So, as my tens of regular readers know, my gaming group just finished up a long-term epic scale game that was a mash-up of Shadowrun, In Nomine, and Call of Cthulhu wherein we nuked Hastur and then went mad. Now, into the smoking breach in our schedule left by the nuke steps a new campaign called After the Gold Rush set in Fantasy Flight’s Rogue Trader setting. Hilarity is about to ensue.
So, back around the first of the year, after I’d finished my first assignment for Rogue Trader and had embarked on a second, the guys and I were talking about Rogue Trader. We had finished a Shadowrun session one Thursday and had decamped from Shade’s basement to Denny’s, as is our wont, and we were talking Rogue Trader. A couple of the guys had picked up copies of the game when I started jabbering about it back in October, and we were all more than a little curious about it. See, these dudes, my gaming buddies, are hard-core, old-school OG 40K players from way back. They’ve played for years. They have lead poisoning and bad eyes from squinting at tiny pewter orks for hours on end. They have, and I’m not shitting you here Gentle Readers, a whole two-car garage dedicated to tiny little men and fake plastic trees. So when I say that they know their shit, they really know their shit.
Anyway, we knew we were at a turning point with our Harn and Shadowrun campaigns, and over Grand Slams and bad coffee we were looking to the future of our Thursday nights. We were feeling a little burnt out with both games at that point, there was some group drama that was shaking out, nothing serious, but enough that it was muting our fun. So, since I wouldn’t shut the hell up about Rogue Trader, someone suggested, “Hey, how about Yuri runs a Rogue Trader game.” Then five expectant faces turned toward me and I was like, “Sure, it’ll be a good way for me to get to know the setting better and practice with the rules!” Inside, of course, there’s this little voice saying, “You don’t know enough about the setting, fool! You can’t snow these guys, they’ll know! They’ll know you’re a fraud!” Which, of course, is a pretty common refrain for that particular voice that lives in my head. I much prefer the leprechaun that lives under the rock in my yard, but I digress.
Anyway, now it was on like Donkey Kong. We decided that Rogue Trader would replace Shadowrun, as that was the game that had a definite and foreseeable end. I would have six whole months to gin up a game that I would feel comfortable running and would be palatable to my players. What did I do? Well, of course I procrastinated until I finally got around to it over the past couple weeks. Thankfully making a good game for my guys isn’t too tall an order. You see, we go in for more sandboxy kinds of games. In our Harn game for example, there is very little GM driven plot. Munin did all his work on the front end, creating a vividly detailed city peopled with NPCs that are like, well, real people. Events happen all the time in the background in our Harn game, NPCs live their lives, and sometimes we have influence over what happens, sometimes we don’t. I’ve gone on at length here about the importance of good NPCs, so I’ll leave that lecture alone for now. But, yeah. Now it’s up to me to make the Koronus Expanse live and breathe for my players. I need to people it with the kind of characters you’d expect to see on Footfall or aboard one of His Divine Majesty’s voidships. Then, my job is to sit back, stroke my neckbeard, and feed them just enough rope so they can hang themselves. So I’ve made up some pretty good NPCs, who I’ll talk about later, and picked up some good rope. Trust me, with these guys, that’s not a lot of rope.
With this in mind, we met up last Tuesday for some character creation. There’s nine players in the game, including The Wife, which is a little on the high side of the number of people I like to run for, but Rogue Trader seems to lend itself to large parties. We have our own forums and a private wiki that allow us to keep track of everything. One of my guys will be recording game recaps and posting them around, and I’ll probably re-post them here. When we get started, which will be next Wednesday, I’ll introduce you all to the characters and hook you up with the recap, which should prove hilarious. Stay tuned.