News for April 2011
Bridging the Imperium 16
A look at Daemon Hunter, the upcoming Dark Heresy Supplement
Dark Heresy | Published 28 April 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. Last time, we looked at the tragic events that might lead to an Exterminatus. Today, Dark Heresy’s developer took the time to share some additional details on this exciting upcoming title.

Salutations Acolytes!

With Daemon Hunter on its way I thought I’d take a moment to discuss one of the biggest challenges presented when creating the Grey Knights rules. Penned by Owen Barnes, Chapter 6 presented a few difficult creative choices. I’m very proud of how the team found creative answers that just kept giving GMs and Players new tools, rather than limiting options.

Versatile Characters

The first hurdle was power level and theme. As Space Marines, the Grey Knights are clearly as powerful as Deathwatch characters, armed with the best the Imperium can provide. Thematically, however, they are pure Inquisition, fighting Daemons and threats to mankind at the behest of the Holy Ordos. The answer was to build the Grey Knights to function in a Dark Heresy game, but include assistance to make them easily adapted for use with the Deathwatch Rulebook.

The biggest difference between Dark Heresy and Deathwatch are the Psychic powers. Rather than write two separate systems, the design team built many (if not all) of the Grey Knight psychic powers with an Overbleed that allowed the power to affect additional squad members. Combined with the Brotherhood of Psykers talent this allows a unit of Grey Knights to focus their energy on one Pyschic test that is likely to affect them all. This same talent functions differently when using the Deathwatch Rules, allowing the group to gain the effects of the Overbleed (thus boosting them all with Hammerhand, for instance). In this way, the main difference in the two systems core mechanics is bridge, allowing the Grey Knights to feel like Space Marines, but function in both game systems.

Careers within the Holy Ordos

The next challenge was determining which careers to include. After all, a Grey Knight is a Grey Knight, regardless of whether or not he is wearing power armour, terminator armour or strapped in to Nemesis Dreadknight. What’s more, many of the appropriate careers have already been presented in Deathwatch. This gave the design team a lot of freedom to present new information. The three careers unique to the Grey Knights are presented in full detail, compatible with the Deathwatch rules and designed to function alongside Ascension-rank Dark Heresy characters.

While Grey Knights have Apothecaries, Librarians and Techmarines, we focus on the Strike Squad Grey Knight, Purgation Squad Grey Knight and the Purifier. These careers are all a group needs to send a squad of Grey Knights into the thick of battle in service of the Holy Ordos. Campaigns with Acolyte-level characters might uncover a threat so terrible that their patron Inquisitor must take drastic action, allowing the players to take up the mantle of a squad of Grey Knights responding to such a dire situation.

Epic Campaigns

Entire Grey Knight campaigns are also possible, either using the Dark Heresy or Deathwatch rule system. Justicar Maligante commands the strike cruiser Righteous Dawn in his pursuit of his named adversary, the Lord of Misrule. The Grey Knights under his command serve the Inquisition in a variety of ways. The Ordo Malleus calls upon them to pursue threats along the Spinward Front. The Righteous Dawn is one of (if not the) fastest vessels in the Calixis sector, so no military force can respond as quickly to a daemonic incursion the Grey Knights.

Next time, I’ll talk a bit about the quarry of the Grey Knights and the Ordo Malleus... Daemons! After all, what book on hunting daemons would be complete without villains?

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 (16)

Published: 4/28/2011 7:07:22 PM

Love the idea and the detail for playing Grey Knights in DH and DW.

Now reading your comments i noticed this " The Biggest Difference Between DH & DW are the psychic powers " does this mean that some one at FFG is planning to re-write the psychic powers in DH so they are useable in all 3 systems (make that 4 systems when you release Black Crusade) or is this going to be ignored again!

The biggest problem i and probably many people have with intergrating DH and the other systems is the psychic powers as you seem to admit this in your comments can we PLEASE get some one to look this.

I'm sure that your play all 3 systems in your office what rules do you use or do you just ignore it??

Night Lord
Published: 4/28/2011 3:55:35 PM

i hope to the gods that they include rules for Interceptor squads or Paladins.  An astartes is scary.  A Grey Knight is terrifying.  But a Grey Knight that materializes out of thin air with a crackle of warp energy, slays its foe then vanishes away to claim their next victim is down right badass.  Plus Paladins are nigh unstoppable.

Published: 4/28/2011 3:47:45 PM

I am not found of what I read. Sure, for somebody playing both Deathwatch AND DarkHeresy, this book will be great. But silly me is not into Spacemarines. Hopefully, their will not be to many pages covering them.

Published: 4/28/2011 3:41:38 PM

I like the idea of Grey Knights being usable in both Dark Heresy and Deathwatch, with just a small number of changes to some talents etc. This will be interesting to read, although I will most likely not use Grey Knights as player characters. Not the main characters anyway, a short adventure with alternate characters (perhaps to clean up the mess the original characters made?) could be a nice change of pace.

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