View Full Version : First Time Running Dark Heresy!

2008-12-18, 07:33 PM
Yeah, I've got some questions for the more experienced of you GMs out there.

First things first, I believe some of my players read this forum, so a little message to them.

Alex, Alex, Charlotte and Neil. If that's you out there, stop reading.

Anyway, back on track. I've got a dark heresy game coming up and I have what I think is a good amount of material for the game. I've got about 9 pages of story that should take my players solidly into their second ranks, but I have no idea if what I've done is the right thing.

I've always been one to not use pre-written stuff, I always preferred writing it myself as I thought I'd know it better that way. But what should I be writing?

I'm relatively new to DMing in general, and, well any tips would be helpful, particularly those relating to the 40k world.

Thanks in advance...

Lert, A.
2008-12-18, 07:56 PM
What should you write?

Why, what engages your players, obviously!

Start small. It is said that once your adventurers reach the highest rank they are about ready to be placed on a 40K map. Most of those characters will never change the face of the galaxy, so I would strongly suggest that you not try to do so.

Clues may be left intermittently for your players. Eventually things may make sense that there is a greater conspiracy to foil. A few clues per rank, leading to a big reveal will be more entertaining than starting a deep saga at the beginning.

2008-12-18, 08:51 PM
Well, having played in a few games of DH, and being a tournament organizer for War40K, i have a good handle on the fluff.

First things first, your players should have an idea what Ordo their Inquisitor works for. This does not mean you have to tell them the right Ordo, just they should have an idea if they are out looking for Demons, Heretics who summon demons, or heretics who happen to be Xeno. I would also advise to not make him an Ordo Xeno inquisitor, as our party has gotten up close and personal with some Xenos, and have barely made it out alive. Yes, it may seem bland to have them fight regular humans all the time, but its much better than staring down a genestealer.

Also, remember that morality in the grim darkness of the far future is much more morally ambiguous than your standard Fantasy setting. People suffer really terribly, a la the Victorian Era. The poor are incredibly destitute, and gangs are quite common.

Remember to have some emphasis on the investigation, as some of my favorite parts of the campaign im in have come from investigation. Try not to make it an all combat game.

Try to also use the various settings, like examining a Space Hulk, to sniffing out traitors in a hive, to going around a regular imperial world. However, make sure that you and the players know that while they are the Inquisition, and do wield a rather large modicum of power, they should avoid whipping out the Inquisitorial Rosettes if all possible. A lot of Inquisition work is done undercover, and you don't need to go blow that for a lasgun(not kidding, someone actually did). Also remember that the Inquisition doesn't always work together, and you may run into other acolytes or even Inquisitors who are trying to do something on the same planet your acolytes are on. These other members of the Inquisition can always hamper your players.

Well, to end my little rant, the most important thing is to have fun with it. And always remember: Burn the Heretic! Kill the Mutant! Purge the Unclean!

2008-12-18, 08:56 PM
More of a general tip than anything else- Dump the players into it, first session. As in, have them meet the BBEG, or a suitable representitive, and hand them their asses, the bloodier the better. That's if your players are little combat monkeys who get excited every time you look up the Random Encounters table. If not, do the same, but without the combat. Starting out in the same room as the (yet unknown) BBEG, perhaps working for him, then finding out he's the source of Chaos taint or whatever it is that's fuelling your plot always gets the players interested. These aren't entirely applicable if it's already been all written though. If you want an insidious evil feel, then maybe set the whole thing on one of the Hive Worlds, like Necromunda. Intruige and Violence both fit perfectly well in such a place.

A few clues per rank, leading to a big reveal will be more entertaining than starting a deep saga at the beginning.
Quoted for truth. Also, make sure the players KNOW that their characters don't know enough to go confront (God Emperor/Captain/Authority Figure/Mr. Magoo) with the evidence, otherwise they'll ruin your beutifully crafted plot

Edit: OH, and get your Chaos Minions all sorted out. I've been in a campaign where we mostly faced Nurglings. The plot revolved around the fact that TZEENTCH was controlling it all. Yeah, it just came off as bad forethought on the GM's part

2008-12-19, 05:17 AM
Fantastic help people. That's all really good helpful stuff. And it seems that I'm on the right track as well!

2008-12-19, 05:21 AM
Write characters and environments, not scenes. You want NPCs with motivations and plans, you want interesting locations they or the PCs are likely to get into, and you want an idea about how those plans will play out if the PCs don't interfere.

Then you let the PCs loose on all that.

Obviously, things that happen outside of the PCs' influence are a different matter - that stuff is going to play out however you want it, although it can be influenced indirectly by what the PCs have done and what the NPCs far away have found out about their doings.