Having seen the first bit of this show, I can safely say it'd work well on a MUSH.
"Hey guys, let's go do all this constructive stuff and make sure that we're safe and have shelter, and collect food and supp-"
"NO LET'S ALL FIGHT AND FUUUUUUCK~"
I figure since everyone else is doing it, I might as well jump on the bandwagon.
Here are the names I remember:
Roanoke (Former Headstaff)/Reagan/Bret/Connor@The Reach
Saturnine (Former Headstaff)/Jakob@Metro 2
Pink (Former General ST)/Charlie/Corgan@Darkwater
Corgan@Ashes To Ashes
I was also on Santo Domini, Dark Wine & Roses, Masquerade, Star Wars KotOR, the original Star Wars MUSH, SerenityMUSH, Gorram, and a few other places, but I can't remember who the hell I played. The above would be the longest-lasting folks.
It also depends on what kind of crime you're using. Traditional street crime is done off-the-cuff, and usually by people that aren't professional criminals (which is generally a rarity). The people who are professional criminals (using the term extremely loosely) are doing what they do to get by, and a lot of it is pretty petty. While dealing drugs and theft doesn't seem petty to the people doing it and the people it's done to, these are typically low-end criminal activities that don't really earn much attention. They can ruin your life, certainly, since if you steal over a certain amount or are caught dealing/carrying over a certain amount it counts as a felony which fucks up your life in ways most people don't realize (even then, when I was a DoJ agent, we had a list of businesses that would still hire felons to ensure that there was a light at the end of the tunnel financially, plus advocacy programs).
Your organized crime like the 1%ers, various mobs and cartels and the whole smorgasbord of ethnic and local groups that make a business out of horrible fucking shit we do to one another on a day-to-day, operate differently. A good example is "The Wire," with the Barksdale organization. Crime, unfortunately, does pay pretty well. You'll notice that most of the low-end street characters fit the description above - and it's true, a lot of people end up in over their heads with groups like that. You see it with teens and the like that end up getting addicted to drugs or out on the street or escape an abusive situation or any number of things that leave them high and dry, so they have to resort to moving product (drugs, stolen merchandise, working cons) or selling themselves (though this is generally not something someone goes into on their lonesome, usually there's a handler or a partner involved). While there is a way back from that, it's genuinely unpleasant and usually involves institutionalization. A lot of the street dealers are expendable, which is also the point.
To bring this back into focus regarding the hobby -- also keep in mind that this is very US-focused -- if you're playing a low-level street dealer, hooker, thief or even muscle, you shouldn't expect to have much status among the community. Most people would rarely have heard of you, and usually if anyone knows who you are, it's limited to a neighborhood unless you hit the headlines with your name or do time. Something that should probably be taken into consideration would be a reputation system, which would work outside of any sort of status system. Where status is like rank, your reputation is your social currency. People might know you're the dude to get horse from and what you sell is relatively clean, but it doesn't necessarily mean you're automatically in with the cartel that's supplying it. It just means that you'll have more scrutiny from the police (because confidential informants will probably tell them, if they don't find out when one of your customers gets busted), and more scrutiny from other people who would prefer that you give your business to them.
If you're playing a character that's higher tier in their organization, you also should realize that you're pretty expendable as well. Most high profit criminal merchandise (drugs, cheap knockoff shit that breaks patent law, stolen goods and vehicles, people) is trafficked into the United States (or from one state to another), it rarely originates here. The things that are produced in the United States are usually trafficked out to other countries unless someone is running a solo business. To get from point A to point B, you need someone on either end. As a for instance, my state has a problem with drug trafficking organizations that originate from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia (the last count was around 35 international groups, if I recall), and production cycles of methamphetamine occur out of the state and are usually brought in. So, you've got the dude that's running the operation elsewhere (either out of the country or out of the state) and the guy that's facilitating the transfer of material into the area. That second guy, while useful, isn't the only person that could do this. If compromised, production and distribution won't cease. It may slow down for a good few months, but it'll kick right back up like nothing happened.
So, in playing a criminal character, the idea that you're really not all that special and someone else could do your job just as easily as you could should be reinforced. In running a Crime sphere, you should also focus on things like ensuring that the PCs have communication lines within their DTOs or rings. Ideally, you would have a core group of storytellers that would focus on interpersonal stories since you kind of have to look at a criminal PC as you would any other PC with a job. You will rarely RP out a scene where your character is doing data entry at his office; as such, you will just as rarely RP out your drug dealer PC selling cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, meth, etc. It's background noise. So, the focus should be on criminals working together. Yes, it's understood that your character is a drug dealer/hitman/car thief/whatever, but how does s/he get along with her/his superiors? That should be the focus of the sphere, with the occasional scene done where you have a specific thing you need to do, such as run muscle during a production cycle (which is a fancy term for when someone brings something into the area) or if you need to grab a specific car or kidnap someone or whatever. Most of it should be attempting to jockey for favor with your boss, like in a regular job.
My final thought on this is that thematically, crime is very similar to how WoD Vampire functions. People are possessive over what scraps they manage to pull together. While there are quite a few people who will work together for the good of the organization, there are just as many people who would kill you or sell you out for a piece of your pie, either due to jealousy or simple greed. Anyhow, that's all. And also extremely long. Sorry for that.
Hey there @SilentHills, I'm not sure if we've ever talked to one another before (I'm not really great with screen names), but I wanted to say that your feelings are completely valid and if you do need someone to talk to and don't mind waiting for a small amount of time between responses, you can DM me here. If not, that's also cool - after all, you don't know me, but sometimes it's useful to bounce things off a stranger, even if you just want to yell at someone about some issue in private.
I'd also encourage you to get back into talk therapy, but with the state of the world that can be difficult. My university gave us some resources to give to folks who can't attend in-person sessions or are having issues affording them. I'll post the link below. I think it's fantastic that you're addressing that your feelings will hopefully not be forever. I also deal with some pretty horrendous chronic depression, and keeping a mindful attitude toward the idea that I won't always feel like I've been hit by a train is extremely difficult.
Have you ever heard of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? I really like it, probably in part due to how it can gamify therapy. The principal function of ACT is that it focuses on providing behavioral adjustments that can address cognitive issues. So, rather than CBT's "just change how you think about a thing" approach, an ACT approach will provide suggestions on how you should address certain behavioral functions on how you think about things. The most effective way I've seen this done is a deck of these very specific cards that suggest different behavioral and cognitive methodologies for addressing problems. I am trying to find a free PDF of them but am coming up short. If you're interested I can take some pictures of my physical copy and throw them your way. One example statement on the ACT deck is "Who is the wisest person you know?" Then, the follow up would be "why do you think this, and how could you emulate that wisdom?"
Anyway, just a thought. I hope you are doing all right today.
Resources from my uni: https://theshrinkspace.com/ - I used this for a therapist and it was pretty great. All telehealth, will work with some insurances, and most have a sliding scale.
My niece just hit six months in recovery and finally feels like she doesn't need methadone. Having gone through it myself (five years last December), she's definitely shown that she understands she doesn't need it anymore. Plus, she's got a new girlfriend and is going to school, so her priorities have shifted entirely. It's great and I'm so proud of her.
I've been reading through the rules for Straight To VHS and think this would make for a really fun mu.
All the players could play actors in films (Tiny Plots), only the films are REAL! Or something. I like the idea of Character A playing a cop in one plot, and a burgler in another, getting meta-miffed because they don't have a particular skill that would come in handy in a situation.
"A werewolf stalks the mean streets of Miami... but not for much longer. Not if a nun (and former prostitute) named Gloria Vendetta has anything to say about it. Gloria’s cybernetically enhanced buddy in the precinct suspects the werewolf is being protected by Yakuza, but why? If only the retired heavyweight champion Tucker Smash could regain his memories. He was the only one who knew the antidote to lycanism, and now the plague is spreading."
You had me at "werewolf is being protected by Yakuza."
Hey everyone - some very old buddies of mine are building a D&D 5th edition campaign setting. They described the game setting as a mix of all the greatest elements of 80s & 90s fantasy, from Secret of NIMH to Wizards to the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings cartoons alongside old folklore and the like.
As per the Kickstarter:
Aeres is a young world. It's a world filled with wonder and enchantment; a world of mists and mystery. A world whose normalities are the myths and legends of our folklore. In Aeres, your next door neighbor could be a talking fox, while a unicorn remains your closest comrade. Dragons the size of mountains spawn eternal legends in their wake; cities skyrocket upward in magnificent marble and silver spires; magical forests shelter trees and animals who can talk, and enchanted springs bubble forth with the very secrets of life. And yet, Aeres is a realm thrust into the clutches of darkness one time too many. Its fairytale splendor has been shattered over the centuries by ruthless and wicked sorcerers, tyrannical emperors, and unfathomable intruders from beyond the veil of shadow.
Thanks for your interest!
So what's the word on The Reach 3: The Reach Around? Curious because I was listening to some 80s tunes earlier.
I found a way to travel back in time solely to announce that The Reach 3 would be opening soon as of 2011.
As an aside, I'm an anarcho-communist
Wanna break Bread?
A Kropotkin reference on this, our MSB?! I should have talked politics many years ago, it seems.
Also a brief shout-out: the Mau Mau Movement was right and just and all imperialism is a crime against humanity by its very nature.
I have no idea how I ended up with this extremely obscure book in my possession, but if you can get your hands on it, Mau Mau's Daughter has some really great insights into British colonialism & cultural genocide from an intersectional feminist perspective. And yeah, they were badass.
I haven't heard of this, but did a search on it and it sounds fascinating (and extremely expensive). I'm going to see if I can't find it somewhere online. Thanks for the tip! In return, I highly suggest Colonial Metropolis by Jennifer Anne Boittin. She's fairly liberal, but she does seem to have some sympathies for the left. It's largely a dissection of anti-imperialist feminism during the interwar years in Europe, but using several historical case studies.
I took a fantastic class on the Vietnam War at UMass, I learned a lot of elements of it that were outside of traditional media.
You also had a high degree of defection or enemy sympathy with everyone, even Americans (Mao Mao movement) in Vietnam, mercenaries were the only reliable troops for 'heavy point artillery', use of infantry as anti-personnel stage clearance.
The Mao Mao movement was in Kenya and had to do with British colonialism. Sounds like you're a troll, and your credentials are made up.
Also there was a really low defection rate of Americans to North Vietnam during the war. They were - as far as I remember when I read up on Ho Chi Minh's theories and the history of Marxism-Leninism in Vietnam - referred to as "White Congs." Given the Red Scare at home, along with demonization and othering of the Vietnamese, and given that most American servicemen relied on locals to translate/communicate, it would be extremely difficult for even the most steadfast American communist to have insertion into the NVA. To expound a little further on the Red Scare stuff, according to my dad/uncles/thesis advisor that served in Vietnam, they were usually screened pretty heavily on their ideological views following enlistment. AFAIK they didn't attempt to draft any known member of a leftist organization. This isn't to say that someone can't be radicalized while in the military, hell a bunch of my friends were, but it was exceedingly rare based on historical record. As an aside, I'm an anarcho-communist and most of the people mentioned are also left-leaning or have similar views, so the anecdotal stuff may be my personal experience.
Also a brief shout-out: the Mau Mau Movement was right and just and all imperialism is a crime against humanity by its very nature.
My youngest child came home with a pilgrims and Indians themes project in kindergarten this year school year in WA state. Which was horrifying to me on many levels.
Public school instruction in the US is extremely fractured, not only state by state but district by district and school by school. (My older kids' elementary school would have NEVER done that, and also at the time was the main site for a native american students and families group for the district, and those parents very generously shared resources with the teachers, students, and other families about PacNW history and current culture!!)
There is such a strange deviation in how we teach people on a state-by-state basis. I spent my pre-teen through high school period on Maui, wherein we did explicitly discuss American colonialism and the annexation's effects on the modern day. That said, we absolutely did not discuss anything in lengthy detail that solely affected the mainland. This made it surprisingly frank, like in US history the teacher said "The Civil War was about slavery," and that was that. When I was in early elementary school, I lived in Georgia in which the textbook used was like "here are the reasons why states' rights are important..." so you can imagine how much unlearning happened in middle & high school there.
Ah, yeah! I read this for a organizational theory class and it was great. Super weird pick for an org theory class, but seriously a good addition to my normally extremely far left catalog of economic theory books.
Edit: Also, as a former Florida resident, I notice and respect your use of Publix as an example.