A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Life of Crime

So I obsess sometimes.

I just can't shake the idea of an Organized Crime game.  I have yet to fully clarify to myself what I want out of it though.  There are a few Mafia type board games out there, none of which I've gotten my hands on to see if they could fulfill my desire. 

The idea that's banging around in my head is, at this point, two fold.  One part is a strategic territory and resource control game.  Imaging a city map on graph paper.  I keep thinking that the Atlantis Play by Email engine might translate to this kind of thing.  I'd imagined taking a group of players and explaining that they had been sent to "set up shop" in a city that was for some reason rather free of organized crime elements.  Post-Katrina New Orleans perhaps, or a post-war city, or even a city that Federal authorities had just purged.  Not sure whether I'd have them all working together on the same team, or whether it'd be all opposition, like players sitting around a Risk game.  I'm also not sure of mechanics.  Like I said, that's why I'd considered something like Atlantis play by email.  Not entirely sure that it'd be good or easy to free-form it, without some actual rules. 

So anyway, the players have to get business going.  Start extorting places, stealing stuff, getting in on the drug and gambling and prostitution outfits - y'know, all the vice stuff.  Then again, how much would this be hobbled by my lack of knowledge about the specifics (or even the generalities) of organized crime?  I mean, I'm no expert on werewolves or orcs, yet I still feel comfortable running a game of Werewolf, or D&D. 

Maybe I'm touching on something that I'll label "Knowledge gaming".  Seems to me that part of the excitement of an organized crime game would be, for the players, coming up with new ways to make some cash.  The players can use their real cleverness to come up with some new scheme to run, or a new scam to pull.  Something for which I may not have a ready answer, unlike in D&D, where I just need to know what is on the other side of the door with the demon's face on it.

Anyway, I mentioned two fold.  The other idea is using some system to play a street level game, that would tie in with the more strategic portion.  The players would sit down and we'd break some knee-caps and shake some folks down.  I actually browsed through the D20 Modern book, thinking that perhaps it would make a good rules set for something like this.  TSOY isn't what I'm looking for, maybe the World of Darkness rules would work.


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