Origin Path System
There are six rows to the Origin Path: Homeworld, Birthright, Lure of the Void, Trials & Travails, Motivation, and Career. There are 6 options on each row of the first five, with 8 options for careers. You can see the Career Paths by clicking here.
The way you use the Origin Path is by starting at the top or bottom of the sheet, selecting one of the options in that row, and drawing a line to an option in the adjacent row. The option in this second row must be either directly across from your initial selection or one space to the left or right. So a character with ‘Hive World’ as his Homeworld could take Stubjack, Child of the Creed, or Savant for his Birthright. When selecting an option from the next row, it must also be either directly across from your previous selection or one space to the left or right. This continues until you have one selection in each row. If you choose an option at either end of the row, you are limited to two options for the next row instead of three. This is due to the spectrum nature of the origin rows and the extremeness of being on an end.
Each option offers different bonuses and skills to your character, but rather than worry about that I’m going to list here a basic primer on what each space means so you can create your character concept before the game session. Its important that the players choose different career paths, but other than that its okay if there are overlapping origins as it can represent the characters knowing each other from years earlier or it can mean they have aligned goals/outlooks on life, in any case an opportunity for enhancing fellowship.
Deathworlds are savage and/or frontier planets where civilization may only be a single space port, fortress, or monastery surrounded by deadly beasts, vegetation, and numerous forms of natural hazards. Quite often these worlds possess a unique or rare natural resource that makes them valuable worlds to the empire, but can also make it impossible to tame. . They are exceptionally difficult places to live, and those that come from them are quite often hardy survivalists with little patience for superfluous pleasantries and formal etiquette. Life’s just too damn short.
Deathworlds are typically dominated by one type of climate zone, and are often described in short hand by them, such as a ‘Desert World’, ‘Ice World’, ‘Jungle World’, etc.
The Void Born are the star children, born to one of the numerous generational ships in space, and while some are simply traders, many are explorers, refugees, or colonists who’s progenitors were in space so long ago that the reason for the trip has become lost in time, they simply live on these city-sized ships because that’s what their parents did, and their parents before them, and so on. They are generally considered to bring ill-tidings by groundlings, and are often distrusted by traders due to rumors of ‘those people’, though the void-born view themselves as quite lucky and fortunate. They are adept at living in space and are as at home in zero-g as in one-g.
The Forge Worlds are the massive world-factories of the empire, they are labyrinthine hubs of industry. Their towering metal-works may churn out thousands upon thousands of different household items, or the planet may be devoted to the manufacture of one singular item design. In either case, these planets are controlled by the Adeptus-Mechanus, the cult of the machine, and all Forge World natives have a knack for dealing with machinery and offering prayers to the Omnissiah. This can, of course, put them at odds with the Imperial Cult, and rarely does a a conversation between a Forge Worlder and a member of an Ecclesiastic go well.
It should be noted that Forge Worlds are dominated by factories, but there are many locations on the planet left uninhabited due to massive amounts of pollution and toxic waste, despite the fact that they continuously haul such filth into space and dump it into suns and the like.
The Hive Worlds are massive world-cities are filled with arcologies that stretch towards the heavens and reach down into the hells. Each Hive-World is home to billions upon billions of people, living in a city that stretches around the globe, with a dwelling that is as cramped as it is bland, and a job that leaves them toiling in service and obscurity. Hivers are used to the thick crowds and pre-fabricated uniformity of technology, and many go their entire lives without stepping foot on the ground (perpetually permeated by a thick smog caused by pollution from above) or getting a clear, unobstructed view of the sky (the tops of the arcologies dominated by aristocrats and other elites). (think Fifth Element New York).
There’s no such thing as a typical Imperial World, they dramatically range from Agri-Worlds (planet sized farms), to Garden Worlds (think Alderaan from Star Wars), to Cardinal Worlds (planets ruled by the Ecclesiastical Authority). The closer an Imperial World is to Holy Terra (Earth) the better developed and well-governed it is. Far flung and forgotten worlds have often devolved into medieval, feudalistic societies, though those near the core of the human empire have remained paradise.
The Noble Born belong to the noble houses that span the stars, an intricate web of kinship, arranged marriage, and political influence to insure perpetual control of the system, even if one world should fall. There are thousands upon thousands of noble houses, with their holdings waxing and waning as they struggle against one another as well as the alien threats that seek to destroy humanity. Some live in palaces on garden worlds, others live in orbital citadels that look down upon their planetary holdings, and many live at the top or the arcology spires of Hive Worlds.
The Scavenger is one soul amongst the many, an outcast at the fringes of society, forgotten by the empire, struggling to survive day to day off of the refuse generated by those that dwell metaphorically above them, unconcerned with the conventions of society when work needs to be done in order to continue living.
The Scapegrace is an orphan living between the light and the darkness, were a youth was spent skirting the edges of the law and of society. Life in the seedy underbelly of society of an underhive or den of thieves is normal to you, and you know that the law only applies to those that get caught. (Example: Kaneda from Akira)
The Stubjack is born on the battlefield, having held a weapon in one’s hand ever since one was strong enough to hold one. One might have served a respectable planetary defense force, the honorable Imperial Guard, have only known the life of a mercenary, or some combination of the three. All one knows is that everyone dies, and one has a talent for getting others to see the light.
The Child of the Creed has have grown up under the wise guidance of the Ministorium, and the wise, stern gaze of the God-Emperor has been ubiquitous throughout his life, the divine presence physically represented in every room he or she has been in for most of his or her life. Those that reject the divinity of the emperor are strange oddities at best, vile heretics at worst.
The Savant… a deep, thoughtful response is often the sign of a savant. Ink stained fingers are the tell-tale sign of someone who has spent more time with a book in his or her hands than without. Savants constantly seek truth and expanding their base of knowledge, and nothing wrenches their heart greater than a book being torn apart.
The Vaunted, one who grew up amongst wealth and privilege, far removed from the plight of the working masses. Even when acting with the best of intentions towards the impoverished and needy, a subtle bias can pervade a Vaunted’s speech and action without them realizing it. (Example: Princess Leia)
Lure of the Void
The Tainted. Are you a mutant? Are you insane? Or perhaps you just adhere to a deviant philosophy?
The Criminal. Are you a wanted fugitive? Are you hunted by a Crime Baron? Or just another ex-con trying to get his life back together?
The Duty Bound. Do you serve the Throne? Do you serve your Family Dynasty above all else? Or do you serve all of humanity?
The Zealot. Have you sacrificed limb or organ for the lord? Do you possess an Unnerving Clarity? Or are you jus a favored of the faithful (eloquent speaker)?
Chosen by Destiny. Are you a seeker of truth? Are you obsessed with alien races, cultures, or technologies? Or are you simply fated for greatness?
Trials and Travails
The Hand of War: You have faced a dark and terrible enemy in battle. You have steeled yourself against it, trained to overcome your weaknesses, and be ready to kill all members of (insert race here) upon sight.
Press Ganged: You were taken advantage of, pressed into service aboard a ship long ago. Bodies are always needed to fill seats on a starship, just as those with great talent or unique skills are also needed. It was not a pleasant experience, and while you learned some things along the way you will never let yourself be taken prisoner again.
Calamity: Famine, Plague, War… some disaster befell you, so now you sleep with a gun under pillow and never let the escape pods fall into disrepair.
Ship-Lorn: There’s not much worse that can happen to star-farer than being ship-wrecked. It’s left a taint of bad luck on your soul, but you’ve learned how to survive in even the toughest of situations and keep your cool under immense pressure.
Dark Voyage: The galaxy is older than can be truly and rationally comprehended. There are races out there, long dead and forgotten, that have technology beyond what’s considered most advanced today, though getting your hands on what precious little information you have now has driven you near-insane.
High Vendetta: Honor, Friendship, and Loyalty, these are your weapons and armor. Without your ship and crew mates you are alone in the cold darkness of space. With trust in your allies you are protected, and as such you will brook no insult to your honor or those of your allies.
Endurance: You will survive.
Fortune: Better lucky than good.
Vengeance: You hate (insert someone or something)
Renown: Your name carries some weight, don’t tarnish it.
Pride: You’re the best. If anyone asks for proof you tell them its because you’re still alive.
Prestige: You are climbing the rungs on the ladder of the empires hierarchy.
Astropath Transcendent: Psychic Communicator
Arch Militant: Warriors without peer, leaders of soldiers
Void-Master: Pilots, gunners, and masters of space
Explorator: Masters of Machinery, seekers of ancient technology
Missionary: Emissaries of the emperor’s words, healers and leaders
Seneschal: Keepers of secret knowledge, subtle investigators
Navigator: Mutants, Pilots of the Warp
Rogue Trader: Masters of Starships, leaders, diplomats, and rogues