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Lets hash out some ideas on getting 2 rival gangs to leave the city.


Advice


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

In our campaign we've been hired to chase out 2 rival gangs within the city. Each gang controls a side of the city itself East/West and so far the leaders are unknown to us, both by name and description.

For the most part opposition has been roughly Rogues of some degree with a few being some sort of Beast Rider. The larger of our enemies by size and the beasts have been under the influence of a drug to make them fight past Zero hit points. Like having Diehard/Ferocity abilities.

So far my character has infiltrated one of the gangs. The only thing I've learned is that they have one very minor boss, who I met, that controls this low level group, and according to his flunkies he's about as far down the chain as you can be and still be a "boss".

So far our plan has been to fight groups, leave no witnesses, and plant evidence the other gang did the damage/murders. This is going to be tedious.

Ideas I've got going through my head to speed up things is to find out where they deal their Smuggling/Illicit activities and start destroying those and planting evidence it was the other group as well.

Also maybe have some Wanted Posters placed on both sides of town with a huge reward for the capture/death of a "named gang boss" or "any identifiable gang member". Hopefully we can use people's greed to get them to turn in their fellow members or to kill them for the reward and then kill/capture them when they come to collect.

What advice can you give to help me out with this mission we have?
What ways can I use to safely communicate with my party members on info I've learned? We're 8th level and have a guy playing a 3rd party character called an Artisan who can make about anything given the time. Closest thing to a Wizard our party has is him and my Magus.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

The bounty on "any identifiable gang member" might be a bad idea on the vagaries of how you identify them. A lot of scummy people could take advantage of that.

If your artisan can make anything, what could he make to contaminate the drugs they've been putting on their beasts? Have both sides been using this drug?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

By "Any Identifiable gang member" I meant someone who we personally knew was a member. Someone we just picked out and found out their name & affiliation. Just something to help us get (possibly anyway) some of these guys to come out in the open.

I should mention these people wear signs of their affiliation on their person openly and we've discovered highly visible clues & decorations on certain establishments on their respective parts of town, that show they belong to said gang.

So far we've fought both gangs, one gang so much more so than the other and it's that gang, that we've encountered signs of the drugs in their system. Tale tell signs during combat are a reaction of the pupils of their eyes. So far though we've gotten no samples of the drug to do anything with.


How Good aligned is the party, and how much do you like the city you're in?

First thing that comes to mind for me if you want to get rid of both gangs is to start an all out gang war. Find out what the gang signs/symbols/styles for each side are, find a couple members from each side, kill them, and make it look like the other side did it.

Keep doing that until the gangs are in an all-out war with each other, and then start picking them off from the sidelines. Keep making it look like the other side is responsible whenever you take some out.

Let the two gangs destroy each other, or at least weaken each other to the point you'll have a much easier time finishing the job.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Edymnion wrote:

How Good aligned is the party, and how much do you like the city you're in?

First thing that comes to mind for me if you want to get rid of both gangs is to start an all out gang war. Find out what the gang signs/symbols/styles for each side are, find a couple members from each side, kill them, and make it look like the other side did it.

Keep doing that until the gangs are in an all-out war with each other, and then start picking them off from the sidelines. Keep making it look like the other side is responsible whenever you take some out.

Let the two gangs destroy each other, or at least weaken each other to the point you'll have a much easier time finishing the job.

So far this is working. The only problem I see is if one of the gang members get away and make a report of us. There is really only one member who is NG, the rest are N, LN and I think a CN.

We were told upon being hired to minimize any damage to the city and even then it can't be from something we did. So we promptly got an abandoned building to use as our Inn, so damage/retaliation wouldn't follow us to an innocent establishment.

I'm thinking that if we can find some way to disrupt their daily monetary operations, it would piss them off a lot more. I'm wanting to do this in order to draw out the big guys or at least get a name of the boss in charge. I wish we had a map of the city to go off of though, that would be a big help of sorts.

Some way of following/spying on gang members by maybe summoned animals/monsters, local citizens are scared and won't volunteer or would rat you out.


Couple questions -

1) How common is the 'drug' the gangs use on their animals?
Tracking the 'drug' might be one way.

2) How will do the gangs get along with the street 'cops'?
Usually the people patrolling the streets "know" more about what's going on. They just aren't either 'allowed' to do anything about it or are 'paid' to look the other way.

3) Where are the gangs getting their money? Where is that money going?
Use the standard 'follow the money' rule. If possible, *interrupting* that money flow is a lot better then starting a 'street' gang war. Can also be profitable in your favor too.

4) Most 'crime' bosses have problems with making all that 'dirty' money into 'clean' money. Think Al Capone and him getting caught with tax fraud.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Watch the Akira Kurasawa movie Yojimbo. It tells of the exact situation you describe. Also a cracking good movie, and funny. It's on Netflix.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Matt2VK wrote:

Couple questions -

1) How common is the 'drug' the gangs use on their animals?
Tracking the 'drug' might be one way.

2) How will do the gangs get along with the street 'cops'?
Usually the people patrolling the streets "know" more about what's going on. They just aren't either 'allowed' to do anything about it or are 'paid' to look the other way.

3) Where are the gangs getting their money? Where is that money going?
Use the standard 'follow the money' rule. If possible, *interrupting* that money flow is a lot better then starting a 'street' gang war. Can also be profitable in your favor too.

4) Most 'crime' bosses have problems with making all that 'dirty' money into 'clean' money. Think Al Capone and him getting caught with tax fraud.

So far the Drug, is only known to be a drug due to a GM slip of the tongue. He likened it to Angel Dust/PCP. We'll have to put some gangers to the "Question" about it for sure.

We've not seen 1 "Street Cop" except for the guard Captain who hired us. This however is an avenue I've not thought about. I'll have to find some cops/guards to ask them some questions about the groups.

Smuggling of some kind seems to be their manner of crime forte as far as we've been told. I know the thugs we've killed never have cash on hand at all.

Truth be told, we've barely scratched the surface on investigating anything.


Okay, minimize collateral damage...

Do you have a spellcaster? If so, look into the Locate Object spell. Its a 3rd level spell (dunno if your game is high enough level yet to have those), but it lets you know the exact location of a specific object.

Go out and buy something unique looking, let your spellcaster play around with it long enough to be familiar with it, and then find some way of getting it to the boss of one gang. Something like killing some of their guys, and carving a note to the boss on the back of it. Leave it sitting on top of one of the bodies.

With any luck, fellow gang members will find the scene, see the item, and take it back to the boss (or at least a higher ranking member) to see what to do with it. Its just a normal mundane object, so if its a higher level game any checks for traps or magical tricks will show its harmless (which it is).

Then just have your spellcaster cast Locate Object to find it. With any luck, it'll be sitting in the boss's base of operations.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Edymnion wrote:

Okay, minimize collateral damage...

Do you have a spellcaster? If so, look into the Locate Object spell. Its a 3rd level spell (dunno if your game is high enough level yet to have those), but it lets you know the exact location of a specific object.

Go out and buy something unique looking, let your spellcaster play around with it long enough to be familiar with it, and then find some way of getting it to the boss of one gang. Something like killing some of their guys, and carving a note to the boss on the back of it. Leave it sitting on top of one of the bodies.

With any luck, fellow gang members will find the scene, see the item, and take it back to the boss (or at least a higher ranking member) to see what to do with it. Its just a normal mundane object, so if its a higher level game any checks for traps or magical tricks will show its harmless (which it is).

Then just have your spellcaster cast Locate Object to find it. With any luck, it'll be sitting in the boss's base of operations.

This is a great idea. I'm a 7th level Magus/1st lvl Inspired Blade Swash. My Artisan buddy could probably get a scroll made in a day or less of this spell. I've thought about using Arcane Mark to invisibly mark things as well to try and track later with something along these lines.

Another idea I've been toying with for a different character was having Explosive Runes cast on Darkwood shaft of a Durable arrow.
Leaving the arrow intact after killing someone and whoever picked up the arrow to inspect it, would try and read the writing and BOOM.
It would be costly to do it but we might be able to kill off a couple of guys trying to inspect the crime scenes.


Need more info. What's the nature of the gangs? Homegrown locals unable to make an honest living, or outsiders coming in and taking over. 2 rival big bads with a grudge against eachother, or organizations that will keep going even after the removal of the current leader. Run like family or business.

In general, +1 to Yojimbo and its various homages and remakes, given the setup I'd assume that's what your GM is thinking. Depending on how your group plays, separate and each try to infiltrate the opposite gang, or sell yourselves as single mercenary group to both sides.

Triggering an open and uncontrolled gang war is likely to be disruptive and have much collateral damage, and depending on the leaders' motivations, might just start again once their pawns are used up.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The nature of the gangs is, as far as we've been able to determine through questions is, 2 rival big bads with grudges & might be that they're local, it seems that this has been going on for years.

The low level flunkies I've talked to since going over to their side seeking some employment, is that they've always hated each other and they (the low level guys) don't seem to know why, it just "is".

I was wanting to do something along the lines of "Last Man Standing" and playing off both sides. This movie Yojimbo sounds similar.

We need to cut the head from the snake. Just need to find out where and who. I'm pretty sure the BBEG's are going to be the boss fights though.


If you aren't concerned with casualties, try getting high ranking officials who are helping one gang or the other. You'll rarely meet a high ranking gang member in the trenches, but if you find a politician or police chief helping east, kill him and leave markings showing west did it. Retaliate in like kind on behalf of west. You take out their allies in high places, make them mad at each other, and make them a bigger public nuisance than usual, all in one move.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That does leave some more things to investigate. I'm going to have to make a list of questions to start subtly asking around. I'm also going to have to come up with a dead drop site to leave messages for the rest of the group.


Eigengrau wrote:

That does leave some more things to investigate. I'm going to have to make a list of questions to start subtly asking around. I'm also going to have to come up with a dead drop site to leave messages for the rest of the group.

Speak with animals, train a squirrel.

Or find a mute guy and break his hands. Use a read thoughts type spell on him at the other end.

Or, there's magic to speak to someone in a dream.

For physical objects, use polymorph to change the shape and size of something. Make the change match up on the tables to last about a day or two. When it gets delivered it has a time limit before it becomes whatever you actually sent again. Since you can turn a couple of different things into identical fakes, you can send them to several places to help prevent interception. If it does get intercepted, there's a window for your team to get it back before it becomes obvious what you sent.

For basic statuses, use dancing lights to move the 4 lights in a pattern. Design a pattern that looks random from the ground, but from above, to an ally using fly or poly to a bird, its a coded message.

Grand Lodge

If you are looking to minimalize damage, you should probally stop trying to make it look like the other gang is doing what you are doing. This is going to start a gang war. Considering you are 8, and assuming that the rest of the party is 8, the gang leaders will likely be level 13+

At that point, they could vaporize the city if they want.

Instead, you need to form a 3rd rival gang. Approach 1 of the gang sides and knock them out to show you are strong. Offer to help them tip the scales in their battle for a cut of the territory. Once you gain the trust, you demand that continued help will require meeting The Boss, not the flunkies.

Once you eliminate gang A with gang 1's help, you turn around and take out gang 1. You will be able to absorb the power base of gang A and use that to help you take down gang 1. Use the working together with the gang asan opportunity to learn the tactics of all the bosses and have plans to take them out.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Might have to try some hypnotism spells on a couple low level guys along with a charm person maybe.

Silver Crusade

Magda Luckbender wrote:
Watch the Akira Kurasawa movie Yojimbo. It tells of the exact situation you describe. Also a cracking good movie, and funny. It's on Netflix.

This is top notch advice. In a far-off distant second place is my advice...watch the Bruce Willis move Last Man Standing.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Sadly by the time I sign up for mail order dvds from Netflix and receive it, it may be too late. Its unavailable to stream. I did watch Last Man Standing though.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Man the trouble I went through to get this movie... Wish I would have known that Clint Eastwood's "A Fistful of Dollars" was the unofficial remake of it...

Oh well, watched it anyway, thank god I had subtitles. Looks like I'll be trying out some backstabbery intrigue and finger pointing to start a all out war then.


Commune is great way to gather information and you a only 1 level away.

1. Does West have singular leader?
2. Is his main base within the city?
Use a good map of the city for next stuff.
3. Is his main base in west half of city?
4. Northwest?
At this point you are down to a quarter of the city.
If you keep splitting with the rest of the questions you get down to 1/128th of the city.

That is searchable area.

Other ideas
Is the base below ground?
Does the lead have weakness we can exploit? (child, addiction, family, hobby)
Use the area split method to find out where the money is.
Find out who is not loyal.
Is the boss a well known local figure?
If so make list of all of them and use splitting to get is name.

4 or 5 questions can get you letter of his name so 1 casting gets you initials. After 10 days you have the first 10 letters of a first and last name.

Blood money can make all of this free.

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