Dark Heresy, the Warhammer 40,000 RPG, is up for a bunch of awards at the ENnies this year. I really like it. To give you a taste, here’s a character – you can choose, but you can also make a completely random character. Here’s a completely random one for your enjoyment!
Gaius, also known as “Shiv.”
Home World: Imperial World (a major “first world” civilized planet), but a largely forgotten backwater.
Imperial World Traits:
- Blessed Ignorance (ignorance of naughtiness gives a -5 on Forbidden Lore)
- Hagiography (meditation on the lives of the saints gives Common Lore: Imperial Creed, Imperium, and War as Basic Skills)
- Liturgical Familiarity (accustomed to the preaching of the Ecclesiarchy; Literacy and Speak High Gothic are Basic Skills)
- Superior Origins (knowing the Emperor loves you gives +3 Willpower)
Characteristics: (on 2d10+20, I was pretty darn lucky)
- Weapon Skill: 32
- Ballistic Skill: 39 (Simple Advance)
- Strength: 31
- Toughness: 30
- Agility: 36 (Simple Advance)
- Intelligence: 30
- Perception: 31
- Willpower: 37
- Fellowship: 28
Career Path: Scum (you know, scum. Like it sounds.)
Starting Rank: Dreg
Basic Skills: (You roll percentile versus the relevant characteristic)
- Awareness (Per) +10
- Blather (Fel)
- Dodge (Agi)
- Deceive (Fel)
- Common Lore: Imperium (Int)
- Common Lore: Imperial Creed (Int)
- Common Lore: War (Int)
- Drive (Ground Vehicle) (Agi)
- Literacy (Int)
- Speak Low Gothic (Int)
- Speak High Gothic (Int)
- Melee Weapon Training (Primitive)
- Pistol Training (SP)
- Basic Weapon Training (SP)
- Shotgun and 12 shells
- Quilted vest
- Dirty coveralls
Fate Points: 2
Cash: 12 Throne Gelt
Shiv is a fit stripling of 30 years. He has ruddy skin, green eyes, with hair dyed to match. He wears David Bowie-style makeup. His Imperial Tarot reading is “Only the insane have strength enough to prosper. Only those who prosper may judge what is sane.” He starts with 2 Insanity Points as a result.
Now comes the only non-random part; I spend a starting 400 XP to boost his abilities. First I advance Shiv’s BS and Agility characteristics. As for skills, I advance his Awareness +10 and buy Drive (Ground Vehicle). It’s actually a little unclear how you do this. If you buy the skill twice, you get a +10 in it (Skill Mastery). But it’s not clear if you can buy a skill “on top of” your Homeworld and Starting Career Path skills. Could I buy Dodge, which is in the advance list, to boost my Dodge to +10? Hmmm.
OK, so that’s the character generation. The character concept emerges easily – Shiv is a makeup-bedecked gangster in the tradition of Clockwork Orange (an opportunity to call his fellow party members “droogs”!). He is very handy behind the wheel, and saved the life of a visiting Inquisitor. He was acting as his hired driver, and a Chaos-touched gang tried to take them out. With steering wheel in one hand and his shotgun in the other, he got them the heck out of there. The Inquisitor decided an enterprising chap like this would be valuable as support to his Acolytes. He doesn’t know that Shiv’s a little unhinged from being a former member of that Khorne-worshipping gang they fought!
Now, Shiv travels with the Acolytes and hunts down psykers, xenos, Daemon worshippers, and freaks and heretics of all descriptions in the name of the God-Emperor!
And that’s Dark Heresy in a nutshell.