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Obliterator Virus

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So I've discovered this on the DH1 forums! What're people's thoughts for second edition?




First off, I just want to make it known that I've attempted to convert the Obliterator Virus idea written by Robey Jenkins for the game Inquisitor. Therefore, I am not trying to pass this off as my own idea, simply a conversion of his idea into one that could possibly be used in Dark Heresy games. The background for the virus is taken from his article and is cited as such.

Robey Jenkins wrote:


The origins of the Obliterator Virus lie, without question, in the insane reaches of the region of twisted space known as the Eye of Terror. Traitors from the defeated Space Marine Legions of the Warmaster, who fled into the Eye to escape the vengeance of the Imperialist victors, will have found themselves in a weird and unpredictable environment. Even the least affected of the Eye’s myriad worlds are planets of bizarre shapes and disturbing colours. At the very heart, the laws of physics become the plaything of daemons that sculpt and rebuild matter to their own bizarre rules. Worlds of tortured flesh and bone orbit stars of black light. Vast collections of tiny cages shriek the agony and terror of their occupants as moons with gaping mouths filled with teeth snap and tear at each other.

But it wasn’t just on the higher levels of life that Chaos laid its mark for, whether as gift, punishment or just cruel chance, some of the traitors found themselves blighted with strange, new diseases. Mortarion’s Death Guard brought their Nurgle’s Rot with them and, under the tutelage of their Captain, Typhus, they came to appreciate the full spectrum of the Plague God’s creations.

Fabius Bile, Chief Apothecary of the Emperor’s Children, conducted endless and fascinating experiments on the effects of the Warp upon pathogens, toxins, bacteria and viruses of all sorts.

Whether the Obliterator Virus came from his laboratories, from the Plague Hives of the Death Guard or from some freak influence, it is unlikely that anyone will ever know. It seems to have touched every Legion to some extent or another based on classified reports from the battlefields of Abaddon’s 13th Black Crusade. But some Legions clearly welcome its touch more than others and infectees are especially prevalent among the Iron Warriors Legion. Whether their affinity to technology makes them more susceptible in some way or whether their twisted rites actually involve the deliberate infection of Battle Brothers is unknown.

Until recently, it was thought by Imperial observers that the virus, however it was originally conveyed to infectees, could not survive outside the baleful touch of warp-infused space for long enough to present a risk of cross-infection. But the Magi Biologis have recently documented anecdotal evidence to suggest that a mutated form of the virus has been left in the wake of the 13th Black Crusade and that it is, even now, spreading across the Imperium.

Investigations by members of the Ordo Malleus who are aware of this new threat, assisted by those in the Ordo Xenos who have an interest in and understanding of microscopic xeno-threats, suggest that there may even be Obliterator Cults, deliberately infecting themselves and others with the virus, not only on normal Imperial worlds but most worryingly on the Forge Worlds of the Adeptus Mechanicus…


The Obliterator Virus seems to be communicated by touch and/or fluid transfer, so any character in physical contact or in close combat with an infectee has a chance of contracting the virus. This chance is equal to 1% per round spent in contact or combat, up to a maximum of 10%. So a character spending 5 rounds in combat with an infectee has a 5% chance of contracting the virus.

The virus takes hold of its victims by stages. The length of any given stage is hugely variable, due to the semi-warp nature of the viral material and depends greatly upon whether the infectee resists or invites the infection.

If the character wishes to resist the infection, then after every game - or game week in campaigns – the character must pass a Toughness Test * with a penalty decided on by the GM or the virus will advance by one stage. If the character wishes to invite the infection, then the virus automatically advances by one stage after each game or game week. A character may only invite the infection if he or she is aware of it.


* = originally willpower test in original text

Stage 1. No obvious effects, although the victim is a carrier and can infect others. It is up to the GM whether the character is aware of his condition.

Stage 2. The victim finds that weapons sit more naturally in his hands, becoming extensions of himself, helping him to aim and control firearms more effectively. He gains the Talents Two Weapon Wielder (Melee) and Two Weapon Wielder (Ballistic) if he doesn’t already have them. The infected also gains the Hipshooter Talent. However, due to the unnatural bonds forming between the infected character and his weapons, this special version of the Talent applies to ALL ranged weapons, not just Pistols.

Stage 3. The victim finds himself starting to physically merge with weapons if he holds them for long enough. More disturbingly, he starts to generate ammunition. The character always counts as having ammunition for all pistol and basic classes of ranged weapons under the following headings: Las, Bolt, Solid Projectile, and Primitive (but not for special types of ammo e.g. Holy Bolter Rounds) and counts as having the skill Rapid Reload. In addition, he will now be aware that something is very wrong with him. Gain 1D5 Insanity Points.

Stage 4. Any armour the victim wears can no longer be removed and seems to be a part of him, regenerating damage, but the character is also starting to find movement more difficult. The character suffers -10 Agility to a minimum of 5. Gain another 1D5 Insanity Points.

Stage 5. The victim finds he can absorb small weapons, calling them out of his body at will, but the disease is taking its toll on his sanity. The character will absorb any small weapon held, up to a maximum of five pistols under the following headings: Las, Bolt, Solid Projectile and Primitive. He cannot resist absorbing weapons if he holds them and has absorbed fewer than five weapons. He can always draw these in either hand and will never drop them. He also gains the Quick Draw Talent when using these weapons. However, he loses 1D10 Willpower, gains a further 1D5 Insanity Points and loses 1d10 Minor Psychic Powers (if he has any) and 1d5 Discipline Powers. He may no longer learn new psychic powers or gain a higher Psy Rating.

Stage 6. The victim’s body is now generating its own daemonic pseudo-metal-flesh, adding to the character’s armour and bulk and allowing him to absorb larger and more complex weapons. However, the victim’s condition is deteriorating badly. Absorbed weapons bulge and boil beneath his metal flesh and no one could mistake him for human any more. Add 1D5 armour to all locations (roll once for all locations). The character may absorb up to four basic weapons under the following headings: Las, Bolt, Solid Projectile and Primitive and up to four close combat weapons under the following headings: Primitive and Chain in addition to the small weapons already absorbed. The character suffers an additional -10 to Agility (to a minimum of 5) and loses another 1D10 Willpower. The character may not make a Run Action. Gain 1D10 Insanity Points.

Stage 7. The victim’s body is adapting to its condition and adding strength and fortitude to support the massively increasing weight. The character gains Unnatural Strength (x2) and Unnatural Toughness (x2). He also gains another 1D5 armour on all locations (roll once). The character can now absorb up to five melee weapons and gaiins the ability to absorb Shock Weapons. Gain another 1D10 Insanity Points.

Stage 8. The victim’s body can now generate more complex items than just absorbed weapons, including bionic limbs and organs. The victim’s metal and organic parts are now indistinguishable. Roll 1D5-2 at the start of any game. The character may have that many advanced bionic limbs or organs. Bionic eyes may contain a single gun sight (counts as telescopic sight) and bionic arms will have strength 35 +1D10. The character can now absorb Pistol and Basic weapons under the following headings: Exotic, Flame, Plasma and Melta. The character can now generate ammunition for these weapon types. The character can now also absorb up to six melee weapons and can also absorb Power Weapons. The character also gains 1D5 Strength, 1D5 Toughness and 1d5 armour on all locations except the head. The victim gains the Fear 1 Trait. The character may no longer perform a Dodge action in combat. Gain a further 1D10 Insanity Points.

Stage 9. The victim is beyond all help, his soul lost to Chaos and his body surrendered to the Obliterator Virus. He is an Obliterator. He gains the Regenerate and Fear 2 Traits. However, the character does not gain any modifier to his Agility, as per Table 12-2 in the DHRB. The character may not move at any speed faster than a walk. He may absorb up to five Heavy weapons of any sort.

*The character gains the Hipshooter Talent for any and all ranged weapons absorbed, not just for Pistols.

* The character gains the Bulging Biceps Talent for any and all ranged weapons absorbed.

*Due to the special nature of the way the Talents are gained, the infected character does not need to have the prerequisites for them whilst infected with the virus. What happens to these talents after the victim has been cured (if your GM allows for it) is down to your GM.

* Along with the effects gained at each stage, the character also gains 1D5 Corruption Points at every stage of the disease.

* The Obliterator Virus may be curable at GM discretion. However, it should be progressively harder to cure the further along the virus is. It is also down to the GM as to the side effects of curing a character would be - which, given what has happened to the character, should be increasingly severe depending on the stage of the disease - along with who would possibly have the technology to cure such a disease. With that in mind, remember that without a cure, this will eventually lead to character death…if not by other Acolytes, then by the Inquisition itself.
I would recommend that if you desire to make the Virus curable, that it be so up to and including stage 8. At Stage 9, the metamorphosis is complete and irreversible.

*Once the character has absorbed seven weapons of any Basic, Pistol or Melee category (including mix and match, e.g. 2 Pistol, 4 Basic, 1 melee), or 4 of any Basic, Pistol or Melee category and one Heavy Weapon, he gains a size category (Average becomes Hulking, etc)

However, another reason I've written this up is because even if your GM is feeling particularly cruel and won't allow the virus to be cured, it opens up new roleplaying opportunities as the virus progresses, and even if you reach stage 9 without being cured and have to be killed, its more imaginative and eventful than 'You get shot in the head. Your brains are now occupying roughly a 10x10 area on the wall 5 feet behind you.'

C&C welcome, this is the first time I've attempted anything like this, so it may be too much, I don't know. Also, I may have made typos in converting the guidelines over from =I= to DH, so please let me know of any.



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