In April, Fantasy Flight Games released Enemies Within, the first splatbook expansion to their Warhammer 40k: Dark Heresy 2nd Edition RPG, to little fanfare. This week, to equally little fanfare, FFG released the Dark Heresy Digital Character Sheet app. Well damnit, there should be some fanfare, because this is awesome.
I’ve had a chance to peruse Enemies Within, which overall adds a lot of flavor and additional options for players and GMs without much in the way of power creep (though the Sororitas’ light power armor is a fair concern.) It’s a cool book for all the reasons I love the Dark Heresy line, and easily worth its $39.95 cover price ($19.95 for PDF). If you play DH 2E, you should check it out.
But today, we’re going to talk about the app.
I have not gotten a hands-on look, but from the features list, the app looks like it’s well worth its $8 cover price on both Android and iOS. It basically breaks down into three functions: digital character sheet, dice roller/play support, and accelerated character creation.
As a character sheet, it adopts the 40k parchment aesthetic of the books and standard character sheet. It purports to have all the mechanical fields, including Skills, Talents/Traits, Psychic Powers, Corruption/Insanity, and the like, as well as the descriptive fields like appearance and personality traits. Assuming the performance of the app is smooth, this should help in navigating the relatively dense Dark Heresy character sheet, especially as characters advance.
The character sheet is connected to the dice roller to support play. I want to try this, because there are typically various modifiers to track, especially in combat. I doubt it’s robust enough to capture all of these situational boons and banes, but there’s a lot of opportunity to ease the mental math, even if it doesn’t eliminate it entirely. On top of that, there’s a “Journal” function for note-taking, which is a nice touch.
What I’m really excited about, though, is in-app character creation. There are unofficial, community-made character creation spreadsheets available, but they all have their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. For a game as lethal as Dark Heresy (seriously, you should be killing a PC every couple weeks), it would be a huge benefit if players could quickly reroll within an app and have a new character ready to reinforce the warband within 20-30 minutes, rather than ending that player’s night.
I hope to have the app for review in the coming weeks, but based only on first impressions, this deserves more attention.