Monday, 19 March 2012

A not-Necromunda multi-system online campaign?

FD Mini Painting have started up a Necromunda campaign and yesterday posted a video battle report. This reminded me just how much fun the game can be. It got me wanting to get another campaign going, but a bit different than usual.

I started out by thinking we could run a worldwide not-Necromunda campaign via the blogs. Here's a proposal for how that specific idea might look:

Players select or create a gang as usual. This could be a gang involved in the home campaign, although the player may wish to get the permission of the other members of that campaign. One blogger acts as a host. This means the blogger provides a map of some kind, ideally isometric or similar, and posts it. Two players wanting to contest it are found. They set up their gangs, make their moves and pick targets by leaving comments. The host makes the rolls needed and marks new positions on the map. Each turn an updated version of the map is posted. The host could also - with the opt-in of the players - act as a GM for creative actions or provide unexpected events.

The beauty of this approach is that even players without a modelled gang, or the specific gang they want to play, can still join in. The current rulebook is a free download, but GW stands to benefit from increased interest in the game and sales of miniatures and bits for new local campaigns. There need be no breach of GW IP either - we'd assume a generic sci-fi setting and avoid reference to protected elements and the larger 40K universe. It would use the Necromunda ruleset for resolution, but wouldn't actually be Necromunda.

But we could go a step further and play skirmishes with groups, units, machines or other entities from other game systems if host and players agree on compatibility. With a game like Killzone this would be fairly easy, with say D&D less so, but still possible.

In that sense, and for those games, the maps could be areas at which realities break down due to pollution or dangerous experiments, points of crossover between universes.

Who'd be up for something along these lines, or a variant on it? I'd be more very happy to host the first skirmish according to the proposal, as a proof of concept, and a mixed approach across the blogs could work. If you have thoughts or want in, let's get talking.


FD Mini Painting said...

this sounds like a really cool idea we'll have to do a mock up of some sort...with you leading the way me thinks porky ! still absorbing the scope of the thing .. could be huge

Porky said...

You're right about the scope. What amazes me is that we don't see more wargaming through blogs, even in just one system like 40K.

But the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of going well beyond the one system and allowing anything in, so long as the given host can get hold of the rules needed if they're not already publicly available.

It should be quite easy to deal with the differences between many standard systems. For example, an attack could be launched using one ruleset and, if it hits, the damage could be resolved in the other. Elements that one system doesn't support - faction-specific weapons or spells for example - could be resolved as the closest equivalent or improvised by the host, erring on the side of caution. Dependent interactions would take more work, but if approached as old school fun first and foremost, with the waiver of the players and the expectation of a bit of craziness, nothing need cause a problem.

I've also got a statting system and ruleset of my own that's designed to bridge the gap between a lot of systems, and all it needs is writing up in a more final form. When and if I do it could also be a useful tool in a project like this.

For now I've got what I hope is a pretty cool idea for a first landscape so I'll get to work on it.

pavo6503 said...

I love the idea, it's not far removed from PBM or PBeM. I'll put a gang together if someone runs the game. I have WH40K:RT, Killzone, RS Skirmish, Firefight (an excellent sci-fi urban combat system) and a bunch of others. Let me know if someone gets a game going and what my gang creation parameters are.

I unfortunately, can't run the game. Too many children and too much to do work wise now that the weather is warming up. I'd hazard a guess that many people are in the same boat.

Porky said...

In that case you're top of the list for the first game. I'll aim to have a post up in the next day or two with the guidelines for creation.

For the first game at least I'd like to restrict the resources as far as possible to free and publicly available rules-light rulesets to keep the barrier to participation low, the gameplay fast and allow anyone reading to check out what's going on - I'm planning to describe the action more as a narrative, a very terse one, but I want to put up the rolls for openness, learning and oversight correction. All that said, I'd be happy to homebrew across pretty much anything at all from another ruleset, not to close any conceptual doors, so for the moment feel free to go wild.

The overall power of a group for the first game at least would ideally be no higher than that of the Stranded, so equivalent to around a dozen averagely able and equipped human warriors, but complexity, ability and options could vary across the group far more than in the case of the Stranded.

Noah Stevens said...

Did this ever pan out?

Porky said...

No, although the idea is still very inspiring.

If I were going to run it now, I'd prefer to play down the simple wargaming elements and play up a spatial exploration and world-crossing. There's a kind of Rosetta Stone system being playtested here at the moment with just that kind of scope, but when it will be ready is anyone's guess.

That said, if there is enough interest even for the approach suggested in this post, i.e. at least two players consistently online for the period of scheduling and play, I'd be very happy to host the first.

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