26 April 2014

Sanctioned Privateer

Like I said in my previous post, game reports and nice miniatures were a big draw to get me to start some science fiction gaming. And, before I go any further, I should make sure I plug Doug at em4. I emailed him on Wednesday about some of the sci-fi beastmen he sells that were showing as out of stock, asking when they'd be back in. Really quickly he emailed back to say he thought he had one or two available, sorted out the order and posted it Thursday morning on his way to root canal work by his dentist - they were in my grubby little hands by elevenses on Friday. Brilliant service, beautifully cast models with fab detail, and a good bit of banter by email in to the bargain. Go give him your money! Go now!

Back? Spend lots? Ok, back to me! What got me planning this new project was Whiskey Priest's post in which he came up with the necessary tables to create an Inquisitor warband in an RT/RoC style - it made me want to make one for a Rogue Trader. 

The slight problem is that a Rogue Trader is basically an Imperially-funded independent warlord:

Now, that doesn't sound like a small scale skirmish sort of character to me! The first line, though, gave me an idea - "other staff". Your head man is going to need subordinates with small crews, perhaps a single in-system ship and a dozen or so redshirts to make first contact, scout out new places, check he's not being swindled and put the squeeze on local gangsters who are getting too big for their boots. These subordinates, in my mind, would be licensed by the Rogue Trader. Sanctioned, if you like, by letter of marque like British sailors given license to harass the Spaniards and French in years gone by - in a word, PRIVATEERS. 

A Sanctioned Privateer would allow me to follow the Rogue Trader, slightly non-conformist, out in the backwoods feel, but at the scale I'm interested in. Result! The only slight problem is that there aren't any rules for Privateers, sanctioned or otherwise, in the RoC books. So I've made it up! Yes, it's based heavily on the approach that Whiskey Priest took over on the Leadpile but that seemed to go down well with his readers and, more importantly, give a good game as well. 

Here's my take; what do you think? I haven't got as far as the Rewards Table (Promotion table? Reputation table?) yet, but I have a few ideas of my own to add to those I pinch from RoC (ok, and the Leadpile). All page numbers are from the Rogue Trader rulebook unless otherwise stated.

EDIT - this is an updated file from 30/04/2014

Grab your dice and crack on!

EDIT - updated 30th April 2014 with a tweaked set of tables


  1. Looks really interesting. Questions that spring to mind are:

    1. How do you see campaigns working? Rogue traders competing over potential payloads?
    2. As an extension of Q1, who will the opponents be? Chaos Renegades? Inquisitors?

    Very much intrigued.

    1. Both. All. Ok, not really thought about it in detail.

      I reckon competing over payloads would be fun, as would encountering Renegades, local forces not happy at the idea of being absorbed into the Imperium, small Ork forces, Genestealer cults, whatever!

      You in?

    2. Yes I'm in! It sounds good fun.

  2. I like your thinking. I've always struggles to reconcile the image of gritty semi-legitimate privateers and the noble army leaders that Rogue Traders are described as. The sanctioned privateer is a great way to have seedier pioneering types doing the dirty work that needs doing! Can't wait to see some figures!

    1. Thanks. I'm going to grab a few minutes later today and roll up a Crew. I might try and compare it with what Renegade warband would be created by the same rolls to see if there is vague parity, at least by RoC standards!

      You do realise this is all your fault, don't you? :)

  3. What if Rogue Trader had been written in a warband format like the Realms of Chaos books? A table for Chaos Champions, a table for Sanctioned Privateers, a table for Eldar Pirates. What if random tables and not 'points' were the core of the game. That would be something I would love to see.

    1. Yes - that's exactly the vibe I'm going for. Eldar pirates, eh? Now that sounds like it's crying out for a similar set of tables, along with ork warbands and genestealer cults. So many ideas......!