The Licenian Crusade
Unlike more rigid “class-based” game systems, Rogue Trader is essentially a large collection of skills and talents that theoretically anyone can learn. The differences in “Career” choice essentially boil down to how easy or expensive in XP is it to learn any particular skill or talent, and when in the course of your advancement do you get a chance to learn them.
Each Career is therefore a progression of options. The higher your rank, the more choices you have and the more specialized you can become. The system permits characters to buy things that aren’t even on their career charts through “Elite Advances,” basically asking your GM for permission and determining the xp cost.
To make things even more flexible, some supplements provide “alternate career ranks”, which are replacement charts for certain ranks in a career to represent a certain focus, kind of like “prestige classes” in 3.5 D&D. For example, the “Genetor” is an alternate Rank 3 for the Explorator career that represents a tech-priest who specializes in biology and genetics. Some of these alternate career ranks may even be taken at rank 1, to represent a different focus at the very outset of your Career. The “Navis Scion,” for instance, represents a more social-focused starting Navigator while the “Transubstantial Initiate” represents a more pious and religious Astropath Transcendant.
Here are some brief summaries of the careers available for Player Characters in this campaign:
- Rogue Trader Careers -
Rogue Trader: Choose the Rogue Trader career if you want a “face man,” an individual born and bred to command others. You may be the Lord-Captain of the ship, or perhaps you are the lesser child of another dynasty who has signed on with the Captain to make a name for yourself in the universe. Perhaps you are merely a daring noble or scion of some other powerful faction. Whatever your back-story, the Rogue Trader career excels at social interaction.
Arch-Militant: Choose the Arch-Militant if you want to be a combat badass. Where did you learn your skills? Perhaps you worked your way up through the ranks of the Imperial Guard. Perhaps you were the bodyguard of a powerful noble or clergyman? Perhaps you were a recruit of the Adeptus Astartes and washed out before the final process of transformation into an Imperial Space Marine? Whatever your back-story, the Arch-Militant career excels at combat, as well as directing others in combat.
Astropath Transcendant: Choose the Astropath Transcendant if you want to be a mysterious user of the psychic arts, an individual both feared and necessary. Through an ancient and dangerous rite, you’ve been “soul-bonded” to the Holy Emperor himself, your eyes burned out in the process. As a result of this link to a tiny portion of the Emperor’s power, you can cast your thoughts through the immaterium to communicate with others of your kind light-years away. You and your kind are the fragile network of communication that makes the Imperium of Man possible. Additionally, you have access to an array of psychic powers of great utility to any Rogue Trader dynasty. Whatever your reasons for signing on to the ship, the Astropath Transcendant has access to mysterious and dangerous powers that are nevertheless quite useful and potent.
Explorator: Choose the Explorator if you want to be a priest of the mysterious Adeptus Mechanicus, the machine cult that controls the mysteries of technology in the Imperium. Wherever the Imperium’s ships fly, a cadre of Tech-Priests is on-hand to propitiate the ancient and fickle machine-spirits of the ship and to ensure that it continues to function. Unlike the Tech-Priests elsewhere in the Imperium, however, you specialize in exploration and discovery of long-lost archaeotechnology from mankind’s bygone eras. To you also falls the task of protecting yourself and your crew from the dangers of heretical Xenostechnology… unless you care to flirt with tech-heresy? Whatever your motives, the Explorator excels at the use and repair of technology, which also can include biology. Explorators make surprisingly effective surgeons.
Missionary: Choose the Missionary if you want to play a member of the Imperium’s most faithful. The Ecclesiarchy is a vast and powerful organization, with priests, pilgrims and devotees scattered throughout space. You, however, have a higher calling. Not content to attend to the souls of the faithful, your eyes look outward to planets that have long-forgotten the light of the Holy Emperor, or that never knew that light in the first place. You are trained in a variety of survival and social skills necessary to make your way on strange planets and convert the locals through whatever means are most efficacious. What has called you to spread the Emperor’s Word to uncharted parts of the galaxy as part of a Rogue Trader’s dynasty? Whatever your reasons, the Missionary excels in a variety of skills necessary for planetary missions.
Navigator: Choose the Navigator if you want to play a member of an ancient and powerful House of the Navis Nobilite, the Navigator Houses, and if you want access to bizarre and fearful powers over the warp. Unlike an Astropath Transcendant or other psyker, your control over these powers is more focused. Through some quirk of your mutant genetics, the warp is a less fearful thing to you. Your mind filters the horror and you can siphon its power with less cause to worry about mishap. You and your kind are absolutely necessary to the Imperium. Much like Astropaths Transcendant, your ability to steer a ship through the Immaterium keeps the Imperium functioning as a polity rather than a widely scattered array of minor fiefs. Your reason for being on a Rogue Trader’s ship is relatively simple: you’re necessary. What were the terms of the contract between the dynasty and your ancient House? What is the nature of your own dynasty? Whatever the answers to these questions, the Navigator excels at an array of focused, powerful psychic abilities and is vital to a ship’s long-term health and survival.
Seneschal: Choose the Seneschal if you want to play a widely knowledgeable character with tons of contacts. You are the person that the Rogue Trader turns to when they need something done. You know how to procure vital supplies, you know how to smooth things over with various factions. You are a fixer and a facilitator, a behind-the-scenes power that keeps the dynasty running and profitable. How did you get here? Are you a dynastic retainer, whose family has served the same Rogue Trader dynasty for generations? Are you a particularly talented underworld don who realized the power and potential of affixing your destiny to a Rogue Trader? Whatever your origins, Seneschals excel at skullduggery.
Voidmaster: Choose the Voidmaster if you want to be a shipboard specialist. You are someone who, through sheer skill and luck, has risen to a lofty rank in the upper echelons of a Rogue Trader’s crew. You are likely either the best pilot, the best gunner or the best tactical officer available. How did you achieve such skill? Were you born on the ship and rose through the ranks of the crew? Are you a talented hireling lured away from the Imperial Navy or another Rogue Trader? Were you planetbound and worked on your skills with the dream of someday making it into space? Whatever your motivations, the Voidmaster excels at one aspect of shipboard life, and is the best at that thing. He has an array of other useful skills to support his specialty.