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-> Ambition knows no bounds.

The name ''Rogue Trader'' refers to two different games associated with the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe. The original ''Rogue Trader'' was the first edition of the ''Warhammer 40,000'' tabletop game, while the current ''Rogue Trader'' (2009) is the second of a series of ''Warhammer 40,000'' tabletop roleplaying games. While its sister game ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'' casts the players in the role of Inquisitorial Acolytes and focuses on themes of corruption and conspiracy, ''Rogue Trader'' is a game of exploration, adventure, and the horrors of the unknown, following one of the eponymous Rogue Traders and his crew as they explore the uncharted depths of space for gold, glory and the God-Emperor. Something like a DarkerAndEdgier ''Franchise/StarTrek'' -- or, as some put it, MirrorUniverse ''Franchise/StarTrek''.

Tropes for the former can be found on the main ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' page; this page is for the latter. See also ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'', ''TabletopGame/{{Deathwatch}}'', ''TabletopGame/BlackCrusade'', and ''TabletopGame/OnlyWar,'' ''Rogue Trader'''s sister games.

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!!This game contains examples of:

* AcePilot: One of the possible archetypes for Void Master characters (the others being Ace Helmsman, Ace Gunner, and Ace Sensor Officer). The Flight Marshal elite advance that Void Masters can take is unambiguously this.
** Oddly enough, the core rule book has no rules for anything those piloting skills are useful for.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: While several of established antagonists options are present, groups such as Chaos Reavers, Eldar, and even Orks, while usually hostile to humanity's interests, can at least occasionally be reasoned with and dissuaded by means other than violence. The Rak'gol, on the other hand, never show any interest in dealing with anyone of any other species by means other than aggressively attacking them, their only culture (in as much as can be determined) seems only centered around killing things. ''Lure of the Expanse'' details that they can never be negotiated with because they show absolutely zero interest in such, and their almost-bestial hostility and "alienness" are great for game masters who want to put a "SurvivalHorror" element into their campaigns.
* AmbitionIsEvil: {{Inverted|Trope}} very strongly. Rogue Traders are already extremely powerful individuals with as much freedom as can be had in this setting, yet the rulebook encourages them to always shoot for more profit that will build a lasting dynasty and legendary reputations that will echo down history.
* AncestralWeapon: An option for your character at creation, actually.
* ArbitraryMinimumRange: The game has minimum range for [[{{WaveMotionGun}} Nova Cannons]], as they cannot safely be used too close to the ship, having splash damage and a chance to explode closer to the firer than intented (technically they can still hit the firer if you fire at the absolute minimum range and roll very badly). This is a holdover from their rules in ''TabletopGame/BattlefleetGothic'', as RT space combat rules are heavily based on that game.
* ArmorIsUseless: Averted like the plague. Try walking around without armor - unless you're a particularly feared psyker, you'll find something sticking out of your flesh soon.
** There are actually some results on the Critical Damage tables that only occur if the character is not wearing armor, or that have a worse effect if the character is not wearing armor.
** Armor is a mixed blessing for Kroot characters. They have trouble finding armor that fits them in any case, but if they wear anything more than the slightest of physical protections then they cannot benefit from several of their racial advantages, like SuperSenses and SuperReflexes. Normally they count on those to DodgeTheBullet and [[DefendCommand Parry The Sword]] more than they do armor to shield them.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Not only are the player characters the ones that run the ship, they're all but inevitably the most powerful, well-trained warriors on the ship as well.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Averted by plasma weapons, which now work a lot better than they did in ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy''.
** Played completely straight with [[PoweredArmor Power Armor]]. It provides the best protection available, but makes you easier to hit and the power cells only last 1d5 hours, so it's use is situational at best.
* {{Badass}}: If your character isn't this, you're doing it terribly wrong.
* BalanceOfPower: Aspyce Chorda and Calligos Winterscale, the two strongest Rogue Traders in the Expanse are on a brink of war. They are so evenly matched that neither is guaranteed victory.
* BattleButler: The Seneschal career path is essentially this, mixed with a bit of TheSpymaster and a whole lotta merchant.
* {{BFG}}: Your ship has guns that take a good seventy men to operate, fired in salvos of hundreds. The big guns need over a thousand hands.
* BigBad: Karrad Vall the Faceless Lord, and Morgash Kulgraz, Kaptin of ''Da Wurldbreaka'' are both strong contenders for being the ultimate Big Bads of the Koronus Expanse.
* BiggerIsBetter: A literal case with Ork equipment. As the quality of the craftsmenship goes up, so does the size and mass of the piece of equipment. With human manufactured items, the opposite tends to be true.
* BlindSeer: Astropaths, as per usual, went under necessary MindRape on Terra to protect their already strong minds from the Warp, the physical damage of which always includes their eyes, causing them to either [[EyeScream turn to vapor]] or [[ProphetEyes develop severe cataracts]]. It also hones their psychic senses so they can "see" perfectly well. Astropaths Transcendent, the ones you play as, are even better at it than most-not only can they leave the Light of the Astronomicon for long periods, they can keep it together so well they ''lead'' others who can leave.
* CarFu: The ''Into The Storm'' supplement finally introduces official rules for vehicles and vehicular combat into the 40k roleplaying system.
* CoolStarship: Naturally. If their ventures are profitable, the player characters may eventually find themselves in command of a Cool ''Fleet''.
* CorporateWarfare: When major Rogue Trader houses clash, it takes this form. Each house is effectively a multiple star-spanning MegaCorp unto itself, and when massive profits are at stake and they are well outside of Imperial jurisdiction, the violence can get as ugly as any of the wars in the setting, if not typically at the same scale. The brewing conflict between the houses of Winterscale and Chorda are probably the biggest example of this in the Kronus Expanse.
* CostumePorn: Rogue Traders are expected to wear clothing that would make [[IronChef Chairman Kaga]] raise an eyebrow.
* {{Fiction 500}}: With the power of an interplanetary trade dynasty at their back, Rogue Traders can ''routinely'' purchase things like centuries-old PoweredArmor, [[PrivateMilitaryContractors private mercenary armies]], and [[CoolStarship starships that cost more than a small planet]]. At ''first level''. Some of the expanded rules given in ''Into The Storm'', which introduce consequences for making Acquisition rolls, are specifically designed to stop the Explorers from solving every problem by throwing money at it.
* GadgeteerGenius: The Mekboy elite advance available to Ork Freebootaz allows them to tap into their GeneticMemory and gain an intuitive understanding of Ork "manufacturing", letting them cobble together [[WhatAPieceOfJunk amazing if clunky devices]]. To quote the rule book:
--> "The Ork has [[MachineEmpathy an innate and instinctive skill with machinery]], allowing him to perform feats of engineering that [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve defy logic]], cobbling together [[MacGyvering random lumps of wrecked technology and scrap metal into something bizarre and startlingly effective]]."
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: The chapter specifically addressing Rogue Traders in the corebook paints a picture of the Imperium gifting each newly-appointed Trader with a flagship, which will "often" be a cruiser, as well as frigates, cargo ships, and tenders. The actual character creation rules provide for the Rogue Trader and his/her crew to start with exactly one ship and no more. And while it is ''possible'' to start the game with a full-scale cruiser for a flagship, it requires the players to cut out a significant amount of their starting Profit Factor to do so.
* TheGhost: Why the Chaos-aligned pirate Korrad Vall is called the Faceless Lord: all that most Traders encounter of him are his employees. [[spoiler: It is because he is blessed by the Ruinous Powers to be subjective to those who witness him. Every person will see him differently, and even when multiple people engage with him at the same time each will remember the encounter completely differently such that he only ever seems to directly interact with one of them at a time.]]
* GhostShip: The ''Whisper of Anaris'', an Eldar vessel of ancient make with chips in its wraithbone hull and tears in its solar sails, it appears with a psychic scream in realspace at mysterious times to suddenly fire on some ships but not others and then disappears just as quickly, following some inscrutable plan of its long dead but still dreaming crew. [[spoiler: It is actually the last ship of the ancient craftworld Lu'Nasad, which was long ago corrupted by the warp into a terrible scourge of psychic destruction. The ''Whisper'' acts on the final command of its last commander, the Farseer Anaris, to prevent the accursed craftworld from doing any more damage and drive off those who might one day seek it.]]
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: There's only one Navigator power that all of them share. It's called The Lidless Stare, and it basically lets them open their third eye (and that's a literal one, not some wishy-washy metaphor...); if anyone looks into it, they see the Warp. This can be detrimental to your health. At Master level, it's a possible OneHitKill.
** This also applies to the narration for a lot of the more remote planets in the books, which contain many examples of [[CosmicHorrorStory Lovecraftian horror]].
* HordeOfAlienLocusts: Surprisingly, not the Tyranids but the Rak'Gol, a new canon addition.
* InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien: The Rak'Gol have human-level technology and widespread cybernetics use, but seem to be almost entirely mindless when encountered.
* IntrepidMerchant: The player characters, in most of their business as a Rogue Trader crew. Profit is often a unifying (though almost never the sole) reason to go hurling themselves into the unknown of the Kronus Expanse, looking for new opportunities for trade and bounty to bring home the wealth.
* KickedUpstairs: A possible (and apparently quite frequent) explanation for how a particular Rogue Trader got his Warrant of Trade: some very powerful people wanted him out of the way, but he himself was too powerful to just kill, so they gave him the Warrant to get him to take his interests elsewhere.
* LargeAndInCharge: Ork Warbosses, particularly the aforementioned Morgash Kulgraz. Also Calligos Winterscale, propably the most powerful Rogue Trader in Koronus Expanse at moment.
* LighterAndSofter: than the other ''Warhammer 40000'' games, at least. There is sense of adventure, discovery and making lasting changes in a wide-open sandbox area of the galaxy that is free from large-scale wars or plots and conspiracies threatening to bring everything crashing down.
** Note that ''Rogue Trader'' is the only one of the [=RPGs=] in this series which allows multiple kinds of xenos as {{Player Character}}s. Let that sink in a moment: xenos partying up with humans from an AbsoluteXenophobe culture. The freedom granted to a rogue trader gives a lot of leeway for shrugging off some of the darker aspects of the setting.
*** Do note that while said Xenos career options include Orks and Kroot which by far aren't the darkest of the xenos in the setting, you also have the option of creating Dark Eldar characters, who by their very presence make campaigns significantly DarkerAndEdgier.
* LightningBruiser: The Rak'Gol, again. They are surprisingly fast, hit very hard, and can take more punishment than an Ork.
* LostTechnology: Archaeotech, items designed long before the current Dark Age. They're better in pretty much every way beside availability.
* MachineWorship: The Machine Cult of Mars, represented here by the Explorator career path.
* MerchantPrince: Any sufficiently influential Rogue Trader is basically this.
* MilitaryScienceFiction: Averted, unsurprisingly if your familiar with concept of a Rogue Trader, not unsurprisingly if your only familiar with the parent franchise.
** The ''Battlefleet Koronus'' supplement includes expanded rules for starship combat and rules for large-scale ground warfare, allowing the game as a whole to take on more of this flavor.
* {{Mordor}}: The planet Inequity, home to [[BigBad Chaos Lord Karrad Vall the Faceless Lord]]. It is located in a star system where a red giant dances with a black hole, and the whips of plasma siphoned off it lash the planets around it creating detritus and dangerously unpredictable gravity shoals. Navigation to the planet is only safely possible by a damned warp beacon [[PoweredByAForsakenChild powered by hundreds of sorceress sacrifices]]. Its surface is covered in caustic atmosphere and acidic rain drawn from boiling seas. Quakes are frequent and eruptions are a constant danger. Slaves toil to their deaths in the mines and manufactora. Daemons stalk the surface drawn from warp rifts deep in the planet's crust exposed when the original settlers DugTooDeep. It is a haven for Chaos reaver SpacePirates, and all of its cities are {{Wretched Hive}}s that makes life in an Imperial underhive [[UpToEleven look pleasant by comparison]]. Above it all Vall rules this domain from his infamous [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Citadel Of Skulls]], a combination fortress, armory, manufacturing center, treasure vault, palace, and debased temple to Chaos.
* PlayingWithFire: The "Immolate the Soul" Navigator Power, which effectively gives access to a psychic flamethrower at all times. At Adept and Master rank, it even [[HolyBurnsEvil does additional damage to beings]] with [[TheCorruption Corruption points.]]
** It's worth noting that Chaos entities like daemons ''do not'' have a Corruption trait, [[PureIsNotGood since they are already]] [[MadeOfEvil made entirely from warp energies.]]
* PowerCreepPowerSeep: [[CharacterLevel Rank 1]] ''Rogue Trader'' characters are significantly more powerful than Rank 1 ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'' characters; in fact, they're explicitly noted as the equivalent of Rank 5 ''Dark Heresy'' characters (which has a maximum of 8 Ranks).
** Theoretically, at least. However, in practice, using Dark Hersey characters in Rogue Trader is a bit unbalanced. Well-built DH characters [[MagikarpPower quickly out-scale RT characters]] because of cheaper advances (usually 100 to 300 xp vs. 200 to 500 for skills, and 100 to 300 vs. 500 or 1000 for talents), a larger variety of options, and the fact that while RT characters start with 5 more points in all their characteristics, they only have 4 characteristic advances, whereas DH characters have 6 total (with Ascension).
*** Which does make a kind of sense. High level ascension characters are the most loyal, singularly powerful servants of the imperium short of the [[SuperSoldier Astartes]], and have been through constant high intensity missions whereas a strong rogue trader is a civilian that does not generally need to adapt to anywhere near that level of stress.
* ProductionForeshadowing: While Kroot are present in the Expanse, their homeworld of Pech is on a far side of the galaxy from it. The rulebook says that many people speculate that they may have come to the Expanse a few generations ago through some kind of warp-gate that led to the far side of the galaxy, but does not go into any more detail and leaves it as just in-universe speculation. Come ''TabletopGame/{{Deathwatch}}'', and it is revealed that such a gate does in fact exist and goes between the Koronus Expanse and the Jericho Reach, a location that includes worlds claimed by the Tau Empire of which the Kroot are a part. And as of ''TabletopGame/BlackCrusade'', the nearby Screaming Vortex has a similar gate, and a planet with a population of Kroot.
* PunchClockHero: The ''Into The Storm'' {{splat}} gives us the Kroot mercenary as a career option. Rogue Traders are one of the few Imperial servants who have sanction to deal with xenos, and that includes hiring of services. The Kroot are excellent trackers, spies, and close-quarters combatants, but their help is strictly mercenary. They can be trusted to [[IGaveMyWord uphold their word]], but how determined they are to see their task through is heavily dependent on the remunerations they expect to receive, to the point that they can resist fear and pinning better if their current venture is potentially profitable enough.
** Rogue Traders and their staff, can also fit. Since they can accept contracts from Imperial or colonial entities, or just provide protection.
* PsychoForHire: A perfectly valid career option, as the game's supplements allow the game to pick some alternate career options that turn the characters into this, but ''The Soul Reaver'' introduces a full career path that makes all of these look heroic by comparison, namely the Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior.
* {{Recycled IN SPACE}}: Nearly all the game mechanics are recycled from Dark Heresy. If you doubt this, compare the charts for critical hits or the names and descriptions of most of the talents. (Of course, since the games were designed to be compatible with and supplementary to each other from the get-go, this is hardly surprising.)
** On a more general note, the theme of ''Rogue Trader'' as a whole is basically WoodenShipsAndIronMen [-[[RecycledInSpace IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE!]]-]
* [[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou Sarvus Trask Is About To Shoot You]]: The cover for the ''Hostile Acquisitions'' supplement.
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: Kroot characters can be built for this, their hunter's instincts combined with the ability to have a keenness of perception beyond the limits of humans means that they can sniff out prey (bestial or otherwise) from the merest hint of their presence.
* [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections Screw The Rules, I Have A Warrant of Trade!]]: Rogue Traders are expected to operate outside the Imperium's borders where the Lex Imperialis does not apply and are thus exempt from prosecution for anything they do out there. However, they do come under Imperial authority while back in the Imperium (where they often must go to sell exotic goods or negotiate trades on that end) and can be prosecuted for anything they do there. However even then, their warrant of trade will excuse them a lot, as someone who has such a warrant must have strong connections with authorities in the Administratum or Imperial Navy and local authorities will find it difficult to prosecute them or make such a prosecution stick.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Rogue Traders are allowed to get around a great deal of the regulations of the Imperium, essentially because they're some of the most wealthy and powerful individuals in the galaxy (emphasis on individuals).
** The root of it is actually more "Screw the rules, I have Navigators". The caste with exclusive access to the limited gene-lines that are the only people that can drive FTL ships (without going homicidally insane) pretty much makes them the one subset of humanity that the emperor's men CAN'T touch. Lose the navigators, or even get a significant number of them killed fighting for control, and the whole empire goes down in months.
** In the lore, this is the entire ''point'' of licensing Rogue Traders. On the frontier they are much more effective than more official operatives.
** In the crunch, your starting character is either going to start with lots of money or a frakking big ship. So either this or [[AppealToForce Appeal To A Kilometers Long Starfaring Battle Cathedral]].
* ShoutOut: The description of the Endurance Motivation ("You seek to endure, and, in enduring, grow stronger") refers to a line spoken by Dak'kon from PlanescapeTorment.
** There is also the characteristic given to DeathWorld characters, which lets them take training with primitive melee weapons, to represent their experience fighting terrifying monsters with improvised or underpowered weaponry. Its name? [[Film/{{Predator}} If it bleeds, I can kill it]].
** The Hostile Acquisitions sourcebook brings us the "Reaver" career option, raiders who have lived too long on the edge of space and now live only for pillage and slaughter. The accompanying illustration includes a rather familiar [[Series/{{Firefly}} brown duster]]. This may be the only thing ever to become LighterAndSofter when translated into the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
** Also, In the entry on Void Kraken, there is an account of a sailor who told his captain that that there was no [[Franchise/{{StarWars}} moon]]...
** There is an ability that Dark Eldar can use when applying poisons and toxins onto their foes that delay the effect of the toxin until some time after it has been applied, with some particularly gruesome effects like the victim's body exploding violently due to the victim's blood actively revolting against the body. What is said ability called? "[[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar You are already dead]]."
* SimpleYetAwesome: Bolter weapons, which are the standard armament at most levels, but are also ''rocket propelled missiles at semi and fully automatic rates''.
* SpaceIsCold and LiterallyShatteredLives: A major danger of void exposure is your corpse freezing solid and becoming fragile within a minute of death. Inherited from ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'', though given the activities of ''Rogue Trader'' characters it's a more common danger for them.
* SpacePirates: A common threat to Rogue Traders and Imperial shipping in general. Come in human, Eldar, and Ork flavors.
** There are two types of human flavour: Regular Joes gone on the accoun, (they're in it for the money), [[TheCorruption Chaos]] pirates (they're in it ForTheEvulz. At best.). Oh, and some Rogue Traders do this, too.
*** The ''Into The Storm'' expansion turns the Ork Freebooter into a playable character class (they're in it [[BloodKnight cus Orks are made for fightin' and winnin'!]]).
** The Hostile Acquisitions [[{{Splat}} sourcebook]] is a handy resource for players who prefer to play on the wrong side of the law.
* StarshipLuxurious: Things that can potentially be found aboard a Rogue Trader's starship include vaulted ceilings, barracks for entire regiments of ground troops, room-sized techno-pipe organs, gladiatorial arenas, factories, and full-size churches to the God-Emperor (some of which can detach from the ship proper and be air-dropped as prefab cathedrals on worlds in need of converting).
* TooDumbToFool: A particularly messy variant. If a Navigator takes The Lidless Stare up to Master level, anyone who looks into their Warp Eye has to pass a Toughness test or die immediately--unless their Intelligence is less than 20. As a comparison, the minimum starting Intelligence is 27...
* {{Unobtainium}}: Nephium, the only source of which is the bubbling sinkhole pits in the middle of ancient, abandoned xenos cities made of ice on the frozen planet of Lucin's Breath. When a small amount is added to crude promethium, it drastically improves the refinement process and leaves a much more efficiently burning fuel than otherwise. The environment it is extracted from is extremely hostile to human life and the ruins that surround each sinkhole are said to be haunted, yet it is so valuable that the houses of Chorda and Winterscale and a dozen smaller operations come to literal war over stakes claimed to prime extraction sites.
* WarForFunAndProfit: Literally in the case of war-related Endeavors. A Rogue Trader can act as a [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenary force broker]], lending services to one side or another whether that be navel protection, private army deployment, supply transport, scouting, or just plain {{privateer}}ing. Heck, just arranging arms deals is often quite profitable in itself. The ''Battlefleet Kronus'' sourcebook expands a great deal on this aspect of the game.
* WorthyOpponent: This can quite easily happen in-game between [=PCs=] and other Rogue Traders, since while most of them are rivals, very few are outright enemies as Koronus is filled with forces that are openly hostile to all humans. The supplement ''Edge of Abyss'' actively encourages [=GMs=] to have their groups develop rivalries with, and seek to surpass the existing canonical [=NPCs=].
* WretchedHive: Footfall, a collection of hollowed-out asteroids, repurposed derelict ships, and other such livable space detritus loosely held together with tethers and docking bridges, located on the far side of the Koronus Passage. It is here that various factions vie for control of various territories, any number of goods both conventional and illicit can be bought and sold, and a variety of powers keep agents stationed there to guard their interests and monitor those of others. A place where assassins, diplomats, priests, criminals, and even xenos can rub elbows with each other. The fact that not all of them shoot each other on sight says much about how little Imperial law means on Footfall.
* WritersCannotDoMath: Working from the numbers given for the dimensions and tonnage of ships, small raiders are about half the average density of balsa wood (Ork Brute Ram: 60 kg/m^3) while the largest bulk transports would blow away in a slight breeze (Imperial Universe class: 2.9 kg/m^3). Crew requirements have the same scaling problem (as well as being far to low for how the fluff describes living conditions, even on the smallest ships) while passenger capacities seem to be random numbers that don't increase with size ''at all''.
* YouLoseAtZeroTrust: If your crew ever hits zero morale they will turn against you entirely and attack any authority figure they can find. Considering that even a "small" Imperial craft has a crew numbering in the thousands this means that the players will at least lose their ship, if not their lives. The only other solution is to execute the entire crew... and you can't run anything without them.

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