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Spieler975099

Leadership?

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Greetings, fellow acolytes!

 

My players complained about the rather limited impact of the leadership aptitude on character advancement. Looking over the skills and talents, there seem to be a lot less based on leadership than for example on fieldcraft.

 

Is there anything I have failed to notice about that special aptitude? I have told my players that there might be more talents based on leadership coming in future releases, but from the present point of view it seems a poor choice. I also recommended having a look at the talents from Only War, which offers some more choices based on leadership, but we are just dabbling with the house rule area doing this, aren't we?

 

I'm looking forward to reading your opinion and suggestions on the matter.

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No, you've got it. It's a fairly useless Aptitude. There may be more talents that key off of it in the future, but with just core it's one of the least useful aptitudes (short of maybe Psyker on a non-psyker character).

 

This kind of thing is why Aptitudes is kind of a **** system.

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Aptitudes is a great system, but unfortunately, the execution sometimes leaves a bit to be desired - however, you aren't missing anything, as such. Leadership as an Aptitude is unfortunately overshadowed by some other Aptitudes, although it by and large depends on what kind of character you want to make.

 

Very few aspects of a roleplaying game is ever created equal, thankfully, I would say.

 

That being said, Leadership could still be far more useful than many other Aptitudes, again depending on what character you are making.

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IMO, the biggest problem with the Leadership aptitude is that the developers are too literal in their interpretation of what it can apply to. The aptitude applies only to talents and skills which literally involve issuing commands to subordinates, which are very limited in Dark Heresy. It seems as though the only reason the skills were kept this way is to ensure perfect compatibility with Only War, a system where Command is by far the most-used social skill.

 

I've house ruled Leadership in my game by expanding its area of influence. The Social aptitude now only applies to skills and talents involving subtle persuasion, deception, and reading others' emotions; only Charm, Deceive, Inquiry, and Fellowship advances use the Social aptitude. A Social-focused character is charming and skilled at manipulating others. By contrast, Leadership represents a commanding presence and great strength of will; it is used to increase the Command, Intimidate and Interrogation skills as well as purchase Willpower advances. Leadership-focused characters may not be charming or subtle, but when they demand information or obedience few can refuse them. To those familiar with World of Darkness, Leadership is analogous to Presence and Social is equivalent to Manipulation.

 

This approach works very well for our group as it allows two styles of social character, similar to how Finesse and Offence both offer distinct combat styles. For a character to truly excel in all social encounters, they must acquire both the Leadership and Social aptitudes.

 

I'll post a separate topic with a list of all my Aptitude tweaks relating to this change, as they are pretty major.

 

TL;DR:

Social = Charm, Deceive, Inquiry, Fellowship (plus associated talents)

Leadership = Command, Intimidate, Interrogation, Willpower (plus associated talents)

Edited by Covered in Weasels

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Another suffering aptitude is Tech on a non-tech priest with intelligence, which includes both Sage and Seeker (the two roles giving Tech). I.e. the few skills and talents available are already on one level of discount.

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Aptitudes is a great system, but unfortunately, the execution sometimes leaves a bit to be desired - however, you aren't missing anything, as such. Leadership as an Aptitude is unfortunately overshadowed by some other Aptitudes, although it by and large depends on what kind of character you want to make.

Very few aspects of a roleplaying game is ever created equal, thankfully, I would say.

"Yeah, this thing in the game is kind of broken. It's a good thing that games are designed with broken parts."

What?

Edited by Nimsim

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Aptitudes is a great system, but unfortunately, the execution sometimes leaves a bit to be desired - however, you aren't missing anything, as such. Leadership as an Aptitude is unfortunately overshadowed by some other Aptitudes, although it by and large depends on what kind of character you want to make.

Very few aspects of a roleplaying game is ever created equal, thankfully, I would say.

"Yeah, this thing in the game is kind of broken. It's a good thing that games are designed with broken parts."

What?

Despite the strawman on your part, I have no idea how you could infer that on any part I said.

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You recognized it as unfortunate that leadership is overshadowed by other aptitudes. (I.e. Unequal), which would indicate that the mechanic is not working well and is broken. You then said you're glad that games have things be unequal (e.g. Leadership being overshadowed by other aptitudes). Unless you want to qualify by saying there is some nebulous just right amount of inequality that cannot be measured?

Also the claim that some players might find leadership very important doesn't change that they're worse off than players for whom it is not.

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You recognized it as unfortunate that leadership is overshadowed by other aptitudes. (I.e. Unequal), which would indicate that the mechanic is not working well and is broken. You then said you're glad that games have things be unequal (e.g. Leadership being overshadowed by other aptitudes). Unless you want to qualify by saying there is some nebulous just right amount of inequality that cannot be measured?

Also the claim that some players might find leadership very important doesn't change that they're worse off than players for whom it is not.

I recognized that it is unfortunate that Leadership is overshadowed by other aptitudes, not as a matter of inequality vs. equality, but because I think that each Aptitude should be able to stand on it's own in terms of mattering more depending on character concept.

The fact that things are not equal is almost always a good thing. This does not mean that something is by default always more useful than something else.

I'm sorry if it left you confused somehow.

And of course it doesn't change that. But this is true for any Aptitude. Aptitudes by their very nature will always mean that some Aptitudes are more useful to some concepts than others.

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I too felt that Leadership and Tech were undervalued attributes, especially as they don't apply to cheaper stat buy ups like the rest of the aptitudes and don't apply to many skills or talents.

 

The answer in my game was to treat them as bonus aptitudes and give roles that get them a different non-stat aptitude that fitted (like Defence, Fieldcraft, e.t.c.). This way all characters always got 7 aptitudes (not including Tech and Leadership), and a few got Tech or Leadership as a nice bonus, but because it only applied to a few things, it wasn't unbalancing.

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You recognized it as unfortunate that leadership is overshadowed by other aptitudes. (I.e. Unequal), which would indicate that the mechanic is not working well and is broken. You then said you're glad that games have things be unequal (e.g. Leadership being overshadowed by other aptitudes). Unless you want to qualify by saying there is some nebulous just right amount of inequality that cannot be measured?Also the claim that some players might find leadership very important doesn't change that they're worse off than players for whom it is not.

I recognized that it is unfortunate that Leadership is overshadowed by other aptitudes, not as a matter of inequality vs. equality, but because I think that each Aptitude should be able to stand on it's own in terms of mattering more depending on character concept.The fact that things are not equal is almost always a good thing. This does not mean that something is by default always more useful than something else.I'm sorry if it left you confused somehow.And of course it doesn't change that. But this is true for any Aptitude. Aptitudes by their very nature will always mean that some Aptitudes are more useful to some concepts than others.

So you might say that each aptitude is equal on being able to stand on its own? Seriously, what you're arguing for is balancing out the aptitudes. Purposefully unequal game design or game design that ignores balance is EXACTLY what causes some character concepts to mechanically overshadow others. It also results in characters being incentivized to be more similar because some of the options aren't worth taking.

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You recognized it as unfortunate that leadership is overshadowed by other aptitudes. (I.e. Unequal), which would indicate that the mechanic is not working well and is broken. You then said you're glad that games have things be unequal (e.g. Leadership being overshadowed by other aptitudes). Unless you want to qualify by saying there is some nebulous just right amount of inequality that cannot be measured?Also the claim that some players might find leadership very important doesn't change that they're worse off than players for whom it is not.

I recognized that it is unfortunate that Leadership is overshadowed by other aptitudes, not as a matter of inequality vs. equality, but because I think that each Aptitude should be able to stand on it's own in terms of mattering more depending on character concept. The fact that things are not equal is almost always a good thing. This does not mean that something is by default always more useful than something else.I'm sorry if it left you confused somehow.And of course it doesn't change that. But this is true for any Aptitude. Aptitudes by their very nature will always mean that some Aptitudes are more useful to some concepts than others.

So you might say that each aptitude is equal on being able to stand on its own? Seriously, what you're arguing for is balancing out the aptitudes. Purposefully unequal game design or game design that ignores balance is EXACTLY what causes some character concepts to mechanically overshadow others. It also results in characters being incentivized to be more similar because some of the options aren't worth taking.

Eh, not really. All concepts are not equal, so all options should not be, either. It all depends on what kind of character you are trying to build. Leadership is, for example, far more useful than Fieldcraft, if you are playing a concept that simply does not make use of Fieldcraft.

I would like to see Leadership presented with more options, not because of inequality or balance issues, but because I think Leadership as a defining part of a concept suffers a lack of options overall. Not because one Aptitude is inherently more "powerful" than another.

Are you seeing the point now, or is it still going swoooosh?

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You guys are never going to agree on the merits of balance. It's wasted energy.

 

I ran the numbers on the Leadership Aptitude. There is a grand total of one skill, one tier 2 talent, and one tier 3 talent that key off of Leadership.  Let's assume you wanted to go all-in on Leadership options.

 

If you have 2 matching aptitudes that costs you 1700 XP.

If you have 1 matching aptitude that costs you 3050 XP.

If you have 0 matching aptitudes that costs you 4800 XP.

 

Funnily enough, the other Aptitude for all 3 options is Fellowship. If we take the one match figure as having Fellowship and 2 match as having both, we see that having the Leadership Aptitude saves you, at the absolute most, only 1350 XP. Going by the rulebook's recommendation of 400 XP per session (4 hour session), that's just over 3 sessions.  (We also see that going outside your aptitudes is extremely costly, but that's sort of beside the point)

 

So if you're doing a one-shot, sure, take Leadership. If you plan on playing a character for more than 3 sessions, it's a waste of an Aptitude.

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The way we handle it, is, allowing Leadership as an alternative aptitude for willpower increases.

 

This balances it out a bit and gives non-psykers the chance for 2 aptitudes on WP.

Keeping the Professional Aptitude of the Willpower Characteristic the Psyker Aptitude was probably the worst decision since making the Professional Aptitude of the Willpower Characteristic the Psyker Aptitude.

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Overall, I like the aptitude system much better than DH 1.0's levels and classes. There are some areas (like Leadership) that need tweaks, but I don't really see why a system that successfully (and, IMHO, DH 2.0 succeeds at this) allows greater character customization is worse than the stratified and far more clunky charts and alternative career levels from before. 

 

That being said, I agree that Leadership should be an alternative for Psyker to the Willpower characteristic and that Leadership is underpowered. Some of the command buff talents (like Into the Jaws of Hell) from RT and some of the other game lines would be good additions to help balance this out. 

 

Willpower should still keep Psyker as an Aptitude, because it's incredibly important to Psykers, especially since they're generally selected for Sanctioning based on their Willpower. 

 

EDIT: There was a suggestion in another thread to allow Leadership to either replace or be used instead of Social for Intimidate and Interrogation, which is another good way to help balance out the aptitude. 

Edited by Objulen

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Overall, I like the aptitude system much better than DH 1.0's levels and classes. There are some areas (like Leadership) that need tweaks, but I don't really see why a system that successfully (and, IMHO, DH 2.0 succeeds at this) allows greater character customization is worse than the stratified and far more clunky charts and alternative career levels from before. 

 

That being said, I agree that Leadership should be an alternative for Psyker to the Willpower characteristic and that Leadership is underpowered. Some of the command buff talents (like Into the Jaws of Hell) from RT and some of the other game lines would be good additions to help balance this out. 

 

Willpower should still keep Psyker as an Aptitude, because it's incredibly important to Psykers, especially since they're generally selected for Sanctioning based on their Willpower. 

 

EDIT: There was a suggestion in another thread to allow Leadership to either replace or be used instead of Social for Intimidate and Interrogation, which is another good way to help balance out the aptitude. 

 

I really liked Alternate Career Levels, though. I'd like to see it done more like a mix between the Advanced Specializations of Only War and Elite Advancement Packages. Each would have a list of preqreqs, both roleplaying and stats, an experience cost, a experience requirement, a limit (such as "only 1 Advanced Specialization per 1000xp spent"), and then give one entry-level Advancement (a circumstance boost to a skill, a custom talent, or a special ability) and 2-3 special advancements.

The Advanced Archetypes of Black Crusade were rubbish and the Advanced Specializations of Only War were odd and underwhelming (changing Aptitudes...?).

That being said, I completely agree with you overall. I have a hard time seeing Leadership as an alternate Aptitude for Interrogation, but that's about it.

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I really liked Alternate Career Levels, though. I'd like to see it done more like a mix between the Advanced Specializations of Only War and Elite Advancement Packages. Each would have a list of preqreqs, both roleplaying and stats, an experience cost, a experience requirement, a limit (such as "only 1 Advanced Specialization per 1000xp spent"), and then give one entry-level Advancement (a circumstance boost to a skill, a custom talent, or a special ability) and 2-3 special advancements.

The Advanced Archetypes of Black Crusade were rubbish and the Advanced Specializations of Only War were odd and underwhelming (changing Aptitudes...?).

That being said, I completely agree with you overall. I have a hard time seeing Leadership as an alternate Aptitude for Interrogation, but that's about it.

 

 

I agree with adjusting Alt Careers to Elite Advances, especially since porting over talents/traits from the old books is very, very easy. Just figure out what tier it is and the aptitudes that fit it, tweak it if it seems a bit too powerful (like Regeneration for Genetors) and you're good to go. 

Social or Leadership can work for Interrogation, and probably more than that. As I see it, the main difference is that Leadership is better for direct and overt social skills, while Social would be better for the more casual or crafty ones. Interrogations don't tend to be very subtle IMHO ;)

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I'm the one who started the thread about Leadership applying to Intimidate and Interrogation.

 

Basically, I see Leadership and Social as being analogous to Offense and Finesse for interaction skills. The former two are straightforward applications of power, while the latter two are more precise. Leadership- or Offense-focused characters aren't necessarily brutes; a melee character could wield his greatsword with skill and poise, or a nobleman may glide through ballrooms commanding the attention of everyone nearby. They just take a more direct approach to solving problems than their Finesse- or Social-focused counterparts. If a character wants to truly excel in all social situations, they should take both the Leadership and Social aptitudes (just like a combat master would take both Offense and Finesse).

 

To summarize:

  • Leadership: Interrogation, Intimidate, Command, and Willpower advances (as an alternative to Psyker, not a replacement)
  • Social: Charm, Decieve, Inquiry, and Fellowship advances
  • Neither: Scrutiny

The Aptitudes of Talents relating to the newly Leadership-based skills are also changed to Leadership from Social.

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All concepts are not equal, so all options should not be, either.

Actually in a coperative game I think it's good if options are as equal as possible or the premise that some options are stronger than others be made clear.

Many people enjoy building and playing underdogs on purpose and yet very few from my experience enjoy ending up with an underdog by mistake because they picked some trap options.

IMO, when a game offers you a choice (like Fieldcraft or Leadership for Imperial Guard background) the default assumption should be it's a 'valid option A or valud option B' kind of choice and not 'strong.option A or weak option B', which is often the case in practice.

Edited by LordBlades

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Actually in a coperative game I think it's good if options are as equal as possible or the premise that some options are stronger than others be made clear.

Many people enjoy building and playing underdogs on purpose and yet very few from my experience enjoy ending up with an underdog by mistake because they picked some trap options.

IMO, when a game offers you a choice (like Fieldcraft or Leadership for Imperial Guard background) the default assumption should be it's a 'valid option A or valud option B' kind of choice and not 'strong.option A or weak option B', which is often the case in practice.

If that's the default assumption, that assumption will be wrong in the majority of all contexts, because all contexts differ from eachother, even if ever so slightly, and the optimal situations will always be vastly outnumbered by the suboptimal ones, no matter how you swing it.

 

Problems arise when an option isn't valid or does not perform it's suggested function, not inherent notions of "inequality". The only possible combination for which Leadership would be a "trap" would be in those rare cases where one is presented with the choice between Leadership and Fellowship, in which case Fellowship will always be superior, a sad fact that really should've been rectified between Only War and DH2.

 

It really is odd, too, because there's no difficulty in thinking of uses for Leadership, especially if you un-neuter the skill tables.

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Leadership is a trap option though (if you're playing a character for more than 3 sessions). I've already laid the XP costs associated with having it or not and having it means you'll spend a lot more XP on other options.

 

Oh, right, you have me on ignore.

 

 

Problems arise when an option isn't valid or does not perform it's suggested function, not inherent notions of "inequality".

 

 

I'm having a lot of trouble understanding this sentence.  You seem to be going to great lengths to avoid calling false choices unequal.  I know you're ideologically opposed to balance in game design, so I'll chalk it up to that.

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Leadership is a trap option though (if you're playing a character for more than 3 sessions). I've already laid the XP costs associated with having it or not and having it means you'll spend a lot more XP on other options.

 

Oh, right, you have me on ignore.

 

Problems arise when an option isn't valid or does not perform it's suggested function, not inherent notions of "inequality".

 

I'm having a lot of trouble understanding this sentence.  You seem to be going to great lengths to avoid calling false choices unequal.  I know you're ideologically opposed to balance in game design, so I'll chalk it up to that.

They're called mental gymnastics for a reason. Different things are unequal until one of them becomes demonstrably worse than the other. The act of making that thing better in order to improve gameplay is in no way making things more equal or balancing the game, even if someone insists that is exactly what is being proposed. Grognard ideology.

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Leadership is a trap option though (if you're playing a character for more than 3 sessions). I've already laid the XP costs associated with having it or not and having it means you'll spend a lot more XP on other options.

 

Oh, right, you have me on ignore.

 

Problems arise when an option isn't valid or does not perform it's suggested function, not inherent notions of "inequality".

 

I'm having a lot of trouble understanding this sentence.  You seem to be going to great lengths to avoid calling false choices unequal.  I know you're ideologically opposed to balance in game design, so I'll chalk it up to that.

They're called mental gymnastics for a reason. Different things are unequal until one of them becomes demonstrably worse than the other. The act of making that thing better in order to improve gameplay is in no way making things more equal or balancing the game, even if someone insists that is exactly what is being proposed. Grognard ideology.

 

 

If you at some point find yourself artificially enforcing equality, you're setting yourself up for failure. All things are inherently unequal, and one cannot expect one character concept to be equal in all aspects to another. For example, one character is based on the idea of command and leadership - another upon charm and guile. Should both be equally commanding? Of course not.

 

This has nothing to do with ideology or mental gymnastics, which I leave to the cognitively disassociated such as yourself.

The fact that you cannot comprehend basic English is hardly my fault. You seem to be under the mistaken belief that I think that the Leadership Aptitude is above critique - it is not. The fact that it doesn't offer more options is deplorable. But this doesn't change the fact that the usefulness of the Aptitude entirely depends on what concept you are going for.

It is not a trap choice at all, as I settled earlier.

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You're equivocating balance and equality. Character options should be designed to be of equal utility  (i.e. balanced against each other) but that does NOT mean that all characters will be equally capable at different tasks. Every time the question of balance comes up you claim we support the idea that all characters should be equally capable at all things, which is not and has never been the case, and then tear down that idea. There's a term for that kind of argument.

 

Again you misunderstand me when you say, "You seem to be under the mistaken belief that I think that the Leadership Aptitude is above critique".  Your suggestion on the last page of making the Leadership aptitude apply to more things is a pretty clear indication you find issue with it. 

 

What gets me is that even though you find issue with the utility value of the Leadership as a character option you refuse to use the word 'unequal' to describe its utility. Those are the mental gymnastics.

 

Go back and find my post about the relative XP costs of having Leadership vs not having Leadership and tell me it's not a trap option.  It's next to worthless next to all other Aptitudes.

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