Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!

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Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« on: September 05, 2011, 10:35:05 PM »
So I'm finding that I'm having a hard time keeping the spotlight off of the PCs that have groups attached.  The PCs can use their groups to seize things by force and otherwise push folks around, and it usually ends up being other PCs.  I've tried having the groups occasionally work counter to the PCs who are supposed to lead them, but the PCs are pretty willing to just go along with whatever the group wants to do, even if it's some pretty nasty business.  It's getting to the point where the PCs who *don't* have a group are starting to feel edged out of the game and powerless... what do?

Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 10:57:47 PM »
I think all of that is supposed to happen, except for "The PCs who are not part of a group feel edged out"

I think not being part of group should be awesome in ways that are not typically played up in traditional role playing games - That you have freedom, that you're not being attacked from a bunch of sides, that you have all the downtime you want, while the Hardholder has all this crap on them all the time.


Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 12:28:22 AM »
Just a few ideas I'll throw out there that you may wish to pass on to your gangless players:
* One of the groupless players could snag NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH, which would mean they are a gang.
* Many of the non-hardholder, non-chopper playbooks can obtain gangs of their own.
* A character with a high Hot or otherwise in possession of good ability to seduce or manipulate can try turning the gang-having characters against one another, or turning an influential NPC who can rile the community against them (if the hardholder's rule is contested, their income is cut off).

Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 05:18:09 AM »
Is everyone in the groups named?

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Chroma

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Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 07:34:20 AM »
It's getting to the point where the PCs who *don't* have a group are starting to feel edged out of the game and powerless... what do?

Also recall that any PC can interfere with any of those gang/group related rolls... the Hardholder taking -2 to her Wealth roll can mean a lot of trouble... to say nothing of -2 to a Pack Alpha roll!
"If you get shot enough times, your body will actually build up immunity to bullets. The real trick lies in surviving the first dozen or so..."
-- Pope Nag, RPG.net - UNKNOWN ARMIES

Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 10:05:47 AM »
Allison: Great ideas, but if everybody has a gang, then it's not so cool anymore.  I'm specifically looking for ways that the game's mechanics compensate someone for not being ten or twenty-five violent bastards.  I may suggest that last option, tho :)

help im a bug: Some are, some aren't.  Anyone who comes up gets a name.  I'm doin my best at that.

Chroma:  wait what what WHAT?  YOU CAN HELP/INTERFERE WITH START-OF-GAME ROLLS?

MIND BLOWN

Seriously.  I couldn't even conceive of a way to mess with, say, the Savvyhead's Bonefeel, so I just assumed they were un-mess-with-able.  I never went on to think of the Hardholder's Wealth or the pack alpha moves as mess-with-able... MAN OH MAN.  If this is true, then PROBLEM FUCKIN SOLVED.  I worry that it might be *too* strong, because the cost of failure is so high on those rolls... Any chance you might be able to note where that happens in the rules, Chroma?  I feel a lot better when I can point to the rules and say "Of course you can!"

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lumpley

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Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 10:28:33 AM »
You can. If any move were impervious to help or interference, it would say so. It's just a matter of to do it, do it - which means that, yes, Bonefeel is hard to screw with, since it's internal to the savvyhead, but Wealth? Easy. Pack Alpha isn't even a session-start move, so easy-easy.

Who are your other PCs? Like, a savvyhead or an angel will have an easy time fading into the background, so you'll need to be very active in bringing them the spotlight to make up for it. A brainer or a skinner, though, just ask them what they're doing and let the gangs beware.

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Chroma

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Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 10:58:02 AM »
Seriously.  I couldn't even conceive of a way to mess with, say, the Savvyhead's Bonefeel, so I just assumed they were un-mess-with-able.

There was a rivalry between the Hardholder and the Savvyhead; the Savvyhead was interfering with the Wealth roll by not fixing the manufactory properly or in a timely manner... so, the Hardholder interfered with the Bonefeel roll thusly: "I'm sending goons to knock on your door at random times, day and night, asking 'Is it fixed yet?  Is it fixed yet?', you're not getting a night's sleep until things stop 'breaking down'..."

As MC I thought: AWESOME!

Heck, I've had aid/interfere used on Harm rolls, on Fortunes rolls, even a Hoarder's hoard's Hunger rolls!  (For a roll were "high roll = bad" we usually reverse the modifiers to +2/-1.)
"If you get shot enough times, your body will actually build up immunity to bullets. The real trick lies in surviving the first dozen or so..."
-- Pope Nag, RPG.net - UNKNOWN ARMIES

Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2011, 03:35:16 PM »
Yeah... right now I've got a Hocus (on an OOC vacation), a Hardholder (who picked up after his Brainer retired last session), a Gunlugger, a Savvyhead and an Angel.  The Brainer definitely gave every hardholder in sight as well as the Hocus a great run for their money, and the Savvyhead and Angel were more or less putting things and people back together after.

I suppose my question as MC, then, after that, is: How best to give the Gunlugger, Savvyhead, and Angel the spotlight?  What have people done that works well for that?

Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2011, 03:46:00 AM »
For the Gunlugger it's quite easy, you just point them at stuff to go and fuck up. In my experience, most people who pick a Gunlugger do so because they like playing characters who go and do that very thing.
The best time I've ever seen anybody have playing an Angel was when she decided to make her into a mad scientist kinda person and ended up going all Herbert West - Reanimator. There were zombies everywhere - that made the other players sit up and take notice!
Not had many Savvyhead players, I would try and push them into making cool machines that end up doing bad things. Badly.

Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2011, 03:49:30 PM »
On the subject of getting angels more involved, I'm playing one. The MC has done a great job so far. Her first love letter to me gave me a choice of things I was getting work from, and I ended up picking one that went places: a pernicious, communicable, and eventually fatal disease-causing mould, which went on to spawn a cult which has raised a considerable amount of shit in the game. And then there was getting attacked in my surgery and the meds used for treating the mould stolen, which resulted in a tense subplot where we got them back (and the thief turned out to be the hardholder's son, which spawned more drama), and then the MC felt bad about having me attacked in my surgery by a big scary woman with a severe communicable disease and brought a biker gang of potential romantic interests (and subplots of their own, like being able to recruit the gang against enemy mutants, and having to deal with the hardholder who wants to run them out, and so on) into town, and yada yada.

Also, angels have wicked Sharp. I highly recommend using it. Having Sharp+3 (after an improvement, admittedly) is like being a goddamn mind-reader: you excel at seeing through people (and situations), and you should damn well make sure everyone knows it. I also picked the stat array with Hot+1, which helps for following through when I read someone for their buttons.

So I guess where I'm going with this is, you need to consider both what angels as a class do (they cure the sick and heal the injured--a disease or battle that calls for a doctor to save the day will put attention on them), and their individual motives, as you would for anyone. You could try asking the angel's player what the character's goals and desires are, then act on that information. That, and cater to their great Sharp; throw situations at the PCs where NPCs around them aren't wearing their motives on their sleeves or into uncertain situations with dangers that are hidden and not right out on the table.