|Dark Heresy | Published 31 May 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. Dark Heresy’s developer took the time to share some additional details on this exciting upcoming title.
Last time, we discussed the might of the Grey Knights and how they can be used with Deathwatch as well as Dark Heresy. Today I’m pleased to show off an important new tool in the GM’s repertoire: random Daemon creation. Well, as random as the GM wants them to be, anyway!
The Daemonic Incursions chapter of Daemon Hunter dives into the dark recesses of the warp to uncover a variety of new ways to terrify and entertain the players. From a discussion on the nature of Daemons and the Themes inherent in a Daemon hunting campaign, to the weapons most often used by Daemons, this chapter is chock full of new ways to kill Acolytes and Throne Agents.
Charles May combed nearly two decades worth of writing to build a comprehensive system for randomly building unique Daemons for any campaign. A Horror is a scary thing, but how are the Horrors summoned by “The False Whisper” different? What disease are the Plaguebearers on this long forgotten Space Hulk testing? Is it the marrow twisting Bone Ague or the mind rotting Grey Fever?
No two Daemons alike
I sat down this afternoon with a pair of my most trusted d10’s and created this potent Lesser Daemon, completely at random. Compare it to the one found in Dark Heresy, and I think you’ll see how different this Bloodletter is.
The first few steps are pretty standard. I chose the Daemon’s power level (in this case “lesser”) and generated starting statistics (knowing they would change greatly through the process). With a nebulous set of stats floating in the warp, I randomly determined what Ruinous Power this ephemeral child would serve. Khorne, the Blood God, chose my little daemon, and I began the process of shaping him into a Bloodletter.
All Daemons have certain Skills, Talents, and Traits, dependent on their power levels, so I added those to the Daemon Record Sheet. Next came the fun part. I randomly rolled on the Lesser Manifestations table and generated “Bizarre Visage” and “Horrific Horns”. Knowing that I was making a Daemon of Khorne, I chose to give the beast a canine head with twisting horns. Bizarre Visage will force any Acolytes to re-roll successful Fear tests, and the horns further increase the Daemon’s Weapon Skill and give him another natural weapon from which to choose.
Once this was complete, I moved to the detailed section on Khorne, and randomly determined the beast’s lesser gift of Khorne, in this case Daemonic Armour. I selected an Axe (to complement the monster’s Frenzies) and added the Khorne specific skills, talents, and traits.
A Bit of Balance
I could have been done at this point, but I felt like the monster needed a weakness. I am planning to throw this creature at some rank 3 Acolytes (shhh. don’t tell them!) and it’s going to need a good hook. The Acolytes have been tracking a murderer responsible for killing clergy. He does so by summoning Daemons (Bloodletters to be exact) and unleashing them on the unsuspecting clerics. This is one such Daemon. I rolled on the weakness table and generated “Bane”. Earlier in the adventure, they received a cryptic description from a survivor who said “it carried my doom clasped in its hand, I held it high as if it should fear it too.” So the beast is now harmed by Brass weapons, treating them as Sanctified. This is pretty convenient, since the Acolytes can steal the beast’s own Axe!
Well... assuming it doesn’t kill them all first. As cunning GMs can no doubt tell, this monster is a bit more powerful than the one presented in Dark Heresy. It has the Dodge Skill (to help avoiding gunfire) and its toughness is higher. There are a lot of options on the charts, and the Daemon could have ended up with a Hellblade, which adds his Strength Bonus of 6 to the AP of his Sword!
As the final conflict of an adventure, this creature works well, but it could also serve in a variety of other roles. Perhaps several could accompany a Herald and challenge even a squad of Throne Agents. As a Horde (using the rules presented in Deathwatch), they could prove deadly to even Grey Knights!
These rules present a near limitless supply of slightly different Daemon options so that an Ordo Malleus campaign never runs out of monsters to fight. Next time, I’ll talk a little bit about the new Careers and Cell Directives going into Daemon Hunter!
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.
This sounds pretty awesome. I am glad that now there is more than the generic daemons, which to me are only okay in the tabletop game due to the size of it.
*Professor Farnsworth voice*
GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! This just got put into Shipping status.
As soon as this comes out, my group is going to have a special day called Malcaday. It is to celebrate everything Malcador has done. A full Grey Knights day. This day is in about a week.
My playere are puritans, so they won't use chaos weapon even to destroy demon
Hoo boy -- I just *know* what's going to happen when the _Penny Arcade_ fans get hold of this....
(Hint: 8/11/2010 -- NSFW.)
@ Gregorius - Agree 100%. I've never really liked the idea of "standard" demons. Not very chaotic...
Definitely getting this book (but then again, I'll probably end up buying all DH supplements).
Daemon generating charts can be good I guess (I view daemons and the horrors from the Warp far more complex, dangerous and lethal, then as they are currently presented in DH; think the Unbidden as Greater Daemons and Shadows as Lesser Daemons from The Whispering Vault RPG).
I'm actually more interested in the new careers and the fluff on the Ordo Malleus, so yeah, I'm also looking forward to the next designer diary.
I like where this is going. Having some tables with lists helping/inspiring a GM to randomize a given "vanilla daemon type" a little is good concept. Its never wrong to make something a little different then the last time.
I look forward to the next design diary.
it is still on the boat so it would be difficult to say when its out. the wait should be worth it :) oh i cant wait! when, when! come on hurry up! lol
When can we expect this supplement?
Its like superman running around with a pocket full kryptonite...
just like the good old days of realms of chaos books, this takes me back....you could role for all sorts of things and use the books for two settings, now we have that chance again! fantastic idea! :) mmm!
OOOO FANTASTIC really looking forward to this....