Playbook focus: The Operator

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Radan

  • 25
Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2014, 07:47:48 AM »
Greetings, Dear Arvid and thank you for this topic! :)

Please, publish answers to below linked questions about the Operator. You wrote about the barter line in the operator playbook, but the line (see the quotee below) is uclear at least for me and "my" group.

http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=6373.msg28871#msg28871
" 1-barter will also cover your crew’s cut of a couple three four profitable gigs.
PLEASE PUBLISH EXACT VALUE OF THE CUT!
I mean, there are gigs from 1 barter to 3 barter (with upgoing risk), so the cut could be appropriate, not? " (and see following questions...)


Thank you in advance,

Radan
Preparing "RESOURCE RESUPPLY RUN - SETTING SCENARIOs"! - therefore QUESTIONS FOR BARTERs, GIGs etc.

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Tsenn

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Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2014, 12:46:26 PM »
There isn't an exact value.  Barter isn't the same as currency.  If your Operator has picked up a big stack of vintage novels, call it 2-barter, and then goes to the Savage Wells where they don't read so good, maybe he'll only be able to get 1-barter for those nicely packed firestarters.

So your crew help out on your gigs.  You collect your pay, they ask for theirs.  You say, as the Operator, "Sure Mags, sure Kim, here's your cut," and tell the MC, "I split off a portion for them, will 1-barter cover it?" and the MC says, "Sure," or "Mags takes it happily but Kim looks sour, like she was expecting more, maybe because you had her on her own taking care of two of your gigs while you and Mags did the other one together" and you go from there.

If other players are on your crew, they'll have their own expectations.  Might want to negotiate rates up front.

Does this mean if you do a gig worth 1-barter and cover your obligations, and then your crew want their cut and you give them 1-barter, you end up with no net gain?  Hell yeah.  Hustle a little harder next time.

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Radan

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Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2014, 10:49:34 AM »
I know that the barter is not a currrency (it can be a SERVICE ;) = GIG), but the TOO VAGUE SENTENCE IN THE RULES seems ugly ;) at least to me. What was in my question was NOT THE BARTER (it is not so important what exactly it is, just some(think) that much valuable for the crew...), but HOW MANY GIGS (and HOW HARD) could be done by the crew before (for) the cut (1 barter).
     Literally "a couple three four" is HOW MUCH? Couple is like a pair, not? So all next times two? Then it means 2 * (three four), if counting with average between three and four then 2 * 3,5 = 7. So it loooks like the AVERAGE GIGS DONE FOR 1 BARTER IS 7. But then how hard gigs? Having 7 gigs for 1 barter each and then cut 1 barter is much else then (crazy) 7 gigs for 3 barter and then cut just 1 barter (even that murders were done).
     Simillar problem is wwith the Maesstro 'D crew, respective EVENTs: "1-barter will also cover your cast & crew’s cut of a spectacular event or two." - HOW MUCH of HOW "HARD" (and how long?!) events EXACTLY? What if the Maestro 'D is running NON-STOP BAR with striptease or so? i have clever colleagues - players ;)...

The above think(ing) confuses me so much, that I am even not as able to (role)play that as I am able to do the rest: I AM PREPARING SUPER SETTINGs - SCENARIOs for "RESOURCE - resupply - RUN" !...
     I understand the negotiation narrative, but FROM WHICH POINT TO NEGOTIATE? What is average count of gigs times barter (each) upto 1 barter cut? That was and is my question.

The 1 barter basic rule say, that 1 barter is enough for murder of someone (see the Gunlugger), therefore the Operator can got 3 barter from "doING murderS" only if at least 3 person were murdered, not? Because the crew is 4 people, then maybe it could be 4 murders 1 barter each from which is 1 barrter crew's cut - but is that cut before the paymentt from the Operator (as "payment from the client" and therefore independent) or it is the payment at the Operator's side and therefore the rest of gigs can be done in that price (couple three four gigs MINUS THAT ONE DONE)...?
Preparing "RESOURCE RESUPPLY RUN - SETTING SCENARIOs"! - therefore QUESTIONS FOR BARTERs, GIGs etc.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2014, 12:40:54 PM »
Radan:

"A couple three four" is a colloquialism that means 2-4.

Do not track how much barter NPCs have, get, or spend.

Don't let the operator's NPC crew do gigs without the operator's direct involvement.

The answer to all your questions is in the MC's moves. Particularly:
- Make them buy.
- Offer them an opportunity, with or without a cost.
- Tell them the possible consequences and ask.
- Take away their stuff.

-Vincent

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Ebok

  • 415
Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2014, 12:56:40 PM »
Hey Radan, can you please try to refrain from using any parenthesis? It seems like you're interrupting yourself and makes reading your thoughts more difficult then it should be. On to the topic at hand, however:

The Gigs: A gig is a job taking place off screen. All of the barter made from these gigs are the Operators do do with whatever he pleases. If the NPC crew, or the players, start to feel like they are being taken advantage of... then play it out. How much barter should the Operator pay his crew? Well, how much do they want? How much are they worth? How much are they making? How many jobs does the crew know about, are there any that are happening off books? Is the crew making enough barter to hit the monthly cost of living? Do they have other problems that go beyond what they can handle on their own?

The reason the rules leaves this situation vague is because there are hundreds of different things which could change the result of the move.

Alternative perspective: As an MC, you have the right to say that the NPCs  that are part of the crew don't need to be given barter. It can assumed that the 1-barter profit from the gig is your share of the loot from the job. If you want to have the crew need more barter for something, make an event out of it. The book does say that the crew shouldn't be entirely free, however, so maybe every now and then they have to come up to the Operator and introduce a problem they've gotten themselves into, or that has befallen someone they care about who has no barter to pay them. Maybe that problem is going to take some work, cost some money, etc. If the Operator does this and helps them out, then they have a happy and more loyal crew. If they leave them hanging in their times of needs, maybe they've made an enemy that feels like the Operator set them up to fail. Do what the fiction demands.

If they are PCs then DO NOT give them additional barter for it. This is a moonlighting roll, happening off-screen. If the Gunlugger is part of the crew, then the Operator knows he'll have to pay him for his help. When players are involved, make sure they all have good reasons to be involved. They don't need to help each other just because. The limited barter from each job will promote each character doing their own moonlighting. Maybe the Operator has to do something else for the player crews on screen. Let the players figure that out, but I will reiterate: Don't create more barter from the gig just because another player was part of it. Let them solve the cut out themselves.

The cost of barter: Keep in mind, that when you have an event that triggers a cost, be that suffering harm, needing specific gear, makes an enemy; you have a situation that might cost some barter to resolve. You literally have any number of ways to handle the "cost" of maintaining the crew, and just as you mentioned before, barter could be any number of things including a service that was hard to get.

Number of Gigs per barter: The easiest way to determine this is quite simply, if your operator is overflowing in barter, then trigger events that make that barter come into play, move, and create the fiction. So if the Operator has something like four or five barter on hand, maybe you decide that it's time that he has to put that barter to use. Trigger an event from his crew that might cost him something, or that needs barter to solve. That doesn't limit you to bribery either, it might cover the cost of the life saving medicine/information/tech from another hard-hold/character/gang for the crew members kid/mate/other loved object. You are only limited by your own creativity. How much is too much, you ask? I don't know, in your fiction, how much is too much?

Doing Murders: An Operator has the ability to get a load of barter for this move, sure, but at the same time... You are welcomed to complicate his life for doing so. Maybe he doesn't do it secretively? Maybe everyone knows about it, maybe their friends, allies, etc take issue with it. Maybe it closes off his connections to someone else. Its not so much that he makes more money then the gunlugger for the same thing, the gunlugger does his on stage and full blown action movies. The Operator might simply be using his connections to get paid three times from different clients for the same murder. Maybe all this killing off-screen comes back to bite him in the ass on screen. The gunlugger is a god-damned-bad-ass and a walking-death-machine. They'll be a lot less vulnerable to revenge then an Operator. It's your job to make the world seem real. If they're earning that much jingle, it means that the gig comes with that much risk to him after the deed is done.

The Maestro'D: If they are doing an event everyday all the time, then it'll probably cost a barter every day they keep it up. 12 hours during the day, 12 hours during the night. You can bet they're paying a revolving staff for the job. But this again is something you need to be smart and willing enough to decide for yourself. A spectacular event isn't the norm, it should not be something you allow to be sustainable, it should cost him something to do, but matter for the fiction when it happens. One spectacular event lasting a week? maybe, but a 24/7 event lasting a week, longer? Probably not. Decide for yourself. The suggestions and wording on the pages DO NOT overrule your job as an MC to make the world seem real, and the allowing them to use a barter to break that reality is just a bad move on your part. There are no tricks, deceptions, or loop-holes within AW. If you think you've found one, stop right there, and THINK. Because I bet you you could figure out a way to read the same thing in a way that doesn't break the fiction.

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lumpley

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Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2014, 01:19:10 PM »
Right on!

-Vincent

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Radan

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Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2014, 01:41:24 PM »
I am sending my gratitude for all answers and congratulation to Vincent for so great game!:)

I hope, that I will be able to make nice negotiation etc. with the *"A couple three four" is a colloquialism that means 2-4.*. But it is still to vague to me. Dear Vincent, thank you for the GIG ANSWER etc., but I asked more BARTERs QUESTION - because one gig can be 1 barter or 3 barters.
     So 2-4 times 1-3 is still too wide for me - othervise AW is quite precise - especially in the question of what any character can do... I can imagine cool crew asking for 1 barter after 4 gigs - if the "hardest" gig in the set is for 2 barter and if that gig is no more than 2 times in he set. But what about  cruel crew asking 1 barter after 2 gigs for 1 barter each? Operating crew which s more cool or more cruel - new valuse for AW? ;) - is much diferent, even to much - not?
     I am trying to tell that the rules should be more helpfull in that part for making "manual" or at least "borders" for posibilities - narrative etc.

But as I showed above, I can just describe members of crew and therefore the crew as whole by the cool / cruel values. And because of he Apocalypse, then even the cool would me more "cold" ;).

Because I am preparing "RESOURCE _RESUPPLY RUN SETTING - SCENARIOs", than the barter and gigs questions are very important for me. The rules HAS SETTINGs for example with guns and ammo - so someone has to making them, which could be gigs from honest work to technical work etc.
Preparing "RESOURCE RESUPPLY RUN - SETTING SCENARIOs"! - therefore QUESTIONS FOR BARTERs, GIGs etc.

Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2014, 02:49:05 AM »

(Cowboy Bebop is another Operator crew, though none of its members are actually Operators.)

Another Operator crew is the crew in the Black lagoon with Revy as the Gunlugger, Benny as the Savvyhead, Dutch as the possible Operator. Though what Rock is I'm not sure. Possible an Quarantine, sort of.

Honestly just registered out of a compulsive need to help categorize some things, if only to then assist in my own improved understanding of how these things work (just getting started in AW - my apologies for dredging things up a bit, by the way; only just discovered all these immensely helpful playbook focus threads).

Cowboy Bebop doesn't have an Operator. What it has is a number of other playbooks (could argue for Battlebabe, Gunlugger, Driver, Skinner - they're a pretty mixed bag) who happen to have improved into taking gigs and Moonlighting.

Second, regarding Black Lagoon and Rock's uncertain place, as odd as it might sound, I think he'd be the Battlebabe. Think about it: he pulls off the most ridiculous stunts "under fire," keeps a cool head when he has to talk Revy down from her rampages, has no "hard" talent whatsoever...he's the cool head in the group above all else. When everything else has hit the fan, Rock's the one who, somehow, comes up with the plan to save the day. Even if that plan requires everyone else's efforts to pull off.

Oh, one more: earlier someone mentioned Mal, Badger and Niska could all be considered Operators. To a certain degree, yes, perhaps...but in the case of Niska in particular, I think Hardholder would be more appropriate. This isn't a man in need of connections to make his way; this is a guy with an almost literal fortress from which he commands his forces to do his bidding. Operators (like Mal, let's say) work for him.

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Radan

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Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2014, 10:32:27 AM »
Please, help me with the rule "change your crew" - do that mean also ADD A MEMBER (making the crew stronger, even as a GANG)...?

Note, that I hopefully resolved AN AVERAGE BARTER INCOME FOR THE 1 BARTER CUT for the crew. By the Maestro D i "counted" that after full 6 barter income 1 barter of cut to crew should be paid. More about that GAME BALANCE = FAIR PLAY see it in http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=6373.msg30057#msg30057
Preparing "RESOURCE RESUPPLY RUN - SETTING SCENARIOs"! - therefore QUESTIONS FOR BARTERs, GIGs etc.

Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2014, 04:10:50 AM »
The Operator is my favorite playbook, but I've yet to actually play it.

My model when I started really getting into the bones of the book is Lenny Nero (Ralph Feinnes) from the film Strange Days. Not only a consummate businessman, but a constant businessman. Everything is a hustle. Lenny doesn't ask favors from his friends, he makes deals with them. He makes promises of future payment, whether or not he's actually capable of fulfilling those promises. Her certainly intends to make good, and sees no reason he won't be able to when the check comes due. Of course, the fact that he's wrong as often as he's right is a big part of what drives the character forward.

Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2014, 06:43:00 AM »
Just wanted to add to the collection of good Operators in fiction. The Marquis de Carabas from Neverwhere. Short on actual gigs, but his cool, favour driven economy and skillset are perfect inspiration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHpYWy89yVU