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GW grammar woes


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#1
Gherrick

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Evidently in 9E, they've changed how modifiers are combined by instituting a "MDAS" order, and then followed it up by an example that might show their intent, but doesn't make sense grammatically (at least to me). GW evidently wanted to nip the double dip of strength boosts and power gloves/thunder hammers, but still refer to those boosts as "increase the characteristic", not as a modifier to a roll. I thought it was pretty clear changing a characteristic was not the same as a roll modifier, as their interactions with resolving various formulas can make a notable difference, such as in their example.

 

They should have found better wording to make those boosts actual modifiers, such as "add one to strength when determining wound rolls" for the spell and "double strength when determining wound rolls" for the war gear. Now both are obviously modifiers, and their MDAS rule makes sense on how to resolve them.



#2
Gederas

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It's because people forget Order of Operations for mathematics (non-algebraic), so GW had to reinforce that the game runs off of PEMDAS, and had to do it in the bluntest possible way to avoid confusion, whether unintentional or intentional. :yes:


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#3
Rune Priest Jbickb

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Where can one find this example to read? It awful hard to participate in a conversation about grammar without the specific text

Historically its always been multiply then add, however increases to the str characteristics have generally been viewed as a permanent boost and get multiplied in. But seeing the example they provide would certainly aid this discussion
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#4
Halandaar

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Where can one find this example to read? It awful hard to participate in a conversation about grammar without the specific text

Historically its always been multiply then add, however increases to the str characteristics have generally been viewed as a permanent boost and get multiplied in. But seeing the example they provide would certainly aid this discussion

 

Core Rules, Page 8 under the heading "Modifying Characteristics" The example text is:

 

"Example: A Space Marine Sergeant (Strength characteristic 4) is making an attack with a power fist (Strength characteristic x2) while under the effects of a psychic power that increases his Strength characteristic by 1. The two modifiers (x2 and +1) are cumulative and applied concurrently. The attack is therefore resolved at Strength 9 ([4x2]+1=9). "

 

As far as I remember, it was always done like this, and the only way you would "double-dip" on a strength bonus was if the characteristic was modified before the game, ie via a Warlord trait or something like that, in which case the hypothetical Sergeant would have a starting Strength of 5, doubled to 10 by his Power Fist.


Edited by Halandaar, 29 July 2020 - 01:24 PM.

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#5
Spinsanity

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Example: A Space Marine Sergeant (Strength characteristic 4) is making an attack with a power fist (Strength characteristic x2) while under the effects of a psychic power that increases his Strength characteristic by 1. The two modifiers (x2 and +1) are cumulative and applied concurrently. The attack is therefore resolved at Strength 9 ([4x2]+1=9).

Uhh, I’ve read and re-read the example and can’t figure out what it is that doesn’t make sense... Could the OP be a bit
More specific? Which sentence or part of doesn’t?

Edit: Actually, re-reading the OP, I think you’re missing a point, though. You never roll Strength, so any Strength modifier is always a characteristic increase or decrease, never a roll modifier... They don’t have to specify that it’s a characteristic modifier because that would be irrelevant... Now things could be more conplex if you ended up with WS, BS or Ld modifiers, but I donmt think we have any characteristic modifiers for any of these, do we?

Edited by Spinsanity, 29 July 2020 - 01:44 PM.

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#6
WickedJester1013

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I have to agree, I found no confusion when I read that section. Maybe OP can elaborate on what’s confusing you
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#7
Halandaar

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Uhh, I’ve read and re-read the example and can’t figure out what it is that doesn’t make sense... Could the OP be a bit

More specific? Which sentence or part of doesn’t?

 

Agreed, and actually forgot to say so myself. I can't see how there is any confusion about this, and certainly not in the way the rules are worded. 


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#8
Gherrick

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The issue of characteristic vs roll modifiers goes back at least as far as 7E with a thunderwolf being a wargear option for some HQs. It changed the strength and toughness characteristics from 4 to 5, and people had argued at length if the resulting strength with a power fist/thunder hammer was either 9 or 10. IIRC, by the end of 7th, it was pretty much agreed that 10 was the correct calculation, due to the actual statline for TWC showing a 5 strength.

 

This is why I am trying to wrap my head around what GW did by saying characteristic "modifiers" are part of the same MDAS treatment as roll "modifiers". Weapon strengths are either a fixed number, User, or some modifier (eg. +X or x2). The x2 has always been equivalent of "User * 2", with User being the Strength characteristic. Any modifiers to Strength characteristic would be doubled by that weapon. That's the entire reason to separate out characteristic modifiers.

 

Trying to put that example into an expression is not possible, since the spell states it affects the Strength characteristic, and the weapon is x2, but somehow 2(S+1) = 2S + 1, which it doesn't.



#9
Firedrake Cordova

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Trying to put that example into an expression is not possible, since the spell states it affects the Strength characteristic, and the weapon is x2, but somehow 2(S+1) = 2S + 1, which it doesn't.

I think it's inferred that when the modifiers are applied concurrently (i.e order not specified), then it's applied in mathematical order (multiplication first, then addition), as combining multiplication and addition does not yield a commutative operation.  Maybe a one-liner to say "When applying characteristic modifiers, remember to multiply before adding" might remove this point of confusion?

 

++EDIT: Meant commutative, not transitive facepalm.png


Edited by Firedrake Cordova, 29 July 2020 - 08:10 PM.


#10
Noserenda

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BODMAS is weirdly under-taught in some curriculums though, it got brought up in a family gathering a few years ago and only my mother and I knew about it as a rule from school and we are a family of smart arses :D 



#11
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Where can one find this example to read? It awful hard to participate in a conversation about grammar without the specific text

Historically its always been multiply then add, however increases to the str characteristics have generally been viewed as a permanent boost and get multiplied in. But seeing the example they provide would certainly aid this discussion

 

Core Rules, Page 8 under the heading "Modifying Characteristics" The example text is:

 

"Example: A Space Marine Sergeant (Strength characteristic 4) is making an attack with a power fist (Strength characteristic x2) while under the effects of a psychic power that increases his Strength characteristic by 1. The two modifiers (x2 and +1) are cumulative and applied concurrently. The attack is therefore resolved at Strength 9 ([4x2]+1=9). "

 

As far as I remember, it was always done like this, and the only way you would "double-dip" on a strength bonus was if the characteristic was modified before the game, ie via a Warlord trait or something like that, in which case the hypothetical Sergeant would have a starting Strength of 5, doubled to 10 by his Power Fist.

 

 

Actually in 8th it was different. Blood Angels with Powerfist in range of a Sanguinary Priest had S10 instead of S9 as confirmed via FAQ.

Reason behind it was that it was still multiplication before addition, however it was split in two parts. First you'd do it for the characteristics and then you'd do it for the weapon etc.


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#12
chapter master 454

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So unlike 8th, it isn't possible to make an 11 strength abominant that can swing with strength 22 hammer then. Sad but oh well, the theory for it was fun.


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#13
Brokejaw Gutripper

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I always thought multiplication went before division? IIRC the rule book put division first yes?

#14
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#15
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Well this is a weird one that I missed. What about a relic that modifies a stat before the game even begins? For example, the Insiduium of the Iron Warriors gives the bearer +1 S,T, and W. Does this wording mean that his powerfist would only be s9 in 9e?

EDIT: the boxout on p203 of the big rulebook says to change any characteristics before applying modifiers "if a rule instructs you to replace one characteristic with a specified value". The Insiduium says to "add 1 to the strength, toughness, and wounds characteristics" of the model bearing it. I think the intention of the relic is to make the model have those stats be 1 better (so 5/5/6 for a chaos Lord for example), but since it says Add, would GW not count that as a "specified value" in their new wording? Slightly ambiguous.

Edited by nanosquid, 29 July 2020 - 08:56 PM.


#16
MegaVolt87

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Modified vs base stats have a long history. Back when insta death was a thing say a bike against a krak missile S8 AP3+ against a bike of 4(5) toughness the 4 toughness was what you used against insta death. later T5 was the base toughness for a bike as insta death left later on. The classic fist example, its been applied like in the example for years now, you only gt S10 if the base strength stat is 5 before modifiers (looks like pre game stat modifiers are counted as a base stat profile, not a modified stat profile to work it out- I think). 


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#17
chapter master 454

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I always thought multiplication went before division? IIRC the rule book put division first yes?

 

Ultimately it doesn't matter which way round you do them. 2x4/4 = 2 no matter how you order it, you can start at 2 times 4 then divide by 4 or divide 4 by 4 then times by 2. There can be some examples of this getting twisted but for the purposes of 40k, don't worry about it. Since all they will do is basic sums and only round fractions up after all other modifiers have been calculated, it won't affect anything really.

 

However if someone wants to correct me, though I believe I am right, then feel free.

 

So yea, this does raise the question of what counts as altering the stats for the battles and what is a modifier. An example could be the GSC with +1 strength or catachans, do they count as 3+1 or do they count as 4 (matters for Power Fists). If they count as 3+1 then what about relics as mentioned above or even warlord traits. 


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I Chapter Master 454, Chapter Master of the Angels of Justice, Warboss of WAAAGH Gubskul, Commander of a Catachan Regiment, Phaeron of a Tomb World, Shas'O to a Cadre and Princeps of a lance of House Taranis hereby pledge that I will not take up any further models til all other prior have been fully built and painted to tabletop standards. There is no time limit for this task, there is no deadline. My oath is to solemnly complete the armies I have now, to see it that they can have their glory. Paint will be stripped from the old in need, thick may it be like ceramite I will see it removed so that plastic and metal alike may see light of new paint. Models yet to be, boxed and in darkness will be assembled with due care and attention. For this task I am permitted to still buy the supplies needed to do my task but not one model more.

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#18
GrFlur

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"Example: A Space Marine Sergeant (Strength characteristic 4) is making an attack with a power fist (Strength characteristic x2) while under the effects of a psychic power that increases his Strength characteristic by 1. The two modifiers (x2 and +1) are cumulative and applied concurrently. The attack is therefore resolved at Strength 9 ([4x2]+1=9). "

 

So everyone here is of the thinking that if this marine doesn't strike with the power fist his strenght remains in 4?

 

The way I see it it's (strenght + Phisic modifier) * wepon modifier

 

Because the physic modifier goes to the marine strenght not the marine strike

 

A space Marine Sergeant (strenght carasteristic 4) while under the efects of a physic power that increases his strenght characteristic by 1 (now 5) is making an attack with a power fist (strenght x2) so:

 

Strenght  + Strenght modifier (4+1) = New strenght

New strenght * Power fist modifier = Strike power

 

I'm going to repeat ... If the Sgt is not hitting with his fist, how much is his strenght worth? 


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#19
chapter master 454

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"Example: A Space Marine Sergeant (Strength characteristic 4) is making an attack with a power fist (Strength characteristic x2) while under the effects of a psychic power that increases his Strength characteristic by 1. The two modifiers (x2 and +1) are cumulative and applied concurrently. The attack is therefore resolved at Strength 9 ([4x2]+1=9). "

 

So everyone here is of the thinking that if this marine doesn't strike with the power fist his strenght remains in 4?

 

The way I see it it's (strenght + Phisic modifier) * wepon modifier

 

Because the physic modifier goes to the marine strenght not the marine strike

 

A space Marine Sergeant (strenght carasteristic 4) while under the efects of a physic power that increases his strenght characteristic by 1 (now 5) is making an attack with a power fist (strenght x2) so:

 

Strenght  + Strenght modifier (4+1) = New strenght

New strenght * Power fist modifier = Strike power

 

I'm going to repeat ... If the Sgt is not hitting with his fist, how much is his strenght worth? 

 

 

5.

 

Basically, the way they are working it is that the psychic power is a running strength modifier he has, not a direct stat change. So effectively every time he goes to attack (in this case without his fist which in 9th isn't possible unless he has another weapon to do this) the game "checks" what his total strength should be and thus brings up all his modifiers that are related to this attack. So the stat block of the attack would be read as "range: melee, Strength: User +1, AP:-, D:1" since he has a running buff that improves his strength that is only checked when it matters. The same would likely apply if there were a strength test being needed, in which case no weapon is used but his strength is still "4+1" because of the psychic power.

 

In other words, it appears that all modifiers don't actually alter the stat-block of the model until it is pertinent and thus just sit there "on the sheet" as modifiers to apply when needed. Sort of like a temporary special rule on the datasheet that says "this model has +1 strength"


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I Chapter Master 454, Chapter Master of the Angels of Justice, Warboss of WAAAGH Gubskul, Commander of a Catachan Regiment, Phaeron of a Tomb World, Shas'O to a Cadre and Princeps of a lance of House Taranis hereby pledge that I will not take up any further models til all other prior have been fully built and painted to tabletop standards. There is no time limit for this task, there is no deadline. My oath is to solemnly complete the armies I have now, to see it that they can have their glory. Paint will be stripped from the old in need, thick may it be like ceramite I will see it removed so that plastic and metal alike may see light of new paint. Models yet to be, boxed and in darkness will be assembled with due care and attention. For this task I am permitted to still buy the supplies needed to do my task but not one model more.

http://www.bolterand...one-model-more/ the thread to my oath. My own reminder.

http://www.bolterand...rk-in-progress/ my own chapter
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#20
GrFlur

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"Example: A Space Marine Sergeant (Strength characteristic 4) is making an attack with a power fist (Strength characteristic x2) while under the effects of a psychic power that increases his Strength characteristic by 1. The two modifiers (x2 and +1) are cumulative and applied concurrently. The attack is therefore resolved at Strength 9 ([4x2]+1=9). "

 

So everyone here is of the thinking that if this marine doesn't strike with the power fist his strenght remains in 4?

 

The way I see it it's (strenght + Phisic modifier) * wepon modifier

 

Because the physic modifier goes to the marine strenght not the marine strike

 

A space Marine Sergeant (strenght carasteristic 4) while under the efects of a physic power that increases his strenght characteristic by 1 (now 5) is making an attack with a power fist (strenght x2) so:

 

Strenght  + Strenght modifier (4+1) = New strenght

New strenght * Power fist modifier = Strike power

 

I'm going to repeat ... If the Sgt is not hitting with his fist, how much is his strenght worth? 

 

 

5.

 

Basically, the way they are working it is that the psychic power is a running strength modifier he has, not a direct stat change. So effectively every time he goes to attack (in this case without his fist which in 9th isn't possible unless he has another weapon to do this) the game "checks" what his total strength should be and thus brings up all his modifiers that are related to this attack. So the stat block of the attack would be read as "range: melee, Strength: User +1, AP:-, D:1" since he has a running buff that improves his strength that is only checked when it matters. The same would likely apply if there were a strength test being needed, in which case no weapon is used but his strength is still "4+1" because of the psychic power.

 

In other words, it appears that all modifiers don't actually alter the stat-block of the model until it is pertinent and thus just sit there "on the sheet" as modifiers to apply when needed. Sort of like a temporary special rule on the datasheet that says "this model has +1 strength"

 

 

Sorry, but ffor me it makes no sense. Maybe I'm too old to understand this new wordings and mathematics.

 

Thks for the explanation.


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#21
War Angel

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"Example: A Space Marine Sergeant (Strength characteristic 4) is making an attack with a power fist (Strength characteristic x2) while under the effects of a psychic power that increases his Strength characteristic by 1. The two modifiers (x2 and +1) are cumulative and applied concurrently. The attack is therefore resolved at Strength 9 ([4x2]+1=9). "

 
So everyone here is of the thinking that if this marine doesn't strike with the power fist his strenght remains in 4?
 
The way I see it it's (strenght + Phisic modifier) * wepon modifier
 
Because the physic modifier goes to the marine strenght not the marine strike
 
A space Marine Sergeant (strenght carasteristic 4) while under the efects of a physic power that increases his strenght characteristic by 1 (now 5) is making an attack with a power fist (strenght x2) so:
 
Strenght  + Strenght modifier (4+1) = New strenght
New strenght * Power fist modifier = Strike power
 
I'm going to repeat ... If the Sgt is not hitting with his fist, how much is his strenght worth?
 
5.
 
Basically, the way they are working it is that the psychic power is a running strength modifier he has, not a direct stat change. So effectively every time he goes to attack (in this case without his fist which in 9th isn't possible unless he has another weapon to do this) the game "checks" what his total strength should be and thus brings up all his modifiers that are related to this attack. So the stat block of the attack would be read as "range: melee, Strength: User +1, AP:-, D:1" since he has a running buff that improves his strength that is only checked when it matters. The same would likely apply if there were a strength test being needed, in which case no weapon is used but his strength is still "4+1" because of the psychic power.
 
In other words, it appears that all modifiers don't actually alter the stat-block of the model until it is pertinent and thus just sit there "on the sheet" as modifiers to apply when needed. Sort of like a temporary special rule on the datasheet that says "this model has +1 strength"
 
Sorry, but ffor me it makes no sense. Maybe I'm too old to understand this new wordings and mathematics.
 
Thks for the explanation.

Ok, but the first thing you quoted was GW’s explanation of how it works, so your interpretation is not accurate unfortunately.

A Marine is strength 4. The power first he is equipped with allows him to punch twice as strong, strength 8. A psyker does some warp magic, and makes him hit +1 harder, strength 9. To explain in fluff settings, the psyker isn’t actually making him stronger, it’s making his punch a little more potent. The powerfist is actually increasing his own force by double, but the spell is only adding a little more on top of that.

Now if the space Marine gets a promotion and becomes stronger (strength 5 base) then when he puts his powerfist on he is punching at twice that, for 10.
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#22
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"Example: A Space Marine Sergeant (Strength characteristic 4) is making an attack with a power fist (Strength characteristic x2) while under the effects of a psychic power that increases his Strength characteristic by 1. The two modifiers (x2 and +1) are cumulative and applied concurrently. The attack is therefore resolved at Strength 9 ([4x2]+1=9). "

 

So everyone here is of the thinking that if this marine doesn't strike with the power fist his strenght remains in 4?

 

The way I see it it's (strenght + Phisic modifier) * wepon modifier

 

Because the physic modifier goes to the marine strenght not the marine strike

 

A space Marine Sergeant (strenght carasteristic 4) while under the efects of a physic power that increases his strenght characteristic by 1 (now 5) is making an attack with a power fist (strenght x2) so:

 

Strenght  + Strenght modifier (4+1) = New strenght

New strenght * Power fist modifier = Strike power

 

I'm going to repeat ... If the Sgt is not hitting with his fist, how much is his strenght worth? 

 

 

5.

 

Basically, the way they are working it is that the psychic power is a running strength modifier he has, not a direct stat change. So effectively every time he goes to attack (in this case without his fist which in 9th isn't possible unless he has another weapon to do this) the game "checks" what his total strength should be and thus brings up all his modifiers that are related to this attack. So the stat block of the attack would be read as "range: melee, Strength: User +1, AP:-, D:1" since he has a running buff that improves his strength that is only checked when it matters. The same would likely apply if there were a strength test being needed, in which case no weapon is used but his strength is still "4+1" because of the psychic power.

 

In other words, it appears that all modifiers don't actually alter the stat-block of the model until it is pertinent and thus just sit there "on the sheet" as modifiers to apply when needed. Sort of like a temporary special rule on the datasheet that says "this model has +1 strength"

 

 

Sorry, but ffor me it makes no sense. Maybe I'm too old to understand this new wordings and mathematics.

 

Thks for the explanation.

 

Think of it as all modifications to strength are combined at the same time, not as a change to characteristic then change from weapon. So from that, it is just a basic math equation using order of operations Multiplication -> Division -> Add -> Subtract. 

So in the given example (which is from the rulebook, so it is correct), the Sgt is getting and x2 and a +1. First you multiply (4x2=8) and then add (8+1=9) ending with a Str of 9. If he just hits normally without his powerfist, he is just getting the +1 and would hit at Str 5. 


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#23
Gherrick

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I think we can agree the obvious intent in the example is to have the spell be treated as a modifier to be applied concurrently as the power fist's modifier. As the OP, I didn't challenge the intent, just how GW got there by their example. Changing characteristics on principle is not the same as  applying a situational modifier, and such language should be used judiciously.

 

A different example with a similar cognitive dissonance: Let's say a unit of infantry (move 6") got a +2" movement buff from source. Let's further say they then get hit with an effect that "halves their movement speed" (some spells do this, there may be other sources). Under the 9e rules, the result will now be 5 (6/2 + 2), not 4 (8/2). I'm mostly saying this hurts my head, and makes me have to think a bit harder over every calculation to make sure the math isn't wrong. I'm not sure the juice was worth the squeeze...but it is what it is.

 

Now, to make things even more fun, folks like blood angels get a chapter-wide buff of +1" to charge and advance. Under any effect that halves their charge distance, the new formula is (2d6/2 + 1), right? Not intuitive, at least for me.



#24
BluejayJunior

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I think we can agree the obvious intent in the example is to have the spell be treated as a modifier to be applied concurrently as the power fist's modifier. As the OP, I didn't challenge the intent, just how GW got there by their example. Changing characteristics on principle is not the same as  applying a situational modifier, and such language should be used judiciously.

.

The rules don't differentiate these. Any modification is treated the same and are cumulatively applied. Seems easy to go, "this model is getting a +1 from this and a x2 from this and here is the answer". The order of the buffs and where they originate from doesn't matter. It's always the same way to combine them.

Not sure why following the normal order of operations for math is unintuitive. 


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#25
Rogue

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I don't think it's always the order that's confusing - it's the timing.

My aberrants have the Twisted Helix cult creed, giving them +1 strength (going from 4 to 5). To help me remember this, I write their strength as 5 on my crib sheet. I think of them as strength 5.

In turn two, those aberrants smack something with a hammer. But if any and all modifiers are be calculated each time, then I now have to remember a buff that was applied before the game began, subtract it, multiply the remainder, and add the modifier back on again to get the answer (a strength 9 attack).

But intuitively, I want to go with: aberrants are strength 5. A x2 strength attack makes them strength 10. Mathematically wrong, maybe, but way more intuitive.

The process itself is easy. Remembering all the relevant bits, not so much.

Edited by Rogue, 30 July 2020 - 09:14 PM.

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