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Void_onion213

power gamers delight

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From what i have read so far on this new rpg experience, it looks to me like this is the kind of setting a power gamer would enjoy. First is the fact that you are playing on the side of chaos and thus working against every one else to gain the favor of the gods. Second, with the additon of the ability to play as chaos marines and possible rise to warlords  further justifies the tendency to try and create a no bounderies overpowered character just becuse they can. Black Crusade appears to be the polar opposite of playing as an agent of the imperium. Instead of party cooperation, it seams to openly promote more of a munchkin play style. This is a simple observation. please correct me if i have it wrong,lol.

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 Well... what shall I say...?

 

From what i have read so far on the Dark Heresy rpg experience, it looks to me like this is the kind of setting a power gamer would enjoy. First is the fact that you are playing on the side of the Inquisition and thus prepare to work against every one else in case they go rogue. Second, with the additon of the ability to play as acolytes and possible rise to Inquisitors  further justifies the tendency to try and create a no bounderies overpowered character just becuse they can. Dark Heresy appears to be the polar opposite of playing as a classical band of do-gooders that will stay together in good and bad times. Instead of party cooperation, it seams to openly promote more of a munchkin play style. This is a simple observation. please correct me if i have it wrong,lol.

 

I don't think there is such a thing as a "munchkin" RPG (well, there actually is, but it's a derivate of the cardgame).

First off, the motivation to become better at what they do is intrinsic to most rpg characters - it's called self-preservation: When you make your living swinging your sword at orks, you try to become better at swinging than the orks are. Heck, when you make a living repairing indoor plumbing, you try to be better than your competitors because that's a good way of ensuring you stay in business. **** those munchkin plumbers!

Secondly, intra-party conflict. I strongly suspect there'll be a chapter in the GM section about this, because it's a topic an "evil" rpg has to cover and FFG has generally been providing some help with party dynamics (see Squad Leaders in Deathwatch and Inquisitors' decision-making in Ascension). Suffice to say, there are multiple ways to handle it, either by constraining the characters ingame (they all serve the same daemonic patron and it doesn't tolerate infighting), reaching a consensus outgame or just letting it happen.

Finally, though, I don't think there's that much motivation to engage in intra-party conflict - there's a whole Imperium of Man just outside the Vortex and it won't hesitate to hunt you down, tear you to little pieces and burn the remains if you don't cover each others' arses.

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Thanks for the reply, normally most games in the series at least try to promote party cooperation. power gamers can appear in any system. It's just that on first glance, Black Crusade seems to be built for them. now you can stucture them like in RT or DH, but more than likely you won't find many players in that direction. you will have player that want to each have their own gods and ambitions that may play against everyone else. not only are you trying to gain favor but to exert dominace over everyone else before the launch of a crusade. I'm not sure if this is a game for casual gamers. it looks fun, just don't trust your parties actions, lol

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"Evil" doesn't necessarily mean backstabbing. Sure, partymembers may turn upon each other if the players really want that to happen - but this is just as likely to happen in every other game. Take Dark Heresy, for example, with its friction between members of the Ministorum, the Mechanicus and the always popular psyker/witch in their midst.

If Chaos wouldn't be able to cooperate, the Imperium would not have that much of a problem putting it down or defending against them. Sure, the cooperation may be forced (the strong dominate the weak) or may be just an alliance of convenience, but in the end, everything in the setting does suggest that the followers of Chaos have no problem with establishing a hierarchy - as long as their leader proves worthy.

I believe that the notion that evil characters would automatically mean infighting amongst the group (of the un-fun kind) simply stems from a lack of experience with such games. Yet this is not a new idea by a long shot, and other settings/franchises have shown that it's perfectly doable. Here's a snippet from a Drow sourcebook:

"Evil societies and groups exist for the same reason good people come together: mutual protection, division of duties, companionship, and so on. These are concepts that hold sway over thieves' guilds, pirate crews, and orc tribes, so there's no reason why your players' characters shouldn't be able to abide by them."

Ultimately, the very same idea has already been explored with WHFRP's Tome of Corruption, too. And the player characters in the existing 40k RPG games aren't exactly champions of virtue either.

 

Also, what has playing evil characters to do with powergaming? Aren't game mechanics and the campaign plot two entirely different things?

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I recall the same things said about Deathwatch when it was announced.  So... yeah.  Almost the exact rant even.

 

I'd say wait and see before making such broad statements.

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Well, Deathwatch has those mechanics. But Black Crusade will cover a wider array of characters, so I would assume that it's also somewhat more "tame" - though it is still a bit too early to speculate as it may turn out either way. Given that we are talking about Chaos, there will likely be some pretty impressive warp magic and witchery, but we already have that in DH and RT as well. It all comes down to the scale, and that is entirely in the hands of the designers - and also subject to character advancement.

Just because your character may some day develop into a Chaos Sorceror who, with the help of an hour-long ritual and a hundred sacrifices can turn an entire city into a demon-infested battleground, it doesn't mean that the characters will start out that way. And once the characters have finally gotten to that point, there's also nothing against the players pulling off that sort of stuff by reaping the rewards for the work they've put into the campaign(s), as long as it fits to the roles they have assumed and the influence/power they have accumulated. gui%C3%B1o.gif

But as Dulahan said: let's wait and see!

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 Power Gaming != Party Conflict

Creating powerful characters is possible in any system. As you long with you play with people you enjoy gaming with, it should be just fine.

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Read the novel Soul Hunter, from the Black Library.

It follows some of the Night Lords, marines who sided with Chaos during the Heresy. While yes there is the backstabbing and politics expected of being a renegade legion, the book's main character is a true and loyal marine, who just feels the Imperium is wrong.

Not all Chaos followers are worshippers and not all worshippers are raving maniacs out to become tentacled chosen of their gods.

Some followers are out for their own gain, using the powers of Chaos, thinking themselves the cunning ones who can walk away at any time. Plenty of oppurtunities for group play, whether you're a Heretic or Chaos Marine.

You just have to look are religion in the real world to see the differences between followers of their chosen god(s). Some are fanatics, some are just normal people who believe their way is right.

I for one am looking forward to Black Crusade, to bring in the chance to play the opposite side of the coin, those deemed evil and bad, to see just how evil they are. Or is it just that they're misunderstood?

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A lot of people said the same about Vampire, but it came down to individual groups and players. Hell i played Exalted and when you have the power to kick the head off a dragon you kind of get on with the roleplaying and the butt kicking becomes baclground to make you look cool.

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Black Crusade does seem like "Power" is going to be a major theme, but that doesn't mean that it's "a power gamer's delight" any more than any other game with relatively concrete mechanics. It's like arguing that Monopoly is a power-gamer's delight because it's all about acquiring wealth and influence.

Power gaming isn't about your character trying to acquire power through in-character risks and compromises (which is, in fact, a central theme of Black Crusade) it's about you trying to acquire meta-game power over other players by cheesing the rule system.

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Well said. Personally, I think that Black Crusade could turn out like a mixture of the previous three games (with the "power" component coming from RT once the player characters managed to gather a warband), just on the other side.

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 Power gaming isn't about game concept. It's impossible to tell if this is a 'power gamers delight' until we see the full system (and if it's broken: Because that's what delights power gamers).

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What makes you so sure that the players are even going to start out as Marines?  It's not so clear to me what the starting power level is going ot be. Personally, I hope that it's a mirror image of Deathwatch and the plaers do start out at least marine level, but how do we know the syetem doesn't start you out at 0xp or something very low rather than the 10000xp or so being a marine implies?

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 From what little we know about the playtesting groups, it sounds like marines will be among the archetypes.

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This will turn out to be a "power gamer's delight" only if the GM is a moron and doesn't tailor the opposition to the player group's level.  If you don't want the players to get away with anything easily, the solution is simple: don't make it easy.

 

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Alpharius Omegon said:

This will turn out to be a "power gamer's delight" only if the GM is a moron and doesn't tailor the opposition to the player group's level.

Blech... I've long since moved away from tailoring combats to PC ability. If the group decided to attack an orphanage, then they'll find children and the staff who take care of and teach them (of course, in 40k, that may actually be a tougher fight than it might initially sound); if they try to attack an Arbites Precinct-Fortress, they'll encounter servitor-slaved defensive systems and well-equipped, well-trained Arbitrators; if they try to venture into the impossible brass-and-bone fortress of a Daemon Prince of Khorne, then they'll encounter that Daemon Prince and his servants.

The children aren't suddenly levelled up or the daemon prince depowered to fit the player characters' abilities, and I've long found that doing so actually robs players of a sense of accomplishment if all their enemies level up to match them to the point that they're still fighting the same foes over and over again.

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 If the group decided to attack an orphanage, then they'll find children and the staff who take care of and teach them (of course, in 40k, that may actually be a tougher fight than it might initially sound)

Well, choose the wrong orphanage and you might have to deal with Commissars, Sororitas, Arbitrators and Stormtroopers - though probably only a few of them.

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Cifer said:

 If the group decided to attack an orphanage, then they'll find children and the staff who take care of and teach them (of course, in 40k, that may actually be a tougher fight than it might initially sound)

Well, choose the wrong orphanage and you might have to deal with Commissars, Sororitas, Arbitrators and Stormtroopers - though probably only a few of them.

Hell, chose the wrong orphanage on the wrong planet, and you might end up against Commissars, Sororitas, Arbitrators and Stormtroopers... who are being led by Commissar Ciaphas Cain... which then makes you more boned lengua.gif

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I'm not sure I see the game that way from what FFG has revealed thus far.

It seems that the game will cover a range of power levels, from Cultists to Chaos Space Marines.

It seems to me that it's a sort of 40KRP v1.5 that unifies (or at least connects) the various games thus far.

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 I'm pretty sure that in any and every one of the books in the FFG line and in nearly every RPG out there, they say that the GM/DM/Guy running the game is in charge and gets final say in what is allowed. So if anything it is the GM that allows the power gaming, and the players that cause the problem.

If the GM doesnt want power gaming, tell the players that they will be approving everything and stopping it.

There is no such thing as a truly broken game, unless the game is just horribly made and crap.  Otherwise it is up to the players and GM to keep the game at the power level they want it at, which isn't that hard.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Blech... I've long since moved away from tailoring combats to PC ability. If the group decided to attack an orphanage, then they'll find children and the staff who take care of and teach them (of course, in 40k, that may actually be a tougher fight than it might initially sound); if they try to attack an Arbites Precinct-Fortress, they'll encounter servitor-slaved defensive systems and well-equipped, well-trained Arbitrators; if they try to venture into the impossible brass-and-bone fortress of a Daemon Prince of Khorne, then they'll encounter that Daemon Prince and his servants.

I think you're talking about a slightly different issue here.

So the players decide to attack the brass-and-bone fortress of a Daemon Prince of Khorne, and they find that Demon Prince and his servants. How do you choose the stats for the Demon Prince? Or his servants for that matter? Presumably at some point you have to work out how powerful you want him to be *relative to the players* and go from there.

Otherwise you might find that the players get massacred in the orphanage (because you forgot how underpowered low-level PCs are and found that a WS25 orphan with an improvised weapon was far nastier than it looked on paper) or completely roflstomp the Daemon Prince (because you hadn't realized how effective a full-auto Heavy Bolter burst could be).

Obviously you shouldn't artificially power-up everything in the game universe to be the same level as the PCs but you should absolutely take PC capabilities into account when you design NPCs, because otherwise you actually break verisimilitude.

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Chastity said:

So the players decide to attack the brass-and-bone fortress of a Daemon Prince of Khorne, and they find that Demon Prince and his servants. How do you choose the stats for the Demon Prince? Or his servants for that matter? Presumably at some point you have to work out how powerful you want him to be *relative to the players* and go from there.

 

Otherwise you might find that the players get massacred in the orphanage (because you forgot how underpowered low-level PCs are and found that a WS25 orphan with an improvised weapon was far nastier than it looked on paper) or completely roflstomp the Daemon Prince (because you hadn't realized how effective a full-auto Heavy Bolter burst could be).

Well, he has a point there. Official stats are available, and the only reason for why they would have to be tweaked "should" (personal opinion) be their relation towards each other, not to the ever-changing stats of the player characters. Similarly, in case no official stats are available, whatever you come up with should somehow relate to the "next best thing".

If the player characters get massacred by WS25 orphans with improvised weapons, they did something wrong and deserved it. Likewise, when you think the heavy bolter is too powerful, it should be nerfed in general and not just for one opponent.

Else you end up with a weird world where enemies, regardless of type and equipment, scale with the players' level. I've grown to seriously dislike this in a lot of computer games, and do not ever want to see it in a P&P one. It just makes everything look less consistent and reduces the players' decisions to numbercrunch instead of forcing them to try to analyze and foresee what might await them wherever they go, basing their tactics and decisions on common sense, experience and knowledge instead of expecting the same kind of challenge everywhere.

All of that is just my personal opinion and preference, of course.

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Chastity said:

I think you're talking about a slightly different issue here.

But one with significant overlap.

Unknown said:

So the players decide to attack the brass-and-bone fortress of a Daemon Prince of Khorne, and they find that Demon Prince and his servants. How do you choose the stats for the Demon Prince? Or his servants for that matter? Presumably at some point you have to work out how powerful you want him to be *relative to the players* and go from there.

No, I don't. A Carnifex is a Carnifex is a Carnifex, written without regard for the specific details of my group at the time (though noting that I've frequently taken to changing Tyranid creature stats between games to represent the Hive Mind evolving new strains of existing creatures). I've been writing NPC stats for a long time, and I've never written them with the intention of balancing them against the player characters' capabilities - the world doesn't revolve around them, and such a narrow focus of design would make them far less useful outside of the specific context of their creation. Whether I want to stat up a Bloodthirster of Khorne or an Eldar Corsair, I will give it whatever skills, talents, traits and unique special rules I deem appropriate based on my understanding of the setting and the relative potency of other NPCs, regardless of what my players' characters are capable of overcoming that week.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

I've been writing NPC stats for a long time, and I've never written them with the intention of balancing them against the player characters' capabilities - the world doesn't revolve around them, and such a narrow focus of design would make them far less useful outside of the specific context of their creation.

I suspect that this is where we differ, as far as I'm concerned the world *absolutely* revolves around the PCs - it doesn't make any sense to me to care whether the stats of NPCs are consistent with each other because I never intend those NPCs to get into fights with each other. Basically the way I see it the game mechanics are quite a flawed way of representing the world - particularly the leveling system, and all that bothers me is whether things feel plausible in the instant the players encounter them.

Genestealers are a good example. To my mind the correct, *canon appropriate* way to run genestealers is for them to present a significant but not insurmountable threat for pretty much any level of character - from Dark Heresy acolytes with mono-blades and lasguns (perfectly acceptable in tabletop - Genstealers are T4 creatures) to DeathWatch Marines in Terminator armour (perfectly acceptable in Space Hulk - Genestealers slaughter Terminators in close combat). This basically isn't possible with one set of stats - a genestealer that can threaten a high-level Deathwatch marine will slaughter a Dark Heresy acolyte.

 

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