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#1 Nabikasu

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:15 PM

 I apologize if this has an extensive topic somewhere else (and if someone could point me to it, I'd appreciate it!), but since FFG has asked us to focus on regiments and character creation this week, I thought I'd give a post about something that's bothering me.

I think I've read it that people don't like the idea of a sniper being rolled into also playing a Ratling.  I really must agree with that.  I'll totally play a sniper, but I just don't think Ratlings are all that interesting, and pretty much all of my players agree with me.  One /would/ have played a 'sniper' but didn't want to play a Ratling.

But even if Ratling is kept, or if some of it is divorced into a more general Sniper class with optional Ratling spice, I think it's kind of silly that Ratlings make better commanders than Sergeants, Commissars or Priests.  They get an amazing +10 bonus to Fellowship to begin with, and then on top of that gain both Fellowship and Social as aptitudes.  While the Sergeant's Comrade abilities better represent a character who actually is trained to command troops, it's very easy for a Ratling to have a way better Command roll than a Sergeant or Commissar, and I just think that's pretty silly.

I understand that hobbitses are friendly sorts, but I feel that might be represented well already with having Fellowship and Social aptitudes.  Fellowship has nothing to do with what the Ratling is doing in the /squad/, however, and as such a +10 Fellowship bonus simply feels off.  I think it should be replaced with either a +10 bonus to Agility (making them kings of stealth and the like) or Ballistic Skill (this might be a touch overpowered, but it does fit with a sniper).

And then I must reiterate: needs more non-Ratling Sniper. :D



#2 Dulahan

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:08 PM

A lot of us agree on the non-Ratling Sniper option needed.  Some will point to Weapon Specialist, which works.  But we'd really need Ratling Comrades, because they're essentially non-race specific.

 

However, just saying that should be the fix if your GM allows is not the answer, because, well, what if your GM doesn't allow?  House rules should NEVER be the Solution in my opinion.  But I digress.

 

The one thing they can get?  In a Hunter Killer Regiment, and either Dice Luck or Point Buy, with one other Regiment thing I can't recall… it is possible to have a BS of 51 at start as a Weapon Specialist!  I think Ratling tops at 46 or so with the same Regiment.  So there is that in a Weapon Spec's favor.  But without those Advances, it will never match the Ratling's Sniping.

 

Heck, I'd even concede that yes, in fluff, Ratlings are excellent snipers.  but think of the real reasoning!  It's not the marksmanship, it's the smallness, the fact they can HIDE a lot easier.  They'd be able to use things as Hides to snipe from that normal humans never could.  Even in game that will still give them an advantage over an equivalent human with the same talents and advances and BASE (PRe-modified) attributes.



#3 HTMC

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:44 PM

Nabikasu said:

But even if Ratling is kept, or if some of it is divorced into a more general Sniper class with optional Ratling spice, I think it's kind of silly that Ratlings make better commanders than Sergeants, Commissars or Priests.  They get an amazing +10 bonus to Fellowship to begin with, and then on top of that gain both Fellowship and Social as aptitudes.  While the Sergeant's Comrade abilities better represent a character who actually is trained to command troops, it's very easy for a Ratling to have a way better Command roll than a Sergeant or Commissar, and I just think that's pretty silly.

I understand that hobbitses are friendly sorts, but I feel that might be represented well already with having Fellowship and Social aptitudes.  Fellowship has nothing to do with what the Ratling is doing in the /squad/, however, and as such a +10 Fellowship bonus simply feels off.  I think it should be replaced with either a +10 bonus to Agility (making them kings of stealth and the like) or Ballistic Skill (this might be a touch overpowered, but it does fit with a sniper).

It's true that Ratling's get a better base Fel bonus, but there are a few things that you're not factoring in that makes me believe that Ratlings are not inherently better commanders.

The biggest difference between Ratlings and Commissars/Sergeants is that the latter pair come trained with Command. So although Ratlings might get an extra +5 Fel, it's balanced out that if they try and make a command test they get the usual -20 penalty for untrained, making them net -15 worse than the "leader" classes. Likewise, although Ratlings do have both the aptitudes you mention, Sergeants also have both Fellowship and Leadership. Both command classes also come with Air of Authority, which further boosts their commanding ability.

So overall I feel like I have to politely disagree with your assessment that Ratlings are better leaders. With their aptitudes, I'm sure you could eventually build a very strong leader-type PC is you focused your XP there, but with Sergeants and Commissars, because of their starting talents and traits, you could something equivalent cheaper and sooner. And even factoring in the ability to build a Ratling like that, if someone's choose a Ratling it's because they want to snipe (presumably) and wouldn't focus their XP there, whereas a Commissar or Sergeant player would likely do so. 

 

On your other point, I do agree that if you want to play a sniper being forced to play a Ratling seems odd. However, I feel that if they added a non-Ratling sniper class, almost everyone would choose that over a Ratling-- evidenced by all the people calling for it. Thus I'm a bit torn, since I can see why FFG would want to preserve the incentive to choose a Ratling, but I can also understand the desire to play a normal human sniper… it's  a bit of an odd situation.



#4 MorganKeyes

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 05:48 PM

Perhapes seen as heresy,…but would have liked to see the Ratling (and the Ogryn at that) be imagined beyond the tabletop portrayal.

Certainly one can acknowledge that Ratlings have a knack for shooting, but that doesn't mean that every single one should be a sniper in the Guard.  Is it not believable they have a knack for Stealth and adaptation?  Making them potentially follow career paths as scouts?  Or a knack for supply with a skill at "unofficial acquisitions"?



#5 LuciusT

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:02 PM

HTMC said:

On your other point, I do agree that if you want to play a sniper being forced to play a Ratling seems odd. However, I feel that if they added a non-Ratling sniper class, almost everyone would choose that over a Ratling-- evidenced by all the people calling for it. Thus I'm a bit torn, since I can see why FFG would want to preserve the incentive to choose a Ratling, but I can also understand the desire to play a normal human sniper… it's  a bit of an odd situation.

So, because everyone wants it, it's a bad thing? I don't like that logic even a little bit. I could see players wanting to play a ratling for the roleplaying nature of a ratling, rather than the mechanical role of great sniper. Honestly, I think my group would be more likely to choose Ratling over Orgyn any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I think Weapon Specialist could make a fine human sniper. They have both aptitudes for Deadeye shot and if Long Las is a regimental favored weapon, they can have it as specialist kit.



#6 HTMC

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:23 PM

 @LuciusT

I never said it was a bad thing. As much as some people pick classes and races for roleplaying purposes, there are plenty of power-gamers who couldn't care less about fluff and pick things solely for mechanical purposes, or people who choose mechanics first, background second-- I even know a few. I'm just saying that there needs to be some kind of incentive to play a Ratling, and if there's second option that's identical except it's human, that reason is lost. Because the 40k IG Codex has Ratlings as snipers, I assume FFG's hands are at least partially tied in terms of how much they can bend the lore: thus the Ratling becomes synonymous with Sniper, since the only other thing known about Ratlings doesn't make for a compelling OW PC: no one wants to play the Chef. 

The hard thing with RPGs is you have to remember that gaming groups vary a lot, and individual players are all over the map for the reasons they play. I totally believe that in your group no one would play an Ogryn and most would opt for Ratling; so hopefully you believe me when I say that when my group of 6 played Eleventh Hour, 3 were considering the Ogryn and no one was interested in the Ratling.

Essentially I'm saying that I totally understand the desires of everyone involved, since I feel them too to some extent. However, FFG probably has obligations and restrictions from both GW and from a game design balancing standpoint, so I think something like "making a second, alternate sniper class" isn't a viable option. I could be very wrong given I'm not privy to their design discussions, but that's my viewpoint at least. 

I do agree with you that if no change is made along these lines in the final release, Weapons Specialist can be close to as good, although as someone pointed out they can't ever get the (very nice) Comrade options available to the Ratling.



#7 LuciusT

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:00 PM

@HTMC

I agree with you on every particular. I just feel like people spend so much time accomodating/limiting the power games they give us roleplayers short shrift. I dislike that, to put it mildly.

As for Weapon Specialist as sniper, it can serve and those Ratling comrade abilities are someplace where, if the offical rules aren't adjusted, perhaps a player and GM can work out a solution outside the RAW. That is, after all, the advantage a roleplaying game has over "board games without a board" and "pen and paper video games." :)



#8 Nabikasu

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:14 PM

 @HTMC -- Considering things a bit more, I think I need to agree with your disagreement.  I have a bad tendency to skip some details when I'm reading large documents, so for some reason the 'untrained skill penalty' didn't come to me when I was mulling over this earlier.  So in the regard that they'd be better commanders than the commanders, I agree I'm probably wrong.

That said, going with what you said about how Ratlings are probably going to be played by people who want to play snipers, and thus will take advancements as such, I also agree with this but then I must ask: why do they get the +10 to Fellowship?  Yes, Ratlings are all cute and lovable and huggles, but that's not what their supposed specialty in Only War /does/.  Fellowship and Social aptitudes represent the race being lovable scamps, but I don't feel they need the Fellowship bonus on top of that, kneejerk reactions to Command rolls aside (ha ha, self-digging :/).

+10 Agility seems somewhat reasonable and fitting to the specialty.  I think the only downside would be that it would offset their movement penalty… but I'm not certain that's much of a downside?  In the end, though, I'll probably go ahead and concede the point that +10 Fellowship probably just isn't going to matter much.

…But I still want a non-Ratling Sniper.  :/



#9 Woodclaw

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:51 PM

MorganKeyes said:

Perhapes seen as heresy,…but would have liked to see the Ratling (and the Ogryn at that) be imagined beyond the tabletop portrayal.

Certainly one can acknowledge that Ratlings have a knack for shooting, but that doesn't mean that every single one should be a sniper in the Guard.  Is it not believable they have a knack for Stealth and adaptation?  Making them potentially follow career paths as scouts?  Or a knack for supply with a skill at "unofficial acquisitions"?

I completly agree with this idea. While I have difficulties to portray a Ratling close combat specialist, limiting their function to snipers is equally wrong.

I would love to see a ratling scout or "scam officier" being playable. I know this might be mostly a matter of characterization, but having the option to begin with will be nice.



#10 DJSunhammer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:36 PM

Nabikasu said:

 @HTMC -- Considering things a bit more, I think I need to agree with your disagreement.  I have a bad tendency to skip some details when I'm reading large documents, so for some reason the 'untrained skill penalty' didn't come to me when I was mulling over this earlier.  So in the regard that they'd be better commanders than the commanders, I agree I'm probably wrong.

That said, going with what you said about how Ratlings are probably going to be played by people who want to play snipers, and thus will take advancements as such, I also agree with this but then I must ask: why do they get the +10 to Fellowship?  Yes, Ratlings are all cute and lovable and huggles, but that's not what their supposed specialty in Only War /does/.  Fellowship and Social aptitudes represent the race being lovable scamps, but I don't feel they need the Fellowship bonus on top of that, kneejerk reactions to Command rolls aside (ha ha, self-digging :/).

+10 Agility seems somewhat reasonable and fitting to the specialty.  I think the only downside would be that it would offset their movement penalty… but I'm not certain that's much of a downside?  In the end, though, I'll probably go ahead and concede the point that +10 Fellowship probably just isn't going to matter much.

…But I still want a non-Ratling Sniper.  :/

The impression I got of the Ratlings, at least the ones in the Guard, are that they are mostly irritating scamps, not lovable ones. Lovable scamps are for fantasy settings and other such things that aren't grim dark like 40k.



#11 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:33 PM

"no one wants to play the Chef."

Actually, at least one of our players quite likes this. Everyone likes the chef - and the results of trade (cook) tests can potentially be used as bribes for logistics.



#12 DJSunhammer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 11:25 PM

Woodclaw said:

MorganKeyes said:

 

Perhapes seen as heresy,…but would have liked to see the Ratling (and the Ogryn at that) be imagined beyond the tabletop portrayal.

Certainly one can acknowledge that Ratlings have a knack for shooting, but that doesn't mean that every single one should be a sniper in the Guard.  Is it not believable they have a knack for Stealth and adaptation?  Making them potentially follow career paths as scouts?  Or a knack for supply with a skill at "unofficial acquisitions"?

 

 

I completly agree with this idea. While I have difficulties to portray a Ratling close combat specialist, limiting their function to snipers is equally wrong.

I would love to see a ratling scout or "scam officier" being playable. I know this might be mostly a matter of characterization, but having the option to begin with will be nice.

What is the difference between a Ratling Scout and a Ratling Sniper? They already start with a lot of skills and talents that make them just as good at scouting as they are at sniping.

I'm not sure what you mean by a scam officer.



#13 Woodclaw

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 11:36 PM

DJSunhammer said:

 

What is the difference between a Ratling Scout and a Ratling Sniper? They already start with a lot of skills and talents that make them just as good at scouting as they are at sniping.

I'm not sure what you mean by a scam officer.

By "scam officier" I meant the guy who dwelve in all the shady business that regular guardsmen are meant to stay out of (generally for fear of the commisar). Going by the Dark Heresy careers I want the ratling to have an option to play the Scum instead of the Guardsman.



#14 DJSunhammer

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:57 AM

Seems like he already can. The only thing he is missing for that role is easy access to Commerce and Logic, for gambling. But honestly, who needs to gamble when you can cheat like a Ratling? He can cook and poison people at the same time. He can sneak like a champion and steal the same way. He can charm or deceive the pants off of literally anyone. If I gave it some more thought I'm sure I could find even more ways for him to be to be a little scummy rat. It seems like he should have easy access to Security as well. I'm not really sure why he doesn't. Perhaps the Tech requirement on Security should be changed to Fieldcraft.



#15 Woodclaw

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:29 AM

DJSunhammer said:

Seems like he already can. The only thing he is missing for that role is easy access to Commerce and Logic, for gambling. But honestly, who needs to gamble when you can cheat like a Ratling? He can cook and poison people at the same time. He can sneak like a champion and steal the same way. He can charm or deceive the pants off of literally anyone. If I gave it some more thought I'm sure I could find even more ways for him to be to be a little scummy rat. It seems like he should have easy access to Security as well. I'm not really sure why he doesn't. Perhaps the Tech requirement on Security should be changed to Fieldcraft.

I see your point, so I retract my objection.



#16 MorganKeyes

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 08:47 AM

@DJSunhammer: The difference on Ratling Scout vrs. Ratling Sniper would be to have the ability to pick up Comrade Advances (mainly) that don't revolve around a sniper role.  Coming from the military m'self, I can say that just because you're in a unit like Long Range Survelliance Detachment (LRS-D) doesn't mean you're also a sniper.

I'd just like to see the starting package for the Ratling not revolve so heavily around the sniper role, and (likely a future supplement) those Comrade Advances be available for non-Ratling snipers.  In the end the problem that comes up here is that the Ratling is both Race AND Specialty, as opposed to picking the race (Ratling), getting those Starting bonuses that are about the race and not the job speciality.  Of course many of those race-based Starting modifiers would of course just make it natural for a Ratling player to gravitate to something like Sniper, but also other specialities like the conjectural Scout or Scavenger.



#17 HTMC

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:45 AM

Again, I think I agree with most people in wishing that Ratling as a race and Sniper as a class were separate, but I think it comes down to game design and GW restriction. I'll admit I'm not super well versed in Ratling lore, but I do know that they're mostly known for A) Sniper ability B) Cooking ability and C) Underhanded trading and the equivalent of the IG black market. 

However, from a game design standpoint, all of the classes are focused in a combat sense: Heavy Weapons and Sergeant are obvious, Operator and Techpriest have clear roles, and in general you can point at a given class and see exactly what their combat role is in the squad and how they fit into that.

If you removed the inherent Sniper-qualities from the Ratling, then you suddenly have a class that does not have a clearly defined role within the squad, and because of GW restrictions, there's no other "combat role" they can fill while still fitting in the role (I suppose you could make them a generic Scout instead of Sniper, but the roles overlap so much there's only a very minor difference in my mind).

The counterargument would probably be "It's ok to not have a Combat-focused class, and have a Cook or Black-marketeer or whatever!" And I agree in general that social/support classes like that are great, and I'm sure many players might play them; however, this seems to be against the game design philosophy behind OW, since every single other class is combat-role-first, everything else second. 

This could be a misreading on my part, but I personally see a lot of support for this; it is, after all, suppose to be a system to replicate playing IG combat missions. 

Anyway, if Ratlings stay the way they are, I won't be entirely surprised. I think everyone's comments and desires are very valid, but I think the proposed suggestions people have made work in the theoretical, they don't work when applied to the existing OW framework. If anyone sees any faults in what I'm saying, please let me know though, since in this case I'm happy to be wrong :-P. 



#18 vogue69

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:53 AM

the ratling is a horrible marketeer, commerce is an Int check…



#19 MorganKeyes

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:22 PM

vogue69 said:

the ratling is a horrible marketeer, commerce is an Int check…

Not sure that can really be a supportable statement.  Ratlings certainly don't take a minus to Int, and while they don't come with a starting aptitude in Intelligence they're no worse off then most other Scroungers as heart like say,…Trooper Varl from the Ghosts (and neither Weapons Specialist nor Sergeant, either path for Varl, come with Intelligence as a given Aptitude).

As for the other stuff,…yeah, I understand constraints based on Tabletop and GW are there. But I can still voice that dissatisfaction and state this causes more problems by being mindlessly wed to TT as opposed to thinking, "you know what?  Maybe this DOES need to get tweaked!".  But that's me.

Oh, and while there is some overlap between Scout and Sniper, it's like the overlap between Weapon Specialist and Heavy Gunner.  Just saying, since I've been a field troop m'self for over two decades and worked with both. 



#20 vogue69

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:53 PM

MorganKeyes said:

vogue69 said:

 

the ratling is a horrible marketeer, commerce is an Int check…

 

 

Not sure that can really be a supportable statement.  Ratlings certainly don't take a minus to Int, and while they don't come with a starting aptitude in Intelligence

 

yeah commerce in this game is Intelligence + Knowledge and tests Intelligence. Non of which a Ratling has. Fellowship 80 doesn't mean crap when it comes to comerce. Your average medic, psyker, techpriest is way more of a blackmarket expert then the cooking ratling will ever be.

 

I would change commerce to Fellowship, Knowledge. Or even Fellowship, Social because bartering for better equipment is illegal and has nothing to do with red-tape and rule gaps.






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