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Jackal_Strain

Jackal_Strains Minion Houserules.

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I love the idea of minions, but I'm not 100% satisfied with the rules for them in the rule book. Traits in Particular needs a change imo. If a player get the choice between Machine 1 or machine 6 at the same cost for their minion, chances are that they will go for machine 6 9 0ut of 10 times, unless the Gm imposes some restrictions.

Characteristics also seems to handled pretty strange imo, so I felt the need to change how the minion rules work before launching my Black Crusade campaign.

 

Jackal_Strains Minion houserules.

Talents and Traits may be exchanged for Characteristics points, at the rate of 10 Characteristic points for each Talent or Trait.
Characteristics may not exceed the maximum for each level of Minion Talent (30 for lesser, 35 for normal and 40 for greater).

Talents may be exchanged for Skills at rate of one Skills for one Talent.
Talents may be exchanged for Traits at the cost of one Trait for two Talents.

Traits may be exchanged for Skills and Talents at the rate of two skills for one Trait and one Talent for one Trait.

Traits that come in levels (eg. Unnatural characteristics, brutal charge, machine etc) are bought at the rate of one for one. So unnatural agility (+2) and sonar sense would reduce the pool of available traits by 3.
Lesser Minions get 6 Traits, Normal Minions gets 10 Traits and Greater Minions get 14 Traits.

 

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 Couple of questions - is the exchange of talents and traits for attributes still capped by the level of minion? i.e. Lesser Minions still cannot exceed 30 in any one attribute. If so, then that's reasonable, if not then you are quickly going to run into minions that can outperform player characters, and that's really not the point of them.

Secondly, the multiple level traits already ARE bought on a level by level basis. So Machine(6) is 6 traits spent. The only problem one so far is Size, which will blatantly be addressed in the errata but for now we have ruled that unless it specifies what Size your minion is (Heretek getting a servo skull or servitor for example) then assume it is Size(4) by default, with each step either up or down costing 1 trait.

Sound enough logic in what you are trying to achieve, but just needs a little more beta-testing methinks.

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Kasatka said:

 

Secondly, the multiple level traits already ARE bought on a level by level basis. So Machine(6) is 6 traits spent.

 

 

 

No, you can buy up to the maximum allowed for the minion all for one trait.  See the example on page 137:

"Nick's tainted servitor can have up to 5 Traits. He chooses the Dark Sight, Machine (4), Unnatural Strength (3) and Unnatural Toughness (3)."  He then increases machine beyond the normal maximum, to 5, by spending a trait.

 

I agree that it should cost more, otherwise there is absolutely no reason NOT to choose the highest possible.

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The first question is answered in my original post, but yes. The stats are capped at 30 for lesser, 35 for normal and 40 for greater.

Second. Look at the example servitor in the minion section. It's clearly not built with only 5 trait "points" if you buy each level of machine, unnatural stats etc, separately. It has machine 5, unnatural strength and toughness at 3 each, and darksight. this totals 12 trait "points".

 

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 Except that FFG's examples tend to create more questions than they try to answer.. i don't have a book to hand but i'm willing to bet thats not the only example that doesn't tie up with the rules as written. It's obvious to me that FFG didn't intend for you to be able to buy a multi-level trait at max level, otherwise everyone would have a maxed out servitor minion at start...

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On pg 136, under Traits, it specifically states that for any traits with a variable range, the player can pick freely from that range (barring GM restrictions and the limit on Unnatural Characteristics). 

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There should be some slsytem that makes players think carefully about their minions and prevents the masses of machine 6, hoverer 6, unnatural toughness and strength 4, daemonic, fear 4, auto stabilized greater minions we are bound to see pop up in every game with the current system.

I've made several minions with my proposed houserules, and I feel that they are way more balanced, doesnt intrude on the players roles and generally much more believable.

I'll see if I can find time to post some later today and explain how I made them.

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Kasatka said:

 I'll repeat my above point - why would you ever not max out a variable trait? It's clearly in need of some errata or clarification of the example at the least.

That is one of the problems that Jackal Strains is trying to solve with his house rules I believe - that there is no reason to ever select a trait that is below the maximum allowed and that doing so has the potential to be over powered. 

I like the general idea for the house rule, making more powerful traits require a higher expenditure. I do think that if you do this that you may want to bump up the total attribute allotment for each kind of minion so that it becomes possible to have an average human peasant (say, average attributes of 25 across the board) as a lesser minion and so that you can still maintain relatively powerful greater or normal minions as they are now MUCH weaker since they have to use so many traits to get higher level traits. 

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How is this for a powerfull Greater Minion?

I'll post more later.

Chaos Space Marine Bodyguard (Greater Minion)

Ws: 40 (4)
Bs: 40 (4)
S: 40 (10)
T: 40 (8)
A: 30 (3)
Int: 30 (3)
Per: 30 (3)
Will: 30 (3)
Fel: 10 (1)

Wounds: 16

Skills: Dodge+10, Parry+10, Athletics+10, Awareness, Intimidate +10, Linguistics (Low Gothic), Common Lore War

Talents: Ambidextrous, Bulging Biceps, Legion Weapon Training, Heightened Senses (Sight, Hearing), Nerves of Steel, Quick Draw, Resistance (Heat, Cold, Poisons), Unarmed Warrior

Traits: Unnatural Strength (+4), Unnatural Toughness (+4), Amphibious
Note: I didn't give him size, since he is wearing Power Armour

Equipment: Legion Power Armour (Sustainable Power Supply), Chain Greatsword, Legion Bolter, Legion Bolt pistol, Legion Combat Knife

4 traits exchanged for 40 Characteristic points, 1 Trait exchanged for two skills.

This is a deadly minion that will be really helpfull for characters that are inept in combat, but will not overshadow dedicated combat characters in any way, due to the lack of specialized combat talents. It is also woefully inept in social situations and probably not much of a conversationalist.

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Cultist (Lesser Minion)

Ws: 30
Bs: 10
S: 25
T: 25
A: 20
Int: 20
Per: 30
Will: 20
Fel: 30

Wounds: 4

Skills: Linguistics (Low gothic), Charm, Deceive, Awareness

Talents: none

Traits: none

Equipment: Chainmail coat, Axe

All 6 traits exchanged for 60 character points, all 5 talents exchanged for 50 characteristic points.

This is a minion idea I had for one of my own characters. His only purpose is to Carry my characters sword into battle and proclaim his glory for all to hear. He is a suck up that serves out of fear and a misguided adoration for his master (my character).

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Demagogue (Normal minion)

Ws: 10
Bs: 20
S: 25
T: 30
A: 30
Int: 35
Per: 35
Will: 25
Fel: 35

Wounds: 6

Skills: Awareness +10, Charm +10, Deceive +10, Linguistics (Low Gothic), Scrutiny, Common Lore (Imperium, The Screaming Vortex), Dodge, Inquiry

Talents: Air of Authority, Heightened Senses (Hearing), Foresight, Inspire Wrath, Weapon Training (Sp, Primary), Jaded

Traits: None

Equipment: Stub Automatic, Staff, Xenos Hides

7 Traits exchanged for 70 characterisic points, 3 Traits exchanged for 6 skills,

A social minion that can be very usefull for whipping crowds into a frenzy or help a difficult negotiation with his silver tongue.

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Nice minions Jackal, as a GM I would have no problem with my players using these minions.

With regards to traits with a rating I wouldnt mind my players taking the highest rating as long as they were keeping in the spirit of the minion.

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I will try these out on my players and see if it works out well for us. I like the example minions you've given, seems a lot more balanced than the ones you make with the current rules. Thank you.

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