Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
vehzeel

Making Imperial Background more attractive

Recommended Posts

Hi!

I've been comparing backgrounds in this game and noticed that some of them are seriously better than others. My main concern here is the Imperial planet background. Sure, they get some skills but they're at untrained basic level and the selection is more or less "meh". Further, they get a -5 on ALL Forbidden Lore checks. That makes the background unattractive for players in a game where it is very important to know things about cults, witches, mutants etc. In the core rules, an Imperial world character is best suited to be Scum or Guardsman since they get few Forbidden Lores. Psyker, AdMech, Assassin and Adept are bad choices due to the abundance of Forbidden Lore skills. Basically, there are few paths an Imperial born can tread and excel.

So how should I solve this? Remove the penalty on Forbidden Lore checks? Raise a few skills to trained level? Give them +5 on all Scholastic Lore and/or all Common Lore skills to reflect better education?

 

 

 

And on a sidenote: why do Volg Hivers start with Melee weapon training (primitive)? All classes get that training anyway, except Adepts in some cases. But Hivers can't be Adept in the first place, according to RAW. Should I remove it, perhaps give +3 to WS or maybe substitute it with Resist (Poisons) instead?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

first, do not start DH unless you are able to simply life with such things. The game is RIPE with such things as you pointed out.

Otherwise, I advise to get a PDF copy of "Rogue Trader" and adapt the way they use home worlds their. In that case, the "mere basic" becomes a stepping stone for a good boost in skills and the Imperial World Background becomes attractive for Clerics and Sororitas (especially if you use the religious rites from BoM).

Last but not least, change the way "Basic/Untrained" is used. I changed it from "only halft stat" to "(-10)" to streamline things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Among several other things, Imperial World is the only Home World that gives you a bonus to characteristics but no penalties.

It's also the only Home World in the core book with which an Assassin, Scum, or Guardsman won't have to pay 300 XP to learn how to read,

And that extremely important Common Lore (Imperium) skill.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I have noticed weird stuff. Like how everyone and their mother get access to Tech Use +10 to +20, except Guardsmen (unless you pick Scout).  Eh, how are they supposed to use an auspex efficiently? Clerics and even Psykers get access to Tech Use +20.

And Guardsman lack Medicae at lower levels, while Scum get it a rank 2. And Adepts don't have Scholastic Lore: Archaic or Beasts, while TPs get it? And why oh why don't niether Assassins nor Guardsmen get Street Fighting? They're the ones that most certainly will learn how to fight with knives and fists in urban environments. And Chirurgeon don't get Medicae +20 while Psykers do?

It seems like the classes are made arbitrarily. For example, Warden of Diviso Immoralis get Armour of Contempt and Resistance (Fear) at rank 1! Combine that class with a Schola Progenium, and your character is basically fearless and incorruptible. The other classes get Armour of Contempt at rank 5-8, and notice that normal Clerics can't pick it. Also, the class that seems perfect to be everything from merchant to artisan to scholar to civil servant, lack several suitable talents and trades like Trade (Apothecary) and cybernetics talents (like a MIU/interface port that gives a bonus to Logic and Lore Skills when hooked up to certain cogitators).

Did they concentrate on a few classes to make them cool and then slapped together a few others with the talents that didn't really cut it?

Seriously, they should do a re-write on the classes. IMO, they should make Common Lore skills, driving skills and basic skills available to all quite early in the ranks, don't pack all goodies in the TP class (let them stick to tech-skills and closely related skills) and at least TRY to make the Adept more interesting.

Like you've noticed, my pet peeve is the Adept. I think a scholar is extremely valuable in an investigation game and it'd be a lot of fun to have such a character in my game, only the rules more or less screw them over since it seem like the Psyker and TP can do everything an Adept can do, but also have other aces up their sleeves.

If I had the time and energy, I'd reconstruct the classes or work out a classless system but it takes a lot of resources to do that *sigh*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bogi_khaosa said:

Among several other things, Imperial World is the only Home World that gives you a bonus to characteristics but no penalties.

It's also the only Home World in the core book with which an Assassin, Scum, or Guardsman won't have to pay 300 XP to learn how to read,

And that extremely important Common Lore (Imperium) skill.

 

 

But tell me why I shouldn't pick Schola Progenium over Imperial World. They get weapon talents, reading and High Gothic at trained level and a bunch of common lores (at basic level). Also, they avoid the worst Willpower penalties. Sure, I cannot pick Assassin, TP or Psyker but there are other Home Worlds better suited for most of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

vehzeel said:

 

But tell me why I shouldn't pick Schola Progenium over Imperial World. They get weapon talents, reading and High Gothic at trained level and a bunch of common lores (at basic level). Also, they avoid the worst Willpower penalties. Sure, I cannot pick Assassin, TP or Psyker but there are other Home Worlds better suited for most of them.

 

 

Outside of the roleplaying reasons, because they get a +3 Willpower and can interact with the worst of society effectively.

I really don't mean this negatively, but it's clear you haven't really absorbed how the parts of the game interact very well yet. (Not meant negatively, don't feel insulted!)

EXAMPLE:

The SP's Tempered Will is not worth much, and Resistance (Fear) and Armour of Contempt nowhere near make you immune to fear and incorruptible.

Let's say you have a Willpower of 30 and Resistance (Fear) and Tempered Will and Armour of Contempt. You see a Bloodletter (Fear Rating 3 and Daemonic Presence).

Resitance (Fear) brings your Willpower to 40 for purposes of resisting Fear. This is subtracted by 20 because of the Fear Rating of 3 and another 10 because of Daemonic Presence to -30. What luck! You have Tempered Will! Than means the -30 becomes a -20.

Now you have a grand 20% chance of resisting the Fear test. On an average roll, you will fail the test by 3 degrees, which on another average roll on the Shock Table will get you a result of 81. You are now panicking and running away and gained 1d5 Insanity Points.

Plus you gain 3 Corruption Points from Warp Shock, which Armour of Contempt drops by a huge 1 point to 2.

 Resistance (Fear) and AoC make you SLIGHTLY MORE RESISTANT, they nowhere near make you immune.

BTW, if you didn't have Tempered Will, on a statistically average result, you would have failed the Fear Test by 4 degrees and gotten 91 instead of 81 on the Shock Table, which is exactly the same result of panicking and running away,

 EDIT: A character with a Willpower of 60 (!), Tempered Will, and Resistance (Fear) will fail Fear tests against Lesser Daemons 50% of the time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Point taken. I have to admit the rules are difficult and I guess I haven't grasped it all yet.

I've only GM:ed four sessions so far, and I have been nice to my players since I prefer my players to stay alive. Therefore, they've only met that weak Plague Bearer in (my slightly modified) Shattered Hope and the monsters in Edge of Darkness. I think one of the characters gained 1 CP when fighting the Plague Bearer, but the other passed their WP test.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

vehzeel said:

Point taken. I have to admit the rules are difficult and I guess I haven't grasped it all yet.

I've only GM:ed four sessions so far, and I have been nice to my players since I prefer my players to stay alive. Therefore, they've only met that weak Plague Bearer in (my slightly modified) Shattered Hope and the monsters in Edge of Darkness. I think one of the characters gained 1 CP when fighting the Plague Bearer, but the other passed their WP test.

Maybe the Plague Bearer in Shattered Hope (which I read a long long time ago) was different since those were ancient days, but the ones in the rulebook (which have been further modified in the errata) have a Fear Rating of 3 and Daemonic Presence (just like the Bloodletter in my example), so a character with a Willpower of 30 or less should have failed the Fear test automatically, and they cause 3 CPs for gaining Insanity Points from failing a Fear Test (it equals the Fear Rating of the warp beastie).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

vehzeel said:

It is a weaker PB and it has no Fear rating, but I ruled that the demon, the stone and the warped environment was "worth" 1 CP if the players failed a WP check.

Was this the demo adventure? They probably didn't even have Fear Ratings in the demo rules...?

As rules stand now, your players would  probably have crapped themselves with terror unless they rolled really really well.

Anyway, my point was that Resistance (Fear) just gives a +10 to characteristic, which isn't much, and most creatures that cause corruption by Warp Shock will do either 3 or 4 Corruption Points (I think Nurglings might have a Fear Rating of 1, Greater Daemons have I think 4, but most everything else has 3), which AoC is going to shild you against but won't make you incorruptible.

We're getting a little off topic here though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

vehzeel said:

 

Yeah, I have noticed weird stuff. Like how everyone and their mother get access to Tech Use +10 to +20, except Guardsmen (unless you pick Scout).  Eh, how are they supposed to use an auspex efficiently? Clerics and even Psykers get access to Tech Use +20.

And Guardsman lack Medicae at lower levels, while Scum get it a rank 2. And Adepts don't have Scholastic Lore: Archaic or Beasts, while TPs get it? And why oh why don't niether Assassins nor Guardsmen get Street Fighting? They're the ones that most certainly will learn how to fight with knives and fists in urban environments. And Chirurgeon don't get Medicae +20 while Psykers do?

It seems like the classes are made arbitrarily. For example, Warden of Diviso Immoralis get Armour of Contempt and Resistance (Fear) at rank 1! Combine that class with a Schola Progenium, and your character is basically fearless and incorruptible. The other classes get Armour of Contempt at rank 5-8, and notice that normal Clerics can't pick it. Also, the class that seems perfect to be everything from merchant to artisan to scholar to civil servant, lack several suitable talents and trades like Trade (Apothecary) and cybernetics talents (like a MIU/interface port that gives a bonus to Logic and Lore Skills when hooked up to certain cogitators).

Did they concentrate on a few classes to make them cool and then slapped together a few others with the talents that didn't really cut it?

Seriously, they should do a re-write on the classes. IMO, they should make Common Lore skills, driving skills and basic skills available to all quite early in the ranks, don't pack all goodies in the TP class (let them stick to tech-skills and closely related skills) and at least TRY to make the Adept more interesting.

Like you've noticed, my pet peeve is the Adept. I think a scholar is extremely valuable in an investigation game and it'd be a lot of fun to have such a character in my game, only the rules more or less screw them over since it seem like the Psyker and TP can do everything an Adept can do, but also have other aces up their sleeves.

If I had the time and energy, I'd reconstruct the classes or work out a classless system but it takes a lot of resources to do that *sigh*

 

 

 

Guardsmen are grunts- trench soldiers meant to point a las rifle and pull the trigger until either they die or the target dies. There are apothecaries to tend the wounded. Guardsmen are meant to shoot and kill. As they rise in rank, the things they shoot get nastier and nastier. Medical skills are not important. Period. A Guardsman might pick up medicae just from being around medics long enough, but it's not a focus of his training.

Also, street fighting is not urban combat. It's grabbing a chain, or a chunk of concrete, or an iron beam, and beating the snot out of someone- probably in a big gang rumble. Please explain to me how Assassins and soldier troops are going to be caught up in gangland riots?

As for the Chirurgeon, that might be an error. Look up errata. Otherwise the focus might not be to heal, it might be to dissect or salvage parts, like an anatomist. So keeping someone healthy might not be their intent. Also, the names of the ranks are not actually what the person is called in the setting, it's just a comparison. If a guardsman hits the rank of Major, it doesn't mean he's automatically a Major in the IG. It's just a rough power comparison.

As for... well... anyone not having heavy cybernetics as part of their character advancement... well... here's the thing. You aren't familiar with the setting. The Adeptus Mechanicus are the members of the machine cult, and most everyone else... doesn't screw with technology or get those really neato devices without the blessing of the AM.

Also, while you can cherrypick backgrounds and classes, I tend to suggest that people at least roll their homeworld (and then either roll for or pick their career), which makes the awesome power combinations you've mentioned rather rare. 

This seems to come down to not understanding the setting well. If you're pretty familiar with the setting (which is bass-ackwards in some respects, intentionally, I mean ignorance is imperial doctrine) then you see things fit better. You're approaching this as a system separate from the setting, when the system was written around the setting. You're going to see issues like this if you are strictly concerned with the system itself. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@The class system should be re-done
If you and your group are ready for a change, try "BlackCrusade". Their is -NO- class system in their. Not at all, sire.  Beside picking some "starting position" in form of some Archetype (which does come with some Stat boni, Talents and Skills) it is "send xp as you like.". Very nice approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gregorius21778 said:

 

@The class system should be re-done
If you and your group are ready for a change, try "BlackCrusade". Their is -NO- class system in their. Not at all, sire.  Beside picking some "starting position" in form of some Archetype (which does come with some Stat boni, Talents and Skills) it is "send xp as you like.". Very nice approach.

 

The career system has some oddities sometimes, but I actually prefer it to Black Crusade's careerless system; I know that opinions on this vary wildly. "Spend xp as you like" just doesn't sit well with me. I look over Black Crusade and I cannot feel any less inspired or think about anything messier.

Also, changing to Black Crusade is far from just a rules change or a change in how careers work (or rather, doesn't work). It is very different in approach to almost everything, and would require significant homebrewing to be compatible with the base scenarios Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader or Deathwatch offers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spending XP as you like doesn't exclude guidelines. I've mostly played Fading Suns (a Dune-ish rpg) where this is done. I prefer to let my players pick homeworlds and classes freely, within reason (a feral TP? not likely). I dislike totally random outcomes, just as too rigid class systems, as it creates implausible characters.

As to not understanding the setting, I think I'm quite familiar with it. I understand the rigid social system, the fanaticism, superstition, xeno-phobia  and the virtue of ignorance. I just think the classes and homeworlds are unbalanced.and inflexible. Obviously, I have to make use of elite advances.

 

 

Hmm, I think I derailed my own thread. Good work there :) Rant over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't make too liberal use of elite advances (or charge people too little), or 1) the careers will be utterly pointless and 2) people will have things that are meant to be high powered too early. The base standard should be twice as much as the "normal" cost, and avoid many talents (don't give low level characters easy access to Fearless, for example. Yes, it can be a hinderance, but it is meant to be a high level talent, especially as I think most basic careers only get access to it at Rank 8). This doesn't have to apply to very specific skills (say languages or lores very specific to certain game worlds etc), but should apply to "practical skills" like Dodge, Medicae, Tech-Use, Charm etc. Many aspects of certain careers are based around their access to these skills, so giving them out to freely upsets this.

Oh, and the Tech Priest should not be too narrowly limited on knowledges. The Mechanicum values all scientific knowledge, not just that which deals with the technological. All scientists, including those studying animals and the like, are going to be Mechanicum. Adepts are more into the Humanities side of the knowledges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quoted from Fgdsfg

"The career system has some oddities sometimes, but I actually prefer it to Black Crusade's careerless system; I know that opinions on this vary wildly. "Spend xp as you like" just doesn't sit well with me. I look over Black Crusade and I cannot feel any less inspired or think about anything messier.

Also, changing to Black Crusade is far from just a rules change or a change in how careers work (or rather, doesn't work). It is very different in approach to almost everything, and would require significant homebrewing to be compatible with the base scenarios Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader or Deathwatch offers."

 

Well, they don't call it "serving the forces of CHAOS" for nothin' ... :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

vehzeel said:

 I prefer to let my players pick homeworlds and classes freely, within reason (a feral TP? not likely). I dislike totally random outcomes, just as too rigid class systems, as it creates implausible characters.

Why can't a techpriest have a feral background? The imperial tithe has to be collected somewhere. Think of a spaceport. And a feralworlder might automatically assume that there are Ghosts in the machines. Why not let him be trained by the mechs at te spaceport. Seeing preteen mothers die in childbirth on a daily basis gives you an instinctual understanding of how weak the flesh really is.

And do not forget, feral worlds have been colonised in the far past. Think of all the archeotech hidden in the jungles. A techpriest that was raised in this environment would be much better suited to search for these.

The Imperium is vast and almost limitless. Let your imagination be so too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mother Superior said:

vehzeel said:

 

 I prefer to let my players pick homeworlds and classes freely, within reason (a feral TP? not likely). I dislike totally random outcomes, just as too rigid class systems, as it creates implausible characters.

 

 

Why can't a techpriest have a feral background? The imperial tithe has to be collected somewhere. Think of a spaceport. And a feralworlder might automatically assume that there are Ghosts in the machines. Why not let him be trained by the mechs at te spaceport. Seeing preteen mothers die in childbirth on a daily basis gives you an instinctual understanding of how weak the flesh really is.

And do not forget, feral worlds have been colonised in the far past. Think of all the archeotech hidden in the jungles. A techpriest that was raised in this environment would be much better suited to search for these.

The Imperium is vast and almost limitless. Let your imagination be so too.

He wouldn't be feral anymore though functionally. He would be from the world technically, but he wouldn't have the life of living as a tribesman but as a tech-priest. Wouldn't have the Primitive trait for one thing. Wouldn't have the extra Strength and Toughness from living in the wild, certainly wouldn't have the lowered Willpower or the superstitions.

He would be for all intents and purposes an Imperial Worlder.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to mention that not all Feral Worlds have starports, open knowledge of the Imperium, or regular visits by the Mechanicus.

Personally I like the career system found in Dark Heresy, it has its rough bits that's for sure, but so do all systems (I can't tell you how many times I've seen people get pie-eyed about how the gamelines would work so much better if they were handled like the nWoD). I find that what we have for Dark Heresy, actually -works- for Dark Heresy, while what Black Crusade has works for Black Crusade. And that trying to port one system to the other ends up as a bit of a kludge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 A couple of points: The Dark Heresy game is a legacy from Black library and has not been revised since it's original edition! Later games (RT, DW and BC) have attempted to correct some of the deficiencies in the original. I have always updated things where possible in order to have correct weapon stats, Skill descriptions etc. Hopefully there will be a second ed. DH soon that will bring things into line with the rest of the system!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm all for a corrected/revised 2nd Ed. of DH, but I really hope FFG doesn't start doing away with Careers and making all of their WH40KRP systems "classless" like BC. BC isn't really classless, of course, considering the importance of Archetypes and Alignment; it just strips out considerations of balance, both cross-class and level-based. I suspected that, freed from the constraints of the Career system, the floodgates of "minmaxing" would open, and some of the posts on the BC Forum indicate that some players have already figured out unbalanced "power builds" that they use on all of their characters and dominate their parties...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it would be possible to switch DH careers for Archetypes, and set up advancement packages independent of the Chaos Gods to still have Adepts gaining Lore Skills quicker, Guardsmen being better in combat etc.

The thing is, doing that takes a comparable amount of effort to building better Career tables from scratch, and somewhat rigid Careers make a lot of sense for DH. So why not just revise the Careers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...