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Taking the "Ass" Out of Assassins?


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#1 venkelos

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:08 AM

So, I know that the majority of people hate Ascension, and two of the biggest reasons are the Primaris Psyker and the Vindicare Assassin. I am doing some stuff with the later's brothers, and I am trying to remember what, specifically, were the big complaints with the Vindicare, that might carry over to the others, and what the good fixes were? I know that the one was with them Dodging two digits worth of times EACH round, and being unable to fail, and the fix involved a Field, effect, or some such. Can I please get the rundown on problems and solutions? Thanks.

Psykers, I assume, were just the Unn WP, coupled with the better, but more broken psy system Ascension, and RT/DW mostly use. I care more about the Assassins, but as the Culexus fight Psykers, preferably the big, dangerous psykers, a refresher on this might help, too.



#2 Adeptus-B

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:27 AM

As I recall, the fan-suggested 'fix' for the Vindicare was to limit them to a number of Dodges equal to their Agility Bonus, and to cap the chance of success at 95%, i.e. 96+ is always a failure. For Primaris Psykers, it was suggested to use Psi Rating rather than WP Bonus in a psychic power's effect.

My players are coming up on Ascention level, and, naturally, I have one who wants to be a Vindicare and one who wants to be a Primaris Psyker. So, please give us an update on how these 'fixes' actually work.



#3 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:02 PM

Adeptus-B said:

As I recall, the fan-suggested 'fix' for the Vindicare was to limit them to a number of Dodges equal to their Agility Bonus, and to cap the chance of success at 95%, i.e. 96+ is always a failure.


Those would be my two suggestions, but I'd stipulate base Ag Bonus ie. not including any Unnaturals. I'm fine with the Assassin being able to Dodge anything, regardless of the source, as that's kinda their thing and always has been since 2nd Ed 40K, but the 110+ on a d100 6+ times a turn… no.


And I'd have 96+ be failure on all Dodge/Parry attempts, not just the Assassins. And add that to WS Tests as well. The game needs more fail conditions to avoid auto-pass situations, and it is incongruent that shooting has it yet nothing else does.

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#4 Sister Callidia

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:27 AM

I would give them 1 extra Dodge making it 3 dodges each round which is better then everyone else. Just a nice bonus compared to the rest ofg the PC's. I like the limit of 96& succes chance max and I would like to apply it not just to dodging for that matter. 

Another problem I have is why do snipers need Unnatural Strength and Unnatural Toughness? Considering that main combat chars do not gain these, I would scrap these as well. Because it is just silly. And no, I dont care if they have str 4 and t 4 in the wargame. They dont need it in this game.



#5 andrewm9

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:15 AM

They don't need Unnatural Strength and Toughness, but in the fluff as well as the Tabletop mini game they are as strong and tough as Space Marines, just not as well armored. In any case a good well played Vindicare won't really have to worry about being seen and taking shots at all.

I run a game with a Vindicare and he's not really a problem in combat. He only uses his Exitus rifle and since its a one shot weapon he just aims and shoots. In most combats he just kills one guy a turn unless spotted in which case he usually gets dodged by the big bad.

As an aside I have always instituted the 96%+ roll is always a failure. It has worked despite not coming up so much. Most of my PC's fail on way less than that even at ascension. The group Vindicare's Dodge is only 88 % to boot.



#6 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:51 AM

The Officio Assassinorum NPCs I wrote up for my Black Crusade campaign used a modified version of the Temple Assassin trait:

Temple Assassin: The Assassin's combat awareness is such that they can avoid many attacks with contemptuous ease. The Assassin may attempt a Dodge Test with a -60 penalty instead of the normal modifier, but if he does this then the Dodge does not use up any of the Assassin's reactions.

In essence, it allows the character to attempt to dodge an infinite number of times every turn, but they suffer a huge penalty on those bonus dodges, so they're far from guaranteed to succeed.


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#7 macd21

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:13 AM

Sister Callidia said:

I would give them 1 extra Dodge making it 3 dodges each round which is better then everyone else. Just a nice bonus compared to the rest ofg the PC's. I like the limit of 96& succes chance max and I would like to apply it not just to dodging for that matter. 

 

Yeah, that's pretty much what I did as well.

 

Sister Callidia said:

Another problem I have is why do snipers need Unnatural Strength and Unnatural Toughness? Considering that main combat chars do not gain these, I would scrap these as well. Because it is just silly. And no, I dont care if they have str 4 and t 4 in the wargame. They dont need it in this game.

I think that was to represent the fact that they undergo some serious biological upgrades. They are far from human, more transhuman. Of course I also changed how the Unnatural trait worked, changing it to a + bonus instead of a multiplier.



#8 venkelos

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:37 AM

Hmm, I seem to remember that one of the fixes, and one I really liked, was to give them a FR 50, or some arbitrary number) effect, that obviously never overloads, and ignore the infinite number of Dodges. In this case, how often they dodge wasn't as big an issue; the fact that they didn't avoid the attack every time balanced it out. They'd have the regular amount, maybe their hyped up kind involving explosions, and let the field "invul save" carry them most of the way.

I'm trying to stat the Culexus and Callidus Assassins, sort of like how the Eversor is done in Ascension, so I don't particularly need it to be PC-fair; they are the opposition, not a player Vindicare everyone hates. Still, if they work similarly, I didn't want them to be two more unkillable behemoths of death, so if I could work in the fixes, so they were terrifying, but not auto-TPK. As is, they are each giving me their own little hick-ups, combining the nerfing the Inquisitorial part of Daemonhunters got in the new Codex (my overall best source for gear and specials) and the rules themselves, making them work in game. Vindicare are lucky that they are "just" super-snipers. I am having to figure out super-null, draining field, polymorphine, and such, which might be why the book said, "for the other, do the Eversor."

As to Unn, Toughness and Strength, they all have them, and they have them because most everything they fight is better than Humans. If a Callidus is going to impersonate an Ork, the least she can do is be durable enough to play the part, while the Assassin called to fight the Word Bearers will need to be able to fend off CSMs and Daemons. They aren't for your run-of-the-mill kills, but for the big bads, who MUST fall. Just be happy they don't follow the Eldar, and have Unn. Agility (oh yeah, Vin can get that ).

As a second, minus just saying "no, Unnatural Traits are only fair for NPCs and Space Marines!" would it be out of place to give the Callidus Unnatural Fellowship, and/or the Culexus Unnatural Willpower? Making Deceive and Disguise checks is a lot of the Callidus's job, while increasing the range of the psi-disruption (Radical's Handbook, p.38, I prefer it to the other version in Disciples of the Dark Gods) could be critical to a lone Culexus. Thanks again, folks, for all the help.



#9 Morangias

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 02:26 PM

Damn, long post eaten by quote formatting.

In short:

I'm one of the proponents of using the Force Field mechanics to represent the Officio Assassinorum evasion training. 50% seems good and quite in line with what they get in TT.

I don't think Unnatural WP for Culexus or Fel for Callidus are a good idea. Unnaturals shouldn't be handed out just because someone is supposed to be good at something - were that the case, each and every career in any 40k game would have multiple Unnatural traits in it's advancement scheme sooner or later, but it's mostly reserved for special cases like not-quite-human characters (and abused in Ascension, but hey, it's Ascension so one more stupid thing shouldn't be a surprise).

I think the way to handle that is through custom, specific rules. Callidus are master dissemblers and human chameleons, so give them some special advantage in lying and disguise, rather than incidentally making them natural born leaders and charmers. Culexus are well beyond the scope of blank rules in RH, so adjust the rules for them to give them more bang for their buck without making them all inhumanly determined in the process.

 


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#10 macd21

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:24 PM

venkelos said:

As a second, minus just saying "no, Unnatural Traits are only fair for NPCs and Space Marines!" would it be out of place to give the Callidus Unnatural Fellowship, and/or the Culexus Unnatural Willpower? Making Deceive and Disguise checks is a lot of the Callidus's job, while increasing the range of the psi-disruption (Radical's Handbook, p.38, I prefer it to the other version in Disciples of the Dark Gods) could be critical to a lone Culexus. Thanks again, folks, for all the help.

I don't think it would be a problem, though you should consider the practical effects of doing so. Remember that giving something the Unn trait doesn't actually increase that trait, just the Bonus - so what does that Bonus do? What does having a very high Fel Bonus actually do for your character? I don't have the rules in front of me and I can't actually think of anything it applies to. Likewise the WP Bonus - Psykers use it for their powers, what would a Culexus do with it? Does it impact it's 'Blank' power?

Of course you could always give them new abilities that work off these Bonuses (much as the VA's dodge ability worked off the Agility Bonus). The power of its Animus Speculum blasts could be D10 + WP Bonus, for example, or the Callidus could shapeshift a number of times per day equal to her Fel Bonus.



#11 venkelos

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 01:35 AM

macd21 said:

venkelos said:

 

As a second, minus just saying "no, Unnatural Traits are only fair for NPCs and Space Marines!" would it be out of place to give the Callidus Unnatural Fellowship, and/or the Culexus Unnatural Willpower? Making Deceive and Disguise checks is a lot of the Callidus's job, while increasing the range of the psi-disruption (Radical's Handbook, p.38, I prefer it to the other version in Disciples of the Dark Gods) could be critical to a lone Culexus. Thanks again, folks, for all the help.

 

 

I don't think it would be a problem, though you should consider the practical effects of doing so. Remember that giving something the Unn trait doesn't actually increase that trait, just the Bonus - so what does that Bonus do? What does having a very high Fel Bonus actually do for your character? I don't have the rules in front of me and I can't actually think of anything it applies to. Likewise the WP Bonus - Psykers use it for their powers, what would a Culexus do with it? Does it impact it's 'Blank' power?

Of course you could always give them new abilities that work off these Bonuses (much as the VA's dodge ability worked off the Agility Bonus). The power of its Animus Speculum blasts could be D10 + WP Bonus, for example, or the Callidus could shapeshift a number of times per day equal to her Fel Bonus.

I don't know on the Callidus, personally. If it helped with opposed Deceive or Disguise vs. Perception tests. Slaanesh Daemons have it, so I thought it might do something, and Callidus Assassins have to be convincing mimics, even among such terrors as Orks, Eldar, and Chaos Cults.

For the Culexus, their Psychic Disruption radius is directly related to their WP bonus, so double the bonus means double the radius.



#12 macd21

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 02:21 AM

venkelos said:

 

I don't know on the Callidus, personally. If it helped with opposed Deceive or Disguise vs. Perception tests. Slaanesh Daemons have it, so I thought it might do something, and Callidus Assassins have to be convincing mimics, even among such terrors as Orks, Eldar, and Chaos Cults.

For the Culexus, their Psychic Disruption radius is directly related to their WP bonus, so double the bonus means double the radius.

 

Yeah, if there's no useful mechanics that are based on the Fel Bonus then there's no point giving it to the Assassin - you'd be better off giving them Fel based skills and talents. Or, as I mentioned before, you could base some of her special abilities off the bonus.



#13 BangBangTequila

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 06:59 AM

 Something these field ratings and blanket negatives fail to take into account about a Temple Assassin, is that in a 1 v 1 of Assassin v Guy with Autogun, the Assassin should not be hit. That's their thing. Ranged weapon-fire shouldn't be touching them unless it's overwhelming or they trap the Assassin in a place they couldn't reasonably dodge ( a 4-foot wide corridor, or a doorway, for example). I would agree with a reaction cap of base AB and the auto-fail of 96+, but the other tactics sort of nerf the benefit of being a Temple Assassin in small scale engagements, when the Assassin isn't really meant to be engaged in large ones.

I'm fond of the idea of putting in a cumulative -10 or -20 per reaction used, so that he would auto-pass the first two or three shots, but if he's dumb enough to remain in the open while a dozen guards open up on him, he deserves to die.



#14 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:50 AM

macd21 said:

venkelos said:

 

As a second, minus just saying "no, Unnatural Traits are only fair for NPCs and Space Marines!" would it be out of place to give the Callidus Unnatural Fellowship, and/or the Culexus Unnatural Willpower? Making Deceive and Disguise checks is a lot of the Callidus's job, while increasing the range of the psi-disruption (Radical's Handbook, p.38, I prefer it to the other version in Disciples of the Dark Gods) could be critical to a lone Culexus. Thanks again, folks, for all the help.

 

 

I don't think it would be a problem, though you should consider the practical effects of doing so. Remember that giving something the Unn trait doesn't actually increase that trait, just the Bonus - so what does that Bonus do? What does having a very high Fel Bonus actually do for your character? I don't have the rules in front of me and I can't actually think of anything it applies to. Likewise the WP Bonus - Psykers use it for their powers, what would a Culexus do with it? Does it impact it's 'Blank' power?

Unnatural reduces the difficulty of all Tests by 1 per multiple, no? So UF(x2) would make a Challenging Test into a Routine Test etc.

Fellowship Bonus determines how many people you can affect with a skill like Command.



#15 macd21

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:30 AM

bogi_khaosa said:

 

Unnatural reduces the difficulty of all Tests by 1 per multiple, no? So UF(x2) would make a Challenging Test into a Routine Test etc.

That's an optional rule, IIRC.



#16 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 09:14 AM

I just looked it up. It's not in core, but it's in the Inquisitor's Handbook, seemingly a clarification/expansion rather than optiona;.

Which BTW has the effect that anything with UA(x2) gets a +10 to Dodge.



#17 andrewm9

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 03:45 AM

Unnatural Stats have a beneift besides doubling the bonus. On opposed tests you achieve one extra degree of success per level of the Trait, so x2 adds one success. Bonuses for things like Fellowship can affect the number of people you influence. Intelligence can affect the number of woudns you heal. There are other examples.

In some of the later games it lowers the difficulty of regular tests by 1 degree per level of the Unnatural trait. For example it makes a challenging test (+0) at +10 test.



#18 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:35 AM

andrewm9 said:

In some of the later games it lowers the difficulty of regular tests by 1 degree per level of the Unnatural trait. For example it makes a challenging test (+0) at +10 test.

Like I pointed out above, this rule is in DH, in the Inquisitor's Handbook.



#19 Zakalwe

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:07 PM

Okay, I haven't actually played Ascension and to be honest I probably won't.  But, Primaris Psykers and Temple Assassins are the deadliest of the Imperiums assets.  Space Marine Commanders prefer not to tackle these guys one on one and a Vindicare should wipe the floor with a Space Marine Squad even in close combat.  I think they got the Temple Assassin about right,  I just don't think they should be PCs.

 



#20 Radwraith

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:38 AM

Zakalwe said:

 a Vindicare should wipe the floor with a Space Marine Squad even in close combat.  I think they got the Temple Assassin about right,  I just don't think they should be PCs.

 

Zak, I Love ya but, REALLY?? A whole squad? In close combat? Why would a player ever deploy a squad of SM's? Don't get me wrong! Temple assassins are bad! VERY bad! But getting into close combat with an Astartes squad is not going to work out well for the Assassin!  (In 40k TT at least.) Nor should he be able to do that. An Assassin focuses on stealth and surgical precision. Getting into close combat should be something that happens by accident, Not design!

 






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