News for April 2011
Bridging the Imperium 16
A look at Daemon Hunter, the upcoming Dark Heresy Supplement
Dark Heresy | Published 28 April 2011

Recently, we announced Daemon Hunter, an upcoming supplement for Dark Heresy. A powerful resource for campaigns featuring the servants of the holy Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition, Daemon Hunter features information and background on the Ordo Malleus in the Calixis Sector, the Daemon hunter’s trade, and the Malleus armoury. Last time, we looked at the tragic events that might lead to an Exterminatus. Today, Dark Heresy’s developer took the time to share some additional details on this exciting upcoming title.

Salutations Acolytes!

With Daemon Hunter on its way I thought I’d take a moment to discuss one of the biggest challenges presented when creating the Grey Knights rules. Penned by Owen Barnes, Chapter 6 presented a few difficult creative choices. I’m very proud of how the team found creative answers that just kept giving GMs and Players new tools, rather than limiting options.

Versatile Characters

The first hurdle was power level and theme. As Space Marines, the Grey Knights are clearly as powerful as Deathwatch characters, armed with the best the Imperium can provide. Thematically, however, they are pure Inquisition, fighting Daemons and threats to mankind at the behest of the Holy Ordos. The answer was to build the Grey Knights to function in a Dark Heresy game, but include assistance to make them easily adapted for use with the Deathwatch Rulebook.

The biggest difference between Dark Heresy and Deathwatch are the Psychic powers. Rather than write two separate systems, the design team built many (if not all) of the Grey Knight psychic powers with an Overbleed that allowed the power to affect additional squad members. Combined with the Brotherhood of Psykers talent this allows a unit of Grey Knights to focus their energy on one Pyschic test that is likely to affect them all. This same talent functions differently when using the Deathwatch Rules, allowing the group to gain the effects of the Overbleed (thus boosting them all with Hammerhand, for instance). In this way, the main difference in the two systems core mechanics is bridge, allowing the Grey Knights to feel like Space Marines, but function in both game systems.

Careers within the Holy Ordos

The next challenge was determining which careers to include. After all, a Grey Knight is a Grey Knight, regardless of whether or not he is wearing power armour, terminator armour or strapped in to Nemesis Dreadknight. What’s more, many of the appropriate careers have already been presented in Deathwatch. This gave the design team a lot of freedom to present new information. The three careers unique to the Grey Knights are presented in full detail, compatible with the Deathwatch rules and designed to function alongside Ascension-rank Dark Heresy characters.

While Grey Knights have Apothecaries, Librarians and Techmarines, we focus on the Strike Squad Grey Knight, Purgation Squad Grey Knight and the Purifier. These careers are all a group needs to send a squad of Grey Knights into the thick of battle in service of the Holy Ordos. Campaigns with Acolyte-level characters might uncover a threat so terrible that their patron Inquisitor must take drastic action, allowing the players to take up the mantle of a squad of Grey Knights responding to such a dire situation.

Epic Campaigns

Entire Grey Knight campaigns are also possible, either using the Dark Heresy or Deathwatch rule system. Justicar Maligante commands the strike cruiser Righteous Dawn in his pursuit of his named adversary, the Lord of Misrule. The Grey Knights under his command serve the Inquisition in a variety of ways. The Ordo Malleus calls upon them to pursue threats along the Spinward Front. The Righteous Dawn is one of (if not the) fastest vessels in the Calixis sector, so no military force can respond as quickly to a daemonic incursion the Grey Knights.

Next time, I’ll talk a bit about the quarry of the Grey Knights and the Ordo Malleus... Daemons! After all, what book on hunting daemons would be complete without villains?

Dark Heresy is a roleplaying game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, a setting in the grim darkness of the far future. Players take on the roles of Acolytes serving the Inquisition, rooting out heresy and corruption from within the galaxy-spanning Imperium of Man.

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Comments (16)

Published: 6/1/2011 6:14:50 PM

But, is this playable without Deathwatch?

After all, it's a supplement for Dark Heresy, it right?

Published: 5/10/2011 10:33:35 AM

@ Vorkuta

They have an Ascension - level pdf supplement for Blood of the Martyrs on this website.

Night Lord
Published: 5/8/2011 10:42:24 AM

umm, from the picture shown, it looks like this is going to be hardcover.  crap.  That means it's gunna cost a few more bucks.  Oh well.  If it's for playing Grey Knights... I grudgingly accept.

Published: 5/4/2011 9:01:03 PM

That is some serious cover art. Love it.  I'm also glad to see Ascension will be a part of this book; I was a little disappointed when Blood of Martyrs didn't have anything for Ascension (from what I've read while skimming it in the game stores)

Alpharius Omegon
Published: 5/3/2011 10:54:39 AM

I myself am looking forward to having Grey Knights in my campaign.

After all, if there are no stats for them, how am I supposed to kill them? :D

Moonshine Fox
Published: 5/2/2011 9:52:31 PM

I would like to hear more about the acolyte side, as this is supposed to be a dark heresy supplement, not Deathwatch.  I am glad to here that there are new psyker powers, especily if there are rules for a space marine librarian to use powers with the same system as imperial pskers.  Never have liked Deathwatch psy system.

Published: 4/29/2011 1:47:24 PM

Hmmm, sounds slightly limited if you only have Ascension or Deathwatch but then again a Sage, Magos, or Psyker Primas should be a suitable replacement for a Librarian or Tech-Marine within the party.

Published: 4/29/2011 11:34:57 AM

As it so happens, my game is an Ascension level game following the adventures of an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, her retinue and a healthy dose of Deathwatch and Rogue Trader mixed in.   This book is MADE for my group!  

By order of the Holy Throne, release this book into my custody immediately or suffer the censequences!  Impeding the work of the Emperor's trusted servants is potential heresy as well as a personal failing.  Neither the Emperor nor I are known for our tolerance of failure.  You would not want to fail your Emperor, do you?  *holster snap*

Alpha Chaos 13
Published: 4/29/2011 9:51:50 AM

I agree with you Tullio. I always liked the Grey Knights... until recently. Still, I'm liking the cover art for this book!

Published: 4/29/2011 3:05:04 AM

Ugh, I'm not sure I'm too thrilled about this aspect of the book. I'm none too pleased with the Grey Knights Codex, and apparently FFG haven't had much choice but to incorporate it into the game. I just hope the Grey Kights don't dominate the book

Published: 4/29/2011 2:01:37 AM

sounds good so far, but it would be great to hear more about the dark heresy related stuff of the book, like new Origins, Alternate Ranks, etc. - after all this is still a Dark Heresy Supplement, right? ;)

Published: 4/28/2011 8:13:45 PM

Id rather they left the Dark Heresy Psy Powers uptouched. That version is more fun, original and better. Not too fond of the RT/DW psy system.

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