Over the weekend, I had my first chance to playtest RT: Apocalypse with a group other than my online playstorming crew. It ran well, and I'll post an actual play in another thread.
To help myself run the game, I quickly whipped up a basic First Session Dock
in the mode of AW's 1st Session sheet, which covered my basic thoughts around agenda, principles, moves, and structure. In addition, there's checklists of names, threat types, and opportunities with which to populate the world.
The MC Agenda, Principles and Moves are broadly the same as those of Apocalypse World; the underlying power structure at the table is essentially the same. What is different is what the game's challenges are built around: in Apocalypse World, they're built around fundamental scarcities that shape human nature. Here, they're built about the Eight Winds of Chaos.
In Rogue Trader, the characters tend to be wealthy, established members of a galaxy-spanning empire, command ships the size of cities, and have a trove of resources at their beck and call. While there's plenty of scarcity to go around, it's not quite the fundamental issue it is in Apocalypse World. It took me a while, but I realised that the essential challenge to the players in the Moorcockian world of the 41st Millenium is Chaos in all its myriad forms; and furthermore, it could be divided up into a clear series of threatening forces: the Eight Winds of Chaos.LUST
The four compass points (Lust, Ambition, Rage, and Decay) are closely associated with the traditional Chaos Gods, while the other four points cover perhaps more subtle threats that blow across the galaxy. Each covers a myriad of sins, and could easily drive any number of potential threats, both from within and without. A Tech-Priest who desires the secrets of the distant past is driven by Lust, while a Space Marine who holds his men above the masses of humanity is buffeted by Hubris. An Ork Warlord may be inspired to launch a Waaaagh through Zealous faith in Gork and Mork, or through Rage at being wronged by a particular Imperial commander, or through Ambition to be counted among the great Warlords of all time.