|"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.