Special rules for the six main gangs

p0dde

Gang Champion
Yak Philanthropist
Mar 2, 2016
439
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Copenhagen, Denmark
From the first time i tried Necromunda, back in the 90'ies, to this day, when I introduce new players to the game, the first thing that they comment on, is how similar the six main gangs are. When you play it more and get into it, you adjust your perspective, and start to see how the skill selection and gang trade list shape the gangs. And there is a difference, do doubt about it. But still i feel that it is a missed opportunity not to make the gangs more different.

I have tried to make a list of special rules for each of the six gangs, that I personally find will contribute to the flavor, and maybe also the play-styles, of the gangs. My goal is to keep working in the special rules until I can convince my campaign-mates to use it.
  • Cawdor: Indoctrination: Juves start with D6-1 xp and 2/3 of gang can be juves.
  • Delaque: Espionage: Gang has +1/-1 to scenario rolls
  • Orlock: Mob Tactics: Gang can work one territory each post-game, without sending a fighter.
  • Van Saar: Gear-heads: Gang gets +1 rare trades each post-game.
  • Escher: Misandry: Gangers gets +1 to all nerve tests when fighting against other non-Escher gangs.
  • Goliath: Stronger is Better: After gang creation the Gang Leader and D3 random gang members starts with an automatic +1 strength advance.
I would like to hear comments and suggestions, and maybe also a power ranking of the special rules? That would be very interesting to hear.

Thanks
 

speccy

Ganger
Aug 28, 2012
125
85
28
Glasgow
I like the idea that all the gangs have different abilities as well as skill sets. Have you play tested this at all?

Dont know about number crunching, hopefully someone will post up about it.
 
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Cuthbo

Ganger
Feb 17, 2011
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Have a look at the "House Specialities" pdf in the vault. Adds a fair bit of individuality to the house gangs, we use it in our own campaign, seems to work well, never had a problem, though we haven't had a goliath gang get rolled yet, the thought of possible 3 ogryns is terrifying haha.

https://yaktribe.games/community/vault/house-specialities.59/

Cheers, Cuthbo
 
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Ben_S

Hive Guilder
Honored Tribesman
Jul 26, 2015
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I assume part of - if not the main - reason for HWLs was to differentiate the gangs some more but, to be honest, I was never that bothered about this.

If you play a campaign then they'll soon end up different enough. And, if you happen to play one-off games, I think it's nice that forces are symmetrical - after all, white and black aren't any different in chess (besides white always seizing initiative!)

Obviously, feel free to play around with home-brew gang rules if you want, but I never saw the need and am kind of surprised if many others do.
 
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knowman

Ganger
Feb 17, 2011
197
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Chelmsford, MA, USA
I like the idea. I like the Van Saar and Delaque rules, and the Orlock rule seems reasonable enough.

I'm not sure about the Cawdor one. It seems okay, but I don't know what the actual impact would be. I feel like I don't at least see gang lists that have close to 50% juves, so being able to go over that, I'm not sure what the benefit is. I'd be inclined to maybe either give them a -1 to all flamer-related ammo rolls, or maybe some sort of bonus when it comes to pain or being pinned to reflect their fanaticism, off the top of my head.

Escher, the power level seems fine, and I actually like it thematically, but it seems to be significantly worse than the Goliaths' bonus. I could see the Goliaths having the same sort of perspective of being better than everyone else who isn't Goliath. But regardless, I think the Goliaths' benefit is overpowered. Maybe getting some sort of temporary strength bonus from 'roids that is rolled for before each game? But I would expect there to be at least a potential downside. Maybe 1-2 = 1 member gets a +1 strength, 3-4 = 2 members, 5 = 3 members, and 6 = some temp injury or drawback - maybe you can choose to have up to 3 but all of them are affected as if they had a Head Wound?
 
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spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
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Int for the Escher, LD for cawdor, A for orlock?, W for Van saar? Int could work for delaque too.

Just some ideas... not totally sure on the W for vansaar, and I deffo think WS and BS should be left alone.
 
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scavvyjay

Gang Hero
I was thinking T for Cawdor at the expense of BS.
Delaque would be the opposite BS up at the expense of T.
I think Orlock +Ld for BS,
Van Saar could be BS for Ld.
Escher I for S.
Goliath S for I.
My thinking behind this, Cawdor are tough buggers.
Delaque are shooty by maybe a bit weedy.
Orlock brave and slighlty more combat orientated than shooty.
Van Saar, again shooty but not so brave (this is actually a house stereotype I have had since the 90's).
Escher are the opposite of Goliath.
I'm just not sure if all these stats balance out properly.
 
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spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
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I wouldn't touch BS, it is too critical, so any gang with that bonus is soo much better.

Escher and Goliath pair well.
I would maybe go for T for orlocks at expense of something else, as they are tough to put down, wheras cawdors faith makes their LD higher, (hence redemption priests can get to ld 10)
not sure about how the others paly out, but I worry that given shooting is so key, reducing BS or increasing it is really risky to the balance of the gnags.
 
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scavvyjay

Gang Hero
I think this is really dependent on whether the gangs actually get the right advances. Ok a Delaque could have a max BS of 7 but it doesn't mean he'll get those advances. I thought both Ld and T mitigate the BS bonus as a lower T means easier to damage and a lower Ld means more failed bottle checks. As T is a really big thing I'd swap it with BS. To my mind Necromunda is determined a lot by shooting so if you boost it then T (which for me is the most important stat) should be affected. My thoughts on Cawdor getting the T bonus was more to do with self flagellation but your reasoning works equally well.
 
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spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
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Ah sorry, for some reason I thought it was also including the leader +d3 guys starting with the random stat advance... just the max stat... hmm, well that then makes Str and T the most valuable as in real terms they are the most likely to be capped out. So I agree completely that T is the best one there, although LD could be useful... once BS is 5+ any further increases are really just for show and those proper trick shots...

Once again though, if the intent of these rules are to give you a difference in gang choice at the outset, then raising the max stats only doesn't really address this...
 
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p0dde

Gang Champion
Yak Philanthropist
Mar 2, 2016
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Once again though, if the intent of these rules are to give you a difference in gang choice at the outset, then raising the max stats only doesn't really address this...
That was exactly my thought.

Change the Goliath ones name to Steroid Abuse?
Great idea!

Another Goliath solution could be: "Goliath fighter can choose to use strength in stead of toughness, when resisting wounds".
 

speccy

Ganger
Aug 28, 2012
125
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Glasgow
Great idea!

Another Goliath solution could be: "Goliath fighter can choose to use strength in stead of toughness, when resisting wounds".
Howd you mean resisting wounds? Do you mean when folk roll to wound against them they roll against their strength as oppose to toughness?
 
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knowman

Ganger
Feb 17, 2011
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I think the Cawdor one looks the strongest (or the most abusable, at any rate), and Goliath looks terrible. Strength just doesn't really do anything. Change it to toughness and it's probably the second best one.
I'm curious why you think Cawdor is the strongest. I'm not saying you're incorrect, just very interested in the perspective.

Also, Strength makes it easier to wound opponents in H2H, which seems very useful for Goliaths, who tend to be H2H guys. Strength is also used for grenades, putting out the fire if one is on fire and three of the Muscle skills. (which the Goliaths have access to and therefore would benefit from). Toughness would certainly be better, it's useful in H2H or if you're being shot, but frankly I think that would be significantly better than the other benefits.
 
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ntw3001

Gang Hero
Feb 17, 2011
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I'm curious why you think Cawdor is the strongest. I'm not saying you're incorrect, just very interested in the perspective.

Also, Strength makes it easier to wound opponents in H2H, which seems very useful for Goliaths, who tend to be H2H guys. Strength is also used for grenades, putting out the fire if one is on fire and three of the Muscle skills. (which the Goliaths have access to and therefore would benefit from). Toughness would certainly be better, it's useful in H2H or if you're being shot, but frankly I think that would be significantly better than the other benefits.
I see Cawdor as potentially the strongest just because a lot of juves can be strong at the start, and gets a lot stronger a lot faster. The value for money in creating a gang that makes full use of the increased juve ratio is pretty huge. Plus, a lower experience total than other gangs means a low rating, which means a decent xp bonus after game one. Counting the extra experience Cawdor juves would get, it's likely to mean advances on just about everyone. I'd expect each juve to get four advances within six games or so, even without scoring hits.

For Goliath, an extra +1 to wound in CC (where, if you won, you typically score multiple hits anyway), put out fires, pass tests to use three skills and +3" range on a weapn that's still overpriced looks to me like a hodgepodge of marginal bonuses that don't add up to much of value.

Looking at the others, I think Orlock and Delaque are at a pretty good power level. Cawdor looks stronger than I'd like, Escher and Van Saar look weaker (VS would be fine if rare trade was better), and Goliath is poor because Strength isn't a particularly useful stat (I favour some kind of weight/encumbrance system to give Strength something to do).