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mightymconeshot

a couple problems

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I am having a two question about my gaming group. I have done lots of rpgs before and have game mastered  a couple so experince is not it.

First problem. One of my player refuse to enter the expanse. I sadly started them outside of it in a nearby sector and the rogue trader in charge of the group refuse to enter the expanse. He just insists on doing merchant runs. Any ideas on how to get him to enter it willing. I dont really want to throw a deus ex machina at the group.

Secondly not so much a problem but a question. what is the max cargo a ship can hold. also how does that relate to people. I ask becuase he wants to gather himself a personal army and i have no idea on the amount of men a ship could hold(outside normal ship crew). Could someone let me know where to find it or a general approximation.

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Problem one: I assume he is a Rogue Trader and therefore not part of any Chartist Guilds (Merchants that travel through void and warp). So if he tries to run around as a Rogue Trader transporting supplies in some guild territory not only would it be illegal (only to a point because hes  a RT) but piss them off. Hes basically trying to open up shop beside a Fedex. It doesn't work and even more its a 40k Fedex so when they get pissed hes taking business they act violently. People don't act nicely to you taking their business. Also there is little money in running a single ship on merchant runs, at least for a RT. The Expanse is where the real treasure is. Explain this to your character, show how doing small merchant runs will slowly put him/her in the hole.

Or if you want to make the game more interesting. Do the old stolen prince trick. Basically steal someone important to him by pirates, merchant guild, or another RT, then slip into the Expanse to hide. That will surely work. If it doesn't then obviously your player and group isn't trying to play a game you made but trying to create their own. A game is just as much for the players as the DM. If your not happy then it puts everything off tilt.

Problem two: First off it depends on the ship and what they have. Ex: Press-Gang Quarters is a nice thing to have if your trying to stuff some me. Remember you can't fit people in a cargo hold and assume they are happy. Doing so would morale and also take up room for well...cargo!  I allowed my RT to have a normal crew with Armsmen and he bought a Merc Band of 1000 troops plus some vehicles. My RT has Raider vessel. Remember its the grim future its funnier if your players have to work hard and have the odds against him. So having a full army at hand really doesnt make the players feel accomplished, kinda like giving everyone best quality weapons and armor.

A good DnD like all good rpgs you don't start off level 10, you work your way up from level 1 killing goblins and orcs. Everyone knows that moment when a black goblin was latched onto your warriors back stabbing him with a dagger. In realness your warrior is only a son of a farmer that found a magical sword.

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 I'd start slowly decreasing his Profit Factor as the sheer cost of running low paid cargo starts to hit home - he won't be able to compete with the bigger boys (cargo hauling wise) and when the money runs out...

 Also, the holds may be physically big enough to stuff a lot of people into, but living quarters? Training facilities? Even Toilet facilities....?! You stick a few thousand folks in a big hold and you're gonna have problems, plummeting morale which will already be low with the monotony of hauling in the back of nowhere and you could even have a mutiny on your hands. Add to this the strain on the life support systems which will require constant (and expensive) maintenance twinned with equipping and maintaining that many troops without a battle and you have a powder keg on your hands.

 Have them spend a few scenarios firefighting mutineers, breakdowns, part shortages (and wouldn't you just know that Parcelforce Galactica has bought up ALL of those spare life support components....) then offer them a juicy cargo run with some shady goods deep into the Maw, perhaps Port Wander or such and take it from there. Just help them realise that the quietness of the boonies isn't real, that Rogue Traders who don't try will crawl off and die.

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@Expanse shy
Did you asked him why? Perhaps he (and the others?) would rather enjoy small cargo things... not playing "rogue" at all...ne guns blazing and stuff *gg*

Otherwise, the OP is right in stating out that there is MUCH competition around on the "safe routes" and he will not be able to compete unless he runs a transporter as well. 

If you do not want to go this way, make things !BORING!. The only interesting thing is the haggling for contracts..and that´s it. No adventure. Let´s see how long they enjoy this...

@the Army
Since their is an option that allows to have, I would say that IF he "buys" this ship option, he will be able to have a regiment along (2500 troopers, and some tanks & stuff in the cargo holds)... and you can use this to get him into the expanse!

A literal standing army means you have to pay money while you give up storage room for ammo, vehicles, supplies etc for said army. This means he will make less money from his beloved cargo runs while having more expanses. Give him this dreaded roles for "upkeep" rather regulary. If he asks why , tell him that "you run low-value/large quantity wares". He will very likely start to ask about "high-value/low quantity" jobs. 

As he does, let him try to aquiere goods.. only to find that any save source is somehow contract bound to a large guilt or similiar thing. Let him try to get a share, but make it HARD for him. Play it out that people literally scoff at him since while he is a rouge trade he is perceived at a coward for running "only inner sphere cargo"  (their  IS an example for this in the core rules; with the endeavoures). 
 

So, he will sooner or later turn to the Expanse...our you will have your game style away from it !
 

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@Expanse shy
Did you asked him why? Perhaps he (and the others?) would rather enjoy small cargo things... not playing "rogue" at all...ne guns blazing and stuff *gg*

Otherwise, the OP is right in stating out that there is MUCH competition around on the "safe routes" and he will not be able to compete unless he runs a transporter as well. 

If you do not want to go this way, make things !BORING!. The only interesting thing is the haggling for contracts..and that´s it. No adventure. Let´s see how long they enjoy this...

@the Army
Since their is an option that allows to have, I would say that IF he "buys" this ship option, he will be able to have a regiment along (2500 troopers, and some tanks & stuff in the cargo holds)... and you can use this to get him into the expanse!

A literal standing army means you have to pay money while you give up storage room for ammo, vehicles, supplies etc for said army. This means he will make less money from his beloved cargo runs while having more expanses. Give him this dreaded roles for "upkeep" rather regulary. If he asks why , tell him that "you run low-value/large quantity wares". He will very likely start to ask about "high-value/low quantity" jobs. 

As he does, let him try to aquiere goods.. only to find that any save source is somehow contract bound to a large guilt or similiar thing. Let him try to get a share, but make it HARD for him. Play it out that people literally scoff at him since while he is a rouge trade he is perceived at a coward for running "only inner sphere cargo"  (their  IS an example for this in the core rules; with the endeavoures). 
 

So, he will sooner or later turn to the Expanse...our you will have your game style away from it !
 

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Or: bring the expanse to him. demonio.gif Port Wander could be caught off guard and destroyed. Pirates and aliens enter the Calixis sector. 

Or: Just run an exciting game in the Imperium. Handwave the boring bits, then provide easy access to smuggled goods, with the law close behind. Don't forget there are Eldar pirates in the Calixis sector. Have powerful rival organizations take an interest in the player's ship. Use every nasty from Dark Heresy's Disciples of the Dark Gods to spice things up. The ship comes out of warp in a milk run and finds themselves in the past, during the Angevin Crusade. The high tech equipment in the holds is really Dark Age of Technology war machines, and they come to life...

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My group plays Rogue Trader in the Calixis sector just fine and I have no intention of going into the Expanse unless the characters want to.  There is WAY more than enough to do in the known imperium to last a lifetime of games I don't really feel the need to explore the "unknown".  I mean, I've been waiting for nearly 20 years to rpg IN the Imperium.  Now they want us to leave?  pffft. 

About the army.  My crew are setting up an army also.  They purchased the barracks add on and have been hiring low quality gangers.  We often are asked by remote systems to save them from orks or pirates or whatever and the mercs gain experience over time.  When we do combats the PCs act like squad leaders directing fire, maintaining morale etc.  Its really quite fun.  They get a map of the combat zone and get to stand around and draw up battle plans and all.  Its just another level of gaming that hasn't been detailed in the books but I have the GM experience to handle it.  I agree with the regular upkeep roles.  It costs a lot to keep an armored company fit and paid.  If they are not taking high value contracts there is no way they can afford a small army on grocery runs.

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my advice would be that if he wants to set up a shop then let him, my players have plenty to do trying to expand and defend holdings within the imperium and have only now (after building up resources and ships) thinking about the expanse.


As for an army, I do think that the size's quoted above are quite small. The barracks component takes up the same amount of space as voidsmens quarters on a cruiser (nearly 100,000 crew) so I don't think that between 5000 and 10,000 men and equipment is unrealistic. As for the cost, I can't help you there, as my players don't use profit factor, we use actual throne amounts.
 

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