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M o b    J u s t i c e    G a m e    S y s t e m

 

The Meat
So how does ‘Mob Justice’ actually work then, what do you, as characters, actually do and what is ‘Mob Justice’ really about? 

The game is about whether or not you can trust people who are out for the same thing you are, power. Players will normally take on the role of gangsters, bootleggers, drug dealers etc. crawling their way up the ladder of power or perhaps bounding up it with one grand act of betrayal. The system itself allows players to keep track of loyalties, codes of honour and tells as well as their reputation and stature and how that defines the sort of power network and contacts they have.

 

Character Creation
Rather than have you choose a template, like Bootlegger or Hitman, ‘Mob Justice’ focuses around exactly who you are loyal too, loyalties, what pushes your buttons, tells, and what your own personal moral code is, code of honour.
 
These decided you then go on to decide what you reputation and stature are, reputation being your publicly perceived self and stature being your reputation within a given organisation, like the Mafia. There is no points system you simply choose a level, the higher the level you choose though the more you must maintain it in game and the more likely it is you have made enemies along the way who want to bring you down. 

Once Reputation and Stature are chosen you get some points to buy the sort of skills your character has as well as the kind of contacts he knows, and finally you get to establish your criminal network. Have you chosen to invest in manufacturing illegal alcohol or supplying it, or maybe you have just taken a slice of the booze pie. A flexible and simple network system allows you to do either, as well as establish more nodes to your network during play and in downtime. 

Your character created it is time to go to work! 

 

Walking the Streets
So how do you actually play Mob Justice?  Well, much like the Mob Films it emulates, Mob Justice organises its action by scenes and episodes. In any given scene players portray their characters as in any RPG and for the most part will be able to do as they wish with the minimum amount of testing. Players may also use ‘story chips’ to fundamentally alter the game world as they see fit, allowing them to actively participate in the telling of the story and affecting the ‘reality’ of the world. Sometimes you will want to create a truth or rumour in the world, and a system of story tokens allows you to do this in a regulated fashion. Every player starts the game with the same number of chips and so everyone has an equal ability to affect the story in the way they want to

All the time during play, the characters will be confronted with situations that make them question their loyalties, tells and codes and how they treat them will cause their characters to fundamentally change over the course of play as they choose the path they will follow, be it one of benign acquisition or brutal takeover.

Now and again the players will come across an obstacle in their path, most commonly other people. When this happens the players engage in a game of poker with the obstacle, using their skills to form their hand, and using story chips to manipulate the scene and bet on success, in the hope of winning more chips and defeating the obstacle.

 

Absolute Power
A felxible network and contact system allows players to grow their own network buying individual properties and rackets or investing in a larger network depending on their preference. Gaining points is simple and straightforward but as your network grows you must protect it from attack or lose it completely. Your contacts can be anyone, anywhere and the rules allow you to keep track of what they know and how loyal they are. Keep them sweet or you risk losing the information that may keep you alive as your power grows.

The Games Master, or Boss in this case, has several pages of advice as well as a layout sheet for each session at his disposal allowing him to plan a session around some loyalties, tells and codes from the different players, giving them something to think about each session. It will also allow him to keep track of the fundamental scenes giving him the assistance he needs in creating a free flowing game. 

 

Conclusion
The Mob Justice system will allow for a kind of guided narration, to occur between Boss and Players allowing both sides to quantify their relationship in a meaningful way which relates directly to play. How the players create their characters allows for many scenario possibilities as Loyalties and Codes are questioned, tells broken and old enemies and friends come to cause the players more trouble. As their networks grow, players will become more powerful, but that will only make them bigger targets and in the end they will need to live their gangster lives by that old adage: Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.