My crews are slowly, but surely, building a list of “fans” that at some point strike back and execute their revenge or demand compensation for past griefs caused by the crew members. There are now downtime clocks that tick at each downtime phase based on the amount of fortune rolls equal to the rival’s faction tier.
Now, I wonder what are the appropriate moments when rival faction strikes back? I don’t see a strict enforcement of when this happens in Faction Play chapter, and there is certainly event related to this in the Engagement. But it is based on random roll and certain heat level, which is not always fit. Since we tell a story and the fiction is the driving force, I consider the following moment keeping in mind my understanding of the spirit of the game and the presented in the book framework for actions & phases:
1. During score - ideal moment for the rivals to interfere the crew. Two birds with one stone if they manage to beat them good and spoil the score.
2. During downtime phase, before or after the downtime actions. In the former case, the crew might be drained, depending on how their score went. Potential for a lot of traumas and even death if this is the case. In the latter they can be refreshed, manage to push back and start their next score with depleted resources, because they depleted all their downtime actions prior the hit. This replaces the roll for engagement or is triggered instead of some gang troubles. Definitely triggered on the higher heat levels that state it.
3. During free-form phase, where the crew gathers information. This is like option 2 more or less, but can hempen their ability to prepare for a score.
Is there another appropriate moment you can think of? Did I get the idea of rival factions interference right?
I think your options could all potentially work, though preempting the crew’s Downtime with a full-on assault from another Faction is particularly harsh. I wouldn’t use that option unless the crew have been ignoring a retaliation clock for some time.
My preferred option is to treat a rival Faction’s retaliation as a defensive “Score,” if it makes sense in the fiction. Something time-sensitive and direct works best for this—the crew can’t reasonably stop the retaliation from happening altogether, but they can react to it.
“Marko, Jayne—it’s the Bluecoats. They’re sweeping through Coalridge and clearing out any pubs that support our Miners’ Union. What the hell are we going to do? They’ve already hit some of our smaller dives, and as we speak they’re gathering for a push down Chancer’s Alley.”
I like the idea of defensive score. Definitely will be implemented at least with one of the factions that is investigating the crew’s crimes!
I really like the defensive score idea! Turf, Gambling Dens and other crew achievment should feel contestet, but my players do not like if something is taken from them. A bad result of a score is another thing!
Additon to 2. during Downtime: Use entanglements
I always preffered to use entanglements not only as listed in the table but for some retalliation for the crew actions. Table and Roll are orientations for the severity or ideas for what could happen. If heat and wanted level are high the crew can get attention of the faction behind their opposing faction
So that is how I will try to GM in our next Blades-Season:
- Strong opposition / war: Defensive score
- everyday opposition: customized entanglements
Both are valid. I’m actually a fan of rivals hemming in the Crew during downtime by making certain actions risky to engage in. To help make this feel fair, broadcast what you’re doing, tell the Players that there are rival gang colors in this location, that they’re being tailed, that kind of thing. If they ignore the threat, that’s when you strike.
Threatening players during downtime can make for a really exciting and dangerous game. I recommend it.