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

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I’m trying to make sense of conversions between the Dark Heresy Throne economy and the Genesys Throne economy. 

It seems as if most weapons are 3-5x as expensive, give or take, though things like Stimms are the same price. (On a related note, are Stimms supposed to replace Painkillers from Genesys core or supplement them?)

What ought incomes look like for Dark Heresy Genesys PCs? I just finished my first adventure and my PCs are asking what sort of money they are making.  

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Posted (edited)

Here's a link to the updated and hopefully complete Armoury chapter. By far the biggest part of the book so definitely good to have done. Here's a quick summary of key changes.

- Link -

Quote

•    All content from Liber Heresius ported over to the Core Book and edited to suit
•    Various updates to weaponry
   o    Cumbersome values for several super-heavy Gunnery weapons increased. You pretty much need to be wearing Power Armour, exploiting weapon attachments, stacking Bulging Biceps talent ranks or pumping Brawn to be able to use these effectively. This is by design, carrying around a lascannon is pretty exceptional.
   o    The Backpack quality was added and applied to relevant weapons. Backpack Ammo Supply attachment now simply grants this quality.
   o    Added a special rule to las weapons allowing their ammunition to be recharged at power sources.
   o    Crossbow special rules re-worded for clarity.
   o    Added the multi-melta. It’s as absurd you’d expect.
•    New cybernetics, including the Servo Arm, Injector Rig, Chem Gland
•    Added a variety of Psychic Implements to improve gear options for psykers and give their late-game attacks some more bite.

Not very proofread yet, let me know if there's any issues. And let me know if anything is glaringly missing, I can probably squeeze it in if I don't think it's expansion material. 

Edited by Tom Cruise

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Potentially bad idea I've had, wanted to throw it out to get some opinions.

Dark Heresy (the original game, not this hack) had a whole host of Minor Powers. Stuff that didn't fall into the five disciplines, but still had some pretty useful, if niche effects. Previously I'd been governing these with the Utility power, but it's pretty limiting in its scope. So I had the idea to convert some of those Minor Powers into talents. Here's an example of what I mean -

jpiArJi.png

 

What do people think of this concept? Workable, or is it pushing Genesys' magic system in a direction it's not really meant to go? 

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6 hours ago, Tom Cruise said:

What do people think of this concept? Workable, or is it pushing Genesys' magic system in a direction it's not really meant to go? 

What is a Genesys Talent anyhow ? An Exploit to allow something to happen not allowed by simple rules as written !

 

I am doing a similar thingy with DnD4E "Channel Divine Power".

T

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Well I'm glad you like it because I went and rounded out the list, I think I can call this done. Not sure on Tier placements, anything feel wrong? Might need to view the image in a new tab to read the text.
 

Wm2FNWG.jpg

 

Goal was basically to adapt every psychic power which couldn't adequately be portrayed using the standard powers. So some minor powers from original DH got the boot because the existing powers could cover them. And I ported in some discipline powers like Gate of Infinity  that just don't fit in the existing structure.

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I made a couple changes or clarifications to Psychic Powers in the game I am running, some of which you may want to borrow.

First, I said that unless you have at least one Psychic Skill as a class skill, you aren't a psyker. You can have more than one (and I would let people add a single psychic skill as a class skill for a Level 2 Talent), but you need a psychic skill as a class skill to be a psyker.

Second, I said that for each rank you have in a psychic skill, you unlock one broad category of powers associated with that skill, as described in the attached PDF. At Rank 5, you have access to every conceivable power. It hasn't come up in play, but I might let you use powers you don't know at an increased difficulty.

I did this mostly to preserve some of the classic 40k power names as a thing that matters in play, and also so that there is a little more scale to the scope of powers psykers have. 

This is really a sketched out version of a house rule, but it's at least grist for thought.

GDH - Psychic Powers.pdf

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The other house rule I use -- and that you might consider including as an optional rule in the main document -- is about lethality, since vanilla Genesys has very different 'feel' in terms of lethality than Dark Heresy does. Here's what I do:

 

Bloodied But Unbroken

PCs and Nemesis do not fall unconscious until they have taken twice their Wound Threshold in Wounds.

 

As a practical question, this increases the lethality of the game -- acolytes are still fighting after they hit their Wound Threshold, which means they are taking a lot more Critical Injuries than they otherwise might.

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On 5/3/2019 at 4:23 PM, pxgamist said:

I’m trying to make sense of conversions between the Dark Heresy Throne economy and the Genesys Throne economy. 

It seems as if most weapons are 3-5x as expensive, give or take, though things like Stimms are the same price. (On a related note, are Stimms supposed to replace Painkillers from Genesys core or supplement them?)

What ought incomes look like for Dark Heresy Genesys PCs? I just finished my first adventure and my PCs are asking what sort of money they are making.  

I wouldn't use the original Dark Heresy as a baseline at all, honestly. Most items in this conversion were priced using Genesys prices as a baseline, with some modifiers thrown in. Weapons, Armour etc are all priced using the Genesys formulas. 

As for incomes? Honestly I always thought the idea of an "income" for Acolytes kind of silly from a lore perspective, but as for how much players should be making.... I don't have a great answer right now, because it's actually a part of the system I'm reworking for second edition. Influence and earning Thrones are getting a serious look into and I'm still feeling out what that'll look like mechanically. Generally for now I'd advise just looking at how fast you want your characters acquiring gear and reward appropriately, it's hard to give an exact guideline here because everyone has wildly different opinions on what a Dark Heresy campaign "should" look like.

Stimms aren't meant to replace Painkillers. Painkillers also explicitly aren't made available in any form here; access to such easy quick healing feels like it undermines the tone quite a bit. Open to feedback on that though, I haven't had much opportunity to feel out how it works in play, considering Genesys is usually balanced around access to those items.

 

13 hours ago, pxgamist said:

I made a couple changes or clarifications to Psychic Powers in the game I am running, some of which you may want to borrow.

First, I said that unless you have at least one Psychic Skill as a class skill, you aren't a psyker. You can have more than one (and I would let people add a single psychic skill as a class skill for a Level 2 Talent), but you need a psychic skill as a class skill to be a psyker.

Second, I said that for each rank you have in a psychic skill, you unlock one broad category of powers associated with that skill, as described in the attached PDF. At Rank 5, you have access to every conceivable power. It hasn't come up in play, but I might let you use powers you don't know at an increased difficulty.

I did this mostly to preserve some of the classic 40k power names as a thing that matters in play, and also so that there is a little more scale to the scope of powers psykers have. 

This is really a sketched out version of a house rule, but it's at least grist for thought.

GDH - Psychic Powers.pdf 95.03 kB · 3 downloads

The class skill caveat is something I'd considered, but I didn't feel it was super necessary in the end. Largely a taste thing though so it's a pretty reasonable houserule. I do think one single career skill for a Tier 2 talent is a bit on the wimpy side for a T2 talent, considering in FFG's own settings, getting a career skill is a Tier 1 talent *and* usually comes with some other side benefit as well.


As for the more progression based system of psychic powers, it's not a bad idea by any means but not something I could see myself adapting. One thing I'm aiming to do with this conversion is stick reasonably close to Genesys' mechanics, I don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel too much. 

 

13 hours ago, pxgamist said:

The other house rule I use -- and that you might consider including as an optional rule in the main document -- is about lethality, since vanilla Genesys has very different 'feel' in terms of lethality than Dark Heresy does. Here's what I do:

 

Bloodied But Unbroken

PCs and Nemesis do not fall unconscious until they have taken twice their Wound Threshold in Wounds.

 

As a practical question, this increases the lethality of the game -- acolytes are still fighting after they hit their Wound Threshold, which means they are taking a lot more Critical Injuries than they otherwise might.

This is a solid concept, but one thing I'd wonder about is how much it'd drag out the length of combat. Genesys' snappy, quick combat is one of its greatest benefits as a system so I'm a bit wary of anything which drags that out further, but increasing the amount of critical wounds going around would help out tone.

For what it's worth the balancing efforts I've made in terms of tone mostly sit in the gear. Vicious ranks are thrown around much more liberally than in most Genesys settings, and a lot of weapons have very low crit ratings. Plus damage numbers are generally much higher than you'd see in a lot of Genesy settings. That plus the lack of easy access to healing means combat is a much riskier prospect than in many Genesys settings, although the tone is still a fair bit more "heroic" than your typical 40kRPG. 

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All of those design notes are very helpful!

I might make the Painkillers one directly apparent in 2nd Edition, because the Genesys core says that Painkillers are available in every setting and are necessary for game balance. 

We are several sessions into the double wounds rule. Because damage is high, it doesn’t seem to slow combat particularly — mostly, it makes it less bouncy. It’s hard to die in Genesys and so without it, people end up unconscious a lot but not with that many critical injuries. I wouldn’t make it a default rule, but it does seem to play nicely. Some of that may be because I’ve been using Painkillers as written, so Wounds are a lot more transient. I don’t know what the effect of eliminating Painkillers will be. 

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Posted (edited)

I've added in a note about Painkillers to the Armoury chapter, thanks for the suggestion. I'll think about the double wounds rule, I've considered adding in an optional rules section where some of the stuff I don't want to bake into the rules permanently could sit. 

Sorry for the relative radio silence, been pretty busy! Here's a shiny new set of mechanics to chew on - Downtime Encounters! These provide a mechanical framework for handling the in-between times in campaigns; void travel, breaks between missions, waiting for plans to fall into place, etc. During these times, players can choose from a few different activities, letting them get some mechanical benefits from how they spend their time. Could dedicate the time to earning some money on the side, but then you're neglecting to focus on that critical injury which has been nagging at you. You could try to focus on building up your connections with the local nobles, but then you're neglecting that gradually creeping Corruption score.

KaEAPS9.png

 

Let me know what you think! These mechanics already existed in some capacity; Trauma and Corruption recovery were both avaliable in their own respective chapters, I've just centralised them and added more options. 

Edited by Tom Cruise

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Those downtime rules are great!

Having played with similar downtime rules in other games, there are two things I might consider:

1.) Some mechanism for handling 'long downtimes' more easily.

Often you might want to say 'several months have passed', and tracking three or four months  week by week can end up being tedious and a little time consuming.

A thought might be a sidebar like

"Extended Downtime Encounters"

When the Acolytes will be idle for a month or more, the GM can decide an Extended Downtime Encounter has occurred.  Treat Extended Downtime Encounters like regular Downtime Encounters, except that an Acolyte can attempt two different Downtime Actions during the encounter. For every month of downtime the Acolytes have, they upgrade any check made as part of their Downtime Action once. For example, a character using the 'Gaining Influence' action during a two month period of Downtime upgrades their skill check twice when rolling to gain Influence.

I don't know if that math works right, but it's at least a stab.

2.) Multiple downtime actions at a cost

In shorter periods of downtime, you may want characters to be able to push themselves to do multiple things. One option might be to allow Acolytes to attempt a second action during a Downtime Encounter at the cost of starting the next session at 1/2 strain. (Or something; there are some potential pacing issues to strain penalties like that.)

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The suggestion for Extended Downtime Encounters is really good, I've adopted it pretty much exactly but with some slight tweaks to wording. Thanks for that!

As for multiple downtime actions it's not a bad idea by any means, but I'm wary of clogging up this system with too many mechanics, it's meant to be a fairly lightweight addition to the system, I don't wanna make it too involved. Definitely a solid concept though, may end up implementing it anyway, I'll think on it.

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Yeah, I wrote and deleted the multiple downtime action point a couple times before I hit send. It may be that it is unnecessary extra work — in a longer period, Extended Downtime does just fine, and in a high-pressure situation it may be that the GM should be using something other than the Downtime rules. 

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Posted (edited)

Added a little something to the Character Creation chapter to give GMs a little guidance on high level games.

Credit where credit's due I 100% ripped the idea off @Cannibal Halfling's Genesys Mecha stuff.

FeqLMqR.png

Book's very nearly done, really just proofreading and doing final tweaks at this point. Can expect a release within the next couple of days at this point. 

Edited by Tom Cruise

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Some thoughts on the Narrative Tools chapter, which I think is generally great:

1.) Influence Increases, Generally

I'm not excited by the phrase 'debts and favors', because I think it implies that the Acolytes owe the debt, rather than being owed a debt.  Maybe calling that 'Favors Earned' or 'Favors Owned' or something like that would be better? Similarly, I might call 'Connections' something like 'Connections Made' or 'Connections Formed'.

In general, the line between a Connection and a Debt & Favor is a little thin, also -- when you do a favor for someone, haven't you made them a connection?

Maybe the three categories really should be 'Individuals', 'Organizations', and 'Inquisition' -- so we are really always talking about some sort of deed, the question is just who it benefits. Making a connection with a town Ministorum preacher is 5 Influence, as is helping the local Munitorum, as is solving a small problem that barely rates Inquisition attention. Or something. If you like, I can take a stab at a similar but differently organized chart.

2.) Influence Increase Table.

Aiding in the successful offensive of an Imperial Guard platoon does not seem to be worth 75 Influence. A platoon is like 40 Guardsmen -- if this is something that is 'Planetary Governor' scale, we are talking more like 'Aiding the successful offensive of an Imperial Guard army'.

3.) Requisitioning Support & Strategic Assets

I think the Requisitioning Support and Strategic Assets sections need a little clarification, since many of the things granted by Requisition Support might be given to Acolytes in the ordinary course of a mission. I might rephrase the first two paragraphs to say something like:

"While Renown provides a steady supply of rewards and recognition to Acolytes, sometimes it becomes necessary to demand support, exploiting Inquisitorial authority and reputation to secure goods and services needed to thwart heresy or pursue their personal agenda."

"Influence can be used as a currency, “spending” it to access equipment, services and support above and beyond that given to them by their Inquisitor. This represents Acolytes accessing Inquisitorial coffers, pulling political strings and cashing in favours and debts." 

"Acolytes do not need to spend Influence to requisition support when they are given resources by the Inquisition, but they do need to requisition support when they want more resources than they have been assigned. For example, if their Inquisitor assigns the Acolytes to accompany a squad of Arbitrators into the Underhive, the Acolytes do not need to requisition the Arbitrators' support. If, however, the Acolytes decide they would also like an Inquisitorial Stormtrooper kill team for backup, Influence needs to be spent."

Something like that I think emphasizes that spending Influence to requisition support is not required for their baseline goals, just for "extra" support or in pursuit of their personal agendas.

Similar language probably should be added to the 'Strategic Assets' renown boon, maybe a final sentence like:

"Strategic assets represent boons directed by the party; while they may have access to similar assets when their mission demands, the Strategic Asset boon allows a party to acquire or access an asset beyond those granted temporarily to them in the course of their duties."

----

Anyways, I really am digging this and I can't wait for the release!

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Really solid feedback in general, thanks for giving it a look!

1) Generally some pretty solid points. I think a little fuzziness between categories isn't the end of the world, but the point about double dipping between favours and connections is a pretty solid point. I think your suggestion for how to break it up is pretty workable, would only take some minor shuffling. I'll get onto that, should be pretty easy to do. 

2) Fixed! I just used the wrong terminology there, I was going for regiment, which I think makes the point better. 

3) This wording is all pretty much perfect, I've basically adopted it verbatim. Adds some much needed clarification, thanks for the help! 

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When reviewing the Armoury section, it seems like melee weapon prices are too high.

First, some weapons -- like knives -- don't seem to match the Item Creation guidelines in Genesys Core on p. 199.

- A knife is Crit 3 (150) and Damage 4 (100), and melee (50%) but it costs 150, not 125.

- A spear is Crit 3 (150, Damage 6 (250), Defensive 1 (50, Pierce 2 (200) and melee (50%), but it costs 390, not 325.

Second, the Genesys core rules Item Creation guidelines generate melee weapons much more expensive than the examples Genesys gives in their own books.

- Genesys core prices an ordinary knife at 25, despite the calculation coming out to 125 (Damage 4 - 100, Crit 3 - 150, Melee 50%). (Genesys core, p. 125.)

- Shadow of the Beanstalk prices Brass Knuckles at 40, but the calculation for brass knuckles is 150. (Damage 4 - 100, Disorient 3 - 150, Crit 4 - 50, Brawl 50%). The Armoury chapter prices them at 180.

Realms of Terrinoth -- despite being a setting where melee weapons are the state of the art -- also has cheaper melee weapons. SWRPG also has cheaper low-tech melee weapons, listing a combat knife at a cost of 25 and a truncheon at a cost of 15.

Most importantly, the 'smell test' on weapons just doesn't seem to add up. At 390 -- or 325! -- a spear, one of the simplest weapons known to man, is more expensive than an Autopistol, which is essentially an Uzi or Mac 10. At 150, a knife costs the same amount as a light crossbow.

Here is what I would propose:

Reduce costs for Low-Tech Melee Weapons to roughly 1/5 to 1/4 of their current costs on worlds that have access to high technology. This brings them roughly in line with the weapons listed in other Genesys books. I would propose the following costs:

Axe 50

Brass Knuckles 25

Greataxe 75

Greatsword 75

Knife 25

Maul 40

Shield 40

Spear 40

Staff 25

Sword 50

Truncheon 15

Warhammer 100

Whip 100

I didn't touch the Brazier or the Hunting Lance, because they are not actually low-tech weapons.  To be honest, these prices are a sort of smell test -- they're not perfect, but they "feel" much closer.

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I'm honestly shocked no one addressed this sooner because now I look at it I realise some pretty massive mistakes were made. 

Somehow I never noticed during the design of the initial set of weapons that you're meant to divide the cost by half. So they were all working on the base cost; double what they should actually be . But all the weapons in this conversion have a cost modifier applied to them, based on class. Below are the formulas I used.

  • Low-Tech Weapons = .60 x Genesys Price
  • Power Weapons = 1.5 x Genesys Price
  • Force Weapons = 2 x Genesys Price
  • Chain = .70 x Genesys Price 
  • Shock = Normal

If I go back in and apply the 50 percent reduction then the modifiers, we get something a bit more reasonable.

  • Axe 150
  • Brass Knuckles 90
  • Greataxe 150
  • Greatsword 150
  • Knife 75
  • Maul 90

Etc. You get the picture. The actual prices in the book have some rounding applied too, for what it's worth, and a mix of designer discretion fuzziness and genuine human error.

I do agree low-tech weapons especially could be reduced further. If I set the modifier to .30 x Genesys Price, it'd get pretty close to your figures, which I think would make sense.

Anyway there's a little insight into my design process and some of the mistakes which have taken over a year to notice! I'll get onto rebalancing the costs before release, shouldn't be a huge job. 

 

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I think .3 x Genesys price (which is really .15 x Genesys price, accounting for the 50% reduction) works out about just right. 

If you want to further differentiate, you could make “simple manufacture” low tech weapons .1 (knives, spears, truncheons). 

Now that I see your formula, you might consider raising chain weapons to a flat .5 or keeping them at .7. Chain weapons are pretty deadly. 

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Posted (edited)

Here's a first stab at rebalancing the weapon costs (also made a few minor tweaks to a couple weapon profiles, which naturally jostled the cost around a little).

Previous costs provided for some comparison.

jmGUWRT.png

For those curious how the sausage is made, here's the formulas I used this time around -

Low-Tech = 0.3 x Base Price
Chain = 1.0 x Base Price
Shock = 1.2 x Base Price
Power = 1.5 x Base Price
Force = 10 x Base Price (No cost added to Base Price for Force Quality)

"Base Price" here being the cost Genesys' item creation guidelines give you, including the 50% reduction.

Edited by Tom Cruise

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That chart is looking great!

A couple of small thoughts:

  • Maybe switch 'warhammer' and 'maul' -- mauls are typically two-handed weapons, and while historically a warhammer could be either one or two handed most commonly in RPG usage a warhammer is a one-handed weapon. 
  • I think spears are too expensive, which is really a question of them being too good. Maybe make them Crit 4, Defensive 1, Pierce 1? They then become Damage 7 (250) + Crit 4 (50) + Defensive 1 (50) x .5 x .3, for a total cost of 55 Thrones. That means a spear is cheaper than a sword, which feels about right. (Separately, I believe we are supposed to be counting Pierce as part of damage in cost calculation up to Pierce 5, based on GCB p. 200.)

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I've been counting Pierce as a regular ranked weapon quality (so 100 per rank, and Breach as 1000 per rank), but I can see what you mean, the text does seem to suggest you could/should factor it into the damage calculations. I think I'm pretty happy with the numbers my current method puts out though, doesn't seem overly problematic balance wise.

I can see your point on spears feeling a bit pricy, but dropping them to crit 4 doesn't make a ton of sense to me, that'd put them on par with a lot of blunt weapons which feels odd to me. Dropping the Pierce down to 1 seems reasonable enough, though. 

As for warhammers and mauls, you're absolutely right in the real world context, but I think in the context of Warhammer 40k setting material mauls are usually portrayed as single handed weapons while warhammers are usually two handed (typically in the form of power/force weapons, you don't see many mundane hammers in general oddly enough). 

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