Old Obligations & Secret Hearts – new starship histories for Rogue Trader

A slight divergence from my usual fare of regular ship’s components for Rogue Trader, instead looking at adding options for a ship’s Past History during the generation of Complications.

A Rogue Trader’s Warrant of Trade is a nigh unimaginably complex collection of interwoven legal documents, contracts and oaths filling many volumes and entire shelves. Many Warrants contain secret clauses and additional hidden agreements binding together the fates of the dynasty and other Imperial organisations in strange and unexpected ways often pertaining to the Rogue Trader’s defining instrument and practical insignia of office – their starship.

When constructing the explorer’s initial starship during character creation, after rolling on Table 8-2, Past Histories, roll another d10. If this comes up the same number as previously rolled on the table, the ship hides one of the keys to the dynasty’s old obligations deep within its secret heart. Roll on the Secret Hearts table.

Regardless of the details, an organisation with a stake in the vessel’s heart might come and call upon the dynasty, offering help or making demands in accordance with its own devices.

Secret Hearts

1d100 Secret Heart
1-97 Administratum Confusion: Surely something is meant to be here. But what is it? And where is it?
98 Astartes Chapel: The ship contains a small chapel, sacred to one of the chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. A small detachment of space marines is stationed there at all times, as the chapter is honour bound to maintain an eternal vigil and guard the site. If the ship is boarded or targeted with a hit and run attack, the space marines will rise to defend the vessel, adding a +50 bonus to any opposed Command test for the defenders.
99 Assassinorum Cryo Crypt: The ship carries one of the cryo crypts of the Eversor temple. Within it rests one of their terrifying bio-killers, forced to dream icy dreams of cold hatred until called forth. As part of their dynasty’s warrant, the explorers may unleash the assassin on an enemy vessel within 5 VU during space combat. This takes an extended action by one of the explorators but does not require any test. The explorer’s ship immediately loses 1d5 Morale and suffers 1 damage to Crew Population, as the awakened assassin starts to vent its unceasing rage. During each of the target vessel’s strategic turns, the target vessel takes a random critical hit determined by rolling 1d10 on Table 8-12, Critical Hits, as the Eversor rampages through it. If the critical hit rolls comes up a 9 or 10, the Eversor has gone into meltdown, do not roll again on the critical hit table after applying the effects of this critical hit. If the Eversor did not meltdown during the battle, the explorers are bound to recover it, losing another 1d10 Morale and suffering an additional 1d5 damage to Crew Population before the assassin can be successfully returned to its tomb and its dreams of death and destruction.
100 Inquisitorial Stasis Vault: The ship is home to a stasis vault sealed by the Emperor’s most holy Inquisition. Noone knows what is kept inside, but the Inquisition makes sure that the vault is left undisturbed. When rolling on Table 9-41, Misfortunes, the GM has to announce the result following which the players may demand a reroll. The second result has to be accepted.

(Yes, the table is meant to be able to take more options over time.)

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