[[quoteright:272:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_heresy_fantasy_flight_cover1.jpg]]

->Innocence Proves Nothing.

->''"Basically you're fucked like in WarhammerFantasyRoleplay, only instead of dying from blood poisoning caused by a dirty pitchfork you get to have your innards blown across the wall and then subsequently set on fire by a plasma gun (probably your own)."''
-> -[[http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Dark_Heresy 1d4chan]]

''Dark Heresy'' is a ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' [[TabletopRolePlayingGame pen and paper]] roleplaying game published by Fantasy Flight Games using a mechanical system similar to ''WarhammerFantasyRoleplay''. It has the players assume the role of Acolytes of the Holy Inquisition in the grim, dark future of the 41st millennium, rooting out heresy among the Imperium wherever it may be arise. Notable for having over five consecutive pages entirely filled with Critical Hit Charts.

''Dark Heresy'' is also the basis for a [[Literature/DarkHeresy series of novels]] written by SandyMitchell, of ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) fame. The novels star the "signature characters" used by the rulebook for its gameplay examples: former arbitrator Mordechai Horst, tech-priest Hybris Vex, sanctioned psyker Elyra Yivor, Redemptionist assassin Keira Sythree, and guardsmen Danuld Drake and Vos Kyrlock. So far ''Scourge the Heretic'' and ''Innocence Proves Nothing'' have been released.

A [[http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4265 second edition]] of ''Dark Heresy'' is currently in development, and much as with its sister game ''TabletopGame/OnlyWar'', Fantasy Flight Games has released a [[UsefulNotes/BetaTest fully playable "beta" version]] for purchase. As an incentive to participate in the beta, anyone who purchases it will receive an equivalent discount off the full .pdf version whenever it becomes available.

See also ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasyRoleplay'' (its fantasy counterpart); ''TabletopGame/RogueTrader'', ''TabletopGame/{{Deathwatch}}'', ''TabletopGame/BlackCrusade'', and ''TabletopGame/OnlyWar'' (its sister games); and of course ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', as ''Dark Heresy'' (unsurprisingly) shares a great number of tropes with its parent game. Also check out AdeptusEvangelion, a fan-made conversion for running games set in the Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion universe.
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!!The game provides examples of:

* ArcWords: Not for the game as a whole, but the phrase "come and see" is obviously intended to be used as Arc Words in any storyline involving [[CircusOfFear the Menagerie]].
* ArmCannon: The Integrated Weapons from ''The Lathe Worlds''.
* AntiVillain: ''Ascension'' gives us [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Imperial Governor Malaki Vess]] of Zweihan’s World, one of the few hive worlds in the Imperium that ''isn't'' a CrapsackWorld. However, the Administratum is about to levy heavier tithes that will change all that, and so Vess [[spoiler:plans to secede from the Imperium in a desperate attempt to keep his world from falling apart]].
* ATeamFiring: This is the case when any character who is not optimized for gun skills makes attacks with weapons firing on fully automatic. Surprisingly, this is actually one of the more effective combat strategies, as the application of MoreDakka to intentionally suppress targets will give the opposing force penalties regardless of how much actual damage it does, allowing those characters in the party who '''are''' optimized for gun skills to take careful aim to finish off suppressed foes.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Plasma guns shoot ''miniature suns'' as ammunition. Unfortunately, the ones in the corebook are also hideously expensive, slow to reload, prone to disastrous overheating, require time to recharge between each shot, and (as of Errata 2.0) only do about as much damage as a bolter. Luckily, the plasma weapons included in the ''Inquisitor's Handbook'' have a bit more bite to them, and ''Ascension'' introduces the rules for "military-grade" plasma weapons included in ''RogueTrader''.
** If the GM is being stingy with the Thrones, even the iconic bolter can descend into AwesomeButImpractical territory, since each individual bolt round costs the same as ''three hundred and twenty'' bullets -- leaving the poor Guardsman to decide whether he wants to shoot the giant gribbly monster with his bolter, or ''eat'' for the next two weeks. And that's before you get to the fully-automatic heavy bolter. [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 It costs four hundred and eighty Thrones]] [[MemeticMutation to fire this gun for fifteen seconds]]. When the rulebook says that "a man might beggar himself to own one," it is '''not''' kidding.
* BadassNormal: All player characters besides [[SquishyWizard Psykers]] and [[{{Cyborg}} Tech-Priests]].
** EmpoweredBadassNormal: Some of the Ascended Career Paths lead to this, such as the Inquisitor, the Sage, and (especially) the Vindicare Assassin.
* BattleButler: On the [[FeudalFuture feudal hell]] of Sepheris Secundus, potential uprisings are prevented by strict rules about who is allowed what military power. Only nobles of baronial rank are allowed household troops, and only the Royal Scourges reporting directly to the throne above them are allowed carapace armor and lasguns. Nobles of lesser rank are not allowed to any military force. However, it is an open secret that lesser nobles tend to employ a disproportionately large number of servants who happen to have combat training and can turn something like a kitchen knife into a deadly weapon, should the household ever be threatened.
* BlackMagic: Chaos rituals and sorcery, as described in ''Disciples Of The Dark Gods'' and ''The Radical's Handbook''. Leads to ExplosiveOverclocking when combined with PsychicPowers.
* BodyHorror: Par the course.
* BodySnatcher: A disturbingly large number of the given antagonists are these.
* BoringButPractical: Lasguns, cheap and reliable, with lots of ammo about the place.
* BrownNote: Komus, the Tyrant Star, whose appearance in a system has been known to drive entire ''planets'' insane.
** Tech Priests can learn '''Feedback Loop''' which is like a microphone-on-speaker hiss, excpet it paralyzes nervous systems.
* BulletProofVest: Although Imperial Guard issue flak armor is derided in the wider fandom as having [[MemeticMutation the protective qualities of a t-shirt]] against military-grade weaponry, it is actually some of the better armor that an acolyte can start with. Further, it is common and inexpensive enough that a group pooling its resources should be able to afford to equip every member with at least this, it is light enough that even physically frail characters can comfortably wear it, and it provides fair protection across the entire body. Considering how deadly combat is in this game, almost everyone needs some fair protection. This tends to put it into BoringButPractical territory.
** Not to mention that full military-grade flak is so commonplace, and imperial culture so militaristic, that the Acolytes can not only wear it in most situations without looking out of place, but they could even [[HiddenInPlainSight wear it as a disguise]] sometimes.
* ByTheBookCop: Any Arbiter class character who is played straight will necessarily be one. However, Imperial law tends to be pretty permissive about brutal enforcement as it is, "always err on the side of harshness" being a sanctioned policy. That said, Arbiters might take issue with some more [[CowboyCop Radical Inqusition operatives]] if those Radical options take them on the bad side of Imperial law.
* CardCarryingVillain: The Pilgrims of Hayte, the iconic example of a Chaos cult in it ForTheEvulz.
* ChurchMilitant: In addition to the standard Cleric career path, the ''Inquisitor's Handbook'' offers Sisters of Battle as a character class option. The ''Blood of Martyrs'' sourcebook offers expanded options for both.
* ChurchOfHappyology: One adventure includes a particular Cult of the Emperor called "The Joyous Choir" with a central dogma that the GodEmperor wants his subjects to be happy, and they can be happy by finding their true place in His plan. People are judged on how close they are to their place in the Emperor's will by use of an electronic scanning device, and based on the results of that scan they receive coaching from the cult's priests. Many young planetary nobles have joined, and have indeed enjoyed greater prosperity for themselves since joining. Of course, a rational-minded Inquisitor will point out that by forming various cooperative and trade agreements between nobles who are members, of course they will find their fortunes benefit. Said cult also has some records it would very much like to keep from public exposure...
* ColdSniper: The ''Ascension'' {{splat}} book mentions that Vindicare Assassins tend to be very detached, methodical, and [[TheStoic stoic]] thanks to their discipline and training, though they are known to sometimes express [[DeadpanSnarker a very dry and fatalistic sense of humor]].
* ComicallyIneptHealing: Your own character can be this, if you attempt a Medicae check and roll poorly. You'll suffer an additional penalty for working on [[BizarreAlienBiology Xenos]], unless they are Orks. [[SubvertedTrope With Orks you get a bonus]], because they are so tough you can't possibly make the injury worse.... Orks, expecting a mad-doc, will only seek medical treatment when they have no other choice.
* ConditionedToAcceptHorror: The "Jaded" trait. Through either a lifetime of bad experiences, careful training, or just a callous nature, characters with this trait never have to take insanity checks from "mundane" sources of horror. Supernatural sources can still dredge up their fears though.
* ContinuityNod: Two of the characters pictured in ''Ascension'' are easily recognizable to veteran [[GaidenGame Specialist Game]] fans as [[WideEyedIdealist Inquisitor Covenant]] and [[TheGunslinger 'Slick' Devlan]], characters introduced in ''Dark Heresy'''s spiritual forefather ''TabletopGame/{{Inquisitor}}''. ''Ascension'' also finally attributes the "only the insane have strength enough to prosper" quote from the start of the ''Inquisitor'' rulebook to a specific individual: the rogue Inquisitor Felroth Gelt.
* TheCorruption: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Corruption Points]] mechanic.
* CriticalHit: ''Eight pages'' of blood-spurting, limb-severing, organ-cooking, bone-exploding charts, though generally these only apply once a character drops below zero [[strike:HitPoints]] [[CallAHitPointASmeerp Wounds]]. Also includes the more traditional "extra damage on a good die roll" version as Righteous Fury: rolling a natural 10 on a damage die gives a player the chance to continue rolling damage dice until they stop rolling a 10.
** ChunkySalsaRule: Taking more than eight cumulative points of Critical Damage ''will'' kill you in some horrendously gruesome and awe-inspiring way. Such as, oh say, "''Both head and body are blown into a mangled mess, instantly killing the target. In addition, if the target is carrying any ammunition it explodes dealing 1d10+ 5 Energy Damage to anything within 1d5 meters.''" And that's just at 7.
** As [[http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Dark_Heresy 1d4 Chan]] puts it:
-->"It has the best critical hit charts ever made. You don't even need the rest of the game (although it is all good, it's just a LOT). Just start a campaign, wing it, and whenever anyone gets a good hit, roll on the critical hit charts. Holy fucking hell, did boiling bone marrow just turn my femur into a frag grenade? Fuck."
* CrapsackWorld: In addition to the general crapsackiness of the [=40k=] universe as a whole, you have the [[UrbanSegregation feudal hell]] that is Sepheris Secundus, the "Scrivener's System" of Prol (where a civil war is brewing because [[ObstructiveBureaucrat they're running out of places to store all the paperwork]]), and Klybo, where various settlement attempts have been so spectacularly unsuccessful that the planet's name has become the Calixian equivalent of "SNAFU."
** Read the Prol example again. Every word is LITERAL.
* {{Cult}}: Everybody, including the player characters. "The only cult that we do not abhor is that of the Emperor!"
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: Par for the course among the Imperial nobility on more established worlds, but this is the [[PlanetOfHats particular hat]] of the hive world Malfi, who take it UpToEleven. They are not necessarily [[AristocratsAreEvil all evil]], but it is an environment in which one must lie, mislead, [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder backstab]], and maintain the courtly {{masquerade}}, or suffer long torments as those who do rip their rivals' houses apart over the course of years.
* DeathWorld: The Calixis Sector has its fair share. Of particular note is the planet [[StealthPun Phyrr]], where [[EverythingTryingToKillYou literally every living organism and organic by-product on the planet is profoundly toxic to humans]].
** As well as Woe, which is listed in the core rule book as ''"A death world. Extremely hazardous."'' Sounds nice, doesn't it?.
*** Woe is later explained to have nothing but plant life on it. All of which are omnivorous, and can also move about, albeit rather ''slowly''. These ultra deadly trees have been noted to not only shift around overnight like The Brothers Grimm trees, but are also smart enough to team up on larger trees. As far as the foliage is concerned, you are food.
* DodgeTheBullet: Every character gets one "Reaction" move during their enemy's turn. Among other things, this can be used to parry an opponent's attack, or in gun fights used to dodge an enemy's shot. Of course, characters do only get ''one'' Reaction per round, which means it can be overcome by MoreDakka on their enemy's part, unless that combat dodge is used to TakeCover, which is the practical option when being shot at.
* [[DyingTown Dying Planet]]: The world of Sinophia at the edge of the Calixis Sector was the staging point for the Angevin Crusade that brought the sector into the Imperium millenia ago. At that time, Sinophia's infrastructure and economy were greatly expanded to support the crusade, and the world benefitted as immigrants arrived, industry flourished, and the planet became wealthy and influencial. However, as the crusade wound down and the conquered worlds settled fully into the Imperium, the importance and influence of Siophia declined. These days, the world is slowly decaying, in a perpetual economic downturn, with a shrinking population, an unmaintained infrastructure, and various noble houses bickering among one another with none able to wield the influence to steer the planet to recovery.
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: Admit it, [=GMs=], you're all waiting for an excuse to sic a Saurian Carnosaur or two on your hapless Acolytes.
* ExplosiveLeash: Explosive collars are an available piece of equipment. If you play a Guardsman, you can elect to start with one ''still attached''.
* ForScience: The Logicians cult, perfectly happy to slaughter millions of people (at a time) [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans in the name of returning humanity to its technological golden age]].
* FeudalFuture: In line with [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} the wider setting]], but Sepheris Secundus [[PlanetOfHats takes the cake]]. The [[UrbanSegregation gap between the nobility and the serfs]] is wide [[UpToEleven even by Imperial standards]], the world is technologically barely above MedievalStasis, and yet is tithed more heavily than most worlds in the sector, for its minerals are quite valuable. While most serious mining worlds in the Imperium use powered mining tools and explosives for excavation, Sepheris has to get by on [[WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture hand tools and backbreaking labor]]. While most populated worlds give their population some BreadAndCircuses, the serfs on Sepheris get more work. While other Imperial citizens get to go to temples to worship, the Sepheris serfs get yelled at by lay-preachers while they push heavy mining carts. While other Imperial commoners have some flexibility in how they choose to serve the GodEmperor, vocation on Sepheris is determined [[FantasticCasteSystem exclusively by birth]]. The one time a local noble did try to introduce more advanced mining techniques, education, and progressive social restructuring, [[TallPoppySyndrome he was brought down by other nobles who thought he was making a power-play]].
* {{Gorn}}: Just read the descriptions in the CriticalHit tables. Combat in this game is not only ''[[EverythingIsTryingToKillYou deadly]]'', it is ''[[LudicrousGibs messy]]''.
* HandCannon: One of the handguns described in the game is literally referred to as a Hand Cannon. It's a solid-projectile firearm with recoil so powerful it requires a two-handed grip (or special gloves) to be used effectively. It is also the ''smallest'' pistol in the game that qualifies for this trope.
* HazmatSuit: The Vile Savants, daemons of Nurgle responsible for one of his ZombieApocalypse plagues, take the form of a [[AnimatedArmor walking hazmat suit]] filled to the brim with pestilent filth and [[TheWormThatWalks diseased maggots]]. You can also buy a regular Hazmat suit used by sewer workers that gives you resistance against fire and acid, but it's not meant for combat so it has heavy penalties to Agility.
* HeroicSacrifice: Encouraged in the {{Game Master}}ing section of the rulebook. The system is already pretty deadly, {{Player Character}}s have uncertain life-expectancy, and the GM is discouraged from softpeddling that, in order to underscore [[DarkerAndEdgier the brutality of the setting]]. However, the GM is encouraged to bend the rules a little when a character is facing certain death in order to [[InvokedTrope make that death spectacular]], with the explaination that a player should not be afraid of their character's death, but they should not feel like their character can expect to "die like a chump".
* HeroicWillpower: The Inquisitor class gets the special ability "Indomitable Will of the Inquisition"; which allows them to pass a willpower test perfectly once per session.
* HeWhoMustNotBeSeen: The Unknown Heretic is an in-universe example of this -- the only person in existence to be branded Excommunicate Traitoris by the Inquisition without anyone being certain he actually ''exists''.
* HoldingTheFloor: The "Blather" skill is primarily used for this, by a character who engages [=NPCs=] and holds their attention for an indeterminate amount of time by talking on and on. Having high ability with this skill enables such a character to guess effectively at what would get their attention and be able to go on about convincingly without tripping over their own words. The form this blathering takes will vary, from the Scum grifter hawking non-existent wares, to an Arbiter rattling off a list of convincing infractions someone has committed, to a Cleric going on quoting scripture and how it applies now.
* HordeOfAlienLocusts: The ''Creatures Anathema'' supplement gives us the Xothic Blood Locust, a ''literal'' case of this trope. Intersteller travelers may unknowingly carry their eggs on their clothes or in cargoes they pick up, which can lead to [[ExplosiveBreeder disastrous swarms]] when they hatch on some other world. Their name comes from their preference for draining blood from living creatures, which a swarm of them can do completely in a matter of seconds, though [[ExtremeOmnivore they will consume almost any organic fluid they can find]]. The same supplement also gives profiles for Genestealers and Lictors, which are the harbingers of alien locusts [[BugWar orders of]] [[PlanetEater magnitude worse...]]
* HorrorHunger: An early side effect of the use of a Halo device (see below.) [[BodyHorror It just gets uglier from there]].
* HonestRollsCharacter: Very nearly. You get one reroll for your chosen stat, but stats must still be rolled and placed in order and there are no official rules for a PointBuildSystem.
** Later games in the series would offer an optional PointBuildSystem, that could easily be tweaked and added into Dark Heresy.
* IdentityAmnesia: One of the possible character origins introduced with ''The Inqusitor's Handbook'' {{splat}} is that of a "[[{{Brainwashed}} mindwiped]]" character. This is generally done deliberately by the Inqusition for agents who have witnessed too many [[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow Things Man Was Not Meant To Know]], but who have skills that would be wasted by the [[HeKnowsTooMuch expedience of execution]]. While they are at it, the mindwipers add some [[ConditionedToAcceptHorror Conditioning To Accept Horror]] and a few basic survival skills. However, such characters might be subject to unpleasant flashs of half-memories, and have a built-in TriggerPhrase to prevent them going rogue.
* ImmortalityImmorality: [[DealWithTheDevil Dark Pacts]] of Longevity, which involve selling your soul to a daemon, and the [[AppliedPhlebotinum Halo Devices]], which turn you into an inhumanly cruel, cannibalistic, immortal, insane, super strong, nigh invulnerable, lightning fast abomination against all sanity.
* KnightTemplar:
** The Inquisition's stock in trade.
** And an ''even worse'' group of Knights Templar are the main villains of the ''Apostasy Gambit'' trilogy, Maledictor's Hand-- i.e., the people who believe the Calixis sector is utterly corrupt and should be cleansed... and use the ''power of [[TheChessmaster Tzeentch]] [[GodOfEvil himself]]'' to bring this about. At least the Inquisitors have a relatively high smart-to-dumbass ratio. The Maledictor's Hand doesn't even have that excuse.
* MachineWorship: Tech-Priests.
* MagicFromTechnology: Some of the "miracles of the Omnissiah" that Tech-Priests get access to.
* MemoryGambit: The ''Ascension'' {{splat}} introduces options for character to enter trances when at the time they snap out of it, [[LaserGuidedAmnesia that character will forget everything that happened since the trance began]]. This forefits any experience they might have gained during this time, but also allows them to confront [[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow Things Man Was Not Meant to Know]] or other such things that might cause them to GoMadFromTheRevelation without suffering their permanent effects.
* MindControlDevice: Invoked with ''Oblivion Volitors'', Heretek brain implants that ''literally'' [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul eat your soul]].
* MushroomSamba: Hallucinogen grenades, whee!
* NoRangeLikePointBlankRange: Shotguns are most effective at short range.
** Furthermore all ranged attacks get a +30% to hit at point blank range.
* OffWithHisHead: Happens when one scores high on a head critical hit chart. Scoring even higher leads to such pleasant outcomes as nearby combatants being showered with skull fragments and brain matter, the local area becoming difficult to walk through for all the gore on the ground, and the victim being killed so gruesomely that his friends must fight the urge to flee from his killer for a couple of Rounds.
* OneStatToRuleThemAll: Fate Points. you can start with 1 to 4 of them. Each fate point can be used to make a reroll once per session, and they can be permanently used up to avoid dying.
* ThePaladin: The [[AmazonBrigade Adepta Sororitas]] career introduced with ''The Inqusitor's Handbook''. Each is an ActionGirl, to varying degrees, and they can use Fate Points in unique ways to manifest "[[WhiteMagic acts of faith]]." However, they lose these abilities if they gain more than a small amount of [[TheCorruption corruption points]], and the very fact of who they are limits and dictates how they behave and what they do. For this reason, the book recommends limiting this class to experienced roleplayers.
** For ''Ascension''-level games, the ''Daemon Hunter'' sourcebook includes the Grey Knights, SpaceMarines who [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin hunt daemons.]] They have similar roleplaying limitations as the Adepta Sororitas; the book actually suggests using them more as an occasional AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent break than as permanent player characters.
* PowerPerversionPotential: Biomancers can do some... ''interesting'' things with their abilities. They also have a tendency to be huge party animals, as they can engage in gluttony and debauchery and still remain fit and healthy through use of their powers.
* ProperlyParanoid: Stands out as a games system where having Paranoia is not a character flaw, but a purchasable Talent that grants bonuses (namely, +2 to initiative and the ability to make awareness checks in situations normal people couldn't). A number of role-playing suggestions are given for people who take the Talent but nothing that mechanically impairs you in any way.
* PsychicPowers: Psykers are available as a career path. They're powerful, but using psychic abilities has a chance of [[SuperpowerMeltdown going]] [[DemonicPossession horribly]] [[YourHeadASplode wrong]] if the [[RandomNumberGod Random Number God-Emperor]] does not smile upon you.
* ReligionIsMagic: The ''Blood of Martyrs'' supplement includes a lot of options of this nature.
* ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon: Very much averted, especially when compared to equivalent weapons from the tabletop game. However, thanks to their special rules, [[ShortRangeShotgun shotguns]] are still most effective at point-blank range. Notably, weapons generally have no ArbitraryMaximumRange, just a range beyond which scoring a hit is extremely improbable.
* ShoutOut: Numerous.
** One in particular is a quote from a Vindicare Assassin designated LIIVI, who ([[AscendedFanon probably]] [[EpilepticTrees just]]) shares a name with a character from one of 40K's most popular fanfics, ''Love Can Bloom''.
*** A name and a target: The cover picture of the Ascension GM section has a Vindicare stalking a Farseer...
** One example from the core rulebook: [[Film/TheUsualSuspects "'Verbal' Boze, Scum"]]
** Who was the rogue trader who discovered the Calixis sector, and whose family line continues to cause trouble there to this day? [[CaptainHarlock Captain Haarlock]].
** [[BluesBrothers We're on a mission from the God-Emperor.]]
** Adept Grendel, a character from a /tg/ copypasta famous for one-shotting a Charnel Demon was featured on the Radical's Handbook preview.
** The Skin Taker of Fedrid is an invisible monster that kills for no apparent reason and takes grisly trophies from its prey. [[Franchise/{{Predator}} Sound familiar?]] (Curiously, while "technologically-advanced alien big game hunter" is implied as a possible identity for the Skin Taker in its description, neither of the two writeups provided for it take this form.)
** The writeup for the Menagerie takes strong inspiration from ''TheKingInYellow''.
** From a quote for one of the Imperial Psyker Career Ranks: 'He says he's solved [[Film/{{ConanTheBarbarian1982}} the riddle of steel]], sire'.
** Among the Daemon Hunter career options is "Agent of [[{{Warehouse 13}} Reliquary 26]]".
** The possible Forge World homeworlds include [[Webcomic/GirlGenius Heterodyne Station]], a feudal world where the Adeptus Mechnicus has integrated the Machine Cult with a more primitive general populace.
** ''Book of Judgment'' includes a quote from a villain lamenting that she could have gotten away with it; if it hadn't been for those [[Franchise/ScoobyDoo meddling Acolytes]].
* SmallGirlBigGun: The cover of ''The Inquisitor's Handbook'' {{splat}} features a [[AmazonBrigade Sister of Battle]] (unusually fully helmeted) carrying [[{{BFG}} a boltgun so over-built]] that it looks like she would have difficulty lifting it without her PoweredArmor.
* SplashDamageAbuse: An advantage of grenades is that they do not need to land at a target's feet to do their damage, they just need to land in the target's general area. This makes them ideal for cell members who lack combat specialization to still contribute in a fight. Hucking a grenade into the cover enemies are using will either signifigantly damage those enemies, or flush them into the open for the thrower's more combat-skilled teammates to finish off.
* {{Splat}}: The different character classes/career paths (Adepts, Arbiters, Assassins, Clerics, Guardsmen, Sanctioned Psykers, Scum, and Tech-Priests), as well as splats for world of origin (Feral, Imperial, Hive, or Void-Born). ''The Inquisitor's Handbook'' adds the Adepta Sororitas career path, rules for alternate homeworld types and specific homeworlds, and sub-splats (Background Packages, Alternate Career Ranks, and Elite Advances) dedicated to covering world-specific variants of the greater career paths and life-changing events in an acolyte's career. ''Ascension'' adds "ascended" versions of all the base classes (Sages, Judges, Death Cult / Vindicare Assassins, Hierophants, Storm Troopers, Primaris Psykers, Desperados, and Magi respectively, though there is some overlap), as well as the Crusader, Interrogator and Inquisitor ascended careers. And then there's ''The Radical's Handbook'', which adds ''[[EvilIsCool evil]]'' versions of a lot of these splats. [[SpecialSnowflakeSyndrome Is your snowflake special enough yet?]]
* StateSec: The {{Player Character}}s are members, ranking from an operative cell in the base book to high peers in ''Ascension''.
* SuperSoldier: If the Vindicare Assassin wasn't enough, the ''Daemon Hunter'' supplement includes rules for Grey Knights, the most superior of the Imperium's {{Super Soldier}}s. ''TabletopGame/{{Deathwatch}}'' also includes suggestions for how to integrate Deathwatch Marines into games of ''Dark Heresy''.
* TakeCover: Given how deadly combat in this game is, and how effective cover is at preventing a character from getting hit, this is practically a necessity against opponents with guns. Even well-armored characters will usually want to get into cover to prevent a DeathOfAThousandCuts from the little ScratchDamage that manages to get through their protection.
* TrapMaster: Acuitor Mech-Assassins are Techpriests who have been initiated into a secret society that destroys threats to the Priesthood of Mars. Fiddling with tech so that they become deadly to said enemies is the preferred method, and their universal Trait makes them very good at it.
* TookALevelInBadass: The ''Ascension'' supplement, which allows players to become Inquisitors and Throne Agents a la ''{{Literature/Eisenhorn}}'' or ''{{Literature/Ravenor}}'', is this for the entire line as a whole. Any character carried over from the stock leveling system will '''literally''' be taking a level in some variety of badass when they make the transition.
* UnCancelled: The unusual circumstances behind the game's cancellation and uncancellation, both within a month of its initial release, are explained more fully on that page.
* UrbanSegregation: Sepheris Secundus is a particularly extreme example of this, even by typical ''Warhammer 40,000'' standards.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: The Logician cult. See ForScience, above.
* VillainProtagonist: Seriously, if you play an inquisitor team faithfully and ''accurately'' to the background of this universe, you can rarely be anything BUT this.
** This can segue into ButNotTooEvil or EvenEvilHasStandards, depending on the group. Villains will still be EvilerThanThou, though, even if you tortured every NPC you met to death.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Over the course of a campaign, you will bribe, torture, and murder. You may even set entire planets to the flame. You'll do it because everything you're up against is so much worse.
* TheWormThatWalks: The alien Slaugth, [[spoiler:masterminds behind the Amaranthine Syndicate]].
* ZombieApocalypse: Outbreaks of the walking dead are frightfully common in the Calixis Sector.
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