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Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs $39.95 $19.95
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Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
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Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/28/2015 09:00:54
If your objective is the prevention of heresy, it's worth while being sure about the truths you seek to protect. This work looks at the core faith of the Imperium: belief in the immortal God-Emperor. This is led by the Adeptus Ministorum, or Ecclesiarchy - the priests who minister to the faithful and spread the word across the galaxy. Whether you intend for the characters to interact with the faithful and their religious leaders or want to run a game in which they take on such positions themselves, there's a wealth of information here to get you started.

The first chapter, A Million Worlds, One Emperor, sets the scene. Starting with the basics, it discusses the Imperial Creed, looking at how it developed and how the faith operates today in the 41st century with particular attention to how it is organised in the Calixis Sector. In essence, it's quite reminiscent of the role played in mediaeval Europe by the Catholic church, not just providing a belief system but serving as a controlling force establishing order.

Next, Chapter 2: Paths of the Righteous provides the game mechanical information you'll need to run characters who are part of the Ecclesiarchy - everything from new homeworlds and backgrounds to new ranks to reflect the specialist careers available. There's more too, the different slants that various people take on the common faith and how they have formed factions and cults that each put their own spin on commonly-held beliefs.

Then Chapter 3: Brides of the Emperor presents the Adepta Sororitas, or Sisters of Battle. Some may have felt a lack of good opportunities for female characters so far in this game, here is a chance for them to come into their own. Here you can read about what they do, and find all the rules necessary to create a Sister character.

In Chapter 4: Faith and Fury there are rules and game mechanics aplenty to moderate how faith works within the game. For some people, you see, faith is so strong that it manifests itself in physical effects - in game terms, these individuals have the Pure Faith Talent and can access specific faith powers. There's overlap with material in other supplements, particularly The Inquisitor's Handbook, and if you are already using those you'll have to decide if you want to mix and match them with these rules, which have been designed as a stand-alone system. If you want both, don't worry, they willl work together.

Next, Chapter 5: Reliquary provides loads of weapons, armour and gear for Ecclesiarcy members... after all, they do say that when you go to preach, take a big cudgel! It's not just weapons, though there are some quite nasty ones, this section also has devotional books, religious trinkets and much more. Or perhaps a character wants his armour decorated with religious symbols? Then there are strange servitors and somewhat more normal retainers, and services that you may wish to purchase - such as a baptism or a blessing for a weapon or person. The chapter ends with a discussion of relics and their uses.

Finally, Chapter 6: Ecclesiarcy Campaigns has a wealth of information and ideas about how to weave Ecclesiarcy themes through your campaign, as well as several senior Ecclesiarcy figures in the Calixis Sector to use as allies or enemies to your party. Learn how to make faith an integral part of your game and devise encounters and adventures with a religious theme. Despite the game's name, there's more to it than chasing down heretics and beating off aliens!

A thought-provoking book that really brings home how pervasive faith is throughout the Imperium, it makes for good reading to understand the setting further, even if you do not choose to use the rules herein, preferring to stick to 'straight' Acolytes and Inquisitors.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Mario M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/15/2012 17:01:01
Great product. Good scan and indexing. The handbook is just fantastic! A lot of background and new careers. An hint for the game masters: don't let yourself be overcome by the power of the new careers and weapons. In a Dark Heresy campaign you have to reduce this things, or the other player (the ones with characters taken from the core rolebook) will be really disadvantaged! Instead you can give some extra equipment to the other PGs.
Anyway I love the first chapter, the one with all the background! And Faith and Fury, the one with the faith powers! I haven't already read the last chapter, with all the hints to play an Ecclesiarchy Campaign. It seems to be a great source of great ideas for roleplaying!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/10/2011 19:20:20
I know I review a lot of these books, but they’re just so good. Again, there is more information on the Warhammer 40K universe, specifically surrounding faith. This is a logical addition to the Dark Heresy line where characters work for an Inquisitor fighting against the heretics bent on undermining the God-Emperor’s rule. Running at almost 150 pages, the first third details faith in the Imperium with a history of the Imperial Creed and the many wars fought to continue its guidance (oppression).

The next several chapters are filled with the plethora of character options you have come to expect. There are new origin worlds, backgrounds, career ranks, etc. in the second chapter. The third gives a good summary of the Sisters of Battle and how you can create one for your Dark Heresy campaign. Then there are the two chapters giving new rules and powers for Faith and powerful religious artifacts and tools to combat Chaos and corruption.

The last chapter focuses on how to integrate the Ecclesiarchy into your campaign and includes NPCs from the Calixis Sector.

Overall, I think you’ve come to expect quality from Warhammer 40K expansions. This delivers as well as any of them. The fact that there are additional options for any character and then full sub-Sister of Battle options is pretty nice. The more zealous players should pick this up and really deliver the word of the God-Emperor right up Chaos’ . . . .

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/02/2011 23:38:36
‘Blood of Martyrs’ is an incredibly dense, yet truly brilliant sourcebook for the Ecclesiarchy. Whilst I read most sourcebooks for setting information, skim the game mechanics and take away the ‘dot points’ for future investigation, I found myself actually reading ‘Blood of Martyrs’ cover to cover. It really shows what a well-detailed universe 40K is, and how much background research Fantasy Flight has put into developing this book. On the flipside though, there is enough practical and historical information that even the most die-hard enthusiast will find something new.

The first chapter gives an overview of the history of the Ecclesiarchy from the rise of the Emperor to the ‘present day’ of the setting. Whilst the later section is primiarily geared towards the Calixis Sector, it covers general information such as the Horus Heresy, Vandire, the Imperials Creeds, Saints, Pilgrims and the Adeptus Sororitas (more on them later). The writing style is certainly not the dry, historical tones, and the sidebars offer interesting anecdotes or side notes to engage the reader.

Chapter 2 offers some new Homeworlds for character creation, and all align very well with the theme of the book – I felt that all were of equal worth with no wasted effort here. Likewise the new Career Ranks allow characters to put a distinct Ecclesiarchal bent on their Career Paths (such as Confessor, Frateris Militia and Redemptionist).

Chapter 3 was where my attention lingered. As an avid wargamer, I’ve been working on my witch Hunters army for a while now, and the Sisters of Battle have always had a special place in my heart. The entire chapter details the Sororitas, defines the Orders and outlines Career Paths to include this Adeptus in your game as playable characters. I felt that overall the Sisters will be a small step-up from your average character in Dark Heresy, but not so much that it will break your game. In fact, in a game centred on the Ecclesiarchy, I would name them a absolute must. By far, this was the standout chapter for me (but then, I’m somewhat biased in this regard). Game mechanics for using Faith in your game in Chapter 4, give way to the mandatory chapter on weapons and armour. Both chapters were interesting and the new rules do actually add a new dimension to your games. The rules on Faith were very straightforward and linked in to the new Homeworlds found in Chapter 2, which makes them immediately usable.

The book closes with a chapter on Ecclesiarchy Campaigns and as I have come to expect, this was brimming with story ideas and practical advice. There are plenty of methods described to showcase different facets of the Ecclesiarchy so that no two games need to be the same. The sense of scope was conveyed here too, and the reader is left a little in awe of an organisation (albeit fictional) that operates on such a grand scale.

Overall, a must-have for the Dark Heresy game, although I can see several uses for it in my Deathwatch game too – especially given the theological divergences of the Adeptus Astartes and the Ecclesiarchy as a whole. The artwork, as usual, is used with a good eye for enhancing the page, and the Career Path portraits are excellent.

Thought for the day:
++It is better to buy this and be illuminated, than blindly run ‘Dark Heresy’ without it++

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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