Malefic scholar alternative career path



A Malefic Scholar studies and acquires proscribed knowledge concerning the nature of the warp, the power and nature of daemons, and the manipulation of warp and daemons by the arts of ritual and sorcery. These are the wizened masters of warp craft who can summon daemons, open portals into the ether, see things far off and days remote, and create artefacts of occult power. Such dedication is motivated by an obsession with knowing what should not be known, or by the desire to wield unnatural power that is beyond that open to most humans. The power of a Malific Scholar has potential that is only bound by the weakness of the human mind when  confronted with truths greater than it can cope with.
Forbidden knowledge is bought with obsessive pursuit of foul tomes, occult artefacts, incunabula, and long study. Given the fragmentary and often contradictory nature of the Occult Texts, the practice of warp craft requires long experimentation and a considerable intellect. The effects of such study and practise are corrosive to body and soul.

For Inquisitors of Radical factions a Malefic Scholar is a valuable servant and weapon to be used to fight the enemies of mankind. In the service of a Inquisitor a Malefic Scholar will find undreamt of access to sources of forbidden lore and endless opportunities to expand their knowledge.

Becoming a Malefic Scholar
Becoming a Malefic Scholar is a conscious choice on the part of an Adept who wishes to pursue forbidden knowledge and sorcery. Beyond this the character must have in-game access to a source of Forbidden Lore (Daemonology) and or Scholastic Lore (Occult), such as a tome containing arcane writings, or contact with an individual who has such knowledge. On entering this career, an adept gains 1d10 Corruption Points
and 1d10 Insanity Points.

Alternate Rank: Rank 4

Advance Cost Type
Ciphers (Occult) 100 S
Ciphers (Occult) +10 200 S
Ciphers (Occult) +20 300 S
Favoured by the Warp 100 T
Forbidden Lore (Warp) 100 S
Forbidden Lore (Warp) +10 200 S
Forbidden Lore (Warp) +20 300 S
Forbidden Lore (Daemonology) 100 S
Forbidden Lore (Daemonology) +10 200 S
Forbidden Lore (Daemonology) +20 300 S
Invocation 100 S
Invocation +10 200 S
Invocation +20 300 S
Minor Arcana 100 T
Minor Arcana 100 T
Minor Arcana 100 T
Minor Arcana 100 T
Minor Arcana 100 T
Psyniscience 100 S
Psyniscience +10 200 S
Psyniscience +20 300 S
Major Arcana 200 T
Major Arcana 200 T
Major Arcana 200 T
Major Arcana 200 T
Major Arcana 200 T
Scholastic Lore (Occult) 100 S
Scholastic Lore (Occult) +10 200 S
Scholastic Lore (Occult) +20 300 S
Sorcerer 200 T
Sublime Arts 300 T
Master Sorcerer 400 T

New talents

Sorcerer (Talent)
Prerequisites: Intelligence 35+, Willpower 35+, Forbidden Lore (Demonology or Warp) +10.
The Acolyte may use the powers of sorcery to channel the warp through a combination of esoteric lore, skill and focused will. He counts as having an effective Psy Rating of 2 and may learn a number of Arcana powers equal to three times his WP Bonus. Major powers count as two powers when determining the amount of powers a sorcerer can learn.
When choosing Arcana powers, the sorcerer is not bound by a particular type of power (such as the psyker’s Discipline framework), as sorcery is a fragmented and contradictory business. Characters, however, can only fill these power slots by seeking and mastering the rituals independently, either by dangerous experimentation, ancient lore, or dark bargains, and cannot be develop them naturally.

Master Sorcerer (Talent)
Prerequisites: Intelligence 40+, Willpower 50+, Sorcerer, Forbidden Lore (Demonology or Warp) +20.
The Acolyte’s mastery of the dark arts is great, and he has learned to avoid the pitfalls that beset lesser practitioners of the craft. He may channel far more raw power than most and counts as having an effective Psy Rating of 4, a +10 bonus to Daemonic Mastery Tests, and is immune to the effects of Daemonic Presence.
Master sorcerers are extraordinarily rare, and with good reason. Few possess the dedication and strength of mind to enact their will on the warp in this way, and most are
destroyed before they attain such skill.

Minor Arcana (Talent)
Prerequisites: Sorcerer.
The sorcerer has acquired an additional Minor Arcana Power over the amount usually allowed; this must be learned or researched as normal.

Major Arcana (Talent)
Prerequisites: Willpower 45+, Sorcerer.
The sorcerer has acquired an additional Major Arcana Power
over the amount usually allowed; this must be learned or
researched as normal.

Sublime Arts (Talent)
Prerequisites: Perception 40+, Intelligence 45+, Sorcerer.
The sorcerer may use his powers without the usual need for obvious vocalisations, gestures, and the like, simply enacting the patterns needed mentally by sheer dint of concentration and unyielding mental strength. However, the Threshold of
Arcana Powers used this way is increased by an additional +2.

Fuelled by Flesh (Talent)
Prerequisites: Sorcerer.
In manifesting their powers, many sorcerers practice some form of self-mutilation in order to further augment and empower their incantations with their own suffering and bodily sacrifice. Each time an arcana is unsuccessfully manifested, the sorcerer with this talent can opt to re-roll the dice at the cost of inflicting 1d5 Damage on themselves (Armour, Toughness Bonus, and other protections do not apply to this Damage).
An unfortunate side-effect is that it leaves the sorcerer’s flesh a mangled mess of cuts and wounds in a state of constant recovery and open to infection. As a result, the sorcerer suffers –20 to resist the effects of diseases and poisons, and if wounded by a Toxic weapon, he suffers an additional 1d10 points of damage with no reduction from his Armour or Toughness Bonus.

Major arcana

Create Door
Threshold: 28
Focus Time: Full Action
Sustain: No
Range: 5m
The sorcerer summons a burning doorway from thin air. The
doorway may be used to transport the sorcerer anywhere
he can clearly recall in his mind. The sorcerer’s player must
tell the GM where he would like the door to lead; the
GM will then set an appropriate Difficulty rating based on
when the sorcerer was last in this place, his state of mind,
circumstances, and concentration. The sorcerer can then step
through the doorway and make an Intelligence Test based
on that Difficulty. If passed, all is well. If not, the GM will
determine a suitable alternate destination—typically one the
sorcerer would prefer to avoid.
Special: Travelling through such a blasphemous portal
brings users closer to the horrors of the warp than it is safe
to tread. Anyone passing through the door must pass a Hard
(–20) Willpower Test. If the Test is failed, then that character
must roll on the Perils of the Warp table.

Threshold: 20
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: 5m
With a contemptuous flick of his hand, the sorcerer invites
a plague upon his target, who then begins to vomit bile and
blood as the skin forms into bulbous pustules. The disease
lasts for a number of Rounds equal to 1d10 minus the target’s
Toughness Bonus. During each Round in which the target is
diseased, all of his Characteristics are reduced by 10. Should
his Toughness reach zero, the target dies.
Overbleed: For every 5 points by which the sorcerer
exceeds the power’s threshold, the duration of the disease
increases by 1 round.
Special: If a character dies from Disease, his soul is forfeit
to the plague god Nurgle. The fallen corpse will decay further
and arise as a Plaguebearer (Dark Heresy Rulebook page
354) 5 Rounds later. The Plaguebearer will immediately
attack anyone nearby.

Threshold: 18
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: 10m
By snapping his fingers and bellowing an incantation at
his target, the sorcerer causes the target’s blood to bubble
and rush from his body. Make an Opposed Willpower Test
against the Target’s Toughness. If successful, the target suffers
Damage equal to double the sorcerer’s Willpower Bonus
(Toughness Bonus and Armour will not reduce this Damage)
and will suffer from Blood Loss (see page 211 in the Dark
Heresy rulebook).

Flail of Skulls
Threshold: 14
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: Yes
Range: You
Using strands of warp energy, the sorcerer binds together
the skulls of the fallen, creating a flail of skulls that burns
with malice. Once manifest, the Flail of Skulls uses the same
profile as a flail (see Dark Heresy Rulebook page 139) but
has the Warp Weapon quality and will bypass most armour
and defences. Any target suffering Damage from the Flail of
Skulls gains 1d10 Insanity Points and an additional Insanity
Point for every skull used in the flail’s construction after
the second.
Special: Obviously, manifesting this power requires the
sorcerer to possess one or more skulls.

Flaming Word
Threshold: 18
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: You
The sorcerer opens his mouth, using it as a gateway for the
fires of the warp. The power inflicts 1d10+4 E Damage with
a Pen of 3. The effects of his power extend to a range of 20
metres and possess the Flame Quality. In addition, due to the
unnatural nature of the flames, any target struck by the effects
of this power is automatically set on fire (see page 210 in the
Dark Heresy Rulebook).
Special: The sorcerer may not communicate verbally while
this power is manifest; this may prevent him from casting
certain other powers.

Threshold: 24
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: You
By swallowing a solid round of ammunition, the sorcerer
fortifies his body against projectiles and crude weapons. The
sorcerer must pass a Toughness Test. If successful, he does not
suffer any Impact Type Damage for 1d5 Rounds.

Leach Life
Threshold: 21
Focus Time: Full Action
Sustain: No
Range: Touch
Sinking his fingers into the flesh of a target, the sorcerer
absorbs the target’s very life force until nothing remains but
a dessicated husk. This power can only be used on a Stunned
or otherwise incapacitated target. For every 5 points by which
the sorcerer exceeds the power’s Threshold, the sorcerer
regains 1 lost Wound and the target’s Wounds are reduced
by 1. The sorcerer may not gain any additional Wounds over
his beginning amount. If the target is reduced to 0 Wounds,
he dies.

Living Weapon
Threshold: 24
Focus Time: Full Action
Sustain: Yes
Range: You
The sorcerer carves a foul symbol of Chaos into his flesh,
calling on the warp to remake his flesh for war. Whilst this
power is in effect, the sorcerer gains the following profile
increases: +20 WS, +20 S, +10 T, and +10 Ag. In addition,
the sorcerer gains a +3 bonus on all Initiative rolls, the
Natural Weapons Trait, and all of his melee attacks gain the
Tearing Quality. Whilst in this bestial state, his Fellowship is
reduced by 10.

Threshold: 14
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: Touch
Using his own blood, the sorcerer traces a blasphemous rune
across a sealed portal or object, dissolving the essence of the
locking mechanism. This power can be used on any object
regardless of how it was originally sealed. The sorcerer suffers
1d5 Damage for a small object, 1d10 Damage for a mediumsized
object, and 2d10 Damage for a large object. The GM
should feel free to alter the amount of Damage taken to better
represent a given object. This Damage is not reduced by the
Sorcerer’s Armour or Toughness Bonus.

Psy Barrier
Threshold: 19
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: 5m
With a finger dipped in blood, the sorcerer draws a burning
rune in the air which then burns the minds of those nearby with
a mixture of fear and confusion. Anyone wishing to advance
towards the rune must pass a Difficult (–10) Willpower
Test or become rooted to the spot in fear. A target that fails
his Willpower Test may do nothing further that turn.

Summon Object
Threshold: 24
Focus Time: Full Action
Sustain: Yes
Range: 10m
Through ritual blood-letting, the sorcerer summons an object
out of thin air. The sorcerer’s player must describe to the
GM the object he wants to manifest. The GM will then set a
Difficulty rating. For the object to manifest, the sorcerer must
pass a Willpower Test at that Difficulty rating.
Overbleed: For every 10 points by which the sorcerer
exceeds the power’s threshold, he gains a +10 bonus to the
Willpower Test for creating an object.
Note: Obviously, the larger the object you wish to
manifest, the more blood you will need.

Threshold: 19
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: 5m
Flicking the blood of the recently dead onto the target’s face
and muttering a guttural curse, the sorcerer inflicts horrible
hallucinations on the target. The victim witnesses horrific
images of darkness and despair. Distraught and emotionally
paralysed, the target is totally transfixed. Unless he passes a
Very Hard (–30) Willpower Test, the target can do nothing
for 1 hour. He also gains 1d5 Insanity Points.
Special: The sorcerer will need some reasonably fresh
blood in order to manifest this power normally. If he has
no access to blood, he manifests this power at a Threshold
of 25.

Wall of Souls
Threshold: 24
Focus Time: Full Action
Sustain: Yes
Range: 15m
The sorcerer draws on the power of the warp and calls
forth a wall of leering, aetheric faces to bar the path of
his adversaries. Once manifest, this wall of souls is 15m in
breadth and height. Crossing or penetrating the wall is easy,
but carries a price. Any individual unlucky enough to be hit
by the wall as it manifests, stumble into it, or passing through
suffers 2d10 Insanity Points and must pass an Ordinary
(+10) Toughness Test or become Stunned.
Overbleed: For every 10 points by which the sorcerer
exceeds the power’s threshold, he may add 1 metre to the
height of the wall.
Special: If the sorcerer fails to manifest this power by 2
Degrees of Failure or more, the aetheric faces are called forth
and swarm around him like a cloud of flies. The sorcerer gains
1d10 Insanity Points and may do nothing further that round
as he clutches his head and tries to hold onto what remains
of his mind.

Warp Corruption
Threshold: 27
Focus Time: Full Action
Sustain: No
Range: Earshot
Crying aloud the dark truths of the warp, the sorcerer is able
to corrupt the souls of those around you. Everyone who hears
your chanting—friend or foe—must pass a Willpower Test or
gain a number of Corruption Points equal to the amount by
which the Test was failed.

Warp Lightning
Threshold: 21
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: 10m
Whispering in an ancient tongue, the sorcerer manifests a
ball of pulsing energy in his palm. With the outstretched
fingers of his other hand, the sorcerer releases dark bolts of
warp lightning upon his targets. The sorcerer may project
1 bolt for each point of his Psy Rating and may target a
different individual with each bolt as long as he is within
5m of the previous target. The sorcerer makes this attack
with his Ballistic Skill, rolling to hit as normal. If struck, a
target must roll 1d10 minus their Toughness Bonus on the
Energy Critical Effects Table (see pages 202-203 in the Dark
Heresy Rulebook).

Warp Tongue
Threshold: 16
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: Earshot
The sorcerer distorts the cacophony of voices in the warp,
fooling daemons into believing he is a minor herald. Any
creature with the Daemonic Trait who hears the sorcerer must
pass an Opposed Willpower Test or become vulnerable to
his suggestions. The sorcerer receives a +10 bonus to any
Charm, Intimidate or Deceive Tests against these targets. If
the daemon wins the Opposed Test, it gains a +10 bonus to
all Tests made against the sorcerern (including Weapon Skill
Overbleed: For every 10 points by which the sorcerer
exceeds the power’s threshold, he gains a further +10 bonus
to Charm, Intimidate, or Deceive Skill Tests against creatures
with the Daemonic Trait.
Special: This power requires only that the target must be
able to hear the sorcerer.

Warp Vigour
Threshold: 14
Focus Time: Half Action
Sustain: No
Range: Touch
With a mix of blood and ash, the sorcerer marks a burning
rune on the target’s head. Through the rune, the target can
draw on unnatural reserves of fortitude. A character marked
in this way may re-roll any Strength or Toughness Opposed
Tests he is required to make and gains an additional 5 Wounds
whilst this power is active. Any Damage that is inflicted upon
the subject of this power affects these bonus Wounds first
before affecting the rest. The rune will continue to protect the
character for 1 hour.
Special: Any character whose body is defiled by this
unholy symbol gains 1d10 Corruption Points.