All right, based on my plot write-up from two weeks ago, I already know I need the following NPCs:
- Samuel McNiven, the pawn shop operator, bookie, and the one reporting the theft
- Officer White, homicide detective and blackmailer
- Officer Jones, White's partner
- Lena, romantic partner to the drug dealer, Tiny, killed by Melvin
- Melvin Nikodemos, addict who killed Tiny
- Petru, addict who owed Tiny money
- Liza, addict who owed Tiny money
- Moses Nikodemos, Melvin's father, rich business leader
- Shade and Kevin, two small time thieves hired by Moses
- Katrin White, Officer White's wife, Samuel McNiven's lover, and witness to the theft
Location wise, I'll need:
- Three Rings, McNiven's pawnshop
- a Police Station (the one our characters work out of) — I'll say that Officer White and Jones are based out of this station as well
then, assuming the players actually make progress on the hidden agenda,
- Tiny and Lena's apartment
- Officer White's house (best place to find Katrin White)
- the corner stoop, neighborhood bar, and/or local apartment complex where Shade and Kevin hang
- abandoned houses where Petru and Liza crash (separately)
- Nikodemos's office
I don't want to make full character sheets for all these NPCs, so I'll just concentrate on McNiven, White, Jones, Moses Nikodemos, and Katrin White in the finished write-up. The rest I think I'll be able to note down a couple Identities and Qualities players would be likely to hit while questioning them and go on from there. Locations will need the NPCs most likely to be found there and I'll need to note clues each NPC could give our investigators with the right incentives. Should probably note down some ideas on incentives for NPCs too.
One of the things I've seen in other Dirty World scenarios is Lost, Mislead, vs. Hot on the Trail information. The idea is that if the PCs don't really have a good idea what's going on, give them the information under the Lost section in order to point them on the right trail. If they've got some ideas but those ideas are wrong, use the Mislead section to maybe straighten them out, maybe confuse the issue further. Hot on the Trail information is designed to throw folks off track. It's all about controlling the speed of the scenario, as I understand it. So, in addition to the clues to keep players on track, I'm going to need to think up some complications.
I've got one or two with Petru and Liza as potentially the killers to throw folks off Melvin. I'm thinking McNiven's pawnshop had security cameras, so I can tell PCs that the folks they see on camera could be X, Y, Z, Shade, or Kevin. The PCs are robbery detectives, they know folks in the business.
I actually don't think I should add in too many complications since we're already at three steps in this chain of crimes to get back to the original murder. I'm not too happy with the ones above though... I'll have to keep thinking about those.
So, now I need some clues to let our players get from the robbery to the police misconduct and murder. Well, we've got Shade and Kevin on camera breaking in. I think I'll say Kevin cut himself and left some blood at the scene. It'll take weeks for DNA typing to come back, but it's a good threat to hold over Kevin's head to get him to talk. Let's see, Shade and Kevin, if they fold, can say "you don't want us, you want the guy who hired us!" Also, if the detectives get a warrant and toss these two's places, they'll be able to turn up a) the money and b) the evidence-bagged gun. From the gun, they can go to what crimes happened at the location marked on the bag. From location and crime, they get the officers on the scene and the fact that this bag was never logged into evidence. You've then got Jones who's clean and fucking pissed at being suspected — so maybe after talking with our PCs, Jones goes to confront White and the PCs can sneak over and listen to the conversation.
I think I can improvise this. The question becomes do I try to make a write up and then play-test or take what I have, play-test now, and then write it all up? There is the matter of finding time to run a play-test, so I probably should make a centralized write up from these posts and then play-test.
Oh, and I'm totally changing my DOJ's secret from cowardice to Moses Nikodemos is his brother-in-law and Melvin is his nephew. Because I'm a GM and I can. 😈