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Æther: Burning Crosses

Burning Crosses

This short piece is more of an adventure outline than a full adventure, yet it is designed to embed characters firmly in the underbelly of Wellstone City. The situation is simple: the Cross crime family has a couple of problems. Someone is snitching various low- and mid-level operatives to the cops, with enough hard evidence that convictions stick. And someone is siphoning off their ill-gotten gains and laundering them in such a way that they cannot track it. Initially reluctant to let the matter out of Family hands, the characters are called in when the crime bosses realise that they don't know who to trust. This could be the big chance for the characters to make a name for themselves, maybe even be invited to join the Family! (And it's well known that turning down a job offer for them can blight your prospects...)

Whilst there is considerable atmospheric detail about what is going on, at least in respect of the money laundering, the investigative process - such as leads to follow - is left to the GM to put together, possibly introducing NPCs of their own and nods towards future events, or it can be abstracted to a single die roll... bit risky, as if the roll is flubbed, what happens to the adventure?

There's good material here, a few interesting people (who may or may not survive, depending on how the characters interpret their instructions) and a couple of nightspots than you may well want to make regular locations in your game, and it's all very atmospheric. The assumption is that your characters are determined to make their living on the wrong side of the law and want to get involved with the leading crime family in town... yet, if your characters have other ideas or your game concept is different, you could take the material and twist it to your own ends: maybe a police procedural following up some of the evidence provided by the snitch are led to the money laundering operation. Whatever you decide to do with it, it's going to require some thought and development before you can run it... but it's an excellent 'seed' to start you off.

Return to Burning Crosses page.

Reviewed: 22 August 2012