So I recently discovered that my favourite miniatures game of all time, Necromunda, is back on the shelves; crazy sci fi gun fight shenanigans in the bowels of a 40K hive city! I have many fond memories of my goliath gangers – Beerslave, Ballbreaker, Butcherboy, and Lucky Eddie [decidedly unlucky of course] to name a few – scuttling behind barrels and bulkheads, up and down ladders on tiered levels, blazing away with exploding shotty rounds!
Sadly these days it would be hard for me to find players willing to dedicate time to painting and playing a mini’s wargame, but reflecting on the fun we had with it years ago, one of the things I really liked about Necromunda was the random advancements and injuries; you never knew if your newly blooded juve would earn a coveted increase in ballistic skill, wounds or toughness, or whether your best shooter might lose an eye (arghh!!).
It was really fun to see the gangers development unfold, and adjust their loadout and role to suit. Even the guys suffering terrible injuries still served a purpose (as fodder), or indeed occasionally redeemed themselves later with the right skill increase.
To get back on track, whilst I think random increases work great for a mini’s game where you control multiple squad members, I’m not sure I would like it for RPGs where I control just one character.
However… I think there’s way to insert some advancement surprises into Low Fantasy Gaming RPG’s level up system, by incorporating into it into Session Advances. Normally a session advance allows the players to choose one aspect of their PC’s next level (eg increase in HP, increase in hit chance, etc), but what if instead the player rolled on a random table, similar to Necromunda of old? Players could enjoy being surprised about what their next partial advance will be, yet ultimately retain full control over their PC’s final level up.
Similar random advancements might also apply to hirelings and henchmen (but perhaps at a slower rate?).
So here it be; the Session Advance table. Roll at the end of each session (or every second session, or milestone, or other time period determined by the GM); 1d8 for all classes except Magic Users who roll 1d10. If the result is not applicable (eg: rolling hit point increase twice), use the closest applicable result instead (if this results in two possible advancements, determine randomly).