So, I've been carefully crafting a Magisterial House Navis Scion and in terms of skills, character personality and roleplay I'm getting really excited, but when it comes to Navigator powers to choose from I get baffled. The fact that you can only learn a new power or increase mastery of an existing one per Navigator rank really restricts choice, so I know people usually end up with 4-5 powers, usually with only 1 of them increased to maximum effectiveness. Since I haven't played Rogue Trader before (although I have some experience with Dark Heresy and Only War), I really don't know which powers would be good since most of them seem pretty situational actually. I will try to define what I'm looking for in terms of concepts about my character and maybe some Rogue Trader players could help with suggestions and advice? Again, since I don't have a GM or planned session for now, I really can't anticipate what kind of playstyle would be preferable, so I'm going for a rounded approach. I am referring to power choices from the Core Rulebook (CR), Into the Storm (IS) and Navis Primer (NP).
Damage Potential: I know Navigators are not battle-oriented and tend to use ballistic skill rather than powers to fight, but still, I am really intrigued by the choices Into the Storm offers. In particular, Immolate the Soul and Scourge of the Red Tide seem very powerful, although the former does not require any characteristic tests (sweet!). Stripping the Husk also looks potentially very, very powerful, but obviously I am not going to buy 3 extra damage powers. Lidless Stare is a powerful and efficient tool, especially for a Magisterial House Navis, and at maximum mastery it is a beast. But still, I am interested in, perhaps, acquiring one more fun eye-laser power to **** with enemies - although Seek the Path (NP) and Eye of Oblivion (NP) could provide a nice aggressive alternative, for characters with high Ballistic Skill or Perception. You guys tell me what is wisest at this point.
Utility: This one is very, very tricky, as there are a lot of options and very few available slots for the character. Refresh and Revitalise (IS) seems pretty adequate, as the majority of Navigator powers usually inflict a fatigue penalty, but I'm still not convinced it is a "well-rounded" and useful choice. Stacking the Deck (IS) appears to be very powerful in Space Combat, but since I don't know how prominent and important space combat is, I cannot judge its usefulness. Is space combat a major element of the game, or an extra that GMs can omit? Obliterate the Immaterial Wake (IS) and Tracks in the Stars (CR) seem to be two sides of the same coin, either removing traces of your own ship, or seeing the traces of others, although Track seems a bit more useful. Still, I don't know how much the ship is important to the game, so I can't judge. Foreshadowing (CR) has to be one of my favourite utility powers, especially at Rank 2, although you can certainly take something better. The Course Untraveled (CR) is actually quite punishing and restrictive for a quasi-teleportation power - you might as well walk/climb/swim this distance yourself. If it granted you the ability to travel even with impediments, like being shackled or sth, then it would be great, but.... And then for defense, Ebb and Flow (NP), Warp Vigil (NP) and A Cloud in the Warp (CR) all seem to have their uses, but I don't know if Navigators really need defensive powers, especially since the first two inflict hefty fatigue penalties. As you can see, I am utterly lost when it comes to utility, because most of the powers either have high fatigue penalties, or are quite situational.
Anti-Psyker and Anti-Daemon fun: Again, I don't know if encountering vile Psykers and Daemons is a recurring theme, as it would be in Dark Heresy, but in case it is relevant, Aether Doldrums (NP) seems to give a degree of defense, even in space travel, yet Held in My Gaze (CR) is obviously powerful against Warp-related stuff. Combined with Gaze into the Abyss (CR), you can easily distinguish and neutralize corrupted Psykers and vile Sorcerers. If you combine it with A Cloud in the Warp, you are effectively becoming an Anti-Warp and Anti-Psyker specialist. It would be nice to have maybe one relevant power from this group, two at most, but because their effectiveness and usability pretty much depends on whether the GM involves warp-related stuff and Psykers regularly-enough to justify buying them.
With all of this in mind, again, I get the impression Navigators should pursue very, very specific builds tailored entirely to the story and what the GM is doing with it, whereas Astropaths have a lot of freedom and the opportunity to really be prepared for any situation. Considering that Astropaths can do very effective warp stuff, Senechals are the Intelligence-powerhouses, and Rogue Traders are the Fellowship masters (usually), it really leaves my character slightly unqualified and useless, unless in very specific scenarios (which may or may not arise). Since my PC is a Navis Scion, he actually is a diplomat, but also needs high Int for navigating, so he is talented at Int-based skills, but also has "cool" warp powers, which intersects a bit with Astropath territory. But with so much going on, he can easily be outshined by the rest of the party.
Given all of that, what would you guys offer as pieces of advice?
Edited by dobyk21, 15 April 2014 - 09:41 AM.