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#21 Redeucer

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 07:32 AM

I have only a few gripe with the system.  Otherwise, it is very strong.

1. Skills: 10+ different skills for Cipher, Common Lore, Dirve, Forbidden Lore, Navigation, Performer, Pilot, Scholastic Lore, Secret Tongue, Speak Language, and Trade.  They are so narrowly focused that it makes it difficult to broaden your knowledge base out without hurting your abilities elsewhere. There should be a few more skills available to all starting characters to round them out a little more and give them a little better chance to succeed.

2. Low level competency.  Character skills starting out make it difficult to investigate and get anywhere.  This dove tails in with the previous item and having just too many different skills.  Once you get a little experience under your belt, it is easier as you start buying the skills you need to do your job better.

3. The whole archetype system.  The characters are Acolytes for the Inquisition.  Being limited in what you can learn by your carreer seems a little problematic.  For example, if you play Cleric for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, you simply can't get the Xenos Lore skills except as Elite advances which doesn't make a lot of sense.  There should be some skill blocks that should be made available to a character based on who they work for and what experiences they gain during their time working for the Inquisition.

None of these are game breakers.

The game background is great and there is loads of material out there for inspiration - BL books, fan sites, etc.  The setting is great and a unique combination of sci-fi and horror.  Not that there aren't others out there, but the blending of it in the setting is what makes it unique.  It allows so many different directions for character development.



#22 fimarach

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 07:57 AM

Redeucer said:

I have only a few gripe with the system.  Otherwise, it is very strong.

1. Skills: 10+ different skills for Cipher, Common Lore, Dirve, Forbidden Lore, Navigation, Performer, Pilot, Scholastic Lore, Secret Tongue, Speak Language, and Trade.  They are so narrowly focused that it makes it difficult to broaden your knowledge base out without hurting your abilities elsewhere. There should be a few more skills available to all starting characters to round them out a little more and give them a little better chance to succeed.

2. Low level competency.  Character skills starting out make it difficult to investigate and get anywhere.  This dove tails in with the previous item and having just too many different skills.  Once you get a little experience under your belt, it is easier as you start buying the skills you need to do your job better.

3. The whole archetype system.  The characters are Acolytes for the Inquisition.  Being limited in what you can learn by your carreer seems a little problematic.  For example, if you play Cleric for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, you simply can't get the Xenos Lore skills except as Elite advances which doesn't make a lot of sense.  There should be some skill blocks that should be made available to a character based on who they work for and what experiences they gain during their time working for the Inquisition.

None of these are game breakers.

The game background is great and there is loads of material out there for inspiration - BL books, fan sites, etc.  The setting is great and a unique combination of sci-fi and horror.  Not that there aren't others out there, but the blending of it in the setting is what makes it unique.  It allows so many different directions for character development.

Very much agree  with this post - and yes there is alot of adventure possibilities - I got quite a number of ideas just from reading the backgrounds in the Inquisitor's Handbook.  Alot of the groundwork in doing an Inquisitor game is presented to you, and having run Inuisition games using 2 sets of home brew rules, d20, roll n keep, and now DH I have to say that the groundwork (planets, organizations, plotlines) is really the hardest part.  Coming up with your own abilities, careers, and backgrounds is far more difficult than you would think starting from square 0.



#23 Mike

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:54 AM

Whoa, lots of responses - and qualified and good ones, too! So I guess if I ever want to take Call fo Cthulhu to space, I'll get myself a copy. Though I do have to admit I actually *do* have a slight tiger problem...



#24 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:18 PM

Redeucer said:

3. The whole archetype system.  The characters are Acolytes for the Inquisition.  Being limited in what you can learn by your carreer seems a little problematic.  For example, if you play Cleric for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, you simply can't get the Xenos Lore skills except as Elite advances which doesn't make a lot of sense.  There should be some skill blocks that should be made available to a character based on who they work for and what experiences they gain during their time working for the Inquisition.

That does depend on how you approach things. The way I've been running it since the playtest finished was that the Career Path basically covered the stuff that a character is naturally more inclined towards, the things that they're regularly training to be better at, and so forth - it doesn't take them anything special or extra beyond the XP cost to buy from their advance scheme.

Elite advances are, however, available to everyone, so long as the opportunity is there, and the inclination exists to take advantage of it. Anyone can attempt to learn anything (within the restrictions of prerequisites), so long as they've got the time and effort to devote to learning, and the means to learn it (it's difficult to learn about Xenos if you're on a feral world with no Xenos species, no research materials, and nobody to teach you). It's not something special, so much as something that requires a little extra effort on the part of the character.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#25 lilac-lemur

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 01:29 PM

I agree whole heartedly with NO-1_H3r3, the basic career paths are what society expects you to learn, the Elite advances those little interests that come on the side (most people, for instance expect a shop assistant to be able to speak the local language, know how to operate the till and understand the concepts of representative trade, most people also expect them to have a vague idea with regards where stock is/what it is, but a shop assistant may know a lot about history, or play an instrument, or whatever that doesn't link directly to the job), thus the career paths are limited to the "you'll pick this up as you go along" stuff.

As for the whole "guns and equipment seem more important than the character, this perfectly captures the atmosphere of 40K, where the Imperium's normal answer to a problem is to shoot it and ask questions maybe.  Also, I can't remember where it was as it was back in the 1980s/90s, but I read somewhere that the High Command of the Imperial Guard/Army were more concerned with the recovery of weapons and armour from the battle field than the soldiers who wielded/wore them, as the soldier had a lower collateral value as there was always another shmuck to give the kit to, but the kit cost money.  The fact the game's caught that idea (while anathema to Heroic RPG players) is a selling point in and of itself... 

If you feel that combat is becoming too much a part of the game, you need to modify the way your characters think (a few near death experiences will quickly put an end to unnecessary combats...).   The setting is very much not the D&D, "we're good guys who are tough, we'll beat up a bundle of little goblins for some XP", rather the "Bloody hell, it's a scary world once you look out of your box...  um, do I have to go looking for that thing, couldn't I just throw myself at a Hive Tyrant, that way my death'd be quicker... No?  Oh hell..."  To use literary references, far more George Orwell than Isaac Asimov...  or Judge Dredd than Lone Ranger (and I mean the original Judge Dredd comics, not the film or any resultant spin-offs), very bleak, very dark, but also with an intrinsic horror-humour (an empire ruled by a corpse and held together by cargo-cultists who have little understanding of how the science they use actually works...  )...



#26 Gallagen

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 08:42 PM

WOW

This game sounds awesome. Theme is awesome, much better than 'i am a space marine and i will mow you puny cultists down with my bolter' although that would be cool if done correctly.

I am so looking forward to when i grab the book (should be in a month or so) YAY!

So remember, The Emperor sees all...



#27 Redeucer

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:25 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Redeucer said:

3. The whole archetype system.  The characters are Acolytes for the Inquisition.  Being limited in what you can learn by your carreer seems a little problematic.  For example, if you play Cleric for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, you simply can't get the Xenos Lore skills except as Elite advances which doesn't make a lot of sense.  There should be some skill blocks that should be made available to a character based on who they work for and what experiences they gain during their time working for the Inquisition.

 

That does depend on how you approach things. The way I've been running it since the playtest finished was that the Career Path basically covered the stuff that a character is naturally more inclined towards, the things that they're regularly training to be better at, and so forth - it doesn't take them anything special or extra beyond the XP cost to buy from their advance scheme.

Elite advances are, however, available to everyone, so long as the opportunity is there, and the inclination exists to take advantage of it. Anyone can attempt to learn anything (within the restrictions of prerequisites), so long as they've got the time and effort to devote to learning, and the means to learn it (it's difficult to learn about Xenos if you're on a feral world with no Xenos species, no research materials, and nobody to teach you). It's not something special, so much as something that requires a little extra effort on the part of the character.

I agree with you to a point, N0-1.  But using the example of a Cleric working for Ordo Xenos, you are being exposed to Aliens in various investigations.  So why should the Cleric have to spend 200+ experience on Forbidden Lore (Xenos)?  It would seem they would either pick it up as they continue to gain exposure, or at least be able to purchase it for only 100 experience since they have had the exposure and will naturally try to learn more about it since it is what they are up against most of the time.  Remember the description just says "knowledge of the most commonly encountered".  It still doesn't cover the more obscure.

Or take an Assassin who needs to go incognito as a Noble for a mission (as in Scourge the Heretic) there should be a way for them to get a crash course from someone else to get the basics of Charm and how to interact in these settings.  There are several horror stories in the old forums about DH sessions gone wrong because of the group make up and not having the skills needed because of the carreers.

Or how do you pull off an investigation if no one has the Silent Move, Shadowing, or Inquiry skills.  Does it make sense that you have to pay twice as much as the skill would normally costs just because it isn't in you're career path but because of the nature of the game, someone really needs to have those skills?

This is why I think there should be blocks of skills laid out for each Experience Level that are based on the nature of the game.  You have an Ordo Xenos game geared more towards investigation, then at Level 2, maybe you make Inquiry available to everyone at 100.  At Level 3, maybe you make Silent Move and Shadowing available to everyone at 100.  At Level 4, maybe make Forbidden Lore (Xenos) available at 100.  At Level 5, how about Tracking at 100.  At Level 6, Disguise at 100.  Level 7, Forbidden Lore (Xenos) +10 at 100.  And At Level 8, Forbidden Lore (Xenos) +20 at 100.  Maybe throw Charm or Interrogation in there somewhere if it is appropriate to the game pace.  Not talking big changes, just making the skills they need to do the job more readily available.

These aren't big changes, and not everyone would buy the extra skills anyway.  Some people just don't see their character going in that direction.  Some people would jump at the chance to help the team.

I see the Elite Advances more as a way to purchase skills that are out of your carreer path that would be nice or helpful, but not critical to do the job.  Unlike the example listed above which I see more as skill critical to doing the job an Ordo Xenos investigation based team.

Does that help explain my thinking?



#28 Sammail

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 03:15 AM

To generalize, in my opinion the system is buggy but fast, easy and supports actual roleplay, as opposed to min-maxed rules lawyering. That's a big plus for me. I also find the Calixis sector background texts very inspirational. The 40k setting is of course the main reason why I play it.



#29 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 07:15 AM

Social interaction and investigation rules are more important then combat rules any day of the week. Anyone of us has the ability to say "I shoot the cultist" "I use my sword" "Get an axe" that takes no real ability to role play, think and deduce. Its just take weapon A and shoot it at cultist B.

Social interaction rules for my savvy "smooth as Axl Foley" fast talking character is very important because I am not Axl Foley. My players are not necessarily quick witted, fast talkers with a cunning ability to blather, charm or fast talk me. To punish a player with negative modifiers because he or she is incapable of (in real life) expressing his or her thoughts and ideas as creative as his character is wrong. Remember, part of role playing is playing someone who is not you. If you base all modifiers based on how your players are capable of talking, charming and seducing, then why even roll a FEL ability? Why would I put points in a charm skill if I know my GM will let me get what I want anyway just from how I role play?

The same goes for investigation. I doubt any of my players are as smart as out Adept with a 55 INT in real life. Sure we like to brag about our degrees, experiences and knowledges, but come on, the character is a super genius and some of my "barely graduated high school" players are not.

If the rules solely focus on combat, with little to none on interaction and investigation then new players who are unfamiliar with how to run a deep investigation and research game are just going to wind up playing D&D in Spaaaaaaaace!!!!

Social interaction and investigation rules should not overtake the role of role playing, a but a better defined definition of how they work, special techniques and manuevers, some examples, a set of modifiers and consequences of good and bad rolls would add more depth to a game that has a hazard of falling into the "i got big gun, you tell me who bad guy is....bam!" syndrome.

In short, but placing less emphasis on the rules for interaction, investigation and skills related to that, you place less importance on those related skills. Why should I (other then out of not being a munchkin and tool and role playing a decent character) put any points in the various lore skills since I already (in real life) know the information about xenos or cults or the imperium?

Yes it comes down between good and bad role playing and good and bad game mastering, but those arguments always begin with the rules.



#30 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 07:25 AM

I really think the career system does work, in general. But when you come to the table with a specific character in mind, they fall about. And yes you can say "elite advances" and "generalized broad concepts" for the career path defense argument, but if I wanted to play a character similar to ones of the characters in the Dark Heresy novel, say Drake or Vos, I either a) Cant or b) have to wait a heck of a long time to gain the XP necessary to do so or c) be lucky and have the GM start us out of 2000XP or d) decide that I might as well play Private Pyle of the Unintelligent Scintilla Military Conscripts (USMC).

By placing a simple thing as ROLEs into the game, even if you based them on the D20 Modern Strong, Fast, Tough, Smart and so forth classes, you can give each carreer path like 8 differenct variations at rank 1. These Roles dont have to do anything more then provide a set of predetermined elite advances that are available from character generation, and maybe a few that are available at later ranks as well. Drake, for example, from the Scourge the Heretic Dark Heresy novel would be a Charismatic Guardsman. He would have some sort of Etiquette skill, some bonus to FEL and perhaps a few Common Lore skills (like nobility).

Now I havent really written any real "optional" rules for this idea, though I plan to do so today and tomorrow and hope to have a new Unearthed Apocrypha Article up on my web page by Friday covering this idea. But I think it is a simple system that plugs right into the established system and is a mix of Alterante Career Ranks and Starging Background Packages.

In edition I think I will also write p a new starting equipment system that gives you items for your home world, for you career, for your background package and then for your role as well as maybe some modifiers if you take a rank 1 Alternate Career Rank.

I do enjoy reading everyones opinion on the rules and what not as I find it interesting to see how we all love the game and yet see it differently.

Cheers



#31 Rashid ad Din Sinan

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 07:48 AM

Peacekeeper_b said:

Social interaction and investigation rules are more important then combat rules any day of the week. Anyone of us has the ability to say "I shoot the cultist" "I use my sword" "Get an axe" that takes no real ability to role play, think and deduce. Its just take weapon A and shoot it at cultist B.

Social interaction rules for my savvy "smooth as Axl Foley" fast talking character is very important because I am not Axl Foley. My players are not necessarily quick witted, fast talkers with a cunning ability to blather, charm or fast talk me. To punish a player with negative modifiers because he or she is incapable of (in real life) expressing his or her thoughts and ideas as creative as his character is wrong. Remember, part of role playing is playing someone who is not you. If you base all modifiers based on how your players are capable of talking, charming and seducing, then why even roll a FEL ability? Why would I put points in a charm skill if I know my GM will let me get what I want anyway just from how I role play?

The same goes for investigation. I doubt any of my players are as smart as out Adept with a 55 INT in real life. Sure we like to brag about our degrees, experiences and knowledges, but come on, the character is a super genius and some of my "barely graduated high school" players are not.

Have to completely disagree on this.  You don't just swing - you have numerous combat skills and talents to take into account.  There was a large portion of errata merely on TWC and multiple attacks.

Skill descriptions on interaction skills are generally dull, not very important and basically useless.   You have a skill, a diffuculty level and roll.  Simple and to the point.  An example or two on contested rolls or showing how levels of success could be used is essentially all that is needed. 

Agreed that such skills in an investigative setting where combat is fast and deadly are quite important in that they should be used a lot.  However this does not mean that you need pages of description of how conversations take place.  And in the end you always get a big mess where interrogation, torture and charm all start overlapping as they all are used to get the same result.



#32 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 08:07 AM

The point of my post though, is the basic combat system is point and swing. However, you get various manuevers, techniques, talents and weapon modifiers and situational modifiers to the roll.

Take DC Heroes for example. They have several different styles of character inteaction that allows a character to use different attributes for different styles of intimidation, charm and so forth. There is charming by tricking your opponent, which is INT, there is charming by using your charm which is FEL, there is charming by convincing your opponent which faces his WP. There is intellectual intimidation as well and physical intimidation.

And yes, they do overlap from time to time. Charm, blather, barted, inquiry, interrogation. But so do scatter, semi auto, full auto, dual shot, two weapon weilding and so forth.

So the skeleton of a more involved system is there, it is the same skeleton as combat. Roll against skill, succeed or not. But results of combat are more defined. I dont want 100% defined results for interaction, but players react better and more positive to taking those kind of skills if they know that they have an actual affect, other then an arbitrary GM response.

And it wouldnt take pages after pages of rules to cover this. 2-4 tops. And remember, as you said, the combat rules had how many pages of errata?



#33 Rashid ad Din Sinan

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:34 AM

Peacekeeper_b said:

Take DC Heroes for example. They have several different styles of character inteaction that allows a character to use different attributes for different styles of intimidation, charm and so forth. There is charming by tricking your opponent, which is INT, there is charming by using your charm which is FEL, there is charming by convincing your opponent which faces his WP. There is intellectual intimidation as well and physical intimidation.

And yes, they do overlap from time to time. Charm, blather, barted, inquiry, interrogation. But so do scatter, semi auto, full auto, dual shot, two weapon weilding and so forth.

And in DH you have three skills that use three different attributes - charm, interrogation and intimidation.  In effect, skill bloat - multiple skills that do the same thing.  At least combat skills actually do different things and several of those you listed are weapon attributes, which is a different matter.

Peacekeeper_b said:

So the skeleton of a more involved system is there, it is the same skeleton as combat. Roll against skill, succeed or not. But results of combat are more defined. I dont want 100% defined results for interaction, but players react better and more positive to taking those kind of skills if they know that they have an actual affect, other then an arbitrary GM response.

I might be misunderstanding but isn't that, getting player & GM input into the success of the skill use, what you were arguing against earlier where the character is better at the skill than the player is?  The problem with interactions, in all games, is that you have character input which is objective and player input which is subjective.  You can only make rules for the former and the latter can get pretty problematic.

Peacekeeper_b said:

And it wouldnt take pages after pages of rules to cover this. 2-4 tops. And remember, as you said, the combat rules had how many pages of errata?

Which is more a result of poor proofreading.  2-4 pages on interaction would be a waste of space imo.



#34 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 11:39 AM

That is your opinion and you are welcome to it and I like hearing it. But I will still disagree.

And yes, you misunderstood me. Naturally I dont want rules to control 100% what interaction has as I do want my players to be able to role play and play there characters as they wish without rules getting too much in the way. But I want them to feel there is a purpose to spending 250 points for +5 fellowship and 100 points for inquiry instead of, well if we meddle enough the GM will lead us along anyway.

And i agree that they do seem to overlap, the same way as having 33 different autoguns with an average variant of 1 to damage being the only real difference. Why do they have 33 autoguns? for flavor. Same as I want to see some guidelines for investigation and interaction techniques and methods. Variety, flavor, something different. If you argument is against overlap, then as I said above, that is a bigger flaw in combat then anything. Weapons all do the same thing, just slightly different in how and why. Do I want less weapons and equipment...HELL TO THE FELLIN NO! But I like my players to have options.

Case in point. The game this weekend, a player tried to intimidate a ganger and failed. The second player started to make generalized threats of what the inquisition can do to him, his gang, his family, his soul and various apsects of his body. He described in detail (very well I might add) what could happen in a tnterrogation room. He went to roll his Intimidation but only has a strength of 28. I ruled that that was more of a bluff/threat based on knowledge and fear not strength and let him base it on his Fellowship instead. Now yes, I can easily do that on my own, and dont need rules for it in the book, but Im just saying it would be nice to see that kind of thought that went into combat go into investigating and interaction.

If my player says he wants to be a sarcastic jerk with a quick wit then I expect him to try to play that as best as he can. I also want to encourage him to take skills that allow him to emulate that and not feel that he wasted them when he could have taken "Super Hyukin Shot" talents.

I do understand your points and I do agree to an extent. I think in the end when I write up my own house rules for these subjects you will be pleasantly surprised at how much they dont interfer with the game. Heck I used them for years in DC Heroes.

 



#35 Necrozius

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 03:18 PM

The additional notes at the end of the Inquisitor's Handbook have some great rules to add usefulness to non-combat skills. Multiple uses for Charm, Scrutiny, Intimidate, Command etc...

Like how passing a Scholastic Lore (Judgment) skill test will give the PC a bonus of +10 to their next Intimidate and/or Interrogation test. Which is pretty neat, I must say.

Luckily, none of my friends are super anal-retentive rule nazis, and will allow such things as using Fellowship or Intelligence for an Intimidation skill test for particularly well described scenes. That kind of thing just makes sense!






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