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Missed opportunity I think...


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#1 vargr

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:26 PM

I think FFG missed an excellent opportunity to rework Dark Heresy with the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay/Edge of the Empire dice mechanics.  Alas.


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#2 MorioMortis

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:37 PM

I think FFG missed an excellent opportunity to rework Dark Heresy with the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay/Edge of the Empire dice mechanics.  Alas.

 

A set of mechanic a lot of players dislike because it requires users to buy a lot of extra material. A lot of WFRP 1e and 2e players did not move to 3e because they felt the added peripherals didn't add anything, and they felt the system was just more finicky. Plus, the lack of backwards compatibility didn't help; 2e was similar enough that conversions from 1e where possible (including the always excellent TEW, if you ignore SRiK and change EiF for the fan made alternative), but many where initially turned off 3e when it didn't even have all the lores in core. The fact that the system is dependent on a lot of material means that it is nearly impossible to include all the stuff people want inside the starter kit, forcing people to buy more stuff with more peripherals to play things that where core in the previous edition. The fact that the system is also difficult to plan online, and more expensive due to the material, is also something of a turn off for many.


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The stupid must be bashed upon the head with the Mallet of Wisdom until their heads are inflated with knowledge.

 

Words to live (and die) by : "I have officially Been out-rogue tradered!  As always, one must always assume that no matter how grand your plan is, it's never enough!" - RogalDorn1


#3 ErikB

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:44 PM

The new Star Wars game ditches the cards and whatnot and just keeps the dice.

 

Seems to go down better with people.


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#4 vargr

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:22 PM

As much as I love cards and chits and tokens and bits and bobs, I agree with you on that point MorioMortis.  However, I'm talking specifically about the dice mechanic - Narration System, or whatever FFG is calling it.  What began with WFR3 and was refined with EotE.  I think it would be a perfect opportunity to present the 40K setting much like Star Wars is being presented.  They could rework the whole shebang again only with the beautiful dice mechanic they've created.  I don't particularly care about backwards compatibility because 1) I hate d100 systems and 2) setting material will always be compatible.  Anyway, I was simply lamenting and curious if anyone else had the same disappointment.

 

 

 

I think FFG missed an excellent opportunity to rework Dark Heresy with the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay/Edge of the Empire dice mechanics.  Alas.

 

A set of mechanic a lot of players dislike because it requires users to buy a lot of extra material. A lot of WFRP 1e and 2e players did not move to 3e because they felt the added peripherals didn't add anything, and they felt the system was just more finicky. Plus, the lack of backwards compatibility didn't help; 2e was similar enough that conversions from 1e where possible (including the always excellent TEW, if you ignore SRiK and change EiF for the fan made alternative), but many where initially turned off 3e when it didn't even have all the lores in core. The fact that the system is dependent on a lot of material means that it is nearly impossible to include all the stuff people want inside the starter kit, forcing people to buy more stuff with more peripherals to play things that where core in the previous edition. The fact that the system is also difficult to plan online, and more expensive due to the material, is also something of a turn off for many.

 



#5 Luddite

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:50 PM

I think FFG missed an excellent opportunity to rework Dark Heresy with the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay/Edge of the Empire dice mechanics.  Alas.

 

 

Thankfully not a missed opportunity for me.  I would never have bought into it if FFG had gone down the 'board game in RPG clothing' route.



#6 illathid

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:59 PM

I agree. The d100 system is pretty horrible in terms ease of use and accessibility to new players. While I love WFRP 3e, I agree that keeping the cards and chits out of it is a good idea. Or if you do have them, make it optional. Just my two cents.

#7 Kaihlik

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:16 PM

I actually like the EotE system, in fact our group did a podcast about it and gave it pretty positive reviews but the system works well in the much more sanatised Star Wars universe than the grittier 40k one. I dont want to fall unconcious after a few hits, I want bodyparts to fly, cook and my enemies to die screaming in a pool of their own blood. The dice system from EotE is a good narative mechanic in a universe that is very narative driven and as such I feel it works there. I feel the % system works better for a universe where one of the great themes is the harshness of the setting and one slip up is the difference between life and death.



#8 khimaera

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:18 PM

Whereas most new players I've met are turned off by the idea of weird dice and having to buy weird dice. There's nothing difficult to understand about a percentile system, maybe it's artless but I'd go for simple percentile rolls over gimmicky novelty dice any day.
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#9 MorioMortis

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:20 PM

I agree. The d100 system is pretty horrible in terms ease of use and accessibility to new players. While I love WFRP 3e, I agree that keeping the cards and chits out of it is a good idea. Or if you do have them, make it optional. Just my two cents.

 

I don't get this, the d100 is one of the simplest systems to learn. Fix a target number, usually a single stat + 2 modifiers (skills + situational modifier), roll underneath it. When necessary, roll opposed checks, with again 1 stat + 2 modifiers. It's simple and universal, and a 100 point scale is easy to understand because indiviuals are used to dealing with percentage values. Anybody knows that needing to roll under 35 on a d100 is a 35% chance of success, but nobody knows instinctively what the chance of success on test of 5d6, keep best 3, need 2 over 5.

 

Compare this to d20 (as in d&d 3.x, 4e and 5e) where it is usually roll over a target number that is modified both by internal and external factors, possibly from dozens of sources, variable dice pools with fixed target number (like SR4e) or, even worse, variable target numbers (like SR1-3e), sometimes roll over, sometimes roll under systems (most tabletop wargames), or different peripherals for different actions (like cards in Deadlands), and the d100 system comes out pretty simple. Moreover, you have a single type of dice, and they behave like normal dices; the numbers represent the numbers on the roll, with one being the 10s and the other the 1s. Of course, modifying the modifiers so that the target number is always fixed (like success on 101, DoS if higher than that) would make it even simpler, but the current system is among the easiest to pick up. Unless you are a Psyker where you have to watch for Warp stuff, the only thing that can affect your rolls after you roll them is a Jam or a Crit, which are both nearly always universal for all weapons.


Edited by MorioMortis, 28 July 2013 - 06:22 PM.

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The stupid must be bashed upon the head with the Mallet of Wisdom until their heads are inflated with knowledge.

 

Words to live (and die) by : "I have officially Been out-rogue tradered!  As always, one must always assume that no matter how grand your plan is, it's never enough!" - RogalDorn1


#10 ErikB

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:41 PM

The dice system from EotE is a good narative mechanic in a universe that is very narative driven and as such I feel it works there. I feel the % system works better for a universe where one of the great themes is the harshness of the setting and one slip up is the difference between life and death.

 

I sorta agree. The % system works very well to kill heroic action. Everyone is running along jumping between rooftops and the GM says 'Make a 50% roll to jump this gap!' and all the players go 'now hold on a moment that sounds very dangerous!' and the chase scene comes to a crashing halt.

 

This does very well at producing a certain sort of game - the style you see in WFRP or CoC.

 

But it really only does that one style well. Using the % system locks 40k roleplaying in to that one mode, and frankly it isn't my preferred feel for 40k. Which runs more towards Temple Assassins and Marneus Calgar.


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#11 illathid

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:54 PM

Well I'm only speaking from experience, and my group has spent a lot of time playing Elder Sign, so maybe that's a part of it. But I've had explain degrees of success probably 3 times a session when playing Rogue Trader, while I explained the WFRP dice only once and it was never brought up again.

Part of this may also be due to basic task used in each system. My group found it much easier to see in a given roll if they had more hammers than swords than it was to see how far below their characteristic the roll was.

Maybe this isn't the case for everyone, but that's how it has worked in my game group. Regardless, I know if setting isn't a factor, me and my group would much rather play a system using narrative dice than a d100 system.

#12 MorioMortis

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:05 PM

But it really only does that one style well. Using the % system locks 40k roleplaying in to that one mode, and frankly it isn't my preferred feel for 40k. Which runs more towards Temple Assassins and Marneus Calgar.

 

 

Which isn't DH  :P. Space marines and Temple Assassins won't even care about that jump due to their massive S and Ag stats. In any case, probabilities will always be probabilities; it seems you like systems that are less gritty or harsh than what we have for Wh40k, similar to Weapons of the Gods (or Legends of the Wulin, same thing).

 

The d% system is a flat curve; it progresses linearly, and so low ranking characters don't have a lot of chances to do things, and higher ranks nearly always succeed, but not nearly to the same extent as most dicepool systems, where untrained characters need exploding dices to make a test, while trained characters don't and have more dices, that progress along a curve. The dice system itself however has no bearings on the grittiness of the system.

 

What you want it a more narrativist system, which usually allow more freedom and facilitate crazy maneuvers, but that isn't what DH is. The Wh40kRP system is meant to be gritty, and I think most players like it that way. You can always play the 40k universe with another, more cinematic/pulp system, but I don't think the core 40k system should be more pulpy.

 

As for DoS being difficult to understand, my group caught it instantly; I just said take your result, if it's under the Target Number, 1 DoS, and 1 more for every full 10 under. Not nearly as complicated as trying to figure out some old SR rules where some things are "roll x or over" and others are "roll more than x"...


Edited by MorioMortis, 28 July 2013 - 08:09 PM.

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The stupid must be bashed upon the head with the Mallet of Wisdom until their heads are inflated with knowledge.

 

Words to live (and die) by : "I have officially Been out-rogue tradered!  As always, one must always assume that no matter how grand your plan is, it's never enough!" - RogalDorn1


#13 Nimsim

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:05 PM

I think the biggest problem with the percentile system is that it reflects a flat probability that's really quite swingy. The probability curve isn't a bell, it's a flat line. You have an equal chance of rolling a 1 as you do of a 50 or a 100. Sure, if you were to take an infinite number of rolls on the system, your average would be really close to 50.5, but it would have a fairly large standard deviation (how big of a gap the rolls have, on average, from 50.5). The other facet of this is that your average player isn't going to be getting very close to infinity rolls, and thus the chance of his rolls being out of whack (super lucky, super unlucky, completely random pattern) goes up. The other main problem with the percentile system is that it is a flat success/failure most of the time, which is again made worse by the swinginess of the dice.

 

The thing I really would have liked to see DH do is borrow the Success at a Cost (if you fail a roll, you can choose to succeed but there will be a GM or Player-determined cost to do so) rule used in some other RPGs like FATE and allow degrees of failure to dictate just how much that cost would be. This gives plenty of opportunity for the GM to offer Faustian bargains to players, or even do the particularly evil "Oh sure even though you failed your Influence roll by 6 degrees of success, you manage to find a Meltagun you can afford. Do you still want it? All you have to do is sign this brief contract..." I would only recommend allowing it to be used outside of combat, though. My reason for liking this kind of design is that it reflects the theme of Faustian bargains in the setting, and is a great way of helping novice GMs keep the game from collapsing from a failed roll (I know the standard advice is to never let a story hinge on a single roll, but be honest, how many times have you seen this kind of thing still come up in play?), and lets expert GMs get a great chance to screw with the PCs. 



#14 Vaeron

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:17 PM

As much as I liked WFRP's dice pool system, I think tasks were too easy as they were easily overwhelmed by fairly inexpensive characteristic buys.  It just didn't catch on, though.  People don't want to have to learn new symbols, even when they're easily boiled down to their most basic like hammers and crossed swords.  Plus it means new supply of dice have to always be available; I don't know about recently, but in the WFRP board complaints about availability of dice went unheaded for more than a year.  No available dice = no playing the game without making a number translation chart for a standard d6, d8, or d10.



#15 MorioMortis

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:25 PM

As much as I liked WFRP's dice pool system, I think tasks were too easy as they were easily overwhelmed by fairly inexpensive characteristic buys.  It just didn't catch on, though.  People don't want to have to learn new symbols, even when they're easily boiled down to their most basic like hammers and crossed swords.  Plus it means new supply of dice have to always be available; I don't know about recently, but in the WFRP board complaints about availability of dice went unheaded for more than a year.  No available dice = no playing the game without making a number translation chart for a standard d6, d8, or d10.

 

Admittedly, any specialty dice is very easy to account for with normal dices, as long as the group uses a conversion system from normal numbers to special figures that is simple and constant. Of course, it's another layer of work, but it's the kind of thing cheat-sheets are made for, and you'll end up saving a lot of money over time.


The stupid must be bashed upon the head with the Mallet of Wisdom until their heads are inflated with knowledge.

 

Words to live (and die) by : "I have officially Been out-rogue tradered!  As always, one must always assume that no matter how grand your plan is, it's never enough!" - RogalDorn1


#16 illathid

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:46 PM

As much as I liked WFRP's dice pool system, I think tasks were too easy as they were easily overwhelmed by fairly inexpensive characteristic buys.  It just didn't catch on, though.  People don't want to have to learn new symbols, even when they're easily boiled down to their most basic like hammers and crossed swords.  Plus it means new supply of dice have to always be available; I don't know about recently, but in the WFRP board complaints about availability of dice went unheaded for more than a year.  No available dice = no playing the game without making a number translation chart for a standard d6, d8, or d10.


Yeah I don't think WFRP 3e was perfect by any means. In particular the dice were balanced funny which made success much more likely than failure, depending on the circumstances. I've just found they worked very well as a way to tie mechanics and story together.

#17 ErikB

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:07 AM

but I don't think the core 40k system should be more pulpy.

 

I've never met anyone who seems to think their preferred way of doing things shouldn't be the default. :oP

 

I'll happily accept a weapons of the gods styled Horus Heresy side game though.


Edited by ErikB, 29 July 2013 - 08:18 AM.

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#18 MorioMortis

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:24 AM

I've never met anyone who seems to think their preferred way of doing things shouldn't be the default. :oP

 

 

I'll happily accept a weapons of the gods styled Horus Heresy side game though.

 

 

I have to agree here, the bigger than life Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras would work better with a more cinematic system, especially if it's meant to represent events distorted by time and telling.


The stupid must be bashed upon the head with the Mallet of Wisdom until their heads are inflated with knowledge.

 

Words to live (and die) by : "I have officially Been out-rogue tradered!  As always, one must always assume that no matter how grand your plan is, it's never enough!" - RogalDorn1


#19 jordiver2

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 06:01 PM

I'm also disappointed that DH2e is still percentile instead of something a little more flexible with it's interpretation.

 

Yes, this is based on a wargame, and a lot of fans want that to be translated at the table. I've only read the novels, and enjoy the stories, so I'm not part of that majority. Not that the wargame is bad, I've played it once and enjoyed it, but it's not exactly my bag in the roleplay department.

 

WHFRP3e did start with dice, chits, cards, counters etc... but they gave the option to just use the dice. That's how Edge of the Empire works, just dice. I personally love using a cheapo sticker sheet and some of my leftover dice, but 5 dollars gives you an application that takes care of all your dice needs for the game.

 

In regards to narrative dice and pulpy versus gritty... guys, both and either can happen in the same system. That's why I said flexible interpretation. For example, trying to leap across the buildings: you can leap across like a pulp hero and bang yourself up a bit, taking some gritty fatigue. Or to reverse that, you fail to leap across, grasping onto ladders as you fall, but the side benefit you roll means that the ladder you grab extends out, bounces, and lets you still reach the other side without dying. On top of this example, you tried a really dangerous maneuver, so they is a distinct possibility of falling to your doom (rolling a Chaos Star, anyone?), so it can get pretty disastrous.

 

Something else I would prefer from the narrative dice is how transparent the check can be. In the end, each die on one side is effectively equal to an opposing die, and each circumstance adds or upgrades a die. In the percentile system, each circumstance is spoken as a modifier, first the -10 for being at range, then the -15 for shooting at an Eldar who is all dodgy, then the +10 for motion predictor, +10 for aiming, +20 for using Fate... when that's written out, it's one thing, but at the table I find that it's entirely too common to forget one or another.

 

Also, in this percentile system, there are so very many steps to combat that I feel could be consolidated. Back to shooting an Eldar, we determine that the check is at what, +15? Let's say your BS is 43, so 58 to test against. Now the Eldar can Dodge, and we know he's awesome at that. Let's say the Acolyte is lucky, which means it's time to roll for damage, which is now reduced by Toughness and Armor, which by the way is partially mitigated by Penetration (but only the Armor, not the Toughness, so that's 2 separate scores, not just one like, oh, Soak for example). Now that is added to an escalating Damage track for the Eldar, and each hit has a specific effect from a chart? Oh crap, I always forget this part, there's a bunch of charts because of Damage type and hit location... jeez guys. It goes on for a while.

 

I've seen the narrative dice take this kind of example and really streamline the whole deal. The Dodge attempt actually can be accounted for in the roll, as well as Damage, and hit location is only important if a secondary roll is necessary, like rolling a Crit rolls on a chart. Otherwise, hit location can be narrated in with many of the secondary effects, like imposing a penalty onto your target can be interpreted as limping the Eldar target, making him easier to hit. Add a die to hit him next time.

 

Dang, I always ramble like this. End transmission.


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#20 ak-73

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:17 AM

Also, in this percentile system, there are so very many steps to combat that I feel could be consolidated. Back to shooting an Eldar, we determine that the check is at what, +15? Let's say your BS is 43, so 58 to test against. Now the Eldar can Dodge, and we know he's awesome at that. Let's say the Acolyte is lucky, which means it's time to roll for damage, which is now reduced by Toughness and Armor, which by the way is partially mitigated by Penetration (but only the Armor, not the Toughness, so that's 2 separate scores, not just one like, oh, Soak for example). Now that is added to an escalating Damage track for the Eldar, and each hit has a specific effect from a chart? Oh crap, I always forget this part, there's a bunch of charts because of Damage type and hit location... jeez guys. It goes on for a while.

 

In RPG design, there is a trade-off between mechanics and realism. The more you streamline a system, the more realism and detail you lose. Which would be a shame, imho.

 

Alex


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