|Part Two: Career Paths
by Andy Hall
|Dark Heresy | Published 31 October 2008|
Dark Heresy's character generation system allows for a great amount of variation and customisation. Whilst it, and much of the 'base' game system will be familiar to players of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Dark Heresy is very much it's own man (so to speak), being an evolution of the WFRP ruleset. Key additions include the development of Corruption and Insanity Points, tweaks to Characteristics and the Stat Line (including the addition of Perception), fine-tuning combat to allow for such things as Overwatch and automatic fire, and not forgetting a full rules for handling Dark Pacts — although this course of action is not for the faint-hearted!
Whilst the Career system will initially appear familiar to Warhammer Fantasy players, it also is remarkably different. Andy Hall, designer of the Career Paths chapter explains:
Andy Hall: There's always been a grey area regarding how the subjects of the Emperor progress within the confines of their occupation. Indeed, it was unknown if a populace who has grown up in a dogmatic, socially stagnant state would even be aware of anything beyond their hereditary roles. Of course the point is, that for the vast majority of the Emperor's subjects, that is exactly the case. They will grow–up spending their lives in whatever role the Adeptus Terra has 'fashioned' for them, day in, day out, before shuffling off the mortal coil — content with their lot in life and blissfully ignorant of the dangers surrounding their little piece of the galaxy. But then such a person would never appear on an Inquisitor's radar in the first place.
No, an Acolyte must have come into some form of contact with an Inquisitor in the first place, putting him (or her) into two broad categories: either
i) they are already in a role that has precipitated an engagement with the Inquisitor, such as an assassin, scum or a soldier; or ii) the Acolyte is of a rare breed, those that have (perhaps subconsciously) shunned the dogmatic regime, having a desire to learn — curious about the universe and their place within it. Candidates of the second category have abilities that an Inquisitor is always seeking. You also have a third category, which is the mixture of the two; indeed most of the Career Paths in Dark Heresy are formed from this third category. A character will be an Acolyte because they are far above the 'average'. They are probably vaguely aware of the dangers that the galaxy holds and do not necessarily blindly trust what an average Imperial Citizen takes on faith. As well as the philosophical, they will also have tangible field skills that an Inquisitor can put to use in the service of the Emperor.
It was this thinking that broadly informed us when deciding on which Career Paths to include in Dark Heresy. Many were left out of the short list and there was much debate before we finally decided on the final eight. The selection as published gives a good, broad base of differing skills and talents with each career representing a distinct type, often with a distinct viewpoint or position within the Imperium. An Inquisitorial cell containing a mix of these Career Paths should prove capable of dealing with most of the situations that a GM will throw at them. No doubt some, if not all of the 'dropped' Career Paths will make a return at a later date.