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IRE - Inquisitor Revised Edition project

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Link to latest version (V0.3.1 - Released 2nd August 2018):

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Colour coded:

- Red: changed from last IRE release (in this case, since V0.3).
- Green: Experimental/WIP
- Orange: Both the above
- Black: None of the above, but IRE differs from official LRB
- Grey: Essentially the same as LRB.

Latest Crib Sheet (V1 for IRE V0.3.1 - Released 2nd August 2018):

Original post:

If you're reading this, I know a lot of you aren't so much "rules people" - and I am somewhat aware that I have a bit of a habit of being rather forceful in my opinions of playing the game.

However, this project really does need input and feedback from the full spectrum of the Inquisitor community and is almost moot if it isn't a collective effort. So, if you're willing, I would very much appreciate it if you'd chip in with your comments and criticism. I (and others) may have counter-comments and critique, but discussion is what we need!

And with that said, what is this project?

I'm guessing there's one thing most of you probably agree with me on: Inquisitor, as a game, has problems. 12 years, hundreds of players, thousands of characters and some very large number of games have turned up a great many flaws.

Although the rumours of a new Inquisition themed game box are intriguing, the chance that the rules within will prove to be the second edition that Inquisitor needs are just about diddly squat. Any such project is going to have to come from the community... and while PrecinctOmega previously worked on an Inquisitor 2 ruleset, that project seems to be on hiatus (or worse) and didn't necessarily represent a consensus.

So, I think it's well worth trying to start such a project again.

This first post is mostly more of that bad habit of mine - a post that's mostly just a brainstorm; some of it is from the foetid depths of my mind, although other parts may well have been stolen from other places like Dark Heresy or Infinity first.
You'll likely notice that I'm not really looking to cut detail from the game - I feel it's part of what makes Inquisitor "Inquisitor", so I'd prefer to try streamlining things before we try simplifying them, although it is always an ultimate option.

So, without further ado, Marco-brand waffle:

General dice rolling:
This is going somewhat against previous convention, but it's a pretty damn clever idea from Infinity that makes it very fast and easy to include opposed rolling within the rules.

How much a roll passes by is the number on the dice (rather than how much below the target number has been rolled); even for the best mental mathematicians, it's far faster to see that a roll of 15 has passed by 15 than to have to subtract from the target number of 57 to get a pass of 42.

The distribution is essentially the same, just flipped - the absence of a 0 result (as 00 on a d100 is typically 100) to give a "just passed" result does mean that passes are increased by a single point, but the convenience strongly outweighs this, I feel.


Actions (and Reactions):
I'd like to see a greater degree of reactive play, giving characters more options to act out of sequence - this isn't entirely out of place, as it already occurs in the game with Overwatch and the IGT version of Lightning Reflexes.

It always seems funny that characters can run across open ground in front of armed mercenaries who, because they haven't overwatched, just ignore it.

My core idea here would be to allow characters to reserve actions to use as reactions.

The exact mechanics aren't completely set yet, but I'm imagining three ways in which characters might reserve reactions:
- Sacrificing action dice - each die sacrificed saves up a reaction.
- Declaring a "Wary" action - if the action succeeds, it saves up a reaction. (This might immediately seem less useful than the above, only having a chance of working, but it would be useful if declared later in the turn - not risking the chance of succeeding on important actions, or to use up that last action that you can't think what to do with).
- A "Ready" state where characters can take certain reactions without needing to reserve reactions, but any other action/reaction breaks the state. For example, Overwatch might generate a Ready state that gives free shooting reactions vs. characters in a given area.

This may also probably come with increasing speed values by a point (at least, on average).
Partly to stop saving reactions making the game sluggish, but also to tie into my house rule of 3+ actions until the action's about to kick off.
In this way, the start of the game could have the characters moving about faster (using all their action dice as actions), not watching their backs just yet, but later on through the game, they might be more wary and thus slower (saving reactions based on the perceived threat).

Hence, a character running around the side of a building he believes is clear might be faster and less wary, but one running past a building he knows is occupied might be slower about it.

My concern here is that this might be more time consuming, with variable action counts, reactions interrupting turns, etc.
It could work (and could be pretty cool) but I think it definitely needs some tests to suss out the pros and cons.


Risky Actions:
The maths of risky actions is a bit of a problem. As the character's speed increases, the chances of getting more ones than sixes also increases. What's a 16.7% chance on one die, is 25% on two, up to ~36% by Speed 6.

Given high speed characters are also more likely to have enough successful actions to reach the risky one (and thus fail it), this creates a bit of an odd effect that the more agile and alert characters are the clumsy ones.
It's also not possible to control the riskiness of an action. All risky actions are equally risky.

I know PrecinctOmega was also looking to move away from Risky Actions with his INQ2.0, making it a separate D10 roll, with a target number depending on riskiness.
My inclination here is to do much the same - personally, I'd adopt the system used in the Revised Armoury, where the units digit of a die roll is used to determine the risk of an action.


There's not strictly anything wrong with most of movement.

However, I would prefer to move to a system closer to Dark Heresy for determining things like climbing and jumping, replacing Risky actions with Hazardous Strength/Agility rolls.

It's also an area where, if better thought out encumbrance rules were being instated, I'd like them to have some of their effect. For example, partially over-encumbered characters might take penalties to their movement rates, rather than their speed values.


Damage and Injury:
I think this is one of the more problematic areas in the rules.

I feel it's important to have a progressively debilitating sequence of injuries, as a "hit point" system doesn't work well for the player-vs-player play of Inquisitor (victory going to whomever doesn't run out of hit points first) or even its heroic style. Where's the thrill in a character heroically fighting through their injuries if those injuries don't actually make it harder for them?

Dark Heresy's system is an improvement, but it is still ultimately hit points until you reach critical damage. (When playing Dark Heresy, characters/enemies taking a boltgun to the face and not reacting at all because they've still got two wounds left afterwards... it feels wrong).

My best theory is to work from the current solution. It's not bad (I think my re-format helps) - it just needs more clarity and refinement.

On this front, I would genuinely like to keep mechanics like Rending, Trivial and Tearing such as I use in the Revised Armoury. I know they are a little more complicated than just adding or subtracting from the damage roll, but they also
allow for a wider range of variation (and, in many cases, actually speed things up).

None are overwhelmingly complicated effects - but if people are opposed, I'm entirely prepared to just leave them for a  2nd edition version of the Revised Armoury.


Close combat:
The problems I see with close combat:

- It's usually all the same thing. For many characters, the only actions worth declaring are attack (or advance and attack), defend (although that comes in parry or dodge flavours) or run away. Actions like circle* are usually unheard of, so the only movement is normally the dodge or (occasionally) an acrobatic character.
I'd like to encourage more movement. Any sustained fight from a film or TV show will usually involve trekking over a wide area.
* One of my characters does use it as part of a "signature move" - Move Up-close; Circle opponent & prime grenade; unarmed Attack to attach grenade. It fits a character who has experience fighting Traitor Marines in close quarters (and who has probably, background wise, killed the most Astartes of any of my characters).

- Combat is a little too weighted towards having to wear down your opponent's parry/dodge chance first. While a reducing chance of defence is realistic and helps weight things against outnumbered characters, I think it would be better if initial parry chances were lower and the successive penalties were milder.

This could also allow the phasing out of the halving WS, which usually results in several moments of muttering about mental arithmetic in order to work out what parry chance #3 is going to be.

What I have in mind is to make close combat opposed rolling. If a hit roll passes by 19, the parry will have to beat that.* This will naturally make parrying/dodging harder, so we could simplify and reduce the subsequent parry modifier to perhaps a straight -10 or -20, which would be much easier to add up during game play.
*This may require Critical rolls to be rethought a bit (else they'd be the most easily parried), but I'm thinking possibly something similar to the Hazard rules again - something like a units die of 1 is a critical hit.

Manoeuvring could also be included as a modifier to a combat roll - making the attack (or perhaps even defence) more difficult, but also making its opposing roll more of a challenge.
So, if a character wished to try and circle to the right to attack their opponent, that might be a -20 to hit, but also a -20 to the parry/dodge. With the right modifiers, it could make fights much more mobile and interesting.
Similarly, add in the possibility of trying to manoeuvre opponents.

Inspired somewhat by Taleworld's Mount & Blade videogames, I'm also wondering about different attack types; some bladed weapons could be offered both stabbing and slashing options -  something like a slashing attack might gain something like Rending(2) over a stabbing attack, but also count double armour. Maybe also different hit/parry penalties.
That, again, opens up more possibilities.

I don't know exactly. But I think close combat needs more options - other things like the option for offensive/defensive stances as in what I think were DapperAnarchist's house rules could potentially be built in.
As is, "Attack attack attack" is almost a platitude when it comes to the turn of a character in close combat.


The range table... um. Well - it's a mess. But I don't want to replace it with something that's vague - Inquisitor is too detailed to make range something too coarse (many games have very broad range modifiers); it needs to be reasonably granular. Similarly, I think I prefer look-up tables to mental maths.
Again, this is an area that I think would be better improved, but don't know how to improve.

Automatic fire also needs work.
Semi-auto less so, but things like Semi(6) being largely guaranteed to completely miss at point blank range are  daft, so I think it may need the specifics changed. My favourite options are either the semi-auto penalty scaling with range; or the penalty being reduced and increasing the range penalties for auto fire.

Full-auto is a lot of the time just hitting on the automatic 5% or near it (again, even at point blank range). I'd prefer to see it fit with the semi-auto rules better - being a "the same, but more" matter (with rules for engaging multiple targets - but strictly, I wouldn't say no to that with semi-auto).
As is, there have been three official versions of these rules, and none of them have been very good.

Overall, I should say I'm not hugely a fan of the "one roll with degrees of success" method used for auto fire in Dark Heresy as the method here. It looks tempting as a way of reducing the number of rolls, but the way it's done dramatically increases the likelihood of several hits; I always see that rolling location and damage for a hit takes longer than rolling more hit rolls. (Also, we don't want a huge chance of taking characters out with multiple hits in one!)

However... I do support "one roll with degrees of success" as an option with flame weapons. I've already made a  proposition for this in the Revised Armoury that takes it back to one hit roll per target, modified by range, movement and number of targets. Until something else comes along, I think that's my preference.


Psychic Powers:
While I do think Koval's recent attempts are very much an improvement, I think it's worth throwing in some other alternatives and picking through them (particularly if we do have the option for a complete redo).

I proposed a crude set of ideas some time ago... something closer to a mix of Dark Heresy and how magic worked in 6th/7th edition Fantasy (editions before or after that I don't know what it's like), about rolling power dice to beat a certain threshold. I recognise my early version was too complicated, but I think it can be neatly trimmed back.

So, power dice - then willpower may then enter this to control the power's effect - that is to say, after one has rolled to summon a fireball, it would be Willpower to make it go in the right direction; or after having enough power to forge a link to another mind, it would be an opposed Willpower roll to plant one's suggestion).

This might reintroduce Risky Action like rolling - counting the 1s and 6s on the power dice in order to determine Perils of the Warp. As I said, the risks ramp up (although diminishingly so) with more dice, so it's got a nice scaling effect to it.


Well, that's my thoughts on what would be best fixed, and how it might be possible to fix them.

Feel free to agree or disagree, make your own suggestions for problems or solutions, or whatever really.

Quickdraw McGraw:
Reactions from action points is definitely a great idea. It seems naturally appropriate but Reactions are actions done instinctively not premeditated at start.

I propose Reactions should be taken anytime a character sees fit at the cost of existing action points.

Example: Said character takes a shotgun blast to the face... It's unlikely he was expecting to be shot in the face and held back action points to avoid this. More likely used one point his following turn's Action point pool to remedy this with a Reaction.

What about following turns? If a character's turn is already over they still can React but at a cost to their following turn's Action point pool. Thus shortening their action the following turn but combat seems to flow better from one turn to the next.

I'm currently at work, I'm sorry if this comes across a little rushed.


--- Quote from: Quickdraw McGraw on August 23, 2013, 06:01:28 PM ---Reactions from action points is definitely a great idea. It seems naturally appropriate but Reactions are actions done instinctively not premeditated at start.
--- End quote ---
"Reactions" is perhaps not a perfect word, but it's as good as I've got.

With regards to your idea, I'm not sure reactions to be something that characters can allocate at any time is as interesting - if it were that way, characters can just charge around willy-nilly and not be penalised for it.
Reactions seem more "right" to me if they're a bit of a gamble - keep one eye out while working on the cogitator in case in case the guards are just about to come around the corner... or hope they're not and put your full concentration into the decryption to try and get it done before they turn up?

If players can allocate actions from next turn (which has a problem in that you can never be sure what a character's speed might be by then) there's no choice to make. Either a brash or a wary character will take whatever reactions whenever they need to.
Letting characters have control of their wariness, paranoia and/or situational awareness may be better suited than than just letting them fix their (or the players') mistakes after the fact.

It could be good if some characters get to allocate extra reactions, but I think that's ground for something like the Lightning Reflexes skill (which might automatically allow a character a free reaction, even if they haven't assigned any - although maybe not be cumulative with any they've otherwise reserved, potentially of a limited number of uses per game or some other such caveat to stop it being an overly powerful skill).

Does the "effectively auto passing" not negate the meaningful nature of stats? I'm not sure I'm reading that right, but it seems to infer you roll and autopass? I must be reading something wrong here?

You're going to have to give more context, I'm afraid! I'm not sure what part you're talking about.


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