My crew has the vice den claim.
VICE DEN: Any time during downtime, roll dice equal to your Tier. You earn Coin equal to the highest result, minus your Heat.
This motivates them to spend all of their coin every downtime to reduce heat before making the vice den roll.
REDUCE HEAT: Say what your character does to reduce the heat level of the crew and make an action roll. Maybe you Consort with your friend who’s a officer and she arranges for a few incriminating Watch reports to disappear. Or maybe you Command the fear of the local citizens so they’re afraid to snitch.
Reduce heat according to the result: 1-3: one, 4/5: two, 6: three, critical: five.
The negative sign on heat in the vice den payout and the minimum one heat reduction in the reduce heat downtime activity guarantee the marginal coin they spend is paid back. They have to spend it down to 6 before this kicks in, but they usually roll better than 1–3 for reducing heat, so the payout is usually a net positive in coin in addition to reducing all of their heat.
There are plenty of ways they’ve raised heat and thus plenty of ways in the fiction they’ve gone about reducing heat (everything from tinkering for community rebuildingafter particularly big wreckage to consorting with alchemy students to spread rumors about rival factions to bringing sacks of coin every score to Sgt. Laroze and Lt. Leclerc. Last time, my co-GM had Sgt. Laroze came to the scene of the wreckage and demanded an extra coin beyond the downtime activity for getting him off of his barstool. But still, the result is that they’re at Tier I, strong hold, have a zero wanted level and start every score with zero heat.
Any ideas on how to stop this or should I just go with a crew obsessed on keeping the heat down and call it a wash? I’ll need to introduce pushback from the Spirit Wardens, Inspectors, or Harbor Patrol even without a wanted level. Maybe they can run out of ways to reduce heat. Maybe Sgt. Laroze keeps upping the price. What have others tried in this situation?