News for February 2009
Themes of Rogue Trader 14
Rogue Trader Design Diary #2
Rogue Trader | Published 27 February 2009

 ++++Incoming Astropathic Transmission++++

Greetings Rogue Trader fans!

Welcome to the second designer diary for Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Rogue Trader!
One of the main goals of these designer diaries is to let the fans know just what the game is about, what the play experience will be like. Thus, I have turned to the Game Master Chapter to provide a list of the themes of Rogue Trader. Owen Barnes gets the credit for writing these great themes, and I am certain you will find them inspiring lots of great ideas!

Themes in Rogue Trader
The Warhammer 40,000 universe, and the Rogue Trader game which resides within it, are different from any other science fiction setting. To better evoke this universe and weave its flavour and colour into his games the Games Master should become familiar with its key themes. Being able to add these themes to a game will help to make it undeniably set within the realms of the 41st millennium and by extension help the Game Master’s players to better sink into the roles of their characters.

A License for Profit
Rogue Traders exist for a single purpose – the accumulation of wealth and power. Given license by the Administratum of Holy Terra itself they can travel freely and seek profit both within and beyond the borders of the Imperium. This gives them incredible power within Imperial society as they stand both above and beyond the teeming masses of humanity that live and die bound by class and duty. To be a Rogue Trader is to covet power and constantly seek to increase wealth and influence, for when the endless dark of the universe is yours to explore and exploit there can be no ambition too great.

The Ancient and the Forgotten
The Imperium is an ancient empire that has endured for thousands of years against an uncaring and capricious universe. It is filled with mysticism, fear and superstition and survives by keeping its eyes firmly averted from the shadows that circle in the void. Even for a Rogue Trader who treads the stars astride an ancient starship, both technology and the void are shrouded in mystery. He relies on the enigmatic and esoteric apparatus of the Adeptus Mechanicus—stagnant technology that is barely understood, but has served man for centuries uncounted. Likewise few charts exist that show even a fraction of the Imperium and its worlds. Those that navigate its boundaries must brave almost as many perils as those that travel beyond it, and even travel along well established warp routes is not without danger. Such is the nature of the Rogue Trader’s life.

Into the Unknown
As part of a Rogue Trader’s quest for lucrative trade routes, new markets and exotic goods they also become prolific explorers. This makes them a unique breed within the Imperium, a society built on the censure of knowledge and the restriction of travel. It takes a brave soul indeed to leave his home world and take the perilous journey between the stars, and it take a braver soul still to voyage into the unknown. Such is the vast scope of the galaxy that entire empires of xenos, never before seen celestial phenomena and lost human worlds have all been found either hidden within the folds of the Imperium or clinging to its edges. These are the prizes that await a Rogue Trader and his crew as they travel to parts of the void that no other Imperial citizen will ever see. It is said that the expanse of space is large enough to contain anything the human mind can conceive, and plenty of things it cannot.

Fear the Void
There is a good reason that most citizens of the Imperium look up at the night sky with fear, trying not to dwell on just what horrors lurk between the stars or gaze hungrily down upon them from the nightmare of the warp. Those that travel the Imperium know too well that while humanity may claim to be the masters of the galaxy, with dominion over worlds uncounted, theirs is but a feeble flickering light surrounded by an infinity of blackness. Rogue Traders know that the void holds many perils, beyond the deadly cold of vacuum and the hard radiation of stars there are things out there that no man was ever meant to see. Of course it is these very factors that make Rogue Traders the larger than life individuals they are, as they set off into the black with often only their courage to keep them sane.

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Comments (14)

Published: 3/11/2009 6:26:34 AM

I wonder what the warriors of Biel-tan have to say about this?

Published: 3/8/2009 9:51:40 PM

Smashing stuff, I'm quite excited by the RT game. Though I love Dark Heresy, I'm a huge fan of the Tau and Kroot (and more particularly/obscurely; the Demiurg and Nicassar), so I hope we'll see [i]something[/i] of those xenochaps at somepoint in the game (core book would be lovely, but I think it'd be more sensible to hold out for expansions...).

Anyhow, I'll be keeping a keen eye on this. Sounds tremendous!

Published: 3/7/2009 4:53:49 AM

Why two role-playing games based on 40K? would rouge trader have been better as a supplement to Dark Heresy? or is the game so wildly different in rules etc (yes , I know the theme is different - but isnt that just window dressing?) 

Published: 3/6/2009 6:58:29 PM

long have I, and my game buddies, looked forward to rogue trader. I had at one time sought to convert the rules of the original GW rogue trader book but lacked inspiration. I am pleased with the dark heresy rules and am glad the RT rules are compatible. The big question is, can a player build an alien character? The old school crowd I'm part of remember a day when the eldar werent bad to have around! don't let them get started on squats!

Published: 3/2/2009 10:51:36 AM

OK.  Nothing really new here.  Was hoping for something a little more solid.  Oh well.  Still really appreciate that we are getting regular (so far) updates.  Thanks, Ross!

Published: 3/2/2009 9:33:04 AM

Sounds nice.

I would like to get some more about how the game will be played actually (with the ships and stuff).
I'm really excited.

Published: 3/2/2009 8:16:18 AM

M'Kachen - Event Horison is the best example to give to players/GMs of exactly what heppens to a ship when the geller feild fails....

SolP - Not an old monkey can become a Rogue Trader only those who combine the needed curiosity cunning and drive with the loyalty to the Imperium and the willpowewr to resist the dark powers. Plus the Inquisitors leave them alone so long as they don't do anything stupid. they Have beter things to do. That and when you need to travel incogneto on occasions it helps to have the Rogue Traders on side...

But yeah swashbucling fun, in Spaaaaaace!

Published: 3/2/2009 5:05:14 AM

I`m most interested in seeing how this game differs from Dark Heresy.  Those are the design articles I`m waiting to read.

Published: 3/2/2009 3:56:16 AM

Hmm.. sounds good and all. But I find it hard to see how a Rouge Trader, traveling into the unknown, hunting for xenos-loot, manage to get any work done, with-out constantly being under investigation by the Inquisition. I mean they do what they can and trade what ever they get there hands on, in order to gain wealth and power. In my book, that's a sure way in to the waiting arms of the dark lords of Chaos. Hmm maybe it's just me, but I sure hope that they come up with some good explanation to this. To me surely makes it hard to buy the whole idea of the game...

Published: 3/1/2009 8:44:39 PM

Laughing God: It seems like small WH40K bands would be perfect for encounters with a Rogue Trader group, whereas a ~500 point WH40K army would be a little too nasty - and not the right type of encounter - for the average bunch of acolytes. Got any Carnifex figurines? ;-)

But yes - I can't wait to see what sort of new, nasty stuff they come up with.

The Laughing God
Published: 3/1/2009 6:53:19 AM

 I'm curious to the host of aliens that would be needed to pit against the Rogue Traders :)

Published: 3/1/2009 3:37:47 AM

They mentioned somewhere about a few Rogue Traders even trying to make for other galaxies, though none had ever returned. Anyone thinking an Event Horizon-esque adventure could be on the cards? Well, I am at least :-)

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