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Using XP as ‘money’

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Definitely play your game you and your players enjoy.  I was concerned because taking things away from players after they have 'earned' them is a great way to ruin their (and your enjoyment).  I have been running games for more time than I want to admit, and I have never seen that sort of strategy fail to bother at least one of the players.

 

On the note of Bolt Pistols, they are still manufactured and issued to officers and elites.  They are rare, but not relics.  Astartes Bolt weapons would be relics, as would some of the more unusual patterns.  Powered Armour is definitely rare enough to justify keeping away from the PCs up until they reach Inquisitor status themselves though.  Special Weapons (Plasma, Melta, most heavies...) should be for elites, and that ammunition will be similarly hard to get.  Standard infantry or gang weapons shouldn't run into that problem.  Of course, the Vold Hive Gang leader who uses a 'leaky' version of an Empyrean Blade in the sewer tunnels is going to be terrifying....while ensuring that the players don't even want to touch it.

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I was concerned because taking things away from players after they have 'earned' them is a great way to ruin their (and your enjoyment).  I have been running games for more time than I want to admit, and I have never seen that sort of strategy fail to bother at least one of the players.

I think that observation is just about universally applicable. Nobody likes being denied the pay-off they've earned.

With that in mind, my suggestions earlier are perhaps not all that helpful. Though in my defence, the only time I've ever experienced this issue personally was in a campaign I played in as a teenager, where our GM was ridiculously far beyond game-breakingly generous, and couldn't figure out how to solve the problem once he'd created it.

 

On the note of Bolt Pistols, they are still manufactured and issued to officers and elites.  They are rare, but not relics.

Context is everything, I suppose. We've been playing almost exclusively in Hive Sibellus on Scintilla, and while Bolt ammunition is produced in a neighbouring hive, Scintilla isn't an Imperial Guard staging area in our game, and actual Bolt weapons are not produced anywhere on the planet. So Bolt tech pretty much is relic tech as far as my players are concerned.

We've also introduced the concept of Tech Levels. This was mostly an attempt to reign in the super Skill of überness known as Tech-Use, but it has had a much wider impact and, among other things, made relatively low-tech weapons like las & SP make a ton more sense, both in terms of practical usefulness and setting verisimilitude.

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The Fane of Orthlack on Scintilla manufactures the Sacristan Bolt Pistol.  It is specifically used by Inquisitors and their senior Acolytes.  They also manufacture Astartes Bolt Ammunition (a much more rare item) on Scintilla.  There is a (heretekal) hunting/sniper carbine (Angelous Bolt Carbine) that uses those hallowed rounds made by the Fane of Fykos on Scintilla as well. Not saying that they are commonly available, but they are made on the planet (Gunmetal Hive for both Fanes I believe).  Personally, you might try using the Spitfire 'Bolt' Pistol when your players go looking for one.  Better than a normal pistol, with the feel of a bolt pistol, without being as powerful.

 

Personally, I think that Man Stopper Rounds with a decent Hand Cannon are just about as good and a lot cheaper (Plus, silencer..).  Bolt weapons are more useful because they can use different types of ammo.  Shotguns have similar ability while being far more common and cheaper.  Be careful of the Vanaheim model though, only Average availability and far too good for lower level play.  My RT gives them to his 'Hull Clearers' (Penal troopers in armored vac suits with shotguns he uses to flush out threats in a captured ship).

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Definitely play your game you and your players enjoy.

 

Absolutely. There's so many different interpretations of the setting, and personal preferences in terms of scope and focus ...

 

I'm still "stuck" in GW's own fluff with which I have "grown up", so seeing a bolt weapon in some high ranking ganger's hands (a la Necromunda, or the Wh40k Weekly comics) would not surprise me. It may well be that (aside from its contradicting fluff) the system does not support this interpretation very well, for aside from how it treats Astartes guns I'm also missing quality differences between a ganger's and an Inquisitor's bolt weapon. That being said, I suppose just tacking an Unreliable perk onto a bog-standard bolter profile would suffice to suit the description in "Necromunda". :)

 

We've also introduced the concept of Tech Levels. This was mostly an attempt to reign in the super Skill of überness known as Tech-Use, but it has had a much wider impact and, among other things, made relatively low-tech weapons like las & SP make a ton more sense, both in terms of practical usefulness and setting verisimilitude.

 

This sounds intrigueing. From the sound of it, I guess you coupled weapon usage to the Tech-Use skill? But I'd expect rather than just making guns unusable, you would have given them the Unreliable perk if operated by characters with lack of proper education (basically reflecting lack of proper maintenance and use)?

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Hmmm...so if you are going to arbitrarily tell them that the hive gangers weapons have cooties are tainted, why not just limit what they can buy?  Both systems are arbitrary, but yours takes away things the players feel they have earned.  Making it hard to get something means that they feel accomplished when they get it.  Taking it away for a contrived feeling reason makes them feel cheated.  I have seen both done in different games and taking away things they have 'won' usually causes more problems.  I can see the Inquisitor taking away an Inferno Pistol or Malatek weapon, but autoguns?  Making it hard to buy weapons makes the players work for it, but rewards the roleplaying and effort.

 

As far as them not knowing how to use or maintain a weapon, do they have the Weapon Talent for it?  If so, then they know how to use it relatively safely.  Do you have a Tech-priest?  Then they can maintain all but the exotic gear.  Limiting ammunition works well for some items, as plasma flasks may be very difficult to get and they will angst over every shot.  I am not advocating allowing them to have everything, but being completely arbitrary and making them spend xp when the book says they get cash they can use to buy stuff is limiting them even more.  Your players may be ok with it, or you may end up with a bunch of disgruntled players.  Ballancing that will require you to know your players. 

You're misunderstanding, all they ever get is loot. They almost never get to shop.

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Traejun, I was actually responding to Lynata's post about declaring anything you don't want them to have tainted.  Limiting what they come across is generally how I do it.  I don't see keeping them from ever shopping as realistic, but it is your game.  Being able to shop for rare ammunition and weapons, that is another story completely.

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The Fane of Orthlack on Scintilla manufactures the Sacristan Bolt Pistol.  It is specifically used by Inquisitors and their senior Acolytes.  They also manufacture Astartes Bolt Ammunition (a much more rare item) on Scintilla.

Yeah, I meant in our take on the setting. In our game high tech weaponry is pretty much forge world exclusive. The only reason there's Bolt ammo on Scintilla is because I used the place for a scene before we'd really thought about it.

This sounds intrigueing. From the sound of it, I guess you coupled weapon usage to the Tech-Use skill? But I'd expect rather than just making guns unusable, you would have given them the Unreliable perk if operated by characters with lack of proper education (basically reflecting lack of proper maintenance and use)?

Kind of. It's both simpler and more complicated than that. We use a fairly heavily houseruled version of the cancelled beta rules, where everyone has a rank in every skill (except Psy skills - we threw out the psy rules and turned them into skills), including WS & BS, which we've turned into actual skills rather than characteristics.

Actors get a native Tech Level based on their hommeworld & background, which works as a hard cap for the kind of tech they can successfully fiddle with with things like the Tech-Use skill, and a soft cap (aka: cumulative modifier) on normal use - such as firing a bolter.

I won't say it's a better or worse way to handle things, but it has let us throw out a fairly significant pile of Talents and Special Qualities that we felt never made a lot of sense to begin with, while still keeping the modifiers from those Talents & Special Qualities and simply incorporating them into the wider system.

I guess you could say that we have more rules, but with fewer exceptions. Which for us is easier to deal with.

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Traejun, I was actually responding to Lynata's post about declaring anything you don't want them to have tainted.  Limiting what they come across is generally how I do it.  I don't see keeping them from ever shopping as realistic, but it is your game.  Being able to shop for rare ammunition and weapons, that is another story completely.

 

That's what I'm talking about... the rare+ type equipment.  They can get all the stub ammo and autopistols they want... but they will rarely ever have the 1d10 weeks (or is it months) necessary to find a Bolt Pistol on a Hive World.

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My necropost point here.

Question "why don't Inquisition give acolytes 5K-cost gun" never was a question for me, to be honest. Because they are not so good to get "the best trinkets market can allow". Well, if they really need to, and if they can convince their curator that they need it - they will get it. For this particular mission, and they're expected to return it.

They are not only acolytes in the sector, neither good quality plasma gun is something very simple. Well, good- and best-quality plasma guns considered as relics by Space Marines, after all! Inquisition isn't paupers, sure, but gifting acolytes good plasma gun just to lose it with acolyte team itself?..

 

So I use acquisition here. If you think you need something from your master, you can try to charm him about it. IF you suppose to convince him, check should be done is your Master (and his Q division) have requested item to spare, using table for "100,000 or more" in basic rules. As I said before, you'll be supposed to return such good trinket after operation. Maybe (if your superior likes you), he will... hmmm... just forget about it, but it's not yours, and sometimes superiors will remind it to you.

But my players learn this rules fast. They use their military peers to get "decommissioned" weaponry from military bases. Party scum uses his underworld contacts and reputation and get some trinkets from hucksters. Party noble's mansion, that used as cell HQ before master give them another have their own armory and warehouse. And they tried to maintain it.

 

But we have a habit to play "fillers" after one or two operations, just to let characters make their cases.

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I think it's safe to say what is and isn't considered a relic depends more on the user and/or the age of the item. Quality may play a role in how it survived that long to get famous, or because "they don't build them like this anymore", but it's not a necessity. In short: it's subjective. Especially if we're dealing with highly ritualised and semi-religious organisations like Marine Chapters.

 

And I don't think anyone suggested that the Inquisition just hurls hi-tech guns at random recruits. Once an agent has proven their worth, however, why should an Inquisitor care what an item is worth on the open market? These people think in entirely different terms of value, their budgets limited only by how much effort they want to invest into acquiring something. We're talking about men and women who snap their fingers and recruit entire capital ships to do their bidding.

 

What I see as the actual problem is that an Inquisitor probably just won't bother to help someone who has yet to prove they are worthy of going through the trouble of arranging the delivery of such equipment. In this RPG, the Acolytes start out as being just some few unimportant cogs in their Inquisitor's vast web of contacts. Only after they have risen in importance (as displayed by their success rate) would their boss actually start to expand the scope of support - not only because now they think they're worth the hassle, but also as a simple means of reward for their continued service. And at some point, I don't see the problem with a 5k plasma gun anymore, too.

 

The RAW relying on a player's own income is just really weird in that (apart from leading to some really crazy imbalances depending on your career) it creates a dependency on a character's background, which should in reality come with a chance to backfire. If the characters are recruited by the Inquisition, they ought to "disappear" forever - not go on a rather conspicuous extended vacation time and time again, because this only raises questions, especially in societies that have their people work 18 hour shifts without weekends. And questions are dangerous.

 

"Hey, overseer, where's Ferk?" - "*pops collar* Don't ask." - "But I haven't seen h.." - "DON'T ASK!"

 

I really do like your idea of the Scum using their former contacts and reputation, though. The military peers on the other hand are about as dangerous as the career-based salary mentioned above, simply because that equipment is bound to be registered somewhere, and even though in 99% of all cases the stuff may well disappear without anyone ever finding out, there's always going to be the possibility of the Commissariat or Arbites investigating an arms smuggling case. And once your Inquisitor has to flash his or her rosette to have Imperial authorities cease looking at you, gak has already hit the fan.

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