Writing for Rogue Trader

I’m going to run a Rogue Trader game for my friends soon.  For those who don’t know: Rogue Trader is a role-playing game based in the Warhammer 40k universe.  You are a group of explorers headed into the Koronus Expanse: a part of the Milky Way galaxy far from the Imperium of Man.

You are given a holy Writ of Trade from the Administratum on Holy Terra.  With this Writ, you become an official Rogue Trader and have the influence and clout to represent humanity on the furthest fringes.

My role is the Game Master.  This is only my second time trying to do this with the first being a relative failure.

I have resolved myself to try harder on this one and press through even when its been pissing me off, like it thus far has been.

My current problem is that I hold myself to a high standard of game play.  I’m trying to write stories and missions with complex problems and innovative solutions.  I could write simple “go to place on map and kick serious ass” but that feels so basic.  Maybe its because I’m a starry eyed newbie GM, but I really want to involve my players in what’s going on in the universe.  I want them to feel like they are making a difference.

I want missions to end with them excited but maybe asking themselves questions.  Better yet, asking themselves if they did the right now.  I don’t like perfectly tied up endings.  We’ll see.

I am pretty outspoken against video games and how they tell their stories.  My main thing with most games that I complain about is that “they don’t know why people are still playing.”

I want to keep that in mind.  There will be missions that are fun for me to GM, and there will be missions that are fun for them to play.  I’ve asked my players to let me know what kind of stuff they wanna do just so I can swing into their wheelhouse.

Well the issue is, at this particular moment, only one of my players have chimed in and he gave a detailed idea of what he wants the game to be like.  Which is simultaneously helpful and hard to use.

So I’m writing the opening mission as just a fucking slew of different things.  Mostly to teach everyone the different types of challenges they will encounter, flying their spaceship, fighting in their spaceship, and fighting on the ground.  Exploring cities and exploring planets.  Interacting with the Imperium and the Underworld.

I’m still just trying to figure out a style to write into.  I got to find my voice.  I’m really good at the brainstorming part but pretty shit at the execution.  I’m hoping this helps me develop a muscle so I can become a pretty great GM.

I have to re-acquaint myself with the system.  I remember the broad strokes but this time I want to learn the universe so damn well that I can eventually just free ball missions and interactions.  There is a lot of lore which is to my benefit but its also going to be a problem.

My players have access to all the books and as previously mentioned, I haven’t read all of them back to front.  So they are likely going to try and derail me all the time.  That is there prerogative as players but I sense it might be annoying when I’m trying to craft large strokes of a story and someone wants to argue with me over the wording of an expansion book I’ve never read.

That’s where this is going to be an exercise in being adaptable.  Its already fucking happening.  I’m going to have to learn how to be a freakin’ politician.  When to appeal to my constituents and when to slap their wrist so they know not to fuck with me too much.

Oh my god I have to become my cat.




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