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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Without
by Szabolcs G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/26/2015 09:06:54

Hello dear DH loving fans.


Enemies Without is just another proof of the company's great love and...just kidding. :)


So, after the first readout, I found some absence/deficit in useful information about the xenos. I mean c'mon, I could and CAN use the wiki pages for W40k, but I payed $20 to found this in the book. And could I? Sadly, the answer is no.


Another WTF moment was when I saw that one of the new playeable characters is a heretech. WAT?! Guys, are you serious? Why?
But after a few says I started to like the idea. A lot of folks are just hate the Empire of Man becouse they opress anything innovative. And here it is...the Heretech, whose sole reason is to be as innovative as a living being just can. Nice.


The artworks are gorgeous as always.


If the daemonic book will be as good as the first two accessory, 2nd ed will truly be the best choice instead of DH 1.0.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Without
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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Within
by Ian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/25/2015 17:01:00

Genuinely adds a great amount to the background and also provides some interesting new character options. Only real gripe is I found some of the plot ideas they gave pretty vague and washy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Within
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Android: Free Fall
by Brander R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2015 12:30:51

Just finished the book. I'm not at all familiar with the game so I my review is focused on the actual book.


Overall I liked it. Good detective in the near future, and a solid grasp on the technology elements. Sometimes the pacing was a little clunky, but forgivable. Worth a read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Android: Free Fall
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Only War: Shield of Humanity
by Peter S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2015 00:10:51

i love this book so damn much. it truly helps in advancing characters for the game. i definitely recommend that people who play the Only War series should definitely purchase this book to better their playing experience



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Shield of Humanity
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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Within
by Hans O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2015 12:36:03

This latest system update to Dark Heresy 2.0 perpetuates the science fantasy (as opposed to science fiction) of the Warhammer Universe, but unlike earlier attempts to provide players and gm's with useful tools for creating engaging sessions I believe that Enemies Within is a solid step in the Right direction. While not nearly as robust in its gm toolkit as systems like Stars Without Number, this book none-the-less provides gm's with setting-appropriate adventures in the vein of the Abnett's Eisenhorn stories and Sandy Mitchell's "Innocence Proves Nothing." To me, the most engaging stories of 40k's grimdark are the those where ill- or mis-informed but no less goodly and skilled servants of the Imperium carry their torch into the deep and the dark places, look into the madness that therein dwells, and fight feverishly to burn out that rot with cleansing flame, and this supplement, more than any other fantasy flight has since put out, is their best effort to allow players fulfill that fantasy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Within
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Arkham Horror: Dance of the Damned (Book 1 of the Lord of Nightmares Trilogy)
by stephane r. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2015 16:19:58

I liked this story. This is pure lovecraftian spirit, with a lot of desperate characters that die in a horribly wrong way. But there are also 2 heroes that face the difficulties and finally overcome. They learn on their way, they do not understand everything but keep their sanity and make the story interesting to follow.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Arkham Horror: Dance of the Damned (Book 1 of the Lord of Nightmares Trilogy)
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Only War: Core Rulebook
by William V. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2015 12:08:04

I have to admit I was hoping to see Commissar Cain as an NPC along with his Valhallan comrades...


That aside, this is a great set of rules...one that brings the Imperial Guard to life. The rules are easy to read, although I would have liked to see character creation presented earlier in the process. Breaking it up the way it is, while making some sense, might be confusing for those new to RPGs in general. The regiment choices are interesting, and provide a fair amount of variety when it comes to designing adventures. The Comrade system is also slightly unclear, especially since the rules governing them are split into a number of different locations (Character Creation and Combat). It might be better to deal with them in Combat, since that's where the bulk of their rules are located.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rulebook
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
by Paweł P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2015 11:51:35

Great book and great system and I think it's wonderful it's available in POD (I can't wait for my physical order to get here). One thing that bothers me is that in this day and age the pdf lacks bookmarks. I mean, come on, it's the core rulebook, one you'll be going through time and time againa - BMs are a must.
If anyone at DTRPG can pass this kind request to FFG (please, please, update it with bookmarks), I'll be grateful.
Otherwise an amazing product :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
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Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronos
by Todd K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/05/2015 17:41:43

The book itself is excellent, however the publisher is not taking advantage of the freedom PDF allows. The creatures in the book are still printed as though it was a physical product, instead of using extra pages so each creature or vessel only takes up one page, instead of being printed part on one page, and part on another.


For example, on page 104, the Planetary Assault ship has the picture and fluff on one page, and the statistics on page 105. If the Assault ship had been solely on page 105, only one page would be necessary to print out (or to view on various PDF readers).


This would lead to extra empty space in the book, but that could be filled with images or fluff stories (often associated with whatever else is on the page). Page 104 has a Soulcage ship, and adding a story at the bottom about one raiding a colony would be a good filler.


The filler could even be available online as a free download, for those that bought the physical copy.


So overall an excellent book, but FFG needs to take advantage of what PDF allows, instead of just doing a copy using the physical book's limits.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronos
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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Within
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/27/2015 12:05:48

So, Acolyte, where do you look for heretics? Do you find them clearly on view, participating in foul rituals as part of organised cults that anyone may join? Or do you sometimes look closer to home...? Many cults start off benign and drift - often without intent, unwittingly even - astray. There's no knowing where you will find heresy and mutants, especially within the ancient worlds of the Askellon Sector.


This book delves deep into this often hidden menace with particular reference to the Askellon Sector in three chapters. The first looks at the history of the Ordo Hereticus, the second provides new options and rules information and the final chapter explores the worlds of the Askellon Sector and the cults lurking thereon.


Chapter 1: Hereticus details the origins, history and operations of the Inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus, also known as Witch-Hunters, whose purpose is to protect mankind from the threat of betrayal from within. They seek out corruption and burn it, often fairly indiscriminately. They are zealous to a fault and do not like being thwarted. Even those who welcome them frequently regret it. Their origins are shrouded in mystery and they go to great pains to keep it that way, prefering to work in secrecy and without accounting for their actions to anyone. They would prefer to burn hundreds of innocents to get a heretic or two, than let even one get away. They also treat their Acolytes as disposable assets, so take care before you take service with such an Inquisitor.


There is plenty more here too: organisations of witch hunters and some of the cults that they pursue. There are details of the many and varied philosophies that they hold, which must lead to some interesting debates when several are gathered together.


Next, Chapter 2: Fury and Fire looks at new options and additions to the rules, beginning with a selection of new home worlds that you can select. These are of general interest even if you want to steer clear of the Ordo Hereticus. Perhaps an agri-world, a feudal one or a frontier world appeals. Next are the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas — a background of warrior women in service to the Ecclesiarchy. More risky, you might choose a background as a mutant, that is, one born a mutant rather than having acquired mutations later on in life. New roles such as the fanatic and the penitent are also discussed. There is also an array of new (and vicious) weapons as well as new armours in which to encase yourself. A select of profane artefacts is followed by specialised talents described as the Art of Hatred, for the Ordo Hereticus is fuelled by hatred of their heretical prey rather than any compassion for those whom they would protect from them. Finally there is an account of the process known as an Inquest, the specialist form of investigation used by the Ordo Hereticus to uncover heretics, reflecting their somewhat casual relationship to truth and justice and quantifying it in game mechanical terms.


The final chapter is Roots of Heresy, and this is a detailed look at the worlds of Askellon with special reference to the heresies to be found thereon. Game Masters will find it very useful, as it spawns plenty of plot ideas, moreover there's also a section on how to create heresies of your own as well as how best to present the tell-tale signs to knowing Acolyte eyes.


There's plenty of information to draw on here, painting Askellon as a far darker place that the Calixis Sector featured in Dark Heresy 1e. Perhaps that's due to the sector's age, for with age it seems comes decay and corruption. Of course, my mischievous mind promptly wonders what happens when someone within the Ordo Hereticus itself slips over the edge, turns bad and embraces heretical ideas and practices? Or are their excesses a sign that this has already happened? Whether your Acolytes choose to serve the Ordo Hereticus or encounter them as they go about their business, this book will help you bring it all to life. Pass the torch...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Within
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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Forgotten Gods
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2015 08:49:51

This massive adventure follows on from Dark Pursuits (in the core rulebook) and Desolation of the Dead (in the Game Master's Kit), but can equally well be run without having played either of them if preferred. It's all about smuggled xenos relics, and takes the Acolytes to Hive Desoleum and a shrine world called Thaur, with some interesting interludes on the ship that takes them there.


After some introductory fiction that highlights the perils of smuggling artefacts there's an overview of the adventure, which falls into three main sections. The first, in and around Hive Desoleum, is primarily investigative although there are ample opportunities for those who enjoy brawling to indulge their need for action if they so wish. Throughout the adventure, there are loads of hints and tips on how to keep the action flowing, play the NPCs involved and cope with whatever the Acolytes do in such a manner that they shouldn't ever realise how close they've come to derailing the plot!


The adventure opens with a pile of blood-stained corpses (and probably continues that way). Along the way, there are opportunities for interaction and plenty of wonderful throw-away comments that can lead to complete side-adventures or be stored up for use later on as suits. Whenever the Acolytes need to decide what to do, likely options and their results are detailed clearly: just pick the right one to reflect what your players have decided on and run it from there. You will need to read and study the adventure in advance to get the most out of it, it is full of little snippets that make it all come alive as you weave them into your game.


From the Hive itself, their investigations should lead the Acolytes out across the desolate wastes and eventually to the starport. No mere journey, there's plenty happening along the way and much is plot-connected, not random events chucked in to make the trip more 'interesting'. The adventure continues with a voyage on a massive and crowded pilgrim ship, and climaxes on the shrine world itself, where the Acoloytes, we hope, will thwart a heresy with the potential to do significant and wide-reaching harm.


Good use is made of technology in the PDF version, hyperlinking passing references to an NPC or something else to more copious details elsewhere as appropriate. The entire appearance is coherent and quite stylish, reflecting the setting well - even if the font has a slighly uneven quality that's a little unsettling.


It is a massive adventure, providing plenty of background and flavour as well as a compelling plotline, albeit a corpse-heavy one (and that's before your Acolytes start adding to the body-count!). The GM is well supported with options and advice, even down to how to bring in replacements should the party be unlucky enough to lose a member or two. Played through, this should be memorable to both Acolytes and their players alike. Some gods really ought to be forgotten!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Forgotten Gods
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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Game Master's Kit
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/21/2015 07:47:46

The Game Master's Kit consists of two components: a GM screen and a 32-page booklet which contains an adventure. A screen's a screen, right? This one has loads of useful combat charts on the GM's side and a sort of aerial view of a cityscape (Hive World, perhaps?) on the other side - not wildly exciting considering the scope of the setting, but reasonably fitting and not too distracting.


The adventure is called Desolation of the Dead, and follows on nicely from the one in the back of the core rulebook. It's set on Hive Desoleum and deals with corruption - and worse - amongst the Carrion Guilds (read: undertakers) in the depths of the most impoverished parts of the Hive. As you might expect, it begins with investigation - undercover is suggested but that's up to the Acolytes, however the denizens of these desolate deprived slums are none too keen on talking to anyone representing authority - and continues with a perilous journey to the prime suspect's lair with the likelihood of combat to thwart his evil schemes once they get there. There's plenty of opportunity for interaction and role-playing, with a lot of descriptive material to help the GM make it all come to life - reading it I can almost imagine the smells, fortunately there's no way to recreate those! There's some advice on how to keep the investigation flowing, but you will have to find your own way to ensure that enough clues are discovered to keep the Acolytes on track. Suggestions for follow-up adventures are included.


Even if you and your players do not fancy a squelch through the slime (it certainly doesn't present as a nice place to visit although it does sum up the underlying decay and foulness that pervades the Imperium well), the second part of the book may be of interest. It discusses the concept of the Nemesis, a recurring enemy who may be behind more than just the small-scale plots starting Acolytes deal with. There's often a sense of a lot more going on in the background, and this section discusses how to create the NPCs behind these vaster conspiracies, looking at who they might be, how they operate, and what their ultimate goals are... thoughts that could shape a series of adventures or even a whole campaign. Several samples are provided to use as is or as inspiration for your own creations.


The adventure is a bit linear, but exciting for all that provided the Acolytes can retain their lunches (perhaps writing the review whilst eating mine wasn't the best idea!) but the material about designing a nemesis and building a plot arc around him is excellent if you enjoy designing your own adventures.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Game Master's Kit
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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Core Rulebook
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/20/2015 12:51:23

Opening with a vivid and atmospheric piece of fiction that encapsulates the rich and ancient sweep of the Warhammer 40K setting, this is a revamp of the original Dark Heresy rules. The presentation, the artwork, mirrors this style well, combining to suck you in and want to know more...


When I say 'revamp' in some ways this is more of an augmentation. Many of the original rules pertaining to character generation and task resolution are little changed (if you own Dark Heresy 1e materials it will take little modification to use them with this ruleset), and new rules have been added to handle things like investigation, social interaction, and vehicle combat. However, it presumes nothing and opens with an overview of the universe in which this game is set, thus making it equally valuable to a newcomer to role-playing in the 41st century. An interesting feature is that this time, the default setting is a new sector, the Askellon Sector, rather than the Calixis Sector used in Dark Heresy 1e, so if you have been playing there you now have a whole new place to explore, with its own dark secrets to discover.


Introduction done and scene set, Chapter 1: Playing the Game explains the game mechanics, showing how characteristics and skills are brought together for task resolution. It's a good way of giving a feel for the game before players settle down to create their characters, giving them a solid grounding on which to base their choices. As Chapter 2: Character Creation comes next, they will be able to apply their knowledge straight away. Here you are led through the process step-by-step, with the options at each stage presented clearly. If reading the PDF version, hyperlinking has been implemented well to enable you to refer to apposite information quickly. As each option is explained, you also learn more about life and places in the 41st century, it's well worth reading the lot even if you have a clear idea of what sort of character you want to play before you start. The main choices are homeworld, background (what you did prior to becoming an Acolyte) and role (which is as much about how you see yourself, your approach to life, as it is a statement of what you do). All give various advantages and combine to create the character.


Whilst much of character creation is about making choices, there's an interesting twist in which a twist of destiny is added in by means of percentage dice. The result gives a 'prophecy' - couched in suitable terms - with an associated game mechanical effect, which may be beneficial or otherwise. Once you have a bunch of characters, it is time to establish them as a warband in service to an Inquisitor. You may choose to play out their initial assembly, or begin your game with the warband already established and comfortable with one another, having worked together for some time. It's likely that the GM has already designed the Inquisitor that they serve, but if not there is scope for collaboration here, and plenty of detail is provided about how to create (and run) an Inquisitor character. One day, those Acolytes who survive may aspire to such dizzy heights, after all.


Although the full character creation process is covered in Chapter 2, following chapters contain some essential details you will need when generating your character - the full skill list (Chapter 3: Skills), talents and traits (Chapter 4), equipment (Chapter 5: Armoury) and finally Chapter 6: Psychic Powers. They make interesting reading as well, with information on how to use them mechanically as well as in role-play, and continuing to build up the rich panoply that is the 41st century. Next comes that pivotal element of any game in Chapter 7: Combat. The nature of the setting is such that combat will be inevitable, so here the rules and options are explained. Mechanically-speaking combat is conducted in rounds with each participant having a turn to act, and certain actions which can be performed during that turn.


This is followed by Chapter 8: Narrative Tools. Here other aspects of the game, other things that will take place apart from brawls, are covered: social encounters, investigations, exploration, travel and more. It's a mix of description and rules material demonstrating what can be done and providing the necessary mechanics to moderate the outcome. There are some fascinating concepts here like influence and subtlety, how to use them and track them, a creative mix of role-play and mechanics to model all manner of interaction. Plenty of examples are provided to make everything clear. There's an extensive discussion of investigation and the investigative process, something likely to feature quite large in the adventures of a group of Acolytes who will be sent to find out what is going on and then deal with it a lot of the time. Fear, madness and other mental aberrations are also covered - much of what the Acolytes will have to deal with is by its very nature terrifying and mind-wrenchingly wrong. The operation of fate - which can become significant - and the sort of people that might be sent to reinforce a team of Acolytes as the need arises round out this chapter.


Next is Chapter 9: The Imperium and the Inquisition. This augments the information that has already been presented concerning the setting. There is a wealth of detail here depicting a rich, sweeping, ancient, decaying yet vigorous galaxy swarming with life, trapped in the grasp of the overarching Imperium. Those who have followed Warhammer 40K since its inception as a miniatures skirmish game will see much that is familiar, those who have arrived later will be fascinated by the depth and detail of the setting as told through the organisations and factions to be found there.


This is followed by greater scrutiny of the game's new home in Chapter 10: The Askellon Sector. History, worlds, and the people who dwell on them are laid out in dizzying detail, a ready-made backdrop for your adventures.


Then we reach the final portion of the book, which is the domain of the Game Master, and the GM alone. Of course, this makes the assumption that only one of your number will assume that mantle, although it does make sense that whoever will run the adventure at the end is the only person to read it beforehand! First up, Chapter 11: The Game Master provides all manner of useful help and advice to support whoever is running the game, from determining what sort of adventures to play to how to prepare for and run them. There's quite a lot on creating and playing the Inquisitor to whom the Acolytes answer and on running different aspects of the game, especially encounters with particular reference to those which end up in conflict. There are ideas on creating adventures and campaigns, and how to weaver ready-made adventures and your own designs into a coherent whole, and a lot about how to make an investigation work on the table-top. All good stuff, and worthy of study.


After Chapter 12: NPCs and Adversaries, which provides instruction on how to create your own as well as ready-made ones, the final chapter comprises an adventure, Dark Pursuits. Designed to introduce the core themes and concepts of the game, it involves a complex web of intrigue around the trade of items proscribed by Imperial law (and probably common sense) which the Acolytes must unpick. Whilst investigation is at its core, there is plenty of scope for action and it is written so that there are several routes to success, leaving the Acolytes feeling that their choices and actions really make a difference.


In this work, Dark Heresy comes of age in a stylish and robust game that should provide years of collaborative entertainment.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Core Rulebook
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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Game Master's Kit
by Roger (. L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/20/2015 02:13:40

Nachdem ich vor nicht allzu langer Zeit das Grundregelwerk der neuen Edition des bekannten Spiels getestet habe, lasse ich es mir natürlich nicht nehmen, auch das erste Zusatzprodukt zu testen.


Eins vorweg: Das GM-Kit liegt momentan nur in englischer Sprache vor. Deshalb habe ich an manchen Stellen sinnvolle Übersetzungen gemacht, an anderen habe ich den englischen Wortlaut übernommen. Der Anglizismen abgeneigte Leser möge mir also verzeihen.


Inhalt


Im Set enthalten sind ein edler Spielleiterschirm und ein Zusatzheft, welches neben einem Abenteuer noch einen kleinen Zusatzteil enthält.


Blickdichtes Leiten


Als erstes wollen wir einmal den Schirm begutachten. Das große Artwork zieht sich über die komplette Breite der Vorderseite und zeigt das Panorama einer Makropole – einer imperialen Mega-Stadt. Was ich allerdings etwas schade finde ist, dass das Motiv im Vergleich zu den Illustrationen des Grundregelwerkes eher schlicht und mit sehr geringer Detailschärfe ausgeführt wurde. Hier kommen wir zum ernsthaften Problem der PDF-Version: Das Format – eine Art abgesägtes DIN A4 – macht es unmöglich, die entsprechenden Seiten auszudrucken und in einen Universal-Spielleiterschirm einzulegen. Zudem würde man dann ja auch die vollformatige Illustration zerstückeln. Die Referenztabellen auf der Rückseite hingegen leisten auch als PDF gute Dienste und enthalten Informationen zu wichtigen Regeln, möglichen Aktionen, Probeerschwernissen, Waffen, Rüstungen und vielem mehr.


In den Schatten der Makropole


„Sag mal Chef, was hast du dir für das Abenteuer eigentlich als Thema vorgestellt?“ „Pff, keine Ahnung... aber mach es düster!“ „Düster oder so richtig düster?“ „So richtig, die Leute sollen ja schließlich gleich wissen, mit was für einem Setting sie es zu tun haben.“ „Alles klar, gib mir eine Woche Zeit.“


So, oder so ähnlich, könnte die Teambesprechung zum beiliegenden Abenteuer ausgesehen haben, denn man kann den Autoren definitiv nicht vorwerfen, an dunklen Farben, Verzweiflung, Leichen und Körperflüssigkeiten gespart zu haben. Vorweg muss ich lobend erwähnen, dass das Abenteuer mit dem malerischen Titel „Desolation of the Dead“ perfekt an das Einstiegsabenteuer aus dem Grundregelwerk anknüpft, aber auch problemlos losgelöst davon gespielt werden kann. Ich möchte euch nun einen kurzen Überblick über das Abenteuer geben und bemühe mich, nicht zu spoilern.


Zu Beginn werden die Charaktere (hier Akolyten genannt) durch eine Nachricht ihres Inquisitors auf einen neuen Fall angesetzt. Es handelt sich um ein besonders grausames Gemetzel, in dessen Ablauf wohl ein Xenos-Artefakt verwickelt ist. Also macht sich die Truppe in die Makropole Desoleum auf, genauer gesagt in den Stadtteil Gallowsway, der sehr weit unten in dem gigantischen Moloch liegt. Und wer sich mit Makropolen auskennt, der weiß, dass weiter unten automatisch schlimmer bedeutet. So befindet sich dieses reizende Viertel am untersten zivilisierten Rand der gigantischen Stadt und dient als Auffangbecken für die tausenden Leichen, die jeden Tag anfallen. Die Leichen werden dabei nicht nur nach Wertgegenständen abgesucht, sondern auch weiterverarbeitet. Zu was, überlasse ich gerne eurer Fantasie.


Die Akolyten sammeln also im ersten Teil des Abenteuers Informationen zu dem Vorfall, haben erste kurze Begegnungen mit ihren Widersachern und können Kontakte zu verschiedenen Fraktionen knüpfen. Mit allen Fraktionen wird man aber nicht auskommen, da sie untereinander stellenweise verfeindet sind und es möglich ist, dass eine Gruppe durch Verbindungen zu einer anderen nichts mit den Charakteren zu tun haben will. Nach einem abwechslungsreichen, kleinen Showdown konnten sich die Akolyten ein ungefähres Bild davon machen, mit wem sie es zu tun haben. Für weitere Informationen müssen sie allerdings noch tiefer in die Makropole hinabsteigen. Hier ist keine Ordnung mehr erkennbar, alles zerfällt und es herrscht das Recht des Stärkeren. Hier kommt es auch zu Ermittlungen und Verhandlungen, gefolgt von einem größeren Kampf, der den Bösewicht endgültig offenbart. Nach einer kurzen Ruhephase macht man sich also auf, den Boss umzuhauen, was sich im Vergleich zu den anderen, abwechslungsreichen Kämpfen schon fast als fade herausstellt.


Auch wenn vielleicht ein anderer Eindruck entstanden ist: Ich mag das Abenteuer, ich finde nur, dass man stellenweise etwas zu großzügig mit Dunkelheit und Schmutz war. Es gibt nur wenige festgelegte Handlungspunkte, alles dazwischen wird mit optionalen Begegnungen abgebildet, was den Spielern großen Handlungsfreiraum lässt.


Der Bösewicht-Baukasten


Das Zusatzheft enthält neben dem Abenteuer noch ein weiteres Kapitel, das ich persönlich sehr interessant finde. Hier bekommt man nämlich Tipps für den „Bau“ einer Nemesis. Eine solche ist - im Gegensatz zu kleineren Bösewichten - eine mächtige, dunkle und treibende Macht im Hintergrund, derer sich die Spieler vielleicht gar nicht bewusst sind. So können zum Beispiel in mehreren Abenteuern kleine Hinweise versteckt sein, dass es noch irgendwas geben muss, das über das hinausgeht, was die Akolyten bis jetzt erkannt haben. Wer die Ravenor-Romane von Dan Abnett gelesen hat, kennt mit der „Cognitae“ ein Beispiel für solch eine Nemesis: Ein Kult aus bestens ausgebildeten Agenten des Chaos, die der Inquisition in Sachen Kapital und Kontakten durchaus gefährlich werden können. Der Einsatz einer Nemesis macht es also möglich, scheinbar zusammenhanglose Abenteuer in einen gemeinsamen Kontext zu setzen – eine großartige Möglichkeit, wie ich finde.


Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis


Der Preis für die „haptisch greifbare“ Version liegt zwar im Vergleich zu anderen Spielleiterschirmen an der oberen Grenze, ist meiner Meinung nach aber dennoch gerechtfertigt. Eher abraten würde ich vom Kauf der PDF-Version, denn der Preis ist für ein kurzes Abenteuer und ein paar Referenztabellen dann doch etwas zu hoch.


Erscheinungsbild


Meine Meinung zum Spielleiterschirm selbst habe ich bereits weiter oben erläutert. Was das Zusatzheft betrifft, bin ich vor allem von der Anzahl und Qualität der (meisten) Illustrationen angetan. Trotz dem hohen Anteil an Verzierungen bleiben die Texte übersichtlich, einzig der auf verwittert und schmutzig getrimmte Hintergrund belastet die Augen etwas mehr als nötig. Über die Papierqualität kann ich leider keine Aussagen machen, da mir das Set nur als PDF vorliegt.


Fazit


Der Spielleiterschirm selbst erfüllt, nicht zuletzt dank der übersichtlichen und vollständigen Tabellen, absolut seinen Zweck. Lediglich die Illustration der Vorderseite finde ich persönlich etwas langweilig. Deshalb würde ich auch davon abraten, das Produkt als PDF zu kaufen, denn die Seiten des Schirmes passen leider in keinen gängigen Universal-Spielleiterschirm. Das Abenteuer ist solide, wenn auch manchmal etwas überzogen.


Hier weiß vor allem die modulare Einteilung zu gefallen, die nerviges Railroading unnötig macht. Das Zusatzkapitel schließlich bietet interessante Möglichkeiten, einen wirklich denkwürdigen und einzigartigen Antagonisten für die Spieler zu erschaffen. Alles in allem bin ich bis auf Kleinigkeiten sehr zufrieden mit dem GM-Kit.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Game Master's Kit
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Dark Heresy: Edge of Darkness (Quickstart)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/15/2015 08:52:13

Designed as a proper introduction to the Warhammer 40K setting of the Dark Heresy game, this can either be used as the opening adventure in a campaign with characters created using the core rulebook or as an extensive taster using the quickstart rules provided herein. It's not the short scenario so many offer, this is a full adventure that ought to take several sessions to complete. Both this adventure and the original demo adventure Shattered Hope, which was released in advance of the pulication of the core rulebook, work well to get a campaign going before playing the adventure in the core rulebook, Illuminations, or launching into your own scenarios. Indeed, it's possible to play both if you want.


It opens with some flavour text that gives an idea of the scale and style of the universe that is about to become your virtual reality, a sweep of rich grandeur with a hint of decay in which individuals do not matter - yet the actions of the Acolytes (the party) can make a profound difference. It sweeps swiftly on into the adventure introduction for the GM, noting that the adventure text contains plenty of hints and advice for novice GMs so that it should be easy to run for those new to GMing as well as to this particular game... and this is no idle boast, everything is explained clearly with tips on how to run the game as well as details of what is supposed to be going on.


The adventure itself comes in three parts, beginning with the Acolytes being instructed to investigate a murder... and whilst violent death is not unusual, bodies that show quite so much surgical tampering and illegal organ grafting are! The trick is to discover who is engaging in such heretical science without falling victim to them, of course. The Acolytes will have to delve into the dead man's life and past, and if successful their investigations will lead them to a confrontation with the rogue surgeon...


The main NPCs are introduced with neat pen-portraits that make it easy to play them, and the adventure itself is laid out clearly. Atmospheric descriptions abound, and - this being intended as an introduction to game mechanics as well as setting - opportunities to use the rules are signposted with notes on what needs to be done at each point. The investigation will lead them into an industrial 'hive' and the descriptions here paint a vivid picture of what the place is like, while the game notes allow the Acolytes to do pretty much whatever they please to further their investigation whilst giving the GM all the information he needs to accommodate their actions and provide them with the clues that they need. Again, once they find the villain's lair, it will be up to them how they deal with the situation. And, should they survive, there are notes on how best to further develop the adventure.


Appendices cover some quick-start rules for those who do not have the core rulebook, complete stats for all NPCs involved and a player handout. The rules are well explained, and this part could make a useful handout for new players who do not own the full rules. Six pre-generated characters are supposed to be available for download separately from the Fantasy Flight Games website - but if they were when this first came out in 2008 they aren't there now!


Overall, this gives an excellent impression of Dark Heresy and the adventure is a good one, mixing a lot of investigation with the opportunity for at least one good fight at the end. If pure combat is your thing you may find this a bit dull, but those who enjoy a mix of interaction and violence should be satisfied.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Edge of Darkness (Quickstart)
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