N18 Making non-verbal comms non-suck

JayTee

Juve
Jun 14, 2015
28
57
13
Any thoughts on how to make non-verbal Communications not god-awful? I'm at a loss to try and salvage that rule as I can't think of any situations where handing out a 360 vision arc to one fighter is worth 2 Actions and passing a Cool check. I guess if your buddy is surrounded by a number of models in base-to-base contact and you don't want to risk shooting him in the back, but I still largely think this skill is worse than Iron Jaw. Yes, that bad.

So I'm pondering entirely re-working the skill, and my current thoughts are:

1. Non-Verbal Communication
If this fighter is Standing and Active, they can make the following action:

Comms(Basic): Make a Leadership check, if passed all friendly fighters within 6" may recover from pinning as a Free action. If failed, a single friendly fighter within 6" may recover from pinning as a Free action.

Commentary: Enforcers are strong shooters so Pinning isn't a massive drama for them, but being able to hand out free Pinning recovery in decent area via a relatively simple Leadership check, is somewhat thematic as it represents the coordination between the members of the unit, and gives them some 'free' movement/aiming. However, this emphasises making this action early in the round and makes it trash towards the end of the round or as part of a group activation so I'm not sold.

2. Non-Verbal Communication
If this fighter is Standing and Active, they can make the following action:

Comms(Basic): Make a Leadership check. If passed, all friendly fighters within 6" who attack the same target as this fighter this round, receive a +1 to-hit bonus to their attacks. If failed, pick a single friendly fighter within 6" to receive the same bonus.

Commentary: Thematic again, representing coordination and the non-verbal is the surprise element as the enemy doesn't know what you're planning. Enforcers have bleh Ballistic Skill, this helps mitigate this however your activated fighter must make some sort of Attack and trades an action for some to-hit bonuses. Some of which may be wasted if you down the guy straight off.

3. Non-Verbal Communication
When this fighter makes a group activation, make a Leadership check. If successful, all fighters (including this fighter) within the group activation gain a +1 to-hit bonus.

Commentary: Simple, thematic, and helps mitigate bleh Balistic Skill. I pondered making it so they have to attack the same target, but that makes the wording obnoxious.

4. Non-Verbal Communication
Same as 2 or 3, but replace to-hit with to-wound.

Commentary: There are few, if any, to-wound bonuses in Necromunda and as Enforcers are largely limited to S4/S3 weapons (With the exception of Krak grenades) and other gangs can rock Meltaguns, Plasma guns, Mining lasers, etc, this gives them a leg-up in the wounding game

I'm leaning towards #3 or maybe #4 if a to-wound bonus doesn't sound too horribly imbalanced.
 
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spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
Staff member
Necromunda Custodian
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Feb 8, 2013
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Why is Number 1 bleh for group activations? use it on your champ, he orders a mate to stand up, then the mate can charge... that seems really useful to me!
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
Oct 12, 2015
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Sevres 92130 France
I don't really like the idea of non-Leadership skills relying on Leaderhip and/or group activation as it discourages rolling on the table for Specialists/Rookies (ok, everything else in the game already discourages that...).
I also think non-verbal communication should use LoS (it's hard to communicate non-verbally through a wall.)

I like the idea for #2 but it's not a skill I would pick as it's just to many hoops to jump through compared to making a Aim action.
Comms: spend an action to maybe give nearby (other?) friendly fighters +1 to hit if they shoot at the same target as this one​
Aim: spend an action to get +1 to hit​
See what I mean?

I think something like that would do the trick:
Comms (Basic): Make a Leadership check for this fighter. If passed, all friendly fighters currently within 6" and LoS of this fighter get +1BS until the End phase of this round.​

This makes it an alternative to Aim that has a chance to fail but otherwise spreads to nearby fighters. Still not something you'd pick for Specialists (Ld 7+ doesn't make it very attractive) but not completely useless if your roll it at random.
 
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JayTee

Juve
Jun 14, 2015
28
57
13
Why is Number 1 bleh for group activations? use it on your champ, he orders a mate to stand up, then the mate can charge... that seems really useful to me!
Honestly I'm actually not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that, I'm probably misreading my notes!
I don't really like the idea of non-Leadership skills relaying on Leaderhip and/or group activation as it discourages rolling on the table for Specialists/Rookies (ok, everything else in the game already discourages that...).
Indeed, I've already tweaked the Savant skills that are useless to a Juve/Ganger to not be useless so a reliance on group activations is probably going to get tossed. Thematically it makes sense that it would be a Leadership check on the fighter performing the action, but perhaps would be a Cool check on the receiving fighter(s). But Cool is already a better stat to have so I'm reluctant to give it yet another thing. So a Leadership check on the fighter performing the action I think. Cuts down on the dice-rolling and makes Leadership less useless, and at least Enforcers have better or the same Leadership than Cool.
I also think non-verbal communication should use LoS (it's hard to communicate non-verbally through a wall.)

I like the idea for #2 but it's not a skill I would pick as it's just to many hoops to jump through compared to making a Aim action.
Comms: spend an action to maybe give nearby (other?) friendly fighters +1 to hit if they shoot at the same target as this one​
Aim: spend an action to get +1 to hit​
See what I mean?

I think something like that would do the trick:
Comms (Basic): Make a Leadership check for this fighter. If passed, all friendly fighters currently within 6" and LoS of this fighter get +1BS until the end of the current round.​

This makes it an alternative to Aim that has a chance to fail but otherwise spreads to nearby fighters. Still not something you'd pick for Specialists (Ld 7+ doesn't make it very attractive) but not completely useless if your roll it at random.
Well spotted on LoS, absolutely needs that in there.

Good points on #2, it's a lot of hoops to jump through and has some annoying rule interactions with templates (What doesn't?) so really can't make the cut. Your suggestion does work nicely, it's a fairly simple to implement, thematic, and not awful if you randomly get it as a Rookie/Specialist. I might have a play around with the to-hit vs. to-wound in some skirmish matches as I've now talked myself into giving Enforcers a bit more 'punch' with their lack of high Strength weaponry.
 

TopsyKretts

Hive Guilder
Dec 29, 2017
2,397
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Kristiansand
Even if improved to simple action and applies to all friendlys within 6", wouldn't Iron Jaw still be better? 360 vision is extremely niche? And is it worth paying any actions at all to give it to another fighter?
 

Kiro The Avenger

Gang Champion
Apr 4, 2018
463
434
68
Bristol, UK
+1 to-hits don't really feel like non-verbal communication to me.

Keeping it close to the theme, why not the ability to make group activations with anyone within LoS, regardless of distance.
I know this makes it useless on specialists and rookies, but that's not a big problem imo. Firstly randomly rolling is a terrible idea anyway, and secondly since it is absolutely useless you should be able to reroll that result (at least imo).
 

TopsyKretts

Hive Guilder
Dec 29, 2017
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Kristiansand
Random skill is terrible? How did you play before 2017?
 
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Thorgor

Of The YAQ
Oct 12, 2015
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When all you can do is roll random advancements, there is no good or bad choice because there is no choice.
When you can choose between rolling on those tables or paying a few more XP to pick the skill you actually want, rolling is a terrible idea.
There is this game design thingy called the Delta of Randomness that the designers apparently never heard of.
 

Jacob Dryearth

Gang Hero
Sep 6, 2016
815
909
103
It's maybe not as bad as Iron Jaw, but very situational to the point of near uselessness. Unaltered, I would try to combo it with a Subjugator with layered reinforced armor and a shield to take multiple charging Corpse Grinders... no wait, nobody withstands that!

Perhaps if it simply applied to all friendly fighters within 6"...?
 
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TopsyKretts

Hive Guilder
Dec 29, 2017
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Kristiansand
Is the motivation behind this skill to increase the usefulness of shields? What situations would you benefit from 360 LOS? Does it extend increased front armour to all directions? Counter to stab? No penalty for turning to face in close combat?
 
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TopsyKretts

Hive Guilder
Dec 29, 2017
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Kristiansand
Thanks! How about making it a passive ability for the fighter with the skill? Or make it a basic action and apply it to all friendly fighters within 6"? Or both?
 

GraverobberTX

New Member
Feb 17, 2019
5
3
3
Less popular opinion...some fighters winding up with the occasional non-useful skill is another manifestation of that's life in the Underhive.
 

GraverobberTX

New Member
Feb 17, 2019
5
3
3
Less popular opinion...some fighters winding up with the occasional non-useful skill is another manifestation of that's life in the Underhive.
technical issues broke my ability to properly f**k this entry up...

Less popular opinion...some fighters winding up with the occasional non-useful skill is another manifestation of that's life in the Underhive. Risk of an unwanted skill as part of the randomness of rolling on the table is part of the point to making it random. Acquired skills that affect the future development of a gang member is also part of the 'joy' of the random system (and the point to choosing skills being a more expensive advancement).

360 vision arc as a counter to Backstab and an improvement to shield and armor functionality seems like perfectly legit limited usefulness. Don't intend any offense to any house rulings as YMMV but wanted to offer some alternative perspective.
 
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Jumbley

Black And White Son Of A Gun
Honored Tribesman
Sep 5, 2019
95
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While I can agree that having punishment results in Random tables is inherently a part of the flavour of the game, and that inevitably some skills are going to be more desirable than others, I'd argue that concept doesn't really work or belong in this sort of skill table.

A better example might be Helmawr's Justice. Non-Verbal Comms is very situational, but like you say, it does still have some use cases: HJ does not. It's a useless skill by definition, that does nothing to improve your gang's ability to win games or benefit them in the campaign in any way. Having this result come up on the table really means your character didn't actually get a skill at all, which makes it rather pointless to have bothered to roll on the table in the first place.

Skills can be weighed differently, but they do all have to have some uses. I'd argue NVC is very much on the side of being so situational it's essentially non-existent.
 
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JayTee

Juve
Jun 14, 2015
28
57
13
Yeah I'm not sure having highly situational/utterly unusable skills as part of the 'randomness of the underhive' is particularly great design, sounds more like lazy design to me.

The randomness should be the chance to get a skill that you didn't want, so perhaps something like Gunfighter on your Heavy Weapon Champion. It should not be getting something fundamentally sub-standard, like Iron Jaw, Non-Verbal Comms, Helmawr's Justice, etc.

Part of the issue is that 2 of the 6 Palanite Drill skills are terrible and 1 is fairly bleh without some houseruling (Restraint Protocols needs to take the target OOA as well as its normal effect). I find that a rather frustrating situation.