(Interest Check) Dog Town - A Cold Blooded RP of Crime

Started by KaraKres, October 23, 2010, 05:57:01 AM

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“It’s a rotten game.  But it’s the only game the man allows us to play.  And that’s the stone cold truth.” 
-Eddie from the movie ‘Superfly’

UPDATE: Right the game is primed and ready to go.  All pages are up with links to the important locations within Dog Town's districts (see last reply for a link to view these).  Two characters are confirmed and a third is under discussion.

Old Update: Okay, so the game is 95% ready to start, I've started the majority of the location threads and have some characters confirmed...if you're interested please have a read of the material below and then PM me or leave a message on this thread.  Feel free to ask any questions to clarify anything I've posted.

Old Update: I've just posted a teaser to the first story, Easy Money...

Old Update: I've got the campaign prepped and ready to go and have 1 player ready to go and another expressing interest.  Still looking for one more player.  I've also reformatted the priority table (using proper BB code) so that its easier to read.

Old Update: I've added a new reply which details character attributes and gives some basic narrative descriptions of the various ranks that can be obtained.   

Still looking for 1 more characters, so I can get this RP underway.

Intro:I'm looking for 2 - 3 players to run this RP with.  Your actual gender and the gender of your character aren't really important, just your ability to write well and post in a meaningful way.  The RP would involve 2 - 3 characters (with me playing the various NPC's) as either criminals (preferred) or totally corrupt cops.  There would be a sexual connection between the characters (again character gender and resulting sexual relationship entirely up to the players, i.e. lesbians, gay men, or straight/bisexual, etc.).

The RP would be set in Dog Town's generic setting of a New York neighbourhood in the late 1970s.  It would essentially be a freeform RP with a little bit of mechanical (i.e. number crunching) character creation, but actual RPing would be done as a pure narrative.

Combat and any other skill resolution would be handled by the character (I'm a great believer in narrative freedom) but I would reserve the right to offer suggestions or modifications. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with Cold Blooded Games RP Dog Town, read on:

The Lowdown: Dog Town is all about the gangster and street-crime genre.  Its inspirations are films such as Scarface, Superfly, Carlito’s Way, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, Shaft, The Godfather, Reservoir Dogs, Last Man Standing and Taxi Driver.  Books such as Murder Machine, God is a Bullet, The Home Invaders and Pimp, as well as the computer game titles Mafia, Kingpin, Gangster and Grand Theft Auto all add colour and shades to this game. 

Its essential themes are treachery and greed leading to inevitable tragedy in a murky, violent world. 

NB: If you're interested then hit me up with a PM.  I will post more details over the next couple of days.


The Feel
Dog Town is both vibrant with the hedonistic disco scene, and anarchistic with the new wave punk music explosion in the underground clubs with CBGB’s being the most famous hosting bands like Blondie and The Ramones.  Hip hop music is also emerging from the street, with soul and funk records scratched on hard worn decks, and angry MC’s rapping gritty rhymes dissing the man and raising themselves up as ghetto fabulous superstars. 

Clothes are flamboyant and outrageous with pimptastic flares and Cuban heels, garish eye watering suites worn with navel plunging shirts and wide, wide, wide lapels.  Hats like flying saucers perched at a cocky angle and long fur coats for the guys as well as the girls.  Leather and corduroy jackets with gold medallions and diamond pinky rings.  Moustaches and burns to be proud of capped off with big bad yellow tinted shades.  Street youths are embracing branded sportswear like Adidas tracksuits and Nike sneakers.

Rides are all-American, large Lincoln gas-guzzlers and growling muscle cars with orange flames down the side driven by guys called Brock.   So come on board and relive these boogie nights in the summer of Sam – Dog Town style.

The View
Dog Town sits on the East River and is an isolated district bordered by woodland in the east and marshland in the west.  It is connected to the rest of the city by a one mile section of Queens Boulevard which runs through tracts of largely undeveloped land before rejoining the concrete pillars of humanity.  The Kennedy Freeway and Calver Bridge reach over the East River into neighboring James County.  Dog Town has a cosmopolitan population of roughly 400,000 people.  Dog Town is broken down into 52% whites comprising of Irish, Italian, Greek and Jewish heritages, African Americans at 28%, Latino’s at 19% and 1% others.

The District
Dog Town is divided into nine distinct districts.

Crawford: Crawford is a predominately black and Latino neighborhood in the northwest of the district.  It features the famous Apollo Theater.  It is well developed commercially with numerous stores and businesses including a lurid night scene with its clubs and strip joints.  The neighborhood is home to coke king Jamie Davila whose distribution network supplies around 80% of the district with its nose candy.

Moorfield: Moorfield is a predominately residential black neighborhood on the west side of the district with a small Italian presence on its borders with Brown Bay.  It is easily the poorest and rundown neighborhood in the district.  A key player in this neighborhood is Lamar Scoles who imports China White Heroin from the Golden Triangle and has a small army of pushers working for him.  Two vicious gangs, the Crime Lords and the Hard Timers originate from the neighborhood and are locked in a bitter and bloody turf war.

Brown Bay: Situated on the southwest side of the district on the banks of the East River this predominantly industrial neighborhood features the enormous Winfield Avenue Dump, as well as the junkyard and factory buildings.  In additions it has small Italian, Polish and Korean residential populations.  It derives its name from the fine, dark brown dirt to be found throughout the area.  Both the Gurino and Mangalore Families have crews working this neighborhood.

Grenson Park: A large housing project situated on the north side of the district above the commercial area of Pennington.  Ninety percent black and Latino, the sixteen towers of the Park are divided equally into the black south side and Latino north side.  The south side heroin distribution is firmly in the hands of the Barksdale Crew, led by the mysterious Avon Barksdale.  The neighborhood also features the nefarious Shacks Pool Hall, and the respected Saddlers Boxing Gym.  It also has two warring street gangs, the Latino Primos and the black Grenson Park Gangsta’s.

Pennington: Situated centrally this is the main commercial and social area of the district.  It has a mixed population in its high-rise apartments and basement studios.  It features the fancy Corner House Hotel, Pennington Park, the Pennington Shopping Plaza, an established red light district and the 23rd Police Precinct Building.  On its border with St. Lukes it has the Italian residential area of Black Hill Avenue.  The neighborhood is also home to a chapter of the Pagan biker gang called The Steel Riders who have a club house off the plaza.

St. Lukes: A strongly Italian neighborhood situated south of the district on the East River it has half of the districts lucrative waterfront piers and warehouses.  It is home to the Gurino Crime Family and features St. Agnes the district hospital.

Winter Hill: This area in the northeast of the district is dominated by the JFK Airport with its hangers, terminal and enormous car park.  Surrounding the airport are numerous bars, motels and hire car offices.  What little residential population there is has overflowed from Jefferson Heights and is of Irish decent.

Jefferson Heights: This is a largely Irish neighborhood situated on the east side of the district and combines residential, commercial and industrial properties.  It features the districts’ law courts and home stadium of the New York Jets football team.  On the east side of the neighborhood there are executive homes that sit at the edge of One Hundred Acre Wood.  Old time Irish hoodlum Eddie Malloy runs the rackets here but is being challenged by the younger more ruthless Maclaren Gang.

East Water: A predominately East European neighborhood with some Irish and Italian presence situated on the south side of the district and resting on the banks of the East River.  It has four busy piers on its waterfront and features the Longford Dog Track and several union offices and social clubs.


“How do jou like that eh? You fuckin Maricon!  Jou think you can take me.  Jou need a fuckin army to take me.  I take jou all to fuckin hell!”
-Tony Montana in ‘Scarface’ tells the hit squad sent to kill him what he thinks of their chances.

While this RP is intended to be freeform, each of the characters would need some form of narrative description wrapped around them.  The 'profiles' listed below aren't intended to be a straight-jacket of any sort, just a way of shaping the raw material that is your character concept.  Concepts such as skills, merits and flaws are there as flavour, not to provide mechanical assistance (there won't be any dice-rolling!)  The next couple of posts cover skills and merits/flaws in more detail.

So who do you want to be? a tough guy, schemer or drug dealer? Cracking skulls or shifting kilos of China White requires different aptitudes.  There are cheaters and beaters, stealers and dealers and each have particular talents and areas of expertise; but foremost criminals are opportunists that exploit a given situation when it arises.  While drug dealers may kill out of necessity or profit, and thugs may set up a numbers racket, you can always rely on a criminal to revert to type....liars will defraud and violent men will injure as this is their nature.

The Asshole is a fucked up in the head felon destined for a lifetime of jail or a bullet behind the ear.  This twisted loser is a maelstrom of hate, oozing malice from every pore. He delights in destruction and violent behaviour sometimes simply for its own sake.  From being just plain stupid and offensive, to being a dangerous whacko with something to prove, assholes litter the criminal world committing such crimes as reckless driving, criminal damage, assault, public drunkenness, drug possession and lewd behaviour.  Often escalating with the more psychotic to serious sicko crimes like wanton arson, aggravated robbery and random acts of rape and homicide. (please note that the Asshole profile is primarily  meant for NPC's but not exclsively).

Typical Skills: Balls, Batting, Blade, Creep, Endurance, Escape, Evade, Handgun, Lifting, and Threat.
Typical Merits: Iron Constitution, Adrenaline, Death Wish, Psycho, Evil Eyes, and Survival Instinct.
Typical Flaws: Drugs, Alcohol, Temper, Spite, Flaky, Big Mouth, and Sadism.

The Broker, for a price or percentage, trades information and acts as a go between and fixer.  Are you looking for a fence that can lay off specialist swag, or a talented wheelman for you next big score, then a broker is the guy you go and see.  Brokers rarely get their hands dirty handling anything; they simply make the phone calls and the introductions.  They buy insider information like the alarm layout to a bank and sell it on to criminals that make use of it, job done.  They also finance operations fronting the set-up money for bank jobs and drug buys in return for an agreed percentage of the profits. 

Typical Skills: Awareness, Break & Enter, Deal, Impress, Drugs, Know Streets, Language, School, Suss, and Teach.
Typical Merits: Creative Speaker, Empathy, Grey Man, Logical Thinker, and Total Recall.
Typical Flaws: Hesitant, Gambling, Greed, Weak Stomach, and Yellow Streak.

The Dealer is a criminal who buys and sells drugs or stolen property for profit.  Typically this criminal has brains and a degree of experience to know what’s what, and who to pass it off to.  A fence or drug dealer is the options available or legitimate businessman if the criminal has inclination to go somewhat straight.

Typical Skills: Assault, Awareness, Cheat, Conceal, Deal, Drugs, Impress, Language, School, and Suss.
Typical Merits: Intuitive, Creative Speaker, Total Recall, Suspicious Mind, and Winning Smile.
Typical Flaws: Drugs, Glass Jaw, Greed, Notoriety, Poor Grip, Power, Spender, and Yellow Streak.

The Heister is a criminal that robs at gun or knifepoint.  Truck hijackings, muggings and stick ups of convenience stores, liquor stores and banks are the type of crimes that this thug/thief commits.

Typical Skills: Awareness, Blade, Conceal, Creep, Drive, Handgun, Patch Up, Rifle, SMG, and Threat.
Typical Merits: No Nerves, Adrenaline, Heavy Hitter, Acute Senses, Intuition, and Fast Reactions.
Typical Flaws: Alcohol, Bad Nerves, Drugs, Gambling, Greed, Risk Taker, Short Attention Span, and Spender.

The Hustler is a criminal that cheats lies and deceives individual victims and organisations out of property and money.  Typically the hustler is a person of style, experience and intelligence who is able to appear genuine and plausible.  Cheating welfare, credit card fraud, flim flams, working a bunk game, insurance scams, setting up phony companies, bar room grifts are all ways to fleece people out of their money.

Typical Skills: Awareness, Cheat, Coax, Conceal, Deal, Impress, Perform, Shop (Art), Stealing, and Threat.
Typical Merits: Winning Smile, Sex Appeal, Suspicious Mind, Creative Speaker, and Grey Man.
Typical Flaws: Notoriety (Liar), Greed, Spite, and Yellow Streak.

The Pimp is a criminal that profits from prostitution by playing a game with a ho’s mind.  The pimps hustle is to trick the ho into thinking she needs him to run her.  A super style and icy cold toughness with threat, coax and impress skills to match are required to break her down, and get the give on her hard earned dough. 

Typical Skills: Assault, Batting, Blade, Coax, Conceal, Deal, Impress, Know Streets, Suss, and Threat.
Typical Merits: Winning Smile, Sex Appeal, Evil Eyes, Creative Speaker, Psycho, and Suspicious Mind.
Typical Flaws: Big Mouth, Drugs, Flaky, Greed, Peculiar Looking, Spender, and Womanizer.

This criminal trades information on his associates for breaks, favours, plain spite, or more often than not, cold hard cash.  The clients are usually cops – detectives looking to get the dope on this month’s Mr. Big.  The felon could be in a hole of his own and needing an out he turns rat – putting the finger on the fattest catch he knows.  Alternatively he’s on the department’s payroll picking up regular envelopes for the low down on the juiciest happenings of the week.  Top informers on the hottest jobs may even wear a wire and play the risky game of trying to get the dirt on the target.   Some play informer for their own ends, snitching on and sometimes even setting up rival criminals for the Five O to take out.  A rat may also work his own kind keeping a keen ear and watchful eye on who is doing what.  Then dropping a dime to someone who will care.

Typical Skills: Awareness, Conceal, Coax, Creep, Deal, Gambling, Impress, Know Streets, Steal, and Suss.
Typical Merits: Acute Senses, Survival Instinct, Total Recall, and Winning Simile.
Typical Flaws: Bad Nerves, Big Mouth, Drugs, Feather Fists, Flaky, Greed, Spite, and Yellow Streak.

The Thug is a criminal that uses violence or the threat of it to get money and respect.  Typically the thug is a big powerful brute that is able to throw his weight around or intimidate a victim through sheer size and menace.  Body guarding, debt collection, door work, extortion, punishment beatings and contract murder are all possible lines of work for the thug.

Typical Skills: Assault, Awareness, Batting, Blade, Evade, Explosives, Handgun, Lifting, Rifle, and Threat.
Typical Merits: Hardcore Attitude, Heavy Hitter, Vice Grip, Granite Jaw, Adrenaline, Psycho, and Fast Reactions.
Typical Flaws: Butter Fingers, Food, Heavy Footed, Irrational Thinker, Power, Sadism, Short Attention Span, and Temper.

The Thief is a criminal that is into plain old-fashioned stealing.  If it’s someone else’s and it isn’t nailed down then it’s up for grabs.  Typically the thief is a dude that is light on his feet and light with his fingers combined with a good suss check.  Essential skills are break and enter, move, creep, awareness, conceal, deal and drive.  Shoplifting, burglary, smash and grab, car theft and pick pocketing are ways to make disrespect for other people’s property pay.

Typical Skills: Awareness, Break & Enter, Conceal, Creep, Deal, Drive, Know Streets, Shop (Electronics), Stealing, and Suss.
Typical Merits: Acute Senses, Explosive Speed, Intuitive, Light Fingered, Light Footed, No Nerves, and Vice Grip.
Typical Flaws: Drugs, Greed, Obsessional Behaviour, Risk Taker, Spender, and Yellow Streak.

The Racketeer is a criminal that has his fingers in a lot of pies.  Typically the criminal is a gangster organizing several continuing illegal enterprises like sports betting, card games, loan sharking, extortion, large scale commercial theft and fraud.  Deal, threat, cheat and violence-related skills are required to maintain these rackets.  The gangster could be independent or more likely belong to an organised crime group like the Mafia.

Typical Skills: Batting, Cheat, Coax, Deal, Disguise, Gambling, Handgun, Impress, Know Streets, and Suss.
Typical Merits: Evil Eyes, Focus, Heavy Hitter, Logical Thinker, Suspicious Mind, and Winning Smile.
Typical Flaws: Alcoholism, Food, Gambling, Greed, Heavy Footed, Notoriety, Power.

The Runner is an all purpose gopher and errand boy.  He hides cash  in a stash pad, couriers drugs from one side of town to the next, carries a gun so his boss don’t have to, and collects money or bets from his bosses customers.  A peons job but one with opportunities to rise or rip off.  Control, Brains and Sense are useful attributes so as to not screw up and get whacked. 

Typical Skills: Athletics, Awareness, Blade, Conceal, Drive, Escape, Evade, Gambling, Impress, and School.
Typical Merits: Acute Senses, Focus, Grey Man, Survival Instinct, and Winning Smile.
Typical Flaws: Feather Fists, Greed, Power, and Risk Taker.

The Wheelman is a criminal that earns cash from his skills as a getaway driver.  His job on a score is to sit tight and keep the engines of a high performance vehicle ticking over, in readiness to burn rubber when the rest of the crew burst out of the bank with duffel bags full of dough.  In addition to being ace drivers’ wheelmen have to be able to keep cool under pressure, resisting the panic to push the car and themselves too far.  Local knowledge is also an essential asset as a wheelman must be familiar with every twist and turn, alley and short cut in the area to blow off the heat.  On the side a wheelman can earn money as a courier of contraband such as guns, porn and drugs.  When the cargo can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, and being pulled over could mean 20 years in the Can you don’t want a cowboy shifting the gears.

Typical Skills: Awareness, Auto Repair, Balls, Conceal, Drive, Gambling, Hand Gun, Impress, Know Streets, and School.
Typical Merits: Fast Reactions, Survival Instinct, Death Wish, No Nerves, and Grey Man.
Typical Flaws: Big Mouth, Gambling, Risk Taker, and Short Attention Span.


Below are the skills that would be used to guide your narration of a particular scene.  For example if you were a master of SMG's and your character was exceptionally fast, you might narrate how your charcater takes down the three gangers with little effort and a couple of bursts from his favoured gun (no need for dice or anything like that - just your imagination and writing skill).  The way of choosing skills is detailed below; suffice to say that every character will be considered to be Novice in all of the skills  listed below.  The player will have a limited number of points to 'purchase' improvements in some of the skills.

All skills are ranked in four levels of competence: Novice - Experienced - Veteran - Master

Remember these are only a narrative tool - they will provide no actual mechanical benefit once the RP starts.

Assault: This skill is used to beat the shit out of whomever you like using fists, gouges, kicks, slams, chokes and the snapping of joints.  Knockouts, breakages and death may occur if your felon is a pro and earn him money in collecting debts.  Choose one or more fighting styles from boxing, street fighting, wrestling and karate as the method of assault.     
Auto Repair: Fixing or stripping cars and other vehicles for parts.  Essential for souping up engines and ringing cars through chop shops, also useful for pricing and checking cars to see if they’re dodgy.   

Athletics: Useful when you’re trying to outrun that thug whacked out on PCP or climbing that chain-link fence with the fuzz hot on your tail and a bag of swag from your latest B&E.  This skill allows you to climb, balance, or jump.  It also combines the basic elements of any high school sports program, so given the right environment (and motivation) your felon can high jump, pole vault or even back-flip their way to criminal greatness.
Awareness: This skill means that you're either switched on to what’s going on or have your head up your ass.  Awareness is being perceptive to the world and its detail.  Noticing blood on the carpet or a tell-tale bulge underneath a punk’s jacket is a matter of awareness, as well as ultimately life and death.  This skill also includes hearing and the other senses.  The full awareness rating of the felon is used when he says he is actively keeping his eyes open for trouble.   When the criminal is chilin’, shooting the breeze, not paying attention and otherwise slipping, he uses his passive awareness to spot danger. 

Balls: Your aggression, spirit and machismo combined with confidence and experience gained from coming through some tough spots, which makes the difference between a brash upstart punk and a vicious shark-eyed veteran of the streets.  Used to be able to stand yer ground and tell serious people to go fuck themselves.

Batting: Caving some junkies head in with a bat or other blunt weapon like a ball-peen hammer uses this skill. 

Blade: Slicing and skewering, cutting and gutting with a sharp bladed instrument.  Knives, shivs, machetes and screwdrivers can turn someone into a bleeding mess in the right hands. 

Break & Enter: Popping a lock on a car door, taping a window pane before smashing it, or cracking open a safe.  This skill is used to bypass security measures like steering locks and sensors without creating a fuss.  An essential skill for car thieves, burglars and heisters, this skill can also be used to secure premises, case it, and know what tolls are required for the job. 

Cheat: Using scams to con people outta their green.  From the simple switching a $20 for a $10 hustle, to more elaborate stings like insurance and credit card fraud.  Appearing on the level and passing false for genuine requires confidence and a good line in bullshit.  Pretending to be a Welfare Officer to get into some old lady’s apartment uses this skill.  As does an elaborate double cross of a crime partner, or a simple bag switch cam at a bus station.  Cheat differs from Coax in that there is often no relationship between the fraudster and the mark, and a more structured scam is involved.  This is cold calling, and is unlike messing the head up of someone your felon knows like his latest lay.  Cheat is the structure and content of the scam or fraud, the stuff it needs to work and how it operates.  The Impress skill is used with cheat and is the shiny wrapping paper that makes the package look good or the glue that keeps it together when it starts to fall apart. 

Coax: Getting what you want out of someone the nice way.  Raising, and the soft sell of your felon’s personality will make some fool give it up without realizing that they’ve been used.  Coaxing requires a soft velvet voice and an easy smile, and is the stock in trade of pimps, hustlers and those who abuse relationships of trust.  Whereas this skill can persuade some dupe into handing over a $10 bill, it cannot be used to argue a principle or secure a deal against a hard-headed businessman.  When not using this skill to mooch for money use it to be sociable and make friends. 

Conceal: This skill allows you to swallow a balloon of coke or hide smack in your crack.  Conceal allows your felon to hold a split razor underneath his tongue, or find a fiendishly good place to store a hot credit card in a car.  This skill can also be used to disguise and misrepresent items, or distract attention from them.  This includes the criminal’s appearance.  Use this skill also to find things that are hidden. 

Creep: Softly, softly catchy monkey.  Creeping up on some unsuspecting low life will guarantee your felon gets the drop on him, and can mean “Its game over man”.  Creep is used by burglars and hit men to cover short distances quickly, quietly and with a low to the ground profile.  Use of the shadows, background noise, and available cover enhances this skill, which can also be used to follow a victim around. 

Deal: Seeing and making a good deal, maneuvering for advantage and hard bargaining.  Sussing the value and the profit.  This skill is used in strict business situations where Coax would hit a brick wall, and make your felon look like a schmuck or worse a pimp.  Use also to determine success at selling swag from a trunk of a car to strangers, or when juggling narcotics on the street. 

Disguise: Useful when you’re intent on knocking off your local bank.  This is the skill of disguising your character to resemble someone else, whether real or fictitious.  This skill incorporates elements of both make-up and acting, although it is not the same as the ability to actually be an actor (that is covered by Perform).

Dodge: Very useful when some doped-out asshole tripping on a speedball wants to do you damage.  This skill is required to dodge attacks and escapes grapples.  If an attack is made without your knowledge, you may not use this skill.

Drive: Tearing up the blacktop and screeching corners at insane speed in a pursuit, without flipping over takes a confident ability.  Handling a set of wheels with flair will earn your felon a reputation, and may even impress some shady employers.  Select a favourite type of vehicle like cars for the full skill value; then halve its rating for a back up vehicle like trucks or motorbikes.

Drugs: Knowing about narcotics, how to fix them and mix them or cut them with all kinda of shit to make a profit.  Packaging and doses, prices and weights, effects, and treatments like the O.D. scene in Pulp Fiction.  The higher the skill rating the more likely your felon will have knowledge of, and appreciate pharmaceutical drugs as substitutes for street varieties. 

Endurance: Useful when the electrodes are applied to your balls once again or when the stakeout never seems to end.  This is the ability to withstand pain or hardship, particularly over long periods of time, by knowing the best ways to conserve strength and energy. 

Escape: Twisting outta cuffs, manacles, straitjackets and other restraints that the authorities seem intent upon slapping on ya.  Or with ya own kind ya could be tied and gagged to a chair, or chained to a hot radiator that ya really better wriggle outta soon.   

Explosives: Working with dynamite, C4 and homemade pipe bombs.  With this skill the criminal can rig explosive charges and can attach and set timers to them for a delayed explosion.  Ingenious booby traps can be made and the devices disguised.  This skill can also be used to disarm bombs. 

Gambling: Picked up through experience at blackjack tables, dog tracks and through illegal sports betting.  This skill allows the felon to judge form, assess odds and read the game.  The difficulty will vary depending on the type of game being played.  This skill is also used by bookies to fix odds and handicap races. 

Game: Pool shark or handball hustler you’ve got to have good game to play for money.  This skill allows the criminal to understand and play a particular sport competitively.  Select one sport and shoot hoops like the Harlem Globe Trotters or hit home runs like the Sultan of Swing.  This skill can be taken twice to be an all round athlete.

Handgun: Popping a piece.  The ability to shoot straight and take other thugs out with a 9 mil.  This skill is all about accuracy and the ability to inflict maximum brutality.  This skill has no bearing on the amount of bullets that can be fired in any particular attack, however, it does determine the probability of finding a chest or head shot.  Applies only to revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. 

Heavy Weapons: Fighting with the big boys in green in a tour of ‘Nam, may have taught yo criminal how to use some heavy weaponry.  Machine guns, rocket launchers, flame-throwers, and mortars are the kind of ordinance we’re talking about here, and can be dangerous to the user as to the target in untrained hands.  This kind of weaponry is not really sort after or used on the street, except by terrorist and militia loonies, but hey this is a crazy doped out world and anything can happen right?

Impress: To big up yo’self and appear the real deal is vital.  Look good and let them think you is good and you’ll get through the door.  This is style over substance or just selling what you got.  Lie like a flat fish about your felon’s cred as a hit man to get a contract.  Sell it well and your felon might not have to pay with his life.  Used to talk yourself in or out of situations like when ya criminal is interrogated by the cops, or just to jive and rap on the street.  This skill can be used to set yourself up before a deal by creating a good initial impression, before the bargaining takes place.  The impress ability also allows a criminal to smell bullshit when another criminal is trying to come over all big on him, as those with a high impress are not impressionable schmucks themselves.  Cops have this ability which manifests itself in an air of competence and sincerity. 
Investigate: A cop skill covering all aspects of investigation from crime scene management, interviewing witnesses, and interrogation of suspects.  Match against an assigned difficulty, based on cautiousness of criminal in committing the crime, and against the criminal’s impress skill to take his story apart.

Know Streets: Your criminal’s knowledge and experience of his particular neighborhood, and the contacts he has made in it.  Your felon will know who runs what card game, where to buy a piece with no questions asked, and who not to stiff on a loan.  This skill is much like a taxi driver’s accumulated knowledge of streets, routes and locations.  Cops also have this skill in spades, and the ones with high scores are plugged into the street knowing facts and faces.

Language: If ya grandparents or parents got off the boat from Italy or Puerto Rico and settled in Little Italy or Spanish Harlem ya might still speak a bit of the mother tongue.  All player felons speak English, or close to it if youse ar from Brooklyn, but need to take this skill each time for every other lingo.

Lifting: Being in the removal business can be heavy work, so if the felon knows how to use leverages and proper lifting techniques, it can make things a whole easier when it comes to dragging bodies or stealing refrigerators.

Martial Arts: This skill is used when you not only want to beat the shit out of whomever you like, but do it with style.  Most street punks with a pair of fast fists can only dream of being a master of the kung fu or judo…only to learn how hard it is when you deliver a wheel kick to their face. 

Patch-Up: Patching up your bleeding buddy until a paramedic arrives on the scene, can give him vital minutes and a fighting chance at the E.R.  Immediate first aid treatment can stem blood loss and stabilise a goner, or resuscitate someone who’s already gone. 

Perform: Is your felon a comic, a soul singer, a sax player, a dance king at the disco, or a new wave street rapper and DJ dropping phat beats off the decks? Then this skill is what he needs.  This skill can be taken twice or three times to be an all-round performer like Mr. Entertainment Sammy Fucking Davis Junior. 

Rifle: To blow a guy’s head off with large caliber hunting rifles or shotguns requires this skill.  Also covers the use of semi-automatic assault rifles and machine guns fired in semi-automatic mode.  Skilled felons will recognise different rifles, know their capabilities and be able to maintain them in good order. 

School: What your criminal, when he was there, learned at school.  Covers reading, writing, and math as well as geography, history and other subjects.  Affects how well a criminal can speak properly in official situations, work out finances and read notes, letters, repossession notices and subpoenas.  Comprehend is understanding new ideas whilst knowledge is remembering and applying existing information. 

Shop: What workshops and classes did your criminal attend in the big house to try and rehabilitate himself.  Carpentry, art, cookery, welding, basic electrician skills, select one.  Adjust the basic level of the skill depending on the complexity of the task.  Squares always have this skill, which can encompass almost anything from practical skills from photography to pottery.

SMG: To unload vast amounts of lead with the hope of taking scum out needs an aptitude in this skill.  SMG’s buck like a bronco in full fire and are difficult to keep on target at longer ranges.  With experience a gangster can compensate and control his fire ripping his enemies to bits.  Applies to all machine pistols when fired in the automatic mode. 

Steal: Lifting and picking wallets and any other items out of victim’s pocket’s or hand luggage.  This skill requires a deft hand and a gentle touch, and can be profitable but risky enterprise.  Stealing can also be used to boost stuff from stores without anybody getting wise. 

Suss: If stuck between a rock and a hard place, or backed into a corner with seemingly no way out, Suss is the skill you really need.  Experience and insightful reflection of it, provides a criminal with a kind of street wisdom, the talent to be able to “suss it out”.  Suss acts as a sort of criminal radar protecting the criminal from set ups, lies, scams, and as a check list to not getting caught.  Use it when you’ve got a situation that a skill doesn’t cover, e.g. picking the right victim for a mugging, or gauging the meaning to a gesture or event.

Swim: Less a recreational activity and often more one of necessity, when the car you are driving is forced off the road and into the East River.  Or maybe that meeting on the barge didn’t go too well and the cold murky swirl of the midnight water is the better option.

Teach: The skill of imparting knowledge to some other schmuck (if you don’t think this is a skill you should try it sometime!)  The GM should be the final arbiter of how long it takes to teach a skill. 

Threat: Putting the frighteners on someone to pay up or shut up.  Intimidation is a valuable tool to loosen a tongue, or make another gangster back off from one of your rackets.  Having the eyes of a cold blooded killer can be very persuasive, as can be a barely disguised  threat that give the right idea without having to say anything incriminating.  Oozing violence and bad intentions will stop people from invading your space, and appearing as sinister as an SS torturer will get some super straight answers.  Cops also use this ability to intimidate criminals.  Acting the boss also taps into a manifestation of this skill in the tough charismatic authority that is needed to be top dog in any crew. 

Throw: Chucking a grenade where you want it is more important than just getting near the target.  Throw like a sissy and your criminal could get fragged himself.  In Dog Town anything not nailed to the floor can be used to hurt someone.  Bottles, stools, portable TV’s as well as knives and bricks can all be aimed to maim.


“I’ve neva fucked anybody over in my life, who didn’t have it comin’ to ‘im, jou got that?  All I have in this world is my balls and my word, and I don’t break ‘em for no one, jou understand?”
-Tony Montana in ‘Scarface’, tells Sosa his philosophy in life.

The next stage is to make your felon a three-dimensional character by giving him or her a description and background.  In the Dog Town system the player is free to define his criminal’s personal details such as sex, name, race, cultural heritage, and appearance as he wishes to fit the concept of the character he wishes to play.

There are two facets that deserve special mention: Merits and Flaws.  These are pyschological and/or physical aspects that put your character a cut above (or below as the case may be) the rest of the pack.  As with skills, these merits and flaws are designed to be an inspiration to your narrative.  The GM is the final arbitrator on what merits and/or flaws can be taken.  Bear in mind when thinking about what merits/flaws you're going to take, that the ultimate sub-context of the RP is one of desperation, betrayal and ruin - this is not a game of super-heroes...

Merits: If you got a granite jaw, hollow legs for the booze and you can just put your finger on something without really thinking about it.  You have what they call a merit.  Merits are individual god-given traits that enhance the player criminal’s capabilities to withstand punishment, sense things or solve problems. 

Acute Senses: Being Eagle eyed and bat eared means ya don’t miss much.  Affects Awareness skill.

Adrenaline: “What? I broke my leg…nah, ya got to be kidding me.”  The gangster is one hardcore muthafucker that doesn’t feel pain or acknowledge the fact that he is almost dead.  While others are rolling on the ground screaming for their mamas, he just keeps on trucking until he drops. 

Creative Speaker: Words and ideas flow through you making you an eloquent and colourful speaker.  Affects Perform, Coax, Deal and Impress skills.

Death Wish: Your criminal does not value his own life and has near suicidal tendencies.  This 'so be it' attitude makes Mr. Macho generally unafraid of death which affects his Balls skill. ]

Evil Eyes: Your felon has deep penetrating eyes like pools of madness, and a serial killer stare that chills the hearts of others.  Affects the Threat skill. 

Explosive Speed: Over short distances you sprint and jump like a track star.  Affects any situation where the need for speed is the deal.  Also affects the wrestling style of fighting and the Throw and Lifting skills.

Fast Reactions: Your felon knows an opportunity when he sees one, and seizes the initiative in any given physical situation.  Affects initial speed in combat.

Focus: Your criminal has bags and bags of patience and concentration.  Tasks like surveillance and studying are enhanced by this merit.

Granite Jaw: Thick skull or perhaps its a case of the light being on but nobody's home; who knows, but it takes a sledgehammer to put you down.  Affects any attempt to put your character down with a head shot using a blunt weapon.

Grey Man: You’ve got a face people forget, with an uncanny ability to blend into the background and be inoffensive to people.  This provides an edge when attempting to getaway with a crime.
Hardcore Attitude: The felon can do a long stretch standing on his head. O get over being ass raped in the State Pen. showers.  Mentally he is as hard as nails being able to steel himself against whatever life throws at him.  Affects his Balls skill. 

Heavy Hitter: You hit like a freight train, punching, kicking and swinging well above your size and strength.  Affects your ability to inflict punishing injury in melee combat. 

Intuitive: A spidery sense or something close to it enables the criminal to pick up a bad vibe, and to be able to react instinctively without the need to think.  Affects the felon's Suss and Awareness skills.

Iron Constitution: You can drink all day and still stand up, and you’ve never been ill for a day in your life.  Means all poison and illnesses have a lower affect on your crim.
Light Fingered: You have dexterous digits that make easy work of stripping guns, picking locks and lifting wallets.  Affects Steal and Break & Enter skills.

Light Footed: The criminal has the footwork of Sugar Ray and it affects our felon's Athletics skill.
Logical Thinker: You’re the Doctor Spock of the criminal world analysing and dissecting problems like a surgeon.  Your sound rational thinking gives you a bonus to construction, design and repair orientated problems like cracking safes and building bombs. 

No Nerves: You get scarred but you can control the shakes, and remain calm in a jam.  In hesitant and reluctant frames of mind, the criminal will still wish to get the hell out of there, but can ignore any physical and mental penalties and function as normal.

Psycho: The criminal is a cold-blooded killer, with little or no compassion for his fellow man.  Taking a human life is as much a moral dilemma as taking a bath, for this crim without a shred of a conscience.  All despicable acts can be committed freely and the criminal is not affected by horrifying ordeals like normal people with feelings are.  This merit also affects his Threat skill, as psychos are to be taken seriously. 

Sex Appeal: The chicks dig ya rugged good looks and bad boy smile, and the rough jailhouse charm that ya got just bowls them over.  If a woman, you is a drop dead stunner, that turns more heads than a car wreck on the motorway.  Whether Studley Dudley or Femme Fatale, your crim gets a bonus to all social orientated skills when dealing with the opposite sex, and in the time of the Village People, the same with guys that like guys, and women who wear comfortable shoes.

Survival Instinct: A lucky S.O.B with nine lives, you somehow manage to evade copping the worst of it when your criminal career is about to get a full stop.  Affects Suss skill when trying to think a way out of a violent demise. 

Suspicious Mind: Some would say you are paranoid but you say you just know what’s going on and see people for the vipers that they are.  Affects your felon's Suss skill.

Supple Muscles: You can bend and twist your body like a yoga master.  Do the splits, dislocate joints, and fold yourself up into a box no problem.  Affects the Escape Artist and Creep skills. 

Total Recall: Your bad ass has got a brain like a sponge with an encyclopedic memory of faces and places.  Affects the Know Streets and School skills. 

Vice Grip: You’ve got a handshake like a gorilla, and can squash and break things apart to show off.  Affects the Lifting, Climb and Impress skills.  Also gives a bonus when making grappling/wrestling attacks.

Winning Smile: Your smarmy criminal has a warm and winning smile that is both very engaging and disarming.  Affects Coax, Impress and Know Streets skills. 

Drags: If you can’t handle your drink, or you’re a bit fragile around the old jaw, you’ve got weaknesses.  A flaw can be a genetic guff that your mammy and daddy passed onto you, and is a bitch that lets you down in a jam.  Since the lifestyles of the wannabee rich and infamous are fuelled by excesses in booze, drug consumption, pretty ladies, extravagant spending, hopeless gambling and greed, a flaw can also be a vice.  Those that can’t say no invariably lose the plot and get completely detoured from their original destination of wealth, respect and power, down a blind alley that eventually leads to their ruin, or at best a long stay in the Betty Ford Clinic. 

SPECIAL FLAW – Smoking: Most street people smoke, having usually first lit up when other kids were still blowing out candles on their birthday cakes.  From winos in the gutter that smoke other people’s throwaways, to 60 a day gravel voiced Mafiosi who live off expressos and Lucky Strikes.  Unless otherwise agreed with the GM your criminal sparks the cancer sticks up like Humphrey Bogart.  This vice is in addition to any other vices that the gangster may have.

Alcoholic (v): Your criminal loves the sauce, and goes on mad benders lasting couple of days knocking ‘em back to black-out.  Alternatively he is a functioning drunk, supping throughout the day to keep the buzz going.  Whichever, the demon drink is an everyday part of the criminal’s life and the urge must be controlled daily.  Stress and hanging out in bars will not make this any easier, but support and being into something else will.

Bad Nerves: You’re as skittish as a rat in a medical testing laboratory.  Your nerves are shot and you are close to being a burn out.  This one is a real bitch that inflicts everything the criminal does with a penalty.  Tranquilisers and other drugs can prevent the anxiety.

Big Mouth (v): You beat your gums like a gnat beats its wings.  Your problem is you just don’t know when to shut up, and when you shouldn’t have said something in the first place.  You love to tell it as it is and speak the truth, though it is usually a grossly exaggerated version created by an inflated sense of importance.  In a world where talk is trouble, and silence is safe, being a motor mouth can get you killed in a dozen different ways. 

Butter Fingers: Plate dropper and coffee spiller, your sausage fingered criminal is a klutz having difficulty with tasks involving manual dexterity, like lock-picking and auto repair, but not shooting. 

Drugs (v): The player criminal loves to pop pills, or needs to take the edges off his day.  The warm carefree embrace of The Big H, the monged out oblivion of Quaaludes, or the hyper-reality of coke, will sooner or later turn your criminal’s life into toilet food when he gets hooked.  Becoming completely strung out on drugs, will nose-dive your criminal’s career faster than a rabbit gets fucked.

Feather Fists: You look the part, but you punch like an anemic librarian.  Your slappy punches and girly kicks cause your not-so-bad-ass criminal to suffer a penalty on melee attacks Also, King of the Knockouts you ain’t so everyone hit by you gets a bonus to preventing being stunned.

Flaky (v): A general term covering a multitude of sins in the criminal world; impatience, unreliability, laziness, or perhaps a dude that is a highly strung emotional  5 car pileup.  If a wise guy tells your flaky criminal to sit tight and lie low for a while, being cooped up like a battery chicken, with only the four walls for company, could do his head in. 

Food (v): You live with your head in the kitchen fridge, and all the fast food joints know you by your first name.  A Big Mac is your best friend and you ain’t had enough until your zipper is busting open. 

Gambling (v): Betting isn’t a harmless pass-time for you, it’s a compulsion, and you’ve got the potential to be a hopeless degenerate gambler.  When you’re ahead you don’t quit, and when you lose you don’t stop until you’re flat broke, or worse into some unsavory character for serious numbers.

Glass Jaw: Your crim may have the heart for the fight but his body can’t take the punishment.  His jaw is seriously suspect, and a dig in the ribs humbles him double like a polite Japanese diplomat. 

Greed (v): Wanting more than you need is every gangster disease, but some have it worse than others, and they don’t fly straight no more.  A little skimming is to be expected, but ripping off, cheating, and cutting people out of the picture altogether, because your love of the green makes you incredibly mean is bad business.  Greed in gangsters often clouds and overrides common sense, making them easier to scam with the tempting hook of a money making deal. 

Heavy Footed: The gangster has two left feet that seem to act independently of each other and his brain.  The clumsy crim receives a penalty to his Dodge skill and a penalty to his Creep and Game skills where trampling around like a baby elephant is disadvantageous.

Hesitant: Naturally cautious and a little indecisive, or unconfident in his abilities, your crim hesitates for a second before reacting.  The slow criminal receives a penalty to his Initiative roll for dragging his ass.

Irrational Thinker: Strange notions and muddled thinking doesn’t help the criminal to solve problems, in such constructive tasks as bomb disposal and auto repair.  These type of logical tests receive a penalty.

Obsessional Behaviour (v): Whether it’s washing hands 25 times a day or arranging the soup in the cupboard, so all the labels face the right way, you have a problem with order, cleanliness or repetitious silly superstitious behaviour.  Alternatively the criminal suffers from one of the many common phobias.

Peculiar Looking: Your criminal is either a gorgeous gangster, a fascinatingly ugly felon, or has a single striking feature like a facial birthmark, that cause witnesses to remember you and point to your mug shot.  Standing out from the crowd gives the criminal a penalty to get away with crimes, and a penalty to be singled out for some reason.

Poor Grip: Being limp wristed you shake hands like royalty.  Climb and Lifting skills suffer a penalty.  Impress tests where handshakes are involved receive a penalty as well.

Power (v): You have to be in control, and top dog in any gang or crew.  The juice is what drives you to climb the criminal ladder, stepping all over the people who get in your way.  You like people to know that you can do things for them, and to them with just the click of your fingers.  You are a man of respect with a Capone complex, and a love of the Godfather.  This ambition is risky; it will either pay off big time or get you killed quickly. 

Risk Taker (v): The criminal is an adrenaline junkie that fixes on the action.  Taking high stake scores with security up the ass or ripping off big time drug dealers with a penchant for homicide gets the criminal’s juices going.  The risk is just as important as the score, which means that the felon is unlikely ever to go straight or live long enough to grow old. 

Short Attention Span: Your criminal, before he got kicked out of school, was a disruptive influence in class, and spent most of his time defacing his desk or standing in the corner facing the wall.  They’d probably call it attention deficit disorder now, and it makes listening or reading for any length of time very difficult.  Consequently learning, waiting patiently, or anything involving concentration suffers a penalty.

Space Cadet: Your felon has a bit of the dippy hippy about him, and doesn’t pay as much attention to what goes on around him, as he ought to.  Being tuned out, or just having blunt senses anyway knocks the criminal’s Awareness skill.

Spender (v): You live large and like nice things, designer leather, gator shoes, an expensive ride, good champagne, a luxurious pad.  Money burns a hole in your pocket period; to you there’s no point to having green, unless you can flash a fat roll of dead presidents and tip like you was a dumper truck.   

Spite (v): There’s something wrong with you.  You get a perverse kick in seeing someone fuck up and fall flat on their face.  Envy, resentment, or plain malicious spite causes you to plot underhand ways to sabotage or rip off an operation.  Your deviousness, unless you go too far, is not generally self-destructive or detrimental to your own interests where there is a lot on the line.  But if you don’t like a guy, which is most of the time, you find it difficult not to be difficult and throw a spanner in the works.  Your poisonous perp might just like to hide car keys, spread rumours, or go for full out betrayal.

Stiff-Jointed: You can’t touch your toes or reach far behind your back, and the splits are out of the question.  This lack of flexibility makes climbing, escaping, and melee attacks a difficult and often unpleasant experience. 

Temper (v): Certain things really push your buttons, and then the red mist descends.  Going loco because some dude checks out your woman for a split second longer than he should have, means getting into a lot beefs, even when it’s clearly a lousy idea.

Trusting: This is a fatal flaw, as generally trusting the word of the assorted slime of Dog Town at face value, sets the criminal up as an easy mark, and a cinch to kill.  The criminal feels too secure and his naivety costs him a penalty to his Suss skill when trying to smell a set up.

Weak Stomach: You are the Mr. Queasy of the Underworld, a lightweight drinker that is prone to puking and falling over after a six pack of stubbies.  You also tire easily, get ill a lot and take longer to get over injuries.  Affects the Endurance Skill and means your crim is more suspectible to Poison or Disease. 

Womanizer (v): Chasing tail like Tom does Jerry no matter what the cost, or falling hard for that one special lady, that breaks hearts like a short order cook breaks eggs.  Feeling like you got five dicks, or just being a love struck fool that can’t let go, women are trouble for you period.  The longer the history or the hotter the gal, the more your dick is likely to do the thinking.  Or alternatively your criminal gets his kicks from working girls, strip joints and porn.

Man-Eater (v): Your female felon could be a loose woman who likes to put it about, and steal other women’s guys, or just enjoys flirting with a guy and leading him on for kicks.  Or perhaps when it comes to a proper relationship she becomes a bit of a bunny boiler, who is fond of 3am phone calls and shredding shirts.  Whichever the love life, it is usually compulsive and complicated. 

Yellow Streak: Tough you may be, stamina you may have, but guts you don’t.  However hard on the outside your criminal maybe, on the inside he is a cream puff that hasn’t got the balls for a fight.  When the chips are down and things are going to get bloody, your boy is already slipping out the backdoor.  Affects your felon's Threat skill.


Okay, so I've got one female player lined up, but I'm still looking for one more player. 

As I mentioned in the previous posts - this will be a freeform game - I'm working on a very simple charater creation and skill resolution system that will keep the game freeform, but provide a small bit of mechanical support.  Hopefully I'll have it posted in the next day or so.

So anybody interested just hit me up with a PM.



Okay - the final piece of the puzzle is a simplified character creation system.  A character consists of Attributes, Skils and Merits/Flaws.  To allow maximum flexibility, I've streamlined the Priority System from Shadowrun:


So what do these numbers mean?  For those unfamiliar with the Shadowrun priority system, it works like thus: the player assigns a letter priority to each trait (i.e. A in Attributes, B in Skills and C in Merits/Flaws).  The player can then use these points to 'purchase' levels in the appropriate trait.  So going back to the previous example, the player choose B for skills, which gives them 6 points to spend on levels in skills.  As per the skills post above, skills are ranked in four levels: Novice (default level), Experienced, Veteran, and Master. 

For one point, the player could increase a character's skill from Novice to Experienced.  For two points if could be raised to Veteran and for three points the character would be rated as a master in that particular skill.  Given the number of skills and the limited amount of points available it will be clear that characters will not be ranked as Master in many, if any, skills.

The ranking system applies to Attributes.  Please note that given the lesser amount of Attribute (see the Attribute post below) the number of points available to purchase levels is smaller.

Merits/Flaws are treated somewhat differently in that there are no levels to Merits/Flaws.  You either have them or you don't.   For each available point the player is able to purchase a merit for their character.  However, for each merit so purchased, the player must also choose two flaws for their character (except the Smoking Flaw).  Remember that this game is about desperate people living desperate, violent, dark lives and consequently the characters should all be somewhat tragic.

One final point, I'm still considering whether extra flaws can be taken in return for more points to be spent on Attributes and/or Skills.  I don't want the game to be a Super-Heroes type game, but I can see the benefit of such an exchange system – I shall update once I've made my mind up.


“You ain’t a lawyer anymore Dave, you a gangster now, you on the other side. Whole new ball game.... and you won’t learn about it in any classroom,....and you can’t have a late start...”
- Carlito Brigante from the movie Carlito’s Way gives the lowdown on the criminal world to his former friend Dave Kleinfeld.


This is simply a measure of the criminal’s size in terms of body mass. It defines his weight, whether it be solid beef or junk in the trunk.  It does not indicate strength, but bulk or lack of is a contributing factor in the amount of injury the criminal can hand out, and in turn take. Skinny junkies are more easily hurt than 250 pound nightclub bouncers, and are also not able to throw their weight around, as there isn’t any of it.  A big bulk as you would imagine comes in useful in scaring a victim into wetting his pants.

Novice: Teenage kid to Catwalk Model. (80 - 98lbs)
Experienced: Lean and healthy to everyday Joe six pack. (135 - 175lbs)
Veteran: Bodybuilder or blimp. (211 - 252lbs)
Master: You have a big shadow and make small children cry. (309 - 364 lbs)

This is dynamic strength, and represents a criminal’s ability to push people around, move fast, smash doors and lift heavy items.  Both high jumpers and shot putters have tremendous power the important difference is bulk.  Power does rely on bulk to a certain extent to back it up with muscle, and a criminal cannot have a power score more than 2 levels greater than his bulk stat.  Bulk too if it exceeds power by more than 1 point becomes debilitating with the fat felon having too much flab for his muscle, he is heading for a motorized chair with.
Novice: Carrying groceries is a strain nerd boy.
Experienced: You pack a bit of a punch.
Veteran: Olympic sprinter or butch female East German shot putter.
Master: Professional strongman, you can bend iron bars and shit.

This is the criminal’s hardness and resistance to shock, injury and substance abuse. It also decides the recovery time of injuries.   A criminal’s tenacity and balls is also derived from experience and toughness, as mental hardness is as much to do with being tough as having an iron constitution.  Scarface had cojounes as big as oil drums and literally spat in the face of death. Wimp out or bite the bullet, stare down or back down, balls or lack of them in the situation is the bottom line.

Novice: You have a glass jaw and a yellow streak to go with it.
Experienced: You still ache after a fight, but you’ll push yo self more than most.
Veteran: Tough as a junkyard dog, you like to fight and don’t quit when it hurts.
Master: When you fall you hurt the ground. 

This is having fast moves, quick hands and stay alive reactions. Driving insanely, playing ball, and popping a homey on a drive by need good reflexes. Skills requiring co-ordination and agility are boosted or handicapped by high or low reflexes.   It is a sad fact of life that you slow down as you get older. Criminals over 40 lose 1 level reflex rank, those over 60 lose 2 ranks.

Novice: Lobotomized.  Your criminal is slug like slow.
Experienced: Pretty nimble and co-ordinated.
Veteran: Swift as a mongoose, you could play pro.
Master: Fast as lightening, and a supremely gifted athlete.

In “The Life” ya need a nose for trouble to smell when something bad is about to go down. Sense is keeping an eye on the street and the animals that walk on it, and listening to those gut feelings that something is off. Sense encompasses all of the senses including intuition and empathy, allowing the criminal to read people who are trying to bullshit her.  As the criminal gets older her senses naturally diminish dropping by 1 rank at the age of 60.

Novice: Observant you ain’t fella.
Experienced: The eyes and ears of a shithouse rat.
Veteran: Extremely sensitive to the subtleties and nuances of a situation.
Master: Practically psychic, you is always on the money.

Being switched on to what is going on, seeing the angles and having the right ideas. Smart thinking will keep you ahead of the pack, and may prevent a bullet from being put in the back of your head. Stupid criminals are punks, and punks tend to end up on the side walk outlined in chalk. 

Novice: Your mind is as sharp as a rusty spanner missing just as much as it picks up.
Experienced: You’re ok as long as the shit ain’t too deep.
Veteran: Shrewd operator you see nearly all the angles.
Master: Criminal mastermind, they can’t get close to you.

To stay cool, and keep a lid on your criminal’s emotions and vices needs good control.  Hotheads are reckless, and give in to their anger, addicts are weak and can’t stop the binges.  Dog Town is full of bad temptations, dark alleys that get ever darker and lead to inevitable ruin.  Control is discipline, keeping on the straight and narrow.  In certain situations a very high self-control can even master fear, and allow the criminal to act. It is also important for waiting, prolonged periods of concentration, and resisting boredom.  The city dump is littered with people who should have known better.

Novice: You are a bit flaky and you usually cave in, and then can’t stop.
Experienced: You have some vices but none excessive.
Veteran: Calm and collected you know what you are about.
Master: As rational as a computer, nothing influences you.

Charisma, poise, attitude, model looks and the talk to go with it. Film stars have it in spades, as do gangsters in $1,000 dollar suits. Stylish hip dudes attract hangers on, while those without it are the stuttering oddballs that people poke fun at. Style also influences know streets and all social based skills like coax and impress.
Charisma never dies and if you’ve got that special something your criminal will become distinguished by age, and not ruined by it.

Novice: Nobody listens, you’re a brown bag job wearing clothes that don’t match.
Experienced: You mix well and have friends.
Veteran: You is Fine with a capital F, and can entertain a crowd.
Master: You could start your own cult.

The school of hard knocks, your criminal’s experience on the street and what this has taught him.  A criminal with a high rank will know more, with experience being an essential part of gangster’s knowledge of his particular neighborhood.  Like a fine wine can improve with age, for criminals over 40 add 1 rank to their stat, for those over 50 add 2 ranks.

Novice: You wear blue colors in a Blood neighborhood, life expectancy 6 hours.
Experienced: Getting there you know a few tricks.
Veteran: Respected killer, thief, hustler.
Master: You’re destined for greatness, to be mentioned in the same breath as Carlito.

In life whether your felon gets the shit end of the stick or not, can when all other options have played themselves out, come down to lame old luck.  Luck is the last resort of the loser, and can smile or frown on the player depending on what it has to overcome.  A hideous 90mph car crash would need the criminal to be extraordinarily lucky, to be able to get out and walk away from the wreckage in one piece. The chances of this are slight, as so too would be a belt buckle preventing a serious abdominal wound from a knife.  Luck can be used in this way to save the criminal’s ass. However the problem with luck is, that keep pushing it, and sooner or later it will run out.

Novice: Lady Luck has taken a dump on you.
Experienced: You hit a hot streak every now and then.
Veteran: You’ve got nine lives.
Master: Mr. One in a million.


EASY MONEY - A Dog Town Story of Sex, Drugs and Homicide

Your character gets off the bus with an address and $40 bucks to his name. He is back on the streets of Dog Town on parole after two years in Green Haven Penitentiary for possession of a firearm.  He used the time well making contacts, learning new scams and packing on muscle in the exercise yard.  He has no intentions of going straight not yet anyway.  He needs $100,000 dollars in ninety days to be in on the deal, a deal that would set him up for life.

So begins your desperate attempt to steal, deal and rip off $100,000 dollars against the clock on the insanely violent and sleazy streets of Dog Town, an anonymous run down inner city neighborhood in 1970’s New York, infested with doped up gangs locked in bloody turf wars, and rattling junkies on the hustle for their next fix.

Life is short, brutal and hopeless against the desolate backdrop of the ghetto. A violent end will meet many while jail, insanity and overdoses account for many more. Crime spirals out of control and the over stretched authorities can’t cope with the fallout.

Your character heads into this vipers nest well schooled in its ways. He can beat a man senseless with his fists, manipulate people into doing things, and knows how to cut drugs before selling them. He will need these skills and others if he is to survive and thrive in its dangerous chaos.

His greatest threat however may be himself.  A poor self-control won't hold his destructive temper or curtail his overwhelming greed...


Ok, the game has moved to the starting position.  The majority of the location threads have been constructed, you can view them here.  So if you're interested you can drop me a PM or post a message on his thread.


Okay, so all the pages are up including links to the prominent locations within the roleplay.  You can view them here.

There are two confirmed characters and a possible third is under discussion.  I'd still be interested in hearing from people you'd be interested in joining.


Unfortunately, I have too many prior commitments to join a game this sophisticated at present, but I wanted to pop in anyway and compliment you on the game design and the awesome atmosphere -- very appealing and well-thought-out.  I'll be bummed if this game doesn't get off the ground -- anything that looks this fun deserves to thrive. 

Just my two bits.  Good luck with the game!  I'll have an eye on it.  :)