New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs (updated 01/17/2014)

Ambience327

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Hi there. My name is Matt. I'm new here, but I thought I would introduce myself with what I do best: some home brew rules. (Some people may recognize me from some of my work with 40K Codexes, including Adeptus Arbites, Genestealer Cults, Harlequins and Exodites.)

What I have for you today is my home-brew rules for running a Genestealer Cult gang in Necromunda. You can download it from the link at the bottom of this post.

LAST UPDATED 01/17/2014

The reason I decided to create my own Genestealer Cult list is that I have never been satisfied with any of the previous versions I have seen, so I decided to toss my own version out there. Many versions I have seen before have the Cult gang being led by a Magus or even the Patriarch, and to me those guys are better left to a larger arena. I feel the focus of a Genestealer Cult gang in Necromunda should be a single sleeper cell trying to carve out a place for themselves in the Underhive in order to further the greater Cult's cause. To that end, I have the Cult gang being led by a Hierarch hybrid, with access to other hybrid types (Neophytes and Acolytes, representing early and late generation hybrids) as well as Brood Brothers who have more zeal than skill and one or two Purestrain Genestealers to make them really scary up close. (This is balanced by the fact that they don't have any Heavies, and only the Hierarch has easy access to Special Weapons - the rest of the Gang can only access Techno skills by rolling a 2 or 12 on the advancement chart.)

Another thing I have seen a lot is having the Cult gang start out as Outlaws or Outlanders. While this works OK, I don't think it really captures the feel of the Cult's attempts to secretly infiltrate all levels of society. If they are careful, a Cult cell could definitely pass themselves off as a normal gang. However, there is always a chance they will be exposed for what they are, and that is when things go bad. To represent this, I have them set up to play like a "normal" gang at the start of the campaign, but they are forced to roll on the Outlaw Table after nearly every battle (barring those fought against Outlaws or Outlanders), and with additional modifiers based on the number of Neophytes and Purestrains in their gang, as well as how connected they are in areas of influence (represented by their Gang Rating and the number of Guilder Contact Territories they have).

Of course, you can't have Genestealers without a chance of infecting others with their DNA, so Purestrains have the ability to attempt to implant captives which are not rescued or ransomed. This can allow them to quickly build up a large gang if they capture a lot of enemies, but of course larger gangs become more difficult to keep up with - especially if they are outlawed.

I tried to give some nice character to the Hybrids, with Acolytes playing much like normal gangers (representing their more human appearance) and Neophytes being more geared toward close combat - starting off with a better Move (5"), improved WS, I and A, but lowered BS and an inability to learn Shooting or Techno skills or use certain types of equipment. They gain even more character with the ability to purchase an extra arm, which can make them even more deadly in close combat. These benefits are somewhat balanced by the fact that Neophytes can't work certain types of Territories and can never go to the Trading Posts. (Also, the more Neophytes you have, the more likely you are to be Outlawed as noted above.) This makes the Acolytes and Brood Brothers more attractive and helps discourage the spamming of Neophytes without making it impossible by imposing artificial limitations. (The only limits are 1 Hiearch and 0-1 Purestrains!)

The Purestrains themselves represent a very different beast (pun intended). It is very easy to just say they don't gain any advancements and have them completely nasty to start with, but I would rather see them start out a little less disgusting and build from there. Thus, rather than having them roll for advancement as normal, I opted to give them their own advancement table and a single skill table with a selection of Genestealer-appropriate skills they can draw from. If they become sufficiently advanced (i.e. the roll an advancement grouping where all the stats are already at max, or roll up a skill they already have), they can then begin picking from a list of Biomorphs that give them some pretty unique and interesting abilities.

Overall, I think I've achieved an interesting flavor, but I know the list needs a lot more playtesting before I can really be done with it. I plan to do some myself, but if anyone has time to try it out, please let me know how it goes!

As always, comments and criticism are both strongly encouraged and greatly appreciated. If you notice something I missed, something you think I got wrong, or something that just doesn't make sense or could be improved, please feel free to let me know!
 

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Clagger

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Before we kick this off, what rules set did you have in mind as you wrote these guys up?

Living Rule book, Necromunda Community Edition or both? Let us know if you only know the LRB edition so then we can critic from the other rule books stand point.
 

Clagger

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

I think the fonts used in almost all Necromunda is headings in Impact and the text in Baskerville. (not sure, not at home)

Love the art work you found for it.


Rules:

Guilder Contacts D6x10 credits that are not "washed" through the income table when made Outlaw is alot of money. Then you can have 10 of those. That's a potential of 100 credits minimum per game once you steal a few guilders (pun intended). Starting out you auto get a Guilder Contact. I would instantly get a contact and keep the best territory I had and become outlaw asap. You keep more of the money on those two territories alone. I understand the Guilder can be found out on a 1 then a 4+, but it's not really going to happen much early game when everyone else isn't making much money. Outlaws looking for food usually pay for themselves and the territory makes the extra, your gang gets twice the extra.

Spyrers becoming infected, sounds good, but they have video cameras that are viewed over. Not sure how you get pass the fluff.

Cult Skill Table, put some x (crosses) under Acolytes Neophytes Techno and Shooting skills instead of -

What are the racial maximums for each ganger type?

Can Neophytes only gain an additional arm when you recruit the ganger?




Roster:
Purestrain (250) $250

Hierarch (150) $310
Grenade Launcher (130) frags (30)

3x Brood Brothers (30) $135
Stubguns (10) Dum Dum (5)

3x Acolytes (55) $240
Lasguns (25)

Total: $980



This gangs play style is definitely late campaign with skills being a requirement. I would hope to be outlawed asap.
 
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cardyfreak

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

This looks really good, very well put together. A few things I've noted from reading through-

The cult can't hire anyone. It would be nice if you could call in a primarch or magus as a mentor every now and again- a souped up mega-wyrd bringing teh pain would be a right laugh! Either as a mentor or spyrer style patriarch/ matriarch would be good.

Spyrers being captured- it says they are always classed as being killed or sent back up hive, but what if they roll higher than the pure strain so they would escape? Can't they go back to their mates?

Purestrain biomorph skill adrenal gland- does the option to sprint stack with the skill sprint if it already has that? Also if I roll a 2 or 12 so I can choose a skill, can I choose one I already have so I can get a biomorph skill? Should it not say you have to choose a skill unless they are all taken, then just choose a biomorph skill?
 

Ambience327

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Good feedback so far. Thanks!

@ Clagger

Thus far I have only used the original rulebook and the rules currently available from GW (I think that is the LRB, yes?) I haven't digested the Community Edition, but I plan to look it over eventually.

Good point on the credits situation. Not quite sure how to deal with that though. I want Guilder Contacts to be very important to the Cult, but I don't want being Outlawed to be a good thing. Maybe if you are Outlawed you keep the Guilder Contacts, but their income value is reduced to something like D6x2 or D6x3? Or perhaps limit them to only working one Territory from their 2+, but come up with some other advantage that Guilder Contacts give them as Outlaws - maybe they can still go to the normal Trading Post as they are visiting their contact? Any thoughts you folks might have here would be appreciated.

I forgot about the Spyrers' recording devices. I will have to think about that. I don't want infected Spyrers joining the Cult gang for sure, and I would love for there to be some chance for them to end up back above The Wall and infiltrating society. It doesn't mean anything in-game, but it helps build an awesome narrative!

I like the x idea - but I assume you mean for Neophytes, since they are the ones who are Technologically Challanged. :)

The racial maximums for all but the Purestrain are the same as for normal humans. I may need to mention that somewhere.

Yes, Neophytes can only get the arm at recruitment. They are either born with it or they are not - it doesn't grow later.


@ cardyfreak

I have considered adding a Magus and/or Patriarch as a Mentor, but I wanted to get the basic gang working right first.

I added the escape clause late into the game and forgot to include the Spyrers into it. I will re-work it so they have a chance of getting away. (Obviously, they would make it away with their gear, unlike others.) Thanks for catching that!

The Sprint skill would not stack - that combo would just mean you could Sprint without losing the True Grit skill. I should probably make that more clear.

I might just allow the 2 or 12 option to pick a Skill or a Biomorph. As it stands, getting one will take quite a while (which may not be too bad). Not sure on this. Thoughts?
 

cardyfreak

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

I think the biomorph skills should be relatively rare. So 2-12 means pick a skill (if any are left) and if you have them all, then take a biomorph. Then 3-4, 10-11, which already has the random effect of a roll, can produce 'early' biomorph skills if a duplicate skill is rolled. That would be a cool way of doing it I think!
 

Clagger

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Ambience327 said:
I like the x idea - but I assume you mean for Neophytes, since they are the ones who are Technologically Challanged. :)

Suddenly I think I'm mentally challenged, I play Black Templars which have Neophytes, so I wrote that, I truly did. Then I deleted it to re-word it and brain fart. ::)

When you become Outlaw, you should lose all your territories except one that aren't Guilder Contacts but can only work one territory per game. Genestealer Purestrains should get to roll 2D6 for finding food. It's not that over powered when you think of the $250 it costs.

You said in your first post Purestrain are 0-1 but in the Roster it's 0-2 so I assume it's meant to be 0-2 (make it 2!).

For the Spyrers, why cant the spyrer be infected and appear to fight off the Genestealer, can you imagine the praise they would get upon returning uphive, only to actually be infected without realising at first?


I might just allow the 2 or 12 option to pick a Skill or a Biomorph.
Let them pick from the Biomorph table on a 2 or 12 and number the Biomorph so it too is random, which follows the normal rules then for everything to do with skills or upgrades.

So if they roll a 12, it's a random Biomorph, if they already have that Biomorph they can then pick any one they want (Yay!) or upgrade a stat line up to its racial maximum.

If they roll 3-4 or 10-11 then it's the Genestealer Skills table, if they already have that skill they can then pick any skill they want (yay...) or upgrade a stat line up to its racial maximum.

This makes Biomorphs rare as hell and when it finally happens, imagine the squeal of glee coming from a 30yr old bearded man playing with little toys in an outdated gaming system from the 90's. :-X

The reason the Biomorphs should be random is because you are part of the Hive, the Hive dictates what evolution is needed, not you. You're not the Hive Mind, you're a slave to it. Also it makes rules easier.
 
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cardyfreak

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Having a dedicated roll to pick a biomorph makes them less rare than having them as a secondary skill set though; having them allocated to the random chart, and then dependant on a random roll to get them makes them pretty hard to come by! And let's not forget how lethal a vanilla Purestrain is, the biomorph table just creates a turbo charged Arnie so I think they should be incredibly hard to come by. But the random nature of the rolls means that the second roll you make could produce one through pure chance, or you could never get one. I like that randomness!
 

Clagger

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Stats:
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5-6 Characteristic Increase: Roll again:
6 5 0 5 4 1 6 3 9 1-2: +1 Strength
3-5: +1 Attacks
Racial Maximum: 6: +1 Wounds
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
6 7 0 6 4 3 7 4 10 7 Characteristic Increase: Roll again:
1-4: +1 WS
Total stat upgrades: 8 5-6: +1 Wounds

A pure strain starts at 40xp +D6. 8-9 Characteristic Increase: Roll again:
His next advance is at; 1-3: +1 Initiative
4-5: +1 Leadership
51-60 6: +1 Wounds
61-80
81-100
101-120
121-140
141-160
161-180
181-200
201-240
241-280
281-320
321-360
361-400
401+

A total of 14 advances, with 6 Skills and 8 Stat increases to gain. Currently, once you max out a stat or skill and roll it again, you get a Biomorph. This can happen pretty quickly or in a while, but it will eventually. If only 2 or 12 is used then it 'might' happen and if it never happens then you still get the most amazing Genestealer ever who can:

M6 x3 +D6
Armour: 5+ and 5++
When Down, can crawl 4"
Sets up not within 8" of the enemy at the end of your first turn.
The more fighters who attack you, the better (massively, combat master is over powered).
You cause Fear which means a LD test for them, if they fail it's WS1 or cant charge this turn.
-1 to hit for Rapid Moving Target. The target moved 12" or more in his previous move phase.

Your stat line:
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
6 7 0 6 4 3 7 4 10

Simply awesome as is.






Acid Blood: The Purestrain’s blood is a corrosive acid that can eat through a plascrete slab in moments. When it is hurt, those nearby may be sprayed with the acid. Any fighter who causes one or more Wounds on the Purestrain in hand-to-hand combat will immediately suffer a single S4 hit with a -1 save modifier.

Acid Blood: The Purestrain’s blood is a corrosive acid that can eat through a plascrete slab in moments. When it is hurt, those nearby may be sprayed with the acid. If a Purestrain suffers any Wounds while in hand-to-hand combat, it will immediately inflict a single S4 hit with a -1 save modifier on any enemy fighters in base contact.
Because shooting into close combat is a thing.

If I could choose a Biomorph without a random roll, I would always choose Toxin Sacs with a re-roll to wound and a 4+ OOA roll. Hell yeah.

Change:
2 Sprint

with:
Dive, Sneak up, Jump Back or Catfall (Catfall is the least over powered and in-theme). Now there is no problem with Adrenal Glands. ;)


Edit: As a Tyranid player, personally I feel Combat master should be removed as Genestealers are a one on one fighter, when out numbered they die. With the speed you have, you should be able to get out of trouble or not be attacked by a group.
 
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Ambience327

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

You guys are providing some really great feedback. I am reading and digesting all of it, and some of it WILL influence some changes. Thank you!!!!
 

cardyfreak

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

I like the idea to swap the sprint skill out. Catfall or jumpback are my favourites to replace it, but if I had to choose one id go for catfall. Insane genestealer using adrenal sacs to sprint across rooftops and jump off a 12" rooftop to land amongst a group of juves? Yes please!
 

Clagger

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

cardyfreak said:
Insane genestealer using adrenal sacs to sprint across rooftops and jump off a 12" rooftop to land amongst a group of juves? Yes please!

He would have to make an Initiative Test, I roll alot of 1's and that would be a S10 High Impact hit on him and auto OOA, Catfall lets me remove the damage on an Initiative Test which could probably pass, but then I am still face down in front of juves with pistols at close range. Death by pin pricks. :p

The Original Roster for Genestealer Cult made the Purestrains immune to pinning, not in this Roster though.

Movement 6, Sprint, Leap, Catfall = 19 to 24 movement, then x2 = Total distance it can fall. So a drop of 38" is totally legal and you can end up in combat too.
 

LuckGod

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Huh? I don't get this. I may be missing something but
Sprint triples you run or charge distance which would make it 18 for a purestrain with an extra D6" if you have Leap. Making a charge of 19-24" (assuming the other player is not stupid and just hides all his guys... cant find me cant charge me!)
Where is the x2 coming from?
 

spafe

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Thats for the drop distance (skill means he can fall twice as far no?). So claggers saying stealer could be almost 40in above the target, and jsut drop onto them into combat with no damage.
 

Margorach

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

spafe said:
Thats for the drop distance (skill means he can fall twice as far no?). So claggers saying stealer could be almost 40in above the target, and jsut drop onto them into combat with no damage.

No ur wrong

NCE
1: Catfall If a model with the Catfall skill falls then he can take an Initiative test. If the test is passed then he suffers no damage from the fall but will still be pinned. The fighter is also no longer restricted to jumping down from heights of no more than 3", instead he can jump down from any height.

LRB
1 Catfall
A model with the Catfall skill halves the distance fallen
when calculating the strength of any hits which result
from falling. Round fractions down.

SKILLS v2 ( our group uses these)
1. Catfall. A fighter with catfall may take an
initiative test to avoid damage from falling. If the
fighter rolls under his initiative, he has rolled out
of the fall. Though uninjured, the fighter will still
be pinned. Falls of more than 12” still
automatically take the fighter out of action.
 

cardyfreak

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

My original point was though that a stealer with catfall can pounce off a roof top into h2h. As long as he rolls under his initiative, if he's in b2b he stands up to fight. Or use him as a cannon ball to drop onto someone's head and hope his toughness and wounds hold out against the drop!
 

Clagger

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Glad I didn't have to comment now. He only gets pinned if you fail the first Initiative test, so you can totally pass it on the genestealer and end up in combat. If he fails the first Initiative test then he will fall and be pinned and can test again to ignore the injury. The Skills V2 makes more sense because 40" drop and only being pinned is bullshit. Anything more than 10" or 12" should be dead in my opinion.

You have to remember that a model only counts as falling if he:
  • Is jumping down more than 3"
  • Jumping down more than his total movement amount.
Catfall ignores the 3" fall so only the total movement is counted, and only once you move more than your allowed do you count as falling. So yes, you can jump down 38 inches, pass your first initiative test and be in close combat.
 

spafe

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Yay, I did understand correctly, just forgot to mention that required you to pass an Int check (for a stealers its practically a given). And yes, this does seem quite dirty
 

Margorach

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Re: New rules for Genestealer Cult gangs

Clagger said:
Glad I didn't have to comment now. He only gets pinned if you fail the first Initiative test, so you can totally pass it on the genestealer and end up in combat. If he fails the first Initiative test then he will fall and be pinned and can test again to ignore the injury. The Skills V2 makes more sense because 40" drop and only being pinned is bullshit. Anything more than 10" or 12" should be dead in my opinion.

You have to remember that a model only counts as falling if he:
  • Is jumping down more than 3"
  • Jumping down more than his total movement amount.
Catfall ignores the 3" fall so only the total movement is counted, and only once you move more than your allowed do you count as falling. So yes, you can jump down 38 inches, pass your first initiative test and be in close combat.

catfall also works when having to do an Ini check for falling of an edge or ledge after getting shot and either getting pinned or going down OR failing a Str test after being shot with a shotgun near a ledge edge w/e