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The Knife Syndicate

If you've been following Broken Contract on social media, you may have seen mention of my Knife Syndicate crew. You may have wondered what that is all about since we've only ever really talked about Breakers and Black Squadron. The FerrumSky Campaign Book is going to introduce two new Factions, the Knife Syndicate and FerrumSky Loyalists. Today we're going to talk about the Knife Syndicate.

The Criminal Underbelly of the FerrumSky Mines
Take away people's right to choose how they will live their lives, and they will rebel. Not every rebellion is in the form of work stoppage and open fighting with management and their hired goons. Instead, the most common form of rebellion happens during the day-to-day grind through general rule-breaking. Workers smuggle rations back to their barracks and sell them to their co-workers. There are those who hide anything with natural sugar to slowly ferment in the dark, tucked behind rocks or under storage containers. There is a thriving market for stolen clothing and gear that gets left unattended by neighboring crews. There are also those that traffic in items stolen from the corporations, instead of from each other. Networks for the theft, transport, and distribution of goods are built on connections, leaked schedules, access to goods, and folks incentivized to turn a blind eye. Those networks are maintained by organized gangs.

There are a number of organized gangs within the FerrumSky mines. Many of the smaller ones gather based upon their similarities. There are gangs composed of all Drops who find solidarity in their newness to the mines. Not surprisingly, gangs of all Progens exist too, who fight to preserve their position of seniority and who exploit the benefits of knowing the ins and outs of life in the mines. Though a lot of Progens gravitate toward running with FerrumSky Loyalists to maintain their edge in the socio-economic hierarchy, many know they have been prisoners for most of their lives, and happily take from their masters. In some cases even religious beliefs or the colony ship they came in have fostered connections and loyalties that result in a group of people valuing their own needs over that of others. This is often a defining characteristic of how gangs and highly organized crime syndicates are born.

The Knife Syndicate
The most entrenched criminal network within Orin Mine is the Knife Syndicate - often shortened to just, The Knife. The Knife Syndicate have found success through a familial type support network. Though much of the leadership is composed of Progens, they work to bring in Drops and to indoctrinate children through a mix of protection and rewards. The more indebted to the Knife a person becomes, they greater the responsibilities that they are asked to take on, caught in a cycle of criminal activity that is impossible to break. These debts travel, and more than one person has tried to get their work assignment transferred to another mine, or to have their contract sold to another corporation, only to find new "family" waiting for them when they got there.

Those who have spent some time with the Knife are sly negotiators and are often nimble on their feet, preferring to weasel their way out of bad situations, or just slip away from the action. As a large organization, they try to stay under the radar by focusing on building their network of allies. Their modus operandi is negotiation and evasion. Still, when push comes to shove they normally have a blade tucked away somewhere for necessary intimidation or self-defense.

My Knife Syndicate crew so far.

Building Your Own Knife Syndicate Crew
Currently there are no Knife Syndicate specific models for Broken Contract other than Nells Turnbull. We'd love to get some models sculpted for the Knife eventually, but for now we're using models from our friend's ranges. To differentiate my Breaker crew from my Knife Syndicate crew (they are all just miners after all) I cherry picked some models from the Nanomei range produced by Anvil-Eight Games for their game, Aetherium. The two post-apocalyptic children are from the Daph blister pack produced for Wreck-Age by Hyacinth Games. At the end of the day, Broken Contract is your game, so use whatever models feel suitable to you.

If you would like to play with the special rules that make the Knife Syndicate unique, here's a glimpse at the Training rules from the upcoming FerrumSky Campaign Book. Have fun!

Training Upgrades are a way to theme a Crew. Each Character can take up to 2 Training Upgrades. The first is based upon their Faction. This represents a mix of learned behavior and cultural indoctrination. The second upgrade can be any Ability Card, representing a unique skill they’ve picked up along the way. Training upgrades are 1 point each, just like other upgrades.

Knife Syndicate: -1 Agility or pick from these Ability Cards: Reactive, Sharp, Weasel

Adult (10 pts) + 2 Adult Upgs (2 pts) + 2 Training Upgs (2 pts) = 14 points. 4 pieces of Equipment = 4 pts. Total: 18 pts. 

Thanks for reading. If you give these rules a try, let us know what you think!


  1. Like it... rename it the Kolbe Syndicate and it will be perfect. Very cool concept... when I come back to the States and we game, I will crush you.

  2. I'm familiar with the Kolbe Syndicate - a nefarious lot, all of them!


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