View Full Version : New Dark Heresy Ruleset Development

September 2nd, 2013, 19:08
Greetings, in playing the Dark Heresy game in Fantasy Grounds, I noticed that there are a few problems with the existing ruleset for Dark Heresy (some things are not functional, no support for linkable elements except psychic powers, etc.).

I decided to re-write the ruleset. I already created the reference library for it and plan on making the ruleset utilize the linkable elements like the Pathfinder one does.

I just started but wanted to give a heads up and a preview. I finished the "main" tab of the character sheet (screenshot attached). Here is some highlights:

1. A better design (in my opinion)
2. Ability to track ability score improvements
3. Dynamic update of elements (for example, the entire movement panel is derived from the agility and strength scores and is not something you enter)
4. A drop-down for the career path
5. A cleaner armor doll closer to that of the printed sheet
6. A fate point counter (like the wound counter)
7. A health state that automatically updates the health (unharmed, lightly wounded, heavily wounded, critically wounded) based on critical and non-critical damage taken and the character's toughness bonus. This eliminates the need to remember what the thresholds are

I will likely change the panel color to something a bit more grey but that will come later. More to come as I continue to develop this. If the developers do not change the development language (Lua and XML), I will likely also update the ruleset to 3.0 when 3.0 is released into production.

Until next time,


September 2nd, 2013, 19:20
Nice work!

LUA and XML is not going away in 3.0 so you should be able to migrate your customised ruleset to 3.0 with little change. Additional work will probably be required if you plan to make use of the CoreRPG and layered framework being introduced in 3.0 - this is the recommended approach so that future functionality additions in FG can be easily rolled into any ruleset based on CoreRPG. Without basing your ruleset on CoreRPG you'd have to manually add new features you like...

September 2nd, 2013, 19:39
Thanks Trenloe.

Making it layer with the core rules is the reason why I would redo the ruleset to 3.0. I am working on it early in order to understand the architecture and development of a ruleset. I fully have the expectation of this process taking a few weeks or months to get the Dark Heresy ruleset ready for FG 3. I'm hoping to make this stable and professional looking. Then I will just need to make minor modifications in order to create the Rogue Trader ruleset soon afterward.

September 6th, 2013, 10:12
Can't wait for you to finish this should be so much easier to use

September 6th, 2013, 22:15
I will definitely let everyone know when it is finished. I have a background in c# web programming so I am technical enough to figure out how to do it. Problem is that it is a rather high learning curve to learn the tricks of ruleset development. For instance, I have gotten the basic and advanced skills to work with reference links. I cannot seem to also get the skill groups to be ones that can be a list that you can drag skills to. I'm still working on that and may have to drop that nicety if I cannot figure it out. I can do it without the code for the basic and advanced skills, but not with it. Not sure what I am missing at the moment.

I just wanted to let you know that it may take a few weeks to finish. In the meantime, the current Dark Heresy ruleset that is there is better than nothing. It is mainly functional. The main areas it misses is the movement and reference links. In addition, the talents have checkboxes for each available talent. Unfortunately, they do not persist and do not save for some reason. Other than that, I would recommend using that until I finish the ruleset.

As a side note, from my searching the threads, I have found that there were at least 1 or 2 others who were making very nice Dark Heresy rulesets (based on partial screenshots that accompanied their questions). Not sure if they were ever finished or not. If they were finished, they were never shared :-( Oh, well, if they had, I wouldn't have had a project to practice ruleset development on.

September 8th, 2013, 01:25
For those that might be waiting for this to be completed, I wanted to give a progress report just to let you know that this development is still happening. I was able to reuse some of the code of the existing Dark Heresy ruleset so it wasn't a complete re-development.

Here is what changed:

1. Got rid of ability as a separate label. Also removed the ability score itself since I think it wasn't necessary - needed the extra space
2. Added reference links to the basic and advanced skills
3. Got rid of the special homeworld abilities as a separate panel
4. Created a Basic and Advanced Skills area that are not pre-populated. These are used for group skills and for advanced skills that are basic for particular classes. These custom basic and advanced skills are not calculated like the others. This puts more onus on manual calculations but makes them more flexible for non-typical skill cases. They are lists and have reference links. You can drag skills from a reference library into these lists

Development will most likely be quicker at this point since I have spent a lot of time thus far figuring out how the ruleset components work. Everything else should be similar situations to what I have already developed.

Until next time,


September 11th, 2013, 14:57
If you'd like you could also post what you learned and how you did things - especially ones the one you had to research. Might help others who want to convert rules sets...

I, for one, would be very much interested. ;-)

September 12th, 2013, 04:34
The easy answer was that I looked at other completed rulesets in order to see how certain components (such as reference links) work. Not sure how to document the process any better than that, particularly since I know enough to make the sheets work but don't know if I am doing everything perfectly the way they are intended.

If this were to happen, it would depend on two things:

1. I honestly would not put any time into any tutorials until I completed ruleset development for version 3 of Fantasy Grounds, since it is a major release and the ruleset development change is big in that you can overload the core rules and add to it for other game systems, and

2. I had the time. It would be after I finished creating the ruleset itself. I don't mind helping out but it would not be a priority over creating the ruleset itself. In reality, it would not only be after the Dark Heresy ruleset refresh after 3.0 of FG, but also my intended creation of Rogue Trader for FG 3, since I believe that would only be a minor change from Dark Heresy. After those are created, I would consider putting together a tutorial.

September 12th, 2013, 08:51
Hey, no pressure. I am just working on my first official FG component (All for One Setting for Savage Worlds) and every best practice report I can get will help me. I feel it's pretty much "figure it out by yourself" atm. Building the libraries I feel comfortable with right now, changing the GUI... not. ;-)

September 14th, 2013, 16:26
Does anyone here have a library for Dark Heresy? I'd love to GM a game for it.
Thanks in advance for your replies

September 16th, 2013, 01:45
For those waiting for the new ruleset, here is your progress report for this week.

I finished the talents tab (which also includes abilities, cybernetics, and traits. The previous ruleset had all talents listed with checkboxes but did not seem to save selections. The one I am providing does not list all available talents with checkboxes. Instead, I took the route that a character will have very few talents and it was more important to give the ability to have linkable talents to a reference library.

I probably would have had a lot more completed but I ended up spending most of the week modifying my rules library to accommodate the cybernetics and inventory. Before all armory items was in a table. In the modified version, each item has an individual record that can be linked to.


September 16th, 2013, 01:53
Does anyone here have a library for Dark Heresy? I'd love to GM a game for it.
Thanks in advance for your replies

I have a library. You can send me a PM with your email address and I can send it to you. Keep in mind though that I created it for my ruleset (which will be named WH40KDarkHeresy, rather than the existing ruleset called DarkHeresy) so there will be some slight re-tooling for it to work correctly for the old ruleset.

September 23rd, 2013, 02:04
Good evening,

For those that are following the progress of this ruleset, you have no doubt noticed that I try to give progress reports once a week. I want those who are waiting to not give up hope that I will finish (and then share).

For this week, I have completed a tab completely dedicated to weapons. It not only displays the weapons, but has the ability to link to a reference. It also allows for dragging of a weapon from the library I created to the weapon list. Finally, it provides an ammo counter for each weapon.

In addition to this tab, I have re-tooled the main tab. I was able to put all attributes in one straight line by abbreviating the labels (i.e., S for Strength, T for Toughness, Ag for Agility, etc.). In order to provide maximum user friendliness, a tool tip is provided to display the whole label when you hover over the abbreviation. I also added more description info (build, eye color, etc.) on the main tab. Finally, I re-tooled the main tab and the skills tab to allow for rolling of the attributes and skills by double clicking and dragging from the number field. A message in the chat box shows not only the roll result, but what the score needed for success should be.

Finally, I also changed the main tab to have both a portrait and a token and created a custom die for d5 die rolls.

Please see the attached images.

Until next time,


October 7th, 2013, 05:44
I know I said I would do weekly updates but I had to travel for work the last couple of weeks. As a result, I didn't finish as much as I wanted. I did complete the tab that keeps track of gear (and wealth). I am pretty close to finishing the Psychic Powers tab but I figured that if I didn't post some sort of update, some of you who may be waiting may think I gave up :-)

So, until next time, enjoy the preview. I estimate that I within a couple of weeks of finishing the character sheet part of the ruleset. I don't think the rest of the ruleset needs much change (if any) so I suspect that I will be able the share the final version of the ruleset within 2-3 weeks.



Paul Pratt
October 9th, 2013, 17:02
Excellent progress. The set looks great, can't wait to try it.

October 11th, 2013, 07:33
Great news! I have pretty much finished the character sheet. I just have a few things left to do, mainly centered on testing the ruleset and adding a quick reference for certain actions (i.e., common actions and what type half/full action) like the current Dark Heresy character sheet has. I hope to be complete with the ruleset by the end of this weekend.

Here is what is contained in the Psychic Powers and XP Spent tabs.

Psychic Powers:

Draggable powers
Insanities, corruption, and mutations
Dragging or double-clicking the psy rating rolls a psychic power roll

XP Spent:

Xp spending tracking
Player notes
Gm notes

On a side-note, once I have finished with the ruleset, I will be starting my Dark Heresy campaign. I already have 3 players but I can always use 1-2 more. Game is every other Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm pacific time. Please send me a private message if you are interested in joining the game.

October 11th, 2013, 21:35
Looks great!

So good in fact, that you might need to run a demo of this at FG Con 3! :D

October 14th, 2013, 06:18
This weekend I focused on the "Personalities" aspect of the game (since I had finished with the character sheet). I just have the "Items" aspect and then a few small clean-up items and I will be finished with the ruleset.

Please see the attached to see what the Personalities GM character sheets look like. This is much more in depth than the previous Dark Heresy ruleset and support reference links to the a Dark Heresy library file.

The next progress report will be to report that the ruleset is completed and uploaded on the forum.

October 14th, 2013, 06:21
Looks great!

So good in fact, that you might need to run a demo of this at FG Con 3! :D

We'll see if I can put something together and have time to run a game. I have been focusing on using my free time to get the ruleset created so I can share it with others. Hopefully I will have time to cook up something. If not, then at least I created something for the rest of the folks :-)

October 14th, 2013, 07:41
This is looking fantastic - keep up the great work.

October 16th, 2013, 07:47
Greetings, I have completed the ruleset and I have uploaded it into the Armory part of the FG forums.

Link to the Dark Heresy Ruleset in the Armory (https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?19724-New-Warhammer-40k-Dark-Heresy-Ruleset-Created&p=159267#post159267)

Note: This ruleset only works if you create a campaign for it. This ruleset (like most others) does not support the offline "Manage Characters" aspect at this time.

Below are a couple more screenshots that I haven't shared (combat tracker and a quick reference guide, which is accessed by clicking on the small chaos symbol from within the main tab of the character sheet - bottom right).

As a FYI, I am spending the next couple of days or so to finish my library file that goes with this ruleset. Due to copyright issues, I cannot post the library file. If I have previously promised to "show you" this file, I will get back to you in the next few days. If you wish to "see" the library file and I haven't already promised to show it to you, just send me a private message with your email address and I will oblige.

This will be the last progress report as the ruleset is complete (barring any reports of major issues that I need to fix).



October 26th, 2013, 16:52
Any thought about running a game during FG Con 3? I know we have one set up for Sunday the 3rd but Perhaps a Demo for others could get more games to start to pop-up for more to have some fun.

October 26th, 2013, 21:02
Thanks for the suggestion - I have thought quite a bit about doing it.

Ultimately, I decided not to. Not because I don't want to but because of other priorities.

Now that Fantasy Grounds 3 is in beta testing, I believe that it won't be too long before FG 3 goes into production. I had always had the intention of the version 2 ruleset being a practice ruleset to learn how to develop for FG.

Instead, I am working as quickly as I can to develop the version 3 Dark Heresy ruleset so that when FG 3 goes live, it will be ready. I don't know whether the version 2 ruleset will still work when FG 3 goes into production, which is why I want to spend my time getting the version 3 ruleset developed.

November 12th, 2013, 19:49
Great work! The Emperor would be proud of you :D

November 17th, 2013, 01:55
Good evening, I wanted to give a status on the Fantasy Grounds 3.0 Dark Heresy ruleset development (just so you don't think I gave up). I have all of the character sheet tabs created, as well as the NPC sheets. I am working on the combat tracker, items, and parcels. After I finish these last three items, the ruleset should be complete (I believe).

I have beta tested my ruleset last weekend and plan on doing so next weekend, as well. My goal is to have the ruleset completed by the time FG 3.0 goes into production (although if that takes longer than a couple of weeks, I can provide the ruleset early).

Attached is a PDF that shows screenshots and has notes about the ruleset.

Please note, however, that I focused on functionality, not specialized graphics. I left the CoreRPG graphics for the buttons because they are easy to read (as opposed to the former WH40k ones from the 2.0 version, which were confusing at times).