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Ale Golem

Lies, cheats and thievery, the aquisition of a Warrant of Trade for the everyman

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We all know the official channels for acquiring a Warrant of Trade but are there other ways? Is it viable to win a Warrant of Trade from someone else in a bout of gambling or to give away your Warrant of Trade? Any and all ideas, ideally cannon however all are welcome, would be appreciated. On a related note, does the holder of a Warrant of Trade have to be a Rogue Trader or could an Arch Militant, Missionary etc. hold one?

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Jeremiah Blitz (A FFG-made NPC Rogue Trader) won his Warrant by winning a game of cards with a nameless High Ranking person from the Adeptus Terra, and he's a womanizing scoudrel/cold trader which always helps.

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Ale Golem said:

We all know the official channels for acquiring a Warrant of Trade but are there other ways? Is it viable to win a Warrant of Trade from someone else in a bout of gambling or to give away your Warrant of Trade? Any and all ideas, ideally cannon however all are welcome, would be appreciated. On a related note, does the holder of a Warrant of Trade have to be a Rogue Trader or could an Arch Militant, Missionary etc. hold one?

Fundamentally, you only become a Rogue Trader by being the holder of a Warrant of Trade - that is the literal and legal definition of a Rogue Trader. Of course, with your GM's permission you could in theory represent the character of a Rogue Trader using almost any of the Career Paths (though some work better than others).

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Ale Golem said:

 

We all know the official channels for acquiring a Warrant of Trade but are there other ways? Is it viable to win a Warrant of Trade from someone else in a bout of gambling or to give away your Warrant of Trade? Any and all ideas, ideally cannon however all are welcome, would be appreciated. On a related note, does the holder of a Warrant of Trade have to be a Rogue Trader or could an Arch Militant, Missionary etc. hold one?

 

 

Fundamentally, you only become a Rogue Trader by being the holder of a Warrant of Trade - that is the literal and legal definition of a Rogue Trader. Of course, with your GM's permission you could in theory represent the character of a Rogue Trader using almost any of the Career Paths (though some work better than others).

Another unconventional way would be to find one, probably one that could easily be verified as authentic. Where is it found? You could get creative with that:

 

1.) An a space hulk

2.) Stolen from another rogue trader (whether a special vault or from their ship)

3.) A protected vault on a planet

4.) Part of a debrie field in space

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Of course there is that requirement for a ceremonial inspection by the Sector Governor a few times a century, so finding one in a space hulk might not work unless you have a huge amount of Gelt for bribes, sorry, 'gifts to the Administratum'.

On the other hand, there was Calligos Winterscale, who turned up claiming to be the Winterscale heir, and stomped all rival claimants before they could object.

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Drhoz said:

Of course there is that requirement for a ceremonial inspection by the Sector Governor a few times a century, so finding one in a space hulk might not work unless you have a huge amount of Gelt for bribes, sorry, 'gifts to the Administratum'.

It depends on the Warrant of Trade, actually - each of them is a colossal legal document describing the rights and responsibilities of the bearer and his dynasty, including the process of inheritance, and each is unique. I imagine that those which can be passed around freely without external intervention are regarded as both quite valuable (because anyone can claim it, if they're strong or cunning enough) and more than a little dubious (because anyone can claim it).

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I'm liking the space hulk idea; a great first endeavor would be to find a usable Warrant of Trade, most likely by pulling in all of the underworld favors owed to the players and emptying their coffers to obtain coordinates of a derelict Imperial vessel. Rumors, bought from servants attending several high ranking Imperial dinners, state that aboard this vessel an unsigned Warrant of Trade was being transported. If the ship is still intact and unmolested by outsiders then the Warrant should still reside within, ripe for the picking.

Edited by Ale Golem

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Braddoc said:

Jeremiah Blitz (A FFG-made NPC Rogue Trader) won his Warrant by winning a game of cards with a nameless High Ranking person from the Adeptus Terra, and he's a womanizing scoudrel/cold trader which always helps.

But arguably, the average citizen is not going to have the money, or the reputation, to get in on a game of cards where the stakes are so high that it will allow them the chance to win a warrant of trade.

 

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Blood Pact said:

Braddoc said:

 

Jeremiah Blitz (A FFG-made NPC Rogue Trader) won his Warrant by winning a game of cards with a nameless High Ranking person from the Adeptus Terra, and he's a womanizing scoudrel/cold trader which always helps.

 

 

But arguably, the average citizen is not going to have the money, or the reputation, to get in on a game of cards where the stakes are so high that it will allow them the chance to win a warrant of trade.

 

Actually, that's pretty much what Blitz managed to do, with a combination of bluff and sheer gall.

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In one of the rule books was something about forgery of a Warrant of Trade, but I didn't read to much into it. You could create a crew of criminalists that are in possesion of phony Warrant thanks to their supperiors (Elaborate conspiracy). taht would make very interesting campaining.

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Drhoz said:

 

Of course there is that requirement for a ceremonial inspection by the Sector Governor a few times a century, so finding one in a space hulk might not work unless you have a huge amount of Gelt for bribes, sorry, 'gifts to the Administratum'.

 

It depends on the Warrant of Trade, actually - each of them is a colossal legal document describing the rights and responsibilities of the bearer and his dynasty, including the process of inheritance, and each is unique. I imagine that those which can be passed around freely without external intervention are regarded as both quite valuable (because anyone can claim it, if they're strong or cunning enough) and more than a little dubious (because anyone can claim it).

What does a Warrant of Trade actually look like? I've always pictured it as a single sheet of paper with some Imperial jargon, a wax seal and a couple signatures. It would make sense that it would be some huge, convoluted contract that comes in one giant stack or maybe several smaller scrolls.

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Drhoz said:

 

Of course there is that requirement for a ceremonial inspection by the Sector Governor a few times a century, so finding one in a space hulk might not work unless you have a huge amount of Gelt for bribes, sorry, 'gifts to the Administratum'.

 

It depends on the Warrant of Trade, actually - each of them is a colossal legal document describing the rights and responsibilities of the bearer and his dynasty, including the process of inheritance, and each is unique. I imagine that those which can be passed around freely without external intervention are regarded as both quite valuable (because anyone can claim it, if they're strong or cunning enough) and more than a little dubious (because anyone can claim it).

What does a Warrant of Trade actually look like? I've always pictured it as a single sheet of paper with some Imperial jargon, a wax seal and a couple signatures. It would make sense that it would be some huge, convoluted contract that comes in one giant stack or maybe several smaller scrolls.

A few of the interpretations I've seen suggest collossal documents - bound as tomes, or collections of scrolls, or complex data-storage systems (terms such as "infocrypts" are applicable here) - often secured within stasis vaults to protect them from the ravages of centuries or even millennia. I imagine there are plenty of other ways you could store it - an idea that's just sprung to mind is a Warrant of Trade stored within the eidetic memories of an indentured family bred purely to maintain the contract as an oral tradition.

 

As with anything connected to a Rogue Trader, and with much of 40k in general, grandiose and exotic, and often depraved or macabre, should be the main things that inform interpretations.

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It's something they sort of gloss over. For the purposes of my stuff, Warrants of Trade are actually kept on Holy Terra. They are filed away amid stasis vaults, in some labyrinthine castle among the Emperor's holdings. A Rogue Trader has a document that sort of works like how you get a copy of your birth certificate for legal uses. The real thing would be no more "of course I am who I claim to be, and possess the rights to do this!" as any piece of paper you hold up, and a Rogue Trader doesn't get shot for it based on their own actions. If you had the original, you might edit little bits, and that's a crime. The first ones have the Emperor's own signature, the =][= in His blood, and I doubt too many people want His blood around, for testing by jerks. That way, a Rogue Trader's Warrant isn't obliterated when their ship is destroyed, or their base looted. It's my philosophy, at least.

 

To that end, you see the Warrant as a single sheet because the bulk of it is on Earth. You have a copy of the basest version, proof of your right, and if someone wants to, they can "do a background check" with the records on Earth. Lots of work, with Astropaths, bureaucrats, and such, but possible.

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I do like Noctum's idea of obtaining one through forgery. I did have an idea of running a Black Crusade adventure based off Rogue Trader, where the Rogue Trader was actually a powerful Apostate/Pirate Prince/etc who had obtained their warrant of trade through the use of a best craftsmanship forgery kit and connections to the right people in high places to have it approved and authorised.

 

Playing a traitor travelling through imperial space with an authorised warrant of trade could be lots and lots of fun......

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I've always thought the older the warrant the shorter it was. as time passes new traders have more and more restrictions. limits to power, tasks to fulfill, ect. the "new" letters of marque arn't even hereditary. so one signed by the emperor or a primarch might be a couple pages saying you can go outside the imperium, trade with xenos and heretics, ect. most of it remaining vague and giving immense power to the holder. while the newer ones get continually longer the newer they are, as stipulations are added and powers are more narrowly defined. 

 

as for the topic. I was in a game where the lords of terra issued a few hundred warrants that stated that anyone that could obtain them was the rightful holder. no name on them just "the holder of this warrant". didn't matter how you got the warrant just as long as you had it on you. that was the catch. you had to keep it with you and anyone that wanted a warrant just had to take it from you to be the warrant holder and leave you dead or with nothing. made things interesting.

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as for the topic. I was in a game where the lords of terra issued a few hundred warrants that stated that anyone that could obtain them was the rightful holder. no name on them just "the holder of this warrant". didn't matter how you got the warrant just as long as you had it on you. that was the catch. you had to keep it with you and anyone that wanted a warrant just had to take it from you to be the warrant holder and leave you dead or with nothing. made things interesting.

 

I like..... very Afro Samurai.

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I've always thought the older the warrant the shorter it was. as time passes new traders have more and more restrictions. limits to power, tasks to fulfill, ect. the "new" letters of marque arn't even hereditary. so one signed by the emperor or a primarch might be a couple pages saying you can go outside the imperium, trade with xenos and heretics, ect. most of it remaining vague and giving immense power to the holder. while the newer ones get continually longer the newer they are, as stipulations are added and powers are more narrowly defined. 

 

That matches up to what we've seen.

We've seen three warrants 'on screen' in Black library novels.

 

one (a recently issued one) in Priests Of Mars is a loose 'book' fitted with numerous verification codes and identifiers, which allows it's authenticity to be verified.

 

The other two (in Nemesis and the Enforcer trilogy) are much older. They are just a single paragraph, on a page of parchment, signed with a blood drop and the letter 'I'. Warrants like these are really, really valuable because they have little or no restriction on validity or specific duties tied to them, and because...well....frankly because you can get the ecclesiarchy to do just about anything by waving a document signed by the god-emperor himself under their nose.

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I do like Noctum's idea of obtaining one through forgery. I did have an idea of running a Black Crusade adventure based off Rogue Trader, where the Rogue Trader was actually a powerful Apostate/Pirate Prince/etc who had obtained their warrant of trade through the use of a best craftsmanship forgery kit and connections to the right people in high places to have it approved and authorised.

 

Playing a traitor travelling through imperial space with an authorised warrant of trade could be lots and lots of fun......

That does sound fun, minus one bit. In my experience, Rogue Traders tend to spend as little time IN Imperial space as possible; many of their powers are null within the confines of the Imperium, and the Inquisition is nosy. Also, they are a mobile, heavily armed force, something that would rightly scare many other forces and worlds around you. Still, they often have to come home sometime, so it could work.

 

I've always thought the older the warrant the shorter it was. as time passes new traders have more and more restrictions. limits to power, tasks to fulfill, ect. the "new" letters of marque arn't even hereditary. so one signed by the emperor or a primarch might be a couple pages saying you can go outside the imperium, trade with xenos and heretics, ect. most of it remaining vague and giving immense power to the holder. while the newer ones get continually longer the newer they are, as stipulations are added and powers are more narrowly defined. 

 

as for the topic. I was in a game where the lords of terra issued a few hundred warrants that stated that anyone that could obtain them was the rightful holder. no name on them just "the holder of this warrant". didn't matter how you got the warrant just as long as you had it on you. that was the catch. you had to keep it with you and anyone that wanted a warrant just had to take it from you to be the warrant holder and leave you dead or with nothing. made things interesting.

I believe this is correct. The initial Warrants were cart blanche authority to do practically anything, so long as the end result was beneficial to the Imperium, and since the Imperium rarely has peaceful relations with outsiders, there was little likelihood that anyone was going to complain that this representative of His empire hurt them or wronged them in this way; those people would be shot for being born alien. Back then, they often handed out full Cruisers, too, if the Star Galleons were really among the first wave of RT gift-ships.

 

Over time, and as the Administratum grew in authority, with the Emperor on His throne, THEY began to slip in more rules and restrictions, to ensure a return on their investments, and protect their interests. I think that Imperial Army vessels, carrying guns, Guardsmen, and tanks showed them what they had been outfitting some supremely confident, possibly arrogant or insane men, and they wanted to have a bit more say in what happened. These long rules ensured a longer Warrant. This is my opinion, at least.

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That does sound fun, minus one bit. In my experience, Rogue Traders tend to spend as little time IN Imperial space as possible; many of their powers are null within the confines of the Imperium, and the Inquisition is nosy. Also, they are a mobile, heavily armed force, something that would rightly scare many other forces and worlds around you. Still, they often have to come home sometime, so it could work.

I do like Noctum's idea of obtaining one through forgery. I did have an idea of running a Black Crusade adventure based off Rogue Trader, where the Rogue Trader was actually a powerful Apostate/Pirate Prince/etc who had obtained their warrant of trade through the use of a best craftsmanship forgery kit and connections to the right people in high places to have it approved and authorised.

 

Playing a traitor travelling through imperial space with an authorised warrant of trade could be lots and lots of fun......

 

 

 

Good point. Although even travelling outside of Imperial Space and creating your own Empire with Imperial support and approval, which when they turn up to reap a return on their investment, turns out to be a vast hostile Empire dedicated to the ruinous powers could also be fun.

 

Speaking on new Warrants of Trade I did have the reverse idea as well for setting up a game in the Screaming Vortex. Basically speaking Emperor's Tarot/divination etc have determined than a new power will rise in the Screaming Vortex that will unite the factions and lead a massive Black Crusade against the Imperium (basically the fluff and purpose of BC).

 

To stop this the Inquisition and whatever other authorities are required create a new Warrant of Trade to one who is tasked within using his new assets to pose as a Pirate Prince in the Ragged Helix and build up his holdings as well as taking out any growing powers under the guise "of removing his rivals". With the liberal rules for making characters they can really fit right in and in many cases be more extreme than their Chaos counterparts.

 

The setting also means that the characters can be as dastardly and nasty as they want with no rules to hold them back and the worse they act the better they actually accomplish their objectives.

 

Of course this plan might need some kind of arcane device to help remove the steadily growing corruption that would be building up in the character's bodies, else the Rogue Trader and his retinue themselves might just eventually turn traitor and become the threat that the authorities had been worried about in the first place.......

 

 

Edited by Amroth

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I like the idea of non-traditional Warrants, ones that aren't necessarily reams and reams of parchment. I feel like a servitor or vat-grown slave keeping it as an oral copy might not be reliable against outside tampering or be taken at face value, pun intended. Possibly include an ocular implant that can project a holographic representation of the document in addition to the spoken one or include something genetic in the blood that is impossible to fake.

 

Keep the alternate ideas coming.

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 I did have an idea of running a Black Crusade adventure based off Rogue Trader, where the Rogue Trader was actually a powerful Apostate/Pirate Prince/etc who had obtained their warrant of trade through the use of a best craftsmanship forgery kit and connections to the right people in high places to have it approved and authorised.

 

Playing a traitor travelling through imperial space with an authorised warrant of trade could be lots and lots of fun......

 

Bear in mind that "the authority of this Warrant begins where the Imperium ends*" - so in theory** even a perfectly legal warrant is precisely no protection whatsoever within Imperial territories; if you are a known criminal, you are a legal target for the first Inquisitor, Arbitrator or Bounty Hunter with the nerve to try and the firepower to make it stick.

 

* A quote from Sarvus Trask's warrant of trade

** An important qualifier

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