Warp travel times in Rogue Trader FATE

I’ve been looking at the times that I would use to travel through the stable warp corridors on the system map that we had generated for the House of Black Rogue Trader game (a copy is printed below for convenience).

Originally I had planned to make it so that  each line on the map took 3 months, however looking through the Diaspora rules I decided to use the Time Track that was presented on page 10 of the book.

The time track runs something like this:

  • Instant
  • A few seconds
  • Half a minute
  • A minute
  • 3 minutes
  • 15 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • An hour
  • 3 hours
  • 12 hours
  • A day/24 hours
  • 3 days
  • A week
  • 3 weeks
  • A month
  • 3 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • A year
  • 3 years
  • 10 years
  • 50 years
  • +each step beyond this adds 50 years
The first thing that I wished to resolve was that several of the measures listed were slightly nebulous so I defined them further (changing ‘a lifetime’ for ’50 years’ for instance); I decided that the for a distance of a single line on the map the normal time taken would be 3 months, each additional line traveled would add one step on the time track (so a journey of 3 lines would take 6 months by default).
This time period can be modified by the ship’s navigator making a Fair Will roll on 4DF with each degree of success or failure adding or subtracting from the timescale as appropriate.
So if our ship was making a non-stop journey from Sycorax to the Undred Undred Teef (a journey of three lines on the map) then the standard distance would be 6 months; our Navigator York Benetec has a great (+4) Will score meaning that he already has 2 degrees of success before rolling the dice, lowering the time taken to 3 months before making the roll.

If York rolled +4 then this would give him a total of 6 degrees of success and lower the time taken to 3 days; however if he rolled a -4 this would give him a total of 2 degrees of failure, raising the time taken back to 6 months.

System Design

One of the sections of the Diaspora rules that interested me and that I was very keen to use was the system design rules; with one of the players running late we all sat down to generate the sector of space that would be our game setting.

After generating the system (itself quite a fun little exercise), I fired up my flowchart software, drew out a neater version of the map, dropped in a couple of additional systems that we had already mentioned in the game and neatened the whole thing up in photoshop.

I decided that the links between the systems as determined by the Diaspora system would quite adequately represent stable passages through the warp without any alteration of the rules, each line between the systems would take three months travel, however this could be modified (as per the “Handling time” section in the Diaspora rules) by a navigation roll made by the ships Navigator.

The systems we generated looked like this…

  • Ariadne T -2, E +2, R 0
    • Lawless
    • Society equivalent to wild west
  • Coppernicus T +4, E +1, R +1
    • Rogue tech tradition
    • Rumours of lost STC tech
  • Catan T +2, E +3, R +2
    • Grox exports
    • Imperial agri-colony
  • Centurion T -1, E +2, R-2
    • Waterworld
    • Quarantine
  • Decusis T +3, E 0, R +2
    • Industrial
    • Polluted
    • Asteroid field (this was actually defined by one of the players in the first Diaspora-rules session)
  • Excelsior T -4, E -1, R 0
    • Savage
    • Hostile
  • Endeavour T +2, E 0, R -1
    • Feudal
    • Nordic
  • Footfall T +2, E -3, R -2
    • Lawless
    • Piratical
  • Gregori T -1, E +2, R -2
    • Reclaimed from chaos
    • Moderate inquisitorial presence
  • Judicious T +3, E +1, R 0
    • Ecclesiarchy
    • Heretical terrorists
  • Medea T -1, E -1, R +2
    • Mutants
    • Meteoric warpstone/mutagen
  • Malus T 0, E -2, R +1
    • Toxic
    • Ancient xenos remnants
  • Omega T 0, E +1, R -1
    • Space pirates
    • Barren
  • Port Wander T +3, E -1, R 0
    • Bustling
    • Bastion of the Imperium
  • Sycorax T -4, E +1, R +3
    • Isolated
    • Ancient xenos remnants
  • Temperance T 0, E +3, R -2
    • Old terraforming equipment
    • Odd cult
  • Undred Undred Teef T +2, E +1, R -2
    • Orcs
    • Asteroid fields