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#1 Andor

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:17 AM

I find it amusing that they are doing away with career paths when releasing the game for the literally most regimented group of people in the 40k universe. And while in general I applaud it does leave me wondering about how some aspects of advancement are to be handled.

The Alternate career paths used in some of the other 40k games would have been a very handy thing to have to describe some of the varied ways IG characters can advance. As it is I'm left wondering how they will handle things like Ogryn bone'eads, or promotion to new statuses like Commisar Lords, Psyker Primaris or Officer Rank.

I also wonder why there was a sort of deliberate dodge to the fairly obvious idea of running a party of PCs as the Command group, but that's probably to be left for a later product along the lines of Ascension.

Thoughts?



#2 KommissarK

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:22 AM

We'll probably see packages with various pre-reqs (talents, allowed specializations, awarded medals, XP spent, maybe even aptitudes), an XP cost, and then see them provide either new aptitudes, specialist gear, comrade advances, providing traits, or talents that are only available to members with that advanced package.



#3 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:25 AM

There are two lines of thought about structured advancement vs classless/level-less.  

Unfortunately the other side won, power gamers rejoice! 



#4 MILLANDSON

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:23 AM

ItsUncertainWho said:

There are two lines of thought about structured advancement vs classless/level-less.  

Unfortunately the other side won, power gamers rejoice! 

Because power gamers don't exist in every game ever… *rolls eyes*

Not sure why people like class systems - it just stops you from developing your character to be the individual you want.


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#5 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:17 AM

MILLANDSON said:

Because power gamers don't exist in every game ever… *rolls eyes*

Not sure why people like class systems - it just stops you from developing your character to be the individual you want.

Yes, power gamers are everywhere.

My experiences with classless systems has been that everyone ends up with the same abilities and one or two skills different, i.e. no one is different. The one and only exception to that has been Champions. For some reason superhero's make people stick to their theme over bland homogenization and the follow the leader, he who figured out how to win, in picking advancements. The rare instances in classless systems that had a unique character, he was so far outclassed by everyone else that he was effectively useless outside of his niche.

I have never found a class system that stopped me from building the character I wanted.

I find that structure is helpful, especially as a GM. As a GM, class structure allows me to plan out a long term campaign that can allow everyone to have unique experiences. In a free form system, you never know where players will take their characters, although they inevitably just degrade into combat junkies. I thought that FFG had hit on a great middle ground with DW. It had structure, but it had a lot of flexibility within that structure. I wish they had gone that route with OW, instead of drawing so heavily on BC.



#6 KommissarK

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:06 AM

But most classless systems I've seen are based around making it increasingly more difficult to increase "strong" skills. Its built on top of having diminishing returns for further XP placed into the same ability.

OW on the other hand creates a general class that each character fits to, but frees you up to spend XP as needed (without having to beg the GM for an elite advance). The likelihood of a player dumping all their XP into skills, characteristics, and traits that are directly opposed to their specialization is near 0. Players will grow their characters in ways that are efficient for the specialization, with the occasional "must have" talent (step aside, fearless, hardy, etc.).

To be honest, I'm not sure what to think of the system in that long term sense. It appears that its always really cheap XP wise to go the easy path for a given specialization. Sure, you'll miss out on some of the broader skills, but mastery of a given role is quite attainable.



#7 borithan

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:43 PM

Of course, a structured advancement system controls access to those "must have" talents.



#8 KommissarK

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:50 AM

Certainly, but thats what pre-reqs, really high XP costs of entry for those lacking the aptitudes, and the fact that there quite often is a better use for your XP early on to make up for everyone probably not getting the best talents first.

Fearless is great and all, but its gonna take your average guardsman about what, 2000 xp to get? Thats alot of points not put into things to increase their life expectancy (sound constitution, dodge, parry, awareness, stealth, TB advances).



#9 Morangias

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 02:45 PM

People who care about optimizing their builds flock to the same advancements regardless of what they must do to take them. Pick a right homeworld? Sure. Pick the best career path? Right. Switch for an alternate rank whenever possible? Absolutely? Pester the GM until he lets you take it as an elite advancement? In munchkinland, it's do or die!

No system can hold back a devoted power gamer. The only person with that kind of power is a good GM.

Also, let me tell you a story about alternate ranks in previous games:

When I started running DH, the group consisted of a Cleric, a Tech-Priest, an Assassin and a Psyker. After we got our hands on Inquisitor's Handbook, the group consisted of an Inquisitorial Legate, a Mechanicus Secutor, a Moritat Reaper and… still a Psyker, but only because he already entered the Scholar path and thus couldn't qualify for Templar Calix.

The first time I played RT, the team consisted of the Rogue Trader himself, a Void Master, an Arch-Militant and an Astropath. The next RT game we cooked up took place after Into the Storm and started at high exp level, and thus we ended up with a Genetor, a Flight Marshal, and a Rogue Trader whose main concern was qualifying for Legend of the Expanse.

The same thing happened in two different DW campaigns I've played in. As soon as Rites of Battle introduced new ranks, everyone jumped at them like Blood Ravens seeing an unattended bolt pistol.

The same thing happens with all the background packages, alternate home worlds, Distinctions and whatnot. That's because all these options introduce either direct, honest to god power creep, or at the very least "coolness creep" - even if the new stuff isn't just plain better than the corebook stuff, it's still worth taking for the fluff alone.

Now, I do appreciate many new options that all this stuff offers, but I can't help but think that by packing it the way they did, the authors stiffled my team's creativity more than they encouraged it. Why think up a cool forge world or a cool twist to your omnissian creed when you can join the well-defined and admittedly flavorful Cult of Sollex? Especially since such a background makes it only natural for you to follow the vastly superior path of Mechanicus Secutor… and so on, and so forth.

Now, I haven't seen anything like it in either Black Crusade or OW so far. People really think a lot about making their characters unique when they can't easily default to a pregenerated template. 


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#10 Andor

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 03:30 PM

Morangias said:

Now, I haven't seen anything like it in either Black Crusade or OW so far. People really think a lot about making their characters unique when they can't easily default to a pregenerated template. 

True, very true. But the flip side to that is that some GMs are as rigidly by the book as the most anal Commisar and regard creativity the way I regard scuttleing spiders. Even with a GM who allows creativity, some players benefit greatly from having their hands held a bit. I recall a player in an old SW game who took a year and a half to name his character, and that was only because he decided he liked the nickname I gave him. (Gun-that-Walks became G.T. Walks and we then had a sub-plot to find out what his initials stood for.)

I dunno, FFG has spent a lot of time feeling their way into this system/universe and while they are hitting their stride, I think they have maybe forgotten that they created the pathless advancement scheme to reflect the formlessness of chaos and that the IG is much more rigidly stratified/organized.

Rogue Trader OTOH could have done with pathless advancement to reflect with sky-wide-open nature of life as a Rogue Trader.

I do like the elite advance package deals from Into the Storm however. My Heretek/Xenographer/Arch-militant is sweating a lot less now that he wrangled himself status as a crown agent for the Mechanicus.

There might be a way to bring that sort of neatly bundled package of goodies into OW. You might have an "OCS" package your Sgt can buy that gives him butter bars (or leftenant pips or whatever the Imperium uses) as well as giving him set of skills and talents which he can now purchase at a cheaper rate. Or possibly the Social Aptitude, which would cover it quite elegantly.

So an Ogryn might take a Bone'ead package that lets him buy Command and 1 Intelligence+ Fellowship advance puls a couple of talents for the 2 aptitude rate, but in that case actually giving him the aptitudes would be silly.

Although the more I think about it the more I like the elegance of a elite advancement package granting aptitudes. So the Psyker who goes to the Jedi academy pays blah-XP and 6 months of down time but gets Weapon Skill and/or Finesse aptitudes.



#11 Alox

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 10:03 PM

Players wants to be unique, but they will also want to pick up skills/talents that come into play constantly so they feel useful.

So basically the GM is in charge of making sure that most skills and talents are useful. When did you last require your players to roll a survival check? Resist cold/heat?

 

 






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