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My party is composed of 4 players, a Rogue Trader, an Arch Militant, an Astropath and an Explorator.

While to me this number is perfect, as it's not too much and not too few, I can see there are some classes that will be missing and are quite important (Void Master and Navigator, mostly).

I know I can simply use NPCs to fill the gaps, but I thought it might be interesting to apply some sort of multiclassing system so they could experience all the facets of the game themselves. For example, we lack a stealthy guy, so somehow, could we merge the Rogue Trader's skill/talent advances with the Seneschal? Or maybe the Astropath's with the Missionary?

If so, how can I do this? Spending a sum of XP to "acquire" a second class, a special feat that needs to made, or reaching a certain level?

PS: I don't quite like the idea of a player having more than one PC in a same game, so I have rejected that idea already.

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As an advice, I think you should change the title of the question. Now as it is written asks for obvious yes/no answers ("Yes, you can do whatever you want with your game" or "No, the rules don't support it"). I think you are quite determined to use multiclass approach and no the other two (NPCs and troupe roleply), so, shouldn't the question be "How do I implement multiclass in Rogue Trader"? –  Flamma Jan 20 at 18:21
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If, in the other hand, you want to explore other solutions, why not break the entire class system? Have you read Black Crusade? It comes with a classless system (you would still have to adapt because is quite based on the Four Chaos Gods). –  Flamma Jan 20 at 18:23
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I've run a game with support NPCs before. It was in the Firefly universe where the PCs were the passengers and the NPCs were the ship's crew. The trouble was the ship's crew were too reliable. There was a very boring chase scene that was understandable delegated to the NPC pilot. So I ended up doing what I could to remove the NPCs. The pilot left to escape the abundant violent danger, the engineer defected to the enemy, and I'll have to see what I can do about the "muscle" crew member. That said, they have all enhanced the story greatly. If you have NPCs available, make them costly. –  Hand-E-Food Jan 20 at 22:07
    
Isn't this traditionally handled with Elite Advances? (I don't play RT, so I could be wrong) –  Oxinabox Aug 31 at 0:27

3 Answers 3

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Rogue Trader's existing solution to the problem of not having a player playing each of the available classes is to assume that the "missing party roles" are made up by nameless, faceless NPCs.

After all, the player characters in Rogue Trader are effectively the privy council of a ship with a population of thousands. These multitudes include multiple tech-priests, shiphands experienced enough to be called void masters, and at least one navigator, or the ship wouldn't be able to keep the lights on, let alone move.

These crew members might not appear "on camera" very often, and aren't part of the trusted coterie of the Lord-Captain that decides what the ship does, but they're assumed to be on board unless the GM declares otherwise. As such, it's not necessary to require player characters to fill those roles. (Also, players taking particular roles indicates that they're interested in doing what those roles do; Requiring them to do other things might not be fun for them.)

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I'd not think FFG RPGs are particularly built to have their systems changed as radically as multiclassing, and characters wouldn't work as well as they're supposed to, but you could try to multiclass if you wanted?

As an idea, since I've not seen it done, it would be a case of having some of the existing skills and traits in the first tier of the second class you're multiclassing into (say 5/7/10 skills/traits), and enough experience to buy out the first rank (book not to hand, but I believe its around 1,000 exp).

Players pay the 1,000 exp to represent training to understand the second class, then they have access to that class as though they were a new character, and can start spending exp in the same way as they do with their first class, rising through the ranks.

Obviously, skills and traits in both classes don't have to be repurchased, but attribute advances shouldn't be allowed in the second class, as attributes would be inherent to the character's first calling (and also allowing two lots of 250xp purchases for stats would overpower/imbalance the character very quickly).

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The first rank in Rogue Trader is 5,000xp (0xp in Dark Heresy, 7-8,000xp in Black Crusade and 13,000xp in Deathwatch), so other Rogue Trader characters would be at Rank 3 by the time the multi-class character gained their first Rank in their second career. So those first 10 sessions or so would show no character development while the character accumulated the requisite XP and then BAM everything all at once. You would obviously not let characters take the same advance from both classes, but it would probably be unbalancing to let them chose which career to take advances from too. –  Mark Booth Aug 31 at 0:45

I can see two options here, use the existing system or add a new system.

Creating your own career paths

The most obvious option is to create new career paths (Rogue Trader, p39) which represent the multi-class Astropath Navigator or Explorator Void Master careers etc, but this could be quite a lot of work.

You would need to plan out the whole of their potential careers, and ensure they are balanced before your players chose their initial characters and then possibly have them say 'Nah, I'll just stick with a standard X'.

Possible multi-class system

A simpler solution might be to start a character with a single career, but allow them to take on a secondary career, with suitable role playing, once they have acquired all of starting skills, talents and gear of that secondary career.

For some pairs of careers the synergy between them will make this easy (shared starting traits, or secondary starting traits from advances available in the primary career) but for roles with less synergy it would be much more difficult, requiring you to take multiple Elite Advances (also Rogue Trader, p39).

Some Elite advances might require significant story events, such as the Astropath being sucked into the Warp and the ships Navigator reaching in rescue her only to have their minds merged in the resultant psychic contact (plenty of corruption and insanity points there) and her original body being left in the warp (and coming back later in the campaign inhabited by a demon). That sort of thing could make for some excellent role playing opportunities.

I would then suggest that while skill and talent advances could be taken from the primary career as normal, advances could only be taken from the secondary career one rank below (thus you would need to be rank 2 to take on a secondary career).

This could even be extended to allow tertiary careers (starting at rank 3, using rank-2 to determine advances from that career etc.).

The toughest thing is how to deal with Characteristic advances. The simple solution is just to use the advance scheme from the primary career and be done with it. For some combinations of classes this could seriously disadvantage the secondary career though.

What I would suggest in this situation is to allow the player to switch around advances from the primary career without altering that balance of that class, so the Astropath Navigator could switch the Astropath BS 500/Ag 250 to be the navigators BS 250/Ag 500, but couldn't get the Navigators Int/Per/Will 100, since the Astropath only gets 2 cheap characteristic advances in the first place.

Caveats

Either way it is going to be work both for you as GM and for your players, but it could result in some very interesting stories.

One final warning is that if you have munchkin players, there are almost certainly some synergies in the system which might be unbalancing, and not easy to spot. If players get out of hand, there are plenty of techniques you can use to prevent them spoiling the game for others, but in Rogue Trader, the easiest is probably to pile on the corruption and insanity points as they get mad with their own power (Rogue Trader p296).

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