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FFG Ross Watson

New Rogue Trader Designer Diary: Ship Roles!

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Excellent.  I was expecting something like this to be included in the game as it gives everyone a place on a starship and something to do doing starship combat so no one in the group is left out.  It's nice to see that confirmed on the page and it's another sign that the finished game will be as good as we are hoping.  Thank you.

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The designer diary is great! That's what I've been looking forward to: few space RPGs have captured the responsibilities of being a crewman as opposed to just shooting people while in the landing party. Extended actions seem to be a great idea too.

I'm looking into the grim darkness with hope, FFG has certainly matched, or even outdone Black Industries when it comes to 40k RPG.

One minor nitpick though. While the new (I presume)artwork is great, why does the Starhawk bomber pictured have air intakes? Cause you know, there isn't much air in the vacuum. gui%C3%B1o.gif

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Idaan said:

One minor nitpick though. While the new (I presume)artwork is great, why does the Starhawk bomber pictured have air intakes? Cause you know, there isn't much air in the vacuum. gui%C3%B1o.gif

My guess would be that they use different propulsion systems in atmosphere and vacume.  The intakes would be for atmospheric flight.  Also, they look cool.

 

I'm really excited for Rogue Trader.  It's looking better everytime we get a designer diary.

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Great diary Ross, thanks for the input.

My questions about Roles are:

1) Do they advance like a characters career, with more options opening up as you advance in the Role, or are they static, and never progress?

2) If they do advance, do they use experience to advance, or do they use a different pool of points to advance the Role?

3) If they do use experience, do you plan on the experience spent on Roles to contribute to the tier cap of the character's advancement?

My concern is that in Dark Heresy, if you follow the rules as written, experience is already a tight commodity, that every time spent contributes to taking another step to the eventual retirement of your character due to hitting top tier.  Also, with the rules as written experience is a slow, slow process, with calculations of taking over two years to reach top tier.

So if we spend experience in roles to progress them, and it contributes to the amount of points spent to get to top tier, in two ways we're weakening our characters on the ground.

First, it gets weaker because it doesn't have access to skills that it could have accessed due to the role, because it hits top tier due to roles.

Second, it gets weaker because the small amount of experience it does get, moves towards roles.

I think Roles are a great way to expand the character, making it more believable, and filling in gaps when on the ship.

My concern is that with how Dark Heresy is written, where every single experience point spent contributes to the end of the character, and how rare experience already is, that by adding yet another experience point sink to the character, our characters have to decide whether to ignore roles, or ignore class, and that each decision will adversely effect the other.

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Roles, being optional, do not cost XP.

The Roles in the Core Rulebook are presented as positions of authority on the ship, and, in a way, are static. However, in another way, they aren't: your ship grows and changes over the course of a Rogue Trader campaign, and thus, your Role also changes. The Roles are dynamic in that they are tied to the group's ship. A character is not necessarily chained to any specific Role (with some minor exceptions as stated in the diary), so one character could be the Master of Whispers on one vessel and become the Ship's Confessor aboard another, for example.

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 Wow cool! Are those all the roles that's going to be in the rulebook, and is there room for ambitious GMs to make up more? gui%C3%B1o.gif

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Not sure if anyone is aware of GURPS 3e Compendium II, but it included a system that was very similar to the one being "presented" here.  Or, at least, it sounds very familiar, but I'm sure that FFG has some surprises under their belt.  Anyway, this wasn't meant as a criticism or accusation of anything more nefarious, merely a statement that this is a rather interesting way of doing things, and at least in my experience it works well in encompassing the range of ship activity.  Cool.

Kage

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Im sorry, what is so innovative about this system? As far as I see these roles so far, all it is is an individual "extended" action that is permitted to only one person at a time, but each character can take the role just by saying "this week Im Churigeon! Last week I was Confessor!"

Im not saying it is a bad rule or a stupid system or that is doesnt work or add flavor, Im just saying it doesnt sound all that Innovative.

Im getting the game, Im going to play the game, and chances are Im going to love the game, but this isnt selling it for me.

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As above, there's nothing particularly innovative about it, but it does work.  It's very "space opera," but that seems to be in keeping with Dark Heresy and even the current interpretation of the 40k universe as published by GW.

Kage

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Ross,

My big question is will there be alternate advancement available based on the Role you select?  The problem is you could end up with people that have to play a role they aren't really appropriate for because the other roles they are more fit for are already taken.  If there is an alternate career advancement based on the Role, that would allow the character to fill in the gaps they need to cover in order to better fill that role.

Just my first thought after reading the diary.

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@Peacekeeper

The "innovative" part for me is that everyone has something to do during combat. In a few other Sci-Fi RPGs, ship-to-ship combat (especially capital ship) essentially was the time where the pilot and gunner players duked it out with the GM while the others prepared the evening's pizza. In a lesser way, many games with specialist characters have these kinds of moments - when the power armoured Battle Sister and the carapace-and-heavy-bolter using guardsman duke it out with the Patriarch, it's generally in the adept's best interest to stay out of harm's way.

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@cifer

still not very innovative. It just gives you an action you can take, nothing new or amazing about that. No different then in Star Wars D6 where one guy makes the pilot rolls, another makes the shooting rolls, still another makes the shield rolls and other make repair or sensor rolls.

Same here, they just tag on the term ROLE and say its "new".

Sure, these are huge capitol ships and mass combat is going on with kilometer long star ships, but honestly, do you think that one PC is really the deciding factor for repairs and moral and what not in those situations?

A star ship fight is just like any other encounter, those who have the skills and know how are involved, those who dont stay out of the way. In a gun battle, the psyker and adept hide, the guardman and arbitrator fire, in a research situation the adept and tech priest make skill rolls,the guardsman tries not to break anything in the library, and so forth.

If anything, giving players "additional roles" is for the player not the character.

So I will say it again, based on what was shown so far, Im not impressed and the starship rules and focus isnt a selling point for me.

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I don't want to sound snarky or anything but I would rather have a good game than an original one.

 


PS. For me being a Rogue Trader is selling point enough. I love picaro characters more than zealots and DH was always my second choice.

 

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Cat that Walked by Himself said:

I don't want to sound snarky or anything but I would rather have a good game than an original one.

 
PS. For me being a Rogue Trader is selling point enough. I love picaro characters more than zealots and DH was always my second choice.

Im not saying its not going to be a good game, based on previous BI/FFG products it should be quite excellent. Im just saying we shouldn't be praising it yet. Or saying that this system is innovative or new. If thats the case then D&D 4E is just as innovative and original.

Im just calling my shots. Roles are not that innovative, they are just extra extended actions that individuals can take during ship to ship combat and are just assigned the name or category of roles. Even Ross states that these roles can be different from ship to ship, so you arent even stuck with the same one everytime.

Its just a method to assign dice rolling responsibilities to different members of the party so they dont get bored during combats in space.

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To be fair, I don't think that it is being represented as being innovative, just playable.  For once, I was actually glad that it wasn't trying to be innovative, but rather works off tried and test methods that workgran_risa.gif

Kage

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Not as enlightening as I would have hoped but at the same time at least I know it will be easier to make sure everyone in the party is doing something during those big ship battles.

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It's not what you wear, it's how you wear it.

I have to agree that I'd much rather have a good game than an original one.  I actually don't want an "original" one.  The wheel's been invented and I just want to see a 40k spin on it.

I see the "Roles" as a big step in the right direction. It's incredibly important to me (who digs starship combat) to have a fun, immersive system that will draw in my Players (who don't dig starship combat) and give them an enjoyable experience, even if they still prefer duking it out with Boltguns.  

 If you read between the lines, the article isn't just about "Roles" but also intimates other aspects of the starship combat that I was worried about.

For instance, a reference is made to rolling to fire a weapons component.  That says to me, that says we can expect "weapons components" to cover the vast array of impressive WH40k space weaponry, not just arbitrary firepower ratings like in BFG. 

The Chirurgeon part hinted that Crew compliment won't be arbitrary and there will actually be recordable crew losses, which I like.

I figured there would be emergency repairs going on, but the article also indicates firefighting.  This is promising, as the outbreak of onboard fires will make the fight more interesting and personal.  Especially if a character's quarters are ablaze and all their phat lewtz are melting....

I'm not going to jump up and shout for joy just yet, but so far I like what I'm seeing.

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

I figured there would be emergency repairs going on, but the article also indicates firefighting.  This is promising, as the outbreak of onboard fires will make the fight more interesting and personal.  Especially if a character's quarters are ablaze and all their phat lewtz are melting....

I need a little more to be considered "excited" myself (although I am certainly interested, the decision to make these three[?] games somewhat cross compatiable has certainly made me interested) but that line certainly made my day.  Doesn't matter that most of a player's most important lewt is fairly resistent to fire damage, still made my day.

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Psion said:

Maxim C. Gatling said:

I figured there would be emergency repairs going on, but the article also indicates firefighting.  This is promising, as the outbreak of onboard fires will make the fight more interesting and personal.  Especially if a character's quarters are ablaze and all their phat lewtz are melting....

 

I need a little more to be considered "excited" myself (although I am certainly interested, the decision to make these three[?] games somewhat cross compatiable has certainly made me interested) but that line certainly made my day.  Doesn't matter that most of a player's most important lewt is fairly resistent to fire damage, still made my day.

Yes, but being jettisoned into space after a breech in the hull or after the cabin area has to be vented to prevent the spread of fire, is more then likely to rid players of annoying items and loot.

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