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The world of Darkwind is...dark, gritty, dirty, and dangerous. Even the non-combat events can have serious injuries and deaths.

Because death is both likely and permanent, Darkwind uses groups of characters called Gangs to provide continuity and permanence to the game world. Characters in your gang will die. To quote Viper from Top Gun: "First one dies you die too, but there will be others. You can count on that."

The player acts as the owner of the gang and is responsible for recruiting gang members, training them, entering them in events, and paying for their hospital visits (of which there will be many) and more.

Players may recruit and remove new members at the town's bar. To recruit a new ganger, go to the bar i.e. "Dexter's Tavern" and select "Find New Character" under Actions. To remove a member of your gang, select that character's name under "Your Characters" then at the bottom of the character sheet click "Remove from Gang"

Home Town[edit]

Your gang's Home Town is its primary base of operations. It is where the majority of its members live, and participate in the most activities (town events and wilderness scouts).

You can change your Home Town if you have high reputation and fame in the town you want to set as your Home Town, and a substantial percentage of gang members there.

Home Town Bonus: Your squads pay reduced gates fees when entering your home town

Gang Leader[edit]

Gang leadership is determined by combining the Courage and Leadership qualities of each gang member. The member with the highest score is designated the Gang Leader. This means your gang's leader will change as you recruit characters with better Courage and Leadership numbers.

Paying the Piper[edit]

Veteran gangs are required to pay for their gang's weekly food and water usage, and their weekly wages. If you do not have enough cash, or rations stored, when the payroll is deducted, then bad things happen.

Food and Water[edit]

If you have food and water in your gang's Lockup (each town is considered separately), the gang members in town will use those stores for their rations rather than buying them (behind the scenes) from the town market if the town has no stocks to buy. In this case, your costs for the characters in that town will be zero (0), and each character will consume 0.7 units of food and water.

NOTE: Using your gang's personal food and water stores only happens when the town has no stock to purchase. This is indicated on the My Characters page by an asterisk (*) next to the price in the Totals section of the display. Developer has indicated this may change so that your gang uses your stores regardless of town stock levels.

Bad Things[edit]

Your gang members will start to get sick as they are required to forage for food and water, rather than being allowed to use the more purified supplies in town. If their sickness increases to //Very Heavy// then there is a chance they will leave your gang for a more financialy stable one.

This process should take no less than two 2 weeks assuming they weren't sick to begin with (from walking back to town, for instance), so you should have about 1-week's notice to correct your cash flow troubles.

You should receive an e-mail notification when your gang runs out of money and your characters start getting sick.

Fame and Reputation[edit]

All of this has changed recently with the introduction of Factions, and Per-Gang and Per-Town Reputation. This will need a good going-over. Your gang's Fame and Reputation are dictated by its interaction with the various towns and factions of Evan.

For a detailed description of the Darkwind Faction System visit the Factions page.


Fame is a measure of how well-known your gang is, and is both Local and Global in scope. Unknown gangs have a hard time recruiting members with a specific skill. Also a high fame is a prerequisite to some missions.

Fame is mainly gained from in-town events - winning races, death races, and combats will increase your fame. Placing in "pro" events earns you much more fame than non-pro events. Winning or placing in leagues will also boost your fame at the end of the league.

Wilderness events (aka scouts) increase your fame by pathetically tiny amounts compared to the fame bumps for doing well in arena events.

In the wild, fame is useful for trucing pirates. The higher your fame, the better a chance that you can bypass an undesirable combat by trucing. This is useful for traveling from town to town, especially on lucrative cargo missions.

Fame Descriptor
Well Known


Local Fame is centered around the various towns and outposts of Evan, and affects the likelihood of recruiting good characters. The Recruiter specialism is also required in the town you are recruiting in if you wish to use it.

A high Fame only improves your likelihood of getting an honest character when you are recruiting your 'free' character. Paying to recruit characters negates your Fame advantage (and your Recruiter specialism if you have it).


Global Fame is an average of your fame in all towns.

The low-fame, new player-specific NPC gang Desert Hyenas now only shows up if your Global fame is no more than 50 (whatever that means, since numbers aren't shown).


Reputation is a measure of how your gang is viewed by the members of the various factions of Evan. Reputation trends positive by hunting pirates, and negative by hunting traders.

Reputation Descriptors (+ to -)
Honoured ++++++
Adored +++++
Admired ++++
Respected +++
Liked ++
Appreciated +
Unappreciated -
Disliked --
Scorned ---
Hated ----
Detested -----

Weekly Decay[edit]

The denizens of Evan have incredibly short memories, most likely due to the solar radiation boiling their brains. Because of this your gang's Fame and Reputation will decay every week.

Each week, your gang's Fame and Reputation will move towards anonymous by 20%[1]. This means that gangs with positive Reputation will see their Reputation decrease while gangs with negative Reputation (i.e. pirates) will see their Reputation increase.

Fame is always positive so it will decrease towards zero for all gangs.

Local Hero Status[edit]

By killing highly skilled NPC enemies (with the exception of Somerset, see below) your gang can become a Hero in the various towns and truckstops. When your gang is a local hero you will see a notification on your My Gang page telling you which towns you are a hero in, i.e. Local Hero in Elmsfield. You will also receive Hero Points.

Highly skilled currently means any character with any skill at or above 30.

Town Local Hero needs to
Somerset Kill player characters from bountied gangs, or one of the roving bountied gangs.
Gateway Kill highly skilled NPCs from bountied gangs based in Gateway.
Badlands Kill highly skilled NPCs from bountied gangs based in Badlands.
Firelight Kill highly skilled NPCs from bounty hunters throughout Evan. Only players with negative rep can become heroes in Firelight.

Note that in the starting area, where NPC gangs don't usually have highly skilled characters, hero status comes from killing player-controlled gangs.


Character recruitment takes place at the taverns in the various towns of Evan. Dexter's is the first you'll encounter as it is in Somerset.

Once every 5 days you can recruit a new gang member at no cost. To recruit more members within that 5-day period costs $1000 per character. (The cost does go down as you get closer to the 5 day time limit so you may be able to pick up a new member for less than 1000$)

The maximum number of gang members your gang can employ is determined by your current leader's leadership stat.

Fledgling Gangs[edit]

A gang's first 5 recruits are free, no matter how quickly they're recruited. This includes the 3 characters you get right at the start, so in practice your gang really receives an extra 2 free recruiting opportunities.

Lying Liars[edit]

It is important to note that the characters you will be recruiting may lie. If you are recruiting for someone with the Driving skill you will be presented with a list of people who say they have the skill you need. That doesn't mean they actually have that skill. A character who lied to you will be recruited with the desired skill a bit lower than normal (15 instead of the standard 20 or more)[2].

Recruiting Mutants[edit]

Your gang can have no more than 10% of its members as mutants, unless your leader is a mutant.

This 10% figure will be higher or lower depending on your reputation with the mutant faction(s).

How it Works[edit]

Here's some more information about the mechanics of character recruitment, courtesy of Kime Dennory in forum thread:

There are three possible results when you recruit. You can get a pre-existing character (with a skill higher than 20 or I believe he would not be retained in the database), you can get a newly-generated character with a skill higher than 20 and the rest below 10, or you can get a newly-generated character with a skill of 20 and the rest below 10. The last is the most likely.

Choosing 'best available' makes it more likely that you will get a pre-existing character. That's all it does. Pre-existing characters are sometimes worse than what you'd have gotten otherwise... frequently there was a reason they were fired. (I got a gunner with a dex of 10 one week, and a large gunner with a speed of 8 the next.) However, if they left because someone's gang was unable to pay them, they could also be really nice. Incidentally, fame and the recruiter spec both increase the likelihood that this will happen, but as far as I know it isn't matched against anyone else's fame/recruiter rating.

You can tell you got a pre-existing character if: he is not last in your characters list when he's created (i.e. doesn't have the highest character ID) and/or if he has more than one skill above 9, a nickname, etc.

Other than that, if you get a newly generated character with a skill higher than 20, treasure him. He is also likely to have a higher (possibly much higher) skill cap than the average character. This outcome is much more likely to happen with a free character than one you paid to recruit, and is also more likely the higher fame you have and the higher level recruiter you have (I *think*). However, no newly created character will ever have TWO skills above 9. Typical starting skills are 21 to 25, but some people have seen higher, in some cases much higher.

Finally, if you get a newly generated character with a single skill of 20, that's the default. If he's a free recruit, his skill cap on average is likely to be higher than that of a paid recruit, but I don't know the exact likelihood.

As for stats, they are not affected in any way by fame, recruiting specific skills vs 'best available', the recruiter perk, or whether a character is free or paid for. Completely independent.

NPC Gangs[edit]

NPC Gangs are computer-controlled gangs who exist in the gameworld, these gangs appear almost exclusively around their hometown with the exception of bounty-hunters who operate across all of Evan and some of the leagues where NPC gangs from all across Evan might enter.

The game keeps track of the NPC's successes and failures either against players or each other in behind-the-scenes simulated battles which carry over to the strategic portion of Darkwind.


The scourge of Evan, these gangs usually attack on sight although a good negotiator or simply encountering a more notorious player pirate gang (with low reputation) might be able to convince them to stand down.


Traders and their escorts are more interested in the low-risk enterprise of transporting cargo from town to town and only fight when forced to, they'll always try to offer players a truce.

Bounty Hunters[edit]

Bounty hunters go after the most notorious pirate players who have a low reputation and a bounty on their head, being more logistically cunning than the average pirate outfit they're able to operate all across evan and often try to catch pirate squads as they're returning to town after a battle.

Racing, Death Racing and Combat[edit]

These gangs focus purely on in-town events, and generally focus on a particular type of event as opposed to branching out.


  1. Rep and Fame numbers are now hidden so there's no way to know what that 20% really means