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Implications of removing Ballistic & Weapon Skill

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Alright, now that I've caught your attention with a wildly suggestive topic title that will turn out to not be nearly as nonsensical as you expected, I have been thinking.

Yes, it happens. I think. I'm a thinker. -_-

 

The idea of Ballistic Skill and Weapon Skill never sat well with me for some reason. Not as Characteristics, anyway. Where all other Characteristics deal with intrinsic parts of someone's actual being or physiology in one way or another - yes, even Willpower and Fellowship - BS and WS always felt like.. well, the name even suggests it; skills. Something trained, or the result of other innate characteristics.

First, some additional homebrewed assumptions need to be made for me to even consider this.

Primarily, all baseline humans have starting Characteristics of 2d10+20, modified by an absolute maximum of +10/-20 on creation. Secondly, instead of there being four levels of increasing characteristics advancements in hauls of +5 (total 20), there would be five levels of +3 (total 15).

 

Either way, so in a nutshell, my thought was to scrap Ballistic Skill and Weapon Skill as Characteristics. Weapon Skill would be calculated by the average of Strength and Agility, while Ballistic Skill would be calculated by the average of Perception and Agility.

Am I insane?

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As I consider this a very interesting idea, I don't consider you insane. 

 

That would also balance out Finesse and Offense aptitude-wise, as they'd each only boost one aptitude after that. In addition, the stat allocation method should probably be dropped to just 80 points if one uses this method. 

 

There is the question of what to do with the Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill aptitudes. As well as what to do with the rare case of Unnatural Weapon Skill/Ballistic Skill. 

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Unnatural BS/WS is clearly a daemonic abomination to begin with, i've always hated those two beyond ANY OTHER Unnatural char. That said, after doing some maths....

I have rolled these numbers as normal OW 2d10+20, for reference.

 

Strength 27, Agility 34= 31 WS

 

Perception 34, Agility 34= 34 BS

 

All in all it takes a little math, but we have smartphone calculators :) and the numbers look completely reasonable. I might just give this some thought in future 40k games....

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The main reason they did that though is using the traits straight from the Table Top game. In TT you don't need to know lores or athletics when every unit moves 6" per turn, but BS and WS are as much characteristics as S or T in the 40k universe and they wanted to tie it back to the base game. 

 

That said this is a very interesting idea and I quite like it, I just also see why the devs didn't do something similar.

 

Also it would take twice as much XP to train up BS and WS (if not more depending on aptitudes) which makes it more difficult to scale enemies and encounters IMHO unless you do it for EVERYBODY (which I am too lazy to do but if you do kudos)

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Aside from FoeHammer618's very well put point which in my opinion is the reason for WS and BS.

 

The current system by not using derived characteristics frees the system from the often-lamented issues that arise from them.

 

For example: not every chainsword weilding loony is an olympic gymnast, nor is every mortar operator an eagle eyed acrobat and they shouldn't have to be to be effective.

 

While I agree that combat skills are not inherent attrbutes in the same manner as say toughness or intelligence but by treating them as such one can allow these "skill attrbutes" to exist independently of the exploitable relationships with other stats that exist in many other games.

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[...]

 

Also it would take twice as much XP to train up BS and WS (if not more depending on aptitudes) which makes it more difficult to scale enemies and encounters IMHO unless you do it for EVERYBODY (which I am too lazy to do but if you do kudos)

Why would it make it more difficult to scale enemies and encounters? One thought that had occurred to me was exactly that it'd keep the progression of BS and WS down, thinking that it'd in fact prevent the rampant power creep that many encounters end up suffering from.

This also goes hand-in-hand with my idea of making each increase of Characteristics a +3 instead of 5, and making it 5 increases instead of 4; with the appropriate increase in experience expenditure.

Shouldn't this make it *easier* to scale enemies? And my thought was that basic NPC:s would not use this system, but simply have an assigned WS and BS value, with the system applying to some, but not most - similar to how Weapon Training never applies to NPC:s, unless they're Minions or otherwise "tracked".

 

 

Aside from FoeHammer618's very well put point which in my opinion is the reason for WS and BS.

 

The current system by not using derived characteristics frees the system from the often-lamented issues that arise from them.

 

For example: not every chainsword weilding loony is an olympic gymnast, nor is every mortar operator an eagle eyed acrobat and they shouldn't have to be to be effective.

 

While I agree that combat skills are not inherent attrbutes in the same manner as say toughness or intelligence but by treating them as such one can allow these "skill attrbutes" to exist independently of the exploitable relationships with other stats that exist in many other games.

A really good argument against this, actually. After all, one of my main pet peeves with the condensation of the Skills in post-Black Crusade is that it ended up creating these really weird situations where someone being a demolitions expert by default also being able to disassemble a Titan (Tech-Use, hooo!), or Awareness now being the single most used skill in the game.

My first thought was actually that doing away with WS/BS, it would allow those that aren't specifically focused on combat, to still remain combat-viable, growing "organically", and an individual character's focus on combat being represented by Talents (or, to an extent, Skills) dealing primarily with combat.

I was also considering Talents that would allow one to use different combinations for different situations, such as Intelligence/Perception for Ballistic Skill when doing an Aim Action (Point Blank Range excluded), representing, for example, a Mortar Operator or a Sniper.

Or a Talent that allows for Intelligence/Agility for Weapon Skill when Dueling (one-handed weapon in one hand, free offhand).

 

Would this serve as a viable counter-argument in any way, or only further exacerbate the issue?

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I didn't mean to start a flame war by any stretch, in fact I think it's a great system, especially for house rules. If you want to do this then go for it man, it makes logical sense that someone with training in a weapon + Ag + Per/Str would logically make them better at using said weapon. I was just explaining why it is the way it is now. House rule that crap bro!

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I didn't mean to start a flame war by any stretch, in fact I think it's a great system, especially for house rules. If you want to do this then go for it man, it makes logical sense that someone with training in a weapon + Ag + Per/Str would logically make them better at using said weapon. I was just explaining why it is the way it is now. House rule that crap bro!

 

Say what? There's no flame war going on, I simply asked what your logic was, since I couldn't work it out. If your argument is sound, I'd still love to hear it. I'm not going to introduce anything like this into my ruleset until I know it's pretty much waterproof, because it could mean a significant step away from the core ruleset.

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there is always the option of WS/BS being actual skills.

in regards to tech use, I think a lot of the problems stem from its ability to craft and repair stuff; those jobs could be better taken up by trade technomat and trade armourer

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