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eltom13

Being on Fire

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Are you arguing that Willpower is the most important stat and it's unfair that only psykers get access to it more cheaply?

 

because if so, that's silly. Many stats are important in various situations. Willpower is a good defensive stat, but the psyker will suffer other costs, because of the aptitude system. Slower move speed from less agility, take more damage, do less cool stuff with guns, etc. etc.

 

Yes, these can be compensated with psykik powarz, but they also cost XP and come with sweet sweet psychic phenomena.

 

Lastly, balance is an illusion. Especially in a narratively-focused RPG.

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Willpower is indeed a powerful stat for a Psyker. And by all means, being able to pass Fear and Pinning checks is indeed useful.

 

I would argue though, that the usefulness of Willpower for a Psyker far outweighs the usefulness of Willpower for a non-Psyker. So much so that there is little reason for its extreme cost for non-Psykers. Players aren't likely to take it for its ineffectiveness, but are sure to be subsequently punished for doing so.

 

My group is a little miffed at me. Last game I ran they were ambushed by a group of cultists, a few with autoguns, who then went on to use Surpressing Fire at Full Auto. The -20 Willpower test to not be Pinned basically paralyzed the group, despite the relative inneffectiveness of Autoguns against the defenses of the party.

 

We ruled that Resistence(Fear) can't aid against Pinning tests, and it seems many of the Pinning improving talents have been dropped from second edition (at least, according to my players who were searching for anything they overlooked). Short of Adamantine Faith, PCs seem to basically have a 10-25% chance of succeeding against a Full Auto Surpressing Fire. This just seems a bit.... off.

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Lastly, balance is an illusion. Especially in a narratively-focused RPG.

 

Literally every single thing in this post is wrong but this last bit is pants-on-head retarded.

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Willpower is indeed a powerful stat for a Psyker. And by all means, being able to pass Fear and Pinning checks is indeed useful.

 

I would argue though, that the usefulness of Willpower for a Psyker far outweighs the usefulness of Willpower for a non-Psyker. So much so that there is little reason for its extreme cost for non-Psykers. Players aren't likely to take it for its ineffectiveness, but are sure to be subsequently punished for doing so.

 

My group is a little miffed at me. Last game I ran they were ambushed by a group of cultists, a few with autoguns, who then went on to use Surpressing Fire at Full Auto. The -20 Willpower test to not be Pinned basically paralyzed the group, despite the relative inneffectiveness of Autoguns against the defenses of the party.

 

We ruled that Resistence(Fear) can't aid against Pinning tests, and it seems many of the Pinning improving talents have been dropped from second edition (at least, according to my players who were searching for anything they overlooked). Short of Adamantine Faith, PCs seem to basically have a 10-25% chance of succeeding against a Full Auto Surpressing Fire. This just seems a bit.... off.

 

Yeah, just about anything that makes anyone roll willpower without the attacker having to roll is pretty crippling in this game, whether it be fear or pinning or rolling to resist random corruption. I dont think FFG realized how crippling they made them when they removed fearless, nerves of steel, and the like. The only thing that makes fire less deadly in this regard is that character on fire has to fail two agility rolls(for flamers) before being lit on fire and forced to roll willpower. 

 

However arguing about fear and pinning is kind of off topic for this thread

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This isn't a war-game or a board-game we're talking about. There can be mechanical imbalance because there's an umpire (GM) who can weight the scales one way or another. It's not bad design to write rules that require an umpire.

 

Yeah, we're not gonna agree on this.

 

 

 

Lastly, balance is an illusion. Especially in a narratively-focused RPG.

 

Literally every single thing in this post is wrong but this last bit is pants-on-head retarded.

 

 

Coming from someone who thinks practically every Roleplaying Game ever to have existed is badly designed because they require a GM, I'm not going to put much stock in your inflammatory, unsupported statement against Flail-Bot.

 

I would tend to agree that balance is an illusion in any RPG. By the nature of the game, some things are going to be better than others, depending on the game, setting and campaign in question. A character who's been designed to be a monster in combat will fare poorly in a game that has no combat. Is that balanced? No. Stupid of the player to design a combat machine in a social game, perhaps, but not balanced.

 

The only way for a game to be truly "balanced" would be to make it so every ability is equally applicable to every situation. We're talking; everyone has 1d6. Any situation that comes up, everyone rolls their 1d6. Whoever gets highest wins. Woo for balanced games. At least it's "fair", though, so everyone must be happy. Sounds incredibly dull to me.

 

The fun of an RPG is in exploring the "imbalances" between characters and the situations they're put in. This requires a GM to regulate, to "weight the scales" so that the game doesn't get out of hand or overbalanced in one direction or the other. The GM has control of the scales; he can decide if talking or fighting, psychic powers or the Tech Use skill is going to solve the situation. He's also going to decide how NPC's react, how the environment will react, how every little thing the players do will impact the scenario. No matter how "well designed" the rules are, unless they actively remove the GM from the equation, they will be subservient to his whims; hence only the illusion of balance.

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It's interesting that the degree of what you pay for extra for a Willpower characteristic advance is different depending on the level you want.

 

Let's say you have 1 matching aptitude

Simple: 60% extra = 150 xp extra

Intermediate: 50% extra = 250 xp extra

Trained: 33% extra = 250 xp extra

Proficient: 25% extra = 250 xp extra

Expert: 17% extra = 250 xp extra

 

So with the exception of Simple, you pay 250 xp extra per level. The total difference between having 2 aptitudes and 1 aptitude when buying all levels is 1150 xp extra or 28,8% extra cost.

 

The more levels you get, the cheaper it relatively becomes in what you pay extra (%).

 

1 level -> 60% extra

2 levels -> 53% extra (-7%)

3 levels -> 43% extra (-10%)

4 levels -> 36% extra (-7%)

5 levels -> 29% extra (-7%)

 

Each level has the same effect on the character: It gives a characteristic boost of 5 points so I'd argue that the first level is worth it since you only pay 150 extra instead of the 250 on the other levels. In case of Expert, the extra XP paid isn't that much relatively so also definitely worth it.

 

The most painful level to get seems to be Intermediate since you pay double the cost. The trained level also decreases the overall % paid extra by -10% instead of the -7% of the other levels.

 

So if you're dead set on having a character with high willpower, it's still doable since you pay only 28.8% extra when getting all the levels.

 

Also thinking about it, since you didn't have the Psyker Aptitude, it means you have another aptitude which you can use to get cheaper characteristic advances/skills/talents and I'm sure your character isn't only about Willpower, right?

 

Maybe that's the problem, some of you people are too focused on an individual aspect and forget that you get cheaper stuff elsewhere to compensate for the extra cost paid for Willpower.

 

Even if your Homeworld/Background/Role doesn't have a Willpower aptitude, you can try to get the same aptitude twice, so you get to pick a characteristic aptitude yourself.

Edited by Gridash

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As for Psykers being all about Willpower, do notice that there are characteristic prerequisites for certain Psychic powers:

 

Biomancy -> Toughness (30-40), Strength(35), Perception(35), Willpower (40), Psy Rating (4-5)

Divination -> Perception(45 - 55), Psyniscience (Rank 1-2), Willpower (35-45)

Pyromancy -> Agility(40), Willpower (35-45), Psy Rating (3-5)

Telekinesis -> Intelligence(40), Willpower(35-50), Psy Rating (4-5)

Telepathy -> Fellowship (40-55), Agility(30), Willpower(35-40), Psy Rating (3-4), Adamantium Faith

 

So sure, Psykers get relative cheap Willpower characteristic advances, but there are plenty of prerequisites for their powers that requires other characteristics as well. I admit however that Pyromancy is all about Willpower and Psy Rating, with the odd Agility 40 thrown in, but you have to sink a lot of XP is getting your Psy Rating up from the start instead of on the end of a tree when compared to other Discipline trees.

 

Most offensive/damage powers require Willpower/high Psy Rating as a prerequisite, but anything else usually requires something else. Most people combine their powers with other Discipline trees and a non-Psyker can buff their damage output by picking up a better weapon rather than having to spend XP like a Psyker to up Psy Rating.

 

As a minor note, Divination doesn't even use Willpower but rather Perception and Psyniscience for its focus power tests.

 

So in terms of costs, Psykers have to pay XP to get their Psy Rating up, pay XP for the individual powers, pay XP to get Willpower and other Characteristics up and also have to deal with potential bad effects happening when they use their powers, both mechanical wise and narratively.

 

These are big XP sinks, XP that a non-psyker character could use to buff their character in plenty of other ways.

 

Also, unlike previous editions where a Psyker could use his powers using a Fettered power level to avoid ANY Psychic Phenomena or Perils of the Warp, in this edition there is always a 10% chance of something bad happening on the lowest power level used.

 

I think Psykers are fine in terms of balance, right? Yes, I believe so too. 

Edited by Gridash

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Coming from someone who thinks practically every Roleplaying Game ever to have existed is badly designed because they require a GM, I'm not going to put much stock in your inflammatory, unsupported statement against Flail-Bot.

  1. I never said this.
  2. We fundamentally disagree on the role of the GM to the point that this conversation is fruitless.

 

I think Psykers are fine in terms of balance, right? Yes, I believe so too. 

 

All good points, but I don't agree with your conclusion. While it does cost a crapload of XP, the powers available to psykers greatly outclass anything available to mundanes. Early powers offer exceptional utility and versatility and late game powers are far more powerful than any weapon available in the game. There's not much a mundane can do that a psyker can't do better.

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Even in case you're right, we would arrive again at some previous points made, the narrative and mechanical consequences of recklessly using Psychic powers. Even if you don't trigger Psychic Phenomena, you have to be careful not to burn half a city down with your powers. If things go out of proportion, I'm pretty sure your GM will start to tie serious consequences to your actions. :P

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So sure, they have a bunch of dirty tricks that nobody else can do, it's what makes them unique. They have a lot of potential bursting power and can manipulate or sense things in their environment, and yet they have plenty of disadvantages as well, even if it doesn't seem to be that way on the surface if you only consider raw numbers.

 

For instance, don't expect Psykers to be liked in public because of their very nature/stigma, it's best to leave the talking to somebody else. I believe their social stigma and their potential psychic phenomena consequences when using their powers are exactly what counters their degree of overall power in the game, especially when compared to other non-Psyker characters.

 

There is a certain amount of narrative balance in this.

Edited by Gridash

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The question though, is if it is "balanced" for non-psykers to have so ridiculosuly hard of a time dealing with things like Fear or Pinning?

 

My issue isn't so much with the capabilities and thematic limitations upon a psyker, I'm actually kind of fine with that. My issue is that there are frighteningly few talents with which to deal with things like Fear or Pinning. Combine that with costly Willpower advances, and you have a recipie for player hardship.

 

Now certainly, much of this is just how Dark Heresy is meant to be played, but I can't help but feeling it just kind of ruins a players experience at the table to be set on fire, flub both the Agility checks, then suffer fail a few Willpower checks until their WP is fatigued, then have to roll at half Willpower. That will quickly kill a PC.

 

Not to mention all the other sources of fatigue, nor to forget that they could also be Pinned while on fire (thus forcing them to waste a turn not being Pinned either). A pair of combatants, one with an autopistol and one with a flamer is a scary combination.

 

I would go as far to say that the rules handle these effects in a poor manner.

Edited by KommissarK

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As far as Talents go, you have:

- Jaded

- Adamantium Faith

- Frenzy

- Resistance (Fear)

 

The Command skill can be used against Fear causing creatures to counter the Fear effects.

 

An easy way to get a bonus against pinning tests is to add Sacred Inscriptions to your weapons as detailed on page 164 of the core rulebook. This will give a +10 to pinning tests.

 

Enemies within has a Rosarius that acts as Force field but also gives a +10 to Fear and Pinning tests.

Edited by Gridash

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But yeah, a talent like Unshakeable Faith seen in the previous editions would have went a long way. Maybe it was seen as a no-brainer talent and therefore removed? I dunno.

Edited by Gridash

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Jaded only goes so far and has no bearing of Pinning tests, nor does it aid the Willpower test while on fire.

 

Adamantium Faith I would say is by all means a strong solution, but if your counterpoint to my claiming that there are too few sources of resistance to fear/pinning is to cite the pinnacle ability one has to fight that, then I would say your argument is facing some trouble. I'm not saying there aren't any ways to fight it, just that they are too few. As it stands, Adamantium Faith has far too high of a pre-req given costly Willpower advances for most characters.

 

Frenzy is not a talent for every PC, nor does it provide a means by which to deal with unexpected sources of Pinning or Fear.

 

There is no Resistence(Pinning) talent naturally (obviously a GM could say there is), nor does Resistence(Fear) deal with the on fire condition.

 

The heart of the matter here really is that WP advances are so expensive, and being on fire forces both standard willpower test (not fear), in order to act, and putting out the fire is a full round action.

 

Lets not forget the base difficulty of a -20 Agi check to put the fire out either. That too will likely fail.

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It seems they wanted the Fear effect to take a more central spot in a grim/dark/horror setting and removed some ways to counter it as mentioned earlier.

 

Yes, being ablaze is not fun at all, but do note that the paragraph on page 243 also states:

 

"The GM can make this test easier or harder depending on environmental conditions and whether the blazing character is able to receive any help from nearby allies."
 
So there's that.
 
It's funny, some people on this forum state that DH2 is supposedly not lethal enough because of things like Toughness acting as a damage sponge when taking damage and on the other hand, you see comments like this stating that characters don't have enough protection against Fear and being on fire and dying.
 
Oh noes.
Edited by Gridash

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I'm actually kind of okay with Being On Fire being essentially a death sentence. What bothers me is:

 

 

It seems they wanted the Fear effect to take a more central spot in a grim/dark/horror setting and removed some ways to counter it as mentioned earlier.

 

 

This is an incredibly boring way to make fear a more central concern in the game, especially since the fear effects are varying degrees of "You can't do anything for X units of [time interval]." couched in terms of how it effects your character's ability to perform in combat.

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I doubt the removal of the fear negating talents is an attempt to make the game more dark/maddness centered. They likely tried to streamline the talents from the first edition, and found that things like Nerves of Steel or Unshakable Faith were often unused, compared to things like Fearless.

 

Besides, if they wanted to make the game more about fear, they really ought to add more depth to the system for dealing with it, not removing the methods for dealing with it.

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I recommend actually reading the Fear section on page 285 of the core rulebook cps.

 

I have, but just for you I re-read them and I'm still not sure what you're getting at. The results on the shock table are all action-limiting and penalty-imposing, then various flavors of "you can't do anything for <time period>."

 

If you're referring to the fact that Fear sometimes incurs an Insanity result, sure, that's something. It'd be nice if the Insanity rules were also a little more fleshed out, too.

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I do not often agree with CPS but I do with his opinion on the Insanity rules and effects being flesh out more. They seem to have lost their purpose and flare in the latter editions of all the games as people wanted more combat oriented and less storytelling from the corebooks. As another critique of his I agree with the streamlined and gutted only rules is painfully apparent in 2.0. Although first edition was severely lacking in clarity on many issues, it had dozens of pages of narrative structure and personality effects to occur to players who suffered Insanity and Corruption. 

 

Pinning makes sense. No one wants to be shot. As a GM if they have power armor or whatever, I would negate or give a large bonus to the test. Fire has and should always be deadly. Personal preference. 

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I recommend actually reading the Fear section on page 285 of the core rulebook cps.

 

I have, but just for you I re-read them and I'm still not sure what you're getting at. The results on the shock table are all action-limiting and penalty-imposing, then various flavors of "you can't do anything for <time period>."

 

If you're referring to the fact that Fear sometimes incurs an Insanity result, sure, that's something. It'd be nice if the Insanity rules were also a little more fleshed out, too.

 

 

I guess I misinterpreted what you meant before. If you look at table 8-11 on page on page 287, a lot of different things can happen, albeit sometimes only narratively.

 

When I look at the table on page 287, aside from what you've mentioned, I find the following that isn't just action limiting or penalty imposing:

 

I find on the shock table: 

- Still in full control but not being able to approach some source of fear.

- Fleeing the scene of horror

- Attacking anybody nearby, friend of foe

- Testing Toughness or dying

 

And then you have possible future consequences (Madness/Trauma/Disorder).

 

To me that seems to be enough, it's upto the GM/players to work it out.

 

I'll borrow a First Edition book soon to see what you mean, Olifant.

Edited by Gridash

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 Although first edition was severely lacking in clarity on many issues, it had dozens of pages of narrative structure and personality effects to occur to players who suffered Insanity and Corruption. 

 

I took a look at the 1st edition rulebook, I'd say it didn't change all that much in 2nd edition? 

 

Please point out what the major differences are between 1st and 2nd edition. Those dozen dozens of pages of narrative structure in 1st edition seems to be present in 2nd edition as well? Maybe I overlooked something.

Edited by Gridash

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@cps: What other effects of Fear would you like to see aside from "action limiting" and "penalty imposing"?

 

As for the argument that there is more in 2E related to combat than 1e, I must semi-politely disagree. Rose-tinted glasses, if anything, is the problem here. The addition of mechanics like Influence and Subtlety explicitly means there are more mechanics for narrative than there were before.

 

In addition, the improved character creation rules allow for more robust and viable character design fitting into non-standard archetypes. Sure, the Aptitude system is a little less flexible than a free-for-all, but there is no way you can sanely argue that it's more restricted than 1e's Careers.

 

@Oliphant: I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say "streamlined and gutted only rules..."

 

Streamlined rules sounds like a benefit to me. What rules do you feel were gutted?

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>A working insanity system that actually showed effort from the developer-side is clearly inferior to a five minute type-up with no thought put into it. If you disagree with me, stream-lined is always superior and you're wearing rose-tinted glasses.

 

Kek.

 

 

Anyway, being on fire screws you, and it should. I'm with CPS, though, that it's not necessary to remove player agency while screwing them. Here's a few tweaks:

 

-Players can ignore being on fire, but take any DoF from the WP test as flat -10 penalties to actions

-Ignoring you're on fire means you burn faster, which increases flame damage against you by d10 per round.

-Other players can help douse the flames, either with an assist to your Ag test, appropriate hardware or tech (last session, we opened an airlock to hard vacuum, for example), or using a grapple roll +20 due to your condition to suffocate the flames with a tarp.

 

Fear is also easily solved like this:

DoF on the WP test are incremental modifiers of -5 or -10 per DoF on any action against the source of the fear, and +5 or +10 boni on any action to get away from the source of the fear.

 

Oh, look, it took me only a few minutes to make changes that result in more player agency while maintaining the same brutal effects of fear and fire. Wow, game design sure is hard.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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