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Bolters in the Dark

Bolters in the Dark is based on Blades in the Dark by John Harper.

Blades in the Dark™ is a trademark of One Seven Design. The Forged in the Dark Logo is © One Seven Design, and is used with permission.

The Basics

You'll find it easier to understand the setting and tone of this game if you're familiar with Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe.

The Game

_Bolters in the Dark _is a game about futuristic super-soldiers who defend humanity from the most dangerous and terrifying foes in the galaxy. There are battles, chases, escapes, bloody skirmishes, betrayals, victories, and deaths.

We play to find out which champion from the ranks of these elite warriors can stand tallest against the teeming threats of demonic horrors, alien filth and traitorous forces of chaos.

The Setting

The game is intended to evoke the bleak futuristic setting of Warhammer 40,000 (without challenging any trademarks or implying any degree of endorsement).

Humans once reached stunning pinnacles of technology and used their knowledge and power to travel across the universe. Now millenia of corruption and war have left humanity's trillions spread across the stars in hopeless ignorance. Only the divine presence of the Emperor keeps the galaxy-spanning Imperium from fragmenting and failing.

The point of the setting is to create a backdrop where larger-than-life protagonists can journey across star systems seeking glory by defending the unwashed masses from terrifying foes.

The Players

Each player creates a character and works with the other players to create a squad (or kill team) to which all the characters belong. Each player strives to bring their character to life as an interesting, dramatic champion who reaches boldly for glory while staying true to their duty to protect humanity.

The Characters

The characters are the elite of the elite of humanity's military. They are drawn from the ranks of the finest special forces in the known universe and provided with the finest training, weapons, armour and gear that humanity is capable of providing. There are several character types available:

Apothecaries are combat medics who employ tailored combat drugs.

Assault Marines are close quarters combat specialists.

Devastators master heavy weapons and explosives.

Librarians are masters of lore who wield psychic powers.

Tactical Marines are versatile leaders.

Techmarines are cybernetically enhanced masters of machinery.

The Squad

In addition to creating your own character, you'll work with the other players to form a squad. The squad works as a shared character with strengths, weaknesses and special abilities that will grow and progress along with its members.

The Game Master

The GM establishes the dark and dangerous universe around the characters, including both the terrifying foes they will fight and the all-too-human and frequently fallible officers, inquisitors and politicians who provide their missions.

Playing a Session

A session of _Bolters in the Dark _is like an episode of a TV show. There are one or two main events, plus maybe some side-story elements, which all fit into an ongoing series. A session of play can last anywhere from two to six hours, depending on the preferences of the group.

During a session, the squad of champions receives mission parameters from their superiors and then works together to decide how they will approach their assignment. Then they make a few dice rolls to jump into the action of the mission in progress. The PCs take actions, suffer consequences, and finish the operation (succeed or fail). Then the squad has downtime, during which they recover, prepare, train and restore the Emperor's Grace. After downtime, the players once again look to their superiors for orders and we play to find out what happens next.

A given game session is typically one mission and the following downtime, plus some exploration and discovery. As your group gets more familiar with the game, you might be able to pack more into a session, even doing two missions in an evening of play. Missions are sometimes strung together as part of a larger conflict, such as reclaiming an ancient space hulk, supporting a continent-spanning military action or rooting out demonic infestation on an entire planet.

After a dozen sessions or so, you might decide to have a break in the flow of the story and start up a "season two" series—possibly with a slightly different cast of characters and a new starting situation.

Before You Start

  • Familiarize yourself with the core system of Blades in the Dark. At the very least this means understanding:
    • How this particular system uses judgement calls, conversation, and structure
    • Basic dice mechanics
    • Action ratings and action rolls
    • Attribute ratings and resistance rolls
    • Progress clocks
    • Position and effect
    • Consequences and harm
  • Read at least a little about the Warhammer 40,000 universe. If you can find material that includes Space Marines and the Deathwatch, even better.

Grace & Trauma

Characters in Bolters in the Dark are genetically engineered super-soldiers with the finest training and armaments a galaxy-spanning empire can provide. Despite that, each one will assure you that their greatest weapon and truest armour is their faith in the Emperor. This faith provides them with a special reserve of fortitude and fortune called the Emperor's Grace (or Grace for short) that can save them despite the most terrible circumstances. When a marine would suffer a consequence they don't want to accept, they can instead call upon the Emperor to protect them.

Describe how the Emperor protects you from the consequence and make a resistance roll to determine how much your Grace is depleted (the Emperor best helps those who first help themselves). You can restore Grace in downtime with the supplicate activity.

Pushing Yourself

You can also use Grace to push yourself for greater performance. For each bonus you choose below, **mark 2 Grace **(each bonus can be chosen once for a given action):

  • Add **+1d **to your roll.
  • Add **+1 level **to your effect.
  • Take action when you're incapacitated.

The ability to push yourself for +1d means you effectively have at least 1d in every action as long as you have Grace available. (Even 1d gives you a 50/50 chance of success).

Trauma

When a PC marks their last Grace hex, they suffer a level of trauma. When you take trauma, circle one of your **trauma conditions **like Cold, Reckless, _Unstable, _etc. They're all described below.

When you suffer trauma, you're out of action for the rest of the encounter. You're "left for dead" or otherwise unable to contribute to the current conflict, only to come back later, shaken and drained. When you return, your Grace is restored.

Trauma conditions are permanent. Your character acquires the new personality quirk indicated by the condition, and can earn xp by using it to cause trouble. When you mark your fourth trauma condition, your character cannot continue as a champion of humanity. They succumb to injuries, madness or corruption (or all three) and are retired from play at the end of the current mission.

Trauma Conditions

Cold: You're not moved by emotional appeals or social bonds.

**Haunted: **You're often lost in reverie, reliving past horrors, seeing things.

**Obsessed: **You're enthralled by one thing: an activity, a person, an ideology.

**Paranoid: **You imagine danger everywhere; you can't trust others.

Reckless: You have little regard for your own safety or best interests.

**Soft: **You lose your edge; you become sentimental, passive, gentle.

Unstable: Your emotional state is volatile. You can instantly rage, or fall into despair, act impulsively, or freeze up.

Vicious: You seek out opportunities to hurt people, even for no good reason.

You can play your trauma conditions as much or as little as you like. They can totally transform your character's persona or have only a small impact—it's up to you. If you do play them strongly, though, allowing a trauma condition to complicate your character's life, you earn **xp **for it.

Corruption

While Space Marine hearts are too strong to feel fear, some foes are so vile their mere presence is enough to test a character's faith. When confronted by such an abomination, characters must make resistance rolls (usually with resolve) to see how badly they are shaken.

Loadout

Default Loadout

Each playbook has weapons and wargear which they may always access, regardless of situation or **

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renown**. These items are shown in the first column of the

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gear section of each playbook. During a mission, you may indicate that your character is carrying an item from default loadout by checking the box or boxes next to the item. See

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Capacity for rules on how much a character can carry.

Upon filling in the 6th renown hex, items in the second column become part of your default loadout. Upon filling in 11th renown hex, items in the third column also become part of your default loadout.

Accessing Non-Default Items

You may access items that are not part of your default loadout by paying prep. Items in the second column of your playbook cost 1 prep each and items from the third column cost 2 prep each.

Artificer Armour, Terminator Armour, and the Iron Halo can never be added with prep. They must be chosen before mission start, and they are only issued to revered characters. Circle or underline the appropriate option when choosing one of these legendary protective items. (The hexes can be used to track whether the defensive bonus has been used during the current mission). Note that a character may only choose one of the three for a given mission, regardless of renown (the only exception is a Techmarine with the Mechanicus special ability, who is then allowed to take both Artificer Armour and an Iron Halo).

Capacity

Even the mightiest heroes clad in massive suits of powered armour can only carry so many items. To reflect this, each item has one or more boxes next to it that represent units of capacity. Capacity is a combination of the item's weight, awkwardness, and/or energy requirements. A power-armoured marine has a max capacity of 7 (the **

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Devastator**'s brawny special ability increases this to 9).

Revered armours (artificer and terminator) and items with a shaded background on your playbook do not count against capacity. Terminator armour increases capacity to 9 (does not stack with brawny).

The GM will assign units of capacity to items found during a mission. As a baseline, carrying a normal-sized human takes up 3 capacity.

It is possible to drop gear to free up capacity for items found during a mission, but this is a terrible insult to the machine spirits and should only be considered in the gravest of circumstances. Repeated abuse of sacred wargear will lead to scorn from the Mechanicus agents at the Watch Station (with corresponding loss of **

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renown**).

Prep

While the Emperor's Grace is every marine's most important asset, they also train ceaselessly and engage in constant study of the tactics, strengths, and weaknesses of potential enemies. Further, each marine drills ad nauseam in the proper maintenance litanies and rituals for their weapons, armour, and wargear.

This training, study and maintenance is represented mechanically by prep. Each PC has 7 boxes on their playbook to track the amount of prep they have at any given time.

You gain prep by choosing the prepare activity during

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downtime.

Using Prep

Loadout

The primary way to use prep is to declare that your PC is carrying a weapon or piece of equipment that is not included in their default loadout. Items in the second tier cost 1 prep and items in the third tier cost 2 prep. Note that you are still limited by the character's capacity.

Flashback Scenes

Prep can also be spent to trigger a **

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flashback** scene in which the character describes actions they took in anticipation of events in the current fiction.

Resist Consequences

The third way prep can be used is to resist a consequence that is directly related to your gear. This includes complications like running out of ammunition and/or describing how your blessed power armour absorbed the damage you would have taken. The prep cost to avoid a consequence is the same as it would be for a resistance roll (6 minus the best die result from the appropriate attribute). If you would be required to pay more prep than you have remaining, you must pay the difference by marking Grace.

Note that most consequences can only be resisted by **

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Grace** (not prep). The delineation between resisting with Grace or prep is an important part of establishing your particular version of Bolters in the Dark.

Renown

Every Space Marine recognizes that their first purpose is to protect humanity; however, such elite warriors inevitably form rivalries, both between Chapters and individuals. While it must never compromise the mission, every marine seeks to exceed their squadmates in valorous deeds both for personal glory and to honour their Chapter.

Renown is the way the game tracks the relative fame and glory of each PC in the squad.

Gaining Renown

Each PC gains 1 renown at the beginning of downtime after a successful mission.

At the beginning of each game session, each player, including the GM, receives 3 valour tokens (ideally each player should have a different colour). At the discretion of each individual, valour tokens can be awarded during the session to any other player to acknowledge a worthy deed. Worthy deeds could include slaying a mighty foe, securing a vital position, rescuing an important NPC, providing critical support, or anything else that stands out as noteworthy in the context of the session. Each player should aim to give out at least 2 of their 3 tokens in every session.

At the end of the session, the PC with the most valour tokens receives one renown (don't count your own tokens you were given at the beginning of the session). In the case of a tie, no renown is awarded.

Losing Renown

At the beginning of downtime after a f_ailed_ mission, each PC loses 1 renown.

It is also possible to lose renown due to an

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entanglement or through conduct unbecoming a marine. Such conduct includes:

  • Abusing or abandoning wargear.
  • Disrespecting superior officers.
  • Disobeying or disregarding direct orders.

Each instance of the above may result in the loss of 1 renown, at the discretion of the rest of the table. BE HARSH! Space Marines are held to the very highest standards, and renown is intended to represent paragon behaviour.

Renown in Play

There are two primary ways renown is used in play:

  1. Determining

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default loadout access. As you fill in renown on your playbook, your character gains access to additional options for default loadout.

  1. Determining precedence amongst the PCs. The PC with the highest renown is considered the first among equals. If there is a disagreement regarding what course of action to take during a mission, the squad is expected to follow the direction of the PC with the highest renown. In case of a tie, the PC with the higher Command rating takes precedence. If there is still a tie, the PCs should agree which member will act as leader for this particular mission (with the GM's guidance if necessary).

Squad Renown

The sum of the renown of all active squad members determines the squad's access to the rarest and most powerful resources a Watch Station maintains. This includes vehicles like Thunderhawk gunships and technological marvels like the teleportarium and orbital bombardments.

A PC who is missing a session due to a falter in

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downtime still counts as active; a PC who has not been played for two or more sessions probably should not.

Actions

You'll find the core rules for actions and attributes in Blades in the Dark. Presented here is some commentary on how each element is reskinned to suit the setting of Bolters in the Dark.

When you Attune, you communicate with the machine spirits that inhabit every piece of technology.

You might perceive how to operate an unfamiliar device. You might convince a machine to continue functioning despite being damaged. You could try to jury-rig a mechanical device (but Tinker might be better).

When you Command, you compel swift obedience.

You might intimidate or threaten to get what you want. You might lead a platoon of lesser soldiers in a group action. You could try to order people around to persuade them (but Consorting might be better).

When you Consort, you leverage relationships and contacts.

You might gain access to resources, information, people, or places. You might make a good impression or win someone over with your charm and style. You could try to manipulate people with social pressure (but Sway might be better).

When you Maneuver, you employ speed, agility, and dexterity.

You might run and leap across rooftops. You might handle the controls of a vehicle. You might formally duel an opponent with graceful fighting arts. You could try to employ those arts in a chaotic melee (but Skirmishing might be better).

When you Prowl, you traverse skillfully and quietly.

You might sneak past a guard or hide in the shadows. You might ambush someone at close range. You might snipe someone from hiding. You could try to waylay a target in the midst of battle (but Skirmishing might be better).

When you Skirmish, you entangle a target in close combat so they can't easily escape.

You might hack and slash. You might brawl or wrestle with them. You might bring your guns to bear in melee. You might seize or hold a position in battle. You could try to fight in a formal duel (but Maneuvering might be better).

When you Study, you scrutinize details and interpret evidence.

_You might gather information from documents, cogitators and pict-recordings. You might do research on an esoteric topic. You might closely analyze a person to detect lies or true feelings. You could try to examine events to understand a pressing situation (but Surveying might be better). _

When you Survey, you observe the situation and anticipate outcomes.

You might spot telltale signs of trouble before it happens. You might uncover opportunities or weaknesses. You might use an auspex to scan for lifeforms. You might detect a person's motivations or intentions. You could try to spot a good ambush point (but Prowling might be better).

_When you Sway, you influence with guile, charm, or argument. _

_You might lie convincingly. You might persuade someone to do what you want. You might argue a compelling case that leaves no clear rebuttal. You could try to trick people into affection or obedience (but Consorting or Commanding might be better). _

When you Tinker, you fiddle with devices and mechanisms.

You might create a new gadget or alter an existing item. You might pick a lock or crack a safe. You might disable an alarm or trap. You might fix a broken weapon or bit of gear. You could try to use your technical expertise to control a vehicle (but Finessing might be better).

When you Volley, you use ranged weapons to fight at a distance.

You might attack with precision shooting. You might lay down suppressing fire against a group of enemies. You could try to bring your guns to bear in close quarters (but Skirmishing might be better). You might take a single shot at a long distance (but Prowl might be better).

_When you Wreck, _you unleash savage force.

You might smash down a door or wall or blow up a vehicle. You might employ sabotage to create a distraction or overcome an obstacle. You could try to overwhelm an enemy with sheer force in battle (but Skirmishing or Volleying might be better).

Missions

Assassination, sabotage, vanguard, recovery, recon, bodyguard - a Deathwatch kill team may be tasked with any or all of these on any given mission.

In Bolters in the Dark, we play to find out if a newly assembled cast of characters can turn the tide of a grand conflict—and that turning depends upon their assigned duties, which we call missions.

A mission is a single operation with a particular goal: eliminate the ork warboss, recover the crucial dataslate, protect the sector governor, etc.

A mission can be long and involved or short and sweet. There might be lots of rolls and trouble, or just a few actions to resolve it. Play to find out what happens! A mission doesn't need to fill one session of play every time. Let it be however long it is.

A mission consists of a few key elements, detailed in this section: planning & engagement, flashbacks, and teamwork.

Planning & Engagement

Your squad spends time planning each mission. They huddle around dataslates and pict-screens, debating the veracity of various reports and the reliability of different sources.

But you, the players, don't have to do the nitty-gritty planning. The characters take care of that, off-screen. All you have to do is choose how aggressively you'll approach. There's no need to sweat all the little details and try to cover every eventuality ahead of time, because the engagement roll ultimately determines how much trouble you're in when the plan is put in motion. No plan is ever perfect. You can't account for everything. This system assumes that there's always some unknown factors and trouble—major or minor—in every operation; you just have to make the best of it.

Engagement Roll

Once the players choose their approach, the GM cuts to the action—describing the scene as the kill team starts the operation and encounters their first obstacle. But how is this established? The way the GM describes the starting situation can have a huge impact on how simple or troublesome the operation turns out to be. Rather than expecting the GM to simply "get it right" each time, we use a dice roll instead. This is the engagement roll.

The engagement roll is a fortune roll, starting with 2d to represent the extensive resources and millenia of experience the Deathwatch can access. Modify the dice pool according to the approach the players choose.

Mission Approaches

  • Frontal Assault. The characters choose to go "straight down the throat" of the enemy, with no care for stealth or subtlety. Take -1d to the engagement roll, but the GM will start the action appropriately close to the target. Drop pods and boarding torpedoes are classic Deathwatch methods of frontal assault.
  • Measured. The characters choose a balanced approach. No modifier to the engagement roll or distance to target.
  • Subtle. The characters choose the stealthiest and/or most careful possible approach. Take +1d to the engagement roll, but the GM will start the action at some distance from the primary target.

The engagement roll takes the approach into account, so we don't need to play out tentative probing maneuvers, special precautions, or other ponderous non-action. The engagement roll covers all of that. The PCs are already in action, facing the first obstacle—up on the rooftop; kicking down the door; halfway to the governor's landing craft; etc.

Don't make the engagement roll and then describe the PCs approaching the target. It's the approach that the engagement roll resolves. Cut to the action that results because of that initial approach—to the first serious obstacle in their path.

If the players want to include a special preparation or clever setup, they can do so with **

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flashbacks** during the mission. This takes some getting used to. Players may balk at first, worried that you're skipping over important things that they want to do. But jumping straight into the action of the mission is much more effective once you get used to it. When they see the situation they're in, their "planning" in flashbacks will be focused and useful, rather than merely speculations on circumstances and events that might not even happen.

Outcomes

The outcome of the engagement roll determines the position for the PCs' initial actions when we cut to the mission in progress. A 1-3 means a desperate position. A 4/5 is a risky position. A 6 yields a controlled position. And a critical carries the action beyond the initial obstacle, deeper into the action of the score.

A desperate position is the worst thing that can result from the approach + engagement process. It's designed this way so the approach matters, but it doesn't call for lots of optimization or nitpicking. Even if you're reckless and just dive in and take your chances, you can't get too badly burned. Plus, you might even want those desperate rolls to generate more xp for the PCs, which helps to bootstrap starting characters into advancement.

When you describe the situation after the roll, use the details of the target to paint a picture of the PCs' position. Use this opportunity to show how the PCs' enemies are dangerous and capable—don't characterize a bad engagement roll as a failure by the PCs, or they won't trust the technique in the future. Sure, things are starting out desperate here against the swarming tyranids, but you're just the type of characters who are daring enough to take them on. Let's get to it.

How long does it last?

The engagement roll determines the starting position for the PCs' actions. How long does that hold? Does the situation stay desperate? No. Once the initial actions have been resolved, you follow the normal process for establishing position for the rest of the rolls during the mission. The engagement roll is a quick short-hand to kick things off and get the action started—it doesn't have any impact after that.

Flashbacks

The rules don't distinguish between actions performed in the present moment and those performed in the past. When an operation is underway, you can invoke a flashback to roll for an action in the past that impacts your current situation. Maybe you coordinated an artillery strike with the Basilisk platoon leader, so roll Consort to see how that went.

The GM sets a prep cost when you activate a flashback action.

  • 0 Prep: An ordinary action for which you had easy opportunity.
  • 1 Prep: A complex action or unlikely opportunity.
  • 2 (or more) Prep: An elaborate action that involved special opportunities or contingencies.

After the prep cost is paid, a flashback action is handled just like any other action. Sometimes it will entail an action roll, because there's some danger or trouble involved. Sometimes a flashback will entail a fortune roll, because we just need to find out how well (or how much, or how long, etc.). Sometimes a flashback won't call for a roll at all because you can just pay the prep and it's accomplished (this is the default for adding to your character's

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loadout).

One of the best uses for a flashback is when the engagement roll goes badly. After the GM describes the trouble you're in, you can call for a flashback to a special preparation you made, "just in case" something like this happened. This way, your "flashback planning" will be focused on the problems that do happen, not the problems that might happen.

Limits of flashbacks

A flashback isn't time travel. It can't "undo" something that just occurred in the present moment. For instance, if a Khornate Champion confronts you on the battlefield, you can't call for a flashback to assassinate the Champion the night before. She's here now, threatening you—that's established in the fiction. You can call for a flashback to show that you arranged for servo skulls to record the duel—so you could use the opportunity to bolster the morale of the nearby Imperial Guard regiment (assuming you win).

The types of appropriate flashbacks are somewhat limited by squad renown. A non-exhaustive list of political/inquisitorial/military access and resources suitable for flashback scenes at each level of squad renown can be found on the squad playbook.

Abandoning a Mission

As long as there is some remotely plausible way for the kill team to exfiltrate, they may choose to abandon a mission before completing their primary objective(s).

When you give up on a Mission, you go into downtime. The mission counts as a failure, so each squad member loses one renown and you roll one additional die for entanglement.

Downtime

Entanglements

Entanglements represent the additional duties and responsibilities of the squad when they are not in the field.

An entanglement roll is a 1d fortune roll made by the GM. Roll one additional die if the mission was a failure, but do not roll at all if the mission was a complete success (primary, secondary, and tertiary objectives all fully achieved).

Result New Respected Renowned
1-3 No problems No problems Distraction
4/5 No problems Distraction Logistic Issue
6 Distraction Logistic Issue Additional Duties
Crit Additional Duties Additional Duties Dressing Down

No Problems: The squad's performance was within expectations and no special attention or duties are incurred.

Distraction: -1 to all prepare activity results. At least some aspect of the last mission could have been handled better. The squad spends extra time in penitence and scouring of after-action reports, with some minor detriment to preparations for the next mission.

Logistic Issue: All squad members must pay full prep cost for all gear in the next mission regardless of personal renown. This could be due to supplies stretched by concurrent operations, distance from resupply centres, a grumpy Forgemaster, or something else that makes sense in the current fiction.

Additional Duties: Each squad member loses 1 activity this downtime, but may restore 1 Grace or gain 1 prep. The shortcomings of the last mission result in extra work before the next one.

Dressing Down: Each squad member loses 1 renown and 1 activity this downtime. Failure by such well-known battle brothers provokes serious repercussions.

Activities

Each PC may engage in 3 activities during each downtime phase (modified by special abilities and entanglements).

You may take +1d to any downtime activity if it is taken at a Watch Fortress or equivalent bastion specifically maintained by and for Space Marines.

Conversely, take -1d to all downtime activities that occur "in the field" without an actual chance to rest and resupply.

You may take +1 Effect if you incorporate an NPC friend or ally into your description of the downtime activity. The GM must exercise discretion in both the suitability of the friend or ally and the impact of the extra effect.

_An established friendship with the Watch Fortress's Forgemaster seems about right for a bonus to **Prepare**, and marking an extra hex of **prep** seems like an appropriate extra effect._


_Sparring with another battle brother is probably not enough to justify a bonus to **Train** your Prowess track, though sparring with an NPC who had been established as a legendary duelist might be._

Boast - recount your mighty exploits in the last mission. If no one else chooses to boast during this downtime, mark 1 renown. If multiple characters are boasting, each rolls Consort and the character with the highest result marks 1 renown. On a tie, the group must vote on who told the best story, and the winner marks 1 renown. The GM is responsible for breaking a tied vote. PCs who boasted but did not gain renown may instead restore one Grace.

Heal - by consuming blessed medications, applying sacred healing salves, and entering a meditative state, you can regenerate virtually any damage that didn't kill you outright. Roll with prowess and fill in sections of your healing clock equal to the highest die result. Each time you fill the healing clock, reduce all harm by one degree. Note that as long as you still have harm to heal, additional segments "carry over" to the next clock.

Prepare - through practice, meditation on the Emperor's Tarot, and by performing the appropriate litanies to the machine spirits of your equipment, you prepare yourself for upcoming challenges. Roll with insight and gain prep equal to the highest die result.

Supplicate - through prayer and contemplation of holy writings you renew your bond with the Emperor. Roll with resolve and clear boxes of Grace equal to the highest die result. If you would clear more boxes than are currently filled, you suffer a Crisis of Faith.

Train - mark 1 xp in a track for an attribute or playbook advancement. If your squad has the appropriate training advance, mark 2xp instead. You may only train a single track once per downtime.

Crisis of Faith

When you take the supplicate activity and restore more Grace than you need to, you suffer a crisis of faith. Choose one of the following:

Hubris - you grow overconfident in your own abilities and neglect your training and maintenance regimens. You lose all accumulated prep and cannot gain more until after the next mission.

Rant - while every Space Marine is expected to expound upon their martial accomplishments, you go too far. Reduce your current Renown by 1 and you do not gain Renown from the next mission.

Flagellation - you are overly vigorous in your rituals of purification. Take level 1 harm (flagellated). You may not engage in the heal activity until after the next mission (though you may benefit from First Aid).

Falter - you are overcome by doubt and you are temporarily removed from active duty. This character may not participate in the next mission.

Characters

Every player character in _Bolters in the Dark _is a genetically engineered super-soldier, known in common parlance as a Space Marine. Space Marines spend their entire lives training in all of the various feats represented by the **

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actions **of the game. They're all able to **Volley **in a gun fight, **Prowl **in the shadows, **Attune **to the machine spirits of a vehicle, **Consort **with locals for information, and so on.

Character Creation

Choose a Chapter

Space Marines are organized into groups called Chapters. Normally, Space Marines operate exclusively with other members of their Chapter (or in support of lesser military forces like the Imperial Guard). In Bolters in the Dark, however, the characters are elite members of their Chapters who have been seconded to an independent force known as the Deathwatch. It is therefore appropriate (though not strictly necessary) for each character to hail from a different Chapter. In addition to a unique colour scheme, each Chapter has favoured combat doctrines, a common demeanour, and a weakness. Record the demeanour and weakness on your playbook.

There are a thousand Chapters in the 40k universe, so feel free to work with your GM to determine the features, demeanour and weakness for a chapter not listed here if you like. NOTE: Warhammer 40,000 canon states that all Space Marines are male. Feel free to stick with that foolish and arbitrary fiction if you wish. (The Adeptus Sororitas are included here for anyone who wants to play a female character without disrupting canon).

Chapter Features/Combat Doctrines Demeanour Weakness
Adeptus Sororitas All female; revere the Emperor as divine; love fire Reverent Intolerant
Black Templars Hate psykers; eternal crusade; love melee Zealous Wrathful
Blood Angels Pretty; sad; blood drinkers Temperamental Frenzy
Crimson Fists Exceptional defenders; Proud Stubborn
Dark Angels Secretive; stoic; steady & shooty Taciturn Intractable
Guardians of the Covenant Scholar warriors; highly strategic and careful Deliberate Cautious
Imperial Fists Excel at siegecraft Steadfast Rigid
Iron Hands Flesh is weak; cybernetics Methodical Brutal
Mantis Warriors Guerilla warfare; ambush tactics; individualistic Self Reliant Battle Haze
Raptors Flexible and adaptable; scornful of glory and honour Pragmatic Insubordinate
Raven Guard Ivory skin, dark hair & eyes; stealth & guerilla tactics Brooding Melancholy
Salamanders Dark skinned; value civilians; immovable; love fire Stoic Ponderous
Space Wolves Vikings; love melee; prone to frenzy Gregarious Berserk
Storm Wardens Fearless; love single combat Honourable Risk-takers
Ultramarines Paragons of the Codex Disciplined Strict
White Scars Lightning-fast; hit and run tactics; Mongols Bold Wild

Choose a Playbook

A playbook is what we call the sheet with all the specific rules to play a certain character type in Bolters in the Dark. Rather than a general "Space Marine" sheet, the game has six customized playbooks. By choosing a playbook, you're choosing which type of soldier your character is. The playbooks are:

Apothecary


Apothecaries are great at allowing the team to maintain momentum during a mission and recover faster during downtime. Play an Apothecary if you want everyone to depend on you.

Assault Marine


Assault Marines are fast, tough, and deadly when they can get close to the enemy. Play an Assault Marine if you want to feel like the most badass of the badasses.

Devastator


Devastators are the very best at raining down destruction at range with heavy weaponry. Play a Devastator if you really like blowing things up.

Librarian


Librarians are masters of lore who wield psychic energy to create arcane effects. Play a Librarian if you want to be weird.

Tactical Marine


Tactical Marines form the backbone of every Space Marine chapter. In the Deathwatch, they usually take on leadership roles. Play a Tactical Marine if you want to be well-rounded and good at giving orders.

Techmarine


Techmarines are cybernetically enhanced masters of machinery. Play a Techmarine if you want to be tough and creative with tools and gadgets.

When you choose a playbook, you're choosing a set of **special abilities **(which give your character ways to break the rules in various ways) and a set of **xp triggers **(which determine how you earn experience for character advancement). But every playbook represents a warrior at heart. The Assault Marine has special abilities related to close combat, but that doesn't mean they're "the fighter" of the game. Any character type can fight well. Think of your playbook as an area of focus and preference, but not a unique skill set.

This is why we call them "playbooks" rather than "character classes" or "archetypes." You're selecting the set of initial action ratings, gear, and special abilities that your character has access to—but you're not defining their immutable essence or true nature. Your character will grow and change over time; who they become is part of the fun of playing the game.

Choose a Background

Your character's background describes who they were before they became a Space Marine. Many Chapters are known to recruit exclusively from one region or planet, but don't feel overly constrained by this - there are a million or more Space Marines amongst trillions of people in the Imperium and that leaves plenty of room for exceptions - you just need a good story.

  • Feral
  • Peasant
  • Trades
  • Military
  • Noble
  • Hiver

This step is meant to get you thinking about where your character came from, and it can guide the placement of one of your starting action rating dots, but it is not recorded on your playbook.

Record Your Personal Demeanour & Weakness

Your personal demeanour is a word or two to that describes your character's personality and outlook on the 40k universe.

Your personal weakness is a flaw in your character. This might be something tied to your background, or it might be something you developed in your decades of service before coming to the Deathwatch. It can be interesting to choose a personal weakness that contrasts or even contradicts your Chapter demeanour and/or weakness.

Your demeanours and weaknesses (both Chapter and personal) provide hooks for roleplaying and they are also part of the criteria for xp triggers at the end of each session.

Assign Four Action Dots

Your playbook begins with three action dots already placed. You get to add four more dots (so you'll have seven total). At the start of the game, no action rating may have more than two dots (unless a special ability tells you otherwise). Brief descriptions of all the actions follow. Assign your four dots like this:

  • Put one dot in any action that you feel reflects your character's Chapter.
  • Put one dot in any action that you feel reflects your character's Demeanour or Background.
  • Assign two more dots anywhere you please (max rating is 2, remember).

Choose a Special Ability

Take a look at the special abilities on your playbook and choose one (other than Veteran). If you can't decide which one to pick, go with the first one on the list - it's placed there because it is a good default choice.

Record Your Name & Look

Choose a name for your character and then write a few evocative words that describe your character's appearance (when they aren't in their armour).

Determine Starting Prep

Roll with insight and check boxes of prep equal to the highest die result.

Create the Squad

Consult with the other players and:

  1. Come up with a squad name/unit designation.
  2. Choose a special ability and fill in the corresponding dot to indicate the group's choice.
  3. Choose a maneuver and fill in the corresponding dots to indicate the groups' choice.
  4. Choose an upgrade and fill in one corresponding dot to indicate the group's choice. Note that Mastery requires four dots to complete.

Apothecary

A medic and combat drug specialist

Apothecaries are tasked with ensuring optimal performance from every member of their squad. They do this by healing wounds, curing diseases, guarding against corruption, and by providing specialized combat drugs. Many Apothecaries also develop the ability to analyze enemy forces and concoct poisons that enhance the already devastating weapons wielded by Space Marines.

When you play an Apothecary, you earn xp when you address a challenge with chemistry. You and your companions are the deadliest members of the human race, and your skills can make them even moreso.

Starting Actions: Survey 2; Consort 1

Apothecary Abilities

First Aid - Survey a wounded Space Marine to reduce or ignore penalties from harm until the end of the current mission or until they suffer harm again. On a 1-3 the target ignores level 1 harm; 4/5 ignore level 1 & 2 harm; 6 ignore all harm; on a Crit ignore all harm and fill in one segment of the target's healing clock. Once first aid has been applied to a target, they may not benefit from further first aid until they suffer harm again.

Chemist - By providing them with tailored combat drugs, you may spend prep instead of Grace to assist your squadmates. When you assist someone, they may push their action for 1 Grace instead of 2.

Poisoner - Spend 1 prep to grant potency to the entire squad's attacks against one type of opponent for the duration of a mission.

Guardian of Purity - you and your squad gain +1d to resistance rolls against corruption. Once per mission you may conduct a short ceremony that restores 1d of Grace to each squad member.

Chirurgeon - everyone in the squad takes +1d to rolls for the heal activity in downtime.

Analyst - by examining the dead bodies of the enemy, you may allow the squad to reduce penalties due to the quality of the enemy's armour or other protection. Gain **+1 effect **to gather information with Survey.

Veteran x4

Apothecary Unique Items

Diagnostor Helm - helmet with upgraded sensors, tuned specifically to aid in diagnosing and treating the wounds of Space Marines, even through their power armour. +1d to First Aid rolls.

Narthecium - medical tool built into the glove and forearm of a suit of power armour. It is designed to apply First Aid to Space Marines even through their power armour. Also counts as a melee chain-weapon. When applying First Aid with a narthecium, fill in one section of the target's healing clock (in addition to any effects from the roll).

Assault Marine

A close quarters combat specialist

In a universe awash in guns, plasma, missiles and explosives, Assault Marines are the warriors who still prefer to look their enemy in the eye as they slay him. Most Assault Marines equip jump packs so they can close with their foes that much faster.

When you play an Assault Marine, you earn xp when you address a challenge with direct, personal violence. Sometimes the best answer is the most straightforward answer.

Starting Actions: Skirmish 2; Survey 1

Assault Marine Abilities

Not To Be Trifled With - gain +**1 effect **in close combat with a large group of enemies. Once per mission you may push yourself in melee combat without marking Grace.

Jump Pack Master - gain +1 effect when you are able to charge into melee with your jump pack. You can also use your jump pack to achieve full flight, rather than just "on the bounce."

Vigorous - you recover from harm faster. Permanently fill in one of your healing clock segments. Take +1d to healing rolls in downtime.

Daredevil - when you roll a desperate action, you may take +1d to your action if you accept -1d to resistance rolls against consequences from the action.

Keen Senses - your senses are especially acute, even for a Space Marine. Gain +1d to gather information rolls.

Lightning Reflexes - when there's a question about who acts first, it's you. Two characters with Lightning Reflexes act simultaneously.

Slayer - gain potency when fighting demons and other large monsters. Once per mission you may push yourself in combat without marking Grace.

Veteran x3

Devastator

A master of heavy weapons and explosives

A Devastator is the squad member tasked with wielding the heaviest and most powerful weapons a single soldier can carry. The versatile heavy bolter is the most common weapon for a Devastator, but they are capable of using more exotic and specialized armaments as the mission requires.

When you play a Devastator, you earn xp when you address a challenge with overwhelming firepower. With correct application, the number of problems that _can't _be solved by high explosives rapidly approaches 0.

Starting Actions: Volley 2; Wreck 1

Devastator Abilities

Unrelenting - when you push yourself in ranged combat, ignore penalties due to scale. Once per mission you may push yourself in ranged combat without marking Grace.

Immovable - take +1d to resistance rolls when defending a dug in position or hardpoint.

Saboteur - your skill with explosives is exceptional. Gain potency on any application of cluster mines, demolition charges, or melta bombs.

Anti-Armour - you are exceptionally good at using heavy weapons to destroy large, armoured targets. Gain **+1 effect **when you use heavy weapons against vehicles and large monsters.

Tough as Nails - penalties from harm are one level less severe (though level 4 harm is still fatal).

Sharpshooter - ignore penalties to potency with ranged weapons due to challenging conditions like weather, cover, or targets in melee.

Brawny - your capacity is increased to 9.

Veteran x3

Librarian

A master of lore who wields psychic powers

A Space Marine Librarian is a warrior born with the ability to channel psychic energy into useful (and often deadly) forms. They are also tasked with interpreting and safeguarding the deepest, darkest secrets accumulated by humanity's greatest war machine.

When you play a Librarian, you earn xp when you address a challenge with knowledge or psychic power.

Starting Actions: Study 2; Sway 1

Each of the Librarian's psychic disciplines (represented by the Telekinetic, Telepathic, Diviner, Biomancer, and Pyrokinetic special abilities) provides a specific mechanical effect, but the Librarian player should also be especially aware of the descriptive aspect of special abilities as discussed in

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A Note About Special Abilities.

Librarian Special Abilities

Telekinetic - you can translate mental energy into physical force. You can push yourself to do one of the following: protect the entire squad from a single instance of harm; inflict devastating harm on a single target; or bombard a large area with bolts of force.

When you push yourself to activate this ability, you still get one of the normal benefits of pushing yourself (+1d, +1 effect, etc.) in addition to the special ability.

Telepathic - you can project your thoughts into the minds of others or draw the thoughts from theirs. You can push yourself to do one of the following: dominate the will of a single target; alter the emotions or senses of a large group; or send a message to anywhere in the galaxy (delivery times may vary).

When you push yourself to activate this ability, you still get one of the normal benefits of pushing yourself (+1d, +1 effect, etc.) in addition to the special ability.

Diviner - you are able to perceive the events of both the past and future. Two times per mission, you can aid a squadmate without marking Grace.

Biomancer - you are able to consciously manipulate bio-electrical energy. You can push yourself to perform an epic feat of strength or speed beyond what even a Space Marine can normally do. Once per mission you can instantly fill sections of your healing clock as though you had taken the heal activity in downtime.

When you push yourself to activate this ability, you still get one of the normal benefits of pushing yourself (+1d, +1 effect, etc.) in addition to the special ability.

Pyrokinetic - you can conjure and control heat and flames with your mind. You can wield this power as though you were armed with a heavy flamer or a meltagun. (Swapping back and forth freely between actions).

Devout - when you take the supplicate activity in downtime, you may adjust the die result up or down by 1.

Loremaster - +1 effect when you gather information with Survey.

Veteran x3

Librarian Unique Items

Force Weapon - a specially crafted melee weapon that serves as a focus for the Librarian's psychic energy and a outlet through which he can channel mental force and killing will into his target. This has the game effect of giving the weapon good penetration (see

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Range and Penetration) and potency against living targets.

Psychic Hood - a hood or helm lined with a psi-enhancing crystal matrix designed to aid in nullifying the efforts of opposing psykers. This has the game effect of granting potency to all attempts to counter enemy psykers and +1 effect to resistance rolls against psychic powers that target the wearer.

Tactical Marine

A versatile leader

Every military force requires a majority of tough, dedicated soldiers who can adapt to a wide variety of situations. In a standard Chapter, Tactical Marines fill that role. Tactical Marines who have been seconded to the Deathwatch have typically shown not just flexibility and situational awareness, but strong leadership abilities as well.

When you play a Tactical Marine, you earn xp when you address a challenge with leadership or improvisation. In battle, it is more important to be decisive than to be perfect.

Starting Actions: Command 2; Volley 1

Tactical Marine Special Abilities

Efficient - you gain +1 activity during downtime.

Strategist - gain 1 additional prep box.

Tactician - reduce the prep or Grace cost of patterns you call by 1 (to a minimum of 0). Once per mission, you may choose to give the squad access to a pattern even if it has not yet been selected on the squad playbook.

Sniper - you may push yourself to take a precise shot at extreme range. This may be beyond what would normally be possible with the weapon. When you attack from hiding, take **+1d **to your roll.

When you push yourself to activate this ability, you still get one of the normal benefits of pushing yourself (+1d, +1 effect, etc.) in addition to the special ability.

Natural Leader - gain +1d to all engagement rolls. When you lead a group action, mark a maximum of 1 Grace no matter how many of your squad mates fail their rolls.

Veteran x5

Techmarine

A cybernetically enhanced master of machinery

Especially since true knowledge of their construction methods is long lost, maintenance of the technological marvels wielded by the Space Marines is of vital importance. From their ancient weapons to their revered ceramite power armour to the awesome power of the vehicles that deliver them to the battlefield, Space Marines depend on the skills of their Techmarines to keep the machine spirits functioning.

When you play a Techmarine, you earn xp when you address a challenge with technical skill or calculation.

Starting Actions: Attune 2; Tinker 1

Techmarine Special Abilities

Servo Harness - a variety of mechadendrite arms and tools are built into your body and armour. You always have interface, mechanical, and cutting tools, as well as sacred unguents, without having to pay prep or count against your capacity.

Techna-Linguist - your knowledge and implants grant potency when you deal with machine spirits.

The Flesh is Weak - Tinker with your mechanical body to ignore penalties from harm during a mission (counts as First Aid - On a 1-3 you may ignore level 1 harm; 4/5 ignore level 1 & 2 harm; 6 ignore all harm; on a Crit ignore all harm and fill in one segment of your healing clock. This effect may not be re-applied until you suffer harm again). You may also permanently fill in one of the segments of your healing clock.

Servitors - you control up to three servitors. Pay prep to equip them with one tool or weapon each during a mission (does not count against your capacity). The prep cost to equip a servitor is the same as it would be if you were adding the item to your own loadout. Get agreement from the table about whether a given item is appropriate for use by a servitor and/or plausible given the current fictional situation.

Auger Array - a superior quality auspex is built into your helmet and interfaces directly with your brain.

Mechanicus - the Machine Cult holds you in such esteem that you are given access to Artificer armour as part of your default loadout, regardless of your current renown.

Ingenious - gain +1 prep when you take the prepare action in downtime.

Veteran x3

Techmarine Unique Item

Omnissian Axe - serves as an icon of the Machine God, a superior power weapon and a combi-tool.

A Note About Special Abilities

All special abilities are both prescriptive and descriptive.

They are prescriptive in that they each have an impact on the game mechanics, whether through dice, position, resources, or effect. For example, the Apothecary special ability, Chemist, lets you spend prep instead of Grace when you aid a squad mate.

Special abilities are also descriptive in that they say something about the character's personality, training, talents, and outlook. An Apothecary with Chemist will be highly effective at evaluating a strange new substance the squad has encountered, even though that is not specifically listed in the special ability text.

It is generally quite clear when the prescriptive aspects of a special ability are applicable - it's in the text of the ability. It is up to the players, however, to point out when a descriptive aspect of a special ability might apply.

A Note About Veteran Advances

While the rules state that a veteran advance can come from any other playbook, there are some special abilities that are very difficult to justify for marines outside of designated specialties. This is particularly true of the Librarian and Techmarine playbooks. It is up to the table to decide whether a special ability is justifiable as a veteran advance for a particular character.

Squad

Special Abilities

Deadly - each PC may add +1 action rating to Prowl, Skirmish or Volley (to a maximum of 3 dots). Each PC may choose a different action rating.

Bound in Light - squad members may assist one another regardless of physical distance as long as they have a means of communication (which is usually not a problem due to microbeads in their helmets).

Compelling - each PC may add +1 action rating to Command, Consort, or Sway (to a maximum of 3 dots). Each PC may choose a different action rating.

Forged in the Fire - each PC gets +1d to resistance rolls.

Legacy - the squad are the most recent bearers of a legendary unit designation. Squad renown counts as 5 higher than the sum of the members' renown.

One Mind - gain +1d to prepare rolls in downtime.

One Heart - gain +1d to heal rolls in downtime.

One Soul - squad members may choose which die to use when making supplicate rolls in downtime (rather than always taking the highest result).

Synchronized - when you perform a group action, you may count multiple 6s from different rolls as a critical success.

Resourceful - each member of the squad gains 1 additional prep box.

Upgrades

Vocation Training - mark 2 xp instead of 1 when you train your playbook.

Insight Training - mark 2 xp instead of 1 when you train your insight.

Prowess Training - mark 2 xp instead of 1 when you train your prowess.

Resolve Training - mark 2 xp instead of 1 when you train your resolve.

Mastery - squad members may improve action ratings to 4 dots. (Costs 4 advances)

Attack and Defence Patterns

Patterns represent the benefits of extensive practice as a group in performing very specific movements and tactics. They allow the squad to execute complex maneuvers with precision timing and consistency.

Each pattern costs 2 advances. Unless noted otherwise in the description, patterns do not usually require an action roll.

Covering Fire - pay 2 prep to have the squad deliver sufficient suppressing fire to either retreat from the immediate encounter or allow another similarly sized force to do the same.

Dig In - mark 2 Grace to have the squad hunker down and endure even the most devastating attacks. Each squad member may ignore the next instance of harm they would suffer. This protection is lost if they leave their current position.

Furious Charge - pay 2 prep to have the squad move rapidly into close combat while avoiding enemy fire. Gain +1 effect on the first round of actions in any resulting combat.

Rapid Advance - pay 2 prep to temporarily have the squad move twice as quickly as would normally be possible. This may, for example, allow them to pursue a foe that would otherwise escape, or to escape from a foe that would otherwise surely have overtaken them.

Tank Buster - pay 2 prep to have the squad focus their fire on the weak points of a single powerful target. Roll a group action (usually Volley, Wreck, or Skirmish) with potency that ignores penalties due to the target's quality of armour or other protection.

Gear

Gear plays two main roles in_ Bolters in the Dark_.

The first is to justify actions in the game fiction (you can't shoot xenos scum if you don't have a gun). One of the GM's responsibilities is to rule on how effective you can be without the proper item(s).

The second role is to improve on existing capabilities (you're welcome to attempt a stealthy approach at any time, but a stummer will make you much better at it). In addition to the item's description below, at the GM's discretion, gear may impact any or all of the three aspects of determining effect (potency, quality, scale).

Each playbook has a custom list of gear that is available at each level of renown, and some items are exclusive to certain playbooks (shown in ALL CAPS on the relevant playbooks).

Signature Wargear

One way to differentiate your character is to identify one or two pieces of wargear you consider "signature items." It is often best to wait until a few sessions into the campaign before making this choice, but you may do so during character creation if you wish. You can't add an item to your Signature Wargear until you have sufficient renown for it to be part of your

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default loadout.

Write the name of the item in the space on your playbook and circle it in the gear section as a reminder. You may change a signature item later, but you lose all accumulated rating dots for the replaced item.

Mark XP on the Wargear track at the end of session or through training in downtime. You may choose to mark XP from a desperate action on the Wargear track instead of the relevant attribute if the item was used during the action. Each time you fill the Wargear track on your playbook, fill in a dot next to one of the Signature Wargear items you have listed. The first dot reduces the item's capacity by 1 (to a minimum of 0). The second dot gives you +1 effect in actions that incorporate the item. The third dot gives +1d to all actions that incorporate the item.

The signature item mechanics might represent the character growing ever more skilled with the item; or it might represent the character gaining access to increasingly powerful versions of the item; or it could be a combination of the two. It is up to the player to describe how it manifests for their character.

Range and Penetration

Some items include effective range in their description and some weapons include a degree of armour penetration. These are noted as follows:

  • Melee: intended for use in close combat
  • Short: effective at up to 20-30 metres
  • Medium: effective at up to 100 metres
  • Long: effective at up to 250 metres
  • Extreme: effective at up to a kilometre
  • Pentratates: light armour is ineffective against this weapon
  • Good Penetration: medium and light armour are ineffective against this weapon
  • Best Penetration: even the heaviest personal armour (and most vehicle armour) is ineffective against this weapon

The following is a list of all personal gear included in Bolters in the Dark, each item's capacity, and very brief notes regarding each item's impact on game mechanics. Consult your playbook for availability.

Item Capacity Notes/Mechanics
Artificer Armour * Ignore harm once per mission; only available at revered
Assault Cannon 3 Long range; good penetration; massive RoF
Auspex 1 Medium range scanner
Bolt Pistol 1 Short range
Bolter 2 Medium range
Chainsword 2 Melee
Cluster Mines 1 Set trap for small group
Combitool 1 Fix, cut, work with mechanical devices
Demolition Charges 1 Shaped charge
Diagnostor Helm 1 +1d to first aid; Apothecary only
Elucidator 0 Translate most languages
EMP Grenades 1 Disrupt all tech in small area
Fire Selector 0 Gain potency with bolter
Flamer 2 Short range; group; set on fire
Force Weapon 2 Melee; good penetration; potency vs. living targets; Librarian only
Frag Grenades 1 Short range, medium blast
Heavy Ammo 1 For one weapon (without this, a heavy weapon may run out of ammo after the first encounter in which it is used)
Heavy Bolter 3 Long range; penetrates; massive rate of fire
Heavy Flamer 3 Short range; huge area; penetrates; burns
Infernus Pistol 1 Short range; best penetration
Iron Halo * Ignore harm once per mission
Jump Pack 2 Double move rate; jump really high
Krak Grenades 1 Short range, good penetration
Lascannon 3 Extreme range; best penetration; extra damage
Lightning Claws 2 Melee; good penetration; extra damage
Masking Screen 0 Chameleon power
Melta Bomb 1 Anti-vehicle/bunker; single
Melta Gun 2 Short range; best penetration
Missile Launcher 3 Extreme range; frag (large blast), krak (good penetration, small blast), stun
Monoblade 1 Melee; less deadly than chainsword but silent
Multi Melta 3 Medium range; best penetration; small blast
Multikey 1 Bypass security device without damage
Narthecium 1 Melee; quality first aid tool; combat drug delivery; when used with

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First Aid fill in 1 segment of target's healing clock; Apothecary only

Omnissian Axe 3 Melee; best penetration; integrated combi-tool; Techmarine only
Plasma Cannon 3 Long range; good penetration; blast
Plasma Grenades 1 Good penetration; continues to burn
Plasma Gun 2 Medium range; good penetration
Plasma Pistol 1 Short range; good penetration
Power Fist 2 Melee; best penetration; extra damage
Power Weapon 2 Melee; good penetration
Psychic Hood 1 Potency when countering enemy psykers; +1 effect to resistance rolls against psychic effects; Librarian only
Signum 1 Reduce the cost of maneuvers you call by 1
Storm Bolter 2 Medium range; massive rate of fire
Storm Shield 2 +1d to resist physical harm
Stummer 0 Deaden sound
Stun Grenades 1 Short range, large blast, stuns
Teleport Homer 1 Instant return to teleportarium
Terminator Armour * Ignore harm twice per mission; integrated Auspex
Thunder Hammer 3 Melee; ignore armour; stun
Vox Caster 1 Planetary/orbital range communication
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