Starting a Necromunda Campaign as a Complete Novice

The hardest thing about Necromunda is figuring out what books you need

The first thing you wanna do when you start trying to play necromunda is to learn all the rules wrong because you pick up the wrong one of the 3 different Rulebooks that have come out since the relaunch of Necromunda. Then what you’ll wanna do is figure out why if you’ve got the “right” rulebook it doesn’t have any of the information on how to make a gang in it.

Oh right there’s another book *ahem* wait 5 more books or more depending on the gangs you wanna play. At some point it looks like Necromunda changed to a rulebook and codex system similar to warhammer proper, so that should be easy to figure out except they aren’t called codexes and they don’t tell you who’s rules are in them on the front. Got it! No? Good

The hardest thing about Necromunda is figuring out how to run a campaign

Right so you’ve got your 7 books and you’ve read enough to be dangerous, maybe even played a test game to see if this silly system is something you wanna do. Perfect.

Every book seems to have something in it about how to run a campaign, which from what I’m told is the only true way to play Necromunda. And if you’ve made it this far… Congrats that means you get to be the Arbitrator, basically game master, but also you’re going to play too so try not to be biased when you make decisions that impact your games. It’s kinda like DnD but nothing at all like DnD.

Right, there’s a bunch of ways to run a campaign but the one everyone says to start with is a Dominion campaign. Good. Generate territories. Sure thing, I follow. Next how do people fight each other? Oh it’s the wild west where everyone can challenge anyone and if for any reason and if you can’t play they steal your territory. Nope that’s a silly rule, axe that. We’re playing one game a week. What about an odd number of players? Okay fine twice a week, but you have to play at least once…

Prepare for making up a lot of house rules as the campaign starts. No matter how well you think you’ve got it, I promise you’ll immediately find something you’ve not read about or you will have read about it and can’t find the right book where you saw that. Give up make a house rule until you can find it.

The hardest thing about Necromunda is figuring out how to use Yak Tribe

Okay so to be fair. Yaktribe is great. It would be far harder to figure out some of this stuff without it, but all those books sure make it hard to get used to things. What is a GOTU (Gangs of the Underhive) How about HOB (House of Blades [Escher codex]). So what we did is filter everyone to Gangs of the Underhive, except if your gang isn’t covered in there which, I’m sure, will come back as a problem later.

Cool now start a gang with 1000 credits. Now add gear. Done, but why’s it say your gang worth is 1350 instead of 1000? Oh I just kept hitting add instead of buy so I got those for “free”. Nope let’s try that again. Use the buy button and it will pull from your credit allowance. Got it good.

Now Arbiter your job is it put the campaign into Yaktribe. Invite everyone’s gang but make sure they don’t have an apostrophe in their name because then search stops working when you’re hunting for their list. Also select each of your generated territories and give the starting ones to each gang. A really fun thing I found, is that you have full control over anyone’s list who joins the campaign so you can give them reputation and credits after each battle, but there’s no way to add a set number of credits. You’ve got to edit their gang and type in their new value.

Don’t even get me started about the 45 minutes it took of me trying to figure out how to edit the gang. I finally found someone nice enough to have posted a picture of it which I’m going to share here.

Took me far too long to find this, but every post on the forum just said edit the gang and change the number of credits. Having persevered though this is far better than my original solution. I was buying equipment and then deleting it in order to bring gang credits down, or adding it (for free) and selling it to add credits.

So what do I think about Necromunda?

It’s Perfect… It’s broken and complicated and it’s the most fun I’ve had playing a games workshop game in a long time. Don’t change a thing.

Our gaming group of Hive Scum

Necromunda is a mess. It’s incredibly hard to pick up and play casually, especially since it’s not really designed to be a one-off game, it’s intended to be a campaign. The rules are all over and convoluted as heck.

But the beautiful thing about Necromunda is that because it’s a free for all, of rules from old revisions, and a bunch of optional books, it ends up being a custom creation each time someone new picks it up. I’m sure that the campaign I’m running right now will be totally different than whatever the next Arbitrator puts together.

I’m certain we’ll leave out mechanics that a different group will think of as the most memorable part of their games. I’m also certain we’ll introduce house rules that other groups won’t have thought of and I’m excited to be a part of that. I said it’s kinda like DnD and I stand by that, except it’s nothing like DnD.


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