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New Rogue Trader Designer Diary: The Dark Frontier Part 2


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#1 FFG Ross Watson

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 08:25 AM

 Hi Rogue Trader fans!

I just uploaded a new Rogue Trader designer diary that talks about various influences on the game, a little about the Expanse, and some info on Profit Factor and Endeavours. Go check it out!



#2 MDMann

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 08:33 AM

Interseting. I'm particularly looking forward to the pofits and upgrading my ship/s.

 

Will a future suplement focus on the Imperial Navy?

Is the Koronus Expanse adjacent to the Calixis Sector?

Does it (the KE) bear any relationship to Kommonus the Dark Sun?



#3 Psion

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:31 PM

Interesting nugget on the moral issues regarding hulk crew trapped in stasis.  Besides the possiblity of the Warp corrupting them, I imagine there are rules regarding the rights of salvage in the Imperium...



#4 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 11:41 PM

Some good real insight into the setting, finally peaking my interests!

Like the visuals of Serenity as conquistadors in darkest Africa. "Livingston I presume?"

 



#5 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 11:47 PM

MDMann said:

Interseting. I'm particularly looking forward to the pofits and upgrading my ship/s.

 

Well, while I am getting more and more interested in Rogue Trader, the profit and endeavours isnt the reason why. Again, this looks like a game mechanic that has always been around and is just being pumped up as new and creative. No offense to FFG or Ross, Im sure it will be done well and look beautiful, but the whole endeavours thing is just another name for ADVENTURES. Lets see, to find the Warsprite you need a map, a salvage crew, special equipment and so forth.

To find the evil dragon's dungeon, you need a map, a dragon fighting crew, horses and carts to carry off that dragon's treasure and so forth.

So to me the "rules" they have shown us glances at are not selling the game to me.

Now things like "The Maw" and background setting and information, that works best for me. Im hoping RT has new origins and packages/alternate ranks that are available to DH characters. That's be awesome.

MDMann said:

Will a future suplement focus on the Imperial Navy?

Is the Koronus Expanse adjacent to the Calixis Sector?

Does it (the KE) bear any relationship to Kommonus the Dark Sun?

I hope the core book has info on the Navy, otherwise there is always Battlefleet Gothic the game for information.

The Koronus Expanse is in the Halo Stars, which borders the Calixis Sector. They are connected by the Maw, so I would say they are adjacent, in a warp sense.



#6 Robban-O

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 09:27 PM

Peacekeeper_b said:

No offense to FFG or Ross, Im sure it will be done well and look beautiful, but the whole endeavours thing is just another name for ADVENTURES. Lets see, to find the Warsprite you need a map, a salvage crew, special equipment and so forth.

Yeah, there will allways be adventures in the classical sense that something needs to be done and to accomplish that certain difficulties has to be solved. The thing that I liked with endeavours is that they can be set by the players. That way the individual character can set a goal for himself giving the DM something to work with. My guess is that the player will be able to create a endeavour while the DM hammers out the details. Anyway player input is a powerfull tool that should be used more often. Especially when you compare to DH that supported a style where you had a all powerfull Inquisitor telling you what to do. A economic system that does not count the coins is also a very good one in my opinion.



#7 Lightbringer

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 10:43 PM

I am so stoked for this. I'm a huge fan of the Aubrey/Maturin Novels, and tend to read the entire series on a 2 year cycle in between other books. The fact it's being cited as a major thematic influence this clearly is music to my ears. 

In contrast to the more bombastic hornblower novels (which would make a better source for a Battlefleet Gothic game) the Aubrey/Maturin cycle is all about a small frigate which conducts high powered secret missions for Naval Intelligence with an elite crew. There ARE many battles, but subtlety and character are the defining characteristics of the series.

So if Hornblower is a good TT resource, Aubrey/Maturin is the perfect roleplaying game resource, requiring more attention to detail and character development. Aubrey makes a nice Rogue Trader model too: a tactical genius at sea who then tends to blow all of his money on horses and magic beans sold by snake oil salesmen as soon as he hits the land.   

As for the Endeavour system, it sounds fine to me. I'd agree with Peacekeeper_B that it doesn't sound like it's anything groundbreaking, but it sounds like it neatly encapsulates the need to put together the spine of a good campaign by defining goals early on.      

 

All good news to me!



#8 Ranek7212

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 05:00 AM

I Agree with Lightbringer in reguards to the Hornblower statment. Just like I look at the Sharp series for a good war time game that doesn't have to involve mass combat rules every session.( though he does fight in battles, some of the storylines were more of a small unit tactic.)

I believe that Rogue Trader has the potential to be a great game. I am willing to give FFG their chance, after all they haven't let it go like GW did, nor have they made poor quality products.



#9 Cynical Cat

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 01:26 PM

Well thankfully they're going for a  great deal of abstraction with the wealth system, a good choice as the appeal of Rogue Trader is to play Yankee Traders in Space, not Battlefleet Accountant.  That's a good sign.  My biggest concern is how they're going to set up and manage scenarios that center the action on the PCs when they'll quite possibly have a small army of NPCs to use.  Since they're apparently spending a considerable amount of time on adventure design, it'll be interesting what steps/advice they'll have for a GM.



#10 Shad

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 03:51 AM

Cynical Cat said:

 

Well thankfully they're going for a  great deal of abstraction with the wealth system, a good choice as the appeal of Rogue Trader is to play Yankee Traders in Space, not Battlefleet Accountant.  That's a good sign.  My biggest concern is how they're going to set up and manage scenarios that center the action on the PCs when they'll quite possibly have a small army of NPCs to use.  Since they're apparently spending a considerable amount of time on adventure design, it'll be interesting what steps/advice they'll have for a GM.

 

 

In response to the army of NPCs question, it's likely that aforementioned army will be needed to run the ship, and probably useless as ground crew. Also, what shady merchant in his right mind would travel with a company of ex-military and hired guns? Then again, it is a possibility.

My thoughts on Rogue Trader are as thus: This is not a new game, just a supplement that expands on Dark Heresy to include a whole other section of universe. I would liken it to the various sourcebooks for World of Darkness (like Vampire, Changeling, Mage, etc.) but there aren't exactly new player-useable mechanics like there are in those books. So as it stands, to my knowledge, I choose to look upon Rogue Trader as a sourcebook for Dark Heresy.

 

Also, this thought. Wonder if there'll be rules for running a xenos character :3



#11 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 05:11 AM

Shad said:

 I choose to look upon Rogue Trader as a sourcebook for Dark Heresy.

Thats pretty much how I plan to use it. Personally I find the Inquisition to be much more interesting then Space Explorers in Space!!!!!!! But that is me, I understand there are other interests and opinions.

I am looking forward to the series for the new RPG, as it adds even more books I can buy!!!! C'mon Ross, TAKE MY MONEY!



#12 Cynical Cat

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 02:03 PM

Shad said:

Cynical Cat said:

 

Well thankfully they're going for a  great deal of abstraction with the wealth system, a good choice as the appeal of Rogue Trader is to play Yankee Traders in Space, not Battlefleet Accountant.  That's a good sign.  My biggest concern is how they're going to set up and manage scenarios that center the action on the PCs when they'll quite possibly have a small army of NPCs to use.  Since they're apparently spending a considerable amount of time on adventure design, it'll be interesting what steps/advice they'll have for a GM.

 

 

In response to the army of NPCs question, it's likely that aforementioned army will be needed to run the ship, and probably useless as ground crew. Also, what shady merchant in his right mind would travel with a company of ex-military and hired guns? Then again, it is a possibility.

My thoughts on Rogue Trader are as thus: This is not a new game, just a supplement that expands on Dark Heresy to include a whole other section of universe. I would liken it to the various sourcebooks for World of Darkness (like Vampire, Changeling, Mage, etc.) but there aren't exactly new player-useable mechanics like there are in those books. So as it stands, to my knowledge, I choose to look upon Rogue Trader as a sourcebook for Dark Heresy.

 

Also, this thought. Wonder if there'll be rules for running a xenos character :3

 

Any large ship (or even moderate sized one) will have an armed company and crewmen who will be good in a fight.  Now there are a number of scenarios where the impact of those NPCs will be sidelined in favor of the PCs (small salvage or exploration party, diplomatic or trade negotiations, etcetera), but they will be there and in some instances the PCs will probably just want to throw NPCs at the problem.  Just take a look at how often Star Trek, with generally much smaller ships, often used terrible plot contrivances to get main characters to be the ones involved in the action.  Of course, not all the plot contrivances are terrible.  Unlike D&D or Dark Heresy, in Rogue Trader the PCs are likely to be travelling with a lot of NPCs and how to deal with them should be addressed by the game developers.  It is a situation that most GMs won't have a lot of experience dealing with.



#13 Jack of Tears

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 08:10 AM

>>Just take a look at how often Star Trek, with generally much smaller ships, often used terrible plot contrivances to get main characters to be the ones involved in the action.<<

Star Trek is a good example, actually.  Although the ship has hundreds of crew members the main characters - PCs if you will - are the most experienced and trained in their fields.  Sure they have a large security crew they could throw into each new scenario, but no 6 of them are as good as Tasha Yar or Warf; and when investigating strange technologies are you going to send your adequate tech acolyte or your learned tech priest? (likey with the acolyte in tow)  I think what you'll see is the recommendation that PCs represent the elite members of the crew and take backup - cannon fodder - support from their standing available forces.

The next issue is: Are the PCs actually going to be playing the Rogue Trader and command staff, or members of the crew itself. (the people sent on missions so the staff doesn't have to go)  My initial belief was this expansion was going to be similar to DH, where the PCs aren't the big movers and shakers (the Inquisitors or Traders) but their aids and lackies.  The discussion about monetary funds in this latest diary, however, gives me cause to rethink that.

 



#14 Graver

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 02:00 PM

Jack of Tears said:

>>Just take a look at how often Star Trek, with generally much smaller ships, often used terrible plot contrivances to get main characters to be the ones involved in the action.<<

Star Trek is a good example, actually.  Although the ship has hundreds of crew members the main characters - PCs if you will - are the most experienced and trained in their fields.  Sure they have a large security crew they could throw into each new scenario, but no 6 of them are as good as Tasha Yar or Warf; and when investigating strange technologies are you going to send your adequate tech acolyte or your learned tech priest? (likey with the acolyte in tow)  I think what you'll see is the recommendation that PCs represent the elite members of the crew and take backup - cannon fodder - support from their standing available forces.

The next issue is: Are the PCs actually going to be playing the Rogue Trader and command staff, or members of the crew itself. (the people sent on missions so the staff doesn't have to go)  My initial belief was this expansion was going to be similar to DH, where the PCs aren't the big movers and shakers (the Inquisitors or Traders) but their aids and lackies.  The discussion about monetary funds in this latest diary, however, gives me cause to rethink that.

 

 

and don't forget that one of the careers for players to chose from to play is...

 

Wait for it...

a Rogue Trader. That should tell ya something, never mind the whole ship roles thing. ;-)

I think the issue a lot of folks are now starting to see is with the archetypal story set up. There's some guy who's opposing the PC's who must be dealt with. 99 times out of a hundred, this means mortal combat with said obstructing "bad guy" or "big boss". In such a mortal combat with the Bog Boss, there is the desire for it to be one on one combat, or six on one as long as the six are all PC's etc.

In a situation where the PC's have an army of aids and lackies to do their bidding, a different story structure is needed.

 



#15 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:30 PM

I really think the idea of a career being Rogue Trader is a bad choice, even though it is confirmed as one of the careers already. To me, thats like a having a career being Inquisitor or Slave and so forth. Technically anyone who is involved in the charter at a face value level is a Rogue Trader. In the two novels written by Andy Hoar, Lucien and his Two Brats are all rogue traders, but seem to have different career goals, styles, skills and so forth.

Enough of that rant... move along.

 



#16 Graver

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:51 AM

Peacekeeper_b said:

I really think the idea of a career being Rogue Trader is a bad choice, even though it is confirmed as one of the careers already. To me, thats like a having a career being Inquisitor or Slave and so forth. Technically anyone who is involved in the charter at a face value level is a Rogue Trader. In the two novels written by Andy Hoar, Lucien and his Two Brats are all rogue traders, but seem to have different career goals, styles, skills and so forth.

Enough of that rant... move along.

 

 

Then again, don't forget that the careers are fairly generic and open. After all, the Arbitrator is any fella who kinda investigates things in a police sort of way. Perhaps the Rogue Trader career is another like this which simply puts forth the most likely skills/talents that anyone with a charter doing Rogue Traderish kinds of things would eventually amass as well as the needed skill sets in order to be competent at doing the whole Rogue Trader thing. It's been said before that two characters of the same career can grow to be vastly different characters.

 

The careers are a characters life choice (or, um, what they were forced to be in most all cases I guess) and unlike inquisitors, most Rogue Traders are born to the position and raised to take the helm. They really can't be just anybody... mostly. I guess they can steal a charter or some such, but it would still take a certain kind of individual to think to do that, then to do such successfully. No matter their style and direction, they are still, at their core, a Rogue Trader.

 



#17 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 08:04 AM

Well, I agree that the career system from WFRP wouldnt work well in 40K, but I would also say that the current Dark Heresy career system also doesnt work well enough.

Just my opinion.

A classless/rankless system would have been best.



#18 Ranek7212

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 05:47 PM

But then you would have to Use Development points like in anima, or something else like it. (excample that comes straight to mind is the Hero system)  I am just trying to see how that would work PeaceKeeper. Do you have an idea of how they could work something like that into the game?



#19 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:01 PM

Ranek7212 said:

But then you would have to Use Development points like in anima, or something else like it. (excample that comes straight to mind is the Hero system)  I am just trying to see how that would work PeaceKeeper. Do you have an idea of how they could work something like that into the game?

The base char-gen system from DH/WFRP would remain, you would determine your origin and stats the exact same way. But you would have some sort of starting skill/talent selection that was open ended, sort of like the 400 starting XP, but presented differently.

The main thing is you wouldnt me restricted in skills at char-gen. So, if you wanted to start with Weapon Training (Chain Weapons) you could.

I would reference BRP/Call of Cthulhu variety of games as well as the D6 games.

The main issue here, and the way I see that DH was formatted initially, is that DH/RT are more or less spin offs of WFRP and therefore the notion of evolving "career" changing professions is a cornerstone of the fabric and feel of the game system. And while I was initially dissappointed that DH didnt take that route, it is evident in the rank structure that it is emulated to a degree. You dont really change careers, just ranks and at some points you get to choose from 2 or 3 ranks.

Sure no two guardsmen are alike after 2000 XP, they have such variety and breadth to emulate and choose from for skills, talents, characteristic improvements. But most starting Guardsmen are very similar. Grab +5WS or BS, grab +5 S, grab Sound Constitution and so forth.

The package deals in Inquisitor's Handbook went a long way to correct some of my initial misgivings and dislike of the char-gen system, espcially with options like Tranch War Veteran and so forth, that gave the character some background and feel to them, like they are more then just cardboard cutouts but have some personality.

But overall, I think the things I would keep are the following. Initial Career Packages (Arbitrator, Cleric, Guardsman and so forth) for initial skills, talents and equipment, though I may make them a little more generic in terms (example, from Guardsman to Soldier or Warrior). I would also keep the Background Packages (Tanch War Veteran and so forth) and the Origins (Imperial Worlder, Void Born and so forth) but after that I would get rid of the ranks (despite the cool alternate ranks presented in the game thus far). And let the XP be spent on a more broad term. Meaning you wouldnt have to wait for a certain rank to have a skill or talent available, there would just be a flat fee for each skill (modified by origin/career package possibly) as long as you meet all requirements.

But it would take a lonk real look and some work to actually put together a system that fit the game. And I cant be angry at BI or FFG for what they did, it does work, and while I dislike the meta-gaming of Elite Advances (the Deus Ex Machine) they do work for what they were intended to do. And me, being a big fan of rules as written, I wont be changing the system that much as my players already understand the game, and revising the system would make so much of the IHB null and void.

The overall point is this, there was room for a free form careerless/rankless system in the game, but the ball was dropped/ignored for a more familiar/approachable career/rank (Class/Level) system.



#20 Ranek7212

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:30 AM

You do have some really good ideas there Peacekeeper. I was just wondering what alternative you had in mind instead of the current Char- Gen. I think it could work, but then again you would have people who would try to take advantage of the new system.






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