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Unnatural Characteristics and Their Effects


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#1 Thaddeus

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:27 AM

 Our group has recently hit the Ascension level, and have immediately hit a rules wall. The question stems from the use of unnatural characteristics with skill tests and opposed skill tests. Our GM is under the impression that the bonuses only apply in situations where the characteristic is opposed by the same characteristics (for instance, a strength vs strength). However, some in our group have trouble wrapping their minds around how the talent would not apply to skills or other tests.

One of the major issues is regarding dodge. Two of our players have the Unnatural Agility (x2) talent. Based on what the GM is arguing, those players would receive no benefit for the talent when dodging. How do other GMs rule on Unnatural talents? What do players think?

A Fantasy Flight representative gave us this answer, but it is not entirely satisfactory:

Rule Question:
In Dark Heresy, having an Unnatural Characteristic improves your Characteristic Bonus. It also grants additional Degrees of Success when making Opposed Characteristic Tests.

My question is whether or not the additional Degrees of Success apply strictly to Opposed Characteristic Tests - i.e. Testing the same Characteristic as an opponent - or if they also apply to Testing other Characteristics (such as Willpower vs. Toughness, in the case of some psychic powers) or when the Characteristic is being used to make a Skill Test (such as Dodge vs. a Ballistic Skill).

Thanks!

Hi there! In Dark Heresy it only applies when making an Opposed Characteristic Test versus the same Characteristic of the enemy.

If any other Fantasy Flight representatives could weigh in on this as well, it would be greatly appreciated!



#2 FieserMoep

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

 Well, I think the answer is very clear. It only works on an opposed characteristic test against the same attribute.

This excludes normal charateristic tests like dodging and any oppossed characteristic test against another attribute.

 

In my opinion these rules are as good as they can be. They do not cover any situation perfectly but the most. A character with UnNat Ag has a base agility around 70-80. This gives him a godly chance to dodge. And with the additional degrees of sucess even a "bad" roll of 60-70 would be able to dodge a full auto attack with 4-5 rounds that actualy hit you (quite unlikly). And then it would be even more broken if it is used in combination with the extremly broken Vindicare Career and would make him more invincible.

In fact unnatural Willpower for example is a game breaker too for it "destroys" any WPBonus restriction the original DH Psycic Powers had for a good reason. So in my opinion unnatural Characteristics are already good enough. They vary from very good to game breaker. They do not need more improvements.



#3 Thaddeus

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

Mind you, as written, to my understanding, there is no specificity with regard to it applying to only characteristic tests. Page 226 of the Inquisitor's Handbook, in fact, suggests it applies to other things as well. It is only the reply from a Fantasy Flight representative that suggests it applies only to same attribute tests.

 

Though the note you make with Willpower shows how it makes this MORE powerful for some Unnatural Characteristics versus others. Most psychic powers, for instance, are opposed willpower tests (thus unnatural would apply).

I suppose it's a question of scale. Ascension has enemies which are exceptionally more powerful than what most DH parties will face. An upgrade in power, in my opinion, is not unwarranted. Just because someone is say, exceptional at dodging, does not mean they are invincible. With the Vindicare example, a bad dodge roll versus a good full auto roll can break the broken class. But that's somewhat tangential.



#4 FieserMoep

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

 Well, I have played in 4 DH Groups and read some feedback on this forums and the consensus in my perspective was that primaris psykers and vindicares are considered game breaking. The Tech Priest might be consindered as very strong though not that absurdly strong as psykers or vinidcares can become.

 

Let me point out the problem of the Vindicare:

With a roll of 20 he has a base agility of 40 that can be further improved depending on background package (or be brought up to 40). So I take only the 40. With characteristic advances we get additional 30 agility so we have an agility rating of 70. Now add Dodge +20 so we have a Dodge Rating of 90. And last but not least the characteristic Vindicare Armor adds another +10 to Dodge. What do we have now? Yes. Agility rating of 100. This is a ****** auto sucess on dodging.

But hey, he has the Strep Aside and Temple Assassin Trait. Additionaly he has unnatural Agility. So what will this do? Well, unnatural Agility doubles his Ag Bonus to 14. This means with his standard reaction and step asside the Vindicare can dodge 16 times EVERY TURN. No enough he does this on a 100 test which is an auto sucess unless something reduces his agility and even then it would be around 80-90. 

 

And now the problem of the psyker: (Take all the Talents into account that let you avoid psychic phenomena etc.)

For this example I take another roll of 20 for WP, this results in 40, additional 10 for background and we have 50. Take the +30 from the attributes and we have ab WP of 80. and therefore a WP Bonus of 8! Now take the soul killer power, its range will be just 40 metres, not impressive. But now the Damage will be 1D10+32 (For unnatural x2, though you can even get x3 that would 48 damage per ATTACK) the fancy thing is this power ignores any armor (unless it is warded) and can not be seen. The nice thing is for every 10 degrees of overbleed you get another attack with the same profile. Nice isnt it? And with 10 power rols at your disposal it is nearly guaranteed to reach 150 damage every turn as long as you realy want to kill someone.

But hey, lets stick to Dark Heresy and look at force barrage. 1d10+16 (x2) or 1D10+32 (x3) damage per bolt. But hey, its a barrage! But hey, for every point of WP Bonus we fire ONE of this Bolts. So 16 Bolts guranteed. But hey, with overbleed we can create even more! Lets take the 10 Dices again. Lets sav everyon hits a 5, exept one that hits a 6. (And again I am not takin anything into account that lowers the threshold!) this results into an overbleed of 30. So every 5 points of overbleed another bolt! So for x2 this would 22 1d10+16 attacks you can distribute on a whole squad of imperial guardsman. Squad-Wipe guaranteed. But hey, on x3 its 38 attacks!. You can kill a whole platton in 3 rounds without any dodgable AOE!

 

And now tell me how unnatural characteristics are not overpowered and broken? The core rulebook was written without takin Ascention into account. It was never designed to give unnatural characteristics to characters or increase their attributes by another +10. Its broken, simple as that. Dont improve it furthermore.

 

PS: I just did the math, with a perfect power roll (10, 10s in a row in addition with ivocation) a full maxed psyker is able to deal 768 Damage in one turn(w.o. ivocation) ignoring any unwarded armor.

The next konventional damage source would be this:

A tech-priest in terminator armor, the muscle implant, the ascendent carrer, heliot device, bc thunder hammer, implanted weapon, full characteristic with lighnting attack would deal 56 damage and 12 pen per attack, with lighning attack (and the missing 4 dices as RF) this would be 208 damage per round.

 

So a tech priest can kill one greater deamon (100 wounds) per round and the psyker six. (Note the rules for distributing attacks have been taken into account and 3 LAs cant split they damage equaly)

 

Take into accoun that these numbers are examples for absolute munchkin min-maxer characters but at least they show the power pontential and how it is distributed between the classes.



#5 Thaddeus

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

FieserMoep said:

Let me point out the problem of the Vindicare:

With a roll of 20 he has a base agility of 40 that can be further improved depending on background package (or be brought up to 40). So I take only the 40. With characteristic advances we get additional 30 agility so we have an agility rating of 70. Now add Dodge +20 so we have a Dodge Rating of 90. And last but not least the characteristic Vindicare Armor adds another +10 to Dodge. What do we have now? Yes. Agility rating of 100. This is a ****** auto sucess on dodging.

But hey, he has the Strep Aside and Temple Assassin Trait. Additionaly he has unnatural Agility. So what will this do? Well, unnatural Agility doubles his Ag Bonus to 14. This means with his standard reaction and step asside the Vindicare can dodge 16 times EVERY TURN. No enough he does this on a 100 test which is an auto sucess unless something reduces his agility and even then it would be around 80-90. 

 

Well let's look at a situation that's come up. Our group is attacking a compound that has stormtroopers. With a roll of 20, they have a base agility of 40. But let's take 40. Characteristic advances get an additional 30 ballistic skill so we have a ballistic of 70. Add Full Auto for a hellgun +20 so we have an effective rating of 90. Other conditional modifiers can increase this (let's say they're close rage so +10). What do we have now? Ballistic rating of 100. Save for auto misses, that's essentially an auto success.

So it comes down to the roll. On an average roll, the Vindicare will probably avoid damage and dodge. That said, there's still a high chance for a poor dodge. Coupled with an average or above average ballistic roll, that's several hits from the full auto. Combine that with the poor armor and intermediate toughness increase, and Vindicares aren't quite the terrors people make them out to be.

And if you add multiple enemies, that's A LOT of rolls where the above situation can transpire. Is it powerful? Absolutely. Is it broken? Not at all. I think people tend to ignore all the circumstances when they see something like 14 dodges per round, but ignore the fact that other people and enemies at this level are often just as powerful.



#6 borithan

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:28 AM

As per the Inquisitor's Handbook Unnatural Characteristics also improve the difficulty level for every multiplier they have on the skill. Basically this works as a +10 to the test for having x2, +20 for having x3 etc. You do not gain the bonus degrees of success in straight tests (and you don't get the downgraded difficulty in opposed tests).

This isn't stated anywhere in the DH core rulebook, as it was a later addition, but is mentioned in some of the core rulebooks for the later series.

Oh, and Ascension is busted pile of nonsense, at least in part.



#7 No:12

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:20 AM

Hi,

I dont usually chip in with "me too"'s. However, Ascension was so dissapointing to me I gotta add my opinion to FieserMoep and Borithans. Acsension was a poor book in many ways, chiefly character advancement.

In the end our group just said balls to it, we had so much fun with mid level DH, we just started new characters and a new story…






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