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Hey guys,

I recently started up a gaming group in my town and I was thinking about picking up a copy of Dark Heresy. I've been thinking about getting into Dark Heresy for a long time now, and I have read many other Roleplaying game books such as Recon and Twilight 2000.

Anyway, after it was first released I have always wanted to read through the book and see whether it is worth buying. I only know one store that sell it near where I am (and I dont buy stuff off the internet) so I am just curious:
How enjoyable is Dark Heresy and
Is it worth purchasing?

Ceers

Amoeba Bait
 

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From a personal standpoint, yes it's extremely enjoyable and definitely worth picking up. There's a few supplements for it that make it easier for first-time storytellers, or if you want just hit the ground running and make up your own story. The system is incredibly malleable and lets you pick and choose which rules you want to have actually apply, and nowadays there's a great community formed up around it.

Also, there's Rogue Trader and the upcomming Deathwatch by the same people who make Dark Heresy.
 

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For me, Dark Heresy just doesn't hit the spot. I like the idea of it, and the setting of course, but there are just so many things that irk me about it. It's more complex than it has to be, it's skill/talent system is terrible, and it takes a lot of effort to learn the ins and outs of it. It can be worth it, but it takes a lot of effort, for the GM and the players, to really get to grips with it.
 

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I Play it over Steam personally if you can convince your friends to get in on it then it can be quite the enjoyable experiance
 

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For me, Dark Heresy just doesn't hit the spot. I like the idea of it, and the setting of course, but there are just so many things that irk me about it. It's more complex than it has to be, it's skill/talent system is terrible, and it takes a lot of effort to learn the ins and outs of it. It can be worth it, but it takes a lot of effort, for the GM and the players, to really get to grips with it.
Very true, the game system is counter-intuitive and cumbersome in the extreme. Deathwatch is worse.

Unfortunately my love of the setting means that I'm still attempting to get to grips with it.
 

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For me, Dark Heresy just doesn't hit the spot. I like the idea of it, and the setting of course, but there are just so many things that irk me about it. It's more complex than it has to be, it's skill/talent system is terrible, and it takes a lot of effort to learn the ins and outs of it. It can be worth it, but it takes a lot of effort, for the GM and the players, to really get to grips with it.
For me, Dark Heresy's problem isn't its system, but the kind of play that the game encourages.

I simply don't see what's enjoyable about playing a character that fails at everything he attempts the vast majority of the time unless the task at hand falls neatly into his area of expertise. What's the point of having a lasgun if you can't hit worth a damn with it? Half the time you're better off making a charge action and hitting someone with it. Naturally doing this will lead to your character being hideously killed since the characters in Dark Heresy are about as robust and tough as a wet tissue.

That leads to another point. Why in god's name would anyone ever want to play a game in the 40K setting that doesn't have a lot to do with combat? What's fun about investigating possibly heresy and politicking in a sci-fi distopia? Personally I find all the sneaking around and talking to people to get information to be boring as hell. If I wanted to sneak around investigating I'd do it for a job. This is the 40K universe, full of heretics, aliens and Daemons - why are we wasting time talking instead of killing stuff? The 40K universe is all about armed conflict. The Imperium is at war all the time and has been since its inception. Shouldn't a game focus on some aspect of that instead of sneaking around and having your character driven insane?

This is why Deathwatch and Rogue Trader are cool games. There's lots of room for non-combat roleplay in both games. Wanting to roleplay non-combat situations is fine and I encourage it, but I think the vast majority of RPG games basically boil down to the combat as the real meat of the experience. In Dark Heresy you suck too much at actual combat to bother with it.
 

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I have found that Dark Heresy, like many other rpg's, is heavily dependent upon A. a cunning and flexible GM (who is willing to reward players for actually... roleplaying!) and B. at least 1 member (preferably more) of the group that is a 'creative problem solver' personality.

I am a personal fan of the % system as I find it to encourage a more intense character development in the earlier parts of the game as well as provides for a broader spectrum of reactionary events for a clever GM. It also makes that natural 01 roll a bit more epic than say a natural 20.

Personally, I would suggest before picking up the Dark Heresy corebook that a player takes a moment to think about just what kind of 40k rpg game they are looking for: Want complexity and intrigue within the beating heart and dark underbelly of the Imperium? Dark Heresy is for you. Want cut-throat adventure on the outer rim of civilized space? Rogue Trader! Want to be one of the elite Brotherhood of the Astartes facing down the threat of xenos with lots of gore and bolter action? Deathwatch!

The greater the degree of depth that is put into a storyline by the group is going to determine what they get out of it. Simply put- as with any rpg, Dark Heresy is only going to be as enjoyable as those that are playing it choose to make it.
 

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Simply put- as with any rpg, Dark Heresy is only going to be as enjoyable as those that are playing it choose to make it.
On this we're going to have to disagree. I am determined to enjoy the game but like Katie said, in Dark Heresy you spend a lot of time dying and being unable to hit a barn door. In addition, the core game mechanic is very counter intuitive. A character's statline should give you a good idea of what that character is capable of but in Dark Heresy and worse still in Deathwatch that simply isn't the case.

With the noted exceptions of Strength and Toughness the stat line of a Space Marine bears a striking resemblance to a veteran guardsman. They are apparently equally capable when it comes to shooting and close combat...

This is until you discover the immensely complex bonus system. This is a system that goes from positive to negative +/-60! This means that a Space Marine firing on full auto, with a laser sight at a close range target is going to be on 90% to hit but without the bonuses apparently is no better than an experienced guardsman. What part of genetically engineered supersoldier was unclear to those chaps at Fantasy Flight Games? They have designed a backward system in order to create a level of suspense that feels painfully artificial.

Does anyone remember the Stat line for Brother-Captain Artemis in Inquisitor? When I saw that for the first time I was struck by the fact that this was the first realistic measure of a Space Marine's abilities and stats. I suspect that the FFG game designers thought that the Astartes would simply win all the time and have created a system so complicated and mathematically twisted to ensure that Space Marines spend a lot of time performing like a regular human, who's drunk...and partially sighted.

This is nonsense, any GM worth his/her salt would create an encounter that would challenge these post-human warriors. Take their extraordinary speed and coordination into account and build a combat scenario around it. Multiple threats from multiple directions, blindingly fast or super tough opponents etc.

When I say counter-intuitive what I mean is that the base stats are fairly meaningless. Yes, your 'average' battle brother has the same ballistic skill as a guard commander but with the Marines' vastly superior gear he'll be better at hitting things and killing them. I can get the idea of a high ballistic skill modified with negatives to indicate a tough shot but adding positives to make him even remotely competent makes no sense. The youngest of the Space Marines is still going to have more combat experience than a guard regiment, that added to his remarkable physiology, his autosight equipped power armour and decade long training should give him a ballistic skill closer to 90% rather than a paltry 45%.

However, these games are the only ones in town and so I'm simply going to have to get used to it and try to make a fun game for my group...a challenge certainly but one that I'm up for.
 

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For me, Dark Heresy's problem isn't its system, but the kind of play that the game encourages.

I simply don't see what's enjoyable about playing a character that fails at everything he attempts the vast majority of the time unless the task at hand falls neatly into his area of expertise. What's the point of having a lasgun if you can't hit worth a damn with it? Half the time you're better off making a charge action and hitting someone with it. Naturally doing this will lead to your character being hideously killed since the characters in Dark Heresy are about as robust and tough as a wet tissue.

That leads to another point. Why in god's name would anyone ever want to play a game in the 40K setting that doesn't have a lot to do with combat? What's fun about investigating possibly heresy and politicking in a sci-fi distopia? Personally I find all the sneaking around and talking to people to get information to be boring as hell. If I wanted to sneak around investigating I'd do it for a job. This is the 40K universe, full of heretics, aliens and Daemons - why are we wasting time talking instead of killing stuff? The 40K universe is all about armed conflict. The Imperium is at war all the time and has been since its inception. Shouldn't a game focus on some aspect of that instead of sneaking around and having your character driven insane?
Good point Katie. My friends and I figured out how Dark Heresy was encouraging us to play and decided that wasn't kosher. We made a few tweaks to the system (minor tweaks) and the game ended up being surprisingly well-suited to combat. Things like giving the +20 modifier for run-of-the-mill enemies/ridiculously easy things, or +10 for standard enemies/slightly challenging activities can alter the feel of the game tremendously.

My friends ended up running a campaign where all we did was fuck some zombies' shit up for a week, and we all know how much fun that is.
 

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On this we're going to have to disagree. I am determined to enjoy the game but like Katie said, in Dark Heresy you spend a lot of time dying and being unable to hit a barn door. In addition, the core game mechanic is very counter intuitive. A character's statline should give you a good idea of what that character is capable of but in Dark Heresy and worse still in Deathwatch that simply isn't the case.

*snipped for sake of quote size*

However, these games are the only ones in town and so I'm simply going to have to get used to it and try to make a fun game for my group...a challenge certainly but one that I'm up for.
I guess we shall just have to agree to disagree upon these matters :p

Perhaps my previous statement was a bit vague on what I meant by 'as enjoyable as those that are playing it choose to make it'.

Simply put, if you and your players find something that does not mesh well with your group or playstyle... it is ok to alter, add, or subtract from any given printed 'rule' in order to suit you and your players!

It urks me to no end when someone can't get beyond the ink on the page even when the very same ink states the very same thing (on page 10 of the DH corebook in a bold blocked note).

If you feel the pc's have starting stats that are too low... up them! If you feel a tn is too high... lower it! If something just isn't working for your group.. ask yourself 'why' and tweek what you need to!

Unlike a competitive game that relies upon its rules to be set in stone and followed unerringly to ensure a fair playing field, Dark Heresy is a living/breathing storyline that can be modified to suit just about any level of fairness you wish it to have.

That being said, it is also fully playable straight out of the book without any changes required.
 

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Sorry for bumbing up this thread but previous poster is 100% right. This isnt competitive game, its RPG.

Rulesbook provides basic settings for running your game and if some things dont suite you well, CHANGE IT. Discuss this with your other players and especially your GM so playing game would be more fun for everyone.

Point of Roleplaying games isnt to follow every rule, its the point of GM following these rules and altering them. I have in past run numerous RPG games as GM and also as player and anytime something unrealistic, broken or stupid came up in rulesbook, it was changed asap.

If you are following rulesbook too tight and find it lacking, you not only ruin your game but your friends games too. I find rulesbooks more as guide to players what to do and what to expect than just rules that have to be followed strictly to the letter. If your GM say you have now 10% chance to hit target even if your skill would be 85% accept the fact. If closecombat is broken make necessary adjusments to your groups gaming needs.

Hope you get the point.
 

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Dark Heresy characters being total failures, especially at combat, really hasn't been my group's experience at all.

In our very first adventure with just our starting gear, sure.. but a couple sessions in, everybody can be rocking flak armor and autoguns, and take some extra WS/BS if they want to. If you consider a typical character with a BS of 30, firing full auto (+20) at short range (+10), that's a 60% chance to hit most of the time, and a good chance of hitting with multiple bullets.

As far as survivability, most cultists/etc won't have weapons with armor penetration, so you're subtracting 3 for your toughness and 3 for your armor most of the time. A d10+3dmg lasgun doesn't even hurt you 30% of the time!

Combat against run-of-the-mill enemies makes us feel like badasses since we gun them down easily, and against well equipped xenos/warp beasties/psykers we fear for our lives since they can get around our armor/do enough damage per hit that the armor doesn't make as big of a difference. It feels just like I'd expect a 40k game featuring normal humans to be like.


Skills are a little tougher, but it's not too hard to pump them up. And don't forget the fate point mechanic! Your chance of success when the chips are down is much higher than your skill would indicate.
 

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If you have a problem with dying too much with Dark Heresy, then skip ahead and join in on Ascension. It allows you to make Rank 9 Characters from scratch without having to wade through the first eight ranks.
 

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YES it does worth buying it!

is pretty enjoyable if you are good at reading the rules and not complain a lot about some of the logic, the game mechanic works great by itself but many people found it retrograde to the 90s.
 

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Dark Heresy is different to most RP's.

Usually what makes your character great is what they have achieved and how strong they have become. In DH however, its all about what your character survived and against what odds.

At the end of a campaign your character should come out bruised battered, possibly even mutated and limbless. But even thought it may now be weaker (which is easily compensated by the gained exp anyway) it now has a more interesting and unique persona.

To put it short; DH characters shouldn't be judged by the gear they carry but by the scars they bare.

This is an excellent RP if your interested in a truely intricate character who's strengths are just as important as their flaws...
 

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If you like missing and getting killed then you're gonna LOVE dark heresy.

Gurps is better for 40k I think....easier to get killed but character creation is the best I've seen.
 

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All percentile systems have the same problem of failed skill checks for initial characters...
That's why you have a DM to keep the game flowing.

@Katie: RPG games aren't (but unfortunately could be played as) warporn. The point of an RPG is to encourage creativity and social interaction - if "dakka dakka" is all that you're interested in you might as well stick to the miniature game or read a BL novel.

As for my opinion of the game I find that the setting was described in a somewhat sterile manner, without sufficient depth so it just failed to grab me. Its a well polished but quite run-of-the-mill-RPG and I've seen too many of those unfortunately.

For baroque sci-fi fantasy Fading Suns is still by far the best setting, including every possible play style from DH and a lot more (only its rules are even worse than DH).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fading_Suns
 

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My group has played for a couple of months, and I really like it. I agree with the complaint that it is very difficult to do things outside of your specialty, but that is assuming you are doing something complicated enough to require a roll.
It makes sense that if you haven't trained in shooting guns you would suck at hitting things. Doubly so with using complex technology. It fits the setting. Most individuals in 40K are specialists, and do not receive the intense cross training of a present-day soldier or technician or even an average college student.
The system is only cumbersome until you get used to it. There's a learning curve, the same as any new RPG. It does require that the GM and players pay attention to their strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly.

Basically, if you like the setting, and are willing to put in the time to learn the system, it's a great game. If you're not willing to put the time in, you won't enjoy it. Unlike some systems, you can't just skim the rulebook.
 
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