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Regis Eisen

Koronus Expanse to Koronus Sector

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Say a crusade was launched and the Expanse was slowly being turned into a sector as the PC's conquered worlds and brought the light of the God-Emperor to the darkness between stars... How would that change things?  Would the local Rogue Traders loose power?  Would the Inquisition have more of a leg to stand on?  How are things like capitals and governance determined?

 

Seems like this would make an interesting campaign, or series of campaigns, for a RT dynasty.

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Most of the endeavors possible in a "Expanse" would be eventually exhausted by Planetary Governors, Chartist and Free Traders in a "Sector". Competition would just exhaust the profit factor potential for RTs to consider these interesting. I guess they would just migrate into the next Expanse then.

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I would say a Rogue Trader's power is greatest the further they are away from Imperial space, simply because "out there" he or she does not have to cope with as much competition, as mentioned by Sebastian Yorke, and because "out there" is where there are still undiscovered worlds to plunder, relics to salvage, and opportunities to be found. ;)

 

The transition and the turmoil it would bring to a Rogue Trader's established holdings and facilities in the area, however, might make for an interesting campaign indeed. Such adventure could feature the Rogue Trader having to integrate themselves with a new nobility, having to negotiate contracts and alliances to protect their interests, or perhaps falling victim to the schemes and games at court and being forced to leave in shame or disgust, once more venturing out into the vast blackness of space in search for a better future.

 

Would the Inquisition have more of a leg to stand on?  How are things like capitals and governance determined?

 

Technically, the Inquisition as an organisation has limitless authority wherever it operates - yet in practice, aside from it controlling (and thus curbing) itself, this authority depends on the availability of loyal Imperial forces to requisition to actually enforce an Inquisitor's decrees. By themselves, Inquisitors are just expensively clothed people with funny hats. Their true power comes from the influence they wield, and of course this influence will always be greater when there are fleets of the Navy or garrisons of the Guard or perhaps even a Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes in close proximity to respond to calls for assistance.

 

Sector and subsector capitals would likely be etablished based on existing native population, or availability of raw resources for industry. Environmental conditions may well play a role if there are several candidates to pick from and/or they would have a notable effect (meaning, beyond "uncomfortable") on colonisation and expansion efforts.

 

Imperial Governors are appointed by decree of the High Lords of Terra, usually picked from local collaborators, existing Imperial noble houses, military officers participating in the crusade (especially the commanding officers of veteran Imperial Guard regiments allowed to disband and settle down on a newly conquered world), or .. you guessed it .. the Rogue Traders who helped claim that area of space in the Emperor's name. Lots of potential for political intrigue, if one were to go that route.

 

At least that is how I interpret the original material. :)

Edited by Lynata

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Are 'Imperial Commanders' (planetary governors) selected by the High Lords of Terra, or do they just have their official authority confirmed by the High Lords after being locally selected (by whatever means)? The planet from the Dark Heresy adventure Damned Cities was supposed to have been ruled by a Rogue Trader dynasty, and the planet went into decline because the Dynasty went into decline. So, I'm thinking at least some planetary governors are people left behind to rule a planet by the Rogue Trader who settled it, and subsequently had his/her Imperial authority confirmed by the High Lords. Sort of like how Alexander the Great, after conquering Egypt, left some of his men behind to rule in his name, and they eventually formed Egypt's Ptolemy Dynasty (yes, Cleopatra was Greek, not Egyptian...).

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Are 'Imperial Commanders' (planetary governors) selected by the High Lords of Terra, or do they just have their official authority confirmed by the High Lords after being locally selected (by whatever means)?

 

A good point, come to think of it - personally, I would say it is probably both, all depending on how exactly that sector was incorporated into the Imperium, and who the candidates petitioning for governorship are. A region conquered by a Rogue Trader in the style of Spanish Conquistadores (which I think is an apt comparison) will likely already have a hierarchy in place when the Imperium finally officially annexes this territory, and leaving it in place (unless serious concerns are raised, be them valid or merely a product of political scheming) would allow for a smooth transition whilst simultaneously granting a suitable reward to the Rogue Trader's effort. If the Imperium made a policy of just restructuring everything and dismissing all officials appointed by a RT, this would probably not only bear with it the risk of rebellion, but also affect the perception of how profitable it is to cooperate with the Imperial Seat.

 

As far as the original material is concerned, the only truly specific instance I found was this:

 

"The vast size of the Imperium makes a mockery of any true form of governance above that of the Imperial Commanders. These individuals are appointed by the Adeptus Terra to rule over a world of worlds in the Emperor's name. They are bound to co-operate with other servants of the Emperor and to control mutations and heresy in their domains, but on the whole they are free to interpret Imperial Law in any way they see fit or necessary."
- 3E TT rulebook

 

Curiously, it mentions the Adeptus Terra as the selecting body, and though by extension this sort of includes the High Lords as its direct overseers, it seems to suggest that the process is not actually conducted in the Senatorum Imperialis itself but rather some bureaucratic department. In a grimdark way, I suppose it fits, seeing as the Imperium is incredibly vast and the High Lords must be incredibly busy, so leaving such "unimportant" things as appointing governors in the hands of lesser bureaucrats seems logical. I'm sure the final letter of appointment would still bear the Imperial seal, for much like the High Lords speak for the Emperor, the Adeptus Terra speaks on behalf of the High Lords.

 

 

 

(yes, Cleopatra was Greek, not Egyptian...).

 

It's surprising how little this is known, isn't it? I guess it's just not part of her basic story, which focuses less on the origins of her family but rather her governance, deals with Rome and, of course, her final demise, usually laced with much drama and romanticism.

I, too, only caught up on the origins of her dynasty purely by accident.

Edited by Lynata

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Only War has a subsector that was founded by a Rogue Trader who had his ownership of the worlds overturned.  This ruined him and led to his descendants causing the subsector to try and break away from the Imperium.  This came across as if it was unusual.  I would imagine that normally a Rogue Trader gets to keep his people in charge as long as they do their jobs.  Politics can of course alter things, but normally the Imperium only cares that you worship the Emperor, pay your Tithe, and deal with Psykers.

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Are 'Imperial Commanders' (planetary governors) selected by the High Lords of Terra, or do they just have their official authority confirmed by the High Lords after being locally selected (by whatever means)?

 

Both, theoretically. Plenty of governorships are hereditary, so presumably the succession must be rubber-stamped after the fact by Terra (who will only hear about it a year or more after it actually happens). Equally, there is known to be such a position as 'Governor-Militant' (see several black library novels and THQ computer games) - a legal standing for a guard, navy or other officer who's declared martial law on an imperial world, or who's the defacto ruling authority on a newly conquered one which doesn't have a civilian infrastructure yet.

 

But ultimately, all the High Lords care about is that there is a 'lord governor'. Unless there is trouble on the world, or there's some sort of dynastic politicing at a sector or segmentum level, they don't really care how you select them or who you select. If you want hereditary, fine. Democratic elections, fine. The currently dominant warlord of a mostly feral world, fine. Hell, if you want to select your lord-governor by competitive Haiku poetry, he'll probably get some odd looks from his peers but that's fine by the Administratum as long as he swears the Amalathian Oath and delivers once he's in post.

 

For the 'birth of a sector', the Rogue Traders remain important individuals because for the most part their property isn't going to be taken off them. So whilst 'colonies in the expanse' become worlds of the imperium, the current colony leader is probably going to be recognised as the first lord-governor - and since he or she was installed by the rogue trader (and may well be a member of the dynasty), he can expect to walk off calmly with near-exclusive trade rights to the world.

 

Equally he will still be the recognised owner for anything on the world which can have an 'owner' - so most of the industrial facilities, the hab-zones, etc. The world will now have to deal with the Imperial Tithe, and organisations like the Arbites and administratum will turn up if they hadn't before, but much of the profitable stuff will still belong to the dynasty who founded the colony.

 

Similarly, things like mining facilities, trade routes, etc, which belong to a Rogue Trader dynasty under an imperial-recognised treaty or writ will probably still do so. Whilst the newly-minted lord sector will start granting new writs as the sector grows, the Rogue Trader dynasties will remain massively important for the first few centuries of a sector's life simply because most of the infrastructure that exists already belongs to them. Whilst they don't have the same legal authority in a region that's now within the imperial domains, being massively rich and owning everything in sight is a pretty useful tool.

 

This is where a significant bulk of a really old dynasty's profit comes from - the stuff they own in the Calixis Sector, which may well date back to things they founded in the Calyx Expanse, as rogue traders operating out of Sinophia. And so the cycle continues...

 

As to sector and subsector capitals - that would generally be driven by the crusade itself; it depends where is a suitable central position with warp links and a sizeable Guard and Navy element nearby when the dust settles.

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Say a crusade was launched and the Expanse was slowly being turned into a sector as the PC's conquered worlds and brought the light of the God-Emperor to the darkness between stars... How would that change things?  Would the local Rogue Traders loose power?  Would the Inquisition have more of a leg to stand on?  How are things like capitals and governance determined?

 

Seems like this would make an interesting campaign, or series of campaigns, for a RT dynasty.

 

I believe sir you may have just given me the plot for my next Dark Heresy campaign.

 

As my group is wandering down the radical path a crusade would be just the right place to hide.

 

Regards

 

Surak

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By themselves, Inquisitors are just expensively clothed people with funny hats. Their true power comes from the influence they wield

Surely this is just as true for Rogue Traders!

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Say a crusade was launched and the Expanse was slowly being turned into a sector as the PC's conquered worlds and brought the light of the God-Emperor to the darkness between stars... How would that change things?  Would the local Rogue Traders loose power?  Would the Inquisition have more of a leg to stand on?  How are things like capitals and governance determined?

 

Seems like this would make an interesting campaign, or series of campaigns, for a RT dynasty.

 

I believe sir you may have just given me the plot for my next Dark Heresy campaign.

 

As my group is wandering down the radical path a crusade would be just the right place to hide.

 

Regards

 

Surak

 

This is the current campaign we have for our RT game, actually.  Well, this as a backdrop to other nefarious things afoot.

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Surely this is just as true for Rogue Traders!

 

Depending on the Rogue Trader, that is indeed a good point!  :)

 

 

Though there are of course some subtle differences ... any Inquisitor may not always have his/her own ship or troops, but the authority to requisition them from any Imperial world - likewise, any Rogue Trader may not always have planetary holdings or valuable contacts and alliances with other powerful individuals and noble houses, but every Rogue Trader has at the very least their own powerful starship with all the crew and materiel onboard...

... almost as if Rogue Traders would be Reverse-Inquisitors, at least as far as such projections of power are concerned. ;)

Edited by Lynata

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Huh, I'm amazed there are this many opinions on the subject. I always figured turning Koronus into a proper sector was the final endgame scenario, with the goal being to be so much bigger and better than competing families that one of your holdings becomes recognized as the capital planet, the sector being renamed after you, setting yourself up as Sector-Governor or even becoming a high lord as representative of the Rogue Traders.

 

At least, that's what I promised my players.

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From what I can see, we're all pretty much in agreement, actually!  :)

 

At least as far as the basics are concerned? Minor differences in interpretation will probably always play a role, simply because some topics are not well (or at all) described in the fluff, or because posters have read contradictory information due to sticking to different sources. For example, I suppose my posts should often be taken with a grain of salt in regards to how well they fit in with this RPG's books, as I am a stickler for GW's original material and much better versed in their version of the 41st millennium than anyone elses. Fortunately, most of the fluff overlaps, but there are some critical differences where a player (or GM) just has to decide.

 

Ultimately, there is no wrong way to approach this, and I think your scenario is a valid and intriguing concept.

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Part of the problem is that GW doesn't have a cohesive cannon for 40k.  That means that contradictory information is pretty common.  As a GM I set my own ideas of how things really work, how the normal citizens of the Imperium think they work, and how the players think they work.  These are often completely different.

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another thing to consider. when a crusade is declared in a expanse, time is running out to claim everything in sight. while many rogue traders might work at "their own speed." once massive armies of a crusade show up they either have to consolidate their power in their holdings, step up their conquest for more holdings (or steal holdings from rivals), or move on to greener pastures. i think a crusade would cause a feeding frenzy to occur among the trader families. each one trying to secure as many rights to resources/land/factories/ect as they can before the new sector is "settled". 

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By themselves, Inquisitors are just expensively clothed people with funny hats. Their true power comes from the influence they wield

Surely this is just as true for Rogue Traders!

 

Yes, but Rogue Traders generally have far better hats.

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A Rogue Trader's warrant really only allows them free reign outside of the Imperium. Once it's a proper sector, they are subject once again 100% to Imperial law. Meaning all that shady stuff they were involved in, all the thumbing their nose at the Inquisition. That's all fair game for Imperial Authorities to act upon.

 

The rogue Traders power begins where the Imperium ends. Sure you might have family lines that have governors and such, but in Imperial space, while they might be influential, they are expected to play by the rules for the most part.

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True but if you've already consolidated your power base before it becomes an established part of the Imperium then it is harder to remove that power base once the rules are in place even if the Rogue Traders have to play nicer now or at least more carefully.

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I keep imagining all the illegitimate business entrepreneurs RTs partaked in prior to the unification, and eliminating all evidence of aforementioned endeavors. I also see this as a ruin to some RTs due to most of their exploits being based off of illegal acts. And once the unification of the Sector forms then the Inqusition/arbites can take action, and poof, there starts another pirate group living in the edges of another unexplored expanse. Makes me wonder how many RTs, free traders, chartis captains, merchants, and colonies fell into ruin because of this, and had to resort to piracy to survive. Some really good background fluff and story arcs could originate from this.

And as Amroth mentioned, probably most worlds started under RT control and supervision when a Sector just forms. But like anything, change is inevitable and the Imperial bureaucracy could of taken over. Through either politics, revolt and subjucation, ruin, hostile take over, criminal exploits, etc, the leadership could of changed hands.

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One of things I've noticed missing: Outside the direct sphere of Imperial holdings a Rogue trader speaks "With the sole authority of the lords of Terra and by extension the Emperor himself." A Rogue trader is a Peer of the Imperium. About the same political standing as an Astartes Chapter master! If the expanse were to be "organized" into a sector most Rogue traders would still be considered the owners and governor's of any planetary holdings because in founding said colonies they were appointing themselves so "by the holy authority of the lords of Terra". Of course this could lead to a number of brushfires as competing claims arose. These could be solved by political Fiat, Assassination or outright conflict! Inquisitors no doubt would be making their presence felt in the new sector and the Rogue trader might find himself a useful ally in one and vice versa! Your campaign idea is very interesting! Hmm... :)

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I agree the transition would a long campaign in and of itself. The transition to an established sector would take the co operation of the main institutions of the imperium and other rogue traders to stand a chance not petering out. A crusade level force is a huge undertaking in and of itself. You could have the explorers setting the ground for one by cementing lasting relationships with the ministorum, inquisition, imperial bureaucratic systems, admech and any other power base you can think of in the calixis sector. Mending broken reputations with past rivals so as to garner their support would be cool to. There is enough material for such event to last years of playtime just setting the crusade up. When the things finally underway you would have intrigue from your allies to deal with, people trying to back stab you for the most lucrative victories or first dibs on looting/exploiting a planet. Plus the fleet battles and ground battles. Then there would be the pacification and holding the ground after the invasion. The upheavals, the nasty leftover post invasion surprises. You could have so many options for plot arcs in your campaign you would be spoiled for choice. 

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Sure you might have family lines that have governors and such, but in Imperial space, while they might be influential, they are expected to play by the rules for the most part.

 

Because the Imperial Nobility never gets implicated in any sort of shennanigans.... But yeah, the "do what you want and get away with it badge" ceases to work - you just have to fall back on being the wealthiest, most politically connected individual in the region.

 

Lexdamus' views echo my own - it would be a very interesting campaign to run.

 

That said, it's a theme that could be dropped into a standard rogue trader game; not every Imperial world is part of a Sector or Subsector, so in theory a decent sized cluster of colonies could apply (with the support of their founding dynasty) to be recognised as full "Worlds Of The Imperium".

Edited by Magnus Grendel
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Agreed, I think it's a brilliant idea, mostly because just as the players get to the top of their game, you get to turn things upside down on them. Just thinking from a fleet standpoint. I'm preeeety sure that within the Imperium it's a pretty dodgy proposition to have a non military controlled fleet tooling around. It's a pretty big no-no. It also gets harder to justify those legions and legions of troops at your disposal when you aren't "out there".

 

There is a mention, I think maybe in the core RT book of RT fleets being met by naval battlefleets on their return to Imperial space, specifically because they aren't allowed to be doing their normal doings there. We got laws 'round ere!!! and such. :)

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An interesting chain I've seen is that there's often a crusade to squash what few (or many) threats there are left in a sector, organized under a Lord Militant, of which Rogue Traders often act as part of by providing ships and soldiers. The reason I think it's interesting is because during the transition from a crusade to a sector, the remnants of the crusade fleet often forms the core of the new sector's battlefleet. I can only imagine what kinds of political concessions and assurances they would need before handing their ships over to the Imperial Navy.

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I´ve got two things to say  ;) ,

 

 

Firstly, rogue trader fleets usually precede and then accompany crusade forces. They are said to first act as scouting forces for the coming crusade, determining the level of (organised) resistance, likely wealth the region will add to imperial coffers and what the navigational hazards and routes are. The side effect is that RT's get the pick of the planets/resources but are unlikely to grab everything of value as they simply don't have the strength to hold on everything. Other RT's will simply take it away if it's not adequately defended....

 

Once the crusade starts, the RT's act as light forces, losely under the command of the crusade commander. Losely, as in they are not under his orders but the crusade commander needs information they can provide (and he can always use more ships and men) and they need him to recognise and support their conquests...

 

 

Secondly, the Great Bernie of Formula One fame, coined the phrase that guides the lives of wealthy rogues everywhere....:

First get rich, then get respectable.

 

Off course, he is currently on trial for corruption, fraud and whatnot, but the validity of his words still stands  :)

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