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Couple of questions from an enthusiastic novice

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Hullo folks, 

So I'm new both to these forums and to DH. I'm looking at running a short adventure with some friends soon which may lead on to bigger things. For the time being I'm in charge of 'selling' DH to this group of people (they're all familiar with 40k lore). Couple of questions have come up in my playtesting, wonder if you guys could advise? Have searched already.   

I was standard attacking someone with a knife (damage: 1d5 + user's Strength bonus, in this case 3) and they had TB4 and 4 armour all over. I noticed that the best damage I could do was 8, all of which damage was swallowed up by the armour and toughness.

Now, looking at the rules it says if you hit someone you can swap out the damage dice (in this case the knife's D5) with the number of degrees of success you achieved in your roll to hit. So in theory, I could (through various modifiers etc) score, say, 7 DoS which would then give me more damage and would punch through that armour. Am I right in thinking this is the only way you can damage someone, if your attack's damage isn't enough to get through their toughness and armour? Or should armour points wear down over time? Is there anything else my players can do if they find themselves up against something their weapon can't damage?    

Question two is a bit more wooly. The players involved have asked for a sort of dungeon-crawl affair to begin with, including 'loot'. I know DH is capable of much more than this, but there we are. I was thinking of probably some caves with Callers of Sorrow cultists in them, armed with different weapons to show off the different mechanics. About this loot though - are there any 'useful but not unbalancing' items I could stick in the caves for my players to find if they get through the cultists? I'm wary of giving them stuff that will make future games too easy, but do want to work in a feeling of reward. 

 

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I was standard attacking someone with a knife (damage: 1d5 + user's Strength bonus, in this case 3) and they had TB4 and 4 armour all over. I noticed that the best damage I could do was 8, all of which damage was swallowed up by the armour and toughness.

Now, looking at the rules it says if you hit someone you can swap out the damage dice (in this case the knife's D5) with the number of degrees of success you achieved in your roll to hit. So in theory, I could (through various modifiers etc) score, say, 7 DoS which would then give me more damage and would punch through that armour. Am I right in thinking this is the only way you can damage someone, if your attack's damage isn't enough to get through their toughness and armour?

 

Your calculation of damage mechanic is correct, except that exchanging DoS for damage isn't a RAW, but a common houserule in DH1.

Don't forget that some weapon (mono-knife, for example; "Mono" can be added as upgrade to any primitive melee weapon) can have Penetration, that negates some AP.

Also lots of talents can add bonuses to damage (or/and Critical Damage) both from melee and ranged weapon.

Finally, if you roll 10 on damage dice - you have chance for Righteous Fury.

Edited by Jargal

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"Is there anything else my players can do if they find themselves against something their weapons can't damage?"

 

There's a few things. First off-- until you get into power armor, or daemonic enemies, your PC's should ALWAYS be able to at least have a chance of damaging an enemy with their starting gear-- pretty sure the weakest firearm you can start with is a compact Las pistol, which is 1d10+1 if I remember right. Assuming a max damage role, even if you don't score righteous fury, that's still 11 damage, which is enough to at least deal some damage to basically anything in the game, short of end-game enemies (in short, don't fling T4 enemies wearing Carapace Armor at your Rank 3 party). And failing that, righteous furies are a thing.

 

Additionally, there are plenty of ways of damaging enemies that circumvent damage reduction. Setting an enemy on fire (with flamers or the dirt cheap fire bombs), is all but guaranteed to kill any enemy that doesn't have Eldar-level Agility. And finding ways to inflict Fall Damage is another way you can do it, as fall damage is probably the absolutely most lethal thing in this entire game (Pretty sure you could kill a Power Armored Adeptus Astartes by making him fall more than 5 meters).

 

Loot is a finnicky thing for Dark Heresy, however, you could give them Good/Best quality versions of gear they already have, or a modified version of a weapon. One of Dark Heresy's "quirks" is that when it comes to ranged weapons it's really more about player preference than any individually "best" weapon. Honestly my group actually found that the autogun (ie. The weapon that the Assassin and Scum careers START with), is cost-for-cost, probably the most efficient firearm in the game (though that's largely due to its ability to fire Full-Auto, in DH, where Full-Auto weapons are broken a/f). 

 

Do you have the Inquisitor's Handbook? I'd take a gander through the weapon tables at the back. There's a LOT of weapons in there that are basically just modified versions of pre-existing ones (with slightly superior range at the cost of lesser damage, or more damage at the cost of smaller clips, etc. etc.)

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(Pretty sure you could kill a Power Armored Adeptus Astartes by making him fall more than 5 meters).

 

Damage from 6 meters is 1d10+5. Maximum damage from falling in DH1 - 1d10+20 from 25+ meters. Not too lethal for Astartes with his minimum TB6, 19 Wounds and True Grit.

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(Pretty sure you could kill a Power Armored Adeptus Astartes by making him fall more than 5 meters).

Damage from 6 meters is 1d10+5. Maximum damage from falling in DH1 - 1d10+20 from 25+ meters. Not too lethal for Astartes with his minimum TB6, 19 Wounds and True Grit.

Bit of hyperbole on my part, the point being to emphasize how ludicrous fall damage is. Falling from the height of an average ceiling is likely to do more damage to an an Acolyte than the majority of weapons in the game. Edited by ColArana

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I've seen how people managed to almost kill themselves by "clever" using of 1.5 m height...

 

The point being, that, in reference to his comment of: "What can my group do if they're stuck against an enemy that they can't hurt", finding a way to make them fall a distance greater than 3 meters, is absolutely a viable tactic, seeing how fall damage negates damage reduction better than almost any weapon in the game, and racks up extremely quickly.

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I agree that fall damage is lethal, but I think that this is actually very realistic.

For example you can be hit by a sword and be lightly wounded (if nothing vital is hit or if the hit did not pierce you), but if you fall from a height of 6 metres you are almost guaranteed to break a bone.

 

Note that a broken bone is equivalent to critical damage so I think that the rules are spot on on this.

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-About this loot though - are there any 'useful but not unbalancing' items I could stick in the caves for my players to find if they get through the cultists? I'm wary of giving them stuff that will make future games too easy, but do want to work in a feeling of reward. 

 

I compiled a list of 'pocket filler' items that you might find useful- check the ARCANA ARCHIVE link in my signature below.

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I'm wary of giving them stuff that will make future games too easy, but do want to work in a feeling of reward. 

One of the benefits of 40K is that you can use the Warp to justify pretty much anything. This means you can put great weapons and equipment in the hands of your adversaries, but not let your players have them because they are 'tainted'. However, you don't specifically say "No! No weapons for you!", you give them the choice - leave it and be fine, or take it and maybe it corrupts you.

In my campaign our Preacher very clearly found a long-slumbering Daemon Weapon. But their characters don't know its a Daemon Weapon and he just carries on using it, not caring that it's 'slightly evil', 'cause he's pure, right? He's a Preacher. He can fight the darkness with his own light. Or so he thinks... :)

BYE

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