Daemons are entities of the warp, and are effectively extensions of their associated Chaos god. They are created at the whim of a Chaos god from a fraction of the god's own power. A daemon's appearance and character reflect the god's own nature.
Daemon Traditions and PracticesEdit
Daemon Traditions and Practices vary depending on which Chaos God spawned them, however one thing holds true, Daemons are all malicious towards Material beings. They may be coheresed into deals with mortals, but these deals always end up with one or more souls claimed by Chaos.
Sometimes legions of daemons will cross into the world, and through eldritch means they will avoid the instability that is normally a trait of their ilk. Sometimes, a lone or small group of daemons will receive appear in this manner, working with human cultists or playing out their schemes in the shadows of war.
In the early history of the galaxy, the powers of the warp had yet to form into distinct entities but rather the emotions of mortals flowed and ebbed as water does in a stream. As the mortal races grew and prospered, so did the strength of their emotions. Eventually the gods grew to such a point where they could act independently of the general flow of emotions and thus were formed with gods of Chaos. They reached into the dreams of mortals and demanded praise and servitude in order to increase their own power, as the more one emotion is exhibited (in both thought and action) the stronger that god becomes.
A daemon's appearance and character reflect the god's own nature.
| || || || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || || || |
Daemons are antagonists and as such would not normally have fate points. As a GM you may decide that a daemon is exalted by the god it serves: such favored daemons gain a number of Fate points.
- The fate points last for as long as it is manifest in realty (they do not refresh at the end of each session).
- These fate points be spent by the GM in the same way as Fate points used by Acolytes.
The number of fate points a daemon has is shown in the table that follows:
Allegiance replaces careers for daemons.
Khornate daemons are masters of close combat, with unholy strength and infernal toughness. However, they despise magic as cowardly, and eschew ranged combat for equal reasons. They exist only for combat, dedicating their very existence to spilling blood for their blood god and collecting skulls for his skull throne.
Awareness (Per), Psyniscience (Per), Speak Language (any one) (Int)
Melee Weapon Training (Primitive), Resistance (Psychic Powers), Frenzy
Great axe (1d10+S R; Pen 2; Unbalanced, Mono), Breastplate (AB: 5; Body)
Tzeetchian daemons are everchanging spawns of horror and sorcery, capable of using powerful psyker abilities to augment their schemes and plans as well as to blast their way out of situations with the raw stuff of chaos. With allegiance to the Grand Schemer, they are known for being well planned and well aware, often seeming to know things before they happen. They exist to further lengthy and complex schemes, either their own or those of their patron.
Awareness (Per), Psyniscience (Per), Logic (Int), Invocation (WP) Speak Language (any one) (Int)
Psy Rating 2, Sorceror (Pick 4 Major Arcana and Psychic Powers, Pick 6 Minor Arcana and Psychic Powers)
Slaaneshi daemons are usually hermaphroditic or androgynous, able to dish out equal parts sensual pleasure and eternal damnation. They inspire both fear and desire, as well as possessing dangerous and amazing knowledge granted from their patrons greatest servants, such as the Keepers of Secrets. They exist for the joys of excess and hedonism, as well as bringing the downfall and feasting on the souls who partake in such sin.
Awareness (Per), Charm (Fel) Psyniscience (Per), Performer (Musician), Speak Language (any one) (Int)
Decadence, Heightened Senses (Sight, Hearing, Smell), Sprint
Unnatural Agility (x2), Unnatural Senses (15m)
Nurglesque daemons are beings of despair and disease, plague ridden and bloated. They can take on bloated forms or even exist as pathogens with a true sentience of their own. Nearly impossible to destroy, they can keep on coming even after they should, beyond a doubt, be dead. They know no pain, and find joy only in spreading the gifts of their great Grandfather Nurgle across the stars.
Awareness (Per), Carouse (Tgh) Psyniscience (Per), Speak Language (any one) (Int)
Exotic Weapons Training (Toxic Blade), Iron Jaw
Unnatural Toughness (x2), Sturdy
Toxic Blade (1d10+SB R; Toxic)
Rare as they are powerful, Malalian daemons are strong because they must be. As aspects of their god, they embody Chaos' indiscriminate tendency of destruction, even against itself. Capable of slaying other daemons and absorbing their very essense, Malalian daemons are essentially impossible to find working with other spawn of Chaos except in the most extreme of circumstances.
The great undoer as he is named only exists to flaunt the plans of almost everything. He has been depicted in many forms, such as mutilated corrupt version of his enemies and an old decrepit man. Zuvassin has only a few cults and isn't known to actually fight.
The human race depicts him as a minor god, as he destroys the plans of fellow Chaos gods for no apparent reason.
Daemons of Hashut command the power of industry and fire, and while he remains a lesser compared to the more commonly worshiped deities, he still has his own followers and daemons who exist to spread his word. Bull-esque in image, they can command fire and the absolute loyality of their cultists who are most often found amongst Forge-Worlds, as well as sometimes amongst small cells of the few remaining Squats.
The daemons of lesser and barely known deities such as An'sl, Mo'rcck,and Phraz-Etar are varied, but generally are very similar to the near point of being indistinguishable from unaligned daemons
This is an alternate way to create daemon weapons for Dark Heresy. Also see the other article Daemon Weapons.
From The Path Less Travelled - Daemon Weapons in Dark Heresy Written by Philipp G. Kampmann
You have been told about the Inquisition. You have been told they are the heroic defenders of Mankind. You have been told they are staunch, unyielding and pure, ready to shield Mankind from any threat, from within, without or beyond. You have been told they are the most powerful of all men, because they alone are forever uncorrupted and faithful in His service. Everything you have been told is a lie. The Path Less Travelled
Do not dare to judge me or the methods I choose to employ, petty-minded fool! You can understand neither the magnitude of the task I have undertaken, nor the consequences should I fail.-Inquisitor Lichtenstein
In their battle against the threefold enemy of Man, there have always been those who chose to take a step further than their peers; those insane or headstrong enough to dare and go where no other had gone before; those willing to use the tools of the enemy.
And, in some cases, the tools of the Enemy.
In some cases, these were a majority: despite what some acolytes of Goldo would have us believe, the powers of the Immaterium can be – and indeed have been – harnessed for the good of Mankind. Psychic potential powers some of the foremost institutions of Mankind, such as the Astronomican, the Navis Nobilite and the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, and is a powerful tool for many an Inquisitor.
And thus, many wonder, why not take the next step? If the realm of the Enemy can be harnessed, why not the Enemy himself?
Such practice is, of course, highly controversial, to say the least. In fact, most Inquisitors who have attempted it met an untimely end at the blades of their former colleagues. However, this does not stop others from trying, and, when all is said and done, those Inquisitors using such methods are often highly effective. That is, before being declared Excommunicate Traitoris.
Daemon Weapons in Dark Heresy
A daemon weapon has two main components: the weapon and the daemon (surprise!).
The weapon must be a primitive close combat weapon (although the mono upgrade is allowed). Although exceptions to this – Khornate chain-axes, Kai Guns, and the like – are possible, these fall entirely under the GM’s purview. Daemon weapons are unbreakable by mundane means.
Binding the daemon is something outside the scope of this article (and anyway, I would rather leave this up to every individual daemon and GM), so I will concern myself merely with the results. The daemon within the weapon has one of six power levels. This indicates two things: First, the daemon’s Willpower (which will become important later), and second the number of special abilities it has. A power level of one indicates a daemonic beast, or maybe a securely bound servant, while a power level of six would be a just barely contained daemon prince.
|Willpower & Abilities||20 + 2D10; one ability||30 + 2D10; two abilities||40 + 2D10; three abilities||50 + 2D10; four abilities||60 + 2D10; five abilities||70 + 2D10; six abilities|
DISCLAIMER: I do not claim authorship the daemonic properties listed hereafter. They – as well as much of the overall inspiration – come from the (highly recommendable) Inquisitor game system. I merely adapted them to Dark Heresy.
Bound: The weapon is psychically bound to the wielder and will not leave him. He can call it to his hand with a free action (including the benefits of Quick Draw); he cannot be disarmed if he does not want to. However, every turn he is parted from the weapon, he must make a Willpower check (opposed with the weapon) or take one point of nonspecified damage.
Breathe: The weapon is connected to the nauseatingly sweet warp winds, feeding his wielder with the essence of the Immaterium. The wielder can breathe in any environment and is immune to poison gases.
Brain Leech: Seared in the flames of a thousand burning books, this weapon seeks to steal knowledge. Everyone hit by it must make an opposed Willpower check against the weapon or lose D10 Intelligence.
Corrupter: The blade has been consecrated on the altar plague to visit death and decay upon the living. Any time a living being gets hit by the weapon, it must pass a Toughness test every turn until made, each time failing taking one point of damage. If somebody gets hit while still infected, he takes a -5 penalty on the check.
Daemonbane: The demesne of an incredibly jealous daemon, this is a boon to all daemon-hunters. Whenever it hits a psyker or a daemon, it casts Banishment (to be found in this excellent article: Banishment Article on Dark Reign) – without taking damage from a failure, though.
Deathlust: This bloodthirsty incites the wielder to quench its unholy thirst as fast as possible. When it is drawn, the wielder immediately gains the benefits of the Frenzy talent (without having to spend a turn activating it) and the Furious Assault talent (if he already has Frenzy, the effects stack; those of Furious Assault obviously do not). So great is the rage of the bound daemon, however, that it will not be denied. As long as there are still living targets the character is aware of or knows exist nearby (remember: truth is subjective, making this quite dangerous for a delusional maniac to possess!), he must pass an opposed Willpower check against the blade to sheathe it. If he fails, he must attack them as fast as possible ( he can retry the check anytime, though).
Deflection: Literally faster than hell, this weapon will throw itself in the way of any ranged attack targeted at the wielder. While holding it, the wielder benefits from the Deflect Shot talent, except it applies to all ranged weapons that are not especially blessed in some way.
Enfeeble: This insidious daemon drinks the lifeforce of all it strikes. Everyone hit by it must make an opposed Willpower check against the weapon or lose D5 Toughness for the remainder until he is restored in a manner suitable to the GM (such as bathing in holy water).
Entrance: The supernatural, flickering light emanating from the weapon distracts those who would fight it. Every turn of combat, anyone wishing to attack the wielder must make a Willpower test opposed with the weapon or take a -10 penalty to Weapon Skill for the remainder of the turn.
Fiery Blast: Its connection to the Immaterium allows this daemon to spit multi-coloured bouts of warp-fire. The weapon may be used as a hand flamer a number of times per day equal to its Willpower modifier.
Flight: This weapon can be hurled, flying after its foes before returning to its wielder’s hand. When thrown, it works just like a spear, except it inflicts its own damage. It automatically returns to its wielder at the end of the next turn (unless it also has the Bound property).
Gnawing: Hungering for the flesh of the living, this daemon bites his way deeply into its victims. Its damage is increased by one point.
Lashing: Circumventing all in its way, this blade writhes like a snake, defying all laws of structural integrity, to get to its target. When attacking, it counts as having the Flexible quality.
Magic Absorption: Like a miniature warp-storm, this blade draws all psychic power to itself; whenever a psychic power is used directly on the wielder (by a friend, a foe or even by the wielder himself!), the user must make an opposed Willpower test against the blade. If failed, the psychic power simply fails to manifest.
Magic Power: Akin to the hallowed force weapons of the Imperium, this blade manifests its thrall’s psychic power whenever it hits. If the daemon succeeds on a Willpower test, the blade deals an additional D5 damage.
Mind Stealer: Doused in a thousand starving and tortured souls, this weapon leaves enemies disoriented and in the throes of ghostly screams. It gains the Shocking quality.
Resurrection: This unholy weapon feeds the wielder with vitality. As long as it is held, its wielder counts as having the Regeneration trait.
Screaming: Giving out long wails of pain, joy, rage, or ecstasy (or possibly all of them) when drawn, this weapon terrifies its foes. While held, it gives the wielder a Fear Rating of 2.
Warpflame: This burning sword can set enemies it hits on fire as a flamer.
Vampyre: The quintessential sould-drinking sword, this blade can reduce enemies to lifeless husks in a few blows. Everytime somebody is hit by it, he must make an opposed Willpower test against the blade or take a level of fatigue.
Level of DominanceEdit
When it’s all said and done, however, a daemon weapon is more than just a tool: it is a sentient and intelligent entity with highly nefarious goals. Of course, since most weapons, however powerful, are incapable of acting on their own, they achieve these goals by coercing their wielders into doing it for them. This is where the Level of Dominance comes in. A daemon weapon’s Level of Dominance is a gauge of how much power it exerts over its host. This depends on the two parties’ respective Willpower:
|The Daemon’s Willpower is…||Level of Dominance|
|up to half as high as the host’s||Slave: The daemon has no power whatsoever over the host. The host can enter telepathic contact at any time, and the daemon is forced to answer to the best of its ability. The host gains 1 Corruption point.|
|up to the host’s||Thrall: Incapable of directly influencing the host, the blade nonetheless has constant telepathic contact with the host. No supernatural power comes with this, and neither of the two is bound to react in any way to the other’s words. However, the host cannot break off the contact. The host gains 5 Corruption points*.|
|up to twice the host’s||Dangerous Ally: As above, except the daemon also has access to the host’s feelings and surface thoughts (but not the other way round!). Once per day, the daemon may make an opposed Willpower test against the wielder to force him to take a particular course of action. Also, he can propose (but not force upon) the host a dark pact of the GM’s choosing. The host gains 5 Corruption and 5 Insanity points*.|
|more than twice the host’s||Your Lord and Master: The host is a thrall to the whims of the daemons. Should a particular action go against his strongest beliefs, he may make an opposed Willpower test to avoid taking it, but otherwise, he does as the daemon bids. The host gains 10 Corruption and 10 Insanity points*.|
|*: Points of the same type overlap (do not stack).|
Now, characters in Dark Heresy are heroes, so they should be allowed at least a slim chance of prevailing against such artefacts of evil. Thus, they gain the following new uses for Fate Points:
- Using a Fate Point yields a character an automatic success (one degree) on an opposed Willpower test against a daemon weapon.
- If your weapon is Thrall or Dangerous Ally, using a Fate Point can cancel telepathic contact for d5 rounds, or force the daemon to answer truthfully for d5 rounds (choose one).
- Normally, as soon as a weapon is of a higher rank as Slave, it cannot simply be discarded; the emotional and psychic bond is too strong. Burning a Fate Point can allow for the separation from a daemon weapon.
PS: These rules were never meant for game balance; that’s why they don’t have price/availability tags attached to them. The fall solely under the GM’s purview, who is to use them at his discretion. Enjoy!
Credits go to the excellent Inquisitor game system from Ganatic Games, and the authors of the Daemonology article hosted on this site, Santiago and Thomas Torp