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droper1

Increasing willpower

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So I'm relatively new to DH, didn't play 1st edition, and I was wondering if anyone else thought it was strange that one of the aptitudes needed to increase willpower cheaply is Psyker. Why not defence or toughness? I feel like willpower is an important skill for every class and to relegate the ability to purchase it cheap to one doesn't make much sense to me. Especially when you look at the Untouchable elite advance. You have to get an insanely high willpower to purchase most of the talents, yet it wouldn't make much sense for you to build an untouchable character with the psyker aptitude. 

 

thoughts? Is this a balancing mechanism to make sure psykers don't become irrelevant due to more characters being able to pump up insanely high wp?

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It's a known Weird Thing. (There was an extensive discussion about this in another thread, even, bringing up similar points to those you've made.) My personal recommendation is lumping the Psyker and Leadership aptitudes together, since neither has terribly many things that use it.

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It's a poor design choice in a game full of poor design choices.

 

There was a long, drawn out discussion about this in the thread about being on fire. If it bothers you, house rule the second aptitude to Defense (side note: making it Toughness would contradict the pattern of characteristic/profession aptitude pairings).

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My thoughts are that is intentional, since Willpower is quite important, to make that investment a little more significant.

 

GIven how debilitating a failed WP check can be, it's a good stat to boost, for everyone. But if tons of people get it cheaply, then the value is a bit diminished.

 

I know that "rarity through cost" will irk some people, but that's how the whole aptitudes system works, so if you don't like that, we get it, you don't need to bring it up again.

 

As for fluff, maybe Willpower is also part of the strength of your soul (makes sense, given how soul-related warpstuff is) and therefore Untouchables don't have any strength of soul to rely on/draw will from. So, they have to work a little harder than a psyker (but basically as hard as everyone else) to strengthen their Will.

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I know that "rarity through cost" will irk some people, but that's how the whole aptitudes system works, so if you don't like that, we get it, you don't need to bring it up again.

 

"Rarity through cost" is misunderstanding why Willpower's aptitudes are a problem. Making things rare by making them expensive is fine as long as the cost is equally prohibitive for all players. 

 

Willpower's aptitudes are a problem because players are punished for not playing a psyker in a game where players are already greatly rewarded for playing a psyker. It's not a matter of 'tons of people getting it cheaply.'  It's a matter of being able to roll all types of characters - in this case the iron-willed non-psyker. RAW, that character type is disincentivized due to the high cost of WP associated with not having the Psyker aptitude.

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Defense is already really strong. I second making Leadership the second aptitude. Interchangeable with Psyker though.

Edited by Utherix

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The following thread as mentioned before discusses this aspect:

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/180361-being-on-fire/

 

We all have preferences. 

 

 

It's a poor design choice in a game full of poor design choices.

 

I can honestly tell you that, based on every topic that has passed this forum so far and where you were involved, I would never play your or DBG kind of roleplaying games. I guess that makes those games poorly designed as well should we apply the same reasoning?

 

It all just feels like you're nitpicking on almost every aspect of this game, just because you wanted a different kind of game, not because whether it's actually bad or not. 

 

With regards to the whole Willpower thing, you're not the designer of this game cps, you don't know what the designers intended. It's perfectly reasonable to assume just as well that Willpower is meant to be harder to get for non-Psykers, especially since this is a horror setting and Psykers are able to get it cheaper because of what they endured in the past.

 

 

Willpower's aptitudes are a problem because players are punished for not playing a psyker in a game where players are already greatly rewarded for playing a psyker. 

 

They are strong in raw power, even though it comes at great risks and they are heavily disadvantaged in terms of social encounters and distrusted even by their closest allies. You have to look at the big picture, as mentioned in the other thread as well. 

Edited by Gridash

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I can honestly tell you that, based on every topic that has passed this forum so far and where you were involved, I would never play your or DBG kind of roleplaying games. I guess that makes those games poorly designed as well should we apply the same reasoning?

 

 

I bet you're the kind of guy that thinks D&D3.5 is a perfectly balanced wonder of game design principles because the wizards always have the option of not trivializing everything.

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I bet you're the kind of guy that thinks D&D3.5 is a perfectly balanced wonder of game design principles because the wizards always have the option of not trivializing everything.

 

Well, can't say for him, but I'm the kind of guy who thinks that balance is good in wargame, not in RPG system.

And DnD is bad just because they trying to create balance where you shouldn't.

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I bet you're the kind of guy that thinks D&D3.5 is a perfectly balanced wonder of game design principles because the wizards always have the option of not trivializing everything.

 

Well, can't say for him, but I'm the kind of guy who thinks that balance is good in wargame, not in RPG system.

And DnD is bad just because they trying to create balance where you shouldn't.

 

 

For me, balance isn't so much the issue as it is design. DH2 is a clunky game, no two ways about it; Standard Attack giving +10 to hit? That's not "standard" then is it? More to the point, Willpower having Psyker as a linked Aptitude actively discourages the character who wants to have the proverbial 'mental fortress' unless he's also a psyker (or at least closely tied to them through the AAT Background), as has been pointed out already in this thread. This is not a "balance" concern, per se; Willpower is a strong ability score and with good reason, given the nature of the setting, but denying easy access to it for everyone except psykers almost seems like an arbitrary decision.

 

There are plenty of non-psyker character archetypes that are endemic to this setting that should have high mental fortitude, but the system says "NO! You may not play that character as easily as you may play (for example) a crack-shot marksman", despite the notion that characters with high Willpower should probably be more likely to be recruited by the Inquisition than any given marksman, what with all the demons and xenos and corruption they'll be dealing with.

 

The system does not reflect the setting and intended game style all that well. This is poor design. If it's also unbalanced, that's not my concern.

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There are plenty of non-psyker character archetypes that are endemic to this setting that should have high mental fortitude, but the system says "NO! You may not play that character as easily as you may play (for example) a crack-shot marksman", despite the notion that characters with high Willpower should probably be more likely to be recruited by the Inquisition than any given marksman, what with all the demons and xenos and corruption they'll be dealing with.

 

 

 

Please, can you list couple of this "plenty character achetypes"?

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Anyone from the Ministorum who half-way believes their cause, a Sister of Battle (to take one out of the Enemies Within supplement), an arrogant and strong-willed Noble who doesn't take no **** off no-one, a bull-headed Feral world chieftain (or son of one) recruited into the Imperial Guard to become a no nonsense Sergeant...shall I continue?

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Adeptus Ministorum background:

Faith is All: When spending a Fate point to gain a  +10 bonus to any one test, an Adeptus Ministorum character gains a +20 bonus instead. 

 

So this is represented in a different way. Other characters, I dunno, Sister of Battle prevent corruption and I know they have a talent that increases your damage the more insanity points you have? Something like that.

 

You have to look at the spending of XP on characteristics in a different way.

 

I get the impression that some people view the aptitudes like this:

2 Aptitudes -> My character is able to get Talents, train skills or increase characteristics in a normal fashion.

1 Aptitude -> My character really blows at learning anything related to this / or this option doesn't even exist.

0 Aptitudes -> This option doesn't even exist.

 

While in truth, it's more like:

2 Aptitudes -> My character has a knack at doing anything in this domain, he's exceptionally talented compared to others.

1 Aptitude -> My character is good at learning anything related to this domain because of his past/background. He's a good cut above the average person in the imperium.

0 Aptitudes -> My character has little to no experience or background in this field, it will take more time and effort to learn something related to this

 

Coming back to Willpower, nothing prevents you from taking 5 Characteristic advances in Willpower, yes it will cost you a total of 28.8% more in experience (1 Aptitude vs 2 Aptitudes), but then you're on the same level as the characters who got it uber cheaply AND since you don't have the Psyker Aptitude, you will have a different Aptitude in another domain.

 

That will allow you to get other things more cheaply to compensate for the 28.8% you've paid more to get things you were going to get anyway for your character. The Psyker Aptitude is only interesting for the Willpower advance and that's it (well fine, Psyniscience too if that's your thing).

 
Edited by Gridash

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Cool, so now we have a solid number for exactly how screwed you are for not having two matching aptitudes for WP advances. That number of course can be generalized to any advance, and that post does a great job laying out how the system punishes you for straying outside the bounds of class you rolled up at the start of the game (since in this example you're paying 28.8% more XP in 'tax' that another player is spending on cheap 2-match abilities to affect the game and increase their own narrative influence).

 

That's all a great tear-down of why the aptitude system is bad, but that's only tangential to the topic at hand. Namely that WP is incredibly important for all characters, but unavailable at cheap cost to non-psykers.

 

So given you've demonstrated an understanding of how aptitudes work, what is your rationale for why making certain character archetypes impossible is okay?

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Anyone from the Ministorum who half-way believes their cause, a Sister of Battle (to take one out of the Enemies Within supplement), an arrogant and strong-willed Noble who doesn't take no **** off no-one, a bull-headed Feral world chieftain (or son of one) recruited into the Imperial Guard to become a no nonsense Sergeant...shall I continue?

 

Oh yeah.
Clerics (and Sister of Battle, of course) usually have their WP aptitude. So should any noble who are strong-willed, not trying to look that way. Feral world chieftain usually have Frenzy talent, that give him option to ignore fear at all.
But. All your noticed archetypes are somebody who is not so usual. Nobles are corrupt and weak-willed, Imperial Guards needs harsh penalties not to run from battlefield, Ministorum have not shortage of somebody to use Penance Devices... it's Grimdark Universe, not Lensman Saga. And when you're speaking about AAT psyker, you're speaking about somebody who ALREADY IS mental fortress - not impenetrable, sure, but it's somebody who was on Terra, passed Rite of Sanctioning (you shouldn't have to be psyker to pass it), learned from the best willpower tutors humanity can offer, passed some submental programming and so on.
Of course, if you rolled 35-40 WP (and your aptitudes have nothing to say here), spent 250 XP for your starting WP, taken Jaded and Resistance (Fear) - you will intrest Inquisition, because you're not usual. Or you can be psyker, who are tutored to be something like that, so they always should be. Or... you know, Golden Throne have some use for weak-willed psyker.

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I guess the question is why isn't there a non-psyker archetype in the game that is well suited for dealing with fear or other WP tests?

 

Why isn't there a role that gets all the good aptitudes for passing these tests (and not much else).

 

The problem becomes why is it -only- Psykers (or I guess non-psyker members of the AAT who made somewhat odd aptitude choices) who get good WP advances. The language of the rules could do so much more interesting things than what it is doing.

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Why isn't there a role that gets all the good aptitudes for passing these tests (and not much else).

 

 

Why should it? Is there in the dark world of grimdark anybody who can boldly ignore fear, terror, corruption?
Well, psykers are. But their heads are exploding eventually.
 
The problem becomes why is it -only- Psykers (or I guess non-psyker members of the AAT who made somewhat odd aptitude choices) who get good WP advances. 

 

Because in Warhammer 40K they are only role who are tutored so. Common Imperial policy about Unspeakable Terror (and Speakable Terror, as Tyranids) is "ignorance is bliss" and "let's just execute all this Guardsmen who meets Nurgling; after all we have plenty of them!"

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Why isn't there a role that gets all the good aptitudes for passing these tests (and not much else).

 

 

Why should it? Is there in the dark world of grimdark anybody who can boldly ignore fear, terror, corruption?
Well, psykers are. But their heads are exploding eventually.
 
The problem becomes why is it -only- Psykers (or I guess non-psyker members of the AAT who made somewhat odd aptitude choices) who get good WP advances. 

 

Because in Warhammer 40K they are only role who are tutored so. Common Imperial policy about Unspeakable Terror (and Speakable Terror, as Tyranids) is "ignorance is bliss" and "let's just execute all this Guardsmen who meets Nurgling; after all we have plenty of them!"

 

Again though, roles often denote the sort of archetype that set someone apart from the common population.

 

Acolytes represent slightly uncommon members of imperial society. Just because the common dregs of society fall into one cateogry doesn't necessarily mean all acolytes must also be shoe-horned into the same beleifs.

 

Where is the archetype in DH that most closely maps to a commissar?

 

More importantly, if we are to beleive that DH is a game where fear and madness are meaningful aspects of the game (which I would say is something we all agree on), then why are there so significantly few options of mitigaing it? Yes, you're about to read off a list of about 7 or so options that can all work against it, and thats well and good, but abysmally small for a system where its truly ought to be a focus of the game.

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Careful there, KomissarK. You're edging awfully close to saying that the rules of the game don't line up well at all with the themes of the game.

 

Then we'd both be on the same page and up would be down and cats would cohabitate with dogs and the sun would rise in the west.

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Where is the archetype in DH that most closely maps to a commissar?

 

Well, I can create him with plently of ways (so I did), but my first approach will be using Seeker role. But you should notice that Commisar is very uncommon man - they are, usually, Storm Trooper elites, and Storm Troopers are serious buisness in their own right. It's not something starting 1000 xp should represent.
 
P.S.
Let's see Imperial Guard Codex (5th edition).
Storm Trooper sergeant have:
WS 3, BS 4, S 3, T 3, W 1, I 3, A 2, Ld 8
Commisar have:
WS 4, BS 4, S 3, T 3, W 1, I 3, A 2, Ld 9
By the book, Commisars are elite Storm Troopers, vets who endure multiple battles.
How do you thing, where is their xp gone?
And Lord Commisars are somebody who command companies of IG.
 
Acolytes represent slightly uncommon members of imperial society. Just because the common dregs of society fall into one cateogry doesn't necessarily mean all acolytes must also be shoe-horned into the same beleifs.

 

So they should earn and spend more xp, uncommon and not-so-easy way. Homeworld, background and role is something representing your place in society, not something you differ.

 

More importantly, if we are to beleive that DH is a game where fear and madness are meaningful aspects of the game (which I would say is something we all agree on), then why are there so significantly few options of mitigaing it?

 

Well... I don't understand your point.

If we have some game where (well, let's take arbitrary) ships are meaningful aspects of the game - there should not be elements that mitigating ships. Quite the opposite.

If fear and madness are meaningful aspects, so characters should become afraid and mad, they should not boldly ignore fear and madness as they are not exist.

Edited by Aenno

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I mean it more as how few talents even deal with fear. That we might have 20-30 talents that certainly have some use in combat, pages upon pages of guns and armour, even pages of skills for interacting with the world and other characters, but then when you get to fear, insanity, and corruption, there is the GM section which estabilishes it as a gameplay mechanic, and a grand total of about 10 things at the average character's disposal to interact with those game mechanics.

 

Obviously mitigating the whole effect shouldn't be the case, its more that we no longer have things like Nerves of Steel or Unshakable Faith, and instead the system jumps from having to roll the test with piss poor stats, to the games closest approximation to Fearless. Player's only interaction with the mechanic is apparently to either take talents that prevent them from getting IPs, get a flat bonus to the test, pseudo-Fearless, or Jaded.

 

What we should have:

-Talent to reroll a failed fear test

-Talent to reroll the shock table and take better result

-Talent to apply a flat modifier to shock table to reduce severity

-Talent to give a bonus to "Snap Out of It"

-Talent to inflate the amount of IPs a character has for purpose of ignoring Fear

-Items that do things similar to above

-Social skills/talents that confer effects similar to above to allies

 

Instead all we have now are crappy flat bonuses, and functionally all out immunity. No back and forth, no interplay of mechanics, no subtlty.

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If I compare DH1 to DH2, in the Careers of DH1, only certain archetypes got cheap Willpower Characteristic advances and a career like Guardsman was truelly screwed there with the highest Willpower costs. In DH2, you can easily get a Willpower aptitude but only Psykers are able to get the cheapest Willpower advances. 

 

I can only guess that FFG wants to have Fear and Insanity play a more meaningful role and that also explains why certain Fear related talents got removed. Something like "Unshakable Faith" to reroll Fear tests is almost a no-brainer to have in Only War and its only prerequisite is having 35 Willpower. 

Edited by Gridash

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If they wanted to make Fear worse, wouldn't they be better off expanding the amount of Fear related traits? Add Fear 5-8, add traits that boost the result of the shock table, all while also adding tools players can use to combat it?

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If they wanted to make Fear worse, wouldn't they be better off expanding the amount of Fear related traits? Add Fear 5-8, add traits that boost the result of the shock table, all while also adding tools players can use to combat it?

 

I dunno, but them removing the talents was obviously a deliberate choice, not something that got copy-pasted from a previous RPG line. I wish the developers would explain their design choices so we wouldn't have to guess all the time.

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