18 June 2014 | Dark Heresy 2nd Ed.

Inside the Inquisition

Developer Andrew Fischer Creates an Acolyte for Dark Heresy Second Edition


The galaxy in Dark Heresy Second Edition is a grim and terrifying place. The heresies that threaten the Imperium come from all directions – within, without, and beyond. All that stands in the way of Mankind’s destruction are the Acolytes and Inquisitors that you create and play as to wage a constant, secret war against heresy in the Imperium.

Last time, Tim Huckelbery gave an overview of the character creation process in Dark Heresy. Today, developer Andy Fischer leads us through this process by creating his own Acolyte! Read below to see how he gives life and purpose to another unsung warrior of the Inquisition.

Developer Andy Fischer Creates a Dark Heresy Character

When we created Dark Heresy’s character creation system, our goal was to make a system that gave you a few clear choices that had a big impact on your character and guaranteed you the flexibility to create whatever type of character you wanted. You can either start with a clear character concept to bring to life, or you can come to the game with no idea what you want to play, and let the character creation process inspire you as you follow its steps. For this example, I’ve chosen the latter approach. I’m going in without big preconceptions about what I will create, and I’m letting the combinations of my choices inspire the character for me.

Stage 1: Choose Home World

To start, I have to select where my character was born. I’ve recently played a lot of combat characters, so I’m interested in playing as a more cerebral character. I look through different home world choices, and settle on voidborn. Choosing voidborn as my home world gives me a better chance of having high Intelligence and Willpower, and provides me with the Intelligence aptitude, which helps a lot when creating a character who uses her brain over her brawn.

True to my home world choice, I end up rolling a 40 for my Intelligence and a 45 for my Willpower (the highest possible starting value)! Unfortunately, in the other direction, I rolled a 31 for my Strength, and a 1 when determining my wounds, giving me a total of 8 wounds and a pretty frail character. Based on my low Strength and wounds, I decide my character is probably getting old, and has been riding the ship she was born on for her entire life.

Stage 2: Choose Background

Now that I’ve decided where my character was born and lived most her life, I have to decide what she has done, and what part of the Imperium she spent her life serving. I look through the various backgrounds I can choose from, and based on my character’s Intelligence, I decide she belongs to the Adeptus Administratum. This gives her some useful skills such as Logic, Medicae, and a Scholastic Lore of my choice. It also allows her to take the Knowledge aptitude, which guarantees my character will continue her intellectual pursuits once I start playing the game.

After reading through the background on the Adeptus Administratum, I decide my character fits best as some sort of scribe. She’s been given the task of recording the full history of the ship she rides and sorting its massive library of materials. Her entire life, she has sat among the mountains of scrolls and tomes, recording everything the ship does, and everything that happens onboard. She is the collector and holder of all knowledge on-board the ship; if you want to know something, you go to her.

Stage 3: Choose Role

Lastly, I have to decide what my character’s role for the Inquisition will be. What makes her special? What function will she serve, and how will she grow? As I consider my options, Sage stands out as a good fit for my current character concept. I haven’t done anything with my incredibly high Willpower, though, and I want this character to have something that stands out beyond being an incredibly knowledgeable member of the Administratum. Based on this, I decide that the reason she is so good at her job is that she has unnatural gifts that no one else suspects. She harnesses the powers of the Warp in unnoticable ways that allow her to see beyond her stuffy library and subtly control those around her. To reflect this, I choose the Mystic role.

The Mystic role grants my character the Psyker elite advance for free, and grants her a number of aptitudes that fit perfectly with my character concept. Additionally, a couple of the aptitudes double up with ones I’ve already received in character creation, allowing me to choose from a list of options as a replacement for any doubles.

Now, all that’s left is to integrate the details of the psyker elite advance. Unfortunately, because my character is not a member of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, she’s not sanctioned. This means that she is a rogue psyker, never taken by the Black Ships to Terra, and hiding her powers from everyone around her. Because she never underwent sanctioning, she starts the game with a random amount of Corruption. I roll for a total of nine Corruption, which thankfully just misses forcing me to start with a malignancy!

Finishing Up

My character has come together on a solid foundation. I know where she was born and lived, what function she has served in the Imperium up to this point, and the role she will serve in coming adventures. All that’s left is to decide the final details.

As a member of the Adeptus Administratum, I decide to give my character a High Gothic-sounding name: Sophronia. She’s a very old woman who has worked aboard her ship as long as she can remember. She’s so valuable to the Administratum, they do everything in their power to keep her alive. As a result, many of her body parts are replaced with cybernetics. I decide that Sophronia came into the service of the Inquisition when an Inquisitor came aboard her ship for transport between systems. During the journey, he discovered Sophronia’s secret powers and after seeing her talents, decided to bring her into his retinue instead of reporting her to the Astra Telepathica. Ever since, she has put her intellect and powers over the Warp to use fighting heresy throughout the Askellon Sector.

Now that my character is all finished, I’m ready to dive into a game of Dark Heresy Second Edition! As you can see, there are tons of possibilities for different characters. Just given the three big decisions covered in this designer diary, you can make hundreds of different character types! Above and beyond that, there are dozens of smaller decisions you make to customize your character that I didn’t have room to cover here. Altogether, the possibilities Dark Heresy offers for creating a unique character are virtually endless.

Thanks, Andy!

Heresies and insanities await you in the Askellon sector, and the Acolytes and Inquisitors you create are all that stand between the Imperium and eternal midnight. Take up bolter and chainsword, and join us for our next preview, as we examine the process behind creating the iconic cover of Dark Heresy Second Edition.


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