|A Daemon Bound Within Razor-Sharp Steel
A preview of Black Crusade, the upcoming Warhammer 40,000 Roleplaying Game
|Black Crusade | Published 15 July 2011|
“For seventeen long centuries have I remained in this blade, confined within these metal walls. During all of my time of imprisonment you are the first I have seen who is worthy to bear me into battle. Come, take my hilt, and I will serve you in the manner of my kind, drawing blood of your enemies, protecting you in the midst of the fight, bringing you safely home again. Now, draw me from the scabbard and test the fineness of my balance. See how easily I swing, how my keen edge cleaves the air. A good choice, am I not? Willingly you picked me up. Your first mistake. Willingly you drew me. Your second mistake. I do not allow my servants to make three mistakes, foolish mortal…”
– Antinichus, Daemon of the Bloody Blade
Black Crusade, an upcoming roleplaying game that offers players a new perspective on the conflict between the Imperium of Man and the forces of Chaos, will be on store shelves in the third quarter of 2011. Today, we’re pleased to present a preview from Nathan Dowdell, one of the writers for Black Crusade. Among other contributions, Nathan wrote about the mechanics for daemon weapons. Thanks, Nathan!
One of the most iconic tools of a Disciple of the Dark Gods is a daemon weapon. After all, where would Abaddon be without the Daemon Sword Drach'nyen, or Lucius the Eternal without his Lash of Torment? Daemon weapons are amongst the deadliest weapons a Heretic can wield, though their lethality can sometimes be costly to the unwary or weak-willed. With Black Crusade, it was clear the section on daemon weapons would have to be detailed and comprehensive enough to satisfy such an iconic topic.
The knife in your back
Daemon weapons are a fascinating concept. Though they are terrifyingly powerful weapons (and who doesn’t want a really cool sword?) they are so much more than that; they are sentient entities in their own right. Each is possessed by one or more warp spirits or Daemons, bound creatures of Chaos that empower the weapon they inhabit. Seldom do the Daemons bound within the weapons want to be there, and thus they constantly cajole and threaten their bearer—or just wait for his concentration to slip so they can be at his throat. It requires a powerful will and delicate balance to use a daemon weapon without being consumed by it, and thus they exemplify the overarching conflicts of Black Crusade—the perils of desire and the price of glory.
Expanding from the section in Chapter 6 on Chaos rituals, we proceeded to produce a system that allowed player characters to construct their own daemon weapons and bind a Daemon of their choice within it, allowing the ambitious or power-hungry to create a weapon as powerful as their greed desires, with the accompanying difficulties and costs—binding a Greater Daemon is exceptionally difficult, and the Daemon’s power is too much for most to master, but the resultant weapon will be incredibly deadly. The rules allow players to capture and bind their own Daemons into weapons, meaning that each weapon is crafted to a player’s desires—and the raw whims of Chaos, of course!
The way daemon weapons work has ties to their first appearance back in Dark Heresy. Nobody wanted to create a radically new system that would conflict with what had come before, so the fundamental abilities of a Daemonic Sword or Bolter remain much the same. However, the list of powers available is much expanded and divided along alignment lines, so that a Flesh Hound of Khorne inside an axe produces different effects to a Flamer of Tzeentch inside a flamer. The options are wide enough that even if an entire party has their own daemon weapons, each one will be completely different from the next.
Thanks, Nathan! Keep checking back for more, and look for Black Crusade on store shelves later this quarter!
Black Crusade 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 Disciples of the Dark Gods, working against the rule of the galaxy-spanning Imperium of Man and in pursuit of personal glory.
The quote at the beginning is from Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness. Awesome! On the more amusing side, I couldn't help but have images from Ghostbusters flood my mind when he talked about players capturing daemons!
intresting very intresting. the more i read and learn the more intresting this becomes
I will certainly have to look into giving my sorcerer a daemon force sword. Damn I cannot wait to get my hands on this book. I burn with possibilities.
As for my Khornite brothers in sporting terminator armour, daemon chainfists are now within our grasp. Let the blood and mulched meat flow like water.
I am chomping at the bit for this book. I can barely contain my excitment as the month of august and Gen-Con approach. To all Khornites, Blood of the Blood God and Skulls for the Skull Throne!