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Wanted some ship advice for new campaign


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#1 7thPawn

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:21 AM

Hey guys,

 

Have always just read what has been going on in the background but never posted, but a new group I am with wanted to take a look at Rogue Trader.  To top it off they wanted to take a look at using a Grand Cruiser as a ship.  So I needed some help.  Normally I would rather look at something a tad bit smaller, deck it out, and at least you are set.  But they want the big and the grandeur.  After reading something someone else said about the GCs, it is a ship that can level with the PCs due to the fact that it will pretty much be loaded with nothing at the beginning.  I like the sound of that.  But I can't wrap my head around the numbers and I hope that someone can help me to either find the numbers of how it can work, or what they might have done to get a GC into their story.

 

An example is if I do the out of the main book and just decide you are getting 70 SP.  I think the repulsive costs like what, 70 points.  So now you have nothing really aside from the hull and basic stuff to make the thing go vroom vroom.  If I take the expansion warrant of trade path thingie, I think you max out at like 68 or 69 points, which is just shy of the whole GC idea.  When I go through character paths I see a few instances of +1 profit, but nothing that says +1 SP.

 

So like I said, I was wondering if someone could help me with either an understanding of how they got a GC working in their campaign (without needing a rolled up newspaper to whack the rules lawyers in the nose), or maybe I am missing something and someone can point me in the direction of a few extra numbers here and there to make it a viable, albeit a bit of a weak ship at the start.

 

Hope that you guys can help so I can throw this at them.

 

Cheers



#2 CaptainRemiVandigrath

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 11:24 AM

The rules lawyers are probably going to complain one way or another. In my campaign, Caine's Righteous Fury (an archeotech class of Grand Cruiser) worked out to about 110 ship points, before he added crew and his small craft. Grand cruisers are just big.

If I had to toss out a suggestion (which I totally am), I'd go with a base GC with weapons, engines, and basic command and control. All the supplemental component slots would be empty essentially. Then, have the first session or two revolve around finding the ship and getting it running. Either they find it adrift around a planet, or their warrant specifies that recovering the GC is the terms of being granted a Dynasty. If they're transported to it by another Rogue Trader ship, it would provide an instant ally or rival for the rest of the campaign.

That way, even though they technically can't afford on eat the start, they're essentially giving up their first few Profit Factor in return for a bigger ship. It can grow with them too at that point, since they'll have to find all the fun toys for the ship if they want them.

Edited by CaptainRemiVandigrath, 04 September 2013 - 11:26 AM.

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#3 7thPawn

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 01:36 PM

Thanks for the idea actually.  Love the ideas around here.  How about this as an expansion to that.

 

The players have a warrant of trade in the wings from a legal perspective, but the whole 'Intrigue/Bribery' thing comes into play and someone else wants the warrant for bragging rights due to the sheer prestige of it.  So they maneuver things so that there is a loophole in receiving it that they need a ship in order to have everything unlocked for the dynasty (IE the profit factor and warrant is being tied up in this maneuver).  Getting a ship is next to impossible for most simply due to the vast resources needed to obtain one, so it seems pretty much check and mate in terms of that.  So in the hopes of triggering the loophole, they sign on with another RT in a hail-mary pass attempt in the hopes that they can be 'given' a ship as part of the guy's fleet or what not.

 

"See, we have a ship.  Now give me my damn warrant"

 

It could be just a shot in the dark and pray that this works, or maybe they know that the RT has a line on a derelict ship.  He gets that ship, we can command this one in his 'fleet' and we can report in quick and score that damn warrant.  He hires them on because the families have known eachother and he is throwing them a bone.  Low and behold the RT has a line on a derelict and is going to try to get it up and running before anyone else comes in and tries to screw things up.  Maybe the ship is part of a space hulk and he is rolling the dice on the chance to get it out and get free before it vanishes again back into the warp.  He has the extra crew now (The players), so what's the worst that can happen.

 

So you have a session or two of them doing the whole getting it out of the space hulk thing with crazy stuff in between (IE earning their future ship with the first few harrowing sessions).  Then they find out by accident that the RT has no intention of letting them touch a ship of their own.  Who knows.  Maybe he is happy with the extra hands and wants them beholden to him to keep a good work force.  Maybe there is a story behind the two families where the player's dynasty/family screwed the RTs some time ago and this is his change to get the ultimate revenge for his ancestors.  Maybe the faceless villain in the background that is trying to screw the players over and get their more prestigious warrant for himself got to the RT, and the RT has to tow the line and make sure that the players don't get their hands on a ship.  This could be threat oriented, alliance oriented, or even financial.  Maybe the RT needs the GC being yanked out to help bolster their flagging fortunes and the faceless badguy said "Don't let them get a ship and I wont come in and stop your trying to extricate the GC".

 

So if the players want their warrant, they have to steal the GC from the RT.  They grab and run and show up to collect their reward.  Now they have an enemy of the RT they were working for, and the faceless enemy that wanted their warrant in the first place.  Maybe a session of them trying to survive trying to get it to safe harbour.  But in the end, fast forward a few months and the ship is ready to go with what ever it came with from the hulk in the first place.

 

 Covers one of the ship history thingies, and gives a backstory for the rest of the campaign.  They are stuck with a ship for better or worse, and I think they might have earned the few extra freebie SPs used to add a few things into it to make it realistically viable.  How does that sound all around?



#4 Magellan

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:07 PM

I'm not sure what you're asking. 70 ship points is enough for a grand cruiser that can fly - that's all you really need. You don't *have* to have weapons, and even if you get in a fight there's Hit & Run attacks, ramming and boarding. If I were them I'd make finding weapons a priority, but it's not strictly necessary.

 

However, if they did have supplementary components of any sort, chances are they started out with 70 ship points, and then had a few members take the Child of Dynasty homeworld from ItS, which grants +3 Ship Points. There's also the possibility that the GM might have allowed them to use their starting acquisitions to pick up ship parts, in which case I believe that a weapon (a supplementary component costing 1SP) would be within their reach. Takes more coordination than I see in most groups, but it's far from impossible.


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#5 7thPawn

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:41 PM

Ahhh so there are extra points to be gotten.  I was looking around and figured there might have been +SP somewhere but missed that from the Child of Dynasty.  Thanks for pointing that specific one out.  3 extra points can take the GC from a weaponless hull, to being able to survive something untoward so they can build on the ship from there.  Thanks.  ;)



#6 Erathia

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 07:46 PM

The rules lawyers are probably going to complain one way or another. 

 

This is oh so, so true.

 

Based on the Core rules your combined Profit Factor and Ship Points should total 90, whereas using the Warrant Path from Into the Storm usually puts your combined total at around 88. No matter which route you take I believe you shouldn't get starting Ship Points above 70, but you could always have your players "cash in" Profit Factor, at a 1:1 or 3:2 exchange rate for Ship Points. Thematically it could work where their dynasty has been so obssessed with their one massive Grand Cruiser that they've let their finances and power fall to ruins until all that is left is one Dynasty. Plus it gets around everyone trying to be a Child of Dynasty to pimp out their ship.

 

I really do think high SP and low PF is the best way to play RT when starting out. However don't be afraid to make your players really consider the consequences of a low profit factor. The Core Book has that delightful chart which compares Profit Factor to Imperium Power, and a rating of 20 puts them at a Hab Collective (Grimdark Slumlords!). Make their arch-nemesis Jonquin Saul or some equivalent super-rich Rogue Trader who shows up and uses their massive wealth to underbid the players in their negotiations, or just buys everything that they're after.


Edited by Erathia, 06 September 2013 - 11:31 AM.

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#7 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:13 AM

If I had to toss out a suggestion (which I totally am), I'd go with a base GC with weapons, engines, and basic command and control. All the supplemental component slots would be empty essentially. Then, have the first session or two revolve around finding the ship and getting it running. Either they find it adrift around a planet, or their warrant specifies that recovering the GC is the terms of being granted a Dynasty. If they're transported to it by another Rogue Trader ship, it would provide an instant ally or rival for the rest of the campaign.

 

There is a ship history called "Planet-Bound for Millenia", which essentially means the hulk of the ship has been resting on a planet where it's either been rusting or been used as a junkyard hive city or something similar. 'Giving' the players a Grand Cruiser, provided they can (a) manage to 'refloat' it and (b) evict or recruit as crew the previous tenants, makes for an awesome start to a campaign.

 

Acquiring the mechanicus support to repair it, transport to it, a work force, troops, the missing components, etc, is a great introduction to the profit mechanic and a chance to make some allies and enemies.

 

For the ideal end to the endeavour, your transport fleet should be being blasted to bits by pirates or a rival rogue trader and juuuuust as it's all falling to pieces the drive and void shields of the grand cruiser light off and it starts to pull itself free of the soil (queue suitably awesome music).....


Edited by Magnus Grendel, 05 September 2013 - 03:17 AM.


#8 Wincent

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:58 AM

GC Repulsive is for 69 SP and children of dynasty for 3 SP (assuming just one). I'm almost sure that I read somewhere you can take incompetent crew (20 crew rating) for additional 5 SP. So it's 9SP to buy some weapons - not so bad.

Remember also about poor quality components - in GC there's enough space and power to waste and also fits the wreck vibe.

 



#9 Alasseo

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:15 AM

 

The rules lawyers are probably going to complain one way or another. 

 

This is oh so, so true.

 

Based on the Core rules your combined Profit Factor and Ship Points should total 70, whereas using the Warrant Path from Into the Storm usually puts your combined total at around 88. No matter which route you take I believe you shouldn't get starting Ship Points above 70, but you could always have your players "cash in" Profit Factor, at a 1:1 or 3:2 exchange rate for Ship Points. Thematically it could work where their dynasty has been so obssessed with their one massive Grand Cruiser that they've let their finances and power fall to ruins until all that is left is one Dynasty. Plus it gets around everyone trying to be a Child of Dynasty to pimp out their ship.

 

I really do think high SP and low PF is the best way to play RT when starting out. However don't be afraid to make your players really consider the consequences of a low profit factor. The Core Book has that delightful chart which compares Profit Factor to Imperium Power, and a rating of 20 puts them at a Hab Collective (Grimdark Slumlords!). Make their arch-nemesis Jonquin Saul or some equivalent super-rich Rogue Trader who shows up and uses their massive wealth to underbid the players in their negotiations, or just buys everything that they're after.

 

Actually, I think it's a combined total of 90 from the core book, with the highest PF being 60 (before Origin Path), while the starting SP caps at 70. I haven't done the math to maximize SP using the ItS Warrant Path recently, but yeah, I believe it can up the combined total by ~20.

 

I'll note that you don't need to pick up extra SP to fit out your ship further down the line, as once the game starts, you don't use SP costs except to work out the Acquisition modifier for buying a whole new starship, or determining the availability for a component- extra components for an existing ship can either be acquired through roleplaying as part of an Endeavour, or as am Acquisition- there's a section on acquiring starship components on p274 of the core book, and an expanded section in Battlefleet Koronus


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#10 venkelos

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 02:14 PM

This all really sounds nifty, but the group might be better off just "cheating". Here that means start with a slightly more reasonable ship, and a little more PF, and then one of their first leads on an endeavor could involve a contact directing some info regarding said derelict ship. If the party, feeling that maybe their first ship isn't quite befitting their awesomeness wants, they could go through all the above stuff to claim this ship, and still have other RT's try to do the same, or whatever, and have said conflict, and it also gets them there.

 

Then, for a while, they can keep their current ship, and do other stuff while the big ship is being repaired wherever, and when it is as ready as they want, they can move flag to it, and slip the starting ship into the background, as an asset working behind the scenes for lesser endeavors, or just another ship in their fleet that they can use for whatever.

 

Depending on your Storyteller, you might also have it be that said ship can't take off;she was built in space, and only in space can she move. In order to conduct the repairs, it must first be hauled into orbit, and then it is an easier target for anyone trying to stop you. During such repairs, you and your starting ship could have to defend the weaponless hull, while other party members aboard it struggle, amidst the explosions, to force her shields and engines to engage, and then both ships escape from the planet. this could leave you with a vengeful foe, especially if the ship happened to have some special component, and running meant he or she is still in business, too, to further dog your endeavors.



#11 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:23 PM

What I my GM accepted:
+5SP from downgrading crew
+10 SP from -10PF (started at 10PF total) and "Finance in Arrears" trait in addition to any other randomly rolled

 

I got an Avenger with 85SP total


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#12 Errant

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:48 PM

...How would you keep it supplied and repaired?



#13 Nameless2all

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:59 PM

...How would you keep it supplied and repaired?

He doesn't.  That was the kicker.  :ph34r:

 

:D  J/k.  On a serious note, if your GM allowed it, then I guess it was under good reason.


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#14 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:17 AM

Initial ship cost includes the upkeep.


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#15 Nameless2all

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:57 PM

Initial ship cost includes the upkeep.

 We meant after the game starts silly.  ^_^   Like when you take damage and crew loss and need to replenish.


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#16 CaptainRemiVandigrath

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:29 PM

Start doing favors for a local planet with a shipyard in orbit?

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#17 Errant

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:31 PM

Yeah; recovering crew and resupplying isn't such a big deal, but given that every five hull points repaired is an acquisition, and every acquisition beyond the first is at a -10 modifier, the first proper fight you get into is going to lead to scrabbling for favours from anyone with a repair crew. Makes one hell of a GM plot-hook at least.


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#18 venkelos

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 07:14 AM

Almost kinda fits, too. These ships, especially the big ones, are supposed to be huge, and take years of time and manpower to build. A single Grand Cruiser might be the primary workload of much of an entire world's output and economy, and take upwards of a century. While I have never been overly fond of this variant of ship-building (in Star Wars or Star Trek, ships take some years, and with people like the Emperor using his brand of coercion, whole chunks of time and expense can be sheered off even the production of Star Destroyers and Death Stars), if it is the case, I can see it taking several years t line up the crews, and have the ship get fixed, as whole areas are torn out, rebuilt, and what have you. I'm not saying that a ship with half of its hull points gone needs to be half rebuilt, but yeah, it could, maybe even should be a large investment of time, unless you pay even MORE money to get more work crews on it.

 

On the other hand, in a game where the point is to journey, explore, and exploit, maybe it's better if it doesn't. ;)



#19 Traejun

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:09 AM

Starting a group off with a Gran Cruiser is pretty much a killer.  Even if the thing is bereft of most components and lacking teeth, it's still a GC.  You render your group nigh invincible to all but the most powerful opponents.  Plus, what is there for them to work towards?  

 

I tend to allow my groups to start with Frigates, occasionally Light Cruisers.  They can select which class during ship creation, but it's generally limited to those hulls.  On occasion, if the group is really looking for a long-haul kind of game, like my current group is, we start them out with a Raider and they work from there.  That sort of thing works best for very RP heavy campaigns, which I tend to like anyway.  But it really gives the players a drive to succeed when they feel they can only go up from where they start.



#20 CaptainRemiVandigrath

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 09:07 AM

Starting a group off with a Gran Cruiser is pretty much a killer.  Even if the thing is bereft of most components and lacking teeth, it's still a GC.  You render your group nigh invincible to all but the most powerful opponents.  Plus, what is there for them to work towards?  
 
I tend to allow my groups to start with Frigates, occasionally Light Cruisers.  They can select which class during ship creation, but it's generally limited to those hulls.  On occasion, if the group is really looking for a long-haul kind of game, like my current group is, we start them out with a Raider and they work from there.  That sort of thing works best for very RP heavy campaigns, which I tend to like anyway.  But it really gives the players a drive to succeed when they feel they can only go up from where they start.


I think this can be true depending on groups, but could be a roadblock for others. Caine started out with a frigate, but the moment he saw a Grand Cruiser, his eyes instantly looked towards building an empire. If your group wants to do really big things (control an entire cluster of systems, beat back pocket empires, and do war with Winterscale), starting them out with a crippled
Grand cruiser might be just the incentive they need.

Personally, there is no 'most powerful opponents'. I work under the opinion that there's always a bigger fish, they just require good setup =)

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