Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crime 101: Fences Part 4

Well, with no one having voted on Tuesday, this will likely be the last post on Fences for at least a little bit. Unless, of course, I can't think of anything better to do for next week. I do, after all, love me some fences. Anyhow, on Tuesday we talked about three main things: How to meet a fence, how much power fences have, and what fences provide. Today, lets look at ways to apply these three things into your game.

Meeting The Fence
First things first, if you're going to have a fence be a prominent figure in your game, then you need to have your game be set in the area the fence is. While it is possible to have international fences, for the most part - at least in the real world - they're fairly stationary. They have their shop in one city or another, and stay there.

That being said, if your game is primarily set into a city, then having people meet a fence can be a fun way to do an adventure, or part there of. Basically, it can work very much like how things work in console RPGs. The players need to meet a fence in order to get some information, or find out if he still owns some item or another. To do this, however, they need to 1) find out where the fence operates and 2) get someone to introduce them to the fence. #2 could be a small bit in and of itself as well, needing to find the contact and then get the contact to do them the favor.

Odds are "standard" PCs will just find the fence, go in, and threaten for the information. This can work too, and could have far reaching consequences. But, I'll let you have fun with how that one can work out.

How Much Power...
This seems like a great way to pick up after the last little comment. Also, and unfortunately for this post/fortunately for you, there are a lot of ways to use this. Since Fences have different amounts of power, they can do different things. You can use a fence as a crime boss for a low level gang. The Fence could also be a broker, owed lots of favors, and having the ability to call on muscle.

This can let you put a fence as a mid to high ranked bad guy, a low rank informant, just another notch on the gun, or even a well placed contact for a PC who wants to explore the seedy underbelly of whatever city they're in.

Sorry for not giving more, but this is another one where you should really just have fun.

What Fences Offer
This can be a sweet motherload of goodness if someone is playing a thief. If you're doing a city game, and someone (or someones) want to be a thief, by all means go for it. Really dig in with this, having the fence take up an almost fatherly/motherly training role in the thieves life. Helping them get jobs, that are of their level but will also challenge them to improve. Have the thief be helpful and friendly.

Depending on how you want to go, you can go with the fence who really does want a long, friendly business relationship, or the more manipulative one that is pretending to do that while trying to keep the thief dependent on them.

There is honestly a lot you can do here, but unlike with the other two where they're plot points, with this you can have pure character building goal for your PCs. So use it, have fun, and see how it works for you!


  1. Thanks, again, really useful stuff! And thanks for answering those questions.

  2. I like the questions. They give me stuff to address and ponder over, while making sure that what I'm writing is still relevant to the people who visit here.

    So, if you've got more, let me have them :)