Review: Fantasy Flight Games – Daemon Hunter (Dark Heresy)

Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter
Daemon Hunter is a supplement for the gothic sci-fi system Dark Heresy written by Andy Hoare, Owen Barnes, Alex Davey, Ian Hardin, Charles May, Kevin Rubitsky, Paul Tucker, and Ross Watson and published by Fantasy Flight Games.
By Aaron T. Huss

Daemon Hunter is a Dark Heresy sourcebook filled with fluff and mechanics concerning the Ordo Malleus and its militant arm the Grey Knights. It follows Blood of Martyrs with a mixture of background and source material combined with character creation/advancement mechanics plus great tools for the Game Master. It focuses on all aspects of the Ordo Malleus including the types of characters used to combat the Enemy Beyond and the weapons used in those efforts. Topping it all off are all the mechanics needed to run a Grey Knights adventure.


As with all Dark Heresy sourcebooks (and this is a really good thing), Daemon Hunter begins with a plethora of background material to help you visualize what it means to be part of the Ordo Malleus and where their roots lie. You gain an understanding of their origins, operations within the Calixis Sector, general structure, major incidents, and what it takes to battle the Enemy Beyond. The fluff gives you a look at the organization, main figures within the organization, and how to incorporate this into your adventures and campaigns (although this is written in a fluff manner and not a crunch manner. This chapter is capped off with a great narrative giving explanations of the four chaos gods.


Hunter Careers is the crunch that ties the fluff to in-game terms considering character creation and advancement. Here you will find background packages, alternate career ranks, and cell directives (following the new mechanic found in Blood of Martyrs). It’s an interesting collection of mechanics for creating the types of individuals found within the Ordo Malleus and presenting them for players to create unique acolytes. One thing that really stands out within these new options are the new talents introduced in the alternate career ranks. This is a great way to keep characters unique instead of advancing them so they are too similar to characters of other career paths. This is a path I hope to see followed within all future alternate career ranks.


Malleus Armoury is the obligatory companion to Hunter Careers providing all the equipment associated with the art of hunting daemons (not Grey Knights equipment, just acolytes equipment). This includes new equipment like force fields, conversion beamer, daemon hammer, and more. If you are going to battle the daemonic threat, you’ll need to be properly equipped.


Daemonic Incursion is the ultimate daemon toolkit for Game Masters. Not only does it contain some fluff information about how to role-play daemons, it also contains a simple yet powerful creation tool for making your own lesser, harald, and greater daemons. In addition, it takes a look at the four chaos gods and their standard daemons, such as Daemonettes for Slaanesh. Capping of this chapter is a nasty beastiary containing seven daemons and daemonic weapons to equip them with.


Almost as the ultimate bonus, Daemon Hunter contains a full write-up on the Grey Knights. This chapter includes their origin, presence within the Calixis sector, how to create Grey Knights characters (Ascension level space marines), the listing of their new psychic powers, and of course, Grey Knights equipment. I call this chapter a bonus because you can’t really incorporate Grey Knights directly into a standard Dark Heresy game without throwing off its balance. They are equivalent to Inquisitors and Throne Agents, with access to some killer equipment and new psychic powers. They are more designed to be used in a spin-off adventure or stand-alone campaign where all characters are Grey Knights combating some of the most dangerous daemons in the sector. When you see the stats for greater daemons, you’ll understand that you NEED that Grey Knights to combat them. This chapter includes several ideas and methods for using Grey Knights in adventures and campaigns including the possibility of placing side-by-side with your acolytes.

I will cap this part of the review off with one final thought: Nemesis Dreadknight – look it up, because it’s just that awesome!


Daemon Hunter is a definite must have for those who want to run adventures and (especially) campaigns involving daemons, their minions, and their worshipers. Players will find new mechanics for creating the characters necessary to combat the daemonic incursions along with equipping their Acolytes with the proper equipment. Game Masters will find a simple yet powerful toolkit for creating daemons along with a wealth of material to enhance your Ordo Malleus games. Its sole purpose is the combating of the daemonic; even if you don’t need that, there is a great amount of fluff material that can be incorporated elsewhere to keep your campaigns moving.


Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Fantasy Flight Games has landed on a beautiful layout and presentation for all their core books and sourcebooks. It’s extremely easy to read and visually pleasing. There’s a great collection of illustrations, although some of them seem a bit random at times, that are always true to the Warhammer 40K look and feel. Some of their books lately have obvious editing mistakes that detract from the professional quality of the books, but at least there aren’t too many. One thing that Dark Heresy books have always done very well is their character illustrations giving you definite eye-candy while you’re reading the fluff and mechanics for creating new character types and using alternate ranks.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
There are two new mechanics that really stand-out in Daemon Hunter: Grey Knights and alternate career ranks. Within the core rulebook and within many pages of source material, alternate career ranks provide different flavor for characters but it never really made them very different from other characters. I’ve always had the complaint that as characters increase in rank, they all seem to appear more and more like other career paths. The alternate career ranks in Daemon Hunter utilize more new, unique talents not found or offered elsewhere making these ranks truly different from other characters and creating a character that does feel like a cookie-cutter character.

The Grey Knights section is truly amazing, although utilizing them within an Acolytes mission would be horribly unbalanced. They are designed to be comparable with Ascension characters, but more importantly, they are designed to be used as a side-mission or even a new campaign. They follow the mechanics of Dark Heresy as opposed to those of Deathwatch and truly have that Ordo Malleus feel. In addition, they have access to some of the coolest weapons and gear and when you see the stats of a Greater Daemon, you’ll understand why they need to be so strong. You won’t be able to ascend to a Grey Knights, but what a vignette they would make to a Throne Agents mission.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
It’s obvious that Daemon Hunter has a very defined purpose: create daemons and the characters that hunt them down. There is a full chapter on creating daemons and loads of material for creating Acolytes to investigate and then call in the Grey Knights to exterminate them (although the Acolytes should have no problem with a lesser daemon). I wish there were mechanics for ascended Throne Agents as daemons can be much too powerful for most Acolytes. However, this does not mean the book is not valuable as it presents lots of new options for creating daemon hunting characters including background packages and alternate career ranks along with a very detailed set of mechanics for creating your own daemons. And don’t forget to grab your daemon hammer in the process… yeah, they’re in here too!

Overall: 10 out of 10
Daemon Hunter is an excellent book, filled with options for character creation and advancement, new equipment, GM tools to create daemons, and of course, the mechanics to create your own Grey Knights and run a series of missions. Along with all the new mechanics, there is a great amount of fluff and background concerning the Ordo Malleus and its presence within the Calixis Sector plus a fair amount of fluff concerning the Grey Knights as well. If you want to fully incorporate the Ordo Malleus into your Dark Heresy adventures and campaigns, this is really the best book to get.

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