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Regarding the supposed lack of backwards compatability


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#1 Tom Cruise

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:14 AM

I really, really don't understand this argument. It seems to be born of seeing changes to the system and not actually making any sort of logical evaluation of how that affects backwards compatibility.

 

I've noticed what most people who argue this case seem to want is essentially Dark Heresy updated to the Only War rules standard. That's fair enough, I suppose. Now, let's look at how backwards compatible Only War is with old Dark Heresy content.

 

Career paths, like the Sororitas stuff? Totally out, Only War uses a new advancement system.

Alternate career ranks? Same deal.

New psychic powers? Totally unusable without significant modification, thanks to the changed psychic power mechanics.

Home Worlds? Potentially useful, but the changes make things iffy at best, really. Still needs significant conversion work.

 

What this basically leaves us with is gear. Gear is the only area where content from DH splats is really compatible with Only War, or really anything else in the line save for Rogue Trader. Most gear is easily compatible between the games, it just means that some skills might need to be changed (because of the condensed skill list Only War has), and some weapon values might need to be tweaked to fit in line with the new content. 

 

The thing is, the exact same thing is true of trying to convert DH1e content to DH2e. All of the things that wouldn't fit into Only War have no hope of fitting into DH2. Gear, however, fits fine, with some slight modifications. Skills have been changed, but that's simply a matter of adjusting bonuses given to suit whatever new skill the old skill has been folded into. Easy work, and you'd have to do it for Only War, too.

 

Weapons are really the only point I can see people legitimately arguing on, but converting those is painfully easy too. As of the first errata, weapon stat lines are incredibly similar to how they were in the previous system. Damage values are very similar, so are pen, rarity is just converted into a flat number but largely the same, etc. Literally all you have to do is assign AP costs (a ten second job of comparing against current tables) and adjust weapon qualities (much like you would have to do for converting to any of the newer 40kRPG systems, considering weapon qualities change every system).

 

Sorry for the huge rant, but seriously, help me understand. What are the so called backwards compatibility issues here? Is ten seconds of work to convert that Carnodon Hand Cannon really that much work for you? If so, maybe you shouldn't be GMing in the first place.


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#2 Ghaundan

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:57 AM

Why would career paths be out? Just look at the costs for talents and stat increases and approximate affinities and they're good to go.

Psychic powers are out, not sure if RT did a conversion in the book.
 

Alternate, yes, due to the way skill and talent aquistion works they don't really work.

 

I can't see how weapon conversions are any easier then career path conversion. Only hard part would be figuring out a specialty perk for the careers from RT etc that doesn't come with one. And the DH2 ones are basically identical to the DH1 careers, just with a wider perspective.



#3 knasserII

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:18 AM

The main thing for me is that the characteristics and gear all work on the same scale. So if I grab an adventure for DH1 and it says character X has WS48, that still means the same thing in DH2. And if that character has a plasma gun, then they can have a plasma gun in DH2 because they're the same weapon just done for different rules systems. The only gotcha is Talents and Skills, but these are briefer and easier in DH2, so I can shrug and wing it. It's the fluff that I am most going to want to import when I grab an old adventure. And that's one reason why I'm glad they're moving to an adjacent sector. I don't have to deal with fluff inconsistencies when they re-do characters.

 

The crunch elements in supplements I've bought - the careers and other rules extensions - were never going to be balanced or compatible with a revised edition however they did it.


Edited by knasserII, 26 August 2013 - 03:19 AM.

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#4 Simsum

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:20 AM

Sorry for the huge rant, but seriously, help me understand. What are the so called backwards compatibility issues here? Is ten seconds of work to convert that Carnodon Hand Cannon really that much work for you? If so, maybe you shouldn't be GMing in the first place.

 

Sorry, I can't help you understand what it's about. I expect total compatibility within the same edition of a system, because not having to houserule stuff is part of what I pay for. But I expect little to no compatibility between editions, because a new system is part of what I pay for.

 

But if you want to hear me complain, ask how I feel about the 5 incompatible versions of the first edition. Not something I'll soon forgive FFG for. And I'm still waiting for the cheque from FFG for my work integrating DH, RT & BC - after all, if they can charge me for work they abjectly failed to do, surely I can charge them for doing their work for them, wouldn't you agree?



#5 Tom Cruise

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:02 AM

Yeah, even if you ignore my arguments, there is the simple fact that stuff between DH, RT, DW, OW and BC is ridiculously unbalanced. Sure, you can bring DH characters into your BC campaign, but the rules for doing so are rickety as all hell, and the DH characters will have a pretty shitty time, because of the huge power gap.

 

Hell, there's a huge lack of internal balance within Dark Heresy's own line, most of the Lathe Worlds and Book of Judgement content eclipses options in the earlier splats utterly, and makes a total mockery of core content. 


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#6 GauntZero

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:17 AM

Having a rough look on it, I would say you need to care for the following issues:
- weapon stats
- armour stats
- NPC stats
- convert missing psychic powers
- convert missing Elite packages
- missing talents that you would like to add, incl. Integration into the trees
- a little work on equipment

There is no direct need for the alternate careers, as they simply do not exist in DH2. In DH2 they are indirectly covered in some cases by the new open character creation system.

Most work is weapon stats, psychic powers & npc stats, but it is really doable.


Maybe we could create a task force who could work together of DH2 versions of DH1 additions ?
I would definitely join such a team, if some of you guys would like to do that.

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#7 Morangias

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:37 AM

The real point of backwards compatibility is very simple: if something worked in DH, it will work in RT, OW, even DW or BC. You can take all five systems, make one character in each, put them in one game and - well, the balance will be all over the place, but the characters will be fundamentally interacting with the same mechanical framework. You just have to decide which system to use as the basis to adjudicate the common traits and talents, and if any character has any sort of ability that isn't covered by the system of your choice, in about 99% of cases you can port it verbatim from the system of origin and it will work just as well.

 

Again, yes, the balance will be so much all over the place it won't be funny, but at least this common ground lets you make informed decisions on what'll actually work for the game you want to run and what won't.

 

The same is not true for DH2 because even if things are superficially similar, it's a completely different system with completely different underlying assumptions. An effect dealing d5 permanent Toughness damage is not the same in a system that assumes you can raise your characteristics by a maximum of +20 from generated value and one that assumes you can raise them by +40. A weapon dealing Xd10+Y damage will not have a same effect in a system where wounds accumulate before going into criticals and one where every shot goes straight into tables full of nasty crippling effects. Don't get me started on effects dealing with Fatigue, which is a completely different thing between the two systems.


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#8 Radwraith

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 12:52 AM

To pick up on Moriangas point: If you look at the newer versions of skills, talents and gear apply newer definitions to older skills, you end up with characters defined to the same mechanical framework. They will all function in the same world according to their abilities. The balance is not as off as many players seem to think it is. Each game referred to characters at VERY different power levels! DH1, characters were essentially "mooks" at 1st lvl. RT characters were mid level characters with enough experience to be competent in their rolls as a ship's command crew. OW lived somewhere between the two. Essentially these were all given an experience point conversion against the original DH. Give a DH1 Arbitrator 5000 exp. and he's going to look a lot like a RT Arch militant! And before any one pings me about DW; Deathwatch was about Veteran Space marines and in equivalency started at just pre-ascension lvls from DH! That comparison has been fairly apt throughout my games. My point is, when you looked at the experience level conversions the system was fairly compatible across it's breadth. As to TC's original question: DH2 is incompatible across the entirety of it's construction because FFG willfully designed it that way! They have admitted as much! If you play the other games this certainly isn't hard to see! Then again, I may lack "credentials"!  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:


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#9 Tom Cruise

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 01:19 AM

Even if you use the XP conversion rules, things were always fairly broken and not overly fun for the players getting the short end of the stick. 


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#10 Radwraith

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 02:15 AM

I have used them and my players didn't complain! I'm not trying to say it was perfect! That's why I was one of the people 'clamoring' for an update of DH. But I really did want it to fit with the rest of the system. Not go so far afield as to be unrecognizable! I felt that while OW and BC were different from their predecessor (DH1), It is even worse since DH served as the "Base"Their system mechanics were an evolution of the original and thus an improvement. This was not an evolution. This was a change! Is it playable as a standalone product? Yes. Is it better than the original system? In the narrative and character development sections it arguably is! In the combat system it is not! In all cases it is not really compatible with the rest of the line! This invalidates all the other potential cross-play situations from the previous material! And that my friend is a dire loss indeed! (At least for me!).



#11 Simsum

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:52 AM

@ Morangias I think you must be making your point very poorly. For example, if you stick a DH1 Psyker into a RT1 game, the system crashes. The character is incompatible with the system in such myriad and major ways that the only reasonable fix is to re-make the character using the RT version of the system, and a great deal is entirely certain to get lost in that translation.

 

This is true of every one of the 5 versions of the last edition. So much so I don't really see how DH2 is any more or less compatible with any versions of the last edition, than the different versions of the last edition are.

 

@ Radwraith I too have been asking for a unification of the last edition, and I don't think I'll buy into the new edition if the different lines don't share a truly unified system that poses zero compatibility issues whatsoever. Because anything else is unacceptably shoddy & puts me in the situation where I have to do just as much work as if I hadn't bought the products. I may be a complete idiot, but I don't enjoy paying to be reminded of it.

 

Regardless, I don't understand why you - or anyone - would expect a new edition to be easily compatible with the old? Isn't the point of a new edition to build a new system that hopefully does what the old one did, only better?

 

 

Maybe we could create a task force who could work together of DH2 versions of DH1 additions ?
I would definitely join such a team, if some of you guys would like to do that.

 

I'd certainly appreciate it, but sadly I don't think I'd be able to contribute.


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#12 borithan

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:10 AM

Aside from psykers (which they did change heavily) I don't remember anything from Rogue Trader being incompatible with Dark Heresy. Now the two were not balanced alongside each other. From what I remember Rogue Trader character tending to have a broader generalist ability, but were seriously left behind in their specialisms compared to Dark Heresy characters of the same xp. However, mechanically I cannot remember anything except pychic powers which didn't work ported between lines. Oh, I guess the lack of Thrones costs for RT gear was an issue.

 

However, compared to Deathwatch (where the weapons balance was totally out of whack with all the other weapons), and Dark Heresy and Only War (which used the updated rules), I would certainly consider RT and DH as compatible.



#13 Adeptus-B

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:53 AM

The previous games are not balanced against each other (a Rank 1 Dark Heresy character would last about 5 minutes in a Rank 1 Deathwatch game), but the core systems were all basically compatible. The principle benefit of this was in facilitating lifting NPC/monster stats from one game to use in another. If I was starting an Only War campaign tomorrow, for example, it would be off-putting to be limited to the few types of Adversaries thus far included in the new-ish game; but I think it's a real labor-saver to be able to 'swipe' stuff from the other game lines, thus being able to 'flesh out' Dark Eldar with elements taken from Rogue Trader, or stage a surprise encounter with Necrons using stats from Deathwatch.

 

I think that's going to be the main drawback with DH2's 'supposed' (actually. flatly stated in FFG's official announcement) lack of backwards compatibility- presentation of NPCs/monsters is radically different from the other systems, creating a lot of 'gorilla work' for the GM to translate Adversaries into DH2 format. Time I'd rather spend on developing the scenario, not wresting with rules...



#14 Surak

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:41 AM

Ok I'm going to pitch in on this one.

 

I have run quite a few 40k 1st ed roleplay campaigns - ranging from short runs with 2 players right up to a two and half year epic that had 15 active players by the end. The epic campaign ran for so long that although we started with standard DH1 by the end of it we had ascension and RT characters freely mixed into the same group. As long as the exp levels were the same none of the players seemed to be more or less powerful than the others in the group (i feel I should note I did ban the vindicare for all the known sillyness that class brought to the table).

 

As far as the differing Psi systems there is a conversion mechanic in one of the RT books, but in all honesty I've always left psykers with there native systems - it actually helped to differentiate the feel of the Sanctioned Psyker and the Astropath for them to have very different ways of going about there trade - as a group we saw this as a good thing.

 

More recently I ran an RT/OW/DH mash-up campaign, it only ran for a few months due to GM burnout on my part but while it did run there were no real issues once I had decided which system was the primary (OW in this case) and therefor the system that determined what the talents meant and how combat worked. I left the DH/RT characters with there career trees, left the OW characters with there open upgrade table and everyone was happy. All the characters started at the same exp - adjusted for game as needed - and the game ran fine with very little problem.

 

I can honestly say that I cannot see a way of doing this with DH2 because of the massivly different combat mechanic.

 

Now I realise that FFG have stated that DH2 is intentionally not compatible with DH1, and although I wish it WAS compatable I at least appreciate that they have told us up-front that the systems are not designed to hang together. For me thats a deal breaker as I simply have invested too much time and money into the 1st ed rp games to justify moving to a system that invalidates all of the books that I own (which is all of them bar a few DW suppliaments) even though I really do like some of the changes FFG have made in DH2

 

Regards

 

Surak


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#15 borithan

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:53 AM

Well... I am not convinced of the compatibility of NPCs and monsters from Deathwatch to Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader. The Inflated Damage values for weapons seemed to lead to inflated damage reductions and wound totals for Deathwatch opponents to compensate, making them slightly out of kilter with similar opponents in Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy. Unfortunately they seem to have continued this inflated pattern into Black Crusade and Only War, even with the more under control weapon damages in those systems. I guess this even applies to some of the later Rogue Trader NPCs and Creatures, which seem at least slightly out of kilter with that system.



#16 Surak

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:59 AM

Borithan,

 

I'll agree that DW npc's are a little harder to kill, and I actually used this to my advantage when scaling encounters - if I wanted a fairly easy encouter I went with stats from the system we were playing (normally DH1), to take it up a gear I would then  use the next system up in terms of starting exp point (normally RT), and so on - my group has had some truely epic encounters against DW stated genstealers that, whilst hard fought, my players agreed had an appropreate level of despiration and danger that we as a group feel should be in a 40k rp.

 

I hate player character death, but in all of my time running DH and the other 1st ed games I've only lost 7 PC's to actual combat, and 5 of those was the same player who is terminally unlucky in every rp he plays (he once lost a 7k guardsman to a gretchin and 2 squigs simply because he couldn't roll anything other than a critical fail all evening)

 

I know its very much a case of personal taste with both compatability and the risk of PC death - but I've never really had problems keeping DH1, RT, and OW balanced previously. DW and BC are the odd ones out as we don't use PC's from them, but I have plundered both for NPC's and adverseries without issue as long as you remember what scale your operating at.

 

Regards

 

Surak


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Knowledge is power, and power corrupts.Therefore library's are the source of all evil.

My DH beta 2 aptitude calc is here https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

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#17 Lynata

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:45 AM

Well... I am not convinced of the compatibility of NPCs and monsters from Deathwatch to Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader. The Inflated Damage values for weapons seemed to lead to inflated damage reductions and wound totals for Deathwatch opponents to compensate, making them slightly out of kilter with similar opponents in Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy.

 

And that's why you have one profile of Genestealers for DH and another in a DW book.  ;)

Unfortunately, I perceive what caused DW to be so "out of whack" to still be there in DH2, which is kind of disappointing as personally I would have hoped that a second edition would feature a uniform ruleset for everyone.

 

A number of gamers seem to prefer the "style-centric" divergent lines approach, though, so they couldn't have satisfied everyone anyways.


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#18 Radwraith

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 01:23 PM

Borithan,

 

I'll agree that DW npc's are a little harder to kill, and I actually used this to my advantage when scaling encounters - if I wanted a fairly easy encouter I went with stats from the system we were playing (normally DH1), to take it up a gear I would then  use the next system up in terms of starting exp point (normally RT), and so on - my group has had some truely epic encounters against DW stated genstealers that, whilst hard fought, my players agreed had an appropreate level of despiration and danger that we as a group feel should be in a 40k rp.

 

I hate player character death, but in all of my time running DH and the other 1st ed games I've only lost 7 PC's to actual combat, and 5 of those was the same player who is terminally unlucky in every rp he plays (he once lost a 7k guardsman to a gretchin and 2 squigs simply because he couldn't roll anything other than a critical fail all evening)

 

I know its very much a case of personal taste with both compatability and the risk of PC death - but I've never really had problems keeping DH1, RT, and OW balanced previously. DW and BC are the odd ones out as we don't use PC's from them, but I have plundered both for NPC's and adverseries without issue as long as you remember what scale your operating at.

 

Regards

 

Surak

Thank you Surak! This directly mirrors my experience!



#19 Fgdsfg

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:34 AM

Borithan,
 
I'll agree that DW npc's are a little harder to kill, and I actually used this to my advantage when scaling encounters - if I wanted a fairly easy encouter I went with stats from the system we were playing (normally DH1), to take it up a gear I would then  use the next system up in terms of starting exp point (normally RT), and so on - my group has had some truely epic encounters against DW stated genstealers that, whilst hard fought, my players agreed had an appropreate level of despiration and danger that we as a group feel should be in a 40k rp.
 
I hate player character death, but in all of my time running DH and the other 1st ed games I've only lost 7 PC's to actual combat, and 5 of those was the same player who is terminally unlucky in every rp he plays (he once lost a 7k guardsman to a gretchin and 2 squigs simply because he couldn't roll anything other than a critical fail all evening)
 
I know its very much a case of personal taste with both compatability and the risk of PC death - but I've never really had problems keeping DH1, RT, and OW balanced previously. DW and BC are the odd ones out as we don't use PC's from them, but I have plundered both for NPC's and adverseries without issue as long as you remember what scale your operating at.
 
Regards
 
Surak

Quoted for truth. I'd like to add that just because there are two different sets of Genestealer stats, doesn't mean that one invalidates the other in any way. There are different kinds of genestealers and different individual genestealers. Having two basic sets of varying genestealers of various "powerlevel" is actually excellent if you want to create a diverse encounter of the same kind of mooks, without feeling like all you've done is cloning them.
 

[...]
 
The same is not true for DH2 because even if things are superficially similar, it's a completely different system with completely different underlying assumptions. An effect dealing d5 permanent Toughness damage is not the same in a system that assumes you can raise your characteristics by a maximum of +20 from generated value and one that assumes you can raise them by +40. A weapon dealing Xd10+Y damage will not have a same effect in a system where wounds accumulate before going into criticals and one where every shot goes straight into tables full of nasty crippling effects. Don't get me started on effects dealing with Fatigue, which is a completely different thing between the two systems.


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#20 Morangias

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:24 AM

Essentially these were all given an experience point conversion against the original DH. Give a DH1 Arbitrator 5000 exp. and he's going to look a lot like a RT Arch militant!

The "funny" thing is, in nine cases out of ten, that Arbitrator will be much stronger than the Arch-Militant. That's due to two factors:

 

1. Everything exp can buy is much, much cheaper in DH than it is in RT. That Arbitrator will be picking up two-three Skills/Talents for the same cost the A-M takes one.

 

2. Both characters have to choose from the same pool of Talents and Skills to express their competence, but due to the shifted exp/rank ratio, the Arch-Militant will be unable to get many crucial Talents that the Arbite can easily buy.

 

Ironically, the same also applies to Deathwatch. I firmly believe most people who see DW Marines as oh so much overpowered are overestimating the importance of higher stats and Unnatural Strength/Toughness combo compared to the advantages of Lightning Attack, Step Aside, Wall of Steel and Dodge+20, not to mention the much better equipment the characters from non-Marine systems will easily have by the time they have enough exp to be meaningfully compared to Astartes. But I digress.

 

 

@ Morangias I think you must be making your point very poorly. For example, if you stick a DH1 Psyker into a RT1 game, the system crashes. The character is incompatible with the system in such myriad and major ways that the only reasonable fix is to re-make the character using the RT version of the system, and a great deal is entirely certain to get lost in that translation.

That's not quite what I meant. You can use a DH Psyker alongside RT's Astropath with each using their respective psychic powers rules and they will have no problem using their powers in interaction with the broader rules of the game. Again, the balance will be all over the place and it's not a crossover I'd encourage you to make, but it's fundamentally possible without crashing the rules. The same is true for all respective subsystems of other 40k lines. The only problem with using a Primaris Psyker with DW Marines is how weak the Marines will look in comparison  :P


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