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Blood Pact

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  1. re: Dan Abnett taking liberties. Neither of the RT ships in his books have been small, we just don't see much of the crew of the latter, even though they're not all servitors (which they have rules for in RT). And the light-sabre... isn't actually new, if I recall correctly. They're just **** obscure and were archeotech before they eventually fell out of sight completely.
  2. I remember one of the books talked about this. And presented 3 simplified options for people. 1. They're actually learning Sorcery, not becoming a psyker. 2. Remain unsanctioned 3. Get sanctioned (and have your risk of failure/death handwaved by the GM).
  3. I think it mentions in BFK that Navy ships are often loaded with components of Good or even Best quality. I don't think I need to tell anyone where I'm going with this, to say that making pretty much everything on an Astartes ship at least Good quality is probably fair (Best might be something saved for weapons, and only on big ships, afterall). That is, if you don't just plan to handwave points, power, and space, of course.
  4. They might have a slightly lower class of crew than normal (Say 25, to represent that they can't afford to attract specialists as well, when they need to, and more often pressgang the people they need?). And a lower level of maintenance on the ship's systems, since spare parts and other supplies are often acquired only when they are absolutely needed. Basically, the way I see it, you're living 'paycheck to paycheck'. But if I were to GM (or play in) a game where the ship had PF0, I wouldn't want them to be entirely unable to do anything about it, if their ship broke down?
  5. Ehh... not really as analogous as you present them. That they both 'created an undead faction' is more coincidental than anything else. Especially considering no one ever broke Nagash in to a thousand pieces and using their super-knowledge, and are using him to power their techno-arcane creations. In WFB, Nagash is the closest thing the world will ever see to a God Incarnate in the setting. The C'Tan don't even seem to come that close.
  6. On the other hand there are numerous references and hints that there was originally a purpose for all of the Primarchs after the war (even if Jhagatai's and Russ' aren't as apparent as Magnus' or Guilleman's). Perhaps not the Space Marines, or all of them if they were to be retained. But Angron wasn't supposed to end up a bloodthirsty maniac because someone hammered archeotech in to his skull, either. And it would be harder to put down the much more numerous Space Marine Legions than the inherently genetically unstable Thunder Warriors.
  7. One thing I've always considered with the Imperium and the "1,000,000 Worlds" statement is that they're only referencing those worlds that are actual colonies of significance (even if they're only feral or feudal worlds). That is to say, every lonely research station, outpost, or mining camp, isn't counted among the figure. It still leaves a lot of untouched worlds in the galaxy, but it's one more way to eat up some of that space (not to mention the Eye of Terror, Maelstrom, and the ragged edges of the galaxy).
  8. We're very far out in the Expanse, unless he left something automated (or brainwashed some ratings) we could probably make him vanish without a trace very easily... But another sudden thought of mine has given me probably the best option of them all, which is a combination of dropping them off, and enticing them with goodies (most of which they'll have to share with me, otherwise I'll obliterate them from orbit.
  9. On the other hand, some cool things that your players want to start with might end up being an interesting part of their character. I know that the reason I'm not trading in my dueling pistols has nothing to do with them being better than any alternatives (they're really good laspistols, but they're hardly the best pistols ever).
  10. Has anyone ever encountered a Rogue Trader who asked that question? Mine has Chaos Axes wielded by followers of Khorne, Slaanesh and Chaos Undivided in his trophy room. He's out to complete his set. At which point he knows something horrible will probably happen, but he also hopes something interesting will happen. Mine has a Sand Tiger skeleton that used to belong to the ship's owner. Despite being a big game hunter himself, he's not really bothered by the fact that he didn't kill it (just means he'll have to find a better one!). There's nothing that can't be placed on your mantle for one reason or another (if it's too big to fit, have a bigger mantle installed). As for the Space Marine stuff, honestly it's an interesting idea, but if I was GM I'd be more tempted to have you end up creating some horrible abomination on the first try, if not just encouraging you to sell it for glory and profit. The process of creating a Space Marine isn't even fully understood by most Apothecaries anymore. If I was feeling generous, I'd give you a 1% chance of pulling it off, and maybe make it increase incrementally for each failure that you learned something from. But re-reading the Index Astartes article on it, not only do the nascent Marines need hypnotherapy to activate several of their implants, but they also require constant monitoring and adjustments to their biochemistry, especially for the first several years after implantation. There's a lot of ways for this to go wrong for the people who know what they're doing, a tech-priest dabbling in uncertain knowledge that he's not supposed to have, expecting to get it right on the first try, is a bit of a stretch.
  11. Well, after all this, while I have a few workable plans for removing them, I think I'm actually going to try the peaceful route. Set them up with a lab somewhere in a new system, one even more remote than the place we found them (we're already there, so it'd be convenient-ish too). There's people, a habitable planet, and tech and stuff for him to keep himself busy with while I'm making the half a year journey to Port Wander. And when I come back I'll have a Null Rod stuffed in my belt, just for insurance (-30 and +30 aren't a lot, but it's enough).
  12. Well mundane enemies I can handle. Psykers and daemons are a bit trickier because the standby methods of the Rogue Trader (wits, and your starship) aren't as useful when your enemy can read minds, or wants to eat your soul. I'm toying with the idea of making the long trip back to the Lathes in the hopes of picking up a Null Rod... and I'm also thinking my new friend won't want to sail back to the middle of Imperial Space, and the ship's destination isn't worth starting a fight over, so that'd be excellent incentive for him to set up shop somewhere on a planet.
  13. Well he's an astropath who may be working for the Inquisition, or may be a huge heretic (or both). I decided at the time that it was safer and more profitable not to ask questions. Also he'd just collected all his research data on to a slate and encrypted it, so again I decided to go the route of least resistance and give him a home. It's cost me a few crew for his experiments (not an issue, of course), but the daemon he has trapped now could be a big problem later on (to be fair, he saved a couple of us from it too, though I still needed to burn a Fate to get through the encounter). He has some knowledge of xenos and archeotech, and is a pretty powerful psyker going by what we've witnessed him do on a couple occasions... All of which could be a problem in all manner of dangerous things laying around his lab, not to mention any traps he may have put in place (or crew he brainwashed). The more I think about it, unless he's an Inquisitor, and even then it could be iffy, he's going to get everyone on my ship branded Hereticus Abomini and hunted down. So I'm thinking I might try the more peaceful route of dropping him off in one of the system's I've discovered, and playing the part of the friendly merchant, while I strip the system bare of profitable resources... Ooo, maybe I'll do something really classical, and send him as a as a messenger with a note that reads "kill the guy who brought you this note". I know I'm definitely going to have to invest in some anti-psyker tools though, even if we stay on friendly terms, just to be prudent.
  14. Though to restate my main point, cause I was kinda half asleep when I typed the above, is that having a reason, and having a good reason aren't always the same thing.
  15. 15 years of RPG gaming has taught me you can hack out a story for anything. It just depends on how much of a mary sue you end up with, when you're done explaining what you want. If the answer is "yes", to the previous, then you should probably scrap the character. And I've written a few myself, just because, including a Vampire (from Vampire) who had a famous 5th generation creator, but because we were playing regular starting characters, I had to figure out a rather complicated reason for why he was the standard 13th instead of 6th. Ridiculous in hindsight, I'm glad he never talked about his backstory ever. So explaining why someone is the first member of their race to cross half the galaxy, when they're kinda a nobody, is one of the trickier ones to pull off without crossing the line, if you ask me. Also, I imagine the Tau are practically the top race both the Inquisition and Deathwatch would be very keen on tracking down and killing, if they should be discovered on the Calixis side of the gate. But don't get me wrong, it's important to have fun with things. I just often seem to find that people get caught up with their own fun that they forget that this is a group game, and aren't particularly mindful of whether or not what they have in mind fits in with the rest of the group. I wanted to play a Dark Eldar my last game, but I ended up playing the Rogue Trader instead because I didn't frickin' need to play one. And in the end, the RT I made has ended up being being more fun.
  16. I might have let things go too far in my greed, you see... We picked up an NPC some time back, who's been helpful so far, but I'm leery of powerful AND helpful NPC's, they have a habit of becoming powerful enemies sooner or later. So I'm thinking of choosing "Sooner" and have been idly thinking of ways of getting rid of them, after I rather foolishly let them entrench themselves on my ship with a little private workshop (to be fair, they had cool stuff and I figured it'd be easier to get them to make me copies, than to steal it...). But as they increase in power, and collect more and more volatile objects for their work, I'm growing concerned that taking them on board might eventually cost me much more than their value (like, if someone comes to kill them). I already have enough enemies of my own, trying to lay my ship to waste, I don't need someone else's joining the 'fun'. I don't want to vent the deck's atmosphere in to space suddenly, or pilot a starship in to a star (though those aren't of the table as of yet), but I'm fairly certain asking him to leave, or trying to use traditional methods of force, will cause a lot of collateral damage to me and my ship. Not to mention that he might have trapped the hell out of his workshop. So I need to begin making long term plans, and I think best when stealing other's ideas (kidding), and was wondering how other Rogue Traders have handled similar problems of unwanted and dangerous people on your ship?
  17. They did the same thing for the World of Darkness (And Exalted). Lemme tell you, a lot of people didn't like the idea of paying between $100-120 dollars for 2 books just to play 1 game. And it's a system that really only works for the people that want to play multiple lines. I find most people stick to 2 of the RPGs and don't diverge much from there. Plus, I imagine one of the reasons it's been such a long time between DH 1.0 and 2.0 is because with each new game line they've been able to try out while new mechanical suites. It's all hindsight back-patting, of course, but if we'd been doing it the above way from the start, we might be still be using Dark Heresy psyker rules for every line, or instead talking about the upcoming release of 3.0 where they're finally letting you build your character freeform, with no career paths... All that said, it would work better for 40K than Exalted or the WoD. Everyone Is (mostly) human, and the power a space marine wields isn't so different from the power an Inquisitor or other very powerful Imperial figure can eventually reach (power armour, other tech, and more unnatural means, can eventually even the odds). And another benefit would be it'd be easier to combine the stuff from different games as it would all be balanced against each other if they put the necessary work in, and we wouldn't end up with Dark Heresy characters bloated with skills when playing in a Rogue Trader game. But frankly I don't think anything it brings to the table is worth the potential problems it can cause. With 5 gamelines worth of material, and a whole new sector for Dark Heresy, it would be a massive effort to collect everything in to a unified system that is built to work for everyone from space marines and chaos possessed warlords, to inquisitorial acolytes. And enemies bigger and smaller than all of them. And then there's equipment. Whether you put out a "book o' guns" or a book of "rogue trader gear", you're going to have to make sure it's not too powerful for the inquisition or only war players to use. Frankly, I think the effort might be too much, and still not certain to produce suitable results. Exalted is kinda working with the same problem, they've been working on 3.0 for a long time now, presumably going back and ironing out any problems they find as they continue to work on more and more stuff (that is, they're laying the foundations for things other than Solars, so they don't deviate from the intended mark more than a little bit, if at all). But we're going to have an awesome RPG game some day, if it ever gets finished. More to the point, I think the different systems work better for the different games. Deathwatch being much more high powered, and where you play characters that can soak up and deal out a lot of punishment either way, Unnatural stats being multiplicative instead of additive is the better option I think, and doesn't really present them as overpowered (Space Marines have been super-human killing machines since before 3e, which is how it's been since then). That said, I also find that the additive version is better for everything else, including where Space Marines and 'normal' humans are in the same game. And careers aren't that bad, for f's sake, in games where your character is coming from a pre-defined position it makes sense. And I find Only War and Deathwatch have found the perfect balance more or less. The multiple of paths that you can buy from in the latter offers practically the same amount of flexibility of the former, though I find the implementation of it requires less crosschecking.
  18. Indeed. I've often thought that the Rak'Gol would make an excellent enemy for a Deathwatch game for all the reasons mentioned about their stats. Fluffwise, I'd say Marines could still take them, if they weren't ridiculously outnumbered, and still with losses. Because of their superiority with tactics and coordination. I've had a GM who was in the army for a long time, and lemme tell you even in a tabletop RPG it makes a lot of difference when you find yourself up against enemies who are using small unit tactics on you, as opposed to the more usual and straightforward combats I find that most GMs give. And Rak'Gol aren't big on tactics it seems.
  19. I don't 'believe' in playing mathhammer (nor am I accusing you), but they're very good at combat and things requiring Agility, so sneaking and piloting. So from a gaming perspective they have a handful of good niches that they can fulfill easily, based on raw stats. Career and Advanced Ranks are mostly combat focused obviously. But you have enough flexibility that you're not pidgeon-holed in to playing Killy McStabstab the whole game. An idea of mine I've never got to play is basically a reaver, leaning toward fighter piloting later. Something I think he'd be pretty good at, considering the previously alluded bonuses to Agility that Eldar have.
  20. I've always said the Dark Eldar are actually the most likely of all Eldar to work for a human. Other Eldar aren't as likely to leave home, and Corsairs aren't 'in it' to be mercenaries, but to have fun and explore life outside the confines of a strict life on a Craftworld or Exodite world. So Corsairs, Craftworld Eldar, and Exodites likely won't be on a Rogue Trader ship for money. Just whatever mercurial reasons that the Eldar have. So of them all, Dark Eldar have one more reason to do it. Because they live in a society where wealth can buy power. Aside from that, while they are probably the most arrogant of the Eldar (debatable though, their callous disregard for life is a necessity for survival before anything else), the Dark Eldar are also the most willing to 'get their hands dirty' to accomplish their goals, especially if those goals directly relate to their survival (while all Eldar are liable to work with humans when their life is on the line, the Dark Eldar's generally greater levels of pragmatism gives them more room). And of the four branches of the Eldar society, the Dark Eldar is the least forgiving. Corsairs can almost always go back to their Craftworld, for example, and the others don't usually permanently dispossess their members, because of their race's already dwindling numbers. A Dark Eldar cast out from their society is pretty screwed. They will be persona non grata in Commorragh at least, and maybe even the far spurs like the Nexus of Shadows. The human might literally be their best option for not only survival, but biding their time while building up the power necessary to return to Dark Eldar society (because unless you piss off Vect himself, you can always make a comeback). So yeah, I think they have a place. Dark Eldar not only have the most reasons to find themselves on a human ship, but the most easily exploitable ones. A sane Exodite wouldn't willingly jump on an 'alien' ship, no matter how bored. A Craftworld Eldar, even a ranger, is only going to come aboard for Mysterious Eldar Reasons. And a Corsair isn't likely to sign on unless you're their only option, since this is his spring break, not the Rogue Trader's. Edit: And regarding the frequent "They'll constantly be planning to murder you!" assertion. Unless they're planning to murder the entire ship, and this plan somehow works out in their benefit, they have no reason to do this. Even actual real life sociopaths don't kill anyone around them for no reason (inb4 "but sustenance?", that can be gotten from the crew of redshirts, if not a more suitable source). ... Also, I don't know what it is, but I find Orks are a little less difficult to explain than the Dark Eldar, you just have to explain different things for the most part (for my part, in the game I'm in, my RT and the Ork were marooned on the same planet for 3 years). Also I find they're more readily accessable because of the generally more lighthearted tone of the Orks. Even at its grimdarkest, the Orks have been the comic relief of 40K.
  21. If you and your group play from the assumption that you have no expenses period. Not to mention the belief that no one will bother your merchant fleet, ever. (first thing I'd target)
  22. I dunno, I can think of a few notable cases where Assassins are successful in the fluff, outside of their old mini-dex. As for Inquisitors. I'm not sure if I have one on my ship, or if he's just a heretic (or both). We have an arrangement of convenience, he's going to share what he finds with me, I give him some space to work (and some of the crew occasionally)... I haven't decided if I'm going to kill him sooner or later.
  23. I'd like to see the stats for the 'empty' hulls of some of the Xenos and 'Other' ships. I've recently found myself in possession (maybe, salvaging it is only a possibility) of a Stryxis Xebec. And I hate extrapolating game stats, though at least I'm not working in a complete vacuum (and I'm sure my GM would have something too, I just want to plan ahead). Also, regarding the possibility of an Iron Men scenario happening with the Tau, I just had a truly frightening thought. The Tau themselves are alright with it at first, because they don't see how truly insane the AI is, because it 'believes' in the Greater Good too. Except it's a machine. And of course, things all go horribly wrong, races that prove troublesome are slated for extermination and wiped out in the space of days by the rogue AI. Right up until the point that the AI decides that the Tau themselves, and all other organics, are threats to The Greater Good...
  24. Worst argument I've ever heard, in regards to the Storm Wardens and their secret origins. I'm still leaning on an old idea, that they're a White Scars successor chapter (the name and iconography is in line with the originating and other successor chapters). And while they favour heavy vehicles over bikes and speeders, their specialty is leaning toward mobile assault.
  25. I wouldn't count on freeing up too much crew honestly. On a small ship of 15,000 I'd say 500 might have the job of being a gun loader (because the people firing, aiming, etc., aren't being made obsolete remember). And of those 500 I'd say at least 100 of them would need be assigned to maintenance work on the autoloaders. And even as you scale things upwards, I don't see it making a hugely significant difference.
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