Question about proxies – (making somebody)^n do something

Question about proxies – (making somebody)^n do something

Question about proxies – (making somebody)^n do something

I want to know if my game experience is off (thus I should fix it) or my expectations are off (and I should learn the damn rules). The most obvious thing in my group is an increased level of proxies used on the part of the PCs. I would like to know whether it is a red flag or not. And if not, how to handle it in the spirit of Blades / FitD.

The Actual Play:

We are playing a FitD game (Copperhead Country) with two friends (I am GMing). The group of characters started out with a focus on scheming to begin with, and now we are on a track I am rather wary of. The first 3 jobs were nice, mildly challenging negotiations. First it was difficult for me to draw a line between Free Play and Score phase and call for an Engagement Roll as the fiction remained mostly the same before and after (schmoozing, negotiating), and I guess, I was already discontent on some level, if the following sessions are any evidence–the other players may have felt my itching for more dynamic action scenes.

The last two sessions were more dynamic, but the PCs less present in the fiction. In the first one of these, they paid someone to do some bad thing to another person. The PCs were involved in the deal but not the actual crime. Yesterday (last session) it got bigger: they sent a crew Cohort to pay someone to make someone do a bad thing to someone–that is, the PCs are 4 degrees of separation from the target. (Also, doing the whole act in the name of someone else again.) If not for some mistake (which was not guaranteed), they could have solved the Score with PCs present only in the preparations (Flashback scenes) this time again.

The Question(s):

– Should more than two degree of separation (make your Cohort do something) happen from any important player initiated action happen in this game? (Is it okay if PCs only show up in Flashbacks?)

– If that’s all right, how do we handle them? As many Fortune rolls as detailed we want to show the NPCs on-screen?

3 thoughts on “Question about proxies – (making somebody)^n do something”

  1. As the characters are not doing the work themselves any complications that arise would have to be handled by the tier of the cohort and it may not be something he/She would have much skill in anyway (which Is why they are not a character).

    Throw in some complications like a last minute negotiation on price, or the cohort gets held for ransom, something that means the characters have to get involved personally. If they don’t get the idea then have the cohort killed or removed from play somehow (taken off to another HQ or something) which could lead to a separate score to get them back.

    Also/or, make it so that the rewards they get for keeping themselves separated are much less, or even get attributed to another party…you only get kudos if you put your name to a job after all.

  2. Yeah, I think proxies are fine and Jason’s suggestions are good. As long as the players are having fun and still feel involved, it should be fine.

    Here are a couple things to keep in mind to make things easier on you:

    Cohorts have flaws (at least, in Blades they do – I’ve not played Copperhead County, but I assume it works the same). Brings those into play, even on successful rolls. If the PCs aren’t around when their Savage Thugs beat up the locals for protection money, they don’t get to rein them in and stop them from pulverizing every last person they find.

    Have the consequences of bad actions come back the PCs and their direct acquaintances. The local bartender won’t serve them anymore because of those vicious beatings. That guy they paid to do that job? Double-crossed them and sold information about them directly to their enemies – now they’re being hunted.

    Also, if they really insist on having that many degrees of separation, feel free to just determine the outcome of the action entirely on your own – no rolls required. That’s entirely within their purview. If they want more control, they can do actions that still keep them at a distance – reconnaissance, bribes, etc. That’s fine and it still keeps them involved.

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