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at0milich

No Rogue Trader in group ???

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Well my latest mini gampaign ran insto reef before it started... no RT among players. Your opinion NPC RT or warrant given players (Seneschal/Explorator/Void-Masters) who are Not RTs.

 

/At0miclich

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Step 1) Request one of the players play a Rogue Trader

If nobody steps forward

Than

Step 2) Make whichever character seems most appropriate the Warrant Holder but let them keep their clas-err Career.

 

I wouldn't worry about it too much, since there's not much the RT career can do that nobody else can.

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Many good suggestions here, something that you could try to do is to figure out the reason why no one wants to be RT. If it is because of the skills and talents, make them fluff RT. If it is because of leadership, let them RP a weaker RT who relies on his advisers and companions. 

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We had a blast with a completly and utterly incompetent NPC RT. The players were his senior officers (selected by his father, before the father's death). They effectively had to run circles around the NPC RT, They had to do things like convince him the things they wanted to do were his ideas and "make him" give them the orders they actually wanted.

 

Much fun was had.

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Yeah, my RT group started with an NPC RT as well. One of the player characters actually had the RT class, but her succeeding her father (the holder of the warrant) was part of the plot.

 

As Tenebrae said, having an NPC Rogue Trader can even add to your game by imposing an additional challenge of sorts when the characters need to "work around him" to prevent his or her little empire from crumbling. A game like this would be a little like a feudal court with an incompetent, wasteful king and lots of concerned nobles. Plenty of examples for this in history!

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As a GM I really wish my players didn't have a PC Rogue Trader. It's easier to plan games, and put limits on the players when they don't have someone who on a whim decides that he needs to go learn how to rebuild this shattered Chaos Cruiser from scratch and make it happen.

 

Sebastian is right in that you're more playing a Dark Heresy type game, but players can still step up. Your players could be competing for the favour of your Rogue Trader in who can make the most profit in a certain period of time, or have a foppish, ignorant noble in a luxury passenger suite who thinks he's commanding the ship when all the critical decisions are made without his knowledge or consent.

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In addition to the above, however, I'd say that as a player, Rogue Trader seems particularly appealing specifically because much like Black Crusade it suggests a greater level of freedom and less railroading, which is one of the biggest advantages Pen & Paper RPGs have over their virtual contemporaries that lack a human GM to adapt to the players' strange ideas.

 

On a GM side, of course this is a much greater challenge as you give up a degree of control on their activities - however, I'd say you can weave a good campaign around just about anything the players throw at you. All you need is some time to process everything and come up with a good way of tending to your players' fantasies. Thus, the special skill games such as RT and BC demand of their GMs is the art of stalling : formulating a suitable response to the players' ideas right there and then, with the intent of fleshing out the details of a grand campaign later on after the current session has concluded.

 

In the example of the shattered Chaos Cruiser, this begins with the big question of "alright, how", which should buy you a good amount of minutes already as players mull over their options. They'll probably want to talk to a bunch of NPCs on their ship, which means dialogues. As rumours spread, resistance from within the RT's ship will build up as superstitious crew (and Ministorum Confessors, if the ship has any) learn of the players' plans and condemn the act of working on tainted technology. Then, after they have dealt with possible riots, they'll have to convince work crews to go out there and begin a preliminary inspection of the other ship, so that the PCs may even start planning on how to rebuild it. This in turn means a boarding action, and another option for combat due to automated defenses plus possible survivors in pressurised suits or undamaged compartments...

 

Just "roll with it" and keep throwing simple, appropriate ad-hoc challenges at your players that fit to the current situation. Once the evening is over and people went home, you can begin thinking about what you could possibly add to make this a big thing. Perhaps there is a cursed relic onboard that begins sending nightmares to people, slowly affecting their mood and thought process. Or the ship contains some precious loot from another Chaos party, which will show up later to reclaim it. Or somehow the Inquisition gets wind of this project and sends a team of agents to check just what the warp your Rogue Trader is doing there.

 

You don't actually have to magically summon a grand plan out of your pockets - only to give your players the illusion of total freedom whilst taking your time to plan more elaborate, more epic consequences for their actions. :)

Edited by Lynata

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I like what Lynata had to say here! But in addition; I have always found as a Gm, The Path is not to limit the player's path but rather their options. Don't want the players to salvage the Chaos Cruiser? Make it possessed and well on it's way to being a Daemonship! (How many of you remember those?  :) )

 

 I also would take some time with the RT player out of game to see what his thoughts were and where he (Or She, I'm not picky) wants to take their dynasty. This helps me set up the story Arc. The other method is to provide the Story hook in the form of the reward. The Aforementioned Chaos cruiser is a great example of this! Your party is running a frigate on wants to Salvage a Cruiser? Assuming it's mostly intact, This might involve an endeavor unto itself! The ultimate goal being to end up on the bridge of your Scary new warship!

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But in addition; I have always found as a Gm, The Path is not to limit the player's path but rather their options. Don't want the players to salvage the Chaos Cruiser? Make it possessed and well on it's way to being a Daemonship!

 

Oh, absolutely! Though I'd like to stress to present such hindrances before the players voice their ideas. Just a bit of psychology: regardless of how reasonable the argument is, if you bring it up right away to block players' intentions, it may feel arbitrary.

 

But, since you can't anticipate everything (because players will be players), you can also throw in these blocks later on after allowing them to explore this option. Ideally, they will refrain from pushing it further on their own decision after discovering how difficult it will be to realise their plan. Like I said - the illusion of freedom. ;)

 

Of course, this is walking a fine line as well, for too many such disappointments after the group has already invested time and brain cells into an idea will slowly sap their morale just as much as if when you'd have immediately declined them.

That said, hopefully not all their ideas will be so crazy as to make you indirectly veto them, and every once in a while you may indulge them even on some of the crazier things. It's a bit like the GM picking the lesser poison, I suppose? But in the end, I still think this may make for an all-around better experience.

 

Also, +1 for making it an Endeavour!

Edited by Lynata

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No Career is indispensable.Quite aside from the options of using NPC characters, it is worth remembering that the majority of Careers represent fairly broad character archetypes. In fact, there are precisely two roles aboard a 40k starship that require a specific career to portray*: Navigator and Astropath.

Everything else (yes, even Tech-Priest) can be run using anything else. It simply represents a different style and personality to the PC. Sure, that style may not be as effective in a particular role as the conventionally accepted archetype (running a tech-priest using the Arch-Militant career, for example, tends not to yield a character particularly good at science).

 

I'd ask your players if there was a reason nobody chose RT- was it that nobody likes the Career path (or simply preferred others), or did no-one want to Hold the Warrant? If the former, you can choose (or have them choose) someone to be the Rogue Trader in everything but career path.

If the latter, well, there are a number of options: you could have a weak/incompetent NPC RT that they can sway/manipulate/mitigate, as suggested above. You could have a strong NPC RT, either aboard, or on another ship your players are escorting, giving them orders (suitable if you want a relatively high level of railroading/ control over the campaign's story arc). You could have a boss that will give them orders and mission directives and then trusts them to go off and do them, even in other star systems (closer to the more traditional GM-Player/Employer-adventurer relationship). They may be between Warrant Holders, and either be headed in the general direction of the next heir, searching for the next heir, testing claimants, or even stooging around outside Imperial space doing their jobs while waiting for an incompetent/unsuitable heir to die.

 

For that matter, it's even possible to run a game without any kind of RT: pirates, members of the Imperial Navy, official Explorators, Free Captains, there are plenty of possibilities.

My last campaign, for example, had a party consisting of a Seneschal, two Arch-Militants, a Void Master and and Astropath. At their request, they were an anarcho-capitalist pre-emptive salvage commune (pirates, ruling themselves by common council), which worked out rather well until one player decided to set himself up as a pirate god-king (the others mostly found that funny, and the astropath decided she should actively abet him). Of course, they also chose not to have a Navigator aboard, not even a NPC one, for the first three months (or 3 and a half years, game-time. Most of which was spent thoroughly lost somewhere between Port Wander and Footfall, thanks to the fun of traversing the Maw using only calculated jumps).

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What is the deal with this, as I've seen it pop u as a thread before? What's the overall opinion of the Rogue Trader Career? Does it just suck? Underpowered? I'm wondering if it's a dislike for the class, or if no one wants to be in charge? If it's the prior, sad face. If it's the later, well that can be good, if one person in your group might otherwise be abusive of their power, like some folks who play OW Sergeants or Commissars, and then stand alongside the players, but above all of their characters.

 

I've often knocked around the idea of having an elder RT use the player's ship as a member in standing, amongst their assets, sort of flying under their flag, like Abel Garret does. This can more structure helping guide the team, rather than letting them just pick willy nilly, though that is one of the appeals RT has. Also, it doesn't fix the problem of Captain, as that's a lot of what the RT does. That aside, a GM RT can more easily control the game, the same way many RPGs work, and I sort of like the feel of him staying aboard ship as an an NPC more than the player RT who doesn't want to risk the future of his dynasty on a stray shot to his face.

 

If you play a bit more loosely with the rules of dynasty, or interpret them more as you want to, (I have done this), you could certainly start the game with an RT who is NPC, and let the players learn the ropes of the game, the verse, and your campaign, and then later, if it becomes relevant, the NPC can always pass on the Warrant to a player, if one decides that they actually like leading, or the party can seize it, if you are less altruistic than the simpletons I usually write up for grimdark 40k ;) Funny thing, I'm not very good at leading, but I often get the job in SW, D&D, and other such games. I don't find it hard to get someone to lead, I find it harder to convince other players that they need to be led, and listen. Maybe the lack of an RT in their game will actually help.

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My RT group has no Rogue Trader player character.  Instead, our Rogue Trader was wounded mortally in the backstory and placed in stasis.  It's one of the central intrigues of the plot that our characters hide this fact from everyone and continue operating using the RT's authority and warrant.

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It's one of the central intrigues of the plot that our characters hide this fact from everyone and continue operating using the RT's authority and warrant.

 

Please tell me you have regular shipboard broadcasts using a cogitator-authored facsimile of said Rogue Trader. :D

 

equilibrium-city.jpg

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