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Dark Heresy, Deathwatch and Only War are all mission-based games to some extent, while Black Crusade has the characters making a dash for Daemonhood. But what about Rogue Trader? I couldn't really find anything about this, so what is its goal? Getting rich or die trying? Becoming powerful enough for the party to run a part of the galaxy on their own (with the Emperor's blessing, of course), or just hitting an X amount of resources?

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    \$\begingroup\$ You have three likely-looking goals there. Any reason why those are insufficient? Or are you looking for confirmation of an "official" goal? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 27 '14 at 15:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does it not depend entirely on the campaign that the GM is running? \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jun 27 '14 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am looking for something of an "official" goal indeed: Dark Heresy have a heresy for the players to uncover, Deathwatch has its own overarching missions and Only War is a conflict the players are in. But from what I can tell, Rogue Trader lacks such things. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Jacobs Jun 27 '14 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Phil: I would agree but some systems support certain campaign styles better than others. For example the above mentioned games that support mission based more. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Jun 27 '14 at 15:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Um, what is the goal of RL? If it's not the same for every person, why would game goals be the same for every character? \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Lymington Jun 27 '14 at 23:01
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Let's see. In Rogue Trader players are exceptionally powerful merchants with a Warrant of Trade that allows them to explore the unknown, exploit worlds, buy and sell extraordinary raw materials and powerful devices, as weapons. So, it seems that the primary goal is:

Cash

Well, not only cash, also power, contracts, devices, space ships. You know, your little merchant empire. Or, like the game says on its introduction:

Vast fortunes await on the edges of the galaxy, if you and your fellow Explorers can muster the courage to find and claim them. Renown and riches reward the bold, but the unwary find only anonymous deaths. A Rogue Trader who can wrest profits from a dangerous universe through luck, cunning, or sheer force of will enjoys something few humans in the 41st Millennium even know—a life of adventure and true freedom.

In game terms, all the money, power, contacts, allies and resources are represented by the party stat Profit Factor. So, if you want to think in those game terms, the primary goal of the game would be to increase the Profit Factor value.

Of course in a RPG characters can usually have the objectives they want. One of the most common would be glory, as Rogue Traders usually come from a family and they want to honour it. They can travel where no man in the empire have never been, so they can make a name in history.

Apart from those, rest of objectives depends on the characters. For instance, a template character is the missionary. For that character bringing the faith of the Emperor to outer men world, or attack xenos creatures can be logical objectives.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So it's the stuff you get from completing the adventure that is the goal, rather than completing the adventure itself? A bid odd, but I can work with that. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Jacobs Jun 29 '14 at 13:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasJacobs There are two types of RT "adventures". You have regular adventures like the one in most games (typically dealing with profit, but can be anything, like the Inquisition investigating the party, a curse on alien technology, or a pirates kidnapping the characters). The other type are called Endeavours, that are of more sandbox nature. With the background of a merchant project, they are like a mix of a minigame and regular roleplay, in which the party is gaining achievement points until the enterprise is done and the party earns Profit Factor. \$\endgroup\$ – Flamma Jun 29 '14 at 14:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasJacobs Also note that the "stuff" they get is different from other RPGs. RT characters are rich beyond imagination, they even have a starship (huge deal in wh40k universe) with hundred of thousands of workers, so they can already have pretty much they want. The "stuff" they get in adventures and endeavours are merchant contracts (like providing machinery to a whole planet), political influence, allies, favours, debts, all of them abstracted in the Profit Factor rating. \$\endgroup\$ – Flamma Jun 29 '14 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd advise changing "Cash" to "filthy lucre", as it has a much more appropriate connotation for a RT campaign \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Feb 14 '18 at 14:41
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So what I'm doing in a RT game right now is I had them adopted by a powerful dynasty, the leader (of the dynasty) dies shortly afterward, gives out 'keys' to various former associates and rivals. They're goal is to reunite the dynasty (if they want to). Looking into some of the random generation tools out there is a good way to start, they take a good load off of a new GM to the game and can help form a starting point for an adventure.

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