-There's a lot of things to keep track of in the middle of a fight in Dark Heresy--fatigue points, different armor on different body parts, et cetera, plus if it's something grotesque you've got fear and corruption points going on. Could use some counters/visual aids for this shit.
-Combat so far is slow and crunchy but still less tactical than Rolemaster or Type IV (or even, in a weird way, arguably, older D&D). There's generally only one or two good ideas about what to do, (generally: shoot the guy) however the armor system, "layered" damage effect created by the crits, and fate points gives getting hit a satisfying level of detail about what gets done to you. Every PC feels like Wolverine--you keep coming back from getting your ass kicked full of complex damage to deliver some final blow. It's effective for creating a specific genre of combat.
-...however, if both sides are fatigued or otherwise anti-buffed, combat seems like it'd just turn stupid-slow (you-miss-I-miss-you-miss-I-miss), so-- first conscious hack: if both sides are at -10 to everything, they cancel out for purposes of fucking each other up.
-Mandy likes the combat system more than Viv, probably because:
a) Mandy is more experienced and more Old School so is used to dying and avoiding combat
b) Mandy rolled better than Viv this session, or
Though, to be fair, hormonally-speaking, Viv was in no kinda mood to sneak around last night.
-Too many environmental things in the combat system are expressed as simple plusses and minuses. Feels like there should be some more "lateral" ways to hurt opponents, use equipment, etc.
-I'd like to find a way to trade penalties for some kind of situation-altering disadvantage. Like, ok, you take less damage but you end up 20 feet away or dropping your weapon--something like that. If the system is going to give you all that combat detail, I want a way to translate the detail from the combat system from just arithmetic into situational complexity.
-Related idea: anything done on the GM's part to make the firefights more weird (gravity-distortion glove, device that divides zapped foes into 2 midget foes, etc.) is effort well spent since otherwise it's just: "Hey, slug it out--roll, roll, roll, roll".
-1d5? Really? Fuck.
-The rulebook is poorly organized and has way too much fucking padding. Though there is some of the old Games Workshop black magic and blacker humor buried under all those sanitarium walls.
-I confess to honestly needing fucking help dealing with the gun fetishism going on here. In order to play this game as it was meant to be played you need to care way more about remembering the differences between guns than I ever will. This all makes perfect sense when playing wargame 40k because you'll know your units and their weapons (and their weapons are largely the only thing you use to tell them apart), but in an RPG it effectively means every foe has a magic weapon with special dice properties to memorize. Some rules I just discovered 3 seconds ago: Las carbines can shoot twice per round, pistol weapons can be shot in melee (a la original WH40k so I guess I should've realized), flamers automatically hit but people in their path need to make an agility test, you can be "pinned" by attack fire and have to make a willpower test to get past it. Fuck that last one, I'm ignoring it. Is there any disadvantage to firing on full auto besides chewing up ammo faster? Can't figure it out...
-Rulebook designwise I think they should've gone for a "complete description of every rule about a given weapon in a little box" system rather than a 3.5-style "each weapon fits arguably into 900 different categories and the categories are described somewhere other than where the info on the gun itself is described and the place where the gun is described has actually nothing other than a paragraph of gunfluff in it so really just look at the tables which are spread over about like 30 pages interspersed with crap about hailing the god-emperor".
-The Random Spacemonster Generator ably served doubly duty as a what's-this-plant-in-the-lobby table, just replace the last d6 table with things like -dendron or -rose.
-The instadungeon served pretty well as a Gigastructure level generator, though I should make a full-on sci-fi version, it'd probably take less than an hour. Though I should also probably write some proper dungeon for that area, too.
-The magic effect table from Vornheim did ok as a random chaotech grenade generator, though if I'm gonna keep doing that I'll need to write a sci-fi hack since half the things on the original are too fairy-taley for space.
-The techroom and Kirbyweapon generators worked absolutely ace.
-As far as setting hacks: there's an empress instead of an emperor, I am assuming the PCs are lost in the White Sun Sector, and the rest is Yet To Be Discovered.
-Oh yeah: Mandy reminded me to tell you they named their ship The Absolution which I thought was pretty 40k of them. Mandy's idea and I think Viv went along with it on grounds of Depeche Mode.