News for March 2011
Tragic Ends 15
A look at Daemon Hunter, the upcoming Dark Heresy supplement
Dark Heresy | Published 31 March 2011

Two weeks ago, 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. Today, Dark Heresy’s developer took the time to share some additional details on this exciting title.

Daemon Hunter gives Game Masters and players the ability to tell stories that have deep and powerful themes. In a universe as grim as the 41st Millenium there are tragedies every day. The death toll of any given day in the Warhammer 40,000 universe is uncountable, and wars rage on inexorably. In such a world, what could possibly qualifies as tragic?

A Never-Ending Battle

Real Heroism is easy to recognize in Warhammer 40,000. It’s those who stand against the unstoppable tide of the Warp, and through opposition stall it, if only for a moment. A Hero is someone who fights, knowing that his enemy can never be truly defeated. Tragedy, therefore, are the events that occur when a guardian fails. The lives that are lost when a lone squad of guardsmen can’t hold the line that crucial moment. The souls devoured by chaos when the Acolytes fail to stop the sorcerer’s ritual.

Few tragedies, therefore, are as grim as when a champion must become the monster to rectify his own failure. What man could keep his grasp on sanity when he must snuff out the lives of every human being on an entire planet... because he failed.

That is the nature of the Exterminatus. It is a last resort in the Inquisitor’s toolbox used to hold back the hands of midnight for a decisive minute. A terrible choice that Inquisitors must face when their servants falter against the daemonic, heretical or alien. In Daemon Hunter, the writing team was able to tackle this horrific choice, discussing how the Inquisitors in the Calixis sector choose to enact such an action, and how they go about it.

The Weight of Worlds

The brutal pragmatism required of an Inquisitor can drive even the strongest of minds into insanity, and the Ordo Malleus within the Calixis sector has taken steps to alleviate some of this burden. An Inquisitor is not alone in his decision to declare an Exterminatus. He has the Collegiate Exterminatus to consult. Comprised of Banishers, Inquisitors, high ranking Ecclesiarchal figures and members of the Scholariate-At-Arms, this group advises Inquisitors, shouldering for them, to some small degree, some of the terrible burden they carry.

Of course situations may demand quick action, and an Inquisitor must sometimes act quickly. With Daemon Hunter these tragic legends can be told. The story could begin with a cell of Acolytes who choose to pay dearly, buying a critical moment against an inevitable Daemonic Incursion. The tale can continue with an Inquisitor leading Grey Knights against the legions of Chaos swarming the doomed planets Imperial cities. Finally the saga ends with a desperate Inquisitor aboard his strike cruiser, sending his Acolytes once again into certain death, to activate a Virus bomb before the bridge of their vessel is breached by the forces of Chaos.

Daemon Hunter gives GMs the tools they need to tell these stories in the “Grim Darkness of the Far Future”. Players take on the roll of Heroes holding a torch in the infinite blackness of insanity and the warp. Will you survive long enough to be counted among the myths of Warhammer 40,000... or will you be just another statistic in the logs of some Adeptus Ministorum logician?

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 (15)

Published: 4/15/2011 6:06:12 PM

Are we going to see playable Grey Knights like in Deathwatch (i.e. squad of marines) or rules for Acolytes and Inquisitors? Enquiring minds want to know...

Alpha Psyker
Published: 4/7/2011 11:07:17 AM

Anyone have an idea of a release date?

Published: 4/2/2011 2:44:00 PM


I am not even convinced that a significant number of Inquisitors would seek counsel under *any circumstances*.

"Nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure." That's the point: the only way to be sure. Inquisitors are not generally known to be risk-takers when faced with dire circumstances.



Ignace Zane
Published: 4/2/2011 1:37:25 AM

 simply can't wait!!!

Published: 4/1/2011 5:48:42 PM


I quite understand the idea of this Collegiate - I just don't think that with most Exterminatus-worthy events there's the time left to convene them as you're not likely to have some other Inquisitors and high-ranking Ecclesiarchy officials within shouting distance.

If you can move all these figures to (or rather: into orbit above) the planet in question, then you'll likely have the extra time to requisition the aforementioned million guardsmen to pour into the crisis by diverting them from some poor shlob's war effort. Exterminatus is the ultimate resort as planets are the most valuable commodity the Imperium has. I just can't see any problem that's time-critical enough you can't solve it by other means but not time-critical enough that you can't convene the Collegiate - and indeed the point of the office of Inquisitor is that he can make those decisions that must not be drawn into the slow mills of the imperial bureaucracy. 
Maybe there is such a situation, but right now, I don't know what it might be.

Published: 4/1/2011 3:28:44 PM

Concerning the lack of WFRP compared to W40kRP: WFRP is one game, the 40k universe has 3 (soon 4) different (though related) rpgs, and each of those rpgs has different people working on them.

Published: 4/1/2011 11:13:35 AM

I had to chuckle at the picture of a Grey Knight chopping at the heretic. What a horribly unbalanced matchup. :)

Published: 4/1/2011 7:53:43 AM

I think the point is that the Collegiate gives the Inquisitor somewhere to turn to to aid his choice. It's not an easy choice to make, even for an Inquisitor. I also imagine it would help shield him from possible censure if he can stand in Conclave and say his actions were ratified by the Collegiate

Published: 4/1/2011 7:45:46 AM

 I'm somewhat unconvinced. Now Exterminatus is a comittee effort? The point of an Inquisitor has generally been that he's very autonomous. Until Ascension, there was literally noone who would contradict him and noone save his fellow Inquisitors who would criticize him after the fact. Then Ascension came along and introduced some (necessary) balances to his his power - Planetary governours and the like had somewhat of a chance of standing up to an Inquisitor. Now there's Daemon Hunter and the Inquisitor is supposed to consult with the Collegiate for an Exterminatus, which is by its nature a measure of last resort? Which is generally used if you haven't got the time to pour in a few million guardsmen that are infinitely less valuable than an entire planet? In which situations would an Exterminatus appropriate if you've still got the time left to consult with this Collegiate?

I'm just not convinced.

Published: 4/1/2011 3:18:39 AM

I remember the times where every second annoucement for a product came with a sample page or two for said product. Good old times. I miss them

Published: 4/1/2011 3:05:58 AM

Grey Knights, blegh. The Exterminatus stuff looks far more compelling

Published: 4/1/2011 12:46:20 AM

UniversalHead - You're right. That's sad that WFRP does not get the attention  so much like W40K games. For W40k we see news almost every week, and for WFRP? MAybe once a month, that's not fair.

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