Review: Fantasy Flight Games – The Lathe Worlds (Dark Heresy)

The Lathe Worlds
The Lathe Worlds is a supplement for the gothic sci-fi, space opera system Dark Heresy written by Matthew Boles, Max Brooke, Kendall Butner, Andy Chambers, Craig Gallant, Andy Hoare, and Ross Watson and published by Fantasy Flight Games.
By Aaron T. Huss

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The Lathe Worlds is the Adeptus Mechanicus sourcebook for Dark Heresy with a focus on the Tech-Priest career. The Lathe Worlds is as much a focus on the mechanicum worlds within the Calixis Sector as much as it is an expansion of the tech-priest career and alternate ranks for the Adeptus Mechanicus. Dark Heresy sourcebooks are a varied collection of source material and in-game mechanics with The Lathe Worlds focusing more on the source material. It’s not obvious until you dig into this book, but the mechanicum has quite a large presence within the Calixis Sector, almost above and beyond what you find for the imperium. It is as if the mechanicum is an entity of its own living side-by-side with the imperium. It is presented as such in The Lathe Worlds and you are presented with a whole new “world” of options for Dark Heresy adventures and campaigns.


The Cult Mechanicus is a look at the Adeptus Mechanicus as a whole, from its roots in Mars to its excursions to the Calixis Sector. The topic of what comprises the mechanicum within the Calixis Sector is described here along with the various sects that are involved.

Servants of the Omnissiah contains the in-game mechanics providing alternate career ranks for tech-priests along with other careers that have a place within the mechanicum. Additionally new skills and weapons are provided.

Dominions of the Lathes is a focusing of the Adeptus Mechanicus in the Calixis Sector by looking at how it stands as a separate entity from the rest of the imperium, controlling its own worlds and other facilities floating in the void. This is where you learn how different the Adeptus Mechanicus is and how it can greatly take your Dark Heresy games in a different direction.

The Light of Reason is a fully fleshed out Adeptus Mechanicus adventure, taking place on a secret asteroid with many mechanicum secrets inside. It’s a great adventure and helps introduce the differing world of the mechanicum.


I’ll admit it, I’m as much of a fan of the Dark Heresy game as I am the Warhammer 40k fluff presented within Dark Heresy. Thus, I’m a completist when it comes to their releases and love to dig into the source material within their sourcebooks. With that in mind, The Lathe Worlds is another great addition to the series and not only presents additional information about the Adeptus Mechanicus, but provides a number of places for you to take your games involving the mechanicum and their holdings. I would have preferred to see more content about their ranks and a look inside an actual forge, but instead The Lathe Worlds presents a number of new opportunities to include in your Dark Heresy games. As I said before, the Adeptus Mechanicus is almost like its own entity in parallel with the imperium.


Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The last few Dark Heresy books I’ve reviewed have exhibited poor editing. I’m glad to see the editing quality is back to its previous level with only the most minor misses to be found, as opposed to the very blatant ones from before. I was very happy to see the quality of editing to be considerably higher than the previous few books along with the great artwork, layout, and formatting always found throughout. Once again, here is another beautiful Dark Heresy book to add to your bookshelf.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
Considering The Lathe Worlds as a whole, only 25% of the book is given over to in-game mechanics. The rest covers background fluff and new locations for the Game Master. The good thing is this 25% provides new alternate ranks for tech-priests and other careers wishing to get more involved with the Adeptus Mechanicus. Additionally, there is a collection of new skills with the mechanicum in mind along with new implants and equipment.

Value Add: 8 out of 10
I’m slightly torn on the decision to present a higher number of opportunities using the Adeptus Mechanics versus presenting fewer, but with more detail and a deeper look into what makes them operate. One major theme of the Adeptus Mechanics are their many forges that produce a number of supplies to the imperium. The very concept of it produces a number of adventure opportunities as anyone may desire to infiltrate one of these forges and steal what’s inside. However, The Lathe Worlds doesn’t present a detailed look at what’s inside the forges or what the Adeptus Mechanics actually do on a day-to-day basic. Instead, you are presented with an entity within the imperium that acts as though it functions completely on its own. You are given a number of new worlds and void-faring locations to have adventures or use within a campaign. Not that this is a wrong approach, it just presents more of an overview of the Adeptus Mechanicus instead of drilling down into the nitty-gritty.

Overall: 9 out of 10
The Lathe Worlds is an excellent sourebook covering the Adeptus Mechanics and their holdings within the Calixis Sector. While I may desire the need to learn more details about an actual forge world (or one of the Lathe worlds), this book at least presents you with that opportunity from an overview basis. It is still valuable to both GMs and players and gives everyone a new direction to take their adventures.

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