Friday, December 11, 2009

Rogue Trader

Although the new Rogue Trader from Fantasy Flight is by no means a new release, I just now got around to picking up a copy of it this week. "Wow", is all I can say about it. Just the sheer size, weight, and feel (yes, as in texture) is impressive, then you open it up and are given a feast of the senses (yes, new book smell and all) of its innards.

Beautiful artwork, easy to reference tables, amazingly written fluff, background, and mechanics, the list goes on and on. Many naysayers, myself included, were leery about the move from Black Industries to Fantasy Flight Games. Dark Heresy was more of a stepchild, given custody to FFG by the state, and they've done what they could with it (don't get me wrong, Dark Heresy rocks too), but now the FFG team has been able to strut their stuff and show off their own biological offspring to the gaming world at large.

In almost every way, this game is everything Dark Heresy isn't, and in the mechanics department, it seems there's been some key tweaking based on feedback from issues with DH. My "reviews" are more 'touchy-feely' than crunchy, but suffice it to say, if you're into sci-fi roleplaying, this is the book for you, even if you're not boned up on the vast fluffverse that is the 40k juggernaut. It would work equally well suited to many different mindsets for a campaign; exploration, conquest, mercantile, and the like.

I've posted my pic next to the original Rogue Trader, which wasn't an RPG, per se, but it did have enough elements in it where it could be seen as such. Obviously it's the grandaddy of 40k and I would be remiss not to include it for posterity.


  1. I love the story of 40k more than the 40k game itself. I have heard good things from a few friends currently playing Rogue Trader. Thank you for this tactile review. I also love the new book smell.

  2. Both Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader get my seal of approval, it's all the good stuff you want out of 40k, and none of the rubbish. You can't go wrong with either (or both).

  3. Interesting.
    I still have my original Rogue Trader also. That was actually my favorite version of the 40K rules.
    Is the new RPG rules heavy? I find myself drawn to simpler rules systems these days.

  4. Bill, the new Rogue Trader has a very simple core system, but it also has a lot of subsystems, which can make things complicated; the good thing is that the subsystems are class-specific for the most part, so you only have to know (for example) the psychic powers stuff if you have a psychic character.

    I feel that RT needed another pass by an editor, as there's a lot of vagueness in the actual rules; for the most part, it's stuff that can be worked out by deduction, but it's far from clear. There are also some bits in there which only make sense if you're familiar with Dark Heresy, and since I've neither played or read that, these bits had me scratching my head.

    Still, all in all it looks to be a decent game, and I'm looking forward to running it in the new year.

  5. Thanks Kelvin,
    I wasn't planning on getting this, but I may need to give it more consideration. Eager to see you and others post about how the game plays.
    Thanks again,

  6. Yeah, thanks Kelvin, you did better than I could have!

    I will also plug our podcast, which has a lot of Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy going on. Just check out the "Minions" link over on the right.