News for September 2010
Brides of the Emperor 25
A designer diary for Blood of Martyrs, the upcoming Dark Heresy supplement
Dark Heresy | Published 21 September 2010

Salutations Acolytes!

It is possible that there is no bigger fan of the Inquisition and the Ecclesiarchy than myself. I fell in love with the Imperial Creed years ago at a local game store when the manager started up an Inquisitor game. My enthusiasm has reached new heights with the imminent release of Blood of Martyrs, the upcoming sourcebook for Dark Heresy.

The Ecclesiarchy plays a strong role in the culture of the Imperium of Man. It seeps into the every day life and defines characters in both broad and subtle ways. It is nearly impossible to escape, as the characters relationship to the Adeptus Ministorum plays into his story sooner or later. In Blood of Martyrs, our devout team of writers pored over more than a decade of gaming lore to bring the most comprehensive look at the Ecclesiarchy of the Calixis Sector to date.

Because all Imperial Citizens are in some way touched by the Imperial Creed, I felt it was very important for every Dark Heresy Career to have options for making faithful characters. The Alternate Career Ranks, Backgrounds and even three new home worlds inside Blood of Martyrs offer a ton of options for playing a faithful character who is a Guardsman, Assassin, or any of the other Dark Heresy Careers!

This week’s designer diary focuses on another aspect of Blood of Martyrs (and one of my favorite bits of the book!): the Adepta Sororitas.

One of the most iconic images of Ecclesiarchal influence and might are the Sisters of Battle. Created in the wake of Goge Vandire’s defeat, the Battle Sisters function as the militant arm of the Ecclesiarchy. Their power armour, bolters, and unshakeable faith bring hope on the battlefield and inspiration to Imperial Cathedrals across the galaxy.

Many Inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus call upon the Battle Sisters when dealing with Heretics, Mutants, and Psykers. In Blood of Martyrs, the Adepta Sororitas Orders are presented as distinct character options, including the combat ready Battle Sister and the non-militant orders of the Dialogous, Famulous, and Hospitaller.

During development, the Blood of Martyrs team knew that one critical aspect of this book is for players to be able to take the role of the iconic Sisters from the beginning of a campaign and feel as if they were on a path distinctly their own. Each career or alternate career rank has talents, equipment, and other options from rank 1, making each Sister feel part of her distinct Order. This arrangement provides options for new campaigns as well as those that have been running for quite some time.

Thanks to the variety present in the new alternate career ranks, faith talents, and equipment, Blood of Martyrs gives the tools necessary to play an Ecclesiarchy Cell in service of a Cardinal or Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor. Acolyte groups comprised completely of the faithful (or even of only Adepta Sororitas), can be a rewarding campaign. Each player feels unique and has specialized skills setting them apart from one another.

Blood of Martyrs was an extremely exciting first project to work on and I can’t wait to get it into the hands of the players. I look forward to hearing stories at conventions from all of you about the tales of “Enemies Within” and dark investigations your gaming group crafted.

Next up... Ecclesiarchal Cell Directives!

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 (25)

Magos Seqvirin
Published: 9/22/2010 1:58:19 AM

 Looks quite interesting, though I'm most curious about the alternative Career options the Tech-Priests will have. This being Ecclesiarchy and all.

Published: 9/21/2010 9:35:21 PM

 @psion I think that any group without a Tech-Priest would have a problem with that door. It's up to the GM to build adventures that the players can handle. Sisters wouldn't get sent on that mission, well they might (and fail) but thats a story not about PC's. That "challenge" should have some way for them to succeed. If not, then the GM is so terrible that no book can save the game.

@Peacekeeper_b The point of that paragraph (I assume) is that a squad of all Adepta Sororitas currently does not have 4 sisters who have different abilities and jobs. The very next sentence points that out. If you tried to run 4 Adepta Sororitas right now they would all be the same till rank 3 or 4. Also Inquisitors Handbook's Adepta Sororitas basically ignores everything written about Sisters of Battle ever. It just basically ignores what they really are and makes a Cleric who has to be a girl.

Published: 9/21/2010 6:57:10 PM

Yeah, you said it so good, 8 spider!

I LOL'ed so much!

You're hillarious!

the 8 spider
Published: 9/21/2010 5:16:07 PM

from france

oh yeah make me on fire

Published: 9/21/2010 4:46:41 PM

"The kind of problem that might be a little outside the skillset of a Dialogous or Famulous..."

Sounds like a job for an orbital bombardment.

Actually though, a campaign based around Sisters, Priests, Tech-Priests, and Myrmidions would be awesome. You could be diehard puritans cleansing things with fire until a doctrinal disagreement arose between the Ecclesiastical and Mechanicus dogmas. Then it would be intraparty diplomacy-or-die time.

For added fun, throw in a Black Priest whose doctrine conflicts with that of the Sisters and maybe a battered Guardsman who just wants to die for the Emperor or live trying.

Published: 9/21/2010 4:15:59 PM


I'm not thinking so much of a pickle jar as a locked door.  A giant metal door made of an alloy they can't cut or blast their way through.  A giant, indestructible metal door with a keypad and a connection to the installation's testy machine spirit.  The kind of problem that might be a little outside the skillset of a Dialogous or Famulous...

Published: 9/21/2010 3:21:53 PM

Excellent: A chick with a massive chainsaw. Looks like this supplement might actually be a good un'.

Published: 9/21/2010 2:50:43 PM

 There is no problem that cannot be cleansed with fire :P

Published: 9/21/2010 2:48:52 PM

Try telling a Sister Repentia she needs a man aroung to open pickle jars for her.

Published: 9/21/2010 2:36:32 PM

Also good to see it is usuable to all careers. (or at least more then just cleric and sister)

Published: 9/21/2010 2:35:37 PM

You culd always play a all sisters cell (well since Inquisitor's Handbook at least).

So when do we get this beauty?

Published: 9/21/2010 2:10:20 PM

Now this VERY good! Me likes!

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