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Dark Heresy

Dark Heresy is a roleplaying game based upon the universe of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000. The setting of Warhammer 40,000 is a dark, gothic future where the Imperium of Man is beset by dangers within and without. In Dark Heresy players take on the roles of Acolytes of the Inquisition, aiming to uncover and combat the enemies of mankind, be they aliens, heretics or mutants!

What is Roleplaying?

In a Roleplaying Game (RPG) you create an alter ego, a fictional character like one of the heroes you've read about or seen in films. Using the game rules, you and your friends create characters and develop them as you play through a series of adventures. Imagine a group of detectives working together to solve a case or an elite team of soldiers sent into danger zones. Rather than read or watch a story you tell it. How is the story told? How do you decide what happens? What do you do if you and your friend disagree? That's where rules come in. 

Roleplaying is only half of the story; the other half is the game itself. Dark Heresy presents you with the rules of the game; how to design your character, how to resolve actions and how to have fun doing so. Whilst at first there might appear to be a lot of rules, you'll soon see that the rules are actually quite simple and easy to remember. During a typical game rolling dice is used to determine the outcome of fights or other risky actions. Dice rolling adds the game playing elements to RPGs and helps prevent the outcome of actions from becoming too predictable. For example, if your character needs to jump across a rooftop, you'll roll some dice and the result will show you if they succeed or not. 

Before you start playing, you and your friends will need to decide which of you will be the Game Master (GM). The GM is the referee and the lead storyteller, the person in charge of running the game. The GM presents the stories and situations, describes the setting and its denizens, and adjudicates the rules.All of the other players take on the roles of the characters, around which the action primarily revolves. These characters are known as the Player Characters (PCs). They describe their intentions and actions to the GM, who then decides how their actions affect the plot. 

Have a Go! Gather together a few friends (around four people is a good size) and have a go at Shattered Hope — an introductory scenario that gives you a few quick and easy rules, ready-made characters and a fun adventure. Don't worry if you haven't played before, the scenario talks you through everything you need to know.

What to Get First

Your first purchase should be the Dark Heresy core rulebook, which contains all the rules for the game, as well as loads of cool background about the Warhammer 40,000 setting. The book is crammed full of hints and tips and a full adventure to get you started. Once you're familiar with Dark Heresy's rules and setting, you'll be ready for some of the other great products we have available:

  • Game Master's Kit — a essential resource for the GM, contains a sturdy screen full of useful references and information, and a full scenario.
  • Purge the Unclean — a set of scenarios with which to challenge your characters.
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