Hello, spooky scummers!
This year is a special year for Necromunda fans everywhere. Not only are Necromunda fans getting yet another dose of content with a timely Necromunday article, but today Necromunday is sharing the day with the most frightening holiday of the year: Halloween!
While I was at work earlier this month, daydreaming about the Underhive as I tend to do, I realized that October 31st would be a day for Necromunda and a day for scares, and reached out to the Necromunday team if they had anything planned for the occasion. Fowler responded “Not yet”, and I thought to myself what should be done to celebrate Necroween. An Ambot Hunt? No, that’s my thanksgiving tradition. Gotta hunt down the big game for the big meal. But I liked the idea of a solo scenario, and I thought about it a little bit harder. Maybe something like an Ambot Hunt, but you’re escaping a slasher killer like Michael Meyers or Freddy Kreuger. Just some unsuspecting ganger dweebs fighting (but mostly running) for their lives against a supernatural killing machine?
What if we made this solo scenario into a Necromunda version of Dead by Daylight?
That, folks, is exactly what I did over the following weekend. And thus, Dead by Domelight was born.
For the unfamiliar, Dead by Daylight is a popular video game where four players each play as survivors who are trying to escape the fifth player, who is the killer. The survivors sneak around the map and try to power up generators to open the exit door so they can escape, all while trying to hide from the player who is the killer who only wins if they can hunt down and kill the survivors. If you haven’t tried it yet and like either spooky games or games with friends, it’s a good time and I recommend it.
In Dead by Domelight, there’s no big badass leaders or champions to help out your gang: most likely, it will just be a group of juves doing their best to survive against a monstrous killer lurking around every shadow or maybe gangers depending on the gang you select. Just like the video game, the goal of this solo play scenario is to power up four generators while avoiding the killer. In this scenario, it is possible to try and shoot or fight the killer, but even taking the killer out of action will only stall them a little while before they return. The best way to survive the killer is to move cautiously and hide often, and hope the killer doesn’t get you in their sights. And as soon as it’s open, make a break for the exit!
I designed this scenario as not only an homage to Dead by Daylight, but also classic slasher movies in general. So much like the game, there are a few different types of killer archetype that you can design using any Necromunda Champ or Leader, and when you get your group of juves together you get to give them a special skill which are largely based off of ones from the games. There is one that is explicitly a tombstone reference though. I can’t help myself, I feel no remorse.
You will also get to roll for traits for each juve to give them an archetype like characters from a slasher movie as well. Some juves may be too horny or doing the devils drugs, making them more likely to be targeted by the killer. You may have a juve who ends up with the Final Survivor trait that makes them less likely to be targeted until later in the scenario.
After designing it, I did get the chance to try the scenario for myself to see if there were glaring oversights I needed to iron out. In this game, I tried to see if my Chaos Helot gangers could escape from a crazed Escher Death Maiden. Not to pat myself on the back too much here, but it was a good time!
The Death Maiden had the Ghost archetype as the killer. This boosted her movement and let her move through walls as though it were difficult terrain, and gave her Sprint as her starting skill. This ended up leading to my favorite moment in the scenario – when she killed one survivor and used her other action to mark the other as her Target. Once a fighter has the Target condition, the killer will chase them down relentlessly and the best thing you can do is either make a desperate fight or run for it. My Helot chose the later, especially because the scenario specific skill they had, “Spine Chill”, gave them a free move action when they have a target condition placed on them. The ganger luckily passed their cool check, made a move, and made another double move hoping to get far enough away from the killer. If I could get priority on a 4+ the next turn, I might get lucky and get far enough away to lose her.
I rolled a 1 though, and the Death Maiden came through the wall right behind my poor ganger and cut him to ribbons. It felt like something right out of a horror movie, I loved it. In the end, three managed to make it out alive and the other three who came long were… not as fortunate.
I’ve given this rules packet an editing pass already and made changes based on my own playtesting here, but I’m sure that there’s probably some wonky rules I’ve missed here while designing this scenario. Turns out, solo scenarios are tricky to design when you need to think about the various activation conditions a NPC Killer may find themselves in! With this in mind, I made an email specifically for questions about this scenario, DomelightFAQ@gmail.com. If you have questions, feedback, or change recommendations, send an email and I’ll see what I can do!
I would also love to hear about any adventures you have in the Underhive with Dead by Domelight, so I will shamelessly plug my twitter @nerdnameddan so that you can share your stories and pictures of your games with me! Also share them with Goonhammer on twitter, the Necromunday team loves more pictures of more Munda Madness.
And with that, here’s the scenario Scummers! Have a great Halloween, don’t get caught dead by Domelight!