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Jeff Tibbetts

Lack of advancement options til rank 2?

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 Hey all. I'm new here. I've been running RT for a couple of months, and there's something a bit strange happening. As far as the rules are concerned, in most career classes a good deal of the advancements are taken at character creation. That means that just about everybody is just buying up Stats to make up the 2,000 points needed to advance to rank 2. Here's my problem. If you are virtually REQUIRED to take every single advancement you can at rank 1, and then boost a couple of stats, it seems to limit the ability for a player to modify his Explorer to his personal taste. That is, every Void Master will essentially take just about the exact same advancements before they hit rank 2. That's a bit lame, for lack of a better term. I would like to infuse a little variety. Some of my players have very clear ideas about what they want to do with their character, and I'm inclined to give them the option to pay a bit extra for Elite Advances, but it seems awfully early in the game for this sort of juggling. Have you guys had a problem with this? If so, how did you handle it? Or should I just wait for rank 2 to hit and then it will begin to branch out  a bit?

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to provide!

 

 

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We have a system in place that allows our PCs to purchase advances not normally availble to them. Basically they can buy ahead (i.e. buy from their own class but from levels higher than they have access to) at a cost of +100xp per additional level.

They can buy cross class which allows them to buy from another class of appropriate level at double the listed cost.

And finally they can buy ahead on cross class. This costs (base+100xp for each additional rank) * 2 (for the cross class)

 

I've found my players don't use it heavily but it does get used. Buying cross class allows them access to a LOT of advances, it just costs them more.

 

Obviously I limited techpriest, navigator and psyker stuff.

 

I find this allows for significant variation and customisation, as well as burning through that xp to rank 2 quite quickly.

 

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DarknessEternal said:

They can take characteristics.

 

That aside, why wouldn't everyone take every skill available to them?  Skills in RT are more valuable than skills in almost any other RPG.

 

Quoted for Truth, and its one of the things that most Starting RT characters are weak in. Make a 5000xp DH character, and then compare them to a starting RT character. In raw stats the RT character will stand out, but all of the DH characters will be able to do more , and probably more reliably, than its RT counterpart. Skills are power, and Advanced Skills are more powerfull still. Even if you don't take the masteries, you should always grab the skills just to be able to make the rolls.

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Thanks for the help, folks. I guess my problem isn't that there's not enough for them to purchase, it's that all the characters will have the same stuff at the low ranks. It's just not that... interesting. You know? 

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Jeff Tibbetts said:

Thanks for the help, folks. I guess my problem isn't that there's not enough for them to purchase, it's that all the characters will have the same stuff at the low ranks. It's just not that... interesting. You know? 

That's why Into the Storm exists - it provides a lot of new options for all characters. It'll be out soon (everything I've heard says next month), and while I might be biased (having worked on it), I still can't recommend it highly enough.

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For my groups Rank 1 has always been the time that they had most of their elite advances requests to represent their character backgrounds. In fact, it is usually the only place I allow elite advances unless they really go out of their way.

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Jeff Tibbetts said:

 Hey all. I'm new here. I've been running RT for a couple of months, and there's something a bit strange happening. As far as the rules are concerned, in most career classes a good deal of the advancements are taken at character creation. That means that just about everybody is just buying up Stats to make up the 2,000 points needed to advance to rank 2. Here's my problem. If you are virtually REQUIRED to take every single advancement you can at rank 1, and then boost a couple of stats, it seems to limit the ability for a player to modify his Explorer to his personal taste. That is, every Void Master will essentially take just about the exact same advancements before they hit rank 2. That's a bit lame, for lack of a better term. I would like to infuse a little variety. Some of my players have very clear ideas about what they want to do with their character, and I'm inclined to give them the option to pay a bit extra for Elite Advances, but it seems awfully early in the game for this sort of juggling. Have you guys had a problem with this? If so, how did you handle it? Or should I just wait for rank 2 to hit and then it will begin to branch out  a bit?

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to provide!

 

 

 

You're probably using the XP advancement incorrectly.  An RT starts with 4,500 XP already spent and 500 extra to spend on advances or characteristic advances So now you've spent 5,000 total.  To get to Rank 2, you need to spend 2,000 more for a total of 7,000.  Taking the simple advance in each characteristic is going to cost you 2,300 to 2,700 points.  There you are...already at Rank 2 and you havent even bought an additional single skill or talent.  So what do you mean you have to take every talent???

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My navigator spent:

  • on talents and skills (not all, but most). 
  • on ability increases (Int, Per, WP, Fel, Tg)
  • on elite advances (Scrutiny, so I would have something to do in ship combat and it fit the character concpet) and Barter (becasue it was central to my character concept as well) - we tend to be pretty easy going for advances when they involve Basic Skills (they are, after all, Basic)

And now we're Rank 2 and all is right in the world. Besides, I think its just the nature of the Rogue TRader game: a Navigator /Arch-Militant/etc. is meant to fulfill a certain role in a way which is much more narrowly defined and expected than a character in Dark Heresy, for instance. There's not that much wiggle room in the skill array of mnay of the careers. Charater comes through in role-playing.

And of course, now there is Into the Storm. (Must get.)

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There's another issue - many of the careers simply don't have access to skills (and occasionally talents) at rank 1 which you might reasonably expect them to be able to take right out of the gate.

Example: Explorators do not have any access to pistol proficiency until Rank 2. They know how to use plasma guns and power axes, but hand them a laspistol and they'll be like "I don't understand, how do you use this?"

Example: Void-Masters (the class of choice for characters wishing to play naval officer types) cannot acquire the Command skill until Rank 2.

Example: Rank 1 Rogue Traders are bad at lying.

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I'm sorry to necro this thread but I am wondering if IttS did fix this issue with the limited skills and talent choices you have during rank 1.

I'm playing an Explorator and find it difficult to believe that you can't make any difference on this level, except if you wish to make troll stat upgrades.

In my case I have taken two times Int, simple BS and Awareness, Security, Secret Tongue RT and Trade Armourer.

Now I feel like to either invest 500 points or do unfavourable picks.

Are you experiencing the same issues or did the starter packs solve this?

I misunderstood the system as I thought rank 2 is from 5000 to 7500 XP. So I didn't look at the starter packs and went for 1 good quality bionic implant :MIU.

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There are few alternate ranks at rank 1, but most of them suck (except for those for astropaths or navigators). Those interesting start at rank 3 or 4.

 

The best thing, the ItS does is alternate starting motivations, lure of the void options, homeworlds etc. Those are awesome, and with them, you can make very different characters at the creation.

 

Investing your XP at rank 1 in stats is always a good idea.

Edited by Amaimon

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Stats are always the best thing to advance early on as by improving one stat you improve a bunch of skills (even the untrained basic ones), then start to specialize in skills that help you contribute to the party of shore up gaps in the party's skills.

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From an optimization standpoint and - most often - from a character concept standpoint, Rank 1 Alternate Career Ranks are almost always superior to the base Rank 1, simply because you run out of options on almost every Rank 1 Advancement list and then you are forced to take expensive Characteristics Advancements that may not at all fit in with your concept.

The decision to basically advance the starting kits by taking from the Rank 1 (or rather, include the starting kits in the Rank 1 advancements) always vexed me. It really makes no sense.

I'd much rather just say that they are allowed to take from Both Rank 1 and Rank 2 until they have enough experience to advance to Rank 3. It doesn't solve the issue of Rank 1 Alternate Careers being a lot better than whatever Rank 1 usually offers, but it does help with Advancement starvation as part of a regular Career's Rank 1.

I also loved the idea of purchasing Advancement ahead of rank by adding +100xp for each rank above your current, or doubling the cost cross-Career.

There are few alternate ranks at rank 1, but most of them suck (except for those for astropaths or navigators). Those interesting start at rank 3 or 4.

The best thing, the ItS does is alternate starting motivations, lure of the void options, homeworlds etc. Those are awesome, and with them, you can make very different characters at the creation.

Investing your XP at rank 1 in stats is always a good idea.

Objectively not true. The vast majority of Alternate Rank 1's are better than the base Rank 1's, simply because they have a much wider array of potential Skills and Talents for you to pick up. Also, strictly from a value-by-xp basis, shoring up on skills are almost always better than increasing your Characteristics, unless you are specifically trying to boost chosen skills or abilities that you are otherwise unable to advance at this time (Psykers, for example).

The Into the Storm Origin Path options are indeed great, to the point where some of it might even be considered broken, and I really do like what they tried to do with it, and you end up with overall more interesting characters - or at least I think so.

But again, strictly from an optimization viewpoint, the Origin Path options in Into the Storm *really* exacerbates the whole "Rank 1 Advancement starvation"-issue, because if you burn enough experience taking those alternate origins, running out of viable advancement options within Rank 1 is a very real, very possible thing to do, resulting in you either having to wait forever to be able to take Characteristics Advancements at the end of a Characteristics you want (just accumulating experience to afford the entire line of Willpower as a Psyker, for example) or ending up burning yet more experience on Characteristics you don't actually want. Just to be able to make it to Rank 2 so you can continue taking advances that matters to you.

Edited by Fgdsfg

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Having had a gamne and group that started at rank 1 I would never do it again, the bare minimum starting point I'd ever use in the future would be the midpoint between rank 2 and rank 3. In my personal opinion rank 4 is when a RT character really comes together, although jumping directly to that point might be a bit hamfisted so in the future I'd probably start at rank 3 if I was dealing with experienced players.

 

Unless I was doing an all ork game then I'd start at 4, an all ork game is all about being an overpowered jerkass Mary Sue and rank 4 is when you can start taking the fun alt paths.

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By saying that most of rank 1 alternate ranks suck, I meant from the character concept point of view. Not from game point of view.

 

Options are:

 

Drusian Charlatan - false priest, seller of relics, not my type

 

Manhunter - solid option for Arch Militants, I like it

 

Seccessionist - I really like this carrer, yet it may be hard to fit in the team plus Imperium hates you

 

Drusian Adherent - some religious fanatic with nice acces to flame weapons at rank 1, and usless skill you'll never use - might be hard to fit in typical RT team obsesssed with everything xenos and forbidden

 

Navis Scion - ok, but not for renegade houses :(

 

Transsubstantial Initiate - being crazy, sometimes does pay of! TWo additional psychic powers, AND  Psychic Dyscipline at rank 1, wow

 

Reliquarist - has some array of might-be-usefull skills, but come on. A guy who seeks lost relics, does not fit in most RT campaigns.

 

Adherent of Aleynikov - Feral priest, nice medicae and two faith talents at rank one seems like a nice choice, but you are tribal lover

 

Red Consecrator - Righteous Fury on 9,10 is something reaaaly awesome, but your psykers and navigators and all that look at him in a weird way will test that ability on themselves.

 

Order of the Hammer Initiate - another broken thing in this damned book - 5 Scholastic Lores, Infused Knowledge, Hardy, 4 SC, Logic, Total Recall, Scrutiny blablabla - you are mighty pious scholar - but why that damned graphic

 

Elutrian Devotee - Navigators are the shieeet! Nice set of skills and talents, and bonus Navigator power - only for a price of being hunted by Astropaths and Inquisition - what's not to like?

 

Witness of Dusk - Haaarlock, Unnatural Perception, Unnatural Senses, nice background.

 

So there are few interesing choices, but for some I can't force myself to like them, and wouldn't play them even with the benefits.

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For Rank 1 I also allow people to take Alternate Ranks from Dark Heresy as long as I approve from them or they make an effort explaining how the background makes sense for their character. Then I just increase the XP of everything.

 

100XP=>200XP

200XP=>500XP

300XP=>750XP

Anything Else=>1000XP.

 

It gave us a Factor of the Lathes Explorator that worked out really well in the long run.

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So back to my hijackign this thread  ;)

 

My current characteristic line (upgrades taken) on Rank 1 with 6000 XP spent:

WS 36, BS 43 (s), S 31, T 45 (s), Ag 36, Int 57 (s,i), Per 34, WP 34, Fel 41

so in total (700xp) on chracteristic advances

 

My character is a Explorator from a Forge World (I took +3 on WS), Scapegrace, Regenade Free Thinker, Press-Ganged (Command & CL Tech) and Fortune.

For more background on my Grugius character look here.

I also invested (200xp) in a good MIU.

 

Further Skills taken are:

Awareness (100xp), SL Astromancy (100xp), Secret Tongue RT,Tech (200xp), Trade (Armourer) (100xp), Security (200xp)

 

A total of 1500xp spent but what to spent the next 1000xp on before I get some more juicy choices?

I have an idea about the next 500 XP: upgrade T and WS one step. But then, just take Int upgrade for 500xp? It feels so lame and doesn't seem natural as this would mean that the character is almost at the top of it's development for Int, at rank 1.

I would like Mechandrite use (utiliy) but as for now Mechandrite acquisition and crafting rules aren't clarified with our GM.

BTW, does there exist a Mechandrite that aid with Trade (Armourer) as I saw in RT it is Ag based, wasn't it S based in DH?

 

Many thanks on your thoughts.

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It depends somewhat on the rest of your party composition and what kind of tests your GM likes to toss at you.

 

Autosanguine:  While fun and fluffy, this only really effects game-play if you have a tenancy to actually count healing during/between missions.  If your GM is like many groups and hand-waves over healing because there's two-and-a-half months between adventures, it doesn't do much.  Still fluffy though.

 

Mechadendrite Use:  Face it, at some point your going to go all Doc-Oc on everyone.  Even if your GM isn't ready yet, its only a matter of time.  Officially there's no directly benefiting Armorer mechadendrite I know of.  We ruled that a "utility" mechadendrite exists that provides the +10 "good Tools" bonus to almost every skill, bought individually.

 

Drive Ground Vehicles:  Although you are not the world's best driver (Mid-Ag), you can at least get the skill early.  This is great if your party is planning on picking up a Chimera or Taurox to ride around in.  Plus you already have an MIU to give yourself a bonus on the test. Or just run around in a power-lifter sentinel and laugh as you smash people. On the other hand, if your RT is unlikely to ever buy/use a ground vehicle, this naturally is less then useful.

 

Your other choice is to talk to your GM about picking up an elite advance.  I'm personally a fan of "Navigate: Surface" because it a) comes up a lot. and b) no classes get it until about Rank 5 (until then you need a minion to lead you around your ship, apparently)

 

If you have some biological interests, consider picking up Medicae.  Exploritors are known for constantly collecting samples from their Mago Biologus colleagues, and with their high intelligence make good, if somewhat frightening, doctors.  Plus, add in a medicae mechadendrite and a diagnoser and you have a crazy-high medicae check.

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Spend 200 EXP to get Good Quality Cranial Implants at character creation as an Explorator and then you have a very frighteningly effective doctor. Especially if one or more of your party members has autosanguine and/or hardy. And especially get a medikit--2kg for +20 bonus to Medicae is awesome. And the Medicae Mechadendrite, of course. 

 

I have a character that rolls on a 100 for Medicae (96+ is still an autofail) with houseruled Unnatural Intelligence and the above. (The houserule factoring in the +10 bonus for tests involving that characteristic that aren't opposed tests--a pretty glaring omission.) He's at 60 intelligence and could go up to 75--but I really don't need to with the bonuses he gets. Also, if the target has Hardy or Autosanguine, he can restore 12 wounds in one go. 

 

So yeah, definitely can make Explorators frighteningly effective doctors. 

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