My currect labour of love is a The Wire hack for Mouse Guard. I've posted a bit about it on my blog, but have been noting stuff down on it since, and I'm really excited about it, and I want to play it asap. MG is simply the sharpest RPG system tool I've tinkered with - incredible. I'm a huge huge fan of Burning Empires and all its inner workings, but MG is simply a step up. I think it's a master piece. And it's so easily hackable.
OK, here are my notes so far. Still to come are Abilities/Resouces, more traits, a skill list and a rewritten recruitmetn section. Then, a new character sheet and we're good to go.Under ScrutinyA Mouse Guard hack for The Wire police-style roleplaying
One of the main things about The Wire is that a case investigation lasts a whole season, where the detectives gather evidence bit by bit over a long period of time. The Burning (whatever) system of eating away at a disposition suits this incredibly well, so I guess Burning Empires would be just as good a fit for this, but MG is more refined, more honed, simply: better. What I would like to nick from BE is the phase disposition - in this game that will tell us how well the case has been solved, but more on that later
So, the big kahuna, the case, the investigation that overarches the whole thing and lasts for many sessions is the seasons. Every time the GM uses a twist based on the case, you move one space forward in the big picture, and when you reach the end the case is closed, whether it's solved or not. Sometimes the bad guys get away, and that's fine. In this the police version you have to start from the beginning, of course, whereas in MG you can start in any season. The player group may determine from the outset how many sessions the want the case to last.
That leaves the winter season. I'm not sure whether I need to bring that over, but just have Beginning, Middle and End as the "seasons" in the police game. The middle would then be extra long and hard, like so for example:
Beginning (3) - two case twists
Middle (5) - four case twists
End - (4) - two case twists
Wrap-up session (as per Winter session: practice, promotions, reflection)
Every game session will be a GM mission turn and a player turn, just like normal MG, which is also perfect for this. And after each full session each side gets to try and eat away at the "case disposition" - the players for the police side and the GM for the criminals' side. (Perhaps this is not even necessary and just a complication...)
Mission problems: case, location, authorities, people.
• Premise -- Player characters are police officers working on a case, often in an cross-force ad hoc unit set up to solve that particular case.
• Missions -- Shadow a suspect, get that court order, set up a wire, photograph the boss man, arrest a suspect, testify in a court case, find the dope/weapon/evidence.
• Conflicts -- Argument, Speech, Negotiation, Interrogation, Fight, Raid, Chase, Crime Scene, Other
• Weapons -- Tech: computer, gps, microphone, camera etc. Pistol, shotgun, grenade. Court order, subpoena, evidence, promise.
• Overarching Conflict -- The case.
• Territories -- The setting is a city of your choice, or perhaps a locale in the countryside. Baltimore, Oxford, Ystad, Edinburgh, Skåne.
• NPCs -- All walks of life, from street dealers and junkies, to suburban housewives, dock workers, union reps, lawyers and loan sharks.
Abilities and Skills
Name, Age, Mentor, Style (clothes, hair, tattoos), Rank, Friend, Enemy. (for ranks, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_rank
Nature (Police) (other natures are Criminal, Politician and Citizen, and that's it.)
Police nature can be used for chasing, shadowing, searching, arresting.
Conditions: Healthy, Hungover, Tired, Injured, Sick.
Jaded, Fearless, Fearful, Merciful, Aggressive, Methodical, Impulsive, Compassionate, Hot-headed, Simple, Ambitious, Arrogant, Cold, Cocky, Brave, Generous, Suspicious, Diplomatic.
Comments more than welcome.