Tuesday, February 11, 2014

GURPS Templates notes: Write Up instead of Stats

Instead of the just the stats, why not just create a Archetype based on his or her SOP or Modus Operandi. Instead of stats, a series of MOs of various Archetypes may be more usefull.

Example.
Instead of writing out an Assassin Template.

Assassin: Hitman

  • Gets his job and clients through a Completely Reliable Contact (Freq-9, Skill-18, 9cp or Ally Freq-9, 100% power level 5cp; Typically Hustler or Hacker) who acts as a buffer, screening, and broker. He also helps in information-analysis/strategy since he gets all the information from the client. ($10k basic job cost; 50% goes to various contac). Another contact Usually reliable (Skill-15, Freq-9; 4cp) is a Law Enforcement ideally part of administration or back office, he helps leak information to the Team. 
  • His Method of Operation is through primarily opportunistic close range head shots with a small body pistol (Close-Hip Shooting Pistol-15; Fast Draw-11; Holdout-18). He takes 2-3 weeks to scout the patterns of the mark, and will look for an opportunity to strike in the daily routine. Longer if the mark is secure and alert, and this costs extra. The best is an unaware mark. 
    • Think of a signature MO. For this Hitman, parking lot hit by activating all the car alarms and shooting from inside a bag or jacket and then blends into the crowd. He tries to shoot them with their backs turned.     
  • He prepares with shadowing and observation. The closer the person who wants to kill him, the better since it gives more information to the habits. His contact, will help him gather information and basic research. He is an very good basic social engineer (acting-15, psychology-15, Lock picking-12), able to find excuses to get into places or inside personal space for information gathering. He takes pics and gives it to his contact for analysis and profiling. He has at least locates 3 vulnerable areas and means of escape before taking on a job. 
  • He has some armoury and very basic DIY skills (house keeping) used to prepare. He also uses housekeeping expertise to draw out his target.    
  • Notes: he costs x3 his Monthly income including his ally/contact's commission rounded up. His contact/Ally deals with the money security.  His contact screens for also the schedule, if it has to be done within the year or a month, the longer the better but half the money in small increments (less tracable).  He has $250k set aside.  
    • Hacker Ally is very important in TL8, he keeps the assassin aware of much of the electronic countermeasures and helps the assassin adapt them. He will be using a simple dialer and radio combination. At minimum, he prevents the electronics from being used against the team, he removes their electronic footprint.
    • He is a dying breed of assassin, and the new ones are poisoners who combines their skills with their other technical allies to create convenient accidents. back in early TL8 and below, this kind of assassin thrived without a hacker.    
  • In a game this can be a NPC targeting one of the PCs or hired by them. As a PC, the MO has to be adapted to at least fill in some necessaries: Filtration, Money Security, "Back-Office Analysis", Buffer, and Technical Support. This can easily be a Paired Character concept like the young hacker and the old hitman. 
The purpose behind this method is that the character Creator is to focus on what the character is going to do most of the time, and think about the kinds of f*ck ups that the character should be prepared for. As I was writing this Assassin template it was the write up that helped trimmed down the dizzying options.  

As a GM the write-up is all that I need actually. I don't need the template, and need more write ups for MOs. I think the players can use the sample template dedicated to a particular MO better than one that is switches and multiple choice. It gets the player thinking of how to be the character. The GM has to be a guide, and the GM needs the information in the write up to make informed decision. I don't know of other game systems that do the same, but I'd like to know. 

Think about the Soldier Template, now if I were to make one I'd have to read up on Philippine military doctrine (that is published) or base it on of The Small Wars Manual applied with notes about the state of present day warfare. I would write up the role of Rifleman, AR, Gr, TL, Comm, Etc.... then a Note on their Logistics and Expectations of their Doctrine. But Since I'm writing for the Fictional Nation of Haven, this is going to be more liberating (although I'm still using Philippine MO since we have a ongoing armed conflict with various fighters). I'm going to draw up inspiration from the Vigilante Groups in Mexico for some Milita Template and Write ups.

Its strange that a Series of MOs vs a series of Templates means you have to tie down your definition of the world or the how that world works. In my case I think about it as, how I would go about this in a Philippine setting. There is going to be need to be worldly and a bit of a Fact monkey learning about some demographics and statistics for some foundation (NERD!!!) 
 
I've made one for hustlers and "bad faith" business men, which is a great read if your going into Philippine business lolz (to be fair they thrive more when people are desperate and there is economic uncertainty, right now many of the swindlers I know either got raided by law enforcement and went out of business because of the minor economic prosperity). Particularly how Gray the area is in many business because it deals with subjectiveness of VALUE and that cognitive disconnect of "MARKET" lolz. It was a mental exercise of how people who screwed us in the past could have screwed us more efficiently. That one would merit maybe a 2 part post from the discussion of ethics vs what is practiced (and it isnt cleanly ethical lolz). When I made a hustler, I had to design him in a way that he had a day job so it eliminated a ton of strategies and allowed him to go into a low profile. That was a sad experience (because it basically showed me you can make a living fooling people). 

the Template (its colored because after seeing a screen full of templates its hard to distinguish here one ends and another begins)

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