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I've used Kill Markers very few times. They are an abstract method of tracking the Kill Team progress toward an Objective that is less clearly defined. However, rather than assigning values toward Objectives as the book suggests, I've used them to track Interaction Skills/Talents usage compared to NPC Dispositions. Interaction Skills/Talents, as well as the Players role playing conversations and maneuvering the interaction, earn Kill Markers toward a favourable NPC Disposition.
Personally, I try to clearly define Objectives, and I find Kill Markers to be a superfluous mechanic.
It seems to me that this works best for a non-structured mission, one that could essentially work as a mix of random and predifined encounters. The main benefit I see here is that hte Kill Team can call it quits early with regards to Kill Marker objectives without having to grind through each and every available encounter. It also gives the players the opportunity to decide for themselves how to achieve their objective.
On the down side, it means the GM may find himself preparing more content than is actually used.
I find them awkward and don't use them. Even Rogue Trader's sometimes fiddly achievement point system is easier to use.
Pericula in mora
Danger in delay
As the others have said: Kill Markers are not worth it.
If you have a well-defined objective then everybody should have a clear idea of when that has been achieved. Whether one uses Kill Markers or not don't really affect how much freedom the PCs should have in completing their mission. I certainly haven't felt constrained as a player.
The only use I could see for Kill Markers would be for something similar to the RT Endeavour points for large-scale operations spanning multiple 'missions.' But those are not generally worth bothering with either.
"These our actors, / As I foretold you, were all spirits,/ Are melted into air, into thin air, / And, like the baseless fabric of vision, / The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, / The solemn temples, the great globe itself, / Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve / And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, / Leave not a rack behind." Shakespeare's The Tempest, IV.1
Get your Bard on at the Bard Brawl!
i take my lead from the sample adventures found on this website….whose names slip me mind at the moment, dammit……Final Sanction, i think….anyhoo, in those adventures, the pc's must disrupt the rebellion/Hive Mind enough to make escape feasible: to do this, they must take out several objectives. Mechanically, each objective was worth a certain number of Kill Markers, depending upon how valuable that objective was. Escape became feasible upon 'winning' 100 Kill Markers……so, the pc's could pick and choose their objectives and, once they'd completed enough objectives to attain 100 KM, they were able to escape and move on to the next phase of the adventure. (Storywise, this reflected the pc's knocking out enuf hive nodes and enemy combatants to make their way off-world, i think.) Thus, the players had a plethora of targets to choose from, but needn't (indeed, shouldn't/couldn't) go after them all. Using KM's is kind of a way of keeping track of what the team has accomplished when the absolute specifics don't matter so much as the bigger picture (i.e. they have to whittle down the enemy forces by 100 KM, but it doesn't matter if they take out 3 hordes worth 40 KM each, or 2 commanding officers worth 50 KM each, or blow up the bunker for 40 KM and the ammo dump for 60 KM, or any combination thereof)
Hope that helps (and check out the two sample adventures on the website to see kill markers in action)
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