Saturday, April 9, 2016

Prohibition Mob: A Position of Overwhelming Strength?

If you are a Prohibition Mob Player:

The Soldati D'ombra:

Sam: The diplomatic and sociopathic leader of the crew. Sam has been the driving force behind the group's actions since day one, and his feud with Three-Fingers Moran has been a consistent issue for the group.
Red: A 16-17 year old thug whose brother's work in the liftskirt industry got her into organized crime. Red is tenacious, has a fiery temper, and has a lot of maturity issues to work out.
Vinnie: Another thug in the 16-17 year old range, Vinnie is a skulk and thug. Raised on the streets from a young age, Vinnie enjoys gambling, slicing throats and good cigars.
Tony: Tony made sergeant in WWI and made sure that a BAR fell off a truck for his own personal use later. The triggerman of the team, Tony's found himself in the sights of an intrepid bombshell reporter- Rachel.
Isaac: A former cop who has turned into a fixer for various corrupt individuals. Isaac is scary perceptive and would make an ideal serial killer if he were inclined.

Supporting Cast:
Teddy: Sam's brother-in-law and the group's wheelman. Teddy enjoys loud explosions, fast cars, driving fast cars, and causing loud explosions.
Rachel: Possibly the best journalist in the city, Rachel immediately found herself smitten with Tony and is more than happy to dig up information for him. Rachel figures the book she'll be able to write in a decade will be a best seller.
Ben Kincaid: The leader of the Kincaid Outfit, Ben is the boss of the group the players are currently working under. Ben is a smooth operator who would probably be a better fit in an intelligence agency than running a criminal organization.
Senga: Owner of the bar the players use as their base of operations. Legitimate businessman.
Wushu: An asian criminal who specializes in acquiring hard to get items. Cat fancier. 

Sam's player was absent this session. The Barberini family is no more, and the players have rebranded their organization as the 'Soldati D'ombra'.

Sam's wife has a friend getting married, a small event that kept Teddy and Sam occupied for a few days. With no orders, it wasn't long before the gang was relaxing at Senga's and enjoying some criminal refreshments.

Doyle, the Irish crook they'd met in DC while assassinating Moran, stopped by. Doyle had been made a capo by Sam, given Doyle's natural inclinations for leadership, and as a big to smooth over tensions with the Irish elements in Manhattan.

Things in Manhattan have slowed down, as the rest of Moran's territory has been snapped up by the hungry Soldati forces championed by the PCs and their Kincaid Outfit and DiGlado Family allies. Kelly's Killers, the remaining Moran contingent have dug in and are preparing to defend their final territory ferociously.

What's Said: "We have the advantage of knowing the local terrain."
Translation: "We're fighting in our goddamn living room."

Doyle expects any attempts to clear out the Killers will result in having to go house to house, something that will quickly cause a lot of work for the local coroners and law enforcement.

The players decide to try and attack Kelly's supply lines. The Baker Gang out of Newark is still the port in a storm for most of NYC Organized crime looking to fill gaps in their alcohol production- although it certainly helps that Moran had his boot to their neck for over a year to keep prices down.

Tony and Simon check out the diner Red, Vinnie and Bruno stopped by at way back in session one of the campaign. (Mind you, neither Tony nor Isaac has visited it before, even though Tony's player was originally running Bruno, who did)

The owner is far more cagey this time around, and the two mobsters are unable to really press him for much information as other guests at the diner start demanding attention.

That's when Sam's New Enemy sat down for a chat. I'm still ironing out details, but needless to say the conversation left both Tony and Isaac feeling murderous. Said enemy dished out some information on where to find the Bakers, confirming that the place Bruno got shot was not actually part of the Baker Gang at all. It was made very clear that the Soldati D'Ombra were to keep their filthy paws out of the upcoming election.

Isaac and Tony make their way over to the Baker Gang operation- a 'paint factory'. They scope the place out, taking notice that a few men are having lunch off to the side. They mingle for a while, before heading inside to talk with the guy in charge of the distillery.

Now, at this point I was expecting some requests for information, maybe some negotiations. Things went off the rails, fast.

Tony immediately tries to strong arm the conversation so that the Supervisor will tell him about how they're supplying Kelly's Killers.

There's multiple reasons this is problematic:

  • The Supervisor may or may not actually know about where the Gang is shipping booze, may not have useful information even if he's aware the Gang is trading with Kelly's Killers, and there's also a chance he's not actually high enough up in the organization to be able to divulge such info
  • The Supervisor has zero motivation to trade info unless you can REALLY convincingly threaten him.
So, let's summarize. Tony and Isaac waltzed into a factory, after sitting with five dudes having lunch outside. They walked into a small office that's a tactical nightmare (one exit, no windows) to put the screws to the boss after allowing his secretary to exit. They're armed with pistols.

When the boss started screaming, said secretary ran to get help.

The guy (wielding a shotgun) who responds tries to open the door and Tony lets him. What results is a mexican standoff as Isaac holds the Super hostage and Shotgunman stands in the door, covering Tony. A few more of the Baker gang gets ready for a shootout, fanning out, weapons drawn.

There's some back-and-forth while Tony spots movement within the factory.

The Bakers, who since Session One of the campaign, have been under Moran's heel. The players took out Moran, and with Kelly's Killers fighting to maintain their territory, the monthly tribute payments the Bakers had to make haven't been an issue any more.

The Bakers, sick of being fucked with, are setting up their shiny new M1919 Browning machine gun, paid with the money they no longer have to pay to Moran, to cover the doorway to the office.

It takes Tony bringing up the fact that he's a made man to convince the Bakers to let him go get ransom for Isaac.

So let's recap the clusterfuck they now get to deal with next session:
  • Isaac is being held hostage by the Baker Gang, his freedom contingent on the Bakers receiving ransom from the Soldati D'Ombra. This is a calculated move on their part- getting such a ransom will inevitably involve Sam acting as leader of the Soldati, which makes the entire affair a political issue.
  • The Bakers are definitely not cooling their heels and sitting on their thumbs. They're using whatever time they have to gear up and dig in. Their distillery is their only source of income, and they'll fight to keep it under their control.
  • There's a good chance any attempts to fight/intimidate the Bakers at this point results in Isaac's head getting blown off by a shotgun at close range. Luck only goes so far, especially in regards to the second or third attacks.
  • Tony's original hostage- the Supervisor, is a worthless hostage. Shotgunman admitted that the Supervisor dying would be an opportunity for promotion.
  • Sam's Enemy has every reason to throw in with the Bakers, and a 375pt enemy is not to be underestimated.
  • If word gets out to Kelly, he may attempt to intervene, although it's more likely his goal will be to regain lost territory- such as attacking Doyle's groups while the PCs are occupied.
Safe to say, Tony and Isaac fucked up. They:
  • Overextended, entering enemy territory without backup and without being prepared for a firefight
  • They threatened someone in their office where help and reinforcements were readily available
  • Underestimated the potential for the Baker gang to secure competitive weaponry.
  • Immediately jumped to intimidation and threats, no real attempts at negotiation were initially made
  • Overestimated how scary their group is on a macro level

I would not be very surprised if my next update involves another dead PC.

1 comment:

  1. Ouch!

    I remember how often people complained that Overconfidence was over-priced at -10 points back in 3e GURPS. But this is a good example of how overconfidence can really mess you up. Not enough planning, poor choice of locations, terrible choice of interrogation targets, and tactical errors. Oops.

    The next PCs might be more cautious. :)

    FWIW, "We'll just solve this with threats and gunfire" is how most of our Gangbusters criminal PCs died back in the day, too.