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DocIII

Acolytes and power level

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Dezmond said:

+++++the instant gratfication, gimme gimme, if I don't get what I want I'm gonna cry and go home generation+++++

Or as GW likes to call them, Customers.

Well that's great.  The GW boards are ---->

Go pester them, since this is FFG.

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Dezmond said:

+++++the instant gratfication, gimme gimme, if I don't get what I want I'm gonna cry and go home generation+++++

Or as GW likes to call them, Customers.

GW games aren't instant gratification, though. You do, afterall, have to put the models together, and painting them is encouraged. That puts a little bit of lead time on the imaginary explosions.

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@Luddite
Looks like the defenders of the game system are winning!

Does it?


@Redeucer

Actually, you aren't missing anything. Remember that you were jumping under more ideal circumstances. No rumbling ground like in the example given. You are on a level, stable field. Probably on a long jump track. No pressure to make it because your life doesn't depend on it. So those things would give you a minimum of +10 and maybe +20 (not +30 for ideal circumstances, but still pretty favorable).

So if you have 25 Strength, +30 for 16m run, +20 for being on a long jump track, -20 because you need 2 degrees of success to make the 4m, and you have a 55% chance of making that leap.

But like I said before, if you are a starting character, there is where the problem is. You realistically only have that 25 Strength and no acrobatics. Now you are put in the situation where the ground is unstable so you have to make that jump on a 35% instead of a 55%. Now you have a problem. And that's where things become difficult.

So why don't the rules say so? Why don't the jump rules say that under normal circumstances (because our school didn't exactly have a spectacular jump track - I'd assume you'd have about the same jumping abilties on a normal street), you should get a bonus? Now maybe I'm just used to it from different systems, but when there's a common source for a bonus (like not having cracks in the track and the whole ground shaking), I'd expect it to be named in the rules, just as with the X metres of running start. Doing otherwise would be a little like abbreviating the whole ranged combat section to "You make a BS roll. If your gun has a red-dot laser sight, you get a +10 on the roll. If you make the roll, you hit the target." If even extremely common modifiers are omitted, what's the point in detailing others? It seems like creating a false sense of accuracy, like when doing maths, adding a number that was rounded to the nearest hundred to another that's accurate way past the comma and assuming the entire figure will be as accurateas the second number.

@DocIII
The point being all the griping I've seen about "whiff" factor of the system has not been demonstrated throughout my games (3 separate campaigns).

Yes the system is deadlier than most RPG's (across the board) and yes people often miss in combat (on both sides) but I don't find this to be a flaw in the combat system.

Actually, combat is the one thing that IMO doesn't suffer from too many misses - with Short Range and either Aiming and a Red Dot or Full Auto, hitting stuff is pretty easy to do relatively consistently. It's the out-of-combat stuff where DH demonstrates masterfully how incompetent acolytes are. Famous examples would be the Pit of Acolyte Incompetence in Shattered Hopes and quite a few other tests in Illumination.

 


@all

Could we please go back to ignoring Dezmond? The whole baiting and responding makes it a little difficult to see the interesting posts.
 

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Luddite said:

 

Another derailed thread?  serio.gif

 

 

Actually I don't see it as such totally.

In this case Dezmond and his ilk actually provide the counter-point to the OPs arguement, if you can read past all of the trollish blustering and get to the meat of his actual arguement he's providing the counter-arguement to the OPs statement.

Namely that Players are rather weak at times, and aren't the supermen that some people want to play.  Some people... not all... not even a majority but some... want to play a character that can easiliy kill an entire Hive with just their thumb.  And lets be honest, Dark Heresy just isn't that game.

I'll sit here and say there are some HUGE weaknesses in acolytes especially at lower levels.  If all you play is tier 1-3 before you get fed up, you'll see where these people are saying, that these people are just NORMAL people... nothing special... normal people doing extraordinary jobs that are going to get them killed.

And they're right.  Hell even the corebook makes an inside joke about it with stating that many Acolytes feel that the Patron Saint of Lost Causes is the Patron Saint of Acolytes.

The same exact arguement came out with Scion: Hero.  OMG we're not gods, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry.  Why do we have to wait an entire YEAR to play Gods we want it now now now now now.

You know basic two year old stuff with valid arguements mixed in.  The trick to not derailing a thread is to concentrate on their actual at least semi-valid arguements, while either ignoring or quickly deflecting their extremly childish rants and temper tantrums.

So I see a valid point though with his arguements in counter-point ot the OPs.  How lucky or unlucky your dice rolls are can make or break your character very quickly.  A single lucky roll by whatever you're fighting and you're burning fatepoints faster then a lho-stick burns.  A bad fear check (or two or three) and not only are you a cowering puddle of mud which is an easy hit, but also possibly completely and permanently deranged and possibly corrupted as well, leaving the possibility for a mutation, all on a couple bad rolls.

On the counter arguement, a few lucky rolls and a hugely powerful beast the GM thought would be a challenge is reduced to warp vapor in a single round, so it goes both ways.

Some players (again not alot but a vocal minority) don't like that though, they like to be completely in charge... of everything... including their characters fate, and the only true way to do that is to munchkinize their characters into superhumanisms that can take on a hive with just their thumb, so that when they face the truely horrifying beasts they know that are out there, they think... THINK.. they have a chance

Edit:  Understand that I don't agree with his arguements, but translating them so that they can be turned from troll to productive.  Personally, I think the game is supposed to be dark, deadly.  Like i said normal people doing extraordinary things.  I will agree though, that the system can be very deadly at early levels, and its quite easy to gimp your character especially with the exp cap if you pick the wrong skills... but that's the name of the game.

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Cifer said:

It's the out-of-combat stuff where DH demonstrates masterfully how incompetent acolytes are. Famous examples would be the Pit of Acolyte Incompetence in Shattered Hopes and quite a few other tests in Illumination.

 

partido_risa.gif

Shattered Hopes was indeed well named...and perhaps the paragon of expressing how utterly incompetent starting characters were expected to be...

Personally i still think i side with the 'acolytes are mechanically incompetent' argument.  i think they are from a baseline.  Its only when you start adding in the bonus modifiers and taking account of the wierd 'if you fail, you don't actually fail unless you fail REALLY bad' dice mechanic, that acolytes cease being 'incompetent'.

After all, the average investigator for the Inquisition they are supposed to represent is rolling on about 15% to spot anything unless they take Awareness as a skill.  Myopic, deaf, bumbling Clouseau types employed by an Inquisitor? (Alright, i know they fixed that little glitch with an optional interpretation/rule in IH, but still).

Even at Rank 7-8 (the range where PCs are now too 'powerful' for Dark Heresy), at a base unmodified skill, most 'elite' PCs are at 20-50% success rates in pretty much everything.  Modifiers bump this up of course, but then as a GM, i'm thinking, is that a good way to model things?

Shouldn't inherent competence of a character be more important than situational modifiers?

I'm not sure...preocupado.gif...but i'm very interested in the cut and thrust of this debate...gran_risa.gif

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Cifer said:

 

So why don't the rules say so? Why don't the jump rules say that under normal circumstances (because our school didn't exactly have a spectacular jump track - I'd assume you'd have about the same jumping abilties on a normal street), you should get a bonus? Now maybe I'm just used to it from different systems, but when there's a common source for a bonus (like not having cracks in the track and the whole ground shaking), I'd expect it to be named in the rules, just as with the X metres of running start.

 

Except that all tests in Dark Heresy work this way, and the game says so - regardless of how you might choose to interpret it, the rulebook specifically says (in regards to no test in particular, but rather as a general rule for any and all of them) "The GM assigns bonuses or penalties to Skill and Characteristic Tests depending on the circumstances" followed by "making judgements like this is a big part of being a Game Master" and "For each Test, the GM should decide the difficulty". That's all on page 184.

The rules as a whole assume that not all tests are equal, and states that the GM should apply modifiers for circumstance (remembering that a +0 is "challenging" - unmodified tests should be fairly difficult) whenever and whereever he feels appropriate.

The jump and leap rule don't need to have this stated specifically, because it's a standard ruling for all tests.

Edit: In short, it's not the rules themselves, it's how you choose to use them. GMs who are stingy with the circumstance bonuses may find that Dark Heresy doesn't work all that well...

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Cifer said:

 

So why don't the rules say so? Why don't the jump rules say that under normal circumstances (because our school didn't exactly have a spectacular jump track - I'd assume you'd have about the same jumping abilties on a normal street), you should get a bonus? Now maybe I'm just used to it from different systems, but when there's a common source for a bonus (like not having cracks in the track and the whole ground shaking), I'd expect it to be named in the rules, just as with the X metres of running start.

 

Except that all tests in Dark Heresy work this way, and the game says so - regardless of how you might choose to interpret it, the rulebook specifically says (in regards to no test in particular, but rather as a general rule for any and all of them) "The GM assigns bonuses or penalties to Skill and Characteristic Tests depending on the circumstances" followed by "making judgements like this is a big part of being a Game Master" and "For each Test, the GM should decide the difficulty". That's all on page 184.

The rules as a whole assume that not all tests are equal, and states that the GM should apply modifiers for circumstance (remembering that a +0 is "challenging" - unmodified tests should be fairly difficult) whenever and whereever he feels appropriate.

The jump and leap rule don't need to have this stated specifically, because it's a standard ruling for all tests.

Edit: In short, it's not the rules themselves, it's how you choose to use them. GMs who are stingy with the circumstance bonuses may find that Dark Heresy doesn't work all that well...

Thank you NO-1.   Exactly what I was going to post but you beat me to it due to dinner time with the family.

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Luddite said:

Shattered Hopes was indeed well named...and perhaps the paragon of expressing how utterly incompetent starting characters were expected to be...

Personally i still think i side with the 'acolytes are mechanically incompetent' argument.  i think they are from a baseline.  Its only when you start adding in the bonus modifiers and taking account of the wierd 'if you fail, you don't actually fail unless you fail REALLY bad' dice mechanic, that acolytes cease being 'incompetent'.

After all, the average investigator for the Inquisition they are supposed to represent is rolling on about 15% to spot anything unless they take Awareness as a skill.  Myopic, deaf, bumbling Clouseau types employed by an Inquisitor? (Alright, i know they fixed that little glitch with an optional interpretation/rule in IH, but still).

Even at Rank 7-8 (the range where PCs are now too 'powerful' for Dark Heresy), at a base unmodified skill, most 'elite' PCs are at 20-50% success rates in pretty much everything.  Modifiers bump this up of course, but then as a GM, i'm thinking, is that a good way to model things?

Shouldn't inherent competence of a character be more important than situational modifiers?

I'm not sure...preocupado.gif...but i'm very interested in the cut and thrust of this debate...gran_risa.gif

I have to agree with everything you said.  I guess part of me wants to say re-emphazize that Dark Heresy is about normal people doing extraordinary things, and part of me wants to say that with Acention coming out, that they wanted to give us room to grow.

Part of me wants to say that's all hogwash and they screwed up.

I find that its not in the skills that everyone is weak in, especially in the areas you're supposed to concentrate on.  With skill specialites, +20 bonuses and high attributes you do rather well in skills.  My interrogation is literally somewhere in the 70s or 80s on my priest, and my charm isn't far from that either.  So skill wise we do okay.

The problem ends up being not so much with skills as attribute rolls, anything that doesn't have a skill associated with it.  Contrary to the belief of some people here, common everyday occurances aren't a problem, so no "redshirt" should be dying to a "****** with a autogun" unless you're completely incompetant or had a really really bad day of luck.

Where I find the issue is against things that as a member of the Inquisitition you're supposed to be fighting, Xenos and Psykers and Chaos.  They all almost invariable have skills that are undefendable against, or are only tested against a specific attribute, or in combat have super high toughness and are very hard to hit.  In the mean time they're cutting you up like a birthday cake.

Add in the fact that most of these aren't just tested against an attribute but actually negitavely impact the same attribute, and it gets worse.  Since realiztically the highest attribute you can get is about a 60, a -20 to that attribute makes you almost guarrenteed to fail, and fail spectacularly.

The other problem is that failure isn't just failing, but that a single failure can compound itself even if you only missed by the average amount.  Miss that dodge roll, and suddenly not only are you hit, but you've gone from 50 hitpoints to dead all because of a righteous.

Miss that fear roll, and you could not only be incapable of defending yourself in combat because you're catatonic, but you've gained insanity, which in turn can give you a derangement, which also can give you corruption, which in turn can give you a mutation, all because of a single bad fear roll.

and lets not even get into psykers and the hell it is if you simply roll a 9, even if you succeed on the roll you can then end up being dead... or worse.

Part of me wants to say that yes the system is bad, very bad at early levels, and it gets better... and it does.  At tier 5 I don't feel like a liability anymore, and it achieved its goal that you don't simply walk into combat and start rolling dice, simply because of all the hell that can come out of it.  Since that's a stated principle of the game, I have to agree they succeeded.

But when my top tier character is still trying to roll a 30 just to not be afraid to fight a daemon, and I'm a member of the Ordo Malleus, well... that's a problem with the system.  There are times... not all the time but sometimes... when I feel the growth of my character wasn't as much as I'd like and that I'm still a tier 1 character even at tier 8 or 9.

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Except that all tests in Dark Heresy work this way, and the game says so - regardless of how you might choose to interpret it, the rulebook specifically says (in regards to no test in particular, but rather as a general rule for any and all of them) "The GM assigns bonuses or penalties to Skill and Characteristic Tests depending on the circumstances" followed by "making judgements like this is a big part of being a Game Master" and "For each Test, the GM should decide the difficulty". That's all on page 184.

The rules as a whole assume that not all tests are equal, and states that the GM should apply modifiers for circumstance (remembering that a +0 is "challenging" - unmodified tests should be fairly difficult) whenever and whereever he feels appropriate.

The jump and leap rule don't need to have this stated specifically, because it's a standard ruling for all tests.

Edit: In short, it's not the rules themselves, it's how you choose to use them. GMs who are stingy with the circumstance bonuses may find that Dark Heresy doesn't work all that well...

 

So... if in the end every test becomes as easy or hard as I want it to be (and let's not forget that even easy tests seldom have more than a 70% chance of success in the first ranks - quite a bit less if you're testing on basic skills), why do I need the system at all? Why detail modifiers at all when I need other ones to arrive at a workable situation? Also, why don't the examples given (both in the rules and in the adventures) ever take these modifiers into account, liberally handing out +0 or even -x tests?

 

Personally, I houseruled the system by upgrading basic skills by one level (untrained->trained->+10->+20->+30) and handing out a stat array ranging from 26 to 50 with a concentration around 40. Thus, I don't have to modify every single roll of my players while still having acceptable chances of success.

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Cifer said:

So... if in the end every test becomes as easy or hard as I want it to be (and let's not forget that even easy tests seldom have more than a 70% chance of success in the first ranks - quite a bit less if you're testing on basic skills), why do I need the system at all? Why detail modifiers at all when I need other ones to arrive at a workable situation? Also, why don't the examples given (both in the rules and in the adventures) ever take these modifiers into account, liberally handing out +0 or even -x tests?

They did - many of my examples were edited out for "space" purposes. Not the best of choices, thought I.

 

As to the rest of this fascinating thread, personally I run my games at 4th Rank and above. As to the supposed whiff factor / derailments, the universe is a big place and, whatever happens, you will not be missed.

 

 

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Cifer said:

Why don't the jump rules say that under normal circumstances (because our school didn't exactly have a spectacular jump track - I'd assume you'd have about the same jumping abilties on a normal street), you should get a bonus?

The basic system itself says that under "normal circumstances" (at least that's what I interpret "routine" to mean), you get a bonus.  Do you read that differently?  (I'm not being sarcastic, that's an honest question.)

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Actually I would not say combat is where the wiff factor comes into play.  At least not for my group, this is because both sides suffer from it.  It is the out of combat situations that the real problems show up. 

<RANT> Jumping is just a egregious example.  Frankly as a gm I NEVER force my players to do the jump this gap or die/burn a fate point.  I can think of no worse way to kill off a pc (apart from gm abuse of course).  Think about it any drama, heroism, plot, role play, or anything meaning full?  Nope you were just trying to get from point a to point b and the terrain killed you en route..  Wow that is how I want my character die, killed by the terrain by a flubbed role.  As a gm I would feel a failure to have my players die this way.

When I am not the gm our group as a whole refuses to jump when it is a make it or die situation.  We will seek out another way or turn back or whatever.  Even if it means certain death or worse.   Shattered Hope taught us well.

Yes I know there are things you can do to make the roll easier.  So what?  A 25% chance of death by jump is just as unacceptable as a 50%.  I don't care how realistic or unrealistic it is.  I am playing DH to fight to hold back darkness for another day at any cost even my character life.  I do not play DH to see the fate of the imperium decided by a single roll to overcome an inanimate obstacle. </RANT>

Whew I feel better now:)  Back to the main point.  As I said the problem is mainly out of combat (because in combat the enemies suffer from it as well so it is even in that regard).  The big offenders are any sort of social skill use and information gathering skill use (crafting could use some rework too, for various reasons).  Even when the players have a specialist in the needed skill and circumstances are pretty good they have a ~60% or so chance...  I am as a gm forever having to drop the information they need in their laps despite a failed roll.   Admittedly some of this griping has to do with the published adventures.  In almost all cases (except shattered hope which has its own problems) a failed information gathering roll or two can make it all but impossible to bring the adventure to a successful conclusion.  If my players are going to fail a mission I would rather have it due to their actions or the actions of the opposition they face. 

 

 

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I have to concede I'm sort of this mindset aswell. I'd rarely set up a situation where such an all or nothing pit o' doom exists as an obstacle (i've have done demonio.gif but rarely).

In the situation regarding the chasm leap i'd let the assassin pass automatically  regardless of level on the basis  that they had Acrobatics. No test. Why? Because they were an 'acrobat' and a 2.5 m gap is childs play regardless of situation. Characters without acrobatics would make a test, but with some hefty  +modifers,  but only so they had a small (say 5-10%) chance of failure.

Anything really  to A) keep number crunching to a minimum and B) keeping a rush of narrative motion whilist retaining a keenly felt element of danger.

In regards to Docs OP i'd concur, but with a caveat. Characters that are low level can do some awesome things. But that is part of the game system: mooks occassionally being ace, As is the flip side (which i believe Luddite et al are alluding to), that higher level characters can suffer bad luck, which makes them seem incompetent.

Because of this 'feature' of the game system it is my sincere belief that the GM should keep the element of chance to a minimum and try to either give enough modifers that it relegates to the chance of failure to a minimum (these are your 'heroes', after all), or simply try to avoid dice rolls entirely if the players actions, choices and narrative allows and supports it.

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The problem is that most people see dice rolls as cut and dry. Unfortunately they are not. All RPGs, except maybe those creepy diceless ones, have their resolution rules more or less divided into TARGET and DEGREE.

Target is the reference to the number you need to roll to beat or to roll under, depending on the slope of the mechanics. In Dark Heresy (40KRPG overalll we assume) you must roll below or equal to a target number based on % dice.

Degree is a reference to how well you perform/succeed at a task. In Dark Heresy it is based on the 10s factor. Each 10 you succeed by is a degree of success, each degree you fail by is a degree of failure. The thing DH is missing is a resolution table to tell you how bad a degree of failure is or  how good a degree of success is. In my games, using the example of the cliff jump, I would not punish a player by "instant death in the depths below" for failing the chasm jump. If it were by one degree, I would let them succeed with a degree of fatigue. Two degrees and they miss but reach enough to be hanging from the lip of the chasm, they must make a strength test the next turn to pull themselves up and suffer a degree of fatigue. Three degrees and we are now in trouble, not only do you have the effects of a two degree failure, but you also suffer 1D5 wounds, with no modifiers for T or AP.

Four degrees, well,  you have that fate point!

The same kind of effect can be applied to climbing and what not. Even Indiana Jones and Han Solo failed rolls, but they dont have ot be disasterous results. In Return of Jedi, Han failed his sneak/stealth roll, allowing the Scout to hear him before he got  his sneak attack off. Well, it was only a 1 Degree failure, so Han loses half his surprise bonus, and so forth.

I personally am looking forward to the parts of Rogue Trader that mentioned expanded background and character generation. Honestly, I think the element from WFRP (both 1E and 2E) that should be added to the game is the random starting skills/talents and any skills that occur more then once for a starting character should automatically go to the +10 (or +20 if it occurs 3 times) even at Rank 1.

I also let my players sell off starting Fate Points (though why on earth you would do this is beyond me) and gain 150XP for each one.

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I think in a way I’m blessed & cursed with the group I run. It's quite large (6-8 players) and there's a variety of careers with only an Arbitrator or Sister getting used. This makes for a group with a wide variety of skills so usually whatever they need to do there's someone who can do the job. On the downside I need to be creative with combats or they just walk them.


I've found it interesting myself as they've ranked the difference it makes. They're now all in the rank 5ish area and I have to say it's frightening the jump in power. Generally our fights are swift bloody affairs lasting maybe a couple of rounds unless I’ve dropped a platoon worth of heretics or some really tough critters. As for out of combat tests they usually get by quite happy with just the odd occurrence of PC incompetence rolling. Actually one of my players is a lucky little sod who seems to pass tests even if I say "roll 5 or less on a d100" but that's that luck factor which at the end of the day makes it all interesting doesn't it?


I agree that falling in a pit of doom isn't a heroic way to go so I myself would avoid giving my players an instant death scenario. I would however still have a pit in a game though except with a giant spider or something down the pit instead of pointy death. As for grabbing out at the ledge if you miss, well that's just common sense I would think.


As any GM guide will say it's down to the individual GM to balance the fun with the rules and nothing should be totally impossible (within reason). My favourite PC action recently was the Assassin in the group asking if she could leap across some boulders and then charge into some mutants. Great! I thought; I love this inventiveness in PCs so said "go for it!". Much like our example leaping Assassin she had Acrobatics but an Agility of 37 at the time. I was prepared to give a bonus of +10 since they were close together taking it to a 50/50 chance, tragically she rolled round 90 and fell on her face to much laughter.


In contrast our jammy Redemtionist managed to shoot and hit a certain weak spot on a big nasty in Illumination despite combat modifiers taking to "you hit on 10 or less".


There's only the odd bit about the game that bothers me and generally the combat and skill test seems fine to me, but then again it could be just my group having the right mix of jammy dodger luck & full on PC epic fail luck.
End of the day it can be easy to fail a test or miss a shot and the fact it's not nigh auto success every time makes it more human.

 

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The basic system itself says that under "normal circumstances" (at least that's what I interpret "routine" to mean), you get a bonus. Do you read that differently? (I'm not being sarcastic, that's an honest question.)

I do. I switched the causalities, meaning that when there are bonuses and penalties already named, the difficulty class becomes descriptive instead of causal - the jump doesn't get a +10 because it is an ordinary task, but it becomes called "ordinary" because you get a +10 on it (for example because of 8 metres run-up distance).

 

They did - many of my examples were edited out for "space" purposes. Not the best of choices, thought I.

Not the best of choices indeed, but it's nice to know the intent was there.

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I've figured out why the assassin/acrobat jumping over the chasm example irritates me.

People keep complaining "the system's broken because if I fail 1 roll I die!"  I can't think of a dice-roll based game system in where you can't get killed because of one lucky or unlucky roll.  Just about every game system I've ever seen, if you try to jump from the roof of one skyscraper to the one next door and miss, you make one roll and you either make the jump or fall.

Same thing in combat.  You get hit, badguy rolls exceptionally well from damage = you dead. 

The only exception seems to be those games where health/hit points/damage capacity, etc. are so much higher than damage done that even a maximum damage critical uber-hit still can't kill a character.  (Or D&D where once a fighter passes 10th level or so he can fall at terminal velocity and still get up w/ positive HP)

So I fail to see how DH is so different from any other game system where it's possible to get killed in one shot and/or die from falling 50 meters.

 

 

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DocIII said:

Actually Varn's the guardsman who fled across the rocky wastes of Coseflame, naked with a bolter in one hand and a combat shotgun in the other while a nuclear mushroom cloud bloomed in the background.  (He didn't cause the explosion, but was fleeing the cause)

Did he leap into an old, apparently lead lined, refrigerator to survive?

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Rashid ad Din Sinan said:

DocIII said:

 

Actually Varn's the guardsman who fled across the rocky wastes of Coseflame, naked with a bolter in one hand and a combat shotgun in the other while a nuclear mushroom cloud bloomed in the background.  (He didn't cause the explosion, but was fleeing the cause)

 

 

Did he leap into an old, apparently lead lined, refrigerator to survive?

Nah, didn't have to nuke the fridge, He'd already gotten 5 miles or so away when the place went nuclear.  (He was technically running away from the hyper-intelligent daemonhost who subsequently rigged the primary reactor at the Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress into a nuke, rather than fleeing the explosion itself.)   So he just ended up with a nice background mushroom cloud and a good dose of radiation poisoning/sickness. 

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I've figured out why the assassin/acrobat jumping over the chasm example irritates me.

People keep complaining "the system's broken because if I fail 1 roll I die!" I can't think of a dice-roll based game system in where you can't get killed because of one lucky or unlucky roll. Just about every game system I've ever seen, if you try to jump from the roof of one skyscraper to the one next door and miss, you make one roll and you either make the jump or fall.

Same thing in combat. You get hit, badguy rolls exceptionally well from damage = you dead.

The only exception seems to be those games where health/hit points/damage capacity, etc. are so much higher than damage done that even a maximum damage critical uber-hit still can't kill a character. (Or D&D where once a fighter passes 10th level or so he can fall at terminal velocity and still get up w/ positive HP)

So I fail to see how DH is so different from any other game system where it's possible to get killed in one shot and/or die from falling 50 meters.

Exactly who made that complaint?

My problem remains with the fact that the chance involved with the roll is so distressingly low most of the time. Low enough for me to disbelieve that anyone would give dregs as these tasks as important as the ones handled by the Inquisition.

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+++++So I fail to see how DH is so different from any other game system where it's possible to get killed in one shot and/or die from falling 50 meters.+++++

It's not.

Its just that games where you can suck for high adventure. And it has worse skill values, so it REALLY sucks for high adventure.

Far better to either move to a How Much Effort do you achive -

1D10 + Skill

Result from Skill + 1 to Skill + 10.

Now, unlike in DH, you can't fail that roll unless the GM takes an action. 'Make better than Skill + 4' say.

So, with DHs roll the GM has to take action for someone not to fail - either explain away a failed roll or assign so many modifiers it becomes a pass, but with the other the GM has to take action to make someone fail. Always assume people will take the path of least resistance - so fewer fails with a Stat + Skill system.

(My experience tells me most rolls are made unmodified, with the GM saying 'give me a roll on X', and if you can say 'I got a 10' rather than 'I missed my roll by 50' your character is less likly to look foolish.)

That or Stake Setting - we know the character jumps the gap, because falling off is not an acceptable outcome. What we are dicing for is something else. Does he make the gap well, or scrape it? Does he land heavily, or with the grace of a cat?

--

Lest we forget, Shattered Hope begins with the imortal lines:-

+++++“Now, you. You’re a sorry bunch,aren’t you? Who’re you supposed to be? Not the Inquisitor I’ll warrant. Well? Speak up? I won’t have a commotion in my camp.” At this point let the players answer in whatever way this wish.... He listens, stony, and waits for them to finish. Let the players talk as long as they wish. Once they stop, trail off, or look confused, stare at them a bit longer, a few seconds, and then say,“Right. So, the Inquisitor isn’t coming.”+++++

Then everyone dies falling in a pit.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

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Judging DH based on Shattered Hopes is a fruitless and stupid endeavor. It is a demo! It is suppose to only show you how the rules work, not be an accurate portrayal of all that is the game.

The author was probably guided to included "a perception/awareness test, a agility test, a strength test, a willpower test, a intelligence test and a toughness test then throw them into a fight. Then at the end have some type of 'low powered' 40K fluff monster. Oh and write the demo for rank one characters so make sure you remind them of that fact."

I do have issues with Rank 1 characters, but it isnt the system as a whole, its one step in the process. I generally allow the player's to choose one skill or talent of choice that they meet the requirements for to "round out their character" for free. So if the guardsman wants to some form of rough rider he gets Wrangling, if the assassin wants to be a member of a secret monastery of killers, I let him or her have Ciphers, secret language, of lore that relates to that cult.

If I had my way the entire rank/career (read class and level) system would go away and you would just be able to buy skills and talents as you wish, as long as you pay the XP cost, meet the requirements and arent min/maxing.

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Dezmond said:

 

(My experience tells me most rolls are made unmodified, with the GM saying 'give me a roll on X', and if you can say 'I got a 10' rather than 'I missed my roll by 50' your character is less likly to look foolish.)

That or Stake Setting - we know the character jumps the gap, because falling off is not an acceptable outcome. What we are dicing for is something else. Does he make the gap well, or scrape it? Does he land heavily, or with the grace of a cat?

In doing something like this you are setting the stakes at zero.  If there's no risk of failure, then there's no accomplishment.  It's like dropping a ball and saying "hey look, it actually hit the ground! I accomplished something"  Apparently your idea of high adventure is basically a dance off.  i.e. - We automatically suceed, we're just checking to see how cool we look doing it!

predetermined outcome = no risk = no accomplishment  = {YAAWWNNNN!}, I should just go watch a movie instead.

Also you seem way overly concerned with whether your character looks foolish.

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