I will be 100% honest right here up front with you; I have never cared for the Warhammer 40,000 setting. Nothing about it has ever appealed to me. I don’t like the angst of it, or should I say “Grim-Dark”-ness of it, nor do I like even just the basic premise of the setting. I understand that there are people out there who like it and will gladly give Games Workshop thousands of dollars for the privilege to play it. And I really do get the feeling that that’s how GW sees it, a privilege. So with all that being said it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise when I tell you I was in no way excited about the Dark Heresy RPG.
And then I played it.
Now I’ll tell you right now that my opinion of the setting is still the same as it’s always been. Thankfully the game itself has enough positive points, such as the advancement system, that when combined with a good GM it becomes a game that I not only like, but look forward to playing whenever that GM wants to run it. But I really don’t expect anything less from Fantasy Flight Games. They really know what they’re doing when it comes to game design. That extends to the character sheet.
Other than maybe the odd Stat placement down the middle of the sheet I can’t really find much fault here when it comes to utility. I would say maybe a little more area for Talents and Psychic Powers so you can write out what they do so you don’t have to keep flipping through the book. I would also like it to list all the skills for both basic and advanced. Also it would have been a good idea to include a small box that just gives you a very quick rundown of the general die mechanic. But that’s a minor issue.
I do, however, really like the inclusion of the Damage Silhouette. They could have easily gotten by just including the boxes but they didn’t.
I may have just gotten a little spoiled since I actually use a copy of the full-on portfolio for my character and it has tons of room for everything you need but I think, as stated above, there needs to be more room for Talents, Psyichic Powers and Skills. However, I can’t really find any places where I would be able to trim empty space except maybe the borders, which are there so it prints properly when in the book.
But I do think some creative rearranging could help give players some more room.
Well, as stated before I do not like the 40k setting. I find it overly dour and melodramatic for my tastes. And this sheet… Well, it doesn’t really get that across too well. And normally that would get a bad grade from me but I personally feel that it would be to the sheet’s detriment to go full out with the design. Not every group is going to have the same experience and this sheet does a great job of kind of riding a neutral state between generic and too much. It’s just the right amount. It isn’t all covered in skulls but the shape of the central “column” is a direct reference to the symbol of the Inquisition and thus captures setting without being overt.
Space Management: B
Setting Embodiment: B
While I’ve seen better sheets from smaller companies I think this one is a well-designed, solid sheet that while it may not scream “40k” it at least lets you know the game company cared. So now that Fantasy Flight has the Star Wars license they have no excuse to half-ass the sheets for any game that might come from that.