In some hive cities (particularly the infamous Hive Primus of Necromunda), it is a rite of passage for young scions of noble families to descend into the lawless depths of the Underhive, there to stay until they have either survived for a certain length of time or killed a quota of hive gangers and other scum. If these young nobles can survive in the ruthless environment of the Underhive, they will be more than prepared to handle the cutthroat intrigues of courtly life when they return to the upper spires -- or so the reasoning goes.
However, these young nobles -- known as Spyrers in most Underhive dialects -- aren't left completely without protection in the nightmarish depths of the undercity. In order to give them a leg up on their human prey, each Spyrer is outfitted with a Hunting Rig: a complex suit of armor with built-in ritualized weaponry, painstakingly hand-crafted from half-forgotten technologies, and shipped to the hive spires from a mysterious source off-world. More than just an ordinary suit of armor, a Hunting Rig is a self-repairing, self-upgrading technological marvel, capable of nourishing and sustaining the Spyrer's body and adapting itself in response to his surroundings and fighting style. It is a testament to the wealth and power of the hive nobility that they can afford these artifacts, which at their most powerful can rival the battle-gear of the Inquisition and the Adeptus Astartes.
Upon returning to the upper spires, some Spyrers are able to settle back into their comfortable, pampered lives, and go on to accomplish great (or terrible) things for their houses. However, many Spyrers find themselves drawn back into the Underhive, driven by a craving for blood and adrenaline that cannot be sated in the spires. For a handful of veteran Spyrers, even the brutality of the Underhive is not enough to sate their blood- or wanderlust, and they find themselves looking skyward in search of new prey to hunt. It is this last group of Spyrers that find themselves drawn to the life of the Rogue Trader, either bearing the Warrant themselves, or lending another ship-master their considerable prowess in both physical and social combat. Whatever their talents or motivations, Spyrers such as these often take to the stars wearing their old Hunting Rigs, making them a powerful and unique addition to a Rogue Trader's crew.
Career: Rogue Trader, Arch-Militant, or Seneschal
Homeworld: Hive World or Noble Born
Cost: 300 or 400 XP
Characteristics: Increase starting Toughness by +3.
Skills: The character gains Awareness (Per), Survival (Int), and Tracking (Int) as trained Basic skills.
Talents: The character gains the Enemy (Underhivers), Light Sleeper, Paranoia, Peer (Nobility), and Rival (Underhivers) Talents.
Insanity and Corruption: The time spent and the deeds done in the Underhive by a Spyrer take a toll on his mental and spiritual health. The character gains 1d10 Insanity Points and 1d5 Corruption Points.
Starting Gear: If the player so wishes, the character may replace all of his Starting Gear with one of the following Hunting Rigs. If this option is chosen, the cost of the Background Package increases from 300 to 400 XP, and the character may not make any additional Acquisitions at character creation.
Some Spyrers are lucky or well-respected enough to retain their Hunting Rigs when they leave their homeworld to join a Rogue Trader crew. Each Hunting Rig is a highly advanced piece of adaptive technology, capable of upgrading itself to better suit the wearer as he increases in power and experience; however, in practice, any Spyrer who takes to the stars as a Rogue Trader is one who has already grown bored with merely stalking the Underhive, and whose rig will have already upgraded itself to the height of its power.
All Hunting Rigs contain a built-in microbead, filtration plugs, photo-contacts, and a bio-booster (counts as an injector containing a single dose of Stimm that can be activated as a Free Action or as a Reaction). In addition, a character wearing a Hunting Rig draws nourishment from protein packs built into the suit, and consequently has no need to eat. Each Hunting Rig incorporates armor, weapon, and supplementary systems as well, which vary depending on the type of Rig. A Spyrer is always assumed to be proficient in any weapons built into his Hunting Rig.
An Orrus Hunting Rig counts as a suit of Power Armor and incorporates two Power Fists and two forearm-mounted Storm Bolters. It also projects an energy field that reduces the damage of all ranged attacks by 2d10 (roll separately against each attack).
A Jakara Hunting Rig provides Armor 5 to all locations and grants the wearer the Unnatural Speed (x2) Trait. The Hunting Rig is equipped with a Fractal Blade and a Mirror Shield. The Mirror Shield counts as a normal shield in all respects, and also reduces the damage of all ranged attacks by 2d10 (roll separately against each attack). In addition, any time the Mirror Shield absorbs damage from a Pistol, Basic, or Heavy (not Thrown) attack, the character may spend a Reaction to "reflect" the attack back at the firer; immediately make a shooting attack by the Spyrer against the original firer, counting the Spyrer as being armed with the original firer's weapon.
A Malcadon Hunting Rig provides Armor 6 to all locations and grants the wearer the Unnatural Speed (x2) Trait. The Hunting Rig is equipped with two forearm-mounted Web Spinners, each of which may be fired with the same profile as a Webber or used as a grapnel (but not both in the same Round), and a pair of swords with the Mono and Toxic (1d10) qualities.
A Yeld Hunting Rig provides Armor 5 to all locations and incorporates two Las Gauntlets with the Storm quality and a set of Yeld Wings. The Yeld Wings can be set to either Passive or Active Mode; in Passive Mode, the wings function as a Cameleoline Cloak, while in Active Mode, the wings function as a Jump Pack and can be used in close combat as a pair of swords with the Mono quality. The character gains Pilot (Personal) as a trained Basic Skill while wearing a Yeld Hunting Rig, if he does not already possess it.