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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Gangs, Martial arts and NPCs in my FWTD

These are just some notes on my FWTD campaign in progress. Everyone sees New York of the 2080 differently, and that applies to GMs as well.
Mehmet, Black Trader, mostly Far East Asian. mehmet is Muslim. He hidese hides his religion, but refuses to lend money to other Muslims - and might well make theMm a gift and hope to be repaid somehow, some day, if they're really down on their luck. The leader of the Saints knows the truth, but figures he's better off working for a believer than for a dirty atheist or something). His death borg is a fake: he doesn't believe in killing innocent people, and assumes if anyone tries to kill him, would simply use a ranged weapon.
So he has hired the Swordsmiths to avenge his death, should he be assassinated.

Swordsmiths (Mostly seem to have Central Asian and Caucasian heritage).
The Swordsmiths are a new gang, relatively small, so only Leader and Wannabe Fighters apply. Secretly hired by Mehmet. Their leader isn't more powerful, and he isn't the one that teaches them swordfighting - he's however the one that has a family tradition in forging knives and short swords. This gives them their greatest mechanical advantage - having better weapons even than the ones in the corebook (although far from nanotech or teflon-coated ones) that they use European swords that are Jian-like (with the stats from the Tibet corebook, and being XIV by Oackshott) and sell those of Katana-like quality (same place for the mechanics, and more like type XII by Oackshott). The worst ones have the stats for Machete (looking like Kriegmessers), or a broadsword with easier Strength feat to use when used two-handed (Bastard swords).
BTW, they are participating in underground matches which include stick-fighting.
Saints of the Corner (Mostly Afro-American and Latin-American, with some Caucasians in the mix. Of course, everybody's equal in front of God and St. Peter!)
Hired by Mehmet to protect him (see: Mehmet).
The Street Saints are a Very Large, Old Gang of Wannabe Psychics (mostly manipulative, some of them believe it's power that either God or the Devil grants, and of course their skills are coming from the angels :mrgreen: ), who also have a Leader. More importantly, a Black Trader is using them as guards, which probably explains why they made it for so long.
Tensions with the Swordsmiths have been growing lately. The leaders are doing their best to calm them down, because they both know it would be bloody if the two gangs get to grips.

Bao He-Chuan (read more like huh-tshuan).
Eccentric, master of sword-cane and White Crane kung-fu. Still a mysterious figure.

Enrique Nogueira da Alcazar
Eccentric, master of Capoeira and Snake Kung-fu. Capoeira is still in developement. Theist.

Ahmad Panjawi
Muslim, basic mastery of Razormouth, and advanced mastery of Slam. Loves power metal.

Utopian communities might be sliding towards teaching formalised stuff in their dojos, because they don't have real practice to keep them sharp. Or even if they don't, because VR courses with the best trainers (and even that's not a guarantee), and because VR likely allows for sparring without the risk to seriously hurt a partner (that's a big boost), they might still use the "wrong" tactics because they were drilled to do so regardless of context. An example would be going for a Pain Grab against multiple opponents. Sure, your Aikido practitioner might pull it off... and when fighting Orphans, even out of a misunderstanding, that means pretty much being stabbed in the back! Same with many, many other gangs
The gist of this is students from Utopia Children are more likely to have learned a martial art with a completely different focus from self-defence. Self-defence isn't flashy, and often doesn't promote athletic achievements, spiritual harmony, or being a good member of a society. I can see all of those focuses being more important to Utopianist communities, though!
Some Neo groups suffer from the same issues, and even some Humankalories are susceptible to it. However, these two have by and large avoided that issue.

The Might groups like Animalists, Humankalorie, Hummingbirds, Risen, Roofers, Skin Borgs, etc. are least likely to have your described combat problems, but rather a head strong all out direct strike even where better strategies would work. Many of them lack leadership and coordination, though.
OTOH, utside of Utopia Children, Eccentrics are most likely to be McDojo stylists, IMO. Of course, they're also the ones most likely to master some obscure martial art that gives them an advantage.
Humankalories get too much dangerous practice. Corner punks can range from next to no skill to having their own distinct martial art each member of a gang practices. And Math Addicts and Animalists both have their own "styles", which are basically as diametrically opposed as it's possible (almost wuxia-level of "diametrically opposite").

Just a few basic notes which might feature in my campaign.