Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Imperium Maledictum

Welcome to The Macharian Sector

Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Imperium Maledictum is a d100 based system for roleplaying in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, and incorporates all of the best parts of previous Warhammer 40,000 d100 roleplaying games, as well as Cubicle 7’s own award-winning Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition

Players take on the role of citizens of the Imperium in service to a powerful patron, with games focused on investigation and social encounters rather than combat. The Imperium is a deadly place, and the players must tread carefully if they hope to survive. Your service to your patron allows you to move through Imperial society where others can’t. The Influence you and your patron have with the many factions of the Imperium will determine how your investigations proceed, where you can go, and what resources you have access to.

If you’re looking for more action-packed adventures in the 41st Millenium be sure to check out Warhammer 40,000: Wrath & Glory.

The Setting

Far to the Galactic West of Terra, within the Segmentum Pacificus, lies the Macharian Sector — a teeming region of industrious worlds. Yet it holds only a portion of those planets seized for the Imperium by the conquering armies of its namesake, the legendary Lord Solar Macharius. For over five centuries the Macharian Sector has been a productive one, but suffered greatly amidst the darkness of the Noctis Aeterna. Unleashed across the Imperium by the opening of the Great Rift, many planets have been reduced to ruinous shadows of their former selves during the Days of Blinding.

Now, Sector Lord Aulus Sejanus looks to rebuild his shattered domain, but anarchy and sedition are wide-spread. Many oppose his efforts for their own purposes, or look to suborn them to their own interests. The shadows have grown long where once the Lord Solar Macharius’s light shined blindingly bright and no seer can clearly read what will yet come to be for the beleaguered Macharian Sector.

Where the lives of most of the Imperium’s countless billions of citizens are spent in endless, drudging toil, you have been chosen. Whether by luck or accursed misfortune a true power in the sector — your Patron — has lifted you out of obscurity, to use what skills you have in pursuing their own inscrutable agenda. You are bound to them, almost certain to die in their service, but in return enjoy freedoms far greater than those of the average Imperial citizen. You will travel the sector, witness events and vistas beyond the imagination of most citizens, and perhaps outright forbidden to them. From the lush fields of an Agri-World, to the sterile manufactorums of a Forge World; from the decaying bowels of gigantic hive cities, upwards into the glittering spires which pierce polluted skies, and further still into space, travelling the stars in voidships that ply the daemonic realm of the Warp.

Your life only has value as long as you are useful to your Patron. You are a deniable and often expendable asset that can be used to advance their interests, and tossed aside when you are no longer fit to serve their purpose.

Welcome to the grim and treacherous world of Imperium Maledictum.

Our Imperium Maledictum Range

The Imperium Maledictum core rulebook gives players and GMs everything they need to begin playing, including a guide to the Macharian Sector, patrons to serve, and enemies to face. Future books will focus on specific factions, allowing players to take on the roles of agents in service to a powerful Inquisitor, or perhaps as dedicated servants of the ecclesiarchy.

The System

Imperium Maledictum is a d100 based system that allows for deep and rewarding roleplaying and investigation. Skill Tests are quick and straightforward, with an intuitive percentile system that not only tells you whether you succeed or fail, but also how well you succeed (or how gravely you fail!). 

Resorting to violence in Imperium Maledictum can lead to grievous injuries and violent dismemberment, so characters must be prepared and think carefully before drawing their weapons. The unique Superiority system allows characters to prepare for conflict by scouting out their enemies location, learning what weapons they have access to, or even incapacitating an enemy leader. Combat is deadly for the unwary, but with proper preparations it can come to a swift and violent end — without having to spend hours rolling dice to resolve a minor encounter!

However, the characters' investigations can be just as deadly as combat. They must navigate the innumerable factions, alliances, rivalries, and enmities within the Macharian Sector if they hope to survive. Imperium Maledictum uses Influence to represent and track the network of alliances and enemies you and your patron have throughout the sector. Your personal standing and your patron’s Influence can open doors for you or close them just as swiftly. How and when you choose to wield your power will greatly impact your patron’s opinion of you and standing in the Macharian Sector — and may have deadly consequences if used unwisely.

Creating your Patron

The first step of your adventure in the perilous Macharian Sector is for everyone playing the game to collaboratively create a Patron. Your Patron is a powerful individual who has gathered you together as a team to advance their Faction’s goals or serve their own agenda. Patrons are usually unflinching servants of the Imperium, though their precise goals and methods vary wildly, and may be at odds with other Imperial factions. Your choice of Patron will strongly influence your experience of Imperium Maledictum, and every player — including the GM — should be involved.

Patron creation is a vital part of Imperium Maledictum and helps to shape the missions and investigations your party will undertake. However, for those in a rush, we’ve also included a number of sample patrons so you can get straight into making your character.

Creating a Patron is a collaborative process between the players and the Gamemaster. Your patron will have very different goals, depending on what part of the Imperium they represent, and this will influence the missions you undertake, the enemies you face and even the resources at your disposal. To create a Patron, you’ll need to decide on which faction they represent and their place within it, what motivates them, their boons and liabilities, and how much influence they really have.

Influence

Power is a currency all of its own in Imperium Maledictum, and while players may accrue some connections and Influence of their own, their Patron operates at a far higher level. Patrons have relationships with other factions and that ebb and flow during the course of the game — often because of player actions during missions. Factions with whom a Patron is friendly might provide assistance to the characters, while those that hold a grudge against the Patron are likely to be suspicious of anyone acting in their name.

Boons and Liabilities

One of the most important steps of Patron creation is choosing their Boons and Liabilities. Patron Boons are powerful abilities that can be drawn upon between or during missions. Well-armed patrons may provide their servants with the use of rare and precious bolt weapons with which to lay waste to their enemies, while more subtle individuals may provide false identities to allow the party to operate undercover. 

However, for every Boon a Patron enjoys, the GM is allowed to secretly choose a Liability. This might be an old enemy, a rival faction, or a dedication to the Emperor that borders on the obsessive. Whatever the case might be, these liabilities are sure to come back to haunt the players. 

Faction & Duty

The whole group determines the Patron’s Faction. They may be members of the Inquisition, the Astra Militarum, the Adeptus Mechanicus, or any one of the nine major factions in the Macharian Sector. This step more than any other influences the type of game you will be playing. So choose carefully!

A Patron’s Duty defines how they serve their faction — are they a powerful Tech-Priest ruling over a swathe of manufactorums, or perhaps an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos, tracking inhuman threats to the Imperium?

Motivation & Demeanour

Your Patron’s Motivation defines their aspirations and goals, while their Demeanour will define much of how they interact with the party. The players can choose, or they may allow the dice to decide! 

Character Creation

There are eight steps when creating a character in Imperium Maledictum, including determining Characteristics, Skills, Talents, equipment, and background information. But the most formative of these steps are determining your Origin, your Faction, and your Role. You can choose these yourself, or take a chance and let the dice decide — and nab yourself some bonus XP in the process!


Origin

The circumstances of your early life are known as your Origin. This step influences which Faction you may end up serving — a Voidborn has a much higher chance of becoming a member of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica than someone born on an Agri World, for example. Your Origin also grants you a bonus to your starting Characteristics, such as +5 Intelligence for those born on Forge Worlds, or +5 Willpower for those raised on Shrine Worlds.

There are 10 Origins to choose from in the corebook: Agri World, Feudal World, Feral World, Forge World, Hive World, Shrine World, Schola Progenium, and Voidborn.

Faction

Your Faction determines the type of drudging toil that would have consumed your life had you not been recruited by your Patron. Some Factions search for specific attributes, such as intelligence or even aptitude as a Psyker, but most require only an endless stream of bodies to fuel their great work. Your choice of Faction affects your Characteristics, Skills, Talents, Influence, and starting equipment.

There are 9 Factions to choose from in the corebook: Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Adeptus Mechanicus, Administratum, Astra Militarum, Ecclesiarchy, Inquisition, Navis Imperialis, Recidivist, and Rogue Trader Dynasty. 

Role

Your Role is the manner in which you serve your Patron. Your Patron has elevated you from the rest of Imperial society, spending precious time and resources to ensure you can do what they need you to. Your Role may be what you naturally excel at, the logical evolution of your previous life, or something entirely different. 

Your Role describes how you are most likely to approach challenges, and how you will contribute to the group’s success. Your Role determines a lot about how you will play the game: when your Patron needs to gather information, a Savant might be their most valuable operative; they might need assistance from a Penumbra to procure secrets stealthily; an Interlocutor might be essential for negotiation when violence isn’t an option, but the threat (or implementation) of violence from a Warrior might be necessary.

Your Origin and Faction are clear designations within the world of Warhammer 40,000, but your Role is a more fluid term. Your Role is not usually a title, though some may describe you that way (some Warriors are pretty clearly warriors, for instance), but more of a broad classification of how you serve your group and your Patron. Your Role gives you a choice of Talents, grants a number of Advances in Skills frequently associated with the Role as well as in a number of Skill Specialisations, and provides some equipment.

There are 6 Roles in the corebook:

  • Interlocutors have an aptitude for communication and can sway others with their words.
  • Mystics have an understanding of the mysteries of reality, and possibly a connection to the unreality of the Warp.
  • Penumbras are masters of stealth and subterfuge. They use these skills for varied ends, from espionage to assassination.
  • Savants are scholars, experts, or artisans. How they come about their knowledge and expertise varies, from rigorous study, to cerebral imprinting, to communing with non-Human entities.
  • Warriors are fighters through-and-through. They can use any conceivable weaponry to do their job, and have the armour and know-how to come through it alive.
  • Zealots bear the flame of an all-consuming passion. Their fanatical faith drives them to achieve the seemingly impossible, at the cost of their own well-being.

More Artwork from Imperium Maledictum