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Forbidden Lore: An unofficial supplement by Nathan "N0-1_H3r3" Dowdell


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#1 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:19 AM

*Coughs to draw attention*

As many of you well know, I still like to indulge in little projects of my own to keep myself busy between official assignments, often expanding on ideas I've developed in my own campaigns to share with the wider community.

I'm pleased to announce the arrival of a new addition to that collection of projects: Forbidden Lore. It can be found, like my other works, in the link in my signature.

It's still in progress, but the overwhelming majority of the first section - a whole pile of psychic powers - is complete and awaiting scrutiny.

Any comments, constructive criticism (emphasis on the constructive), suggestions for additional content, or prayers of blasphemous devotion are welcome.

 

 


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Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#2 SneakySly

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:05 PM

 Cool stuff! I am super excited for any rituals you come up with. I really want to reward my players with cool rituals they can do; after all, one of the best things about chaos is their ability to do dark and daemonic rituals. 

 



#3 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:02 PM

Top notch quality!

Can't wait to see what else you come up with!



#4 Reverend mort

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:45 AM

 Fantastic work. It's good to see the old classics return. However, for the purpose of constructive criticism:

Since BC seems to have taken quite the stance on trimming the fat, as it were, on the old disciplines in favor of somewhat wider powers, I think combining a few powers, primarily Pyromancy's Call Flame+Sculpt Flame and Biomancy's Shape flesh+Cellular control into bigger, more inclusive and more expensive powers would be a worthwhile idea.

I still feel Cellular Control's risk is far, far too high. On a couple of unlucky tests, your average human psyker could kill himself with that power in two rounds flat. Changing it to simply 1 point of damage per failed test would, I think, be a lot better. I mean, if you're gonna sustain a power that keeps you alive, I'd think it a good idea that said power didn't risk killing you sooner than whatever it was protecting you from.

Levitation: I wonder if increasing the cost on this, in exchange for allowing it to ignore Flight and Hover's requirement for a move action every round, could be a good idea. Makes a bit of thematic sense, and helps counteract the already included costs for Sustaining a power and the fact that to use it, the sustain effectively becomes a half action.

Catch Projectile: The phrasing here has the same issue as Precognitive dodge. "Passed a Dodge test" is somewhat unclear on how to treat multiple hits attacks. Does the character dodge all, or merely one (they passed by scoring one DoS) or do they count DoS on the focus power test as if it was the Evasion test? Likewise, considering the fact that this is somewhat of a very limited version of Precognitive Dodge, I can't help but feel that it's very underpowered and somewhat redundant. Sure, the visual is cool, but it's just not worthwhile, in my mind. Honestly, I'd say increase the cost significantly, and possibly the sustain to a half-action, and make the character negate any ranged projectile attack on a successful willpower test, with no reaction needed.

Hopefully helpful, and not too nitpicky :)

Also, as an old Tzimisce fan, that fleshcrafting teaser is looking real damn tempting! Real curious to see what you got planned there, alongside the rituals.

Though I suspect I'd get punched by one of my fellow players if I didn't urge you to finish those obliterator virus rules too.
 



#5 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:31 AM

Reverend mort said:

 

Since BC seems to have taken quite the stance on trimming the fat, as it were, on the old disciplines in favor of somewhat wider powers, I think combining a few powers, primarily Pyromancy's Call Flame+Sculpt Flame and Biomancy's Shape flesh+Cellular control into bigger, more inclusive and more expensive powers would be a worthwhile idea.

 

Shape Flesh and Cellular control, I can see, though there's a fine line there, in that the more I allow the power to do, the closer it gets in effect to the Tzeentch Corruption power in the rulebook (I wrote the damned thing and I can't remember the name at the moment... stupid brain). Call Flame is intended to be a gateway power, like Thought Sending, Mind Over Matter and Precognition (and I'll note here that with Thought Sending and Mind Over Matter, I drew the details from the Rogue Trader versions rather than making a deliberate attempt to consolidate powers... the main reason that there's only 6 powers for the three universal disciplines in Black Crusade is available space; it's also the reason I attempted to cover common effects like psychic bolts in one place rather than repeating over and over - the more room I made for myself, the more powers I could include).

Beyond that, there's an underlying design concept in play with Pyromancy - the individual damaging powers aren't amazing by themselves, but Sculpt Flame exists in part to help bolster them, increasing potency and versatility at the cost of sustaining multiple powers. If I fold that utility into Call Flame, then I'm basically giving it away for free to any new Pyromancer because Call Flame is necessary to obtain any other Pyromantic power.

The gateway powers concept is one I've borrowed from some of TS Luikart's old comments on the psychic power rules from Dark Heresy (which he wrote), and one you can see in action in the Telepathy, Telekinesis and Divination disciplines in the rulebook. I chose to diverge a little with Biomancy, by dividing the self-augmentation powers (Enhance Senses through to Regenerate and Shape Flesh) from the target-alteration powers (Seal Wounds and the various offensive powers) to create two distinct 'trees' of powers - further emphasised by the self-augments having Toughness-based Focus Power Tests.

Reverend mort said:

I still feel Cellular Control's risk is far, far too high. On a couple of unlucky tests, your average human psyker could kill himself with that power in two rounds flat. Changing it to simply 1 point of damage per failed test would, I think, be a lot better. I mean, if you're gonna sustain a power that keeps you alive, I'd think it a good idea that said power didn't risk killing you sooner than whatever it was protecting you from.

 

That's something I'll look at.

Reverend mort said:

Levitation: I wonder if increasing the cost on this, in exchange for allowing it to ignore Flight and Hover's requirement for a move action every round, could be a good idea. Makes a bit of thematic sense, and helps counteract the already included costs for Sustaining a power and the fact that to use it, the sustain effectively becomes a half action.

 

I may go halfway on this - remove the movement requirement for Hover, but keep it for the more difficult Flight version.

Reverend mort said:

Catch Projectile: The phrasing here has the same issue as Precognitive dodge. "Passed a Dodge test" is somewhat unclear on how to treat multiple hits attacks. Does the character dodge all, or merely one (they passed by scoring one DoS) or do they count DoS on the focus power test as if it was the Evasion test? Likewise, considering the fact that this is somewhat of a very limited version of Precognitive Dodge, I can't help but feel that it's very underpowered and somewhat redundant. Sure, the visual is cool, but it's just not worthwhile, in my mind. Honestly, I'd say increase the cost significantly, and possibly the sustain to a half-action, and make the character negate any ranged projectile attack on a successful willpower test, with no reaction needed.

 

Honestly, I try to be concise in my writing, and people complain about it being not clear enough... and it takes six months before those complaints start appearing...

Precognitive Dodge and Catch Projectile should function exactly like a normal Evasion action - your Degrees of Success determine the number of hits avoided. That is, at least, the intent - I can't give official errata (I'm not FFG staff, just a freelancer) - but that's what I intended at the time of writing.

Catch Projectile's more limited scope is why I made it cost less than Precog Dodge.

Again, part of this comes down to Discipline structure and prerequisites - Catch Projectiles provides an alternative option for those who don't want to dabble in Divination for an extra defensive power.

I can't do anything about Precog Dodge (it's out of my hands, as it's in print), but I'll look at making Catch Projectile more potent.

Thanks for your feedback, anyway. I basically put these together during the course of an afternoon, so I expected them to be somewhat rough in places.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#6 Nimas

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:12 AM

Always up for seeing more psychic powers (currently playing a psyker ;) )I love alot of the concepts, especially biomancy being based off of toughness.

A question however with See Me Not, what range is it? I know you specified self, but fluff wise it would seem that its the psyker reaching into the mind and erasing their presence. It seems to me that that would have a certain range, and wouldn't be that useful against say, a sniper sitting half a km away.

Thats all for now, will be reading a bit more thoroughly over the weekend.

 

Thanks again for putting this together.

 



#7 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 11:12 PM

Nimas said:

A question however with See Me Not, what range is it? I know you specified self, but fluff wise it would seem that its the psyker reaching into the mind and erasing their presence. It seems to me that that would have a certain range, and wouldn't be that useful against say, a sniper sitting half a km away.

 

There's no maximum range for the effect - it affects everyone able to perceive the psyker. I see it as equal parts reflex (those nearby who perceive the psyker have those perceptions altered) and preventative (the psyker masks his presence in the Warp - as a portion of human perception is unconscious psychic awareness, having some of your senses tell you that something isn't there while others tell you that it is will be confusing enough to prevent effective perception).


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#8 Reverend mort

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:19 AM

Shape Flesh and Cellular control, I can see, though there's a fine line there, in that the more I allow the power to do, the closer it gets in effect to the Tzeentch Corruption power in the rulebook (I wrote the damned thing and I can't remember the name at the moment... stupid brain). Call Flame is intended to be a gateway power, like Thought Sending, Mind Over Matter and Precognition (and I'll note here that with Thought Sending and Mind Over Matter, I drew the details from the Rogue Trader versions rather than making a deliberate attempt to consolidate powers... the main reason that there's only 6 powers for the three universal disciplines in Black Crusade is available space; it's also the reason I attempted to cover common effects like psychic bolts in one place rather than repeating over and over - the more room I made for myself, the more powers I could include).

Beyond that, there's an underlying design concept in play with Pyromancy - the individual damaging powers aren't amazing by themselves, but Sculpt Flame exists in part to help bolster them, increasing potency and versatility at the cost of sustaining multiple powers. If I fold that utility into Call Flame, then I'm basically giving it away for free to any new Pyromancer because Call Flame is necessary to obtain any other Pyromantic power.

The gateway powers concept is one I've borrowed from some of TS Luikart's old comments on the psychic power rules from Dark Heresy (which he wrote), and one you can see in action in the Telepathy, Telekinesis and Divination disciplines in the rulebook. I chose to diverge a little with Biomancy, by dividing the self-augmentation powers (Enhance Senses through to Regenerate and Shape Flesh) from the target-alteration powers (Seal Wounds and the various offensive powers) to create two distinct 'trees' of powers - further emphasised by the self-augments having Toughness-based Focus Power Tests.

So the tighter power focus was purely word count driven rather than intentional design? Huh. Guess that's what I get for assuming! But for Sculpt Flame and Call flame, you make a compelling case and I can see the point. However, while I can see the "danger" of stepping on Protean Form's toes, there's no harm in a little bit of overlap. Gholam's curse and Lash of submission basically wrestle for space, and your reintroduction of Dominate further crowds the room of long-term mind control. Yet they still have their own individual flavor, and they all provide different avenues of access to a very iconic aspect of psykers. Having shape flesh and cellular control as one big power that steps a bit on Protean form's toes is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially not when Protean form is perhaps the hardest to gain power in the game. As long as it maintains a bit of an advantage over it's new opponent, I don't think there should be an issue.

Oh, and as an aside, if you don't mind me picking your brain a bit, what was the thinking behind banning Space marines from Protean form? It's been puzzling me for a while now.

I may go halfway on this - remove the movement requirement for Hover, but keep it for the more difficult Flight version.

Not a bad idea. However, I'd not do my job as nitpicker supreme if I didn't point out that Flicker (which provides 3 dimensional movement rather than flight or Hover) already provides no movement cost flight, more or less. All while also providing a free sustain Intangible, which for a Tzeentchian sorcerer almost amounts to an automatic "I Win" button against any non-psyker. Granted it requires a Mark, so it really ought to be damn bloody good, but it's something to note all the same.

Honestly, I try to be concise in my writing, and people complain about it being not clear enough... and it takes six months before those complaints start appearing...

Precognitive Dodge and Catch Projectile should function exactly like a normal Evasion action - your Degrees of Success determine the number of hits avoided. That is, at least, the intent - I can't give official errata (I'm not FFG staff, just a freelancer) - but that's what I intended at the time of writing.

Catch Projectile's more limited scope is why I made it cost less than Precog Dodge.

Again, part of this comes down to Discipline structure and prerequisites - Catch Projectiles provides an alternative option for those who don't want to dabble in Divination for an extra defensive power.

I can't do anything about Precog Dodge (it's out of my hands, as it's in print), but I'll look at making Catch Projectile more potent.

Well, as a guy who can be pretty ruthless in his critique of rpg books, I have to say that the psychic power section is one of the better ones in BC in terms of clarity and solid rules design, so well done there! And I'm more than happy to sign a NDA and complain that you're not being clear enough within minutes of reading 

As for Precog dodge. If that's how it works, it really is a bit underpowered, imo. Even for a high Per, low Agi Diviner, a perception test at -10 plus Psy rating X 5 (with psychic phenomena risk) is gonna be a bum deal until really high psy ratings, unless they're sustaining Preternatural Awareness. Dodge is cheap. Psy rating ain't. Now yes, I know you can't do anything about it now, but hopefully it might help in the future!

However, in my experience, cost is not a great prohibiter. Back in the DH and RT days, the great prohibiter of cross-discipline fun was that getting access to more than one discipline was a real sacrifice. It cost you a LOT of total powers. In BC, where you can just pick up whatever you can justify spending xp on, slapping down the xp surcharge that is Precognition and then just buying Precog Dodge is pretty easy. And if said player is aching for a non-agility defense, well, the total cost isn't exactly high. It's not even your average session's worth of xp, if your GM uses the abstract system.

Thanks for your feedback, anyway. I basically put these together during the course of an afternoon, so I expected them to be somewhat rough in places.

Considering you just saved me the job of ever having to port over the DH powers to BC, I do believe I'm still the one that's supposed to be thanking you! And for an evening's work, they're surprisingly solid. So thanks for solid rules, really looking forward to some of other things you've hinted at!



#9 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:48 AM

Reverend mort said:

So the tighter power focus was purely word count driven rather than intentional design? Huh. Guess that's what I get for assuming! But for Sculpt Flame and Call flame, you make a compelling case and I can see the point. However, while I can see the "danger" of stepping on Protean Form's toes, there's no harm in a little bit of overlap. Gholam's curse and Lash of submission basically wrestle for space, and your reintroduction of Dominate further crowds the room of long-term mind control. Yet they still have their own individual flavor, and they all provide different avenues of access to a very iconic aspect of psykers. Having shape flesh and cellular control as one big power that steps a bit on Protean form's toes is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially not when Protean form is perhaps the hardest to gain power in the game. As long as it maintains a bit of an advantage over it's new opponent, I don't think there should be an issue.

It's something I'll look into anyway - I'll give everything a second look before I carry on any further (I have a couple more Divination Powers to finish anyway)

Reverend mort said:

Oh, and as an aside, if you don't mind me picking your brain a bit, what was the thinking behind banning Space marines from Protean form? It's been puzzling me for a while now.

An underlying design concept that runs through much of Black Crusade - the Astartes, being engineered creatures built upon the works of the Emperor, are inherently less subject to the twisting influence of the Warp than normal humans are. It's part of the reason why Chaos Marine Sorcerers always count as bound psykers, and part of the justification why Astartes gain fewer Gifts than humans do. The Astartes being unable to obtain Corpus Conversion and being unable to freely mutate their forms with Protean Form is an extension of that.

Reverend mort said:

Not a bad idea. However, I'd not do my job as nitpicker supreme if I didn't point out that Flicker (which provides 3 dimensional movement rather than flight or Hover) already provides no movement cost flight, more or less. All while also providing a free sustain Intangible, which for a Tzeentchian sorcerer almost amounts to an automatic "I Win" button against any non-psyker. Granted it requires a Mark, so it really ought to be damn bloody good, but it's something to note all the same.

It is worth considering, certainly.

Reverend mort said:

As for Precog dodge. If that's how it works, it really is a bit underpowered, imo. Even for a high Per, low Agi Diviner, a perception test at -10 plus Psy rating X 5 (with psychic phenomena risk) is gonna be a bum deal until really high psy ratings, unless they're sustaining Preternatural Awareness. Dodge is cheap. Psy rating ain't. Now yes, I know you can't do anything about it now, but hopefully it might help in the future!

Sure, Psy Rating isn't cheap... but a character won't only be buying it to improve Precognitive Dodge.

A Psy Rating 4 psyker using Precog Dodge fettered is basically taking a Perception Test to avoid attacks. PR 4 should be amongst the first advances a psyker purchases, really. I do see your point, however. A suggestion for a possible house rule would be to make it a Difficult (-10) Psyniscience Test instead, as that makes it a little easier to increase in effectiveness and brings it in line with the rest of the discipline.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#10 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:22 PM

When can we expect an update to this? Me and my players are salivating at the thoughts of more BC goodness!



#11 SneakySly

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 05:48 PM

 Seconded. Any updates in the pipeline? 



#12 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:02 PM

The psychic powers were the quickest section to put together, so it may be a little while before I've got any other sections complete enough to release. It's all in the works, but the other sections are somewhat more complex and time-consuming to develop.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#13 HappyDaze

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:49 AM

Any hope we can get some house rules for ogryn? Black Crusade might be the one game where they can fit in with the group.


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#14 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:03 AM

HappyDaze said:

 

Any hope we can get some house rules for ogryn? Black Crusade might be the one game where they can fit in with the group.

 

 

Not Ogryns in particular - for the most part, they're loyal to their Imperial masters, if only because they don't really understand the concept of disloyalty, and I can't imagine an Ogryn with the drive and ambition needed to be a Champion of Chaos - but some Mutant PC houserules that allow Ogryn-like characters (and others who are mutants by nature rather than by the influence of the Warp) are entirely doable.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#15 HappyDaze

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:25 AM

Will you be writing up rules for possessed CSMs, or should we hold off and expect official rules sometime soon?


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#16 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:41 AM

HappyDaze said:

Will you be writing up rules for possessed CSMs, or should we hold off and expect official rules sometime soon?

Possession as a character option is an already-planned element (It'll work in a similar way to the Obliterator Virus - both will essentially usurp a character's normal Gifts and give different boons instead).

I honestly have no idea if there'll be any official rules for it - I'm not privy to any information that isn't directly linked to official assignments, so if it is something that's planned, It isn't in any book I've worked on.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#17 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:10 PM

I guess you're probably under strict NDA's and such, but how much can you tell us about what's planned for Black Crusade after hand of corruption? Will we see a document like Litany of War  for DW, detailing what's planned to be released for BC in the future?

Do you know what's next, and can you tell us about it?



#18 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:06 PM

Jackal_Strain said:

I guess you're probably under strict NDA's and such,

Yes I am.

Jackal_Strain said:

but how much can you tell us about what's planned for Black Crusade after hand of corruption?

I can tell you absolutely nothing.

Jackal_Strain said:

Will we see a document like Litany of War  for DW, detailing what's planned to be released for BC in the future?

I have no idea.

Jackal_Strain said:

Do you know what's next, and can you tell us about it?

I don't know what's planned, and even if I did, I couldn't tell you.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#19 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:15 AM

I was fairly certain you would say that, but it was worth a shot!



#20 Reverend mort

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:32 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

HappyDaze said:

 

Will you be writing up rules for possessed CSMs, or should we hold off and expect official rules sometime soon?

 

 

Possession as a character option is an already-planned element (It'll work in a similar way to the Obliterator Virus - both will essentially usurp a character's normal Gifts and give different boons instead).

I honestly have no idea if there'll be any official rules for it - I'm not privy to any information that isn't directly linked to official assignments, so if it is something that's planned, It isn't in any book I've worked on.



Huh, that's an interesting and rather elegant solution. However, how do you intend to make it work for characters who have already gained gifts? Or will that be irrelevant, with both simply being options during character creation?






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