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#1 KommissarK

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:43 AM

In the spirit of week 2 testing, let me tell you guys of the short lived life of Commissar Dijkstra (my first session).

After having landed on Skyrnne, he and his men drove their chimera down the ramp of the landing carrier to engage the orks attacking the field. During the fighting, an ork climbed on top of their chimera. In an attempt to stop the foul xenos, our intrepid commissar opened the top hatch, and attacked the ork with his chainsword. Surviving the first blow, the ork managed to get its own swing in (or two, with furious assault). The second attack was about to hit. Our commissar (who had the presence of mind to buy dodge at character creation) attempted to dodge, and rolled an 80, simply not enough. The ork dealt maximum damage with his choppa (15, pen 2). Our commissar, with best guard flak, and a TB of 3, could only soak 6 points of that, and was thusly dealt 9 wounds. 2 wounds remaining. Because it was a Righteous Fury (or whatever foul thing the xenos benefit from), a rending critical damage result of 4 was dealt to the commissar's body. Blood loss and stunned for 1 round. Fortunately, another ally managed to shoot the ork before it got out of hand, and at that point the actual fighting was over.

As commissar Dijkstra lay there in the chimera, a bloody and broken, the squads medic rushed to his aid, and attempted a medicae check to staunch the bleeding (a -10 check). An 87. Not enough to staunch the bleeding. Next round, the commissar rolls for blood loss (a 1d10, and we said a result of 1 would be the 10% chance to die).. a 1! Fantastic.

I'm fine with this (the GM, feeling sorry that after the 4 years of me GMing DH/RT/DW for the party, and having just now had a chance to be a player in the game and live my dream of playing a commissar, allowed me retroactively claim the use of a fate point (not burn) to stop blood loss). And up to this point, in other systems, blood loss has generally been a precursor to character death (usually occurs so far into the crit damage tables that he next hit is going to kill you), so as an affect, blood loss was relatively rare in my games. Also when I ran it, there was a tech priest with a medicae mechadendrite, that pretty much simplifies the danger of blood loss.

What concerns me is that its listed as a -10 check to do it on yourself, but never properly states the test difficulty for others to do it on you. It says others can staunch the bleeding, but a strict reading makes it out to be the same -10 modifier. Given that blood loss is going to be a lot more common in this system (with the new method of Righteous Fury), this is obviously going to kill alot more PCs. I'm cool with medicae mechadendrites providing an automatic staunch the bleeding, but I find it odd that a med kit still only provides the tools to provide a +20 bonus to medicae. While helpful, it still makes it overly dangerous for the PCs.

Part of my real concern here is that this was rather discouraging to the other players. The commissar was intended to be fairly survivable in melee, but in a set of pretty bad luck (ork actually hit, I failed to dodge, ork rolled max damage, ork rolled a critical effect that dealt blood loss), the character was dead after 1 hit. A single lucky hit, and under all other circumstances, about as good a situation to be in as possible (e.g. right next to an ally PC medic, combat was over, still had a positive score of wounds), and yet the character still died. Obviously it was a mix of questionable judgement (I didn't need to open that top hatch), and certainly, war is hell, and its supposed to be bloody.

It was the first game session, I am going to play a commissar this campaign, and it would have felt silly to reroll effectively the same character after the first one died.

Suggestions:

-Simplify the test for others to staunch the bleeding (declare what type of action it actually is, a bonus modifier, etc.). As long as its more complicated than Staunch bleeding is a half action (as thats the benefit of a medicae mechadendrite)
-Add a consumable item (that medic's have as standard kit) that removes blood loss.
-Add some sort of initial timer before blood loss could kill you (TB rounds?)
-Add a Toughness test each round, to then make the 10% check.
-Classify the Blood Loss check as a test so it can be modified by fate points
-Add a new ability for fate points to remove blood loss (or clarify that its removed if you use a FP to heal wounds)

TL;DR = Blood Loss hurts.



#2 Luther Engelsnot

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:23 AM

Yes I can confirm this with Black Crusade, which has the same rule for righteous fury/zealous hatred. Most character lost infamy/fate point or died due to blood loss from rending weapons and not damage or really tough enemies, our character mostly survive these. There are rather nasty through this rule, but somehow appropriate. But it makes talents like Die Hard rather useful in comparison to other lines, where it never or rarely come into play.


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#3 Musclewizard

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:30 AM

KommissarK said:

Suggestions:

-Simplify the test for others to staunch the bleeding (declare what type of action it actually is, a bonus modifier, etc.). As long as its more complicated than Staunch bleeding is a half action (as thats the benefit of a medicae mechadendrite)
-Add a consumable item (that medic's have as standard kit) that removes blood loss (stimm fixes this though)
-Add some sort of initial timer before blood loss could kill you (TB rounds?)
-Add a Toughness test each round, to then make the 10% check.
-Classify the Blood Loss check as a test so it can be modified by fate points
-Add a new ability for fate points to remove blood loss (or clarify that its removed if you use a FP to heal wounds)

TL;DR = Blood Loss hurts.

Sounds good to me. I've never had to deal with blood loss before since my very first group had a techpriest with a medical mechadendrite but I've also noticed that a bad RF could kill a character from nearly full wounds simply with a few bad rolls.
Maybe blood loss could deal damage instead of killing outright or cause fatigue while the character is outside of critical hitpoints / concious.



#4 KommissarK

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:52 AM

I'm fine with die hard being the solution that it is, but its worth pointing out that 40 WP is going to be insanely hard for alot of guardsmen to hit. Combined with the notion that not everyone is going to have the aptitudes, and we're talking something like 2450 XP for a character lacking Willpower/Defence aptitudes, and 30 willpower. If lower than 30wp then we're talking 3450 xp. Certainly, if they have one of the aptitudes (hopefully WP), it becomes 1050 xp (1550 if only defence). This is still a significant amount of XP. And at the end of the day, its only giving you so much survivability. Never Die would be better, but its XP cost is even larger. Also, once combat ends, they still suffer blood loss normally.

Certainly, its alot easier for a commissar (and we kinda messed up at character creation with the overlapping aptitude rules (we forgot to enforce the "the new aptitude must be the sibling aptitude for a given characterisitic"), so I have a commissar with Willpower and Defence), still, thats alot of xp to be spending on something that simply does not fall into what the character is "good at."

Yes, Blood Loss should be a very bad, very high pressure thing, but given that Die Hard/Never Die are apparently the only things I can find that allow players to ignore critical effects/mitigate Blood Loss, and a medicae mechadendrite is the only thing that can guaranteeably fix Blood Loss… well, alot of those Righteous Fury hits on players are going to be fatal. Heck, not every group is going to have a medic, (hopefully someone trained in medicae), but still, the default test is at a -10 (which for a non medic is going to be hard).



#5 Cifer

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:54 AM

Firstly, unless I misread something, Stimm does nothing against Blood Loss - Blood Loss is not negative effect to ones characteristics.

 

Secondly, I mostly agree with you. Either Blood Loss should be not quite as dangerous (at least when being inflicted by Righteous Fury) or it should be possible to heal it more easily.

 

Thirdly, may I congratulate you on hitting the ork with your sword even without being driven closer first? It's sad seeing a character go, but for that action, I would have been tempted to award a fate point to burn.



#6 KommissarK

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:56 AM

Whoops, you're right, its just characteristic damage. I just skimmed and thought I saw the standard language for "ignore critical damage for X amount of time." (Have now removed Stimm from my posts, as its not worth mentioning, although if it did allow the ignoring of critical damage, and at least a dose was given to medics, that would be a pretty good means of solving the issue).

And yes, that image very much was the theme of that session. Especially when we rammed the ork warbuggy (ramming damage is nice).

 

EDIT: And yes, the character has survived, still, it was quite a brush with death.



#7 Wilbry

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 11:53 AM

 I think the minor critical rule for RF is fine as is, and a welcome replacement to previous rule. 

The blood loss condition is life threatening and while my initial reaction to it was critical, having now played with it I think it is a suitable lvl 5 critical. 

As an impartial onlooker to the Commissar's situation I think the system worked well. In order for the Commissar to die an extraordinary amount of die rolls have to go against him, which they did. That is completely fair and necessary if one is to ever give the sense of life threatening danger - you have to cop the odds and suck it up when they don't work in your favour. If you complain at those odds then why not complain when the ork uses the old RF rules and rolls up twice doing 34 points of damage instantly killing the Commissar?

 

You can't play a game that uses random damage and then complain when the odds bite you in the arse, especially when the odds were heavily in your favour to begin with (chanes of being hit, not dodging, taking max damage, rolling a bad critical, failing a medic roll, failing the toughness check)

 

 

 



#8 KommissarK

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:46 AM

The issue is more that if Blood Loss can be healed by a stapler as a half action (by a Tech Priest only), then why does a medic not have something of comparable effectiveness beyond having to make a Medicae(-10) check?

Also, Blood Loss, while not a solved problem, should be one so common in the Guard that there is some means, some item, some treatment, that is actually able to reliably treat it. I don't think a Medicae(-10) check appropriately represents this. Certainly, it is a life threatening situation that if ignored will turn out quite bad. But I don't think its right to have an ideal situation still "go bad" 40% of the time (basing this off of how effective a stock medic would be at making the Medicae(-10) check).

Also, just to point out, in previous RF rules, the orks would have done nothing, as mooks don't get to benefit from RF. I'm fine with bad rolls hurting a PC, but I disagree that only bad rolls can/should kill a PC. Certainly, opening the hatch was not the most brilliant move, it did not fall into the "bad idea" category. The ork did need to be dealt with.






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