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Advice for running a Law & Misrule campaign


Dosjetka
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Hello all,

I'm going to be organising yet another campaign for my local group and while I was reading through the L&M campaign in the Book of Judgement, I decided it was a good idea to post here and see if anyone has any advice for running this campaign in particular? I'm also open to receiving general campaign management advice as there's always room for improvement there too. :smile:

Thank you in advance and take care!

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After reading a bit more, I've seen that Law-abiding gangs can ally with Guilds whereas Outlaw gangs can ally with Criminal organisations: during previous campaigns, we never allowed alliances due to the perceived imbalance but also because it was a lot of extra stuff for new players who had plenty on their plates already. This time, however, I'm considering allowing people to seek alliances so if you have advice specific to that, I'm all ears! Doubly so if you're like me and want people to earn their alliances rather than simply "activate" them as it currently is in the rules!

I'm currently considering coming up with some RPG elements to trigger an alliance opportunity but without making things too complicated. Perhaps a slight variation of the Intrigues system already in place in the L&M rules? Food for thought (for myself and others)!

Edited by Dosjetka
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The following advice comes from a place of not actually having used alliancesso keep that in mind while reading :biggrin:

We haven’t used them due to 1) complexity 2) balance issues and 3) lack of a proper “rpg” framework for earning them. In other words, our concerns seem more or less completely aligned, which is why I thought I’d share my ideas even though I have no direct experience.

(more to follow)

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1) Complexity - When it comes to our group, people have had vastly different amounts of time and energy to grasp the rules (some had newborns, so their head wasn't really in the game, but they did make the effort to show up and keep being a part of the group, so we didn't want to "price them out" when it came to investment of energy/time). Hopefully everyone will have the opportunity and ability to grasp the system, but I think streamlining it somewhat would be a boon for everyone. Maybe do 1/2-1 page of bullet points outlining how it will work in your campaign?
 

2) Balance is a thorny subject overall. To my mind, Necromunda needs a proper underdog system that will either balance the individual scenario or make participating in "unfair" scenarios worthwhile for the underdog. Fixing/houseruling this should make alliances a non-issue. So that would be/has been my take on solving most balance issues.
I've mostly allowed people hired guns in the form of Hive Scum and/or Bounty Hunters to even the odds, as well as provided cheap/free visits to the doctor for the underdog (the rationale being that the locals don't want to see one gang rise to complete dominance, as that would make them completely beholden to said gang).

3) Like you, I think merely "activating" alliances would be boring and a wasted opportunity. Ideally, alliances would only come about as part of the campaign story, by way of abitrator-driven scenarios. So, assuming you have the time and inclination, I would make it so that gangs can make the choice to go for alliances, but it will take a special scenario to activate the alliance and it might come with narrative and gameplay consequences down the line (maybe your allies will want you to do something for them from time to time, maybe another narrative development will force your gang to do something to protect the alliance, maybe the alliance will be put out of commission temporarily due to outside factors etc.)

I think that's about it for now :)

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If you have access to the book of outcasts, then allies are fine. All you do is assign them the costs in there as how much they add to a gangs rating.

If you do that, and use underdog tactic cards, they quickly balance out.

 

In terms of actually running the campaign... The biggest thing in all campaigns is the snowball effect baked into GWs crap 3-1-3 campaign style. It is however worst in the L&M campaign*. My suggestion to mitigate a slight bit is to generate your territory pool at the start of the campaign, then during the first phase, if you win a game, you claim a territory, if you lose, you are assigned one randomly. Then in the 2nd half of the campaign when you are challenging, the victor can choose to (but doesnt have to), swap any one of their territories for any one of the loosers (winner choses both to be swapped).

This mitigates the campaign snowballing as the winners get all the rewards and the loser gets the injuries.

 

*L&M campaigns are the worst because they have so many linking territories that create such a huge amount of income it quickly becomes farcical if someone knows what they are doing and gets a early couple of wins

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Thank you for the advice, @Antarius and @spafe ! :smile: I've been mulling over it all for the past couple of days and have found it all to be useful.

Regarding complexity, it's definitely an issue that is worth keeping in mind. The advantage with the campaign I'm organising this time is that all of the players have a good half dozen games under their belt from previous campaigns, therefore I'm confident that I can introduce some new fun things provided I explain the properly and am on-hand during the campaign to answer questions/resolve issues

Regarding balance, it is indeed a thorny subject! Thankfully, there's plenty of advice online and you have both provided me with some good tools to use. Our group doesn't use Gang Tactics as, as far as I can ascertain, the concept isn't well-liked (that might just be my bias confirming itself though). That said, having reviewed the Underdog Tactics, they're fun, flavourful, not too silly, and will work well to balance things out. I'll be looking at a way to print a deck or two out for club use since the original cards are long OOP, likely using my home printer with some slightly thicker paper (would 120g/m2 paper be enough or is that still too thin? the usual fare is 80g/m2 around here). Oh, and I'll be sure to follow the Racket pool suggestions!

Regarding the RPG elements, Goonhammer have a decent system explained here: https://www.goonhammer.com/necromunday-alliances-a-better-way/

I quite like it and will most likely be using it wholesale in our campaign. I'm also tempted to implement the Bounty Hunter system they have aswell but worry it might be too much... Hm.

Anyway, thanks again to you both for the advice and suggestions! I'll do my best to write up a post-campaign debrief with what worked for us and what, inevitably, didn't! :biggrin:

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Check out the vault on yaktribe, they have all the tactic cards for sure, so I would think we've got the underdog ones tucked in there somewhere as well to print.

I like that ally system from goonhammer, its a interesting one for sure. Would happily play with those requirements to form alliances. 

Our group uses tactic cards, but as a draft system of draw 3, pick one to keep for each card you should choose, and the rest are random. We generally use the lists in the house of books only to control the vairable ones, with other gangs using a mixed bag of a general deck to draw from, but must say we are a very relaxed group when it comes to campaign management and this sort of thing (horribly cut-throat in game, but not at the campaign level).

 

Good luck with the campaign, expecting great things!

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