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DocIII

Acolytes and power level

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Luddite said:

 

 

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

Was not the intent of my post, but I do see where it comes off as that. Oops, sorry.

Let me just say it this way, the sytem works fine for me.

I think it is almost perfect.

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A Acolyte probably has around a 35% in his primary characteristic to start and should buy the +5 simple advance ASAP.

That does give them a 40% with their main function. Which does kind of bite, I agree.

As soon as the buy their second characteristic +5 and primary skill at +10 they are at about 55%, getting respectable, but probably at rank 2 or 3.

I see a problem there, I agree,

I always had a issue with character gen. Every character career should be allowed to have at least one of their core career skills at +10% at rank 1.

The example above the scum and tech priest does make a wierd situation. But if the tech priest does the same thing (and he probably has better tools to help him out) then he would be at 106%, thats pretty resectable.

Not everyone will be satisfied with everything. But as many people  have said, you dont like  a rulse change it. Unskilled use is equal to straight characteristic (not half), skilled use is characteristic +10 (so Skill +10 is actually +20, +20 is actually +30), unskilled use of advanced skills is 1/2 not unusable.

 

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Peacekeeper_b said:

Luddite said:

 

 

 

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

 

 

Was not the intent of my post, but I do see where it comes off as that. Oops, sorry.

Let me just say it this way, the sytem works fine for me.

I think it is almost perfect.

No worries Peacekeeper, i was sure you didn't intend the implication.  As ever the nuances of communication are difficult to express on fora...

I'm glad the system works perfectly for you.  I'm sure you're in the majority my friend.

I've used the system and found it...clunky...for my taste at least.  And as a GM i found it a nightmare to control given the terrible rules bloat and extensive errata...shame given how smoothe i've always found WHFRP (even the bug-riddled 1e)...

That said, there does seem to be a 'vocal minority(?)' who have problems with the conception and implementation of mechanical 'power levels', which i'd suggest should concern or at least interest the authors...depending on how small that minority actually is?

 

 

 

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Luddite said:

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.

And yet, the PC's abilities are the primary determinant - the Tech Priest with the same modifiers gets a considerably better result.  What difference does the placement of the zero-line make?  Add twenty to everybody's Characteristics and set the zero line at Routine.  You're arguing that the better way to do things is one that's mathematically equivalent to the "problem" you're seeing, it isn't any easier, and it requires redrawing the formulas for other elements of the game (Fatigue, Movement, etc.).

I could as easily say the same thing about D20, or GURPS, or Traveller, or Ironclaw, or any other game.  Modifiers exist in the same quantity and with the same importance in every game.  It's actually something I argued with as much as you do until I applied some game theory and recognized that Dark Heresy is less about modifiers than most games.  Do you disagree that in most games, there's no limit to how far the modifiers can take the target numbers (or whatever the system uses)?  Infinity is always greater than a rational number.

If you assume that +20% is your desired zero line (or +30%, or -17%, or +132.51554%), then the other modifiers vary from that point.  Generally, on that scale, the system mostly imposes penalties, accounting for the relative degree of competence in the characters (espeically at mid to high ranks).

Plus, your example is a great demonstration of the strengths of the system, rewarding PC competence more than it rewards situational modifiers.  The Scum in your example still has to roll to determine success.  The Tech Priest given the same situation has a 100% chance of success (better, becasue he's less susceptible to negative modifiers), and needn't even roll except to determine grade of success (if such even matters).

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Pneumonica said:

 

And yet, the PC's abilities are the primary determinant 

 

 

How?  With a baseline stat at 30%, boosted by modifiers at 60%, how does the base ability remain the primary determinant ?

Pneumonica said:

 

- the Tech Priest with the same modifiers gets a considerably better result. 

 

 

 

Really?  100% over 80% is 'considerably better'?  Surely a scum shouldn't come anywhere near the technical skill of a Tech Priest?

Pneumonica said:

 

I could as easily say the same thing about D20, or GURPS, or Traveller, or Ironclaw, or any other game.  Modifiers exist in the same quantity and with the same importance in every game.  It's actually something I argued with as much as you do until I applied some game theory and recognized that Dark Heresy is less about modifiers than most games.  Do you disagree that in most games, there's no limit to how far the modifiers can take the target numbers (or whatever the system uses)?  Infinity is always greater than a rational number.

 

 

Conditional modifiers certainly exist in many games, but i can't really think of any in which they are as dominant and overwhelming of PC innate ability levels as in Dark Heresy.  Of course as written, the max modifiers were +/-30%, which was slightly better but still excessive.

Pneumonica said:

 

Plus, your example is a great demonstration of the strengths of the system, rewarding PC competence more than it rewards situational modifiers.  The Scum in your example still has to roll to determine success.  The Tech Priest given the same situation has a 100% chance of success (better, becasue he's less susceptible to negative modifiers), and needn't even roll except to determine grade of success (if such even matters).

 

 

Obviously i disagree...happy.gif

But as ever, if DH works for you, no worries...gran_risa.gif

Personally i think DH would benefit from boosting inherent PC ability and reducing conditional modifiers...as ever though i'm on the wrong side of the fence

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Luddite said:

 

Personally i think DH would benefit from boosting inherent PC ability and reducing conditional modifiers...as ever though i'm on the wrong side of the fence

 

 

I wouldn't say you are on the wrong side.  I agree with you.  The only thing I can think of is that with the next set of levels in Ascension we'll see characteristics get boosted again.

I've generally been of the opinion that don't make the players roll dice unless something is in doubt.  For this reason, DH doesn't bother me as much.  But I too would rather see negative modifiers than a bunch of positive modifiers because they shouldn't be rolling dice at all unless there is a reason.  I'm not sure I would make them roll dice for the 4 meter jump if they told me they were going to take a running jump at it.  Maybe a general roll and if they botch it REAL bad, say. 5 degrees of failure or more, then go from there. Bu if they decided they were going to try and standing broad jump it, then I'd make them roll, but that would be just silly....

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Xathess Wolfe said:

 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.

The reason there's no perma-death in MMO's comes down to economic model.  MMO producers are selling a monthly subscription to their game and they think players more likely to plunk down the $15 a month if they get to keep the same characters.  Also video game players have become used to the ability to "save" and be able to try again if they fail at something.  The MMO status of infinite lives combined with all quests resetting serves 2 purposes, 1) that every player playing that combination of race/class/whatever gets a chance to do each and every quest, 2) you can always try again if you fail.  Its built into the mass-multiplayer bussiness and play model.

The side effect of this is that because every task can be done by every person, and every event/quest resets, then characters can have no impact on the world.  I think this is largely why I keep getting bored w/ MMOs as opposed to actual RPGs.  Rote repetition where the character doesn't matter and the story only advances when the next expansion set is released. 

Granted GW has frozen the galactic meta-story, but the story of a given campaign, what your character does matters to the outcome. 

With no consequences, choices don't matter, actions don't matter, and accomplishments don't matter.

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Yeah - MMOs don't have permadeath because people don't like it. To much pressure to have to risk six months or six years of work every time you play.

TTRPGs shouldn't have it for the same reasons.

--

All the high leathality games I've played have lead to forgetable characters no one cares about. Because they won't last long.

A character isn't just their stats which are easy to replace - they are also the quirks and relationships and in jokes built up around them. It is protecting these roleplaying hooks over some misguided sense of Ironman Play that games need.

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Dezmond said:

Yeah - MMOs don't have permadeath because people don't like it. To much pressure to have to risk six months or six years of work every time you play.

TTRPGs shouldn't have it for the same reasons.

--

All the high leathality games I've played have lead to forgetable characters no one cares about. Because they won't last long.

A character isn't just their stats which are easy to replace - they are also the quirks and relationships and in jokes built up around them. It is protecting these roleplaying hooks over some misguided sense of Ironman Play that games need.

I put a ton of time into my hardcore Diablo Barbarian and when he died I rolled a new one and went again without hesitation.  He had a good run.  Sure if the MMO is meant to be an endless time sink like WoW than you're right.  However not all MMOs should be endless time-sinks and not all RPGs should be either.  IMO no RPG should be an endless deathless time-sink.

Stop assuming RPGs should be like MMOs for everyone.  Do you plan to grind Purge The Unclean every week over and over until the next modules come out?

BTW just because a game has lethality, doesn't mean it has to be high-lethality.  I've played in plenty of long running campaigns with death a distinct possibility.  Roleplaying hooks like stats are a dime a dozen just like stats.

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I simply disagree Dezmond.  I've found that a tabletop game in which the characters have no chance of perma-death becomes two-dimensional really quickly.  Why socialize when its easier to simply kill everything knowing  that you can't and won't die. Characters quickly become Master Chief, where they become two dimensional emotionless killing machines with no personality because they're too busy killing things then actually roleplaying.  It becomes a tabletop shooter, not roleplaying.

The actual fear that your characters are mortal, that you can't simply go in guns blazing but that you need to think things through, that another option may be easier and safer then pulling a gun and killing things seems to go a long way into better roleplay.  As I said I'm not against combat, but it should be the fear of death that'll cause people to pause and actually decide to go a more social route.  Without that fear of loosing your character, whats stopping the game from devolving into Doom: Dark Heresy.

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I think computer games are a great reality check - you have to play the rules as written. Decoupled from fudging or letting characters off, one quickly comes to see what rules work and what don't. What is popular and what isn't.

If GW made a computer version of Dark Heresy it wouldn't have permadeath.

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+++++Why socialize when its easier to simply kill everything knowing that you can't and won't die.+++++

Because socialising is fun, not something you have to force players in to by crippling the combat engine!

 

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Dezmond said:

 

I think computer games are a great reality check - you have to play the rules as written. Decoupled from fudging or letting characters off, one quickly comes to see what rules work and what don't. What is popular and what isn't.

If GW made a computer version of Dark Heresy it wouldn't have permadeath.

 

 

Don't be so sure about that, most games actually have perma-death... but the save function reverses that.  If you forgot to save, guess what... perma-death.  Really its only MMOs that have no perma-death... most other games... including shooters have perma-death.. except for the save function.

And the save function's primary purpose isn't there to prevent perma-death... its there so you can finish a "scenerio" for the "night" and pick up where you left off the next "session."  Its the tabletop version of picking up your dice and going home and coming back next week to pick up.  Now technically even in tabletop you could do the same thing... someone dies the GM winds the clock back to the beginning of the session and everyone starts off again, so nothing is preventing a tabletop GM from doing the exact same thing.

Edit:

++Because socialising is fun, not something you have to force players in to by crippling the combat engine!++

So you're going to force me into combat by crippling the social mechanic of fear of death?  Doesn't that sound hypocritical of you?

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I'm more than happy to discuss adding a save function to TTRPGs. But it has to be in the rules or no one will use it.

Fate points already fill the no-permadeath/quickload function. I just thing they ought to refresh more often.

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+++++So you're going to force me into combat by crippling the social mechanic of fear of death? Doesn't that sound hypocritical of you?+++++

You mean stopping players from killing the barman because he is secretly a level 95 half dragon?

I think I'm over it. Can't we just flag NPCs as friendlies and get on with the mission?

Maybe the quickload only works if the GM has placed the 'Combat Scene' sign on the table. He can remove it if he wants to force the players to talk to someone.

FFG can make a little Combat Scene sign they can sell with the GM screen. And a hammer with This Is Not A Combat Scene printed in reverse on the head for disciplining players.

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Dezmond said:

 

+++++So you're going to force me into combat by crippling the social mechanic of fear of death? Doesn't that sound hypocritical of you?+++++

You mean stopping players from killing the barman because he is secretly a level 95 half dragon?

I think I'm over it. Can't we just flag NPCs as friendlies and get on with the mission?

Maybe the quickload only works if the GM has placed the 'Combat Scene' sign on the table. He can remove it if he wants to force the players to talk to someone.

 

 

So you're saying I can't kill the barman because I'm under the impression he's a level 95 half dragon?

I think I'm over it.  Can't we just flag the enemies as non-combatants and get on with the mission?

Maybe social interaction works if the GM has removed the "Parlay" sign from the table.  You talk of forcing players to play God Mode characters and fight only who you decide they should.

Stop speaking in absolutes because you're not the only gamer in the room.  IDDQD is for Doom.

Look the bottom line is that social interaction doesn't have guaranteed retries and very well might get you shot in the face as quick as a good fight.  If the threat of brain splatter doesn't scare you where's the tension when you're talking with a psychopathic cultist?

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Well, that there are no mmos with permadeath and few video games without a save function does kinda imply the larger share of people like them.

I genuinely think more people would be better of if DH ditched permadeath. Do you really feel different? 

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Dezmond said:

 

Well, that there are no mmos with permadeath and few video games without a save function does kinda imply the larger share of people like them.

I genuinely think more people would be better of if DH ditched permadeath. Do you really feel different? 

 

 

Hm, funny that, most RPG nuts I know are also video game addicts and yet you are the only one who seems to think RPGs are doing it wrong.

++Do you really feel different?++

Whole-heartedly.  My group and I even had an "intervention" of sorts, begging our DnD DM (my long time roommate Mike) to actually try and kill us.  He admitted he held back on numerous occassions for fear of losing our interest.  We unanimously told him to take off the "god mode" and bring on the genuine risk.

When my 17th level rogue died we had the single most impressive RP session of our entire campaign which lasted a year and a half.

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Dezmond said:

+++++So you're going to force me into combat by crippling the social mechanic of fear of death? Doesn't that sound hypocritical of you?+++++

You mean stopping players from killing the barman because he is secretly a level 95 half dragon?

I think I'm over it. Can't we just flag NPCs as friendlies and get on with the mission?

Maybe the quickload only works if the GM has placed the 'Combat Scene' sign on the table. He can remove it if he wants to force the players to talk to someone.

FFG can make a little Combat Scene sign they can sell with the GM screen. And a hammer with This Is Not A Combat Scene printed in reverse on the head for disciplining players.

Wow I really should go back to ignoring you, since I feel the tug of the troll pulling me down into his depths again, but I'll reply just this once before I turn you off.

You seem to think that everyone here is anti-combat, which simply isn't true.  A number of healthy discussions have occured on the relative merits of the current Dark Heresy combat system, in which many have agreed that its a bit weak.

And yet here you are saying that all tabletop RPGs should strictly be about combat, with social mechanics coming strictly from the minds of the players, and not the rules.

In which case, honeslty go play WH40k tabletop, because that's EXACTLY what you're looking for, and I mean exactly.  I'm not trying to be an ass here, but what you're looking for isn't a RPG, what you're looking for is a tabletop game in which you can add an element of roleplaying to.

Hence, WH40k.  Don't worry, your lack of knowledge and your ignorance of what a roleplaying game is really about isn't surprising, its fairly common.  But simply put, you shouldn't be able to kill a level 95 half-dragon, secret or not without concequenses, and the most likely consequence of doing something that idiotically stupid is death.

Hell in Exalted you do something super-stupid like attacking the Unconquered Sun, guess what... death... or at the very least unplayability which equates to death.

The Death mechanic isn't there from stopping you from doing stupid things, its there to add reality to a situation, to add social implications and physical consequences to actions that occur regardless.  Hell even the mythological gods fear death... take Ragnorok for example.

So, yes the combat sign does go away when your characters go face to face with the Avatar of Khorne.  If you're dumb enough to attack him, then that's your fault.  But what would you say should be the concequence then of doing something that stupid if the death mechanic was taken away?  Or are you saying you should win regardless, because that's exactly how its sounding.

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I keep waiting for Dez to turn around all of a sudden and shout "Ha! See you love combat so much!  You love violent dangerous battles!  You obviously want a Space Marine game and are just lying to yourselves!  Mwahahahahaha!"

Seriously, I'm downright impressed that Dez would preach plot hooks and social interaction being fun when he has gone to such great lengths to bash DH for being too blah blah and not enough blam blam.

EDIT:  Tell you what Dez, in the interest of fairness I will interview both of my gaming groups asking them what they think about deathless roleplaying.  10 in one group and 4 in another (not including myself) and I will honestly report back here with their quoted replies.

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+++++Hm, funny that, most RPG nuts I know are also video game addicts and yet you are the only one who seems to think RPGs are doing it wrong.+++++
 
We all play the **** video games. We all **** well like em. Theres no point in not using video game innovations because they come from video games.
 
And maybe they should think occasionally about why they spend more time with video games...

+++++++Do you really feel different?++

Whole-heartedly.  My group and I even had an "intervention" of sorts, begging our DnD DM (my long time roommate Mike) to actually try and kill us.  He admitted he held back on numerous occassions for fear of losing our interest.  We unanimously told him to take off the "god mode" and bring on the genuine risk.+++++

Thats probably because the game isn't intended to be played without permadeath. So without it there is no death penalty at all. Many games have a lesser penalty for dying - you either get dumped back to the last checkpoint or take some equipment damage.

To Human makes you sit through a little cut scene of a Valkyrie coming down, and to be honest the penalty isn't big enough.

We can discuss death penalties, but Permadeath is just to much.

+++++When my 17th level rogue died we had the single most impressive RP session of our entire campaign which lasted a year and a half.+++++

How many fights did you lose in that year and a half?

A lot less than you have lost in WoW I'd bet. Wouldn't you rather have more interesting, close run fights like in WoW?

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I hate this forum software. When you hit send you never know what you are going to get. Editing is even worse. Lets see what happens here:-

--

Mark It Zero said:

 

I keep waiting for Dez to turn around all of a sudden and shout "Ha! See you love combat so much!  You love violent dangerous battles!  You obviously want a Space Marine game and are just lying to yourselves!  Mwahahahahaha!"

Seriously, I'm downright impressed that Dez would preach plot hooks and social interaction being fun when he has gone to such great lengths to bash DH for being too blah blah and not enough blam blam.

 

 

Well, I wanna roleplay, I just wanna roleplay a badass like Snake Pliskin or Solid Snake, not a redshirted loser like a DH character. And I wanna kill ****. And so do you.

Badasses killing **** then agonising about it in bars.

I've often said I want a roleplaying game that is like a video game cutscene only you get to do the voices and make up the story rather than just watch it.

But to do that you gotta be a badass.

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++How many fights did you lose in that year and a half?++

Quite a few, 4 or 5 out of 10 to be almost exact.  I defined the 'down on his luck' rogue and had the run feat for a reason.  Know when to fold 'em man.  Seriously.

I have a binder with my "DnD graveyard" that has somewhere around 40 of my deceased characters in it now.  That's just one game mind you, I never bothered to save them for other games and not one of my DnD characters has ever been ressurected.

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Mark It Zero said:

I keep waiting for Dez to turn around all of a sudden and shout "Ha! See you love combat so much!  You love violent dangerous battles!  You obviously want a Space Marine game and are just lying to yourselves!  Mwahahahahaha!"

Seriously, I'm downright impressed that Dez would preach plot hooks and social interaction being fun when he has gone to such great lengths to bash DH for being too blah blah and not enough blam blam.

I'll be the first to admit I do want a Space Marine game... but I want one where the powerlevel of my enemies are equal to or greater then the powerlevel of my Marine.  I want a Space marine program where when faced with the choice of fighting a two front battle against the Tau and Chaos I have the ability to actually negotiate a cease fire with the Tau until the Chaos threat is finished, and have my characters have the access to skills that allow that.

But hell I want to be able to take my squad of Deathwatch Space marines against that Greater Daemon's incarnation and blast it back to the Warp too, but like any good story... and that's what RPGs are about stories... the stories are always more poignent when someone that the readers/listeners empathize with dies or is hurt.

A good story has numerous elements.  RPGs aren't about combat, and they're certainly not about running a character through 8-50 levels/tiers etc to see how strong they become.

RPGs are about telling stories, and you getting the chance to play a character within that story and having a say in the direction of the story, and not just reading someone elses interpretation. Its about living all those fantasy and sci-fi books we read as kids, and still read, and going "**** it be cool to do something like this."  RPGs give us a chance to do that... and its something that most computer games lack... the ability to tell and story and DIRECT the course of that story instead of simply being a character in a story that's already told.

Do I want a Space Marine game... hell yes I do... do I think CONFLICT is necessary, both physical and social... hell yes I do so yes I do love combat... but like any good story it gets boring as hell if the characters suffer no losses and if the story is all about combat.  The best stories are ones where the protagonists face loss.

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Mark It Zero said:

 

++How many fights did you lose in that year and a half?++

Quite a few, 4 or 5 out of 10 to be almost exact.  I defined the 'down on his luck' rogue and had the run feat for a reason.  Know when to fold 'em man.  Seriously.

 

 

And have a GM who won't ride you down with his cavalry.

:-)

--

+++++but I want one where the powerlevel of my enemies are equal to or greater then the powerlevel of my Marine.+++++

Then you are gonna lose half the fights you are in. How are we gonna make that work...

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