View Full Version : Rogue Trader RPG: Tips needed
13th April 2010, 16:50
As some of you may be aware Fantasy Flight Games have released the next part in their Warhammer P&P RPGs, that being Rogue Trader.
I have some experience GM'ing games of DH (even had a DH game running here until real life got in the way) and as soon as I saw this book I thought, space ships gots to try that. So I gathered the wayward sons of my gaming group, found a darkened room and got the beers in.
This Thursday is the first game with this system, focusing on character generation as there seems to be a lot more, well least more than there was in DH, reliance on each other so I decided against pre-rolling. I then intend to run through the first mission in the book, as we have a new player and it will help people learn the new way of doing things.
My gaming group are usually by the bolter kind of people. What they can't solve with brains they end up shooting someone else's brains on the wall.
Anyway, my questions are these:-
1. Endevours; now I understand their concept however I am finding it difficult to think of origional ideas. All I can seem to come up with is go lost planet x, kill y, cash in for fun and profit. So I am looking for ideas to spice things up a bit. I am hoping the PCs backgrounds will help a bit with ideas, but for now; let me hear them!
2. General GM'ing tips, I am still a novice at these things but my group has seen an improvement, which I am glad of. However I am looking to take things a bit further this time.
For your information I generally set the "mission" and what needs to be done, but let the PCs get on without it however they see fit. I feel this leads to some really intresting games. I let them do almost anything, so long as they understand their will be concequences... For example last time in DH they decided to rob a bank in the middle of a war zone as they needed money. Ended up with Arbites chasing them half way across the sector.
This can lead to too much freedom I guess, so I am looking especially on ways to reign them in. However I am also looking for some general "tips" on what to do to make it more enjoyable and involving.
If you have any random ideas for anything rogue tradery please feel free to throw them in eg NPC ideas, enemies etc...
Thanks in advance people!
18th April 2010, 18:09
Ive recently started writing a campaign for RT and tbh i dislike the endeavour idea. I see what its trying to do but its not really needed.
The way i will run my campaign is more in a DH style with RT rules. i.e missions the concept of gaining a fleet/ colonising worlds etc is a bit too intricate to do with the gungho attitude apparent in most rpgers, This isnt a problem with the rpgers but you have to keep it in mind when doing the missions.
One of the ideas i thought of but wont run with is the idea of a rogue inquisitor. The players start off with an established trader who has been having problems with their trade routes and planetry colonies. After finding out about some cult activity involvment the RT calls in an inquisitor. Problems still persist however and thats how the story begins. The pc RT is a son or daughter of the dynasty and has been tasked with routing out the cult in order to prove their worth and take over the dynasty.
Each mission finds the players moving from place to place where the cult has been reported. Space lanes, mining endeavours, settlement disruption etc. Each mission has them try and discover the cult. However to vary it slightly the cult isnt always involved, they can be thrown off course in the warp, ambushed by pirates etc of encounter aliens.
On the actual plot missions however through a progression of missions and encounters the players begin to realise that the cult is very advanced and is being helped by someone in authority. As it turns out this is the inquisitor ment to be helping. Once this is discovered the players chase down the inquisitor with each mission having a "boss" in the for of one of the inquisitors acolytes. As they get closer to finding the inquisitor the acolytes become more and more mutated and powerful.
In the final confrontation the players must face the inquisitor himself who is possessed by a deamon.
As a kicker at the end, to allow for more missions after, the plot has other inquisitors attracted by the commotion descend on the dynasty to route out corruption. WHen the dust settles the dynasty is in ruins and the RTers must now rebuild it from the helm of the families flagship.
Hope thats of some assistance.
Ok, as for GM tips, im quite new to it too. I would just say that dont see the rules as set. If something is happening that shouldnt dont feel bad about stopping it. I use a PC to do this most of the time or by inventing suitable insurmountable reasons why they cant do stuff. also remind them at the start of each session that you will allow their characters to die so not to get silly with what they attempt. artistic licence is one thing but the threat of killing off one of their chars means that they are more likely to stay in character. allow them to roll a new char if theirs dies, without any experience gained. a new char should be a reprimand for being reckless, noit a chance to respek!!
19th April 2010, 12:43
I am begining to dislike the endevour system for the same reasons you seem to. I can see me running RT similar to DH to be honest, which seems to be what you are suggesting. Perhaps having the head of the dynasty handing down missions etc...
I like the idea you have come up with, nice and cruel.. I may "borrow" some of those ideas if I may.
I ran through the inductory game and remembered why I do not do preset adventures; mainly because they bore the buggery into people. I have promised them to ignore the rest of it and start "winging" it again.
Much more enjoyable time all around that way I think. Now to fit in that Ork Nob with Mega Armour I invented...
Thanks for the reply, very thought provoking.
19th April 2010, 20:42
lol bit of an essay isnt it! Yeah the Endeavour system can cramp what can be done in a mission. Feel free to use any of the above, as i said im running a different one now.
As long as your mission has a plot or even just a start point and finish point then it should be fine. In free play style games however its often good to have an overall mission for a number of games, this gives players a feeling that thay are actually achieving something at the end of each mission. Stand alones are good but can make people lose interest fast if there isnt really a story.
All the criticisms of RT aside it does allow for a lot of off the cuff action with the warp travel problems and the scope of the game allowing for interaction at any point with aliens/ pirates/ strange men who smell kinda funny etc.
16th November 2010, 22:40
I am a very experienced game master who has run quite a few long term campaigns. That said, I haven't run Rogue Trader yet. I have run a Star Wars campaign that ended after the players had build up a corporation and secret rebel fleet that was able to make a major impact on the timeline of the original trilogy. They had shipyards creating frigates and rebuilding cruisers before the battle of Hoth. At Endor they were able to field 2 ships equal to Victory star destroyers and a fleet large enought to make a serious impact on the events there. The thing that caused me to buy Rogue Trader (other than a love of 40k) was the system for dealing with massive wealth and resources. I have a 20 page spreadsheet that tracks all the ships, factories, mines, and operations of their corporation. I like detail, but even for me it was becoming a major pain. I like the way that it handles vast wealth, and I enjoy the idea of the endevour system to tracking increases to that wealth. In my new Rogue Trader campaign, I plan to use it to track the players progress on increasing their overall wealth and resources, as a supliment to xp for the character's individual growth. I plan on modifying the system some to allow the players to buy up additional ship points by letting them trade profit factor for ships. I will also be including smaller ships and bases/facilities that make sense from a small traders point of view. Hopefully, it will allow me to let the players have a real feeling of accomplishment and vast wealth without having to pour hours of my time into it.
That being said, it won't drive the day to day story as much. I like the feel of the players exploring, dealing with old colonies and aliens, recovering drifting ships and saving people (or selling off their goods after killing them). The Endevours system will just be a way to track how the group is progressing at their goals to increase their power base. I haven't decided if I will have endevours all be things the players know, or just paths that represent ways they could increase their influence and wealth. Exploring a new planet might allow them to fufuil the endevour if they figure out a way to make it profitable or valuable to them. Their ammount of achievement points has to reach a preset ammount to ensure that they gain the appropriate profit from the effort. By keeping a few different endevours secret (such as develop trade with a xeno race via repeated interactions), the players actions effect their empires growth without following too linear a projection.
Their initial endevour will probably be support of an Imperial effort to recover a number of repairable hulls from a recently discovered space hulk. The adventures will include intrigue with their inquisition monitors, other merchant houses, exploration, xeno infestations, brutal combat against chaos servants, and finally the discovery of a small eldar ship (only 80m long) with a single 'living' guardian. The strange wraithguard will provide aid in exchange for them returning the escape shuttle full of soulstones to a craftworld that has since disapeared. The idea will be that they have to make decisions about how to best benifit from their discoveries and battles. It will let me include a number of unusual story lines while trying to keep the dark and dangerous feel of the 40k universe. By the time the main storylines start to peter out I will know which way the players will push the storyline forward.
The endevours will be ways to track how the character's overall power and wealth increases. When they decide to build mines for rare ores or loot ancient ruins, they are making their own endevours and I decide the tasks to fufil them. As they complete them they gain Profit Factor and their empire grows. By allowing them to trade in Profit Factor for more ships, they have a way to spend it permanently. This way I can be a little more free with it while still allowing it to be a measure of their overall power. After all, having a Frigate as their main ship is great, but a transport to escort greatly increases their ability to achieve greater feats.
Hopefully, I wasn't too longwinded and actually helped. I talk a lot. :smt042
The Infernal Penguin
21st November 2010, 22:06
That's the best first post I've ever seen.
On topic: basically guys - if you're playing Rogue Trader - play Rogue Trader. Swashbuckling, trailblazing, savvy and bold; and most importantly interested in gaining money. Rooting out a cult is, in my opinion, something for the Inquisition to do. Traders are more likely only to get in fights in self defence or when pushed too far - not because they decide it's their duty to go down a hole to fight some genestealers. On the other hand - calling first dibs on a Space Hulk and uncovering survivors there engaged in a hundred year long battle with Orcs over some lost Archeotech? Yes.
Dark Heresy is about being grim and scared and having no resources and fighting people with tentacles for eyes - if you want to do that sort of thing you can of course bust out the Rogue Trader rules and use them instead to play higher-level acolytes, obviously it's your game! (Starting RT characters are effectively higher-level DH ones).
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