The Licenian Heresy
Unlike more rigid “class-based” game systems, Rogue Trader is essentially a large collection of skills and talents that theoretically anyone can learn. The differences in “Career” choice essentially boil down to how easy or expensive in XP is it to learn any particular skill or talent, and when in the course of your advancement do you get a chance to learn them.
Each Career is therefore a progression of options. The higher your rank, the more choices you have and the more specialized you can become. The system permits characters to buy things that aren’t even on their career charts through “Elite Advances,” basically asking your GM for permission and determining the xp cost.
To make things even more flexible, some supplements provide “alternate career ranks”, which are replacement charts for certain ranks in a career to represent a certain focus, kind of like “prestige classes” in 3.5 D&D. Some of these alternate career ranks may even be taken at rank 1, to represent a different focus at the very outset of your Career.
Here are some brief summaries of the careers available for Player Characters in this campaign:
Adept: Choose the Adept if you want to play a scholar. You are someone who has learned a wide array of things, and can generally be relied upon to know at least a little bit about everything. Nothing is potentially outside the inquisitive grasp of an Adept, even forbidden lore. Why are you far from your libraries and cogitator-banks? Whatever the reason, Adepts unsurprisingly excel at knowledge-skills.
Adepta Sororitas: Choose an Adepta Sororitas if you want to play one of the Emperor’s chosen brides, a nun dedicated to a number of callings, from the Battle Sisters to the Adepta Famulus, who guide the breeding of children of the nobility from their honored places as tutors and family advisors. The Brides of the Emperor are all known for their incredible faith; either learned through hard knocks or the careful teachings of the Schola Progenium. Their faith can be at odds with those of more… clandestine natures, but the power of their purity is potentially vast. Adepta Sororitas excel at combat (if a Battle Sister) and at maintaining the spiritual purity of themselves and others through the talents afforded by their faith.
Arbitrator: Choose the Arbitrator if you want to play a representative of Imperial law, a skilled investigator, and a decent combatant. The Adeptus Arbites, or Arbitrators, are the police force of most Imperial worlds. Like police everywhere, they specialize in close-quarters combat and investigation.
Assassin: Choose the Assassin if you want to be good at a certain type of combat: the single kill. The Officio Assassinorum is the mysterious Imperial department in charge of training and deploying assassins throughout the Imperium, but specialists in quiet murder are not exclusive to that organization. Play an assassin if you want to be a scary killer.
Cleric: Choose a Cleric if you wish to be a priest of the vast Ecclesiarchy, or Adeptus Ministorum. You are a man or woman of faith (or, perhaps, you merely mouth the words for the rank and privileges of a priest). Whatever his motives, the Cleric excels at a mix of social and combat skills.
Guardsman: Choose a Guardsman if you wish to be a combatant in Imperial-style warfare. You are or were a member of the Imperial Guard. Unlike the assassin, you specialize in military-grade weapons and munitions. Guardsmen excel at up front fighting.
Imperial Psyker: Choose an Imperial Psyker if you wish to utilize psychic powers. Although you have been sanctioned by the Inquisition and permitted to live and operate in Imperial space, you have not been soul-bound to the Emperor and so do not have certain controls. You risk death, possession, or worse every time you open yourself to the warp, but the power at your command can be seductive. Imperial Psykers excel at a wide array of utility powers.
Scum: Choose Scum if you want to be a criminal, underhiver, gangster, or other dreg of society. Whatever your current circumstances, Scum excel at criminal skills and thuggish combat.
Tech-Priest: Choose the Tech-Priest if you want to be a priest of the mysterious Adeptus Mechanicus, the machine cult that controls the mysteries of technology in the Imperium. Wherever the Imperium’s ships fly, a cadre of Tech-Priests is on-hand to propitiate the ancient and fickle machine-spirits of the ship and to ensure that it continues to function. Tech-Priests excels at the use and repair of technology, which also can include biology. They make surprisingly effective surgeons.