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Commisars *sigh*

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Lynata said:


Let's keep in mind that, given how the 40k franchise is handled, one product does not necessarily have to "fit in" with another. I'm no expert on the novels in question, but I have heard enough of the Cain ones to realise that they feature a lot of contradictions with existing GW fluff.

 

Perhaps the best solution would be to houserule different versions of Commissars, depending on whether the group one is playing in prefers the GW-variant or a specific novel author's interpretation?

It's true that the Cain (and Gaunt) books feature contradictions with the general depiction of the Commissariat, but the point there is the contractions are intentional and acknowledged by both the characters in-universe and the authors out-universe. 

And you can totally build something approaching a Cain or a Gaunt without houserules, it mostly resolves around focusing on different talents and purposefully not buying Summary Execution, among other things. It's just a matter of throwing enough XP at the PC, since Gaunt and Cain are clearly high-level characters in RPG terms. I actually drew up a just-for-fun Gaunt, and it's a matter of throwing talents like Master Orator and Into the Jaws of Hell in place of things like Intimidate +20. But ya, that's the bright side of the freeform advancement scheme OW offers. 

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I personally don't allow Commisars in my OW campaign because I believe that having one player with power over the life or death of the rest of the squad is unhealthy in an RPG group. Now, you can play a benevolent Comissar that raises morale through power hugs, but I get the distinct feeling that the players who begged me to let them roll a Comissar aren't gonna take Gaunt or Cain as inspiration, and I don't think the rest would have much fun with Comissar Blamsalot in the squad preocupado.gif

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JuankiMan said:

I personally don't allow Commisars in my OW campaign because I believe that having one player with power over the life or death of the rest of the squad is unhealthy in an RPG group. Now, you can play a benevolent Comissar that raises morale through power hugs, but I get the distinct feeling that the players who begged me to let them roll a Comissar aren't gonna take Gaunt or Cain as inspiration, and I don't think the rest would have much fun with Comissar Blamsalot in the squad preocupado.gif

This is very true.  I actually got the go ahead to play the Commissar in a friends campaign.  I was thinking about handling extreme insubordination by killing comrades first, since they will likely back up exactly what the player character is doing.  Thoughts?

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I think if you have players that are that eager to kill fellow PCs you have a bigger problem on your hand that doesn't stem from the Commissar class, but rather the players themselves. I would trust my PCs to be able to handle being a Commissar the right way without killing everyone all the time, and I would think if they didn't the other PCs would respond appropriately rather than just sit idly by and die (unless you're somehow letting the Commissar PC get to shoot an ally without the chance for him/her to roll dodge, fire back, whatever). May just be my experience with RPing, though.

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HTMC said:

I think if you have players that are that eager to kill fellow PCs you have a bigger problem on your hand that doesn't stem from the Commissar class, but rather the players themselves. I would trust my PCs to be able to handle being a Commissar the right way without killing everyone all the time, and I would think if they didn't the other PCs would respond appropriately rather than just sit idly by and die (unless you're somehow letting the Commissar PC get to shoot an ally without the chance for him/her to roll dodge, fire back, whatever). May just be my experience with RPing, though.

According to fluff, handling a Comissar right implies being a very nasty person indeed, even without the executions. And the other PCs can act accordingly and try to defend themselves, though the Comissar usually gets the first shot and you can't dodge a bullet to the back of the head, but a Guardsman killing a Comissar for any reason is a grievious offense punishable with a horrible death (being whipped to death, for example), while a Comissar killing a Guardsman is bussiness as usual.

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While that is technically true, remember that this is an RPG group with friends.

First, he shouldn't be eager to kill fellow PCs. Although off screen punishments like a months KP duty is fine.

Secondly if he does kill PCs it should be for a **** good reason. Yes he can kill your comrade for having an untied bootlace ("But Sir! These are loafers!" *blam*) but unless he catches you summoning demons he shouldn't just kill PCs for the fun if it.

Thirdly while he can auto-kill comrades, PCs still get to roll initiative.

Fourthly if you do have a problem child who keeps killing PCs, getting waxed and then rolling a new Commisar tell him there are no more spare Commisars. There are only so many in the brigade and you've gone thorugh the junior offiicers. The Commisar Lord is too busy elsewhere and is not going to babysit an obviously troublesome unit. But he did send word back to Sector Command and they are sending out a special officer to investigate. Too bad his ship hit a Warpstorm. He should be there any decade now.

Sometimes you need to metagame the table.

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Andor said:

Sometimes you need to metagame the table.

That I could, but I prefer to avoid going through all that trouble when a simple 'no' will suffice. A player rolling a Comissar doesn't have to be a homicidal maniac or an incredibly sadistic bastard, sure. I may be even wrong and am not giving my players enough credit. But I feel that just having the threat of that kind of mess happening is unhealthy in an RPG group.

My take, really. Every gaming table is a pocket dimension in and of itself.

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JuankiMan said:

 

According to fluff, handling a Comissar right implies being a very nasty person indeed, even without the executions. And the other PCs can act accordingly and try to defend themselves, though the Comissar usually gets the first shot and you can't dodge a bullet to the back of the head, but a Guardsman killing a Comissar for any reason is a grievious offense punishable with a horrible death (being whipped to death, for example), while a Comissar killing a Guardsman is bussiness as usual.

 

Commissars may be nasty bastards, but most aren't complete idiots. Those that are tend not to survive very long (as mentioned earlier they tend to fall victim to 'enemy fire' surprisingly far from the enemy lines). The rest don't go around executing guardsmen at the drop of a hat. While they may use fear to keep the men in line most also try to be inspiring, rousing them to acts of valour and leading by example. That doesn't mean they need to be brilliant tacticians or anything (so the stats as-is would seem to be fine) and it certainly makes them playable.

Certainly if there's a problem in your group which would lead to this being abused then you should ban the commissar, but I don't see it as any more problematic than having a player be a Rogue Trader or an Inquisitor.

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macd21 said:

JuankiMan said:

 

 

According to fluff, handling a Comissar right implies being a very nasty person indeed, even without the executions. And the other PCs can act accordingly and try to defend themselves, though the Comissar usually gets the first shot and you can't dodge a bullet to the back of the head, but a Guardsman killing a Comissar for any reason is a grievious offense punishable with a horrible death (being whipped to death, for example), while a Comissar killing a Guardsman is bussiness as usual.

 

 

 

Commissars may be nasty bastards, but most aren't complete idiots. Those that are tend not to survive very long (as mentioned earlier they tend to fall victim to 'enemy fire' surprisingly far from the enemy lines). The rest don't go around executing guardsmen at the drop of a hat. While they may use fear to keep the men in line most also try to be inspiring, rousing them to acts of valour and leading by example. That doesn't mean they need to be brilliant tacticians or anything (so the stats as-is would seem to be fine) and it certainly makes them playable.

Certainly if there's a problem in your group which would lead to this being abused then you should ban the commissar, but I don't see it as any more problematic than having a player be a Rogue Trader or an Inquisitor.

I was thinking the same thing about the Rogue Trader and Inquisitor PC’s from RT and Dark Heresy.

I’d also like to point out (as has been touched on in a way) that any Commissar PC is basically a junior commissar, sure they have the same authority but in most respects they ought to be relatively young and inexperienced, they should play them as such. No commissar starts out as Gaunt or Cain, or even the a-hole blasting every imagined infraction. That’s what they become, and even those jerk-ish guys probably got that way for a reason, they probably saw something that made them see enemies around every corner, maybe they did witness a full demonic incursion brought on by a young IG grunt reading a proscribed text and so now they shoot first ask questions never, but a junior commissar like the PC should be fresh from the schola and still feeling their way out. OR they have been with this regiment longer than most commissar are with a single regiment and they know the way to work with these guys and girls and should, as such, not have any interaction problems.

Just my two cents.

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It seems to me that Yarrik, Gaunt and Cain each break the Commisar mold in their own way and thus amke for interesting characters. In a group-oriented RPG, there is a need for the players characters to adhere more closely to their role. After all, it makes little sense for the sniper character to be a hand-to-hand specialist instead of a ranged specialist, it makes little sense for the Comissar to be a scrounger and fixer instead of bolstering morale.

There is always room for pursuing special character traits in the form of Elite Advances, something that should perhaps be more strongly encouraged?

-K

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kjakan said:

It seems to me that Yarrik, Gaunt and Cain each break the Commisar mold in their own way and thus amke for interesting characters. In a group-oriented RPG, there is a need for the players characters to adhere more closely to their role. After all, it makes little sense for the sniper character to be a hand-to-hand specialist instead of a ranged specialist, it makes little sense for the Comissar to be a scrounger and fixer instead of bolstering morale.

There is always room for pursuing special character traits in the form of Elite Advances, something that should perhaps be more strongly encouraged?

-K

But without restricted character growth you don't need elite advances anymore. Everything is open.

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KommissarK said:

Elite Advances could offer talents the character exhibits they should have for cheaper. If my PC managed to do something to really aid the Ad Mech, Peer(Ad Mech) for half price may be in order.

I didn't think about that, I forgot you could use them in that way.

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