# About game balance

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I told you I do it by memory in answer to what you asked.

And how do you handle distances once characters start moving in directions that aren't straight lines away or toward each other?

Everything is straight lines, or nothing is. Whatever, it's no harder. I don't need maps, pencils and token, because I can already figure it in my head. Having paper with squares or whatev' won't make it better nor worse, unless you need because you prefer it that way (or the reverse).

Player A and B start 30 meters south of NPC 1. Player 1 moves 10 meters north. Player 2 moves 10 meters east. How many meters is player B from NPC 1 and Player A?

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I told you I do it by memory in answer to what you asked.

And how do you handle distances once characters start moving in directions that aren't straight lines away or toward each other?

Everything is straight lines, or nothing is. Whatever, it's no harder. I don't need maps, pencils and token, because I can already figure it in my head. Having paper with squares or whatev' won't make it better nor worse, unless you need because you prefer it that way (or the reverse).

Player A and B start 30 meters south of NPC 1. Player 1 moves 10 meters north. Player 2 moves 10 meters east. How many meters is player B from NPC 1 and Player A?

Does the space have any intrinsic curvature?

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Nimsim, just out of curiousity, are your maps three-dimensional grids or, in some way, encompass height differences in terrain?

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I use a flat grid map with squares and draw some landmarks. Players can count diagonals as the same movement speed as going straight, because I don't actually care that much beyond being able to use movement speed. The point is that if they're tracking their movement down to a single meter, it requires a map to actually make use of that. I get that my posted example is basically a word problem for math, but that is exactly the kind of situation that would reasonably come up in a game where people move around. Acting like its something that is easily calculated and remembered is frankly disingenuous.

I normally just use a system like that in dungeon world, edge of the empire, or the like, because it actually doesn't need a map to keep track of (though I usually draw a quick map for players to visualize things and remember to use terrain.

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For some combats the distances are quite narrative, like some players needs to move one or two rounds to get in melee.

Other combats we draw a map on a paper and just approximate distances if not directly aligned with the grid.

And then some times we pull out a huge square/hex plastic piece and puts miniature figures on it and move them around with meter precision using a measurement stick.

Different combats requires different approaches depending on our mood, complexity of the combat and its importance in the story.

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For some combats the distances are quite narrative, like some players needs to move one or two rounds to get in melee.

But that's exactly what Nimsim speaks about; if you do that, you don't use movement rate that makes count it to the meter.

Player A and B start 30 meters south of NPC 1. Player 1 moves 10 meters north. Player 2 moves 10 meters east. How many meters is player B from NPC 1 and Player A?

That's basic hypothenuse maths. That's not the greatest example you can come up with, you can just open up an hypothenuse calculator that will give you the exact number, even with decimales. So no need for a map, you keep the number in your head as I said I would and you continue with it.

The other fact is, I create my room about basic NPCs positions. So I know at first that Squad A is composed of 3 shooters behind a barricade, that they are up to 10 metres from a wall, 13 metres from a ruined refrigerator, 20 metres from the entrance, and so on.

After that, yep, it is possible that my players take some movements that doesn't fit in what I designed, but it didn't happe up to now, because those I don't design are those that are so useless that my players won't even use them. So they through those possibilities with their movement rate, which is very easy to calculate, since these are basic maths.

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For example I have a blank tech priest in my current group. He has a fellowship of 26 before suffering the penalties of being a blank. His character though wants to be helpful and desperately wants comradery and so he always jumps at any chance to be useful particularly when dealing with people. My player even took a bunch of social skills and just to reflect that his character has trained himself and thinks he is adequate at doing such tasks. He fails. Nearly all of the time. Should balance step in and make him succeed more? No. The role his character plays is perfect in this particular regard. Also it often leads to a good laugh or memorable outcome.

I love this player...

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For example I have a blank tech priest in my current group. He has a fellowship of 26 before suffering the penalties of being a blank. His character though wants to be helpful and desperately wants comradery and so he always jumps at any chance to be useful particularly when dealing with people. My player even took a bunch of social skills and just to reflect that his character has trained himself and thinks he is adequate at doing such tasks. He fails. Nearly all of the time. Should balance step in and make him succeed more? No. The role his character plays is perfect in this particular regard. Also it often leads to a good laugh or memorable outcome.

I love this player...

Nice character!

Balanced aptitudes would not make this character succeed more.

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For example I have a blank tech priest in my current group. He has a fellowship of 26 before suffering the penalties of being a blank. His character though wants to be helpful and desperately wants comradery and so he always jumps at any chance to be useful particularly when dealing with people. My player even took a bunch of social skills and just to reflect that his character has trained himself and thinks he is adequate at doing such tasks. He fails. Nearly all of the time. Should balance step in and make him succeed more? No. The role his character plays is perfect in this particular regard. Also it often leads to a good laugh or memorable outcome.

I love this player...

Nice character!

Balanced aptitudes would not make this character succeed more.

Is the character concept of "socially inept tech priest with an inflated sense of social ability" a good one? Yes, it sounds like a fun character. A player making purposefully bad/inefficient choices with his XP for the sake of a meta-gaming joke isn't exactly a good reflection of the system, though. And that's what taking a bunch of social skills he is doomed to fail at amounts to: an in-joke for the player about how his character wasted XP. That character concept didn't require him to take those social skills, and taking them doesn't add anything to the actual character (a better option would be to spend XP on something actually useful and flavor it as the character inadvertently improving his skill at science while trying to learn etiquette).

It's a funny joke, sure, but I get this feeling sometimes that people think players who purposefully make bad characters or who don't care about mechanics are somehow better. You can roleplay AND engage the mechanics, you know?

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Balanced aptitudes would not make this character succeed more.

They would not make him succeed less either.

But they might make other characters succeed more. Characters whose players don't intentionally gimp themselves. The ones who are getting gimped by the rules, contrary to the player's intentions.

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Balanced aptitudes would not make this character succeed more.

They would not make him succeed less either.

But they might make other characters succeed more. Characters whose players don't intentionally gimp themselves. The ones who are getting gimped by the rules, contrary to the player's intentions.

Exactly my point. :-)

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Exactly my point. :-)

.. I think I actually missed it completely, though it is obvious upon re-reading your post. ><

I thought with "succeed" you were referring to the character's role as intended by the player (party comedian) rather than succeeding on the tests.

My brain needs weekend!

Edited by Lynata

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For example I have a blank tech priest in my current group. He has a fellowship of 26 before suffering the penalties of being a blank. His character though wants to be helpful and desperately wants comradery and so he always jumps at any chance to be useful particularly when dealing with people. My player even took a bunch of social skills and just to reflect that his character has trained himself and thinks he is adequate at doing such tasks. He fails. Nearly all of the time. Should balance step in and make him succeed more? No. The role his character plays is perfect in this particular regard. Also it often leads to a good laugh or memorable outcome.

I love this player...

Nice character!

Balanced aptitudes would not make this character succeed more.

Is the character concept of "socially inept tech priest with an inflated sense of social ability" a good one? Yes, it sounds like a fun character. A player making purposefully bad/inefficient choices with his XP for the sake of a meta-gaming joke isn't exactly a good reflection of the system, though. And that's what taking a bunch of social skills he is doomed to fail at amounts to: an in-joke for the player about how his character wasted XP. That character concept didn't require him to take those social skills, and taking them doesn't add anything to the actual character (a better option would be to spend XP on something actually useful and flavor it as the character inadvertently improving his skill at science while trying to learn etiquette).

It's a funny joke, sure, but I get this feeling sometimes that people think players who purposefully make bad characters or who don't care about mechanics are somehow better. You can roleplay AND engage the mechanics, you know?

The question is, did he make this selection for roleplaying his PC.  Yep he is wasting his exp on things outside his "specialty" as a Tech Priest, but is he having fun roleplaying him?  It is a unique PC, 1 who is playing against the carbon copy Tech Priest.

Now how would you design this PC so he still "socially inept tech priest with an inflated sense of social ability"?  Or would you just hope the player could get this by rollplaying his PC.

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For example I have a blank tech priest in my current group. He has a fellowship of 26 before suffering the penalties of being a blank. His character though wants to be helpful and desperately wants comradery and so he always jumps at any chance to be useful particularly when dealing with people. My player even took a bunch of social skills and just to reflect that his character has trained himself and thinks he is adequate at doing such tasks. He fails. Nearly all of the time. Should balance step in and make him succeed more? No. The role his character plays is perfect in this particular regard. Also it often leads to a good laugh or memorable outcome.

I love this player...

Nice character!

Balanced aptitudes would not make this character succeed more.

Is the character concept of "socially inept tech priest with an inflated sense of social ability" a good one? Yes, it sounds like a fun character. A player making purposefully bad/inefficient choices with his XP for the sake of a meta-gaming joke isn't exactly a good reflection of the system, though. And that's what taking a bunch of social skills he is doomed to fail at amounts to: an in-joke for the player about how his character wasted XP. That character concept didn't require him to take those social skills, and taking them doesn't add anything to the actual character (a better option would be to spend XP on something actually useful and flavor it as the character inadvertently improving his skill at science while trying to learn etiquette).

It's a funny joke, sure, but I get this feeling sometimes that people think players who purposefully make bad characters or who don't care about mechanics are somehow better. You can roleplay AND engage the mechanics, you know?

The question is, did he make this selection for roleplaying his PC.  Yep he is wasting his exp on things outside his "specialty" as a Tech Priest, but is he having fun roleplaying him?  It is a unique PC, 1 who is playing against the carbon copy Tech Priest.

Now how would you design this PC so he still "socially inept tech priest with an inflated sense of social ability"?  Or would you just hope the player could get this by rollplaying his PC.

I already gave an example of how to design that PC as socially inept with an inflated sense of social ability. Spend XP on something else, make up a background for the PC and roleplay him with his poor social skills. He'll still be more likely than not to fail social tests. An extra 10 or 20 percent chance of success isn't going to make much of a difference, especially given how few times the player is likely to actually roll those skills per session.

If, as you're implying, the player who purposefully designed this NPC wasn't able to portray that his character is bad at social skills through role playing, the minuscule change in success chances (for a large XP investment) isn't really going to add much either. The system ends up working against the player, because it's charging him extra XP to roleplay, rather than just enabling it.

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Admittedly I did not give much detail on him (the blank tech priest), because his example was used to show my perspective, I don't play these pen and paper RPGs expecting polish and structure of a modern linear video game. My friends and I play it because we enjoy each others company, use lots of humor and enjoy the freedom the setting and game gives us. Plus we all enjoy the Warhammer lore and many of its games.

His character's name is Ass Grabbenberg (Forge world, Intelligence and crafting focused) . We also have another character Techpriest (feral worlder combat oriented) named Kops Polleece. He speaks with an Arnold accent and sees the Ommisiash is the best way to murder impure things.  Then we have a crazed psyker who is terribly interested in the occult and getting high. He wants to survive. His name is Wade. Ass's character is half built around annoying wade by taking every talent possible to inhibit the psyker and the rest to increase his building and tweeking of tech. His character as he thought him up, was an eager young tech priest who has always been disliked (being a blank) but has tried and continues to try and make friends and be sociable but is just in reality an uncomfortable and socially inept blank, but he doesn't know it. That is his character. I think it is telling of some of your guy's mentality that you think someone playing a roleplaying game based on how their character would do things as 'the wrong way to min max the game...'  Yes. That is true, but that is his character. Yes, he spends more experience for a stat increase or a skill he will still be poor at and always will be but he does it to boost his character progression as a player not a combat role or a stat boost. He often steps into a conversation to make something awkward or screw things up with things like "Hold on ther Kops, , I'll handle this. I have undergone thousands of hours of training to communicate with small minded people with ease and class. *pops his Tech Priest collar* Excuse me, Mr. Arbite. But I don't think you understand who this is. This is THE Kops Polleece! Him, that guy there! The one who has better style than you." He takes those skill ranks and training, so he can narratively make excuses and give reasons  or justify his actions for why his character may or may not do something. Which to me, is the whole point of a level system and a pen and paper game. Again, I simply just don't understand and thus have no interest in trying to change your guys plays styles, but I don't really see it being an issue.

I hope that quick summary should give you guys an idea of the type of games we play.

The game is not balanced as other have pointed out and not all skills are as useful as others, but I simply don't care. It is not an issue for me or my players because honestly, we are playing to have fun. We are not competitive or rules lawyers but we play and get invested. Our last campaign lasted two years. Lots of fun. I'm only posting because we as a group have never had any issues every playing first edition or second. We had some rules questions and hand waved a few things simply because we thought it was bogging down the fun part or simply wasn't fun. But again, none of us are hostile, we are all friends and we all agreed, just to keep it simple and moving that if it didn't make sense we'd simply do a relevant characteristic test and move on. But we never had any problems that I often see on these forums. I just have a feeling, that we do not disagree on balance, per say, but I think we have different expectations as to what a pen and paper game is supposed to be or facilitate. Or maybe, I am just really lucky with my players?

Edited by Olifant

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Actually, that does come off as a bit insulting now. I think all of us play because we just want to have fun, rather than your veiled suggestion that proponents of gameplay balance are about "competition*" and "minmaxing the game**", up to the insinuation that people here just want to turn the RPG into a pen&paper version of a "modern linear video game".

(*: unless you see each player wanting their own little moment to shine as a sort of competition, of course)

(**: my last attempt to find a game actually had the GM tell me I should pick more useful stuff, simply because I had gimped myself too much for background reasons)

The problem is simply that for many of us, the fun of the game does not come (primarily) from humour, but rather immersive storytelling. This in turn means that characters succeeding at their role becomes more important -- as opposed to your playstyle, where the humour is apparently generated from characters failing at their role. Needless to say, this would then change our outlooks on balance as well.

Simply put, one could say we all just want to play "what it says on the tin". It's just that for some people, the tin says stuff like "competent warrior", whereas the tin of Mr. Grabbenberg says "party clown". And that's why balance is an issue for some but not others. Your luck is simply that you've found a group compatible with your preferred playstyle.

However, I still don't see how a balanced ruleset would make it more difficult for your player to succeed in their goal (as opposed to an unbalanced ruleset certainly making it more difficult to build competent warriors). After all, advancements are opt-in. No player is forced to spend XP on anything.

And here's what I believe is a flaw in your and Grabbenberg's player's thinking: You don't have to buy Skills to narratively represent the character having received tuition. Skills represent the character actually getting better; that's the whole point behind them conferring a bonus to the Test. And you could easily go through training and not gain any Skill or Talent simply because you suck.

The game generally assumes that any training is successful, but no player or GM is forced to abide by this standard. Indeed, upon thinking about this .. perhaps this might explain why there are a lot of Backgrounds missing some obvious Skills you still have to buy separately?

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I fear I have failed to explain why I think the whole question of the thread and argument about balance is meaningless to me. Although I did elude that I do not like the previous playstyle and I think it the wrong mentality, to take into a roleplaying game. it was not meant to insult but to highlight, that I think the is the wholly wrong approach to take to a game like this. As well as underline some of the contradictory concepts being thrown about. Is it a roleplaying game? Is it a combat game? Is it both? It is whatever you make of it. The linear game line comment is to point out that this is not a coded follow the path video game, but a system designed to try and tackle limitless options only hindered by the people's imagination. The book itself says maybe half a dozen times that everything should be taken as a guideline and be considered secondary to both pragmatism and GMs rule. This is not an excuse for poor rules, or questionable 'balance' but simply there are only problems if you make them to be problems.

Honestly, all I can summarize is, if you screw up your character due to being new to the system and you'd like to redo something and your GM says no. It is because your GM is being a jerk. Simple as that. If you are trying to create a specific character to fit into the mechanics of the game, go right ahead, you will always be able to probably min max it better with each reiteration. And this can be fun in its own right. I have no issue with people using the mechanics of the game, I often help my players or give them advice for making them more efficient at their roles, especially if they are not very familiar with the game. But I do shut them down if they try to abuse the mechanics of the game. And if they bought XP for something which I ruled out. I give them back their XP. If a  group finds itself arguing a lot about the rules, the GM needs to intervene and press the game on, maybe a player or two are being too combative or immature. If the GM is arguing about the rules and causing problems, it might be because the GM may not be good at it or just inexperienced.

If one of my players came up to me, and told me he didn't like his character but didn't want to roll a new one. We'd talk about what he thinks is wrong and how he would like to fix it. And I would find out a way to make it happen game wise. Again, I say the 'linear video game' is because you can do anything. There are not hard rules. Just do it and have fun.

People shouldn't be running into these problems, because I see it all as very self-explanatory and easy to fix. Which leads me to think that perhaps, people may be approaching this game (or any) problems with a disposition which is too structured or not compatible with (explicit) other players. Or sometimes as I have seen both online and in person, just being stubborn.

I am not trying to be demeaning, or crass. I often think people are focusing on the wrong problems or seeing an effect and not the source. Nor am I asking people to adopt my friends and I's playstyle, I make mention of it because we are constantly bickering (in a flirtatious way) and they are always seeking to cause trouble, yet we never run into any problems. I assure everyone here, if my ******* group of friends can play this game with as little problems as we do, anyone can do it.

Or Hell, if you guys are even curious or don't believe me about how or if we can function, I'll record a session and you can all be privy critique and comment about it.

Edited by Olifant

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I fear I have failed to explain why I think the whole question of the thread and argument about balance is meaningless to me. Although I did elude that I do not like the previous playstyle and I think it the wrong mentality, to take into a roleplaying game. it was not meant to insult but to highlight, that I think the is the wholly wrong approach to take to a game like this. As well as underline some of the contradictory concepts being thrown about. Is it a roleplaying game? Is it a combat game? Is it both? It is whatever you make of it. The linear game line comment is to point out that this is not a coded follow the path video game, but a system designed to try and tackle limitless options only hindered by the people's imagination. The book itself says maybe half a dozen times that everything should be taken as a guideline and be considered secondary to both pragmatism and GMs rule. This is not an excuse for poor rules, or questionable 'balance' but simply there are only problems if you make them to be problems.

Honestly, all I can summarize is, if you screw up your character due to being new to the system and you'd like to redo something and your GM says no. It is because your GM is being a jerk. Simple as that. If you are trying to create a specific character to fit into the mechanics of the game, go right ahead, you will always be able to probably min max it better with each reiteration. And this can be fun in its own right. I have no issue with people using the mechanics of the game, I often help my players or give them advice for making them more efficient at their roles, especially if they are not very familiar with the game. But I do shut them down if they try to abuse the mechanics of the game. And if they bought XP for something which I ruled out. I give them back their XP. If a group finds itself arguing a lot about the rules, the GM needs to intervene and press the game on, maybe a player or two are being too combative or immature. If the GM is arguing about the rules and causing problems, it might be because the GM may not be good at it or just inexperienced.

If one of my players came up to me, and told me he didn't like his character but didn't want to roll a new one. We'd talk about what he thinks is wrong and how he would like to fix it. And I would find out a way to make it happen game wise. Again, I say the 'linear video game' is because you can do anything. There are not hard rules. Just do it and have fun.

People shouldn't be running into these problems, because I see it all as very self-explanatory and easy to fix. Which leads me to think that perhaps, people may be approaching this game (or any) problems with a disposition which is too structured or not compatible with (explicit) other players. Or sometimes as I have seen both online and in person, just being stubborn.

I am not trying to be demeaning, or crass. I often think people are focusing on the wrong problems or seeing an effect and not the source. Nor am I asking people to adopt my friends and I's playstyle, I make mention of it because we are constantly bickering (in a flirtatious way) and they are always seeking to cause trouble, yet we never run into any problems. I assure everyone here, if my ******* group of friends can play this game with as little problems as we do, anyone can do it.

Or Hell, if you guys are even curious or don't believe me about how or if we can function, I'll record a session and you can all be privy critique and comment about it.

You argument boils down to, "balance isn't an issue to me, so it doesn't have to be for anyone else if they think like me." My rebuttal is that if balance doesn't matter to you either way, then neither should posting in this thread.

Edit: and you're making the same tired argument that a GM can fix all of these problems themself, without any guidance from the system on doing so or if they're even allowed (good GMing is not common sense). Plus, if the system could fix these problems, it should.

Edited by Nimsim

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Well, let me politely say, your conclusion is bluntly wrong. But your rebuttal is fair. True, I don't have to comment or chime in, even if questions are raised about my prior post or what was meant from what I previously said. But being a forum, and on a game I very much love, and very much enjoy arguing about. I did. Cause I wanted to.

As for the edit, I would say, yes, very akin to my viewpoint if only with some minor deviations. If everyone is being mature, and everyone is good spirited, you simply won't run into any serious problems. But I again, simply don't see any serious balance issues. I've been following the thread, and no one has given a proper definition or meaning to what exactly is their problem, nor given real examples that can't be easily fixed with something like "whoops, I made a mistake, lemme change that". Lynasta is in my opinion, the first person here to actually prose a workable idea to what his gripes are, and what he his thoughts are to my criticisms, so I tried to address them. I assumed if he did not want differing viewpoints he wouldn't have posted.

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There have been nine pages of people talking about different issues with game balance - which is a lot to read through. I certainly know that I voiced my opinions on some of the main points, so it isn't like it's just been hot air.

I think you bring up a valid point: mileage may vary. Your group enjoys playing the game a certain way, just as I'm sure Lynata's does, and mine does as well. It seems that you have been blessed in finding a table that plays the way you do, so that is very lucky indeed. However, the fact that you have to house rule or gloss over certain sections of the rules mean it isn't balanced for what you are trying to accomplish - just as it isn't really balanced when it comes to the weight assigned to different roles.

There have been a lot of different opinions on what constitutes game balance, and where the issues actually are. Some agree with me, and others think that the Aptitudes system are the root of the issue. Given that, it may have been unclear what the main arguments of the thread have been, and why there is disagreement on your points.

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[...]no one has given a proper definition or meaning to what exactly is their problem, nor given real examples that can't be easily fixed with something like "whoops, I made a mistake, lemme change that". [...]

So you haven't actually read the thread. Good to know.

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As for the edit, I would say, yes, very akin to my viewpoint if only with some minor deviations. If everyone is being mature, and everyone is good spirited, you simply won't run into any serious problems. But I again, simply don't see any serious balance issues. I've been following the thread, and no one has given a proper definition or meaning to what exactly is their problem, nor given real examples that can't be easily fixed with something like "whoops, I made a mistake, lemme change that". Lynasta is in my opinion, the first person here to actually prose a workable idea to what his gripes are, and what he his thoughts are to my criticisms, so I tried to address them. I assumed if he did not want differing viewpoints he wouldn't have posted.

The game is not in such a bad shape that is is unplayable. It is very much playable.

It does have a few balancing issues:

- Aptitudes offer widely different power levels, on strong side: Finesse, Intelligence, on weak side: Leadership, Tech.

- Combat scales horribly: Early game the gunman rules, late game the yoda-blender rules.

- The wounds/armor/toughness system is odd. Its ok in the beginning, but turns into a one shot killing game later on - amplified a gazillion times by poor dodge rules.

A few suggestions to fix this could be:

Easy: Add new stuff to the lacking aptitudes when publishing new books. Perhaps a few erratas on the existing.

Hard: Make combat/wound/dodge/etc scale much better from early to late game.

Experienced groups have no problems dealing with this. However, I would like to see the game more balanced such that new people coming into the game doesnt have to learn to fix the game at same time as they are learning to play the game.

As I have said earlier:

Unbalanced games caters to groups that doesn't care about balance.

Balanced games caters to both groups that doesnt care as well as groups that care => more players.

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I fear I have failed to explain why I think the whole question of the thread and argument about balance is meaningless to me.

No, not at all. I even directly addressed this in my previous post. It's just that not everyone plays the game like you do. And you misunderstand what I and some others mean when we say so. I suppose the tricky thing, the point where we have difficulties communicating, is that about half of your post is entirely in line with my own opinion, it's just that you seem to apply these principles in a wholly different way.

The problem is not that people are somehow unable to minmax their characters. It is that the system with its many Talents and Traits is actually biased towards minmaxing, so much so that often you cannot create a specific character without having to decide whether you want to portray the character's origins with a focus on combat or non-combat skills -- because depending on your group there is often very little room for "in-between" hybrids if the archetype is supposed to be capable at two things, but constantly gets pushed to the sidelines by other characters that focus entirely on either.

Can you see how this can turn into an issue now? The game forces you to decide between roleplaying and rollplaying, and if you opt for the former as a combatant, it punishes you with being portrayed as someone who isn't good at their job. It's this game's very own Catch-22.

And, notably, this is before we add certain exclusive Traits and their mechanical effects on top of it, which aren't available to everyone (and many of them shouldn't be -- but they should be balanced) and thus often not even an option for you to take. If the group is willing to discuss the problem of minmaxed characters, people could just agree on self-imposed limitations in regards to their advancements, but this obviously does not prevent the system imposing unfair advantages if they are part of your class to begin with. Needless to say, this can easily become an even bigger problem, IF one has such characters in their party.

I believe the solution would be to slightly reduce the emphasis on certain Skills or Talents, and especially certain Traits, and place a greater importance on XP-independent wargear. For example, a gun is a gun is a gun, and it should do the same damage regardless of who wields it. Character-based differences should be limited to accuracy in regards to whether and where they hit. Mighty Shot, I'm looking at you.

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Most games are biased towards combat because that's what most gamers want. I agree though that this game has a glut of combat talents most which are completely unnecessary. Also, their requirements are usually poorly thought out. It's as if the guys who came up with the talents never sat down with the guys who did char gen and said "let's actually make sure people can use these." If I could change them, I'd cut most combat talents (revising the remaining) and add a boatload of noncombat stuff.

Going back to char gen, it's also equally unbalanced. A lot of it stems from the aptitude system and inequities it causes. Removing that would be a great step forward. In addition, a lot of the homeworld, background, and role traits/abilities could made talents. Putting an XP price on those would certainly help towards realizing balance.

Finally, combat is also unbalanced. TB is quite simply ridiculous. Once you reach a certain threshold, you're basically immune to things you have no right being immune to. Removing it and buffing armor protection would help immensely. Weapons really need to be revised. We have so many weapon traits its becoming a hassle. Instead just add more damage types (look to other RPGs for inspiration) and an accuracy stat that buffs aiming. This also brings me called shots and hit locations which really need to be expanded. Finally, injuries should be made sensible not, "crit you die." This would be handled by simple rules for crippled/destroyed limbs extremities, more damage to specific hit locations (skull for example), and a rule where if you go into the negative wounds you have to make a toughness test of die (past a certain point you automatically die). Much better than consulting a series of over the top tables to see how much of your face melted off and if you cried, how hard.

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Oh jeez. I'll try to keep the responses as brief as possible to avoid a text wall.

At Alox. I hate the aptitudes system. I think it was a poor idea and badly implemented. I feel it takes away heavily from character idea and role construction or even just progression. But most of my player like it better than first editions Teir class system. So despite my dislike, if they like it. I just mumble my distaste to myself. But my players have never really complained about certain traits being too useful or being hindered by the high costs. They usually just talk about what is more worthwhile to them to get this skill first or that one, with the intention of getting both. But as for a balance issue, I cannot say as I don't really disagree and thus don't have much to add.

Combat: I feel the scaling has gotten much more weird in second edition. Although it is very polished and much less ambiguous than first edition. In first edition, gear was king, talents helped by expanding capabilities (giving an extra dodge, or allowing counter attack) and stats were boosters. Second edition, it feels to be more of talents are most important (effectively controlling your characters progression due to their extreme usefulness), stat lines control talent access and boost effects, then lastly gear. I don't dislike this change, but it feels like an unwelcome and needless change from the first. Though scaling, the system has always been lethal, possibly to a fault, but I actually like that. Though, in my sessions, I have yet to see any particular combat style get nullified or simply not as useful as another. Albeit that statement is very much a victim of circumstances. Lastly, I have no issue with the wound system. Except maybe pen should eat through toughness. Otherwise no comment. Dodge? Agility, dodge has always been the most useful thing. Even my players state to newcomers, the first thing you want to do, is get your agility bonus to at least 3 and then get at least two ranks of dodge. I know of no good way other than extreme fundamental change to the game, to change or alter this, or if it is even should be considered a problem.

At Lynata, correct. My intent was to simply say, I don't think these issues you are raising are actually about balance of the game but more of social/party issues.

Role redundancy is not necessarily a bad thing, but I've already expressed my thoughts on it prior so I won't go into detail. Party balance is not something you can control without simply talking to the other players and choosing to make a balanced group or everyone just do as they please.

Roleplaying vs roll playing. I agree. But I don't see a balance issue, either spend the XP to be good at combat first and then social, or vice versa. Or stagger and boost incrementally. I honestly do not have any venom to this, (when I reread it, I noticed it could come off poorly toned) but am curious as to what you would prefer? To remove the XP system? Or change the style of progression?

Character progression. Again. I agree. I preferred the old style more. But the skill section was streamlined, both good and bad effects came out of it.

Gear vs character gear boosts: Neutral on it. My players say they like it more. I am indifferent.

Question. What skills and talents are not available to everyone, traits or mechanical effects? Other than the obvious Psyker vs Blank hard classes. Or are you speaking more of difficulty due to costs? ( in example: Not having finesse, making most combat oriented talents cost quite a bit more)

At Cpteveros, I wholly agree. I did not mean to imply, nothing of merit was raised at any point, but no one seems to have any agreement on anything. Balance was far to ambiguously used to be properly debated. People were rightfully criticising, the wound system, the aptitudes, party compositions, XP costs vs rewards, gear capabilities and usefulness of talents. Most of these are/were different arguments or gripes under the perhaps too large of a banner of 'balance issues', when it was much more nuanced than that. Opinions and preference being carried as balance woes, (in all honestly, I am not too bothered by this, because it was makes these threads interesting). I worded myself poorly there which has now been made obvious to me by the replies.

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