Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Of Stoolies and Snitches (Superhero Sandbox Pt. 4)

Eat your heart out Batman...
While reading a fellow Solo RPG'ers session report on a Shadowrun campaign they've got going, I was hit by another trope of the comic book genre that would fit in perfectly with this thing I've been cooking up: the Informer.

Not quite...

Oh, all right, no one does it better...
One of the classic "bits" of the genre is the hero tearing the city apart and raising hell beating up goons until they get the information they need.

I thought this would make a nice addition in that it would give a hero something PROACTIVE to do instead of REACTIVE, rather than, or in addition to, just patrolling and waiting for things to happen.

What I'm thinking is that it could work not unlike the 1-in-6 Random Encounter I'm so fond of lifted from D&D. Except in this case, the 1-in-6 (or whatever percentage you like) is the chance that a useful stoolie will be available at whatever bar or underworld hangout you raid.

Of course you then you still have the mechanics of your system of choice to perform the actual INTERROGATION, and it'll be up to the Game Master (Emulator) if he actually KNOWS anything. This is just the chance of there actually being a fink in residence who MIGHT know something.

If the first dive you knock over doesn't yield results, and you want to keep trying, add +1 to your roll for each additional joint you tear up. Eventually someone will talk...

This would especially dovetail nicely with the "newspaper" idea from the last post. (And just to clarify on that, it occurred to me that the "newspaper" doesn't REALLY have to be an actual NEWSPAPER. It could be an overheard conversation between two co-workers, the Commissioner telling you about something that has gone down, and so on.)

But as I was saying, these two could fit nicely together. You get tipped off by the "hot news item", then start raiding criminal hangouts for information.

This could also be a good avenue of working in story hooks in and of itself. If a Random Encounter/Adventure hasn't already sprung up in some of your subsequent Patrols and all the die chucking that went with, when you find a canary and grill him, roll on your Random Adventure Generator of choice and *boom* there's what he knows is about to go down.

So, now you can have fun going out and terrorizing the underworld. Tell 'em I said "hi"!


  1. Ahh as I would know it 'Leg Work' - sometime it means pounding the streets, other times - low life faces ;)

    In this 'Leg work' and your Newspaper idea - remember the modern tech world may also apply. Google, forums, twitter etc...

    Lots of supers stuff floating around at the min - i'll be keeping an eye on this :)

  2. As someone who read far too many Marvel comics as a youngin, I have to say this is a slice of fried gold.