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Warhammer 40,000 tabletop RPG Imperium Maledictum will shed spotlight on smaller heroes

Citizens, not Space Marines.

Image credit: Cubicle 7

Ever look at the Warhammer 40,000 universe and think, ‘I’d like to be one of the normal folks just waking up and thanking the emperor for another normal day in fascist space future’? A new tabletop RPG from the publisher behind Age of Sigmar: Soulbound and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay will empower those exact stories.

Warhammer 40,000: Imperium Maledictum, which was announced August 8th by Cubicle 7, will let groups explore that vast and constantly deadly universe not from the vantage of blue armour-clad Space Marines but the more easily killable citizen soldiers of the Imperium. The publisher explicitly says the game is a spiritual successor of an older TRPG, Dark Heresy, which was originally developed by Games Workshop’s in-house roleplay team known as Black Industries.

Adventures will be structured around “investigations and intrigue”, according to the announcement, instead of the party running and gunning their ways through Chaos Daemons or Tyranids. Each group will answer to a patron, a powerful and likely well-known figure in the Warhammer 40k lore, and much of their actions within each play session will be structured by that figure’s agenda and broad goals.

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How well the players conduct themselves will open new doors and expand their resources within the Imperium’s naturally suspicious and cutthroat high society. When coercion or bribing fails, the group can always invoke the name of their patron directly as a cudgel against stubborn problems. This may backfire or draw unintended consequences - certain figures will not appreciate players’ dependence or the attention it fixes upon their patron.

The core rulebook will explain the rules and mechanics, as well as detail the Macharian Sector, which acts as the initial setting for campaigns within Imperium Maledictum. A list of patrons will be included alongside plenty of potential foes. The factions vying for influence with Lord Solar Macharius, such as the Inquisition or the Ecclesiarchy, will get heavy mentions, but Cubicle 7 said it plans to delve deep into each via separate books coming sometime after the main RPG’s launch.

The system powering these stories will broadly keep the d100 system of Dark Heresy, but Cubicle 7 will apply some heavy updates to bring it in line with contemporary play sensibilities. The publisher remains a bit shy on the finer details, along with release dates, but Polygon wrote that the core book and GM screen, along with a boxed starter set will launch in the fall, at the earliest. Polygon also reported that the publisher will not be including adventures, even an introductory one, inside their book. Instead, these will be offered for free as digital PDFs complementing the core book and future faction-specific releases.

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