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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    I have been wondering, Its often that you see talks about having to nerf Wizards in DnD and about how certain builds are undefeatable.
    Tell me Playground does my favorite game of choice Dark heresy suffer from the same problems when put under the microscope?
    Is there a tier system for DH? is the adept a Tier 6 class? Is the psyker a Tier 1?

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    There is, though I'm not sure if there is a universal agreement on the specifics.

    One thing we can all agree on, I'd reckon, is that psykers win at everything. Or lose in very flashy ways.
    On the bottom, we could have the adept. I rarely see that one used.

    The thing is, though, none of this matters. D&D is about combat to such a degree that it is easy to see which classes are 'the best' purely based on their performance in delivering violence.

    In DH, though, you have investigation, sneaking, piloting, thinking, reading, poetry and all that good stuff we normal fleshy humans would do. Most people go into a game of DH with the same mentality as in a game of Call of Cthulhu: we may not win, but we'll do our best.

    Sure, D&D can have that too, but the design of the game is still such that it encourages being effective in cleaning out dungeons or other such dangerous locations. That requires a different level of balance.
    In DH, even if your character sucks mechanically, you can still roleplay some moments of success, whether by underhanded backstabbing or stumbling upon an ancient relic in a hive city ditch or just by having some obscure occult skill that comes into play at just the right moment. It's all much less absolute on the win-lose metre, since even the powerhouses can have difficulty against a majority of the foes you are facing.

    All in all, Dark Heresy is easy to break if you want to optimize. Or so I've heard, since numbers are not my thing. Off the top of my head, I think I've heard psykers, tech priest and full-auto firearms named a few times in connection to being gods in the game.
    The game isn't designed for balance or 'fairness', though, so this is to be expected. If you want to break it, only the GM is there to stop you. And in the end, even if you do make a god-tier character, you might not last any longer than your adept buddy with every skill point put into the field of lore.
    Last edited by Comet; 2011-03-14 at 07:38 AM.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    This is very true, I am however deciding (for this topic) that we discuss there use in a more typical "dungeon crawl" (and by typical i mean..for DnD rather then DH.)
    Im talking more about builds and particularly devistating ones (even if it still cant hold up against Bloodletters)

    Even if we talk about NPC builds that just cant be beat :P

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    I don't think DH is a game which lends itself to a simplistic tier system and I've never found any balance concerns.

    In most cases I think every class can contribute to the extent that no player feels overshadowed.

    In a dungeon-crawl Space Hulk-crawl then an adept isn't going to be so useful in combat encounters but an autogun and suppressive fire or a handful of grenades allows him to contribute significantly while the assassin DeathKill McBadass does his thing.

    That being said, I dislike the guardsman class A LOT because the high xp costs on their non-combat skills and traits make it much harder for them to contribute in a variety of encounters. The stuff they get in IH mitigates this to some extent but I still don't like them that much. Especially when I don't see them as much better fighters than arbitrators, assassins, techpriests or psykers.

    It's also definately easy to build overpowered characters (a telekinetic psyker with all possible WP upgrades for example) but I think DH gives the GM a lot of tools to prevent this getting out of hand.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Psykers, once they get to rating of 3+, can break the game with their powers. They can also get everyone around them killed with perils of the warp long before that. Problems with psykers aside, all the classes can be built to be highly effective in combat, depending on the equipment they have available. Guardsmen, while versatile in combat, are probably least interesting to play, due to limited non-combat skills (they have all the driving skills, and military-oriented knowledges, but that's about it).
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Mmmm Guardsmen is a very limited class. There i think the only class that gets bulging biceps though, and if not that...Ive seen Guardsmen get to 20 wounds at level 5.


    Also psykers? are they really that overpowered? I mean granted Force Barrage can do MASSIVE damage. But break the game? There are alot of anti psychic options out there i think. There is a sorcery spell that makes you immune to Impact damage for 1D5 rounds? :P
    Theres always Nulls, or sanctified armors. Or some of the lovely new gear in the new Ecclisiarchy based book (forget the name).

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    No and it doesn't need them.

    Some classes may feel a lil left out depending what your game bent is (Trigger happy Guard in a intrigue game etc) but overall each class is useful most of the time
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Having just finished up a DH campaign . . .

    Psykers have the most potential variety and the most potential power. They also have an incredibly high mortality rate due to the Perils of the Warp table, which can hit the psyker and everyone around him with all kinds of hideously lethal results. Since EVERY use of psyker power risks Perils of the Warp, spamming powers is discouraged.

    Combat characters, on the other hand, are just as good at killing things as psykers. Sure, a psyker who hits rank 4 or so can fry enemies with various nasty effects, but a well-built gun user can be shooting heretics from rank 1 as well or better. There's less difference between the non-psychic characters - an Assassin, a Scum, an Arbitrator, and a Guardsman can often fill very similar roles.

    In our campaign, the longest-running characters were an Assassin, a Psyker, and an Arbitrator. The consensus at the end was that the Arbitrator was the toughest, being able to take the most fire; the Psyker had the greatest variety of abilities, most importantly healing; and the Assassin was the best at just killing stuff. All three tended to be equally important in a battle; the Arbitrator soaked up attacks, the Assassin killed off the enemies, and the Psyker healed everyone afterwards.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by profitofrage View Post
    Also psykers? are they really that overpowered? I mean granted Force Barrage can do MASSIVE damage. But break the game? There are alot of anti psychic options out there i think. There is a sorcery spell that makes you immune to Impact damage for 1D5 rounds? :P
    Theres always Nulls, or sanctified armors. Or some of the lovely new gear in the new Ecclisiarchy based book (forget the name).
    They are both overpowered, and a massive threat to anyone who's near, due to possibility of invoking perils of the warp (which happens to even those psykers who are conservative with using their powers). Anti psychic options are available, sure, and the most powerful NPCs are likely to have access to one or two of them (likely in the form of their own psyker). As to those you suggested - impact damage immunity won't help you when you're being set on fire, or mind-controlled. Nulls are extremely rare, and there shouldn't be more than a few on an even a densely populated planet (and even then, they might not have even been identified, and are just random civilians). On top of that, a null's "area of effect" is not very big, either. Sanctified armors and similar equipment are nice, but again, they're quite rare, and probably stuff like that is kept secret from the populace, further limiting their uses.

    Even simplest of tricks psykers know can, if used smartly, alter whole encounters (which I've seen done quite a few times). Higher level powers can potentially remove the need for even having to fight, or might allow PCs to access information they're seeking without even having to infiltrate a hostile organization personally.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Everything that has classes has some that are better and worse. The question is one of scale relative to your challenges. In some games, it just doesn't really matter much if one character is more powerful. This might be because characters all end up similar, or because the opposition is so overwhelming(CoC).

    Dark heresy doesn't strike me as being particularly problematic because of the setting. The world is terrible and all grimdark, and you will likely face horrible things that will challenge you all. You're probably all useful, but facing near certain bad fates. The exact degree ends up not mattering that much.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Having just finished up a DH campaign . . .

    Psykers have the most potential variety and the most potential power. They also have an incredibly high mortality rate due to the Perils of the Warp table, which can hit the psyker and everyone around him with all kinds of hideously hilariously lethal results. Since EVERY use of psyker power risks Perils of the Warp, spamming powers is discouraged.
    Fixed that for you

    But really, the perils of the warp really do serve to balance out psykers on their own. I was in a DH game where our team's psyker was incredibly unlucky with those rolls. Seriously, you know that you roll perils of the warp too often when you start having serious conversations about which Peril would be most beneficial to the current situation.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Comet View Post
    TThe thing is, though, none of this matters. D&D is about combat to such a degree that it is easy to see which classes are 'the best' purely based on their performance in delivering violence.
    That's only part of what the tiers measure. Tier 6 can end combat faster than many tier 3, for instance. Not much stands up to the over-9000 of a charging frenzied berserker.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Psykers are far and away most powerful
    Adepts are surprisingly powerful as well but take a while to reach their power level.

    And Profit, not only can Tech Priests also get bulging biceps, they can be absolute beasts when it comes to taking damage, way more so than Guardsmen

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by profitofrage View Post
    This is very true, I am however deciding (for this topic) that we discuss there use in a more typical "dungeon crawl" (and by typical i mean..for DnD rather then DH.)
    Im talking more about builds and particularly devistating ones (even if it still cant hold up against Bloodletters)

    Even if we talk about NPC builds that just cant be beat :P
    Problem is, getting the optimized builds for DH still can result in a lucky bolt round decapitating your character. Combat is extremely dangerous in dark heresy and shouldn't be the complete focus.

    Dungeon crawls simply do not happen.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by king.com View Post
    Problem is, getting the optimized builds for DH still can result in a lucky bolt round decapitating your character. Combat is extremely dangerous in dark heresy and shouldn't be the complete focus.

    Dungeon crawls simply do not happen.
    That is quite true. A single shot from a powerful weapon (or a single burst from a decent one) can reduce a well-armored and tough PC from full health to crippled. From my experience, most fights either fit into an "easy" or "highly lethal" category.

    In addition, optimizing DH characters, as far as making choices is concerned, is quite limited: decent weapons and armors may or may not be available (it's up to GM), but with character build, there simply are "better" and "worse" choices, depending on concept. Players have to spend a fixed amount of XP before they get to pick from next rank, and it's quite rare that one will spend much time considering what to take. For someone who doesn't have to look up what all the talents do, it takes a minute or two to plan the XP spending for a whole rank.
    Last edited by MickJay; 2011-03-15 at 11:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Technically there is. But you'd have to do something dumb like one person playing a deathwatch space marine, where everyone else is one of the more normal classes. Otherwise everything felt on a relatively normal level of heroically ineffective when I played.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    I will say that in Dark Heresy all classes fall in the Tier 3-4 range.
    But I'll add that in Dark Heresy the Tier system works poorly. Tier system was designed with in mind D&D 3.5, where some classes have practically omnipotence and others are stuck with nothing but a pointy stick. In Dark Heresy this simply doesn't happen.
    Of course Psykers are more powerful than other classes - at least in my opinion - but Perils of the Warp most of the time take care of power-spamming or would be gods. You could expect that a Psyker would be cautious.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    ...or you could expect him to be mentally unstable and trying to "make himself invisible" every single time when it could, potentially, be advantageous, leading him to causing psychic phenomena come up every single session, and perils roughly every other one. Miraculously, nobody died because of the perils, even though they did make the game much more "interesting" a good few times.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Yeah, in our group it's pretty much always assumed that any player controlled psyker will be a volcano of rage and utterly lacking in any sort of self control.

    The perils are just way too fun, what can I say.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Of the non-Ascension classes, Psykers are god tier.

    Anyone who tells you otherwise either doesn't know how to optimize or is irrationally exaggerating the risk of Perils of the Warp which can be significantly diminished with a number of talents, or even eliminated with fettered power use. In Ascension and high level DH, fettered casting is often more than enough to annihilate anything and anyone, or otherwise do anything you like with psionics basically risk free.

    As for null countermeasures, etc... Telekinetic flinging powers with massive overbleed work just fine against those. For the most part, the only way to beat a powerful Psyker is to be a more powerful Psyker.

    Of the Ascension classes, Psychic Inquisitors, Primaris Psykers and Vindicare Assassins are god tier in that order.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    Of the non-Ascension classes, Psykers are god tier.

    Anyone who tells you otherwise either doesn't know how to optimize or is irrationally exaggerating the risk of Perils of the Warp which can be significantly diminished with a number of talents, or even eliminated with fettered power use. In Ascension and high level DH, fettered casting is often more than enough to annihilate anything and anyone, or otherwise do anything you like with psionics basically risk free.

    As for null countermeasures, etc... Telekinetic flinging powers with massive overbleed work just fine against those. For the most part, the only way to beat a powerful Psyker is to be a more powerful Psyker.

    Of the Ascension classes, Inquisitors, Primaris Psykers and Vindicare Assassins are god tier in that order.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by WitchSlayer View Post
    TECH PRIESTS GET THE SHAFT YET AGAIN.
    Of course they do, it'd be heresy for anyone else to get it. Shafts are a key component in many holy machines, after all.
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    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    First Dark Heresy one shot our group played, the psyker rolled Perils, became a Daemonhost, and killed us all. We... kinda haven't played psykers since.

    Can they be fun?
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    As it has been said many times Psyker is at the top.

    I have seen some near unkillable Tech priests tho.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Tech Priests are definitely high up, with their only real weakness (though it is a major one) being their complete ineptitude at social interaction.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by PanNarrans View Post
    First Dark Heresy one shot our group played, the psyker rolled Perils, became a Daemonhost, and killed us all. We... kinda haven't played psykers since.

    Can they be fun?
    Sure, as long as you accept that every time you use your powers, you're running an ever-increasing chance of horribly killing, maiming, or corrupting yourself and everyone around you.

    For the record, the chance of Perils of the Warp is about 2.5% per power dice. For every Perils of the Warp roll, you have about a 10% chance of instant death or possession - if you're lucky you'll get one of the ones that only causes general chaos and corruption/insanity. From what I've seen, a minority of psykers try to play carefully and stay alive. The majority decide that since they're on a one-way trip downhill anyway they might as well strap on some roller skates and enjoy the ride.
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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Of course, the risks become non-existent when you exploit talents like Favoured of the Warp, Invocation to cut down on Psi dice (especially out of combat), and Fettered casting.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    From what I've seen, a minority of psykers try to play carefully and stay alive. The majority decide that since they're on a one-way trip downhill anyway they might as well strap on some roller skates and enjoy the ride.
    I am yet to see a psyker played carefully.

    Hell i have seen psykers use powers to perform mundane tasks that they could quite easly do normally just so they look "cooler".
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    Of course, the risks become non-existent when you exploit talents like Favoured of the Warp, Invocation to cut down on Psi dice (especially out of combat), and Fettered casting.
    Mm-hm. I'd be interested to hear you explain how a standard rank 1-3 psyker can make the risk "non-existent", i.e. reduce it to zero.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and the final book in the series, Risen, is out as of December 2021. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: Does Dark heresy have class tiers?

    They don't obviously; they're stuck using cantrips (which are still really good) and autofire weapons until they can access risk prevention measures. Fettered casting at Psi 2 still allows for some measure of psychic abuse.

    All told, there is a small window during which the Psyker might be overshadowed by other classes; beyond that the class is godlike, with phenomenal cosmic powers.

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