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Ezra Kainus' Dark Heresy Living 2.3 Modifications v.1

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#1 Kainus



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Posted 21 May 2014 - 08:07 PM

Hello there,

For the past 9 months I’ve been working on a set of modifications for the first Dark Heresy 2nd Edition Beta. I just completed version 1.0 of the modification and wanted to let all of you know. If you’re interested in the mechanics of the 40kRPG system at all, you will at least find something to implement into your other games.

The links are here:

(The Dark Reign link will be up once the mainsite is fixed)

.pdf file: https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

.docx file: https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing


The following is a quick summary of the changes made to the DH2b1 (Living 2.3) system:


Chapter 1- Playing the Game: I have added a new type of test modifiers to the game called +Xd. Essentially, this means that the character rolls X number of additional hundreds dice and may select which ever result they desire. This allows for an increased chance of success with minimal math- keeping Degrees of Success from getting out of hand, as well. In turn, it makes Opposed Tests much more competitive, which this revision of the rules uses to its advantage. Assistance is also simplified so that, if you qualify, you simply add +d to the testing character’s roll.


Chapter 2- Character Creation: Instead of using the Skill and Characteristic charts, each character nominates one Characteristic and two skills they are “Talented” in and notes these in their Traits. Anytime they upgrade these skills or characteristics, the Cost Modifier is 50 less. This increases character customization during character creation, and does not restrict you to diversifying your character- it simply costs less to improve a few things that you are naturally talented at. Also, Roles have been revised and many new backgrounds and home worlds have been added, streamlining the process while still allowing for diverse characters. Characters also have the option to select a “Starting Package” related to the duty they are called upon to perform on behalf of the Inquisition.


Chapter 3- Skills: One of my favorite sub-systems of Living 2.3 is the Skill system, and it largely remains intact. The only addition is that of a Rank 0, indicating that the character who is inherently disadvantaged at performing the skill. This is usually derived from a character’s home world. Non-psykers without the Adeptus Astra Telepathica background begin with the Psyniscience skill at Rank 0.


Chapter 4- Talents and Traits: One of the largest revisions, Talents have always been my least favorite aspect of the 40kRPG system. Having to remember a list of minute occasions when a character is allowed to bend the rules is clunky at best, and absolutely tiresome for an inexperienced GM who wants to add depth to combat encounters. To that end, I have created Talent Cards using Quizlet, allowing players to print off their Talents to reference them during play with ease. I have removed Talent Trees for Basic (i.e. Core Rulebook) Talents and have also been simplified and broken Talents down into 3 categories: Fate, Action, and Passive Talents. The Investigation and Social Talent Sets have received much attention, and I hope they will be much more useful than they currently are.


Chapter 5- Armory: A number of minor revisions- added some weapon qualities, fixed some modifications, added some new religious texts, and fixed the Overcharge system for Bionic limbs. I have also added an Optional Requisition Points system, for those groups who still want to have hard currency in their game. Weapons have been ranked into Tiers and the Weapon Talents have been removed- your skill in Tech-Use now determines which weapons you can use.


Chapter 6- Psychic Powers: Psychic Powers have received a “buff” during the early game, if you will. A strong distinction has been made between Sanctioned and Unsanctioned Psykers, the first being a safer and more resilient option, while the latter is a more dangerous and riskier option. I have also made Psychic Power cards for ease of reference during play.


Chapter 7- Combat: The Wound system has been cleaned up and multiple Wound Condition systems are included in the revision, allowing you to tailor your combat to taste. There is even a system that attempts to bridge the Wound System in Dark Heresy 2E and Living 2.3, for those wanting a more traditional system. Rules for Preparation and Ambush have been included, as well. Range modifiers have been included- if you are within a number of metres of  your target equal to your Ballistic Skill Bonus, you gain +d to hit- simple as that.


New Talents and Talent Trees: A Medicae, Sorcery, and Servo-Tech Talent Tree has been added, allowing characters more options in their advancement.


Ascended Influence Rules: Rules for having Domains, Personal Subordinate Networks, Sleeper Agents, and Personal Transportation have been included-  allowing high-level players to have tangible benefits fit for their station. Influence has also been expanded, allowing room for the Membership Talents, Influence Talents, and Reputation Talents to define an Ascended character’s power.


Formation Rules: Streamlined and lethal Formation rules are included, allowing you to pit your Acolytes against hordes of cultists with minimal complexity.


Character Sheet: An updated, 4 page Character Sheet, created for the rules in the document, has been provided. The final two pages are for an Ascended character, and allows him to manage his power with little difficulty.


For those of you who are already familiar with EK’s modifications, here is a brief list of the updates:

-Overcharge is no longer broken- it now costs significantly more fatigue to use Overcharge for any long period of time.

-Talents have been completely redone and Talent Cards have been created to prevent combat from slowing down.

                -Psychic Powers also have their own set of cards.

-Additional Wound systems have been added

-Requisition Points have been tinkered with and made into an optional system.

- An Additional Social Character Sheet has been added

-Unfinished rules have been included, such as a Tzeentch Psychic Power set, Weapon Variation Charts, and a Daemon Vessel Talent Tree.



.pdf file: https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

.docx file: https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

Edited by Kainus, 21 May 2014 - 08:23 PM.

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#2 Superraiderman



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Posted 25 June 2014 - 06:45 PM

I like some of the ideas you have shared, I really like the idea of psychic cards to use as a quick reference for what each one does, if they were laminated you could use a marker to input thresholds and the like.  I think that a quick reference sheet for what talents and skills do and modifiers would be helpful.

#3 Kainus



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Posted 26 June 2014 - 04:30 PM

I like some of the ideas you have shared, I really like the idea of psychic cards to use as a quick reference for what each one does, if they were laminated you could use a marker to input thresholds and the like.  I think that a quick reference sheet for what talents and skills do and modifiers would be helpful.

Thank you. My personal set of Psychic Powers and Talents are laminated because my players are messy with their morning coffee, haha. 

I always felt like the lack of Psychic Power cards were a glaring flaw in the accessibility of the system. It required any psyker to either have them memorized or have their own personal copy of the core rulebook for reference. The same goes for talents, except they're trickier because some talents convey passive bonuses while others modify a specific mechanic when that mechanic is activated. It's the reason why I created 3 distinct divisions of Talents and modified each Talent to fit into one of those categories. If there isn't a large enough space on the character sheet to write Talent descriptions, Talent cards are an absolute necessity for me as a player. It may just be me, but I can't memorize over 100 exceptions and modifications to a ruleset and keep them memorized. 

When 2e is released, I'll definitely create Psychic Power/ Talent Cards for the new edition, as  I feel that the edition suffers from the same issues as its predecessor. 

A quick reference sheet for Talents would be very helpful, as that seems to be where most players are stuck when choosing Talents. Talent Trees streamlined it nicely, but I don't think that it was executed properly- my "Advanced" Talent Trees represent that progression of a singular proficiency, as each Talent focuses on modifying the same mechanic that the tree is focused around. 

Sometime during the 1st draft of EK's, I created a GM screen- it's largely out of date with the current rules, but it you're interested in modifying it for your own use, here's the link to the .docx file: https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

(I would imagine that there are formatting issues)

Here's the .pdf file, as well: https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing


Thanks for the feedback!

Edited by Kainus, 26 June 2014 - 04:36 PM.

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