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  1. Generally, having played through The Frozen Reaches, I rather liked the mass-combat approach there. We made it work, and for the most part it did, and we took our time with this adventure, playing it over the course of four weekends, with the last two sessions being 12 hour marathons. This is a good point to make about game preparation. Not every rule system is perfect or great, but what kills a great system is lack of preparation on the part of the GM. Rogue Trader is not a game where you can just "wing it." That might be true for D&D, Savage Worlds, and others, but not these WH40K games, but most especially Rogue Trader. Lack of preparation by the GM shows, and shows badly. And when it comes down to mass combat it helps to at the least know how it works, how to quickly resolve what's happening, and how the players can influence outcomes.
  2. I like it. We've been playing pretty much every week since we started six or seven months ago, and we've had a few chances to look back at what we accomplished. Our first adventure was just getting the ship, as it was chained to an asteroid on Footfall and used as a small community. Since then it's been a battle just to get our Profit Factor up, and then we did the Frozen Reaches, and now we're finally making the money we like to where we have good alliances, a Guard Regiment, three other ships (two of which were captured by us) and now, a world all to ourselves (well, mostly, if you don't count the Orks). There's been some ups and downs, some victories and defeats, but it's been a lot of fun. We're currently getting ready for our GM to unleash Part II of the Warpstorm Trilogy on us. But my Seneschal better find me a bride, soon, or I'm going to go Miles Gloriosus on his ass!
  3. We're still kind of puzzled, ourselves, on how SoI colonies work. We came up with our own home-rules for it because some things just didn't make much sense. Personally, I tend to think that the devs were overthinking things. Not everything needs to have a game mechanic. Also, from my perspective as a GM as well, I feel like what SoI encourages is building an empire too quickly, like it's a video game. You can have a ton of adventures just setting up a colony. For instance, as I've pointed out in other threads, I've established a new colony on a strange blue desert world we've named Azure (pretty catchy, eh?). All we did was find the world, claim it (had to fight a rival Rogue Trader for it), and then our GM did some Endeavours for us to establish a base, hire some surveyors and geologists, explore the planet and the star system (in fact, I claimed the whole freakin system as mine), without going through the tedium of managing the colony. And we've been doing pretty good. This was after going through Frozen Reaches and saving Damaris (I kept the ruling governor in charge, even though we temporarily removed him from command and assassinated his military commander, who was trying to overthrow him). Our actions at Damaris has made us a bit of a major power in the region, and I'm something of a hero to the Damarans; they made a huge statue of me. We're in the process of setting up a space station over Azure. As far as I know, there aren't too many rules for that, so we came up with some, using what was available and making up stuff as we go along. We also have plans to establish mining outposts on one of the moons (it has two) and the asteroids, but that's going to be later after we deal with the Ork infestation and negotiate more terms with the Craftworld Eldar. Our Missionary has already established, at the colony itself, a mission for the Adepta Sororitas, and I've had to execute the leader I assigned there for gross criminal incompetence. So, what is this world and system worth? Well, I think it's worth enough that I'm willing to defend it with the meager fleet I already have.
  4. It's simple. I just order it dead, and it dies.
  5. In the two campaigns I and my friend run, we use secondary and even tertiary characters, and they are ran by the PCs, with one exception in my friend's campaign where I'm playing the Rogue Trader, and that's the Navigator. Since he doesn't attend as often as the others, the GM is content to run him and his relief for when he's not here to cause trouble. We find this pretty equitable, since we don't really want to lose that character if we can help it.
  6. Well, thankfully, it wasn't up to you or anyone else. And fortunate for us too, because our lovely Missionary from the Sisters of Battle somehow woke the guy up, and apparently he's a Space Wolf seconded to the Deathwatch. Which might as well be a Blood Angels Psyker as far as I'm concerned. I don't want anything to do with Space Wolves. My Carouse skill isn't high enough. On the lighter side of the news, we just lost our Astropath Transcendant. He got killed by an Ork. So now we need to put an ad on Craigslist for a new Astropath! Dammit!
  7. Never underestimate the Seven Deadly Sins, especially Sloth. People often do gravitate to the quick and easy, especially if they don't have to work for it. A life of decadent luxury made manifest thanks to the actions of your ancestors is hard to pass up, and it's legitimate. Sure, some people, namely those in the family who aren't the direct inheritors, may chafe at that, maybe even take up the Warrant themselves to go carve up their own new empire. You can easily mess up a feudal position as easily as you can do so with an elected one. True, if you're half-way competent, it's easier to maintain and you have more of a stake in your territory than if you were an elected leader, but ineptitude can lead to your rivals and enemies growing stronger while you grow weaker, and thus you can destabilize your own domain. And Emperors don't like it when you can't keep stability in your own domain. Replacement may be an option, but usually you end up replaced anyway by your enemies before the Emperor can do anything about it, and by then he probably has to send in troops to restore order and put someone in charge that's known to be loyal.
  8. If he is, someone's going to get a bad performance review. I took the notion he might be Chaos into account already. Our Astropath is dabbling in Theosophamy, and he assures me he's not Chaos. Of course, our Astropath has been wrong before, and when he's wrong, really horrible things happen. It's uncanny! There's no fuzzy areas here. "That Void-Kraken is dead," he said. "Snokgritz is a moron," he said. "That's not a Halo Artefact." "These are friendly Keebler Eldar!" Fortunately the Dreadnought's been damaged enough that his weapons are not functioning and he can't move, probably also due to all the sand that's in him (our colony world is almost completely desert, and they get sandstorms that last weeks out there). But if he is Chaos, I've got him in a position where all anyone has to do is open the landing bay doors and blow his carcass into space.
  9. I think this might be reaching a bit -- unless I've misunderstood things, this is true for Rogue Traders outside Imperial borders as it is essentially the "law of the jungle" out there, and it is the RT's duty to represent the beacon of Imperial culture reaching out to new domains. Within the Imperium itself, however, he or she is "merely" a sort of nobility, akin to status to a Planetary Governor. They cannot simply usurp command of Imperial forces in the Expanse because there are no Imperial forces there, owing to the Expanse not being Imperial space. Or rather, those forces who do reside there do so with express purpose and on the orders of someone who commands more authority "back home", such as an Admiral of the Fleet or a Lord Commander. A Rogue Trader can certainly request assistance from these expeditionary forces, but this is where you'd venture into the realm of politics and favours rather than outright authority. If it were otherwise, it would just be an invitation for all those rival Rogue Traders out there to use Imperial resources to further their own goals, squandering the lives of troops in trade wars between them, like it sometimes happens with rival Inquisitors -- except that with Rogue Traders, their corporate interests would be much more difficult to hide. Again, Spanish Conquistadores ... they were kings only in their own domains, but not back in Spain. I was speaking in generalities. A Rogue Trader can call in assistance from Imperial forces, but that doesn't mean they have to obey him. They have their own authorities too. An Imperial Naval Captain doesn't have to obey the Rogue Trader, in spite of his lower rank in status to him, because he's likely to have higher orders from his own commanders. The point is that the Rogue Trader can call in for assistance, just like a planetary governor could. Imagine a private citizen having the authority to call in help from the nation's military to protect his property. Technically speaking, where the Rogue Trader establishes his own territory, that is Imperium space. Maybe not immediately outright; but over time, perhaps even over centuries, the Imperium is expected to take it over. The Rogue Trader and his dynasty may have a role in that, but in the end the territory the Rogue Trader carves out for himself will eventually be overruled by Holy Terra.
  10. Well, I'm not running the game. I'm only a humble Rogue Trader in the service of the Emperor. Personally I have no connection to any of the Astartes, and I'm hoping this will serve as a potential contact with the available Chapter in the Koronus Expanse. We shall contact the Storm Wardens and determine a course of action. Thanks!
  11. A question about the Space Marines came up in our session today, regarding which Space Marine Chapters may be operating in the Koronus Expanse? In attending to my new colony, our colonists stumbled upon a Dreadnought, and he's still functioning (I don't think one can rightly say he's still alive). There are no solid identifying markers. At first, we thought he might be a Black Templar, a member of the Deathwatch, or perhaps a Grey Knight. We haven't awakened him yet, and we don't really know what we're supposed to do in how to awaken the sleeping Space Marine within. We're currently looking around the site that the colonists found him for any clues as to his chapter, his mission on this world, and whatever else. We've transported him back to the ship. My Astropath is considering broadcasting a message to all available Space Marine ships in the Expanse. But I'd prefer we'd find out first who might be out here before we make our call.
  12. To add to what Errant Knight said about Far-Flung Empires, and having some knowledge of how finances work, let me explain how I see how maintaining an empire of your own works. There's a huge difference between raising and maintaining a military force, and being a Conquistador. Military forces often don't pay for themselves, even if they allow their troops to loot and pillage (which is not a good idea in the long run). They are there to protect and protract the Imperium's interests. But being a Conquistator means you intend that your voyages pay off. How? By establishing economic operations at the places you conquer. Just the potential that a location promises to bring is enough to invest enormous amounts of money, particularly if there's a chance someone will be in on the early stages and hope to reap huge and long-term rewards. So it makes some sense in investing in a Rogue Trader and his ship. The Profit Factor is a representation of both actual and potential Cash Flow of his entire enterprise. Worrying about hiring someone to scout out an area goes with the territory, and if he decides to graft you or just run off without doing his job for you, that could happen, but not all that likely. It's more likely he could be lost, or killed, and in any event that's part of the risk the Rogue Trader and his investors are taking, and all that is represented in the overall Profit Factor. The higher your PF, the better, of course, your overall operation is, and the more investors are willing to risk in your enterprise. It helps to have a bigger vision of what is all going on here. A Rogue Trader is not just a captain of a ship, or an admiral of a fleet of ships, but a huge business enterprise that is out there expanding the Imperium in the most fundamental way that matters to the most people: Wealth. Military conquest is simply part of that. Having the actual military do that helps, but as I said is not as profitable as if a Rogue Trader does it because he's got goals that are not as deliberately destructive. I answered in another thread a question of what prevents the Players from orbitally bombarding a planet on the spot before they even meet with the local governor or something. What prevents them from doing that is the Bottom Line. In the games I and my friend run, if I or my players do that, I probably ain't getting any immediate boost to my PF from that world anytime soon. If the Endeavour is to re-establish contact with a lost Imperial World, let's say, and my players end up orbitally bombarding the whole planet to ruins, I'd fail the Endeavour (or at least, a smaller Endeavour as part of the Grand Endeavour) and offer a new one: Rebuild X World's Economic Infrastructure. That will take time, and time is money, as Benjamin Franklin said. So, you shouldn't really have to worry if whether or not your Players have enough gold or credit in their holds or whatever to pass IOUs out for whatever they need, because that's all incorporated into the PF system. They made this so that you don't really have to worry about counting money. It's good, as a GM, to come up with something that explains what's going on in a negotiation or something, but over time you'll find that this isn't always necessary. If they succeed, they succeed, and if they fail, well, they fail to get what they want, and it'll take more time to make that happen. EDIT: You also asked how do they keep their empires from falling apart. Three ways; Authority, Action, and Outsourcing. Authority: Rogue Traders as you know, are not just ordinary ship captains; they are quasi-autonomous Imperial political entities with the authority equal to that of a Space Marine Chapter Master, an Inquisitor, the head of a Noble House, or a Planetary Governor starting out. That means they have the authority necessary to maintain their empires, and that authority counts for something big. That means he's got the backing of Adeptus Terra to do what he needs to do to build and maintain that empire, because that empire is part of how the Imperium expands and controls the territory in its domain. That's how a Rogue Trader could potentially buy military equipment and troops for his campaigns; something I suspect most ordinary captains can't readily do. They can call in assistance from local governors, Imperial Guard and Naval Forces, Adeptus Arbites, if necessary even the Adeptus Astartes (but, of course, they may also refuse, but he's got that kind of authority). This authority also puts them above a lot of laws, notably local laws, and they can become a law unto themselves in the territories they control. Action: Naturally, the way a Rogue Trader maintains his empire is by patrolling it, going to place to place, showing the flag, gathering the Imperial Tithe, and establishing and flying trade routes, and protecting what's his. Starting out, with only the one ship, he may have to go back to the same worlds frequently and personally to keep things secure, but as he gathers more ships his reach will expand and he doesn't have to personally do all of that as he likes. And sometimes, examples have to be made. I had to execute a colonial leader of a colony I personally established for criminal incompetence (he got a bunch of colonists killed fending off some orks and didn't at all deploy the troops I lent him for that purpose, instead keeping them all hunkered around his pre-fab facility, and I have a temper about that kind of thing). Doing that improves morale among those the Rogue Trader appoints in certain tasks. Outsourcing: Sometimes, even the most wealthy Rogue Traders with numerous ships at his command can't do everything. Sometimes, he needs to outsource. That's where Background Endeavours come into play, of course, but it's great to do starting out when you've only got the one ship and you need to improve your PF. So, outsource that. Hire a transport captain or a merchant fleet to fly out to your world for you. They'll be glad to do it (of course, that usually requires an Acquisition Test). Hire a survey ship to go into a star system or star cluster to evaluate it, rather than do it yourself. Time is money, and what you may not save in money you'll save in time, and you'll reap greater rewards on surveys that you can't afford to do yourself. Got a problem with some orks? Hire some mercenaries to clean them out. And don't be afraid to call in some favors, or even call in help from the Navy, Guard, or even the Inquisition! That's what they're there for. Sure, doing that will come with certain costs and problems, but that's an option a Rogue Trader has. I outsource flying trade routes between my worlds and Footfall and Port Wander, so that I can expand my empire and defend it with the ships I currently have.
  13. More like, "Saaayy....WHAT again! I dare you, no I double-dare...eyou, mofo! Our Navigator evokes Dr. Evil and Colonel Klink. He has a monocle on his third eye, and he keeps his scrotum shorn. I play with a sick bunch.
  14. That's probably good advice. When "Hollister" does his thing, we can't help laughing because it's uncannily good. I have my moments myself. I run my character Lord-Captain Symon Wylde as a mix of Samuel L. Jackson (notably Jules Pitt from Pulp Fiction) and James T. Kirk, except Captain Wylde has YET to score with a woman even ONCE during our entire freakin campaign, thanks to the amazing and miraculous efforts of Hollister Gantry, because he doesn't want Wylde to have a bastard that might undermine the House of Wylde (Gantry is a House Operative). Where Hollister may be a master of double-talk, I'm the master of the "Reason You Suck" and "Badass Boast" speech, and I think I get better and better the longer Wylde goes without sex. I once got seven degrees of success on an Intimidate check against an Eldar Corsair captain, especially when I told him of our motto. The motto of the ship is "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc." Which translates as "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us."
  15. The player that plays Hollister Gantry, the Seneschal, is able to do the kind of Humphrey Appleby doubletalk on the fly, and he cracks us up every time he does it. He can do it so well that even I put on Jim Hacker's face, and say, "What?" He's saved our asses so many times, but at the same time he's been something of a thorn in my side. I'd say Hollister is directly responsible for getting our meager starting Profit Factor of 22 up to 40. During The Frozen Reaches of the Warpstorm Trilogy we went through, he ended up taking over the governorship of Damaris, even though I was trying to prop up the sitting governor because I felt we needed some unity on the planet in the face of the Ork invasion. He exposed the coup on the sitting governor by the military commander, had the commander murdered, and then ended up making the governor sick to the point that he could no longer function. I knew what was going on when I heard the military commander was dead, and I was about to chuck Hollister out the airlock, and he says, "My lord-captain, there are several mitigating concomitant and extraordinary events that necessitated the temporary emergency measures which could not involve your direct interference in local conditions which may undermine certain blah-blah-blah blah and blah." I was like, "What?" Hollister says, "Sir, I was merely doing what you, in fact, ordered me to do. The governor isn't dead; he's merely indisposed and has appointed the most capable Lord-Captain in his stead." "Erm....Hollister?" I said. "You're a magnificent bastard." But, the thing is, if I do eventually toss his ass out of the airlock while in Warp, the forces of Chaos may make him a new Chaos God, or return him and say to me, "NOT COOL, MAN!"
  16. We thought it should be. By what we understood, Flank Speed was meant to be able to push the ship faster than its maximum rated Speed. If the Pilot is attempting to Adjust the ship's Speed either faster or slower, that's canceled out by whatever the Enginseer has in mind since he's in control of the engines and maneuvering systems. At least that was our interpretation. So it makes coordination a bit more important.
  17. My Rogue Trader's seneschal channels Sir Humphrey Appleby. I've seriously considered tossing his ass out the airlock while in Warp.
  18. Here's how my group limits character actions. Generally speaking, the ship only gets one maneuver action and one shooting action (but can fire all available weapons) as per the rules. But this means that two characters can't do Flank Speed, or Adjust Speed, or Adjust Bearing, or Adjust Speed and Bearing, or Come to a New Heading. If the ship is doing one of those actions, it automatically negates the others because the ship only gets one maneuver action. However, multiple characters can assist the Pilot or Enginseer Prime in doing these actions. All characters, except the Lord-Captain, only get one Extended Action they can take per Turn; the Lord-Captain, if he's on the Bridge and is able to command, gets as many actions that involve Command as there are people in his Retinue, but in our rules it's rare I've ever personally had to do more than two. The Captain should be barking orders. However, if he does something like Piloting or Assisting another Character doing an action, that's the only one he gets. None of us have played BFG, but we'd like to if only to see how the changes affected the overall game. We did adopt the some House Rules from here, particularly with regard to broadsides. And we tweeked armour values for every ship because these combats can take forever; even with AP, a combat against two similar vessels can take along time before anyone penetrates enough to cause some real damage. Of course, when I and the other GM in our group run starship combat, we tend to take a lot of other things into account. It's not too uncommon for a pirate raider to break off combat the instant he starts taking a Critical Hit because they usually have a harder time repairing such damage than Rogue Traders. Orks are pretty much the only enemy that will fight to the death almost all the time, but we've tempered that for Freebooters lately. As much as they like to fight, we think the Ork Freebooters have enough sense to know when to give up when they're getting their asses kicked. We haven't run across any Tyranids or Necrons yet, mainly because we don't have any stats for their ships. Our big questions came down to the Teleportarium; just what can we teleport in one Hit-and-Run? I have this on my ship, and my players have one on theirs, and we've been grinding our teeth about this. Can we teleport a vehicle or three? How many troops can go in one teleport? Does this depend on the size of the ship? I'm commanding a Star Galleon, and my own players are in charge of a Frigate. We had this notion that maybe a Cruiser-sized ship may have the Teleportarium next to a Main Cargo Hold that enables vehicles to move into it, or to move bulk freight. We do use the rules in Into The Storm for Teleportariums, but there are a lot of questions about it we'd like some official answers to. Once, I teleported an Atomic weapon into a Rak'Gol ship, and my GM didn't know how to properly address this. So he wiped out the entire ship as soon as it went off. We were bothered by it because it felt cheap; was there any way for the target ship to somehow defuse the weapon as soon as it manifested? In a similar instance, I wanted to teleport explosives into the target ship in order to disable certain components, so it would make it easier to take the ship relatively intact instead of obliterating it outright. He ran that, I thought, okay, but it did make us question if the Teleportarium is OP. We did come up with some defenses against such attacks, but they involve the Psyker and his Choir to cloud the Teleportarium operators so they can't get a solid teleport. This was an impromptu rule we came up on the fly. Of course, that requires a Focused Auger check to determine if the ship even has a Teleportarium so that the Psyker knows about it before calamity can ensue.
  19. The Emperor's Partisan has a Bridge of Antiquity, as she is a Conquest-class Star Galleon. When you step off the main tram that goes along the length of the command deck, you pass by a security detail of House Guardsmen who check you out for authorization. This long, wide hall is draped with red felt tapestries that chronicle the ship's long lineage dating back to the Horus Heresy, and is lavishly arrayed with luxurious furniture for waiting personages eager to have an audience with the Lord-Captain or other bridge personnel. This feature dates back to when the Partisan was planet-bound for more than six hundred years before her current Lord-Captain and his band of Explorers were able to wrest it from its confines and bring her back to the stars, back when the Bridge and the palace served as a seat of power on Footfall. You walk up a few flights of stairs to the a massive black-marble stairway, which has the command bridge crew stationed along either side in mezzanines going up six stories to the top promenade, and they see out over the ship through a huge seven story viewport that seems to be made of one arching slab of transparisteel, which is sheltered by a gigantic shutter that closes like a giant clamshell to protect the bridge from damage and from the Warp. Priests sway incense about the bridge as they climb up and down the long stairway, while servitors and voidsmen quietly do their work going over every facet of the ship. Armed House Guards and armsmen clad in crimson uniforms stand ready along each end of the mezzanines with las-rifles to repel any invader. Cheribum and servo-skulls flutter about the whole expanse. At the top is the Promenade, which has stations for the top-level crews, centered on the Helm, which is a large golden pair of wheels where two voidsmen direct the ship upon the Lord-Captain's will. Behind that is another stage, where none but the Lord-Captain and his retinue may venture without their express permission, guarded by shields and House Guards. At the back is the Lord-Captain's Throne, made of adamantium and gilded in gold and platinum, where the Lord-Captain's Baton is ensconced to unlock the ship's systems for its master. Above it on the gilded wall, draped on either side by the Dynasty's House Crests, is a large hand-print, seemingly imprinted into the adamantium itself, and this is regarded as a Holy Relic; it is said that the God-Emperor Himself placed his hand there when he christened the ship. This serves as a reminder to all who command the Partisan where their duty truly lies. Along either side of the Promenade are large golden doors that lead straight to the Lord-Captain's Palace, where the captain and his immediate family members reside (currently very few). Also, these halls lead directly to a tram that services the Palace itself and the Navigator and Astropath's Observation Towers behind the Palace. They also deliver people to the Temple Shrine to the God-Emperor.
  20. Have a new incident that had us roaring in laughter last weekend. We had found an ancient Xenos map detailing the location of a possible Eldar ruin on a planet that I had (ostensible) control over, and we had just colonized it over the past six months of game time. Not wanting to waste any time, I deployed some troops along with our very eager Explorator and a few others down there to secure the area so that we can explore the place in earnest. We found a strange artifact that our Explorator believes isn't of Eldar design, but certainly not of human design either, and for awhile we were worried it might have something to do with Chaos. So, we sent down our potent Astropath Transcendant in order to assess it, and he discovered that it's a psychic device that allows the telepath to survey the entire planet at once. Not only that, but with enough power, this thing might be able to allow the telepath to "see" everything in the star-system at once. But it's quite taxing to the telepath to use, with all that information going into his noggin like that. Well, as soon as he began using it, we fell under attack by a group of Orks. Not a big horde, but enough to pose a serious threat to my people down there, and I was scrambling on my ship to deploy more troops and vehicles down there for support. It got desperate in there; the initial troops I deployed from my Guard regiment were mostly wiped out, but for the heroism of my Arch-MIlitant, Missionary, and Explorator leading them. Then a webway gate that we strangely had not found yet (really pissed me off that we somehow missed that thing) opens up and some Eldar show up. Upon seeing the situation, they sort of help us, but then it came down us cornering the small horde in a portion of the ruin complex. That's when our Astropath decides to Compel the remaining leader (I think it was a Nob, not a full-blown warboss), and he succeeds in getting that Ork to start attacking his remaining Orks. The Eldar Seer sees that and then starts to use her abilities on the Ork. The Astropath got angry, and began to Push to keep the Ork under his control, and the poor Ork is just scrambling around, first pointing his Big Shoota at my guys, then at the Eldar, and then at my guys. "No, you will shoot the Eldar." The Astropath commands. "Kill the Umies!" The seer says. "Noo...kill the elves!" "Dammit! Kill the Umies!" The Psychic Phenomena are making us all cold and strange things are happening, enough to stop the any fighting between us and the Eldar squad before it even can begin. They keep tying their Willpower rolls, and apparently, their Willpower scores are identical! I kept waiting for a Perils of the Warp to do nasty things. Finally, I and the Eldar leader have enough of this. We negotiate a truce, while the two psykers are duking it out with the Ork. Since I'd rather not be on the bad side of the Craftworld Eldar, I let them keep the ruins (for now) and they let us have our colony and let us leave the area. "What do you want to do with the Ork?" The Eldar leader asks me. "We better do something before our psykers do something we'll all regret." So I run up to the Ork, draw my power-sword, and cleave it's poor head off. The Seer and my Astropath are pissed. "I nearly had her!" He says. Both sides end up dragging our respective psykers away.
  21. If ship points aren't an issue, I have a lot of fondness for the Ambition, the Dictator, and the Endeavour Light Cruiser just because I like torpedoes. Of course, I also dig the Conquest-Class Star Galleon, in part because I started on that a year ago and we've carved out a little empire with it pretty nicely, and in spite of its shortcomings, which I firmly admit are shortcomings, I've been able to blast the unholy hell out of Cruisers and other ships that had me outgunned with it. The Tyrant-class is also nice.
  22. Some of the stuff we did was a little more low-key, but some was just annoying. My Rogue Trader, Lord-Captain Symon Wylde had to go to this dinner-ball a noble was hosting in a rather wealthy world in the Calixus Sector, and I needed a date. The only chick we had with us was our beautiful Missionary, Canoness Athena Maelstrom, of the Sisters of Battle. I had to buy her expensive gowns and teach her how to dance, and then smile pretty. I tried to tell her that having a 50 Fellowship means she can smile, but her player played it straight. So, I said, "Just imagine you're setting a heretic on fire." She smiles. During the ball, she's the surprise hit of the evening, in more ways than one. I had to occasionally jab her in the ribs whenever someone said or did something that seemed ignoble or even downright heretical, to keep her from snapping their neck, a la True Lies (remember when Arnold punches out Bill Paxton in the Corvette for saying something about his wife?). Calligos Winterscale is there, and is quite taken with her. And I let him dance with her. She knees him in the groin. I was somewhat mortified, but the noble host thought it was hilarious and we ended up getting a trade deal with him. Calligos is still taken with her. I asked her why she did that, and she said, "He said I looked radiant." Another incident was when I had just about enough of a rival Rogue Trader. We had done a hunting expedition on a death world in the Expanse, and she nearly stranded us in the garden spot of the planet. At the end of the adventure, I and my crew ended up saving her ass, but she used my gentlemanly ways to distract us, letting her crew get this strange ape-beasts that the noble wanted. My arch-militant and explorator were able to capture a Genestealer. So, as we began to part ways, I ordered that the Genestealer (and his cage, with a trigger to be opened with a 10 second delay) be put into the Teleportarium, where we then teleported the beast into the good lady's Engine area, where it'd be no tribble at all.
  23. We wanted to stay in the basic Rogue Trader route for his character, so we ended up doing what Yorke suggested, basically, and make him a Rogue Trader. The player playing his Seneschal has become something of a Professor Henry Higgens, training the neophyte a la My Fair Lady (My Fair Lord Captain?), which has made this all the more amusing. Our Arch-Militant was a criminal he used to pursue, but now that he's gone Rogue, he's found he can probably make more money "breaking Good(?)." It's been interesting to say the least. Getting the Astropath and a Navigator to round out the retinue was, at least, not nearly as harrowing as it was when I was playing the Rogue Trader.
  24. We're starting up a new game of Rogue Trader and the guy the players have selected to be a Rogue Trader came up with an interesting idea for him, to be a former member of the Adeptus Arbites. Maybe even a Chastener? He has a pretty interesting write up, and I would really like to accommodate him, because I like this character. Basically, he was a ranking member of the Arbites over the world of Scintilla, but not actually in one of the hive cities, meaning that he spent most of that career in space, if not traveling the stars, going after smugglers and such, looking for Xenos contraband. He has worked with the Inquisition, as his job necessitated, and with members of the various Scintilla police forces, before he inherited his Warrant of Trade. I'm wondering how I can help him make this character? Should we go with maybe an Arch-Militant and have him be the Warrant-bearer?
  25. Well, I suppose from one perspective, I'm letting the fact that this was a spelled out on paper encounter get the better of me; Lure of the Expanse never mentions any such things on Vaporius, whether the Priest-Kings served Tzeentch, Cthulhu, or the worms of Arrakis, nor did it mention any sort of DAoT marvel-tech protecting the world, as that would be just another thing for the party to then try and steal, and probably cooler than "slightly narcotic water". Without sort of deus ex machina-ing the whole thing, just because the party has a ship, it would seem that the leaders of Vaporius don't have much to hide behind, if they were to be threatened. Powerful psykers are also a thing, but lots of people whined at the ones from Ascension, who could "this one time, I crushed a Land Raider like a beer can with the Force", and they shouldn't be common. The Priest Kings aren't described as any such psykers, even were they united, and on. While you can certainly say your party is a more enterprise-oriented group, and I suspect that would be standard of Rogue Traders, that very book does list several "shoot first" Rogue Traders, any of which (Bastille, Scourge, maybe Feckward) might say "there are a dozen cities on this planet, scattered all around its surface. The loss of one, while inconvenient, would only minorly impact the production of the others, and the show of force would cow these backwards simpletons into realizing who's really in command here." Now, without spoilers, yeah, the Priest-Kings MIGHT have a surprise, or two, waiting for any such RT, regardless of their methods (you might've done exactly what they wanted, and still), but it seems an easy option for many, and one with little obvious fallout. The shot that pings their city, even just a chunk, isn't any worse than the one they want you to take, so we aren't talking about environmentally altering the place. Ah, whatever, if I ever get to run this game with my friends, I'll probably just try to see if more places might have some planet guns, just to make the party think a bit, or not have anything amazing, that they can just smash and grab. Not too long ago, I had an endeavour concerning something similar, though I'd say the world wasn't as primitive as yours might be. But there was a psyker down there pretending to be a god-king, and he was defiant, even when I brought my favorite Untouchable with me. Even when his powers were gone, he was very defiant, and I got the distinct impression he didn't know who he was dealing with, in spite of seeing a city-sized Conquest Star-Galleon hanging in orbit. Rather than bombard the planet, which was my right, I decided to let my Arch-Militant handle it. I only gave him the following parameters - Make it HURT. He accomplished the mission with flying colors and some pretty interesting creativity. What's to stop players from bombarding a planet? Well, nothing. But, when I run a game, doing something like that could affect Achievement Points. If you were, say, just going there to reestablish contact with the world to have them start delivering the Imperial Tithe, doing a carpet-bombing or planet-wide bombardment will prevent that ultimate objective for a few years, or longer, at the least, before the people get their infrastructure up enough (even with Imperial help, from missionaries and the Ad Mech) to make payments. In such a case, I'd award half the Achievement Points, and then add another Objective - Restore the Planet's Economic Infrastructure. Orbital Planetwide Bombardment should be a last resort that has to be done only if there's nothing else that can be done, because this should affect the Explorer's Bottom Line. However, just targeting some things, like the god-king's hunting palace or his spa with a Lance Cannon Strike is a good option. I like the Corleone method, sawing off one of his thoroughbred's heads and put it in bed with him to wake up to. Subtle, but gets the message across. Would the Priest-King know about void-ships? Who cares? This isn't Star Trek. From your player's perspective, the god-king down there has to know who's the new boss, and it ain't him. But, if your players are more inclined to shoot first and deal with the aftermath, fine. Let them deal with the aftermath, because that will hurt in the long run, especially if they didn't get any Profit Factor added as a result. Leveling a whole world's cities should make it harder for that world to do what it takes to be of service to your players and the Imperium. I'm not entirely certain about this aftermath. The planet in question isn't part of the Imperium, so you can shoot at it, like a pinata, and see if candy come out till you are out of munitions, and nothing will happen to you. Like I said, the loss of a city would be bothersome, but probably an acceptable loss, and they are far apart, so the others will only be morale-noticing. Since the people are zombies, I guess they won't even care. The planet is still worth something, so your bottom line won't REALLY feel it, and they'll rebuild, because they have a zombie workforce. No this isn't Star Trek, but it begs the question of "have these people met other Rogue Traders, before? Do they know where these space men came from?" The core book referenced this world long before Lure of the Expanse was published, so other Rogue Traders might already be aware of it, its people, its perils, and its prizes, though you are presented s among the first to try and capitalize on them. I made a comparison to the Gao'uld because they, too, think themselves as gods, and a few even buy into their own lies, over time, but when they have to deal with others who are aware that they are really just mortal beings with "Arthur C. Clarke tech" they can take the difference in powers into account. If you know what a void ship is, at least a little, and that I can pulverize a city with it, and if you CAN'T do anything about that, you can choose to just be that bit more magnanimous, from the get-go, look like a more benevolent god, and not get blasted, where if you don't, and you think I can't do anything, you might be more arrogant. It sort of seems a waste to take the time to fabricate anything up, if all the party might do is fly in, shoot the people, steal the STC machine (or anything else similarly portable, that isn't intrinsically connected to the planet, or dependent on something else there) they happen to be worshiping, and make their escape, without ever having to deal with, and possibly face, those people. Oddly, I now have this image of a group of Imperial TIE pilots, stuck out above Tattooine, getting clearance to fly down, and just blast the sandcrawlers for fun. Not sure if they'll get better prices on droids, though. Sorry to be making a big, weird point out of it, but it just seems that a lot of worlds would be easily pressed by the RT group, even though the combined Navy/Guard forces will hit a world, drop troops, and then proceed to ceaselessly fight for a decade, or four. It doesn't seem it should be that hard. Yay logistics? Well, actually, blasting away at the planet like a pinata will hurt their bottom line. At least, it should. Operating a void-ship is tremendously expensive, and so a Rogue Trader's (usual) number one priority is making money. Every voyage has to count for something. While he can go joy-riding all around the cosmos, he won't be doing that for very long if he doesn't make such joy-rides pay. For instance, when your players left wherever with at least six months to a year's worth of provisions and ammo for the ship and crew, the clock is ticking. They spend 5-10 days (when the Navigator doesn't mess up his roll) in Warp, and appear outside the system, which means it can take that ship anywhere from one to four weeks to reach their intended planetary destination. So now you have a month gone, at least, and they've only just arrived! As GM, you determine what Endeavours and/or Objectives your Players want to try for. If their goal is to return the planet to the Imperium and have it resume tithing as soon as possible, then the goal is not to blast the planet. They have to make that decision for themselves. If they just open fire without bothering to do other things first that might resolve the situation easier, then don't give them the Achievement Points. In fact, for that Endeavour, you can fail them for it, and give them a new Endeavour to try to achieve, which might be Colonize the Planet You Just Killed. They get no PF for bombarding the planet, because they didn't accomplish the Endeavour. That does hurt their bottom line because that was time wasted getting there. As Ben Franklin once quipped, "Time is Money." Any time you're doing something that isn't making money is a waste for a Rogue Trader. If your players keep doing stuff like that, they're going to wonder why they're not making money, why their Profit Factor isn't going up. Sooner or later it'll sink in.
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