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Caliginous

What house rules do I need immediately?

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Hi guys,

 

Looks like after a few years I may finally be getting a DH1 group together.

 

The amount of house rules out there for this game is staggering haha. While I'm sure a lot of it will be organic and develop naturally, like all house rules, I was just wondering what house rules are out there that are pretty much used by everybody and are what you would class as essential house rules.

 

Thanks all, much appreciated.

 

Cheers

Cal

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Definitely use the rules for shooting that they use in the other game systems, I didnt and regret it every time my players brings out an auto gun. 

The only other house rule I can think of that is super important is the no farting house rule. Every time someone farts in my house their character loses 5 xp. Its far more important than you would think.

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Definitely use the rules for shooting that they use in the other game systems, I didnt and regret it every time my players brings out an auto gun.

I'd disregard this entirely. BC onwards Full Auto is unimmersively inane. Get dark heresy 2.0 advanced from dark reign instead.

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Or just...y'know...run the **** game from the book a few times and then see what mods may or may not be required.

 

Just because everyone put whipped cream on their pie because they claim it tastes better, doesn't mean you got to have whipped cream too without having a bite first y'know....

Edited by Braddoc

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You'll notice in my op I said that I'm aware most of the house rules will develop organically and naturally as we play the game. I was just curious as to what everyone sees as being a necessary fix.

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The only house rule I would say is basically a default, and is mentioned as an option in many of the books is. Minor goons and henchmen don't get critical tables only PCs and important characters. That's sorta elastic right, a recurring villain is gonna have criticals, you wanna see him squirm that much more. But a particularly skilled assassin they've never meet before may also have crits, because he's the central antagonist of the scene. This one is a way to sorta push and pull on difficulty, pacing, and tone. And you want to be mindful of nerfing enemies like orks by never letting them go into crits. All the same, it's a generally fun rule. If there's a enemy who was fairly easy to reduce to 0, and mostly just scenery, he will just die in a messy non mechanical way. Rather than get another couple actions directed at him.

 

For the most part I would use the rules from Only War. The shooting rules are great. Full auto is something to be used when desperate, when you have a huge bonus, or when you're insanely good, as opposed to the default of a 21 BS acolyte. The tox rules, psy-focus rules, unnatural rules, stormweapon rules, and others. They mostly make the game more balanced and more fun. Really the only rules from the later edition I don't use are I keep righteous fury the same, it's quicker and I think more fun as originally written. And some of the weapons they retweaked like lasguns and plasma guns with special rules to make them more viable with variable weapon settings, I instead just moved around a few points in the interest of speed. But that's very much YMMV, many like those settings quite a bit.

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As someone who has, and does, handle fire-arms, OW's full auto system makes me cringe, especially when applied to weapons that generally lack any noticable recoil, such as lasguns. A lower chance to hit with more bullets fired is simply not how guns work.

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As someone who has, and does, handle fire-arms, OW's full auto system makes me cringe, especially when applied to weapons that generally lack any noticable recoil, such as lasguns. A lower chance to hit with more bullets fired is simply not how guns work.

 

It is an abstraction in the name of game balance. If Full Auto attacks are A) faster than Aim into Standard Attack while B) doing more damage and C) doing so more easily, as was the case in older games, why make Standard Attacks at all? Ammo is not a compelling argument, since it is only a relevant stat when it hits 0. Making Full Auto attacks more difficult is a necessary evil to keep them from dominating everything, though they arguably still do in the eyes of some. Not my cup of tea to have Lightning Attacks guarantee a flat three hits either.

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As someone who has, and does, handle fire-arms, OW's full auto system makes me cringe, especially when applied to weapons that generally lack any noticable recoil, such as lasguns. A lower chance to hit with more bullets fired is simply not how guns work.

 

It is an abstraction in the name of game balance. If Full Auto attacks are A) faster than Aim into Standard Attack while B) doing more damage and C) doing so more easily, as was the case in older games, why make Standard Attacks at all? Ammo is not a compelling argument, since it is only a relevant stat when it hits 0. Making Full Auto attacks more difficult is a necessary evil to keep them from dominating everything, though they arguably still do in the eyes of some. Not my cup of tea to have Lightning Attacks guarantee a flat three hits either.

 

You do it by providing the weaponry that makes single shot viable in its role on modern battlefields as well. As many bullets as you can is your standard option, especially in a close quarters firefight, and it should be. Instead of changing the rules, it makes a lot more sense to change the weapons, and actually give SS weaponry more punch. A designated assault rifle with a 100 shot capacity isn't going to have the same kind of calibre as a high powered pistol that only has to fit 5-10 rounds, or less. Ideally, you would increase the damage on designated single shot weapons, have Semi-Auto actually possess the highest bonus to hit and let Full Auto auto-supress. OW's "update" in that regard, is just bad. Reverse the boni completely ignores why there was a to-hit bonus for volume of fire in the first place.

 

That said, we did frequently use single shot in dark heresy. When you have to hit foes in heavy cover, it really is your only viable option, because otherwise, 90% of your shots are going to hit the wall in front of your foe, rather than the bit of him poking out. If GMs underutilise intelligent foes and this creates the perception of single shot being useless, or worse, GMs do not apply cover appropriately, as AP against even successful hits (RAW if you are shooting the foe without a called shot, you are shooting at him in his entirity, including the bits behind cover...), then, yes, full auto is "overpowered". But then you're also playing the game wrong and creating an artificial imbalance.

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I appreciate this perspective and follow your logic on it. What measures have you taken to address the issue? My main concern lies with the "quintessential" high-RoF Bolt weapons. A bolt barrage is typically overkill even without employing the old Full Auto rules. With the considerable bonus to-hit from the old rules, Storm Bolters go from "highly lethal" to "definitely lethal". Of course, one could argue that taking a Full Auto burst without Cover is death sentence appropriate to the setting and that Bolt weapons are expected to liquefy their targets.

 

I am looking for what direction to nudge the numbers of specific or all weapons in to establish rough parity.

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Generally, it helps to remember that bolters, autoguns etc. have different patterns. Logically, one would assume these patterns serve a particular purpose. Assault and suppression weapons, for example, do not need to do as much damage as marksman calibre equipment (though damage does help, obviously). As such, an anti-armour rifle may actually out-damage a storm-bolter on singular targets, while the storm bolter's rapid fire exploding munitions wreak havoc, especially on tightly packed, lightly armoured foes.

 

So, what you do is you pick the average for your weaponry. Say, the book stats, for example. Then you doctor the firing rates according to what the gun is supposed to do. Roomsweepers don't need semi-auto, but may have a single shot setting just to prevent waste when you go back and headshot the fallen. Marksman rifles may only have single shot and semi-auto. Then you adjust damage and pen. Generally, a good gauge is to add +5 or 1d10 to the single shot versions, and depending on if it's anti-armour or anti-personelle, or the logic behind the weapon's construction, increase the penetration -slightly-, perhaps even give it razor sharp. For suppression weapons, you can reduce the damage slightly. I would not go below a -2 or -3, though. Damage in DH1 is tendentially low. I'd also lower Pen to as much as half, if it makes sense for the weapon type (for plasma, f.ex., it simply doesn't, but for bolt shells, which come in widely different configurations, it might).

For explosive bolt calibres, I would even suggest adding the blast and inaccurate quality to room sweepers, to illustrate it is literally all over the place.

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