“In an hour of Darkness, a blind man is the best guide. In an age of Insanity, look to the madman to show the way.”
In 2008, Games Workshop delivered Dark Heresy to wild success, introducing a game in which players take on roles as Acolytes of an Inquisitor, standing at the front line of a great and secret war to root out threats that imperil all of humanity. Soon after, Fantasy Flight Games acquired the game license, and since then has continued the line with Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, Black Crusade, and Only War.
Now, Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Dark Heresy Second Edition, with updated rules, character options, and game play...and you’re invited to participate in the beta! As Acolytes (or even as Inquisitors), the Player Characters in Dark Heresy Second Edition will bring the light of the Emperor to the far reaches of the galaxy. Download the beta from drivethrurpg.com or rpgnow.com today!
Why is FFG developing a second edition of Dark Heresy?
With the significant experience we’ve acquired in developing the Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay games, and by listening to thousands of active Dark Heresy players over the years, we’re proud to have crafted a new edition which updates and builds on the original game experience. In this beta, veteran Dark Heresy players will discover a familiar core system that still uses percentile dice to resolve tests, but with updated rules, including:
- Streamlined skills that can be used with more than a single characteristic.
- Fast and fun character creation, with exciting variety through combinations of home worlds, backgrounds, and roles for almost endless roleplaying possibilities.
- The ability to play as an Inquisitor!
- New rules for psychic powers, with each discipline gaining its own unique psychic phenomena table.
- Talent trees that visually help players plan their character’s progression.
- Combat mechanics that give more tactical flexibility and control over performing actions.
- Damage and wound rules that make a character’s health something more than just a number, plus lots of great (and gory!) wound effect tables.
- Vehicles and vehicle combat as an integral part of the core game.
- Easier-to-use NPCs, each with a threat rating so that Game Masters can build suitably challenging encounters.
- And much more!
Does this mean the other Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay games will soon receive new editions?
No. Dark Heresy is a great game, and its rules system has been a terrific achievement which marked the beginning of the Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay line. However, as the oldest of the Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay games, Dark Heresy needed updating and refreshing to bring it in line with the gameplay of the more recent games. So, we have no plans to be launching new editions of the other existing games. In fact, we’re really pleased with the success and positive player feedback from the recently released Only War game and we hope to be supporting that edition for many years to come.
Presenting the Askellon Sector
This new edition also allows us to create a new setting: the Askellon Sector. Askellon is an ancient region, pre-dating the Imperium itself, and its history is filled with secrets and lies that have stained every generation. As if to compound its woes, the sector is cursed with a seemingly unending Warp storm known as the Pandaemonium that waxes and wanes across the millennia. With each passing century it grows ever more intense and dangerous, raging like a hungry beast that seeks to devour the entire sector.
Within Askellon, it is the prophesied Time of Ending, close to the culmination of the 41st millennium. On its many worlds, from lordly Juno to the lawless asteroids of Port Aquila, from devout Thaur to the red forges of Cerix Magnus, all watch in fear as the Pandaemonium’s rising ferocity heralds the sector’s fall. It will take the mightiest deeds of the Acolytes to forestall this terrible doom, if only for one day.
Askellon is a major part of this new edition, as it lets us explore entire new cultures and peoples, and also introduce new adversaries. Within the sector, players will see a host of new characters, organisations, cults, and more to ensure their Acolytes have no shortage of heresies to investigate and eradicate.
Inquisitors in Askellon
Dark Heresy Second Edition delves further into the essence of the Inquisitors and the agents they use to defend Mankind: the Acolytes. Each Inquisitor is an individual empowered with the means, the will, and the authority to face any threat that might assail Mankind, whether that threat emanates from within, without, or beyond. It is in the purview of an Inquisitor to order an entire world burned that the taint of heresy might not infect a whole sector, or to take command of a whole army in order to combat an enemy only he knows how to face. Inquisitors alone know the truths of Mankind’s enemies, and have the will to endure and fight these threats no matter the means or cost.
Each Inquisitor fights for Mankind in his own manner, with his own approach to deal with the most dire of enemies. This means every sector has a unique Inquisitorial presence. Few Inquisitors are known to exist within Askellon’s haunted regions. Thus, many Acolytes might know of only their own Inquisitor, and could operate under the belief that theirs is the only one in all Askellon. At any given time, there are innumerable threats against Mankind within the sector. The Acolytes must constantly decide which heresies are paramount, knowing for each one they investigate, countless others fester and corrupt Askellon’s future. Often acting with little or no outside support, the Acolytes know that, if they fail, there is perhaps no one else to keep the sector from falling to darkness.
Downloading the Beta and Submitting Feedback
Exclusively available via download through drivethrurpg.com and rpgnow.com, the Dark Heresy Second Edition beta provides an abridged, electronic version of the upcoming core rulebook. This 337-page greyscale pdf document retains the core experience of Dark Heresy Second Edition, but excludes certain thematic content that will be present in the final game. As part of the beta test, you’ll provide valuable information for the Inquisition as you help us to ensure the best possible product. As an added benefit, anyone who downloads the Dark Heresy Second Edition beta from drivethrurpg.com or rpgnow.com will receive a $20 discount on the pdf version of the Dark Heresy Second Edition Core Rulebook when it becomes available later in the year.
Once you’ve joined the beta by downloading Dark Heresy Second Edition, there are two main methods for you to submit your feedback. First, we have created a special section on the FFG website for the beta (http://www.fantasyfl.../darkheresybeta) that will be updated weekly with the latest news and game updates from the development team. It contains a public forum where you can discuss the beta test with fellow players, post questions and feedback, and read news updates from the development team.
Second, you can submit any specific reports or feedback directly to the team at the beta test e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org). When submitting your feedback via e-mail, please consolidate multiple questions and comments into a single message, rather than sending a separate e-mail for each question or comment. When submitting feedback, keep in mind that we’re looking for comments on specific issues that come up during your playtest sessions.
We would like to extend our sincerest thanks for your enthusiasm and diligence during this beta test. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us and we thank you for helping us in making this game the best it can possibly be.
We recently received the finished cover art for the Dark Heresy Second Edition Core Rulebook, and couldn’t be more excited! We wanted to share a sneak preview of the art with you, and as an added bonus, we’ve made it available on our support page as a downloadable desktop. Check out this amazing art piece, and download it for your desktop! Plus, keep checking the support page for more downloadable content, like player sheets and pdf supplements!
Learn more about the beta process at our Dark Heresy Second Edition beta test description page, then head to drivethrurpg.com or rpgnow.com today and prepare to root out heresies in the name of the Emperor!
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