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GŁn
2016-02-08, 04:27 PM
My group is going to start a new game after our 1.5 years lasting Pathfinder campaign. We decided to try something different and play mutant teenagers with Marvel Heroic Roleplaying system. After character creation I somehow ended with a background with criminal goals and crime mastery. The thing is, I have no idea to built a crime empire as an 16 years old mutant kid. I need help playground.

Segev
2016-02-08, 05:16 PM
First off, you need to know your advantages. What can your character do? Who does he know? Who would willingly work with him? Who would willingly work for him? Who would willingly hire him? Who can he coerce into any of these things, and what would it cost him?

What can he offer? How can he control others? What vices does he indulge in, and which ones will he avoid, personally? That latter might be where he starts trying to build his criminal enterprise.

Who are the movers and shakers he needs to displace? What does he have that he can use to displace them? What tools are at his disposal for suborning or replacing their lieutenants and organization(s)?

GŁn
2016-02-08, 05:54 PM
I like these guiding questions. They helps immensely.

My character's power set does not look very suitable for building a crime empire. Right now, he has a power set that built around manipulating gravity. Think Magneto with gravity powers, but a little bit less powerful because we are fresh mutants.

Aside from that, my character has an aptitude for technology and genius level intellect and have doctorate degree in a field yet to be decided which he is one of the foremost scholar (16 years old kid yes, comic logic. And interestingly I am the guy with least amount of power or trait stuff in my party).

He sees crime empire a tool to acquire power in order to help people like him (aka Mutants.), or destroy people against his people. Sadly this is only way he knows to acquire great power while stay independent from government. I didn't thought about which vices to indugle or avoid. Though human trafficing would be a big no no for him given his background.

He grew with X-factor Investigations, and learnt some investigation and covert stuff from them. And this also gave him a great insight about crime world. His x-factor contacts should be still availible, and he should also have some contacts in Mutant town.

Our party has a strong telepath which can influence people easily. But I don't know if he wants to involve criminal stuff IC. Though being necessary evil for greater good stuff might indulge many followers. I am not sure.

I think I need to build from zero, so who I need to shake and replace will show itself later.

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-08, 11:12 PM
I like these guiding questions. They helps immensely.

My character's power set does not look very suitable for building a crime empire. Right now, he has a power set that built around manipulating gravity. Think Magneto with gravity powers, but a little bit less powerful because we are fresh mutants.

Aside from that, my character has an aptitude for technology and genius level intellect and have doctorate degree in a field yet to be decided which he is one of the foremost scholar (16 years old kid yes, comic logic. And interestingly I am the guy with least amount of power or trait stuff in my party).

He sees crime empire a tool to acquire power in order to help people like him (aka Mutants.), or destroy people against his people. Sadly this is only way he knows to acquire great power while stay independent from government. I didn't thought about which vices to indugle or avoid. Though human trafficing would be a big no no for him given his background.

He grew with X-factor Investigations, and learnt some investigation and covert stuff from them. And this also gave him a great insight about crime world. His x-factor contacts should be still availible, and he should also have some contacts in Mutant town.

Our party has a strong telepath which can influence people easily. But I don't know if he wants to involve criminal stuff IC. Though being necessary evil for greater good stuff might indulge many followers. I am not sure.

I think I need to build from zero, so who I need to shake and replace will show itself later.

I can think of many ways that gravity manipulation may help your character commit crime.

Walking along ceilings or walls to avoid pressure-sensitive floors, for instance. Making guards fall up to the ceiling to knock them out. Even using gravity manipulation to keep pressure-sensitive displays in just the right position while you steal the contents.

If you get creative with it, there's all kinds of things grav manipulation can do for an aspiring criminal. I'd imagine that, like most teenagers who acquire powers, he probably used them for personal gain at first. The rest probably grew with his experience.

Kane0
2016-02-08, 11:37 PM
My character's power set does not look very suitable for building a crime empire. Right now, he has a power set that built around manipulating gravity. Think Magneto with gravity powers, but a little bit less powerful because we are fresh mutants.

You are selling yourself short. Gravity powers can be flexible as well as subtle, imagine for instance buying 500g of drugs, then selling 750g of drugs simply by making them weigh more. Get creative, you'd be surprised at what changing the direction of 'down' can accomplish.



Aside from that, my character has an aptitude for technology and genius level intellect and have doctorate degree in a field yet to be decided which he is one of the foremost scholar (16 years old kid yes, comic logic. And interestingly I am the guy with least amount of power or trait stuff in my party).
He grew with X-factor Investigations, and learnt some investigation and covert stuff from them. And this also gave him a great insight about crime world. His x-factor contacts should be still availible, and he should also have some contacts in Mutant town.

Excellent. This means you are educated, savvy and experienced. Knowing thy enemy makes you a slippery target for anti-crime pursuits. A degree in law could put you in a nigh untouchable position even if caught, unless subject to vigilante justice (which is when you can use your own powers then claim self defense).



He sees crime empire a tool to acquire power in order to help people like him (aka Mutants.), or destroy people against his people. Sadly this is only way he knows to acquire great power while stay independent from government. I didn't thought about which vices to indugle or avoid. Though human trafficing would be a big no no for him given his background.

This means you have standards and limits, which you can use to make yourself the lesser of two evils if exposed. Cunning is important to ensure your success, appearing to be good using bad methods is better than being an outright villain, even if you are one.



Our party has a strong telepath which can influence people easily. But I don't know if he wants to involve criminal stuff IC. Though being necessary evil for greater good stuff might indulge many followers. I am not sure.

You don't even need to have him do anything, his mere presence can be used for leverage. The threat of employing his talents should be more than enough to work with if he's unwilling to actually go through with anything.

I'm imagining you as Lex Luthor crossed with Magneto. Sounds awesome.

TheYell
2016-02-08, 11:50 PM
I like these guiding questions. They helps immensely.

My character's power set does not look very suitable for building a crime empire. Right now, he has a power set that built around manipulating gravity. Think Magneto with gravity powers, but a little bit less powerful because we are fresh mutants

What's the range of his powers? Could he sit in the stands at a racetrack and make the horse weigh more as it runs past? Can he monkey with a roulette ball? Can he wreck the foundation of a restaurant that doesn't pay protection?

If you read "Wiseguy" by Nicholas Pileggi, the crew had a scheme going where they would get the players of college basketball teams to win or lose by a few points less than the spread. It didn't mean they'd lose a game they could win, they just wouldn't blow it up. This was enough of an edge for a fat payoff when the gangsters laid the bets a dozen different ways. If The Kid goes around weighting basketballs in the middle of a game it can be enough to earn a payday.

Segev
2016-02-09, 01:26 AM
It sounds like his chief tools for controlling and manipulating people will be threat of violence and wealth. The former is obvious, while the latter is acquired by use of his powers to commit money-making crimes (or make legitimate cash, if he can think of a way). He could even get his CDL and pocket savings on truck taxes by altering the weight of his vehicle at weigh stations, if he wanted. Probably not big bucks to be made there, though.

His Ph.D., though... that's big. Depending on what it's in, that kind of knowledge can be its own superpower. Does he have any sort of gravity-based senses? Could he sense differences in density in the ground? A geological Ph.D. could let him use that to find rich deposits of oil or other valuable materials, and then gravity-power them out of the ground to stockpile and sell. A legal degree has its uses, obviously; economics would be powerful for just plain manipulating wealth. Physics, combined with his gravity powers, could let him excuse knowing all sorts of cool tricks. Unless you want to play your budding criminal career as a secret OOC as well as IC, talk to your telepath friend. See what the two of you can come up with. If he's not willing to go criminal, plan without him, but if he is, think of what you can do together. Magneto and Xavier as allied masterminds would have been terrifying.

I do'nt know a lot about X-Factor; are they legitimate? Criminal? Vigilante? What is their view on criminal activity? Would they support you if you can do things for them, or would they be horrified by your turning to a life of crime?

What makes a genius 16-year-old want to be a criminal rather than go into legitimate enterprise? Being a legitimate business mogul can be its own form of power and liberation from the government (at least as much as criminal kingpin); what prompts him towards crime rather than easy money in a field his brains and unique powers would give him unprecedented advantage?

Heck, gravity powers could let him turn coal to diamonds, if nothing else!

GŁn
2016-02-09, 08:12 AM
Thanks for awesome answers. Sorry for late response. Need to sleep, then need to attend classes. :P

His doctorate will about a subject in STEM field since I grabbed it via science mastery. So law and economics are not available but, gravity shenanigans with physics doctorate sounds nice




You don't even need to have him do anything, his mere presence can be used for leverage. The threat of employing his talents should be more than enough to work with if he's unwilling to actually go through with anything.



The main issue is I want to protect his fresh mutant kid image while building a crime empire. A fake identity will be used for criminal activities. So I cannot just collapse people into themselves with my new shiny X-Men uniform. Though fixing horse races is great way to start. I used my power in same manner at our first test encounter. And I can probably do this without gathering attention.



I'm imagining you as Lex Luthor crossed with Magneto. Sounds awesome.

This mental image is just too cool.


Helpfull stuff

X-factor Investigations is a private detective agency. They are legitimate organization and they would probably be horrified my turning to a life of criminal.

Under normal circumstances there shouldn't be a reason for turning into criminal but nothing is normal here :D.

My character is a survivor from Days of the Future Past. He lived the tyranny of Mutant Control Act since he was born. Then Rachel Summers brings him here around age 8, saving him from concentration camp, during her own time travel. He still doesn't trust humans or government, but trying to adjusting this new environment . Then Genosha happens. After that, right after the M-day, a lot of friends of him lost their powers and got killed by anti-mutant group in front of him (and rest of the Xavier's School. Decimation event). So he snapped. If they want to play without rules, he will play without rules. Also, since he has little knowledge about business world however great understanding of criminal world it is most logical for him to turn into criminal life.

This background sounded really edgy when I wrote it like that. :P

Segev
2016-02-09, 09:19 AM
Hrm. How does he plan to play up a "fresh-faced mutant kid" image when he believes the world doesn't CARE about that image and will hate him anyway?

I don't ask this to be difficult, but because it seems a dissonant set of assumptions about the world: on the one hand, "The populace will see me as a positive figure and trust me," while on the other, "The populace hate me for being a mutant and ignore the fact that I'm playing by the rules, so why bother?"

"Fresh-faced mutant kid" is an attempt to play by the rules.

"They won't play by the rules? Then screw 'em!" implies larger goals: what does he hope to accomplish when he's Mutant Kingpin Don Mafioso Imperator Supreme?

GŁn
2016-02-09, 09:45 AM
I thought being a fresh mutant kid as a disguise. It can be much easier to organize what he wants when society perceives him as just a mutant kid with powers. It is not about being a positive figure. It is about reducing the attention.


Mutant Kingpin Don Mafioso Imperator Supreme

http://i.imgur.com/himZD0M.gif

To be honest I have no idea what to do if I can manage to really be mutant kingpin. Infiltrating government agencies and organizations, removing anti-mutant personalities in strong positions and supporting pro-mutant personalities and organizations (via legal or illegal ways) are coming to my mind.

Though these goals look too big for these campagin.

Segev
2016-02-09, 09:52 AM
I thought being a fresh mutant kid as a disguise. It can be much easier to organize what he wants when society perceives him as just a mutant kid with powers. It is not about being a positive figure. It is about reducing the attention.
So what does he think "mutant kid with powers" is going to be perceived as? Not "what do you think," but "what does he think?" This is important, because the goal behind his "secret identity" is to keep attention to a minimum and keep heat and suspicion off of him.



To be honest I have no idea what to do if I can manage to really be mutant kingpin. Infiltrating government agencies and organizations, removing anti-mutant personalities in strong positions and supporting pro-mutant personalities and organizations (via legal or illegal ways) are coming to my mind.

Though these goals look too big for these campagin.
There are two "levels" to thinking about his goals:

1) What you want to see him achieve in the game, and
2) what he wants to do, that drives him forward towards and through (1).

You want, therefore, to come up with (2) such that he performs actions which will lead there, and let you achieve (1) on the way.

GŁn
2016-02-09, 10:32 AM
So what does he think "mutant kid with powers" is going to be perceived as? Not "what do you think," but "what does he think?" This is important, because the goal behind his "secret identity" is to keep attention to a minimum and keep heat and suspicion off of him.



I guess he thinks that mutant kid with powers is going to be perceived as just another mutant? Some people will hate for him being one, some poeple will not care but in grand scale the world does not welcome them. Also he still has people he loves and adores around him. Being a criminal would alienate him from his loved ones. This secret identity would be for his loved ones as much as for the public. He knows that he is pursuing a wicked path, but feels great obligations to do something. Personally, I blame hormones.




There are two "levels" to thinking about his goals:

1) What you want to see him achieve in the game, and
2) what he wants to do, that drives him forward towards and through (1).

You want, therefore, to come up with (2) such that he performs actions which will lead there, and let you achieve (1) on the way.

Lemme think

1) I want him to gather enough power to make preemptive strikes against anti-mutant situations (like having huge underground organization which have influence many things, even word politics)
(For example he learns some important people trying to pass Mutant Control Act. After acquiring this knowledge he pulls some strings and supporters of this act will be discouraged one by one via several methods like bribing, blackmailing, threats even murder if necessary.)

2) He wants to prevent the future he he lived happening on this timeline and protect his loved ones (Losing everything you love once is enough for a single lifetime.). Being just a mutant kid with powers is not enough, since much stronger mutants tried and failed to save his timeline from destruction. Hence, desire for power.

Segev
2016-02-09, 10:54 AM
Okay. Good goals. Now, focusing a bit more, what makes him choose "go criminal mastermind" to get the kind of influence he needs, rather than "go political activist?"

By this I mean, why not try to become a public leader and spokesmutant, showing how mutants can get along and gathering mutants to his group by being an inspirational figure?

I think you've partially answered that: he doesn't believe it will be enough. He's seen that method of "playing by the rules" backfire and be turned on those who tried.

That said, he values people - apparently - who seem to be part of such organizations. But he doesn't want to be a particularly prominent member. Does he publically advocate for active "good deeds," or does he mostly go along with it because his friends are doing it, and it's a living? (Insofar as X-Factor is a paying job.)


I'm about to describe what I think I see, but don't let me tell you this is what you should be doing; I am trying to judge whether I'm on the same page as you.

I'm picturing a nice kid who works hard and pretends not to mind too terribly much when people mistreat him for being a mutant. Not that he ignores it or isn't bothered, but that he at least makes a show if it only bothering him incident-to-incident, rather than building a systemic ire (despite very much HAVING that systemic ire).

One thing to keep in mind with your telepath friend: he will likely pick up your PC's real feelings, even if he doesn't mean to pry. You will either want to get mind-blocking abilities for your PC, or you'll want him to have an explanation for his low simmer that seems at odds with his surface clean-cut cheerfulness.

Behind this veneer, he's a calculating mastermind building his connections and influence, keeping his organization at arm's length from his good-guy buddies so they always have total deniability, and so that he has plausible deniability. In a way, he's playing both the mole and a Xanatos gambit: he doesn't really want to fight his friends, but he's aware of what they know and are doing and uses that to help plan his organization's activities so that they succeed in spite of what X-Factor or his other allies might do to try to stop them.

On top of that, though, he also arranges it so that X-Factor's successes reflect well on him. He also should use his criminal organization's activities to draw X-Factor's attention to things he feels X-Factor needs to do in a legitimate sense. That is, if X-Factor seems to have its hands tied because acting would make them "the bad guys," his organization moves to assault; and now X-Factor can move in to thwart HIS villainous team. With him fighting on X-Factor's side.

Here, he wouldn't even care which side wins; X-Factor does what it wants to do, heroically thwarting his bad-guy team, or his bad-guy team succeeds, and at least what he wanted done is done. This works particularly well for stealing macguffins; either X-Factor has it, so your genius scientist-kid now can work with them on figuring out whatever he needs from it...or his own organization has it, and it's his to toy with. He can arrange for it to fall into X-Factor's hands later if he wants it there.


That is what I'm seeing as his MO when he's gotten some traction on building his criminal empire; before we look at how he actually builds it, is this roughly what you're envisioning? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

GŁn
2016-02-09, 11:30 AM
Okay. Good goals. Now, focusing a bit more, what makes him choose "go criminal mastermind" to get the kind of influence he needs, rather than "go political activist?"

By this I mean, why not try to become a public leader and spokesmutant, showing how mutants can get along and gathering mutants to his group by being an inspirational figure?

I think you've partially answered that: he doesn't believe it will be enough. He's seen that method of "playing by the rules" backfire and be turned on those who tried.



Yeap. That is what is in my mind. Playing by books resulted with concentration camps and giant death robot guardians. Also he is trying to help a way which he excels. (This is what happens when you put a 8 years old kid in a detective agency)




That said, he values people - apparently - who seem to be part of such organizations. But he doesn't want to be a particularly prominent member. Does he publically advocate for active "good deeds," or does he mostly go along with it because his friends are doing it, and it's a living? (Insofar as X-Factor is a paying job.)

He mostly goes along with it because his friends are doing it. He believes in good deeds but as you mentioned before he thinks it is not enough. Though, good deeds would certainly be helpful for his conscience.




I'm about to describe what I think I see, but don't let me tell you this is what you should be doing; I am trying to judge whether I'm on the same page as you.

I'm picturing a nice kid who works hard and pretends not to mind too terribly much when people mistreat him for being a mutant. Not that he ignores it or isn't bothered, but that he at least makes a show if it only bothering him incident-to-incident, rather than building a systemic ire (despite very much HAVING that systemic ire).

One thing to keep in mind with your telepath friend: he will likely pick up your PC's real feelings, even if he doesn't mean to pry. You will either want to get mind-blocking abilities for your PC, or you'll want him to have an explanation for his low simmer that seems at odds with his surface clean-cut cheerfulness.

Behind this veneer, he's a calculating mastermind building his connections and influence, keeping his organization at arm's length from his good-guy buddies so they always have total deniability, and so that he has plausible deniability. In a way, he's playing both the mole and a Xanatos gambit: he doesn't really want to fight his friends, but he's aware of what they know and are doing and uses that to help plan his organization's activities so that they succeed in spite of what X-Factor or his other allies might do to try to stop them.

On top of that, though, he also arranges it so that X-Factor's successes reflect well on him. He also should use his criminal organization's activities to draw X-Factor's attention to things he feels X-Factor needs to do in a legitimate sense. That is, if X-Factor seems to have its hands tied because acting would make them "the bad guys," his organization moves to assault; and now X-Factor can move in to thwart HIS villainous team. With him fighting on X-Factor's side.

Here, he wouldn't even care which side wins; X-Factor does what it wants to do, heroically thwarting his bad-guy team, or his bad-guy team succeeds, and at least what he wanted done is done. This works particularly well for stealing macguffins; either X-Factor has it, so your genius scientist-kid now can work with them on figuring out whatever he needs from it...or his own organization has it, and it's his to toy with. He can arrange for it to fall into X-Factor's hands later if he wants it there.

That is what I'm seeing as his MO when he's gotten some traction on building his criminal empire; before we look at how he actually builds it, is this roughly what you're envisioning? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Well, I can't explain it better than this.

Mind-blocking technology will be a great necessity as you say. His teachers (aka X-men) would be a problem too. For example, apart from my friend, there are bunch of NPC telepaths in the school. One mind reading from Emma Frost might destroy eveything.

And I really appreciate help by the way. Fleshing out character and background is one of my favourite part of rpgs, and I am having great time right now.

Segev
2016-02-09, 11:45 AM
Why did the values of X-Factor and their good-guys-save-the-day/bad-guys-must-be-stopped philosophy not have a greater impact on an 8-year-old kid who, by the time he's a 16-year-old Ph.D. has spent half his life (the more recent and better half) in their care and exposed to their philosophies?

What makes him decide NOW to start his criminal empire efforts, when he was "playing along" before? At least one natural progression for so young a child would be to start bitter, to grow a little more so early on, but to have that bitterness caught early and have the consequences of it shown by all the evil things his own detective efforts have helped to defeat. All the evil stems from some sort of bitterness, if not selfishness, and he doubtless shares the ideals that good is better than evil. What about "evil/crime" has he seen "work" where X-Factor's good-guy detective work has not?

Starts of darkness are tricky, especially when rooted in a more distant past than his current life and livelihood. Has he seen criminals and criminal empires get more done than X-Factor has, and somehow thought, "If only I could turn their lawlessness to good ends, even a little evil to fuel it would be worthwhile?" Or what? If that, what might he have seen "work" that he wants to emulate? That should give some guidance as to the kind of crime he wants to start with, or even an organization he wants to work to overthrow/infiltrate/take over.

Storm_Of_Snow
2016-02-09, 12:21 PM
The main issue is I want to protect his fresh mutant kid image while building a crime empire. A fake identity will be used for criminal activities. So I cannot just collapse people into themselves with my new shiny X-Men uniform.
Maybe not, but you can pin them to the floor at, say, 20G, so that you stop blood from getting to their brains.

Although if you start killing people with those powers, sooner or later people will work out what's going on and start running down the presumably very short list of known gravi-kenes. Maybe you need a secondary power that your team mates don't know about, or you simply use normal weapons (although you could potentially use a projected gravity well to slingshot bullets around obstacles into targets, or at the very least turn near misses into killshots).

Influencing bets would be a good way of getting initial finances, although organisations like bookmakers and casinos will work to identify anyone who seems to be too lucky, and if mutants are in the population, they might have employed empowered people to help with that - telepaths for certain, super-genius's who can identify complex patterns extremely quickly, power nullifiers (Leech, for example) if any exist. And mob-connected gambling would almost certainly have them.

One thing you might want to consider is having the hero team stop some of your organisations heists etc, things you don't need, people you can afford to have arrested, even operations set up deliberately to be stopped, and that don't have much connection back to you - otherwise they'll start to get the idea there's a mole at the very least, and the telepath's going to be prying into everyone's heads.

GŁn
2016-02-09, 12:24 PM
Why did the values of X-Factor and their good-guys-save-the-day/bad-guys-must-be-stopped philosophy not have a greater impact on an 8-year-old kid who, by the time he's a 16-year-old Ph.D. has spent half his life (the more recent and better half) in their care and exposed to their philosophies?

What makes him decide NOW to start his criminal empire efforts, when he was "playing along" before? At least one natural progression for so young a child would be to start bitter, to grow a little more so early on, but to have that bitterness caught early and have the consequences of it shown by all the evil things his own detective efforts have helped to defeat. All the evil stems from some sort of bitterness, if not selfishness, and he doubtless shares the ideals that good is better than evil. What about "evil/crime" has he seen "work" where X-Factor's good-guy detective work has not?

Starts of darkness are tricky, especially when rooted in a more distant past than his current life and livelihood. Has he seen criminals and criminal empires get more done than X-Factor has, and somehow thought, "If only I could turn their lawlessness to good ends, even a little evil to fuel it would be worthwhile?" Or what? If that, what might he have seen "work" that he wants to emulate? That should give some guidance as to the kind of crime he wants to start with, or even an organization he wants to work to overthrow/infiltrate/take over.


Actually, good 8 years he spent with X-factor helped him. He was going towards good guys territory. First Genosha incident (where 16 million mutants are killed by sentinels) and after a lot of his friend killed in barbaric fashion by anti-mutant group in front of his school surfaced his deeply rooted fears. He remembered the past where big red scary robots are patroling around their home, day his father stopped appearing around (dead), funeral of his mother, graveyards which he used to see everyday filled with friend and family (Pic related)

http://i.imgur.com/GP6NMZr.jpg (BTW what kind of sick place is this.)

The future he came from the greatest example of evil he saw working. Although in X-factor and later in X-men body he observed good deeds which are working, people attacking mutants in first sign of weakness showed him that good deeds are the ones not working actually. His friends was dead, again. Evil won.


Maybe not, but you can pin them to the floor at, say, 20G, so that you stop blood from getting to their brains.

Although if you start killing people with those powers, sooner or later people will work out what's going on and start running down the presumably very short list of known gravi-kenes. Maybe you need a secondary power that your team mates don't know about, or you simply use normal weapons (although you could potentially use a projected gravity well to slingshot bullets around obstacles into targets, or at the very least turn near misses into killshots).

Influencing bets would be a good way of getting initial finances, although organisations like bookmakers and casinos will work to identify anyone who seems to be too lucky, and if mutants are in the population, they might have employed empowered people to help with that - telepaths for certain, super-genius's who can identify complex patterns extremely quickly, power nullifiers (Leech, for example) if any exist. And mob-connected gambling would almost certainly have them.

One thing you might want to consider is having the hero team stop some of your organisations heists etc, things you don't need, people you can afford to have arrested, even operations set up deliberately to be stopped, and that don't have much connection back to you - otherwise they'll start to get the idea there's a mole at the very least, and the telepath's going to be prying into everyone's heads.

Definitely. Gravitokinesis is not something you see everyday. Even in Marvel. Maybe I can influence bets in behalf of some organization

Segev
2016-02-09, 12:58 PM
Alright, so he has some recent (re)formative experiences to drive him back to viewing crime/evil as a valid means.

It might help to really examine what he saw in the Genosha incident that makes him think illegal activity is the best way to accumulate the kind of power to thwart that in the future. What could an illegal/criminal organization have done that a legitimate one was prevented from doing, which would have stopped Genosha before it started?

Similarly, how would a criminal organization have helped prevent his friend's death?

Or is it more a petty "fine, if they're going to be jerks, I'll look to vile methods to take revenge and make them pay?"

GŁn
2016-02-09, 03:20 PM
Death of 16 million mutants in just one day by Sentinels, he was shocked. Thing were going somewhat stable. And then, out of blue, sentinels appeared and destroyed a nation. He saw two possibility in this.

1- A governmental agency pulled this off.

2- An illegal organization pulled this off and legitimate organizations weren't aware of this until last moment.

In any case playing by the book loses its viability. (Or his rage induced mind thinks like this)

Helping Genosha right before strike would be to late. A preemptive strike when sentinel project is offered would be his solution about the issue. So, he needs an organisation which infiltrates many agencies. Also creating that kind of a knowledge network doesn't look like something legal.

Though his hormon and rage induced mind also nudges him towards illegal activities.

Also I am imagining him having huge fear towards sentinel robots.

Segev
2016-02-09, 03:33 PM
Okay. So the big thing, the motivating means/tool he has as an initial goal to acquire, is essentially a spy network. Informants. Confidants. Contacts.

Is this set in the 90s or closer to now? I ask because the internet becomes a tremendous tool for him if available.

Regardless, because information is what he wants more than anything else, information that will let him know when things are going bad directions so he can manipulate his "criminal empire" into resolving it with prejudice, his first forays can actually be rather subtle. Play up naivete where needs be. Let himself get "used" by gangs, and rescued by his friends in X-Factor once he knows enough to get back in touch with those gangs' leadership from a position of greater power.

To that end, a mob-run gambling operation where his gravity powers can be used to rig things would be a decent place to start. Be valuable enough they lean on and squeeze him, and see what information he can get, what contacts he can make. If they offer carrots before they reveal sticks to keep him loyal, he can even make some money off of it.

This will be dangerous. Very dangerous. He's brilliant, but assuming a teenager is a better manipulator than professional mafiosos is a sucker's bet. He needs to have multiple "escape" plans so that he can make it out with the illusion that he was a patsy, a victim roped in. And those plans should involve public exposure, as embarrassing as that will be. He can't do anything too bad in this phase. Nothing that wouldn't be easily forgiven and for which he couldn't get immunity to testify against somebody.

Then he'll have to play his shell-shocked kid angle hardcore for a bit. Nose clean, avoiding trouble.

Use the details he learned about the mob and how it operates, about who to contact in their group and others, to start anonymously tipping them off to things that will be of interest. Play double agent for a little bit, if needs be. See how they react, and build a rapport for your new criminal mastermind persona with these people. Your goal now is to expand your network of contacts, and to become an information broker without revealing who you are.

You almost don't care about the money, except as a tool to bribe people; you want more and more information. And favors are good, too, if you can enforce them with blackmail. If possible, have your shadowy persona reach out to X-Factor. Sell them information, too. Compare what you learn from them through that channel to what you know as a member; watch out for sting operations where "marked" information is handed out as part of a mole-hunt.

You really need a trusted telepath on your side if you can't find a way to make yourself immune on your own; if you can get the other PC to work with you and provide a mind shield, that'd be ideal, and he'd definitely be good at helping gather information. The trouble is that he has to be good at keeping both your identities secret.

Maybe both of you can share the shadowy persona; that way, either of you can show up at the same time the information broker character is around. It's trickier to pin down "all three have never been together" than it is "both have never been together."

GŁn
2016-02-09, 04:35 PM
Many Thanks
http://i.imgur.com/s3Snwg8.gif

The original storyline we built our campaign on is around 2005 though we probably shift it to today. So internet is largely available.




Regardless, because information is what he wants more than anything else, information that will let him know when things are going bad directions so he can manipulate his "criminal empire" into resolving it with prejudice, his first forays can actually be rather subtle. Play up naivete where needs be. Let himself get "used" by gangs, and rescued by his friends in X-Factor once he knows enough to get back in touch with those gangs' leadership from a position of greater power.

To that end, a mob-run gambling operation where his gravity powers can be used to rig things would be a decent place to start. Be valuable enough they lean on and squeeze him, and see what information he can get, what contacts he can make. If they offer carrots before they reveal sticks to keep him loyal, he can even make some money off of it.

I am getting the idea that my first contact with mob should be with my real identity. However I should play the naive mutant boy and just learn around. Or would another fake identity suffice? Maybe disguised as a poor homeless mutant I can contact them for some food and clothes at first.


This will be dangerous. Very dangerous. He's brilliant, but assuming a teenager is a better manipulator than professional mafiosos is a sucker's bet. He needs to have multiple "escape" plans so that he can make it out with the illusion that he was a patsy, a victim roped in. And those plans should involve public exposure, as embarrassing as that will be. He can't do anything too bad in this phase. Nothing that wouldn't be easily forgiven and for which he couldn't get immunity to testify against somebody.

Can you give an example for this if possible? I don't think I get this part :P



You almost don't care about the money, except as a tool to bribe people; you want more and more information. And favors are good, too, if you can enforce them with blackmail. If possible, have your shadowy persona reach out to X-Factor. Sell them information, too. Compare what you learn from them through that channel to what you know as a member; watch out for sting operations where "marked" information is handed out as part of a mole-hunt.

Neat.


You really need a trusted telepath on your side if you can't find a way to make yourself immune on your own; if you can get the other PC to work with you and provide a mind shield, that'd be ideal, and he'd definitely be good at helping gather information. The trouble is that he has to be good at keeping both your identities secret.

Maybe both of you can share the shadowy persona; that way, either of you can show up at the same time the information broker character is around. It's trickier to pin down "all three have never been together" than it is "both have never been together."

Sadly his character is not into stuff like that. He might provide mind shield time to time. But that is a low possiblity. Building a tech would be more reliable. However walking with mind shield all the looks a little suspicious.

Segev
2016-02-10, 11:13 AM
Note that these are just ideas.

The point I was trying to drive at with the mob is that "using" the mob with an intent to be able to "get out" is always, ALWAYS a dangerous proposition, because they have far more experience keeping hold of you than you do getting loose. You do have some advantage in that this is a game and you're one of the main characters, so interesting narrative things like that can work.

If you want to play the "naÔve kid" angle and have your friends "rescue" you from the mob - that is, if you want in any way to rely on X-Factor or the X-Men to save you once you're "done" working with the mob as a patsy - you'll have to use your real identity, because that's the only way to play up to your friends, "They tricked me and I need help to get out." If you're being a faux persona to the mob, your friends will cotton on to the fact that you did this deliberately.

Of course, that telepath is going to be an issue anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if the idea that they should scan your mind for guilt and to prove you're not lying about being "forced" into it came up.


Another route you could try would be not to betray the mob, but to seek to become a Made Man. Just flat-out aim to work your way up their ranks and aim to be Don at some point. That is its own path to criminal power, but you're absolutely beholden to one organization for that.

If you want to play at being a "runaway" or "homeless mutant" that the Mob takes in, and then try to vanish when you want out, that could also work. It might be safer than relying on your allies to save you, but it risks them finding out what you're up to and not having the "I was tricked/coerced!" angle on which to fall back with them. Of course, again, with a telepath in the party, any such fallbacks are questionably useful, at best, so...

You do have the power to, if you work in disguise and try to keep that it's gravitics a secret, work with less organized gangs and criminals than the mob as an...assistant. Hired muscle, specialist, con partner... you can do these things, and then disappear with your "take." But you're less likely to hear interesting things that aren't directly pertinent to the "job" at hand, because you won't be beneath notice during "off" times. Still, spying and keeping eyes and ears open while working such jobs can help you learn who's who, who is into what, and who might know what.