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Questionable Methods

I love fatigue, but hate wounds

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I am still making my way through the rules but so far I have found Injury section the most polarizing in my mind.

 

  • I really like how fatigue works now.  It now has some tangible effects and is something player's have to worry about.  When player's are in messed up situations and are being exposed to great hardship and horror they become worn down and haggard. 

 

  • I really HATE what they have done with the wounds.  I can see what they are TRYING to do.  I like the idea of making injury something a little more dynamic than a static figure on a character sheet.  However, if you want to do this I think you need to have a method of handling it a lot more streamlined than being forced to consult one of sixteen charts every time someone takes a shot. 

 

To 'fix' wounding (without scrapping the concept completely) I think they should break it down into one general chart and then critical injuries can have their own charts like previous game systems used to do.  Thoughts?

 

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I was thinking they could possibly just have 1 chart for each type of damage, with generic effects, and with specific notes for certain locations when it become important. Something like "Explosive: 7 - Location is crippled, suffer bleeding (4). Limbs: permanently crippled as the limb is blown off. Head:  The character dies messily as their skull explodes. Body: Character is rendered unconscious due to the trauma. 1d5 Permanent toughness damage."

 

And before anyone comments, I know explosive damage apparently doesn't exist anymore, and I haven't seen the bleeding rules yet, so I have no idea whether that makes sense. It is a suggestion though, which would reduce the number of relevant charts from 16 to 4. As much as the verbose descriptions in the old Critical charts were amusing at times, they did add to the space taken up, and some of the more ridiculous results were probably not needed (Characters running around with their head on fire? Really necessary?).

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I guess I was thinking in the context of the old charts which are only 10 entries long, so it would strip it down quite easily. However, if you have 19 odd entries it gets more problematic.

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Attached is an email correspondence between me and someone at FFG about the wounds system, It will probably help clear things up.

 

 

 

To whom it may concern,
 
I have never played the first edition of Dark Heresy and am only familiar with the Only War and Deathwatch games (which are fantastic by the way). I noticed the system used for taking damage or wounds in this beta is substantially different then these other games and I am unfamiliar with the first edition of Dark Heresy so I am unsure if this was used in the previous book or not.
 
From what I can understand you want a system where instead of actual wounds the character continuously takes damage that effects them until they die at some point. However the explanation is confusing and I would like some clarification before I begin the beta campaign provided in the book (note I have only tested the character creation and the combat mechanics so far and have yet to test out an actual campaign).
 
For example: a player with an armor + toughness value of 7 takes 15 damage from a weapon. The remaining 8 damage would then be used to determine what happens to the character on the chart. Then when the player receives subsequent damage from other attacks, these attacks gain a +5 bonus to the result on the chart. From my understanding this bonus stacks to the point where a player dies if they have taken too much damage.
 
While this is a very original and interesting concept it has lead to situations that have been highly unrealistic and unlikely. One such instance was when a character had taken enough damage that a simple knife was able to cause their limb to rip off and threaten to destroy other parts of their body. While entertaining this is highly unlikely to happen when one is stabbed in the arm.
 
In addition to this it is also difficult to tell whether or not an enemy NPC is killed. I understand from the forums that the standard foe that the PCs will face can take 2 hits (or one critical hit) before they die. However I am also under the impression that tougher characters use the same system of taking damage which when I play-tested this method during the test of the combat mechanics lead to a very drawn out and uneventful combat where both parties shot at each other and took damage until they succumbed from their wounds. a simple combat that would have taken several minutes against a single enemy NPC took over two hours to resolve. Most of this time was spent keeping track of the damage both sides have taken.
 
Now I probably am confused about how you intended this to work and I would just like a clarification if I am correct in my interpretation or have missed it completely.

 

here is their response and while I didn't expect anything different it does seem to make me like the new system more even though wounds are still superior.
 

 

Yes, you have the wounds system correct. This is a new approach we've developed for this edition. 
 
It may feel odd that a lesser attack might be the one that finally kills an enemy (or PC!) after they have survived massive trauma from powerful weapons, but think of it more as the straw that breaks the camel's back. After so much damage, the smallest of wounds could be enough to finish off someone who is barely alive. The text given for that result might not fit perfectly with that weapon, but the GM should be able to finesse it as needed. That one stab in the arm could perhaps be the one that rips it off or inflicts so much trauma that the body can't take it any more. 
 
Not sure I 100% follow you on the NPCs part though. Was it a combat against a Master level character that took the two hours? Let me know and we can hopefully resolve it better. 
 
Thanks here on the questions and comments on the new edition. Please keep it up with more feedback; this will really help ensure it is the best game possible!

 

 

I am currently under the impression that the new wounds system will be fun but I believe NPCs should go back to the old system for ease of mechanics.

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Making NPCs and PCs operate on wholly different systems makes things tricky, though, it means talents, gear and all manner of other things could become unusable for one type of character or the other. 

they don't need to operate on wholly different systems, it would be fairly easy to use wounds for the medium level NPCs and the normal system in the book for PCs

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It seems counter intuitive, to me. It's a perfectly workable system from the perspective of a player who's played other 40kRPG systems, but from a new player's perspective? You're teaching them two very different systems to handle the same thing.

 

If you're worried about book-keeping, just treat Elites like Novices, but make it so they can take four wounding hits, or five, or whatever you think seems balanced.

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It seems counter intuitive, to me. It's a perfectly workable system from the perspective of a player who's played other 40kRPG systems, but from a new player's perspective? You're teaching them two very different systems to handle the same thing.

 

If you're worried about book-keeping, just treat Elites like Novices, but make it so they can take four wounding hits, or five, or whatever you think seems balanced.

that's what I'm saying. maybe I wasn't clear, Instead of using the same system for PCs just make it so they can only take a certain amount of hits or something like that for ease of use. If NPCs use the same system the players use it drags out the combat and gives GMs so much more stuff to keep track of unless they only go against opponents one at a time.

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Well, it's only going to happen with Elites anyway, and even then, they have a 1/10 chance to die outright every time they get shot. I don't see it as a tremendous issue.

Im sure it's not but it has been an issue for me when playtesting combat mechanics. Maybe its just me though but combat agains mid-level NPCs seem to take much longer then they should. I'm fine with boss NPCs using the same system but anything lower then that drags out combat to the point where people begin to lose intrest and I am forced to say that they run away or something in an effort to keep the game going.

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I was thinking they could possibly just have 1 chart for each type of damage, with generic effects, and with specific notes for certain locations when it become important. Something like "Explosive: 7 - Location is crippled, suffer bleeding (4). Limbs: permanently crippled as the limb is blown off. Head:  The character dies messily as their skull explodes. Body: Character is rendered unconscious due to the trauma. 1d5 Permanent toughness damage." 

 

I think this is what I would be most happy with.  I just don't think such a frequently recurring mechanic as game mechanic should take more than 15 seconds. 

 

I am sure the way they have it set up in TIME we would learn it by rote and draw up handy-dandy handouts to make it roll smoother, but the fact that you can learn a mechanic EVENTUALLY doesn't make up for it being a poor way of doing things to begin with (IE - THAC0 from AD&D, Starship creation in GURPS space, and everything to do with FATAL)

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I think that the changes to the Wounds system are interesting in concept, and they would probably work well in a game where all combatants are more-or-less comparable. But I'm concerned that there just isn't enough 'depth' to Defensive Value to fully replace 'Hit Points', in a game that features a host of super-human and non-human opponents.

 

Can any of the Playtesters speak to how well this system 'scales up' to represent opponents other than human heretics?

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I think that the changes to the Wounds system are interesting in concept, and they would probably work well in a game where all combatants are more-or-less comparable. But I'm concerned that there just isn't enough 'depth' to Defensive Value to fully replace 'Hit Points', in a game that features a host of super-human and non-human opponents.

 

Can any of the Playtesters speak to how well this system 'scales up' to represent opponents other than human heretics?

 

****.  I hadn't even considered this, excellent point.  The system is structured to make someone more resistant to damage, but I haven't seen anything that helps take MORE punishment once damage is inflicted. 

 

So really if someone comes up with rules for a Carnifex it will either be one-shotted by a lascannon or will be impossible to kil. 

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It's worth considering we haven't seen any rules for monstrous creatures like Carnifexes or Daemon Princes. It may well be that FFG have some special qualities intended for them that make them function under the current system. Something like their wound modifiers only counting as +2, not +5.

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It's worth considering we haven't seen any rules for monstrous creatures like Carnifexes or Daemon Princes. It may well be that FFG have some special qualities intended for them that make them function under the current system. Something like their wound modifiers only counting as +2, not +5.

 

Well, the Daemonic trait says they count as having a force field providing up to 4d5 absorption in addition to their defenses, which can only be bypassed by holy weapons or sanctioned weapons.

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It's worth considering we haven't seen any rules for monstrous creatures like Carnifexes or Daemon Princes. It may well be that FFG have some special qualities intended for them that make them function under the current system. Something like their wound modifiers only counting as +2, not +5.

 

Well, the Daemonic trait says they count as having a force field providing up to 4d5 absorption in addition to their defenses, which can only be bypassed by holy weapons or sanctioned weapons.

****! That is pretty gnarly. Which reminds me - I like what they are doing with force fields.

That being said, I hope that won't be indicative of what they do with their monsters. It fits warp spawn but just making big bad guys harder to injure without actually being able to TAKE more injury is uninteresting.

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