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BrotherCaptain

How to beat the luckiest man alive?

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 So I've got a player in my group who plays a Black Templar Assault Marine (& Champion), he's the only player who has attended every game, and we've been playing at least once a week since Deathwatch came out, more or less. Its generally understood his character is "the toughest," he's a dedicated player who's a great role player and always willing to help in any way. Sounds like a brilliant player to have!

Except he's the luckiest dice roller I've ever seen. We had a game last night that pitted my group against Tyranids. The BT single handedly tore apart a Carnifex, waded through the largest horde I had ever put the group against and then horribly battered a Zoanthroape to death, not to mention a wide assortment of other beasties during the game.

During the whole thing he suffered 4 damage. His Iron Halo force field was deflecting so many shots that I started keeping an eye on what he was rolling in case he was cheating, but sure enough it was all legit. Aside from regularly failing awareness tests and never really rolling righteous fury, the guy's blessed by the Emperor! I've never seen anyone roll dice the way he did.  

Now while he's playing fair, and that's all well and good....but when a single player is dominating half the opposition by himself the challenge of the game starts to decline, and I think some people are starting to get a touch jealous when their characters for all intents and purposes "pale in comparison" to the great and mighty Champion. 

I've even tried giving him ethical issues to challenge him in a different way and he handled anything I threw at him with confidence in his character's beliefs and personality, which to be fair is consistent and pretty spot on for a BT. 

Any idea's on how I can challenge the Black Templar Assault Marine/Champion with an Iron Halo, Deathwatch Relic Blade and Adamantine Mantle, Step Aside, Turn the Blade, Preternatural Speed + Lightning attack, Abhor The Witch (with 4 fate points left!), and Fearless? 

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 What other characters are in your game?
If you have any librarians, throw them a bone and focus a plot around dreams or visions they are having and allow the BTs natural hatred of witches to get him riled up.

Another idea would be to have the group sent to investigate an imperial frontier colony that has been riled up. Suggest that Eldar may be involved, but have it turn out that a farseer and their seer council have been trying to protect the humans of the colony from something like a Lacrymole infestation. Forcing the players to decided between working with the farseer and riling up the BT, or having to face two enemies at once and getting potentially killed in the process should be a good dilemma.

Finall, you mention the BT tearing apart tyranids, but they are for the most part a rushing, melee oriented foe. Have you tried foes with a great amount of ranged firepower or agile troops? Tau battlesuits and vespid stingwings are a good counter to assault marines, and tau armour allows for your players to be out-ranged and out-gunned a lot, forcing them to play more tactically and use cover and other covert actions, which will again rile up the BT.

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 We have a Techmarine (Forge Master), Devastator and Tactical Marine (1st Company Veteran) & occasionily another Tactical Marine & Assault Marine. 

 

Range & firepower we've tried, back when he had his jump pack that sort of thing was nothing to him, these days its a little tougher because he's traded in the jump pack for an adamantine mantle, but even then he tends to be able to use sprint and/or burst of speed to move a lot fast. On one occasion a GM (we have three who interchange, myself included) suggested we remove his Iron Halo, but as was pointed out and generally agreed, he earned it to be fair. Our only Librarian is, funnily enough, played by him as an occasional "RP orientated" change, but his true love is the BT Champ and he always goes back.

The Lacrymole might work, if perhaps something was switched for the Eldar presence, he RP's his Hatred (Eldar) very well and reasonable considering his character personality, demeanours and traits. :P 

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One way to challenge him would be to create a new and unheard of xenos of your design. Go over his character sheet and find his weak spots and exploit them.
I'm not suggesting that you try and kill him off or anything, as by the way you describe his playing, he's a great roleplayer and hasn't resorted to cheating to get where he is at, but to make him step outside of his PC's comfort zone.
Personally, he sounds like a paragon of his Chapter and will return to serve it as a true champion.

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BrotherCaptain said:

Any idea's on how I can challenge the Black Templar Assault Marine/Champion with an Iron Halo, Deathwatch Relic Blade and Adamantine Mantle, Step Aside, Turn the Blade, Preternatural Speed + Lightning attack, Abhor The Witch (with 4 fate points left!), and Fearless? 

 

Yes. I have a most brilliant plan: you do nothing. You just game on. Time will do the job for you because not only will his dice eventually fail, they will fail spectacularly. It sounds as if you have become impatient and that should not be.

So what if you build tougher encounters now to figure in his luck and he only rolls average - now that would create a mess, wouldn't it? If he's not a cheater, eventually he'll have a day where he rolls miserably.

 

Alex

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If you're Focused on Tyranids as your enemy, Genestealers using assasins strike attacks for hit and run in areas where they shine (inside buildings, space ships, underground tunnels etc). They hit like trucks and are fast as hell, if they surprise him by sneaking up on him and ambushing him, he may not have the ability to react to their attacks.

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 There's no such thing as a lucky player in any real terms. Dice are random and have no memory, and it tends to even out over the course of an evening. We all have really bad nights or good ones, bit no player consistently has great nights. They may have perception bias, but it *does* even out.

So basically -your player isn't lucky. If you've eliminated cheating, it's just down to having built a solid character and playing it well. That -combined with him having more XP by the sound of things, is the issue.

 

 

 

 

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ak-73 said:

BrotherCaptain said:

 

Any idea's on how I can challenge the Black Templar Assault Marine/Champion with an Iron Halo, Deathwatch Relic Blade and Adamantine Mantle, Step Aside, Turn the Blade, Preternatural Speed + Lightning attack, Abhor The Witch (with 4 fate points left!), and Fearless? 

 

 

 

Yes. I have a most brilliant plan: you do nothing. You just game on. Time will do the job for you because not only will his dice eventually fail, they will fail spectacularly. It sounds as if you have become impatient and that should not be.

So what if you build tougher encounters now to figure in his luck and he only rolls average - now that would create a mess, wouldn't it? If he's not a cheater, eventually he'll have a day where he rolls miserably.

 

Alex

I totally agree with AK and Siranui.

If you've eliminated cheating then there's nothing to be done.  The dice add the random element to action/test resolution and statistical probability states that amongst a bunch of dudes (and dudettes of course) who roll a lot of dice there will be one on the bell ccurve who seems to do the best.  Totally unfair to try and penalise or mitigate that, so just go with the flow.

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What they said: fair enough, the team suffers slightly from the Send-Forth-Hercules-Syndrome, but there is nothing wrong with that other than perhaps that the sense of team effort is taking a hit. But the aim of the game is to have fun, and to be awesome.

I second presenting him with more RP-oriented challenges, where it is his decisions and not so much Gears&Talents that rule the outcome of the mission. Watch Captain, next?

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I agree with AK and Siranui.

If everything is clean and fair then there is no point meta him.  Your dedicated player earned his way up to DW BT Champion with RP and regular sessions.  I can imagine the other players envying him.

IMHO, go with the flow.  Let him have his moments of glory but also let other payers have their moments too.  Kasatka made a good point.  Please don't forget about the other players too.  If the other players feel abit jealous, I suggest throwing them spotlight.  Throw them in missions where each player can have a part to play.  Maybe more RP and skills tests rather than combat?  A bit of detective may spice up the game.

Plot wise, from what you're saying here, you're doing pretty well.  there is a variety of enemies, big and small.  No need much for concern.  My ex-D&D DM is a cerebral type player.  His enemy units have strategies around how they play.  Instead of just "I move and engage the nearest enemy that I see".

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To beat my lucky rollers, I stopped sending hordes at them. The closest they ever came to dying was when they fought an equal-numbered squad of Alpha Legion Marines. My Alpha Legionairres started throwing grenades, using Melta Guns, Plasma Guns, setting traps and using squad abilities. The best way to challenge a crack Deathwatch Team, is to give them an equally challenging crack team of something else.

The other time I almost got them is when they failed a major Perception roll and were ambushed by a Tau Stealthsuit Team. Burst and Fusion cannons nearly wiped them out.

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I have to agree, the die are fickle. They'll turn soon enough.

Though, I do have to say, observation of a LOT of tabletop gaming over the last 10 years or so has taught me one important thing:  Every player has their own 'default' luck with dice. The rational part of my brain scoffs, but simply put, you could take my players, have them make 100 rolls apiece on a d20 (with a note beside the roll stating something simple like "attack roll" "saving throw" "critical skill check" or something, and I could probably place each set of rolls to each player. Some just never miss an attack, but can't make a save to, pardon the pun, save their life. Some can't hit the broad side of a barn, but practically can't fail a skill check.

Speaking for myself, I'm the holder of the "clutch dice".  Rare are the moments of spectacular success... less rare, but still pretty uncommon are the "oh, you rolled a 1" moments (from a d20 perspective anyway). However, when my back is to the wall, and it is a "do or die" situation, they usually pull through. Our 5th level DnD party got ambushed by a Rhemoraz (can't spell that for sure) and when all seemed lost, I took an alchemical bomb that I'd been hoarding, charged the thing, got grappled in it's mouth, and shoved the bomb down its throat while screaming "Smile, you S-O-B!" then got blown clear by the blast with (relatively) minor wounds. Or the time another party I was in tangled with a tyrannosaur half-dragon with class levels. It ate the fighter. It ate the rogue. (both, literally.) It was charging at me, I was flinging every spell I had at it... and a mid-duration AOE effect I had around me finished it off, the thing dropping dead literally at my feet. I'm at my best when I'm facing near-certain death to (mostly) save the team.

Anyway, back on topic, luck and die are very mercurial, and are not to be trusted. They will fail eventually.

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Pyrus is correct:  some people ARE luckier with the dice than others; it makes no sense, but it's friggin' true....

And it CAN and DOES mess with the other players...

it's lucky he/she's a good role player and doesn't lord it over everyone else...and it's lucky they chose the 'champion' specialty, as it seems to fit their glorious, unstoppable luck.

When gming star wars, i had dice that would always, always, always roll 5's and 6's whenever the imperials showed up.  ALWAYS.  The players eventually stole and smashed the dice, to no avail. (And, to be clear, most of the time I did NOT want the imperials to do so darned well all the time; in fact, I eventually had to cheat and ignore my high rolls - bloody ridiculous!)   And i've got perhaps the luckiest player on earth (perhaps we should get together and let our lucky players goon eachother until they're as unlucky as the rest of us!)gui%C3%B1o.gif

Wish I had a good solution for you....for us, it came to be just something we lived with and worked around...it helped that the player did not have the most uber-powered character in the group...i guess my only advice would be:  don't be afraid to cheat in the name of good story and game enjoyment; just don't let them catch you!happy.gif

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Actually to add to the point, My play group DM has scary dice.  They normally miss but on very certain days they roll exceptionally well.  Our party was nearly shreded by the Lordsholm Genestealers.  The razor sharp and pen decimated our armour and our unnatural toughness.  Even dice have their mood too.

 

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Some dice can have air-bubbles inside that unintentionally load them. It could be the dice.

And a run of a single result is covered in statistics... people can and do have a long run of results that are above or below average, giving the perception of luck or destiny when it's still a result of randomness. With the millions of people rolling dice someone is going to roll mostly 6's etc for ages and ages and still when everyones dice rolls are gathered together it will still create the bell curve.

It seems to me the main problem is the impact on the other players.

So create situations that will split them up and give some extra focus to the other players if the Templar charges into the enemy often he can get himself seperated from the rest.

Alternatively have a deathwatch chaplain pull aside the champion and encourage him to help guide and strengthen the other marines and build more teamwork and cooperation as a vital part of truly representing the emperor on the field of battle as his champion.

Turn the problem into a strength, and with the players good RP skills he can be challenged by the new responsibility with positive results for the whole group.

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Knowledge is power or so they say. You can throw at them/him some mind-frying piece of information or present some serious moral dilemma.

If Iron Halos is a problem then know that there are rare few items that negate it without any roll, for example: phase sword.

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If you want to keep the fighting interesting I would suggest sending large numbers of enemies at them.  No matter how awesome he is he can only kill a certain number a round, so the rest of the team are needed.  They have to keep the Tyrannid horde off the plasma reactor in time to warm it up and start the shields of a base, the more that slip past them the more they have to search through the city behind and rescue civilians for example.  In that situation yes the badass assault marine can kill big single things but he can't stop a whole horde from moving past him.

Like others have said he isn't doing anything wrong so if he continues to consider himself totally awesome and takes risks he will eventually meet his match luck-wise.  Is he doing things like charging the carnifex shouting 'he's mine'?  If so that might be worth a word, make sure he lets the others join in the fun.  Otherwise he can't stay invincible forever.

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Use his successes against him.

Have a witness to his greatness start proclaiming him a Saint. And slowly, after every few missions, let the information trickle about a returned Saint, the Vengeance of the God-Emperor returned and personified. Build him up into a larger than life hero. Lets face it, for now, he is.

And, just roll with it. If he's humble, he'll start doing less to let the rumors die down. If he's not, then he's proven he's got yet another character flaw: hubris.

Then, if he feeds into it, have an Inquisitor friendly to the group or the PC let slip that this worship of an unacknowledge saint has been found Heretical.

 

Play with the success. But, let him guide it. Who knows...he may eventually fail, then he can become another Holy Martyr of the Imperium. The Commissariat loves those examples!

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Interesting conversation, glad to hear about a fellow BT that pwns. I'm trying to create a secondary advance class (Emperors Champion) for Black Templar DW Champions, and your BT assault player may find this interesting if he reaches level 7 before he dies, if he is so unfortunate. Heres the link to the topic (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=179&efcid=3&efidt=579181)

I posted that because since your having such trouble with a champion maybe you may have some balancing input from a GM standpoint about the Armor of Faith and Black Sword stats.

On a topic related note, I play with a set of bone dice that work wonderfully and eliminates any possibility of them being loaded as they are from living material. Marble dice also work very well with no fear of cheating as they're solid stone.

Also as a BT DW Tactical Champion a problem i find myself encountering is energy weapons, as they will nullify my combat shield (your I. Halo problem) quickly, eliminating those extra points of armor on arm and body and taking out the force field, effectively removing the defense. Once that's been done a heavy weapon would be ideal to shred a marines armor asunder.

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