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Malevant

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  1. I'm actually fairly unhappy with the Navis Primer rules - the primary issue being how they translate on journeys of even average length. If you have a 180 day journey (easily doable), you are rolling something like 36 times on the warp events table. Statistically, something like 7 of those will be "all clear" while the other 29 (on average) are *something.* Sure, your Navigator can avoid many of those with rolls, but the level of dice rolling quickly becomes unmanageable. That's not even mentioning the fact that you can wind up with a campaign that goes a bit like this: 1) Start of adventure - do stuff! 2) Oh noes! We must go to System ZOMGFARAWAY! for the next step! 3-25) Warp encounters! 26) What was the adventure again? God forbid you have that Miroslav drive (I think?) where it's a check every 3 days… Then you have 60 rolls on the Warp table… I ended up houseruling it in my campaign - I'm sticking with the warp travel durations from Navis, but I'm going to just use narrative stuff for most of the warp encounters. My players' eyes started to glaze over when I busted out the Navis rules, and I'd rather they have fun than stick with RAW.
  2. SirFrog, That was one of my thoughts as well. Ultimately I'll need to pull the trigger and make a call on it, but luckily we had to cancel our game session this week, so I have a little more time to poke around for input/ideas before I make my final call on it.
  3. I am just starting up a new Rogue Trader campaign, and unlike the last one this time we actually have a player that is playing a Navigator. This has led to several questions about Lidless Stare (most of which I was able to get answered through the search function). However, one issue has arisen - what special interaction (if any) is there between a Lidless Stare and Astropaths Transcendant? The Astropath is adamant that he would be immune, and the Navigator is adamant that he would NOT be immune. I've checked the errata and the forums without luck, so I'm hoping I can get some input from the collective wisdom of the forums. The way I see it, there are several possibilities… 1) The Astropath is able to "see" the Navigator's Warp Eye when the Lidless Stare is used, resulting in… 1A) The power is resolved as normal against the Astropath, with full effect. Relevant text is in the Lidless Stare power, which outlines what are not affected (Daemons, Untouchables), but does NOT state Astropaths 1B) The Astropath is immune because he/she doesn't have "normal" vision. Relevant text is on Page 72 of the Core Rules, which states that "However, Astropaths Transcendent are not affected by effects that target their vision, such as blind grenades and cameleoline." 1C) The Astropath is affected, but because it is basically a "warp" power, he gets a +20 due to his Sanctioning. 2) The Astropath is unable to "see" the Navigator's Warp Eye because he is technically "blind" with normal vision, resulting in no affect. Any input (including "Hey, the answer is <insert location here>!" would be greatly appreciated.
  4. I love it! Grant you, obtaining additional Steel Balls sounds like it might be awkward and painful…
  5. I will say that ship combat has been one of the most difficult things for my party to grasp/get into. We use maps for all combat, and my experience has been that players are used to being able to move their guy around, attack stuff with it, etc. With ship combat, you will generally have all the characters on one ship, with one person being responsible for moving, one for shooting, and the rest doing other functions. It can be difficult to get the hang of for a party. As far as what each player does, take a look at the Extended Actions in Space Combat in the RT Core rules. You should have a pretty good idea of what skill-sets each of your players has built his or her character towards, and you'll find that a LOT of those skills have an application in ship combat. I'd use those extended actions as a guideline, rather than a definitive list. If you have someone who makes a character who just isn't trained (or good) at any of the skills that are listed in the Extended Actions, see what you can make up for them to do to contribute. And if that is not possible (say they've made a character with massive WS, S, T, and ZERO non-combat skills) you can always allow them to "lead" a boarding party or hit and run action initiated by another character to give a bonus. One other note - I've read elsewhere (and agree with it myself) that its not a good idea to allow your party's characters on multiple ships in the course of combat. It makes it more difficult to deal with adventure hooks in basically all of the published adventures, increases the risk that SOMEONE is going to be burning a Fate point, and just generally reduces the ability for face to face interactions between characters. Since my group is obtaining more ships, I've basically told them that they can each pick one or more ships (divvied up however works for the group) and then they get to control that ship in space combat through training the command staff of that ship, direct vox/astropathic link, etc.
  6. Venkelos, If memory serves, there is something waaay the heck back in the 40k fluff about a psychic Titan Legion (it was like the Legio Psykana or some such). I saw a reference to it ages ago, but I seem to recall that the whole point was that the Princeps and all of the crew were psykers, and that the Titan's weapons were psychically powered. I have not been able to find anything about it since, and this was back in the 90s or so, so my memories could be a bit off, but if I'm right than there's definitely a canon "justification" for a Psy-Lance weapon. Grant you, if there's not, who cares? One of my players has an entire array of characters between BC, DW, and RT that are all members of the lost royal family of Prospero. There's nothing in the canon about Prospero having a royal family (if anything the Thousand Sons ran the show), but she likes the egyptian-esque theme and it doesn't break the system, so we've run with it in our campaigns to much enjoyment for all. On to the mechanics of the weapon itself (I can't really address the specific ship stats, other than to say I always loved the Oberon class and have considered making rules up for my group, given how ideal it would be for a Rogue Trader)... I think the first step would be to get an idea of the relative power of the weapon, all mechanics aside. My impression was that you were looking for Nova Cannon level power, but I could be off. I'd probably rate the power level of voidship weapon systems as follows, in terms of raw damage output alone: Nova Cannon Torpedoes or concentrated Bomber strike Macrocannon Lances Picking how nasty you want it to be will help with the mechanics, because it gives an end-point to the equation when working out average damage output of the system. With that being said, I like the raw form of mechanics you mentioned involving a battle choir. It offers a few benefits as well as some vulnerabilities. Benefit-wise it means that by investing in more/better psykers the Explorers can up the power of their voidship, something that they could not normally do without new components. Vulnerabilities... well, a Battle Choir is going to be in a central spot (probably something like an Astropath cloister), and therefore susceptible to hit and run attacks. Also, botched rolls could wind up with gribblies showing up and nomming the psykers or the crew in general. I'd suggest adding a "power level" mechanic similar to the psychic power system. Maybe have some ship-wide penalties from an equivalent to the "Perils of the Warp" table that the group has to roll if they screw up. I'd also suggest 1) adding a bonus to the test similar to the rules in ItS for a Choir, and 2) adding a relatively stiff penalty (-20 to -40) to the focus roll. Use the Focus Roll as the to hit roll - that way not only is a "pushed" Psy-Lance blast more powerful, but it's more likely to hit the target (and more likely to lead to highly amusing - for the GM anyway - nomming of psykers). This gives the group a choice - do they use the lance at a "fettered" level, but with heavy range restrictions and less likely to hit? Or do they try to push it to up the damage and hit chance, but run the resulting risks? The final suggestion I'd have mechanically is to use anything that would modify the roll to hit with a normal ship weapon also modify the focus test for the Psy-Lance, within reason. I could see ignoring something like the Evasive Action modifier, and also the positive modifiers related to ships sensors, since your Psy-Lance array is being aimed and fired with the minds of the Battle Choir. I'd be interested to see what you come up with - if I don't find a use for it with my group, I *know* I'll find a use for it with some of their adversaries.
  7. An idea that came to mind from your post for me is to go somewhat literal - the Psi-Lance is an augmentation to the Lance array. The way I would figure it is that the lances are basically giant laser deathbeams, with powerful focusing and power generation. The Psi-Lance would be an augment to that - the focusing technology has been modified so that it can channel psychic energy while still being robust enough to focus the standard energy for lance blasts. If I were statting it out, I would give players the option of firing the lance arrays in one of the modes per turn, as it takes time to adjust the focusing arrays from the standard power source to the "etheric arrays" that power the Psi-Lance. The other option is one that played with for an astropath in one of my games. She went a much more beatsticky route with her character (lots of telekinetic powers) and wanted to use them in void combat. The solution I ended up having was to give her some options, listed below. The thinking was that the checks would be more difficult (-20 to -40 penalty versus psychic powers used at an individual level) because it was affecting a much larger area. I also required her to have her choir assist her, and any negative effects or really failed rolls would start eating into the numbers of her choir that were not drooling wrecks. 1) Force Strike: I never statted this out, because she adjusted her focus later in the campaign, but I was planning on basing the rules for this off the Ork Wierdboy tower entry from the Orky Tech selection in BFG. If memory serves its a random strength short ranged lance strike. I planned to allow her to extend the range by increasing the difficulty of the check. 2) Mass Telekinesis: This is one that I did use, although I did it as seat of the pants and not a written down ruleset. I allowed her to make a focus check with the above penalties to "nudge" items in void combat. The most common use for this was to give the Torpedoes their ship launched the ability to turn (since the astropaths were basically reaching out and telekinetically arcing their trajectory). I also allowed her to use it impact the maneuvering characteristics of nearby void ships (friend or foe) by basically lending their psychic force to push the ship to either aid its maneuvers or impede them. I vetoed a proposal to flat out move void ships with this system - they are just too frikking big, even for a choir. The final use for this, which I didn't come up with until later, was as anti fighter defense. My thinking on this is that it could be used to add to the turret rating of the originating ship or a nearby ally. If you have 13 astropaths channeling a telekinetic punch through the windscreen of the a Starfury, its going to render it combat ineffective, even if the pilot survives.
  8. Here's one I came up with for my group's Apostate. He really wants to play a guy who is almost exclusively non-combat focused. Very much a "Let's you and him fight" type guy. As time goes by, he's going to have an easier time of it, but right now they are on the Chains of Torment in the intro adventure, so I wanted something both useful and in keeping with the location. Corrupted Rendering Servitor This servitor was originally used to assist in butchering and rendering livestock for consumption by the crew of the Chains of Judgement, but long exposure to the warp has corrupted it with a feral hunger for flesh. Statistics: Stats in parentheses are stats when frenzied. WS: 30 (40) BS: 01 (00) S: 30 (40) T: 30 (40) Agi: 30 Int: 01 (00) Per: 01 WP: 06 (16) Fel: 01 Inf: 00 Wounds: 9 Initiative: +3 Skills: Athletics (Str), Parry (WS), Dodge (Agi), Stealth (Agi) Traits: Machine (2) Talents: Sound Constitution (3), Weapon Training (Chain), Frenzy Weapons: Chain Greatsword (2d10+5 R, Pen 3, Tearing, Unbalanced) Armor: Machine (2) and Subdermal Reinforcement (Counts as Guard Flak Armour) - 6 AP all locations. Notes: I only selected 1 Trait, and I gave it +20 Attributes with the remaining traits (+10 for each one turned in), which I based off the Deathwatch First Founding rules. I added Frenzy as a figured it was the easiest way to add a little crunch to the minion in combat without upping it to a basic Minion. Int, WP, and Fel are all low, but only the WP (and to a lesser extent the Per) really bothers me. I am going to be ruling that to drop out of frenzy at the end of combat it will use a Loyalty check instead of a WP check, as otherwise the darn thing will just keep chopping until someone kicks it over. Given how my player runs his character (in the back behind the biggest Chaos Marine in the group), I figure he will be able to keep it close to him, and then spend a round "rousing the blood spirits" of his servitor when bad guys get close, and then firing it off into the nearest bad guy (or good guy, in this case?). Of course, since this is Black Crusade, I've already thought of a few ways to mess with his head on this stuff... like maybe having the servitor randomly wander off and return covered in blood for no apparent reason, or have it stare constantly at another party member when not in use. I like to give my players stuff to play with, but I do enjoy messing with them a little bit at the same time...
  9. This was an issue a player of mine had as well - he wanted to play a sniper character, and being a bit newer to the 40k setting he was using a Barret Sniper Rifle, which can penetrate quite a bit of armor RL. Of course, sniper rifles on table top play out substantially different (4+ Wound, no AP or AP1 if you are using a unit like Pathfinders, if memory serves). What I ended up doing in his case was custom statting a long-las with hellgun penetration and reduced the clip size. The other option I'd considered is adding a Pen bonus that goes with aiming on sniper style weapons - although Accurate as a quality really helps with the damage output, even against armored targets. A final option would be to up the penetration substantially (maybe up into the 9-10 range) but class it as a heavy weapon that can't be fired unbraced (bulging biceps or not). I'd need to play with the balance on this one a bit more, as well as the last one, but the option we ended up going worked quite well for him until he 1) saw the stats on melta-guns and 2) realized a lot of our encounters took place at much shorter than sniper ranges. Of course, it helped in my case that I had a player who was very open with "let's try this, and if its broken I'm either going to try something else to improve it or gimp it drastically" as a way of helping him build out his character the way he wanted.
  10. I think this is an outstanding idea! I am going to actually show this post to my group, it's exactly the sort of backstory I've been encouraging them to come up with. Once I have some of their backgrounds I'll pop a reply in here to add to the rolls of infamy.
  11. Malevant

    Have they gone?

    Welp, the only problem is that now that the anti-space marine hate has died down slightly, the OMG WHY NOT ELDAR!!! rage has started up... Although grant you, I'd *love* for there to be rules for eldar characters in Rogue Trader, beyond just DE Kabalite...
  12. Kylan - you're right, that IS pretty epic! It sounds like it must have been a blast to play and run.
  13. I've been trying to stat out a basic melee minion for one of my players, and I have not found a way to do it that I like using just the Lesser minion talents. If you look at the examples (servo skull or canid) they give, I can see the lesser minions as basically less powerful than even a basic imperial citizen, but more specialized. Now, once you hit regular minions, it appears to get a lot easier, but just using lesser minion I don't see how you can get a combat effective minion.
  14. I use sheets I made with Microsoft Excel but I've never found anything like this, although it's a great idea. My NPC stat blocks are basically the same layout as in the books, but I also add Initiative to the mix. I also add a short description of what each talent or trait does, as well as page listings. It takes some time, but the more you do of them the more you can re-use. For ships, I have a two-sided spreadsheet that I set up. The front has the "fluff" for the ship, and the back has the stats and weapons, as well as any special notes or abilities. I use these for fleet combats (especially with allied ships that the party is controlling), so that the party can see what they are controlling at a glance. If they make good rolls on auspex scans I give them the enemy cards as well.
  15. 1) Prep! Prep! Prep! Rogue Trader and the other FFG games really benefit from the GM doing some advance work to set up the session. I've run 4e and it's in some ways a lot easier (not necessarily better) because it sets out all the stats and such for you, and gives you all the maps you need. With RT especially you need to make up any notes that you'll use for your session ahead of time, and get all your stats and such in a single location. I use Word to set up my notes and stats, and then I run combats using Excel. 2) Figure out the style of your campaign. My players LOVE using maps, so I make it a point to have maps for all my combat encounters (both in person and in space). For adventures like the Citadel of Skulls I actually drew up a "flowchart" style map with blank boxes that the party could fill in as they went. Your party may prefer to go a heavier narrative route versus maps. You also need to know how your group wants to run their Warrant. Do they like going "dark side" and skirting the law? Are they big into trade or conquest? Again, my group really likes to play it straight - they are big onto bringing the Emperor's Light to new planets, and not so big on dealing with xenos beyond what they have to. Knowing what style of play your group will enjoy most lets you tailor your set up, which leads to... 3) Know your players! The more they give you, the easier your job will be. Encourage (but don't require!) them to give you backstories on their characters, or even short stories or other fiction. Find out their goals for their characters, and see if you can get them to give you enemies, allies, rivals, anything. It's a lot easier for you (and more enjoyable for them) if instead of running into "Generic_Imperial_Captain_01" they run into their old nemesis, the honorable but vicious Captain Dolan Gyre, who foiled their attempt to salvage the Penitent Traveler in the Battleground. I can't stress this one enough - I have a player who LOVES the lore of Prospero (Thousand Sons destroyed homeworld) - I can literally get her hyper involved in any adventure by playing off this. In Citadel of Skulls one of the ways the Archivist attempted to seduce the players to Chaos was by offering her character rare Prosperan tomes that held the location of other "lost" Prosperans (not canon, but hey, it's my setting!) who survived the destruction of Prospero. When her character resisted the temptation, the Archivist started burning the books - her character wound up taking risks in the following combat that were both in character and far out of what she as a player normally did. 4) Don't over-estimate combat, or roleplay. We run combat heavy in my group - it's what they like. However, my group also agrees unanimously that the single most fun encounter they had was a noble dinner party that they attended where they had to broker alliances with different power groups. There was not a single die roll, but it made a massive impression. You want to switch things up, especially if you have characters with different interests (an RP focused player and a combat focused player, for instance). Give everyone a chance to shine. 5) Use the rules, don't let yourself be limited by them. The rules set is pretty good, but feel free to break it if needed for better gameplay. Just don't do so to screw the players unnecessarily, or to make things a monty haul for them - they will not have as much fun either way. 6) Players will BREAK your plans. Expect it, don't get set on an encounter running just one way. If they come up with something out of the blue, reward them! If it would break the adventure, use rule number 5 and modify things so it doesn't, but still give the group a benefit for good thinking. In the adventure in the core rulebook, one of my group hit on the idea of decompressing the bridge before entering for the final fight (which I made be against a daemon - they'd bested Lady Ash on Egaria Prime). This would have ended the final scene with no combat. Instead, I had the group of corrupted armsmen with the daemon get sucked out the hull breach, and gave some penalties to the corrupted combat servitors due to the atmosphere rushing past them while they shot. The group got a big benefit for "blindsiding" me, but they still got a good fight. Rogue Trader allows your party to approach things from infinite angles - do your best to give thought to likely possibilities, but be prepared to be surprised. That's part of the most fun for me as GM. 7) Download the character builder from http://www.blackmoor.org.uk/40k.html - this is an incredible tool, and it really helps set up your party. This lets your party email your their saved .rtc files so you can be fully aware of their capabilities and advancement as you go. This really helps for pacing because RT does not really have a way to rate encounter difficulty. Knowing how much will challenge your group versus how much will flat out kill them is a good thing! 8) Enlist your players to help you run things! If a player wants a neat item or custom advance, tell them to come up with a proposed set of stats. You still have final say, but they get to have input into their own progression and it takes some of the creative load off of you. Whew! That's a bit of a list, but it's the stuff that I had to find out over time doing DMing and GMing for various systems. Good luck - being a GM is a ton of fun and helps you tell a really neat story for your friends.
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