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Mack Martin

New Dark Heresy Designer Diary: A Solitary Purpose

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We'll see about the timing. Amazon has its release date on January 11th now. fro intot he Storm FLGS' seem to have gotten their books about 2 weeks before Aamzon did . That will still squarely place  Blood of Martyrs in a Winter release date or at best a late Fall as in the early weeks of December. In other words I don't expect for at least a month from now. This is one of those books I have been dying to get. Thats not just as a Sisters' fan either, but as someone who wants to know more about the Ecclesiarchy in general as its one of the least discussed topics in teh 40K universe. Defining Orthodoxy as something more than whatever is not heresy will be good.

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andrewm9 said:

We'll see about the timing. Amazon has its release date on January 11th now. fro intot he Storm FLGS' seem to have gotten their books about 2 weeks before Aamzon did . That will still squarely place  Blood of Martyrs in a Winter release date or at best a late Fall as in the early weeks of December. In other words I don't expect for at least a month from now. This is one of those books I have been dying to get. Thats not just as a Sisters' fan either, but as someone who wants to know more about the Ecclesiarchy in general as its one of the least discussed topics in teh 40K universe. Defining Orthodoxy as something more than whatever is not heresy will be good.

Yeah, this book is also on my want list, almost up there with Book of Judgement and Only War, but not quite.

Im hoping it isnt just a love letter to the Sisters and a new set of "complicated pointless rules" (pretty much how I feel about Deathwatch's Reknown and Cohesion rules and Rogue Trader's Profit Factor and Endeavor rules). Looking forward to the idea of Cell Advances (to put right along side Core Rule Career Advances, Inquisitor Handbook's Elite Package Advances and Tattered Fates Campaign Advances). Also looking forward to new alternate career ranks, backgrounds and hopefully homeworlds.

Hopefully not page after page after page of new gear.

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Peacekeeper_b said:

Yeah, this book is also on my want list, almost up there with Book of Judgement and Only War, but not quite.

Im hoping it isnt just a love letter to the Sisters and a new set of "complicated pointless rules" (pretty much how I feel about Deathwatch's Reknown and Cohesion rules and Rogue Trader's Profit Factor and Endeavor rules). Looking forward to the idea of Cell Advances (to put right along side Core Rule Career Advances, Inquisitor Handbook's Elite Package Advances and Tattered Fates Campaign Advances). Also looking forward to new alternate career ranks, backgrounds and hopefully homeworlds.

Hopefully not page after page after page of new gear.

I'd expect at least some gear for part of our crunch. We'll see the power armor and other wargear of the Sororitas. They will probably have some holy relics of the Calixis Ecclesiarchy as well. Cohesion is probably the most interesting mechanic I have seen to date from FFG. i coudl do without most fo the other starngeness of deathwatch but Cohesion and its affiliate rules are pretty awesome in my book. Its also a way for marines to lose ground agsint the truly horrible things in the Grimdark universe without becoming wimps. I agree with a previous poster about likely finding it in "There is Only War".

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   Cell Advances sound interesting. If the options are properly thought out they should give the more thematically minded players more food. Although I am not too fond of mechanics where the players must pay XP just "to get access". "OK, guys. We survived the mission and got Y amount of XP. How about we spend it to this Cell thingy? So we can buy stuff from it next week ( provided we survive )".

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Aajav-Khan said:

   Cell Advances sound interesting. If the options are properly thought out they should give the more thematically minded players more food. Although I am not too fond of mechanics where the players must pay XP just "to get access". "OK, guys. We survived the mission and got Y amount of XP. How about we spend it to this Cell thingy? So we can buy stuff from it next week ( provided we survive )".

As the GM you could always offer an appropriate "Cell Package" to your group as a reward for some noteworthy achievement in game, sort of like gaining access to the "Red Cages Survivor" elite package that is unlocked by not dying in Tattered Fates....   So in example A your players look at a few teamwork packages and decide, "hey cool, we could totally stat out our characters with this."  Then allow them to cough up the XP and buy the package if they meet the requirements.   In example B your players demonstrate remarkable teamwork in both a roleplay and tactical sense over the course of several missions, eventually leading to you "unlocking" a "Teamwork Package" for them as a reward for their hard work and cooperation.

It is more work, but in my game I have created "Background Packages" for some of the characters, functioning more or less identically to some of the "Rank 1 Alternate Career Packages"....  The character gets nothing for free, but the list of skills and talents they can buy is in some way expanded or altered to reflect their personal origin.  I view it as a reward for players putting more thought and detail into their characters, which in turn gives me more to work with for creating (hopefully) interesting story arcs.  Obviously this is something you would want to handle on a case-by-case basis since you want to make things interesting and distinctive as opposed to just "crunchy".  

Since my DH game is currently in the lower tier of Ascention I have added to the list of options for new characters (if say a new player joins or an old character somehow becomes unplayable).  For example, if the player decides to make a RT character then I would make the "Throne Agent" Elite Package from Into The Storm available to that character "free of cost" because they are quite deliberately designing an Explorer in service to the Inquisition.   As before, this is intended to help encourage story continuity for the character and reward the player for shaping their new character to the existing group while still allowing them some creative options.

One of my players runs his own DH game with a separate group.  For his game he decided that the group's Inquisitor encourages and makes available certain training he considers important to agents in his employ, thus any acolyte in his service may pick up certain skills as elite advances for the bargain price of 100-200xp.   In effect, this is an "Acolyte of Inquisitor X" elite package...

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I think it is getting to the point of overkill. We already had campaign advances introduced in Tattered Fates. Now they are going ot unload on us Cell Advances as  a "new" advancement mechanic? I appreciate the effort to revamp and revise the clunky (yes clunky) career path system, but I think it would be best to just create and publish official Elite Advance rules for prices and what not, not the continuous rewrite and reworking of Advance Elite Packages (first introduced in Inquisitor's Handbook, expanded in Radical's Handbook and mimicked in Tattered Fates). 

While I look forward to see how they did it, I think it is just adding new branches to a very flimsy tree trunk.  

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andrewm9 said:

On another note the products section has Blood of Martyrs listed as coming soon. instead of unavailable.

I reckon it's standard practice for FFG to put a product as "coming soon" in the products section, when it is marked as "on the boat" in the upcoming section. I think this means that another 3-4 weeks until it will arrive to FFG and another 1-2 weeks until the book will be shipped to FLGS stores. I would say middle of December for this book (and consequnetly this date is in line with Amazon putting Blood of Martyrs for 11 January 2011, as they tend to get W40k books 1-2 weeks after the actual publishing date).

Of course if it arrives sooner, then it's all the better for us! gran_risa.gif

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 I'm not too fond of this idea, it sounds too metagamey to me.  A group of acolytes serving under an Inquisitor are already a cell - having them decide to "become a cell for the cool benefits" seems really ... silly.  Just like the Inquisitor saying, "I have decided your group will become a cell and gain special advantages because of it" - wha?  

The only IC way I can see justifying this is if your pcs spend a lot of time floating from one group of companions to the next, never focusing their talents in any one direction and the Inquisitor finally says "I have gathered the X of you together because you are the best I have at eliminating xenos" at which point those bonuses would reflect their training together and designing specialized tactics against a certain enemy.  But saying "If you join this cell type everyone gets to pick a Hatred Talent of their choice" doesn't make much sense to me ... more appropriate would be 'everyone gains benefit of the same Hatred Talent based upon what that cell has trained to fight'.  Maybe let them change that Hatred Talent between major missions, when they've had time to train new tactics, but otherwise it feels way too artificial. 

 

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guest469 said:

I had the opposite problem with PC who refused to take stuff like Ciphers (Acolyte), Secret Tongue (Acolyte) unless it was given to them for free. 

Come up with situations where they PC discover that it would be an advantage to have the skills.

An example could be that if they need some resources, they have to utilize the skills to get in contact with the Acolyte network supplier.

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Alox said:

guest469 said:

I had the opposite problem with PC who refused to take stuff like Ciphers (Acolyte), Secret Tongue (Acolyte) unless it was given to them for free. 

 

Come up with situations where they PC discover that it would be an advantage to have the skills.

An example could be that if they need some resources, they have to utilize the skills to get in contact with the Acolyte network supplier.

Easy enough to inject some coinsequences for the deliberate refusal to learn the team's secret cyphers and verbal codes into your game.   Just wait for a suitably critical point in a "mission of vital and immediate consequence" and have the enemy compromise the cell's vox security....  Now the obstinant one has the undesirable choice of maintaining absolute vox-silence or handing the enemy literally every scrap of information that goes out in clear Gothic, and this is assuming that the team is even aware their coms are being intercepted.

In my game the team has gotten in the habit of ASSUMING that someone is tapping their coms and habitually use secret tongues and assorted battle-cants over their coms.  No, I do not have the villains doing this constantly, but there is always the possibility...   Plus with the team's Magos (and his Tech Adept "lab assistant") they have done their fair share of data interception as well.   On more than a few occasions the Magos and the Sage have exchanged information by screeching binary at each-other.   Taking precautions for when someone else uses the same tactics against you is just plain wise.

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@The Cipher discussion
Yes, true...but should I railroad the pc into buying skills just because it is "fluff" that they have to have it? I solved it the other way around and simply gave it to them during an off time. If they want to improve it, fine. But I am not wringing XP from the pc that way. Feels wrong.

@The Cell packages
Well... in my opinion they are actually tearing down the class system. And this is not to bad in my books. I wonder what will be introduce.

@What I am looking for
Frankly, new homeworlds and stuff are fine, but since my players do not like to change pc every time something nice shows up (and I am oh so glad for this!), I am actually hoping for some rules how preaching and sermons might have an actual effect on moral and willpower. Or something else. I have a female player going all this "pray harder!" way. Everything that keeps me from making house rules for here is the fact that this book is on the horizone.

And of course I am hoping for a little more definition on the believes in 40K. Even if they are still "just examples", some well defined examples would be very helpful for me and may fellows.

Perhaps, just perhaps we will see a "page-for-download" covering this section? One from the "Blood of..."? Just as they did with the DotDG and the CA? I would be ever so grateful.

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 The other thing about Secret Tongues and Ciphers is that this skill is only useful if other players take it. I recommend all GMs give it to their players for free upon induction into the service of the Ordo with the warning that indiscrete use will allow observers to crack the codes.

These codes are also used to contact and encode reports and requests to their Inquisitor as well as being used to verify other agents claiming to serve the same Inquisitor. Obvious plot development opportunities in the event that the codes are compromised.

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