RPG: Dark Heresy v2.0 Announced!

Those wonderful folks over at Fantasy Flight have lifted the lid on the beta version of Dark Heresy 2.0

I’m a big fan of Dark Heresy. Its the second of Fantasy Flight’s 40K RPG’s I’ve played, and I much prefer it to the alternative.

With DH 2.0 Fantasy Flight is offering;

Streamlined skills that can be used with more than a single characteristic.
Fast and fun character creation, with exciting variety through combinations of home worlds, backgrounds, and roles for almost endless roleplaying possibilities.
The ability to play as an Inquisitor!
New rules for psychic powers, with each discipline gaining its own unique psychic phenomena table.
Talent trees that visually help players plan their character’s progression.
Combat mechanics that give more tactical flexibility and control over performing actions.
Damage and wound rules that make a character’s health something more than just a number, plus lots of great (and gory!) wound effect tables.
Vehicles and vehicle combat as an integral part of the core game.
Easier-to-use NPCs, each with a threat rating so that Game Masters can build suitably challenging encounters.
And much more!

As soon as I saw the beta was available for download I paid my £13 (or $20) to get my beta rules. The great thing is you can read them, submit official feedback and then get the money you paid taken off the full version.

I’ve skim read over the course of two hours the rules in the pdf. Its the same game, but with some radical differences in places

– Character Creation now has an additional step (roles) and some of the benefits are moved around. There’s also a new origin (Shrine World)
– Skill have been simplified, potentially too much. You know buy ranks in a skill group (such as Athletics or Medicae) and have several abilities that use that rank, that can use different characteristics. For instance Medicae gives you first aid in the field (now done on Agility for some reason) but it also gives extended care (Intelligence)
– Talents are now on unlock “trees” requiring you to have to previous to unlock the next ability. They’re also much more expensive (2-600EXP now)
– Weapons and Armour Degrades and needs repairing
– Pay, Thrones, Gelt, rarity and values  are all gone. If you want new equipment you roll for it. If you pass, you get it.
– Massive Vehicle use section. Nearly 20-30 pages of using a vehicle and vehicle combat
– Each Physic Power Class has its own Perils Table. Some of the perils effects are spectacular!
– 4 Actions a turn, not half actions and full actions. Different actions cost different numbers
– Dodge is not a “free” reaction. You have to save your Action points for it

But the biggest change is damage. You roll to hit and extent of your damage, and compare it to targets defence as normal. But now, you always cause one wound (although that can be a critical wound). For each wound add the damage you exceeded defence by to the cumulative score from other wounds on that area (+5 per wound) and compare the results to the new table. Damage can kill you slower, but it’ll do a lot more narrative damage to you over time

The changes are significant enough that I don’t know how easy it will be for an existing Acolyte Cell to just “move over” to the new rules. In some cases it may be necesary to start from scratch

You can find info on the DH Beta here. I’m interested in seeing how differently the game would play, but i’m not in a hurry to change versions yet. Any other role players out there? What are your thoughts?

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