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cpteveros

There is Only Necromunda

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I dunno - these gangs and their daily operations are closer to a military unit than a group of Inquisitorial specialists, I think.

 

In fact, some of those gangs get recruited right into the Guard! :P

 

But there is certainly room for some RT-style business venturing.

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I respectfully disagree Lynata. (Which is rare in and of itself!) The necromunda ruleset portrayed gangs as survivors and often criminals! Until inducted and trained in the guard I believe the civilian occupations in DH2 make more sense! Hive home world, followed by outcast background in almost any role practically screams ganger IMHO.

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The Necromunda gangers work perfectly well in either bloody system. There is no one right or wrong way to handle it, although I don't even have a passing interest in Dark Heresy 2nd Edition, so I know where my sympathies would lie were I to choose.

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How about using the regimental creation skills to make your own gangs?

 

So I was wondering about either using "Hive world" for every gang , or maybe use the different homeworlds to represent different parts of the hive.

 

Highborn: The spire.

Hive world: Hive City

Death world: Underhive

Penintent: Redemptionist crusade

Fortress world: Adeptus Arbites

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I would like to point out that the Only Necromunda rules written by Askil (with contributions from myself) have actually worked quite well for adventuring in the Underhive. I GMed a campaign that lasted for quite a while, and everyone had a lot of fun playing. My players actually did a great job roleplaying, which is unusual for them, and I found GMing less of a chore than the more rigid Only War or Rogue Trader. 

 

While it isn't set up for gang warfare per se, it could totally be used for it. Askil envisioned a more free-form treasure hunter-esque game, with more of a focus on the individual players than the turf wars of the Necromunda tabletop. I was opposed to this at the start, but after playing it, I can see why this works much better for an RPG than the gang dynamic of the TT. 

 

So before going into the debate over what system would provide the best gang creation rules, it is worthwhile to consider whether or not actually playing as a gang should be the focus. 

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So before going into the debate over what system would provide the best gang creation rules, it is worthwhile to consider whether or not actually playing as a gang should be the focus. 

 

The vast majority of people who hear 'Necromunda' immediately think of the popular tabletop skirmish game; so, if your Necromunda RPG isn't an adaptation of that game, why call it 'Necromunda'?

 

I'm glad you enjoyed your '40K Treasure Hunters' campaign, but nothing about that concept requires new rules. Dark Heresy is perfect for portraying a rag-tag group of adventurers in the 40Kverse- just drop any reference to being agents of the Inquisition, and you are good to go.

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So before going into the debate over what system would provide the best gang creation rules, it is worthwhile to consider whether or not actually playing as a gang should be the focus. 

 

The vast majority of people who hear 'Necromunda' immediately think of the popular tabletop skirmish game; so, if your Necromunda RPG isn't an adaptation of that game, why call it 'Necromunda'?

 

I'm glad you enjoyed your '40K Treasure Hunters' campaign, but nothing about that concept requires new rules. Dark Heresy is perfect for portraying a rag-tag group of adventurers in the 40Kverse- just drop any reference to being agents of the Inquisition, and you are good to go.

 

 

 

For the same reason that the Necromunda books use the title - because it is set there. Perhaps making it seem like a treasure hunter game was a poor choice of words. It is really focused on the jobs and stories of the individual players, instead of the exploits of the gang as a whole. Nothing about the rules we made really required new rules, either, as most of the document was a different way to handle character creation and then the addition of gun prices and food requirements. We chose Only War as the base game because the rules for combat were felt to be the best out of all the 40k RPG line. 

 

While somebody could absolutely just use Dark Heresy, you would still have to figure out a way to change character creation and adapt the prices and rarities to match more with the TT game. We already did that, and found that playing as a group of Underhivers that did whatever it took to survive worked better than a direct adaptation of the TT skirmish game. 

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I respectfully disagree Lynata. (Which is rare in and of itself!) The necromunda ruleset portrayed gangs as survivors and often criminals! Until inducted and trained in the guard I believe the civilian occupations in DH2 make more sense! Hive home world, followed by outcast background in almost any role practically screams ganger IMHO.

 

I guess it depends on which aspect of gang life you'd want to focus on - for sure, the gangs consist of much more than just the enforcers rolling around with their guns, claiming and defending territory, collecting "taxes" and such. There would be engineers in workshops taking care of gun maintenance, alchemysts working in drug labs, even "diplomats". Yet at the same time, Necromunda also made it clear that each gang regularly operates warbands for fierce city fights in the underhive, and that is what the original Necromunda skirmish game was about.

 

What you are referring to sounds more like GW's Inquisitor skirmish game with all the specialists and skill tests - which even used a d100 and many the same talents and skills as Dark Heresy would decades later.

 

The vast majority of people who hear 'Necromunda' immediately think of the popular tabletop skirmish game; so, if your Necromunda RPG isn't an adaptation of that game, why call it 'Necromunda'?

 

Have to agree with cpteveros here. Necromunda is both a ruleset as well as a setting, just like Warhammer 40.000 in general. As such, the term "Necromunda RPG" works just as well as Black Industries and FFG using "Warhammer 40.000 Roleplay" as a brand for Dark Heresy & Co - it sets expectations and tells you what it's about.

 

Askil envisioned a more free-form treasure hunter-esque game, with more of a focus on the individual players than the turf wars of the Necromunda tabletop. I was opposed to this at the start, but after playing it, I can see why this works much better for an RPG than the gang dynamic of the TT. 

 

Now I'm curious - how so? Isn't "gang dynamic" quite similar to the dynamic within a Deathwatch squad or an Only War platoon?

 

Having a military (or in the case of gang warfare, paramilitary) objective does not preclude varied characters and interesting roleplaying, even when you share related backgrounds, as opposed to the colourfully mixed Dark Heresy acolyte cells. It's merely going to be more of a "dungeoncrawl" ... but even this must not necessarily hold true, as skilled GMs have proven in rather unusual Only War and even Deathwatch campaigns.

 

Even for a "treasure hunt", who is a gang more likely to send? A group of experienced shooters who are used to fighting for their people, or a wild mix of civilians and outsiders? In my opinion, the former would be far easier to come together than the latter. Variety just doesn't work under all conditions.*

 

 

(*: up to personal interpretation - see FFG's Only War ditching gender separation and freely mixing specialists with grunt squads in favour of allowing greater freedom to interested players, at the cost of uniqueness)

Edited by Lynata

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Yeah it depends really on what scope a GM wants for a given game, on what mechanics to use, tweak and so on and so forth. I sometimes build house systems for the ground up to suit what I want to do in a given campaign, though if an existing mechanic covers it, I don't see a whole lot of point.

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Now I'm curious - how so? Isn't "gang dynamic" quite similar to the dynamic within a Deathwatch squad or an Only War platoon?

 

Having a military (or in the case of gang warfare, paramilitary) objective does not preclude varied characters and interesting roleplaying, even when you share related backgrounds, as opposed to the colourfully mixed Dark Heresy acolyte cells. It's merely going to be more of a "dungeoncrawl" ... but even this must not necessarily hold true, as skilled GMs have proven in rather unusual Only War and even Deathwatch campaigns.

 

Even for a "treasure hunt", who is a gang more likely to send? A group of experienced shooters who are used to fighting for their people, or a wild mix of civilians and outsiders? In my opinion, the former would be far easier to come together than the latter. Variety just doesn't work under all conditions.*

 

 

(*: up to personal interpretation - see FFG's Only War ditching gender separation and freely mixing specialists with grunt squads in favour of allowing greater freedom to interested players, at the cost of uniqueness)

 

 

 

While it is true that the squad theme from OW would translate well to a gang, I think Askil wanted to have a game that was more influenced by the books than by the actual skirmish game. The advantage of doing it our way is that each player has far more control over the background and nature of their character, rather than being locked into the set stereotypes that Necromunda gangs represent. 

 

The other thing that was interesting was the group dynamic - the players were hired on for jobs together, but were under no obligation to do anything together beyond that. Everyone had a different goal and a different set of plans, which didn't always mean they would be playing with everyone else. So with a bunch of characters with wildly different backgrounds, there were fights between players as well as ventures that involved everyone. People got into it much more than "you are 1st squad. guard this trench" that forced them all to stay together all the time. 

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When I ran World of Darkness, I found that without impetus from their agency, the characters split up constantly, and actively worked against each other, which pretty much tore the campaign, and the group sat at the table, apart.

I'm not sure it's the kind of thing I'd encourage on the whole.

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Splitting up the party in  a combat heavy RPG could be dangerous.

Players constantly working against  each other works best in Paranoia (and usualy not in other games).

 

@SgtLazarus: What World of darkness were you playing? Vampire? Promethean?generic?  Old WoD? New WoD?

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When I ran World of Darkness, I found that without impetus from their agency, the characters split up constantly, and actively worked against each other, which pretty much tore the campaign, and the group sat at the table, apart.

I'm not sure it's the kind of thing I'd encourage on the whole.

 

My group is a naturally contentious bunch, and we aren't too ruined about the tabletop antics ruining friendships, as we are all used to fights and backstabbing even in "teamwork" focused games like base Only War or Rogue Trader. We liked that the stories and adventures were generated organically, and came out of what actions the PCs did or the people they spoke to, instead of just being assigned to the players. 

 

I always encouraged the players to work together, but I never forced them to. Some of the plot hooks and more lucrative jobs were ones that would be impossible to accomplish on their own, so that created an impetus to work as a team. Yes there was backstabbing, which made the campaign that much more interesting. One player's betrayal caused quite a catastrophe, leading to the other players attempting to hunt him down and make him pay. 

 

It was a good time. 

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I respectfully disagree Lynata. (Which is rare in and of itself!) The necromunda ruleset portrayed gangs as survivors and often criminals! Until inducted and trained in the guard I believe the civilian occupations in DH2 make more sense! Hive home world, followed by outcast background in almost any role practically screams ganger IMHO.

 

I guess it depends on which aspect of gang life you'd want to focus on - for sure, the gangs consist of much more than just the enforcers rolling around with their guns, claiming and defending territory, collecting "taxes" and such. There would be engineers in workshops taking care of gun maintenance, alchemysts working in drug labs, even "diplomats". Yet at the same time, Necromunda also made it clear that each gang regularly operates warbands for fierce city fights in the underhive, and that is what the original Necromunda skirmish game was about.

 

What you are referring to sounds more like GW's Inquisitor skirmish game with all the specialists and skill tests - which even used a d100 and many the same talents and skills as Dark Heresy would decades later.

 

Not really familiar with Inquisitor except the things you've written about it Lynata. (Which iirc were mostly positive!) I do have a copy of the old Necromunda book however. While I agree with you that any lower hive based campaign could be use the term Necromunda to set the tone, I find it hard to reconcile that environment with the highly diciplined nature of military life in OW. 

 

While I understand that Sgtlazarus has an emotional attachment to OW (and that's fine!); one must also understand that trying to put the Necromunda setting into an OW context requires quite a bit of shoehorning! DH2 already encompasses the variety of backgrounds that might be found in the underhive. It also better shows how different the people there would be than say, a full blown military organization. I'm sorry but IMHO, I don't believe Hive gangs or their various support elements give off anything like a military flavor to me. More like a gritty post apocalyptic vibe which is more easily simulated in DH2. 

 

Please note that this is not a comment on the Merits of either system as they are mechanically VERY similar! (Intentionally so!) Just the tone of either setting.

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@Robin Graves; We were playing Hunter: The Vigil as the primary game, but I permitted a Vampire and a Mage in the party on the understanding that they were supernaturally endowed agents of the Conspiracy that the cell worked for, hunting other monsters.

The party pulled itself apart because no one player was co-operating with any other player, and in fact they were usually actively working against each other whilst being sat at the same table, with the same objective and a government agency over their heads, because I gave them too much freedom as a Storyteller.

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While it is true that the squad theme from OW would translate well to a gang, I think Askil wanted to have a game that was more influenced by the books than by the actual skirmish game. The advantage of doing it our way is that each player has far more control over the background and nature of their character, rather than being locked into the set stereotypes that Necromunda gangs represent. 

 

Oh yes, I can understand that preference - I just wanted to contest the notion of that approach being better rather than merely a different take on it, whose reception would depend on individual preferences. Now, of course all our opinions are influenced by our preferences and as such my remark should not be necessary, but even so it seemed like a bold enough statement to make to trigger my typing fingers.

 

Ultimately, each of these approaches has its own advantages and disadvantages. You may prefer more varied backgrounds and personalities, whilst I am actually tempted to call it a flaw due to the isolated nature under which these people normally operate. It's like a bunch of Black Crusade characters just "happening" to come together, magically not killing each other and ending up as partners even beyond their initial goal and previous loyalties, in spite of regular conflicts within the group. We accept these things not because they make sense, but because it's the only way to move the game forward. If we'd play our characters 100% consequently all the time and without artificial, real-world-induced caution not to stomp on other players' literal feet, I'm sure we would see far more PvP, or the group simply splitting up because those characters just find it too hard to work alongside each other.

 

There's a threshold how much cooperation seems realistic, and it will differ between the various character types as well as our personal interpretations of them. But at some point, things may start to look a little too odd. That's what I'd be worried about.

 

Conversely, the gang-approach provides a stable frame for a "family unit" that makes it much easier to stay together, whilst simultaneously supplying easy-to-use moulds for players to fill with their own ideas, still retaining a considerable degree of artistic freedom if they have the ability to work within certain constraints. After all, it's not like being a member of a gang precludes having a unique appearance, personality, role or backstory - quite the contrary! Let us not forget that even the sons and daughters of Necromunda nobility may find themselves joining a gang ... simply because they were bored and currently in a rebellious phase.

 

The other thing that was interesting was the group dynamic - the players were hired on for jobs together, but were under no obligation to do anything together beyond that. Everyone had a different goal and a different set of plans, which didn't always mean they would be playing with everyone else. So with a bunch of characters with wildly different backgrounds, there were fights between players as well as ventures that involved everyone. People got into it much more than "you are 1st squad. guard this trench" that forced them all to stay together all the time. 

 

You can have that within a gang, too, just not at the same considerable risk (which I actually think is another advantage) - and personally, I'd consider it ... unlikely that so very different characters would manage to stay together for a prolonged amount of time without sacrificing a degree of what made them so unique in the first place.

 

Ultimately, it comes down to what the players want to focus on, what sort of atmosphere they'd consider more interesting, and how well their creativity meshes with both the group and the game world.

 

When I ran World of Darkness, I found that without impetus from their agency, the characters split up constantly, and actively worked against each other, which pretty much tore the campaign, and the group sat at the table, apart.

 

I guess it really depends on the players - if everyone knows exactly how far they can go, it may work out. But I see a considerable chance for someone ruining it for someone else, even if the latter party may not speak up.

 

"Heavy risk ... but the prize ..."

 

Not really familiar with Inquisitor except the things you've written about it Lynata. (Which iirc were mostly positive!) I do have a copy of the old Necromunda book however. While I agree with you that any lower hive based campaign could be use the term Necromunda to set the tone, I find it hard to reconcile that environment with the highly diciplined nature of military life in OW. 

 

While I understand that Sgtlazarus has an emotional attachment to OW (and that's fine!); one must also understand that trying to put the Necromunda setting into an OW context requires quite a bit of shoehorning! DH2 already encompasses the variety of backgrounds that might be found in the underhive. It also better shows how different the people there would be than say, a full blown military organization. I'm sorry but IMHO, I don't believe Hive gangs or their various support elements give off anything like a military flavor to me. More like a gritty post apocalyptic vibe which is more easily simulated in DH2. 

 

I really wouldn't call Only War as a game "highly disciplined" - there's too many regiments like Catachans or Savlars or (*shameless plug*) Xenonians who use Munitorum regs as toilet paper for that. Sure, on the other end of the extreme you have Cadians, Mordians, Praetorians ... but the thing is, Only War as a game needs to cater to them all. So why can't it cater to a gang, too, especially when entire regiments such as the Necromundan 8th ("The Spiders") are recruited as-is, with everyone keeping their role and position in the hierarchy?

 

Each game FFG has written has their own focus on a theme, with unique rules and stats specifically tailored towards that one focus. And for Dark Heresy, be it 1E or 2E, that theme is investigation. If you want an underhive treasure hunt, sure, I can see how DH could work out nicely. But to simulate the fierce street fights, my obvious candidate is the one game that has as its focus a band of comrades-in-arms shooting things.

Edited by Lynata

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The "moulds" of a gang present a problem, in my view, in that every gang is basically a themed stereotype that everyone in the gang must belong to. All the Cawdors are religious fanatics who support the Redemption, all the Delaques are baldies wearing trench coats and skulking in the shadows, etc. So what happens when not all of your players want to shoehorn themselves into one narrow stereotype? The gangs recruit from specific houses or occupations, so everyone in the gang is uniformly the same, with very similar backgrounds. Furthermore, in a Necromunda gang, there is a leader, the gangers, a heavy or two, and some juves. So with four "roles" to choose from, there aren't a whole lot of options to differentiate from the other players. 

 

I'm not saying that gang warfare would not be a fun role playing experience, because I think in some cases it would be. The way the Necromunda skirmish game presents the gangs make it unappealing for a group of players with different character ideas to role play, as opposed to play a whole gang in the table top skirmish. 

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So with four "roles" to choose from, there aren't a whole lot of options to differentiate from the other players. 

 

Aside from all the different weapons and ways to use them, of course!

 

But I absolutely agree that a focus on gangs is by necessity a more narrow experience. In fact, I argued for this to be an advantage rather than a disadvantage, as it provides a greater sense of familiarity and co-operation for the characters, rather than relying on loose cooperations that don't exactly seem common in that setting.

 

However, a "narrow stereotype"? Well, I suppose if you distil the gangs down to their most common and uniformly present attributes, sure. In the same vein where every Ultramarine is the same, every Sister of Battle, every Commissar, every single Valhallan grunt and every single Cadian shock trooper. Uniformity should not have to mean cardboard cutouts, however. It may certainly be somewhat more challenging to personalise/individualise these types of characters than to simply parade a unique archetype and focus almost entirely on that, especially as you should not cross certain lines that do limit just how different a character could be without violating what their faction stands for - and even professional novel writers may and (imho) regularly do walk right into this trap - but that should in no way stigmatise such types of characters in general. It merely means people have to put some more thought into their backstory rather than just copying what it says in a two-paragraph faction description.

 

Necromunda gangers may be identified by their affiliation first and foremost, but that doesn't mean they could not have unique quirks, backgrounds or appearances, their own opinions, family ties of varying strength and meaning, and their very own dreams or fears, rational or irrational.

 

Again, a matter of preferences - but I am here in defence of the "bands of brothers" you see in numerous war/police/crime movies and novels who all come from a similar vocation and still clearly have a unique personality and history. ;)

Edited by Lynata

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