|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.
Sounds good so far!
Can't wait to play the game :-) I look forward to more design diarys and articles before Gencon.