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Starting A New Rp About Wh40k, And I Have Many Lore Doubts!

Discussion in 'Role Playing' started by Golokopitenko, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Golokopitenko Golokopitenko Well-Known Member

    I am going to host a RP for my friends (more or less based on Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader mechanics), but I don't know many of the details about the everyday stuff in the Imperium of Man, and many other things.

    I thought about making the story start in a hive city, and my friends would be militians that are assigned minor missions until they're proven worthy to do more serious stuff. I don't want them to be Imperial Guardsmen because I want them to have some freedom of choice and movement (as IG they'll be told where to go and what to do, and of course they might die too soon).

    I also thought about their characters being mercenaries of some sort, but how often does the Imperium hire those? How free are they? How exactly does that work?

    Another thing, if one of my friends wants to roll another race, will most, if not all relation with the Imperium be hostile? For instance, an Eldar or Tau player.

    If I stick to the first idea of the militia guys, these are some of the doubts I have:

    1) how do militia guys even work? What task can they be assigned and who would "hire" them?
    2)In a Hive City, how exactly is it organised?
    3)What is the chain of command of the HC?
    4)What is the role of the Imperial Guard inside it?
    5)Do HCs have bars/pubs as we do today?
    6)Do they have neighbourhoods?
    7)Do they have public transport? If so, how is it?
    8)How is food distributed?
    9)How is a regular civilian's house?
    10)What is the role of the Mechanicus there?
    11)How hard is it to leave the planet, to buy a weapon, to acquire knowledge, to acquire wealth?
    12)How and why do rebellions appear and how does the goverment (?) of the Hive City deal with them?
    13)Can a Hive World have a population of feral orks without it being utterly destroyed?
    14)To my intents, is it better a Hive World or a Forge World? What are the main differences and how would that affect my gameplay?
    15) What is the exact relation of the Imperium with other races? Are they all hostile? Is there xenos commerce?
    16)How hard is to buy your own ship, and how would a small freelancer group do an interstellar travel?
    17)How are weapons stored/distributed?
    18)What is the exact role of the Administratum?
    19)What is the exact appearance of a HC, vague descriptions aside? Low/High ceilings? Are there streets and cars? Are there stores? There are town halls of some sort?
    20)Do hive cities fight each other the same way countries make war to each other nowadays?
    21)What is the how does the Adeptus Arbites exactly work inside a HC?

    Sorry for so many questions/wall of text, but I want this game to be as lore-accurate as possible, and I can't do that without knowing these and other things.
  2. Freke Freke Subordinate

    I'll try to answer all your questions as thoroughly as possible. However, this will be a very large wall of text. Be warned.
  3. Golokopitenko Golokopitenko Well-Known Member

    That's exactly what I wanted. Thank you.
  4. Freke Freke Subordinate

    In regards to xenos, and other races
    You can roll other races, including Eldar, Tau, Orkz, etc. However, some of them don't have character creation guidelines and as a result you will have to in-house (make up your own) skills and talents. 90% of interaction with humanity should either be hostile, or incredibly difficult. Humans are born into xenophobia, and are indoctrinated to hate xenos and mutants. However, to circumvent this you can either have your campaign participate on fringe colonies/worlds, where contact with xenos is far more common. There are plenty of examples where Imperial colonies defect to the Tau empire. There is also an entire sect of Tau military devoted to Gue'vesas, which are Imperial citizens who have joined the Tau military.

    However, for a Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader session, it would be ill advised to roll xenos. Dark Heresy is about the Inquisition, and them routing out threats from within, whether that be xenos, mutant or heretical. Of course, you could always use the Dark Heresy guidelines and entirely ignore the story elements, which is totally fine. The Fantasy Flight RPG books are more foundations and guidelines than literal settings. A group using the Dark Heresy book doesn't necessarily have to be part of the Inquisition, or the Imperium for that matter. Just keep in mind you will have to "wing-it" a lot more if you stray from the books.

    In regards to Mercenaries
    While the Imperial Military doesn't necessarily use mercenaries (after-all, they would just draft them into the military), Planetary & System Governors have no issue in doing so. Underhive gangs are probably the most common "mercenary" used by the Imperium as a whole. But then again, they are usually just drafted into the Imperial Guard or a Governors personal retinue.

    However, Rogue Traders use mercenaries all the time. Even xenos mercenaries. In fact, a xenos can perform so well that they may be sanctioned by a Rogue Trader and allowed into the Imperium. Due to the xenophobic nature of Imperial citizens, its really difficult to have any pleasant interaction between sanctioned xenos and humans. (This is represented in the game by having a -20 or -30 to all social and commerce interactions). These xenos mercenaries include Kroot, Orkz, Freebootas, and even Eldar. Human mercenaries are entirely up to you to make up, as I imagine aboard Space Stations that there are all kinds of different human mercenaries looking for work.

    In regards to your doubts
    1) More often than not mercenaries will be employed by a Planetary Governor to act as protection or pure muscle. Whether that be protecting a valuable target, protecting a supply-way (the giant freeways between Hive Cities), or escorting.

    They also can be hired on as hit squads. Assassinating a target, clearing out a mutant infestation, dealing with Underhive gangers, or taking out competition (in this case they would be most likely hired by a Merchant Trader). Keep in mind that some actions will put you at odds with Arbitrators. And then of course, they can be taken aboard Rogue Trader fleets to act as a military for the Trader in case he needs to do whatever. That is entirely up to you and your creativity.

    2)Hive cities are separated into 5 sections.
    First: Upper Spires. These are were Imperial nobility reside. The families (or family) that rules over the Hive City live here. These are the most luxurious living quarters on world, and where important barons, merchants, and political figureheads live. They also include the Imperial equivalent of mansions or villas. Along with having have gigantic living quarters, they have the best medical care, best food, and best luxury items.
    Second: Upperhive. These are where bureaucrats live who control and maintain the hive. This is a step down from the Spires, but still regarded as Imperial nobility. These are usually where lesser families, merchants, and barons live and are considered the middle class or upper middle class. People who have a name to them, but that name doesn't hold nearly as much sway as someone from the Spires.
    Third: Lowerhive. This is where the working class live and work. Power isn't free, people must pay for everything. Food and shelter isn't nearly as abundant, and most people live and die here without ever leaving. They operate all machinery, power plants, and food production that keeps the rest of the hive going. This is also the largest section of the Hive City.
    Fourth: Underhive. This is where criminals, the poor, and mutants live. There is no electricity, there is no law. There is no constant food supply. Total anarchy exists and the only way to stay alive is through criminal means. Space Marine Chapters along with the Imperial Guard love to recruit from here as it breeds incredibly tough fighters. Think of your typical futuristic slums. This is usually located at the very base or even below the surface of the ground. Mutation run rampant here due to some of the toxic byproducts of the Hive.
    Fifth: Outskirts. While not physically part of the Hive, it encompasses the area directly outside of a Hive. While not as bad a place to live as the Underhive, food, power and medical supplies are slightly more abundant. However, it is no Lower/Upperhive. The immediate vicinity of Hives are usually toxic wastelands as this is where all pollution and runoff is dumped. However people choose to live here away from social constraints and are entirely free people.
    Slagtoof likes this.
  5. Freke Freke Subordinate

    In regards to your doubts (continued)
    The Chain of Command in a Hive goes like this:
    Adeptus Arbites->Planetary Governor->Planetary Defense Force->Imperial Nobility->Local Arbites

    Although the Adeptus Arbites are technically considered more influential than Planetary Governors, PG's do not answer to the Arbitrators. As such, they are constantly at odds with each other, especially if the Planetary Governor is the one suspected. While the PG doesn't have to cooperate with the Abitrators, the Arbites can arrest and execute PG's when sufficient evidence is gathered.

    The Planetary Defense Force act as a bulwark against any hostile force. They're meant to hold the line until Imperial Guard arrive to reinforce and push back the enemies. PDF usually get most of their training from the Underhive and Feral Orkz. However, they aren't as trained or as well equipped to deal with any major invasion. Think of them as a national guard, with the chance of being promoted to the Imperial Guard.

    Hive's do very much so have bars and pubs like we do today. However one can imagine they are vastly larger than ours, encompassing several levels and even sections of the city. In my Rogue Trader campaign our bar was spread from the Spires all the way to the Lowerhive, which each different section guarded by mercenaries hired by the pub owner to keep people in their designated sections. But, other Hives may have hundreds of bars/pubs spread throughout the city. The most common alcoholic beverage served is amesac. Which is likened to vodka or whiskey, depending on how its made/distilled.

    Neighborhoods are tricky. People live in hab centers/blocks. These are where people in the Lowerhive live and are given none but the most essential living space. One would imagine this being simple a bedroom, a kitchen, and perhaps a small living area. Your family is born, lives, and dies there. However, some cities may simply have just a bunch of beds with maybe a small artificial light source. These are entirely up to you.

    Food can be distributed in one of two ways. Either there is a local grocery, like in todays society, but with very limited selection. Or there are food banks, where you go to drop however many Throne Gelt and get x amount of food for the week. Food can range from nutrient packs made from reprocessed bio-waste, to bread, water, fruits, and even grox-steaks.

    Public transport is iffy. The regular working class does not possess any type of motor vehicle or bike. Most of the transportation is done via lifts, and walking. However, the most "common" type of transportation in Hives are Bikes (Not bicycles mind you). These are mostly available to the Upperhive and Spires. However, some may trickle down into the Lowerhive and Underhive.

    The Mechanicus generally are the ones overseeing the production facilities of the Hive. They distribute workforce, maintain complex machinery, and ensure the Hive remains operational. The Mechanicus usually use Hive Cities as "training" once they leave Mars or where ever they originate from, before joining Explorator Fleets.

    Because of the fact that Lowerhivers have to pay a premium for every watt of energy they use, 99% of them don't ever accumulate enough wealth to leave the city. They are born there, and usually die there. But, Imperial citizens making enough money to leave the Hive via transport ship or supply-ways is not unheard of. Of course, a citizen can always join the Guard and hope to survive long enough to make something of his life. Because of these factors, most humans live in ignorance, having never see anything more than Autoguns, or maybe some LasWeapons. Knowledge is safeguarded by Mechanicus and the nobility, and as such, isn't freely available in the lower and sometimes even upperhives.

    Because of the shitty lives of Lowerhivers and Underhivers, rebellion is talked about all the time. However, inaction is just as common. The smallest drop in efficiency can lead to full blown investigations and subsequent squashing of any heresies or rebellion. Sometimes though, the perpetrators are not found before they are able to gather enough support. These generally lead to entire areas refusing to work, which threatens the safety and stability of the Hive. The rebels are executed en masse, with the Arbites and PDF stepping in to quell them. But, sometimes this doesn't work. Maybe the rebels have an abnormally intelligent leader. Whatever happens with this, is entirely up to you and the group.
    Slagtoof likes this.
  6. Freke Freke Subordinate

    Feral Orkz can range from spear chucking savages, to WW1 style levels of technology. Obviously, the longer a Feral Ork tribe exists, the more technologically advanced it will become. Orkz essentially Orkiform worlds they inhabit. Their spores create fungus, which creates vegetation, which creates trees. Because of this, Orkz are incredibly difficult to remove from a planet. But, most tribes don't ever achieve a high enough technology level to cause any serious threat to the Hive. However, the arrival of an Ork Waaagh! can drastically boost the technological level of any Feral Orkz and turn 100,000 rock throwing Orkz into machine gun wielding brutes, as most Waaagh!'s recruit from Feral Ork tribes.

    With that said, Feral Orkz can provide good sport for Upperhivers and Spire dwellers, as well as good training regiments for local Planetary Defense Forces. So while they're not directly capable of causing harm to a Hive, not keeping the population in check can cause serious disasters hundreds of years down the line, or in the face of an Ork invasion.

    For your group, I would suggest a Hive World. Forge Worlds are the worst possible places to start a group unless you're all Mechanicus. Forge Worlds are capitalism at its purest form. People are paid just enough money to cover power costs and food, if they're lucky. A lot of people die from starvation and are replaced almost instantly. Habitation blocks have anywhere from 5 to 10 people crammed into a single room, and the planet is usually turned into a barren wasteland filled with toxins and ash due to runoff from the factories.

    Xenos and Imperial relation is tricky. The vast majority of the Imperium hate and despise all Xenos. This is mostly because ever since Humanities first step into the galaxy every single possible Xenos species has sought to destroy mankind. There are exceptions of course, but they are few and vastly far in between. Although, this does not mean there is no Xenos commerce.

    While for every 10 Xenos species encountered, one may be friendly, that still would still leave hundreds of Xenos species that aren't immediately hostile. Xenos trade and dealings are generally via Rogue Traders, mostly because Rogue Traders stem from incredibly wealthy and powerful Imperial families which are far more educated than the average Imperial citizen. As such, Rogue Traders, while not 100% down with the idea of dealing with aliens, happen to have the most contact with them. A lot of the time a Rogue Trader is so caught up with making money, that they will do anything to achieve this. That includes buying, selling, and working for Xenos. Obviously if the Inquisition were to ever find out, they would be chastised. But Rogue Trader families are powerful within Imperial society, that the Administratum generally isn't aware. But for your average day-to-day Hiver, there is very little Xenos dealings. Not unless of course (as I mentioned earlier) you started on a fringe colony close to a spacefaring Xenos empire. (Which keep in mind, there are countless numbers of Xenos species in the galaxy. The RPG books only focus on the major ones, which allows you free reign to make up whatever aliens you wish, at whatever technological advancement.)

    Ships in 40K are an incredibly rare resource. Which isn't to say there are few numbers of them. Quite the opposite. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of warp capable ships in the Imperium. They range from light escort ships to trade behemoths, to the stern and powerful battle barges of the Adeptus Astartes. However, the ship to human ratio is vastly in favor of Humans. Where there are hundreds of billions, if not trillions of humans in the galaxy, there is most definitely not a 1:1 human:ship ratio. Ships take crews of tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people to operate and keep operating. Most of which are voidborn humans who are born, live, and die on the ship and would choose no other occupation either. The vast majority of humans never leave their homeplanet, and as such most would never even have seen a starship.

    But, that doesn't mean a group can't manage to get onto one. Especially if your group is advertising as mercenaries, a Rogue Trader would have no issue hiring you. You could get off-world and get paid to do it. This however would mean that your group is lead by an NPC (In which case the DM) and doesn't allow you the freedom of riding around the galaxy, as you would be subject to the Rogue Trader.

    Ships are a valuable commodity. As such, they are incredibly redundant. Most fleet engagements do not result in the utter destruction of the other side. More often than not, ships will be severely crippled, boarded, and taken as their own. Blowing up a ship is widely looked down upon, as they take decades and sometimes centuries to build. It's also incredibly difficult to destroy a ship outright. That said, a ship can survive a fight, and limp or be towed its way back to a space station. If the group is daring enough, you can always attempt to refurbish a destroyed ship, via loans or mercenary work. The ways your group acquiring a ship is only limited by your creativity. However, this also means that you can't just walk into a station and be like "yo gimme your best ship" either. Getting a ship is a tricky thing to do without sacrificing your groups freedom.
    Slagtoof likes this.
  7. Freke Freke Subordinate

    Weapons are manufactured at Hive Cities and Forge Worlds both. Forge Worlds obviously handling more advanced weaponry, such as Bolt weapons, heavy weapons (LasCannons, Plasma Cannons, etc), Plasma weaponry, and heavy tanks. A Hive City may be responsible for manufacturing and maintaining a systems supply of weapons and ammunition, where the next Hive City over would be responsible for raw building materials. A Hive world will build LasWeaponry, Autoguns, and grenades. Storage would mainly be massive good warehouses, extending outwards in every which way. Most would be overseen by a foreman who catalogs and reports supply to an industrial baron who then would manage shipping and distribution. Each industrial baron presiding over his respective warehouse and storage.

    The Administratum would only really show up to a Hive World to ensure tithe & good demands are meant. They show up for inspections, and to make sure which ever Planetary Governor that's in charge is supplying the Imperium with that worlds goods. More often than not their stay is short lived and only takes a couple days before leaving. However, like manufacturing facilities, the slightest drop in resource output is cause enough for investigation. Even something like a .0001% lack in goods is enough reason for the Administratum to show up, along with the Inquisition. Siphoning resources from Imperial tithes is paramount to heresy, and as such is treated harshly. If a Planetary Governor isn't able to meet the demands of the Administratum, he is removed from office and a new one is put in place to ensure demand is met.

    This is because when a world is being surveyed and cataloged for colonization, each resource is accounted for down to the dot of the i. If even the slightest miscalculation occurs, then some planet off faraway could suffer from a shortage of goods. All because of a misplaced cargo container. Some planet, some battle, some where would be affected by this misnomer. It may be tomorrow, or it may be some obscure skirmish in Segmentum Ultima in 300 years. Therefor, the Administratum and Inquisition are incredibly thorough when dealing with tithes and resource management.

    19, 20, & 21
    First off, Hive Cities can be seen from orbit.
    Those giant circular gray patterns are cities. Every single one, even the small ones. Keep in mind, the Great Wall of China is an insignificant obscure white line as seen from space. In fact the one way we can see it from space is because we know it's there. To see something from orbit on the surface of a planet, it has to be immense. Hive Cities are unimaginably large. As such, it's difficult to try to discern what they look like. There are plenty of pictures and art of Hive Cities on Google Images that you can use for reference for the outside. However, for the interior, it varies between everyone. The way I view interiors is incredibly long narrow hallways filled with doors leading to habitation rooms where families are crammed into. These hallways stretch on in every direction and some open up into industrial areas, where people work. Pipes leading every which way, with steam ejecting outwards into the air. Condensation dripping down from the ceiling forming pools where water and oil have mixed. People would be running about, yelling out information, scampering about to make sure something isn't overheating or broken. Mechanicus engineers would be seen here, silently gliding around the work areas, maintaining the equipment and machinery.

    These industrial zones would go on for miles in every direction. Other hallways open up into massive habitation centers, where markets, shrines, statues, sunlight and fresh air is. This is where workers would go to spend their money. These places are usually bustling with activity. People selling goods, ships flying overhead, people are herding grox into slaughter houses, people shuffling about. Not nearly as pristine as you'd imagine, but still good enough to unwind and relax after a work day. This would expand in every direction for as far as you can see. The open sky would give way to massive spires reaching upwards into the sky, teeming with lights, ships, bridges, and windows. There would be streets, stores, bars, administration offices, merchants, stalls, anything you could possibly imagine.

    There have been cases where Hive Cities have gone to war with one another. But those are usually because either a rebel faction has taken over the Hive City, or it has fallen to Chaos. Which case, they would pit the PDF against each other. This would then be resolved by the removal of ones responsible for the outbreak of war. The Adeptus Arbites would settle any disputes between Hive Cities quickly and brutally. While the Administratum does not care to micromanage the day-to-day operations of their millions of worlds, they do not tolerate inter-human conflict.

    There are Local Arbites, and then the Adeptus Arbites. Laws and customs vary between each world and as such, the Adeptus Arbites do not interfere with lesser crimes. The Adeptus Arbites work towards eliminating heresies, solving tithe issues, and tracking important targets. They dismantle important crime syndicates, route out rebellious political factions, and are even called in to deal with Planetary Governors. They build spy networks, preemptively arrest people simply on suspicion, they are brutal, shoot first ask questions later. They are the iron hand that deals out justice among the countless worlds of the Imperium. But they are also inquisitive detectives. The manner of which they approach a crime differs between different sects. But one thing remains common: They are brutal and efficient and bring overwhelmingly powerful weapons to bare. They take no pity, as most are veterans of countless worlds and crime solving.

    The Adeptus Arbites are used to stop political intrigue and misgivings of the Upperhive and the Spires. However, they also incredibly active in the Lowerhive and even the Underhive in some cases. This puts them at odds with the political families of Hive Cities all the time. But, political families are able to buy off local Arbitrators, which would then be pitted against the Adeptus Arbites. This leads to conflict between different sects of Arbites, as they are used as the muscle behind political intrigue. This means that any Adeptus Arbites investigating a powerful political family will have a hell of a time getting things dealt with, and could end up with the result of either their deaths, arresting the wrong person, or trailing the wrong target, ruining months of investigation.

    I think that should be it for your questions. If you have more, I would be more than happy to answer them! I hope my insight helps!
    Slagtoof likes this.
  8. Golokopitenko Golokopitenko Well-Known Member

    This is an extraordinary detailed and insghtful response! Thanks to you I have way clearer image of what a Hive World is! I am speechless. I will definetly save this text and use it in the foreseeable future.

    From what you've written we won't be playing xenos, but I might include some xenos interactions (few feral ork tribes and whatnot), and will set it in a Hive World.

    How about this:
    A group of militia that has earned (or will earn) some reputation fighting gangs/mutants in the lower parts of the Lower Hive (that is the border between the Lower Hive and the Underhive), are hired by a minor Merchant Baron to investigate about stolen weapons. The Baron will not tell the Arbites because he fears the locals are being bribed by another more powerful Baron which he suspects is the culprit of these thefts.
    To do so, my friends can go investigate for clues to the following areas:
    -Minor Baron's Warehouse, ask employees
    -Spy on the other Baron's "territory" (how we define his territory? His mansion and belonged factory/warehouses? Are we to expect an hermetic tight security?)
    -Check the subsector's bars for gossips

    After that or other missions, they are offered to join the Imperial Guard (or the Arbites?) but they decline (can they?) and somehow and with many efforts they manage to salvage/repair/steal a small ship capable of superluminous travel (for a ~20 people crew, could such a small, humble ship be able to do that? Or could they travel buying a "ticket" to fit the ship and the crew inside a bigger ship?)
    Maybe they could be hired by a Rogue Trader, as you mentioned and I think that's the best option, as it solves the problem of freedom of movement. If so, how would the RT contact them and how would he exactly pay their services? Would they be able to have their own ship or would they live in the RT's main barge?

    Could that work? Obviously it needs more depth, but to begin with, is this far-fetched?

    Also, about the character creation: Could one of the characters be a psyker? Or a Mechanicus? Even a mutant?

    -Can sanctioned psykers go on their own? (highly doubt that). If not sanctioned, he could hide his psyker status and only use his abilities in combat/emergencies? Also, when they acquire a ship, do they mandatorily need an astropath or other specialised unit? Could a psyker in their group (read further) do that task/be trained to do that task somehow?

    -How could a Mechanicus fit in this group? Maybe a mechanicus initiate, or low-ranked that has decided to abandon his cult and go for adventures, to help the characters with his skills? If so, could he get the typical mechanicus upgrades/implants? In the case he left somehow the mechanicus, would he be pursued?

    -Are rattlings/ogryns common in the Imperium? Could a party member be one of them? How could that affect other human's (or xenos) interactions?

    Appart from all of that, how could the group of characters I depicted earn a living? Who would hire them aside of Rogue Traders? (It's hard for me to imagine situations when they could be assigned "missions", the example I posted above is the only thing I could come up with) How easily and why would they be considered outcasts?

    Sorry for some lack of structure, I'm just brainstorming hard at this point. Thanks in advance, you're helping me a great deal!
  9. Freke Freke Subordinate

    Keep in mind, Feral Ork tribes are even less likely to speak to humans, as they even more primitive than an Orkz in a Waaagh!, I only say this because I'm unsure of what you mean by interactions. :p

    Those situations sound good. Just remember, Merchant Barons don't just let anyone into their storehouses. Your group would have to disguise themselves as workers or something similar. This is because Barons are usually in competition with each other, so naturally one wouldn't want their competitors men inside their own territory.

    Speaking of, the layout and size of territory of Merchant Barons is entirely up to you. Though a typical warehouse/factory would either have combat servitors or mercenaries guarding entrances (Remember, Arbites do not act as guards). As for their place of living, one would imagine that would be slightly more guarded, as assassination is always an issue in Hive Cities. Their type of security, what countermeasures they have installed, cameras, scanners, and what have you, are entirely what you think he's capable of having. This would depend on his wealth and status among the Hive City.

    Is he an incredibly powerful Merchant Baron who dominates all others? Chances are, he would have incredibly tough security measures in his housing, and you would probably have a better chance getting to him in the open. Since he's pretty influential, his death or kidnapping would more than likely involve the Local Arbites.

    This obviously would be the opposite if it were a smaller, less influential Merchant Baron.

    As for bars, they can be any type you wish. In the upper levels, all drinks and purchases would be done through a servitor. After all, no one of noble birth wants to be hassled with running a bar, they could have servitors do that job for them. In the lower levels however, that's where you would run into your typical slums. Bar fights, thick smokey air, barkeeps, whores, and what-not. All the typical debauchery.

    In regards to Imperial Guard recruitment, you're either drafted, choose to sign up, or you're taken as an orphan and put through the Schola Progenium. Not to mention that most "recruitment" would be done from the working class/lowhivers.

    Ships, Rogue Traders, & Timeskips

    As for ships, there are no small ships capable of FTL travel. The smallest ship being only a couple kilometers in length, requires tens of thousands of people to operate. Acquiring, and crewing a ship is no small task. The great thing about RPG's is that you can timeskip.

    What I mean by this is: Lots of things take large amounts of time. Gathering and recruiting 10,000 people to operate your ship is not a small task that can be done over night. The general rule that I go by is: Timeskips more than a couple of weeks should be done during down-time. Examples being, recruiting crew for a ship, building fortifications, training troops, anything that would take a month+ of time to complete should be done in between sessions.

    There is an exception though, and that is warp travel. Warp travel may take weeks or months in the groups perspective, but only a couple of days may pass in realspace. These are things you can go ahead and timeskip and continue playing.

    The best bet for your group is to be hired onto a Rogue Traders ship. This obviously would be done via word of mouth, as most Rogue Traders don't ever go below the Upperhive.(And even then, that's pushing it. They are unimaginably wealthy and powerful, as such wouldn't really leave the Spires.) What I mean by this is, the Rogue Trader would contact them and offer them work, not the other way around. So when, where and what time the RT does this is again, entirely up to you. Most likely the group would be paid for their services via Throne Gelt (the most common currency in the Imperium), how much they are paid and for what mission is entirely up to you. Obviously lifting and moving cargo from a settlement to the ship isn't something that's going to pay out a thousand TG's, but cleaning out a Feral Ork tribe would reward a pretty hefty sum. As for getting the group getting their own ship, they would have to do that by rising through whatever ranks they're apart of. In this case, they would have to outperform the other various mercenaries the Rogue Trader has hired. Eventually, one would imagine they are rewarded their own command, staring with a small ship at first. They would then be apart of that Traders Merchant/Militant Fleet. They would be able to do what they chose, but still would owe allegiance to whatever Trader gave them the ship. After all, ships are pretty damn valuable.

    Psykers, Techpriests, Ogryns & Ratlings

    Psykers are employed in the Imperial Military, used to sustain the Emperor, or handed over to the Inquisition to be turned into Acolytes and then into Inquisitors themselves. A psyker is never alone or given command of anything. Very few are turned into Inquisitors, as it requires a certain level of psychic strength, willpower, and strength of character, most of which you have to be born with. As for Astropaths, they are highly recommended. While you don't need one, as you can blind jump, you don't want to end up in a planet, or the middle of a warp storm.

    As for as I'm aware, a Psyker cannot train to become a Navigator. Navigators are mutants that are sanctioned by the Imperium to fly ships through the warp because of a very specific mutation. (The "Third Eye".) Also having a Navigator in a mercenary group wouldn't make much sense, as most Navigators are born into Navigator Guilds and then subsequently sold off to pilot ships.

    A Mechanicus can most definitely be apart of a group. After a certain period of time, a Mechanicus leaves Mars (Or which ever Forge World they originate from) and explore the galaxy, serve on ships, serve in Hives, or whatever the case. No Mechanicus "abandons" the Cult, as they would be labeled as Hereteks and not allowed in Imperial space. Hereteks are either hunted down and imprisoned, or they are smart enough to be able to get out of Imperial territory. As for implants and mechadendrites, each planet is different. Some planets may have the proper facilities to successfully perform the operations to get new ones, others may not. Sometimes, if the Techpriest is smart enough, he can perform on himself. However, this is pretty difficult and can result in severe damage to himself if he fucks up. Techpriests are usually unable to move or do anything for a certain period of time (It's like 1d7 days minus toughness bonus or something, or up to DM's discretion) after the operation.

    Ogryns and Ratlings are usually not seen walking around, no. However they can be hired as mercenaries and bodyguards. Other times they're are mostly just immediately drafted into the Imperial Guard. There are exceptions of course, but Ogryns aren't very intelligent, and Ratlings are probably the most obvious mutant of the two. Personally, I wouldn't want to play as either. Both are mutants/sub-species of Humans and as such aren't the easiest to play. (Unless of course you're apart of the Imperial Guard.)

    Starting ideas

    And to wrap everything up: You can always start in the Upperhives as mercenaries. Bars are a good place to spend time at, as that is where most nobility gossip and shady dealing between said nobility occur. The Upperhives are probably the most free-form open world you can have your group set in. There is so much to do, power is free, and food is cheap. People from the Upperhive have free range to explore every inch of the Hive City (excluding the Spires). Your group could be nobles who picked up the gun instead of pursuing industry, and now offer your services to the highest bidder. Who buys your services is entirely up to your creativity. They could be Merchant Barons, Arbitrators, or some shady organization who pulls strings from the shadows. If you can come up with it and have it fit into the setting, then it's totally fine.

    Personally, I would start the group off with maybe a mutant hunt in the Underhive. (These are the most common forms of missions, and the easiest. They give you time to think about what the group is going to do next, while simultaneously giving them something to do.) How they come across the information about the hunt is up to you. Then, judging by how they perform, they get contacted by some Arbitrators with information on a nest. The group goes back in to clean out the mutant nest. While cleaning out the mutants, they could stumble across a piece of information that links these mutants to maybe a rebel group that's arming them. Then they report the information to the Arbites and that spurs an investigation, trying to track down the group of rebels. During the investigation the group will come to realize that these rebels aren't just some petty gang, and they have friends in high places. From there, it could go however. During all this, your group would be making a name for itself. After a while, a Rogue Trader could possibly hear about your exploits and wish to hire the group. From then, the entire galaxy is at the DM's fingertips. At that point, I would really advise reading the Rogue Trader books. There is just too much information to summarize in forum posts.

    Another situation could be that two Merchant Barons are at "war" with one another. The local Arbites are being paid off and the situation hasn't spiraled out of control far enough for the Adeptus Arbites to intervene. A Merchant Baron would approach the group in whatever fashion and offer them a job with good pay. That job could be anything. It could be raiding a competitors warehouse and taking supplies/killing personnel, it could be hitting a supply train heading to another Hive City. It could be escorting or eliminating a VIP. The possibilities are endless.
  10. Freke Freke Subordinate

    This site is probably the greatest for any 40k RPG.

    Here is a random hive events chart I use.
    Here is a random warp travel events chart I use.
    Here are a bunch of Rogue Trader supplements you can use for your Campaigns.

    This site is really good for in-house rules, creature generators, alien generators, and even system generators. However judging by how you wish to take this campaign, you probably won't be using the Rogue Trader stuff for a while.

    Here & here are the Rogue Trader tools that I use. They're incredibly helpful.

    The first one is a really helpful tool if you want to randomly generate monsters or planets. The xenos generator is really good to use when you want to make a creature that lives in Underhives.

    The second one is more for ranged combat. It really helps to speed things up, as they can get staggeringly slow, especially for the first couple of times.

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