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Keeping them Frosty (Combat, AP, and Subtley)

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Combat / Action Points & Subtle


So after running these FFG games "online" for close to a year; as well as traditional RPGs at the table – there always is the problem with setting up “encounters” whereby a DM/GM creates a battle whereby the expectancy is for a fight to occur (more than half the book is dedicated to this aspect of play) and that battle doesn’t happen. A good DM/GM won’t outright restrict their players from fleeing – but what happens when that the norm rather than the exception?


The game table goes both ways in terms of expectancy – DM/GMs expect a good fight from their players from time to time; so to hedge the game more towards that flavor I’ve thought up some specifics whereby you the player decide when to stay and when to fight with game mechanics to consider. The logic being – conflict raises flags, causes rumor and conjecture, and puts the opposition on edge.


First thing I had to consider was what benefit to award for a staunch approach – now this by no means is to be taken as a literal golden option that will result in guaranteed wins – rather you must pick and choose your battles decisively; wins grant you spoils and furthers your purpose while looses from fleeing creates witnesses who can then report back spread information on who and what they encountered – namely you the players.


This set of logic is represented below;



Pro                         - Player opts to stand their ground and fight the foe – award 1 AP to Player; if Player wins battle award another 1 AP

Con                        - Player gambles AP; if they exit the battles then 2 APs are owed to the GM

Hollow Bets          - Decrease Group Subtly Rating by -5% (the lower Subtly the worst encounters get*)


Flee (Fast)

Pro                         - Player leaves the Scene at onset

Con                        - Decrease Subtly by 1%


Flee (Tardy)

Pro                         - Player leaves Scene after engaging

Con                        - Decrease Subtly by 2%



By eliminating key foes and or targets the Players should be able to increase their effective subtly; otherwise only time can sure up Subtly losses…


The foil to waiting is of course time sensitive issues that need to be addressed by a cell of operatives – in some cases waiting around may not be an option – otherwise for each week by which the Players meet with no challenges the group recoups a +1% back to their starting Subtly rating for that game session. Gains beyond this require absolute completion of mission directives  and the subsequent clearing of event occurrence – removal of witnesses and clues is key herein!


By the logic of whats presented here - I play by the approach of Risk vs Reward; for any benefit their is an equal foil - etc etc etc


*Finally there is the concept of - the worst the group's Subtly rating the worst foes they will encounter - Subtly around 50% should present foes who are half of the time a lot weaker than the group in most cases. As subtly drops bigger and badder foes come around eventually after say 20% or lower - the group is actively being hunted by competent foes - its just a mechanic that seems to make sense when gauging who or what comes a knocking...




Edited by MorbidDon

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I really like the concept at the end, the worse the subtlety, the stronger the foes are. It's thematic and makes sense for me. I'm not sure on the other stuff, but that's because I have the reverse problem with my group. If I threw a Hive Tyrant at them they'd probably stand their ground and try and take it out with auto guns. This is ironic, my group enjoy the investigation side of DH2 far more than the combat, but if the enemy starts a fight with my PCs, by the Emperor they will finish it.

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If you want players to fight you have to give them a reason to put their lives on the line.

Protecting an artifact

Fear of failing their Inquisitor

No escape or out of time

Most of the time it's, oh boy we found heresy better go tell someone else who can deal with it.

You have to pull them out of their scout mindset and put them into the its us or nothing mindset.

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A scout mission is successful when you have obtained the information that enables you to go get help.


Make sure that information is not available until after the players had to risk something.

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One way I do it is by having a leader in the acolyte cell, giving him the leadership Aptd for free (It's useless anyways).

Then instead of pressing all of them to act you just have to let the one guy know what needs to be done. Then he gets the group moving in that direction. I have a military background and it just works for stuff like this ... Tell the SGT what has to happen and let him get it done.

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