With a few exceptions (firefly) most Sci-Fi shows seem have a far larger crews than the main characters, albeit this is rarely on the scale of 40K. Still all the really important events happen around the main characters, think about the away teams on Star trek they always seem to be made up of the commanding officers and maybe an odd redshirt. Despite the fact that the rest of the crew members are still highly trained Starfleet officers, (especially in regards to an Imperial crew) at least 90% of all problems seem to be solved by the main characters.
Fundamentally when it comes down to it, they are extras, NPC’s , redshirts and should be doing NPC type things such as:
If you feel that a set or subset of NPC’s are diverting attention and fun things away from the players. You have three choices:
1) Kill them off
2) Have them fail in such a way that the players have to get involved to fix the mess.
3) Stat them up (probably as low level dark heresy characters) and assign one to each player. So you essentially have a beta team of characters that can be switched too for any scenario where the main PC’s are distracted and someone else is required to be competent and do interesting things. (And regardless of how large the crew is the laws of narrativium mean that this secondary team will always be in position to do the interesting things.)
4) or if you want an occasional mass battle, were as a GM you haven't already decided the outcome it's not like there are a set of rules for mass battles set in the same universe.
I like #3. Have them make alternate low-level alts. Limit them to Adepts, Guardsmen, and Clerics at level 1.
Of course, if they send these alts on mission, the alts get the xp and not the RT characters. Once the alts get up to about level 4 or so, time to make new low-level alts, as the current ones have now reached high enough ranking positions that they don't go out on missions (like the RT).
I think this might convince the players to go ahead and use their RT characters, especially since their RT characters will be getting minimal xp. I mean, the meat of most of the adventures will be off-ship ... so if the RT doesn't go off ship and sits comfortably in his chair he's not going to get squat for XP.
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
...Check out Reign by Stolze, Houses of the Blooded by Wick or Burning Empires by Crane... maybe even the Amber diceless game or the Nobilis RPG (on a different level) also, -- pretty powerful PCs!
Hope that helps
What I am getting from RT over DH is magnitude. And this should be played as best as possable.
In DH you have a =][= to report to and you worked in very small teams to find a small clue to solve a big problem.
In RT it will be a very BIG team with BIG ships finding that BIG planet to find that small treasure.
Here is how I plan on GM my games. Feel free to steal ideas.
My games are going to have a large fleet of ships. Of every kind, type role that I can think of. There will be a Master of the Fleet NPC. ( very much like the =][= in DH).
Each player character will come from a different ship in the fleet. They will either be a RT themselfs, Navagator, Master of Arms etc. but they will be someone of importance. Players will ALSO roll for their own ship. how it will look,feel, armed etc..( this I feel is a unique aspect of RT that I love)
So if I have 4 players I end up with a fleet of (min) 5 ships (players + master of the fleets)
What does this mean?
Each ship is the size of a city. The fleet would have the population of a small country. Looking at Battlestar G. (old and new) there was several shows where the story was on and involved only one ship. This would be the classic DH type play. (i.e.. You find that your chief engineer was murdered. Not the typical back stabbing but he was ritually sacrificed. Theis means that the players have to solve the murder, and MAY have a cult on their ship. Calling in re-enforcements from the other captains in the fleet etc etc.. the adventure begins). Playing it like cities or small countries will open a quick and unique feel. Also in between "Endeavors" this would make a good "side play" while traveling through the Warp (GM- you guys what to just skip the next 2 months of travel time or do you want to play a side story??)
With a Fleet, that means Fleet battles. I have played a RPG where a small ship means that one player would fly, one person would shot etc etc. With each player controlling his own ship. This will allow each player to get fully envolved in the Epic fleet battles we all love!!
For planet bound adventures I think someone also mentioned that the captains would be in it for the glory as well as the profit, so they would be the ones to go planet side.
While under a Fleet Master, this does mean that the RT is in control of them to accept endervors from him ,to an extent. Each Fleet captain is in charge of his own ship, and destiny. Being part of a fleet would be more 'profitable" and make sence vs Raiders/pirates (and also for Pirating) but does not stop the RT from doing his own buissness. Will the Fleet Master give permission for the RT to go on his own... don't know..the RT may be under contract to stay with the fleet (cargo, protection etc), but if the the adventure brings profit and fame to the Fleet.. why not??
Anyways.. I am looking forward this book to hit the shelfs. I think it is going to be unique and full of fun!!
edit for typo
I very much like EquYnoX' Idea about the Fleet Master. Hopefully the rulebook will contain such things. Otherwise I don't really know how a GM should "control" the game. And finally the Fleet Master could prevent the Rogue Trader career characters from feeling too important . Can't wait for it!
You need to find the psyker? You see all these people running and screaming? Just go where they come from.
Thanks for the comments Terelo.
The more I think about it..My idea kinda has the ships as the main characters. with the player choosing from his ship who would be on the currect endeavor. and if he dies then just send anouther red shirt. (and why not... may shows are named after the ship...Enterprise. BSG, Serenity,SG Alanitis)
I'd like to be able to cross-transfer my established DH acolytes into the RT game at some point, they're about halfway to 2/3rds through their present careers and there's a couple of things they could do and established contacts they could use to get a privateers writ. That way they have come up through the hard knocks of being the hayseed that fell off the cart and managed to bumble through long enough to have that foundation of 'being someone' rather than a generated 'somebody' with a ship.
At the very least if theyre using generated characters I'm expecting some fairly intensive and expanded background on how they ended up where they are.
I've got high hopes for this game, many years ago we had a Starwars D6 game where characters where playing alliance privateers, starting off with a little corvette and eventually over a few years (play-time) raising a fleet of stolen ships, the massive crews, the supplies and raiding to take back the sector they operated in... But this time I don't have to give a damn about dumping a few torpedo tubes on some planet fulla gronks we don't like and disturbing the force
If in doubt, shoot it