News for May 2009
Beyond the Imperium 8
A guest Designer Diary & glimpse of the Koronus Expanse
Rogue Trader | Published 15 May 2009

Greetings Rogue Trader fans!

This week I present to you a familiar face from the Dark Heresy side of Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay. His handle is Reason, and he helped provide many of the monsters inside Creatures Anathema.

Reason is here to give us some insight into the mysterious Koronus Expanse. Rather than prattle on much longer, I now turn it over to Reason himself:

Into the Expanse

My name is Reason (the result of a long story better imagined than told), and I was drafted to the extended fringes of the Fantasy Flight Games design team by Ross sometime back in the dark days of 2008. Some of you with longer memories might recall that antediluvian era, an age of heresy prior to the Lux Imperia that shone forth upon the announcement of the forthcoming Rogue Trader game.

Roleplaying games, and Rogue Trader in particular, are an excellent vehicle by which to answer these questions. The society of the Imperium is right there in front of your eyes as you play the game, and as a Rogue Trader or a Rogue Trader's trusted advisor you are a mover and shaker, one who makes things happen at grander scales. The camera turns away from its focus upon relentless war and towards other engaging aspects of life: passion, prayer, aspiration, the politics of nobles, quests, negotiation, commerce, and exploration, to name but a few. When you're playing, you want to feel like the breath of Warhammer 40,000 is in your lungs, and so that breath must be scrutinized and brought to life.

The portion of Rogue Trader development that I considered most rewarding was the construction of the Koronus Expanse, its history, and some of the dread powers that roam its voids. The Expanse is a realm of the Halo Stars that lies beyond the borders of the Imperium past Port Wander and the Drusus Marches of the Calixis Sector. As such this was a grand and wondrous chance to describe a backdrop of a type not often explored in the Warhammer 40,000 background, and inspire thousands of others to do the same. A simple question: what lies within the Halo Stars beyond the Imperium of Mankind?
(And yes, you should now go to your tomes and ponder just what the writers were plotting for the long term whenever the Halo Stars were mentioned. I will enjoy watching the theories percolate).

This was an opportunity to set down all of the terrible, dark worlds, characters, and secrets that foam in the never-never land between brain and keyboard, to crystallize them in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, carefully weave them in with existing lore, and share them with my fellow connoisseurs. That, at least, is what the therapist tells me I should say when asked.

We all, I think, have our personal idealized vision of Rogue Traders. Be they poisonous reavers like the Lady Aspyce Chorda, mercurial beasts like Lord-Captain Calligos Winterscale, merchant princes, holy crusaders, madmen, or monsters (and mark my words, there's something for everyone), we recognize them by the grandeur of their actions and by the way they carry themselves. They and their trusted retinue are larger than life figures, men and women of character who stand at the center of the plot's storm, hammer their hands upon the table, and expect worlds to turn at their bidding. One day you'll be cursing the name Calligos Winterscale, or he will curse yours, as your storms meet and common men suffer in the maelstrom of anger and firepower.

Rogue Traders need a stage that can stand up to their strength of character and the tempestuous plots that attend them, a stage that will resound (and quite possibly explode spectacularly) with the legendary actions undertaken upon it. In that respect, the Koronus Expanse is both a challenge and a mirror held up to Rogue Traders, a churning and dangerous playhouse within which a Rogue Trader's retinue can aspire to be greater than kings, greater than Imperial Governors, but most importantly greater than their peers.

If Rogue Traders are larger than life, then so is the Expanse where they seek their fortune.

Will Rogue Traders encounter the fearsome Ork and their clumsy vessels? Yes, indeed, and always more of them than any sane man would like. Planets overflowing with gems, death-beasts, and precious metals? Rival Rogue Trader and Explorator fleets bristling with lies and macrocannon? These things also. The treacherous Eldar? Certainly, for they always have an agenda to fulfill. Charred worlds of xenos tombs and deadly artefacts orbiting cursed stars that died before their time? Ruined Imperial colonies? Space hulks belonging to foolhardy Rogue Traders gutted by the jagged warp? Mayhaps. Pirate scum who crawl before altars to the Ruinous Powers? A mythic STC upon a world of charred hive-ruins? Dark voids where man was not meant to tread, and where ghost-ships sail the Empyrean? The horrid remains of doomed archeoexpeditions who dug too deeply? Primitive beasts who carve tech-devices from the living jungle? Cities of stone suspended in the void? Worlds of heathen men who have never known the God-Emperor? A dark threat from a forgotten past that trumps all others? Well, you'll have to wait and see.
(I'm lying about one of those line items. Or perhaps I'm lying now, given that there's still time for one last revision. It's all just as planned one way or another).

I can assure you that we're having a blast with this—It's high-octane Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay. You will too once the book in your hands.

Rogue Trader is a roleplaying game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the grim darkness of the far future. Players take on the roles of Explorers aboard a Rogue Trader's ship, searching for profit and adventure in the uncharted regions of space.

 

 

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Comments (8)

Hierophant
Published: 5/27/2009 7:22:26 AM
#8

mmmm..... [dribble].  That'll be nice.

Calixia is dangerous enough for now, but I think I know some players who'll be stepping up thier game just in time to test thier mettle/luck/faith/warp-cursed-hides/forbidden-arcana etc in the Halo stars and beyond. 

Keep up all the good work and thank you.

 

MILLANDSON
Published: 5/21/2009 5:30:19 PM
#7

My attention, this game has it.

LETE
Published: 5/18/2009 1:37:07 PM
#6

D'ya think Koronus & Komus are related in someway other than their epithets?

 

L

LETE
Published: 5/16/2009 2:30:05 PM
#5

To those RT from FFG I hope you deliver the goods promised!

TalkingMuffin
Published: 5/16/2009 11:20:45 AM
#4

 I think I just peed a little.

Nojo509
Published: 5/15/2009 4:42:06 PM
#3

This game has my attention...

ThenDoctor
Published: 5/15/2009 4:15:49 PM
#2

Would it be possible to see necrons in these lost xenotombs? I have been dying to see the black zombie robots wake up in the Calaxis sector since Creatures Anathema came out and i saw orks and Eldar.

Shadow Hexagram
Published: 5/15/2009 12:07:45 PM
#1

Well, it would be an understatement to say that this diary got me SF-thrilled.

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