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Glorified Bodyguard PCs (GM ranting)


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#1 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:41 AM

Why, everytime, unless you limit it yourself, at least 20-30% of players will be Melee-focused Glorified Bodyguards!?

 

By Glorified Bodyguard I mean a character that has little use in RT besides that of a bodyguard.

I mean that AM/Kroot/Ork/Dark Eldar/Random-DH-combat-character that doesn't care for Tactica Imperialis of simply doesn't care for the ship's troops or doesn't even bother to setup special combat troops.

 

RTs usually handle everything in large scales, it really doesn't matter you have an eldar power sword and a power armor if you are fighting the enemy in the thousands!

 

WS is very useful for honor duels and the like - but you don't want to fight Rak Gols with that.

It's also next to nothing in ship-to-ship combat.

 

....

 

Yes, you get to have a cool character... But with what are you really contributing to the group as a whole?

 

AM, Ork! Setup a sniper's team to take out rivals, put together a group of storm troopers in power armors/bolters and jury rig a drop pod into your Cargo Hold for precision attacks.

 

D.E., Kroot, DH Assassin! Act like a killer! Investigate, make complex plans on how to take out the Dynasty's rivals with no one ever knowing who did it, in a single hit! At least get a decent BS so you can shoot voidship weapons so the VM can focus on piloting for example.

 

And if you really want to be just one more WS focused Glorified Bodyguard, learn to humiliate a rival in an Honor Duel in public situations so you can at least discredit the enemy's Dynasties! If you just keep killing minions one-by-one you won't even make a dent to it!

 

BLAAAAAAAAAARGGGGGH oiqfdosaifdsdkjfskdjhfkjdshkjf

 

*Frustrated GM*


Edited by Sebastian Yorke, 20 December 2013 - 07:43 AM.

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#2 Traejun

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:02 PM

lolololol

 

I love melee-focused characters.  They have their place, but mostly in campaigns that DON'T focus on large-scale stuff.  I'm running an RT campaign that is already ~15 sessions in, and there is yet to be a single instance of large-scale warfare of any kind.  Besides, large scale warfare is generally a battle of command tests vs. what the "commander" actually kills by him/herself.

 

At the end of the day... it's RP, make the character you want to play.


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#3 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:34 PM

Remember that game I was going to be RT in and out of the 6 players, 4 were this type of char?

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#4 Traejun

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:35 PM

Remember that game I was going to be RT in and out of the 6 players, 4 were this type of char?

 

From a success standpoint, that's effing terrible.  Too much of anything is a bad thing in an RPG.

 

Again... success comes from balance.  If you don't have that, you fail.



#5 CaptainStabby

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:49 PM

Am I the only GM who pretty much ignores large scale combat? 

 

Playing Indiana Jones(or at worst National Treasure) is imo far more entertaining than trying to emulate WH40k tabletop with less good rules for it...

 

Fellowship based AM, someone dig up the Batman idea.


Edited by CaptainStabby, 20 December 2013 - 03:49 PM.

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#6 Erathia

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:59 PM

Am I the only GM who pretty much ignores large scale combat? 

 

 

I'm definitely not a fan of it, but it is kind of unrealistic that a Rogue Trader with a ship full of tens of thousands of people wouldn't form his own security force and make sure there's some surrounding him at all times. In general I treat these as generic skill monkeys that can be brought along, and for forces I'll have them fight what is theoretically a large battle between two sides, but they are focusing Deathwatch-style on breaking the enemy leadership, and the quicker or more stylishly they win that battle, the better the result is for their side.


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#7 Traejun

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 04:37 PM

Is this going to turn into another "CaptainStabby hates everything" thread?"   :D


Edited by Traejun, 20 December 2013 - 04:37 PM.

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#8 WilliamAsher

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 06:40 PM

I allways wonder about the groups where everyone plays the same thing.  I have never really played with a group like that, and I have been gaming for about 30 years.

 

My RT is an Arch-Heretek who is constantly developing new weapons for his troops.  The Explorator is an Emperor worshiper who wants to unite the two cults, and build more Knights.  The Ships Doctor is the Senchenal/Assassin, and uses more Eldar gear than most Eldar.  The Arch-Militant is a Death Cultist who reveres the Angels of the Emperor (Astartes) and is a Sniper/Tactician.  The Astropath gives guest sermons when she visits Ecclesiastiary temples.  Thier normal way for dealing with melee is MORE FIRE!!!  (Plasma Flamers on Maximal are a *****)  They raise a new regiment for the Imperial Guard about every 2-3 years, and a dozen or so regiments to protect their colonies.  Mass combat is a part of our game, and we all enjoy it as much as the smaller fights.  Of course, the last small fight was against a possesed Warp Engine fuel core (Defiler with a Warp Weapon Heavy flamer).  The Explorator and his bodyguard used their Purgatatus stakes (Condemer Boltguns) to knock it down and the Arch-Militant sniped it for more than 30 wounds (after defenses) a hit.


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#9 Spatulaodoom

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:04 PM

Meh. I Prefer to play it swashbuckler/Star Trek style. Sure, you've got a ship with a large crew, but it's always the captain and senior crew who do the away missions, taking only a couple of red-shirts with them occasionally. As for logic, who gives a @#^& about logic? We're playing Rogue Trader. Logic is strictly optional, and sometimes counterproductive.

 

What sort of reputation will your Rogue Trader get if he's always hiding behind a wall of troops rather than taking the fight to the enemy him/herself?

 

Why is the DM bothering to put the PC's up against a forest of mooks in the first place? Why not simply say "While the crew of the locked ships struggle for dominance the Rogue Trader and his allies forge through the fight to find their counterparts from the other ship." Hand wave away the uninteresting stuff and you can get to the fun part.

 

Isn't Warhammer 40k the one where you say "Drive me closer, I want to hit them with my sword?"


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#10 Amazing Larry

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 03:34 AM

Meh. I Prefer to play it swashbuckler/Star Trek style. Sure, you've got a ship with a large crew, but it's always the captain and senior crew who do the away missions, taking only a couple of red-shirts with them occasionally. As for logic, who gives a @#^& about logic? We're playing Rogue Trader. Logic is strictly optional, and sometimes counterproductive.

 

What sort of reputation will your Rogue Trader get if he's always hiding behind a wall of troops rather than taking the fight to the enemy him/herself?

 

Why is the DM bothering to put the PC's up against a forest of mooks in the first place? Why not simply say "While the crew of the locked ships struggle for dominance the Rogue Trader and his allies forge through the fight to find their counterparts from the other ship." Hand wave away the uninteresting stuff and you can get to the fun part.

 

Isn't Warhammer 40k the one where you say "Drive me closer, I want to hit them with my sword?"

 

I agree, hell even tabletop has a rule where boss characters traveling with mook units have to stand in the front row. Authority equals ass kicking and vice versa. Yeah the rules for playing your own characters in combat are so much more robust than the rules for doing otherwise with the notable exception of Starship combat.

 

Then there's just the matter of DO YOU WANT TO PLAY THE GAME OR NOT? Yeah that really valuable ship you find drifting in space is almost certainly either filled with monsters or the bait in some pirate trap but of course you investigate it because that's what the game is about. Yes that mysterious woman who turns up with a treasure map she claims to have stolen from your arch rival is probably playing her own game and is likely as not going to betray you and the treasure map is likely as not a trap but of course you go along up to a point because that's what the game is about.

 

No it's probably not super sensible to wade into combat yourself when you're the head of your own private army but damnit the point of the game is to be the hero in your own action movie.



#11 Magellan

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 03:45 AM

I've always wanted to play a game where I could play the bodyguard. Three-piece suit, paranoia and perception. Quick to spot danger and even quicker on the draw.

 

I lament the fact that few groups are without a bodyguard type.


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#12 LordBlades

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 04:06 AM

Regarding people wanting to play bodyguard (pure combat characters and little else), I think it has it's roots in most other RPGs (WH40k or not), where character scale combat is the main focus of the campaign, or a very important part (even if non-combat stuff is important, it's usually enough one person is competent in diplomacy or investigation, not the whole party like in combat).

 

RT stands apart from most other RPGs I've played in that regard, because large scale stuff is an integral part of the basic premise.

 

Regarding why a RT and his personal retinue would go in themselves rather than send the redshirts:

 

-it's inspiring. In critical moments, troop morale and effectiveness can be greatly boosted if their commander is in the front lines rather than cowering in a bunker/ship. Many leadership talents (like Iron Discipline or Into the Jaws of Hell) require the character to be there or visible.

 

-the situation takes finesse. Redshirts are a hammer., and sometimes it's impossible to have them get a job done without causing too much collateral damage. For example, in one of my group's adventures we wanted to explore (and retrieve some stuff) from a pre-Heresy ship that had crashed over a Necron tomb. The area was so confined and potentially filled with valuable relics that it was impossible to get enough redshirts with enough firepower to fight the necrons without doing severe damage to the landscape, which was a risk the RT was unwilling to take.

 

-you want to keep something secret. Sometimes you do stuff that you don't want random guardsman #342 knowing about. Like for example finding and repairing a damaged Titan. You really want AdMech off your back until it's secured aboard one of your ships.


Edited by LordBlades, 21 December 2013 - 04:08 AM.

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#13 Magellan

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 04:26 AM

Also, like I told my servants last time they asked why we couldn't just have our hideously expensive Oathsworn explore the dangerous, dark hole: the hired help doesn't have fate points.


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#14 Spatulaodoom

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:42 AM

Regarding people wanting to play bodyguard (pure combat characters and little else), I think it has it's roots in most other RPGs (WH40k or not), where character scale combat is the main focus of the campaign, or a very important part (even if non-combat stuff is important, it's usually enough one person is competent in diplomacy or investigation, not the whole party like in combat).

 

RT stands apart from most other RPGs I've played in that regard, because large scale stuff is an integral part of the basic premise.

It wasn't until the core book, two expansions, and two adventure books were published until we got proper mass combat rules.

Individual scale combat was in the core book.

So yea, individual scale is probably intended to be a core component to the game.

Either way we're getting back into "there's no wrong way to enjoy/play a game" territory.



#15 LordBlades

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:55 AM

 

Regarding people wanting to play bodyguard (pure combat characters and little else), I think it has it's roots in most other RPGs (WH40k or not), where character scale combat is the main focus of the campaign, or a very important part (even if non-combat stuff is important, it's usually enough one person is competent in diplomacy or investigation, not the whole party like in combat).

 

RT stands apart from most other RPGs I've played in that regard, because large scale stuff is an integral part of the basic premise.

It wasn't until the core book, two expansions, and two adventure books were published until we got proper mass combat rules.

Individual scale combat was in the core book.

So yea, individual scale is probably intended to be a core component to the game.

Either way we're getting back into "there's no wrong way to enjoy/play a game" territory.

 

 

I agree. What I was trying to say is that in most other RPGs (that I've played at least), actually being in charge of anyone else than your own character and maybe a couple henchmen/mounts/golems/etc. is something that's impossible/hard to do/happens rather late in the game. People don't think in terms of large scale because the large scale is usually not a part of most RPGs.

 

Hell, my group (with about 10-15 years of D&D 3.5 experience) was quite reluctant to dive into large scale engagements (like landing 10000 guardsmen on a planet) because the  GM was a bit afraid it would detract from the main characters as the focus of the story.


Edited by LordBlades, 21 December 2013 - 09:58 AM.


#16 venkelos

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:04 AM

When you are on the ground, in some Emperor-forgotten ruin, or in the halls of a ship, either launching or repelling a boarding action, you MIGHT come to like melee much more than ranged combat. If you don't plan the guns right, you could do more harm then good, and any group of people will probably eventually close into melee, making you fight, and depriving you of some of your shooting ability.

 

Certainly, 4/6 going melee is a bit much, but there will come times when it helps, just as their will come times when they get punished, but all such choices have punishments. Swords don't run out of ammo.

 

I'm not a fan of LS battles, for the most part. You either wade in like a god, and own scores of people, or you got bogged down, CAN'T escape, and die. I've played WoT, where my friend Warder-player Steve could wade into an army of trollocs, and use Great Cleave to mow down most adjacent enemies EACH turn, while they had to crit him to DO damage, and I've played homebrew DW d20 where mobs got bonuses for being mobs (the mob always critted with an attack, and always critted a skill check, because statistically, one of them would), and then we got reamed repeatedly, blowing air seals, getting constantly hurt, and not feeling much like Space Marines. It all depends on the rule set, of course, but give me a small group vs a small group, or 1-on-1 any day.



#17 Amazing Larry

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 12:44 PM

I think the important thing regarding melee vs ballistic is just that you have a plan for how you're going to deal with the one you're not good at. I have a really shooty character and I just about had to burn a fate point because some jerk closed to melee and started kicking my ass with a power sword. So since then I've bought a few melee talents, the manhunter's "take them alive" and a pair of shock gloves and combied my bolt pistol with a shotgun pistol and I'm working on getting snare shells. In the future if that happens again I'll have a number of tricks up my sleeve which should allow me to if nothing else incapacitate a melee opponant so he can't beat me up in two turns.

 

Likewise if you have a really melee centric character carry something fully automatic, it doesn't matter what it is but the point being that if one day you find yourself unable to close to melee you can at least supress.



#18 LordBlades

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 02:05 PM

I think the important thing regarding melee vs ballistic is just that you have a plan for how you're going to deal with the one you're not good at. I have a really shooty character and I just about had to burn a fate point because some jerk closed to melee and started kicking my ass with a power sword. So since then I've bought a few melee talents, the manhunter's "take them alive" and a pair of shock gloves and combied my bolt pistol with a shotgun pistol and I'm working on getting snare shells. In the future if that happens again I'll have a number of tricks up my sleeve which should allow me to if nothing else incapacitate a melee opponant so he can't beat me up in two turns.

 

Likewise if you have a really melee centric character carry something fully automatic, it doesn't matter what it is but the point being that if one day you find yourself unable to close to melee you can at least supress.

 

It's much easier to prepare for melee if you're mainly ranged than the other way around IMO.

 

If you're mainly a ranged character you can:

 

-carry a pistol with a lot of damage per shot (like plasma or melta or Tau pulse); if you have the spare XP you can usually dual wield pistols.

-get a high move speed (even a Jump Pack if possible) to keep out of melee as much as possible

 

If you're mainly melee, all you can do effectively at range is Suppressive Fire.

 

As a side note, I'm kind of sad one of the more iconic fighting styles of WH40K is terribly under-supported:dual wielding a melee weapon and a ranged weapon. It's quite prevalent with space marine officers, standard terminator gear in fluff is Storm Bolter and Powerfist (which works horribly in Deathwatch since you can't really shoot your Storm Bolter in melee), and many warbosses are depicted wielding a Power Klaw and a ranged weapon. In RT however:

 

-You need a much bigger XP investment (need to also raise your BS a bit, need both two-weapon wielder talents etc.)

-You're restricted to pistols, which means you often don't really get a meaningful ranged option with 20-30m base weapon range)

- 99% of the time you're losing a decent amount of damage for using a pistol in your off-hand because pistols in general do a fair bit less damage per shot than an equivalent melee weapon.

-Only advantage I can see with this fighting style is when you drop an opponent with your melee attacks, and then you can shoot a guy within 10m instead of wasting your off-hand attack.



#19 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 02:17 PM

BLAAAAAAAAAARGGGGGH oiqfdosaifdsdkjfskdjhfkjdshkjf

*Frustrated GM*

That bad, eh?

This made me lol.


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=][=


#20 Erathia

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 05:57 PM

As a side note, I'm kind of sad one of the more iconic fighting styles of WH40K is terribly under-supported:dual wielding a melee weapon and a ranged weapon. It's quite prevalent with space marine officers, standard terminator gear in fluff is Storm Bolter and Powerfist (which works horribly in Deathwatch since you can't really shoot your Storm Bolter in melee), and many warbosses are depicted wielding a Power Klaw and a ranged weapon. In RT however:

 

-You need a much bigger XP investment (need to also raise your BS a bit, need both two-weapon wielder talents etc.)

-You're restricted to pistols, which means you often don't really get a meaningful ranged option with 20-30m base weapon range)

- 99% of the time you're losing a decent amount of damage for using a pistol in your off-hand because pistols in general do a fair bit less damage per shot than an equivalent melee weapon.

-Only advantage I can see with this fighting style is when you drop an opponent with your melee attacks, and then you can shoot a guy within 10m instead of wasting your off-hand attack.

 

This isn't that surprising, given that Space Marines do it because they are the pinnacle of human perfection, helped my a large amount of gene modification so they are expert fighters. Ork Warbosses do it because dey like da dakka, but with an Ork's ballistic skill they never HIT with anything. Forbidding basic weapons makes sense, as does restricting heavy weapons in a swirling Melee combat.

 

What my group did is rule that for using pistols in Melee, you treat it as using your Weapon Skill instead of Ballistic Skill, get no benefits for Point Blank, and otherwise treat it like a normal melee weapon, just using a pistol (you're trying to hit him with the barrel, and then pull the trigger). Quite effective when the Warboss parries your melee attack, and you surprise him with a maximal plasma pistol to the gut.


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