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So…no Rogue Trader Career…


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#1 Jaling Orion

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:31 PM

So my players ran this idea past me that none of them would like to play the Rogue Trader career, but would rather work for a Rogue Trader. The question I have for this is, would this effect the profit factor of the game since they are not gaining the wealth themselves?

Also, is there anything to be wary of if the NPC is the Rogue Trader?



#2 Nameless2all

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:00 PM

Jaling Orion said:

 

So my players ran this idea past me that none of them would like to play the Rogue Trader career, but would rather work for a Rogue Trader. The question I have for this is, would this effect the profit factor of the game since they are not gaining the wealth themselves?

Also, is there anything to be wary of if the NPC is the Rogue Trader?

 

 

How I always worked it, was the PC's are investors / sons/daughter of investors, people of political sway, or are just so darn good at their job that people pay highly for their services, that the PC's profit factor is the RT's profit factor.  Meaning, having an NPC RT or a PC RT is of no difference.  All the PC's were important enough in some regard, that they were where they are at for a reason.  Unless you want it to be different, which I highly discourage.

As for anything to wary of for NPC RT's……. You as the GM are controlling him/her, so whatever you devise.  The NPC RT could be in a coma, and has signed over his wishes to a PC to act on his behalf, until he dies of natural causes.  Which could be awhile if the PC is smart and gives him regular rejuvanant treatment.  Or the RT is so old and inferm, that he has a PC acting on his behalf.  Or the RT is a coward… nuff said.  Or the RT could merely be a figure head, and actually holds no/little power because it all rests with a committee/council.  Or the RT could be so powerful that he/she has vassals / knights / champions that go forth and seek him fame and glory in his name!!!!  And the Emperor's name too, of course.    It's pretty much up to you, but remember the old moto.  KISS.  Keep It Simple Silly. 


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#3 Cultadium

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:19 PM

WARNING GIANT WALL OF TEXT

If one of them is a voidmaster they could also play the Rogue Trader since voidmasters get command at second level, just don't get in any boarding actions before then.

Basically all a rogue trader "needs" is a decent command check. So anyone with high fellowship and the command skill which you could elite advance in for any class.

 Also technically since the game allows for second in command characters you could have a second in command who effectively runs the ship despite one of the PC's being the actual Rogue Trader. Make him either extremely loyal to the "Rogue Trader" or possibly even a younger sibling.

The problem with an NPC being the rogue trader is it makes the game more mission based rather than open ended. The NPC decides whether to try to suppress that chaos cult or mine asteroids. Your players might feel like your "railroading" the game. Although a couple solutions to that have already been pointed out by Nameless2all.

Another thought is that the players are part of a "Company" who's assets are the ship, start-up money, and the warrant of trade. All the players start with 1 share. (There are only as many shares as you have players) The warrant of trade is company property as well and --one of the shareholders can be declared the rogue trader indirectly by being declared the company by majority vote-- which must include the vote of the one being nominated. They can also by majority vote denominate him as well. Naturally as this holder is by law the company he owns the warrant of trade and the ship and gains powers as a rogue trader. As he is also owned by the other shareholders however he does have obligations.

The Warrant Holder reserves the right to quit at any time but legally may only do so in Imperial territory. He is assumed to do so in Imperial territory even if he is in fact outside Imperial territory at the time of quitting. As per the constitution of the company a new Warrant Holder can officially be chosen then or the company defaults to having no human warrant holder(The ship defaults to being the holder). If dead outside imperial territory the body still counts as a Rogue Trader, miming his body by opening and shutting his mouth while talking for him when closing deals in the name of the Emperor or throwing his body through an airlock such that he is first on a vessel being salvaged as per salvage law, is perfectly acceptable and in fact encouraged. The constitution of the company cannot be changed except by majority vote.

Bonus points if you start the game with the body of the previous Rogue Trader of the company.

The resulting paperwork of changing the company name has led to the death of many adepts from exhaustion and your starting to run low.

The main plus of the "Company" is it places your players on even ground. So that if the person that plays the rogue trader decides that leadership means being an ******* the other players can say ok. We voted. Your not the rogue trader anymore.

Actually now that I think about it I think I'm going to make an NPC Rogue Trader who is clearly dead who is suspended above the ground by stage hands in black outfits with masks on a large elevated push cart and a tech priest who walks behind the group talking for the Rogue Trader but never quite together with the dead mans lips.



#4 Plynkes

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:06 PM

Profit factor effectively belongs to the group, whether the RT is a PC or and NPC. As senior officers aboard the dynasty's ship, the PCs will have access to it, so having an NPC RT doesn't really make any difference.

 

As for role-playing, if your players are happier being guided and find the prospect of a wide-open sandbox game a little intimidating, then having an NPC Rogue Trader allows the game to be more mission-based, as pointed out above. Maybe they would like that, maybe they wouldn't. Alternatively there are countless ways to have an NPC RT a more passive, background figure, such as the "Captain in a coma" scenario that has been suggested at various times on these boards.

 

Here's another one: The dynasty's warrant holder has recently died and his heir is barely more than a child, with no experience and little in the way of skills. The PCs are his/her  "aunts and uncles", put in place to make decisions for him and guide him towards competence so he can eventually assume full command. He is the nominal leader, but they are really running the show while simultaneously acting as his tutors. So mostly they can do what they like, but you can have fun role-playing the odd temper tantrum when the little RT insists on getting his way.

 

"Uggh! It's so unfair! Stupid boring Prometheum mining! I want to go kill Xenos! I hate you! I hate you! Just you wait till I'm in charge, you'll all be sorry!"

 

"Lord Captain, go to your room, and don't come back out until you've learned to keep a civil tongue in your head."



#5 Darkheyr

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:33 AM

What exactly is it they want? Because another option would be that they captain a separate ship from the Dynasty's flagship, and get sent on things the Rogue Trader may not have time to do by his own. Essentially, while he is busy waging that war on the xenos capital, he sends off a frigate with the PC's to check out those odd vox signals from that other system.

 

Possibilities are endless, but it really depends on what they want/don't want. As stated before, as long as somebody has a doable command check, stuff works fine.



#6 HappyDaze

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:31 AM

Darkheyr said:

Possibilities are endless, but it really depends on what they want/don't want. As stated before, as long as somebody has a doable command check, stuff works fine.

The Origin Path option of In Service to the Throne: Born to Lead can get you Command, Literacy, and a Scholastic Lore for only 200xp. For a character that's likely to be thrust into the Lord-Captain's role, it's a great investment.


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#7 jarsen

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:56 AM

How about the last in line as warrant holder dies, and the dynasty is a tiny one, so instead of letting the dynasty die one of the characters steps forward to pretend to be the rogue trader when dealing with other people? Since no one ever actually carries the warrant around with them (they're usually sitting in a vault somewhere) and people just assume if you have a lot of money and say you're a rogue trader you're telling the truth.

I actually think this could make a pretty interesting scenario. Especially if the player was having to pass deceive checks all the time :). Could be entertaining.

Or alternatively the rogue trader could be dead but they pretend like to everyone else he's alive and that they're just carrying message from him, when in fact they wrote the messages themselves.



#8 jarsen

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:58 AM

 Should have read Cultadium's GIANT WALL OF TEXT first ha. I would give serious role playing points to any party that carries around the body of their rogue trader like that. That would be freaking awesome.



#9 Vibius

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:19 AM

 Cultadium's idea, above, is awesome. However, there are simpler solutions: Your players do not object to one of them being the Rogue Trader, the problem is simply that none of them wish to choose the career path, correct?

The solution is simple: There is no reason why all Rogue Traders should follow that career path; it simply describes the most common skills and skill advancement of a holder of a Warrant of Trade. Remember, though, that Rogue Trader dynasties are an eclectic and oftentimes odd lot, a fact that can be made extremely apparent when an heir apparent dies. Perhaps the holder of a Warrant of Trade follows the Arch-Militant career path because he was a fifth son with no chance of a meaningful inheritance and joined the Imperial Guard or became a mercenary. If he has always been attracted to the cloak-and-dagger side of the business, he might follow the Seneschal career path. Even Tech-Priests and Astropaths Transcendent can be justified, if the person in question is, say, the sole or only proper heir and interested parties use their political clout to release him from his regular duties.

Of course, if a Rogue Trader does not follow the career path of the same name, this fact can complicate matters. He will either have to delegate typical Rogue Trader activities or purchase expensive elite advances (or alternate career ranks). However, it may also create interesting complications and story arcs: An Astropath Transcendent who is also a Rogue Trader is bound to have a ship crawling with Inquisitorial agents, just in case he turns to Chaos or something with more eyes than teeth and more tentacles than eyes eats his brain.

Another possibility, of course, is that none of the characters holds a Warrant of Trade. In that case, they might be representatives of a dynasty located in another sector or even segmentum, tasked with expanding its influence and earning a profit in the Calixis Sector and the Koronus Expanse. In that case, they will be able to access only limited resources (i.e. their starting profit factor plus whatever they earn), since it is sheer folly for a dynasty to commit all its resources to a single venture if it can be helped. Furthermore, they wll have to deal with oversight,  demands, and reports to the dynasty's leaders.

Just a few ideas. I hope they help.

 



#10 Cornwallis

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:04 PM

Perhaps the NPC RT is just a full blown idiot incapable of making real decisions. or just as viable, but stupid, but so increadibly easily swayed by others suggestions, that just a mere mention of doing anything is followed if stated by his command staff. (or anyone at all if you want to have some fun)

 

also, props to the dead man puppet scheme. I definitely want to put that to use. maybe our groups new nemesis



#11 Fresnel

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 02:14 AM

jarsen said:

How about the last in line as warrant holder dies, and the dynasty is a tiny one, so instead of letting the dynasty die one of the characters steps forward to pretend to be the rogue trader when dealing with other people? Since no one ever actually carries the warrant around with them (they're usually sitting in a vault somewhere) and people just assume if you have a lot of money and say you're a rogue trader you're telling the truth.

Alternatively you might turn the body into a servitor… With a few basic programmed responses he could pass casual encounters.

Meanwhile the tech-priest could arrange for an heir to be conceived - technology to do this is 20th century level. Then you have a classic regency until the child comes of age.

 



#12 Cultadium

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

Fresnel said:

 

Alternatively you might turn the body into a servitor… With a few basic programmed responses he could pass casual encounters. 

Heresy. Though honestly that would be quite funny too as long as the responses were limited.



#13 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:08 PM

I like the puppet captain, too…. which gives me an idea:

What if the rogue trader was a woman, who is mortally wounded while pregnant. The tech-priests manage to put her into suspended animation before she passes which, while it will not save her, will save the baby - the last remaining heir of the dynasty.

The problem? Well, suspended animation means that the child will not develop and if they remove the captain from the stasis field the baby dies along with the Rogue Trader dynasty.However, due to some Xeno-tech / archeotech engineering, the tech-savants find a way to affect the development of the child's mind. While the they are unable to find any way to safely remove the unborn child,  they begin an accelerated education and hypno-indoctrination program in which much of the previous RT's memories and knowledge becomes infused with it's mind.

As a result: the dead puppet captain remains entombed in the captain's throne on the command bridge as a life-support system for the Rogue Trader Brain-Captain.

Super creepy.

Would also be perfect: the RT has no agency, and only a very limited and unreliable way of communicating with the command crew. In many ways, the brain exists only as a repository of knowledge which the Seneschal (and tech-priests) know how to access. It could be that this situation has persisted for months, years, decades or even centuries. It's almost like some sort of Oracle, guiding the destiny of the dynasty but not actually in charge of anything.

While it might offer counsel, the 'Captain' has no way to interact with the outside world (unless it develops psyker abilities but that would raise a whole other mess of issues…). That means that the Seneschal is nominally "in charge until the captain is fit to assume command of the dynasty."  Of course, whether the Senescal decides to actually set out to search for the technology that might allow the tech-priests to safely remove the captain-brain from the Rogue Trader's body, or just sets out to make themselve rich is up to them… It also means that as a GM you can use the voice of the Captain to make suggestions and requests but that the PCs are under no obligation to follow them, or even acknowledge them. In fact, the Captain-Brain's requests might completely mad - how else can you describe its situation but maddening?

Would be the type of game which would work really well with 'Xenon crew members' and a Renegade Navigator or three. A dirty Arch-Militant 'secirity officer.' A borderline Heretek Genetor Explorator. After all, something like this has got to be heretical and at this point, what's one more freakshow? I'm sure this ship would be ripe for mutiny and massive political intrigue.

Sounds like a fun time in the making! :)



#14 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:09 PM

Sorry… got a little carried away there…



#15 Nameless2all

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:37 PM

Macharias the Mendicant said:

Sorry… got a little carried away there…

LMAO, I love it!!  Though I haven't GMed a group yet similar to BC affiliations, I do believe this would make a great nemesis. 


For a collection of fan created material, please refer to the link below. Some of it was edited/created by myself and friends, while most is other fan material. Happy gaming people.https://drive.google.com<p>-"May your endeavors always be prosperous, though they may not always be profitable."





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