" The Blood Axe Orks could have some form of merchants, (What do you call an Ork Rogue Trader?-A green skin that's buying ammo).
An Ammo Shoper!
Simply due to the fact that I just don't have the number crunching skills and intellect to run a campaign in which one has to manage thousands of crew members, income, massive ship to ship battles and, to top it all off, some political intrigue... I will start off the campaign a little smaller scale.
Say, in the spirit of "Skies of Arcadia", in which the players have a ship about the size of a real world Destroyer, and in which they have to seek out potential crew members to hire while seeking out bounties to upgrade their vessel with better toys. Perhaps winning Rogue Trader "prizes" for stellar discoveries and charting maps of unknown sectors.
When I said, "a game about lords, and generals. Such a game would be difficult for the average gamer," I was thinking about an idea I've been working on as away to generate campaigns for the WH 40K miniature game. Each Rogue Trader would come from a different branch of the Imperium, and therefore have different assets. An Imperial Guard General would have ground combat advantages, A member of of the Ordos Hereticus would have Sisters of Battle, and other "Faith Based" (sorry for the term,) elements, an inquisitor of the Ordos Malleus would have daemon hunters, etc. There would also be what I would call "Rogue Traitors" who serve the Chaos powers. The eldar have their pirates, and the tau would have their own style of "Traders." The Blood Axe Orks could have some form of merchants, (What do you call an Ork Rogue Trader?-A green skin that's buying ammo.) Tyranid and Necron Traders are a hard to fit into the story line.
Each trader would have his own set of resources, and needs. There would also be a rating system for how hostile one group is to another. I see the whole thing as a game of cooperation, as well as conflict. The "winner" would be the player that can best work with his allies. The primary activity of the game would be negotiations, and planning. An activity that is as close to L.A.R.P. as you can get, without wearing a costume.
I'm still working on that idea, what do you think?
- For some reason all my problem players had this same hang-up, there couldn't NOT be something on the corpse of a freshly slain badguy or a warehouse/storeroom/cavern they just entered, it had to have some kind of loot. And since there never appeared to be much in the way of organization, it felt like keeping little kids from fighting over the candy that spilled.... yeah I need to get back into the online PnP forums again. This realworld face-to-face stuff just isn't for me.
- While it sounds like it might be fun, I have only played one game where the players could work in some kind of competition with one another and still be successful. That game was called Paranoia and it worked because it changed the critera of a "successful game." Still sounds like it might work though.
All I ment is that I liked the term "Loot Piñata." I have been through so many "Slash, and grab" campains that I find them boring.
Now the whole world can see,
Rise apain before the endless silence!
First of all, the scale issue will be adressed by the producers of RT so there is not much to worry about there. In my opinion it will probably work much like in Star Wars. Darth Vader has a immense fleet at his disposial. He actually gets around in a Super Star Destroyer, but in the end of the day he get down into the muck by himself fencing with his shiny sword. I think you should consider the scale as a backdrop more than a resource. Even if it is not realistic that you actually don´t use the thousands of men at your disposal most in stories about "high-powered" characters they do the work themselves.
Han Solo is a general, for some unknown reason, but he is not leading battles from the rear. He is in it, kicking stormtrooper butt in person. The problem with scale is not in the game, because genrewise it has been proven again and again that even in backdrops with immense scale it is up the individual. The issue with scale is when the gamers tries look beyond "the dungeon" when they don´t have to. Sure you could sit back and let your minions do the work themselves but were is the fun in that? Ok, send a battalion of trooper into battle, but as long as the GM has prepared a little special dungeon for you and your merry men, with the battle as a backdrop, there is no problem.
If you then want to add some kind of economic system to the game, like it cost this much to run your fleet but if you trade in this or that you get your dough it is up to you. It could be fun if you are into that. You won´t be counting gold coins and saving to buy a boltpistol might not be a issue but on the other hand, getting your hands on a special boltpistol (in a really awesome colour) might not be that easy.
Think of the this way, you are not playing Napoleon but Darth Vader and how would he act in a battle, or political struggle?
In warhammer 40k, commanders and generals always do their own dirty work. It's also worthy of note that in Eisenhorn and Ravenor, there are rogue traders who seem to command smaller operations.
''Oh god, he's giving me the Eisenhorn''
Also keep in mind that Warhammer 40k era and mentality is still very medieval-esque. Personal honor and glory are quite a bit at the forefront of society (recall the FB book says to remind the RT that "no true Rogue Trader would avoid the chance for the glory of being the first to set foot..."). A Rogue Trader that routinely let others do the work for him would quickly earn the reputation of being a coward, a sneak, lazy, soft, a 'bureaucrat'/"paper-pusher", etc. In fact, the GM could easily impose Profit penalties (as Profit also measures the RT's influence and political standing besides wealth) for not taking personal charge of operations often enough. By being actively involved in operations personally, the RT increases his reputation of competance and strength, etc.
NezziR's excellent dice notations PDF: mywebpages.comcast.net/nezzir/files/nn.zip
WFRP3e Master Skill list v1: home.comcast.net/~dcvdg/WFRP3e/WFRP3e-MasterSkillList_v1.pdf
Gitzman's wonderful WFRP3 site: www.gitzmansgallery.com/
Online (unofficial) WFRP3e dice roller: home.comcast.net/~dcvdg/WFRP_dice_roller/dice_roller.html
WFRP probability: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/167876/WFRP3%20Full%20html%20Dice%20Roller%20All%20Probability%20Included/WFRP3%20Online%20Dice%20Roller%20All%20Probability%20Included/diceprob/diceprob.html
Plus, when you get down to it, who else is going to do the work? You may have a crew of 100,000, but they are mooks. Take a look at the stats for ratings - they suck. They are uneducated peasants. Send a dozen of them down to explore a planet and you'll be lucky to get the dropship back. Send one to negotiate a trade treaty and you'll be lucky if the natives don't shoot you out of orbit.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are my own. I do not speak for FFG in any capacity, officialotherwise. To be honest they don't really tell me much about anything, so you can assume I don't know squat.
I mean diddly. I don't know diddly. I did not mention squats. Squats are not making a comeback.
Unless they are. I really don't know!!! Seriously. Though squats were cool. Pity they all got eaten by the 'nids. Or did they?
The most important element of a game is independence of action of the player characters. In order for a Rogue Trader to have independence, is for them to have a ship. One of the problems with the ships is that they are MASSIVE! The humble little Cobra destroyer is tens of times bigger than the mighty Battlestar Galactica.[/quote] Eh, is it? The Cobra is about 500-700 metres long. How long is the Galactica? Looked like it may have rivaled a cobra in size (though of course a Conbra is a small escort, while a Battlestar is a fuck off giant warship in its universe, so the difference in scale still present). Just checked... the Battlestar is about 1400 metres long, 2-3 times the length of a Cobra.
Original enterprise is about 400 metres long (sorry, about 300), if I remember correctly. The Next Generation one is about 700 (actually more like 650) metres long. Again both in the same general range of the Cobra... and BFG fighters are more the size of jumbo jets than star trek spacecraft, if I remember correctly.
The star Destroyer is the size of a larger escort yes... and the Super Star Destroyer even rivals an Imperial Cruiser in size (longer, but more flat if I am right, cruisers being 4-7 miles long, the SSD being about 11, I think).
The Endevours are Missions that the party largely choose and organise myself, as far as I am aware, not missions set by outside parties, unlike in Dark Heresy, where they would be told what to do.They are as independent as their charter allows them, and how distant they are from authority. True, certain elements didn't fit that well, but If their charter doesn't allow them to do certain things without permission they would still need to get permission.
Darn it... still haven't worked out how to do quotes on here properly.
Well... I am not quiet sure I you really should keep the players from handing down "work" to there henchmen. Yes, the standard "ranting" is of no use... but he is to push gear and move rigs and so on.
I expect that a crew of a 2km-lenght ship will have a couple of person who know there trade... and I am NOT talking about the players! Have the same "problem" with one of my groups in DH: they simply hand over work to people they can "acquiere". And honestly, as long as they are in a position of authority, I see nothing wrong with this!
The question a GM has to ask himself is, therefor, "what do my players WANT to play?" and prepare for the rest of it to be "fixed" by anonymous npc... if the dice fall right, of course (all npc dice roles are HIDDEN in my games...). But is this situation that different from "standard GM work"? I guess not!
The problem I do see is to come up with "tasks/problems/missions" that are a suitable challenge for some-one with a large ship and large crew at hand. Most of our "tried-and-true" standard problems simply do not work any longer! We have to find new ways, brethern! ...and I like the idea/challenge.
...therefore, I am a little dismayed by "Forsaken Bounty", since it manages to shoehorn it back into the "group of players have to solve it on there own"-affaire. A scenario that gives us all an idea HOW one can handle a situation where a pc brought along 50 trusted men... a scenario that gives us some ideas of problems like "leading men"... "planing a salvage run" and "deciding how to use your human resources"... and quick help for MASS COMBAT would have been usefull..
but well...you got my point and I should STOP ranting right now.
PLEASE stay on topic!
PLEASE refrain from hijacking my topics for longer then three posts
and DON`T mention "Only War".
While I've semi-followed this thread and the earlier Solo vs. Kirk thread for a while, I've finally decided to way in on this topic as I -- a potential player - see it.
And I have to say, I'm very troubled by one of the sentiments that has kept showing up time and again in both threads. And that is the sentiment that players have the right - nay, the obligation - to start delegating task to their nameless and faceless NPC crew. This trend doesn't sit will with me. For me, letting the players start delegating the task to the nameless hordes of Crew means that one or two thing is going to start happening: Either GM is going to be the one spending the evening rolling bones while the players (or me) slowly drift off into boredom. Or that the players are going to end up playing DH level characters- but answering to a Rouge Trader in place of an Inquisitor.
Here's an example of how I see the game going if the PCs are allowed to delegate task to their NPC crew. The scenario is that the PCs have (re)discovered a planet on the fringe of the Halo Stars.
Example One: The GM rolls the bones.
If the GM insist on strict control over all of the NPCs, the game is basically going to start feeling like the players are talking through short bead communications to the NPCs.
Player 1: The hangar bay has confirmed that the shuttle carrying the away team of NPCs has touched down on the planet next to the biggest settlement. We vox down and tell the NPCs that it's time to make first contact with the natives. This is the message we want them to relate: "We come in peace. <Insert rest of message here.>"
GM: Okay, here it goes. <Sound of dice rolling as the GM rolls for the NPC Crew's diplomacy/deception check.> <Rolling to see if the NPC natives figure out that they are being lied too.> <Rolling to see if one of the NPC Crew realizes that the native is going for his weapon.> <Rolling to see how the resultant fight goes.> <Rolling to see if the NPC Crew run away fast enough.> Ouch. All of the NPC crew you sent down managed to become ingredients in the native's stew pot.... High or low to see if the shuttle makes it back?
Player 1: High.
GM: <Roll is low.> Shuttle crashes after take off.
Example Two: Playing DH wherein the characters answer to a RT instead of a =][=.
.... Self-explanatory. Although hilarity might ensue if something like this happens:
GM:"Okay, if your RT will let you."
Player 1: Player 1 remembers that they are playing RT -- and not DH, "Waitaminute... aren't we playing RT? " Player 1 rummages through his papers, "Yeah! Here's the character we rolled up when started. Ya know, from the RT book?" Player 1 hands the GM his RT character.... who is the RT himself.
Honestly, neither of those examples sounds particularly fun to me. Example 1 is basically the players giving instructions to the NPCs for six hours, without the players ever picking up the d10s. The GM has made it clear that he controls both groups of NPCs and gets to role the dice. Example 2 basically sees the PCs playing ascended extras....
If I were playing the RT in a group tasked with making contact with newly (re)discovered planet, I know exactly how I'd play it out:
I'd send my Seneschal - effectively, my right hand man - down. With the Arch-Militant and a few naval armsmen (wearing those spiffy new red uniforms I go them) to act as the Seneschal's bodyguards. The Expiator is getting all excited -- well, as excited as an Ad Mech can get - because the planet is rumored to have an STC right where we're landing. The Missionary's off his rocker again, foaming at the mouth at the chance to convert the natives back to the Emperor's light... Ya know what? I just realized I can't really trust the Seneschal all that much, I better go down too... I just hope the mission doesn't end like last time, with us running away from the natives as fast as we can....
Well, Bluegrass, I believe you hit upon a major feature of the setting of Rogue Trader -the players are free to decide how to handle any situation given to them. If playing out a situation a certain way wouldn't be fun for you as a player, why would you chose to do such? If you're getting ice-cream and you like chocolate better the strawberry and both flavors were available, why would you get strawberry and then grumble that you much prefer chocolate? Choices on what you do and how you do it is always good. From what I've seen, in Rogue Trader, it will be up to the players on how they go about getting things done and, chances are, they will go about it in the way they prefer to play. If they like being the Mastermind in the Fortress, then perhaps they would like playing out orders to and from underlings and seeing the situation develop from affair. If they prefer more immediate and gratuitous violence, then they will probably chose to be the first to go down with 100 well armed men and commence slaughtering anything that moved, etc.
Oh, and the GM in option one isn't a very good GM at all. He should at least curtail the dice rolling to two rolls maximum and base the over all success or failure of the underlings based on the DoS or DoF scored. After all, his main concern should be whether the NPC's succeeded or failed (and to what degree) in the task they were sent out to accomplish and get the story moving to the next decision the players make and the next bit of drama as, in the example above, they have to find a way deal with pissed off cannibals. It would take maybe 3-5 minuets of game time depending on the amount of vox conversations and how wordy the GM is at the time. No matter the game, the story is about the PC's and the drama that surrounds them. If the PC's sit on high giving orders, then that's where the drama will be and that's what the GM needs to focus on. As pointed out above, sometimes it will take a different approach then the vanilla standard of most game setups. All that's needed for a fun game is investment in the characters by the players and drama focused on those characters.
Drama doesn't always come from one on one fights with some bad guy (that's the cheep default kind which is usually quite tasty, but there are so many other flavors). Any time the character is faced with a decision where something can be lost and/or gained and the repercussions of the decision will alter the character's life, the world around them, and/or the direction of the story, there will be drama. It would seem that Rogue Trader (especially with the Profit mechanic) will have opportunities for many many flavors of drama beyond the fighting for your life verity.
the concept of Rogue Trader will be a tough one for many ppl to handle, IF handled by way of the fluff (with multiple ships, and thousands of crew etc.). most RPGers think in terms of a party tackling all comers. but it needn't be this way on any level.
i would start small...with the Rogue Trader just getting his commission handed to him and a decent ship to ply the spacelanes. maybe he got it in a traditional way, maybe he won it a a high stakes dice game/stole from a drunken Trader/murdered for it. maybe he slept and fell in love with Admirals so and so daughter and wife and has all manners of popular support. not by the book canon, but it tells a starting story and gives a potential adversary for later.
a part of the adventure. is the building of his fleet. negotiating terms for mercenaries and other Freebooters to sign on with him. as time passes. he makes more profit and gets richer. coming in and out of Imperial space as he pleases. i see this all as being MORE not less limiting. a great time to bring in new xenos. human empires thriving on the outermost fringes. dead worlds that have nasties to uncover. political intrigues with potential mutinies and power struggles on ships. glorious space battles.
and actually an even better chance of having xenos, mutants and pskers as pals where they may or may not be molested by Imperial authorities. its the stuff of true high drama. if all done right. fear not, high adventure is here!
my misgivings comes not from the content as much as the rulesets introduced. i wonder how many pages will be duplicate material of whats already in the DH Core Rulebook.
The other thing that I'm worried about is this:
If the PCs are sort of like the commanding officers of their related fields, does that mean that on every away mission they can or will be expected to bring half a dozen mooks with them?
Like, the Missionary brings a bunch of clerics, the Explorator brings a bunch of tech-priests etc...
Is every battle gonna be larger scale? Like, three dozen mooks under the PCs vs. three dozen mooks under the antagonists?
My player group would rather avoid that, I think. If we can't then maybe this game won't be for us!
I think that if you don´t like mooks, then you won't have to use them. I get the feel that the crew on the ship is handled very abstract and it is suppose to be seen as a kind resource, like armour or engines. If you have a happy crew then your ship preforms better, so your aim is to keep them as happy as possibly. There might be some key persons with semi-personalities, depending on how much the group likes to interact with them, but in the end it is going to be like the usual focus on the players characters.
The setting, as we all know, is not a especially static one. GW, BL and now FFG make changes all the time to fit their needs. Now is a RT-RPG and that means they will change the setting again. FFG will make it work, and for a lot of people and styles of play. That is what they have done in the other games, DH and WHFRP, meaning they will probaly do it again. If you don´t like mooks, you won´t have to use them, if you like larger scale with the character as spiders in the net you will be able to play that way. Even if the "canon" states that all captains have a lot of mooks you should not assume that will be the case here, unless you want to because then the game will probably support it.
You will start pretty low key, with a small ship and getting the resouces to improve it and finally buy a bigger one is the probably the mainstream goal of the game. Traveller will of course be a huge inspiration and that is good. I do think that it will be less detailed though and more streamlined. The ship will be considered a extra character in the group and in space the characters skills will have a slight impact on the prefomance. I see a lot of number crushing but no problems handeling scale and mooks in the game. That will FFG take care of for us, which is all right and dandy.