House Rules

Character Creation:

-When creating a new Dark Heresy character (but not Rogue Trader or Deathwatch) and rolling for attributes, players roll 2D10 nine times and choose which results to apply to which attributes instead of rolling each attribute at a time and adding the scores. This way players will more likely have a higher score in attributes related to their class or in areas of personal interest. Note that with this method players do not have the option of choosing one attribute and re-rolling the result as described in the rulebooks.

- Regarding new characters in an existing campaign: If you choose to make a new character, either because you want to try a new character, don’t want to burn a Faith Point to save your character from death, or do not have the Fate Points to save your character, then you can either make a Rank 4 DH character (starting at 3,000XP) or a Rank 1 RT character starting at 5,000XP). In either case you will receive a bonus of 200XP per Rank over Rank 4 achieved by your old character as well as a bonus Fate Point to your starting Fate Points roll (up to a max of 5). Note that RT characters start out a little more powerful than DH ones but take longer to go up in level, but on the flip side DH characters will Rank up faster and usually have more of a Talent/Skill set.

-The revised Expanded Rank Advance Table (Ascension book pg. 10) is used for advancing Dark Heresy Characters.

- Only Human (Maximum Wounds): The maximum number of wounds allowed to a non-Space Marine character is 25.

Weapons & Combat:

- Fire Bombs: There are two types of Fire Bombs with almost the exact same stats- one is Primitive damage (the common ones listed in the book) and the other is non-Primitive damage (change Availability Rating to Rare with a higher cost)- think Molotov Cocktail vs. a mini-napalm grenade.

-Shock Weapons: In order to make Shock weapons a little more appealing and effective in the game (right now they are pretty much worthless against anyone with armor on) I am amending the rules that you only get the Armor bonus to save against Shock quality off of whatever Armor Points you have remaining after the Shock weapon’s Pen value.

-Shotgun Damage: Shotguns will be played as written with every two degrees of success in Point Blank range causing an additional hit (these additional hits can be Dodged per dodging semi/full auto attacks). Also note that these, and any other Point Blank shot from a weapon with the Scatter quality, will be at +3 damage.

- Quick Draw: As written, Pistol, Basic and one-handed melee weapons, with the exceptions that Unwieldly, Unbalanced and melee weapons listed as two-handed, cannot be quick-drawn.

-Accurate Weapons: Weapons with the Accurate quality will be used as described in the RT rulebook. This means that all Accurate weapons gain +10 bonus to BS when used with the Aim action but only single shot Basic weapons get the potential extra damage (but see below).

-Bracing: I am really having a hard time buying this Quick Draw, Aim, and Snipe action. As a compromise a hybrid rule on the Brace Heavy Weapon rule found in the RT rulebook (pg. 238) will apply to Accurate Basic-class weapons. To summarize, a character can still Quick Draw, Aim and Shoot his sniper rifle and gain the extra damage but takes a -30 BS penalty because the weapon is not Braced. In order to offset this penalty, the Basic Accurate weapon is treated as a Heavy Weapon and if properly Braced (Half Action) then the penalty does not apply. This means that “sniping” is more realistically done effectively when the time is taken to steady a rifle and line up a shot but the option to “snipe” is still available (dice willing) without Bracing.

-Charging: The rules state you must charge in a straight line at least four meters to “Charge” a target. In order to “Charge” you must have line of sight to your intended target at the start of the Charge and you must take the shortest open path to the target. If these conditions do not exist, the best you can do is Half Action Move and Half Action Attack.

- Full Auto: I will be using the RT rules and they are much the same with the exception that as part of your Full Action of shooting you may also choose to move up to your Agility Bonus in meters but do not gain the +20% Bonus and actually have a -10% Penalty to shooting. Note that movement can only be done if you are using Pistol or Basic class weapons.

- Semi-Auto: As above but if you choose to move while semi-auto shooting you gain no bonuses or penalty to the BS test.

-Reload times will be per the times found in the Rogue Trader and Deathwatch main rulebooks. Check these books to ensure you have the proper times listed as those in the earlier prints of the Dark Heresy main rulebook are different.

-Dodging and Parrying Reactions: After reviewing several debates and rulings and clarifications by FFG Staff, the following House Rule concerning Dodge and Parry Reactions is in effect: A character can dodge or parry (as appropriate) any melee or ranged attack as long as they have Reaction Actions available to them. This includes the dodging of attacks from Counter-Attack, and psychic attacks, such as Holocaust, Force Bolts, etc. (note that psychic powers that give an opponent the ability to negate their power through opposed tests, such as Dominate, cannot be dodged or parried but use the opposed test as the method of evading them). Also note, that this does not include Free Attacks from running away/through opponents.

-This will be mostly for Tech-Priests, like Vern, but may affect others with the appropriate skill: A character with the Secret Tongue: Tech (or Tech-Lingua as it is called in Rogue Trader) may attempt to hack into and take over Servitors using this skill as a Full Action. The Test will be modified by Binary Chatter as well as modifiers due to the programming and security protocols of the Servitor. Note that some Servitors may not be hacked due to extensive shielding or warp-taint, or may be too primitive and therefore lack the hardware needed to receive the hacking attempt (such as on a semi-developed world Vern would not be able to hack a Roomba (for those that know what that is) because the programming is too primitive. The character can attempt to hack into Servitors within his Intelligence bonus X 2 in meters. This ability does not work on hacking Tech-Priests and similar characters but can be used to communicate voicelessly with them.

-Thunder Hammers for the various systems are stated as written but become two-handed when wielded by anyone not in Terminator Armor. In addition, all Ommisah Axes are stated as written but are two-handed.

- In order to offset some of the power of storm shields (and any other item that create a protective field that can deflect damage) The following house rule is in effect: if you are using one of these types of items you must choose to Dodge prior to resolving the field’s protection effect. For example, your Marine gets targeted by a battle cannon- he would try to jump out of the line of fire and not take the hit compared to standing there to see if the power field works then jump out of the way should it fail (seems too late by then). If you decide to Dodge, regardless of the outcome of the field’s protection, you have used one Reaction. Also note, Storm Shields may not be used to block attacks from hordes (there are just too many incoming attacks to work out the effects).

Starship Combat:

- Crew Actions: In addition to the Movement and Shooting Actions a starship does in combat, the remaining PCs and NPC crew may only perform a number of Extended Actions equal to the first number of their Crew Rating (i.e. a Crack Crew with a Crew Rating of 40 may perform a total of 4 extra Actions). This is to keep the process simple and to award an advantage to better trained/ran ship crews.

Skill Bonuses & Modifiers:

- I will be using the RT Skill Modifiers which basically range from +60 to -60 on skill checks (DH ranges from +30 to -30). Note that these are also the min. & max penalties and bonuses that can be given to a skill after accounting for all of the bonuses and penalties involved. Also, I’m not sure if this is the way it is done in DH (though I don’t remember us doing it this way) but I am going to incorporate this from RT. If you have the same skill as another character (either as Basic or Trained) you can assist them in making a Skill check (as long as it meets the conditions found on DH pg. 185) and the Acolyte with the highest Skill Level gets +10 from the assisting Acolyte. Furthermore, if this test succeeds then the skill is counted as being passed with one extra degree of success. Up to two Acolytes can assist another but only one extra degree of success is granted, not two.

- In order to give some chance of failure (especially when characters get so many bonuses to Skill tests that failure would not be possible), I am making a House Rule that a roll of 96% or more (after modifiers) is a failure.

- Note that there is a House Rule in effect that a Skill Check cannot have a combined Equipment bonus of more than +30.

Chem-Use House Rules:

- After skimming the various rules regarding Chem-Use and Injectors, I have decided to employ the following House Rules governing this Skill. Chem-Use will be a Basic (Untrained) Skill that everyone can use, but the Basic Skill will only allow you the ability to use Injectors (you will not be able to identify and prepare chemicals, poisons, toxins and such and must be Trained in the Chem-Use skill to do so). With this clarification, everyone that is interested in using recreational and combat drugs can use Injectors though if you are not trained in Chem-Use then it takes a Full Action to use an Injector. Those that are Trained in the Chem-Use Skill can use the skill as described in the book and if they use an Injector or narthecium then this is only a Half Action.

Psychic Powers:

-Untouchable: In addition to the effects that are listed in the Dark Heresy: Radical’s Handbook, they also gain the ability to lower a Psyker’s Psy Level by 5 when the Untouchable is within 5m as listed in the Rogue Trader Main Rulebook. Note that a psyker must have a Psy Rating of 1 to be able attempt a power (those with lower than 1 can Push their power to gain a Psy Level of 1 or higher).

- A hybrid system (combining DH and RT) for Psychic Powers will be used in the campaign. Though some of the rules might seem a little harsh, they were made for balance after a few past episodes with psykers being exploited to super powerful heights. In addition, they also minimize the chance for party/player-kill by Perils of the Warp rolls:

I use the RT system of Fettered, Unfettered and Pushing for using psychic powers. When converting DH powers to the system, you take the Threshold of the power and divide it by 4 (rounding up). For each division by 4 the psyker decreases his/her willpower Focus Power check (not his/her Psy Rating) by 5. If there is an equivalent RT power for the DH being used then the RT power will be used instead.

Where damage is listed as + Willpower Bonus change this to + Psy Rating (for example if a power states it does 1d10+1 per Willpower Bonus, change this to 1d10+1 per Psy Rating.

If a power lists an Overbleed effect, then treat this as degrees of success with each degree of success as an Overbleed equivalent.

Basically, higher Willpower gives a better chance for a Psychic Power to activate and higher Psy Rating assists in the power going off and gives additional damage and sometimes range.
An Untouchable within 5m of a psyker will lower the psyker’s Psy Rating by 5.

Example 1:
Borat (a Sanctioned Psyker with a Psy Rating of 5 and a Willpower of 50) wants to use Fire Storm against a group of Chaos Cultists advancing toward his Acolyte party.
Because the Fire Storm’s Threshold is 16, you divide that number by 4= 4 and then multiple by 5= 20. Twenty is then subtracted from the psyker’s WP of 50 =30. Borat decides to push the power by 3 Psy Levels, which provides him with a bonus of 15 to his normal Unfettered bonus of +25.
Using these numbers, Borat’s final roll needed on his Focus Power is 50 (Willpower) – 20 (the Threshold) + 40 (his Unfettered and Pushed Willpower bonus)= 70. Borat rolls a 35 which means that he is successful and gets three degree of success (which is equivalent to three Overbleed results which grants him an additional 3d10 points of damage. So the Fire Storm does 4d10
5 damage to the cultists, and potentially sets them on fire.

Using the same power with an Untouchable next to Borat would mean that he would have to Push 3 Psy Ratings (giving him a Psy Rating of 8) and then subtract 5 Psy Ratings for the Untouchable bringing Borat to a Psy Rating of 3. In order to trigger the same power under these conditions Borat would need to roll 45 or under (WP 50+ 15 bonus Push modifiers – 20 Threshold modifier). Note that Borat would have to Push to use this power as this is the only way he would have at least 1 Psy Rating at his disposal after taking into account the Untouchables influence. Also note that just because the Psyker was able to Push and get the power off, it will affect the non-Untouchables normally but still does not effect the Untouchable so more conventional means will have to be used if a psyker fights an Untouchable.

Example 2:
Borat is now in melee combat with the remaining cultists. He decides to use his Psychic Blade ability (Threshold 19). 19 (20 rounding up) divided by 4= 5 and multiplied by 5=25.
Borat decides to Push his power by 3 Psy Levels (15) and his final Focus Roll needed (after taking into account Threshold) is 65. Borat rolls a 35 and is successful.
On a successful hit with the Psychic Blade, Borat does 1d10 Rending Damage plus 2 additional points per Psy Level (not Willpower Bonus as the book says) but remember to take into account that Borat Pushed the power so the additional damage is 2 x 5 (his normal Psy Rating)= 10
6 (his Pushed Psy Ratings)=16. In addition, Borat’s Psychic Blade has a Penetration of 16 (double Psy Rating used).I will be using the psychic power rules found in Rogue Trader as I think the DH ones can become a little too powerful (this works two ways- for the good guys and the bad guys) and I think that the RT version is a bit more balanced.

Fate Points (Spending & Burning):

-Controlling Your Destiny (Maximum Fate): The maximum number of Fate Points that a character can have at any one time is 5.

- In regards to Fate Burning. I allow Players to Burn a Fate point to prevent any permanent condition, including death. Other examples include: Scott’s character Strang burned a fate point so his character did not contract Nurgle’s Rot, my brother’s character Jonas burned one to prevent getting that Ashen Tastes malignancy and Philip’s Tech-Priest has burned one to prevent permanent Will Power damage.

-Squad Cohesion (Official from Errata): A player may spend a Fate Point to gain a point of Squad Cohesion (the Point must be specifically spent for this purpose and Fate Points spent on other bonuses no longer add to Squad Cohesion).

House Rules for Drinking Alcohol

- Here are the House Rules for drinking alcohol in DH/RT/DW which is a hybrid of the rules found in the DH and Warhammer: Fantasy rulebooks. Each character can drink a number of standard drinks (shots, glasses, and mugs) equal to their Toughness bonus and remain relatively sober. For each additional drink quaffed over this bonus you must make a Carouse Test (basic skill for everyone tested at half Toughness unless you are Trained in Carouse, which allows you to test at Full Toughness). Note that some particularly potent spirits may have further penalties.

On a successful test, the alcohol does not have any effect. On a failed test however, you start down the path to drunkenness. Each failed Carouse test increases the difficulty of all WS, BS, Ag, Int and further Carouse tests by -10% that is cumulative with each additional failure.

If you fail four or more Toughness Tests, you are now Stinking Drunk. Being stinking drunk, you must spend a Half Action each round to keep your bearings. If you opt not to take this Half Action, roll 1d100 and consult the following table:

Roll and Effect:
• 01-30 “I’ve only had a few beers, officer…”: No effect, you can act normally, albeit with a -30% penalty to your WS, BS, Ag and Int.
• 31-40 “I feel…unusual”: Confused, you may move at half your normal rate but otherwise can take no action.
• 41-50 “You’re my besht mate”: Disorientated, you’re vaguely aware of what’s going on, and may defend yourself and move at normal rates. Psychic powers generate Perils of the Warp on rolls of 7, 8, 9 and 10 (40% of the time) – your mind is unguarded for the most part and a tempting target for warp predators.
• 51-60 “Are you lookin’ at my Squat?”: Dull-witted, you function normally, but the number of melee attacks you can do is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 1).
• 61-70 “I’ll take you all on…”: Confused but resolute, you’re not sure what’s going on, and lash out randomly, either verbally if not in combat, or with a weapon at friend or foe (whoever is closest).
• 71-00 “Sleep…now”: You pass out in a pool of your own vomit for 1d10 hours or until someone wakes you (you must make a -20 Willpower Test).

The effects of alcohol fade after a number of hours equal to 1D10-your Toughness bonus (minimum of 1 hour). If you are Stinking Drunk, the effects end after 1D10 (minimum of 4) hours.

House Rules

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