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DocIII

Acolytes and power level

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Peacekeeper_b said:

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.

QFT!

Was it a bad demo?  Maybe but that's another discussion and one that's been done to death.  The end fact is that it is not at all indicative of the final product and anyone who judges DH based on that one severly limited scenario really needs to give it up. happy.gif

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 Hello, there.  I'm pretty much new here, but a few of you might know me by reputation.  I'm running my first proper DH campaign at the moment (we had a short demo evening a few weeks ago).

This thread reminds me a lot of the RAW vs RAI threads on Warseer, but they make even less sense over here.  So the rules say the assassin has only a 42% chance of making it across the gap?  Then change it.  Duh.  Having written some pretty complex rules sets for pseudo-RPGs in the past, I've learnt just how hard it is to anticipate every possible scenario a canny GM can throw at his players (or his players throw themselves into!).

But even if you changed it - even if you said he had a 90% chance of making it across the gap - there's always the risk of rolling that natural 00.  What do you do then?  No Fate Points left.  A 400m drop beneath him.  An obviously fatal trip on the edge at the last moment...

He's just as dead as if you went for a 42% chance and he rolled a 43.  If the GM takes it upon himself to alter the laws of probability in his players' favour he has to accept that probability has its own opinion.  Last Wed night my Scum and Guardsman player cowered before the onslaught of Ashleen gangers, while the feeble psyker smacked seven kinds of **** out of the two who thought he looked weak (10+ critical impact to the body with a staff - woo-hoo!).  These things happen.

Players won't thank you in the long run if you make their characters functionally immortal.

R.

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DocIII said:

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.

Ahh!! here is the main difference we have then.  I get ZERO excitment and NO sense of acomplishment from overcoming an inanimate object.  I like overcoming challenges, jumping a gap is not a challenge it is a game mechanic. 

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llsoth said:


Ahh!! here is the main difference we have then. I get ZERO excitment and NO sense of acomplishment from overcoming an inanimate object. I like overcoming challenges, jumping a gap is not a challenge it is a game mechanic.

Well yeah but that's where good scenario writing comes in handy.  If a fleeing cultist cut's loose a rope bridge forcing you to give up the chase or jump a chasm, than suddenly that gap jump is far from uninteresting.

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+++++Players won't thank you in the long run if you make their characters functionally immortal.+++++

World of Warcraft characters are functionally immortal, and no one seems to mind.

+++++Well yeah but that's where good scenario writing comes in handy. If a fleeing cultist cut's loose a rope bridge forcing you to give up the chase or jump a chasm, than suddenly that gap jump is far from uninteresting.+++++

Aye, and this is where the stakes come in - we know people jump the gap because falling isn't an acceptable outcome. We are dicing to see if the fleeing cultist gets away or not.

 

 

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Dezmond said:

 

+++++Players won't thank you in the long run if you make their characters functionally immortal.+++++

World of Warcraft characters are functionally immortal, and no one seems to mind.

 

 

They are also functionally unemotional and static.  Character customization is pretty **** piss poor in video games when compared to a proper tabletop rpg.

Video Game =/= Roleplaying Game

As a recovering WoW addict and lifelong Diablo fanatic I have to admit I would have loved a Hardcore mode in World of Warcraft.

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Mark It Zero said:

As a recovering WoW addict and lifelong Diablo fanatic I have to admit I would have loved a Hardcore mode in World of Warcraft.

 

Then make one and see if you can get anyone else to play it...

Obviously, there are things a tabletop game can do better than an mmo, but I see no reason not to learn from video games. Permadeath doesn't exist in, so wikipedia tells me, any MMO. I feel this tells us something about its popularity.

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Dezmond said:

 

Mark It Zero said:

As a recovering WoW addict and lifelong Diablo fanatic I have to admit I would have loved a Hardcore mode in World of Warcraft.

 

Then make one and see if you can get anyone else to play it...

 

 

...because obviously nobody ever checked off the hardcore box in Diablo 2.  What's your point?  You may not think it's a good idea but you're not the whole of gaming personified. *shrug*

Granted such an option wouldn't fit with WoW the way it is now but I would definitely be interested in an MMO where death had lasting consequences.

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+++++I would definitely be interested in an MMO where death had lasting consequences.+++++

Maybe, but you'd never get anyone else to play it. There will never be a Games Workshop video game with permadeath, so why is the tabletop game stuck with it? Do people think that for most groups and players permadeath would be a good thing?

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I agree that comparing a MMORPG to a tabletop game is not the way to go.  But here goes.

I have heard quite a few people talk about having a hardcore mode to to various MMORPGs. 

I have always responded to them the same way...  You say that now but just as soon as your favorite toon is killed due to you going LD you will think different.  People tend to be honest enough to say yah you may be right.

To me dying by failing to make a jump roll (that I had no choice in making) is like dying from going LD. 

 

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As soon as we abandon permadeath things get so much easier - it doesn't matter if characters get one shotted or the GM overestimates the opposition because the worst that can happen is you have to sit out to the next battle. And leaping over chasms isn't a problem becuase at worst you sit out till the respawn.

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Actually I don't have a problem with the combat system and dying to to enemy action, thems the breaks.

As long as the system is balanced in combat, the npcs don't have some inherent advantage over pcs then I am ok with it.  The only real change I would make there is (in regards to the current discussion) is allow a character with the medicae skill to automatically stabilize a critically wounded (and dying) character.   Of course not sure if that counts as a combat rule or just something that happens during combat.

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Dezmond said:

 

As soon as we abandon permadeath things get so much easier - it doesn't matter if characters get one shotted or the GM overestimates the opposition because the worst that can happen is you have to sit out to the next battle. And leaping over chasms isn't a problem becuase at worst you sit out till the respawn.

 

 

As soon as we abandon permadeath things get boring and I stop playing.  If I choose to charge a couple tanks or heavy gun emplacement with my space marine I want there to be a real risk so I can smile big when I lay waste despite heavy opposition.  I want the worst that can happen to be death.  I get my kicks facing total and complete destruction while living to brag over a round of drinks after the encounter is over.

This smacks of sports where they choose not to keep score because losing makes people sad.  Oh boo hoo.  F' that IMO.  lengua.gif

I do however like extra lives *ahem* fate points as long as those resources eventually run out and it's me versus death.

That being said though, I do hate when a scenario or encounter is written like Shattered Hope where it's make the jump or the adventure is over type crap.  Conveniently though that's why RPGs have a GM.  Unlike a poorly designed video game I can change things that suck. happy.gif

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Why are there no permadeaths in mmo? when there is in rpgs, well it comes down to the fact that in mmos there are bugs, latency, disconects and all sorts of evil trickery,that fate has for us, and that you cannot reason with a computer this will likely create hate/frustrations against the game and make people stop playing.
while in rpgs theres instant tech support( i mean GM) and no lag and you can reason with the GM.

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Nah. People HATE losing stuff they already have. People will work harder to keep something than they would to get something in the first place.

That no mumorpege has permadeath is just a reflection that people really, really don't like it when you take away their toys. DH already has an extra life mechanic, so it is really only a matter of making the extra lives infinite.

I mean, having permadeath would be seen as ultra-ironman in video game circles. I don't see tabletop gamers being all ultra ironman guys. Quite the opposite infact.

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Incidentally, these two quotes are from the same person:-

+++++Players won't thank you in the long run if you make their characters functionally immortal+++++

+++++Speaking of "death", I hope players appreciate that retiring characters because they've "died" in a game isn't strictly necessary. Marech Val - an old favourite of mine - has died at least four times since I built him. He still plays on. In fact, his propensity to die has become something of a running gag ("Oh my God, they killed Marech!").+++++
 

http://www.the-conclave.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=745&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=killed&start=45

Maybe its all fun and games until it is your own character who dies, neh?

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in rpgs inventive and smart solutions can be made to overcome a seemingly colossal task thats rarely the case in videogames where you have no choice but take the task strait on, that requires you to extremly badass or the game to be exceedingly difficult(and the most of the consumer base cant handle that).

even tough there are some fate points in DH its a finite usually range from 1-4 and thats a lot less than the infinite amount quicksaves or lives in most videogames.

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And this is why it's useless discussing things with Dezmond.  Even when you agree with him, he rubbishes your opinion.

One of the major issues that one might have with the game is the first and second ranks.  The game starts you off at the start, the way a lot of older predecessors did (D&D comes rapidly to mind).  A number of people have issues with this, but given the escalation from Rank 1 to Rank 3, personally I find the diversity to work out well.  The first few games play very differently from later games.

I do have one issue with the "fail and die" issue - in how many games out there is it impossible to set up a "fail one roll and die" scenario?  This is more of a failure in the scenario design than in the game design.  I mean, this isn't exactly 1st or 2nd edition Paranoia, where it literally said that critical failures (all critical failures) kill the PC and may kill nearby characters.

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I've gone through four characters in Dark Heresy... four.  Two Arbitrators and a Psyker, and I'm on my Priest now.  That's about average in our group right now.  Its mostly due to the sadistic nature of the players more then the GM.

And I play MMOs.  The difference between an MMO and a pen and paper (hence forth PnP) is that if I die in an MMO due to lag, a server drop, or some other reason not associated with me and my skill then I have no outcourse.   I don't mind dying due to my own stupidity, but dying because some electrons got crossed isnt my idea of fun.  Besides MMOs are about players skill, not the characters skill.  Its all based on knowing which buttons to push when, movement, and when to attack and when not to.

In PnP though the deaths are about you and the GM, and with a good GM generally you.  The skills are your characters, not the players.  I can't interrogate someone, I can't preach a sermon, and I certainly can't fix a starship.  While luck has a certain impact in the game, in the form of random dice rolls, your characters skill has more of an impact, and a characters death is more acceptable.

Sure some people may not like to die.  Some people may prefer to kill an entire hive with their thumbs though, but most often the whole reason I hear about no perma-death in MMOs isn't the loss of a character, but the loss of a character over a circumstance that had nothing to do with the game.

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Pneumonica said:

 

I do have one issue with the "fail and die" issue - in how many games out there is it impossible to set up a "fail one roll and die" scenario?

 

 

Almost none, but it is easier with roll to see IF you succeed rather than roll to see how much effort you generate systems, doubly so with low skill values like in DH.

--

Obviously my main concern is a future Space Marine RPG, which wouldn't be worth playing with permadeath. Not enough badass could be dealt, compared to other avenues. So instead how about a system of taking a major wound when taken out of a fight (Limb Blown Off, Nose Flattened, Eye Destroyed etc.) These are imediately replaced or repared between fights by your NPC support crew with augemetics and other treatments (with no loss of ability). So while being functionally immortal, your Marine slowly gains cool scars and Blanchian implants, and is eventually intered in a Dreadnought.

+++++most often the whole reason I hear about no perma-death in MMOs isn't the loss of a character, but the loss of a character over a circumstance that had nothing to do with the game.+++++

And if you believe that, I've got a bridge I want to sell you. :-)

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Let's see... baiting... responding to baiting... ah, here:

 

This thread reminds me a lot of the RAW vs RAI threads on Warseer, but they make even less sense over here. So the rules say the assassin has only a 42% chance of making it across the gap? Then change it. Duh. Having written some pretty complex rules sets for pseudo-RPGs in the past, I've learnt just how hard it is to anticipate every possible scenario a canny GM can throw at his players (or his players throw themselves into!).

We're not talking "one possible scenario", but "general competence out of combat in almost every scenario". When I buy an RPG, I'm expecting a working rules construct out of the box, working in this case meaning creating a sense of immersion that doesn't leave me marveling at my character's incompetence in rather basic and foreseeable situations like the jumping scenario (because face it: A system that makes it unlikely that a little less than average characters have less than 50% chances of jumping three metres isn't exactly inspiring my confidence into the abilties of the heroic acolytes).

 

But even if you changed it - even if you said he had a 90% chance of making it across the gap - there's always the risk of rolling that natural 00. What do you do then? No Fate Points left. A 400m drop beneath him. An obviously fatal trip on the edge at the last moment...

He's just as dead as if you went for a 42% chance and he rolled a 43. If the GM takes it upon himself to alter the laws of probability in his players' favour he has to accept that probability has its own opinion. Last Wed night my Scum and Guardsman player cowered before the onslaught of Ashleen gangers, while the feeble psyker smacked seven kinds of **** out of the two who thought he looked weak (10+ critical impact to the body with a staff - woo-hoo!). These things happen.

Of course they do. And if they happen seldom enough because of the system making characters competent, the characters securing themselves possible edges and the players not engaging in unnecessary risks, that's exactly where the fate points come in: to catch that natural 00 when it absolutely mustn't happen.

 

 

Players won't thank you in the long run if you make their characters functionally immortal.

Depends on the players and the chosen campaign style. There are those who play to have a challenge and those who play to live a story (and those who play to have both, obviously). For the latter type, an anticlimactic death can be somewhat hindering.

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Why are we even comparing PnP to MMO. I dont play MMOs, cant stand them. PnP is not MMO, it should not be like MMO and if the PnP ever starts becoming like a MMO I will drop the game completely.

Im an old school RPGer, I like my dice, my paper, my hard copy of my book (not PDF, sorry Kage) and I like the story being told, not how many guys I can kill in a single die roll.

The game system works fine if you can figure out how to use it. If you read the rules, you would understand that you dont make a pilot skill test to fly down to the corner market to pick up milk.

You make a roll to do unusual or dramatic events. Then you get a heaping of bonuses that can range from -60 (impossible) to +60 (very, very, very easy) and if you pay attention to the mechanics of the game, it isnt hard to get +30 or so modifiers. Accurate weapon is +10, aiming it +10 and so forth. It isnt hard to figure it out.

So yes, if you run up to the chasm and leap and fail, as per RAW and RAI, you fall and die. Sorry. But if you go up to the chasm, study it for a second, make some plans, attach a rope or grapple, get a running start, use buddy team methods, then there is no reason why you cant get a +20 or +30 or even better modifier.

A space marine should have no problem doing this either. Especially since one could make an argument that jumping is more strength then agility.

 

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 InciIncidentally, these two quotes are from the same person:-

+++++Players won't thank you in the long run if you make their characters functionally immortal+++++

+++++Speaking of "death", I hope players appreciate that retiring characters because they've "died" in a game isn't strictly necessary. Marech Val - an old favourite of mine - has died at least four times since I built him. He still plays on. In fact, his propensity to die has become something of a running gag ("Oh my God, they killed Marech!").+++++dentally, these two quotes are from the same person:-

+++++Players won't thank you in the long run if you make their characters functionally immortal+++++

That, Dezomnd, is a very low blow.  For a start, I was discussing two completely different games.  More importantly, in each case in the games of Inquisitor I was playing, Marech Val actually did die, in obvious, messy and brutal fashions (in one case by having his legs essentially turned into so much tomato puree over about five turns in which no one seemed to be able to hit any other part of his body).  His part in the campaign in question was over and done.  The fact that I resurrected him for a completely new campaign with no narrative connection to the previous one is neither here nor there.

Finally, the thread you took that quote from is discussing the retiring of laboriously constructed, converted and painted 54mm miniatures from the game, not exclusively that of characters.  I also point out that several of my characters who have died in a suitably dramatic fashion – and to which I was more emotionally attached – have been permanently retired and their miniatures sold on.

R.

 

 

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Peacekeeper_b said:

The game system works fine if you can figure out how to use it. If you read the rules, you would understand that you dont make a pilot skill test to fly down to the corner market to pick up milk.

You make a roll to do unusual or dramatic events. Then you get a heaping of bonuses that can range from -60 (impossible) to +60 (very, very, very easy) and if you pay attention to the mechanics of the game, it isnt hard to get +30 or so modifiers. Accurate weapon is +10, aiming it +10 and so forth. It isnt hard to figure it out.

An interesting assertion that those of us who see 'incompetence' haven't read or understood the rules...serio.gif

You example of the application of modifiers is actually, wierdly, confirmation of my point made earlier about 'incompetence'.

The system mechanics place more emphasis on situational modifiers than on the inherent skills of the PC.  The baseline for the requirement for a test is a 'challenging' task.  At challanging tasks, depending on stat and skill combos, the average PC will be looking at an inherent success rating (i.e. unmodified) of between 15-40%.  That's a pretty low base success rate, and arguably therefore PCs are relatively 'incompetent'.   I face challenging situations all day and work.  I face challenging situations every time i take my car out on the road.  I pretty much succeed 80-100% of the time...

Now then, from that inherent (arguably incompetent) capacity of the PC the argument then comes in, that to make them competent, they need situational modifiers.  To me this jars.

A modifier range of +/-60 (giving a range of 120%), is greater than the inhernet ability most PCs will ever achieve and an inherent skill.  So, why bother with stats/skills?  Why bother expending xp, when all you need to do it max out the bonuses on each test, since the bonuses will easily more than double your skill.  It devalues the abilities of the PC.

Tech Priest:  I am a mighty master of technology!  My Tech Use skill is at 46%

Scum:  So?  Mine is at 20%, but if i do this, this and this, i'm at 80%...twice your feeble skill metal boy!

Personally i would expect the PCs inherent ability levels to be the primary factor in determining success, with modifiers coming in at the edges, say giving and increase/decrease of no more than +/- 20% of the chracter's base skill.  With 'challenging' tasks also the baseline for prompting a test, i also feel that modifiers either way (expecially plusses) should be kept to a minimum. 

As a GM when i ran DH, i certainly gave out very few modifiers, beyond those hard-wired into the combat rules, etc.

I mean if, you're modifying a skill by +60% why is the roll being made at all as the task is so obviously simple?

Overall, i think the perception of 'character incompetence', comes for an imbalance in the inherent stat levels of the PCs when compared to the huge range of situational modifiers devaluing those inherent abilities.

 

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