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A query about the DH2 system

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This example is a little confusing to me (the soc/men one). What exactly is it that's trying to be accomplished? And how is the first example any different than getting a +10 bonus for having assistance?

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Basically, what we're hammering out in our 40kbased homebrew atm is rules that let people do things as a group.

 

Say, for example, the party is trying to sneak into a place. Their team leader can use his expertise to coordinate them in the task, by making a social check on his sneaking skill value. Should he fail this check, or someone in the party actively disagree with his methology, they have a variety of options, ranging from a check of their own to simply present a better path, or outright challenging his authority or even threatening their party members. Each of these actions uses either a different skill in opposition to the party lead's, or a different statline. Every opposed check changes the modifiers the group can use in favour of one or the other, which in theory can go on ad infinitum, in practise, generally doesn't because if no one relents, they waste so much time arguing they never actually get to anything. The important thing is, these are social skil checks that never actually remove agency from player characters. All they do is add modifiers to the task at hand.

 

You can apply the method universally for any group situation, or such, at least, is the goal.

 

 

Rereading, just in case you're asking why I decided to use a main stat and a secondary stat. Very few skills are the product of one narrowly defined attribute alone. Some have secondary attributes (medicating yourself for example would be Mental(Physical)), some have opposing attributes (exceptional dexterity is hard, when you have arms the size of tree trunks and thick roid fingers; on the other hand, someone with a petite, agile physique is simply going to have a harder time doing hard, extensive manual labour).

 

Especially in physical skills, a strong slant towards one specific kind of training will make you a bit lopsided in your capabilities. I picked the sewing example for a reason, to illustrate the difference between someone whose slanted on the steriod abuse end of things with a high S stat and comparatively low Ag, and the opposite, someone with fast, dexterous fingers and a comparatively low strength. One is going to have an easier time with the minute tasks of needle and thread while the other is simply physically less inclined. We chose the difference between the stats as a bonus or malus (depending on what the skill focuses on for the most part), as opposed to a flat modifier, to allow for these physical differences and capabilities to come into play when someone has minmaxed himself (as people do IRL to become exceptionally good at one particular thing), as well as allow for someone with a balanced physique to be decently competent without any large modifiers one way or the other from his statline.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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I'm having some dissonance connecting the dots here. Is this sort of system a replacement for allowing the players to just come up with a plan on their own, delegating the 'plan' and social aspects to rolls?

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I have to admit, after reading everything past my last post, I'm really, really confused on what exactly the conversation has gotten into.

 

For those voicing a desire for narrative mechanics, what would you like to see (without the trollish bias please). I'm genuinely interested to hear something that wasn't written up in a self-defensive tense and with a moment's thought put into it. How would you envision narrative-mechanics that would appease -you-. I ask this earnestly, and I just don't want to see another post going 'I want more narrative rules, but I'll explain a system that has less!'.

 

Please leave out the commentary on how much more expansive the combat section is in comparison. It's fairly irrelevant to the narrative mechanic, and other than providing a comparison of page count, it offers nothing else really to figuring out what exactly is desired.

 

And before anyone says im just being facetious, I am not. I am genuinely getting confused by what I see as a bit of back-and-forth reasoning that doesn't really voice a strong, solidified idea other than, 'This is poo. Me no like'.

The reason people bring up the combat section is that it takes up the majority of the rules, AND took up the majority of the playtest. It's obviously the primary focus of the game. Why bring this fact up? Because people keep claiming that they want a system that just allows them to test skills and nothing more, but the Byzantine combat rules are seen as a given. Basically pointing out that people arguing against in depth rules for non-combat are ALSO doing the "me no likely" thing, but in a hypocritical manner, given that they're fine with in depth combat.

As for what is desired by me in the game, I already listed them up thread. Feel free to quote and point out what you think isn't specific enough.

As for strategizing a skill not being possible, I again would attribute a lack of of imagination. You can tie skill use to resources, which are in turn tied to game mechanics, which in turn creates a strategy of resource management. You can give skills specific mechanical effects that interact with the effects of other skills to allow strategizing. You can manage character abilities to allow these different skill uses to create parties that can combo with each other and pull of interesting game feats. You can give specific guidelines for setting up challenges for these skills that require strategy to overcome. You can provide guidelines that allow there to be a win/lose state for these strategic moments that doesn't just result in the story grinding to a halt.

OR, you can use my simple d6 system i proposed above and do literally anything that exists in the dark heresy system without all ththe extra rules cruft. Yes, it's fun to stack up modifiers, but in the end, it's just the RPG equivalent of one of those clicker flash games that have you just click a button to make numbers go up and buy things with those numbers so you can get bigger numbers. Yes, those games are fun, but they don't really have interesting gameplay. The only real design that goes into them is figuring out the reinforcement schedule of the Skinner box. Similarly, the main design focus in DH is making up as many things as possible to make the numbers go up (damage, roll modifiers, armor, actions). THAT is the issue with both combat and non-combat: the only strategies are to either make the numbers bigger or to convince your GM not to make you roll for it.

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I'm having some dissonance connecting the dots here. Is this sort of system a replacement for allowing the players to just come up with a plan on their own, delegating the 'plan' and social aspects to rolls?

Basically, it's to illustrate you can have a skill system you can actually strategise with, even outside of combat. It's not playtested yet. it may be HORRIBLE. We'll know when it's done and we've tried it. But a quick and easy way to accumulate modifiers via play and causality, rather than looking through a long list, is the end goal.

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As for what is desired by me in the game, I already listed them up thread. Feel free to quote and point out what you think isn't specific enough.

 

I got a whole lot of 'I want skills to be more like combat' but no real feel on how that would be accomplished.

 

 

OR, you can use my simple d6 system i proposed above and do literally anything that exists in the dark heresy system without all ththe extra rules cruft. Yes, it's fun to stack up modifiers, but in the end, it's just the RPG equivalent of one of those clicker flash games that have you just click a button to make numbers go up and buy things with those numbers so you can get bigger numbers. Yes, those games are fun, but they don't really have interesting gameplay. The only real design that goes into them is figuring out the reinforcement schedule of the Skinner box. Similarly, the main design focus in DH is making up as many things as possible to make the numbers go up (damage, roll modifiers, armor, actions). THAT is the issue with both combat and non-combat: the only strategies are to either make the numbers bigger or to convince your GM not to make you roll for it.

 

I could just flip a coin and base everything on a pass/fail too. Don't even have to pay for that method either. 

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The opinions of Dark Heresy 2nd Edition, and those opinions are being debated and elaborated on now.

 

Oh sorry, all I saw was a Quote-War that ran in circles.

 

 

Welcome aboard, enjoy the ride. =D

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Quoting multiple times is eating my posts for some reason. 

 

As for strategizing a skill not being possible, I again would attribute a lack of of imagination. You can tie skill use to resources, which are in turn tied to game mechanics, which in turn creates a strategy of resource management. You can give skills specific mechanical effects that interact with the effects of other skills to allow strategizing. You can manage character abilities to allow these different skill uses to create parties that can combo with each other and pull of interesting game feats. You can give specific guidelines for setting up challenges for these skills that require strategy to overcome. You can provide guidelines that allow there to be a win/lose state for these strategic moments that doesn't just result in the story grinding to a halt.

 

 

I know it's a lack of imagination. I'm asking for working examples to demonstrate exactly the method desired. Not exposition on how it can be done, or how the combat section is bloated.

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As for what is desired by me in the game, I already listed them up thread. Feel free to quote and point out what you think isn't specific enough.

 

I got a whole lot of 'I want skills to be more like combat' but no real feel on how that would be accomplished.

 

 

OR, you can use my simple d6 system i proposed above and do literally anything that exists in the dark heresy system without all ththe extra rules cruft. Yes, it's fun to stack up modifiers, but in the end, it's just the RPG equivalent of one of those clicker flash games that have you just click a button to make numbers go up and buy things with those numbers so you can get bigger numbers. Yes, those games are fun, but they don't really have interesting gameplay. The only real design that goes into them is figuring out the reinforcement schedule of the Skinner box. Similarly, the main design focus in DH is making up as many things as possible to make the numbers go up (damage, roll modifiers, armor, actions). THAT is the issue with both combat and non-combat: the only strategies are to either make the numbers bigger or to convince your GM not to make you roll for it.

 

I could just flip a coin and base everything on a pass/fail too. Don't even have to pay for that method either. 

 

 

Dude you're being kind of a ****.

 

e; or 'member' if you know your brit slang. (f the word filter)

Edited by cps

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The opinions of Dark Heresy 2nd Edition, and those opinions are being debated and elaborated on now.

 

Oh sorry, all I saw was a Quote-War that ran in circles.

Glad you did your part to fix things! Super helpful! Wow.

As for what is desired by me in the game, I already listed them up thread. Feel free to quote and point out what you think isn't specific enough.

 

I got a whole lot of 'I want skills to be more like combat' but no real feel on how that would be accomplished.

 

 

OR, you can use my simple d6 system i proposed above and do literally anything that exists in the dark heresy system without all ththe extra rules cruft. Yes, it's fun to stack up modifiers, but in the end, it's just the RPG equivalent of one of those clicker flash games that have you just click a button to make numbers go up and buy things with those numbers so you can get bigger numbers. Yes, those games are fun, but they don't really have interesting gameplay. The only real design that goes into them is figuring out the reinforcement schedule of the Skinner box. Similarly, the main design focus in DH is making up as many things as possible to make the numbers go up (damage, roll modifiers, armor, actions). THAT is the issue with both combat and non-combat: the only strategies are to either make the numbers bigger or to convince your GM not to make you roll for it.

 

I could just flip a coin and base everything on a pass/fail too. Don't even have to pay for that method either.

Specifics? Well, let's see.

Again, look at Mutant Year Zero for a good example of codifying skills. Here's an example:

"When wreckage or debris block your way and you need to push or lift something heavy, roll for Force. Use this skill for any feat of strength.

Failure: It's just too heavy. You need to find another way. And what if the noise you made attracted unwanted company?

Success: With a groan, you push through and get whatever it was out of your way.

Stunts: If you roll extra / beyond the first, choose one of these stunts:

K You push or throw the object with great force. One target of your choice within Arm's Length suffers damage equal to the number of extra /.

K If applicable in the situation, you find or reveal a hidden passage or object. The GM decides what it is."

Every single skill in the game is formatted in this way. They also all have a rule that they can only be attempted once, and a failure means you can't re attempt it unless the situation changes. Or look at the rule for manipulate:

"MANIPULATE (EMPATHY)

Lie, argue, threaten, seduce, or just reason sensibly. There are many ways to get another mutant to see things your way. The GM will give you a modification depending on your bargaining position (page 82).

Failure: He won't listen and he won't do what you want. He might start to dislike you, or even attack you if provoked.

Success: He reluctantly does what you want, but wants something in return. The GM decides what this is, but it must be something you can reasonably do. It is up to you whether to accept the deal or not.

Stunts: Extra / on your roll mean you sow fear and doubt in your opponent's heart. He suffers one point of doubt (page 88) for every additional / you roll after the first one. If he is broken by doubt, he does what you want without demanding a return favor.

Being Manipulated: NPCs and other PCs can Ma-nipulate you. If their roll succeeds, you must offer them a deal of some sort. It's then up to the GM (or the other player) to accept or decline it."

Note the part on bargaining position. A full list of modifiers is given to apply to every single manipulate roll. You even have the ability to do very well with manipulate and be able to take someone out of a fight or conflict. The same can be done to players.

The game is also heavily about traveling and exploring a wasteland. There is an entire chapter about this. It is full of hard rules for doing so. There are skills specifically for traveling, classes specifically for traveling, and in general the traveling rules are integrated into every other rule. They very much intend you to follow these rules like you would follow combat rules. There are also multiple chapters specifically on designing encounters, what to put in them, and so on. Specific examples of things, not vague guidelines. Big lists that allow the GM to easily make up more by using the examples.

Also, yeah, just flip a ******* coin. Like I said, it's equivalent to your current proposed design of the skill system. Mine allows for modifiers, so there you go. They both give out the same information that the dark heresy system does.

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Call of Cthulhu's pages of rules on combat (what, 5 or 6?) are also longer than its pages of rules on investigation (there are none).

 

Investigation is the fun part of the game. Speeding it up by summing everything into dice rolls would be dull. Might as well just roll a die: "did I survive the adventure? Hmm I roll  33, yay! Now let's watch TV."

Edited by bogi_khaosa

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Call of Cthulhu's pages of rules on combat (what, 5 or 6?) are also longer than its pages of rules on investigation (there are none).

 

Basically the point I've been trying to make. All sorts of talk about how the game lacks focus, when there are no other examples of a narrative-element being codified with hard mechanics. The talk about skills is slightly off from that, where a desire for more in-depth mechanics is happening and the proponents are offering much simpler systems as alternatives. 

 

Nimsim's examples really just demonstrate the difference between the skills we have and the ones used in Mutant; That game seems to have a very clear description of it's skills, whereas Dark Heresy has a vague reference when detailing the effects of its. Mechanically, though, I don't see much of a difference between rolling one die over the other. 

 

 

 

 

OR, you can use my simple d6 system i proposed above and do literally anything that exists in the dark heresy system without all ththe extra rules cruft. Yes, it's fun to stack up modifiers, but in the end, it's just the RPG equivalent of one of those clicker flash games that have you just click a button to make numbers go up and buy things with those numbers so you can get bigger numbers. Yes, those games are fun, but they don't really have interesting gameplay. The only real design that goes into them is figuring out the reinforcement schedule of the Skinner box. Similarly, the main design focus in DH is making up as many things as possible to make the numbers go up (damage, roll modifiers, armor, actions). THAT is the issue with both combat and non-combat: the only strategies are to either make the numbers bigger or to convince your GM not to make you roll for it.

I could just flip a coin and base everything on a pass/fail too. Don't even have to pay for that method either. 

 

 

Dude you're being kind of a ****.

 

e; or 'member' if you know your brit slang. (f the word filter)

 

 

Yeah, I kind of was. Sorry Nimsim, my intentions aren't to be a complete ******. =/

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For those voicing a desire for narrative mechanics, what would you like to see (without the trollish bias please). I'm genuinely interested to hear something that wasn't written up in a self-defensive tense and with a moment's thought put into it. How would you envision narrative-mechanics that would appease -you-. I ask this earnestly, and I just don't want to see another post going 'I want more narrative rules, but I'll explain a system that has less!'.

 

Okay, I'll try. I'd like to see investigation rules (and non-combat rules generally) with:

  • Definite,  quantified effects of skill checks and bonuses/penalties, rather than vague advice for the GM to take their 'best guess'.
  • Non-combat effects that emerge organically from the rules, including automatic effects, rather than relying on GM fiat.
  • A skill system that allows for at least some depth of strategy, rather than a boring 'one-and-done' system. This should include both the option of multiple strategies to optimize the chance of success with a test, and options in case the test fails.

All of these things exist within the combat rules, but none exist within the non-combat rules.

 

For example, let's say the PCs need to 'slice' into a cogitator system (i.e. hack a computer) to find an important clue. The party has the character with the highest Tech Use Skill make a roll and... well, that's pretty much it. Even if the act of hack- oops, slicing should be a dramatic high point of the investigation, there is nothing in the rules to facilitate making it anything other than an undramatic single die roll. And if the roll fails (which is very likely)- then what? It's entirely up to the GM to contrive a solution to move the narrative foward, with no help from the rules system.

 

Compare that to the strategising and dramatic back-and-forth of combat- do you see why I'm disappointed with the non-combat rules?

 

Except that in your example you'd be wrong!

 

Breaking into a secure datavault or cogitator will be a lot harder than you suggest. Especially if it's a dramatically important one!

 

For example: You have to determine if the cogitator can be accessed remotely at all. If not, You have a whole adventure getting your techie types to it (And techie types aren't typically masters of stealth! Just sayin...)

 

If it can you must still have access to a terminal that can access your cogitator. Breaking into a remote terminal will require a security check not tech use! Once into the terminal you must configure it to access the Cogitator in question. (Tech use). Your character must than Slice/Hack into the Cogitator itself (Again, security not tech use.) If this is something like an Administratum Data vault your modifiers are going to be pretty severe (Large Cogitators contain a semi-sentient intelligence in most fluff I've read.) And remember, Just because you manage to get in doesn't mean you automatically have the equivalent of administrator level access! Assuming you get that far than actually finding the Data you need could actually be an extended investigation test using the relevant Lore skill as a base but aided by whatever bonus the cogitator provides. The search could take minutes, hours or even days depending on how Unique the data is.

 

The reason I mention this is that Gm's (If not their players) need to understand what they are trying to do and apply the rules and modifiers appropriately! It's not the system's fault if the Gm thinks that Hacking into an administrative data vault is a one roll affair! A good Gm could tie up an entire session in a virtual adventure doing such a thing if he so chose! Narrative rules need to be somewhat broad because of the number of things they could possibly cover! 

 

I confess I really don't understand all the griping. Most of what I've read seems more a combination of not reading or understanding the rules and/or skill descriptions and not applying the appropriate modifiers! You can complain about it but that is how the system works across the board! In fairness: It's also how EVERY system I've ever played works: Define task; Assign appropriate base skill/talent and finally, Apply situational modifiers! At least Dark Heresy gives you some kind of framework to work from. That's FAR better than most!

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As for strategizing a skill not being possible, I again would attribute a lack of of imagination. You can tie skill use to resources, which are in turn tied to game mechanics, which in turn creates a strategy of resource management. You can give skills specific mechanical effects that interact with the effects of other skills to allow strategizing.

 

Saying "The rules works great because the GM can make up anything not covered by the rules" isn't the ringing endorsement you seem to think it is... 

 

Breaking into a secure datavault or cogitator will be a lot harder than you suggest. Especially if it's a dramatically important one!

 

For example: You have to determine if the cogitator can be accessed remotely at all. If not, You have a whole adventure getting your techie types to it (And techie types aren't typically masters of stealth! Just sayin...)

 

If it can you must still have access to a terminal that can access your cogitator. Breaking into a remote terminal will require a security check not tech use! Once into the terminal you must configure it to access the Cogitator in question. (Tech use). Your character must than Slice/Hack into the Cogitator itself (Again, security not tech use.) If this is something like an Administratum Data vault your modifiers are going to be pretty severe (Large Cogitators contain a semi-sentient intelligence in most fluff I've read.) And remember, Just because you manage to get in doesn't mean you automatically have the equivalent of administrator level access! Assuming you get that far than actually finding the Data you need could actually be an extended investigation test using the relevant Lore skill as a base but aided by whatever bonus the cogitator provides. The search could take minutes, hours or even days depending on how Unique the data is.

 

The reason I mention this is that Gm's (If not their players) need to understand what they are trying to do and apply the rules and modifiers appropriately! It's not the system's fault if the Gm thinks that Hacking into an administrative data vault is a one roll affair! A good Gm could tie up an entire session in a virtual adventure doing such a thing if he so chose! Narrative rules need to be somewhat broad because of the number of things they could possibly cover! 

 

I confess I really don't understand all the griping. Most of what I've read seems more a combination of not reading or understanding the rules and/or skill descriptions and not applying the appropriate modifiers! You can complain about it but that is how the system works across the board! In fairness: It's also how EVERY system I've ever played works: Define task; Assign appropriate base skill/talent and finally, Apply situational modifiers! At least Dark Heresy gives you some kind of framework to work from. That's FAR better than most!

 

Sigh. I thought it was implied in my example that the PCs were already at the terminal- of course it would likely involve an adventure leading up to that point. -And the 'Security' instead of 'Tech Use' was a minor brainfart on my part. But stretching it into three strategyless rolls instead of one is hardly an exciting climax to breaking into the facility to access the terminal. Rather, your example makes my point- with no depth of strategy to skill use or codified modifiers/results, key skill checks don't produce drama unless the GM generates it themselves- with no help from the rules.

 

Let's be clear, I'm not saying that the WH40KRP system is terrible or doesn't work. In my DH1 campaign, my players just hit Rank 8; of course it can be made to work, with a lot of extra effort from the GM to bridge the many gaps in the rule system. But, since we are debating quality rather than minimum functionality, I still say I would prefer a ruleset that covers all of the relevant mechanics of the game, in a way that complements the themes of the setting, so that I, as a GM, can concentrate on presenting a compelling narrative rather than constantly have to drop out of 'narrator voice' to rule on mechanical gaps in the system.

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As for strategizing a skill not being possible, I again would attribute a lack of of imagination. You can tie skill use to resources, which are in turn tied to game mechanics, which in turn creates a strategy of resource management. You can give skills specific mechanical effects that interact with the effects of other skills to allow strategizing.

 

Saying "The rules works great because the GM can make up anything not covered by the rules" isn't the ringing endorsement you seem to think it is... 

 

Wait, are you saying that I'm implying that the "the rules work great because the GM can make up anything not covered by the rules?" I thought I was implying the opposite of that, given that what you quoted was me advocating for giving specific effects for skills that allow strategies to be built on those effects and how they can be combined. Did you misinterpret what I wrote, or am I misinterpreting you here?

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Wait, are you saying that I'm implying that the "the rules work great because the GM can make up anything not covered by the rules?" I thought I was implying the opposite of that, given that what you quoted was me advocating for giving specific effects for skills that allow strategies to be built on those effects and how they can be combined. Did you misinterpret what I wrote, or am I misinterpreting you here?

 

Oh, sorry, I did misinterpret your statement. I thought you meant that the 'lack of imagination' was on the GM's part rather than the game designers. My bad...

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Wait, are you saying that I'm implying that the "the rules work great because the GM can make up anything not covered by the rules?" I thought I was implying the opposite of that, given that what you quoted was me advocating for giving specific effects for skills that allow strategies to be built on those effects and how they can be combined. Did you misinterpret what I wrote, or am I misinterpreting you here?

 

Oh, sorry, I did misinterpret your statement. I thought you meant that the 'lack of imagination' was on the GM's part rather than the game designers. My bad...

 

 

I meant a lack of imagination on the part of people who couldn't see how any  system other than combat could involve strategy.

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Wait, are you saying that I'm implying that the "the rules work great because the GM can make up anything not covered by the rules?" I thought I was implying the opposite of that, given that what you quoted was me advocating for giving specific effects for skills that allow strategies to be built on those effects and how they can be combined. Did you misinterpret what I wrote, or am I misinterpreting you here?

 

Oh, sorry, I did misinterpret your statement. I thought you meant that the 'lack of imagination' was on the GM's part rather than the game designers. My bad...

 

 

I meant a lack of imagination on the part of people who couldn't see how any  system other than combat could involve strategy.

 

 

question: What is the definition of 'strategy' being used in this context? 

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Wait, are you saying that I'm implying that the "the rules work great because the GM can make up anything not covered by the rules?" I thought I was implying the opposite of that, given that what you quoted was me advocating for giving specific effects for skills that allow strategies to be built on those effects and how they can be combined. Did you misinterpret what I wrote, or am I misinterpreting you here?

 

Oh, sorry, I did misinterpret your statement. I thought you meant that the 'lack of imagination' was on the GM's part rather than the game designers. My bad...

 

I meant a lack of imagination on the part of people who couldn't see how any  system other than combat could involve strategy.

 

question: What is the definition of 'strategy' being used in this context?

Essentially, it's taking the "game" part of roleplaying game into account. Giving players multiple valid options to choose from with the options having different predictable outcomes that may offer some kind of risk/reward. Even the combat rules in DH aren't good at this, because they're less about decision-making and more about stacking modifiers. All of the choices for combat are present for the sake of having a rule for everything rather than for giving an actual strategic option. Basically, I prefer two choices for a game. Either have as few rules as possible, with those present being simple and only existing to add to the story, or design rules to evoke a somewhat abstracted game for players to play that ALSO has all of the rules contribute to the story. The former is easier to design than the latter, obviously.

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Well, I haven't played DH in a while and posted here for even longer.  I came here to check out what people are saying about DH2.  If what is said is true, I'm a bit disappointed.  See you when DH3 comes out.

 

Forums are largely populated by bickering.

 

As a player, i really enjoy the new freedom of the aptitudes system to make a character that I like. For example, I made an administratum desperado, which means I made a smarty-pants gunslinger. In DH1, good freakin' luck getting that to work. Sure, the system isn't perfect, but it's flexible and allows for a bit of creativity.

 

Additionally, almost every homeworld, background, and role choice comes with a small special abiltiy you can't get elsewhere, like a new use for Fate Points (for background) or better availability of items or... whatever. I think that's a nice touch.

 

Oh, huge bonus: You can make anyone a psyker. So, you can have an investigator psyker or a fightan psyker or a social psyker, which is just awesome. I'm glad to see the old system go. Now, maybe you don't want to make a psyker, but this is indicative of the design philosophy. All sorts of people can come from all sorts of places and backgrounds.

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