A Return to Nerdery

Who am I kidding, I love this stuff!

Did I mention that I bought myself a copy of Fantasy Flight’s Warhammer 40k role playing game Dark Heresy for Christmas? Well, I did. So there 😀

I have a habit of collecting RPGs that I have no intention of actually running. I just find it really interesting to compare the mechanics, and also enjoy reading all the background material. And the 40K background material is always worth a gander (for those unfamiliar with 40k, TV Tropes provides an excellent and highly entertaining summary).

Overall Dark Heresy is a class production. I have managed to find a few problems with it however. Firstly the Character Creation section is a little sloppy. I had to poke around a fair bit to discover how skills work (and hence how to select them for your character) and I’m still not 100% on how experience is used to increase rank –  a problem I’m sure will be resolved once I find where they’ve hidden the relevant explanation.

Secondly, the map of the Calixis sector is dodgy. The different planet types are mostly indicated with coloured dots, some of which are so similar that you need to look really closely to tell the difference. Other planets have weird protrusions, the meaning of which seem highly inconsistent (is Scintilla a prison planet? I can’t tell!). The map is so confusing in fact that I had to create my own version.

Finally there are no rules for abhumans. This is a minor quibble really as modern 40k has all but eliminated them (often via oddly convenient tyranid hive fleets) but it’d be nice to have the option. Happily this hole has been plugged by a number of fan created rulesets such as this one from Postmortem Studios, although I note it doesn’t include Beastmen.

So I decided to create rules for Beastmen. Here we go.


Beastmen are the most bestial and inhuman type of abhuman. Their bodies combine the features of both human and animal, usually being horned, hoofed, and very hairy. Beastmen are much more variable in form than other abhuman types. They are considered abhumans rather than ordinary mutants however, as individual Beastmen conform to a general physical and genetic standard and are no more prone to further mutation than normal humans.

Beastmen who have been introduced into the Imperial cult possess a simple but fierce devotion to the Emperor, regarding him as a vengeful god who demands tribute in the form of the blood of his enemies. They are driven by the need to atone for the sin of being mutants by fighting for the Emperor.

Beastmen only come from Feral Worlds and receive the following traits (rather than the standard Feral World traits),

Iron Stomach – as on Page 15 of Rulebook
Primitive – as on Page 15 of Rulebook
Heightened Senses – as per the talent on page 117 of Rulebook
Ill Omened – as on page 22 of Rulebook, with the -5 fellowship penalty applying to non-beastmen

Characteristic Base Feral
Weapon Skill 2d10+ 20
Ballistic Skill 2d10+ 20
Strength 2d10+ 20
Toughness 2d10+ 25
Agility 2d10+ 25
Intelligence 2d10+ 20
Perception 2d10+ 20
Willpower 2d10+ 20
Fellowship 2d10+ 10

Beastmen are limited to the following Dark Heresy career paths: Guardsman, Scum


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