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East Side. West Side. Your Side. - Controlling Territory

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East Side. West Side. Your Side. - Controlling Territory

Postby ClassDunce » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:32 pm

It started with Saints Row the Third and just steamrolled right over me from there. Forcing me to re-watch Sons of Anarchy and The Warriors. I sought out books that had to deal with gangs and the dispute of Territory, The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant is fantastic, settings didn't even matter. Gangs struggling to not only survive but to thrive.

How would you represent a group of PC's controlling territory in Mutants and Masterminds? Taking Territory? Expanding influence? Would you have to have a mechanical system to represent it? They would certainly have a circumstantial bonus within gang controlled territory. Possibly a respect system tied to past actions. Would it work as just descriptor and complications? Just background and plot hooks? How would you handle this?

I've been reading through other systems for idea. The Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying game has a very decent system for creating and running Houses that could work but a little complicated to just fold right in. There are several respect systems out there that I could drop into the game and they would work but would it be too crunchy?

I'm considering this for a Cyber-Punk style game that I'm working on set in the Freedom-Verse. Possibly PL 8 with a lot of world inspiration coming from Blade Runner, Deus Ex and the Takeshi Kovacs novels by Richard K. Morgan.
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Re: East Side. West Side. Your Side. - Controlling Territory

Postby Pól Rua » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:18 am

I'm VERY fuzzy here, but as I recall, both WEG's TORG and Pinnacle's Deadlands: Hell on Earth had systems where the player characters could beat back the horrors running the joint by publicly defeating them and making sure the people in the area both knew and passed on the stories of how it was done... that MIGHT be adaptable to an urban setting.
You could possibly also look at fantasy games which focus on Feudal politics (Companion Level D&D, Reign, the recent Pathfinder: Kingmaker adventure path). Change the morale of peasant labourers into the approval of the citizenry.
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Re: East Side. West Side. Your Side. - Controlling Territory

Postby saint_matthew » Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:31 am

@ClassDunce: I would suggest employing the ancient secret arts of handwavium. It doesn't really require a specific set of rules, you as a player just do it, tell your GM what you are intending to do & hope he wants to play along.

My philosophy is this "Never build a house rule, when the existance of the GM works just as well."

Plus creating a house rule for it means that fun things can't happen when you try this kind of thing, like thugs hiring a villain to take out the heroes. Thats the kind of thing you can't build a chart for.
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Re: East Side. West Side. Your Side. - Controlling Territory

Postby Crippen » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:34 pm

My advice in this area would be applicable, really, to any system. Figure out what the dominating characteristic of a particular region is, and a few ways the PCs could manipulate it.

So, for example, in an area of slums filled with poor people and occasionally patrolled by the controlling gang, you could either have the PCs spend the time talking the people into jumping the rival gang, have the PCs jump enough patrols to wrest control of the region, or maybe have them set enough traps on regular patrol routes that the area. In an area where a rival gang is manufacturing chemical weapons, capturing the abandoned warehouse they're using to manufacture them would be another goal. They could also somehow bring the cops down on a territory, or spark a fight between two other rival gangs to distract from a territory they want, or something.

Then, figure out about how many of these territories you want them to be able to gain in a day, week, or month based on how long you expect the task to take. Then, depending on the rate at which you anticipate the heroes to be able to capture territory, set a rate at which the rival gangs capture territory. Also, for savvy PCs who think to use informants, maybe give the PCs the occasional tip to give them the chance to defend a critical location for free (without spending time).

I would define the rate at which rival gangs acquire territory as a function of how much territory the PCs control to represent that it can be harder to control a larger amount of territory. (Either that, or ramp up the difficulty of taking territory from gangs with not much to defend harder.) So, for example, in a city in which there are 25 territories, if the PCs can capture up to 3 territories per time period and you want them to control no more than 15 territories but don't want them dropping too far below 5, you could define the territory capture function of the rival gangs as

C(T)=[1+T/6], rounded down

where C is the function of how many territories are captured by rival gangs, and T is the number of territories the PCs control.

You could also work dice into it, for 1dX, where X is 1+T/5.

This means that, on average,
For T<5, they lose 1 territory per time period.
For 4<T<10, they lose 1.5 territories per time period.
For 9<T<15, they lose 2 territories per time period.

That's getting pretty complicated, though. I'd just figure out how large of a territory you think it's possible for them to maintain based on the amount of success they're having. If they're doing gangbusters, you could probably have them controlling 80% of a city and within striking distance of rival gangs' headquarters for a chance at uncontested control for a time. Moderate success, 50-60%, low success, 20-30%, and utter failure, 5-10%.
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Re: East Side. West Side. Your Side. - Controlling Territory

Postby ZamuelNow » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:46 pm

Considering the book has rules about using Persuasion to sway people's attitude towards you, why not treat the territory as an NPC? Using Persuasion and maybe some bending for allowing Intimidation and/or Deception, you try to improve and maintain its attitude and its aid you. The aid would be a neighborhood sized Headquarters plus Minions suitable to the setting. By using interaction Skills, it technically allows multiple options to gain or lose favor since a rule of terror could potentially lose control if someone survives long enough to perform enough random acts of kindness.
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Re: East Side. West Side. Your Side. - Controlling Territory

Postby Emerald Vagrant » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:37 am

ZamuelNow wrote:Considering the book has rules about using Persuasion to sway people's attitude towards you, why not treat the territory as an NPC? Using Persuasion and maybe some bending for allowing Intimidation and/or Deception, you try to improve and maintain its attitude and its aid you. The aid would be a neighborhood sized Headquarters plus Minions suitable to the setting. By using interaction Skills, it technically allows multiple options to gain or lose favor since a rule of terror could potentially lose control if someone survives long enough to perform enough random acts of kindness.


This. Reskin the skill checks to represent influence "montages".

That being said - let me offer a caveat based on personal experience - make sure your players are interested in this to the same degree *you* are. More than once I've "fallen down the rabbit hole" over some idea or another, only to discover that my players weren't all that into it. Cut to awkward silence.

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Re: East Side. West Side. Your Side. - Controlling Territory

Postby Kevin_MacTaggert » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:54 pm

ClassDunce wrote:It started with Saints Row the Third and just steamrolled right over me from there. Forcing me to re-watch Sons of Anarchy and The Warriors. I sought out books that had to deal with gangs and the dispute of Territory, The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant is fantastic, settings didn't even matter. Gangs struggling to not only survive but to thrive.

How would you represent a group of PC's controlling territory in Mutants and Masterminds? Taking Territory? Expanding influence? Would you have to have a mechanical system to represent it? They would certainly have a circumstantial bonus within gang controlled territory. Possibly a respect system tied to past actions. Would it work as just descriptor and complications? Just background and plot hooks? How would you handle this?

I've been reading through other systems for idea. The Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying game has a very decent system for creating and running Houses that could work but a little complicated to just fold right in. There are several respect systems out there that I could drop into the game and they would work but would it be too crunchy?
I'm considering this for a Cyber-Punk style game that I'm working on set in the Freedom-Verse. Possibly PL 8 with a lot of world inspiration coming from Blade Runner, Deus Ex and the Takeshi Kovacs novels by Richard K. Morgan.

Favored Environment: Here. Favored Foe: Strangers.You need to convey that mechanically.

They should be "at home" on their turf, looking down on any newcomers. Think " Home-filed Advantage ".

Neighborhood people, patrol cops, the terrain - everything & everyone should OBEY their desires in their own places. They should be very difficult to face, let alone Defeat, there.
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