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Orion Pax

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  1. For anyone who bought the 2nd Edition Beta on DriveThru: I understood when I bought the Beta that the $20 cost would be credited towards the purchase of the final version when it was released digitally. Does anyone have an idea when that may happen or if that's still a thing? I've picked up from reading elsewhere on these forums that all the radical changes to the system have been scaled way back and the system is almost identical to Only War, which I found kind of disappointing. I really liked the non-hit-points gig and the ability trees. Any thoughts from those who tried the Beta and are in the know? Thanks OP
  2. Question for you, do you have any idea when they plan to release the 2nd ed rules on PDF? I also purchased the beta, and at DriveThruRPG they said the $20 would be credited towards buying the finished rules when they came out. Thanks in advance OP
  3. Didn't see 2nd edition has its own forum. Apologies, please disregard. I'll ask over there.
  4. Hey everyone, it's been ages since I was on the forums here (and wasn't hardly active when I was) and I saw Dark Heresy, 2nd Edition, came out. When they were first floating the 2nd Ed. Beta on DrivethruRPG, it cost $20 and that $20 would be credited towards the purchase of the final version when it was released. Has anyone heard of a release date for the online PDF instead of the dead-tree copy? Thanks OP
  5. Voidbound Freelancers "Violence with Enthusiasm" Homeworld: Various. The Freelancers are mercenaries recruited from any drop-capable unit including but not limited to the Harakoni Warhawks, Elysium Drop Troopers, the Protasian Swamp-Rats, Kasrkin, and members of the Storm Trooper Regiment. Military Specialty: Drop Troops, specializing in XHALA jumps (extreme-high-altitude, low activation) from barely sub-orbital Halo Barges. Order of Battle: The Freelancers are a mercenary regiment, recruited by Rogue Trader House Meridius, for deployment in his own personal Warlord-authorized Warrant of Trade. The Freelancers number roughly 900 troops and are organized into four battalions - 1st & 2nd for grav-chute assault, 3rd for Air, Ground & Recon support, 4th for Logistical support. Commanding Officer: Technically, Colonel Anson Merikur is the CO of the Freelancers, however he is still in the chain of command below Lord Captain Meridius and his High Arch Militant. History: Centuries past, House Meridius received affirmation that their Warrant of Trade had been amended to include authorization to draw mercenary troops from the IG & PDF, subject to stringent and arduous requirements. Over time, House Meridius has grown and expanded and frequently assists the Imperial Guard when storm troopers or drop troopers are unavailable. House Meridius has seen to it that the Freelancers are equipped with top-of-the-line equipment (including Hellguns as primary armament, Harakhukri warblades as melee weapons, & Storm Trooper Carapace armor for their line troops), making their effectiveness in battle of far greater import than ostentatious displays of wealth or power normally associated with Rogue Traders. Recently, the Freelancers assisted the Protasian Swamp-Rats overcome subversive internal conflict that was leading towards open civil war on Protasia. The nature of the conflict came to the attention of one Inquisitor Lord of the Ordo Xenos, who was compelled to induct a full platoon of Freelancers into his own retinue, rather than permit them to share what they discovered during the assault on the enemy stronghold. The Freelancers were also responsible for retrieving Lord Captain Meridius after he & his retinue were overcome by unknown Xenos psychic assault while investigating the enormous derelict battleship, the Lord of Light. Miscellaneous: When not in operational armor, each member of the Freelancers wears sky-grey headdress, representing their home unit. Harakoni warhawks wear a wedge, former Kasrkin or Storm Troopers wear a beret, troops from Elysium wear a field cap, and Swamp-Rats wear a tilly hat. All wear the Crossed Star, the approved symbol authorized for use by the Freelancers.
  6. and scores a 'hulked' on the critical hit chart. (BS roll with 4 degrees of success, rolls a 10, 10, 9, 4 and +8 for the sunsear laser battery). Then the Rogue Trader Captain uses his 'Intimidate' to order the second pirate ship to stand down - and rolls a '1': 5 Degrees of success I'm running the group through the treasure ship adventure at the back of the RT Core rulebook. Funny enough, they never actually talk about what to do if/when your RT crew manage to capture a prize ship intact. How have other GM's run it? Because I guarantee, my RT Crew want to keep the ship. The encounter itself is the one where the Pilgrim's Traveller is found drifting in the Battlefield, en route through the Maw. One consideration I had was to space the Raider's command crew (keep the indentured crew who had no idea what was going on), take the pilgrims and surviving crew from the Traveller, put them aboard the raider with a delegated command staff from the PC's ship, and strip the Traveller for parts. Make it out of the Maw intact, and work things out upon arrival at Footfall?
  7. and scores a 'hulked' on the critical hit chart. (BS roll with 4 degrees of success, rolls a 10, 10, 9, 4 and +8 for the sunsear laser battery). Then the Rogue Trader Captain uses his 'Intimidate' to order the second pirate ship to stand down - and rolls a '1': 5 Degrees of success I'm running the group through the treasure ship adventure at the back of the RT Core rulebook. Funny enough, they never actually talk about what to do if/when your RT crew manage to capture a prize ship intact. How have other GM's run it? Because I guarantee, my RT Crew want to keep the ship. The encounter itself is the one where the Pilgrim's Traveller is found drifting in the Battlefield, en route through the Maw. One consideration I had was to space the Raider's command crew (keep the indentured crew who had no idea what was going on), take the pilgrims and surviving crew from the Traveller, put them aboard the raider with a delegated command staff from the PC's ship, and strip the Traveller for parts. Make it out of the Maw intact, and work things out upon arrival at Footfall?
  8. I've only been running RT for a short while, game started back in November. We're in a peculiar situation where we are limited by our ability to get together physically, so we've managed to set up the five of us on Skype and use TTopRPG to roll dice and use the map. Files (PC Handouts) are shared via Dropbox. In terms of the game itself, we are able to play 3h at a time, weekday evenings. The game started with a "Okay, Lord Captain, your father was recently killed and you have inherited his Warrant. Your younger siblings are elsewhere in the sector or segmentum, so there's noone to challenge your inheritance. Your House Seneschal has located the following potential hooks for further profit, to repair the damage to your House's holdings. Any of them interest you? Or do you simply want to sail off into the wild black yonder and see what there is to see?" He chose to pursue one of the endeavors I had written a very rough plot hook, and it was only after they committed in a certain direction did I start to fully sketch out the entire problem and what the PC's were getting themselves into. One of the good things about playing a shorter session is the PC's can get _less_ off track before next session. There's few things more frustrating than having your entire uber plot prep deflected by the PC's making a weird left turn 2h into a 12 hour game and taking a completely different direction than the one you had predicted. Instead, I rarely have to plan more than 3 or 4 hours of material at a time, and I can ensure that material is really well filled out and covers all my bases. At the end of one of our 'introductory' sessions (and I intend to make them a recurring feature whenever the PC's head off in on new plot/endeavor) is to have a "Okay, what kinds of things will your character be working on, what contacts will he try to make, what goals is he setting to contribute to the endeavor?" In this way, I get to kind of cheat, in that I can take all their questions at the end of the session, and say "Yes, and..." run with it from there. They are an incredibly creative bunch and they wonder about all kinds of things I never would have thought of myself. Then I have a week or two to expand upon their ideas, plan for some wrenches to be thrown into the works, keep track of what NPCs they need to meet and what they're going to be like, and put together any maps the PC's will need to view for the following session - that is crucial, since we're playing by net and not in person. One of the things that has worked really well is that I've been able to go over my extensive collection of 40K literature in .PDF and do a lot of 'Print Screen' 'Crop' 'Save' to get images of character archetypes, starships, monsters and so on. I don't use these images for anything other than the game program, and the benefits to keeping the imagery and mood alive are great. No one has any doubts in their minds what the PC's look like, we don't forget about the little servo-skull floating around following the Explorator, and I can even drop a photoshopped Thunderhawk on the map and say "Here is your Gun-Cutter". I can do the same thing with starship combat, creating a massive starfield-type map, and all I have to do is set the scale, plunk down a couple ship icons, and off we go to the macrocannon races.
  9. I think the problem here was a lack of specificity (is that a word? specific-ness?). Or in the immortal words of Cool Hand Luke, 'What we have here, is a failure to communicate'. If Moringias had said: "An assassin with an average of 30-35 in Agility as a rank 1 n00b takes +20% in 'Core' XP upgrades, takes +20% dodge in 'Core' XP upgrades, takes another 5% to agility when transitioning to the Vindicare, another 10% to Agility in 'Ascension' upgrades, gets a further 10% bonus from his Vindicare Suit, and then takes Unnatural Agility at rank 9, the end result of his Temple Training means he will start with between 10 and 14 'dodge' or 'parry' reactions per round, depending on what his Agility ends up being. With a base (approximate) agility of 35+20+5+10 = 70% plus another +30% to dodge, then it is obviously ridiculous. And the worst part is that it's exactly what a Vindicare is EXPECTED to do. The only way I can see to get around this would be to ambush him with a silenced firearm to ensure he was unaware of the attack and therefore wouldn't get the dodge bonus. And hope that the first shot a) hit and b) did enough damage to put him down. But with an average DR of 8 base or 11-12 with Unnatural Toughness, that would probably require sniping him with an armor-piercing discarding-sabot round from a Leman Russ Vanquisher from 2-3 klicks away. Riiigght. The unfortunate part was that this is a lot more to write than 'a Vindicare is an I Win button'. Moringias - did you by chance ever threaten your D&D characters with a gazebo? Because the lack of communication I'm seeing here reminds me of this 'incident' I read about once... Here's the only other thing that bothers me. The description for 'Dodge' as a skill, states that you can only ever dodge a single attack in a round. Then, the Ascension paragon talent Unassailable Grace grants you the ability to dodge a second attack in a round. Yet that talent isn't available to Rank 13. So when I look back at the description for the Temple Assassin feature, I can't help but wonder if the section that reads '...the Assassin may attempt to dodge any attack, including attacks that are not normally eligible for a dodge test...' is poorly written, and should actually read 'the Assassin may attempt to dodge attacks that would not normally be eligible for a dodge test, but is still subject to only dodging a single attack per round.' I'm not saying that's how it should be interpreted, I'm just wondering if it was poorly written. Because it certainly makes the Vindicare sound as though he's Neo in slo-mo dodging an entire clip's worth of bullets by windmilling his arms around and going 'woah' as the bullets whiz by. Further, a misconception of mine has been that Difficulty penalties somehow applied to dodge tests, and degrees of success by the shooter counted as penalties to dodge as well. Now I see that neither of those cases are actually in the rulebook either. So yes, I can see how the Vindicare's matrix-dodge ability can make it pretty **** difficult to play with RAW. I didn't see the combination of Unnatural Agility + Temple Assassin. (Speaking of combos, I didn't see the Regeneration/Inferno combo either. So there. Mea Culpa. I don't set out to see how badly I can break a game when I learn to play, so I tend to miss those subtle combos. It's also why I hate Magic cards.) But that brings me to my next point. The more think about it, it doesn't make any sense that a Vindicare would just tag along with an Inquisitor party to begin with. Correct me if I'm wrong, but all the fluff I've read indicates that the Grand Master of Assassins and the High Lords of Terra are "supposed" to sanction every Temple Assassin mission (including pg 44 of Ascension). Assassins are supposed to be solo individuals, not part of a team. A Vindicare is the solitary sniper who stalks his target for days before squeezing the trigger. A Callidus spends days, weeks or months infiltrating a target's retinue via polymorphine. An Eversor is supposed to be decanted from a cryostasis tube with hypnotic instructions pumped into his brain as he's quickly taken to his drop-pod before the crystal meth - I mean, Combat Cocktail kicks in and he goes berserk. Lastly, where the first three don't really fit in a team environment, a Culexus Assassin (IMO) would be the ideal assassin to team up with an Inquisitorial band because if it weren't for the whole 'soulless creepy vibe and skull helmet that freaks people out' thing, they would be able to contribute in a meaningful way, especially when hunting down psykers, without totally breaking things wide open. But going back to Moringias' point, the book needs to be evaluated on RAW, not on fluff and plot and roleplaying and other silly stuff, and the Vindicare example is pretty badly out of line. And the psyker combos that benefit from the anti-fatigue effect of regeneration (Bloodboil, My Will Obeyed, Inferno, Purgatus, Tempest) seems pretty wacky too. So while I accept that RAW can potentially be game-breaking, I really wish you'd been a little more specific in your complaints, instead of making sideways comments and assuming we'd all memorized the books and drawn the same connections you did.
  10. Morangias, despite what you have posted, I have to agree that the vast majority of the posts you've put up on the forums recently do make you sound like an MMO-style combat-focused player/GM who puts little value on the role-playing aspect of the game. For example, you claim a Vindicare Assassin is an 'I Win' button whereas a Dreadnought DW character is not, and that the Vindicare wins as soon as he rolls for initiative. Having never played Ascension, I can't say for sure one way or another, but it seems to me that especially in 40K, there is A) Always a bigger fish/Chaos Marine/Trigon/Titan, and B) there is always a shadow for that bigger fish to be skulking in. A Vindicare may be a combat monster, but he is still a single-shot-only-sniper-rifle combat monster who may get off that single shot faster than anybody, but that in itself is a serious limitation. I see the "Perfect Shot" Talent, which lets him Aim again as a reaction, but that precludes his ability to load any special ammo or move anywhere. A Vindicare is going to eat up a lot of half/full actions or reactions while reloading, aiming, and shooting, so their firepower is going to be accurate but not completely dominant. While the example is not as extreme (because it's real life, not 40k), look at Randy Shugart and Gary Gordon in Somalia - two of the US's top trained Delta Force snipers, supported by blackhawk helicopters, but they were still overwhelmed by a horde of Somali militia armed with AK's as they tried to defend Mike Durant, the downed blackhawk pilot. The movie makes it all a little bit prettier than it was in real life, but the book really drives the point home. I believe you recently posted in another forum about how 'nobody in your group ever need anything other than autoguns or autocannons because full auto beats sniper rifles every time', and yet here you are saying exactly the opposite now. A Vindicare, or any other combat-monster for that matter, is only effective when there is A) combat to be had, B) badguys to be found, and C) enough ammo. A relatively straightforward suggestion to deal with the combat threat of a Vindicare might include stealth/scout missions where there are dire consequences for being discovered - and leaving bodies with exitus-shell sized holes in them will cause far greater problems (like having to investigate a fellow inquisitor suspected of radicalism/heresy?). Also, it seems to me that if a particularly well-equipped badguy found out an inquisitorial band was hunting him, he would invest great resources in sucking a team into a trap where they could be, say, bombed from orbit. Some of the 40K fiction I've read included a short story about a Vindicare who had a 4 day infiltration/insertion just to take a shot at an Eldar Farseer, which was considered an extreme-high-value target. A group that has a Vindicare attached to them on a more-or-less permanent basis should be out there hunting down the most dangerous creatures the galaxy has to offer, not gunning down mook cultists armed with autoguns or autocannons. Regardless, you also talk about how nothing in the rules supports play at a personal level, but there is an entire section of Ascension based around mapping the band's spheres of influence, reputation, power, and so on among particular social groups, networks and organizations. That doesn't even get into the threat of treading into radical territory and being declared excommunicate traitoris, or the flip-side of the coin, being targeted by an inquisitorial group that has gone radical themselves. (See "Always a bigger fish"). This doesn't necessarily mean the characters can be out-gunned, it means they may be cut off of resources, their ability to operate is hindered, contacts and cash dry up, and if they want to retain their authority to act as agents of the inquisition, they either disappear and make do with what they have until they can prove their innocence (and remember, innocence proves nothing...) or be declared excommunicate and get kicked out of the "This is my do anything and get away with it badge" club. I have a hard time imagining what kind of circumstances could have arisen from playing Ascension that would completely ruin a game far beyond the GM's ability to handle it. You talk about being able to explain the hard math behind why the system is broken, which I actually _would_ be interested in hearing. As discussed on the DH vs. RT forum, you complained bitterly about how unfair it was that the astropaths got to use the fettered/unfettered/push tables to determine their chances of rolling on the perils of the warp table, but psykers either pulled off an uber-power that single-handedly won the combat or resulted in a total party kill. I demonstrated using the hard math how the cataclysmic TPK kinds of results that are possible are highly unlikely, less than 5% of the time at the highest levels pre-Ascension - but you seemed to feel that _any_ risk was unacceptable. And I say, exactly - and that's why thousands of psykers are shipped off to Terra to keep fuelling the Golden Throne, instead of allowing them to run around summon up random daemons. I think the previous poster had it right, in that Ascension propels Dark Heresy into Rogue Trader territory where you play the boss, with minions out to do all thy bidding, but that brings with it a whole host of other issues that actually can serve to decrease the destabilization effect of having combat monsters in the party, and increases the usefulness of the Influence and reputation. Some Inquisitors don a suit of power armor, heft their daemonhammer, and go forth to kick @$$. Others have small (or large) armies of interrogators and acolytes, contacts and snitches, and rarely take a direct hand in matters themselves. Most fall somewhere between the two, and that for me is the appeal of Ascension - the satisfaction of a well-run investigation, piecing together clues from dozens of sources until you can finally identify, isolate and (with the aid of your resident Vindicare) eliminate your target. If your PC's thrive on combat, then there's nothing wrong with sending them after bigger and badder badguys - Chaos Space Marines? Obliterators? How about a Defiler or a corrupted Land Raider? What about Tyranids? How hardcore is a Vindicare, staring down a horde of several hundred gaunts or genestealers? If your PC's prefer investigation and not combat, great - more role playing, investigation, red herrings, double-crosses, back-alley deals and undercover operations. If your Primaris Psyker is making things difficult, introduce an Untouchable. There's always a bigger fish. Please understsand that I'm not trying to troll or attack you personally, but your posts do come across as being excessively negative instead of constructively critical, and I'm trying to understand why. OP
  11. I suspect it was a slip of the keyboard and Moringias meant autoguns, not autocannons. While we're sort of on the topic, the most obvious advantage sniper rifles have is range, far beyond anything that autoguns or standard bolters have. In real life, standard 7.62mm sniper rifles can be accurate easily out to 600-800m, whereas an M16 is considered maxed out around 300-400m, and the (now) more common M4 is only around 200m! The trick comes in knowing when each weapon will be most useful. I know for a fact that the Canadian sniper teams in Afghanistan took to travelling in threes. One carried the .50 cal heavy sniper rifle, one carried the more common 7.62mm sniper rifle, and the third was 'security', carrying an assault rifle with an m203 grenade launcher. They carried three different weapons (four, if you count the m203) because each was ideal under different circumstances. A situation where 'autoguns and bolters are best because of autofire' just means the GM isn't being terribly creative. Machineguns (Heavy Stubbers) have their place, and it is at a secured, heavily bagged position where they can pin down enemy infantry who are on the advance, long before their rifles (autoguns) have range. In a world with power armor, psychic powers and orbital artillery, the poor bloody (unaugmented) infantry are pretty screwed in any war of attrition. For example, in my RT campaign, the PC's will shortly be assaulting an arctic fortress held by the remnants of a radical/heretic inquisitor (with inquisitorial sanction, of course). They might choose to grav-chute HALO assault directly into the fortress, or they might choose to drop in a klick or two away and start raining in targeted fire from a distance. Advantages of the second one include making it supremely difficult for the enemy to locate the source of the fire, and being far enough away that any return fire is minimal and inaccurate. It might also serve well to suppress some of the defenders before the bulk of the assaulting force (mercenary grav-chute-equipped drop-trooper types) arrives. The drop troops, on the other hand, are predominantly equipped with hellguns and hand cannon sidearms, grenade launchers or flamers, with support weapon teams equipped with lascannons and long-las. Each platoon HQ has a melta and a mortar for tank hunting and pinning enemies in the open with light artillery (mortars). The end result is the PC's have a 'grav-borne' assault force, that isn't equipped to mow down hordes of orks or other humans, but can perform a surgical assault an objective from sub-orbit using the RT's Halo Barges to drop a platoon at a time. The RT can potentially assault a given objective with 500 troops supported by scout bikes, chiroptean scout fliers and a dozen or so tank-hunting sentinel walkers - but thus far, the game has been solidly investigative and diplomatic. You have to find the objective before you can assault it, and that's what the badguys do, is hide from plain view. We've gone 5 game sessions without any combat, and the players couldn't be happier. They're getting a chance to really develop their characters as something other than a gun on legs, stretching their ability to think creatively, plan for contingencies, and of course make astounding leaps of logic that are absolutely right with next-to-zero information. At the end of it, they will have secured a reliable contact within the inquisition, secured ongoing finances by having the planetary governor owe them huge favours, identified a potential source of future recruits for their mercenary force, and boosted their profit factor by a couple notches. A good endeavour's work. Which is, going back to the original topic, why we like RT so much - the sky isn't even the limit - but it does take a lot of thought and work on everyone's part. OP
  12. So you don't care for the DH system because you're unable to completely eliminate the risk of perils of the warp? There's only a 2.5% chance of any power going 'haywire' on one die, not 10%. The other 7.5% of the time, something freaky happens, but it won't be a TPK situation by any stretch. I guess it's a good thing there are guidelines to convert DH over to RT rules (page 172 RT Core). Oh yeah, I figured out how to do the math on, how Favoured by the Warp decreases your chances. If I were really that worried about perils of the warp, I would just allow the PC's to take that ability much earlier. Regardless, if you have FbtW, it drives the chances of manifesting perils from 2.5% of the time down to 0.6% of the time, which means the really bad stuff only happens 0.02% of the time. Taken another way, that means that of the 10% likelihood of rolling a 9, you'll only roll a Perils result 94 times out of a thousand. IMO, the meaningful decision you make as a player (and group) is whether you want a psyker along in the group in the first place. The meaningful decision you make when playing a psyker is to make sure you only roll as many dice as you think you need to manifest the power. The meaningful decision you make as a non-psyker PC is whether or not you blow his head off "for his own good" when perils manifest. Stressful on the players? Maybe, depends on their own take on the game and how personally they take it. I've seen it a few times in the game, and it served as a reminder exactly why psykers are treated the way they are in 40K. Grimdark? Of course. Regardless, the question posed was whether or not the poster ought to be playing RT or DH, and I would be making the decision based on the role the players are playing in the game (hence the term Role Playing Game), not whether or not the psychic power system was dangerous to its users & their associates.
  13. Call me crazy, but I think the rules in BFK should be taken more as 'guidelines', and have any large-scale combat like you describe being more thematic and less "X vs. Y = X dies". I would put a lot more focus on making tests using Scholastic Lore: Tactica Imperialis, Command, Deceive, Scrutiny, and so on. Kind of like starship combat, in a way. To expand on your math, yes, more smaller units are more efficient than larger units, most of the time. When dealing with conscript armies (Russian WWII, for example), they were very IG (or is it the other way around) in that they believed Quantity was a Quality all of its own. So you would have relatively few NCOs or officers for a hundred troops, because the trained leaders were the scarce resource. In any modern army, however, NCO's typically command between 4 and 10 troops under them at any given time, and the rank structure builds up from there, because it limits confusion if the NCO is taken out (fewer troops looking for a new boss), it maximizes flexibility (I have 3 companies with 9 platoons, that's 6 objectives with an entire company still in reserve to back them up), and it encourages individual initiative (by keeping squads smaller, the troops are comrades-in-arms, not sheep in a herd.) Things to keep in mind to keep combat thematic, not mathematic (these are semi-real-world examples, not necessarily reflected in the game rules): Who controls the orbitals, controls satellite surveillance. Artillery needs a spotter if they're shooting at targets out of their line of sight. (See Orbitals & Surveillance). Deny them the ability to see your enemies, artillery is just a big fat target for Special/Airborne Forces or airborne ground attack (modern examples: AH-64 Apache helicopter, A-10 Warthog, F/A-18 Hornet). Infantry kill tanks and artillery by assaulting them in close terrain (forest, urban). Infantry in trenches hides from tanks, hides from artillery, and shoot other infantry, unless the infantry in the trench is assaulted by other sneaky infantry while they were hiding from the tanks and artillery. Infantry in trenches have trouble hiding from flamethrower tanks, which is partly why we all decided flamethrowers should be illegal after WWII. Tanks kill infantry and artillery on open ground (heavy hitting, armored rapid shooting (compared to arty, at least), mobile). Artillery tries to stay hidden from Airborne Ground Attack by hiding in close terrain, far away from the front-line infantry. This is why airborne infantry rocks - they can use the artillery's cover against them. Fantastic real world example in Band of Brothers - Carentan, I think? Tanks are usually accompanied by mechanized infantry, to protect them when they are vulnerable (close terrain and while trench clearing) - Final battle to hold the bridge at the end of Saving Private Ryan - fictional, but strategically plausible. Tanks drink fuel by the megagallon. Kill the fuel tanks, neutralize the tanks without having to kill them. Air kills tanks, artillery, and other air. Air Defense Artillery 'might' kill Air, but really Air just tries to go over or around, instead of through. Artillery can counter-battery if they have the range. Friendly Fire Isn't. Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice Doggy' until your sniper gets his scope dialled in. Tanks and Artillery need roads and bridges to get around. Nothing stalls an advance across a river like blowing the only bridge for 40km in any direction. (When I say 'River', I mean 'River', not creek, stream, pond or swimmin hole.). For bridge-happy (sad, actually) city, see Vancouver. Bridges include the Port Mann, Patullo, Alex Fraser, Mission City, Golden Ears, Pitt River, Burrard St, Cambie St, Granville St, Oak St, Knight St, Iron Workers Memorial, Lions Gate, not to mention the Massey and Cassiar Tunnels. Sure there are a bunch, but to use electrical terms, they are mostly set 'in series', not 'in parallel' and so there are relatively few alternate routes, which in a game, could be used creatively from a strategic POV. If certain bridges are taken out, they need to use the so-called 'alternates' or the engineers need to set up their own bridges, which is extremely resource and time consuming and highly vulnerable to further attack. All that to say, combined arms and terrain is vital to any strategic battle where you're trying to defeat the enemy but leave the planet intact. Otherwise, you may as well just nuke the site from orbit - it's the only way to be sure, after all. OP
  14. So does that mean that Forgeworld serfs are strictly there to feed into the ranks of the AdMech? Obviously the majority of tech-priests live a long, long time with their implants & conversion, but it's a good Q, not something I'd ever considered before. OP
  15. My 2 cents - There are some fairly loaded arguments being thrown around on all sides here, but to go back to the original theme of the thread, I would recommend Dark Heresy for the group as described by the original poster. A group that likes to RP but also be lead by the the nose doesn't want to have to go digging for their own adventures. RT allows near ultimate player freedom, and it's one of the reasons my group enjoys it so much - Have Starship, Will Travel (and find loot/shenanigans/trouble along the way...). You don't have a boss, you don't need to toe the Imperial line, you can be anything from a Pilgrim-carrying Ecclesiarchy Missionary to a warpfire and brimstone corsair, and the only people who are going to say anything about it are the other people with bigger and meaner starships than yours. Dark Heresy is very different, in that you start out as a bunch of know-little Mooks but have one thing going for them - apparently, an Inquisitor finds them trustworthy. Inquisitor says "Hey, there's some baad juju coming out of the mines on Scintilla, can you go check it out? Let me know if any of you survive, okay? Thanks..." and the PC's are off. They're on a mission for the God-Emperor. The GM is free to create as straightforward or convoluted a plot as they want, the plot can be as obscure or transparent as the PC's can handle, and they're off to the races. There are significant differences between DH, RT, DW and BC, there's no doubt. And there are tiny little paragraphs buried within some of the Core books on how best to combine the settings, but make no mistake, they're supposed to be different. Psykers is definitely one of the most widely-varied rules differences, and it's obviously torqued some gamers the wrong way, and others seem to enjoy it. I can't speak for BC because I've never played it, and although I have the rulebook I haven't played DW either. Coincidentally, I have played DH and RT, which was the original question for the thread. I haven't played an Ascension level game, and I can see that it gets pretty screwy, but I think the point of Ascension is to change the game away from the 'small team' feel of DH and jump straight into decades-long, sector-spanning conspiracies, like those seen in the Eisenhorn & Ravenor trilogies. In fact, I think Ascension is almost where Rogue Trader picks up, theme-wise at least (not PC stats-wise) because all of a sudden, YOU are making the decisions, YOU are calling the shots, and YOU are in deep doo-doo if things go sideways. I know a LOT of GMs and PCs out there enjoy the games for the combat, and if the combat is unbalanced "then the game is unbalanced, completely nerfed, and/or impossible to play", but here's the thing: It's not a wargame. It's a conspiracy investigating, cult-tracking, intelligence-gathering, spy thriller game, which features some combat. Just look at the DW rules for "Hordes" - not a Chance you'll see that as an Acolyte. So I guess that's it, as far as game-choice goes. If you want a straight-forward bolter-blastin' wargame, play DeathWatch. If you want to boldly go where no one has gone before (and loot it for all it's worth), play Rogue Trader. If you want investigative spy shenanigans, Dark Heresy is the way to go. If your group likes playing badguys, I hear Black Crusade is good, but I haven't looked, myself. PS: I think Plasma in ALL the settings are nerfed, compared to the Plasma I know and love from 40K Tabletop. Compare the following: Krak Grenades (40K: S6, AP4), Hellguns (40K: S3, AP3), Meltaguns (40K: S8, AP1), Plasma (40K: S7, AP2). Krak Grenades: 2d10+4 X, Pen 6, Hellguns: 1d10+4 E, Pen 7, Meltaguns: 2d10+8 E, Pen 13, Plasma: 1d10+6 E, Pen 6. So the mighty Plasma gun does less damage than a Krak Grenade and has the same Pen as a Krak Grenade, and is nearly identical to a hellgun. Riiiggghhtt. In my campaigns, Plasma Guns do 2d10+6 E, Pen 9. This puts the damage above Krak Grenades, but below Melta guns (7 does fall between 6 and 8) and the Armor Points for armor seems to go up by 2 for every 1 the Armor Save gets better in 40K, so AP 9 for something able to penetrate Terminator armor seems alright. I also jack up the chances of an overheat to 85%, which is coincidentally approx. the odds of rolling a 1 on 1d6 PPS: I don't have a problem with the Perils of the Warp thing from DH, because it's just not very likely. Mathwise (which, as we all know, has nothing to do with how likely something actually is in a game due to the whims of the dice gods), you have to roll a 9 to trigger a Phenomena test, which is 10% likely with 1 die, 19% with 2, 27% likely with 3 dice, and so on. THEN, you roll Perils of the warp 25% of the time, making it 2.5% likely with 1 die, 4.75% likely with 2 dice, 6.75% likely with 3 dice, and so on. Now, this doesn't account for the fact that if you roll 2 nines on 2d10, you roll twice, but suffice to say that's even more unlikely (1% on 2 dice to roll double nines). But even STILL, you have to roll a 62% or higher on the Perils chart before you even start summoning lesser daemons, which is 38% of the above numbers: 0.95%, 1.81% and 2.57% likely for 1, 2 and 3 dice. The most difficult powers to manifest, Dominate, Holocaust, Mind Scan and Precision Telekinesis, have a power requirement of 23 or 24, which requires an average of 4 dice to pull off with any reliability (Avg. Die roll of 5-6+WP), which will cause Phenomena at least 35% of the time, Perils 9% of the time, and hella trouble almost 4% of the time. That doesn't even account for odds-shifting talents like Corpus Conversion, Discipline Focus, or Favoured by the Warp (huge effect there, but beyond my ability to work the odds). In short, rolling the devastating kinds of total-party-kill disasters that Sanctioned Psykers are capable of are unlikely. Unless the dice gods are cranky. Oh, and in the grim darkness of the future, life is cheap. Roll a new party & carry on. PPPS, To calculate the odds, multiply the odds of not rolling a 9 (90%, or 0.9) by itself as many times as you have dice (.9x.9 for 2 dice, .9 x .9 x .9 for 3 dice) and then subtract that # from 1. (1 - .9^1 = 0.1, or 10% for 1 die, 1-9^2 = 0.19 for 2 dice, etc). Then start multiplying by the odds of triggering Perils and then by the odds of triggering BAD perils...) /end rant. OP
  16. I actually did up an excel spreadsheet just to lay out all the weapons and compare them, relative to the stats the guns had in 40K. Hellguns do less damage (RT 1d10+4 vs. 1d10+5, Tearing, 40K: S3 vs S4) but have better penetration (Pen 7 vs. Pen 4, 40K AP3 vs. AP5). This is in line with the 40K comparisons (Flak Armor gave 4 Armor Points or 5+ in 40K, Carapace gave 6 AP or 4+, Power Armour gave 8 AP or 3+). So it appears armor values go up by 2 for every 1 point they get better in 40K. As previously posted, the HUGE difference between DH and RT was that the 5th edition Codex for Imperial Guard was released, where storm troopers with their hellguns went from S3AP5 to S3AP3, meaning their guns all of a sudden kicked butt, assuming you could wound your target. My issue with the weapon stats is with flamers and plasma. Flamers were S4, AP5 (similar damage and pen to bolters) and were template driven. So why is their RT damage equal to the hellgun (S3 weapon) and their Pen only 2? (Equal to AP6?). In my game, I've changed Standard flamers to be 1d10+5 AP 4, just to keep the damage and Pen where I feel they ought to be. On one hand, they still don't do as much damage as a bolter because they don't have tearing, but they do have Flame, so I think it balances out a bit. Heavy Flamers (S5 AP4) were 2d10+4, Pen 4. That damage put them on par with Krak Grenades (2d10+4, Pen 6) which in 40K are S6AP4. So I've downed their damage to 2d10+2 Pen 6 which is almost identical to the Heavy Bolter, which is on par with the 40K stats. Plasma. 1d10+6, Pen 6? Really? For Terminator killers? In 40K, A plasma anything hitting a terminator wounds on 2+ with their invulnerable save only. Devastating. I think the stats in RT for plasma are... wussy? Based on the aforementioned Krak Grenade, compared to Melta weapons, and the armour value for power armour, I've changed plasma pistols to be 2d10+6, Pen 9. Huge, HUGE difference. I've also increased their chance to overheat to 85%+, just like rolling a '1' on d6. IMO, Plasma anything is almost archaeotech in itself. Everything fluff-wise that I've read indicates that plasma is barely understood and extremely rare. So it doesn't make sense to me, stat-wise or fluff-wise, that Plasma does +2 points of damage and -1 (!!!) Pen versus Hellguns. OP
  17. My group uses skype and another program called TTopRPG which is a free download off the net. It takes the GM a bit of time to set up, because it uses maps and icons, and so I grabbed a bunch of portraits off the various RT, DH and 40K sourcebooks I have on PDF and put those portraits into the program. Then I use AutoRealm, another free web download to create the maps, and save them as jpegs. The GM has complete control over what portions of the map are visible to the PC's, and the maps are easily scalable to whatever size you decide represents 1 'square', be it 5' or 1 VU. We have icons and maps for both ground-based exploration and combat and icons for ships out in the void. Our opening game involved our RT Captain being kidnapped (as the player had to bail at the last moment) and the PC's rushing to rescue him, both on the ground and then with a stern-chase in the void. Worked beautifully. The only trick was that I had to figure out how to open a port on my router for the other players to log into my computer, but once it was set up, TTopRPG saved all the settings so we didn't have to monkey around with it again after that. The program itself is intended for use with d20-based games so there are plenty of preprogrammed functions that we don't use for RT, but it's straightforward to setup macros for all your die rolling. For example, each PC has a set of skill tabs that they can edit or modify. So when the Rogue Trader takes an aimed shot, he clicks the "Plasma Pistol Full Aim (60%)" button, which rolls the to hit roll, lists what the basic threshold for success is and then I have it roll damage in case the hit was successful. The program also has a text-chat function in case you're not running skype or similar, and it also allows for private messages to and from the players for shenanigans. There are a lot more functions in the program, this is just a bare bones description. In short, it provides chat, a "whiteboard" for placing maps and icons, allows die-rolling of whatever type you need, and allows gamers who are otherwise physically unable to make it to play. Disclaimer: I'm in no way affiliated with TTopRPG, I just think they did a really good job with it. This is one case where you get waaay more than you pay for (free).
  18. Page 28 states 'a battle brother always has access to the essentials of his specialty without the need to requisition them'. And then it goes on to list the equipment each specialty starts with. The listed equipment for a Librarian includes: "Astartes Bolter with fire selector, force weapon". Thus, any starting Librarian starts with a Force weapon, which according to pages 155-156, includes either a Force Staff or Force Sword. I suppose the theory being that a psychic-power-throwing Librarian would prefer to use the Invocation bonus from the staff, whereas the psychic-powers-that-augment-my-melee-abilities Librarian would prefer the Force Sword. Not to be confused with Nemesis force weapons from DH: Grey Knights, or the Naduesh Force weapons from RT: Into the Storm (Force Axe, Force Sword, Force Staff). AND THEN... The Librarian is compelled to remain with their chosen force weapon until they reach the necessary Requisition to acquire the other one. My $.02 OP
  19. Haha aren't tangents great/frustrating? In response to your original question, I recently re-read 'Scourge the Heretic' by Sandy Mitchell, after getting a copy of 'Innocence Proves Nothing', the sequel. For those of you who haven't read them, Scourge the Heretic was released to coincide with the original Dark Heresy release (even the cover's title font is identical). In it, the main characters (coincidentally an arbitrator, an assassin, a guardsman, a sanctioned psyker, a tech-priest and a scum), all working for an inquisitor who stays out of the investigative shenanigans, investigate the mass theft/kidnapping/release of psyker prisoners destined for the Black Ships. There's plenty of interest for any Inquisitor, Xenos, Hereticus or Malleus, Deathwatch marines here & there, and so on. Very cool. So... How bout your characters are an untouchable kill-team hunting down a recently freed number of psykers? The psykers represent a whole mix of powers and ratings, some that can be dangerous indirectly (telekinetic booby-traps, for example), but the PC's can out-blank a number of highly powerful abilities, like Psychic Blade, Blood Boil, etc. Maybe they're being led/have been freed by a Chaos Marine sorcerer? My logic is basically, untouchables are too rare to squander on non-psyker targets. Psykers are rare enough as it is, so if you're going to send a team of blanks, it'll be against a horde of unsanctioned psykers. OP
  20. Bird-dogging and ambushes are always exciting too - it lets the PC's create situations where they're on the offensive, but with all the benefits of being on the defensive too. Assuming they're not going into a chain of rooms filled with badguys, they should be able to pick off sentries at range, draw out targets into the open while engaging them from cover, set booby traps (a frag grenade and some fishing line is usually all it takes), and then, when they've whittled down the opposition a little, they can conduct their assault. Surveillance (how many targets? how are they armed? how are they armoured? do they have a chaos marine with them?) is key to knowing what they're going up against. If that's not possible, they can use stummers, servo-skulls to scout ahead, auspex, and so on. Then, when it's go-time, make sure they bring weapons appropriate to the fight. If your assassin loves to snipe, great, but he needs to do a little heavy lifting when it's up close and personal too. Acolytes could attempt to draw the cultists out into a position where the targets will be exposed and vulnerable to massed firepower fired from prepared positions. Real-world SWAT/ERT cops don't just walk through a door - They stack up, chuck in a stun grenade, charge through digging for corners & cover, and push through with speed and aggression. They use every dirty trick they can think of to keep their targets off balance, on the defensive, and reacting to their intentions, retaining the initiative. They have other SWAT guys standing by to hold the other sides of the building to make sure the badguys don't just run out the back door - classic hammer and anvil tactics. Of course the SWAT metaphor isn't accurate because they (usually) try to take their targets alive, and do so by convincing the badguys that they have no chance at surviving. Acolytes on the other hand, may well chuck frag grenades at the same time as their stun grenades, and they charge in shooting with no questions asked. I actually feel (as a former infantry soldier) that frag and stun grenades aren't nearly effective enough in these settings - if you're in a room when a stun grenade goes off, it feels like you just got punched in the ears with a power-fist, and if you see the flash of the flashbang, it's like staring into the sun after a long winter of cloudy grey skies. Oh, and not everyone will fight to the death. In the real world, hardly anyone ever does. Obviously this is 40K and life is a lot cheaper, but even badguys who will be facing the death penalty (which is most of them) may not have the guts to fight it out. Some people feel they may believe "If they've got nothing to lose, they'll fight" but I don't believe this is always the case - it takes a lot of courage to fight it out at the time, regardless of the consequences afterwards. I see a lot of cultists in 40K being weak-willed peons and minions, who were easily brainwashed/tricked/swayed into following the badguys. The very fact that they are weak-willed peons and minions who could be brainwashed suggests they're less likely to fight to the death, unless failing to do so would be worse in a very immediate way. Picture the opening scene of Enemy at the Gates, where the Russian conscripts had to be pushed forward by machinegun crews who promised to shoot anyone running away... So - tactics, dirty tricks, surveillance and ambushes. Allowing the badguys to fight it out on their terms will always go badly.
  21. Gregorius21778 said: venkelos said: A GROUP of Nulls? Holy crap, where did that Inquisitor go to hire minions? A Necron Tomb World? Nope. I guess he would be hiring the same places "the Femininum" had hired their cadre of nulls (see Abnetts Eisenhorn series) Agreed - Eisenhorn made special use of untouchables, and in fact his practice carried over to the Ravenor series where Ravenor not only had several untouchables on his staff, they were able to activate 'limiters' that put a limit on their 'blankness', which was crucial since Ravenor was basically a crippled ball of alpha-psyker-grade meat. I'd be totally up with running a squad of untouchables - it seems to me it's the perfect NON-radical answer to Chaos and the warp. Maybe as a twist at the end, after a successful mission, they all get mind-wiped and disappear into temple culexus having 'proven' themselves... Grimdark much? OP
  22. So in the text of Battlefleet Koronus, Page 31, it gives a description for a Mezoa-Pattern Theta-7 drive, applicable only for Transports. Sounds cool. Problem being, On table 1-8, there is no statline for the Theta-7 Drive listed. I'd reaaaaalllly like to know what that statline is so I can plug it into my go-faster Orion Star Clipper... Help? Gracias OP
  23. I basically just called up my buddies who I'd played DH and 4E with, and said "I'd like to get another game going, it's been a little while, who'd be up for some Rogue Trader - and did I mention the filthy stinkin LOOT?!" And that was that. The only trick we had was arranging for everyone to meet at one location, which was awkward once I realized how far spread out we've become as a group. So we're trying something different - a Virtual Tabletop program called TTopRPG and Skype. Works like a charm.
  24. I agree 100%. My goal with this campaign is to allow them to be as devious, mischevious and nefarious (doesn't quite rhyme, oh well) as they can be. All the shiny kit in the world (or in this case, literally, the system) won't do for nothing, if they're set upon by an AdMech Grand Cruiser, or Naval Battleship, or something else. They're still strictly a couple PC's on board a frigate. Maybe they'll want to hook up some of the advanced weapon systems to said frigate. What will they buy the shiny kit with? What do they do when their Explorator says "Number one, this is unsanctioned and possibly heretical tech and I'm not terribly thrilled with it, and Number two, their kit doesn't plug into our stuff." What if they steal a ship? Umm... No warp drive. No getaway. What if they want to trade their ship for a new one? Umm... We don't want your three-thousand year old junker, than you very much, we're happy with our high-speed-low-drag red-paintjobbin' system battleships, thanks much. Ironically, now that the campaign has started, we've managed to go three sessions without ANY combat. None. And my players couldn't be happier. They didn't even elect to head off into the Koronus Expanse, just yet. The background plot is basically that the RT's father died in a genestealer-related disaster, the Captain inherited the Warrant and is now the Boss. Because his family's holdings took such a beating after they lost Dad, Dad's Ship and Dad's extensive web of personal contacts, the new Captain elected to secure his 'rear area' first around his ancestral estate on Malfi. The ship holds barracks for roughly 1000 of the best-quality drop-troop stormtrooper-ish mercenaries to be found, with the Rogue Trader and Arch-Militant as Commander and 2 i/c. Now they're investigating a series of insurgent attacks on Protasia, still in the Calixis sector, and thus far, have done far, far more role-playing, investigation and sleuthing than I've ever seen in an RPG. The goal at the end is to secure $$ and a potential new source of recruits for their Merc Company, the Voidbound Freelancers. So long as they are strictly there to 'assist' and continue to obey the Imperium's Laws while within Imperial space, have at 'er! Thanks everyone for the great input, suggestions and constructive criticisms. Cheers OP
  25. Hmmm. Methinks having an intact STC would be a bit too big a deal. I like the previous post's idea that they don't have to have the intact STC, just a knowledge and understanding of the equipment that allows them to develop, improve and refine the tech that has gone before them. I've got a bunch of ideas for vehicle patterns and improved weapon systems, mostly that come as a result of more efficient & smaller power packs, a more thorough understanding of gravity manipulation, and so on. For example - do we have any real good reason not to have IG carry Hellguns vs. Lasguns, aside from the fact that lasguns are cheaper and easier to make? I know about the 'recharge the clip by tossing it into the fire' reason, but... they're still 0 pen flashlights. Then there's other weapons that can be improved (like plasma guns not overheating, and meltas that shoot further than a pistol). Speaking of plasma guns, has anybody found any logic behind the plasma gun stats in the book? 40K lists them as S7, AP2, and Hellguns are S3, AP3. Then in the RT book, Plasma guns only have +2 damage and +1 pen, meaning it does on average, only +3 damage vs an armoured target!? A plasma-gun is a 1-shot autokill against any human in 40K who doesn't have an invulnerable (energy field) save...
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