Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader – Character Creation Guide

Warhammer 40k: Rogue Trader presents players with enough character creation options to satisfy a real Rogue Trader, and that can be a little bit overwhelming. Especially given how important party composition and character stats and abilities can be in Rogue Trader, it is important to try to make sense of the many options you are presented when you create a character. Thankfully, this guide should help you make sense of the many decisions you can make during character creation.

To accommodate this, we will go step-by-step, going over each category of character creation to help you decide what kind of character you make, going into both lore and mechanical implications for each.

Your first and least consequential choice in Rogue Trader will be your character’s appearance. None of the choices made under appearance affect the mechanics or lore of your character; they are entire aesthetic, including your character’s gender, voice, and augmentations (I guess they are decorative).

warhammer 40k rogue trader character creation 1 appearance

While this choice doesn’t matter for gameplay or lore, you should still take your time to make your character look how you want – you’ll be seeing a lot of them over the coming 80+ hours. And don’t forget that you can add a custom portrait using any image, which might be a good first step before customizing your character’s appearance, so you can make sure they match.

Rogue Trader gives you 6 possible “Homeworld” options to choose from. These represent the kinds of worlds you are from, which defines your character’s starting feature, some characteristic modifiers, and the talents that will be available to them during progression. While there is lore behind each of these choices, we have not noticed any unique dialog choices pertaining to your character’s Homeworld.

warhammer 40k rogue trader character creation 2 homeworld

Characters from Death Worlds have grown up in dangerous, deadly environments that were never intended for human lives, yet managed to come out ahead (and alive, more importantly). To reflect that, Death World characters have a number of talents related to survival, as well as characteristic adjustments to reflect their difficult upbringing.

Both their Talent list and Characteristic modifiers lend themselves toward tanky, front-line characters, making them the best pick Warriors (and good picks for specialized Soldiers).

  • Strength +5
  • Toughness +5
  • Agility +5
  • Intelligence -5
  • Fellowship -5
  • Survival Instinct (Starting): This massive increase in survivability and damage avoidance makes Death World characters ideal front-line tanks and bruisers, and is one of the best starting talents.
  • Brutal Hunter: This situational talent can be useful for characters trying to maximize crits, such as snipers or melee warriors.
  • Trusty Weapons: This talent is useful in the early game for most characters, when axes and las weapons are the most common.
  • Wounded Beast: Since Death World characters make good bruisers, they tend to get wounded a lot; this improves their survivability even as they take damage, albeit marginally.
  • Hellish Life: This makes a surprisingly good late-game upgrade, as the damage types it covers become more common.
  • Tenacity: The ability to avoid stuns and debuffs and get temporary wounds instead is incredibly powerful.

Voidborn characters are those who were born on starships and space stations, away from gravity wells (and away from many of the most pressing dangers of the Imperium). Having better access to education and living in a less fraught environment has made them smarter and warp-touched, but has negatively impacted their strength.

The Willpower increase and several of the talents Voidborn get lead to them being very good Psykers, though they don’t need to be. As for their Archetype, Voidborn characters tend to make excellent Officers and decent Operatives. That said, Voidborn’s Fortune talent is so generally useful that there isn’t really a wrong choice for archetype.

  • Willpower +5
  • Intelligence +5
  • Strength -5
  • Fortune (Starting): Fortune is a massive general boost, letting characters with otherwise slim odds make the best of them. This is useful for any character in most situations, making Voidborn extremely versatile.
  • Bloody Mess: This Fallout reference makes critical hits have a small chance to deal even more massive damage. Super useful for snipers and melee users, who will be criting often.
  • Contagious Luck: This ability lets you transfer your Fortune ability to another character for 1 round simply by using an ability on them. For Officers, this ability is invaluable, essentially massively improving any buffs you apply to allies for no extra cost.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: Voidborn characters are squishy, and this ability counteracts that some. Granted, the low chance of the ability does make it less practical.
  • Jinx: Given that most Voidborn characters should be in the back-line, avoiding damage, this is a useful ability. When you are where you need to be, you’ll be granting buffs to allies. And, if you happen to end up in a bad place, you’ll be debuffing surrounding enemies. A situational talent, but a good one.
  • Be Smart: This skill can enable Voidborn to utilize many abilities and talents which are normally better for high Fellowship characters, including many that benefit officers, without having to invest in Fellowship itself, really opening up builds for Voidborns.

Hive World characters grew up in one of the sprawling hive worlds: massive, overpopulated slums built upon themselves. Characters from Hive Worlds, then, tend to be fast and social, able to navigate the complex web — both physical and social — of the hives.

Hive World characters have more complex builds that other characters, but their talents lend themselves well to being Warriors or Soldiers, as both can usually find themselves close to other (enemies for Warriors, allies for Soldiers). Their high Fellowship also makes them decent candidates for Officers. Overall, though, weak Talents make Hive World characters hard to recommend from a mechanical sense.

  • Fellowship +5
  • Agility +5
  • Willpower -5
  • Strength in Numbers (Starting): The most situational starting skill, Strength in Numbers is a good talent to build a character around — you either want to surround yourself with friends or enemies at all time, and doing so allows you to generate Momentum at an extreme rate.
  • Comradery: Since Hive World characters are unlikely to invest in Willpower, but almost always have high Fellowship, this is a great failsafe to make up, defensively, for that lack.
  • Outnumber: The enemy will almost always outnumber allies, making on part of this effect invalid, and other talents reduce melee superiority against being outnumbered more effectively, making this one of the only useless Homeworld talents.
  • Weapon Personalisation: A general, if slight, boost to nearly all firearms is very useful, making this a must-have for Hive World Soldiers.
  • Helping Hand: Increasing MP is valuable, improving mobility in combat, but this ability lends itself to moving away from allies, which goes against the rest of a Hive Worlder’s abilities.
  • Fresh Start: A +50% bonus to dodge means that most attacks of opportunity will miss, allowing you to freely traverse the battlefield. Very useful for Warriors who might want to charge but are locked in melee.

Forge Worlders are from the Mechanicus-controlled factory worlds, where life is tough and industrial. Unlike other characters, Forge World characters don’t get a single starting talent, but rather get to choose a general bonus (which amounts to a talent) from a short list (see Talents). Otherwise, Forge Worlders are usually tough and smart, but tend to lack when it comes to social skills.

Forge World characters are by far the most versatile characters, and can be made into effective characters regardless of archetype, with the right selection of Forge World bonus and talents.

Forge World characters have access to one of three mechanized systems, in place of the usual Starting Talent.

  • Subskin Armour: Granting extra armour is always useful for a front-liner like a Warrior.
  • Locomotion System: Getting extra MP is a huge bonus, and dodge helps as well. This is most useful for Soldiers and Operatives.
  • Analytics System: Increased Critical Hit chance will always favor the range-balanced Operatives the most.
  • Intelligence +5
  • Toughness +5
  • Fellowship -5
  • Pinnacle of Weaponry: An incredibly good weapon once you start getting plasma, melta, and power weapons in Chapter 2, this raw increase in damage is one of the highest in the game.
  • Fires of the Forge: While many enemies do use flame weapons, giving this Talent some use, it is very situational, and notably worse than other, broader talents.
  • Steel of the Forge: Since many Forge World characters (especially those that select Subskin Armour) will end up being pretty tough, improving that is always useful.
  • Persistence of the Forge: Against single enemies and known guaranteed opponents who you are critting often (which is a Warrior’s bread and butter), this is a very useful ability, vastly increasing survivability against bosses.
  • Calculated Relations: Forge World characters make decent “skill monkeys” because of their high Intelligence, but they become fantastic skill monkeys when they can cover social skills as well, using this talent.

Essentially the “default” character in the Imperium, a character from an Imperial World had a roughly average upbringing in the Imperium, with no special features marking them out. Being an everyman, Imperial World characters are good “blank slates” that can be built in a variety of ways.

Imperial World characters have more generic than specific abilities and talents, and are all but guaranteed to start the game without any especially low stats. Their Humanity’s Finest talent lets you build them in any way you see fit, including being a “jack of all trades” character. Somewhat paradoxically, Imperial World characters are best used with a specific build in mind that the other Homeworld options don’t provide, letting you move toward unorthodox play immediately.

In place of a set list of Characteristics, Imperial World characters get “Humanity’s Finest” as a starting Talent, allowing them to select one characteristic to boost by +10. This means that they don’t have any downsides, giving them the highest low stats and keeping them well-rounded, and let’s them pick a single characteristic to make higher than it is otherwise possible to get at this point.

  • Humanity’s Finest (Starting): Since +10 is the highest possible bonus you can get from your Homeworld, Humanity’s Finest lends itself to highly specialized builds.
  • Ready to Serve: Because of the two-way nature of this ability, basically any character can benefit from this build, but Officers and some specialized Psykers can take special advantage.
  • Better to Die for the Emperor: A huge increase while close to death, this trait is especially useful on higher difficulties, or for front-line characters. +10 to all characteristics is always huge, though it becomes less relevant later in the game.
  • Doing My Part: So long as you keep party composition in mind and avoid overlapping other Imperial World characters, this is a very useful ability that can give characters (especially Officers) what is essentially a free ability use.
  • Know no Heresy: A strange talent, this is very useful for a combat character once you get to the portions of the game where you’ll be encountering mostly daemons and xenos. However, it will mean that this character simply will not be able to make checks associated with those enemies in dialogue. Easy enough to mitigate, though.
  • Stronger Together: Another pick for those with party composition in mind, this is a broadly useful ability if your Humanity’s Finest pick was something universally useful like Agility or Toughness, and basically useless for less consistent Characteristics like Intelligence or Willpower.

Nobody in the 41st Millenia is a stranger to war, but Fortress World characters grew up on planets subsumed entirely by it. These characters are born into violence, and so naturally are the best at committing it.

Fortress World characters are, naturally, exceptionally good Soldiers, and make surprisingly good Operatives as well. They are deadly at range, but are surprisingly ineffective in melee, so Fortress World characters aren’t especially good Warriors, despite what you might thing.

  • Perception +5
  • Willpower +5
  • Fellowship -5
  • Never Stop Shooting (Starting): Never stop shooting is an excellent ability, really capitalizing on Soldier character’s who focus on taking out hordes of enemies. By the time you are mowing down 5+ enemies a turn in mid-game, you will be getting frequent free attacks, only furthering your barrages.
  • Combat Addict: A fantastic ability so long as you aren’t using this character as a skill monkey, this is essentially just a huge improvement to your combat stats when it matters, at a cost that can be ignored with good party composition.
  • Hail of Steel: Improving dodge constantly while also giving additional stacks of Never Stop Shooting for the action you’ll be doing most often? A Soldier’s best friend.
  • Familiar Kickback: More stacks of Never Stop Shooting doesn’t hurt, and it being reliant on damage can make this very useful for sniper Operatives.
  • Spare Magazine: With this upgrade, you will basically never need to worry about reloading except for during the longest combats in the game.
  • Never Stop Believing: This upgrade lets Never Stop Shooting keep stacking even after it procs, making those free attacks even more common.

A character’s Origin lets you refine them toward what you want them to be, granting them a special ability, a number of starting characteristic and skill bonuses, characteristic and skill advancements to take during progression, and talents. Different Origins also enable a few pieces unique dialogue, though we haven’t noticed any major content gated by Origin.

warhammer 40k rogue trader character creation 3 origin

Astra Militarum Commanders are former ground commanders of the Imperial Guard, making them excellent at ground combat and buffs.

Their Regimental Tactics, talents, and high Perception lend themselves to be good Officers, and they get they synergize well with Fortress World or Voidborn characters.

  • Starting:
    • Ballistic Skill +5
    • Perception +5
  • Advancement:
    • Perception +5
  • Starting:
    • Athletics +5
    • Medicae +5
  • Advancement:
    • Medicae +10
  • Regimental Tactics (Starting): Situational, but with good planning Regimental Tactics can be absolutely devastating, essentially increasing all damage for a turn. This is especially useful on Officers, who can control turn order.
  • Suppression Fire!: Improving Regimental Tactics to make attacks more likely to hit is as useful as you use the ability to begin with. It is always welcome, so long as it is getting used.
  • Field of Fire: Improved Rate of Fire isn’t the most useful ability to begin with, and it being limited by Regimental Tactics, no matter how often you use it, further limits it. There are better talents.
  • Timely Rescue: Useful for Officers who’s main focus is Momentum generation to proc Heroic Acts.
  • Unflinching Heroism: Similar to the above, this talent is contingent on regular Momentum generation and Heroic Act use, but is very powerful for officers who focus on those.
  • Shoulder to Shoulder: Situational and relatively minor, this ability is more useful on Commanders built as Soldiers than anything, which is a rarity.

Brutal Commissars are field officers who are known for “inspiring” their troops in combat, whether with an invigorating speech, or the threat of a bullet in the back.

Commissars tend to make excellent Soldiers and Warriors, and decent Operatives, being able to make use of their single-target talents to their full extent. Their high Fellowship means they benefit from a Hive World origin the most, but Fortress World Commissars are nearly as good.

  • Starting:
    • Weapon Skill +5
    • Fellowship +5
  • Advancement:
    • Fellowship +5
  • Starting:
    • Athletics +5
    • Coercion +5
  • Advancement:
    • Coercion +10
  • At All Costs! (Starting): This is an extremely useful ability, allowing you to essentially either get more actions directly out of a soldier
  • Duty and Honor: If you are going to shoot your own allies, you might as well make it effective. While not as effective as Officer abilities when it comes to adding AP and MP, this ability can stack with those to be even more brutally effective.
  • Show Them Contempt!: If your Commissar is a Warrior, and therefor often next to enemies, this can help ramp up Momentum rapidly, allowing you to unleash devastating Heroic Acts.
  • Motivation: While it is nice to further improve your MP increasing abilities, only gaining +2 is not typically worth it, except for on the most mobile allies.
  • Summary Execution: This can essentially let you get your main Commissar buff for free, with good planning. Very useful for high-damage builds.
  • For the Emperor!: If you are ever below 100 Momentum for more than a turn, then you are often better off aiming for Desperate Measures, but this will put you farther from it. Situationally useful, but it can be a hindrance.

Crime Lords are savvy vagabonds who have managed to cannily avoid Imperial prosecution for their crimes, while benefitting themselves by taking excess of the top.

Due to high Awareness and Perception and the tendency for Crime Lords to “Plan” with their talents, they tend to make superb Operatives. They also tend to benefit most from being Voidborn or from a Forge World.

  • Starting:
    • Weapon Skill +5
    • Perception +5
  • Advancement:
    • Perception +5
  • Starting:
    • Awareness +5
    • Logic +5
  • Advancement:
    • Awareness +10
  • Sure-Fire Plan (Starting): This versatile signature talent lets you get more damage, dodge/parry, or damage reduction at the start of combat, immediately putting you at an advantage. This works well for Operatives, but can be useful for Officers as well.
  • Killing Plan: Useful for Warriors or the rare melee-focused Operative, killing plan can boost damage while practically guaranteeing you keep some stacks of Sure-Fire Plan at the ready.
  • Escape Plan: An all-around useful ability, increasing your survivability by making sure enemies miss you with most of their attacks is always a safe bet.
  • Disorienting Plan: Very useful for Operatives, this can further increase your chance to hit, letting you even focus enemies even if they have high dodge. Probably the best Crime Lord talent.
  • Contingency Plan: This is a useful ability to pick up if you find yourself often expending all of your Sure-Fire Plans, a common occurrence during longer combats.
  • The Last Plan: As a contingency, this is one of the better ones, preventing you from dying to strong enemies and giving you one last chance to fight back. If you are knocked down, combat is likely nearing the end anyway, so the drawbacks are unlikely to be impactful.

Worship of the God Emperor is propagated by his loyal Ecclesiarchy, and Ministorum Priests are at the speartip of that. Priests are the most devout followers of the Emperor, and often rely on His power.

Counterintuitively, Ministorum Priests tend to make excellent Warriors and Soldiers, since they will be surrounded by or damaging enemies often. They also make decent Officers, due to their focus on generating momentum. Finally, they also make good Psykers, due to their focus on Willpower.

  • Starting:
    • Toughness +5
    • Willpower +5
  • Advancement:
    • Willpower +5
  • Starting:
    • Lore (Imperium) +5
    • Medicae +5
  • Advancement:
    • Lore (Imperium) +10
  • War-Hymn (Starting): This talent is very useful for Warriors who tend to be in the thick of combat, and for Soldiers whose burst first will tend to take out multiple enemies. Ministorum Priests make surprisingly good front-liners.
  • Litany of Purification: War-Hymn is a bread-and-butter ability, and so debuffing enemies when you use it can be a useful thing for a Warrior to do. It will rarely be the first talent you’ll pick up, but you’ll likely want it eventually.
  • Litany of Hatred: Litany of Hatred tends to be the most useful for Soldiers in squads with other ranged characters who they will typically stay near. This can end up being a huge damage increase for a round, and can often synergize with activating a Heroic Act for devastating effect.
  • Shield of Faith: This is an excellent ability for Officers thanks to the Resolve boost, but the increase to armour is too situational to be relied upon, making this a somewhat tough sell until daemons become more common enemies in the late game.
  • The Emperor Protects: Having, at most, a 10% chance (in mid-to-late game) to avoid an attack is basically nothing compared to a good dodge/parry stat. This is one of the weaker talents in the game.
  • Flensing Faith: A bit situational, as it requires you to be facing daemons and psykers for full effect (and xenos for half-effect), Flensing Faith makes up for that by being just incredibly strong against those enemies (who tend to be some of the strongest in the game).

Navy Officers, unlike other military officials, are backline powerhouses, directing huge fleets in massive battles, keeping ahead of the many enemies of mankind all the while.

What this means in practice is that Navy Officers make the best… well… Officers. While Navy Officers can sometimes make decent Warriors, their order-centric play should usually be made Officers, though they tend to be more melee-focused than other Officers. Hive World and Voidborn Homeworlds are often wise picks.

  • Starting:
    • Agility +5
    • Fellowship +5
  • Advancement:
    • Agility +5
  • Starting:
    • Commerce +5
    • Demolition +5
  • Advancement:
    • Demolition +10
  • Brace for Impact (Starting): One of the best survivability powers in the game, a sufficiently-leveled Navy Officer can essentially prevent a chunk of their team from taking significant damage even during an onslaught.
  • Do Not Falter!: Very useful for melee-oriented Navy Officers in the early game, this talent falls to the wayside once most melee-focused allies get other talents to prevent melee superiority.
  • Scatter!: Fairly situational, this ability can allow your allies to flee from enemies in relative safety. Combined with Hive World Homeworld’s Fresh Start, this talent can make your team all but immune to Attacks of Opportunity, opening up unique opportunities.
  • Perfect Timing: Cover penetration can be useful, but it isn’t the most exciting upgrade. More useful against hordes of humanoids, this is a good ability for parties with several Soldiers.
  • Get off Me!: Useful for Officers and Soldiers who tend to stay near the front lines, this is a live saver ability that can get melee enemies back into range for your guns.
  • Get Into Cover!: If you find yourself often put into precarious situations where you need extra movement, this can be useful, but it tends to be less effective than other talents.

The Imperium functions on strict social hierarchies, and at the top of those hierarchies for most non-military personnel (not count Rogue Traders) are nobles. These socialites tend to be skill powerhouses.

Nobles can be built in any direction, but tend to make good back-line characters like Operatives or Officers. Hive World and Imperial World characters can take the best advantage of Noble talents, but Nobles tend to be the most likely characters to be social skill monkeys, and aren’t always the most combat-proficient. Typically, though, a noble’s servant’s build is more important than the noble themselves.

  • Starting:
    • Intelligence +5
    • Fellowship +5
  • Advancement:
    • Fellowship +5
  • Starting:
    • Coercion +5
    • Persuasion +5
  • Advancement:
    • Persuasion +10
  • You. Serve Me. (Starting): Because this ability boosts your “servant” when you buff them, Officers and some Operatives get the most use out of this talent, and the damage buff is good so long as you ensure you always work in tandem with your servant.
  • You. Do Something: An extra AP is nothing to shrug at, though there are too many abilities which can grant that for this to be high priority.
  • You. Protect Me.: With clever positioning, easy enough to do if your servant is a Soldier, you can reliably gain temporary wounds every single round, making this one of the best temporary-wound-granting talents.
  • You. Go On.: Extra movement doesn’t hurt. This is most useful if your servant is a Warrior.
  • You. Kill It.: Any talent that relies on a Noble character taking damage, and on the servant being able to respond without thwarting it, is probably not a very good talent.
  • You. You Are Next.: Giving you versatility, this can be a useful talent to have in order to adjust your strategy on the battlefield to changing situations, making this especially useful on Warrior servants and on higher difficulties.

Psykers, those with incredibly abilities granted by the warp, are heavily regulated and scrutinized by the Imperium, and that is because their magic is dangerous to both their enemies and themselves. A technically complex character, Psykers are a good choice for those who like playing spellcasters.

Psykers are practically their own beast on the battlefield, and can be built into any archetype depending on their specialty (see below). Psykers rely hugely on Willpower, meaning Voidborn and Fortress World characters will get the most out of them (especially Voidborn).

See Sanctioned Psyker below for more details.

  • Starting:
    • Toughness +5
    • Willpower +5
  • Advancement:
    • Willpower +5
  • Starting:
    • Lore (Warp) +5
    • Carouse +5
  • Advancement:
    • Lore (Warp) +10

Psykers can select a type of psychic power to focus on. To save space, this section will just go over the basics and recommendations for each type, not delve into every talent:

  • Biomancer: Biomancers focus on buffs and personal power. They are best built as Warriors (that buff themselves) or Officers (that buff others).
  • Diviner: Diviners are primarily defensive characters, making them effective Operatives and decent Officers.
  • Pyromancer: Pyromancers cause significant direct damage, and so make good Soldiers and Operatives.
  • Santic: Santic psykers buff allies en masse, and should almost always be Officers.
  • Telepath: Telepaths exert battlefield control and deal good damage, and so make good Operatives.
  • Sanctioned Psyker and Psy Rating 0. (Starting): These combined allow you to use Psychic powers, and to avoid the most dangerous Perils of the Warp.
  • Psy Rating 1-4: Unless you only want to use Psychic powers to fuel another build, upgrading your Psy Rating is very useful, as each rank will greatly improve the strength of your powers.
  • Still Mind: Increased resolve is useful for Officer psykers, but Psykers tend to be characters that keep Veil Degradation up, making this talent a bit moot.
  • Inscribed Soul: For higher difficulties where an unlucky Peril of the Warp could mean game over, this can be a worth sacrifice. In lower difficulties, it usually isn’t.
  • Sacred Rituals: A slight chance to get an extra AP (which usually won’t be able to be spent on an attack) is not typically useful.
  • Blade of Light: This is a must-have for Warrior and other melee-centric Psykers, and is still pretty useful for back-line Psykers.
  • Enforce Reality: A good way to keep Veil Degradation in check if it is a common threat.
  • Psychic Barrage: Excellent for back-line psykers and Soldiers, this is a nice chunk of damage for the right build.
  • Second Sight: For back-line psykers, increasing your range is vital. Syngergizes well with Psychic Barrage.
  • Stabilising Factor: A must-have for higher difficulties, this talent can be the difference between an incursion ending your game versus you conquering your enemies.
  • Subtle Manipulation: Basically essential for Warrior psykers, this is basically useless for psykers who are meant to stay behind the front lines.
  • Obscured Threat: Most psykers tend to be behind cover for most combats, making this a universally useful talent so long as you are making good use of status effects.

All Origins have the same three Triumph choices, though they each have unique flavor text and slightly differing dialog when relevant. These are not especially impactful, but do provide a bit more backstory to your character and does generate unique dialog. The choices of Triumphs are as follows:

  • Apex of Brilliance: These Triumphs focus on personal accomplishment accomplished with wit and cunning.
  • Illustrious Glory: The Triumphs are all about earning glory due to high skill and daring behavior.
  • Feat of Greatness: These Triumphs center upon resolve and personal endurance surpassing officers.
warhammer 40k rogue trader character creation 4 triumph

Like Triumphs, there are three kinds of Darkest Hours with unique flavor text depending on a character’s Origin. Also similar, they only provide backstory and allow a few unique dialog choices. The choices of Darkest Hours are as follows:

  • Grim Portents: These Darkest Hours have to do with mental scars obtained from witnessing otherworldly horrors.
  • Brand of Shame: These Darkest Hours all relate to personal failings and regrets leading to humiliation.
  • Shadow of Torment: These Darkest Hours come from a character’s traumas and physical tortures caused by adversaries.
warhammer 40k rogue trader character creation 5 darkest hour

Archetypes dictate your progression and many of your abilities as a Rogue Trader. There are three tiers, though all characters start in the first tier of Archetypes, having 4 choices, but these each branch out into 3 possible Tier-2 choices (out of 6) down the line. All Archetypes eventually reconverge into the Tier-3 “Expemplar” archetype in the endgame.

warhammer 40k rogue trader character creation 6 archetype

During character creation, all you should worry about is what Tier-1 Archetype you want to focus on. This will dictate your progression, what characteristics and skills you can progress in that progression, give you a unique abilities, and lead toward 3 possible Tier-2 Archetypes which you will select as you enter the mid-game. Below, we will provide a brief overview of the 4 archetypes, their playstyles, and some basic build ideas.

Warriors are front-line melee brawlers. Their Charge ability makes them the best at ranged combat by default, and they often end up being the tankiest, toughest members of any given party.

You should play a Warrior if you want to be in the front lines, often dealing with the largest things on the field, and dealing massive single-target damage.

A Warrior’s Charge ability allows them to close gaps quickly to deal massive melee damage to enemies, while also keeping them cutting them off from squishier allies.

Daring Breach, the Warrior’s Heroic Act/Desperate Measure, is incredibly powerful, letting you move and attack in an onslaught of blows, cutting swaths through the enemy.

  • Weapon Skill
  • Strength
  • Toughness
  • Agility
  • Carouse
  • Athletics
  • Coercion
  • Demolition
  • Medicae
  • Assassin: Those wanting to build toward assassin should prioritize high damage, high crit rate, and high movement.
  • Vanguard: Those wanting to build toward Vanguard should prioritize defense (armour, dodge, parry), aggro grabbing, temporary wounds
  • Arch-Militant: Those wanting to build toward Arch-Militant should build toward AOE effects, weapon specializations, and dual wielding.

While officers can be capable fighters in either melee or ranged themselves, they are most useful for the huge buffs they can provide to their team. They set up other characters so that their team can win the battle, and can organize the battlefield to ensure that happens.

Voice of Command is one of the most powerful abilities in the game, giving a gigantic upgrade to any ally it targets. Meanwhile, Bring it Down! can capitalize on this and other buffs and good positioning by giving immediate actions to an ally who can do the most good, exerting control over the battlefield.

As a Heroic Act/Desperate Measure, Finest Hour! is incredibly powerful, as it can be used to enable any ally in sight to immediately take a turn, allowing for decisive and strategic maneuvers that can cut off dangerous enemy attacks and positions.

  • Fellowship
  • Willpower
  • Toughness
  • Weapon Skill
  • Ballistic Skill
  • Persuasion
  • Commerce
  • Coercion
  • Carouse
  • Lore (Imperium)
  • Vanguard: Those wanting to build toward Vanguard should prioritize defense (armour, dodge, parry), aggro grabbing, temporary wounds
  • Master Tactician: Those wanting to build toward Master Tactician should prioritize resolve, momentum generation, and heroic act buffs.
  • Grand Strategist: Those wanting to build toward Grand Strategist should prioritize movement, stacking buffs, and enemy debuffs.

The primary playstyle of Operatives sees them stacking disadvantages onto enemies in order to activate them at the right time to cripple them. They tend to be squishier and make the best snipers of the team, but their primary utility is setting up the rest of the team. Psykers tend toward this Archetype slightly.

Analyse Enemies is a powerful ability that relies on the snowball effect and smart use of Exploits as a resource. You should stack Exploits onto the most dangerous enemies on the field in order to help your retinue destroy them, and proc your other abilities to ensure that happens. This requires careful and tactical play.

Dismantling Attack as a Heroic Act/Desperate Measure is more strategic than other similar abilities, in that it usually doesn’t pay off immediately. The guaranteed hit and mass-stacking of exploits, however, can really help turn the tide of battle, furthering that “snowballing” playstyle.

  • Intelligence
  • Perception
  • Weapon Skill
  • Ballistic Skill
  • Awareness
  • Medicae
  • Tech-Use
  • Logic
  • Lore (Imperium)
  • Lore (Xenos)
  • Assassin: Those wanting to build toward assassin should prioritize high damage, high crit rate, and high movement.
  • Bounty Hunter: Those wanting to build toward Bounty Hunter should focus on single-target damage, critical hits, and movement.
  • Grand Strategist: Those wanting to build toward Grand Strategist should prioritize movement, stacking buffs, and enemy debuffs.

Soldiers are the gunners of the game. Universally skilled at picking targets off at range — whether they be single targets or groups — Soldiers dominate the battlefield and are likely to get the most kills in any given encounter, cutting through enemies like butter.

Run and Gun allows Soldiers to get a little bit more bang out of their buck, allowing them the opportunity to attack a second time in a turn for a price, making them invaluable at finishing enemies off. Revel in Slaughter, likewise, rewards the high kill-counts that Soldiers should be attaining.

Firearm Mastery as a Heroic Act/Desperate Measure can be extremely effective on a soldier with a high Rate of Fire weapon, and can be used to clear out huge hordes or giant chunks of a health bar in a single go, from a safe distance.

  • Ballistic Skill
  • Agility
  • Perception
  • Strength
  • Awareness
  • Demolition
  • Athletics
  • Medicae
  • Bounty Hunter: Those wanting to build toward Bounty Hunter should focus on single-target damage, critical hits, and movement.
  • Master Tactician: Those wanting to build toward Master Tactician should prioritize resolve, momentum generation, and heroic act buffs.
  • Arch-Militant: Those wanting to build toward Arch-Militant should build toward AOE effects, weapon specializations, and dual wielding.

To wrap up Character Creation, all you need to do is assign 30 points to any of your 9 Characteristics. These are assigned 5 at a time, with each Characteristic able to be upgraded by 10 points maximum. These points stack on to the other bonuses you received from your Homeworld and Origin. Typically, you will want to maximize your best and most importance characteristics rather than try to spread the points around, as Rogue Trader is a game which rewards specialization.

warhammer 40k rogue trader character creation 7 characteristics

The Characteristics you can upgrade are as follows:

  • Weapon Skill
  • Ballistic Skill
  • Strength
  • Toughness
  • Agility
  • Intelligence
  • Perception
  • Willpower
  • Fellowship

As a bit of fluff, you get to select the name of your Voidship here. This has no bearing on the game itself, and doesn’t really make sense if you think about it (why are you naming a ship you don’t yet own, which has been around for thousands of years?), but this is 40k, so don’t think about it too hard.

warhammer 40k rogue trader character creation 8 voidship

After you’ve named your Voidship, you will have completed character creation. Hopefully this guide was helpful for you to make the best character possible, and has set you up for huge success as a fledgling Rogue Trader. Good luck out there, you’re going to need it if you are going to survive a galaxy filled with only war.

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Graves
Graves

Graves is an avid writer, web designer, and gamer, with more ideas than he could hope to achieve in a lifetime. But, armed with a mug of coffee and an overactive imagination, he'll try. When he isn't working on a creative project, he is painting miniatures, reading cheesy sci-fi novels, or making music.

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