Steampunk Gangs - Blogging the Design Process

I like Necromunda, but a specific part of Necromunda. For those not in the know about old school Games Workshop sideline products, Necromunda was a small scale skirmish game where each player has a team of around 5-10 gang members who are warring with other gangs for turf, money and fame. The rules system is passable, and the setting is standard grimdark far future GW stuff, though on a more personal level than the likes of 40k. But what I loved about it was the character progression, getting a small group of standard gang members with fairly similar kit and having their experiences and failures define who they are.

Delaque: stealthy, bald and apparently ripped.

Delaque: stealthy, bald and apparently ripped.

As an example, I want to talk about Idris Fier (yep, Welsh name meaning "fiery" and a misspelling of the word Fire; let him that is without sin cast the first stone). Idris started out as an unnamed Heavy in my Delaque gang, armed with a Heavy stubber and tasked with the job of brutally punishing those with the audacity of walking into his line of fire. He did well, he perforated many an enemy ganger and earned himself a few levels. Now, in the version of Necromunda we were playing there is a nice standard table which allows you to randomly generate the bonuses gang members get when they level up, roll 2 dice, add them together and look up what they get. This means each ganger can get very different stats.

Now, it turns out that Idris didn't really get a wide variety of stats; Idris instead rolled a series of stats that a gang leader would have been proud, gaining himself over a few games +2 weapon skill, +1 strength and +1 attack.

It can get a little random

It can get a little random

I remind you that Idris is a heavy weapons expert. This shooting specialist now has a statline that means he could go toe-to-toe in close combat with just about any opponent on the field. So I did what any sensible person would do in this situation. I gave him a name that was a series of puns on the theme of Fire, a flamethrower and a sword, and set him loose upon the world. He waded into battle, getting uncomfortably close to the enemy, burning those who were far away and skewering those who were in range. It was glorious.

Why, you may ask, is this 4 paragraph gaming story in a post talking about Steampunk Gangs? Well, I loved Idris, and I loved Necromunda for allowing his creation. So I've decided to make a game that captures that feeling. A game of gang members getting into scrapes, earning randomized bonuses, finding exotic equipment, and generally becoming actual characters.

I'll also be blogging my design process, filling you in on the choices I've made, what inspired them and how I see them affecting the gameplay. Posts may be somewhat erratic as they'll be going up as and when work progresses, but it should hopefully be interesting at least.