Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
StrayCatalyst

Unnatural Selection

Recommended Posts

(Mods, if this is the wrong place for this, feel free to move it to an appropriate thread)

 

I'm running a campaign based largely on Night City's gangs. The PCs are all part of a small, loose-knit gang that had been filling a role as middle-men - trafficking to a number of runners, but never dealing with the actual customers. The gang was mostly Slavic immigrants, but would accept anybody who could keep cash flowing in without stealing too much. Their turf, as such, was the network of runners who bought from them. Business was good, and then everything changed. Their name was "the Ferrenites".

 

The Kennedys, a well known but fairly stable poser/booster gang, started expanding rapidly, and the former stability of the black market faded rapidly. Small gangs near the Kennedy areas started arming up in preparation for the inevitable war - too many identical faces on the streets, not enough money to go around, and only one solution in mind. The war started with Kennedys overwhelming and conquering several smaller gangs, each time a decisive victory with little of the usual Booster tactics - no bravado, no boasting, just a sudden appearance of dozens of open-topped cars full of Kennedy thugs willing to take losses in order to defeat the targets. It worked well, and the mayor's office had no cohesive response, aside from news releases of optimistic drivel.

 

The expansion made the previous fabric of treaties and hostilities amongst all the other gangs shift and change - new alliances formed, old hatreds set aside in the face of a greater threat. The Children of Legba, secure in their underground warrens, opened their doors to a number of smaller gangs - with strings attached, as CoL was looking for more soldiers. Some accepted, but the Ferrenites weren't willing to swear fealty to the voodoo priestess in charge - nor did they wish to be the bullet catchers for their new overlords. CoL politely but firmly ejected them from the Warrens, and after a few tense days of squatting on a construction site the Ferrenites moved in with the Miller Street Killers, a juviegang that was expanding as well.

 

MSK wasn't looking for fealty, just alliances, so the Ferrenites took over a couple of classrooms in the abandoned school that was MSK's only turf. The Ferrenites brought with them that greatest of currencies - intel. A party of Ferrenites had spotted a van full of Kennedys, hauling two struggling Kennedys into a corporate building. After a bomb threat got enough of the capturing Kennedys out of the building, a call to 911 reported them as "attacking" the same building... in the chaos of the resulting firefight between SWAT and Kennedy, a quick and reckless raid on the building pulled the two captured Kennedys off of the braindance machines, revealing that there were false Kennedys being inserted into the gang in large numbers, skewing the course of the entire gang for purposes unknown, by parties unknown, but presumably involved with Sebago Corp, the building with the braindance equipment and dorm-style rooms for a large number of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Tangled Up In Blue)

 

Under the not-so-gentle prodding of Traceur Marcellus and the rest of the Jattenhand group, a couple of dozen smaller gangs met as a council, in the hopes of forming treaties to defend against the ascendant Kennedy posergang. As with most gang councils, the police heard from their informants before the meeting was finished with introductions - but the informants missed a few important details, like the fact that there were about a hundred armed gangbangers in the building....

 

The meeting lasted long enough for a few of the gangs to share intel about the Kennedys, including a videotaped interrogation (tastefully edited to leave out the actual beating) of a false Kennedy.

 

The police, under serious pressure by the mayor's office to make some positive headlines (in support of the get-tough-on-gang-violence mayor, whose re-election seems unlikely) sent two squads of SWAT cops to bottle up the alleys leading away from the back of the concert hall, then had two squads plus the doorbusters (two ACPA with a 300 lb battering ram - they've never met a door they couldn't open) hit the front.

 

The door came down in a single hit, and ten seconds later the Jattenhanders waded into the cop formation - no weapons in hand, more interested in containing the cops than killing them, though they showed no such mercy towards the ACPA (as the fleshie cops weren't all that much threat to the FBCs, even with their weaponry!) The two squads of mop-up cops at the back were overwhelmed and mostly slaughtered by the flood of escaping gangbangers, who weren't at all interested in leaving living cops behind.

 

The police, woefully unprepared for the number of people they were facing, fell back to defensive positions (those who were still able) and captured very few gang members.

 

That evening, the patchwork of treaties between the gangs began to pay off. The Satin Dolls had captured a Marilyn Monroe, who under interrogation revealed that she had been a messenger earlier to one of the Ferrenites, and asked to speak to him. He went to Satin Doll turf, found out that she knew little that hadn't already been revealed, and used her as a hostage to bring a Kennedy lieutenant out to talk. The Kennedy (another Marilyn) revealed that there was a schism within the gang, with "false" Kennedys being used to bulk up the army of one of the other lieutenants (though she hasn't revealed which one). She feels about the gang the way a devout catholic would about church sexual scandals - the gang is her life, her hope, her dreams.... and now she feels (fanatically, of course) that she must redeem the gang and purge it of the false ones.

 

She also has established contact with the Ferrenites and the Satin Dolls, though it's unclear if this is for treaty purposes or simply sizing them up as a threat to be eliminated.

Edited by StrayCatalyst

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Critical Mass)

 

The Kennedy gang, pumped to unsustainable size by outside involvement, reached critical mass. The resulting implosion set a new bar for gang violence, destroyed a chapterhouse, and left a block littered with difficult-to-identify bodies.

 

20 open-topped cars filled with heavily armed Kennedys rolled into the chapterhouse, resulting in a bloodbath. It's not clear what the sides were, or who won, but three quarters of the gang has died. For a gang war, the collateral damage and bystander killing was minor, almost remarkably so - NCPD was pinned down for long enough for the raid, and it was noisy enough that locals ducked down and tried not to be noticed. The raiding force, 150 "True" Kennedys and about sixty soldiers from other gangs in a loose alliance, hit the chapterhouse with no interest in taking prisoners. Seventy or so Kenndys left, along with around half of the other gang members who had allied with them for the raid.

 

During the raid, a helicopter from Ramierez and Co tried to land at the far end of the compound to recover a corporate who was working with the Kennedys. The helicopter attracted too much firepower, and contributed to the fray by crashing into one of the buildings. The corp and bodyguards tried to flee in a stolen car, resulting in a high-speed chase and firefight through a residential neighborhood. If they'd stolen a car with a little armor, they might have made it... but Nissans aren't bullet resistant, and the corp is now in the possession of the remaining Kennedys.

 

The remaining Kennedys number around a hundred and fifty, and have gone to ground while they extract information from the corporate and make plans for their next action. Bayside North is in disarray, but once the dust settles there will be a new power structure, and several PCs who now have, "Boostergang owes you a favor" through roleplaying, not random chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That last session sounds wonderfully insane!

 

I thought for a moment before re-reading it that you'd attacked the PCs with 150 gangers, and my brain started to hurt!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a lot different from my usual games, but I get bored with the same old, same old.

 

The raid:

The PCs, about 250 Kennedys ("True" Kennedys), and assorted soldiers from other gangs, allied under the leadership of a Marilyn Monroe, met at a no-tell motel to arm up. Several crates of military long-arms were handed out, along with at least a dozen RPGs (those, only to Kennedys!)and assorted light body armor were parceled out to the crowd. Small teams of Kennedys left early to tie up the police with reactions to gang violence elsewhere in the neighborhood - in some cases, as simply as a drive-by on poliuce substations, using those RPGs. 20 open-topped cars, overloaded with soldiers, proceeded in parade formation to the chapterhouse of "false" Kennedys, where the true chaos started.

 

Soldiers would have formed into formations, working as teams to accomplish specific objectives, furthering goals towards the eventual aim of rendering the enemy unable to effectively resist.

 

Kennedys aren't soldiers.

 

With Junta-like violence, two hundred gangbangers - most of them looking identical to the enemies - poured into the parking lots, automatic weapons and RPGs filling the air with death and destruction. The chapterhouse was full of reasonably well armed but not at all organized "false" Kennedys, who outnumbered the attackers but didn't have a lot of firepower. The two buildings that ended at the street were soon on fire, victims to some of the RPGs and molotovs. Neither side was taking prisoners, and in the fog of war, it was even harder to tell one side from the other.

 

Shortly after the first few cars full of attackers pulled into the parking lot, a helicopter was spotted, heading to land at the far end of the compound. One of the PCs, using luck in place of her lack of rifle skill, lit up the helicopter with the AKM she'd received - the first time in any of my games that a media has shot anything except video, she successfully nailed the pilot through the thin armor of the civilian helicopter. As the helicopter picked up speed - and rotation - towards one of the other buildings, the other PCs raided one of the burning buildings to take out some of the shooters, using clever tactics to minimize the risk of playing SWAT team with unfamiliar weapons in the chaos.

 

The team's decker called the party to inform them of the corp and her bodyguards fleeing from the compound, stealing a car to try to escape now that the helicopter had crashed (setting fire to a third building!). The team's driver picked up the one person who would fit into the heavily modified Smartcar that is the team's only transport, relying on thin armor to resist the bodyguards' handguns while pouring bullets into the stolen Nissan. One car full of Kennedys joined the chase, arriving shortly after the PC had successfully wounded everybody in the car except the valuable corporate (by pure luck!) and flattened a tire, causing the vehicle to crash.

 

The Kennedys spared the players the moral dilemma of what to do with prisoners, by kidnapping the corp and executing the bodyguards on the spot, leaving the stolen car filled with bullet holes and bodies, crashed into another car on a busy street.

 

The PCs followed the Kennedys back to their new safehouse, where medical attention was given to the wounded (one NPC of the Ferrenites killed, another lost a leg, minor wounds all around) before Marilyn told the Ferrenites to go home and lie low for several days.

 

NCPD, infuriated by the war, has declared martial law, but it won't last long. The Kennedys have lost three quarters of their numbers, though it's not clear to anybody outside of the gang who is left - "True" or "false" Kennedys all look the same to outsiders. The Corp council will not allow the martial law to last long, due to the enormous economic effect it has on Night City, but for now, very few people are getting through the gates in any community without being questioned and potentially searched. Open-topped cars aren't being seen on the streets any more, and enterprising punks have stolen as many as they could from the battlefield (along with weapons, and looting the bodies) to sell off to nomads, who will be removing them from the city as fast as possible. NCPD has been left with a serious chip on their shoulders concerning gangs, not to mention egg on their faces from how little they were able to do to contain the war.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a lot different from my usual games, but I get bored with the same old, same old.

(snip)

One of the PCs, using luck in place of her lack of rifle skill, lit up the helicopter with the AKM she'd received - the first time in any of my games that a media has shot anything except video, she successfully nailed the pilot through the thin armor of the civilian helicopter.

I'm that media.

 

This game started out a bit frustrating- no skills above level seven, no high-point characters. I was feeling hampered by my wimpiness! But with all the characters at the same limitation, I've found that my character is a lot more free.

 

If I had been the sole media in a party of solos that would scare Chuck Norris, I would never have touched a weapon; instead, my character has stayed true to the media archetype while getting in fights, negotiating with the massed gangs of Night City, and shooting down her first helicopter. Her skills and attitudes as a media have made her valuable, but she can still mix with the other characters because nobody is allowed to be such a specialist that the others cannot compete.

 

I miss the high-point character sometimes. She had better cyberware, lots of midrange skills instead of a bunch of twos and threes, and had a steady job. But this incarnation of Snow is more interesting to play, and if we can keep the game going for long enough to get back to that level of skill (assuming she survives) then she'll be a much more interesting character than the old one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(to live and die in Night City)

 

The driver for the Ferrenites traded his Smartcar and a stolen open-topped sedan to a group of Nomads (who were buying up every open-topped car they could, at very low prices) for an innocuous four-door sedan, which he has not yet modified or armored. The only modification he has finished on it is the stereo system, so it's nowhere near as fast as the car he used to have, but it will hold more people.

 

As Bayside North starts recovering from the gang war, all the remaining gangs are shuffling for positions, trying to claim chunks of former Kennedy turf. The Ferrenites (the PC gang) took the opportunity to bury their dead in an almost legitimate way - in a graveyard, but without all the formalities of asking first... nobody asked where the coffin came from, and they brought their own shovels for the "ceremony".

 

Two other gangs had arrived before them, each one jockeying for position around an already-dug grave, while the Ferrenites chose a spot where there wasn't currently a headstone and started digging. By the time the hole was big enough for a slit trench (but not a coffin) the other two gangs had tired of negotiation and the guns came out. The Ferrenites, who had been watching the other two gangs closely, dived for cover (yes, in fact, two PCs and an NPC can fit in a slit trench if they don't mind sharing personal space!) and drew guns, but held their fire. The gang that was further away from the party was unfamiliar, but the goths were present in the earlier gang negotiations - specifically, they were one of the gangs that wasn't interested in cooperating with the rest of the smaller gangs.

 

The dice were feeling bloodthirsty, and firepower was greater than armor, so the first round of combat left the ground around the open grave littered with corpses - followed by both gangs failing morale checks by large margins. More than a third of each of the two NPC gangs was slain in that round, and the remainder routed - the goths heading towards the Ferrenites (who had brought two vehicles, which the goths wanted), the Hispanics heading in the opposite direction at a full run. Both sides left their wounded behind in the panic.

 

The Ferrenites, in fairly good cover and with guns drawn, outnumbered the remaining goths, but the gang's fixer's bodyguards weren't in the mood to talk. A flurry of large caliber bullets later, the few remaining goths fled in all directions, not even bothering to return fire in their reckless flight. The Ferrenites (none of whom had even been wounded in this firefight, a first) exchanged glances and went back to shoveling, burying their friend in an unmarked, shallow grave in the cemetery, without time for a headstone. The "funeral" had an abbreviated ceremony, about ninety seconds in length, cut even shorter by the distant sound of sirens.

 

NCPD, still furious about the gang war they'd been unable to control but without the muscle to do much about it, has enacted a pragmatic policy - if two (or more) gangs are fighting in an area where civilian casualties are unlikely, the cops will arrest the survivors, but only after there aren't many of them. This policy allowed the Ferrenites enough time to merge with traffic and get away, as their vehicles were innocuous and not covered in gang tags.

Edited by StrayCatalyst

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An awesome and hilarious read, and I'm always fond of seeing the Jattenhand show up anywhere, if only to fuel my own ego :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the Jattenhanders are a fun reminder that metalheads are more than just killing machines that frighten people. I've enjoyed bringing them into play, in a mostly non-combat role - philosophy and an almost Olympic level of competitiveness in beyond-human athletes. I dialed back the FBCs from "costs as much as a handmade Italian sports car, requires no maintenance, almost indestructible" to something closer to dirt track racers - expensive, constantly in need of repair as they abuse their bodies in pursuit of victory, with the winner of the race being the one who either managed to avoid damage or to keep racing in spite of it. It was also a chance to remind the players that America, while vibrant and lively, was nowhere near as advanced as Europe or the Orient - the group of five racers had an Oriental (custom body), three Europeans (two Alphas and a modified Samson), and one American (Van Atta "Plasticman" body).

 

They were also a reminder that some gangs are so dissimilar to the thugs in gang colors in the streets that they almost don't fit the description - as my game is mostly centered around gangs, at this point, it was important that my players realized that "gang" can describe a lot of different things. One of my players treats NCPD as the biggest and best equipped gang in the city - they have colors, they have rituals, they have predictable patterns - and they consider most of Night City (not counting the combat zone, or some parts of several other neighborhoods) to be their turf.

Edited by StrayCatalyst

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's always fun to have more gang diversity than just a multitude of murderers!

 

And I do agree that FBC's as more maintenance heavy, more low-cost systems make a lot more sense than a thing limited exclusively to the ultra-rich and strangely combat-obsessed & the military-grade psychos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(You can't always get what you want...)

 

On the heels of the action from the previous adventure, the Ferrenites wanted something more relaxing than more firefights and gang violence.

 

Two of the players spent a few hours bargaining with a nomad pack to buy some motorcycles that had been stolen from another city. The nomads had a 40 foot shipping container with as many motorcycles as possible, stacked like firewood. The nomads happily sold them two bikes, each with broken ignitions and no paperwork, for a reasonable price. The players pushed the bikes back to the school, up the stairs, and into the workshop, where some of the Miller Street Killers were trying to pick the lock of the recently-buried mechanic. With the help of a botched roll from a PC, the MSK managed to remove a trap from the toolbox - nobody rolled high enough to figure out exactly what it was, but everybody was clear on the fact that three glass bottles with a small explosive charge and some electronics were certainly not something they wanted to activate inside the building! (One of the players recognized it, but his character didn't have any chem war experience - chlorine gas would have spoiled everybody's day, in addition to probably killing everybody in the shop and possibly the people near the shop, as well.)

 

The media, deciding that her KARATE +2 wasn't enough to keep her safe, hired another PC to teach her Aikido, and started her rough and tumble lessons, which involved a lot of tumbling and more than a little roughness.

 

One of the PCs received a phone call from the Kennedys, informing him that a friend of his (the borderline cyberpsycho, who lost an arm and a leg in his first encounter with the Kennedys well before the gang war) was a problem, and that the PCs were going to have to either make him NOT a problem, or they would become a problem for the Kennedys... who (while much smaller and less dangerous than they were a mere few weeks before) were still a gang of 250 sociopathic monsters. The Kennedys did not specify how the players were to accomplish this - but it's a reminder that the players will have to decide which way they want this to work - do they hunt a former friend who's now so chromed up that large gangs don't think they can easily kill him, or do they try to wipe out a large gang before it kills them? The player hasn't discussed this with the other players yet.

 

The players collectively decided that life was too serious, and headed off to a dance club, eventually leaving with some very friendly goths. Their "action" was disturbed by police rousting the goths from their safehouse - the NCPD still has a chip on their shoulder about gangs, and so is targeting the less dangerous gangs to try to get the mayor's office off the police department's backs. The players, who were never fond of police brutality, and only liked unlawful search and seizure when they were the ones doing the searching and seizing, broke through a locked door and headed for the roof, to flee across rooftops away from the frying pan....

 

and into the fire, as the building they ducked into to get to street level was owned by one of the other gangs, that was too dangerous and violent for the police to want to roust! Guns were drawn, but the players wisely fled back to the roof and over to another building. The media, eager to try out her newly learned (and barely learned) Aikido, bounced off a door with a highly unsuccessful kick. The PC who was training her opened the (unlocked) door, and the party ran down the stairs into a small office, which was still in operation. The appearance of half a dozen gangbangers (as the Ferrenites brought their goth dates with them when they fled) caused some consternation, so the media pulled the fire alarm, and everybody fled the building at the same time, into the street filled with police, bystanders, members of two different gangs... and soon, the fire department, as well! In the chaos and confusion, it wasn't difficult for the Ferrenites to slip off to a nearby coffee house and settle down.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...