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The Survivor

Helping the Explorator

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Hello. After my first session my one of my play ended up left out of the game a little. While he said nothing an does really apply himself. I care that he get some attention. How can I better make up encounters so he can have a hand in them?

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We kinda need a little more information to help out with that.

 

But ... generically? What are some things that the character can do that nobody else can or can do significantly better than everyone else? Figure that out, and include something that requires that near-exclusive ability to accomplish, makes accomplishing it significantly easier/faster or something like that.

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Assuming this is about the Explorator not being super useful in combat, or in general?

 

For combat it's tricky because at the beginning quite a few characters are not very good in combat. In general if you play long enough, eventually everyone is going to get one incredible righteous fury that turns the combat in their favour. The thing you need to flush out the Explorator as a class is a copy of The Lathe Worlds from the Dark Heresy line. There's a lot of really good Mechanicus background in there, and I strongly recommend converting the alternate ranks to a Rogue Trader equivalent because they are great.

 

In my opinion though, Rogue Trader is the least RPG game that should revolve around combat as a central mechanic. You're playing a game of galactic politics, and the Explorator represents the "excuse plot" where the things your Rogue Trader finds gets to be kept because your Explorator is examining it for the Mechanicus. They can go crazy for Xeno/Archeotech, and lead the charge on explorations to discover lost technology.

 

Note if you think they're underpowered now, once they start purchasing The Flesh is Weak, and get a lot of their Wizard Tech powers, they can actually do some surprisingly powerful things in combat while being an incredible Tank for you.

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Plot hooks to get characters involved:

 

Rogue Trader - Really?  The Lord Captain isn't invovled?  That's a problem.  Along comes some administratum factotum with an important-looking piece of paper and takes the ship away.  That should get the Rogue Trader involved.

 

Explorator - Our Mcguffin just stopped working and the nearest replacement part is at a Mechanicum outpost manned by some homo-roboticus that hasn't spoken anything but binary in the past two centuries.

 

Navigator - The party just bought a treasure map and nobody can read it.  It's written in House Gobbledygook's Secret Tongue.  Good thing House Gobbledygook is allied to your Navigator's House.  Where's the nearest member of House Gobbledygook?  Good question.

 

Astropath - A repeating message keeps coming through the local astropath's relay and they can't understand it.  Can your astropath lend a hand?

 

Seneschal - A ship keeps phasing in and out of the system from the Warp.  Lots of people want to claim it.  The local person of importance is willing to grant nearly anyone salvage rights for minor considerations.  Someone should talk to them.  The phasing problem?  Oh yeah, there's some sort of device that is making that happen.  What is it?  Well, that's somewhat unknown, though the person who does know was the head of the local crime syndicate some years ago and he's currently rotting in a dungeon.  Does that present a problem?

 

Missionary - News Flash!  Local pilgrim burned at the stake for making claims about the Emperor's Divinity.  Details at 9.

 

Voidmaster - Captain, there's a ship on an intercept course with ours.

 

Arch-Militant - Hullghasts have killed 17 people on Deck 43 in the past week.  The crew is refusing to work on the aft section of Deck 43.

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Arch-Militant - Hullghasts have killed 17 people on Deck 43 in the past week.  The crew is refusing to work on the aft section of Deck 43.

 

Be careful. Your Arch-Militant may well interpret this as an order to execute all of the Deck 43 crew personnel for cowardice.

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And that's an adventure.  Deck 43 has 783 crew members, of which 4 are armed like MPs, 17 are mutants, 1 is a hidden psyker, and there's still those hullghasts that might show up like Jason in the midst of a melee with 24 pipe-wielding longshoremen terrified of entering the steam tunnels.

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Lol. My explorator is not a fighter, I have Pcs, Rogue Trader, Arch-Militant, Voidmaster and a NPC Seneshal that gives "key" information to the players or helps "build" story. The first mission we did was secure their profit factor (influence with a hive gang) and while they did this the VM and EXO were on the ship "tuning" it. Long story short, Criminals are on the ship and are attempting to take control. VM is trapped at the bridge while the EXO is down in the Engerium. Exo gets knocked out so criminals leave him for dead and rig the plasma generator to blow. VM defends bridge against criminals and nearly dies. EXO awakes and disarms the generator. But alot of time was spent on the RT and AM "fixing" the gang. I don't want my players to feel to left out. But Im not sure how to morph most encounters for all members.

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Evil artificial intelligences are always fun. Alternatively present them with some sort of bizarre alien creature, or a hybridized human that has been advanced beyond what is "normal", and then have the Explorator do some sort of research test to figure out how to detect it, or concoct a poison that can kill it. Lacrymoles would be good for this because they could literally be anyone on your ship, but couldn't duplicate mechanical parts so your Explorator might turn into the only person people can trust.

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The Explorator shouldn't have to be good at combat to be important to the story, though.

 

My first suggestion with that small of a group is to try to keep them all in one place, or at least on the same operation.  This keeps everyone essentially involved by virtue of having to react to what's going on.  At this point its simply insuring you throw a test that they're good at every once-in-a-while.    

 

It sounds, however, like you were essentially running two games that were occurring simultaneously, one of which split the party a second time (bridge & engineering)  My gaming group does this often (split the party is modus operandi for us), but we're a large group and always put at least 2 in each split.  The feeling of being 'left out' is lessened when you're not alone.  Of course, you can't really do that with 3 people.  However, if you are going to split the group like this, make sure you switch back and forth relatively quickly.  I typically switch by "scene", ie whenever time would pass for one group, flip to the other.  This also helps it feel more even, regardless of actual relative time spent is still skewed one way (typically to the side that does combat).

 

Disarming the plasma-drive meltdown should have been his time to shine in the game - though it could feel less than than exciting if it was resolved in a single roll.

 

Everyone doesn't have to be useful in every encounter, but everyone should have an encounter they're good at.

Edited by Quicksilver

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Have you ever noticed in the horror flick genre that the person who separates from the group is always the next person that gets carved apart by the resident evil?  Keep in mind that this is darkity-dark 40k.  Have a Jason or Freddie in your arsenal of NPCs that stalks the ship and don't be afraid to use him.  And he doesn't die...at least not permanently.  You just banish him for a bit...

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The Explorator shouldn't have to be good at combat to be important to the story, though.

 

No but of all the classes it and the Missionary are the two that really really require you to have strong knowlege of the setting in order to play it properly.

 

 

This is a good point. When I was starting out in Dark Heresy I knew none of the 40K Lore, and my GM discouraged me from playing a Tech-Priest because they have a lot of really amazing roleplaying options, but they are all grounded in the background and theme of the setting.

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Yeah. My Explorator has little to no knowledge on 40K lore and im not sure if he listens to me when I give out lore bits. Im lightly knowledgeable about the lore myself. More than my players but less than most others. Mabye I should ask him to play a different role?

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The lore is important because the Explorator is the one who has the most options as to why he's on a ship, but that he definitely should have one. He could be out to secure priceless archeotech, to advance his theories about the validitiy of the existence of machine spirits, because he made political enemies, because he wants to do heretical experiments, but they're all rooted in the insane (and possibly quasi-true) belief in the Omnissiah.

 

You could always play him as having been mindwiped and having to find himself, a popular option, but it sounds like you should sit down and ask your player what he wants out of the game, and then maybe talk about rebuilding his character. As a GM, the loss of our Explorator character really did hurt the group because they're so essential to an aspect of the game that isn't really covered by anyone else.

 

Until you get Arch-Hereteks.

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Those are both base classes from Into the Storm. Being a Xenos introduces (or should introduce) a large number of extra complications with your crew, and I recommend both even less than I would an Explorator, since those are interactions that would colour all your relations with the Imperium. In terms of Roleplaying complexity (based on how I want to run a RT game) I would rank characters as from high to low: Navigator, Astropath, Explorator, Xenos Race, Missionary, Rogue Trader, Seneschal, Void Master, Arch-Militant. That being said, you can play a really complicated Arch-Militant or a really straight forward Navigator. 

 

I recommend looking into a Seneschal, as they can be played as an extremely sneaky assassin striker, especially with their starting inferno pistol. He can either take over your existing one and you inform him of plot points or a new one. Or just leave him as an Explorator, and you can define what that role means to you in your game.

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I would ask him what he wants to do in the game and go from there.  If he's all about killn' things (and there's nothing wrong with that) then explorator probably isn't the best class for him.  He may just want to play a second Arch Militant - there's nothing wrong with having two, just suggest that they focus they're combat skills a bit differently (Melee vs. Ranged, Shocktrooper vs. Sniper, etc).  Into the Storm's alternate ranks can really serve to separate them, particularly if one take Dusian Adherent or Xenographer.

 

If he likes the "Holy Space Mechanic" aspect as well as killing things, then suggest he move his character that way, perhaps allowing him to flip stats or backgrounds to make it fit better.  As has been said above, Exploritors can be devastating in combat (particularly Melee), even if not kitted out to broken levels, because of the talents and equipment they have access to.

 

(On a related note, I mostly agree with Erathia list, but I'd flip Rogue Trader and Seneshal.  Seneshal is a bit of a schizophrenic career that really has to be aware of what the Rogue Trader's taking so as not to end up as a semi-sneaky RT-lite.)

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Oh God No!  Not xenos!  Don't go down that path.  There are just some things you shouldn't do until you know the game well and having xenos crewmembers is one of them.  Really, stick with vanilla until you have things down better.  There's no reason for any flavor other than vanilla until you're tired of vanilla.

 

For those that don't know what they want to do, I always try to steer them toward Voidmaster.  They are the action heroes of this game.  They are the unsung heroes that everyone wants to play after someone gets a good one going.  There is absolutely nothing they can't do on the ship except psychic stuff and they can do that, too, with an Alternate Rank, Background option, archeotech, or all three.  And they are almost always the one chosen to captain that dynasty's second ship.

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I would suggest letting him know about the options that come with Craft (Armorer).  I played an Explorator and wielded a Best Qualithy Ryza Pattern Plasma Gun with Multi-Scope and a Best Quality Omnissian Power Axe and boosted my BS.  The player might not be able to do as much damage as the Arch Militant, but s/he can put down plenty of pain with some thought.  

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Wait, why does the explorator have to fight? You are a rogue trader, sir! You have men to do the fighting FOR you!

As Vulkan said, use your Craft armorer so your bodyguards are decked out to the max with all sorts of leathal weapons and tough armor.

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