Personal Endeavours

By Tantavalist, in Rogue Trader House Rules

This is a concept I was inspired by while reading the "Duty & Honour" RPG (essentially Sharpe the RPG, playing British soldiers in the Peninsular War). It used a similar structure to the RT Endeavours system, in which the GM would set the objective for the session and then the players would plan out how to achieve it, setting a number of goals they would need to achieve. It took the system a step further, though, and brought in personal missions, which the player would invent and which were the method of gaining XP.

This obviously an optional system which won't be for everyone, but for some groups it could be a very good way to encourage roleplaying.

In this system, the standard award for a session is dropped from 500xp to 200xp. The loss is made up for by completing personal Endeavours. These have the same structure as Group Endeavours, except instead of giving a bonus to the group Profit Factor when completed, they give XP to the character, 400 for a Lesser, 800 for a Greater, and 1200 for a Grand. I'll admit these numbers are estimates and may need adjusting if the ssytem is put into play.

The Endeavours are defined by the players, with GM approval. They then plot with the GM what goals will be used to achieve them just as for standard ones. Examples of such Endeavours might be:-

Seduce the Lady Valentia DiViathethina - The PC has become enamoured by a high ranking Noblewoman from the ruling class of a Heathen system which the Explorers have recently encountered. There are several obstacles between them, not least of which is that she hates all Imperials due to her world's previous encounters with less scrupulous Rogue Traders. (Lesser)

Collect all three panels of the Helnoerine Triptych - A legendary painting by a long-dead artist, the three panels were long ago separated by the thieves who stole it from the artist's family, and have been passed through several hands since then. The PC has become enraptured by a lesser painting by the same artist, and becomes determined to own the legendary Triptych. They are held in secret by powerful individuals who will doubtless be loath to part with them, and must either be exchanged for objects of even greater value, earned through favours, or stolen from building protected by the best security the Imperium has to offer. (Grand)

Avenge yourself upon the Captain of the Loegyr - Offended in some way by the actions of the Captain of this ship, be it getting bested in a trade agreement or even a family feud, the PC swears revenge on him. The extent of the revenge will determine the scale of the Endaevour, simply humiliating the Captain in a one-off event will be a Lesser Endeavour. Plotting to ambush the ship out in uncharted space and slaughter all aboard will be a Grand Endeavour.

Any Personal Endeavour should give no material benefits other than the XP awarded. They should also not be dependent on the actions of another PC, so the seduction ploy will only work for an NPC. Above all, they should be challenging enough to warrant an Endeavour.

This system adds a level of complication to the game, but potentially it also adds an extra dimension in that it gives players reasons to come up with personal sub-plots that give more depth to a character. It also means that players will be trying to invent problems and obstacles for themselves so they can get extra XP for overcoming them.

Interesting idea, I might point my GM at it, actually.

It seems better suited to people further down the chain of command. These are supposed to reward the players for following their personal goals rather than just profit-hunting, but these are often one and the same. Rogue traders in particular desire wealth and the things that come with it, and even if he goes somewhere for love, the rest of his crew will be buying up cheap goods and planning to sell the locals snake oil.