Shattered Hope Enemies

In my previous post about this front I described the general setting of the mission and the front I created for it. Now it’s time to write up the baddies that the Acolytes will probably run in to.

Groups, Intelligent, Organized
d8 damage, 6 HP, 1 armor
Weapons: One of Laspistol/Stub Revolver, one of Crowbar/Pickaxe/Wrench
Instinct: To upset the order

The Rebel exists already in Dungeon World, but it’s a horde there and in this setting they work in smaller groups. I’ve changed it to a group which ups the damage from d6 to d8 and the hp from 3 to 6.

Mutant Rebel

Mutant Rebel
Groups, Intelligent, Organized
d8 damage, 10 HP, 1 armor
Weapons: One of Laspistol/Stub Revolver, one of Crowbar/Pickaxe/Wrench
Mutation, choose one: Extra eyes, large eyes, scaled flesh, tentacle appendages, monstrous mouth, extra limbs

These particular members of the rebellion have undergone strange physical transformations that make them a blasphemous sight, and often a more vicious foe. Instinct: To upset the order, to corrupt the flesh

The Mutant Rebel is pretty simple, I’ve just taken the common rebel and added 4HP, as well as a list of mutations to pull from to describe them.


Mutant Guardsman
Solitary, Hand
d10 damage, 12 HP, 1 armor
Weapons: fists

This man was once a member of the Imperial Guard, but has been terribly warped by the power of the Antithesis Stone. He feasts on the corpses he finds, and makes new ones when he can.
Instinct: to feast on the dead

The stats for the Guardsman are just those of a solitary monster as per the Dungeon World rules. I was going to add some of the extras (damage, hp, tags, moves, etc) but really it’s a pretty basic enemy and doesn’t need anything more.

Mutant Abomination
Solitary, Reach, Forceful
d10+2 damage, 16 HP, 1 armor
Weapon: Jagged claws, fangs
Moves: Toss aside

This creature been tainted so severely that it is nearly unrecognisable as a former human. Its impossibly long arms each end in a single large jagged claw. Tufts of coarse fur emerge at various points on its body, particularly near its lamprey mouth. Instinct: to revel in slaughter

In terms of numbers this guy is the Mutant Guardsman with +2 damage, +4 HP and +1 armor. The real threat comes from its long arms which give it a much bigger range and the forceful tag, letting it knock the Acolytes around a bit.

Weak Plaguebearer
Solitary, Terrifying, Close
d10+2 damage, 18 HP, 2 armor
Weapon: Barbed long sword
Moves: Spew vitriol

This writhing mass of decay and malaise is weaker than most Plaguebearers, as it has only been partially summoned, but it is no less repulsive. Instinct: To spread rot

In my previous post I mentioned that I would let the Chaos god that the cult worships be found out during play, and let that dictate what type of daemon they fight. That’s just classic feature creep right there, so I’ve cut that back so I only have to make the Plaguebearer.

I’ve also developed a custom move to go along with the Plaguebearer.

Move: Nurglenomics
When a Plaguebearer deals damage to you, roll+CON. On a hit your body fights off the diseased essence of Nurgle. On a 10+ you steel yourself against the Plaguebearer and are no longer affected by this move. On a 6-you begin vomiting immediately, becoming vulnerable, and gain the Sick debility.

According to my googling I’m the first person to use this genius pun online.

In the original adventure it also explains that destroying the Antithesis Stone will send the Plaguebearer back into the warp. I’ve created another custom move for that scenario.

Move: Damage the Stone
When you attack the Antithesis Stone, roll+DEX if using a ranged weapon or roll+STR if attacking in melee. On a 10+ you hit the stone and deal 1 point of damage. On a 7-9 the same, but at a cost – the GM will tell you what. When the Stone has suffered 3 damage it shatters, sending the Plaguebearer hurtling back into the warp and ending its foul presence in this part of the mines.

Possible costs: Use more ammo, suffer Nurglenomics, have the Stone attempt to mutate them again, draw the attention of the Plaguebearer, damage a melee weapon

This custom move isn’t meant to be read out loud to the players, rather is should be discovered if they try to destroy the stone.

I have two people who are new to RPGs and very new to Warhammer 40k who I have started playtesting this with. I’ll be writing up my findings and notes on that once they’ve played a bit more of this front.

Starting the First Front: Shattered Hope

Most Dark Heresy adventures are much more linear than Dungeon World fronts, and have a far richer background of information that is predetermined. When it comes to fronts I’m either going to have to find a way to keep a good balance or just tip the scales in one direction or the other. I suspect I won’t have even a clue if it’s good until I can play test.

For now I think I’ll replace some of the lore aspects of the mission with questions either to be asked of the players at the start of the mission, or to be found out by both the GM and the players as play progresses.

This first front that I’m creating for Heresy World is a conversion of the Shattered Hope free demo that you can find at Fantasy Flight Games. It tells the tale of a group of Acolytes sent to investigate a mine that was sealed off by the Imperial Guard. The Guard was on the planet to quell a rebellion but something led them to seal off the entrance to the mine and call for the Inquisition.

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Assassin 1.0

Grendal: Dark Heresy Warhammer 40k Assassin by David-Kegg
Source: David-Kegg on DeviantArt

The Assassin has now reached playable status. Hurray! I’ve made a couple changes to the starting and advanced moves and then added the looks, gear, alignments, stats, and bonds. I’ll start by explaining some of the changes I made to the moves and then go into the rest of the class info.

The full text of the Assassin at time of this writing is on GitHub here.

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Arbitrator 1.0

Arbitrator by Corbella
Source: Corbella on Deviant Art

I’ve completed the first playable version of the Arbitrator. The starting moves from this post and the advanced moves from this post remain unchanged. I’ve added the stats, bonds, looks, starting gear, and alignments. You can see the Arbitrator 1.0 over here on GitHub, but I’ll post the additions below.

Keep in mind that since I’m only shooting for levels 1-5 for the MVP (minimum viable product), there are no advanced moves for levels 6-10 for the Arbitrator yet.

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Moving the GitHub Repos

I had initially written here that I would be storing the game information in a GitHub repo that incorporated a NodeJS website for display game data and a separate game_data folder with JS files for declaring the actual text of the game.

Screw that.

I’ve since moved the entire codebase to a new GitHub repo which you can find here. The game text is now written in simple markdown, and can easily be read straight off of GitHub. Anyone reading this can feel free to make suggestions for the project by making their own pull request.

The other system could still be implemented down the line, as the tooltips and data structure are quite useful. For now though it’s just a hindrance to writing the game. I find writing markdown easier, and I can make changes directly on GitHub’s website.

I’ve already made further changes to the game after copying over what I’d written on this blog. You can see the changes in this list of commits, but I’ll be writing about them in detail in future posts.

The Armory: Weapons, Armor, and Grenades

Items in Dark Heresy, and in most WH40k games and RPGs, are much more detailed and important to a character’s power level than items found in Dungeon World. I’d like to bring over some of the varying power levels of the weapons in 40K to Heresy World. This will require creating some new tags for weapons, especially ranged weapons.

Ranged weapons in Dungeon World are limited to virtually two things: pointy things you throw and pointy things you loose from a bow or crossbow. Warhammer 40K has many different traits to describe a ranged weapon. Does it scatter like a shotgun? Is it semi-automatic, full automatic or single shot? Does it shoot fire, melta blasts, plasma bursts, bolts, bullets, rockets, grenades, las fire? Is it reliable or does it overheat?

My initial list of weapons will be a simple conversion of the base list of weapons from Dungeon World with a handful of new weapons and new tags thrown in. This first batch should have enough weapons in it for players to pick their starting gear and get some upgraded versions that have more tags.

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Movin’ on Up: Some Arbitrator Advanced Moves

A while ago I posted the initial starting moves for the Arbitrator, which you can read in full here. For a brief recap here are the starting moves:

  • I Am Justice: tell an NPC to do something based on your authority
  • Detective: gives clue-finding abilities to your Discern Realities
  • Confessor: torture a captive to extract useful information
  • Take Them Alive!: forgo doing damage when attacking to attempt to subdue and capture your target

The goal for the first version of Heresy World is to have at least 20 advanced moves per class, with at least 10 available for levels 2-5 and at least 10 for levels 6-10. A lot of these can be pure number upgrades to other moves, but at least a few should introduce new mechanics.

Below I’ve written out some of the new first advanced moves for the Arbitrator.

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Evolution of a Move: “Bag of Grenades”

This post is about a couple of moves in development for the Guardsman revolving around grenades. The Guardsman is meant to be a sort of battle hardened explosives expert veteran, and I wanted him to be able to use grenades in a similar way to Adventuring Gear or Bag of Books in Dungeon World.

This “Bag of Grenades” type move, called Grab Grenade, exists based on the creation of another move: Throw Grenade. This move might go through some more iterations, but here are the first two versions of it I had:

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