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What happened to 2nd edition?

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@thendoctor

So you feel that it can be seen that combat is more exciting due to its mechanical backing and think making other parts of the game exciting would mean doing less roleplay. So that's kind of an admission that straight roleplay is less exciting for some people. Why not have rules mechanics that incorporate roleplay. Like that specifically codify different kinds of roleplaying things people can do to get mechanical bonuses and specific roleplaying things that the GM can do in return. That way you have the exciting part of mechanics and risk while maintaining the roleplaying part. This doesn't seem like an impossible task.

 

No, again you're putting words in my mouth. You like to do that it seems. I think a lack of mechanics helps combat and roleplaying games in general frankly. The people that like combat in games will still enjoy it even if the rules are loose, they just get to use their imagination along with it.

 

Why not do these things? Well it's not the direction the company wanted to go with it. Which is fine, there are other games for it. Some systems try for such a thing, Numenara has a system that gives players experience when the GM is going to make their life cruddy.

 

It's all design philosophy. I don't hate Dark Heresy for it's combat mechanics, I just don't like combat in general in roleplaying. Not that kind of player or GM.

 

That and I don't really get how adding "okay, if you get shot once or twice you're probably dead or crippled" actually adds to fun. I think this is an issue of RPGs having a lot of trouble bridging the gap of protagonists in fiction just never getting hit versus those same protagonists destroying anything they hit once. There has to be a better way of accounting for this.

 

I think it adds tension and helps players and characters act smarter not harder. I think it's about being consistent when it comes down to it. Sure the pcs can kill in one hit, but they can also be killed in one hit. It makes every fight count.

 

I am curious how that becomes more fun to play in a game with chainsaw swords, though. If you want realism, why not just go play paintball?

 

Because I'm physically unfit and don't feel like getting a chainsaw out and chasing down religious fanatics in real life? I want realism because it's what I experience in life, I like my fantasy to also at least attempt to be somewhat realistic. Especially in a game so focused on visceral and deadly lifestyles with a galaxy full of guns and death implements.

 

I have no combat experience, I hope I never have any. I only know that which I've read and listened to with people who actually have some. I have a higher than average idea of how the body works and what damages it. Bodies can take a lot of some things and very little of others. I like that represented, I like the frailty of life being represented. Sure you can be a hero, but it's dangerous business. What will a character sacrifice at the first sign of their mortality to make sure the job is done to make sure they survive?

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@deathbygrotz

I honestly have my doubts that a system could really do multiple things that well. I feel like the optional rules would have to be "crack open your Fate Core book" or "crack open GURPS" because the way combat is resolved is intrinsically tied to the system itself rather than house rules. You can tweak things like toughness to change what the best action to take is, but you can't just change how combat overall is resolved.

@gridash

Honestly, the system requires a grid in order to make use of weapon and movement ranges which have specific numbers to be used, but the game itself is not balanced around grid use so you can ignore those things and run grid less if your players don't care about their agility bonuses or weapon ranges. It's not a gold star for DH that you can ignore grid rules without breaking the game because ignoring them devalues agility bonus and certain weapons quite a bit.

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@thendoctor

I'm not putting words in your mouth. You stated that some people find combat to be more exciting and that making narrative things more exciting for those people would mean adding game-like mechanics. That logically translates to you thinking for some people more game-like mechanics make things more exciting. There's a difference between putting words in your mouth and drawing logical conclusions from what you're saying. I'm posting from a phone so I'm not quoting the exact sentences I'm extrapolating from, but the reasoning is there. If I say combat is intrinsically more fun than non-combat, I'm then making an implication that combat is preferable in games. You say that combat is more exciting than non-combat, verbatim, so I'm addressing that.

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Oh, no, the d100 dice mechanic in general is very simple, as is any dice mechanic at its core. You can take that as a foundation, apply occam's razor to the rules system and figure out what you have that's "essential". Afterwards, you can divide it into optional blocks of crunch that can be pieced together and will work with everything in your system. It's a simple matter of organisation, detail and a bit of math; and entirely doable. TDE, for example, did it in the last millennia. I remember that quite clearly.

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It also sounds like when people say "more realistic" combat what they mean is "more risky." I would be down for that under te conditions that the likely risk is NOT being unable to play your character anymore, and that combat remain fun to actually play through and reward fun actions rather than hiding in cover 90% of the time. Or hell, I'd be fine with game punishing players for being uninteresting. However, I don't think the punishment for doing something exciting and setting appropriate like combat should be punished heavily by the game.

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I didn't mean to imply that I thought combat was exciting. I was continuing off of the multiple questions of yours I quoted. As I stated earlier in the reply I think combat takes people out of character, which is the exact opposite point of a roleplaying game in my opinion.

 

Again these are our personal opinions on the various matters. There isn't a right or wrong. I like a game where there's risk to the character's life when they try to "hero solo rambo" situations. This is what Dark Heresy allows however with the various things in place. it's what we read about in the novels when various red shirts die and named characters live.

 

Hiding behind cover is a sound option because it works, as is suppressing fire. If an acolyte cell feels like getting itself killed for playing hero then they're that expendable in my eyes. I'd like the system to reflect that, but it doesn't. As I've said there are other systems for that.

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Hmmm... This conversation about the combat system has reminded me the way we treated combat in our custom 40k setting: if the PCs made the right preparations (solid intel, good equipment, integrated backup and support, and a sensible battle plan), then the GM simply asked one of the players to make a Tactics Skill test: successful test meant a quick and simple narrative combat sequence where the PCs inevitably defeat their opponents, on a failed test, we had to go through the normal structured combat. This method was pretty neat, and gave a feeling of professionalism. I would like to see an option for this in DH2 too. 

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Hmmm... This conversation about the combat system has reminded me the way we treated combat in our custom 40k setting: if the PCs made the right preparations (solid intel, good equipment, integrated backup and support, and a sensible battle plan), then the GM simply asked one of the players to make a Tactics Skill test: successful test meant a quick and simple narrative combat sequence where the PCs inevitably defeat their opponents, on a failed test, we had to go through the normal structured combat. This method was pretty neat, and gave a feeling of professionalism. I would like to see an option for this in DH2 too. 

 

An interesting idea, I'd go one step further and have each player describe a different part of how the combat goes if you were going that route. To at least give them the participation. That or if they really wanted to do the combat give them a flat bonus to try and speed things up.

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Out of interest, how do you guys do the battle parts.

 

Do you use some kind of overlay map with markers and positions / miniatures or just keep everything narrative where you have a (vague?) idea of where everybody is.

At longer ranges (Rifle type or battlefield ranges) I tend to stick more to the narrative, as in; "The enemy is approximately 200m away firing at you through the windows of a large building". In CQB (Close quarters battle) scenarios I tend to prefer maps and minis (Even if the "Map" is just a crude dry erase drawing on a grid board battlemat!). That's just me though! 

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I'm not gonna lie, that sounds incredibly boring.  I'm glad ya'll enjoyed that, but I am incredibly glad DH2 did not go that route.

 

Well, it was just an option. 

 

 

Hmmm... This conversation about the combat system has reminded me the way we treated combat in our custom 40k setting: if the PCs made the right preparations (solid intel, good equipment, integrated backup and support, and a sensible battle plan), then the GM simply asked one of the players to make a Tactics Skill test: successful test meant a quick and simple narrative combat sequence where the PCs inevitably defeat their opponents, on a failed test, we had to go through the normal structured combat. This method was pretty neat, and gave a feeling of professionalism. I would like to see an option for this in DH2 too. 

 

An interesting idea, I'd go one step further and have each player describe a different part of how the combat goes if you were going that route. To at least give them the participation. That or if they really wanted to do the combat give them a flat bonus to try and speed things up.

 

 

Each player plays his part in the narrative combat, as plans are subject to change, and characters are free to break the rules of engagement. You just don't have turns, initiative, and other structured time related shenanigans that would bog down the game. 

 

As I can see it, the main problem of implementing this option to DH2 would be the setting: ours is pretty darn hi-tech, with auto-hitting one-shot-one-kill guns, cyberspace/electronic warfare, and tech that could do anything you want. In a standard 40k setting, these things wouldn't be available (obviously), making direct involvement (structured time combat) much more important. 

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I think all of these complaints would be alleviated by a book of alternative mechanisms. I would love a woundless combat system. A system of instant death being a constant fear in combat, where the most broken imaginable builds and rules lawyering nets you the chance of POSSIBLY surviving a plasma pistol hit.

Because when you're one of 10^16 humans, your special snowflake guardsman does not matter. That's the 40k I know and love. It may not mesh with everyone else' conception, but as a 2nd ed TT player, that is the universe I sign up for. I like Abnett/ffg 40k, too, but I would feel more at home with rules that reflected the game I fell in love with.

Enough to actually buy it.

Edited by gdiddy

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The issue with risky/realistic systems: if the risk element comes from random chance, characters will be lost to it on the course of the campaign and this leads to people feeling less attached to their characters.

 

What's the use of developing a well thought-out personality and background for a guy that has a real chance of biting the dust in the first 10 minutes of campaign?

 

It might sound a bit extreme, but I used to have a guy in my D&D group a while ago that flat-out refused to write more than 2-3 sentences of background for characters of levels beyond 3. He had lost a level 1 character once in the surprise round of the first combat of the campaign before he got to act (lesson learned for the DM to never again use high crit multiplier weapons at low levels, no matter how thematically appropriate they are) so he was always like 'why spend any effort on story when I might get to throw it all away 5 min later?'

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I don't know many complaints seem to have some kind of solid reason, but I do not see any problems you cannot fix with a little creativity.

 

For the actual matter of high risk systems: Yes, they can be quite exciting, but only on short terms...after a while, when you play it "fair" all PCs will be dead, simply due to statistcs...of course you can and should roll the dice hidden, thereby you have a little more mortality controll. Especially DH is quite a punishing system, a mighty NPC can simply kill a PC in one attack...

 

I am a fan of the Die Hard principle and I like and want to reflect the hard and dark setting of DH...I always hold to the roll's results, but in cases where probability wants to kill a PC by a non special NPC due to bad luck, I change the course. I write down the armor value and toughness bonus of my PCs and adjust the damage taken. He will still be out of combat, maybe lose a leg or suffer from blood loss...which still can kill him...but after all it's just a game and players do not want their characters to die, excpet a heroic death to save the day...

 

Side note: One player who used to play in a hardcore game, where every roll was made openly (and honestly did not have much connectino to his chars), came to the games with actual spare characters...

Edited by Ripplo

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I dunno, but a super-lethal system is supposed to discourage players from combat, so nobody will die because nobody will fight. If the players still insist that they should beat everyone themselves, risking their lives in the process, then it is their problem. They can always prove that Darwin was right, after all ;) . 

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I dunno, but a super-lethal system is supposed to discourage players from combat, so nobody will die because nobody will fight. If the players still insist that they should beat everyone themselves, risking their lives in the process, then it is their problem. They can always prove that Darwin was right, after all ;) . 

 

This. That's the point of lethality, it makes people actively try and not get themselves in that kind of situation.

 

 

What's the use of developing a well thought-out personality and background for a guy that has a real chance of biting the dust in the first 10 minutes of campaign?

 

The same reason you develop a character in a long running game? It's the journey not the destination. I know players that have yet to develop their characters more than "Yeah have you seen *blank*? Yeah he looks like that." I also know a player that only plays a dual wielding fighter in fantasy setting and a dual wielding gunslinger in systems with guns.

 

It's the player, not the system that discourages background.

 

To be fair I also know a person that refuses to make a background if the system isn't up to his personal standards of survivability, which is why I haven't ever gotten the chance to run a game with Cthulhu.

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I dunno, but a super-lethal system is supposed to discourage players from combat, so nobody will die because nobody will fight. If the players still insist that they should beat everyone themselves, risking their lives in the process, then it is their problem. They can always prove that Darwin was right, after all ;) . 

 

Well that's correct and it works...interesting enough however that players still feel the urge to prove their superiority in combat. In these cases they get warned, who does not listen, pays the price ;)

 

If you're going to use a highly lethal system and then fudge dice to make it less lethal why not use a less lethal system in the first place?

 

I do not use a lethal system to kill off my players. I use it to create an enviroment of danger, to encourage them to think about alternative ways to solve problems. I wanted to point out, that when it acutally comes to intended combat, I don't think players should lose their characters due to bad luck. For me it's a good session, when all players tried their best to solve problems through a clever approach or try ;), if they get in a boss fight and everyone gets out barely alive. Of course PCs die form time to time, but to simply kill PCs because he had bad luck and the rules would demand it, is not the point of a dangerous setting, in my opinion. As I said for me it is a tool to form the enviroment.

Edited by Ripplo

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Actually, the original BI intention was for all the gamelines to be interchangable. I don't think FFG shared that vision so much, or it got screwed up somewhere along the way - its fairly easy to see the retroactive changes they tried to implement to DH1 after the purchase, and how RT was a test bed for the way they wanted to do things moving forward (for example, DH1 is the only game line to use actual money).

Well, it made a certain amount of sense for RT. RT work in amounts so vast that tracking that in cash would have been ridiculous. You cannot have a cash system for that. In truth I think the only ones that should have had one that didn't are Black Crusade and DH2.

 

 

Actually, the original BI intention was for all the gamelines to be interchangable.

 

Not that I doubt what you're saying or anything, but I'm curious how you know?

I am pretty much sure they were announced that way back when they announced they were finally doing a 40k RPG. The strange 3 RPG system was one that was foisted on FFG by the existing plans (I don't think they necessarily would have done it that way if they had started the whole thing from scratch). Just odd they have now adopted the idea for the Star Wars one.

 

 

 

Legend of the Five Rings

 

I've been offered the opportunity to play this soon with people I don't really know and I'm curious why you didn't like it.

 

It's a bit clunky and unbalanced. If I recall right (it's been a few years...), it overemphasises either core stats or skills, making it almost entirely worthless to purchase one of the two. I just can't remember which, sorry.

Pretty sure it emphasises the core stat. If it is the system used in 7th Sea (which I think it is), then you get to keep the number of dice equal to your stats, while the skills just give you extra unkept dice, which is nice, but you really need a basis of stats to take advantage of it.

 

In FFG's combat system, however, you can really, really tell it was made by people who have minimal IRL experience or are conciously trying to use an alternate reality's strange physics.  Dito on DnD 4th edition's, at that. Pen and paper is, generally, a roleplaying experience, and when the combat mechanics kill your suspension of disbelief because everything about it screams "no, this does not work like that, this is impossible!", then you tend to avoid combat.

 

Unhallowed Metropolis, Shadowrun, Legend of the five rings, Deadlands, all those are incredibly lethal systems in comparison, and I've found myself engaged by the combat in them, rather than bored or facepalming when our resident rules lawyer points out yet another nonsensical oddity he insists on using.

 

In other words, people only tend to gripe about a combat system when it kills their immerison. A lot of gamers won't notice it otherwise. The system works great for them, sure, but, those others who do, well, they'll then say things like "this is crap". It doesn't mean the entire system is trash(it's hard to do d100 "wrong" as is...), but, as a result of the extremely tedious and unrealistic combat system in the WH40k line, I often find myself seeking noncombat or storyline heavier solutions than simply "gut it with my chainsword", while in, say, unhallowed metropolis, I play a bona fide gunslinger who does operate on shoot first, ask later. But that's because combat is three rolls and then either my char is down or the other guy is dead. It doesn't break the flow of the story.

I am going to say I haven't found 40ks combat particularly more complex than many others. Ok, I can probably give you Deadlands (and any Savage Worlds game), but then combat in that is derived from a tabletop miniatures game, so is going to be simply and quick. Think it is quite a good system. Shadowrun on the other hand? Much more clunky and time consuming than 40k's system, and frankly the only game I have come across so far where players (experienced players of other RPGs I might add, not newcomers) have actually repeatedly found they couldn't do what they had explicitly designed their character to do.

 

What did you find particularly nonsensical and unrealistic in the 40k system (toughness soak aside)? I don't think the system is particularly realistic, but no worse than almost every system I have come across.

 

@deathbygrotz

I think your choice of combat systems is interesting, as I find shadowrun to be EXTREMELY clunky to use, and that it does nothing but detract from combat. This is due in part to poor rule design, having a LOT of miscellaneous rules, lots of modifiers, lots of numbers to keep track of, and lots of rolling. In fact, any combat system that has turns and initiative feels fairly unrealistic as it cuts away from the fluidity and flow of an actual fight.

Shadowrun (4th edition) was generally accepted as terrible by our gaming group. Clunky, fiddly (particularly character creation), and as I said already, very easy to build characters who cannot do what you wanted them to. And the whole fact that in the 4th system everyone should have wired reflexes, or some equivalent.

 

Obviously they might have solved all the problems with 5th edition... but certainly nothing I have seen particularly suggests they have.

 

I think the problem with the WH40K RPG combat system is that it produces prolonged fights in a rather extensive rules environment. It wouldn't be a problem if the fights were short because extreme lethality/easy auto-win buttons, or preparation had a bigger emphasis (Shadowrun is the best example here: your support crew usually win your fights before they start, so you shoot bullets only to have fun). I would say, combat shouldn't last longer than 3-4 turns - 6 at maximum - with 4 PCs and 6-8 opponents. 

Extensive rules environment? Compared to what? I don't think the system is particularly more complicated than most RPGs out there.

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It's not complex, really. The terrible thing about it is that it takes several pages in the rules to say what you really could in a short, succinct summary of only a few crisp and clear sentences. That's where, I think, FFG's supposed complexity comes from. It's a very, very simple system, but it's formulated in a needlessly complicated manner that makes it a bit of a chore to puzzle out.

 

My problems with 40k, hm, let's see:

- The guns perform worse than RL guns in the 42nd millennium

- The hit location table is nonsense. If you're going to make a zone hit table, you need a different one for ranged combat and melee, because the chance to hit is different for each form of combat.

- I can readily identify friend and foe who poke their head out in a zone in a split second (overwatch), but I can't simultaniously move and pull the trigger; I need a talent for that (haha, yeah, I know, aiming won't work, but suppressive fire should).

-Your posture as a shooter does not matter at all. -> If your posture as a shooter (kneeling/prone/standing) is immaterial, why is it impossible to run and shoot without a talent?

- Legion Weapons rules

- The horde system is terrible for mass combat. It pretty much assumes an entire group of 30+ people can see, and shoot you or attack you in melee, at the same time.Worse: Once you use horde rules, combat master no longer does anything.

- Weapon damage values are funky as hell for explosives.

-Unarmed combat is a joke

-They're deeply afraid to give players free attacks where it makes sense (s. integrated weapons).

-Flamers and other similar weapons should be treated as an AoE; if your Ag isn't high enough to get you out of the spray cone, you don't avoid being set on fire. Last I checked, though, it's impossible to set anything with decent Ag on fire.

 

As you can see, these largely aren't problems with the core system itself. I've repeatedly said that the very core of the d100 system is perfectly fine, simple and straightforward. These are problems with the many, many details surrounding it.

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I think the problem with the WH40K RPG combat system is that it produces prolonged fights in a rather extensive rules environment. It wouldn't be a problem if the fights were short because extreme lethality/easy auto-win buttons, or preparation had a bigger emphasis (Shadowrun is the best example here: your support crew usually win your fights before they start, so you shoot bullets only to have fun). I would say, combat shouldn't last longer than 3-4 turns - 6 at maximum - with 4 PCs and 6-8 opponents. 

Extensive rules environment? Compared to what? I don't think the system is particularly more complicated than most RPGs out there.

 

 

Star Wars probably.  

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What's the use of developing a well thought-out personality and background for a guy that has a real chance of biting the dust in the first 10 minutes of campaign?

The same reason you develop a character in a long running game? It's the journey not the destination..

Developing a bacground and personality takes time. I've often spent 10-20 hours fleshing out a character. I'm not encouraged to do that if there's a decent chance I wom't even get an equal amount of play time out of it.

Edited by LordBlades

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What's the use of developing a well thought-out personality and background for a guy that has a real chance of biting the dust in the first 10 minutes of campaign?

The same reason you develop a character in a long running game? It's the journey not the destination..

Developing a bacground and personality takes time. I've often spent 10-20 hours fleshing out a character. I'm not encouraged to do that if there's a decent chance I wom't even get an equal amount of play time out of it.

 

We've been playing a super lethal system for half a year now and have had two character deaths, so far. None of them in the first couple of sessions. Partly because we try not to be suicidally stupid, and avoid unncessary fights. Or, in true italo-western style, we shoot them in the back :D

 

Course if our DM had been so insane as to put us against a vampire or something equally insanely OP in the first session, we may have had a wipe, but that's really the DM not knowing how to scale encounters to what the group can plausibly handle than anything else. That will kill you in any system.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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I'll say that with my understanding of human behavior that super lethality only causes players to avoid combat, and doesn't encourage them to do anything else. This is behavior 101, but you reduce a behavior by punishing it and increase a behavior by rewarding it. That also means te behavior has to exist in the first place to punish or reward. The problem with these high lethality systems is that they tend to punish cool story behavior in combat and don't actually reward using tactics that much. That ends up being left to players mastering the games idea of tactics, or mastering the GMs idea of tactics. If neither of those are apelled out, it's left to chance for the players to actually do the behavior you want to reinforce. Not to mention that If combat is more exciting than non-combat and gets punished, players are just going to be incentivized to not play the game at all.

In addition, punishment, unlike reinforcement, doesn't work if it's random. Unless players are guaranteed to get killed by not using tactics, the punishment isn't going to work on them. If the players might still get killed by using tactics, the punishment won't work. So at that point you get players either trying to game the **** out of the system to survive, which may or may not be fun, or players who just do what they think is cool because they correctly perceive that their choice is less important than how the dice roll.

In other words, if your goal is getting people to stay out of combat, highly lethal random systems are not a good way to do it.

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