by Ross Watson

Welcome to the first designer diary article for Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Rogue Trader ! The new role-playing game set in the Warhammer 40K universe, and the follow up to the hugely success Dark Heresy roleplaying game I am very pleased and proud to talk about this game of exploration, profit, and danger among the stars.

Fans of Dark Heresy will be happy to know that Rogue Trader is fully compatible with their game system, and Dark Heresy characters can join a Rogue Trader on his voyages! The Rogue Trader core rulebook has an extensive section on bringing over characters from one game into the next.

I think the best way to start is to cast a little light on the Warhammer 40,000 universe and the place of Rogue Traders within it. Luckily for us, Warhammer 40,000 novelist and GW Design Studio member Andy Hoare has written some excellent guides to both in the core rulebook!

The Grim Darkness of the Far Future

A vast and scattered realm extending over almost the entire galaxy, the Imperium of Mankind has been the bastion of the human race for over 10,000 years. Down through the centuries, the Imperium has survived disasters, treachery, heresies, and invasions of aliens bent on the destruction of all mankind. The Imperium’s greatest strengths are the God-Emperor of Mankind and his vast armies and fleets.

Although the Imperium controls more than a million worlds, that is merely a fraction of the galactic whole—there are fringes and frontier zones where human settlers are renegades, pioneers, or forgotten colonies lost millennia ago. Most of the galaxy remains unexplored, unknown...and very, very dangerous.

Enter the Rogue Traders

The potential of new worlds, alien civilisations and unimaginable resources made necessary a class of free-ranging Imperial agents known as Rogue Traders. Licensed and often equipped by the Adeptus Terra, the Rogue Trader is free to explore the far, uncharted regions of the galaxy. Rogue Traders have even attempted to cross the voids of intergalactic space, but over such distances even the Astropaths’ powers of communication are useless, and whether such missions have succeeded is unknown. Operating in isolation from the central authority of the Imperium, the Rogue Trader must decide how to react to alien cultures, new discoveries and threats. If he judges a race to be potentially dangerous he may attempt to destroy it, or gather as much information as he can so that others may do so. If he decides a race may be of use to Humanity he may attempt to make contact and establish relations. If merely rich in technology or minerals, a planet may be plundered, and the Rogue Trader will return to Terra laden with the treasure of space—alien artefacts, rare and precious minerals and undreamed of technology.

Coming Soon

So, I imagine the first thing on most reader’s minds right now is, “What’s coming up next?” Over the next few weeks and months, you will see more previews of the contents of the book, updates, and designer diaries not only from myself but also from the various writers who helped make the core rulebook of Rogue Trader come to be.

Until then, to enjoy the new Rogue Trader site, go here .

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