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#1 Grynder18

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:39 AM

Hey all

Ive got a player in my Deathwatch game that is insistent on maxing out his WS and nothing of anything else. Hes playing as an Assault Marine and as harsh as it sounds I want to make a game that will be hell for him, to show that you cant always win by whacking something. Does any one have any suggestions? I was thinking maybe something with long range engagements that would be way too dangerous for him to get in and slice things to bits. But, like i said, suggestions would be extremely handy

Thanks



#2 ak-73

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:30 AM

Grynder18 said:

Hey all

Ive got a player in my Deathwatch game that is insistent on maxing out his WS and nothing of anything else. Hes playing as an Assault Marine and as harsh as it sounds I want to make a game that will be hell for him, to show that you cant always win by whacking something. Does any one have any suggestions? I was thinking maybe something with long range engagements that would be way too dangerous for him to get in and slice things to bits. But, like i said, suggestions would be extremely handy

Thanks

 

I'd go the opposite route: genestealers. More than he can handle. 4 Genestealers should be enough for him if they have swift attack and multiple arms for a total of 12 attacks. Even if he kills 2 of them before they can strike back, he'll still be facing 6 attacks which should mean 2 or 3 will come through.

If you want to be sure, make it 5 and about 1.5 for the rest of the kill-team.

 

Or give them hormagaunts. 2 Mag 60 hordes. If the KT stands and fight, they may all die. If they withdraw, someone will have to take a stand and slow their advance. I can see lots of burned fate points.

 

But if you want an opponent that can shoot, use 3 mag 30 hordes of fire warriors. They'll possibly shoot everything that is in sight into swiss cheese in 2 or 3 turns.

 

Note: these suggestions I made (assuming an average KT of 4 low-ranked marines, btw) might be overkill, leading to a total party wipeout. You can choose the level of punishment by deciding on how much to downgrade from there.

 

Alex


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#3 Siranui

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:35 AM

Run a defensive operation with a secure perimeter and established kill zones. Have a protracted firefight with foes equipped with ranged weapons at a hundred metres or more. He'll be sat there twiddling his thumbs unless he's dumb enough to fly out and kill stuff, in which case focus everything on him.

 



#4 ak-73

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:38 AM

Siranui said:

Run a defensive operation with a secure perimeter and established kill zones. Have a protracted firefight with foes equipped with ranged weapons at a hundred metres or more. He'll be sat there twiddling his thumbs unless he's dumb enough to fly out and kill stuff, in which case focus everything on him.

 

 

Yeah, WW1-style trench Warfare would work too. Anybody who steps into nomansland gets peppered by chaos lascannons.

 

Alex


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#5 Siranui

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:54 AM

Depending on the other group members, you might want to throw some things at them that they simply can't do, due to lack of skills.

Most PCs 'take one for the team' in adapting their role to be something other than 'just kill things'. The Apothecary and the Techmarine are the obvious examples, having sunk XP into medical/tech skills. The team leader has done the same. That still leaves a lot of skills and roles untouched: Recon specialist, demolitions, 'face man', someone with knowledge skills, etc. Again; these are typically taken on by team members so as to round out the party's skills. By just spending XP only on close combat, the player is essentially forcing the other PCs to take up the slack. It'd be great to just ignore the 'boring' side of skill purchase and just become uber, but most players are team-spirited enough to recognise that it's selfish of them to do so.

So: Simply find a niche that nobody has filled and throw a problem at them that their lack of skills makes cripplingly difficult. Such as sending a secure message back to their Watch Captain. Nobody got DW cyphers? Err... problem. If possible make sure the recriminations land squarely on the lap of the offending party somehow.

Ideally, place the onus of dealing with the problem on the 'problem' PC. Something that springs to mind is inspired by 'Aliens'. The party need to use a skill in order to -say- realign a comms array to get a message out. Sadly, you've made sure that they don't have anyone with the Tech Use skill. The only alternative is for someone to crawl through 500m of sewage pipes infested with tyranids in order to move the dish manually, and the air-locks in the sewer pipes are only big enough for one Marine. Naturally the close-combat machine is the one for the job. Make the journey miserable and difficult and make sure they take enough wounds to hamper their performance in the final stages of the mission. Make sure you get in a few digs about how covered in sewage they are. Be sure to -after the mission ends - comment how much easier it would have been with the Tech Use skill. Now watch the party argue over who bites it down and buys it.

As the Chapter skill lists are quite specialised, it'd be good to single out a bunch of skills that are on the player's Chapter list, so as to make them the obvious person for the role. Although I suspect that they're munchkin enough to have gone BA, which makes my point moot because there aren't really any non-combat skills on that Chapter list!   /rolleyes

Another example is somehow forcing the player 'front and centre' to solve a problem that he can't deal with due to lack of skills. Maybe they need vital information off an old guy who doesn't speak Gothic... 'fortunately' he speaks a tongue vaguely similar to the offending player's native tribal language. Now watch the party squirm as the guy with no social skills is forced to either roleplay well or pick up the dice and default to half Fellowship on Charm checks. Can't do it? Mission just got a lot harder.

And you can of course force the whole party to make concealment checks and the like on a regular basis. Make sure that their close assault relies on it. For example: They infiltrate no-man's land at night. If they mess up, the party are pinned in a foxhole and engaged in a long-ranged combat where the player is useless. Not only is the player useless, but it's their fault because they are the one that didn't have a decent level of stealth skills.

Basically, you need to repeatedly put things in missions that aren't solved by combat ability, but are solved with skills. Crucial elements and even Primary objectives that cannot be dealt with without the correct skill-set. Be sure to reward the purchase of such skills by making them useful and crucial in later missions, but also be sure to 'force' the party to invest in a wide array of skills. So many in fact that the rest of the party will be resentful if the combat wombat does not buy his share. This way you are attacking the player on three fronts:

His character is looking like a useless donkey to the rest of the kill team for 20% of the mission because all he can do is kill stuff.

The player is looking a heel in front of his friends, by hampering their desired character progression because they have to buy skills for him.

The lack of skills is costing the player precious XP (this kind of player cares about it a lot!) because objectives cannot be completed due to lack of skills.

 



#6 Charmander

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:03 AM

It's not as hard to kill off DW characters as some people think, at least in my experience.  The trick I've had is injuring them reasonably to give them a good scare without killing them outright.  Beware of the total party kill situation when trying to teach one player/character a lesson- I think this is true in any system.

Do you want to just pick on him to teach him a lesson or are we trying to teach him 'the ultimate lesson' and kill his guy off?  FWIW, dumping XP into WS will only go so far because eventually he'll run out of WS advances and be forced into something else .  Also, as a GM and a player, I have to say that the fact that the campaign will 'be rough' on him becuse of his choices should be made clear up front.  It can be super frustrating as a player if a GM nods and lets you build your character a certain way and then essentially punishes you for it without warning.  Now if the GM told me he disagreed with my choices, well then the fault is back on me.

As for how to do it, I'd go with long range engagments as the others described, shoot him to pieces before he can close the distance.  About halfway through his advance as he tries to close in on them, have whatever cover he's in/behind contain a melee ambush (like 4 genestealers).  He won't be able to enter either engagement at full strength, and he'll probably die at a moment's notice.  That's assuming the guy will advance without his team and charge the enemey (probably with a jump pack).  If he likes to stay back and just deal with the melee opponents that engage his team mates, then just do ranged to let the others shine while he sits back and watches.  Siranui's latest suggestion is much more rounded and well thought out than this, but mine is for more punishment than reform

 

 



#7 Grynder18

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 02:09 AM

All these methods are very interesting actually, and i think i will use a few of them. One of the things i did forget to mention though is that im a joint GM with a friend, and when the offending player actually did this me and him were downstairs making some food and we only found out the other day.
My group consists of so far
Me - Blood Angels Librarian, a Black Templar Assault Marine, a Space Wolves Tactical Marine and a Dark Angels Apothacary. The GM who did that game hasnt decided what to play, and the DA-A is remaking his character after an accident involving a krak grenade.
The bottom line is, he is normally a reasonably sensable player but because its Space Marines hes gone mad with power. I have a mission planned that could test them but im not too sure.

Thanks for the suggestions



#8 Siranui

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 04:03 AM

Enjoying playing a SM is one thing, but becoming a one-dimensional character who is a lodestone in any but a combat situation and who essentially forces the rest of the players to buy 'boring' stuff so they don't have to is just a bit lame.

Hope that the suggestions help.

What Chapter is the guy playing?



#9 Grynder18

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 04:14 AM

Hes playing a Black Templar. Only playing a BT coz he collects them in table top. Got to admit though, he saved our asses against a demon prince which was good of him. But other than that he has no other skill. His Agility is so bad he cant even use his jump pack that well



#10 Siranui

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:11 AM

 BTs don't get many non-combat skills, but I notice Interrogation is cheap for them.

Throw in a few interrogation subjects for them that if they can't deal with it costs them (or specifically the player if possible) fate/trouble/objectives. Then when they whine about it afterwards there's two choices: He buys it for 200xp a go and can buy it up to +20, or the others can buy it for 400xp as a Deathwatch advance, and wait a few more levels to actually get good at it.

Example: Engineer the capture/surrender of someone with some security codes (or have some PDF.Guard capture the prisoner and hand them over to the kill-team). If they can interrogate the guy they can unlock some chamber that leads via tunnels right to the heart of the foe. If they can't get the codes, they have to advance 500m across a kill-zone and engage in a protracted firefight (where the player will be twiddling their thumbs. Obviously come up with some reason to render their jump-pack moot or suicidal to use).

I'm sure you can come up with something better, but that's a vague example.



#11 BrotharTearer

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:33 AM

What rank are we talking? Because as an assault marine really going balls deep in offensive melee talents and similar (they don't really have much else to choose from, ignoring very expensive advances in the general tree) is one of few really viable path. And the BTs get cheap Interrogation advances the character can, and should, get (but so does DAs and apos).  

You also have to remember that being a melee centric character is dangerous by definiton. You have to be up in their faces to do the thing you have invested so much in, and you can't dodge or parry hordes, nor does it help when you're facing opponents with multiple attacks, who may or may not gang up on you and get further bonuses. The devs and other ranged characters will full auto from a distance, and don't have to invest as much as an assault marine to be viable during combat, and don't have to tank. I just don't get why one would try to punish it, when it get some much punishment by nature. Furthermore, getting all the WS advances will hurt you in other areas, so he's more or less punishing himself too. That last WS increase is XP he won't be able to spend somewhere else, and it just nets him +5. 

But hey, could be just me who sees it that way. I personally don't blame an assault marine for concentrating on what he does best. Then again, I would pick up some handy (and cheap) skill from the chapter/deathwatch/general tables, just to round my character out, so I'm not that worthless outside of combat.

Rank 8 is a whole different story though.



#12 Grynder18

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:51 AM

Agility is also cheap as well but hes bout none of it so his uniqueness of having a jump pack has gone out of the window because he has less agility than a rock. I know that it is a mainly combat oriented character but even then they got something to shoot with aswell, its not just like two chainswords or anything and he does have a bolt pistol but again same with his agility, he can barely hit something thats stood infront of him. I just want to be able to teach him the value of thinking before buying a skill. Ive got a great idea now for what im going to do any way. Shall start with a bit of a conversation before hand about his choice of XP expenditure, then if he doesnt at least acknowledge the fact of that im talking to him about for a reason then hes going to have consequences to pay.



#13 ak-73

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:06 PM

Grynder18 said:

Agility is also cheap as well but hes bout none of it so his uniqueness of having a jump pack has gone out of the window because he has less agility than a rock. I know that it is a mainly combat oriented character but even then they got something to shoot with aswell, its not just like two chainswords or anything and he does have a bolt pistol but again same with his agility, he can barely hit something thats stood infront of him. I just want to be able to teach him the value of thinking before buying a skill. Ive got a great idea now for what im going to do any way. Shall start with a bit of a conversation before hand about his choice of XP expenditure, then if he doesnt at least acknowledge the fact of that im talking to him about for a reason then hes going to have consequences to pay.

 

2 thoughts:

1. It's conceivable that BT can be quite pig-headed about this. Or rather: in their chapter they have probably been told on numerous occasions to not slack on their melee prowess. I see the Templars are lending towards extremes, so one could see that as acceptable roleplaying even, if one was benevolent.

2. He's in the DW now. And Marines ain't a fantasy party, they are part of a military organization. While they have much more freedom than in their home chapter, they can't willy-nilly-whatever-I-want in training. Your job as a GM is also to assume the role of his Watch Captain, observing his training and making sure his build is in line with the military philosophy of the Captain. So he can simply order the BT to do bolter firing courses, etc. which would effectively force your player to spend XP on BS or whatever you want. Now this can cause ooc bad blood, of course. So talk with the player calmly and reasonably about it. It's no fun if you dictate his entire PC but if he's reasonable you will realize that in a military RPG it's not unreasonable if the GM as his superior can determine where, say, 25% of XP expenditure will go if the GM thinks the build is not sound.

 

Otoh, if the player can deliver a sound rationale to the Watch Captain why he isn't over-specializing and thus limiting his effectiveness, let him off the hook. 

 

Alex

 


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#14 Grynder18

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 01:18 PM

Well i think i have an appropriate game set which involves the defence of a planetary governor that the KT needs to extract whilest the planet is undergoing a tyranid attack. I hope it shows him the value of not running head long into the recieving end of a rending claw or a scything talon.

You guys have been a great help and i appreciate it a bunch and everything thats been said i will be taking into massive consideration

Thanks a million



#15 BrotharTearer

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 01:29 PM

Grynder18 said:

 

Agility is also cheap as well but hes bout none of it so his uniqueness of having a jump pack has gone out of the window because he has less agility than a rock. I know that it is a mainly combat oriented character but even then they got something to shoot with aswell, its not just like two chainswords or anything and he does have a bolt pistol but again same with his agility, he can barely hit something thats stood infront of him. I just want to be able to teach him the value of thinking before buying a skill. Ive got a great idea now for what im going to do any way. Shall start with a bit of a conversation before hand about his choice of XP expenditure, then if he doesnt at least acknowledge the fact of that im talking to him about for a reason then hes going to have consequences to pay.

 

 

Sure, agility is cheap for an assault, but it's not really *needed* fighting hordes (you can't dodge against hordes), and by buffing his WS, he will probably choose to parry instead of dodging anyway. When/if he gets Step Aside then dodging will be on the table, and buffing his agility will probably be benefical. If we look at the use of a jump pack, agility isn't really *needed* either, as you aren't taking Pilot checks for mundane use. If he's got the assault marine ability where he can move further with a successful check, then he's just hurting (and punishing himself for it already, no need for you to do it also).

Agility have no effect on his ability to use his bolt pistol, though. That's Ballistic Skill. And to increase that as an assault marine, he has to spend 750 xp, making it one of his expensive stats, which I see no reason at all for an assault marine to dump XP into, unless he's some shooty guy or from a shooty chapter, which Black Templars are NOT. They are a chapter which prefers melee over ranged combat, and it's technically just good roleplaying concentrating on the melee stuff. Don't punish him for that. And why does he need to hit something with his bolt pistol when he can do better with his chainsword?

Personally, I'd probably do the same as him (maybe rounding myself out a bit more, but not much more, as you don't get many other options) and concentratate on what I'd do best as a BT assault marine. Being up close and personal, hacking stuff down.

The bottom line: I think you're looking at it wrong, and you seem to want him to build his character as *you* want it, and not as *he* wants his character to be. The way he's building his assault marine is perfectly normal, even standard, and especially for a Black Templar, very fitting. I'd get some Abhor the Witch though. 



#16 Grynder18

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 01:48 PM

That is a fair point actually. I never looked it at that way before now, and i never knew half of the AM stuff was so expensive. I cant exactly punish him, which isnt what i wanted to do entirely. Just wanted to kinda show him that when you rumble with a Hive Tyrant whos got a bonesword its probably not worth it seeing as it gets 2 attacks anyway and can gain health back for taking a dump. I feel a lil daft now i guess seeing as i never looked at in that kinda way either.

Thanks for the insight



#17 BrotharTearer

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:03 PM

Grynder18 said:

 

That is a fair point actually. I never looked it at that way before now, and i never knew half of the AM stuff was so expensive. I cant exactly punish him, which isnt what i wanted to do entirely. Just wanted to kinda show him that when you rumble with a Hive Tyrant whos got a bonesword its probably not worth it seeing as it gets 2 attacks anyway and can gain health back for taking a dump. I feel a lil daft now i guess seeing as i never looked at in that kinda way either.

Thanks for the insight

 

 

Oh, be sure that he'll notice that by himself, sooner or later. But when he does, he will need all the WS he can get so he can land those blows and parry one or two of those attacks, depending on if he's got Wall of Steel or not.

Besides, by the logic you were following, it would be the most benefical for him to not be an assault marine at all, due to being forced to be in melee range and all to do his business, you know.



#18 Siranui

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 11:18 PM

 I don't think that the problem is that the character is selecting melee as his combat speciality, it's that he's not buying *anything* else. I too can't really blame an Assault Marine for not shelling out for buying BS. But I believe it was the lack of anything other than melee ability that was the issue.



#19 DarkTemplars

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 03:45 PM

It's hard for me to see the real issue here. The assault maraine can get all the WS advances before reaching rank 2. They are just that cheap. And then there is a lot of time left for him to purchase other skills. Even before reaching rank 2 as he wouls still have 1.8k of xp left before hitting rank 2.  



#20 Direach

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 06:50 PM

Unless the player is being a jackass and causing problems for the group with his choices, I don't suggest punishing him, or making things unduly hard for him. Run the game as you planned to, and when a melee situation comes up, he will get to shine; the rest of the time, he probably won't shine as much. And whatever else may happen, it's easy enough for an assault marine to get in over his head without any particular effort on the part of the GM!






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