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DonKalypso

Trying to Put a Sister of Battle onto a Rogue Trader Ship

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I'm currently trying to join an RT game wherein neither the DM nor most of the players are big fans of the 40k universe. Most of the time they poke holes in the way the governments handle things, or just how stupid most of the armies are. Despite all of that they're trying the RT version of the system if only to get a feel for the core of it, as the DM has expressed an interest in running it for a larger game.

 

Either way, the DM decided to leave if I can bring a Sister of Battle into the group up to the player playing the Rogue Trader. Problem is the Rogue Trader is wary of me being a Sister of Battle, as he's not exactly keen on going full "FOR DE EMPRAH!" and is likely to be a little heretical/radical. He's worried that a Sister of Battle would turn into a big debacle and I'd end up trying to kill his character. Thus he has stated:

"As long as this doesn't get retarded. And you come up with a good justification of it that doesn't start it off in conflict."

 

So thus my problem. I can't think of any good reasons as to why a single Sister of Battle would be in the service of a Rogue Trader. Think y'all can help?

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Arghable coloured text!

 

Your players are right that 40K doesn't make sense, and doesn't hold up to scrutiny, but I think that Black Library has done an excellent job coming up with a story that explains how humanity has progressed to a point where our governments are run by in-bred idiots and we hold contradictory views about things. Also your GM is right that an average Rogue Trader group does things that a Sister of Battle would stand for about .16 seconds before turning her flamer on everyone else, so it is a little tricky.

 

Fortunately, in a galaxy consisting of millions of human worlds, somewhere, somewhen there has to be at least one unfortunate SoB that can tolerate this. The important thing to remember fro ma Warrant of Trade is that, theoretically, they are mandated by the Emperor to go beyond the bounds of the Imperium, and do things that any other Imperial citizen should and would not. Their actions are subject to oversight by the High Lords and the Inquisition of course, and with lesser warrants of trade that's not as explicit, but they are still supposed to do the things that would get other people shot for even thinking about. That's not to say that a Rogue Trader also wouldn't be shot for it, just that there's the possibility for them to not get shot.

 

So you could play yourself as someone who views it as her duty to keep the Explorers on the pious path whenever possible, but honestly a Sister of Battle doesn't really work for a Rogue Trader group. To me, having a Space Marine makes more sense, because at least Space Marines have existing precedent for doing stupid things because of honour.

 

Why not just play a Missionary? Faith and Coin spells out the backstories of a couple of kickass Missionaries from the Koronus Expanse, and if you just stick yourself in some power armour and grab a jetpack, no one can tell the difference.

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Is there a problem with coloured text?

 

Also, as for why I don't just play a Missionary in powered armour and a jetpack, how'd you know I wanted to go Seraphim, I kinda want to play a DH character pulled up into the RT power area. It provides me with far more customization than an RT character, and the SoB's requisitioned gear would put me on par with the equipment levels of the Trader and the Archmilitant.

 

I suppose it's statistically probable that, somewhere in the Imperium, is a Sister of Battle who, for the sake of the God-Emperor, would tolerate the Trader's more radical actions and dealings.

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Is there a problem with coloured text?

 

Also, as for why I don't just play a Missionary in powered armour and a jetpack, how'd you know I wanted to go Seraphim, I kinda want to play a DH character pulled up into the RT power area. It provides me with far more customization than an RT character, and the SoB's requisitioned gear would put me on par with the equipment levels of the Trader and the Archmilitant.

 

I suppose it's statistically probable that, somewhere in the Imperium, is a Sister of Battle who, for the sake of the God-Emperor, would tolerate the Trader's more radical actions and dealings.

 

It was just a little hard to read and surprising is all.

 

I assumed you want to go with Seraphim because they're awesome. In my DH group one of our players went Seraphim. He had an enjoyable time using a jetpack and melta to sequence break adventures. Then  he got one-shot by a demon, and in our RT game decided to roll the most powerful Astropath ever. Probably a coincidence

 

Anyway, I think the key thing to remind yourself if you go down this path is that you "tolerate" the Rogue Trader's actions, and maybe go out of your way to do the Emperor's work at every opportunity to atone for putting up with the sins you're not burning committed by the crew. If you're really attached to the SoB backstory and can't play a missionary, then your GM is right that you are playing a character whose history puts her at odds with everything every Rogue Trader group seems to do ever.

 

I mean THEORETICALLY people can play a super-pious Emperor-worshipping Light-brining Rogue Trader crew, but I haven't read any stories of people doing it.

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I don't want to push it, but sometimes it's all a question of belief, rather than right or wrong, just or criminal. At one point, one man got himself, more or less, appointed Emperor, and held his ridiculous amounts of power for a very long time. Under him he had the group that the Sisters of Battle eventually spawned from, the Daughters of the Emperor (Brides later). These Sororitas didn't question what this man did; he had the authority. He wasted resources, talked to cabinets that weren't there, liquidated other powers of the Imperium, and killed millions, all in a lunatic fugue, and never did they rise up to topple him. It wasn't until one of these Sororitas was taken before the Emperor, in person, that she was shown how bad things were, and then she helped kill him. This man, of course, was High Lord Goge Vandire.

 

Depending on what she was taught, how into the organization she made it (did she wash out, or was she full Battle Sister?) how the RT purports himself, and such, she might be willing to see him as he is, a man empowered by the Emperor to serve Him, fight enemies, and help the Imperium grow. His means are his own. On the other hand, the Rogue Trader might benefit from having a bit of a conscience around.

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Anyway, I think the key thing to remind yourself if you go down this path is that you "tolerate" the Rogue Trader's actions, and maybe go out of your way to do the Emperor's work at every opportunity to atone for putting up with the sins you're not burning committed by the crew. If you're really attached to the SoB backstory and can't play a missionary, then your GM is right that you are playing a character whose history puts her at odds with everything every Rogue Trader group seems to do ever.

 

Might I just point out, that the Sororitas are just as much individuals like everyone else.

Well not everyone else, of course, but I see no reason why a a sister would be any different from any other kind of missionary. In fact I would say that there is that the most obvious way to integrate a sister into a standard rogue trader group is to play a missionary in power armor, which most will end up wearing sooner or later anyway.

And the most obvious reason why a sister would consider traveling with a Rogue Trader is because she is exactly the kind of sister that would have least problem with a Rogue Trader behaving like one. Of course she would tend to take a more religious position than other characters, but so would any other missionary.

If anything I believe that a sister would be less of a problem than the obligatory tech priest.

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Is there a problem with coloured text?

Yes, it's almost unreadable.

 

That said, 2 comments on the actual subject.

 

1) A group of my aquintance have had a squad of battle sisters on board. They'd been seconded as body guards for the missionary.

2) Play a missionary instead. Female missionaries exist, and they can have power armour (and bolters, and flamers, and meltas, and...). The rules work better that way.

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Is there a problem with coloured text?

Yes, it's almost unreadable.

 

That said, 2 comments on the actual subject.

 

1) A group of my aquintance have had a squad of battle sisters on board. They'd been seconded as body guards for the missionary.

2) Play a missionary instead. Female missionaries exist, and they can have power armour (and bolters, and flamers, and meltas, and...). The rules work better that way.

 

I actually agree with this. There's nothing to stop you from tailoring your Origins path to this background. May I suggest, Imp. world---Vaunted---Zealot---High vendetta---Pride---Missionary for your path. You could get more specific with into the storm but I don't know if you have it. Missionaries are also the only other "Archtype" in the 40k game that start with "Pure faith" (And it's associated powers) automatically so it's not too far of a stretch. Your back story could read as follows: Sister Cleopatra entered the Convent of the wounded heart after extensive debates among the Drill abbots at her Schola progenum. It seems that while the Sister was undoubtedly Martially inclined per predilection for evangelism also made her a good candidate for the Missionarious Galaxia. Because of the various low level conflicts (Heresies) within the Calixis sector she was ultimately assigned to the battle sisters of the wounded heart. Sister Cleopatra completed her initial trials with honor and fought bravely with her Sisters being held up as a model of righteous faith  to her sisters. Unfortunately it was at this point She began to have doubts in herself. Sister Cleopatra began to wonder if she should enter the Sister's repentia and began to speak with her Sister Superior about this. The Canoness and her Sister superior were incredulous! Sister Cleopatra had committed no sin nor even confessed to anything that might be remotely interpreted as one! The Canoness, Realizing that the Sister's Repentia was a death sentence and not wishing to lose one of her finest in this fashion chose another path. Beseeching the Archbishop of the Calixis Sector the Canoness arranged for special dispensation for Cleopatra to be transferred to the Missionarious Galaxia. She would be commanded to travel into the Koronus expanse and bring the light of the Emperor there with her. The terms of the agreement are a secret between the Canoness and the Archbishop but they allow Cleopatra to retain her status while traveling abroad. She is expected to return home "When the Emperor guides her thus". It is widely felt that the Canoness sees in Sister Cleopatra the makings of a fine Legatine and is willing to a little out of her way to make it happen!

     Your battle sister may or may not have her Light Powered armor but as a Gm' I would certainly allow it. (I would count it as her initial aquisition. Since the Missionary starts out with a flamer and Chainsword as starting weapons I would say she's pretty well set! As to the Rogue trader, remember that many of his underhanded dealings do not really concern the Sister. Issues of money do not really concern her after all. Buying 'stuff' from a stryxis trader would probably not really set her off (Though she might take it as a good opportunity to lecture the RT on the dangers of dealing with Xenos). Selling a percentage of his crew into slavery with said Stryxis as payment for said stuff...not so much! :unsure:  That would be Heresy and the sister would be obligated to act. :angry: It's all a matter of perspective I guess.

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Well I would say that any Sister who tolerated an RT dealing with xenos artifacts etc. would quickly be kicked out of the Sisterhood (which probably means executed ?) as soon as they found out about it, and if they didn't she would effectively be a fallen Sister who had fallen from the light and I would take away any faith powers imported from Blood of Martyrs.

 

I can imagine a Sister -- who are after all members of a highly regimented organization, not individuals with any free choice at all -- being sent as part of a missionary force with some extremely puritanical, Ecclesiarchy-connected Rogue Trader, but that's basically it.

Edited by bogi_khaosa

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Where exactly does it say that trading with Xenos is heresy when the Emperor himself specifically gave rogue traders the right to do so? If that is indeed the will of the Emperor, Why would a sister have a problem with it? Particularly if she was told about this fact before she ever boarded! My basic thought was that the sister would of course need to modify some her more puritanical teachings. This might be possible if she could be shown that this particular individual has a remit from the lords of Terra (Which would include her beloved Ecclesiarchy) to do so! Certain other activities might stretch her tolerance but not those specifically permitted by the Warrant. Now Piracy or dealing with ACTUAL heretics, (Like say, the denizens of Iniquity) might push her over the edge. But then again, It should push ANY reasonably faithful Missionary over the edge as well! Remember that a Missionary has the same Driving faith ("Pure faith" if you prefer) that a Sister does. Properly played, NONE of them would stand by while their RT drifted into heresy! :angry:

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Also, deeply religious RTs are entirely possible.

Fewer deals with Stryxis perhaps, but still plenty of opportunity.

Take a look at Faith & Coin - It's better than I expected.

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Heya,

 

There's no problem having a Sister of Battle in the group. It's not like you have to play the concept of the pure fluff behind those character arch-types in a way that is absolute. This isn't D&D with "Chaotic Good" involved where you have to attack everyone in the party because they trade goods with aliens and that's against the Emperor's Divine Will. Take a step back. Realize this game is a sandbox. Use the Sister of Battle set for your purposes. It's easy to make it fit. These RT characters are not just random joes. They're hand picked, exceptional. It's perfectly possible that the Sister of Battle you have has been exposed to corruption and/or insanity and has seen the real bigger picture and has transcended the concept of blind faith and is instead understanding the need for blind faith for others, because of how absolutely insane the universe really is (hence insanity or corruption). Her understanding that there is a war for souls out there, with far greater peril than just blind faith, is why she's in the group. She's not just a robot. She's more. So let her be more. Stop making her a D&D character with an absolute alignment and no way out of it. Be creative.

 

Very best,

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I think Venkelos and Radwaraith have hit the nail. My two cents:

Orders are insitutions (d'oh) and as such there must be some political scheming. Why not a SoB whos got appointed to RT crew because of her growing political power whinin her Order? She'll be much more likely able to better consider ins and outs of RTs bussiness and also have motivation to show her political enemies that she can survive and faithfully prosper in such environment.

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I think Venkelos and Radwaraith have hit the nail. My two cents:

Orders are insitutions (d'oh) and as such there must be some political scheming. Why not a SoB whos got appointed to RT crew because of her growing political power whinin her Order? She'll be much more likely able to better consider ins and outs of RTs bussiness and also have motivation to show her political enemies that she can survive and faithfully prosper in such environment.

I like this version.

 

Also, I was just reminded (thanks hon) of the Ordo Famulous. Some of them have to stomach some rather funky stuff really. And would have valid reasons to work with/for a RT dynasty.

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Easy answer - Roll a Missionary like has been stated.

 

The fluff answer to this is the same as with a SM. If a SoB or Astartes is on a RT ship they are going to know the deal. If the group is super heretical/radical a SoB may not fit in full stop.

 

That said as far as the whole SoB or Marine not approving of things. Beyond the boundaries of the Imperium, they pretty much don't get a vote. That's the entire point of the Warrant of Trade. At the end of the day they are one person on a voidship of tens of thousands.

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I was thinking more of a hospitaler myself. it is feasible that the dynasty has set up a deal with an order that they have saved or delivered crucial supplies too so that they will supply his ships with a sister to see to the physical and spiritual needs of his crew.

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Yeah, like Stabby said, as long as they operate outside the imperium even the Inquisition really can't gainsay a RT. That stated, there isn't much point to playing a steriotypical Sister on a RT ship, unless the goal is to foster bickering and eventually be fired out an airlock. A more open minded sister though, sure, why not?

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Yeah, like Stabby said, as long as they operate outside the imperium even the Inquisition really can't gainsay a RT. That stated, there isn't much point to playing a steriotypical Sister on a RT ship, unless the goal is to foster bickering and eventually be fired out an airlock. A more open minded sister though, sure, why not?

 

I've always taken issue with that idea. The Imperium of Mankind does not exist inside the Koronus Expanse, but the Rogue Trader himself is still an Imperial citizen. The Inquisition is free to say that your actions have damned your soul, and label you a heretic and execute you. The law is handled by the Adeptus Arbites, who indeed do not have jurisdiction to pursue you outside of the Imperium. The Inquisition is concerned with the moral integrity of the Imperium as a whole, and as long as you are an Imperial citizen, they should be able to judge, condemn and execute you if they see fit.

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Where exactly does it say that trading with Xenos is heresy when the Emperor himself specifically gave rogue traders the right to do so? If that is indeed the will of the Emperor, Why would a sister have a problem with it? Particularly if she was told about this fact before she ever boarded! My basic thought was that the sister would of course need to modify some her more puritanical teachings. This might be possible if she could be shown that this particular individual has a remit from the lords of Terra (Which would include her beloved Ecclesiarchy) to do so! Certain other activities might stretch her tolerance but not those specifically permitted by the Warrant. Now Piracy or dealing with ACTUAL heretics, (Like say, the denizens of Iniquity) might push her over the edge. But then again, It should push ANY reasonably faithful Missionary over the edge as well! Remember that a Missionary has the same Driving faith ("Pure faith" if you prefer) that a Sister does. Properly played, NONE of them would stand by while their RT drifted into heresy! :angry:

 

The Emperor was also a psyker, and the Ecclesiarchy hates them. Actually I would imagine that they don't like Rogue Traders much in principle since they are by definition violating the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing..

 

Sisters are puritanical by nature, the hardest version of the "kill the witch, kill the alien" ideology.

 

I said the Faith Powers from Blood of Martyrs, which are quite a bit beyond what Missionaries get and a lot more "space cleric magic" than the RT ones, which can mostly be interpreted as products of fanaticism..

 

Anyway, that's what I would do if I were the GM.

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Also, deeply religious RTs are entirely possible.

Fewer deals with Stryxis perhaps, but still plenty of opportunity.

Take a look at Faith & Coin - It's better than I expected.

 

Sure, I mentioned that.

 

As part of a missionary force attached to a puritanical RT who is out there converting the heathen and slaying the xenos, sure. Not mister "I have an extensive trading network with the Dark Eldar and an Ork as my first mate" RT.

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Also, deeply religious RTs are entirely possible.

Fewer deals with Stryxis perhaps, but still plenty of opportunity.

Take a look at Faith & Coin - It's better than I expected.

 

Sure, I mentioned that.

 

As part of a missionary force attached to a puritanical RT who is out there converting the heathen and slaying the xenos, sure. Not mister "I have an extensive trading network with the Dark Eldar and an Ork as my first mate" RT.

 

I'll give you that one! I'm not sure how ANY Missionary would willingly serve on such a ship! (I've always felt that the idea of Xenos crew on a RT was an attempt by some designer to forcibly "shoehorn" a "Star trek" ethic into 40k. It doesn't fit well and I generally don't allow it.) I do remember group elected me to play the captain (RT) in their game. I almost refused stating that I didn't think I could play a Captain who would allow an Orc in his crew (Heresy to my mind!). The player in question instead, understood my reasoning and opted to roll up a (Pretty badass) Arch-militant instead. Now I like the Xenos rules for when a group wants to play an "Orc" campaign or something like it! 

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You know what I think of when I think of a Rogue Trader and a Sister of Battle on the same ship? Shephard Book and Jayne from Firefly but just with more extreme personalities. Two diametrically opposed people can coexist in the same group, it's really just a great opportunity for interesting character interaction as long as nobody acts chidlish about it. A Sister of Battle would not adventure with a Rogue Trader that she constantly reprimanded and wanted to kill just the same as a Rogue Trader would not allow a Sister of Battle on his ship that makes threats against his life and generally was a pain in the ass about his everyday dealings. The two extremes cannot coexist however if both players find a balance between their personalities and don't rub everything in the other characters face it should work just fine.

The Warrant of Trade should more than account for the majority of the problems any Missionary or Sister of Battle might have with how the Rogue Trader runs is operation. It specifically give the Rogue Trader rights beyond anyone else within the Imperium and the Sister of Battle would respect that. This is not to say that she wouldn't spend some free time pouring over the Warrant's language to verify the Rogue Trader is not straying outside of its intended parameters.

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You know what I think of when I think of a Rogue Trader and a Sister of Battle on the same ship? Shephard Book and Jayne from Firefly but just with more extreme personalities. Two diametrically opposed people can coexist in the same group, it's really just a great opportunity for interesting character interaction as long as nobody acts chidlish about it. A Sister of Battle would not adventure with a Rogue Trader that she constantly reprimanded and wanted to kill just the same as a Rogue Trader would not allow a Sister of Battle on his ship that makes threats against his life and generally was a pain in the ass about his everyday dealings. The two extremes cannot coexist however if both players find a balance between their personalities and don't rub everything in the other characters face it should work just fine.

The Warrant of Trade should more than account for the majority of the problems any Missionary or Sister of Battle might have with how the Rogue Trader runs is operation. It specifically give the Rogue Trader rights beyond anyone else within the Imperium and the Sister of Battle would respect that. This is not to say that she wouldn't spend some free time pouring over the Warrant's language to verify the Rogue Trader is not straying outside of its intended parameters.

Exactly!

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The Warrant of Trade should more than account for the majority of the problems any Missionary or Sister of Battle might have with how the Rogue Trader runs is operation. It specifically give the Rogue Trader rights beyond anyone else within the Imperium and the Sister of Battle would respect that. This is not to say that she wouldn't spend some free time pouring over the Warrant's language to verify the Rogue Trader is not straying outside of its intended parameters.

 

I really like this idea, because then every Campaign ends with the Rogue Trader and Sister of Battle engaged in a Phoenix Wright-style battle proving that THIS TIME the Rogue Trader has exceeded the bounds of their Warrant, and must be burned as a heretic in order to save their soul, while the Rogue Trader argues that ultimately their actions were beneficial to the Imperium of Mankind, and he has served the Emperor at great personal risk to his soul.

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I really like the idea of a SoB or SMon the RT bridge just yelling OBJECTION!!! from time to time. It amuses me greatly.

 

That said... it's neither the Sororitas nor the Astartes place to be judging the intricacies of a warrant off trade. Once in the expanse thats a good way to be shown the airlock regardless of who you are.

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