Rogue Trader 2nd Edition Character Creation


For the sake of everyone’s sanity (especially mine), we will be using the Character Creation of Dark Heresy Second Edition™ as the base template of, well, Character Creation in Rogue Trader. Please note that I will also be covering and accepting content from the Enemies Within, Without and Beyond splatbooks with regards to Character Creation Choices, so there may be portions of the details which will only make sense if you also use that resource.

Keep in mind that Rogue Trader is unique amongst the other Warhammer RPG sets as the game can be split between being “On Foot” and commanding the different roles in your ship, so choose wisely! With that in mind, some of the new options are only relevant when you’re in your ship, but are quite strong compared to the more “Personal” bonuses. In addition, I’ve added a few options with regards to the usage and protection of Profit Factor, as it’s a shared Characteristic.

Below is a quick summary of the items that will be discussed in this page:

1. Homeworld Selection – With added variants

2. Background – Also with added variants and some new ones

3. Role – Mostly new ones related to your ship

4. Ship Role – Unique to Rogue Trader, everybody gets one for free at the Character Creation, with the option of purchasing additional ones

5. Elite Advances – Pretty much devoted to the Astropath Transcendent and Navigator Elite Advances

Homeworld Selection

You can select any Homeworld from the Dark Heresy Second Edition as per normal, but below are mutator options that may be more in line with the varied characters of the Rogue Trader Setting which you may choose or violently protest as unjustly as you wish. Only sections which change in the selections are noted in below.

Note that due to the nature of Profit Factor (the equivalent of Influence) being a shared resource rather than separate, discrete values amongst characters, any Characteristic bonus to Influence as noted in Character Creation (aka Highborn or some other new Homeworld) can be replaced with any other Characteristic as you wish.

Agri World – Ocean World

Hailing from the many worlds in the Imperium which harvest the generous bounties of their endless seas, such as Spectoris, you bring with you knowledge of tides and currents

Homeworld Bonus – Strength from the Sea

Gain a +10 Bonus to Athletics, Navigation and Survival Tests which pertain to bodies of water or similar terrain

Feral World

Feudal World

Forge World – Factor

Chosen as one of the rare diplomats and representatives of the Mechanicus to the highborn classes or unfamiliar cultures which may find offense with the Omnissiah’s bionic blessings, you have been taught and inducted into the proper arts of the nutrient cycling of fermented drinks and other information that is considered valuable by those less enlightened by the Machine God

Homeworld Bonus – Modesty of the True Flesh
Considered scandalous by many in the Martian Priesthood, the Factors are educated in the art of “life-like” flesh grafts and miniaturized prosthesis, making their blessed augments appealing to the eyes of lesser beings

Whenever you gain or create cybernetic enhancements, you can choose to modify them to look natural, less mechanical or more difficult to detect with technological approaches, resulting in a -20 to Tests to identify or spot the augmentations.

Frontier World

Highborn – Scion of the Dynasty

No matter how far you may be from the Line of Succession, the near-limitless resources of a Rogue Trader Dynasty affords all sons and daughters unimaginable wealth and luxury

Homeworld Bonus – Cost is no Object
The wealth of the Dynasty is so vast that even acquisitions that would beggar nobles are but mere numbers written by their legions of scribes

For a number of times per session equal to your Profit Factor Bonus, whenever you make an Acquisition Test, you can choose not to suffer from penalties due to Multiple Acquisition Tests as listed in Into the Storm page 222

Hive World – Gunmetallican

Hailing from the bullet-riddled alleys and pockmarked roads of Gunmetal City, you live and die by the firearms at your side

Homeworld Bonus – Way of the Gun
Disdaining the “simplicity” of las or energy weapons, you have become deadly in the art of sending metal death to your targets.

Gain a +5 to Ballistic Skill tests and automatically succeed in any unjamming test for Solid Projectile Weapons.

Homeworld Penalty – Packing Iron
Gunmetallicans invest great store in their guns, investing a sense of self-worth and almost supernatural qualities of protection in them

If left unarmed or out of ammunition with a Solid Projectile Weapon for any reason, you take a -5 to all Tests.

Shrine World

Void Born – Battlefleet

Born, recruited or press ganged into the Imperial Navy may be the only chance many have of leaving their old lives, as artificial air, ship quakes and claustrophobic corridors become their new reality

Homeworld Bonus – Officer on Deck
Accustomed to the noise and activity of a ship in combat alert, your skill and expertise is invaluable in leading the crew whatever your post

Gain a +5 to all Tests related to operating the ship or commanding the crew

Homeworld Penalty – Ship-born fighter
Unaccustomed to the environs of “dirtside”, you find the wide open spaces and missing ceiling to be disorienting

When on planets or similarly open areas, suffer a -2 to Initiative Tests and double the penalties for Long and Extreme Range

Void Born – Footfallen

Making ends meet in what can be called the last bastion of order in the frontiers of the Koronus Expanse is difficult at best, but the skills, and some would say tolerance, of dealing with criminals or Emperor forbid, Xenos, is an ability in high demand by many Rogue Traders

Homeworld Bonus – Port of Call
The sights and stench of stations in the void bring a welcome familiarity to you, as doors suddenly open and loose gossip comes easily to your ears

Whenever docked in a space station, foreign vessel or similar environs, you count as having the Clues from the Crowds and Contact Network Talents

Homeworld Penalty – Wide Notoriety
Your travels and wide correspondence can at times bring trouble as certain parties would rather that you be thrown out the other side of an airlock, ideally without a voidsuit

You count as having the Rival Talent with a single group in any such location you visit

Background Selection

You can select any Background from the Dark Heresy Second Edition as per normal, but below are mutator options that may be more in line with the varied characters of the Rogue Trader Setting which you may choose or violently protest as unjustly as you wish. Only sections which change in the selections are noted in below

Adeptus Administratum – Imperial Exchequer

Handling the dizzying numbers related to the Imperial Tithe for decades on end has driven lesser men mad, but you have held true to your faith and sanity. Now, your ability to handle such wealth efficiently (and perhaps with tolerable “losses”) has become indispensable to Nobles and Rogue Traders alike

Background Bonus – Balanced Ledger
Your ability to move Thrones and resources efficiently results in assets that are protected from financial harm

Choose a number of items, personnel or wargear equal to your Intelligence Bonus or Profit Factor Bonus, whichever is higher. These items are exempt from any Upkeep Tests. Ships and Components are too expensive to be protected in this manner!

Adeptus Mechanicus – Basilikon Astra

A member of the cult in the Mechanicus that constructs and operates the Imperium’s spaceborne vessels, your expertise and knowledge of the proper Rites of Maintenance and Repair are indispensable to any who ply the voids between stars

Background Bonus – Cult of Shipwrights
Such is your skill that even a gutted ship bleeding plasma into the void can be brought back from the brink of destruction

When rolling for Extended Repairs, a successful test restores 1d5 Hull Integrity plus your Intelligence Bonus. Furthermore, Repairs done in starports and other appropriate facilities do not suffer the -10 to Acquisition rests for every five Hull Integrity repaired.

Adeptus Ministorum – Missionarus Galaxia

A member of the division in the Ministorum dedicated to bringing the light of the God-Emperor to the scattered worlds outside of the Imperium’s reach, they have been instructed in the varied cultural customs and mores that they will most likely encounter in their holy duties

Background Bonus – Shepherd of the Stray
The Ministorum has taught you well, skillfully drawing parallels with the native beliefs to lead them to the one true faith of Mankind

When dealing with non-hostile human groups outside of the Imperium, you never suffer worse than a Difficult (-10) modifier to any Acquisition or Interaction Test.

Outsider – Cold Trader

An active or perhaps “retired” smuggler, your ability to hide tons of contraband in spaces no one will look for in a vessel can be of use to Rogue Traders who are quite comfortable with a liberal interpretation of their Warrant

Background Bonus – Hidden Cache
Many vessels have abandoned or forgotten passages, easily reappropriated for clandestine use

You can hide a number of items equal to 10% of your current vessel’s total cargo space (rounded up) from easy detection, granting a -20 to Tests to find such places or items. This can also be used to hide people or rooms at the Game Master’s discretion.

Role Selection

You can select any Role from the Dark Heresy Second Edition as per normal, but below are new and modified options which are more direct fits to the gameplay of Rogue Trader. For the sake of simplicity and balance, aside from the Astropath and the Navigator Roles, all other Roles listed can be “slotted in” to any other existing Role in Dark Heresy Second Edition, simply replacing the default Role Bonus with the one listed. This represents the varied lives and experiences that most people in the employ of the Rogue Trader have, especially the Rogue Trader himself, whose origins can be quite colourful indeed.

Arch Militant – Weapon Master

Choose one of the following Weapon Classes: Basic, Heavy, Melee Pistol and Thrown. When Trained and using such a weapon, you gain +10 to Hit, +2 to Damage rolls and a +2 to Initiative rolls. However, you suffer the same bonuses as penalties if wielding any of the other listed Classes. Role Bonus does not apply to Mounted Class weapons.

Astropath Transcendent – Voice of the Choir (Mystic Role)

Starts with the Astropath Transcendent Elite Advance for free

Enginseer – All She’s Got

In addition to the usual uses of Fate Points, an Enginseer may spend a Fate Point to automatically succeed on any Tech Use Test with a number of Degrees of Success equal to their Intelligence Bonus as listed in the Extended Actions table in the Rogue Trader Core Rulebook page 217 or any other Extended Action or out-of combat action as allowed by the GM. Can apply to Extended Repairs! (See Rogue Trader Core Rulebook page 228)

Navigator – Third Eye (Mystic Role)

Starts with the Navigator Elite Advance for free

Rogue Trader – Leverage

In addition to the usual uses of Fate Points, the Rogue Trader can spend a Fate Point to use Profit Factor as the Characteristic for a Test

Senechal – Negotiator

In addition to the usual uses of Fate Points, a Senechal can a spend Fate Point to automatically succeed on a Commerce Test with a number of Degrees of Success equal to the higher of their Intelligence or Fellowship Bonus.

Smuggler – Fast Hands and and Sly Tongue

In addition to the usual uses of Fate Points, a Smuggler may spend a Fate Point to automatically succeed on a Deceive or Sleight of Hand Test, with a number of Degrees of Success equal to their Fellowship or Agility Bonus respectively.

Void Master

Variants are listed below, choose only one Role Bonus

Ace Pilot

In addition to the usual uses of Fate Points, a Void Master piloting an aircraft or voidcraft may spend a Fate Point to automatically succeed on an Operate (Aeronotica) Test, with a number of Degrees of Success equal to their Agility Bonus.

Also, when acting as Commander to a Wing, they may spend a Fate Point to automatically succeed on a Command Test, with a number of Degrees of Success equal to their Fellowship Bonus

Master Auger

In addition to the usual uses of Fate Points, a Void Master may spend a Fate Point to do one the following:

  • Automatically succeed on any Detection Test, with a number of Degrees of Success equal to their Perception Bonus.
  • Prevent Surprise during Ship Combat or similar situations
  • Roll 10 on the Initiative in Ship Combat

Master Helmsman

In addition to the usual uses of Fate Points, a Void Master may spend a Fate Point to automatically succeed on an Operate (Voidship) Test, with a number of Degrees of Success equal to their Intelligence Bonus

Master Gunner

In addition to the usual uses of Fate Points, as an Extended Action, a Void Master may spend a Fate Point to re-roll a number of Ballistic Skill Tests by their ship equal to their Ballistic Skill Bonus for one Strategic Round. These can be rolls done by either their fellow Characters or by the crew.

Ship Roles

This section is dedicated to a unique feature of Rogue Trader introduced in the Into the Storm expansion book: Ship Roles. Every character starts with one free Ship Role (even without meeting the requirements!) and can purchase additional ones at the costs listed below, so long as they also meet the requirements:

Rank 1 = 400 XP
Rank 2 = 300 XP
Rank 3 = 200 XP
Rank 4 = 100 XP

A Character can only ever assume a single Ship Role at a time, but they can change which Ship Role they will be in. In Ship Combat, switching roles takes up an Extended Action for a Character or once per scene if it ever becomes relevant. Note that while it is possible for two or more Characters to be in the same Ship Role at a time, the bonuses do not stack and instead the Characters enjoy the benefits separately, unless stated otherwise. This may be interesting in roleplay, such as your ship having two Lord Captains as tradition demands!

While it isn’t mandatory to take up a Ship Role to contribute to the ship’s operations, they do provide bonuses which may be vital to the ventures of a Rogue Trader and their loyal compatriots.

On a final note, unless stated otherwise, you do not enjoy the benefits of your Ship Role outside your ship!

Rank 1

The highest Rank is given only to the Lord-Captain, who is subservient to no one, save the Rogue Trader themselves

Lord-Captain – Master and Commander

Once per Strategic Round, Round or Scene as a Free Action, the Lord-Captain may allow another Character or crew member to use their Role Bonus, while losing access to it themselves. The Lord-Captain or the recipient can pay the standard costs, such as a Fate Point for example. Obviously this doesn’t apply to the likes of the Mystic Role bonus and such.

Rank 2

Composed of the Lord-Captain’s immediate seconds and vital command crew, they assist in the general command of the ship

Enginseer Prime – Master Shipwright (Trained in Tech Use required!)

Gains a +10 bonus to all Intelligence Tests when dealing with the ship. In addition, a ship is allowed to perform Extended Repairs (Rogue Trader page 228) 1 more time before needing resupply and proper repair. Number of times repairs can be done cannot be increased by adding more Characters into the Ship Role!

First Officer – Their Right Hand

Counts as being Trained in the Command Skill while dealing with their ship’s crew. Furthermore, they do not suffer penalties for Tests dealing with the crew due to low Morale (Rogue Trader Core Rulebook page 224). This works outside the ship so long as you are still dealing with the crew.

High Factotum – Master of Coin (Trained in Commerce required!)

Whenever the Characters suffer a Misfortune (Rogue Trader page 284-284) or Unwanted Attention (Into the Storm page 222-223), reduce the result by 10 for every Character in this Ship Role. This works even when outside the ship.

Rank 3

Composed of experts in their field, they are to whom the vital functions of the vessel is reliant on

Chief Chirurgeon – Triage Logistician (Trained in Medicae required!)

Gain a +10 to Medicae Tests when dealing with the ship’s crew. Only works when on the ship and/ or dealing with the crew.

Choir-Master Telepathica – Master of Voices (Astropath Transcendent only!)

Increase the range of the Astral Telepathy Psychic Power by one step. Only works when on the ship, and not outside it!

Flight Deck Commander (Trained in Command or Tech Use Required!)

When preparing Squadrons, you can prepare an additional two Squadrons regardless of the result of the test. This is in addition to the maximum that Launch Bays can normally prepare. You must be in the ship to benefit from this Ship Role!

Master of Aetherics (Trained in Scrutiny required!)

Detection tests can be made up to 30 VU away without penalties instead of 20 VU. In addition, the Focused Augury Extended Action always reveals all Weapons, Void Shields and other combat-related Components.

Master-at-Arms (Trained in Command required!)

When conducting a Hit and Run Extended Action, you also deal 1 Crew Population damage, plus one for every other Degree of Success after the first.

Master Helmsman (Trained in Operate (Voidship) required!)

All Manoeuvre Actions are one step less difficult (Where applicable)

Master of Ordinance

When performing the Lock on Target Extended Action, you can add the bonus to a number of Weapon Components equal to your Ballistic Skill Bonus. Conversely, you can instead add +5 for every degree of success to a single Weapon Component’s attack roll

Master of Whispers (Trained in Deceive and Inquiry required!)

Once per Session, the Master of Whispers can spend one day and a successful +0 Inquiry Test reveals the exact Morale level of the crew. In addition, a successful Disinformation Extended Action grants 1d10 bonus Morale instead of 1d5 for the duration of Combat or a day. Successive uses of Disinformation in a single day inflicts an additional -10 to the Test

Warp Guide (Navigator only!)

Once per roll on the Warp Travel Encounters (Rogue Trader Core Rulebook page 186), you may roll a Navigate (Warp) with a penalty of 5 x the number of steps the result is from All’s Well (example, with a Shoals and Reefs result, that would be a 5 × 5 = -25 Modifier). On a success, you automatically change the result to All’s Well

Wing Commander (Trained in Command and Operate (Aeronotica) required!)

You can use your Command Skill for one other Wing or Squadron within 10 VU of your location for free. You must be in the ship or piloting an air or voidcraft to use this bonus

Rank 4

Officers most involved with the day to day operation of the ship, they are intimately familiar with the vessel’s crew

Carto-Artifex Trained in Trade (Astromancer) required!)

Can create and store maps with a successful Trade (Astromancer) Test, wherein the roll can be modified depending on the route. When using such maps, Navigation (Warp) rolls are one step easier

Chief Bosun (Trained in Command required!)

With a successful Put your Back Into It! Extended Action, you can add the +5 bonus to a Ballistic Skill, Emergency Repairs and firefighting roll instead of just one of the three.

Drivemaster (Trained in Tech-Use required!)

When performing the Flank Speed Extended Action, engines will only be Crippled on four degrees of failure

Infernus Master (Trained in Command required!)

When fighting fires on the ship, a failed test prevents the fire from spreading for one Strategic Turn. The fire will still spread the next Strategic Turn with another failed test however!

Master of the Vox (Trained in Tech-Use required!)

Can resist the effect of the Jam Communications Extended Action or similar technological effect with a successful Tech Use Test

Omnissianic Congregator (Trained in Tech-Use required!)

Once per Session, the Omnissianic Congregator can spend one day and a successful +0 Tech-Use Test reveals the exact Hull Points of the ship. When performing the Emergency Repairs Extended Action, they can attempt to repair two damaged, depressurized or unpowered Components with a total -20 to the Tech Use test

Purser (Trained in Commerce required!)

You can temporarily reduce Profit Factor for a consummate increase Crew Morale while in port or similar facilities. This can increase Crew Morale over 100, and lasts for one month

Ship Confessor (Trained in Charm or Intimidate required!)

When performing the Hold Fast! Extended Action, they can use their Charm or Intimidate skill instead of Willpower

Ship Steward

You can choose to ration supplies, doubling your effective supplies, but suffering 1d10 Crew Morale damage per month which cannot be recovered until the rationing stops. Announcement of rationing automatically deals 1d5 Crew Morale damage

Twistcatcher (Trained in Survival and Scrutiny required!)

As a special Extended Action, they can perform a raid on the lower decks, capturing deserters or mutants. On a successful Command Test, regain 1d10 Crew Population, but reduce Morale by 1d5.

New Elite Advances

This section is pretty much dedicated to the Navigator and Astropath Classes from Rogue Trader.

Astropath Transcendent – 300XP

Having endured the ritual of Soul Binding, you soul is even more connected to the immortal grace of the Emperor compared to those who survived Sanctioning. Though the ritual has left you permanently scarred, your psychic senses have been refined, with the ability to (relatively) safely send and receive psychic messages for your kin


  • Identical to the Psyker Elite Advance
  • Character Creation Only

Instant Changes

  • Identical to the Psyker Elite Advance, with the following changes:
    • Instead of the Sanctioned Trait, you gain the Soul Bound Trait as described in Dark Heresy Second Edition page 138, but you automatically gain the Blind Trait. An Astropath Transcendent is blind yet at the same time has a strange ability to perceive without using his physical senses. An Astropath Transcendent is functionally treated as if he can see normally (including seeing colours and being limited by walls, etc.). However, Astropaths Transcendent are not affected by effects that target their vision, such as blind grenades and cameleoline. They are, however, completely incapable of seeing Untouchables.
    • Automatically gain the Astral Telepathy power as described in Rogue Trader Core Rulebook page 162-163
    • You can purchase Astropathic Dedications in page 22 of the Navis Primer splatbook

Other References and Notes

  • With regards to Astral Telepathy, the new rules are in page 42 of the Navis Primer splatbook!
  • Regarding access of Psychic Powers and Disciplines:
    • Yes, you follow the rules of the Dark Heresy Second Edition with regards to Psychic Powers.
    • No, you do not have access to the Psychic Powers as listed in the Rogue Trader Core Rulebook (Dark Heresy takes precedence)
    • Rogue Trader Psychic Powers and Disciplines you are allowed to use are listed in the next section. Disregard and ignore the listed initial Powers and Basic Techniques listed in the relevant Disciplines, and focus only on the actual Psychic powers.
  • Allowed Rogue Trader Psychic Powers
    • Theosophamy (Into the Storm page 197)
    • Voidfrost (Navis Primer page 92)
    • Soul Ward (Navis Primer page 96)
  • Players wishing to play as a Astropath Transcendent are advised to refer to the following resources:
    • Rogue Trader Core Rulebook – for fluff and general abilities
    • Into the Storm – for Ship Extended Actions they can perform in combat or other situations
    • Navis Primer – their expansion splatbook with extra stuff
    • Rogue Trader Errata as certain Powers have been corrected and clarified

Navigator – 300 XP

Born into one of the Great Houses, yours is a lineage separate from the rest of humanity as you have the power to stare into the Warp and manipulate it without fear of madness through your Third Eye. But such gifts come with a price as your body and soul slowly inevitably succumbs to mutation and corruption


  • 40 Perception
  • Character Creation Only

Instant Changes – Most of these are further described in the Rogue Trader Core Rulebook Chapter VII

  • Gain Initial Mutation as listed
  • Choose one Lineage as listed
  • Gain Lidless Eye as your Starting Navigator Power

Navigator Powers

  • You gain the Navigator Power Lidless eye as your initial Navigator Power
  • Navigator Powers work as described in the Rogue Trader Core Rulebook
  • Yes, you can choose other Navigator Powers as listed in the expension splats
  • Gaining Navigator Powers are different to stay in line with the Second Edition rules:
    • XP costs for the Novice, Adept and Master levels of a Navigator Power are 300, 400 and 500 respectively
    • Yes, you can gain as many Navigator Powers as you wish, just remember that everytime you do, you Test for mutations as listed in Rogue Trader Core Rulebook Chapter VII!

Other References and Notes

  • This is important: The new rules for Warp Navigation are in Chapter II of the Navis Primer splatbook!
  • Players wishing to play as a Navigator are advised to refer to the following resources:
    • Rogue Trader Core Rulebook – for fluff and general abilities
    • Into the Storm – for Ship Extended Actions they can perform in combat or other situations
    • Navis Primer – their expansion splatbook with extra stuff
    • Rogue Trader Errata as certain Powers have been corrected and clarified

Rogue Trader 2nd Edition Character Creation

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