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Warhammer 40,000 RPG Imperium Maledictum details Patrons mechanic and reveals exclusive artwork

For the Emperor, maybe?

Image credit: Cubicle 7/Games Workshop

New Warhammer 40,000 RPG Imperium Maledictum will let you swear allegiance to a powerful figure from the grimdark universe, influencing the adventures of your party across the grimdark universe and how its inhabitants react to your ragtag band of Imperial mercenaries.

Dicebreaker has been given a first look at some exclusive artwork for the game, plus a dive into how one of the RPG’s core gameplay mechanics, Patrons, will work.

Announced during the summer by publisher Cubicle 7 - the studio behind Warhammer: Age of Sigmar RPG Soulbound and the latest editions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Warhammer 40k RPG Wrath & Glory - Imperium Maledictum is touted as a spiritual successor to classic Games Workshop RPG Dark Heresy.

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Using a similar d100 dice system, the upcoming RPG focuses on a more investigatory approach to the dark and violent 41st millennium, with players taking on the role of Imperial citizens rather than armour-clad Space Marines or soldiers. Scenarios are focused on pursuing mysteries and clambering around - or helping to spin - the political web of intrigue, betrayal and conspiracy spread across the Imperium’s Macharian Sector.

Central to the game’s world and the propulsion of the players through their campaign is the Patrons mechanic, which Cubicle 7 has freshly detailed in a new blog post.

Behind the players’ band of characters is a powerful and influential individual who serves as the driving force behind their overall goal, role and experience while journeying around the Imperium.

Image credit: Cubicle 7/Games Workshop

The Patron is created together by the players and the GM before starting their campaign, and can belong to one of nine of the universe’s key factions - including the clandestine Inquisition, Astra Militarum - formerly known as 40k’s popular Imperial Guard - and the tech-priest machine cult Adeptus Mechanicus.

The faction chosen by players will influence their characters’ experiences in the world, with their patron determining both their place in the world - whether they are a tech-priest or alien-hunting inquisitor - and how its inhabitants react to them.

Each patron and faction will have distinct objectives in the world as determined by their motivation, which the players’ characters will seek to further, and inevitably rub up against other organisations in the universe as a result, influencing the foes encountered by the party.

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Patrons may be more of a passive guiding force in Imperium Maledictum or take a more active role in players’ sessions - something the group can decide, or leave to the dice - offering both helpful boons, in the form of unique abilities, weapons and opportunities, and liabilities, chosen secretly by the GM and used to throw up various hurdles in the players’ way.

Patrons’ presence in the RPG’s setting of the Macharian Sector will also come into play, acting as a souped-up version of the power and influence gathered by the players’ own characters across their adventures. Having more sway within the universe can enable players to spend their power to call in allies for help during missions, but might also see rival factions respond in kind as the patron’s influence shifts across the course of a campaign.

An exclusive piece of artwork from Imperium Maledictum. | Image credit: Bartłomiej Fedyczak/Cubicle 7/Games Workshop

Imperium Maledictum will allow players to create a custom patron or choose a pre-generated template to jump into a game faster, joining background detail on the Macharian Sector, guidance on character creation and other core gameplay rules in the RPG’s upcoming core rulebook.

Warhammer 40,000: Imperium Maledictum is due to release in early 2023, with the core rulebook launching in January before a boxed starter set follows later in the year. The core books will be followed by supplements delving further into the various competing factions of the universe. While the books will not include adventures, Cubicle 7 will release scenarios as free PDFs following the game’s launch.

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