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Asymptomatic

Wounds and Sound Constitution Revisited

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It seems odd to me that a veteran of 20,000 Experience can have fewer Wounds than someone just rolling out of character generation. Further, Sound Constitution is a black hole that eats up the group tank's Experience. A character with TB 4 could sink 1,800 Experience into Sound Constitution alone. What is the proper timing to be buying Wounds when the same Experience can be used to buy similarly survivability-boosting Characteristics or Talents instead? I sought out a way to flatten Sound Constitution's cost while letting long-lived characters become more durable naturally:

 

NEW MECHANIC: Battle-Hardened (name pending)

Characters gain Wounds over time as they continue to serve the Emperor (or other power). For every 2000* xp earned, characters earn 1 additional Wound. Characters may gain Wounds in this manner a number of times equal to their Toughness Bonus. Should characters later increase their Toughness Bonus, these Wound grants apply retroactively.

 

EXAMPLE:

Steve is an accomplished soldier of many battles, having accumulated 8,000 xp with a Toughness Bonus of 3. He receives 1 additional Wound for every 2000 xp earned, up to a maximum of +3 Wounds. The last 2,000 xp does not count since it would give Steve more Wounds than his TB. If Steve later reached 4 TB, he would be granted the extra Wound he is due for a total of +4 Wounds.

 

*Experience bracket can be adjusted by the GM as necessary

REVISED TALENT:  Sound Constitution (X)

TIER: 1 3          Aptitudes: Toughness, General only

 

Characters can purchase this talent up to two times, with X equal to the number of purchases. With Sound Constitution (1), characters halve the interval at which they gain natural Wounds. With Sound Constitution (2), characters also double the natural Wounds they receive. Effectively, characters gain

  • 1 Wound/2,000 xp;
  • 1 Wound/1,000 xp; or
  • 2 Wounds/1,000 xp

based on how many purchases of Sound Constitution they have. Sound Constitution applies retroactively.

 

EXAMPLE 1:

Steve decides to purchase 1 instance of Sound Constitution. Because he has 8,000 xp and TB 3, his Wound gain caps out at 3,000 xp rather than 6,000 xp. While Sound Constitution (1) does nothing for Steve at this point in his career, he can double his Wound gain from +3 to +6 if he purchases Sound Constitution one more time.

 

EXAMPLE 2:

Alice built up a Toughness Bonus of 4 and 5,000 xp, part of which she used to purchase 2 instances of Sound Constitution early on. She receives 2 Wounds for every 1,000 xp earned, up to a maximum of +8 Wounds as dictated by her TB.

These house rules sound mathy, but I believe the formula is straightforward. By RAW, a character can buy Sound Constitution up to 1 + (2 x TB) times, costing either 300 xp or 200 xp per Wound. As I mentioned above, a character with 4 TB can buy Sound Constitution 9 times for either 1,800 xp or, Emperor forbid, 2,700 xp. That is absolutely overpriced. I don't know who is going to purchase Sound Constitution that many times when there are so many other things to buy.

 

My Sound Constitution "fix" locks Sound Constitution's cost to 600 xp per purchase (Tier 3 with 1 unconditional Aptitude), though the number of Wounds that that Experience buys fluctuates. A character can spend a flat 1200 xp to gain a total 8 Wounds if she has earned 4,000 xp and a TB of 4 (+2 Wounds naturally, +6 Wounds from Sound Constitution). Characters purchasing RAW Sound Constitution need to spend 1600 xp to achieve the same result. My Sound Constitution only gets cheaper as a character's TB goes up (in terms of xp/Wound; the cost is static), while the cost of RAW Sound Constitution only grows (since each Wound needs to be paid for).

 

As a pleasant side-effect, all character builds can bulk up for the same Experience cost. Tanks/high TB characters may benefit more from Sound Constitution, but squishies/low TB characters also won't need to pay a premium to bolster their Wounds. Mid-game Sound Constitution tanks will have appreciably more Wounds than their peers without forsaking other defensive Talents or Characteristics. Sound Constitution is a great asset to have, but the 600/1,200 xp price tag makes sure players know they are committing to their increased survivability. In other words, Sound Constitution is kept out of the "too cheap/must-buy" category.

 

One circumstance I want to address, as Steve demonstrates above, is what happens when a character purchases Sound Constitution to no effect. Part of me wants to argue that Steve is crippling himself by limiting his Wound growth early on, but then that also means he spends 1,200 xp to gain 3 Wounds down the road. Although, from another perspective, he's paying 1,200 xp to gain 6 Wounds when compared to the RAW Wound system. I considered granting such characters Sound Constitution (1) for free if they passed a certain Experience threshold, specifically when they hit their Wound maximum without Sound Constitution. However, I feel that that creates weird incentives when players try to "save" 600 xp by waiting for the free Sound Constitution (1) grant. Players trying to do so will have to wait a long time, even with generous Experience grants (and especially if they have a high TB), but the situation still exists. I could simultaneously refund players who purchased Sound Constitution (1) before crossing the same threshold, but that both encourages dubious "Experience loans" and reduces the significance I want Sound Constitution to have.

 

Both of these changes are untested. I spend a good amount of time trying to alleviate what I consider to be "needless experience taxes," but I don't have the player base to run my house rules by. Let me know what you think. Cheers.

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OPTION 2: "Legend of the Five Rings" Style
 
Discard everything concerning Wounds in the DH2 book. Instead, every character has 8 "Health Ranks" of progressing severity, numbered 3 to 10. Each Rank has four Wounds initially. If the character's Natural (unmodified) Toughness bonus is higher, each Rank has that number of Wounds instead. Grittier games may have Health Ranks contain only three or two Wounds each before Toughness. Incoming Damage deducts from the topmost Health Ranks first, beginning with Wounded (3), and spills into the Ranks below as needed. Whenever a Health Rank is "filled", its Wound count hitting 0, the character suffers a Critical Effect equal to the Health Rank's number to the last location the attack hits. To wit, Wounds can be represented by the following chart:

 

REDEFINED MECHANIC: Health Ranks
Unwounded/Wounded
3: Wounded O O O O
4: Wounded O O O O
5: Wounded O O O O
6: Wounded O O O O
7: Wounded O O O O
8: Wounded O O O O
9: Wounded O O O O
0: Wounded O O O O

EXAMPLE 1:
Steve takes 9 Rending Damage to his Head after reductions. At the end of the attack's resolution, Steve suffers [Rending Critical Effect - Head 4] in addition to any other effects the attack might have had. His Health Ranks post-Damage could resemble:

Unwounded/Wounded
3: Wounded X X X X
4: Wounded X X X X
5: Wounded X O O O
etc.

EXAMPLE 2:
Alice is a veritable meat-tank of Natural Toughness Bonus 7. As such, Alice can take 9 Rending Damage to her Head better than Steve can, only suffering [Rending Critical Effect - Head 3]. Her Health Ranks post-damage could resemble:
Unwounded/Wounded
3: Wounded X X X X X X X
4: Wounded X X O O O O O
etc.

Characters have a theoretical maximum of 32 Wounds out of the starting gate. However, as you may have noticed, some Critical Effects are lethal long before then. Notably, [Explosive - Head 6] cuts a character's theoretical Wound maximum to 16. This is intentional. My goals for this change include, in no particular order:

  • Phasing out Wound/Sound Constitution Purchases: Survivability is highly desirable, but feels dissatisfying to invest in. Extra Wounds do not actually do anything until the character loses them; Wounds are preventative rather than empowering. Having Wounds tied to Toughness Advancements frees up those extra unused Wounds and the Experience used to purchase them.
  • Suspension of Disbelief/Realism: By RAW, Critical Damage only occurs during Righteous Furies or after Wounds hit 0. This tendency creates an odd "void" where 10 or more Wounds must accounted for without any mechanical implications. I find this quite jarring, to the point where I must alter my perception of what Wounds actually mean in the game's context. Guaranteeing Critical Effects on a semi-regular basis averts this perceived Wound void.
  • The Middle Road: The oft-mentioned "Damage after reduction goes straight to Criticals" feels a little extreme to me, as both a player and a GM. Borrowing from another game I like, I believe I have reached a compromise between the current Wound system and that suggested extreme.

But wait, what about the squishy characters who would normally buy Sound Constitution rather than Toughness Advances? At the moment, I do not have anything for them. I am looking to add to Sound Constitution's functionality to make it more appealing to purchase. As a rough draft, the new Sound Constitution will enable characters to "treat their Natural Toughness Bonus as 5/6 when calculating Wounds. If a character's Natural Toughness Bonus is already equal to or higher than 5/6, the cost for this Talent is waived or refunded as appropriate". I am leery about simply opening Health Ranks 1 and 2, but that is an option as well.

 

Mooks or weak NPCs can use a modified version of the Health Rank chart, such as omitting the odd Ranks. Thus, their Ranks would be 4, 6, 8, and 10, with a theoretical Wound maximum of 16. Critical Effects tend to be lethal at 8, or just shy of being so. Combat balance in general can be tweaked by how many Health Ranks are included or excluded. For example, a powerful beast could have its Health Ranks 1 and 2 opened, or even have several Rank 0s that must be filled before taking any appreciable damage.

Edited by Asymptomatic

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I rather like this, and I may just run it by my Black Crusade players next session considering that the lot of them are turning out to be a collection of glass cannons armored like fortresses.

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I like this as well, and would be willing to try implementing it in my group, but most times, its more economical to buy toughness and have a reduction, or WS or agility to get a better shot at defending. Most of my players don't really buy a lot of sound constitution. It's a nice talent, but like you pointed out, expensive, and 1 or 2 wounds rarely make all the difference. Some difference sure, but not usually a whole lot. I'll run it by them though, and see what they say.

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I like this as well, and would be willing to try implementing it in my group, but most times, its more economical to buy toughness and have a reduction, or WS or agility to get a better shot at defending. Most of my players don't really buy a lot of sound constitution. It's a nice talent, but like you pointed out, expensive, and 1 or 2 wounds rarely make all the difference. Some difference sure, but not usually a whole lot. I'll run it by them though, and see what they say.

 

Glad to have you two on-board. Yes, Lionus, I find that most people choose not to buy Sound Constitution since the same Experience can be put towards WS/Ag/Dodge/Parry/other Talents instead. I wager that Wounds don't feel as good to purchase since they can only make someone survive better. Surviving is not the same as winning, which Weapon Skill and Agility actually contribute to; Wounds allow characters to make more "mistakes" but it doesn't help them do their jobs better. Maybe if Wounds could be used for something other than calculating life expectancy... This is probably straying from the topic at hand, though.

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The only way I see this work is by using Toughness to determine the amount of wounds (I believe you mentioned that somewhere). Sound constitution would increase Toughness then, which can be used for other things as well.

Edited by Gridash

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The only way I see this work is by using Toughness to determine the amount of wounds (I believe you mentioned that somewhere). Sound constitution would increase Toughness then, which can be used for other things as well.

 

This house rule already includes Toughness as a factor, though second to Experience. Left to their own devices, characters will gain 1 Wound every 2,000 xp (up to TB times). Sound Constitution (2) changes that to 2 Wounds every 1,000 xp (still up to TB times). Having Experience as the main determinant prevents high TB characters from getting their full durability too early in the game (at least without significant tradeoffs). 1,200 xp is quite the sum for an early game character to spend on strictly Wounds, but at least that character isn't granted 6 Wounds just for having 3 TB. My main goal was to establish a nice Wound "curve", so to speak, so that characters aren't beefy out of the gate but rather beef up over time without explicitly buying Wounds.

 

If I am understanding your proposal properly, Sound Constitution can just be another way to buy Toughness? At that point, I would probably just defenestrate Sound Constitution since Toughness Advances can be used instead. No need to have a Talent increase Toughness when characters can just buy Toughness directly. However, this hypothetical change can easily push Wound increases out of the reach of characters with neither the Toughness nor Defence Aptitudes. I'm open to a follow-up opinion, but I'm against Talents straight up increasing Characteristics.

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I think I'll use it since it wouldn't be abusive in my critical wounds system (I.E. a 0 wounds, a character is dead, all wounds suffered above his TB in the same attack is the result on the critical table, but it resets to 0 each time). I think it would give a chance to player.

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Characters can purchase this talent up to two times, with X equal to the number of purchases. With Sound Constitution (1), characters halve the interval at which they gain natural Wounds. With Sound Constitution (2), characters also double the natural Wounds they receive. Effectively, characters gain

  • 1 Wound/2,000 xp;
  • 1 Wound/1,000 xp; or
  • 2 Wounds/1,000 xp

based on how many purchases of Sound Constitution they have. Sound Constitution applies retroactively.

 

EXAMPLE 1:

Steve decides to purchase 1 instance of Sound Constitution. Because he has 8,000 xp and TB 3, his Wound gain caps out at 3,000 xp rather than 6,000 xp. While Sound Constitution (1) does nothing for Steve at this point in his career, he can double his Wound gain from +3 to +6 if he purchases Sound Constitution one more time.

 

 

General design note: Never offer something that has no effect on purchase. In this case, if Steve wants more Wounds, he needs to buy 2 ranks of Sound Consitution at once. The first rank doesn't do anything for him. Sucks for him. But the design sucks too.

 

There are two things at play here. Raising maximum wounds attainable through "natural progression" and raising the speed at which they are gained, You should either include both in the talent in each rank or make two separate talents.

 

e.g. Sound Consitution

Each rank of Sound Consitution increases an acolyte's Toughness Bonus by one for purposes of determining maximum Wounds. In addition, each rank reduces the amount of experience per wound things (better wording goes here) by 500 exp.

Sound Con (0) 1 Wound / 2k exp

Sound Con (1) 1 Wound / 1.5k exp

Sound Con (2) 1 Wound / 1k exp

... etc.

 

Max ranks up to a PCs Toughness Bonus with minimum wound/exp thing of 500.

 

Example 1 Steve:

With 8k experience, Steve has already unlocked his maximum bonus wounds of 3 (his TB is 3). He can buy Sound Con and gain another wound. He can do this 3 times, gaining 3 wounds. Because he's so late to the game, the secondary effect of increasing wound-gain speed is irrelevant.

 

Example 2 Alice:

With 5k exp, Alice only has gained 2 of her potential 4 wounds. If she purchases Sound Con 1, she immediately gains 1 wound from the increased wound gain speed (she has at least 3x1.5k exp). Her maximum potential wounds are now also 1 higher. She'll eventually cap out at 5 maximum bonus wounds with 6.5k exp.

If she buys max ranks of Sound Con (4), she'll end up with 8 total bonus wounds, which she gains at a total expenditure of 4k exp.

 

I like your idea, but the implementation is a little rough. Especially since a higher exp character could stand to gain a LOT of wounds (Alice can gain 4 wounds by buying Sound Con twice).

 

Note: After going over the numbers with the examples, maybe a progression speed of 2k, 1k, 750, 500, would be better. Could have a tendency to grant lots of wounds at higher ranks with the jump from 1k to 0.5k. Or heck, maybe 2k, 1.5k, 1k, 0.75k, 0.5k.

Edited by Flail-Bot

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General design note: Never offer something that has no effect on purchase. In this case, if Steve wants more Wounds, he needs to buy 2 ranks of Sound Constitution at once. The first rank doesn't do anything for him. Sucks for him. But the design sucks too.

--> The language is somewhat crude, but yes, this was one of my sentiments. I trust you read my passage on the matter? Specifically about a possible refund or grant if Sound Constitution (1) is ineffectual. At the time of this writing, I am more inclined to offer the refund/grant than I was back then.

 

There are two things at play here. Raising maximum wounds attainable through "natural progression" and raising the speed at which they are gained, You should either include both in the talent in each rank or make two separate talents.

--> One of my goals was to provide a way to gain Wounds that does not rely on Sound Constitution. Thus, I introduced a mechanic that grants Wounds just by playing/gaining experience. Sound Constitution then modifies the new mechanic rather than granting Wounds on its own.

-->The idea behind Sound Constitution is to have a static limit of purchases, my first system having exactly 0, 1, or 2 instances. While the Wound gain differs, the cost is the same for everyone. Scaling the number of Sound Constitution purchases down from (1 + 2 x TB) to (TB) helps, but does not solve my initial dilemma of "high TB characters funnel too much Experience into Wounds".

 

I like your idea, but the implementation is a little rough. Especially since a higher exp character could stand to gain a LOT of wounds (Alice can gain 4 wounds by buying Sound Con twice).

--> I like to think that fewer purchases of Sound Constitution make each one more meaningful. Sound Constitution (9) worth is 1800 or 2700 experience in increments of 200 or 300 experience. At what point does buying RAW Sound Constitution feel good? My Sound Constitution (2) has more appreciable "power spikes", leaping several Wounds at once. I have no issue with my players gaining whole bundles of Wounds.

 

Note: After going over the numbers with the examples, maybe a progression speed of 2k, 1k, 750, 500, would be better. Could have a tendency to grant lots of wounds at higher ranks with the jump from 1k to 0.5k. Or heck, maybe 2k, 1.5k, 1k, 0.75k, 0.5k.

--> One of my primary concerns was "easy division". Clean multiples of 1000 are easier to wrap one's head around for the less math-inclined. As above, I do not mind characters' survivability exploding; offence can spike, why not defence?

 

I offer the first system as a framework; if swapping out parts makes it more palatable, more power to you. For brevity, my goals are:

  • Reduce the total number/cost of Sound Constitution purchases
  • Static Sound Constitution costs for both squishy and tanky characters
  • Change primary scaling of Wounds from TB to "time"/Experience
  • Characters can gain Wounds outside of Sound Constitution

My first system achieves these points. If you would like to craft a more concrete reinterpretation of it, I would be more than willing to include it in my post. Others may benefit more from your take. I leave my door open for further discussion.

Edited by Asymptomatic

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The problem i am afraid is a bit more problematic, it isn't just simply wounds it is a curve of defensive capability vs offensive capability.

 

At the start of the game, it is very quick for you to run undamageable, getting carapace armour is not hard when compared to the difficulty of getting weaponry that can damage it.  Thus in the first few session you have the situation where autoguns and swords are trying to deal damage to people in 4 or 5 pts of armour.

 

As the game progresses, armour rates are incredibly stagnant, toughness bonuses are likely very static, only evasion sees a rapid increase.  On the offence side, ther is a steady consistent rise in bothdamage and Pen, until you reach the point that no armour matters anymore you may aswell fight naked because all weapons over pen armour.  At the same time, damage values quickly rise to surpass toughness values.

 

If we compare scarce weapons to their very rare equivalents we see an average rise of 3 damage and 3 penetration, whilst we only see an increase of 3 armour.  Futhermore, talents allow for an increase of a further 3 damage very cheaply, compare do the xp required for a similar increase in toughness.  So overall we see a rough increase of 5 damage per shot that connects. (the comparison between shotgun and melta gun was ignored because it skews the figures way too much).

 

 At the start of the game the lasgun that was doing D10 damage after all modifiers were taken into account, is now a plasma gun doing D10+5.  2 hits from a lasgun was unlikely to cause critical damage, 2 hits off a plasmagun is liable to kill you.  So you can see, you actually need gain around 10 wounds at the point you are running around with very rare gear to be as survivable.

 

Okay sounds bad right?  it gets worse.  You actually get hit a lot more often as the game goes on, enemies ballistic skill increases faster than your evasion avoids attacks.

 

So whilst i see you are tyring to do a bit here and there to buff sound consitution, you fall somehwat short of the required buff.

 

My suggestion would be to keep it simple, players may buy sound constitution upto toughness bonus times, and each one grants them wounds equal to their toughness bonus awarded retroactively with increases to toughness.  This would mean chars who choose to focus on Toughness actually have the option of defending themselves.

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So whilst i see you are tyring to do a bit here and there to buff sound consitution, you fall somehwat short of the required buff.

 

My suggestion would be to keep it simple, players may buy sound constitution upto toughness bonus times, and each one grants them wounds equal to their toughness bonus awarded retroactively with increases to toughness.  This would mean chars who choose to focus on Toughness actually have the option of defending themselves.

 

While I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, what you are discussing falls outside the scope of these changes. I am not so much "buffing" Sound Constitution as keeping its cost down. As I mentioned above:

I offer the first system as a framework; if swapping out parts makes it more palatable, more power to you. For brevity, my goals are:

  • Reduce the total number/cost of Sound Constitution purchases
  • Static Sound Constitution costs for both squishy and tanky characters
  • Change primary scaling of Wounds from TB to "time"/Experience
  • Characters can gain Wounds outside of Sound Constitution

My first system achieves these points. If you would like to craft a more concrete reinterpretation of it, I would be more than willing to include it in my post. Others may benefit more from your take. I leave my door open for further discussion.

 

My first system is designed relative to the existing system. RAW Sound Constitution has a purchase limit of 1+(2xTB) instances at 1 Wound each (i.e., up 1+(2xTB) total Wounds for (1+(2xTB))x(200 or 300) total xp). I strived to cut the experience sink, reaching up to (2xTB) Wounds for (600 or 1200) total xp with exactly 0, 1, or 2 instances. Regardless of the character's TB, there would only ever be two purchases to make and a lower non-scaling total cost. Reintroducing purchase limits by TB breaks my static cost philosophy.

 

As a separate point of contention, I am against Sound Constitution simply granting TB Wounds due to what I like to call "the devils of multiplication". Scaling both the number of Sound Constitution purchases and Sound Constitution's effect with TB leads to exponential Wound gains, as seen with a TB 4 character gaining 16 Wounds while a TB 5 character gains 25. I would rather have (C x TB) maximum Wound gain than (TB^2) maximum Wound gain.

 

By all means, if you have additional interpretations or perspectives, I am willing to entertain them. I may be inspired to come up with another system to satisfy both our "needs".

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yeah i understand, but its not just about wounds, its about survivability.  Agility already offers better damage mitigation and at the same time, grants other effects.  Toughness only increases damage mitigation and does it badly.

 

If you globally buff wounds, you end up with the same problem, toughness still sucks.  Is it bad to have exponential wound gain? for the same xp, one player gets dodge +30 and 50 agility while the other has 16 more wounds, at this point, 16 wounds translates into two hits pretty much, so four rounds of combat.... seems pretty balanced to me.

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yeah i understand, but its not just about wounds, its about survivability.  Agility already offers better damage mitigation and at the same time, grants other effects.  Toughness only increases damage mitigation and does it badly.

 

If you globally buff wounds, you end up with the same problem, toughness still sucks.  Is it bad to have exponential wound gain? for the same xp, one player gets dodge +30 and 50 agility while the other has 16 more wounds, at this point, 16 wounds translates into two hits pretty much, so four rounds of combat.... seems pretty balanced to me.

 

From my perspective, the issue lies not with Toughness itself but the Wounds system. By RAW or by my first system, players intentionally spend experience for additional Wounds. However, as mentioned above, Wounds have no mechanical use other than slightly prolonging a character's lifespan. I find measuring the exact worth or satisfaction derived from Sound Constitution purchases difficult at best, at least compared to more appreciable alternatives. My second Wound system addresses this issue, scaling directly with Toughness purchases without additional expenditure. Even if players cannot feel the merit of additional Wounds, the Toughness increase is tangible.

 

Toughness, off the top of my head and by RAW, serves to counter poison, stunning, and other potentially debilitating status effects; offers direct Damage reduction; benefits Fatigue and healing calculations; opens up the myriad Toughness Talents; and, optionally, ups the "Weight-bearing" limitations. I find that Toughness lies far from the "sucking" territory. Certainly, avoiding Damage and status effects is preferrable to taking Damage and testing Toughness, but taking a hit or two is an inevitability. Being able to deal with a less-than-ideal scenario, or at least having backup defences, never hurts.

 

Anything exponential goes against my game aesthetic. Multiplication is acceptable to an extent, but I seek to quash the more egregious mechanics. Examples include one of my early attempts to adjust the Movement system, as you may have seen, and pending changes to the "Multiple Attack" options.

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Very interesting. My group has made some vocal protests about the new wound system. In fact, only one of the party has even bothered putting points into it, the rest have just boosted toughness and other talents. Raising the same criticisms as you.

 

I would not be keen on using this or any other system to boost wounds simply do to my playstyle. I want my players to feel threatened, I want them to be worried about taking a hit from a boltgun. Though, if they and yourself enjoy more sturdy characters, less fate burning and less critical damage. More power to you, I personal prefer the fear, tension and lethality of the system.

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Speaking to the latter half of your comment, I believe my first system preserves the overall feel of the system. As mentioned above, a character's theoretical Wound maximum is slightly lower compared to RAW (a literal difference of 1). To wit, 4 Wounds by RAW costs 800 or 1200xp, depending on Aptitudes. To gain 4 Wounds using my first system, a character would need to meet one of the following conditions:

  • 8,000 Total Experience & Toughness Bonus 4+; No Sound Constitution purchases
  • 4,000 Total Experience & Toughness Bonus 4+; 1 Sound Constitution purchase (600xp)
  • 2,000 Total Experience & Toughness Bonus 2+; 2 Sound Constitution purchases (1200xp)

Notably, while an early-game player can gain several Wounds, s/he must commit a sizable portion of Experience to do so. Even then, the character's Wound gain is "gated" by their total Experience. Levers are in place to prevent characters from gaining too many Wounds too quickly or too cheaply.

 

 

Regarding the first half of your comment, condensing Sound Constitution into a static number of purchases increases the satisfaction of each purchase commensurately. Gaining 3 Wounds from 1 purchase "feels" better than gaining 3 Wounds from 3 purchases. One other notion to keep in mind that Wounds, purchased or not, are only truly useful when they're gone; players may feel somewhat gypped with purchases that are seldom used.

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I can't really get behind this idea, myself.

 

I mean, why should a character arbitrarily become more durable because they have more XP?

 

The pale, scholarly character who cowers from every fight, but contributes a vast wealth of lore, tech and insight to the party; why does he get tougher? Or the socialite Noble who spends all her time gussied up, talking the talk and walking the walk with the upper crust, only pulling a pistol if her cover's blown? She going to become arbitrarily more able to take a bullet just because she's been working for the Inquisition for a year?

 

If you play a highly combat focused game and want to give the PC's a bit more durability, then go right ahead, but I wouldn't suggest adopting it in anything but an almost solely combat-based game.

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I haven't read through all the comments, but you are spot on with sound con. being largely a waste and I think you addressed the problem really nicely. It is practical and you have given your players the incentive to actually purchase it. I will run it by my group and see what they think.

 

Cheers.

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I mean, why should a character arbitrarily become more durable because they have more XP?

 

Yeah, that's a good point. I like the basic premise behind both alternatives Asymptomatic suggested (the 2nd one reminds me a lof of GW's Inquisitor game), but all characters getting tougher by default ... well, it's something that may fit to other games/scenarios like, say, Deathwatch or Only War, but less so to Dark Heresy where there's a far greater diversity among the characters.

 

In this context, having characters gain more resilience based on nothing but time of service could just as well be a justification to have them get more intelligent or gain a stronger will. At which point do you take character advancement completely out of the players' hands?

 

Perhaps there could be a compromise here where characters do not gain any extra Wounds by default, but Sound Constitution effectively "unlocks" this ability to gain 1-2 free Wounds every so often, representing a character keeping their body in shape during downtime in-between assignments. Bookworms would just go by without ever purchasing it, the average Acolyte might purchase the first rank, and bulky warrior types might go all-out and buy it twice.

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First off, I love your second solution! I'd certanly be ready to implement it in my games if my players complained about the basic system.

 

If not, I'd just rule that you can only but half as many Sound Constitution Talents, but that each one provides 2 wounds. That seems reasonable to me! Each one stays cheap but provides an acceptable bonus.

Furthermore, DH is (to me) not a game where you're supposed to play an unkillable tank.

Sure, you can play a hard to kill character (Dodge + high TB + Good Armor + Power Field), but the ieda of an unarmoured character getting riddled with bullets and still standing should only really work for Plague Marines, not normal humans. People already complain that autopistols and such are not deadly enough!

 

The first idea just reminded me why I didn't want to play Dark Heresy with the rules for D&D  ;)  Characters automatically getting tougher in a 40k game just destroyed my suspention of disbelief - especially when they could survive a plasma hit unarmoured at high level.

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I like your ideas, and agree that sound constitution is a bit overpriced for what you get.

 

Two other ideas to solve this could be either

 

1) 100 xp discount on sound constitution meaning 100xp per wound for characters with Toughness aptitude and 200xp per wounds for others,

or

2) 2 wounds per sound constitution bought.

 

I think 1) is probably the least disruptive as it doesn't change the cap on wounds.

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Maybe I'm totally off but I think weapons in 40k get really deadly when you move into Plasma, Melta and Inferno or Power Weapon Range. And this should be like this.

The only real way to defend against those things are:

1) Well tactical planning and killing the opponent by exploiting his weakness.

2) Obtain field generators, like Conversion Field and the likes.

 

The fact that wounds are quite expensive seem quite natural, people can only take so much physical punishment.

I refer to my Table Top 40 experience: toughness determines how easy you are to wound, armour can save you but else you are incapacitated. Unless you have friends that can take care of you, you die, horribly.

Only very exceptional characters like, Inquisitors, Space Marines Captains and the likes have multiple wounds and take more abuse. And these characters are always protected by a force field.

 

So especially in DH I wouldn't make everybody run about with Plasma Gun or the likes.

 

The way I see wounds in DH, is how high your pain limit is: as long as the damage doesn't reach this you can function quite normally.

Try to improve your pain limit, and see if you now can resists a flame thrower ;)

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Maybe I'm totally off but I think weapons in 40k get really deadly when you move into Plasma, Melta and Inferno or Power Weapon Range. And this should be like this.

The only real way to defend against those things are:

1) Well tactical planning and killing the opponent by exploiting his weakness.

2) Obtain field generators, like Conversion Field and the likes.

 

The fact that wounds are quite expensive seem quite natural, people can only take so much physical punishment.

I refer to my Table Top 40 experience: toughness determines how easy you are to wound, armour can save you but else you are incapacitated. Unless you have friends that can take care of you, you die, horribly.

Only very exceptional characters like, Inquisitors, Space Marines Captains and the likes have multiple wounds and take more abuse. And these characters are always protected by a force field.

 

So especially in DH I wouldn't make everybody run about with Plasma Gun or the likes.

 

The way I see wounds in DH, is how high your pain limit is: as long as the damage doesn't reach this you can function quite normally.

Try to improve your pain limit, and see if you now can resists a flame thrower ;)

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

You forgot:

 

3) Get Dodge +30, Step Aside and have your agility on 40 to 50.

 

The difference between having 14 wounds and 22 wounds is quite small, compared to pushing your dodge up in the 70ies range.

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