Necromunda On the Direction of Necromunda

What would like to see from Future-munda releases?

  • An open system much like ORB/NCE where all weapons are centralised and anyone can dip in?

    Votes: 12 57.1%
  • A system that each House has its own weapons supplier only. (no TP weapons only HWL)

    Votes: 9 42.9%
  • A system that you buy a fighter and it comes pre-rolled with weapons and armour + upgrade options.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    21

MusingWarboss

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Oct 31, 2013
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No. 1 opening statement/disclaimer - this is not The Sump. Just a discussion.

The Direction of Necromunda AKA the N17-20 Series.

Just reading through another thread or two and it lead me to doing some sunny day musing, so I’m just slapping a few thoughts out here.

The direction that Neomunda has taken over the last few years has been a bit all over the place. It’s been discussed in length about the various failings and triumphs but I just wanted to talk a out what direction Specialist Games may be heading and if the should and other possible (community) directions.

So first off it seems like the SG team have got themselves stuck at a crossroads, one with three conflicting branches:
  • A traditional Trading Post, much like the 1995 game.
  • House Weapons Lists
  • Preferred Gang Builds.
Now the reasons for mention much of this comes from the seeming disconnect each pathway has with each other, almost as if they're competing to see which one will be the public's preferred route for the game.

So lets start with...
The Trading Post.

I'm pretty sure this "feature" has been retroactively back ported into the game as designed by James Hewitt, which according to his Goonhammer interview was a crazy mix of differing briefs he had to crunch together. The eventual Trading Post saw light in Gang War 3 which was long after he had left the project and it was being maintained by another set of designers.
The fan reaction to much of the Underhive box was a little mixed and the lack of weapons, being only what was on the sprue, plus the fact that I'd guess most of the player base skipped that version for the Gang War (1) supplement probably lead to the designers stuffing a Trading Post back into a system that has had it excised.

Problem is...

House Weapons Lists.
...which have differing prices to the ones in the Trading Post. This can lead to issues on selling or calculating things and armour wasn't officially detachable* nor any means of getting rid of its official point bloat when equipping new armour. Now this has been corrected in the House of ??? books to start with no armour but it does show that the system was set up at is beginning with armour very much integrated into the profiles of the fighters, right up until Gangs of the Underhive.

So not only do we have these house lists but we have house specific weapons as well as discounts and these are clearly intended to drive a certain "flavour" or "fluff" aspect, and while it seems some houses have benefited from that, others seemingly haven't. Take Cawdor for example. Now at present its HoF book hasn't been released so things may change but as it stands this is supposed to be the poor house, who cobble together weapons from junk and like burning things to purify them, as if their faith. So why are their 3 flamer weapons so highly priced? They had every opportunity to whip 25% off the cost of the weapons to encourage using them but they didn't. Nor did they make dangerous reclaimed versions. Instead you got the blunderbuss which seems to serve the same purpose... so why have the flamer stuff in there then? Fluff?

Preferred Gang Builds.
Its been noted a few times that gangs seem to have a preferred build from their creators, almost as if they expected you play in a specific way with them. This is often borne out in the costs to build some miniatures and with the House books its more apparent with restrictive fighter weapon lists.

This has led to a situation where the three system conflict. What is the point of the Trading Post carrying so many weapons when now various fighter classes can't access them and the ones that can it would probably be pointless/a waste giving them a lesser weapon. Why have house weapon lists when fighters are clearly being priced into certain directions?

Where are they going?

It does look increasingly likely that with the House "Codexes" we're getting a 40k style gang building system but one that they haven't fully committed to. Why buy a Goliath Bruiser (Ganger) and mess about adding armour and weapons and all that when they could've just gone back to 2017 and sold you him complete with armour and a stubcannon as standard, offering weapon upgrades as +so many points for a combat shotgun etc. What they're offering is the illusion of choice now, there are still options on there which are completely sub optimal and yet at the same time they've whipped away your ability to "rule of cool" it with stuff that doesn't appear on their individual lists. Why is a Renderizer a champion only weapon? If a Ganger can wield a massive axe then they could a Renderizer - in fact why is lots of little blades better than one big one? It looks more likely that you'd snap one off hitting something hard.

Also the Trading Post itself is mysteriously absent from recent releases and even this mythical PDF hasn't materialised. Most people offer up the idea that you should get the GotU for it - but you don't need it to play - everything you need is in your Gang House book now. It's kinda surplus to requirements - for weapons at least.
If they do issue it on PDF, don't be surprised if it eventually becomes just a list of wargear and occasional fancy item. It really doesn't need the standard guns on it.
The Black Market has a place where it contains things that appear on no House Lists at all - its all contraband so it still works. Effectively in a HWL only system the Black Market is the new Trading Post.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see the campaigns divorced from the main rule books too. That way they can sell us campaign environment expansions, such as Ash Wastes, The Skull etc, each of which comes with its own campaign suited to that environment (and possibly a Trading Post with items tailored to it too).
We've already had three campaigns in the system already and it seems to me the Dark Uprising themed one is the taster to see if these environment expansions have legs.

So what would like to see from Future-munda releases?

An open system much like ORB and NCE where all weapons are centralised and anyone can dip in and customise to their hearts delight?

A system that each House has its own weapons supplier only. You shop there for your goods, which allows pricing restructuring to account for the theming of each house but still gives you flexibility to assign weapons how you like to fighters.

A system that you buy a fighter and it comes pre-rolled with weapons and armour to fit a designated role but you have the option to upgrade certain weapons, armour and gear for X creds.

I think I know which one's you'll pick and I also suspect the one you don't is the one they're going for, after all it started like that back in 2017!

What do you think about detached campaigns linked to environments and not the rulebook?


*there was no rule. Just an advisory from some Facebook group.
 
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Ardavion

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No. 1 opening statement/disclaimer - this is not The Sump. Just a discussion.
Noted.
So what would like to see from Future-munda releases?
I'd like to suggest an alternative; a singular trading post of prices, and gangs get +/-% modifiers as a HWL when buying weapons, e.g. -10% for Escher getting laspistols/lasguns, +10% for autopistols and autoguns, +20% for stub guns and stub cannons, Goliath pretty much have it the other way around. All weapons would have a corresponding value for each gang, which would be in their rules.

Its a little more maths than maybe some people are wanting in their skirmish games full of rolling numbers and doing calculations anyway, but when you can get used to calcuating one fifth or half of values rounded up anyway, a little percentage work shouldn't be a challenge.

Prices upon purchase then revert to the "trading post" price for calculating ganger/gang rating and resell value, keeping the values consistent from gang to gang.
What do you think about detached campaigns linked to environments and not the rulebook?
Not sure what you mean by linking them to environments, or detached campaigns; is this like the Ash Wastes having a dedicated campaign, or are you referring to rules bundled in with terrain boxes/tile packs?
 

MusingWarboss

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is this like the Ash Wastes having a dedicated campaign
Yes, a campaign system designed for the environment (or situation) they are supposedly in. This would be a chance to explore different places in different ways and having a Trading Post linked to that environment means that apart from weapons/equipment taken into the campaign there may well be limited resources or abundant ones in this environment.

So if it was the Ash Wastes, then the campaign could have a hydration mechanism, so you have to fight for water resources and this may limit how big a gang can get out there. Also the desert area may have only a few travelling salemen so option for buying gear may be more limited than in the underhive itself. You also might need equipment which is more suited to survival in that space, such as things that can see through dust storms, respirator etc.

I was thinking like you used to get campaign packs for AD&D and the like which came with all a DM would need to send the adventurers into, including any unique creatures etc. All of which add on to the material in the Players Handbook/DM Guide i.e. the Rules needed to play.
 
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Ardavion

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Yes, a campaign system designed for the environment (or situation) they are supposedly in. This would be a chance to explore different places in different ways and having a Trading Post linked to that environment means that apart from weapons/equipment taken into the campaign there may well be limited resources or abundant ones in this environment.

So if it was the Ash Wastes, then the campaign could have a hydration mechanism, so you have to fight for water resources and this may limit how big a gang can get out there. Also the desert area may have only a few travelling salemen so option for buying gear may be more limited than in the underhive itself. You also might need equipment which is more suited to survival in that space, such as things that can see through dust storms, respirator etc.

I was thinking like you used to get campaign packs for AD&D and the like which came with all a DM would need to send the adventurers into, including any unique creatures etc. All of which add on to the material in the Players Handbook/DM Guide i.e. the Rules needed to play.
N95-NCE basically had/has that exact approach to campaign settings - to me, that's the standard approach to campaign settings for any sort of gaming medium (having an environment/location/situation and writing rules for it).

I'd say the difference with N17+ is that the campaign rules thus far have been the same place, just different ways of looking at it (not read said rules, but it's what I interpret about them from comments etc). If you want to have a "complete" campaign or a specific flavour combining certain mechanics, you need multiple books.
 

Unslain

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In short, what I'd ideally like to see is an open trading post but then I'd really like to use N17+ as a gateway game into ORB/NCE so I'm very biased. I never liked the HWLs of '04; I've done similar to them for flavour before but that was by choice rather than imposed restrictions. I'd settle for having an HWL for gang start-up but I like the feel of freedom that an open list gives.

I would like to see the "living" PDF trading post that's been hinted at in the past, but I think we'd actually be better served by SG producing campaign book supplements with setting-specific trading posts included. In large part because I'd rather they made campaigns than rehashed the gangs yet again. The "Book of" series got that mostly right in my opinion, sets of optional extras to make a campaign that bit different. They were perhaps a bit too free of a toolkit though, as I have the impression that a lot of groups have thrown everything in together and I don't personally feel that tends to work. But set campaigns using a limited set of changes to, or entirely separate from, the currently default Dominion system would in my opinion be easier to balance while still leaving the option for groups to mix elements together for something homebrew.

In fact I'm hoping that this "big reveal" for Q4 on the roadmap is for a source book set on the Eye of Selene. Won't require new terrain, opens up an option for PDF units (maybe navy ratings/press gangs) or similar and potentially dramatis personae from the imperial armies of 40k.

I'd love for an ash wastes campaign to be on the horizon, but I'd really want whatever new sprues came our way to be gang-generic for that. Otherwise players are waiting for their preferred gang to get their turn and the setting won't seem so popular sales-wise as it might genuinely be. But an armed troop carrier the first quarter, a light vehicle the next, mini-sprues of crew bodies for each gang to work with the existing sprues (like the weapon sprues we're seeing) if we're lucky, and then followed by a bike/trike kit. But I'm getting carried away.

I'd like to suggest an alternative; a singular trading post of prices, and gangs get +/-% modifiers as a HWL when buying weapons, e.g. -10% for Escher getting laspistols/lasguns, +10% for autopistols and autoguns, +20% for stub guns and stub cannons, Goliath pretty much have it the other way around. All weapons would have a corresponding value for each gang, which would be in their rules.
Personally I think fixed-credit modifiers would be better than percentages, despite the elegance of the latter. I know it sort of amounts to just another HWL set at that point, but the weapon traits system could be used to identify exactly what is a las weapon, solid shot, bolt or what have you, and then when a gang has a rule of "las weaponry costing 10 credits or more costs 5 credits less per item for this gang, 10 credits less for weapons from the heavy category" it ought to be pretty clear and avoid the need for the per-fighter lists we are getting now.
 

Ardavion

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In short, what I'd ideally like to see is an open trading post but then I'd really like to use N17+ as a gateway game into ORB/NCE so I'm very biased. I never liked the HWLs of '04; I've done similar to them for flavour before but that was by choice rather than imposed restrictions. I'd settle for having an HWL for gang start-up but I like the feel of freedom that an open list gives.
Same, sort of; I don't like HWLs except in very rare circumstances, but enough people seem to want them.
I would like to see the "living" PDF trading post that's been hinted at in the past, but I think we'd actually be better served by SG producing campaign book supplements with setting-specific trading posts included. In large part because I'd rather they made campaigns than rehashed the gangs yet again. The "Book of" series got that mostly right in my opinion, sets of optional extras to make a campaign that bit different. They were perhaps a bit too free of a toolkit though, as I have the impression that a lot of groups have thrown everything in together and I don't personally feel that tends to work. But set campaigns using a limited set of changes to, or entirely separate from, the currently default Dominion system would in my opinion be easier to balance while still leaving the option for groups to mix elements together for something homebrew.
It would depend on how "living" the trading post would be, and if other components would follow suit, for me to want such a thing. I'd appreciate having campaign-specific circumstances of trading posts being different, but having a trading post be dynamically updated might catch people out in the same way as the new rulebooks and house books replacing previous versions of gangs etc.
In fact I'm hoping that this "big reveal" for Q4 on the roadmap is for a source book set on the Eye of Selene. Won't require new terrain, opens up an option for PDF units (maybe navy ratings/press gangs) or similar and potentially dramatis personae from the imperial armies of 40k.
Given that "big reveals" for GW these days are new editions of things, I think a new source book is the best we could hope for; the Eye of Selene would be a lovely opportunity for GW to revisit the Elucidian Farstriders as navy ratings or similar, which are some of the most novel 40k models GW have put out in a while.
I'd love for an ash wastes campaign to be on the horizon, but I'd really want whatever new sprues came our way to be gang-generic for that. Otherwise players are waiting for their preferred gang to get their turn and the setting won't seem so popular sales-wise as it might genuinely be. But an armed troop carrier the first quarter, a light vehicle the next, mini-sprues of crew bodies for each gang to work with the existing sprues (like the weapon sprues we're seeing) if we're lucky, and then followed by a bike/trike kit. But I'm getting carried away.
I don't think we'd be getting vehicle releases as part of Necromunda; maybe certain upgrade sprues to rehash existing vehicles, if vehicles did become a concept in Necromunda. It would be a lovely opportunity for some new vehicles, or revisit some old forge world vehicles that have been dropped (the Tauros assault vehicle and it's bigger Venator variant, for example).

Getting Ash Waste variants of existing gangers would be a bit of an investment for GW that I'm not sure they'd get back - people playing ash wastes pre-N17 were pretty happy just using their existing minis, but I'm not denying the hobby potential for getting Orlocks wrapped in headscarfs, Escher wearing long cloaks to protect from the dust clouds, and the Goliath somehow wearing even more fetish gear because Mad Max, y'all.
Personally I think fixed-credit modifiers would be better than percentages, despite the elegance of the latter. I know it sort of amounts to just another HWL set at that point, but the weapon traits system could be used to identify exactly what is a las weapon, solid shot, bolt or what have you, and then when a gang has a rule of "las weaponry costing 10 credits or more costs 5 credits less per item for this gang, 10 credits less for weapons from the heavy category" it ought to be pretty clear and avoid the need for the per-fighter lists we are getting now.
Fixed costs could be as easily implemented as percentages - it's just a table with weapons along one side, the gangs along the other, and where they intersect the increase/decrease in price, be it absolute values or percentages.

I'd still prefer a percentage, though, as it:
  • Forgives changes in prices across books (such as with settings) and keeps the flavour of gangs
  • Gives weapons a fair shake across the board instead of providing bigger discounts for cheaper weapons or smaller increases for more expensive ones
  • Stops the potential of weird boundary issues where one weapon costing just outside a bracket is more/less expensive than one just within it, or weird issues with variable cost weapons costing more with a low roll or less with a high roll, leading to trying to wait for the right roll to buy a given item
There's nothing stopping a merging of the ideas, though - having flat reductions/increases coupled with percentages can easily be implemented alongside each other from a mathematical standpoint, it just makes the rules explaining what is going on more complicated.