Here’s the situation: The crew has two possible scores. One is to destroy a Billhook dog fighting den, and two, to steal a case of Spark from a Bluecoat station. Come to find out, the Bluecoat station is only a few blocks from the Billhook turf, so the crew decide to unleash their Leech and blow the dog fighting joint to smithereens and use the explosion as a distraction for the Bluecoats so that they can then sneak in there and get that Spark.
During our last session the crew pulled off job one pretty handily. The Billhook turf has gone up in a lovely, loud, explosion and they are now heading to the Bluecoat station for Score #2. We had to quit that session and the intention was to jump right back in this coming session. But as we were wrapping up, one of the players asked, if this Spark theft is a whole other score, does that mean that their score #1 downtime just gets skipped?
Good question! And one I hadn’t considered. How would you handle this? The crew is down some stress, but there’s no time for vices or any kind of real downtime.
I guess I could just tell them they should have thought of that beforehand, but that seems a little rough, not to mention it puts mechanics before fiction.
Fiction first. In this case, I would say yes, there’s no downtime for the first job, since the crew decided to roll the two jobs together, and there’s no actual in-game time passing between them. On one hand, they screwed themselves out of an additional downtime cycle, but on the other, there could be some really tangible benefits for acting so quickly.
This sounds like the book’s example of linked plans (p.131).
I’d think that, in addition to whatever fictional effect score number one had, it was in fact an extended set up action for score number two. The explosion draws a lot of the bluecoats out of their station. Just how many? Roll the engagement roll for score number two, but let the set up action improve the position that they generate. If they did an outstanding job in score number one, maybe also give them an extra die on the engagement roll for score two.
I’d also consider cutting to the chase in that second score. On a critically successful engagement roll, maybe they’re already inside the station, picking the lock on the evidence room door. On a risky or desperate result, maybe they’re in a similar situation, but discovered in the act (or partway there, with ticks on a clock).
Linked score is exactly how I’d do it too.
If they have a larger than normal haul they might have enough coin for extra downtime actions, but following the fiction if it makes sense for them to have more downtime after a big double job then give them some more downtime actions as well as double heat, rep and entanglements. If they don’t end up with a big take then perhaps they can’t afford to wait around before getting back to work.