Interview with Warptides: a Dark Heresy 2nd edition RPG podcast

On November 28th a group of four Midwesterners released a new podcast that merges their love of 40k and RPGs. The podcast is called Warptides and its based on the Dark Heresy 2nd Edition RPG.

In Dark Heresy, the players assume the roles of Acolytes working for an Inquisitor, who sends them on various missions. Depending on the type of mission, gameplay can involve investigation, combat, intrigue, or other genres. The Game Master is able to tailor his campaign to suit his player group through this flexibility. Since the players work for an Inquisitor, most missions involve rooting out heresies or matters relating to them. The game allows for many other missions, including wiping out dangerous gangs, gathering evidence of corruption, dealing with alien threats or eliminating rogue psykers.[3]



DAN: First off, thank you for the interview. Can you start off by telling everyone who you are, where you are from and what made you decide to create a podcast?


WARPTIDES: Our names are Anton, Erin, Lucas, and Sarah, and we’re all from the Des Moines/Ankeny area. We started the podcast because we thought it would be fun to try using our love of roleplaying games to entertain people. We were inspired by shows like Critical Role and The Adventure Zone, but decided to try a different system as opposed to 5th Edition D&D, so we’re trying Warhammer 40k.


DAN: RPG podcasts are really popular right now. I’m also a fan of the Adventure Zone. One thing I appreciate as a listener is how accessible they make their roleplaying to people like me who aren’t familiar with 5th Ed. Will you be trying to make your podcast accessible to all fans of RPG’s or is your target audience fans already familiar with the 40k universe? Also, can you summarize the world and setting for us a bit?


WARPTIDES: While the show will likely appeal more to long-time fans, we will be trying our hardest to make it accessible to newcomers. It’s no mean feat, Warhammer 40,000 has a staggering amount of lore and world-building behind it, but our goal is to make the game less about the setting and more about the characters. We’ll explain certain aspects of the universe for those unfamiliar with it as we go, while keeping the narrative fluid enough that established 40K fans won’t feel like we’re stopping every few seconds to explain something. As for the universe itself, it can best be summarized as “The Dark Ages in the future”. It is the year 40,000, and all of humankind is joined together under the banner of the Imperium of Man, a monolithic empire ruled over by the immortal God-Emperor of Mankind. 10,000 years ago, the Emperor rose from the ashes of a desolated Earth to conquer the galaxy in the name of humanity, but Horus, favored of his 20 superhuman sons was corrupted by the malevolent power of the gods of Chaos and turned against the Emperor, waging a brutal civil war. The Emperor managed to defeat the arch-traitor but was mortally wounded, and was interred in a life-support vessel called the Golden Throne, where he resides to this day. In his absence, the Imperium has grown weaker and weaker, and is now only a shadow of its former self. Now pirates and raiders run rampant, mutation spreads unchecked among the populace, and enemies both human and alien menace the Imperium from within and without. The setting is satirically over-the-top, combining elements of Heavy Metal, Judge Dredd, Dune, and pulp sci-fi. It is a universe of wars that shatter planets and starships miles long, of bizarre technology and psycho-sorcery, and of larger-than-life heroes and villains. And space orks. Especially space orks.


The setting is also characterized by an art design and aesthetic that are distinctly gothic, in keeping with the theme of a fallen empire. Cavernous buildings, skulls on every conceivable object, and ostentatious vehicles, weapons, and armor are are part and parcel of what gives the universe its identity.


DAN: The setting of 40k fits perfectly for tabletop wargaming because It’s easy to imagine legions of soldiers fighting endless wars in this grim dark setting. How will this militaristic world shape the players personas? Is there room for individuality in 40k or is everyone simply a grunt that lives and dies at the emporer’s whims?


WARPTIDES: Personality is a actually a hallmark of the 40K RPGs, the idea being that while the rest of the galaxy is full of average, uninteresting people, you as a player are someone who sticks out thanks to their skills, experiences, and background. In addition, the million-million worlds that make up the Imperium can contain any conceivable society, culture, and level of technology that a player can dream up, and players are limited only by their imaginations. There are some 40K RPGs that focus on soldiers and military life, but the rest offer players the opportunity to play incredibly unique characters. That being said, the characters are still products of their wider environment, and their lives have been shaped by the dangers of the galaxy in which they live, so the grim-darkness of the setting is not lost. Are you asking for a generalization, or each player’s individual perspective?


DAN: I was asking about a generalization. Being unfamiliar with 40k I assumed every human was a soldier. I’m glad you clarified that actually a world of options is available to your players personality and background. Now that we know more about the rich setting, can you share any information about the production of the podcast? Will your players be utilizing character voices? Do you see yourself incorporating any music or sound effects in the post-editing? Do you guys have microphones to ensure audio quality comes in clear?


WARPTIDES: We certainly hope so, 40K is a really fun universe, but it can be intimidating or seem very one-note to people outside the fandom. The setup is quite basic, but functional. We use a TASCAM DR-40 mobile recorder as our base mic for the players, and a second microphone connected to one of the recorder’s ports for the GM. It’s a little tricky for the players since they have to angle their speech at the recorder to be captured, and have to speak up a tad, but it’s serving us well so far, and we’re going to get better at it as time goes on. As to character voices, yes, our cast does employ distinct modes of speech and inflection, and we hope that their performances will be unique and enjoyable. Finally, post-production effects are not presently being used, though they may be incorporated later in the series. We do however have a theme song courtesy of Lucas, and it’s an excellent little introductory piece that we think listeners will greatly enjoy!


DAN: How about the production cycle, if listeners want to subscribe to your podcast what will be the length of time in-between new episodes?


WARPTIDES: We’re not presently sure what our recording schedule will be like, as our collective schedules make finding time to record slightly difficult, but we do know that for the pilot and the three episodes thereafter, we will follow a two week pattern, the first episode December 1st, the rest on December 15th and 29th, and January 12th.

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