Making it harder

I’ve just finished my third session of Freemarket, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. There’s a bunch of things rattling around in my head that I could use some help with.

1.) Players are regularly destroying me. And getting big piles of flow. One problem is that I have a heard time forbidding them from using their genelines. If someone has “quick thinking” it ends up applying to every challenge. How do I make this call?

2.) Players have been starting lots of self-targeted challenges like thin-slicing where they all gang up on me, 4 to 1, since I can’t do multiple opponents in a situation like this right? We go for a round, I draw and pull slightly into the lead, but then three players in a row burn, burn burn. Now I have no points and the 4th payer calls, and I lose catastrophically. They are burning a lot of tech and interface to do this stuff, but until they run out, I can’t find a way to slow them down.

3.) If players are pretty low on tech and interface due to burning, and one of the PCs wants to repair all these things with recycling or mobbing, do I have to run a challenge for each piece he wants to fix? Because that would be like 12 challenges. What if they say, “We go into that mobbing MRCZ, and ask them to fix all our stuff.” Do I just reset everything?

4.) Every time there is a challenge, all the players jump in. I’m going to start challenging them with multiple opponents to slow them down, but is there an easier way? I guess I should make more use of interface and tech on NPCs.

5.) I’m getting big piles of bugs, but I never have time to use them before they call.

6.) We play three hour sessions, but we only get around to about four challenges. I get the feeling that we should be doing less free roleplaying and more challenges, right? We never get close to running out of our decks.

7.) Now that everyone has lots of flow, I want to up the flow investment requirements, but now I’m afraid that if they pull off another big victory, their flow will just get gigantic.

8.) On the plus side, the players had a ton of fun trying weird stuff on the station, and were super engaged, so I call that a success. I just want to make them afraid for a change.

I guess you can’t stop them burning stuff until they have it - 12 challenges of course.
I imagine that Mobbing and Recycling MRCZ that will burn a ton of flow to receive 10 points from gifting - sore losers.

You can use bug on initial draw and get 3rd card here.
Book says it should be around 2 challenges for each player, if they jump on every challenge, isn’t it 4 challenges for everyone?

Ah! I forgot I can use a bug on the initial draw. Definitely going to do that.

I’m not sure I understood what you said about the mobbing and recycling MRCZs. Anyone with those skills would happily do it for free right? I just want to avoid players abusing this by burning all their stuff with no real consequences. I assume that I shouldn’t play out the challenge of the NPC working on the interfaces, but could I just make a GM call and say “Their work wasn’t that great. They weren’t able to repair it and one of the tags accidentally got changed.”

It’s just that the book mentions that mobbing MRCZs will happily gift you anything they have. I’m trying to figure out how to avoid players abusing this. In an open information society like freemarket, it seems like it would be simple to look up a place that specializes in what you want, walk on over, and emerge armed to the teeth over and over.

How about the geneline tags? I can’t really figure out the most fair way to apply them. Some of the general ones seem to apply to everything.

I think the mobbing and recycling MRCZs actually have their own agendas that are reflected in their work. The recyclers maybe got into recycling because they love to add the “Classy looking” tag to every item they come across. That’s just what the MRCZ does, they joined up so they could change a tag every time.

They may have no time right now but they might be willing to gift some shoddy junk in the mean time.

They might not have the skill to do it right. Don’t actually play out the challenges but imagine they put as much as they can into flow rebate and neglect their effect outcomes.

You are welcome. I had the same situation regarding bugs, so I remember it clearly.

I believe it’s Superusers judgement call, but gifting one technology repair, 2 technology repairs or several repairs is the same. It is “gifting your services” and corresponding user will receive 10 flow, no more. No one (maybe so as mentioned is interested in different agendas) do more for the same price.

This is actually question of mass production - there was discussion in the forum, I can’t find right now, about making plate of cupcakes and gifting each cupcake separately. This is same question - Freemarket don’t work this way - you receive 10 flow for first gift and then no flow for following gifts of the same item.

Sure. And even they are ready to part with their service, maybe they want something else in exchange, instead of flow. Or they heard bad reputation of that group. They are enemy of or work for concurrent and so on.

[li]you can’t ban user from challenges, they can get “Go free” p.35 anyway; (maybe it helps to make ruling more easy);
[/li][li]from players perspective, “jack of all trades” as geneline is quite bad and will give your charracter the same non-descriptive flavor;
[/li][li]when the gene line is very general I would ask player to describe it more and stick with his description:

[li]is it mental or physical trait?
[/li][li]what does it do?
[/li][li]why it’s called [name your geneline]?
[/li][li]maybe rename it to reflect revisited trait now?

The best thing in the world is being forced to accept a crappy gift, endure terrible art or have someone inept do something for you “as a favor.” It’s just like real-life.

One player had the geneline tag “Lucky.” I nixed that. Some others, however, have tags like “Genius” or “Quick-thinking”. Which seem like appropriate tags, but you can easily make them work in any challenge.

Don’t forget you can use their tags against them in at least 2 challenge types. So the more utilitarian and vague those tags are, it benefits you as well.

I would also like to say that you must be a ruthless superuser.

You must pile your bugs on at every opportunity. You must be merciless.

You also must use the narrative against them. Separate them, split them, divide them. Don’t be passive. The station is teeming with life. They should feel overwhelmed by it.

And if they burn themselves down and then want to hibernate to repair…that’s the perfect time for their enemies to show up and make some demands.

And if they have high flow…they’re targets. Bring in a switcher to swap keys and steal all of their flow.

Have fun!