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So I'm thinking about getting Black Crusade…


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#1 DarkWinds

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 04:06 AM

But on reading the description I felt things were a little bit fuzzy, I've got Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader which I enjoy a lot but before I got those I felt that the premise of what to expect was quite clear. In Dark Heresy you hunt down heretics et al as part of an Inquisitor cell and immolate them and in Rogue Trader you explore the expanse with your crew and your ship and get rich. But with Black Crusade I have a few questions first, I'd just like to know how the game plays really and if people would recommend it.

  1. What sorts of characters are available for the players?
  2. How does space combat work? The same as Rogue Trader or can each player control his own vessel?
  3. I take it that raising a Warband is a little like raising a host of followers?
  4. What's YOUR favourite aspect of this system over say Dark Heresy etc
  5. Is it true that expansions come out slower for this system?
  6. Out of interest is it set in the Calixis sector? (yes or no is sufficient)
  7. And finally, "Do you hear the voices too?"

Of course try not to divulge loads of rules etc as I presume this would break the forum rules. I'd be happy enough with a general overview of what to expect (internal chaotic intrigue or crusades into the maw of the Imperium with planetary invasions and fleet battles) and perhaps a few examples of peoples experiences.

 

Thanks.

 

DW



#2 Larkin

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 05:18 AM

DarkWinds said:

But on reading the description I felt things were a little bit fuzzy, I've got Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader which I enjoy a lot but before I got those I felt that the premise of what to expect was quite clear. In Dark Heresy you hunt down heretics et al as part of an Inquisitor cell and immolate them and in Rogue Trader you explore the expanse with your crew and your ship and get rich. But with Black Crusade I have a few questions first, I'd just like to know how the game plays really and if people would recommend it.

  1. What sorts of characters are available for the players?
  2. How does space combat work? The same as Rogue Trader or can each player control his own vessel?
  3. I take it that raising a Warband is a little like raising a host of followers?
  4. What's YOUR favourite aspect of this system over say Dark Heresy etc
  5. Is it true that expansions come out slower for this system?
  6. Out of interest is it set in the Calixis sector? (yes or no is sufficient)
  7. And finally, "Do you hear the voices too?"

Of course try not to divulge loads of rules etc as I presume this would break the forum rules. I'd be happy enough with a general overview of what to expect (internal chaotic intrigue or crusades into the maw of the Imperium with planetary invasions and fleet battles) and perhaps a few examples of peoples experiences.

 

Thanks.

 

DW

 

1) 4 Human Archetypes, 4 Chaos Space Marine Archetypes. But the system is open ended, so characters can go wherever they feel like with talents and skills.

2) It'll play EXACTLY like RT, since there are 0 space combat rules in BC.

3) Sort of. It's more a thematic thing that the GM adjudicates. Some groups may not even raise one.

4) The open ended purchases and the slightly more refined combat rules. Also a big fan of the Unnatural + (plus) rather than Unnatural x (times) rules.

5) No idea, as we don't have an expansion yet, just an adventure book.

6) Yes and no, the Screaming Vortex is connected to the Calixis Sector, but it's also connected to the Gothica Sector and the Jovian Reach. Chaos is like that.

70 They direct me to tell you that, No, no I do not.



#3 DarkWinds

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 05:53 AM

Larkin said:

2) It'll play EXACTLY like RT, since there are 0 space combat rules in BC.

 

So are just plot hooks and a means of travelling from A to B? Apart from that things sound good to me.

 

DW



#4 Morangias

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:01 AM

DarkWinds said:

  1. What sorts of characters are available for the players?
  2. How does space combat work? The same as Rogue Trader or can each player control his own vessel?
  3. I take it that raising a Warband is a little like raising a host of followers?
  4. What's YOUR favourite aspect of this system over say Dark Heresy etc
  5. Is it true that expansions come out slower for this system?
  6. Out of interest is it set in the Calixis sector? (yes or no is sufficient)
  7. And finally, "Do you hear the voices too?"

1. You can play as Chaos Space Marines or human renegades, and the game assumes mixed teams of both. With 4 starting Archetypes per choice and an open-ended system, you can make a dark version of any character from previous games.

2. It doesn't, really, but RT rules are fully compatible. The game doesn't really focus on space travel the way RT does.

3. The game doesn't really care about gathering followers. If you want to do it, you have the Minion talents and social rules. But your power among the servants of Chaos is measured by your Infamy, not the number of people you command (though one can conceivably affect the other).

4. Are you kidding? I get to be a goddamn Chaos Space Marine! Barring that, all the rules updates are really nice, and the open-ended character development works surprisingly well.

5. That's a loaded question. This year is pretty slow for FFG overall, with multiple delays, and BC is only out since last summer. That said, it doesn't have a lot of support so far.

6. It's set where you want it to be set, but it presents us with the Screaming Vortex, a Chaos-tainted domain wedged between Calixis and Koronus.

7. Sanity is for the weak!


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.


#5 DarkWinds

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:24 PM

The open endedness of the career archetypes sounds like an excellent addition, much more preferable to the more rigid paths laid out in FFG's other 40k systems. Perhaps it was decided this suits Chaos more, but given the equally independent nature of characters in games like Rogue Trader and even Dark Heresy I think something less rigid might be welcome in those other games as well, who knows.

I'd definitely consider using RT's ship creation and combat rules, however given the importance of voidships for raiding and crusading I'm a little surprised that this aspect wasn't included in some fashion. Perhaps even rules expanding on what's found in RT for large fleets and maybe allowing a ship to be controlled be one player each. But that's a topic for another thread…

 

DW

 



#6 Librarian

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:32 AM

 well the early game of black crusade tries to focus on the actions of a small band of heretics rather than on vast armies and armadas so having rules for void ships in the core is not required. 

one interesting fact under services in black crusade it gives you rules for hireing a void ship for a year and the cost is very similar to that of a rogue trader aquireing a new void ship of moderate size.



#7 Morangias

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:51 PM

You'll probably be happy to hear that the upcoming Only War game also has an open advancement system, one much more suited for characters not into Chaos Gods and thus easily portable into previous game lines!

Ships aren't important in BC because at it's core, the game is neither about raiding nor crusading. The eponymous Black Crusade is but one possible endgame for Heretics - the most glorious one, but not quite likely to happen. You start the game as a team of relatively insignificant heretics who are yet to make their names truly infamous in the galaxy. But your first priority is gaining resources, because you have nothing but the things you can carry with you, and enough Infamy to get you the most necessary things most of the time. You don't have the kind of resources Inquisitors or Rogue Traders have from the get go.

In many ways, Black Crusade plays out the most like a classic D&D campaign, except the group is likely more interested in the transcendent rewards of Chaos than petty loot - then again, one often comes with the other and vice versa, so it's unwise to turn down either.

If you want to recruit a mighty warband, commandeer a space vessel and become the scourge of the Imperium, that's definitely doable, but you have to build your power base first.

 


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.


#8 Seeten

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:51 PM

This game is just fun.

Lets people play Space Marines, if thats their thing, but doesnt force everyone to be male, by allowing non-marine and female concepts. Character building is fun too.

 



#9 DarkWinds

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:19 PM

So I was thinking about getting Black Crusade… so I did.

 

I'm definitely not disappointed, I got the downloadable version just for now until I get back to the mother country in May. The descriptions of life in the Vortex are great and very inspiring, entire worlds given over to continuous warfare to hone the skills of the survivors. Planets of twisted insanity and unerring and often conflicting practices. I didn't realise the population was so large though, untold billions living on that twisted hellish plane of existence. The thing that has most struck me is how much like a grim dark age society it seems. An existence where might makes right and Daemon Princes and Chaos Champions rule over worlds teeming with followers like medieval Lords ruling over peasants. Most of whom, from the sounds of it, spend their entire lives there working away under oppressive regimes, much in the same way as the Imperium. Filled with fanatics, slaves, mercenaries and pirates all waiting to be utilised for my own diabolic schemes. I like the scavenging nature of life in the warp, but the fact there there are so many people in it lends itself to raising a horde, pirates can be bartered with to provide passage, just like in ancient times. It seems that gathering the forces you need to lead even a raid would involve lots of political manipulation, intimidation, betrayal and bribery by the players.

Another thing I'm very happy with is the much better presentation of skills and how to use them than in previous game systems. It's just nicer to have a clearer idea and helpful both for the Player as much as the DM. I hope they roll this style out to the other game systems as well, either as updates or when they want to launch 2nd Editions of, say, Dark Heresy.

Not got my head entirely round the possibilities of the open ended career system just yet, haven't been able to go through it all yet as it just seems that the possibilities are so vast! Especially if you want to roll a Legionaire. And when you combine that with deciding which Chaos God to follow and all the repercussions of those decisions it gets even more fun!

The Infamy and Corruption system looks brilliant too. It fits perfectly with the idea of a Dark Age society that's constantly tearing itself down at the whim of warring Lords and scheming Heroes. I can't wait to see which one of my players turns into an amorphous blob of warped chaos spawn, or maybe I'll twist the first one to become a 'Daemon Prince' into actually being turned into a Daemonic weapon for the rest of the party to use and abuse.

 

DW



#10 Gregorius21778

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 12:27 PM

Their is one big flaw regarding BlackCrusade. Just this one, otherwise I like it most from the 40K-FFG games I was wittness to:

 

You will have a hard time "embedding" the PC into the world & the system for wealth/aquisition is very very lofty.

Matter of fact, the system assumes that mainly the PC get stuff for being "so infamous". Which makes sense if one considers that each and everyone of them has a small domain or cult or sponsors that grant them stuff. Unfortunately, all you have in this regard are mere hints. While the RT game works on the same assumption, this is more easy to stomach since RT establishes the player group as the RogueTrader and his crew, with their own spaceship and outlined dynasty back in the Imperium.

In regard to those living in the Vortex, you better prepare to fudge the ownership/liegeship of some faceless villages or similiar small communites who provide "the wealth" that is part of the infamy.  Otherwise, the system is fine and perhaps this problem will be adressed in the future. At least, better then this half-hearted atttempt that was provided in the GM Kit (which I do NOT supposed to buy unless one is after the screen and the adventure. The meager rest can be ignored).



#11 DarkWinds

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:32 PM

I disagree there, I don't think it was an oversight or half hearted effort. Infamy and its workings are a little bit more abstract than Rogue Trader's Profit Factor however Black Crusade does come with those handy rules for decreasing the difficulty of obtaining objects by Trade, an important aspect in the lives of scavengers. Looking to have your ill-fitting Space Marin armour adjusted since your face sprouted horns? All of a sudden those thousand average quality lasguns you picked up in your last raid and don't need have a use. Infamy is just part of the greater picture, people aren't just giving things away, especially not your equals. Your Infamy is accompanied by propositions of either Trade or the promise of Retribution if you don't get what you want. Rarely will people be willing to outright just give you things to make you happy if they don't have to. Your certainly not forced into capturing some villages as the only means of exacting profits. Personally I'd prefer to encourage players to start thinking about raiding for loot which can be quickly used to barter with for more desirable goods. It seems to fit the idea of a Warband a lot more than capturing barbarian villages to extract a tithe which you'd then be stuck defending. Much better to raid those villages for plunder and slaves either to sell or to utilise.

But we'll see what my players come up with, they might prefer to conqueror places rather than act as Pirates.

 

DW



#12 signoftheserpent

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 08:42 PM

Gregorius21778 said:

Their is one big flaw regarding BlackCrusade. Just this one, otherwise I like it most from the 40K-FFG games I was wittness to:

 

You will have a hard time "embedding" the PC into the world & the system for wealth/aquisition is very very lofty.

Matter of fact, the system assumes that mainly the PC get stuff for being "so infamous". Which makes sense if one considers that each and everyone of them has a small domain or cult or sponsors that grant them stuff. Unfortunately, all you have in this regard are mere hints. While the RT game works on the same assumption, this is more easy to stomach since RT establishes the player group as the RogueTrader and his crew, with their own spaceship and outlined dynasty back in the Imperium.

In regard to those living in the Vortex, you better prepare to fudge the ownership/liegeship of some faceless villages or similiar small communites who provide "the wealth" that is part of the infamy.  Otherwise, the system is fine and perhaps this problem will be adressed in the future. At least, better then this half-hearted atttempt that was provided in the GM Kit (which I do NOT supposed to buy unless one is after the screen and the adventure. The meager rest can be ignored).

I think the problem is that when you actually run the game you realise that it needs a context that really isn't provided. It is assumed that as heretics you've sort of escaped the Imperium and are thus privvy to a level of experience, at least, that has given you the ability to survive. That is what is essentially tapped for the Infamy rules.

Infamy is a great idea, but it does need fleshing out. Anything can be acquired, on a successful roll, through infamy at almost any time. There is next to no advice as to how this works. So things like building an empire, safehouses, storage of resources and even access to such is very glossed over. It's conceivable that, with a good enough roll, the players can find Terminator armour on the small moon they've arrived at.

So how the game seems to want to be played is that the pc's are like characters in a sandbox: they are meant to be proactive and the GM needs then to have a setup that he can tap into to provide those resources. There is no mention of how players set up cults or support structures and even the infamy table has a nunch of stuff missing.

Profit Factor is much more fleshed out and has been across some of the RT supplements. THis is what needs to happen with Infamy. For instance, in Into The Storm there is discussion of the effects of splashing out on your Profit Factor; rules for seeing if the pcs draw unwanted attention onto themselves. More than just 'i want a titan, roll the dice'.

Really FFG need to get out a Screaming Vortex gazetteer out post haste. This is the one book that's essential for the kind of game this is. Unlike the rest of the games the players are masters of their own destiny so they need to know where they can go and what they can do. It's not like Dark Heresy where the INquisition tells them where to go. Even Rogue Trader is more fleshed out in this regard and, because Profif Factor, is the direct goal it's easier to work with because the GM can dangle that under the pc's noses as a hook. Plus the Expanse is meant to be unknown to the pc's as they are exploring it.

That's not quite the same with BC. The pc's are not seeking Infamy in quite the same way; they are seeking power and glory and infamy is some measure thereof. Also the Vortex is largely established and, somewhat, more explored. It's not an unknown in the same way that the Expanse is. It's simply a realm of chaos. So the pc's will need to know where the Dark Forges are, if they want to build a titan or get some new armaments or cybernetics (not quite sure how infamy relates to cybernetics, whether one can simply roll Infamy and have a whole bunch of cool new augmetics, that doesn't seem right to me). They'll need to know where the best warriors are bred, etc, then they can strike out at imperial targets beyond.



#13 Elgrun

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 08:49 AM

signoftheserpent said:

Gregorius21778 said:

Infamy is a great idea, but it does need fleshing out. Anything can be acquired, on a successful roll, through infamy at almost any time. There is next to no advice as to how this works. So things like building an empire, safehouses, storage of resources and even access to such is very glossed over. It's conceivable that, with a good enough roll, the players can find Terminator armour on the small moon they've arrived at.

I realize that I'm addressing a reasonably small part, but it also stands out to me as the most important. Explanations like this, the PC's managing to find Termi armour on tiny moons surrounding insignificant planets, this is where the whole 'having a GM' thing comes into play. The GM could rule that the roll is impossible, there is no armour. Or he could give it to them, but turn it into a twist, the armour is possessed by a greater daemon and the character who puts it on is in danger of possession, etc. etc.  NEVER give it to them that easily, even if they roll well enough for it. 01's are nice. They go a long, long way to helping things. But they shouldn't be the Alpha and Omega of answers.

I should never be able to roll a 01 and suddenly manage to find 3 sets of fully working, undamaged Termi armour for my 3 Champions of Nurgle. It'd break the game, or I'd have to very suddenly turn up the power on enemies, meltas abound. It cheapens the reward in my opinion. 

Infamy isn't all too well fleshed out, but like most other things in Black Crusade, it's an open-ended system. It could be represented in anything from gold, to souls, to Tyranid teeth, to sheer unadulterated warp power and the power of faith your followers have in you. 



#14 Chastity

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:02 AM

This is very much a situation in which mileage varies. I like Infamy as an open-ended system allowing GMs to introduce an element of resource acquisition without needing a complex system or micromanaging gold pieces or their space analogue. There are no specific rules saying that players can't just use their Infamy to acquire any item they want whenever they want it, but there are no rules saying that dead characters can't take actions either - it's just part of the common sense assumptions of the game. It's not like I can make an Infamy roll to summon a Lasgun from thin air inside an Imperial Prison Ship, or roll Charm to influence the opinions of a person who doesn't even know I exist.

To put it another way "passing infamy rolls" is to Black Crusade what "spending Gold Pieces" is to D&D. The rules don't say when players are "allowed" to make Infamy rolls to acquire goods any more than the rules of D&D decide when players are "allowed" to spend Gold Pieces to buy items - it's just left up to common sense.

The rules also make it very clear that the GM should think carefully about what the players actually *do* to acquire items - whether they trade in promises, threats, or cold hard cash. The game absolutely does *not* assume that you've got a personal fief that just sort of teleports stuff into your inventory - if you want something you have to actually go out and get it, the Infamy rules just tell you what dice you roll to see if you succeed.

I think this is a common error people make when they look at the more abstract elements of a system. Everybody's okay with the idea that you only get to make an "attack" roll against somebody if you are actually attacking them, that you only get to roll your "deceive" skill if you are actually trying to deceive somebody. Infamy rolls are the same - you only get to make the roll if you are actually attempting to use your position to acquire goods and services. The game doesn't explain what your character has to *do* but it does suggest a number of things that the roll could represent, and you can't divorce the players' actions from the dice mechanics with Infamy any more than you can with any other aspect of the system.



#15 Asoral

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:35 PM

 How I have done it in my game is to keep taps on what the players have bought and from who. If the players keep buying stuff with just infamy rolls, sooner or later the trader is going to say "Hey, I have been giving you **** tons of free stuff lately, I think its time that you go and kill my worst competitor". Then again, when they raid/pillage/conquer some place where there are soldiers, they are going capture a few slaves and get loot that is in various states of totally shot up.

What I really like is the freedom of the whole system. Some areas have lots of untrained slaves, so trading slaves there isn't going to be all that profitable. Then again, a Dark Magos is worth much more than a sick and old man from some barbarian village. Also selling a trained mason to a sacrificial slave pit is a waste of resources. At the same time, trading 100 poor craftmanship lasguns is well worth it if you can get your precious power armor repaired and maybe even improved by some Dark Mechanicus artificiers.

Overall, its all a matter of scale. Trading with a merchant for basic gear who you have protected against rivals earlier on is something that you can deal with just some roleplaying and a infamy roll with modifiers from RP/commerce rolls. Getting 200 trained soldiers pre-equipped is going to cost you more than just a bit of small talk and infamy roll(unless of course you are a well known Warlord who is known for his ill-temper). Getting something truely large scaled is a whole different ball game. Like for example my players recently struck a deal with the local Dark Mechanicus shipyard that they will get their Heavy Frigate (which they stole from a very angry warp infused sea kraken on Furia) fully outfitted with modules with some side dash of fighting vehicles in exchange that they will bring the DM a fully working Cruiser (which they are going to be stealing from a warlord who crossed paths with the warband earlier on not-so good terms. Which was quite expected, seeing how the warband double crossed him on a deal).

So yes, in my group the trade of the worlds of Screaming Vortex run on loot, souls, threats, favours and uncovered promises!



#16 Stuntie

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 09:03 AM

7 Do you hear the voices too?

Why yes I do. And they have such good ideas….

 

The very scope of Black Crusade gives both freedom and a sense of vagueness that you need to fprovide context for.

It is vague in the sense that it not Deathwatch with bad guys, or a sneaky cult, or Rogue Trader in weirdsville - it's all of them and more. You are free to do whatever whereever and to whomever - providing you can surive it. No laws out here, or Imperial codes and morality. Total freedom - but so has everyone else - so your only protection is yourself, and whatever resources or allies you can bring to bear (allies being a precarious term in Black Crusade).

The GM's first job is to figure out what aspects to focus on and provide a grounding for the players. Sneaky cult games will play totally diferently to a more Marine orientated game. What support you have, and what you can and can't do is entirely at the GM's whim more than anyother game. You want them to scavenge then do so - make them use infamy as currency just to get by.  You want action packed then you may keep imfamy for major items and allow support from benefactors for basic needs and transport etc.

And as for the frequent mention of an Infamy roll for Terminator armour - yes let them do it. And get the answer 'No I don't have any. in the shop But I know somewhere you might be able to get some…' Cue epic blood drenched mission to gain parts of said armour.



#17 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 01:50 PM

Elgrun said:

I should never be able to roll a 01 and suddenly manage to find 3 sets of fully working, undamaged Termi armour for my 3 Champions of Nurgle. It'd break the game, or I'd have to very suddenly turn up the power on enemies, meltas abound. It cheapens the reward in my opinion.

 

That's why these games have GM's. They determine what is available before you can even roll. This is actually one of the first things I told my group: "A successful roll does not equal a successful aim". What do I mean by that? I means that suceeding at a roll does not mean you suceeded in the task you were rolling for.

Example:

"You are in a store-room. It is full of old PDF surplus weapons."
"I search for a Lascannon." *rolls* "I got a 3! 4 degrees of success."
"Congratulations you search the room throughoutly, getting a good idea of the inventory. You do not, however, find a Lascannon, as there was no Lascannon to find."


In your example you've rolled for sets of Terminator armour. This would be fine if you were in a place where Terminator armour is likely to be/is being sold. If you're not, passing an Infamy Test shouldn't provide you what you rolled because you were never in a position to get it in the first place.

BYE


Matt Eustace. Contributing Author Credits: Church of the Damned, The Lathe Worlds, The Lathe Worlds - The Lost Dataslate, Only War Core Rulebook, Hammer of the Emperor, Shield of Humanity, Tome of Fate, Tome of Blood, Tome of Excess and Tome of Decay.

The views expressed in this post are my own. I do not speak for or on behalf of Fantasy Flight Games.





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