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View Full Version : Wow, Rogue Trader background was stupid.



cpl_hicks
27-01-2014, 20:49
I finally got a 1st edition copy of the rogue trader rulebook from ebay. I've only had a flick through it but boy is some of this background bad.

The bus gangs of Logan's world
The Space wolf's fortress monastery being well a monastery
Astral hounds:wtf:
Leman Russ starting as a human, and being made a commander then founding the wolves.

I was only 2 when rogue trader came out, but was this stuff actually serious and what else have I missed out on?

A.T.
27-01-2014, 21:07
...was this stuff actually serious and what else have I missed out on?No, it didn't take itself too seriously. Spot the woman with the french fleur-de-lys blowing a hole in the rainbow warrior for instance. And the black planet of Birmingham, the space marine 'angry ron', the space ork hard rock bands, about half of the rogue trader figure range (banzai jones, sgt Hikks & trooper vaskez, troopers laurel and hardy), and pretty much the entire squat range... just for starters.

Lord Damocles
27-01-2014, 21:37
Inquisitor Obiwan Sherlock Cleuseau.



Can yer spot the reference?

exsanguis
27-01-2014, 21:48
Yeh, and the Space Marines sitting round the bar all Jim Raynor like in one of the pictures.

OrganicHamster
27-01-2014, 22:23
Early 40k took a lot of cues from 2000AD, the British comic that featured Judge Dredd. In the 1980's UK designing a brutal future distopia and throwing in pop-culture references was considered satire.

insectum7
27-01-2014, 23:03
"Abdul Goldberg has crossed you for the last time. . . "

AndrewGPaul
27-01-2014, 23:36
That Logan's World/Eye of Terror section is brilliant. There's plenty of scope for an alternative Necromunda/Gorkamorka crossover campaign setting there.

And yes, Abdul Goldberg is cool. I always meant to have a model for him. Sadly Sheik Yadosh isn't available in the Warhammer range to convert. :(

ntw3001
28-01-2014, 01:26
What's wrong with Leman Russ? It doesn't fit with the current fluff, but the idea of a guy being a military commander and founding a military group is scarcely ridiculous. Space Marines weren't superhuman warrior-ascetics; just psychopaths who had been taken from hives or feral worlds, drugged up and surgically altered and given a monastery to live in. Page 153 of RT gives a good description. There's no reference to Primarchs, no historical heresy; in fact there's no reference to Chaos at all, just the Warp as a home for weird psychic monsters. The whole background of the SMs was later retconned, but that piece is consistent with the rest of the background of the time.

But yeah, much of it is tongue-in-cheek. The Logan's World pages feature a Squat with a Batman shirt.

Speaking of Logan's World, it's actually pretty cool. It'd make more sense as a planet on the Eastern Fringe now that the Eye of Terror isn't just a big old warp storm, but it seems to work. It's pretty much Borderlands in 40k, but with Orks as bandits.

Perrin
28-01-2014, 01:41
A Borderlands planet in 40k would be awesome.

bittick
28-01-2014, 05:45
Watch the 1981 movie, Heavy Metal.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_MzWF8YLhY

On second thought, don't watch it. It's terrible. Just remember that this was cool​ in the early 80s.

Polaria
28-01-2014, 07:59
What's wrong with Leman Russ? It doesn't fit with the current fluff, but the idea of a guy being a military commander and founding a military group is scarcely ridiculous. Space Marines weren't superhuman warrior-ascetics; just psychopaths who had been taken from hives or feral worlds, drugged up and surgically altered and given a monastery to live in. Page 153 of RT gives a good description. There's no reference to Primarchs, no historical heresy; in fact there's no reference to Chaos at all, just the Warp as a home for weird psychic monsters. The whole background of the SMs was later retconned, but that piece is consistent with the rest of the background of the time.

Lets see...

Old Space Marines:

Imperium rounds up all the hive-world gangers, feral word stone-age warriors and psychopaths from prisons. They are mind-washed, fitted with high-tech biomodifications and state-of-the-art armour and weapons and sent to farthest places of the galaxy to fight aliens. When not fighting aliens they are cloistered into uninhabited planets where they can make no trouble for the Imperium.

New Space Marines:

Once upon a time a god-like super-being created twenty god-like super beings who were then baby-snatched by powers unknown and thrown into weird places around the galaxy. All of them were so superior to common man that they created their own empires in the stars. Later the first god-like super-being created his own empire by rounding up all the best men he could and using the genes of the first god-like super-beings to make them into almost-god-like super-beings. After that he went to conquer the galaxy and found all the other god-like super-beings (the ones he created) and made them lead the legions of the almost-god-like super-beings who used to be men. Now these legions of almost-god-like super-beings that used to be men go all around the galaxy to fight aliens. When not fighting aliens they all live in their own private empires mainly feeling bad about bad stuff that happened 10 000 years ago and planning about how to fight more aliens.

Now lets be honest. Obejectively speaking the Old fluff might not be the pinnacle of written fiction either, but the New fluff is just beyond stupid...

Denny
28-01-2014, 08:07
Watch the 1981 movie, Heavy Metal.

On second thought, don't watch it. It's terrible.

You sir just made yourself an enemy. :mad:

cpl_hicks
28-01-2014, 09:10
New Space Marines:

Once upon a time a god-like super-being created twenty god-like super beings who were then baby-snatched by powers unknown and thrown into weird places around the galaxy. All of them were so superior to common man that they created their own empires in the stars. Later the first god-like super-being created his own empire by rounding up all the best men he could and using the genes of the first god-like super-beings to make them into almost-god-like super-beings. After that he went to conquer the galaxy and found all the other god-like super-beings (the ones he created) and made them lead the legions of the almost-god-like super-beings who used to be men. Now these legions of almost-god-like super-beings that used to be men go all around the galaxy to fight aliens. When not fighting aliens they all live in their own private empires mainly feeling bad about bad stuff that happened 10 000 years ago and planning about how to fight more aliens.

This for the win :)

Sent from my HTC One mini using Tapatalk

Oakenshield
28-01-2014, 11:07
I finally got a 1st edition copy of the rogue trader rulebook from ebay. I've only had a flick through it but boy is some of this background bad.

The bus gangs of Logan's world
The Space wolf's fortress monastery being well a monastery
Astral hounds:wtf:
Leman Russ starting as a human, and being made a commander then founding the wolves.

I was only 2 when rogue trader came out, but was this stuff actually serious and what else have I missed out on?

Rogue Trader stuff only seems stupid if you think the new stuff is clever. :)

It is a totally different universe with shades of grey and a good dose of humour, literally 2000AD made into a miniatures game.

I love the Rogue Trader fluff. It gives you the weird and wacky things that exist in the infinite universe. Not the same four Marine Chapters turning up to every battle against things that can only exist if a plastic kit of them does.

Hellebore
28-01-2014, 11:21
Technically the 'modern' space marine was actually from the Rogue trader era. They even created grey knight army lists towards the end of RT.

2nd ed was a codification and clearing up of the additional stuff produced during RT. In a way RT had a 1.5 with the release of the various extra books and the slaves to darkness books.

The stuff in the RT rulebook itself was the only instance of many of those concepts. It didn't take long for it to get changed. The emperor as a corpse god (Dune Style) was already in the RT rulebook.

Hellebore

ntw3001
28-01-2014, 12:20
A Borderlands planet in 40k would be awesome.

A Borderlands miniature game would be great. Like Necromunda with tables to generate random weapons.

Zenithfleet
28-01-2014, 12:33
New Space Marines:

Once upon a time a god-like super-being created twenty god-like super beings who were then baby-snatched by powers unknown and thrown into weird places around the galaxy. All of them were so superior to common man that they created their own empires in the stars. Later the first god-like super-being created his own empire by rounding up all the best men he could and using the genes of the first god-like super-beings to make them into almost-god-like super-beings. After that he went to conquer the galaxy and found all the other god-like super-beings (the ones he created) and made them lead the legions of the almost-god-like super-beings who used to be men. Now these legions of almost-god-like super-beings that used to be men go all around the galaxy to fight aliens. When not fighting aliens they all live in their own private empires mainly feeling bad about bad stuff that happened 10 000 years ago and planning about how to fight more aliens.

Now lets be honest. Obejectively speaking the Old fluff might not be the pinnacle of written fiction either, but the New fluff is just beyond stupid...

I think the newer fluff works best when it's shown from a historical/mythical perspective looking back from the 41st millennium. You're never quite sure if that's really what happened or if the events have been massively embellished over ten thousand years of shaky record-keeping.

3rd ed was pretty solid for this kind of in-universe approach. Index Astartes especially worked because it was always saying 'no one really knows what happened' and 'most records are lost but we think the Emperor showed up at such and such a planet at such and such a time based on an old drinking song this visiting scribe once heard in the Space Wolves' hall'.

The Horus Heresy books make me uneasy in general concept because it feels to me like a period of time that ought to be left a bit ambiguous.

Re Rogue Trader in general: Any book that contains art of a Space Marine sporting a Riddley Walker reference on his shoulder pad is undeniably awesome. ;)

Splen
28-01-2014, 12:35
I love the Rogue Trader fluff. It gives you the weird and wacky things that exist in the infinite universe. Not the same four Marine Chapters turning up to every battle against things that can only exist if a plastic kit of them does.

I very much agree. I have always regarded it as my right to pick and choose the areas of the background that I want to fit into my armies. It is for this reason that my Inquisitor has a zoat henchman (using the rules for jokaero, because the way I see it if 'space tech-orangutan' is ok then why not 'space tech-rhino/centaur thing!)

insectum7
28-01-2014, 15:40
Technically the 'modern' space marine was actually from the Rogue trader era. They even created grey knight army lists towards the end of RT.

2nd ed was a codification and clearing up of the additional stuff produced during RT. In a way RT had a 1.5 with the release of the various extra books and the slaves to darkness books.

The stuff in the RT rulebook itself was the only instance of many of those concepts. It didn't take long for it to get changed. The emperor as a corpse god (Dune Style) was already in the RT rulebook.

Hellebore

No doubt, the Compilation (of previous White Dwarf articles) is a publication from 1991, and it's got Grey Knights, the fleshed out Eldar, and the story about man-god meeting man-god (Leman Russ and the Emperor). This story not only includes the Horus Heresy but also Russ' feud with Lion' El' Jonson of the Dark Angels.

Second edition came a few years later in 1993.



I think the newer fluff works best when it's shown from a historical/mythical perspective looking back from the 41st millennium. You're never quite sure if that's really what happened or if the events have been massively embellished over ten thousand years of shaky record-keeping.

3rd ed was pretty solid for this kind of in-universe approach. Index Astartes especially worked because it was always saying 'no one really knows what happened' and 'most records are lost but we think the Emperor showed up at such and such a planet at such and such a time based on an old drinking song this visiting scribe once heard in the Space Wolves' hall'.

The Horus Heresy books make me uneasy in general concept because it feels to me like a period of time that ought to be left a bit ambiguous.


Completely agree, I think the Heresy should have been largely left alone, and shrouded in it's pseudo-biblical mystery. I find the books to be a little crass, honestly.

Ambience 327
28-01-2014, 17:23
'most records are lost but we think the Emperor showed up at such and such a planet at such and such a time based on an old drinking song this visiting scribe once heard in the Space Wolves' hall'.

Overheard singing by drunk space vikings is definitely one of the most reliable forms of historical evidence. In fact, it is second only to Wikipedia for accuracy and level-headed, non-biased reporting. :evilgrin:



The Horus Heresy books make me uneasy in general concept because it feels to me like a period of time that ought to be left a bit ambiguous.

Just think of them as dramatized revisionist history written by some folks in-universe who know a lot, but filled in at least as many fabricated details as they have generally accepted fafct. Then go back to the picking and choosing what works for you.

Karak Norn Clansman
28-01-2014, 18:10
Technically the 'modern' space marine was actually from the Rogue trader era. They even created grey knight army lists towards the end of RT.

2nd ed was a codification and clearing up of the additional stuff produced during RT. In a way RT had a 1.5 with the release of the various extra books and the slaves to darkness books.

The stuff in the RT rulebook itself was the only instance of many of those concepts. It didn't take long for it to get changed. The emperor as a corpse god (Dune Style) was already in the RT rulebook.

Hellebore

Yes. Taken as a whole, I'd roughly estimate that the Rogue Trader era established up towards 40-50% of the core background for 40k, especially the Imperium and Chaos.

The overall quality of the writing is also evident in the description of a Space Marine vessel post-battle, or the story pieces in the Whiteshield section (both by Priestley).

BigbyWolf
28-01-2014, 18:38
Watch the 1981 movie, Heavy Metal.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_MzWF8YLhY

On second thought, don't watch it. It's terrible. Just remember that this was cool​ in the early 80s.

I have a list.

You, Sir, have just been added to it! :mad:

insectum7
28-01-2014, 19:07
Just think of them as dramatized revisionist history written by some folks in-universe who know a lot, but filled in at least as many fabricated details as they have generally accepted fafct. Then go back to the picking and choosing what works for you.

Like Disney's Pocahontas is an accurate retelling of explorers expanding westward and meeting the indigenous people. :)

cpl_hicks
28-01-2014, 20:50
I have a list.

You, Sir, have just been added to it! :mad:

It's off topic, but I'm missing something here

Lothlanathorian
28-01-2014, 21:01
Speaking ill of Heavy Metal.

Cuchulain84
28-01-2014, 21:40
I'm not quite old enough to have seen much of Rogue Trader but I can definitely say I prefered 40k when it didn't take it's self so seriously.

Imperialis_Dominatus
29-01-2014, 00:29
40k today only takes itself seriously if you take it seriously. A creative medium is a discussion between yourself and the author, and if you take it all at face value... you aren't a good conversational partner.


Just think of them as dramatized revisionist history written by some folks in-universe who know a lot, but filled in at least as many fabricated details as they have generally accepted fafct.

Hey, I took out a phrase and it matches real life!

EDIT: Hey, look, I edited it to make it better and grammatically correct!

Sir_Turalyon
29-01-2014, 18:22
Hey, I took out a phrase and it matches real life!

I like what you did :). Although personally, I like to think of HH as of novelisation of what living witnesses remembered, or how they would want to remember things. For instance, most of 40k background says Fulgrim went forward of Istavaan V force to parlay with Horus, took to much drugs when getting friendly during negotiations and was already under corrupted influence of Slaanesh when he came to his senses, if he ever did. The Fulgrim book, on the other hand, is an unlikely story involving deamon weapons, Eldar, scupulters, out-of-character conversations with Ferrus Manus and being trapped in the painting. Now, which one describes what really happened and which one is what Fulgrim remembered from his acid trip, when he awoke with aching head well after Istavan V?

As of RT background, they started by making the game and basic factions, with only skeletal background and were expanding the basic background well into 2nd edition. It was intended to give starting points for game master to run with, and I loved to use some plot hooks when runing Inquisitor/Dark Heresy campaigns. Mystery of Eldar taking grox and mutilating livestock on agri-world, anyone :D ? Before you call stupid, when I finished with story it was weapon smuggling ring tied to cults, using grav vehicles characterised as Eldar - they figured out they can't hide their movements from locals due to conspicious vehicles, but if they tied it to Eldar cattle mutilation legend locals will stay away out of fear, while their superiors will dismiss story as obvious nonsense; it failed because group of acolytes was ordered to investigate it *as punishment* .

Fear Ghoul
30-01-2014, 00:15
It seems pretty clear to me that the Horus Heresy novels represent what really happened because they are written in an objective style from the viewpoint of multiple characters. The previous background from sources such as Index Astartes are deliberately riddled with holes, contradictions, and half-truths because it is meant to represent an Imperial historians subjective and ignorance-laden view of events 10,000 years past. I never understood why people took Index Astartes at absolute face value.

On topic: Yes, much of Rogue Trader background was incredibly silly, but that's mostly by design. Also, much like with Fantasy, early 40k combined every sci-fi concept from every notable sci-fi universe then popular. It was only in 2nd edition that the designers started discarding concepts in order to make 40k a bit more unique eg no more half-Eldar half-Marines.

TheDungen
30-01-2014, 10:22
The Horus Heresy books are by no means great literature but they are a lot better than I expected them to be, the whole imperial truth angle as well as some other thigns makes it seem (somewhat) like a sci-fi universe, that we know will devolve into a backwards fantasy ghetto. Sure it's not quite the federation but that would be hard to fit into the same universe.


Watch the 1981 movie, Heavy Metal.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_MzWF8YLhY

On second thought, don't watch it. It's terrible. Just remember that this was cool​ in the early 80s.

HERESY! The ordo hereticus has taken note sire, do not doubt it.

Leftenant Gashrog
31-01-2014, 00:10
The Space wolf's fortress monastery being well a monastery

A fortified monastery.. what exactly were you expecting it to be?

RT had its stupid moments, the worst for me is the aforementioned Inquistor Obi-Wan, and the Ultramarines Navigator Christo Columbine.. however the article that contained the latter (as well as the 'half-eldar, half-marine' which actually isn't that bad when you look at the specifics) also contained the first write up for the Battle of Macragge which is basically the same today: 1st company wiped out defending polar fortress, mopping up operation by 3rd & 7th companies. To me however the RT context of the Battle of Magcragge is actually better than the modern version: In the original version the Dark Angels, White Scars and Ultramarines spent SIXTY years corralling Hive Fleet Behemoth into the Macragge system so it could be shattered on the Fortress Worlds defenses, this really captures monolithic yet ponderous threat of the Tyranids far better than the Star Trek Alien of the Week version of modern 40k where they just happened to attack Macragge when the Ultramarines were mustering to go looking for them..

williamsond
31-01-2014, 01:10
try reading the early ork stuff from warggh the orks, then try to say the fluff was bad.

Harwammer
31-01-2014, 08:49
try reading the early ork stuff from warggh the orks, then try to say the fluff was bad.

Early ork fluff is so bad it is good. The scope of rogue trader is more warband than full blown army. At this scale orks are a bunch of happy go lucky hooligan mates just out for a good time. A much more fun perspective than the faceless green horde approach.

Dr Zoidberg
31-01-2014, 10:20
The Horus Heresy books make me uneasy in general concept because it feels to me like a period of time that ought to be left a bit ambiguous.


So what you're basically saying is that GW went all Star Wars prequel trilogy on us....

Memnos
31-01-2014, 10:30
Everything written in Rogue Trader is canon. Anything that comes after that conflicts with it is also canon. In other news, yes - God CAN create a rock so heavy that even He can't lift it.

And then He lifts it anyway, because He's God.

budman
31-01-2014, 10:35
I finally got a 1st edition copy of the rogue trader rulebook from ebay. I've only had a flick through it but boy is some of this background bad.

The bus gangs of Logan's world
The Space wolf's fortress monastery being well a monastery
Astral hounds:wtf:
Leman Russ starting as a human, and being made a commander then founding the wolves.

I was only 2 when rogue trader came out, but was this stuff actually serious and what else have I missed out on?

It was actually serious... about having a ton of fun...

the pudding war

Poseidal
31-01-2014, 10:53
Rogue Trader '1.5' was basically modern 40k. It pretty much hasn't changed since then, apart from the shoehorns. It was when the Mk7 armour, Heresy, Eldar Craftworlds and the Eye of Terror were pretty much introduced to the setting properly.

I still really like the imagery from Rogue Trader 1.0 - it was more like an RPG setting in that it was a wacky place with really strange stuff going on.

OrganicHamster
31-01-2014, 14:59
A fortified monastery.. what exactly were you expecting it to be?

From 2nd. edition onwards Fortress Monasteries were mega-constructions and the Fang in particular was said to be the mightiest fortress outside of Terra (and built into a mountain that pierced the atmosphere). The Space Wolves Fortress Monastery in Rogue Trader looks like a regular monastery and only has 2 or 3 floors above ground.

An irreverent look at Rogue Trader from a couple of folks at SomethingAwful;

http://www.somethingawful.com/dungeons-and-dragons/wtf-rogue-trader/1/
http://www.somethingawful.com/dungeons-and-dragons/rogue-trader-returns/1/

For completion's sake here's their take on 5th edition (actually written before the RT articles);

http://www.somethingawful.com/dungeons-and-dragons/wtf-warhammer-40k/1/

and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

http://www.somethingawful.com/dungeons-and-dragons/mordheim-warhammer-art/1/

Griefbringer
01-02-2014, 11:41
They even created grey knight army lists towards the end of RT.


Actually, there was a Grey Knight army list contained in the end of Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness, released relatively soon after RT. This was essentially quite similar to the basic space marine army lists, with a few extra rules, some special equipment and inquisitorial characters. It did not yet feature the famous Grey Knight terminators - those were introduced a little later in WD.

Majorbookworm
02-02-2014, 07:00
I like what you did :). Although personally, I like to think of HH as of novelisation of what living witnesses remembered, or how they would want to remember things. For instance, most of 40k background says Fulgrim went forward of Istavaan V force to parlay with Horus, took to much drugs when getting friendly during negotiations and was already under corrupted influence of Slaanesh when he came to his senses, if he ever did.



I've never heard that version before, although it sounds awesome :D Where does it come from though?

Lost Egg
02-02-2014, 09:03
I find the books to be a little crass, honestly.

Agreed, though I'd probably extend that to much of the BL fiction I've read.


Lets see...

Old Space Marines:

Imperium rounds up all the hive-world gangers, feral word stone-age warriors and psychopaths from prisons. They are mind-washed, fitted with high-tech biomodifications and state-of-the-art armour and weapons and sent to farthest places of the galaxy to fight aliens. When not fighting aliens they are cloistered into uninhabited planets where they can make no trouble for the Imperium.

New Space Marines:

Once upon a time a god-like super-being created twenty god-like super beings who were then baby-snatched by powers unknown and thrown into weird places around the galaxy. All of them were so superior to common man that they created their own empires in the stars. Later the first god-like super-being created his own empire by rounding up all the best men he could and using the genes of the first god-like super-beings to make them into almost-god-like super-beings. After that he went to conquer the galaxy and found all the other god-like super-beings (the ones he created) and made them lead the legions of the almost-god-like super-beings who used to be men. Now these legions of almost-god-like super-beings that used to be men go all around the galaxy to fight aliens. When not fighting aliens they all live in their own private empires mainly feeling bad about bad stuff that happened 10 000 years ago and planning about how to fight more aliens.

Now lets be honest. Obejectively speaking the Old fluff might not be the pinnacle of written fiction either, but the New fluff is just beyond stupid...

Brilliant! Bang on sir! :D

Sir_Turalyon
02-02-2014, 15:50
I've never heard that version before, although it sounds awesome :D Where does it come from though?

Every Codex:CSM since 2nd edition, I think (is it still repeated in newest one?). The story appeared in Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness, already, though Fulgrim didn't have a name invented yet!

Slayer-Fan123
02-02-2014, 19:16
Inquisitor Obiwan Sherlock Cleuseau.



Can yer spot the reference?
...Is this real?

Ramius4
02-02-2014, 19:29
...Is this real?

IIRC I think it is.

Hellebore
02-02-2014, 20:42
Yes it's the name of an example inquisitor created using the random tables for characters in the book.

Hellebore