Tests are the basic way of determining success or failure in a game of Rogue Trader. When an Explorer performs any task that could have dramatic consequences—affecting the story, a character’s health, a leader’s reputation, the safety of the ship, and so on—a Test should be performed.

Degrees of Success or Failure

For most Tests, it is enough to know whether a character succeeded or failed. Sometimes, however, it is useful to know how well a character succeeded, or how badly he failed. This is particularly important in certain combat situations, such as firing a gun capable of a semi-automatic or fully automatic burst fire.

Measuring degrees of success and failure in a Skill or Characteristic Test is straightforward. After the percentage roll is made, compare the roll with the modified Characteristic score. For each full 10 points by which the Test succeeded, one degree of success is achieved. Conversely, for each 10 full points by which the Test failed, one degree of failure is gained.

Skill Tests

The most common type of Test an Explorer performs during the game are Skill Tests. Each Skill is governed by a Characteristic. For example, the Dodge Skill is governed by the Agility Characteristic. To make a Skill Test, add any relevant modifiers to the Skill’s governing Characteristic, then make a percentage roll. If the result is equal to or less than the modified Characteristic, the Test succeeds. If the result is greater than the modified Characteristic, the Test fails.

Characteristics Tests

Sometimes an Explorer wants to attempt something not covered by a Skill. In such cases, a Characteristic Test can be used instead of a Skill Test. The GM determines the most appropriate Characteristic for the Test, then the player makes a percentage roll. If the roll is equal to or less than the Characteristic, the Test succeeds. If the roll is greater than the Characteristic, the Test fails.

Test Difficulty

Not all tests are equal. A routine landing at a spaceport and navigating a dense asteroid field at high speed may both require Piloting Skill Tests, but the latter is clearly harder than the former. But how much harder is navigating an asteroid field than landing at a spaceport? This is where Test Difficulty and the role of the GM both come into play. In some cases, the Difficulty of a Test is pre-determined by the rules; in other cases, the GM should decide the Difficulty and consult the following table to determine the appropriate modifier. The Difficulty modifier is applied to the governing Characteristic associated with the Test.

Difficulty Modifier
Easy +30
Routine +20
Ordinary +10
Challenging +0
Difficult -10
Hard -20
Very Hard -30

Combining Difficulties

There will be instances where multiple factors make performing a particular action easier or more difficult. If a situation calls for two or more bonuses or penalties, simply combine all modifiers together and apply the total to the Skill or Characteristic. The maximum modifier that can be applied to a Skill Test or Characteristic Test is +60 or –60.


Rogue Trader: Pride and Profit Lonewalker