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Maxim C. Gatling

The Family Business...Continuing the Dynasty

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If you start keeping track of Character Ages using the Warp Travel Times (see other thread) it becomes quite clear that in just a few game sessions a PC Rogue Trader could have children (or even grandchildren) old enough and educated enough to be serving with them aboard their vessel.  The more you travel in the Warp, the less you physically age in Real Time.  The benefits of this should be clear enough.  Inheritors to the Dynasty...replacement PC's should something dreadful happen to the RT...built-in loyalty to the Dynasty etc. etc.

First you need a wife.  (or husband...but for simplicity's sake I'm assuming a male RT who hasn't been ChemGelded)

A wife is so much more than the woman who does your underwear.  Indeed, that's servitor's job anyway.  This is Rogue Trader and RT is about Profit and Risk.  Believe me, there's nothing riskier than getting married.

Most upper crust marriages in the Imperium are arranged, either through a treaty or marriage broker, so on and so forth and come with a complicated array of contracts, legal obligations and prenuptual agreements.  Hence, I offer two abstract methods of finding a wife.  Of course, the GM is not bound by this if he or she sees a Plot Hook coming on (for instance, Aberforth must return to Hydraphur to marry Zenia of the Schlomo Dynasty because their wedding was arranged at birth as part of an alliance between their Grandfathers...)

#1.  Find one yourself.  Whenever the PC is in an appropriate situation (once per game month) the player reminds the GM that he's prowling for a wife.  The GM rolls on the tables below and records the results.  Each step of the charts represents a Level of Success which added together will determine how many Charm Test successes the RT needs to successfully pop the question. The more quality the girl, the harder she is to woo.   Each game month (need not be successive)  the PC may make another Charm Test and keeps track of cumulative successes.  When he feels "lucky" (i.e. guesses he has enough Successes), the PC can propose.  Failure means starting over looking for another girl.  Success means making  a Routine Acquisition Test to prove he's worthy to "Daddy".

The GM does NOT reveal all the chart results at once.  Each time a Charm Test is made successfully, the GM at his discretion can reveal the result on Chart #2, then Chart #3, then Chart #4 etc...representing the PC getting to know her better.  The PC may decide to give up if he's not happy with the results.

#2.  Marriage Broker.  The PC says he's looking for a wife and makes an Acquisition Test representing fees to the Broker, gifts to the lady and family, legal fees, etc.  For each Level of Success, the PC can increase the GM's die roll 1 pip on one chart of his choosing.  The PC must choose before the rolls are made.  If the results are not suitable for the PC, he may break off the engagement and try again next year.

Note:  The Wife is either "With you" or "Away" meaning she's either on the ship (or otherwise in the vicinity) or she's "Away" living on one of your many Estates.  Usually, this is self-explanatory when die roll modifiers are expressed or benefits accrued. 

For instance, Social Interaction rolls.  She doesn't necessarily need to be hanging on your arm to incur the modifier, but merely being on the ship might do whereas being on another planet obviously won't.  Use common sense.  How much time you spend with your spouse will affect their "Happiness Factor".  This will be explained at the end and should be familiar to all men whose real life marriages work on a "points system", like mine.  Also note that all bonuses/penalties are cumulative.  You may get a wife with contradictory results that cancel each other out or a wife you simply can't do without due to the Social Interaction bonus she gives you by being near.  Alternatively, you may get a hefty nag who you can't stand, but increases your Dynasty's Profit Factor or produces fine children...Or a beauty who gives great bonuses, but costs the Dynasty a lot to maintain.  Lots of fun!

Chart #1  Looks

1-2   Homely.  You may wish to consider artificial insemination.  Double-Bagger and a bottle of cheap Amasec...    Hide her away because she incurs a -10% penalty to all social interaction rules when "With you".

3-4   Corn-Fed Beauty  A bit on the chunky side, but to each his own. 

5   Butter Face   Nice body...  Children have   -5% to Social Interaction rolls when "With you"

6-7    Plain Jane   Hot in a nerdy-girl way. 

8   Girl Next Door  You wouldn't kick her out of the barn.  / +3% to Social Interaction rolls when "With you"

9   Gorgeous.  This woman is hotter than a Plasma Reactor.  +5% to Social Interaction rolls when "With you"

10  Perfect.  Dream Girl.   +10% to Social Interaction rolls when "With you"

Chart #2  Social Class

Social Class is a big factor as her Dynasty is in essence merging with your Dynasty.  Often this brings a substantial portion of wealth one way or the other as she brings her Dynasty's assets and contacts or you share yours with her family.

1-2  Commoner, Lose d5 Profit Factor upon marriage, Children gain +1 to all Stats (cuz they're not inbred Nobility...)

3-5  Lower Class than the RT, Lose d5 Profit Factor upon marriage

6-9 Same Class as the RT, No loss or gain in PF upon marriage

10  Higher Class than the RT, gain d5 Profit Factor upon marriage

Chart #3 Personality

1-2  She's a shrill, frigid ***** who cannot be pleased.  Happiness Factor will never exceed 70 and she incurs a -5% penalty on Social Interaction rolls and -10% to Willpower Tests when "With you".  All Procreation attempts suffer a -10% penalty to success.  Character must make an annual Toughness Test or become an alcoholic (LOL, that's optional...)

3-5  She's a bossy, nagging woman typical of her gender, but she has her tender moments.  If her Happiness Factor ever drops below 60, she incurs a -5% to Social Interaction and Willpower Tests when "With you" and a -5% on Procreation attempts.

6-7  26 days out of the Lunar cycle, she's easy enough to get along with. No bonuses or penalties

8-9  She's a witty conversationalist and you rather miss her when she's "Away".  +3% to Social Interaction rolls when "With You"

10  Witty and funny, enjoys similar pursuits and very knowledgable on a variety of topics.  She always knows just what to say...and when not to.  You have the feeling she's trying to control you...but you like it.  +5 to Social Interaction and Willpower Tests when "With You".

Chart #4  Home Economics

1-2  Unfaithful tramp.  She likes to spend money...lots of it.  Sometimes on her gigolos.  For each successful Procreation attempt, there is a 25% chance the child is not yours.  If her Happiness Factor drops below 80, she will cost you 1 Profit Factor for each year she is "Away".

3-4  High Maintenance.  She likes to throw lavish parties and expects the best of everything, which is unfortunately typical of a Lady in her Social Class.  She, however, has no concept of restraint.  Each year "Away" she costs the Dynasty d5 Profit Factor.

5-6  Lazy and unambitious.  She costs the Dynasty 1 PF per year regardless of "With" or "Away" status not because she spends to much but rather she neglects her social duties and the "routine maintenance" of the Dynasty's holdings.

7-8  Typical Lady of the Nobility.  She likes to do all the things Noble Born women do, but she doesn't go overboard.  Sometimes she actually manages to increase the Dynasty's fortune with a well-thrown party with well-connected people.  Every year "Away" roll d10.  On a "1" she costs the Dynasty 1 PF.  On a "10" she gains the Dynasty 1 PF.

9  Thrifty and conservative, this woman manages to gain the Dynasty a steady 1 Profit Factor per year "Away"

10  A genius of household and business management and a true social butterfly, she gains the Dynasty d5 Profit Factor every year "Away" and +5 to Social Interaction rolls when "With you".

Chart #5 Demeanor

1-2  Cold and distant.  She likes her "me" time and doesn't mind that you're gone.  You get half the bonuses/penalties for "Spending Time" to her Happiness Factor.  You also incur a -5% penalty to Procreation Attempts.

3-7  Typical Lady who enjoys spending time with you whether she loves you or hates you and just wants to make you miserable.  No bonuses/penalties

8-9  Frisky and needs attention.  However else she thinks of you, she knows you're good for one thing at least.  Double your "Spending Time" bonus and increase your Procreation Attempts by 5%.  Her HF will automatically decrease by 2 every month instead of one (see Happiness Factor below)

10  Adventurous.  She likes being on the Ship and accompanying you on your journeys. That could be good, that could be bad. All Happiness Factor modifiers from "Away" or "With You" are reversed.

Chart #6  Genetics

1  10% chance children will have a Mutation

2   5% chance children will develop Psyker powers

3-8  Children will be normal

9  Children will have 5 extra Stat points

10  Children will have 10 extra Stat points.

"What's LOVE got to do with it?" 

Happiness Factor is pretty simple.  Low HF, she hates him, High HF she loves him.  Love/Hate blah blah...it boils down to how "Happy" she is.

Every "actual" year of the wife's life (whether it be 'Real' time or combination of 'Warp Time' + 'Real' Time) the GM rolls a d100.  If the result exceeds her Happiness Factor, she's Unhappy.  The PC must make a Charm Test with the difficulty modified by how far the GM's roll exceeded tolerance levels...or she Divorces him.  For example, Rogue Trader Abdul Goldberg calculates his wife's Happiness Factor for that year and after all the modifiers are said and done she's got a HF of 64.  the GM rolls 78.  Abdul must make a Routine Charm Test with a 14% penalty.  Starting HF is d100+25, not to exceed 100.

Calculating HF:

Every Month it goes down 1.  Automatically.  No matter what.  Every time an Endeavor "Misfortune" occurs it will also go down 1.  Each month she spends onboard Ship (in general "With You" it will go down an additional 1.  Ladies like their creature comforts, parties, High Society etc.

"Spending Time" with her makes her HF go up by 2 each month you do it.  To "Spend Time" with her, she has to either be "With You" or you have to be in a System where one or more of your Estates are located. She'll come to you, if you're nearby.  Example:  She spends 2 months "With You" aboard ship, you break even as you lose 2 (she hates shipboard life) and gain 2 (she gets to nag you about your driving).  You spend 3 months on Scintilla getting your ship retrofitted, she's "Away" but you get to spend time with her, net gain of 3 HF.  You go on a 4 month journey into the Koronus Expanse, she loses 4 Happiness Factor.  Easy.

You can also forgo one of your alloted Acquisition Tests per game year and gain HF equal to your successes.

Easy enough.  If the GM doesn't want to get detailed about the nuptual arrangements, assume getting Divorced cost the Dynasty 5+d10 Profit Factor and she gets the kids under 12.  Hey, whatta bargain, that's not even Half!  (But enough to dissuade Players from throwaway marriages)

Children:  You can, of course, choose one of the many fine birth control methods the Imperium has to offer, but assuming children are wanted, the PC can make a Procreation Attempt every week.  The accidental rate is 15% chance per week that she's "With You" or you're "Spending Time" with her.  If you seriously want to get down to business, you can devote a whole month to "Domestication" and increase the chance to 35% per week, but you must spend the entire month with her even if she's pregnant before the month is up. 

So this is intended to be used as an abstract way of keeping the Dynasty "alive" and also intended to be used with...

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=160&efcid=3&efidt=220060

...to keep track of Real/Warp time.  I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to add/subtract/suggest/use/abuse however you see fit.  They are "House Rules" after all!

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I imagine this would be far simpler, and produce better results, if the GM created an NPC and then had her (or him) act according to whatever personality and motives they were given. Depending on how the game goes the spouse and children may very much be a background detail until one of them comes to the fore, just another cog in the workings of the dynasty until one of them steps onboard the Lord-Captain's ship.

As for engineering mariages for the purpose of politics and profit, it could be anything from an Influence check and the subsequent discussion with the family or organisation you'd hopefully be marrying into to a full blown Endeavour, though most likely a Lesser one. For those less interested in all the frills and simply after good breeding stock then it might even come down to a simple Acquisition roll.

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The ideas that were presented were at best childish in nature. In the realm of power and influence physical beauty is irrelevant. Beauty does not equal Power.

 

I think that marriages for a RT will all be purely political in nature. Look to Dune for guidance.

 

The wife and husband both would have concubines or whatever you choose to call them for the purpose of physical and emotional needs. The marriage contract will define what the requirements for inheritance of ship, material, manpower, money, and charter are. In my view it's unlikely that a RT’s spouse would be on board his/her ship much if it all.

 

Most contracts would require the exchange of PF, ships, items, or other goods in exchange for who gets the rights to inherit the Charter upon the death of the RT or a time frame of some sort.

 

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ItsUncertainWho said:

 

 

The ideas that were presented were at best childish in nature. In the realm of power and influence physical beauty is irrelevant. Beauty does not equal Power.

 

I think that marriages for a RT will all be purely political in nature. Look to Dune for guidance.

 

The wife and husband both would have concubines or whatever you choose to call them for the purpose of physical and emotional needs. The marriage contract will define what the requirements for inheritance of ship, material, manpower, money, and charter are. In my view it's unlikely that a RT’s spouse would be on board his/her ship much if it all.

 

Most contracts would require the exchange of PF, ships, items, or other goods in exchange for who gets the rights to inherit the Charter upon the death of the RT or a time frame of some sort.

 

 

 

 

Why does the marriage of a Rogue Trader have to be "purely political in nature"? Considering the vast wealth and freedom a Rogue Trader possess, they can pretty much marry whomever they want. Rogue Traders might actually be one of the only noble classes that doesn't have to be press-ganged into marriage with someone they don't even know or like.

Also, why would it be unlikely that a Rogue Trader keeps his or her spouse on board? I mean, if they really care for their spouse then surely they wouldn't leave them on some backwater colony that they have founded where they can't keep them safe.

As for the Origina Post:

Handle the subject in a bit more mature manner and then we'll talk. The very fact that you simply assume that the Rogue Trader is a man and not a woman just screams of an immature view...

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Taking into account the feudal nature of 40K and the very high ranking noble status of a Rogue Trader dynasty I believe that there is little room if any for a non-political marriage of a Rogue Trader or their heirs. Marriage is far too great of a political tool at that level of society to allow for emotion to be involved. Not to say it can't develop, but up front I would say at best it would be very rare.

 

Yes, a RT has freedom like no other but they still need to expand their fortunes and influence. If a marriage to a well off chartist captains daughter nets you 2-3 transport ships or to a planetary governors daughter gets you rights to a constant supply of troops and supplies from that planet then that is very much worth more than someone you love who gains you nothing in the 40K verse. A mistress can be kept near at hand but I would not want my wife near by unless it was stated in the marriage contract. If it was in the contract I would be having a short conversation with my seneschal about his new replacement. 

 

Also, I never said that a RT would dump their spouse on an unprotected backwater. Dumping them in a palace on a nice heavily fortified Imperial world with all their needs taken care of and maybe a visit every few decades might be more like it. And really, what says “I care” more than a big house, servants, and piles of money and the freedom to use it as you see fit? 

 

A Rogue Trader is effectively, at least as I would consider them, a king. He's not the king of England but he is maybe the king of Denmark. How many kings actually married for love without major repercussions?

 

 

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I'm inclined to agree with Varnias here. Certainly a Rogue Trader marrying for love is making a stupid decision - but other than most historical monarchs, many Rogue Traders can probably afford to make one, just like they can afford to let one or two business deals slide if they are succesful in their other ones. They're generally under not too much external pressure. They mostly don't have shareholders to answer to and their family hasn't got that much power over them either.

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ItsUncertainWho said:

 

 

 

A Rogue Trader is effectively, at least as I would consider them, a king. He's not the king of England but he is maybe the king of Denmark. How many kings actually married for love without major repercussions?

 

 

 

I disagree. A king and other land bound nobility is just that, bound to their land. They have to manage, govern and rule the lot of which they have inherited and they have to make political deals like marriage, because others demands it of them.

A Rogue Trader is his (or her) own political entity, and they aren't bound to any planet or realm. They can come and go as they like and pursue pretty much any endavours they want, they don't have to respect the wishes or expectations of other nobility like kings, queens, princes or princesses' have to. Monarchic family members are bound by the society of which they live in, Rogue Traders aren't bound by anything.

Now while a Rogue Trader COULD profit from marriage if he or she were to marry with the offspring of a more succesful and powerful Rogue Trader, and be able to cash in a hefty chunk of dowry for it, there isn't really anything that insures that this is the course of action a Rogue Trader would take. Remember that such a marriage would entail a lot of obligations, meaning quite simply a limitation on their warrant of trade. Suddenly the "shackled-in-marriage" Rogue Trader isn't as free to enjoy his or her warrant of trade anymore. Suddenly they have obligations to consider.

Suffice to say that some Rogue Traders value their freedom a lot more than any coinage they could acquire through the voluntary imprisonment of marriage. They are after all quite the diverse and eccentric bunch, with varying values and ideals.

So to summarize: some Rogue Traders might be greedy or politically inclined enough to marry with a political agenda. Some Rogue Traders might simply want to marry out of love and all that romantic bull. And some might simply prefer to roam wild and free, and have "a lover in every port".

But there is nothing that says that one sort of Rogue Trader would be more common than the other simply because the Imperial society is very feudal in nature. Yes the society is feudal, but Rogue Traders aren't bound by society as the lower, planet-bound nobility are. They have rights and priviliges that even sector spanning noble houses can only dream of.

In fact, it is the sector houses that want to get their sons and daughters married to Rogue Traders and will most likely pay dowry for it. Some Sector Houses have to do it because their dynasty would crumble if they don't acquire the connection and power that a liason with a Rogue Trader provides. A Rogue Trader on the other hand will have to be a pretty useless and incompetent one if he or she ever find him-/herself in a position where they'd have to marry in order to keep their dynasty going.

It is the landlubbers that are dependant on Rogue Traders, not the other way around. gran_risa.gif

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...no senses of humor...

I apologize for not working it out for female RT's, but you know as well as I do that the vast majority of players are going to run male characters.  I could make up charts for female RT's equally offensive to men, but it would only be seen as hilarious, because well...men are pigs.  The entire idea of arranged marriages ARE misogynistic.  Love might not enter into it, but it's more than finding a match with good genetics and a hefty dowry.

And as far as "looks not having anything to do with it", it's not looks per se, but general ladylike grace and social comportment, of which looks is a part of.  One need look no farther than American politics to see how important that factor is to potential Presidential, Congressional, Senatorial and Gubernatorial candidates.  If it made absolutely no difference, then Michelle Obama's pants would never make the evening news.  Don't underestimate the power of the woman behind the "Throne".

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

I apologize for not working it out for female RT's, but you know as well as I do that the vast majority of players are going to run male characters.

Oh now that's something you can't really predict. While I can concede to that the vast majority of PLAYERS are male, there really is no telling of what sex their characters will have. Just look at the trends in MMORPG-gaming where male players actively choose to play female characters instead of male characters (if only to be able to rest their eyes on a well-shaped female posterior during gaming instead of having to look a the ass of a buff barbarian man). The same goes for table top RPG's.

I tend to shy away from female characters myself, but that's mainly because I have the rather prejudiced idea that "girls are different in mindset than guys", and that I wouldn't be able to portray a woman as well as I would like. In truth this is a neurosis on my part, there really isn't very much scientific backing that women are inherently different in mindset than men (and no I don't care for much of the pseudo-science in measuring brains as sound scientific proof, so don't bring it up please), but from my subjective point of view, they seem different in a way that I feel that I can't emulate very well. It would be awesome if I thought I could, but I guess this is one of the few aspects where my otherwise generous amounts of confidence is lacking.

Other guys tend to not really care that much about it and think "f**k it, I'll play a female character", and some guys simply think it is funny to play them (even if they tend to act a bit too efiminate for believability if you ask me).

Then of course there's the extremely neurotic guys who think: "GOD NO! I CAN'T PLAY A WOMAN! What if it makes me gay or transgendered?! What if the other players start to think im gay or transgendered!? I can't risk it!!!" I hardly believe they are in any sort of majority. You have to be pretty open minded to try out RPG's anyway.

So, there really is no telling. Even if it might provide an interesting survey.

 

Maxim C. Gatling said:

  I could make up charts for female RT's equally offensive to men, but it would only be seen as hilarious, because well...men are pigs.  The entire idea of arranged marriages ARE misogynistic.  Love might not enter into it, but it's more than finding a match with good genetics and a hefty dowry.

Actually, arranged marriages strikes out at the man as well, so I'd say that the concept is more misanthropic than just being misogynistic. What's misogynistic is the fact that in some countries where arranged marriages are commonplace, the man have more rights to divorce than the woman has. But then again in some cultures the woman had more rights to divorce the man, making the laws misandric instead. But arranged marriag in general strikes out at both parts, not just the women.

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I'm totally against arranged marriage in real life.

But it seems like the way things are done in the Imperium and it's a good thing it's not real life we're talking about here. 

Remember in Rogue Star, the dude's second marriage was arranged as his first wife died.  The entire thing was contractual.  He got some estates etc. and in return she provided him with a son.  Sounds like a raw deal for her, BUT....

He wanted a son to carry on the Dynasty name, but it was part of the marriage contract that the son would be the Heir to the Dynasty, where it should normally have gone to the older sister from the first marriage.  So when dear old Papa died, the wife literally gains the entire Dynasty via her son, as she's now the Matriarch.  It was the source of tension an a major theme through both Rogue Star and Star of Damocles because the sister felt screwed out of her inheritance (which she was...).

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

 

I'm totally against arranged marriage in real life.

But it seems like the way things are done in the Imperium and it's a good thing it's not real life we're talking about here. 

Remember in Rogue Star, the dude's second marriage was arranged as his first wife died.  The entire thing was contractual.  He got some estates etc. and in return she provided him with a son.  Sounds like a raw deal for her, BUT....

He wanted a son to carry on the Dynasty name, but it was part of the marriage contract that the son would be the Heir to the Dynasty, where it should normally have gone to the older sister from the first marriage.  So when dear old Papa died, the wife literally gains the entire Dynasty via her son, as she's now the Matriarch.  It was the source of tension an a major theme through both Rogue Star and Star of Damocles because the sister felt screwed out of her inheritance (which she was...).

 

 

Can't say I've read Rogue Star, but I just don't agree that political or arranged marriages are "how things are done" among Rogue Traders. Mainly because it makes no sense. The inheritor of a warrant of trade get so many freedoms and opportunities just by having it, there's really no reason for a Rogue Trader to be press-ganged into an arranged marriage at all. If they don't want to marry their business is highly unlikely to crumble because of their refusal to marry. It's not really a concern to them unless they make it their concern (meaning that the marriage is more voluntary than arranged).

If we had been talking arranged marriage among normal nobility, or even commoners it would be a completely different matter. They are still a part of not only the Imperial society but their planetary society as well. Rogue Traders aren't.

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Apparently my real world power metaphor was lost on you Varnias. It had nothing to do with being land bound. It had to do with illustrating that a Rogue Trader has a level of power and station within the Imperium of man equal to that of a king 500 years ago. Maybe I was not explicit enough. A RT is equal to the king of Denmark, master of his domain and what not, until he leaves the Imperium. At that point he becomes the king of England, Holy Roman Emperor, what have you, as the incarnate voice of the god emperor of mankind. Rogue Traders are bound by Imperial law while in the Imperium. Outside of those borders are where their true power comes into being.

As far as being press-ganged into marriage, huh? We are talking about Rogue Traders not a 5th in line to a minor governorship prince. RT’s are power; therefore they would have lesser nobles clamoring for marriage rights. Most RT’s with a good set of contract lawyers should come out of any marriage much better off than they were before. There is also the Queen Elizabeth strategy of the promise of maybe. A maybe can be powerful enough in some circumstances to net you a profit from multiple parties vying for a marriage that the RT will never allow to go through.

 

As for the looks issue… In 40K they don’t have TV and the internet connecting the galaxy together in real time. How stylish someone is and how well they can handle a camera are not issues. Pre-television society wasn’t driven by how good you looked. You had to be intelligent and speak well. The Nixon-Kennedy presidential debate is the classic example. TV households said Kennedy won, radio households said Nixon won. 40K is a more of a telegraph universe maybe even pony express. 

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Tullio said:

 

Hang on a sec. Why does the physical appearance of the wife have a bearing on the stats of children?

 

 

Looks are a factor in the Fellowship stat.  Granted, you can have a great Fellowship Stat and not be physically attractive, but being good looking certainly helps.  Other than that, it doesn't really matter.  I gave bonuses to some stats just to balance out the negative to Fellowship really.

For instance, on the charts I made up, you could have a plain or even unattractive spouse who still produces fine children due to good overall genetics....

It boils down to this:  If you don't like the idea of randomized arranged marriages in your game...don't use them.  This was intentionally meant to be childish and chauvanistic in a very "Al Bundy" kind of way, aimed at guys who have been married long enough to know that the two most important words in any successful marriage are "Yes, Dear!".  If you didn't find the humor in it, you're probably young, single and/or an actual woman.   Nothing I can do about that, sorry. 

Make up your own Politically Correct Unisex system if you want.  Might I suggest dusting off FGU's Bushido! for inspiration, as it's the only other RPG I know of where they detailed "Domestication".  Warning though, it also assumes your Samurai is a male...

Oh, and in MMORPG's, the vast majority of female characters are played by males, for two reasons: #1, if you're going to spend that much time looking at an animated backside, it might as well be a hot female's and #2, horny teenage male players will give you free stuff if you pretend to be female. It's sexist, chauvanistic and just happens to be the way it is in MMORPG's.  In WOW, Orc females are the least played race/sex by actual females.  Why?  Because actual females consider Orc females to be ugly.  Uglier than Troll females.  I don't agree, but that's the statistics...

I'm not making this up, there was a guy who did research for his college thesis and Sony Entertainment did extensive market research on it.

This doesn't apply to PNP RPG's because the "horny pimply teen boy giving freebies and favors" factor doesn't come into it unless there's an actual girl sitting at the table, and there's the macho factor.  That being I've probably played PNP games with 70-80 people over the last 30 years and exactly 6 of them were female (who ALWAYS played a female character) and exactly TWO of the males ever played a female character of which one of them was ME.  Every single last one of these geeky Poindexters I've played with was too macho to play a female character in a PNP game (even if they play females in MMORPG's)  I've been called '*****' more than once for playing a female character, but I dig chicks and like to be different sometimes.

Another thing you have to understand is that even in pre-television times, it behooved a politician or noble lord to have a wife who could entertain, socialize and maintain important business and social contacts.  TV is only good for influencing the masses, which aren't as important as face-to-face meetings with lieges, campaign contributers, vassals and various other important leaders and dignitaries...so I made it so that a good spouse with talents along those lines would give you a solid benefit in game mechanics terms.

Another problem with Unisexing the charts is that women in power have different motivations, needs and goals in a mate than men do.  They do care less about looks or political advantage and more about actually liking the fellow.  Take the Queens Elizabeth for example.  The Elizabeth the 1st never found a mate with enough power and status who she could trust and actually liked, so she never married.  Elizabeth the 2nd might be cold and aloof like most British Royalty, but she probably loves the Phillip, the breeding is right and she never had to worry about him trying to steal her throne.

Prince Charles is a prime illustration of what happens when you marry below your Station.  I love Di, and I'm not blaming her for the failed marriage, but as it turned out it would have been better for both of them if Chuck had just married ugly old Camilla in the first place.  Why did he marry Di in the first place?  What were you saying about "Looks don't count"?  A lot of people felt it more important for appearance sake and overall political advantage for the Prince to be seen with a young, charming bride than marry one of his cousins.

The Lord Commander Planetary Governor isn't going to let his daughter (or son) marry a manual laborer just for love.  Or a member of a rival political Dynasty.  Yes, I smell a plot hook here too, but it would never be the norm.  What it is is a well-worn theme of Shakespear plays, fairy tales and WifeTime Movie Specials.  Oops, there I go again being chauvanistic...

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

 

 

Looks are a factor in the Fellowship stat.  Granted, you can have a great Fellowship Stat and not be physically attractive, but being good looking certainly helps.  Other than that, it doesn't really matter.

For instance, on the charts I made up, you could have a plain or even unattractive spouse who still produces fine children due to good overall genetics....

 

 

Well, there is a flaw in the genetic point of view, and that would mainly be that if a good looking woman (well, there really doesn't exit such a person that is considered attractive to EVERYONE, but for simplicity we'll use the term "attractive" or "good looking" in relation to that most people would agree that the person is, discounting the minority that might think different) and a good looking man sire children together, their children would also grow up to be good looking people.

The flaw here being that there really is no telling which genes are dominant and which are recessive in the man and the woman. For instance, the woman could have a grandmother with a nightmarish appearance, and those genes might be dominant in any children that her grandchildren would produce, and even be dominating over the mans "good looking" genes, meaning that their particular configuration might produce the ugliest children ever.

Then there's also the combined configuration to consider. Some aspects considered "good looking" might not be in harmony with other aspects. It's hard to make an appropriate analogy with people so Iäll go with clothes instead.

A pair of trousers in one specific colour might be good looking, and a shirt in a radically different colour might also be good looking. But if you wear both at the same time you might look like your fashion sense and taste is a bit retarded (like wearing a pink shirt with grey trousers or a pair of blue jeans with a lime green shirt etc. etc.)

So there really is no telling of the final appearance of the children by just looking at their parents physical appearance... Unless of course you factor in genetic engineering, which may or may not be a common occurence when Rogue Traders start a family...

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Sure, I could have made it more complicated by adding abstract percentage chances to represent random genetic factors....but that would be too...complicated.

I didn't take into consideration on Chart #6 Genetics: whether or not the RT's genes were any good...on purpose because that would make the game too much like RoleMaster (ChartMaster to you greybeards).

But to illustrate the other "Looks don't matter" arguement consider the following:

You're orbiting Flatulous Prime and are expecting the Trade Delegation from the local Chartist Union aboard to try to negotiate a very important trade agreement.  The amount of Achievement points for this portion of the Endeavor are greatly affected by the success of your upcoming Charm/Bargain/Decieve and/or other Social Interaction checks your GM will have you make during the formal dinner you're expected to throw for them. 

#1. You're married to Cindy McCain. 

She's attractive, well-spoken, well-connected, a wonderful conversationalist and throws an elegant and gracious party.  As if that weren't enough, she owns her own Brewery!  She's going to schmooze the Trade Delegation, relax them and butter them up for your business pitch, adding to whichever Fellowship based rolls you may need to throw.

#2.  You're married to Hillary Clinton. 

She's unattractive, outspoken, tacky and has a voice akin to the screech of a ptera-squirrel.  Initially, she added to your Dynasty's Profit Factor due to her being higher Social Status than you and her many shady contacts with various Imperial bureaucracies.  She's also a shrewd, if not ruthless businesswoman.  These traits contributed greatly to your Dynasty and you may not have been able to rise so high if it weren't for her.  She even ignores your frequent indiscretions, but as agreed from the beginning, you now serve as her ladder to power.  You could tell her to stay in her stateroom, but if the Delegation found out your wife was aboard it would look bad that she was not in attendance and you weigh the negative modifier of her awkward absence against actually having her attend.  You wish you'd just left her on Scintilla "Away".

#3.  You're married to Megan Fox. 

She's hawt, hawt, hawt, but a brainless twit.  She's notorious throughout 3 Sectors for the idiotic things that tumble out of her mouthhole at precisely the wrong moment.  You wisely decide to lock her in her Stateroom with an armed guard, hoping she won't embarrass you further by seducing them.  She manages not to adversely affect the Dynasty's Profit Factor, but you suspect your children might have increased chance of Mutation due to her clubbed thumb.  You should have gone with the Plain Jane with the sweet temperment from Hohum Dynasty...but nooooo...you had to have a "Hot" wife....

See?  It's not just looks, but it's just one of the many factors that gives an indicator of what makes up a "good" spouse or not.

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

See?  It's not just looks, but it's just one of the many factors that gives an indicator of what makes up a "good" spouse or not.

That wasn't the issue. The issue was that an ugly wife would result in the children automatically being ugly as well. You could simply remove the "children will have a -10 Fellowship" aspect if you want to keep things reasonable.

As for a good spouse and his or her function in a business meeting. If I were the Rogue Trader, I wouldn't keep my spouse around such important affairs. We all know that the most savvy and skilled businessmen are cold and almost psychotic single men with a narcissistic streak (just look at Wall Street).

And that's the philosophy I'd apply in any business meeting. Having the spouse around implies that im "human" and "can be related to", which of course implies that I have human weaknesses, that I can be cheated and exploited. It's not good for business to let other people know that,. You have to radiate an overpowering sense of invincibility and that you are super-human. And that you are powerful enough to make unwilling clients go through a living hell if they refuse your offer.

A good negotiator holds a gun in one hand, and the promise of a beneficial future in the other, they don't have their wife throwing dinner parties. lengua.gif

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Ok, ok.  I concede.  Good point.  I took out any genetic modifiers for children due to Mom's looks or lack thereof.

Next point.  I see what you're saying.  And certianly it applies to a Corporate Boardroom.  Although, many companies (including my own) have a nice looking, well-educated woman promoted just so she can attend meetings with potential customers.  I'm not saying it isn't chauvanist or right, but it works, hence they do it.  She might actually be single, but she's performing the same essential function.

If intimidation is your goal, then obviously go to the sterile Corporate Boardroom type of interaction.


Naturally, it's a bonus.  Not every RT is going to be married.  Not every RT is going to want their wifes on the ship with them.  Maybe they got married just to provide children and/or what the wife can do in the background for the Dynasty's Profit Factor.  However, if you had a wife with the right talents (i.e. bonuses and not negatives) you'd want to exploit it any time the GM will let you.

Let's look at high-powered political meetings that effect entire planets.  Does Michelle Obama affect them?  Sure she does.  So does Sarkozy's wife, the hot one.  In France, she's more famous than he is.  Evita?  Elenor Roosevelt?  Grace Kelly perhaps?  Laura Bush?  If women didn't have the ability or weren't seen as necessary to these dealings, they'd never be involved.

Here's an example:

Uncle Vernon was the President of Grunnings, a company that sold drills.  One evening, he invited some clients to dinner and yada yada had the whole thing rehearsed down to golf jokes and relied on Aunt Petunia to pull things off so he could sell a big order of drills...naturally some house elf and an owl messed the whole thing up....

Ok, bad example.

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This is a GREAT post.

Actually it is one of the best in this forum, and in a lot of rules forums.

The rules are clear, usable, with just what you need of complexity without a lot of simulation. The style is good, and fun to read. Fun... Like in "a joke". How can someone can fell offended by this? What about WH40K universe?

Kill all aliens, kill mutants, burn the witch? Do not ask questions, Obey in all thing to your God Emperor?

What about commissar shooting people in the head? What about INQUISITION?

You are playing in one of the most badass, offensive universe out there, and you think this piece of joke is shocking? Why? Because it is not "Codex Approved"? What's wrong with you?

As for the "beauty" part. It's good. it's epic. it's fun.

You want a pretty lady, gentle and fun to be with? You can. Maybe she's not rich, and she spend too much, but she is so cute. That's love.

She's ugly, and bad, and hate you, but she's a genius in commerce. This is just business. You don't want her near you, but she's your best business partner. In time, maybe you will come to an understanding.

Or you can have the perfect woman. pretty and rich and everything. But what to do? Send her away to make more money, or have her by your side?

Good system, lot of options, fun to play with. you can add some rivals, who make their rolls to woo the lady. That can be your enemy from the noble origin, who want to "steal" her. That's a full plot for your player.

 

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Somehow I don't see the immaturity and misogyny so many others see in the OP... maybe I too am immature and misogynistic sonrojado.gif

First thing I saw that looked somewhat off to me was the effects on profit factor. A bonus of d5 or so for an exceptionally good marriage of business convenience sounds about ok, but penalties? Why would marrying a commoner reduce it by d5? She's only one person to feed and maintain, and even with the extravagant lifestyle expected of the matriarch of a rogue trader dynasty, it shouldn't show off in profit factor, let alone several points of it. Profit factor is wealth on a colossal scale, and even the poorest rogue trader is paying maintenance costs of  a ship with a crew counted in the tens of thousands, operating and maintaining thousands of tons of arcane tech-systems. One Paris Hilton lifestyle won't make much of a difference when your turnover is measured on a scale like that.

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I lol'd. Reminds me of the (in)famous Random Harlot Generation Table from some AD&D manual.

Seriously, I'd never consign such an issue to random rolls if I were a GM, and I'd be rather discontent as a player if a GM decided to handle the issue in such a way. Regardless if it's an arranged marriage for political reasons or having your Missionary perform the rites with a local woman you fell in love with, marriage has a tremendous story potential beyond rolling Influence.

Still, good read, good laugh. Pay no attention to the politically correct critics.

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 The part about becoming an alcoholic honestly had me laughing out loud.

But honestly this is the kind of situation that should never be reduced to flat rules and rolls. It'd be like forcing every single step of character creation to be completely randomized with no character input: it's just an awful, awful way to go about things. Some of the CONCEPTS in your post (Profit Factor up or down, Fellowship Tests bonus or penalty, etc etc) all have an interesting place in any character's potential spouse, rolling isn't the way to go about this.

On a side note, unless you're a split sex/gender group with your GM being of an opposite leaning than you, this kind of stuff gets awful really quick. You start having to flirt with them, while you both feel like assholes or sexual stereotypes. It probably doesn't have enough of a place in Rogue Trader unless you're a really hardcore roleplayer.

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You forgot other players getting board.  As important ts it might be to the Rogue Trader, it's not nessisaraly all that interesting to the story.  Unless there's a deamon incursion in the middle of the wedding.  That happened to me in one game...

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I have to agree that a number of posters where a little to sensitive to the mysogeny. Nice writing for a joke post, but also good solid ideas for story too. My DH group came up with awesome stories from randomly generated character options. Don't discount the use of random charts for story inspiration.

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