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Advanced Dark Heresy 2.0 is now published

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Advanced Dark Heresy 2.0 (with 2.1 update)

Link to the Advanced Dark Heresy 2.1 at DropBox

Advanced Dark Heresy 2.0 (now with 2.1 update)

In Short

Dark Heresy is set into an appealing world of grim future. The original mechanics however become unsatisfying very soon as the combat, investigation, items, psychic powers do not answer to those expectations the lore of the Warhammer 40,000 sets around them. This very comprehensive package includes carefully planned and play tested system that allows far more interesting and challenging approach to this game and the characters. Main features in this package are: redesigned combat with all weapons, items and armour converted to this system too; redesigned use of psychic powers and complete lists of all psychic powers converted to these mechanics; rewritten talents, traits and skills to make the character's far more able and interesting; redesigned character sheets that feature far more interesting way to record your character; rewritten scum career; mechanics to character Influence and Renown; completely rewritten critical effects system and other damage models. Also the new version of the Advanced Dark Heresy features far more faster ways to handle all the things without losing any finesse that was introduced in the first version.

Main Features in More Detail

In the following chapters I will describe the features of the Advanced Dark Heresy 2.1 by introducing the changes that were made to the original system. These changes have received inspirations also from the Second Edition of the Dark Heresy and this package is easily usable with the Dark Heresy second edition. 

New damage model

The core for this whole transformation is the new way of handling how the characters suffer the damage. The basics are still there, roll damage and reduce it by the AP of the armour and by Toughness Bonus then reduce wounds. However modified version of the Unnatural Characteristics has altered already many things. In addition to this each armour has bunch of different qualities that makes them far more than just wearing some AP. This is further enriched with Critical Hit system that allows powerful hits to cause critical damage even though the character still has wounds left. This is further enhanced with rewritten talents that more often modify combat results in interesting ways. The grand finale for the damage model comes from the rewritten and very detailed critical effects tables that allow the full fruition of the new critical damage system.

More interesting combat

All the combat actions were redesigned to allow far more careful planning and tougher choices for combat. This is further supported by complete list of rewritten weapons that supports all the new possibilities and makes the whole list of weapons far more interesting since there are lots more to think than just damage and penetration. This is of course supported by the damage model and newly made list of armours which together allow very nice sessions with tactical and detailed combat. The most important thing is that the new system that is introduced in ADH 2.0 is very simple to learn and master. Therefore the combat has remained fast and easy to control though few more calculations is necessary to find out these new outcomes.

Flavoured talents and skills

Skills are given far more smother ways of use where partial successes do exist. Also many talents and traits give far more character to those using them.

More interesting items

As part of this redesign many of the different items and upgrades were given more functions and more details to make their use more flavoured and rewarding.

Nicer way of using psychic powers

The psychic powers were originally sometimes even painfully annoying to use due to the high amount of rolling needed. Here most of the new structure and system is based upon the system that was introduced in Rogue Trader, Only War and later in Dark Heresy second edition. These systems had some little thing that left room for small adjustments and of course the new damage model had some effect on these too. Every power from the original Dark Heresy and some additional ones that were introduces later are written into this new system that simplifies the use into a very fast and fun to use version. That basis is now in the idea where every power has its psy rating requirement and the psyker commits the chosen amount from his own psy rating to focus the power. Basically there are first some calculations to see the total modifier and then the focus power test is made as a simple invocation test that reveals the amount of overbleed and such by degrees of success.

As an additional flavour a large collection of sorcery arcana was rewritten to this system too and the psyker characters have dark path always available.

Also now with 2.1 update the very unique version of Cryomancy discipline is introduced.

Influence and Renown

Since the player characters are in a service of the inquisition and tend to do deeds that earns them surely some influence over time there is now a simple interpretation of this added. Influence grows at very slow pace but eventually the characters are able to leave some simple requests to be dealt with Influence test. Also as the deeds the characters often do are quite likely spread all over the galaxy when given some time and this system of character renown also introduced. This allows characters to lean on their reputation or makes the infiltration more interesting when even random people start to recognise the acolytes.

Redesigned character sheets

Original character sheet were quite terrible and especially characters who manage to survive or start at higher levels were nuisance to their player as there was quite small amount of space for anything. Also recording a career path seemed quite hard, not to mention those characters who like to hoard all kinds of stuff. Newly designed character sheets allow enough room for all kinds of characters and offer space to record all those special features that are introduced in this Advanced Dark Heresy 2.0 system (now with update to 2.1). Every character sheet has a common part that allows recording everything except the character's career. Then there is an add-on sheet for each basic career that features nice way of recording experience by checking boxes along the characters career tree. Also these feature all the modifications that were later made available to the basic careers.

Redesigned Scum career

Scum was originally left without his criminal side unless the player decided to do some occasional criminal acts. Now the career of a scum is filled with nice flavoured and detailed criminal activity that will quite likely get him and his friends into very difficult situations and maybe even sentenced to face prison or death when they are found.

Some minor but remarkable changes

To smaller mechanics needed also rewriting to make them fit this system or to make them more like they probably should have been in the first place. Fatigue has received new rules, as have Righteous Fury, Fate, Burning. Also as a major chance that is more connected to the new damage model are the ways and times for healing. Also with 2.1 update there are now special damage models for cold based damge and heat caused minor damage from environments and such.

Faith Talents

These were introduced to Dark Heresy system in the Blood of the Martyrs sourcebook. This package includes revised versions of these.


The original Ascension was rather disappointment to all and those ranks had nothing to give to those characters who reached them. With rewritten talents, skills and skill masteries not mention the Influence and Renown system any ascended career is really worth achieving. Of course this package also features revised editions of the Ascended psychic powers too.

As it seems to be an easy mistake to make, I'd like to point out that despite the version number being 2.1, this system is not based on Dark Heresy 2nd edition. Instead this system in whole is purely build from base of 1st edition and the previous version of it was made available even before the 2nd edition ever came out. Since there were not so many appealing changes made in the Dark Heresy 2nd edition I never chose to chance the base from 1st to 2nd edition, but instead adapted many fine things from 2nd edition with appropriate changes to this 1st edition -based system. Thus this makes Advanced Dark Heresy a some sort of a hybrid between 1st and 2nd editions, but it is definitely mostly like 1st edition.


This new system may seem to be quite large, but mostly this comes from the collected weapons, armour and item lists that were introduced to original Dark Heresy in various books. This system took me about a year to write, but there was this first edition made during that time also. Both these systems were carefully thought through and playtested along some 50 games with characters who lived and lived on from an adventure to another. Now that this work is done is want to share this revised edition that addresses all those things that were left problematic in the original Dark Heresy, Dark Heresy second edition and even in the first edition of this Advanced Dark Heresy.

Hopefully this allows you all to play some far more interesting and advanced games.

Yours Sincerely

Kari Salonen (aka LeGurmux)


EDIT: Updated to version 2.1 to include some more significant changes. This includes Cryomancy discipline with unique appearance and use. Also included are rules for cold damage and lesser heat damage from environments and such. Smaller additions include some items and weapons together with ready to use character sheet add-on pages for many of the alternate ranks. No less important are error fixes for some earlier stuff the gravest of which was totally missing the table for the effects of Fugitive statuses.

Edited by LeGurmuX

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It seems that the DarkReign.org has disappeared an therefore I set the zip-file containing files for the Advanced Dark Heresy 2.1 as a public share from my DropBox account. The link in the first post has bee updated and it should be live indefinitely until DropBox dies :)

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