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Crew Factions - comments please


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#1 Devalin

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 01:49 AM

 I'm planning a small rules supplement (a few pages) as part of a large piece of work to go into more detail on the rogue traders ship.

The first part i'm planning is "Crew Factions", in this section the players can roll up the factions that exist in their crew, and these may later come into effect during the game (extra plot elements for the GM).

Firstly the players would determine the number of factions, using the following table (all this is subject to slight changes in final version)

Roll     No. Factions     Factions %

1          1                          100

2          2                          50 50

3          2                          60 40

4          3                          60 20 20

5          4                         40 20 20 20

6          5                         20 20 20 20 20

 

Then starting with the smaller factions you roll for the faction type, duplicates can either be re-rolled or could be a different version of the same faction type

 

Roll  Faction  Notes

1 Neutrals   Nothing special, general ship people who mind their own business and follow orders well

2 First&Only  This faction represents some of the last remaining members of a planet wiped out by something. This could have been a natural occurrence, a virus bomb, a hive fleet invastion, the actions of the inquisition or a sm chapter, etc. The faction may hold some grudge against the destroyer.

3 Voiders  Always been at space

4 Penal Colony  Faction composed of criminals who are working out their sentence on board.

5 Slaves  Slaves either brought or rescued by the rogue trader

6 Imperial Creed   Loyal imperialists

7 Religious Fanatics

.... more to follow

 

Once the factions are determined, optionally they can then roll to see which factions control key parts of the ship, for each 20% a faction has it gets one roll

Engineering, Gunnery Levels, Security, General Systems, Cargo&Materials, Upper Officer Core (max 20% faction), Damage Control, Food&Life support

 

Also each faction will give certain benefits/penalties and be lead by a npc character.

 

Comments, do people think this is worth fleshing out ?



#2 Varnias Tybalt

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 06:28 AM

Devalin said:

Comments, do people think this is worth fleshing out ?

Any attempt at fleshing out the information about the ships crew, making sure that the players don't just see them as nameless mooks to be ordered around and die whenever the players don't feel like risking their PC's lives is time well spent. Im looking forward to how this idea of yours will grow.



#3 Santiago

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 07:32 AM

 The ship is more than just machine the books says, one the most essential parts of such is ship is its crew.
The factions I would say is the GM's job, make families, clans and gangs among the crew...flesh them out.
Some of the older families that have served over a dozen or so generations might have their patriarch dine at the camptains table.

Its all about flavour...



#4 mrobfire

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 01:26 PM

I think this is a brilliant idea. Basically, anything that brings ships closer to having the depth of flavor that ars magica covenants have would be a huge improvement. As it stands it's far to easy to treat your ship like a piece of equipment.

 

Devalin said:

Roll  Faction  Notes

1 Neutrals   Nothing special, general ship people who mind their own business and follow orders well

2 First&Only  This faction represents some of the last remaining members of a planet wiped out by something. This could have been a natural occurrence, a virus bomb, a hive fleet invastion, the actions of the inquisition or a sm chapter, etc. The faction may hold some grudge against the destroyer.

3 Voiders  Always been at space

4 Penal Colony  Faction composed of criminals who are working out their sentence on board.

5 Slaves  Slaves either brought or rescued by the rogue trader

6 Imperial Creed   Loyal imperialists

7 Religious Fanatics

.... more to follow

 

 

It seems like in your faction types your conflating type of individual and the character of the groups. Here are my initial thoughts on breaking this up into two sets (which could be rolled or what have you):

Type: Voiders (hired merchantment), Voider (Clan), Land Lubbers (slaves), Land Lubbers (prisoners), Land Lubbers (hired men), etc.

Character: Driven by profit, Imperial Fanatics, Loyal followers, Down trodden servants, etc.



#5 Maxim C. Gatling

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 12:40 PM

I like this idea. 

Just a thought...what about Servitors?  On some ships, Servitors make up the majority of the crew.  They have no "Faction" of course, but I'd like to see something regarding Crew Quality/Factions/Loyalty in regards to how much of the crew consists of Servitors vs. Press-Ganged Ratings vs. "Professional" Voidsmen who choose to be there.



#6 Zamzoph

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 07:27 PM

Ever since reading the ship section in the corebook, I've fancied the idea of having distinct factions, likely represented with named NPCs, aboard the ship that the PCs will have to interact with.  It gives the ship more life (aside from the generated quirks), provides people for the PCs to consult to during deep-space voyages, and also has potential for creating interesting scenarios or even outright conflict when one particular group onboard doesn't quite see things eye-to-eye with the PCs.

Rather than having these "social" factions differentiated by upbringing as you're suggesting, though, I think the better division would be by profession aboard the ship.  It's like making the "key parts of the ship" you mentioned at the end the actual factions, not just territory.  One good reason to have it this is way is because your social factions are likely not going to be very stable in size or what they control as they are killed off during ship combat and replaced at port.  Additionally, since the PCs are suppose to be the head-hanchos of the ship, chances are each would be highly influential with a particular faction, depending on their career.

These are some major factions I had in mind:

The Bridge
Filled with the most professional members of the crew, the bridge is likely the loyalest faction to the PCs, especially the Rogue Trader himself.

Gunnery
Consisting of those who man the main armaments of the ship.  For a good reference on what their life is like, try reading the short story "Ancient History" in the Dark Imperium anthology.

Engineering
For those who labor in the dirtiest, most dangerous parts of the ship, particularly the plasma drive. warp engine, void shield generator, and life-sustainer.  Being stuck with the hardest work on a regular basis, I imagine that these guys will likely be the first to mutiny.

Mechanicum
Distinct enough from the rest of engineering, this faction represents the emissaries sent by the Adeptus Mechanicus to perform the duties that only tech-priests could.  Being especially secretive, however, they prefer to be left alone in their sanctum unless there are machines in need of aid.  They also tend to frown upon actions that would strain the ship and forcefully involve themselves in any mission that involves recovering unusual technology, usually either by declaring it as blasphemous and therefore must undergo immediate destruction, or by demanding that the PCs hand over the tech to the Mechanicum for "further study".  Naturally, the Explorator is well-connected with them.

Ecclesiarchy
Preachers and priests sent by the Ministorum to maintain moral and faith to the Imperial Creed aboard the ship.  Their presence is even more apparent if a Temple Supplemental Component is on the ship.  Relations with them may turn sour if the PCs end up dabbling in heretical activity a bit too often.  The Missionary is obviously associated with them.

Security
Often the best thing to actual soldiers, security is charged with maintaining order aboard the ship, as well as carrying out or defending against boarding actions.  On occassion, the PCs may also be compelled to use them on expeditions to a planet's surface.  The Arch-Militant easily fits into a commanding position among them.

Records
The department of scribes and adepts who do all the record-keeping for the Rogue Trader's dynasty.  They are greatly complimented by the Librarium Vault Supplemental Component.  The Seneschal would know how to deal with them.

The Navigators
Although they are very, very few in number, the Navigators aboard the ship are alien enough from everyone else to warrant themselves as a faction.  Additionally, they are backed by a very powerful organization, the Navis Nobilite, and demand a lot of respect for it.  It is likely that they'll have a superiority complex over everyone "ungifted".  This faction's prominence, however, is greatly diminished if one of the PCs is already a Navigator.






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