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Peacekeeper_b

Guardsman Skill/Talent Question

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Some things just bother me. Simple things usually.

Like for example, why dont Conscripts learn toe Climb or learn Navigation (Land)? Navigation is rank 3 and climb is at rank 5 (for 200XP??!!??).

Is this right? These are two basic military skills everyone learns in just about every basic training in the "real" world and I imagine even in the 40K universe.

Well, anyway, wanted to hear what other people thought of this. I for one always thought it was odd that Guardsmen got Swim as an optional starting skill, but not climb.

BTW: Navigation is one of the sections of the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer, so if it is in their basic training manual, seems to reason they should learn it early.

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Well, "Climb" is a basic skill, as is Swim. Few recruits are athlethic swimmers (except  "Frogmen") or well-trained climbers (except mountain infantry). So I think having Climb and Swim as basic skills represents that well enough.

You do have a point about Navigation (Land), though. A sensible choice might be to make Navigation (Land) count as a basic skill for Guardsmen, throw Medicae into this aswell while you are at it.

 

The only justification for the lack of Navigation (Land), Medicea and so on that I could come up with is that the career "Guardsman" is just the name for all (para-)military types working in DH. A "Guardsman" could just aswell be a mercenary, bounty-hunter or similar, who would not have such training by default.

 

Personally, if this would come up in my game, I would rule that every Guardsman with "The Imperial Infantrymen's Uplifting Primer" as part of his gear treats certain skills as basic, like Navigation (Land), Medicae and perhaps even Forbidden Lore (Xenos) (although most of the Xeno information in it is false propaganda, you still do know more about them after reading that then somebody who has never met them at all).

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Saibot said:

Well, "Climb" is a basic skill, as is Swim. Few recruits are athlethic swimmers (except  "Frogmen") or well-trained climbers (except mountain infantry). So I think having Climb and Swim as basic skills represents that well enough.

You do have a point about Navigation (Land), though. A sensible choice might be to make Navigation (Land) count as a basic skill for Guardsmen, throw Medicae into this aswell while you are at it.

 

The only justification for the lack of Navigation (Land), Medicea and so on that I could come up with is that the career "Guardsman" is just the name for all (para-)military types working in DH. A "Guardsman" could just aswell be a mercenary, bounty-hunter or similar, who would not have such training by default.

 

Personally, if this would come up in my game, I would rule that every Guardsman with "The Imperial Infantrymen's Uplifting Primer" as part of his gear treats certain skills as basic, like Navigation (Land), Medicae and perhaps even Forbidden Lore (Xenos) (although most of the Xeno information in it is false propaganda, you still do know more about them after reading that then somebody who has never met them at all).

I disagree. First, Guardsmen can have swim as a "free" skill from the start (or as most probably choose drive). Even so it is available at rank 1 for 100XP. To say soldiers (even mercenaries and what not) climb as well as everyone else (half chance as a basic skill) when most modern and I would imagine far future, militaries spend a great deal of time climbing wall, hills, trees, ropes and such. In fact, there si a greater chance of learning to climb then learning to swim.

I do not think that guardsmen (or marcenaries, or toughs, or thugs or bounty hunters or whatever) should have ot wait for rank 5 to spend 200XP (!!!) on Climb.

The same as officers spending 300XP at rank 6 for charm and other interaction skills, when their Fellowship sucks as it is. I do like the use of the Primer as a skill enhancer, but I would see it more as a +10 to such skills then treating them as basic.

I am simply going to move Climb and Navigation (surface) to rank 1 at 100XP each. For me this just makes much more sense (not just from my military background, but from military sci-fi novels and movies which usually still display lots of climbing and what not in basic training and in the field). Plus this allows me to move Scout from rank 6 to rank 3 with no hassle (such as where to get Nagigation and Climb at).

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Of course, do as you prefer.

 

However, if I may make a last remark: Making the Primer give +10 to certain skills would imply that a trained person can still learn from it. Having a medic that actually needs to check his little book before removing that spear that is currently impaling me would be somewhat disheartening. My point is that someone who is "trained" in something (and therefore should know what he is doing very well)  should not have to check an elementary text to keep himself from ******* up.

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Saibot said:

Of course, do as you prefer.

 

However, if I may make a last remark: Making the Primer give +10 to certain skills would imply that a trained person can still learn from it. Having a medic that actually needs to check his little book before removing that spear that is currently impaling me would be somewhat disheartening. My point is that someone who is "trained" in something (and therefore should know what he is doing very well)  should not have to check an elementary text to keep himself from ******* up.

Thats a pretty good reasoning. I will have to think on that further.

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 Because basic training is very basic....they learn how to operate a lasgun and are sent to the front, if they survive long enough they might learn a bit more before they die....
A movie to watch would be Enemy at the Gates....the Russian soldiers at the beginning are a good represantation of Imperial Guard

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Santiago said:

A movie to watch would be Enemy at the Gates....the Russian soldiers at the beginning are a good represantation of Imperial Guard

    Well, they are one example of IG. Remember that since the IG Regiments are recruited to Imperial service from various planets their backgrounds and training will have very different focuses.  

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Santiago said:

 Because basic training is very basic....they learn how to operate a lasgun and are sent to the front, if they survive long enough they might learn a bit more before they die....
A movie to watch would be Enemy at the Gates....the Russian soldiers at the beginning are a good represantation of Imperial Guard

This is so far from the truth Santiago. Im disappointed in you. In fact this is the worst argument I have ever seen you post for your side. They are not just trained and dropped off. In fact, read 15 Hours where while on their way to the war they were trained to not even fight in, they spned 15+ weeks in warp space where they, you guess it, train every day.

Enemy at the Gates is only a good reference for a "planet" or "city" that is undersiege. With constant enemy attacks where there is no time for training. In Kill team they train on a ship as it travels, in Redemption Corps they mention the training areas they use on the ship. That even the lower ranked non disciplined hive trained ganger guardsmen use and train. Rebel Winter makes references to the weeks of trainng.

Gaunts Ghosts refer to their traiing as well. 

Soldiers (Guardsmen, Marines, whatever you want to call them) undergo physical training to increase their strength and endurance, the two principle ways of achieving this, and cheapest, is running and climbing.

From the cover of Black Industries novel by Mitchel Scanlon. "Basic Training: four months. Planetary transportation: seven weeks. Life expectancy... Fifteen Hours" Thats 16-18 weeks I would say, even in the year 40,000. Plenty of enough time to climb.

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Hi Peacekeeper_b,

first of: the skill trees ARE odd. Full stop. Guardsman, Adept, Scum...

Climb and Navigation (Land)
I am with you regarding "climb".  Talking "Navigation" (Land) my guess is that it should be made available as "Basic" skill. But then again, have a look at the feral worlder. He or she lived 16 years and HAD to train learn how to "not get lost" (in case of a conan-esque world) but still everything he/she/it gains is "Basic" as part o the packages. What ever you do about it, keep in mind those things need to be re-balanced later.

Suggestion:
Re-Model the starting package. You know, this  X skills and talent one career option provides before the first xp is spend.
This "Swim or Drive"-Choice could be widend into a "Swim or Drive or Climb" choice to begin with.

In addition, one could "fudge" first Rank in offering "Navigation (Land)  ['Basic]" for 100xp. This would keep the trouble of re-assembling the tree, which would be needed to be done if one is to to change the position of "Navigation (Land)".

 

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Gregorius21778 said:

Hi Peacekeeper_b,

first of: the skill trees ARE odd. Full stop. Guardsman, Adept, Scum...

Climb and Navigation (Land)
I am with you regarding "climb".  Talking "Navigation" (Land) my guess is that it should be made available as "Basic" skill. But then again, have a look at the feral worlder. He or she lived 16 years and HAD to train learn how to "not get lost" (in case of a conan-esque world) but still everything he/she/it gains is "Basic" as part o the packages. What ever you do about it, keep in mind those things need to be re-balanced later.

Suggestion:
Re-Model the starting package. You know, this  X skills and talent one career option provides before the first xp is spend.
This "Swim or Drive"-Choice could be widend into a "Swim or Drive or Climb" choice to begin with.

In addition, one could "fudge" first Rank in offering "Navigation (Land)  ['Basic]" for 100xp. This would keep the trouble of re-assembling the tree, which would be needed to be done if one is to to change the position of "Navigation (Land)".

 

Oh IM knee deep in redoing all the careers. Create new alternate ranks, backgrounds, re placing existing branches (example, moving Scout from Rank 6 to Rank 3 and Storm Trooper from rank 8 to rank 5 or 6).

Just seems pointless at times, as by the time I revise the whole thing, I will only get about 6 or 7 months of use out of it until ONLY WAR FUBARS it all.

But largely, was just thinking of putting Climb and Naviagtion (Surface) for 100 XP at Rank 1, and altering other refenreces to Climb to Climb +10, and Climb +10 to Climb +20 (since no one gets Climb +10 on Guardsman tree) and same for Navigation (Surface) but making Navigation (Surface) +20 into Talented (Navigation: Surface).

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Peacekeeper_b said:

Some things just bother me. Simple things usually.

Like for example, why dont Conscripts learn toe Climb or learn Navigation (Land)?

 

You're not going to like the answer: because they didn't give too much of a **** about realism/simulation. What apparently mattered to them was that it worked good enough as a game.

 

Alex

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ak-73 said:

Peacekeeper_b said:

 

Some things just bother me. Simple things usually.

Like for example, why dont Conscripts learn toe Climb or learn Navigation (Land)?

 

 

 

You're not going to like the answer: because they didn't give too much of a **** about realism/simulation. What apparently mattered to them was that it worked good enough as a game.

 

Alex

Another lazy answer IMHO. Not that your answer was lazy, but the notion that I am looking for Realism/Simulation in a RPG. No I gave up on that the moment they said they intended to do a Space Marine game.

And the question I pose, and one quite often mentioned by others, is "does it work good enpough as a game?" And when the answer is "sorry, the cultist escapes over the wall and you fail to climb it cause Guardsmen dont know how to climb." then the truth is, no it doesnt work. And while it may seem like not having Climb or Navigation available at such low ranks doesnt break the "Game" neither does having it.

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Peacekeeper_b said:

In fact, Climb seems to be maligned across the game.

Guardsmen, Rank 5.

Scum, Rank 6.

Psyker, Rank 4.

Cleric, Rank 2.

Assassin, Rank 1 (I happen to agree here).

Arbitrator, Rank 3.

 

Could it be that climbed as a trained skill means the char is an expert climber? And that untrained basic should be good enough for most purposes (climbing a wall)? As it is with many skills?

 

Alex

 

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ak-73 said:

Peacekeeper_b said:

 

In fact, Climb seems to be maligned across the game.

Guardsmen, Rank 5.

Scum, Rank 6.

Psyker, Rank 4.

Cleric, Rank 2.

Assassin, Rank 1 (I happen to agree here).

Arbitrator, Rank 3.

 

 

 

Could it be that climbed as a trained skill means the char is an expert climber? And that untrained basic should be good enough for most purposes (climbing a wall)? As it is with many skills?

 

Alex

 

Nope. At least not to me. I think it is more of Climb and other skills being a second thought by the original designers who were far more focused on the talent system to take to much note of skills.

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Peacekeeper_b said:

ak-73 said:

 

Peacekeeper_b said:

 

In fact, Climb seems to be maligned across the game.

Guardsmen, Rank 5.

Scum, Rank 6.

Psyker, Rank 4.

Cleric, Rank 2.

Assassin, Rank 1 (I happen to agree here).

Arbitrator, Rank 3.

 

 

 

Could it be that climbed as a trained skill means the char is an expert climber? And that untrained basic should be good enough for most purposes (climbing a wall)? As it is with many skills?

 

Alex

 

 

 

Nope. At least not to me. I think it is more of Climb and other skills being a second thought by the original designers who were far more focused on the talent system to take to much note of skills.

 

Which cultist has Climb as a trained skill? How high is the wall, how smooth is the surface and which difficulty modifier do you attach to the test? +30?

 

Alex

 

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ak-73 said:

Peacekeeper_b said:

 

ak-73 said:

 

Peacekeeper_b said:

 

In fact, Climb seems to be maligned across the game.

Guardsmen, Rank 5.

Scum, Rank 6.

Psyker, Rank 4.

Cleric, Rank 2.

Assassin, Rank 1 (I happen to agree here).

Arbitrator, Rank 3.

 

 

 

Could it be that climbed as a trained skill means the char is an expert climber? And that untrained basic should be good enough for most purposes (climbing a wall)? As it is with many skills?

 

Alex

 

 

 

Nope. At least not to me. I think it is more of Climb and other skills being a second thought by the original designers who were far more focused on the talent system to take to much note of skills.

 

 

 

Which cultist has Climb as a trained skill? How high is the wall, how smooth is the surface and which difficulty modifier do you attach to the test? +30?

 

Alex

 

Yeah, I went thtough the "human" adversaries in the core book and only one entry had climb (BTW it was the military Kill Squad, odd that it is soldier NPCs that have climb).

After debating with you back and forth a few times I went back and read the climb rules in Dark Heresy (and the revision in Inquisitor's Handbook) as well as the climbing rules in Chapter VII of the core book.

If the surface is no sheer, and has normal hand holds (or suitable ones) the climber can make a Strength or Climb test. If the surface is sheer and has no hand holds, the climber needs a rope or other device to traverse the surface, or the climb skill. This does fit the way you described the way it could work.

But it means everyone climbs essentially at the same skill and ability (except those climbing nuts known as Assassins and Clerics). But the same goes with many skills, such as swim and most basic skills (Awareness, Search) where they exist solely to reduce the effectiveness of natural characteristics (I mean why even have a perception stat if from the get go it is halved for awareness and search?).

(Perhaps if the rules were slightly changed, that certain basic skills (now redubbed standard or general everyman skills) always function at full characteristic value, but if you have the appropriate skill you get a +10 to the test?)

But anyway, even with all the above "rules" and standards listed, it still doesnt gel that SOLDIERS do not learn to climb or learn land navigation. Land Navigation is in their handbook, which they are required to read and understand and quote and always have on them (so maybe Guardsmen should also be able to get literacy earlier).

So anyway, do whatever you wish, but Im adding Navigation (Surface) and Climb as rank 1 options for 100XP each, and adjusting the "normal" available versions to +10 and the +10s to +20 and the +20s toTalented (Climb or Navigation:Surface).

 

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Peacekeeper_b said:

So anyway, do whatever you wish, but Im adding Navigation (Surface) and Climb as rank 1 options for 100XP each, and adjusting the "normal" available versions to +10 and the +10s to +20 and the +20s toTalented (Climb or Navigation:Surface). 

 

I am not saying that this doesn't make sense. It's just not that much of an issue to me, specially since I am not our DH GM. I rather wonder how to get more roleplay into DW which is enough of a challenge.

 

I usually handle such things on the fly, for example having given my Space Wolf players Furious Assault or Counterattack for free at Rank 1. Or the Tyrannid War Veteran Hatred(Tyranids), the Inner Circle DA Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Astartes), etc. I don't want system mechanic issues to distract me too long from the content.

 

 

Alex

 

 

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ak-73 said:

Peacekeeper_b said:

 

So anyway, do whatever you wish, but Im adding Navigation (Surface) and Climb as rank 1 options for 100XP each, and adjusting the "normal" available versions to +10 and the +10s to +20 and the +20s toTalented (Climb or Navigation:Surface). 

 

 

 

I am not saying that this doesn't make sense. It's just not that much of an issue to me, specially since I am not our DH GM. I rather wonder how to get more roleplay into DW which is enough of a challenge.

 

I usually handle such things on the fly, for example having given my Space Wolf players Furious Assault or Counterattack for free at Rank 1. Or the Tyrannid War Veteran Hatred(Tyranids), the Inner Circle DA Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Astartes), etc. I don't want system mechanic issues to distract me too long from the content.

 

 

Alex

 

 

True. Largely I was just trying to get a consensus here if anyone things it unbalancing to just add those options. To me it allows for the more rounded soldier option, but I agree not all soldiers are master climbers (though, I have to admit, I am pretty good at land navigation).

More roleplay in DW, egads, and I was worried about Climb!

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I have to agree with you whole-heartedly here, Peacekeeper_b.  The Skills distribution and pricing is just BROKEN in DH.

I agree that the Basic Skills mechanic can work fine in some limited situations.  However ... taking into account the average characteristic of a starting PC (around 30), then not counting situational modifiers, you're looking at a base 15% chance of success on Basic Skills.  This troubles me.  I am thinking ... if I don't completely redesign the Career Path tables, then I may just give Basic Skills a -10, rather than the Half-Base-Characteristic trope.

Granted, I am still undecided ... but this thread is leading me toward such a decision.

Thank you for bringing it up.  gran_risa.gif

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I used a much more simple solution than redesigning the talent trees for this kind of problem.

For characters who's players provided me with enough background information on their characters and had inadequate starting skill trees I simply cooked up "Elite Starter Packages" as necissary.  They work the same way that rank 1 "Alternate Careers" do, in that they suplement rather than replace the rank one package for their career.  The other fun thing I did with them is made the packages more background speciffic rather than career oriented, the basic idea being that if you have a Scum, Adept and Guardsman that somehow shared a common origin then the package would fit all of them.

For a character from Ganf Magna I cooked up the "Frontier World Ork Hunter" to represent the whole farmers picking up pitchforks, torches, shotguns and lever action rifles to go kill some pesky greenskin varmints what done tore up ol' Hennesey's farm last night.  Some of the skills and talents are simple rehashes from the Guardsman ( Basic SP, Basic Primitive, Melee Primitive) and then I spiced it up some with Tracking, Wrangling and Profession: Agri...  Things some hard pressed frontier farmers were likely to know or develop.  Then there is the candy:  Hatered (Orks)!    Note that the character does not get these for free, they simply have access to buy this stuff at rank 1.

For the more obviously militant origin I likewise cooked up "Cadian Military Training" And seeded it with skills and talents that are emphasized in game fluff and fiction.   Yes, climb is there!  As is Concealment since it is noted several times that Cadians train near-constantly at camouflage techniques, Navigation (Land), CLore (War), CLore (Imperial Guard) and a handful of others.  Likewise, they are famous for their marksmanship and discipline, so I added some talents of the shooty and stubborn variety to the package.  This package also includes some Guardsman redundancies ( Basic Las, Melee Primitive, Pistol Las)....  Admitedly just about EVERY Cadian should be IG, but since you can fairly easily represent this with Guardsman, Scum or Imp. Psyker I wanted to be sure to cover any possible holes.  If you can't use a Lasgun then you are on the wrong planet!

Stuff like that.  =)    See, no need to reinvent the career trees just yet.   Save all that energy for dastardly plot ideas!

If it is just a matter of a single skill or two that makes sense for the character then just swap it in in place of one of the existing starting skills.  They are duplicated on the Rank 1 lists of all classes for exactly this reason.... So crafty GMs and players can swap stuff around.    Like if your Guardsman is from Atilla then replace that free Drive or Swim with Wrangling.  Any character from Spectoris should start with Swim....  

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Chiming in with some support for ZillaPrime here.

I am not a huge fan of the career paths either, but I don't think they're completely broken.  In our first campaign, I did much the same as he did:  Allowing my players to pick things like Sanctioned Mercenary (essentially Penal Legionnaire with some extras) or Metallican Gunslinger if it fit in with their background and RP desires.  Each of them also had a reasonably extensive background run-through introducing them to their current situation and the setting.

I view the Career Paths like a guideline.  In other words, if an Arbitrator spent his life...uh...arbitrating, and eventually attained the rank of Lord Marshall, he would likely have many of the skills and talents suggested in the career path.

The place where it breaks down, to me, is that an Arbitrator in service as an Acolyte is not...uh...arbitrating.  He's doing all kinds of relatively exciting, near-suicidal and dangerous activities, well outside the scope of being just a regular Arbitrator.  This means he's really not learning arbitrating skillz to pay the billz...he's  learning whatever he needs to freaking survive and get the job done.

With that in mind, I'm pretty liberal towards my players when it comes to letting them spruce up their skill selections.  I'm a lot more cautious with the Talents of course, but the skills are a different story.

It is a bit of a shame that the Careers are a bit of a weakness, but I just don't have the energy to really go through and  fix all the little niggling details when "hotfixing" it when it comes up is a lot easier.

If they ever revise DH, I hope they change Careers into being another origin step, similar to Homeworlds.  And then focus on a more freeform leveling experience as the characters develop.

As it stands, I think most of us can easily see the the inconsistencies in the game's system, but most of us just patch it with whatever fix we find suitable and move on.

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Peacekeeper_b said:

Santiago said:

 

 Because basic training is very basic....they learn how to operate a lasgun and are sent to the front, if they survive long enough they might learn a bit more before they die....
A movie to watch would be Enemy at the Gates....the Russian soldiers at the beginning are a good represantation of Imperial Guard

 

 

This is so far from the truth Santiago. Im disappointed in you. In fact this is the worst argument I have ever seen you post for your side. They are not just trained and dropped off. In fact, read 15 Hours where while on their way to the war they were trained to not even fight in, they spned 15+ weeks in warp space where they, you guess it, train every day.

Enemy at the Gates is only a good reference for a "planet" or "city" that is undersiege. With constant enemy attacks where there is no time for training. In Kill team they train on a ship as it travels, in Redemption Corps they mention the training areas they use on the ship. That even the lower ranked non disciplined hive trained ganger guardsmen use and train. Rebel Winter makes references to the weeks of trainng.

Gaunts Ghosts refer to their traiing as well. 

Soldiers (Guardsmen, Marines, whatever you want to call them) undergo physical training to increase their strength and endurance, the two principle ways of achieving this, and cheapest, is running and climbing.

From the cover of Black Industries novel by Mitchel Scanlon. "Basic Training: four months. Planetary transportation: seven weeks. Life expectancy... Fifteen Hours" Thats 16-18 weeks I would say, even in the year 40,000. Plenty of enough time to climb.



Sorry for the late response but I still think I'm correct, not saying you aren't either.
The rank/level system is flawed but not as bad as some other systems I've seen and actually fun to play with.

Guardsman Rank 1 (Conscript)
Learned only the basics of combat, they know how to operate a lasgun but little more and as stated are pressed into service.
So I think they are like the Soviet Soldiers in Enemy at the Gates, it also shows in their skill set.
They either get Swim (a skill they picked up in their youth) or Drive Ground Vehicle (Soviet tanks were designed for farmers to be able to drive).

Guardsman Rank 2 (Guard)
It these how had the further training on the ships, on land as you clearly explained, they should have Climb and Navigation (Surface) as an advance for 100xp.
Other than that they are the basic soldier of the Imperium

S.

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Santiago said:

Peacekeeper_b said:

 

Santiago said:

 

 Because basic training is very basic....they learn how to operate a lasgun and are sent to the front, if they survive long enough they might learn a bit more before they die....
A movie to watch would be Enemy at the Gates....the Russian soldiers at the beginning are a good represantation of Imperial Guard

 

 

This is so far from the truth Santiago. Im disappointed in you. In fact this is the worst argument I have ever seen you post for your side. They are not just trained and dropped off. In fact, read 15 Hours where while on their way to the war they were trained to not even fight in, they spned 15+ weeks in warp space where they, you guess it, train every day.

Enemy at the Gates is only a good reference for a "planet" or "city" that is undersiege. With constant enemy attacks where there is no time for training. In Kill team they train on a ship as it travels, in Redemption Corps they mention the training areas they use on the ship. That even the lower ranked non disciplined hive trained ganger guardsmen use and train. Rebel Winter makes references to the weeks of trainng.

Gaunts Ghosts refer to their traiing as well. 

Soldiers (Guardsmen, Marines, whatever you want to call them) undergo physical training to increase their strength and endurance, the two principle ways of achieving this, and cheapest, is running and climbing.

From the cover of Black Industries novel by Mitchel Scanlon. "Basic Training: four months. Planetary transportation: seven weeks. Life expectancy... Fifteen Hours" Thats 16-18 weeks I would say, even in the year 40,000. Plenty of enough time to climb.

 



Sorry for the late response but I still think I'm correct, not saying you aren't either.
The rank/level system is flawed but not as bad as some other systems I've seen and actually fun to play with.

Guardsman Rank 1 (Conscript)
Learned only the basics of combat, they know how to operate a lasgun but little more and as stated are pressed into service.
So I think they are like the Soviet Soldiers in Enemy at the Gates, it also shows in their skill set.
They either get Swim (a skill they picked up in their youth) or Drive Ground Vehicle (Soviet tanks were designed for farmers to be able to drive).

Guardsman Rank 2 (Guard)
It these how had the further training on the ships, on land as you clearly explained, they should have Climb and Navigation (Surface) as an advance for 100xp.
Other than that they are the basic soldier of the Imperium

S.

 

But you do agree that these skills should be available prior to Rank 6 or so? And if they were added to rank 2 they would beef up the options there for the Guardsmen to purchase.

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