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    Default Sell me on Dark Heresy

    I am already a 40k player, and I play witchhunters (mostly Sisters of battle, though I also have some deamon hunters, gaurd, and blood angels) so I understand the setting and all of the super grim darkness attached. But I have several questions.

    -Is the game really that good?
    -How do the various systems operate?
    -How does the game fit on the GNS model (gamist, narrativist, simulationist)?
    -What are the classes?
    -What are Asenscion classes?
    -How wide is the class tier variance (ie how big is the gulf between high tier classes and low tier classes)?
    -How broken are Psykers?
    -How important is money/requisition/currency?
    -Other than the main book, what other books are "neccessary", ie just so good that the content should have been in the core book?
    -Can I play a Battle Sister? (blood thirsty nuns in power armor, who can say no to that?)
    -How much work is neccessary to get a character going (time and math)?
    -How much work does it take as the GM?
    -Are there rules for Mutants?
    -How do Space Marines fit into this puzzle?
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    -Is the game really that good? My favorite RPG.
    -How do the various systems operate? D100, with your percentage of success based on your attribute scores + modifiers.
    -How does the game fit on the GNS model (gamist, narrativist, simulationist)? The what?
    -What are the classes? Core rulebook: Adept (scholar), Arbitrator, Assassin, Cleric, Guardsman, Psyker, Scum, Techpriest. Inquisitor's Handbook adds Battle Sisters. Inquisitor's Handbook and other add-ons come with tons of "prestige classes" of sorts in the form of alternate career paths and background packages.
    -What are Asenscion classes? Haven't played Ascension. I've heard its rather meh.
    -How wide is the class tier variance (ie how big is the gulf between high tier classes and low tier classes)? I'm not really sure there are tiers. Classes all have strengths and weaknesses.
    -How broken are Psykers? They can break the game, but they can also be eaten by a rift in reality if they roll bad enough. Plus, it offers lots of roleplaying challenges since everyone hates and mistrusts Psykers. I think it kinda balances out.
    -How important is money/requisition/currency? I'm generous with money, and I've house-ruled the costs of some weapons. Otherwise, you'll never be able to afford the really shiny stuff like plasma pistols and power swords...
    -Other than the main book, what other books are "neccessary", ie just so good that the content should have been in the core book? Inquisitor's Handbook, hands down. Creature's Anathema is also useful.
    -Can I play a Battle Sister? (blood thirsty nuns in power armor, who can say no to that?) Inquisitor's Handbook has the basic class. Blood of the Martyrs, newly released, apparently adds a ton of new options and career paths for Battle Sisters, plus several alternate career paths for other classes, like options to make witch hunters and stuff.
    -How much work is neccessary to get a character going (time and math)? Ehhh, it can be a bit time consuming. If you're level 1 with little XP and money, probably an hour or so. Less if you know what you're doing, longer if you're new to the game. If you're a higher level, it will take you much longer since you'll want to get really in-depth with XP spending and equipment purchase. But the work it takes is worth it, because of the depth of the character creation and attachment you feel to what you've made.
    -How much work does it take as the GM? About as much as you'd expect for most other games. You should always have the scenario relatively figured out, major baddies given stats, fall-back plans for when PCs make stupid decisions, et cetera.
    -Are there rules for Mutants? Yes! In the core rulebook, its possible to develop mutations as a result of becoming Corrupted by the Warp, heresy, or other influences. And in The Radical's Handbook, another add-on book, there are stats for playing as a Hive Mutant.
    -How do Space Marines fit into this puzzle? Nope. Not unless you get Deathwatch.
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    The system overall is pretty good, though it does have several mechanical weak points where the WFRP 2e system it uses isn't really well suited to the material. It's percentile based with d10 rolls for damage, and psykers roll a number of d10 equal to their psy rating to try and hit a power's target number to activate it. It doesn't really aggressively cater to any of the GNS archetypes, and instead takes up a bit of a middle ground.

    Classes are Guardsman, Adept (bureaucrat), Tech-Priest, Psyker, Arbites (cop), Scum (thief), Assassin, and Cleric. I'm not familiar with Ascension, so I can't help you there. Class variance isn't really too much of an issue since each class has their own niche and all are well suited to them. The only trouble you can have are optimized Psykers, and that only comes up at higher Ranks.

    Throne Gelt as implemented in the books is a bit of a mess and will leave anyone not a Cleric or Noble-Born spending their income almost entirely on basic supplies. It works a bit better if you supplement the monthly income with additional mission based rewards, but even then a lot of the high end gear like Bolters and Power Armor are still generally out of reach.

    I'd highly recommend the Inquisitor's Handbook, in part because it has Sisters of Battle (though Power Armor isn't going to be affordable for most DH characters). Character Creation for new players probably takes an hour or so, though a good portion of that will be them familiarizing themselves with the rules. For experienced players it probably takes about 10 minutes.

    Mechanically it isn't too much work for GMs, however intrigue-based games are the default, and they generally take longer to prepare than more sandboxy games. There's a system for tracking characters' Corruption, and when they hit 30, 60, or 90 Corruption points they have to test for mutation which is rolled randomly on a chart. In my group's experience, generally it doesn't come up unless the character is repeatedly engaging in heresy (which some have done). You could also use the chart to have a character be mutated at character creation (possibly costing some of their starting exp). Space Marines don't really fit in at all, as they're way above the characters in power level. Deathwatch is the game you want for Space Marines.

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Is the game really that good?
    Likely my favirote. Would be my most played if it was more popular

    -How do the various systems operate?
    roll under your stat on a d100.

    -How does the game fit on the GNS model (gamist, narrativist, simulationist)?
    err narrativist I think? Perhaps simulationist
    -What are the classes?
    Scum, Arbitor, Psyker, Guardsman, Adept, Techpriest, missonary, Assassin
    -What are Asenscion classes?
    No idea
    -How wide is the class tier variance (ie how big is the gulf between high tier classes and low tier classes)?
    Really small. A single lucky shot can drop even a high level character of any class
    -How broken are Psykers?
    Not really. They have some nasty powers but they also get corrupted/insane twice as fast as anyone else
    -How important is money/requisition/currency?
    depends on your GM
    -Other than the main book, what other books are "neccessary", ie just so good that the content should have been in the core book?
    Only the main book is truely necessary. For the GM I would get Creatures
    -Can I play a Battle Sister? (blood thirsty nuns in power armor, who can say no to that?)
    Yes, you'd start as an iniate though
    -How much work is neccessary to get a character going (time and math)?
    If you want to build your character it can take a long time. However you can completely randomize your character (except for skills) which is pretty quick
    -How much work does it take as the GM?
    Same as any other system
    -Are there rules for Mutants?
    Yes both as playing and becoming one
    -How do Space Marines fit into this puzzle?
    Generally they don't.
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Most of the questions have already been answered, so I'll only consider those that haven't.

    -What are Ascension classes
    Ascension classes are a series of classes introduced in the book ascension that are the equivalent of d&d epic level. They are basically continued progression for the base classes, but they tend to be more focused (but there are more of them too). The power level in Ascension is noticeably higher, and a few things stand out as being much stronger than the rest, especially psykers and the infamous vindicare assassins, but most of it could be fixed quite easily. Ascension is also completely optional, but it's nice to play as inquisitors (and their actual retinues) sometimes.

    -How do Space Marines fit into this
    Space Marines are mostly described in their own subsystem, Deathwatch, which is more of an epic rpg than a gritty one (if such a thing can be said of anything set in the 40k universe). Space Marines tend to exist much higher on the power scale than DH acolytes or even Ascension throne agents in terms of raw combat ability, but they tend to have trouble on the social side of things. As such, it's pretty difficult to create a game were both type of characters coexist without one or the other completely overshadowing the other.
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
    Most of the questions have already been answered, so I'll only consider those that haven't.

    -What are Ascension classes
    Ascension classes are a series of classes introduced in the book ascension that are the equivalent of d&d epic level. They are basically continued progression for the base classes, but they tend to be more focused (but there are more of them too). The power level in Ascension is noticeably higher, and a few things stand out as being much stronger than the rest, especially psykers and the infamous vindicare assassins, but most of it could be fixed quite easily. Ascension is also completely optional, but it's nice to play as inquisitors (and their actual retinues) sometimes.

    -How do Space Marines fit into this
    Space Marines are mostly described in their own subsystem, Deathwatch, which is more of an epic rpg than a gritty one (if such a thing can be said of anything set in the 40k universe). Space Marines tend to exist much higher on the power scale than DH acolytes or even Ascension throne agents in terms of raw combat ability, but they tend to have trouble on the social side of things. As such, it's pretty difficult to create a game were both type of characters coexist without one or the other completely overshadowing the other.

    You might be surprised - an Ultramarine Tacmarine with the right talents and high Fellowship can wreck his way through social encounters easily...and if the talking fails, he's still a Space Marine. There's really no way that a Deathwatch character could be included in a Dark Heresy party without overshadowing pretty much any of them in anything short of specific skills like Psyniscience, Tech-Use, Medicae, or Stealth (depending on specialty, maybe two of the first three, and SM's are only bad at Stealth because of their armor). But then again, a DW character with no purchases is rated at 12,000 XP, so he should be outclassing the acolytes/agents.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Stabber View Post
    How does the game fit on the GNS model (gamist, narrativist, simulationist)?
    [rant]You realise that GNS was meant to model players not games. and that it's been thoroughly debunked repeatedly. And that adding -ist to the end of a word, then using the term incorrectly (nobody seems able to agree what simulationist actually is) doesn't make the GNS concept any better.

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Quote Originally Posted by The Big Dice View Post
    [rant]You realise that GNS was meant to model players not games. and that it's been thoroughly debunked repeatedly. And that adding -ist to the end of a word, then using the term incorrectly (nobody seems able to agree what simulationist actually is) doesn't make the GNS concept any better.

    [/rant]
    Even still games do cater to a certain expectation(ie appeal to a certain player model), and I have never seen anything debunking it. The model may have flaws, but it is still a useful metric. The only way it could truely be "debunked" is if a better system of modeling player preferences is put forth. And the -ist thing is how I have seen it explained 1000 times.

    And simulationist means recreating an existing fictional setting as closely as possible.

    Just because you don't like the model doesn't mean its useless to me.
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    I have run and played in a few games of DH and i enjoyed all of them.

    The books are good but expensive but if your a 40k fan then the fluff alone is amost worth buying them for.

    I find a lot of DnD players get frustrated with the game because to begin with you will fail a lot more then you succeed. Your characters will be pourly skilled and equiped most likely so you can just storm into a situation and awesome it to death.

    After a while they will learn that the game is all about stacking the odds, do your prep work and if you can help it never enter a fire fight that is not on your terms.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Stabber View Post
    And simulationist means recreating an existing fictional setting as closely as possible.
    This articleby Ron Edwards, the driving force behind GNS, and later the person who dropped the idea in favour of The Big model would appear to disagree. He said:
    Simulationism is expressed by enhancing one or more of the listed elements in Set 1 above; in other words, Simulationism heightens and focuses Exploration as the priority of play. The players may be greatly concerned with the internal logic and experiential consistency of that Exploration.
    Exploration has nothing to do with simulating an existing setting. And GURPS, with it's attempts to model real physical actions in a plausible and consisten way is held up as the champion of Simulationism.

    None of which really fits together when you look at it. Cracks are papered pver, but not repaired. The other problem is, terms used in GNS aren't used in the way that the rest of the world uses them. Making it elitis and exclusive, rather than inclusive and welcoming.

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    On the Sisters of Battle: Blood of Martyrs has a career path for them different from the one in the Inquisitor's Handbook. They start with power armour and a bolter at rank 1, but they get no money and a bunch of RP restrictions. Worth a look if you like the sisters, and if the GM thinks power armour and a bolter is too much, there are options for toning it down a bit.
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Starting out with power armour and bolter at rank 1 in DH? Can i get a link to this because they would want to be some hefty RP restrictions.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Can't link to it, it's in a book. Primarily, though...

    Sisters are not allowed to be sneaky. They are not allowed to be underhanded. The acolyte cell wants to sneak in and poison a guy? Too bad! The sister is going to kick in his door and start shooting. Heresy in any form is not to be suffered. Heresy is to be shot, and nobody is above reproach.

    Having a sister along can open some doors, but it'll close a lot of others. All pretense of subtlety goes out the window. There are some styles of game Sisters will work in, and some where they very much won't.

    In the book's defense, though, it does include options for lowering the power level of their starting equipment somewhat.
    Last edited by Destro_Yersul; 2011-03-25 at 02:12 AM.
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    All i can say is just building on whats been said.
    That and I think its a really really great system to play.
    The mechanics I think really help the GM push the setting.
    Sometimes It really is more about the setting then the game however.
    Ascension is a good example of this..where there more conserned with making a vindicar assasin "A VINDICAR ASSASIN" rather then balancing things.
    The same is easily said with the psyker class..who will become powerful enough to chew daemon hordes into paste.

    If you avoid ascenion (like a plague from father nurgle!) youve got a decent very balanced game...so long as you keep the psyker in line (that career is the only real balance issue. and its not a big one with some RAI)

    Mostly expect a very different game to DnD
    There is no wealth by levels stuff..just a tiny monthly income that really should be thought of more as the "stable" part of there income. The vast majority of what they need will need to be gained the hard way...actually roleplaying trading deals..stealing things or bringing back the loot of enemies to sell.
    There is also no "levels" for creatures or NPC's. You would think this would make it hard forming encounters for your acolytes..but if anything it makes it a better game.
    The games are about the story of it all, the PC's arnt going through a "genestealer grind" There saving Hive scintilla! as a Gm you just have to learn quickly what kinds of enemies the PC's CAN handle a bit better then you would DnD e.t.c

    This is especially important since characters are very squishy (there just wittle humies) and even a small pack of nurglings can be a PTK

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Just out of curiosity, how far/close to the Warhammer Fantasy RPG is DH?

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Sisters start with a simple melee weapon (club or staff or flail), a las pistol, a carapace chest plate and mesh coif or a feral (I believe it was supposed to be feudal) plate. This leaves them with a serious lack of firepower (and hitting power as well), and either exposed limbs, or a heavy (encumbrance), primitive armour (rating 6, but only 3 against non-primitive weapons).

    I'd really like to see reasons why they should start with a power armour and a bolter - there's very little in terms of restrictions that could possibly offset the massive advantage these would give.

    On the other hand, do the power armors still have the rule that they run out of juice after 1d5 hours?
    Last edited by MickJay; 2011-03-25 at 09:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    The sisters of battle described in the new suppliment is effectivly a new career class. They strip the sister of all her starting equipment and tell her she cannot purchase anything else, since she no longer works for money.
    She is in effect..a space marine for DH.
    She cannot accumulate thrones..or strive for trade. She cannot pillage or loot corpses for such things are below her. She cant even choose which weapons she wishes to use...she has to earn them.
    In other words your replaced any and ALL of the original sister of battle customisation and replaced it with long lived power armor and powerful weapons.

    your basicaly swapping a carreer path for a series of unavoidable conflicts and the tools to do well in them.

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    Why would any Inquisitor would want such a Sister in his group of acolytes? Unless, perhaps, all said acolytes were members of his fanatic "blow up and destroy" squad...
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    The book actually seems more geared towards playing characters who are members of the ecclisarschy. However it also mentions that such players would be selected by an Inquisitor as exactly that..the armored fist needed to smite the most durable of the imperiums enemies when his other acolytes root them out.

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Quote Originally Posted by MickJay View Post
    Why would any Inquisitor would want such a Sister in his group of acolytes?
    A Ordo Hereticus one
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Big Dice View Post
    Just out of curiosity, how far/close to the Warhammer Fantasy RPG is DH?
    It's fairly close. There's lots of minor things like no Perception stat, initiative being different, and combat being much simpler due to the lack of automatic weapons. I find that the system is a bit cleaner and runs more smoothly, as some of the changes made for DH to accommodate the setting feel a bit tacked on to the system (though those flaws don't really start showing up until you're playing Rogue Trader and Deathwatch). Probably the biggest difference is how WFRP handles careers. Instead of having one set career and advancing in ranks, you advance through careers. So you might start of as a militiaman, but over time advance to be a sergeant and then a knight.

    That's all for second edition. First will look similar in some ways but very different in others, and third will be downright unrecognizable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    A Ordo Hereticus one
    It's a good form to first confirm there are any heretics around before the killing starts, and that's hard to do if all of the wretches fled the moment they heard hymns praising the Emperor and clanking of the power armor.
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    No inquisitor worth his salt will have only one group of acolytes. He sends out the feeler groups, and when they find heresy, they send in the nuns.
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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    The problem with that approach is that it doesn't really mesh with having a Sister of Battle in the group of Acolytes unless you're planning on having most of the group be Sisters of Battle and task them with more extermination than investigation. The other alternative would be to have the Sister sit off camera during the investigation where she'd probably be a liability, then come in for the clean-up, but that doesn't strike me as particularly fun for the Sororitas player.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    The suppliment wasnt about "making the sister fit in" :P thats what the main class is for. Its just when that came out people were like "Aww man..wheres the power armor and bolters?" :P so now they have given them what they asked for. If the players and the GM wanted an intrigue game..well then you DONT play a battle sister. You play there normal carreer path.

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Quote Originally Posted by profitofrage View Post
    If the players and the GM wanted an intrigue game..well then you DONT play a battle sister. You play there normal carreer path.
    Or you play one of the non-Militant Orders: Dialogous, Famulous, or Hospitaller.

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    Ranos's Avatar

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    A battle sister isn't prohibited from being diplomatic or stealthy (though she won't be exceedingly good at either). That's just your own bias projected onto the class.

    Also, there's nothing stopping them from looting. It's just that they'll happily donate all their thrones and their share of the spoils of battle to the Ecclesiarchy once the mission is over. Nothing stopping them from temporarily borrowing a tool or weapon from another acolyte either.

    And they do have a choice of which weapons to use, with more choices each rank. At rank 4, for example, a battle sister will have to choose at the start of every mission which weapons to requisition between a bolter, a bolt pistol, a flamer, a sword, a hand flamer, a chainsword, or a meltagun. Up to two weapons at a time. And at the start of the next mission, she'll be able to turn in that equipment and requisition something else if she wants.

    And of course, not all sisters are battle sisters.
    Last edited by Ranos; 2011-03-26 at 09:28 AM.

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    Dead_Jester's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisuke1133 View Post
    Or you play one of the non-Militant Orders: Dialogous, Famulous, or Hospitaller.
    Which is essentially playing an adept (or a cleric). The BoM version of those classes are actually alternate starting ranks for those classes, and the IH version are essentially the same, but with a bit less flexibility with the knowledge skills and more faith stuff.
    The Age of Warrior, a ToB expansion.

    Credits to Ninjaman for old Death Jester avatar.
    Homebrew (feel free to PEACH)
    Base Classes:
    Fighter Fix, The Sublime Matador

    Disciplines:
    The Endless Play

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    Daisuke1133
    I think you missed the point. The Newest suppliment is for making JUST battle sisters. The other ordos are encompassed by the inquisitors handbook carreer path.


    Ranos
    Out of there half a dozen choices...compared to the other acolytes being able to use any weapon they want/can find. Thats limiting, i didnt say it wasnt balanced..they do get them for free.
    And its not that they CANT do those things, its that theres background that prevents them from doing anything that could be construed as mildly "heretical"

    If the sister "knows but has no proof" that the noble is a heretic. While the other party members could stop and go "hmm better find evidence before we take them down." the Battle sister is expected to go in guns blazing out of devotion to the emperor. This is said rather obviously in the carreer's discription.

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Sell me on Dark Heresy

    No it is not just for making Battle Sisters, it outlines the rules for the non-militant orders right after the Sister Repentia entry. That being said I actually prefer the way they did things the first time. The real power of the Adepta Sororitas should come from the Faith powers, not free access to Power Armour and Bolters.

    Also, you're getting way too hung up on a piece of fluff that has absolutely no bearing on the mechanical aspects of gameplay. If a Battle Sister dons a suit of Stormtrooper carapace and sneaks through the heretic compound with a silenced autogun with the rest of the acolytes, the God-Emperor is not going to suddenly make her Faith powers not work. The D&D Paladin's Code is not present in this game, nor are its precepts and punishments for breaking said precepts.

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