Friday, 14 October 2016

Radlandz - Group Identities

Version 0.7 of the Radlandz rulebook is available now for anyone who wants to see the changes. The game is tightening up and playtesting, when we have done it, has been solid fun. 

Today I wanted to talk about how a roster of figures, a group if you would, will look in Radlandz

One of the defining features I wanted for Radlandz was to give players a load of options of how to customize their groups. 

The two traditional approaches to list building in skirmish games are


Your gang has a set roster and you can pick stuff within your gang. The advantages of this are that each gang has a defined flavour and play style. The downside to this that you get a form of homogeneity, as few options means few differences between individual groups within the same list

Open recruitment 

You might have a smaller "core list" of defining feature for your group, but there is a massive pool of other units you can pick up. Opening up lists too much also tends towards homogeneity once people figure out the two or three "good" characters you can get. 

A third option

Radlandz uses identities, 12 of them in fact, and one identity is always your "core identity", but it can change through the campaign. This core identity defines a lot of your skill list, equipment and characters, but it can be supplemented by additional identities to provide flavour and variety. 

It means you can get every available skill and model with one group, but certainly not at the same time, and shifting your groups identity scores and building the facilities to recruit new troops and train new skills costs resources. 

How do identity's guide model selection?

Well, they are themes, archetypes, styles and concepts rather than prescriptive groups. For example, if you want a group to be a small group of elite power armour wearing baddasses, you pick Mech as your primary identity. 

This means Mech is a perfectly fine identity if you are playing Space Marines, Sisters of Battle, Brotherhood of Steel, Sky-net Terminators, Killer Robots, or any other concept that fits within the archetype "Big armour smashy"

How does having multiple identities work?

Only one identity is your core, but you can delve into others. For example, if your gang belongs to a mutant township that is settling down and trying to live civilized. You may want to split points between Mutant and Civilized. 

You might want a core group of light-fast moving nomads as your core group, backed up by a few Brutal specialists with over-sized guns and swords. 

You will likely only be able to delve into a few identities during a campaign, but they will add flavor to your lists and open up extra options. You can also play with a single strong identity, and spend upgrades improving their core abilities instead. 

Can I pick any identity?

Identity scores go from 1-6, for an identity to count as a core Identity it must be at level 4 or higher (and you must start with one identity at this level)

Each identity has it's opposite pair, and you cannot have more than 6 points in an opposite pair.

For example, A Group with 5 Arcane can never have more than 1 techno, and if they want to increase Techno to 2, must drop their Arcane identity score to 4. 

The identities are listed below, in their opposing pairs (nomad vs Civilized for example)

What are the identities in Radlandz?


Nomad groups have a mobile base of operations and spend their lives moving from place to place scavenging for supplies and parts.

Pick nomad if you see your group as a roving band of scavengers who can hit and run, survive the wastes, and generally be far more annoying than deadly.

Features: Nomad forces are fast moving, lightly equipped and armoured, and can loot very well. They are also well equipped to deal with environmental hazards.


Civilized groups have settled down and built a place to defend and protect. They are farmers, builders and engineers

Pick civilized if you see your group as regular people who have to pick up weapons to defend what they have worked hard to protect. 

Features: Civilized forces can field larger forces than most, and provide more special equipment and support items. A bigger roster and better gear overcomes any lack in specialist combat training.  


Arcane groups have tapped into some arcane force that exists in the Radlandz. This can be a magical, religious, mystical, psychic or other worldly power.

Pick Arcane if you see your group as a mystic organization or cult roaming the Radlandz led by a powerful wizard or priest.

Features: Arcane forces have access to game-breaking spells and effects. They are also able to use relics and arcane items easier than most. Arcane bosses and specialists are capable of amazing feats, but the rank and file Gruntz tend to be poorly trained and equipped.  


Techno groups are obsessed with technology and gadgets. They have shiny guns and other interesting devices at their disposal. 

Pick techno if you see your group being obsessed with reclaiming lost technology or hoarders of old world secrets.

Features: Techno forces have the best access to specialized gadgets that allow them to pull of unusual moves on the battlefield. Techno troops have some of the worst stats, but make up for this with excellent equipment. 

Primal groups have embraced a more primitive lifestyle and a return to nature. Primal groups believe in spirits, omens and the power of the Radlandz.

Pick primal if you see your group as one that has fully embraced the new world of the Radlandz and seek to live with the wastes as opposed to trying to rebuild society.

Features: Primal forces are lightly armed, quiet and fast moving. They have access to many low tech weapons, poisons and traps. They also have limited access to game-breaking mystic powers.          


Mech groups rely heavily on suits of heavy armour and other machines of war and industry. While others run to battle, Mech forces lumber forward, shrugging off small arms fire.  

Pick Mech if you see your group as a group of armoured knights or elite warriors in the Radlandz.    

Features: Mech forces are small but very well armoured and capable of taking more damage than others           


Warrior groups are obsessed with personal glory and one on one melee prowess. They are the ultimate hand to hand fighters in the Radlandz.

Pick warrior if you see your group as a warband of raiders and fighters who want nothing more than to stab people and take their stuff. Or, alternatively, a warrior cult obsessed with honour and personal prowess in battle.

Features: Warrior groups excel in melee combat, but this focus leaves them weak in other areas. They field far fewer guns and ranged support units than other groups.  


Martial groups are focused heavily on order, discipline and coordinated tactics and command. They use timing and firepower to suppress an enemy to make them easier to defeat.

Pick martial if your group is a disciplined and structured war fighting unit. They can be a formal military group, or one that has adopted a formal command structure in order to survive the Radlandz.  

Features: Martial groups are expert shooters and have other abilities that improve their ability to make coordinated attacks and suppress opponents. Their reliance on ranged weapons leaves them  under-equipped in melee.           


Mutant groups are no longer normal in some way. They might be mutated humans, mutated animals, or any other non-human race that has developed in the Radlandz. 

Mutants are tough and can develop unique mutations that give them special bonuses.   
Pick mutant if you want your group to be tough and resilient to the environment of the Radlandz as well as a little unusual.

Features: Mutant groups are defined by their mutations, special bonuses that allow them to specialize in specific skill areas. In general they are poorly equipped, but make up for it with their mutant skills and general toughness.      



Shelter groups have escaped the worst of the effects of the Radlandz. They have a secure base that is sealed off from the outside world, whether this is an underground shelter, a space ship, or mobile fortress, what matters is that they are well equipped and secure from the Radlandz.

Pick Shelter if you want your group to be a surviving relic of the past, or an outside force that has recently arrived in the Radlandz.

Features: Shelter groups are well-equipped and supplied. While they don’t excel at any specific combat discipline, they have few weaknesses. They also have access to environmental controlling technology and other gadgets. 


Covert groups are experts in stealth, infiltration, assassination and other dirty tricks. They rely heavily on surprise attacks and precision. Covert groups are reasonably poor in a stand up fight, but if they are fighting that way, it’s because they aren’t being covert enough.

Pick covert if you want your group to be sneaky and subtle. They could be an order of assassins, a secret society, or Special Forces. As long as the group favours subtlety over brute force, they could be covert.  

Features: Covert groups are lightly armed, lightly armoured, but gain major bonuses to using cover and avoiding being hit. They can deal a lot of damage, but tend not to be able to take much damage in return.                 


Brutal groups care little for being quiet or subtle. They bring loud heavy weapons to the fight and pound their opponents into submission. If the big guns fail, then big melee weapons are also an option.

Pick brutal if you want to field a force of highly armed and dangerous fighters who will win the day through application of extreme firepower. They could be    

Features: Brutal groups carry bigger and nastier weapons than anyone else, and have the training to back that up. The rest of the skill selection is lacking though. Every problem needs to be solved with “more firepower”  

So that's the identity's of Radlandz. An archetype for everyone, and if something doesn't quite fit what you have in mind, you can mix and match identities until it does. 

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