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TheFlatline

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  1. I'm a long time, hard core fan of Dark Heresy 1st edition, but as much as I loved it, I couldn't help but to admit that it had... issues. This is the game that made me a better GM, by moving away from combat to focus on investigation, mainly because combat sucked and gave me a headache to run with any attempt at engagement with my players. For a while I had a sticky in the GM section of DH on how to run an investigation and conspiracy game. Googling "running a conspiracy investigation adventure" still turns my article up as the top post. The game that inspired that post ran for 3 years, with 8 players phasing in and out at different times due to life. Most of those players agree it was one of the most, if not the most, satisfying RPG experience of their lives. I don't usually use words like "proud" when talking about my gaming experiences, but I'm **** proud of the time I had with DH. I say all this to try to express how stoked I was for 2nd ed DH. On reading reviews of the beta (I was out of work and couldn't afford the expense) I was even more thrilled at the idea of combat being completely overhauled and the wound system being changed up to something new, that felt fresh, that actually appealed to me and made me wonder if maybe I could come back to DH and finish the other, more combat heavy part of the story we never got to tell. So I ordered the release. I got it tonight. I've been reading for two hours... What happened? No seriously, what happened? This isn't 2nd edition, this feels like DH 1.5. The chargen system feels better at first glance, and the advancement system has merit, but everything, and I do mean *everything* I hated about combat is back. I feel like I paid 50 dollars for an improved chargen system, a much-needed pruning of the skill system, and a setting that I probably will never explore. I bought 2nd ed explicitly based on the impressions shared by reviews of the beta. I have poked around a little and found suggestions that there were complaints about the original combat so it was essentially scrapped? Or was I reading a grossly exaggerated/false review of the combat rules of 2nd ed?
  2. TheFlatline

    Okay this is a serious question…..seriously

    aramis said: Ghostofman said: This is Star Wars hindering a character because of a natural physical condition isn't fun, it's lame. Pregnant women have their limitations yes, but they are not all consuming handicaps. For the purposes of the game there should rarely be any effects on the mechanics at all, just some additional color to the gms descriptions and that's about it. While Padme may have sat out much of episode three, when the poo hit the fan she didn't hesitate to hop in her chrome ship and fly to volcano planet. No penalties, no weirdness, just play. However, the fact that the OP even considered a miscarriage based on some die rol tells me that he's probably not mature enough to handle this scenario. Yes, you can work romance and family and other things into a game and have it add quite a lot, but the players and gm really need to know and understand what they are doing and how to handle iit. Probably better to retcon the issue or replace the character in question and move on before you end up getting stereotyped, and maybe revisit the idea down the road when you've got the experience as a gm to answer questions like this before you start. In the mean time if your players insist on hopping in the sack with every cantina waiter/waitress in the galaxy, just assume that the other party (if they are even interested) is on birth control and focus on getting back on the actual adventure. It was relevant in two novels… nothing immature about the topic except you overreaction to it. Actually, the part where the original poster asks "does a crit kill the baby" kind of pole-vaulted into the realm of bad taste. If you *really* have to go here, and I wish you wouldn't, but you want to, so I'm going to say that late 2nd trimester into 3rd trimester I'd either add a flat difficulty die to physical difficulties, or I'd consider upgrading difficulty dice. All non-physicals shouldn't exactly be impacted. If you're going to expose said woman to combat, either handle it with some "fade to black" level of decorum or find a different hobby.
  3. TheFlatline

    Obligation and Motivation Feedback Thread

    Rikoshi said: Ruskendrul said: Noone of the players liked it, everyone even tought it was just a massive hindrance to roleplay and I (GM) totally agree. Obligation in its current form is nothing but a boat-ancor for your imerrsion of the gameing experience. I have read alot of posts on the forum singing its praise but I can not see any positive aspect of the current Obligationsystem as it is now. Your main complaint about Obligation is that it seems like a negative thing for the characters…and it is. That's what it's supposed to be. Obligation, by definition, is something that the characters have to do, as opposed to what they want to do. That's what the mechanic is made to represent: these things that the characters have lurking in their backgrounds that they know they need to take care of, but might not otherwise want to or be ready to or be in a position to. Personally, I think it's a great way to ensure that players put some thought into their characters' backstory. It's also a great hook for the GM. That smuggler who's being blackmailed hasn't been fulfilling his Obligation to pay off the person asking for the blackmail? Well, now he's got bounty hunters after him. Or maybe the mechanic with an obligation to his family finds out that his sister is being investigated by the Empire, but going to check up on it would mean missing out on a really big score with a job for the Hutts. The tradeoff, then, for players willingly making their lives suck more, in this fashion, is that they get bonus XP and money to make their characters better. That's the positive side of the mechanic in play. You're not even thinking of all the wonderful ways that you can play with Obligation. It's a credit card for the PCs- one that they know will eventually bite you in the ass later on. Any time the player says "I can't deal with this right now!" there the GM is, with obligation, like the dark side, trying to seduce. Can't afford that massive bribe? Go see the Hutts. They'll loan it to you. Welcome to a 10 point obligation. But that's yawn-worthy. We need to jury-rig this poor ship RIGHT NOW so we can GTFO. I don't have time (or money) to sink into her, so let's just hope that primary buffer panel doesn't fall off the gorramn ship. I'll take a 5 point obligation to the ship to keep her in the air. Now that's getting a little better. We need to get inside the Hospital, so I'm going to try to charm/seduce the guard over here. Only I fail. A lot. But the GM will let me succeed anyway if I really push things and use him/her. Jilted lover as a 2 point obligation. Now we're talking! Especially if we can only buy off an obligation completely by directly dealing with it. Don't think of Obligation as something to be avoided, think of it as an extremely high-interest credit card that leads to a lot of fun sessions. And dangle how easy it is to put things on the Never Never plan in front of your group *constantly*. Also, for adding people into the group (that's people, not characters), I was thinking about it. I'd probably give a 3-5 point "refund" to the players, as their problems get shuffled into a bigger pile, but at the same time I *totally* don't mind the idea of, in character, the party saying "dude, can we *really* afford to bring on another person and their baggage?". When a PC dies/leaves/drops out, their obligations should go, opening up the party's obligations again. The introductory adventure alone, if successful, knocks 15 points off of obligations right off the top. That's a *lot*. Even divided 4 ways, that's a significant reduction. If it takes an adventure or two to get the PCs under 100 points, that's a fine mini-adventure. Instead of thinking of ways to nerf obligation, first try to think of ways it can enhance the game. Let's face it, we don't play the game to see everything go according to plan, we play the game to see how everything goes to hell and then gets salvaged along the way.
  4. TheFlatline

    Too many advantages

    Kallabecca said: Advantages already have a number of ways they can be spent to benefit the party. No reason to add another. The Triumph is a very powerful result and shouldn't be replicated with something like Advantages, even at a 4:1 exchange. Destiny points can already be spent, before the roll, to help out the party (IIRC they can be spent to buy upgrades to your current pool). Spending them to get a success is just handing the GM a benefit for very little advantage on the player's part since the GM isn't as likely to do the opposite. Not to mention it's also really the most boring use of a roleplaying hook. Each die roll with this system tells a little story, even beyond success and failure. If you *really* want to spend advantage to turn into success or failure, I actually suggest ditching this system entirely and going with a straight pool/difficulty number/success count or going back to something like WEG's Star Wars.
  5. TheFlatline

    Too many advantages

    I don't see the need. At one point during the Kryat climax someone generated like 6 advantages and yet still failed, and gave their teammate a blue die for 1 advantage (he was the next PC up), gave that teammate a second die for 2 advantage (give anyone an advantage), gave a bad guy a black die, and finally stablized the Hutt's out of control barge for an extra turn (GM decision to build tension and eat advantages). Yeah, he didn't disable the remote control on the Hutt's barge, but he still had a major impact on the game that turn, perhaps more than if he had simply disabled the remote control unit. It definately was more cinematic with him riding the skiff bucking bronco style with a pissed off Hutt screaming at him (next turn the Hutt calmed down enough to offer an assist), blaster bolts flying everywhere on a platform that was collapsing.
  6. TheFlatline

    So I'm confused … There's no Jedi?

    cetiken said: apollyonbob said: Well that's good to know. If the lightsaber is incredibly powerful though, is it actually balanced? I mean, the website basically doesn't even mention the possibility of a Force user until the last of those books. So is cross-play something that the game is actually designed for? To give an example, White Wolf's system could also be considered "integrated" and a Mage, and Werewolf could mechnically be in the same group. However, the Mage would dominate because while it's mechanically possible the games are radically different in terms of scope of power. If they're going to save Jedi for the end, will a mid-level Jedi and a mid-level bounty hunter have about the same power level? Do you think a Jedi should be about as powerful as a smuggler? Personally I wouldn't think so. If FFG was making a Gamist style RPG I'd think so. However in a Naritive style of play it seems less necessary to me. Oh lord not the gamist/narrative/simulation spectrum. That's one of the most limiting and damaging concepts to come along into the RPG world in a long time. Namely the idea that those three concepts are mutually exclusive. Anyway, should a mid-level bounty hunter and a mid-level Jedi be of equal power? Sure. Or rather, that is to say, they should be doing *totally* different stuff. Look at the WEG version of the game, which actually usually felt pretty balanced to me. Give a Jedi and a BH both 100 character points to spend and they're on the same power level, but they'll do drastically different things. The jedi is dumping most of his CPs into his force skills and lightsaber, making him good at sabering people and decent to good at the jedi tricks. He's going to have almost no skill doing anything else. This makes perfect in-game and narrative sense: these guys are monastic warriors trained from a young age to follow their studies, and they don't put the emphasis on other skills and knowledges. Meanwhile, the BH has probably maxed out brawling, blasters, underworld contacts, is decent at piloting his ship, probably has stealth and inquiry out the rear, and a large smattering of other skills. In other words, when a fight breaks out, the Jedi is going to kick all kinds of ass. But outside of that (and judging by the lethality of the lightsaber, *non* lethal combat is going to be a problem for the Jedi as well), he's going to be marginal at best. Meanwhile, the Bounty Hunter is going to basically be a swiss army knife of different stuff. Should Jedi be masters of close quarters combat? Sure I have no problem with that. Should they automatically be better than everyone else because they're jedi? Hell no- and canon backs me up. It only takes a dozen troops with blasters to kill 99% of the Jedi out there- the ones who survive are exceptional (Kenobi & Yoda mainly) or just lucky enough not to be around troops. After all, the entire Jedi Academy was sacked by one dark jedi (Anakin wasn't sith yet I'd argue) and a buttload of stormtroopers.
  7. TheFlatline

    Opinion of my peers :)

    ranoncles said: I would council against trying to get too much in the role. WH40k is a very dark setting and many of its tropes don't translate well into a role-playing game. A typical Inquisitor wouldn't flinch about killing thousands of innocents to get to a single heretic and expects his acolytes to be of a similar ruthless mindset. Yet many players would balk at that. Its a fine line to walk, both as a GM and as a player between that sense that the end justifies the means and a desire to keep the collateral damage down. […] In fact, if you are familiar with D&D, think of a paladin. Their job is to inspire the masses, provide an example for them to follow (as best they can), take the fight to evil and die young…. Wait what? Don't get into the 40k setting? WTF? The whole *reason* you roleplay in the setting is to dabble in GrimDark and play in a world where the ends justify the means. I suppose you'd counsel the same advice for Call of Cthulhu, Vampire, or any of the other horror-themed RPGs out there? I'll back off but seriously, if the setting and the themes of the setting are that disturbing, go play something else. And for heavens sake don't play a D&D paladin when the whole point of the game is to exist in a moral grey area. Back to the original poster. I'm of two minds on this. On one hand is the "canon" response: "You heretic you're torturing this girl." "Heretical scum you're preventing this girl from returning to the path of light and the love of the Emperor" *BLAM BLAM BLAM* On the other hand, inner-part PC killing tends to be damaging to games, so maybe I'd edit out the "Blam blam blam" part and just put him on your sh*t list. There's no reason why the party has to have a homogenous religious view. In fact, I encourage philosophical fragmentation of my PC party. It leads to discussions that are a joy to sit in on, not just about duty to the emperor, but how that duty should be executed.
  8. TheFlatline

    How Insane and Corrupt do you really become

    Insanity points usually dribble in one or two here and there. When the psyker pops or when you start encountering daemons and stuff they add up fast. So far my party hasn't dealt with a lot of horrific stuff… yet… they're still peeling back the onion layers and are starting to get at the creepy center, but we can always rely on the psyker to slowly pour IP into the party.
  9. TheFlatline

    Expanded advancement worksheet

    If you play in a long-term campaign, you quickly encounter the limitations of the advancement space on your character worksheet. It's important, so that you can always go back and make sure your math is correct, and it's vital so that you can tell what you've purchased and what you haven't. However, it's… well…. tiny. So I whipped up a very, very quick & dirty advancement worksheet that my players have all adopted. I figured I might as well share it here. http://tinyurl.com/7xw6xg9 PDF format, shared through Dropbox. If there's other stuff you'd like to see on it let me know, I have the originals and can probably polish it up a little. It's very, *very* bare bones (and nothing that a lined sheet of notebook paper can't do), but that was intentional. Hope it helps some of you.
  10. TheFlatline

    True Heroes in a such a Dark Place

    Renvale said: That's a good point Noc and I get what you're saying being a history major. I am really debating the Tau angle, after reading their history and such. I realize they are Ulatarian (sp?) and can be conquerors just like the Imperium, but they don't have the racial hatred that the Imperium does either. I don't want to force my players to join the Tau, but I do want them to realize that there is "better" good out there. However, its only the second session tomorrow, so we'll see how things go. I'll keep you guys updated to see where they're at. And, just so you know, this board is pretty awesome. I've gotten long, explained responses vs "Warhammer is all about killing stoofs, L2P noob!" lol Thanks guys. You do realize the Tau not all good and pure? The Greater Good is literally the tyranny of the majority.
  11. TheFlatline

    Help with: Shadows of Heresy Campaign

    My only thought with your original idea seed is that there are a LOT of power players, most of whom aren't exactly known to be fond of one another, all cooperating towards a point that doesn't seem beneficial to all parties involved. Sooner or later the players are going to find that hard to swallow. Every ego, every group, every cult has a unique, individual agenda. When two groups overlap and contribute efforts, it's because there is something to benefit from them interacting. The more exotic the alliance, the bigger the incentive needs to be to help. I'd put a lot of thought into motivations and strip out conspirators who you can't work that angle with.
  12. TheFlatline

    An idea for a campaign

    Sure. It can work. A warning: Make the betrayal believable. Remember Revenge of the Sith where Anakin was like "no I won't turn to the dark side" and Palpatine was like "do it so i can save padame" and he was like "oh… well… okay!"? Remember when he was like "what have I done?" and literally 30 seconds later was totally okay with being evil? Yeah that sucked. Set it up. Sell it. Push the Inquisitor beyond his limits, break him, and in a moment of desperation have him cave in. Deus Ex Machina sucks. Have a *good* reason for the Inquisitor to go over. Throw in another kink though. Drop just enough evidence that the Inquisitor allied himself to the target not to gain power but to get closer for the kill. Especially if he's the type who is willing to sacrifice everything to get the job done. After all, the acolytes escaped a very capable Inquisitor and a death trap. Don't lay it on thick, but let the PCs ask themselves every now and again whose side the Inquisitor is really on.
  13. Thermals didn't help the Marines in Aliens because the aliens were room temperature. I'm not sure if IR goggles are actual thermal goggles like the military's FLIR system, or if they just see in the infra-red spectrum. If it's the former, your supernaturals probably are room temperature (or better yet, only some of them are room temperature). If they work like night vision (photo visors) but work in the IR spectrum, they require a light source still. Turn out the lights. Or have the environmental systems wonk out and make it a sauna that the enemies blend in with. Be careful always screwing your players. Give them some success with the goggles. You don't want to upset the players, just keep them on their toes.
  14. TheFlatline

    True Heroes in a such a Dark Place

    There's some story telling potential here. What is "good"? I mean, really, what *is* "good" in a philosophic sense? The Imperium is beset upon from all sides, from within, and from it's own dreams. It's crumbling and falling apart under it's own weight, yet to fraction into city-states would allow the enemies of Man to devour them piecemeal. The Imperium is intentionally ignorant and stagnant when it comes to technology. It encourages zealotry and sacrifice, and de-emphasises personal liberty to really disgusting limits. It seems like the very epitome of a "bad" system. But this is a world where knowledge corrupts, where you don't know if that new idea was intuition or a demon whispering to you in your dreams. This is a world where deep enough faith in the Emperor actually *manifests* as something tangible and recognizable in the world. This is a world where so long as the Imperium continues, humanity will continue. This is a world where the very survival of the species of Man is the stakes. This is a world where the most powerful among you are one momentary lapse in control away from becoming unstoppable killing machines. This is a world where outside the zealotry of the Ecclisiarchy are intelligent, manevolent, patient, resourceful forces waiting to snap you up. This is a world where the powers that be have decided that the End Justifies the Means. In this world, *what* is "good"? And what cost are you willing to pay to do what is "good"? Could you murder a hundred billion lives to save a trillion more? Is that "Good"? In this world, it's commendable. And if you choose to stay "good", what is the weight you're going to have to bear? Would you let, say, a chaos incursion rip apart the Imperium and doom man because you felt that no murder is justifiable and so you wouldn't kill that hive world? These aren't easy questions- intentionally. Let your players decide the morality of their characters, and put that morality to the question. Give them no-win scenarios, tasks that violate their morality, consequences that eat at the backs of their minds. See how, or even if they hold up. If they still hold up under all the pressure the universe can put on them to simply survive and abandon morality, then they are "True Heroes". They'll probably go out in a blaze of glory, but heroism usually isn't something easily proved. There's a reason why the Medal of Honor is usually awarded posthumously. In the end it's your game. Run it how you want. But don't make it easy if you want to make the PCs "good". Good can't do evil to achieve good: for good, the ends *can't* justify the means. The means have to be an end in themselves. To give them a cheat is to take away the accomplishment of being "good".
  15. TheFlatline

    GM dilemma

    I wouldn't worry. At this point, going back and saying "whoops you actually killed the dude" seems cheap. Only do it if it's necessary to the story, with apologies. Otherwise don't retcon unless you have to. So the guy got a situational +1 to his die roll. Hardly reason to fret.
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