except  if you could not take an aptitude from said focus.  If you had the primary, it becomes two rerolls, if you had both, three.   This allows the player to choose between more power or more aptitudes...

 

 So, the focus class bit partially fixed that... the other fix action was to allow players to pick an aptitude out of a list based on their homeworld.   Each homeworld has three choices...  Void Born can choose between WP, Agi, or Perception.  Penal worlders can choose between Weapon Skill, Willpower, and Toughness;  Fortress worlders, Weapon Skill, Ballistics Skill, or Toughness...  You see how this works now :)


 And all that to address the fact that the folks in my game were sitting at about 18k XP and, when refactored, ended up slightly less powerful than they were, across the board.   Depending on class, we're talking 1-4k worth of XP to get back where they were.   Well, everyone but the tech priests that is... but that's another story, as the "I live in my forge and make stuff" tech priest was almost on-par... while the skitarii-wannabe took a big kick in the junk (good thing it's augmetic!) ...

 We'll have to see how more things turn out in testing, as I'm not quite done with the ascension class levels yet.   Supposed to talk with my Mechanicus players later to figure out a path forward with them, as I'm thinking of adding a second Ascension level class for them, Magos Militant, to make the skitarii players happy.

 Beyond that, addressing stat cap issues or adding actual flavor is my next goal.



#19 borithan

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:43 AM

  All in all, I understand and agree: Space marines are supposed to be the last word in sticking a boot in someone's nethers… but I'm just not seeing the extreme difference in bolters between the smaller caliber human stuff and the SM stuff.

There is no different in calibre between Space Marine weapons and non-Space Marine ones. The Space Marine codex clarified that bolters are .75 inch calibre. Dark heresy stated that is the same for the "normal" bolters. This means that Space Marine bolt rounds either are longer (to get more explosive power in the same width) or have "better" more powerful explosive filling.

 

Also, in the game you are talking of a difference between 1d10+5 (or is it 6?) versus 2d10+5 (or 1d10+9 depending on the stats you use). That is actually quite a notiable difference on the scale of this game (2d10+5 particularly, especially because of the chances of righteous fury).

 

Personally I don't like "Space Marine bolters are bigger". I know Dark Heresy states it, but I don't see why Space Marine guns need to be better (a bit physically bigger to accommodate the Space Marine build, possibly, but not m,re powerful). To me having a powerful and rare gun as a stadard small arm is enough of a boost without needing it to be "EVAN BIGGA". It is also something not supported by anything prior to Dark Heresy. It seems the difference came into being during the development of Dark Heresy, as apparently all bolters used to be 2d10 damage. Then, for some reason (too powerful? But really it is very random rather than powerful. Maybe that was the problem?) this was changed. However, there was the sidebar talking about "even more powerful space marine bolters" and the weapon that apparently used Space Marine bolt rounds stayed at 2d10.

 

I have considered a project of a "core rulebook" but my personal preference was actually working from Dark Heresy as a base and integrating those parts of the later series that I thought were an improvement... however, I was one of those that wasn't so keen on many of the changes made since Black Crusade.


Edited by borithan, 03 July 2013 - 07:46 AM.


#20 Storm6436

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 06:18 PM

 

  All in all, I understand and agree: Space marines are supposed to be the last word in sticking a boot in someone's nethers… but I'm just not seeing the extreme difference in bolters between the smaller caliber human stuff and the SM stuff.

There is no different in calibre between Space Marine weapons and non-Space Marine ones. The Space Marine codex clarified that bolters are .75 inch calibre. Dark heresy stated that is the same for the "normal" bolters. This means that Space Marine bolt rounds either are longer (to get more explosive power in the same width) or have "better" more powerful explosive filling.

 

Also, in the game you are talking of a difference between 1d10+5 (or is it 6?) versus 2d10+5 (or 1d10+9 depending on the stats you use). That is actually quite a notiable difference on the scale of this game (2d10+5 particularly, especially because of the chances of righteous fury).

 

Personally I don't like "Space Marine bolters are bigger". I know Dark Heresy states it, but I don't see why Space Marine guns need to be better (a bit physically bigger to accommodate the Space Marine build, possibly, but not m,re powerful). To me having a powerful and rare gun as a stadard small arm is enough of a boost without needing it to be "EVAN BIGGA". It is also something not supported by anything prior to Dark Heresy. It seems the difference came into being during the development of Dark Heresy, as apparently all bolters used to be 2d10 damage. Then, for some reason (too powerful? But really it is very random rather than powerful. Maybe that was the problem?) this was changed. However, there was the sidebar talking about "even more powerful space marine bolters" and the weapon that apparently used Space Marine bolt rounds stayed at 2d10.

 

I have considered a project of a "core rulebook" but my personal preference was actually working from Dark Heresy as a base and integrating those parts of the later series that I thought were an improvement... however, I was one of those that wasn't so keen on many of the changes made since Black Crusade.

 

  Good point.  Either way, I'll have to cross that bridge when I get there.  I'll be testing the new system for a while plus working on additional subsystems and other house rules... like breaking Operate into specific specialties... for some reason I don't really like the idea that my drop trooper regiment, by virtue of being able to use grav chutes can magically fly a Shark landing craft or whatnot.  

I know some of the optional systems I'm coming up with will cause some folks to go into conniptions, but I'm not happy with the way FFG's folks have handled some stuff.  

I liked the idea behind Stars of Inequity, but the system they've come up with is simultaneously cumbersome while lacking in spots.   I don't care for how a size 10 single hive "colony" can take a top-end resource from 100+ to empty in three years.  If that were the case, life wouldn't exist on Earth.  

 I took some info from a forum post on actually delineating PF into what kind of holdings they have, what contracts, titles, etc... looking into developing more on that, and creating a Dynasty Character sheet to track all the important aspects of said RT dynasty.

 Similarly, I somewhat frown on how they've handled PCs as bridge crew, will be developing a separate system to handle that.

 At this rate, if I finish all this and it sufficiently doesn't suck, I might as well send FFG a teaser chunk and see if they're interested in publishing :D






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