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Snap_Dragon

Rogue Trader to Only War conversion (PEACH)

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I'm in the process of wrapping up a short Rogue Trader campaign, and while me and my players have had great fun running it we have had a few issues with the rules as written.  One of the biggest sticking points with my players are the Career skill trees, the jumbled skill system, and the pace of advancement, as well as some of the combat rules reguarding automatic fire.  The things that worked well for us was the Origin Path system which allowed us to come up with unique backstories while building our characters. 

Most of the problems me and my group have encountered are addressed in FFG's latest entry to the 40k RPG line: Only War.  So for me the solution is simple, update RT character creation rules to OW standards and use OW combat rules.  The problem is that I don't want to throw the Origin Path out, and thus it will have to be redone.

I've created a google doc folder here: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B5IhPBoHK3FAbWhiMmZFdG1mdnM/edit

My thought process and rational: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H6xA03p6ddJa0P_kErWuA8q4I-Qp9Y-KiJS3w1bDn-8/edit

Homeworlds - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rLcxmb0syrFEfUkGxNG_czG3droZLxWFuJjgtC4tn-c/edit

Birthrights - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H6xA03p6ddJa0P_kErWuA8q4I-Qp9Y-KiJS3w1bDn-8/edit?usp=sharing

Lure of the Void - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RAkOmYM4w7MXtihTUBPdnA3uKOsgtmnZMrJ0mfPIJIY/edit?usp=sharing

Trials and Travails - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YixWae3kdDuMyWeK-vmOXTAve5oPnxRjTaI1LZQxHUg/edit?usp=sharing

Motivation - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zVlHM-nvB7icm1VVC1xj_n636HJ_J0Km2mmY6zdb1CI/edit?usp=sharing

Careers - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A96unmEl3oJ5qDGBQQ9qOUaH89ThJ9ZXKyXY_QR2onk/edit?usp=sharing

Crossovers - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Hs1MCi75jfcYKJpaQMjtlBdcCl8qVymxCmMMohPC5CA/edit?usp=sharing

Hordes - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZEuN2dEJTakIYZJwNu2v2Hzxb3BjESoZZDpoLVDemaw/edit?usp=sharing

Henchmen (unfinished) - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1T6BXBmSfuTknlUfqXqwu6LqvXoP1Jd1Wgg5Z8ZlyoeI/edit?usp=sharing

My current delimas are:

  • General balance issues, are there optimal choices?
  • Are characters too powerful for people heading a rogue trader dynasty?
  • Does the new system promote specialists or generalists.
  • Have I missed anything significant which might impact player's enjoyment of the game?
  • Have I made any spelling or gramatical mistakes? (hint: yes, I have)
  • What do people think of Horde Rules?
  • What do people think of Henchmen Rules?

Latest update 13/04/13

Any input is appretiated.

thanks,

pearldrum1 likes this

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Ah, a kindred spirit! Warms my old heart.

This seems to be good work so far, though it deserves a more thorough look through when I'm free. I can't wait to see your finished Orign Path and especially want to see your Specializations. Got any plans to overhaul ship combat or do xenos specializations?

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I haven't really gone in to specializations yet, the original ones I did were based on the thread I found by you however I'm going to go over them again before I post them.  One thing I want to add is a greater element of choice, the other is that some Careers to not convert well to OW (such as the Navigatior who does not have a well defined roll outside of steering the ship in the warp).  I don't plan on doing Xenos for awhile and as for ship combat I'll probably use the Ship armor house rule in the RT forum and update a few ship combat actions.  :)

Right now I'm working on a second draft of the Homeworlds which should allow players more flexability in their birthright choices depending on their homeworld choices.

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Snap_Dragon said:

I haven't really gone in to specializations yet, the original ones I did were based on the thread I found by you however I'm going to go over them again before I post them.  One thing I want to add is a greater element of choice, the other is that some Careers to not convert well to OW (such as the Navigatior who does not have a well defined roll outside of steering the ship in the warp).  I don't plan on doing Xenos for awhile and as for ship combat I'll probably use the Ship armor house rule in the RT forum and update a few ship combat actions.  :)

Right now I'm working on a second draft of the Homeworlds which should allow players more flexability in their birthright choices depending on their homeworld choices.

Bollocks! I was hoping to see your take on the Navigator. He and the Seneschal are my two favorites, and they're the only ones not easily covered by Only War or my work.

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Glad to see someone is working on this. Keep up the good work!

 

Edit: After reading it again, it seems like there is a bit too much fluff overlap between the Battlefleet & Void-born options. I'm interested in your rational behind the options in Service is Mastery & Able Voidman sections. Otherwise, I really like what you've done so far.

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I'm working on a new version of the Homeworld doccument which adds a bit more definition.  I've removed the multiple choice bits and made those advanced options which cost XP but give you different bonuses or change the skills and traits offered by the homeworld.  They also allow you to take diferent options than the adjacent options on the origin path. 

the new Battlefleet has High Officer(which can lead to Vaunted) offers more command skills, and Naval Rating remove the command abilities but allows you to take Scapegrace.  The new Void Born has different types of ships (one which makes it more like a sparefairing child of a dynasty).  This gives a little more flexability in the Origin Path (although it is easier to go down that up) but at a cost in XP.

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Snap_Dragon said:

I'm working on a new version of the Homeworld doccument which adds a bit more definition.  I've removed the multiple choice bits and made those advanced options which cost XP but give you different bonuses or change the skills and traits offered by the homeworld.  They also allow you to take diferent options than the adjacent options on the origin path.

Sounds good! Looking forward to seeing it.

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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H6xA03p6ddJa0P_kErWuA8q4I-Qp9Y-KiJS3w1bDn-8/edit

New and Improved Homeworld options.  I took a page from the Background packages from the Inquisitors Handbook to add more flavour and flexability.  I'll probably make another pass over this as I have probably over assigned a smaller subset of skills and talents since I did not have all the talents and skills in mind when I first wrote this.

The background packages have something called a Transition which allows you to choose a Origin path option rather than the adjacent ones.  Thus I could go from being on a Death World to the Imperial Guard though the Deathworld Legion package.

The Birthright section should also be done shortly.

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Snap_Dragon said:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H6xA03p6ddJa0P_kErWuA8q4I-Qp9Y-KiJS3w1bDn-8/edit

New and Improved Homeworld options.  I took a page from the Background packages from the Inquisitors Handbook to add more flavour and flexability.  I'll probably make another pass over this as I have probably over assigned a smaller subset of skills and talents since I did not have all the talents and skills in mind when I first wrote this.

The background packages have something called a Transition which allows you to choose a Origin path option rather than the adjacent ones.  Thus I could go from being on a Death World to the Imperial Guard though the Deathworld Legion package.

The Birthright section should also be done shortly.

 

The page is currently locked to people not authorized by you. Might want to open that up.

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First draft of Lure of the Void is up, along with the updated version of Birthrights.

you can find the repository here:

https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B5IhPBoHK3FAbWhiMmZFdG1mdnM/edit

I have added more houserule bits to give a much more distict feel to each of the options presented.  I've also modified them to allow characters to pick up new aptitudes along the way.

 

Merry Christmas,

 

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I gotta say, I love the Duty to Another option. That's just a clever handful of mechanics. Looking forward to see the rest of the Origin Path; you've done grand work so far.

But no plans for Navigators and Xenos, right?

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I'll get around to Navigators and possibly Xenos.  The Xenos are somewhat discouraging as they will very difficult from a balance standpoint.

Duty to Another was what convinced me to go over Birthrights again and add some more interesting mechanics to that.  I also need to add a few more transitions to the Lure of the Void section, but my goal is to have options decrease as you get closer and closer to the end of the origin path.  

 

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Snap_Dragon said:

I'll get around to Navigators and possibly Xenos.  The Xenos are somewhat discouraging as they will very difficult from a balance standpoint.

Duty to Another was what convinced me to go over Birthrights again and add some more interesting mechanics to that.  I also need to add a few more transitions to the Lure of the Void section, but my goal is to have options decrease as you get closer and closer to the end of the origin path.  

 

Navigators are great news. I like them ever so much.

Xenos aren't too hard to balance. The 'Non-Imperial' and 'Speak Not Unto The Alien' traits make them good for not much outside of combat. Orks suffer from being incapable of using non-Ork weapons, being stupid, and being uncharismatic fellas, but they can still manage quite a few roles. I personally love the Kroot's abilities for tracking and the decent mix of sniping and melee. Just a point-for-point tradeoff makes them pretty easy to balance.

I need to get around to make Stryxis rules. They'd basically handle like a xenos Rogue Trader.

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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RAkOmYM4w7MXtihTUBPdnA3uKOsgtmnZMrJ0mfPIJIY/edit

First draft of Lure of the Void is up, I'll proabably give it another pass over later, but right now here's a check list of what's left to do:

  • Trials and Trivails:  I'm hoping to make these a little less flexable than Lure's of the void, and these represent tramatics incidents in the character's pasts. 
  • Motivations:  Motivations will have a smaller effect on the character than other options when it comes to statistics.  I'm debating using a system similar to demeanors in Deathwatch to envoke a statistical bonus through roleplaying, and have a negative effect as you gain insanity. 
  • Careers: I've already been thinking how to define careers in a way where they all have their unique areas of expertise.  I'm hoping to create a few unique powers which can be purchaced after character creation to round out their abilities.  
  • Transitions: I'm going to create transitions which will increase flexability on the origin path, however my goal is that its easier to fall in Imperial sociaty than it is to rise.  
  • Crossovers: I want to provide a statistical bonus to sharing an background option with another player, so I'm going to write unique bonuses for crossovers.  You only get one for free however so you're incentivized have a group backstory then go your separate ways. 
  • Starting Gear: I want each step in the origin path to add some flavor gear to the character's starting equipment, these could be things like a set of medals from time of the Imperial Guard (charm), or a duling pistol used in the fight between you and a noble rival.   
  • Liniages: I'm not sure if I want to re-write these but they provide another chance to inject more backstory into character creation by having a character define his family or associations. 
  • Alternate Career ranks: I've been toying around with how to update these to the new rule set, there are a lot of very flavor heavy options provided in RT I would hate to loose but I am not sure if they are relivent under current rules.  I might need to take a look through black crusade or wait for new Only War suppliments to see if they are going to tackle this.  
  • Henchmen:  A Rogue Trader has a vast number of disposable underlings at his disposal but no good mechanics to make them easy to handle like companions in Only War or minions in Black Crusade.  I also want to adapt Horde rules to abstract a gun-cutter full of redshirts into an easy to handle group that does not overshadow the party.   

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Just to clarify, a question about when you write in the Balance and Rational document that you balance around the assumption that starting RT chars are equivalent to 5000xp DH chars. Do you mean equivalent to DH characters that have gotten 5000xp through the course of play, or equivalent to DH characters with Skills, Talents and Traits with a total worth of 5000xp?

That you account for the xp worth of the DH homeworld choice indicates the former, they way you formulate RT characters being roughly equal to 5000xp acolytes indicates the latter.

Out of curiosity, you don't seem to have earmarked any xp for the Careers themselves. What are your plans for them?

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The characters are supposed to be roughly equivilent to a DH character with 5000 XP gained through play,  and to simulate this through there are various flaws gained through the origin path to reflect this.  
 

When designing the homeworld I realized that the DH characters got a bunch of homeworld stuff for free, but because I didn't want to give Basic skills (basically half skills) I tried my best to come up with a compromise between the OW homeworlds and the DH homeworlds which I then added a bit of extra XP to flesh them out.  I'll probably use a OW or DH Career as a base and add a few extra skills or traits to them to flesh them out (around 500 XP worth).

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Thanks. I hadn't looked at DH for so long I only noticed a  short while that DH characters actually start with talents, skills, traits, and wounds that are worth a non-trivial amount. I was curious how you interpreted that statement about RT characters being equal to 5k xp DH chars in light of that.

 

I started working on a conversion for my own RT group a few days ago, though with a different focus than you. We are reviving our old round, with the old characters, which we just need to transfer to OW rules. So I don't need to worry about keeping the characters balanced with DH or OW characters at specific amounts of xp, only with each other. So I can keep lots of the Origin Path as is (making a pdf with all of them adapted to the OW rules for the new player right now).

As all but one character are already beyond char creation, I just loaded all Aptitudes into the Career Paths, going for 8 per career (based on that many OW specialists will start with that number, thanks to training doctrines and RT chars were always assumed to be a bit exceptional). Which had the downside that the Aptitudes were clearly created with the archetypes of soldiers and their support personnel in mind, they don't really mesh as well with Rogue Trader archetypes as I'd like. So I gave all Careers each one Favoured skill, which they may buy as if they had both aptitudes for it.

The only change that will need some careful balancing is that I want to make starting wounds in RT independent from the TB. I'll probably take a page from OW and make the career dependant, with a modifier based on homeworld.

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I have to disagree with you that Aptitudes are soldier based rather than general, with the exception of Fieldcraft.  The name implies a military setting but after I started reffering to it as Exploration rather than Fieldcraft I found that most of my objections to it dissapeared. 

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I finally had the time to sit down and finish Trials and Travails:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YixWae3kdDuMyWeK-vmOXTAve5oPnxRjTaI1LZQxHUg/edit?usp=sharing

This is the one I am most worried about balance on as it has a lot of things balanced off by flaws.  My goal here was to create characters who come through character creation with one or two defining character traits they have a mechanical benifit to playing towards.  Eager to hear back from people.

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Snap_Dragon said:

I have to disagree with you that Aptitudes are soldier based rather than general, with the exception of Fieldcraft.  The name implies a military setting but after I started reffering to it as Exploration rather than Fieldcraft I found that most of my objections to it dissapeared. 

Most FBI/CIA spy stories also refer to Field Agents as those who are not stuck behind a desk but running around doing interesting Action-y stuff. So "Field" need not refer to a field of battle, but just the out-of-office practical application og skills :)

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