Friday, February 26, 2010

First Session: Character Creation

Well, we had our first session, which was dedicated to nothing more than character creation, as usual with just about any game system that I've run.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Rogue Trader system and its character creation. I'm fairly impressed with how the game organizes player origins and how it helps the group to create backstories for all of their characters.

You can see their paths below.

What was pretty cool was how organically that character's origins came up and then adjusted to accommodate each other. Patrick (blue) had the idea of being born on an agri-world and then coming up from nothing to become an Arch-Militant. Casey (purple) had the idea of becoming an Arch-Militant but starting as a noble. From there, the two players saw that their paths would be very similar, and then together created characters who came from two different walks of life but grew up together.

Matt (green), also wanted to be noble born, and linked his origin into both of theirs, so that now his Rogue Trader is the familial brother of Casey's Arch-Militant. Doug also linked his character onto their same home world, so now four of the player characters come from the same home world.

Because the two Arch-Militants faced a Calamity in their lives, the group came up with the idea of their home world being overrun by orks and then subsequently razed by space marines. This comprehensive creation of backgrounds, all interviewing was created by the group. It was awesome.

Jared (pink), linked his character into the family's saying that his character met the Arch-Militants when they were forming their own mercenary army. Along with that, Jared's character brings in Tony's (orange), because they were both enslaved upon the same ship together.

Now, there is plenty of background and flavor to go around, without the entire party having the same exact background as well. There's plenty of variation to go in there, like Doug's (yellow), whose character is literally missing years of his life while his ship, escaping the Calamity, got lost in the Warp.


  1. Much more fun than "You all meet in a bar ..."

  2. It's a good background system, and probably one of the best things about the game as a whole. Somehow though, my players ended up falling half-and-half on either edge of the career tree, so the seneschal and missionary have decided to be cousins, while the explorator and navigator have decided to have been "hired" by the trader dynasty.

  3. Did anyone have difficulty with the Birthright column? Some other GMs have noted that Scapegrace and Stubjack aren't necessarily logical choices for someone from a Forge World. Savant is a much more reasonable choice, apparently, as compared to Child of the Creed. I'm thinking about making Birthright the "free choice row" for my group, or perhaps leaving it a bit more open for those with strong concepts.

  4. Oh, and what do you guys think of Deathwatch?

  5. I kept the Birthrights unaltered and the same, because this is my first time out with Rogue Trader, so I want to cleave as close to the original rules as possible.

    That said, what I did was to allow the players to freely interpret the fluff behind many of the Birthrights. For example, you can see that the two Arch-Militants took the Savant Birthright. They interpreted that as joining a military academy, even though if you read the fluff in that Birthright, it's clearly not what was intended.

    Likewise for the Explorator, who picked Child of the Creed. The fluff in that Birthright emphasizes a devotion to the God-Emperor, but he's playing a Tech Priest. So, I allowed him to say that his Child of the Creed experience was one of being faithful to the Omnissiah.

    For a Forge Worlder, I would allow them to interpret Scrapegrace as someone who worked menial and highly dangerous tasks on a forge world.

  6. As for Deathwatch, I'm tremendously excited about it, though most of my players aren't as familiar with the concept as I am.

  7. I usually have that impulse as well, and your approach is one way to stick to the rules as written. I also don't want to undermine the whole idea behind the origin path, either, but as some of my players aren't as familiar with the 40Kverse my intuition is to let them have more free reign in choosing their paths. Most are fairly logical progressions to their respective careers anyhow.

  8. I loved the character creation. I thought that it really added to the making of the party. It gave you this really good layout and a great way to incorporate the group. Very impressed with the way the group came up with the backgrounds!