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Topside Crime
Mix faction primarily focused for topside crime

Originally I wrote up this thread as 'there should be more topside contracts' and as I was writing, I thought up of.. Why not just have a faction who's main purpose is to cause grief topside?

Let me explain!

This faction would operate somewhere like a gang and syndicate. Gang as in, accessibility-wise, and syndicate as in, organised crime-wise. Contracts like these could be as simple as someone really hates person x, so they go to this faction and write up what they'd want and the price. Might just even want to cause grief to rival corps without it being directly traced to you. Even hiring someone to just chuck a molly for absolutely no reason other than to annoy someone.

The syndicate part of this faction would come in, in terms of endorsement and rep. The more contracts you do for them, the more riskier ones are offered, with higher pay. If it goes south, then they wouldn't feel as if it was just a waste of time and resources. They still tried. They still went out of their way to do a topside contract. In addition, it'd be good to feel a steady progress in the faction so unlocking different weapons, resources, rooms.

This wouldn't just directly promote topside conflict, it'll desentize players to topside crime. If there's a lot happening, a lot of people doing topside mischievous things, and players see them gaining from it, no matter how small, more will want to join. Even if the contract is a bust and the player doesn't succeed, others will see what they gain from it.

Another thing that came up is.. How would someone go pick up these contracts? I might have an idea for this as well that will include a lot of people in RP... Why not make it part of a decker service? Get someone with specific decking skills to be able to open up a node with contracts. In addition, someone can add contracts there. This will make it so deckers are waaaaay more useful! This would also remove the problem of how legal it is. If it's an underground decking group that organizes topside crime contracts, it would explain how hard it is to crack down on these people.. Nobody's seen them!

Would also not affect current syndicate standings since it's purely topside crime! Not only that, it would make it easy for GMs to place contracts there if they want more for a specific day. GM's doing a big plot and need someone to cause a distraction topside for something else? Slap a contract on the boards with what they want, price and how open it is. Payment? Decker group, bank transfers from anonymous.

How would they receive specific boons? Could have an ID like there is at the Term on CnC. Can make it so deckers with a lite term can see what's happening in the open market contracts but not able to see who's taking who? Or maybe have a secluded term in an abandoned place? Or even have to ask a decker to do something with the QuickTerm to be able to see it? Maybe someone in the Park? These are all open questions, just throwing out ideas!

Of course, this isn't near as fleshed out as it needs to be, but I think it's a very solid starting point for topside crime to just happen! Hope you guys like this idea. I'd personally take part in this. Curious to see where everyone stands!

I think all these are FANTASTIC ideas, but they also already exist or could exist in other fashions, if someone took the initiative.

Creating an anti-establishment establishment would have a lot of pitfalls from the jump, especially if put to code.

I like this idea a lot. There are, however, already a handful of players who should be in the position to make this happen. I'd highly suggest trying to find a powerful/influential PC and offering your services ICly. If you character wants to do topside crime, there -should- be a PC who is willing to fund it. It's obviously not a guarantee, but just saying all the pieces are there for the taking already if you can show some initiative.
My point is we need something to introduce people to topside crime, show other players that it's possible and that people are willing to help. Without that first step to desensitise people to crime topside, nobody will take that first step. I mean, people have the tools and nothing is happening, so stepping in is somewhat needed.. Or else it wouldn't be a problem.

Hopefully this makes sense.. It wouldn't be much of a.. "Come here just for topside crime" but more of a, "Look, you can do topside crime too. Don't need this to do it. Others can do it too." then it'll open up doors for people. Not only that, but corp on corp violence will be much more cloak and dagger. Corps would actively try to ruin other corp's using this since getting it tracked back to them is much harder.

Just answering JMo, hopefully it makes sense?

It feels like many players want a cookie cutter approach to generalizing Topside crime or make it more accessible.

Any faction in the game can outsource this to a Mister Johnson/Anderson/Blueyes etc, its a staple theme of Cyberpunk, the faceless faceman fixer that works as a third party between the faction and the criminals.

This gives jobs to both mixers and corporate alike, protecting the identity of the employer.

Now, asking GMs to organize something like this out of their own initiatives might as well be a plot request. Plots are more time consuming than puppets, require organization, preparation, coordination, etc. I think it works better, if GMs just assist in player driven plots for than most part.

Ideally you want players with more resources than they know what to do with to take the mantle of the Middleman Fixer to organize and bankroll (out of their own pocket or by asking an NPC for a loan) these types of operations.

There are about a handful of characters that can be their own one-player syndicate, but it would be much easier to ask for factional support or for a group of corpies to make a sort of 'board' with a shared bank account to finance operations such as these.

I think its quite manageable to increase the ration of Topside crime and heists. But the effort and drive has to come from the player side, you need to work as a group to achieve this common goal and change the game.

Also don't rob banks or NPCs, rob peoples apartments and cars, that's way more entertaining. Having other players, that will try to get back at you than just having NPC Jakes wipe you out in a cut-scene.

But before anyone will hire you for work like this, you would need connections, a skillset for the job and drive. This kind of work doesn't fall on most peoples laps, you need to go find it or make it yourself.

These things exist! Part of the difficulty in trying to be a Mixer striking topside is how the power of the state (and the willingness of those around you to cash in on your inevitable bounties) is so severe.
If people want to be hired, they should make themselves hireable.
Without going into details, there were what appeared to be some very clear attempts at facilitating topside crime recently and it seemed like nobody took up the offer.

Just an observation.

I think one of the biggest hindrances to this as a whole is because people tend to not brag. Fully understandable as to why, but part of the reason back in the day there was more crime is more people were more brazen when a score had occurred. Be that hits, thefts, robberies, kidnappings, people would brag about them at their favorite bar in the mix, or the WJF and Corps would vilify them but they got away with it.

Just from a longer term view of the changes of crime and similar in Sindome over my years of play, much of the stop of topside crime being brazenly stated (along with named 'legends' like Seven Ecks and the like) is because of things like the mixer-corpie divide enforcement. KMB used to be a mixing ground which led to crime. It is now not.

Mixers vilify servies, as do corpies for the most part, which makes no one root for one another. A mixer getting one up on a corpie by taking a job at Grunen's, talking their way into their apartment or something, and having the place robbed blind just doesn't exist anymore because of things like this. Gangs used to send prospective members topside to do crimes to show their grit. Again, something that happens less now because of the Code or other things over the years. None of this is particularly anyones fault, but none of these actions are being -stopped- through code. Its all being discouraged because its become the status quo to separate the class structure fully, both through SIC chatter and corp unity and similar.

Just some thoughts. Compared to the past, a lot of the hindrances of topside crime have been lifted and could definitely happen more easily now than before. You may have more RP backlash due to a larger player base these days, but all these things are possible and can be encouraged and frankly you could get away with quite a lot.

So, start small, pick targets, make waves. Rob a chrome doc making an order for yourself. Barricade an expresstube and rob a limo. Use a riot as cover for a heist. Think small, or big, but there is nothing stopping topside crime any more than before outside of players.