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Upper Echelons of Power (fixed?)


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#1 venkelos

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:07 AM

Okay, so back to my point, I didn't grab the beta, because I intend to buy the book, when it come out (I prefer the physical book, actually), so I was wondering if someone might be able to help me? This might be the game I actually run for a group, and I already have a fanfic, a Regiment (1st Lokarin Skyshock Drop Troops), a planet (Titan's Rest, in the Lokarin System), and the bad guys (LOTZ of Orks) to pull in it, if I run it, but I was wondering, how powerful will higher-end characters get in this game? The Leader of the 1st Lokarin, Governor-Militant Markus Krueger, was created using rules from Ascension, based on the not over the top? write up of Imperial Governor Malaki Vess (Ascension, p.199), though with a good number of military/Leadership extras, and a pair of power fists. Still, like Vess, Krueger isn't really Ascension-broken, just advanced, and possessing of lots troops to serve him, and make him tougher. I plan for him to be a bit more front line, and have some more or less Crusaders escort him, since more "traditional" Guardsmen lack in assault troops. Will I be able to build someone appropriate to lead an entire (little) world, and its regiment, in their never ending quest to safeguard it from resident Ork mobs? He is much more NPC, so the book might not cover such advanced stuff, if it's comparable to Dark Heresy, and I need to know if it stops at "Leader of a group", instead of "General of the Army".

The other lynchpin is the two Temple Assassins. Before you freak, they are not all the broken sauce Ascension makes them out to be, as I haven't statted them, yet. Temple Assassin training is in their story, and it's the "feel" I'm going for, with them, but they don't have infinite Dodges that can't miss, and stats like a Primarch. Neither is a "full" TAO because they each failed their training, to a small degree, and their Inquisitor was able to get them before they died for it. One day, they just appeared in front of Krueger, and remain their at his disposal, though he doesn't really know why. One is a Culexus, Draco, who is mostly just a Null, more than a CA, and he is missing most of his gear. He seems a bit more like an Arbitrator/Assassin, with a hint of adviser/bodyguard, though his aura makes most people avoid him. He's more for area-anti-psykering, and not too important vs the Orks, but in the fanfic, he becomes a bit more important later, and it's his "personality" that matters most (he's fun, sarcastic, and very knowledgeable about people, especially considering they avoid him like the plague). The other is Alicia, a Vindicare, with the gear, and some of the cheese. If I keep them "watered down", will I be able to build anything that could approximate them, at least the feel, without the planet-busting stats, or will I just have to half-ass it? I can Ascen-build them, and I already know that, beyond character interaction, they will mostly be away, doing "special assignments" for the GM, while our party of players are doing more important group work. Kinda how Space Marines might req the services of an Assassin, and they serve as a distraction, in the background, one of these two might fill the bill.

So, can I make them fit into the game's rules? Will I have to have 2ish cheesy characters, and just make sure they don't break anything? It would be easier than it seems, but… Krueger is the most important, as the players will see him more often, and maybe fight along side him. Can I make a high-end full Officer character (not some Sergeanty hick, or wannabe Commissar), or will I have to use his higher-stat write-up, and accet that, being one man, he still won't do too much damage to multitudes of Orks, so it should be fine?

Did they do anything to simulate the Elysian feel, over your regular Cadians? The 1st Lokarin are a mix of the two, and their origins involved needing to go fast, without bringing their big tanks. While they got them later, the troops learned to fight more like Elysians, with long-range tank support. Will I be able to get this in?

As a last bit, did the game make anything for more CC/Assault-oriented fighters? I know Orks aren't the best guys to assault, but they have a tendency TO assault, since their guns are shite as guns. Will I be able to give Krueger more believable bodyguards/fighters, or will I want to stick with soldiers carrying storm shields and blades/maces? I don't want IG trying to just use bayoneted lasguns, and combat knives. Did they get any "regular" but efficient CC weapons?

Thanks much, and have a good one. If anything I asked is stepping too much on "if we answer that, we are telling too much about the book, which you haven't paid for", just let me know? Maybe I can reword it so as not to be devious.



#2 LuciusT

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:16 AM

I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but I'll take a stab at it…

Character creation is open ended and moderately flexible. There are no ranks, as in Dark Heresy, and no advancement charts. Instead, different Guard specialities have aptitudes which make certain advances cheaper than others. Starting character creation assumes rank and file Guardsmen, not officers and certainly not cult assassins. However, as NPCs, you could always give such characters whatever stats and powers you felt appropriate.

There are rules for creating your own Regiments, so that shouldn't be a problem.

In short, you can probably do what you envision, but you might have to a be little flexible to do it.



#3 DJSunhammer

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:19 AM

The easiest, least broken way that I know to build characters like your assassins is with BC, if that is at your disposal. You don't need to worry about stupid broken special abilities but you can still give them the gear they need to be correct to the lore. They will also mesh with the PCs much better because they use mechanics that are almost the same.



#4 KommissarK

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:26 AM

For the characters:

Everything is simply a matter of XP. Give a character enough XP and they can become whatever. Some of Ascensions influence talents will obviously be lost in translation, but much of that can simply be RP'd out or contained in their back story.

As far as title/role, the classes in OW tend to just be broad notions of what aptitudes (things that improve XP efficiency), skills, talents, and starting gear a character has. Also, the classes posses "Comrade" advances, which apply bonuses to that character's comrade. As far as the NPCs you described, it would seem the leader most fits the Sergeant specialty. Its solid as a leader, but the comrade advances would probably be lacking for a character that is considered a leader of the army (a sergeant gets the ability to apply buffs to the group, possibly at long range by having his comrade be a vox operator), but with GM discretion, his buffs could benefit the company.

Honestly, the only things that individualize any class from the others are starting traits and comrade advances. Beyond that its all a matter of XP. Classes do have generic characteristic bonuses, but thats only +5 (and I doubt for an NPC that would matter much). Future supplements will probably allow a Sergeant to posses more of a full officer's level of comrade advances.

No idea on the assassins, some of the specialties might match what they have, but they wouldn't use comrades from the sound of it. Once again, they probably could work, but you'd have to dish out a lot of XP (sounds on the order of 24k + for all these NPCs), and just hand out gear.

As far as troop doctrines:

You might be a bit disappointed with how the regiment creation rules feel. It appears you're expecting quite a bit, but ultimately, a regiment just applies a template of characteristic bonuses, talents, skill, aptitudes, and some gear (mainly armour type, primary weapon type). Regiments can add some minor amounts of gear extra. Beyond that none of the material really dictates how the regiment will perform in the field.

There are close combat doctrines and other combat doctrines that most certainly include things like lacking heavy tanks.



#5 venkelos

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:41 AM

I do have Black Crusade, and while I wouldn't say I hate it, I've done a pretty thorough job of letting it sit at the end of my FFG books shelf. I don't usually like to play villains games; even if they can be some great fun, the truth is they often do, and should, eliminate each other, as one of Good's advantages is usually supposed to be that they CAN work together, and collectively defeat the greater single threat, who trusts no one around them. Add to that that the system is rather different than the other three, and I rather ignored it, after buying it. However, I think I may have to look it over more fully now, if it and OW can get along together well.

I'm not shooting for the Assassins to break system; again, the assumption that they are so BA could be almost as effective as their broken stats would be. The problem is mostly Krueger I kind of need him to be close to here (see Reply#5). Again, I don't want super-broken (he might be there), but I do want a world-leader, like Creed, and don't know how far individual characters can push in this game. Without Ranks, it might be even harder for me to word this. I'll cheat, I guess; could you build a respectable, if slightly toned down, but better kitted Ursarkar E. Creed in OW? Something you'd feel justified in saying "yep, that's him, badass as he should be." If Tabletop Special Characters can be relatively emulated, even if they have to be a smidge lower, then I can use that, some bionics, and two powerfists, and get what i want. If the feel of a Senior Officer, leader of the WHOLE army, is beyond this game, as most PC's aren't expected to reach that point, then I'll probably take the Ascen stats, and modify them to fit with BC, as he is a higher-end character, and an NPC.



#6 KommissarK

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:47 AM

Looking at that post, you could pull off most of that. The big issue once again is the lack of Ascension's Mastery/Paragon talents. Still, you can make up for it by having the component pieces for the paragon talents, and Mastery can be handled by having the Mastery[Skill here] talent for all associated skills.

Once again, you're looking at an upwards of 40k xp character with this, but it does fall within the system. Not sure where the TB8 is coming from. Implants I imagine, but I don't think theres a comparable option in OW. Really the gear in general isn't really present in the system, but thats easier to make up.

Also, fate points technically cap at 5 in OW.



#7 venkelos

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:50 AM

KommissarK said:

For the characters:

Everything is simply a matter of XP. Give a character enough XP and they can become whatever. Some of Ascensions influence talents will obviously be lost in translation, but much of that can simply be RP'd out or contained in their back story.

As far as title/role, the classes in OW tend to just be broad notions of what aptitudes (things that improve XP efficiency), skills, talents, and starting gear a character has. Also, the classes posses "Comrade" advances, which apply bonuses to that character's comrade. As far as the NPCs you described, it would seem the leader most fits the Sergeant specialty. Its solid as a leader, but the comrade advances would probably be lacking for a character that is considered a leader of the army (a sergeant gets the ability to apply buffs to the group, possibly at long range by having his comrade be a vox operator), but with GM discretion, his buffs could benefit the company.

Honestly, the only things that individualize any class from the others are starting traits and comrade advances. Beyond that its all a matter of XP. Classes do have generic characteristic bonuses, but thats only +5 (and I doubt for an NPC that would matter much). Future supplements will probably allow a Sergeant to posses more of a full officer's level of comrade advances.

No idea on the assassins, some of the specialties might match what they have, but they wouldn't use comrades from the sound of it. Once again, they probably could work, but you'd have to dish out a lot of XP (sounds on the order of 24k + for all these NPCs), and just hand out gear.

As far as troop doctrines:

You might be a bit disappointed with how the regiment creation rules feel. It appears you're expecting quite a bit, but ultimately, a regiment just applies a template of characteristic bonuses, talents, skill, aptitudes, and some gear (mainly armour type, primary weapon type). Regiments can add some minor amounts of gear extra. Beyond that none of the material really dictates how the regiment will perform in the field.

There are close combat doctrines and other combat doctrines that most certainly include things like lacking heavy tanks.

KommissarK said:

For the characters:

Everything is simply a matter of XP. Give a character enough XP and they can become whatever. Some of Ascensions influence talents will obviously be lost in translation, but much of that can simply be RP'd out or contained in their back story.

As far as title/role, the classes in OW tend to just be broad notions of what aptitudes (things that improve XP efficiency), skills, talents, and starting gear a character has. Also, the classes posses "Comrade" advances, which apply bonuses to that character's comrade. As far as the NPCs you described, it would seem the leader most fits the Sergeant specialty. Its solid as a leader, but the comrade advances would probably be lacking for a character that is considered a leader of the army (a sergeant gets the ability to apply buffs to the group, possibly at long range by having his comrade be a vox operator), but with GM discretion, his buffs could benefit the company.

Honestly, the only things that individualize any class from the others are starting traits and comrade advances. Beyond that its all a matter of XP. Classes do have generic characteristic bonuses, but thats only +5 (and I doubt for an NPC that would matter much). Future supplements will probably allow a Sergeant to posses more of a full officer's level of comrade advances.

No idea on the assassins, some of the specialties might match what they have, but they wouldn't use comrades from the sound of it. Once again, they probably could work, but you'd have to dish out a lot of XP (sounds on the order of 24k + for all these NPCs), and just hand out gear.

As far as troop doctrines:

You might be a bit disappointed with how the regiment creation rules feel. It appears you're expecting quite a bit, but ultimately, a regiment just applies a template of characteristic bonuses, talents, skill, aptitudes, and some gear (mainly armour type, primary weapon type). Regiments can add some minor amounts of gear extra. Beyond that none of the material really dictates how the regiment will perform in the field.

There are close combat doctrines and other combat doctrines that most certainly include things like lacking heavy tanks.

As NPC's, and mostly in the background, Alicia and Draco aren't too big a worry. Whether they are more high-mobility troops with some specialties (Sniper and Something, not sure how Anti-psyker will work there), or somewhat shoehorned in from DH/Ascension, with a little help from BC, they'll be fine. Krueger is important, as a main showpiece character from the story, and his penchant for risking life and limb to fight with his men means he's a bit less background. Still, I assume I can make it fit.

As for the Regiment build, if they have rules for vehicles that aren't tanks, preferably bikes, jeeps, and Valkyries (or if I can easily adapt stats from what they do have), and if they have grav-chutes and I can make up something for snub-nose lasguns, I'll be fine. If the equipment is there, and not impossible to acquire, and a bit of the regiment stuff might cover air deployment, assault-spec, or mobility, I'll probably be happy. Otherwise, what good is it as a regiment-builder?



#8 Andor

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:52 AM

As the GM you can do anything you please.

Your Commander sounds appropriate, but the character creation rules are aimed at the basic squad level, although you do have classes for Sergants, Commisars and Storm Troopers. Command squad is clearly supposed to be NPC-land for the moment, although presumably there will be a later book for promotion to things like Officer rank, Commisar Lord or Psyker Primaris.

So since the PCs will be basic grunts, having an Ascension level command squad kicking arse off in the distance is … actually entirely appropriate for 40k from what I know of the lore. If you want the PCs to be in the command squad you can you that too, but you'll need to hand them a few thousand xps and some bonus requisitions at the start of the game or they will get pasted like a kindergarden art project.



#9 KommissarK

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:56 AM

Nothing on the vehicles you want (lightest thing would be a sentinel), but they do just give las carbines and grav chutes to drop troop regiments.

There are a few attempts to make a Tauros on here, but I've yet to see anything on a Valkyrie. I think one of the other systems might have something, but I dunno. As far as scracthbuilding a vehicle, it wouldn't be too hard. It should be possible to determine the scale to TT, and back convert something from taht to OW. A lot of bike rules are covered in the book, but nothing is explicitly present.

Obviously, it would take GM discretion for if/when the party has access to these vehicles (often, the regiment doctrine simply states that the PCs have a leman russ or chimera). Fortunately, there is a notion of "mission required gear," and the party could just be issued what they need for any given mission.



#10 DJSunhammer

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:59 AM

venkelos said:

 

I do have Black Crusade, and while I wouldn't say I hate it, I've done a pretty thorough job of letting it sit at the end of my FFG books shelf. I don't usually like to play villains games; even if they can be some great fun, the truth is they often do, and should, eliminate each other, as one of Good's advantages is usually supposed to be that they CAN work together, and collectively defeat the greater single threat, who trusts no one around them. Add to that that the system is rather different than the other three, and I rather ignored it, after buying it. However, I think I may have to look it over more fully now, if it and OW can get along together well.

I'm not shooting for the Assassins to break system; again, the assumption that they are so BA could be almost as effective as their broken stats would be. The problem is mostly Krueger I kind of need him to be close to here (see Reply#5). Again, I don't want super-broken (he might be there), but I do want a world-leader, like Creed, and don't know how far individual characters can push in this game. Without Ranks, it might be even harder for me to word this. I'll cheat, I guess; could you build a respectable, if slightly toned down, but better kitted Ursarkar E. Creed in OW? Something you'd feel justified in saying "yep, that's him, badass as he should be." If Tabletop Special Characters can be relatively emulated, even if they have to be a smidge lower, then I can use that, some bionics, and two powerfists, and get what i want. If the feel of a Senior Officer, leader of the WHOLE army, is beyond this game, as most PC's aren't expected to reach that point, then I'll probably take the Ascen stats, and modify them to fit with BC, as he is a higher-end character, and an NPC.

 

 

I don't mean you should make them bad guys. I'm saying the system is a good base for making a character of any type [sniper, melee oriented, social etc]. OW and BC are extremely similar in rules as well. Advancement is a similar setup and combat rules are pretty much exactly the same.



#11 venkelos

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:01 AM

KommissarK said:

Looking at that post, you could pull off most of that. The big issue once again is the lack of Ascension's Mastery/Paragon talents. Still, you can make up for it by having the component pieces for the paragon talents, and Mastery can be handled by having the Mastery[Skill here] talent for all associated skills.

Once again, you're looking at an upwards of 40k xp character with this, but it does fall within the system. Not sure where the TB8 is coming from. Implants I imagine, but I don't think theres a comparable option in OW. Really the gear in general isn't really present in the system, but thats easier to make up.

Also, fate points technically cap at 5 in OW.

KommissarK said:

Looking at that post, you could pull off most of that. The big issue once again is the lack of Ascension's Mastery/Paragon talents. Still, you can make up for it by having the component pieces for the paragon talents, and Mastery can be handled by having the Mastery[Skill here] talent for all associated skills.

Once again, you're looking at an upwards of 40k xp character with this, but it does fall within the system. Not sure where the TB8 is coming from. Implants I imagine, but I don't think theres a comparable option in OW. Really the gear in general isn't really present in the system, but thats easier to make up.

Also, fate points technically cap at 5 in OW.

Coolz! Once I get the book, and can look it over, I think I'll be able to bend the super-stats into more believable (for the system) blocks. If something isn't there, or doesn't fit, I'll make it work; after playing Star Wars, D&D, Wheel of Time, and several other RPGs, I've gotten rather good at that, at least.

For my dissing of BC, I didn't think you were suggesting it; I've just ignored the book because IT assumes I want to play villains. The book doesn't cover "good guys" using the same system, at least as far as I've perused it. Sorry for the confusion.



#12 DJSunhammer

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:05 AM

Good guy/bad guy is really just a matter of wording. All of that stuff is story specific and can be ignored for the rules in their pure form.



#13 KommissarK

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:08 AM

One minor thing, but if you want to have any hope of achieving Fel 64 on that guy (and do it by the rules), there may be a few things in the way:

1. Max starting characteristic is 40, by rolls its a 20 + 2d10 system, point buy caps at 40.

2. Drop troops as a regimental doctrine gives a -3 Fel penalty

3. Sergeant (what most likely the character would be), does get +5 Fel

4. Advances cap out at the +20 point.

 

In other words, you would find yourself at 62 Fel in the best case. I doubt it matters that much. Its more an FYI, OW doesn't have the last 2 characteristic advances that Ascension adds.

You could choose a home world that could give +3 Fel, and that would put the goal in reach.



#14 Andor

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:11 AM

It's 40k, there are no "good guys" although for my $ the Dark Eldar are the most pointlessly and egregiously evil.

But for the most part the Imperium is what would happen if Hitler and Caligula had a baby, and spends at least as much time fighting itself as it does anyone else.

So yes, Chaos is Evil with a capital E, but at least it cops to it. The imperium likes to claim it has the moral high ground while torching entire cities because someone thought they saw a heretic.



#15 DJSunhammer

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:23 AM

Andor said:

It's 40k, there are no "good guys" although for my $ the Dark Eldar are the most pointlessly and egregiously evil.

But for the most part the Imperium is what would happen if Hitler and Caligula had a baby, and spends at least as much time fighting itself as it does anyone else.

So yes, Chaos is Evil with a capital E, but at least it cops to it. The imperium likes to claim it has the moral high ground while torching entire cities because someone thought they saw a heretic.

That is some pretty massive hyperbole you have there.



#16 HTMC

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:04 AM

Andor said:

It's 40k, there are no "good guys" although for my $ the Dark Eldar are the most pointlessly and egregiously evil.

But for the most part the Imperium is what would happen if Hitler and Caligula had a baby, and spends at least as much time fighting itself as it does anyone else.

So yes, Chaos is Evil with a capital E, but at least it cops to it. The imperium likes to claim it has the moral high ground while torching entire cities because someone thought they saw a heretic.

I don't think any of that is true, but it does come down a bit to which version(s) of each race's portrayal you look at, Chaos especially depends ENTIRELY on which author's interpretation you're viewing.

But if nothing else, calling Dark Eldar "pointlessly" evil is completely missing the whole point of their existance and behavior: it's entirely with purpose. 



#17 venkelos

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:47 AM

KommissarK said:

One minor thing, but if you want to have any hope of achieving Fel 64 on that guy (and do it by the rules), there may be a few things in the way:

1. Max starting characteristic is 40, by rolls its a 20 + 2d10 system, point buy caps at 40.

2. Drop troops as a regimental doctrine gives a -3 Fel penalty

3. Sergeant (what most likely the character would be), does get +5 Fel

4. Advances cap out at the +20 point.

 

In other words, you would find yourself at 62 Fel in the best case. I doubt it matters that much. Its more an FYI, OW doesn't have the last 2 characteristic advances that Ascension adds.

You could choose a home world that could give +3 Fel, and that would put the goal in reach.

Krueger is Cadian, all the way, so HE could sneak out of the drop troop thing. As for the silly Fellowship stat, he had that to reflect the sillyness of being an Ascension/DW-level character. In a game more like Only War, it isn't necessary to be that high. So long as he can get Command +20, maybe Talented (Command), and any other "important" Fellowship skills where he needs them to usually work, the base stat could be a much more believable number, and within the game's system. He only has 60+ so that it was a little higher than Vess's, my benchmark, as it were, when I originally statted the cheese. Overall, in many ways, I'll just have to say, and with very little objections, this is NOT Ascension; some things will not carry over. Other things, I'll still be silly, and go hog wild; that's the joys of him being an NPC, and one who seems to spend many days melee fighting Orks, once they are too close for the plasma pistol and flamer.



#18 Andor

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:49 AM

"To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be relearned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods."  - 40k Wiki
 

If there is an element in the Imperium that would hesitate to nuke an orphanage/kitten rescue center I have yet to hear of it. Hell, look at the Istvanites in DH, Inquisitors who foster conflict within the Imperium because somehow turning productive worlds into ash and ruin makes us all stronger. *facepalm* And those are the good guys.

As for the Dark Eldar, they are a bunch of hollow-souled torture monkeys. In theory becuase it pleases Slaneesh and keeps her from eating their souls. But Slaneesh is also a god of pleasure and creativty. But there is none of that in Dark Eldar culture. They could have been portrayed as compex beings torn between the competeing desires of the Prince of Chaos, but no. They are simplistic, cartoonish charicatures of evil without a single redeeming, or (for my taste) interesting feature.

The closest you come to good in 40k, as most modern humans would define it, are the Tau. And the fan boys complained that they weren't grimdark enough and so GW retconned in some hints of nastiness and implied the Ethereals are mind controling their followers and tricked the Vespids into wearing control helmets.

Which is not to say there aren't good people in the 40k universe, but for the most part the Imperium values ruthlessness far more than compassion. Or efficiency for that matter.

… All of which is extremely off-topic. Sorry for the thread-jack. If anyone want's to keep chatting about it let's start a new thread. ^_^






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