Monday, 3 June 2013

Necromunda Campaign Newspaper: The Bilgewater Expositor

Firstly, just a quick thank you to all of you for getting this humble blog past the 50,000 hits mark. Without sounding too cliched, this blogging lark has added a new dimension to my hobbying, has given me more motivation and the feedback and hobby advice from you fountains of knowledge is always massively helpful.

Making the headlines...

To skip the waffle and read the paper itself, follow these links:

To download the higher res BMP (9 MB), click here
To download as PDF (3 MB), click here



Anyhoo, work continues apace on on the joint Necromunda campaign Scipio and I are planning. Whilst he's doing all the proper organised admin stuff, I've been working on the fluff side of things - setting, scenarios and whatnot. One tradition of Necromunda that we both like is the "Campaign Newspaper." There was no question as to whether this should be written in-universe as it were.

Both myself and Scipio like the "old school" (for want of a better term) approach of GW fluff before they turned Grimdark up to 11. Now, I like the grimdarkness stuff, however, it seems now that it's so bloody prevalent that there's nothing to contrast it against making it a less effective device. Anyhoo, pretentiousness aside, what was important for the newspaper was certain degree of tongue-in-cheek-ness. The idea was to set up the er... setting for the players, so they shouldn't need any hand out but this.

The proper job of Space Marines...
A I'd christened our setting Bilgewater, the "Bilgewater Expositor" seemed fitting (although I'm not sure what they're exposing...). One aspect of the Necromunda I've always liked is that North American "frontier" element, with forgotten bits of the Underhive always being rediscovered and resettled by reputable and unsavoury characters alike.

In addition to emphasising that I also wanted to hark back to the 2000AD influences of GW and particularly Necromunda (see James' superb article on this at Warp Signal). And lastly into the mix is the good old 1920s/1930s Prohibition era (without the prohibition).

So with all this swirling around, what should the paper look like? I didn't really want it to loo too sci-fi-esque (if I get round to playing Infinity I'll go to town). I considered a late Victorian look, but having done this before I thought that 1920s-40s papers would be a better basis (with a Victorian hint). So that's largely what I went for (without the reckless abandon of mixing serif and sans serif fonts...). The Old West notion was still in  mind as I envisaged this as being a frontier Newspaper, something of an amateur operation (art imitating life) - being produced by some chancer with a printing press.

The Town of Chloride, AZ. Sounds lovely. Credits: Eric Mueller, cc-sa-3.0
Writing the thing was the most fun part, coming up with daft ideas, and even better, daft names for people and  places to feature in the campaign setting. For the place names I wanted slightly grim sounding locations that echoed names of the American west (or the mythology of it).

Of course the key thing was references to the gangs. As none of us had played any games with them yet I wanted to avoid any references to battles between them, the games themselves should be the proper start of the fluff. Ernesto Cuccinni, Little Paulie and Enforcer Sergeant Kaltos are all set up references I wrote in for our players' gangs. I forgot my own chaps and wrote them in last (d'oh!)

However, I certainly can't take all the credit for myself, this was certainly a collaborative effort. All of the funniest bits (for my money) were written by Scipio: all but two of the Classifieds and the Notice of Correction were his. The Redemption ad is also based on a poster of his that I redrew and added a little text to the bottom of. The Classified ad for Deacon's Prospectors was superbly written by our friend Dan for his Orlock gang. I wanted something along the lines of the infamous old Pony Express ad and both of them got it before I even mentioned it. Superb work all round chaps!


You can't have a newspaper without ads, so a couple of those were a must. The Pyro Deluxe ad was partly made with a 1950s oven ad in mind, and the Hunger-be-Gone Nutricubes ad was supposed to have the period look slightly too. Perhaps the most glaring, pretentious reference to a certain Manchester band is in that ad, and throughout the paper there's a few little references and jokes that tie together.

I certainly can't miss out the superb headline story "photo." That is a superb piece of art called "Looking Down" done by Thomas Pringle. It's a shame that the piece is somewhat obscured in this version as it's outstanding.


Here's the Newspaper!
Anyhoo, finally to the point, here's a low(ish) res copy of the paper for you all. If you have any trouble accessing it, just leave a comment below and I'll send you a copy.

To download the higher res BMP (9 MB), click here
To download as PDF (3 MB), click here


More Necromunda miniatures and terrain to follow shortly. The postie has just delivered a copy of GW's 1987 game Block Mania so I might be distracted for a little while...

20 comments:

  1. Hah! That's awesome, man - I love it!

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    1. Thanks muchly :) Glad you like it

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  2. This is great stuff - you're normally great at this anyway but can't wait to see what it's going to be like when we cram it with all our battle reports and stuff. The mix of wild west and 50s works perfectly: I 'got' the relevant bits of both without even realising it.

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    1. High praise indeed sir, really appreciate that, makes it all worthwhile. Hopefully that's a good thing, I didn't want any one element to be too overpowering as it were.

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  3. You and the good Col. are crackers - I love it. Looking forward to reading about your gangs exploits through the news.

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    1. Thanks very much, I'm not sure we know how to be any other way... I wrote the Reformed Temperance League was meant to be fluff only, but I love them so much I'm going to have to put them on the table.

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  4. This is the greatest thing in the history of newspapers. When I seen the layout that you had at the bottom it made make a sound that was half cackle and half choking sputter as I was drinking a soda. Keep it up.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, thanks Chris, that really is high praise indeed. Spluttering cackle is what I was going for...

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  5. That was in a word......brilliant!

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    1. Very kind sir! Glad you liked it.

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  6. Finally got around to reading this.

    Love it sir. Love the layout, the fonts, the writing. Very fun and I think perfectly captures what you described as trying to achieve.

    My fav' part though are the classified ads - Must have less than 32" waist????? Bwahahahaha! Awesome.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks very much Dai, much appreciated.

      I love Scipio's classified ads, I knew he'd do them well so I roped him in to do those.

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  7. 'Notice of Correction' = win,

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    1. I really like that too, Scipio got the whole flavour of the paper in that one snippet.

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  8. Hi Headologist it's James here (ex-Warp Signal). I read this article of yours ages ago and meant to drop a word of praise. A Necromunda newspaper is the sort of bnkers thing that you think to do when you're a kid but only a grown-up can really do it well! I'm glad you did.

    I'm going to email you as I decided to sell my Iybraesil Eldar if you're still interested?

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    Replies
    1. ...or not, since you don't have a contact button on your profile :P

      You can email me at beat(dot)ronin(at)outlook(dot)com :D

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    2. Argh damn, there has been a few times but had to removed it due to email issues. Damn thing. You have mail sir.

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    3. And many thanks for your kind words, not sure how grown up it was to spend that much time doing this nonsense.. ah well in the words of Tom Baker, "what's the point of being grwon up if you can't be childish sometimes?"

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    4. Wise words, but then he was Dr. Who and a monk!

      Could you try emailing me again? It didn't seem to work...

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    5. Apologies for the delayed response, most mysterious, I'll try again.

      Delete

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