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Sang de Poulpe

New to the game: Building a character. Need advice.

26 posts in this topic

 

Hello all,
 
I have been invited to join a game of Dark Heresy this Sunday and I would like some help building a suitable character. I am fairly new to this system would you kindly help me in this matter?
 
Info on game:
  • It is a long time campaign and we should be arriving to ascension levels.
  • Characters are currently Level 5 (3250xp in total).
  • In the group from what I know there is a Sister of Battle (adepta sororitas) of the Dialogus kind (the diplomacy ones, not sure of the name).
  • A melee psyker with a force blade.
  • A techpriest and a regular one. (I do not know much about those two)
 
I am interested in doing an Arbitrator and eventually ascend him to a Judge or an assassin and go for either Death Cult Assassin or Vindicare Assassin. I am fairly new to this system so any help or advice would be most appreciated.
 
My rolls for starting stats are WS 15 BS 13 S 16 T 12 Ag 8 I 20 P 7 Wp 11 Fel 9 
 
The origin is Cleansed mind for Assassin or Schola progenium for arbitrator (could ask for something else in this case.)
 
I was looking to make an arbitrator that could use guile and cunning to infiltrate heretics and collect as much intel before calling for reinforcments for the cleansing and purging part. Therefore the Impostor (Book of Judgment) background stoke my eye as did the alternate rank Cult-Stalker (Daemon Hunter). Or I could go for a more classic approach and maybe choose Callyxian Pattern killings (Inquisitor’s Handbook) background and might dabble in the alternate rank of Warden of the Divisio Immoralis (IH). 
 
For the assassin option, my GM allowed me to take the untouchable background (Radical’s handbook). I wanted to go as a moritat assassin but it needs a background and thus I can’t be both. The alternate rank of Ordo sicarius initiate might be interesting (Daemon Hunter).
 
The choices are mostly chosen for fluff reasons, as I do not know the subtleties of the gaming mechanics yet. So if these are suboptimal or if I should consider something else let me know. As for the skill and talents, I guess I could manage to do it for the Arbitrator but being unfamiliar with the combat system I would like to know what to choose to really make a killing machine of the assassin any detailed advice here would be most kind.
 
Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for you answers.
SdP.
 

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Remember that your stats are 2d10+20. I thought you'd rolled a little low at first glance.

If you want to go the guile and subterfuge route, I would advise against being an Untouchable. Untouchables get some crippling penalties to Fellowship (-10 reduction in Fellowship on top of a -10 to social situations), and from a fluff standpoint you'll be the creepy guy nobody can stand to be around. Calixian Pattern Killings is much safer and generally more useful.

As for weaponry, you might want something powerful but easily concealed, like a .54 Tranter or similar. Keep a longarm like a shotgun or autogun as a backup weapon hidden in an easy-to-reach place just in case you need it. Also, take a shock maul, perhaps upgrading to a power maul when you can afford it. Also, flak armor is your friend. It's cheap and offers decent protection until you can afford something better.

Schola training is good for Arbitrator. You'll be able to use Las and SP Basic and Pistol weapons, in addition to Primitive melee weapons, without spending XP. The less XP you spend on weapon training, the better.

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If you want to play an untouchable you can consider a Sister of Silence type of character. I don't have the link to the PDF but it should be on dark reign if that website is still around.

 

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Gitmasha didn't mention it, but he has personal experience with Moritat, they are tough to play unless you don't mind heavy restrictions on gear for a bonus which is amazing at the start but slowly loses its charm. For RPwise, they can be great, but know they are not power class, but there are ways to make up for their shortcomings. He was also right on nulls, don't forget they don't play well with psykers.

Schola is a great BG for martial characters, though not for social. Giving you a weaker version of a WP buff, free weapon training, free basic lores, but a social penalty which affects PCs in most campaigns.

As for weapons, the Tranter .54 has its good points, but a simple autopistol can be good. One of the best is the Puritan-14 which is a decent autopistol with a 1 shot shotgun built in, it fits the arbites theme (and is fluffed as such), will share ammo with your shotgun and you can have some fun ammo in it, like Blazer Shells (4 throne 15m Primitive flamers), slugs (1d10+5 Pen 2), plain scatter shells and much more. For longarms, an overpowered and cheap but amazing weapon is the Ironclaw, the best is the Vanaheim though. Autoguns are neat but don't fit the arbites style as much, if you want a powerful and flexible one try the cadence spectre, a 3x 20 round mag, a 4 shot underslung shotgun barrel and is fun (though overpriced),otherwise get an Armageddon for a higher caliber gun (loaded with manstoppers is solid) We can give more and better suggestions if you list your preferences and style. Also, guard flak is a good decent armor, but mesh may be better if your group prefers stealth.

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Thank you Gitsmasha, Alox, and Cymbel, for your answers.

Darkreign doesn’t seem to be working maybe I’ll find the info on the forums there.

After reading your answers I think I’ll go arbitrator. The untouchable and moritat were choices based on an idea to make an assassin specialized in dealaing with the nasty Psyker-Sorcerors plague, all the same if you ask me… ; ). 

I’ll see with my GM if I can have an imperial world as origin as the fellowship malus is indeed quite annoying.

I’ll post later this day a draft build and ask my GM to know how much money I can have sothat the equipment can be done more precisely.

Thanks for the weapon advice. Stupid question though, what is the order of usefullness for criticals (X,E,I, …) ? 

 

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Sang de Poulpe said:

 

Thanks for the weapon advice. Stupid question though, what is the order of usefullness for criticals (X,E,I, …) ? 

 

 

First of all, please note that my advice is nowhere professional, it simply builds on play experience. And I'm not quite sure that we always play perfectly according to the rules, since the critical tables only tend to come up when PCs receive critical damage, while NPCs just get torn apart with when they reach 0 Wounds.

I don't think there is any usefull difference between the criticals for the various weapon types. Sure, it's great to have some sort of spectacular feedback of what your awesome roll just did to some poor hapless heretic, but in the end, the enemy is very much dead. Critical hits become interesting when they are happening to you, but in those cases, the weapon type is probably not your choice. 

Of course, this does not mean that you should ignore the weapon types that are at your disposal. My Tech-Priest uses las-weapons (E) simply because that's the way I like to play him, even though I am aware that other weapon types would probably deal a great deal more damage. (Unless I can get my filthy mechadendrites on a portable Lascannon or Multilaser… ahem…) The best is probably the Tearing quality of the bolt weapons, but I haven't really tried comparing other stats. :)

 

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Sang de Poulpe said:

Darkreign doesn’t seem to be working maybe I’ll find the info on the forums there.

 

For more info on sisters of silence: http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Sisters_of_Silence

The PDF: http://manuel.rifault.free.fr/Public/JDR/Dark%20Heresy/Sisters%20of%20Silence.pdf

It is an old file, so some of the new rules for untouchable may be preferred, YMMV. It could be a good idea to take the battle sisters from the Matyr book and modify them to silent sisters with inspiration from this PDF, i.e. throw out the faith stuff and put in the untouchable stuff.

 

 

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My 2 Thrones

Be wary of Energy Weapons.  This is based purely on play experience: Randomly detonating ammunition and flaming headless corpses are just as dangerous to players as they are to NPC's.  I've never seen it kill an ally, but I've had allies go into critical damage from explosions and a couple who caught on fire.

Depending on your GM, funds, and whatnot you may want to look at the Arbites Suppression Shotgun found in Book of Judgement.  It always felt a bit munchkiny to me, but that's an attestation to the stats.  The Vanaheim is an excellent alternative due to the full-auto firing.  Never underestimate the benefit of Supressive Fire.

As for armor, Cymbel is right about Mesh.  It's a great middle-tier armor.  If you can afford it, and you won't focus on stealth, look to the Enforcer Light Carapace as a good middle-tier armor.

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I'm not sure Sisters of Silence even exist after the Heresy anymore. Even if they do, they're probably restricted to guarding the Black Ships. Having one with an Inquisitorial acolyte cell is a waste of a good (and incredibly rare) operative.

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A problem with the "special" Arbites shotgun is how hard it is going to be to find ammo for it, this doesn't use the normal "12 gauge" (or whatever the most common size is for 40k shotgun shells is), while a Vanaheim can take the standard ammo.

As for criticals, a VERY rough order from ingame experience is eXplosive > Rending > Energy/Impact

As IoE said, light carapace is great, but it sticks out. For budged medium armors, it goes

Light Carapace for Protection, Mesh for Stealth, Guard Flak for Budget (and it is 5 armor all around for blasts)

For Arbites, they have 3 background packages in IH and a rank 0 there too, there are a LOT of packages and special Arbites ranks in the new Arbites book and one in RH (for vigilante Arbites, as well as a black ops Arbites exectioner rank) and don't forget there are others they can take, but these are Arbites specific and have some great fluff and crunch to them

 

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Cymbel said:

A problem with the "special" Arbites shotgun is how hard it is going to be to find ammo for it, this doesn't use the normal "12 gauge" (or whatever the most common size is for 40k shotgun shells is), while a Vanaheim can take the standard ammo.

Good Point.  If one has regular access to Arbites stockpiles/armories the Arbites Shotgun is a good choice.  Otherwise the Vanaheim is probably the highest mark.

@Sang,

Bolt Pistol as a solid backup weapon.  Only use it when you need that extra kick.

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Bolt Pistols can beggar even a wealthy acolyte when firing.

If you have a recoil glove, there are nice handcannons, including the Tranter .54 if you have SB4

The Orthlak Mk4 is a 12 Shot 1d10+4 S/-/6 Autopistol, put some manstoppers or expanders in that and you have a darn good backup sidearm

The Puritan-14 is a brutal and sloppy weapon, but has a shotgun mode which is a nasty surprise for foes, (especially with a slug, blazer or some of the other fun rounds)

The Armsman 10 is a solid 13 round semi auto, not amazing, but a decent backup if you don't want something fancy

there are several more, but this is a decent selection without knowing details or budget

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Here is what I got after some work.
 
Character:  Arbitrator Themis Eunomia 
Female Age : 27    Svelte: 1m75/65kg  Red hair, green eyes, pierced ears.
“Even a man who has nothing can still offer his life.” + 2 Strength
Homeworld: Imperial
 
XP: 3250 Spent: 3200
 
Background: Impostor 
 
Career: Cult-Stalker, Arbitrator 2-5.
 
WS  BS  S   T   Ag  Int Per WP  Fel W
35  33  38  32  28  40  27  34  34  12
 
Skills
 
Common Lore (Imperial Creed, War) as Basic Skills
 
Trained Skills
 
Awareness
Blather
Charm +10
Commom Lore (Adeptus Arbites, Imperium, Underworld)
Concealment
Deceive
Disguise
Dodge
Inquiry +10
Interogation
Intimidate
Literacy
Search +10
Scholastic Lore (Judgements)
Scrutiny
Silent move
Speak Language (Low Gothic)
Security +10
 
 
Talents
 
Basic Weapon Training (SP)
Cult Briefing (Pleasure +5Fel, Decadance)
Double Team
Melee Weapon Training (Primitive)
Rapid Reaload
Peer (Underworld, Adeptus Arbitrates)
Talented (Deceive)
Unremarkable
 
The character is specialized in infiltration and intel. Undermining and destroying cults from the inside.
 
As for combat and equipment. The character will be granted a Cyber-mastiff as a boon from her inquisitor.
 
As a result I see the character combat abilities medium to short range using first shotguns at medium and PBS distance (Scatter for the win) and melee attachement + cyber-mastiff on close combat.
 
My GM granted me 408 Throne plus half of the value of the pieces of starting equipment I sell. I must check with him if it I can have more as in the rules, for each 400xp you should receive one month worth income. Can someone confirm this and tell me if the income in this case is 70 or 105 (70 + 7*5) ?
 
After reading your answers, and allow me to thank you for them, I think I’ll go, depending on the final amount I receive, either for combat shotgun(upgraded) + flak or Arbitrator Shotgun(upgraded) + Xeno mesh.
 
I’ll definitely spare money for the puritan. This weapon seems good fun.
 
Regarding the ammo, is there a complete list of what is available and the book it comes from? Espacially the slugs one I don’t recall seeing them anywhere.
 
If you have comments on my selection of talents and skills please let me know. As I am really new to the system, I am not sure if I took the best choices or overlooked some important talent. 
 
Once again thank you all for you input it is most appreciated.

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If it has the talent, yes.

There is an example of one having it in the Inquisitor’s Handbook and the rules to add it to any cyber creature. In this case it is just an implant costing 500 Thrones. So you could upgrade any cyber creature to have it.

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Not a big fan of the Impostor Background, especially with Arbites, I reccomend to look at the others, especially the IH ones (though the RH, Justice before Law is an interesting one if your methods are more vigilante)

On gear, 1/2 price is weak, especially for higher ranking players, why would you have the chump gear that a new arbites would get, you are getting a free cyber mastiff worth about 3k+ (for IH values), the BoJ ones are even more expensive. I can understand the GM not wanting super cheese, but there are limits….

Starting Gear:

Shotgun and 12 shells Sell, keep shells, alternate idea, turn it into a hackshotgun if this is a double barrel, see if GM is willing for you to buy a proper shotgun instead (at least pumpaction) if you sell at full value, otherwise 30 thrones… (Side Note, the Hack Shotgun is pretty darn good, especially if the GM lets you be able to fire it one round at a time as well as double mode, even without it, given quickdraw and maybe rapid reload it is a nice emergency gun and looks cheap too

Club-if you want a cheap hard hitter before shock, BQ mono upgrade is 85 thrones, 1d10+1+SB Pen2 +10 to hit

Brass Knuckles-Keep, BQ or GQ if you like fighting

Knife-Keep, Ditto

Mesh Vest - Could be good to keep, (150/2) = 75 thrones if sold, which is a ripoff

Stimm + Injector, this stuff can save your life, not often though, but it can be amazing

Arbites ID-useful for dealing with enforcers

Chrono-keep

Lhos/Amasec-Keep, how else can you fulfill some tropes?

If only 400 (and if you are doing an infiltrator) DO NOT get the Arbites special shotgun (either the HUEG round one or the awesome Persecutor), remember NPCs by a good GM are not dumb or blind, there are many shotgun options. The cheapest (and cheeziest) is the Ironclaw for 80 thrones, add a puritan for 100, stick with the mesh vest, get cheap armor to supplement, get whatever melee upgrades and weapon upgrades you can afford and some good gear

 

The 40k armory is pretty good for having ALL the things from ALL the books, for a real nice collection with some great fixes and price changes, check out the Macharian Handbook, has two books so far, a armor and weapons book and one with GEAR, see if your GM may want to use that, it really helps having almost all the items in one book (minus the heretical/xenos stuff overall, that will probably be another book), it is fan made, but VERY professional, though in the process of being updated for new books. Slugs and some  other  cool stuff (Bolts, Flechettes, Gas Rounds and Stun Shells for shotguns) comes from RT Hostile Acquisitions. It also has rules for making primitive armor lose the primitive status, assassin's longlas, shotlasguns, an arbites model awesome combat shotgun, making almost any armor into "powered" armor and those are just some of the GEAR options, it is a pretty fun book, like BoJ in my opinion, not something for everyone like IH/ItS, but if you have the cash, worth grabbing.

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The build looks good to me.  You're not min-maxed, but your character definitely looks solid.  You're not skimping on skills in favor of combat domination, which I find commendable.  I politely disagree with Cymbel regarding the Impostor background package, but understand her reasoning.  The Inquisitor Handbook backgrounds are also quite nice.

I think for 400 thrones you'll be able to field survivable equipment, but get the most value for your buck on each purchase.  And Cymbel is right: using any gear that is blatantly Arbites issue is going to give you away in an infiltration assignment.  The Cyber-Mastiff could also be a huge tip-off, but could be managed with some creativity.

You've got my stamp of approval (Which is not worth the bytes of processing power required to type it)

 

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Thank you Cymbel and Id for your help and advice.

@id, I guess it is indeed not min-maxed, far from it. My days of min-maxing are really behind me. It is long gone the time where I could spend weeks in getting the most of every supplement available on our Rolemaster, basic or DD campaigns. Now I barely have the time to skim through the books and understand the rules of the game, the perks of growing old. Sic transit gloria mundi…  

@Cymbel, I see your point for the backgrounds. And Justice not Law (vigilante background), and the Callyxian Pattern Kilings might be fitting and/or more efficient on Xp basis. I'll give it another serious look.

Reguading the money allowance, my GM is just trying to be fair, eventhough I begged and cried to have more money. The other players received approximately the same amount during play and received as a gift from their inqusitor, ours starting Sunday,  a single item worth 3000-3500 thrones (the psy sword for the psyker for example).

Are the RT books compatible with DH ? Or does it need GM approval ?

 

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You're welcome, Sang de Poulpe.
 

Sang de Poulpe said:

 

Are the RT books compatible with DH ? Or does it need GM approval ?

 

 

Yes they are compatible, though they change the power balance.  It's a considerable change, in my opinion.  You should get GM approval since they are not considered supplements for Dark Heresy, although the rules are compatible. 

We never integrate equipment from other Fantasy Flight Games lines, even W40K related games, into our campaigns.  It's not necessary, and I don't imagine it would enhance the roleplay experience.

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My main issue with the Impostor is that it lends itself towards you being a con artist or you assumed the name/role of the acolyte you are playing (at least how I see it), but you can always ask the GM to change the fluff as well, but I am glad you are giving the others a second chance, the vigilante one is a fun one for a lot of PCs

As for RT gear, it is 99 times out a hundred compatible, but a lot of it can't really be used in DH, because the cost would beggar acolytes or it is near unique rare xeno/archeotech, would stick out like nothing else or just is for a purpose that DH PCs never would use. That said, some of the new melee weapons, guns, gear and ammo is stuff that you could really use in DH and adds fun choices (Just look at the shotgun ammo in HosAcq, DH fans have been wanting shotgun slugs for the longest time, same with several other rounds), best way to set an availability cap for items you can choose from, everything else is with GM permission, but it is worth asking, some of the stuff is just too essential to not use.

For further gear help, can you tell us which items you are selling and what kind of gear/weapons/armor you want?

And for cash, look at the armor and weapons of other PCs, see how much armor they each have and how strong their guns are. If they are not very well armored or heavily armed, then best to fit into that power level, however if they have all mesh/light carapace and wielding fancy guns (not a generic pistol, but a Hecuter or a Carnodon for example) then you are right to ask the GM for a better hands up (and at least 1:1 selling starting gear)

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Cymbel said:

My main issue with the Impostor is that it lends itself towards you being a con artist or you assumed the name/role of the acolyte you are playing (at least how I see it), but you can always ask the GM to change the fluff as well, but I am glad you are giving the others a second chance, the vigilante one is a fun one for a lot of PCs

The ranks of Detective-Espionist within the Adeptus Arbites are often impostors within their duty location.  Posessing that background, especially as a rank 5 arbitrator, seems to fit very well within the existing lore.

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Hello all,

 

A few things, I played yesterday and it was really fun. Thank you for all your advice it was really helpfull.

 

I finally went for the Justice, Not Law background as it was a bit better xp wise, IMO.

 

As for my gear, I went for a combat shotgun (augmented), a combination of flak and mesh armour, and utility gear.

 

By the end of the scenario, we looted several bolt guns, chain weapons and other stuff. Money shouldn’t be a problem at least for buying ammo ;).

I had one blazer shell and it hit. Those things are really usefull for putting enemies out of combat. I might buy a vanaheim shotgun, I am in love with the semi auto function of my combat shotgun, I guess full auto is even better.

 

I am considering buying the talent for pistol training bolt. 

 

Small question, is there a selection of talents to make sure I can stay in PBS range ? For the two combat we had I only got one chance to use it. The first time was because enemies went to melee and the second as enemies were shooting us with bolt guns and had chain swords and didn’t feel like leaving cover or getting close enough to get hit by the chain weapon.

Any advice on that? Or maybe I am doing something wrong wich is more than possible.

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Sprint I suppose? It is tricky to get into the 3m range, but not get into melee, which is what makes shotguns a mixed weapon, on one hand they can **** on short ranges (which is often when you need it), but except at FAR ranges they still do decent power. Plus they are amazing with the sheer variety of special ammo they can use (especially if your GM lets you have some of the fun stuff from ItS, HA and so on), Blazers are an amazing toy as you saw and can singlehandedly change how a combat is going (FLAME is a powerful weapon special ability, as well as having a cone that covers multiple things), with stuff like Slugs, Cryptus Glass Shells, Flechette Shells, Toxic Shot, Gas Rounds, Bolt Rounds, Inferno Shells, Acid Shells (OP but awesome), Executioner Shells, Snare Shells, etc.

Later on you will be rolling with only Flechette Rounds, Slugs, Inferno Shells and so on as your normal ammo and your trusty shotgun will not let you down :-)

On the Vanaheim, it becomes a visibility issue. Combat shotguns may stick out a bit, but heretics will have them too, looted from Armories and what not. A vanaheim belongs in the class of the Nomad Rifle, Cadence Spectre, Carnodon, Hecutor and other rare specialist/finely crafted guns. They are not normal and stick out. But if you think it won't (or keep it as your assault weapon for raiding places), then don't worry. But yeah, in terms of DH and Top End shotguns there are the versataile and powerful vanaheim, with lots of ammo, full auto, laser sight and free nice bayonet, the OP Arbites XBAWX HUEG shotgun, the way underpriced for all the awesome it can do Ironclaw shotgun and the solid fun Arbites Persecutor Combat Shotgun (+5 Range, +2 Shots, Reliable and can be used as a Shock Staff in melee compared to a normal Combat Shotgun).

 

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Not sure if it has already been mentioned or not, but if you want to be an infiltrator of heretical gangs and cults, then you might want to give the Malifixer alternate career path from the Book of Judgement a look. They pretty much thrive on this kind of thing, and can spend years undercover before yurning on the cult at a moments notice.

The problem with this for you is the fact that a Malifixer has to be a scum class, and they tend to work for heretics themsleves. If you were playing this then you could have been recruited by the Holy Inquisition, and decided to use your acquired skills and expertise to do the Holy Emperor's divine work.

 

Just a thought.

 

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im pretty sure the untouchable quality is perchasing a trait not a backround. you can have both. at least thats the way ive always seen it. 

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