WORMSKIN

8/24/2014

Underworld Lore | Gangbangin' in the Dungeon

"Seriously, don't knock it till you try it, man.
I can tell your sister is into it."
Random encounters with bands of NPC adventurers while scouring nameless catacombs for loot and glory are a silver piece a dozen. I want to make a clear distinction between such groups and what I would call a dungeon gang.

Gangs are larger organizations, possibly composed of the remains of smaller NPC adventuring groups. They've actually made themselves a niche in the megadungeon's eldritch ecology and actively compete with the area's monster denizens for resources and territory. Each gang is a hierarchy that works something like this:

  • a Boss at the top who is usually the most ruthless of the lot
  • a small circle of trusted underbosses who handle the gang's regular operations
  • a crack squad of low-level magic-users, usu. called a clutch (under the direction of an m-u underboss who hoards the gang's magical lore and is stingy with his spellbooks) -- this is a solid line of employment for mediocre magic-dabblers, who are often traded between gangs like professional athletes
  • anywhere from thirty to three-hundred lackeys and bravos, many of them humans but with a solid 5% to 10% being of other races; lackeys usually perform non-combat related tasks such as lockpicking and moneycounting; bravos are thugs who patrol the gang's domain and prey on wandering PCs

Some OSR guy somewhere -- maybe Jason Sholtis? -- had a table for dungeon gangs I think. I'm considering expanding on that idea for UL #5. I'm thinking of something like a

DUNGEON GANG GENERATOR

with a bunch of possibilities for weirdo gangs, their colors and emblems, areas of the megadungeon they might occupy, etc.

4 comments:

  1. Check out Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad #1. It has a neighborhood generator, with a gang generator... might be of use...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Paul -- adding that to the RPGNow cart.

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  2. Also have a look at the Human and Non-Human Retainers tables in the Anti-Paladin article in Dragon 39.

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