Greetings, Rogue Traders!

Sam Stewart here, and this week I’m very excited the reveal the second playable xenos career from Into the Storm —the Kroot Mercenary.

When we first decided to put xenos careers into Into the Storm , I knew one of them was going to be the Kroot. Since their subtle mention in the 3rd Edition 40,000 Rulebook , the Kroot have been playing an ever-growing part in the universe of the 41st Millennium. These carnivorous and slightly avian xenos are allied with the Tau Empire—but also send parties of mercenaries out across the galaxy. Their goal is to seek out useful genetic material, to improve and adapt their species in order to reach the pinnacle of evolution. They accomplish this as mercenaries, for where better to seek out promising genetic traits than facing off against the finest and deadliest warriors the galaxy has to offer?

By the time Rogue Traders crossed into the Expanse, the Kroot had already established themselves, travelling their via the Jericho Reach. They’re an established part of the Koronus Expanse, and that, combined with their mercenary tendencies, made them a perfect playable xenos race. A Kroot is more than willing to work with a band of Explorers, so long as the money’s good and he gets plenty of opportunities for...”battlefield scavenging.” In fact, the Kroot have a Trait called “Mercenary,” allowing them the option to use a group’s Profit Factor, rather than Willpower, when making a Fear or Pinning Test.

With the Orks ably handled by Nathan Dowdell , I wanted to ensure the Kroot would get equally capable treatment. I was pleased to find Ross Watson was willing to dive into the Kroot, in addition to his hard work on Deathwatch .

The Kroot quickly proved to be excellent material for player characters. Their psychology provided in-built reasons why they would work with a Rogue Trader, and their abilities at stealth and fieldcraft allowed them to fill a previously under-filled niche in Rogue Trader—that of the scout and hunter. In fact, we found the Kroot Mercenary and Ork Freebooter complemented each other well—one is a bloodthirsty barbarian warrior who is decidedly unsubtle, while the other is a stalker and spy who can pass unseen through almost any location.

The Kroot’s alien nature creates some very interesting differences between them and human Explorers. For example, as Kroot gain Corruption, they regress to their feral origins, and their unique physiology allows them to move and react faster, leap over great distances to attack their opponents, and even slay their foes using nothing more than their beaks (a Kroot may be disarmed, but he is never without a weapon). Then there is their disturbing propensity to eat the flesh of those freshly slain...

Like the Orks, the Kroot do not use the usual Origin Path—as it is geared towards human/Imperial experiences and motivations. Instead, a Kroot’s background is defined by his Kindred. Kindred are society/familial groupings in Kroot culture, but they are also often defined by genetic differences. The Bold Hunter, for example, is a Kroot who comes from a Kindred that makes a point of feasting on the apex predators from dozens of worlds, and adopts these traits themselves. On the other hand, the Cunning Hybrid is a Kroot whose kindred hunts and eats the Stryxis, devious alien merchants of the Koronus Expanse.

Another very interesting aspect of the Kroot culture are the Shapers—which players can explore through the Shaper Alternate Career Rank. Shapers use a combination of instinctual genetic knowledge and prophetic and talismanic powers (ill-understood by Imperial xenosarcheologists) to guide their people. One of their primary tasks is to guide their kindreds into consuming certain kinds of prey, in order to craft the genetic traits later generations of Kroot will gain.

The Kroot Mercenary provides a second unique character type for a Rogue Trader’s crew, an alien uniquely suited to working alongside other Explorers due to his mercenary and pragmatic outlook. They can also be a valuable addition to any group—provided the rest of the Explorers have a strong stomach!


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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