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Adeptus Ineptus

Let's have the unified system debate.

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Well it's not secret that I've always been all for it, but execution may make that view change in a hurry; either way, I think you need to actually give the thread more meat to it's bones if you want any kind of fruitful discussion.

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First of all, I don't think we'll see a unified edition any time soon. FFG seems quite happy with their business model, and they're even approaching Star Wars in the same way.

 

That said, and bearing in mind what follows is nothing but the most rampant speculation, DH2 has the potential to be the closest thing to a unified edition we've seen so far. This is thanks to this little gem from the latest beta announcement:

 

A new Reinforcements system which allows players to temporarily call-in and play as high-level characters will be added.

 

This might, just might, mean the game will inherently support things such as playable Astartes, Imperial Assassins, maybe even Xenos (inasmuch as they'd be willing to team up with the Inquisition - not common, but not impossible at the same time). If it indeed works like that, we'd have the basics of the unified system covered more thoroughly than ever before.

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I guess Morangias has the gist of it. A lot of players seem to favour a unified ruleset, but it's unfortunately nothing the studio appears to agree with.

 

Certainly, the "narration-focused approach" that FFG went with has its advantages, such as being able to cater much more to certain clichés and fan expectations surrounding a thusly presented faction of protagonists. In essence, it allows you to play like you read it in the novels, and I'm sure this is a major attraction for a lot of people.

 

The downside is, of course, that just like the novels do not really synch well with each other, so do the game systems break down when just transplanting things from one book into another without tweaking them to accomodate for the sometimes drastic changes in rules and stats. Not only does this complicate said usage of material from other books, it also creates issues with "mixed parties" (which exist in some novels, and certainly the Codex fluff) and makes the entire setting seem less like a unified world, but rather just different interpretations of it .. much like when you sometimes look at the novels, and they disagree on some detail.

 

Ultimately, it's a matter of personal preference, but I, too, would love a unified ruleset. Originally, I had hoped that a 2nd edition would bring exactly this. Alas, it was not supposed to be.

 

 

A new Reinforcements system which allows players to temporarily call-in and play as high-level characters will be added.

 

Honestly, this just sounds like the "... and then we switched to Deathwatch to fight the aliens that our Acolytes had uncovered" schpiel that has been played in some Dark Heresy groups ever since the DW ruleset came out.

Edited by Lynata

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Honestly, this just sounds like the "... and then we switched to Deathwatch to fight the aliens that our Acolytes had uncovered" schpiel that has been played in some Dark Heresy groups ever since the DW ruleset came out.

Even so, it seems this playstyle will be supported straight out of DH corebook, which is a huge step forward compared to the compatibility issues of previous games.

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Even so, it seems this playstyle will be supported straight out of DH corebook, which is a huge step forward compared to the compatibility issues of previous games.

 

How so, though? When you'll still have characters that use weapons with different profiles, or using different rules altogether, then this is nothing but a sort of "official acknowledgement" of a flawed workaround. The games will still suffer the same issues as always, and the level of compatibility (or lack thereof) will remain the same as well.

 

Assuming, of course, the announcement was referring to other games, and not just "high level characters" from DH itself.

 

... or are you perhaps suspecting that this announcement refers to a special "DH-version" of characters from other games?

Edited by Lynata

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I think the announcement bit is meant only to entice players of Dark Heresy 2e to try other 40K lines. Get them jazzed about and financially committed to Deathwatch...then release Deathwatch 2e.

 

"...allows players...", not the players' characters. PCs do not "...play as high-level characters..."

 

If we want a unified rules system we'll have to work it out for ourselves.

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Even so, it seems this playstyle will be supported straight out of DH corebook, which is a huge step forward compared to the compatibility issues of previous games.

 

How so, though? When you'll still have characters that use weapons with different profiles, or using different rules altogether, then this is nothing but a sort of "official acknowledgement" of a flawed workaround. The games will still suffer the same issues as always, and the level of compatibility (or lack thereof) will remain the same as well.

 

Just to be sure we're talking about the same thing, what do you mean by "different rules"?

 

It seems pretty intuitive that whatever characters Reinforcements system will let you call, they will be operating within DH2 mechanical framework.

 

 

 

Assuming, of course, the announcement was referring to other games, and not just "high level characters" from DH itself.

 

... or are you perhaps suspecting that this announcement refers to a special "DH-version" of characters from other games?

 

I don't think it'd be much of a feature if the Reinforcements rule was, "you can call in a Stormtrooper who's a Warrior just like you, but four ranks higher".

 

 

 

"...allows players...", not the players' characters. PCs do not "...play as high-level characters..."

Uh, dude? Why would PCs (as in, imaginary characters in imaginary world that players get to control) play as anything?

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Just to be sure we're talking about the same thing, what do you mean by "different rules"?

 

Stuff like the rules for psykers that differed on some level in every single game, for example.

 

Ever since FFG took over Dark Heresy, the 40k RPGs would slowly evolve over the various game lines, with some things being different in every new core rulebook. And the various character classes were, of course, tailored to its specific ruleset. An official RAW that lets you "call in" these characters as they are won't change that - and technically, the books already included sidebars with tips for how to run mixed groups, it just didn't really work well.

 

 

I don't think it'd be much of a feature if the Reinforcements rule was, "you can call in a Stormtrooper who's a Warrior just like you, but four ranks higher".

 

We don't, but maybe whoever wrote that line thinks it might. And some players might actually relish the thought of being able to "let loose" with a premade bare-bones character, destroying that cult that their main personae have uncovered. A switch back and forth between investigation and a no-holds-barred shootout, perhaps especially interesting for those players who are otherwise limited to more civilian characters like Scribes.

It could be presented as a feature solely because it isn't standard yet.

 

I'm just trying to think of what it could mean. The wording does not hint at characters from other games but just characters that are "high level". On the other hand, if it does refer to characters from other games, how exactly would it address the issues that we know exist for crossovers?

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Uh, dude? Why would PCs (as in, imaginary characters in imaginary world that players get to control) play as anything?

 

 

"...allows players...", not the players' characters. PCs do not "...play as high-level characters..."

 

Why would players (as in actual people) "...temporarily call-in..."?

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I assume, since it's announced as a feature, that Reinforcements will be more than a catchy name for crossovers that still require a different book to play.

 

It might, just might, mean we'd be getting rules for playing things such as Space Marines right in the DH2 corebook, even if just in limited capacity (because "temporary characters"). That'd be a good step towards using DH2 as the unified 40k system. Just like BC could have been just that if it weren't for all the Chaos-specific stuff.

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Personally I don't care at all about being able to do cross-overs and would have very little interest in a unified 40k game.

 

 

Uh, dude? Why would PCs (as in, imaginary characters in imaginary world that players get to control) play as anything?

 

 

"...allows players...", not the players' characters. PCs do not "...play as high-level characters..."

 

Why would players (as in actual people) "...temporarily call-in..."?

 

I'm all for pedantry but this is really stretching.

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I assume, since it's announced as a feature, that Reinforcements will be more than a catchy name for crossovers that still require a different book to play.

 

Maybe, maybe not. Okay, I'm not sure if my negativity is justified - I guess I might be overly cautious regarding any sort of announcements and rumours in an industrial environment these days, but it does prevent disappointment and makes for pleasant surprises when things turn out to be better than expected, rather than worse. An attitude that had in the past served me well as a player of Sororitas in the tabletop, too.  ;)

 

It might, just might, mean we'd be getting rules for playing things such as Space Marines right in the DH2 corebook, even if just in limited capacity (because "temporary characters").

 

Possible - that's what I meant with "a DH version" earlier. But when (if?) those special temporary characters are not meant to function in line with normal ones but rather as a separate team, I'm not sure this would really help.

We already have Grey Knights in Dark Heresy 1, and from all I've heard they are pretty ridiculous. And let's not talk about Ascended Psykers or Vindicare Assassins. The old system just breaks down above a certain level, and with Toughness still working exactly the same in DH2 I foresee the very same issues cropping up again.

 

Still, you have a point regarding it being "a first step", if this at least means they'll function on the same basic ruleset from the same rulebook. Will it be enough to allow players to do the rest without an overhaul of the basics? It remains to be seen. But it could turn out to be a bit easier than before.

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In the past I was also a fan of a unified core book. This kind of changed with time. Imagine DH1 would have been the core book and the 4 other lines would still be stuck in edition 1. In addition every line came with a setting specific character generation and advancement system which differed on purpose and could not be unified.

 

From a marketing perspective it would also be questionable if people which just want to play a specific line want to buy at least 2 books to play (core & setting).

 

I would much more prefer to release supplements and adventures which can be used for more than one line. An example, even not a good one is Daemon Hunter where the Grey Knights could also be used in a DW game.

So I could see supplement books for Monsters, Settings, Adventures, Gear, Vehicles, Shipcombat etc. which are written and designed to be used in different lines. What I mean is not just using them homebrew style like you could do it now, but prominent suggestions how these entries could be used in different settings. For example different adventure hooks, or stats in regards of different strains etc...  

Edited by Sharp

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Imagine DH1 would have been the core book and the 4 other lines would still be stuck in edition 1. In addition every line came with a setting specific character generation and advancement system which differed on purpose and could not be unified.

Being "stuck" with an old system is of course a viable concern, yet it could be argued that this cannot be avoided anyways. Even when you split up the game into different specific lines with all their rules, anything but the newest game will still be outdated, even with supplements released down the road.
 
I'd rather have the very first game feature a good ruleset that keeps on working for several years, and I actually think DH1 largely accomplished this. Also, stuff like RT's starship management, DW's hordes or BC's minions could easily be added to an existing ruleset; they're more like modules anyways, not integral components that stop working as soon as you use them with another game.

 

Setting-specific character generation and advancement is something I'd actually regard as a disadvantage rather than an advantage, specifically because it locks you down into a specific scenario and makes mixing things a hassle.
 
Isn't this a kind of railroading as well? The setting has so much more to offer.

 

 

From a marketing perspective it would also be questionable if people which just want to play a specific line want to buy at least 2 books to play (core & setting).

 

Technically, you could include the most important characters in the core rulebook (so as to provide a "minimum starting base" for players) and go into further detail with optional supplements. Isn't this kind of how it worked in DH1 already?

 

I would much more prefer to release supplements and adventures which can be used for more than one line. An example, even not a good one is Daemon Hunter where the Grey Knights could also be used in a DW game.

So I could see supplement books for Monsters, Settings, Adventures, Gear, Vehicles, Shipcombat etc. which are written and designed to be used in different lines. What I mean is not just using them homebrew style like you could do it now, but prominent suggestions how these entries could be used in different settings. For example different adventure hooks, or stats in regards of different strains etc...  

 

That seems like a rather extensive workaround, given that you'll end up having to provide what will amount to ~5 alternate sets of characteristics and traits and such for each and every important class, NPC, weapon, etc - compared to simply making sure they are compatible to each other right from the start.

 

I suppose I just don't like this idea of "perspective twist" that lets stuff work differently in every game. It's bad enough that we have this in the novels. It is one setting, and it should be possible to have rules that represent it as such, just like the tabletop game does it.

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I would much more prefer to release supplements and adventures which can be used for more than one line. An example, even not a good one is Daemon Hunter where the Grey Knights could also be used in a DW game...  

 

I've been wanting to test out the Grey Knights rules with a one-shot stand-alone scenario; I'm going to try the third chapter of the Deathwatch adventure book The Emperor Protects (which involves infiltrating a warp-tainted Chaos-held world, making it at least as appropriate a mission for Grey Knights as for Deathwatch). Alas, I haven't gotten around to it yet, so I can't give any feedback on how that kind of cross-over works...

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Alas, I haven't gotten around to it yet, so I can't give any feedback on how that kind of cross-over works...

 

At least those characters are using the same gear and have a similarly robust profile - my projection would be that it ought to work better than the GK actually works with a Dark Heresy group.

 

The only difference is that the GK doesn't have Squad Mode, right? Possibly compensated for by some psychic powers.

 

[edit] Actually, no... I think DW Marines also receive a couple additional bonuses from that huge list of implants which I think is missing in Daemon Hammer (and BC), but those are very circumstancial and thus probably wouldn't play a big role. But would you use the (more extensive) armour rules from DW, or the ones that came with the DH supplement?

Edited by Lynata

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Well, Grey Knights armour would likely skip the PA history thing entirely, as far as I can tell their armour is a lot more up to date and mass produced than the hand-me-down regular Astartes stuff. Could be wrong there, though. 

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Imagine DH1 would have been the core book and the 4 other lines would still be stuck in edition 1. In addition every line came with a setting specific character generation and advancement system which differed on purpose and could not be unified.

Being "stuck" with an old system is of course a viable concern, yet it could be argued that this cannot be avoided anyways. Even when you split up the game into different specific lines with all their rules, anything but the newest game will still be outdated, even with supplements released down the road.
 
I'd rather have the very first game feature a good ruleset that keeps on working for several years, and I actually think DH1 largely accomplished this. Also, stuff like RT's starship management, DW's hordes or BC's minions could easily be added to an existing ruleset; they're more like modules anyways, not integral components that stop working as soon as you use them with another game.

 

Setting-specific character generation and advancement is something I'd actually regard as a disadvantage rather than an advantage, specifically because it locks you down into a specific scenario and makes mixing things a hassle.
 
Isn't this a kind of railroading as well? The setting has so much more to offer.

 

 

From a marketing perspective it would also be questionable if people which just want to play a specific line want to buy at least 2 books to play (core & setting).

 

Technically, you could include the most important characters in the core rulebook (so as to provide a "minimum starting base" for players) and go into further detail with optional supplements. Isn't this kind of how it worked in DH1 already?

 

I would much more prefer to release supplements and adventures which can be used for more than one line. An example, even not a good one is Daemon Hunter where the Grey Knights could also be used in a DW game.

So I could see supplement books for Monsters, Settings, Adventures, Gear, Vehicles, Shipcombat etc. which are written and designed to be used in different lines. What I mean is not just using them homebrew style like you could do it now, but prominent suggestions how these entries could be used in different settings. For example different adventure hooks, or stats in regards of different strains etc...  

 

That seems like a rather extensive workaround, given that you'll end up having to provide what will amount to ~5 alternate sets of characteristics and traits and such for each and every important class, NPC, weapon, etc - compared to simply making sure they are compatible to each other right from the start.

 

I suppose I just don't like this idea of "perspective twist" that lets stuff work differently in every game. It's bad enough that we have this in the novels. It is one setting, and it should be possible to have rules that represent it as such, just like the tabletop game does it.

 

 

Regarding being stucked with the first system: Yeah this would be more of a problem for the first edition games. I hope with the 2nd no major changes will be necessary if they stick to the well developed system of OW/BC. So future lines should have much fewer "updates" regarding core rules than we have seen between DH, RT and DW. What I mean is: I would not have worked very well with 1st edition but it could work with 2nd because now the system is much more developed, tested an reliable.

 

Regarding a minimum starting base in a unified book: The problem would be what this "minimum" setting in core rulebook could be? DH? Maybe, but if players are just interested in DW it is questionable if this would sell if it had the smell of DH.

I think if they are really interested in making a unified core book they should stick to just rules and background info. Maybe just making it very thin so every player should have it for their own convenience of having the rules. When they start it they could sell it bundled with the first setting book as an option.

I believe the tabletop does the same if I remember correctly. One core rulebook and then the different faction books but I really don't know if it would work with the p&p lines and settings.

 

Regarding the work around and perspective twist:

I think it was a misunderstanding. I did not mean different stat blocks for different systems. I was thinking into the direction of introducing a creature with background and stats template. Then offering modifications for this template to portray different variants of this creatures. An example is in RT core p 370. There is an template for an Colonist and different modifications to that profil to portray different npcs like Adepts, Scum, Bloodskinner etc. of the imperial society. The same could be done with other npcs like astartes. (Modifications for different gear, experience, specializations etc.)

I am also of the opinion that every rule/npc/weapon should work the same independent of line perspective. So a Ork Slugga should do the same dmg in DH as it does in DW. Of course a creature / gear entry in a unified book could have different variants with fluff reason!  Just saying it's a different strain is not enough in my opinion.

It should in addition give tips how the same creature can be used very differently in the lines. For example an Ork Boy could be used as a final boss in a low lvl DH game, while it could also tell us how to use them in hordes in DW games. (Together with adventure ideas)

The differences in rules through the update of later lines would be of course a problem but it could be easily handled with one or two pages which tells us how to interpret them in the different systems.

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If we were to look to DH for inspiration; Reinforcements would probably come from the chambers militant of each Ordo. From the Ordo Hereticus would come the Holy Sisters of battle. From the Ordo Xenos would come the mighty battle brothers of the deathwatch and of course when all else fails, The Ordo Malleus might send backup in the form the unparalleled Grey knights! That's my thought anyway.

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Regarding a minimum starting base in a unified book: The problem would be what this "minimum" setting in core rulebook could be? DH? Maybe, but if players are just interested in DW it is questionable if this would sell if it had the smell of DH.

 

 

Oh, I didn't mean a minimum setting level, but rather a minimum collection of characters from all the different settings. Kind of like how in Inquisitor you have Arbites Enforcers, Guardsmen, Inquisitors, Rogue Traders, Space Marines, etc all in the core rulebook, ready to be played in mixed groups if you want to. Yes, you won't have Space Marine Librarians or IG Storm Troopers .. that's the kind of special stuff you'd get with the supplements. But if you want to play, say, "an Astartes", you get the basic class and are ready to roll just with the main book.  :)

 

Regarding the work around and perspective twist:

 

I think it was a misunderstanding. I did not mean different stat blocks for different systems. I was thinking into the direction of introducing a creature with background and stats template. Then offering modifications for this template to portray different variants of this creatures. An example is in RT core p 370. There is an template for an Colonist and different modifications to that profil to portray different npcs like Adepts, Scum, Bloodskinner etc. of the imperial society. The same could be done with other npcs like astartes. (Modifications for different gear, experience, specializations etc.) [...] It should in addition give tips how the same creature can be used very differently in the lines. For example an Ork Boy could be used as a final boss in a low lvl DH game, while it could also tell us how to use them in hordes in DW games. (Together with adventure ideas)

 

Ohhh! So basically like "difficulty levels" and different sub-groups of a broader category of this creature, like having a block for "Guardsman" being split into Conscript, Trooper, and Veteran, to be used in any power level depending on what sort of challenge you need them for ...

Yes, absolutely. I like this idea!

Edited by Lynata

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I just want to chime in here and say that I'm all for a unified system. 

 

I'll add that from a financial perspective I think a unified system would actually make FFG more money than separate lines for arbitrary sections of the setting. It would also make the game more playable which, lets face it, is one of the most important goals in RPG design. A game creator wants people to do more than just read his game books, he wants them to actually use them in play. A unified system will help in that regard.

 

Perhaps If we make that a persuasive argument FFG might take the idea seriously. 

Edited by johnnype
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