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Luddite

Influence for resource acquisition - debate

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EDIT:  OK, here's something i tried to work through.  One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

 

 

 

 

By RAW, one roll for each component.

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EDIT:  OK, here's something i tried to work through.  One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

 

 

 

 

By RAW, one roll for each component.

 

 

So can we all agree this is a bad rule?

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EDIT:  OK, here's something i tried to work through.  One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

 

 

 

 

By RAW, one roll for each component.

 

 

So can we all agree this is a bad rule?

 

 

 

Of course, but how do we make it work?

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I have no idea. Your question seems to be "How do you make RAW item acquisition work in practice when RAW item acquisition doesn't really work?"

 

The answer seems pretty clearly to not play RAW.

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Also, i'll restate the example i posed above:

 

One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

 

 

I hate the whole costless system, but the easiest way to do it would be to count the entire item at the lowest modifier. The red dot sight is going to be Scarce regardless of the other components, and is the hardest to acquire, so the whole thing should be Scarce. I don't know if two Rare components would make a Very Rare, which seems sensible, or not.

 

This will undoubtedly vary tremendously from table to table. I will likely continue to use DH1 prices, where available, just as a guideline as to how things relate to one another value-wise.

 

I'm not sure how a transaction would play out narratively ("you failed to purchase the laspistol, but the Aquila Lander will be delivered at midnight").

Edited by Vaeron

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Luddite, it's a great topic and you're doing good work trying to keep the thread focused on the original question of applying the Requisition RAW.  However, I do think what you're asking for is a bit of a Gordian Knot.  You want to use RAW, but aren't really happy with RAW - so how do use pure RAW and be happy with it?  I don't know & it doesn't sound like anyone here knows the answer to that exact question either.

 

Let me offer 3 broad categories of approaches to your question:

  1. Use pure RAW and live with the aspects of it you're not happy with.
  2. Create a Requisition scheme based on RAW, but that expands in directions you're interested in (and perhaps tweaks it a little, if necessary).
  3. Throw out RAW and use the requisition from <fill in game name here> from the 80s.

It seems like your best bet is #2.  Some ideas for that have already been mentioned.  My practice, since participating in the beta over a year ago, has been to decide what scarcity level is available from what types of locations.  Different campaigns can certainly have different fluff, but, when it comes to Inquisitorial Acolytes access to gear, I've drawn a broad line btw mundane weaponry like LasGuns & special/ancient weaponry like powerswords.

 

Top notch facilities, like Tricorn Palace gives them access to anything of Average Availability or easier without a roll, including ammunition (within reason - not cases of LasGuns).  They can make Requisition Tests for Scarce items & nothing beyond Scarce is available to them from the Inquisitorial Storage Locker.  For lesser facilities and/or less cooperative facilities, I do the same but with lower Availability levels.  Marketplaces would have their own profiles, but using the same basic scheme.  (Other GMs may obviously choose completely different Availability levels for these locations, it's just what I've done.)

 

At any time, you could use the Requisition Tests to alternatively lead to roleplaying, and even generate a quick sandbox mini-scenario out of it.

 

Worth mentioning is the use of Commerce Skill to affect just about any non-Imperial-facility requisition (pg 102), and maybe those too in negotiating situations.  Especially worth mentioning is the loss of Influence for any Influence Test that results in more DoF than the PC's Fellowship Bonus (pg 269).  That loss of Influence could be a great little mini-story-hook.

 

I offer that as one imperfect example that is firmly based on 2e Requisition, but eliminates Acolytes rolling for bedpacks...but still has them rolling for more significant items...and remains wide-open for sandbox inbetween-missions adventure.

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Or, you can simply transpose the costs of all gear and the income system from the older Dark Heresy books.

 

The new edition only added a few items that require costs, which are easy to create (I already have)

 

As for the adminastratum and techpriest class bonuses involving item rarity reduction, I simply applied a flat rate cost reduction, the adminastratum guy gets a 10% discount on purchases, while the techpriest gets 30% cheaper bionics. Same thing applies for the talents and commerce skill, though at a lower percent.

 

Even in my 1st edition game, my players were allowed to request items. Basically it was an aquisition test, though their getting it was based on their worth and promise to their inquisitor. They started off asking for small things, and gradually asked for better items. Easy stuff.

 

I've been working on compiling the gear from all my other Dark Heresy books into a custom tome which might as well be the "Inquisitors Armory" or somesuch, complete with the income scheme from the first Dark Heresy book. It's been a reasonable amount of work, but worth it to avoid the glaring problems that the aquisition rolls create.

 

I'm not sure how many of you guys have run a long role-playing game, but keeping player power stable is important. I can't have my rank 3 acolytes running around in power armor, with power swords and melta pistols. It's just not right.

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Interesting ideas seanpp.

 

To clarify though, i'll restate my main question:

 

how do you use the rules for resource Influence requisition rolls in your games?

 

 

I'm really interested in hearing how others are dealing with the evident issues (as broadly discussed) with the acquisition RAW.  But also, the creative ways you've used them to enhance play (if at all).

 

Acquiring possessions and resources will be a key part of almost every DH game, so i thought it would be good to debate, and discuss how different people handle it.

 

For me, i'm probably going to draft in 1st Ed costs.  I just think a coinage system is so much simpler to manage these issues.

 

I was thinking of some modified system, but it just doesn't seem to work, for me at least.  *shrug*

 

BUT...i am still interested in hearing about how others sort out requisitioning.   :D

Edited by Luddite

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Interesting ideas seanpp.

 

To clarify though, i'll restate my main question:

 

how do you use the rules for resource Influence requisition rolls in your games?

 

 

I'm really interested in hearing how others are dealing with the evident issues (as broadly discussed) with the acquisition RAW.  But also, the creative ways you've used them to enhance play (if at all).

 

Acquiring possessions and resources will be a key part of almost every DH game, so i thought it would be good to debate, and discuss how different people handle it.

 

For me, i'm probably going to draft in 1st Ed costs.  I just think a coinage system is so much simpler to manage these issues.

 

I was thinking of some modified system, but it just doesn't seem to work, for me at least.  *shrug*

 

BUT...i am still interested in hearing about how others sort out requisitioning.   :D

 

My group has found that the Influence system RAW works well for our group after a few small modifications:

  • When acquiring an item, you roll against the base availability of the item before deciding on item quality. You may choose what quality of item you wish to buy after rolling your Influence test.
    • This eliminates feel-bad moments when you try to buy a Poor-quality bionic arm because you really need an arm right now, only to roll amazingly and realize you could've got a Good quality version.
    • It also lets you downgrade the Average quality grenade launcher you just failed to buy into a Poor one because a launcher that jams frequently is better than nothing.
  • If a character gets more degrees of success than needed to buy an item, he can opt to buy multiple copies of that item. Each degree of success above the one required to buy the item lets you get another copy of the same item. Buying multiple copies of rare items like boltguns is subject to GM approval.
  • I am generous with circumstance bonuses for acquiring minor items like chronos or lamp packs. If the Acolytes are in a large city, acquiring such items is practically automatic.

Other than that, we've been happy with the Influence system as is. We prefer to spend as little time acquiring items as possible in favor of investigating and purging heretics. I enjoy the open-endedness and reduced bookkeeping of the system, and I'm SO happy that players are no longer discouraged from playing certain classes because they have a poor monthly wage.

 

Also, here are some rules concerning Influence that I missed on my first read-through of the (beta) rules:

  • If an Acolyte even attempts to buy an item with a negative Availability modifier, the group's Subtlety decreases by an amount equal to the tens digit of that modifier.
  • When an Acolyte fails an Influence test by more DoF than his Fellowship bonus, he reduces his Influence by a number equal to the DoF on the test (represents abuse of an Acolyte's authority and discourages "fishing" for powerful items). This seems too harsh though -- IMO it should be a decrease of DoF-FelB.
  • When an Acolyte tries to trade in a more valuable item to get a bonus on an Influence test, they get to keep the item if they fail the test.
  • An Acolyte can "burn" 1d5 Influence to pass an Influence test with DoS equal to his Fellowship bonus.
  • Unless disallowed by the GM, Acolytes can use their Inquisitor's influence value. The group's Subtlety decreases by 2 every time they do this, and if the Acolytes repeatedly misuse their privilege the Inquisitor will NOT be happy.
  • Acolytes can use their Influence in place of another attribute when making social rolls where appropriate.
Edited by Covered in Weasels

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Location and subtlety will provide bonuses or maluses to influence - such that most of the time, a chrono should be bumped down to ubiquitous, if you're after common or poor quality in a mid-hive area, especially in Desoleum, which can't exactly be short of clockwork workshops.

 

The two things that are missing - didn't register until you pointed it out - are requisitioning multiple items and combined items. That's a bit of a random oversight as they have been in previous core rulebooks, and (to take your example) some modifications can't be bought seperately.

 

Buying a red-dot laser sight and attaching it to a weapon (probably with an easy Trade (Armourer) check) is fine, but you can't do the same for the 'compact' modification - either it's a compact laspistol or it isn't.

 

The previous rules for hybrid acquisitions, if I remember, was to start with the rarest component and punt the availability up one level per extra thing bolted to it. So Luddite's compact laspistol is Scarce (highest rarity) kicked up three levels of rarity (Extremely Rare).

 

This is obviously bloody hard to get hold of, but you're after a heavily customised pistol that is almost definitionally intended for illegal shennanigans, so I'm fine with this; you can always use your inquisitor's influence or burn some of your own to auto-pass the test.

 

Alternatively, you could just buy the compact laspistol (Average, increased to Scarce) and buy the silencer and scope seperately; this then needs you to play armourer and attach the mods yourself, though.

 

As far as multiple acquisitions are concerned, 1 plus 1 per degree of success is fine at first, but if you want one per party member (as per the example of disguises), it seems a bit harsh; if you can get hold of three or four suits of guard flak armour, getting a fifth is probably not that much harder. Adding an extra -10 seems unjustified as every extra degree of success required makes the acquisition exponentially harder than the previous one...

 

 

I'll be honest, at least when I GM-ed Ascension, I used the "this one thing I ask of you" rules to have people burn influence quite often. It's an expendable resource; be ready to expend it!

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One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

 

This does fall more under "winging it" as it's not spelled out in the RAW, but if you don't want to make the player roll 4 times for all those pieces, then I would make the base difficulty the highest of the various components (scarce in this case), plus another level to reflect the fact that this is not random components but at this point is a highly customized, non-standard Las Pistol. The PC could also be given an opportunity to moderate this by using other skills such as Commerce or even Charm if they want to role-play the interaction and not just make a test to get some new gear. 

 

 

My general feeling on this whole topic is that the more abstract Influence system is just fine, it just takes a certain amount of GM discretion. Even 1st Ed required a lot of GM decisions. My current 1st Ed campaign is set in a hive with a population of 650 million. That doesn't mean I'm going to make every single acquisition roll for my players at the Difficult level or easier, as the chart on p126 would seem to suggest. Some things are still going to be impossible to get no matter what.

 

Somewhat related, I'm running 1st ed right now and I don't think anyone has bought anything, mostly because they're based in a large Arbiters station right now anyway, so they're able to get SP weapons and light armor without any difficult. I don't even make them roll, because narratively it doesn't make sense in their situation. So even though technically Thrones are the currency of the 1st ed system, I'm using an abstracted "influence" system already.

 

My final thought is that I have had a blast in past campaigns keeping close track of money. I played the only Noble Born in my group, and everyone kept coming to me for money for new equipment or even bribes. My character was kind of an ass about it, and he insisted people pay him back, and even charged interest to a couple people because they were wasting money recklessly. Another PC in our group (the scum, of course) got in several thousand Thrones deep with a Rogue Trader because of his gambling problem. This was also a fun turn of events for the story, and the kind of thing that would probably not have happened with the new Influence system.

 

So long story short, I like both systems. They both have kinks to be worked out, but I don't think either one is fatally flawed. And it's not like it would be too onerous to just use the Thrones from 1st ed in 2nd ed. Influence could be reserved for actually influencing different groups and people, as opposed to just buying goods and services.

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Also, here are some rules concerning Influence that I missed on my first read-through of the (beta) rules:

  • If an Acolyte even attempts to buy an item with a negative Availability modifier, the group's Subtlety decreases by an amount equal to that modifier.
  • When an Acolyte fails an Influence test by more DoF than his Fellowship bonus, he reduces his Influence by a number equal to the DoF on the test (represents abuse of an Acolyte's authority and discourages "fishing" for powerful items). This seems too harsh though -- IMO it should be a decrease of DoF-FelB.

 

 

Just a couple of notes here on these items:

  • An attempt to acquire an item with a negative modifier results in a loss to Subtlety of the tens digit of the modifier - not the modifier - that would be brutal, eh! (pg 142)
  • When an Acolyte fails an Influence Test by more DoF than his Fellowship Bonus, "his Influence decreases by the difference between the two", which in your post is exactly what you said you'd prefer...so good news. :) (pg 269)

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The one other thing we did - and this is a house rule - to support 'money', was 'pre-rolling acquisition tests'.

 

That is, people could make an influence test to "source funds" or whatever, which they could then spend later in the mission to pass an influence/acquisition test(s).

 

In much the same way that a player starts with (Influence Bonus) acquisitions of scarce or less, you could rule that passing a test to 'draw on funds' at the start of the mission gives them several successful acquisition test for equipment or services "in their pocket" for later in that mission.

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Let me put it this way: I'm an avid World of Darkness player. In case you're not familiar with it, resources in WoD are graded on a scale of zero to five, and you can acquire any item rated below your wealth level without putting a strain on your wealth - if you want to buy something valued at the same level as your Resources rating, you lose a dot of Resources. That's pretty much the whole system.

 

Yes, and it works great because it doesnt need any rolls, and everything is clear and transparent. You know, what you can afford, and what you cant.

 

If you wanted influence in DH to work like that you just need a simple fix for - assign each item a value from 1 to 10 that corresponds to players influence bonus. The rest is the same like in WoD.

 

About combining aquisitions in RT - it's the cost of the most expensive item -5 per every other item, in this case RDS, which is Scarce (-10) and 3 other items (-15), for a total -25.

 

About using the money with Influence system, I used the system Erathia proposed for RT, and that is Liquid Profit. Its essentialy points you can burn to gain bonus to rolls.  For example, team has 80 liquid profit points (money, gold, adamantium bars, skin pathes, oath debts whatever). They try to aquire stuff, but fail their roll by 20. They really care about the thing, so they spend 20 liquid profit, to grease palms, spend more money, and they aquire the item.

 

This system really helps with things that dont really give you influence, and are finite.

Edited by Amaimon

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I haven't checked if the stats in this handbook made by Malik Carr is compatible with DH2, but it is useful if you want prices on your items:

 

http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/52965-macharian-handbook-an-acolytes-guide-to-the-galaxy-of-guns/

 

I use the PDFs in my DH1 campaign, and my preliminary feeling is that I can use them without major modifications for DH2 as well.

Edited by Alox

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One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

 

This does fall more under "winging it" as it's not spelled out in the RAW, but if you don't want to make the player roll 4 times for all those pieces, then I would make the base difficulty the highest of the various components (scarce in this case), plus another level to reflect the fact that this is not random components but at this point is a highly customized, non-standard Las Pistol. The PC could also be given an opportunity to moderate this by using other skills such as Commerce or even Charm if they want to role-play the interaction and not just make a test to get some new gear. 

 

 

I know that I would make the player roll for each thing and see how many of these desired stuff to his gun that he managed to get over. Its entirely possible for example that he don't get one or two things from his wishing list but can get his hands on the rest.

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Yes and no.

 

I can see how you can buy a generic laser sight but how can you acquire the 'compact' upgrade independently of the laspistol?

 

Buy a new frame and take out all the parts that make the gun work and stick them into the new frame. Presto! New tiny gun.

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Yes and no.

 

I can see how you can buy a generic laser sight but how can you acquire the 'compact' upgrade independently of the laspistol?

 

Easy. If he gets success in getting the gun, he's got the gun. If he fails to get the compact part, its not a compact gun that he gets hold of.

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Just to add How I've been handling it.

I have had the "pleasure" of one of my PCs building a character around the sole goal of passing acquisition rolls....
Needless to say this has put me in a position to get crafty. I use the RAW for how the rolls actually work but I limit them in 2 ways:
- you Influ score is tied to the Inquisition so you take heavy minuses when trying to deal outside your inquisitor's network. I.E. They have a contact named Tony the Acquirer and Tony only shows up a "key" points in time (basically this allows me to hold all acquisition rolls to be at the end or beginning of a session rarely during a session if needed for plot)

- They take Huge Subtlety hits if they roll for too high of times. This is actually mention in the Core book as a rule but I kind of put it on hyper drive once they mathed out they had a 70% chance to roll up a goddamn animus hammer on the second session.

IMO the best way to handle acquisitions is  though plot "I don't have how influential you are if your not able to contact your network it's near useless" and "Sure you can roll for an animus hammer but every cult in the sector is going to catch wind of that thing being on the move" 
 

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How I have handled it:

 

Any item which is petty (loose definition; my personal concept, not worth arguing over or stopping narrative unless said narrative demands it. Example: Players want to get dinner, I will not have them roll influence to see if they have pocket change. Players are in a desert and find a merchant who has only a couple canteens of water, then the test will be rolled) is automatically given. Kinda unfun and breaks immersion a bit, but hand waving is something we all have to do sometimes.

 

Scare resources (not a rules of it but just a descriptive term here) will be rolled for. I give a bonus, for search tests and any roleplaying the character does.

 

I usually give the players contacts with the inquisition who can barter and lease items to them. If they want things which are not approved of, they go on mini-quests to find black markets and the like. One of the really nice features they added was subtlety and when it comes to item acquisition, it really shines as a mechanic. 

 

Multiple items or upgrades are always GM discretion here, but I try to be consistent: Lazgun plus upgrades? Difficulty (unless narrative says otherwise) is the highest rarity of any component. Every degree of success gives one addition upgrade or bump in quality to an item, the player gets to choose. I always encourage them to get high quality base guns, and then if need be (if they fail their tests) buy the upgrades or addons after the fact, both to speed the process up, and be more forgiving for the players.

 

My players still ask me to bring back gelt, and I want to, but I don't like house ruling unless the rules pose serious problems, which for me and my group it hasn't. I dislike the influence system overall, but I understand it. Luckily those who have the previous books can simply note their cost and keep using the old if they so wish. For those who don't own the older books, its a bit trickier. 

Edited by Olifant

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