News for July 2009
Ambition: The Reach and The Grasp 14
Some insight into the creation of the Rogue Trader RPG
Rogue Trader | Published 17 July 2009

Greetings Rogue Trader fans!

“Project Sailboat”

I’ll let you in on a little secret: one of the best things about being a game developer is that you get to use a lot of silly codenames. The codename for Rogue Trader was “Project Sailboat,” and under that name, I led a team of writers and designers to build the Rogue Trader role-playing game from scratch.

Naturally, we had a solid foundation already established in Dark Heresy to stand on, but we were breaking new ground in a lot of areas. It’s hard for me to stress just how massive a project it is to build a 400-page core rulebook for a role-playing game!

I’m sure most of you are already aware of this, but it’s good to repeat sometimes: Rogue Trader is its own game, NOT an expansion for Dark Heresy...

...which brings me to my next point. I knew that I wanted to build in a strong theme of ambition and freedom into the Rogue Trader game. I knew, in my head, that I wanted to craft something really huge. Not huge as in size (although a 400-page book is pretty big!), but huge as in comprehensive, encompassing all aspects of the Warhammer 40,000 setting, from gear to starships to the Warrant of Trade itself. I am very pleased and proud of what we were able to accomplish, but looking back...the game’s themes had taken such root in my mind that I made a classic mistake.

My own personal ambition grew beyond the limitations of my medium...in short, I wanted too much. When it comes to putting together a roleplaying game book, there is only so much room, depending on the book’s page count. We had entire chapters about Starships and Navigator Powers and much, much more...but there wasn’t enough room for everything!

Reluctantly, I had to acknowledge that there simply wasn’t room in the core rulebook for some things I desperately wanted to include. Certain concepts I’ve talked about before in my designer diaries—vehicle rules and ship roles, for instance—ultimately, had to be set aside. You see, these concepts are good, they are REALLY good, and they deserve a proper presentation. I think the Rogue Trader fans (like yourself, dear reader!) deserve that as well. In the end, we turned this into an opportunity to take those elements and give them a better presentation in the forthcoming sourcebooks for Rogue Trader.

We have many more books planned for the Rogue Trader line, and they’re going to be packed with great content (including detailed, expanded vehicle rules and ship roles), so keep your eyes open!

In closing, I want to say a few words about the writers, artists, and playtesters who worked very, very hard to make the Rogue Trader core rulebook a reality. These people went above and beyond to provide some truly high-quality content for this book, and I am grateful to each and every one of them. Gen Con 2009 is just around the corner, and I can’t wait to see this book on the shelf.

Navigators. Lunar-class Cruisers. The Harlequin’s Kiss. Arch-Militant bodyguards, Explorators with enhanced bionic frames, and Warrants of Renown. The cannibal tribes of the planet Grace and the drifting space-hulk graveyard of the Processional of the Damned.

All these and more will be revealed in their full glory in just a few weeks at Gen Con 2009.
I hope I will see you there!

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 (14)

ThenDoctor
Published: 7/17/2009 2:34:40 PM
#2

 This is one time where i wish 40k had time travel...then we could have the book now muwahahahahaha

Jephkay
Published: 7/17/2009 2:06:26 PM
#1

Why wait?  Send me one NOW!  I live 20 minutes from the Indiana Convention and Visitor's Center. I work within walking distance. The only thing that separates me from this book is TIME.

And time is the one obstacle I cannot cross.

....

I dispair.

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