Good morning Scummers, and a happy Necromunday to all (on time this week, too)! We’re diving into the Advancements system today for our Lost Zone module, the Goonhammer-made add-on to Necromunda campaigns that focuses on narrative play amongst the outer (and less well-funded) reaches of the Underhive!
Previous Lost Zone Articles
Advancements in the Lost Zone
Once you’ve been fighting for a while, you start to pick up on things. Patterns. Opportunities. Tactics. Stay alive long enough, and you might even learn some new tricks.
Now, most of the basic mechanics that we’re all used to from regular official campaigns will still apply in the Lost Zone:
- Advancements are purchased during the pre-battle sequence by spending Experience.
- The fighter’s Advancements number is ticked up by one (or by however many purchased on the gang roster.
- The individual fighter’s credit value increases accordingly, along with the gang’s rating as a whole.
- Each Advancement beyond the first of the same type (like, say, learning a new skill), will cost an additional +1 XP, cumulatively.
- Juves and Prospects are exempted from this cumulative XP penalty.
Simple enough, so let’s move on to the new table!
Lost Zone Advancements
|Cost||Advancement – Leaders, Champions, Juves, Specialists, Prospects, and Brutes||Rating Increase|
|5 XP||Choose a skill from one of the fighter’s Primary skill sets||+20 Credits|
|5 XP||The fighter gains a random skill from one of their Secondary skill sets||+20 Credits|
|7 XP||Choose a skill from one of the fighter’s Secondary skill sets||+30 Credits|
|12 XP||The fighter gains a random skill from ANY chosen skill set (specialist gang skill sets like Palanite Drill or Finesse may not be chosen for this advancement, unless the fighter is a member of the gang that has access to these skill sets normally)||+30 Credits|
Huh, that’s A Lot Shorter Than Usual.
Absolutely it is. There are no Advancement-based Stat increases in the Lost Zone, because there just aren’t enough working facilities to support it. All of the fancy gyms, dojos, and shady Delaque-run correspondence courses available to gangs in a functioning Underhive have long since been boarded up out here. Hell, we’re lucky if we can keep the air scrubbers above 30%!
We’ve gone through the main options for skills ages ago, and one thing that’s always been a sore point is that we’d been looking at them through the lens of their Experience costs, and trying to weigh that against the sheer power of skipping out on buying a skill entirely and instead saving up for more Toughness or Ballistic Skill. So, what happens if every single iota of experience a fighter accrues goes into learning more skills, and the costs are knocked down accordingly? Gangs start using all sorts of new dirty tricks that were just a bit too pricey to justify before, and things start to get interesting.
Disarm, Parry, and Rain of Blows on an Escher Matriarch instead of waiting around to make her Toughness 4? Go for it. Cawdor picking into their Secondary Skills to bust out some Nerves of Steel and zoom around with Sprint? It can happen here, and the garbagemen shine in the rubble of the Lost Zone. Delaque can… Well they’re still probably not going to take Escape Artist, but at least it’s cheaper if they really want to!
By focusing Advancements on skills and making them more abundant, fighters who prove themselves in battle are rewarded with new ways to fight and different options to approach scenarios with, rather than the straight-forward numerical advantage of a +1 to certain die rolls.
Please note that in some of the House of ____ books, there is language prohibiting Juves from gaining skills. In a Lost Zone campaign, go ahead and ignore this language.
Prospect and Juve Promotion
The only exception to our “no stat increases” rule concerns Juves and Prospects. Younger members of the gang will continue to grow into their roles, and this is reflected by what happens when they get promoted.
After a Juve or Prospect attains 5 advancements, they are eligible for promotion, but are not required to take one. For their 6th advancement, they may spend 5 XP to be promoted. A Juve will become a Specialist, and a Prospect will become a champion. If your gang has more than one option for a champion, then you may pick what kind of champion the Prospect becomes. The promoted fighter’s statline and base cost change to that of their new position. All previously learned skills, equipment, and injuries transfer over. Any Prospects promoted in this manner will lose the Gang Fighter (Prospect) rule from their fighter card.
Promoted fighters always act outside of the Lost Zone gang composition rules. Meaning that a promoted Prospect does not count towards a gang’s champion limit (but still counts for the purposes of the Gang Fighter (x) rule). The same goes for former Juves.
Advancements for Gangers and Exotic Beasts
In conjunction with out new tables for other fighter types, gangers and beasts get access to a new, but familiar, 2d6 roll. For 5 XP (not 6, but 5!) gangers and beasts can roll upon the following table. Let’s take a look:
|2d6 Roll||Advancement||Rating Increase|
|2||Become a specialist||N/A|
|3, 4, or 5||Randomly select a Skill from the fighter’s Secondary skill sets||+20 Credits|
|6 or 7||Randomly select a Skill from the fighter’s Primary skill sets||+20 Credits|
|8, 9, or 10||Choose a Skill from the fighter’s Primary skill sets||+20 Credits|
|11 or 12||Choose a Skill from the fighter’s Secondary skill sets||+30 Credits|
If, while rolling advancements for your gangers, you randomly select a skill that your ganger already has, you may instead choose a skill in that same category to assign to that fighter. This represents that fighter’s familiarity with their chosen skillset.
There you have it, Scummers! A brand new system of advancements for Lost Zone campaigns. This system might be a bit much for some players to swallow, but we want to emphasize narrative play in the Lost Zones, and we’re a little tired of everyone taking stat increases with every advancement. Focusing on skills as advancements will make campaigns a lot more interesting moving forward, and, frankly, add a little bit of ~whimsy~ to them, too! More whimsy is always a good thing, even in the Lost Zones of Necromunda!
As always, Scummers, we want to hear from you! What do you think of our Lost Zone articles? Are we crazy for making all these changes? Let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come back next week, because we’re finally doing it! We’re going to take a look at Necromunda’s worst skills and see if we can’t tweak them into approaching usefulness! See you then!