Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Dark Heresy - a one note campaign setting?

The wargaming roots of the Warhammer 40K universe doesn't seem to leave much room for characterisation and roleplaying opportunities. Everything seems to be 'KILL DEM ALL FOR DA EMPURRAH!!!' and it all seems to be black and white - humans against the galaxy. Well... maybe black and dark.

It took Captain Titus from the video game 'Space Marine' to make me wonder at the depth of humanity and the broadness of character an Adeptus Astartes could have, and I could totally see him as a character I could follow in stories and the like. Considering the bleak, nihilistic and severely limited tone of the setting, is it possible for players to create characters with emotion and character? Or is that a hangover I have from the wargame, that limited need for depth considering that what the writers and designers were writing about was groups of beings simply blowing the crap out of each other?

I love the 40K setting, I love the darkness and the gothic design. I can easily make the game my own and inject as much depth and emotion as I please, but the effectiveness of that will depend on how my players view the setting. Will they want to play depth, or just shoot stuff with their bolt pistols?

I think this is one of those settings that can really divide opinion on how it should be approached.