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Gaining corruption through a failing - harsh indeed!


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#1 Keffisch

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

This came up during a game session today and it made me wonder. Hence this post.

 

The scenario was as follows:

A Traitor Marine player in my group goes up against a Grey Knight Terminator with the human heretics backing him up. (they triggered a silent alarm so he got basically the drop on them, figuratively speaking).

NB. The Traitor Marine's corruption at the time is at 3.

The Traitor Marine player is defeated and is in essence killed by the Grey Knight (0 wounds left, and has taken 10 crit from a Force Weapon hit + subsequent channel) but, because the Grey Knight is almost dead at this time, the player chooses to sacrifice 1d10+8 infamy and gain 1d10 corruption (I rolled 7) to stay alive at 1 wound. p.

As he was defeated by 'a great hero of the Imperium', which is what the Grey Knights are really (?), he gains another 1d5 corruption? this is from p. 290

I rolled a 2.

 

The group and myself felt that gaining 2-15 corruption from being 'killed' and burning infamy to stay alive - with the likely chance to lose even more infamy in the next round AND getting a nasty mutation for crossing the 10 CP threshold (he rolled Strange Walk) seems to be, way too harsh.

I was tempted to lower it but stuck with how I perceive the rules to be written. It is a harsh galaxy after all and we agreed that they should probably have run, instead of trying to stall/fight the Knight while they were freeing the imprisoned heretics (psykers).

 

Do you think that we interpreted the rules correctly?

What do you guys think should happen in a case like this?

 



#2 Tom Cruise

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:17 PM

 It's a bit of a flaw with BC that it's really not written with long campaigns in mind, thanks to the way Corruption works. As far as I can tell you interpreted the rules just fine; it really IS that harsh.



#3 PrinceOfMadness

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:22 PM

I'm confused.

Your Traitor Marine having only 3 Corruption leads me to believe that this was a fairly low level game, but encountering a freaking Grey Knight Terminator!! suggests the opposite.  

If the case is the former, that the game was low-level, then staying to fight a Grey Knight Terminator was a bad move from a tactical standpoint, and the player deserved the Corruption.

If the latter, that the game was in fact high-level, you seem to be awfully stingy about handing out Corruption.  Corruption and Infamy practically go hand in hand - as the player advances in one, the other is likely to rise as well.  Dealing with demons merits corruption.  Selling a ship full of slaves merits corruption.  Slaying the citizens of a peaceful world merits corruption.  

Black Crusade is meant to be a harsh, unforgiving game.  You can become pretty powerful, but there's always something more powerful than you.

 



#4 BrotharTearer

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

Yeah, something's wrong if you encounter a grey knight terminator (hell, even a grey knight who's not a terminator) with under 10, perhaps even 30, corruption.



#5 Keffisch

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:56 AM

"Your Traitor Marine having only 3 Corruption leads me to believe that this was a fairly low level game, but encountering a freaking Grey Knight Terminator!! suggests the opposite."

We are 3-4 sessions into a new Campaign. And yes, they were never meant to encounter him directly, he was the Compact complication, or put in context , the Knight was sent to escort a subdued witch (type is akin to a Daemonomancer) to a nearby star system for 'interrogation' and execution. The group was there to do the same, but for different reasons and sent there by different people.

Their carelessness triggered a silent alarm in the ward-cell, and since one of the players shows obvious signs of Daemonic Possession (without being it ;) ), that made me decide to have the Knight hound them through the station. However, instead of using their planned escape route, the group backed themselves into a corner in the confusion. The Traitor Marine decided to buy time for the others to get away, not out of honor (he is a Traitor Marine after all) but by playing to his failing - Fortitude. So combat ensued.

"If the case is the former, that the game was low-level, then staying to fight a Grey Knight Terminator was a bad move from a tactical standpoint, and the player deserved the Corruption."

That is is my opinion as well and that is why I decided not to change the infamy + CP hit.

"Crusade is meant to be a harsh, unforgiving game. You can become pretty powerful, but there's always something more powerful than you."

All too true. :)

"Yeah, something's wrong if you encounter a grey knight terminator (hell, even a grey knight who's not a terminator) with under 10, perhaps even 30, corruption."

See above. :P

 

Cheers for the feedback, much appreciated.



#6 Moriden

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:20 AM

Keffisch said:

The group and myself felt that gaining 2-15 corruption from being 'killed' and burning infamy to stay alive - with the likely chance to lose even more infamy in the next round AND getting a nasty mutation for crossing the 10 CP threshold (he rolled Strange Walk) seems to be, way too harsh.

 

If the specific mutation is undesired their are a few options. The first being that he can modify the roll by his infamy bonus. Which is right in DC Core. The second being from a book that i don't recall at the moment, but it said that you can burn permenent Infamy to modify  your mutation rolls.



#7 ShadowRay

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:00 AM

If I remember correctly wen you pass cp treashold as by falling, you cannot modify your roll and in case of unalighned you do not roll twice.



#8 Kiton

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:33 AM

ShadowRay said:

 

If I remember correctly wen you pass cp treashold as by falling, you cannot modify your roll and in case of unalighned you do not roll twice.

 

That is correct. The table was designed so that as long as you get to apply your infamy bonus of 2+ [a mere 1 will make the difference often but isn't always guaranteed, whereas 2 gets you up or down one for certain] the mutations are primarily beneficial, or at worst of an "I can't really use this for this character" variety.

 

Overall, the corruption rates seem to be the reason why the standard 'ascension' limit is 90. You start with 0-5 [if you really want to you could cross the 10 threshold at character creation] Corruption, and 20-24 infamy [again here, possibly up to 30 if you really must though that comes with some stat penalties].

So on 'normal' you're looking at collecting roughly 66 infamy for a good end; some of which you can attain early on through XP [getting at least one +5 before you cross 40 is not the worst of ideas] before you get 95 corruption. It gives a little bit of leeway, but that's quickly gone if you start to fail. As far as compacts go, I think the numbers are pretty good. If you keep doing your job and succeeding, the gm SHOULD be rewarding you with 2 per secondary objective [you should have a handful of these per compact, though not all of them will succeed] 1d5 for a tertiary.

A massive failure such as GETTING PURGED certainly deserves the corruption that he took, though 'carelessness' can be a bit objective: Once in a while someone decides the alarms are as undetectable as they are sensitive and pervasive because otherwise would avoid some planned encounters…

The real problem is the punishment of success. Take a Khornite for example: Every time he defeats a superior number of enemies as powerful as he is or more, in close combat [I'd at least allow melee pistol use for this] he gains 1 corruption point. How many fate points did that Grey Knight have? 1? 2? ZERO? Did he have ZERO? Because you're gaining 1d5 corruption no matter what.

In both cases these are supposed to be bonuses, but a Berserker who continuously proves himself by defeating greater enemies could go from 0 to Chaos Spawn without a single point of infamy gained, unless his gm takes pity on him, and could be even worse [though with a bit of infamy] if they all happened to, say, have one fate-point to make things harder. Then he'd average 3 corruption per point of infamy PLUS one per actual encounter.

Perhaps the points gained as a reward for special acts like that should count towards your next gift or 'tainted' quality, but not towards the final limit? There's probably a solution that's cleaner and doesn't add a layer of bookeeping however.

 

Also, a GK Terminator is an extremely nasty boss encounter this early in the game. The kind of 'complication' a Land Raider poses to your sentinel squadron [hint: its all but immune to earthshakers and barely scratched by a squad of five mobile lascannons].



#9 Cifer

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:41 AM

In both cases these are supposed to be bonuses, but a Berserker who continuously proves himself by defeating greater enemies could go from 0 to Chaos Spawn without a single point of infamy gained, unless his gm takes pity on him, and could be even worse [though with a bit of infamy] if they all happened to, say, have one fate-point to make things harder. Then he'd average 3 corruption per point of infamy PLUS one per actual encounter.

Perhaps the points gained as a reward for special acts like that should count towards your next gift or 'tainted' quality, but not towards the final limit? There's probably a solution that's cleaner and doesn't add a layer of bookeeping however.

It works as long as you don't consider the chaos deities to be your standard bosses that reward you for good acts or punish you for failing. This is Chaos - we don't do "consistent behaviour" here!

Corruption means attracting the gaze of the gods - and if that happens too often before you are ready for it, they will see you devolve to spawn, not because they can't stand you, but simply because you are too weak and too insignificant to withstand the energies they invested in you with their attention.



#10 Kiton

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:47 PM

I agree, its just that right now everything that makes you 'ready' for it comes with plenty of said gaze already. It works quite well for compact completion, objectives and death or failure.

The dice make sense; of course how much corruption; reward or otherwise, should usually be a little random. The issue is with those corruption bonuses. If each objective save the tertiary, say we're talking about actual military takeover of a region, has a minor hero with but one fate point, we're looking at 1d5+1 corruption per objective.

All of a sudden a simple undertaking with a tertiary, 4 secondaries that's fully completed will grant 11 infamy and 10~30 corruption [average 20], if everything goes perfectly. Five perfect adventures like that, possibly four if you always roll high, and you're a chaos spawn before you even hit 75 infamy.

 

Basically, I'd just like to see some guidelines for the infamy that happens outside a compact. Killing imperial heroes, maybe an extra point for slaying enemy champions of an enemy god. As long as everything you're doing is at least part of an undertaking, you're looking at roughly even gains for infamy and corruption, which is actually advantageous to the character. Its the other stuff that gets really wierd, or can stack up at a nasty pace if part of a longer compact's many complications.

This way, you'll be just short of the knife's edge of infamy vs corruption gains when you do well for yourself and the dark gods, at least until you suffer a single failure.



#11 Cifer

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:09 AM

The dice make sense; of course how much corruption; reward or otherwise, should usually be a little random. The issue is with those corruption bonuses. If each objective save the tertiary, say we're talking about actual military takeover of a region, has a minor hero with but one fate point, we're looking at 1d5+1 corruption per objective.

I think this is where we differ - the book talks about "great heroes of the Imperium", not minor ones. The Grey Knight Terminator of the OP would certainly qualify, as would characters such as Gaunt or Cain or most Inquisitors. Any old Commissar or Guard Captain, however?



#12 Kiton

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

I *was* going for a worst case scenario here, but, even if you're correct, that's still no infamy gained for the actual kill, only corruption. I'd be tempted to say the GK Terminator doesn't qualify, just to give the players a break. Or at least, if it does, it won't be the case once at 40-50 corruption.

In service to Tzeench, for example, killing a psyker, if you are one, of power equal or greater to you, with a power, is a corruption point. No infamy, just corruption.

Again though; there oughta be a table or guidelines for the infamy gained for such acts, as opposed to just the corruption. Abbadon didn't get to where he was by staying in the command vehicle where he'd be involved in the successful compacts but completely safe from such tragic spawn-engendering failures as ;accidentally being the one responsible for turning people to chaos', defiling temples of The Emperor or accidntally winning against champions or overwhelming odds?



#13 Cifer

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

Again though; there oughta be a table or guidelines for the infamy gained for such acts, as opposed to just the corruption. Abbadon didn't get to where he was by staying in the command vehicle where he'd be involved in the successful compacts but completely safe from such tragic spawn-engendering failures as ;accidentally being the one responsible for turning people to chaos', defiling temples of The Emperor or accidntally winning against champions or overwhelming odds?

Some of those acts already gain you Infamy (Defiling a place of the Imperial Creed: 1-3, turning a large number of people to Chaos: 1). Additionally, there's always the +2 Infamy if what you did didn't happen accidentally but was a Secondary Goal of a compact. And finally, Abaddon in particular seems to regularly use the rules in the GM screen for lowering his Corruption - it has been noted that he was offered Daemonhood numerous times but managed to refuse it. I haven't read them myself, but it appears that you can lower Corruption in exchange for Infamy.

That being said, I agree that the Imperial Champion should warrant a +2 Infamy or so.



#14 Kiton

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:07 PM

Certainly you don't want to do those without a compact objective regarding them, though defiling a place could be good news so long as you got 2 infamy for a 2 or 3 corruption temple or whatever.

 

Someone generally explodes into a daemon at the worst possible time when I run things; to be expected when you average two psykers in the group, so I'd not checked the rules on reducing corruption [in fact I never noticed them way down there]. The Gm guide gives two methods as well as one that's very much a trap.

Won't give the details or numbers so as to not spoil things but the options are XP/corruption [Abbadon probably had little else to spend it on at that point], Infamy for Corruption, or a 'Very Rare' item that absorbs external sources only on successful tests when exposed, and won't help against these blasphemies, just warp accidents, sorcery or exposure to the immaterium.

 

Actually, with those options there, even the bad one, that actually settles the problem rather decently: There's always a cost but the ability is there. It also splits the value into 'total for gifts' and "how close to spawn/apotheosis are you". With no way to lower it, numbers on a lot of big acts were dangerous for the big heroes, but if a small part of your gains in that endeavor are channelled towards keeping yourself despawned, the competent and 'heroic' are rewarded for their acts once more, while one or two failures will have you either working triple-time to prove yourself, or eventually turn you into gibbling fleshlets when you think you got away.



#15 Zenoth16

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:20 AM

Keffisch said:

This came up during a game session today and it made me wonder. Hence this post.

 

The scenario was as follows:

A Traitor Marine player in my group goes up against a Grey Knight Terminator with the human heretics backing him up. (they triggered a silent alarm so he got basically the drop on them, figuratively speaking).

NB. The Traitor Marine's corruption at the time is at 3.

The Traitor Marine player is defeated and is in essence killed by the Grey Knight (0 wounds left, and has taken 10 crit from a Force Weapon hit + subsequent channel) but, because the Grey Knight is almost dead at this time, the player chooses to sacrifice 1d10+8 infamy and gain 1d10 corruption (I rolled 7) to stay alive at 1 wound. p.

As he was defeated by 'a great hero of the Imperium', which is what the Grey Knights are really (?), he gains another 1d5 corruption? this is from p. 290

I rolled a 2.

 

The group and myself felt that gaining 2-15 corruption from being 'killed' and burning infamy to stay alive - with the likely chance to lose even more infamy in the next round AND getting a nasty mutation for crossing the 10 CP threshold (he rolled Strange Walk) seems to be, way too harsh.

I was tempted to lower it but stuck with how I perceive the rules to be written. It is a harsh galaxy after all and we agreed that they should probably have run, instead of trying to stall/fight the Knight while they were freeing the imprisoned heretics (psykers).

 

Do you think that we interpreted the rules correctly?

What do you guys think should happen in a case like this?

 

If I were that player I would argue that I did not suffer the failing due to the infamy burn and corruption gain because though my infamy took a hit from "getting my butt whooped by a hero." I never actually went down due to the interference from the dark gods (corruption gain). So no failing yet. But if I his next attack brought me low then I would accept the failing because I was then defeated (but that is the risk of spending infamy for 1 wound instead of just surviving).






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