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 Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader /Deathwatch & Black Release thread 
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That is fucking lovely indeed...

..but I can't quite justify it.Damn.

I will be picking up the normal rulebook though.

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Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:19 am
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*Clutches his wallet and falls to the ground convulsing* AaAAAAaAAAAAaaaarrRRRRrrrGGGggHhhHHH

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Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:40 am
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Just think, you can get it personalised with "Severus Praetus"!

Alternatively, you could put a down payment on a house!

The possibilities are endless.

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Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:55 am
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I noted the wise disclaimer over offensive names. :lol:

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Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:04 am
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:shock: Must... have....


Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:18 pm
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Greetings Rogue Trader fans!

A while back I created a release schedule for Dark Heresy called Knowledge Is Power. That is particularly powerful title, and I feel it is a truism that can be applied to nearly any pursuit. I’ve also been gaming for over a couple of decades now (Yes, this means I’m getting up into the “middle aged” category!), and I’ve learned that for a Game Master, knowledge is most definitely power.



The Rogue Trader Game Master’s Kit is a great way to put that power into the GM’s hands. First, it contains a fold-out GM’s screen chock-full of vital information straight from the Rogue Trader rulebook. All the critical charts, diagrams, and reference information are right at your fingertips, and the screen is built from FFG’s sturdy, linen-finish stock that makes it a very durable screen indeed! Finally, the screen is paneled on the opposite side with lush, full-colour artwork.

However, the GM’s screen is just part of this package! Also included is a booklet that contains a Rogue Trader adventure suitable for beginning-rank characters, a starship combat summary, a starship construction “cheat sheet,” an NPC vessel generator, and a planet and system generator—a very useful packet of information for any GM!

Look for the Rogue Trader Game Master's Kit to be available this fall.


linky

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Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:19 pm
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The D6 Generation have an interview with Ross Watson of FFG this week, focussing on Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader. It's 1 hour 24 minutes in from the show notes.

Edit: I've now listened to this and there is quite a large focus on the character types and ship to ship combat- which sounds really cool, your individuals use their skills to improve gunnery, or make the engines go faster etc. A bit like in Star Trek, but more 40K.

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Last edited by Holdenstein on Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:18 am
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Nice! I will download that and have a listen.

Also, the Character Sheet for this is out now - looks remarkably similar to DH, though that's to be expected! I like some of the layout changes though. Yesss.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_ ... p?eidn=700

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Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:15 am
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secrets of the expanse

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Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:15 pm
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I can see myself getting this with my first student loan.

Tell me again why FFG aren't going to be at Games Days?

Oh yeah, GW would realise what a mistake they did in letting an awesome franchise go.


Does anyone know how much FFG charge for shipping to the UK?

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Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:31 pm
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http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_c ... %20quality).pdf

I do like 40k star charts,

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Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:19 am
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starship character sheet

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Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:38 pm
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Many of you may remember Knowledge Is Power, the 2009 Dark Heresy release schedule that I wrote back in the early days of this year. Knowledge is Power projected the plans for Dark Heresy in 2009, announcing six new books for the line.

Unfortunately, some of those releases have been late in arriving on the shelves at your local game store. Many factors go into the construction of an RPG book, and any snag along the way can cause issues that push the release date back. In this case, we encountered some unforeseen and severe art issues.

The FFG approach is to provide the best-quality game we can. Instead of rushing the books to print, we made sure these issues were resolved before moving forward with the release schedule. This was not an easy decision, but at FFG, we always strive to make the best possible product. You’ll be glad to know that these issues have been addressed, and the Dark Heresy books are proceeding at full steam ahead!

The delays to Dark Heresy have led to some speculation that the Dark Heresy line is being neglected in favor of Rogue Trader. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Dark Heresy is a vibrant game line that has many excellent releases lined up for years to come. Stay tuned to our website and attend the Dark Heresy seminars at Gen Con to hear the latest word. There are many more books on the way to empower the Inquisition’s works in the name of the God-Emperor.

In fact, The Radical’s Handbook is at the printer right now, and hot on its heels is Damned Cities, the second book in the Haarlock’s Legacy series, followed by Ascension—a sourcebook that offers your Dark Heresy characters the opportunity to ascend to higher tiers of power and authority. All three of these books are proceeding at the best possible speed, so keep your eyes on this space for more information, previews, and discussions about the future of Dark Heresy!

Dark Heresy is a roleplaying game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the grim darkness of the far future. Players take on the roles of Acolytes serving the Inquisition, rooting out heresy and corruption from within the galaxy-spanning Imperium of Man.


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Hmm.. always nice to know what is going ... eh GW ? :lol:

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Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:28 pm
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latest WTF pic doing the rounds of the web.

..looks like demi urg, a pit beats and a stank beast perhaps to me ?

I wonder if this might be some GEncon promo type affair.

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Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:50 am
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perhaps collectible minatures game??? now that wizards have all but destroyed theirs

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Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:23 am
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Those sculpts are way too good for anything produced by FFG. ;)

Still they look really nice, and I'd love to get my hands on some. I dearly hope they're not con/promo only nonsense.

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Tim wrote:
Those sculpts are way too good for anything produced by FFG. ;)

Still they look really nice, and I'd love to get my hands on some. I dearly hope they're not con/promo only nonsense.


True FFG makes some nasty stuff - see mutant chronicles stuff

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Do you think GW might be encouraging FFG to do a CMG/Boardgame including the Demiurg to suss out if there's financially viable interest? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Genestealers/Tyranids began life as part 'n' parcel of Space Hulk, as did the Necrons after a fashion, and it would be a great way of testing out hype versus sales, to see if the perennial interest in Squats can actually generate real income :?

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Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:19 am
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+++Incoming Astropathic Transmission+++

Greetings, Dark Heresy fans!

Last weekend, FFG went to Gen Con 2009 in Indianapolis to celebrate the best four days in gaming. It was fantastic to be around so many energetic and creative people! I could feel the excitement in the air, and I was electrified by the sights and sounds of so many awesome games, stories, and artwork everywhere I turned.

Friday night was especially good for Dark Heresy! First, we got to meet the lovely and talented winner of the “Dream Date at the Ennies” auction, Andrea Gausman. Andrea is also the winner of the 2008 Dark Heresy Adventure Contest, so having her with us at the ceremony was a real pleasure!

In the picture below you can see myself, the Managing RPG Developer Michael Hurley, and Andrea in the middle holding her signed copy of Rogue Trader.



Ross Watson, Andrea Gausman, and Michael Hurley at the Ennie Awards for Gen Con 2009

I am extremely pleased to report that the Ennie Awards Ceremony included several wins for the Dark Heresy line. The Dark Heresy core rulebook won the Gold Ennie for Best Interior Artwork and Best Production values and won a Silver Ennie for Best Game of 2009!

These awards would not have been possible without the hard work of all the creative and talented people at Black Industries, and I only wish that they could have been with us to accept these medals. Kate Flack, Mike Mason, Owen Barnes (Designers) and Mark Raynor (Graphic Design) deserve special mention as having crafted the foundation for Dark Heresy, and we here at Fantasy Flight Games are honored to have picked up that tradition of quality that they crafted to carry it into the future.

One of my proudest moments of the night was to see Creatures Anathema receive a Silver Ennie for Best Monster Book! Creatures Anathema is very near and dear to my heart, being the first book I built from scratch as a Lead Developer. It is also noteworthy that Creatures Anathema is the first Dark Heresy book entirely created by Fantasy Flight Games, and it is absolutely thrilling to have been distinguished in this year’s awards! This award was doubly special because many of the authors who worked on the book were in attendance at the ceremony that night, and I was able to thank Mike Surbrook, Sean Patrick Fannon, Sam Stewart, and Tim Huckelbery personally for helping us accomplish this achievement.



The Next Step

In the future, keep a sharp eye out for more previews and information about The Radical’s Handbook!


linky.

Well deserved rewards indeed.

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Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:29 am
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Dark Heresy: Damned Cities is the last of FFG’s releases for the month. The sourcebook for the Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Dark Heresy RPG is the second volume of the Haarlock’s Legacy trilogy (see “FFG’s 2009 ‘Dark Heresy’ Release Schedule”) and includes tips on running a campaign based around investigations and a detailed description of the planet Sinophia. It retails for $24.95.


*sighs* more expense.

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Greetings, Rogue Trader fans!

This week I am pleased to present a guest designer diary by scribe Sam Stewart, the author of the Starships chapter in Rogue Trader.



Sam Stewart Speaks!

So the other day, Ross asked me if I could put together a designer diary going over how to construct a space ship in Rogue Trader. Well, I’ll take any excuse to write about Rogue Trader’s starships, so I pulled out a fresh sheet of parchment, fired up the ol’ auto-quill, and got to work.

The first thing to determine is the ‘budget’ I’m working with. Rogue Trader has rules for determining your starting Profit Factor and Ship Points, with more of one meaning less than the other. To find out how much of each you start with, you roll a single 1d10 on Table 1-5: Starting Profit Factor and Ship Points (found on page 33 of the core rulebook). There are five possible results, ranging from wealthy Rogue Traders with small, modest ships, to impoverished Rogue Traders who still cling to the mighty vessels their dynasty possessed when it was wealthy.

I rolled a “7,” giving me an average amount of Profit Factor and Ship Points. Apparently, the dynasty I’m building this ship for is a relatively new player on the galactic stage, with lots of resources to draw on. Those resources mean I have 50 Ship Points to play with when constructing this vessel. Now that I know how many Ship Points I have, I’ll turn to Chapter 8: Starships to actually build the ship.

First I have to decide what kind of ship I’m going to build, and that means selecting a hull type. There are five different types of hulls, from slow and lumbering transports, fast and fragile raiders, multi-purpose frigates, long-range light cruisers, and heavy and powerful cruisers. The ship’s hull is also what I’ll be spending the most Ship Points on. A complete list of hulls can be found on pages 194-196.

I decide to go with a Sword-class frigate, a venerable mainstay of the Imperial Battlefleet. It has a good balance of Speed, Manoeverability, armour, and potential firepower. It also costs 40 Ship Points, leaving me 10 to purchase Components to augment the starship with. As we’ll see, 10 Ship Points will be plenty to construct this starship (I would always make sure I have at least 5 left over after selecting a hull).

Before I go any further, I have to see what my new ship has gone through before ending up under my pen. That entails rolling on the two Complications tables found on page 197 and 198. The first table, Machine Spirit Oddities, determines some of the quirks my ship’s machine spirit has picked up over its many years of service. There are 10 possibilities, and I roll “Resolute.” My frigate is a bit slower than other ships, but is tougher and easier to repair.

Next, I roll on the second table, Past Histories. Starships in the 40k universe are very old, often owned by many owners, and rebuilt and refurbished countless times. This table suggests some of the activities the ship (and its crew) has been involved in in the past. I get the result “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” meaning this ship has sophisticated masking systems to conceal some of its weapons; perhaps it used to be a pirate vessel, or served time as a Q-ship in the Imperial Navy.

Next, I have to pick out my ship’s Essential Components (listed on page 201). These are things the ship needs to run, like life sustainers and a bridge. There are seven categories of Essential Components, and every ship needs one Component from each category (no more, no less). However, since every ship is expected to have them, most Essential Components do not cost Ship Points. I will have to keep an eye on my ship’s available Power and Space, however. Each component will take up some of each of these resources (which are provided by the ship’s Plasma Drives and Hull, respectively). I’m starting with 45 Power and 40 Space, but my Past History takes up 2 Power right off the bat, and things like my Void Shields and Warp Drives take up even more. Most of the Components I select are the most basic, bare-bones versions, but I use a little extra Power, Space, and one of my remaining Ship Points to upgrade my Bridge to a combat oriented bridge, and buy a more powerful Augur Array. At the end I have 9 Ship Points, 14 Space, and 16 Power left over.

Now comes the really fun part—adding the Supplemental Components. These are things like cargo holds, augmented systems, and (of course) guns. Not essential, but you’ll be glad you have them. (A list of Supplemental Components is found on page 204.)

First, weapons. A Sunsear Laser Battery and set of Mars Pattern Macrocannons for my two Weapon Component slots means my frigate hits hard at long range, and even harder up close. To beef them up even more, I’ll install a Munitorium packed full of laser focusing crystals and macro-warheads. All three Components combined take up 12 Power, 9 Space, and 4 Ship Points. (As a side note, my ship’s Past History will allow me to conceal all three Components from prying scans, giving my opponents a nasty surprise!)



Next, I’ll take a Cargo Hold and Lighter Bay to ensure my frigate can participate in trading endeavors. I’ll also add a Librarium Vault and a Trophy Room. The Librarium is full of accumulated lore on any number of topics, and what Rogue Trader wouldn’t want a grand hall dedicated to his accomplishments? Finally, in the lowest reaches of the ship, I’ll install a set of cryo-pods to store a cadre of Murder-Servitors, invaluable when conducting hit-and-run raids on other ships.

That’s the last of my Power, Space, and Ship Points, and I’m left with a credible and dangerous ship to explore the Expanse with. All I need now is a name, and in honor of the brilliant novels by Patrick O’Brian, I think I’ll call her the Surprise (it’s certainly fitting).

And there you have it: a new ship ready for some plucky Rogue Trader to take into the Koronus Expanse.


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want to share with you some of the details about a concept near and dear to the heart of any Rogue Trader: making his fortune and wresting profit from the stars!

During the development of Rogue Trader, I asked two of my authors, Reason and Owen Barnes, to work on a system that would accurately represent how and why Rogue Traders operate. We needed a set of mechanics to represent the vast amounts of wealth that a Rogue Trader deals with, and we needed a set of mechanics to allow a Rogue Trader to pursue that wealth in any manner he chooses.

Owen Barnes is one of the primary writers for Rogue Trader, and I would like to share his thoughts on these elements of the game line below:

Profit Factor and Endeavours

A big part of Rogue Trader is the acquisition of wealth and power. So when Ross asked me to work up a system for representing this in the game I was very psyched to be involved in this integral aspect of the book. Having designed a lot of the core rules for Dark Heresy, including the monetary system (lifted pretty much as is from WFRP) this was kind of a second chance for me to implement a wealth system for the 40k setting. One that would capture the grandeur and scope of a Rogue Trader’s dynasty, but also at the same time be versatile enough to be applied to other settings.

Now, I am a fan of wealth systems for modern and sci-fi settings—especially in cases where the players have a lot of resources at their command. It just doesn’t make sense that you should be counting pennies to buy a bolt pistol when you command a legion of assault troopers and a billion ton starship. They create a nice abstract sense of money changing hands behind the scenes and wealth tied up in property, favours and loans. The trick of course is creating a system that has the scale to go from buying a combat shotgun to a small moon without lots of dice rolls or excessive maths.



So… how does it work? Well Profit Factor works much in the same way as a characteristic – rated between 1 and 100 (however, in the case of the very poor or the very rich, it can be higher or lower). The PCs start off ‘sharing’ their PF (since it represents the resources of their dynasty) but this can change later on and starting PF (modified by a few factors) starts between about 30-40, much like a characteristic. When a PC (or the group) want to acquire a new item, retainer or whatever they make a test against their PF and see if they get it—or if they have to wait—or it just isn’t available or out of their reach.

The real depth of the system, however, is in the modifiers, of which there are three kinds for every acquisition—Availability, Craftsmanship and Scale. The first two, of course, come straight from Dark Heresy (making the system compatible with DH equipment tables) while the third is simply how many of a certain item you are after. In this way buying a single lasgun is a negligible expense for a Rogue Trader and automatic (if PF is modified beyond 100, no roll to acquire the item is necessary) but buying 10,000 might require some expenditure of resources, and thus, a check.

So what does it all actually mean for a Rogue Trader PC? Well, a PF of 30-40 is very good by the standards of Imperial society and places the players quite a way above the vast bulk of humanity. This means that the players will start with pretty much all the top end personal equipment they want, with perhaps the exception of the extremely rare or well made things. But boltguns, plasma pistols, carapace armour, and other such items will all be readily within their reach. And for lesser items like common ammo, low end weapons and most standard gear these will simply be drawn from the dynasty holdings when and as required without the need for rolls or bean counting. Of course, in Rogue Trader, the real purpose of PF will be in the acquisition of things for the group; such as starships, mining colonies, well equipped and trained soldiers or specialist retainers. In much the same way as a Dark Heresy character may covet a bolter or suit of power armour, a Rogue Trader character will dream of Adeptus Mechanicus lance batteries, death cult assassin kill squads, and exclusive writs of passage.

So that is basically how Profit Factor works! However, the other big part of the system (and probably the core of much of the efforts of the PCs) is how to increase it or avoid losing it. This is where Endeavours and Misfortunes come in—basically two tools for the GM to award and remove Profit Factor from the PCs. If you imagine that Profit Factor is like experience points—a measure of power awarded by the GM to the players for their deeds—then an Endeavour is the guidelines for handing out those rewards. In addition to giving the GM an idea of when and how much to reward the players with PF, Endeavours also present the framework for many typical Rogue Trader-y activities, such as founding a colony, exploiting worlds, charting dangerous warp routes, aiding Imperial organisations like the Navy, and of course, trading and exploring. GMs are, of course, free to create their own means of awarding PF, but Endeavours present a host of ready-made examples and guidelines. Just as Endeavour show the GM how to award PF, Misfortunes show how to take it away—presenting some of the many perils that can attack a Rogue Trader’s wealth and how the PCs can try and fend them off.

Used together, Endeavours and Misfortunes create a system where the PCs will be constantly seeking to fill their coffers and increase their wealth, while at the same time fighting to retain what they have won. Such is the life of a Rogue Trader as his fortunes rise and fall amidst the uncaring stars.

Well that’s it for now—hope that gives you some more solid clues as to what to expect from Rogue Trader and you are looking forward to seeing it on shelves as much as I am!

-Owen



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Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:32 pm
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Hello, Rogue Trader fans! My name is Sam Stewart, and I am the new Associate RPG Developer at Fantasy Flight Games. I am honored to announce that Ross has granted me with responsibility for the Rogue Trader line of Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay.



Now, I’m guessing the first question on everyone’s mind is: “Sam? Where the heck is Ross?” Don’t worry, Ross is still the Senior RPG Developer for Warhammer 40K Roleplay here at Fantasy Flight. As we move forward with a great deal of exciting new Warhammer 40K products, I’ve been brought on board to manage Rogue Trader.


However, that doesn’t tell you all much about me. Since my college days, I’ve been long-time fan of the Warhammer 40K universe. I’ve been a loyal servant of the Emperor ever since, with a massive Imperial Guard army, a robust cell of Deamonhunters, and a sizable Imperial Navy fleet for Battlefleet Gothic. College was also where I first started playing roleplaying games. Like so many roleplayers, I got my start in Dungeons and Dragons, branched out into Iron Kingdoms, Planescape, and Midnight – a harbinger of things to come, perhaps? Like so many Warhammer 40K fans, I was ecstatic when Dark Heresy was announced, snapping up one of the first copies on the shelf of my local game store.


I’ve been a writer and an editor for most of my professional life, first at a newspaper, then here at Fantasy Flight Games. While at FFG, I began spending my free time doing more and more work for the RPG department, starting with Phyrr and the Xothic Blood Locust in Creatures Anathema, and culminating in my work on Rogue Trader and the upcoming Ascension.


Being tapped to work on Rogue Trader is a dream come true for me. I have always been fascinated with the titanic flying cathedrals that are Imperial starships, as well as the lithe and graceful Eldar sailing vessels, and the flying junk-heaps with teeth the Orks pilot. I’m also a huge fan of movies and literature about the high seas and Age of Sail, from Treasure Island to Master and Commander (book and movie). Rogue Trader is a chance to combine that love with my love of the 40K universe, and I’m deeply excited to give this my all – and am looking forward to interacting with you, the fan community, on a regular basis.

The Future of Rogue Trader

I’m sure everyone wants to know where Rogue Trader is headed. Ross and I have spoken about this at some length, and I plan to continue the trend of his excellent work on the Rogue Trader Core Rulebook. As to plans for the line, our first goal is to get the Rulebook on store shelves as soon as possible. Next, we’ll be producing the Rogue Trader Game Master’s Kit.


And after that? Well, let’s just say a course is plotted, and our ship stands ready to proceed. Let’s go see what lies off the edge of the map, shall we?


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Here we go again...

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Hello, Rogue Trader fans! This week, Ross Watson has graciously agreed to 'return' and speak on something near to his heart—creating a character in Rogue Trader. One could even say he wrote the book on the topic:

So this week, I am writing a guest designer diary for my good friend and fellow RPG producer Sam Stewart about character creation in Rogue Trader.

Character creation is a fun journey that takes your character from his humble beginnings all the way through to the profit-seeking, star-spanning, adventure-seeking Explorer that he was meant to be! The best way to illustrate the character creation process is to use a real character, in this case, my own player character for the Fantasy Flight Games Rogue Trader campaign, Sarvus Trask.

The first step in character creation is to generate your characteristics. In Rogue Trader, you roll 2d10 and add the result to 25 for each characteristic.

After rolling, Sarvus’s characteristics look like this:




Now that I have my character’s characteristics, it’s time to take that journey I mentioned earlier...via the Origin Path.

If you want to know more about the Origin Path system, I’ve talked about it in a previous designer diary. The short version is that the Origin Path provides an easy way for a player to create an interesting backstory for his character and gain some cool bonuses along the way.

Now, I could start from either the top or the bottom of the chart, and there are a large number of ways to use the chart in any individual Rogue Trader campaign. For the FFG game, I wanted to start from the top and see what happens!

I see Sarvus Trask as a man who is used to being amongst other citizens of the Imperium. Therefore, I choose Hive World as my home world, meaning that my character has lived in the dense ultra-huge cities of the Imperium for most of his life. Being born on a hive world gives me some advantages and disadvantages. Sarvus can move about in a crowd without any trouble, but he has difficulties in a more primitive environment. I suffer -5 Toughness, but gain +5 Fellowship, and some extra starting skills. To generate my Wounds, I double my Toughness Bonus of 3 (equalling 6) and add 1d5+1 to the total. Lucking out, I roll a 5 and begin the game with 12 Wounds. In addition, I get a number of Fate Points. Another lucky roll means that Sarvus has 4 Fate Points, which is quite a large number! I’m off to an excellent start.





The next row down is that of Birthright, meaning it answers the question, “what was your character like during his formative years?”

When I pause to consider, I like the idea of Sarvus being a man who values knowledge, and it is likely he was a scholar in his youth. Therefore, I choose the Savant selection. Being a Savant nets me the Peer (Academic) Talent and +3 Fellowship, but I lose 3 points of Toughness as well. Studying dusty old tomes isn’t good for one’s health, but it has taught Sarvus a lot about how to deal successfully with people.The next line of the Origin Path is the Lure of the Void, an answer to the question, “why did you seek your fortune amongst the stars?”

There is no hesitation for me, I immediately select Chosen by Destiny! Sarvus is already taking on a life of his own and demands that his Origin Path follow this course, and I am happy to oblige. Being chosen by destiny offers a number of secondary choices, from amongst which I select Fated for Greatness, again steered by the bombastic rumblings of the player character taking form in my imagination. Being so fated adds an additional Fate Point (bringing my total to 5!) but also carries a risk of madness...I gain 1d10+1 Insanity Points. Here is where my talent for rolling high works against me, and Sarvus gains a full 11 Insanity Points, well on his way towards making other Explorers nervous. Obviously, Sarvus is one of those characters that just seems “a bit off.”




Onwards, to the Trials and Travails line of the Origin Path. Here is where we will find out some of the challenges Sarvus has overcome leading up to the beginning of his journeys in the Expanse. Because I selected Chosen by Destiny, there are only two options open to me on this line: High Vendetta and Dark Voyage. One additional option for the Origin Path is for the GM to designate a row (or more) as a “free choice” row, meaning that there are no restrictions. In this case, however, Dark Voyage suits me perfectly! Clearly, Sarvus Trask has led an “interesting” life, and has no doubt encountered his share of warp-worshipping aliens, shadowy conspiracies, and other dangers of the Expanse during his life. Sarvus gains the Forbidden Lore (Warp) Skill, but also gains 1d5 Insanity Points. Curses! Once again, I roll the maximum, and now Sarvus is up to 16 Insanity Points. My character is moving out of “a bit off,” and into “quite unhinged” territory...

Moving on, the next row on the Origin Path is that of Motivation. It’s time to discover just what lurks in Sarvus’ heart, what drives him on into the unknown reaches of the Dark Frontier. For this character, there is no better way to go than to choose Prestige, for Sarvus hungers for power, wealth, and influence. This grand ambition nets Sarvus the Talented (Command) Talent, paving the way towards his fortunes by being a celebrated leader of men.




Although Sarvus Trask has acquired a disturbing tendency to speak to people who aren’t there, one step remains to complete the Origin Path. I must select a Career! From Prestige, my options are either a Seneschal, a Navigator, or a Rogue Trader. With an image clearly in mind of an ambitious, bombastic, and slightly mad Rogue Trader, my course is clear. With Sarvus's final stat-line (below), the Warrant of the Trask Dynasty has taken its first step towards greatness!



In a future designer diary, I will go into more detail about how to further personalize your character, from selecting your initial advances to choosing your starting gear to generating your starting Profit Factor and Ship Points. Keep your eyes open for Sarvus Trask to return in a future installment, and until then, may all your endeavours bear profit!


linky

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Hello, Rogue Trader fans! I’d like to take a little time to talk about one of the core experiences of Rogue Trader—constructing and completing Endeavours.

Recently, Owen Barnes ably explained two key concepts of Rogue Trader, Profit Factor and Endeavours. He explained the best way for Rogue Traders to raise their Profit Factor is through pursuing Endeavours; colonizing worlds, mining asteroids, exploring undiscovered star systems, trading, and—of course—making war.

An Endeavour is basically a framework for how the players can accomplish their goals and gain profit, while having glorious adventures and taking perilous risks. However, one important aspect of Endeavours is that they can be a collaborative effort between the GM and the players. When a GM presents a potential Endeavour to his players, they are able to work within the framework he has created to complete it. To illustrate this, let’s look at an example group, the raider Cerberus and her crew.

Trading With the Heathens

The Cerberus’s captain, Sarvus Trask, has quickly made a name for himself in the Expanse as an ambitious and slightly mad Rogue Trader whose star is on the rise. Upon his return to the void station of Footfall, the GM places a risky Endeavour in front of Trask, discovering a stable trade route to the distant frontier world of Mallanus Minoris. Only one other Rogue Trader has ever been to this world, and has brought back stories of Ork Freebooterz in the system’s asteroid belt, and a population hungry for Imperial technology.



Endeavours are classified as either lesser, greater, or grand, depending on how ambitious they are and how much Profit Factor they will net the players. The GM decides that establishing a reliable trade route to Mallanus Minoris is a Greater Endeavour, and will award the players four Profit Factor should they complete it successfully.

The Endeavour’s scale also determines how many Achievement Points will be needed to complete it. Achievement Points are the GM’s way of keeping track of the party’s progress, and are awarded whenever the party completes one of the Endeavour’s objectives – milestones in accomplishing the Endeavour that have certain keywords associated with them depending on what they involve. As this is a Greater Endeavour, it requires 1,200 Achievement Points to complete. The GM determines there are four objectives in this Endeavour. The players must locate the Mallanus Minoris system—an exploration objective worth 300 Points. They must bring at least one cargo to establish trade with the native humans—a trade objective worth 400 Points. They must wipe out the Ork Freebooterz infesting the asteroid belt—a military objective worth 400 Points. Finally, they must convince the native humans to trade exclusively with Trask—a trade or creed objective worth 100 Points. All four objectives will earn 1,200 Achievement Point total.

First, the Cerberus’s crew decides to purchase a cargo of lasguns and Sentinel walkers to trade to the natives, weapons to help them defend themselves. The ship’s Seneschal procures five hundred crates of weapons from a fellow trader at Footfall while the Arch-Militant reaches a contact in the Imperial Guard and convinces him to ‘lose’ sixty walkers plus spare parts. Cargo secured, the ship sets out to find Mallanus Minoris.

The trip is long and harrowing, into the outskirts of the Unbeholden Reaches. Eventually, the ship’s Astropath Transcendent contacts a fellow astropath on another vessel and learns of a ill-scouted route past a warp storm blocking the Cerberus’s path. Working with the ship’s Navigator, the players soon find themselves on the outskirts of the Mallanus Minoris system, successfully completing the objective and earning 300 Achievement Points. In addition, their ship has an Augar Array Component granting them an additional 50 Achievement Points when they complete exploration objectives, netting them 350 Points total.

The players find the planet Mallanus Minoris under attack by Freebooterz vessels, who are bombarding the surface and sending down raiding parties. Instead of attacking directly, the players decide to trade their goods first—after all, they are sure to be in high demand! Sneaking to the other side of the planet, the Rogue Trader and Seneschal work together to set up a deal, trading lasguns for precious metals. The trade objective is accomplished, and since the Cerberus has a cargo hold granting them 50 additional Achievement Points when completing trade objectives, the players’ total jumps to 800.

Eight hundred points is still not enough to complete the Endeavour (nor should it be, while Orks still prowl the trade lanes!) The players decide to attack each of the Ork raiders in turn, in a series of surprise attacks. Thanks to the superior gunnery of the ship’s Voidmaster and the tireless work of the Explorator in keeping the ship repaired, the Cerberus hunts down three Ork raiders and forces the rest to flee the system. The third objective is accomplished, and though the Cerberus does not receive any bonuses, it still earns 400 Achievement Points, granting it the needed 1,200 total.



Although the fourth objective is not completed, the players have earned enough Achievement Points to complete the threshold as a whole. the GM decides that the population of Mallanus Minoris is grateful enough to grant the Cerberus exclusivity without prompting. Had the fourth objective been more vital to the Endeavour, the GM could have required his players to complete it anyway (and then turn their ‘extra’ Achievement Points into additional Profit Factor).

Now, however, it’s on to the next Endeavour. The ship’s Missionary is already asking the Rogue Trader to begin a mass conversion of Mallanus Minoris’s population to the Imperial Creed...



linky

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Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:30 am
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