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Roy Stone

Too late for Beta....tell me about it

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This is a simple topic.

 

I'm too late for the beta but would like to know how Dark Heresy 2nd Edition is looking without having to read through loads of other topics.

 

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Like Only War with few major rules changes, really. There's some more investigation focused content but it's still largely Only War with a fresh coat of paint. Up to you if that's a good thing or not.

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It was brought from a brand new system practically to a redone Only War, bringing the post-BC updated rules with their benefits and problems to DH. Including the requistion system of RT on, though rather harder and oversimplified at points.

 

The good news is that it is compatible with older material, though the farther you go back, the less works. The bad news is that systems designed for the more high power games have their own issues when brought down to the more nitty gritty level of DH (where items aren't given out as easily).

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It's basically good overall, but it feels unfinished. It would have been nice to see some of the things used in the original beta refined to be more compatible. The influence system for requisitions is probably the biggest ongoing point on contention amongst the forum users.

As a combat system its perfectly playable, however much of the 'roleplaying' elements are now dealt with in a very mechanical sense "Roll investigation/influence to see if you can find rumours in a bar'. This kind of thing is a very common trend in newer RPG lines though. Personally I am not a fan of this part, but its nothing that can't be over-ruled by a GM.

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The issue comes from developers wanting to have hard rules to how the non-combat portions of things go, but not dedicating any real time to them. You can have really compelling, well defined rules for social interaction and investigation, but FFG aren't up to the task here, evidently. They'd rather focus on combat, which is understandable, if disappointing.

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The kicker is, they sorta do have the time to focus on non-combat more, which they did do well in some cases. Like, the character creation system seems a great compromise between doing a quick-ish way of making a PC, easy to expand with new roles, worlds and backgrounds which can make some cool concepts and let you still be X, but be good at Y finally. Also, the character creation document takes the best bits from DH 1 (including the mementos) and then added in the superstitions, which is great.

 

As far as influence goes? Trying to simplify the "roughest" of the 40k RPG systems in terms of how close to the ground and lack of power (or even at higher levels, being unable to flaunt that power many times to stay hidden). While in RT/BC the system makes sense, you are larger than life, you don't care about the small details. In RT you own a spaceship, a license to be awesome and enough money to have scrooge moneyvault. You have "people" who all they do is that sort of thing. For BC it is similar, but different. While in OW, you have the might of the imperial supply chain behind you. Basic ammo and supplies are never a worry after a mission is done and you are back to base. Extra stuff is harder, but doable.

 

But DH involves having to hide your mission, to go into the underhives at times, where bribes with cash work well, where you operate as a small cell, often out of contact and with limited info. Being able to magically draw on "Influence" makes little sense, especially if on a new planet.

 

However, it could be a great way of tossing around Inquisitorial "Might" letting players have a system for being able to requisition stuff in the field from orginizations, as well as working out a system for being able to get that fancy gear you couldn't afford. (Maybe even add a time modifier?)

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Sounding good to me so far.

 

Being a fan of writing, I can easily write the interactions and just have dice rolls when it comes to Charming, investigating, interrogating, intimidating or whatever else is needed. All the games have a simply way of modifying the dice so you're more likely to persuade your average awe inspired citizen to have a cup of tea than you are a bloodthirsty crazed loon.

 

I'm not too bothered about older material. All I want where adversaries are concerned is covered in other books. I'll be collecting lots of Rogue Trader supplements as much of my action will be in space and moving from planet to planet.

 

Dark Heresy is just a means to include agents of the Inquisition.

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The people who were mad that the first beta was incompatible with earlier lines are now happy.  The people who were happy that the first beta went in new directions are now mad. 

That's the most diplomatic take on the situation I've ever seen.

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Kinda a false dichotomy though. I've seen more than a few people who wanted backwards compatibility expressing distaste with this system. I think most people still wanted SOME kind of advancement, rather than what amounts to a copy-paste job of Only War.

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Kinda a false dichotomy though. I've seen more than a few people who wanted backwards compatibility expressing distaste with this system. I think most people still wanted SOME kind of advancement, rather than what amounts to a copy-paste job of Only War.

 

I'm sort-of in that category. I wouldn't say I have 'distaste' for the  Beta2 version of DH2, but I'm afraid it's not going to be as much of an improvement over the previous game as each game in the WH40KRP line has been up 'til now. I'll still buy it, of course (Hell, I would have bought it if just a fully errata'd version of DH1!), but I think time constraints caused by abandoning Beta1 will result in this game being too close a copy of its' predecessor, rather than a solid step forward. Beta1's Action Points, for instance, would probably have been a good addition to DH2, since the only real problem with them was Beta1's unpopular RoF rules. The current line's awkward terms of Half Action/Full Action/Reaction really need to be improved. Ah well, maybe the next game in the line...

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Kinda a false dichotomy though. I've seen more than a few people who wanted backwards compatibility expressing distaste with this system. I think most people still wanted SOME kind of advancement, rather than what amounts to a copy-paste job of Only War.

This subject has been argued to death.  I'll concede that action points may have added some depth to the game, but I'm perfectly happy with what FFG has done with DH2. I don't see it as a "copy-paste job" at all.

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I think DH 2 is a marked improvement over the original system. Character creation is more flexible, combat is more balanced (though admittedly far from perfect), and Update 6 brought psykers down to manageable power levels and added some strategic decision-making to the casting process. The updates are available for download free of charge on FFG's website, so you can at least get an idea of what I mean.

Personally, I would have liked to see a greater departure from the previous rules systems. IMO the WH40k RPG line has reached the limit of what it can achieve while preserving backwards compatibility. If any improvements beyond small balancing tweaks are implemented, the game will truly be a Second Edition that does not mesh with previous rules. I only started playing Dark Heresy about a year ago, so I am not very

financially invested in the 40k RPG products; however, many people have been playing multiple game lines for several years and have spent hundreds of dollars on sourcebooks. While I don't mind sacrificing backwards compatibility in favor of a completely new rule set, many others would be understandably upset by that development.

Having used the NPCs in the beta quite a bit, I must say that I find them more interesting than enemies in DH 1. Many of them have unique abilities; for example, there is a PDF officer NPC who can order allied troops to "go to ground," granting them bonus armor from cover. My personal favorite flavor-wise is the War-priest's Psy Drain ability, which lets him temporarily boost his Psy Rating by causing Willpower damage to friendly psykers.

If you want to convert old NPCs to the DH 2 beta rules, you will need to do some significant reworking to make them compare appropriately to the new NPCs. Unnatural characteristics are assigned as flat bonuses rather than multipliers and as a result are much more common -- for example, the lowly shotgun-wielding Fleshbent mutants have Unnatural Strenth and Toughness (1). Simply porting over old NPCs without any changes will likely be rather unsatisfying.

The one area I find truly disappointing is the selection of psychic powers. They are essentially copy-pasted from Only War and include few powers that are specifically tailored for use in an investigative game. Divination in particular is essentially a collection of bland, MMORPG-style support powers instead of the much more useful investigative abilities from DH 1. The actual system for CASTING the powers is much improved, but I really hope they adjust the power selection before the final release.

In short, I think FFG did as best as they could working within the constraints of the old system. I would still recommend the new product but I feel that it could have been so much more impressive if the rules were overhauled entirely.

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The one area I find truly disappointing is the selection of psychic powers. They are essentially copy-pasted from Only War and include few powers that are specifically tailored for use in an investigative game. Divination in particular is essentially a collection of bland, MMORPG-style support powers instead of the much more useful investigative abilities from DH 1. The actual system for CASTING the powers is much improved, but I really hope they adjust the power selection before the final release.

In short, I think FFG did as best as they could working within the constraints of the old system. I would still recommend the new product but I feel that it could have been so much more impressive if the rules were overhauled entirely.

This, in particular, I agree with. The psychic powers are really my only big gripe.  I've brought this up in every feedback email I've sent, but there was disappointingly little attention given to the psychic powers. That said, every response that I've gotten from the Devs suggested that they were taking our critiques of the powers seriously, so maybe we will see our ideas implemented in the final product.

They have said they are still playtesting and the book hasn't gone to the printers yet.

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I think DH 2 is a marked improvement over the original system. Character creation is more flexible, combat is more balanced (though admittedly far from perfect), and Update 6 brought psykers down to manageable power levels and added some strategic decision-making to the casting process. The updates are available for download free of charge on FFG's website, so you can at least get an idea of what I mean.

Personally, I would have liked to see a greater departure from the previous rules systems. IMO the WH40k RPG line has reached the limit of what it can achieve while preserving backwards compatibility. If any improvements beyond small balancing tweaks are implemented, the game will truly be a Second Edition that does not mesh with previous rules. I only started playing Dark Heresy about a year ago, so I am not very

financially invested in the 40k RPG products; however, many people have been playing multiple game lines for several years and have spent hundreds of dollars on sourcebooks. While I don't mind sacrificing backwards compatibility in favor of a completely new rule set, many others would be understandably upset by that development.

Having used the NPCs in the beta quite a bit, I must say that I find them more interesting than enemies in DH 1. Many of them have unique abilities; for example, there is a PDF officer NPC who can order allied troops to "go to ground," granting them bonus armor from cover. My personal favorite flavor-wise is the War-priest's Psy Drain ability, which lets him temporarily boost his Psy Rating by causing Willpower damage to friendly psykers.

If you want to convert old NPCs to the DH 2 beta rules, you will need to do some significant reworking to make them compare appropriately to the new NPCs. Unnatural characteristics are assigned as flat bonuses rather than multipliers and as a result are much more common -- for example, the lowly shotgun-wielding Fleshbent mutants have Unnatural Strenth and Toughness (1). Simply porting over old NPCs without any changes will likely be rather unsatisfying.

The one area I find truly disappointing is the selection of psychic powers. They are essentially copy-pasted from Only War and include few powers that are specifically tailored for use in an investigative game. Divination in particular is essentially a collection of bland, MMORPG-style support powers instead of the much more useful investigative abilities from DH 1. The actual system for CASTING the powers is much improved, but I really hope they adjust the power selection before the final release.

In short, I think FFG did as best as they could working within the constraints of the old system. I would still recommend the new product but I feel that it could have been so much more impressive if the rules were overhauled entirely.

 

 

 

The one area I find truly disappointing is the selection of psychic powers. They are essentially copy-pasted from Only War and include few powers that are specifically tailored for use in an investigative game. Divination in particular is essentially a collection of bland, MMORPG-style support powers instead of the much more useful investigative abilities from DH 1. The actual system for CASTING the powers is much improved, but I really hope they adjust the power selection before the final release.

In short, I think FFG did as best as they could working within the constraints of the old system. I would still recommend the new product but I feel that it could have been so much more impressive if the rules were overhauled entirely.

This, in particular, I agree with. The psychic powers are really my only big gripe.  I've brought this up in every feedback email I've sent, but there was disappointingly little attention given to the psychic powers. That said, every response that I've gotten from the Devs suggested that they were taking our critiques of the powers seriously, so maybe we will see our ideas implemented in the final product.

They have said they are still playtesting and the book hasn't gone to the printers yet.

 

 

I've not got Only War, so this will be a "wow, something new" to me at least.

 

I'm loving the sound of character creation, and I have read some of the topics relating to them. I want two of my characters to be psyker-assassins....both have divination; one is an archer and one is a close combat specialist. From what I've read, such a psyker-assassin is possible.

 

As to the psychic powers, I'll just pick from the original Dark Heresy and the Ascension supplement. Alternatively, I've got both Rogue Trader and Deathwatch from which to find useful powers. I've yet to pick up the RT supplement that deals with psychic powers, but it is on my "to buy" list.

 

So if we don't have such a big selection of psychic powers that Dark Heresy presents, it isn't a big deal to me.

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I'm loving the sound of character creation, and I have read some of the topics relating to them. I want two of my characters to be psyker-assassins....both have divination; one is an archer and one is a close combat specialist. From what I've read, such a psyker-assassin is possible.

 

Oh man, DH2.0 is like the Assassin Edition of the RPG line. If you like assassins then you will love this ruleset  :D !

 

As to the psychic powers, I'll just pick from the original Dark Heresy and the Ascension supplement. Alternatively, I've got both Rogue Trader and Deathwatch from which to find useful powers. I've yet to pick up the RT supplement that deals with psychic powers, but it is on my "to buy" list.

 

Idon't think that psychic powers have much backward compatibility (at least concerning RT and DW) because the focus-power-tests-with-modifiers was a BC thing IIRC. 

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In short, I think FFG did as best as they could working within the constraints of the old system. I would still recommend the new product but I feel that it could have been so much more impressive if the rules were overhauled entirely.

 

Agreed. That being said, to some people *coughs* even the first Beta did not go "far enough", such as on the question of characteristics (both their range as well as the exact effects), or taking only half of how GW's Inquisitor game dealt with injuries rather than all of it (whilst simultaneously making it more complex), which is why the game would have suffered from many the same problems as the existing lines.

 

Essentially, the way I see it, the first Beta dropped some good stuff (backwards compatibility) without actually addressing all the issues of the old system, which makes the whole "complete overhaul" seem like a wasted opportunity, and thus ultimately useless.

 

I admit that I was intrigued by the idea of action points, though. Maybe in another game, then.

 

tl;dr - it's impossible to satisfy everyone.

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I'm loving the sound of character creation, and I have read some of the topics relating to them. I want two of my characters to be psyker-assassins....both have divination; one is an archer and one is a close combat specialist. From what I've read, such a psyker-assassin is possible.

 

Oh man, DH2.0 is like the Assassin Edition of the RPG line. If you like assassins then you will love this ruleset  :D !

 

As to the psychic powers, I'll just pick from the original Dark Heresy and the Ascension supplement. Alternatively, I've got both Rogue Trader and Deathwatch from which to find useful powers. I've yet to pick up the RT supplement that deals with psychic powers, but it is on my "to buy" list.

 

Idon't think that psychic powers have much backward compatibility (at least concerning RT and DW) because the focus-power-tests-with-modifiers was a BC thing IIRC. 

 

 

Sweet! Martial arts acolytes is something I've been seriously considering. The "swordswoman" character might well be an Astropath in the Inquisitor's employ....

 

 1370576444270.png

 

As for the psychic power backward compatibility; I guess I could always make some house rules and post them here for others to discuss and improve upon.

 

Gotta love the forums for talking rules.

Edited by Roy Stone

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Kinda a false dichotomy though. I've seen more than a few people who wanted backwards compatibility expressing distaste with this system. I think most people still wanted SOME kind of advancement, rather than what amounts to a copy-paste job of Only War.

I'm not most people, but I certainly wanted bolder changes. To quote my past self, something that's about as much an improvement over OW/BC as those two were an improvement over DH/RT/DW would be ideal. Hell, I'd gladly give up backwards compatibility altogether if presented with new rules I could call good - but sadly, what we initially got was anything but good in my book.

 

Overall, I'm rather disappointed with how things turned out in the end.

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Well I'm glad to hear it's not a "complete overhaul". I wasnt in beta, but I am a fan of Warhammer 2nd edition. I've tried to play 3rd edition with my friend so bad... but it is so broken and awful that I can't stand it.

 

D&D went overhaul with 4th, and now they're backing up.

 

There's just so much that can go wrong with a complete overhaul. I wouldn't have risked it either. Their main audience has bought so many books with the old system, and they would have lost most of them with the change. (they did lost a lot with WHRPG 3rd ed.)

 

Yes, the system is Olde. After all it's roots are in (what? 80's) WFRPG 1st edition. But it has worked quite well to start with actually (for us), and FFG has done brilliant job tweaking it Core game after Core game.

 

I'm happy by these news.

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Saying new systems are a bad idea purely because you haven't liked a couple of new editions of games is pretty shaky reasoning, honestly. Under that sort of thinking, we'd all still be playing this

D%26d_Box1st.jpg

 

Like, people use the change from 3e to 4e as an example of how bad and horrible huge overhauls are. But they seemingly forget that 3e itself was a massive departure from 2e, rendering most older books totally useless (as far as the actual mechanics go, anyway). You know, exactly what 4e did.

Edited by Tom Cruise
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Saying new systems are a bad idea purely because you haven't liked a couple of new editions of games is pretty shaky reasoning, honestly. Under that sort of thinking, we'd all still be playing this

 

 

Like, people use the change from 3e to 4e as an example of how bad and horrible huge overhauls are. But they seemingly forget that 3e itself was a massive departure from 2e, rendering most older books totally useless (as far as the actual mechanics go, anyway). You know, exactly what 4e did.

Couldn't have said it better myself. 

I really have the feeling that this is the morass that the mainstream TTRPG industry has fallen into- a demand for familiarity instead of experimentation. In fact, this is not uncommon for mainstream media, so it only seems natural that TTRPGs should follow suit. Sure, there is progress, as veterans tire of their media or newbies are inducted into the hobby, but any progress typically moves at a crawl. It's a generational gap, of sorts. 

Optimistically speaking, it shows that there is something in our hobby that resonates with ourselves beyond the generation in which it was conceived, and that's pretty awesome.

However, this is why I feel like I'm going to be moving towards the fringes of the industry. If I wasn't enamored by Warhammer lore, I would have done so much sooner. I only find myself frustrated, like an punk-rock teenager in a Sinatra household, with people demanding a conservative game design in popular productions. However, in an economic age where the safe bet is typically the best bet, I think that it's only natural to expect this from our popular entertainment. 

Because, to be perfectly honest, the first Beta really wasn't a huge change from the 1st ed. 40k RPG systems. 

 

Well I'm glad to hear it's not a "complete overhaul". I wasnt in beta, but I am a fan of Warhammer 2nd edition. I've tried to play 3rd edition with my friend so bad... but it is so broken and awful that I can't stand it.

That's funny- I just got into WFRP 3e and I'm realizing how much I actually disliked 2e and all of its successors (40kRPGs), which I've been playing for 5 years.

I was actually upset that FFG was being far too cautious with the first Beta, and I'm really surprised how that turned out.

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Dismissing things based on their age, in either direction (i.e. both "only old things are good" and "only new things are good") is a very unhelpful stance to take, because it blocks constructive debate and hampers actual improvement. Just because something you liked changed, doesn't mean it changed for the worse. But just because something, even something you disliked, changed, doesn't mean it changed for the better. Every new thing deserves a chance to be evaluated and judged on it's own merit, not just in the context of things it replaced.

 

I maintain the decision to scrap the first beta was a good call on FFG's side - not because it was new or different, but because it was built on very weak premises that didn't bode well for the future of the line.

 

I also maintain that FFG getting overly reactionary and rewinding the game to OW mechanics with only cosmetic changes was a bad call, as many things about that system could stand to be improved much more, and the opportunity to do so was sacrificed in favor of playing it safe with potential buyers.

 

The resulting game is... well, not exactly bad, in the sense that OW wasn't a bad game, but it feels extremely redundant and uninspired. Most of the changes compared to OW are either cosmetic (character creation), extremely minor (subtlety, influence), completely extraneous (reinforcements joke system) or, worst of all, actually bad (inescapable attack). Again, it's not a bad game overall, and I'm sure it'll sell alright, but for a reboot of the franchise's flag title, I'd expect something much more exciting. I was very excited when I first got my hands on DH, and it feels disappointing that I can't get equally excited with it's successor.

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I'm reasonably happy with DH2 - and happy to get back to defending the Emperor without regular rule changes & with a system improved over DH1

 

I play for the setting & I was fine with the DH1 system.  I thought it could use some tweaks, which I did with house rules to mimic some of the changes found in OW.  Just because some of us were already tweaking DH1 with OW modifications doesn't make those DH2 modifications modeled after OW meaningless.  I'm happy for a cogent set of rules that incorporate changes that had been shown to improve the system over DH1...AND my myriad of DH1 books are still mechanically applicable.  Boooooyah.

 

I play for the setting & was generally fine with DH1 - so I'm happy to see an evolutionary improved DH2 rather than a revolutionary rewrite.

 

Back to the ramparts...the tyranids are coming.

Edited by seanpp
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