Everything You Knew Was A Lie
Greetings, Dark Heresy fans!
Ross Watson here; I’m extremely pleased to begin talking about Ascension—a 256-page sourcebook that takes your Dark Heresy campaign to a whole new tier of power and intrigue. In Ascension, your Acolytes become Throne Agents; they are no longer pawns, but rather, they can change the very nature of the contest.
The Left Hand of the Emperor
As the lead developer for Ascension, I had some specific goals in mind when I crafted the vision for this book. I worked closely with Managing Developer Michael Hurley and Games Workshop to help craft Ascension’s broad scope, intricate mechanics, and details about the Inquisition and the Calixis Sector. I assembled a crack team of designers, including some exceptionally gifted wordsmiths of the 41st Millennium: Andy Hoare, Sam Stewart, John French and Alan Bligh, and Owen Barnes. Under the banner of our codename, “Project Rose,” we went forward with a plan to create the most important release for the Dark Heresy line since the core rulebook.
One of my driving goals was to fulfill the promise of Dark Heresy’s venture into the Inquisition. I wanted to bring in elements from the inspirations for the Dark Heresy line, such as the Inquisition miniature game and the Eisenhorn and Ravenor novels by Dan Abnett. My vision of Ascension shifts the game from investigating a single cult and instead “zooms out” a bit, involving multi-system conspiracies and the politics of the Inquisition itself. Once you take on the role of a pivotal member of the Inquisition, you tend to garner a lot of attention...and a lot of enemies! Different factions and rivals are sure to get involved with your investigation as friends and foes (and sometimes both at the same time!).
So, what will you find inside Ascension?
This book is chock-full of material to enhance your Dark Heresy campaign, including a lot of new additional rules, new ways to use Fate Points, an expanded Rank structure, a new approach to psychic powers, and a system named Influence that puts your characters at the center of your own operations, able to muster the resources of entire worlds to your authority.
Other chapters provide a selection of 12 all-new full Careers, including the ability to directly take on the role of an Inquisitor! Other options involve Careers known as Throne Agents—a step above Acolytes in both power and responsibility. Among their ranks are the Hierophant, Primaris Psyker, and Adeptus Arbites Judge just to name a few...
Later sections delve into the secrets of the Inquisition and how it operates within the Imperium of Mankind. There is a focus on the place of an Inquisitor as a peer of the Imperium, the power of Inquisitor Lords, and the nature of the Ordos.
One of my favorite sections of the book details the challenges faced by a Game Master running an ascended game of Dark Heresy. How to deal with issues of player-character authority within the game universe, as well as advice on creating wide-ranging threats and running long-term ascended campaigns are all discussed in detail.
Ascension also includes a complete adventure designed for ascended play. Murder comes to the great temple Aleph on Malfi during the investiture of a senior priest of the Ecclesiarchy. With power, wealth, and treachery in abundance, the Inquisitor and Throne Agents must find a way out of the maze of lies and blood. If they find the truth, do they let it be known—or substitute their own?
I’ve given you a pretty good overview of the book for this week, but don’t despair! I plan to go into more detail about the book in future designer diaries...and provide some tasty previews of the contents! I may even be able to provide some choice extras along the way...stay tuned!
The Next Step
Although I am very proud and excited to talk about Ascension, there are even more impressive books for the Dark Heresy line planned for the rest of this year and beyond! 2010 is going to be a good year for Dark Heresy, and I’m really looking forward to being able to tell you more about all the great books we are working on here at the Fantasy Flight Games RPG department. As always, keep checking the website for new information, and may the light of the Golden Throne guide your way!
Dark Heresy is a roleplaying game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, a setting in the grim darkness of the far future. Players take on the roles of Acolytes serving the Inquisition, rooting out heresy and corruption from within the galaxy-spanning Imperium of Man.