Running an establishment score

My players have created a gang of bravos Called the burlap boys and used a couple of scores to set up a fighting ring. (Getting permission from the lampblacks, getting booze and materials)
Now they want their next score to be opening night. I really like the idea, but i have a hard time figuring out how to pull it off.
Do i just male a clock that says “succesful opening night” and then their actions add to it.
And misteps cut into the profits, create heat and future complications?

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The question you should be asking is:

Is this a score?

If there’s no potential for disaster, if there’s nothing the Burlaps are breaking or stealing, then why isn’t this just a series of scenes that happens during downtime?

That’s not to say this can’t be a score, but you’ll need to come up with some obstacles. Look for places where things could go wrong.

So what are your players taking?

  • Is there another fighting ring they’re stealing business from? (who is the other gang, who are they sending to bust things up)
  • Have they done their due diligence in buying off the local Bluecoats? (if they haven’t paid up yet, this could be a friendly visit, or it could be a whole squad come to disrupt the fight)
  • Is someone using this new fighting ring to sell drugs? And if so, why aren’t they giving you a cut? (and which gang do they belong to? Maybe they’re affiliated with the Lampblacks and just assumed you’d have to be okay with it because “everyone knows Bazso owns you guys”)
  • Is someone else running books on your fights? And how do you know the betting is fair?
  • How well do you know your fighters? Maybe one of them’s been paid off to go down. Maybe one of them’s on Rage essence and it shows - people get angry and want their money back.
  • If your Doskvol has the Red Sashes vs Lampblacks fight going on in the background, maybe your rooftop guards (assuming you have any) have a run in with masked and sashed strangers testing your capabilities.

After picking your obstacles, I’d be pushing my players gently in the direction of making info gathering rolls to ensure that their turf is safe (loads of strangers coming in to watch the fights), and find out who might be showing up to disrupt things.

Your question about the clock -
Yeah, you could call it “successful opening night” and then fill it in every time the players do something to achieve an objective, like “keep Bazso happy” or “make sure the betting is fair”

Or else you could call it “The night is a wash out” and fill it in as a consequence of missed rolls, and when it’s full, decide what that looks like depending on what’s going on, i.e., either the fights aren’t interesting enough to keep people around, or the vibe is off, or everything’s on fire (literally or figuratively).

If you were just planning on having this set up as an activity the gang just does, or if the fighting pit was a claim won during a a social score, I’d just let them have it. It’s just a thing they get money from in the background and you can save the obstacles above as something to go wrong as the result of a future entanglement.


What if the opening night event was the pretense to get a high-value target out in the open?

Hey there! Sounds like it could be a good idea for a score but in what direction does the crew want to go?

Since they got the Lamp packs permission, maybe it’s a social score to impress Baszo Baz and if it goes poorly, their rep is at risk with them.

Maybe this is a chance for The Red Sashes to indirectly interfere with The Lampblacks.

Maybe a rival of the crew informed the Bluecoats and now you have to stop or escape a raid

There are a few ways to go about it if you want a score but the thing to ask the crew is what their motivation is for the score.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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Off the top of my head, I think I’d start by considering what can go wrong for the crew. Interference from one or more other gangs (whoever they’ve got negative status with), fighters not showing up or arriving drunk or injured, fights starting in the crowd, a visit from the Bluecoats… Start clocks for these, and the crew’s job is to stop any of them filling up before the end of the event, rather than them trying to fill a clock of their own.

As others have said, the opening night sounds like a good pretense for the crew to accomplish some other goal they have otherwise it is just some roleplay in downtime.

Perhaps a couple of NPCs show up representing score opportunities (And the crew gathers information from various sources orbiting the fights).

Thank you very much for all your replies. Due to scheduling hell we are just about to run the session I think I am running it as multiple clocks, I have borrowed some of the possible consequences from your posts and am looking forward to seeing how it pans out