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[Second Edition Release!] Dark Heresy (Warhammer 40,000) in Genesys

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- Second Edition Core Rules Link -

- Form Fillable Character Sheet PDF -

- Russian translated Character Sheet PDF (all credit to LelouchVee) -

- Printer Friendly Character Sheet PDF (slightly out of date, will update this one ASAP) -

- Rules currently at release 2.0 (Beta), see bottom of post for changelogs -

This conversion, totalling in at 197 pages of content, brings all the rules you need to run FFG's well-loved Warhammer 40,000 RPG in the Genesys system. Featuring a few new gameplay systems to model the work of the Imperial Inquisition more closely, it should have all the content you need to run a campaign scaled anywhere from dirt-poor Acolytes scrabbling to survive, to all-powerful agents of the Inquisition who condemn worlds to destruction with a quill-stroke. 

The second edition release features a whole host of updates, including absorbing the first expansion, Liber Heresius, into the core book and integrating its content. As well, new content and gameplay systems have been added, the entire book has been reformatted for increased usability and general prettiness, and the gameplay balance has been tweaked and adjusted to make for a more consistent experience overall. Check out the Changelog at the bottom of this post for a rundown of all the big changes in detail.

Here's a quick outline of what's included:

  • A full set of character creation options, including 19 Home Worlds (this setting's Archetypes) 8 classes and a revised skill list to better suit the setting. As well, guidelines are provided on how to appropriately create a higher level party, with details on what sort of resources and finances they should have access to.
  • A whole host of new talents across all five tiers, clocking in at 167 talents total. Some of these are entirely new designs, while some are copied over from various FFG books and modified appropriately. 
  • Elite Advances, a new system to allow for playing as Astropaths, Untouchables and several other galactic oddities. 
  • A complete equipment section, including rules for weapons, explosives, attachments, armour, custom ammunition types, cybernetics, servitors and general equipment.  As well, rules are provided for purchasing and acquiring services such as accommodation, void transport and healing. 
  • Rules for Influence and Subtlety, allowing your Acolytes to climb the ranks of the Inquisition and receive concrete rewards for it, while feeling mechanical effects (good and bad) for how subtly they conduct their investigations.
  • Rules for psychic power usage, based upon the magic rules presented in the Genesys Core Rulebook and modified to suit the setting. Includes a handful of new abilities (heavily inspired by Cyvaris' work), as well as a Perils of the Warp table for each psychic discipline, a design idea taken from the failed beta of Dark Heresy 2e.
  • Corruption and mutation rules, allowing characters to slowly succumb to the influence of Chaos over the course of a campaign. These took heavy design cues from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3e, with some heavy modification.
  • Expanded rules for fear and mental trauma, based upon the rules for the horror tone presented in the Genesys Core Rulebook. Includes an advantage/threat table for fear check results, and a large list of potential mental trauma effects to inspire GMs and players.
  • A fully fleshed out NPC section, including a list of 17 NPC traits which can be used to create or modify your own adversaries, along with 58 fully statted adversaries. This doesn't cover the whole range of adversaries Acolytes might run into in a typical campaign, but provides a solid jumping-off point for GMs to fill the gaps. 

I have lots of plans for future updates, which will roll out as I produce them. Keep an eye on this thread for development updates! 

It should be noted that the content in this PDF really isn't enough to allow a total newbie to understand the Warhammer 40,000 setting. I highly encourage anyone curious to get their hands on a copy of one of the Dark Heresy rulebooks (first or second edition works fine, they're both excellent for fluff) and give it a read; they'll give you the proper context to appreciate the material here. Also, the Genesys Core Rulebook is required, if that wasn't obvious. 

Please either post here or PM me if you spot anything which needs fixing or tweaking, and if you end up running a campaign with this, I'd love to hear about how it all goes, actual play experiences can be great feedback for design purposes. Plus it's just nice to hear what people have been doing with stuff I've made. 

Oh, and I highly recommend actually downloading the PDF; it's fully bookmarked and hyperlinked, something you miss out on if you view it in Google Drive. Makes navigation 10x easier.

 

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- Book Link -

- Supplement currently at release 1.0.5, see bottom of post for changelogs -

My own take on a "monster manual" of sorts, this little expansion goes into detail on Tau armaments and NPC statblocks. Eventually I plan to do one of these for a wide range of different opponents. Note that this is a first edition book; there might be some slight discrepancies in game balance between this and the new second edition of the core book, and the layout isn't consistent, but it should be totally usable stil..

It includes:

  • Statistics for Tau weapons, armour and gear, and rules for using and modifying these as a human.
  • Rules for Tau battlesuits, complete with a full host of support and weapons systems, and a custom crit table.
  • Stats for a big variety of Tau enemies, including all the warriors of the Fire Caste, drones, the alien auxiliaries, and the civilian castes. 

- Changelogs- 

Dark Heresy Core Book - Second Edition

 

Changelog 2.0

General changes

  • Entire book layout overhauled into a two-column format. Various tweaks to text and images to support this, including lots of new art.
  • All content from Liber Heresius has been ported over to the Core Book and edited to suit. Including the addition of two new chapters, Elite Advances and Narrative Tools.
  • Minor typo corrections and adjustments to text throughout for clarity.
  • Various sidebars added throughout the chapters, providing insight into design decisions, optional rules, and other clarifications.
  • Added an index of tables to the end of the book.

Chapter 0 – Introduction

  • Added an introductory blurb about the Warhammer 40,000 setting. Pretty much an obligatory part of any 40k book!
  • Added in an explanation of the contents of the book, broken down by chapter.

Chapter II – Skills

  • Rules text for Melee (Light)’s changes (re)added

Chapter III – Talents

  • Several new talents ported over and adapted from the Android and Terrinoth settings

Chapter V - Armoury

  • Various updates to weaponry
    • Re-balanced weapon costs and a few stats for the entire armoury. Low-tech melee weapons are now much cheaper, and melee weapons in general are cheaper across the board. Ranged weapons haven’t changed as dramatically but there’s been a few tweaks.
    • Cumbersome values for several super-heavy Gunnery weapons increased. You pretty much need to be wearing Power Armour, exploiting weapon attachments, stacking Bulging Biceps talent ranks or pumping Brawn to be able to use these effectively. This is by design, carrying around a lascannon is pretty exceptional and should require some investment.
    • The Backpack quality was added and applied to relevant weapons. Backpack Ammo Supply attachment now simply grants this quality.
    • Added a special rule to las weapons allowing their ammunition to be recharged at power sources.
    • Crossbow special rules re-designed for clarity. Functionally they’re identical.
    • Added the multi-melta and the neural shredder. Both are completely ridiculous, but very hard to obtain.
    • Added guidance on how to create new digi-weapons outside of the digi-las profile provided in the armoury.
    • Added Kraken Penetrator Bolt Rounds, Metal Storm Frag Bolt Shells and Stalker Silenced Bolt Shells to the special ammunition options. 
  • Added the Military Power Supply attachment for power armour.
  • Added a variety of Psychic Implements to improve gear options for psykers and give their late-game attacks some more bite.
  • Added addiction rules from Shadow of the Beanstalk to the Drugs and Consumables section, and added a statement making it clear painkillers aren’t available in this setting.
  • New cybernetics, including the Servo Arm, Injector Rig and Chem Gland.

Chapter VI – Narrative Tools

  • Influence rules almost entirely rewritten. The mechanical framework is basically the same, but balance and wording have changed a lot. A few example tables are provided to provide some more GM guidance.
  • Added rules for handling downtime between missions mechanically, with a range of activities players can focus on.

Chapter VII – Psychic Powers

  • Made it clear that bonus advantage or success for Pushing are chosen before rolling any dice
  • Added some text outlining that Genesys’ “Penalties When Casting Spells” table does not apply to Psykers.
  • Added life-leech quality to Biomancy attacks
  • Provided examples of how to utilise Utility powers for each Discipline. Utility now functions exactly in the same was as it does in Genesys; no more Average difficulty (2P) Utility checks.
  • Added a set of Minor Power talents to represent powers from Dark Heresy which don’t fit into the typical Genesys magic system.

Chapter VIII – Fear and Trauma

  • Greater clarity added to corruption skill checks, including a table of example difficulty pools.
  • Rules for recovery partially relocated to Chapter VI’s downtime encounter rules.

Chapter IX – Fear and Trauma

  • Greater clarity added to fear skill checks, including a table of example difficulty pools.
  • Rules for recovery partially relocated to Chapter VI’s downtime encounter rules.
Edited by Tom Cruise

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So, I ended up jumping into the expansion content I mentioned faster than I thought.

I've got some pretty sizeable plans for the first supplement release, but for now, here's the expanded list of talents I plan to include. A lot of these are original, but many of them are ported over from Star Wars and tweaked to fit (thanks heaps to @TheSapient and @ESP77 for the Genesys Talents Expanded project, it made searching through all the Star Wars talents and finding what I wanted to port over super easy). 

- Link

This is still pretty rough; some of the tier placement might be off, and the talent design itself could be wonky, so give it a look and let me know what you think. Feedback helps a lot to make sure the expansion isn't wonky and badly designed when it releases. 

Plan is to drip feed out these sections as I get them close to completion, then release it all as a collated PDF book when I'm happy with what I've got. 

 

EDIT: Added a few more to this that I missed in the first release, should be done now (unless anyone comes up with some nice suggestions). Links is updated. 

Edited by Tom Cruise

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I think the groundwork is here for doing a Rogue Trader game, but you'd need to add on some extra mechanics. Ships are an obvious one; I haven't touched on vehicles much here at all, although they'd be easy to do in Genesys. Profit Factor is something I'm not sure how I'd handle, but you'd want to represent it somehow. You'd probably also be looking at tweaking the skill list a little, and adding in some talents to suit Rogue Trader campaigns.

I'm not really looking at doing Rogue Trader stuff at the moment unfortunately, currently I'm fully focused on fleshing out Dark Heresy itself. If anyone else wants to tackle the project though, they're welcome to, and I'll happily throw my ideas at it. 

 

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Okay, two shiny new PDFs in this post. First, the less exciting part.

The Dark Heresy rules are now at 1.1. That sounds exciting, but the changes are fairly minor. Here's the changelog. And.

Quote

Changelog 1.1 –

  • The rarity of all items has been rebalanced slightly; this was a long time coming, and was needed to make them better compatible with the Influence system planned for inclusion in a future expansion.
  • Divination Barriers were previously only able to affect the Psyker himself. This restriction has been changed to more closely match how Divination powers work in the original Dark Heresy games.
  • Previously there was no mention of what to do if you roll the same Malignancy roll twice. Now that situation is accounted for; you simply reroll.
  • Some minor typo corrections throughout the book.

Download the 1.1 PDF here

 

And on a more exciting note, I've finished my first draft of Influence and Subtlety rules. These Influence rules aren't quite the wholecloth replacement for Thrones that they were in DH2e; instead they're meant to act as a supplementary system on top of normal gear purchasing, based on a modified version of the Duty system from Age of Rebellion.  Please give them a look and let me know your thoughts; it's only a first draft, plenty of room for change here.

Download the Influence and Subtlety test rules here.

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@Tom Cruise

Those are great. Not sure if 100 Influence needed to gain Renown +1 is a bit too much.

I'll probably lower this to fit my campaign. 

In my campaign, the have to corrupt various places and people around the hive in order to corrupt a ritual to resurrect an Imperial hero, who gets resurrected over and over, in order to pull that hero towards chaos.

They win if they reach 99 Corruption throughout the hive (key locations and people) before said ritual is done.

So, I'll probably houserule that a bit, but all in all, I like both the Influence and the Subtlety rules.

Nicely done.

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8 hours ago, Tom Cruise said:

I think the groundwork is here for doing a Rogue Trader game, but you'd need to add on some extra mechanics. Ships are an obvious one; I haven't touched on vehicles much here at all, although they'd be easy to do in Genesys. Profit Factor is something I'm not sure how I'd handle, but you'd want to represent it somehow. You'd probably also be looking at tweaking the skill list a little, and adding in some talents to suit Rogue Trader campaigns.

I'm not really looking at doing Rogue Trader stuff at the moment unfortunately, currently I'm fully focused on fleshing out Dark Heresy itself. If anyone else wants to tackle the project though, they're welcome to, and I'll happily throw my ideas at it. 

 

I could see Profit Factor being represented by Morality, but you want to gain conflict. You could call it profit, where on a endeavor you try to gain as much profit as you can and at the end of the endeavor a d10 is rolled and you see if your Profit Factor increases. Profit will be harder to earn than conflict, stuff like a resource world would be 4 profit or something, a new colony 5, etc. Make it harder, but it is rolled less often.

Stuff like acquisitions can probably be done by having Profit Factor lower rarity, 10 profit factor represents -1 rarity. But some stuff is >10 rarity, meaning if you have 100 Profit Factor you can more easily try to afford super rare stuff.

The ships and talents part of Rogue Trader wouldn't be really hard either, as SWRPG and Genesys have good talents for trading and capital ship combat. And larger SWRPG ships would work well as 40k ships, maybe with more armor and with different rules for astrogation.

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Those are some solid ideas Ricky, seems like it'd be a pretty straightforward conversion. Might be something I'd consider doing down the track, but I've got a lot of ideas for Dark Heresy yet.

 

Also, here's a quick update to the Influence and Subtlety rules. Some minor tweaks, including hard rules for what spending Renown rewards on R&R do, some guidelines on how to reduce/increase Subtlety when going from planet to planet, and some new talents which pertain directly to Subtlety and Influence. Let me know what you think!

- Link -

 

Also, a general feedback request slash call for suggestions; 

I'm currently designing a system for Elite Advances; special traits you can buy for your character (some during character creation, some during play), which go beyond the scope of plain talents. Currently I've got the following included;

  • Cybernetic Resurrection
  • Exorcised
  • Mutant
  • Untouchable
  • Wyrd

What other stuff would you like to see represented? Anything kind of character the current rules don't really allow you to make adequately?

Edited by Tom Cruise

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New version, just a quick one again. - LINK - 

Quote

Changelog 1.1.5 –

  • Changed the Daemonic trait so that the extra soak it provides isn’t negated by Pierce or Breach.
  • After some feedback, I’ve buffed Force Weapons considerably. They now add 2 x Willpower when you concentrate, and Force Weapon Attunement adds 2 x Discipline to their Pierce. This should make them competitive with Power Weapons; they deal more damage, but cost strain to use, balancing them nicely.
  • Added a mention in the Perils of the Warp rules of environmental factors and how they might provide additional modifiers to the roll.

 

And another tease of the next book; the entire Armoury section. It's a little rough, but it includes all the new ranged weapons, grenades, melee weapons, ammo types, armour and general gear. Give it a look and tell me what you think!

Emphasis was on high level gear here, because the lower end is mostly covered by the core book. Lots of fancy Inquisitorial gear in here. 

- LINK -

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I know the Lathe worlds is a long way, but I am looking forward to the machine cult stuff from there, as well as the Radical's Handbook, and Daemon Hunter.  I wonder how ascension is going to factor in, hmm.

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You are a beast man.  So much good stuff so quickly.  

Might want to change the name of the hellguns to hot-shot lasguns, otherwise it is confusing having the hellrifle be so much different.

Some of the damage numbers seem a bit inflated particularly the hellguns, almost double the damage versus well armored opponents?  Warhammer at +5 seems too high, etc.  Though having higher damage on average than in the base rule book could fit the world.  

I  would love to see some more xenos weaponry for those slightly wayward acolytes among us.  Tau weaponry at the very least.

****, it took FFG years to put together this much stuff for SW.

^2

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I'm not really going through book by book and porting over everything, honestly. I'm mostly just cherry picking relevant stuff from various Dark Heresy books across both editions. Ascension will more or less be covered by the expansion I'm working on now, between the Influence rules and the much higher end gear. I don't see the need to have special rules for high level characters; a lot of XP and access to some nice gear and assets is adequate. 

If there's anything from a particular book you really think would be good to see, feel free to let me know, but I'm trying to avoid being too overly specific with gear options. I don't want to fall down the 10,000 lasgun variants hole that DH1e's expansions tended to. 

 

Edited by Tom Cruise

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Quick update; some gear rebalancing here, amongst other things. Biggest change is probably shifting Pyromancy over to Agility, which I think was the right move for balance, and makes a lot of sense thematically.

Quote

Changelog 1.2 –

  • Gear section rebalanced slightly; multikeys got nerfed, rarities have been tweaked, and some superficial text changes have been made to increase clarity.
  • Compact weapon attachment reduced to 1 HP, and altered slightly.
  • Renamed the Multiple Legs trait to Swift, so it can apply to a wider variety of creatures and abilities.
  • Pyromancy has been shifted over to Agility. This way, every characteristic is potentially relevant to Psykers, as Willpower still governs Discipline and is relevant to the use of Force Weapons.
  • Hellpistols and Hellguns received a significant cost increase (x1.5), and their rarity has been bumped up by 1.
  • Gear at character creation can now only be Rarity 6 or lower; this should’ve been adjusted when I changed rarity values, but it slipped my mind.
  • Dataslates didn’t previously have an entry in the gear section – that has been amended
  • Lots of spelling and data entry corrections

- LINK -

I've got some exciting stuff coming soon, first expansion book is nearing completion. I'll keep you all posted.

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First of all, heartfelt kudos. This is beautiful, painstaking work, and as someone who loves the Warhammer 40,000 setting but not so much the most recent RPG rulesets, I am thrilled to see it.

This is admittedly an entirely selfish and idiosyncratic request, but could you please add the Adepta Sororitas as an additional career? I have always loved them.

Again, thanks for all your terrific efforts, and your generosity in sharing your work.

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Thanks for the kind words! In terms of Sororitas, I did consider it but I'm not sure if they're necessary as a career option? The guardsman or cleric careers cover them pretty well, considering all careers provide is packages of skills. 

It would be quite easy to include a Sororitas career though so I could do it, there's been a few requests. 

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This is off-topic here, but is there anyone around here that has this type of knowledge of WFRP 3rd edition? It seems like that would be RIPE for conversion to the updated Genesys system. The level of detail and care you've put into this 40K port is amazing. Kudos!

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1 hour ago, Tom Cruise said:

I actually used bits and pieces of the WFRP system for this conversion. Mainly their corruption rules; some of the text is directly copied and altered to fit. 

Very interesting. I have most of the WFRP 3rd edition bits and pieces and have been working on a conversion of the creatures in the Creature Guide for that game. Mind you, nothing comparatively close to what you've produced here. It got me curious why we're seeing such an excellent third party ruleset for the 40K product but, unless my search-fu is weak on the forums, nothing for the fantasy setting that is essentially the grandfather of this new game system. With so much 3rd edition similarity it seems like it would be ideal for a port. 4th edition WFRP is coming out this year and all I can think of is "I want to play WFRP with narrative dice". :)

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I was initially interested in working on a WFRP hack, but it's a lot more work than a 40k conversion. Getting the careers well-balanced would be very hard, and other core mechanics would need significant tweaking, as the Genesys system is a little bit too heroic and forgiving for the Old World.

Saying that, WFRP3 uses the original narrative dice, so it could be done; I'm just personally not convinced the setting and mechanics are a good match.

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1 hour ago, 9littlebees said:

I was initially interested in working on a WFRP hack, but it's a lot more work than a 40k conversion. Getting the careers well-balanced would be very hard, and other core mechanics would need significant tweaking, as the Genesys system is a little bit too heroic and forgiving for the Old World.

Saying that, WFRP3 uses the original narrative dice, so it could be done; I'm just personally not convinced the setting and mechanics are a good match.

I feel the same way after having put some thought into it. On the surface, since it's Narrative Dice 1.0 it seems like it would be relatively easy. Once you start asking questions about "what makes WFRP WFRP?", looking at the magic system, careers, etc. the amount of work to get it all shoehorned in and balanced seems overwhelming. I think I'll just wait until Cubicle 7 scratches the itch here in a few months with 4E. :)

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Big update incoming!

Here's my first test release of the Liber Heresius, the first expansion book for Dark Heresy. Here's a rundown of the features, stolen right from the Introduction chapter.

Quote

Introduction

“Our enemies prowl in the shadows of shining cathedrals. They scuttle in the darkness of dank underhives. They lurk in the corners of gilded palaces. They even dare to stand openly, hiding behind false faces and honeyed words. They are everywhere that men live and breathe — and so we must always be ready to face them with fire and the Emperor’s wrath!”

– from the Epistles of Inquisitor Kharkov

Dark Heresy for Genesys provides a solid foundation upon which players can create interesting and unique characters. However, the world of the 41st Millenium is a diverse place, full of unique and bizarre individuals who often populate the ranks of the Holy Inquisition. This book provides expanded character options and rules, building upon those established in the Dark Heresy core book. It is broken into the following chapters:

Chapter I - Expanded Home Worlds

Seven new Home World options, bringing the total avaliable to 19 when including those from Dark Heresy’s core book.

Chapter II - Elite Advances

A new system added to character creation and advancement, where players can invest XP into powerful character traits which sit outside of the usual talent structure of Genesys.

Chapter III - New Talents

A wide range of new talents (68 in total), expanding on those avaliable in Dark Heresy and the Genesys Core Rulebook. Some of these are brand new, and some adapted from the rich options avaliable in Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars Roleplaying system which Genesys is based on.

Chapter IV - Expanded Armoury

A significant expansion of the armoury section detailed in Dark Heresy, adding a wide variety of rare and unique arms and armaments.

Chapter V - Influence and Subtlety

An optional rules system for tracking an Acolyte Cell’s renown and influence within the Inquisition and the wider Imperium, as well as monitoring how subtlety they conduct their investigations, with appropriate ramifications and rewards for their behaviour.

Note that this isn't final; I can still add content and tweak things significantly, but it represents most of what I want to have in this release. Think of it as kind of a hybrid of the Inquisitor's Handbook and Ascension from Dark Heresy 1e, with some hints of the three Enemies books from DH2e.

Not the last expansion I plan to do, but most likely the biggest. 

Please give lots of feedback if you take a look at this! I want it to be in a good state balance and content wise before I put the official 1.0 stamp on it.

- LINK -

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