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Scaling mobs or keep as is

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I don't quite think the OW formations are as fitting. A very low magnitude of your stock cultist or ganger is enough to present some potential damage to the acolytes, while still fitting in with the main themative elements of Dark Heresy. 

 

The acolytes are, by the virtue of their profession, get themselves stuck into the middle of very dangerous events occuring. There will be cults, gangs, organizations, all with their own  bases, lairs or meeting places. Acolytes arriving in the center of these vipers nests should tread carefully - relying on stealth, the wit of their tongue, or when pressed - their combat abilities to see them through the day.

 

I personally believe this shouldn't be so easy to the point that it's simply brushed away narratively. My own experiences with using the horde rules, generally setting a small cult or gang to magnitude 2-5, is enough to push some pressure on my acolytes while ensuring they don't get too bold or gung-hoey. 

 

Lastly, I don't really buy the 'it's film noir, not badass action'. That's down to the to gm, the players, and each individual scenario we devise. Dark Heresy's strength is based on the Warhammer 40k setting, which envelops everything from murder-mystery to outright planetary wars, to epic confrontations between the forces of order against chaos. Eldritch horrors, petty gangers, and miscommunication between allies all make for trappings from any conceivable genre we wish to utilize. 

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Lastly, I don't really buy the 'it's film noir, not badass action'. That's down to the to gm, the players, and each individual scenario we devise. Dark Heresy's strength is based on the Warhammer 40k setting, which envelops everything from murder-mystery to outright planetary wars, to epic confrontations between the forces of order against chaos. Eldritch horrors, petty gangers, and miscommunication between allies all make for trappings from any conceivable genre we wish to utilize. 

 

It is down to the GM and players, but the game is focussed on a limited range of play and the rules designed to support that. Dark Heresy is not Outright Planetary War. :) That would be... Rogue Trader is the only game that works on that scale. Black Crusade can.

Edited by bogi_khaosa
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Deathwatch and Dark Heresy have very different feels and are different genres actually..

This. Despite the power creep, DH's main shtick is investigating, not moving from combat to combat.

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DW Hordes can be rather dangerous due to the bonus d10 in damage, significantly expanding the range between min and max damage. In DW, this is no problem as this bonus is often the only thing that allows Hordes to harm the PCs at all - but DH Acolytes tend to lack this AP and TB resilience ...

 

 

You could use OW formations.

 

But really mass combat doesn't have much of a place in Dark Heresy., which is flim noir, not badass action.

Rather than Hordes doing an extra +1/+2d10, the Damage modifier could be singular, say +1 per 2 Magnitude (rounded up). Because Hordes are less likely to coordinate without leadership/authority, their Initiative is a flat d10. If led by a charismatic minder, a successful Command Test adds +1 to their Init, +1 per additional 2 DoS. Allow DH PCs to engage these "mini Hordes" in Magnitudes no greater than their WS bonus (or some other such convention), where each 2 DoS equals one hit. Swift Attack adds +1 hit, Lightning Attack adds +2. Damage is calculated as normal, with any wounding hit reducing Horde Mag 1:1. If the GM should need to determine whether there are survivors, he rolls d10 against a Horde's starting Mag- a result =/< starting Mag results in one (and only one) survivor.

 

It's fairly abstract, based upon existing Horde mechanics, and could well represent street thugs, a panicked throng, etc. Could use some play-testing.

 

As an ex:

 

A group of four PC (WS 4, 4, 3, 3) are trying to get to the head of an angry mob that is intent on burning a "witch" in the street, a witch that just so happens to be the information contact the PCs have come to speak with. Diplomacy goes south, and the mob reacts violently to the PCs' interference.

 

The mob breaks to turn their aggression on the PCs-

  • Mag 3 continues to hold the "witch" captive until the PCs are seen off
  • Mag 4, 4, and 3 pounce upon the PCs

 

Hordes can be outnumbered, but the likelihood of their being that many PCs is next to nil- maybe the PCs have brought some back-up? However, as these Hordes are not combat experienced, rather just angry civilians, they cannot outnumber PCs, regardless of how many there are.

 

And so on...

I'm sure you see where this can lead. Existing Horde Traits can be added/modified, new Traits can be written. Or not. Either way, this is far cleaner than the crap "mob rules" in Daemonhunter.

Edited by Brother Orpheo
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I know I've mentioned this about a billion times, but...

 

This is one of the places where the game as designed and the game that a lot of people want to play diverge.

 

BI pretty obviously designed DH as a horror game with not very powerful characters who die/go crazy a lot. This can be seen in all sorts of things -- that's why starting characters are so comparatively weak, that's why there's no such thing as a safe psychic power, that's why every Peril of the Warp gets you a CP, that's why top-notch equipment is priced out of the characters' reach.

 

But a lot of people do not want to play this kind of game (and in fact the novels that get people interested in the =I= are not in the horror genre themselves). BUT the system does not work that way -- this is one reason why the Ascension psychic power system is so unbalancing.

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BI pretty obviously designed DH as a horror game with not very powerful characters who die/go crazy a lot. This can be seen in all sorts of things -- that's why starting characters are so comparatively weak, that's why there's no such thing as a safe psychic power, that's why every Peril of the Warp gets you a CP, that's why top-notch equipment is priced out of the characters' reach.

 

I respectfully disagree. Black Library designed Dark Heresy to scale from the very beginning of an Acolytes progression through the Inquisition until one day they could be one of the near-legendary shadow figures of the Inquistion. Gear is high priced, but easily procured from narrative and the desires of the Inquisitor (who is nominally played by the Gamemaster in the beginning). Gear shouldn't be that big of an issue, and the game is certainly scaled by wargear and not actual experience (in terms to combat). The right armor, the right weapon, can easily compensate for the lack of combat talents. A citizen (DH core profile) can easily tear through anything with the right weapon in hand, a turn aiming and by waiting for a pont blank shot. 

 

I see Dark Heresy 1st edition as not particularly a -Horror- game, but a -Deadly- game, where making the wrong decisions can lead to very disastrous outcomes. Savvy players who can intuitively grasp a situation and plan according often come out on top and with little, if any, serious threats to injury.

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I respectfully disagree. Black Library designed Dark Heresy to scale from the very beginning of an Acolytes progression through the Inquisition until one day they could be one of the near-legendary shadow figures of the Inquistion. Gear is high priced, but easily procured from narrative and the desires of the Inquisitor (who is nominally played by the Gamemaster in the beginning). Gear

 

"Procured from narrative" is "procured by the whim of the GM. thereby ignoring rules" stated otherwise. :)

 

If they had intended the equipment to be generally available, they would have created a mechanism for obtaining it. That bolt ammo is priced far above the ability of characters to buy is a pretty good indication that it is not intended to be commonly used by PCs.

 

This isn't the only place. Like I said it's also in the very low starting character abilities and in the psychic power system.

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They did make a mechanism for that - Influence in Ascension. D:

 

Seriously though, even in DH 2.0, utilizing the more refined version of influnece, it's still subject to GM Fiat (Influence is decided by GM fiat, or whim, thus the mechanism in place is completely up to the GM). No such rules are being ignored in any case - the system is working as designed (at least, in my opinion. =D) 

 

The psychic powers in DH1 though are pretty dang effective, especially when you pit them against the really combat-oriented ones from 2.0 (ported from Only War). 

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Deathwatch and Dark Heresy have very different feels and are different genres actually..

This. Despite the power creep, DH's main shtick is investigating, not moving from combat to combat.

 

 

 

I agree on that; DW is sneaking around to find combat, DH is sneaking around to find clues and solves mysteries/investigations and combat is just something that gets in the way to complicate things or is an end results to the line of clues, or is something that happens when you fail to prevent what you were send to prevent.

Edited by Braddoc
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BI pretty obviously designed DH as a horror game with not very powerful characters who die/go crazy a lot. This can be seen in all sorts of things -- that's why starting characters are so comparatively weak, that's why there's no such thing as a safe psychic power, that's why every Peril of the Warp gets you a CP, that's why top-notch equipment is priced out of the characters' reach.

 

I respectfully disagree. Black Library designed Dark Heresy to scale from the very beginning of an Acolytes progression through the Inquisition until one day they could be one of the near-legendary shadow figures of the Inquistion. 

It's hard to say what BI's intent was since they only put out, what, 3 books for the line. FFG took the line in a completely different route, adding a lot of power creep which (depending on your view) either made the characters more fun to play or damage disbelief in the game's original concept. At any rate, there's nothing of BI's intended horror and grit translated into Ascension, and Influence is a terribly-designed mechanic. Before Ascension, getting good gear is all by GM fiat. Which raises the side complaint of looting.

 

Really, BI designed this game to be very Call of Cthulhu-style hopeless, and FFG decided not to keep taking it in that direction once they bought the rights.

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Which raises the side complaint of looting.

 

Looting is an issue that boils down to the players of each group, regardless of which game is actually played. I've run sessions of Rogue Trader, Dungeons and Dragons, CoC, and no matter what system there is always going to be someone who has it in their mind to strip search every npc and try to walk away with more gear than they ought to. I always find it particularly humorous when i run across looters in Rogue Trader though; being able to afford anything and still being a klepto cues some hilarity in my head.

 

But on the main topic: Sure, we can all say Dark Heresy 1st edition is very call of cthulhu, very film noir, and it really doesn't do anything except distract from the point of this thread. How to scale combat to be fun, efficient, and challenging to players as you progress higher in the ranks. Using variations on the horde rules, or using the 1 wound rule from CA, doesn't suddenly shift the game from the themes it embraces into a michael bay ACTION NOW! style game. It only enables us, as gms, to run great encounters that the Acolytes should either 1.) Get a boost to their confidence and/or 2.) Realize danger exists even in the most unlikely of places.

 

And before the next response goes along the lines of, "But being competent/swarmed in combat breaks from the investagation!": It's an inevitability that the acolytse will eventually uncover the bad guys lair, the secret cult, whatever danger we put in our games. At this points throughout the adventure, leading up to each missions conclusion, the sense of danger should be present and the Acolytes should have the choice to brave fighting or retreating to regroup, get assisstance. If the acolytes were never meant to be anything more than just detectives, they wouldn't start the game with an assortment of firearms and weapon training afterall. 

 

=D

Edited by Cogniczar

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There is much less incentive to loot in systems that actually provide the players with reasonable ways to get the nice gear listed in the book. There are reasons an RT character might loot super rare gear. In a Deathwatch game, one player (who started the mission with zero gear) took a nice plasma rifle from the corpse of an allied (high-ranking) Throne Agent. When he was successfully evac'd, he gave it back (and intends to take it as signature war gear at some point, reworked as a plasma pistol since that's the relative size to him).

 

All I mean, is yes looting can happen anywhere. In D&D, gear from dead enemies is usually designed to either be an upgrade to the players or be sold for gp. In DH, virtually anything is going to be an upgrade for the players, and I can't see why it's ever a surprise that they might get sick of autoguns when they're being shot at with bolt pistols.

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My issue with looting is not that I'm opposed to grabbing something cool that catches your eye- it's looting stuff you don't want/need just to 'sell in town' D&D-style, because Coins have been allowed to become a central game mechanic, in spite of overwhelming fluff that says that money is inconsequential to the =][=...

 

As for the game being intended to be CoC-in-Space and absolutely not action-oriented, I think that's much too broad a generalization: the Adversaries section of the main rulebook contains 'Kill Squad Troopers' and 'Gun Servitors', after all. And PCs are only 'incompetent' at low Ranks- my upper-Rank group's sniper-focused Assassin can usually only miss on a 'jam'...

 

 

But on the main topic: ----

 

-I thought the 'main topic' was scaling mobs...? :D

Edited by Adeptus-B
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I am enjoying this back and forth alot. =D

 

snip

 

I'd be more surprised if the ratio of enemies with bolt guns generated that sort of feeling. Early ranks in DH1 should, in my opinoin, be focused on enemies with similar limitaitons - not an overwhelming amount of vastly superiorly equipped cultists. Prying a bolt pistol from a gang boss or cult leader, sure. But if they are getting barraged by all sorts of advanced tech from the get go, I can see that getting pretty frustrating with the disparity.

 

Then again, I always do try to keep in mind what sort of campaign I want to play before things start. I usually hold q and as with my groups before we begin and we discuss whether we want 'high inquisiton' or 'low inquisition', and that generally solves all these issues I read about in the forums.

 

 

Snip

 

Isn't the answer always, "All of them?" LOL

 

To address your points raised:

 

1. The overwhelming evidence you mention is true: Money is inconsequential to Inquisitors. Since we don't get to play those guys until narrative allows or playing ascension, it is something that the Acolytes have to care about at lower levels. The Acolytes we do see in the novels who never worry about cost of operations are the ones we see in the Inquisitors warband, so that sort of nullifies that angle too.

 

2. I don't even see selling items a viable option for acolytes. For the most part, weapons are going to circulate in the criminal underground - official channels would just obscond with the gear as it's fall to the appropriate organizations to recycle wargear. Acolytes who do wish to pursue this path might very well irk the local authorities (and possibly the Arbites), marking them as recidivists and causing conflicts with their own investigations. 

 

Personally, I don't allow gear to be sold past character creation without some latent risk of drawing unwanted attention from authorities, rival gangs, etc, and it's never a matter of "I want to go to a shop". 

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OMG people are disagreeing with me on the Internet OMG

 


As for the game being intended to be CoC-in-Space and absolutely not action-oriented, I think that's much too broad a generalization: the Adversaries section of the main rulebook contains 'Kill Squad Troopers' and 'Gun Servitors', after all. And PCs are only 'incompetent' at low Ranks- my upper-Rank group's sniper-focused Assassin can usually only miss on a 'jam'...

 

The Call of Cthulhu rulebook contains a stat block for Great Cthulhu himself. :)

 

DH is not _absolutely_ not action-oriented; neither is CoC. If you flip through the classic CoC adventures like Masks of Nyarlathotep you'll see there is lots of possibility for action, though obviously it is wiser from an in-character PoV to avoid it.

 

DH is _low-level_ action-oriented (as is CoC for the most part). The kind of action that.you see in pulp detective novels and the film noir that I keep mentioning, NOT the kind of action that you see in the heroic genres (like D&D or Deathwatch, or like a billion more successful Hollywood films :) ).

 

Or it WAS I believe designed in  this way, but has moved away from that design, which I think started around Blood of Martyrs and the Apostasy Gambit.

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DH is _low-level_ action-oriented (as is CoC for the most part). The kind of action that.you see in pulp detective novels and the film noir that I keep mentioning, NOT the kind of action that you see in the heroic genres (like D&D or Deathwatch, or like a billion more successful Hollywood films :) ).

 

Ultimately, I can't agree with you. Not a single adventure module reminds me or bears an resemblence to the film noir i'm aware of (such as the Maltese Falcon, A Life at Stake). These sort movies are very slow, well developed, and driven completely by dialogue - something that doesn't translate to the game modules where there are countless scenes of armed conflict. 

 

I guess it's best to just agree to disagree. 

 

And Ohme gerd people are disagreeing. D: =D lol

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DH is _low-level_ action-oriented (as is CoC for the most part). The kind of action that.you see in pulp detective novels and the film noir that I keep mentioning, NOT the kind of action that you see in the heroic genres (like D&D or Deathwatch, or like a billion more successful Hollywood films :) ).

 

Ultimately, I can't agree with you. Not a single adventure module reminds me or bears an resemblence to the film noir i'm aware of (such as the Maltese Falcon, A Life at Stake). These sort movies are very slow, well developed, and driven completely by dialogue - something that doesn't translate to the game modules where there are countless scenes of armed conflict. 

 

I guess it's best to just agree to disagree. 

 

And Ohme gerd people are disagreeing. D: =D lol

 

 

OMG someone has a different opinion than me! This cannot stand.

 

I'm using "film noir" loosely, but I think that Tattered Fates is roughly in that line, as is City of the Damned. BTW it is perfectly possible to get through Tattered Fates without much on the way of combat at all, if you do it right. This is NOT the case with Apostasy Gambit with its computer-game-like big boss fights.

 

DH is more at the level of... goddammit, what was that movie in the late 80s about the private detective who finds out that he is working for the devil? Mickey Rourke was in it? There are lots of films in this genre although I am havin g problems thinking of one at the moment :)..

 

Anyway -- gunfights with gangers, enforcers, cultists, things on that level. An actual daemon should be a big deal.

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LOL I do enjoy our back and forths Bogi, so hopefully my playfullness isn't being read negatively. 

 

While I certainly agree the Film Noir is a big inspiration, I just don't agree it's the focal point. As a GM, I've run plenty of games where combat was based solely on Player reactions, and I agree Tatterred Fates -can- almost be run that way (except for the red cages, where you start off in a combat situation, and end scene with the main antagonist - the Widower). The break out fight between Obediah and the cultist, as well.

 

I know which you film your talking about and dangit, I can't recall the name of it either. Certainly I get the vibe, but like I said - I think the game itself lends itself to quite a few genres - Action Thriller, Survival Horror, FIlm Noir to mention just a few. Edge of Darkness absolutely falls under the Film Noir genre, completely, with just the right touch of terror. 

 

I'm not completely aware of the Apostasy Gambit as I'm currently being run through it as a player. I'll have to comment on that later - so far I've been dealt the Black Sepulchre scenario and haven't been grossly impressed by it! Seems sort of... rail roady to me. 

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Ultimately, I can't agree with you. Not a single adventure module reminds me or bears an resemblence to the film noir i'm aware of (such as the Maltese Falcon, A Life at Stake). These sort movies are very slow, well developed, and driven completely by dialogue - something that doesn't translate to the game modules where there are countless scenes of armed conflict. 

 

I support this view. If it was only a game of dialogue and investigation (which admittedly is a big part of the game), the core rulebook wouldn't include a ludicrous number of combat orientated talents and the chapter on combat would be limited to: how to aim and shoot.

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I did not say it was only a game of dialogue and investigation. I said it was (designed as) a horror game of investigation and generally low-powered combat.

 

Kind of like CoC actually, albeit with somewhat higher player survival rate.

 

You can, however, get through Tattered Fates without firing a shot BTW. One thing you'll notice about those first DH adventures are that they are designed so the big nemesis is not supposed to be defeated in combat. There is always a method to defeating him involving secret knowledge.

Edited by bogi_khaosa
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Some really well made interesting points in this thread from different points of view

 

@bogi_khaosa

I agree that DH has been massively influenced by Call of Cthulhu and the focus is on investigation. 

 

Not sure that I would necessarily call it film noir as such as I think the characters are more intense and driven rather than the ambivalence that characterises many film noir characters.  There is also far less chance of romance or simply erotisim being present in a typical DH session than is a key feature of film noir.  Though maybe I am playing with wrong group lol (I have images now of everyone else playing in groups which have at least one player who is a modern incarnation of Rita Hayworth or Marlene Dietrich :wub: ).  That said I do know what your getting at if the film noir reference.  DH is certainly allows the PCs to play anti heroes and even villians (albeit ones facing worse threats). 

 

Where I would disagree is that I think DH also allows for a genre that is outright action.  Sure things like melta guns and bolt guns should be out of reach for players most of the time but just look at die hard or Lethal Weapon.  Those franchises had weapons that barely went beyond autopistols and replace Street hoods and European terrorists with Hive gangers and chaos cultists and you have some pretty interesting DH sessions right there.

 

With regard to the OP given that I am the kind of GM who is happy to throw a Eversor Assassin at rank 2 or 3 players then I thin it only fair that NPCs don't scale unless there is a specific reason for them to.  What you can potentially change is their weapon loadout which could change in response to the PCs.

 

You can also use a system of scaling which isn't too unfair and represents ability

 

so a 'experienced' bad guy might have +5 Bs OR Ws and +3 wounds

 

'Veteran sgt level badguy +10 Ws OR Bs and +5 Ws or Bs +3 wounds +5 Ag

 

Lt or 'champion' level bad guy +10 Ws and Bs +5 wounds and +10 ag.  Possibly one or two extra talents

 

I would give the PCs fair warning though, i.e maybe wearing different uniforms or obviously giving orders.  I wouldn't simply have all the hive gangers on Volg suddenly gain a level in badass.

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