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Manic Typist

How: "The Raid" in a steampunk setting

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So, without intending this at the outset, I have begun to prepare for the PCs to end up confronting a major gang in the center of the power - a large tenement building they have taken over and extensively modified.


Now, the PCs could easily take this another direction, breeze through it - PCs are great for confounding expectations, so I could be worrying about nothing, but just in case...


The building has been heavily modified to facilitate their illegal activities - drugs, weapons, people smuggling... stairwells have been strategically blocked up, floors/walls have been torn up to convert at least one hallway into a kill-box - a long bridge with no cover and the floors on either side torn away for several floors.


One PC has an 8 rPD forcefield, another has 6 rPD via Combat Luck.. and the third PC has.... nothing, but has magical tricks up her sleeve if she remembers them.


So I'm a touch worried about the challenge, but I'm confident the PCs will either rise to the occasion or retreat when they get deep in the suck.


Beyond general advice, has anyone run a scenario like this? Particular scenes I can steal shamelessly, do's and don'ts? War stories? How you handled the potential tone shift of such a starkly violent scenario?

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The bad guys will want the PCs dead or captured, but probably aren't willing to destroy their own base to do so. So...


Drug labs can explode, so no shooting in or around them or the floors they are on. If they want the PCs they will have to do it hand to hand and smart PCs can use that to their advantage. 


Weapons can also explode or catch fire, so the bad guys have to be careful in those rooms/areas also. Plus they don't want to damage them. And PCs can gain access to better/high powered weapons if they get to one of the rooms. 


PCs can go out windows and climb a floor or two from the outside to bypass certain very dangerous areas, or smash a hole in the roof of the room they are in to gain access to the floor above. 


PCs can/could take an important criminal hostage (or a visiting corrupt city official who the gangsters don't want to risk killing) and use them as a shield to get further up in the building (until they get too far and the bad guys decide enough is enough and kill the hostage). 


PCs could set the people being smuggled free to create chaos and give them cover. Not exactly safe as innocent people might get hurt or killed, but bad guys might not want to kill their "merchandise" as they would lose lots of money and risk getting other criminals mad at them for missing "shipments". So bad guys spend time and resources rounding up the escapees. 


PCs could set the lower floors on fire, creating a big rush of everyone trying to escape or make it to the top of the building to avoid the spreading fire. In the crush/race to the top they have a better chance of being undetected or stopped as everyone is panicking/looking out for themselves. 

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On 6/3/2018 at 7:26 PM, assault said:

Three PCs? Trying to storm the place would make no sense. That means they should either go in stealthily, in disguise or be invited.


That's dangerous territory - I'm not a player, so I try to be careful about substituting my judgment for theirs. All I can do is try to paint the best picture I can of what they see... so hopefully they scout the place out/roll well on Streetwise to know some caution is called for.


Some good suggestions above. I think I'll increase the difficulty/lethality as the PCs advance up - sort of like a reverse dungeon.


Mostly unarmed goons on the lower floors, then a group of toughs with clubs and chains, then another with swords and crossbows, and finally a group wearing armor and gearing capslock firearms. I figure I'll try to come up with different "scenes" for them to progress through - a large converted bathroom spraying water everywhere when they fight the people with clubs, for instance, while switchblade wearing men in chemical gear attack them in the drug lab. Perhaps some will use teamwork and try to drown the forcefield PC in a barrel of liquid by holding his head underwater. It's a remarkably inefficient way to kill a PC and he should escape easily enough, but I think it's important for the PCs to face different kinds of dangers and not just degrees of dangers.


I think another potential piece could be a set of boards set across some collapsed flooring, with aggressive thugs jumping across boards trying to get at them/knock them off. Uncertain footing, leaps from foothold to foothold, the drama of enemies falling to their doom, etc.


Any other thoughts on strategies or set pieces you can think of in a lower tech version of "The Raid?"

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