Greetings, Rogue Trader fans!

This week I am going to turn things over to one of the writers for the core rulebook, a chap I am sure many of you will have heard of: Games Workshop’s own Andy Hoare!

In this diary, Andy discusses what it was like to work on the project:

The Imperium

My first task was to present a broad overview of the Imperium in which the action takes place. I couldn’t assume that the reader had any prior knowledge of the Imperium or the Warhammer 40,000 background in general. Yet, knowing that most players would play Dark Heresy , I wanted to present that background from an angle that would be interesting and entertaining even to those who’ve read every source book, codex and game ever set in the war torn galaxy of the 41st Millennium.

The answer was to come at the problem from a different angle. Dark Heresy is presented from the perspective of the Inquisition, with dark insidious threat lurking in every claustrophobic corner. The Warhammer 40,000 codexes are presented largely from the point of view of the race being covered, with their victories and defeats told from their own unique perspectives. So for this book ( Rogue Trader ), I described the Imperium from the perspective of those privileged few granted a view from the top down—Imperial Commanders, Lords Militants, and of course the Rogue Traders. Describing the Imperium in these ‘big picture’ terms reinforces the fact that it’s a galaxy-spanning empire of over a million separate worlds, and I think will appeal to new players as well as to those who, like me, have been immersed in the Warhammer 40,000  milieu for over two decades.

On Rogue Traders
Then came the chapter on Rogue Traders themselves. I was struck by the notion that the very term ‘Rogue Trader’ carries with it a huge weight of history, expectation and speculation. Like myself, many people played the original Rogue Trader tabletop miniatures game right at the beginning of their gaming lives, and although that game wasn’t really about Rogue Traders at all, we all have a soft spot for them.

Of course, over the years the entire notion of just who and what Rogue Traders are has been the subject of much debate. For some, they’re adventurous privateers, for others noble merchant princes. They’ve been presented over the years as everything from charming rogues to callous renegades. So which is true?

The answer is all of the above. Rogue Traders are, for me, among the most interesting of characters in the entire Imperium. There are as many ‘types’ as there are individuals, meaning players can make of them whatever they want. Rogue Traders are presented as the products of everything they’ve experienced prior to the player filling out the character sheet. The background makes possible a massive range of character types, so whatever
you think Rogue Traders are, you won’t be disappointed.

Andy Hoare works for Games Workshop as a Game Designer, where he writes and develops game systems and intellectual property. He has worked on several books for the Black Library as well, including Tactica Imperialis, the 13th Black Crusade, and Rogue Star and Star of Damocles, two novels that feature Rogue Traders.

Rogue Trader is a roleplaying game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the grim darkness of the far future. Players take on the roles of Explorers aboard a Rogue Trader's ship, searching for profit and adventure in the uncharted regions of space.

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