View Full Version : Rogue Trader

03-21-2010, 11:53 AM
I've always been a giant fan of the truly epic and awesome Warhammer 40,000 universe, and I was really jazzed when I heard that they had come up with a RPG based in the universe called Dark Heresy. I bought it and was rather disappointed. It wasn't that the game was BAD by any stretch of the imagination, it was simply that it felt small and restrictive. You played as a bunch of acolytes who did whatever their Inquisitor bid them do.


It also did not help that my friends were, at the time, shall we say...

Less than able to roleplay. At all.

Flash forward a few years later and me and my buddy George are hanging out at a Barns and Noble and we find Rogue Trader. We open it up and we're instantly hooked.

It reads, at first, like an expansion and refinement of Dark Herasy's rules.

And then you get to the part where you find out that you play as, shockingly enough, a Rogue Trader. And suddenly the game takes on an entirely new, and entirely shocking tone for a Warhammer 40,000 product.

It gets...


It gets...liberating. It gets fucking majestic. And it is as though the scales have fallen from my eyes and I suddenly see this massive pool of untapped potential within the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. What exactly IS a Rogue Trader? Well, they are individuals who have what is called the Writ of Trade. This is a document allowing them to move beyond the restrictive structure of the Imperium and strike out into the Void to find riches beyond counting.

A Rogue Trader character starts off richer than most Dark Herasy characters could imagine. You are essentially assumed to be wealthy enough to do something as trivial as buy enough laz guns to outfit a regiment.

But more than that, a Rogue Trader starts off with the capacity to level cities at the snap of a finger...because Rogue Traders start off with spaceships. Building a spaceship is kind of fiddly because you need to keep track of many many stats and how they interact and so on...but the completed ship is a character unto itself. Also it opens up the shamefully fun soft-science fiction nightmare that is Warhammer 40,000 space combat to you the player.

It is the spaceship that does it, really...because suddenly, your games go from this grim and dark adventure over one or two planets, with starships being only a way to get from place to place, to a grand adventure where your starship is your home and every planet is a port of calls.

The game is built around brave expeditions to long dead planets, and to lost colonies of humanity. To find new alien life forms and steal their stuff. To really have an epic adveture.

And this brings me to the tone...

You see, I believe that a lot of Warhammer 40,000 is...missing the forest for the trees. A lot of players and fans spend their time chuckling at the absurd grimdark and the exaggerated nature of the universe, and I really that that ignores a really...amazingly constructed universe.

Like, par down the silliness and lighten up the tone slightly and you suddenly have this dark gothic universe that I find vastly more interested than the RAAAAAAGHDHDHDEATHMURDERKILL that we see in the video games and tabletop game.

And that is the universe that Rogue Trader really presents. Dangerous and deadly, and yet beautiful and massive. Dark and mysterious, with horrors and wonders around every corner.

My friends and I are starting a new campaign, involving three starships voyaging into the dark halo region between the galactic arms in search of treasure and riches and artifacts beyond the ken of normal humanity.

Its going to be fun!

So, if you are interested in the Warhammer 40,000 universe (or are a fan yourself) you can do worse than checking out Rogue Trader.

Assuming you can stomach the 80 dollar price tag!

03-22-2010, 12:31 AM
Plus, astropaths are non-shitty versions of psykers.

03-22-2010, 12:53 AM
That too!

I just bought the game-masters add on which includes a nifty screen, a sourcebook for rolling up random star systems and how to rapidly make balanced NPC space-craft and stuff like that.

Which should be VERY USEFUL for my game, which is 95% flying to uncharted star systems and exploring. Because, really, that is the part of the game that interests me and my friends the most.

Now the hard part...waiting for the darn thing to arrive! (Bought it online)

03-22-2010, 01:53 AM
You know, this was actually the original feel of the 40k universe, and your bit about "untapped potential" only indicates you know nothing about those first few games back in the late 80s/early 90s ;)

03-22-2010, 01:56 AM
Well, I wasn't able to read at the time! In fact, I spent most of the late 80s...like...inside of a plastic box while doctors kept my lungs working.


03-22-2010, 06:26 AM
And the Warp is still an exceedingly dangerous place, so with as much space travel as you have to do, I'd expect to run into a lot of daemons.

Fortunately, it's nearly impossible for my baby astropath to fail a Fear test...

03-22-2010, 06:57 AM
I'm working out our first encounter. My idea is to run the game rather like star trek. As in, you go to a solar system. Something funny is going on. YOu get to the bottom of it. You solve it through a combination of cleverness, diploamcy, and lots of guns. Move on to the next solar system.

Between games, it is presumed that our crews are off visiting the boring places that are boring, so we don't need to actually play through them.

We've got a carrier, a cruiser and a librarium ship, so we can handle pretty much anything I think.

The cruiser alone can hit a target 12 times with a single broadside, doing at 1d10+4 damage PER HIT.

A good broadside could CRIPPLE an enemy ship. And his prow mounted lance batteries are even worse, cause they have a crit range of 3...so you only need to get 3 degrees of success to get a critical hit. A good lance shot can set the warp core off and rip a hole into the empyrion!

03-23-2010, 12:29 AM
I also have to say, pay attention to your characters' stats and skills as they relate to the special ship-combat actions. Some characters are completely worthless where space combat is concerned, and the crew may have to rely on generic NPCs.

03-23-2010, 12:45 AM
Yeah, everyone in this game has a "second in command" character and several "bridge officers".

Second in command are full sheets and bridge officers are just minor stat bonuses with names and duties. Like head churgion and the master of whispers and so on.

03-23-2010, 02:51 AM
Then you seem to have your shit covered. Those are the big problems we ran into during the first game.

03-23-2010, 03:06 AM

So my first idea is to have them find a lost human colony that is now ruled over by some kind of befouled machine-spirit that acts like a god to the tribals, its techno-sorcery strange and possibly xeno in nature. Not really going to explain its origins, though it has some nice swag inside of its mountain fortress.

That is my rough idea at least.

03-23-2010, 03:50 AM


Oh, wait. No grimdark. Damn.

03-23-2010, 03:55 AM
More like Xenos? Can we figure some way to make a profit AUGHGGHG BY THE EMPEROR ITS EATING MY LEG!

03-25-2010, 11:06 PM
My first game is starting. Huzzah!

04-04-2010, 12:30 PM
My first 'adventure' wrapped up a few days ago and it went really well! This week my friends are going to go on a new adventure I've cooked up, which is using the endevour system for really reals!

Its epic, dark, and involves a lot of digging.

I mean, lots of digging.

Think Hamunaptra.


04-05-2010, 06:13 PM

04-05-2010, 08:53 PM
I <3 Zoombie

04-06-2010, 09:06 AM
Argh, I've set up my adventure and I really really want to play, but nooooooo, my players are all BUSY.


<kicks a can>

04-06-2010, 09:21 AM
Argh, I've set up my adventure and I really really want to play, but nooooooo, my players are all BUSY.


<kicks a can>
Go play an RPG, or read a book, better yet, write one. :P

04-06-2010, 09:45 AM
Why do you think I'm playing Arcanum: Of Steamwork and Magic Obscura?

04-16-2010, 09:18 AM
Well, the adventure went super well and tomorrow, we're starting out next adventure!

Its ambitious, and I really hope I can pull it off.