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Priests and Seneschals


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#1 Magellan

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:35 AM

In my games, we hardly ever get anyone playing a Priest or Seneschal - mostly because their special abilities are totally lame. With a reasonably intelligent and underhanded Rogue Trader, with some close combat ability, neither the Seneschal nor the Priest's abilities are ever required to make a well-rounded party. If someone felt like playing either of those classes, their fluff purposes can be approximated with alternate ranks, and why on Terra would we want one more DoS on a few tests when we can get a whole 'nother ship re-rolling all its pilot tests? As for Pure Faith - who has that many fate points to spare?

So, what I'm getting at is this - what can these classes do that others cannot? If you have a suggestion (that is not "force players to play priests if they want to be religious figures") please reply. Otherwise, I'm looking for suggestions of what to do with these classes' special abilities. I think that the designers might have been on to something with the Dark Eldar pain tokens - since the Priest's powers mostly benefit others, giving him the ability to gain temporary fate points for use with his powers shouldn't cause him to become massively overpowered. As for the Seneschal, though, I got nothing.

 

 


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#2 Chacha

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:56 AM

The pain token idea has merit, that it does. Especially if it is triggered by, for lack of a better word, priest-like behaviour.

 

Hold a sermon on the merits of humanity and the foulness of xenos? Faith token!

Burn a witch? Faith token!

Purge the unclean? Faith token!

 

And so on and so forth. obviously, these wouldn't be triggered as often as the Dark Eldar's pain tokens, but in return you might not need as many tokens as the Kabalite would.



#3 JuankiMan

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 03:27 AM

By your logic the Explorator is also useless. After all, his "special ability" is just a bunch of bionics any character could acquire with a few successful acquisition tests. But classes are not defined solely by their special abilities.

The Priest is a competent melee combatant who also excels at leading and buffing his allies with litanies, prayers and miracles. And you shouldn't think of Pure Faith in terms of who has that many FP to spare. Pure Faith, and by extension all Faith Talents, give a much greater amount of versatility to your FP, and judicious Origin Path choices coupled with just a bit of luck would allow any priest to easily start with at the 5 Fate Points cap at character creation if he wanted. You get more bang for your buck out of a replenishable resource. The fact that it also makes him ideal when fighting Chaos is also a nice bonus.

The Seneschal, on the other hand, is a mix in between DH's Adept and Assasin. He has a massive array of Lore abilities, some of them quite rare and specific, and his skills and stat growths make him an excellent intelligence agent and spy. If you think his special ability is useless then you have never gotten yourself into massive trouble for failing to correctly identify a rare Xenos artifact (In my case it was a Halo Artifact. You can guess the rest ) or failing to acquire or identify a vital piece of information.

But al these are just mechanical benefits. The main reason for choosing a class in a roleplaying game should be that it fits the character you want to roleplay.



#4 Magellan

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 03:48 AM

JuankiMan said:

You're playing it wrong.

 

Yeah, see, this was the kind of condescending reply I didn't want. First, the Explorator implants are traits, not items, and you can no more use Acquisition to get them than you can acquire a Logis Implant. If your GM wants to allow that, good for you, but it doesn't further the discussion.

You're entitled to your opinion, but the fact that you failed a Lore check by one DoS once does not justify the entire Seneschal career. Besides, if you were that desperate, you could have spent a fate point to achieve the same thing. This brings us to the Missionary and his talents again, of course, and I'm glad you mentioned the 5 fate point cap, because I didn't remember to. Have you ever been through a session where you couldn't have used five re-rolls? Does spending, what, two thousand experience points to get a few other ways to use up those re-rolls seem worth it compared to being able to fly, shoot lightning from your hands or read minds?

Seriously, man, that was completely uncalled for.

Oh, and Chacha - that was pretty much was I was going for. Holding a sermon might be getting off too easy, but killing daemons and hostile psykers and such would definitely work as conditions for gaining faith tokens.


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#5 Fgdsfg

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:12 AM

Magellan said:

[…]

 

Seriously, man, that was completely uncalled for.

[…]

 

As opposed to constructing a strawman?

I think JuankiMan's reply more or less nailed it. Playing in a group with a Rogue Trader, Astropath, Voidmaster, Arch-Militant and two Explorators (although I've only been there for one session), after some between-sessions discussion, I think we'd more or less be willing to kill for a Seneschal, with their focus on investigative and interaction skills. Barter me this, Commerce me that, with Inquiry, Evaluate, Deceive and Disguise to spare.

Edit: As for Pure Faith, looking it over for the first time in ages.. dear lord, that is one insanely useful special ability. Being able to just flat-out ignore daemonic influences, insanity and corruption rolls? That's just.. woah.

 


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#6 JuankiMan

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:15 AM

Magellan said:

 

JuankiMan said:

You're playing it wrong.

 

Yeah, see, this was the kind of condescending reply I didn't want. First, the Explorator implants are traits, not items, and you can no more use Acquisition to get them than you can acquire a Logis Implant. If your GM wants to allow that, good for you, but it doesn't further the discussion.

You're entitled to your opinion, but the fact that you failed a Lore check by one DoS once does not justify the entire Seneschal career. Besides, if you were that desperate, you could have spent a fate point to achieve the same thing. This brings us to the Missionary and his talents again, of course, and I'm glad you mentioned the 5 fate point cap, because I didn't remember to. Have you ever been through a session where you couldn't have used five re-rolls? Does spending, what, two thousand experience points to get a few other ways to use up those re-rolls seem worth it compared to being able to fly, shoot lightning from your hands or read minds?

Seriously, man, that was completely uncalled for.

 

 

What was uncalled for and outright insulting is that you quoted me and then wrote the quote content yourself.

The Mechanicus Implants trait has no mechanical effect whatsoever, other than opening up the door to spend hundreds of XP to buy future talents, so it's exactly the same as Pure Faith. Also, if you had bothered to actually read the Explorator Special Abilitiy, you'd see that he "may select up to two additional common-Craftsmanship bionic implants (see page 147)". That is stuff anyone can acquire and graft into themselves, except for mechadendrites.

You also didn't pay much attention when reading the Seneschal's special ability, because it doesn't grant an additional DoS on Lore checks. You spend a Fate point and you pass the check no matter how difficult it is, no matter how huge the penalties are, no questions asked. That is something absolutely no one can accomplish because it is exclusive to the Seneschal. He can also do that with Cyphers and Logic, which can be invaluable for an intelligence agent since he may often come across highly sensitive but heavly encrypted data.

And yes, I have both played games where I didn't use all of my re-rolls and games in which a simple re-roll just doesn't cut it for the problem at hand.

I excuse the tone and you are fully entitled to disagree with me, but if you are going to rebuke my arguments at least do so like a freakin' adult.



#7 Fgdsfg

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:34 AM

JuankiMan said:

[…]

The Mechanicus Implants trait has no mechanical effect whatsoever, other than opening up the door to spend hundreds of XP to buy future talents, so it's exactly the same as Pure Faith. Also, if you had bothered to actually read the Explorator Special Abilitiy, you'd see that he "may select up to two additional common-Craftsmanship bionic implants (see page 147)". That is stuff anyone can acquire and graft into themselves, except for mechadendrites.

[…]

I want to add that Mechadendrites does need the appropriate talents, too. Talents that can only be bought if you have the Mechancius Implants. Just like Pure Faith allows you to take specific talents as a Missionary.

And about the Seneschal.. being able to potentially know *everything* in *every* field of knowledge or being able to break *every* code or solve *every* puzzle, even if not by a single degree of success - That's tantamount to cheating at life. :D


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#8 JuankiMan

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:02 AM

Fgdsfg said:

 

 

And about the Seneschal.. being able to potentially know *everything* in *every* field of knowledge or being able to break *every* code or solve *every* puzzle, even if not by a single degree of success - That's tantamount to cheating at life. :D

 

 

 

He doesn't know everything. After all, if he lacks the required Lore skill he can't even attempt the roll so he cannot automatically succeed either. However, if he does, there is no obscure tidbit of information that he can't potentially know, except those that the GM specifically rules to be so secret and arcane that there is zero chance the PC would have come to know them.



#9 Fgdsfg

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:19 AM

JuankiMan said:

Fgdsfg said:

 

 

And about the Seneschal.. being able to potentially know *everything* in *every* field of knowledge or being able to break *every* code or solve *every* puzzle, even if not by a single degree of success - That's tantamount to cheating at life. :D

 

 

 

He doesn't know everything. After all, if he lacks the required Lore skill he can't even attempt the roll so he cannot automatically succeed either. However, if he does, there is no obscure tidbit of information that he can't potentially know, except those that the GM specifically rules to be so secret and arcane that there is zero chance the PC would have come to know them.

Hence potentially. ;)


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#10 Larkin

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:44 AM

 For the Seneschal, you're overlooking a really nice little bonus they get. Most of their talents are listed at 200exp. And they get a lot of talents.



#11 Chacha

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:36 AM

I have to take Magellan's side in this, guys. Not because I find fault in your argument, but because I find you a rude bunch. Unintentionally rude, mayhaps, but rude all the same. Yes, you are all being very constructive and polite in your arguments, but you also seem to have misread or misinterpreted what the intent of this thread was. So let's look at it this way:

Magellan's original post was this:

Magellan said:

In my games, we hardly ever get anyone playing a Priest or Seneschal - mostly because their special abilities are totally lame. With a reasonably intelligent and underhanded Rogue Trader, with some close combat ability, neither the Seneschal nor the Priest's abilities are ever required to make a well-rounded party. If someone felt like playing either of those classes, their fluff purposes can be approximated with alternate ranks, and why on Terra would we want one more DoS on a few tests when we can get a whole 'nother ship re-rolling all its pilot tests? As for Pure Faith - who has that many fate points to spare?

So, what I'm getting at is this - what can these classes do that others cannot? If you have a suggestion (that is not "force players to play priests if they want to be religious figures") please reply. Otherwise, I'm looking for suggestions of what to do with these classes' special abilities. I think that the designers might have been on to something with the Dark Eldar pain tokens - since the Priest's powers mostly benefit others, giving him the ability to gain temporary fate points for use with his powers shouldn't cause him to become massively overpowered. As for the Seneschal, though, I got nothing.

 

In a nutshell, what is being said here is this: Magellan thinks Missionaries and Seneschals have underpowered special abilities. He has looked them over and this is what he feels. This is his opinion and he makes that clear. He then asks if anyone has any suggestions for how he can change these classes to better suit his tastes. Magellan even offers an idea in the shape of a rehash of the Dark Eldar pain tokens. Here is the problem with your replies to this: You aren't offering helpful advice. You're trying to convince him to think differently. That is, in a nutshell, implying that he is, in fact, wrong in his opinion and must reconsider and I, for one, find that rather crass.

 

Just my 2 cents.



#12 HappyDaze

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:25 PM

Chacha said:

Not because I find fault in your argument, but because I find you a rude bunch. Unintentionally rude, mayhaps, but rude all the same.

It's the internet. Everyone is an ******* here.


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#13 JuankiMan

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:33 PM

Chacha said:

 

I have to take Magellan's side in this, guys. Not because I find fault in your argument, but because I find you a rude bunch. Unintentionally rude, mayhaps, but rude all the same. Yes, you are all being very constructive and polite in your arguments, but you also seem to have misread or misinterpreted what the intent of this thread was. So let's look at it this way:

Magellan's original post was this:

Magellan said:

In my games, we hardly ever get anyone playing a Priest or Seneschal - mostly because their special abilities are totally lame. With a reasonably intelligent and underhanded Rogue Trader, with some close combat ability, neither the Seneschal nor the Priest's abilities are ever required to make a well-rounded party. If someone felt like playing either of those classes, their fluff purposes can be approximated with alternate ranks, and why on Terra would we want one more DoS on a few tests when we can get a whole 'nother ship re-rolling all its pilot tests? As for Pure Faith - who has that many fate points to spare?

So, what I'm getting at is this - what can these classes do that others cannot? If you have a suggestion (that is not "force players to play priests if they want to be religious figures") please reply. Otherwise, I'm looking for suggestions of what to do with these classes' special abilities. I think that the designers might have been on to something with the Dark Eldar pain tokens - since the Priest's powers mostly benefit others, giving him the ability to gain temporary fate points for use with his powers shouldn't cause him to become massively overpowered. As for the Seneschal, though, I got nothing.

 

In a nutshell, what is being said here is this: Magellan thinks Missionaries and Seneschals have underpowered special abilities. He has looked them over and this is what he feels. This is his opinion and he makes that clear. He then asks if anyone has any suggestions for how he can change these classes to better suit his tastes. Magellan even offers an idea in the shape of a rehash of the Dark Eldar pain tokens. Here is the problem with your replies to this: You aren't offering helpful advice. You're trying to convince him to think differently. That is, in a nutshell, implying that he is, in fact, wrong in his opinion and must reconsider and I, for one, find that rather crass.

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

Well, he asked what could those classes do that others cannot and I obligued to the best of my ability. I didn't offer any advice on houserules to fix the two classes because I personally don't think they need fixing at all, and I explained why. I tried to reason why Pure Faith is not a useless talent and why the Seneschal special abilities actually make him exceptional as an intelligence agent. I also tried to reason that Special Abilities don't necessary make or beak a class, since a class is made up by them, their stat growths and their skill and talent selection.

But that he answered my post by using the quote function and then putting words in my mouth (or in my fingers or whatever) really put my knickers in a bunch. I was only trying to help and he reduced my entire reply to a strawman argument I neither wrote, implied nor intended, and that made me feel actively insulted. 



#14 Nameless2all

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:54 PM

HappyDaze said:

 

It's the internet. Everyone is an ******* here.

The quote of the year.    Can I +1 this? +1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1……. Not working.  Well, I tip my hat to you HappyDaze. 

 

Back on track though.  I am truly inspired by the idea of temporary fate points.  In a few of my campaigns, I had charms, relics, sacred artifacts that granted the user bonus fate points that could not be burned (only users with the Pure Faith talent could get these points).  At the beginning I gave the Missionary a +1 charm.  Later, he was gifted a +2 relic from a religious group linked to his beliefs (for a total of +3 temp Fate points at rank 3), while later in the game I created a special event in that he would have to sacrifice one of his items to save the group.  Don't have my notes with me, but it dealt with a xeno artifact slowly corrupting the PC's.  The missionary would then later find a sacred artifact that gave him a +2 or +3 temp Fate point bonus (meaning he would then have a max of 4 by rank 6).  These temp Fates, like I stated, cannot be burned, but they do replenish at the next game or upon achieving certain feats, which ever came first.

As for the Seneschal, I never had a problem with the class.  I've had one player create one, and he had fun with it.  Hm…….  Maybe give him the ability to acquire books that give a +5 to +10 Lore skill, that only the Seneschal can make sense of.  Yea…. No good ideas, sorry.


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#15 Warmaster Picklehauber

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:22 PM

I would add to this discussion hat any GM has a responsibility to craft endeavors with situations in which missionaries and / or seneschals are indispensable. If are strictly combat-oriented then seneschals might not be that great. If the religious themes of the Imperium aren't explored (then a lion's share of culture is being ignored, and) missionaries may be superfluous. If everyone in the group thinks they are "lame" then no one will probably bother to roll one. That's a lost opportunity; void ship crews are full of ignorant scum and ignorant scum are a superstitious, cowardly lot.

How about the explorers' ship getting a surprise inspection from an Inquisitor of a particularly obscure section of the Ordo Malleus? "NO ONE in the crew has ever heard the parable of Inquisitor Boaz and the 11 worshippers of Tzeentch"?!!?!?! Lord Captain, I have a few questions for you . . ."

 



#16 CaptainStabby

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:56 PM

That and the Seneschal is basically James Bond with an Accounting degree. What's not to like?!?!

 

 



#17 Fgdsfg

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:18 AM

Chacha said:

In a nutshell, what is being said here is this: Magellan thinks Missionaries and Seneschals have underpowered special abilities. He has looked them over and this is what he feels. This is his opinion and he makes that clear. He then asks if anyone has any suggestions for how he can change these classes to better suit his tastes. Magellan even offers an idea in the shape of a rehash of the Dark Eldar pain tokens. Here is the problem with your replies to this: You aren't offering helpful advice. You're trying to convince him to think differently. That is, in a nutshell, implying that he is, in fact, wrong in his opinion and must reconsider and I, for one, find that rather crass.

First of all, "opinions" are like assholes; Unless you're living together, nobody cares that you has one.

His opinion is wrong because it is not based on facts. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we suggested that he worked with the system, which is just fine. Some things the Missionary and the Seneschal can do is already borderline overpowered when it comes to their special abilities, compared to especially someone like the Explorator, that gets nothing except a prereq. for later talents - mechanically speaking - only implants. Implants anyone can get. The Missionary gets an incredibly useful Special Ability that also acts as a prereq. for Career-defining talents.

What do you want us to suggest? Everything we can possibly suggest to "fix" the Special Abilities of the Seneschal or the Missionary will result in them becoming wildly overpowered compared to all the others.


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Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
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#18 Chacha

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:41 AM

HappyDaze said:

It's the internet. Everyone is an ******* here.

A good point that would, perhaps, hold more water had not several people already thrown a shitfit over Magellan being impolite….

 

Fgdsfg said:

First of all, "opinions" are like assholes; Unless you're living together, nobody cares that you has one.

His opinion is wrong because it is not based on facts. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we suggested that he worked with the system, which is just fine. Some things the Missionary and the Seneschal can do is already borderline overpowered when it comes to their special abilities, compared to especially someone like the Explorator, that gets nothing except a prereq. for later talents - mechanically speaking - only implants. Implants anyone can get. The Missionary gets an incredibly useful Special Ability that also acts as a prereq. for Career-defining talents.

What do you want us to suggest? Everything we can possibly suggest to "fix" the Special Abilities of the Seneschal or the Missionary will result in them becoming wildly overpowered compared to all the others.

 

 

This is an interesting post. You start out by expressing the opinion, irony surely not intended, that opinions are like assholes In other words, no one cares that you have one. You then go on to misuse the word opinion, claiming that they can be right or wrong when the very definition of the word is that it is a subjective belief.. Protip: Opinions are not facts. They need not be based on them. You can think they are stupid, misinformed and lacking in basis, but you cannot claim that they are wrong. You're free to disagree with how someone thinks about things, especially in something as subjective as a gaming experience. Which is why Magellan, in his starting post, made it quite clear that he thought Seneschals and Missionaries had underpowered abilities. Now, if he had said that these classes were, objectivly, weak and useless then he would have been wrong because, as said, you can't judge a gaming experience on an objective scale.

 

But, you also raised an interesting question. What does Magellan want you to suggest? The answer to that we can find back in his original post, where he expressed a desire to hear suggestions on what these classes can do that others can't and how to improve the classes' special abilities. While he never did specify that he did not want to hear people tell him that his opinion was objectivly wrong, I am quite sure he wouldn't have wanted that either. So then, what could you have done? Well, for one thing, offering helpful suggestions of improving the characters that Magellan felt were underpowered instead of telling him that he was wrong.

 

With all due respect, did you even proofread what you just wrote? You deride people for having opinions, for having opinions different then yours… and then go on to express your own opinions as if they had any sort of objective "rightness" to them.

 

Just my three-fiddy, this time.



#19 Fgdsfg

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:18 AM

Chacha said:

 

With all due respect, did you even proofread what you just wrote? You deride people for having opinions, for having opinions different then yours… and then go on to express your own opinions as if they had any sort of objective "rightness" to them.



Which they do.

Want a suggestion on how to improve special abilities? Make them kill everyone on the table when you use them. Turn everyone into a psyker. Allow them to shoot Exterminatus out of their eyes.

At which point is too much too much? Nobody can give constructive advice on how to balance something that is already reasonably balanced, without unbalancing it. If anything, any suggestion aimed at "improving" these particular special abilities will only unbalance things further, because some of them are already - arguably - more powerful than others (Pure Faith vs. Mechanicus Implants, for example).


Real men earn their fun

Unified WH40kRP Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes
Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
These things are dumb and do not exist. This is non-negotiable and undebatable.


#20 Chacha

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:31 AM

I will not sully myself by acting as condescending and know-it-all as you seem so keen on doing. Instead, I will offer you this question: If the balance is so obviously perfect and any attempt at tampering with it would result in the game being Ruined Forever, then could you perhaps enlighten us on how Magellan finds those classes sub-optimal compared to the rest? This after he has stated that in his games, they are sub-optimal. And yes, you must answer this with an actual argument. You can't just say that he is playing the game wrong or that he is misunderstanding the rules. You don't know that.






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