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Made in gb
Mimetic Lasiq





Near London, UK

Inquisitor Revised Edition
Latest download (V0.2.0.3 - 8th March 2017)

(Although this section seems generally to be for creating new systems rather than adapting old ones, it's also way more active than the specialist games board and generally filled with rules-ier people, so I hope you don't mind me putting this topic here).

The Inquisitor Revised Edition (or IRE, for short) is an attempt to take Games Workshop's 2001 narrative wargame, Inquisitor, and give it an update to reflect the decade and a half of playtesting that the community has inflicted upon it.
One thing to understand about IRE is that although the Inquisitor rules have had many critics over the years, IRE has not been written to please these people. Many of the things that some players detested about Inquisitor were the radical thinking that made others fall in love with it, so IRE tries to retain as much of the original game as can reasonably be justified.
Phrased differently: IRE isn't about trying to make the ideal narrative wargame, it's about making the best version of Inquisitor specifically.

So, with that in mind, what changes does IRE make (or not make, as the case may be)? This is long and rambling waffle, so I've spoilered it for neatness.
Spoiler:
General dice rolling:
Going against previous convention that low rolls on a D100 is better, IRE steals an idea from Infinity regarding dice results - the margin of success on a passed roll is now just the value on the dice. (Making it something of a "The Price is Right" approach to dice rolling - you want to roll as high as possible without going over).

If you need to roll under 63 and roll a 15, you have passed by 15; there's no need to work out 63-15 = 48. As simple as that subtraction might seem, every little bit of mental maths still takes time.
This opens IRE up to use many more opposed rolling mechanics; a WS 84 character rolling a 32 to hit vs. a WS 67 character rolling a 21 to parry can be worked out as simply as "32 beats 21".

This does mean margins of success are increased by a point (as there's no possibility to pass by zero, as a roll of 00 means 100), but this should be negligible.

Actions:
Some people may be less than impressed to hear that rolling for actions is staying. Random actions is one of the more common criticisms of the game - people who see it as having to pass the same action twice, too much uncertainty, etc, etc.

However, from my perspective:
1) It serves as the test for things like movement. Being very similar to how Fudge/Fate does its tests, it means there is actually some tension in whether the Inquisitor can run to the shuttle just in the nick of time, and doesn't make it a certain thing either way. (The further you need to go, the more passes you need, and the harder the test).

2) It blurs the line between turns. Generally, an Inquisitor character does average about two actions per turn, broadly in line with the one-and-a-half to two actions per turn you see in other RPGs (move-move, move-shoot, etc), but having a degree of uncertainty helps prevent characters knowing that they can dash across the street and comfortably end up back in cover or, vice versa, knowing that they definitely can't be quick enough to pull out their pistol and shoot two targets before they fire back.
Like in real life, a character can't be certain of exactly how much he can do before his opponents respond, which means the players can't game the system.

3) Inquisitor is a PvP game with a very small number of characters, and from that perspective, being able to hinder characters as they get injured is very useful. (It means there's middle ground where players feel like they're doing some hurt, but without taking characters out of the game entirely - more like a squad losing members than a monstrous creature losing wound). Crossing off entire actions though is harsher and less granular than being able to reduce a character's speed.

In short, getting rid of it would heavily affect the feel of the game and require a hefty rewrite.

The things that are changing though:
- Risky Actions ditch the "more ones than sixes" mechanic. It's replaced with a D10 roll, allowing for varied levels of risk.
- Action rolls are moving to 3+. This is partly to get the early parts of the game moving faster, and partly because mid-combat characters will often be holding back action dice to use as part of the reactions system (see below).

Reactions:
A "new" part of the rules. However, it's not as radical as it might first seem - it's based on many old parts of the rules (parrying in close combat, the dodge skill, shooting on overwatch, psychic nullification, etc - all kinds of out of turn activity), and tries to condense them into a unified framework. Mostly for consistency, but also because reactive mechanics are more of a thing in wargaming these days.

Reactions fall into two sets of two general categories - offensive and defensive reactions, and reserved and prepared reactions:

- Defensive reactions are things like parrying or trying to evade incoming fire, which roll off against an attack. Offensive reactions are those where a character tries to use actions outside their normal turn.
- Reserved reactions are a bit like a normal action roll - a character keeps back action dice to declare and try to use later on. Prepared reactions are readied in advance (e.g. waiting to ambush someone as they come around a corner), and are therefore more likely to succeed.

I've included a trade-off where characters normally keep back actions or action dice to use reactively (except if they're "engaged", in which case reactions are free, but awareness is heavily limited), similar to how overwatch was in first edition. The intention is that this dynamic allows characters to be either rash or cautious with how they act; also, one thing I've found in the past is that players often want to split their actions up more during the turn, and as a GM I don't particularly like saying "No, you can't do that", so allowing characters to hold actions back to react serves as something of a solution.

It's all a bit experimental at the moment, and how much of it is kept depends on how it impacts the flow of the game.

Movement
No big changes here.

Shooting
Placed shots have been replaced by called shots, allowing characters to actually try aiming for specific locations rather than getting it at random. The location modifier might get increased in future drafts.

Alternative rules are being tested for semi/full/flame weapons, to try and both balance them and reduce the crazy amount of dice rolling needed.
The current draft makes semi/full a form of exploding dice, where characters may keep rolling (on diminishing chances) until they miss or run out of shots in the burst. I'm not completely sure it'll stick for semi, where I may prefer to keep something closer to the original, but I want to test the mechanic before ruling it out. (It will probably stay for Full, because none of the existing mechanics for full work at all well).

I specifically ruled out copying the Dark Heresy method of one roll per burst with more hits for more degrees of success - my early play-testing found this frequently resulted in very high numbers of hits (the injury from which would usually be time consuming to resolve, and usually took characters out very easily fast).
Flame does however borrow such a mechanism, given all versions of the rules so far have allowed multiple hits against one character. One to hit roll per target. More success means more hits.

Close Combat
This is probably the most heavily overhauled area in IRE.

Melee was a weakness of 1stE rules. It never took proper advantage of its dissected action declaration; because the penalties for successive parries were some of the biggest penalties, flanking an opponent was usually pointless in comparison to just unleashing a flurry of attacks. Hence, the instant-by-instant footwork the rules allowed was seldom actually put into use.

IRE makes three main changes:
- Being Engaged is now optional. It's highly advantageous to do so in melee, as it allows characters to declare actions one at a time, and allows them to react for free, but it limits a character to a five yard awareness range.
This is part of the reaction mechanics and tries to make close combat more fluidly involved in the normal game.

- Reach modifiers are now not compared to the opponent's weapon, but to the distance between characters. Being at a weapon's ideal range confers a hit bonus, but being further/closer than that carries increasing penalties. As such, longer weapons can control more space, but need more space to be used effectively.
Handling reach this way allows the up-close/arm's length/etc mechanics to be scrapped, making the rules both more detailed and less complicated at the same time.

- There is no penalty for successive parries. It's gone. Halving WS made for some of the slowest maths of the game, and served to make the first parry largely guaranteed and the third or fourth practically impossible. Instead, parries now use an opposed rolling mechanic (facilitated by the earlier mentioned change to margins of success) - the parry's margin of success has to beat the attack's margin of success. Hence, a skilled swordsman is harder to parry because he rolls better hits, rather than more hits.
Correspondingly, it's more important to stack modifiers against an opponent to decrease his chance of succeeding (and therefore of getting counter-attacks!), so things like positioning now become more important.

Psychic powers
These have been promoted to a full section in their own right, to allow the rules to be a little more detailed than the footnote they were in the original abilities section.

IRE elects to borrow from 40kRP here and gives psykers Psy Ratings, allowing for more detail than the Willpower stat alone offered. As such, skilled but weak, and powerful but uncontrolled psykers are now both possible. Using more Psy Rating makes the power more risky, but also increases the effect on target. (As such, the psychic powers are being re-written to scale with the Psy Rating used).

Injury, Damage and Recovery
Like with the action roll, I've avoided too many changes to injury, as I feel the system is fairly key to Inquisitor's PvP format.

The changes I have made tweak the system rather than completely overhauling it:

- Stunned results no longer stack - only the highest result applies. It wasn't at all fun when a character took a bump on the head and missed the rest of the game.
Taking several stunned results from a hit still increases the chance of being stunned for longer (as it's more likely one of those results will roll high), but it's no longer quite as harsh as it used to be.

- System Shock has been moved to a fixed threshold of 10 injury total. There's two reasons - one, it makes it easier for GMs to keep track of (he doesn't need to keep a mental database of every character's toughness values), and two, it's intended to even out the durability of characters a bit. The variable threshold made low toughness characters laughably frail, and higher toughness characters practically immune (Some of my characters have System Shock values of 15 or 16 points).
An additional test is required at 15 and 20 injury total, in order to add a little scaling to system shock.

Currently, there's a bonus to the test for having your injury under your System Shock Value. I'm likely to phase this out in favour of a flat bonus*, but I want to test this version first.
* (System shock should be a risk, but I want to avoid characters getting taken out too easily, particularly with many characters now having a lower threshold)

- There's also minor adjustments to things like the injury tables. (For example, Heavy Leg injury is now a Prone result, rather than a -1 Speed result. Prone makes more sense, and speed penalties are harsher with IRE's 3+ action rolls).

Awareness
Not finished in IRE yet. However, I will say it's been a long time since seen anyone using the original (very time consuming) awareness rules, but I've got to decide how to put the current community approach in to rules-y words.

Communication & Psychology
Another new section. The original rules made it very difficult for characters to talk rather than just shoot each other, so various community rules have been filtered into the rules to make it easier for players to actually hold conversations within the course of a game (rather than getting to say half a sentence, then waiting an entire turn for an answer).

The download above is colour-coded to make it slightly easier to interpret all my nonsense.
- Grey text is broadly the same as the original rules (almost all reviewed and rewritten, but no real changes to the in-game effect).
- Black or red text has been changed (red when it's a change from the last version of IRE),
- Green or orange text is experimental, notes, unfinished - basically, stuff that I know needs more work. (Like above, orange if it's a change from the last IRE version).

Feedback and suggestions are appreciated. While I am IRE's main writer, it is shaped and refined through feedback from players.

DR:80S(GT)G(FAQ)M++++B++I+Pinq01/f+D++A++/sWD236R++++T(S)DM+
Project log - Leander, 54mm scale Mars pattern Warhound titan 
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






Cheltenham, UK

Sounds great! If I have time, I'll download the draft for a full read-through. As IRE is a distant cousin of Zero Dark - which grew out of Inq 2.0 before mutating beyond all recognition - I have a natural interest. Plus, the opportunity to buy a few GW minis for Inq28 using these rules as well as Zero Dark is one not to be missed.

One of the concepts from Inq 2.0 I liked and would love to see replicated in IRE was the opportunity to design new weapons from scratch.

I'd be interested to know whether there's any appetite for a points or other balancing system or whether the game will retain its original narrative concept.

   
Made in gr
Thermo-Optical Spekter




Greece

No, this section is for game design in general, feel free to use it for such projects.
   
Made in us
Gargantuan Gargant




MN

Nice, I can't wait to look it over!

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in gb
Mimetic Lasiq





Near London, UK

 precinctomega wrote:
Sounds great! If I have time, I'll download the draft for a full read-through. As IRE is a distant cousin of Zero Dark - which grew out of Inq 2.0 before mutating beyond all recognition - I have a natural interest. Plus, the opportunity to buy a few GW minis for Inq28 using these rules as well as Zero Dark is one not to be missed.
There are some parts you'll recognise have been "borrowed" from your original INQ2.0 (for example, the persuasion/threatening rules, now in common use in the community), and there's a few parts that are effectively half-remembered misinterpretations of INQ2 concepts. (Or at least which I think are half-remembered misinterpretations. They're not the same as the INQ2 file I do have around, but I'm not sure when that file is from in INQ2's development - it doesn't include quite a few rules I remember you using or which you quoted on the forums, so it's possible that those rules may have been from a different iteration of INQ2).

Things like the more "open" nature of close combat in IRE, with less of a hard boundary between what is and isn't a melee, are the kind of things that were at least inspired by stuff I think you said at some point, but the exact implementations are probably not quite the same as any of your versions.

One of the concepts from Inq 2.0 I liked and would love to see replicated in IRE was the opportunity to design new weapons from scratch.
I haven't yet prioritised (most of) the armoury - partly because the core mechanics kind of need to be there first, partly because IRE is (mostly*) compatible with existing character sheets - but there's certainly scope for an extensive armoury, including, yes, a "workshop" for modifying weapon profiles.

A full armoury project might be handled as an expansion though. I'm tempted to keep the armoury in the core book relatively basic, to avoid overwhelming new players ("new players" - hope springs eternal) and because that kind of thing has infinite potential for expansion - constantly altering the core book for that would mean it was more of a nuisance to make print copies. (In an ideal world, I'll get it all polished up - I have had an offer or two from graphic designers - and maybe even get a proper shiny copy made at a print shop).

*Although IRE has introduced a few new stats, they're usually very simple to implement. A psyker, for example, can quickly be assigned a Psy Rating for IRE - while 1stE power descriptions won't take full advantage of the stat, it will still be relevant (affecting how hard it is to resist or nullify the power, for example).

I'd be interested to know whether there's any appetite for a points or other balancing system or whether the game will retain its original narrative concept.
The intention is to retain that original narrative concept. Although I definitely feel IRE can improve on the guidance to players and GMs about writing character profiles (after all, the community has experimented a lot), I don't think Inquisitor is suited to a points mechanism.

I can't imagine any way of valuing characters that would be both simple and (broadly) accurate when considering every odd combination of gear/equipment (including custom rules) across an unimaginably wide range of scenarios (particularly as the whole thing is affected by intangible things like the personality of the character). And adding a bad system would do more harm than good - the old "Ready Reckoner" gave a veneer of legitimacy to characters that certainly weren't balanced, but could also easily punish players for being characterful.

In the end, Inquisitor isn't intended as a balanced competitive game - it's about characters firing two guns while jumping through the air, driving tanks down alleyways that aren't wide enough, and finishing it all off by saying "I love it when a plan comes together". Like you said all those years ago, it's wargaming for poets.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/03/21 18:06:19


DR:80S(GT)G(FAQ)M++++B++I+Pinq01/f+D++A++/sWD236R++++T(S)DM+
Project log - Leander, 54mm scale Mars pattern Warhound titan 
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






Cheltenham, UK

Oh, yes. I remember the combat idea was to extend the concept of Reach so there was no fixed point at which a character was "in combat" and therefore subject to a different set of rules. So you could be fighting one enemy with your sword whilst simultaneously shooting at another with a pistol.

No idea how - or if - I made it work, though. I do have the manuscript still, but after a few computer crashes I ended up retrieving it from a mutual friend so it is probably an older version. It certainly doesn't include some of my more radical ideas.

I'll download IRE today for a browse.

   
Made in gb
Mimetic Lasiq





Near London, UK

Yes, I thought I'd heard you say something like that, but it's not in the version I have, and you probably know what it can be like trying to search for a half-remembered forum post.

Not knowing how you implemented it, the best solution I've found so far is to make Engaging optional.

Engaged is much the same as the 1stE combat state (declare actions one at a time, get to react for free, only aware of people within melee range) - however, you don't have to be Engaged to use melee attacks and IRE's reaction system allows parries/dodges to be made with stored reactions, so characters aren't forced to use the state when in melee (It's much more difficult and dangerous, but it is possible).
Potentially, therefore, they can try to take shots at a more distant target while ducking around an axe-wielding lunatic.

This is relatively simple, although I'm going to need to subject it to players to find out if they find any nasty exploits in my rules I haven't spotted.

It certainly doesn't include some of my more radical ideas.
On that overall note, you'll probably generally find IRE to be less radical than INQ2.0. I've tried to be quite strict with myself about when and where I make major changes. People are naturally resistant to change, and every time the rules divert from the status quo, it's a chance that a reader will lose interest. (I've probably not done myself any massive favours by putting IRE's biggest seeming overhaul*, the reaction system, so early in the document, even if it is the natural place to put it).

* Although I still feel that the close combat changes are a bigger leap - the Reactions section works much the same as things in 1stE; the change is only in allowing them to be used more. Comparatively, the seemingly small changes to reach and parrying completely turn close combat on its head.

DR:80S(GT)G(FAQ)M++++B++I+Pinq01/f+D++A++/sWD236R++++T(S)DM+
Project log - Leander, 54mm scale Mars pattern Warhound titan 
   
Made in gb
Mimetic Lasiq





Near London, UK

I'm not expecting a lot of response from Dakkanauts on this one, but...

I'm planning a playtest day for IRE, on Saturday May 20th at Dark Sphere in London. If you like to come and help test the rules, get in contact and I'll see if I can fit you in.

(At the moment, the playtesters I've got are primarily 54mm scale, but if there's enough interest from 28mm players, I'll be content to have big and small tests on different tables).

DR:80S(GT)G(FAQ)M++++B++I+Pinq01/f+D++A++/sWD236R++++T(S)DM+
Project log - Leander, 54mm scale Mars pattern Warhound titan 
   
 
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