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BlacLibrary books as inspiration for new Dark Heresy GMs


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#1 Bearer of Words

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:33 PM

Hi,

I'm currently working through a large stack of Dark Heresy books before I start my first campaign as a GM (in any system). While I'm familiar with the overall 40K universe and find the source books very evocative, I'm trying to get a sense for how the various components hang together to form a diverse imperial culture across worlds. Furthermore, only reading short extracts of dialogue hasn't given me a grasp of how to script/adlib convincing lines for NPCs.

Therefore, I'm looking for advice as to which Black Library books give the best sense of the Imperium from the perspective of the Inquisition. A friend recommended Sandy Mitchell's Scourge the Heretic and Innocence Proves Nothing, but many reviewers have suggested checking out Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn Trilogy instead.

As Dark Heresy GMs, which of the above would you recommend? Are there other tiles I should check out?

Thanks,


Bearer of Words



#2 Bearer of Words

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:42 PM

Apologies for the typo in the thread title, I wrote it without checking. It should, of course, read Black Library. If a moderator reads this, please amend it for me.



#3 prozac2424

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:34 AM

 Eisenhorn books are good, i would also recommend Ian Watson's the inquisition war, especially if your looking into diversity of worlds, or are planning on playing with alot of eldar, So are the Enforcer or Shira Calpurnia novels, if you're planning on running a game involving arbitrators heavily. 



#4 prozac2424

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:34 AM

 Eisenhorn books are good, i would also recommend Ian Watson's the inquisition war, especially if your looking into diversity of worlds, or are planning on playing with alot of eldar, So are the Enforcer or Shira Calpurnia novels, if you're planning on running a game involving arbitrators heavily. 



#5 prozac2424

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:34 AM

 Eisenhorn books are good, i would also recommend Ian Watson's the inquisition war, especially if your looking into diversity of worlds, or are planning on playing with alot of eldar, So are the Enforcer or Shira Calpurnia novels, if you're planning on running a game involving arbitrators heavily. 



#6 prozac2424

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:35 AM

 apologies for the multiple postings my mouse has gone wonky on me, apparently 



#7 Bearer of Words

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:47 AM

 

Thanks for the feedback prozac2424. Don't worry about the multiple posts, they've made me feel better about my thread title. I'm planning on running The Haarlock Legacy, with some extra adventures, so the primary focus is on Hereticus, although there will be elements of Xenos and Malleus in there as well. I'm looking to get a feel for what it is like to be an acolyte in the Inquisition and how the organization operates. I'm also interested in allowing the players to go down the radical path, so the broad arc of the Eisenhorn Trilogy appeals (his conversion from puritan to radical is all I know about it, as I try to avoid spoilers).

Have you read either of the Dark Heresy novels?



#8 Adeptus-B

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:32 AM

I absolutely love the Eisenhorn trilogy and highly recommend it; the follow-up Ravenor trilogy is not quite as good, but still worth reading. Sandy Mitchell's Scourge The Heretic has the benefit of being set in the Calixis Sector and tailored specifically to Dark Heresy, but it isn't nearly as good a read as the Dan Abnett stuff; it doesn't even have a real ending, just a set-up for the next book (which I haven't read yet). I can't recommend the old Inquisition War trilogy- too much of it has been retconned since it was published, what, two decades ago?



#9 Luthor Harkon

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:06 AM

Adeptus-B said:

I absolutely love the Eisenhorn trilogy and highly recommend it; the follow-up Ravenor trilogy is not quite as good, but still worth reading. Sandy Mitchell's Scourge The Heretic has the benefit of being set in the Calixis Sector and tailored specifically to Dark Heresy, but it isn't nearly as good a read as the Dan Abnett stuff; it doesn't even have a real ending, just a set-up for the next book (which I haven't read yet). I can't recommend the old Inquisition War trilogy- too much of it has been retconned since it was published, what, two decades ago?

 

I have to second almost all what Adeptus-B said. Eisenhorn is great as is Ravenor. I just read Pariah, the first book of the new Bequin (Ravenor vs. Eisenhorn) trilogy and apart from the difficult start, it is good as well. Sandy Mitchell's Scourge The Heretic and Innocence Proves Nothing is a little light and less intriguing, but still worth a read for its setting. The Enforcer trilogy by Matt Farrer is asolutely great and strong with background, but heavy going at times, especially if one expects more action paced stories.

Better stay away from the Inquisition War as it is rather far away from today's 40K setting.



#10 Alekzanter

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:34 PM

In defense of the Inquisition War trilogy: there are plenty examples of cults, Inquisition politics and personalities, and schemes within schemes (within schemes) in that trilogy that are more than appropriate for a curious GM to use as examples and inspiration. Just because Ian Watson referred to Raven Guard as Raven Guards, or that there is a Squat, or that Genestealers exist as construct creatures of the Tyranids rather than as a specific Tyranid genus is of no matter. There are also many examples of investigative techniques, unique equipment and gear…the list goes on.

The only poor thing about the series is that it ends abysmally. Everything else is pure 40K gold. 



#11 Bearer of Words

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:44 AM

Thanks for all the feedback! I've bought a copy of the Eisenhorn Trilogy and will move on to Ravenor if I like Abnett's style. I may post some thoughts about how to use the novels as GMing inspiration if I come up with some interesting points.






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