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[Second Edition Release!] Dark Heresy (Warhammer 40,000) in Genesys

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On 5/29/2019 at 1:13 PM, LelouchVee said:
  • SYSTEM. All be damned, but the system in general works better for DH than the actual DH. In six hours of gameplay never was there a moment where a player felt as useless as they would be with a similar character in DH1e or 2e - they still failed miserably almost half the time, but it always made sense and led to tangible outcomes, propelling the story forwards. As a DM, it certainly helped me both keep up the desperate atmosphere and introduce just enough levity on the fly; while the players were definitely happy to feel their own agency even in failure, all by providing me with ideas on interpreting their results.  So - a definite 'Aye' for Narrative Dice System there.
  • BALANCE. Haven't had any significant issues in one session, although Psychic Powers in general felt a little bit too potent to me - a psyker managed to come out of Character Creation with 2 points in both Telekinesis and Pyromancy and one more in Telepathy, hasn't failed a single psychic check over the course of the game, Pushed 3 times on every check and never ran into PotW. Devotional Icon psychic implement might be just a touch too strong IMO.
  • EQUIPMENT. Apart from the aforementioned Icon, the only issue I could point to would probably be the Variable weapon trait - after the three-mode lasguns in OW, this felt a bit lackluster. I would honestly expand it to give another mode - adding Pierce (+)1 and Unreliable on top of the first two Variable settings.
  • CHARACTER OPTIONS. Not too many, not too few, nicely done in general. Characters felt really distinct just with their own spreads of skills and tier 1 talents, even without Elite Advances being in play. A minor gripe one of the players voiced though was the absence of the mechanical differentiation of the languages present in the original FFG WH40K line - Low and High Gothic, Hive and Ship dialects and so on. I personally wouldn't be really bothered with it, but the obvious solution to me would be to put one or two languages as starting languages for each of the Home World options and have a separate Tier 1 talent to acquire more. 
    What would be nice, though, are some new uses of Story Points. I personally like how every human archetype in Genesys Core has their own unique way of interacting with those, and feel kinda bummed about there being so little additional use for Story Points in DH/Genesys. If nothing else, I'd come up with some way to use Story Points as minor (and major in case of SoB and such) acts of faith.
  • NARRATIVE TOOLS. Sadly, we haven't had the chance to test any of those yet (even the Fear checks were all successful), but I'm already eyeing up the Influence/Renown mechanics to use later. I'd probably keep them behind the scenes for now, just to use as guidelines for myself.

Well, to sum it all up, it was quite an outstanding experience for both me and the players. The gang agreed to play for a few weeks and we'll see where it brings their little cell.

 

I'll take a look at the Devotional Icon. May even just scrap it if I can't think of a workable setup for it, it's hardly a crucial item. Dropping it down to one threat might be enough though. As for Variable, I'm wary of making it too granular, as that seems a bit against the spirit of Genesys, but I'll think about tweaking it a bit, thanks for the feedback.

As for languages I can't really see myself implementing them mechanically. The solution you've proposed is pretty solid and would work absolutely fine, but I don't see the need for it myself.

I have grand plans for an Acts of Faith system in the expansion I'm working on at the moment, so watch this space. Still figuring out what that'll look like (some unholy hybrid of Heroic Abilities and Force Powers probably), but they'll definitely add in some options.  As for other uses of Story Points, I think there's a solid few options in the talents selection, but I'd be open to more ideas. I did consider bringing the Role abilities from DH2e over in some way, but I decided against that in the end. Might be they could be some inspiration?

Great to hear someone's perspectives, it's really useful feedback! Thanks for posting, looking forward to hearing more. 

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Here, have another few examples.

BoImlgr.jpg

 

Gonna try to finish up this chapter re-formatting over the weekend, then do some minor tweaks to the rest of the formatting, add a few relevant items into the armoury and push out a new update.

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I definitely find that the quality of the conversion skyrocketed with this change. Hehehe.

If you like to do the reformatting, might I also suggest you have a look at the Home worlds? I think it would read more easily if you only had 2 home worlds per page, 1 per column. Sort of what you're trying to do with the careers. And speaking of the careers, I think that, with some minor modifications, you could also achieve a cleaner look. If you would flip through the document, having all the career banners at the top of the pages, for example, would give off a cleaner layout (or maybe one top, then bottom, then top again, and so forth).

Just some suggestions, of course, I realise not everyone has OCD. :P

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Posted (edited)

Okay I bit the bullet. Here's a sample of what I'm going for with the next release of the PDF.

LkNvf0w.jpg

Background elements and artwork are all on PDF layers, so as long as you use a PDF reader with support for layers, you can toggle them all of if you want to print (although naturally things might look a little odd).

The background assets are from Dark Heresy Second Edition (the real FFG one, that is). Upscaled nicely with Waifu2x.

Edited by Tom Cruise

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It looks great in color, but I would kill to have a printer friendly version. I’ve got like three or four copies printed to use at the table because I don’t let my players have devices, and that’s a lot of color to print. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, pxgamist said:

It looks great in color, but I would kill to have a printer friendly version. I’ve got like three or four copies printed to use at the table because I don’t let my players have devices, and that’s a lot of color to print. 

You can toggle off everything except the text itself courtesy of the layer support I've added in. Some pages will come out looking a little funky if you do that (because the text is still layed out to wrap around images, so you'll have a lot of weird white voids), but you also have the option to just disable the backgrounds and keep the art. 

EDIT: Here's an example with layers gradually switched off

uuDJcPP.jpg

gWLxM1f.jpg

A4FRqx5.png

 

Edited by Tom Cruise

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I'd appreciate that! I might post up each chapter as I complete converting them over to the new look (which may also involve some content changes), that way anyone's welcome to take a look. Easier than just dumping a whole book on people. 

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Here's a quick preview of how the Home Worlds look now. Lot of "new" (read: stolen from 40kRPG books) flavour text to add some context. The War Zone is the only one with a decent chunk of original content courtesy of not being represented in a 40kRPG book, so especially nitpick that one :P

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16YtYL56iCdRFvTtBNfav7942Oo1OUyn3/view

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Potential developer insight some of you might find interesting? I've been thinking about the 1500 thrones starting currency, and whether or not I should tweak that (I'm including starting gear with all classes as an optional rule which is why I've put this particular mechanic under a microscope). My gut feeling was this amount of thrones is way higher than what you have to work with in DH1e and 2e. The reality is... not quite that simple?

Did some quick math on what the starting gear for various classes/backgrounds in the two Dark Heresy editions would be, if you bought all that gear in Genesys DH.

DH1e Loadouts - 

  • Adept - 380
  • Cleric - 1105
  • Arbitrator - 1170
  • Guardsman - 2090 (Guardsmen get an absurd amount of guns in 1e)

DH2e Loadouts - 

  • Administratum - 690
  • Arbites - 1595
  • Ministorum - 2035 (Ministorum characters start with a servo-skull which is pretty pricy in Genesys)
  • Guard - 1345

Seems like on average 1500 might not be too off the mark? Bearing in mind in DH2e you could acquire extra gear on top of the gear your background gives you. 

Interested to hear people's thoughts, does 1500 feel appropriate?

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Tom Cruise said:

Interested to hear people's thoughts, does 1500 feel appropriate?

note from an outsider: are all the armor, guns and special equipment not actually owned by the imperium or the relevant organization rather than by the individual ?

it would be rather ridiculous if the average soldat would have to pay for guns and ammo to keep fighting (doing his job) from his own purse.

being a hired mercenary is a different story indead.

Edited by Terefang

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That's more what the Influence and Renown systems represent. They're ways you can get gear and support from the Imperium without shelling out your own money. 

Dark Heresy (especially 1e) tended to emphasize the idea what Acolytes are pretty under-supported and forced to rely on their own resources a lot of the time. They're disposable assets to the Inquisition, and the support they receive reflects that. It is definitely ridiculous that they're paying out of pocket to do work for the most well resourced organisation in the entire Imperium, but it's an intentional ridiculousness. 

As for starting gear the 1500 thrones is really just a mechanical thing. You can fluff the acquisition of that gear however you like; generally it's pretty likely it came from whatever professional background your character had before the Inquisition picked them up. 

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I think the 1500 thrones is fine as is. While it doesn't always make a lot of sense, it works from a mechanical point of view, like you said. Now personally, I'm a fan of the optional rule you mentioned by presenting players with optional loadouts. Reminds me of D&D 5e, where you can either select from a short list of gear and equipment, or go with the money and let them spend it however they like.

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Posted (edited)

Also, I've been going through those Home Worlds. It's going a bit slower than I'd like, but I thought I'd provide you with what I already found. Just note that I'm not a native English speaker, so some things that I suggest might not need any adjusting.

Agri-World

  • First sentence; 'provide the Imperium's countless billions of subjects one of their essential resources'. Should this be 'provide... with one of their essential resources'?

Death World

  • Third sentence; 'are some of the grittiest and, in some cases, battle-hardened citizens'. Should this be 'most battle-hardened'?
  • Fifth sentence; 'contain essential resources or occupy a strategic location'. I think there is a space too many before 'occupy'.
  • Survivor's Paranoia. Some of the spacing is weird, probably due to Justify Text? Is there a way to change this so that the text doesn't make these weird jumps in spacing across the document?

Feral World

  • First sentence; 'Feral Worlds are planets'. The word 'Worlds' should use a lower case w to be in line with the wording of the other Home Worlds.
  • Also first sentence; 'often much lower technologically than that of other'. I think this should be 'technologically advanced'.
  • Second sentence; 'now reduced to barbarism from environmental catastrophes'. Change the word 'from' to 'due to'?
  • Also second sentence; 'or other world shattering events'. This should be 'world-shattering'.
  • Second paragraph, second sentence; 'prowess of feral worlders makes these planets'. I think 'makes' should be 'make'.
  • Second paragraph, sixth sentence; 'Sometimes this can be incredibly useful, but sometimes these traditions'. I think you should change the second 'sometimes' to 'other times'.
  • Vicious Warriors. Does this bonus also apply to blunt weapons, like clubs? That seems a bit strange. Might I suggest maybe changing this bonus to a simple +1 extra damage when using Low-Tech weapons? Or maybe having them add a Boost Die when making a Melee check with Low-Tech weapons?

Feudal World

  • Second column, second sentence; there is an error symbol in the word 'fittings'.

Forge World

  • Second paragraph, first sentence; 'A forge world is not one, but many, societies pressed together'. I think you should remove both commas there, or at least the second one.

Fortress World

  • Fifth sentence; 'Every citizen is a solider, trained to fight'. 'solider' should be 'soldier'.
  • Sixth sentence; Cadia. Since Cadia is used as an example, might I suggest changing the sentence to bring it up to current events? Cadia is no longer a planet since it's been completely destroyed. Maybe change to something like: "Perhaps the best-known fortress world was the planet of Cadia - a world that stood at the end of the Cadian Gate against the forces of the Eye of Terror, but which was ultimately shattered by Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade."
  • Seventh sentence; 'The Imperial Guard'ss best and most celebrated'. There's is one s too many after 'Guard'.

Frontier World

  • First column, last sentence (continued in second column); 'This also is true for those twisted in body as well as mind, with physical mutants both subtle and gross untamed, especially in wilderness areas.' The underlined bit seems a bit weird to me. Might I suggest changing this entire sentence to something like: 'This is also true for those twisted in body as well as mind, with mutations both subtle and gross afflicting the living, especially in wilderness areas.'
  • Second column, third sentence; there are error symbols in the word 'offspring'.
  • Rely on None But Yourself. Should this be a lower case b on 'But'?

 

That's it for now. Next up is Garden World. I'll keep you updated when I make progress. :)

Edited by Veruca

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Do you think you can put a PDF table of contents/bookmarks into the next release? It's been very helpful at the table with the last release.

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@Veruca Thanks for that proofreading, that's a big help. I've made those tweaks.

 

9 hours ago, pxgamist said:

Do you think you can put a PDF table of contents/bookmarks into the next release? It's been very helpful at the table with the last release.

There should be a table of contents and PDF bookmarks in the current release. The bookmarks don't show up in Google Docs generally, buy if you download the file they'll be there. Definitely a feature I intend to continue. 

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Posted (edited)

Chapter I - Creating an Acolyte has now been totally redone in the new look. Complete with a lot of quality improvements in the actual content.

  • Everything has a lot more text now; home worlds and careers get more explanation, and the steps of character creation are detailed rather than glossed over.
  • Careers have been renamed and mostly redesigned. I've gone with much more generic names, primarily lifted from DH2e with some tweaks. They all have a set of suggested talents and gear now, like in Shadow of the Beanstalk.
  • Two new careers added; the Fanatic and the Ace. 
  • Step 1 - Determine Background has been added, with some useful questions to consider when making a new Acolyte.

Let me know if there's anything looking a bit off here, or tweaks you'd like to see made, or typos, or whatever else. Very open to feedback, although I'm quite happy with the way this is shaping up.

- LINK -

Oh also, for proofreading purposes, you can actually comment directly on the Google Drive version of the PDF, if that's easier for anyone.

Edited by Tom Cruise

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