Author Topic: IRE - Inquisitor Revised Edition project  (Read 13312 times)

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Referring to the testing mentioned above, 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?
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Offline TheNephew

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Perhaps the winner of the roll also decides when the sidestep/shove/chase takes place?
Though this is perhaps a win-more issue, if whoever starts controlling the combat can continue to do so too easily re: weapon reach and the like.

While moving after the roll's success seems most appropriate, it's really only a matter of protecting against abusing the system, and the -][- ruleset has never really catered to the power gamer.
It seems like you'd expect folks to agree that they'd do the 'logical' thing in response to what occurred in the combat, so the exact timing needn't matter.

As for the Godfater Q&A, I can't think of any immediate specific pressing  questions, but I'd certainly be interested in hearing his views on how the game's grown out of what was originally envisioned, especially post-support withdrawal.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Perhaps the winner of the roll also decides when the sidestep/shove/chase takes place?
Well, that really only benefits the attacker if they win, because if the defender wins, the attack is cancelled and there's no difference between moving before resolving damage or after. Given the attacker already has the advantage of having hit, and also gets to choose whether he moves first or second, he's at quite an advantage anyway.

It'd also increase the number of decisions players could hesitate over, so I think I want to nail it down. (And depending on how the playtests go, I may well also define a specific order that the positioning moves have to be taken in, rather than letting the winner decide).

In terms of realism and least opportunity for abusing the system, immediately after the hit/parry rolls makes most sense, as that's the instant in which the characters would be making the decision about which direction to step in.
It's just not what I'd originally expected in terms of game mechanics.

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it's really only a matter of protecting against abusing the system, and the -][- ruleset has never really catered to the power gamer.
If possible, I want the IRE rules to feel tighter than the originals. While I have no pretence of achieving flawless balance, I don't really want players to ever feel like they can't do something because it's "dirty".

For example, something like sticking a krak grenade to an opponent's back in melee, for example, is very cool, but in 1st edition it had such a high chance of success that it was very rare to see anyone do it; it just felt unfair to even try.

Better balance and fairer play is a good thing even for casual narrative games like Inquisitor.

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As for the Godfater Q&A, I can't think of any immediate specific pressing questions, but I'd certainly be interested in hearing his views on how the game's grown out of what was originally envisioned, especially post-support withdrawal.
That could be a rather informative one for me too, seeing as IRE is developing upon and continuing from that growth. (Yet still trying to remain true to the original game rather than just mutating into some subjective view of what makes the perfect narrative game).
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline MarcoSkoll

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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 LRB version of Fearsome. As it's now specifically about characters who are scary in close combat, and it now reasonably makes sense that another such character wouldn't be quite so worried.

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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.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline MarcoSkoll

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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).
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 02:00:40 AM by MarcoSkoll »
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

GW's =I= articles

Offline KaptiDavy

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First I have to say that I still didn't find the time to read the whole document thoroughly, but here are my questions (musings??) anyway:

I'm curious about your influences ruleswise, e.g. what other systems do you know intimately? When it comes to INQ, FFG's Fireborn RPG comes to mind immediately, as it uses a very similar action sequencing. But that one enables the characters to build combos, so a quick comparison might do good to the cinematic aspects, if I may suggest

The other thing in this direction would be GURPS. Precint Omega once wrote about checking an older edition of its Martial Arts supplement, which could be a great resource for special moves design. (Check 4th edition, it's a very streamlined rules heavy system)

I also wrote some time ago a version of Psychic rules which have a very different outlook than yours - if you'd like to see it, drop me a note

Offline MarcoSkoll

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I'm curious about your influences ruleswise, e.g. what other systems do you know intimately?
I've tried to avoid IRE having been influenced too much by other systems, as I want it to feel like an updated version of Inquisitor rather than turning Inquisitor into a different game. No-one would be able to agree on what's best to turn Inquisitor into... so I'm just trying turn it into Inquisitor.

As far as rulesets I know have influenced IRE, I can name:
- Dark Heresy/40kRP, which added Psy Rating, the degrees of success terminology, some damage modifiers like Tearing and reactions.
- Infinity, which further influenced reactions, particularly in the way that defensive reactions use opposed roll-offs. The choice to take a "roll high, but not over" (a.k.a. "The Price is Right") approach to margins of success (which removes a lot of maths, particularly when comparing two rolls) also came from here.

Still, I've tried, where possible, to implement large mechanical changes using rules that actually existed in 1st edition. Many of the fundamentals of reactions are built on the foundations of existing out-of-turn-action like parrying, counter attacks, psychic nullification, overwatch and the like.

Of course, some IRE mechanics have been lifted from or inspired by what other members of the community have written over the years, so they may well have had their own influences, but I can't comment on what those might be.

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When it comes to INQ, FFG's Fireborn RPG comes to mind immediately, as it uses a very similar action sequencing. But that one enables the characters to build combos, so a quick comparison might do good to the cinematic aspects, if I may suggest

The other thing in this direction would be GURPS. Precint Omega once wrote about checking an older edition of its Martial Arts supplement, which could be a great resource for special moves design. (Check 4th edition, it's a very streamlined rules heavy system)
I'll see if I can take a look. As it is, I'm currently very happy with the core of the current IRE melee rules, which manage to do everything I wanted while making only fairly basic changes to the original system; I won't want to completely overhaul that, but I'd certainly be open to being able to build upon that for better unarmed combat and the like (even if it ends up as an expansion to the rules).

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I also wrote some time ago a version of Psychic rules which have a very different outlook than yours - if you'd like to see it, drop me a note
I'd be interested. What I've gone for at the moment is what I feel is a fair compromise between Inquisitor's original rules (which weren't exactly the most fleshed out section of the rules, meriting only a single page) and the more detailed approach of the 40kRP systems.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline KaptiDavy

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I see where this one goes, and I understand the somewhat tighter horizons to focus on the task more clearly, but I also see GW's current urge to go back to 2nd ed to "renew" the system. And amateur games developers tend to go with their own ideas before checking if those ideas alredy exist - hence the question:)

Fireborn is certainly worth a look, and I can send it over (GURPS too, but it's a longer read).
I never played Dark Heresy although I have the pdf's, and I have to say I found it a bit clumsy after all (especially considering its publish date)- the percentile system has it's limitations on lower levels, but that can be avoided in INQ
I also had a sketch of Close Combat revision, but I'll check yours before anything else

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Blarg - now I've been promoted to admin, I have to get used to the fact that other people's posts are surrounded by a lot of buttons that aren't "Quote".

And amateur games developers tend to go with their own ideas before checking if those ideas alredy exist
Well, the IRE system has been in active development for about four years, and is built on experience and feedback from many years before that (including a lot of lessons learnt from my Revised Armoury project).

Quite a lot of different approaches have been considered or refined along the way.

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I never played Dark Heresy although I have the pdf's, and I have to say I found it a bit clumsy after all (especially considering its publish date)
I do find Dark Heresy to be a fairly sluggish ruleset at times, and the damage system doesn't really have much granularity; there's a very steep gradient where a single point of damage modifier or toughness soak makes a huge difference to how effective a weapon is.
(At the bottom end of the scale, a D5 damage knife is almost entirely useless against even unarmoured targets).

Still, it does have several similarities to Inquisitor, and a lot of people are already primed to the idea of combining elements of the rulesets.

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I also had a sketch of Close Combat revision, but I'll check yours before anything else
The most fundamental changes are:
- The successive parry modifier (which was awkward to calculate) has been replaced by parries/dodges having to roll better than the attack roll.
- Reach modifiers are now calculated compared to character spacing, not relative weapon lengths.
- Free movement on successful attacks/parries.

The first point means it becomes a lot more important to stack modifiers against an opponent, limiting their chances of rolling better than you.
The second means that character positioning is now a much more important modifier (for both you and your opponent)
The third means that characters actually try to spend time positioning!

When I've playtested it so far, it's resulted in fights that have much more movement and are much more vivid for it; you can now see how a character ducked past that screaming chainsword, how he stepped past his opponent,

There's a few other things like the addition of more combat attacks (I've tried grappling in some of my playtests, and it definitely adds something new) and that the close combat state has also been made optional (although still very valuable), but I feel the system has been revitalised mostly by those relatively basic changes.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline KaptiDavy

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I started reading the file this morning (but the grey letters on my ebook gave me some headaches... can we change that to black??), and my initial thoughts might just seem heretical to most of you:)

I'm heavily considering to drop the D100 system altogether, because it only makes room for more maths and more failed rolls. Differentiating between characters in a character based and character-level game can be achieved in other ways: in our case the special abilities, which tend to pop up in good numbers on almost any character sheet (and would further the tradition of one of a kind characters).
Having one digit Characteristic Bonuses in a D100 roll doesn't mean much, but it widens the gap between characters with low and high values.

Action sequencing is the heart of it, so I'd keep it anyway, but with a strict 1 Action=1 Roll design. This means you either roll the Action Dice, or something else, but not both (like rolling for Initiative to grab a chance to roll a Characteristic Test).
The main reason I quit 40K so many years ago is the combat mechanisms (roll to hit, then to wound, and even a save after anything has gone through is silly)...

Now in this case I would say to Roll the Action Dice and have Mods for it based on Characteristics. That would also mean that Characteristics are capped at 10, for any characters (so Marines might have a Strength of 8 or 9, but no humans are allowed in that region).
Interacting with the environment is mostly player facing business handled via modifiers to the Action Roll, while player interaction can be solved with combat rules and the reaction system, which is quite good in this iteration (but I'd leave Reserved Reactions' Action dice roll to the point of declaration)

So I would change the Action Roll to be a D10 Roll, have a quite similar threshold (like 4+ or 5+), and have Degrees of Success or Failure (each with a certain effect): each point above or under the threshold would count as one. The GM might adjust the threshold for the task at hand (this would replace Risky Actions), and we can use the Characteristics (0-10) as modifiers if appropriate

I wouldn't worry about older rules conlicting these ideas, rather work my way up from here, as a good Radical would - thanks for watching 8)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 09:20:38 PM by KaptiDavy »

Offline MarcoSkoll

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the grey letters on my ebook gave me some headaches... can we change that to black?
The colour coding is deliberate during the draft stages - black text is IRE rules, grey text is broadly as original (although often rewritten to avoid it being complete plagiarism), green text is experimental (or WIP) IRE and red is changes from the last version. (Orange is both experimental and changed).

I wanted to avoid using a colour for such a large quantity of text, as it would make it rather costly if someone wanted to print it.

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I'm heavily considering to drop the D100 system altogether, because it only makes room for more maths and more failed rolls.
Decisions like that are impractical for IRE.

I know that any unofficial ruleset, no matter how well written, is going to struggle to gain traction against its official predecessor. Even if it's the most revolutionary thing since a turbo-charged merry-go-round, someone won't like it.

As such, I'm trying to make it as viable as possible for players to switch back and forth between the LRB and IRE. People who like IRE can play it, and yet still use basically the same character sheets if they go to an event where the GM still uses the original rules. It reduces the barriers to getting involved.

Overhauling rather than completely re-envisioning the mechanics also means that the changes are less likely to be controversial and cause people to resist the new version.

So that does mean keeping the roll for actions before the roll to hit, D100 mechanics, etc - yes, these are often things that have been criticised, but to drastically change them would be to make an entirely new game.
As I've said before, IRE is not about making "the best narrative game", it's about making "the best Inquisitor"; it's very specifically for people who like the existing game. IRE isn't looking for new fans, it's looking to give the dedicated players something perhaps a little bit more refined.

Yes, IRE has made changes, but I think that most people would be able to look at it and see the original underneath.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline KaptiDavy

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Oh well... I hoped it would seem familiar enough  :-[
Anyway, I'll have a look at the other chapters to at least check what other goodies it has

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Don't get me wrong, many of those ideas could be really interesting for a more streamlined narrative game, and I may well consider a project of that nature at some stage. 

However, (at least at this stage), I think it's important to keep IRE reasonably compatible with existing character sheets.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline KaptiDavy

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No offense taken, of course, your concerns are valid enough - I just tend to forget about such, as the INQ scene here is non-existent

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: IRE - Inquisitor Revised Edition project
« Reply #164 on: Yesterday at 02:54:17 PM »
Thanks for that stuff KaptiDavy - I haven't yet really had a chance to look at it, as things have been a little hectic over the last couple of days, but I will try to get around to it.

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).
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

GW's =I= articles