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Opposed tests in Dark Heresy
4th May, 2010

This is a house rule mod for Dark Heresy RPG. I’m thinking of posting up a few of my house rules I’ve collected up over the years. Most of them are forerunners of my ideas for WarSpike, which is also a percentile system, and many of these were posted on the old Black Industries forum (RIP). They have their roots in Rune Quest, Call of Cthulhu, and other percentile systems. I really like percentile systems as they are fast, but quite often later add-ons dramatically slow them down. These ad-hoc remedies keep the game flowing.

Highest successful roll

With this modification the idea is to speed up the opposed skill tests, and to make them fast enough for use in resolving combat. The current system involves a fair bit of subtraction as it uses ‘Degrees of Success’, not really a problem for the mentally agile, but can be a little tedious when used in combat.

In an opposed test both opponents roll against their skill;

  • The winner is the one with the highest roll but under skill.

This may sound a bit ‘backwards’ at first but it works out the same, and after a while it makes a certain intuitive sense (as higher rolls should beat lower rolls, and those with higher skill can convert higher rolls them into successes).

For example: If using opposed tests in combat – A man with WS:56 takes on a Goblin with WS:37. They both roll, and the man gets 26, the goblin 35. Both rolls are successful, but it is the Goblin who has the ‘highest successful roll’. Goblin wins.

As you can see it is very quick. The chances of a draw (two identical successful results is reduced). You can use this modified opposed test when parrying, or further mess with the combat rules and replace both strike and parry with an opposed test, or use the opposed test to replace initiative in striking;

Combat mechanics using highest successful roll.

Once in ‘base to base’ contact;

  1. Both combatants want to attack each other
  2. Both roll for their attack
  3. The one with the highest successful roll creates an opening and strikes.
  4. – An option is to add in the parry, but only if the defender was successful in their original WS test (II).

  5. Which forces their opponent to parry.
  6. To parry, roll under WS (if you want, the successful parry roll has to be higher than the attack’s roll)

The one who is forced to parry looses their attack. In game mechanic terms the ‘attack’ is converted into a ‘parry’ and uses up the same space in time. The ‘parry’ is no longer a free action.

This allows a higher skilled combatant to suppress an opponent. Forcing the one who is suppressed to defend blow after blow.

Note; If they lack the parry skill they are doomed.

This mod was quite adaptable and spawned a few other mods…

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