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ThenDoctor

When to let PC's get ahold of "good" armor?

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I plan on running a bunch of pre written adventures to run a group through Rank 1 - 8 this will include Haarlock's Legacy and Maggots in the Meat (which is apparently a very dangerous adventure if played right).

 

I was just curious about what Rank should I be letting PCs get "good" armor; this meaning full flak, carapace, and eventually power. As I don't want things to be too easy on them.

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I feel this is something that every GM does differently. I've even read about ones that deny PA to their players altogether. It probably hinges a lot on what you and your group would like to see in Dark Heresy - meaning, if you'd rather embrace the "scrub" factor, or the "we are the Inquisition!" aspect.

 

In my current group, we're thinking that PA may come into play starting with Rank 5. Also, there are classes that get full flak and carapace as starting gear, so personally I wouldn't artificially keep it out of the other players' hands - it will probably be difficult enough to come by anyways, given the cost.

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Like Lynata said, this will vary a great deal from one GM to the next. My own campaign is fairly heavy on combat (my players come from Tabletop and/or D&D backgrounds, and they've made it clear they expect at least one combat per game session, so my missions tend to play out like 'police procedurals' that culminate in commando raids, rather than more traditional stealthy investigations). I've found that Guard Flak is fine as the best available armour at Ranks 1-3, and Enforcer Light Carapace becoming affordable at Rank 4. I strictly enforce the encumberance rules, calling for occasional 'encumberance audits' during down times to determine the total weight each character is carrying; as a result, no one seems interested in acquiring Strom Trooper Carapace, deciding that the extra point of armour is not worth the reduction in movement. I allowed a character to 'requisition' Power Armour for one mission at Rank 6 (I think); I completely randomized the 1-5 hour power duration (at the end of the first hour, it 'powers down on a d10 roll of 9-10, at the end of the second hour on a roll of 7-10, etc.); it promptly lost power at a critical point of the mission, which has really soured the PCs on buying their own Power Armour, even though some of them can now afford it at Rank 7.

 

The main thing that I have found that 'breaks' the system is the 'stacking armour' options from Book Of Judgement. These things (Synford-Pattern Lockshield, Ballistic Surcoat, Leatherwort) potentially allow PCs to ramp up armour points to Power Armour levels, at a fraction of the cost and with no balancing disadvantages. The result has been to render a huge swath of threats no longer viable- now every lowly sentry has to be armed at least a boltgun for the PCs to take him seriously. I find this a violation of the 'spirit' of the 40Kverse, where even mighty heroes like Inquisitor Eisenhorn have to take precautions against grunts with autoguns. I wish I would have had the foresight to ban stacking armour from my campaign. Live and learn...

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my players come from Tabletop and/or D&D backgrounds, and they've made it clear they expect at least one combat per game session

 

This is, of course, offtopic, but I'm wondering - what's wrong with the D&D? I play and DM ADnD (2 edition) since 1998 and never faced with the fact that players tend to combat-oriented campaigns more than in any other system :huh:

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D&D is unapologetically a game about adventurers murdering monsters and taking their loot and has been pretty much from the beginning. You can do other stuff with it, but it's a monster-murder game at its core.

 

In my games, guard flak (ap 4 all) is the standard. We've actually never played characters long enough to consider going for anything much better.

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Stacking armour is a bad idea.

Anything else...

 

I've publicly stated on a few occassions that "This is 40K - if I can't kill your characters with something canon, I'm doing something wrong." Interesting thing is, this didn't make them armour up. This made them get on with the game.

No idea if it'd work for you though.

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This is, of course, offtopic, but I'm wondering - what's wrong with the D&D?

 

Nothing 'wrong' with it- it's just very 'combat-centric'. Which is a perfectly viable option, but it can create the expectation of 'combat-centricity' in other game systems.

 

If my players came from a Call of Cthulhu background, on the other hand, I suspect that they would naturally think of combat as something to be avoided rather than sought out.

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The main thing that I have found that 'breaks' the system is the 'stacking armour' options from Book Of Judgement. These things (Synford-Pattern Lockshield, Ballistic Surcoat, Leatherwort) potentially allow PCs to ramp up armour points to Power Armour levels, at a fraction of the cost and with no balancing disadvantages. The result has been to render a huge swath of threats no longer viable- now every lowly sentry has to be armed at least a boltgun for the PCs to take him seriously. I find this a violation of the 'spirit' of the 40Kverse, where even mighty heroes like Inquisitor Eisenhorn have to take precautions against grunts with autoguns. I wish I would have had the foresight to ban stacking armour from my campaign. Live and learn...

Got that covered I've already said that I reserve the right to modify something if I feel it's causing a hassle to combat, especially that silly armor stacking nonsense.

 

Alright so:

 

Rank 1-3 flak/carapace if given automatically

 

Rank 4-5 light carapace/full carapace if affordable

 

Rank 6+ If you can afford it and it isn't broken get it.

 

Thankfully none of them seem the type to play a tech priest so I won't have to worry about that mess.

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D&D is unapologetically a game about adventurers murdering monsters and taking their loot and has been pretty much from the beginning. You can do other stuff with it, but it's a monster-murder game at its core.

 

Well, if you're so bad DM who isn't able to do in the DnD anything than monsters-killing - then, of course, the system is to blame. Have a nice day :)

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D&D is unapologetically a game about adventurers murdering monsters and taking their loot and has been pretty much from the beginning. You can do other stuff with it, but it's a monster-murder game at its core.

 

Well, if you're so bad DM who isn't able to do in the DnD anything than monsters-killing - then, of course, the system is to blame. Have a nice day :)

 

Don't be a ****.  D&D is a monster killing game that you can shoehorn other game types into, but that doesn't make it not a monster killing game. Anything else you do with the D&D rules can be better done in another system.

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D&D is unapologetically a game about adventurers murdering monsters and taking their loot and has been pretty much from the beginning. You can do other stuff with it, but it's a monster-murder game at its core.

 

Well, if you're so bad DM who isn't able to do in the DnD anything than monsters-killing - then, of course, the system is to blame. Have a nice day :)

 

Don't be a ****.  D&D is a monster killing game that you can shoehorn other game types into, but that doesn't make it not a monster killing game. Anything else you do with the D&D rules can be better done in another system.

 

I may not always agree with cps, but in this case, he put it better than I could.

 

This is, of course, offtopic, but I'm wondering - what's wrong with the D&D? I play and DM ADnD (2 edition) since 1998 and never faced with the fact that players tend to combat-oriented campaigns more than in any other system :huh:

 

Since 1998? I thought I recognized the name, but I remembered the spelling as Jergal?

 

You ask what's wrong with D&D?

The list is fairly long. Like you, I've played a lot of AD&D 2nd ed. A lot. I started sometime around.. '91 or '92 I think. I stopped... '99 I think, maybe 2000? I've played a little bit of 3.0, even less 3.5. I have about a foot's worth of pathfinder books on my shelf, but find that it suffers from mostly the same problems. I have never opened a 4th ed book, since the reviews I got (mostly from friends) were so negative that I thought ithings best that way. I have read the OotS-parody about 4th ed, and it didn't change the impression I'd gotten.

 

While (A)D&D is an RPG, and as such can be used to tell theoretically any story you like, the game itself makes certain assumptions, it rewards certain types of behavior and punish others. All systems do this, as does reality, to some degree.

And thus it steers the stories told.

 

<Here I just deleted a very long and boring rant. Feel free to PM me if you want it>

 

Secondly, level-based systems are... horrible. That's ofcourse a simplification. There are basically 3 ways of being level-based:

1) (A)D&D: Everything is your level. A level 2 character is roughly twice as powerful as a level one character.

This approach is ... easy. And absurdly silly. To say nothing of realism. Having played with it for something like a decade, and having played a number of other games that didn't use this approach, I can honestly say that simplicity is the only virtue is has, and that a game with this basis can effectively make no claim to realism. The counter argument tends to be that you can become big **** heroes and go on epic quests. Except that makes your quests fundamentally non-epic. See elsewhere why space marines are bland, boring and anti-epic.

2) Strong basis, levels add a bit, seen in the old Gamma World (haven't even opened the current one, so no idea) and as I recall the games from Decipher. These are less aggrevating. At least as simple to handle as category one games, but as levels matter somewhat less, a level 3 character isn't automatically going to outshine a level 1 character in just about any way s/he cares, with hardly any effort. Better game design (I think).

3) Levels open options, rather than defining power levels. Earthdawn did this. DH1, RT and DW had this to some degree. This is the least obnoxious of the level based models, though I personally don't think that DH1 or RT pulled it off particularly well, because they also closed doors.

Having played in all 3 of these models, I'll take an open system like the story teller system or the aptitudes of OW/DH2 any day, thank you very much.

 

Thirdly, as discussed elsewhere, D&D has a history of encouraging "I hit him with my mace", because it tries for realism by assigning penalties to anything much more fancy. But it has already failed at realism, so double fail there.

 

*sigh* I'll stop here. This is just the beginning of a much MUCH lunger rant of mine, as I've spent far too much time analysing RPGs when I should have been doing QM homework. And we're already so far off topic that we can hardly see the original post.

 

On the origianl topic, I'd tend to side with ThenDoctor, even be even more laize faire. I'm honestly not worried about the equipment my players get their hands on. Except as to beef them up to give them a survival chance against the big baddies.

Edited by Tenebrae
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D&D is unapologetically a game about adventurers murdering monsters and taking their loot and has been pretty much from the beginning. You can do other stuff with it, but it's a monster-murder game at its core.

 

Well, if you're so bad DM who isn't able to do in the DnD anything than monsters-killing - then, of course, the system is to blame. Have a nice day :)

 

Don't be a ****.  D&D is a monster killing game that you can shoehorn other game types into, but that doesn't make it not a monster killing game. Anything else you do with the D&D rules can be better done in another system.

 

I may not always agree with cps, but in this case, he put it better than I could.

 

This is, of course, offtopic, but I'm wondering - what's wrong with the D&D? I play and DM ADnD (2 edition) since 1998 and never faced with the fact that players tend to combat-oriented campaigns more than in any other system :huh:

Since 1998? I thought I recognized the name, but I remembered the spelling Jergal?

 

You ask what's wrong with D&D?

The list is fairly long. Like you, I've played a lot of AD&D 2nd ed. A lot. I started sometime around.. '91 or '92 I think. I stopped... '99 I think, maybe 2000? I've played a little bit of 3.0, even less 3.5. I have about a foot's worth of pathfinder books on my shelf, but find that it suffers from mostly the same problems. I have never opened a 4th ed book, since the reviews I got (mostly from friends) were so negative that I thought things best that way. I have read the OotS-parody about 4th ed, and it didn't change the impression I'd gotten.

 ...

 

Thirdly, as discussed elsewhere, D&D has a history of encouraging "I hit him with my mace", because it tries for realism by assigning penalties to anything much more fancy. But it has already failed at realism, so double fail there.

 

It's probably too late in the game's life cycle, but if you like tactical combat games, 4E does what D&D is supposed to do very well, in particular solving this problem I've left in. The negative press it got was largely from things other than the game itself. I'd encourage you to take a look at it - it's a mechanically solid game that's actually a lot of fun to play in a tabletop setting (presuming you're into killing monsters and taking their stuff as a core game aspect). The core rulebook is a dry read (they took the definition of 'rule book' to heart), and a lot of people got the wrong impression of how it would play without actually playing it.

 

Pretend I posted an image macro of the Dos Equis guy with the caption, "I don't always agree with cps, but when I do he's probably right".

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It's probably too late in the game's life cycle, but if you like tactical combat games, 4E does what D&D is supposed to do very well, in particular solving this problem I've left in. The negative press it got was largely from things other than the game itself. I'd encourage you to take a look at it - it's a mechanically solid game that's actually a lot of fun to play in a tabletop setting (presuming you're into killing monsters and taking their stuff as a core game aspect). The core rulebook is a dry read (they took the definition of 'rule book' to heart), and a lot of people got the wrong impression of how it would play without actually playing it.

Please. I already feel dirty from owning PF books. Which to me feels like a tactical combat game. ;)

I know it can get much more extreme, but really, it hardly reads like an RPG.

 

Pretend I posted an image macro of the Dos Equis guy with the caption, "I don't always agree with cps, but when I do he's probably right".

:P:lol:

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Guys stop, I already got my answer and the thread doesn't need to be bogged down in what you think the merits or failures of a completely different game system is. Go to a different forum for that.

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Rank 1-3 flak/carapace if given automatically

 

 

The only PC options that start with armour better than Guard Flak are some of the Alternate Ranks from later supplements, and many of these are effected by rampant 'power-creep', so be sure to keep an eye out for that. Even the fans of the Crimson Guard Alternate Rank from The Lathe Worlds, for example, don't try to claim that it is fairly balanced against the other Rank 1 Careers...

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I'm not allowing anything from Lathe Worlds unless it's on an npc or an enemy. Maybe Rank 7...maybe.

 

I GM a campaign since 2008 (and am very restrcitive with XP...) and my PCs are now rank 7. The PCs began with some Flak armour and quite soon acquired mesh armour as well, as the latter is well concealable. Only the Guardsman ran around in Full Guard Flak, but tried as well to hide it as good as possible. The Arbitaror used the Flak Greatcoat from about rank 4 onwards. Only with rank 6 the Guardsman and Arbitrator started equiping Carapace armour. With rank 7 I allowen the Arbitrator to get the stackable Ballistic Surcloth (or however it is called), because Arbitrators are far from overpowered and he could use the little "buff" to be slightly more tough (i.e. more soak) than even the Guardsman. In Rank 7 the Psyker/Legate Investigator/Agent of Reliquary 26 got hold of a truesilvered hexagrammatically warded Full Plate Armour, he wears from time to time (and which is so far from subtle it is almst grotesque)...

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Would an Inquisitor let his scrub low-level acolyte just loot a, say, plasma gun, something that is an ancient relic by definition and worth many times more than the Acolyte? I find this hard to believe. Nope, that goes straight to the Inquisition's treasury.

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Rank 1-3 flak/carapace if given automatically

 

 

The only PC options that start with armour better than Guard Flak are some of the Alternate Ranks from later supplements, and many of these are effected by rampant 'power-creep', so be sure to keep an eye out for that. Even the fans of the Crimson Guard Alternate Rank from The Lathe Worlds, for example, don't try to claim that it is fairly balanced against the other Rank 1 Careers...

 

You call it power creep, I call it "original DH baseline characters are pretty much squishy crap compared to what the Black Industries modules throw at you, let alone FFG modules/bestiaries."

 

I don't put on restrictions beyond what they can find with Availability modifiers for the world they're currently on. It's not game breaking to allow shopping trips when on, say, Scintilla or Malfi, for the rarer stuff (which is also quite expensive, and acolytes are hardly rolling in gelt). Carapace isn't remotely overpowered if characters are going up against Slaugth. The only truly overpowered stuff is Sororitas power armor, and even that won't save you against a lot of non-mooks.

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Would an Inquisitor let his scrub low-level acolyte just loot a, say, plasma gun, something that is an ancient relic by definition and worth many times more than the Acolyte? I find this hard to believe. Nope, that goes straight to the Inquisition's treasury.

It really depends on the Inquisitor, though. And the "ancient relic" stuff that is common in early DH books is pretty much not where the game went. They're still super rare, but they do exist and are still manufactured. Good luck affording one though, or finding an enemy with one to loot, given the rarity. 

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I had Rank 1 characters go through Tattered Fates with pretty much no problem.

 

OK I gave them XP throughout but they were only late Rank 2 when they finished.

 

The Purge the Unclean adventures are also not combat heavy, except for the secongd a bit.

 

Anyway, IMO looting violates the spirit of the game. In my experience, of course.

Edited by bogi_khaosa

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Well, the game assumes you take some random people from their normal jobs (which they may or may not be competent at) and make them undercover agents for Big Brother. That's essentially the conceit of Dark Heresy. In some cases I might tend to agree that certain careers wouldn't necessarily loot. But the game doesn't really consider the reality of being part of a larger organization, whether the Inquisition, the Arbites, the Adeptus Mechanicus, Imperial Guard, or the Ecclesiarchy (the latter 4 being large, established organizations that seem to imply their supply their members with gear for free when needed). In other words, a person would probably be issued gear to do their job (or money to buy gear). I don't see why, for example, an Assassin or especially Scum wouldn't grab a nicer gun from the cultists they kill; otherwise, they'll be stuck with the same crap for a long period of time given their extremely poor salary. OTOH, I could see ranking up Clerics, IG, Arbites, and AdMechs having more institutional support with their gear. Or even if not, an experienced cell is a valuable asset. A bunch of Rank 1s are very easily replaceable. Rank 5 is not, at that point you have a trained and experienced cell that is effective enough to survive, and should probably be treated as such. 

 

In the games I've played in, our Inquisitor starts out giving us jack. He has a lot of cells after all, and doesn't want to throw good money after bad on the off chance this group of fresh meat survives. But once we get to, say R3 or R4 he might start giving us one-time stipends before big missions, or giving us access to his personal armory (but only the worst stuff - Very Rare at best, haha) with a provision we need to bring it back in one piece.

 

Parts of the Haarlock Trilogy have the potential to be extremely deadly, beyond any reasonable means of preparing with purchased gear at the listed rates and salaries, unless there are timeskips where the cell is mostly doing research or prep work and accruing salary (which isn't unreasonable - getting through all the Haarlock stuff in under an IC year is far less reasonable to me). I like a challenge but I also would be pissed if the TPK resulted from us flat-out being outclassed by the module baddies without the GM using any brains to put us on close to an even playing field.

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