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Increasing willpower

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It seems like in these discussions about aptitudes people ignore the fact that if one character gets something for cheap then something else will be more expensive and will likely more or less balance out. If I buy willpower for 500 and perception for 250 and someone else buys willpower for 250 and perception for 500 we are still on equal grounds. As long as everyone occasionally strays outside the bounds of their class then everyone's xp should stay even and the aptitudes mean that everyone will have something that would be useful that will not be cheap for them.

 

This is actually a decent point, and you're right that DH2 somewhat de-emphasizes WP for psykers. That said, this critique would hold a lot more water if the aptitude system were actually balanced 1 for 1 like you suggest. As it is, some combinations of starting options yield drastically better aptitude matches than others. You can have a starting character with 4 cheap characteristic advances and a starting character with only 2 and the one with 4 is going to get a lot better at their thing a lot faster than the one with 2.

 

My real issue is with the aptitude system as a whole. It presents itself as an open character advancement system but is actually a thinly-veiled class system that can be greatly exploited with system mastery or one that can greatly punish the players for making bad choices.

 

 

I think the only aptitude that's questionable is Leadership, the others all have broad uses.

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It seems like in these discussions about aptitudes people ignore the fact that if one character gets something for cheap then something else will be more expensive and will likely more or less balance out. If I buy willpower for 500 and perception for 250 and someone else buys willpower for 250 and perception for 500 we are still on equal grounds. As long as everyone occasionally strays outside the bounds of their class then everyone's xp should stay even and the aptitudes mean that everyone will have something that would be useful that will not be cheap for them.

 

This is actually a decent point, and you're right that DH2 somewhat de-emphasizes WP for psykers. That said, this critique would hold a lot more water if the aptitude system were actually balanced 1 for 1 like you suggest. As it is, some combinations of starting options yield drastically better aptitude matches than others. You can have a starting character with 4 cheap characteristic advances and a starting character with only 2 and the one with 4 is going to get a lot better at their thing a lot faster than the one with 2.

 

My real issue is with the aptitude system as a whole. It presents itself as an open character advancement system but is actually a thinly-veiled class system that can be greatly exploited with system mastery or one that can greatly punish the players for making bad choices.

 

 

I think the only aptitude that's questionable is Leadership, the others all have broad uses.

 

Arguably Psyker serves little use as well. Other than it being used to buy cheaper Willpower advances, about every single use of the Psyker aptitude might as well be replaced with the General aptitude, and instead have it blocked off to others by having a Psy Rating pre-requisite.

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I accept your reasoning as valid, but I disagree. You say yourself that Role is "the job you'll be doing for the Inquisitor". It's all about the future of the character, not the past. (don't forget you also get 1000xp to spend on stuff your character already knows which includes aptitudes from your role so clearly role partially represents your past, it just happens to also tie into what the inquisitor wants you doing in his team since you are proficient at it) Take a good look at what Role offers; Aptitudes, a Talent and (usually) a Fate-point based Bonus. If, as you say, the average citizen doesn't have Fate points and doesn't accrue much in the way of XP, then all a Role will give them is a single Talent. I can't help but extrapolate from this that most inhabitants of the Imperium don't actually have a Role because it, practically speaking, doesn't do anything.

xp is just an numerical representation for gaining new knowledge or learning to perform new tasks so while NPC's don't specifically gain xp or specifically have aptitudes, what would be the point, saying NPC's don't abstractly gain xp or have aptitudes is like saying no one is capable of learning new tasks or becoming better at the ones they already know and no one shows a penchant for one type of work over another, which is pretty ridiculous.

 

For me, the Role part of character creation is what got the character noticed by the Inquisition in the first place(Agreed). After all, most of the Role Bonuses involve some kind of auto-pass with Fate expenditure (don't agree that the Inquisitions notice would specifically relate to the role bonus however) . That's some kind of awesome right there. We're not just talking about a mundane Chirurgeon hack-jobbing his way through the drudgery of every-day doctoring, we're talking a top surgeon able to patch up a mortally wounded dude under battlefield conditions. Reliably. An Imperial Guard Medic has the Medicae skill; he's got the training to do the job. Only the Imperial Guard Medic who managed to successfully duct-tape his squad-mates back together after they were blown up by heavy mortar bombardment gets noticed by the Inquisition. The latter dude is a PC and has the Chirurgeon Role, the NPC Imp.Guard Medic does not; he just has the Medicae skill.

 

Based on this explain what would cause a mystic to stand out from any other psyker, being a psyker is their role bonus and there are clearly non mystic psykers, even players can create non mystic psykers, mystics look kinda bland with your take on roles. The desperado ability can almost be perfectly duplicated by the hip shooting talent so how did they get noticed. Plus the role bonuses really never cover the full breadth of what the role is meant to represent. The chirurgeon one only covers first aid, no other uses of medicae (long term care, diagnoses, chem use), no interrogation. The assassin bonus covers killing but none of the stealth or fieldcraft related abilities an inquisitor might want an assassin for. By limiting the reason why the inquisitor chose a character to the role bonus really over simplifies what could be a very complex part of a characters background.

 

Sure, there's an aspect of background in a characters Role, but what a Role grants is too...well, heroic, for want of a better word, for the common masses.

My tech priest is a walking library and one man CSI team along with being the group chirurgeon so why would I want to limit the reason for him being noticed by the inquisition to his first aid based role bonus when there is so much more to the character that could be considered impressive.

 

 

 

It seems like in these discussions about aptitudes people ignore the fact that if one character gets something for cheap then something else will be more expensive and will likely more or less balance out. If I buy willpower for 500 and perception for 250 and someone else buys willpower for 250 and perception for 500 we are still on equal grounds. As long as everyone occasionally strays outside the bounds of their class then everyone's xp should stay even and the aptitudes mean that everyone will have something that would be useful that will not be cheap for them.

 

This is actually a decent point, and you're right that DH2 somewhat de-emphasizes WP for psykers. That said, this critique would hold a lot more water if the aptitude system were actually balanced 1 for 1 like you suggest. As it is, some combinations of starting options yield drastically better aptitude matches than others. You can have a starting character with 4 cheap characteristic advances and a starting character with only 2 and the one with 4 is going to get a lot better at their thing a lot faster than the one with 2.

 

My real issue is with the aptitude system as a whole. It presents itself as an open character advancement system but is actually a thinly-veiled class system that can be greatly exploited with system mastery or one that can greatly punish the players for making bad choices.

 

I agree the aptitudes are not perfect. Leadership and Strength are pretty weak and fieldcraft and finesse are quite good. Everything else is pretty firmly in the middle I would say.

My current character (aptitudes: Intelligence,Tech, Fieldcraft, Perception, Knowledge, Strength, Toughness) has 2 cheap characteristic advances, 2 middle cost characteristics and 5 expensive ones and actually I think if I had made one choice differently he would have only one cheap one and another middle one. However he's still been incredible at his specialties (all intelligence based stuff) and has pretty solid skill access from these aptitudes making him a solid swiss army knife. So some of his stats are probably never getting raised and he'll not get many combat talents but the trade off seems to be I can take 15 of the 28 skills for the lowest price which includes all the specialist skills and 4 more of the 28 for the mid level price (5 if psyniscience weren't psyker only) and can even get a few of the weirder combat talents that tie into perception and survivability stuff related to toughness.

Personally I like the system because it is more free form than most class systems including 1st ed but still retains some structure. A completely free form system is likely to leave me overwhelmed with choices upon first introduction unless it is overly simple in which case it will bore me. Having some form of class structure also helps me develop a character concept by giving me something to work with rather than having to come up with everything off the top of my head. I also think it helps players carve out their own niches in the group more which can help add uniqueness and give everyone moments to shine at their specialization.

Most complex systems can be gamed by someone who knows them well and is inclined to do so. No system is perfect. If a player picks something in character creation that leads to the character not turning out the way they wanted they should either ask their GM if they can switch characters once they have a better idea of how to create what they intended, or just not burn fate the next time they die and switch then.

 

 

This made me re-read the beta rules on the matter, and while I'll say I think it needed a bit of work, I definitely do like the direction they were going with that. Honestly the whole way that beta went still brings a tear to my eye, as it was quite clear they wanted to advance the system to something a slight bit different, and instead we got a slightly rushed re-hash of what already existed.

 

 

I should point out that all those talents and notions I listed really are meant to be things that help mitigate, but don't entirely remove Fear. DH1 definitely suffered by the very nature of the Fearless talent, and I feel DH2e suffers similarly due to the nature of Adamantium Faith. The lack of a sufficient number of talents that interact with Fear in DH2e is not a good thing, as it basically drives players to get Adamantium Faith, which is for all intents and purposes, a slightly scaled down Fearless talent.

 

 

By all means players shouldn't be ignoring all effects of Fear by taking 4 talents, but my point is they should be able to interact with the Fear rules. As it stands now, players either commit to spending the xp tax to buy Adamantium Faith, or not waste their time with buying Willpower at all (and hope their party psyker is kind enough to buy the Mental Fortitude psychic power, which I should say, don't get me started on). Buying Willpower itself is really a pretty cruddy way to deal with Fear anyway, and thats partly another side of this discussion. This could be mitigated by adding more Willpower/Defense aptitude talents with attainable pre-requisites that give more meaningful bonuses (while still not negating the effects of) Fear.

 

For example:

 

Compartmentalize

Tier: 2

Pre-Requsitie: 25 Insanity points, Willpower 30

Aptitudes: Willpower/Defense

The character has become apt at comparmentalizing their fear, sticking it away in a corner of their mind and not letting it affect the present. While they still suffer from the terror before them, they do not allow it to cripple their actions. This comes at a cost of long term mental health.

 

When making a Fear test, the player can acquire a number of insanity points equal to their Insanity Bonus in order to gain a +30 bonus to the Fear test. If they do so, after the encounter with the object of the Fear test they must immediatly roll on the Mental Trauma table (8-13), treated as having an amount of degrees of failure equal to their Insanity Bonus. Apply the normal trauma modifer as per table 8-12.

Obviously the idea could use some work, but you get the idea (as unfortuantely, adding IPs really only helps the PC, as it allows them to ignore future Fear checks and gives a great boon to Sororitas). Options for players to interact with the Fear rules that don't blow away the test. Unfortuantely right now it seems all we have is Resistence(Fear) which is one of the most boring talents someone can buy, or they can get Jaded or Adamantium Faith, which just act to make the Fear test less relevant.

 

Really where the system lost was in having it be a plain pass/fail on Fear checks. What should be in the language of the rules is that succeeding on the test has no immedate negative effect (failing having an immediate effect), but for all but extreme successes, the psyche of the character should still be negatively effected.

 

The beta had a lot of good ideas but there were a lot of issues too. I loved that some melee weapons used stat bonuses other than Str for damage, and the action point system was a cool change of pace. Overall though I'm glad they went with this version. Character creation in the beta was not fun to me, corruption was WAY too harsh, the action point system was cool but some things, cough eviscerator cough, needed major work, I hate talent trees, armor values and pen values seemed really off, a bolter's pen couldn't even get through all of a cloth robe's armor.

Most of my post is way off topic so back to Willpower finally:

Adamantium faith can even be viewed as slightly better than fearless in some ways. While it isn't guaranteed to pass the test it doesn't make retreating more difficult. It also doesn't invalidate its prerequisite talents which is nice.

In my group it has seemed like a mad dash to adamantium faith for anyone who can get it and its prereqs for the 1 or 2 aptitude cost and I think pretty much every backup character any of us have made has been designed to be able to get it cheaply. This does seem to indicate a problem. I would say the cause is that, as written, fear tends to just not be very fun and its really the only option to mitigate fear by a meaningful amount.

I would love if there were some more fear modifying talents and/or if the shock table had less results that more or less prevent you from participating. A simple reroll talent would be nice, maybe something that lets you modify your result on the shock table or always causes one particular shock effect to occur when you fail. Flagellant in Enemies Within is a good example, take fatigue to get a bonus. Maybe one that could use it as a prereq would be the ability to take damage whenever you fail a fear test instead of rolling on the shock table.

 

 

 

 

It seems like in these discussions about aptitudes people ignore the fact that if one character gets something for cheap then something else will be more expensive and will likely more or less balance out. If I buy willpower for 500 and perception for 250 and someone else buys willpower for 250 and perception for 500 we are still on equal grounds. As long as everyone occasionally strays outside the bounds of their class then everyone's xp should stay even and the aptitudes mean that everyone will have something that would be useful that will not be cheap for them.

 

This is actually a decent point, and you're right that DH2 somewhat de-emphasizes WP for psykers. That said, this critique would hold a lot more water if the aptitude system were actually balanced 1 for 1 like you suggest. As it is, some combinations of starting options yield drastically better aptitude matches than others. You can have a starting character with 4 cheap characteristic advances and a starting character with only 2 and the one with 4 is going to get a lot better at their thing a lot faster than the one with 2.

 

My real issue is with the aptitude system as a whole. It presents itself as an open character advancement system but is actually a thinly-veiled class system that can be greatly exploited with system mastery or one that can greatly punish the players for making bad choices.

 

 

I think the only aptitude that's questionable is Leadership, the others all have broad uses.

 

Arguably Psyker serves little use as well. Other than it being used to buy cheaper Willpower advances, about every single use of the Psyker aptitude might as well be replaced with the General aptitude, and instead have it blocked off to others by having a Psy Rating pre-requisite.

 

At least most characters with psyker have an extra aptitude so it really doesn't matter. A non psyker that comes from astra telepathica should probably always choose defense. Any astra telepathica psyker can either choose defense and get psyker from the elite advance or choose psyker to double it up so they can pick an additional characteristic aptitude so they aren't losing out.

Other than leadership I think strength is the other weak one. It gives a number of melee abilities but they tend to be odd ones like hammer blow and frenzy related stuff. It especially annoys me because despite being described as torturers/interrogators chirurgeons don't get willpower and get Strength instead.

*sarcasm* You know where I want the team medic, frothing mad and out of control charging head first into danger getting themselves shot up so that they're the one that needs a doctor or running after fleeing enemies while the rest of the team bleeds out in the street or turning on the rest of the party because they failed to snap out of it after all the enemies died. Nothing says good doctor like attacking your patients or ignoring them to murder people with your bare hands. *sarcasm*

I'm a bit bitter about that aptitude if you couldn't tell. ;)  

*edit: text color changed for in-quote comments to make them easier to notice

Edited by Skarsnik38

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I accept your reasoning as valid, but I disagree. You say yourself that Role is "the job you'll be doing for the Inquisitor". It's all about the future of the character, not the past. (don't forget you also get 1000xp to spend on stuff your character already knows which includes aptitudes from your role so clearly role partially represents your past, it just happens to also tie into what the inquisitor wants you doing in his team since you are proficient at it) [As I said, I disagree with your take; you appear to consider Role to be primarily an aspect of your characters past, with the future aspects "happening" to coincide with what your Inquisitor wants you doing. I consider it to be the reverse; it's primarily about the future of your character and what the Inquisitor wants you doing (or what you want to do for your Inquisitor) with only an element of the characters past that caused the Inquisitor to put him there in the first place. Conceivably, a character can be in a Role and have no Skills or Talents related to it except those granted by the Role itself. For Example; a Chirurgeon is under no compunction to actually learn the Medicae skill at all, let alone have it at ChaGen, even though the Aptitudes he has make it easy for him to learn it. It's also worth noting that whilst, yes, you start with 1000xp to represent your past, you're going to get a lot more XP than that (assuming you survive more than a couple of sessions) and the greater use of your Aptitudes will be in future spending. I'm not saying there's nothing about the past in your characters Role, just that it's a relatively minor aspect.]

 

Take a good look at what Role offers; Aptitudes, a Talent and (usually) a Fate-point based Bonus. If, as you say, the average citizen doesn't have Fate points and doesn't accrue much in the way of XP, then all a Role will give them is a single Talent. I can't help but extrapolate from this that most inhabitants of the Imperium don't actually have a Role because it, practically speaking, doesn't do anything.

xp is just an numerical representation for gaining new knowledge or learning to perform new tasks so while NPC's don't specifically gain xp or specifically have aptitudes, what would be the point, saying NPC's don't abstractly gain xp or have aptitudes is like saying no one is capable of learning new tasks or becoming better at the ones they already know and no one shows a penchant for one type of work over another, which is pretty ridiculous. [All I'm saying is that, if I were to build NPC's as I would PC's (which I don't), then I would not assign them a Role. I'm not saying that NPC's can't learn anything; I'm saying that I think common citizens would have less Aptitudes than your average Acolyte and that this is part of what makes an Acolyte a PC; a far greater potential than the "common man".]

 

For me, the Role part of character creation is what got the character noticed by the Inquisition in the first place(Agreed). After all, most of the Role Bonuses involve some kind of auto-pass with Fate expenditure (don't agree that the Inquisitions notice would specifically relate to the role bonus however)[i never said it would be solely due to the Bonus] . That's some kind of awesome right there. We're not just talking about a mundane Chirurgeon hack-jobbing his way through the drudgery of every-day doctoring, we're talking a top surgeon able to patch up a mortally wounded dude under battlefield conditions. Reliably. An Imperial Guard Medic has the Medicae skill; he's got the training to do the job. Only the Imperial Guard Medic who managed to successfully duct-tape his squad-mates back together after they were blown up by heavy mortar bombardment gets noticed by the Inquisition. The latter dude is a PC and has the Chirurgeon Role, the NPC Imp.Guard Medic does not; he just has the Medicae skill.

 

Based on this explain what would cause a mystic to stand out from any other psyker, being a psyker is their role bonus and there are clearly non mystic psykers, even players can create non mystic psykers, mystics look kinda bland with your take on roles. The desperado ability can almost be perfectly duplicated by the hip shooting talent so how did they get noticed. Plus the role bonuses really never cover the full breadth of what the role is meant to represent. The chirurgeon one only covers first aid, no other uses of medicae (long term care, diagnoses, chem use), no interrogation. The assassin bonus covers killing but none of the stealth or fieldcraft related abilities an inquisitor might want an assassin for. By limiting the reason why the inquisitor chose a character to the role bonus really over simplifies what could be a very complex part of a characters background. [As mentioned above; I never said the Role Bonus was the be-all and end-all of what got the Acolyte noticed by the Inquisition. It is rather, in my opinion,  that they have a Role at all and all that it entails that gets them noticed; the additional Aptitudes, the Talent and the Role Bonus. That's what differentiates a Mystic from any other NPC Psyker; he is not only a Psyker*, but he is either Resistant to psychic powers or finely attuned to the Warp (Warp Sense) and has a suite of Aptitudes that promise that he will likely become a powerful Psyker (in theory). Same goes for the others; the Assassin gets to deal more damage from his Bonus, but his stealth and fieldcraft abilities (as you describe them) are granted by his Aptitudes; Aptitudes that a "common" assassin does not have.]

 

*[NB: for free, that's 300xp he doesn't have to spend, or 700xp is he's also AAT or otherwise Sanctioned, compared to the unSanctioned character that buys the Psyker Elite Advance]

 

Sure, there's an aspect of background in a characters Role, but what a Role grants is too...well, heroic, for want of a better word, for the common masses.

My tech priest is a walking library and one man CSI team along with being the group chirurgeon so why would I want to limit the reason for him being noticed by the inquisition to his first aid based role bonus when there is so much more to the character that could be considered impressive. [if your Chirurgeon was just a Forge Worlder in the Adeptus Mechanicus, without the Chirurgeon Role, how much less impressive would he be? Would he still be a "walking library and one-man CSI team"? Or would he be paying XP through the nose and have not nearly as many abilities? The fact that he has a Role means he has five additional Aptitudes, making that 1000xp you start with that much more efficient. If "Average Joe" doesn't have a Role, then he has only two Aptitudes and even if he starts with the same 1000xp, he simply can't put it to as great a use; he's that much less likely to be noticed and recruited by the Inquisition. Now, as I said, I don't build NPC's like I would a PC, but using this as an analogy, can you see my argument for Role being the primary "heroic" factor of a PC? Sure Fate points and plot convenience play their part, but it's the fact that the PC's have a Role that makes them stand out from the crowd. You could, in theory, populate your campaign with NPC's generated like a PC except they have no Role and I think the system would work to a large degree in simulating a 40k setting in which the PC's are a cut above the rest.]

 

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I consider a character's role to represent roughly what their purpose was within their background organization, as well as what the inquisitor wanted them for and therefore their future position/purpose in the group, so it relates to their past and future as it is simply categorizing what they are good at learning. Vaguely what the character is naturally good at and therefore the place in society they most comfortably have fit into/ will continue to fit into. A character with the sage role was likely doing something sagely when noticed by the inquisition otherwise he wouldn't have been chosen to be a sage is my point.


While true that you don't have to pick up anything directly related to your role the fact that most of your aptitudes come from role means most people are likely going to be getting something vaguely related to their role, otherwise why choose that role in in the first place. Why be a sage for example if you aren't interested in lore skills, the role special ability doesn't even work without them. Chirurgeon is a bit of a weird case(in terms of starting without medicae) as I feel it is the most specific in its name and in what skill it ties to compared to all the other roles which have far more generic, inclusive names.

When you say you wouldn't give an NPC a role do you mean all NPCs or just sh*tty nobodies? For example I would agree that factory work #47A who spends 12 hour shifts working on an assembly line pulling the same lever over and over or another equivalent nobody would not have much in the way of skills, aptitudes or a role per say. However, I would say an NPC ER surgeon, or arbites judge or magos would have a role in the vague sense we are talking about. Basically anyone above simple mook who either has become important in their field/organization or has the potential to or who even just requires a significant amount of skills and talents to perform their duties.

Your field medic example seemed to be emphasizing the chirurgeon role bonus which is why I assumed you were saying it was a primary factor in being selected. My example of the mystic is more moot now since it was based on my misunderstanding of what you were saying about the role bonuses. I will still point out though that a mystic psyker is no more or less likely to be sanctioned than one of any other role technically since sanctioning comes from background. A psyker assassin can be just as sanctioned, with the assassin role bonus and can still start with any talents provided by mystic. It costs a bit of the starting xp but you get an actual unique role bonus rather than just something anybody can buy.
Actually looking at it Mystic seems like a pretty underwhelming role. Unless a player just really wants the defense aptitude it seems like long term it would almost always be better to chose sage to get the unique role ability and most of the same aptitudes and then just buy the psyker elite advance. You can just buy the talents eventually.


You could, in theory, populate your campaign with NPC's generated like a PC except they have no Role and I think the system would work to a large degree in simulating a 40k setting in which the PC's are a cut above the rest.]

I think this might be the heart of our disagreement. I don't see the PCs as being "a cut above the rest" necessarily. Above brainwashed wage slave citizens, sure, but nothing special compared to other adeptus personnel for example.

My character would obviously be nowhere near as impressive without the aptitudes from his role. There would also have been nothing differentiating him as a biologis tech priest or any other specific type of ad mech servant. Starting out without a role he'd barely have enough stuff to even qualify as a tech priest.  Within the admech there are a ton of people equivalent or far surpassing a starting level Dark Heresy character. This is true for any type of starting character. Starting level PCs are not meant to be unique little snow flakes or the tops of their field. If they were it wouldn't be possible to start with a statline entirely in the 20s. They are meant to be roughly average, fairly low ranked, members of their background with luck/fate, some potential and narrative devices on their side. 

 

It could perhaps be argued that role somewhat represents a characters potential.

 

We've been talking about this like Inquisitors always hire the best and brightest but that's not even always true. Some do, but others just want quickly and easily replaceable throw away agents. PCs can start out being really pretty sh*tty even at their specialization. Considering how expendable some Inquisitors consider their acolytes it makes perfect sense that some may not need to be all that impressed to bring someone on. If they are sending them on a suicide mission anyway what does it matter really. Much easier to pull nobodies away from their respective organizations without causing trouble too. In some cases an inquisitor may simply take somebody because the person saw or learned something they shouldn't have and rather than execute them on the spot the inquisitor figures he might as well toss them in a cultist hideout with a weapon and see what happens.

Sorry anybody who still wanted to talk about willpower. We've dragged this way off topic. :unsure:

Edited by Skarsnik38

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Sorry anybody who still wanted to talk about willpower. We've dragged this way off topic.  :unsure:

 

I think everything was said already about this topic, but I could be wrong ofcourse. 

 

Other than leadership I think strength is the other weak one. It gives a number of melee abilities but they tend to be odd ones like hammer blow and frenzy related stuff. It especially annoys me because despite being described as torturers/interrogators chirurgeons don't get willpower and get Strength instead.

 

 

After reading a bit more in the Star Wars rpg, I noticed that they combined Strength and Toughness together into a "Brawn" Characteristic. 

 

While I wouldn't change the Characteristics in the 40k RPG, the Strength and Toughness Aptitude could be combined to provide more utility.

 

The Chirurgeon role will need a new basic Characteristic Aptitude though since it normally has Strength and Toughness. So give the choice of either Perception or Willpower I'd say, Willpower being the better choice probably.

 

The Leadership aptitude is still a problem however. Compared to Only War, FFG removed a lot of the Talents that were Leadership aptitude based. This removal and leaving Leadership as it is without any other modifications was one of the bigger mistakes in DH2 imho. 

 

I'd remove Leadership and replace anything related with it with Finesse instead. Either that or Defense, but I think Finesse works better since Finesse also includes the careful planning of things.

 

The Command skill would use both Fellowship and Finesse then as its aptitudes.

 

Same for the Contact Network and Halo of Command talent.

 

Optionally, Defense could be the third Aptitude for getting Willpower characteristic advances, although personally I could live with how it is right now.

 

The alternative would be to add the removed Talents from Only War again in DH2, or that FFG adds some interesting talents again related to Leadership and Strength in any future expansions.

Edited by Gridash

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Sorry anybody who still wanted to talk about willpower. We've dragged this way off topic.  :unsure:

 

I think everything was said already about this topic, but I could be wrong ofcourse. 

 

Other than leadership I think strength is the other weak one. It gives a number of melee abilities but they tend to be odd ones like hammer blow and frenzy related stuff. It especially annoys me because despite being described as torturers/interrogators chirurgeons don't get willpower and get Strength instead.

 

 

After reading a bit more in the Star Wars rpg, I noticed that they combined Strength and Toughness together into a "Brawn" Characteristic. 

 

While I wouldn't change the Characteristics in the 40k RPG, the Strength and Toughness Aptitude could be combined to provide more utility.

 

The Chirurgeon role will need a new basic Characteristic Aptitude though since it normally has Strength and Toughness. So give the choice of either Perception or Willpower I'd say, Willpower being the better choice probably.

 

The Leadership aptitude is still a problem however. Compared to Only War, FFG removed a lot of the Talents that were Leadership aptitude based. This removal and leaving Leadership as it is without any other modifications was one of the bigger mistakes in DH2 imho. 

 

I'd remove Leadership and replace anything related with it with Finesse instead. Either that or Defense, but I think Finesse works better since Finesse also includes the careful planning of things.

 

The Command skill would use both Fellowship and Finesse then as its aptitudes.

 

Same for the Contact Network and Halo of Command talent.

 

Optionally, Defense could be the third Aptitude for getting Willpower characteristic advances, although personally I could live with how it is right now.

 

The alternative would be to add the removed Talents from Only War again in DH2, or that FFG adds some interesting talents again related to Leadership and Strength in any future expansions.

 

Willpower makes far more sense than Strength for chirurgeon aptitudes as doe perception. The fluff description for the role focuses on medical care for the team and interrogating prisoners and the primary characteristic for Interrogation is Willpower.

If I were to remove the leadership aptitude I would probably just replace it with social.

They have added some more talents with leadership, unfortunately most of them are inquisitor or sister of battle talents and inquisitors get leadership as part of the elite advance so even for them its bad to take it in character creation.

Defense would actually work well for buying willpower. Would allow for making an astra telepathica untouchable who can reasonably reach their willpower requirements without breaking the bank.

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I couldn't see here for a while, sorry.

First of all, there is defenitive characteristic that says about PCs as very-special-mans, and it's not Role. It's Fate Points. "Role" is a way for character use his abilities, kind of a way-of-life: you don't have a role "guardsmen", "psyker" or "commissar", it's Warrior, Mystic or Sage.

So NPCs have their roles by definition - everybody who solve problems with fighting IS a Warrior, and he IS Sage if he solve problems with lore. There is Chirurgeon role that seems out of the trend, but it's looks like chirurgeons are something about using obscure, even arcane knowledge about body and mind, they're something special in setting, something life-definiting.

And I can agree that generic factory W40 Joe haven't Role - well, when he meets serious problem he solve it with dying. But when we starting telling about, well, lowlife gangs - there are Warriors, Desperados, you-name-it. Not because they're special or high-level, no - just because they have a typical way. Broadly speaking way, of course - Warrior way will include fighting (shooting or slashing, no matter), assassin's way will include killing (not fighting) - by poison, sniping or martial arts, mystic will use psychic power or Surgeon will use his fieldcraft knowledge and lore about human mind and body.

 

 

My real issue is with the aptitude system as a whole. It presents itself as an open character advancement system but is actually a thinly-veiled class system that can be greatly exploited with system mastery or one that can greatly punish the players for making bad choices.

 

 

And, you know, I believe it's super.
We're not speaking about tactical wargame. We're speaking about role-playing game, and it's safe to assume that people around are something who can be decribed by something near role. We're speaking about people that things. Yes, of course, human can have skills above that "role", and we know it, but we're expected to be... well, kind of surprising seeing marine private who can cite classical poems. And, when he is from some low-life district, went army from school and never have any interaction with academics, he will hardly can have some solid opinion about hittites.
He can have that opinion, for sure - but his life, his bio, his occupation can't give him hints. He should take his time, between active duty, bars, girlfriends (or boyfriends), training and so on, to learn something about ancient history. And it will be difficult for him.
So system that can model it is a good system.

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I also like the aptitude system/character creation system, the essence of it is very very good.

 

What I dislike is the Leadership aptitude having nearly no practical use since it affects very little aside from 1 skill and 2 talents I believe. Some Elite Advances do have some talents that are Leadership based, but I'm not talking about those.

 

They should have added a few extra Leadership talents to make it worth having. I'm actually considering to look at the previous RPG lines and add older talents. If necessary just weaken them a bit if they were too overpowering. 

 

So previous Talents such as:

- Air of Authority

- Inspire Wrath

- Iron Discipline (if group leader and just gives a bonus to resisting fear/pinning instead of a reroll)

- Into the Jaws of Hell (Stronger Iron Discipline version)

- Master Orator

- Combat Formation (split Constant Vigilance again?)

- Radiant Presence

 

That also fixes some of the issues with Willpower/Pinning tests without resorting to rerolling or outright being immune to those tests.

 

And maybe do something similar for Strength, or combine Strength with Toughness into 1 Aptitude.

Edited by Gridash

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I also like the aptitude system/character creation system, the essence of it is very very good.

 

What I dislike is the Leadership aptitude having nearly no practical use since it affects very little aside from 1 skill and 2 talents I believe. Some Elite Advances do have some talents that are Leadership based, but I'm not talking about those.

 

They should have added a few extra Leadership talents to make it worth having. I'm actually considering to look at the previous RPG lines and add older talents. If necessary just weaken them a bit if they were too overpowering. 

 

So previous Talents such as:

- Air of Authority

- Inspire Wrath

- Iron Discipline (if group leader and just gives a bonus to resisting fear/pinning instead of a reroll)

- Into the Jaws of Hell (Stronger Iron Discipline version)

- Master Orator

- Combat Formation (split Constant Vigilance again?)

- Radiant Presence

 

That also fixes some of the issues with Willpower/Pinning tests without resorting to rerolling or outright being immune to those tests.

 

And maybe do something similar for Strength, or combine Strength with Toughness into 1 Aptitude.

They actually did put Into the Jaws of Hell back in with Enemies Within. Sadly they made it inquisitor only by giving it inquisitor only talents as prerequisites. :/

Rather than splitting up constant vigilance again maybe have combat formation give a bonus to initiative to a number of allies after a successful command test.

They seem to have been trying to consolidate the talent list (probably to get page count down) by combining some and removing others however I feel they went a little overboard. A lot of characterful and very useful talents that were even still in Only War were removed.

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Those talents are almost all combat-focused, as well. They work very well in a game like Only War, but don't exactly fit the theme of DH very well.  By re-introducing those talents you'd be telling your players the game will have a heavy combat focus (which may or may not be what you intend).

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And yet they were present in DH1 as well.

 

Leadership at the very least includes combat orientated talents, and the two backgrounds that give you this aptitude are Imperial Guard and Adeptus Ministorum. 

 

Right now there is barely anything to Leadership so including the previous talents in some form is a big step-up.

Edited by Gridash

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This game is pretty far from having balanced aptitudes, not only are Leadership and Tech extremely weak, but on the other end of the scale you have super strong aptitudes like Intelligence and Finesse. Balancing everything would require massive house rulings - not really worth it.

 

I would advise being generous with letting players swap aptitudes at character generation, so they can feel happy with their characters potential. Beyond that tell them suck it up and pay the xp. The real value of skills and talents are in the end decided by the GM by how much emphasis that is put on them during play.

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Yes, the rushed release seems to rear its ugly head here. I'm afraid houserules are the only thing that will be able to mitigate the problems since I doubt FFG will at this point. While this edition's basis is solid, certain aspects feels a bit like Beta2.0, where the actual refining, polishing and balancing still needs to be done properly.

 

I guess they shouldn't have bothered with trying something radically new (only to throw most of it away), and instead focused on what worked in the previous editions. Always easy to say of course in hindsight, it could have worked but it didn't in the end.

 

It would be interesting to see a fan based effort made to rectify some of the problems encountered and release it in a mini supplement.

 

What also is worrisome is that we still don't have any new supplement announced. Maybe they're waiting for Gencon.

Edited by Gridash

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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?

 

If you think about the Psyker aptitude as simply being a degree of control over mental/soul-based powers then it makes a certain amount of sense for an Untouchable to have it (since it's not the Psyker trait, there's nothing stopping them from doing so). Such a character would basically by an Astra Telepathica-sanctioned Untouchable, well-trained in the use of their unique ability with a Background in containing Psykers.

 

Granted, not opposed to fiddling with the aptitude system a bit if it's not functioning as you wish it to, just thought I'd chime in on the Untouchable thing.

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