News for February 2009
Go Beyond the Imperium 30
Presenting the new W40K RPG -- Rogue Trader
Rogue Trader | Published 20 February 2009

by Ross Watson

Welcome to the first designer diary article for Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Rogue Trader! The new role-playing game set in the Warhammer 40K universe, and the follow up to the hugely success Dark Heresy roleplaying gameI am very pleased and proud to talk about this game of exploration, profit, and danger among the stars.

Fans of Dark Heresy will be happy to know that Rogue Trader is fully compatible with their game system, and Dark Heresy characters can join a Rogue Trader on his voyages! The Rogue Trader core rulebook has an extensive section on bringing over characters from one game into the next.

I think the best way to start is to cast a little light on the Warhammer 40,000 universe and the place of Rogue Traders within it. Luckily for us, Warhammer 40,000 novelist and GW Design Studio member Andy Hoare has written some excellent guides to both in the core rulebook!

The Grim Darkness of the Far Future

A vast and scattered realm extending over almost the entire galaxy, the Imperium of Mankind has been the bastion of the human race for over 10,000 years. Down through the centuries, the Imperium has survived disasters, treachery, heresies, and invasions of aliens bent on the destruction of all mankind. The Imperium’s greatest strengths are the God-Emperor of Mankind and his vast armies and fleets.

Although the Imperium controls more than a million worlds, that is merely a fraction of the galactic whole—there are fringes and frontier zones where human settlers are renegades, pioneers, or forgotten colonies lost millennia ago. Most of the galaxy remains unexplored, unknown...and very, very dangerous.

Enter the Rogue Traders

The potential of new worlds, alien civilisations and unimaginable resources made necessary a class of free-ranging Imperial agents known as Rogue Traders. Licensed and often equipped by the Adeptus Terra, the Rogue Trader is free to explore the far, uncharted regions of the galaxy. Rogue Traders have even attempted to cross the voids of intergalactic space, but over such distances even the Astropaths’ powers of communication are useless, and whether such missions have succeeded is unknown. Operating in isolation from the central authority of the Imperium, the Rogue Trader must decide how to react to alien cultures, new discoveries and threats. If he judges a race to be potentially dangerous he may attempt to destroy it, or gather as much information as he can so that others may do so. If he decides a race may be of use to Humanity he may attempt to make contact and establish relations. If merely rich in technology or minerals, a planet may be plundered, and the Rogue Trader will return to Terra laden with the treasure of space—alien artefacts, rare and precious minerals and undreamed of technology.

Coming Soon

So, I imagine the first thing on most reader’s minds right now is, “What’s coming up next?” Over the next few weeks and months, you will see more previews of the contents of the book, updates, and designer diaries not only from myself but also from the various writers who helped make the core rulebook of Rogue Trader come to be.

Until then, to enjoy the new Rogue Trader site, go here.

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Comments (30)

Published: 4/17/2009 8:22:25 PM

This looks awesome I can't believe that when I first saw this I just shrugged and ignored it

Published: 3/6/2009 11:12:47 PM

Are you going make a special edition of the book, I will get that for sure.  And a nice BIG poster would be nice.

FANTASTIC artwork!

Published: 3/1/2009 9:03:24 AM

This product brings Warhammer 40K full circle, the original book was Rogue Trader way back in the late 80's.  I for one am very happy to see this product, it's long over due.

rabid ducky
Published: 2/28/2009 7:26:23 AM

Finally! An rpg to take on the job previously only being done by 'Traveller'. Passing on the torch, as it were.

And besides, it's about time. This was promised by games workshop about 23 years ago :)

Published: 2/23/2009 9:59:03 AM

IRT Nathan Brazil (and any one else who cares):

Those are Eldar ships in the picture. I have a full Eldar fleet for 'Battle Fleet Gothic' so I ought to know when I see them. :-)

Nathan Brazil
Published: 2/23/2009 9:14:02 AM

Hmm. Those spaceships in the picture do not have the sturdy blocky appearance of standard Imperial vehicles.  If these belong to a Rogue Trader, I suspect heretical xenos influence.  I must report this.

Published: 2/23/2009 3:55:45 AM

Can't wait for more information and I'm definitly trying it out.

Published: 2/22/2009 9:15:16 PM

Hee Hee!  I can't wait!  I think I'm gonna have to go to GenCon just for this!

Published: 2/22/2009 4:53:23 PM

Great! this will be a dark version of Star Trek... kinda'

(Thought they were independent traders, hence "Rogue Trader")

Also... if they find Aliens - destroy them or let the Ordos do it... and if they bring home alien artifacts, they themselves will be destroyed.

Well I think its great that there will finally be a RT RPG, and yes it was a long time coming, and somehow it WAS mising. I don't think I will ever play it, as its the whole elements from =I= that I like about 40K, but care not much for the rest of the setting. But I know alot love it all, and love it alot and there can be a really good game in playing a RT - so yay!

Published: 2/22/2009 3:48:05 PM

is it gonna be DH compatible? but awsome nonethless

Published: 2/22/2009 8:05:33 AM


So much good news in a single week...need heart medication.

Published: 2/22/2009 5:10:04 AM


the new logo looks great.

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