Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Help me build an optimized character

Recommended Posts

Hey all, a friend of mine and I myself 'm looking for some advice for our  Only War / dark Heresy 2ed  campaign that will start soon.
We will start with 8k xp and can create a character either using the Only War rules or the Dark Heresy 2ed rules. The game itself (besides the character creation) will use most rules from Only War and rules from Dark Heresy 2ed only where our MG will decide they are better suited for his campaign.
The game is heavily combat orientated and our GM likes to provide really Crazy   challenges. That is his game style.
So we need to prepare and build quite powerful characters.
I would like to build a psyker and my friend a fighter. What kind of fighter... that he didn't decide on. So really, it can be any kind of combatant, melee, ranged or heavy weapons, as long he can survive and provide a solid killing potential.
There will be 2 other players in the team, they are experienced with both systems and I'm sure they will came with something quite strong, and we just don't want to lack behind.
In the past I played other games from the wh40k series (Deathwatch, Black Crusade, Rogue Trader) but neither Only War nor Dark Heresy 2ed.
Because of that I'm a bit overwhelmed with the options, so for start I would like to ask you, which system is better suited to create a psyker and and which one is better to build a combatant.
After that major decision, I would like to ask you for solid options and directions I should focus my attention on. If you have build ideas, that would be most appreciated, too.
many thanks in advance.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't played any of the other systems, but I DM'd a few campaigns of DH2. I can tell you that this system is built around everything and everyone being OP, so both Psykers and Fighters will be able to kick some serious ass if they are built intelligently. I don't know much about Only War, but DH2 contains most everything you would need for both builds IMHO.


My group found that there was kind of a check list of best practice items/talents to pick up at the start that absolutely everyone had. I can't remember all of them, but LITERALLY everyone started with photo contacts and the jaded talent. If you are starting with 8k XP I would recommend everyone gets Resistance (Fear) as well.


AS I said, these are just general best practice things that **** near everyone needs before you start specializing.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Start with 45 Willpower if possible; Jaded, Resistance (Fear), Adamantium Faith.  That will save your bacon against Fear checks, and Iron Resolve is a nice one to have too if you have the spare experience. 


If you're going for a melee build, Crushing Blow is a necessity, Combat Master is close second, and pick your method from there; spam attacks goes to Swift/Lightning Attack, Inescapable Attack is a must for single-swings.  Two Weapon Wielder and its companions might be helpful.  


For a ranged build, Mighty Shot is a must, and if you're doing a single-shot weapon Inescapable Attack is still important.  Target Selection is also quite important if allies or the enemy like getting into melee.  If you're doing semi-auto and full auto, that's a good place to get Nowhere to Hide; you'll buzz-saw your way through enemy cover.  Spray weapons like flamers are always utterly amazing, as you don't even need to make rolls by RAW; just hope you don't jam (higher quality flamer makes that unlikely, which is even better).  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, another thing; if you do a flamer build, I suggest speaking to your GM about using the house-rule at my table; instead of jamming on a 9 damage, just make an attack roll and check that to see if you jam.  It doesn't leave a weird gap in damage between good damage and Righteous Fury.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Only War is superior for character creation for many reason, but first there is one thing you’ll need to figure out first.


Only War and its predecessors have only 9 Characteristics (Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, Strength, Toughness, Agility, Intelligence, Perception, Willpower and Fellowship) but New Heresy has 10 (the oddball not-quite-characteristic: Influence ). You’ll need to see how that is going to work in your games first.


Moving on…




A character in New Heresy starts with 25 in each stat and maxes out at 40; and get a extra dice rolling for characteristics (a + Characteristic takes the best 2 out 3, while a - Characteristic takes the worse 2 out of 3; while in point-buy games they get  60 points to distribute and the abovementioned +/- Characteristics start at 30/20 respectively) but still have a ceiling of 40 max (not counting Advancements purchased of course). 


In Only War you start with 20 in each stat and the maximum I’ve found for starting Characteristics is 51; like Rouge Trader and the games your familiar with character has +’s and minuses (generated from Homeworld, Regiment Type, Doctrines and Specialty). 



Now not trying to confuse but I’m going to skip ahead to the Psyker aspects before going into Skill and Talents because this the “make or break” to me.



Psyker Elite Advancement VS Sanctioned Psyker


To play a Psyker in New Heresy you must either be a Mystic (and gain the Psyker Elite Advantage for free) or meet the Willpower 40 prerequisite and spend 300 points of your starting 1000 experience  (note: you are building your character form the beginning right?)…and now for the “Bad New” there is a total of ONE Background that you can take to make your character a “Sanctioned Psyker” if your not THAT Background you count as a Rogue Psyker with lots of penalties both mechanical and narrative.


Mechanical because you take 4-13 point of Corruption and because Sanctioned Psyker start out at Psy Rating 2 instead of 1. Oh and that ONE Background is also the only one with the Psyker Aptitude so if you don’t get it your going to have to do some juggling or you’ll be paying out the ass for Willpower and Psychic stuff.


Screwed from the Narrative point of view because your character will not only be at total risk of typical Psyker-shenanigans but the Witch Hunter (you know the branch of the Inquisition that hunts Rogue Psykers) will be a Damocles Sword constantly hanging over your head.


In Only War the “Sanctioned  Psyker” Specialization is “yes” a Sanctioned Psyker no need to fear any undue narrative reasons for getting screwed over, just your typical “Blotched a Roll and Doomed the World” as is normal. 


But unlike the New Heresy Psyker you get all you Attributes you’ll need for improving Willpower and buying Psyker-stuff  no (juggling needed) you can even end up with an extra Attribute or 3 from Doctrines is you spend your Regiment Points wisely. Another thing to consider is that the Sanctioned Psyker of Only War gets a free +5 Willpower which with a good Regiment and max starting Willpower should net you in the 50’s range. 


Skill and Talents


In New Heresy you only gets skills in the Background part of creation along with all your weapon proficiency and gear, and only get 1 non-Weapon Training Talent from your Role (in this case either Resistance [Pysker] or Warp Sense …which is tied to a Skill you MAY NOT HAVE <_< !!!).


In Only War you gain Skills and Talents in each stage of character creation: Homeworld, Officer Type, Regiment Type, Doctrines (sometimes), and Specializations. In particular all your necessary skills and weapon proficiencies are found in your Specialization and your character is likely be overall better trained in many areas without spending any experience than a New Heresy character that’s spent a 1000.


So again figure out what your GM’s going to be doing with Influence and go Only War.

Edited by Magus Black

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pointing out of 90 of the book the Psyker elite advance:

• Gains the Psyker trait, the Psyker aptitude, and a psy rating of 1.

You aren't totally gimped by going rogue Psyker mechanically.

You just have to pay a bit more for to catch up for

There is also the +10 to phenomenon, but you can push more though not recommended.

And you don't start with a focus so you Miss out on +10 (psyrating 2) and + 10 focus which believe me sucks untill u req it.

RP wise you have to have a bit of a radical group ;p good luck with that lol.

My group hasn't found out I am a unsactioned Psyker yet. It will be fun there is a SOB lols.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all that info, in particular for comparing Only War and New dark Heresy.

Influence: will not be used in the game. Or at least will be limited.
But the GM said, in char gen there is some free requisitions based on influence that can be used.
Some support characters can be bought for influence as well.

So, OW is better for the start. And what afterwards? I have some xp to pump into the character after the char gen. how about the psy powers, talents and other stuff that is available after the char gen? How do they compare?

Radicals: yes, that is an option. I always double into the dark lores ;) and the GM let me do it. Most of the time it works out very well. There are some great role play situations coming out of that.
Sometimes I burn for my sins... and need to roll a new character, but thats fine from time to time :)

As far as I see, OW has little of the radical approach. In DH2 I see there are some options in enemies from beyond. Are the daemonic weapons and daemonhosts usable in the sense, that they don't result in an instant death?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Only war is focused around conflict and combat, your missions usually revolve around a conflict and your objectives are to help resolve the conflict.

I.e: Orks are raiding this planet

1st objective: Retake communication tower and send out distress signal

2nd objective: Recon missing battalion

3rd objective: ect

Dark heresy is about investigation, you are sent out to look into the dark corners and flush out any threats to the imperium. Investigation and Social skills are a bigger focus, where as your enemy won't be so blatantly obvious and ur missions more subtle.

I.E: There has been a murder of a retired Imperial Officer, he had made contact with the inquisition before he died seeking help.

Lead 1 his servants mention a Connection to an artifact dealer

Lead 2 the dealer remembers the officer brining him a strange artifact not long after some unknown woman came asking about it.

Lead 3 the woman is part of a cult and they think the artifact brings the dead back to life, or will grant them powers or what ever and now you must stop them.

Edited by Melil13

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Melil13, thanks, but I'm quite aware of the differences in play style and background. I've played multiple other games from the 40k series and I've read quite a lot of 40k books, too.
Like I said in my initial post, the scenario will be quite combat oriented with some minor investigations along the way.

Its the mechanics of the two (Only War and Dark Heresy 2ed) that I'm trying to grasp and build a character in one of the two rules sets.
 thanks to Magus Black I already know that OW starting characters are superior to DH2 characters. But what about an 8k character? a psyker in particular?

I'm looking for good combos and ways to optimize my survivability and damage potential, too.
So if you have any of such, please share, will be much appreciated.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pointing out of 90 of the book the Psyker elite advance:

• Gains the Psyker trait, the Psyker aptitude, and a psy rating of 1.


My screen must have something wrong with it, I never saw that part (it must have been smooched in-between words, need to fix definition).
moving on.
You say you’ll have 8000 experience right well for starts you can buy Intelligence and Willpower Advances for real cheap (a +20 Wiillpower or Intelligence only costs 1600 experience each), you can also purchase Lore Skills and Psyker Skills and Talents for cheap as well.
But first if you are generating a Regiment then you might wish to consider the Combination of :
HOMEWOLRD: Shrine World (Shield of Humanity) 
COMMANDING OFFICER: Maverick (Core Rulebook) 
REGIMENT TPYE: Grenadier (Hammer of the Emperor) 
Purchase with your  Kit Points a Hot-shot Lasgun (15pts), Improve your Light Carapace Armor to Best-Quality (10pts), and the Clip/Drop Harness (5pts).
If your GM allows (seems like he would) for your Cyber-Enhanced options a Common-Quality Carnal Armour and Common-Quality Subskin Armor. This brings your Armor per Bodypoint to 8 per location (except the head which is 7) …not counting your Toughness bonus.
Altogether this makes a real badass tank with a high-powered gun (with an under-slung grenade launcher) and enough explosives to level castle…and that’s before your experience.
Now what kind of Psyker do you want to play? A focused  Psyker with 1 or 2 abilities and a high Psy Rating  or a more Moderate Rating  with a lot of abilities? Minimal Psy-shenanigans  (starting Psy Rating and starting Psyker abilities)
Depending on which type you want will determine how much experience you want/need to spend and how much you have available to spend on other things (remember boosting your willpower to the max costs you 1600 experience points).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If your GM is giving you the choice to build characters using any stuff from OW or DH2, be aware that a lot of talents were condensed down in DH2 and, in some cases, made even better (eg. called shot talents, unarmed fighting). On the flip side, certain talents were removed because they were not in the theme of DH2 or were considered a bit too good.


Once you've gotten past basic character creation, my recommendation is to primarily get talents from DH2 but refer to OW and see if there's anything special you like. There are three talents that I believe both you and your friend should get provided you have the experience and you want to have high survivability.


True Grit: once you start taking critical damage, you get to apply your TB again to reduce the damage. Very, very useful to prolong your existence provided you don't get one shot by a sniper or other powerful attack.


Fearless: this one is from OW and it makes you immune to Pinning and Fear. There's a bit of a prerequisite tree before you can get it but being able to not run screaming from the battle is pretty darn important, especially if your GM wants to wheel out big and intimidating baddies.


Step Aside: one extra evasion per round, yes please. Having an extra dodge or evasion can save your life if the dice are on your side.


These talents are all tier 3 and very expensive if you don't have the aptitudes for them but I recommend you try and grab them if you can.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
High Rating and a few powers eh.


All right then simple part is Psyker tier, while 10 is the absolute highest  its also the realm of Greater Deamons of Rin-Ten-Ten ( :lol: ); but for humans 5 is a pretty good rating raising from base line will cost 2800 experience.


Taking your Maximum Willpower into consideration you have now spent 4400 out 8000 experience which leave you with 3600 experience to spend on Powers and Other things.


For powers I tend to prefer Only Wars (though you may wish to look through New Heresy to see if you favor any of them, don’t worry you‘ll be able to do so) and there are a few powers that can be versatile for little investment.


But first I should like to note of the Sanctioned Psyker Specialization grants you 400 exp in FREE Powers.


I would suggest Assail (200 exp) and Scrier’s Gaze(200 exp) [unless you plan on dumping Perception then I would go with Dominate].


These two powers give a bit diversity right from the get-go Assail (while not the most damaging ability) has a rider effect of tossing people 1d5 meters and landing them prone… provided you make it with 3 Degrees of Success (and since it’s the power gives an additional +10 to Focus rolls its pretty likely to do so every time you use it).  Scrier’s Gaze is your general Divine stuff going wrong…which will save you more often then not.


Now for actually spending  points well start by purchasing All of the Minor Manifestation Psychic abilities for 250 experience. What are these you ask? Like in the old days of Old Heresy these are little tricks that can be used  freely without fear of the dreaded Psychic Phenomenon (plus you get a +30 bonus to roll, which for you is pretty much 100% success); and while there effects are no big effect on the overall game, they are still very fun…


….Except for Divinization which just PURE GOLD! :o


Why-so? Because its lets you make little blessings at will (find a cold beer in the dessert, sure why not) and can be simply called “TROLLING: The Power” for its neigh unlimited amount of shenanigans you can inflict on people that annoy you.


Moving on purchasing 3 more powers should give you enough edge without overdoing it (though you can if you wish). In which case I would suggest these (of and you‘ll need to meet the prerequisites for these abilities which shouldn’t bug you much).


Gates of Infinity (500 exp): This somewhat dangerous ability allows you and your party to travel massive distances (about 5 kilometers) with just a few steps. Beyond saving time for travel this can save your ass in a LOT of situations where escape is otherwise impossible.


Invisibility (400 exp): Its an Invisibility spell that can effect multiple people and gives a good defense against Ranged attacks, nuff said.


Telekine Dome (300 exp): Like Invisibility this a a group buff ability, and a nice one at that, but instead of making you harder to see and shot this  turns the area your in into a mobile bunker. With a Psy Rating of 5 your giving those around a +5 Armor Rating (and for you that an AR of 13!). Only drawback is that if the enemy gets past the barrier it does nothing, but that sounds like a personal problem. -_-


That’s 1450 experience spend and now you still have 2150 experience for you to spend on whatever you want (be it’s a higher Psy Rating, more Powers, or other non-Psychic related stuff).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks Magus Black, your help is very valueable.
 My character looks preaty solid now :)
 PR5 is just fine.
Gates of Infinity
I have a bit of a problem with the once per 12h usage. That is a bit annoying :)

is there an update for that power? in my book it states :
"The psyker nominates a single target within range and line of sight, this could be the psyker himself. "

what do you think about the Puppet Master power?
Looks interesting, first of all, the utility out of it seems great.
For combat, I'm unsure about the 15 (3x PR5 wounds limit, is this a big number for OW?

does the minor manifestation of TELEKINESIS allow me to put explosives under the feet of my enemies? Are there any good demolition rules in OW or DH2 ;) ?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be annoying, but it prevents someone from being an overpowered Nightcrawler, and its main purpose is a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free-Card for when the need is great…sometimes very literally a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free-Card (though the po po may put a bounty on your head, such is life in 40k).


 Opps sorry was trying to explain mass invisibility (from D&D) to someone else while writing this, goofed my post up a bit its seems. Yes its single target.


For Puppet Master? Its not really a good combat spell (the -10 penalty to all actions hurts outside Point-Blank Range) but as for if 15 Wounds is a big deal, the answer is yes and no. Yes because there are plenty of creatures with 16+ Wounds in the game…but also No because there an equally number of creatures with 15 or less (for example Dark Eldar Wychs have only 12 and Wracks only 16, so you‘d need one more point of Psy Rating to mind control those badass head-cases).


But if you look at this ability out of combat it can help with espionage (50 meters is pretty far), such as hijacking the guy with keys to your cells; or opening doors with fingerprint or ocular ID; or just eavesdropping without much worry.


In fact a tactic I’ve used (and seen others use) is to own a pet (cats in particular because it seems wrong to do that to a dog…and cats are known for wandering around anyways) and take possession of them and go places nearby that you eavesdrop or steal (okay confession. I spent more time steeling stuff as a cat than gathering info, but Priest-san it was sooo easy!).


Do be careful though. Even though the ability doesn’t outright say it possessing a body that suffers a unexpected death is lines for gaining Insanity (you are still feeling them, and by proxy yourself, die after all).


Minor Manesfestations have only the limit of what a GM is willing to allow. Technically a grenade is a small object so I would say yes but moving a grenade and setting it off would need some coordination (such as setting the grenade for a 2 round delay and then moving it). Also using Minor Manesfestions only takes a Half Action (instead of a Full Round Action) so you could use Telekinesis to pin-point drop grenades that you throw or launch.


…again what the GM allows is all fair game.


Alas though while throwing grenades is very simple demolitions has suffered due to Skill Compression and is now an aspect of Tech-Use…but on the bright side Grenadiers provides you the Known (+0) skill level by default so your aren’t penalized by it (but its slightly expensive to raise up though as you only have 1 Attribute for Tech-Use: Intelligence).


Also sadly there are few Explosive-based  Talents to be had, presumably they would have been in the last supplement but “Star Wars Happened” and we are at a lose. Still one of the highest Rank Explosive talents you get for free (again Grenadiers) Bombardier; which allows you to fire Indirect  Weapons as a Half Action (instead of full one) and lets roll twice and chose which direction they and grenades scatter too (though your psychic powers may make this less worthy but meh).


Most of the other Talents based on Explosives are meant for Indirect Weapons (Mortars essentially) and unless your going to firing those bad boys in City Limits they aren’t necessary.


Oh and if you do want to get you Blast-On you’ll need to take Weapon Training: Launchers (300exp) to get the most mileage out of your under-slung…and you know its worth mentioning I guess but Grenadiers (it’s a wonderful Regiment Type isn’t it) give you 1 grenade launcher per squad so you may ask if you might get that too (since it there after all).


Internal Armor, Best-Quality Light Carapace, Best-Quality Staff (Sanctioned Psyker), Hot-Shot Lasgun with under-slung grenade launcher, Grenade Launcher, lots of explosives…and psychic powers, don’t forget your sun glasses before you go!




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm unsure if puppet master allows to perceive the world through the victims senses. A strict reading might suggest I need still have the poor guy in line of sight to be able to control him.
Do you have any quotes to support the "possession" aspect of that power? If so, it might be far more valuable then I thought, making infiltration of enemy headquarters a piece of cake.

on a second thought, maybe a pictrecorder (sending the video signal wireless to my data slate) would help in that situation.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Home world: Schola Progenium (3) +3WP, +3BS, Unshakeable Faith, +1 wound
Commander: Bilious (2) Paranoia - +2 to Initiative = win
Regiment Type: Guerilla (4) +3 Per, -3 Fel, Stealth, Ambush
Special Equipment (5): Covert Strike - synskin, preysense, Chameleoline (3)
Drawback: The Few (+5)
Standard Kit: resiprator/gas mask (8), micro bead (8), auspex per team (10), 4 points left for whatever

Favored weapons: long las, autocannon




WS 20, BS 43, S 20, T40, Ag 40, Per 33, Int 30, WP 43, Fel 17



Surprise round1:

Long Las with Whisper Bolt Discharger (RT: HostileAq), modified stock, trigger adjustment + Ambush + Las Weapon Expertise + Las Weapon Mastery + Stealth Sniper + Mighty Shot + Crack Shot  + (Eye of Vengence, Marksman, Sharpshooter,


So in the first round we sneak to the enemy (we have +50 stealth between camo cloack and synskin and stummers at the start of the game)


Aim full round +24, single shot +10, accurate +20, unaware target +30 = max +60 total BS 103

avarage roll of 50 gives us 5 DoS, so dmg is 3d10+7, Pen 1, Felling 4


Now the enemy can test opposed awareness -20 vs +0 stealth to see if they know where you are shooting form.


Round 1: Win initiative, your bonus is +7


Aim for half action, and shoot. IF they shoot to you, they have -30 to BS for camo cloak (stupid rule, should be one range bracket further away).


Round 2: repeat until all enemies are dead

Round 3:??

Round 4: Profit!


Have your seargant yell at you to get another +10 to BS and order comrades to Get Em! for addition +4 damage.


IF the BBEG comes at your range, then you can start using your powers. DOMINATE! If he is alone order him to run away for two round of extra shooting. If he have flamer order him to burn his companions. At fettered you can take out 2 enemies per turn with this power. When I was a GM, I had to send a few extra enemies, so the psyker could dominate them.


They took out Dark Apostle with it, some Nobz, burna boys etc.


You dont have to have this combo to be effective psyker - concentrate on willpower, psy rating, and get DOMINATE asap, and watch your GM writhes in rage as he fails those impossible to win opposed tests (because you test on 60+ and they on 30, maybe 40?)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...