Warhammer 40,000: Apocrypha Files
Profit Factor is a game mechanic that represents the Explorers’ wealth, power, influence and other resources. Profit Factor means that a Rogue Trader character doesn’t really need to track “pocket money.” The group’s Profit Factor determines their relative success, meaning that the players can track how far they have come, or discover how far they need to go to reach their goal. Naturally, the higher the group’s Profit Factor, the more resources at their disposal. Towards the higher end of the scale, the Rogue Trader dynasty may control a fleet of starships, own entire planets, or establish a legend that shall be remembered for millennia.
Profit Factor works much in the same way as a characteristic – rated between 1 and 100 (however, in the case of the very poor or the very rich, it can be higher or lower). The PCs start off ‘sharing’ their PF (since it represents the resources of their dynasty) but this can change later on and starting PF (modified by a few factors) starts between about 30-40, much like a characteristic. When a PC (or the group) want to acquire a new item, retainer or whatever they make a test against their PF and see if they get it—or if they have to wait—or it just isn’t available or out of their reach.
Whenever an Explorer or the group wants to buy an item or commandeer an new resource, they must make an Acquisition Test.
To Succeed at an Acquisition test you must roll equal to or under the dynasty’s Profit Factor on 1d100.
This roll is modified based on the Availability, Craftsmanship and Scale of the Item.
If the roll is greater than the dynasty’s Profit Factor, then the item is not available for the time being.
Availability is usually determined by the Narrator, while Craftsmanship and Scale are determined by the Explorers.
|Very Rare||-20%||Heavy Bolter|
|Extremely Rare||-30%||Digital weapon|
|Near Unique||-50%||Tempest Bolt Shells|
|Unique||-70%||Archaeotech Power Armour|
|Poor||+10%||Corpse Starch Ration Pack|
|Good||-10%||Finely Crafted Forge World Item|
|Best||-30%||Exquisite Power Sword with Family Crest.|
Automatic Success and Failure
Some items are always out of reach for explorers, while others are ridiculously easy to come by.
If the bonuses to an acquisitions check ever increase the dynasty’s Profit Factor to 100 or more before rolling, then the test is automatically passed.
If the penalties to an acquisitions check ever decrease the dynasty’s Profit Factor to 0 or less before rolling, then the test is automatically failed.
Some items can be upgraded to combine two or more items together. In this case, when testing to acquire the combined items, compare the Availability of the item’s components and use the greatest penalty to determine a base availability modifier. Each additional component results in an additional -5% penalty to the base availability modifier.
INFLUENCE, REPUTATION, AND LOCATION
Influence and Reputation are just as important to a Rogue Trader as are his ship and lucky side arm. Indeed, these are large parts of what make up his Profit Factor. Aside from the raw currency, investments and other such things, a Rogue Trader’s reputation and his ability to leverage both money and reputation into influence is what allows him to get ahead in the cut throat world of pan-galactic commerce. What happens when a Rogue Trader is outside of his usual sphere of operations, though? With as vast as the Imperium is, a player simply cannot expect to be recognised everywhere he goes. When operating in dark and heathen corners of the Galaxy where the light of the God-Emperor has only recently reached, or perhaps not reached at all, how often can a Rogue Trader expect to hear the correct answer to the question, “Do you know who I am?”
When operating outside of their usual territory, Game Masters should consider adding negative modifiers to Explorers’ Influence tests. This could reflect the fact that the Rogue Trader is a newcomer on the galactic scene and word of his exploits hasn’t spread all that far, or that the part of space he’s operating in is so isolated and backwards that the inhabitants continually ask the Explorers for news of the wider Imperium. Whatever the case, the Explorers will be unable to use their Profit Factor to make friends and influence people as easily as they could in, say, Port Wander. Modifiers between –10 and –30 should be sufficient, but as always the amount of the modifier and when it’s applied is solely up to the Game Master.
Acquiring Starship Components
Starships and their components are some of the most astronomically expensive pieces of hardware that can be acquired by a Rogue Trader’s dynasty. Starship components use the Availability and Craftsmanship modifiers but replace scale with a modifier based on the kind of component to be acquired.
Availability of Components
|Essential Components / Supplemental Components costing +1 SP||Scarce||+0%|
|Essential Components Costing +1 SP / Supplemental Components Costing +2 SP||Rare||-10%|
|Essential Components costing +2 SP / Supplemental Components Costing +3 SP||Very Rare||-20%|
|Archaeotech Components||Etremely Rare||-30%|
|Xenotech Components||Near Unique||-50%|
Component Type Modifier
|War (Macrobatteries, Lances, Torpedoes etc)||-30%|
|Etheric (Auspex, vox-networks, communications)||-20%|
|Power (Warp Drive, Generatorium, Void-Shields)||-10%|
|Structure (Holds, Observatories, Armour, Special Structures)*||+0%|
|*=If a component does not obviously fit into any one category then it should use the modifier for structure.|
Acquiring a Starship
In some cases, the explorer’s may wish to acquire an entire starship. The base acquisition modifier of a starship is equal to its hull’s cost in Ship Points. No additional modifiers are applied for Craftsmanship or for Scale.
Cost Is No Object
Sometimes a Rogue Trader has to stretch their resources to the limit to afford a needed item, make much needed repairs to their starship, or to acquire an early edge in a trading market to hedge out other investors. In these cases the Explorer may permanently burn his profit factor to increase his roll for this acquisition. For each point of profit factor permanently burned, the explorer receives a +10% bonus on the acquisitions check. Note that this should only be done for acquisitions that the whole group considers worthwhile.
Making Multiple Acquisition Tests
|Number of Tests||Penalty||Possibility to attract attention.|
While profit factor is an exceptionally flexible resource, it is not infinite, and can be threatened by overuse and spending just like any normal resource.
Once a player makes an Acquisition test in a session (successful or not) each subsequent test by that player has a cumulative -10% modifier. In addition, there is a cumulative 10% chance that he has attracted some unwanted attention or forgotten some detail of day to day life as a Rogue Trader.
If a player ever fails an Acquisition test by 5 or more degrees, he must roll on the Misfortunes table to see if his reckless spending has damaged his resources.
|d100||Result||Profit Factor Lost||Roll on Table|
|01-49||Fate smiles upon the Rogue Trader: no Misfortune||—||Unwanted Attention|
|50-65||Nuisance Misfortune||1d5||Unwanted Attention|
|66-90||Grim Misfortune||1d10||Misfortune Details|
|90-00||Calamitous Misfortune||2d10||Misfortune Details and Unwanted Attention|
|01–05||Administratum tithe clerks flo k for an assessment, empowered by their superiors to bleed the Rogue Trader a little more in the name of the God-Emperor.|
|06–10||Departmento Munitorum officers h ve come into evidence that the Rogue Trader has siphoned materiel from their Port Wander vaults, and are pressing upon him with the full force of Imperial law. The evidence is all false, of course, but what motivation is behind this outrage?|
|11–15||A setback in the tending of coffers: ledgers are errant and Thrones are lost. Is this a careless accident or hidden
|16–20|| A dire plague is abroad, and the merest threat of it is enough for quarantines and panic. Even places unaffected by the
plague are disrupted by the havoc it wreaks many worlds away.
|21–25||An accident fells many skilled hirelings, leaving too few possessing a rare talent in a vital position. Is it really an accident however?|
|26–30|| A corruption takes hold in one of the Rogue Trader’s interests: cultists of the Dark Gods, a wayward Imperial Cult, or an
unruly Crew Brotherhood act to sow toil and make trouble.
|31–35||Zealots amongst the Rogue Trader’s interests are stirring up the workers to make pilgrimage to the shrine worlds of the Drusus Marches. Toil is slackening, and servants are slipping away or rising up to petition the Rogue Trader to grant them leave to be pilgrims.|
|36–40||An ambitious Magos demands a new compact of tech-ritual and prayer, one much more favorable to Machine Cult coffers.|
|41–45||A Grand Assemblage of the Omnissiah’s Grace is called by an Archmagos, and all Tech-Adepts pledged to the Rogue Trader are much withdrawn, the Machine Cult distant from what its Magi perceive as trivial responsibilities towards compacts and Imperial brethren.|
|46–50||The sub-sector trade market enters one of its doleful periods of crisis, loss, and hand-wringing. Merchant houses suffer and cut short their endeavors.|
|51–55||A new dictate of mercantile law has come to the Drusus Marches from Scintilla, and the upheaval that attends it is dire indeed. Many important guilders are ruined or driven to other lines of commerce, and many compacts are now worthless.|
|56–60||Pirates from Iniquity, thought broken and scattered, strike at the Rogue Trader’s interests, assaulting vessels and raiding resource worlds.|
|61–65||The vile Ork emerges to loot and destroy the Rogue Trader’s interests in the Koronus Expanse.|
|66–70||Calixian leaders of a great Imperial organisation suddenly display far less respect for Rogue Traders. This change of opinion will spread from the top down and out into the broader Imperial class if not stopped.|
|71–75||The Rogue Trader is supposed by some to be an adherent of one of the unseemly Imperial cults of Footfall, placing him well on the outside of civilised Imperial society in Port Wander and the Drusus Marches.|
|76–80||An influential no le or powerful Imperial hierarch chooses to denigrate the Rogue Trader, and all the sycophants follow that lead. This disrespect will spread from the top down into the broader Imperial class if not stopped.|
|81–85||The Rogue Trader is rumored to have died. Administratum adepts now move slowly and inexorably towards the legal annulment of his Warrant of Trade.|
|86–90||Adeptus Arbites find, or a e provided with, evidence of rebellion fomented amongst the Rogue Trader’s hirelings. A lord perceived to hold an unruly estate will suffer in the eyes of his peers.|
|91–95||A rival’s hatred for the Rogue Trader becomes well known, and many lesser figures prefer not to become involved with either side whilst such an enmity exists. Now, the rival has begun to strike openly against the Rogue Trader’s interests.|
|96–100||The Rogue Trader receives an unexplained and unexpected visitation from highly ranked members of the Inquisition, an event guaranteed to harm his prospects when word gets out.|
|01-10||A pickpocket hits one of the Explorrs and he loses any one item he carries. The player makes player need to pass a scrutiny, bonus for the item.|
|11-20||The Explorers’ lodging have been Burglered. The Room is tossed, and belongings are strewn around as if someone was searching for something. Anything of value in the room that the Explorers did not conceal well is gone. The may need to recover their Stolen Goods at the GM’s discretion and with some good roleplaying.|
|21-30||A Conman or grafter takes notice of the Explorers and set out to con them. They offer a plausible-sounding deal but Ultimately Phone deal. Roll a d100 on 51% or higher it’s a time of long men.|
|31-40||The Explorers are attack in the streets by a gang of cut throats intent on taking their weapons, armor, lose money and any other items of values they may be carrying. The GM should make sure that this encounter is relatively hard for the Crew.|
|41-50||A Minor Clerk at a banking house frequented by the Explorers has decided the Explorers have enough money and would not notice if they had just a little bit less of their fortune. Though a serious of complex banking shenanigans result in a -10 penalty on Acquisition Test thanks to the players action, note this happen in the future.|
|51-60||A local Crime organization believes the Explorers are moving in in on their operation and are taking proper action to see that they don’t lose the operation in question.|
|61-70||The Port Master of the station of shipyard where the Explorers have put in has impounded their ship for being delinquent on a number of suspicious and previously unknown “Berthing Fees.” The Port Master is trying to get a bribe.|
|71-80||The Explorers have attracted the attention of a ring of ship thieves. There are extremely dangerous pirates with years of experience, and will go to great lengths to relieve the Explorers of the ship. It is up to the game Master to determine how and where these pirates will make their move on the explorers.|
|81-90||Purposefully or not, the Explorers have set themselves at odds with a rival trading dynasty. The Explorers may have underbid them on a lucrative contract or pressed thousands of their merchant ship’s voidmen form taverns and bawdy houses of Port Wander. However it happened, these powerful new rivals will stop at nothing to put the Rogue Trader and his people into the poor houses|
|91-100||A powerful member of the Administratum, Inquisition, or the Local Military/Government set their sights on the Explorers’ wealth. They will demand bribes and free services, and threaten very real consequences if the Explorers don’t go along with what they want.|
ATTRACTING UNWANTED ATTENTION
When a player throws Profit Factor around, people are going to notice. Often times this attention is harmless, even desired. Rogue Traders and their select officers like others to see them play the high roller. These kinds of conspicuous displays of wealth give them an aura of power and authority which can come in extremely handy in all manner of social and business interactions. Many negotiations have concluded before they really started due to a Rogue Trader’s reputation preceding him, and doors are always open to a wealthy ship captain known to
be free with his Thrones and favours. When this sort of freewheeling lifestyle works against the Explorers however, is when it attracts the attention of less savoury individuals.
People are attracted to the rich and powerful as moths are to flame, and this has never been more true than in the Imperium. In a society run on bribes, kick-backs and favours, and where the line between the haves and the have-nots is so distinct as in the Imperium of Man, there are countless ways to attract unwanted attention to oneself when spending money. Everyone from beggars, small-time hustlers, pick pockets and donation seekers, to petty warlords, crooked members of the Administratum, pirates, and gangsters would be more than willing to relieve an unwary Rogue Trader of his wealth, his ship, or even his life.
Similar to the increasing penalties to Acquisition Tests for their overuse in a session, there’s also an ever increasing chance of attracting unwanted attention. Every time a player makes more than one Acquisition Test in a game session, there’s a chance they’ll attract the attention of someone powerful or cunning enough to separate them from their money. Once the Acquisition Test is made and penalties for multiple use added, the Game Master then rolls on Multiple Acquisition Test, with Modifiers, to see if anyone takes an interest in the Explorers. If the Explorers have attracted attention, the Game Master is encouraged to create some problem, either by creating some complications related to the Explorers’ current Endeavour, or by rolling on the4 Unwanted Attention table.
Even after acquiring an item, it may still be a drain on the dynasty’s resources. An upkeep test may be required when:
- An acquisition is expended, damaged, or destroyed.
- When a rival or adversary attacks the dynasty’s holdings or tries to steal their goods and retainers.
- When misfortunes befall the dynasty.
An upkeep test is identical to the acquisition test originally made to acquire the item, including the various acquisition modifiers for Rarity, Craftsmanship, and Scale. If successful then the item is maintained, repaired, or otherwise covered by the dynasty’s resources, if not successful then one of the following choices must be made about the item in question:
- Discard the item or resource: The explorer’s cannot use the acquisition until it is reacquired. An acquisition lost this way may not be reacquired until the explorer’s profit factor increases.
- Downgrade the Item or Resource: The Acquisition’s Craftsmanship is reduced by 1 level. This may not be selected if the item is already of poor craftsmanship.
- Downsize the item or resource: The Acquisition’s Scale is reduced by 1 level. This may not be selected if the item is already of negligible scale.
- Overstretch Profit Factor: the explorers incur a -5% penalty to all Acquisition checks until their profit factor increases or until they make one of the other choices on this list.