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Late to the Rogue Trader party

Michael

Rgesitreed Uesr
RPGnet Member
Validated User
So, I've just discovered I have horrible timing. My friends and I were talking about doing something else, and the 40K RPGs came up. I was thinking that Rogue Trader seemed like a good idea, so we made up characters. Long story short, I now know that there's no more support and things are already going away.

So, my first question is, what are the serious must have, best books that I should try to snag before they go away. Either for background, really useful rules, or good adventures and campaigns.

Second part is, since I work somewhat odd hours, I like to run things in an episodic manner. Do any of the fantastic adventures I'm looking for happen to be especially useful for episodic play?

And, lastly, if anyone just has any useful advice I'm listening. So far we have a Rogue Trade, Explorator, and an... I forget what the name is, but the weapons specialist. Thanks for anything you can offer!
 

Fade

Active member
Validated User
Rogue Trader is a pretty old incarnation of the system. You might consider buying Only War or DH2 as well and porting some of the system changes across.

Be careful that the Arch-Militant doesn't get overshadowed by the Explorator. A techpriest built for combat can be super nasty.
 
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Montegris

Mostly lurking
Validated User
Rogue Trader is a pretty old incarnation of the system. You might consider buying Only War or DH2 as well and porting some of the system changes across.

Be careful that the Arch-Militant doesn't get overshadowed by the Explorator. A techpriest built for combat can be super nasty.
I'll echo this. The systems are far more polished in the latter incarnations (anything past Black Crusade works well, really). I wish I could help more, but truth be told Rogue Trader is the only 40K RPG I don't actually own.
 

Boris

I am invincible?
Validated User
Full Auto Fire, especially from bolters is way, way too good. I subbed in the full auto rules from Only War.

I also allowed players to acquire improved crew quality in stages (e.g. better gunners) rather than all at onve.
 

Kakita Kojiro

IL-series Cylon
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The useful books are mainly the equipment and starship components books: Into the Storm and Battlefleet Koronus. The former also has much useful advice, and the latter has the military endeavor rules. If you've got a navigator/astropath main character, the Navis Primer may be of use. If your players want to set up a colony, Stars of Inequity has those rules (they're somewhat borked, and need houseruling) and stuff to roll up random planets/systems for exploration.

We've actually found pdf versions of the books are more useful if you have a good tablet reader, so only get the physical books you think you really want.

Suggestions from running a years-long RT game:

Make sure you use the optional rule that each successive Acquisition roll is at a cumulative -5 penalty (at least). Otherwise, entire game sessions will be lost to shopping expeditions.

The RT rules - particularly combat - are somewhat wonky; the suggestion to steal from Only War is probably a good one.

Consider how you're running the Navigator and Astropath jobs - it quickly becomes boring to make every warp transit an exercise in pointless rolls for the Navigator, for example. And often the Astropath doesn't have much to do, particularly after a few spectacularly bad psyker rolls make everyone else threaten any use of psy powers. It's best if they have other interests - back up Face Guy, or whatever.

Characters tend to become hyper-specialized in one area of competency, and hardly ever fail those rolls. The Explorator will always succeed Tech-Use roll with gobs of degrees of success, and after Rank 1 the Navigator won't be failing Navigate/Warp rolls, etc. Encourage custom advances outside their career path - especially social skills. It's also a way for them to use up XP that sometimes they won't find anything interesting to buy. It's probably best if you set some guidelines as to how to calculate the costs of a custom advance (e.g., +100 xp per rank you take it early in your career, +XXX xp if it's normally not in your career path, etc.).

Tell your players to put a Warpsbane Hull on their ship. The humor of random components bursting into flames each warp trip quickly fades.
 

Scarik

You die as you live.
Validated User
If you're coming at it new I say pick up Dark Heresy 2 for the rules and use RT for flavor and to handle the ship combat parts. Personally I use the wargame Battlefleet Gothic for ship combat but that's a pretty high entry cost investment.

With DH2 you can build all the RT roles from the Background and Role choices though its a bit of a stretch for a Navigator.
 

johnnype

Emaciated do gooder
Validated User
I agree. I'd go with Dark Heresy 2nd and adapt the missing systems (ship combat, maybe money?).

If you just want to stick with RT you can do that as well. Those prices are ridiculous, buy the lot.

My only tip is to listen to the Grim Dark Podcast. Every 5th episode is about RT. You're sure to learn quite a bit from it. All the other episodes are quite good as well.
 

Fade

Active member
Validated User
Rogue Traders characters are supposed to be higher on the food chain than starting Dark Heresy characters though. If you use DH2 chargen I recommend starting with some XP.
 

Pikarov

Registered User
Validated User
For episodic play, I recommend the "Lure of the Expanse" campaign which is pretty good and has a pretty parfect structure for episodic play:

The explorers follow a star map and go to different places, each time looking for a fragment to complete the map while dealing with various local events (sometimes meeting colonies, sometimes facing hazards in space or on the ground).

You can keep it going like this for as long as your players are engaged.

There even is a free additional episode called Traitor's Nexus on ffg website in the support/player ressources section if you want to look at one of the part of the campaign.
 
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