Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crime 101 - Being the Broker

Well, it's thursday. That means that we take what we went over on Tuesday with Crime 101, and look at ways to apply it to your game, or your character. Luckily for me, when it comes to Men of Honor - or Brokers as they're also known - this is ridiculously easy, and yet offers a whole ton of options for how you apply it. So, let's take a look.

Making Things Right
PCs can be a rather volatile element in any game that they're in. I mean, let's be honest, most PCs are as prone to burning down half the city as they are to paying for their groceries at the store like a normal person. They also don't tend to play nicely with criminals, and that - combined with the stereotypical view of crime most people have - is just going to end up with them on the wrong side of the underworld at some point. However, this doesn't have to be where your game turns into action and gun fights. Crime is a business, and there are much better options than just shooting up the city you work in. Especially when the people the problem is with are known for their proficiency in a fight.

So, next time your players get a bit uppity, maybe they don't have assassins sent after them. Maybe they have a broker sent to speak to them. This broker has a deal for them, a working arrangement where everything can go smoother. This broker also likely has access to some of the scarier muscle in town. Scarier, coordinated muscle. Meaning that if the PCs don't at least listen, they may have other problems. Problems that are a bit bigger than they can safely chew.

Now, this option can just devolve back into the normal "you pissed off Mob Boss Freddy, so now his goons are after you", but it also offers the option for role playing. For deal making, threats, extortion, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Maybe the Broker is willing to cut them in on some of the city's action (or the person they represent is willing), but in exchange the PCs have to turn that propensity for violence loose on specific targets. Done right, this could easily bring several PCs down a much different path in life than the players initially suspected.

Agents of the Broker
It is very possible to run an entire game where the PCs are the Men of Honor, or at least agents for a big shot broker in the city. This type of game can be seen already in games like Dark Heresy, where the PCs play agents of someone very high up in the food chain - and eventually work their way up to those levels of power, if they survive. It also enables you to throw a large number of different plots and adventure types at them as they work for a problem solver for some of the city's more interesting people.

PCs as the Broker
Now, this one is going to require a bit of a special kind of character, so this is as much for the PCs as the GM, but being a broker is one of the big signs of attaining power in a city's underworld. It means that you have the reputation to help solve problems, the contacts to be called on to do just that, and the power to enforce the decisions. It may not mean you're at the very upper echelons of power, but it is definitely a sign that you are making progress.

The best part, this is an aspect that you can introduce decently early (helping solve low level disputes), and use as a source for constant hooks and plots as the PC grows into their abilities. Decisions made early in their career can come back to haunt them, and you get to see what happens when people try to bribe them to get what they want.

And Much More....
Like I said, there are tons of options to go with this. This is just a few of the most obvious and broadest reaching one. A Man of Honor's job is to help solve problems between people who can't, and won't, go tot he cops and use the legal system. Have fun with it, and let your players enjoy the ride. If you are the player, well, keep your nose clean. Reputation matters more than you might think.

No comments:

Post a Comment