N18 Skills - House Rules Feedback Needed

Jacob Dryearth

Gang Hero
Sep 6, 2016
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In a few weeks I'll be starting my third campaign as Arbitrator since N17 was released, and in this time I've come to notice that certain skills are avoided like the plague. Some have no use in certain circumstances, or are strictly worse than similar characteristic increases, or they need some clarification. Whatever the case, here are my proposals to fix them in my campaign. Some ideas were taken from the forum or YAQ.

The rules below do not replace any skills, only add to them.

Backstab: Any attack which benefits from the increased strength of Backstab also gains an additional -1AP. (was strictly worse than strength)

Ballistics Expert: When this fighter aims, they may pre-measure the distance to one target enemy fighter. (was strictly worse than BS)

Cat Fall: When this fighter is removed from the board after falling into a pitfall, they may make recovery in the end phase as if seriously injured. No friendly models may aid them, but if they roll a flesh wound, place them Active and Pinned as close as possible to the spot they fell from. (was useless in 2d)

Clamber: The Crawl Through (Double) action is a Basic action for this fighter. (was useless in 2d)

Connected: If a Juve or Specialist has this skill they may take the trade post-battle action, but do not grant a bonus to the rarity roll. (was useless for most fighters)

Infiltrate: This skill cannot be used by the defender in a scenario with the sneak attack rules. (did not play well with sentry rules)

Trick Shot: This bonus does not stack with an infra-sight. (clarification)
Did I miss any skills that need help? Ballistics Expert was the one I was struggling to find a rule for, the pre-measuring seems useless other than for selecting the right weapon profile.
 
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I've changed some more skills, so this might be interesting for comparison:

Catfall
When this fighter falls into a pitfall, they don’t go Out of Action. They can climb up again to return at the start of the following turn’s End phase within 1″ of the pitfall.

If a fall or jump results in a roll of Injury dice, re-roll any Out of Action results.

Clamber
This fighter can move through ductways as if they were clear terrain.

Dodge
A fighter can also dodge attacks that replace the wound roll (e.g., Fear, Flash, Gas, Toxin, Web).

If they successfully dodge an attack from a weapon which uses a template or blast marker, move the model up to 2″ – if they are still inside the template area then, they were not successful after all and must suffer the consequences.

A fighter who successfully dodges an attack is not Pinned. The attack has no effect at all (for example, they’re not in danger of getting a Blaze marker, the Rad-Phage trait has no effect, etc.).

Mighty Leap
This fighter can cross obstacles as if they were clear terrain.

Sprint
If this fighter makes a Charge (Double) action, they may move up to double their Movement (instead of M+D3).

Headbutt
The Headbutt (Basic) action can also be used instead of the free Fight (Basic) action after a successful Charge move.

Hurl
The Hurl (Basic) action can also be used instead of the free Fight (Basic) action after a successful Charge move.

A fighter can’t hurl a model much bigger than their own (e.g., a Brute) if their Strength is lower than 5.

Iron Jaw
Replace this skill’s description with the following:

This fighter’s Toughness is treated as being one higher than normal when another fighter makes attacks against them in close combat (yes, even with weapons with the Toxin trait). This excludes attacks with pistols, but includes attacks with weapons with the Versatile trait made without base-to-base contact. This bonus to Toughness increases to two against unarmed attacks.

Backstab
This skill also works when attacking with weapons with the Versatile trait outside of close combat.

Additionally, if an attacker with this skill is in base-to-base contact with their target and not in their target’s vision arc, their first attack gets +1 to hit and its Damage is increased by 1.

Escape Artist
When this fighter makes a successful Initiative check for a Retreat (Basic) action, enemy fighters cannot make Reaction attacks.

When trying to escape with a skinblade, only a result of 3 will lead to a Lasting Injury roll. On a result of 4, 5 or 6, the fighter escapes unharmed.

Lie Low
Replace this skill’s description with the following:

While this fighter is Prone, enemy fighter cannot target them with a ranged attack unless they are within 4″.

Overwatch
Just to clarify: Overwatch also works with weapons which require two actions to fire.

Impetuous
If the fighter’s consolidation move brings them into base-to-base contact with an enemy fighter, they may immediately make a free Fight (Basic) action (only once per round).

Unstoppable
Just to clarify: If the fighter doesn’t have to make a Recovery check, you can still attempt to remove a Flesh Wound.

Inspirational
This skill’s range is 8″ instead of 6″.

Regroup
This skill’s range is 8″ instead of 6″.

Fast Shot
If this fighter makes two Shoot (Simple) actions in the same round, they get -1 to hit for their second action.

Hip Shooting
If the fighter also has the Sprint skill, they can use the Run and Gun (Double) action to triple their Movement instead of doubling it.

Ballistics Expert
Replace the description of this skill with the following:

If this model makes a Shoot action (whether Basic, Simple or Double), they may re-roll one Firepower die if they pass an Intelligence check first. They must accept the new result, even if it’s worse.

Connected
When a Juve or Specialist acquires this skill, they will be able to make a Trade action in the post-battle sequence, giving the gang +1 on their Seek Rare Equipment roll.

Medicae
If this fighter is within 8″ when a friendly fighter goes Out of Action, you may re-roll a result on the Serious Injury table.

Savvy Trader
When a Juve or Specialist acquires this skill, they can be brought along to the Trading Post to make use of it.

The price of an item can only be reduced to a minimum of 10 credits. There’s no free stuff in the Hive.

Note that I haven't brought my house rules up-to-date since the new books have been released. But as they haven't really touched the skills ...
 
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Connected: If a Juve or Specialist has this skill they may take the trade post-battle action, but do not grant a bonus to the rarity roll. (was useless for most fighters)
I don't get what this is supposed to do as the Trade action does nothing but give you a +1 to the rarity roll now.
You may also want to change Savvy Trader, as it's another skill that is currently useless for Juves and Specialists.
 
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I don't get what this is supposed to do as the Trade action does nothing but give you a +1 to the rarity roll now.
You may also want to change Savvy Trader, as it's another skill that is currently useless for Juves and Specialists.

Hmm, an earlier draft of this post included the note that I still limit rare purchases in Dominion campaigns. Savvy trader is useless unless they have my uodated connected. I should change it.

I've changed some more skills, so this might be interesting for comparison:



Note that I haven't brought my house rules up-to-date since the new books have been released. But as they haven't really touched the skills ...

I like your Ballistics expert, and I may steal it. I may have gotten the agilty skills from you as well, if you've posted them before. I wanted to avoid neefs, except where the rules just don't work (infiktrate), if I touch fast shot the 3 Van Saar players in my campaign will revolt!
 
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I like your Ballistics expert, and I may steal it. I may have gotten the agilty skills from you as well, if you've posted them before. I wanted to avoid neefs, except where the rules just don't work (infiktrate), if I touch fast shot the 3 Van Saar players in my campaign will revolt!
Steal away!
I've posted the skills before, but only together with all my other house rules. Others have suggested similar changes to Catfall and Clamber, so I really can't take credit for those. :)

I'm the only Van Saar player in our campaign, so I just nerfed myself. Fast Shot is still a great skill, I think. But I understand your hesitation -- players hate to have something taken away from them, so that, instead of making one thing worse, it's almost always easier to make other stuff better.

Regarding Infiltrate: Instead of changing the skill itself, I've changed scenarios in which you should not be able to use the skill or other methods of infiltration (see link to my house rules in the other post if you're interested): Escape!, Last Stand, Settlement Attack, Shoot-out, The Gauntlet. I might have missed some, and I'll have to think about scenarios with the sneak attack rules. That hasn't yet come up in our group. :)
 
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Not my original idea, taken from someone on this forum. I don't remember who originated those, I reworded them.
 
I really like these ideas. Here are some comments:

Catfall: How about making a 4+ roll to stay on the edge instead? This way you have the same probability as fleshwound (50% on the Injury dice) and you don't have to put a model back on the table some time after being removed, since it could be difficult to remember the exact location. I guess this has some unfluffy results, as the fallen fighter no longer is climbing back up, but can be activated, damaged or even pushed back into the whole again. It also removes some of the suspension of whether the fighter is coming back or not. And the fighter may even activate if it was ready prior to falling. Hmm... maybe not such a good idea afterall. Perhaps leaving the model standing on the pitfall where it would have been removed instead? And roll 4+ in recovery as the original suggestion.

Trick shot: Why should this skill not stack with infra-sight? I guess if the trick shot fighter already has infra-sight, it could be transferred to a different player instead. Other skills do stack with similar abilities, like backstab and parry. You made some interesting twists on Ballistic Expert and Backstab to make them uniquely different than an equivalent +1 level-up / advance in BS and Strength. But isn't Trick Shot the same? Strictly worse than BS.

Infiltrate: Denying infiltrate should apply to a wide range of scenarios, like the Spire and the Gauntlet, which would be broken if fighters infiltrated.

Clamber: just a minior note here, but what about making it a Simple action instead? Probably makes little to no difference though.
 
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Cat Fall: I assume people will mark the spot with a token.

Trick Shot: Really this was taken from the YAQ, I didn't make this one up. In retrospect, it is crap. I'm thinking of making it something crazy like bouncing bullets around corners with a -3 to hit or something... you know, like a trick shot!

Infiltrate: I kept the wording here brief to keep it simple. I have further scenario limitations on all types of infiltration, be they skill or territory boon related. Making the Infiltrate skill just exclude scerarios with Sneak Attack catches a lot of possible exploits in the least amount of text.
 
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If you want to see the rest of my house rules, which are campaign specific, check out my campaign log for Queen's Dome Turf Wars 3 (which isn't a Turf War).