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wholton

Gaining experience and What constitutes a "session"

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Hi, I'm new to Dark Heresy 2nd edition and have a question regarding experience gain:

 

Is experience pretty much given out arbitrarily and the rules for it intentionally ambiguous? My group plays in pretty random spurts (sometimes 2 hours, sometimes 8) and depending on different factors will get more done in a particular get together than on other occasions. So, how should I be handing out experience? A blanket "400 xp" every time we're together definitely doesn't seem right, but there aren't really good examples floating around...

 

Thanks.

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Your GM will have to figure it out. Some options:

 - Keep doing what you are doing. Nice and simple.

 - At the end of the session, give XP based on how long the session was. For example, 100xp an hour.

 - Give XP for advancing the plot. Could get tricky when the plot takes an unexpected turn.

 - Give XP for kills. This will require a lot more bookkeeping and encourage players to pick the violent solution to every problem because it gives more XP. I'd suggest not doing this.

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The book recommends about 100 XP/hour, which is normally about what I give. If we got a lot done or advanced the plot significantly (discovered a big clue, killed a big bad, etc.) I'll give more. Try to shoot for each player being able to buy an advancement.  Ultimately it's up to you.

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I've actually cut down on the experience I give out a bit, closer to 50 experience an hour instead of 100 after the first month.  My group was advancing at an extremely fast rate, given weekly sessions of 5-8 hours.  300 to 450 keeps things a little lean, which helps out (and my group is over the 10k experience mark now, by the way)

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To be precise, my group hit the 12,000 experience mark yesterday.  I've got a sniper who has to roll below a 112 to hit his target before negative penalties, a duelist who parries on a... 95?  A chiurgeon who heals on a 130, etc.  It took a Heretek in power armor with a Gauss Flayer and Avkran Cutter, 4 Elite bodyguards with Hellguns and grenades, 12 plasma-cutter assembly servitors, 12 armed servo-skulls (using heretically modified las-equivalents to the Handcannon), poison gas filling the room and three rather vicious combat servitors modded with wraithbone to challenge my party of 6.  That was after another massive battle with combat servitors, sniper-bots and air-defense turrets (to shoot grenades and servitors down) in a ravine/minefield.  

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Well, what strategy do you use with your NPC?

Because I've got a pretty good combat oriented party and I challenge them with basic PDF with lasgun and flack jacket and I've got a pretty powerful psyker (we use Cognizar psychic house rule).

 

Also, remember that the game is based on 100 percent. 112 doesn't exist, nore 130. 

 

My players are always at 95 max, since 96 is failure. So I count their degrees of success from 95. I have always played that way and it always came good in the end for the player and the game in general.

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96 isn't a failure if your weapon doesn't jam.  Melee weapons don't jam, Best quality ranged weapons don't jam...  I run it with 1s being auto-success and 100s being autofailure, but there's still extra degrees hidden in there.  

 

As far as strategy in that fight went?  He was in a control room on the other side of the manufactory.  After he tried to convince them to work with him, and the counteroffer was 'you can turn yourself in so we aren't the ones to torture you' didn't work, he started the shenanigans.  The manufacturing servitors moved on their rails with a 5m reach to screw the party up when they advanced, the body-guards took cover to return fire and start lobbing grenades, Servo-skulls were flying in from four ports on the second round to harass and flank.  The combat servitors (advanced models) came in on the third round when one PC passed the third conveyor belt.  Only two routes to get to him- along the catwalk around the room, or do some climbing behind the control room.  The boss stayed behind a power field until they stopped lobbing explosives and sniper shots at him (the meltagun and melta psychic power had started poking holes in his cover anyways).  He then used his control room as cover while firing bursts, making them dodge as much as possible (and hitting repeatedly).  If one party member hadn't flanked him and shot him in the back with a Maximal plasma pistol while he was engaged from the front, the guy probably would have killed one or two PCs before they could have flushed him out.  Three of the party ended up in Critical damage.  

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96 isn't a failure if your weapon doesn't jam.  Melee weapons don't jam, Best quality ranged weapons don't jam...  I run it with 1s being auto-success and 100s being autofailure, but there's still extra degrees hidden in there.  

 

****, I was so convinced of that that I wanted to through you the quote in which I would show you that you were wrong, that I found that you were indeed right. It's been someting like 8 years i've been running on such a false thing haha! Thank for the output.

 

 

Otherwise, it is normal that youre players can be very strong and will be able to beat stuff, especially if they have the upper hand. In this case, even if your ennemy had very good ressources, I consider this has your players having the upper hand.

 

 

The other way would be that your NPC are ready to attack the players, have put explosives on the bridge where they speaks, modify the environnement at their advantage, have EMP weapons, and such. 

 

Other thing I houseruled was that anyone can do righteous fury. It makes even little ennemies able to wound players. New rules don't permit anymore a laspistol shot that makes 34 damage, so this is not so bad, and give you always a chance of wounding players.

 

In the end, if three of your players ended in critical damage, that's also fair in my opinion.

 

The other way would be to give them very hard ennemies to kill from time to time (infiltrated genestealers, or Slaught, or Chaos Space Marines, or high tiers eldars), when the scenario come to epic climax. No need to have hard battles in the regular scenes of the story (same is true in action movies or novels).

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The NPCs have been realizing some enemy has been taking them from the dark, even if my party has been keeping their subtlety remarkably high for their usual modus operandi.  That, along with the presence of Witch Hunter Leonard Jechinnarus and his regimental retinue (if anyone gets the reference, they get a cookie), has been making local unsavoury types quite wary.  

 

I don't throw tough fights at them all the time, this is true.  Generally, a non-climax fight isn't about the fight itself, but something else.  Stopping someone from escaping, or taking one alive or something along those lines.  Every now and then I throw an amazingly easy fight at them, just to remind the players that they are big fish...  But it is a very big pond.  Those very hard enemies are floating in the background...  The primary threat to the planet they're on is a Genestealer Cult they don't know anything about; the Heretek was going to tell them about the pernicious yet unidentified infiltration of the human genome he'd discovered through his randomized testing of local genetics (no, he doesn't tell them why he's testing a random amount of human genetics in the area) but they sort of shot him with two meltas to the arm and torso, a thrown power sword to the arm, two longlas shots to the head and finally a Maximal plasma pistol to the back (the first grenade hit the power-field on his door before it went down, the second grenade had scattered back at the party).  

 

Well, when the psyker rolled a double-ought on their Pyromancy, I was giddy...  But yeah, auto-Fate Point expenditure.  Which is hilarious, since I rolled the Phenomena chart and it was an easy roll on them, no bad effect all in all.  

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