Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Game creation summary

Last session of my Rogue Trader game I decided to test out some elements of the game creation phase from the FATE core rulebook (as discussed here); although we didn't get round to defining the major future issues of the game since we got caught up in the action of the session I did use a small lull in the action to have the player characters detail some of their shared history in brief format.

I asked each player to come up with an event that their character took place in before the start of the game proper that involved at least two of the other characters in a supporting role; much as with the game creation for the God Machine game (detailed here) some players found this easier than others (only to be expected since everyone has different strengths when it comes to roleplaying, myself included) but in the end we were able to get at least one encounter from each character that I dutifully recorded on an index card for future use and exploration.

History Summary

  • Lord Admiral Black history event -  As a rite of passage Fortunus Black was a young noble sent into the hive bottom of his homeworld Planet Telec and part of a group of Spyre hunters wearing a power suit; whilst in the hive bottom he had to rely on his own wits and cunning to survive and was forced to barter power cells for his suit from Pak (who was then part of the Vitanteur Crime Syndicate). During one of his attacks, Fortunus was injured by the Redemptionist priest Cornelius who, realising that his foe was human, ministered to Fortunus and helped turn him to the righteous path.

  • Enginseer Prime Pak history event - Takes place on an Adeptus Mechanicus base in the Expanse that is under attack by xenos forces; an Astropathic message had been sent out for reinforcements, but even with Pak manning the defences and the Imperial Priest Cornelius planting a beacon to amplify the Astropath's signal things looked bleak. Miraculously a ship arrived far sooner than expected, thanks to the superb skills of its Navigator York Benetec and helped save the base.
  • Confessor Cornelius history event - Cornelius was serving as a missionary aboard a ship belonging to member of Black family, Fortunus Black was the 1st officer onboard; they retrieved the Navigator York Benetec and some other survivors from a crashed ship; upon arrival they found black clad Eldar attempting to kill the survivors on the planet. The Black family vessel was able to repel the xenos.
  • Navigator York Benetec history event - Both York Benetec and Confessor Cornelius were recruited early on due to their shared history, Cornelius recommended Benetec on the strength of his reputation.

Having the shared history events seemed to work quite well and I can already see potential for a number of flashback scenes and additional details that can be filled in, including (but not limited to) the following questions:


  • What where the details surrounding the attack where Fortunus was injured and then saved by Cornelius?
  • What xenos threat was attacking the Mechanicus base where Pak and Cornelius were stationed and why?
  • Who was the member of the Black family commanding the ship that both Fortunus and Cornelius served on?
  • What was the nature of the Eldar threat to the Black family ship?

These are questions that can be potentially answered by playing through the scenes as narrated flashbacks, I wouldn't really see the need for many dice rolls since the outcome of events is already known; they also provide opportunities for introducing additional NPCs such as the member of the Black family who captained the ship, etc.

One of the things I enjoyed last session was that, once the players had embraced the idea of creating their historical events they seemed to become much more invested in helping to create other details of the setting; a number of NPCs and other setting details were decided by discussion with the players characters, including the following:

  • 1st Officer of the Venerus Tullius Black - A distant cousin to Fortunus and the same age as him, Tullius never advanced much due to a lack of discipline and his gambling, Fortunus was giving him a second chance by offering him a position on his ship. This NPC came about when Admiral Fortunus wanted to leave the bridge and we realised that, up until now, he hadn't had a first office (since the previously defined NPC, Polaris Black, was now captaining the Lunatic Pandora).
  • Lorgar Khan - Word Bearer chaos marine captain, little is known about this foe other than he lead the small pirate fleet that Admiral Black's fleet was able to defeat, although Khan himself escaped into the warp with his battlecruiser swearing vengeance on them.
  • Festival of Emperors Divine Light - On my game calendar it was getting near the end of the Imperial Year and so there was a brief discussion regarding festivities that might be held at that time of year.
  • Sector 5 - A random detail decided in play was that all of the Senior Engineering officers bunked in Sector 5 of the Venerus since it was the nearest to main Engineering.
  • Ezekial Vitanteur - old Vitanteur from Pak's past, white moustache.
  • Fortunus' power armour - although purchased on Decusis from Tomas Vitanteur it was decided that this power armour was the same spyrer suit that Fortunus has once wore in the underhive; how the Vitanteur came to possess it and it ended up on Decusis is something that can be explored in more detail.