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Let's build a colony, no, an entire city!


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#1 Tristonic

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:31 PM

On an entirely unrelated note;

I'm running a Rogue Trader game and the group is about to embark on an endeavour to claim and colonise one or more planets. Now, I'd like to treat this as more than just a handwave and it happens or a series of dice rolls, but more like the actual process of creating something (similar to how you create starships in the game).

My question is, do you have any experience/ideas/suggestions/tools on doing so in Rogue Trader or any other game?

~



#2 CaptainStabby

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:49 PM

http://www.welshpiper.com/hex-based-campaign-design-part-1/

 

It's written with a fantasy setting in mind, but the principles apply.



#3 CaptainStabby

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:51 PM

Beyond that you'll probably end up generating endeavours/quests that would generate certain things.

 

Need to equip troops? The AdMech you brought along wants a shiny archaeotch tidbit from nearby ruins to keep his manufactorm running.

Stuff like that, just think of the different components for the colony, or ask the players what components they want in their colony and work backwards to figure out what might be required to build/staff/equip/upgrade said component.

Personally I'd do it quest based rather than ship builder style, but thats just me.



#4 JuankiMan

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:48 AM

 I agree with CaptainStabby on this one in that it be best to have it made Endeavor-based.

Step 1: The first thing you need is people to start the colony, and where you get them from will greatly impact its character. Shall you get Pilgrims from a Shrine World? Gather people desperate for a new life from the toxic bowels of a Hive? Will you strike a bargain with the warden of a prison planet to "misplace" say, a million of the less problematic inmates?

Step 2: You have the people but they'll never survive without the right tools and equipment, and for that you have no choice but to strike a deal with the AdMech, and the greater the support you want to secure from them the greater the price. You might just buy a few isotopic batteries, pre-fab buildings and first-necessity tools. You may also request the aid of the AdMech's highly qualified personnel, though that will give the AdMech a recurring interest in the colony that can prove annoying in the future. If you can convince them to build an actual Manufactorumon the planet you assure that the colony will never have want for anything, but the AdMech will forever have a vested interest in the colony, for good and ill.

Step 3: Now you have the people and the tools you must get them there. If you have enough transports then awesome, but otherwise you will need to requisition the services of a chartist captain or something similar. And then you will need to escort the convoy. The Expanse is wild and perilous and Chaos pirates, Eldar raiders and Ork freebooters are always on the lookout for the unwary.

Step 4: Whith the colony up and running you need to think about defenses. Most likely a nascent colony won't have the population to draft an actual army, so that means hiring mercenaries or stationing some of your household troops. You also might strike a bargain with Battlefleet Koronus or leave one of you warships to defend it, or even buy ground-to-space gun emplacements. Armies are expensive, but the better defended it is the less you have to be on top of it and the better shape it will be in when you arrive to answer the inevitable distress call.

And I think that is the bare-bones minimum to build a colony. The rest revolves on how involved you want to be in its future. Shall you leave it to its own devices to actively participate in its day-to-day workings. Shall you build a grand cathedral to give proper praise to the Emperor and attract further Pilgrims? Or perhaps in the future you want to start building a stardock to use your colony as a safe port for yourself and whoever pays a hefty fee. Once the colony is up and running its time to see what riches you can suck from the planet, which might mean securing additional tools and qualified personnel.

And so, so much more. Really now, if you want to make it the focus of your campaign, the building of a colony can be the source of virtually limitless endeavours.



#5 Gregorius21778

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:59 AM

What would I ask my players to achieve if they were to colonize?

 

01) Find a world
02) Make a survvey to ensure that it is able to sustain human life and that you know about the dangers
03) Prepare the necessary logistics (the material to start a colony)
04) Enlist specialsts that will lead the and tutore the colonists
05) Find a world inside the Imperium of Man that a) has people willing to move away and b)has a government that would approve of this people leaving
06) Build a colony and deal with emerging problems
07) Deal with the first cases of civil disobedience


As a campaign, I would advise to thing about things that (if not dealt with in the early steps) will lead to problems later on. Even better, ask for some "hard decisions" (the better of two evil) with the "chosen evil" descriped as a change that WILL arise over time no matter what.



#6 sketchesofpayne

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:12 AM

For my players' main colony this was the process:

  • Schmooze some nobles to help fund a colony ship.
  • Spend a few months recruiting colonists from several worlds in the Calixis sector until they had roughly 200,000 colonists.
  • Secure several Hab Complexes and plasma generators, as well as agriculture, mining, and construction equipment.
  • Purchase/salvage several system monitor ships to protect the colony, as well as a transport to run supplies to and from it.
  • They enlisted a trusted imperial navy retiree NPC to be the planet's acting governor and a trusted priest and his pilgrim flock to be the ecclesiarchal leader.
  • Enlisted a small contingent of soldiers to serve as the planet's militia.

They now check in on it every couple years.  It will take twenty or thirty years for the colony to really grow and thrive, but with all the warp travel they do that will only be five or so years subjective time.



#7 Cornwallis

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 09:40 AM

sketchesofpayne said:

For my players' main colony this was the process:

  • Schmooze some nobles to help fund a colony ship.
  • Spend a few months recruiting colonists from several worlds in the Calixis sector until they had roughly 200,000 colonists.
  • Secure several Hab Complexes and plasma generators, as well as agriculture, mining, and construction equipment.
  • Purchase/salvage several system monitor ships to protect the colony, as well as a transport to run supplies to and from it.
  • They enlisted a trusted imperial navy retiree NPC to be the planet's acting governor and a trusted priest and his pilgrim flock to be the ecclesiarchal leader.
  • Enlisted a small contingent of soldiers to serve as the planet's militia.

They now check in on it every couple years.  It will take twenty or thirty years for the colony to really grow and thrive, but with all the warp travel they do that will only be five or so years subjective time.

For my group, the problem is never what needs to get done, but HOW it should be accomplished. They all pretty much understand all the things needed to start the colony, but how to do is usually just gets hand waved or simple aquisition checked away.

any advice on specific objectives on how to accomplish each of these mini endeavors?



#8 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 05:38 AM

Cornwallis said:

sketchesofpayne said:

 

For my players' main colony this was the process:

  • Schmooze some nobles to help fund a colony ship.
  • Spend a few months recruiting colonists from several worlds in the Calixis sector until they had roughly 200,000 colonists.
  • Secure several Hab Complexes and plasma generators, as well as agriculture, mining, and construction equipment.
  • Purchase/salvage several system monitor ships to protect the colony, as well as a transport to run supplies to and from it.
  • They enlisted a trusted imperial navy retiree NPC to be the planet's acting governor and a trusted priest and his pilgrim flock to be the ecclesiarchal leader.
  • Enlisted a small contingent of soldiers to serve as the planet's militia.

They now check in on it every couple years.  It will take twenty or thirty years for the colony to really grow and thrive, but with all the warp travel they do that will only be five or so years subjective time.

 

 

For my group, the problem is never what needs to get done, but HOW it should be accomplished. They all pretty much understand all the things needed to start the colony, but how to do is usually just gets hand waved or simple aquisition checked away.

any advice on specific objectives on how to accomplish each of these mini endeavors?

Well, that's really up to you: stop handwaving that stuff!   (unless you don't want 'founding a colony' to be the focus of your game.)

The easiest way to think about the acquisition roll for such major projects is that, even when it is successful and the party makes the check, it should rarely be as simple as "The ship jumps out of war and drops off 200 000 colonists." They should get the item/ressource they need but there should always be a complication (minor or major or even catastrophic). After all, the story is about how the PCs overcome these complications to reach their objectives.

So, for some examples:

  • The PCs managed to fill their transport(s) with the 200 000 colonists they were aiming for. However, not long after they've disembarked, the Captain gets reports of many deaths among the colonists (maybe some Governor agreed to help you but decided to use you to get rid of undesireables: criminals, the terminally ill, political enemies, heretics, etc.) The crew needs to investigate and figure out what's happeneing before the colony either becomes overrun with crime or wiped out by plagues. (Feel free of course to add Warp taint and Xeno-contamination to the mix.).
  • the characters are trying to get their hands on a high ranking ecclesiarch to come found the First Catherdral of Planet Icarus. They make the roll and they manage to convince a priest to sign up with the colonisation project. However, the priest turns out to be a little more… fervent in his beliefs than expected. He takes issue with some of the practices of the RT and turns the flock against the PCs. Or maybe he's more sublte. He may have Inquisitorial contacts who would be only too happy to hear about some of the… compromises the PCs have made in their venture. Maybe the PCs don't even find out until the Inquisitor's Acolyte / Retinue take control of the command deck of the ship and attempt to bring the PCs in for 'questioning.'
  • A large shipment of highly-volative and extremely rare materials needed for the founding of the colony are available for the RT to acquire. However, their Magos Genetor contact with whom they have dealt with before, is reluctant to part with this sacred technology. He has agreed to part with them only if the Captain agrees to bring him a living specimen on some rare plant / animal / Xeno
  • The players make an acquisition roll which results in several degrees of success. The troops they are able to acquire are well above average: highly trainied, loyal and disciplined. However, the requisition roll for acquiring their equipment and vehicles goes horribly wrong - the shipment of weapons, sentinels and valyries is lost in the Warp. A hidden threat (xenos, unidientified dangerous wildlife, indigenous peoples) soon makes itself known and the PDF must take up arms. The soldiers have some ammunition and some basic weapons but without some immediate resupply they risk falling to the new threat. To make matters worse (if you;re so inclined) these elite soldiers are used to fighting with the best available gear and some of them aren't reacting to well to having to fight with improvised laslocks. Some of them start looking for a way off this 'deathtrap.' PCs need to move fast either to track down the missing shipment, or secure a brand new shipment (representing the possible loss of Profit Factor from a botched roll.)

In all cases, if the PCs are successful, they move one step closer to completing the Endeavour. When you decide they've sweated enough for their colony, call the Endeavour over, formally appoint their trusted Governor and move colony management into the background.



#9 Cornwallis

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:44 AM

 I like all those examples. but how bout the schmoozing nobles part? any advice on this objective?



#10 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:32 AM

Cornwallis said:

 I like all those examples. but how bout the schmoozing nobles part? any advice on this objective?

That can be tricky, but a lot will depend on the composition of your crew / Lord captain and the contacts they've made… but here's one:

The RT's ship is in orbit of a planet for repairs and resupply and he and his command crew are invited to dine and stay with the planetary Governor for the two weeks the repairs will take. They begin to spread the word about their colonisation project in the hopes that some of the nobles will help fund it. During this time, they befriend a noble who seems very interested in funding their expedition. He does, however, make a request: they he be installed as planetary goveror of the new colony. After some condieration, the characters agree to let him rule in the Captain's absence.

Perhaps the character is simply unpopular at court, or ambitious, and sees the RT as a way to make a fresh start or climb to a better position. Either way, he makes good on his offer and provides either the ships or the money for these ships. Once they have the ships and the project is well under way, rumours begin to circulate about some of this noble's practices. Some suggest he has traffick with Xenos, others that he is a Heretic. It could be he is just depraved. The truth is far worse; the noble is a rogue psyker? a chaos cult leader? A demonhost? (Then again, he could just be corrupt in a more mundane sort of way: he takes bribes, works with criminal organisations, smugglers, etc.). Whatever the case, the real reason he is so eager to fund the project is that he is trying to escape his current situation.

It is likely the PCs do not know about their benefactor's secret motivation. However, how will they react when they discover this? Will they take the money and ships and try to handle the problem 'in house' after they've obtained what they want, or will they turn him to the proper authorities, potentially throwing away whatever ressources he offers?

Anyhow, good luck! 

PS:,Consider other groups with ships and/or money who might be interested in such a venture: the Imperial Navy, Chartist Captains, Navigator Houses, Ecclesiarchy, etc. Also, it is possible that, in their travels, the Rt could simply find and salvage a suitable ship(s) for their project.






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