Author Topic: Power Weapons (Another newbie asks for help. Same newbie as last time. Sorry.)  (Read 4147 times)

Offline Aleosvance

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Sorry to ask for help again, but what are people's thoughts on power weapons? Are they in the realm of bolters or are they fairly fair game?

Thanks

Aleosvance (Soon to be Inquisitor Bastian Augustus Magnus Reiker)

Offline Shannow

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Power weapons are fine given a suitable and justifiable combination of skills, stats and equipment. For example a character with good ws around 60-70 with an antique powersword passed down the generations, and he has reasonable bs 50-60 and maybe furious assault as a skill would be perfectly fine.

On the other hand, a character with ws 80-90 furious strike, bs 70-80 and deadeye shot as well is not in the spirit of the game.

Hope that helps

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Offline MarcoSkoll

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It's a bit tough to say. They shouldn't be taken lightly.

To cut straight to a summary, because they can't be devastating halfway across the board, I'm usually less concerned about using them than I would be giving a bolt weapon to a character.
But it's still worth considering giving them disadvantages to even them out a little, because they can make mle as one sided as a bolter can a firefight. I usually start by adding a hefty bonus to any test to spot a character wielding a power weapon - an arcing disruption field isn't subtle!

In fluff terms, they are more justifiable for an Inquisitor to carry. Neither are they as inconvenient to carry - but a sheathed power sword isn't going to be as obvious as a bolter, and is thus less likely to blow its owner's cover by marking them out as a powerful and wealthy individual.
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Offline Macabre

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Ask yourself one question; "why are you taking a power sword rather than a normal sword?"

If your answer is; "because a power sword is more powerful and does more damage than a normal sword" then you aren't playing by the spirit of the game.

Ultimately there are far more interesting close combat weapons out there to choose from (not just the daemon/force/power/chain). Helst (another veteran Conclave member) designed a ruleset for creating your own close combat weapons that should still be floating around out on the net. Be unique, and don't choose the obvious for obvious reasons.
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Offline Macabre

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To help you out, here it is;

http://www.freewebs.com/closecombatweapons/index.htm

(But I forgot to credit Charax in its creation too)
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Offline Molotov

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Well, yesterday I played an INQ28 game at Warhammer World where Inquisitor Adorno attacked a model from behind, managed to get a critical hit and did 6D10 damage, hacking her arm off and sending her into immediate system shock. So yes, they can be very powerful. (That said, he spent a while hiding and managed to charge her from behind so she couldn't react.) His WS is 64, and he has no combat skills.

One thing to consider is that if you're playing INQ28, many swords that look like power swords can be downgraded by making them "shock swords", something I think would be relatively common. Simply give it the sword profile and the "shock" special rule from the shock maul. It's a lot less deadly, but still useful in combat.

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Offline Aleosvance

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Thank you all, that's helped :)

Offline SpanielBear

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Another useful rule of thumb is to think about not just the character, but where he fits in the make up of the warband as a whole. After all, one could justify a power sword being in the possesion of an ex-Guard colonel, a well equipped member of the ordo assassinorum, a commisar who saved a space marine's life, etc etc. All reasonable justifications, but when they all are members of the same warband...
Usually, a warband that contains just one weapon that has the potential to do 20+ damage in a normal attack can be balanced in gameplay terms. More than that, and you have to start thinking in terms of penalties for the characters that carry the death dealing weapons.
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Offline Ulgavitch

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Just my 2 cents...

Power weapons are rare and extremely powerful. I've always imagined they are held back for battlefield use as I think their principal role of cleaving open tanks would much more useful than in an Inquisitor retinue. They would be sought after for this role, even by the agents of Space Marines chapters who could not construct the weapons themselves.

Therefore, most of the weapons would be ancient relics of conflict, or have a great long history behind them. One way to do this is to make the player justify and tell the story of the weapon, which will have easily out-lived it's current owner.

You can also build downsides to power weapons, much like Dave said:

Quote
But it's still worth considering giving them disadvantages to even them out a little, because they can make mle as one sided as a bolter can a firefight. I usually start by adding a hefty bonus to any test to spot a character wielding a power weapon - an arcing disruption field isn't subtle!

I'd personally make them a little unreliable, especially if they are newly built. The older they are, the better the build quality. The technology for an localised disruption bubble is so complex that perhaps it just wouldn't work sometimes. If you're not a tech priest, you'd just think the machine spirit has doubted you this time.

That way, the character still has a sword, but just not the power field that surrounds it some of the time. Maybe that's why it wasn't designated for military usage.

Equally, everyone would want the power-sword for themselves, making the character an immediate target. Anyone who defeated this character would probable take the sword as a prize, making it unlikely he would hang onto it for very long!

Offline Inquisitor Octavian Lars

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Quote
even by the agents of Space Marines chapters who could not construct the weapons themselves.
In Warriors of Ultramar, it is hinted that Cptn Ventris forged his own power sword (the master of the forge was not happy)
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Offline Aleosvance

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Thanks again, especially for the ideas of other disadvantages :)

Offline biggreengribbly

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Quote
even by the agents of Space Marines chapters who could not construct the weapons themselves.
In Warriors of Ultramar, it is hinted that Cptn Ventris forged his own power sword (the master of the forge was not happy)

I thought his sword was a hand-me-down from the previous Captain before he suicide-bombed the bridge to stop the Night Lords advance in like... the first short story Ventris ever appeared in  ???

Offline Jarrik32

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Personally I have always been hesitant to use stuff like power swords, with a multitude of reasons why ranging from power, to practicality as well as the all important "why would he use this?".

My advice with any form of high-powered weaponry is to treat them as the ancient and treasured relics they are (in-universe). I.e. leave them in the Armoury until you really need them, the reason being is that they usually throw the game balance way out of wack as they are so powerful (however cinematic, Inquisitor is still a game). However when the inevitable happens and some uber-powerful foe appears in your campaign, don't be afraid to whip out the death rays (as long as it is appropriate for the characters) and have fun lopping off limbs as inevitably happens with power weapons.

e.g. My imperial guard veteran used to stomp round in full carapace armour carrying a boltgun (and was a pretty good shot), naturally this wasn't really appropriate for the character, so the gun was dropped (in-universe: He didn't like it because the recoil kept throwing off his aim and it felt like his forearms shattered every time he pulled the trigger) for a hell-gun. However if facing large opponents he'll trade up to the boltgun again in an instant.

Same with power-swords, incredibly useful but far too rare to risk losing unless the stakes are really high.

p.s. As others have mentioned this is a cinematic game, if you can't explain why he/she/it has a mega-death-ray/sword-of-slaying/etc. then they shouldn't really be carrying one.
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Offline SpanielBear

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hmm. Strikes me there is another point to consider here- is the game in question competative or narrative? Now if the game is competative, even in terms of the cinematic style of Inquisitor, then power weapons, bolters, meltas, flamers etc. need a certain amount of depowering and monitoring- balance is a key concern. If one player is winning through hardware alone, then that does need addressing.
On the flipside, I can't help but think about a lot of the games run by myself, Aurelius 12, or others of our admittedly small circle. In these cases a roleplaying aspect tends to be emphasised, with the players working towards joint goals against challenging, GM inspired odds. In which case, the occassional power sword or incendiary round becomes less of an issue, as the players involved are focussing on an overarcing narrative in which they want their characters to survive- and whether it is just the sadism of the GM's involved or exceptional scenario design on their part, I personally at least have always felt as though the investigation in question was hard fought, exciting, and barely survived- regardless of the tech involved.
Or maybe this is just the rum talking  :).
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Offline RobSkib

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Speaking as someone who has played the game both competitively and narratively (if that's not a word, it is now), as well as someone who has GM'd and taught Inquisitor for over 5 years, to young and old, it's safe to say that when a new group picks up Inquisitor, balance is a massive issue.

This is not so much a problem with new members coming into older gaming circles, as beardier INQ vets can impress on the younglings to keep the Big Toys to a minimum, but in a new group of gamers all experiencing the game for the first time, balancing warbands is a much bigger component to the game than the storyline is. This is especially true for those who have just come from 40k, as being given the tools to design any character you can possible imagine can be very daunting.

I'd like to share a couple of general 'balance' tips for designing warbands. These are by no means hard and fast, and are in fact largely ignored by my gaming group these days, but when we started out, we had power armoured monstrosities, dual-boltpistol-weilding gunfighters, everybody had true grit, power halberds left, right and centre. Now we know better and create characters that are interesting to fight with, but initially it was all about the boomsticks.

A couple rules of thumb to share with your gaming group if you feel the need to impose restrictions on weapons, at least until everyone gets into the spirit of the rules, rather than the letter;

- We limited the number of bolt and power weapons to one per warband. These can both be on the same person if the player chose, but then the character could not have a mix of both ranged and melee special abilities.

- One True Grit character, and one Heroic character per warband. If you're feeling adventurous, make sure whoever is True Grit cannot be Heroic too, otherwise people default to giving both to their Inquisitor. It will make your players think twice - is my Inquisitor really that hard, or is he more likely to pull off some badass stunts?

- Encumbrance. There are some rules somewhere, but the rules we use are Double Strength, plus 50, is your Encumbrance limit. Armour costs 10 'encumbrance' per point of armour, reloads weigh 1/10th of the weapon's weight, and any misc items weigh 5. Melee weapons weigh the maximum damage they can cause, so a d10 sword would weigh 10, whereas a 3D10 power sword would weigh 30. Obviously you can debate these weights to your heart's content, but we also found this acted as a primitive (and somewhat more useful) Ready Reckoner, and Encumbrance doesn't just represent weight, but also bulkiness, ease of transport, how easy the item is to maintain etc. Sure a regular halberd is 10 encumbrance and a power halberd is 40, and they'd weigh roughly the same, but a power halberd is going to require all manner of tools, fuels and skills to keep it in good working order, and the 'upkeep' of the weapon is 4 times that of the mundane version to compensate.

Just a couple ideas for you to play with in your group, as I know from experience that starting out in a fresh gaming group can be very difficult - there's always one guy who brings a character packing the dual bolt pistols, ambidextrous, gunfighter and a wrist-mounted stormbolter!

 Feel free to use/abuse/discard as you please, that's what Inquisitor is all about :) Hopefully you can take some of these away to your own gaming group to keep the power gaming down as much as possible, at least until everyone gets into the spirit of the game, and realises its just as fun when your own guys do as badly as the other team!
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