I’ve been thinking about the Inquisitor in Dark Heresy for a bit, and I have to admit that it does present an interesting framework element for a Dark Heresy campaign. Unlike other games, Dark Heresy’s baseline assumption is that you work for an Inquisitor. No if’s, no buts. There’s an Inquisitor, he’s influential, powerful and you work for him.
In some ways, it’s kind of like automatically defaulting to the “Voice from on High” framework. Authority Figure (in this case, the Inquisitor) sends you off to do stuff. Do well, and you get rewarded (or the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve somehow helped the Imperium survive just that much longer.) Fail, and… well usually failing means you never make it back to seeing your Inquisitor anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
This is great for new RPG groups since it’s easier to motivate players to do stuff. Players new to rpgs in general take the missions as they come and work within this episodic framework. Other players, might chafe under this restriction, especially players who actually like to rebel against authority in any form.
That said I think this is really where communication comes in great again. Players need to be able to really commit their characters to the game, and knowing who their Inquisitor is will be a great help. The idea of having them pitch together an Inquisitor that they can see their characters working for (or eventually against) is a sound plan.
There are many ways to spin the type of Inquisitor there is in a game, and the GM can open up the discussion with a baseline of sorts, then start tweaking with input from the players. Personally, I’m considering doing that brainstorming as part of the campaign pitch process, as I can only comfortably put together a pitch once I have an idea of what kind of game my players will be willing to play.
To the guys and girls who’ve played Dark Heresy before, who have been your most memorable Inquisitor encounters as GM or Player? What made them so interesting? I’d love to hear stories of DH games that really capitalized on the Inquisitors, so I’m very interested to see what people have to share.