How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?

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Gwion

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How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« on: October 19, 2011, 03:14:16 PM »
I have a Maestro D' in my campaign and I find it a little bit touchy to make her life interesting.

How do you do it without alway menacing her establishment? I mean it can get easily tiresome to alway have problems about your establishment, it would be like if the gunlugger had alway problems about her gun. I am saying this because I once played a hardholder and it was starting to get tiresome to alway have trouble about my gang, instead of having cool problems to resolve with my gang.

The other thing is that it seem a little bit cheap to often push away the Maestro from her establishment, kind of like how alway seprating the gunlugger from her guns could be boring.

And the Maestro tend to alway keep close to her establishment. Since she is less expansionist then the Hardholder or the Operator.

...

In my game the Maestro run a bar (with gambling & shows) in a New-Vegas like hardhold run by a NPC.

Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2011, 05:14:19 PM »
We have a M'D in our game who was experiencing the same problem.  I'd personally recommend focussing on PC-NPC-PC triangles.  Get the M'D working with the other PC's, perhaps even to the point of dependency.  Maybe they need to gunlugger to protect the talent, or booze deliveries.  Or the hocus is looking for a bit of time to talk to the audience.  By getting the other players invested in the M'D, I imagine you'll find the M'D involved a lot more.


Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2011, 06:17:00 PM »
So on the one hand I am sympathetic here, to this problem, having run a game with a relatively obstinate Maestro D', but on the other hand reading that post leaves me scratching my head, because I sure as hell dropped a bomb in the middle of his opium den the moment things got screwed up.

If the Maestro D' never leaves their establishment, and cares only about their establishment... then that's how you make their life interesting. Through the establishment.  It's not your problem that their player is not giving you anything else to work with -- presumably they're doing it because they think their establishment is super-interesting.

If they aren't interested in anything else going on in the world, and they want to hide in their private little bunker-of-life, then the world has to come to them, that's just how it is.

Of course everything doesn't have to be a threat to the establishment -- you can offer opportunities, instead. Opportunities with some cost or trade-off, ideally; opportunities that rely on other PCs or important NPCs to bring to fruition. But inevitably, opportunities gone wrong will become threats as well, and if the only realm the PC ever operates in is their bar, then their bar is going to be where the trouble's at. I wouldn't feel bad about it.

I mean, you say "it would be like if the gunlugger always had problems with her gun", but there's a pretty important difference: gun trouble is boring. Establishment trouble is interesting. A gun is not an environment, a gun does not involved dozens of people in its operation. The number of things that can go wrong with a gun is fairly limited; the number of things that can go wrong with a post-apocalyptic bar are endless.


« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 06:21:37 PM by Daniel Wood »

Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2011, 06:34:00 PM »

More constructively, the main opportunities (and related threats/problems) for a Maestro D' establishment seem like they are going to revolve around the fact that the establishment is the major (or only) public, social environment in the area. There are lots of people who want to have access to that sort of place, or access to the people who go there.

Drug dealers want to use it to sell their drugs, performers and snake-oil salesmen want to set up outside and promote their wares. People go on dates there. Rival gang leaders want to set up meetings there. People on the run want to blend in there; assassins want to kill people who attend functions there. Hardholders want to take it over, or consider it already-theirs; they want to use it to bribe people, as a feather in their particular cap. Troublemakers want to make trouble there; speechifyers want to get their message out through there; if rabblerousers are about, the roused rabble will inevitably end up drinking there.

Whatever it is the establishment provides, somebody powerful out there wants it so bad -- wants it unreasonably, is addicted to it, can't just share it like a regular person. Somebody with no power at all wants it too, in the same way. These are people who can be taken advantage of, but who are dangerous, too, if they aren't managed in the right way.

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Chroma

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Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2011, 06:39:55 PM »
As well, the Maestro D' is the only playbook, that I'm aware of at least, that comes with a whole list of invested, troublesome NPCs from the get-go!  Make those people real and important!

Those NPCs are a world of trouble for our current Maestro D', because they're *also* important to other people... both PC and NPC, so they can't just be poisoned off with ease...  *laugh*
"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: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2011, 08:22:22 AM »
Hey, I'm playing the Maestro D in Chroma's game.  He's right about the veritable horde of NPCs generated solely from the playbook.  There's enough there to keep the MD busy if they can't find their own trouble.

Having the establishment is a benefit, not a handicap, for involving the MD in the story since everybody goes there.  Want to throw an NPC at another player?  Don't send them to that player, send them to the MD for directions, misdirections, liquid courage or anything else that generates a triangle.  The MD should really know everybody else's business because everybody keeps coming back to theirs.  And what do they want to do with that information?


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Monte

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Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2011, 11:22:34 AM »
I mean, you say "it would be like if the gunlugger always had problems with her gun", but there's a pretty important difference: gun trouble is boring.

The hell you say...some of my most interesting moments in the military are when there was Gun Trouble... 

While we were training on how to execute an ambush the S.A.W. beside me decided that it wasn't going to send the rounds down range....instead they backed up in the barrel.  When they rodded it 3 bullet fragments came out of it...if anything would have gone differently I would be telling the story about that one time the barrel exploded...

Or how about when we were practicing raiding a hill and as I come up on a position my M-4 jams and I have to make myself real small before they fire back on me.

or how about that time that one of the Trainees decided he was going to throw the pin and drop the grenade...

or how about that time that I placed my SAW by a wasps nest and I had to go running through the woods with a medic telling me to take off all my clothes...

Gun problems aren't interesting, RIGHT!

<End Rant>

As for the Maestro D'...I like to think of other Maestro D'-like Characters.  For example Miss Kitty (Gunsmoke), Lorne (Angel), & Swearengen (Deadwood).  Their establishments were always getting torn up.  It was the hub of the story for alot of these shows. Without those characters many of the other "PC's" (Stars) and NPC's (Guest Stars) wouldn't have anything to do.

Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 11:11:21 PM »
Good stuff above ^^^

Also, I agree with using the named NPCs that come with the M'D. The best client asks for a major favor that puts things in a dangerous way - best if it's a favor directed at another PC; the worst client makes trouble - again; the guy who wants in finds a new way to cut in on the business.

Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 02:08:08 PM »
Trevis made my life interesting in a couple ways - most of them stemming from 'there's never enough' -
Where do you get your X?  What happens when supplies are interrupted? 

And maybe this won't work for your Maestro, but early on we decided that citizens of the hardhold would shelter in the establishment during environmental hazards ... and there was never enough room for all of them ... and the next people in line were a mother and her children ...

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noclue

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Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 02:30:48 PM »
Who or what does the character care about, besides the establishment?
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 03:18:41 PM »
You could also ask the player what they were thinking when they picked the Maestro'D.  What trouble were they hoping for?  Did they see the character as fending off disasters, expanding their web of power, making sure they remained well fed when the food starts running out?  When I pick a character, I'm thinking about all the horrible ways I want them to get in trouble.  I'll gleefully help the MC fuck up my own status quo.

In my last game, our Maestro'D lost his establishment by the fourth session or so, tried and failed to re-establish himself in a couple different contexts, then gave up and became an Operator.  The character seethed with frustration, but the player had a lot of fun.