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Let's talk about Dark Heresy 2nd ed. fluff, not crunch


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#1 The Laughing God

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 03:52 AM

So we're all talking about the rules, the stats, the numbers and the crunch for Dark Heresy 2nd edition ...

 

... but what about the fluff?

 

what do we want in this new Eskallon sector?

what about the thematic differences between the 1st and 2nd editions that FFG talks about?

 

doesn't the new sector sound a bit like a rehash of old ideas: every sector out there, from the Calixis Sector to the Jericho Reach to the Koronus Expanse has a big bad over-arching überthreat, called either Tyrant Star, Pandaemonium, Hadex Anomaly etc etc...

 

do the themes of 'one minute to midnight', 'innocence proves nothing' and 'only war' still stand? do we need new ones?

 

what do we need to make this edition's emphasis on subtlety and investigation work?

 

curious to your thoughts!


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#2 Tom Cruise

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:02 AM

I like that it seems like FFG are moving away from the whole Inquisitorial frathouse thing Calixis had going on. Calixis had far too many Inquisitors and the mystery was really stripped away, which was pretty unfortunate in my opinion.



#3 Simsum

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:28 AM

I kind of liked that the really big bad's in Calixis was more or less legitimate Imperial factions.

But like Tom Cruise said, it was just a bit much that you couldn't spit without hitting at least five different Inquisitors. I kept finding that if I tried to incorporate the fluff more or less as presented, the best reason Acolytes had for not flaunting their authority at every opportunity, was fear of hostile Inquisitors.

I think the only way I'd be able to play the setting as it ended up, would be as a Paranoia clone. For which the rules aren't really very suitable.

#4 Morangias

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:37 AM

do the themes of 'one minute to midnight', 'innocence proves nothing' and 'only war' still stand? do we need new ones?

Since these are all core themes of the 40k setting, I'm pretty sure they still apply.


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#5 The Laughing God

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:01 AM

do we have any reason to expect that the Eskalon sector (or what's it called) will have a lesser Inquisitorial presence?

For the Calixis Sector I never found Inquisitorial omnipresence both a fact or a nuisance; quite easy to write around it as a GM when designing your adventures.

 

But I do like the idea of the Inquisition being sorely pressed, i.e. so many heresies going on that they can only address a few of them, kind of like the police in a crime-ridden city


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#6 Simsum

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:41 AM

do we have any reason to expect that the Eskalon sector (or what's it called) will have a lesser Inquisitorial presence?


Yes. The initial announcement, and possibly a couple of other places said stuff to the effect that there'd be no real Inquisitorial presence in the sector.
 

For the Calixis Sector I never found Inquisitorial omnipresence both a fact or a nuisance; quite easy to write around it as a GM when designing your adventures.


Wasn't trying to imply it was difficult to work around, just that it was odd. There was something like 100+ named Inquisitors running around the Calixis sector, with multiple more or less official holdings & stuff. By the official fluff it really wasn't so much an invisible war any more, as it was a very in-your-face kind of war with fanfares, armies & whatnot. It felt.. A bit self-contradictory, really.

#7 Morangias

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:44 AM

 

do we have any reason to expect that the Eskalon sector (or what's it called) will have a lesser Inquisitorial presence?

 

From the beta's first announcement:

 

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.

 

I'm on the fence about this. On one hand, unlike some people here, I really liked the strong, well-organized Inquisition of Calixis, and all the possibilities it created for a higher-powered game of intrigue and influence. On the other hand, I like the idea of the new setting being as different from Calixis as possible...

 

Ultimately, I think I'll wait till the actual book comes out before passing judgment on that particular change. I'd like to get a better idea of Askellon to learn how the super-secret-nobody-expects-it Inquisition ties into it.


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#8 Jaedar

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:10 PM

I feel its hard to say much about the fluff of Askelion, because we don't really know anything about it.

 

It seems to take place in more 'contemporary' 40k, ie the unending year M41.999 but that's about it. And I'm not even sure what to make of that. Could be a good thing, could be a bad thing, could be a very minor thing.

 

I rather like the Tyrant star, so I hope it makes the transition.



#9 Morangias

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:59 PM

I really don't think the Tyrant Star will make an appearance. Askellon's supposed to have this giant warpstorm as the overarching problem instead.


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There is no certainty in flesh but death.


#10 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:32 PM

Time marches on, as they say, and setting DH2e in "The End of Days" steals its own act. Investigating heresy by the light of the great big warp storm of doo...we're gonna party like it's forty nine ninety-nine!

 

Next campaign: reset the clock? or party on, Garth?

 

DH1e being set several hundred years before the eleventh hour kept it divorced from the maelstrom of well-known events that transpire at the end of the 41st Millennium, allowing it to grow into a living setting not overshadowed or minimized by the greater Imperium.

 

Personally, I'm disappointed in the proposed (alleged?) timeline.


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#11 Morangias

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:33 PM

DH1e being set several hundred years before the eleventh hour kept it divorced from the maelstrom of well-known events that transpire at the end of the 41st Millennium, allowing it to grow into a living setting not overshadowed or minimized by the greater Imperium.

What events are you talking about, and how exactly would they negatively impact the play experience of a sector that isn't involved in any of them by virtue of not existing until now?


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.


#12 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:47 PM

 

DH1e being set several hundred years before the eleventh hour kept it divorced from the maelstrom of well-known events that transpire at the end of the 41st Millennium, allowing it to grow into a living setting not overshadowed or minimized by the greater Imperium.

What events are you talking about, and how exactly would they negatively impact the play experience of a sector that isn't involved in any of them by virtue of not existing until now?

 

I'm referring to the plethora of events in the "official" 40K timeline that are crammed into the final two decades (+/- a decade) of the millennium. And I only mean to say that events such as the Tau Empire's Third Sphere Expansion, the Third War for Armageddon, The Great Awakening (of psykers), the emergence of Hive Fleets Kraken and Leviathan, and The 13th Black Crusade, while not widely advertised among the average Imperial citizen, still sit firmly within the same time frame, and lore-knowledgeable players and GMs play under the shadow of those events...

 

My perspective, my opinion. 


Edited by Brother Orpheo, 20 October 2013 - 08:55 PM.

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#13 Gurkhal

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:42 PM

I'm kind of on of the fence for this one and don't really know what to think of it. I can see both the benefits and downsides of the prospect of having few Inquisitors. But ultimately I'll have to read the stuff before I make a decision.

 

The thing that I was disappointed in was that they threw in a Warp-storm as the reason for the Big Bad. I can kind of recollect that I have seen something like it before...


Edited by Gurkhal, 20 October 2013 - 09:44 PM.


#14 Lynata

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:02 PM

It's certainly a matter of preferences. Some will regard it as "overshadowing" their own campaigns, other will think of it as cool tie-in opportunities, perhaps by having their characters partake in events they already know from some Codex or a novel.

 

The timeline certainly is "crammed full" of events in the final two decades, but I would argue that the Imperium is vast enough to easily host all of them without much effect in terms of local repercussions. In fact, there should be much more stuff going on (there likely is, just not written down in the timeline), and technically all eras on the timeline should feature some huge war here or a major incursion there or some miracle or tragedy in that corner over yonder.

 

It is much stranger how, and some posters have remarked this earlier, Calixis is home to so many events in such a limited space, but this is a development that began with FFG taking over the setting. I still remember the "good old days" when 50 temporarily stationed Battle Sisters were considered to be an unusually high concentration of force resulting in local nobility worrying about upcoming trouble, and when the only sign of Space Marines in the sector was an old, abandoned outpost of the Black Templars. Fast forward a few supplements and Calixis is home to its own Marine Chapter and thousands of Sororitas, including a full third of one of the six Major Orders. All the Inquisitors, the plots, the threats ... well, it's been talked about before.

Personally, for a new setting, I would favour a more "down to earth" approach as well, with many possible plot hooks for clever GMs to build upon, but without much in terms of in-your-face crises.

 

The Deathwatch campaign I'm currently playing in takes place in 999.M41 as well - not only did this allow a number of players to weave a few events from Codex fluff into their characters' backgrounds, but our GM also has us investigating Necron stuff right now ... which wouldn't fit into the time that DH, DW, etc normally take place in. That they are still featured as adversaries in the books is a sign of the game designers not being content with these self-imposed restrictions themselves.

And since Talasa Prime is also rather close to the Tau Empire, I think it's just a matter of time until my team gets sent against them as well.  ^_^


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#15 Tom Cruise

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:46 PM

I think the biggest issue is that the timeline seems to have really painted M42 as the end times, it's pretty heavily foreshadowed that that's when **** really hits the fan; the chaos warbands get their **** together and make a proper attack on the Imperium, the biggest hive tendril yet invades dangerously close to Terra, all that fun stuff.

 

Which means that I'm not sure how much I like the idea that my campaign will have to push into that part of the timeline if it goes more than a few years.


Edited by Tom Cruise, 20 October 2013 - 10:47 PM.


#16 Sharp

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 04:56 AM

I hope that the Askellon sector will be somehow connected to the old cluster just for the sake of it. I really don't mind about the official 40k timeline, this was never important in my campaigns at all.

 They main problem with Calixis was, that it was in the end very disorganized. They started with a nice concept and some short descriptions of the worlds and the powerhouses. With every new book they added content which often referred to certain world or circumstances without having a main source which informs about it. (Like weapons/items which seem the only reference to whole worlds...)

 

So I would like a detailed description about the main worlds of the sector like the Gazetters which came with some of the adventures. (for example Sinophia in Damned Cities) But for the main worlds/hives in more detail.

There you should be able to find info about the geography & environment, Demography, Government Types, Important NPCs, Imperial presences, note able factions and their relations, note able places, the economy, different Cultures & their tensions,  MAPS!

Same also in the other direction, so the sector as a whole. Who are the main powerhouses of the sector? (Great Houses, Alliances, Planetary houses, Dynasties, Corporations, Crime syndicates etc) How do they relate to each other. I would just like to have info about these forms of civil structures. Instead of reproduced page by page information about the Imperium and its structures (including inquisition etc.) which have very little value for the daily life of the common man.

DH 1 content was far too much concerned with the inquisitional branches and obscure mysteries, leaving the social environment where you can set your adventures quite undefined and vague. The setting was very thin and as soon as you started to dig around you could see that it was all just a cardboard backdrop.

I think that the opposite would be better so you can awaken the different cultures and environments where your investigations takes place.

 

In addition a better planning would be nice. In Calixis we had a lot of conflicting statements. Examples are presences of Sororitas & Astartes or the Navigator houses.

 

What I expect is a well develop, sophisticated and plausible civil/social background which I can use as setting for my investigative adventures. For good storytelling and rping, you need good world building.


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#17 Lynata

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:45 AM

Which means that I'm not sure how much I like the idea that my campaign will have to push into that part of the timeline if it goes more than a few years.

 

Hum, this is something I have admittedly not considered. An understandable concern.  ;)

 

Now, some BL novels already break with GW's established "wall" regarding M42, and technically it might even be interesting to some groups to break into this era as well. Whatever you'll end up doing there, at least you won't have a Codex contradict it!

But still, I can understand reservations regarding this.

 

They main problem with Calixis was, that it was in the end very disorganized. They started with a nice concept and some short descriptions of the worlds and the powerhouses. With every new book they added content which often referred to certain world or circumstances without having a main source which informs about it.

 

Yeah. I like how everything started out as descriptions of the most important planets in the Core Rulebook and IH, and lots of little hooks for GMs and players alike to build something around, tons of potential just waiting to be used - but over the years it just ... I guess it blew up a little?

 

I like your idea regarding solid descriptions of the "major players" etc as this would certainly serve as possible hooks as well, albeit coming from the other direction (in that GMs could craft their own plots around these figures and organisations, rather than having to come up with figures and organisations for existing plots hinted at in the books).

 

 

In addition a better planning would be nice. In Calixis we had a lot of conflicting statements. Examples are presences of Sororitas & Astartes or the Navigator houses.

 

I think FFG's writers just had different ideas than the original Black Industries team - it's even hinted at in the foreword of Deathwatch, if you read Merrett's statement.

Can't say I liked all of them. :/


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#18 Adeptus-B

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:04 AM

So I would like a detailed description about the main worlds of the sector like the Gazetters which came with some of the adventures. (for example Sinophia in Damned Cities) But for the main worlds/hives in more detail. There you should be able to find info about the geography & environment, Demography, Government Types, Important NPCs, Imperial presences, note able factions and their relations, note able places, the economy, different Cultures & their tensions,  MAPS!

 

Same also in the other direction, so the sector as a whole. Who are the main powerhouses of the sector? (Great Houses, Alliances, Planetary houses, Dynasties, Corporations, Crime syndicates etc) How do they relate to each other. I would just like to have info about these forms of civil structures. Instead of reproduced page by page information about the Imperium and its structures (including inquisition etc.) which have very little value for the daily life of the common man.

 

What I expect is a well develop, sophisticated and plausible civil/social background which I can use as setting for my investigative adventures. For good storytelling and rping, you need good world building.

 

I agree- detailing planets is probably the single most time-consuming aspect of GMing DH, and having a couple planets fully playable on Day One would be huge.

 

One the other topics of this thread- I wouldn't mind a setting in the early 900s M41, because that would put the full range of 40K elements in play, but I wouldn't want to play in the late 900s M41, because the events of the End Times would trivialize most traditional DH scenarios ("Who cares if the Pilgrims of Hayte are trying to take over a sector on the edge of the Imperium? We have to stop Abaddon!!"). And then there are the in-game effects of the Astronomicon beginning to fail ("Okay, your warp voyage is underway, now let's see- [dice roll] uh-oh. Everyone roll up new characters...")...

 

And I'll repeat what I've said in several other threads: if FFG is going to launch a new sector, it should be in the Ultima Segmentum, so that all of the iconic 40K adversaries (some of which are only found in Ultima) can be used. I think that placing the Calixis Sector in Segmentum Obscurous was a mistake, and I really don't want DH2 to repeat the mistake just to "allow for cross-overs", which, given the shift in time-line, and the apocalyptic events that conclude The Apostacy Gambit, is already problematic...



#19 Lynata

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:20 PM

but I wouldn't want to play in the late 900s M41, because the events of the End Times would trivialize most traditional DH scenarios ("Who cares if the Pilgrims of Hayte are trying to take over a sector on the edge of the Imperium? We have to stop Abaddon!!"). And then there are the in-game effects of the Astronomicon beginning to fail ("Okay, your warp voyage is underway, now let's see- [dice roll] uh-oh. Everyone roll up new characters...")...

 

I really don't see that as a problem - at least not unless you want it to be. The 13th Black Crusade begins in the closing days of 999.M41, so there's plenty of room in the months or even years before to have your own adventures. Besides, even if you'd play your events simultaneously, they'd only be overshadowed by Abbadon because of your players. How long do you think it'll take until new of the Black Crusade spread through the galaxy? Are the player characters even important enough to be notified?  ;)

It does have the potential to become active in the defense of the Cadian sector if you want to make use of it, though. And no, I don't mean killing Abbadon - but there's a lot of stuff going on that could easily keep your Acolytes busy anyways. Fancy hunting some Plague Zombies on Subiaco Diablo, for example, and finding out who's responsible for it? Important work, and one of the many small puzzle pieces that make up the greater whole that is the Imperium's Defence of the Cadian Gate...

 

As for the Astronomican - even if your players, for some reason, decide to take a trip that far out and venture beyond its reach (why?! it's not like the Navigator couldn't see when it gets darker .. the Astronomican is not an on/off switch, it's like a lamp that shines brighter or, in recent years, not so bright, and it doesn't change hourly but is a steady decline), since when does "getting lost" mean automatic character death?

Honestly, I'd just regard this as the perfect plot for a new adventure.  :P


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previous characters: Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader frigate Artemisia)

#20 Morangias

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 04:57 PM

I have an advantage in that my group isn't in the least interested in the "canon" of 40k - as long as they get to shoot daemons and xenos with bolters and hack them with chainswords while yelling "For the Emperor!", it's 40k enough for them.

 

One thing I'd much like is Askellon having it's share of unique stuff, from xeno races to daemons to bizarre remnants of ancient alien/Dark Age civilizations, with all the troubles that entails.


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.





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