Thursday, April 7, 2011

Crime 101 - The Inside Man Part 2

On Tuesday we talked about The Inside Man as a key way for making a crime just that much easier or more effective. In specific we talked about opening an Inside Man and socializing them to be able to function as part of your crew. Today, we're going to look at the inside man, and how it may show up in your game. So, let's take a look at that.

The PC As The Inside Man
One of the things that I specifically didn't talk about on Tuesday, was the other way of setting up the Inside Man. How do you do it? Well, it is simple. You take someone on your crew, and you have them placed on the inside where you need them. This generally takes a lot more time and planning on the crews part, because to get to a useful position, the inside man will need time to generate trust and respect inside wherever he/she is. That being said, once they're in place, you have someone who is primarily part of your crew first, inside man second, on the inside. Which means you have less issues with them being caught for being nervous, or suddenly getting cold feet.

This approach is more of a "professional" approach for the inside man. Odds are they'll do less work per year, and so the work they do do will have to pay off well enough to make up for that. Still, if the PC crew has time, this can be a wonderful way to set things up and give someone who otherwise has little to do a big role in the heist your PCs are trying to do.

Avoiding Detection
One of the chief problems the PC inside man is going to have is avoiding detection. They've joined whatever the place is, with the specific interest in robbing/hitting the place. Now, take a moment and think about it. How do you feel about the new employee who is just full of questions about the building's security? Who goes off to check how the duct system works? Who you find checking her watch every time the guards do a patrol by certain areas? Yeah, pretty suspicious.

This is another reason why planting the inside man takes time. They need to build trust - as I said above - and trust is hard to build when you are constantly acting suspiciously. For PCs, this means doing things slowly. Specifying with the GM that they are trying to do such. Alternatively, finding and opening a second inside man specifically for the training/info gathering part of things. Always nice to have a patsy right?

Slow Fade or Fast Vanish?
The other big thing you need to know with a PC inside man is if you are going to vanish in a flash, or do a slow fade after the job has been done. Depending on the heist, the inside man may be needed for some of the lifting and moving of what is being taken. However, anyone who isn't present when the dust settles is going to make up the short list of just who was involved in the crime. So, the question again, do you vanish with the crew when the job is done? Or stick around and slowly fade from the premises?

If you vanish, you - and your crew - need to leave the town fairly quickly. After all, you worked there for a while, and now the police are going to be checking all the data you provided - and your photo - against all their happy databases. They're also going to be looking for connections, and that could get them the PCs. On the plus side though, you know you are free, and you have the job pulled off so it is payday. Right?

If you slow fade, you need to be around when the dust settles. The danger here is that if someone knows you were involved, you have an increased chance of getting caught (but that's ok, your friends will help you right? After all, they need you to pull off that heist...that you just did). The benefit here is that by sticking around you look less guilty (because, hey, you're still there), and can even help mislead the investigators with bad information. If people are saying there were four, say there were actually six. Throw in specific details that also throw off the trail, like a tattoo that you saw, or something like that. Then, put in your walking papers. The trauma of the heist has you feeling weird, you don't feel safe. You quit, you leave, you collect your pay, and you vanish.

Obviously, the slow fade requires more trust in the crew.

Managing The Inside Man
For those groups that choose to open an inside man, rather than plant one, just keep in mind that you need to know how you're going to control them. Are you using force and threats? Or bribes and coersion? If you are using threats, how are you keeping the threat present and the person on task? If bribes, how are you paying? WHat are you paying? Then of course, the most important question, what happens after the crime?

If your inside man can identify you, he is a liability. If he can't, he can be a fall guy, or just left alone. No solution is perfectly clean, and all have ups and downs for them. But you want to know what you're doing ahead of time, and have your crew all in on it. That way there is no arguments later on.

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