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Rogue Trader

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Rogue Trader

Postby Quicksilver » Fri May 27, 2016 12:49 pm

It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries The Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the Master of Mankind by the faith of his citizens and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. Yet he is no more than a pale body writhing invisibly with power harnessed by the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, so that he may never truly die.

Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets patrol the His stars and the maze of semi-stable warp routes between them. Vast armies give battle in his name on uncounted worlds. Priests, inquisitors and auditors police the innumerable citizens under his rule. But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat from aliens, heretics, mutants and worse.

To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live on worlds where an iron fisted regime is all that stands between humanity and annihilation. It is a galaxy where the individual is sacrificed to the war machine of survival. Yet you are not just any individual — you are an Explorer on a Rogue Trader ship with authority and freedom far beyond the comprehension of the masses. Empowered by an ancient warrant of trade and a warp-capable ship, you will venture into the uncharted voids, discovering new worlds, lost civilizations, and bizarre alien technology. Fortune and glory are within reach, for Rogue Traders stand on the threshold of unlimited opportunity and unmeasurable dangers.


I am looking to see if anyone would be interested in playing in a game of Rogue Trader here. I would be GMing the game, and it would follow a fairly typical Rogue Trader set up – the players being Rogue Trader and his or her friends, upper officers and advisors. The group heads out on their ship to make their fortune.

A few things of note –
  • Rogue Trader takes place on a much larger scale than most games, as the players start with major business's level of income and several thousand men at their command. This can make both challenges and play style quite a bit different. Star-Trek-Effect still applies though, as upper officers deal with things personally.
  • I tend to run with a less grim-stupid and blood-evil version of the 40k universe more inspired by the middle ages and the 19th century than super-nazis. I also tend to assume there are plenty of other rational, intelligent people beside the PCs.
  • I will not be using (most) of the mechanics/system/crunch from the Rogue Trader line. I think it's overly crunchy for a PbP and has a lot of its own issues. Instead I'll be using Fate Core, Storyteller or Star Wars modified accordingly. (I've got notes for adapting all three.)
  • If all goes well, after we get a few players onboard we can collectively plan out/decide the nature of the dynasty (family line/business), respective positions, starting resources (including vessel) and the general tone/direction of the game.
  • Don't worry about not being knowledgeable about the 40k universe. Half of my last group weren’t knowledgeable (including one completely unfamiliar) and it played just fine. I'm always happy to answer questions as they come up.

I do have a particular starting adventure in mind, but it's designed so that it can serve to launch into many different styles of game. (It's the adventure from the GM's kit, if anyone's curious.) Games could involve questing for long lost treasures, colonizing perilous worlds, saving the galaxy from horrible threats, or combinations of all three.

So, will you embrace boundless ambition and seek your fortune among the distant stars?

The fortune seekers so far:

Swrider – Company leader and child of the semi-retired warrant holder. New to the trade and leading an experienced vessel.

Carch – Chief engineer and technology advisor. Liaison with the Adeptus Mechanicus (Society of Manufacturers & controllers of advanced technologies)

Potato – The company's CFO, handling day-to-day finances and economics. Reports back to the warrant holder.
Last edited by Quicksilver on Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby ShadoWarrior » Fri May 27, 2016 12:56 pm

Please count me in! As "saving the galaxy", don't we get enough of that in Star Wars? :P
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby swrider » Mon May 30, 2016 11:51 am

I have zero familiarity with the system and not enough time at the moment to join, but if you have an opening down the road it sounds like something I would really enjoy.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Quicksilver » Mon May 30, 2016 12:19 pm

We do save the Galaxy a lot in Star Wars, so if people want we could leave allot of that out and worry about more important things, like profit. I'm glad to hear your onboard.

Swrider, I totally understand not having additional game time. Thankfully, given the game's nature, there is always a way to bring in characters - The benefit of having thousands of people on your ship is that you never know when one will distinguish themselves and become a PC. :D.
(Or anumber of other options.)
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby ShadoWarrior » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:31 pm

I hope you have other sites you're trying to recruit players from, because so far it seems you only have a commitment from me (and I really want to play).
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Quicksilver » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:05 pm

That is my plan, I just fell short of it over the last few days :D
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Potato » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:01 pm

Hello! A Rogue Trader game, eh? That sounds right up my alley. I'm a 40k nerd through and through, so if anyone unfamiliar with the 'verse has any questions, I am more than happy to try and answer them. Not all of them though. Rogue Trader is about finding stuff out for yourself, after all. :P

Interesting choice to use a different system, although I can't say I'm against it. Any chance for shotguns to not be as awful as the official systems make them is appreciated. Will you be importing the Rogue Trader items into the system you choose?
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:26 pm

Welcome, and I'm glad you're interested!

What you will need, clearly, is a Master Crafted Archotech Shotgun. :)

I am planning to bring things over from Rogue Trader, but I was planning on doing it more ad-hoc based on principles and some guidelines I've modeled out rather than try and design everything at once. Otherwise it's just too much work with too little payout.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby ShadoWarrior » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:34 pm

How many players do you need for us to get started? (Yes, I'm obviously chomping at the bit.)
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Potato » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:38 pm

Right, capital. I wasn't expecting you to port everything, of course, simply that there be provisions in place for getting the RT weapons. That will do nicely, thank you.

Speaking as someone who usually plays the universe like Games Workshop portrays it, could you go into a little bit more detail about your interpretation? Not that it's a problem, of course - I'm actually quite interested in playing a different take on things for a change!
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:21 pm

I'm happy to run with two active players, but as I just dropped the adds yesterday, I'd like to give it until Monday before we start making any decisions about Dynasty. That way we can see if anyone else floats in over the weekend. (I won't be on that much over the weekend anyway, so it works out.)

To expand on my interpretation:
-) Grimdark: In general, I assume that the systems (particularly in the Imperium) serve a purpose. They are in place because the function more effectively or more reliably or more economically than other options. Most aristocrats are oppressive because they need to be to maintain order. Inquisitors are looking for truth, factory owners are looking for product and profit. These people (mostly) are wantonly cruel for no reason. Relatedly, I assume these people all actually perform work.

This rolls over to living conditions and similar as well. People are plentiful and cheap (like they were in Victorian England) and for the poor, living conditions aren’t going to be up to first world quality – but they're also not going to be eating each-other as a standard ration. Think downstairs of Downton Abby (particularly for on your ship), or modern Philippines.

-) Intelligent people: Related to above, I assume that there are smart people out there, particularly in intellect driven fields. Administrators, merchants, even priests have original ideas, and try to put them into place. Sometimes the succeed. If a field is being farmed by hand, it's more than likely because they can't get machines, or they would break down, or it's just too expensive. It's not likely to be because nobody in the last thousand years has thought about asking the Mechanicum for a tractor.

This rolls over to the Mechanicum as well – they are not doctrinal idiots who pray to the on button because they don't know what it does. They know their machines inside and out to a level most of us never could, and pray when they strike the on button because it provides a statistically significant increase in operation time. Same goes for the Imperial Faithful, while it's common in modern times to think of those who know their religion is true as fanatics, that isn't the case in this kind of world. Religion is so culturally ingrained by this time, to not have it is inconceivable – like Christianity in middle-ages Europe.

-) Legends: I take a lot of the codex and novel stories the same way they made the EU in Star Wars – The stories that people in the universe tell. Of course a Space Marine defeated 10,000 enemies, they're mythic superheroes. This helps with contradictions as well, and indeed, in a universe with as poor transmission of knowledge to the masses as 40k, stories shouldn't be accurate.

Ultimately, it's not that different. It's just averaged and smoothed around the edges.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Alstair07 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:47 am

Hey, I would like to take part in this! I'm fairly familiar with premise of Rogue Trader campaigns, so I'd very like to take part in this~
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Quicksilver » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:04 pm

Excellent, welcome!
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby ShadoWarrior » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:48 pm

That's three (including myself), with a fourth player (DarthSmeg) also interested in things Warhammer-ish though he hasn't yet posted in this thread.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby swrider » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:00 pm

I'm in as a potential 4th but only if you will have me... (I recently had a game close out leaving me more open ;) )

That being said I bring some serious drawbacks to this game. I am not familiar with the style or any of the rules for this game. Nor do i have access to the rules for the game (originals before modification). That is unless they are online.

So if you are all willing to be patient with me and help me along I would love to join in.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby swrider » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:15 pm

I also wanted to add that I will not be offended if you pass on me playing. PbP is not a verr good medium to teach a game to a new player.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby ShadoWarrior » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:19 pm

You're not alone. I have never played RT before, and to make things worse I strongly dislike the Warhammer universe that RT is set in (unlike the 3 newest members of this board who QS recruited from some Warhammer site). I told QS all of this in PM several weeks ago, but she feels that it's a game that I would enjoy, and as I respect and trust her I'm willing to give it a go. Plus I'm not averse to trying new things, and as a longtime and hardcore gamer I just cannot get enough of RPGs.

I also disagree concerning PbPs and teaching. It's not ideal, but there are worse mediums.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Potato » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:52 pm

Well, you're both in luck! Rogue Trader is rather unique among the 40k systems. While Dark Heresy has you in the slums of Imperial society, investigating cults and immersing yourself in the grimdark brutality of the Inquisition, Only War has you has a Imperial Guardsman armed with a mere lasgun against horrors far, far, above your pay grade, and Black Crusade just throws it all out the window and has you play as the heretics themselves...

Rogue Trader is the least grim of the four. Grim darkness blah blah, laughter of thirsting gods blah blah whatever, go make some money! Steal a planet! Buy a 15m tall mech to use as a prow ornament for your ship! Swindle a legendary blade out of a powerful adversary! You are big, influential businessmen who can and will utterly ruin someone's life for interrupting your third poultry course. It's good to be on top. And it's not even as pointlessly grim as normal!

...Also don't worry about not knowing the system, QS is using a different one. Either Star Wars or something else...? Anyway, we're more than happy to help with figuring things out.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby DarthSmeg » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:56 pm

I'm in! My schedule varies a bit, so I sometimes have lots of time to post, and other times none at all. So if you can accommodate an unpredictable but enthusiastic player, I'm your guy!

I'll play a hot-shot pilot our zealous priest. Or anything else you need, really :)

As for rules and whatnot, I'm eager to see how you adapt the Fate rules. And Swrider, all those are online and available (and rather easy to wrap your head around).
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Quicksilver » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:03 pm

Hello all!

I'm excited to see such a great turnout for the game! Welcome and I must say, I'm looking forward to playing with everyone. And don't worry Swrider, I think you'll get the hang of it just fine. :)

Alright, down to business:

First – Game System: Does anyone have any preferences/strong feeling about what system we use? I see one call for Fate so far. Anyone else?

Second – Game Direction: Does anyone have any preferences/strong feeling about what kind of 'theme' or 'main direction' the game takes?
- Do people want to wage war?
- Explore forgotten human settlements?
- Explore forgotten alien settlements?
- Contact and trade with strange aliens?
- Contact and exterminate strange aliens?
- Recover lost colonies?
- Create new colonies?

In addition to these questions, there is two other kind of metrics to judge.
- Emphasize or deemphasize Corruption & Insanity?
- Emphasize or deemphasize crew and backing solidarity?
In both cases, emphasis tends to make the struggle Rouge Traders go through more of a theme, as well as creating a darker mood. Deemphasizing them makes the discoveries/actions more of the theme, and creates a more heroic mood.

Third – The Dynasty: Basically, we need to build the player characters and their surroundings. Does anyone have any preferences/strong feeling about what kind of character they want to play?

We also need to come up with the basic family/dynastic history. Are you a young Rogue Trader family and dynamic upstarts? An old an weathered dynasty? Where you once greater, or currently on an upswing? Is your family known for anything?

Lastly, your ship. Is it an ancient dynastic flagship, or the stepping stone to something greater? Is it small but fully equipped, or large and just holding itself together? Does it or its crew have any particular quarks? Is it a warship-turned-freighter or freighter-turned-warship?

I, of course, am more than happy to provide guidance/help/ideas for all of these things, but I don't want to just pull things out at whim. So don't feel like you need to comment on everything, just talk about what seems interesting. And if none of it makes any sense whatsoever, pick something and I'll try and explain better what I'm asking.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby ShadoWarrior » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:06 pm

Quicksilver wrote:First – Game System: Does anyone have any preferences/strong feeling about what system we use? I see one call for Fate so far. Anyone else?

Fate is very similar to FFG's own system. I would prefer to stick with FFG's system. Those of us that have never played RT are already needing to learn the new game's setting as well as the mechanics of character creation (which differ a bit from FFG's Star Wars). Myself, I would prefer not to have to learn a completely different set of play mechanics on top of that.

Quicksilver wrote:Second – Game Direction: Does anyone have any preferences/strong feeling about what kind of 'theme' or 'main direction' the game takes?
- Do people want to wage war?
- Explore forgotten human settlements?
- Explore forgotten alien settlements?
- Contact and trade with strange aliens?
- Contact and exterminate strange aliens?
- Recover lost colonies?
- Create new colonies?

I'm fine with any of these, singly or in combination.

Quicksilver wrote:In addition to these questions, there is two other kind of metrics to judge.
- Emphasize or deemphasize Corruption & Insanity?
- Emphasize or deemphasize crew and backing solidarity?

I'd prefer de-emphasizing corruption and insanity. As a matter of fact, I'd prefer no 'magic' aspects at all, but that may be too much to ask. I don't know anything about solidarity so I'll reserve comment/opinion on that.

Quicksilver wrote:Third – The Dynasty: Basically, we need to build the player characters and their surroundings. Does anyone have any preferences/strong feeling about what kind of character they want to play?

Being new to the game/system, I have no preferences. I'm open to suggestions from the GM and other players as to what I should play. Whatever best fits the needs of the group, and is something that I would have fun playing.

Quicksilver wrote:Does it or its crew have any particular quarks?

You mean 'quirks'. Quarks are subatomic particles (and an annoying Star Trek character).

Quicksilver wrote:Is it a warship-turned-freighter or freighter-turned-warship?

I think a re-purposed warship might be more interesting. Depends on how much cargo space we'd be sacrificing for the sake of extra firepower, how important and good that extra firepower is, and how critical having more cargo space might be. As a RT noob, someone else will have to explain the options to me.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby swrider » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:43 pm

Recovering lost colonies sounds really interesting and is not something I have done before. Besides that I like all of the ideas.

I am also in favor of deemphasizing both options as neither sounds particularly interesting to me, but I will go with the will of the group.

Lastly, while I agree with Shado, I must vote for Fate. It does not appear that everyone in this game is familiar is FFGs rules putting them at a disadvantage. Someone mentioned above that Fates rules are free online and a quick Google search has confirmed that. Since a large portion of this group needs to learn a new system it may as well be the free system.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby Potato » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:00 pm

Quicksilver wrote:First – Game System: Does anyone have any preferences/strong feeling about what system we use? I see one call for Fate so far. Anyone else?


I'm most used to the original RT system, but I'm quite happy to learn whatever system you end up using.

Quicksilver wrote:Second – Game Direction: Does anyone have any preferences/strong feeling about what kind of 'theme' or 'main direction' the game takes?
- Do people want to wage war?
- Explore forgotten human settlements?
- Explore forgotten alien settlements?
- Contact and trade with strange aliens?
- Contact and exterminate strange aliens?
- Recover lost colonies?
- Create new colonies?


All of the above? :P No but really, this ties in a lot with our dynasty background and things. We can easily make time to do everything on that list at some point, or at least pay someone to do it for us. This is a high powered game.

Quicksilver wrote:In addition to these questions, there is two other kind of metrics to judge.
- Emphasize or deemphasize Corruption & Insanity?
- Emphasize or deemphasize crew and backing solidarity?


Chaos is an integral part of the setting. It is why the Imperium is what it is, and it must remain horribly, horribly dangerous. In addition, as smoothed over as the grimdarkness is, there are some very, very scary things in the expanse that were around before anything bad ever happened to the Imperium. The Dark Eldar. The entire planet of Burnscour. The Slaugth. I would like to see corruption and insanity in the game - however, in my experience that doesn't really mean you're on any kind of time limit or anything, due to gaining either being something of a rarity compared to the other books. This ain't going call of Cthulhu anytime soon.

An vital part of managing a ship is crew morale and management. Most of the boring number work is done for you, but more than one Rogue Trader has ended up out of the airlock of his own ship. So yes, while you don't have to EMPHASISE both, it'd be nice if they were things that mattered.

Quicksilver wrote:Third – The Dynasty: Basically, we need to build the player characters and their surroundings. Does anyone have any preferences/strong feeling about what kind of character they want to play?


I will happily play what needs playing, although I naturally gravitate towards Mechanicus, priesthood, navigation or Astropathic stuff.

Quicksilver wrote:We also need to come up with the basic family/dynastic history. Are you a young Rogue Trader family and dynamic upstarts? An old an weathered dynasty? Where you once greater, or currently on an upswing? Is your family known for anything?

Lastly, your ship. Is it an ancient dynastic flagship, or the stepping stone to something greater? Is it small but fully equipped, or large and just holding itself together? Does it or its crew have any particular quarks? Is it a warship-turned-freighter or freighter-turned-warship?


Honestly, I'd like to leave this one to the Captain of the vessel. Be it me or someone else, the one who is actually playing as the Rogue Trader should be free to customise their family and ship as they wish, it is after all a part of their character.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby ShadoWarrior » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:03 pm

FFG's system is the normal system used for RT. Unless I'm mistaken, it's also used for all other Warhammer-related RPGs. So anyone already familiar with Warhammer-based RPGs should already know FFG's system. Only those who have never played any of FFG's RPGs (such as players who have only played WH40K tabletop minis) will need to learn a new system. And if that's the case, then I would think that having to read the character creation rules in one book (the RT core rules book) and then go online to learn different dice mechanics would actually be more complex and time-consuming than just getting all of the rules from a single source.

And I hardly think that the "advantage" that swrider and I share in already knowing the FFG dice mechanics outweighs the advantage everyone else has in being more familiar with the Warhammer setting than swrider and I possess.

Incidentally, I'm familiar with the Storyteller mechanics (assuming that's White Wolf's system Quicksilver was referring to in post #1). While I'm fond of White Wolf's stuff, using those mechanics would be even more work for RT players than learning Fate.
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Re: Rogue Trader

Postby ShadoWarrior » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:18 pm

Potato wrote:Chaos is an integral part of the setting. It is why the Imperium is what it is, and it must remain horribly, horribly dangerous. In addition, as smoothed over as the grimdarkness is, there are some very, very scary things in the expanse that were around before anything bad ever happened to the Imperium. The Dark Eldar. The entire planet of Burnscour. The Slaugth. I would like to see corruption and insanity in the game - however, in my experience that doesn't really mean you're on any kind of time limit or anything, due to gaining either being something of a rarity compared to the other books. This ain't going call of Cthulhu anytime soon.

Scary I don't mind. Besides Call of Cthulhu I've also played a now-ancient game called Paranoia and had great fun. But I really would rather not deal with magic, and especially not religion. I prefer a science fiction setting, not fantasy set in space. I tolerate the Force in Star Wars because the Wars-verse is cool (who doesn't like lightsabers?), but Star Wars also works perfectly well without Jedi and the Force (FFG's EotE and AoR being prime examples).

Just because Games Workshop has elves, orcs, and dwarves in space, along with magic and religion (basically, D&D in space) doesn't mean that a campaign focusing on exploration and trade has to be burdened with fantasy aspects.
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