Thursday, February 11, 2010

Figgity Bits

There are so many neat little campaign managing elements in Rogue Trader that I decided to make some of them into figgity bits.

From my experience, players love figgity bits. They love handouts, cards, pictures - anything they can hold in their hands. Of course, there is a limit to everything. No one wants to read your 10 page dossier on the royal palace and its architectural history.

So, I definitely decided I wanted to start with a map. Maps can be a good way to get your players' attention. Usually, when you bring one out, everyone's eyes turn towards it. It also helps everyone conceptualize what is going on. For example, players can see with their own eyes how far their company and traveled. They can see how close particular threats are and which factions lie beside other ones.

So, you can see above a map of the Koronus Expanse. I was very deliberate about its size. In my Iron Kingdoms campaign, we printed out a large poster map of the Iron Kingdoms. However, whenever I brought out the map, people had to pick up their stuff or move their drinks. In the end, it was just too cumbersome. This map is just the right size for the table.

Of course, a map is nothing special. Plenty of games use maps. It's what is going on the maps which is cool.

So I've made these handy Endevour cards for the group. In Rogue Trader, side quests (or even your main quest) are described as Endevours. At the top of the card, there's a place where I can write the title of the Endevour, and then there's a place where I can circle whether it's a Lesser, Greater, or Grand Endevour. Below that, I can write down how many achievement points it will take to accomplish that Endevour. Finally, below that I can write down all of the Objectives, or tasks that it will take to complete an Endevour.

Also, if you look to the right of the Endevour card, there are little squares with arrows. What I'm going to do is to write the names of some of these Endevours on the little squares and tape them to the map, so at any time, the players can see what Endevours are on the map and how far away they are. Not unlike the galaxy map in the Mass Effect games.

One Endevour I'm thinking about setting down at the outset of the campaign is:

Fame & Notoriety: Spread your fame / infamy throughout the Koronus Expanse and the Calixis Sector. (Grand Endevour - 1,500)
  • Spread knowledge of your deeds to at least three separate locales in the Koronus Expanse (300 pts.)
  • Spread knowledge of your deeds to a highly populated and metropolitan area in the Calixis Sector (300 pts.)
  • Accomplish a particularly heroic or villainous task (200 pts)
  • Get another rogue trader crew to be impressed with you (100 pts. each)
  • Deal successfully with the Imperial Navy (100 pts.)
  • Deal successfully with the Inquisition (100 pts.)
  • Get the Imperial Navy to owe you a favor (300 pts.)
  • Get the Inquisition to owe you a favor (300 pts.)
I plan for this particular Endevour to be something that the party can pursue for most of the campaign. As you can see, the Objective points can actually exceed the value of the Endevour. Excess points can, at the GM's option, go towards other Endevours.


  1. I am having a real hard time with the Endeavour system, as it seems to clash with the freeform approach of slapping down a starmap and asking the players where they want to go next. The simple solution is to prepare scenarios and multiple Endeavours for each point on the map, but where do I find the time to that?

    As it is, I'm going with more of a gambling approach. I'm going to lay down the details as they come to me, but most of the time, I'm going to have to hope that I can keep up with them and design this stuff on the fly. Alternatively, I'm going to have them request Endeavours, which I will then design between sessions. We shall see how it works.

  2. Yep, I'm going to try requesting Endevours far in advance. Much of our sessions will be spent planning out and setting down future agendas.

    I think I can do this because we did much of this in my old Iron Kingdoms game.

  3. I like the generic nature of your example Endeavour too. I may try something similar.

    In last night's game, the players started putting together an Endeavour at the table, without realising it. I worked out what they need to do to "score" it in about five minutes, and we'll see how they do next week. So it seems that I needn't have worried about it after all!

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  5. Your bullet point "Deal successfully with the Inquisition" is the perfect opportunity for a 'crossover event' between our two groups!

    (bah, double typo, delete that deleted post!)

  6. That sounds awesome! I can't wait to try it!

  7. Hey, those cards looks nice. Any chacce you would share the pdf file for us ? I was just searching for something similar for my campaign. :D