Rogue Trader Trophies

One of the more interesting ship components in Rogue Trader is the Trophy Room. This gives a few nice bonuses to your ship, but also allows you to display your past victories.

Here are some of my suggestions for the contents of the Trophy Room on The Tempest, the ship inhabited by my Rogue Trader dynasty.

Ceremonial Axe of the Omnissiah

Taking the the form of a large Poleaxe with the symbol of the Adaptus Mechanicus in the place of one of it’s two heads, this is a traditional symbol of a Tech-Priest’s authority. Unlike those used in the field by many Tech-Priests, this version is solely for ceremonial use, lacking the lighter construction material and power-field generator of it’s more functional counterparts. As such, it’s only potential use as a weapon is that of an over-sized bludgeon.

Consequently, it was deemed a fitting gift of appreciation following the quest to eradicate the Magno Crydom.

The machine spirits of the ship seem particularly attached to this device, and if it is removed from the Trophy Room, unexplainable power failures and faults occur around the Axe until such time as it’s replaced. On sole occasional it has been removed from the ship, the results were so catastrophic that the Axe was bound with chains attached to the wall of the Trophy Room lest it even happen again.

The Bedraggled Grox-Head

No-one knows where this traditional symbol of farm-life came from. Judging on it’s condition, it probably originated from a refuse planet.

Annoyingly, no-one can actually work out to remove it from the wall it’s attached to.

A bit of an embarrassment to the normally boastful Rogue Traders, it spends most of it’s time covered by a black velvet drape. If anyone inquires about it, oblique references are made to unspeakable horrors of the warp.

Mantle of the Dark Jester

In M40.887, the Tempest was boarded by a Troupe of the Eldar elite warriors known as the Harlequins. The servants of the so-called “Laughing God” spread through the ship, slaughtering it’s crew and spreading mirth.

They were eventually stopped through the actions of Lord-Captain Kobalt (a man known equally for his pig-headedness and stupidity), who donned a suit of near ruined power armour in an effort to deflect the deadly wires of the Harlequin’s Kiss. Unfortunately, the power armour had absolutely no effect. However when the ‘Kiss hit the plasma containment unit in the power-pack, the resulting explosion vaporised both Lord-Captain Kobalt and the troupe of Harlequins (as well as a considerable portion of the bridge).

This garishly painted and slightly scarred helmet was the only remain found by Kobalt’s second in command (who had been preparing the Murder Servitors to engage the Harlequins).

The Armour of Hun the Unkillable

This armour is a rare relic from the lifetime of the Emperor, being the second model of armour given to the Space Marine chapters.

This particular suit belonged to Hun the Unkillable, a legendary member of the White Scars. Before and during the Horus Heresy, Hun was a machine-like killer, cutting his way across battlefields with his twin power axes, felling Orks with a tenacity that was unrivalled.
The merits welded to his suit testify to his success, with legend telling that some of them were placed there by the hand of the Emperor (Indeed, some more religious crewmembers refuse to look upon the suit).

Hun’s rise within the ranks of Imperium was brought to a rather untimely end. During the Battle of Tyr’s Bastion, the White Scars were deployed in support of the 3rd Titan Battalion. Hun, more used to fighting without armoured support made the mistake of ignoring the closest Titan, to his cost.

The suit is approximately 3 centimetres thick, 2 meters across and 4 meters tall.

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Of these, only the Amour of Hun the Unkillable and the Ceremonial Axe passed mutual agreement. The rest of the Trophy Room contents were created by other players and include the brain of a previous enemy, imprisoned in a chess-playing device, a cake-topper from the wedding that created the Heinstein-Fueller Dynasty, a miniature world and a Ork weapon.

These are all small things, with little in-game use, but they add a really nice touch to the world.

Top 5 Bad Guys Who Wouldn’t Work in an RPG

I don’t know about you, but I generally love bad guys. I’ve never really worked out why, but I always wanted Darth Vader, Jason Vorhees, Sauron or whoever else to win. Just to see what would happen.

It’s probably why I like being GM so much – I get to play the bad guys and find out what happens.
Consequently, I try and use my favourite fictional characters in different guises. Many of them are tropes, but they are also good inspiration. There are some of my favourites which just don’t work though.

So, in the spirit of presenting varied reading, here is my top 5 list of entertaining fictional characters who wouldn’t work in an RPG.

5 – Q (Star Trek: TNG, DS9, Voy)
Q is both the first and last enemy encountered by the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D during in Star Terk The Next Generation. His role remains a mystery throughout TNG and is only explained in the excellent finale, All Good Things… He makes return appearances in DS9 and Voyager, expanding the lore regarding his race but in much more sympathetic roles.
Why He’s A Bad Enemy: Omnipotent, all powerful, able to manipulate the entire universe at a whim and a mischievous temperament to boot: Q’s powers read like the power trip of a bad DM and render him nigh on undefeatable.

4 – Darth Maul (Star Wars: Episode I)
The weakest character in the most reviled of all 6 Star Wars films, Maul existed solely to look badass on PR material and provide the deus ex machina to give Obi-Wan a chip on his shoulder. He had nearly no lines and about ten minutes of screentime.
Why He’s A Bad Enemy: The ultimate two-bit looser bad-guy. As he stands, he only exists to be killed. No background, no development, nothing.

3 – Frank-N-Furter (Rocky Horror Picture Show)

Transsexual alien with his own cloning project, ghoulish servants and one hell of a clothing line. Amazing singer.
Why He’s A Bad Enemy: Not too hard to use in a sci-fi setting, but I dare you to use him in your next D&D campaign.

2 – Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal)
A egomaniac serial killer and cannibal, Lecter is one of the most memorable horror movie characters of the 80s and 90s. Despite being a mass-murderer, he actually manages to retain the role of anti-hero rather then all-out villain.
Why He’s A Bad Enemy: Lecter spends most of his screen time helping the FBI and not that much actually being a bad guy. When he is a bad guy, he takes it to a whole new, charming level, which, quite honestly I don’t think can easily be conveyed in an RPG.

1 – Scorpius/Harvey (Farscape)
Scorpius and Harvey, his counter-part implanted in the head of main-character John Crichton, are very possibly the best sci-fi enemy of all time. Scorpius is creepy and unhuman on his own (despite being a forehead alien), Harvey adds to this though some of the best black humour which has ever graced the small screen. Harvey causes Crichton to slowly loose his mind, his ship and just about everything else in his life.
Why He’s A Bad Enemy: You want to try inserting a character into the mind of a PC? It’s a great idea in theory, but in reality it’s impossible without the GM practically controlling the PC.

Let me know if you have any idea how to work any of these guys into a campaign 😉