Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation

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Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« on: May 09, 2012, 09:05:28 PM »
Situation:

We're playing the game and I'm MCing. A bunch of situations have already resolved. I've asked people what they were doing and than we mostly resolve that. I want to liven up the situation so I'm like:

A GUY WITH A TANK ROLLS INTO YOUR BACKYARD

The guy with the tank asks for some money, they agree to give it to him later, the tank heads back out.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

A player starts making elaborate anti-tank plans, with descriptions of what the gang is doing, descriptions of traps to set up, descriptions of where to put their dudes, etc etc.

PROBLEM

My first response is: Your dudes follow your exact plan that you set out, and than we have some combat rolls to make the next day.

This also sounds intensely boring to me, and the other players didn't seem super engaged with the earlier tank-plan-setting-up.

What would you do instead as MC?

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Chroma

  • 259
Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 09:35:32 PM »
What would you do instead as MC?

The tank doesn't come back...

1) Maybe they start hearing rumours about it rumbling around hitting other places, but it doesn't show up again... then the PCs can hunt it if they like...

2) Or maybe they hear about other places getting threatened by other tanks... and there's some warlord out there who's found herself an armoury and is gonna flatten every other holding... unless they become her subjects.

3) Someone shows up talking about this tank they saw out in the wasteland that had been "Fuckin' ripped apart like a rotten fruit!"... so what's that all about?


What Threat/Front does the tank come from/represent?  Or was it just an off-the-cuff thing?
"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: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 10:35:52 PM »
Man, is every member of this gang okay with their leader being extorted?

Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 04:46:11 AM »
The tank is owned by Millions, He's a 14 year old punk kid who really likes women drugs and shooting people. He is surrounded by other 14 year olds who don't like those things very much, or him, but are hungry. I'd call him a sybarite. He isn't really part of any ongoing front. He is my favorite NPC and I will be sad to see him go.

Is every member of this gang okay with their leader being extorted?

Well, I don't think they're reacting to the humiliation aspect of being extorted, because they're currently crafting dangerous anti-tank plans.

Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 05:13:06 AM »
Quote
He is my favorite NPC and I will be sad to see him go.
Dont be  fan of your NPC, see them through crosshairs.

Be fan of your player characters.

Let the tank hit people/things that is important to the other (not yet interested) players.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 07:27:53 AM by CoveredInFish »

Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 06:33:40 AM »
Dont be  fan of your NPC, see them through crosshairs.

Be fan of your player characters.

Let the thank hit people/things that is important to the other (not yet interested) players.

I don't think "not letting the NPC go" is an issue at all. Its a rule I respect a lot.

Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 07:03:29 AM »
Some of Millions' gang show up, looking to collect. Do you send them away empty-handed and risk tankly response? Do you pay up? Do they notice your antitank preparations? Are you sure? Are you willing to murder some kids to be 100% certain you take that tank unawares?

Are any of the PC's gang NPCs? Do they really want to go up against a tank? Seriously, boss? This is a good plan and all, but... tank. Inch-thick steel, shells the side of my head. Well, Rolfball's head.

Millions, meanwhile, needs gas, parts, and ammunition (if he ever gets around to shooting anything). Where/who do they come from? Do those people talk to/are the other PCs? Maybe they don't come from anywhere, and that tank is toast... shortly. Millions has just long enough to piss a bunch of people off, and then it's just him and a bunch of gutter rats against, er, everyone Millions extorted/shot at coming after him. What do the PCs do if he comes to them for help? Or maybe a more sympathetic member of his gang, all of whom are on the chopping block thanks to that pint-sized megalomaniac?

If it does come to a fight, this seems like it might be a good time to break out the Battle Rules! Their plans and traps give a framework in which they maintain untenable positions (fighting a tank), provide covering fire, face an increasing number of bullets and shells as the clock goes to midnight, and eventually throw a hand grenade in to Millions' lap. Now they've got a busted tank on their front lawn. How busted? Who wants it? Is it the PCs? Well, now they need gas, parts, and ammunition...

Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 07:22:06 AM »
You guys' responses have been awesome. Thanks

I'm pretty sure I'm going forward with something that's like hobbesque and coveredinFish's suggestions.

Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 03:25:58 AM »
Dont be fan of your NPC, see them through crosshairs.

Seconding this. If you don't like the idea, have something wipe out Millions (or at least keep him away for awhile) and leave your bloody fingerprints all over it.

Alternatively, you might just handwave the fight. If you dig the effort the player put into the anti-tank measures, maybe just let them succeed?

Some MCs will allow a PC (when confronting a helpless victim) to just declare how much harm they wish to do, rather than roll to see if you can whack the kneecaps of someone who's drugged up and strapped to a chair. I'm thinking something similar, maybe work out an awesome description of the event, but skip the rolling if it won't add anything.

*

noclue

  • 609
Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 02:07:21 PM »
Is every member of this gang okay with their leader being extorted?

Well, I don't think they're reacting to the humiliation aspect of being extorted, because they're currently crafting dangerous anti-tank plans.

Is every member of this gang okay with taking on a fucking tank?
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: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 02:32:13 PM »
i would have Millions interact in other ways with the other PCs. Maybe he's banging the Skinner. Maybe he's getting drugs from the Maestro. Maybe he wants to recruit the Gunlugger. Maybe he and the Driver have Tank Parties. I'd make him valuable to some, annoying to others, and really threatening to just one or two.
Then you get to watch all the hell he causes.

You can also let he and the one PC he extorted butt heads for a while, but during this time he's expanding his power base and so he starts getting really dangerous. So dangerous that he starts negatively affecting EVERYBODY. Then they all have to work together because no PC can take him down alone. And they have to get past their own bullshit to do it, and that will cause hell too.

Or he can disappear and then turn up a mangled bloody corpse with wounds that are totally bizarre and his tank was torn open by no earthly means.
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Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 04:07:06 AM »
Hey, yo. Do they plan to just demolish the tank and kill the fourteen year-old kid?

Because Millions' tank extortion circuit is probably the only means that these fourteen year-olds have for getting barter and ultimately feeding themselves. If the PCs kill off Millions and demolish his tank, then they'll have a gang of distraught and destitute teenagers expected to be fed by them. They'll have a mongrel pack of emotionally and economically needy scavengers at their door. What next?

And if they plan to take the tank from Millions, what do they do with him? Do they let him live, in which case he'll plot revenge? Or do they kill him, in which case he becomes a martyr and his lackeys try to steal back his tank?

Re: Tell me how you'd respond to this problematic situation
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2012, 05:05:25 PM »
Thanks for the replies ya'all. The actual situation played out much better than expected. Good friends shot in the face to appease basement Frankensteins.