“Death worlds are teeming with threats to survival, meaning that those who thrive on such planets are unlike anyone else. Peril and violence have always been a part of your life, and you are stronger because of it. You are aggressive and inured to hardship, proficient at staying alive where others cannot, and aloof from your fellow man.”
Upon death worlds, the plants, beasts, and sometimes even the environment itself takes aggressive and destructive forms inimical to human life. Whilst exceptionally difficult to
colonise, many death worlds possess valuable resources that require an outpost or other human presence upon the planet’s surface to harvest. Death worlders often band together in tribes, clans, gangs, or other social groups in order to survive.
An upbringing in such a harsh environment breeds very hardy and resilient examples of the human race—those tested and found wanting die young.
Life on a Death World
Death worlds, whilst not common within the Imperium, can be found in every segmentum. From the depths of the jungle hell of Catachan to the predator-filled deserts of Luther Mcintyre, death worlds have a well-earned reputation as some of the most dangerous planets in the galaxy. The inhabitants of these worlds are determined, tenacious people, highly valued for their strength and stamina, and are often drawn upon as recruits for
both the Imperial Guard and some Space Marine Chapters. For most death worlds, their inhabitants are their only exports.
Death worlds vary widely in appearance and environment; some are rich and verdant, stalked by ambulatory, carnivorous plants, whilst others are empty deserts scoured by ionic storms.
Each death world presents a thousand new and different ways to die, such as the scythewinds of Mortressa or the corrosive, alkaline storm-mires of Burnscour.
Those unlucky enough to be raised on a death world are generally pragmatic and fatalistic. Death is a constant companion, and only by accepting that can a death worlder hope to reach maturity with his sanity intact. Usually, the greatest achievement a death worlder can strive for is to achieve some truly impressive feat before his death, so he will be remembered by his descendants. If a death worlder actually makes it off-world, he is likely to view distant worlds with jaded eyes. After all, he has already seen the worst the galaxy
has to offer, for surely nothing can exceed the horrors of his birth world.
Death World Characters
Death world characters are those who have travelled offworld and have left behind the danger and ferocity of their home. They are rugged, uncomplicated individuals for the
most part, often drawn to the bold lifestyle of the Archmilitant or the Void-master. Unfortunately, death worlders are uncomfortable in the complex social situations common
to civilised worlds and rarely find themselves able to relax amongst the decadence and intrigues of noble society. Death worlders are renowned for their resilience and exemplify the concept of survival of the fittest
Characteristic Modifiers: +5 Strength, +5 Toughness, –5 Willpower, –5 Fellowship
Starting Skills: All death worlders are adept at resisting the dangers of a hostile environment. Death worlders gain the Survival Skill.
Hardened: Death worlders are accustomed to violence. In addition, many death worlds contain many venomous predators. Death worlders may choose to start one of the
following talents: Jaded or Resistance (Poisons).
If It Bleeds, I Can Kill It: Most death worlds possess plants and beasts utterly hostile to human life, and inhabitants must find any means necessary to combat them if they are to
survive. Death worlders are adept at using weapons commonly found in or fashioned from their environment. Death worlders gain the Melee Weapon Training (Primitive) Talent.
Paranoid: The inherently dangerous conditions of a death world encourage distrust and doubt. Death worlders tend to be slow to put their faith in anyone other than themselves and chafe against the petty strictures of a more complex society.
They suffer a –10 penalty to all Interaction Skill Tests made in formal surroundings.
Survivor: Simply reaching adulthood is an achievement for death worlders. Having overcome myriad dangers to achieve this goal means that a hardened death worlder is less
likely to succumb in the face of new threats. Death worlders gain a +10 bonus to any test to resist Pinning and Shock.
Starting Wounds: Death world characters double their starting Toughness Bonus and add 1d5+2 to the result to determine their starting number of Wounds.
Starting Fate Points: Roll 1d10 to determine a death world character’s starting Fate Points. On a 1–5, he begins with 2 Fate Points; on a 6–10, he begins with 3 Fate Points.