# By the Degrees!

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OK Ive spoken to players at my gamble table and online / abroad over how Degrees of Success / Failure are counted in the lastest rendition of 40k by FFG...

DH 2nd Edition

Vanilla: During a DARK HERESY game, knowing whether a test has succeeded or failed is often sufficient. There are times, however, when it is helpful to know just how well a character has succeeded at a given task, or just how badly he has failed. This is of particular importance with social skills, such as Charm and Inquiry, as well as during some combat situations such as when firing an automatic weapon, which can score additional hits depending on the roll. Measuring a character’s degrees of success or failure is a rather straightforward process. Once the percentile roll for the test is made, compare the outcome of the roll with the modified characteristic score. If the roll is equal to or lower than the characteristic, the character has gained one degree of success (DoS). He also gains additional degrees of success equal to the tens digit of the target value minus the tens digit of the roll. Conversely, if the roll is higher than the characteristic, the character has gained one degree of failure (DoF), and gains additional degrees of failure equal to the tens digit of the roll minus the tens digit of the target value.

Abuse Breakdown EXAMPLE

Long Las & Aim Half Action & Range Bonus & Standard Attack Bonus

& = "combined with"

BS Roll = Accurate Trait +10% & +10% & (+10% to +30%) & +10% = +40% to +60% total bonus to Test

Then add in an Automatic “Success” when you just hit (that’s “like” adding +10% after the roll is made)

Total Value Bonus = +50% to +70% Adjusted for Auto Success

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In Gist - I returned the values / count back to Rogue Trader; as a GM I do give situational / environmental bonuses so the "auto success" for just hitting isn't necessary in my game (called it generous GMing)

Revised: For most tests, it is enough to know whether a character succeeded or failed.

Stand Success:  If you score a value within 10 or less of your characteristic a Standard Success is achieved.

Standard Failure: If you score a value within 10 or more of your Characteristic a Standard Failure is incurred.

Sometimes, however, it is useful to know how well a character succeeded, or how badly he failed. This is particularly important with social Skills, such as Charm and Inquiry, as well certain combat situations, such firing a gun capable of a semi-automatic or fully automatic burst.

Measuring degrees of success and failure in a Skill or Characteristic Test is straightforward.

After the percentage roll is made, compare the roll with the modified Characteristic score.

• For each full 10 points by which the Characteristic was exceeded, one degree of success is achieved.
• Conversely, for each 10 full points by which the test failed, one degree of failure is gained.

FIN

Stay GAMING

Morbid

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P.S. if FFG would have made "Sniping" a Weapon Trait with a disadvantage of say 1 Shot per Minute (i.e. per Turn by D&D standards / 10 rounds) then I would have no problem with such tremendous bonus stacking!

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Uh...  Have you ever fired a 'sniper' rifle?  For your precision bolt action rifles, I could still put one accurate round down-range every 10 seconds.  Limiting personal weapons to one shot per minute or worse (outside of niche cases like digi-weapons) is ridiculous for both immersion and balance.  Why would you carry around a full-sized weapon that only has one use per combat unless it is either a game-breaker or an explosive?  On top of that, you can stack similar bonuses with every weapon.  Standard Attack +10, Half-Action Aim +10, Short Range +10, Equipment Modifier +10.  There you go, every gun with a Red-Dot Sight now has a +40 to hit, +45 if you get a custom grip.  Or, with a Motion Predictor instead, it's a +35 to hit with a Semi-Automatic Burst, or +25 for Automatic Fire.

If you have problems with how snipers work, there's an easier answer; it's called situational modifiers.  Sure, they can get up to a +60 if the situation is good.  As a GM, you control the situation.  Add in weather, line of sight, people in the way, cover, etc.  All of a sudden, that +60 becomes maybe a +20, if not worse.  On top of that, even if the sniper hits on a 120 and lower, their weapon can jam or their target can dodge/be protected in some other fashion.

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Are you concerned about Accurate (ha!) or are you actually concerned about DoS?

Degrees of Success: The new method, which originated in Black Crusade but which was refined in DH2E (as above), is largely isomorphic to the old method but tweaked for ease of use. Degrees of Success are basically just an indicator of how well you did, so pushing around the minimum from 0 to 1 doesn't change anything so long as you tweak the language to account for that. And, by and large, FFG already did this in their new lines with various things such as Accurate and Evasion tests. In addition, the distinction only ends up mattering if you're trying to exceed some static threshold for extra effect. It doesn't significantly end up changing damage (with DoS-replacement) or healing (I doubt that +1 wound regained with Medicae matters compared to the, say, 5+ that were healed regardless of system), and on opposed tests both participants are just comparing who has more DoS (thus +1 DoS for each cancels out).

As for checking the tens digits of target vs. roll instead of checking by every ten, that's an almost necessary change for ease of use. Sure, checking the exact difference between target and roll for multiples of ten isn't hard, but it's quite cumbersome in play. (I should know - I'm our group's GM and also a math major.) If you want something truly isomorphic to the original system that's not a pain in the ass to actually play, use something like Eclipse Phase's take on a percentile mechanic. In that, you're still trying to roll under a target, but instead of trying to roll low you're hoping to get just under your target. Greater is better, so long as you succeed. Hence if you implemented this in 40K RPGs, you could count DoS just by checking the tens digit.

Accurate: As MijRai said above, limiting Accurate to once per minute does little for game balance, but is instead another way to tell your players not to actually use Accurate weapons. Sure, you can get bonuses to hit with one, but many of those bonuses are available regardless of the gun you're using. In addition, to get the full benefit of Accurate you need to fire the weapon as a Standard Attack, which invites the ability of your target to dodge the shot or otherwise negate your all-or-nothing effect. Snipers can pick up Inescapable Attack, but the odds are that you'll need to work to hit the relevant prerequisites; 40 BS and 35 Per are not insignificant for a character who starts at 20 + 2d10 for characteristics.

Finally, Accurate isn't the be-all-end-all of combat simply because the extra damage isn't spectacular. Weapons with Accurate are designed around having the extra damage, but they're still only mid-tier weapons with that damage. Assuming that you get the necessary DoS with a Long-Las, you're looking at 3d10+3/Pen 1/Felling 4 for an average damage value of 20 (with DoS-replacement) before damage reduction. And that's good against a human target with not much armor and a small number of wounds. But once that target starts getting more wounds/armor/toughness/Unnatural Toughness, the Long-Las isn't bringing something down in one shot any more. Compare this to, say, a Lascannon (which I should point out showed up in DH1E Core!) or an Autocannon. Both of those are definitely top-tier weapons considering their range (better than sniper rifles!) and damage-per-shot. Sure, putting one in place most likely requires a fair amount of effort (given the weight and the fact that it's a Heavy weapon), but when you can fire a portable artillery piece from hundreds of meters away without strain you probably don't mind the setup. (And that's before Bulging Biceps/carrying capacity increases that allow you to carry the thing wherever you please.)

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Ditto on everything NFK said. The DoS change was largely just a change of wording since pretty much everything was adjusted to say extra benefits come from degrees of success after the first.

Although I will admit that it feels weird to have two degrees of success when rolling something like a 29 when you needed a 30. Marginalizes taking characteristic increases that don't increase the characteristic bonus.

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Morbid,

the changes to DoS just give people 1 additional DoS. It does create kind of silly situations where rolling a 39 vs. a target of 40 is 2 DoS, but that's likely an acceptable cost for the ease-of-use improvements. If you want to switch back to the full 10, then by all means, do so.

As for Accurate, I disagree with NFK to a degree (of success lolol). Mostly because I think comparing the Long Las to something like the Autocannon is a bit silly. They have hugely different rarities and applications. Comparing the Long Las to other starting weapons is more reasonable and even then it's comparable.

Max damage, as you said is 3d10+3. Felling helps keep the LongLas in play for longer, but doesn't do much else. Pen 1 is negligible. Although, you can use the Long Las on Overcharge and get +1 pen and +1 dmg...

Regardless, compare that to a lasgun. If your roll nicely with the Semi-Auto action, (need 4 DoS) to get max damage, (just like with the Long Las!) and you're doing (1d10+3)*3 Pen 0, but who cares. No Felling, also largely irrelevant. BUT, you can choose 3 targets! Shooting 3 weak cultists? Assign 1 hit to each! Or maybe 2 and 1. Regardless, more flexible with that there semi-auto. Now, of course, armor and toughness are applied to each hit, but for that loss you get to choose the targets.

So, in short, the long las vs lasgun or sniper rifle vs autogun have different strengths in different applications. None of them holds a candle to a hotshot vs armor targets or a bolter vs any target. And heavy weapons, like the Lascannon and the Autocannon, well, those are in a whole other category. Accurate ain't OP, yo.

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Eh, having seen how my group has been using their long-las, it could easily be considered OP against individual high-value targets.  I've dealt with a few games where the 'boss' got punk'd by getting multiple head-shots, as their armor was too high for most other weapons but that 3d10 started punching through.

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Eh, having seen how my group has been using their long-las, it could easily be considered OP against individual high-value targets.  I've dealt with a few games where the 'boss' got punk'd by getting multiple head-shots, as their armor was too high for most other weapons but that 3d10 started punching through.

But thats exactly what the longlas is for.

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Not when they're fighting things with vehicle-level armor and they're practically ignoring it.  Should a sniper be able to put rounds into the rear armor of a Chimera and start doing appreciable amounts of damage?

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Considering that a Chimera's rear armor (16) is on the same level of damage reduction as a Space Marine, why not? Larger variants of real-life sniper ammunition sometimes double as low-grade anti-materiel ammunition, and the Chimera's rear armor certainly qualifies as low-grade compared to its own fore armor or to Imperial tanks. (In particular, Wikipedia gives me .50 BMG/Russian, .338 Lapua Magnum, and 14.5 x 114mm.)

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Be mindful that the final bonus/penalty cannot be greater than +/-60.  Other than that, accurate is just pretty good.  It kills singular entities and loses to large groups.  An accurate weapon is still less effective per rarity against armor than a melta weapon or a krak missile.  A flamer is still better at killing a crowd of twenty knife-wielding cultists.

Accurate weapons are VERY powerful if you never catch players off-guard.  Surprising the players and upsetting their plans is important sometimes.

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