Conflict scenes and Bodyguards (2 separate issues)

I’m a little hazy about the role the GM has in conflict scenes and how bodyguards function away from their “owners”.

Conflict scene:
For example, the players decide that they will use a conflict scene to raid the hideout of a crime boss (who is not an FoN), but who would be the most likely leader for the Underworld faction–with the intent to capture him for a public spectacle trial. What is the GM’s role in this conflict? Does he just pull some exponents out of the air for the criminal combatants, divide them into units, and go to town?

What happens on the other side? Say, the GM decides he wants to take down the Underworld faction (perhaps Taking Action against them to keep them from being activated by the players). Does the GM just run both sides of the Firefight!?

(Or am I missing something bigger–like, unless this Criminal leader is a Relationship, he doesn’t even exist?)

I’m having a hard time trying to figure out just how much conflict has to be a part of a Conflict scene. Would it be possible for the players to use Interrogation against an informant who knows where the Crime Boss is as a Building Scene leading up to the conflict? Or would that need to be a DoW–and thus, I guess, a conflict scene?

As for Bodyguards:
Can a bodyguard be played by a player in a scene where the player’s main character is absent? Is that character played fully, or only able to help other main characters (through helping dice–linked tests, etc.)

Thanks in advance for any help.

Bodyguards can be used by the player for Building and Conflict scenes without the player’s main character present, but it counts against the player’s total.

As for the bigger issue, remember that if no one opposes you there is no need to roll or have a Conflict.

So. If this head of the underworld isn’t a figure of note or a relationship and the real meat of the game is the kangaroo court, just use color/interstitial/building scenes to do the capture. Now we’re ready for the real conflict, conducting and spinning the trial for some reason.

It doesn’t matter which side does the set-up. It works the same.

The thing to remember, however, is that if the crime-lord isn’t a relationship of a figure of note she must be brought in through the use of Circles. Either a player rolls his character’s Circles rating, the GM rolls one of his character’s Circles rating, or the GM spends from the Circles reserve to bring the crime-lord into play. Without that, well, the crime-lord doesn’t really matter in the game.

At least that’s my reading of it.

Okay, I thought that was the way bodyguards worked.

As for the bigger issue, remember that if no one opposes you there is no need to roll or have a Conflict.

Okay, I understand this idea in the abstract. However, this conceivably means that the players (or the GM) could completely activate/deactivate a faction without ever making a roll? Or are you saying that factions only count as opposition if there is an FoN associated with them?

What if their goal isn’t to arrest the criminal, but to kill him, to destabilize the Underworld faction? There is no court, so the only conflict is at the point where the criminal gets/doesn’t get killed. In that case, my original questions still stand: how does the GM come up with the opponents, and what if the situation is reversed, and it’s the GM going after the criminal?

And yes, this character would have been added in by a Circles roll.
Thanks for the response–I’d like to see a couple more perspectives though. I need all the help I can get. :slight_smile:


Oh. I see the confusion.

Maneuver level goals can only be achieved through the maneuver roll.

If you kill the head of the underworld you still need to roll for Take Action at the end of the maneuver. If the side that wanted to destabilize the underworld loses the maneuver, nothing happens to the faction in terms of game mechanics. No disposition differences. Sure you killed the current boss, but there’s always someone else to fill her shoes.

Likewise with phase level goals. You can’t run a faction out of play for the rest of the campaign without winning a phase with that as your intent. It doesn’t matter how badly you hammer the faction in the scenes, you can’t short circuit the higher level conflict mechanics. The only exception is that you can kill a figure of note before his featured phase in order to deprive the other side of the bonus he offers.

So, in the case of murdering the head of the underworld, that can happen as one of the GM’s cut scenes. You hit the end of the maneuver. The players were hammering the GM with Take Action while the GM used Take Action to throw the underworld into chaos—letting some new faces into the action. However, the GM fails to overcome the obstacle for his Take Action. The underworld is in chaos, but the Vaylen can’t exploit that.

What The_Tim said!