Rogue Trader: What Could Have Been

In the distant past of 2015, our Rogue Trader campaign ended in a whimper. Because of a lack of interest and issues with the system, we decided to walk away, sadly leaving it unfinished. In a heartfelt blog post, I explained our reasoning and also promised I would soon tell you wonderful listeners the possible ending I had in mind for the game. Since its now 2017, you guys can probably agree I consider soon a relative concept.

Still, a promise is a promise. So here, a few years late, is the main plot points I had for the ending of Rogue Trader.

First, a brief refresher for those who don’t remember what occurred in the previous episodes, or new people who aren’t interested in listening to a massive episode backlog with questionable audio quality.

A century ago, in a section of the galaxy known as the Ater Vacuus sector, a grand crusade took place. A massive number of ships from the Imperium of Man pushed into this wild section of space and began claiming planets while wiping out xenos species and enlightening heretical human colonies. Things were going swimmingly for years until the warp around that sector became unstable, blocking off the crusading forces from reinforcements.

100 years later, the crusade forces had consolidated a few planets, leaving the job of exploration to a few questionably loyal rogue traders. Rogue traders like our players, Renaldo Macharius and his crew of misfits.

Over the course of the story:

Daniel’s character, the Captain Renaldo Macharius, discovered that a former noble was corrupted by chaos and was consolidating all imperial worlds under his banner. He planned some strange ritual that they weren’t sure the purpose of but we’re pretty sure would kill a whole lot of people.

Angela’s character, the Archmilitant Natasevya, gained a new pet in the form of Slyvix (a psychic space cat) and was slowly becoming one of the most lethal beings in the galaxy with a gun.

Billy’s character, the ork Barsher the Barsher, became a blue skinned demigod and led a mob of similarly colored orks into the warp for a eternal brawl. Billy then changed his character to a Tau fire warrior who was slowly beginning to realize his crewmates were insane.

David’s character, Quantus the techpriest, became partially corrupted by a nanite/AI/thing from a previous civilization and was discovering “improvements” that made him question his techpriest identity.

So, what was the evil noble’s ultimate plan? Was he corrupted by chaos and only wanted to see the galaxy burn? Well, yes and no. The noble saw himself as a savior. He wanted to save the human race and using chaos to accomplish this made perfect sense in his mind. You see, he had received a vision from a chaos god. But, it wasn’t one of the big four (Khorne, Slaanesh, Nurgle, Tzeentch). It was the minor chaos god, Malice.

Malice is the chaos god of self destruction, representing chaos’s tendency to fight itself. It wasn’t a powerful god, more like a godly parasite, but it still had influence. The players had previously met a few of its marines, the Sons of Malice, in a previous episode.  Using a horrible ritual, he was going to sacrifice himself and every sentient being in that sector of space. By doing so, he would empower the chaos god Malice to match the big four, resulting in Malice truly having the power to challenge the main chaos gods.

How does having a new chaos god springing up help humanity? Because Malice thrives on fighting other chaotic beings. It would have forced the other chaos gods to deal with this new threat, while also dealing with their own inner rivalries.

The Imperium of Man in the wider galaxy would have been given some breathing room and even possibly, a chance for victory over the great enemy.

Daniel and his crew would then be on a direct quest to stop it. I can’t speak for any of their characters, but I’m pretty sure they are of the same mind that the wider Imperium of Man can go screw itself.

Beyond that, I had no real script for how the story would go. As always, it depended on the player’s actions. But I did have some scenes I was sure were gonna come up over the course of the story.

Scenes such as:

A massive space/ground battle involving the Crusade forces vs  good humans, alien allies, and Barsher’s blue horde of orks.

An epic sword duel between the noble and Renaldo either on a exploding spaceship, an exploding city, or anything with the word exploding attached to it.

Natasevya holding the line by gunning down a horde of enemies with her pet Slyvix straight up mauling people.

The Techpriest Quantus creating a device to somehow reverse whatever horrendous evil tech the bad guys were using for the ritual.

As for Billy’s Tau character, I’ll be honest, I didn’t have much time to really think on it. But, I’m pretty sure it would have looked something like this.

After defeating the big bad, if the characters were still around, I would have had one final scene. Decades after the battle, when Captain Renaldo was getting on in years, he would take his ship on one last tour to visit old friends. It would give each player a chance to describe the fate of their characters.

Renaldo would then return to the planet that Barsher turned into a demigod. Taking a shuttle down alone, he would wait as a giant warp rift appeared. Revealing Barsher the Barsher in his blue glory. A long time ago, Barsher promised to take Renaldo’s head in a epic battle, and Renaldo would oblige, if Barsher had the strength to take it.

As they clashed, his crew in orbit would look down in shock as the planet below disappeared into the warp. Leaving behind a myth of two legendary beings fighting an eternal battle in the realm of chaos.

So that was the planned ending of my epic Rogue Trader game in a nutshell.  

If you are thinking of playing Rogue Trader and would want to have your own adventures in the Ater Vacuus sector, here is the Setting PDF I had given the players originally. If you use it, please comment about what sort of shenanigans your own players went through.

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About the Author
Jesus “Arvandus” Rodriguez is the founder and website tweaker of the Fandible podcast. When he isn't out creating imaginary worlds for his players, he also runs a youtube channel where he writes short fiction in various fictional worlds.

7 comments on “Rogue Trader: What Could Have Been

  1. Warren says:

    When you’re dealing with 40,000 years, 2 isn’t just ‘soon’, it’s practically instantaneous.

    I miss the conversations between Captain Awesomepants and Barsher. And how mutineers seemed to follow Natasevya wherever she went.

  2. Andante says:

    Awesome read. Thanks for the closure of what could have been! I miss the Rogue Trader campaign. I hope you guys will feel up to doing some sort of grand scifi campaign again!

  3. Fabian says:

    The Rogue Trader playthroughs were what brought me here in the first place, and I always enjoyed listening to them. It’s a shame you had problems with the system. You’re not the only one who’s had to deal with the problem of being a supposed expert in his field, and yet having such a low chance of success with any task that you look completely incompetent. I had a problem with a particularly troublesome door in the starting adventure that refused to open for a budding Explorator.

    That being said, do you guys ever consider just ditching rulesets you don’t like and switching them out for rulesets that you do?

    Related note: There’s supposed to be an Age of Sigmar RPG coming up NOT by Fantasy Flight. Any interest on that one?

  4. CallmeIshma3l says:

    Thank you for sharing that games grand plan. It’s always rough when a game craps out, but I hope you get a measure of closure from sharing the fate of the crew.

  5. Arvandus says:

    @fabian I’ll definetely take a look at the Age of sigmar RPG when it comes. Whether I will run it for the podcast though, not sure. Depends on our schedule.

  6. MDMann says:

    Going back to your skaven game, have you considered playing as vampires (or their enemies) in Night’s Dark Masters? It could be a hoot.

  7. EricB says:

    I liked your guys’ Rouge trader game. It felt like watching Star trek’s federation being formed… By the ferengi.

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