A characters sheet for Necromunda.
The Clan Houses & their Gangs
House Goliath are the masters of Necromunda's great foundries, refining and forging the raw materials supplied by the other Houses. Members of the House are universally massive, musclebound brutes who, due to years of selective breeding and stimm-abuse, are fiercely loyal, if short lived and mentally unstable. The House respects strength above all and is ruled with an iron fist by Over-tyrant Gor Iron-eye.
The gangs that fight in the name of House Goliath recruit from the brutal work-clans of the House's foundries and are led by those individuals who show an unusual measure of intelligence and charisma for a Goliath. Armed with repurposed factory tools and kept in line by their addiction to the stimms provided by the House masters, Goliath gangs prefer to get up-close-and-personal so that they can bludgeon and break their enemies until either they or their enemies are dead.
- Ambiguously Human: The 3rd Edition background material for Goliath mentions that, due to their House wide breeding programs and the widespread use of stimm-enhancement has led to members of the House being stronger and tougher than the average hive dweller, albeit at the cost of their mental abilities and longevity. These differences are so extreme, many members of rival Houses believe that the Goliaths could be classified as a strain of abhuman.
- The Berserker: While many Goliath gangers will sometimes descend into a stimm-enduced rage where they care for nothing except killing what's in front of them, the hulking brutes known as 'Zerkers are near uncontrollable lumps of muscle with limited mental functions. Created through the overuse of drugs and muscle-grafts, 'Zerkers will charge directly at their foes to rip them limb from limb. Introduced during the 3rd Edition of the game, 'Zerkers have high Strength and Toughness characteristics, gain extra Attacks from the drugs in their system and have the Impetuous special rule so that they can get into combat easier after finishing off their opponent.
- Chainsaw Good: Some of the background material mentions that the warriors of House Goliath are very fond of chain blades of all types, due to the messy carnage they can create and their intimidating looks. While this isn't represented in the rules, a number of models from a couple of editions have shown their appreciation for chain weaponry by replacing their traditional mohawks with chain blades.
- Dumb Muscle: House Goliath respect only strength and toughness above all things. As a result of this, the stimm-enhancing process that all members of the House go through from birth enhance their physical capacities at the cost of their intelligence, resulting in Goliaths having a reputation for being dumb meatheads. In game this is represented by Goliath warriors having a lower Intelligence characteristic than comparative warriors from other Houses.
- Improvised Armor: Many Goliath gangers go into battle wearing the safety gear they wore when they worked the plasma furnaces of the Houses foundries. Known as furnace plate, these thick and heavy metal plates offer good protection from enemy weapons, but only from the front as they were designed to protect the wearer from splashes of molten metal that they were working on.
- Improvised Weapon: Many of the weapons wielded by Goliath gang fighters began life as industrial tools, often repurposed for combat with the addition of crudely welded spikes and weights. The most common such weapons are simple things such as large sledgehammers and the powered wrenches known as spud-jackers, but can also include more advanced tools, such as the 'Krumper' rivet cannon that was designed to bolt together the armoured hides of battle tanks.
- Sewer Gator: Legend has it that the Sumpkrocs some wealthy members of House Goliath often keep as pets are the cloned and genetically modified descendants of the reptilian pets once fashionable amongst hive nobility that were thrown into waste shuts when they grew too big. The 3rd Edition of the game allows such creatures to be purchased as wargear by Goliath Leaders and Champions as tough and loyal Attack Animals.
- Testosterone Poisoning: The entire culture and appearance of House Goliath is based around the concepts of aggression, strength, toughness and massive muscles, something the other Houses ridicule them for.
Due to the genetic defects that effect their male population, House Escher is a matriarchal House with women making up the majority (or only portion) of their population. The House is renowned for their expertise in creating pharmaceutical and chemical products, such as growth hormones, medicines and designer drugs that they supply to the other Houses. The House is controlled by the Matriarchal Council, headed by the young but talented Queen Adina.
Consisting entirely of women, the gangs of House Escher focus on speed and skill over raw strength. Led by intelligent yet unstable war-maidens, the gangers of the House are sadistic warriors who often toy with their opponents and compete with each other to perform the most stylish kill. As masters of chemistry, the weapons used by the gangs of House Escher often deliver deadly toxins or mind-breaking hallucinogens into the systems of those they wound.
- Amazon Brigade: After millennia of exposure to harmful chemicals and other alchemical substances, the male half of House Escher have been either left so physically and mentally defective they are used only for genetic breeding programs (1st edition) or have gone extinct entirely (3rd edition). Due to this deficiency the active members of the House, and the gangs that protect their territory, are universally female.
- Arch-Enemy: While they are dismissive of men in general, the women of House Escher have a particular dislike of the hyper-masculine members of House Goliath and it is rare for a cycle to pass without some conflict along the border between the territories of the two Houses. Queen Adina in particular holds a particular enmity towards House Goliath for their attempt to invade Escher territory soon after she took control of the House, and she is always looking for ways to strike back against the rival House. Ironically, 3rd edition has it that House Goliath depends on House Escher for the chems their entire culture revolves around.
- Chainmail Bikini: In the 3rd Edition of the game, all Escher warriors, except Juves, come equipped with flak armournote as standard. On the models this is represented by a padded sports bra, and the occasional armoured shoulder pad or thigh protector, that gives exactly the same protection as the flak armour greatcoats worn by members of House Delaque.
- Fragile Speedster: In all editions of the game, the Escher play style favours speed, agility and, in 3rd Edition, exotic weaponry. Escher fighters tend to move quickly across the tabletop to secure the most favourable positions or to get up close and personal early in the game but rarely last long in straight up fight. Rules-wise, Escher gangs are the only House gang able to give Agility skills to any member but they lack Muscle/Brawn skills and, in 3rd Edition, have limited access to Ferocity skills.
- Homosexual Reproduction: In 3rd edition, because their genetic degradation makes it impossible for House Escher women to have male offspring, they rely on vaguely described archeotech processes and pharmaceutical concoctions to breed without the need for males.
- Lady Land: Depending on edition, either House Escher's women are the only ones physically and/or mentally capable of running the show, or there simply aren't any men in House Escher at all.
- Master Poisoner: The alchemical skill of House Escher has led them to become masters of developing poisons and toxins. From bespoke venom designed to kill a specific enemy to psychotropic gases and toxins that can liquefy flesh, the chemists of House Escher produce a wide variety of exotic substances for their gangs to utilise. This is represented in the 3rd Edition of the game by the Escher having access to a number of weapons with the Toxin ability from creation.
- One-Gender Race: In 3rd edition, House Escher was retconned to be completely incapable of producing biologically male offspring at all, in an expansion upon the "total genetic degradation of male offspring" element they had in earlier editions.
- Psycho Serum: The 3rd edition background material mentions that combat-stimms are one of the many chemical products of House Escher, and some of the fighters who make up Escher gangs were once test subjects for these drugs. Repeated exposure to these experimental chemicals has left these women so overly aggressive and/or violently unhinged that they can no longer find a place within the everyday activities of their House and are instead unleashed against the gangs of rival Houses. This isn't represented in the game rules however.
- Whip It Good: One of the signature weapons of House Escher that was introduced during the game's 3rd Edition, the shock whip is made from coiled ceramic wires and is a popular weapon amongst the more experienced members of Escher gangs. When fully energised a shock whip resembles a handheld bolt of lightning that can incapacitate enemy fighters with the slightest touch. In-game the length of the shock whip allows it to be used in close combat, as well as at range.
Also known as the House of Iron, House Orlock controls the vast ferrous slag pits scattered across the surface of Necromunda, mining the ancient industrial waste for material that can be used in its industries. The majority of the Houses population consists of indentured serfs who toil endlessly under the whips of their Orlock overseers. The House is controlled by an alliance of families headed by Lord Morrow Orlock, who came to power after the previous leader, Lord Hagen Orlock, was assassinated by House Delaque.
The gangs of the House of Iron are close-knit groups tasked with keeping the downtrodden population of the House in line, as well as protecting them from rival Houses. Consisting of tough and proud warriors, many gangs have served as outriders protecting the land routs between the slag mines and the hive cities. Held together by the creed known as 'The Iron Brotherhood', Orlock gangs fight in well organised teams, using rugged and reliable weaponry to protect their gang-kin and their House.
- Canine Companion: In the 3rd Edition of the game, Orlock leaders and Champions are able to purchase Cyber-mastiffs, large canines enhanced by cybernetic modification, as wargear. Cyber-mastiffs accompany their owner into battle as Attack Animals, protecting them when they are wounded and acting as watchdogs in scenarios that use Sentries. Like all such Exotic Beasts, Cyber-mastiffs have a limited ability to gain experience and skills during a campaign.
- Cyborg: Due to its mining and industrial ventures, House Orlock has ready access to the heavily cyberized and lobotomised humans known as servitors, most commonly the H-grade Cargo servitors known colloquially as 'Luggers'. Fitted with heavy track units and cybernetics that give them great strength and durability, Orlock gangs will often acquire 'Luggers' through dubious means, fit them with heavy weaponry and reprogram them for combat. The 3rd Edition allows House Orlock gangs to hire these repurposed servitors as Brutes for a little extra muscle.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: House Orlock have had a biker gang aesthetic since the 1st Edition, with leather jackets, heavy lather shoulder pads, bandannas and the like being the clothing of choice for their models. The 3rd Edition of the of the game introduces some background elements to justify this, specifically that many Orlock gangs work as outriders for convoys travelling across the ash wastes of Necromunda, meaning that such heavy leather garb acts as protection against the hostile environment to the hive world.
- Improvised Weapon: While they do have access to regular grenades in the same manner as any other gang, the ready access to their House's mining equipment mean that many Orlock gangs have ready access to blasting charges and will often use these instead of the more traditional frag grenades as they produce a more powerful explosion and have a larger blast radius.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Since 1st Edition, the gangs of House Orlock have been the basic, all-rounder choice amongst the Clan House gangs, lacking the specialities, eccentricities and combat focus of their counterparts. The 3rd Edition of the gives the gang a slight focus on short ranged firefights but such tactics are a basic feature of the game so doesnt do much to mitigate their all-rounder reputation.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The warriors of House Orlock prefer basic but reliable solid-shot weaponry with shotguns in particular being highly popular for versatility and stopping power. This is represented in the 3rd Edition of the game by the House Orlock Equipment List having three out of five Basic Weapons being shotguns of various types.
- Undying Loyalty: Orlock gangs develop tight-knit bonds and a more than willing to die for each other due to their warrior creed, known as 'The Iron Brotherhood', that teaches loyalty to their gang first, then their House, and to mistrust outsiders. This creed develops a strong us-versus-them outlook and anyone who brakes this code will quickly find themselves with a knife in the back.
The serious and stoic Van Saar are the most technological proficient of all the Clan Houses, producing weapons and technical equipment that fetch the highest of prices. This proficiency comes at a price, however, as the source of their knowledge, a malfunctioning STC system, is slowly killing them with radiation. While they have used their scientific skills to prolong their lives, an ultimate cure remains out of reach. The House has a highly feudal society with those of higher social standing having access to the more advanced technologies. The corpse-like Duke Otto Van Saar XXIInd is the currently rules the House.
Van Saar gangs consist of some of the most intelligent and skilled individuals in the hive, making up for their lack of strength and stamina with high-tech weapons and intricately planned strategies. As well as defending the holdings of their House, and attacking their rivals, Van Saar gangs are tasked with searching for archeotech and other wonders of ages past that could provide a cure for the sickness infecting the House.
- Animal Motif: House Van Saar has adopted the spider, one of the most iconic animals on Necromunda, as their symbol. The House has incorporated the spider into their House crest and mush of their equipment draws inspiration from the arachnid, such as their multi-eyed helmets, the force field projectors of their Archnis pattern energy shields resembling the legs of a spider, and the Arachni-rig Servo-suit that gives the wearer the appearance of a massive spider.
- Badass Beard: The House Van Saar models from all Editions of the game often sport full beards, particularly on the gang leaders, heavies and champions who are the most accomplished fighters in the gang. Even with the introduction of hair-loss due to radiation poisoning during the 3rd Edition, the artwork and models of the Van Saar see their leaders sporting beards of various types.
- Beam Spam: Two of the signature weapons of House Van Saar gangs in 3rd Edition are the las carbine and, its pistol variant, las sub-carbine. These weapons have the same in-game punch as their regular lasgun and laspistol equivalents, only with the Rabid Fire ability, allowing it to score multiple hits. The only downside is that such weapons tend to run out of ammunition easier and have a shorter Short Range characteristic. Should multiple fighters in a gang be equipped with such weapons then the gang is able to light up the underhive with las beams.
- Energy Shield: In the 3rd Edition of the game, one of the signature pieces of equipment is the hand-held energy shieldnote . Energy shields consist of a shield generator, built into a vambrace or small buckler, that produces a circular defensive shield strong enough to stop enemy attacks (represented by a bonus to the fighters armour save.
- Energy Weapons: Due to their higher technical skill, and their access to ancient STC data, 3rd Edition Van Saar gangs almost exclusively arm themselves with energy based ranged weapons rather than rely on solid-shot guns. This is represented by the House Weapon list for Van Saar gangs only including laser, plasma, melta or more esoteric types of energy weapon.
- Glass Cannon: While the 3rd Edition gangs of House Van Saar have access to many powerful and sophisticated weapons from the very start of a campaign, their chronic radiation poisoning make them physically weaker than their counterparts from other gangs. This weakness is represented in-game by a special rule that means Van Saar fighters cannot enhance their Toughness characteristic as much as the fighters of other gangs.
- Long-Range Fighter: Van Saar gangs have had a predilection towards ranged combat in every edition of the game due to their skill progression and the high proportion of models equipped with ranged weapons. The 3rd Edition of the game takes this even further by giving Van Saar fighters a higher Ballistic Skillnote than their equivalents from other House gangs, at the cost of a worse Weapon Skillnote .
- Stun Guns: Shock batons and shock staves are two of the signature melee weapons of House Van Saar introduced during 3rd Edition. Designed to incapacitate an opponent as quickly as possible, these weapons deliver an incapacitating blast of energy when they hit the target, represented by them having the Shock ability that makes it easier to wound their target.
- Toxic Phlebotinum: The STC that is the source of the Van Saar's technical brilliance is so badly damaged and incomplete that is has irradiated the entire House, resulting in every member becoming terminally ill by the time they come of age and the discovery of a way to repair the STC is the ultimate goal of the House. In-game, the sickness suffered by members of the house is represented by members of the gang fighters being unable to gain more than a single Toughness advancement when they go up a level (rather than the two that other Houses can receive).
- Weak, but Skilled: In 3rd Edition, the population of House Van Saar have been weakened considerably by generations of radiation poisoning, reducing their constitution and overall lifespan, something the game represents by making them weaker in combat and unable to improve their durability as much as other gangs when going up a level. To compensate for this, the warriors of the House have access to some of the most sophisticated weaponry used by House gangs, a higher Intelligence characteristic, and they can gain more technically based Skills than their opposition.
The most populous of all the Clan Houses, House Cawdor are also one of the poorest, making their living by scavenging and recycling the scrap discarded by the other Houses and from millennia industry. The population of House Cawdor are highly religious and the Cult of Redemption, a strict offshoot of the Imperial Cult, has become the official religion of the House in all but name. The House is controlled by a court of nobles headed by the first among equals Lord Mormaer, the Thane of Cawdor, who considers himself to be the Emperor's representative on Necromunda.
As with the rest of their House, the masked warriors who fight for House Cawdor are dedicated followers of the Cult of Redemption. These gangs see themselves as evangelists and missionaries who bring the words of the Cult to the forsaken population of the underhive. Armed with low-tech and scavenged weaponry, Cawdor gangs fight with a faith that burns almost as brightly as the fire-based weaponry their leaders and specialists favour.
- Amazon Brigade: The 3rd Edition background information mentions that while many Cawdor gangs ban women from taking up arms for the House, some women defy this prohibition and form their own all-female gangs. Just as the male gangs of the House style themselves after the Adeptus Custodes, the Praetorian Guard of the God-Emperor, many of these female gangs imitate the holy warrior women of the Adepta Sororitas.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Stig-Shamblers, the Cawdor House Brutes, consist of a pair of stigsnote ; a massive but mentally challenged behemoth and a frail but intelligent rider, often with dwarfism. Working together, the two stigs are far more powerful than they would be alone, offering those gangs that take them in great strength and firepower.
- Dumpster Dive: The 3rd Edition background material states that House Cawdor make their living by recycling the industrial waste, rubbish and detritus of the other Houses, the impoverished Cawdor citizens searching through the colossal waste piles of hive in search of anything useful. Although they are all doomed to a lifetime of sifting through trash, the citizens of House Cawdor nonetheless take great pride in their labours, taught as they are that by their suffering they are blessed.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: As with most Imperial religious fanatics, House Cawdor favour flamer-type weapons to cleanse the underhive of heretics and the unclean. This preference is represented in the 3rd Edition by the inclusion of numerous flamer weapons in their House Equipment List.
- The Fundamentalist: The members of House Cawdor are devoted to the Cult of the Redemption and consider anyone not affiliated with their fanatical branch of the Imperial faith to be worthless infidels at best, even zealous members of the orthodox Imperial faith.
- Improvised Weapon: Given their position as impoverished scavengers and recyclers, Cawdor fighters often have to make do with what they can get, fashioning primitive close combat weaponry from anything they can get their hands on. The 3rd Edition models, particularly those using the Forge World Cawdor Weapon sets, represent this by giving the Houses close combat weapons an improvised and scavenged look with knives carved from bone, flails made from crane parts, bayonets consisting of simple sharpened metal off-cuts, and two-handed hammers made from a bundle of scrap metal attached to a long pole.
- Malevolent Masked Men: As part of their Redemptionist Creed all members of House Cawdor wear masks of some sort, from half masks to full executioner's cowls. Made from leather, and covering at least half the wearer's face, members of other Houses often find the masked citizens of House Cawdor to be creepy and disturbing.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: Introduced during 3rd Edition, the House Cawdor Polearm is one of the favourite Basic Weapons of Cawdor gangs. Consisting of both a basic blade and a primitive firearm such as an autogun or blunderbuss fixed to the end of a long pole, these weapons are imitations of the holy armament of the God-Emperor's bodyguard and the fanatical Cawdor gangers believe that those who wield them are blessed in His sight.
- Stay in the Kitchen: The 3rd Edition background material for House Cawdor mentions that the members of the House are segregated by gender and live separate lives. While it is often the case that the day-to-day rules enforced upon members of a House are relaxed somewhat for those gangs that fight for them, most Cawdor gangs are led by highly patriarchal lay preachers who refuse to let women fight, forcing those women who wish to defend their house to form their own, all female gangs.
- The Theocracy: The Cult of the Redemption has become the official religion of House Cawdor and every member of the House is expected to follow the Cult's laws to the letter. The ruling council of the House, particularly its head Thane Mormaer, consider themselves to be the most blessed followers of the God-Emperor on Necromunda and enforce their creed with ruthless devotion.
- Zerg Rush: The Cawdors excel at outnumbering their opponents with cheap, poorly equipped fighters, and Cawdor players are wise to crush the other player's gang under the weight of large numbers.
The most secretive and sinister of the Clan Houses, House Delaque are spies and assassins who deal in information as well as the products of industry. Due to the misinformation and lies spread by the Delaque, little for certain is known about the House of Secrets except that they have a close relationship with the Imperial House of Helmawar, although which House controls the relationship is another subject of dark rumour. The House is controlled by the mysterious Star Chamber, but the membership of this hidden court is unknown.
Like all members of their House, Delaque gangs are shrouded in mystery and lies. Stalking through the shadows of the hive, the pale and sinister Delaque gangers fight with weapons that can be easily concealed by their trademark long coats, and will often coat their blades with dangerous toxins.
- Ambiguously Human: There is something unsettling about the Delaques, to say the very least. From their deathly pale skin, speaking only in whispers, not to mention how they all seem to look almost exactly alike if their models and artwork is anything to go by, their humanity begins to look a little dubious.
- Animal Motifs: Snakes.
- Badass Longcoat: Worn to conceal the "assassin's armoury" each ganger keeps on their person. A ganger's coat is also a sign of their status in the gang, with the coats of higher ranking members bigger and more impressive, with more layers and linings to it. All the better to carry more concealed weapons to shank someone with.
- Bald of Evil: Spies, assassins, blackmailers and information brokers, and not a single one of them has a single hair on their head.
- Body Horror: House Delaque Spykers are artificiallly created Psykers dosed up with drugs that subject the Spyker to a forced evolution. They are strapped to a medicae harness that injects these drugs directly into their brains, as their limbs atrophy and their brains expand. The end result is an insane psychic sponge, soaking up the thoughts of an entire hive, and the Spyker's secrets spill forth in a long, unbroken stream.
- Electronic Eyes: Most Delaques have had their biological eyes replaced with bionic enhancements. Some of them aren't where eyes should be.
- Information Broker: This is their stock in trade. Whether the information they sell has a lick of truth in it is another thing entirely, and is also their stock in trade.
- Knife Nut: This is a given when one of House Delaque's options for basic weapons is throwing knives.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Many Delaques refer to themselves as some kind of nickname, such as Whisper and Gloom. A lot of these nicknames also seem to be themed around darkness, shadows and ghostly figures.
- Professional Killer: When they're not being spies, of course.
- Psychic Powers: Thanks to their Spykers, Delaque gangs can have access to these.
- Walking Armory: Implied with their lore concerning their longcoats.
Tough, independently minded and often a little unhinged, Bounty Hunters make their living searching for those criminals, ne'er-do-wells and mutants that think themselves safe in the wastes and ruins of the underhive. Talented fighters, some Bounty Hunters will often hire themselves out to various gangs to make a few extra credits when bounties are difficult to come by.
At times, Bounty Hunters will group together to form Venator Bands. Some of these Bands are formed to hunt down a large bounty that would be too dangerous for an individual while others are founded from the Executioner Families that specialise in bringing Lord Helmawar's justice to the hive or for obscure religious reason, but all are equally feared by those fleeing retribution.
Necromunda's primary law enforcement the Palanite Enforces are seen by many as Lord Helmawr's privet army, enforcing the laws of the Imperial House with ruthless efficiency and sadistic pleasure. Recruited from those citizens who show unusual initiative and equipped with some of the best equipment House Helmawr can provide, those who survive the strict training are unleashed upon the hive, acting as judge, jury and executioner when faced with those who break the law of Lord Helmawr.
- Elite Mooks: Being employed by House Helmawr, the ruling house of Necromunda, means they have access to specialized equipment and elite weaponry such as shotguns, boltguns, autopistols, stub guns, sniper rifles and shock batons.
- Knight Templar: They will enforce order in Necromunda, and they will use whatever ruthless and shady means to do so.
When the experiments of the renegade Tech-Priest Biologis Hermiatus resulted in Hive Secundus becoming infested by a Genestealer Cult, the entire hive was toppled by the Necromundan Defence Force and quarantined with the great Dust Wall to stop anything from entering or leaving. No barrier is totally secure however, especially on Necromunda when there is the chance of salvaging the riches of an entire hive, and the surviving xenos cultists have slowly been spreading their corruption once again.
As with others of their kind, the warriors of Genestealer Cult gangs are utterly loyal to their leaders and each other and fight to spread their corruption to the hives of Necromunda. Led by the strongest and most intelligent of their kind, Genestealer Cult gangs consist of hybrids from various generations and wield repurposed mining and industrial tools alongside scavenged and stolen firearms.
- Apocalypse Cult: The purpose of the Genestealer cults is to prepare Necromunda for the Tyranid invasion. Their apocalypse involves the Tyranids devouring anything that offers resistance, then turning everything alive on the planet (including the Tyranid forces and surviving Genestealers) into soup so it can be absorbed by the hive fleet.
- Bald of Evil: Naturally, but especially so for the Adepts and Hybrids.
- Body Horror: Not to the extent as, say, the Chaos Cults, but the Cult's Hybrids and Aberrants are horrific amalgams of Human and Genestealer.
- Determinator: Aberrants have the Unstoppable skill, which allows them to discard one flesh wound on a successful roll.
- Familiar: If chosen as a power, the Adept is able to conjure up a psychic manifestation of their will to use in battle.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Hypnosis; one of the Adept's powers. With little more than a piercing stare, the Adept can dominate the minds of the weak-willed.
- Improvised Weapon: Much of their arsenal is actually repurposed mining equipment, such as rock drills and mining lasers.
- Psychic Powers: Genestealer Cult Adepts are essentially minor Magi, and as such possess a number of special abilities that represents their connection to the Cult's distant Patriarch.
- Religion of Evil: There are members of the Cult that have religious trappings to disguise themselves, and to keep their non-implanted allies unaware of their true plans. It's also possible but not entirely clear that not all Genestealer cult members know their true master is the Hive Mind.
As with all planets in the Imperium, the followers of the Dark Powers seek to spread their corrupting influence through the hives of Necromunda, often finding the downtrodden helot-workers of the hive factories to be particularly willing converts. These helot cults grow in secret, hoarding weapons and offering sacrifices to the Ruinous Powers until the time is right to rise up against the oppression of the Imperium. Should cult be discovered before it is ready to strike it will either be destroyed by the Palatine Enforcers or flee into the underhive, from where they will launch raids against those who live further up-hive.
No to helot cult gangs are the same, each influenced by their particular circumstances, the gods they worship and the personality of the demagogue that leads them. All, however, are fanatically dedicated to the Chaos Gods and the overthrow of Imperial rule for their own personal glory.
- Blood Knight: Cults dedicated to Khorne, naturally.
- Body Horror: Chaos Spawns, whenever a Chaos Cultist is changed into one during campaigns. Alternatively, in non-campaign games a Chaos Cult player may purchase up to two Chaos Spawns for use in their game.
- Cults dedicated to Tzeentch should have its members naturally (or perhaps, unnaturally) be this.
- Conditioned to Accept Horror: The touch of Chaos has a lasting effect on a cultist's mind, rendering them immune to the horrors that would drive others utterly mad.
- Deal with the Devil: They worship the Gods of Chaos, and so naturally they engage in solemn rites that glorify them, and—should the cult be deemed worthy of their chosen god's favour—might result in a gift from that god. The Dark Ritual rules are a little complicated to go into detail, but if successful:
- Cults of Khorne can re-roll a failed Wound roll once per round.
- Cults of Nurgle can re-roll a Recovery roll for a single fighter once per round.
- Cults of Slaanesh can activate two fighters per round instead of just one.
- Cults of Tzeentch can ignore any hit modifiers for a single shooting attack once per round.
- Gas Mask Mooks: If one uses the Dark Vengeance Cultist models in their gang. Doubly so if the cultists really are equipped with respirators.
- Psychic Powers: Cult Witches are low-level psykers, their powers gifted to them by their devotion to the Chaos Gods. Thus, they have access to a number of psychic powers.
Third Edition Characters
Also known as Lumpy Nox, Grub Targeson was once a respected member of the Merchant Guild who was forced to flee to the underhive after developing a talking lump on his back. Grub now hires himself out to any gang that will have him, and who are willing to put up with the constant, mumbling conversations he has his mutation.
A Longshoreman from the Ash Gates of Port Mad Dog, Mono began hiring himself out to gangs looking for some extra muscle after discovering his talent for violence. Despite his success as a hired gun, Mono often returns to his old home in Port Mad Dog to work alongside his fellow Longshore clanners on the outskirts of the Palatine Cluster.
- Blade on a Stick: Wields a long, hooked blade attached to a pole.
- Cyclops: The respirator Mono wears makes him look like one of these, though the placement of the visor might imply that Mono really does have one eye.
- Escape Artist: According to the 'Escape Artist' skill on his stats Mono is one of these.
A daughter of Orlena Escher, a matriarch of House Escher, Belladonna Familus Umathurn De'Escher was betrothed to a scion of the Noble House Ran Lo only for the wedding to be interrupted by the assassination of the groom by an staved Crotalid. Although Belladonna killed the beast, she was unable to save her beloved and was terribly mauled in the process. After being fitted with multiple bionics Belladonna set her sights on the underhive, working as a Bounty Hunter to track down those responsible for the attack on her wedding.
- An Axe to Grind: Her weapon of choice is her power axe.
- The Berserker: Has the Berserker skill.
- Cyborg: Her left arm and leg are completely mechanical though appear to be well crafted, alluding to her noble status.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: An arranged marriage to a scion of House Ran Lo which blossomed into true love...at least until their catastrophic wedding day, when her husband was slain and she loses her arm and leg.
- Professional Killer: Before her arranged marriage, Belladonna was a feared assassin for the Seven Spire Killer Cult. After the death of her husband she is putting those skills to good use as a bounty hunter while she searches for her husband's killers.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Well, can you really blame her? Why else would you stalk the Underhive as a bounty hunter looking for your husband's killers? When you lose your husband and half your body, both on the same day, you'd be a little miffed, too!
An insane old soldier who is sometimes seen stalking underhive settlements looking for bounties, the Deserter is a mysterious figure who, nonetheless, has the skills to have survived alone in the underhive for many years. The eccentric bounty hunter will often join a gang for a few fights, if they can make it through the maze of traps that surround his downhive home, but has also been known to help out random denizens of the underhive for reasons he keeps to himself.
A former dome-rigger responsible for maintaining the pipe networks of Cogtown, Eyros Slagmyst discovered a strange archeotech suit while searching for a means of saving his home from disease. After donning the archaeo-rig, the ancient suit bound itself to Eyros, granting him great strength but also giving him an irresistible thirst for the water contained within living things. After reducing the population of his hometown to withered husks, Eyros began hiring his services to underhive gangs in return for fresh victims to drain.
- Ambiguously Human: Underneath that archanotech suit of his it's difficult to tell if Eyros is actually still human. He appears more machine than man, with his bare hands being the only evidence that Eyros was a man at all.
- Nice Hat: He wears a wide brimmed hat which resembles a Japanese conical hat. Only made of metal.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Replace blood with water and yeah, Eyros is pretty much a vampire stalking the Underhive for fresh victims from which to quench his thirst.
An abhuman of the Homo Sapiens Variatus strain — more commonly known as Beastmen — there is much rumour and mystery surrounding Gor Half-horn. How a member of one of the most abused and hated species of abhuman became an officially sanctioned bounty hunter is unknown but he has proven to be highly successful in his role, and is particularly renowned for his brutal and unpredictable temper.
- Beast Man: Naturally. Gor is also notable for being the first Imperial Beastman model to be produced since the 1st Edition of Warhammer 40,000 itself.
- The Berserker: Has the Berserker skill.
- Chainsaw Good: In addition to a plasma pistol, Gor's weapon of choice is his chainsword.
- Cigar Chomper: Gor's model has him doing this.
- Fantastic Racism: As a Beastman in the intolerant Imperium it would be obvious that Gor sees heavy discrimination against him. The fact that Gor is an officially sanctioned bounty hunter has not gone unnoticed however, and has led to many wild rumours.
Once part of an abhuman mercenary company hired to be the honour guard of a Rogue Trader, Grendl Grendlsen fled to the underhive in the aftermath of his employer's assassination and the purge of the Rogue Trader's household that followed. Grendl's loyalty and martial prowess soon found him employment as a bodyguard and Bounty Hunter, and he has quickly made a name for himself as a steadfast and talented guardian.
- The Bus Came Back: The Squats were removed from the setting during the 2nd Edition of Warhammer 40,000 and, while they made a return to the lore a few editions later, Grendlesen was the first Squat model to be released in more than two decades.
- Drop the Hammer: His legendary power hammer has gained a rather infamous reputation during his stay in Hive Primus.
Far more intelligent and independently minded than the majority of stimm-enhanced drones breed by House Goliath, Krotos Hark kept his gifts hidden until he was able to leave his gang and set himself up as a Bounty Hunter and armourer for hire. Highly secretive by nature, Krotos' ultimate goals are a mystery but it has been noted that he seem to take jobs that oppose the interests of House Goliath more often than not.
- Genius Bruiser: Krotos is a Goliath who was born with that most dangerous of gifts: intelligence. A keen mind like his is considered an aberration within House Goliath, and such mutations are quickly purged.
- Hand Cannon: Carries around a stub cannon, which is a stub revolver that is more or less the size of a boltgun.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: He is especially interested in taking jobs that oppose House Goliath, although he keeps his reasons for doing so to himself.
- Mutant: If House Goliath was aware of Krotos' keen mind he would be seen as one of these and promptly purged for being such a freak. Fortunately for him he was clever enough to hide his intelligence from his fellow Goliaths.
A highly talented Orlock leader who commands multiple gangs and controls over a dozen of Hive Primus' Ash Gates, Slate Merdena has a reputation as a gifted warrior who has survived everything rival gangs have thrown at him. Having turned down the opportunity to become one of the rulers of House Orlock, Slate still fights for his House on the front-lines of its gang wars with his loyal Cyber-mastiff Macula, his mere presence often causing enemy fighters to flee for their lives.
- Badass Biker: As the head of one of House Orlock's hardest gangs to ever ride the ash roads.
- Bald of Awesome: He doesn't have a single hair on his head, not counting that glorious handlebar moustache of his.
- Canine Companion: Macula, his cyber-mastiff. He is notable in that he is still recognisable as a dog rather than a dog-shaped robot, the only machine parts of him being one of his limbs and his spine.
- Drop the Hammer: Carries around with him a very impressive looking power hammer.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: As an Orlock and the leader of a biker gang? Naturally.
- Living Legend: Slate is this for House Orlock, so much so that he is exclusively available to hire only to Orlock gangs.
- Made of Iron: According to his fluff Slate has been shot, stabbed and even thrown under the wheels of his own rig, and he's still kicking.
Born abroad a chartist merchant ship, Yar Umbra was stranded on Necromunda by his deck master. Finding the cramped environment of the underhive to be similar to the interior of the void-ship he was used to, Yar now works as a sniper and Bounty Hunter to ern enough credits to leave the planet and track down his former ship.
- Bounty Hunter: Works as a bounty hunter in the hopes of one day obtaining passage on a vessel and hunting down his old ship.
- Cold Sniper: Carries around a long las and has the Infiltrate and Marksman skills, all of which works very well for a sniper. He's also pretty bitter about being stranded on Necromunda.
- Meaningful Name: "Umbra" means darkness or shadow, which is pretty fitting for a guy for whom the darkness of the Underhive is almost like home.
- Noodle Incident: It is unknown what Yar actually did to get him stranded, but the lore implies that it was because of what he keeps hidden beneath his mask.
- Space People: Yar is a void-born, meaning he (and quite possibly several generations of his family) was born and spent his entire life traversing space aboard the Halcyon Dawn. Yar actually despises planet-bound life.
An infamously insane Bounty Hunter, Yolanda Skorn was exiled from her gang, the Bloodmaidens, after challenging for leadership and being defeated. Unable to kill such a beautifully cruel creature, the victorious gang leader cut hideous scars onto Yolanda's face and let her disappear into the underhive. Now Yolanda sells her services to various underhive gangs, never staying long with any single employer as they tire of her eccentric behaviour.
1st/2nd Edition Characters
A mysterious wandering hermit-preacher who, as his title suggests, is the most revered leader in the entire Cult of Redemption. Such is his charisma, and the awe that he can inspire in his underlings, that his presence whips them up into everything from riots and lynch mobs to massacres and full-fledged genocidal campaigns. His views (which include a hatred of just about everybody and his "doctrine of cleansing flame"), have led to him being considered rather extreme by his counterparts within the Cult of Redemption, and to a bounty of 325 credits being placed on his head; some have even called for his banishment from the Crusade. He invariably denounces these opponents as weak-willed traitors to the Redemption, lynching those who don't quickly recant after arguing against him with frenzied mobs he works up into a foaming blood lust with a rabble rousing speech: such is his following among ordinary Redemptionists.
An Underhiver whose past has been lost, Brakar's life began when he was discovered, injured and amnesiac with only a Heavy Stubber for company, by a tribe of Ratskins within one of the many secluded and crumbling tunnels of the Underhive. They took him in and nursed him back to health; when a Van Saar gang attacked that tribe and massacred them whilst Brakar was gone, he returned and sought vengeance, killing half of the men responsible. Ever since then he has dedicated his life to protecting Ratskins from the violence and oppression of the Underhivers. To honor him, the tribes have given him the name of their god of war and revenge. He is Brakar - The Avenger, He That Rains Death.
- BFG: Brakar carries a Heavy Stubber, which is basically the 40K version of a heavy machine gun that normally takes two people to wield.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Despite the fact that Heavy Stubbers are normally used more for volume of fire than accuracy, Brakar's use of short, controlled bursts rather than "spray and pray" means he's surprisingly accurate with his gun.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He's been out for vengeance on all Hivers ever since they massacred the Ratskins who took him in.
- Shout-Out: He's basically an expy of Rambo.
Born D'onne Astride Ge'Sylvanus of the House of Ulanti, often shortened to D'onne Ulanti, the woman known now as "Mad" Donna was the twelfth daughter of Sylvanus, Patriarch of the Noble House Ulanti in the Spire of Hive Primus. Her father Sylvanus had intended to marry her off for political gains, and in pursuit of this he kept her in a needle thin tower on the outside of the Spire until the day she was to meet her intended groom, Count Ko'Iron. During the fourth course, she calmly picked up a silver fish fork and gouged out both of her intended husband's eyes, before shooting the guards who came running at his screams and then fleeing downhive in the confusion. Taken in by an Escher gang, she quickly adapted to a life of mayhem, indulgence and violence, only getting crazier and more bloodthirsty as she did.
- Arranged Marriage: She was supposed to be married off at her father's discretion. That didn't go as planned.
- Axe-Crazy: She earned the nickname "Mad" Donna fairly and squarely, suffice it to say.
- Eye Scream: She gouged out her intended husband's eyes during their nuptial feast. Later, when a bartender told the drunken D'onne that she was pretty, she gouged out one of her own eyes so nobody would call her that again.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: One theory amongst Underhivers is that D'onne went insane from being imprisoned all her life in the tower her father locked her into in order to preserve her purity.
- Overly Long Name: "Mad" Donna's birth name is actually D'onne Astride Ge'Sylvanus of the House of Ulanti. For obvious reasons, those not using her nickname just call her D'onne Ulanti.
- Shout-Out: She's basically a tongue-in-cheek reference to Madonna, and even her design mimics some of the singer's more famously out-there costumes of the 80s, such as the exaggeratedly long and pointy conical bra.
- Tarnishing Their Own Beauty: She ripped her own eye out because a bartender called her pretty.
Son of the Inquisitor Heleana Jerico and the Necromundan noble Gerontius Helmawr, Kal abandoned the life of a noble to become a bounty hunter, and has quite a hefty price on his own head. He has been the protagonist of multiple novels and comics, and even taken off-world by his mother as an agent.
- Guns Akimbo: Kal is ambidextrous, and his trademark fighting style is to dual-wield laser-sighted dueling laspistols for ranged combat, switching one out for a dueling saber when he needs to close into melee.
A noble from House Cawdor who is known to lead his own expeditions into the Underhive to achieve the holy work of the Cult of Redemption... namely, killing anyone he deems a mutant, traitor or heretic. He was the protagonist of the comic The Redeemer.
- Bad Boss: Even by House Cawdor standards, Klovis is an asshole to his underlings. He executes one of his men for having improperly maintained his gear, casually feeds them all a potentially lethal combat drug when their fervor falters in the face of the battle ahead, and shoots his long-time attendant Malakev when he succumbs to the lingering psychic power of the Bloodmare's Eye, before hauling him back to civilization to have him made into a Scribe-Servitor — a disfigured, lobotomized cyborg that exists only to document Klovis' deeds.
- Beard of Evil: Klovis sports a classic villainous goatee, making it quite obvious that he is not a good guy by any means.
- Big Book of War: Of torture rather. Part of Klovis' paraphenalia is "the Liber Excruciatus", a list of Redemptionist-approved punishments for various crimes so huge it needs to be carried on the back of one of his underlings.
- Catchphrase: "Scourge and Purge!"
- Chainsaw Good: His primary melee weapon is a chainsword, which is a sword with a chainsaw blade.
- Evil Genius: He might be a psycho, but he may have successfully invented a chemical compound that could undo the zombie plague... for the sole purpose of bringing a zombified captive back to life to be tortured for information.
- Nice Hat: Klovis' "Crown of Cleansing Fire" is a metallic brasero that also doubles as a short-ranged flamethrower.
- Playing with Fire: He's a member of the Cult of Redemption; fire is his favored weapon.
- Sinister Schnoz: It's arguably part of his mask, rather than his actual face, but Klovis has a very pronounced nose. It pairs nicely with his Beard of Evil.
- Villainous Valor: Bloodthirsty monster he may be, but Klovis is no coward, and will not back down from even the greatest threat in his quest to bring "purity" to the Underhive.
Also known as the Widowmaker, Lothar Hex is one of the most infamous assassins of the Underhive, although very little is known about him beyond the fact that he is a deadly killer who always leaves a trademark mnemonic death's head card on the bodies of his victims. He is most famous for his ability to change his face into a terrifying bestial mask, which may be a sign of daemonic possession, further mnemonic technology or an inhuman origin.
A half-breed of Underhiver and Ratskin, Scabbs is an outcast from both worlds as a result. Despite this, when he crossed paths with the famous Uphiver turned bounty hunter, Kal Jerico, Scabbs found something he never would have dreamed: a true and loyal friend. Kal saw within Scabbs a talented scout with a keen eye for danger and a good heart; something Scabbs had never thought of himself as, and his easy acceptance of the half-breed has led Scabbs to develop an unfailing loyalty to Kal. In the years since their partnership began, Scabbs has repeatably proven his worth to Kal with his level-headed pragmatism and healthy dose of caution. These qualities have often saved the pairs' life in the countless perilous situations they encountered as bounty hunters.
- Magical Native American: Well, half of one, anyway. Scabbs' Ratskin heritage gives him an innate connection to the Underhive, that allows Scabbs' nose to find paths through seemingly impassable Badzones or track foes across the shifting wastes of the Hive bottom.
Once a normal Hiver, Karloth was forced to flee into the wilderness in the depths of the Underhive when his Psychic Powers awoke. In the depths, he was attacked by a group of plague zombies; although they bit him and passed the disease on to him, he was able to hold them back from killing and devouring him by using his telepathic abilities to seize control of what remained of their minds. As he lay convulsing, he learned how to leech the life essence from the zombies around him, which helped him to survive the plague. Instead, it mutated inside of him, bonding with him and warping him into a creature that needed to psionically drain the life of others for nourishment, whilst also heightening his powers to control plague zombies. As he assembled a great army of the undead, the Cult of Redemption learned of his existence and gathered in an enormous crusade to battle him, chasing him to the region of the Underhive known only as "The Abyss" before he was forced to do battle. Despite his best efforts, the numbers and zeal of the Redemptionists pressed him to defeat, and Karloth resolved to cheat them of their plans for him by turning and diving into the bottomless darkness below, crying out in defiance of death to the end.
The Redemptionists searched the Abyss for weeks looking for any evidence of Karloth's remains but found nothing. But, as every Underhiver knows, nothing can be found in the Abyss which does not wish to be found.
- Better To Die Than To Be Killed: Despite being absolutely terrified of The Nothing After Death that he had perceived during his transformation, when the alternative was being captured by the Cult of Redemption, Karloth chose to leap to his apparent doom rather than suffer the fate of an "arch-heretic".
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Karloth went from a lowly scavenger to a legitimate threat to the survival of Necromunda.
- Horror Hunger: After his mutation through the zombie plague, Karloth needed to feed on the Life Energy of other creatures to survive.
- Necromancer: A rare example of one who commands zombies through Psychic Powers rather than magic.
- Never Found the Body: Despite the best efforts of the Redemptionists, they never found any remains after Karloth took his seemingly suicidal leap. Which means he may still be out there...