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Let's have the unified system debate.


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#1 Adeptus Ineptus

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:55 AM

I'm for moving all the game lines into one rule system if possible. As it keeps coming up I think we should talk about it.


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#2 Simsum

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:38 PM

Seconded!

#3 Fgdsfg

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:46 PM

Well it's not secret that I've always been all for it, but execution may make that view change in a hurry; either way, I think you need to actually give the thread more meat to it's bones if you want any kind of fruitful discussion.
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#4 Morangias

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:15 PM

First of all, I don't think we'll see a unified edition any time soon. FFG seems quite happy with their business model, and they're even approaching Star Wars in the same way.

 

That said, and bearing in mind what follows is nothing but the most rampant speculation, DH2 has the potential to be the closest thing to a unified edition we've seen so far. This is thanks to this little gem from the latest beta announcement:

 

A new Reinforcements system which allows players to temporarily call-in and play as high-level characters will be added.

 

This might, just might, mean the game will inherently support things such as playable Astartes, Imperial Assassins, maybe even Xenos (inasmuch as they'd be willing to team up with the Inquisition - not common, but not impossible at the same time). If it indeed works like that, we'd have the basics of the unified system covered more thoroughly than ever before.


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#5 Lynata

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:46 PM

I guess Morangias has the gist of it. A lot of players seem to favour a unified ruleset, but it's unfortunately nothing the studio appears to agree with.

 

Certainly, the "narration-focused approach" that FFG went with has its advantages, such as being able to cater much more to certain clichés and fan expectations surrounding a thusly presented faction of protagonists. In essence, it allows you to play like you read it in the novels, and I'm sure this is a major attraction for a lot of people.

 

The downside is, of course, that just like the novels do not really synch well with each other, so do the game systems break down when just transplanting things from one book into another without tweaking them to accomodate for the sometimes drastic changes in rules and stats. Not only does this complicate said usage of material from other books, it also creates issues with "mixed parties" (which exist in some novels, and certainly the Codex fluff) and makes the entire setting seem less like a unified world, but rather just different interpretations of it .. much like when you sometimes look at the novels, and they disagree on some detail.

 

Ultimately, it's a matter of personal preference, but I, too, would love a unified ruleset. Originally, I had hoped that a 2nd edition would bring exactly this. Alas, it was not supposed to be.

 

 

A new Reinforcements system which allows players to temporarily call-in and play as high-level characters will be added.

 

Honestly, this just sounds like the "... and then we switched to Deathwatch to fight the aliens that our Acolytes had uncovered" schpiel that has been played in some Dark Heresy groups ever since the DW ruleset came out.


Edited by Lynata, 20 October 2013 - 02:49 PM.


#6 Morangias

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 03:44 PM

Honestly, this just sounds like the "... and then we switched to Deathwatch to fight the aliens that our Acolytes had uncovered" schpiel that has been played in some Dark Heresy groups ever since the DW ruleset came out.

Even so, it seems this playstyle will be supported straight out of DH corebook, which is a huge step forward compared to the compatibility issues of previous games.


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#7 Lynata

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:00 PM

Even so, it seems this playstyle will be supported straight out of DH corebook, which is a huge step forward compared to the compatibility issues of previous games.

 

How so, though? When you'll still have characters that use weapons with different profiles, or using different rules altogether, then this is nothing but a sort of "official acknowledgement" of a flawed workaround. The games will still suffer the same issues as always, and the level of compatibility (or lack thereof) will remain the same as well.

 

Assuming, of course, the announcement was referring to other games, and not just "high level characters" from DH itself.

 

... or are you perhaps suspecting that this announcement refers to a special "DH-version" of characters from other games?


Edited by Lynata, 20 October 2013 - 06:02 PM.


#8 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:16 PM

I think the announcement bit is meant only to entice players of Dark Heresy 2e to try other 40K lines. Get them jazzed about and financially committed to Deathwatch...then release Deathwatch 2e.

 

"...allows players...", not the players' characters. PCs do not "...play as high-level characters..."

 

If we want a unified rules system we'll have to work it out for ourselves.


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#9 Morangias

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:28 PM

 

Even so, it seems this playstyle will be supported straight out of DH corebook, which is a huge step forward compared to the compatibility issues of previous games.

 

How so, though? When you'll still have characters that use weapons with different profiles, or using different rules altogether, then this is nothing but a sort of "official acknowledgement" of a flawed workaround. The games will still suffer the same issues as always, and the level of compatibility (or lack thereof) will remain the same as well.

 

Just to be sure we're talking about the same thing, what do you mean by "different rules"?

 

It seems pretty intuitive that whatever characters Reinforcements system will let you call, they will be operating within DH2 mechanical framework.

 

 

 

Assuming, of course, the announcement was referring to other games, and not just "high level characters" from DH itself.

 

... or are you perhaps suspecting that this announcement refers to a special "DH-version" of characters from other games?

 

I don't think it'd be much of a feature if the Reinforcements rule was, "you can call in a Stormtrooper who's a Warrior just like you, but four ranks higher".

 

 

 

"...allows players...", not the players' characters. PCs do not "...play as high-level characters..."

Uh, dude? Why would PCs (as in, imaginary characters in imaginary world that players get to control) play as anything?


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#10 Lynata

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:24 PM

Just to be sure we're talking about the same thing, what do you mean by "different rules"?

 

Stuff like the rules for psykers that differed on some level in every single game, for example.

 

Ever since FFG took over Dark Heresy, the 40k RPGs would slowly evolve over the various game lines, with some things being different in every new core rulebook. And the various character classes were, of course, tailored to its specific ruleset. An official RAW that lets you "call in" these characters as they are won't change that - and technically, the books already included sidebars with tips for how to run mixed groups, it just didn't really work well.

 

 

I don't think it'd be much of a feature if the Reinforcements rule was, "you can call in a Stormtrooper who's a Warrior just like you, but four ranks higher".

 

We don't, but maybe whoever wrote that line thinks it might. And some players might actually relish the thought of being able to "let loose" with a premade bare-bones character, destroying that cult that their main personae have uncovered. A switch back and forth between investigation and a no-holds-barred shootout, perhaps especially interesting for those players who are otherwise limited to more civilian characters like Scribes.

It could be presented as a feature solely because it isn't standard yet.

 

I'm just trying to think of what it could mean. The wording does not hint at characters from other games but just characters that are "high level". On the other hand, if it does refer to characters from other games, how exactly would it address the issues that we know exist for crossovers?


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#11 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:00 PM

Uh, dude? Why would PCs (as in, imaginary characters in imaginary world that players get to control) play as anything?

 

 

"...allows players...", not the players' characters. PCs do not "...play as high-level characters..."

 

Why would players (as in actual people) "...temporarily call-in..."?


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#12 Lynata

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:40 PM

I imagine it's meant as "The players can call in reinforcements by having their characters do X as per these cool new rules"  ;)



#13 Morangias

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 04:45 AM

I assume, since it's announced as a feature, that Reinforcements will be more than a catchy name for crossovers that still require a different book to play.

 

It might, just might, mean we'd be getting rules for playing things such as Space Marines right in the DH2 corebook, even if just in limited capacity (because "temporary characters"). That'd be a good step towards using DH2 as the unified 40k system. Just like BC could have been just that if it weren't for all the Chaos-specific stuff.


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#14 cps

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:30 AM

Personally I don't care at all about being able to do cross-overs and would have very little interest in a unified 40k game.

 

 

Uh, dude? Why would PCs (as in, imaginary characters in imaginary world that players get to control) play as anything?

 

 

"...allows players...", not the players' characters. PCs do not "...play as high-level characters..."

 

Why would players (as in actual people) "...temporarily call-in..."?

 

I'm all for pedantry but this is really stretching.



#15 Lynata

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 06:02 AM

I assume, since it's announced as a feature, that Reinforcements will be more than a catchy name for crossovers that still require a different book to play.

 

Maybe, maybe not. Okay, I'm not sure if my negativity is justified - I guess I might be overly cautious regarding any sort of announcements and rumours in an industrial environment these days, but it does prevent disappointment and makes for pleasant surprises when things turn out to be better than expected, rather than worse. An attitude that had in the past served me well as a player of Sororitas in the tabletop, too.  ;)

 

It might, just might, mean we'd be getting rules for playing things such as Space Marines right in the DH2 corebook, even if just in limited capacity (because "temporary characters").

 

Possible - that's what I meant with "a DH version" earlier. But when (if?) those special temporary characters are not meant to function in line with normal ones but rather as a separate team, I'm not sure this would really help.

We already have Grey Knights in Dark Heresy 1, and from all I've heard they are pretty ridiculous. And let's not talk about Ascended Psykers or Vindicare Assassins. The old system just breaks down above a certain level, and with Toughness still working exactly the same in DH2 I foresee the very same issues cropping up again.

 

Still, you have a point regarding it being "a first step", if this at least means they'll function on the same basic ruleset from the same rulebook. Will it be enough to allow players to do the rest without an overhaul of the basics? It remains to be seen. But it could turn out to be a bit easier than before.



#16 Sharp

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:07 AM

In the past I was also a fan of a unified core book. This kind of changed with time. Imagine DH1 would have been the core book and the 4 other lines would still be stuck in edition 1. In addition every line came with a setting specific character generation and advancement system which differed on purpose and could not be unified.

 

From a marketing perspective it would also be questionable if people which just want to play a specific line want to buy at least 2 books to play (core & setting).

 

I would much more prefer to release supplements and adventures which can be used for more than one line. An example, even not a good one is Daemon Hunter where the Grey Knights could also be used in a DW game.

So I could see supplement books for Monsters, Settings, Adventures, Gear, Vehicles, Shipcombat etc. which are written and designed to be used in different lines. What I mean is not just using them homebrew style like you could do it now, but prominent suggestions how these entries could be used in different settings. For example different adventure hooks, or stats in regards of different strains etc...  


Edited by Sharp, 21 October 2013 - 07:08 AM.


#17 Lynata

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:39 AM

Imagine DH1 would have been the core book and the 4 other lines would still be stuck in edition 1. In addition every line came with a setting specific character generation and advancement system which differed on purpose and could not be unified.

Being "stuck" with an old system is of course a viable concern, yet it could be argued that this cannot be avoided anyways. Even when you split up the game into different specific lines with all their rules, anything but the newest game will still be outdated, even with supplements released down the road.
 
I'd rather have the very first game feature a good ruleset that keeps on working for several years, and I actually think DH1 largely accomplished this. Also, stuff like RT's starship management, DW's hordes or BC's minions could easily be added to an existing ruleset; they're more like modules anyways, not integral components that stop working as soon as you use them with another game.

 

Setting-specific character generation and advancement is something I'd actually regard as a disadvantage rather than an advantage, specifically because it locks you down into a specific scenario and makes mixing things a hassle.
 
Isn't this a kind of railroading as well? The setting has so much more to offer.

 

 

From a marketing perspective it would also be questionable if people which just want to play a specific line want to buy at least 2 books to play (core & setting).

 

Technically, you could include the most important characters in the core rulebook (so as to provide a "minimum starting base" for players) and go into further detail with optional supplements. Isn't this kind of how it worked in DH1 already?

 

I would much more prefer to release supplements and adventures which can be used for more than one line. An example, even not a good one is Daemon Hunter where the Grey Knights could also be used in a DW game.

So I could see supplement books for Monsters, Settings, Adventures, Gear, Vehicles, Shipcombat etc. which are written and designed to be used in different lines. What I mean is not just using them homebrew style like you could do it now, but prominent suggestions how these entries could be used in different settings. For example different adventure hooks, or stats in regards of different strains etc...  

 

That seems like a rather extensive workaround, given that you'll end up having to provide what will amount to ~5 alternate sets of characteristics and traits and such for each and every important class, NPC, weapon, etc - compared to simply making sure they are compatible to each other right from the start.

 

I suppose I just don't like this idea of "perspective twist" that lets stuff work differently in every game. It's bad enough that we have this in the novels. It is one setting, and it should be possible to have rules that represent it as such, just like the tabletop game does it.



#18 Adeptus-B

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:29 AM

I would much more prefer to release supplements and adventures which can be used for more than one line. An example, even not a good one is Daemon Hunter where the Grey Knights could also be used in a DW game...  

 

I've been wanting to test out the Grey Knights rules with a one-shot stand-alone scenario; I'm going to try the third chapter of the Deathwatch adventure book The Emperor Protects (which involves infiltrating a warp-tainted Chaos-held world, making it at least as appropriate a mission for Grey Knights as for Deathwatch). Alas, I haven't gotten around to it yet, so I can't give any feedback on how that kind of cross-over works...



#19 Lynata

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:38 AM


Alas, I haven't gotten around to it yet, so I can't give any feedback on how that kind of cross-over works...

 

At least those characters are using the same gear and have a similarly robust profile - my projection would be that it ought to work better than the GK actually works with a Dark Heresy group.

 

The only difference is that the GK doesn't have Squad Mode, right? Possibly compensated for by some psychic powers.

 

[edit] Actually, no... I think DW Marines also receive a couple additional bonuses from that huge list of implants which I think is missing in Daemon Hammer (and BC), but those are very circumstancial and thus probably wouldn't play a big role. But would you use the (more extensive) armour rules from DW, or the ones that came with the DH supplement?


Edited by Lynata, 21 October 2013 - 10:41 AM.


#20 Tom Cruise

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:02 AM

Well, Grey Knights armour would likely skip the PA history thing entirely, as far as I can tell their armour is a lot more up to date and mass produced than the hand-me-down regular Astartes stuff. Could be wrong there, though. 






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