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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
Seven Year War Afficianado




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 
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

That is a great idea! I wish I could make it.

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





Near London, UK

Well, I'm hoping that having an event for testing will help me get more community input - which might not necessarily be in the form of discussion. Even just observing how people use the rules will be very useful.

~~~~~

Anyway, I've put together a crib sheet for the current version of IRE, listing/summarising most of the rules changes from the LRB, which will hopefully make a useful reference for anyone wishing to playtest the rules.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/0oo6czattlu269p/Inquisitor+Revised+Edition+V_0_2_0_3+Crib+Sheet+V1.pdf

I expect to release a slightly updated version of IRE in the coming weeks (prior to the Dark Sphere day), as I've been playing around with example combats and such to get an idea of how the modifiers need to be fine tuned. (I expect to keep most of the underlying mechanics, just adjusting the exact numbers).
Hopefully, this will also include more of the missing chunks of the rules/skills/armoury.

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

It occurs to me that I'm going to be at Firestorm in Cardiff between Thursday 17th and Sunday 20th May. Basically, I find myself in Cardiff at something of a loose end and thought I'd hang out at their gaming centre and playtest Zero Dark. But it might be interesting to put IRE on the tabletop at the same time...

   
Made in gb
Mimetic Lasiq





Near London, UK

Unless I'm mistaken (and I hope I'm not, as I've now confirmed the table booking at Dark Sphere), those dates don't fall on those days of the week. The 20th is the Saturday, I believe. But nonetheless, any willing playtesters will be very welcome whenever they're able.

Talking about Zero Dark, your tutorial videos have me thinking about doing much the same, which will hopefully mean more time gaming and less time explaining on the test day. I might just do a break-down of the new/changed rules, or maybe a full guide - at least eventually*.

*Inquisitor would actually benefit a lot from that kind of thing, as its reputation for being complicated isn't really deserved. In reality, there's few rule systems I've seen people pick up as fast as Inquisitor, because it's a hugely permissive ruleset; while there are modifiers to juggle, there's no restrictions about whether you have to move or shoot first, whether you can attack twice in a turn or any of that; with most of it being fairly intuitive (e.g. aiming makes shooting more accurate) and playing well not being about mastering the rules, there's very little a player needs to learn before a GM can help them fill in all the gaps.

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 us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

 MarcoSkoll wrote:


*Inquisitor would actually benefit a lot from that kind of thing, as its reputation for being complicated isn't really deserved. In reality, there's few rule systems I've seen people pick up as fast as Inquisitor, because it's a hugely permissive ruleset; while there are modifiers to juggle, there's no restrictions about whether you have to move or shoot first, whether you can attack twice in a turn or any of that; with most of it being fairly intuitive (e.g. aiming makes shooting more accurate) and playing well not being about mastering the rules, there's very little a player needs to learn before a GM can help them fill in all the gaps.


I agree that for players it is pretty easy. For GMs it can be a bit more difficult but they can saw whatever they want so not that much more difficult.

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Dakka Veteran






Cheltenham, UK

So apparently I just missed you at Salute, Dave. Had a nice chat with Gav about Inquisitor (after playing a game of Open Combat) and he told me he's re-joined the Conclave to give a little support and input to IRE! How cool is that?

   
Made in gb
Mimetic Lasiq





Near London, UK

On a scale of zero to cool, it's roughly super-mega-awesome-uber cool.

The IRE project is by no means reliant on Gav's support, but it's nonetheless a huge boon, as one of IRE's goals is to remain faithful to the original game's design and feel; Any additional insight into the creation of the original game will help IRE be true to what came before. And even if it's not exactly an official endorsement of IRE, it is highly encouraging to know that Gav does trust the project enough to provide it any degree of support.

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 us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

Might need to pop back onto the Conclave myself now.

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

I downloaded version 2-0-3 for review. I will hopefully have something interesting to say about them soon....ish.

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





Near London, UK

A bit of a medley of thoughts today, posts transferred from other forums:

~~~~~

I've found time over the last while to run some more tests. Mostly just example cases of different characters trying to kill each other, but tests nonetheless.

Given that some of the rules have thus far been more statistics, theory, instinct, experience and what makes sense on paper* theory than actual playtesting (particularly given the rush I had trying to get them ready in hope of a playtest at an event back in March), even I'm still getting a grip on how some things actually feel on the table.
* An early revelation in this project was that what worked in my head could easily sound like the ravings of a madman when actually put into words. Which probably means I'm a madman.

The feel of the revised close combat in particular isn't what I expected, although it's exactly what I should have expected - given it's ... um, more or less how I said I wanted close combat to work. Stupid as it sounds, I was surprised when the rules did what I wrote them to do.

So yes, much more movement, with different close combats being unalike in their style. Changes in terrain, weapons or skill can heavily affect how characters can approach combat. Some of the test combats I ran came out all Princess Bride, others were chaotic brawls with characters trying to blast each other point blank with shotguns.

Unsurprisingly, I've found a few points I might need to clean up before New Dawn (the playtesting event later this month), but I'm pretty happy so far.

~~~~~

One question that came up about close combat was about the "Fighting for position" move, the free 2 yard move that passing an attack, parry or dodge roll offers a character in IRE.

I'm very happy with it from the perspective of what it's intended to do - it does mean fights move a lot more, and that makes them feel so much clearer and more vivid in my mind's eye. It's easy to see one character ducking out of the way

However, although I established an order for this movement (the winner of any opposed roll decides who moves first), I didn't really establish a when. During the testing, I mostly assumed it was at the end of the action, after any hit was resolved - while this felt like it flowed better from the perspective of game mechanics, it did occasionally cause odd cases where a character who'd just been heavily injured might then want to make a move that felt off. Say, a character who'd just been stunned by a hit to the head might then want to use his positioning to move as close as possible to a character with a long weapon (therefore reducing his future hit chance).

I guess it's possible to say that taking serious injury from a hit would cancel the positioning move, but I don't really want to layer on any more conditionals and exceptions than I have to. One alternative would be to make the positioning move take place immediately after the hit/parry/dodge rolls are made, before any injury is resolved.

This is presumably more realistic, as the combatants will have decide where and how to move before blows land, although it perhaps feels a bit strange as an order for the game mechanics.
What I do know is that I'm happy for the characters to decide where they're moving after the hit roll (as opposed to as part of the action declaration), as it is very much going to be a split second decision based on how an opponent moves and attacks. (Also, it plays faster to decide on the fly).

Thoughts?

~~~~~

And now a quick draft of IRE's Fearsome rules. These will be subject to change, as I need to decide if/how certain traits may cancel*, but the core of it is there.

*For example, Brutal Foe works somewhat like the 1st edition version of Fearsome (making it scary to get in combat with the character). As it's now specifically about characters who are scary in close combat, it now reasonably makes sense that the effects might cancel - another combat monster wouldn't be quite so worried.

Fearsome
The character tests the nerve of all those who face them, instilling a penetrating horror to simply look upon them.

There are several forms of Fearsome, detailed below. Some particularly scary characters (such as manifest daemon princes!) may have more than one of these traits.

If any Nerve test caused or affected by a Fearsome trait is failed by four degrees or more, the affected character must immediately attempt to flee away from the Fearsome character, until they regain their Nerve by successfully passing a Nerve test at the start of one of their turns (before actions are declared).

Note that any character who becomes aware of a Fearsome character must also be made aware of any Fearsome trait(s) they possess. Terrifying people is not a subtle matter, and can often mean attracting attention you would rather have avoided.

Fearsome: Brutal Foe
The character is a hulking warrior, a foe who could tear you limb from limb with his bare hands. Getting within arms' reach of such an opponent is a death sentence.

If a character comes within melee range or starts their turn within melee range of an opponent with Brutal Foe, they must take a Nerve test. (Rolls of 96-00 do not automatically fail).
If passed, the character may continue to act as normal. If failed, the character must attempt to keep no closer than maximum melee distance from the Brutal Foe until their next turn.

Fearsome: Dread Reputation
The character has a reputation that precedes him. Whether it is because of an invincible record in hundreds of battles or because he exacts the most extreme cruelties upon his victims, only a fool or a hero would stand against him.

Any character aware of a character with a Dread Reputation, is at -20 Nerve for all Nerve tests caused by the Dreaded character. (e.g. Pinning, Threatening, etc).

Fearsome: Unnerving Presence
Simply being around a character with Unnerving Presence is a horrifying experience. Whether they have an psychic aura, a hideously scarred appearance or exude terror pheromones, they sap the nerve of those around them.

While within 10 yards of a character with Unnerving Presence, all opposing characters are at -20 Nerve.


You'll note that I've made Fearsome a trait that other characters are automatically made aware of.
If a character is supposed to be bad enough news that other characters are scared of them, that's important roleplaying information, not something that other characters should only find out when they try to charge and then suddenly get told by the other player.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/05/04 09:19:46


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Dakka Veteran






Cheltenham, UK

An early revelation in this project was that what worked in my head could easily sound like the ravings of a madman when actually put into words.


Yep. That's how it is.

I like the breakdown of Fearsome. Other than that it's a revision of the original Fearsome rules, is there any particular reason to group these special abilities under the "Fearsome" title? Might there be meta-rules that affect all forms of Fearsome?

   
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Mimetic Lasiq





Near London, UK

There will be certain meta rules - abilities like Force of Will will remain in some form, and at least in this draft, particularly badly failing a Nerve test against a Fearsome character triggers the same kind of fleeing reaction that used to be part of the Terrifying skill. (Although I feel that may need some refinement).

The other thing is that, where possible, I'm trying to keep compatibility with the old rules. Continuing to reference old names, or at least tell players where rules have been replaced or superseded, means that players will be more easily able to identify the replacement versions of skills/equipment, and will make custom skills that reference Fearsome still continue to make sense.

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

When I went to the local gaming club this evening, I had originally planned to maybe convert one of the Sororitas from the Triumvirate box, but quickly realised that between my model case and what was left in my backpack since I'd brought it back from the boat trip, I had the assets to run a full IRE playtest. (I didn't have other players, but I could manage on my own).
With the Dark Sphere playtest event less than two weeks off, this would give me a last minute opportunity to spot and iron out any fatal flaws I hadn't yet spotted in the rules.

Anyway, while I need to mentally process the game, the news is mostly good - it's opened up a few questions, but nothing major.

I don't expect I'll make a full report out of it, as my notes from the game are mostly rules notes rather than an exact sequence of events, but there is a photo album, and I've added basic details to the picture descriptions:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcoskoll/albums/72157681460733971

There were a good few fun moments, including a couple of close combats that really didn't go the way I expected. (Lesson for the day: Don't try to grapple someone who's wearing shock gauntlets).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/05/09 01:00:17


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

Saturday's playtest day was IRE's first real outing (earlier versions weren't really a complete ruleset, and other playtests have been me playing against myself), so this was actually quite a trial by fire. Even I wasn't entirely sure if it was going to work.

However, I'm pleased to report that while we found a few areas that needed refinement and fine-tuning, all involved on the day felt that IRE was generally working well (or at least that's what they told me).

~~~~~

As far as the things that were mentioned as possibly needing work:

- The psychic rules. Now that Hazards do not automatically cancel the power, I perhaps haven't compensated enough for how easy it is to cast certain powers. That said, the psyker present was supposed to be fairly formidable, so I may need to see more playtesting with lesser psykers.

- The NPC rules (not yet in the public version of the rules). These perhaps made the various goons a bit too hardy at times. In an attempt to not have to track injury for these nobodies, NPCs instead have to roll over the damage they've taken in order to stay in the fight, but they seemed a little good at managing that.
I feel reasonably confident in the overall idea of avoiding bookkeeping, but I may have messed up the percentages there.

- Characters can gain a lot of counter attacks in melee. Unlimited counter-attacks has theoretically always been possible (there has never been a cap on counter attacking, and I have often seen characters get three or more counter attacks in a turn), but as dodging has often been the go-to choice, has perhaps not been hugely apparent.

However, there has definitely been an increase, as counter attacks are now permitted against missed attacks. That is something I want to keep, otherwise a defender gets to counter-attack more against more skilled opponents (who should really be leaving fewer openings in their attack), but it may mean that dodging needs a buff again - IRE deliberately nerfed it, as it was too advantageous before, but parrying perhaps has the edge now.

Still, again, this is something I need to see with more characters and which I expect to change as players get used to the system.
As pretty much all of the characters on the day were using Reach 3 weapons (not too surprising, given their general prevalence under 1stE rules), weapon reach penalties never massively came into play, and that's mostly when you would choose to dodge (as dodging ignores reach modifiers in IRE).

Things may also change as players get more of a sense of manipulating not only their chances in combat, but also their opponents'. If players choose to outmanoeuvre their opponents, then their opponents will get fewer counter attacks.

- Various minor errata, like falling damage.

Of those though, a lot of it is just a case of adjusting a few modifiers. The underlying mechanics generally seemed to work, they just need some rebalancing.

~~~~~

Of the points I'm particularly happy about from the day, I think I'm most happy with the modified close combat. The above questions about the fine-tuning of the parry/dodge balance aside, it seemed to work particularly well, producing a much more dynamic result than the "attack, dodge, attack, dodge" mantra from 1st edition.

The players have to think more about what they're doing, so it is a little more involved, although it never really felt sluggish* and the speed of play will naturally improve as players get used to the system.

* Possibly in part because the maths is a lot easier and less intrusive, but I feel that the opposed rolling mechanics also helped things never feel like a foregone conclusion. Before, it could mostly be assumed that a character would dodge the first attack in a turn, but would probably get hit by the third, making it somewhat tedious to even roll for them.

And on that front, we did see some brutally short close combats where a single attack or counter-attack rolled really well early in the fight and finished things very quickly. (That said, we also saw epic duels where characters traded blows for some time).

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Project log - Leander, 54mm scale Mars pattern Warhound titan 
   
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Shocked Micronized Zentraedi Spy





This projects sounds great. Never played the original Inquisitor, but always liked the concept.

Is there a mailing list to join? Or is this the best spot to follow for news and updates?
   
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Mimetic Lasiq





Near London, UK

The most active discussion of this project is over on The Conclave forums (although it's a little quiet at the moment, as I had another event to handle and have yet to really mull over the feedback from the playtesting event we had last month), but any major developments or discussions will get copied over here as well.

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


Following up on the feedback and playtesting from Dark Sphere:

~~~~~

For melee, it seems to be a case of rebalancing.

The current plan is to reduce the attack penalties (possibly to be renamed "attack modifier") by about 10 points, so many weapons will (again) have a modifier of 0. Quick, agile weapons might now get +5 or +10, slow cumbersome weapons might be -5 or -10.

This somewhat simplifies interaction with old character sheets (where weapons don't have an attack penalty, minimising the need to look up new profiles or have the GM wing it), but as far as balance, it will mean that by making it harder to beat the attacker in the opposed roll, it will somewhat reduce the number of counter-attacks a defender can get; although I am very happy with the kind of back-and-forth trading of blows that allows, the balance probably does need to be shifted slightly more to the attacker.

I may also give Dodging a slight bonus to its roll again. Although I nerfed that because Dodging was overly dominant as a reaction in 1stE, I underestimated the extent to which IRE allowing parries to counter-attack against missed attacks was a boost to parrying, so the balance needs to be redressed.

Maybe not the full +20 of before, but +10 is certainly viable.

~~~~~

The stunning on falling has been reduced from D3 turns to one turn. Most likely a character who's taken a really serious fall will be stunned by the injury tables anyway; any fall more minor than that shouldn't be taking characters out for several turns.

~~~~~

When it comes to psychic powers, I'm inclined to agree with Cortez's point. Although Isabella is supposed to be a very powerful psyker, she didn't actually break much of a sweat to manage everything she did in the playtest games.

I think the main issue comes from IRE no longer automatically cancelling powers when there's a Risky Action; That choice is deliberate, as Risky Actions always felt like a very tedious way to fail a psychic power; it also meant that even the most skilled psykers couldn't rely on their powers unless they had some form of special rule that stopped them failing roughly a third of their attempts before the Wp test was even taken.

However, it has upset things.

I think I will have to fix it by making Perils of the Warp again automatically cancel the power. Psychic Phenomena won't cancel the power though, so the Perils of the Warp test will act as something of a save for skilled psykers to not automatically fluff their power in the same "because frak you that's why" kind of failure as the Risky Action used to be.

That said, I also plan to have any Psychic test modifiers also apply to the Perils test (previously, it was unmodified Wp). This will make Psykers have to think slightly more carefully about taking complete "long shots" with their powers. It kind of makes sense that a psyker is more likely to royally screw up if he's trying to do something really difficult - I just don't want that to be in the same way as before, where any failure weakened a psyker.

Cortez did also suggest that there needs to be more use for Psy Rating for existing powers that I've yet to update. I'm not sure what my answer to that is yet, but it is a valid point.

~~~~~

Also, some of the IRE armoury.

As I've said before, I've said that I find the current daemon weapon mechanic to be fairly basic. The user is usually given a Wp just slightly higher than their weapon, so they generally just end up as pretty powerful weapons that are only dangerous to their user if they fluff a psychic power.

The IRE rules make it so that daemon weapons are now no longer a binary question of whose Wp is higher - instead, they capitalise on their master's moments of weakness, such that even a high Wp user has to be somewhat careful about carrying a daemon weapon.

This version, although not finalised (some modifiers may get changed), incorporates some of Raghnall's suggestions from the thread, although slightly streamlined.

Daemon weapons
Daemon weapons have had the spirit of a daemon bound into them, imbuing them with some of the daemon's unnatural power. Daemon weapons can be truly powerful weapons, but using one can cost a man his soul...

Daemon weapons will have one or more special properties, depending on the power of the entity bound to the weapon.

Warp Power defines the number of daemonic traits that the weapon may have. A daemon weapon may have any combination of traits costing up to their total Warp Power, as long as no single trait requires more than half of the daemon's Warp Power (rounding up).

Daemon weapons, as sentient entities, also have their own Willpower value, which may influence the effectiveness of some of its traits.

Daemon weapons also have a Possession Modifier, equal to the Sagacity of the character who bound the daemon, minus the Daemon's Willpower. For example, if a character with Sg 78 had bound a daemonic beast with Wp 66, then the weapon would have a Possession Modifier of +12 (Sg 78 - Wp 66 = +12).
Make a note of this value on the weapon's profile.

The cost of power
At the start of each of their turns, any character carrying a daemon weapon must test against daemonic possession.

This is a Willpower test, modified by the weapon's Possession modifier. There may also be additional modifiers depending on the character's status.

A character is weakened if they are Pinned, Stunned, Fleeing, or wielding an unfamiliar daemon weapon. Weakened characters take no additional modifier.
A character is vulnerable if they are Out of Action, on Fire, or suffered Perils of the Warp last turn. Vulnerable characters test on a -30 modifier.

If a character is neither weakened or vulnerable, then they test with a +30 modifier, and will not automatically fail their test on a roll of 96-00. (If this should make a character's Willpower 100 or more, it is not necessary to roll for the test).

If this Possession test is failed, then the character succumbs to the daemon within their weapon and is possessed.
The character must pass their Possession test at the start of any subsequent turn to regain control. They are automatically deemed to be at least weakened while possessed.

In the event that a character needs to test for carrying more than one daemon weapon, roll in order of the daemon's willpower values, starting with the highest.

Daemonic Traits
List is work in progress


Possession rules aren't set in stone yet, but I plan on having those as a standard framework, as they'll also come into play during certain Perils of the Warp results.

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Project log - Leander, 54mm scale Mars pattern Warhound titan 
   
 
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