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Acquiring Skills


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#1 pearldrum1

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:07 PM

I am about to run my first game and while I believe that I have the knowledge of how to use skills, modifiers and degrees of success/failure down, I am unsure about a few other things.

 

1) Can PCs acquire any skill they want at first level or just those listed under their specialities? For example: Under the Techmarine Rank 1 Advances on page 90 of the core rulebook, four skills are listed for purchase with different XP costs. But what if that character wants to purchase other skills not listed? Either basic (so they dont have to take tests at 1/2 their characteristic) or advanced? How much do they cost?

 

Also, when do skill bonuses come into play? Is this mainly during combat or do bonuses also come into play when making various skill tests? For example, if I have a space marine with a Strength 40 making an opposed strength test to break open a door being held shut by someone else, is it Strength 40 + 20 (power armor) for the test? Or is it 40+20+8 (unnatural strength bonus) for the test?

 

Thanks!



#2 Calgor Grim

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 01:45 AM

There are other skills available, there's a section for generic Space Marine Skills and Deathwatch advances which can be taken if there is nothing in their class specialisation they want. If a character wants a skill not there though, generally its up to you as the GM to determine whether they should have it. You might say they can have it if they can RP sufficiently to earn it or might give it to them for a higher than average cost. In the end it all comes down to whether you think they should have it and discuss with the player what they think its worth.

 

Skill bonuses are usually in play against any test. In your example, if the marine has 40 strength, Power armour adds another +20 to that meaning their effective strength for all opposed tests is 60. In your example then, yes kicking the door would be done at strength 60 played off against the opponents strength. Different tests use the bonus though in their effect such as running actions, which require Agility to make the move and the bonus to determine how far you move.


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#3 herichimo

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 02:36 PM

Player characters in Deathwatch normally have 4 sources from which they can purchase advances.

1: Their speciality's advance tables*
2: The Deathwatch advance tables*

3: The General Space Marine advance tables*

4: Their Chapter's advance table

 

*Advances from these tables may only be purchased if the character meets the minimum Rank requirements.

 

Normally you MAY NOT purchase skills which do not appear on your character's advance table. Elite advances may be taken, and costed as the GM wishes at any time. ALTHOUGH abuse, freely granting Elite Advances willy nilly, or super cheap advances can very quickly break the game and cause strife in your gaming group (the assault marine wouldn't be happy if you let the tactical marine purchase perternatural speed at rank 1 for 100 xp when he's got to wait till rank 8 and spend thousands of XP on it). Every character is not meant to have access to all the advances.

 

Under certain advanced-rules circumstances characters may gain the option to purchase advances from a new table (usually due to advance specialities) or loose access to certain normal tables (becoming a dreadnought for instance).

 

 

As for skills:

 

First: The typical bonuses are listed in the Playing the Game section. The descriptions of the tests are a good starting point. If you think something would be hard to do then it should probably require a Hard(-20) test, if easy it should be an Easy(+30) test. Keep in mind these tests ARE NOT based upon how difficult they are for space marines. Space Marines have bonuses which make many tests easier from their own biology, they don't need you to make "Easy for space marines" tests which then become "even easier, since I am a space marine."

 

Second: Tests which are already spelled out in the game, combat for instance, should not become subjective unless there is an event which is NOT covered in the rules. READ THE RULES, KNOW THE RULES, READ THE RULES AGAIN, IF YOU ARE THE GM: READ THE RULES AGAIN. You need to know the rules hardcore as the GM, they explain most of this, just read them.

 

Third: Doors should have tests associated to how hard they are to force open normally (when locked or barred). If someone is holding it shut it becomes and opposed between this guy and the one forcing it open, but the doors basic difficulty should be a positive modifier in favor of the defender (only if its still locked or barred).

 

Fourth: You have space marine skill bonuses wrong (See paragraph tilted Second: above) so I will go over them.

1: Unnatural characteristics or skills make all NORMAL (not opposed) tests 1 degree (+10) easier PER Unnatural multiplier minus one up to a max of +30. A character with Unnatural Strength 2 will change all Challenging(+0) strength tests to Ordinary(+10) Strength tests, an USx3 character would make the same test Routine(+20).

2: When using Unnatural Strength in opposed tests the above DOES NOT apply. Instead, if your character succeeds in his test he gains additional Degrees of Success equal to his Unnatural Strength Score. A character with USx2 gains +2 Degrees of Success IF HE PASSES his opposed strength test. The character can still loose the opposed test even with this bonus.

 

Since your example was an opposed test your character (Strength 40 in power armor +20 and USx2) would need to roll less than a 60 to pass the test. If he passes he gains +2 Degrees of Success.

So lets assume he rolls a 28: He passes, his roll gives him 3 Degrees of Success, USx2 adds 2 more Degrees of Success. Your character's final Degrees of Success is 5.

 

Since the winner of opposed tests are based upon who has the greater number of Degrees of Success (failures fail, of course) getting +2 additional Degrees of Success gives you a good boost.


Edited by herichimo, 01 October 2013 - 02:37 PM.

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#4 pearldrum1

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 05:22 PM

Thanks a lot. That is EXTREMELY helpful. I am still making my way through the Core Rulebook for the first time.

 

I am sure I will have more questions. Thanks for looking out.



#5 Theofonias

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 07:33 PM

Don't forget to check Honour the Chapter too.  It has further skills for Codex Chapters.


Edited by Theofonias, 01 October 2013 - 11:45 PM.


#6 pearldrum1

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 10:15 PM

That is the one book I am missing. But I should be getting it tonight.

 

Everyone involved in this game is going to be new to the system, and some of them (myself NOT included) are new to the universe.

 

So hopefully, I can give them a good experience. I did, however, have no idea about unnatural characteristics in regards to NORMAL and OPPOSED skill tests. That was a great help.

 

Any other rules that you think people might blow over, or miss completely, or that you have had trouble with please post. They are a great help and clarification for me.



#7 Theofonias

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 11:46 PM

Be sure to read the living errata.  That by itself with help out a lot.



#8 pearldrum1

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 12:33 AM

I have a copy of it. I have yet to go through it in earnest.

 

What changes in it are absolutely critical to having a better gaming experience? What did you find most useful about it personally?



#9 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:56 AM

Nothing's absolutely critical. The changes to the weapons are nice because they simplify things - rolling 1D10+9 involves throwing less dice than 2D10+5, and it also means you don't have to roll damage when shooting at (say) hordes of orks, because you know the minimum damage from each hit is enough to hurt them.



#10 pearldrum1

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:15 PM

So, according to the Errata, you know longer have to roll damage when shooting at hordes?

 

So, do you basically roll to see if you are successful on your attack, and then factor in degrees of success to calculate how many shots hit, and then that is equal to how much of the horde magnitutde is reduced?

 

If so, is it the same with melee?



#11 pearldrum1

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:20 PM

I also have another question:

 

Pilot is an advanced skill. So does that mean that a PC without training in that cannot pilot a fighter or a starship? Or does it mean that they can, since they are Astartes and have been around their fair share of both, but they cannot attempt tests with it (such as avoiding hazards etc. etc.)?

 

The question posed by a player in the group was whether or not activities that would involve nkowledge in an advanced skill could even be attempted by their character, or if the no-attempt in advanced skills rule only applied to tests involving that skill. I hope that makes sense.



#12 herichimo

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 11:00 PM

If a character has not purchased an advanced skill, he can not use any options, bonuses, or actions which are associated with that skill whether or not those things require a skill test.

 

If a character does not have pilot(personal) trained he CAN NOT use a jump pack in any manner.



#13 pearldrum1

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 12:46 AM

So here is a situation. There is a small gun cutter. The pilot has been killed. The marine simply needs to steer it out of the way of a mountain.

 

Because he is not trained in pilot gun cutter, he cannot grab the steering wheel and turn left? Or is this one of those - GMs discretion things?



#14 Routa-maa

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 01:34 AM

So here is a situation. There is a small gun cutter. The pilot has been killed. The marine simply needs to steer it out of the way of a mountain.

 

Because he is not trained in pilot gun cutter, he cannot grab the steering wheel and turn left? Or is this one of those - GMs discretion things?

Sorry but no, Advanced Skills cannot be used if you are not trained in them. So say "hello" to the mountain as you meet it.

GM fiat is propably only answer in this case.


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#15 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 02:45 AM

So, according to the Errata, you know longer have to roll damage when shooting at hordes?

 

So, do you basically roll to see if you are successful on your attack, and then factor in degrees of success to calculate how many shots hit, and then that is equal to how much of the horde magnitutde is reduced?

 

If so, is it the same with melee?

 

The rules for shooting at hordes aren't changed.

The rules are that every hit which does damage reduces a horde's magnitude.

If a hit's damage is high enough that you know you can't fail to do damage, this therefore makes the whole process a lot faster.

So, for example:

 

'Old' Bolter shooting at a horde of Orks.

Each hit requires you to roll 3D10 and pick the best 2 and add 5. Any with a total of 9 or more (Toughness bonus 8) will reduce the horde's magnitude by a point.

 

'New' Bolter shooting at a horde of Orks.

Each hit requires you to roll 2D10, pick the best and add 9. Any with a total of 9 or more (Toughness bonus 8) will reduce the horde's magnitude by a point.

You will note it is impossible to fail this roll, hence there is no need to actually do it.

 

The same generally applies in a melee - once you add a combat knife's damage bonus and an armoured astartes' strength bonus (usually 10+), very few things that you should ever be fighting as a horde won't be injured automatically.

 

 

 

Rules-wise, the responses above are correct. I tend to play it the other way, though - that generally you can try things which don't require a test. Taking jump packs as an example, all marines in codex chapters serve in the Assault company fairly early in their careers. They may not be terribly good with a jump pack but they'll be able to not kill themselves when doing basic leaps - but only the assault marine would be able (for example) to drop onto a ledge, or boost through a gap in a cliff, or hover, or dodge whilst in mid-air.


Edited by Magnus Grendel, 03 October 2013 - 02:45 AM.


#16 Calgor Grim

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 05:47 AM

 

So here is a situation. There is a small gun cutter. The pilot has been killed. The marine simply needs to steer it out of the way of a mountain.

 

Because he is not trained in pilot gun cutter, he cannot grab the steering wheel and turn left? Or is this one of those - GMs discretion things?

Sorry but no, Advanced Skills cannot be used if you are not trained in them. So say "hello" to the mountain as you meet it.

GM fiat is propably only answer in this case.

 

 

You could go for GM discretion though and just argue common sense. Anyone can easily try to grab/push at the steering controls and try to redirect it. It might not work but if you're heading for a rock you can't exactly make it worse!


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#17 pearldrum1

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 05:17 PM

 

So, according to the Errata, you know longer have to roll damage when shooting at hordes?

 

So, do you basically roll to see if you are successful on your attack, and then factor in degrees of success to calculate how many shots hit, and then that is equal to how much of the horde magnitutde is reduced?

 

If so, is it the same with melee?

 

The rules for shooting at hordes aren't changed.

The rules are that every hit which does damage reduces a horde's magnitude.

If a hit's damage is high enough that you know you can't fail to do damage, this therefore makes the whole process a lot faster.

So, for example:

 

'Old' Bolter shooting at a horde of Orks.

Each hit requires you to roll 3D10 and pick the best 2 and add 5. Any with a total of 9 or more (Toughness bonus 8) will reduce the horde's magnitude by a point.

 

'New' Bolter shooting at a horde of Orks.

Each hit requires you to roll 2D10, pick the best and add 9. Any with a total of 9 or more (Toughness bonus 8) will reduce the horde's magnitude by a point.

You will note it is impossible to fail this roll, hence there is no need to actually do it.

 

The same generally applies in a melee - once you add a combat knife's damage bonus and an armoured astartes' strength bonus (usually 10+), very few things that you should ever be fighting as a horde won't be injured automatically.

 

 

 

Rules-wise, the responses above are correct. I tend to play it the other way, though - that generally you can try things which don't require a test. Taking jump packs as an example, all marines in codex chapters serve in the Assault company fairly early in their careers. They may not be terribly good with a jump pack but they'll be able to not kill themselves when doing basic leaps - but only the assault marine would be able (for example) to drop onto a ledge, or boost through a gap in a cliff, or hover, or dodge whilst in mid-air.

 

 

Ah, ok thank you. This makes sense to me now. The short of it, if a bolter fired into a mass of creatures does anything but automatically miss/jam, it is going to reduce the hordes magnitude. I should still make the roll every time though, correct? On the chance that it does massive damage and reduces the magnitude much more than 1?

 

And, not that I don`t appreciate the feedback Routa-maa, but I think I am going to GM like Calgor and Magnus have suggested - Common sense. Especially when it comes to things like using Jump Packs. All of the marines would know how to use them, unless they came straight from a Scout Squad/Devastator Squad which would be rather incredible.

 

This was a great help. Thank you all.



#18 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:03 AM

 I should still make the roll every time though, correct? On the chance that it does massive damage and reduces the magnitude much more than 1?

 

No. Because a hit only reduces magnitude by one*, regardless of how much damage you do. That bolt shell only kills one guy, and no matter how messily dead he may be, it's still only killing him. Unless I missed something in the rules somewhere, even multiple chained Righteous Furies still only do one magnitude damage per hit. This is why you want a storm bolter, not a lascannon, for engaging hordes.

 

The idea behind a horde is that it normally consists of a tidal wave of broadly useless rubbish (compared to marines), and that whilst there are tonnes of them, they are essentially movie/tv goons.

 

They have next to no individual combat ability or durability; anyone in the wave hit and wounded is assumed to be killed outright (or at least pinned down, fleeing or injured sufficiently as makes no difference), whilst individual jammed guns or Power Field shredded blades are such a small proportion of the total that there is no meaningful reduction in fighting power.

 

It might not work but if you're heading for a rock you can't exactly make it worse!

That, sir, strikes me as a failure of imagination. :unsure:

Painful experience has shown me that with the players I GM for at the helm, they can always find a way to make it worse**.

 

 

 

 

* Okay, there are exceptions - things like hellfire bolts, or the Storm Of Iron talent. But I'm talking normal bullets fired by A.N.Other marine here.

 

** This week's triumph - whilst trying to defend an Inquisitorial agent from an assassin, the librarian used a pushed Iron Arm power to deflect a power sword blow. This resulted in a Perils Of The Warp, and a Psy Rating 14 vortex of doom opening up four metres behind and to the right of him. Which, if you haven't seen the tiresomely inevitable coming, was exactly where his protectee was standing.

 

Watching him trying to pass this off as the work of some devious psyker-assassin at the debriefing was comedy gold.


Edited by Magnus Grendel, 04 October 2013 - 05:11 AM.


#19 pearldrum1

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:17 AM

Everything you just wrote was ******* gold.

 

Hallelujah. Hahaha.



#20 Routa-maa

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:32 AM

Like Magnus Grendel said.

 

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong"

 

My players and myself has seen it many, many, many times over.

 

Example: Not only will the ship they are in slam into the mountain, but it slams at top speed as the inexperienced pilot mistakenly activates afterburners.

When they might have survived crashland whit high critical wounds, this high speed crashland liquifies their bodies inside Power Armours.

Roll new characters


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