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Which supplements to order?


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#1 Frosty71

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:32 PM

   I'm currently waiting for my core rulebook of Dark Heresy to arrive in the mail (something about back orders holding it up), so I am looking at all the expansion books in the meantime. So far I know that I want the Creatures Anathema for sure (mmm, genestealers), but I can't decide on which "players manuals" to get.

 

   The Ascension book looks like a must have, but I hear rumours that it breaks the game to the point of requiring mad house ruling to fix. Normally I'd counter OP player characters with equally OP enemy encounters, but said rumours suggest that to be impossible. The Inquisitors Handbook looks nice too, but it sounds a little underwhelming. Is it worth having, or will I miss nothing if I forget about it? I like the book which adds the Grey Knights, but I don't know about spending all that cash for just one extra career path.

 

   What do you guys think? Any books I might have not thought about? Inquisitors Handbook and/or Asension, yay or nay and why?



#2 GauntZero

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:45 PM

As far as it concerns me, the inquisitors handbook and the radicals handbook are must-haves.

 

Both really good and usefull.

 

Creatures anathema is one of the weakest in my opinion, I also dont like Ascension and Daemon Hunter that much.

 

Blood of martyr, Book of Judgement and the Lathes are also quite good.

 

If you are looking for a solid and broad start, Core rulebook, IH and RH are the ones to go for.

 

Keep in mind though that Dark Heresy 2 is in the making.


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#3 Lynata

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:43 PM

Personally, I would say the Inquisitor's Handbook is a must-have. It's kind of like an expansion of the core rulebook with additional rules and advice, a ton of useful new gear, a new class and some background packages, plus very useful advice for players and GMs alike concerning the setting. Creatures Anathema may be useful because it's applicable for just about any campaign rather than relying on the party following a specific route or containing specific types of characters. Also, the GM Toolkit has some nifty rules for making your own poisons and xenos.

 

After that ... it depends on your personal preferences. Some would say that the later supplements suffer from a notorious power creep that makes them not synch too well with earlier resources, and I have a fierce dislike for Blood of Martyr's version of the Sororitas, or the power of Faith in general. Stuff like that is very individual, however, so we may have to know more about what exactly you're looking for before further recommendations.



#4 Adeptus-B

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:49 PM

The Inquisitor's Handbook is basically a 'continuation' of the core rulebook- stuff that didn't fit- so it's probably the next book you should get. Especially since it has a lot of modification to Character Creation, I would recommend getting it first.

 

Creatures Anathema doesn't have many low-level monsters, so it isn't that useful early on- you can safely hold off buying it until your players get a few Ranks under their belts.

 

As far as Ascension goes, you should probably wait until your PCs are at least mid-level before even thinking about picking it up. No use at starting Ranks whatsoever.

 

My favorite supplement is Disciples of the Dark Gods- it has a ton of useful adversaries and plot hooks to inspire adventures.

 

'Power Creep' really set in with the later supplements (from Blood of Martyrs onward), so use caution with any of those books- lots of blatantly broken stuff that can derail a campaign...



#5 Darth Smeg

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:12 PM

I have to agree with Inquisitors Handbook as the #1 purchase after the core book. Then get Disciples of the Dark Gods and The Radicals Handbook. All others are purely optional, and Ascension is worth pretending never happened ;)


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#6 Green Knight

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:47 AM

Also steer clear of Daemon Hunter - it's on a whole other level for the most part. Not just the gear and the Grey Knights, but the whole premise seems to be world-shattering adventures and such. Only (sort of) compatible with Ascension characters.



#7 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 07:00 AM

The faction-specific books are fine if you plan on running a campaign based around that faction. For example, you can use The Lathe Worlds to make a whole party of Mechanicus-aligned characters without having everybody play a Tech-priest. If you aren't playing a highly focused game, I'd avoid such books because there are some pretty busted things in the later books.

I picked up the Inquisitor's Handbook and Creatures Anathema shortly after starting my own campaign. The IH is excellent -- in fact, I wish I had bought it before starting the game. It gives you four new homeworlds, a Sororitas career that IMO makes more sense than the BoM version, and plenty of other options for starting characters. Creatures Anathema is alright and has several monsters unique to the Calixis Sector, but many of them are not appropriate for Acolytes lower than Rank 4. Genestealers can eviscerate a party of low-level Space Marines, and Lictors are even more dangerous...

As others have mentioned, Disciples of the Dark Gods is amazing. It contains tons of background info on the cults of the Calixis Sector. Even if you don't plan to use these cults in your games the book contains many jumping-off points and ideas for creating your own.
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#8 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 07:15 AM

I believe the power creep that really starts with Blood of Martyrs is part of Dark Heresy's being changed from a gothic horror game to a pulp action game, which may have been a conscious decision by FFG for business reasons (most 40K novels are pulp action, so that's what customers want) or maybe a personal preference of the designers.

 

I also think that a lot of the careers in BoM (as well as BoJ and Lathes and DH) are really designed for specific types of campaigns in which you are playing, say, an Ordo Hereticus force in the case of BoM. They're not really intended for general circulation, as it were.

 

For example., Sisters Space Cleric Magic seems tailored to allow groups to have psyker-like effects in the absence of a psyker, which would be a no-no in an Ecclesiarchy-dependent group.


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 23 January 2014 - 07:19 AM.

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#9 darkforce

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:00 AM

Well, I do agree with there being a Power Creep, I still bought all of them (except for Lathe Worlds... yet...) mostly to implement the background from these books, cause in that regard they're pretty interesting like the part in BoJ about Lord Marshal Goreman, the role of the Arbites in general, etc etc. On the other hand, however, those books are far from necsessary.

 

I second the statement of the Inquisitor's Handbook being a must-buy, it's pretty amazing :)



#10 Lynata

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:55 AM

Though, for background there are also tons of free sources (both official and unofficial) available.

 

That being said, inspiration can come from anywhere, and whilst I may not agree with certain design decisions in some of this RPG's books, I still have a lot of respect for the quality of the writing! There are some cool ideas in there to be sure.


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#11 Adeptus-B

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:52 AM

I believe the power creep that really starts with Blood of Martyrs is part of Dark Heresy's being changed from a gothic horror game to a pulp action game, which may have been a conscious decision by FFG for business reasons (most 40K novels are pulp action, so that's what customers want) or maybe a personal preference of the designers.

 

I'm skeptical that the Power Creep was part of a calculated design strategy, but if I'm wrong, it's still Bad Design not to label it as such. Claiming with a straight face that Crimson Guard are a reasonable Rank 1 option, with no mention of the fact that they are wildly out-of-balance with most other Rank 1 options, is inexcusable.


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#12 dava100

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:02 PM

I second what many others have said; get the inquisitors handbook. Personally I would then get disciples of the dark gods for lots of cool adversaries and background. Finally the radicals handbook has lots of good stuff too.

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#13 Lynata

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:30 PM

Claiming with a straight face that Crimson Guard are a reasonable Rank 1 option, with no mention of the fact that they are wildly out-of-balance with most other Rank 1 options, is inexcusable.

 

Well, maybe compared to the Rank 1 options of other later supplements, such as the New Arbites with his pimped killer shotgun or the New Sister with R1 power armour and space magicks. Technically, you can even run a Grey Knight at Rank 1.

 

It's a bit off topic, but even though I have been at odds with bogi_khaosa on a number of topics, here I have to agree that it shows a certain "artistic direction", and I do believe that this is at least influenced by the popularity of certain other 40k products. Just like other such "pulp" products have influenced 40k as a whole. It seems economically reasonable that a company may attempt to cater to what they think the majority prefers (also see GW's own focus in terms of minis and codices), not to mention that some of the designers or writers may be fans of a specific interpretation of the setting as well.

 

Hell, it may even be a cultural thing. Black Industries was British, and FFG is US. I'm not sure how fair this comparison between cultures actually is, but the Hollywood reference is just too close to pass up on. :P


Edited by Lynata, 23 January 2014 - 12:31 PM.

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#14 Yivrael

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:38 PM

  In the same vein as the OP question, is Purge the Unclean a good starting point if I have the rulebook and IH?  I have not been able to find the GM kit/screen yet.  Appreciate the feedback in this thread, I've ignored DH, RT and DW for a long time and only recently decided to give it a go.



#15 Lynata

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:00 PM

I'd say so. PtU was, in a way, released "together" with the Core Rulebook and the IH, being one of the last books that Black Industries made themselves, and as such it should mesh well with the contents of its other products.



#16 Adeptus-B

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:21 PM

 

Claiming with a straight face that Crimson Guard are a reasonable Rank 1 option, with no mention of the fact that they are wildly out-of-balance with most other Rank 1 options, is inexcusable.

 

Well, maybe compared to the Rank 1 options of other later supplements, such as the New Arbites with his pimped killer shotgun or the New Sister with R1 power armour and space magicks. Technically, you can even run a Grey Knight at Rank 1.

 

It's a bit off topic, but even though I have been at odds with bogi_khaosa on a number of topics, here I have to agree that it shows a certain "artistic direction", and I do believe that this is at least influenced by the popularity of certain other 40k products...

 

-But the game already includes mechanics for using high-powered stuff without making existing stuff inconsequential: higher costs for mega-equipment, XP requirements for powerful Alternative Ranks. The stuff I consider 'broken' does not use these mechanics, instead falsely representing them as 'balanced' with the existing game elements. I have no problem with high-level/more powerful/combat focused supplements, as long as they don't render the core game elements obsolete.

 

  In the same vein as the OP question, is Purge the Unclean a good starting point if I have the rulebook and IH?  I have not been able to find the GM kit/screen yet.  Appreciate the feedback in this thread, I've ignored DH, RT and DW for a long time and only recently decided to give it a go.

 

I personally don't think the adventures in Purge the Unclean are very fun.

 

--SPOILERS--

 

The first one involves a very oblique conspiracy that has very little sense of impending threat, and the villains are quite bland.

 

The second one has some good elements, but there are a few too many 'stuff just happens' plot points for my taste. It's set on a Space Hulk, but it is extremely light on detail...

 

The third one is okay, but it is built around an annoying conceit: no matter what the Pcs do, the main villain can only be killed by a specific NPC because, well, magic'n'stuff...

 

 

The adventure from the GM kit is best suited for mid-level PCs- it is not an introductory scenario.


Edited by Adeptus-B, 24 January 2014 - 09:55 AM.


#17 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:30 PM

The adventure from the GM kit is just bad. :)

 

I know I'm in a great minority in this, my experience with Tattered Fates as a starting adventure is very good.



#18 Darth Smeg

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:32 PM

If you're looking for good adventures to start out with, you can't go wrong with Edge of Darkness, available as a free download from this site. It really is excellent!


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#19 Lynata

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:46 PM

-But the game already includes mechanics for using high-powered stuff without making existing stuff inconsequential: higher costs for mega-equipment, XP requirements for powerful Alternative Ranks. The stuff I consider 'broken' does not use these mechanics, instead falsely representing them as 'balanced' with the existing game elements. I have no problem with high-level/more powerful/combat focused supplements, as long as they don't render the core game elements obsolete.

 

How does that differ from what I said?  :huh:



#20 GauntZero

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:56 PM

If you're looking for good adventures to start out with, you can't go wrong with Edge of Darkness, available as a free download from this site. It really is excellent!

 

Yes - Edge of Darkness and the Haarlock Trilogy are both great.


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