“Your boasts are empty, little sorcerer. All eventually fall to the Grandfather, no matter how they might scheme or plot.”
   –Gullivox Arcul, Plaguemeister of the Burrowing Flies

With The Tome of Decay , the upcoming Black Crusade sourcebook devoted to Grandfather Nurgle, you join the putrefying disciples of Nurgle to spread disease and plague across the worlds of the False Emperor and throughout the galaxy. The Tome of Decay introduces six new Archetypes worthy of the Lord of Ruin, a new adventure, and rules for organizing and launching a Black Crusade against the hated Imperium.

Today, contributing writer Jordan Goldfarb writes on how you can become Warmaster and lead your own crusade.

Jordan Goldfarb on Launching a Black Crusade

Greetings, Black Crusade fans!

I’m here to talk about what we’ve all been dreaming of since the beginning – running your own Black Crusade and trampling the servants of the False Emperor beneath the legions of Chaos. Of course, it’s possible to do this using only the Black Crusade Core Rulebook, but in The Tome of Decay , there’s a new system designed for high-level strategic play that allows you to conquer whole sectors without compromising roleplaying or losing the personal touch that the best Warmasters are known and feared for!

When setting out on a Black Crusade, as an able Warmaster, you must choose your target well. The system in The Tome of Decay guides you to work with the Game Master to define the scope of your efforts, whether it be conquering the Calixis Sector, storming the Warp gate into the Jericho Reach, or even battling across a full Segmentum of the galaxy. The GM uses players’ input and his own plans for the campaign to prepare a Crusade Map for the forces of your Black Crusade to battle upon.

A Call to Arms

After declaring themselves Warmasters of a Black Crusade, you and your fellow servants of Chaos must quickly gather other forces under your command, ranging from other Chaos warbands or cults in service to the Ruinous Powers, to alien mercenaries and pirate fleets. The Crusade Forces system abstracts these armies during the strategic play of a Black Crusade, leaving an end result complex enough to be interesting, but not so much that you and the other Warmasters cannot intervene personally.

The Crusade Forces system invites you and your fellow Warmasters to gather support at the beginning of your own Black Crusade. Previous characters and groups from the campaign can become Hosts, Cults, Covens, Fleets, or even Lieutenants in your service, and other followers of the Dark Gods are sure to join fighting for a promising Warmaster. As leaders of a new crusade, you can put some gathered Infamy to use calling more followers to your banner. It’s generally a good idea to do this, even if you’ve gathered many allies during normal play, although if your army grows too large, you risk weakening your ability to intervene personally.

Ruin or Glory

There’s no way to talk about the lure of Chaos without discussing the perils as well as the prizes. To hold your forces together, you must intervene personally on key battlefields, instilling a proper fear into servants and foes alike. This opportunity to influence the battlefield personally allows you to wreak their own brands of destruction and terror across the battles of the crusade.

If you can’t control your wild forces, or if they fall on the field of battle, a dismal fate awaits. When a Warmaster appears weak, his own forces inevitably turn on him, and the Imperium doesn’t take long to rally if given room to breathe. All Black Crusades work on a time limit, calculated out along with the scale and the map, meaning that you have only one chance to make yourself into a living legend of terror. The greater the risk, the greater the reward – and though the consequences for failure are absolute, the chance to bring havoc, destruction, and disease to the Imperium is well worth the risk.

Thanks, Jordan!

Your crusade will bring the pestilence of Nurgle out of the Warp to engulf the galaxy in his foetid embrace. Prepare to launch your Black Crusades in the service of the Grandfather! Preorder The Tome of Decay at your local retailer today.

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.

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