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mruozu

Milestones in DH2

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So quick question. In Only War there was a milestone system, where at every 2500 XP you could take an advanced specialty, change specialties, or get +5 to a characteristic. Was this system translated to DH2 at all? Is there a different milestone system? Had one of my players ask about it. Thanks for the input!

 

 

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I really wouldn't be surprised if they roll some kind of "Ascension-lite" sytem into Enemies Beyond. Something similar to milestones, maybe an 'Interrogator' type Elite Advance, etc.

 

That's at least what I would hope to see! :)

Edited by enentol

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Every 2500 XP you can Advance Specialize - either switch to a new, standard Specialty or take a new Advanced Specialty from the Hammer of the Emperor supplement. Alternatively, you can re-dedicate to your current Specialty for a +5 to any Characteristic. 

 

On paper, it is a great way for a character to advance. In practice, however, it means merely that a character "makes the rounds" by picking up different Advanced Specialties and making advances cheap. For example, a Sergeant goes Sentry for cheap Perception and Ballistic Skill, then Brawler for cheap Agility and Weapon Skill, then perhaps to Commander for the Fellowship and Intelligence. 

 

If you have a long campaign without a high incidence of player death, it can make it easy for someone to get to Space Marine- level Characteristics. 

Edited by cpteveros

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I'm sure it's a matter of preferences, but it sounds fairly "non-committal". Why would you even have a ruleset with different specialities if you can just switch 'em around to game the system for cheap advances? It also promotes/rewards mapping out your character's entire progression in detail right at chargen rather than allowing it to be a result of actual campaign experiences.

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You bet it is. At first I thought it was a great set of options for players, until I realized how some Advanced Specialties are clearly superior to others in terms of Aptitudes and equipment you gain - though choosing something else isn't the end of the world, because you can just wait till the next milestone to switch again with no penalties. 

 

It's just another example of poor game design that rewards power gaming the broken rules. 

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I'm sure it's a matter of preferences, but it sounds fairly "non-committal". Why would you even have a ruleset with different specialities if you can just switch 'em around to game the system for cheap advances? It also promotes/rewards mapping out your character's entire progression in detail right at chargen rather than allowing it to be a result of actual campaign experiences.

The funny thing is that the current system of fixing aptitudes at chargen gives this same sort of issue in promoting the mapping of your character progression, so I'm not terribly convinced that being able to swap aptitudes on a limited basis would be worse.

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I'm sure it's a matter of preferences, but it sounds fairly "non-committal". Why would you even have a ruleset with different specialities if you can just switch 'em around to game the system for cheap advances? It also promotes/rewards mapping out your character's entire progression in detail right at chargen rather than allowing it to be a result of actual campaign experiences.

The funny thing is that the current system of fixing aptitudes at chargen gives this same sort of issue in promoting the mapping of your character progression, so I'm not terribly convinced that being able to swap aptitudes on a limited basis would be worse.

 

With fixed aptitudes: This advance would be the most appropriate thing I could pickup right now. It's cost will be the same. I can afford it. So I'll take it.

 

With the ability to gain new aptitudes: This advance would the the most appropriate thing I could take now. But I'm planning to make it cheaper later on. Do take it now and waste XP, or hold off and take it when the cost is lower ?

 

Changing aptitudes makes the order advances are taken in just one more thing that punishes player with higher XP costs if they don't plan out how they want to spend their XP at character creation.

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What it really does is trivialize the whole point of having Aptitudes and Specialties in the first place. The way I see it, Aptitudes represent certain avenues that a character is intrinsically good at, or easy for them to advance in. That's why Operators have Tech, or Sergeants have Leadership - and some worlds/regiments/doctrines give Aptitudes to represent ubiquitous characteristics of those people or places. Things that don't really change. Being able to switch Aptitudes at every 2500 XP (which, by the way, comes out to 7 sessions if you use the book's recommended 400 XP per session) upsets that.

 

It equates to a very smart field medic suddenly saying, "I was quickly getting better at Medicae, but now all of a sudden it is super easy for me to learn Charm and crazy hard to continue in Medicae."

 

Switching so easily takes the "special" out of "specialty" and makes people more apt to game the system.

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Changing aptitudes makes the order advances are taken in just one more thing that punishes player with higher XP costs if they don't plan out how they want to spend their XP at character creation.

But like I said, how is this effect terribly different from the current system with fixed aptitudes? (I recall making a combat medic for a one-shot with cheap WS/Str/Int, for instance.) Keep in mind as well that a lot of these issues are created by the significant differences in cost between having two relevant aptitudes and none. Would we complain so much if having one more aptitude for some purchase only made a difference of 50 or 100 XP, rather than potentially several hundred?

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Look at Ambidextrous, 200 with WS and BS, 300 with just one, but 600 xp without, why not 400? It's a pretty universal talent and here it is behind this massive increase in cost.

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Here's maybe a better question, since we don't actually know if OW re-specs will be a thing in DH2. Assuming they do a similar milestone thing, what would that look like if the goal was not to change up Aptitudes but to do something else? Characteristic bonuses? Skill training packages (one-time gain a rank in a handful of skills)? What could they do?

 

(moot anyway since the book is on the boat apparently)

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I think some sort of "promotion" system would be a good fit, giving each Role some additional responsibilities when they hit a certain Influence level. So maybe a Warrior becomes the leader of a small group of soldiers, or the Hierophant attracts a group of the faithful, etc. 

 

Because a flat +5 to a Characteristic is nice, but doesn't really feel like your character has reached a pivotal moment in their career. I'm not advocating for an Ascension 2.0 (I know how horribly broken it was) but there should be a way to progress a bit farther than just being a better Acolyte. 

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What it really does is trivialize the whole point of having Aptitudes and Specialties in the first place. The way I see it, Aptitudes represent certain avenues that a character is intrinsically good at, or easy for them to advance in.

 

Exactly!

 

aptitude [ˈaptɪtjuːd], noun
  • a natural ability to do something

    "children with an aptitude for painting and drawing"

  • a natural tendency

    "his aptitude for deceit"

But like I said, how is this effect terribly different from the current system with fixed aptitudes?

 

Like Bilateralrope explained: it deepens the amount of planning necessary to gain your "perfect" character, which simultaneously makes it easier to miss out on something for the average player.

 

If the opponents of Aptitudes criticise that their existence makes it possible for "rollplayers" to plan out minmaxed  characters that end up far more capable than the average PC, then changing Aptitudes only makes it worse, because now you can get everything you want for cheap if you just plan ahead far enough.

 

That's not even minmaxing anymore. It's just maxing.

 

Well, like a lot of people in real life. 

 

Nah, that's just people preferring to spend their XP on other things.

 

Here's maybe a better question, since we don't actually know if OW re-specs will be a thing in DH2. Assuming they do a similar milestone thing, what would that look like if the goal was not to change up Aptitudes but to do something else? Characteristic bonuses? Skill training packages (one-time gain a rank in a handful of skills)? What could they do?

I think some sort of "promotion" system would be a good fit, giving each Role some additional responsibilities when they hit a certain Influence level. So maybe a Warrior becomes the leader of a small group of soldiers, or the Hierophant attracts a group of the faithful, etc. 

 

Because a flat +5 to a Characteristic is nice, but doesn't really feel like your character has reached a pivotal moment in their career. I'm not advocating for an Ascension 2.0 (I know how horribly broken it was) but there should be a way to progress a bit farther than just being a better Acolyte. 

 

I like that idea! It could tie into chargen's "mix and match" system by yielding different results depending on which Background you combine it with. Meaning: every Role has a fixed Milestone style attached, but it gets interpreted differently depending on the character's actual Background?

 

And yeah, maybe it is a moot point, but it could still become a community-born houserule. ;)

Edited by Lynata

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Changing aptitudes makes the order advances are taken in just one more thing that punishes player with higher XP costs if they don't plan out how they want to spend their XP at character creation.

But like I said, how is this effect terribly different from the current system with fixed aptitudes? (I recall making a combat medic for a one-shot with cheap WS/Str/Int, for instance.) Keep in mind as well that a lot of these issues are created by the significant differences in cost between having two relevant aptitudes and none. Would we complain so much if having one more aptitude for some purchase only made a difference of 50 or 100 XP, rather than potentially several hundred?

 

The difference is that with changeable aptitudes the order in which you take advances matters because there is an optimal order that minimises cost. With fixed aptitudes the order doesn't matter.

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I'm currently considering "capping" the Advanced Specializing in my OW campaign to 10k XP, which will be reached by the PCs soon. It might be a good idea to maybe allow a switch once, but lock them into that second choice. Switching Aptitudes makes them utterly pointless to have in the first place. 

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