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[40K/Wrath and Glory] Miserable Heresies: Secret-rich Planet Generation


Another Kill Team...
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Between Kill Team and Wrath & Glory I’ve been particularly hyped for 40K and I’m getting increasingly tempted to run a higher Tier Inquisition game in the latter. But I’m still in love with Miserable Secrets, the game that’s given me unprecedented success in actually running investigation based play. As a result, anything I do will probably resemble MS quite closely, and I thought it’d be useful to port the Town Generator from that game to a Planet Generator for that purpose.

I’m assuming random planet generators already exist in the FFG 40K games, or can be easily adapted from other sci fi games. This is more aimed at creating a situation dense with secrets ripe for investigation. These planets should have about a milestone’s worth of play in them; in Miserable Secrets a randomly generated town is the subject of an entire adventure usually taking multiple sessions. Wrath and Glory has its own investigation system but it is more zoomed in than this; you should find fodder for several such investigations lurking in a random spread of the following material. The generator does not directly supply Clues and Cues (or Secrets from a Miserable Secrets perspective), but should inspire in you a twisted scenario from which such things fall out naturally.

Miserable Secrets uses a deck of cards comprising of A, 2, 3, 4, 5, Q in each suit and the following generators are presented accordingly. But if you’d prefer you can use a d6 with 1 as A and 6 as Q, plus a d4 read as follows:

1. Clubs
2. Spades
3. Diamonds
4. Hearts

When generating a Miserable Secrets town I generally prefer to reshuffle my deck at each major step, but there is no compulsory schedule for doing so. Likewise if drawing contradictory or duplicate results you may freely choose to redraw, choose another, try to make the result work in the fiction anyway etc.

Step 1: World Type

Draw one card to determine what sort of World you are generating, reading the number for the overall type and the suit for the variant. The World Type implies an NPC and a location, neither of which is compulsory to use but should complement the existing expectations you’ll have of such worlds from your existing knowledge of the 40K universe or the premise in general.

A. Hive World

Dominated by the eponymous continent-spanning Hive Cities, the Imperium relies on these worlds for the endless stream of raw humanity it needs for troops, labour, colonists and worse. There is no such thing as a self-sufficient Hive World, and any time their security comes under threat trillions of souls are imperiled.

Clubs: Famine Ghost

This world was cut off from the Imperium for at least the brief period needed to create catastrophic supply shortage, and ninety nine percent of its population died by starvation, violence and pestilence in the ensuing collapse. Now an Imperial recolonisation effort faces madened survivors, the things that took to the empty hive towers while the Emperor’s gaze was averted, and so very many skulls.

Implies a Survivor Leader who does not accept the new Governor’s legitimacy.

Implies an Apocalypse Cache surrounded by the bones of starving hivers who failed to breach its defences.

Spades: Gang Anarchy

Hive Worlds are mostly the domain of warring gangs, but it’s rare for the brawling to bubble up to consume and completely replace the planetary government. Little more than serfs of whatever ganglord claims their homes as territory on a given day, the people of this world have no recourse but faith and the autogun.

Implies gang lords with sufficient acumen to ensure the Imperial Tithe is paid, who have barely succeeded each year.

Implies a Frateris Militia monastery complex that itself arguably comprises the largest gang lair on the planet.

Diamonds: Labour Mill

The Imperium considers this world a cheap factory for cheap, low-quality goods, and avoids investing in any of the materials or processes that would unnecessarily improve production. When talented individuals happen across any solution to daily challenges of the world other than bone-grinding labour, they are swiftly moved off-planet to tasks of literally any importance whatsoever.

Implies a returnee whose talents were put to terrible use and whose head holds all of the wrong knowledge.

Implies a secret facility where the substandard components are assembled into convincing but flawed war machines.

Hearts: Prayer Battery

This planet’s trillions of inhabitants have no purpose but to pray. While various busywork and meaningless gang battles are permitted them, the Imperium has no interest in anything but their spiritual labours. As a result, the planet can boast countless churches, cathedrals and devotional statues.

Implies an Arch-Confessor going to increasingly extreme lengths to manufacture devotional innovations.

Implies only trillions of prayers can hold back whatever is behind the Inquisitorial Seal.

2. Death World

World where the native flora, fauna and environment are so unrelentingly inimical to human life that the Imperium has no rational business being there. And yet, that is your destination…

Clubs: Bloody-minded Colony

The enemies of the Imperium sometimes uncharitably describe its military strategy as attempting to choke the foe with sufficient human corpses until they can claim the resulting quagmire a victory. In truth the Astra Militarum would never stoop to such crude and wasteful use of bodies that belong to the emperor; but when establishing a colony in the face of the remarkable hostility of its environment has been linked to the personal pride of a luminary of the Senatorum, the strategy has its place.

Implies terrified colonial leadership who know their necks are next on the block.

Implies the lost ruins of the last colony and the one thing anyone could ever want in this blood-soaked hell.

Spades: Bioforge

Even the accelerated biosphere of a Death World does not provide novel horrors that can be usefully unleashed on the Imperium’s enemies at a pace that satisfies demand. The only rational response is to artificially provoke the development of ever more vicious predators and send the most promising ones off in the confines of voidships.

Implies a Chief Hunter responsible for capturing specimens at a horrific but acceptable cost in materials and personnel.

Implies a landing pod used to infiltrate the enhanced biosphere with something much, much worse.

Diamonds: Mining World

Death Worlds are sometimes just the symptom of interesting geology. Usually the biosphere of such a planet will be extinguished prior to mineral exploitation, but in this case the cost of necessary weaponry was considered to outweigh the expected loss of production at mining sites from xenofauna incursions.

Implies a cult of underground-dwelling miners driving their enemies out onto their surface as sacrifices.

Implies a blood-soaked surface temple whose mechanisms feed the mineral veins below.

Hearts: Prison World

Walls, security, food and other necessities of keeping prisoners are drain upon the Emperor’s bounty, a heretical waste of his largesse. Infinite fanged maws, venom blooms and lightning fogs are essentially free.

Implies a voidship captain selling passage offworld to prisoners for a cruel price.

Implies a killswitch bunker where the prison’s master can trigger Exterminatus on the planet at need.

3. Paradise World

A planet not only blessed with not only perfect natural beauty and ideal conditions for human habitation, but the good fortune that the Emperor’s servants do not require it for any other purpose.

Clubs: New Settlement

A mix of retired veterans, exemplary workers and lottery winners have been chosen as colonists for this perfect gem of a planet. Supplied with the finest equipment and materials, they have been charged with cultivating a noble future.

Implies a Patriot of the New World inspiring their fellow settlers in the hopes of influencing the planetary character in the coming centuries.

Implies a hidden church where the settlement’s sponsor cultivates a carefully designed heresy.

Spades: Ambush World

A mix of retired veterans, exemplary workers and lottery winners have been chosen as colonists for this perfect gem of a planet. Supplied with the finest equipment and materials, they have been charged with cultivating a noble future. When the inevitable attack comes, they have been further charged to lure the enemy as deeply into engagement as possible before springing the trap.

Implies a Xenos infiltrator on the verge of seeing through the lie.

Implies a hidden church where would-be martyrs are frustrated at how hard it is to bootstrap a chaos infestation in the one place the Imperium actually wants one.

Diamond: Bioarchive

Paradise worlds, being perfect for human habitation, are likewise ideal for the many animals and plants that by the Emperor’s grace have served humanity. As planets progress from Paradise status to Hive Worlds or whatever other use the Emperor has for them, representative samples of their flora and fauna are transplanted to these archive worlds, to flourish in preparation for such time as they can serve again.

Implies a High Botanist needing test subjects for weaponised hybrids.

Implies a ransacked seed vault.

Hearts: Privileged Retreat

Even with the greatest faith, the responsibilities of humanity’s leaders weigh heavily upon their heroic shoulders. So great is the burden of their duty that after making the great sacrifices necessary for victory in the Emperor’s name, they are not permitted the mercy of the bolter shell and must accept a period of spiritual retreat. On jewelled beaches they gird themselves for their next great labours.

Implies a sacrosanct Hero of the Imperium suffering hallucinations and trying to get back to the front.

Implies an island where the treasures “secured” from the “liberation” of a “traitorous” Hive World are secured.

4. Civilised World

These worlds are how the Imperium likes to imagine itself, more industry and purpose than a Paradise World, but without the unseemly squalor of the Hives. For the most part they are still utterly dependent on voidship commerce, but are net beneficiaries of the Imperial system (all worlds are, of course, net beneficiaries of the Emperor’s Grace).

Clubs: Agri World

The Emperor has relieved humanity of innumerable causes of suffering, but in his eternal wisdom saw fit to leave us with hunger, for the growing of food is a sacred labour that ennobles the soul. Blessed are these worlds that feed their brothers and sisters, and woe betide the Governor blessed with such an opportunity that allows their tithe of bread to fail.

Implies the heir to the Governor attempting to sabotage production just enough to cost their parent’s head without the family losing their franchise.

Implies the factory producing fake, nutritionless food in the hopes that anyone at all will survive this year’s tithe deadline.

Spades: Regional Capital

While planetary governors are largely powers to themselves, power inevitably accumulates in layers between lone worlds and Holy Terra. The Departmento Munitorum for its part is perfectly happy to aggregate the collection of its tithe if the regional potentate likewise ensures that is to the Emperor’s benefit. The splendor of such a Lord’s seat only increases as all concerned invest in their headquarters there and buy the Ecclesiarchy’s favour with pious constructions.

Implies a visiting member of the Senatorum Imperialis intent on adding the regional Lord to their own panoply of clients.

Implies Adeptus Arbites Precinct-Fortress massively reinforced ahead of the coming raids.

Diamond: Forge World

A fief of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Cult of the Machine God, source of the most advanced technology produced by humanity. Even an Inquisitor should show care when striding this world’s metal surface; not only are the Tech-priests enigmatic and driven by strange calculations, their willingness to bend to any Imperial authority below the Emperor Himself is uncertain.

Implies an increasingly frustrated Departmento Munitorum Chancellor who is finding that not all her power nor all the Thrones in the sector can get one more ship out of this Forge World than the Tithe demands.

Implies a Titan, freshly returned from a classified war, undergoing repairs.

Hearts: Shrine World

Whatever else this world is or was, it is the final resting place of an Imperial Saint, dedicated to their honour and a beacon for pilgrims throughout the Empire. The Saint’s massive mausoleum-basilica is a city in its own right yet not enough to contain the faithful; citizens the world over must share space in their churches with pilgrims from across the stars.

Implies a Servo Skull secretly fashioned from the Saint herself that she might continue to watch over her world, rewarding the faithful and purging the heretical with her transcendent fire.

Implies a Sacred Crematorium, where pilgrims cast themselves into the fires that their ashes might linger on the Saint’s world.

5. Ruin

Worlds are but another resource to be expended in the glorious cause of the Emperor. Judging by the carcasses of planets littering the galaxy even before the Great Crusade, those who dared to laid claim to His domain in ancient times in ignorance of His coming had even less sentimentality in this regard. Now, if a world’s bones can be of use to the Emperor, it will be settled and pay its tithe as surely as even the most pristine Paradise World.

Clubs: Xenos Ruin

It is not clear who the Xenos fought here, only that they lost. With the scale of the destruction and the passage of time, the broken temples and defence-mandalas have lost whatever ruinous powers they once had, and it has been determined it would the greater heresy and cowardice besides to let the world’s resources lay fallow.

Implies a Xenos infiltrator from the other faction undecided whether the humans form an effective block against resettlement by species that matter, or should be purged like any others foolish enough to touch this cursed world.

Implies a plasma reactor matrix, powered by a semi-restored defence mandala, against Adeptus Mechanicus advice, and the cause of brisk departure of all non-essential Adeptus Mechanicus personnel.

Spades: Reclaimed Warzone

Following yet another glorious victory for the servants of the Emperor, custody of this planet has been passed from the war council back to the family of the late, heroically martyred Governor. Between the veterans of the civilian militias (in which the entire populace patriotically participated in during the final phase of the war) returning to their former lives and eager new settlers, this planet will soon once again be a full participant in the Emperor’s great project of humanity.

Implies a former militia commander incensed that those bastards dare to call this a victory and heap honours on each other on ground made sacred by the blood of true martyrs.

Implies a trench network where the cause of the next invasion is buried in corpses.

Diamonds: Ancient Human

The galaxy is vast, the warp treacherous and sadly in ancient days an unfortunate human civilisation might live and die entirely outside the light of the Emperor’s infinite bounty. Thankfully the ceaseless industry of the Imperium has now welcomed this world into the fold, and the souls of the ancient humans can rest easy knowing in their small way they have served the Emperor.

Implies a Blood Angels chaplain searching the ruins and feeling strangely akin to the world’s lost aristocracy.

Implies skeleton cities where radioactive memories prey on the unwary.

Hearts: Fleet Graveyard

A truly titanic orbital battle littered the surface of this world with ship wreckage, mostly Imperial. After the xenos wrecks were sterilised by Nova cannon fire, the Governor judged the world would never again be able to make its Tithe and would be trapped in a vicious cycle as more and more of its remaining population were drafted to meet their obligations. His daughter took the opportunity to retire her father and explore the novel economics of planetary scale ship decommissioning.

Implies a chartered merchant selling wreck-spelunking equipment to scavenger-tourists.

Implies the Governor’s Palace, a somewhat mobile and possibly deliberate amalgamation of a Gloriana class battleship and Exorcist class grand cruiser.

Q. Unorthodox

It is the destiny of humanity to fill the galaxy and beyond, to settle and thrive wherever the Emperor’s light touches. While there is no shortage of planets for the purpose, everywhere a human could conceivably live is the rightful property of the Emperor and duty calls for them to be occupied in His name.

Clubs: Space Hulk

Some Hulks are so very large, and promise so much salvage that their exploration and exploitation occurs on a planetary scale. Such expeditions are themselves subject to the Tithe owing to their longevity and scope, with the growing city-hulls accumulating their own bureaucracies.

Implies the Expedition Master, trapped deep in the Hulk after their replacement called off the rescue team.

Implies a sabotaged control centre that should be maintaining the network of motion sensors warning of xenos attacks.

Spades: Warp Zone

The creation of the Cicatrix Maledictum vastly increased the number of worlds bathed in the twisting energies of the Warp. Unwilling to sacrifice any more of the Emperor’s soil to the Ruinous Powers, and recognising the importance of such sites in launching crusades of reclamation, the Imperium has refused this Governor’s requests for evacuation and demands the world’s business be continued in as normal a fashion as possible.

Implies a Colonel-Commissar deploying their subordinates to spy and police work against the pervasive madness of the cities. They are constantly in need of vast shipments of bolter shells.

Implies a single bubble of space, about the size of a city, where the laws of physics operate as expected, time flows reliably and people can trust their memories. Since this bubble moves every few days, it is necessary for those who wish to exploit it to recapture it from any occupants it may have acquired frequently.

Diamonds: Fleet

The work of this community cannot be confined a single point in space; in their billions they travel the Imperium in vast and crowded voidships to fulfil their duty wherever the Warp takes them, faithfully paying the Tithe to whichever representatives of the Departmento Munitorum they encounter.

Implies a representative of the nearest Governor hoping to get rid of this fleet as soon as possible

Implies a Sepulchre-Ship in which the ruling family of the fleet are interred, along with their original charter, granted by a Primarch, and supplementary orders countersigned by the High Lords of Terra.

Hearts: Timelost

There have been cases where worlds were lost in time, re-emerging to a changed galaxy, but ready to serve their Emperor as they had before. This particular world is a legend, lost in the Great Crusade, but came spilling out of the Warp three months ago, apparently none the worse for wear. The Imperium was overjoyed to welcome back so many that had seen the Emperor with their own eyes, and to collect their massively overdue Tithe (with interest).

Implies a Lord Commander of the Imperial Army who remains unconvinced that this sickeningly religious, dystopian caricature of the Empire they know is not a trick of the Ruinous Powers.

Implies a temple from which the world can be drawn back into the Warp whenever the Alpha Legion pleases.

Basic physical characteristics of the world are probably best derived from any other sci-fi planet generator, but here’s six quick options for a draw or d6 roll if you aren’t fussy.

A. Green
2. Ocean
3. Desert
4. Ice
5. Volcanic
6. Weird (C: Gas Giant, S: In the Webway, D: Craftworld Ruin, H: Shared Hallucination)


Another Kill Team...
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Re: [Wrath and Glory] Miserable Heresies: Secret-rich Planet Generation

Step 2: Theme

Themes describe the current activity of the world, why it’s currently important to the Imperium and what’s expected of it. This overlaps with and might contradict the World Type, but the competing demands of great powers, duty and fate often put worlds into straits no sane Governor would ever deliberately choose. The theme should inspire further locations and NPCs.

Draw one card, as you did for World Type, reading the number for the overall theme and the suit for the variant.

A. Strategic Point

Holding this world is critical to the Imperium’s ongoing war effort. A successful Xenos invasion here would doom hundreds of worlds and countless trillion lives.

Clubs: Active War Zone

This world is currently consumed by battle and war. Draw on table 2a: Who is Invading This Time? or choose your favourite enemy factions.

Spades: Warp Crossroads

It is exceptionally easy to reach this world via the warp, making it vital for shipping and extremely convenient for forces of Chaos.

Diamonds: Astropath Station

This world is a nexus for telepathic communication, rendered precious by the mere presence of so many astropaths, and exposing it to the secrets and lies of the entire region.

Hearts: Hallowed Ground

This world is so blessed, and so famously holy, that were it lost or tainted the morale of the entire Imperium would be shaken.

2. Trade

The business of this world is business; whether strictly the generation of Thrones or the more precious matrix of favours and politics surrounding the Tithe.

Clubs: Active War Zone

This world is currently consumed by battle and war. Draw on table 2a: Who is Invading This Time? or choose your favourite enemy factions.

Spade: Luxuries

The goods traded and produced here are exceptionally valuable, unavailable in bulk, and illegal or impossible for ordinary citizens of the Imperium to possesses. Food, narcotics, relics and art are the very least a jaded luminary of the Imperium might obtain here at ruinous cost.

Diamonds: Bulk Freight

Freighters that beggar the size of even the greatest battleship arrive and depart every hour from the docks here, moving goods that have value only due to their sheer quantity.

Hearts: Personnel

A clearing house for talent; mercenaries, scribes, administrators and craftmasters come here on the voidships and most leave again having secured work worthy of their talents. Others leave because work has secured them, without any of the trouble of freedom or pay.

3. Faith

The business of the Ecclesiarchy and the worship of the Emperor are present on every world worthy of the name, but are duties of such scope that they oft commandeer entire planets to do them justice.

Clubs: Active War Zone

This world is currently consumed by battle and war. Draw on table 2a: Who is Invading This Time? or choose your favourite enemy factions.

Spades: Sororitas World

As the seat of a Convent-Fortress of an Order Militant of the Daughters of the Emperor, this world is in the fortunate position of never needing to trouble its Governor for an opinion or action. The Cannoness Superior herself condescends to guide it forward in the Emperor’s light.

Diamonds: Mission World

Only recently welcomed into the embrace of the Imperium, this planet’s population were born outside the Emperor’s Grace and in an unavoidable state of heresy. Countless missionaries have swarmed to the call of the Missionaria Galaxia to save the poor souls of these new brothers and sisters.

Hearts: Cardinal World

The capital of an archdiocese, this world is the personal seat of a Cardinal and administered entirely by the Ecclesiarchy. Its pious splendour is an inspiration and wonder to all of the many worlds tended by its holy wisdom.

4. War

Every loyal world contributes to the magnificent cause of the Emperor’s holy war upon the xenos, the traitor and the heretic, through the glorious duty of the Tithe. But there are worlds further blessed by devoting their full efforts to the business of war, justly famed for their role in the extinguishing of the Emperor’s cursed foes.

Clubs: Active War Zone

This world is currently consumed by battle and war. Draw on table 2a: Who is Invading This Time? or choose your favourite enemy factions.

Spades: Astartes World

Whether or not they keep a fortress here, this planet is a prime source of recruits for a chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. The Chapter Master may be extremely upset if any unnecessary outbreaks of peace or stability compromised the pre-training conditions of her prospective Angels of Death.

Diamonds: Fleet Dockyards

The Imperial Navy requires specialised fuel, munitions, dry docks and above all the ability to give their crew shore leave far from the masses of the Astra Militarum.

Hearts: Militarum Marshalling World

Turning the raw material of the tithe into an army worthy of bleeding for their Emperor is a titanic task that can consume whole continents. Before a major campaign a marshalling world can have such a mass of armed humanity that it would put the population of any Hive World to shame.

5. Administration

The Imperium does not remain united and prosperous by accident - and even the glorious deeds of its warriors are not enough. The alien and heretic must be killed, but the countless loyal and pious humans - they must be governed. And indeed for every soldier staunchly sending lasfire downrange to the xenos, there must be five scribes and administrators toiling tirelessly at their desks to give her the opportunity to offer her life for the Emperor.

Clubs: Active War Zone

This world is currently consumed by battle and war. Draw on table 2a: Who is Invading This Time? or choose your favourite enemy factions.

Spades: Estate Imperium World

Nothing can happen in the Imperium - least of all anything touching the sacred Tithe - without being dutifully recorded, reread and checked, duplicated in triplicate and consigned to repose in storage. This planet is a wealth of exceptionally tedious - but nominally important - words belonging to the Emperor, and the exceptionally tedious - but surprisingly powerful and vindictive - scholars that maintain them.

Diamonds: Navigator House World

The Navis Nobilite may be far happier in their void-striding fleets, but practicality obliges them to take possession of terrestrial facilities and establish palaces therein. They do not trouble to rule worlds directly, but neither do they have any heed for the supposed authority of a Governor. Their only real concern is the attention of the Inquisition…

Hearts: Senatorial Capital

Held directly by the Senatorum Imperialis, this planet acts as a check on the ambitions of the Governors, its empty senate chamber a reminder that direct control over the sector could be exerted at any time. Proxies of the High Lords themselves occupy the palaces and offices here, cultivating their own power while resisting the intrigues of Governors who would like to see them dead or recalled in shame.

Q. Unorthodox

A world may be asked anything by their Emperor - how could any refuse?

Clubs: Stable Heresy

The beliefs of this planet’s populace are so exceptionally odd that it cannot be called anything but a heresy of planetary scale; yet they are apparently so harmless that the Ruinous Powers have no interest in them. Inquisitor after Inquisitor has concluded with varying good humour that the heresy is harmless, and in a way even a net good. Certainly not worth the cost of cyclonic torpedoes. The endless re-investigation is becoming something of a rite of passage amongst the Inquisition.

Spades: Penance World

The world itself is guilty of some terrible - yet in his mercy ultimately forgivable - crime against the Emperor of Humanity. It is not enough that the tithe is destroying them (it is) or that countless of their number are executed (they have been) - the world must be seen to suffer. And there is no shortage of plausible suffering to be arranged for them.

Diamonds: Quarantine World

To reach this world, one must pass through a blockade of voidships and orbital installations whose guns are mostly turned to the planet itself. Reaching the surface will be very difficult, leaving it again almost impossible.

Hearts: Xenos World

The population of this planet is almost entirely non-human, a fact very powerful figures are at great pains and expense to keep secret. The Xenos appear to have sincerely thrown their lot in with the Imperium, but why they would do so and why they were accepted appears inexplicable.

2a: Who is Invading This Time?

Draw one card

Clubs: Foul Xenos

A. Orks
2. Necrons
3. Drukhari
4. Tyranids
5. Genestealer Cult
Q. Unknown Xenos Force

Spades: The Unclean

A. Nurgle
2. Khorne
3. Slaanesh
4. Tzeentch
5. Chaos Undivided
Q. Novel Chaos Horror

Diamonds: Loyal Imperium

A. Astartes
2. Sisters
3. Guard
4. Ad Mech
5. Knights/Titans
Q. Arbites

Hearts: Untrustworthy Forces

A. Asyurani
2. Ynnari
3. T’au
4. Rogue Trader Fleet
5. Squats
Q. Timelost Humans


Another Kill Team...
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Re: [Wrath and Glory] Miserable Heresies: Secret-rich Planet Generation

Step 3: Killzones

These are locations intimately connected to the squalid mysteries of your world, places laden with clues and cues, secrets and leads. They are also magnets for violences, places where you should expect to run battles with those who do not welcome the meddling of your PCs.

Each Killzone has a suggested mechanic using Wrath and Glory rules that can help distinguish combat in these critical locations and inspire Interaction Attacks and the like. At time of writing Wrath and Glory is very new and I have not yet played it; it is likely you will need to tweak the mechanics with your superior experience when bringing a Killzone to the table.

Draw one card for each Killzone you require, by default four or however many sessions you expect to run, whichever is greater.


A. Recent Massacre site: Double Wrath and Ruin gains if referencing the horror in descriptions
2. Shipwreck: Special objective: overload reactor, requires three successful Tech rolls at tier-based difficulty
3. Gladiator pit: Spend 2 Glory or Ruin to get the crowd on side and force a fear test in a target opponent
4. Landing Zone: Spend 3 Glory or Ruin to summon landing ship as blocking terrain
5. Artillery Emplacement: Special objective: use artillery to fire on a particular planetary location. Suppressive Fire does not require a reload (ammunition explosions)
Q. Fortress: All ranged attacks count as vs +2 cover. Spend 2 Wrath or Ruin on move to occupy a Murder Hole and ignore cover


A. Illicit Market: Black Market Weapons: spend 1 Wrath or Ruin to gain +4ED, -4AP on one attack
2. Prison: Stealth Interaction Attack to trap opponent in cell
3. Surveillance Centre: After combat, learn 1 bonus secret/clue about opposition on victory, 2 leads/cues on loss
4. Recently Purged site: Spend 2 Wrath or Ruin to force Corruption Test on target, OR inflict 1 Mortal Wound on corrupted target
5. Abandoned hab zone: Scav assist: Spend 1 Glory or Ruin to inflict Vulnerable (1) on target
Q. Xenos ruin: Ancient defence systems: at the end of each round, 1D6 mortal wounds are randomly distributed among all combatants


A. Manufactorum: May use Tech or Pilot skills to attack, Damage 15 + 3ED, AP-4, Brutal, Unwieldy (3)
2. Noble Palace Victory in this combat is determined by capturing the ranking noble, or successfully escorting her to a safe room
3. Government Offices: Earn three bonus glory on victory, as your deeds are directly recorded on a commendation form and submitted (in triplicate)
4. Private void yacht: Spend 3 Glory or Ruin to force all combatants to test Athletics or Pilot (diff Tier) or fall prone. Troops and lower automatically fail
5. Scholastic archive Convincing Holodisplays: Deception or Tech interaction attack (diff opposed Insight or Willpower), on success target must include holo as target on next attack
Q. Luxury Hotel: Silver service: spend 2 Wrath or Ruin to exit room and appear at any other entrance


A. Cathedral: Religious dispute: Spend 1 Wrath or Ruin to voluntarily enter Frenzy, or to inflict Frenzy on target
2. Impoverished neighbourhood: Civilian Assist: Spend 1 Glory or Ruin to inflict Hindered (1) on target
3. Sororitas-run Academy: Rally the students: As an action, Leadership test to reduce all multi action penalties by allies by 2 + 1 per shifted exalted icon for one round. Spend 2 Glory or Ruin to generate an 8 dice bolter attack against a target
4. Sororitas-run Hospital: Any character that would make a Defiance check is instead evacuated by Hospitallers. Spend 2 Glory or Ruin to generate an 8 dice bolter attack against a target
5. War Memorial:
Honour Their Memory: If a Hero is missed while in cover, generate 1 Ruin. If they are hit while out of cover, generate 1 Glory
Q. Imperial Reliquary: Any character with Faith has +3 Faith while fighting here, and generates 2 Faith at the start of each battle round. They may choose to spend Faith in place of Wrath or Glory


Another Kill Team...
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Re: [Wrath and Glory] Miserable Heresies: Secret-rich Planet Generation

Step 4: Unorthodoxies

These are quirks of the world that distinguish it from the expected Imperial orthodoxy. The powers that be are aware of these unusual traits and either disregard them or have signed off on the risks they imply; these are not the secrets the PCs are trying to dig up, though they may be contributing factors.

Draw one card per unorthodoxy you desire, by default three.


A. Numerous private armies
2. Defence forces largely lost to Crusade
3. Ritualised warfare between noble houses
4. Substantial abhuman population
5. World-spanning festival at time of PCs’ arrival
Q. Active bioweapon afflicting civilians


A. Offworld news, media and reading material strictly forbidden
2. Inquisition-certified to allow double normal genetic deviancy threshold
3. Astropath deadzone, no warp communication possible
4. Secret Xenos embassy
5. Royal family of quasi-immortals pretending to be their own children
Q. Dormant but indestructible Chaos Shrine spontaneously manifested ten years go


A. Populace bone-grindingly poor
2. Populace unusually affluent
3. Corruption and crime rampant
4. Exceptional education level
5. Unrestricted and plentiful narcotics
Q. Most settlements capable of taking off and reaching orbit


A. Tolerated Heresy: Ancestor cults, Emperor as Great Grandfather
2. Tolerated Heresy: Reincarnation, Emperor determines next life
3. Tolerated Heresy: Xenos mythology, Emperor and companions replacing key figures
4. Tolerated Heresy: Enlightenment Cult, physical size indicates spiritual attainment, Emperor believed biggest ever human
5. Tolerated Heresy: Animism, secular or tainted objects can be made holy by converting their spirit to Imperial Cult
Q. Miracle: Living Saint in residence, sometimes stops praying to issue commandments


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Re: [Wrath and Glory] Miserable Heresies: Secret-rich Planet Generation

Step 5: Locals

You will need a cast of NPCs to hold the bulk of your world’s secrets, provide interaction and drama for your PCs, and generally be up to their miserable eyeballs in the causes of the planet’s suffering.

These are the most important characters in the investigation, not necessarily the most important in terms of Imperial hierarchy or personal might. You should try to create a good mix of high and low to help mitigate the sense that a vast planet is really only occupied by a handful of titled rulers and officers; however all of them will need a reason to be of interest to the PCs in their investigation. Even a character serving as a representative of an entire population should have enough individual hooks that the players will want to follow up on them.

By now you should have a sense of the institutions and forces at work on your world and will want to generate leaders or representatives for each of them. Draw four cards for each, generating an Occupation, Desire, Quirk and Trouble result for each NPC. You may optionally forgo the Occupation draw if the NPC already has a corresponding role in the story, though you may also find it useful to double up and find a justification for uniting those two aspects of the character.

Prepare as many Locals as you wish, but remember there is a limit to the complexity of the social graph your players can hold in their head in finite play time, and the table can be quickly exhausted of its novelty. You may wish to limit yourself to as few as six NPCs generated in this fashion at first.

DangerBigger than they have any right to beWanted by the Arbites
SecurityStunningly beautifulThe Fenrisian Rune of Death was carved on their door
To be fearedBody double of another characterJust lost a limb to a bolter round
Planetary Defence Force
An exalted titleSurvivor of shocking woundsPublicly challenged by professional duelist
Astra Militarum
To see it all burnMutant (or more so)Alive despite being declared officially dead
Sister of Battle
VengeanceXenosFamily member recently turned into Chaos Spawn

To bury the truthCrippling phobiaImpostor
To betrayBorn in the Dark Age of TechnologyUnknowing Impostor
SoulsWitness at three treason trials in the past monthCortex Implant sometimes takes control of body
To see them sufferAtheist/Imperial Truth initiateUnwilling Triple Agent
Self-destructionBlessed by a ruinous powerDead, has been for some time
To reveal the truthHas blackmail on everyonePsychic manifestations

Labour leader
FameExcessive fineryIn severe debt to an offworld power
Adeptus Mechanicus
Their next dose
Keeps a vehicle nearby and on standby at all times
An Abominable Intelligence doppelganger has stolen their identity and is on the loose
Chartered Merchant
A particular weaponBears a personal letter from the Lord Commander of the Imperium
Accidentally stole wyld-tainted narcotics too dangerous to turn in or destroy
An object of beautyKeeps unusual indentured servantsOpen bounty on their head
AuthoritySynthetic dream addictionEarned the personal enmity of a machine spirit
Rogue Trader
WealthOwns a relic of the Great CrusadeHas come in to astounding wealth from a dangerous source

LoveExotic and beloved petsApocalyptically unwise affair
Sanctioned Psyker
ValidationUnusually devoted parentPopulace demanding they be made Governor
Planetary government official
ForgivenessExquisitely talented artistMentor figure to both sides of a deadly conflict
MartyrdomPassionately devoted to heretical cultAttracted the personal interest of a powerful Xenos
JusticeUnbreakable bond of friendship with member of opposing factionOnly untainted scion of deeply corrupted family
Sister Hospitaller
To save themBlessed by a numinous powerUnwilling saint of local cult
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Re: [Wrath and Glory] Miserable Heresies: Secret-rich Planet Generation

Step 6: Trouble

The previous five steps describe the planet’s status quo: while awful by any measure but the standards of the Imperium, the situation is relatively stable and its secrets likely to remain hidden.

Trouble is how that status quo begins to crack just before the PCs’ arrival - and likely the pretext for the PCs to investigate in the first place. It is unlikely the troubles are exactly what they seem, but tugging on these threads should lead the players to the Miserable Heresies at the heart of your deliciously rotten planet.

Draw three cards to generate your planet’s Trouble.


A. The least important city on the planet was vaporized in a titanic blast
1. A demon has possessed the wreck of a great war engine and is rampaging across the planet in the now unstoppable juggernaut
2. Mutagens released into the water supply got the local fauna first, now they are alien horrors
3. Atmospheric sabotage has deprived the world of sunlight. If the world wouldn’t normally have sunlight, it now has it everywhere and all the time.
4. The world’s gravity has dramatically changed thanks to tidal forces from its unwelcome new satellites.
Q. Fissures have opened up across the world, it appears to be hatching.


A. The mysterious spheres that have been excavated all over the planet and have been sold as valuable curios are in fact virus bombs.
2. A leaked Officio Assassinorum estimate on the viability of purging the planet’s leadership (paraphrased: “Trivial, when would you like us to start?”) has provoked new heights of paranoia.
3. Machines that have been on the planet longer than a few weeks are failing as their machine spirits become increasingly bitter and angry.
4. One of the planet’s many missing people recently returned via voidship, babbling about being sold to slavery before he was executed for treason.
5. Many of the more competent and loyal Imperial servants on this planet have independently received orders to recalling them, as well as any family or possessions, to various other worlds in the sector. The deadline for these orders is three days from now.
Q. Numerous webway portals have been opened on the planet, but so far all those who have happened across them have been slain.


A. Duties and taxes are being ramped up, but there is no sign the powers that be actually have any more resources as a result.
2. There is no fuel to be had anywhere on the planet
3. A relic entrusted to the planet by the Ecclesiarchy has been stolen, leaving a growing trail of corpses in its wake
4. Dangerous xenotech is being gifted to young nobles, gangers, rebels and others who will not hesitate to use it
5. A Rogue Trader has shown up with a deed to the planet, and wishes to open negotiations with its rulers to sell it back to them
Q. A vast freighter broke up in orbit around the planet, scattering shipments from a Forge World intended for Astartes chapters, Sororitas orders and Scion regiments across the surface.


A. Neither of two heresies competing to subvert the planet had much traction until both their leaders were assassinated by dark forces. Now the people are fiercely divided by their allegiance to one martyr or the other.
2. The people have become so pious that all other matters than prayer are grinding to a halt; many are dying as a doctrine that any form of self-care is heresy against the Emperor spreads.
3. A political marriage arranged at bolter point by a Sororitas Canoness has brought about unexpected and unwelcome peace among the powers of the planet. Now they seek to murder each other while protecting the happy couple at all costs.
4. Having been successively ignored by everyone in authority, an idealistic Asyurani Warlock has commandeered the planet’s voxcasters to broadcast a highly specific prophecy of doom.
5. Apparitions of those who are dead and should be with the Emperor are appearing to reveal terrible truths to surviving friends and loved ones.
Q. A mild and easily communicable disease with unusual symptoms is sweeping through the populace high and low, with witch hunts and purging following in its wake.

And you’re done! It’s likely that your will need to do another pass to represent what’s going on mechanically in your system of choice - both on the investigation layer (Secrets, Investigations, Clues, Cues), and the combat layer - in the grim darkness of the far future, a detective cannot expect to trade in secrets without sustained bolter fire. But your scenario should have come to life in your mind, layer upon layer for your players to peel back.


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Re: [Wrath and Glory] Miserable Heresies: Secret-rich Planet Generation

Let me know how badly I've mangled 40K canon and if there's anything essential I've missed - I'd rather not do the latter and the former only on purpose.
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