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NE: Breakout - Barter Economy and Plot Pacing

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  • NE: Breakout - Barter Economy and Plot Pacing

    So I'm running NE:Breakout and enjoying it so far. My players seem keen on occasionally capturing the Syko lieutenants and turning them into the Red Hand in exchange for barter against the $500,000 they need to buy the underground map.

    Given that a ration is $10, and valuables are only 1/10th value to Tony, what is the value of a superhuman life to him?

    I assume he will use them in his Arena no doubt, so they should be worth a reasonable amount.

    Linked question: $500,000 is kind of a lot given that a Successful scavenge roll w/ a Raise gains $2,000 at most, far too little to get the total they need in a reasonable amount of sessions. So it's probably implied that the PCs will come up with fun heists at famous locations in the city or against other factions (excited for that). Also they're trying to draw out Big Sis' so they're focused on messing with they Sykos specifically up front in the campaign arc. SOOOOO, that means capturing Syko supers is on their a la carte menu for barter exchange with Tony.

    Leaving me with the question, how much should a super be worth?

    I'm considering converting $ into a Clock system (a la Blades in the Dark) as a way of ticking down their progress to the $500,000 narrative amount. This way if I think some # of high-value loots grabs/encounters is enough to satisfy that plot point i can stop worrying about $ values for things on the order of hundreds of dollars when they need hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Has anyone run this plot point out and can comment on how you handled money and the pacing of the plot point?

    The book says the Big Sis Arena event should happen when they're close to Veteran at least, so pacing seems to be of some importance to the campaign.

    thanks for all responses!

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    I had a great time running Breakout. They even managed to escape.

    Captured supers are worth what Tony says they are, but my gut reaction is an average of $50k. A bland bruiser with modest super strength is probably only worth $15k, since he's probably only useful as a jobber for gladiator fights; a super-scientist that can upgrade Tony's people could be worth $250k if the players negotiate well; a flashy fighter, similar to Marvel's Human Torch, would probably be worth $25-40k, depending on how much use Tony expects to get out of 'em.
    My players never chose to engage in slave trading, so I didn't have to think about this issue.

    $500k is a lot of money, which is kind of the point. The party needs to generate tons of cash very quickly, by doing super-villain stuff. Ambitious raids on the former hideouts of villains, heroes, depositories, and banks could all provide meaningful progress. Stolen v'sori tech could be exchanged for significant gains. They could negotiate a deal to handle some large troubles for Tony in exchange for a bit of spending cash and large progress on the goal. And then there is superhuman trafficking, which they have stumbled into.
    The money, like the time limit, is there to motivate the players to be active and aggressive. They can't get enough money by random scavenging, not in time, and they aren't powerful enough to just take what they need, so they have to apply some creativity to the problem.

    Veteran Rank is only eight Advances. At 2xp per session, that's 10 game sessions; if you're using the Adventure edition advancement then that's about 8 game sessions. Either way, it doesn't take much time to get to that part of the plot; but it is enough time to get the group tied into local happenings and find some weird stuff.
    Mine got lucky and found a couple of vehicles (Rare Finds, Ace), plus the discounts for Reputation changes during Gang War, plus the loot from some Savage Tales like Let 'Em Eat Cannoli, Night Thing, and Safe At Last.

    Generally, I didn't have any problems. I'm unsure what issues you're encountering.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      Thanks for the input!
      I'm not having any issues yet, as they just met Tony and learned of the cost of the map. Your suggestions fall in line with the heists I imagined they'd come up with. You gut estimates on bounty rewards helps me just get some other opinions, so thank you, and differentiating the abilities of the bounties is a good call.

      thanks again! Other thoughts welcome!


      • #4
        Check out the "Red Hand Bounty" sidebar on page 70.

        Basically, I'd say if they do so in such a way that it specifically increases the Red Hand's rep, then $50K off the cost. If they just do it, and then bounty the super to the Red Hand, then that's more decreasing the rep of the other gang and worth $25K. If they haven't even made the deal for the map, then either would be worth $10K in credit.
        Clint Black
        Forum Admin & Rules Answer Guy
        Savage Worlds Brand Manager