A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    If you're reading this, Daos or Igor, this is spoilers. So, kindly click off. ;)


    I'm introducing a plot arc in a game of mine where the party needs to bring down or severely hinder the organized crime gangs of a city. I was thinking of providing a few plot hooks for how to do this, depending on what angle the party wants to approach it from. The problem is, I'm having trouble figuring out what directions I need to plan for.

    I have one, being that the gang leaders always have lunch at a particular tavern on a certain day of the week, and maybe they'd want to get to them through the smaller gangs working under the big ones, but I don't know how to introduce that one. Maybe catching word of a job they have planned?

    Ideas are greatly appreciated, everyone!
    elephants are made of carbon




    and so are you

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    What do these gangs do?


    1. The PCs poison the food or drink. A nice low level infiltration setup of an eatery. Whether this works long term is another matter...

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    nasty stuff?

    Protection rackets, heists, general intimidation. They run the town, really, when they aren't fighting one another. And this party is not going to want to use poison like that, even if suggested.
    elephants are made of carbon




    and so are you

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    ... I suppose sneaking into bedrooms with a knife is also off the table? Probably families too...

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by GravityEmblem View Post
    nasty stuff?

    Protection rackets, heists, general intimidation. They run the town, really, when they aren't fighting one another.
    2. Steal from those protected and frame the criminal group.

    3. Peaceful protests.

    4. Burn a undescript warehouse containing resources they need?

    5. Try and get the actual government to fight crime?

    6. Repeatedly steal and humiliate the groups to erode public support?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    2. That might work, though the party might be adverse to that. They're very lawful as a whole. I might have a somewhat morally dubious ally suggest this.

    3. Maybe. The gangs aren't exactly likely to take that with a grain of salt.

    4. Another added to the "morally dubious" pile.

    5. They're actually being employed by the government--to weaken the gangs to the point that the Duke can police them without getting shanked in the night.

    6. That might work, even if the party isn't really the humiliating type.
    elephants are made of carbon




    and so are you

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by GravityEmblem View Post
    2. That might work, though the party might be adverse to that. They're very lawful as a whole. I might have a somewhat morally dubious ally suggest this.

    3. Maybe. The gangs aren't exactly likely to take that with a grain of salt.

    4. Another added to the "morally dubious" pile.

    5. They're actually being employed by the government--to weaken the gangs to the point that the Duke can police them without getting shanked in the night.

    6. That might work, even if the party isn't really the humiliating type.
    Ewww... Iím helping a figure of authority. Ah well... sacrifices and all that.


    3 can be done by a lawful stupid and the party must react to save lives...

    4 isnít too bad if you evacuate personnel first.

    6 isnít my cup of tea either

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    you're not in the game though...?

    I don't really see a protest as a Lawful Stupid act. Just a Normal Stupid one. Protests are used to express discontent with the law, but the criminals are outside the law. Although, having them protest the Duke doing nothing could be an interesting world-building event.
    elephants are made of carbon




    and so are you

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by GravityEmblem View Post
    you're not in the game though...?

    I don't really see a protest as a Lawful Stupid act. Just a Normal Stupid one. Protests are used to express discontent with the law, but the criminals are outside the law. Although, having them protest the Duke doing nothing could be an interesting world-building event.
    No. I am not. Not sure i would like it working as part of the government.


    I never said the action was lawful stupid. I said it can be done by one.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Look at the gang as a business. Where do they get their income? Where do they get their labor? What service do they provide?

    An extortion racket is pretty common, difficult for the PCs to mess with because they tend to be few in number so playing defense is rough.

    Providers of illegal goods or services are a better avenue. Start removing drug dealers until the gangs have to intervene, or better yet find out where the pick pockets hand in their tithe and move up the chain.

    Becoming new recruits would work but the party is too lawful.

    Could pose as a wandering paladin here to clean up the town. Capture the assassins and go up the chain that way.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Considering your players are lawful and non-badge wearing is very limiting.

    However there are some things that have had some historical success.
    1) Public morality campaigns.
    2) Media exposťs. Especially if it can name names and show cash being transferred.
    3) Setting up charities that help the low level members of the gangs reform and leave the gang life behind them.
    4) Arming and training potential victims. Standover tactics and muggings work much less well if the target has a concealed pistol in their pocket. Most European cities operated like this before the establishment of permanent police. Read any account of walking in London at night time before WW1.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Go watch Gotham, or The Untouchables, or Arrow, or any other movie or TV series about gangs.

    They will have far better plot ideas and background than we can give you.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Go watch Gotham, or The Untouchables, or Arrow, or any other movie or TV series about gangs.

    They will have far better plot ideas and background than we can give you.
    .....i don't think my parents would like that....
    elephants are made of carbon




    and so are you

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Check out Shadowrun books. They have a lot of stuff on all types of gangs. Both the roleplay books (especially the city guides) as some of the novels.
    Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett

    "Magic can turn a frog into a prince. Science can turn a frog into a Ph.D. and you still have the frog you started with." Terry Pratchett
    "I will not yield to evil, unless she's cute."

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    If the game is going to be long term i do recommend having NPCs show up trying to help. Even if ineffective or actively undoing the PCs work by mistake it will help build empathy towards the town. In most superhero games (or if enough levels are reached) the PCs often grow apathy towards a town that cannot and will not aid themselves.

    (Which is why i brought up Mr. "lawful stupid" earlier)

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Oh, it's not long term in the slightest. This is just for one chapter of a PBP, which amounts to a session or two of IRL gameplay.
    elephants are made of carbon




    and so are you

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Glimbur has the way of it...The best way for a group to go after gangs, is to cut off the money supply.

    If they are lawful, you should dangle an "accountant" type figure that they can turn to the light or apprehend and flip.
    *This Space Available*

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Gang bosses are protected and successful as long as they can throw money around. If you want to hinder the gang, cut off their regular funding by interfering with their rackets. If it's smuggling, sink or seize the ship it's coming in on. If it's producing contraband, destroy the means of production. If it's gambling, burn the casino down (ideally while nobody is there).

    Somebody above talked about fighting a protection racket by training the shopkeepers to defend themselves. If your characters are willing to take a walk on the non-lawful side, a better solution would be to bust up several of the businesses that are paying protection, ideally while presenting yourself as a different gang who is ALSO demanding protection payments. When somebody pays for protection, the assumption is that the gangsters will prevent any OTHER criminals from messing with the business, too. Any business that is being messed with will make a lot of noise about not paying (or demand reimbursement).

    Once the PCs have sufficiently interfered with the gang's activities, the gang will come to them.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Any fantasy crime syndicate must run at least part of its operations out of an implausibly large sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by GravityEmblem View Post
    the smaller gangs working under the big ones
    Like a pyramid scheme?

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    More like feudalism, in my mind.
    elephants are made of carbon




    and so are you

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Lots of criminal organizations have sub-gangs or individual crews, probably with their own particular grifts.

    Here's another option: if anybody in the gang has a particular "calling card" or a distinctive MO, the players could pin crimes that are sure to raise a stink on the character. For example, if the "Red Hand Crew" leaves a crimson handprint after robbing a place, the PCs could break into the warehouse of somebody they know is paying protection (or is just really powerful) and smash the place up while leaving a red handprint behind. This leaves the victim angry at the guild (and likely refusing to pay), and it creates discord between the bosses and the sub-gang.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Gang-busting Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by GravityEmblem View Post
    More like feudalism, in my mind.
    basically the same thing

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