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CodenameXXIII

Commisar execution rule should be Change

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I believe the intention is that the comrade is fleeing when the commissar is shooting them. Its an abstraction. Mechanically, I can see why it exists. Its not that the commissar sees the PC injured, and executes their comrade. Its probably more that the comrade is losing it since their PC handler is almost down and out.

I think it could probably be better written, but who do you want to see the commissar kill to give the squad an improvement? A PC? That is just asking for a table rage flip.

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It's a bit of a cop-out, but a pretty clever one if you ask me. It lets the Commissar get some hot BLAM! action in a way that benefits the team while only minimally inconveniencing it.

That said, I'm pretty sure the Commissar in my game will be reluctant to use this option. So far, the whole group loves the comedic duo of comrades I've provided them, and there might be some resentment if one of them goes down due to friendly fire.

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I agree with Morangias - the fluff around the ability presumably is that the Comrade does something suitably BLAM-worthy, the Commissar follows through and the PC decides that, well, he's not that wounded after all, really, Sir!

Depending on whether you consider the Comrades faceless redshirts or fully-fleshed-out and beloved group pets, this ability will indeed be used more or less often…

 

@KommissarK

I'd leave it to the players (Commissar and wounded) in question. It is, after all, one player manipulating another player's toys in an almost PvP-like fashion. So in my group, the Commissar player would ask the wounded player whether he'd be ok with Summary Healing and then ask the GM to provide an excuse. The GM on his own can hint at the Game Over situation, but as long as neither the Commissar nor the wounded players want the execution, he should provide the Commissar with a way out without losing face - rallying the soldier with a quick blow, a threat or a warning shot.

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@Cifer

Oh certainly, yes. I guess what I was trying to say is that the situation shouldn't come out of thin air.

 

Comrade A is handling the situation with nerves of steel, behaving more bravely than the PCs who are yelling profanities in terror (i.e. players gaping at whatever it is the GM decided would make for a "fun" encounter) at whatever it is that is actually causing a significant number of wounds, and then suddenly BLAM, comrade A is dead.

 

And yes, hopefully I'll be playing a commissar here once I get a game going, and fully intend to not be rude about using summary execution.

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 On a more serious note :P

There should be an option to not execute a given comrade and bestow a smaller bonus upon the corresponding PC. Perhaps the PC only regains 1d5 wounds, or only ignores critical effects. The Ballistic Skill test should still be required, though; a wild shot would only perplex the squad or perhaps elicit even more confusion!

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Now here is something interesting:

1. The half action only requires that the guardsman (i.e. the PC whos comrade is about to get shot) needs to be in "range" of the commissar. I'm assuming they mean in range of the bolt pistol or whatever ranged weapon the commissar has. Can this be extreme range? - I would say cap this at the actual "range" value of the commissar's current ranged weapon. While it isn't the full standard range, there comes a point where the guardsman just wouldn't even see the commissar and the effect is lost.

2. It fails to state the comrade must be in cohesion with the Guardsman (the PC), so theoretically, the comrade could be back at base, 100 miles away, and yet still find himself splattered across the floor. (obviously I'm kidding here, and this is where the GM slaps the commissar, but it is RAW. And shouldn't our intent be to make RAW == RAI?). - Obviously the rule needs to state the comrade should be in cohesion with the guardsman. And probably that the comrade is also in LoS/Range.

3. It fails to state that this is an attack, it just simply says "fire" the weapon. Yes this should mean that ammo is expended, but what if the commissar is wielding a full auto only weapon? Also, because the action is not technically classed as an attack, they could half action attack, half action summary execution. I'm not against it, but it conflicts with the spirit of some of the rules (no two attacks in one turn). - I'm fine with it not being attack, but it should expend ammo. Preferably at whatever the "lowest" RoF is for that weapon. Or force it to be single shot only weapons.

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If you translate Mechanics directly into Fluff than yes, this is problematic and gamey.

But if you translate mechaincs carefully into fluff my roleplaying the Comrade faltering once a Player falls below 0 Wounds it works actually very well.
Unless your players have no problem with losing their character a few wounds early in which case you can just have the Comisar shoot the player but that would brake Rule 1 of being a good gamemaster. (Don't be a ****.)

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Guest Not In Sample

Seeing as 40ks military discipline is straight out of the 1700s there is a curious lack of whipping in the imperial guard.

Neural whips are made for this.

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The wierd thing is that it's done as a 'healing' action, which I don't get.

If it was me, I'd do it with fear or pinning - since the player and his comrade share fear and pinning results, comrade is definitely fleeing. One quick exemplary shot to the head, and everyone recovers (instantly) from fear and pinning, is immune to it for the rest of the encounter, and…something.

I'd say a temporary WS/BS boost; possibly temporarily give the commissar the effects of Inspire Wrath (without having to make the charm test)

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@Magnus

Righteous Hatred is the priest's territory. Also, the Commissar already has an option that improves Terrify - a Command test that can negate fear effects.

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Just to chime in: this rule is currently, hands-down, my favorite in the rulebook.

Why? Because it's awesome from a setting standpoint, awesome from a game mechanics standpoint, and the two are complete contradictions.

Commisars are supposed to be scary mofos, so they are; shooting the dude who didn't even screw up is some straight Darth Vader stuff right there. But from the perspective of the players at the table, using this ability is ALWAYS a good thing. It's only going to come up if you would otherwise be out of the fight, and given the choice between losing a PC and losing a companion, that's a no-brainer.

Consider how they *could* have phrased this, as an always-available ability. That would be terrible. The Commisar player could constantly be threatening to remove a valuable resource leading to resentment. But instead, this only kicks in when you want it to. I think it's brilliant.

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Given guessmyname's support for killing the given comrade, I will rescind my proposal for an option to not kill a comrade. However, I feel a sidebar should accompany Summary Execution explaining proper circumstances for using this ability, seeking permission from the player in question before killing their comrade, and other such topics relevant to being a responsible player.

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guessmyname said:

Just to chime in: this rule is currently, hands-down, my favorite in the rulebook.

Why? Because it's awesome from a setting standpoint, awesome from a game mechanics standpoint, and the two are complete contradictions.

Commisars are supposed to be scary mofos, so they are; shooting the dude who didn't even screw up is some straight Darth Vader stuff right there. But from the perspective of the players at the table, using this ability is ALWAYS a good thing. It's only going to come up if you would otherwise be out of the fight, and given the choice between losing a PC and losing a companion, that's a no-brainer.

Consider how they *could* have phrased this, as an always-available ability. That would be terrible. The Commisar player could constantly be threatening to remove a valuable resource leading to resentment. But instead, this only kicks in when you want it to. I think it's brilliant.

+1

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Guessmyname has it right. The rule creates a tenuous compromise between the fluff of the Commissar and the problems inherent in a character idea whose duty involves killing off other characters for failing a roll in a pretty random system.

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