I have a bit of a soft spot for Die Toten even though it sort of seems to get lost amidst some of the other ideas I’ve come up with over the years. The setting meshes the Warhammer 40k universe with a kind of Running Man style post-apocalyptic “Game Show of Death” theme that I think is ideal for throwing together some anarchic, bite-sized adventures that you can slot in between your other campaigns.
There are a lot of mechanical concepts here that I love. I think Street Chemistry as an Arcane Background is pretty unique and interesting. It combines my love for random generators with a bit of player agency to create kind of a Mad Scientist’s approach to “casting spells” (you set out to produce one type of effect, but chance could cause this to produce a radically different effect). I also think the Base Building is cool — essentially turning the gang’s lair into another character that can grow and evolve over time.
Overall the setting is one that lends itself to flowchart style session planning where you don’t really need to have an overarching campaign mapped out and you can just generate encounters on the fly as the gang travels from one part of the city to another and see what situations emerge from that.
In retrospect, I think Die Toten would probably make a much better computer game than pen-and-paper game. A lot of the systems would fit nicely into a Real-Time Strat game with some light Role-Playing elements woven in. Maybe something like XCOM where you recruit gangers to form a squad and make base improvements as you complete raids? Of course it would have to be done in ‘Ironman’ mode to accurately reflect the danger of the world.
I encourage you to give it a look and share your thoughts in the comments.