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40k Rogue Trader, how risky is dealing in xenos artefacts actually?

Eled the Worm Tamer

Spider Jeruselem's Warior
Validated User
I'm not quite sure I get how the intersection of a Warrant of trade, and the Imperial ban on ownership and trade in alien artefacts work.

Under imperial law, its hideously illegal and Heretical to own and trade these things.

But a Rogue trader's warrant specifically grants them leave to trade with aliens and in every edition I've seen Joekaaru digital weapons have been coveted by the powerful in every branch of the Imperium, so how much trouble does a holder of Warrant they risk owning a xenos weapon / dealing in non human objects d'art / having alien made ship parts / dealing in more potent devices?

How does the right to do these things intersect with the greater imperial ban on doing these same things?
 

Solar

Active member
Validated User
Depends on how powerful you are, how much influence you can pull, and who catches you doing it.

EDIT: That was rather short. To go into a bit more detail, the Imperium is very feudal in many ways, and it's systems of justice and governance can sometimes basically come down to "might makes right." If you are a powerful Rogue Trader with loads of connections and resources, you can pretty much do it with impunity. If you are some random merchant without loads of connections and resources, if you get caught you are almost certainly fucked. If the former gets captured by a hardline inquistor, they are probably fucked too, because it's all a case of do you have the guns, or the friends with the guns, to make it so that you can't be arrested.
 
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Arilou

New member
Banned
As with everything in the Imperium? Depends.

But a Rogue trader's warrant specifically grants them leave to trade with aliens
And that kind of Paradox is *precisely* the king of thing 40K is built on :p You've granted the right, nay, the privilege, nay the DUTY to trade with Xenos and bring their bounteous technology to the Imperium, NOT doing so is Heresy! Also, importing filthy Xenos technology is Heresy.

The Imperium is not that far off from Friend Computer sometimes :p

But a Rogue trader's warrant specifically grants them leave to trade with aliens and in every edition I've seen Joekaaru digital weapons have been coveted by the powerful in every branch of the Imperium, so how much trouble does a holder of Warrant they risk owning a xenos weapon / dealing in non human objects d'art / having alien made ship parts / dealing in more potent devices?
I'd say it largely depends. You can probably get away with it... As long as you don't piss off someone who has enough weight. Corruption is endemic in the Imperium, so even things that are technically banned can probably find a market... There's also probably differences between relatively well-known "safe" Xenotech like Jokaero Digital Weapons and the more crazy/dangerous stuff. (also, the best way to avoid the Inquisition looking too deep into your dealings is probably providing them with a steady stream of useful devices...)
 

Fade

Active member
Validated User
While you're outside the imperium your warrant is supreme and you can buy as many Xenos artifacts as you like.
When you re-enter the imperium you fall under imperial law and are not permitted to sell them to anybody;
Solution: Either hide the artifacts well, or trade between xenos and convert to something acceptable (rare metals, favours, copies of imperial technology etc) before re-entering the imperium.
 

Crumbs

Registered User
Validated User
the older the warrant the better off you will be. It also varies on exactly what the artifact does shuriken pistol probably not going to get you in trouble eldar box of exploding a thousand suns yeah that's going to get you executed really fast.
 

Fish Priest

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I believe Archaeotech is also safe as long as it's not in certain categories (like AIs), so Rogue Traders might be able to sell Xenos artifacts in the Imperium by passing them off as Archaeotech.
 

CowboyEnergy

Registered User
Validated User
As was said, it depends on who you are, who you know, and what tech you're dealing with. For example, Jokaero technology is pretty much only illegal on paper unless you piss off the wrong people. It tends to work, is easily understandable, and doesn't do stuff like eat people's souls, open gates to the Warp, etc. A Jokaero laser-ring is a ring that shoots lasers. Eldar artifacts...well, that really depends because Eldar are weird. A shuriken pistol can be risky, depending on who you are and the situation. Soulstones are just a bad idea because they tend to result in Eldar coming to kill you and retrieve them.

Things like Necron technology or other super-nasty aliens are just right out.
 

Amberpup

Registered User
Validated User
I think its more who the client is, then about the Trader's influence or power. Since it seems we're talking about awesome artifacts, then you're dealing with buyers with more power and influence. So is it better to auction it off to the highest bidder and risk all that entails or sneak it to a known buyer for the lower but safer price?

The game 'Base Raiders' had a write-up about this, since the Gov won't think twice on busting some Raider, taking all their goodies and turning the Raider into a snitch to keep themselves out of jail.
 

Eled the Worm Tamer

Spider Jeruselem's Warior
Validated User
I think its more who the client is, then about the Trader's influence or power. Since it seems we're talking about awesome artifacts, then you're dealing with buyers with more power and influence. So is it better to auction it off to the highest bidder and risk all that entails or sneak it to a known buyer for the lower but safer price?

The game 'Base Raiders' had a write-up about this, since the Gov won't think twice on busting some Raider, taking all their goodies and turning the Raider into a snitch to keep themselves out of jail.
That would make sense, and keep the status quo nicely.

Xenos tech in hands of Rogue traders and other Peers, where it reinforces existing power structures,not in grasp of redictivists or heretics where it might bring them down.
 

Boris

I am invincible?
Validated User
I'm sure that people of privilege in the Imperium can get all sorts of permits to study or collect benign alien tech or art. It seems like the sort of thing some nobles would do. I'm equally sure other people of privilege can get those permits taken away if they need to.
 
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