As with the Pathfinder games, developers Owlcat plan to document the creation of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader with a series of dev diary videos on its YouTube channel. (opens in a new tab). The first of these features lead narrative designer Olga Kellner giving a first look at the space CRPG.
Kellner says players will be able to enjoy the “space exploration, void battles, storylines, weird warp phenomena and more” recognizable within the Warhammer 40,000 setting. void with an unusual degree of freedom on the fringes of the Imperium, including control of a merchant empire, players will be able to make decisions with consequences reflected by the setting and its characters. We could, for example, “stay loyal to the Emperor or test the limits of your privileges and the patience of the Inquisition, wreak havoc on your planets, associate with the enemies of mankind, or even fall into the clutches of the Chaos”.
The dev diary also takes a look at our entourage, with recruitable companions including a Seneschal, Psyker, Battle Sister, Eldar Ranger, Tech Priest, and Space Marine from the Space Wolves Chapter. The Owlcat website has already documented a few of these characters, so we know the Seneschal is a man of duty named Abelard Werserian (opens in a new tab)while the psyker is a diviner named Idira Tlass (opens in a new tab)“a tortured and broken soul haunted by whispers from beyond the veil.”
The Owlcat website also features Lord Captain Theodora von Valancius Massimo af Scarus (opens in a new tab), the leader of a dynastic family of rogue traders who “owns a void vessel with thousands of loyal servants, rules over a vast conglomeration of worlds that bring him immense wealth, and vies for supremacy with the other rogue traders of the world. ‘expanse of Koronus’. It seems likely that she will mentor our character, and perhaps we will inherit her emptiness.
Unlike Owlcat’s Pathfinder games, Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader will only have turn-based combat. It’s inspired by a tabletop RPG of the same name published by Fantasy Flight, though “it’s not a direct transfer from tabletop to video game” according to Owlcat’s community manager. (opens in a new tab) on Reddit.
Although there is no release date yet, the pre-order FAQ (opens in a new tab) says an alpha of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is planned for this year, with a beta next year.