News for July 2010
Get There in Style 13
A preview of vehicle rules from Into the Storm, a Rogue Trader supplement
Rogue Trader | Published 28 July 2010

“What I cannot crush with words, I will crush with the tanks of the Imperial Guard!”
     –Lord Solar Macharius

Hello Rogue Traders!

This week I’d like to talk about an exciting part of the upcoming Into the Storm—vehicle rules.

Vehicles are an integral part of many Rogue Trader operations, from the sturdy Halo Barges and Arvus Lighters that haul their goods into orbit, to the Rhino APCs, Air Yachts, and Scout Bikes used to get around on a planet’s surface. Therefore, they were an obvious choice to include in a player’s sourcebook such as Into the Storm.

When designing the vehicle rules, I had several goals in mind. The first was that the vehicle rules should be able to integrate into the existing ruleset, specifically the existing combat rules. After all, if players were going to get vehicle rules, they were going to want to fight with them.

The second goal was to make the rules easy to use. Rogue Trader isn’t a game about vehicles, vehicles are simply one aspect of the game. I wanted a ruleset that someone familiar with the system could pick up and use without any confusion, allowing the GM to seamlessly throw a high-speed chase or a shuttle landing gone awry into an adventure. Of course, I also wanted to make the rules fun and exciting.

Vehicles in Rogue Trader come in five different types—ground vehicles, walkers, skimmers, flyers, and spacecraft (spacecraft, by the way, covers only the smaller spacecraft such as shuttles, guncutters, and voidfighters, not true interplanetary or interstellar vessels). Each vehicle type has certain rules—flyers, for example, have a minimum speed they have to keep moving in order to stay aloft, while spacecraft can exit the atmosphere of a planet. Each vehicle also has certain characteristics including speed, armour, structural integrity, carrying capacity, manoeuvrability, and size. These characteristics share similarities with a starship’s characteristics, but are scaled to a level where they work with individual characters.

In combat, vehicle rules integrate into the existing combat system, with half and full actions involving driving, evasive manoeuvring, and even ramming. Shooting vehicle weapons follows many of the same rules as firing any other ranged weapons, while shooting at vehicles works the same way as shooting at a character. Reduce armour by penetration, roll damage, and tally up how much gets past the remaining armour. There is also a new vehicle critical chart that works similarly to character critical hit charts, with results ranging from Jarring Blow to Explodes!

To make the critical hit chart more integral to the game, I also made Righteous Fury work differently for vehicles. Instead of dealing extra damage, confirmed Righteous Fury generates minor critical results from the critical hits chart.

Aerial combat, of course, had to work slightly differently, as fighters moving at supersonic speeds couldn’t really operate on the same playing field as people who move several metres every round. The rules for aerial combat operate similarly to the rules of space combat—though not the same, as we’re dealing with agile flyers, not lumbering, kilometre long spacecraft.

Finally, the vehicle rules had to include some sample vehicles. The Warhammer 40,000 universe is full of vehicles, and there was no way to include them all in a single book. So I included a spread of vehicles that a Rogue Trader would find useful, ranging from those familiar to any fans of the setting (the Rhino APC and Sentinel Walker), to new designs found in the Expanse (the Hephaestus Ore Seeker). I even got to add in a vehicle that has featured into Warhammer 40,000 lore from the days when Games Workshop first released Battlefleet Gothic—the sleek, deadly, and powerful Fury Interceptor. No Void-Master should be without one.

So until next time, Rogue Traders, may all your endeavors bear profit.

Rogue Trader is a roleplaying game set in dark gothic far future of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe. Players take on the roles of explorers aboard a Rogue Trader's ship, searching for profit and adventure while discovering new alien cultures and threats in the uncharted regions of space.

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Comments (13)

Published: 8/9/2010 11:45:31 PM

Is there going to be some explanation of why Rhinos? Most canon I'm familiar with puts the Rhino and its variants only in the hands of the Astartes, Arbites, and Sororitas and either directly or indirectly, the Ordos. Sure, I can come up with some story as to why an RT got their mitts on one, but it would seem the norm to include another tracked vehicle as well .

It doesn't particularly bother me, if I feel in the mood for purism, re-skins always are right round the corner.

Given the names dropped so far seem to be the same, is there just one vehicle of each type presented?


The Laughing God
Published: 8/2/2010 3:47:05 PM

Wonder how these rules compare to the Unearthed Apocrypha vehicles pdf that was offered back in the founding days of Dark Heresy?

Sister Callidia
Published: 8/2/2010 1:59:51 AM

From day one of the RT game, I wanted vehicle rules and had to invent my own for use. And lo behold, here they are! Now I can work out that trusty armored limo, my PC's are using to travel around.

Jolly Roger
Published: 7/30/2010 5:41:40 PM

 I can not wait for this one. Now my group won't have to walk every where or just take it as read that they got there by vehicle.

Published: 7/30/2010 11:00:38 AM

Wait, I just re-read the article and something puzzles me. It says that "Vehicles in Rogue Trader come in five different types—ground vehicles, walkers, skimmers, flyers, and spacecraft (spacecraft, by the way, covers only the smaller spacecraft such as shuttles, guncutters, and voidfighters, not true interplanetary or interstellar vessels)."

But Pilot (Spacecraft) is what is used to pilot the big ships, such as Frigates and Cruisers ... as well as spaceborne fighters and smaller craft (as seen with the Hit & Run rules).  So, the type "Spacecraft" does, per the main rules, cover interplanetary/interstellar vessels as well as smaller ones. Now, I expect what was meant in this article, was that the vehicle rules in the supplement don't include the larger interstellar ships when it refers to handling Spacecraft (since those rules are in the main book).   I'm probably just nit-picking, but thought I'd point it out.

Published: 7/30/2010 7:27:11 AM

Good stuff. It'll be good to have more 40krpg vehicle rules.

Published: 7/30/2010 5:17:41 AM

Would this work well with the Dark heresy system? I wonder.

Published: 7/28/2010 6:50:17 PM

i'm looking forward to this book i going to use some of the Vehicles also in a dark heresy game i started up to

Published: 7/28/2010 4:57:22 PM

 Crossing my fingers for guncutters to be included. I already told my players they have one. :)

Published: 7/28/2010 4:57:18 PM

Are they similar to the Vehicle Apocrypha supplement from the initial BL release?

Published: 7/28/2010 4:31:47 PM

You want more meat, you should buy the book :P The Designer Diaries are meant to give you a taste of what is to come, not a whole meal.

The vehicles are a good addition, especially with the rules being fairly easy to use. They should slot right into anyone's campaign :)

Published: 7/28/2010 3:16:14 PM

more meat, less talking

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