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Availability and Inquiry tests


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#1 Jeans_Stealer

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:26 PM

All,

I will start by apologising as I know that I've asked this before, but as the FFG website is being funny with links and forums for no good reason, I'm forced to ask this again.

Sigh.

The Rules for finding equipment and things is pretty well laid out. The GM decides if it can be found, add or removes a modifier, and the characters pay for it, and the time it takes is defined by a table.

WHAT MY PLAYERS like to do is:

if they know they've got several days/weeks, they'll head into search mode (ie. go into town with their dosh out) and roll the inquiry test to find something. If it fails… then they've wasted the time on the table not finding it. What they THEN do is assume it's still out there, and roll again. And they do this UNTIL they find it.

This is not covered in the book: Failing the test. Failing the inquiry search test… what does it do?

Suggestions: The item is nowhere to be found EVER by that player? There arn't any for ANY of the players? OR You succeed automatically, but it takes you longer (extra time unit per degree of failure?) You only get to search a number of times equal to how may times the population divides by 1000? You can roll on until doomsday, if you have the time?

This can't be done for certain items and the GM would just have to assume… they arn't there. and would tell the player so.  What, pray tell, do YOU do when they fail the inquiry search/ test?

Please let me know what you do (or what you've seen done) or direct me to a 'solution' or pre-discussed forum-question on this subject. (Activates Displacer field in preparation to receive incoming fire)



#2 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:08 AM

Assuming unlimited time and money to poke around, ask questions and place orders, any character can eventually find what they are looking for: maybe they order it and have it brought from off-world afte ra year of Inquisry… but that's just not generally useful.

For anything that is common enough based on the current locale, we just handwave it: no need to make any rolls to find a half dozen unmarked autopistols on a hive world, or las pistol chargepacks on a Forge World. Even for rarer items, DM caveat is our most commonly used "system": ie: does it make sense based on setting and contacts to dig this up?

When we do roll, we treat it a bit like Profit Factor and Acquisitions from RT: you get the one roll for the Acquisition(s) that you want to make. If you fail, you don't get to make another check until "circumstances change" (ie: until the GM decides that the market has changed sufficiently, or the PCs go to a new location.) If they succeed, the the levels of success determine how quickly you find it, how much you need to pay for it and potentially other aspects such as quality.

So, if you wanted a chainsword and rolled 5 degrees of success, the GM might decide that you not only find the chainsword you were looking for, but you get it very quickly and cheap - which is great because you need to leave the planet in a hurry. Alternately, you pay a premium but the chainsword that you manage to find is Good Craftsmanship instead… but it involves sticking around a few more days with that Hive gang still looking for revenge for what you and your Acolytes did to their bosses.

 



#3 Jeans_Stealer

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:44 PM

So Macharias,

You let them have one roll. If they fail, they cannot roll again until the market circumstances change (but can they still get another character to look for it instead?) In terms of time, it takes them the length of time stated on the aquisitions table minus degrees of success for a successful roll, or is equal to that time if failed (and wasted)?

Is that how you do it?

 

(In addition this discussion led me to read deeper into RAW about the "paid per 400exp" problem, but that should be in another discussion due to the length and breadth of the scope, not here. The 'defining paragraph' on page 29 'It's a Hard Life'.)



#4 Jeans_Stealer

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:22 PM

so… Has anyone got anything else to add to this? It's been annoying the hell out of me for ages. I want more opinions.



#5 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:23 AM

Jeans_Stealer said:

So Macharias,

You let them have one roll. If they fail, they cannot roll again until the market circumstances change (but can they still get another character to look for it instead?) In terms of time, it takes them the length of time stated on the aquisitions table minus degrees of success for a successful roll, or is equal to that time if failed (and wasted)?

Is that how you do it?

 

(In addition this discussion led me to read deeper into RAW about the "paid per 400exp" problem, but that should be in another discussion due to the length and breadth of the scope, not here. The 'defining paragraph' on page 29 'It's a Hard Life'.)

The gamers I play with have a strong sense of what is technically allowed by the rules but against the spirit of them: rolling Inquiry then having someone else try for the same roll stinks to us so it never really came up: "GM says not today, so let's move on boys!"

If you really want a ruling (which is entirely my own opinion and has no basis in the rules): impose a 1 roll rule. You roll and fail, then your buddy can't try for you. In that spirit, it makes sense to treat the Inquiry as a collaborative roll: have the best Inquiry score roll, with the others contributing successes. (Unless, of course, a character wants to rely on their own abilities to acquire an item in secret, without the other characters knowing about it…)

Game mechanics like these are intended (I feel) primarily as a way of resolving disputes. When there's no reason to dispute anything, the rules serve no purpose. Also, when the player provides good role-playing or justification and the GM :

Player: "Can I have a power armour?" GM: "No. You're on a feral world." Player: "But there's a small chance, according to the rules…" GM: "No, you're on a feral world." Player: "But I want to try." GM: "FIne. Roll, but with a -40." Player: "But that makes the roll impossible. "GM: Exactly. You're on a Feral world."

Player: "Can I have a power armour." GM: "Well, you're on a small Imperial World. Might be something suitable, but hard to come by, and you don't have three weeks to sit around. Would you be willing to pay at least 150% price? Or settle for poor quality?" Player: Hmmm… that's not too exciting, no. Is there some way I can find one anyhow? Thomas has Administratum contacts (Peer). Maybe he can arrange something?" GM: "Actually, that sounds plausible. Challenging but plausible. Thomas, would your character - Adept Jeremiah - be willing to try his luck on Kraddock's behalf? There's a departmento munitorum office…"  

Boom. A role-playing opportunity is born. Perhaps a subplot. Perhaps the payment is a small favour. Player will eventually get what they want. Everybody wins. No need for a roll.

Honestly, we very rarely use the tables. 

 



#6 Jeans_Stealer

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:05 PM

Macharias,

thank you for the reply, I thought this forum discussion would cause more of a stir and raise a few questions, instead it's just been largely ignored.
It must just be my inexperience showing through, but I really, REALLY hate ppl looking for stuff, as I never feel I get it right. (you've probably played games where there's no tables, only the DM's perogitive and 'what does this shopkeep stock?' I haven't had to do that.)

My Players are not like your players - do I have the time? Keep looking! They tend to look in down time, and so there's usually several weeks - worries of running out of time don't usually come into it. I don't get the modifiers right, and they end up with exactly what they like by getting out the money, rolling, and it results in: 

'do I find it?'
'No.'
'huh. looking again!' *rolls*

And so on until doomsday or time ACTUALLY runs out.

1 Roll? I see. No I like that, sounds like a good way to do it in game time. Outside of Game time, in down time? 1 Roll might be harsh, but I don't quite know how to represent the market being exhausted. A Fail of 5 degrees?

Yeah the potential adventure seed is nice. I see the point that you get at, and I am somewhat Jealous of your confident non-reliance on the tables. (My Players want to use them, so I have to understand them, and figure out what they mean in their entirety.)



#7 Darth Smeg

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:57 AM

There were some similar thread on this subject some time ago. Take a look, and see if you gain some new insight :)


Tarald - The Dark Lord of Smeg

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on

 

My House Rules for using Only War (and more) for Dark Heresy games


#8 Jeans_Stealer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:19 AM

Darth Smeg said:

There were some similar thread on this subject some time ago. Take a look, and see if you gain some new insight :)

 

Hey Darth,

That was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, thank you. Do you use the inquiry test anymore for that sort of thing? Do you have a 'if failed do this' plan?



#9 Darth Smeg

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:43 AM

I don't bother to roll for mundane things, and figure an Inquisitor with retinue can get his hands on normal weapons, ammo and gear with no trouble.

For special gear, I let them make 1 roll. I allow normal rules for Assistance, and modifiers from appropriate Peer Talents in certain situations.

Failure means it takes longer, Failure by 3+ Degrees means they can't find it. No re-rolls until they are in a different place or some other significant event has occured (new deliveries from elsewhere, or something).


Tarald - The Dark Lord of Smeg

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on

 

My House Rules for using Only War (and more) for Dark Heresy games


#10 Jeans_Stealer

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:14 PM

Darth Smeg said:

I don't bother to roll for mundane things, and figure an Inquisitor with retinue can get his hands on normal weapons, ammo and gear with no trouble.

For special gear, I let them make 1 roll. I allow normal rules for Assistance, and modifiers from appropriate Peer Talents in certain situations.

Failure means it takes longer, Failure by 3+ Degrees means they can't find it. No re-rolls until they are in a different place or some other significant event has occured (new deliveries from elsewhere, or something).

 

Darth,

Many thanks, this discussion and the one you directed to have both got me thinking in the right direction - the "RAW cannot define" direction.

I like the idea, fails increase time up to the 3 degree point.

 

Anyone have anything else to add to this discussion (or the other discussion?)



#11 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:08 AM

Darth Smeg to the rescue!

Yup, sounds like we have pretty much the same take on this. Hope I was able to help.



#12 rafaelmb

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:23 PM

I am guessing you´ve mistaken the tables, but "availability by population" comes before "availability and time". So a failed test means that the item is not available "in that population", not that it takes longer to find. Any failure, no matter the degrees, the item should not be available until something changes the scenario, like PCs going to a different planet. The time table just describes how long it takes when the item is available (not always the case). That´s how it´s written in all the books, Rogue Trader and later books just have better wording for that.Certain items like Battle Sister power armor are not available at all and GMs should remind the players of that.

Now if you don´t like that, groups I used to play with, the GM used to just rule item availability based on the planet, no tests required. Want a Long Las in a Forge World and have time to spare? You just buy it, not tests (unless you wish to barter for it)… Want that same Long Las in a Feral World? Just not going to happen…



#13 Jeans_Stealer

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:18 PM

Yeah you guys all came to the rescue, and you all really helped.

I had some dudes looking for a micro-bead in port suffering, their roll was atrocious (even with basic assist etc.) and I just said 'nope. it's simply not there'. They thought 'humm' and went and engaged in some roll (and Role) play to find a minor tech contact, but they failed to locate him too (Bad roll.) But the alteration of the 'market' by using roleplay gave them another shot, and they were pleased I think.

 

Cheers to all of you, it's given me a thinking pattern to Availabilty/purchase from now on.

E.G. Even if they're in down-time on Scintillia, if they want to attempt to look accross the entire planet for something, if they don't pay for the travel and sustenance to look for that length of time and across that scope, they'll only get to look in the area they're housed up in (usually pop. 200,000 in a hive district, I'd assume equivilent to a moderate modern city in 3/4 of the space.)

Cheers guys. This has been annoying me for ages.






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