News for September 2009
Happiness is a Warm Boltgun 22
Tim Huckelbery discusses the Rogue Trader's Armoury
Rogue Trader | Published 22 September 2009

Hello, Rogue Trader fans!

This week I'm proud to present Rogue Trader writer Tim Huckelbery, and his musings on the Armoury Chapter. 

Hi there folks, I’m Tim Huckelbery and one of the sections I wrote for in the Rogue Trader core book was the Armoury section, which, luckily enough, is what we’re going to talk about in this Designer’s Diary. So settle in, pour yourself a few fingers of wobble, undo your holster’s thumb break (this place looks a little rough), and I’ll talk a little about my role in Rogue Trader weapons and gear section.

I got started working on the Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay line way back in the initial Dark Heresy development days, when I handled the core rulebook's armoury section. That was my first gig writing for a roleplaying game, and I’ve been contributing to the line ever since.

I’ve always enjoyed the “techie” parts of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and I love trying to figure out how they could work in a semi-realistic manner with a minimum of resorting to “handwavium” (aka, waving your hands in the air and saying “well that’s how it works here, we’ll ignore all the laws of physics”). I normally to keep things inside the realm of solidly possibly technology—except, of course, this is a universe where painting a vehicle red will indeed make it go faster (at least for Orks). It’s a setting where along with the four basic fundamental physical forces like gravity or electromagnetism, you also have things like Faith and Warp Energies that can be just as powerful. Which means writing about the various weapons and gear involves an interesting mix of techno-speak and theology at times, and makes working on them a fun challenge.

So speaking of working—writing for the Armoury section for Rogue Trader was both easily familiar but sometimes difficult to do. Obviously we wanted to use many of the same weapons and equipment from the first game in this new book, especially as they are meant to be compatible together, but we didn’t want to simply reprint what we’d done before. So the task was to provide the 'staple' weapons of the 41st Millennium while keeping them new and interesting for Dark Heresy fans.

The result has many of the mainstay items of the Warhammer 40,000, but most have minor variants and twists to keep them fresh. We’ve also added quite a lot of new items, especially new bits of xenos technology. As the important crew on a Rogue Trader's vessel there will be lots of contact with aliens and many opportunities to trade/find/steal their devices! You’ll see eldar shuriken catapults, ork sluggas, kroot rifles, and other famous alien items, alongside the new and mysterious Crux Beam Guns, deadly Fractal Blades, and more.

As your characters are more powerful and have access to a wider variety of gear, we’ve also included higher end items like Digital Weapons and a broad variety of personal bionics so players can customize their bodies as well as their clothing. You’ll also find little bits like alternate firing modes for plasma weapons, and fun new things like groxwhips, shock gloves, warhammers (how could we not have them for this game!), and power mauls. Overall I think players will get some interesting gear to work with as they set out to explore the Koronus Expanse. It’s a dangerous place, and you’ll be wanting to be fully kitted out before embarking on your voyage.

You may have noticed there is a lot of “we” mentioned above. That’s because this book had a strong collaborative effort going from the start. From the beginning, all of the writers for Rogue Trader were brought together thanks to the wonders of the Internet. This allowed us to discuss topics, propose ideas, pass around drafts for critique, and in general all work together to make this the best possible book we could. I have to say this was the best part of working on the game—all of the wonderful ideas that bounced around (some of which bounced right out of this book, but may still turn up elsewhere), checking our worksite to see who had posted up what new things for review, and in general having a great bunch of people to collaborate with for the project. It was a great period of time with lots of late nights and scattered Warhammer 40,000 reference works (my work room floor was covered with old books and magazines for many months), but a really wonderful experience.

Rogue Trader is a roleplaying game set in dark gothic far future of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe. Players take on the roles of explorers aboard a Rogue Trader's ship, searching for profit and adventure while discovering new alien cultures and threats in the uncharted regions of space.



Write Comments     
More News [+]
Comments (22)

Mr. Nostradamus
Published: 9/24/2009 2:17:37 AM

Maybe there are different release dates for this book depending on your location/region???  I only say that because RT was selling at Gencon Oz just recently (18-20 September, Brisbane, Australia) for $AU100.

The book had its own display stand at one of the retail stalls with plenty of copies on offer - it looks pretty nifty, but is a little thinner than DH in terms of page count.  And the compas motif on the front cover title (the "O" in rogue) is slightly raised (extra plastic gloss?) so that it stands out, illustrations are beautiful in places, and it all seems pretty much as we've been reading.

Regardless fellas, I can confirm that RT is definately real and finished.  I'd assumed that this sighting meant that it has been released all over, but your posts indicate that this isn't the case...I'm starting to wonder if the exhibitor had jumped the gun on a release embargo or something?

Published: 9/24/2009 12:51:12 AM

First, I really like the artwork you present in these articles. Thumbs up! And: No whining about the release date!

FFG will surely enjoy the cheers for great work when everybody has his/her copy (whinings too, of course :) )


But I also really hope that the Armoury section is not as bad as this article. Look, as many of us here said before, it is like desribing the glass when you are at a wine tasting.

Published: 9/23/2009 6:21:58 PM

I'm with ThenDoctor on this one.  I know it's a pain to have to wait and the reason we keep seeing these updates is so you don't think they dropped the game and moved on to something else.  There's lots of things that go into a game release (as many of you know).  I'm even one of the guys who helped work on the book and I don't have a copy (yet) but I'm waiting patiently.

Enjoy the articles but give 'em a break.  Doing this stuff isn't easy by any stretch.  Keep up the good work FFG and we'll be here waiting when you get ready to release the game.

Published: 9/23/2009 1:32:31 PM

How can people have voted this article a 4.5 that means its interesting!

Oh look a roleplaying game with weapons thats a shock I was expecting to have to  use harsh language which i will be if we don't get the book soon.

Published: 9/23/2009 9:40:09 AM

this should be "Happiness is THE RELEASE DATE" !!!

Published: 9/23/2009 8:11:29 AM

Actually I'd like to hear about the binding... I have had some bad experiences in the past with bad bindings.

Published: 9/23/2009 4:47:23 AM

The post succeeded in wasting 5 minutes of my boring day. I do feel it was a little hollow and "lite" on content and the added bit at the end about how great working on a roleplaying book is nice to see but hardly on topic. Release dates are tricky beasts, I get that, and you guys are trying your hardest to keep the flow going in the post gen con days, but this was disappointing.

I would like to join PaterSin's voice and ask you to more focus on the other wonderful games you have whilst you have nothing new to say about Rogue Trader. I would love to know how translating the Gaia Book for Anima is coming along or whether after putting 2nd Ed WFRP PDFs up for sale you will be expanding that to other games such as Dark Heresy?

Now lets see who wins the race to my book shelf, Rogue Trader, Eoris Essence or Eclipse Phase. I thought Rogue Trader had it in the bag but it seems an even race now.


Published: 9/23/2009 1:40:46 AM

 Yeah, great...who cares? Release the book or stop posting about it. I'm trying to keep the faith, but it's getting to where I don't even want the damn thing.

Published: 9/22/2009 11:58:42 PM

While I am not into the "yearning for a release date" faction (while FFG doesn´t say so, it is obivous it is beyound them so why kick a guy that´s already down?) I am dismayed about this article. I wouldn´t have hurt to give us a sample weapon. Not like "the stats" but "the deive text & the stats".


Published: 9/22/2009 10:36:01 PM

What everyone else said, but with more emphasis on actually posting material when its says, "Tim Huckelbery discusses the Rogue Trader's Armoury" kind of a let down if you ask me.  How bout a post on Dark Heresy for a change, be nice to know where the game is right now.

Published: 9/22/2009 10:07:56 PM
#12 my hopes up..though I might see something with material. A glimpse of the weapons, how some th ings work, maybe even a new page of stuff to look at for a few minutes. And then....crush go my hopes. I'm really excited about the RT book coming out, just a little exasperated about how it isn't. Please, if you're gonna post about game material, put some of the game material, not just that it has it.

Published: 9/22/2009 9:14:35 PM

This is great. I love the teasers you guys put up.

© 2014 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS