Two sentences after that example, "He must meet any Renown requirement for the item." Out of curiosity, what Specialty is the Space Wolf playing?
Exceptional is +1 damage, and its takeable, and I'd have to look at the sheet to see the rest. The assassin does 1d10+9 with a best quality power sword, so its still not close. (Not to say I'll be having a best powersword, either)
Not sure on the Space Wolf.
Exceptional still requires more renown than a starting character would have. And yes, a Marine is going to be stronger than a human. But unless the Marine is a melee specialist- read, an Assault Marine or one of the later Advanced Specialties purchasable at 1st rank- a 7th or 9th rank Assassin is going to have talents like Lightning Attack and Assassin's Strike which give him an edge in melee. It's not all about raw damage.
I'm almost positive a Rank 1 Marine starts with no Renown. That's how I started my game, that's how everyone I've talked to about Deathwatch has started their games, and I can't find anything in the Core Rulebook that says a Marine starts with any Renown at Rank 1. Since Renown represents a Battle Brother's standing in the Deathwatch, a new initiate wouldn't start at the "Respected" level.
I think there are a few ways to have some renown (Tyrannic war veteran comes to mind), but thats only 1d10. Hardly enough to hit respected.
Honestly though, I fail to see the purpose of discussing just how far a truly min-maxed character can be created in this system. There is a reason armour histories are not 100% selected by the player
I thought it was 19+1d5 like Black Crusade, but I can't find a rules quote, so maybe it isn't.
Truly min-maxed Space Marine. Really? So an assault marine, for example, who picks up close combat talents and strength boosts, is Doing It WrongTM?
I don't know what to say to this.
I do wish I'd saved the Space Marine file, so I knew what else I had for him, but it doesnt take a genius to go in and pick some stuff, and see how it looks.
My goal for balance was to try and keep the non-marines and marines as close to on even footing as possible, while staying out of Ascension and its balance holes. Obviously, if the goal is to highlight the natural awesomeness of Marines, this goal isn't relevant.
I'm saying a character starting with 50 strength, and starting with armour histories that boost strength is a bit cheesy. In standard games, these are things beyond a players control. Yes, they may have a high strength, but not every single improvement possible. Sure, there could be a point buy, but to still wind up with a history that improves strength is a bit off. My issue isn't so much with the actual min-maxing at play time, but this min-maxing at character creation, where things that should be chosen at random are hand picked to the greatest benefit. And this is not how the rules say to do it, but you appear to be making the claim that the system is broken/overpowered because of this.
I would say fix Ascension before you knee-cap Deathwatch. Sure, some of its classes are weak, some are crazy powerful. But overall, as long as players know their place alongside a DW character it should work out well.
I fail to see how you can avoid Ascension anyway. Eventually their XP totals will take them to that point. I guess you can just keep them at max rank DH, but that eventually breaks down/gets boring.
The marine I built had a 40 strength. Also, it was an Ultramarine, so it could have been a 55 strength, if we were cheesing it as much as possible.
Fixing Ascension or whatever is the GM's call. If she wants to do it with Ascension, Unnatural Agility for the Assassin and such do a lot to even the playing field.
My issue mainly was just that you were going out of your way to calculate as high a value for strength as possible while removing anything that should be either random or background driven. Your example contained a hand-picked mark of armour. Thats just not a choice a player can inherently make without GM oversight on the matter.
I will say an assassin is a bit out of place next to a space marine in straight up combat. It is the players call to make one, but I would say its ill advised to try and be competitive damage wise to a space marine.
Stealth and subterfuge should be the assassin's friends, not some ability to deal equal damage to that of a space marine. Whereas the marine would blast through a horde, the assassin should disguise themselves as someone within that horde so as to get closer to the target.
I'm going to step out of this discussion, as it appears to be completely unproductive. The goal was to find a balance with Deathwatch, Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader, and as far as I can tell, nobody has given a single suggestion thats even attempting to fit that goal.
My suggestion is the only one I've seen, (outside of start everyone at rank 1, that is) and all I've gotten is a pile of negativity.
Ok, so the team as currently presented, is a Magos, Sister of Battle, Arch Militant, Space Wolf and Assassin.
You're suggestion is to scrap the Assassin, as its not straight fight-y enough, and should be stealthing away from the party in order to kill targets. I assume you feel I should make a Space Marine, instead?
I am guessing you also feel the Sister of Battle is inferior to the Marine in a straight fight, and should remake as a Space marine? So is your suggestion then to…play Deathwatch?
Magos is fine (I have one in my DW game right now who is a great asset to the party). Great knowledge skills, good survivability. Weapon Tech is a scary thing with a full auto las weapon and a Good Quality Cranial implant.
Assuming BoM Battle Sister? Take the Palatine advancement package and petition the GM for a Cloak of St. Aspria or whatever it is that gives Unnatural Toughness(x2). Lack of damage output is offset by the utility of faith talents.
Arch Militant is hard to say for me, I haven't put as much time into Rogue Trader. Given that they're probably the one responsible for the ship, they still posses one of the greater assets any of the players can bring to the table. Failing that I actually am having a hard time figuring out how this character scales up to the rest (especially given that RT advancement stops about halfway through DW/Ascensions advancement). Really this character needs a ship at their beck and call, or some Rogue Trader to work alongside. On their own they're basically a fancy guardsman it would seem.
Space Wolf is a bit generic… What specialty? Still, the issue is how do players scale up to a space marine. The marine is brought in line by not having many investigative/knowledge skills. Also, lack of other marines means squad mode is fairly sub-par for them, even as a kill-marine (assuming they would even take that).
Assassin, assuming DCA. Can hide in plain sight up until its too late. Catch the target with the pants down and that lightning attack charge thing will mess you up. Once again, not a great individual for 1:1 damage compared to a space marine, but that shouldn't be the point (if your GM is running the game in such a way where straight damage output is what matters at the end of the day, I would berate them for the type of game they're running). Of the characters present, sounds like the only one actually able to infiltrate/perform any form of recon (barring maybe the Arch Militant). Given that stealth skills are in the realm of the assassin, yes, I do feel your character is well served by using them. A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords at dawn.
No, I don't feel you should scrap the assassin. Make the character you want to make, and inform your GM of your intent. It is on them to provide situations in which your character can shine. Just because you're not as outright "fighty" as a space marine does not mean such a character cannot hold their own. My point is, players shouldn't try to be equal in combat to a space marine (or really, in a broader sense, each other), thats not the point. And because thats not the point, thats where the GM comes in and creates a campaign that is not based around who can throw out the most damage numbers, but instead based around one that is engaging to all players (and their PCs) at the table.
And your attempt at accusing me of telling players to be space marines is noted, but beyond this sentence, ignored.
Last I heard we weren't using Ascension. Maybe Lily will comment further here. That rules out Palatine advancement, and special wargear from Ascension, I'm assuming, though I could be wrong.
The assassin, who is Death Cult, as you've guessed, has lots of stealth abilities, and is not trying to equal space marines in straight up combat. The intent was to attempt some semblance of balance, not provided by "Spotlight". Spotlight is certainly one way to balance, 1st and 2nd edition D&D certainly used it.
Anyway, I'm gonna let Lily go from here, and do what she feels is best. After she sets parameters, I'll go with whatever I feel will be the most fun.
As to the Arch Militant, they can start with an effective BS of 86 and a Multi-Melta or Hellhammer Lascannon, and with advances can have a 106+ BS not including bonuses.
I am fairly sure they can hold their own in combat with anything, though they may need a force field or something to go with their armour for returning fire.
I find it quite odd that Ascension could be out of play. There might be some balance issues, but looking at Lilly's earlier posts, it just looks like GM fiat of no vindicare/no primaris psykers (about all you really need to do, although some ascension classes could use some love…).
No Ascension means no long term advancement options for characters, which eventually leads to boring gameplay for some people. I see the logic in calling for marines to not have requisition (in the case of no ascension), but I don't feel that is a good solution. If anything, I'd recommend going the Only War route, checking out the current retooling of the books to fit to a more open ended leveling system.
Also, not to crap on the Arch-Militant's day, but just pointing this out, characteristics "operate on a scale of 1 to 100." I'm not sure how they're getting it to 86, but the point is, it still caps at 100, by hard RAW.