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Ship & Warrant Origin Path unbalanced?


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#1 Gokerz

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:39 AM

I went through the last dozen pages or so to see if this has been brought up before, but didn't see anything.

 

So, does the Ship & Warrant Origin Path seem badly designed to anyone else? I see several choices that are strictly and objectively inferior to others.

For example compare:

The Forging -> Fallen From Grace -> Reward -> whatever... =30SP, PF12 + rest of choices.

Age of Rebirth -> Fallen From Grace -> Reward -> whatever but same as above = 32 SP, PF 14 + rest of choices (identical to above) + 1 archeotech component.

 

The first is stricly inferior to the second. There are also other combinations that are strictly superior or inferior to others.

My question is, is there something I am missing? Is there some balancing element that I am not seeing? Or is the table just badly designed?

Because as it is right now, that pretty much makes the table unusable for me without houseruling it.



#2 Errant

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:55 AM

There are no intentional balancing mechanisms, save that it recommends the GM using the table, or having the players proceed through the path in a round robin. It largely comes down to your players. Do they want to be from a powerful, ancient Dynasty, at the helm of a vessel born in the shipyards of Luna herself? Or do they want instead to come from a new or once-mighty dynasty that now has little more than their ship and a sense of adventure?

That's the entire point of this Path system. The players choose their Origins. You choose how that affects their adventures. Pride and Profit goeth before the fall, after all. The bigger they are at the start, the larger the consequences for their warrant's history.



#3 Gokerz

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:14 AM

That doesn't exactly make it better. It just reinforces how badly made the table is.

If the players / dm choose the origin, they shouldn't get mechanically screwed over for making certain choices on the path.



#4 Errant

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:42 AM

It is a choice to make, though. If your players feel compelled to the Archeotech-providing origins solely for mechanical benefit as opposed to what fits the fluff of their origins, then that's a whole other issue. The Age of Rebirth is better than the other warrant ages because, hell, half of those few Warrants that survive were signed by the Emperor himself. Sometimes things are just objectively better.



#5 Gokerz

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:22 AM

The Warrant and Ship origin Path is what defines the fluff of their backrounds, it is thus categorically impossible to choose a path that doesn't fit the fluff of their origins.

Anyway, I was just interested knowing whether there is anything I missed or if the path is just that badly designed. Going by your answers, the latter is the case and my question answered.



#6 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:48 AM

It depends on if you think everything should make the players more uber or if the players not having everything handed to them is more important. Much to the surprise of many people, apparently,  not every group views "Everything must be best" as a doctrine for a good time. In my experience being less uber is generally a lot more fun as it leads to more creativity.

Ultimately, if you don't like the origin path for the warrant don't use it. Stick with the numbers in the core book.



#7 korjik

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:49 AM

Gokerz said:

The Warrant and Ship origin Path is what defines the fluff of their backrounds, it is thus categorically impossible to choose a path that doesn't fit the fluff of their origins.

Anyway, I was just interested knowing whether there is anything I missed or if the path is just that badly designed. Going by your answers, the latter is the case and my question answered.

You found one path which was slightly better than another and so the chart is badly designed? I think your bar is a little high. It isnt perfect, but 2pf, 2sp and an archeotech component (which will soak up the 2sp) isnt that big a deal. Quite frankly, if you are looking that closely, you are kinda missing the point.



#8 Gokerz

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:18 AM

ItsUncertainWho said:

It depends on if you think everything should make the players more uber or if the players not having everything handed to them is more important. Much to the surprise of many people, apparently,  not every group views "Everything must be best" as a doctrine for a good time. In my experience being less uber is generally a lot more fun as it leads to more creativity.

wow, you are spouting some serious "you find this unbalanced, you must be a powergamer" crap there. Care to elaborate how disliking imbalanced rules makes one a "everything must be best" gamer/DM?

Did I accidentally click on the wrong button? Did I post in the House Rules Forum without noticing? No? Then why don't stop telling me under which circumstances the problem is no longer a problem. I posted in the Rules Questions forum because I wanted to know about the state of a rule so I can make informed decisions about how to solve it. Not to get some information on how to make the problem stop to matter. I can figure that out by myself, or I'll post in the House Rules forum about it.

 

I dislike this imbalance because of the situation it creates. If I as the GM create the Path for the group, it means I have to make a decision. Either I take a path that is objectively inferior, then I feel like I am screwing over my players, or I take the optimal path, then I feel like I took it just because I didn't want to screw over my players. Or I let my players chose the path. Then they I put them into a situation where they either feel like they are optimizing, or screwing themselves over for no other gain than not feeling like power gamers.

There are no other differences between the choices. The rpg possibilities are the same, the potential for ingame fun are the same, just the mechanics screw you over for making specific choices.

Which sucks, because when I make a ship &warrant path I just want to make a choice based on what seems fun for me and my players. I can still do this, naturally (saying I can't would be pretty dumb), but it's not possible without some little voice in the back of your head telling you either that you got screwed over or are a powergamer. I want balanced rules, is that so much to ask?

 

korjik said:

You found one path which was slightly better than another and so the chart is badly designed?

The way that table is structured you could probably find one or two dozen combinations that are stricly superior to others.



#9 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:04 AM

The original post came across to me as “Why can I make something that sucks this much?” I responded in a way that you apparently took poorly. I didn't say there was anything wrong with having a good ship, just that a lot of people seem to be overly concerned with something not being up to their view of good. An individuals expectations not being met does not mean that something is broken or unbalanced.

Not every dynasty is rich and powerful, some barely scrape by. The origin path allows these choices to be made instead of rolled. It allows a wide variety of outcomes from the very poor, to the very rich. If you or your players choose to pick the least advantageous path on that chart that is your or your players choice and has nothing to do with the chart being “poorly designed”. The chart allows for choice instead of random rolls. There are some people who even hate random rolls, so you can't please everyone. 

 



#10 Badlapje

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:13 AM

For me the origin path of the warrant isn't about all choices resulting in the same amount of PF and SP.  It is about giving shape to the background that shapes a large part of who you and your group are within the 40k verse.  When my group went through the path each got to choose one line, and none of us (considering we have 2 powergamers that's huge) chose the option that was what you call objectively best.  We went with what to us made most sense within the kind of background we wanted to be operating in.

Your objective seems to differ from mine in that respect.  Your objective seems to be to invent some kind of backstory and at the same time have the result be the same amount of SP/PF and archeotech/xenotech components in each case?   If you want that then simply ignore the numbers in the table and make a houserule as to how much SP/PF your players get at the start and how much PF or SP they need to trade for an archeotech or xenotech component (and what the limits are on how many of those they can get).

As it stands, the table seems to make sense to me.  If you read what each option is supposed to be then it makes sense to allocate the amount of SP and PF like they did in the table.  The only problem i have in that respect is the same as the one i have with the origin path in that your choice on the first line limits your choices on the second and so on.  Personally i would allow free choice in each line, as long as it'd fit in the backstory that is derived from it.  If the players want to be on top maximising PF and SP, that's their right.  Ultimately the idea is for the players to have fun, as a gm you are so adaptable in your stories, it honestly doesn't matter much to me whether or not my players want to be top honchos or the underdog, i can fit my scenarios to either case.



#11 Gokerz

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:44 AM

I actually got an official answer by now, if anyone is interested.

 

Hello XXX,

Some options of the origin path are do give you higher Profit Factor and Ship Points than the others, though usually this difference is fairly minor.

If you and your group are primarily concerned with getting the optimum results, then I suggest hugging one side of the path or the other, either getting a ton of Ship Points and a tricked out ship, or a whole bunch of Profit Factor so you can buy another ship as soon as possible. There are also several character options which improve either your Profit Factor or your Ship Points, such as the Noble Born and Scion of Dynasty "homeworlds."

However, the Ship and Warrant Path is primarily a storytelling and roleplaying tool. If you want to use it as such, I suggest paying attention to the descriptions and the wording, and ignoring the Ship Points and Profit Factor until you're finished. Craft a compelling and interesting narrative backstory and then see where you end up. You may not be "optimized" but your group's history will probably be more interesting.

Plus, powergaming kind of loses its appeal when a single Profit Factor check can get you a Leman Russ battle tank. Or an army of them. ;-)

Hope this helps!

Sam Stewart
RPG Designer
Fantasy Flight Games

 

So if my group starts a new RT campaign I will probably tell them to ignore the stats given by the first to rows of the origin path, and after they chose the path I give them the average amount those first two rows would normally give.

It's only those first two rows, 'warrant age' and 'Fortune & Fate' that are problematic, as they follow a completely different logic than all the other rows of the Origin Path. I'll just have to think of way to remove the Xeno- and Archeotech components as deciding factors. Maybe base those on dicerolls.



#12 Kalec Fash

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:59 AM

This is an issue I have encountered in my group as well.

 

Our solution was to simply tie the PF and SP to the last choice. the SP is 100-PF, or the PF is 100-SP, whichever means of calculating you prefer. Any unused SP is lost.

Infamous will give the party 60-70 PF, and 30-40 SP.

Unknown gives 45-55 PF and 45-55 SP.

Famous gives 30-40 PF and 60-70 SP.

Additionally, the party may one archaeotech or xenotech component for normal SP if the GM agrees the chosen component is justified, or double SP if not (you should probably not use that last bit). This overrides the archaeotech component allowed by "Age of Rebirth" and the xenotech component allowed by "Halo Artefacts".

This system has worked well because it gives the party a bit more freedom to pick warrant path options that fit their background and makes no longer strictly superior to PF. The party has a great deal of control over how much will be invested in their ship and how much will be invested in their dynasty, which is something I have enjoyed as a player and found players enjoy as a GM.



#13 Captain Harlock

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:48 AM

I actually found the process of getting my initial groups SP and PF to match the table quite fun. It suggested that along with the initial written history we made for the dynasty background, we discovered that trhey were involved in the Meritech wars and are up and cosy with the mechanicus.

Personally I think the choices are clear

If you want a well balanced game just go by the rules in the core book that allows balanced gaming of ship power vs profit factor

If you want a more narrative feel (including more 'narrative advantages' by the GM) than a balanced power you can choose the origin path.



#14 Gokerz

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:12 AM

Captain Harlock said:

 

I actually found the process of getting my initial groups SP and PF to match the table quite fun. It suggested that along with the initial written history we made for the dynasty background, we discovered that trhey were involved in the Meritech wars and are up and cosy with the mechanicus.

If you want a well balanced game just go by the rules in the core book that allows balanced gaming of ship power vs profit factor

If you want a more narrative feel (including more 'narrative advantages' by the GM) than a balanced power you can choose the origin path.

 

 

 

It is fun, that is why it sucks that it is unbalanced.

 

 What? I can make narrative rules up all day long, for every day of the week and every week of the year with no problem at all. Making up narratives is not at all a problem. But when FFG give me rules, I want those rules to be balanced. Because unlike fun narratives, creating balanced rules is really hard. Unlike FFG I don't have access to a large contingent of playtesters, nor do I have time to playtest large numbers of rules. So when I buy a rulebook from them, the rules being balanced is the important thing, because interesting narratives are much, much easier to produce myself.

The idea that it's okay if the rules in a rulebook are unbalanced because you can just ignore them is utterly and totally alien to me.

 

 

Edit: also, this has to be the worst forum software I have ever witnessed. WTF, why is this in quote tags?

 



#15 renoh

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 04:01 AM

Personnally I like the ship and warrant creation system, it gives plenty of ideas to expand the rogue trader dynasty background.

What means unbalanced in a RPG context anyway? Rogue trader is not a video game or a tableboard game where your players' ship compare to other players. Balance is only a factor when you want a fair competition.

My players can have a transport or a heavy cruiser fully decked with weapons, I can adjust the opposition to create a challenge anyway (small time raiders, chaos fleet, etc). I only care about creating an mutually enjoyable adventure with my players.

And if they have at the beginning 35 SP instead of 45 with an archeotech equipement, what's the big deal? It is all about the campaign thematic (high power gaming or moderated).

You can find a lot of unbalanced elements in RT: careers (navigators ^^;), weapons (laspistol vs melta), melee vs firearms, cybernetics,...

The only unbalances that bother me are the one detrimental to the players/GM enjoyement and the story credibility. All my players being in the same ship, the S&W creation system is not one of them.



#16 Gokerz

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:21 AM

renoh said:

You can find a lot of unbalanced elements in RT: careers (navigators ^^;), weapons (laspistol vs melta), melee vs firearms, cybernetics,...

Yes, because if A is unbalanced, that totally makes it okay if B is unbalanced as well.



#17 Errant

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 01:50 PM

 One could argue that there is no intent or even requirement for the various elements of the game to be 'balanced'. The Navigator is arguably the most powerful career in the game when it comes to combat if their Eye is able to be used; despite this, of the five games I've run so far I've always had to use an NPC Navigator. You aren't competing against other groups of players, you aren't supposed to be competing against yourselves, you're meant to have fun playing a game with your friends.



#18 renoh

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 10:05 PM

Gokerz said:

renoh said:

 

You can find a lot of unbalanced elements in RT: careers (navigators ^^;), weapons (laspistol vs melta), melee vs firearms, cybernetics,...

 

Yes, because if A is unbalanced, that totally makes it okay if B is unbalanced as well.

The idea is: if A and B are unbalanced, it doesn't matter as long as you and your players have fun.



#19 Gokerz

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:22 AM

renoh said:

 

Gokerz said:

 

renoh said:

 

You can find a lot of unbalanced elements in RT: careers (navigators ^^;), weapons (laspistol vs melta), melee vs firearms, cybernetics,...

 

Yes, because if A is unbalanced, that totally makes it okay if B is unbalanced as well.

 

 

The idea is: if A and B are unbalanced, it doesn't matter as long as you and your players have fun.

 

 

That's good news for FFG!

In the future, they will never have to get playtesters anymore, who cares if the mechanics they provide us with don't work? We can fix them or have fun anyway!

They don't even need authors anymore, just some software that creates random strings of letters and puts them in a book. We can figure out fun things to do with them ourselves.

 

Your position is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

We are humans, we can have fun with however little basis we want. The rules need to be balanced, because they are the only thing we can't normally provide on our own. If you can have fun without the rules, why the heck are you buying FFG books to begin with? why don't you save the money and just look at sources like Lexicanum to get all the fluff you could ever need to have fun with your group?



#20 Telosse

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:35 AM

 Well, just an opinion though, if we dont like something in the game, dont use it. If we dont like many things in the game, dont play it. O__oa

 






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