The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Hobby, Painting and Modelling => Inquisitor Game Discussion => Topic started by: Gav Thorpe on May 05, 2017, 04:24:35 PM

Title: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Gav Thorpe on May 05, 2017, 04:24:35 PM
Hi Everyone,

For those who don't know me I was ‘lead designer’ for Inquisitor, which meant that I was involved in nearly everything from the early game concept, through designing the rules and background, to planning the miniatures range, the art plan and producing the rulebook.  You can read more about my involvement over on my website: https://gavthorpe.co.uk/games/inquisitor/

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about the game, and I'll answer as best as my memory will allow!  I'll also combine the Q&As into a resource/blog post for my website if everyone is happy with that (if not, just let me know on your post and I'll leave your question out).  As for timescales, I'll answer the questions as soon as I can, although depending on deadlines it could take several weeks.  Feel free to nudge me on Facebook or Twitter if I'm taking too long  :)

Cheers,

Gav
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: realitybytes16 on May 05, 2017, 08:23:57 PM
Well this is surprising - welcome to the 'Clave, and thanks for creating Inquisitor!

I don't expect you'll be able to answer this with 100% transparency (unless of course the answer is simply 'no') but can you give us any insight as to whether GW plan to ressurect Inquisitor at some point like they did WQ and Necromunda (in Shadow War)?

I don't think any of us here consider it more than a pipe dream at this point, and I think we all suspect that if they did it would probably be 28mm rather than 54mm, but since we have the designer himself here I thought why not hazard the question? :D

Also, do we have any chance of seeing your own warbands on here at some stage? Because that would be fun :).
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Cortez on May 05, 2017, 09:32:12 PM
I'd just like to say thank you for creating my favourite of all the GW games.

If you could turn back the clocks; is there anything about Inquisitor that you would have have done differently?

Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: MarcoSkoll on May 05, 2017, 10:52:05 PM
For those who don't know me
Around here, that seems... unlikely.

~~~~~

This is hard to phrase as a question (and we partially covered this when we talked at Salute) but I'll just put it out there and you might be able to find some way to respond to it.

Two of the rules that detractors of the game describe as "bad" or "unnecessarily complicated" are the randomness of the action mechanic and the level of detail in the injury system. Personally though, I find both to be some of the best mechanics in the game.

To me, the action mechanic is broadly similar to what you get in many RPGs. Most RPGs tend to slice things up so a turn is how long it takes a character to do about two "things" - two moves, a move and an attack, that kind of thing. It means characters can't do too much before anyone can respond. And Inquisitor's action mechanic does much the same - an average Speed 4 character will do about two actions per turn.

However, the problem with a completely predictable two actions per turn mechanic is that it means that a player knows a character can make it across the street before the sniper gets to shoot again, or he knows he definitely can't draw his pistol and shoot the two men in front of him before they react. That leads players and characters to act unlike people would in real life. The randomness Inquisitor adds in its action mechanic means that players can't make those unrealistic predictions about how much their characters can do with their turns. Sometimes they will be punished for making assumptions, sometimes they will be rewarded for taking risks. To me, that's far more interesting.

I also assume that part of the reason this choice was made was because of the Player-vs-Player (or PvP) nature of the game. Unlike the Player-vs-Environment (or PvE for short) of a traditional roleplaying game, where a team of players takes on a GM antagonist, the system is not about "beating the game"

That same PvP approach presumably drove the injury mechanics. In a PvE RPG, you want the players to be able to weather a few hits in a fight and don't want to be doing a load of bookkeeping for each individual goblin - hence, a basic hit point mechanic is generally the go-to choice (with few, if any, penalties before the character runs out of HP and passes out).

In PvP play though, the players want to feel like their hits are doing something. In something like Warhammer 40,000, this feedback comes from killing off squad members, reducing the enemy's fighting capacity, even if the unit as a whole is still active. But with players generally having four or fewer characters in an Inquisitor game, eliminating characters wholesale is clearly not fun or fair for the opposing player.

For me, the level of detail in the injury mechanics - allowing characters to be penalised but not out - seems to be key to making Inquisitor viable as a game, and (presumably) deliberate.

Sorry about phrasing that as a wall of my assumptions about what you were thinking, but I spent ages trying to phrase it as a question and just had to give up.
I'd be interested to hear if that reasoning is broadly correct and (if you can remember) what process lead you to making those choices - were they just obvious choices, or did these mechanics only show up through playtesting and refinement?

~~~~~

This is possibly one you can't answer for tactful reasons, but was there any area in which you felt your creative control of the game was overridden? Aspects that someone else (be it another member of the studio, a GW executive, etc) insisted were included?

~~~~~

What are your thoughts on how the game's grown out of what was originally envisioned, especially after the decline of Fanatic and the Specialist Games? (Although that's not a question I thought of, that's something the TheNephew suggested).
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Lord Borak on May 06, 2017, 09:19:17 AM
I had seen you join but figured it must just be some internet random. How wrong was I? Or are you an impostor?........ I'm not sure. Can we trust you? ((TRUST NO ONE!)).

The one burning question that is my mind. After all these years after GW canning Inquisitor and this place dying down to just the die-hards we have left here. Why make a return now? Is something going on? Or have you just opened your Inquisitor models case and become reminiscent?

Lastly........ I don't suppose you have some spare models lying around? I need to complete my collection!! :D
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: MarcoSkoll on May 06, 2017, 10:32:44 AM
Or are you an impostor?........ I'm not sure. Can we trust you? ((TRUST NO ONE!)).
It's either Gav Thorpe or a very well researched Callidus Assassin; We had a fairly in-depth talk about Inquisitor at Salute, where he mentioned he'd be coming on at some point.

Quote
Or have you just opened your Inquisitor models case and become reminiscent?
That'd be an interesting question - How often do you still play?
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: mcjomar on May 07, 2017, 08:53:40 AM
Wow, this is pretty cool and impressive.
Massive thanks for your work on Inquisitor in the first place, and for taking the time to join these boards  :).

I think some of the questions I might have had have already been covered (though I would also posit Cortez's question in regards if you were involved in a hypothetical new edition also).

I would also end up wrapping in the details from Marco's question in regards a more basic "Is there anything from modern RPG/wargaming sensibilities that you would bring in to add to/replace existing Inquisitor mechanics, and if so what, and why?".  Possibly by extending it with "if you were to alter the game, would you try to swing the needle more towards the RPG end of the spectrum, to ensure it remains different from things like Kill Team 4th edition, Necromunda/SW:A, etc?".

And slightly separately, related to the ready reckoner, in a hypothetical new edition, would you try to add in a better/different balancing system rather than the inherent "gentleman's agreement" that has been built up in this and probably other Inquisitor communities regarding relative warband sizes/skill levels/balance etc?

I will note that Marco's comments regarding the injury mechanic added to my mentality that it is in some way related to the Battletech hit charts (albeit with battletech adding in left torso and right torso, but not abdomen and groin)
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: TheNephew on May 07, 2017, 06:05:26 PM
To expand on the question Marco asked for me, it seemed like the very initial intention was for ][ to be a semi-pick-up game, where you might build you characters with just a handful of linked scenarios in mind, rather than the ten-year exploits of Black Leaf the D&D thief going from first to fiftieth level.

The White Dwarf issues in which you were running the short campaign (among the few physical copies I still own, of the hundreds I accumulated over the years) was a solid blueprint for a simple-yet-characterful advancement system that fitted well with the apparent philosophy of the game.

Was that an organic evolution from playing a narrative game, or was it always the intent to have it be character campaign based, but just difficult to codify an 'experience' system for a raw story-driven game?


Completely unrelated - obviously the whole aesthetic of the world was very Blanche-y, but how much was stamped out by you and then illustrated by him, and how much was fleshed out fluff from Blanche's pre-existing art?

One of the strengths of the world building in the back-alleys and data archives and such was, for me at least, that it was very grim and dark and fairly Kafka-esque and all that without ever quite veering off into the self-parody that the current generation of 40k fluff gets a lot of flak for, or into the original Jaq Draco Inquisitor novel trilogy's flirtation with quite-normal-sci-fi.

Another aspect that I liked was the world-building while leaving a lot of negative space - a lot of small-scale scenes and stories and character biographies that can all jigsaw together as examples of what life in the Imperium can be like, without being restrictive in terms of what else is possible.
Is this the same sort of thing you enjoyed about your work with VoodooWorx and Parallax?

As a final note, to call back a couple of months, I'd register my vote for Stumppunk as the Kharadron's own subgenre.
I think they're probably the best miniatures GW have released since the AoS switch, as a former Dwarf player from three or four WHFB editions ago.
Also Grudge Bearer and the Last Chancers were really good.

/ramble
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Shard on May 08, 2017, 01:08:43 PM
This is my first login for years, great blast from the past (and thanks to Ruaridh for the heads up on the AMA)

So, Inquisitor stuff...

- were there ever any plans to do a Warhammer Fantasy equivalent?

- how did you come up with the Inquisitorial factions in the first place?

- how do you feel that Inquisitor has given us at least two 'famous' personalities in 40K? (Eisenhorn, and Artemis - he has a model!)

- how would you update the game if there was an Inquisitor 2nd edition?

Thanks!  :)
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Charax on May 08, 2017, 01:41:08 PM
Honestly, you guys have no respect for tradition, where's the Big Yellow Welcome?

WELCOME TO THE CONCLAVE!

Glad to have you join us, I think Adam Troke's still around somewhere under his old Inquisitor Rex moniker, so maybe we can get some chatter going up in Lenton about our dear old game.

I'm sure we'd all like to know what level of interest there is in bringing Inquisitor back to the fore, but other than that I'd like to know your impressions of this place. We're the only surviving legacy of the old, old official GW Inquisitor forum, which then came on to become the Specialist Games (and then Fanatic) fora, and upon their demise struck out on our own. We have kept a continuous vigil since the game was conceived and we've arranged the GTs and campaign days to maintain interest and grab new players. hell, a couple of us have even sculpted whole new models to provide to the community and keep the flame alive.

We are, in a very tangible sense, your Inquisitor legacy, have we done you proud?
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Drubbels on May 08, 2017, 10:16:36 PM
Honestly, you guys have no respect for tradition, where's the Big Yellow Welcome?

WELCOME TO THE CONCLAVE!


A good start, Charax, but this man is a living legend. Surely we can do better than 24 pt?

WELCOME TO THE CONCLAVE!



On a more serious note - thank you so much for creating Inquisitor! I don't really have anything to ask, I just really wanted to thank you :) This game has brought me hours upon hours of enjoyment, even if I haven't had the chance to play in quite a while now.
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Heroka Vendile on May 09, 2017, 12:10:11 AM
Honestly, you guys have no respect for tradition, where's the Big Yellow Welcome?

WELCOME TO THE CONCLAVE!
I wondered how long it would take for someone to do the traditional welcome.

Anyway, I guess I have two questions:
1) How do you feel about Inquisitor in relation to it's spiritual successor, Dark Heresy? Obviously DH is a purer RPG compared to the "narrative gameplay" of Inquisitor, but what were your thoughts on the way Black Industries/FFG developed the groundwork you laid?

2) Are you aware of any other game that's tried to fill a similar niche as Inquisitor? To my mind an obvious example of combat granularity is Infinity, but how much else have you ever come across (before or since) that's emphasised character and storytelling without being a "full-blooded" RPG?

Cheers
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Van Helser on May 09, 2017, 01:33:31 PM
It's great to have an opportunity to talk about Inquisitor with its creator, so I'll add my thanks for doing this Mr Thorpe.

The plug was pulled on the Specialist Games just as the Thorian Sourcebook was due for release. It was fantastic to get it provided as a free download however. Were there plans in place for sourcebooks for the remaining factions?

Inquisitor Kessel was described as a Chaotician. What methods and means did you envisage members of that faction to use?

As someone who contributed to fan-created versions of the Istvaanian, Amalathian and Xanthite sourcebooks I'd love an inkling to how far wide of the mark I was with my interpretations!

Oh, and one last question has come to mind - when and why did Istvaan become Isstvan? I'll always use the former as the Inquisitor rule book decreed!

Ruaridh
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: TheNephew on May 10, 2017, 08:47:23 PM
Welcome!

Well reminded, returned Dark Overlord.

Gav: I'd also love to hear about some of your own unpublished or never-expanded ideas that never got released in time - as I said earlier in the thread, the tangle of un-pulled threads is one of the most interesting parts of the Imperium back-end fluff.

Obviously there must be a bunch of them, but it'd be interesting to hear about ideas of any scale - the CIA did Istvaan III, or the life of a street rat ab/in-ducted into the Redemptionist cult, or anything in-between.
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Inquisitor_Snarf on May 11, 2017, 11:21:30 PM
I have lurked on here forever but you have brought me into the order of things Gav!

My questions for you:

Was there any long term plans to extend the game system of inquisitor to other aspects of the 40k universe? I can see the system being used to explore tones of stories and interactions (Rouge traders on strange worlds, Deathwatch assaulting genestealers, Chaos occultists jackying for favours of dark deities, Scum of the Hive battling for territory [Necormunda++?]). Was there ever thoughts of bringing in other races in full force as well as opening up the game to settings other than the life and times of Inquisitors?

As for the miniatures themselves, the 58mm scale is beautiful and it is a shame they are no longer around. How do you feel about the 28mm version of the game? Are there any changes or modification 28mm players should consider?

Thanks again for all of you time and creativity!
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: MarcoSkoll on May 18, 2017, 02:21:22 PM
One from where I shared this to a Facebook group:

Dave Gray asks: "what was the game reason behind all the weapons brackets. I'm on about the A,B,C system here".

(I assume he means as compared to a system like Dark Heresy uses, with the fixed Short, Normal, Long and Extreme modifiers at given fractions/multiples of a numeric Range stat).
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Inquisitor_Snarf on May 20, 2017, 03:12:07 PM
CONSPIRACY THEORY TIME!

The following was announced:
https://www.warhammer-community.com/2017/05/19/try-something-different-licensed-products-at-warhammer-fest/

On the page the following point was made:
"Discover the future of Games Workshop related table-top roleplay games."

Now now, Warhammer RPGs? The last generation of such games where based on a certain rule set we all know. A Rule set whos creator is asking for questions so he can get a FAQ put together...

Are we seeing the fist steps towards improving upon Inquisitor for a new RPG/Narrative TTWG hybridizing game from GW?

IM ON TO YOU GAV THORPE! YOU BEAUTIFUL MAN!

(slips back into shadows)
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: mcjomar on May 20, 2017, 04:31:58 PM
I really hope this is true because it would be a wonderful wonderful thing. And makes me wish I could be there on june 3rd as well.
But it'll probably end up at 28mm anyway if it happens, much like some of the others that have been created/brought back across the last year or so.
Especially given the things we've seen in blanchitsu from inquisimunda.
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: TallulahBelle on May 22, 2017, 08:08:38 PM
Um hi and as everyone else has said welcome to the conclave.


Um first of all id like to thank you for your work on INQ, because it honestly saved my interest in the hobby, I'd burnt out on the competitive scene and was sick of having my fluff lists and fun concept armies derided at my local store/club as 'crap' or 'worthless' and i got into INQ thanks to a friend. I didn't ever buy many models before the demise of SG and the ordering system because of being a poor 16yr old trying to assemble a forge world Tank based guard army but bought one or two bits and enjoyed the game in 28mm. It's kept me in touch with the hobby because.... I haven't found anything else like it the game style, the background its just kept sucking me in especially given how this community is so supportive of writing new rules and wargear to get a character to feel right and reflect your image of him/her/it.

Secondly id like to thank you for some of your work as fiction writer. The only time  time i met you in person was at a games day where you were part of the Waiting or black library seminar/q&a with a new author and an old hand and for a university student studying English literature language and linguistics the conversation we had afterwards about modern language in the 40k universe and the conventions of the universe's fiction especially the use of swearing in the 40k books was fascinating and led me down a bolthole which inspired a research project in my second year preparing me for my dissertation and ultimately along with one of your books  the direction i wanted to take for my masters thesis. The comment about forming new insults from existing words and how insults are formed sparked allot of interesting study especially the idea that a newly created word could in some cases be more offensive than a traditional obscenimty/slur because of its combining words to birth a new one. Fran and Frick or gak being fine though obviously from their sound and stricture meant to be offensive but Funt, another word that's established as a scifi swear is too offensive to be used. Do you think now that things have changed I mean in BL books i have read from the past 3 or so years iv seen modern obscenities used as well as the traditional low gothic canon of terms of abuse.

Thirdly id like to thank you as a writer/academic and reader for a book you wrote which honestly was the HAREST book i have ever read, not because of its subject matter being uncomfortable or disturbing, nor because it was a bad book in my opinion but because of how it was written. Some books are hard to read because of dislikeable characters sich as the catcher in the rye or because they are more about the writer making a point than the tory such as Ulysses but your 'path of the Eldar' book really stretched me as a reader and literature student and is a book I recommended and discussed in lectures on science fiction and fantasy books as well as in creative writing seminars' and modern literature classes because of why it was such a challenge. For me it perfectly captured the fact that the Eldar are completely utterly Alien, there was just this sense or intrinsic 'wrongness' to the characters, I didn't feel like i could identify with the main character, even their emotional responses to events didn't feel like i understood how they thought or felt. I felt like an outsider looking in or as if I was completely alone yet surrounded by people who i could never understand even though i spoke and comprehended the language they were using, I couldn't draw from their cultural pool of common knowledge, I didn't have any of the shared experiences they all drew from and even though I could pick up background books and find a terms meaning or dechiper a reference, even though i could know what it was they had said or referenced i didn't, couldn't and wouldn't know what it meant. Like when speaking Spanish I know how to swear at someone and that the word is used colloquially as we would use dam i couldn't understand why the literal meaning is part of the catholic sacrament because i don't have an intrinsic understanding of the cultural mores. Just it all felt slightly uncomfortable and like I was trespassing. It was an AMAZING book and i recommended it So often as THE way that 'Aliens' should feel. The Eldar weren't humans with pointy ears and arrogance they were the 'Other' and beautiful, uentrancing, gripping and tainted us probably the best way to describe it.



Right....thats enough squeezing and rambling now rather than embarrassing myself and fluffing up your ego Tim for my question.


Ok, in the base game, being a psyker was incredibly dangerous for a character, their casting telepathy to tell a friendly character they have arrived on the table or casting machine empathy on a stubborn locked door could cause their head to burst like a grape being stomped on and did so with fairly depressing regularity. The later limits sugeated/added that limited the number of characters attempting to nullify the power and later limiting it further so that a psyker could only attempt to nulify a po.wer he is directly affected by was something that whilst i understood for gameplay reasons as its not much fun when it happens every time someone tries to cast leading to either an arms race of whose psyker is more powerful or psykers not being used at all both if which are a shame as psychic powers to me are something really integral to the setting. The light that binds the imperium and prevents it being just small groups o squabbling galaxies and abandoned systems being powered by the consumption of souls of those with the ability and the twisted hypocrisy that everyone tears and distrusts those that hold the system together is one of the things that made me question everything and begin to see the shades of gray that make inquisitor so gripping.

The problem i have had with the rules for nullification is that i can't build a character that i hae seen both on the battlefield in 40k and in the fiction. The noble psyker who is proud to play a role and protect those he is fighting alongside, intervening and dispelling powers affecting those around him, having lives by breaking the choking grip on a companions throat, the psyker who is being paid and paid well to act as a clandestine bodyguard for a planetary governer/senior official as seen in the Ravenor Books where we see epic clashes when Gideon is caught attempting to scan someone and on the other side of that coin we can't see the abused and neaten psyker kpt on the leash of a powerful gang leader/smuggler, ruthless rogue trader who sees the psyker in their employ/possession as just another badge of office/tool or weapon like their seal or carapace or bolt pistol, there to do the same job but treated with cruelty, fear or suspicion.

Now with hindsight and your experiences since writing both the rules then and the later errata/f.a.q's and suggestions for game balance do you have any ideas for how that sort of mechanic/character/psychic skill could be done?


Thanks again for your time and even visiting us here, I hope you stick around and wll thanks for the game that's had such an impact on my life and has helped me find some amazing friends and has given me so.e fantastic memories over the past 13 years.

Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Gav Thorpe on May 24, 2017, 11:57:47 AM
There are some cracking questions there!  I'm on countdown to deadline for my latest novel, but I promise I'll start answering your questions once that's out of the way.  But I'll answer the one you all really want to know now.

As far as I'm aware, there are no plans to bring back Inquisitor.  If there are, I certainly don't have any special insight into it.  Sorry all!  My motivation for coming on the forum was that I spotted someone posting that they wished they could ask me some questions, and I guess I'm getting misty-eyed for some of the older games.

Cheers,

Gav
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: MarcoSkoll on May 24, 2017, 12:35:42 PM
That's generally what I'd expect.

When it comes to relaunching Specialist Games, I'd expect Inquisitor to be way down the list - it isn't exactly likely to present a big seller for Games Workshop; it's something of an acquired taste and can be approached with very few models, and would likely have to be done at 28mm (reducing the game's unique selling points, although whether for better or worse is arguable).
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: TallulahBelle on May 28, 2017, 03:01:37 PM
Something I would like to ask that's probably more of a forum based question than an Inq question, coming on here and seeing things like the Dark Magenta stuff or MarcoSkoll's expanded armoury the R.i.P.P.A alternate psychic powers right down to little stuff like my own 'Tumbler' and 'Wingdancer' skills. As a creator/rules writer how do you feel when you see the new skills or adaptations of existing skills, the new creations that we players have added to the game that have taken what you gave us and run with it.

Iv always been somewhat nervous about the idea that you would see a rule I have written or someone like Mr Blamche would see my poor attempt to create something based on a piece of his artwork.  So id be interested to know if it makes you happy to see that your game has inspired people, upset that parts of your game have been reworked or changed and altered, surprised that its had such an impact? I sort of can imagine it to  be kind of like i felt as an academic when i first heard of my thesis being used as a reference in a students work.

Also id like to apologize for the appalling spelling in my previous question, the combination of a finicky touchpad and palsy in the hands is not great.
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Inquisitor_Snarf on September 05, 2017, 05:25:15 PM
Any news from Gav?

Last Active: July 04, 2017, 04:09:58 PM

oh....
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: MarcoSkoll on September 05, 2017, 06:07:29 PM
Yes, actually!

I spoke to him about it on Saturday - he's been busy (which is fair enough, answering questions about wargames he worked on more than a decade ago doesn't pay the bills), but he's going to try and address it at a question or two a week from here on.
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Inquisitor_Snarf on September 09, 2017, 04:41:31 PM
Yes, actually!

I spoke to him about it on Saturday - he's been busy (which is fair enough, answering questions about wargames he worked on more than a decade ago doesn't pay the bills), but he's going to try and address it at a question or two a week from here on.


Nice.gif

Thanks for the update!
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Gav Thorpe on October 11, 2017, 03:38:14 PM
Hi Everyone

First off apologies for not getting to these questions sooner - combination of building work at chez Thorpe, deadlines, and bad planning on my part.  I'll post the first answers now and get to the remaining ones as soon as I can.

Cheers,

Gav
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Gav Thorpe on October 11, 2017, 03:40:06 PM
Well this is surprising - welcome to the 'Clave, and thanks for creating Inquisitor!

I don't expect you'll be able to answer this with 100% transparency (unless of course the answer is simply 'no') but can you give us any insight as to whether GW plan to ressurect Inquisitor at some point like they did WQ and Necromunda (in Shadow War)?

I don't think any of us here consider it more than a pipe dream at this point, and I think we all suspect that if they did it would probably be 28mm rather than 54mm, but since we have the designer himself here I thought why not hazard the question? :D

Also, do we have any chance of seeing your own warbands on here at some stage? Because that would be fun :).

I would be really surprised by a revisit of Inquisitor, particularly in 54mm scale. For a start, it had / has plenty of fans but simply can't match the commercial success of the likes of Blood Bowl, Mordheim and Necromunda. Forge World would obviously focus on them before Inquisitor.

Secondly, it's a hard game to support, miniatures-wise. Each 54mm sculpt is quite an intensive project, on a par with a HH-era Primarch and then some. There was always a tension between the desire to create bespoke characters that oozed flavour, and filling out established and new 40K 'tropes', and providing cool bitz for players to convent and model themselves.

Add to that the emergence of the 40K roleplaying game and a lot of the appeal of Inquisitor is duplicated there.

As for the 28mm Inquisimunda-style approach, there's always the possibility. The difficulty with a 40k-scaled game is pushing the creative side of things (Like JB does with his Pilgrymme work, for example) when it is so easy just to port over a Tyranid Warrior or Tau battlesuit... The bonus of access to that amazing range of models is weighed against the necessity for discipline ont he part of players and gamesmasters.

On the other hand, I would love to see a supplement for Games-mastered 40K rules for 8th edition. Inquisitor was always meant to nod back to Rogue Trader in that respect, and that would be a fitting legacy for the contemporary gamer.

On the other hand, if I was able to create Inquisitor these days with access to GW's modern plastics technology... Ooh boy! That would rock!

My warband remained at GW when I left, a decision I now regret along with several other bits and pieces I decided to leave behind. That said, most of what I'd done appeared in White Dwarf at the time, so there wouldn't be a whole lot more to show.

Cheers,

Gav
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Gav Thorpe on October 11, 2017, 03:41:59 PM
I'd just like to say thank you for creating my favourite of all the GW games.

If you could turn back the clocks; is there anything about Inquisitor that you would have have done differently?

I don't know if there's much I would have done differently back then - better flame and automatic weapons rules, maybe not bothered with the ready reckoner and had more character creation advice instead. Now, I might take a very different approach to the game design altgother.

One of the choices I made was to pick a deliberately involved percentile system to evoke memories of Rogue Trader, Rolemaster RPG etc. The reality is that it's usually fake detail, and certainly I would go with faster play rules now so that players can concentrate on the storytelling - like a lot of the more modern RPGs we see like Fate Core or Unbound.

Cheers,

Gav
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Gav Thorpe on October 11, 2017, 03:52:38 PM
For those who don't know me
Around here, that seems... unlikely.

~~~~~

This is hard to phrase as a question (and we partially covered this when we talked at Salute) but I'll just put it out there and you might be able to find some way to respond to it.

Two of the rules that detractors of the game describe as "bad" or "unnecessarily complicated" are the randomness of the action mechanic and the level of detail in the injury system. Personally though, I find both to be some of the best mechanics in the game.

To me, the action mechanic is broadly similar to what you get in many RPGs. Most RPGs tend to slice things up so a turn is how long it takes a character to do about two "things" - two moves, a move and an attack, that kind of thing. It means characters can't do too much before anyone can respond. And Inquisitor's action mechanic does much the same - an average Speed 4 character will do about two actions per turn.

However, the problem with a completely predictable two actions per turn mechanic is that it means that a player knows a character can make it across the street before the sniper gets to shoot again, or he knows he definitely can't draw his pistol and shoot the two men in front of him before they react. That leads players and characters to act unlike people would in real life. The randomness Inquisitor adds in its action mechanic means that players can't make those unrealistic predictions about how much their characters can do with their turns. Sometimes they will be punished for making assumptions, sometimes they will be rewarded for taking risks. To me, that's far more interesting.

I also assume that part of the reason this choice was made was because of the Player-vs-Player (or PvP) nature of the game. Unlike the Player-vs-Environment (or PvE for short) of a traditional roleplaying game, where a team of players takes on a GM antagonist, the system is not about "beating the game"

That same PvP approach presumably drove the injury mechanics. In a PvE RPG, you want the players to be able to weather a few hits in a fight and don't want to be doing a load of bookkeeping for each individual goblin - hence, a basic hit point mechanic is generally the go-to choice (with few, if any, penalties before the character runs out of HP and passes out).

In PvP play though, the players want to feel like their hits are doing something. In something like Warhammer 40,000, this feedback comes from killing off squad members, reducing the enemy's fighting capacity, even if the unit as a whole is still active. But with players generally having four or fewer characters in an Inquisitor game, eliminating characters wholesale is clearly not fun or fair for the opposing player.

For me, the level of detail in the injury mechanics - allowing characters to be penalised but not out - seems to be key to making Inquisitor viable as a game, and (presumably) deliberate.

Sorry about phrasing that as a wall of my assumptions about what you were thinking, but I spent ages trying to phrase it as a question and just had to give up.
I'd be interested to hear if that reasoning is broadly correct and (if you can remember) what process lead you to making those choices - were they just obvious choices, or did these mechanics only show up through playtesting and refinement?

I would probably keep the Action mechanic pretty much as it for the reasons you describe. It was also important to declare - narratively - whatt he character was thinking of doing, which moves ther player away from a purely mechanistic headspace and into a more storytelling mode. A change I would make is to make it one Action plus whatever was rolled for, just to make sure characters could do a minimum of two things in a turn which would again encourage more dramatic play- as you point out, the fear of failure can sometimes make players too conservative.

With the injury mechanics, it was important that a) hit locations were used. With 54mm scale models, the opportunities to convert specifically damaged and / or augmented body parts is too good to miss! b) Grades of injury to that body part, again for the storytelling potential as much as the granularity of the damage rules. As with other aspects of the rules, the calculating and tracking of those effects might well be different, but on the whole I think it still works.

~~~~~

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This is possibly one you can't answer for tactful reasons, but was there any area in which you felt your creative control of the game was overridden? Aspects that someone else (be it another member of the studio, a GW executive, etc) insisted were included?

I don't recall anything particularly onerous - usually good suggestions rather than edicts. As a specialist game there was a lot less scrutiny than on, say, a Warhammer 40K Codex. There were certain things dictated by the range design regarding the sample characters, but I was part of those discussions all the way through. It would have been a shame not to make a 54mm space marine for painters and modelers, and commercially self-harming, and we now have the Deathwatch thanks to that - but on the whole the inclusion of Artemis probably caused the most problems rules-wise and I think we could have been braver and left him out.

~~~~~

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What are your thoughts on how the game's grown out of what was originally envisioned, especially after the decline of Fanatic and the Specialist Games? (Although that's not a question I thought of, that's something the TheNephew suggested).

It's incredible, and probably my proudest legacy of my time with Games Workshop. Not only the strength of narrative gaming, but the background and imagery we created has continued to this day.

Cheers,

Gav
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Gav Thorpe on October 11, 2017, 03:54:55 PM
I had seen you join but figured it must just be some internet random. How wrong was I? Or are you an impostor?........ I'm not sure. Can we trust you? ((TRUST NO ONE!)).

Everything you have been told is a Lie. (Including this)

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The one burning question that is my mind. After all these years after GW canning Inquisitor and this place dying down to just the die-hards we have left here. Why make a return now? Is something going on? Or have you just opened your Inquisitor models case and become reminiscent?

There's nothing exciting or sinister going on, I'm afraid. I just thought I'd have a nose around. Reading everyone's enthusiasm has rekindled my appreciation of what a great project I was able to work on, and how creative the games community can be.

I think there's a near-zero chance we'll see Inquisitor from Specialist Games, and certainly not any time soon. Seeing the responses here has made me wonder if there is a market for a GM-led narrative miniatures game though, perhaps one that was universal so could be played with any miniatures...

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Lastly........ I don't suppose you have some spare models lying around? I need to complete my collection!! :D


Sorry, no, I don't even have my old warband.

Cheers,

Gav
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Gav Thorpe on October 11, 2017, 03:57:24 PM
Or are you an impostor?........ I'm not sure. Can we trust you? ((TRUST NO ONE!)).
It's either Gav Thorpe or a very well researched Callidus Assassin; We had a fairly in-depth talk about Inquisitor at Salute, where he mentioned he'd be coming on at some point.

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Or have you just opened your Inquisitor models case and become reminiscent?
That'd be an interesting question - How often do you still play?

I've not played much GW since I left until recently, and no Inquisitor for many years. As mentioned in other answers, I don't even have my models any more. On the other hand, it has got me thinking...

Cheers,

Gav
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Gav Thorpe on October 11, 2017, 03:59:58 PM
Wow, this is pretty cool and impressive.
Massive thanks for your work on Inquisitor in the first place, and for taking the time to join these boards  :).

I think some of the questions I might have had have already been covered (though I would also posit Cortez's question in regards if you were involved in a hypothetical new edition also).

I would also end up wrapping in the details from Marco's question in regards a more basic "Is there anything from modern RPG/wargaming sensibilities that you would bring in to add to/replace existing Inquisitor mechanics, and if so what, and why?".  Possibly by extending it with "if you were to alter the game, would you try to swing the needle more towards the RPG end of the spectrum, to ensure it remains different from things like Kill Team 4th edition, Necromunda/SW:A, etc?".

And slightly separately, related to the ready reckoner, in a hypothetical new edition, would you try to add in a better/different balancing system rather than the inherent "gentleman's agreement" that has been built up in this and probably other Inquisitor communities regarding relative warband sizes/skill levels/balance etc?

I will note that Marco's comments regarding the injury mechanic added to my mentality that it is in some way related to the Battletech hit charts (albeit with battletech adding in left torso and right torso, but not abdomen and groin)

To answer the last bit first, it would be an emphatic 'NO'! As soon as anything other than the social contract and GM discretion method is used, the door would be open for abuse. Instead of a ready reckoner I would include more sample characters, perhaps like templates I suppose, that people could start with and then add character for their individual models.

Gameswise, I really would have to just start playing and writing to work out what i would do (and what players would want to do). Being a GM'd game (or at the least having a player-led scenario) gives it a different feel to other skirmish games already. I'd be wary of moving too far towards RPGs and away from the miniatures - they are still at the heart of the Inquisitor experience.

Cheers,

Gav
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: MarcoSkoll on October 11, 2017, 09:48:12 PM
A change I would make is to make it one Action plus whatever was rolled for, just to make sure characters could do a minimum of two things in a turn which would again encourage more dramatic play- as you point out, the fear of failure can sometimes make players too conservative.
Interestingly, one of the changes I've made in my Revised Edition fan project is changing actions to 3+ rolls.

That's partly because I'm trialling rules that let characters hold back actions to use reactively (which I like as a mechanic - it gives a sense of the character moving more warily and cautiously) and I didn't want that to leave characters doing nothing, but it also means that characters who do throw caution to the wind can be pretty sure of getting a fair few actions.

(I also tried increasing Speed values by 1, but I'm generally happier with how 3+ action rolls have playtested. It still feels unpredictable, but less "random").
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Inquisitor_Snarf on October 22, 2017, 11:58:00 PM
Seeing the responses here has made me wonder if there is a market for a GM-led narrative miniatures game though, perhaps one that was universal so could be played with any miniatures...

NOW THIS is an interesting idea. How much of the Inquisitor rules could one lift and integrate into a new system legally? My understanding is that in general, game systems are not copy-writable only unit stats.

I have designed some RPG systems over the last few years and a Narrative Miniatures Wargame sounds like a great challenge for an upcoming project.

[EDIT]
Note: What I mean is that game MECHANICS are not copy writable, came CONTENT is. For example the weapon rage tables in Inquisitor. The idea of weapons having different range-to-accuracy tables is allowed to be emulated, BUT NOT the same stats, using ABCs, and what not.
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Lord Borak on October 26, 2017, 11:43:22 AM
Sadly, I don't see GW every taking up a 54mm range again. It just wouldn't make sense to invest time and money re-developing and releasing a whole range of models that aren't compatible with any of it's current model ranges. ((Saying that, they're re-releasing EPIC apparently)) :/ Still, It gets the conversion juices flowing and there is life yet in the old models yet. :)

So, what Warband are you planning next then?
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Inquisitor_Snarf on January 25, 2018, 03:53:59 AM
Just a Friendly BUMP!

Any news from Gav comming back to us?
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: Heroka Vendile on May 23, 2018, 09:38:11 PM
In case you reappear to answer more of these questions, thanks a lot Gav for hanging out with us for a while at the LGT at the weekend while we mucked around with your creation – and even enlisted you to adjudicate an unexpected rules query regarding sneak attacks.
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: SwordlordRoy on November 10, 2018, 04:02:28 AM
Looks like I'm a few months late on this, but might as well ask should Saint Thorpe return again.

If you could go back to guide yourself on the accessibility of Inquisitor, do you think you would have put in a "quick and dirty" plot generator like Rogue Trader had for rookie GMs?

Table 1: Outline/Objective (perhaps roll for each player) -> Table 2:Terrain -> Table 3: Complication(s)?

Anyway, thank you very much for not only Inquisitor, but for the articles, books, other games, etc. that we enjoy.
Title: Re: Gav Thorpe Here - Ask Me Anything!
Post by: MarcoSkoll on November 10, 2018, 03:34:51 PM
If you could go back to guide yourself on the accessibility of Inquisitor, do you think you would have put in a "quick and dirty" plot generator like Rogue Trader had for rookie GMs?
It's not in the core book, no - but such a thing was written for Fanatic magazine:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jmirwrzgejw/scenario+%28Generator%29.pdf