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    Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, United States
  1. Skill Mastery +10 is fairly nice to have, but it's usually a very cheap rank 3 or 4 purchase for most of your starting skills anyway, and so most power-gamers are only going to go for it in creation if they have a particular that defines them or their playstyle (Explorator w/ Tech-Use, Navigator with Warp Navigation, Rogue Trader with Command), and those most useful and obvious skills aren't easy ones to get in backstory creation. Talented, on the other hand, isn't easy for anyone to get, and essentially raises their base and max with a particular skill by 10… I wouldn't blame anyone for trying extra-hard to get a copy of Talented for their key skill during character creation, but it's a pretty big power increase across the life of the character (the skill mastery is just getting an upgrade early, but Talented is an upgrade they couldn't usually plan on getting, at least not without paying through the nose for it as an Elite Advance, and even then I'd likely wait until they maxed that skill at +20 anyway). Still, they are trading a Talent for it, and probably rather restricting their choices in the origin path (assuming you aren't just using free pick all around - I typically give my players two or three "skips" they can spend to move more than one choice horizontally - it gives a lot more choice without giving them total command of the Path, and only give extra skips out for great backstories they can only justify with more skips)… up to you if you think that's OP or not. To directly answer Boaventura's questions, if you get the same skill twice during creation, then you get the +10 version of that skill - the same as if you'd bought the +10 version off your character's Career Path. That means you CAN'T buy the +10 version off the Career path (you can still buy the +20 when you get to that rank), because you already have it. If you get the same Talent twice during creation, you get Talented (any one skill you don't already have Talented for), which is a +10 bonus, but isn't the Skill +10 that can be found on the Career Path (and so doesn't help you qualify for Alternate Ranks or allow you to skip buying the +10 before going to the +20 version of a skill). You can pick any Weapon Training Talent. That includes Melee (Universal), Melee (Primitive), Pistol (Universal), Pistol (Primitive), Basic (Universal), Basic (Primitive), Heavy (any one group), Flame, Thrown, or Exotic (any one specific exotic weapon). Technically, you could pick a more limited Weapon Training, like Heavy (Flame) or Basic (Las), but I don't know why you would… There's no overlap between Melee (Universal), which covers all non-Exotic non-Primitive melee weapons, and Melee (Primitive), which covers all non-Exotic Primitive melee weapons. However, as a GM, I typically go ahead and fold Primitive into Universal anyway, since, really, if you can use a power sword and a mono sword and a chain sword (and even a chain-mono-sword!), you should be able to use a sword. That could, though, open up a new opportunity for people to get their hands on a Talented talent during creation, if you allow it, so think about it first…
  2. after a re-reread of the errata, I see it now. I hate those sidebars in the PDFs, for whatever reason they're nearly unreadable and I never noticed it before. I'm glad that they reduced the damage for 10 guys shooting compared to 1000 guys, at least. I'll probably run with the new RAW, thanks for pointing it out for me - I might never have noticed it, honestly
  3. They're tailing a heretic/heretek/traitor with some kind of special knowledge, who has blended in to this planet's culture to avoid detection. Among the things he stole/is known to be carrying is some form of poison or suicide drug, so if they make their presence obvious by coming in with lighters and lasguns he'll destroy his research/list of names/whatever and off himself before the knowledge can be tortured/truth serum'd out of him. The Explorers are either after him for a contract or to get the knowledge themselves, but either way blending in is by far the better move. They can use advanced tech, they just have to be discreet with it…
  4. Yeah, there are a lot of RT rules that don't seem like they were playtested with a single powergamer at the table before they were released. It took until the fourth edition of the errata until they noticed that Righteous Fury with Flamers had no rules… and when I asked on this very forum about them, I got two completely opposing answers, lol. I'll doublecheck the errata (I've glanced through the BfK errata, but didn't specifically look for this issue), and if that doesn't clarify things, I'll probably assume each battlefield has a specific unit size (determined by whatever all the units on it fit into easily)… unfortunately, owing to the numbers I'm using, we'll probably end up with squads of 50, since that'll give my smallest sides 5 units, but it'll give the players 20 (not counting the 20 units they'll be allied with at minimum), and my biggest sides will have 50 units that way. But, it's a really big battlefield (roughly the size and positioning of Antarctica on Earth) with lots of sites to fight over and not all of them important… 20 units under their direct command shouldn't be too much when they're fighting at least two other sides and probably three or four at a time. Maybe I can bump my "small" forces up to 300 and make units 100 each, that'll give the players only 10 units to manage and the largest sides 25, as well as make the players' artillery more special (it's the only artillery left on the planet, and they'll only have one unit of it…) The sides are actually involved in three different wars, and each is allied to one in each conflict. I've got three military factions fighting each other, three religious groups fighting each other (one of the religions and one of the militaries merged, which was the worse mistake they ever made - suddenly they were fighting four sides instead of two), and three different economic groups fighting each other. The Imperial Creed is strongly aligned with the Traditions (a military group that follows standard Imperial engagement protocol) and somewhat aligned with the Mercenaries (an economic group that believes that power and wealth are one and the same), etc. The Explorers need only to ensure the Creed wins their fight, so they only have to beat the other two religious groups on the planet, not all seven other sides - though some of those sides will come to their allies' defense, they aren't main goals.
  5. I skipped the rolls and assumed they rolled max for SP, minimum for PF - I figure the ship should be as important as another character, if not more so, and I wanted to give them something that would last a while, not something they felt they needed to get rid of quickly as possible. I created a Dauntless-class Light Cruiser and filled most but not quite all of its Space/Power/SP with decent all-around stuff so the ship was fitted for my group to do a little of everything (since we're all new to the system), and gave them a little space to play around with (plus the option of downgrading some of the components, since I used the no-penalty life sustainers and crew quarters and stuff), and told them they'd probably want to consider replacing the lance battery with a plasma macrobattery after the Arch-Militant bought some BS upgrades and got Void Tactician or whatever, but I figured the lance was best while he was learning since it has a low crit rating (and hits twice at the same DoS as it crits, so even if he can't drop their shields first, he can still crit through the shield with the lance). Starting them with a no-weapons transport and nowhere near the profit to buy a gun for it seems rather limiting to me, but if your players can make it work, then work it. I liked the minimum starting PF to give them plenty of room to grow, but gave them the max SP so they didn't have a throwaway ship they didn't care about. I assume they'll capture some raiders and possibly transports a few Endeavors in, and work their way up to eventually getting an even bigger ship - but by that point they wouldn't consider selling off their starting Dauntless to do so.
  6. Unit Strength appears to have no correlation on unit effectiveness aside from the amount of damage they can take past their armour. That is, if I have 200 infantry and 50 mechanized infantry, it seems to be the best move to split them all into squads of 10 (Unit Strength 1) in order to get 20 Infantry units at Power 7 and 5 mechanized infantry units at Power 8, which have the exact same damage, armour, power, movement, etc as the units I could make by putting them all together (a Power 7 Infantry unit with 20 Strength and a Power 8 Mech. Infantry unit with 5 Strength), but getting 25 more attacks per turn and with the added advantage of only taking one point of Strength damage at a time. Of course, I understand I can't get them all to engage the same enemy, etc etc, but I also CAN get some of them to flank an enemy, and more importantly, extend my battlefield presence in all directions at very high effectiveness. As I'm getting ready to run some ground war stuff for my players, I really need to know… is there any reason in the rules to ever field units with more than a single Strength point, besides stacking them deep to defend a specific chokepoint? The battlefield my players will be on has eight sides (nine if they count separately from the side I expect them to join/aid) and no real chokepoints, only strategic terrain and objectives, so being able to spread out and hit just as hard (or harder) as they could if they focused in one place will be a HUGE asset. The sides range from 250 to 2500 fighters, equipment levels from Industrial to Modern, almost all infantry (three sides have a few Mechanized Infantry units left, and the players themselves have 200 Armour and 100 Artillery in their 1000-man regiment (400/300/200/100), though most of the sides will likely target those sooner rather than later if they're deployed (that's why none of the sides already fighting planetside have them).
  7. I feel that if the player can manage a 99 or higher (and the roll doesn't have specific rules for high rolls, like most ranged weapons have Jamming that occurs at very high rolls), that they should be able to succeed on a 99. One thing that drives me crazy about most systems is the constant 5% chance of failure no matter how good you are at something, and being able to reduce it to 1% is one thing that I really like about this system, even if most characters will never see a 1% chance of failure, just the possibility is nice to have. I'd probably allow "phantom" degrees of success as well, if a bonus managed to get that high, which gives them a reason to still roll and still have that 1% chance to screw something up ("you said WHAT to the Imperial Navy liaison?"). Also, ruling that other than 100's being auto-fails, things like Jams being auto-fails make weapon qualities like Reliable count for even more at the highest levels of ability as well… Unreliable weapons and their 10% chance to fail would be a terrible choice for a character who could otherwise still hit on a 95, while Reliable weapons could still hit on a 99 if they passed their 1-in-10 reroll.
  8. Ow, ****, I suppose I deserved that. Only a few points I'd like to clarify before I limp off to lick my wounds… Reading the Rogue Trader corebook, it very much feels like the "point" of the game is to explore the Expanse, and in doing so you will encounter the xenos who live there. Exactly what you're doing when you meet them can easily vary, depending on campaign, player choice, etc. - spreading the Imperial Creed, establishing colonies, fighting (or engaging in) piracy, searching for lost archeotech (or xenotech) and more - but if you play through more than a few Endeavors without ever encountering an alien race, your Explorers are either very cautious, or very lucky (…or unlucky, depending on your point of view). Assuming you end at least one of those encounters with negotiations or violence, suddenly there is an avenue for your Explorers to have a chance to acquire xenotech - and, as I'm sure you know, the average RPG player, when told "look there is a super-rare item there, laying next to your fallen foe's body / being offered to you in trade / waiting to be salvaged from that space hulk", will claim said item if at all possible, especially with a broad protection like a Warrant of Trade making sure they don't suffer significantly for having done so. That's not to say the "point" is specifically selling xenotech to unauthorized buyers, but in a much broader sense, meeting xenos, killing them or talking to them, and leaving with their stuff is what Rogue Traders do. It's one of the core reasons the Warrants of Trade were written to begin with, which is why I called it a basic premise of the game. An Explorator should expect some of that, as long as they're not using the worst of the worst - known Yu'Vath or Chaos stuff, say. I'd compare the RT being a sorcerer freaking out the Missionary to the RT using Yu'Vath Warp tech freaking out the Explorator - that should cause them to flip, for good reason. However, picking up a discarded Eldar Shuriken Catapult, and even selling it when he gets a cooler gun later, or going so far as to install Eldar relics on the ship shouldn't bother the Explorator any more than failing to convert every human on every world or allowing a death-cult (or, for that matter, Omnissian Priests) to thrive among the crew should bother the Missionary - they both have their eyes set on higher prizes, and are capable of leaving the lesser evils behind to get at the greater good. That's one of the things that set them apart enough to make them PC Careers, especially in Rogue Trader where that ability to get along with things you might not quite agree with is of paramount important. A Dark Heresy character could (or more likely, should) raise more of a fuss and take more action against allies who violate the two main religions of the Imperium, but Rogue Trader characters are expected to that in stride as long as they don't actively work against the Emperor and Omnissiah. And yeah, when you've been with a group that long, you have quite a bit more wiggle room to make characters that won't necessarily get along great, which makes pretty much all my points matter much less or not at all. Still, usually best to at least mention it at character creation - the possibility of PvP tends to change the entire tone of the game, so it's typically a good idea that everyone know what they're getting into at the start. I hope my tone was a bit more acceptable this time around, I tried at least. Sorry about before, I was an ass.
  9. The most important things to remember are a) in the game, you are an Explorator, NOT a Tech-Priest. Sure, you can make the argument that an Explorator is just a different kind of Tech-Priest (and you'd be right), but their entire purpose is specifically to go out and find new (old) tech that can be adapted, exploited, or (in only the worst cases) destroyed. On top of that, this Explorator decided to sign on to a Rogue Trader's crew. Rather than stick with his like-minded fellows, he intentionally joined the one class of person most likely to find and use every kind of tech he can get his hands on, and then sell it to the highest bidder regardless of who they are. You knew all this when you signed on - and likely decided that the benefits still greatly outweighed the drawbacks. After all, your function is not the destruction or control of already-discovered tech - there are other Tech-Priests who already perform those functions - your function is the discovery of new (old) tech. To that end, the Rogue Trader is your greatest ally, no matter who he is selling his xenotech to. b) Out of game, Rule Zero-point-five of gaming is "Don't be a ****." Unless all the players and the GM understood that your Explorator was rather specifically NOT going to get along with one of the game's most basic premises (arguably the point of the game is to find rare archeo/xenotech, exploit it, and sell it to the highest bidder - certainly most Rogue Trader games assume that you'll do so at least occasionally) before play began, having your Explorator suddenly also be a form of Tech-Inquisitor out to punish the party for dealing in technology you don't approve of is simply not cool. Related to a), I can only liken your Explorator being surprised or appalled when the others use questionable technology to joining the army then freaking out when they hand you a rifle, or joining a book club and advocating burning the books. The question "what did he expect to happen?" comes to mind. As far as b), I find it most likely the kind of Explorator I described there will shortly find himself on the wrong side of an airlock, possibly in the Warp…. don't be that guy (and as usual, on a reread I seem quite a bit harsher than I intend to be. This is MEANT to be a lighthearted pointing-out of a few basic things it's easy to lose track of the more you know about the setting, not me blasting people that did so T_T I'm really not sure why I always do that…)
  10. My players have basically three different kinds of crew handy, with different capabilities and usableness…. They have an Imperial Guard regiment (1000 men) gifted to them as part of their new contract, but these men are still Imperial Guardsmen and won't fight simply at the Rogue Trader's say-so. They're intended to used in the fulfillment of their contract, and outside that theater they must be convinced to risk their lives, the difficulty of which largely varies by the good intended by the act (it's much easier to get them to defend a planet from an Ork invasion or go dirtside to bring the Imperial Truth to an ignorant populace) and the risk factor involved. But they're highly trained, well-equipped (comparatively), and rather capable. They have their skilled crew, the people that actually run things behind the scenes. Sure, the Rogue Trader say fly that way and the Arch-Militant says fire guns 4-17, 4-21, and 2-02, but the crew chiefs and techpriests and sergeants are the ones that know how to make the ship fly that way or engage three particular guns out of a 6-deck broadside. These guys have particular skills, possibly including combat skills, and could be useful additions to your general "adventuring party" setup dirtside, but losing them could even further effect the ship's already poor Crew Rating… Finally, they have their unskilled crew. Lots of them. Most of them are mostly muscle (have you seen those Strength ratings?), but muscle has it's uses. But going dirtside will probably cost some Morale, and if they lose numbers, Morale could plummet - and losing enough could even cost Crew Population, but don't worry, they have a Reclamation Facility for that… except, you know, see also: Morale Loss. Additionally, the Imperium used the Explorers as a decent way to dump off prisoners and other unwanted, and they're not exactly trustworthy… they do their jobs, but ask them to haul your treasure out of an ancient/xeno ruin, and don't be surprised if bits are missing when you get where you're headed. Perhaps they should seriously consider investing in training and equipment for their crew, at least. Remember that only about 1/10 of the crew are likely armed at all, and even then only ever are issued their weapons during a boarding action. They don't train for that stuff, they get handed guns (or more likely melee weapons, since **** GURL LOOK AT THAT STRENGTH) and told "Fight for all our lives because they're here to take our ship" and then we pray they're willing to fight for home harder than the other guys.
  11. I gave my players a "storyline" mission with set-but-loose time goals (a new obligation for being provided a decent ship, since the Dynasty's last one is lost at void… of course, it was one whose ownership was disputed anyway, both the Dynasty and the Imperium had claimed it, so they just settled the dispute with a carrot), and intend to just kind of throw plot hooks at them when they hunt for them. I have a few half-done ideas I haven't introduced at all yet, I'm using a handful of the official Endeavors, and my storyline mission only has the shortest-term objective scripted out, with the mid-term objective rather open (convert, colonize, or conquer 80 planets to bring the Imperial Truth to worlds where it is silent or struggling in the Expanse) and the long-term objective having a time limit of 1000 years, with progress expected at least once per century.
  12. I'm kind of leaning towards the Universe-class Mass Conveyor… I ran out of "utility" type components to add to one long before I ran out of space… I have a long-term goal set for my players, and I intend to let them choose either the utility Universe or a hybrid Conquest, already fitted out and ready to run, at the end of it (each has a story as to why it's being given away, too), and making the Universe was so fun. I tried to imagine everything they might need besides combat capability, and I found I never ran out of space. Combat-wise, it's got a servitor crew (with reclamation facility, because no drawbacks), three Disruption Cannons,, a Hold Landing Bay (two sets of fighters and a set of assault boats), Murder-Servitors and a Munitorium, Fire suppression Systems, a Minelayer Bay, and Defensive Countermeasures. The DCMs are a temporary thing, intended to be replaced if the RT ever gets his hands on a Teleportarium. This way, it even has combat utility - I thought stun cannons and component targeting made more sense for a utility-type, also very low space requirements are a plus. So it didn't exactly skimp on combat ability, just took the cheapest / lowest space stuff it could find, and still does ok as a supporter of their Dauntless (we only had the corebook when the campaign started). Out of combat, but still mobile, the monster is running three Main Cargo Holds and a set of Shadowblind Bays, an Extended Supply Vault and an Arboretem (intended to help support their flagship on long missions too, don't forget), and a Salvage System to obtain surviving Components from enemy ships (don't worry, they don't typically have to fill up the Holds or weld it to the outside… see next section). This stuff is powered basically nonstop and so is always functioning, like the combat stuff above, although they may knock empty Holds or the Salvager offline to run some of the stuff in the next section without having to stop. Stationary, and I do mean stationary, this thing basically becomes a mobile mini space station. It deploys two Lux Nets for extra power, activating its Spacedock Piers to allow up to four other vessels to dock and be repaired, refitted, etc. The Manufactorum and Medicae Deck come online, producing basic stuff and allowing full medical services for the Explorers, while the Asteroid Mining Facility provides the resources and fills the holds and an Empyrean Mantle makes it harder to notice (since the docked ships are as near powered-down as they get, they're already hard to detect on augurs anyway). It has three Ship's Stores components, providing 30 Space for keeping salvaged Components, and can fit these to itself to customize the ship on the fly or to any of the docked ships. Finally, it has a Plasma Scoop, which is normally kept unpowered at all times, but when leaving station-mode and returning to active transit, it can offline one of the things in the first two sections (probably the Salvager or Defensive Countermeasures) to refuel itself off a star and smelt the ores it mined while it was sitting idle. Additionally, if it doesn't mind being nearly totally unprepared for combat (maybe if it plenty of escort firepower), it can offline all the non-essentials and run the Asteroid Mining Facility while mobile, so it can move through an asteroid field or belt and just devour everything if needed. ….in combat, of course, it's still not the greatest, especially since the actual skilled crew are very few (two Navigators, two helmsmen, a captain and a first officer… anyone else the Explorers want on it they'll have to recruit. No Astropath, since it intends to be in vox range of their fleet at all times), and the weapons aren't the greatest. But can get two Disruption Cannons on a single target, has a really tight turning radius, can box itself in with mines to keep enemies at a range, or let them close and find out that the "defenseless" ship can selectively destroy components pretty well. Combat Void Patrol and the assault boats are decent support for defense and offense, and the rest of the fleet should be able to do the necessary damage to rout or cripple the ones focusing on the Universe before the DCMs' duration wears off. Armour isn't great, but it has a ton of Hull Integrity, so it won't go down quick. Edit: OMG wall of text, I lost track while I was writing it. Does this forum have a tag I can use to hide the exact component breakdown, so people that don't want to see it all can just see my first and last paragraphs? I'm a little verbose T_T
  13. The Cold Trade can involve selling it to Mechanicus interests… also, they really probably don't much care if it's xenos, they'd probably just burn that anyway… as far as archeotech, give the Explorator a chance to study it and make notes to bring back to the Machine Cult later, and he should be ok. I mean, he got some research in on it before the RT passed it along, that's sort of what he's there for, right? Honestly, most of the archeotech that the Cult would want the most, the stuff they've never seen before, they're probably going to be the top bidders on anyway. Their resources are massive and they have presence on both Footfall and Port Wander for exactly that reason… Were I the RT, I'd probably use the Explorator as my contact for selling the stuff. "Hey, Doc Ock, you know if the other Tech-Priests would buy this Dark Age stuff? You think so? Can you get them to meet us on Footfall, because…" *glances at Eldar Warp Relic installed in the Navigator's Well* "Port Wander and this ship don't get along so great, you know? Awesome."
  14. I contend, good sir, that electrifying a sword does NOT permit it to break everything else it touches ever, weaponized machine-gun-lasers make no sense at all, and teleporting through Hell will not EVER be Mankind's faster-than-light solution. Moreover, apparently in the DAoT humanity REALLY got around, add that to the infinite hordes of the Ork, the pre-Fall Eldar's kilo-millenia scouting planets, Tyranid warp-plagues and Yu-Vath rocks that get possessed by demons (essentially, at least) and run around trying to get themselves picked up by someone, and I find it more of a miracle that you can still find planets that DON'T have xeno or heretek or pre-Imperium artefacts on them. I would fully expect freaking gas giants to have cores made of all the ships that tried to land on it before discovering there wasn't any land there. When you develop a starship that can fly through the heart of a star, you can probably loot all new xeno artefacts from it that the Ordo Xenos won't recognize (at first, anyway, use that five seconds of "what is that…" before they realize "if I can't identify it, it's not human" to GT*O). Apologies in advance if the sarcasm is rather thick, but… yeah. You might as well be saying the Death Star is unrealistically proportioned or that Ringwraiths should never have evolved the "see the Ringbearer no matter where he is" trait, because how the crap would they naturally select for that in the absence of a Ringbearer? EDIT: With less sarcasm and more serious, after rereading, of course the systems you generate are supposed to have interesting features. Your Explorers might find some that don't have interesting features, but… why would they want to play that? If it really bothers you, pick a number (or calculate one) and say "After searching through X systems in this subsector" or "X planets in this system", "you find one that the augers detect a mysterious alloy / an unfamiliar radiation / a call for help with a stardate in M32 / etc". Or, as you suggested, generate the interesting system and then let the Explorers hear a rumor about it or something so they don't have to search through all the un-interesting systems to find it. The suggested starter adventure works that way, even, so there's certainly precedent. The generator is just there to let you create new options on the fly rather than having to just make something up or else use a world that's already detailed in the books.
  15. My assumption is based on the fact that Archeotech is roughly one or two steps better than Best in most cases AND that Archeotech of less than the period's Best Craftsmanship has probably not survived to the current day - there's a reason it's rare, after all.
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