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Messages - Laughing Penguin

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General Discussion / Re: Questions as I learn Red Markets
« on: November 13, 2017, 07:25:25 PM »
If you don't mind me jumping in here to ask related questions...

I was a bit confused about the Gassed status. Specifically when it says you get your SPD back in rations, but you still need rations or something? I don't have the book in front of me, but maybe someone can explain how it should play out in game? We had a player about to need this rule last session. Thanks!

General Discussion / Re: DHQS jobs?
« on: November 09, 2017, 10:30:31 PM »
There’s a few angles you could take on DHQS jobs, and I think the most important factor really is where your enclave is based. And it’s important to point out that if you make EVERY DHQS job ‘set your soul on fire for money’ then eventually players won’t want to take them, so it’s important to make sure they have ‘reasonable’ jobs too. (For given values of reasonable.)

So far, all our enclaves have been pretty far from the Recession - California/Nevada/Arizona area - so that’s a long way for the DHQS to send manpower and resources. They generally contract Takers to do jobs mostly because it’s cheaper to pay them then it is to fuel up a transport plane.

I was actually planning to set my game in Missouri... pretty much the front lines. So the meta-plot for DHQS would be to destabilize the groups that would make reclamation difficult that close to the border of the Recession. I'm also aware they can't all seem like "be awful monsters for money" if they're going to be an ongoing employer. So far I have ideas like:

- assasinate the leader of a nasty cult who is a genuinely Bad Man (but powerful enough to cause headaches)
- reclaim a fracking site (neglecting to mention that the 'raiders' are actually a local militia that is actually doing a lot of good in the area)
- borrowing the idea of an undercover agent having the group get a large shipment of cheap Ubiq specs, which 'happen' to all be bugged by DHQS hoping to flood the market with easy surveillance

I'm also just trying to dial in who my network of DHQS operatives are going to be, where, and other ways they can influence the larger plot.

General Discussion / DHQS jobs?
« on: November 03, 2017, 08:45:08 PM »
Hi everyone!

I'm currently working on a plotline for my upcoming campaign, and looking for inspiration for DHQS-related jobs. Many of their long-term goals involve destablizing the region to make potential reclamation easier, but being who they are, I want to develop a series of job either from them or related to their efforts somehow. I have five main agents in the area by the current plan, some of them in various degrees of cover with either enclaves or local groups.

What sort of jobs have you all put up for takers that involve DHQS? I'd love to hear what you have planned!

I see it as both getting better and getting worse simultaneously really...

Better in that even if the Blight turned 3/4 of the population, that means if your average survivor takes out 4 casualties before going down then eventually the living win. Not every person does, but PCs generally take down much more to help even that out. (This is a general issue with most zombie-apoc fiction IMO, at some point you really should be running out of zombies in a given area assuming there are even small groups of competent survivors). Which means that, eventually, the Loss should be reclaimable...

...which is going to be awful for the people who survive it. The world pre-Crash was going to hell in a handbasket, and it hasn't gotten much better since. Can you imagine a whole country full of Free Parking ghettos overseen by the DHQS? Darkest timeline indeed.

General Discussion / Re: Contracts for the Taking
« on: September 29, 2017, 07:43:10 PM »
These are pretty great. I especially like the Drone Your Sorrows job, though I might make the legs getting there a bit harsh so the Takers would be on edge a little when they meet the old man. Potentially a very emotionally draining ending to it though, depending on how they handle things. Really good.

Thanks so much for sharing!

General Discussion / Re: Profit System in a New Setting?
« on: September 08, 2017, 08:47:50 PM »
the first part is handled in GoT actually. the wildlings are treated as non-people for the most part by anyone south of the wall. and bounty itself is just a representation of actual goods. take out the middleman and lose bounty all together and dig strait into barter. upkeep becomes a matter of having the material upkeep or trading service for having someone else do the work for you.

I disagree here. If all you're doing is swapping out terms and playing the exact same game with a thin coat of paint, you're really doing a disservice to the idea. What makes Red Markets so compelling is the way the theme of the game is baked so closely into the DNA of the rules and vice-versa. Bounty isn't simply a term for money, it carries a lot of narrative weight as a concept. If the setting simply needed some baseline currency they could have stuck with Crypto or even just dollars and it would have been fine, But bounty - proof of people's death in the form of their identity - as a form of currency means you're literally trading in people's lives to fuel your own. It's something that subtly should be gnawing at a Taker with every transaction. So many of the rules use similar context so the game isn't just a really low tech Shadowrun. Completely divorcing all that from a setting to just mad-lib fantasy terms on top sells the idea short IMO.

I'd think that to really make the idea shine, finding genre-appropriate concepts to hang the main mechanics on would be key. Maybe buying your way past the wall that blocks off the Blighted Lands involves buying proper indulgences from the Church so they'll vouch for your purity, or earning favors from nobles driven from the blighted lands to earn yourself social standing in the kingdom. Maybe the setting's version of the Crash was from the aristocracy over-committing to a costly war for power that left the nations destitute. Definitely find an economic model that fits the setting (rather than Capitalism gone to a horrible extreme) and drive that home. There's certainly no shortage of class warfare and economic struggles in medieval settings to work with.

General Discussion / Re: Profit System in a New Setting?
« on: September 05, 2017, 04:41:24 AM »
How are you handling the theme of how being in the Loss is equivalent to being dead, or at least a non-person? Is there a thematic analog for Bounty and what it represents? I only ask because that theme is such a huge part of 'modern' Red Markets, how would it translate to your fantasy setting?

I do think this could be a great conversion, but you'll need to figure out what themes of economic horror can be brought into the setting. Maybe really play up the class structures and the peasants vs aristocracy dynamic? What would be a way of buying your way out of poverty in such a setting?

Just some random thoughts. Could be a really great mod though.

General Discussion / Re: Induction Packet (Intro Scenarios)
« on: July 07, 2017, 06:53:10 PM »
Has anyone come up with ideas for extending And Now, The Weather into a full job line?

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