Friends and I started playing Dark Heresy from Fantasy Flight. We don't bring much experience to playing RPG's as I've never taken part and between the other 3 people I think there's one guy that had played a slight bit of RPG.So one guy volunteered to GM and I rolled an Imperial Psyker. . .
So we went through our first campaign last week (the short demo one from the GM kit) and wow was it tough. There is a lot of freedom to do whatever you'd like of course but that is super dependant on who your GM is and if they can think on their feet. The goal is not to 'win' but to just enjoy yourself and explore the fluff of the 40k universe I guess. There doesn't appear to be any easy way (sorry I mean an explained way) to scale the game based on number of players and player level. So we ended up in this dank tower trying to solve a mystery and came upon a xenos beast. We start fighting this thing, it kills me in 1 hit (cleaves off my leg) and the GM had to basically alter the stats exceptionally to let us win. I had to use a 'fate point' (get out of jail card essentially that you get in limited supply) to prevent my death but now my character has a peg leg, limp and reduced movement. Our characters were bordering on death so we went back to look for a healer. Had we actually wanted to accend the tower we would have stumbled on two more of those beasts which definately would have eaten us.
Being difficult to kill is good but being 1 shot is never a great feeling. I could imagine I'd be very upset if I spent 6 months playing a character and making them more and more powerful only to have it die and have to start over.
We've actually swapped GM's after that outing and my buddy who took over is really good at it. He really was excited to do it which I think is important, and brought over a white board to use as a map, figures to represent enemies and read through the book in extreme detail.
During this campain (we played for 10 hours on Sunday) we made him invent so much stuff for us (for example I asked if I could snoop around some guys room which wasn't written into the book) so he had to come up with plot lines and such to let us experiment in game. It was pretty fun.
As a Psyker though I became a bit too easy going with popping off psykic powers. If you're familiar with psykers in 40k it is a bit dangerous. Compare that to my character being a junior acolyte (trainee) and after being urged to use my powers by my cohorts I had had perils of the warp go off twice. The first time everything in 50 m raised off the ground 4 metres before falling and the second time me and my closest squad member switched bodies for half the game. I was lucky my head didn't explode!
I'd suggest trying this out if you like the game fluff of Warhammer 40k but make sure you realize that it isn't a competative game. If you're the type to game a system you won't enjoy this at all. There are plenty of options to choose from in game but if all you do is grab the stuff to make you 'win' the game won't be fun. Remember the GM can adjust the game to make it easier or harder depending on your characters so if you buff yourself too much, the GM will just make the game harder and you'll have none of the fun fluff options to play with.
Anyway until next time!