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Cervantes3773

Crimson Guard questions

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You're making an assumption that the change introduced is supposed to keep DH power level comparable with that of Only War. It would have been a failure of design if it had been the goal all along, but I see no proof, explicit or implicit, that it's the case.

 

You're also ignoring an emergent trend in the sourcebooks since Blood of Martyrs. While you see the "naked power creep", you ignore what for a lack of better word I'll call "coolness creep" following. In the early days of the line, it was all about being a random, meaningless dude cast into the vast machine of the Inquisition. Even if you got an alternate rank or a background package, you were still pretty much the same random, meaningless dude, only now with some preset backstory and perhaps a small perk to show for it. Ever since BoM, the spotlight is on dudes who belong to important, elite organizations or were given elite Inquisition training, and have the skills and equipment to show for it. Now it's all about being a part of the Inquisition, a truly exceptional dude pulling his weight in this giant and tremendously powerful machine.

 

Practically speaking, we have two distinct "tiers" of playing DH now (Ascension notwithstanding): you can still play as the random assembly of random Acolytes, or you can play as the lean, mean task force carefully assembled by the Inquisition. The material for both playstyles is all over the place, but generally you have pre-BoM books offering most to the former playstyle and post-BoM books offering most to the latter.

 

I'll give to you that it does create a sort of conundrum due to not being spelled out clearly, and sticking to the old stuff while someone else in the team is rolling a Venator or a BoM-Battle Sister may not be the most fun play experience, but in a team consisting of, say, a Verispex Adept, a Venator, a Battle Sister and a Lathesmaster, I really don't think anyone would be truly overpowered.

 

Running this kind of game might not be your cup of tea, but it's a legitimate, fun playstyle, and again, the game doesn't actually break because of it.

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Running this kind of game might not be your cup of tea, but it's a legitimate, fun playstyle, and again, the game doesn't actually break because of it.

 

I totally agree that playing Elites rather than Grunts is a legitimate playstyle- and I would argue that that is what upper Ranks and, yes, Ascension is for. I would have no complaints (well, fewer complaints) about Crimson Guard or Blood of Martyrs Sisters of Battle if they had been presented as Ascension-level options (-why has there been no official support for that supplement?), rather than being passed off as being balanced with other Rank 1 Careers.

 

-But you will never convince me that Leatherwort has any business appearing outside D&D! :P

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The thing about power creep is, it's inevitable in the line progressing for such a long time and made to support such vastly differing playstyles. Power creep has been the name of the game pretty much ever since Inquisitor's Handbook, and the general problem with DH is that it started by trying to make everything so low-key, the difference between the weakest and strongest available equipment is almost meaningless (I remember that before we got our hands on the errata, my players simply shrugged at Bolt weapons, as their slightly better damage and penetration didn't justify the higher ammo cost, inferior rates of fire and smaller magazines compared to SP weapons loaded with Manstoppers). Even the relatively small changes of switching to Rogue Trader weapon profiles turn out quite shockingly powerful compared to the DH baseline, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the DH baseline made entire categories of equipment obsolete by design - admit it, have you ever seen anyone being happy about a DH core or IH plasma weapon? Or those power armors with a few hours of battery life? I haven't.

 

That's another thing - a lot of the changes exist to bring stuff up to par with previously established fluff, and since 40k RPG still boasts the crossover compatibility (which is something of a high claim for how it actually works, but that's beside the point), making the Inquisition not look like a bunch of beggars compared to the likes of Rogue Traders or even possibly Deathwatch Marines is still a concern. It was virtually impossible to maintain any semblance of balance with earlier stuff while addressing this issue, and maintaining the relative power level established in core and IH was something of a design dead end - how many more models of boltgun could they think of that have one more point of damage but slightly shorter range and smaller magazine to compensate? And it's not like some of these apparently balanced options from IH didn't prove clearly superior upon closer scrutiny.

 

Also, what is it about Leatherwort that irks you so much? In this vast galaxy of assorted weirdness and randomly adapted sci-fi cliches, what's so out of place about a herbal compound that dulls the pain and reacts with the skin to make it harder? I can understand not liking the idea, or not liking the idea of stacking armor on top of armor (although in this case you're really late to the party, seeing how The Flesh is Weak has been around ever since RT Core), but just saying it's a D&D potion is really off-base. Or rather, it is a potion of armor in the same sense that Frenzon is the potion of heroism.

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That's another thing - a lot of the changes exist to bring stuff up to par with previously established fluff...

 

Most of my complaints about the later DH supplements concern violations of fluff. Boltguns, for example, are universally portrayed as the premier Basic weapon in 40K- you are right about them being underpowered in DH (although this has been mitigated slightly by the addition of Tearing in the Errata); but the new weapons in the last few supplements don't correct this problem- they make them even more out of step with 40k lore. Now, boltguns are dwarfed by 'super shotguns' which do more damage than some heavy weapons, and 'magic lasguns' which do the same damage as boltguns without needing ammo... This doesn't 'bring DH more in line with the fluff', it takes it out of line with the fluff...

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Lasguns better than boltguns have always existed - see: hellguns and hot-shots. A new type that's actually stronger than basic lasguns but strictly weaker than boltguns doesn't violate anything.

 

That Arbites shotgun is clearly of Astartes caliber - check the Deathwatch errata for comparison. It's like Angelus boltgun, except not heretical because astartes shotgun slugs aren't sacred.

 

Again, what fluff violations?

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Lasguns better than boltguns have always existed - see: hellguns and hot-shots. A new type that's actually stronger than basic lasguns but strictly weaker than boltguns doesn't violate anything.

 

That Arbites shotgun is clearly of Astartes caliber - check the Deathwatch errata for comparison. It's like Angelus boltgun, except not heretical because astartes shotgun slugs aren't sacred.

 

Again, what fluff violations?

 

Sigh... Hellguns aren't portrayed as 'better' than boltguns in the fluff; they are just lasguns with better armour pen. And, according to the fluff, Arbites use combat shotguns (probably Best Quality in DH terms), loaded with Executioner rounds (detailed in Ascension); but that wouldn't fill new pages, so a hack writer pulled an 'Astares-caliber' shotgun out of his backside, fluff be damned.

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Sigh... Hellguns aren't portrayed as 'better' than boltguns in the fluff; they are just lasguns with better armour pen. And, according to the fluff, Arbites use combat shotguns (probably Best Quality in DH terms), loaded with Executioner rounds (detailed in Ascension); but that wouldn't fill new pages, so a hack writer pulled an 'Astares-caliber' shotgun out of his backside, fluff be damned.

 

Moreover, said shotgun can still be loaded with Executioner rounds, making it stronger than a plasma gun for a fraction of the price while still allowing for it to be used with other shotgun ammo if need be. Therein lies the issue; not only is the weapon not man-scaled (Astartes weaponry is not usable by normal humans, the Angelus is an exception because the weapon is entirely designed around the oversized bolt shell, and notably loses access to semi-automatic fire, while the ridiculous shotgun still keeps semi-auto fire), but the addition of what is essentially standard equipment for Arbites (Executioner shells), which already existed in the rules and the fluff, makes it downright ridiculous.

 

The same issue applies with the Crimson Guard; it is noticeably superior to the alternative option (the standard Guardsman) without sacrificing anything in return and while still being able to access the Guardsman's other toys; because it gets bonuses to what the Guardsman is already good at (direct combat) and negligible penalties to things the Guardsman is bad at (social interactions), it is essentially a direct upgrade. I mean, sure, Secutors can get more ridiculous through abuse of Machinator Array and Mining Helot augmentations, but a rank 1 alternate career shouldn't be rivaling an already very strong level 4 alternate rank.

Edited by MorioMortis

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Lasguns better than boltguns have always existed - see: hellguns and hot-shots. A new type that's actually stronger than basic lasguns but strictly weaker than boltguns doesn't violate anything.

 

That Arbites shotgun is clearly of Astartes caliber - check the Deathwatch errata for comparison. It's like Angelus boltgun, except not heretical because astartes shotgun slugs aren't sacred.

 

Again, what fluff violations?

 

Sigh... Hellguns aren't portrayed as 'better' than boltguns in the fluff; they are just lasguns with better armour pen. And, according to the fluff, Arbites use combat shotguns (probably Best Quality in DH terms), loaded with Executioner rounds (detailed in Ascension); but that wouldn't fill new pages, so a hack writer pulled an 'Astares-caliber' shotgun out of his backside, fluff be damned.

I'd like to point out that the only reason you consider d10+9 damage on a shotgun a "fluff violation" is because another writer pulled lower damage values for both shotguns and bolters out of his backside in an earlier book.

 

 

 

Sigh... Hellguns aren't portrayed as 'better' than boltguns in the fluff; they are just lasguns with better armour pen. And, according to the fluff, Arbites use combat shotguns (probably Best Quality in DH terms), loaded with Executioner rounds (detailed in Ascension); but that wouldn't fill new pages, so a hack writer pulled an 'Astares-caliber' shotgun out of his backside, fluff be damned.

 

Moreover, said shotgun can still be loaded with Executioner rounds, making it stronger than a plasma gun for a fraction of the price while still allowing for it to be used with other shotgun ammo if need be. Therein lies the issue; not only is the weapon not man-scaled (Astartes weaponry is not usable by normal humans, the Angelus is an exception because the weapon is entirely designed around the oversized bolt shell, and notably loses access to semi-automatic fire, while the ridiculous shotgun still keeps semi-auto fire), but the addition of what is essentially standard equipment for Arbites (Executioner shells), which already existed in the rules and the fluff, makes it downright ridiculous.

Sorry, but unless you're comparing this shotgun to Black Crusade Plasma weapons, the comparison is meaningless because plasma weapons suck in all 40k RPGs except for BC and possibly DW after errata.

 

I'd also like to point out that while executioner shells may be standard issue for Arbites in fluff, they certainly aren't standard issue for DH characters.

 

The same issue applies with the Crimson Guard; it is noticeably superior to the alternative option (the standard Guardsman) without sacrificing anything in return and while still being able to access the Guardsman's other toys; because it gets bonuses to what the Guardsman is already good at (direct combat) and negligible penalties to things the Guardsman is bad at (social interactions), it is essentially a direct upgrade. I mean, sure, Secutors can get more ridiculous through abuse of Machinator Array and Mining Helot augmentations, but a rank 1 alternate career shouldn't be rivaling an already very strong level 4 alternate rank.

With the Tech-Priest getting free access to all the goodies the CG got, sometimes later on in the career but often at a fraction of the price, and with Machinator Array still being firmly in the hands of the Secutor, I'm 100% confident he's still above the Venator.

 

And yes, you're absolutely right - the guy is clearly stronger than the basic Guardsman - but then again, Guardsman is one of the weakest Careers in the corebook, and ever since alternate Ranks have appeared for it, I can think of no single one available that wouldn't be in some way better than the basic progression.

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For the very first line- on the arbitrary determination of fluff violation based on the previous shotgun... 

 

I am going to have to go with Adeptus on that one: the established standard has to be worked around, and the systems has to go around that. Putting up the original shotgun's damage at value 1d10+X [if that was indeed the very first weapon they worked at] should be the bar, or base value, that all of the others are worked around to keep in line with the fluff. Or just common sense. 

 

After all, the entire game has to work together. And even though balance isn't really an issue [some stuff clearly is better then other stuff], it was still handled badly - for example with the Plasma weapon. I don;t think that its a completely irrelevant point to bring because I find it DIRECTLY represents what Adeptus is talking about. 

 

WHY do Plasma weapons suck so much compared to a shotgun!? This should have been fixed- Instead of giving us brand new, even stronger shotguns. 

 

They fixed tearing on Bolters- where's the Autofire and maximal, minimal settings on Lasguns (Which are described constantly in Dan's Gaunt's Ghosts, the same author who is likely the Father of DH with Einsenhorn- years before Only War?)

 

Instead of that, we get a brand new Lazriffle, which is only usable with a very specific set of people, which is muuuch stronger than even a bolter- passing a toughness test or gain fatigue isn't that hard of a trick, especially with another talent which allows them to drain away fatigue by connecting themselves to some sort of power source. 

 

The powercreep thats "breaking" isn't very hard to achieve, because people aren't maintaining that consistency standard. 

 

We keep talking about the Crimson Guard, but I want to talk about the Cult of the Pureform as well. I want someone to explain how that thing works. 

 

The most I've gotten out of it is, if you somehow managed to loose two fate points in a single game where no reinforcements is possible, [by losing an arm and a leg for example], you then gain one extra fate point which ensures you survive the adventure to get back to civilization? But in any case, the damage is often is too extensive to have a character be playable in any meaningful away. At the very least the vat grown limbs should have been "Normal Quality" as they are blessed and pure, or "Best Quality" to make up for the fact that some things can't be vat grown so people are taking permanent damage for them.... 

 

See, how the devil does the Crimson Guard exist side by side with this thing in the books? Its two completely different classes- On one side, an "EXTREMELY" high tier rank 1 and... some sort of Masochistic Rpers Dream which really would cause a game, and a character, to crawl to a halt relatively quickly because the character is not forced to jump around on one leg and one arm for the remainder of his natural existence. 

 

[And lastly, the Lathemasters ability to make things work by hitting them. And they live in force-worlds. With Tech-priests. Maybe I missed something in the exact nature of how they hit thing, but if I tech-priest, I would take offence.] 

 

Edit- I've just thought of a way Crimson Guard could have been made into a higher ranking guardsman. Re-purposed servitor work :P Burning a fate point, and your reconstructed. Robo-cop style/Maltek Stalker. 

Edited by Saldre

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For the very first line- on the arbitrary determination of fluff violation based on the previous shotgun...

I am going to have to go with Adeptus on that one: the established standard has to be worked around, and the systems has to go around that. Putting up the original shotgun's damage at value 1d10+X [if that was indeed the very first weapon they worked at] should be the bar, or base value, that all of the others are worked around to keep in line with the fluff. Or just common sense.

The problem is, DH has crippled itself considerably by setting up the initial weapon stats the way it did. The engine is clearly capable of sustaining a much robust spread of numeric values, as evidenced by later systems in the 40k line. Not only that, but the game has practically used up all the preset design space somewhere between Inquisitor's Handbook and Radical's Handbook - how many different pistol models that differ by minimally switching up values do you need before reading weapon tables becomes boring?
After all, the entire game has to work together. And even though balance isn't really an issue [some stuff clearly is better then other stuff], it was still handled badly - for example with the Plasma weapon. I don;t think that its a completely irrelevant point to bring because I find it DIRECTLY represents what Adeptus is talking about.

In my experience with long RPG lines with robust mechanics, I've yet to find one where the metagame wasn't evolving significantly over the years to the point of obsoleting large parts of initial design. It's not a flaw - not the desired state of things either, but rather just the reality of roleplaying games.
WHY do Plasma weapons suck so much compared to a shotgun!? This should have been fixed- Instead of giving us brand new, even stronger shotguns.

I still firmly maintain one has no bearing on the other.
They fixed tearing on Bolters- where's the Autofire and maximal, minimal settings on Lasguns (Which are described constantly in Dan's Gaunt's Ghosts, the same author who is likely the Father of DH with Einsenhorn- years before Only War?)

Like I said - DH is so dated, it's sad.

Instead of that, we get a brand new Lazriffle, which is only usable with a very specific set of people, which is muuuch stronger than even a bolter- passing a toughness test or gain fatigue isn't that hard of a trick, especially with another talent which allows them to drain away fatigue by connecting themselves to some sort of power source.

First, it's not "pass Toughness or Fatigue", it's automatic level of Fatigue whenever their gun comes up with a Jam. And Electrical Succour, while pretty awesome indeed, isn't really usable in combat time, and that's when the Fatigue is going to happen - also, it's where it hurts the most.
The powercreep thats "breaking" isn't very hard to achieve, because people aren't maintaining that consistency standard.

Once again, I really don't think calling something that's superior to another option is gamebreaking. Vindicare, with his bajillion dodges at 120% is gamebreaking. A Primaris Psyker who can incinerate entire cities in minutes without breaking a sweat is gamebreaking. A guy that starts with a better gun and armor and can buy a few more Talents isn't gamebreaking, because he can still be challenged, and his presence doesn't preclude others from contributing, both in and outside of combat. A shotgun with better damage isn't gamebreaking, because it's not an "I win" button in any capacity - just a weapon that's better than most comparable weapons. It still needs ammo, it can still be lost, there are still enemies who can take a few hits from this baby and rip the user to shreds.

We keep talking about the Crimson Guard, but I want to talk about the Cult of the Pureform as well. I want someone to explain how that thing works.

The most I've gotten out of it is, if you somehow managed to loose two fate points in a single game where no reinforcements is possible, [by losing an arm and a leg for example], you then gain one extra fate point which ensures you survive the adventure to get back to civilization? But in any case, the damage is often is too extensive to have a character be playable in any meaningful away. At the very least the vat grown limbs should have been "Normal Quality" as they are blessed and pure, or "Best Quality" to make up for the fact that some things can't be vat grown so people are taking permanent damage for them....


I was recently pondering a theoretical build that would involve choosing a Career with access to Pure Faith, stacking on as many non-essential bionics as possible, then going Cult of the Pure Form and removing all of them for a nice boost in Fate Points. The ideal form would be a quadriplegic, mute and blind buffing machine. That could potentially be gamebreaking! ;)
See, how the devil does the Crimson Guard exist side by side with this thing in the books? Its two completely different classes- On one side, an "EXTREMELY" high tier rank 1 and... some sort of Masochistic Rpers Dream which really would cause a game, and a character, to crawl to a halt relatively quickly because the character is not forced to jump around on one leg and one arm for the remainder of his natural existence.

I think someone assumed (rather correctly, I'd say) that the ability to stack up on extra Fate Points can be extremely unbalancing, and then overreacted with the means to curb such abuse of the rules.

As it stands, the only real use I see for this Rank is for Discordians - when you can't have any cybernetics at all, being able to replace lost organs with even low quality replacements is still a godsend, and when you're a natural enemy of the Mechanicum by your very nature, having friends in a powerful, sector-spanning cult that hates the AdMech sounds like a good idea.
[And lastly, the Lathemasters ability to make things work by hitting them. And they live in force-worlds. With Tech-priests. Maybe I missed something in the exact nature of how they hit thing, but if I tech-priest, I would take offence.]

It's pretty explicit they don't use it when the Tech-Priests are watching. Also, they still think of it as a rite, so it's a rather minor heresy - something quite expected of the uneducated working classes :D
Edit- I've just thought of a way Crimson Guard could have been made into a higher ranking guardsman. Re-purposed servitor work :P Burning a fate point, and your reconstructed. Robo-cop style/Maltek Stalker.


This could explain why the PC has suddenly found himself outfitted with all the stuff this Career provides, but it doesn't in any way explain why the paranoid, secretive and downright clannish organization that is the Mechanicum chose to upgrade a random guy into their most elite fighting force. Edited by Morangias

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If you feel something's unbalanced, then don't use it. If you're the GM, ban it. When I ran Black Crusade (for that brief, unpleasant period of time) I was asked more than once by my players if they could have legacy weapons. I hate the rules for legacy weapons, personally, so I told them no, and that was the end of it.

 

Hopefully 2e will be a little less ridiculous than current DH is.

Edited by Boss Gitsmasha

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