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Dark Heresy: Church of the Damned $24.95 $12.50
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Dark Heresy: Church of the Damned
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Dark Heresy: Church of the Damned
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/01/2015 08:21:02
This adventure is the second part of The Apostasy Gambit trilogy, which pits Acolytes against a conspiracy buried deep within the Imperial Church. If you have already played the first part, The Black Sepulcher, the Acolytes should have discovered that the next stage in uncovering this conspiracy is to investigate a very senior churchman, but if you haven't and do not intend to other ways of presenting them with the information that they need are provided. The adventure will take them to some fascinating (and, of course, dangerous) places, and involves both investigation and combat aplenty. They'll need to poke around a cathedral (another cathedral if you've already played The Black Sepulcher!), an underground complex and a spaceship out in the black before everything comes to a climax in a tomb...

The adventure breaks down into three phases. The first seems straightforwards enough, checking up on that senior clergyman by visiting his cathedral, ostensibly to look at relics. This bit is quite free-form, with the Acolytes able to explore the place as they see fit and hopefully gaining the information that they need.

Things then get a bit more hairy, as their investigations lead them to an underhive swarming with rival gangs. Bloodshed will be inevitable as they seek the person they need to speak with, although again this part of the adventure is free-form, letting the Acolytes handle the situation as they see fit as they roam the subterranean setting.

Once they have gleaned the final piece of information that they need, the final part of the adventure involves a space voyage to visit the tomb of a saint... and that's when all hell really breaks loose. The adventure is quite dangerous, so notes are provided on how to work replacement characters into the story at various points.

Throughout, evocative and atmospheric descriptions are provided for the places to be visited and the people to be encountered there, with many individuals receiving detailed write-ups so that you can play them convincingly as they interact with the Acolytes. The vivid richness of it all makes locations and inhabitants really come alive. There are also trouble-shooting notes to help you keep things on track - there's a lot for the Acolytes to find out including several crucial clues along the way that they need to discover to reach the next stage of the adventure, so hints as to how to deal with them missing them are useful! Likewise, events in the underhive culminate in a massive pitched battle and there is good guidance on how to control this and deal with all possible outcomes.

Overall, this is another exciting adventure that should grab your players' imaginations, thrusting their characters deep into the intrigues and violence that hover around the Imperial Church and the work of the Inquisition.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Church of the Damned
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Nearly e. D. P. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/27/2011 18:19:14
Church of the Damned is the second book of the The Apostasy Gambit campaign and a follow up to the first book, The Black Sepulchre. The book promises to have something for every player, whether that is all-action guns blazing, or mystery and intrigue.

To be fair, there are small spoilers, so I suggest if you want a summary - skip to the last paragraph!

The book is split up into three separate stories - that weave together into one module. The first chapter starts you in a cathedral with a non-linear exploration and investigation part into the duties of the Ecclesiarchy. All the little details are there from holy scriptures into what Sisters of Battle do when they aren't blasting their enemies to shreds. The second chapter has you involved in the underhive and gang wars which will give your players they action they crave. Finally in the third chapter it has you making your way to a Shrine world where all hell, literally, breaks loose.

As would be expected from Fantasy Flight, the production values are excellent. The artwork is stunning and the book style really hits home the 40k universe. At the end of each chapter is the infinitely helpful "troubleshooting" section which can help a GM think of a way to deal with potential problem scenarios. At the beginning there is also a detailed GM brief to help give an overview of what is going on.

Obviously it would be best if you have played the first module before this one, but it isn't difficult to take this as a standalone adventure if you so want. It is a great little story and I heartily recommend it. There really is something for every type of acolyte and the twist in the plot really is a great idea. This certainly gets 5/5 from me.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Church of the Damned
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/23/2011 17:20:01
‘Church of the Damned’ is a very strong follow-up to ‘The Black Sepulchre’ and proves without a doubt that sequels can be as good as the first instalment. It offers from the outset a promise that there will be something for everyone, whether you like action, mystery or simply just immersing yourself in the creepy horror that is the forty-first millennium.

It shares the same format as ‘The Black Sepulchre’, offering three interlocking stories. What is very appealing about this is that the authors have taken great care in making each adventure a distinct, unique experience, and have utilised the backdrop of the 40K universe effectively for this purpose. The first adventure takes place in a cathedral and offers insight into the daily workings of the Ecclesiarchy from sermons, holy texts, relic authentication and the medicae (including treatments for ailments of the mind, body and soul). The second moves to Gunmetal City and a tromp through the Underhive in pursuit of the less than salubrious elements of society. The adventure wraps up with a visit to a Shrine World where the level of blasphemy has been ‘turned up to eleven’.

As you can well imagine, the product delivers on its’ promise to offer all characters a chance to shine, but it was the little details that really made this a joy to read. Snippets of information about the daily duties of the Sisters of Battle, odd currency systems in the Underhive and even artwork which reflects the current range of Games Workshop miniatures (like the Skyshield platform just visible on p. 52) show that the authors are just as enthusiastic as the players in creating a believable, faithful world. The player handouts in the Appendix are excellent props and care has obviously been taken to make each look authentic – print these in colour for your players (accept no black and white substitutes).

I really can’t fault this product in terms of content, art direction and layout. The production values are high; but I would have liked to have seen the internal links to chapters and pages that have been evident in other FFG products. This is, however, a minor flaw in an otherwise perfect product. I’ll be eagerly awaiting part three to see how this all ends (which will hopefully be with a bang, and lots of fire).

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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