Well, life is desperate and awesome weapons are unattainable, for most people. But the premise of all of these games, particularly RT and DW, is you're not most people.
I mean look at the mechanics. Power swords are Very Rare in Rogue Trader, which is a penalty to your Profit Factor test to find and acquire one. But if you want just one (as opposed to a crate full, and I'll note that finding and buying a crate full of power swords to outfit your personal Houseguard is indeed an option), you get a huge bonus on your roll to find one, that completely negates the penalty. That leads me to believe that they might the hard to find, but not that hard, at least for rich, connected people (which RT characters are, even if they have low PF, they have a starship. Leaving aside the fact that every PC RT can take a power sword and plasma pistol at chargen, as part of their starting equipment. Because you're not just some guy, you're a ****ing Rogue Trader, heir to a mercantile writ signed by the High Lords of Terra themselves.
Or, if you're an Astarte sergeant, you basically are given one as a mark of office, to wield into battle as you lead your squad. Your squad who, while they may have chainswords, are also armed with power armor and ranged weapons that most people only hear about in stories and never see in real life. A given Brother's supply chain is literally something they don't worry about except in the field when low on ammo; the rest of the time, it's a pure given that they will be supplied with the gear they need for the mission. Meaning each Astarte chapter probably has at least 100 power swords - 1 for each Sergeant, and probably more for special formations, or surplus. That's 100 allegedly "nigh-unique" items per Chapter, and completely leaving aside rarer stuff like the great relics of the Chapter leadership, the power- and chainfists for Terminators, the crozius for the Chaplains, etc etc. For an Astarte, a power sword basically requires you to be one rank up from a raw nugget in the Deathwatch, and Tacmarines can start with one given a Deed.
In Dark Heresy, the price of a power sword is so high that no acolyte will ever be able to wield a power sword unless they abuse the (terrible) economics of that game, or are granted one for use by their master, or loot one from a dead foe who happened to have one (which creates its own issues of believability, of course - special agents getting **** for logistical support is a hard pill to fathom). And at the same time, bolts are 16 thrones for 1 bolt, which means if you use a bolter, you use it for emergencies and cherish every shot (unless you're a Battle Sister who gets supplied for free, of course).
So yes, these items are regarded as rare and priceless and unique by 99.9% of the human population of the Imperium, but Inquisitors (who aren't exactly following the DH economic rules anymore), Astartes, and Rogue Traders are part of that .01%, and while they cherish and treasure power swords and the like, they're not exactly hurting for them or unable to find them if they want one.
Just my 2 gelt.
Edited by Kshatriya, 31 May 2014 - 03:15 PM.