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 Rules suggestion for random skill selection

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MasterSpark
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PostSubject: Rules suggestion for random skill selection   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 1:45

Hello everyone.

A house rule I've been eager to try out lately is to change the skill selection in Mordheim into a more random affair. In Necromunda, if you roll a skill advance, you're allowed to choose one of the skill tables that the warrior has available to him. When you've chosen what kind of skill he is to get (strength, speed, shooting, etc.) you then roll a D6 and get the corresponding skill. If you roll a '2' or '12' on the advance roll you're then allowed to pick a skill table that the warrior doesn't normally have access to.

I believe a system like this will result in more unique heroes that won't follow the usual cookie-cutter selection of skills, unless of course you're lucky enough to roll only the best ones. Having the outside chance of rolling 2 or 12 and get to pick from an entirely new table will also be a fun new thing when it happens, but even then you're not guaranteed something entirely useful.

Now, some of the skills in Mordheim have very specific uses and might result in complete uselessness if they're rolled. This will have to be fixed in some way. Here is my proposal for implementing this new random skill selection system. The shooting and academic skills have a lot of re-rolls currently but it's a start at least. Something similar would have to be done for the various special skills tables that are around.

On an advance roll of 3-5 or 10-11, pick a skill table available to the hero and roll on the corresponding chart below. On an advance roll of 2 or 12, pick any skill table from the ones below and roll on it, even if it is normally not available to the hero

Combat skills
1. Strike to injure
2. Combat master
3. Weapons training (re-roll if the hero is not allowed to use weapons)
4. Web of steel
5. Expert swordsman (re-roll if the hero does not have access to swords)
6. Step aside

Shooting skills (use a D8 or a D6 roll to first split the chart in two)
1. Quick shot (re-roll if the hero does not have access to bows or crossbows)
2. Pistolier (re-roll if the hero does not have access to pistols)
3. Eagle eyes
4. Weapons expert (re-roll if the hero is not allowed to use weapons)
5. Nimble (re-roll if the hero does not have access to a compatible weapon)
6. Trick shooter
7. Hunter (re-roll if the hero does not have access to a compatible weapon)
8. Knife fighter (re-roll if the hero does not have access to throwing knives)

Academic skills (use a similar system to the shooting skills)
1. Battle tongue (undead re-rolls this)
2. Sorcery (re-roll if the hero cannot cast spells)
3. Streetwise
4. Haggle
5. Arcane lore (re-roll if the hero does not have a tome of magic?)
6. Wyrdstone hunter
7. Warrior wizard (re-roll if the hero cannot cast spells)

Strength skills
1. Mighty blow
2. Pit fighter
3. Resilient
4. Fearsome (re-roll if the hero already causes fear)
5. Strongman (re-roll if the hero does not have access to double-handed weapons)
6. Unstoppable charge

Speed skills (use a similar system to the shooting and academic skills)

1. Leap
2. Sprint (re-roll if the hero is unable to run)
3. Acrobat
4. Lightning reflexes
5. Jump up
6. Dodge
7. Scale sheer surfaces

Let me know your thoughts!
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: Rules suggestion for random skill selection   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 7:18

You must not be one of those folks who complain when his BS 5 hero rolls Strength or Attacks.  Or your Necromancer rolls a "useless" spell.  The 'choose your skill option' was in response to all the complaints from players about shooters with Strength Skills and so on in Necromunda. At the time Mordheim was released, it was seen as a logical development of GWs system which included Blood Bowl, Necromunda and Gorka Morka.

Replace the term 'unique' with 'frustrating'.  

I prefer my cookie cutters even when they are not.  My best shot was also the best fighter in my supposedly melee oriented Arabs (he's still really good).  S4 and A2 as his first advances, followed by a run of wounds and initiative.  After around 18 games, he finally has Quick Shot... (his skill set is shooting and speed by the way... He has 2 skills after 18 games.)


Last edited by Von Kurst on Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 15:21; edited 1 time in total
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Grimscull
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PostSubject: Re: Rules suggestion for random skill selection   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 8:05

I pretty much follow what Von Kurst has to say. The skill selection is one of the things MH is good at without any house rules imo.
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PostSubject: Re: Rules suggestion for random skill selection   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 8:25

I've considered something similar to your idea, but getting useless skills is pretty frustrating. Something that could mitigate cookie-cutting a little bit would be to say that no two models in a warband can have the exact same combination of skills. That way if you have two shooting heroes and each earns a skill, they can't both take Quick Shot right off the bat, resulting instead in maybe a Quick Shot and an Eagle Eye. Then if Eagle Eye got another skill it could be Quick Shot, but if then Quick Shot got a second skill it couldn't be Eagle Eye (since they'd be the same again), so maybe they take Trick Shooter. It would, admittedly, often be relegated to corner cases, but some additional variety would result.
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PostSubject: Re: Rules suggestion for random skill selection   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 8:39

NoisyAssassin's idea is one that I like, and a lot less drastic than my suggestion. What I don't like about the skills in Mordheim as they are is that there are a couple that are simply much better than the rest, so you'll always see them, again and again on everyone that can take them. This becomes especially apparent with multiple heroes that start out with little experience and the same skill tables. Dregs, for instance. tongue

Edit: Oh, and the chance of getting an entirely new table on a roll of 2 or 12 is one thing I'd really like to try out.
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PostSubject: Re: Rules suggestion for random skill selection   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 10:13

@Noisy Assassin: what if one member of a warband had three skills A,B and C and another one had just A and a skill advance: could he either take B or C or would he have to go with a skill D? I like your idea but, as you say yourself, it's probably not going to affect much. What could be done is to limit each skill to once per warband. I don't know how likely it would be though if you had to take a crappy skill too often this way in later campaign-games though...
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PostSubject: Re: Rules suggestion for random skill selection   Thu 16 Jul 2015 - 9:54

The way I was envisioning it if someone had A,B,C and another had A and got a new skill, they could take B or C. Maybe make it more restrictive and say you can't have only skills that another hero also has? So if one hero has A and B another hero can't take either until they take C or D. That'd make it come up more often for sure.

Before I started playing I looked at the skills and thought about what restricting them to one per warband would do. But after playing I think it would remove the ability to have a shooting focused warband, because there are so few relevant shooting skills. Whether you see that as a feature or a bug is up to you and your playgroup though! It would also restrict heroes with limited skill tables like Dregs to some pretty terrible options.

You could possibly combine the above with an option to take a random skill from a table you don't normally have access to? I wouldn't want to give unlimited access to all skill tables on the 2,12 but gambling on one seems like could add an interesting element.
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