Jump to content

Dealing With Riots


Steve
 Share

Recommended Posts

I posed a question in the Dark Champions forum about Hudson City having riots, and how the different heroes and villains might react.

 

In a superhero universe, how might empowered individuals deal with riots in places like Millenium City or New York? Other than using mental abilities or Force Walls, what powers are good for crowd control?

 

Would superheroes even get involved? Could those with awesome amounts of Presence calm crowds by just talking to them?

 

How might supervillains take advantage of the chaos? I can think of a number of supervillains that would go wild during riots and looting, or even turn peaceful protestors into a mob.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  Depending on the nature/reason for the riot, some superheroes might kick things into overdrive just by their presence.  
  To go “real world” for a second.  How would current protesters react seeing Captain America?  
  I’m NOT accepting or inviting debate on how well or badly he’d handle it or what side he might be on. Just the reaction of the crowd.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, dmjalund said:

does he side with the cops?

does he kneel?

  As I said in the original post I refuse to get caught up in the particulars of the example.  
  Even if what you said was only meant as a joke, it will quickly devolve into a political argument having nothing to do with game mechanics.
  This was only a way to suggest that the Hero in question may have an effect on the riot for good or bad just by being there.

  Luke Cage showing up at a riot started by Hatemonger is a different example.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on what the super represents, the makeup of the protesters and what they want, and roleplaying by the heroes. Power use (beyond movement) should only be used as a last result. It is better for the crowd if they left on their own, as opposed to being forced against their will by the powers of some superhero.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To get back to "what powers would help with crowd control" point...

 

First, ANY use of powers runs the risk of backfire and escalation.  Keep that in mind.  

 

Best thing would be to use a super who's respected and admired, then probably a presence attack of the "calm down, let's talk about this" variety.  Superman suddenly sweeps in overhead and starts talking?  Yeah, I'd say that would get people to hesitate, and that's the first thing to do to de-escalate.  It's also dramatically appropriate for most heroes, albeit not necessarily in a Dark Champs campaign.

 

After that...AoE NND makes some sense but absolutely risks a panic reaction from those outside the AoE.  A very low-power Entangle AoE might be a better choice...1 Body, 5 Def is gonna hold all norms pretty much, and it's clear they're not actively hurt.  What else...well, ask yourself what would inhibit a mob, with low injury risk?  As has been pointed out, there's few simple answers.

 

Would supers want to get involved?  Probably not, as a rule, with the exception of trying the presence attack.  If tear gas, beanbags and rubber bullets are a 3 out of 10, live ammo is a 5, miltary vehicles are 7-8, then supers are 8-10 depending on how powerful they are.  Oh, and with a secondary caveat...some villains could get involved...and heroes might well be watching to see if they do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While players might balk at dragging real world politics to the game table, it might be more palatable if a long time adversary was using their knowledge of the heroes to drag them into interacting with riots via their backgrounds and/or disads. 

 

If it was an especially well informed adversary, they might be able to split the team if the core conflict of the riots put key members of the PCs at odds over their positions.

 

If the PCs haven't been meticulous about stray shots or knockback or overzealous use of area effects/explosions, they could be the reason for the riots. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BNakagawa said:

While players might balk at dragging real world politics to the game table, it might be more palatable if a long time adversary was using their knowledge of the heroes to drag them into interacting with riots via their backgrounds and/or disads. 

 

If it was an especially well informed adversary, they might be able to split the team if the core conflict of the riots put key members of the PCs at odds over their positions.

 

If the PCs haven't been meticulous about stray shots or knockback or overzealous use of area effects/explosions, they could be the reason for the riots. 

 

That would fit with a concept I described here a couple of years ago: The Sutherland Presidency.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leaving aside the issues related to adversaries inciting or taking advantage of the events...

 

What makes these events "riots"?

 

* Large scale looting, property damage and so on occurring in the absence of a political motivation?

 

Contain it with minimum force, since you are dealing with members of the community you are supposedly protecting.

 

* Is property damage, looting and so on, taking place on the fringes, or in the vicinity of, an otherwise peaceful protest?

 

If so, contain them, preferably through persuasion (Pre attacks,etc) and when that doesn't work, the minimum necessary force. Anything more than this inflames the situation with respect to the peaceful protest.

 

* Has a peaceful protest been attacked by law enforcement, leading protesters to fight back against them?

 

This is the most common case.

 

In some cases, provocateurs are deployed to "justify" the initial attack, or else there are a few idiots who provide the excuse under their own steam. They can often be cut out of the crowd before things go pear-shaped. Of course, doing this can itself function as the "attack". The best way to avoid this is for it to be done by heroes who are known to support whatever cause the protest is about.

 

Once things go beyond this point, it gets messy. Again, try and talk. If not, shield the crowd from the police - it's the crowd that doesn't have all the fancy riot gear. Work with the cooler heads in the crowd to get them to back off.

Try not to get in a fight with the police.

* It's a pogrom/lynch mob.

 

Make sure they aren't being mind controlled, then "disperse" them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/11/2020 at 2:40 PM, Tjack said:

  To go “real world” for a second.  How would current protesters react seeing Captain America?  

 

The protesters would probably handle it just fine and keep on protesting.

 

The rioters, on the other hand, would see him as an even bigger symbol of their "oppression" and continue to escalate things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

The juxtaposition of "real world" and "Captain America" was good for a laugh. :winkgrin:


   That would be why I put quotation marks around the phrase “real world”.  Or didn’t you understand?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...